Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ifisashi ~ Zambian Dish | Peanut Spinach Curry

Ifisashi is a traditional Zambian curry made for mixed greens, veggies & peanuts. This is a thick stew served with Nshima, the staple of Zambia. You can also serve it along with rice & polenta or your choice of main dish too. Ifisashi doesn't  need any oil & that makes it's cut in to healthy dishes for me. You can add any of your favorite veggies to make it much tastier. 
Adapted from here.
Prep Time - 5Mins {chopping+prepping}
Cook Time - 15min
Serves - 2people
1Medium onion chopped
2Tomatoes chopped
1Big bunch of spinach washed & chopped
1Cup chopped cabbage
3Green chili's sliced
2Tbs peanut powder
1/2Cup water
Salt to taste
- Heat pan with water. To that add powdered peanuts, onion & tomatoes. Cook them with a closed lid.
- Now add in green chili's, cabbage, salt & spinach to them.
- Cook them until they all come together. Adjust salt if needed.
- Switch off heat & garnish with little peanut powder.
- Serve with rice.
- You can add in your choice of vegetable.
- Few chopped garlics will make this dish more flavorful.
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Jabeez ~ Yemen Dish | Black Eyed Peas Pancake

Jabeez is a Yemen style savory pancake. It is filled with goodness of greens, flavor of cumin & perfectly spicy. The original version of this recipe added a egg to it, which I skipped & rest was the same. 
Jabeez can be served as a appetizer, snack or can be your scrumptious healthy dinner. Myself I made it for dinner & served it along with peanut chutney made south Indian style. It was so perfect & reminded us akki roti or Koyya roti we make with rice flour.
Adapted from here.
Prep Time - 2hr20mins { Soaking + resting + chopping}
Cook Time - 20mins for all pan cakes 
Serves - 4Big pancakes or 8mini one's
3/4Cup black eyed peas {soaked}
1/2Cup wheat flour 
4Green onions/scallions  finely chopped 
1Small onion finely chopped
1/4Cup cilantro chopped 
2Tsp red chili powder / Black pepper powder
1Tsp roasted cumin powder 
1Cup water {As needed}
3Tbs oil
1Tbs yeast 
1/2Tsp turmeric
Pinch of salt
- Soak black eyed peas for 1hr at least.
- Grind black eyed peas to a smooth paste using little water. 
- In a bowl add the grind pea paste along with wheat flour, scallions, onions, cilantro, cumin powder, yeast, turmeric & salt. 
- Add water & mix them well. It will form into a thick smooth paste. Adjust salt if needed. Allow it to sit for 1hr with closed lid. 
- Heat pan & add few drops of oil to pan. Now add a medium size ball of batter to pan. Then press it around to make a flat shaped roti. 
- Close with lid & cook till it is crisp. Remove the lid & flip it to other side. Cook till it is crisp on the other side too. 
- Remove on to a plate & repeat the same with rest of the batter. 
- Enjoy it with your favorite chutney.
- Add another cup of water to make it a smooth batter & you pour it onto a  just like the pancake batter.
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Monday, September 29, 2014

Atukula Mix | Sweet Poha Mix

Atukula Mix
Atukula Mix / Poha Mix, is not actually a dish but it is more of combing few ingredients to make a mix. On the occasion of Saraswathi Pooja on Navratri/Dussehra days I made this mix to offer the goddess. They are different types of prashad for each day of navratri & this poha mix is for Saraswathi pooja day.
While I was making this mix I had a nostalgia hit. I remembered my grand mom (maternal) making this mix & packing them in different paper packets for me to distribute in the school on my first day of school (LKG) among other kids. I didn't know why she did that but, when I realized that she was spreading the blessings of goddess & that moment I felt happy & proud of her. I went to 2 schools at the same time in 2different towns. Yes, I did. I was joined in missionary school at Guntur (where my parents live) & the other in my grand mom's town (machilipatnam). I use to spend most of my time with my grand parents, so they decided to join me in a school there too & that is where I distributed this mix among kids. 
Atukula Mix
1/2Cup atukulu/poha {thin}
1/4Cup putnala pappu / dalia {roasted bengal gram}
1/4Cup jaggery {bite size pieces}
- In a bowl mix up all the ingredients. 
- Mix is ready. 
- You can replace poha with puffed rice or marmaralu.
Atukula Mix
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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tofu Veggie Stir Fry ~ Xiang Cuisine, Chinese Dish

