Saturday, March 22, 2008

Whole Cauliflower or 'Gobi Musallam'

A very Happy Holi and Easter to all of you wonderful bloggers! We had a wonderful brunch at home yesterday with a few close friends and although we didn't play with colours, we made sure to make up for it by eating most of the traditional holi foods. I will be posting a longish one on that next - for now, wanted to share this easy recipe for cooking whole cauliflower or "Gobi Musallam". Makes for a nice change from the usual gobi recipes.


1. One whole medium cauliflower or 4 baby cauliflowers with stems removed.
2. One tsp each kashmiri chillie powder, aamchur (dry mango powder), turmeric powder and salt to taste mixed to a paste for the marinade.
3. Four green chillies slit and stuffed with kalonji (nigella) seeds:

4. Two tbsp tomato paste.
5. One tsp each red chillie powder and cumin seeds (jeera) powder for the gravy.
6. Half a cup beaten yoghurt.
7. Two tbsp corn/olive oil.
8. Half a cup water.


1. Apply the marinade (Ing 1) all over the cauliflower taking care to rub the paste between the stalks as well. Leave aside for 10 minutes.
2. Heat the oil in a deep pan and brown the marinated gobi on all sides. Keep aside.

3. In the same pan, add the stuffed green chillies and allow the seeds to pop - about 15 seconds.
4. Now add the tomato paste and dry masalas (Ing 5) and fry well.
5. Add half a cup of water and bring to a boil.
6. Gently place the browned cauliflower in the gravy. Cover tightly with a lid and simmer on dum (place the pan on top of a heavy griddle or tava to achieve this effect) till cooked but not mushy.
7. Remove the lid, pour the beaten yoghurt over the gobi and cook for two minutes while gently mixing the curds through.
8. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with phulkas and yellow moong dal.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Broken wheat porridge

Burghol or broken wheat

is really versatile in the number of things one can do with it. Not to mention that its nutrition quotient is quite high. My favorite way to eat it is as the following savory porridge at breakfast.


1. One cup raw broken wheat.
2. One cup assorted chopped fresh or frozen vegetables.
3. One tbsp cooked chickpeas or fava beans (optional) to increase the protein level in this meal.
4. One each sliced onion and tomato.
5. Any herb of your choice - I used a pinch of crushed dried basil.
6. Salt and pepper as per taste.
7. Yoghurt as an accompaniment.


1. Place all the ingredients except the yoghurt and cooked beans in a pressure cooker. (This can also be made in a saucepan. Boil till the burghol is cooked and vegetables just done).
2. Cover with water.
3. Cook under pressure till single whistle.
4. Open the lid and mix the beans if using.
5. Serve in bowls topped with a dollop of yoghurt or grated cheese.

The great thing about this porridge is that you can use just about any assortment of available vegetables. This can also be eaten topped with dal.

Friday, March 14, 2008


The other day I was chatting with the ubiquitous 'T' who helps me around the house and I told her about some apple jalebis that I had recently eaten. She said "Apple jalebis!?" ... "so dosa ittu inda nu mada bahud alla?" ... which is Kannada for, "if someone can make jalebis out of apples, then I can definitely make them using dosa batter!". And she did. I kid you not. I came home from work one evening and found them all ready to be soaked into sugar syrup sitting on the kitchen counter. She's obviously made these before, but I was suitably impressed. I made a second batch the other day under her guidance and they were pretty good.

Most of us usually have some extra dosa batter in the fridge on any given day, but for those who need to make from scratch, here goes:

For the batter:
1. Three cups of any branded boiled rice.
2. One cup basmati rice.
3. One cup white urad dal.
4. Forgot to mention this - a pinch of orange food colour.

If idli rice is available in your local grocery, you could substitute Ing 1&2 for 4 cups of that instead.

For the sugar syrup:
1. One cup sugar.
2. One cup water.
3. One tsp crushed cardamom.

Boil the sugar and water together in a pan till you get a "one string" consistency. i.e. when the mixture starts to become syrupy, test a small amount between your thumb and fore finger - if the syrup binds enough to form a "string", take the pan of the heat. Add the cardamom and keep aside.

1. Soak the rice and lentils separately in water for a few hours.
2. Drain the water from the dal and grind using as little liquid as possible till fluffy. Keep aside.
3. Now grind the rice using a little water till fine but not too paste like.
4. Mix the two together well and keep in a warm place for a few hours (preferably overnight) for the batter to "rise". Add the orange food colour to the amount of batter being used for the jalebis.
5. Cut a tiny hole in a clean plastic sheet or piping bag, spoon in some of the batter and deep fry in hot oil in the shape of concentric circles.
6. Drain on kitchen towels and soak in the syrup for 15 minutes.
7. These can be served warm or cold with a glass of milk.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Savory pancakes with vegetable stir fry

School vacations have begun and that means fancy breakfasts for my son who needs many many things from hour to hour to keep him from bouncing off the walls! Involving him in the cooking process makes it one less activity for me to think of.

