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Archive for March, 2011

Hummus

Hummus

Hummus is a creamy chickpea dip,served as an appitizer or snack with flat bread or pita.Hummus is an Arabic word for Chickpea.

Hummus is a popular Middle Eastern dip prepared with Chickpeas and seasoned with lemon juice,garlic and salt added tahini and olive oil and pureed.For spicy Hummus add red chilli or Cayenne Pepper a pinch ..

It is easy to buy Hummus at any store but Homemade is always the best,and you can adjust the taste or flavours  that suits your family…If using canned ones theres no cooking Absolutely..

I used the dried chicpeas, soaked overnight and then cooked till done.

Things you need

Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) – 100 gms

Tahini (Sesame Paste) – 4-5 tbsps

Olive oil – 2 tbsps

Garlic – 2 pods grated

Juice of  1 lemon

Salt to taste

Water – boiled and cooled 1/2 cup

Fresh coriander/Cilantro – a hand ful chopped

Red chilli powder – a dash

For Garnish

Olive oil – 2 tbsp

Red chilli powder  – a pinch to sprinkle

Fresh cilantro – 1 tsp chopped

Method

Soak the Chickpeas overnight and the next day drain and wash.Place in a vessel with enough water and boil with a little salt till done .Do not overcook.

When done drain and cool the chickpeas and place in a blender or food processor and add all the remaining ingredients and run the blender scrape the sides  in between and add water to run easily and pureed.

Move to the serving dish or small platter and slightly make a shallow well in the middle and pour the olive oil and sprinkle red chilli powder and cilantro.

Hummus Served with Flat Bread

Serve with warmed flat bread or pita.Hummus can be used as a dip or spread.The chickpeas are high in protein and Tahini made of sesame is an antioxidant.This is a nutritious dish served with veggies too.

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Oven Roasted French Beans and Potatoes with Garlic Chilli Flakes

Oven Roasted French Beans and Potatoes with Garlic and Chilli Flakes

 

This is another Roasted Vegetable Dish…Prepared using French Beans,Potatoes,Garlic,Chilli Flakes and Olive Oil..This is simple and baking is fun…ofcourse Baking is Roasting ..Roasting is Baking…Because We use the Same Oven,Same Settings,Same Dishes or Trays but only thing is while baking we do not stir or disturb the dish whereas While Roasting We can stir or turn the things that are Roasted and Browned…..

Thing needed for this dish are

French Beans – As many as you wish…I used approx 500gms

Potatoes 2-3 med peeled and washed.

Garlic pods – 2 big grated

Red Chilli flakes – 1 tsp

Black Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp freshly ground

Salt to taste

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 2 tbsps

Prepare vegetables by cutting beans into 2” pieces diagonally or as you like after removing edges and washing and cut potatoes into wedges.

Place them in the Baking Tray or You can use Pyrex Glass Dish.

Veggies in the Roasting Tray.

 

Now sprinkle chilli flakes and grated garlic over the veggies.

Veggies with Garlic and Chilli flakes sprinkled

Drizzle olive oil and add salt and toss well.

Pre-heat oven to 240 degrees C and place the Tray in the Bottom rack of the oven and Bake (Roast)..Stir every 5-10 mins till browned on all sides Take care  while stirring as the oven is hot Use the mitten and long spatula. Sprinkle pepper powder just before you remove out of the oven and stir.

 

Roasted Veggies

Falafel – A Chickpea Patty (Israel’s National Food)

Falafel is said to be first made in Egypt,dating back to Biblical Times and originating somewhere on the Indian subcontinent  is made of soaked chickpeas ground with few other ingredients and deep fried and is claimed as “The National Snack or Food” of Israel…So Interesting and Excited about this I tried this and I can tell you This is the Best Snack you can make easily.
This Meditteranian food is very popular all over the Middle East,Served as a traditional dish perfect as a treat or snack or filling maincourse.Served as street food or fastfood in Cairo…Even here in the Middle east..
Mostly Served with Hummus, and Tabouleh(Salad of Burghol,Parsely,onion and tomato)  with falafel broken into small pieces and served in pita pockets or wrapped makes a filling vegetarian dish.Used to replace meat .This is a part of Jewish Cuisine.The Egyptians Derived the word Falafel from Arabic word Filfil (Pepper)
I feel this resembles the Masala wada made in South India, but the Ingredients are quite different.Try to get the real taste of this Snack.
Falafel
Things you need to prepare
Chick peas – 200 gms soaked overnight and drained.
Onion – 1 small chopped roughly
Garlic – 2 cloves grated
Parsely – a handful chopped
Fresh Coriander – a handful chopped
Green chilli – 1-2 deseeded and chopped
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Coriander Seeds – 1 tsp
Salt as per taste
Baking soda – 1 pinch
Black pepper – 1/4 tsp
Oil for deep frying
1 Bun or 2 white Bread slices soaked in water

