Hello everyone! It's that time of the week again and so soon too! I always think "once a week with multiple dishes" post is easy for me but every week I am huffing and puffing to catch up like a last person running in a Marathon! Haha!
Memorial weekend was so busy and fun too that I didn't have anything written for my post today. I just had these photos posted and haven't typed a word until yesterday afternoon! Anyway glad I caught up at last and here are some of the dishes I had cooked. Yes!! I deep fried again after those Baturas, enjoyed these Bondas after more than a year. That's some will power for a compulsive craver of savory snacks like me, let me tell ya ! ;D
Mysore Masala Bondas:
Most of you Indian foodies know about these Bondas of course. Some get confused between Mangalore Bondas/Bajjis (Goli Baje) which are made of Plain flour with these Mysore Bondas which are made with thick Urad dal batter. Mysore Bondas are the same as doughnut shaped Urad dal Vadas or Medhu vadas, only made of or rather batter dropped to oil in round balls without making the shapes, definitely much easier than making shaped ones if you ask me!
You can make these plain without adding any onion masala to the batter to make Mosaru Vade or Dahi Vadas soaked in spiced Yogurt or add masala to have them with spicy coconut chutney or dunked in spicy Sambhar.
Perfect timing to send some of these to two events which are just announced with Onions and Peppercorns too! I am sending Mysore Masala Bondas, Dal Sambhar and Egg Theeyal Kootu to Priya's and Siri's "Healing Foods-Onions" event and also to Padma who is hosting "Cooking with seeds-Peppercorns" which is started by Priya. Thanks to both of you! :)
To Make Mysore Bondas:
Heat oil to 375F to deep fry. Get a big strainer, line it up with paper towels to place fried Bondas to keep them crisp draining as much oil as possible.
2. Take out the thick batter in a bowl, add the following masala to it, mix well.
Masala to add: 1/4 cup finely chopped Onions, 1 tsp Cumin seeds, 1 tsp grated Ginger, finely chopped 2 green chillies, 1 tsp crushed Peppercorns, chopped Cilantro, chopped Curry leaves, 2 tbsp Grated or slivers of fresh or dry Coconut, pinch of Hing,adding enough salt to taste and 1/4 tsp baking soda last, just before frying.
Dal Powder and Tomato Sambhar:
As some of you know, I have a gazillion cookbooks of all kinds in my collection and bought more Kannada cookbooks from Bangalore last year when I was there. I found this unique Sambhar recipe made of powdered Dals in one of the books, decided to try and LOVED it. Simple, spicy, thinner gravy than the usual Sambhar and delicious to serve with these Bondas or even with Dill Vadas or Chana Dal Masala Vadas.
To make, fry/Roast dals and spices first:
Heat 1 tsp in a pan on a medium heat. Add 1 tbsp each of Tuar dal, Channa dal and Moong dal together or separately and fry/roast these until they are reddish, raw smell of dals disappear and completely cooked from inside out. Do not burn the dals. Take your time with this frying/roasting process, otherwise Sambhar will smell like raw dals. Cool completely and powder finely. Mix well with 1/4 cup water to avoid lumps and keep aside.
Heat a pan without oil, add 1 1/2 tbsp Coriander seeds, 1 tsp Peppercorns and 2 or more dry red chillies, cool and powder separately, keep aside.
To make Sambhar:
1. Heat 2 tsp oil and 1 tsp Ghee. Add 1 tsp mustard seeds, few curry leaves, 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds, pinch of Hing and 1 dry red chillies.
2. Add 1/2 cup finely chopped onions, 1/4 tsp Turmeric, pinch of salt, saute until soft. Add 1/4 cup Tomato sauce, boil and then turn the heat down to simmer until thick.
3. Add 3-4 cups water, 1 tsp sugar or Jaggery to reduce the acidity of Tomato, powdered spices, salt and simmer for 10mins.
4. Add dal powder mixed with water to the Sambhar, mix well, simmer for 2 mins. If Sambhar is too thick, add more water. But once you add dals, don't boil too much.
5. Garnish with 2 tbsp finely chopped Cilantro and serve. Tastes even better the next day.
Egg Theeyal Kootu:
As I have said before, first dish I make whenever we come home from vacation is some spicy Pearl Onion Theeyal! I get very desperate to have some of this after eating bland food for a week or so! :D
Well..this time I made the smooth onion Theeyal gravy/Kootu style and added few hard boiled Eggs, kids loved it. This recipe may not have authentic Theeyal ingredients but tastes great, I must have written down from a magazine some years ago, don't really remember. You have to serve this some plain white rice, some ghee and a yogurt cucumber raita on the side for a perfect meal!
Hard boil 6 Eggs, shell them and slit the Eggs half way but don't split them in half, keep them whole. Set aside.
Ground masala: Fry each of these separately in few tsps of oil, cool them and make a smooth paste of these:
1 cup of Shallots, 2-3 Garlic, 1" Ginger, 2 tbsp Coriander seeds, 2 cloves and 1" Cinnamon, 2-3 red chillies, 1/4 cup fresh coconut and 1/2 to 1 tsp Peppercorns.
To make Theeyal:
1. Heat 2 tsp ghee and 1 tsp oil. Add 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, few curry leaves.
2. Turn down the heat, add ground coconut masala paste, 1/4 tsp Turmeric, 1/4 tsp thick Tamarind pulp, 1 cup or more water depending on the thickness you want, simmer gently for 10mins. Add chopped Cilantro.
3. Add Eggs. Tastes so much better the next day.
Spicy (Chana Masala) Eggs:
Want some yummy spicy Eggs to snack on, or to top a cool salad or for quick Sandwich stuffers for lunch? Here they are! I just hard boiled about 6-7 Eggs, shelled and cooled them, sliced each into half, and sauteed them with my own Chana masala powder I made last week, you can add any masala you have.
To make these:
1. Heat a wide mouthed non-stick pan, add 1 tbsp butter to coat the pan. Place halved Eggs in single layer, sprinkle salt, homemade Chana Masala or any masala powder you like, and fresh Pepper powder or red chilli powder.
2. Gently roast the Eggs on medium heat. Don't let the masala burn. When they are golden, flip them and sprinkle more masala and more Butter if you like until they are well roasted and coated with masala.
3. Serve on a salad or make Sandwiches or serve these just as snacks/appetizers. YUM!!
We went to "Prince of Persia" on Memorial day Monday, loved it. This movie is based on a Video game, so I wasn't that thrilled to go but Jake Gyllenhaal is one of fave actor. He definitely didn't disappoint me, movie very well made and he is so charming just like a (a street urchin really!) Prince Dastan should be and a perfect looking Princess called Tamina to boot! Movie is very entertaining, non-stop action, visually beautiful. As bonus, got to see a super Obese (from Hindu Kush region, now Afghanistan) Maharaja riding an Elephant, munching on Walnuts and few giggling Indian Princesses too! :D
On DVD, kids and I watched "Alice in Wonderland", new one with Johnny Depp. Weirdly funny movie but again, it was supposed to be that way, different than normal, so it was enjoyable and entertaining, waited to see this movie on DVD though.
Another very talented actor, we love Johnny Depp's movies like "Sweeney Todd" and "Pirates of The Caribbean" movies, but not so much his kiddie movies like this one and as "Willie Wonka....". I bet younger kids will enjoy these kid movies in theaters better, of course Johnny Depp is always great in any movie, loved him as Sweeney Todd!
That's all for now, enjoy the short week and the weekend! :)