Saturday, January 7, 2012

Bulgur Wheat (Couscous) Salad

International Vegetarian Salad Special
Middle Eastern Cuisine- Moroccan Cuisine
Bulgur Wheat (Couscous) Salad
Serves 2

Bulgur Wheat (Couscous)- 1 Cup
Maggi Vegetable Stock Tablet- 1 No.
 Courgette/Zucchini- 1, Diced
Red Bell Pepper- 1 Small, Finely Chopped
Yellow Bell Pepper- 1 Small, Finely Chopped

Onion-1 Small, Finely Chopped
Apricots- 4 No’s, Sliced
Salt- To Taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil-
Chilli Flakes-
Organic Black Pepper- 
Fresh Mint Leaves- Roughly Chopped
Fresh Coriander Leaves- Roughly Chopped
Fresh Lemon Juice-

Boil Water in a Deep Bottomed Pot
Add the Vegetable Stock Tablet & Mix Well till it dissolves
Add Couscous, Cover & Cook till Al Dente
Check the Couscous with a Fork to see if done
Remove from Heat, Drain, Put in a Salad Mixing Bowl, Fluff it with the Fork & Keep Aside
In another Non Stick Sauce Pan, Heat Olive Oil
Add Spring Onion, Zucchini, Apricot & Saute on Medium Flame 
 Add Red Bell Pepper, Yellow Bell Pepper, Freshly Crushed Black Pepper, Salt & Sauté for Few Minutes 
Remove from Heat & Add these Vegetables in the Drained Couscous
Sprinkle Olive Oil, Mint Leaves, Coriander Leaves, Lemon Juice & Mix Well
Serve Immediately!


Semolina becomes Couscous after it is Steamed & Turns Fluffy
Pick up Instant Par Cooked Couscous that is readily available in the Market as it is Quick to Make
The Cooked Couscous can be kept Refrigerated for up to a Week & can be served Hot/Cold
There are various combinations of Flavours to use with Couscous, so instead of using Butter to Seal the Grain, Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Smen (Moroccan Aged Butter) can be used

If Vegetable Stock isn’t available, boil the Couscous in Water, Season with Salt & Cook till Al Dente

Dry Fruits like Apricots add a Sweet Flavour to this Salad
Can Add 2 Finely Chopped Spring Onion, 1 Diced Yellow Zucchini 
The Vegetables should be just Tossed & avoid Overcooking 

Feel free to share your views & do let us know how this one turned out :)

Banana Pudding with Caramel Sauce

International Dessert Special
Banana Pudding with Caramel Sauce
Serves 3-4

Ripe Bananas- 3 No’s
Soft Butter- 175 Grams (6 Ounces)
Brown Sugar-
Castor Sugar- ½ Cup
Self Raising Flour- 2 Cups
Baking Powder- ½ Tsp.
Eggs- 3 No’s

For Caramel Sauce:
Single Cream- 1- ½ Cup
Brown Sugar- 3- ½ Cup

Mash Ripe Bananas in a Bowl with a Fork
In a Mixer, Add Soft Butter, Brown Sugar, Castor Sugar
Add Self Raising Flour, Baking Powder, Eggs & Whisk till Nicely Combined or for about a Minute or so
In a Lined Rectangular Aluminium Baking Tin, Spray Cooking Butter
Adjust & Fold the Butter Paper hanging out length wise on both sides
Pour the Mixture, Smoothen it & Give it a Shake so it settles down
Keep it to Bake in a 120 C Oven till done (Check with a Skewer to see if it comes out clean)

For Caramel Sauce:
In a Thick Bottomed Sauce Pan, Mix Single Cream, Brown Sugar & Let it Simmer till the Mixture turns Sauce like & thickens
Pour this Hot Liquid Caramel over the Pudding
Cut in Slices & Serve Warm!

