Saturday, May 26, 2007

R is for Ringan Curry and Radish Sambar

The first time I heard 'Ringan' ... I absolutely did not connect it to the eggplant.. and had it not been mentioned in a blog (Trupti's!!) , I would never have known!! Well, well... so here we are, yet another eggplant recipe! For someone like me, who would not eat eggplant to save her life... I keep buying it for my significant other half.... and this time googling for recipes I came across this recipe, which was easy and different. Having come across recipes where the eggplant was subjected to roasting, stuffing, baking, this was the first, when I saw this vegetable cooked with methi / fenugreek leaves, and so I decided to make an attempt at cooking it

500 g Fresh ringan / eggplant
200 g Finely chopped tomatoes
10 Pcs finely chopped green chilies (+/-)
½ Bunch finely chopped fresh methi bhaji
1 Tsp haldi
Salt to taste
2 Tsp dhana-jeera

Vaghar ( Tempering ) :
¼ Cup Oil
¼ Tsp Rai
¼ Tsp Methi
¼ Tsp Jeera
Pinch of Hing

¼ Bunch finely chopped fresh dhania.

Wash and cut the ringan into cubes of about 1 inch. (cut ringan when you are about ready to cook. Rub the pieces into about half a teaspoon of salt to stop them turning into black color.)

Vaghar (Tempering) :
Heat oil in a saucepan and add all the other ingredients for tempering
Add fresh methi and cook for few minutes, steering from time to time. Add pieces of ringan, mix well and cook for about five minutes
Add salt, chilies, haldi and cook further ten to fifteen minutes till ringan are fully cooked
Add dhania-jeera powder and cook for further two to three minutes on a very low heat.
I have no idea how this tasted.. However M was of the opinion that it was 'ok' .. 'ummm'..'hum, good', so I leave it to you guys to try and test and taste!
I also made Radish Sambar. For this recipe I peeked into Mahanandi and had wonderful results!! I am not too fond of radish.. too strong for me and so far have never eaten a radish salad, or vegetable... but I do like Mooli ka Parantha... that is the only exception. I was not too sure of how well this would taste in sambar... I mean would it affect the taste with the tartness? Thankfully no, the taste of sambar is as good as it can get!!! Thank U Indira!!!

Excellent accompaniment with Rice, Dosa, Idli.. Yenjoy!!!

This is going in as my entry for 'R' of Nupur's A-Z of Indian Veges

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Regional Cuisines of India - Andhra Pradesh: Pullihora & Pesarattu

The first time I tasted this cuisine was when I was visiting my cousin who lives in Bangalore. We went to a place called 'Nagarjuna' which I believe is in MG Road. The place was jam packed, and I attributed that to the fact that it was dinner time , so it was natural... foolish me! on entering the eating area, one whiff of the enticing aromas and I was ..........behaving like I was one who was deprived meals for a long time!

For a long time,I lost touch with this wonderful cuisine (and I shamefully admit, in college, Bschool.. whenever I ate anything from the South of India, I never categorised it.. it was just southie food!)

But as luck would have it, I am married to a Kannadiga who is a total Andhra Food FAN!! And as luck would have it again.... we lived in Bangalore for a short while before USA.. and Bangalore has a plethora of Andhra restaurants to choose from, so cooking an evening meal was a rare event.... so we freaked out on the food practically every evening Bheemas, Nandhini Palace, RR's, Gongura, Madhuri's to name a few regular haunts( till one day I refused... the proud cook rebelled!)

But now, I miss the yummy food too.. and try my hand at some (easy) stuff and congratulate myself when it turns out well!!

