Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Black and White Wednesday #80 {Burnt Roti over Griddle, Artistic patterns of black circles from burnt Roti/Chapati.}

This is my fifth image submission for Black and White Wednesday event #80,  24th April, 2013.This week I am submitting the image of burnt roti over griddle. Preparing rotis/chapatis is everyday chore for an Indian woman, every rolled roti  gets a distinct pattern of burnt marks. Patterns are  based on type of gas stove, metal type of the griddle, dough ingredients, texture and thickness of rolled roti.  Last week while preparing roti I  rushed to get phone call and forgot about roti, in few moments roti got burnt, it turned smoky around griddle. I quickly flipped  the roti and saw beautiful pattern of black rounds, It was catchy enough to take picture. Roti turned too hard and was not edible. I added it to my  collection of burnt rotis. One day I plan to capture design patterns of burnt marks from fried roti/chapatis specially the burnt ones.

This week Anusha  from TomatoBlues is hosting the event. Susan, author of TheWell Seasoned Cook is a founder of this event. Now Cinzia of  Cindystarblog is a new admin for Susan's Black and White Wednesday event. For all guidelines  and an index of  all future hosting blogs please check Cinzia's  post  here. Participants can join Flickr group created for B&W event. Next event (BWW #81, 1st May-2013) will be hosted by Lynne at cafelynnylu.

Design patterns of Burnt Roti over Griddle.

Black and White Wednesday Event #80

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Black and White Wednesday #79 {Chana Dal and Barley Payasam.}

This is my fourth image submission for Black and White Wednesday event #79, 17th April, 2013. This week Shruthi from food and clicks is hosting the event. Susan, author of TheWell Seasoned Cook is a founder of this event. Now Cinzia of  Cindystarblog is a new admin for Susan's Black and White Wednesday event. For all guidelines  and an index of  all future hosting blogs please check Cinzia's  post  here. Participants can join Flickr group created for B&W event.

Next event (BWW #80) will be hosted by Anusha at Tomato Blues.

My following two images are taken last week end while preparing Chana Dal and Barley payasam for Vishu Festival. I cooked this Payasam/kheer in a slow cooker. It took  around 5 hours to prepare payasam. Click here to check original images and recipe for Chana Dal Kheer.

South Indian festival Sweet - Payasam

Cooking Chana Dal and Barley payasam in Slow cooker.

Black and White Wednesday Event #79

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Barley and ChanaDal Payasam / Kheer, sweetened with jaggery, cooked in slow cooker. {Sweet dish for Vishu celebrations.)

This year for Vishu festival I made Chana dal and Barley Payasam in slow cooker, this is my first attempt to cook Kheer/Payasam in slow cooker. It takes around 5-6 hours to cook and result is very delicious. Each grain cooks perfectly tender and retains its shape. You need to do few time supervision other wise it gets quietly cooked in the corner of the kitchen without feeling any stress. Earlier I have blogged similar jaggery payasam recipes with different combinations one is  Barley and cracked wheat payasam and another one is Wheat,Chanadal,Brown rice payasam. Scroll down to check few slow cooker images captured while preparing payasam.

