Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rosemary Potatoes

The rosemary plant in my garden is overflowing from the pot and I simply had to put it to good use. What better than to bake the classic combination of rosemary and potatoes! My kitchen was smelling like heaven when I popped them out of the oven. This makes an excellent side dish to go with any Italian salad or pasta.

  1. Red skinned potatoes - 2, washed and cut into any desired french-fry-like shape
  2. Rosemary - 1/2 cup finely chopped
  3. Salt
  4. Coarsely crushed black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  5. Olive oil - 1 tbsp

  1. Toss the potatoes with the rosemary, salt, pepper and olive oil.
  2. Spread thinly on a baking sheet and bake at 400F for 20 minutes
  3. Turn the oven to broil and broil on each side for 5-7 minutes or until the potatoes turn brown.
  4. Let it cool for 5 mins and you are done!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Instant Mango Pickle / Ambyacha Loncha

This is a very simple and easy mango pickle that my mom used to make during summers when the raw mangoes were plentiful. It needs very few basic ingredients but the flavor of the mango makes up for everything and gives it a unique taste. It is best when enjoyed with ghee and rice.

  1. Raw mango - 1 cut into small cubes
  2. Red chilli powder - 4 tsps (Try the one that is made for pickles specifically)
  3. Salt - 1 tsp
  4. Oil - 2 tsps
  5. Mustard seeds - 2 tsps
  6. Green chillies - 2 finely chopped
  7. Hing - 1/2 tsp
  8. Haldi - 1/4th tsp
  9. Lemon juice - 2 tsps

  1. Mix the mango pieces, salt, red chilli powder.
  2. Heat oil and add mustard, green chillies, hing and haldi. Heat it until all the mustard seeds have spluttered but not burnt.
  3. Add the oil mixture to the mango along with the lemon juice. Mix thoroughly and let it sit for an hour. You will see the mangoes releasing a lot of juices.
  4. This pickle is best stored in the fridge after a day of sitting outside.

Arachuvitta Sambhar

Arachuvitta sambhar is a very traditional and typical tamilian sambhar, the ultimate comfort food for any tamilian or for that matter any south Indian:). - a fresh ground powder/paste is added to this sambhar and the aroma of that sets it apart from a regular sambhar. You can add any vegetable to this one. I chose to use white pumpkin. Thanks to my SIL for the recipe.

  1. Chana dal - 2 tbsps
  2. Toor dal - 2 tbsps
  3. Corriander seeds - 4 tbsps
  4. Red chillies - 10
  5. Frozen/fresh grated coconut - 1 cup
  6. Tamarind pulp - 2 cups
  7. White pumpkin - 1/4th piece, peeled and subed
  8. Oil - 1 tsp
  9. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  10. Methi seeds - 1 tsp
  11. Hing - 1/4th tsp
  12. Curry leaves - 8 or 10
  13. Toor dal boiled - 2 cups
  14. Haldi - 1/2 tsp
  15. Salt

  1. Dry roast ingredients 1 through 5 and grind to a smooth powder/paste.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet and add mustard, methi, haldi, curry leaves, red chillies, hing and let the mustard seeds splutter.
  3. Add the pumpkin pieces and sautee for 5 mins.
  4. Add the tamarind pulp, salt and enough water and boil the pumpkin until cooked.
  5. Add the dal and boil until all ingredients are well cooked.
  6. Add the ground paste/powder and boil for a min or so and take it off the heat. Serve hot with rice.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Begun Bhaja

It feels like the cook in me is getting resurrected and that is not necessarily a good thing because it also means that my diet and focus on eating healthy goes for a toss :). Ah heck! Who cares!!! Today I was inspired to make a Bengali meal and perused several blogs for the recipe of Begun Bhaja. I finally used this one. My first taste of this dish was during my last India trip when my sister's cook make this. It seemed so simply yet tasted so good. I know it is my BIL's favorite dish and I can see why. To go with this, I made a simple dal with panch phoran masala which added to the Bengali theme of the evening:).

  1. One big eggplant - cut into discs 1/2 inch thick
  2. Turmeric - 2 tsps (I used it liberally but you can use less too)
  3. Red chilli powder - 2 tsps
  4. Salt
  5. Oil - 3 tbsps
  6. Lemon juice - 1/2 tsp

  1. Rub the turmeric, salt and red chilli powder on both sides of the eggplant and let it sit for a few minutes

2. In a pan, add the oil and let it heat up for a min. Add the eggplant slices and let it cook and brown on one side. Then flip and let it cook well on the other side. By the time it is done, the eggplant should be really soft and the skin on the sides should have changed color.

3. Drizzle a little lemon juice and enjoy hot with khichdi or with roti and dal like I did.