So for RCI -Andhra I made Pulihora and Pesarattu (Spicy Onion Pancakes)
For the recipes I peeped into Lokpriya and from the variety there, I chose this rice dish. This is a simple and easy to make recipe and which is great for our lunch boxes, no need for any accompaniments, but a pickle / raita (because I am partial to it!) may go well with it.Here's the recipe:

1 cup Rice
1/4 cup Bengal gram dal
1/2 cup Tamarind pulp
12 Curry leaves
4 tablespoons Oil
2 tablespoons Urad dal
1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
2 Red chillies
2 Green chillies
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
4 tablespoons Sesame seed powder
1 tablespoon Cashew nuts
1 piece Ginger
1 pinch Asafoetida
Salt (As per taste)

Wash the rice and dal together and cook adding enough water. Make sure not to overcook.Pour the cooked rice into a big bowl, add turmeric powder, 2 tablespoons oil, salt, tamarind pulp and 7-8 curry leaves.Heat oil in a sauce pan, add the urad dal, mustard seeds and cashew nuts. When the seeds begin to crackle, add red chillies(broken into half), ginger, curry leaves, slit green chillies and asafoetida. Remove from fire and add it to the rice. Add the sesame powder, mix well and leave it covered for an hour to allow the rice to absorb the ingredients.

Pessarettu : Now anything that comes into the Dosa line is always , always welcome in our home! Both M and I enjoy dosas with variations! So when I read this recipe and saw how easy it was to make it, I jumped to it! Surprisingly, I have never eaten this when in B'lore! Maybe I was too happy pigging out over the meals! And those were so filling that all we were capable of, after dinner , was staggering home, rolling like fat ducks (no make that one duck-me!!). Now I made a combination of recipes here ... the basic recipe source is Lokpriya and after looking atPrema's recipe I did the same! used upma as a stuffing ! This was an unsual combination for us and we both absolutely LOVED it!!! I made Onion chutney to go with the Pesarattu, which was a HIT!!! and the usual Sambar.
For the Pesarattu :

1/2 kg whole green gram (moong)
2 cups Water
1 teaspoon Chopped ginger
4 Green chillies
2 Sliced onions
1/2 teaspoon Cumin powder
1/2 bunch Chopped coriander leaves
1 cup Oil
Salt (As per taste)

Method: Soak moong dal (green gram) in water for 2-3 hours. Drain all but one cup water and grind to a paste with ginger, salt and green chillies. Add enough water to make a thick batter, mix well. Add cumin powder and coriander leaves to the chopped onion and keep aside.Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan, pour one ladle of the batter into the frying pan and spread out like a thin pancake. Pour ½ tsp oil around the edges and cook the pancake on medium heat.Sprinkle some of the chopped onion mixture in the middle of the pancake and spread evenly. When the pesarattu is well cooked, add more oil and fry till edges are crisp. Fold in half and take off flame. Repeat for rest of the batter.Serve hot with sambhar, pickle or chutney.

For the Upma:
I roasted 1 cup Sooji/ Rava/ Farina in 1 tsp. oil, till fragrant. In a wok / kadhai, heat 1-2 tbsp oil, add 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds, 1/2 tbsp. Urid daal , 1/2 tbsp. Channa Daal. After the Mustard pops, and the dals are a lovely golden brown, add 1/2 tsp Jeera/ Cumin seeds and 1/4 tsp Hing/ Asafetida. To this tadka, add 1 finely chopped Green Chilly and a few curry leaves.
Add 2 1/4 cups water. Once the water boils, add juice of 1 lemon, 2 tsp sugar. Slowly add the roasted Sooji. Mix well, so that no lumps are formed. Cover and cook for 4-5 mins. Drizzle 1 tsp. of butter/ ghee on the sides and cover and cook for another 2 mins.

Upma is ready!

Makes only 6-7 Pesarattu with this measure.... which is not enough :( , well, maybe for one meal ( this can become a meal!!!), but I feel like I want to have some more today as well!
This is going to Lata of Masala Magic as my entry for RCI- Andhra Pradesh Cuisine. Thank U Lata for hosting the event for this month!
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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Monthly Blog Patrol....For SWEETS!!!!!!!!

Coffee!!! I love u Gal... no matter what anyone says!! You picked a theme real close to my heart...
I know all about expanding waistlines ... nevertheless, hope springs eternal in my heart, that one day, if I keep wishing hard, I will get my wish of becoming slim-n-trim, being able to east whatever I please and not gain an ounce!!! Till such time... eat, drink and be merry... for tomorrow we may diet!