Brown Sugar adds a Nice Caramel flavour to this Dish

Feel free to share your views & do let us know how this one turned out :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Greek Salad

International Vegetarian Salad Special 
Greek Cuisine
Greek Salad
(an interesting version of the Classic Greek Salad with Bread!)
Serves 2

Lebanese Cucumber- 1 No.
Fresh Greek Tomatoes- 2
Red Onion-1
Dried Oregano- ½ Tsp.
Kalamata Olives- 4, Finely Sliced
Feta Cheese- 3 Tbsp., Crumbled
Dill Leaves- Finely Chopped
Red Wine Vinegar- 1-2 Tbsp.
Salt- A Dash
Pepper- A Dash
Ciabatta Bread- 1 Loaf

Slice the Edges and Sides of the Ciabatta Bread
Keep it in the Oven to Toast for about 5 Minutes
Peel & Dice the Cucumber into 1 Inch Cubes
Dice Tomatoes into Cubes
Peel & Dice Onion into Fine Slices
In a Salad Mixing Bowl, Add Cucumber, Tomatoes, Onion, Oregano, Olives, Feta Cheese & Mix Well
Add Olive Oil, Dill Leaves, Vinegar, Salt, Pepper & Mix Well
Add the Toasted Ciabatta Bread just before Eating and Serve Fresh!

Greek Salad is one of the most Famous Summer Salads in the Greek Cuisine. Horiatiki Salata is the name for the Basic Greek Salad where Horiatiki means just like Village-Style. Throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, Greek Salad can be found in Varied Flavours.

One of First things to keep in mind while making an Authentic Greek Salad is that Lettuce is not a part of it but only its Variations around the World
In case Kalamata Olives can’t be used, only then opt for Canned Black Olives
Surprisingly the Ciabatta Bread is an extra addition we tried & trust me it blends in wonderfully. There is popular Saying in Greece that the Greeks gave the Ciabatta Bread to the Italians!
It is very important to use Good Quality Fresh Tomatoes are a must
Good Quality Feta Cheese should preferably be used either as Cubed or Diced 

Feel free to share your views & do let us know how this one turned out :)

Okra Fry (Bhindi/Bendakaya Vepudu)

Indian Vegetarian Main Course Special
Andhra Cuisine 
Okra Fry (Bhindi/Bendakaya Vepudu)

English- LadyFinger/Okra 
Hindi- Bhindi
Kannada- Bhendekayi
Malayalam- Vendakka
Tamil- Vendaikai
Telugu- Bendakaya



So after tasting some Varieties of Bhindi Recipes with my Mom, Family & Friends, we found that as Tasty as Bhindi turns out, it does take a few Tips to get the Perfect Recipe!
For any Bhindi Recipe, make sure follow the Proper Method where the Bhindi is Washed, Cleaned, Completely Dried with a Cloth (Bhindi needs to be Completely Dry before Cutting into Pieces or else the Cut Bhindi will be Sticky during Sauteing/Frying), Trimmed at both Ends

Alternately Chopped Okra Can be Fried and Sprinkled with Salt & Red Chilli Powder for a Quicker Version!

Feel free to share your views & do let us know how this one turned out :)

Farfalle/Bow Tie Pasta Simmered in Tomato Sauce

International Vegetarian Main Course Special
Italian Cuisine
Farfalle/Bow Tie Pasta Simmered in Tomato Sauce
Serves 2

Farfalle/Bow Tie Pasta- 1 Pack
Olive Oil- 2 Tbsp
Salt- ½ Tsp.
Refined Oil- ½ Tsp.
Tomatoes- 3
Onions- 1 Cup, Diced
Garlic- 5 Cloves, Crushed
Yellow Bell Pepper- 4 Tbsp.
Olives- 1 Tbsp., Chopped
Salt- To Taste
Organic Black Pepper- 1 Tsp., Powdered

Chilli Flakes- 1 Tsp.
Oregano- 1 Tsp.
Tomato Sauce- 2 Tbsp.
Parmesan Cheese- 3 Tbsp.
Parmesan Cheese- For Garnish, Grated

In a Pan, add Water, Salt, Pasta & Boil the Pasta
In a Separate Pan, Boil Tomatoes & Blanch Them (in Cold Water)
De Skin & De Seed the Tomatoes
Roughly Chop the Tomatoes
Heat a Pan & Add Oil
Add Onion, Garlic, & Sauté till Golden Brown
Add Yellow Bell Pepper, Tomatoes, Salt, Freshly Powdered Black Pepper, Chilli Flakes, Oregano, Tomato Sauce, & Cook for 6-7 Minutes
Add Boiled Pasta, Parmesan Cheese & Mix Well
Remove in a Serving Plate
Sprinkle Oregano, Grated Parmesan Cheese, Chilli Flakes & Serve Hot!

