Monday, May 25, 2009

Sabudana Khichdi....in the microwave

One of the biggest surprises when I moved to Dubai from Bombay was that I could call the gas company and they would send a cylinder within minutes!! Now that was a huge relief for me and also for Terradaze - I had been so terrible with booking gas cylinders in Bombay that there had been umpteen number of times that I would dispatch him to the agent's depot to get a cylinder.

Of course, I hadn't reckoned with Murphy. Yeah, the same guy who lands up when he shouldn't!

And so, there was this day when I invited some people over for a Diwali breakfast. Before they came, Murphy knocked. The gas ran out early in the morning - no sweat, for the the gas co. had faithfully delivered the cylinder withing minutes of calling them in the past. But apparently, we hadn't read the fine print - on Fridays, they would send in the cylinders only after the afternoon prayers!

I had planned to make sabudana khichdi and I desperately wanted to make it for my guests, especially considering that it was amongst the few things that I made very well.

Now what?

Well...I did have my trusted microwave. I have always cooked extensively in the microwave - do check out my microwave paneer jalfrezi , chicken kebabs and the simple bread pudding - but would I dare to make sabudana khichdi in the microwave?

As it turns out, I have never made sabudana khichdi on the stove top again!



Sabudana Khichdi

Ingredients:

Sago - 1/2 cup
Peanuts - roasted, peeled and coarsely powdered - 5 tbsps
Potato - 1, peeled and chopped, optional
Green chillies - 3
Dried red chillies - 2
Cumin seeds - 2 tsps
Curry leaves - 10
Coriander leaves, finely chopped - 2 tbsp
Juice of half a lemon
Sugar - 2 tsps
Salt - to taste
Oil/ghee - 2 tbsps

Method:

Wash the sago under running water, then soak in water for a couple of hours. Drain the water and wash the sago once again. Cover the sago a moist cheesecloth; let it sit overnight or at least 6 hrs, at the end of which the sago should turn soft and spongy.
Peel and chop the potatoes into small cubes and soak them in water; after 10 minutes, discard the water.

Mix the peanut powder, salt and sugar in the sago, toss till the sago is nicely coated with the peanut powder.

Heat oil/ghee for a minute in the m/w. Pop in the cumin seeds and m/w on high for a minute. Add the curry leaves, red chillies and green chillies and m/w for another 40 seconds.

If using potatoes, add them in and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until they are tender.

Add the sago and m/w for 4 minutes ( more or less, depending on the power of your m/w), stirring after every minute. When the waxy looking sago turns translucent, the khichdi is done. Add coriander leaves and lemon juice and m/w for a minute.


Serve hot with some green chutney or some swetened yogurt.

Easy as it sounds, sabudana khichdi is very easy to mess up. Here's what I do to ensure that my khichdi ends up nice and fluffy - spread the sago on a kitchen towel for a few minutes before mixing in the peanut powder - this works like magic - the excess water, if any, gets completely absorbed and the khichdi will not be soggy, I assure you.



Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bhel Puri

Say "chaat", and it is sure to trigger a flood in my mouth.

Speaking of chaat, think it won't be such a bad idea to have some on the side as I write this post...excuse me, will you, while I go and fix myself some bhel puri?

So as I was saying, we love our chaats, especially bhel puri. And though there are restaurants here that serve very good chaat, nothing compares to the chaat that is served on the streets of almost any and every city back home. In fact, one of the first things we do when we go to India is to hit the streets for some chaat.

Wait for a minute - think I need to add some more spice to this plate...

Almost everyone who has had chaat on the streets would have that one chaatwala who, they will aver and insist, makes the best chaat ever. Terradaze and I have been going to 'our' chaatwala since the time we were in college. Back then, given our very slim monthly allowances, even a..

(eats a few spoonfuls...hmmm. nice, really nice)

.... 5 buck bhel puri was a big indulgence - especially given the fact that we would have it at least twice every week - so more often than not, we'd end up sharing a plate, savouring every mouthful.

(a few spoonfuls more, the bhel puri is fast disappearing)

Then, we got jobs and moved to Bombay. Now, we could afford to have a plate of bhel puri all to ourselves, but unfortunately, could visit our chaatwala once every few months. And though there were so many chaatwalas all over Bombay, we still felt that 'our' chaatwala was better than the best. And so whenever, we went back home, very dutifully, we would seek him out. On one such visit, I managed to coax him to tell me how he made his bhel puri.

(eats the last spoonful)

And though I love the way my bhel puri turns out, I still think that nothing, absolutely nothing, can beat the taste of street food eaten on the streets!

(stares at the empty plate....ummm...why don't you take a look at how I make my bhel puri while I go and fix myself some more)



Bhel Puri:

Ingredients:

Puffed rice - 11/2 cups
Sev - 1/2 cup
1 Onion, chopped
1 Tomato, chopped
1 large potato, boiled and cut into cubes
Raw green mango, chopped - optional
Roasted masala peanuts, optional

Green Chutney
Tamarind Chutney

Papdi, crushed into a few big pieces
Rock salt
Chaat masala
Coriander leaves, for garnish


For the tamarind chutney:

Soak some tamarind - 2 lemon sized balls - in warm water for about half an hour. Extract the juice, strain it. To this add some pureed dates (soak 10 dates for a few hours, take the seed off and then puree in the mixie), 6-8 tbsps jaggery, 1 tsp roasted jeera powder, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, rock salt and 1 tsp chaat masala. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for about 15-20 mins till the juice thickens. Adjust the sweetness to your taste by addingmore or less jaggery.

