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Vegetable Momos


Steamed vegetable dumplings



Momos are a kind of dumpling that are native to Asia, made using all purpose flour and water and stuffed with vegetables or meat. The dough is rolled into small circular pieces and the filled with the stuffing and the edges are sealed in a half moon shape or crescent. The dumplings are then steamed and served with chili sauce. The dumplings may also be pan-fried or deep-fried after being steamed.

Momos are light and healthy appetizers. You can add in your choice of veggies for stuffing. The only tough part is out rolling out, but I must say all the hard work ended up fruitful in the form of cute and tasty dumplings. Serve them hot with sweet chilli sauce or chilli garlic sauce.


Ingredients:

All purpose flour/Maida - 1 cup
Oil - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Water - as required

For stuffing:
Cabbage - 1 cup, finely chopped
Carrot - 1 cup, finely chopped
French beans - 1/2 cup, finely chopped
Spring onion (white) - 1/2 cup, finely chopped
Garlic - 5 to 6, finely chopped
Ginger - 1" piece, finely chopped
Spring onion (green) - 1/4 cup
Pepper powder - 1 tsp
Soya sauce - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tsp

Method:

1. In a bowl mix maida, oil , salt and water to make a soft pliable dough. Cover and keep aside for 30 minutes.

2. In a pan, heat oil. Add ginger, garlic and fry for a minute in high flame. Then add spring onion white and fry for 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the beans and fry for 2 minutes. Then add carrot and fry again for 2 minutes. Lastly add cabbage and fry in high flame for 2 more minutes.

4. Then add salt, pepper, soya sauce and fry for a minute. Add spring onion green, mix well. Remove from flame and allow to cool.

5. Now take the dough and divide into small balls. Roll out each ball using flour into thin rounds like poori.

6. Place a teaspoon of stuffing in the middle of poori and bring the edges together and seal like a half moon.

7. Place them on a greased idli plate or bamboo baskets without sticking to each other and steam for 10-12 minutes.

Serve hot with sweet chilli sauce.


Notes:

1. The stuffing should be firm and should not be overcooked. Also do not over stuff the dumplings.

2. Keep the dough and dumplings covered to avoid drying and hardening.

3. The dumplings will be translucent and will have a shiny gloss after steaming.

4. While rolling, the middle portion should be a little more thick than the outer edges, so that the stuffing doesn't come out.

5. Leave enough space between each dumpling and do not allow them to stick to each other as they will puff up while steaming.

6. The dough should not be too soft nor too hard.


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Poondu Vengaya Puliyodharai


Tamarind rice with garlic and small onion/shallot



Puliyodharai is an aromatic, spicy and tangy dish usually made by mixing boiled rice with a pulikachal paste. The paste is prepared using tamarind, dals, spices and peanuts.

When I saw this recipe in Radhika's space, I loved the addition of garlic and small onions - a twist to the usual puliyodharai. Small onions impart a sweet tang in between the hotness of the red chillies. This one pot meal can be made quickly and is ideal for lunchbox.


Ingredients:

Rice - 1 cup
Garlic - 1/2 cup
Small onions/Shallots - 1 cup
Green chillies - 3 to 4
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Tamarind - 1 lemon size
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida/Hing - 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal - 2 tsp
Channa Dal - 1 tbsp
Whole red chillies - 6, halved
Gingelly oil - 3 to 4 tbsp
Salt - to taste

Preparation:

1. Wash the rice well and cook it. Spread it on a plate and allow to cool.

2. Finely chop the onions, garlic and green chillies.

3. Soak tamarind in little hot water and extract thick pulp and set aside.

Method:

1. Heat gingelly oil and add mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add urad dal, channa dal and red chillies. Roast the dals until its turn golden in color.

2. Add the onions, garlic, green chillies, curry leaves, a pinch of salt and turmeric powder. Sauté till the onions turn bown around the edges.

3. Add tamarind extract, salt and hing and mix well. Cover and cook in low flame for 10 minutes.

4. After 10 minutes, the tamarind sauce will be thick and oil will be floating on top. Remove from heat.

5. Put rice on a plate and add the tamarind sauce/pulikachal and mix.

Serve hot with applam/pappad.


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Capsicum Zunka


Spicy dry curry with capsicum and chickpea flour/besan



Zunka/Zunka Bhakri is a famous Maharashtrian recipe. Traditionally it is prepared with onion and besan/chickpea flour and served with jowar or bajra rotis. Zunka can be prepared with other veggies like okra/bhindi, capsicum, cabbage and spring onion.

The blend of besan with capsicum gives out a good flavor and aroma. This dish does not need much preparation, so you can make this in an instant and serve with roti. It also goes well with rice and dal.


Ingredients:

Capsicum - 3, medium sized
Onion - 1 medium, finely chopped
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tsp
Green chilly - 2, finely chopped
Jeera/Cumin - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Besan - 3 tbsp
Oil -  3 tbsp
Salt - to taste

Method:

1. Remove the seeds of capsicum and cut them into cubes.

2. Dry roast the besan in medium flame till nice aroma comes. Keep aside.

3. In a pan, add 2 tbsp oil and add jeera. When it crackles, add ginger-garlic paste, green chillies and fry for a minute.

