Thursday, May 26, 2016

Mugachi Usal / Sprouted Mung Usal

Sprouted beans are considered healthier than regular beans as they are more bio available. Sprouts can be eaten raw in salads but this Maharashtrian recipe is very popular in my house. It is a simple preparation and cooks up quickly.


We had this usal for dinner with poli but it tastes really good with yogurt and rice too. This is one of my childhood favorites and because it is a recipe with very few ingredients the proportions of the sweet, sour and savory need to be just right. Make sure you adjust them as per your taste.

You will need (4 servings)
2 cup dry mung beans
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1/4 tsp. asafoetda
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. garam masala or coriander/cumin powder
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. amchur powder or lemon juice
1 tsp. red chilli powder or to taste
salt to taste

Soak the mung overnight. In the morning wrap the mung in a wet cloth and leave it aside for a day. In summer you could drain the water and leave the mung in the same pan they were soaked in. You will not need to wrap in a cloth.


Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they crackle add the asafoetida and turmeric powder. Next add the sprouted mung. Add a few tablespoons of water if needed. Cover and let it cook on medium low heat for 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well together.


Cover and allow to steam/cook a couple more times. Turn off the heat.


Enjoy!













This is my entry for week four, day three of BM #64 for the theme Mega BM List. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#64.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Masale Bhaat

Masale bhaat is a special preparation with spices and vegetables. It reminds me of weddings as it is usually served as the first course in weddings. I made this rice when my daughter was visiting and she made several trips to the kitchen to find out what was cooking. It takes a while to get this done but the end result is so worth it.


Several years back we stopped buying white rice. Today, I cook with every type of rice but white. I considered making an exception for this post but then decided against it. Once you make the switch, white rice tastes like junk food. I stuck with the brown rice and I am glad I did.

You will need
1 cup rice (preferably basmati)
2 small potatoes, diced in cubes
1/2 cup green peas
1/2 cauliflower florets
1 Serrano pepper, deseeded and diced fine
10-15 peanuts
1 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper powder
All of the spice blend given below
salt to taste

For the spice blend
2 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
3 cloves
1/2 inch cinnamon

For the tempering
3 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
a pinch asafeotida
1 bay leaf, cut into inch pieces
4-5 curry leaves

Wash the rice and drain the water. Keep aside. In a small pan, roast the spices for the spice blend. Grind to a powder and keep aside until needed.


Heat oil in a large heavy bottom pan. Add the mustard seeds. When they crackle add the remaining ingredients in the list for tempering.


Next add vegetables, the potatoes, peas and cauliflower, with 2 1/2 cups of water.


When the water comes to a boil add the peanuts, chilli pepper, salt and all the spices.


Next add the drained rice


Cover and allow it to cook for 10-15 minutes on medium heat until all the water is gone and the rice is cooked through.


Turn off the heat. Rice tastes best when hot. Serve with vegetables sides or with papad and pickle.


Enjoy!













This is my entry for week four, day two of BM #64 for the theme Mega BM List. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#64.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Pachadi

Pachadi is a salad made from fresh fruits and vegetables. On the Maharashtrian thali it is placed just south of the wedge of lemon. It is usually an alternative to koshimbir (another type of salad) but for very special occasions can be made in addition to koshimbir. If you are interested in Koshimbir you will find the post here.


Pachadi can be made with a lot of different vegetables. Most vegetables that can be consumed raw are candidates. Today I made a sampler with 7 different vegetables and one fruit. I used, carrots, cucumber, tomato, turnip, radish, cauliflower and the fruit guava. You have to ensure the produce is fresh and of good quality as it is eaten raw.


Pachadi is flavored with with a variety of mix-ins. Some that I used are shredded coconut, ground roasted peanuts. finely diced cilantro, de-seeded Serrano pepper crushed in salt, soaked and ground chana dal (bengal gram) and soaked and roasted urad dal (black gram). In addition salt, sugar, lemon juice or amchur powder and red chilli pepper powder is used. Lastly, the pachadi is tempered with oil, cumin seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder.


I made all the recipes on this sampler on the same day and we ate it with some poli. However, in a typical thali you would make just one of these recipes, one that goes well with the rest of your chosen menu.

