Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Southekai (Cucumber) Dosa - From my hometown

I have been wanting to post this dosa for a long time and have been putting it off for weeks. When I saw some great cucumber recipes here and here from my blogger friends, I decided to post my recipe too. So here comes my version of Southekai Dosa. This recipe is very similar to the Neer Dosa recipe.


The most (un)fondest memories of childhood for me are from my school lunch breaks. Sounds funny isn't it? Yes, we students had this wierd game of playing 'Guess what's there in my box?' just before opening and revealing the contents for everyone to see. And guess what the poor me always used to shy away from such games as every one of my friends used to scream out 'Dosa!' when I asked the question. Such was my sorry state thanks to my mom who gave me dosas almost everyday *sob*. When I complained, she used to smile and say, 'But they are all different types of dosas, you see!'.

Mangalorians like their Dosas. Be it the Neer Dosa(Rice crepes), Uppuhuli Dosa(spicy and sour), Kara Dosa (spicy), Soppina Dosa (with greens) or the normal plain Dosa (with lentils and rice), they love to make variations to the batter and somehow manage to come with different dosas for all the days of the week. And this one is just one of the many! The good thing about this Dosa is, there is no need to ferment the batter. Just grind and pour out the dosas, hence saving a lot of time and effort and also healthy because of the cucmber in there. Here I have ground cucumber with the soaked rice. Sometimes I even mix grated cucumber into the ground batter. Both taste equally great!

This goes to RCI-Udupi & Mangalore cuisine hosted by Sia, an event started by Lakshmi and to 'Dosa Corner' event hosted by Padma.

Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cup white rice
2 tbsp grated coconut (fresh/frozen/dessicated)
1 cup grated cucumber
Salt to taste
Little oil or ghee for frying

Recipe:

Step 1:Wash and soak rice in water overnight or for a minimum of 3-4 hours.
Step 2:Using a mixer grinder/blender, grind soaked rice along with coconut to a fine paste adding enough water.
Towards the end, add the grated cucumber and salt and grind once. Add enough water to get a watery consistency.
Step 3:Heat a girdle/non stick pan/tawa and spread 1/2 tsp oil over it.
Now pour out the dosas same as Neer Dosas. Take a ladle full of batter and pour it over the hot tawa all over. Do not spread using the back of the ladle as with the other dosas, as the batter is watery in this case.
Step 4:Close the lid and let it bake for 2-3 mins. Now remove from the tawa and serve hot with any chutney. (No need to bake on both sides, as it is very thin.)


Time Required: 30 mins
Yields: around 15 dosas

Variation: Jaggery can be added to the dosa batter to make a sweet form of dosa. Although I haven't tried it so far, I heard that it tends to stick more to the pan, if not using a non-stick pan.


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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Memories of a get together, Strawberry Tart and a Thank you!

Today we had some friends, Prasad, Geetha and their sweet little daughter over for lunch and had a great time talking, chatting and getting to know more about them. And surprise, Prasad brought a beautiful Strawberry Tart which not only looked great but also tasted great! So thought of sharing the picture of it here. And that is not all. The greatest surprise was that this was the first ever tart made by him and that too just for us! Also, knowing that we are vegetarians he went the extra mile to use a Jello substance with a non-animal gelling substance.Now isn't that sweet. Thank you so much guys! This really means a lot to us!:)

So here is the picture of the gorgeous tart by Prasad Nandamuri. This is a picture taken in our balcony garden.



Here is another view of it with the beautiful Hasini ready to attack it!


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Friday, July 17, 2009

Plain Parathas - Quick and Tasty flatbreads

Plain parathas (Indian flat breads) are very similar to chapathis, except that this is made richer and softer (read high-fat!) with the additional use of Ghee (clarified butter). I have been wanting to make these parathas at home ever since we visited a friend's house for dinner and we were served with these amazing triangular shaped parathas.

One thing that I like about them is they are a change from the regular rotis/chapathis. We love parathas of any kind and this one is the most simple and hence the best of all!They can be eaten with any kind of side dish/subzi.


Ingredients:

3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oil
About 1 tbsp Ghee
Oil for pan frying
Warm water for kneading the dough

Procedure:

Preparation:
Mix the whole wheat flour, salt and knead to a soft dough using enough warm water.(Dough should be firm but not hard). Add 1 tsp Oil and knead for another minute. Close and set aside for 30 minutes for the dough to set. Then, make lemon sized ball of the dough.

Making Parathas:

Step 1:Flatten the lemon sized ball of dough on a flat board.
Step 2:Roll into a circle using a rolling pin. (Dredge enough flour to avoid from sticking to the rolling pin)
Step 3:Apply Ghee to half of the circle and fold it into a semicircle.
Step 4:Apply ghee to one half of the semicircle and fold it into a triangle.

Step by Step procedure

Now expand this by rolling evenly on all sides.
Heat a iron girdle/tawa/heavy base frying pan. Bake the rolled out paratha on it by applying little oil on both sides. Keep on a low flame and see that all sides are baked evenly till little brown dots are formed.
Serve hot with any side dish of your choice.


Preparation time: 5 mins for kneading and 30 mins for letting the dough to rest
Making time: about 15 mins
Yields: 10-12 parathas


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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Aloo Masala - Potatos in a spicy gravy

Aloo Masala is a spicy gravy and is a great accompaniment with Rotis, parathas or dosas. One evening I had this sudden craving for potatos and had to really think hard to pin point what exactly I wanted to eat. It should be spicy, hot, something special and also should go with chapatis for dinner. So there was this Aloo masala.

