Saturday, March 31, 2012

Announcing Serve It Series - Serve It - Pressure Cooked/Slow Cooked

The theme(s) we selected for the April Edition of 'Serve it' is Pressure cooked / Slow cooked. These are two different or rather contrasting methods of cooking, one designed for quick cooking and the other quite opposite. But, both these cooking methods make the life of the cook more peaceful and makes putting a delicious meal on the table - hassle free. Also come summer we would all want to spend less time in the kitchen and hence the theme.
On the same note, the March edition of the Serve It series, Serve It - Stir-Fried received an overwhelming 73 entries ranging from vegetable stir-fries, noodles and fried rice. Do check out the roundup here.
Here are the guidelines for the event:
1. You may send in any entry that is either pressure cooked or slow cooked. 
2. For pressure cooked entries, use of a pressure cooker as a steamer, to make dishes such as idlies, dhoklas will not be accepted. Also all the process of boiling, pre-cooking, sauteeing should be done like a one-pot meal. Only tempering/tadka separately is permitted.
3. For slow cooker entries, sauteeing veggies/meats prior to slow cooking is permitted.
4. Both Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian entries are allowed.
5. Please link back to this announcement page and also to Denny's page here.
6. New entries are appreciated, however if you are sending archived entries, please re-post as latest (with a date in April 2012) and update with both the links to the announcement page and logo.
7. Usage of links and logo is mandatory.
8. Last date for submission of your entries is April 30, 2012.
9. To submit your entries, just link your entries using the linky tools below. There are two linky tools available - one for 'Pressure cooked' and the other for 'Slow cooked'. Please submit your entries in the right category. Also make sure all the rules in points 2 or 3 are met with before linking.
10. Non-bloggers also can send their entries with a picture to the below email-id.
11. If you have a problem in linking email us your problem to serveit[dot]series[at]gmail[dot]com. We will try to resolve it.
Note: If the entries are inappropriate to the theme, we would have to remove the entries from the linky sans notification. If there are other issues like link or logo missing we would definitely notify through email.
1. Entries which do not comply the rules are removed automatically.
2. For Pressure Cooker entries, only tadka at the end is allowed as a separate process. Cooking just rice in pressure cooker and sauteeing everything else in a pan does not mean pressure cooked.
3. Slow Cooker/Crockpot must definitely be used for Slow Cooker entries. 
Linky for Pressure Cooked entries:
Linky for Slow Cooker entries:

And now a recipe from my sister, a non-blogger. She made this one specifically for our event. Thanks Devi.

(I used a rice cooker cup measuring 180 ml for this recipe)
Quinoa – 1 cup
Mung dal – 1/3 cup
Water – 3 cups
Salt to taste
Milk – 1/2 cup (optional)
For tempering:
Oil or ghee – 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Whole pepper, slightly crushed – 1/4 tsp
Crushed ginger – 1 tsp
Green chilli – 1 or 2
curry leaves – 1 sprig
Pressure cook quinoa, mung dal, salt and water until done.
Open the pressure cooker and add milk to it when the mixture is still hot (for a gooey texture of the pongal). Otherwise skip this step.
Heat oil/ghee, in a small skillet. Once hot add the ingredients for tempering one by one.
Add this to the pongal and serve it hot with chutney or sambar of your choice.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Quinoa Bahala Bath / Mosaranna / Quinoa Thayir Sadham | Indian Quinoa Recipes

