Archive for December, 2006

Alu Vadi (Steamed Colacasia/Taro leaf rolls)

As promised earlier, I am posting this recipe for Alu Vadi (Steamed Colacasia/Taro leaf rolls).I made these almost 10 days ago and never got the time to post them. My little one keeps me busy most of the time when I am back from work. Earlier he would go to sleep by 8 –8:30 in the night and I would get some free time to blog .Now-a-days he puts me to sleep! Most of the times I doze off while trying to put him to sleep.Even to take a photograph before I leave to work has now become tricky. He gets his own plate and says ‘Mama Phofo!’ So first we take photos of his plate and then mine. Then sometimes he has the whim to click the photos! (You can see some of my pics not so artistic-that’s our joint effort!)

Anyways I am trying my best to keep blogging come what may….someday both of us will write a post together too!

Coming back to Alu Vadi,-Alu in Marathi, Arbi in Hindi and Colocasia/Taro in English. We have these plants in our kitchen garden. Alu is a very hassle free plant. It only needs good amount of water- not much pampering is required.We make curry (Alu chi Bhaji) from the Alu leaves or Alu Vadi (Steamed rolls). Both are delicious though I prefer the Vadi more.

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For Alu Vadi you need: 

8 Alu/Colocasia/Taro leaves (use even number of leaves)

For the coating

¾th cup besan (Chick pea flour)

2 tsp tamarind pulp

1 tsp crushed jaggery

1 pinch Asafoetida

½ tsp Cumene powder

½ tsp Coriander powder

½-1 tsp red chilli powder

¼ tsp Turmeric powder

Salt as per taste

For the tempering

2 tsp oil

1 tsp cumene seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp sesame seeds

For the coating mix all the ingredients. Add water to make a paste (neither too thick or too thein.You should be able to coat the leaves. Almost to the consistency of Bhajjia batter) Mix the paste with hand if required ensuring that no lumps remain in the batter.Wash and dry the Alu leaves. Be careful while cutting these leaves from the stems. The stems of these leaves release some juice which stains clothes. So take care not to stain your clothes.Keep two leaves preferably of same size upside down one over the other. Using a rolling pin flatten the veins of these leaves. Apply the Besan paste all over the leaf. Once the entire leaf has been coated start rolling the leaf from the base towards the tip as shown in the picture. While rolling apply the paste on each fold to seal it properly.

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Similarly make 3 more rolls from the remaining 6 leaves. Steam them till done. Insert a knife and check.It should come out clean.

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Cool nicely. Cut them into small rolls. Arrange them in a flat dish.In a small pan heat oil, add the cumene seeds, fennel seeds and sesame seeds. Spread this tempering on the Alu vadis.

Serve this as a side dish.av3.jpg

Like I said earlier there are lot of variations to this recipe. Some people deep/shallow fry these Vadis. But I find topping them with the tempering more healthy, so I do it this way. As a variation you can also add garlic to the Besan paste used for coating. It tastes great. You can also increase the number of leaves, sandwiching the paste between each leaf.That is you can take all 8 leaves one over the other applying the paste on each leaf. Choice is yours!

December 21, 2006 at 12:21 pm 21 comments

Methi Mutter Malai (Fenugreek- Green Peas curry)

Last weekend, we had some guests from Bangalore. We took them to a nearby winery- Sula wines, acres of vineyards on the backdrop of beautiful green hills! Serene Atmosphere! The best part about this winery is you can walk in whenever you want without prior permission. We were also taken on a tour of the manufacturing facility. I am not a ‘Wine person’ but I am an analytical Chemist by profession, so the tour was quite informative- the process of wine making, analysis of wines etc..

You can also indulge in ‘Wine tasting’ at the bar for which I wasn’t allowed since I had taken my little one along (he wasn’t allowed in the tasting area) He had no regrets. He was happy running around in the garden and the vineyards!

Our guests had dinner with us, so it had to be elaborate- Methi Mutter Malai , Alu Vadi (recipe coming up), Green Tomato chutney, Bell Pepper Salad along with some Rasam , Rotis and Lemon Rice.Methi Mutter Malai , Alu Vadi, Green Tomato chutney and Bell pepper salad were a hit.They even took down the recipes and have promised me that they will surely give it a shot!You do the same.