4. Then add onions and fry till they turn brown around the edges.

5. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilly powder and mix well. Fry for 2 minutes.

6. Add capsicum, salt and mix well. Close and cook for 8-10 minutes or till capsicum becomes soft.

7. Now add the besan little by little and combine well with capsicum. Add 1 tbsp oil and keep mixing in medium flame for 5-6 minutes. Do not cover at this stage.

Serve hot with roti.


Notes:

1. I have used green, yellow and red capsicum here. You can use any color capsicum for this.

2. Roasting the besan helps in removing the raw smell and gives a good aroma when roasted again at the end.

3. Do not cover and cook after adding besan.



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Mint Ginger Lime Cooler


Refreshing summer drink with lemon/lime juice infused with ginger and mint flavors



Mint ginger lime cooler is a refreshing and healthy drink, apt for the scorching summers. This cooler has the tanginess of lemon, flavor of mint leaves with subtle ginger essence.


Lemon not only refreshes you but also provides amazing health benefits! Lemon is excellent source of Vitamin C and anti-oxidants. Mint ginger lime cooler helps in digestion and is a quick remedy for nausea and vomiting.

Ingredients:

Lime/Lemon juice - 50 ml
Mint leaves - 12 to 15
Ginger - 1 tsp, grated
Sugar - 1/4 cup
Salt - a pinch
Water - 400 ml

Method:

1. Add all the ingredients to a blender/juicer and blend well.

2. Strain the juice and add ice cubes.

3. Garnish with mint leaves.


Serve chilled.


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Peas Pulao | Matar Pulao


Green peas cooked with basmati rice, mint-coriander leaves and mild spices


Green peas pulao is an easy one pot meal that can be made in very less time as there is not much chopping involved and you can use fresh or frozen green peas. Addition of mint and coriander leaves along with cinnamon, cardamom and other spices gives a nice flavor and aroma. A simple onion-tomato raita is enough to accompany this flavorful pulao. This is ideal to pack for lunch box.



Ingredients:

Basmati rice - 1 cup
Green peas - 1 cup
Onion - 1 large, sliced thinly
Green chillies - 2, sliced
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tsp
Mint leaves - 15 to 20 leaves, roughly chopped
Coriander leaves - 3 to 4 sprigs, roughly chopped
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Garam masala - 1/4 tsp
Ghee/Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste

Tempering/Tadka:
Bay leaf - 1
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
Cloves - 3
Cardamom - 3
Jeera/Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds/Perumjeerakam - 1/4 tsp

Method:

1. Wash the rice and soak rice for 20 minutes. Drain and keep aside.

2. Heat ghee and add the ingredients under tempering/tadka. Fry for a minute or until nice aroma comes.

3. Add onions, green chillies and fry till onions turn golden around the edges.

4. Add ginger-garlic paste and fry till raw smell goes. Now add the green peas and saute for another 2-3 minutes.

5. Add the mint-coriander leaves, turmeric powder, garam masala and rice. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add 2 cups water, salt and mix well. Bring to boil.

6. Cover and cook in medium flame for 10 to 15 minutes or till rice is cooked. Alternatively you can transfer the contents to a pressure cooker and cook for 2-3 whistles.

Serve hot with raita.

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Dal Palak | Spinach Dal


Spinach and lentils cooked with onion, tomato and mild spices





Spinach is a powerhouse of nutrition. Spinach aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, lowers blood pressure and curbs overeating. It is also an excellent source of antioxidants — including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc and selenium.

Dal palak is a comforting and healthy dish. This dal goes well rice as well as chapathi. You can add more garlic and make a garlicky palak dal for a change.


Ingredients:

Palak/Spinach - 1 bunch
Toor dal - 1/2 cup
Moong dal - 1/3 cup
Onion - 1 medium, finely chopped
Tomato - 1 medium, finely chopped
Garlic - 4 to 5, finely chopped
Ginger - 1" piece, finely chopped
Green chillies - 1, finely chopped
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin/Jeera powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Jeera/Cumin - 2 tsp
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Coriander leaves - 2 to 3 sprigs
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp

Method:

1. Wash toor dal and moong dal together. Pressure the dals with a pinch of turmeric till soft. Mash and keep aside.

2. Wash the spinach well and dry it. Roughly chop the spinach and keep aside.

3. Heat ghee and add jeera. Then add garlic, ginger, green chillies and saute for a minute. Then add onions and fry till it turns golden.

4. Now add the tomatoes and saute for a minute. Then add spinach, turmeric powder, cumin powder, red chilly powder, salt and mix well.

5. Saute the spinach till it becomes soft.

6. Now add the dal and combine well. Add water if its becomes too thick.

7. Remove from heat and add coriander leaves, lemon juice and mix well.

Serve hot.


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