Anybody who wants to share a little happiness is welcome to take this thread forward.
Indianised French Toast with Coffee in my Fav. Mug
There's a close up for you here...
Thanks for all, dear friends your enthusiastic participation. Priya, the first one to guess, hit the nail on the head and pretty much all of you who took a shot :) Teaches me how I must make the guessing games a wee bit more difficult from now on-hahaha
This is one of the quickest things you can make if you have bread and eggs on hand-and if you think an omlette is too boring ! Inspiration for this recipe comes from the good ol' canteen in Ogilvy, where people used to keep ordering food to keep their creative juices flowing...(Ogilvy and Mather is a leading worldwide Advertising Agency)
All you will need for the Indianised French toast (Name courtesy Krishnaarjuna) is
4 slices bread (I use whole wheat / multigrain )
2 medium eggs
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp chopped coriander
2 green chillies finely choppes
1/2 onion very finely chopped
1 tsp each of gram flour and rava (Gram flour for the binding and rava for the crispy texture)
Oil / Butter to cook each slice
Salt to taste.
Put all the ingredients except the bread into a dish. Nicely coat the bread on both sides with the mixture. If the onions / coriander fall off-just stick some of it on each slice with your fingers.
Heat butter / oil in a non stick pan. Once oil is hot enough, put a slice of coated bread. Let it sizzle for about 30 seconds until the egg batter cooks and then turn the slice and cook other side too till golden brown.
Serve hot for breakfast with coffee or as a snack when the weather's all gloomy like how it is now in Bombay with a hot cuppa masala chai to beat the blues away.
~you have to cook something just for yourself
~you have come home late after a shopping spree and have no interest in searching through take-away menus
~ you're feeling low in spirits
~you're recovering from an illness
~you're feeling homesick
~your maid is on leave/ or the dishwasher has conked off
Khichdi is a simple gruel of a lentil and rice which can be made bland / spicy, with/ without vegetables. It's very versatile and can be made in a matter of 10 minutes if you have a pressure cooker and in 20 if you don't. It's also very forgiving-because you don't need each grain of rice to be separate as in a pulao. You just throw in the ingredients and it take care of itself.
I'm sure everyone has their own recipe of Khichdi reserved for the times mentioned above. Mine goes like this-
1/2 cup rice
1/3 cup split green moong (shown in pic)
1 medium onion-sliced
Handful of frozen green peas (optional)
Pinch of turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp curry powder (optional )
2 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
1.Take a big bowl. Dump the lentil and rice into it. Wash it three to four times with water. Soak the rice-moong mix in lots of clean water for around 20 minutes. You can actually skip the soaking process if you are in a hurry / or if you are going ot pressure cook.
2.In the cooker, take a tsp of ghee. Add the cumin seeds and let them crackle. Put in the sliced onions and turmeric powder to the ghee. Saute until translucent.
3.Add the rice and lentils, saute for a few seconds. Put in the required amount of salt, curry powder, frozen peas (if using) and water. Water must be double the quantity of the rice-lentil mix. In this case, roughly two cups. Let it come to a boil. Close the lid of the cooker, with the weight. Get the flame to SIM after 3 whistles. Switch of the flame in 3-4 minutes.
4.Open the cooker lid after it has cooled off outside. Serve the khichdi onto a plate and run a little ghee around it for that absolutely home-cooked aroma.
Eat it piping hot, with your favourite pickles and a bowlful of curd.
You cant get more comfortable than that!!
For those of you who don't have a pressure cooker, proceed with step 2 using well-soaked rice and moong, in a non-stick vessel / saucepan. Add the water as in Step 3 and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, adding more water if necessary to make the mixture soft and mushy. In case of Khichdi, the mushier the better. So, you are better off adding more water as against less. My khichdi as shown in pic isn't as soft as I would have liked it to be.
This one goes for FMR #6- For the love of rice which is being hosted this time by Cooking adventures of Chef Paz
Just to remind you that you may send me your Weekend Breakfast entries by 10th July for the Weekend Breakfast Blogging (WBB) # 1 round-up
WBB is an event sponsored by Saffrontrail. For event details, click here
There's a picture of my spice box for you. I was planning to put up a picture as soon as my mom got me the box with the 7 containers and I had filled them up with the spices I use daily in cooking. But Sweetnick's event: I'll show you mine if you show me yours #2 now gives me a valid excuse to display my spice box.
From just before the 12 o' clock position:
Golden yellow turmeric powder- A pinch of this powder adds that flavour to curries, colours them a natural golden yellow colour and according to Ayurveda -is also a potent anti-bacterial which can kill any germs in the food
Did you know that Sangli, a town in the southern part of the Indian state of Maharashtra, is the largest and most important trading centre for turmeric in Asia or perhaps in the entire world? Well I didn't know that despite living in the same state!