Happy Ugadi everyone!! Hope you all are celebrating Ugadi in a traditional way with your family. As for me, I miss the Bevu Bella/Ugadi Pachadi very much. I made this Karnataka special recipe Bahala Bath (curd rice) to celebrate Ugadi. Enjoy!
I can't stop cooking with Quinoa (pronounced keen-Wah) and I make sure I do so atleast twice in a week. I may sound redundant but quinoa is an excellent alternative for rice dishes and above all you would not miss rice at all. After trying Quinoa Bisi Bele Bhath, Pumpkin Quinoa pulao, I tried my hand at this simple Quinoa Bagala Bhath which I totally fell in love with. This one is totally guilt-free since I have used Quinoa - a whole grain, source of complete protein, dietary fiber and gluten-free; milk and yogurt - the best sources of calcium. Tempered it in Indian way to spice it up.
Serves - 2
Quinoa - 1/2 cup
Water - 1 1/4 cup
Fat free or Reduced fat milk - 1 1/2 cup
Curd/Low fat greek yogurt - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
For Tempering:
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/4 tsp
Chana dhal - 1/2 tsp
Dry Red chilli - 1 broken
Curry leaves - 2
Ginger - minced - 1/2 tsp
Pressure cook quinoa with water and salt for 4 whistles. When the pressure is released, lightly mash the quinoa and add milk. Allow it to simmer until most of the milk is absorbed and the quinoa looks creamy. Remove from heat and mix the yogurt. Prepare the tempering by heating oil in a small pan. Add the ingredients for tempering to the oil and fry in medium heat until the chana dhal becomes light brown. Pour the tempering over the prepared bagala bhath and mix. Serve with pickles, papad or any vegetable side dish. I had it with an omelet with vegetables to make it a wholesome meal.
Also Check out my Vegetable Clear soup with Quinoa and Quinoa Savory Pancakes.
Sending this healthy and delicious dish to the following events..
Kitchen Chronicles #7-Summer Splash by Kalyani; Healthy Morsels - Pregnancy; Summer Spirits; Only - South Indian Food;

Friday, March 16, 2012

Quinoa Upma - Guest post by Denny of Oh Taste N See

I have been wanting to invite my dear fellow bloggers to do guest post on my blog. I am happy that I am able to materialize the idea now. To start with the guest post series I asked my friend Denny of Oh Taste N See. As I have mentioned in (many of) my earlier posts, Denny has been one of the important inspirations for me to start a food blog. I believe that one sentence says it all. Without further blah.. blahs from my side, here I present Denny in her own words..
Thanks to Krithi for having invited me to do a guest post for her blog and a first one at that. I think it has been mentioned so many times in both of our blogs, that it is redundant to mention that we are college best friends and have been friends for 13 years now. We also share a love for food and cooking and often times find ourselves chatting about food or topics related to food. I have recently switched to a more healthy diet and this dish is a perfect way to meld a healthy meal to comforting Indian food.
A healthy dish - is always determined by the ratio of carbs to protein and the amount of fat in the recipe. Being vegetarian or vegan it is always difficult to get the right amount of protein in your diet. A great solution is 'Quinoa' - which is the only grain that has a complete protein - something that is realized easily by people who eat meat, but very difficult in the vegetarian diet. It is an ancient grain, rich in manganese and folate and due to its nutritional value, it is highly recommended for people who have migraine headaches, diabetes and even pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.
Here, I have increased the flavor of the quinoa by toasting it first, which not only adds a nice nutty flavor, but also quickens the cooking process. Here is the recipe..
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 cup diced vegetables - carrots, beans and peas
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 green chillies slit
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp urad dal
1 tsp channa dal
a sprig of curry leaves/cilantro
salt to taste
2 cups water
In a dry pan, add the quinoa and roast it over medium high heat until you get a nutty aroma and the quinoa is slightly golden brown and toasted. Remove the quinoa onto a plate and put the pan back on the stove. Heat the oil and add mustard seeds, urad dal and channa dal. Let it splutter and add the green chillies and the curry leaves. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the diced vegetables and saute until partly cooked. Add 2 cups water and salt to taste. Let the water come to a boil. Slowly add the still warm quinoa and cook stirring. Let the quinoa cook until all the water is absorbed. Switch off stove. Pop a lid on the pan and let rest for another 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro (I didn't have any, but it makes it awesome) and fluff with a fork. Serve as is, or with any chutney as an accompaniment. 
Note: Alternately you could also cook quinoa first and then temper with the said ingredients like pulao/fried rice. It tastes fabulous either way.

