Hot Chillies!!! That is the choice for "Jihva for ingredients" aka JFI which is started by Indira of Mahanandi and this month it's "Nandita from Saffron Trail"'s turn to host. Thanks for taking time Nandita!:))
Red and Yellow (store bought) Bell peppers I used to make these dishes with my own homegrown Green Poblanos, milder Yellow Banana peppers,Pear and Cherry tomatoes!
Chili peppers,as they are called in US, are thought to have been domesticated by prehistoric people in different parts of South and North America,from Peru in the south to Mexico.The name Chilli peppers,which is spelled differently in many regions (chili, chile or chilli), comes from Nahuatl via the Spanish word chile. The term chili in most of the world refers exclusively to the smaller,hot types of capsicums. The mild larger types are called bell pepper in the USA, simply pepper in Britain and Ireland, capsicum in Australasia and paprika in many European countries.From Mexico, at the time the Spanish colony that controlled commerce with Asia, chili peppers spread rapidly into the Philippines and then to India, China, Korea and Japan with the aid of European sailors. The new spice was quickly incorporated into the local cuisines.Chili pepper figures heavily in the cuisine of India!
Chilli peppers are now grown around the world because they are widely used as spices or vegetables in cuisine, and as medicine.They are rich in vitamin C,high in potassium and high in magnesium and iron,and are believed to have many beneficial effects on health.Canadian researchers believe that chilies might play a vital role in treating diabetes.Chili pepper as a component in weight loss diets has been the subject of a book titled "The Chili Pepper Diet".
Info from WIKIPEDIA.
(Delicious Chillies-Chickpea flour Gravy or Menasinakai Gojju in Kannada)
If you like spicy food,this dish is "it" for ya! It's delicious (I have used milder semi-ripe Banana peppers,) with creamy yellowish chickpea flour gravy.If you are still not brave enough,then feel free to use just sweet bell peppers to replace hot ones.But do not miss the delicious tasting gravy.It goes well any Parathas or Pulao,Biryani as a side dish. Hope you try.
Usually I insist my kids to eat all the Indian food I cook whether they like it or not, but this time I pardoned them from eating this dish! They happily ate Ramen Chicken noodles instead!;D
About 8 banana peppers, 2-3 any large mild green chillies,2 small green chillies,,Roasted 3 tbsp Besan/Chick peas flour, 1 tbsp Coriander seeds powder,1/2 tsp Cumin seeds powder, 1/4 tsp Hing/asafoetida,1/4 tsp turmeric,1 tbsp Tamarind juice, 2 tsp or more Jaggery or sugar and salt.
For Garnish:1-2 tsp lemon juice,salt,1 tsp Garam masala,cilantro.
For seasoning:1 tbsp butter+2 tsp oil,1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp mustard seeds,1/2 onion sliced, 1" ginger+2 garlic, both ground together to paste.
How to make it:
1. Slice chillies in halves or fours,take out the seeds,soak in salt water for 15mins if you are using hot chillies but skip this if you are using sweet bell peppers.Drain and keep aside.Roast Besan flour until slightly golden in a non-stick pan,keep aside.
2. Heat butter and oil in a pan,add the seasoning ingredients,fry until slightly reddish.Now add sliced chillies and fry until they wilt and you see the chilies soften.
3. Sprinkle besan and all the dry masala powders and.Stir fry for a minute, and add salt,Jaggery or sugar,1 cup of water with Tamarind juice.Simmer until you see the thickish sauce, and oil shows on top.If it's too thick add more water.
4.Take off the heat,sprinkle Garam masala,cilantro and lemon juice if needed.
5. Serve with slice of lemon,Parathas or Rice Rottis or Pulaos.
A plate for you with hot Mirch Bhaji,cool yogurt Raita and yummy Wheat-Barley flour Rotis:
To make Barley flour Parathas: Use 1 cup Wheat flour,1/2 cup Barley flour,hot water,salt to knead to a stiff dough.Let it rest for 30mins,roll to circles,cut with 4" round cookie cutters (my secret to perfectly round rotis!;D )and cook rotis on a griddle both sides.
Raita: Mix plain yogurt,cubed cucumber,few Tomatoes,salt,Cilantro well and chill for 1/2 an hr in the fridge.
Hyderabadi Mirchi Ka Salan:
(Red and Orange Bell Peppers and Poblanos cooked in a deliciously thick and flavorful Gravy, a very popular Hyderabadi dish adapted from Ms.Bilkees A. Latif's Hyderabadi and Telangana cuisine cookbook with my additions)
A famous Hyderabadi dish prominently served at the Muslim weddings as the author says along with Hyderabadi Biryani,is a delicious dish you must try.You can use any chillies you like to make it mild or hot.I chose sweet bell peppers and mild Poblanos.I LOVED the taste of this with Parathas as well.
3 colorful Bell peppers/Capsicums,2 large Poblanos,1/4 tsp Turmeric,1 tbsp Tamarind juice,Cilantro,few Mint leaves,Jaggery or sugar as much as you want,1/2 tsp chilli pd(optional if you are using hot chillies but add if using sweet bell peppers)
2 tbsp butter and 1/2 tbsp oil, 1 large onion,sliced thinly.
To Grind #1: Fry 1 large onion,sliced thin , until reddish with little oil, and grind with 1" ginger, 2 garlic.Keep aside.
To Grind #2: 2 tbsp dry coconut,1 tbsp Sesame seeds/Til, few curry leaves,1 tbsp Cumin pd,5 Cashewnuts or Almonds, 1 tbsp Coriander powder,1 tbsp Poppy seeds, 2 red Tomatoes with little water to a smooth paste.Keep aside.
