Green!

Flynthings:

Gongura (Red Sorrel Leaves) Pappu or Dal

Originally posted on Fly 'n Cook:

It’s always a pleasure to step out into my garden and pick my greens fresh from the plant. Last time I was in Chicago, in addition to the Cabbage Uttapam recipe, I came away with saplings for Gongura or Red Sorrel Leaves. One of my favorite green leafy vegetables that is scarce to find here. My friend Anu had sowed the seeds in two raised beds. All had sprouted and looked fresh and healthy. She was gracious enough to share a few saplings of amaranth and red sorrel leaves. I am equally amazed that they survived my 4-week absence!

Stepping outdoors I saw these fresh greens and my mind was on Gongura Pappu or Red Sorrel Leaves Dal. My mother always made it with a lot of garlic and it was always tasty and  refreshing! Dal in South India is always made with Toor Dal and tamarind. If the vegetable is…

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Zucchini Bread

Flynthings:

It’s been a while, looking to make this in the next day or so…

Originally posted on Fly 'n Cook:

Each time I walk into a Starbucks I eye the bakery section, each time hopeful to catch sight of a slice of Zucchini bread. Each time I am disappointed. To think I had my first introduction to zucchini bread at a Starbucks. I recently came to know that the assortment of baked goodies offered at Starbucks vary by locality. So likely no chance of seeing it here! Lately having resumed my baking adventures, I of course wanted to bake zucchini bread and found the perfect healthy recipe for it at Whole Foods.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup applesauce
2 tbsp yogurt
1 cup grated zucchini
1/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 tbsp hemp…

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Valor Papdi bean (Indian Broad Bean aka Chikkudikaya)

Flynthings:

Interestingly, this continues to be the most visited :-)

Originally posted on Fly 'n Cook:

Among all beans, one of my favorites is Indian broad bean or chikkudikaya.  It is not commonly found where I live, yet I constantly look for it in the local Asian grocery where I get my Indian vegetables. Any time I see it in the Asian market (Grand Mart) I snag it.

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My mother always cooked it two ways: one spicy and one sweet. No prizes to guess which was my favorite. Yep you are wrong. While I  love spicy food, this was one that I loved sweet. Here’s how my mother cooked her sweet chikkudikayi.

Ingredients:
How much ever you have of the papdi beans

Seasoning:
1 tsp channa dal
1 tsp urad dal
3-4 dry red whole chili
1 tsp mustard seeds
a cube jaggery or 2-3 tsp brown sugar (or how much ever you like)
a few curry leaves
a pinch of turmeric
a pinch of asafoetida

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Cherry, Dark Chocolate and Coffee Popsicle

Recently, I came across this blog: Wit and Vinegar and quite propitiously Popsicle Week just came to an end with varied Popsicle recipes.

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Here is one of my favorite I’ve tried so far. As always, I adapted using ingredients in my pantry.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup pitted cherries
6 tbsp unsweetened coffee
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
a dash of salt
2 squares of dark chocolate cut to bits

Process coconut milk, unsweetened coffee, vanilla extract, maple syrup and salt in a food processor. Transfer to a freezer safe dish. Add dark chocolate bits and cherry bits. Freeze for 45 minutes to an hour.

Once the mixture is thickened, scoop and transfer to Popsicle molds. Freeze for 3-4 hours to allow the molds to set.  When ready to eat or serve, dip molds in hot water for a few seconds to allow the popsicle to slide out.

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Enjoy on a ridiculously hot, and humid day!

Quick Lunch Series: Cherry and Avocado Salad

Cherry is the name so far, and I am on a roll snagging cherries from the groceries and trying new recipes while I can before they run out!

Here is an easy recipe for that office day meal.

CherrySalad

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup pitted fresh cherries
1-2 tbsp walnuts ( or use slivered almonds)
1-2 tbsp sliced red onion
1/2 avocado, diced
a few roasted coconut slices

Dressing:

1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp while wine vinegar
salt
fresh ground pepper

Layer a bed of spinach. Add sliced and pitted cherries, nuts, red onion and avocado. Top with some roasted coconut slices.

Drizzle dressing as desired before serving or enjoying for a refreshing office day lunch!

Baked Garelu or Plain Vada

I typically shied away from making vada, since it is a deep fried dish. While I was happy to eat it while my mother or other family member created it, I personally have never made this dish. That is until recently.

vada

After the success of baking masala vada, I have tried to recreate the plain vada with no success, until today. It can’t be re-created similarly. I ended up using a muffin tin, but if you have a donut tin that will do perfectly since Garellu are made with a hole in the center!

vada5

Ingredients:

1 cup urad dal
Salt to taste
Oil

Soak the urad dal in water for 5-6 hours. Rinse and blend in a blender till smooth with some water to make thick batter, similar to what is needed to make idlis.  Season with salt and set aside to ferment,

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

When ready to make vada’s, generously grease a muffin tin with oil, adding 1/2 – 1 tsp oil and add 1-2 tbsp of batter  to each muffin cup.

Bake 35-45 minutes till golden.

Serve warm with some sweet and sour ginger chutney.

vada

Sweet and Sour Ginger Chutney

Raw ginger has a very pungent flavor. It needs to be tempered with tamarind juice and jaggery (or brown sugar) to make it palatable.

This is my first attempt to make this chutney. Contrary to the Sweet and Sour Ginger Pickle, I posted a few weeks ago, this one is easy, short lived and goes well with vada. It is a very typical Andhra dish that is served during events such as weddings, funerals and other events. It is very often served with plain vada. Not to say  it can’t be served with other vada types.
vada

Ingredients:

2-4 in of ginger stalk, peeled and chopped
1/2-2/3 cup tamarind sauce
3-4 tbsp brown sugar or 1-2 cubes jaggary

Tempering:

1 tbsp oil
1 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 dry red chillies
dash of tumeric
dash of asaphoetida
a few curry leaves

I previously provided a recipe for the Sweet and Sour Ginger Pickle that can last months and years. Contrary to that, this is a short lived recipe, that is quick to make and lasts up to a week.

Add the chopped ginger to a blender, along with tamarind juice and jaggery and blend till smooth. Adjust tamarind juice and sugar to personal preference. Transfer to a bowl. Season with salt.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan. Add turmeric, asaphoetida, urad dal, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and dry red chilli. Fry till lightly golden. Add some curry leaves and leave for another minute.

Transfer to the bowl containing the ginger paste. Mix well. Adjust tamarind juice, sweetness, and salt.

Serve with some fresh vada!

Note: You can make a roasted sesame chutney, by replacing the ginger with roasted sesame which is another traditional chutney that is served at events.

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