Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dahi Vada

My mom always orders Dahi Vada when ever we go to Indian restaurant.  My daughter likes it too. But,it is a risk to order Dahi Vada. It will be a bust if the vada is hard or yougurt is sour.

20 Medhu Vada
2 C fresh plain yogurt,whisked with a little salt
4 green chili
1/2 - inch ginger(optional)
1/2C chopped fresh cilantro

1. Make Medhu Vada without onion. As soon as you remove vada from oil, dip into a bowl of water for 2 seconds and press lightly to remove water. Place vada in single layer on a shallow tray.
2. Grind chili, ginger, cilantro and salt to a paste.
3. Stir this into whisked yogurt. Spread the yogurt over vada.  Garnish with boondhi.

If you do not like the green look of dahi vada, omit the green chutney and sprinkle chili powder and chopped cilantro on top.
Do not use yougurt that is sour.

Medhu Vada(Urad Dal Vada)

My sister makes the best Medhu Vada in my family. It is always perfect in shape and texture. For many years I could not make vada like hers. Then I learned  the secret. Now, my vada comes out well. But hers is still the best.  Last year, my neighbor's dad, who was visiting , gave me some tips for soft and crisp vadas.  Last week my mom said that she made Medhu Vada using split black gram(urad dal). I tried the same last weekend. They turned out  very well indeed. I was reminded of "vada malai" in temple.  I had a lot of left over vada, and made Dahi Vada next day. My daughter loved it.

1 C Whole Urad
1 t rice
green chili, as per requirement
salt, as required
1 t asafoetida

curry leaves

1. Soak dal and rice for 2 hours.
2. Drain and grind with chili, adding very little water to a slightly coarse batter. Make sure the batter is fluffy  while grinding. Add salt and asafoetida. Remove the batter and stir in curry leaves.
3. Heat oil in a pan.  Dip your fingers in water; wet a plastic sheet; take a tablespoon size batter and pat it on the sheet; make a hole in the center and slide it into the hot oil. Depending on the size of the pan, you can fry 2-4 Vada at a time. Fry on both sides till golden brown. Drain on a paper towel. Repeat the process with the rest of the batter.
3. Serve with coconut chutney and sambar.

Chopped onion can be mixed into the batter.
Vada can be soaked in sambar and served as Sambar Vada.
 Do not soak the dal for too long.
Make sure not to grind the batter too smooth.
Make the vada immediately.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Bluberry Cake

I had a lot of blueberries in my refrigerator that I had to use before we left for Canada last week.  In January 2012, I read a recipe for blueberry cake in Woman's Day by Valerie Bertinelli, and made it. It was an easy recipe to follow and is low in calories too. Since it was July 4 last week, I thought it would be a great idea to make the cake again.  Also, it was a nice gift to bring to my sister. We all enjoyed it for breakfast while visiting her. I served a warm slice with Maple Walnut ice cream. Oh it was heavenly!

2 1/4 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
3/4 t salt
3 3/4 C plus 1 T all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 3/4 C buttermilk
1 1/2 C granulated whiet sugar
1/2 C vegetable oil
2 t freshly grated lemon zest
2 C fresh blueberries
2 T coarse sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Spray a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the baking powder, baking soda, salt and 3 3/4 cups flour; make a well in the center.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, buttermilk, sugar, oil and lemon zest.  Pour into the well of the flour and stir to combine.
4. In a medium bowl, toss the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon flour to evenly coat.  Fold all but 1/2 cup of the blueberries into the batter.  Spread the batter into the prepared pan and top with the remaining 1/2 cup blueberries.
5. Sprinkle with the coarse sugar and bake until the cake is brown and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean, 70 to 75 minutes.
6. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then unfold(remove the outer ring) and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

It is alright to have a few lumps in the batter. Be cautious not to over mix.

Sambar Powder

My mom always makes Sambar Powder in bulk for all her children. I freeze some and store some in the pantry. Even after 2 years the flavor does not change.  She usually gets the ingredients powdere in the flour mill. I'd like to share her recipe on my blog.

4 Cups Dry Red Chily
7 Cups Coriander Seeds
1 CupToor Dal
1 Cup Black Peppercorn
1 Cup Cumin Seeds
1 Cup Methi Seeds
1 Cup  Mustard Seeds
3 teaspoon Turmeric power

 Powder everything  in a blender. Store in air tight container

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Creamy Doodi(Bottle Squash)

The first time I had bottle squash was at a party. The dish tasted very good, but I was not able to guess the vegetable in it.  When my friend told me what was in it, I was floored. I got the recipe from her, have served it at many of my parties.  It is a creamy dish that can be served with flat bread or rice.

1 inch cinnamon, 2 clove, 1 cardamom
1 C chopped onion
2 t ginger, garlic, crushed
2 green chili, slit
2 goda masala
1/4 t turmeric powder
1 t Kashmiri mirch(red chili powder)
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 C chopped bottle squash(doodi)
1/2 C fresh curds(yogurt)
salt to taste
To make paste:
1 T cashew nuts
1 t almonds, blanched
1 t poppy seeds

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan to medium heat; add cinnamon, clove, and cardamom and stir for a minute. Add chili, ginger, and garlic; saute for 2 minutes. Stir in onion and cook well for 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes, and cook till soft. Stir in turmeric powder,chili powder, and goda masala.  Add doodi, salt, and enough water.  Cover and cook on low medium, till doodi is soft, for 20 minutes.
2. Mean while, blend cashew nuts, almonds and poppy seeds with little water to make a paste.
3. Stir in the paste to doodi; add yogurt; mix well and cook for 10 minutes.  Add water as required.  Serve with hot roti, naan, or rice.