Monday, September 19, 2011

Pure Serendipity

I made an incredible discovery when I landed at this blog - on cooking. 
The website is a true haven for people interested in cooking vegetarian recipes. 

There are a variety of recipes that suit my interests particularly - lot of dry chutney powders, vegetable curries and wet chutneys, those that provide an insight into many traditional aspects of cooking. The blog is authored by a very senior person - Prathiba Rao who has served her family's gastronomical interests for over 30 years. 

By true serendipity, I landed at this blog and ever since the day of discovery, I have been itching to get back home in the evening post office work and aerobics classes, to try out some recipes from the website. 

I tried two of them from the blog on the same day in a span of two hours in pretty much a parallel computing and execution mode. 

I prepared Corn Usli and Flaxseed/Peanut Laddoo. Please feel free to access the complete recipes with illustrations at - 

The Corn Usli, I used inside a dosa for filling and this made a superbly yummy combination. 
The Peanuts Flax seed Laddoo, I served as a prasadham for Ganesha idol at home, before his Visarjan (immersion) marking the end of Chathurthi festival. 

I used onion instead of mustard in Corn Usli as mentioned in the link above. I substituted Chat masala with Aamchoor powder in the list of ingredients. 

In making Flaxseed Peanuts Laddoo, I used lesser ghee (marked as optional in the recipe) than mentioned. I must say that I had to put some efforts to roll out the laddoos, they weren't as neat as seen in the source blog. My Philips mixer has got old after several years of use and I had to grind ingredients in batches.

There are the usual recipes of Dosa with Molagai Podi, Coconut Chutney, Tomato Chutney, Pudina/coriander Chutney and Sambar/Kothsu as accompaniments, then there is Masala Dosa with typical Potato masala as stuffing. I add little variations to dosa at home.

Below are pictures of Paneer Bhurji and Dosa roll using it as a filling I made during last weekend -

For Paneer Bhurji (quantity serves as stuffing for about 8-10 dosas) 

You need - 

250 g Paneer 
1 big onion 
1 ripe tomato (medium sized) 
5 green chillies 
Turmeric powder, chilli powder, dhania powder, aamchoor, garam masala and salt 
1 tsp Cumin seeds
Lots of coriander (finely chopped) 
Oil - 2 full tbsps

In a pan, add oil and wait for it to heat. Add cumin seeds, finely chopped green chillies, finely chopped onion and saute well. Add turmeric powder (1/2 tsp), 1 tsp chilli powder and 2 tsp dhania powder. Add finely chopped tomato with its juice into nicely fried onion in the pan. Mix well and add salt to taste. Saute well until the raw smell of tomato goes, the tomato and onion must shrink to make a nice mixture. 

Take 250 grams of cottage cheese (paneer, I usually buy it fresh from Karthik Mithai shop on New Tippasandra Main Road) and crumble it into small pieces using your hands. I personally feel there is no need to grate paneer. Use your both hands well to crumble up the paneer block. 

Mix well all the contents in pan and leave it for 3-4 minutes on less flame. Add 1 tsp of aamchoor powder and 2-3 specks of Garam Masala powder. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves, give a final mix and turn off the stove. 

The bhurji can be served with roti and a simple dal. This is a terrific combination for dinner. 
To give a twist to our usual dosa fare, we can use the bhurji  as a filling. Each filled dosa can be rolled over, cut into pieces and served hot with mint coriander chutney. 

Eating paneer occasionally/in moderation (say at least 2-3 times a month) is good and highly essential as it is a dairy product and provides the quintessential proteins, calcium and phosphorus.

In the last one week, there has been lot of learning as far as foodie's sphere is concerned, lots of experiments in the kitchen that turned successful and many more recipes in the "to-do" list. I would like to end with a note of thanks to Prathiba Aunty for the precious information she is sharing on her blog - Indian Food Court. 

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