Looking through the many wonderful brekky ideas online I found Archana's latest post on pancakes and realised that it had been more than a month since I had made any - power of suggestion kicked in and I soon had the little tyke mucking around in the kitchen elbow deep in flour and generally keeping busy :).

Its difficult to get my husband to eat anything sweet or fruit based in the morning so I rummaged through my stock and found these:

Voila! Decided to rustle up a healthy stir fry with all those green vegetables and stuff them in the pancakes for a super filling breakfast - this would also mean a simple salad for office lunch instead of having to make a big meal. All in all, a winner in my book!

Pancakes : I took the recipe directly from here. I had never used baking powder in them before and I was happy to see that using it made the pancakes so much fluffier. Tx Archana :).

As these are not dessert crepes, don't brown them too much and make them as thin as possible by swirling the tava around so they can roll around the filling.

Stir Fry :

1. One cup assorted vegetables chopped lengthwise into thin strips. Cabbage and capsicum are essential for the taste.
2. One tsp light soya sauce.
3. A few cubes tofu or paneer (optional) seasoned with salt and pepper and kept aside.
4. One onion and few cloves garlic julienned into strips.
5. Thai sweet chilli sauce to taste.
6. Two eggs.
7. One tbsp olive oil.
8. One tsp sesame oil.
9. Chopped corriander or cilantro leaves.


1. Make thin pancakes and stack on a plate.
2. Heat the olive oil in a wok/deep pan and make a thin omlete with the two eggs. Set aside on a plate - roll and cut into long strips.
3. In the same pan, saute onions on garlic for 5 seconds on high heat and then add the soya sauce. Stir for a few seconds
4. Add the vegetables and toss for a few seconds till just crunchy.
5. Now add the tofu or paneer pieces and fry for 10 more seconds.
6. Season with salt, pepper, chili sauce and chopped corriander leaves.
7. Stir once to mix, add the sesame oil and omlete strips and finish by stirring one last time for a few more seconds.

8. Place some of the filling on one side of each pancake and roll.
9. Serve hot on a plate piled with the remaining stir fry.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Pesarittu with upma

This is a great recipe for when you have stored left over upma in the fridge - its also very filling and can be used for Sunday brunch. I learnt about this combination from my house help - she is from Andhra Pradesh (in South India) and this is apparently a regular breakfast staple there.

Pesarittu (green moong dal pancakes or dosas):


1. One cup whole green moong dal washed and soaked overnight in water.
2. Salt to taste.
3. A little oil for frying the dosas.


1. Grind the dal in a blender or dosa grinder with as much water from the soaking liquid as it needs to make a thick batter. Add salt to taste.
2. Take a spoonful of the batter and drop onto a heated gridle or tava to make a thick dosa or pancake.
3. Pour a tsp of oil over the dosa and turnover when the edges leave the tava.
4. Fry on the other side and flip over again.
5. Now place a generous helping of the upma on one half of the dosa and cover with second half (like making a stuffed omlette).
6. Leave on the tava for a few seconds to heat through and slide out on a serving plate.
7. This can be served with any chutney or pickle for a nutritious and filling breakfast.

Upma : Roast a cupful of semolina in a pan and remove from heat. Add a tbsp of oil in the same pan and crackle a few mustard seeds and curry leaves. Add one sliced onion and fry till transparent. Now add one sliced tomato and half a cupful of fresh or frozen chopped vegetables to the pan. Stir for a few seconds, add half a tsp turmeric powder and salt to taste, cover with water and bring to a boil. Now add the roasted rava and mix through to make a "lumpy" upma.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Rava Vade

Ingredients :

1. Half a cup or roughly 100 gms of semolina.
2. Half a cup of yoghurt.
3. One tsp each of chopped green chillies and corriander leaves.
4. One small onion chopped.
5. 1/2 tsp baking soda
6. Salt to taste.

Method :

1. Roast the semolina taking care that it doesn't change colour for two minutes.
2. Remove from heat and mix in the dry ingredients (no. 3 to 6).
3. Now add the yoghurt a little at a time to make a dough of roughly the following consistency. You can use more or less of the curds depending on the texture.

4. Wet hands with water, scoop out some of the mixture onto a square of cling film or a clean sheet of plastic and shape into flat vadas.

5. Carefully slide them one at a time into hot oil and deep fry.

These vadas are a great accompaniment with upma.