Friday, 13 October 2017

Undi – Steamed Rice Dumplings



If you are one who feels breakfast is one of the most difficult meals to plan…read on. This dish from the Mangalore Konkan belt does not require any pre-soaking, grinding or preplanning. When you find yourself lost as to what to dish up for breakfast and like to stir clear or packaged breakfast items, you can rustle this up fairly soon. This is almost a beginner’s recipe using just a few ingredients.

This is my first try at this dish and next time round I will serve it with a coconut based chutney as I think it will taste best with that.

So let’s get down to the recipe…


 Ingredients

1 cup rice rava or idli rava,
½ a cup of grated coconut,
1 or 2 chopped red chillies,
1 tsp of mustard seeds,
A pinch of fenugreek seeds,
Some finely chopped curry leaves (optional),
1 tsp urad dal,
1 tbsp coconut oil,
Salt to taste

Method

Clean the idli rava to ensure there are no impurities.

Boil about 3 cups of water in a pan.

Heat oil in another pan and add the mustard seeds, when they start popping add the fenugreek seeds, urad dal and chopped red chillies. When the urad dal is light brown in colour add the chopped curry leaves and the idli rava. Fry this for about 3 minutes.

To this add the salt, grated coconut and the boiling water. At the same time keep stirring in one direction. Be careful at this stage to ensure there are no lumps. If you change the direction there is a possibility of lumps being formed.

Let the heat be low and continue the stirring till the paste is cooked and it reaches this consistency.

Let it cool a bit till it is easy to handle, do not let it cool completely. Form small balls on this mixture. You can also make a small depression in the centre like you see in the photograph.

Steam these in a steamer for about 15 mins. It is advisable to line your steamer with a cotton cloth so the undis do not become soggy.


This tastes best with a spicy coconut chutney.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Banana Flower Chutney



This is a recipe my mother learned from her aunt. I remember my mother making it when I was in school. She made it again the other day after a long time and we had it with idlis. Earlier it was used as an accompaniment to kanji or rice gruel, which was a meal quite often during her childhood days.

It is a very simple recipe which uses a very few basic ingredients. Since it uses the outer petals of the banana flower it is fibre rich.



Ingredients

3-4 banana flower petals,
2-3 garlic cloves,
A lemon sized ball of tamarind,
Red chillies to taste (we like it spicy so we used about 6 red chillies),
Rock salt to taste (you can use normal salt too),
3 tsps of coconut

Method

After you remove the outermost petals of the banana flower (which are generally discarded), the next few petals are what is used for this chutney.



Chop the banana flower petals to ease the grinding process, then grind it with the garlic cloves, tamarind, red chillies and rock salt. Once it is half ground add the coconut and grind it together. Ta da…it is ready.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Millets with Tomato


Millets have become like the ‘in thing’ these days. Everyone is trying to include them in their diet. I too purchased a pack of them thinking I should start including it in my diet. Not that I have not had them till now, but it has been an occasional thing, ragi dosa or roti sometime, bajra or jowar roti for the novelty sometime. But now I hope to include it in my diet more often. So here begins my millet journey with a tomato rice kind of dish but with millets. I have used barnyard millet for this recipe, but I guess it can be made with other millets too.




Ingredients

1 cup barnyard millet (or any other you prefer to use),
1 medium sized onion, chopped,
1 cup ground tomato,
2 green chillies,
1 heaped teaspoon sambar powder,
A large pinch of powdered turmeric,
½ tbsp groundnut oil,
½ teaspoon mustard seeds,
Few curry leaves

Method

Check the millets for any small stones or dirt. Wash it well, as they are very small grains it is better to wash it in either a sieve or a muslin cloth.

Place it in a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water and cook. After one whistle, lower the heat and cook for about 7-8 minutes on low heat. Switch off the heat and let the steam release on it’s own.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Once it crackles add the chopped onion, curry leaves and chopped green chillies. When the onion is transcluent add the ground tomato and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Then add the sambar masala, turmeric and salt. Cook till oil separates.



In the meanwhile, mix the millets gently and remove any lumps. Add this to the prepared masala and mix well.

You can have this just as is or if you want you can serve it with any sabzi or even raita and papad.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Arancini



Arancini is an Italian appetizer. If I were to deconstruct it – it is just rice balls with a chessy filling and a crisp exterior.

I must say I was pretty excited to try this. The hubby is very fond of all things cheesy and we have a lot of mozzarella currently in my refrigerator waiting to be used.



I read somewhere that Arancini are pretty bland, but I decided to up the spice quotient to suit our palates. Here is the recipe I used:

Ingredients

1 ½ cup cooked rice,
1 tsp oil + oil for deep frying,
1 tsp minced garlic,
Salt to taste,
Chilli flakes to taste ( I used them pretty generously),
Powdered black pepper to taste,
A large pinch of dried rosemary,
A large pinch of dried parsley,
¼ cup parmesan cheese,
Mozzarella cubes as required,
1 egg,
2 tbsp refined flour or as required,
2 tbsp breadcrumbs or as required

Method

Ensure the rice is soft. Heat a tsp of oil and add the minced garlic and saute for a few seconds. Switch off the heat. Add the rice, salt, red chilli flakes, powdered black pepper, rosemary and parsley. Mix this well using your hands. It is a good idea to mash the rice a bit to facilitate easy binding.

Now add in the grated Parmesan cheese and mix well.

Divide the rice mixture into equal sized balls. Roll the ball into a uniformly shaped ball and insert a mozzarella cube in the center and roll again. Ensure the cheese does not peep out from any side. Make all the balls similarly and refrigerate for sometime. I refrigerated it for about 2 hours. This is an extremely important step as this hardens the balls and it is easier to roll in the coating. It is less messy this way.

Beat the egg in a shallow dish.

Place the refined flour in another shallow dish.

In a third shallow dish place the breadcrumbs and mix in some salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a pan for deep frying. Take a ball dip in the egg mixture, then roll in the refined flour and finally in the bread crumb mixture.

Drop it in the hot oil and fry till golden brown. Repeat for all the other balls.

Best had hot or warm. Since I made it spicy we didn’t require any dip with it, but you can serve it with ketchup.