Well, it's today now and right now... I have sweets on mind , for Coffee's MBP..
Patrolling Blogs gave me tioo many options, ALL of which I obviously wanted to try, but limited myself to the ones I am blogging about now (reason, M was going bonkers!! and I largely relied on the ingredients I had at home)

I tried Yummmmmmmmmmm Ali... I mean Umm Ali!!! from Aroma.. Asha sure whipped up a *wicked* dessert!!!! I tried it with Phyllo dough, but maybe puff pastry will be a better choice, for next time!! I forgot to take a nice picture of it in a decorative plate.. too eager to eat!!!
BTW,Asha, if you are reading this.... just a query, why did my Umm Ali turn a tad soggy? Phyllo, do u suppose?
And I made Banana Nut cake Adapting it from Swapna of Swad of India

Both these recipes were AWESOME!!! I know I am going to gain weight... but that is for later, as of now.... I'm Lovin' it!!!

Thank U Coffee for this sweet choice! What's next?

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Q is for........

Quesadillas sprang to my mind when we had to come up with Q.. not exactly Desi, eh? Yes that popped up in my mind too, but the desi touch to it, is using Palak and Rajma in the recipes...
My liking for Mexican cuisine is a new development... firstly, in India I had eaten it in Delhi once, and frankly, I did not like it ....that much... gimme my pizza!!!
Coming in the US of A, the Hubby took me to Baja Fresh, where I had my first taste of Quesadilla... a HUGE disappointment where I was concerned (but I still managed a watery smile for M's sake, he looked like he was really enjoying it), there seemed to be NO taste to what I was eating... several doubts flashed in my mind.....
Was M really enjoying this.... why? how?
Are my taste buds DEAD?
Is there ANY taste to this?
So after the initial 2 bites of the bland, saltless and tasteless quesadilla (to put it across straight and in a desi way... 2 rotis stuck together with cheese..) I got myself loads of spicy salsa and jalapenos from the counter and ate the rest of my share with it... with an incredulous M gaping a me and murmuring ... " you are NO vegetarian... you are a Spicitarian.... don't blame me tomorrow if you have problems, you have been warned".... I shot back saying... " I'm warning you, NOT to bring me to this joint again.. bland food, I've tasted better food in hospitals..".
But now, over a period of time, I really enjoy eating Mexican food (but not in Baja Fresh, I still do not go there) and sometimes point out the common points in their cuisine and ours.. like salsa... not unlike our 'tomato kanda koshimbir' ... tortillas... like rotis.... just with variety... flour, corn...
M just shrugs and asks if I am in a mood to eat roti stuffed with cheese and floating in sauce(enchiladas ... my Fav and only available choice ) and koshimbir... with a knife and fork. I nod gleefully and trot off in that direction!!!
Quesadilla With Spinach and Cheese
2 Med. Tortillas ( I used Flour)
1 serving Spinach (I used frozen chopped Spinach)
1/2 cup Shredded Cheese
1/2 tsp Taco seasoning

For frozen Spinach, Cook as per directions on pack
Warm the tortillas on a skillet
On one tortilla spread the cooked spinach, sprinkle the seasoning
Layer with cheese and sprinkle with a little salt.
Put the other tortilla on top, gently transfer to the skillet once again and lightly toast on both sides
( I toasted the Quesadilla with the cheese side down so that it would melt and 'stick' the tortillas together)
Serve with Guacamole, Salsa ( I used Trader Joe's Roasted Garlic and tomato salsa, it is Medium spicy) and sour cream

Quesadilla Torte

4 lg Flour Tortillas
16 oz Can Black Beans (I used good ol' RAJMA)
1 ½ c Monterey Jack Cheese shredded
1 ½ c Tomato Salsa
1 sm Head Iceberg Lettuce;
½ c Plain Non-Fat Yogurt
Cilantro Leaves