Feel free to share your views & do let us know how this one turned out :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Grilled Assorted Vegetables Teriyaki Style

International Vegetarian Main Course Special 
Japanese Cuisine
Grilled Assorted Vegetables Teriyaki Style
Serves 2

Teriyaki Sauce- 2 Tsp.
Sesame Oil- 1/2 Tsp.
Ginger- 1 Inch
Orange Juice- 1 Tbsp.
Lemon Zest- 1 tsp.
Chilli- 1
Light Soya Sauce- 1 Tsp.
Yellow Bell Pepper- 1/2
Red Bell Pepper- 1/2
Green Bell Pepper- 1/2
Mushrooms- 1 Cup
Zucchini- 1/2
Yellow Squash- 1/2
Garlic- 3 Cloves
Onion- 1
Salt & Pepper- To Taste

For Marinade:
Teriyaki Sauce, Sesame Oil, Ginger, Cracked Black Pepper, Orange Juice, Lemon Zest, Salt, one Chilli, Light Soya Sauce in a Blender & Mix

Pour Marinade over Mushrooms, Bell Peppers, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Cracked Black Pepper, & Mix Well
Skewer the Vegetables & Place them on a Preheated Grill
Keep Turning the Skewers & Brushing the Vegetables with the Leftover Marinade from time to time
Put in Oven for 15 Minutes at 180 Degrees C


English- Mushroom
Hindi- Dhool ka Phool/Guchhi/Khumb/KukurMutta
Odiya- Chhatu
Telugu- Puttagodugu

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Today's Mukkoti/Vaikunta Ekadashi 2012!

5th January 2012 is Mukkoti/Vaikunta Ekadashi

Celebrated in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka especially in Tirumala, Tirupati Andhra Pradesh

Darshan from the North Entrance in Tirumala is allowed on this day

Fast is observed on this day by avoiding Rice Items

Prasad/Naivedyam like Kheer is prepared & Fruits offered to Lord Vishnu

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Five Lentils & Rice Porridge (Panchmel Dal ki Khichdi)

Indian Vegetarian Main Course Special 
Rajasthani Cuisine
Five Lentil Rice Porridge (Panchmel Dal ki Khichdi)
Serves 2

One of the best methods to get these colorfully blended 5 different Lentils in this One Pot Dish!

Extra Light Olive Oil/Olive Pomace Oil- ½ Tbsp.
Clarified Butter (Ghee)- 1 Tbsp.
Rice (Chawal)- 1 Cup
Split Bengal Gram Lentil (Chana Dal)- 2 Tbsp.
Split Pigeon Pea- (Toor Dal/Arhar Dal)- 2 Tbsp.
Whole Red Lentil (Sabut Masoor)- 2 Tbsp.
Whole Green Gram Lentil (Sabut Moong)- 1.5 Tbsp.
Skinless Split Black Gram Dal (Dhuli Urad Dal)- 1.5 Tbsp.
Cumin Seeds (Jeera)- 1 Tsp.
Onions- 1 No., Finely Chopped
Ginger- 1 Inch, Finely Chopped
Green Chillies- 2, Slit
Green Peas- about 1 Tbsp., (Optional)
Sweet Corn- about 1 Tbsp., (Optional)
Tomatoes- 1 No., Finely Chopped
Fresh Coriander Leaves- 1 Tbsp., Finely Chopped

Clean, Wash & Soak Rice & Dals for 15 Minutes
Heat Oil & 1/2 Tbsp. Ghee in a Pressure Pan
Add Cumin Seeds and Sauté
Add Onions, Ginger, Green Chillies and Sauté
Add Peas, Sweet Corn & Sauté
Add Rice, Five Dals and Mix Well
Add Water, Cover and Pressure Cook on Medium High Flame for about 3 Whistles
Wait till the Cooker Lid Loosens up
Serve the Khichdi Hot with Pickle, Papad, Set Curd/Raita and Add the Remaining Ghee!