Although the list of ingredients here seems to be pretty long, it is very easy to make and also not too time consuming. The combination of cinnamon, coriander seeds, and other spices give this dish a nice flavor and a warming quality that makes it really special. My hubby ate it heartily, labelling it the best potato dish he had had so far. Do I need to say more? Do try it and see for yourself.



Ingredients:

5 medium sized potatos
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 pods garlic
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste

Ground Masala:

(1)
2 tbsp dessicated coconut
1 tbsp poppy seeds

(2)
1 small onion
1 tsp coriander seeds
3 dry red chillies
1 inch peice of cinnamon
2-3 cloves
1 tsp oil

Recipe:

Step 1:Boil potatos adding little salt. Peel the skin and chop into small cubes.
Step 2:Dry roast the ingredients under (1) till coconut is slightly brown (3-4 mins) and keep aside.
Step 3:Fry the ingredients listed under (2) in 1 tsp oil, till onion turns slightly brown.
Step 4:Grind all the roasted ingredients from Steps 2 & 3 to a smooth paste adding little water.
Step 5:Heat Oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and potato cubes. Fry the potato cubes slowly for about 3-4 mins or slightly brown. Add in the tomato paste and the ground masala, mix well. Add salt and enough water to get required consistency and boil for about 5 mins till well blended.
You can also boil till all water in evapourated to get a dry masala.



Serves: 3
Time Required: 30 mins
Note: You can adjust the amount of tomato paste to get a dark colored gravy.
Here I have used store-bought ready made tomato paste. You can also make tomato puree instead.

Update from my part of the world: A few days back we had a great weather what we could call a full blown summer. And now it is back to the cloudy, rainy and gloomy days again. But thankfully the days are longer and dreaded winter is not going to be here for some more time. Here in Germany, it is a popular belief that when someone doesn't complete his/her lunch or wastes food, then we have a bad weather the next day. Great way to make children eat their food, huh? 'See, if you dont eat, tomorrow it will rain and you cant go out to play!'. All in all, we are having a bad weather and have no clue who is the culprit! BTW,How is the weather at your part(s) of the world?


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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Badam Kheer on Guru Poornima

Dear friends and readers,

Wish you all a happy Guru Poornima!

Every year the full moon day in the month of Ashada (ashada masa in the Hindu calender) is celebrated as the auspicious day of Guru Poornima. And today being such a day I made some Badam (Almond) Kheer as an offering to my Guru. I would like to share the recipe here.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup almonds
3 cups milk (3.5% fat)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp powdered cardamom
few strands of saffron

Recipe:

Soak almonds in hot water for 30 mins and peel the skin off. Grind them to a thick paste adding very little water.
Bring the milk to boil in a vessel, add the almond paste and sugar. Boil together stirring continuosly for about 15 mins, till you get a thick consistency (or as desired).
Now add the cardamom, stir and remove from heat.
Soak saffron strand in warm milk, stir well and add to the kheer.
Serve hot or chilled.

Serves: 2-3
Times Required: 20-25 mins


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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Chakkuli - Weekend munchies!

In case you have not already guessed, I am a native Mangalorian. Although I grew up in different places around India(thanks to my dad's job!), my heart has always been close to Mangalore. Those regular visits there during holidays, meeting cousins, visiting those beautiful temples and beaches, playing in the Netravati river (close to my ancestral home near bantwal), are some memories that will always remain with me.

We moved to Mangalore for good when I was going to join University, and that is when I realised how much I had missed by not being there all my life! As my parents were born and brought up in Mangalore, the food at home has always been typical Mangalorian food. Most of foods with elaborate use of coconut, be it the famous Kodhel or any curry or side dish for that matter with coconut were a part of our daily menu. So never actually missed the food of Mangalore.



Today I present recipe for Chakkuli which used to be a regular treat for us as kids for most of the traditional functions. Although Chakkuli is a delicacy made in most parts of south india, I would like to present it here the way it was made at home. Although in Mangalore it is always deep fried in coconut oil, I have used sunflower oil here, but I missed the aroma when fried in coconut oil. This is a foolproof recipe for Chakkulis I have been using ever since I got married! I remember the first Krishnastami after our wedding and this was one of the dishes I made and impressed everyone *blush*:)

Chakkuli is a famous snack which is prepared on festive occasions and usually served along with an elaborate lunch on such a festival day. I made it a few weeks back for no particular reason, just to kill time and impress my husband:) Also I had lots of this roasted urad dal powder and was not sure if I could put it in the freezer. So decided to make these instead of having to throw them after their expiry date! I made around 40 chakkulis and very few remained to be photographed after the attack that followed!!! So here goes my first entry for RCI-Mangaluru/ Mangalore hosted by Sia, which is an event started by Lakshmi.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups rice flour (alternatively wash and dry white rice. Grind it to a fine powder)
1 cup roasted urad dal/urid dal/white lentil flour (alternatively roast urad dal. Grind to a fine powder)
1 tbsp butter melted
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds


Recipe:

If using roasted urad dal flour from the shop, heat it in a pan for 2 mins, till you get a nice aroma. Now mix all the ingredients including the melted butter and mix well. Knead to a smooth dough adding enough water.
Fill the dough into the chakkuli maker, and make chakkulis on a plastic sheet or wax paper.
Heat oil in a pan, and deep fry on medium flame till they turn golden brown.
Remove them from oil, spread them over a paper towel. Once they cool to room temperature, they can be stored in air tight containers.



This is my chakkuli maker, which I bought before flying to Europe after marriage. It also has my name inscribed on it:) The shopkeeper at the place where I bought it from, insisted I have my name on it, like someone is going to steal it..lol:)

Time required: 45 mins
Yields: around 40 chakkulis

Have a Great Weekend y'all!!!


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