Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mooli daal

When I was growing up, I hated veggies. Well who didn't ? Sometimes when my mom would get exasperated, she would try tricks to get me eat my veggies. This one was a favorite of hers - mask the vegetables in dal or rice or mix it with something that I like in small quanties.
This Dal trick is something that I use on my kids too. Basically cut the radish really small (basically grated) and add to nearly cooked arhar dal towards the end. One thing that gives this trick away is the strong smell of the boiled radish. So if you really plan to trick your kid to try it, make sure you boil the Dal and radish long before the kids come back from school. Also my usual dal tadkas do not have any ghee it, but this needs a generous amount of ghee.
Here is a copy of the recipe as written out by her in my recipe the background of the picture....

1 small cup of Arhar/Toor Dal washed and soaked for a couple of hours
1 to 1-1/2 cup of grated Radish or mooli (I cut it larger for the picture here, it shouldn't be so large)
2 tea spoon ghee
2 tea spoon whole cumin seeds
pinch of hing
3-4 green chilies
handful of coriander leaves
Salt to taste

How To
Boil the arhar dal with salt and water. When it is nearly cooked, add grated radish and cook until both are cooked and mixed well.
Take a small separate pan,  heat it and add ghee to it.
Once it is hot, add green chilies, cumin seeds and Hing. Pour on the dal.
Garnish with coriander leaves.

Enjoy with rice or roti and feel gleeful if your kid slurps it up and asks for me. If your kid doesn't like it, there is always a next time!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dahi Bhindi (Okra in yogurt sauce)

My brother in law was over here for the Christmas holidays. Since he is a bachelor and has to cook and feed himself, he really looks forward to good home cooked food. While I am no match to my mother in law's skills, I do try to make him few things that he enjoys and are easy to make. While the kids get spoilt by Uncle, he relishes some of the typical Oriya dishes. Dahi Bhindi is an all time favorite of mine.

But I don't usually prepare Dahi Bhindi at home, since hubby is not that fond of it. But everyone enjoyed this this fried Okra in spicy yogurt sauce.


Okra with both ends chopped off - about 2 cups
1 cup of yogurt
1 tea spoon of mustard seeds
2-3 green chilies
handful of curry leaves
2-3 big garlic cloves grated/chopped
1-2 tea spoon of fried cumin seeds powder
pinch of black salt
salt to taste
1 tea spoon of oil

How To

Take a pan and heat oil in it. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, green chilies, grated/chopped garlic and the curry leaves.
Mix well and add the Okra and salt and cover and cook for 7-8 minutes until the Okra is soft.
Add the chopped/grated garlic and curry leaves and cook for 1 minute.
You can add some red chili powder now.
Take the yogurt, beat it well and add to the okra (after the okra has become colder).
Sprinkle dry roasted cumin powder (freshly ground) and black salt and serve.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Celebration with fruit cake

New Years time always puts me in a nostalgic frame of mind. I somehow always remember the good old days when I was young - really young. My dad was a fun loving person. He loved movies, Hindi movies. I have been watching Hindi movies since I was a year old I guess. Every Wednesday (or at least most Wednesdays) we would go to see a Hindi movie in the evening. Those were the days when there was no TV at home and so it used to be an evening to look forward to. During the intermission of the movie, papa would get a cold drink for me. After the movie, sometimes we went to eat chat! Life was so simple and blissful.

So here is to a simple and blissful fruit cake. Enjoy it when you want. It is easy to make though takes long to bake. And this fruit cake celebrates my 1st anniversary in the blog sphere. Again I feel blogging is a simple pleasure of my life and I am glad to be doing it, very therapeutic after a stressful day job. Thanks to everyone who listens to my ramblings here and also provides their thoughts comments. Your words and advise keeps me going.

Here is to sweet and lovely New Year - 2010.

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs separated
2 cups of candied fruit (tuti frutti)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup cashews
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tea spoon of baking powder
1 tea spoon vanilla essence (optional)
1/2 cup orange juice

How To
Soak the candied fruit in orange juice overnight.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Place a small pan of water in the oven.
Line one loaf pan and 1 small cake pan with aluminium foil. Grease it well.

Mix the flour with baking powder. (this is my 3 yr son's favorite job. I start with more than 2 cups of flour and end up with about 2 cups after he is done mixing/playing/throwing...).

Break the cashews into smaller pieces (this is also a job my son loves, wonder how much of it eats while breaking them)

In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar. (it doesn't have to beaten in a food processor as shown on food TV. Mix well with hand for 5 min).

But the egg whites have to be beaten well as shown on food TV. [This is where you get your family members to help - if you don't have an electric beater. You make it a family project. I do - since I don't have the electric beater and I think we all have loads of fun doing it]

Stir in beaten egg yolks and the soaked fruits and cashew and vanilla essence.

Fold in the flour into the batter. Add the additional juice left over from the soaked fruits, if needed.

Pout the batter into the pans and fill them 2/3 full.

Bake for 1 hr and then cover the cake with aluminum foil and bake for 1  more hours until golden brown.

Check if the cake is done by using the toothpick inserted in the center to check if it comes out clean.

Once baked, let the cake cool for 5 minutes, before diving in...