p Box o' Spices: October 2006

Friday, October 06, 2006

Spinach dal

Sometimes we crave Chinese food, sometimes we crave chicken, and sometimes Mexican. And then there are times when you crave simpler things like dal and rice. It’s not really a craving but a feeling. It’s like you are content with life, don’t want anything fancy. Just simple dal and rice and maybe some pickle. Dal and spinach dal take the exact same effort thanks to frozen spinach, so I made spinach dal using super quick recipe.

Moong dal - 1 cup
Spinach - 1 packet (10 oz or about 300 grams)
Onions - 2 medium
Tomato - 1 large
Jeera – ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Sambar powder – 2 tsp
Tamarind paste – ¼ tsp or juice of tamarind – 1 tbsp
Chopped ginger and garlie - as per taste

Pressure cook moong dal along with the frozen spinach (as is) and 3 cups of water and some salt for 2 whistles.
Meanwhile heat some oil and add jeera, ginger, garlic. Add the onions and fry till brown. Add the tomato, turmeric powder, sambar powder and cook for 5 minutes.
Add this to the pressure cooked dal. Add tamarind juice/paste and some more water to get a batter like consistency.
Cook for a few more minutes.
Serve with hot white rice and pickle. Maybe some potato chips too.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

My lunch yesterday

Shrimp and Linguini in a lemon garlic sauce with Broccoli and red peppers. Yummy!!!!
Don't ask me how I made it though!!!!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Hotel Kurma

It has been a while since I blogged. Actually its been a while since I cooked much. But I’ve been blog hopping and telling myself ohhh this looks soo good. Or ooo I should definitely try this. And I must say I am amazed at the quality of the photos in many blogs. It makes me feel so amateurish to post the pictures I take. But hey, it’s a learning experience.

I used to live in Chennai and like many others often went to Saravana Bhavan. It’s the place to go when you want a quick, no-nonsense meal. And now every time I visit, I try to make one trip there just to have my favorite “Parotta-kurma”. I make kurma my mom’s way (I will post that recipe some other time), but always wanted to re-create the one they served at SB. This is the closest I could get. Hence the name “Hotel Kurma”

But there is one ingredient that I add just because my husband and I loooove it. And that’s Soya chunks, or mealmaker as we call it. You either love it or hate it, so pls feel free to omit it.

Grind the following to a fine paste:

Grated coconut 1/3 cup
Khus khus 1 tsp
Saunf 1 tsp
Onions 1 chopped coarsely
Diced tomatoes 1 cup
Green chilies 4 (or more)
Cashews 1 tbsp
Ginger 1/2 inch

Other ingredients:

Mixed vegetables - 3 cups (carrots, peas, beans, potato, cauliflower) – boiled or microwaved till half cooked
Mealmaker – handful.
Onion – 1 large - chopped fine
Tomato – 1 - chopped fine
Garlic – 3 cloves – chopped
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Bay leaves, Jeera, cinnamon, cloves, elaichi
Coriander leaves, curry leaves

Fry onions, garlic, bay leaves, jeera, cinnamon, cloves, elaichi and curry leaves.
Add tomato, turmeric pwd and cook for a while.
Add ground paste, salt and garam masala. Cook for about 15 min or till smell of onion goes.Add vegetables, simmer for 5 min.
(Meanwhile boil some water with salt. Add the soya chunks, cook for 3-4 min. Drain and squeeze out the water. Add to kurma.)
Add chopped coriander leaves. Serve with rice or roti.