Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bahara Baingan | South Indian Curry Recipes

There are a few recipes which are really good when home-made. This Bahara Baingan is one such recipe. I tasted this at our friend's house months ago. She was from Andhra and a wonderful cook. She was newly married but her dishes were perfectly made and tasted great, liked made by an experienced cook. Bahara Baingan was one of the dishes in the menu. I had wanted to get the recipe from her, but never got to do because she was busy with her studies (she is doing her Masters in US now) and I didn't want to disturb her. But the taste of that Bahara Baingan lingered in my memory. When I bought brinjals aka baby eggplants on my produce shopping, I decided I was gonna make Bahara Baingan. I googled for the recipe and ended up making a fusion of the recipe here and here.

Baby Brinjals - 10
Onion - 1/2 cup, chopped
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp - 1 tsp (adjust based on heat)
Garam masala powder - 3/4 tsp
Cumin powder - 3/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp, heaped
Salt - to taste
Tamarind - size of a lemon
Spice paste:
Sesame seeds - 2 tbsp
Peanuts (skin removed) - 3 tbsp
Grated coconut - 3 tbsp

Soak the tamarind in warm water and extract about 2 cups of juice. Dry roast the sesame seeds until it pops. Heat about a tsp of oil and fry the peanuts until a nice aroma arises. Grind the roasted sesame seeds, fried peanuts and coconut with water to make a smooth paste. Wash and wipe the brinjals clean. Make 'X' shaped slit at the bottom of each brinjal until about 3/4th of the way up with the stems still intact. Heat 1 tbsp of oil a flat pan. Place the slit brinjals and cook them turning over often. When all the sides are roasted and the brinjal is almost cooked and soft (a knife inserted should pass through easily), remove from heat. In a saucepan heat about 1 tbsp of oil and fry the onions until it turns soft. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute in medium heat for about a minute. Add the spice powders now with salt and mix well. Now add the ground paste and mix adding a little water. When the paste becomes a little dry, add the tamarind juice and little more water. At this stage the curry will be little watery. Add the roasted brinjals and allow it to come to a boil. Then reduce the heat to simmer until the curry thickens. Serve hot with naan or pulao.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pear Cardamom Coffee Cake | Desserts Recipes

I have this book Holiday Baking by Fine Cooking. I bought it few years ago to put my new-found interest (baking) into use. But I never really got into trying many except for the Vanilla Cut out cookies. Recently when I flipped over that book this Coffee cake caught my eye. I did not have plum in hand so I used pear. 
If you love the carbs but it loves you back too much, don't worry you can still enjoy this without all the guilt. Three words.. Share with friends. I made this decadent coffee cake one Friday. After reserving some for our road trip the next day, I shared the rest to our neighbors who were moving to a different city.
Adapted from the fine cooking - Holiday Baking magazine
Serves - 9
For the Cake:
All purpose flour / Maida - 1-1/2 cups + more for the pan
Baking powder - 1-1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Ground Cardamom - 1/2 tsp
Butter - 1/2 cup (cold and cut into little cubes)
Eggs - 2
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Brown Sugar - 1/4 cup
Whole milk - 1/4 cup
Vanilla extract - 1-1/2 tsp
Pear - 1 large (see notes below)
For the Streusel topping:
Butter, melted - 3 tbsp
All purpose flour / Maida - 1/2 cup
Brown sugar - 1/4 cup
Salt - a dash
Ground cardamom - a pinch

For the Streusel, mix all the ingredients (except butter) and whisk well to mix. Pour the melted butter and continue whisking until the flour mixture resembles crumbs. Cover and refrigerate. Peel and core the pear and cut into thin slices.
Preheat the oven to 375 F / 190 C. Grease the sides and bottom of a 9" square pan with butter. Add a tbsp or so of flour and coat the pan rotating the pan well so that all the butter is covered with flour. Do not coat too much with flour. 
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, sugars and vanilla until the eggs are well blended.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom until well mixed. Add the cold butter and cut with a pastry blender to incorporate the butter to the flour. I just placed the flour mixture and the cold butter in a blender and pulsed a few times. To this add the egg mixture and mix with the wooden spoon and mix well just until there are no lumps. 
Pour into the prepared baking pan. Spread to form a even layer. Arrange the pear slices, slightly overlapping each other on the pan in three rows. Sprinkle the streusel topping all over the pan. 
Bake for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted near the center of the pan comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Slice and serve. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Blueberry Coconut Milk Rice Pudding | Vegan Dessert Recipes

