Friday, December 12, 2014

Khichuri or Khichidi (Rice and Moong beans)

This is stick-to-your-bones kind of Indian comfort food that can easily be made on a busy weekday or if one can manage a healthy breakfast! It's vegan but packed with nutrients, protein and low-fat!

I feel blessed to be Indian, due to my inclination to vegetarianism. Though I like occasional chicken or seafood dish, its vegetarian that I crave for. Being vegetarian in India is probably the easiest than any other country. Your options go way, way beyond salad, meat substitutions or bread. All that without needing non-vegetarian broths or flavorings! 

Back to Kichidi or Kichuri, this is mildly spiced rice and mung beans dish that is ideal for a wintry day or evening! Finish it with a cup of Chai, you can rub your belly with joy! :)

The ingredient list for this is simple:
  • 1 1/2 cup Basmati or Sona Masoori rice
  • 3/4 cup Yellow mung dal (mung bean - without the green skin and halved, available in Indian grocery stores).
  • 10 cashew halves
  • 1 tbsp Jeera/Cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp black pepper corns
  • 1/2 tsp Hing or asafoetida
  • one or two sprigs Curry leaves - leaves separated
  • 1 inch ginger chopped
  • 1 - 2 cups mixed vegetables (optional)
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala powder (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp ghee for taste and flavor

Procedure to make:
  1. Wash and soak rice and mung dal for an hour. Keep aside. Though soaking is optional, the rice and dal cook well and soft if soaked.
  2. Heat oil in a 5-Quart cooking pan on medium-high heat, add hing, jeera and black pepper corns. Fry for few seconds and add cashews, curry leaves and ginger. Saute for 15 seconds and add mixed vegetables and little salt. Saute for 3-4 minutes and add about 4.5 cups of water (hot water preferred). If rice and mung dal are not soaked, use 5 cups of water.
  3. Cover and let the water boil. Uncover when the water is about to come to a boil. Let it cook for couple of minutes on medium heat.
  4. Drain rice and dal and add to the boiling water and increase heat to medium-high. Add Garam Masala powder and mix well and let it come to boil again. Reduce heat to medium and let it cook until most of the water is absorbed. 
  5. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 -15 minutes. Switch off the stove and wait another 5 minutes before you open the lid (the flavors need to marry and settle :))
  6. Kichuri is best enjoyed hot with either some Indian mango pickle or simply yogurt!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Mejadra/Mujaddara/Mudadara/Mid-Eastern Lentils and Rice

From Ottolenghi and Tamimi's cookbook "Jerusalem"

You will need basmati rice, green/brown lentils, onions, all purpose flour, cumin & coriander (cilantro) seeds, all-spice, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper powders, cinnamon stick, star anise, sugar, salt to taste, oil to fry and cook.

Cook lentils in water. Bring the water to boil and then cook for about 12 minutes. Keep lentils aside.
Meanwhile, slice onions somewhat fine. Mix salt and all purpose flour to coat onions.

Heat enough oil to fry onions.  Fry onions to brown on medium heat in batches. 

Drain the onions in colander lined with paper towel.

In the same pan, take enough oil (remove if excess), fry the whole spices, add rice, powder spices, salt, sugar. Mix well to coat the rice well.

Pour hot water.

Cook until most of the water is absorbed, add drained lentils.

Cover and cook on very low flame

Serve the rice & lentils with chopped cilantro and the fried onions.:)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Oats vegetable pulao

Start with heating 3 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp ghee, add about 10 cashew halves, 5 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon stick, 4-5 cardamom pods, 1 star anise, 1 tsp jeera. Fry until aroma comes out of the spices. Add 2 cups steel cut oats, mix well and fry until oats leave nutty aroma. Add 2 cups of mixed vegetables - including onions, 5 whole green chilies (optional)and green pepper pieces, salt to taste, mix well and cook for 5 minutes. Add 1 tsp each garam masala, coriander seed powder and red chili powder (reduce quantity of red chili powder if less spiciness is preferred)

Meanwhile, bring 3 -4 cups of water to boil.  Water quantity depends in how dry the pulao is desired.

Pour the heated water over the oats and vegetables. Mix well, adjust salt, bring down the flame to low and quickly cover the pan. Cook for 10-12 minutes.

Mix gently, serve with chopped cilantro sprinkled, and any yogurt raita.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saffron and Tarragon flavored Tortellini Soup: Weekend Herb blogging

It's been a long time I posted a proper post. Been crazily busy, nevertheless, the things in the kitchen been interesting as ever although a bit efficient :-) All this cooking should improve something, right? ;)

We could feel Fall temperatures yesterday night and a hearty soup is totally called for. It was an impromptu thing, which I made before and was not very impressed about the flavor. So, this time, after a quick search thru my spice and herb stash, found two great ingredients - saffron, tarragon - that can make any chicken dish come any season.

