Friday, 22 May 2015

Sol Kadhi

It's been 3 months since the Blogging Marathon # 50th edition meet, yet each time I enter the kitchen or open the prop cupboard, all the memories of the meet come rushing and then suddenly I am transported to Chennai!

All the food props, food gifts, books are being put to good use and I love and cherish each and everything that was part of that meet.

So today,I have yet another recipe from the book that Pradnya gave us with recipes from her blog that makes use of the spices /spice mixes and other ingredients that she packed up for us.

Solkadhi has been on my list for a long,long time. I have made Futi Kadhi many times, with the kokum that she had given during the Ahmadabad meet, mainly because its very easy to make and Lil Angel loves the flavor.

So when Pradnya gave us the kokum this time, this was dish that I wanted to make. And here it is!  I loved the medley of flavors.But the worst part is deciding if I liked having it as a drink or with steamed rice ! And taking about the color,it is simply - Wow!!!

I used:

Kokum pieces- 10,soaked in 1 /2 cup water
Grated coconut / coconut pieces- 1/4 cup
Hot water- 2 cups
Garlic-2 pods
Ginger- 1" piece
Green chili -1
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves to garnish

In a mixie jar take coconut,ginger,garlic, green chili and grind into a paste. In a bowl take the hot water and transfer the ground mixture into the water. Set aside for 5 minutes. Now strain the mixture

To the strained coconut milk, add the kokum water after squeezing out the kokum pieces. Add little by little, tasting and adding more if needed. Add salt to taste.Mix well.Add coriander leaves...

Serve as such or with steamed rice.

This post joins May Week 4 Cooking from Cookbook Challenge Group.

Bon Appetit...

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Homemade Vegetable Broth in 20 Minutes

A couple of days on vacation ensured that there were some vegetables left over in the fridge. And this is just perfect to make a super quick and easy vegetable broth!

Here in India, we don't get vegetable broth / stock in packages. Maybe it is available in gourmet stores now,but I have never seen one on the shelves in the mall or the stores near our place.

Earlier when I wanted to add flavor to soups,I used soup cubes.Later I consciously avoided these cubes and made my own broth.

Now when we talk about vegetable stock / broth, many use it interchangeably. But on a little research, I learnt that broth and stock are totally different!

Broth is one that is brewed with vegetables. It is lighter/ thinner in consistency.It is seasoned with spices and herbs.It is just a flavorful liquid
Stock is made from bones and meat  with/without vegetables and has a richer texture because of the collagen from the bones and meat.This rich texture is because of the gelatin from the bones.

I visit the farmers market once a week and usually there are a few vegetables left in the fridge. That gives an excellent opportunity to make this broth.

I don't follow any hard and fast rules while making this one.I just use up some veggies and herbs that I have at hand.

Generally,the broth is simmered for more than an hour but here I have used the pressure cooker and the cooking part gets done in 10 minutes. The other 10 minutes is for chopping the veggies and straining the broth,etc!Easy isn't it!!!

The need to post this recipe did not arise till now but this month the Recipe ReDux team asked us to make some basic recipe for things we have been buying in the past. So the soup cubes are gone and instead I stock up on this flavorful broth to make soups and more!

Before getting into the process of making the broth ,here are a few things that are to be considered...
  • Adjust the ingredients and herbs to suit your taste
  • If cooking on the stove top ,do not over cook the broth.May be an hour or so will be sufficient.
  • It is better to avoid strong flavored veggies like cabbage, cauliflower,turnips, Brussels sprouts,beets[gives a dark colored broth],bitter tasting greens and vegetables,kohlrabi.
  • These veggies can be used freely - carrots, garlic, celery, tomato,shallots etc.
  • Potato and sweet potato sort of dilutes the taste
  • Vegetables like Corn, too much of pumpkin/squash, make the broth cloudy
  • If using left over /wilted vegetables, avoid the molted ones.
  • Sauteing the vegetables before adding water imparts a good flavor to the broth.
  • The vegetables should be cut in such a way that there is maximum surface area exposure. So cut the vegetables into 1/2- 1 inch in size

My list for the broth changes with what I have in hand....Here is ....

What I used today:

Squash with the peel on -50 grams
Carrots- 2
Coriander leaves and stalk
Celery stalk-2
Garlic-3 pods
Bay leaf-1
Salt to taste
Oil- 1 teaspoon

Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add the onion, shallots,garlic.Saute till the onion is soft.Add the carrot and pumpkin and cook for a few seconds.Put in celery stalk, coriander leaves and stalk, bay leaves,mix well. Put in 5-6 cups of water and bring to boil.

Cover and pressure cook for 10 minutes .Let the pressure release automatically and then remove the lid and add salt. Usually I add just half the quantity of salt and add the rest wile making the soup. Cover the pressure cooker and let it cool a bit.

If you want a thin broth, strain as such.Else puree the mixture and stain to get a rich and thicker broth..

Use it immediately or refrigerate for 2-3 days or freeze till needed....

Bon Appetit....

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Masala Mini Idli

This is yet another easy snack / tiffin box dish that kids will love to eat.I have made this with mini idli but the regular idli can be cut into pieces and used.

Leftover idli from the morning meal can be used. If using freshly steamed idli ,refrigerate it for an hour and then use.Freshly steamed idli turns mushy when added to the masala.

This post is for Srivalli's Kid's Delight event, hosted this month by Sandhya with the theme Snacking all the way, which also happens to be the theme I have taken for Blogging Marathon #52, Week 3.

I used:

Mini idlis- 10 numbers
Tomato-1 ,chopped
Capsicum-1,small chopped
Ginger garlic paste- 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves- a few
Pav bhaji masala - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder- a pinch
Oil- 1 tablespoon
Cumin seeds- 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste

  1. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds.
  2. When it sizzles, add ginger garlic paste, onion, curry leaves and saute till the onion is soft.
  3. Add the capsicum,tomato and cook till tomato is mushy. Now add 1/8 cup of water[or more] and mix well.
  4. Bring to boil and add turmeric powder, pav bhaji masala, salt and mix.
  5. Next put in the mini idlis and mix gently so that the masala coats the idli.Simmer and let the flavors blend. Sprinkle a little water if the mixture is very dry.
  6. Remove from pan and serve as such or with a raita of your choice.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#52

Also sending this to Srivalli's Come, join us for breakfast event...

Bon Appetit ...