Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Lentil Balls

India has many regional cuisines that have basic similarity, while the regional flavor makes them unique in their own right. Recently, I came across a traditional Karnataka recipe that is somewhat similar to our own “adai” in composition, but different in the preparation. I found these lentil balls or “nuchinu unde” very tasty, quite filling, nutritious and healthy. Traditionally it is served with  "majjige huli"or more kuzhambu. Please try this recipe and you will enjoy it.

Figure 1: Batter for making Lentil Balls 
Ingredients: (Makes 8 balls)
Thur dhal or red gram dhal – 50 ml measure
Moong dhal or green gram dhal – 50 ml measure
Channa dhal or Bengal gram dhal – 50 ml measure
Green chili – 2 no, chopped
Ginger – 1” piece, grated
Coconut – grated, 3 tablespoons
Asafoetida – ⅛ teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Coriander leaves – chopped, 1 tablespoon
Curry leaves – a few, chopped
Gingelly oil – 2 teaspoons

Figure 2: Lentil Balls ready for steaming

Method:
Wash and soak the dhals in water for 3 hours. Later, drain the excess water and grind them together to form a coarse paste. Transfer the ground paste to a bowl, add ginger, green chilies, coconut, asafoetida, coriander leaves, curry leaves, and required salt (Figure 1).

Mix well; add oil and shape the contents into balls. Place them on an idly mould (Figure 2) and steam for 15 minutes. 

Serve hot with coconut chutney or any other chutney of your liking. 


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Saturday, 27 June 2020

Kadai Paneer

I love using paneer in my cooking and have shared several paneer recipes on Rathika’s Nest over time. Today, I intend to share the recipe of a spicy paneer dish that goes well with roti, chapatti, paratha or naan. Here we go!

Ingredients:

Paneer or cottage cheese – 200 gms, cut into cubes
Oil – 1 tablespoon
Jeera or cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
Pepper corns – 1½ teaspoon
Cardamom – 3 no
Capsicum – medium sized, deseeded, cut into cubes
Tomato – 3 no, chopped
Onion – 3 no, sliced
Kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves – 1 tablespoon
Salt – to taste
Ginger – 1” piece, grated

To be made into a paste:

Thick curds – 2 tablespoons
Kashmiri chili powder – 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder – 1 tablespoon
Garam masala – 1 teaspoon


Method: Heat oil in a kadai or wok. Add cumin seeds, cardamom and pepper corns. Sauté till cumin seeds crackle; add onion slices and fry till they become transparent. Add in tomato, capsicum and required salt. Mix well. Cook on low flame till the vegetables are done. Add the masala paste and blend together. Cover and cook on low flame till oil separates. Now add kasuri methi, grated ginger and paneer pieces. Mix well and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve hot with roti or chapatti.

Note: You can also make kadai paneer as a gravy dish. Just add in 100 ml of water, after adding paneer pieces. Mix well and bring it to boil. Your gravy is ready!

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Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Carrot Chutney (கேரட் சட்னி)

I have already shared with you how to make 20 different chutneys on Rathika’s Nest. However, adding variety to the breakfast menu is always refreshing. Hence, let me share one more chutney recipe today. Here we go.

Ingredients:
Fresh carrots – 2 no
Roasted peanuts – 1 tablespoon
Roasted gram – 1 tablespoon
Green chilies – 2 to 3 no
Grated coconut – 2 tablespoons
Salt – to taste
Oil – 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds – ½ teaspoon
Curry leaves – a few


Method: Scrape the skin of the carrots; wash and cut them in to cubes. Grind the carrot pieces with roasted peanuts, roasted gram, green chilies, salt, grated coconut and enough water into a smooth paste using the mixer-grinder. Transfer the chutney to a bowl. Heat oil in a tadka/spice pan; add mustard seeds and when they crackle remove from the fire. Add the seasoning to the chutney. Garnish with curry leaves. Serve with idly, dosa or any other traditional tiffin item. 

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Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Containment Zone !!!!


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Friday, 29 May 2020

How to Make Paneer or Cottage Cheese at Home?

The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lock down has resulted in certain changes in our routines. We are not always sure to get all the desired items during grocery shopping. Paneer or cottage cheese is one such item that is not always available in our neighborhood store. No worries. We can always make paneer at home and it is very easy. Please follow the simple steps given below.

Ingredients:

Milk – 1 liter*
Lemon fruits – 2 no**

*You can use any type of milk - full cream, toned or standardized. I prefer to use toned milk.

**Vinegar can be used instead. But, I find lemon gives better results.


Method: Cut the lemons into halves, squeeze and extract juice. Remove the seeds and keep aside.

Step 1 - Boil milk and switch off the stove.

Step 2 - Add the lemon juice immediately and stir well. The milk will curdle and milk solids will separate from the clear whey. Usually the juice of 2 medium sized lemons is enough curdle 1 liter of milk. If the whey is still white in color indicating partial curdling, you may add some more lemon juice till the whey becomes clear.

Step 3 - Place a clean cotton cloth over a sieve/colander and pour the curdled milk. Filter the whey and let it drain for 30 minutes.

Step 4 - Remove the curdled portion/paneer from the sieve, fold the cloth to cover the paneer well and place it on a draining board. Place a weight on top and let it drain for 3-4 hours. 

Step 5 - Remove the weight, unwrap the cloth and take out the solid paneer. Use it as desired in your cooking. You may also refrigerate it and use it later.

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