Friday, August 12, 2011

Rava Bonda

Source: Kuty's Kreations

What does one do when they have leftover idli batter and leftover oil from frying pooris?  Why they make bondas of course!  Thank you Gits!

  • 1 packet Gits Rava Idli Mix
  • 550ml thick yogurt
  • 200ml water
  • 1 handful chopped coriander
  • 2-3 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • Oil for frying
  1. Mix Gits Rava Idli contents with yogurt and water.  (My yogurt was really thick so I added water. If your yogurt is already watery you may not need to add water.)
  2. Add coriander, green chilies, carrots, and red onions (you can put any vegetable you want)
  3. Stir to form a smooth batter and let it sit for 10 mins.  (Since I used this mix to make idlis the previous day, I placed the leftover batter in the frig for a day before I used it to make bondas.  I'm not sure if makes a difference or not, but the batter should be quite thick.)
  4. Heat oil and place small golf ball size portions of the batter into the oil.
  5. Fry until brown to get crispy bondas.  Fry until golden brown to get softer ones.
Kuty's Twist

So this is a great way to use up your leftover idli batter.  If you make all of the batter from a Gits mix into bondas, you are going to have a LOT of bondas!  After making ~16 idlis and 20 bondas, I still have leftover batter from this mix.  I think I may water it down and try to make dosas next... stay tuned!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dal Makhani

Source:  One Hot Stove

This past week I was traveling for work and as a result consumed all sorts of unhealthy foods.  I was dying to come back and eat some home cooked comfort food.  But I still had to stick to my new cooking resolutions which are: 1. Try to cook based on what you already have in your kitchen, 2. Cook healthier.  I looked at all of the dal sitting in my pantry and realized that I had not touched urad dal in a really long time... so that's how this recipe came about!  :-)  

This was just the perfect food to indulge in and not feel guilty about! 

  • 1/2 cup red kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup black urad dal
  • 1/4 cup chana dal
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch piece ginger
  • 2 cups tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1.5 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 10 cashew nuts
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  1. Soak the beans and dals overnight (I ended up soaking them for ~16 hours), then rinse
  2. Pressure cook the beans and dals along with 3 1/2 cups water
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon butter and add cumin seeds, pinch of asafoetida, and fenugreek seeds.  After they splutter, add the ginger and garlic and simmer for a few minutes. (Add a little bit of water if it starts to stick.)  Note:  The original recipe said to use ginger/ garlic paste.  I used fresh ginger and garlic and just blended them into a paste.
  4. Add the tomato puree and paste.  Cook for another 5-7 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Coarsely mash the beans and dals and add them in. (I drained the beans/ dal and added them in, keeping aside the extra water.) 
  6. Add salt and bring everything to a boil
  7. Blend the cashew nuts and a little bit of the dal water to form a paste
  8. Stir in red chilli powder and cashew nut paste.  Simmer for 10 minutes (add additional water leftover from the dal if it ends up being too thick)
  9. Turn off the heat and stir in garam masala
  10. Garnish with coriander leaves (and butter if you wish!) and serve with rice or rotis
Kuty's Twist

I slightly modified this to be a healthier version.  I used less butter and replaced the cream with cashew nut paste.  I also added tomato paste, which I feel gives dishes a bit more flavor.  If you have really juicy tomatoes, you may not need this.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Soya Palak (Spinach w/ Soy Chunks)

Source:  SpicyWorld

I have been wanting to try out a recipe with soya chunks for a while now.  I bought a packet a few months ago and just haven't had the chance.  You can get Nutrela soya chunks in any Indian store.  It's high in protein and I've seen a lot of recipes where this is used as a meat substitute.

  • 1.5 -2 cups spinach (palak)
  • 1.5 cups soya chunks
  • 1/2 cup yogurt 
  • 2 onions
  • 4-5 green chillies
  • 2-3 tomatoes 
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 5-6 mint leaves 
  • Handful coriander leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder

Prepare Soya Chunks
  1. Soak the soya chunks in hot water for 1 hour. Then squeeze out the water completely.
  2. Marinate them with yogurt, salt, red chili powder and turmeric powder and a little ginger garlic paste for ~2 hours.
Prepare Spinach and Masala
  1. Wash and chop the spinach leaves finely. Chop 1 onion finely.
  2. In a pan heat a little oil and crackle the cumin seeds and add one sliced onion. 
  3. Stir fry and add a little salt and spinach and simmer until the spinach has wilted and cooked.
  4. Grind together one onion, mint, coriander leaves and green chillies.  Add a little water if you need to.  At this point I also added ~half the cooked spinach mixture and ground it together too.
  5. Add the mixture w/ masalas, ginger, garlic, chopped tomatoes, salt and simmer for 6-7 minutes.
  6. Taste and add more spice/ salt if necessary.  I added the tomato paste at this point because I thought it needed more of a tomato-y flavor.
  7. Add the soya chunks and let it cook for a few more minutes.
Kuty's Twist

So this really came out great!  My additions to the original recipe were only because of my own taste preferences.  I added more green chilies, ground the cooked spinach so the gravy would be more smooth, and added more tomatoes.

I also increased the amount of spinach and soya chunks so I would have a lot of leftovers!  This tasted a lot better after 2 days. I think it gave the soya chunks some time to soak in the flavors.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Persian Flat Bread Pizza

Source: Kuty's Kreations!

This was inspired by both a Sunday night pizza craving and a fantastic pizza crust find.  I was doing my weekly grocery run at my favorite Persian market and my eyes popped out when I saw a shelf full of large long pieces of Persian bread!  Why hadn't I thought of this before?  It is the PERFECT crust to use to make an insanely large amount of flat bread pizza.  So much so that I was able to make 4 different types of pizza.