Ingredients :
  • 2 - Cups Chana Dal / Kadla Parippu
  • 3/4 - Cups Barley (I used pearled barley.)
  • 10-12 - cardamoms - finely powder seeds
  • 3 - heaped cups jaggery tiny chunks or powdered jaggery
  • 5-6 Tb.spoon - Ghee
  • 6-7 Tb.spoon sugar or brown sugar (use if needed more sweetness)
  • 3/4 Cup - cashew nuts ( few whole cashews and few chopped cashews.)
  • 1/2 Cup - golden raisins
  • 3/4 Cup - grated fresh coconut
  • 1/2 Cup - thinly sliced small coconut pieces.(Check garnish over kheer bowl)
  • 7-8 Cup - water
Method of cooking  Payasam in slow cooker :
  1. Combine chana dal and barley together in a bowl, rinse well until water runs clear. Soak in water for around 3 hours. Pre-soaking is not must but it will help to reduce some cooking time. (I soaked only for one hour)
  2. Break jaggery blocks into small chunks or make coarse powder. I put my jaggery blocks inside  thick freezer zip lock bag and pounded with hammer to make small jaggery chunks.
  3. Remove cardamom seeds from the pod, grind to fine powder. I used mortar and pestle to make powder. Another method is add cardamom seeds in a small ziploc bag, cover it with one more bag, place on the flour and pound with hammer until seeds are crushed to powder texture.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a tiny saute pan, just hot not smoking hot. Add golden raisins in two batches, stir fry in ghee stirring with  small slotted spoon until raisins puff and turn golden brown. Quickly drain over paper towel.
  5. Now add 3/4 cup grated coconut in the same saute pan, slow roast coconut until it turns aromatic and golden brown, about 3-4 minutes, transfer to bowl and keep it aside.
  6. Wipe the pan with paper towel, heat 1 tbsp ghee, add sliced small coconut pieces, roast until they turn golden brown. Take it out in a small bowl.
  7. In the same saute pan add some more ghee, add cashew nuts in two batches, stir fry over medium low heat until they get light brown color. Drain over paper towel.
  8. In a slow cooker add 1 tsp ghee, drained chana dal and barley, 4 cups water. Set on high heat and let cook for 3 hours. Check after half an hour, stir, if it gets too foamy in the cooking process, remove foam. After three hours Dal and Barley will get perfectly tender. If it absorbs all water, do add some water while cooking and stir at some interval.
  9. In the mean time heat 3 cups water in a  small pot, add 3 cups jaggery chunks and powder. Stir to melt jaggery. Strain jaggery water by using fine tea filter/strainer  or clean cotton cloth.
  10. Once Chana dal and barley gets tender, add cardamom powder and 3 cups of strained jaggery water, roasted coconut pieces, roasted grated coconut. Mix well, continue cooking in slow cooker over high heat for one more hour.
  11. Check consistency, if needed add one cup or more water. Check sweet level, if needed add 6-7 tbsp sugar or brown sugar. Reduce heat setting to low and let it simmer for another one hour. If you need thick creamy texture, swirl around with immersion  blender for 20-30 seconds, this will partially break tender cooked chana dal, barley and bring  thick pulpy texture.
  12. Lastly add fried golden raisins, cashew nuts, 1 tbsp ghee. Mix well, let it rest in slow cooker until you are ready to serve. You can serve this payasam warm by drizzling melted ghee or add some milk to enjoy delicious tasting Jaggery sweetened Chanadal-Barley Payasam.

Cooking Chana Dal and Barley Kheer in a Slow cooker.[Image-1]

  chanadal and barley set  in water to start cooking.[Image-2]

While cooking in slow cooker it gets foamy.[Image-3]

Perfectly tender cooked Chana Dal and Barley.[Image-4]


Adding jaggery water and cardamom.[Image-6]

Kheer is  ready after 5 hours of slow cooking.[Image-7]

Kadala Parippu Payasam

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Black and White Wednesday #78 { Mini cucumber Stir fry in Tomatillo and Cilantro stems gravy}

This is my third entry for Susan's Black and White Wednesday event #78, April 10, 2013. Aparna from MydiverseKitchen is hosting this event. Susan, author of TheWell Seasoned Cook is a founder of this event. Now Cinzia of  Cindystarblog is a new admin for Susan's Black and White Wednesday event. For all guidelines  and an index of  all future hosting blogs please check her post  here. Participants can join Flickr group created for B&W event. Next event (BWW #79)will be hosted by Shruthi at food and clicks.

I am contributing following two images  to Black and White Wednesday Event - Week #78  April 10, 2013  which is being hosted by Aparna at MyDiverseKitchen.

This  ingredient image is  taken while preparing stir fry with mini snacking cucumbers. Gravy base is made with cilantro stems and Tomatillos. It is spiced with Serrano pepper and ginger, This is sattvik  dish because onion, Garlic and Garam Masala is not used. Click here to see posted Recipe.

Image of mini cucumber subzi in Tomatillo and cilantro gravy.

Black and White Wednesday Event #78

Sattvic sabji with Tender mini snacking cucumbers in Tomatillo and Cilantro stem dry gravy...Spiced with ginger and Serrano Pepper.

I got extra small snack sized cucumbers from Costco, these are grown in green house by Mucci Farms  and are marketed as "CuteCumbers" They are very crunchy and tasty. Today I made stir fry with these extra tiny cucumbers. I skipped use of onions and cooked this subzi  in Tomatillo  and ground Cilantro stem gravy, spiced it with Ginger and Serrano pepper. Tomatillos bring nice sourness to subzi, I added little brown sugar to balance sour and spicy taste.

