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MEDITERRANEAN FEAST


 


Virtual Mediterranean Feast 

We really love the freshness and flavor of the Dishes in this cuisine. Since I am vegetarian, I often do vegetarian ones in this cuisine. Before we go for the recipe here is the small introduction about the Mediterranean cuisine.  This post is really big one hope you all will enjoy for sure.

The Mediterranean can be crudely divided into three culinary regions: North African(especially Morocco), Eastern Mediterranean(Egypt, Greece, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey),and southern European(Italy, France, Spain). Wine and herbs are central to southern European cuisine, while spice intricately and boldly flavor North African foods.

Onions, garlic, and Tomatoes, surrounded by olive oil begin many dishes. Eggplants abound, as do squashes, peppers, mushrooms, cucumbers, artichokes, okra, and various greens and lettuces. Legumes like lentil, chickpeas, fava beans are widely used. Fresh herbs like rosemary, basil, cilantro, parsley, mint,dill, fennel and oregano are also included in their cooking. Fish dishes and grilled meats are also common.

It is widely believed that Mediterranean cuisine is particularly healthful. Pita bread, Hummus, and Falafel, Baba Ghanouj are very popular forms of the eastern type of the cuisines.

So I am posting the recipe for these :

1. Hummus - It is basically made of cooked Chick peas(Channa) ground with garlic, Tahini paste (Pure sesame seed paste) and spice powder with the touch of lemon and Olive oil. Used as spreads and Dips. There are various flavour in this and I am posting basic one. Will post different flavours later.
2. Falafel - This is Chickpeas ground with herbs, spice and deep fried to crispy balls. You can have this with pita. Can use as Pattie for the Burgers too.
3. Baba Ghanouj - This is made with Smoked eggplant ground with spices. Used in pitas and also Dips.
4. Tabbouleh salad- Bulgur wheat with more herbs with the hint of lemon and olive oil make this salad so healthy and fresh.



HUMMUS



Ingredients :

Chick peas - 1 1/4 cup
Garlic - 4 cloves
Lemon - 2 to 3 tbsp according to your liking
Tahini Paste - 2 tbsp  (You can also add another 2 tbsp if you want smooth and rich Hummus )
Chili Powder - As required
Salt
Water and Olive oil for Topping.

Method :

1. Soak the chick pea over night, cook in the pressure cooker.
2. Grind with above ingredients to fine paste and just drizzle olive oil and chilli powder on the Top.
3. I generally prefer chunky rather making very fine smooth paste. Do according to your taste.

FALAFEL


Ingredients :

Chick peas - 1 1/4 cup(Soaked Overnight)
Onion - 1 chopped finely
Garlic -1 clove
Parsley - 3 tbsp (washed and finely chopped)
Coriander leaves - 4 tbsp (washed and finely chopped)
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp 
Coriander powder - 1/4 tsp
Pepper - 1/2 tsp 
Flour - 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp
Salt, Chili powder - 1/2 tsp or as required
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Baking soda - a pinch 
Sesame seeds for coating (optional)


Method :

1. Grind the soaked chick peas with garlic and add chopped herbs, flour , baking powder, chili powder and other powders along with salt.
2. Make balls to your desired shape sprinkle the balls with sesame seeds and deep fry in hot oil. Fry till deep brown and crispy.

BABA GHANOUJ


Ingredients :

Egg plant - 1 (Broiled in the oven or direct flame)
Lemon - 2 tbsp
Tahini paste - 2 tbsp
Garlic - 2
Salt
Pepper or chili powder
Roasted cumin powder - just to sprinkle
Olive oil - to drizzle


Method :

1. Just apply oil in the eggplant and grill, or broil in the oven. I do it in the direct flame.
2. Once the skin blackened and soft to touch just keep covered in the container using cling wrap.
3. Peel the skin and grind the flesh with all other ingredients to smooth paste or chunkier as you like.
4. Drizzle with olive oil, chili powder and cumin powder. Adjust the lemon juice according to your sourness.