Fiery red chilli powder- Add a teaspoon of this in your savoury recipes, and you will never want to eat bland food again...It also adds a natural red colour to curries and a depth of flavour
Nutty Udad dal- It belongs to the lentil family and a teaspoon of this Dal is used in traditional South Indian cooking for 'tadka' to dry curries like Cabbage, Potato, Brinjal etc...
Doing 'tadka' with udad dal is a tactful affair where you remove it off the flame to early and you have a sorry looking whitish dal and remove it too late, you have a burnt bitter charred mess.
For the perfect tadka, heat 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed ladle-once the oil is heated (as soon as you see it steaming)-take it off the flame, add the ingredients for 'tadka' ie-Mustard seeds, Curry leaves and the dal. Stir it around. The curry leaves will be the first to crackle and then the mustard seeds will begin to pop. Take the ladle back on a medium to low flame and stir the dal around till it turns a light golden brown. Immediately take it off the flame and pop the contents onto the curry / sambhar ...
Aromatic Cumin seeds- No Indian savoury dish would be complete without these seeds or it's powder. Stir in a generous pinch of cumin powder into your dish, and you will discover what a depth of flavour is all about ! Something that the chefs on Food Network love to call a SMOKY flavour.
Cumin is also considered an excellent digestive- most Indians will readily remember what we used to eat as kids- the 'jeera goli'-which roughly translated means cumin pills.
Good old Mustard seeds- As a child I would never like to see these little black seeds on plate. Whenever I would accidentally bite into them, they had a strange taste which couldn't be classified as any of the tastes I was familiar with. Now, I'm so used to it, that if I don't see the familiar black dots in my Upma / Chutney / Sambhar / Masala Mor, I get this feeling that something's missing.
I don't really know what is the health benefit of this common fellow. Crushed mustard seeds are used generously in Indian spicy pickles.
Panch Phoran- No self respecting Bengali cook would be seen without this spice in her kitchen. I got introduced to this one by my Bengali friend when she used it in a Matchstick Potato Curry. I was absolutely addicted to the melange of unknown flavours that tickled my tastebuds. One gets this pre-mixed in some supermarkets, or you could mix the five spices yourself. I'd rather you heard a more authentic line about this one than from me. Read what Haalo has to say and check out her recipe for Potatoes using panch phoran.
Dried Red chillies are the dormant volcano in my spice box. There they lie in the center all curled up and benign looking. Add a few of them into hot oil and the pungent fumes can make the bravest of people smart and sneeze. Hey don't get me wrong, that's not what I do with them. I use them in grinding gravies for curries, a couple of them as part of the 'tadka' in dry vegetable curries etc...
Apart from these I have many other spices in their separate containers-
Dried Indian Spices like Bay leaf, Star anise, Cinnamon, Black peppers, Cloves, Cardamom
Dried herbs on the herb rack- Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Lemonbalm, Italian spice mix and many others
I also use a homemade curry powder which I make each month from the recipe of Mridula Baljekar's curry cookbook. I shall put up a recipe of that soon.
Ah! What's life without some spice!
Don't forget to send me your Weekend Breakfast entries at saffrontrail AT gmail DOT com, for the new fortnightly event that I'm hosting next month onwards.
For more details- read up here.
So friends, I shall be expecting your first set of entries by 10th July or so so that I can post the first WBB round up by the 15th of July.
Hope to see you all with your family's favourite breakfast item on the table. Cheers!
The lentils are soaked, ground with spices, steamed and then sauted and mixed with the cooked veggies. It's a delight to make as much as it is to eat. It's the best thing that I can submit for Jihva for Dal.
1/2 cup tur dal
Handful chana dal (split bengal gram dal)
2 red chillies
1 green chilli
pinch of asafoetida
Pinch of turmeric powder
2 cups chopped cluster beans
2 T oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 red chillies
Salt to taste
1. Wash and soak the dals for 3-4 hours. If you were to make this for lunch, then you can soak it first thing in the morning.
2. Remove the ends of the cluster beans (called kotthavarangai in Tamil) and any other fibrous parts. Chop them into small pieces. Cook them in a cup of water to which turmeric and salt has been added. This is take 8-10 minutes depending on how tender the beans are. Try and take only as much water as is needed to cook the beans so that you don't have to throw away any water in the end. Keep this aside.
3.Drain the dals well. Take the dals, 2 red chillies and one green chilli with some sea salt, a pinch of turmeric and asafoetida in a mixer. Rough grind the above. Don't make too smooth a paste.
4.In a steamer / cooker without whistle steam the above mixture for about 10 minutes. Once cooled, crumble it well with your hands.
5.In a pan, heat 2 T of oil. Crackle the mustard seeds in the oil, add the 2 chillies. Then, add the crumbled usili and saute till it turns golden brown. This is the paruppu-usili. This will take around over 5 minutes.
Clue: It's in a university town