Thursday, February 22, 2007

MBP-Baked Onion & Wheat Biscuits

Here's my entry for Coffee's MBP event. Here is the original recipe from Seema and below is a picture of this really yum snack! Thank you, Seema! We all loved it, especially my FIL, who made sure I had saved this recipe! :)



Since Seema's blog is now private, here is the recipe reconstructed (may not be exactly like what she has posted) from the original post of Shammi's:
2 cups whole wheat flour (or plain if you prefer)
Salt to taste
1 tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
1 small onion, chopped fine
3-4 jalapenos/green chilies, chopped fine
1 tsp kasuri methi
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp black sesame seeds (you can use white or natural too)
2 tbsp oil
Water as required

Mix all ingredients together except water. Slowly add water and knead to a stiff dough. Roll out into small chappati-like circles.
Heat oven to 300F. Line cookie sheet with the rolled out circles. Bake for 10 minutes or until they are browned and crisp.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Akki Undi (Steamed Rice Dumplings) and a Meme





I'd not heard of Akki Pundi until I saw this post of Supriya's. My Father-in-Law is from Mangalore and when I showed him this, he said they made something similar called Akki Undi. One evening, to my surprise, my Mother-in-Law had made the Akki Undi just so that I could taste some authentic Mangalorean fare! The Sambar that goes with this was my teensy and comparitively easy contribution. What a combination that makes! Thank you, dear Supriya, for the inspiration you provided and thanks to my MIL for this wonderful dish!

Ingredients:
4 cups Rice (soaked in water for at least 6 hours)
1 cup Coconut Powder
Salt to taste

Tempering/Tadka:
2 Tbsp Oil
1 Tsp Mustard Seeds
2 Tsp Urad Dal
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/2 tsp Asafoetida

Method:
Grind the soaked rice to a coarse paste using very little water. Add coconut powder, salt and the tadka. Mix them well and shape into little rounds or ovals. Steam in pressure cooker for 20 minutes.

Serve with sambar or chutney or just plain ghee.

I've been tagged by Pooja for this (long overdue) meme. She wants me to write about 5 things you don't know about me. So here goes...

I'm still afraid of the dark! Whenever N & I had a fight and he(or I, sometimes) would sleep in another room but in the middle of the night, I'd sneak right back next to him so that I could go to sleep! I'm better now mainly because sleep has become such a precious commodity right now! :)

My grandmother was a writer and has written many novels, some of which have been made into movies too. I'm really ashamed of this and hope to rectify it soon but I've not read a single book of hers! Though I can read Kannada very well, I can't read it fast enough for me to go through a book. I've tried a few times and have always given up after a few pages. Soon...

I used to be prety skinny in High School and was very much into sports- throwball & athletics, mainly. Most people would think that being tall, I'd be good at basket ball but I couldn't aim if my life depended on it! The other thing was that people assumed in athletic meets that I'd be a runner or a high/long jumper but my forte was discus throw and shot put!! You had all these well built people in the competition and then there was the reedy me! I have even won a few medals, believe it or not! :)

I LOVE food but I HATE cooking everyday! After a long day at work, there's no way I can come home and start cooking! It's like having 2 jobs! An ex-colleague of mine cooks rice, dal, rotis and sabji/curry fresh from scratch every single evening (she works long hours at work too)! She even manages to cart her son to his various activities in between. I call her Super Woman! I know many of you do it and really, HATS OFF to you guys!

OK, I can't think about a 5th thing to write about. Will add it as soon as I can think of something! I did not want to hold this up while I try to work my one brain cell figuring what else I haven't talked about! :)

I'd like to tag anybody who wants to take this up. It's been so nice reading about others and will look forward to more revelations from you all! Thanks, Poo, for this tag!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Muga Dali Usli

Mooga Dali Usli

Here is another Konkani recipe from my mother-in-law. She made this for breakfast and I must add, Mooga Dali Usli (Moong Dal Usli) did not sound too interesting to me when I heard the name. How can anything made with just dal taste good, right? But the taste just blew me away! It was so unexpectedly good! Protein rich breakfast and tasty too. Good start to a day, methinks!

Here is how it's made.