TABBOULEH SALAD


Ingredients :

Bulgur wheat - 3/4 cup
Hot water - 1 cup
Parsley - 4 tbsp finely chopped
Mint - 4 tbsp
Scallions - 1/4 cup
Tomato - 1 deseeded and finely chopped
Olive oil , Lemon juice , salt and pepper for Dressing


Method :

1. Soak the wheat in hot water for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
2. Add the chopped herbs and dress it with olive oil, salt, pepper and required amount of lemon juice.
3. Refrigerate it and serve chilled with pita.

What you need for arranging the pita :

1. Lettuce
2. Falafel
3. Hummus
4. Baba Ghanouj
5. Salad
6. Sour cream( I usually mix chopped cucumber and tomato with little salt with sour cream)


Method :

Stuff all the ingredients into the pita pocket according to your taste and amount. Enjoy eating !!!!


Note :


For healthier version I use whole wheat pitas too. For small pita just top with all the above items and enjoy.


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MAPLE WALNUT BARS OR SQUARES

I am posting the maple pecan bars substituted with walnuts. Since I had so much walnuts I did with those. You can use any nuts or mixture of nuts for this. Even you can line with fresh fruits and nuts. Will post the lemon bars soon with same shortbread crust... So yummy. You can serve these bars with scoop of ice cream seriously so tasty.. Here goes the recipe.



U need 8x8" pan lining with parchment paper

Ingredients :

Shortbread Crust :

All purpose flour - 1 1/2 cup
Brown sugar - 2 tbsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Powdered sugar - 1/3 cup
Butter - 1 1/4 stick at room temperature
Egg - 1 (optional)
Baking powder - 1/4 tsp


Method :

1. Cream the butter and sugar in the mixer.
2. Sieve the flour and baking powder together.
3. Add to the butter mixer. Add salt.
4. Add the egg and mix well using the dough hooks or the paddle.
5. If the dough is not tight add tbsp of flour again.
6. Now spread the dough in the tin evenly using the fingers.
7. Preheat the pan to 350 degree and bake for 10 minutes or so till very slight brown in color and well set.



For the filling :

Butter - 7 oz
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Maple Syrup - 2 tbsp or u can use honey instead
Whole milk or Heavy cream - 1/2 cup
Brown sugar - 3/4 cup
Lemon rind - 2 tsp
Toasted walnuts or pecans - 3 cups(chopped into two)


Method :

1. Bring the butter and sugar to a slow simmer.
2. Once it is melted add the heavy cream, syrup and cook for 5 minutes. Now add the toasted nuts and lemon rind stir for a while for another 3 minutes or so.
3. Now pour over the baked crust.
4. Bake again in 350 degree for another 20 minutes or until set well.
5. Once cooled cut to desire shapes. Enjoy with scoop of ice cream. I promise u will be out of the world.

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PAPPU UNTA MAJIGA PULUSU(Paruppu urundai moore kulambu and rasam)(Dhal Balls in Yoghurt gravy)

Hope everyone had wonderful weekend. Last whole week was a bit busy for me because of school and shopping all those things. Just made simple dishes to ease myself from the kitchen. So here is our favourite Unta Majiga pulusu that is Moore Kuzhambu in Tamil . So delicious and comforting meal with rice and also roti since it is like kadhi not exactly but same base.