Tofu Stir Fry
Tofu Veggie Stir Fry is a delicious bite you can snack on or combine it with white rice & call it a lunch or dinner. This Hunan Style stir fry dish is little oily, spicy & sure is very tasty. Hunan Cuisine of Xiang region is part of 8 chinese cuisines. It stands out from other cuisines because of it's spiciness, beautiful color & the aroma.
Tofu Veggie Stir Fry I'm sharing here is cooked in a fermented black bean sauce, but the recipe I followed simplified it by using tomato sauce. It was was a scrumptious snack for me on a happy friday evening. 
I was writing this post for the past two days as I was feeling very lazy & at the same time was busy with all the weekend errands. At last on sunday night I sat down to write the post while watching "Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown - Shanghaicoincidentally. Ahah moment!!! Isn't it ??? 
Tofu Stir Fry

Prep Time - 10mins {Cutting & arranging}
Cooking Time - 20mins 
Serves - 2people
Adapted from here.
1/2Block tofu sliced as seen in picture {7oz}
1Onion thinly sliced
1Medium capsicum thinly sliced
1Carrot julienne
1Tbs grated ginger
2Garlic sliced
2Tbs peanut oil/vegetable oil
1/4Cup tomato sauce / Tomato paste
2Tsp sugar
1Tbs sesame oil
1/4Cup soya sauce
1Tsp chinese rice wine / Red wine vinegar
1Tsp red chili flakes
1/2Tsp salt
1Tbs sesame oil
- Remove tofu from water & let it rest on a kitchen towel or paper towel. Now slice it as shown in picture.
- Heat a wide non-stick pan with little sesame oil. Lay sliced tofu without touching each other. Crisp fry them on each side & keep aside.
- In a bowl mix red wine vinegar, chili flakes & keep aside.
- In another bowl tomato sauce, sesame oil, sugar, salt & soya sauce.
- Heat pan with oil & first add in ginger, garlic & onion. Fry them on medium heat.
- Next add in bell pepper & carrots to pan. Stir fry them. Add in vinegar chili mix & mix in.
- Next add in fried tofu to pan. Add the tomato sauce mixture to pan & mix in well.
- Fry them on medium heat for 2 mins by stirring continuously.
- Switch off heat & garnish with scallions.
- Serve warm along with rice or fried rice or as a snack.
- Veggies should be crisp & not soft. So fry them just for few seconds.
- I used tomato paste in my dish & it turned out good.
- If you are using chinese hot red peppers then go with the recipe. If not make to 2tsp.
- I had red wine vinegar handy & used it.
- I used kikkoman sesame oil in the recipe.
Tofu Stir Fry
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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Annam Parvanam | Rice Kheer