  • Pizza toppings of your choice. (I grilled red peppers, zucchini, eggplant, red onions, and jalapenos.  I also used peas and corn.)
  • Tomato Sauce (I used 1 can of tomato sauce and simmered it with some red chili powder.)
  • Cheese (I used asiago, mozzarella, pepper jack, and cheddar)
  • 1 Large Persian Bread
  • Pesto (I had some leftover spinach and arugula pesto I had made last week)
  1. Pesto, zucchini, peas, corn, mozzarella and asiago cheese.  This was inspired by a pizza I've had at Bella Vista.  I know it sounds wacky, but it is such a great combo of ingredients.
  2. Tomato sauce, grilled jalapenos and red peppers, pepper jack and mozzarella cheese.
  3. Tomato sauce, grilled eggplant and red onions, mozzarella cheese.
  4. Tomato sauce, grilled onions, mozzarella and cheddar cheese.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Place the pizzas directly on the rack (this will make your thin crust pizza crispy).  Be careful not to put too much cheese on the sides of the pizzas.  The cheese on my pizzas melted over and dripped into my oven causing a mess =\.
  • Wait until the cheese starts to bubble and brown a little bit
Kuty's Twist

This can obviously become any type of pizza you want.  Have fun, be creative, and let me know what you end up making!  :-)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Breaded Eggplant and Spaghetti w/ Tomato Cream Sauce

Source: Kuty's Kreations!

This is another recipe inspired by a long day at work and a craving for some rich hearty Italian food!  I didn't want to just make pasta and sauce out of a bottle, so I decided to make a semi-homemade sauce.

  • 8oz Spaghetti
  • 28 oz dice tomatoes (I used Hunt's Fire Roasted w/ garlic)
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 6-7 Mushrooms, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (if you don't use diced tomatoes w/ garlic in it)
  • 1/4 cup - 1/2 cup cream
  • 5-6 Baby Eggplants
  • 1 Box Planko Breadcrumbs
  • 2 Eggs (You can use buttermilk too)
  • 1-2 Teaspoons Red Chili Powder 

Breaded Eggplant
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prepare a baking pan with oil/ cooking spray/ or foil with a little bit of oil
  3. Wash and cut each baby eggplant into 4-5 thin round slices
  4. Beat the eggs with a little bit of milk and keep aside in a bowl
  5. Mix ~1 cup of breadcrumbs with salt, pepper, basil, and 1 Teaspoon of Red Chili Pepper
  6. Dip each eggplant piece into the egg mixture, then the breadcrumbs mixture.  Make sure you press down firmly to nicely coat each side. Then place the breaded eggplant on the baking pan.
  7. Bake each side of the eggplant slices for 10-15 mins.  You may need to drizzle a little more oil on each side in order for them to brown. 
  8. If they don't brown, set the oven to the broil setting and cook for a few minutes on each side to get the eggplants slices crispy.
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  2. Saute the chopped onions until golden brown.  (You can add the garlic at this time.) Then add the mushrooms and remaining red chili powder.  Cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes and salt. Cook to a boil.  Then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Smash the tomatoes until you get the desired sauce consistency.  I wanted mine to be a little chunky.  If you want a smooth sauce, you'll have to use a food processor.
  4. Slowly add the cream and simmer a few more minutes. You can add some parmesan cheese at this point if you want.
  5. Add salt, pepper, basil for taste.
  1. Boil water and cook spaghetti al dente.
Kuty's Twist

If you want to save on some calories, you can grill the eggplant instead of bread it and skip the cream.  I feel that a simple sauce made from canned tomatoes tastes much better than the bottled tomato sauce.

I ended up making way too many breaded eggplants.  I'm just going to freeze them and maybe make some eggplant pizza or sandwiches next week!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Tofu Chocolate Chip Cookies (Eggless)

Source: Mori-Nu

Yes.. you read it right! This is an eggless chocolate chip cookie recipe which uses tofu.  I was skeptical myself when I heard about this, but these cookies taste AMAZING and you cannot taste the tofu at all.  The best part is that they stay super moist for several days after you make them AND you get some protein out of it.  My mom made these over the Christmas Holidays, so all credit goes to her for snagging the recipe from a magazine she was perusing in a doctor's office ;-)

  • 1 Cup unsalted margarine
  • 1 Cup unrefined cane sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons light molasses
  • 4 Tablespoons Firm Tofu, pureed
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 Cups unbleached flour
  • 1/4 Cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 Cups chocolate chips
  1. Preheat to 350°F.
  2. Cream margarine, sugar and molasses with electric beaters or in heavy-duty mixer until light and fluffy
  3. Add tofu purée and vanilla; beat for 1 more minute
  4. Mix flours, soda and salt in small bowl. Add to creamed mixture and mix at low speed with the electric mixer or lightly with a rubber spatula, blending in all flour
  5. Fold in chocolate chips
  6. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes
  7. Cool on wire rack
Kuty's Twist

My mom followed the recipe exactly from Mori-Nu and it came out great!  One piece of advice I'd give is to flatten out the dough a little after you drop it on to the cookie sheet (don't put it into the oven with a lot of height).  It will cook more evenly.  After you remove it from the oven, it may look a bit uncooked, but after it cools it will be fine.  Try out a small batch first to get the baking time right, since each oven will require different baking times.  If you want really soft cookies, you should always take them out a bit earlier than the full cooking time.