Did I ask for Sunny days? :D I asked and I got them!! Man! It's so hot here, had a headache running around the town doing chores but my plants are growing fast and furious, it's a joy to watch. All the herbs and Curry leaf plant are on the deck and loving the heat. One drawback of hot and sunny days is you don't feel like standing in front of hot stove now and cook which was a comfort in Winter but have to do at least 3 meals a day anyway! Tushar had his Guitar concert last night, his last concert in middle school, enjoyed that too! :)
You must be wondering why am I so busy these days that I am even missing few posts to comment because of lack of time! Well..I will tell you next Wednesday! :)
I made some slightly familiar sounding Iranian dishes last week, loved the taste of the rice and cooling Spinach salad, mainly influenced by the book "Rosewater and Soda bread" by Marsha Mehran, which is second book. I loved her first book "Pomegranate Soup", so read her second one too curious to know what happened to 3 Iranian sisters who escaped form Iran to Ireland. Moong gravy was yummy and dessert with bread slice made it so easy to thicken faster in the MW. Enjoy the feast!
Baghali Polou/Polow/Polo and Borani recipes are mostly adapted from a Iranian cookbook by Najmieh K. Batmanglij with my slight changes, who is also the author of "Silk Road Cooking-A vegetarian Journey". Fava beans are added to this rice dish usually but I didn't find those. I replaced it with green and white baby Lima beans. Moong dish is from Lisa's kitchen and Rabri of course is an easy traditional Indian dessert, I made it easier using Microwave and improvised the recipe too. Enjoy making them, always good to try new tastes! :)
Moong and coconut milk soup from "Lisa's Kitchen":
I know most Indians love green Moong and make various tasty dishes with it for rice dishes or Parathas on the side. I chose this recipe from Lisa's kitchen for "T and T"event which looked so delcious, added 1/4 cup thick coconut milk and some Yogurt but mostly followed the rest of the recipe as same as the original. Soup or bhaji as we say is delicious and spicy. It tasted great with the less spicy Dill and Lima beans rice and very nutritious too and also tastes good with Pooris. Here is the original recipe for Moong soup from Lisa's Kitchen.
Iranian Baghali Polou/Dill, Lima beans (could also use Fava beans) and saffron rice:
Here is a very simple and very flavorful with Polou/Pulao Iranian style. With added Dill and Lima beans (Fava beans) and hardly any strong spices, it makes a wonderful accompaniment for any spicy dal or meat gravies along with a salad. You can also add Gosht/Lamb into it to make a non-veg Polou. Usually, all the the ingrdients are added to a dish, covered and cooked in enough water just like Biryani/Pulao to serve.
But I cooked rice separately and then mixed with seasoned Dill and Lima beans which retains the brilliant color of Dill and beans and they don't get too mushy. I reserved some rice and mixed with saffron and salt to serve on top of Dill rice to make this dish attractive as they do in the restaurants. You can mix all this up with Saffron milk and cook for convenience.
1 tbsp butter, 1 small onion, finely chopped, 2 garlic, minced, 1/4 red chilli flakes, 2 cups chopped Dill leaves, cooked Lima beans, salt and pepper.
Here is how I made it:
1. Cook 2 cups Basmati or long grain rice with 3 1/2 cups of water or cook as usual you do for yourself with 1 tsp butter and 1/4 tsp salt added. When cooked, take out 1 cup of rice, add a pinch of saffron mixed with 1 tbsp of warm milk and mix well. Let it cool.
3. Add cooked Lima beans and enough pepper to taste.
4. Add this to cooked white rice and mix well, adjust the salt and pepper. To serve, spoon the Dill rice first and then top with Saffron rice or you can mix both these and serve with spicy gravy and cool Spinach-Yogurt salad.
Iranian Borani-Ye Esfenaj/Spinach, onion and Yogurt salad:
A popular Spinach and Yogurt salad from Iran, this is served with Baghali Polou on the side. Borani is salad and Esfenaj means Spinach. Very simple and quick salad to make, tastes great with any knid of Indian Pulavs too.
1 cup thick plain Yogurt, salt and pepper to taste, 1/4 tsp Cumin pd (my addition),
1 tsp oil, 1/3 cup well packed chopped Spinach, fresh or frozen (sqeeze it dry and chop finely), 4 tbsp finely chopped onion, 1 plump Garlic, finely chopped.
