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Showing posts from March, 2012

Ulli Garelu/Indian Savory Onion Donuts

Happy Srirama Navami!!
I recalled my childhood memories and there is not even one festival I could remember of that passed by without making garelu in our house. My mom used to grind the batter on the morning of the festival in a wet grinder and used to set up a big kadai on mud stove (Kattela Poyyi) to make garelu. hmmm...Good old days..I miss them a lot...
Well enough of my memories and stories here is the recipe for tasty ulli garelu..Enjoy guys!!
Ingredients 4 cups Urad dal(Minapapappu)
6 to 8 Green Chillies
Small piece of Ginger
1 large onion finely chopped
1 small bunch coriander leaves finely chopped
1 tbsp cumin seeds
Salt per taste
1 tsp baking soda(Optional)
Oil for deep frying
Method Soak Urad dal in water over night. In a mixer/grinder grind the urad dal, green chillies, ginger and salt, without adding water to tight paste. Grind in batches. The batter must be really tight to make garelu.
Take the batter into a bowl and add onions, cumin seeds, baking soda and cori…

Palli Chutney/Peanut - Coconut Chutney

This is not a regular Palli chutney or Kobbari chutney on its own. I am not a big fan of Kobbari(Coconut) chutney on its own but I like a hint of it in my chutney. So I came up with this one. Adding lemon juice is my addition to this chutney which leaves a unique kind of after taste in your mouth.  This chutney goes well with almost any kind of Indian savory breakfast items.

Ingredients For Chutney 1 cup peanuts/groundnuts/Verusenaga gullu
2 tbsp chana dal(pachi senaga pappu)
6 to 8 green chillies
4 tbsp grated coconut or coconut powder
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp oil
1 big lemon sized tamarind or 1 tbsp thick paste or 1 1/2 thin paste
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt per taste
For Tempering 2 tbsp oil
1 red chilli
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp chana dal
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 small clove garlic crushed
pinch go turmeric
pinch of Asafoetida/hing (Inguva)(Optional)
5 to 6 curry leaves
Method n a microwave safe bowl take couple of table spoons of water and add the tamari…

Chicken Quesadilla

Next to Indian if I have to pick one cuisine, without second thought I will pick Mexican. Starting from the chips and salsa I love each and every dish from the Mexican cuisine. Be it Tortilla soup or Tacos or Fajitas or Tamales or Chimichanga or the one recipe I am going to write below. You name it I love it :).  That is how much I love Mexican food.
Here is my version of Chicken Quesadillas...
Ingredients 1 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 small cup chopped red onion
1 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1/2  teaspoon chopped fresh coriander/Cilantro Leaves 
1/2 Jalapeno minced fine
3/4 cup cooked shredded chicken
4 flour tortillas
1 cup grated Monterrey Jack, Pepper Jack and cheddar cheese, combined
Garnish (Optional) Sour Cream
Pica De Gallo  (Recipe Below)
Guacamole  (Recipe Below)
For Pica De Gallo1  cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped Onion
1/2  Jalapeno minced
handful of Cilantro leaves
1 tsp Lime Juice
Salt To Taste
In a bowl mix all the ingredients and set aside.
For Guacamole…

Cinnamon Toast

Ingredients 12 slices Bread
2 sticks Salted Butter, Softened at room temperature
1 cup Sugar
1 tbsp honey
3 teaspoons Cinnamon powder
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Nutmeg (optional)
Method Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mash softened butter with a spoon or fork in a bowl. Add in honey, cinnamon, sugar, vanilla extract and nutmeg. Stir to completely combine.
Spread the butter mixture on the slices of bread generously.
Place the slices on a baking sheer and throw it into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil until golden brown and bubbling. Keep an eye on the toast as they can burn easily.
Take them out of the oven and cut diagonally and serve.

Panakam / jaggery pepper Drink

This sunday is Srirama Navami and the first thing that came to my mind is Panakam.
Srinava Navami falls on first navami(9th day) of the Hindu calendar. It is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Rama every year. Panakam and vadapappu are the two things that are must offered as nivedyams(offerings) to Lord Rama on this day.
Here is how my mom used to make the Panakam.
Ingredients 3 tbsp grated jaggery
2 cups water
1/2 tbsp gated ginger or 1 tsp of ginger powder
1 cardamon pod crushed
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Method Dissolve grated jaggery in water. Add the gated ginger, crushed cardamon and pepper to jaggery water and mix well. Let sit on the counter for 20 to 30 minutes, to let all the flavors steep in. Strain the liquid through the strainer and discard the residue. add ice or chill in the freezer before serving.
If you do not have grater on hand just crush small piece of ginger and throw it in.
Note Use fresh ginger if you have on hand. Fresh ginger adds little punch to the drink.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is one of my favorite recipe in the whole world. When it comes to soups, my favorite soup any give day will be Tortilla soup. I can have this every day(well may be for 4 days in a row).
The broth is what makes this soup so special. Tortilla soup is made out of chicken broth which is light and combined with roasted tomatoes, onion, chiles and tortillas, cut into strips and fried. Well with very little modifications, here is my version of Tortilla soup.