Ingredients for Pulusu(kuzhambu) :

Curd - 1 1/2 cup(churned in the mixie)
Coconut - 1 1/2 tbsp
Toor dhal- 1 tbsp (soak for 2 hrs)
Red chillies - 2
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Coriander seeds - 3 tsp
Green chillies - 3
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Garlic - 1 pod
Turmeric powder - 1/24 tsp
Salt for taste
Coriander leaves few
Curry leaves few
Mustard - 2 tsp
Coconut oil - 1 1/2 tsp

Toor Dhal balls :

Toor dhal - 1 cup
Coconut - 1 tbsp
Cummin seeds - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 2
Green chillies - 2
Garlic - 10 pods
Shallots - 10
Baking soda - 1 pinch 

Method :

1. Soak the dhal in water for 2 hr.
2. Grind with the other ingredients to coarse paste except garlic and shallots.
3. Then chop garlic and shallots finely.
4. Mix with the ground dhal. The batter should not be too tight. 
5. Just make loose balls or drop a small scoop in the plate in which you are steaming and steam for 15 minutes.
6. Once steamed make to proper balls when they warm enough to handle and add to the moore kulambu(magiga pulusu).


Method for pulusu(kulambu) :

1.Grind 1 1/2 tbsp of soaked dhal,coconut, Chillies,cumin seeds, Coriander seeds, Asafoetida, Garlic, Turmeric To fine paste.
2. Add this to churned curd by adding some water to it.
3. Boil it once it comes to boil add the dhal balls and switch off the flame.
4. Season with Mustard and Curry leaves.
5. Garnish with Coriander leaves.
6. Serve with hot rice, Raw onions and spicy curries or chips.

In Rasam(Chaaru) :

I used to add this same balls in Rasam too. You can add to Dhal rasam.
Here how it is....



Note:

1. Another way of eating this Crumble the balls and add to the hot rice and ghee it tastes so delicious.


MUNG BEAN SPROUT SALAD



MIXED BEAN SUNDAL




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REPOSTING FOR THE EVENTS


' Queso' is cheese in spanish. Quesadilla is toasted tortilla with melted cheese inside. With cheese we can put any kind of stuffing inside. Here I have put Bell peppers, onion and mushroom. Stuffing can be made according to our choice and combination. And regarding cheese again its our choice. We love sharp cheddar and mozzeralla so I have added both. It is served with sour cream, salsa and guacamole. Since I made 3 types of salsa I am posting it with store bought tortilla chips. Enjoy this mexican platter !!!!!!!!!!




Ingredients :

Flour tortilla - 4
Bell pepper - 1 sliced thin
Onion - 1 thinely sliced
Mushroom sliced - 1/2 cup
Garlic powder - 1 tsp
Pepper powder - as required or chilli powder
Paprika + cummin powder - 1 tsp to sprinkle on top (optional)
Olive oil for roasting
Salt for taste
Sharp cheddar - 1/2 cup
Mozzeralla - 1/4 cup



Method :

1. Heat oil in the frying pan and add onion saute until light brown then to that add the mushroom.
2. When all the water oozes out and dried add bell pepper salt, garlic powder and pepper.
3. Saute until they are lightly browned.
4. Now heat olive oil in the pan put all the tortilla one by one and make it warm and keep it aside.
5. Now again put one tortilla in pan and add the topping mixture and cheese.
6. And cover it with other tortilla. The cheese meltes and they will stick to each other.
7. Using spatula lift up with one side of quesadilla and flip over other side very carefully.
8. Do this every 3 minutes in low flame until they are browned and crispy on both sides or quesadilla.
9. Once it is done remove from pan befor it is cooled cut them using pizza cutter and serve hot sprinkling with paprika and cummin powder.
10. Enjoy with salsa, sourcream and guacamole.
11. Now get ready to make another quesadilla with remaining wraps and stuffing.



SALSAS



Guacamole :

Guacamole, a dip made from avocados. To get the perfect guacamole use ripe avocados. The color of avocado should be dark and give it a gentle press outside of avacado if it is bit soft then right to make.

Ingredients :

Avocado - 1
Tomato - 1/2 deseeded and pulp removed
Serrano chilli or Jalapeno chilli - 1 tsp deseeded and chopped finely
Cilantro - few
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Red onion - 1/4 cup chopped finely
Garlic - 1 pod small grated
Salt and pepper to taste.

