Sunday, June 26, 2016

Puliyodharai

All of the rice preparations, this is one of my favorites. It brings back childhood memories that I have never been able to place. But it always gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. The tangy flavors of tamarind with the spices makes this rice delicious. I have a version of this rice here but when I saw this post by Valli who blogs at Cooking 4 all seasons, I had to try it.


I stayed true to the recipe except I toned down the heat. It was delicious and everyone loved it. I have made this version several times and it will be my go to version in the future.

You will need
For the spice powder
1/2 tsp oil
1 tbsp. urad dal
2 tbsp. channa dal
1 dry red chili pepper
1 tsp. black pepper, whole
1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds

For the tamarind paste
2 tsp. oil
1 tsp. urad dal
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 red chili pepper
1 tsp. channa dal
1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp. asafoetida
3-4 curry leaves
handful of cashews
2 tsp. peanuts
1 tbsp. tamarind extract
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
salt to taste

For the rice
2 cups brown rice
2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp. oil

Wash the rice and drain the water. Keep aside for 15 minutes. Add 4 cups of water to the rice and bring to a boil. Cover and lower the heat to medium. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the water has evaporated and the rice is cooked through. Turn off the heat.

While the rice is cooking heat another pan for the spice powder. Add the oil and roast the ingredients for the spice powder. Turn off the heat and spices cool. Grind to a fine powder and keep aside until needed.

Next prepare the tamarind paste. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the remaining ingredients except the last three on the list. When they sizzle add the tamarind extract, 1 cup of water, the turmeric powder and salt. Bring to a boil and lower the heat. Allow the mixture to thicken. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool.




To put it all together, add fresh ground black pepper, oil and the tamarind paste to the cooked rice.








Enjoy!













This is my entry for week four, day three of BM #65 for the theme Bookmarked. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#65.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Spicy Green Bell Pepper Side

As soon as I saw this recipe I knew I was going to try it. It was one of those that use a special spice powder and all the ingredients in the powder screamed - delicious. So here is my version of a spicy green bell pepper side.


I found this recipe on Pavani's blog. I stayed fairly true to the recipe except I cut down on the number of dried red chili peppers. 

You will need
For the spice powder
1 tbsp. channa dal
1/2 tbsp. urad dal
1 tbsp. coriander seeds
1 dry red chili pepper
1 tsp. tamarind paste
salt to taste

2 medium preferably, thin skinned green bell peppers
All of the spice powder above
2 tbsp yogurt, sour
1 tbsp oil, I used olive oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
3-4 curry leaves (I did not use any)
salt to taste

Roast the first four ingredients for the spice powder until they start to turn color. Turn off heat and allow to cool. Add the remaining ingredients and grind to a powder. Keep aside until needed.


Rinse and dice the green bell pepper. In a bowl add the yogurt and the diced bell pepper. Keep aside for 10 minutes.


Heat a pan with the oil. Add the mustard seeds. When they crackle add the cumin seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves. Add the yogurt and bell pepper mixture and salt. Add a tablespoon of water. Cook covered until the bell pepper is cooked through, but not mushy. Add the spice powder. Cover, and cook on low heat for a couple of minutes.


Turn off the heat.



Enjoy!













This is my entry for week four, day one of BM #65 for the theme Bookmarked. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#65.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Green Beans and Coconut

Green beans is a regularly featured vegetable on my menu and I am always thinking of different ways to cook them. I have a few different preparations on this space already. But the urge to try something different is always there. While I was trying to come up with something, I remembered bookmarking this recipe from Sandhya's blog. She blogs at My Cooking Journey and has a lot of traditional recipes.


I bookmarked this recipe as it showcases a very different method of cooking beans from the one I normally use. I then forgot all about the bookmark until today. I followed the original recipe and the end result was great. The beans were tender and flavorful.

You will need
1 cup beans, diced finely
3 tbsp. mung dal
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal / split black gram
1 dried red chili pepper
1/4 tsp. asafoetida
3-4 curry leaves
1 tsp. sugar
4 tbsp. shredded coconut
salt to taste

Place the beans and mung dal in a pan. Fill the pan with water until the beans are submerged. Bring the water to a boil and then let it simmer on medium low heat until the beans are tender but do not lose their crunch. During the last couple minutes add salt. Turn off the heat and drain the water.


