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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Leftovers series: Tomato Rice


Preparation Time: 5-10 mins

Ingredients: Cooked rice ( 1 cup), chopped tomato ( 1 medium ), green chilli ( 1-2 nos ), onion ( 1 large ), curry leaves ( 1 sprig ) , chana dal ( 2 tbs ), urad dal ( 2 tbs ), mustard seeds ( 1/2 tsp ), asafoetida ( 1/5 tsp), broken cashew pieces, salt , oil ( 2 tsp ), chopped coriander for garnish ( optional ).

Preparation: Chop the onion and tomato into small pieces.
Fry the cashew, urad dal and chana dal with very little oil and keep aside.

Cooking: Heat oil in a wok. When it starts smoking, add mustard seeds followed by the broken green chilli, curry leaves and asafoetida. Stir for 10-15 secs.
Add the chopped onions. Stir fry for 2 mins. Add the tomatoes along with some salt. cook till the tomatoes soften.
Add the rice and stir fry for a few minutes. Sprinkle more salt on top ( if required )and add the fried dal & cashews.Serve hot.

Note: If the rice is kept in the fridge, microwave on high for 1 minute. Else add to boiling water and drain off after 1-2 mins.
The fried dals and cashews are added at a later stage to retain their crunchiness.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Biri Chop ( Urad dal bonda )

Preparation time: 30-40 mins

For the outer layer - 1 small cup chopa chada biri ( dehusked black lentil ), 2-3 tsp semolina, 5-6 crushed peppercorns, a pinch of baking powder, chopped green chillis, salt to taste, oil for deep frying.

For the stuffing - 2-3 medium sized potatoes ( boiled and peeled ), 1 tsp grated garlic, 1 tsp grated ginger, 1 medium sized onion ( finely chopped ), mustard and cumin seeds for tempering, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1/5 tsp turmeric, 2-3 tsp chopped coriander leaves, fried peanuts/boiled yellow peas/green peas, 2-3 tbs chopped coconut pieces, 3-4 tsp oil, salt to taste.

Preparation: Wash and soak the biri for 3-4 hours. Grind into a smooth thick paste in a mixer/grinder and keep aside for 3-4 hours to allow fermentation.

Just before frying, add the remaining ingredients to the batter and mix well. Add water if required to get the correct consistency. On dipping the balls, the batter should form a layer of 1-2 mm thickness.

Cooking: Heat 3-4 tsp oil in a wok. Add mustard-cumin seeds when the oil starts smoking. Follow with chopped onion and the grated ginger and garlic. Fry for 4-5 mins till the raw smell goes away.

Add the mashed potato along with chilli powder, salt and turmeric. Fry for 2-3 mins. Now add the fried peanuts/boiled peas, coconut pieces and chopped coriander. Fry for 1-2 mins. Remove from heat and keep aside till it is bearable to touch.

Make small balls out of the above.

Heat another deep vessel/wok with sufficient oil for deep frying. When the oil just starts to smoke, lower the heat.

Dip the potato balls in the batter and add to the wok few at a time. Fry on all sides to a medium brown colour.

Serve hot with ghuguni/chutney/ketchup.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

How to prepare 'Ghee' or Clarified butter at home

Preparing 'Ghee' at home is not as complex or time consuming as it is made out to be. Having a mixer at home has simplified the process to a large extent.  I have been following some simple steps ( as detailed below ) with good results.

Preparation time : Will vary according to the quantity of cream/malai being processed. It takes about 1 hour for 500 ml of ghee.

Steps to be followed:

1. Accumulate sufficient cream/malai for preparing the ghee. Remove the cream from chilled (preferably) milk and keep in an open vessel in the fridge. Also add abt 1-2 tsp of curd to this vessel every 4-5 days.
Continue this process till the amount of cream reaches around 1 kg.

2. When you plan to prepare the ghee, remove the vessel from the fridge and add sufficient water to cover the contents.
Allow to stand for 1-2 hours.

Mash it using a heavy spoon.

3. Transfer the cream to a mixer jar and churn for 2-3 mins. Open the jar and add more water and 6-7 ice cubes. close the jar and churn it again for 1-2 mins.

4. The butter will be floating at the top. Remove with a spoon and transfer into a deep vessel. After removing all the butter, add more ice and churn again for 1 minute. This will separate out any remaining butter.

5. Heat the vessel containing all the butter on a low flame. The butter starts to melt and foam.

6. After 20-25 mins, the milk solids will start separating out. The contents of the vessel start boiling and spluttering.

7. Continue till the liquid in the vessel takes a clear golden colour. The solids would have settled down at the bottom and the spluttering would have almost stopped.

8. Keep stirring at regular intervals to prevent the milk solids from sticking to the bottom and getting burnt.

9. Once the milk solids turn light golden brown and take up a granular texture, its time to remove the heat.

10. Allow to cool down. While the vessel is still warm to touch, strain the ghee through a fine cloth or strainer and store in a container.

11. Once the ghee completely cools down , close the lid tightly and store. Use for adding to sweet dishes, tempering dal or even for frying.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Milk Cake

Ingredients: Milk solids  (leftover from preparing ghee at home) ( 1 cup ), milk (1 cup ), condensed  milk ( 1/2 cup ), roasted semolina/suji ( 2 tsp ).

Preparation: Take a vessel and add the milk solids, milk and condensed milk to it. Transfer onto a stove and bring to a boil.

Add the roasted semolina and stir continuously for 2-3 mins on a low flame.

Grease a baking tray and pour the mix into it.

Preheat oven at 180 degrees C and pop in the baking tray. Bake for 10-15 mins depending on the thickness of the layer.

Allow to cool down. Cut into pieces and serve.

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