Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bruschetta-Inspired from Julie & Julia

I relocated to a new land, far away from my home, a place for the wild n' free..AMERICA. I’m here as a graduate student dealing with the crucial transition phase of my life. It wasn’t great in the beginning though, but later it started getting exciting to me. Initially I thought, living in Springfield, Missouri is going to be really tough, because it isn’t what I expected. I was taken aback when I realized that there wasn’t a single Indian grocery store. And secondly, this place is very quiet with its slow lifestyle, unlike the buzzing New York or L.A which is very untypical for America. But then I realized, I am fortunate to be here, the people are lot nicer here. Yes, I had rude experiences in Chicago! This place is pollution free, traffic free, safe and secure. The only big disadvantage is killing time here! I overcame that too now. I’d been to Branson, a place for value shopping and recreation. I also made a trip to Kansas city-Enthiran movie and Indian food made me feel like India. For the fall break, I was in Eureka Springs, Arkansas- A town on a hill top depicting the Victorian age with its pretty houses, and cute little shops! Classes are like sometimes fun and sometimes boring L Rest is so far so good!
Coming to Food part, I really didn’t have trouble cooking for myself. But cooking for two of my male friends, it is. They aren’t so outrageous like me to try something non-Indian. Lately, I made Bruschetta and compelled them to try it out. And it turned out to a big surprise to me that they liked it so much and they keep asking me to make it again. The idea of Bruschetta was inspired from the movie Julie & Julia. Many food addicts like me, would have seen that movie and were drooling when Eric was gorging on Bruschetta. Ever since I saw that scene, I was like in real urge to replicate it at home.
So here’s how I did mine..
Ingredients :
1 loaf of bread,sliced
3 to 4 bell peppers(yellow & red)
2 large heirloom tomatoes
2 or 3 leaves of basil
Salt & ground black pepper
1 Clove of garlic
Olive oil
Shredded cheddar cheese

De-seed the tomatoes and peppers. Chop them finely.
Chop basil. In a large bowl, add chopped peppers, tomatoes, basil ,salt, black pepper, and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Toss them well.

In a frying pan, drizzle olive oil liberally. Once it got heated up, place the bread slices and let it brown slightly.
Turn around. And brown on the other side too.

Place spoonfuls of the tomato mixture on each slice of bread.
Sprinkle some cheddar cheese and serve immediately!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pineapple Rasam!

Series of incidents kept me away from cooking.Firstly, I was away for a week's trip to Kolkata and Gangtok. And came back with a "BANG"..I fell down and got a bruised hip and was bedridden for the following week. But yesterday,I was talking to one of my good ol' friend Ajay. He was boasting about the pineapple rasam he made for lunch.While he was sharing the recipe with me,I wanted to try it right away. So today,ignoring my lingering pain, I made this rasam. Just the first sip, brought me back into life. This rasam is really a keeper. Pineapple would have never tasted better in anything else.Making rasam is an art,it doesn't always taste the same. A perfect concoction of right amount of tartness with mellowing sweetness and the right blend of spices.Pineapple rasam is just pineapple chunks in generic rasam.That sounds simple,but it tastes exotic!
I would not prefer having it with rice .This rasam has to be enjoyed on its own in sheer tranquility to indulge in a pine-apply experience. I'am not going to endorse further on this rasam and test your patience.So here comes the recipe..

You will need :
1 cup of chopped pineapple pieces
1 tomato
2 green chillies
1/2 cup cooked tuar dal
1 marble-sized tamarind pulp
1 tsp rasam powder(see recipe below)
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal
A pinch of asfoteadia
1 tsp of oil
1 sprig curry leaves
Salt to taste

For rasam powder:

2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
10 peppercorns
1 tbsp tuar dal
3 or 4 dry red chillies

Dry roast the above 5 ingredients and powder them.

Recipe for pineapple rasam..

Start off with soaking the tamarind pulp in half liter of water

Heat oil in a kadai, add asafotedia, mustard seeds. Let it splutter. Add tuar dal, slit green chillies,green chillies, garlic and fry for couple of mins. Add the quartered tomato and fry for another couple of mins.

Now extract the tamarind juice, add salt, rasam powder and bring to boil. Add the cooked dal, the tadka tomato mixture. slightly crush the pineapple chunks before dropping them into the rasam. Check for salt and simmer for 5 mins.

A warm,aromatic rasam is ready to delight you!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Electric Rice-Cooker Bisibelabath

I know its been quite a long time.Please accept my sincere apologies for not being here for almost a year. I was not home and was busy with my MBA course at Chennai. Life there keeps me very occupied that I couldn't spare any time for blogging.
Thanks a million for all the friends and fellow bloggers who wished me for my admission. And also for those who enquired about my absence.
I will be home for the next three more months. And I'am back in kitchen. By August , I'am hoping to fly to USA for pursuing the second year of my course.
One of my guy friends, who is in Oklahoma, asked me the procedure for making Bisibelabath/sambar rice in electric cooker.
So here it is..
I have already posted an elaborate version of Bis-b..but this one is a simple method which can be done in an electric cooker.
I have to mention that you have to compromise the creamy,mushy taste of bis-b made in pressure cooker.
Its appropriate to call it as 'sambar rice' than bisibelabath..

Recipe for 4:
1 cup rice
1/4 cup mix of tuar dal & ground nut
1/2 cup mix of chopped veggies( I used plantain, drumstick,pearl onions,tomatoes & beans)
1-inch sphere sized tamarind pulp soaked in 3 cups of water
Sambar powder or Bis -b podi
1 tbsp ghee
1 tsp oil
1 sprig of curry leaves
5 cloves of garlic

Bis-b Podi:
6 red chillies
1.5 tbsp grated coconut
1 tsp chana dal
1 tsp urad dal
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 clove
1 cardamom
A big pinch of hing /asafotedia
4 curry leaves

Roast all the above ingredients of podi in a tsp of oil.
Cool and grind to fine powder.

Cook dal and groundnut separately.One can also cook them in bulk and freeze it up. Just thaw before cooking.

Turn on the electric cooker, heat oil and fry the onions and garlic until transparent. Add the vegetables and fry for a couple of mins.

Extract the juice of tamarind and the 3 cups of tamarind juice to the vegetables. Add salt, bis b podi and cooked dal.Let it come to boil. Add the washed rice.

Close and cook till gets done. Season with ghee and curry leaves in the end. Finish off before it gets cold!