Category Archives: Side Dish

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I am sure each of us has some recipes that never turn out right; well at least I do have a few. To start with I can never make good kebabs using lentils. Have tried and wasted enough and now given up. I have also never made right textured caramel… End up thinking “did I get the right amber color” and most times it’s overdone, turns hard and sometimes even burnt! Another recipe for which I have not quite got the right formula is the Falafels.There is something fundamentally wrong I’ve been doing.Tried different recipes, different techniques…but somehow never have got the hang of it. Baking them is fine, but then they definitely don’t turn out as tasty as the fried ones. As much as I would love to make them, the perfect Falafel remains a mystery to me!

Every time I come across the word “Falafel” my eyes lit up….tell myself at least this time….Umm…err no, forget it!. I came across the Falafel Stuffed Eggplant recipe in Joanne’s blog who had adapted it from Cooking Light, I had bookmarked it immediately. It was baked, so I had no second thoughts. The recipe was loaded with flavors and I was damn sure it would be great.

FALAFEL – STUFFED EGGPLANT WITH TAHINI AND TOMATO RELISH

Tahini sauce:

3 tablespoons warm water
2 tablespoons tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 garlic clove, minced

Eggplant:

2 eggplants (about 12 ounces each)
Cooking spray
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 large eggs
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained

Relish:

1 cup chopped seeded tomato
1/2 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion ( I used white onions)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

To prepare sauce, combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, and stir with a whisk. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 475°.To prepare eggplant, slice the eggplants in half lengthwise; score cut sides with a crosshatch pattern. Place the eggplant halves, cut sides down, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 475° for 7 minutes or until slightly tender and browned. Remove from oven; carefully scoop out pulp, leaving a 3/4-inch shell. Reserve pulp for another use. Season cut sides with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, onion, and next 11 ingredients (through chickpeas) in a food processor; process until smooth. Spoon 1/2 cup chickpea mixture into each eggplant shell.( I completely covered the eggplant, you may choose to just use it in the centre) Bake at 475° for 25 minutes or until eggplant halves are tender and chickpea mixture is lightly browned. To prepare relish, combine the tomato and remaining ingredients in a bowl; stir to combine. Place 1 eggplant half on each of 4 plates. Top each half with 1/4 cup relish and 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce.

The Baked Falafel was overloaded with yummy flavors ie., ground cumin, garlic and cilantro. The eggplant was so soft and tasted great with the falafel.

Surprisingly my favorite was the sauce, just plain simple ingredients whisked to a perfect topping. Do not omit the sauce it’s something you would really enjoy, trust me:).If you love Falafels…am sure you would love this one too.

Bon Appetit!

Nina

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Vineela Siva,Sreevidya and EC have passed on the “Creative Blogger award.This award is pretty unique as it has certain rules attached to it:)

1.You must thank the person who has given you the award.
2.Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3.Link to the person who has nominated you for the award.
4.Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5.Nominate 7 other Kreative Bloggers.
6.Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7.Leave a comment on which of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated.

I thank Vineela Siva,Sreevidya and EC for this lovely award.

I have been tagged earlier with similar rules and am jes copying what I had mentioned earlier.So here are few things about me……

1.Kitchen is my exclusive paradise, an area where I pursue my culinary endeavors , no one gets to cook..Its MY SPACE!
2.I am a cleanliness freak, particularly Kitchen & Bathroom.Utensils lying in the sink is a good enough reason for me to lose my temper.P bares the brunt most times.
3.I drink gallons of water,so I use the loo a lot:-P My friends always take a dig at me for this!
4.I believe,am not only good in making friends but keeping them too,still in touch with folks Ive known Since I was 5yrs old.Touchwood!
5.As a kid Ive been told books are like god,if your feet happens to touch it,take it immediately and hold it close to your eyes (actually its like saying sorry god).Just for fun,my Dad and bro torture me by actually taking a newspaper,touch it to my feet,hide it & make me run around the entire house,I would be relieved only when I find it. Its quite funny but I still believe in this.
6.I dont claim to be a Master neither a geek,but certainly good at excel and numbers, after all thats been my bread & butter for long.
7.I drool over Death by Chocolate & Tiramisu,the latter being my fav one.Am crazy to the extent of naming P’s number on my mobile phone as Tiramisu

I am passing this on to – Varsha,Prathiba,Vijitha,Supriya,Mahimaa,Vidya and Lubna.

Now coming to the post,of all the Kerala food that I’ve had,Puttu always remains close to my heart.This is one such food that I simple can’t resist.Typical Puttu is made using the Puttu Maker.I had picked one such during my India trip this year,however had to drop it due to weight constraints.So I am sticking to my own way of making it using a cooker.

Puttu

Prep Time – 10 mins
Start to Finish – 20mins
Servings – 2 to 3

KERALA PUTTU

Ingredients:

Store bought Puttu powder/Rice flour 2 cups
Salt a pinch
Fresh shredded Coconut 1 cup

Method:

If using rice flour,heat a pan and saute the flour until raw smell disappears.In a big bowl mix the flour,salt and lil water until you end up with a crumbled texture.Do not add a lot of water,as we don?t need a dough like consistency.For best results,sprinkle water lil by lil and gently mix the flour.Add coconut and mix well.Place the mixture in a wide vessel and steam it for about 8-9mins in a pressure cooker.You may use an idly stand or jes a plain wide vessel.Serve hot along with Kadala curry(recipe follows).

Infact,if you have a sweet tooth,you may add sugar and cardamom powder to the steamed mixture and have it along with riped bananas,a typical way of relishing them.While sauting the flour,ensure not to burn them.I generally use a 2:1 ratio for the flour and the coconut,you may choose to lessen the quantity of coconut.These days Puttu powders are easily available in any Indian Grocers which comes very handy,I’ve used Ragi Puttu Powder, which is very high in proteins.I came across an interesting way of making them in Divya Vikrams blog,you may check that out too.

Kadala Curry


Prep Time : 10min
Start to Finish : 45 min(excluding soaking time)
Serves : 2 to 3

KADALA CURRY

Ingredients:

Black Chana/Konda Kadala/Black or Brown chickpeas : 2 cups (soaked overnight and cooked with salt until soft)
Tomato : 2 (pureed)
Onion : 1 small (finely chopped)

For the masala(to be grinded):

Coconut 1/2 cup
Onion 1 small (roughly chopped)
Ginger an inch
Garlic pods 3 nos
Coriander and Cumin seeds : 2 tbsp each dry roasted (optional)
Coriander cumin powder 1 tbsp
Garam Masala 1 tbsp
Green chillies 2 nos
Red Chilli Powder 1 tbsp

Seasoning –

Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves a few
Coconut Oil 2 tbsp

Method:

1.In a wok/skillet,heat oil and add mustard and curry leaves.Add Onions and saute until translucent.
2.Add the grinded masala paste,saute for few minutes.Add the tomato puree and cook until the raw smell disappears.
3.Add salt(salt has been already added while cooking the chickpeas,hence be careful while adding it the second time).
4.Add the boiled/cooked chickpeas to this gravy.Add a cup of water and allow it to cook until it thickens.Serve hot with Puttu.

I mentioned that the coriander and cumin seeds is optional,I add them because it brings an extra flavor when grinded fresh and also brings in a nice aroma when blended with coconut.



Verdict:

Puttu and Kadala Curry is the best combo that I can think of.Though it tasted very well,i somehow feel that the ones made with rice flour tastes the BEST!

Sending Kadala Curry to MLLA 13 hosted by Harini of Tongueticklers,which is the brainchild of Susan of Well Seasoned Cook

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