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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Easy breezy Bagara Rice





This quick fix rice meal can be made for any main course like chicken curry or any veggie entrees, or can be served plain with some raita.  Bagara rice is famous in Andhra predominantly from telangana region.  Made with fewer ingredients but no compromise on the flavor or on your palette. 

Bagara Rice

Source: My Signature recipe
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20-30 mins
Serves:  6 servings

Ingredients
3 C of basmati rice, wash and keep it aside.
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 cinnamon stick
5-6 cloves
1 bay leaves, fresh or dried
1 t shahi jeera
1 T Ginger garlic paste
2 T mint leaves/pudina, chopped
1 t garam masala powder
salt to taste
4.5 C water
2T Oil 

I used pressure cooker for cooking this rice, you can also use electric rice cooker or big 5 quart size sauce pan.

Method
  • Firstly wash the basmati rice and keep it aside.
  • Heat oil and add all the spices and fry for a minute.
  • Add the onions and fry till translucent.  Add the ginger garlic paste and garam masala too. once the oil leaves from the sides, add chopped mint/pudina leaves and fry for few minutes.
  • Then add rice and mix well, check for salt, add the water, cover it and let it cook.
  • If you are cooking in pressure cooker or electric cooker the ratio is 1:1.5 for rice to water.
  • If you are cooking on stove top in a sauce pan cook the first 10 mins with covered lid and once the liquid is all absorbed turn the heat off and cover. The rest of rice will cook in its own steam. Serve hot with any side dish or plain yogurt.



I made this Bagara rice to go with Chicken fry and raita (yogurt sauce). 




I just whipped some sour cream and added some cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber and cilantro.  Added a spoonfull of chia seeds and salt and its ready to serve.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Quick and Zippy Chicken Fry





Usha from My Spicy Kitchen invited me to make something for her Fabulous Feast Friday # 3 event and I thought why not make a dish and post something on my blog.  Blog! pheww!! my blog has been sitting around doing nothing but gathering dust and no cobwebs and spider crawls which are blogessentials to make your blog popular and pop up on search engines.  

This foodie feast is an opportunity for my blog to rise and shine once again in the blogosphere and from my hibernation of course $#@#&^ eyes rolling.....Thanks Usha!!





This is my fastest ever Chicken dish made in a jiff with 5 main ingredients and who knew we can use the same ingredients and some spices to make bagara rice that goes well with any non-veg dish and here goes the recipe for 


Zippy Chicken Fry 
(with less than 7 ingredients)

Source: My Signature recipe
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20-30 mins
Serves:  4 servings

Ingredients

4-5 Chicken legs pieces (1kg/2lbs approx)
1 medium onion, thinly slices
1 green chilli chopped finely 
1/2 t turmeric/haldi/pasupu
2T ginger garlic paste
1t Garam masala
1t Chilli powder/mirchi powder/karam
2T chopped cilantro/dhaniya/kothimir
1/4 C water
3T oil
salt as per taste

I used a nonstick sauce pan for this recipe (recommended)

Method

  • I usually get the chicken from halal meat and usually go for chicken legs and thighs and ask the butcher to make small pieces.  Wash the chicken in luke warm water at least one time and add the  half teaspoon of turmeric powder and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a non stick pan and saute onions. Once they are translucent add the chopped green chillies and saute for another minute.  
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute. Make sure you don't burn the paste or else it will give a bitter taste to the chicken.   
  • Add the chicken pieces, salt and cover it with a lid.  Let the chicken cook on a medium high flame for about 15 mins.  since we cleaned the chicken in water there will be enough moisture for the chicken to cook through.  If at any point you feel that the water is evaporated then do add 1/4th cup of water.  
  • When the chicken is thoroughly cooked take off the lid and start adding garam masala powder and the chilli powder.  Now turn on the flame to high and fry the chicken till all the moisture dries up and the oil leaves from the sides.
  • Turn off the gas and let it cool for a bit.  Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with Bagara Rice and Tomato Cucumber in sour cream Raita..
sending my entry to My Spicy Kitchen's even Fabulous Feast Friday #3
Fabulous Feast Friday

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Healthy Kale with Yellow Lentils and Roasted Red Bell Peppers




These days everyone has become so health conscious, every other person I come across says that s/he are on a 'Diet' or have started eating healthy. Some are eating more of greens, whole grains, fruits and vegetables during the weekdays and go easy during the weekends.  Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best.  The key to healthy diet is to watch what you are eating, how many calories you need, how much water you are taking and how much is too much. The average man needs around 2500 cals/day and the average women needs around 2000 cals/day. 