Heat oil on a pan and add the mustard, urad dal/black gram, red chili pepper, curry leaves (I omitted these as I did not have any) and asafoetida. When the mustard seeds crackle add the drained beans and mung dal. Mix well and let it cook. Add the sugar and continue to cook until the beans dry out. Add the coconut. Mix well and turn off the heat.


Enjoy as a side with either poli/chapati or rice and dal.













This is my entry for week four, day two of BM #65 for the theme Bookmarked. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#65.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Paneer Pesto Pull Apart Rolls

Today I present pull apart rolls. This is another shape I saw on Pinterest and had to try. It is really easy once you figure out what to fill the bread with. I had made a paneer pesto filling for the pull apart bread I posted two days ago. I used the same filling here. I used only whole wheat flour and no butter or eggs so the bread lacks the shine or the brown color. But it is very flavorful with the addition of sourdough starter.



You will need
For the Dough
200 gm white whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur)
130 gm water
100 gm fed sourdough starter
6 gm salt

For the filling
3 1/2 oz paneer
1/4 cup pesto sauce
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. butter, melted at room temperature
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients for the dough and keep aside, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover, stretch and fold the dough over itself. Turn and repeat until you have gone all around the bowl. Cover and keep aside for another 15 minutes. Repeat the stretch and fold method another 2-3 times. Then let the dough rise for 2-5 hours depending upon the season. In very warm weather you might want to keep the dough in the refrigerator.

Shred the paneer and saute over a little of the oil. When partially cooked, take it off the heat, and keep it on a paper towel to remove the moisture. Combine with the pesto. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep aside until needed. In a separate bowl mix the oil, butter and the spices. Keep aside refrigerated until needed.
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Flour a working surface and using a rolling pin roll the dough on it into a large rectangle. Sprinkle the prepared filling leaving an edge of an inch on one of the long sides.


Starting at one of the longer edges roll the dough tightly along with the filling to get a thick roll.


Place the roll on parchment paper in a baking sheet. Using a sharp knife cut the roll about an inch from the edge of the roll. Do not cut it all the way through. Repeat about an inch away from the first cut.


Cut at an interval of about an inch all the way along the roll making sure you do not cut all the way through.


Now roll the cut dough to one side, alternating with every cut as in the picture below.


Bake for 25-30 minutes until the bread is cooked through. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool it completely.


Enjoy!













This is my entry for week three, day three of BM #65 for the theme Pull Apart Bread. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#65.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Cinnamon Sunburst Pull Apart Bread

I made this bread a couple weeks after my daughter returned from college for summer. She wanted something sweet. I wanted to try this shape ever since I saw this shape on Pinterest. I really liked the layering and filling in between. I have a few bread shaped with layers but I loved this sunburst shape. I made three layers for this bread and used a cinnamon sugar filling. My daughter did it justice and finished it as dessert over a couple of days.


You will need
For the Dough
200 gm white whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur)
130 gm water
100 gm fed sourdough starter
6 gm salt

For the filling
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

In a bowl mix the ingredients for the dough to form a ball. Cover and keep aside for 15 minutes. Uncover, stretch and fold the dough over itself. Turn the bowl and repeat. Keep stretching and folding over turning the bowl slightly every time. Repeat until you have turned the bowl around itself once. Cover and keep aside for 15 and then repeat. Do it 2 more times.

Cover and allow to rise for 4-5 hours. Then transfer the dough to a work surface and divide into three equal portions. Using a rolling pin roll into a disc a little bigger than a CD. Repeat with the remaining portions.

Preheat oven to 450 F. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Evenly sprinkle half of the mixture on one of the discs of dough. Place the second disc over the first. Now evenly sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture evenly over the second disc. Place the third disc over the second. Roll the discs out together to allow them to stick to each other. Mark the center with edge of a spoon or small bowl but do not cut through the dough. Move the dough on to parchment paper.


Now cut the dough as shown below to the edge of the etched circle.


Twist each of the cur portion 2 or 3 times and place it back on the parchment paper.


Repeat with all the portions. Allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes. Brush with milk.


Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the bread is cooked through. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool.


Enjoy!













This is my entry for week three, day two of BM #65 for the theme Pull Apart Bread. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#65.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Paneer Pesto Stuffed Monkey Bread / Pull Apart Bread

I wanted to use my sourdough starter and I had paneer that I needed to use up. This bread is what I came up with. I have made stuffed buns before but this time I decided to to something different. I have a version of monkey bread here but it is not stuffed.