Ingredients 4 corn tortillas
1 tbsp oil
1/2 Jalapeno chopped real fine(I like spicy food. can be substituted with 1 Serrano or 2 poblano peppers)
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast piece
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1/2 10-ounce can Corn kernels 
2 tablespoons lime juice
oil for frying tortilla chips
For Garnish 4 tbsp chopped onions
1/4 cup mixture of  shredded Cheddar cheese and Monterrey jack cheese(I also added a tbsp of pep…

Chicken Biryani Pakki style in oven

Chicken Biryani Pakki style The dish I am presenting today is one of the first dishes I have learned to make after I came to states. The procedure might look big and might take a little longer but trust me, it is worth it. Once you taste the dish you will forget all the effort you put into making this dish and you will get carried away to food heaven. Just the aroma of the dish will make you drool (No kidding!!!).
Dum biryani can be made two ways: Kachi and Pakki. A lot of practice is needed to master the Kachi biryani. But Pakki biryani is lot easier to make and it just tastes almost the same. Pakki means cooked where we cook all the different components separately and assemble them at the end.  You do not need lot of experience to make this recipe. All you need is little patience and time :).
Ingredients For Marinade 2lbs Chicken
1 cup thick yogurt
1 tbsp Red Chilli powder
1 1/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp gram masala (or you can use 1/2 tbsp gram ma…

Fried Onions

Ingredients 1 large onion chopped thinly length wise
2 cups thick butter milk
1 1/2 cup maida / All purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
Oil for frying
Method In a bowl soak the onions slices in butter milk. Keep aside for an hour.
Heat the oil.
Mix the flour, salt and black pepper in a bowl. Take a handful of soaked onion slices and throw in the flour mix. Coat the onions with the flour mix. Shake off the extra flour and drop them in the oil.
Fry till the onions are golden brown in color. Drain on paper towels,
Repeat the process till all the onions are fried. Store in air tight container to retain the crunchiness. Can be stored for a month.
Fried onions can be served as a snack on its own or these make lovely garnishes for lot of savory dishes.
Variations Add in red chilli powder for a little kick.

Mutton Keema / Ground Lamb

Ingredients 1 lb ground lamb/Goat
1/2 medium onion chopped
1 green chilli minced fine
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tbsp red chilli powder (Adjust as per spice level)
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp lemon juice
4 tbsp green peas (optional)
1 tbsp oil
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp turmeric (optional)
For Tempering 1 tsp cumin seeds
2 cloves
1/2 inch cinnamon stick
pinch of nutmeg (optional)
For Garnish Handful of coriander leaves
Method Heat oil in a pan. Add the tempering and let them splutter.  Add in the onions, green chilli, turmeric and salt. Let it fry till the onions turn to light golden brown. Add the ginger garlic paste and let it fry for a minute. Add coriander powder and give it a good stir.
Now it is time to add the ground lamb and red chilli powder. Let the ground lamb fry till it gets little brown color (may be for 5 to 10 minutes). At this point add 3/4 cup of water and lemon juice. Reduce the flame to simmer, cover and let it cook stirring occasionally. Half…

Almond Butter Cookies

Cookie time!!! Honestly I am not a big fan of cookies or any sweets for that matter. To the contrary my hubby dear is fond, fonder, fondest of any sweets..Well there are couple of advantages with that..Number one there will be no fight for the last cookie or sweet..Number two, as I am making this for my hubby dear, I do not have to clean the dishes....Number three, as I am lazy to do work outs, not eating sweets will save me some(not some but a lot of) calories YAYYYYY!!!!
Okie okie I understand the look on your faces. I am coming to the recipe. Below is my version of almond butter cookies Ingredients 2 cups all-purpose flour (Maida)
1/2 cup ground almonds or almond powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup  butter,  softened at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp almond extract
Garnish Almonds to place on the top
Powder sugar
Method These cookies are to be done in 2 steps.
First Step In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder, almond …