You will need (for 4 servings)
For Fruit Pachadi
Main ingredients
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
or 2 medium tomatoes, remove seeds and dice
or 3 large florets of cauliflower, shredded
or 1 cucumber, peeled and shredded
or 1 3 inch piece white radish, shredded
or 1 small turnip, peeled and shredded

Mix-in ingredients
1 tbsp. shredded fresh coconut (you can use frozen)
2 tbsp. ground roasted peanuts
1 sprig cilantro, finely diced
1/4 serrano pepper, remove seeds and dice
2 tbsp. channa dal (bengal gram) (if using radish)
1 tbsp. ural dal (black gram) (if using cucumber)

Flavoring ingredients
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. red chilli powder
1 tsp. lemon juice or 1/2 tsp. amchur powder
salt to taste

For the tempering
1 tbsp. oil (I use olive oil)
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/4 tsp. asafoetida
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder

For fruit pachadi
2 small or 1 large guava, shred on a fine shredder and discard the seeds
1 sprig cilantro, finely diced
1/4 serrano pepper, remove seeds and dice
1/2 tsp, black pepper powder
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. red chilli powder
1 tsp. lemon juice or 1/2 tsp. amchur powder
salt to taste

Soak the channa dal (bengal gram) for half an hour if using and grind coarsely. Keep aside. Soak urad dal for half an hour and drain and roast lightly on a pan until crispy. Keep aside and let it cool. In a separate pan heat the oil for tempering. When hot turn off heat and add the other ingredients. Let it cool.

Prepare the vegetables or fruit.


Prepare the mix-ins.


Add the flavoring ingredients.


Add the mix-ins.


Add the oil mixture.


Mix it all up.


Enjoy!













This is my entry for week four, day one of BM #64 for the theme Mega BM List. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#64.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ratatouille

With the arrival of spring the vegetable market is transformed with fresh bright colored vegetables. For me, the fresh local vegetables are always a delight. I always find myself buying lots of vegetables and figuring out different ways to use them up. Ratatouille is one such recipe and though it can be time consuming the flavors in the final result are amazing.


There are a lot of variations of this recipe and I tweaked it to suite our taste. I used red bell pepper instead of green. Also eggplant is one of the vegetables used in the preparation of Ratatouille. However, I am not a fan of eggplant so I skipped it.

You will need (6 servings)
5 small zucchini (I used organic so I could keep the peel)
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 red bell peppers
1 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
5 small tomatoes
a handful cilantro (you can use parsley)
1 tbsp. basil
salt to taste

Wash and clean all the vegetables. Cut the zucchini along the long edge. Heat the oil in a pan and place a single layer of zucchini slices in it. When they turn brown flip the slices over. When browned on both sides take them out of the pan. Repeat for the remaining slices.


While the zucchini cook, heat water in a separate pan. Cut slits in the tomatoes and place them in the hot water for a few minutes. Drain and put the tomatoes in cold water. Then peel and chop them and keep aside.


Dice the onion and peppers into cubes. In the pan in which the zucchini were cooked add the onions and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the peppers and continue to cook.


Once the onions are peppers are cooked through add the tomatoes. Season with salt and allow the juices to flow. Dice the cilantro and add them to the mixture along with the basil. Turn off the heat and drain the juice. Reserve the juice. Separately, chop the zucchini.


In a casserole dish, place half the onion and pepper mixture. Layer half the zucchini over it. Then place the remaining onion and pepper mixture. Place the remaining zucchini as the last layer. Pour the reserved juice over the top. Place the casserole on medium/low heat and allow the juice to thicken. Occasionally collect and pour the juice over the top of the vegetables. Once the juice is thickened turn off the heat and serve hot.


Enjoy!













This is my entry for week three, day three of BM #64 for the theme European (French) cuisine. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#64.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Socca

Socca is a French crepe made with chickpea flour. I found this very interesting because it is so similar to the Maharashtrian dhirdi. The big difference is that this crepe is cooked under the broiler as opposed to the stove top. The thickness of the crepe can vary and I tried different thickness. We liked the medium thickness better than the thin crepes.


I sourced the flour from Whole Foods and bought just enough for a very small batch. I used thyme and oregano along with some paprika to spice it up. The web is flooded with a lot versions of the recipe so not sure which is the original. I referred to this one and this one.

You will need (3 crepes)
1 cup chickpea/garbanzo flour
1 tsp. oregano
1 ts. thyme
paprika to taste
salt to taste
1 cup water
1 tsp. olive oil

In a bowl add all the dry ingredients along with the water. Whisk to make a batter. Keep it aside for 30-45 minutes.


Place an iron skillet on the top rack of the oven and switch on the broiler. Once the oven is heated take the pan out with a mitten and place it on the stove top. Add a ladle of batter and swirl the pan to coat. Drizzle a few drops of oil along the sides.


Place the pan back in the broiler and let the crepe cook for about 5 minutes. Watch the broiler to prevent burning. When the top is cooked flip it over and cook the other side.



When both sides are cooked take the pan out of the oven. Slide the socca out to a plate and repeat for the remaining batter. I enjoyed eating this crepe on its own.