Eating a wide range of foods ensures that you are getting a balanced diet and that your body is getting all the nutrients it needs. Base your meals on starchy foods. Starchy foods should make up around one third of the foods you eat. Starchy foods include potatoes, cereals, pasta, rice and bread. Choose wholegrain varieties when you can: they contain more fiber, and can make you feel full for longer. 

Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, Eat more fish, cut down on saturated fats and sugar. Increase your fiber intake, cut down on salt and fizzy drinks, keep well hydrated, taking 2-3 liters of water a day really helps flushing all the toxins from your system.





Coming to the main ingredient of this recipe, Kale is king!! Along with broccoli, it is one of the nutrition stand-outs among vegetables. It fights fat through its ability to mingle in a variety of roles -- in side dishes, combined in main dishes, or in salads. Kale is unusually high in fiber. This helps create the bulk you need to fill you up and to keep you full for a good amount of time. Kale is also an excellent source of nutrients, especially vitamin A and calcium. With a combination of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, kale is a dieter's dream food.

Health Benefits of Kale
Though greens in general are nutritious foods, kale stands a head above the rest. Not only is it one of your best sources of beta-carotene, one of the antioxidants believed by many nutrition experts to be a major player in the battle against cancer, heart disease, and certain age-related chronic diseases, it also provides other important nutrients. 

In addition to beta-carotene, kale posses other important carotenoids: lutein and zeaxathin. These carotenoids help keep UV rays from damaging the eyes and causing cataracts. According to recent research results, kale is an incredible source of well-absorbed calcium, which is one of the many factors that may help prevent osteoporosis. It also provides decent amounts of vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin B6, manganese, and potassium. 

The manganese in kale helps your body's own antioxidant defense system, superoxide dismutase, protecting you from damaging free radicals. Its folate and B6 team up to keep homocysteine levels down, which may help prevent heart disease, dementia, and osteoporosis bone fractures.
Image source & Information about Kale: web


Coming to this recipe using Kale greens in your diet is somewhat tricky as this is very bland vegetable and after much of trail and errors, I found this is one perfect side dish that goes well with rice as well as rotis, Indian flat bread.  


Kale with Yellow Lentils and Roasted Red Bell Peppers

Source: My Signature recipe
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20-30 mins
Serves:  6 servings

Ingredients
5 C of Kale greens, roughly chopped
1/2 C of yellow lentils (toor dal/kandi pappu) soaked in water for 1hr
1/2 C Roasted Red Pepper, roughly chopped
check out how to make roasted red pepper at home
1/2 C red onions, diced
1T or 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 dried red chillies (optional)
1t cumin (jeera)
1t mustard seeds (rai/aavalu)
salt as per taste
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 C water 

Method
  • Firstly soak half cup of yellow lentils (toor dal/kandi pappu) in one cup of water.
  • Wash your kale greens if it is not pre-washed. Chop them roughly on the cutting board make sure to chop those meaty stems.
  • Meanwhile cook lentils along with water in microwave on high heat for 5 mins.
  • Chop the onions and garlic and roasted red peppers.
  • Take a big saute pan and heat extra virgin olive oil on medium flame. 
  •  Add the cumin and mustard seeds to it, saute it for few mins till they are roasted.
  • Add onions and garlic and torn red chillie pepper.  Saute till they turn little red and then add kale greens.  Stir for a min and let the color or kale gets intense. 
  • Add the lentils and the water to the pan and mix everything evenly. Add salt and pepper, cover and let the kale, lentils and all the flavors marry together.  Cook till kale is cooked.
  • Before turning of the stove off add the roughly chopped roasted red bell peppers, mix well check for salt and add if needed.
  • Serve hot or cold with hot steamed rice, brown rice or rotis (Indian flatbread)
We had this with brown rice and it tasted healthy awesome!



Sunday, April 14, 2013

Black Forest Cake


Its been a very long time that I updated my blog.  I am back to blogging after a very long gap of two years, almost.  I was always fascinated by food, photography and food related things.  I am glad to see so many new budding blogs on FB and foodie world, so much to learn and so much to explore with the young(am I that old?? c'mon) bloggers.  Couldn't sit on back burner for that long.  I know when the time is right I will be back to this lovely, aromatic and yummilicious foodie world.  Hoping to make new friends and trying to learn new things from great bloggers. One promise to myself is I will keep updating my space often, Though being MOM of two wonderful kids tops my priority list but will try to be regular with my postings.  

Before I jump into the recipe I have a small announcement to make Anshika got a promoted to 'Big Sister', we were blessed with a baby boy. Akshaj, was born November 15th 2011.  It's never late to share the news about your baby right!!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happy Diwali to all my readers

Wish you a very happy and prosperous Diwali.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Maharashtrain style Sabudana Khichdi

Sabudana-Khichdi1

You must be wondering how come western India recipes on my blog...well I am raised in Kalyan and much acquainted to Maharashtrian food. Since my childhood I used to trade my lunch box whenever my friend used to bring this in her lunch box. Sabudana khichdi is my favorite breakfast recipe, I love so much that I can eat 4 times a day! This is a typical Maharashtrian style khichdi I learned from our kaki (maid), she makes awesome khichdi!!