Preheat the oven to 500øF. Spray a large pie pan with cooking spray. Lay one tortilla in the pan. Rinse black beans under cold running water, then drain. Whirl in the food processor to make a rough puree, adding ¼ cup cheese and 2 tb salsa. Paint ½ of the bean mixture onto the first tortilla. Top with cheese and salsa. Add the next tortilla and repeat. Add the top tortilla. Spray with cooking spray. Bake in the oven until bubbly and brown, about 7-10 minutes. While the torte is baking, divide the lettuce among serving plates. When browned, cut the torte into wedges, place on the serving plates and spoon a dollop of yogurt on top. Garnish with cilantro leaves.
Recipe Source:

Questions I asked myself:

Is this what it is supposed to look like? Have I made a mistake? Is this supposed to look like a pizza? I am still not sure!!! So, if I have goofed on the Torte recipe, do let me know, I will take it off.

This is my entry for Nupur's A-Z of Vegetables and hopefully I have something fully 'Desi' coming up....

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Q is (also) for Quick Mango Pickle

Summer... unbearable heat.. VACATION from school (no more papers, no more rules... no more teacher's dirty looks!!) ... ice cream... Mangoes!!! aam ka panna and Ma-ke- haath-ka- achaar!!!
The final on the list was my favourite! I used to wait for Mom to make raw mango pickle at home! Watch her choose raw mangoes at the vendor, checking their firmness... always egg her to buy more than her customary 1 kg ( I always wanted her to go with 5 kgs. , that would have been sufficient for a month !! I would say!) Wisdom prevailed over greed and she always bought 1 kg.
I used to pay great attention to all the details of pickling, so much so that my Dad would often comment, " if you paid half as much attention to your books, you would top the school", as always, I ignored him and continued to concentrate 100% on the pickling process!

I could hardly wait for even 2 days till the pickle would marinate and was ready to be eaten!
Indeed one night ( this was when I was in the 4th. grade) I sneaked into the kitchen , quickly opened the jar of pickle and helped myself to a generous helping and sneaked back to my room to eat it. I finished the whole thing, licked all around the bowl and satisfied at having done what I was longing to do and also thinking that it would go unnoticed, I slept ... only to wake up groaning like the dickens..... something had exploded in my tummy... probably a bomb... and with guilt and agony written on my face I went to Mom..

I got no punishment... my parents said I got less than what I deserved and let the matter rest... needless to say, I never made that mistake again!

Now.. I do wait for 2 days as instructed, but on the third day... woe betide anyone who crosses paths with me when I make a beeline towards the pickle jar!!!
It's been a year since I had home made pickle.. I was longing for it.... feeling sad that here I would not be able to get Ma-ke-haath-ka-achaar... when Mom once again comes to the rescue!!!
My neighbour is visiting her son in L.A and Mom sent a packet of pickle mix along with her, explaining that the mix is closest to 'home made taste' and making a pickle with this was EASY and QUICK!!!
I took

1 Big Raw Mango

5 Tbsp. of the Pickle mix

100 gms . Salt

Oil (enough to drown the pickle in it... I know, I know!!)

Step 1 : Wash and wipe the raw mango. Ensure that it is ABSOLUTELY DRY. also ensure that your mouth is tightly shut... in case you are drooling ;)

Chop it into cubes, like so..

Then in a DRY plate, mix the pickle mix and salt with the chopped raw mangoTransfer it to the DRY bottle and add oil

Let this 'sit'/ marinate for 2 days. make a 'takda'/ tempering

Oil, 1tsp Mustard seeds and 1/4 tsp. Asafetida and let it cool completely. After the 'tadka' has cooled down, add to the pickle, mix thoroughly and enjoy with your meals!! ( will add those pics later)

Sending this as my entryfor Q to Nupurs A-Z of Veges .....

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Friday, May 18, 2007


Hahahahahahahaha!!! What a title! It's just that we made AluTiki and Chana-Chaat and on tasting it M exclaimed "Kya KHATARNAAK banaya hai re apan ne yeh chaat!!"