Method
Soak the chickpeas overnight and drain,When not using immediately keep the chickpeas along with little water in the refrigerator after rinsing.
Chickpeas soaked and Drained
Now divide into half and place one half of the chickpeas in the mixer jar or food processor and add onion and garlic and grind coarsely scraping the sides in between and remove into a mixing bowl.
Take another half of the chickpeas and add chopped herbs(parsley and fresh coriander),slightly crushed cumin,coriander seeds and pepper. and grind coarsely.
Ground Chickpeas with other Ingredients
Squeeze the water out of the bread and add to the mixing bowl along with salt and baking soda.Knead well with your palms and keep .
Chickpea mixture ready for patties
Now make patties with your palms as you wish mostly the Falafel looks like slightly flattened balls.

Chickpeas Patties

Heat oil for deep frying and fry in batches till golden brown.
Serve hot with Tomato  Sauce or Ketchup or Traditional Hummus….

Falafel with Tomato Ketchup


Idlis with Twosome Tomato Garlic Chutney

Idlis with Twosome Tomato Garlic Chutney

Idlis are always welcome by everyone be it kids or elders or anybody,as they are soft and easily digestible and can be taken even when you are sick.They are Energy Boosters to start your day,and that too with a tasty chutney…..who would say No…

Try this combination of chutney with Idlis…Slight variation from Normal peanut  or coconut chutney.

Here I prepared Idlis with Batter of urad dal and boiled rice,they came out so well and soft…before I used dosa batter only for Idlis too even they are soft so its your wish to do whatever pleases you to your comfort and Family Tastes….

To prepare Idli Batter

Boiled rice  – 3 1/2 cups

Urad dal – 1 1/2 cups

Cooked rice or Poha (Atukulu) –  1/2 cup

Method

Wash both rice and dal together and soak for about 8 hrs,As we are using Boiled Rice it needs a longer soaking time .

Now drain and grind  coarsely adding cooked rice or soaked poha.

Keep in a tight and large container for fermentation.Atleast 6-8 hrs.Or overnight.

The next day take how much you need and add salt,1 pinch of baking soda and 2tsps of water and mix well.

Grease the Idli trays and pour batter into each tray and stack in the idli cooker and steam for about 12-15 mins.

Open and let stand for 5 mins so that they come out well.Remove each Idli carefully and place into a hot box or dish covered.

Serve with this Tomato Garlic Chutney and Ghee if desired…

See chutney recipe in Chutneys and pickles Category…

Twosome Tomato Garlic Chutney

Twosome Tomato Garlic Chutney

Why I named this as twosome is because of the usage of two two similar ingredients combined with garlic.This is the best chutney that goes with Idlis (South Indian Breakfast)..Rice and Lentils steamed cakes and a drizzle of ghee makes your Day..

Things you need for this Chutney are

Tomatoes – 5 med chopped

Tamarind – small marble size

Chana dal(Split garbanzo peas) – 2 tbsps

Urad dal (black gram split) – 2 tbsps

Green chillies – 3-4

Red dry chillies – 3-4 deseeded

Oil – 2 tsps

Salt to taste

Garlic – 1 clove sliced

Method

Heat oil in a pan and fry the chana and urad dal for 2-3 mins till slightly brown and good aroma could be smelled.And add the chopped green and red chillies to the pan and fry 1 min.

Dals and Chillies Frying in the Pan

Now add the chopped tomatoes and drop the washed tamarind and stir.

Cover cook till tomatoes are soft and done.

Tomatoes and Tamarind Added and cover Cooked

Turn off the Heat and let cool,now move to a mixer jar and add the sliced garlic and salt and grind to a smooth chutney.