To make it:
1. Slice peppers into wide,long pieces. Heat oil in a pan, add 1 onion sliced,fry until reddish brown with little sugar and salt.Add ground (#1) Onion-ginger-garlic paste,fry until you see oil on top.Add Turmeric.
2. Now add sliced peppers,fry until they change color slightly,and wilts.Add in ground masala #2,stir for a minute.
3. Add Tamarind juice,salt,Jaggery and 1 cup of water.Simmer for 10 mins until oil shows on top.When done,there should be good amount of thick gravy with soft cooked but not mushy peppers.Adjust the salt,chilli ,sugar and tamarind to taste
4. Garnish with Cilantro and Mint leaves.Serve with Parathas or rice rottis or any Pulav or Biryanis.Best with Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani and Raita called Boorani!
Here are few Mirchi dishes I already have:
Stuffed Mirchi Bonda
Chilli Pepper Stir-fry
After all that OOH AHHH of delicious spicy gravy,don't you want some good old classic flavored Ice Creams to cool your palate?
Authentic Indian Kulfi! Unlike Western Ice Creams, Indian Kulfi is traditionally made from boiling milk until reduced to half the quantity with sugar and 1 tsp Cornstarch added to keep the shape(No eggs added).To this any fruit and flavor and color may be added.When thickens,it is poured into small coney Kulfi containers(like Popsicles cones) and frozen.Unmould and serve on a plate garnished with pistachio pd or Cardamom pd.Kulfi is also served with falooda which is made from heating Cornstarch,milk and little sugar,thickened to a dough,cooled and passed thru' a press like Noodles.Serve Falooda chilled with Kulfi on top to be authentic!! Here is a photo(not mine) if you want to see how Falooda-Kulfi look!
Finally!!! A delectable ever popular Pistachio Ice Cream/Kulfi, a recipe made Ben and Jerry's style from their Ice Cream book! after freezing for about 3hrs!!:)
Look what I made after nearly 2 months of getting this Ice Cream maker as a gift!:D I had to make some space for the Ice box in my freezer before even I tried and it was well worth the wait.I will never buy another Ice Cream after tasting these.This machine really is worth every penny of $50, specially tried with Ben and Jerry's creamy Ice Cream recipes.Pista Kulfi(Pistachio Ice Cream) was out of this World! There are 3 methods of Ice Cream base,according to this book.I used the first one,which makes the creamiest and the most delectable version.Egg makes all the difference in this recipe avoiding the Ice crystal from forming and gives the Ice Cream a fluffiness of a cloud! Skip the Eggs if you like.I made half of this recipe that makes 1 Pint of Ice Cream instead of 1 Quart(2 Pints). Here it is goes:
Served right after the processing in the Cuisinart, still in creamy semi-solid stage:
Recipe makes one quart(2 Pints) of Ice Cream,I made half the quantity ie 1 Pint.
Basic sweet Cream Base #1 (to make 1 Quart): 2 cup heavy cream,1 cup 2% or full milk,3/4 cup sugar,2 Eggs. Whisk eggs until light and fluffy,add sugar next whisk,then add cream and milk along your fav. color(I added 3 drops of green color for Pista Kulfi)and 1 tsp any Essence and pour it in the frozen Ice Cream bowl and start.Fluffy Ice Cream is ready in 30 mins.Add any nuts (I added 1/4 cup crushed Pistachios)and fruit you like just a minute or two before you stop the machine.Collect and freeze for 3 hrs in a air tight container.Scoop them and enjoy.
Don't have this Machine? Whisk everything together in a blender except nuts,add to a container,freeze for 3 hrs.Take out and blend again until crushed and creamy ,add Pistachios,mix and freeze until set.Beauty of owning a Ice Cream machine is in the constant churning of cream and creamy light texture which is unachievable without this gadget!
Here is the process with Cuisinart Ice Cream maker:
French Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Oreo bits on a slice of Pound cake!!
After my favorite Pista Kulfi,kids wanted to make their own favorite with French vanilla with Chocolate Oreo bits! Same as above with French Vanilla essence and Oreo bits added just before stopping the machine after 30 mins. I baked a Pound cake(Betty Crocker's low fat mix) and topped with Ice cream scoops!!(My son HAD to add some colorful Xmas sprinkles on top!)
Two more Ben and Jerry Ice Cream Bases:Makes 1 Quart
Base Cream #2: 2 cups heavy cream,2/3 cup half and half,3/4 cup Sugar.(creamy but does not store well like the first base,got to finish all in 1 day!)
Base Cream #3: 2 cups light Cream, 1 cup sweetened cold Condensed milk.(less creamy,less rich)
Add color,flavors,fruits and nuts of your choice.Enjoy!:))
Lemony Watermelon Slushy!
What's a Slushy? According to Thesaurus,slushy = being or resembling melting snow; "slushy snow". Every time we go to movies,kids have to have those Blueberry and Raspberry slushies they sell there.Now, no more spending money on those,when they can make their own at home!!:D
When you have a huge Watermelon, you make what else but Watermelon slushies with a squeeze of lemon juice!!You can make any flavored cool aid slushies in the same way.
Slushy ready to be served!
Slushy is very simple to make with machine! Blend 2 cups of sweet Watermelon chunks, seedless of course, with 1 tsp of lemon juice until smooth,add to the frozen jar to start and it's ready in 15mins to scoop up and devour immediately!! Or you can blend Watermelon chunks,lemon juice and ice cubes in blender until it's slushy !
That's it!! Enjoy.See you all next week.
Oh btw, I went to a Eye Surgeon for consultation for Lasik surgery on my half blind Myopic eyes.Although I don't get rid of my glasses completely,he will try his best to fix it.I have one more discussion with him next Wednesday and then get a date for my chop-chop time! Will let you know what happens next week!:)