Thanks to Trupti and her brilliant idea of having an event involving Friends and Family in the kitchen, I snagged the chance of getting M in the kitchen to help out. It's not that he does not want to help, but his work pressure is so high, that when he comes home tired... one look at his tired, haggard face sets me bustling like a mother hen, off to make a hot cuppa.
However, occasionally when he does wander into my domain, he lends a helping hand, which happened today! And I took the opportunity of taking some pictures (since the camera is always at hand in the kitchen !)

We decided that the evening should be dedicated to lolling in the bed, watching movies and not doing anything else... for this plan to succeed we had to prepare ..
One dish .. that's it.. one item which would satisfy the hunger pangs and satisfy the taste buds.. hmmmm, what do I make then? Chaat!! can there be another choice!! I ask You!!
Action plan for the remainder of the day:

Step into the library : GRAB all the available Sherlock Holmes series and also GRAB the Jeeves and Wooster series
Dash to the stores to pick up any items as needed. Dash home...Don the apron and cook!

Item by unanimous choice : Aloo Tikki with Chana (choley)

M's first concern... will this take the entire day? (this is when I saw my chance..) Not if you wanna pitch in... , M is all set...
So while I do the potatoes, he speedily tidies around the house (bless him even for shoving things into corners ! I love him for doing that!!) and joins me in my *tiny* kitchen

We collect all the items we need ( M needs to *see* everything before him, to get creative)
For the Tikkis , I used my old recipe without the sweet chutney filling. On the broad lines, this is how we made it...
Green chillies
Cumin seeds
Ginger- Garlic paste
Salt to taste
Amchur powder/ Lemon juice
Boil, peel and mash the potatoes.
Grind together the cumin , ginger garlic, chillies
Add the paste to the potatoes
Add salt, amchur / lemon juice and chopped cilantro
Mix all the above and make patties
(if the above mix seems a bit soggy, add a slice of bread in it and knead it into a dough)
Heat a skillet, place the patties on it and drizzle oil on the sides and cook to a lovely, crispy golden brown .. as M demonstrates!!
The real stuff

For the choley
1 Can of Garbanzo Beans or 1/4 kg. Chick peas soaked overnight
2 onions
1 Tomato
2 inch piece Ginger (chopped into thin straws)
1 tsp. Red chilly pwd (+/- to your taste)
3/4 tsp. Garam Masala
1 med.Potato
1-2 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
1 Bayleaf
If using dry chick peas, soak the chick peas in water overnight.Drain water, rinse. In a pan , bring water to a boil, add 1 tsp. tea powder/ leaves and make a decoction. Strain, use this water to cook the chick peas in. This will give the chick peas a dark color. Add salt to the water and chick peas and the potato
If using a can of garbanzo beans, cook potato seperately
Slice the ginger into thin straws
Make Onion Paste
Make Tomato Paste/ puree
In a wok/ saucepan, heat oil, add Bayleaf
Add the ginger straws, onion paste and cook till the onion is a nice brown
Add the Tomato puree, red chilly powder
Add the Garam Masala.
Remove and set aside the water from the cooked chick peas. Add the chick peas and mix well
Add mashed potato
Now pour in the water that was reserved (in which the chick peas were cooked) with a pinch of turmeric and salt
To give the choley a tangy taste, add 1/2 tsp of Tamarind Paste
Green chutney
Grind :
1 bunch cilantro
4-5 Serrano green chillies (+/-)
1 tsp Cumin seeds
approx 1 inch Ginger
4 cloves Garlic
Juice of 1 Lemon
Sweet chutney
5-6 Dates (seedless)
2 tbsp. tamarind conc.
1 marble size lump of Jaggery
1/8th. tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Red chilly powder
Pressure cook or add water and microwave dates till soft
Crush the dates to a paste
Add the remaining ingredients , mix well, add some water and bring it to a boil. Cool and use
Trupti, don't turst the snap..M is just showing off... multi-tasking and doing it he calls it
Step 1: Place Patties in the bowl
Step 2: Pour choley on the patties

Step 3: Green chutney on the choley

Step 4 : Sweet chutney

Step 5: Garnish with chopped cilantro and finely chopped onion

Step 6: make 2 extra bowls of chaat.... sit comfortably, get hubby to start the movie and dig into the chaat while enjoying the mystifying adventures of Sherlock Holmes (or any other .. your choice).