Twosome Tomato Garlic Chutney

Transfer into a serving bowl and drizzle Hot ghee for extra taste…Here I have’nt used.

Tomato Garlic Chutney with Idlis

Serve with Hot Steamed Idlis for Morning Breakfast.

See also the Category of South- Indian Breakfasts  for Idli or Dosa Recipes.

Oven Roasted Vegetables

Oven roasted Vegetables

I had a few colourful Bell peppers,Eggplant and tender Pink Radishes so…Thought of preparing this easy and enjoyable tasty colourful dish.I feel there  is no rule here for this dish to use these veggies only…you can try any combinations you wish…like

1.Beets,Turnips,Carrots,Potatoes or Parsnips

2.Asparagus,Green Beans,Broccoli,Brussels sprouts,Cauliflower or Cabbage….

3.Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash…And so on….in any desired combinations…but keep in mind the soft veggies cook in less time and hard veggies take longer time..so choose your veggie combinations accordingly to get everything right and evenly cooked.

Roasted Vegetables make a great  accompaniment to main dish or meat dish.Roasting brings out the natural flavours of the veggies.They are appealing to the eye ,to touch or taste…They turn brown on edges and crisp in texture…Just by using olive oil or vegetable oil ,salt,pepper and fresh herbs like (Cilantro or mint or thyme or Basil or Oregano or Dill or Rosemary…..so on) as you wish fresh or dried…Try and Experiment.

Things I used for this Dish are

Diced Red,Yellow,Green,Orange Bell Peppers,Tender Pink Radishes, Eggplant,and Red Onion.

Eggplant – 1 med Wash cut into cubes and place in salted water.

Red,yellow,green and orange bell peppers – 1 each Remove stem,deseed and cut into 1″ dices

Onion – 1 large chop into large chunks and seperate petals.

Pink radishes – 10 remove edges and cut into quarters.

For Dressing

Olive oil – 2 tbsps

Salt and Pepper for taste

Fresh Herbs – I used Cilantro/Coriander

Mix all the four ingredients  in a small bowl and keep.

Method

After preparing the vegetables place them all together in a large bowl of salt water for 15 mins to hydrate them so that they don’t turn so dry when roasted.

Now drain and Place in the roasting pan or baking tray in a single layer.

Veggies in the tray and Dressing

Pour the dressing over and toss well.

Well tossed veggies in the dressing

Pre-heat oven to 240 degrees c and place the tray in the lower rack to roast in the oven.

Tray in the Oven

Turn them once in 5-10 mins to get cooked and browned all over. it takes about 20-30 mins to finish.

Ready to Serve Roasted Vegetables

If using root veggies it may take another 10 more mins.

Serve with cilantro garlic mayo and pita bread for a great dinner.

Served with cilantro garlic mayo and pita bread (Arabic Flat Bread)

Roasting and Grilling is not limited to one region or area but everybody enjoys this by preparing on the open charcoal grill in summers and roasting in the ovens indoor in winters.

Drumsticks and Potato Curry

Drumsticks and Potato Curry

Ingredients

Oil – 3 tbsps

Cloves – 3

Cinnamon – 1 ” piece

Onion – 3 (2 make paste,1 chop finely)

Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp

Tomato – 3 med finely chopped

Drumsticks – 5-6 wash and peel chop into 1″ pieces

Potatoes – 2 med scrub surface and cut into quarters

Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp

Red chilli powder – 1/2 – 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp

Curry leaves – few

Water – 1 1/2 cups of water

Method

Wash and peel the Drumsticks and chop into small pieces,Wash the potatoes well,keep the skin on and chop into four pieces.

Heat a kadai and pour oil as it gets heated drop the cloves and cinnamon,immediately add the chopped onion and fry till light brown.

Then add the ginger garlic paste and fry 2-3 min,add onion paste and fry till the mixture turns brown, then the prepared drumsticks and potato to the kadai.

Stir for 3 mins and sprinkle the powder spices and salt stir well to combine  and coat,cook 2 mins and add the chopped tomatoes and curry leaves and cover cook on med heat till tomato is soft.

Now add water and mix and cover cook till done.

Serve with rice and dal or tempered buttermilk.

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