Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Soul food and easy recipes

Now for a list of favorite and soul food that I can prepare.

Bisi Bele Bhat : (Serves two)

1 cup rice soaked and washed
1 cup mixed dals (tur/moong, chana) soaked and washed
2 onions
Some Green chillies, red chillies,
A bowl of chopped assorted vegetables : ladies finger, white turnip(mooli), potato, tomato, yellow/white melon,
2 teaspoons teaspoon sambhar powder
1 tablespoon grated coconut(dessicated powder also will do)
A half cup of tamarind pulp
1 teaspoon, mustard seeds, udad dal
Appropriate amount of : Turmeric, Asafetida(hing), salt,
Curry Leaves.

In a rice cooker, add 2 teaspoons of ghee. Add mustard seeds and allow to sputter. Add udad dal..let it brown.
Add some Hing, and add onions and sauté.
Add tomatoes and the chillies.
Now add the remaining vegetables and the Tamarind pulp. Boil till the tamarind is cooked.
Now add Turmeric, curry leaves, sambhar powder and grated Coconut
Add the Rice and Dals.
Add appropriate water
And Pressure cook.

After 3-4 “whistles”
Switch off the gas. After 15 minutes open and add ghee.
Serve hot with papadams, or even masala wafers J

Goes very well with my next recipe roasted potatoes

Fried Potatoes (serves 2)
Half a kilo Baby potatoes or even normal sized potatoes
Boil in a Pressure cooker.
Remove the skin and keep aside.

In a pan add some oil.
Add mustard seeds and wait till it sputters.
Add one Chopped onion, one teaspoon of grated ginger and two red chillies.
Add salt, turmeric, hing and curry leaves to taste.
Add the potatoes and shallow fry.

When done, add two heaped teaspoons of Sambhar Powder and stir.
Goes very well with Sambhat rice, or any rice items.

The above dish can be prepared even with various Yams (Suran/Arvi) as well.

Vazha Pindi/Vazha Tandu Curry(Banana Stem)
This is one of my most favorite vegetables and most favorite preparations.

One medium sized Banana Stem.
Take off the outer rind until the inner smooth rind is seen.
Cut it horizonally in circles. Take of the excess fibre/threads that form
And now chop finely.
Store this in water in which a half a lime has been added, or a teaspoon of yoghurt has been added. (this stops the oxidization of the stem)

Now take a cup of moongdal and soak.
Chop a green chilly
Grate a cup of coconut
Curry leaves, salt, Hing, turmeric as required
Mustard seeds, udad dal

Take some oil in a pan.
Sputter some mustard seeds. Add some udad dal to it
Now add the soaked moong dal(yellow) and cook in a little water
After it cooks in 15 minutes, add the chopped banana stem
Add salt, hing, turmeric and cook.
Grind the grated coconut and the green chilly coarsely.
The banana stem is cooked within 15-20 minutes. Don’t overcook if you want to retain the CRUNCH :)
Add the grated coconut mixture and serve.

The banana stem provides a lot of fibre and would be a good idea to add it to ones diet.

Am such a fan of this vegetable, that one day on my return from Cochin, my friends mother lovingly took in a few stems from her garden and packed it for me. Imagine the challenge I had at the Airport security. They wondered if I was carrying a missile. When I opened my bag the airport security guys were laughing their heads off. They wondered why would anyone take such an abundantly available humble thing in their baggage :) I had to add that its not that easily available where I live :)

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