Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Announcing Serve It Series - Serve It - Griddled

This month's theme for Serve It series is Serve It - Griddled. Every cuisine has its own specialty of dishes cooked in griddle or tava. It is believed that the first cooking vessel used by man was a flat top or a griddle. Although griddle cooking is primitive, it is something that is used for quick cooking. The griddle was the preferred method of making bread, before the invention if ovens. Yes, most countries have ancient types of breads that were made on the griddle like the English Crumpet, the Mexican tortilla, the Indian paratha or the French Crepes. Griddle breads can be made using a batter or a dough, that have either been proofed or used as such. And let us not forget eggs and omelettes that can be made on the griddle.
So, why wait.. gird up the griddle, and start flipping..
Here are the guidelines for the event:
1. You may send in any entry that is made on a Pan, Tava or griddle.
2. Dosas, Rotis, Parathas, Pancakes, Crepes practically any dish made with a pan/griddle is allowed. But Curries, Noodles and Rice dishes are not allowed. Guess you got the idea.
3. Both Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian dishes are allowed, although no beef/pork/alcohol please.
4. Please link back to this announcement page and also to Denny's page here.
5. New entries are appreciated, however if you are sending archived entries, please re-post as latest (with a date in August 2012) and update with both the links to the announcement page and logo.
6. Usage of links and logo is mandatory.
7. Last date for submission of your entries is August 31, 2012.
8. To submit your entries, just link your entries using the linky tool below.
9. Non-bloggers also can send their entries with a picture to the below email-id.
10. If you have a problem in linking email us your problem to serveit[dot]series[at]gmail[dot]com. We will try to resolve it.
Note: If the entries are inappropriate to the theme, we would have to remove the entries from the linky sans notification. If there are other issues like link or logo missing we would definitely notify through email.
Linky for Griddled Entries:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu / Steamed Lentil dumplings in Coconut Tamarind Curry | Indian Curry Recipes

When I want to make something authentic and traditional, but want to try it in a totally different way, what do I do? I check out my fellow bloggers' page for inspiration and style. Well this recipe is one such attempt. Though I have my own (well not my own, my grandma's) Paruppu Urundai Kulambu recipe, I decided to try from Denny's page this time. This dish is DH's most favorite but ironically I don't make it that often, due to the process and effort involved. But when I decide to prepare it I make sure I put all effort and concentration while making this. Now to Denny's Paruppu Urundai Kulambu recipe.
For the Urundai/Lentil balls:
Toor dhal - 2/3 cups (~160 ml) - Wash and soak for minimum 1 hr
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dry Red chillies - 5 nos
Onion - 1 cup - chopped fine
Garlic - 1 clove - chopped fine
Cilantro - leaves from 4 twigs - chopped
Salt - 1/4 tsp or to taste
Grind to a paste/Masala:
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Fennel Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dry red chillies - 6 - 8 nos (based on spice level)
Grated Coconut - 1/4 cup
For the Curry:
Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Shallots / Sambar onions - 1 cup - peeled and halved (can substitute 1 cup of chopped regular onions)
Garlic - 5 cloves - sliced thin
Tomatoes - 2 (~1-1/2 cups) - chopped fine
Tamarind extract - 1/4 cup thick / from a lime sized tamarind
Make the masala:
Grind the ingredients under grind to a paste into a smooth paste adding water as needed.
Steam the Lentil balls:
Take the soaked dhal, fennel seeds, cumin seeds and dry red chillies in a blender and grind to a coarse mixture. Transfer the coarsely ground contents to a bowl and add the onions, garlic, coriander leaves and salt. Mix well and make small lime sized balls. Steam the balls in a bamboo/idli steamer for 10-15 mins. A toothpick test would help to know the doneness.
When the paruppu urundais are steaming, in a wide bottomed kadai, heat oil and add mustard seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds splutter add the shallots and garlic cloves and fry in medium heat until it turns translucent. Add the tomatoes with a pinch of salt and cook in med-high heat until it turns mushy. Now add the ground masala with a cup or two of water and salt to taste. Allow it to boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tamarind extract and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. At this stage, check for salt and then drop the steamed balls slowly into the curry. Let it absorb the flavors of the curry for 5 minutes in low heat. If the curry is very watery, break one or two lentil balls with the ladle to thicken it.
Serve hot with steamed rice and enjoy!
Sending this droolworthy kulambu to the following events..Show me your HITS - Lentils & Legumes event by Sangeetha; Kalyani's Kitchen Chronicles - Only Vegan;

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ragi Idiyappam / Finger Millet String Hoppers / Idiyappam Upma | Upma Recipes