Method :

1. Deseed the avocado and put in the bowl. Mash it with fork.
2. Then add all other ingredients and mix well.
3. Everything has to be blended well. Refrigerate until used so that it enhances the flavour.
4. Serve with chips or quesadilla or in Burrito.



Mango salsa :

Mango salsa its with tomato, Onion and cilantro with little sweetness of mango yummm....

Ingredients :

Tomato - deseeded 1 cup chopped finely
Mango - 1 cup finely chopped
Onion - 1/2 cup
Serrano chilli or Jalapeno chilli - 1 tsp chopped finely deseeded
Cilantro - 2 tbsp finely chopped
Garlic - 1 tsp crushed (optional)
Salt and pepper for taste

Method :

1. Mix all ingredients and refrigerate to enhance flavors. serve with chips.




Hot and spicy tomato salsa :

Tomato - 1 chopped roughly
Onion - 1/4 chopped
Habanero chilli (this has more spice level) or Jalapeno chilli - 1 tsp
Cilantro leaves - 1 tbsp
Garlic - 1 pod
Bell pepper red - 1/4 cup
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Salt and oil.

Method :

Put everything in the blender and run it until everything is well blended. But they should not be so fine has to chunky enough. Add some cilantro for garnishing. So yummy and serve with tortilla, quesadilla, Burritos.


Note:

Regarding chillies each of them will give different taste and if you do not have those particular chilli in your fridge use jalapeno for everything and adjust it according to your spice levels.



Sending this Feast to Mexican Fiesta 09


RED CHILLI AND GARLIC CHUTNEY

Ingredients :

Red chillies - 10
Garlic pods - 10 normal size
Tamarind extract - 2 tbsp
Salt as needed
Curry leaves
Mustard - 2 tsp
Sesame oil (Nallennai) - 4 tbsp



Method :

1. First dry powder the red chillies. Add garlic , tamarind and salt grind to fine paste.
2. Check for sourness and add little more if u need it.
3. Season it with mustard and curry leaves with more oil.
4. This can be kept in fridge for more days.

I am sending this to Kitchen chronicles Think spice event and Sunitha's Blog


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TOM YUM SOUP (VEGETARIAN) AND AWARDS

Tom yum soup is perhaps authentic Thai Dish which is spicy soup served both vegetarian and Non vegetarian. Here is the vegetarian version which I used to do regularly since we all love this because of its Lemony, Gingery and Spicy flavour. The basic broth is made of vegetable stock and fresh ingredients such as Lemon Grass, Kaffir Lime Leaves, Galangal, Shallots and Red Chili Padi. This is so Easy to make and I make this healthy with lot of vegetables and Mushroom with generous amount of herbs. Its really wonderful appetizer and you'll love it and warms you up from the inside. This is perfect for winter season. Its helps fight off cold and flu. Brief about the ingredients used in this.....


Galangal - Galangal is Ginger like spices which is widely used in south East Asia. Its so aromatic and Gingery.


Kaffir Lime and Its leaves - The rind, Juice and the leaves of this lime is used for cooking as well as for medicinal purpose. The juice is generally more acidic. The leaves can be used fresh or dried. They are widely used in Thai, Lao and Cambodian Cuisines. It has the wonderful aroma that you really feel in the soup.


Lemon Grass - Lemon grass is native to India. It is widely used as a herb in Asian cuisine. And it is commonly used in teas, Soups, and curries. Lemon grass oil is used as a pesticide ,preservatives and for perfumeries too.





Hope I bored you all with lot of stuffs. Coming to the recipe....




Ingredients :


Any vegetable stock - 3 cups (You can make your own or store bought is also good)
Galangal - 5 slices crushed slightly
Kaffir lime leaves - 3
Lemon Grass - 1 stalk
Chili padi - 1
Garlic - 1 minced
Mushroom - 1/2 cup sliced
Napa Cabbage or regular - 1/4 cup
Carrots - Few slices or Handful
Sprouts - Few or Handful
Tomatoes - 1/2 deseeded and cubed
Tofu - cubed fes pieces (optional)
Soy Sauce - 1 tbsp
Spring onion - Chopped 1 handful
Coriander leaves - 3 tbsp chopped
Chili Sauce - 1/2 tbsp
Lime juice - 1/4 Tsp
Salt and oil as required.