Take a small break, grab the next helping, now switch from adventure to the sublime comedy of Jeeves and Wooster recreated by BBC ! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! What more can one ask? Wonderful movies, AWESOME food and extra helpings of both!! Life does not get better than this!!

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Monday, May 14, 2007

“Things I do daily"

I got tagged by Swapna, for this MeMe long back.... Sorry Swaps, I took my own sweet time, but, better late than never!!

Here's a peek into 'A day in Manasi's Life' ...........

Is it morning already???Oh Noooooooooooo!!

Where's the bathroom? Help me crawl to it..

Top on the agenda....

Motivation to Work!!!

Home and doing what I want to !! THIS I LOVE!!!

The inevitable!!

To-Do list for tomorrow .... Thinking how I can procrastinate!!

Relaxing.......LOVE this too!

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Here I am .. in time this time too ! for 'P' of Indian Veges @ Nupur's One Hot Stove !!

Every once in a while I go and pig out on oily stuff! Oh Stuff those 'too much fat' 'too many calories' talk.. The bounce off me easily!!

I like to keep in shape.. the nice round shape I am in!

So to treat myself I made puri! with a slight change.. I made Palak Puri! Happily enough I had just this half bunch of spinach in the fridge... fat lot of good that was for making Alu Palak.... wouldn't feed a chicken.. but then... do chicken feed on palak!!??!! hmm...

Anyway... so Palak Puri it was!!

This deep fried goody holds a special place in every body's heart (or so I imagine). We always had Puri on a festival day (Ganesh Utsav, Diwali or when we had guests over for dinner) which was eaten with plain potato vegetable (maybe I'll post this later!!) or with a sweet, like Basundi.. heavenly!!

Or Mum would make masala puri when I had my school picnic, which was an instant hit and the first item to be cleaned up!

For the Puri, I basically used approximates.
~2cups Wheat Flour (Atta)
1/2 bunch of Palak / Spinach
2 tsp Farina/ rava / Sooji
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
4-5 sprigs Cilantro
1/2 Serrano Chilly (just to give it a hint of heat)
Water to bind to a dough

Blanch the Spinach and Drain the excess water
Grind spinach, chilly, cilantro to a paste
Mix the paste in the Flour, add the Farina, Salt (the farina makes them crisp)
Bind to a dough (should be stiffer than the normal Roti Dough)

Cover and keep aside for 15 mins
In the meantime, heat oil in a kadhai/ wok
Take small marble size and roll it to a puri
Deep fry in oil.

I served the puri with Alu subzi, and Beet Raita (canned beet (1 tin), chopped into cubes and mixed with plain yogurt, salt and 1/2 tsp of MDH~Raita Mix)

The puris taste great as they are, without any accompaniment, so personally i enjoyed them with Raita and as they are.
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Monday, May 07, 2007


Yep, changed it again... and will modify it a bit more!! I loved the old template... the one with the bright, inviting looking kitchen... but........ it was the old style and difficult to make swift changes to...

So here I am (why me??)..... struggling once more with the task of making my blog look nice!!! Your suggestions are welcome! Pin It

Friday, May 04, 2007

O is for Oven Baked Eggplant

Hah!! I made it this time for Nupur's A-Z of Vegetables ....
It's been so long.. or at least feels so long since I had a post for this event! I made Oven baked Eggplant...
There is no love lost between me and the eggplant... however it's the exact opposite with M! His eyes glaze over, a benevolent smile wreathes his face and he rubs his hands in anticipation. That is the Only reason why the 'Baingan Raja' ever finds its way into my kitchen.
Now this little sucker with it's siblings, was lying in the dark regions of the fridge, untouched for a week now... I would look at it...ponder over the possibilities (which, I know are numerous).. shake my head and pick up another vegetable, talk about being prejudiced! So finally, last evening, casting aside my feelings, I pulled up the eggplant and decided to make this appetizer... a treat for M... he had a gruelling day at work and deserved something that would bring back that 'smile'!!
Now ,I have no clue where I got this recipe from, in one of my moods I had taken out sheets and sheets of recipe printouts, so safe to say that the source is Google.