To make the salad:
1. Beat Yogurt, salt, Pepper, and Cumin powder well and keep aside.
2. Heat oil, add onion and garlic, saute for 1 minute until soft. Add the chopped Spinach, pinch of salt and stir fry for 2 mins. Take off the heat and cool this down.
3. Add cooled Spinach to Yogurt. Mix well and serve.
Moong and Coconut milk Bhaji:
Same as the above Moong recipe but I made it thicker than the soup consistency and added 3 tbsp thick plain Yogurt at the end of cooking to give it a little tang instead of adding lemon juice and simmered it down on low heat until the sauce is thick. Other than that, I followed the same recipe as it is at Lisa's Kitchen.
Microwaved Almond Rabri:
Rabri or Rabdi, traditionally is a thick concentrated milk with sugar, Cardamom and nuts added. I made an unusual and non-traditional Rabri in the Microwave with fat free Evaporated milk, Almonds, lot less sugar (you can add as much as you want) and a surprise ingredient!! Enjoy.
To make it:
1. Grind Almonds, sugar and bread slice with 1/2 cup of Evaporated milk until smooth, add rest of the milk and process until mixed.
2. Add this to a deep tall microwavable bowl or glass bowl along with ghee and Saffron, heat for 5 mins making sure it's not spilling over. Stir and heat again for 2 more minutes.
3. It thicken faster because of the Almonds and bread, so be careful not to cook it for too long. Add Cardamom pd and mix well.
4. Exactly how mins to cook depends on your Microwave. Just MW until you get the thick sauce of Rabri. Adjust sugar as well to your taste.
Serve Rabri garnished with Almonds or Pistachios if you like. You can serve this warm or chilled.
Iranian Baghali Polou, goes to Smitha's "Colors of Taste-Flavored Rice(World)" event.
Almond Rabri, goes to Mythreyee who is guest hosting "MEC-Nuts", an event stated by Srivalli.
Moong in coconut milk soup, chosen from "Lisa's Kitchen", goes to Aparna who is guest hosting "T and T-Lisa's Kitchen", an event initiated by Zlamushka.
Borani-Ye Esfenaj, goes to Mahimaa's "15 minute cooking" event.
My own tried and tasted recipes from other blogs. Thanks to all of you for posting these delicious dishes, loved them! :)
Vangya cha Rassa, from Anjali.
Spicy Carrot Chutney, from Arch.
Varutharacha Sambhar, from Divya Kudua.
Peanut Chutney, from Sowjanya.
Movies I watched:
YAY! I was waiting to get my hands on this movie for a week now, I got it y'day at last! :)
You will love this movie if you are into politics, know about Watergate and 37th president Richard Nixon scandal, only president who resigned from "office" in his second term in the history of USA. It's amazing how a president can be so blatant, in denial, arrogant (drunk too sometimes but doesn't remember what he said next day!) and shameless, NEVER really apologized to people for his involvement at all when he resigned but reluctantly admits guilt only when cornered by David Frost at the end of this interview after rambling about everything else for hrs and hrs, even blaming others for all that too! Well... reminds me of another "somebody" we all know who didn't resign from the office or apologized for his mistakes!!:P
Nixon gets paid $600000 in 1977 for this now widely watched interview, which made British journalist David Frost a household name, who is also the only journalist who has interviewed many leaders of the World including Shah of Iran. It makes you angry when Nixon says to David Frost "when the President does it, it's not illegal!" regarding the cover up etc., in this interview.
Very well acted by Frank Langella and Michael Sheen in the lead roles, Kevin Bacon is great as usual. Fascinating movie to watch, I can imagine how stressful it must have been to both Frost and Nixon to get thru' this one at that time! You also feel sorry for Nixon when he says to Frost when they meet privately, "I am just not suited to be liked, I don't have that kind of charm. Do you know how fortunate you are?". Ex President Richard Nixon died in 1994.
One of those Chick flicks which I usually don't like to watch but watched this one for kookie Kate Hudson and my new fave actress Anne Hathaway. It's very funny and entertaining movie!
Two "best friends" who dream about their "perfect weddings" since they were little girls, grow up, fall in love and get engaged. When they hire a wedding planner for their "perfect" weddings, she accidentally books the same date for both weddings! Best friends then get competitive "best enemies", even try to destroy eachother's wedding plans, not willing to give up on anything which is hilarious to watch. Now it's war, girly style!! After all that drama, what happens in the end is for you to watch, I don't want to spoil the fun!! :D
Have a great weekend, see you all later! :)