Badusha

Happy Ugadhi to all!
For who does not know what Ugadhi means, Ugadhi is our New year. New year for us does not fall on same date every year which makes it interesting. Usually back in India, people treat and celebrate New year as a festival, make sweet and savory items and offer them to God before eating them.
Here is a recipe for Badusha which is a big satisfaction for people with sweet tooth. People who are watching calories better stay out of this recipe (Just Kidding!!!)....
Ingredients 3 cups All purpose flour(Maida) 5 tbsp Rice Flour 1/2 cup Thick curd/yoghurt 1/2 cup softened butter or Ghee 1 tsp Baking soda Ghee or ghee and oil mix  or just oil for deep frying SyrupSugar - 2 cups Water - 1 cups
1 tsp cardamon powder
1 tsp Lime/lemon juice Garnish (Optional) Any crushed nuts(I used combinations of pistachios and almonds)
saffron strands Method Crush the nuts and keep aside.
Into a big bowl sieve together baking soda and flours. Add ghee to the flour mixture and just lightly mix with the…

Chinese potstickers/Dumplings

We used to live in Houston couple of years back. There used to be this Chinese place in downtown which used to serve vegan dumplings during weekdays. I would easily eat a dozen in a minute. Those dumplings were so yummy..
We moved from Houston and every time we go to a Chinese place here we ask if they have vegan dumplings and the answer was a big fat NOOOO.. This is it. I was determined to make some on my own and here is the recipe for my version of dumplings. To my surprise(actually to my hubby's surprise) they turned out real good and my husband ate them all. He begged me to make more next time.Yay!! I do not have to clean the dishes for today :)..
Here is the recipe
Ingredients  Dumpling Wrappers (You can find at any Chinese store)
For Filling 1/2 lb Firm Tofu
2 cups finely shredded Cabbage
1 carrot grated
1/2 oz dired Shitake Mushrooms
1 cup finely chopped spinach
1 tbsp garlic finely minced
1 tbsp ginger finely minced or grated
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp Chilli oil
1 tbsp gre…

Chinese Dipping sauce

This is one sauce that goes well with any kind of dumplings or spring rolls or fried wontons. Add a tbsp of honey to make it a bit sweet and sticky...
Ingredients 2 tbsp Rice wine Vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp Soy sauce
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp chilli sauce
1 tsp pepper flakes
1 clove garlic grated
1 tsp grated ginger
1 Green onion chopped (both green and white parts)
1 tsp sesame seeds
Method Mix all the ingredients in a bowl an let it sit for a little bit before dipping the dumplings.



Ugadhi Pachadi

My mom used to make the Ugadi pachadi every year for Ugadi. This is my mom's recipe with my little twists to make it a bit tasty.
There is a story behind the Ugadi pachadi I used to hear all the time while I was a kid. This pachadi consists of six tastes (shadruchulu) which represents all the different emotions of life. This Pachadi tells you that just like this combination of all the different ingredients makes the pachadi tasteful, life is combination of all different emotions and you have to work it out to finally make your life meaningful. Also, Ugadi is the beginning of a another year and making this pachadi symbolically tell you that may the year ahead is filled with all the emotions in the right measurements to make it a golden year.
Enough of my story.. :)..here is the recipe
Ingredients 1/2 tsp salt  (vuppu/salty)
1/4tsp red chilli powder (karam/spicy)
1/2 cup raw mango/pachi mamidikaya cleaned and finely chopped(Do not peel the skin) (vagaru/Tanginess)
1/2 tbsp neem flo…

Vankaya Tomato Pachadi/Eggplant Tomato Chutney

Ingredients 1 big eggplant/Brinjal (about a pound)
2 big tomatoes
5 to 6 green chillies(depending on the spice level)
1 tbsp oil
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 large lemon sized tamarind
salt per taste
For Tempering
2 tbsp oil
1 red chilli
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal
1 tap chana dal
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 small clove garlic crushed
pinch go turmeric
pinch of Asafoetida/hing (Inguva)(Optional)
5 to 6 curry leaves
For Garnish 1 medium onion chopped
Handful of coriander leaves
Method In a microwave safe bowl take couple of table spoons of water and add the tamarind. Pop it in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds. This will make the tamarind soft and it will be easy to extract the juice.  Let it cool for a minute and give it a good squeeze and set aside. See not to have any hard shell pieces in the tamarind.
In a pan heat 1tbsp oil. Add the green chillies and close the lid. Let the chillies get brown on all sides. This will take 3 to 4 minutes. Take the chillies into a bowl and k…