So, here it is. My entry for Weekend Herb Blogging # 307  brainchild of Kalyn and graciously hosted this week by Lynne from Cafe Lynnylu. I cannot believe WHB is in 300's now. Wow!! Kudos to both Kalyn and Haalo

What you need to make this satisfying and healthy soup:

1/2 lb tortellini - I used Barilla spinach and cheese
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped (remove the rough veins before chopping)
1/2 yellow squash or zucchini, roughly slices (optional)
1 Quart low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
a pinch saffron
1 tablespoon fresh  or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
Salt and freshly ground pepper as needed

How to make the soup:
  • Heat oil/butter on medium-high, add onions, carrot, celery, saffron and a little salt. Saute for a minute. Add tarragon, black pepper, saute for 30 seconds
  • Add chicken broth, bring to boil. Adjust salt if needed, add tortellini. Cook for the time mentioned on the package. Add squash, cream and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (to revive all the flavors). Simmer for 2 minutes
  • For croutons: Instead of using store-brought bread croutons, I just removed the outer layer of a jalapeno bagel, chopped into cubes, pan-fried in a tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Serve the soup topped with croutons and enjoy!
Note: This soup can be doubled, just double the ingredients. A pinch of saffron goes a long is not necessary to double that.
Also, pieces of left-over rotisserie chicken (white-meat) can be added with squash pieces.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pasta with favabeans

Found these babies among other interesting items like green almonds, various fruits & veggies that are prominent in Mideast cooking at the local specialty store. 

  • Open 2 lbs of pods to get the beans, blanch them quickly in sales boiling water, shock them in cold water, peel outer layer, keep aside
  • Cook 1 lb pasta per instructions on the package
  • Meanwhile, heat 2Tbsp evoo, add about 15 - 20 cherry tomatoes and 5 cloves of garlic, minced, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add fava beans, salt, pepper, sauté for a minute. Add cooked pasta and 1/2 cup pasta water.
  • Take out from heat, add 2 Tbsp basil pesto and mix gently.
  • Serve with shaved Parmesan and a drizzle of evoo. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

India Snapshot

Pictures taken in India -AP

Diwali lights

decorated bull - helping owner to gain livelihood

Fruit on-board

slight rain made street almost deserted

late afternoon traffic

corner shoe repair shop

street-side vendor - selling jackfruit

jackfruit segments - yum!

Sapota - sweet & juicy

Sapota flesh

Samosa - perfect snack with afternoon Chai

Saturday, February 28, 2009

RCI - Andhra Festival Foods Round-up

(after 7 month delay)
First, apologies for all the bloggers who submitted their entries, waited patiently for couple of weeks, lost hope later. Thank you for your entries, patience and hope.
Back to, no, dusting off the blog first ;)

Here is the delicious round-up on Andhra Festival Foods: I have sorted the entries by the festivals in the order they are celebrated in a year.


Blogger: Trupti
Blog: Recipe Center
Festival Dish: Puran Poli / Bobattu

Blogger: Pallavi
Blog: All Thingz Yummy
Festival Dish: Sorghum/Jowar/Bajra/Jonna Murukulu

Blogger: Raaga
Blog: The Singing Chef
Festival Dish: Puli Saadam

Blogger: Srivalli
Blog: Cooking 4 all Seasons
Festival Dish: Borrelu, Garelu, Kudaalu

Blogger: Uma Priya
Blog: Essence of Andhra
Festival Dish: Wheat Laddu

Ugadi/Telugu-Kannada New Year

Blogger: Padma Rekha
Blog: Plantain Leaf
Festival Dish: Sajjappalu

Blogger: Pallavi
Blog: All Thingz Yummy
Festival Dish: Lenthil Stuffed Sweet Flat Bread/Bakshalu/Bobbatlu/Obbattu/Poli

Blogger: Raaga
Blog: The Singing Chef
Festival Dish: Puli Saadam

Blogger: JZ
Blog: Tasty treats
Festival Dish: Kajjikayalus

Blogger: Srivalli
Blog: Cooking 4 all Seasons
Festival Dish: Borrelu, Garelu, Kudaalu

Blogger: Trupti
Blog: Recipe Center
Festival Dish: Masala Vada

Shri Ram Navmi

Blogger: Meera
Blog: Enjoy Indian Food
Festival Dish: Panagam

Vinayaka Chavithi/Ganesh Chaturdhi

Blogger: Sireesha
Blog: Mom’s Recipies
Festival Dish: Undrallu

Blogger: Andhra Flavors
Blog: For Spicy Lovers
Festival Dish: Jiledikayalu

Vara Lakshmi Vratam:

Blogger: Asha Arvind
Blog: Foodie’s Hope
Festival Dishes: Sojjappalu, Dhapalam, Poori and Murukku


Blogger: Padma Rekha
Blog: Plantain Leaf
Festival Dish: Sajjappalu


Blogger: Srivalli
Blog: Cooking 4 all Seasons
Festival Dishes: Karjikayalu or Kajjikayalu
and Borrelu, Garelu, Kudaalu

Blogger: Divya Vikram
Blog: Dil Se..
Festival Dish: Athirasam


Blogger: Andhra Flavors
Blog: For Spicy Lovers
Festival Dish: Haleem