Archive for August, 2010

Pickled Beets

I love Beets, so whenever I see fresh juicy Beets in the farmers market I cannot resist the temptation to buy them. The Beets that are usually available locally are quite big in size. I just love to boil them, chop and sprinkle some salt and pepper and eat it right away, when they are still warm. My other favourite Beet recipe is beet+Yoghurt- Raita/Koshimbir.

I saw these cute little baby Beets the other day in the market and couldn’t resist buying them. Even as I was buying them, this recipe for Pickled Beets from Elise @Simply Recipes was on my mind. The Beets were scrubbed clean the moment I reached home- Boiled (I did that in a pressure cooker), cooled, cut and dressed with the mustard vinaigrette -all done in no time. I have changed the proportion of ingredients to suit our taste.

These delicious Pickled beets are now a favourite in our house and we add them to everything from salads to wraps!

Thanks Elise for this simple yet delicious Pickled Beets recipe, my family loves it!

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

6-7 Baby Beets

 For the vinaigrette:

2 tsp split mustard seeds (or you can use dry mustard)

~2 tbsp Cider Vinegar

~1/2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp black pepper crushed

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt to taste

 Method:

Clean and boil the Baby Beets (I used a pressure cooker). Peel off the skin and halve them (If you do not have baby Beets, use the big ones and chop them into cubes after boiling)

Whisk together the ingredients for the Vinaigrette in a mixing bowl. Adjust the sugar or pepper/salt if required.

Add the boiled beets.

Mix nicely for all the beets to coat.

Keep covered at room temperature for ~ 1 hour.

Serve as a side dish or add to salads or wraps.

These Pickled beets recipes are being sent just in time for Blog Bites #6 @One Hot Stove

August 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm 7 comments

Raw Banana cutlets and Mix Friut Chutney for The 4 Velveteers!

I received a bag full of home-grown green/raw bananas from my mother’s backyard last week. I have never actually cooked anything with raw banana. My recipe search led me to this wonderful Raw banana and peas cutlet recipe from Sanjeev Kapoor.

These sinful cutlets made with cooked Raw banana, Green peas and a handful of spices make a very good party starter or a tea tine snack. It does not require any binding and are very easy to shape and fry. I tried a shallow fried version but the original deep fried version tastes better. The cutlets were crisp and crunchy and the raw banana-peas was a super hit ‘made-for each other’ combo. It is a keeper recipe and I am going to make it whenever I can lay my hands on raw bananas, even if it means some sinful-deep fried indulgence!

I made a few changes to the original recipe in the proportions of the ingredients to suit our taste.

I serve the Raw banana and peas cutlet along with a Mix fruit chutney (recipe follows) here for the 4- Velveteers challenge for August.

The 4 Velveteers  (started by Pamela, Aparna, Asha, and Alessio) is ‘A food bloggers monthly event spanning the 7 seas. Different cultures,different palates, different backgrounds are the best spices to excite our palates

I joined the group this month and the lovely Asha of Forkspoonknife challenged us to create a savory dish where fruit(s) play the lead role!

Here’s the recipe for the Raw banana and peas cutlet:

Ingredients:

7-8 green/raw bananas peeled, cubed and pressure cooked till soft

~3/4th cup green peas boiled and mashed

4-5 green chillies finely chopped

½ tsp Red chilli powder

½ tsp Amchur (Raw Mango) powder

1 tsp Garam Masala powder

1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger

Few sprigs coriander leaves, cleaned washed and finely chopped

A pinch of Asafoetida

Salt to taste

Oil for deep frying

 Method:

Mash the cooked green bananas.

Take the mashed banana and mashed peas in a mixing bowl.

Add all other ingredients except the oil.

Mix well.

Shape the mixture into round or heart shape cutlets.

Heat oil in a wok.

Deep fry the cutlets till golden brown.

Drain on an absorbent paper.

Serve hot with mix fruit chutney or any sauce of your choice.

 Mix fruit Chutney:

This mix fruit chutney was made in an attempt to save the fruits lurking in the fridge which were threatening to rot.

I have used up whatever fruits were available balancing the sweet and sour taste. I knew this would not have passed up as a jam, So to make it more flavourful I added some red chilli powder ,other spices and some refreshing mint leaves. The result was a fabulous Sweet-sour and spicy chutney which can be used as a dip for almost anything. I also had it as a substitute to tamarind chutney in pani puri!

Recipe for Mix fruit chutney:

Ingredients:

2 Golden delicious apples peeled and chopped

4-5 red plums chopped

3-4 canned pineapple rings chopped

5-6 dried figs chopped

5-6 dried apricots chopped

~ 2 candied Indian Gooseberries (Amla)

4-5 dried pitted prunes chopped

1/4th cup raisins

3/4 cup dates (Khajur) chopped

2-3 tsp Red chilli powder

2 tsp Garam Masala

1 tsp Black pepper powder

1 tsp Chaat masala

2tbsp apple cider vinegar

½ cup mint leaves chopped

Salt to taste

 Method:

Mix all the fruits fresh as well as dried in a deep pan along with ~1/2 cup of water.

Cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring in between and adjusting the water as required.

