Thursday, April 23, 2015

Rava/Semolina Appe

Appe is yet another South Indian dish commonly prepared with pulses/lentils and rice. But it needs soaking of lentils and grinding and everything. On the other hand these rava/semolina appe are very convenient to make. It doesn't need the hassle of soaking and grinding. My sis-in-law made these appe while she was visiting and I really liked them. By using fruit salt it doesn't need to be fermented. Eno fruit salt is easily available in any Indian grocery store. It comes in three different flavors. Use regular or lime flavor either is fine. 

Ingredients(Serves 5-6)
3 cups fine rava/semolina
1/2 cup yogurt
3 cup water
1 small onion finely chopped
1 tomato chopped
3-4 green chilies
1 inch ginger grated
Couple of tbsp chopped cilantro
Oil to brush insides of appe mould
1 tbsp Eno fruit salt or as required

Method
Method is pretty simple, take a big mixing bowl and mix all the ingredients except eno together and let it sit covered for up to an hour or so.
You will need appe mould. I have a mould which has seven cavities. When making appe use another small bowl and add batter required for seven(or whatever number of cavities your mould has) to it and sprinkle a teaspoon of eno over it and mix it vigorously, by adding eno the mixture will puff up a little. Start adding the mixture in each cavity and cover it with a lid.
After few minutes turn over the appe and let them cook on other side. Top side should be nice golden brown.
Remove when cooked from both sides(usually one mould takes about 5-7 minutes). Remove all the cooked appes and continue making more in same way for the remaining batter. Serve it hot with spicy chutney powder mixed with oil(I use MTR brand chutney podi)/coconut chutney/rasam.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Rasam

Rasam is a traditional South Indian spicy soup prepared with tamarind and tomato base liquid with added spices and dal. It is similar to sambar but it's consistency is more soup like, unlike sambar which is usually thicker. It can be served as a soup for first course or can be used for main course with idli, dosa, vada etc or can be simply served with rice. It tastes especially good on cold or rainy days. All the spiciness just kicks in and warms you up inside out. I served it with my Zucchini dosas and tasted just perfect.

Ingredients(Serves 2-3 people as soup)
1/4 cup red lentils
1 small tomato chopped 
1 tbsp store bought rasam powder(I use MTR brand)
1/2 tsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp jaggery
3 cup water
Chopped cilantro for garnish

For Tempering
1 tsp ghee/clarified butter
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
Few curry leaves

Method
Cook lentil with water and pinch of turmeric and asafoedita in a pressure cooker. Give 3-4 whistles and shut off the gas. Mean while add chopped tomato, tamarind paste, rasam powder, jaggery, salt and 2 cup water in a pot. Boil it for 10 minutes to incorporate all the flavors. Mash the cooked dal through strainer and add it to the prepared soup base. 
Mix everything together and add remaining 1 cup water to make a very thin consistency soup. Boil this soup for 10 minutes or so and add salt. Give it a taste, it should taste spicy but should also have little bit of sweetness from the jaggery and also little bit sour. Adjust the taste accordingly, add more of rasam powder or tamarind pulp or jaggery if needed. Once boiled keep aside. Heat ghee in a small pan, add mustard and cumin seeds and lastly curry leaves. Now pour this tempering over the prepared rasam. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve it hot with dosas or just as soup. 


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Moong Dal Tadka

Dal is an important part of any Indian meal. No matter which part of India, dal is one staple food in any household. Dal is a good source of protein for Vegetarian people. Indian meal is not complete without dal. There are variety of dal/lentils available in market and each of them has its own taste. Dal's can be made in variety of ways but basic preparation starts with boiling dals with turmeric and asafoetida(also known as hing) and add tadka/tempering on cooked dal. Now, variation can be made by adding onions, tomato, ginger, garlic or any leafy green vegetables. 
Moong dal tadka is a very simple yet scrumptious recipe that will surely make your meal complete.

Ingredients(Serves 2)
1/3 cup yellow moong dal
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Pinch of asafoetida
Chopped cilantro for garnishing
For Takda
1 tbs ghee
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 dried red chili cut in half
1/4 tsp red chili powder
Salt as per taste
2-3 garlic cloves sliced

Method

Cook moong dal with turmeric and asafoetida in a pressure cooker using water. Give 3 whistles and shut off the gas. Moong dal cooks pretty quickly. Once the pressure drops take out the dal and mash slightly. Add salt and mix, add more water if very thick. Some people like thick consistency and some like thin dal so add water accordingly if needed. Heat the cooked dal and let it boil for couple of minutes, sprinkle chopped cilantro evenly over dal and shut off the gas. Get ingredients ready for tadka. Heat some ghee in a small pan and add cumin seeds. Once they splutter add sliced garlic and let them turn slightly brown. Next add dried red chili and chili powder as well, shut off the gas. Pour this tadka over the prepared dal and serve hot. 


Quick Tip-: For quick variation replace moong dal with toor dal or use combination of both dals. In that case use both dals in equal amount.