I love Idiyappam or anything steamed. They are so light on your tummy and healthy for your body. And to make it more healthy I use whole grains in my steamed items. This Ragi idiyappam is one such thing which I totally enjoyed making. This tastes so good and is totally guilt-free. Also check out the other steamed entries I made and loved like Idli, Fenugreek Idli, Pidi Kozhukattai, Poorna Kozhukattai.
For the Idiyappam:
Makes - about 16 Idiyappams
Ragi flour - 1/2 cup
Rice flour - 1/2 cup
Water - 1 cup
Salt - a pinch
Oil - 1/4 tsp
Needed: Idiyappam press
Boil water with salt and oil in a covered vessel. Sieve/mix the ragi flour and rice flour together. When the water comes to a rolling boil pour slowly to the flour mixture and mix continuously with a wooden spoon until all the flour comes together as a rough dough. Now sprinkle warm water if needed and mix so that there is no dry flour in the dough. Take the Murukky press/Idiyappam press with the idiyappam attachment. Stuff balls of this dough to the idiyappam maker and press away on a oiled idli plate. Repeat with the remaining dough and steam the idiyappam for 8-10 minutes.
For the Idiyappam Upma:
Serves - 2
Idliyappam - 10
Onion - chopped - 1 cup
Green chilli - 1 or 2 - based on spice level
Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - a twig
Salt - to taste
Allow the steamed idiyappam to cool to room temperature. Scramble with your fingers. Heat oil in a non-stick kadai and add the mustard seeds and urad dhal. When the mustard seeds splutter add the the curry leaves and green chilli. After about a minute add the chopped onions and saute until it is soft. Now add the salt to taste and the scrambled idiyappams. Mix gently in medium heat until the idiyappam is heated through and absorbs the flavor from the onion mixture, about 5 mins. Remove from heat and serve hot with coconut chutney. Tastes great without any accompaniment too. This makes a healthy and quick to make breakfast or evening snack.
Other Possible Ideas to serve Idiyappam:
After the idiyappams are steamed, allow them to cool a little and try these varieties.
1. Idiyappam with coconut milk and sugar
2. Idiyappam with grated coconut, sugar and ghee - My childhood favorite
3. Idiyappam with Idli podi and gingelly oil - DH's favorite
4. Idiyappam with coconut chutney or Spicy Tomato chutney
5. Idiyappam with Vegetable Kurma or Paya

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Vendhaya Keerai Kulambu / Methi leaves & Dhal Sour Curry

I love to add greens to any dish possible. It gives a new dimension of taste and increases the health quotient of the dish. Methi leaves are hard to come by here in US except during Spring/Summer. I never fail to pick a bunch of fresh greens when I find them. This time I was happy to find this fresh methi leaves during my grocery shopping. Was planning something different this time, but I realized that I hadn't posted Denny's Vendhaya Keerai Kulambu which I make often and is a favorite at home.
Toor dhal - 1/2 cup
Fresh Methi leaves / Fenugreek leaves - 1 small bunch - picked & cleaned
Onion - chopped - 1 cup
Garlic - 7-8 cloves - sliced
Tomato - 1 - chopped fine
Tamarind extract - 1/2 cup - Juice from tamarind about a size of a lime
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds / Methi / Vendhayam - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Jaggery - size of a blueberry - optional
Gingelly oil - 2 tbsp
Make a paste:
Channa dhal - 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Red chillies - 4
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp

Wash and soak the toor dhal for 30 mins. Dry roast the ingredients under for the spice mix one by one in medium heat. Make a paste in a blender adding water as required. Pressure cook the toor dhal with 2 cups of water, little salt and a pinch of turmeric powder for 1 whistle. Alternatively you could cook in a open vessel with water until cooked, but still holds its shape. Set aside.
Heat oil in a wide pan and add mustard seeds, methi seeds and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds splutter, add the chopped onion and garlic and saute until it turns soft. Add the tomato and a pinch of salt and saute until they turn mushy. Now add the freshly ground spice paste and mix in medium heat until the oil separates from the sides. Time to add the feneugreek leaves. Add the leaves and fry for a minute or so until it wilts. Pour the tamarind juice and allow it to boil. Transfer the cooked toor dhal to this mixture. Mix and check for salt and add if required. When it comes to a boil, add the jaggery and simmer the mixture for about 10-15 mins. This enables better melding of the flavors. Serve hot with steamed rice and papads!
Sending this kulambu to Show me your HITS - Lentils & Legumes event by Sangeetha; Kalyani's Kitchen Chronicles - Only Vegan.