Sabudana Khichdi is also famously called a fasting food during the ekadashi days, or sankashti chaturthi days when most of the maharashtrians fast. You will find in on the menu of many mess/canteens in most of Mumbai and surrounding when there is this special fasting done. But I love it any time any day. I make it as Naivedyam or Prasad to offer to Saibaba on Thursdays or for Saibaba Satsangs. After much talking here goes the recipe.

Sabudana-Khichdi2

Sabudana Khichidi (Maharashtrian style)
Source: Our Maid Kaki
Cuisine: Maharashtrian Cuisine
Prep time:20 mins and 6-7 hours soaking sago
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves: 4
Ingredients:
2 C Sabudana/Sago (I use Swad or Delight brand)
3 green chillies
1 C roasted peanuts (remove the skins and grind into powder)
2 tsp crushed jeera
6-7 curry leaves
1 medium potato, medium diced
¼- ½ C oil
Kadai or non-stick pan

Method:

  • Soak sabudana 6-7 hours before hand. First wash and rinse the sabudana and then soak them in enough water that all of it is submerged in the water.
  • Next, roast peanuts in microwave. Place them on microwave safe plate and heat it on high for 3 or 4 mins. You will see that the peanuts are turned slightly brown, let it cool and remove the skin and grind into powder. alternatively you can dry roast them in a pan, if m/w is not the option.
  • Chop potato into medium size and medium size and place then in a microwave safe bowl, pour some water and heat it for 5 mins high. alternatively you can fry the potatoes in the oil itself, will take little while till they turn crispy.
  • Heat oil in kadai or non-stick pan on medium high, add curry leaves/kadipatta, crushed jeera and green chillies, let them fry for 1 min and then add the boiled aloo. Reduce the flame to medium low and let the potatoes turn crispy golden brown.
  • Add the sabudana, mix well, for a minute so that everything is mixed well. Sprinkle salt, close with a lid and let it cook for 10 mins... keep in mind to reduce the flame to simmer (low), after 8-10 mins check the khichdi and see if there are any hard white sabudana left, coz by now you sabudana will turn into transparent soft pearls. Check for salt and lastly add peanut powder, mix well and let it cook for another minute. Close the lid and remove from stove.

Sabudana-Khichdi3

Few tips for a pearly sabudana khichdi:
  • See that you raw sabudana is not crushed or has lot of powdered sago in it.. If that is the case then just sift the sago so that all the powder is out and on whole sago is to be used.
  • Soak them at least 6-7 hours before hand. If you want to make it for breakfast, you can soak overnight, if want to make it as an evening snack, soak in the morning by 11:am
  • Soak it in enough water to cover the sabudana, do not add more water, or else you will end up with a mushy khichdi. So the rule of thumb is just enough water so that all the sago is submerged in it.
  • Use a little bit extra oil to get that tasty khichdi...common once in a while its ok to have an extra tablespoon or so... so why compromise on the flavor.
  • You can use more peanut powder than listed in the above menu...more taste you see!!

Weight Watchers Fresh Meals


Weight Watchers announces the first mainstream, low-calorie, portion-controlled, refrigerated, to-go meals and deli salads in the U.S.

I tried them and I am loving it!! Did you see the Weight Watchers new fresh meals on the deli section aisle?? If not hurry and grab them... they are so handy and time saver on those busy days when you are tired and don't have much time to fix a quick lunch/dinner for your family, Weight Watchers fresh meals comes handy. They are great for the people 'on-the-go' who constantly look for healthy meal options but don't have time to cook it from scratch.

The great thing about these meals is that you know where you stand – these to-go meal lists calories, grams of fat, fiber, protein, etc. No more guessing. Everything you need to know is listed right on the label. This is a first of its kind in the deli ready-to-go section! (Extra bonus: if you are a Weight Watchers member, the new PointsPlus™ values are listed right on the front of the package. All others can rest easy knowing that the meals are good.)

For those like me who love to cook daily, we have some lazy days when we don't feel like cooking; WW fresh meals satisfies all the points (freshness, price, time) without compromising on the taste and the calorie intake. Check the variety of meals they are offering on Weight Watchers website. Vegans also have a very good option, I loved Baked Ziti, Three Cheese Macaroni and Three Cheese Ravioli. My little one loved the macaroni salads! So why not give it a try!!

Thanks for reading..
Padma

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