Idiyappam~ South Indian Breakfast

idiappam 4
Idiyappam or String hoppers is a popular Chettinad South Indian breakfast. It is usually served with a spicy curry or with sweetened coconut milk. Continue reading

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A Zesty Salad With Feta Cheese

This is a simple salad recipe with Lettuce, Avocados & Tomatoes. Dressed with Lemon juice, Salt, Pepper and garnished with tangy & salty Feta cheese makes this salad a delicious fusion of flavors!

Ingredients
Lettuce 3-4 Cups
Avocado 1, peeled, pitted & thinly sliced
Grape tomatoes 1/2 Cup
Carrots 1/2 Cup, very thinly sliced
Walnut few( crunchy taste)
Feta Cheese 1/4 Cup, Crumbled
Lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
Salt & Pepper as needed
Spicy baked chicken 1 Cup, diced(optional)

Spicy Baked Chicken
Chicken breast boneless, skinless 2 (4 ounces each)
Chilli powder 1 tsp
Pepper 1/2 tsp
Salt req
Lemon juice 1 tbsp

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Directions
For the Spicy Baked Chicken
• Marinate Chicken with Chilli powder, Pepper, Lemon juice & Salt. Let it stay for atleast 1/2 hour or more.
• Preheat oven to 350F.
• Spray some oil in a baking pan. Add the marinated Chicken and bake for 20-30 mins, turning after 15 minutes. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken breasts. Chicken is done when juices run clear when pricked with a fork.
• Broil for 2 mins and remove from the oven.
• Dice it and keep it ready!
For the Salad
• In a large salad bowl, add Lettuce, Avocados, Grape tomatoes, Carrots, Lemon juice, Walnuts & diced Spicy Chicken breast.
• Season with Salt & Pepper and toss gently to combine.
• Sprinkle crumbled Feta cheese and serve right away!

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Gobi Paratha

Gobi Paratha is a healthy flat bread stuffed with grated Cauliflower and Spices. It tastes divine with plain Yogurt & Pickle. Here is the recipe..

Prep time: 15 mins + dough resting time
Cooking time: 30 mins
Yields: 5-6 Parathas

Ingredients

For the Dough
Wheat flour 1&1/4 Cup
Salt pinch
Water required

For the Stuffing
Cauliflower 3 Cups, grated
Cumin 1/2 tsp, crushed
Ginger 1 tsp, grated
Garlic 1 tsp, grated
Green chilli 1, finely chopped(optional)
Chilli powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Amchoor powder 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves 2 tbsp
Salt required
Oil required

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Method
• Take wheat flour is a mixing bowl. Add salt. With required water knead them to a soft, yet firm pliable dough. Cover it with a wet cloth and let them sit for an hour.
• Take a wide pan. Heat little oil. Add crushed Cumin.
• Add the grated Ginger & Garlic. Sauté it for a while.
• Now toss in the grated Cauliflower along with Chilli powder, Coriander powder, Amchoor powder and Salt.

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• Sauté it for few mins till the Cauliflower is cooked.
• Add the chopped Coriander leaves and Switch off the stove.

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• Let it cool.

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How to stuff Gobi to Parathas?
Method 1
• Take 2 medium sized balls. Roll them. Place little stuffing on one of the paratha.

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• Cover it with the other. Seal the corners. Roll them again gently.

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Method 2
• Take a small ball. Roll it to a small circle. Place the stuffing in the center. Close it and roll them again gently.

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• Heat a Tawa. Drizzle little oil. Add the rolled paratha. Cook till you get brown spots on both sides.

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• Serve hot with Yogurt and Pickle!

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Tips
• Add a pat of Butter to enhance the flavor of Gobi Paratha.

Puttu

Puttu is a traditional dish of Kerala adored by many. It tastes good with Ripe Bananas, Ghee & Sugar or with Cherupayaru Curry or Kadala Curry. Grounded Rice flour / Readymade Rice flour is moistened with little water and steamed in a Puttu kutti (Puttu maker) along with the grated Coconut.

Ingredients
Rice flour 1 & 1/2 Cup
Grated Coconut 1/2 Cup
Ghee 2 tbsp (optional)
Water 1/2 Cup (according to your needs)
Salt pinch

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Method
• In a large bowl, add the Rice flour with a pinch of salt.

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• Mix it slowly by sprinkling water. Make sure the Rice flour is wet. Break all the small lumps. Keep mixing it for a good 10-15 mins. When you hold the wet flour tightly in your hand. It should retain the shape. Once you break, it has to fall apart. This step is more important to get a soft puttu.
• Place Flour and Coconut alternatively in a puttu maker and steam it or you can cook it in a steamer/idly vessel covered with a cloth like me.