This Khichdi would be a Perfect Quick 30 Minutes Recipe
Ayurvedic Texts suggests that our Health exists when the 3 Doshas- Vata (Wind), Pitta (Bile) and Kapha (Phlegm) of the body stay in harmony. Ayurveda/Naturpathy does have a Cure for most Dosha Imbalances through a Strict Regime which includes proper Diet & Lifestyle, Herbal Preparations, Exercise & Tranquillity Routine like Yoga & Meditation, Ayurvedic Therapies & Panchakarma (for Deep Cleansing Process).
So, as our Mind-Body balance needs rejuvenation, ditch the strict Healthy Food once in a Week and indulge in Some Gorging Yummy Food. Don’t forget to De-Toxify and Calm your System with some Mild Comfort Food and this is where Khichdi helps.

So, a Light Khichdi can be an Option after a Long Tiring day/Stomach Upset/Menstrual Time (especially on the Second Day) or just a Quick Fix with Leftover Vegetables

The Rice used should be preferably Medium or Short Grain which cooks easily

Can prepare this Dish in a Non Stick Deep Bottom Pot instead of a Pressure Cooker
If preparing in a Pressure Cooker, just add Vegetables like Chopped French Beans & Carrots with the Rice
For a Complete Meal with Rich Exotic Flavours, and add Ghee in the Beginning and while Serving, Cinnamon Stick, Chopped Potatoes, Whole Red Chillies, Red Chilli Powder, Fennel Seeds Powder (Kuti Saunf), Fenugreek Seeds Powder (Kuti Methi), Garam Masala Powder, and Crushed Dried Fenugreek Leaves (Kasuri Methi)

Feel free to share your views & do let us know how this one turned out :)

Simple Snake Gourd Preparation (Potlakaaya Kura)

South Indian Vegetarian Main Course Special
Andhra Cuisine 
Snake Gourd Preparation (Potlakaaya Kura)
Serves 2

Snake Gourd (Potlakaaya)- 1 Medium or 1/3rd of a Long Creeper

Extra Light Olive Oil/Olive Pomace Oil- 1 Tbsp.
Turmeric Powder (Haldi)- 1 Tsp.
Salt- To Taste
White Sesame Seeds (Kuta Til/Nuvvulu) Powder- 1 Tbsp.
Chick Pea/Gram Flour (Besan/Senagapindi)- 1 Tbsp.
For Tempering:
Mustard Seeds (Rai/Aavalu)- ¼ Tsp.
Cumin Seeds (Jeera)- ¼ Tsp.
Split Bengal Gram Lentil (Chana Dal)- ¼ Tsp.
Split Black (Urad Dal/Menapappu)- ¼ Tsp.
Asafoetida (Hing/Inguva)- a Pinch
Curry Leaves (Karvepaku)- 5-6 No’s

Wash, Clean & Cut the Potlakaaya in Rings/Slices
Heat Oil in a Non Stick Pan (Kadhai)
Add Tempering Ingredients & Saute
Add the Potlakaaya Pieces along with Turmeric Powder & Salt
As the Vegetable is cooked, Add the Powdered Besan/Til & Combine Well

Served with Andhra Meal of Steamed Rice, Andhra Style Lentils (Pappu), Andhra Style Soup (Charu) or Vegetable Stew (Pulusu), Oora Mirapakayalu or Appadam, Set Curd
a Light Summery Andhra Meal usually has Cooling menu Items consisting of a Light Cleansing Soup, easy Summery Vegetable Preparation, can have Boiled Lentils, Buttermilk or Curd etc.

Snake Gourd or Chinese Cucumber is a Laxative so is a Cooling Vegetable for , Diarrhea, Natural Antibiotic so is effective in Fever, Anti Inflammatory, Jaundice, Alopecia, Constipation etc.   

Feel free to share your views & do let us know how this one turned out :)