I am gonna try this for dinner tonight for sure. Look how colorful and inviting yet super healthy this one is!!! Check out more of Denny's recipes here at Oh Taste N See.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Beans Paruppu Usili

Paruppu usili is a traditional south-indian side dish for rice. It is a dry curry made with the combination of dhal and vegetables. Usili can generally be made with many vegetables, string beans, cluster beans, banana blossom to name a few. This recipe here is a short-cut method to make usili. Authentically the dhal mixture is ground into a paste and stir-fried in oil until it is dry and cooked through. But I found it is time consuming and would need much more oil and so tried it this way. This method is quicker and consumes less oil but still has the same great taste.
String Beans - 1/4 kg ~ 1/2 lb - chopped fine - pre-cook in microwave for a minute
Oil - 3 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal - 1 tsp
Onion - chopped fine - 1/2 cup
Chana dhal / Kadalai Paruppu / Split Garbanzo beans - 1/2 cup
Dry red chillies - 2
Fennel seeds/Sombu - 3/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to  taste
Wash and soak the chana dhal in water for 1 hr. Coarsely grind the chana dhal with red chillies, fennel seeds, asafoetida adding little salt in a blender without adding any water. Mix the ground mixture with chopped onions and make small lime sized balls. Steam in a pressure cooker or a idli steamer until done. Allow it to cool and pulse in the blender to resemble a crumbled mixture. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds and urad dhal. When the mustard splutters add the beans and saute until three-fourths cooked. Sprinkle little salt to taste and give a quick mix. Add the crumbled dhal mixture and fry until the beans and dhal get together well (they wouldn't blend since it is dry) about 4-5 mins. Serve hot as a dry curry side dish or as a snack. 
I love this usili with curd rice or just in a bowl as a snack!
Sending this to our Serve It - Stir-Fried event for this month hosted by me and Denny.

I am also linking this curry to the following events:
Comfort food event by Resh; CC-Vegan Diet by Sravs; Bon Vivant - Savory by Sumee; Colorful Palette by Sizzling Tastebuds;Only-South Indian by Pari

Friday, March 2, 2012

Announcing Serve It Series - Serve It - Stir-Fried

The "Serve It" event had been on a break for the past two months. Some personal things were keeping Denny and I busy since the start of new year.
Finally we got back on track for the event. The previous Serve It - Sweet Baked received 53 yummy entries. Our blogger-friends sure made it lovely with varieties of baked sweet goodness celebrating the holiday season. 
This month's theme is Serve It - Stir-fried. Stir frying/Sauteeing is an important part of many cuisines around the world. It is a healthier option compared to deep-frying and takes very little time for the food to cook. Some dishes which are stir fried are dry curries, noodles etc.,. Any dish cooked on a pan, wok or kadai in a high/low heat and is dry or semi-solid with little or no water constitutes stir-frying.

Here are the guidelines for the event:
1. You may send in any entry that is only stir-fried in a pan, wok/kadai. The major part of the cooking should be stir-frying. Gravies, Curries (non-dry), Kulambus etc do not comply to stir-frying. No deep fried dishes allowed.
2. Both Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian entries are allowed. 
3. Please link back to this announcement page and also to Denny's page.
4. New entries are appreciated, however if you are sending archived entries, please re-post as latest (with a date in March 2012) and update with both the links to the announcement page and logo.
5. Usage of links and logo is mandatory.
6. Last date for submission of your entries is March 31 2012.
7. To send in your entries, just link your entries using the below linky tool. 
8. Non-bloggers also can send their entries with a picture to the below email-id.
9. If you have a problem in linking email us your problem to serveit[dot]series[at]gmail[dot]com. We will try to resolve it. 
Please note that if the entries are inappropriate to the theme we would have to remove the entries from the linky sans notification. If there are other issues like link or logo missing we would definitely notify through email.