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• Steam it for 10 mins or till the puttu mixture is cooked.
• Remove it from the steamer. Serve it along with Cherupayaru Curry.

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Tips
• Once you remove it from the steamer. Add the ghee and mix it for a good flavor.

Cherupayaru Curry / Pachaipayaru Curry / Green Gram Curry

Cherupayaru or Pachai payaru Curry will be a perfect accompaniment to Puttu/Roti. It is more nutritious and easy to make. Here goes the Recipe..

Ingredients
Whole Green gram 1 Cup
Cumin 1/2 tsp
Coconut 3 tbsp, grated
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Chilli powder 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder 1/2 tsp
Mustard 1/4 tsp
Urad dhal 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves 2 Sprigs
Red Chillies 2

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Method
• Wash and pressure cook Green gram dhal with salt till it becomes soft.
• Take a new pan. Heat little oil. Add Mustard, Urad dhal, Cumin, Red Chillies, Curry leaves. Sauté for few mins.
• Once the pressure gets released, add the cooked Green dhal along with the water in to the pan.
• Add Chilli powder, Coriander powder, Turmeric powder. Adjust the salt taste.
• Grind the grated Coconut with little water. Add it to the Curry.
• Allow it to cook for few minutes then switch off the stove. Cherupayar curry is ready to be served with Puttu or Roti.

Vegetable Cutlet ( No Fry )

Cutlet! Small balls of filling be it vegetable or meat is coated with bread crumbs and deep fried in hot oil. It can also be pan fried with little oil.This crispy vegetarian cutlet recipe will make a delightful evening snack and is equally good in a sandwich for lunch or dinner.
Here is the recipe for a simple healthier version of vegetable cutlet.

Ingredients
Cumin 1/4 tsp
Fennel 1/4 tsp
Potato 2
Mixed vegetables 1/2 Cup
Beetroot 1/4 Cup, grated
Ginger garlic paste 1 tsp
Chilli powder 1 tsp
Garam masala 1 tsp
Green Chilli 2, finely chopped(optional)
Coriander leaves req
Bread 2 slices
Maida 4 tbsp
Water 8-10 tbsp
Salt req

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Method
• Pressure cook/Cook Potatoes & Vegetables separately and keep it ready.
• Grind Fennel & Cumin seeds coarsely in a pestle & mortar or mixer grinder.
• Take a vessel. Heat little oil. Add the grounded Fennel & Cumin.
• Add onions. Sauté it to golden brown.
• Next add ginger garlic paste. Sauté it till the raw smell goes away.
• Peel the skin of potatoes, mash it and add it to the ginger garlic paste.

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• Add the cooked vegetables(Make sure you dont add any water with it), Coriander leaves and raw beetroot to it.
• Add Chilli powder and Garam masala powder. Cook it for couple of mins.

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• Cut the corners of the bread. Dip it in warm water for a second. Squeeze it thoroughly, tear it in to little pieces and add it to the vegetables. Add req salt.

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• Remove it from the flame. Allow it to cool for few mins.
• In the mean time prepare the maida-water batter in a bowl.
• In another plate, toss the bread crumbs.
• Make small balls out of the filling.
• Take a ball, dip it in the batter then gently roll it on the breadcrumbs to have full coating. Repeat it for all the balls.

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• Lay them on a plate covered with parchment paper.(It makes it easier to flip it on to the skillet)
• Heat a skillet. Spray little oil.
Transfer the cutlet on to it. Cook both sides to dark golden brown in a medium heat.

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• Remove them and drain them on a tissue. Serve hot with ketchup as an evening snack or as a sandwich.

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Tips
• You can place the uncooked cutlet in fridge for few minutes, then deep fry it in oil.
• You can add any vegetables as you like. Beetroot gives a beautiful color to the cutlet.
• If the filling is wet and you couldn’t roll it. Try adding little bread crumbs to it.

Punjabi Rajma Chawal

Rajma Chawal is a popular North Indian dish, made with Red kidney beans in a thick curry full of Indian spices. It is served with Rice. This recipe is adapted from Chef In You, with little variations.