Rice Kheer
Annam Parvanam / Rice Kheer is one of well known prashad dishes. This is creamy, perfectly sweet & topped with goodness of ghee along with nuts & raisins. You can customize this recipe as you like, say you can substitute 1/2 of milk with lite & thin coconut milk to make it more flavorful.
I'm following a pattern in making Navratri recipes from today on. I have read an article online & they listed out the prashad that should be offered on daily basis. For the 4th day it is Annam Parvanam/Rice Kheer made of sugar & jaggery or sweet pongal should be offered to the goddess. 
More Prashad recipes: 
Prasadam | Neivedyam | Prashad
- Sweets 
- Navratri Recipes 
Rice Kheer
Prep Time - 1hr {soaking + arranging ingredients}
Cook Time - 20mins 
Serves - 3people
1/2Cup rice 
2Tbs chana dal
3Cups milk { 2%fat milk} {Add in more milk if needed}
1/4Cup sugar {Adjust as needed}
1Tsp cardamon powder
2Tbs ghee/ butter
Few cashews & raisins
Few saffron streaks
- Soak chana dal & rice in a bowl for more than 1hr. 
- In deep vessel heat milk & to that add soaked rice, chana dal & saffron strands. 
- Bring them to boil & cook on low heat till rice is cooked perfectly. It might take 10mins to 15mins. 
- Now add in sugar  to the kheer. Mix in & switch off heat. 
- Pressure cook rice & chana dal with 2Cups milk for 2whistles. 
- Transfer cooked rice, chana dal along with few saffron streaks to a deep vessel & add in 1Cup milk to it.
- Bring it to boil & stir it occasionally until everything comes together. 
- Now add in sugar & mix in. Switch off heat right away.
- Heat a pan with ghee. To that add cashew & fry them for few seconds till they turn light brown.
- Now add in raisins to pan & fry them till they are puffed up. 
- Switch off heat & mix in with kheer. 
- You can replace jaggery with sugar, might need to add a much more quantity to make it perfect.
- I used milk with no added water to it. 
Rice Kheer
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Friday, September 26, 2014

Atta Flour Kheer | Godhuma Pindi Payasam

Atta Flour Kheer
Godhuma Pindi Payasam / Atta Flour Kheer is a Warangal/Telangana special dish. I followed a recipe from youtube in making this dish. It was easy, but little tedious at the same time. You have to keep stirring the kheer all the time to avoid forming lumps. Other than stirring it is simple & less time consuming dish with simple ingredients. It might resemble a little like halwa in shape, but it's not. 
Godhuma Pindi Payasam is a Telangana sweet dish that is specially made for Varalaxmi Vratam. It is believed that dishes, which are made of atta flour are very auspicious while offering to god. I made it for Navratri as offering to god. It was tasty & very satisfying for my sweet tooth.
Atta Flour Kheer
Adapted from here.
Prep Time - 2mins {Arrange all the ingredients near stove}
Cook Time - 15mins
Serves - 3people 
1/2Cup atta flour
1Cup milk 
1/2Cup sugar 
1Tsp cardamon powder
1/4Cup ghee/butter
2Tbs raisins
2Tbs cashews
- Heat a non-stick pan with ghee. To that add cashews & fry them till they are light brown in color.
- Add in raisins & let them puff up. Remove cashews & raisins into a bowl.
- Now add atta flour to left ghee. Fry till atta flour changes a little color by keep stirring it continuously. 
- Add milk little by little while stirring it in to flour. Keep stirring it while every thing starts to form  into a thick kheer. 
- Now add in sugar & cardamon powder to kheer. Stir in sugar while making sure no lumps are formed. 
- Switch off heat & remove kheer in to a bowl. Garnish it with fried cashew & raisins. 
- Serve warm & enjoy.
- Make sure all the ingredients are handy while cooking. 
- Prepare yourself to stir the recipe for 15mins continuously.
-Using a whisk will come in handy.
Atta Flour Kheer
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Pisua is a West Samoan sweet dish made of tapioca & caramelized coconut milk. In simple words it's a heaven in a bowl. It tasted awesome with the binding flavors of coconut & cute sago cubes.
Adapted from here.
Prep Time-1hr +5min {soaking+arranging}
Cooking Time-30mins 
1/2Cup sago/tapioca pearls
1Cup water
2Tbs sugar/ 1/4 sugar {for sweet tooth}
Few chopped almonds for garnish
For caramelizing
1/4Cup + 2Tbs sugar
1Cup coconut milk
- Soak sago for 1hr. 
- Pressure cook sago, water & sugar for 2 whistles. Switch off heat & allow it to cool. 
- Once it's cool cut sago in to small pieces & keep aside.
- Mean while in a pan add sugar for caramelizing & on low heat cook it till it changes it's color to dark color. 
- Now add in coconut milk, mix in well & switch off heat. Allow the mixture to cool. 
- Now add in the cut sago pieces to caramelized milk & serve.
- I topped it with little elachi for more flavor.
- Pressure cooking makes cooking much easier. You can also cook it on stove top with extra added water.
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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Besitos de Coco ~ Venezuelan Coconut Kisses

Besitos de Coco
Besitos de Coco are Venezuelan cookies. They are half cookie & half flakes of coconut, which will leave you with a tropical taste in every bite. Besitos de Coco or Coconut Macaroons are easy to make sweet delights. These cookies are known as "Coconut Kisses" in spanish speaking Caribbean Islands. I have seen recipes with condensed milk, which replace egg yolks in this dish, I might try them in future for a eggless version. For now, this cookies are the best & stole our hearts instantly.

