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November 20, 2013

Oats Upma | Indian Breakfast Recipe | Healthy Breakfast Recipe

Oats Upma

Hope everyone had a wonderful karthigai deepam. Ours was a quite one with Sweet Appam and Paruppu Payasam. Though we do not have the luxury of lighting lots of lamps here in the US, we still managed to get that festive mood. Back at home we used to light around 501 oil lamps all around our house. I will be super excited and make sure we light the lamps in our house before anyone in our street does. This year I wanted to make something different like pori urundai or something new so that I can post it here. But I so lazy to go shopping for the needed items. I made Instant Appam and Payasam and relished it to the core. Coming to the Oats Upma it is one of the easy and healthy recipe you can make in a jiffy.

Oats is considered to be a healthy breakfast ingredient. I do not make any special recipes for breakfast. We manage with the cereals, bread, wheat thins etc. But sometimes when I have the extra time I try to make something healthy and filling. Oats Upma is the Indian way of using the Oats. It has a different taste that our regular sooji upma. Only thing you should be careful is not to add too much water which makes the upma to become sticky and not taste good. So if you are looking for a healthy and easy breakfast recipe, here you go enjoy the Oats Upma!!



Preparation Time - 10 minutes

Cooking Time - 8 - 10 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients

Oats - 1 cup
Onion - 1 no medium size
Carrot - 1 no
Beans - 6 - 8 no
Green Peas - 1/4 cup
Mustard - 1 tsp
Urad Dal(whole, white) - 1 tsp
Dry Red Chilly - 2 - 3 no
Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Salt - as per taste

Preparation
  • Dry roast the oats in a kadai for about 5 minutes in medium flame until the aroma rises from the oats.
  • Wash and chop the carrots and beans into small pieces.
  • Chop the onions into thin slices.
Method
  • Heat oil in a kadai.
  • Add the mustard when oil is hot, when mustard splutters, reduce the flame add the urad dal and fry until golden brown.
  • Next add the onion and saute it turns translucent.
  • Add the red chilly, turmeric powder, curry leaves, and roast in medium flame.
  • Add the chopped carrot, beans and green peas and saute everything and cook until the vegetables are 1/2 cooked.
  • Now add 1 1/4 cups of water, salt and allow the water to boil.
  • When the water starts to boil add the roasted oats and mix well.
  • Oats will absorb the water and will get cooked. In medium flame saute until all water is evaporated and oats is no longer sticky.
  • Serve hot with chutney, pickle or as is like me.
Notes
  • Roasting the oats brings out the flavor and prevents oats from being sticky.
  • You can sprinkle some lemon juice when the upma is done to give a lemony twist.
  • Do not allow the temper items to be over roasted, it spoils the taste of the upma.
  • The vegetables should be slightly crunchy for this type of upma.

November 12, 2013

Vegetable Stew (Kerela Style) | Appam and Idiyappam Side dish



Vegetable Stew is one of my favorite dish with Idiyappam or Appam. My family prefers sugar and coconut with Idiyappam and coconut milk with Appam so I did not get a chance to try my favorite side dish. I was also lazy to do something just for myself. I always liked kerela style gravies with loads of coconut milk. When I brought a crate of coconut milk recently, I thought I have to make this atleast one time to relish and at the same time to post it here. The vegetables cooked in coconut milk with a little spice gives the wonderful taste for the gravy.

For the Vegetable Stew you can use fresh coconut milk or canned coconut milk. I used the canned coconut milk, just don't shake the tin collect the top layers for the thick coconut milk and then mix well and use the remaining for the thin coconut milk. This gravy tastes when consumed the same day. If try to refrigerate and then reheat it loses it's original taste. Also this goes best with only Appam and Idiyappam. Do try this and let me know how you like it.



Preparation Time : 10 minutes

Cooking Time : 15 minutes

Serves : 4

Ingredients

Yellow/White Onion - 2 medium size
Carrot - 2 no
Beans - 6 - 10 no
Potato - 1 no
Cauliflower - 3 - 4 small florets
Green Peas - 1/2 cup
Green Chilly - 3 no
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Thin Coconut milk - 1 1/4 cups
Thick Coconut Milk - 3/4 cup
Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs
Cardamom - 2 - 3 no
Bay leaves - 3 no
Cinnamon - 2 small pieces
Salt for taste
Oil - 2 tsp

Preparation
  • Cut the onions lengthwise(julienne).
  • Wash and cut the carrots, beans, potato, green chilly into medium size pieces.
Method
  • Heat 2 tsp oil in a kadai/wok, add the cinnamon, cardamom and bay leaves in medium flame.
  • Next add the onions, 1 sprig curry leaves, green chilly and salt. Saute until onion turns translucent.
  • Add the chopped vegetables, mix so that the oil is coated onto the vegetables.
  • Next add the pepper powder and saute the vegetables for a few minutes.
  • Keep the flame in medium and add the thin coconut milk and allow the vegetables to cook in the coconut milk.
  • Once the vegetables are 3/4th cooked reduce the flame to low and add the thick coconut milk.
  • Cook for additional 5 minutes. Garnish with curry leaves.
  • Serve hot with Appam and Idiyappam etc.,
Notes
  • You can skip any of the vegetables if you do not have it. But try to use the carrots, potatoes and peas.
  • For the coconut milk, I used 1 can of store product coconut milk. Do not shake the tin, open and collect the 3/4 cup of thick coconut milk. Then mix well and collect the thin coconut milk.
  • Add little extra water as per your required consistency if needed.
  • After adding the thick coconut milk do not boil the gravy, it will spoil the taste of the gravy.