Ingredients
Red kidney bean 1 Cup
Onion 1, finely chopped
Tomato 2, chopped
Ginger 1/2 inch
Garlic 2 cloves
Chilli powder 1 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder 1 1/2 tsp
Amchoor powder 1 tsp

Dry Roast & Grind
Bay leaf 1
Cloves 3
Cardamom 1
Cinnamon 1″
Cumin 1/2 tsp
Fennel 1/2 tsp

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Method
• Soak Red kidney bean overnight or minimum 8 hours. Pressure cook with a tsp of salt for 4 whistles.( Totally depends on the variety of Kidney bean you use ). Wait till the pressure is released.
• Heat a small pan. Dry roast all the items listed under Dry Roast & Grind and make it a fine powder. Keep it aside.
• Grind Ginger & Garlic to paste. Keep it aside.
• Take a new pan. Heat little oil. ( You can add butter or ghee for a richer flavor ) Add the Onions. Sauté it to golden brown.
• Purée half of the sautéed Onions. Keep it separately. ( You can purée all the Onions if you want ).
• To the rest of the onions in the pan, add the Ginger-garlic paste. Sauté it till the raw smell goes away.
• Add the puréed Onion to it and cook for few minutes.
• Purée the chopped Tomatoes and toss it in to the pan. Cook for couple of mins.
• Add the Chilli powder, Coriander powder, Amchoor powder & the grounded Garam masala powder. Cook till the spices get infused in the curry.
• Add the pressure cooked Red Kidney bean in to it along with the water.
• Mix thoroughly. Adjust the salt taste.
• Cook till you get the desired consistency. Garnish with coriander leaves.
• Serve hot with Rice/ Roti.

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Tips
• You can add little cream on top before you serve.
• I have used very limited spices. You can increase it according to your needs.

Kadai Paneer

Ingredients
Paneer/ Indian Cheese 1 Cup, 1″Cube
Onion 1, Cubed
Tomato 1, Chopped
Red bell pepper 1, Cubed ( any color )
Coriander seeds 1/2 tsp
Cumin 1/2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste 1 tsp
Green Chillies 2 ( optional )
Chilli powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Garam masala powder 1/2 tsp
Tomato ketchup 2 tsp

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Method
• Soak the cubed Paneer in hot water and keep it aside.
• Dry roast Cumin & Coriander seeds in a pan and crush it coarsely with pestle & mortar.
• Take a wide pan. Heat little oil. Add the crushed Cumin & Coriander seeds.
• Add the Onions & sauté it till they become translucent.
• Add Ginger garlic paste.
• Add the chopped Tomatoes. Keep sautéing it.
• Now add the Chilli powder, Coriander powder & Garam masala powder.
• Next add the Red bell pepper and req Salt.
• Remove the Paneer cubes from the hot water and toss it in to the Curry.
• Add 1/2 Cup of water & cook it in medium flame for 8-10 mins. ( Make sure you don’t burn any )
• Switch off the stove. Add Tomato ketchup, give a gentle mix. Garnish with Coriander leaves & Serve hot with Roti!

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Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer is a North Indian dish, popular among Vegetarians. Here the Paneer/Indian Cheese is simmered in the pureed Palak/Spinach Curry. I usually make it very mild with reduced spices for my kids to relish and to hold up the actual Spinach taste.

Ingredients
Organic baby Spinach 4 Cups
Onion 1, finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste 1 tsp
Paneer / Indian Cheese 200 gms, Cut in to 1″ Cube
Fresh Cream 3 tbsp
Green Chilli 3 (adjust according to your needs)
Salt req

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Method
• Take a wide pan, add the Spinach & Green chillies. Sauté it till the Spinach shrinks. Switch off the stove. Let it cool and then grind to paste with little water. Keep it aside. (You can blanch the Spinach & purée instead)

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• Take a pot. Heat little oil. Add Cumin then add the chopped Onions. Sauté it till they become translucent.
• Now add the Ginger garlic paste. Cook it till the raw smell goes away.
• Add the puréed Spinach and adjust the salt taste.
• Pan fry the Paneer cubes in a separate pan for couple of minutes and toss it in to the Spinach curry.
• Cook it in low-medium flame for 5 mins and switch off the stove.
• Add fresh cream on top and serve hot with Chappathy or Naan.

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Sweet Spicy Ragi Roti/ Keppai Roti

Ragi Roti is the most healthiest breakfast. This is my Mom’s recipe. It has both sweet and spicy flavor. My husband’s all time favorite and my kids love it without the green chillies.

Ingredients
Ragi 1 Cup
Onion 1/2, finely chopped
Green Chilli 1, finely chopped
Coconut pieces 3 tbsp
Jaggery 1/2 Cup
Water req
Salt pinch

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Method
• Melt Jaggery with 1/2 cup water. Filter and remove scum.
• In a big bowl mix Ragi, Onion, Green chilli, Coconut pieces, Jaggery water, Salt and req water to a smooth wet dough. ( when you touch this with oil, it shouldn’t stick )
• Take a small ball, flatten them on a plastic sheet or ziplock greased with oil.
• Place it on a hot tawa. Cook on both the sides.
• Apply little ghee and serve.

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