Ingredients :
  • 8-10 - Extra tender baby cucumbers, slice in round shapes ( 2 heaped cups)
  • 4-5 - Tiny Tomatillos - chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 - Tender Serrano pepper. chopped (any green chili can be used)
  • 3/4 Cup - chopped cilantro stems
  • 1.5 Cup - tightly packed chopped cilantro leaves
  • 3 inch - piece of ginger - crushed to coarse texture.
  • 12-15 - Curry leaves
  • 1 Tb.spoon - Oil
  • 1 Tb.spoon - jaggery or brown sugar

Method of preparation :
  1. Combine chopped cilantro stems and 1 cup chopped cilantro in a small blender jar, crush to coarse mixture without adding water.
  2. Combine ginger pieces and chopped Serrano pepper in a small blender jar, crush to coarse mixture without adding water, alternatively you can grate ginger and finely chop Serrano pepper. For less heat use regular green chili.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a open shallow saute pan. Add crushed ginger-chili mixture, 6-7 curry leaves, saute over medium heat for 1.5 minutes or until ginger slightly starts to turn brown. Next  add chopped Tomatillos, saute over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Now add sliced cucumber rounds, little salt, mix well, continue to saute over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup water and cook until water evaporates and cucumber slices are cooked tender, do stir frequently.
  5. Add mixture of cilantro stems and leaves,  remaining curry leaves, 1 tbsp brown sugar,adjust salt level, mix well .If required add 2-3 tbsp water, continue to cook for 3-4 minutes over medium low heat.
  6. Garnish with remaining chopped cilantro and serve over rice or eat with rotis. If you want to enjoy  zesty Cucumber-Tomatillo chutney/spread  just grind this subzi in a blender for 1-2 minutes, drizzle extra virgin olive oil before serving.

Earlier blogged cucumber recipes :

1) Persian cucumber stir fry with Tofu cubes
2) Cucumber Paratha/ Kakdi Paratha
3) Dosakai+Pickling cucumber subzi with split green peas.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Vine Sweet multicolor peppers,Snow peas & Matar subji with roasted peanuts. {Recipe for Indian style vegetable stir fry with mini sweet peppers,snow peas,green peas with roasted peanuts}

Fresh and good quality vegetables make delicious subjis. I got vine sweet mini multicolor peppers from Aldi store. Their vibrant color and sweet taste adds appeal to any dish. I made this subji by combining snow peas and green peas. This is very simple subzi recipe that calls for very few ingredients and does not use any masala powder, addition of  coarse crushed peanuts adds texture and unique taste.

Ingredients :
quantity good for three vegetable servings.
  • 10-12 -  Multi color  sweet peppers. Slice into round shape. (I used these - Master's Touch Vine sweet Mini peppers)
  • 2 Handful - whole snow peas, trim ends and slice into 1 inch pieces.
  • 1 - Medium size onion - finely chopped
  • 2 - green chilies finely chopped 
  • 1/2 cup - frozen green peas
  • 1/2 T.spoon - Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 Cup - Roasted skinless peanuts - crush half in tiny chunks and half grind to coarse powder.
  • 1/2 Cup - finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tb.spoon - oil

Directions to cook Sweet Peppers and Snow Peas Stir fry :
  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a open saute pan. Add chopped onions, saute over medium heat, stirring often. Once onions turn soft and translucent reduce heat to low, add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, continue to saute  3-4 minutes more or until onions start to  turn slight brown.
  2. Add chopped green chilies,  sliced snow peas, stir fry over high heat for 2 minutes, stirring often. Now add sliced rounds of sweet peppers. Sprinkle salt and continue to cook over medium heat. Add around 1/4 cup water at short intervals when pan dries out. Saute around 7-8 minutes.
  3. Next add roughly crushed peanuts, frozen green peas. Mix well, check salt level, add little chopped cilantro. Cook over medium low heat for 3-4 minutes. Shut off the heat, sprinkle remaining chopped cilantro. Serve over rice or eat with chapati. You can use this stir fry as wrap and sandwich filling.

Black and White Wednesday #77 {Sweet Tamarind from Thailand.}

This is my second entry for Black & White Wednesday #77, 3rd April, 2013. Haalo is hosting it at Cookallmostanything. This event was started by Susan at The Well-Seasoned Cook and now Cinzia will be managing it at Cindystarblog. Next B&WW event #78 will be hosted by Aparna at MyDiverseKitchen.

I have taken images of sweet tamarind from Thailand, these taste very sweet with no  hint of sourness. I will be making sweet tamarind and dates chutney to suit to old age diet and taste requirements. I have to make it less sour, less hot and rightly balance other chutney ingredients. I will blog chutney recipe later.

Sweet Tamarind Pods from Thailand.

Sweet Tamarind Pods.

Black and White Wednesday Event #77

Participants can join B&WW group at Flickr.