November 3, 2013

Lemon Rice | Elumichai Sadham | Indian Variety Rice Recipe | Easy Lunch Box Recipe


Hope everyone had a fun filled Diwali. After enjoying the sweets and savories for a week long it is time to relax and get a break. I know most of you would be super tired and would want to make something simple and easy. Variety rice items come handy on lazy days. It is also a wonderful lunch box recipe which can be prepared ahead of time. When I think about lemon rice I was remember one of my friend's preparation. She used to make the best tasting lemon rice. MK always liked it. I tried to prepare it in the same way by trial and error and finally got the same taste. From then I always prepare it the same way to get that sour tasting yummy Lemon Rice.

Lemon Rice is usually prepared when we want to quickly prepare something quick. It tastes so good with some appalam or some spicy dry curry. We always have it with potato curry and pickle. The quality of the lemon and the amount of lemon juice makes the magic. You have to adjust according to your taste buds. Some of them add the lemon juice to the rice or add it when the seasoning cools down. I always add it at once the seasoning is done. It gives the great taste. You got to try this !!


Preparation Time - 10 minutes

Cooking Time - Time to Cook Plain Rice + 5 minutes

Serves - 4

Ingredients

Lemon - 1 large size
Basmati Rice/Long Grain Rice - 1 cup
Mustard - 1 tsp
Urad Dal(whole, white) - 1 tbsp
Channa Dal - 1 tbsp
Dry Red Chilly - 4 - 5 no
Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - as per taste

Preparation
  • Cook the 1 cup rice with 1 1/2 cup of water.
  • When you cook add 2 - 3 drops of cooking oil so that the rice does not become sticky.
  • Cool down the rice and fluff with a fork.
  • Roll the lemon with your palm for a minute and extract the juice from the lemon.
  • Place all the required ingredients measured and ready before you turn on the stove.
Method
  • Heat oil in a kadai.
  • Add the mustard when oil is hot, when mustard splutters, reduce the flame add the urad dal, followed by the channa dal and fry until golden brown.
  • Next add the red chilly, turmeric powder, curry leaves, and roast in medium flame.
  • Now add the salt, switch off the flame and immediately add the lemon juice mix the contents well.
  • Add the lemon mixture to the cooked rice. Mix everything well until the rice gains the yellow color with a fork.
  • Serve Hot with pappad or any spicy curry.
Notes
  • There are other ways to make this rice, like you can add the lemon juice to the rice and then transfer the seasoning. But to me the method I have mentioned yields the best results and gives that sour taste of the lemon.
  • Adjust the lemon juice level according to you taste. We like our lemon rice sour.
  • Do not allow the temper items to be over roasted, it spoils the taste of the rice.
  • Adding 2 - 3 drops oil while cooking rice makes the rice cook perfect for dry rice items.
Lemon Rice

November 1, 2013

Rasmalai | Diwali Sweet Recipe | Indian Sweet Recipe


Happy Diwali to all my readers and friends. This is the most awaited day of the year for all those who celebrate this festival. Though we miss all the crackers and family fun Diwali is also celebrated in it's own way here in the US. I was surprised to see stands for Indian Sweets with all the Happy Diwali signs in the American chain stores. Everyone will be enjoying the sweets and savories prepared. Do not worry about gaining weight just enjoy the festival and then you can hit the gym. I managed to make some sweets and savories this year. I'm happy that all of them came out perfect and we enjoyed them to the core !!

When I made the Rasgulla I defintely had Rasmalai in mind. I prepared it the next day and reserved it for the Diwali post. I simply loved it !! The rasgullas soaked in the rabri was out of the world. I have never tried these kind of sweets before somehow I did not feel like. But when I made it myself I wanted try it and I loved it. If you have not prepared for Diwali, just grab a tin of Rasgullas from the store and try making Rasmalai, you will be happy that you did it ! Have a Safe and Fun Filled Diwali !!


Preparation Time - 5 minutes

Cooking Time - 30 - 40 minutes

Serves - 4

Ingredients

Rasgulla - 10 - 12 pieces
Milk - 3 cups
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Condensed Milk - 3 - 4 tbsps
Almonds - 8 - 10 no
Pistachios - 6 - 8 no
Saffron - 3 - 5 strands
Ghee/Clarified Butter - 1 tsp
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch

Preparation
  • Soak the saffron in 1 tbsp of warm milk.
  • Add 1 tsp of ghee and roast the Almonds, Pistachios for 1 minute or so and keep aside.
Method
  • Grease a nonstick vessel or a deep heavy bottomed vessel with little ghee.
  • Boil the milk in the vessel. Once it starts to boil lower the flame to medium and cook until the milk reduces to half. Stir at regular intervals to avoid burning at the bottom. It took about 25 minutes to reduce into half.
  • At this stage add the condensed milk and saffron soaked milk and stir.
  • Next add the fried nuts, cardamom powder and milk well. This milk mixture is called rabri/rabdi
  • After 2 - 3 minutes, remove the rasgullas from the sugar syrup slightly squeeze them and carefully drop them into the rabri.
  • Allow it to cook for 5 - 6 minutes so that rasgullas will be soaked in the rabri.
  • Cool down the rasmalai and refrigerate atleast 1 hour before serving to get the original taste.
Notes
  • You can use homemade rasgullas or store bought ones.
  • You can also add other nuts of your preference, but my suggestion would be the ones mentioned in the ingredient list.
  • The sugar level was correct for us you can adjust according to your taste.
  • I would suggest to consume the rasmalai within a day or 2 to get that fresh taste.

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