Ingredients:
Moong Dal 2 cups
Water 4-5 cups
1 tsp Sugar
3 tsp Coconut powder
Salt to taste

For the Tadka/Tempering:
Coconut Oil (or any other) 4-5 tsp
Mustard Seeds 2 tsp
Green Chillies 2 chopped
Curry Leaves -8-10
Hing 1 tsp

Method:
Bring water to a boil. Add the moong dal and cook until soft but not mushy, for about 10 mins. Drain excess water. Add the tempered oil, salt to taste, sugar and coconut. Mix well.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Freaky 'Friends'

Tell me if you think this is weird too. We had a couple (who are in their mid 30s) over for dinner last night. We used to hang out together quite a bit a few years ago and N knows them for a long time now. The woman when talking to me, would turn the other way and talk! Not every time but often enough. I don't know if she's always been doing this & I never noticed it until now or maybe because usually there are others when we meet them that her behavior did not stand out, but it was so funny to be looking at the back of her head while she spoke to the wall! :) She'd brought a gift for M and when she gave me the gift, she gave the gift stretching her left hand while looking the other way and saying "I got this for M"! A psychiatrist's delight, huh? The guy is another specimen. Though he is nice to talk to for the most part, he has this competition thing going with us. They had come to see our old house that we had just moved into a few years ago, and when I asked if they wanted to see the house after sometime (well, they had come for that after all), he suddenly gets up and tells the wife " chal m, we have seen many houses like this one" and just walks out! Even in this new house, they had come for the first time to see the baby a few weeks after she was born. No word about the house nor even the baby from either of them! OK, I can understand one of them being uncouth but how can BOTH be that way? How can they not know they are being plain rude? And to top it all, last night, not a word about dinner (nor the baby, again!). No 'dinner was nice' or 'I liked this dish'. Not even a 'thank you for having us over'! They just ate & left! Weirdos, man!

They say friendship is accepting people for who they are, quirks and all and I must say, N is more accepting of them than I am. But their association does go back a long way. Me, I wouldn't be called judgemental by any standards but this I can't handle more than once or twice a year and that too, only for N's sake. We don't see them often enough that it matters though. Last night, their behavior did bother me a bit. But today, I couldn't help laughing at just how silly they are! I feel very sorry for these poor screwed-up souls and really wish I could help them be less boorish.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bisi Bele Bath | Bisi Bele Bhath | How to Make Bisi Bele Bath

Bisi Bele Bath is the signature dish of the Mysore/Bangalore region in Karnataka. It is a wholesome meal-in-one and has rice, dal and vegetables all in a slightly-runny-khichdi-like consistency. Each family has their own unique recipe for bisibelebath (or bisi bele hulianna, as it's sometimes called). My mom makes it the traditional way, boiling everything one by one and cooking them in freshly ground masala. This is my aunt's way of making this classic Kannadiga dish.

Update: For a quicker version of bisi bele bath using a pre-made masala powder, like MTR's, click here.





Ingredients:


1 cup Rice (uncooked)
3/4 cup Toor Dal (uncooked)
2 cups Mixed Vegetables (onions, potatoes, peas, beans, carrot, spinach, corn etc)
2 tsp Tamarind Paste
6 cups Water
Salt to taste

Masala:
1/2 cup grated Copra or grated coconut
2 tsp huli pudi or Sambar Powder*
2 Tbsp Coriander Seeds
1" stick Cinnamon (*if using sambar powder, increase to 4-5 sticks)
3-4 Cloves
2-3 Cardamom
1 tsp Khus Khus
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
1 sprig Curry leaves

Tadka:
4-5 Tbsp Oil
3-4 Red Chillies
2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 sprig Curry Leaves
1 tsp Turmeric
1/4 tsp Asafoetida

Method:
In a little bit of heated oil, fry the masala ingredients, except for the copra and the sambar powder. Grind all of the masala ingredients to a paste with a little water. Keep aside.

In a pressure cooker, do the tadka. Add the mixed vegetables and fry for a few seconds. Add the rice and dal and fry for a few more seconds. Now put in ground masala, water, tamarind and salt to taste. Cook in the pressure cooker for 3 whistles (well, 3 in my cooker. The rice and dal should have turned soft). It is a whistle more than when you cook plain dal. Once cooled, mix well. And that's it! It tastes delicious and we usually have it with sandige, rice papad, boondi, potato chips and/or raitha.

MTR makes a Bisi Bele Bhath powder that is pretty good too. With that powder, you bypass all the grinding stuff.

My youngest maama used to tell us these "Be silent!" jokes. The one on BBB goes like this. In a wedding, a man while waiting to be served lunch, shouts to the server impatiently "Bhatre, bisi bele bath badisi". Annoyed at the man shouting, another person tells him "Be Silent!!". So the man goes "Atre, isi ele aath adisi!" :)
To my non-Kannadiga pals, the man asks to be served BBB (all words in the sentence start with a B) and with the "Be silent!" the man repeats the same sentence silencing the B! A major PJ but we enjoyed all of my maama's silly jokes! :)