Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bhindi In Tomato Gravy

One of the first dishes that my sister in law made post marriage is this really simple ladies finger in a tomato based gravy and it was an instant hit amongst the entire family. It is such a hit that it has been added to the Gujrati thali sold at C-Store Cafe. I did sample it when I visited home this time and when I saw fresh bhindi at the grocery store, I just had to try the recipe out myself. It was over in a matter of minutes.

This picture is a capture of what was made to be served as part of the thali. The poor customers had to make do with just one helping. They loved it and came back for more but there was none left.

Ingredients (serves 1):

  1. 15 bhindi/okra cut into 1 inch pieces
  2. 4 cloves of garlic
  3. 1/2 inch piece of ginger
  4. 3 tomatoes - medium sized, preferably the country variety
  5. 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  6. 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  7. 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  8. 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  9. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  10. Salt to taste
  11. 1 tbsp oil
How I made it :
  1. Puree the tomatoes, ginger and garlic.
  2. Zap the chopped okra in the microwave on high for 4 minutes
  3. Heat oil in a pan.
  4. Add the puree made in 1.
  5. Fry till the fat separates.
  6. Add the cumin, red chilli, coriander, turmeric and garam masala powders.
  7. Add salt and throw in the okra/bhindi. Mix well. Garnish with Coriander and serve with rotis.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Eggless Whole Wheat Banana Almond Pancakes

Since we have plans to travel this weekend and I was unwell last weekend, I have not stocked up my fridge and pantry. A few days back Pras and I had a fight over breakfast, I just did not have anything on hand to make a substantial meal. It is so true "A hungry man is an angry man". To avoid a repeat of the same, I quickly thought of making pancakes without eggs as I did not have any. I did have a couple of ripe bananas. So I decided to make Banana Pancakes.

Last Monday I had tried to make a Chocolate Almond Cake by Julia Child but it was a disaster. I guess I should've baked it longer. Anyways, I had the almonds that I had toasted for the decoration. I chopped them into slivers to sprinkle atop the pancakes.

Ingredients (makes 4 pancakes):

  1. 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  2. A pinch of salt
  3. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  4. 3/4 cup milk
  5. 1 tbsp sugar
  6. 2 medium ripe bananas - sliced into rounds
  7. 8 toasted almonds chopped into slivers
  8. 2 tsp Butter
How I made it:
  1. Mix the whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. 
  2. Add in the milk and mix into a smooth batter - with no lumps.
  3. Heat a skillet.
  4. Add 1/2 tsp butter. Pour a ladleful of batter.
  5. Sprinkle some chopped bananas and almond slivers.
  6. Cover and cook for 45 seconds.
  7. Flip over and cook for another 30 seconds.
These tasted delicious especially cause of the sweetness of the bananas. They did not require any honey on them as they were sweet by themselves. I'd reckon that they tasted like banana muffins without the wait :)

Circular Whole Wheat Pop Tarts - II

My family back in Ooty views my blog and photos and they go crazy as they are no longer able to sample the stuff that I make. When I asked my brother what he wanted when I visited and he went, "You make something and bring it over". I thought of the whole wheat pop tarts as I had bought this really nice Strawberry Mint Preserve from Kitchens of India. It has no preservative and the natural taste of the fruit comes through. Also, it is not overly sweet unlike other jams.

I made these circular in shape - smaller than the last batch so that the quantity would be substantial. I spent most of Independence day making them but loved popping them into my mouth. They just melt in the mouth. I made thrice the quantity mentioned in the recipe. Tip : You won't need as much iced water when you double/triple the quantity.

The recipe is here.

Here is a pic of the tarts just out of the oven.

Peek-a-boo from their lovely jar.

All set....

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Heart warming Chicken Sandwich with Sweet Corn Soup

While going to pick up the car from the service station, we saw two men selling ears of corn from the backside of a truck. He kept shouting "4 for 20 rupees". I told him I wanted just two and got some home. I wanted to make my sweet corn soup once more. This time I also got celery from the local store. Chopped pieces of celery leaves as well stalk when added to the soup make me go back in time to when I used to have this soup at home. This soup used to be made quite often at home. It is filling as well as good in the cold of Ooty. When tasting the soup with the celery added, I remembered that we used to have this with chicken sandwiches. It brought back one particular memory from the past.

Power cuts were quite common in Ooty when it rained. A tree would fall somewhere and there would not be power for days at end. On one such night, we were singing songs, a favorite time pass on a powerless evening, and munching these yummy chicken sandwiches along with the soup. My granny was around too and she would each time try to pry away the bollywood numbers from our minds and try to sing some songs in praise of god. Some of my most cherished memories and delectable combos.

Ingredients for 2 sandwiches :

  1. 4 slices of brown bread
  2. Butter
  3. 1 leg of chicken
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 1/4 tsp vinegar
  6. Pepper to taste
How I made it :
  1. Boil the chicken with salt, vinegar in water. I pressure cooked it for 2 whistles on high and 1 whistle on low. The vinegar makes the chicken stay white and cook faster. Retain water/stock for use in soups, curries for enhanced flavour.
  2. Shred the chicken into small pieces.
  3. Heat the tava. Place the slices of bread on the warm tava. The idea is to warm the slices through.
  4. Generously butter all slices of bread on 1 side each.
  5. Mix pepper into the chicken. 
  6. Take two slices of bread. Place them down with buttered side facing up. Spread chicken on the bread. Cover each with the other slice of bread with buttered side down.
  7. Serve hot with any soup of your choice. 
We had this with sweet corn soup and it was a whole lot things for me. A hearty meal indeed.