Add the spices, salt and vinegar and cook for another 15- 20 minutes or till all the fruits are mushy and cooked.

Set aside to cool.

Run in a blender along with the mint leaves to a smooth chutney consistency.

Serve with cutlets or chips, puris, crackers or crudities or use as a breadspread!

This chutney refrigerates well for about 1 week.

 

Please also checkout what the other Velveteers have created:

Aparna : Eggless Vegetable- Nut Loaf with a sweet and spicy Mango Jalapeno sauce

Pamela: Green Papaya Curry

Ken : Skillet Roasted Sweet n Sour Pork

August 22, 2010 at 8:17 pm 19 comments

Pepper away the Monsoon blues with this quick and simple Black pepper Rasam/soup

The medicinal uses of Black pepper are well known. It is one of the trusted home remedies for cold and cough. We have been surviving the Monsoon bug by adding this ‘natural antibiotic‘ to our day-to -day meals.

We are having this hot spicy Pepper Rasam/ soup almost every day to soothe our itchy throats; a soothing balm to ‘shoo’ away the Monsoon blues.

This is of course my Mother-in-law’s recipe and uses very few day-to-day ingredients; Black pepper-cumene seeds –some dried coconut and curry leaves. You can make a ready spice mix and store in an airtight container. Whenever you want to make the rasam just boil some lentils add the ready spice mix and viola! your ‘magic potion’ is ready in minutes

Here’s the recipe for Pepper Rasam/Soup

Things required:

¼ cup Toovar Dal (pigeon pea lentils)

8-10 Black pepprcorns

~2 tsp Cumene seeds

~ 1 tbsp dried coconut grated

4-5 curry leaves

Pinch of turmeric and few drops of oil to cook the Lentils

Salt to taste

1 tsp homemade ghee

Method:

Pressure cook the dal with ~ 2 ½ cups  of water, a pinch of turmeric and 3-4 drops of oil.

In a pan dry roast black peppercorns, cumene seeds, dried coconut and curry leaves one by one.

Cool and coarsely grind the spices in a mortar and pestle.

Heat ghee in a deep pan.

Add the spice mix.

Add the cooked dal along with the water. Adjust the consistency of water to your liking.

Season with salt and boil for few minutes.

Serve piping hot.

Notes:

You can adjust the spices to your taste, it is a very forgiving recipe.

You can skip the ghee if you don’t want it, just mix the spices and the dal and boil together.

If you plan to serve this as a clear soup, let the soup stand for a few minutes and then just pour out the liquid. You can use the leftover dal to make some dal parathas or sambar

You can zest up the soup with a dash of lime juice

August 12, 2010 at 1:57 pm 9 comments

Power Breakfast for these ‘under the weather’ days

The monsoon bug does not seem to leave our house; it’s been almost like a hospital for the past few days! The wet sultry days are no help for recovery. The coughing and sneezing seems to have affected the palate as well as the appetite. Quick, wholesome food is helping us sustain these depressing days.

Here’s a recipe for a quick and wholesome Cracked wheat (Dalia) Upma dressed up with corn, moong bean sprouts and a few spices. Corn was added for the little ‘corn fan’ in the house. To pep up our appetites I added some kasuri Methi and a hint of Pav Bhaji masala to the cracked wheat, and that’s what is did-jazzed up our meal!

Here’s the recipe:

2 cups Cracked wheat, washed and pressure cooked (with salt and 3 ½ cups water)

1 cup Sweet corn

1 cup moog bean sprouts

1 small onion chopped

~ 2-3 tsp kasuri methi

½ tsp Pav Bhaji Masala (I used Everest)

3-4 dry red chillies broken into pieces

~2 tsp roasted peanut powder

½ tsp ginger-garlic paste

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp cumene seeds

½ tsp mustard seeds

Salt to taste

~2-3 tsp oil

Lemon juice, coriander/mint leaves for garnish

Heat oil in a pan. Add the tadka ingredient; mustards seeds-cumene seeds-turmeric- redchillies.

Add the onion and ginger garlic paste and sauté for 1-2 minutes.

Add the corn and moong beans.

Add salt and mix nicely (the cooked Cracked wheat also contains salt.)

Cook covered for ~5-6 minutes. (Don’t overcook, the corn and moong sprouts should be crunchy)

Add the Pav Bahji masala.

Crush and sprinkle the Kasuri Methi.

Add the cooked Cracked wheat and peanut powder, mix well.

Cook covered for 1-2 minutes more.

Garnish with Lime juice/coriander/mint leaves and serve hot.

 Note: You can use any fresh vegetables of your choice along with the corn and Moong sprouts.

August 6, 2010 at 11:29 am 4 comments

4 yrs and counting…

It’s been 4 wonderful years since I set up my virtual kitchen-My Foodcourt. Yes it’s been an adventurous Roller Coaster ride till now. From simple day-to-day meals I have ventured into different cuisines and different forms of cooking; baking being the current favourite! There have been a few lulls here but I have enjoyed the journey so far, hope you have too.

All this would not have been possible without you my readers, Thank you each one of you for encouraging me to go on! I am sure you will be there with me on many more culinary expeditions!

Cheers,

 

August 4, 2010 at 2:42 pm 7 comments


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