Friday, February 15, 2008

Daal Sowjanya

To go with the Aloo Parathas, I made my quick mint chutney and daal (lentils). At the end we called it "Daal Sowjanya". Why? Here's how it went down.

Prabu: Wow, it's so yummy, what is this daal.
Me: I think I wanted to do Butter Daal but this has only tsp of butter.
Prabu: You didn't look at any recipe:
Me: Nope.
Prabu: I think this might be that daal maharani I had few years ago.
Me:No maharani business. I will just call it "Daal Sowjanya".
Prabu: Well, you are the maharani.
Me: Thanks, I know though ;).


I used green whole beans ( Mung beans or pesalu in telugu). Since i came up with this recipe 30 minutes before dinner time, I didn't soak the beans long enough. So i pressure cooked it for 6 whistles. If you plan ahead, soak the beans over night. Then they cook much faster :).

Mung beans: 1 cup soaked in water
Frozen Peas - 1 cup
Onions - 1/2 cup diced
Tomatoes - 1/2 cup diced
Amchoor Powder - 1 tsp.
Black Salt - 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric - Pinch
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp.
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp.
Oil - 2 Tbsp.
Butter - 1 tsp.
Yogurt - 1/2 cup ( I use TJ's creamy European Style Yogurt)


- Heat oil in a pressure pan
- Saute onions till soft.
- Add salt, turmeric, black salt, amchoor powder, chilli powder and garam masala.
- Saute for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes.
- Cook till tomatoes are soft.
- Add the beans and peas and 2 cups of water.
- Pressure cook till beans are soft.
- Check for salt and seasoning.
- Bring the beans back tot he flame and add tsp. of butter and yogurt. Mix well. It should be of a thick soup consistency and not liquidy.

Aloo Parathas - For the first time

I have been cooking for almost 14 years now. Yes I started young in the kitchen because I was curious :). However, there are few dishes that probably are considered common knowledge for any Indian woman to know that I haven't made. For example, upma. Yes I am a south Indian but I made upma for the first time only 3 years ago. And now it's aloo parathas. I never made anything in the roti/chapathi/poori/paratha category from scratch.

After debating for the last 2 months about a menu for valentines day, I stumbled upon Vegan Yum Yum's amazing pictures and recipe instructions to make Aloo Parathas. Here is her version. Something about her pictures made me go, "hmmm let me try this" and I am glad I did. They were very easy to make and I think i will start doing them more often. I also made her plain parathas for dad because he is diabetic and cannot have potatoes.

Here is a picture of my parathas. I did not change anything from her recipe.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Potato and Paneer stuffed Anaheim Chilli Peppers

Mom is a big fan of mirchi bajjis. She picked the peppers from the market today not knowing they were Anaheim peppers and that their skin is as thick as a bell pepper. But we still ended up with a new and awesome snack. I asked Prabu how he liked it. His response, "Please do make it again and again and can I have the leftover for lunch tomorrow." Alrighty then :).

Also I never cook paneer at home because I don't like the big chunks of it with no taste. But I found a new way to use it. I grate it:). Mind it though, paneer when you buy from store is soft and hard to grate. Freeze it for couple of hours till it's solid and then it is very easy to grate it.

Ingredients and Procedure:

For The Stuffing:

Onions - 1/4 cup chopped fine
Russet potato - 1 cubed and boiled
Paneer - 1/2 cup grated to a fine powder
Ajwain - pinch
Quick Mint Chutney - 1 Tbsp.
Besan/chickpea Flour - As needed
Turmeric - pinch
Oil - As needed
Salt - to taste

- Heat Oil in a pan and saute onions till soft.
- Add ajwain and quick mint chutney to this.
- Add boiled potato cubes and cook for a minute.
- Add grated paneer and 1/4 cup of water and cook till everything is well mixed and comes to a creamy consistency.
- Let this mixture come to room temperature.
- Add besan to this few teaspoons at a time to get it thick enough so you can fill the chillies.

Prepping the Chillies:
Long Chilli Peppers - 9 deseeded
Besan/chickpea flour - 2.5 cups + 1/4 cup
Baking Soda - Pinch
Asafoetida - Pinch
Garlic Powder - 1 tsp.
Salt - To taste
Turmeric - Pinch
Oil - for Deep Frying

- Mix Besan, Baking Soda, Asafoetida, Garlic Powder, Salt, Turmeric.
- Add water little by little to get it into a thick consistency.
- In a wide plate spread the 1/4 cup of besan.
- Stuff the chillies with the potato and panner mixture.
- Coat them with the dry besan.
- Dip them in the batter and deep fry them till golden brown.

This is what the final outcome looks like. pardon the pictures. I got my new camera and I am still playing with the settings :).

Quick Mint Chutney

I got this recipe from my friend Saritha. She makes it with mint, tomatoes and green chillies. I added coriander to this. This tastes good with parathas or snacks. I am planning to use this in making curries and such. I used thai red chillies . 4 of them added a nice spicy kick to it.

Mint - 2 bunches washed and leaves taken apart.
Coriander - 2 bunches washed and leaves taken apart
Chillies - 4 to 6 chopped fine
Tomatoes - 1 small roughly chopped
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tsps.


- Heat oil in a pan
- Add chillies, mint and coriander.
- Saute till the leaves wilt.
- Add tomatoes and turn of the stove ( do not cook the tomatoes).
- Let it cool
- grind it to a smooth consistency adding little water if needed
- Store in the fridge or divide it in ice-trays and freeze them.