Summer is Berry season and we are making a great use of it. My LO's recent favorite is the blueberries. He loves to pick them up with his little fingers and eat them. I have been buying these beauties whenever I go for produce shopping. Other than eating it for snacks I had been adding it to the meals. This simple blueberry coconut pudding is creamy and delicious.
Cooked cooled rice - 1 cup (I used Basmati)
Coconut water - 1-1/4 cups (see notes below)
Coconut milk from can - 1/2 cup
Fresh Blueberries - 1/3 cup or more per taste (pureed)
Sugar - 1-1/2 tbsp or more per taste
Cardamom - a pinch
Bring the rice and 1 cup of coconut water to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium. Stir with a wooden spoon frequently to avoid sticking to the pan. When almost all of the water is evaporated add 1/4 cup of coconut milk with cardamom. Mix and remove from heat. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Now add the remaining coconut milk, pureed blueberries, sugar and mix well. Now if the texture is too thick for you, thin it out with the remaining coconut water. Mix and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours. Serve topped with fresh blueberries.
Linking this to Priya's Vegan Thursdays.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Soy Chunks Pepper Roast | Indian Soy Recipes

Ever wonder what to make for the meat-savvy converts to vegetarianism. These soy chunks pepper roast is sure to please the spicy meat lover in you. If you are an omnivore, you could still enjoy this dish for the sheer aroma and color which will fool you into believe you are in for a real non-vegetarian treat.

Dry Soy chunks / Soya Vadi / Mealmaker - 1 cup
Oil - 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
Cinnamon - 1" piece
Cloves - 2
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Peppercorns - 3/4 tsp
Red chillies, seeds removed - 2
Curry leaves - a few
Salt - to taste
Heat about 4 cups of water. When the water comes to a boil, add the soy chunks and remove from heat. Keep covered for 30 minutes. Drain the water and squeeze the soy chunks. Wash with 3 to 4 exchanges of cold water, squeezing the excess water every time. Cut into small pieces if desired and set aside.
Heat a tsp of oil in a pan and roast the cinnamon, cloves, cumin, pepper and red chillies together until slightly toasted. Allow to cool and make a fine powder. Heat the remaining oil in a non-stick pan and add a little salt. Add the soy chunks and fry for a minute or two. Now add the ground spice powder, curry leaves and mix well. Continue to roast in medium heat until the soy chunks is roast well and becomes a little dry. Serve warm as a side or a snack.
Linking this to Priya's Vegan Thursdays.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Kuzhi Paniyaram | Indian Breakfast Recipes

Kuzhi Paniyaram, these little pillowy delights native to South India are loved at my home. They also go by the name gulittu, guntu pongalu or unniappam. These are crispy on the outside and soft in the inside and make a great snack or breakfast item. I made this for my LO's breakfast one day with Tomato Sambar and he loved them. They are made with a special pan called the Paniyara kal which have little spherical indentations for frying the batter with oil. These can also be made with the ebelskiver pan available in other parts of the world.
Serves - 2-3
Dosa batter, slightly sour - 4 cups (see notes below)
Oil - 2 tsp + more for making paniyarams
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Chana dhal - 1 tsp
Onion - 1/2 cup, chopped
Green chillies - 2, chopped (see notes below)
Curry leaves - a few
Salt - a pinch
Heat 2 tsp of oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Add the chana dhal and fry until it takes a slightly darker shade. Add chopped green chillies and onions. Continue to saute until the onion is cooked through. Add a pinch of salt and mix with the batter. Heat the paniyaram (aebelskiver) pan in medium-high heat and pour about 1/4 tsp of oil in each kuzhis (indentations). Fill it with batter until the brim. When the batter puffs a little with bubbles on top, flip them over with a chopstick by pricking and rolling it over. Cook until all the sides are golden brown. Remove and serve hot with a 
chutney or sambar. I served it with Tomato Sambar.
Use a day old dosa batter which is slightly sour for a nice crisp and tangy taste. If feeding kids, just slit the green chillies before sauteing and remove it before adding to the batter. 
You can add grated carrots to make it more colorful and get your kids their share of vegetables.