Method :


1. Heat oil in a pot and add the crushed galangal, lemon grass, Garlic and Chilli padi.
2. The oil will be now infused with lovely aromatic flavour.To this add the stock and let it boil for some time. Now the fragrant broth is ready.
3. Add the vegetables in this order to the broth. First add in the carrot then mushroom let it cook for some time.
4. Once it is half done, add the cabbage followed by sauces this need not to cook for long time . Just one boil otherwise the cabbage will become soggy.
5. Then add the tomato, sprouts, Tofu followed by spring onion and Coriander leaves. Once all these are added do not cook for long time, again one boil that's it. Switch of the flame and serve piping hot by adding a lime juice in it.





Note :


1. Adjust the sour , spiciness everything according to your taste.
2. You can add any vegetables you like but generally I do this way.



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HURRAY !!!!!! OUR FIRST EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT

Hello Friends, since I started blogging for last ten months, I have been seeing bloggers creativity. I was thinking of organizing contests, so that it will help to bring the talent and creativity of the bloggers. Now me and my Sister-in-law Nithya of 4thsensesamayal together formed a new blog solely for organizing contests. We both stay far from each other, but share a lot of common interest. So we joined hands to form a new blog.

That is
http://innovativein-laws.blogspot.com, Welcome to our new blog !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




So what are you waiting for ? Start your horses running to participate in the first contest "Garnish the Dish". Your PARTICIPATION is our STRENGTH. Feel free to drop your questions and comments to innovativeinlaws@gmail.com. We will be more than happy to answer your question and comments.

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REPOSTING FOR THE EVENTS

I am reposting this recipes to Purva and Priti 's Festive Food Event - FF . Wish You All Happy Long Weekend.





This is my last year vinayak chavithi pooja its just for your glance. I made this ganesha using turmeric since I did not plan of making this there was nothing with me to decorate the god so used some jewels and petals of flowers. And I am posting the recipes of prasadams we offer to ganesha.. Since I was not able to post on that day I am posting it today. Hope you all will enjoy.......



Last year Pooja




This year festival



Recipe for Karjikai/Kozhukattai



For the dough

Ingredients :

Rice flour - 1 cup
Water - 1 1/4 cup
Salt - a pinch

Method :

1. Heat the water in a vessel add the salt to it.
2. When water boils, sim the flame and add the ric flour and mix quickly so that lumps will not form.
3. Now switch of the flame and keep close aside for 10 minutes.
4.Then knead well by adding warm water or diluted warm milk with little oil to smooth dough.
5.Make small balls out of the dough and keep closed otherwise it gets dried.
6.For making the modakam the mould is available you can use or just make like cup shape and fill with stuffing close the edges to get pear shaped one.
7. For semi circular shape again u can use chappathi maker press it the keep in the mould and close it.
8. Since I did not have both chappathi maker as well as mould I just did with hands. Just make small cup and using two hands make it to big one stuff the filling and seal the edges and twist it to get the design.
9. Now steam these for 15 minutes in high flame.

Stuffings :

I did two types of stuffing which is coconut and sesame.

For coconut stuffing :

Coconut scrapped - 1/2 cup
Sugar-1/2 cup
Cashews - few chopped finely
Ghee - tsp
Cardamom powder - 2 pinch

Method :

1. Mix both coconut and sugar keep aside for 10 minutes.
2. Now put this in a vessel and heat in low flame until sugar melts well and coconut is cooked if u touch and see u will feel sticky. Add the cardamom powder.
3. Now fry the cashew in the ghee and add to the coconut mixture.
4. Let it cool down and they seperates. U can make this before day itself and store in airtight container.