Enjoy!













This is my entry for week three, day three of BM #64 for the theme European cuisine (French). Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#64.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Potato Sarladaise

Potatoes are a huge favorite in my house. My daughter loves them in all shapes and form so I am always trying out new things to do with potatoes. This one is a French classic and popular as street food. It has three main ingredients, potatoes, garlic and fat. I used olive oil as the fat. The recipe I used as a guide is here.


I made these as a backup side when I was experimenting with another recipe. I knew my daughter would love these and she was visiting from college. Not only did she love it, she asked if there was more that she could take with her to her dorm. I actually made a second batch so she could have some to take with her.

You will need (for 2 servings)
2 medium potatoes
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/4 onion
2-3 springs cilantro (you could use parsley)
salt to taste

Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut into thin circles or semi-circles. Heat oil in a pan and add the sliced potatoes. Sprinkle salt to taste. Cook until tender. In the meantime, peel and crush the clove of garlic. Dice the onion. Wash and mince the cilantro. Add the onion, garlic and cilantro to the pan of potatoes. Saute until the onions are cooked through. Turn off heat.


Enjoy!













This is my entry for week three, day one of BM #64 for the theme European cuisine (French). Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#64.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Kelyachi Koshimbir / Banana Salad

This recipe is an easy and quick. A sweet and sour salad made with ripe bananas and yogurt. It adds a unique flavor to the meal and is served as a side to the poli/flatbread. If you are looking for something to round out the menu, this is perfect.


There is no real recipe here, just a bunch of ingredients thrown together. Bananas and yogurt are usually found in the house. And the sweet and sour taste is a welcome change. The first time I made this my daughter said she would pass on it. I insisted she try it, which she did. And she had seconds. Banana and yogurt do not do much to add color but the combination is big on flavor.

You will need (4 servings)
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup yogurt
1 tsp. sugar
salt to taste

Mash the bananas. You may also slice them if you prefer. Combine with all the other ingredients. Do not make ahead of time. Serve immediately.


Enjoy!













This is my entry for week two, day three of BM #64 for the theme 3 ingredient recipe. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#64.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dashmi / Poli with milk / Flatbread with milk

Dashmi is a variation of the everyday poli or bhakri. The dough is mixed with milk instead of water. The resultant bread is super soft and tastes great.


I made this as a special treat when my daughter was visiting from college. If you make bhakri instead of poli, you can do the same with the bhakri flour. Just mix the dough using milk instead of water.


The real challenge here is to roll out perfect circles of dough after you have folded it into a triangular shape. It takes practice and the initial trials can resemble shapes of countries on the map. But if you stick to it you will get a hang of how to roll out perfect circles.

You will need (15 dashmi)
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups warm milk (approximately)
1 tbsp. oil

Place the wheat flour in a bowl. Using milk as needed bind the flour into a soft dough. Add a little milk at a time, you may not need all the milk. When done pour a teaspoon of the oil over the palm of you hand and knead the dough for a minute. Keep aside for 15-20 minutes.

Heat a flat griddle pan on medium heat, I use Lodge cast iron pan. While the pan heats up prepare the work surface. You will need a flat surface to roll the dough and a rolling pin. Keep a little wheat flour handy to sprinkle around the surface when the dough is rolled. In a bowl place the remaining oil and place it on the work surface. Divide the dough in lemon sized portions.


Work with one portion at a time. Roll the ball of dough in the flour, tap out the excess and place the ball on the rolling surface. Roll out to a little bigger than the palm of you hand.


Dunk the tips of your finger in the bowl of oil and apply it to half of the rolled dough. Fold the other half over it making a half moon. Apply the remaining oil from your fingers to what is now the top and fold one more time to give you a triangular shape. Roll this in flour, tap the excess and place it on the rolling surface.


The challenge is to convert this to a circle. Roll out the dough to a thin 1/4 inch thick disc shaping it as close to a circle as you can. Place this one the hot griddle. While you work on rolling the next portion of dough keep an eye on the one placed in the pan. As soon as you see it puffing up turn it over.


Let it cook on the second side. Turn over again. You can use a spatula to plug any steam that is trying to escape allowing the bread to puff up and cook completely making sure it does not burn.



Take it off the heat and continue to work through all the portions of dough.


Enjoy as part of you meal with a side of vegetable!


Note:
* the presence of milk makes it want to burn quickly. Make sure you turn it over or take it off the heat before it burns
* Adjust the heat under the pan such that it take about half a minute for the bread to cook on each side. Lower or turn up heat as needed. Once you get to the optimum you can leave the setting unchanged.












This is my entry for week two, day two of BM #64 for the theme 3 ingredient recipe. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#64.