For the green chutney:

Grind these together to a fine paste - 1 cup coriander leaves, 3/4 cup mint leaves, 6-8 green chillies, 1 large clove of garlic, juice of 1/2 a lemon and rock salt.

Making bhel puri:

Assemble all the ingredients listed from puffed rice to roasted peanuts. Add a few teaspoons of the tamarind chutney and the green chutney according to your taste preference. Mix it well. Add rock salt, if needed. Garnish with some chopped coriander, chaat masala, some crushed papdi, chopped onion and sev.

BURP!

And though I now prefer to not share my bhel with anyone, I really would like to share it with Sunday Snacks : Chaats/ Indian Street Food hosted by Pallavi and with JFI:Mint hosted by Ashwini, event conceived by Mahanandi.

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Favourite Things: Frozen Desserts - The Round Up

What agony - I came back from my short break to find my blogger and gmail ID disabled!! My apologies for the delayed round-up and more importantly, to all of you who tried to send in your entries only to find your mails bouncing back. I really regret the inconvenience.

Ladies, before you settle in your chairs to read this round-up, I strongly urge you to change into your gym gear. For though a lot of the frozen desserts here are low in fat and as healthy as desserts can possibly get, there are just so many here that I think you will definitely need to head to the gym at the end of the round up!!


FROZEN YOGURTS

Bindiya of In Love with Food makes this deliciously tangy, guilt - free Frozen Pineapple Yogurt.


Supriya of Queen of My Kitchen combines two of her favourite flavours - mango and saffron -to make this awesome Mango Saffron Frozen Yogurt.



Not having an ice cream maker didn't deter Lavanya of Vividha Ruchulu from making this lovely coloured Strawberry Yogurt Icecream.





With the mercury slowly inching up, Asha of Foodie's Hope whipped up this easy to make Mango Frozen Yogurt.



Parita of Parita's World combines strawberries, blueberries and raspberries to make her Mixed Berries Frozen Yogurt.



I (aka Aquadaze of Served With Love) made Strawberry Swirl Frozen Yogurt.



ICE CREAM




Dhanya of My Home Cooking makes a this creamy Strawberry Vanilla Ice Cream ....what's more, it's eggless!



And now that she has an ice cream maker, Lavanya of Vividha Ruchulu just had to make creamy Mango Ice Cream that she'd been craving for!




Maya of Konkan World makes a unique combination of raspberries and mangoes in this Mango Raspberry Ice Cream


Another very unusual pairing - Cashew and Orange Ice Cream, this comes from Notyet100 of Asankhana.





Malini of Khana Khazana with Malini makes French Vanilla Ice Cream and serves it up as an Ice Cream Sandwich and an Ice Cream Sundae.



KULFI




Prathibha of the Chef and her Kitchen celebrates her 50th post with this delicious Mango Kulfi, enhanced by the addition of nuts and saffron!



Who can resist kulfi falooda? Easy Crafts of Simple Indian Food makes falooda from scratch, find out all about it here.



Priya of Priya's Easy n Tasty Recipes celebrates her 500th post with this delicious Kulfi made the traditional way, without resorting to any short-cuts!





Bindiya of In Love with Food makes Summer Cool Kulfi in two ways, read all about it here.


Ramya of Passion for Cooking, inspired by Kulfis being made all over the blogsphere, makes her own version of Aam Kulfi.


SORBETS AND GRANITAS



Simran of Bombay Foodie makes this delighfully red and very healthy Watermelon Sorbet to beat the Bombay heat.



PJ of Seduce your Tastebuds makes this very different Japanese Green Tea Sorbet.



Priya of Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes packs in the benefits of cantaloupe melon in this flavourful, low calorie Cantaloupe Granita.


CHILLED DESSERTS

Though technically not frozen desserts, I have included these as they need to be chilled before they can be relished.

Ramya of Ramya Cooks makes this awesome, no bake Mango Mirror Cheesecake.



From Ramya of Passion for Cooking, here's the irrestible Aam Khand.



From Indrani of Appyayan comes this easy to make Caramel Custard.


I am a firm believer that even though you have some very good brands of frozen desserts in the market, nothing beats the goodness of home made ones. With or without an ice cream maker, it is possible to make awesome Frozen Desserts at home. After reading all these delicious frozen desserts, I am sure you won't lack in inspiration to make different Frozen Desserts at home this summer!


Thank you all very much for your participation in My Favourite Things: Frozen Desserts and thank you Bindiya, for this super opportunity to host My Favourite Things. Head over to Poornima's where she hosting this month's My Favourite Things: Cheese.



It is not just about the ingredients or the recipe, good food happens when it is served with love!!

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