For Methi Mutter Malai you need:

½ bunch Methi leaves chopped

1 cup Fresh Mutter (Green peas) boiled

½ cup cashewnuts

3-4 green chillies

½ tsp Garam masala

2 garlic pods (optional)

¼ tsp white / black pepper powder

¼ tsp Cinnamon powder 

2tsp butter

½ tsp cumene seeds

½ tsp sugar

2 tbsp Malai (fresh cream)

Salt as per taste

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Boil 1 cup water and add ¼ tsp salt. Add the chopped Methi leaves.Boil for 10 minutes and strain the leaves. This reduces the bitter taste of Methi, which doesn’t go well with this particular recipe. You can use the left over water for making Rasam/Dal or even for making chapatti doughGrind together Cashewnuts, Green chillies and garlic (optional).Add little water if required.In a pan (Kadai) take 2 tsp butter. Add the cumene seeds. Then add the cashewnut-chilly mixture.Add about 1 ½ cups water and boil it nicely stirring in between.Add the masalas -Garam masala, Cinnamon powder .Add the Methi leaves , mix nicely and then add the Mutter (Peas). Cook for a few minutes.Add salt, sugar and pepper powder. Adjust the consistency to your liking. Cook for a few more minutes. Switch off the gas and then add the Malai.Serve hot with Rotis.

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Methi Mutter Malai has a little sweetish taste- like most Malai recipes. Though I prefer spicy food, this is good for a change!

 I have to warn you this is one dish loaded with lotso’ calories. But Imind that on a chill winter night!

December 14, 2006 at 3:17 pm 8 comments

From the Salad Bar

      Winter is almost here and the temperature is gradually dropping down. I love this season since we get a variety of very fresh vegetables and fruits here. Veggies like carrot sport their actual pink -red color, instead of the orange-red color found during the rest of the year.Preserving fruits and veggies is also easier during this season. I stock on veggies and fruits for the whole week in this season without bothering about them rotting.

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These are few simple salad recipes I usually make. These are some contemporary mix-n-match type of salads, made with the available ingredients, not the typical Koshimbir or Raita type salads usually cooked in Indian households. They can be eaten by themselves without any accompaniments as a light lunch or dinner. I enjoy making and eating salads with the variety of colourful veggies and fruits available now. Most of the days I carry them for lunch. Relatively easy to make, Salads provide a lot of scope for innovation and imagination. Right from the ingredients, dressing to the presentation there is a lot of room to showcase your culinary talent.

These Salads are nutritional powerhouses – low on calories and high on nutrients. A few simple things to remember while making salads:Wash the veggies / fruits thoroughly before peeling/cutting/shredding them. Do not wash after peeling or cutting. Go easy with the dressing. Savor the natural taste of the veggies.

Veggie Salad

½  cup Moong bean Sprouts

½ cup peeled and grated carrots

½ cup cucumbers peeled and diced ½ cup tomatoes chopped¼ cup green bell pepper finely chopped

1 tbsp fresh green coriander finely chopped

For the dressing

2 tsp lime juice

½ tsp black/white pepper powder

Black salt or Plain salt as per taste.

Mix all the ingredients together. Just before serving add the lime juice and salt. If the weather is warm you can chill the salad for ½ an hour or eat it straight away.

Quantities for the veggies can vary as per availability and choice.

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Fruity-Corn Salad

¼ cup sweet corn kernels

¼ cup beetroot grated 

¼ cup fresh pomegranate seeds

¼ cup fresh Pineapple chopped

½ cup peeled and grated carrots

½ cup cucumbers peeled and diced

½ cup tomatoes chopped (optional)

¼ cup green bell pepper finely chopped

2 tbsp yellow split moong dal soaked in water for 1 hr

3-4 lettuce leaves torn into pieces1 tbsp fresh green coriander finely chopped

For the dressing

2 tsp Mosambi (Sweet lime)/ Orange juice

½ tsp black/white pepper powder

Salt as per taste 

Toss all the ingredients in a large bowl. Just before serving add the Sweet lime juice or orange juice and salt.

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High Protein Salad

¼ cup sweet corn kernels

¼ cup fresh pomegranate seeds

½ cup Moong bean Sprouts

2-3 Salad leaves torn into pieces

½ onion cut into thin slices

2-3 lettuce leaves torn into pieces

4-5 seedless Dates chopped

For the dressing

Salt as per taste

1tsp Chaat masala 

Toss all the ingredients in a large bowl. Just before serving add the Chaat masala and adjust the salt. Remember that Chaat masala too has some amount of salt so adjust accordingly.  

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Crunchy Pepper Salad

1 Red bell pepper chopped

1 yellow pepper chopped

1 green pepper chopped

2 cucumbers peeled and diced

For the dressing

Salt as per taste

1tsp Chaat masala

2 tsp lime juice 

Toss all the ingredients in a large bowl. Just before serving add the lime juice, Chaat masala and adjust the salt. 

All the above salad ingredients can be mixed and matched as per your tatse!

Enjoy these light and healthy salads! If you have any more ideas for quick and easy salads I would appreciate if you can share them here.

December 7, 2006 at 10:00 am 6 comments


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