Making it is also no big deal! So simple and quick too!

1 med. size Eggplant
5 tbsp Mayonnaise
Parmesan cheese (I did an approx. on this)
1/4 tsp. Pepper powder

Preheat the oven to 350 d. F
Place foil on the oven tray (spray with oil if u want), I used Olive oil spray
Mix the mayo, cheese, salt and pepper and mix to make a nice paste
Spread the breadcrumbs on a plate
Slice the eggplant into discs
Dip the eggplant discs into the mixture
Pat on both sides on the breadcrumb plate
Place on the tray and bake for 10 minutes on each side

Variations : Using a dash of Italian seasoning

Using the Large Eggplant (one that is commonly used in making 'bharta')

Substituting any other cheese instead of Parmesan

Verdict: Very NICE!! (the 'smile' is back in it's place!) I could put in a better way... as Jeeves (not his own, of course! It's Browning!!) would say...The lark's on the wing;The snail's on the thorn; God's in his Heaven --All's right with the world!

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Mini Idli and chutney

This is just a small post, to show you all my new cute idli stand! When I first came to CA,I got my old but serviceable idli stand, which has been with us for as long as I remember! It is an old 3 idli, 4 tier thing my Mom used .. I would stand by her watching her ladling the batter in to the greased idli stand and set it on the stove top... and after the steam started coming out of the lid, I would glance at my watch to wait another 7 minutes before the idlis were all done ( that is what the Hawkins pressure cooker manual advised), sometimes humming the jingle.."Hawkins ki sitti baje.... khusboo hi khushboo ude... mazzedar, lajjatdar khana hai tayyar...." of course not to apt for idlis as we do not use the sitti (weight/ whistle) but at an age when commercials were not as frequent as now, I found these rather catchy and liked to hum them at odd intervals.
Unfortunately, when I came here I got the old stand and a new pressure cooker (oh a Hawkins alright!) which was smaller and my stand would not fit into it. I was very disappointed and after having borrowed a small stand from my friend a couple of times initially, I decided to go ahead and get my own.. the trouble with that was , the stand in the market here was not one that complied with the cooker size! So it was either don't buy the stand or buy a new cooker! Finally Ma-in-law came to the rescue!! My neighbor was coming to L.A. and Ma-in-law sent me this cute li'll stand!!

Cute, ain't it!!!

It sits perfectly into my cooker and makes 15 mini idlis at a time! i love it! the small idlis are so cute to look at!

I sometimes make idlis in the no-grind method (using urad flour & idli rava) but when time permits I go for the usual method of Soaking 1 cup urad Daal in water for a minimum of 5-6 hrs. Grinding it to a paste. Adding 1 1/2 cup Idli Rava and leaving it overnight to ferment. making Idlis after that is of course a snap! Grease the mould, ladle batter and set it in the pressure cooker without the weight and let Hawkins do the job for you in about 8-9 mins!

I served these mini idlis with coconut chutney

1/2 packet of frozen shredded coconut

3-4 sprigs of cilantro

2-3 green chillies (+/- to taste)

1 inch piece of Ginger

Salt to taste

Sugar (optional)

1 tsp. Cumin seeds

Grind together using little water. (I made this a bit thick so that it would be easier and *less messy* to carry in the lunch box, but you can add more water and change the consistency)

You can also add a 'Tadka' to it , heat 1 tbsp oil, add mustard seeds, when the pop, add a good dash of asafetida, add a few curry leaves and 1 red chilly broken in half.

Another variation to the taste of the chutney is adding a bit of chana daalA (not the one we use in daily cooking in the tempering! the other one, used in chiwda, the one that can be eaten as it is.. whaddya call it??!!!)

That's it guys.. hope to see u all soon ...!!! Pin It


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