Besitos de Coco
Adapted from here.
Prep Time - 10mins 
Cook Time - 20mins 
Serves - 26Cookies
2&1/2Cups +  1/2Cup coconut flakes
1/2Cup flour
1Cup brown sugar
1Tbs butter
4Egg yolks
1Tbs vanilla extract 
- Pre heat oven @350degrees. Layer a cookie pan with parchment paper and keep aside.
- In a bowl mix in all the above ingredients leaving half cup of coconut flakes aside.
- Scoop the mix & form into small balls.
- Roll them into coconut flakes & place them on the cookie pan. Press a little to make them flat or leave them as they are.
- Bake them for 20mins @350 degrees. 
- Remove from oven & cool them on counter top. 
- For the chocolate on the top, as soon as you remove the cookie pan out of the oven press in a nestle chocolate chip in to it & it fixes perfectly.
- Baking time might change from oven to oven. 
- For more added flavor you can replace vanilla extract with coconut extract.
Besitos de Coco
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Matooke ~ National Dish of Uganda

Matooke is a national dish of Uganda. The word matooke means mashed plantain. This is a simple plantain dish, where plantains are steam cooked, mashed & then mixed with a gravy of vegetables. This dish can be cooked in a peanut sauce or a meat sauce. But in this dish I skipped the sauce part completely & made it a dry matooke with few veggies added to it.  
Prep Time-10mins { Peeling & chopping veggies}
Cook Time-20mins { Steaming plantain & making the base} 
2Plantain's peeled & chopped to bite size pieces
1Big onion sliced
1Garlic pod
1Bell pepper de-seeded & chopped
4Green chili’s {Adjust as needed} or 1Tsp chili powder
2Tbs oil
Salt to taste
- Steam cook banana’s & mash them. Keep aside & start with the base curry.
- Heat pan with oil. Add in chopped onions & garlic. Fry them till onions are translucent.
- To them add bell pepper & tomatoes.  Close with lid & cook till veggies are soft.
- To the pan add steamed plantains, salt & chili powder. Mix them well & adjust taste if needed.
- Serve warm along with peanut sauce.
- I used chili powder, If you are using green chili’s add them in along with onions & garlic.
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Navratri Alamkaram & Prasadam

Dusshera / Navrati is celebrated in month of Ashwija for 9days starting with shukla padyami & ending on shukla Dashami. On all these 9 days goddess dressed & worshiped as an embodiment of different forms. The days of alamkaram might change from location to location, in Andhra Pradesh it is followed according to Vijayawada Kankadurga Temple. I was checking for the list & found a detailed link of alamkaram's in details. I'm sharing the list along with offered prashad that I borrowed from Hindupad.

Sri Balatripura Sundari Devi or Shailaputri Navadurg - Sweet Boondhi & chickpeas 
Gayathri Devi - Ravva Kesari & Pulihora
Annapurna Devi - Sweet Pongal 
Mahalakshmi Devi - Ksheerannam or Annam Parvanam.
Lalitha Tripura Sundari Devi - Pulihora & Pesara Boorelu.
Saraswati Devi - Atukulu, Bellam(Jaggery), Putnala pappu (Bengal gram) & Coconut.
Durga Devi - Garelu & lemon juice or some thing made out of lemon juice.
Mahishasura Mardhini Devi - Chakkara Pongali or sweet Pongal.
Rajarajeshwari Devi - Pulihora & Garelu 

Stay blessed !!!!
 Day -1 Pulagam