Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Beetroot Chutney / Dip

Beetroot or Beta vulgaris is a vegetable of which both leaves and roots are used for cooking. It is a good source of antioxidants and nutrients, including magnesium, sodium, potassium, folate and vitamin C. Beetroot helps reduce blood pressure.The juice is an excellent kidney and liver cleanser. Specific anti-carcinogens are bound to the red coloring matter which supposedly helps fight against cancer. Let us try to take beetroot in some form, at least once in a week.This is a simple recipe can be eaten with rice, any indian bread and also served with dosa.

You need, 

2 medium sized beetroot shredded
2 tbsp urad dhal
3 tbsp grated coconut
1-2 dry red chillies
2 tbsp of oil
1 tbsp tamarind paste
A pinch of asafoetida
Mustard seeds and curry leaves (optional)

- Heat oil in a pan, add urad dhal and red chillies.Let urad dhal turn to light brown.
- Now add the shredded beetroot and tamarind. Let it cook for 4- 5 minutes or until the raw smell leaves. Since this is shredded, it cooks much faster. If it is diced, then it takes a bit longer time to cook.
- Also add the asafoetida, salt and grated coconut and blend all the ingredients in a mixer to a rough consistency by adding or sprinkling water little by little.
- Splutter mustard seeds  and curry leaves in 1 tsp of oil and mix it to the chutney.
- Dip is ready to be served.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mushroom Pulao


2 cups of sliced mushrooms
2 cups of basmati rice
1 cup of thinly sliced onions
1/4 cup of shredded carrot (optional)
A bunch of mint and cilantro
2 tbsp of lemon juice
1 tbsp of cumin
5-6 whole back pepper
2-3 cloves
Cardamon 1/2 tsp
1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
3 pods of garlic
A small piece of ginger
2 small bay leaves
Ghee or clarified butter 3 tbsp
Roasted cashews or walnuts

Wash rice well with water and soak it for 15 - 20 minutes. For a cup of basmati rice, add 1 1/2 cups of water, add chopped mint and cilantro leaves, cumin, lemon juice, a tsp of salt and 1 tbsp ghee. Cook until the rice is done and should not be sticky. Cook rice either in an electric rice cooker or a microwaveable rice cooker with right amount of water. Heat 1 tbsp of ghee in a pan, add bay leaves, chopped ginger, garlic, onions and saute until the onion turns to golden brown. Add sliced mushrooms and let it cook for 5 minutes. Add little bit of salt to the vegetables and to give kick, a pinch or two red chilli powder can also be added. Meanwhile dry roast peppercorns, cloves, cardamon, cinnamon stick and crush it with a mortar and pestle and mix the powder to the cooked vegetables and atlast toss all the mixture with the rice. Roast cashews/ walnuts in the remaining ghee and garnish.
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Green Pasta and Herb biscuit

In this recipe I have used green colored vegetables with fusilli pasta. The word 'fuso' in fusilli means 'spindle' in Italian. Fusilli pasta is used for preparing baked casseroles, soups and salads. The herb biscuit goes very well with the warm pasta. To start with, prepare dough for the biscuit first.

Herb Biscuit Ingredients

This yields around 8 -10 biscuits:

1 cup self raising flour
2 tbsp of dried herbs like rosemary, basil,oregano and thyme
2 tbsp of chilled butter
5-6 tbsp of milk

Sift the flour.Add a pinch of salt and butter to the flour. Mix flour and butter in such a way that it resembles bread crumbs.The best way to mix it would be by hands.Use finger tips instead of a spatula. Now add the herbs and milk. Press gently to form a dough on a floured surface. The dough results with lot of cracks and folds and that is how it has to appear. Divide into equal portions shaping each into balls.At 370 degree F bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Green Pasta Ingredients

1 1/2 Cup of fusilli pasta
2 Cups of green vegetables like Green bell pepper, Zucchini,Peas,Asparagus, Broccoli,Spring onions
1 clove of garlic
3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper
Water to cook pasta

Bring water to boil in a pot covered with a lid. Add salt and olive oil.Add the pasta to the boiling water (leave it uncovered). Cook until its done. Strain excess water and keep the pasta separately in a bowl. Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan add garlic, spring onions and rest of the chopped vegetables.Add salt and freshly ground pepper.Toss all the vegetables with cooked pasta and top it with shredded parmesan cheese. The cheese melts in warm pasta.Garnish with herb biscuits.
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