Template Healthy N Spicy...: January 2007

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Taking a break

Dear friends,
I am taking a small break from blogging for a month due to personal reasons. Till then happy blogging!!
I will be back soon.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Stuffed Peppers

I am presenting here a very simple yet delicious and beautiful dish. The ingredients, when baked gives a wonderful blend of flavour and taste. It will be a very good candidate to be included in a dinner party menu. Above all, it becomes kid's favourite because kids will dig into anything with melted cheese. It is a good way to get veggies into kid's menu. If you are vegetarian, try it with TVP(Textured Vegetable Protein)

The recipe:-
Red Peppers - 4 (halved lengthwise, stems, seeds and ribs removed)
Couscous - 1/2 cup
Ground meat - 1/2 pound
Diced tomatoes - 14.5 oz can
Onion - 1 small (finely chopped)
Garlic - 11/2 tsp(chopped)
Frozen corn - 1/2 cup
Mushroom - 1 cup(chopped)
Paprika - 3/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Monetery jack cheese - 1 cup( You can use reduced fat)

1) Place peppers cut side up in a large foil covered roasting pan.
2) Mix remaining ingredients except cheese in a bowl.
3)Divide mixture among peppers. Cover pan with foil and bake at 400 degree F for 45 minutes.
4)After that, remove foil, sprinkle tops with cheese and bake 20 minutes more.

I made little variations from the original recipe. I used leftover masala kheema in place of ground meat and used cheddar cheese slices in place of monetery jack cheese.
Masala kheema

Recipe for masala kheema:-

Ground Chicken - 1 pound
Onion - 1,finely chopped
Ginger-garlic paste - 2 tbsp
Garam masala powder - 11/2tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Sweet paprika -1 tsp(optional)
Yogurt - 2 tbsp
Coriander leaves - 1/4cup
Lemon juice - 11/2 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste

Heat oil in a pan. Saute onion and ginger garlic paste till it turns brown. Add masala powders and chicken. Saute till chicken becomes dry and brown. Add yogurt and let the chicken cook on a low flame. After chicken cooked sprinkle lemon juice and coriander leaves and mix well. I used sweet parika for color. You can use it if you would like.
See my another recipe for Kheema.
Recipe courtesy:-Parenting magazine

Monday, January 01, 2007

Varna Puttu - Entry for JFI

Wishing You All A Very Happy And Propserous New Year.

Today I am presenting a healthier and colourful version of puttu, a traditional breakfast of kerala. Every malayali, living in any part of the world will not forget this wonderful tasty breakfast. Besides all,if you are a rice lover, you would love this dish. You can find nice puttu making recipes from these malayalee bloggers like RP, Priya, Reshma. I love puttu with kadala(chickpeas) curry . Here I am making puttu in a different style. I found this recipe in a magazine from the great cook Ummi Abdulla. She is one of my favourites.

The recipe for puttu is very easy if you have puttu makers pictured below. You can find the recipe for puttu from scratch without a puttu maker here.The next thing you need is good roasted rice flour. I know that all brands 0f rice flour available from Indian stores in US are not very good. I have read somewhere that Swad brand is better. I have not tried it. These flours have to be roasted for a while. Special puttu flours are also available from Indian stores. Here I am using homemade puttu flour. You can use brown rice four if you prefer a more healthier version.

Next you need shredded coconut. An essential ingredient in puttu. I thank Ashwini by selecting this nice ingredient for JFI of this month. It is a commonly used ingredient in indian kitchen. Try puttu with crunchy veggies and spicy masala.

Recipe follows:-

For Puttu:-

Puttu flour - 2 cup
Carrot - 1(medium sized)
Beans - 50 gm
Grean peas - 1/4 cup
Chilli powder - 1 pinch
salt - to taste

For masala:-

Coconut Shredded - 1 cup (fresh or frozen)
Red onion - 2 medium (finely chopped)
Kashmiri chilli powder - 1/2 tsp (I used it for color,You can use any other brand)
Fennel seeds - 1/4 tsp
Garlic - 2 cloves
Curry leaves - 2 or 3(Optional)
Oil - 2tsp
salt - to taste

Grate carrots using a grater. Cut beans into small pieces. Cook beans, carrot and green peas with chilli powder, salt and very little water. Don't overcook, the color will fade.

Add the vegetables and salt to the puttu flour and mix well. Wet the flour by adding water little by little. Add just enough water to keep it in the powdered form wet enough for steaming as shown in the figure. Keep the flour for 1/2 an hour to blend the ingredients. If you add more water, the flour should change to dough.

Grind coconut with chillipowder, garlic, fennel seeds, curry leaves and salt in a mixer without adding water. Don't grind too much. Just allow the ingredients to mix up. Heat oil in a pan and add finely chopped onion. Add the grounded mix when the onion becomes translucent and mix well.

See the puttu makers in the figure below. I used the cylindrical shaped one for making this dish. It has a large hole at the bottom which easily goes into the pressure cooker vent. Place the mesh like disc at the bottom of the cylinder to keep the flour in place. Just mix the puttu flour again with the hand. Put 2 tablespoon of coconut masala in the cylinder and put almost 1/3 cup wet puttu flour and repeat it till you reach the top of the cylinder and close the lid.

Boil some water in the cooker without placing the weight. Wait for steam to come out of the vent tube. Place the cylinder on the vent tube of cooker and steam it 3 to 5 minutes. Once steam comes out from the top of the cylinder, cook for two more minutes. Again cooking time depends on the kind of equipments one use, hence it may vary.

Take the puttu out slowly by inserting and pushing it out with a stick from the bottom of cylinder.
Serve it hot with vegetable kurma or chicken kurma. Happy Cooking!!!