Friday, August 21, 2015

Spicy Carrot and Green Apple Salad



This recipe is adapted from a carrot salad recipe I found on one of the south indian blogs. It is a very refreshing salad and I like it very much. The sauteed mustard seeds add an extra flavour to the salad.

Ingredients: 

Carrots shredded - 2
Green Apple Shredded - 1
Fresh Cilantro - 1 tbs
Fresh lemon juice - 1 tbs
Ginger grated - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Fresh Curry leaves - a few
Green chillies - 1 small (optional)
Vegetable oil - 1/2 tsp

Method:

1. Mix together the shredded carrots and apple. Add chopped cilantro.
2. Heat 1/2 tsp vegetable oil in a small sauce pan. Add the mustard seeds when the oil is just hot to make them splutter. Add the chopped curry leaves and remove immediately and pour it on the shredded salad mix.
3. Add lemon juice, salt and sugar, toss well and serve. Enjoy!

Apple grape salad



A refreshing salad for lunch or dinner as a snack or a side dish in summer.  This is a very simple salad to make from the fruits you have at home, especially when you are pressed for time and your imagination has deserted you. Cut up an apple or pear, some grapes or berries and throw them in together with a handful of spring mix, garnish with some chopped walnuts, drizzle some dressing on top and voila your salad is ready in no time! You may any dressing of your choice. I also use lemon poppy seed dressing sometimes.

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:

Green apple - 1
Red grapes  -  1/2 cup
Spring mix -   1 cup
Walnuts      -   1tbs

For the lemon dijon dressing:

Lemon juice (fresh) - 1 tbs
Dijon mustard - 1tsp
Brown sugar   -  a pinch
Olive oil          - 1tbs
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Wash, peel and thinly slice the green apple. Deseed and cut in half the red grapes.
2. Layer the spring mix on a plate, then throw in the apple slices followed by the grapes on top.
3. Mix together all the dressing ingredients in a bottle and shake well to blend.
4. Sprinkle chopped walnuts and drizzle the dressing on top.
5. The salad is now ready to be served. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Stuffed Chilli Bhajjis


I have long been craving for the stuffed chilly bhajjis that I used to eat in Chennai,India at one particular location and my mouth still waters thinking about them. I loved them as a child and enjoyed eating them. I don't find them now when I go to India. The small tea shop by the Cinema theatre where a lady vendor used to sell them is no more, though the theatre is still there. Everything has changed. But the taste is still alive and it evokes fond memories of the past of how we (me with my family) walked home after watching the movie enjoying these hot fuming mouthwatering bhajjis. I still remember how her small tea stall was always crowded and how we watched her fry a bazillion of them in a huge wok as we waited impatiently for our turn to buy them These bhajjis were stuffed with a delicious spicy filling and back then I used to wonder what it could be. I tried to recreate it and  kept trying different combinations and finally after many trials i managed to come very close to the taste. This was the best I could do. 

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:
a few green fat chilli peppers
1 large potato
1 tbs MTR chutney powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp amchoor (dried mango) powder 
1/2 tsp ginger powder 
1/2 tsp kashmiri mirch powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup + 2 tbs besan (chickpea flour)
1 tsp ghee 
1/2 tsp pomegranate molasses (optional)
Salt to taste

Method: 

1. Dry roast the cumin seeds. Grind them in a mortar and pestle and keep aside. 

2. Take a sauce pan, add a tsp of ghee (clarified butter) and on medium heat roast the 2tbs of besan (chick pea flour). When it starts leaving an aroma it means it is well roasted and the raw smell is gone. Remove from the pan into a bowl and keep aside.

3. Peel, boil and grate the potato when it is cool. 

4. Now add the roasted besan (chick pea flour), MTR chutney powder, roasted ground cumin and the other spice powders to the grated potato. Mix well. Add salt and pomegranate molasses. The filling is ready  now.

5. Take a green chilly slit it open vertically, remove the seeds and stuff it with the filling. Then take some more filling and wrap it around the stuffed chilly. Compress it inside your fist and make it smooth. Set aside.

6. Repeat the same process with the rest of the chillies and set aside.

7. Make a thick batter with the 1/2 cup besan (chick pea flour), 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp chilly powder and1/4 tsp baking soda with a little water. 

8. Dip the wrapped stuffed bhajjis in the batter and swirl them around so that they gather more batter and then slowly slide them in the hot oil on medium heat. Keep splashing the hot oil over them carefully and turn them over from time to time in order to fry them evenly. Remove them when they are crisp and golden.  

9. Drain them on paper towels and serve them hot with mint or tamarind chutney. Enjoy!