Sesame filling

Sesame - 1/2 cup
Jaggery grated - 1/2 cup

Method :

1. Fry the sesame in the pan and let it get roasted slightly.
2. Let it cool , then u powder it with jaggery and use for stuffing.
3. Even this u can make a day before and store in the air tight container.

Udhu untallu or Steamed Dhal Balls:

Toor dhal- 1 cup
Urad dhal- 1 handful
Cummin seeds - 1 tsp
Pepper - few
Green chilli - 1
Red chilli - 2
Coconut - 1 tbsp
Asafoetida - 1 tsp
Handful of soaked channa dhal in water

Seasoning:

Mustard - 2 tsp
Oil
salt
Curry leaves



Method:

1. Soak the dhal in water for 1 hr then coarsely grind with other ingredients and ferment overnight.
2.Then season with mustard and curry leaves add the channa dhal to it.
3. Make small balls and steam it for 15 minutes.
4. Once steamed make to proper balls again and its ready for pooja.

Sundal( Seasoned legumes)

White channa - 1/2 cup
Black channa - 1/2 cup
Green gram - 1/2 cup
Dried grean peas - 1/2 cup
Ginger - 1 inch
Green chilli - 3
Asafoetida - 1 tsp
Curry leaves
coriander leaves
Lemon juice according to your sourness
coconut scraped - 1 tbsp
Mustard - 2 tsp
Urad dhal- 2 tsp
Oil little



Method:

1. Soak all the bean and legumes overnight and pressure cook and drain the water . dont throw the water it can be used for making rasam(chaaru) its so healthy.
2. Now grind the ginger and chilli to paste.
3. Season with Mustard, urad dhal, Asafoetida Curry leaves and add the ground ginger chilli paste.
4. Fry it and now add the boiled bean add the lemon juice, salt, coconut and mix well until they are well blended.
5. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves now it is ready for pooja.


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RESTAURANT STYLE CHINESE FRIED RICE !



Fried rice almost every ones favorite . Whenever we go to Chinese restaurant, Thai or any Indo Chinese restaurant this is one of the dish we used to order. Fried rice with any manchurian is perfect match, can say as made for each other hah!!!. Here goes the recipe.



Ingredients :

Basmathi rice - 1 cup ( cooked)
Carrots - 1/2 cup ( Finely chopped or julienne)
Beans - 1/4 cup  ( Finely chopped or julienne)
Capsicum - 1/4 cup ( Finely chopped or julienne)
Green peas - 2 tbsp (optional)

Cabbage -  1 cup ( finely sliced)
Celery - 1 stalk finely chopped (optional)
Vinegar - 1 tsp
Soya sauce - 1 1/2  tsp
Black pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
White pepper powder - 1 tsp (Adjust according to your preference)
Spring onion - slice and seperate both green and white part
Ajinomoto - 1/4 tsp optional(I rarely use it)
Egg - 2 (scrambled adding salt to it)(optional)
Oil and salt as required



Method :

1. Heat oil in a wok or kadai, add the beans followed by other veggies saute slightly in high flame. If using ajinomoto add at this stage.
2. Do not overcook the vegetables.  Now add the celery, capsicum and white part of onion.
3. Add the rice followed by salt, pepper, sauce, vinegar, scrambled egg.
4. Toss well so that everything has to be blended well garnish with springonion.
5. Serve piping hot with hot chilli sauce, pickled chilli or manchurian.

You can find the Gobi Manchurian recipe here.




Note :


1. Always cook the vegetable in high flame.
2. Do not over cook the vegetables.
3. Green beans and green peas are absolutely optional.
4. Cabbage and capsicum is a must in fried rice.  
5. Adding scrambled egg is optional.
6. If you do not have white pepper powder , just substitute with the black pepper powder itself.  White pepper powder enhances the taste.



Read more...

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