You will need (12 small buns)
For the Dough
200 gm white whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur)
130 gm water
100 gm fed sourdough starter
6 gm salt

For the filling
3 1/2 oz paneer
1/4 cup pesto sauce
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. butter, melted at room temperature
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Mix the ingredients for the dough and keep aside, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover, stretch and fold the dough over itself. Turn and repeat until you have gone all around the bowl. Cover and keep aside for another 15 minutes. Repeat the stretch and fold method another 2-3 times. Then let the dough rise for 2-5 hours depending upon the season. In very warm weather you might want to keep the dough in the refrigerator.

Shred the paneer and saute over a little of the oil. When partially cooked, take it off the heat, and keep it on a paper towel to remove the moisture. Combine with the pesto. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep aside until needed. In a separate bowl mix the oil, butter and the spices. Keep aside.


Transfer the risen dough to a working surface. Divide into equal portions.


Flatten one of the portion of dough and place a tablespoon of filling in it.



Bring the sides over the top and press together.


Form a ball with the filling inside.


Brush with the oil butter mixture. Place it in a bowl. Repeat for all the portions of dough. Keep aside until the oven is preheated. Preheat the oven at 400 F. Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes or until the top is browned.


Enjoy!













This is my entry for week three, day one of BM #65 for the theme Pull Apart Bread. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#65.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Watermelon Strawberryade

A few days ago I released we had gotten carried away with the abundant summer fruit available in the grocery stores. We love fruit but I had so many different types in the house. We had watermelon, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, bananas and apples. This recipe is a great way to do justice to the fruit. All you need is some lemonade and ice. If you have sparkling water, even better.


The list of ingredients in the proportions I used them is given below. You can change the proportion to suit your taste.

You will need (single serving)
1 cup of cubed/balled watermelon
2-3 strawberries
1/2 cup lemonade
Up to 1 cup sparkling water or soda
ice as needed

Combine the watermelon and strawberries and run them through the blender. Place ice in the serving glass. Pout the fruit juice, lemonade and sparkling water or soda over the top.


Enjoy!













This is my entry for week two, day three of BM #65 for the theme Summer coolers. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#65.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Lime Sorbet Punch

This recipe was very popular about a decade ago. I had not made it for a very long time. I remember the last time I made it. It was my daughter's birthday and she had invited a few friends over. They were the age were they still ran around and played in the yard but were independent enough to do things on their own. I remember I made a big batch of this punch and put it on the table. I turned my back for about 20 minutes. I came back to find the girls on a sugar high, the punch almost all gone. They were standing around the table talking excitedly, drinking and refilling their glasses. I remember shooing them out of the house and away from the punch bowl. Yes, it is that good!


I made it again last week and it tasted just as good. There is no recipe. You can eye ball the proportions.

You will need (for 8 servings)
2 liter bottle Sprite
1 tub Lime Sorbet

Just before serving, place half the tub of sorbet in a punch bowl. Add the sprite and let the sorbet melt. Taste. Add more sorbet if needed.




Enjoy!













This is my entry for week two, day two of BM #65 for the theme Summer coolers. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#65.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Summer Fruit Salad

With Memorial day came the unofficial start of summer and on cue the temperature soared. Then we had rain, a lot of rain, but as soon as it stopped raining the temperature rose again. Typical summer weather - where humidity plays with your hair and the heat makes the afternoon nearly unbearable. One way to beat the heat is to snack on cold summer fruit. This salad helps you do just that.


There is really no recipe. Put together a medley of summer fruit. Dice the bigger ones to bite size pieces and squeeze a little lime juice. I like to add apples to bring it all together. Cool in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. That is it!

You will need (4 servings)
3-4 Strawberries
a handful of blueberries
a handful grapes
1 apple (I used Fiji)
1 tbsp. lime juice

Put the berries and grapes in a colander, rinse and allow the water to drain.


Core the apple and cut into bit size pieces. Mix in the lime juice and keep aside. The lime juice will keep the apple from turning brown and add a nice tang to the salad. If the strawberries you are using are large, cut them into 3-4 pieces. Cut the large grapes into two, if they are small you can use them whole. Combine all the ingredients and let them chill for a couple of hours.


Enjoy!













This is my entry for week two, day one of BM #65 for the theme Summer coolers. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#65.