Sep 16, 2017 No comments:

Beerakaya Bajji ~ Turai Pakode

If you are from South India and especially from Andhra region, I bet you never say NO to Bajji! Bajji is spicy or savory snack item that is popular as fantasy street food. There are several variations in making bajji or it can be made with several vegetables, but Mirapakaya Bajji is the most popular and favorite to everyone in spite of it's SPICYness (as it is made with green chili). There is a reason why I am giving you the history of Bajji, that is my Beerakaya Harvest! Confused...! Let me explain :-) My turai/beerakaya plant has given abundant harvest this season, I almost got 100 beerakaya/turai from my garden this year, after distributing to friends, colleagues and in community, I am still left with lot of Beerakaya, well that is a pleasure problem to have. :-) So I am in search of beerakaya recipes and started exploring every single one. A few I have tried so far are Beerakya Pachadi, Beerakaya Perugu Chutney, Beerakaya Pala kura, Beerakaya Nuvvula Kura! And today I made these Beerakaya Bajji, sine the beerakaya used in this recipe are home grown, they are very tender and gave superb fresh taste to these bajji. Here is the recipe, Njoy!




Ingredients:
Beerakaya - 2 Small
Besan Flour / Chick Pea Flour - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1 tsp
Ajwan seeds / Vamu - 1/4 tsp ( optional)
Paprika - 1/4 tsp ( or pinch of red chili powder)
Water - 1/4 cup
Oil - for deep frying


Method:

  1. Trim the edges of beerakaya/turai and peel and wash them. Chop them into round slices and keep them side.
  2. Take a medium size bowl, add besan flour, salt, paprika. crush Ajwan seeds roughly between your palms and add to bowl. Mix everything well. Add water slowly in increments and keep mixing until it forms like batter. ( it should be like dosa batter consistency).
  3. Heat Oil in Kadai for  5 minutes or until oil is hot (for deep frying).
  4. Once the oil is ready, dip the Turai rounds / Beerakaya slices in the besan batter and drop them gently in the hot oil. repeat this for all the rounds and deep fry these until they turn to golden color on both sides. 
  5. Take the fried bajji on to a wide plate with kitchen towel spread (to remove excess oil) and let them cool for few minutes.
  6. Transfer to serving bowl or plate and serve them warm with spicy hot sauce or ketchup. 



Notes:

  • For this recipe, you need to pick tender beerakaya than ripen one. Pick about I foot long beerakaya that is usually tender. 
  • Always taste one slice from beerakaya, there is a possibility that some times you can get bitter turai. You don't want to mix the good ones with bitter ones when you slice them.
  • When dropping turali slices in oil, be careful, oil will be very hot and it can spill on your hands if you throw these into kadai.
  • I don't like lot of besan coating on veggies, hence I mix the batter little runny, if you prefer thick bajji, you need to make the batter little thick.
  • Ajwan seeds are optional, but usually these are good and pairs well with besan flour of health benefits. Ajwan will help to avoid the gas formation in tummy that besan flour can cause. 



Will be back with another simple fantasy recipe
take care until then
-Mythreyi

Read more ...

Sep 14, 2017 No comments:

Beerakaya Nuvvula Masala Kura ~ Ridge Gourd with Sesame Seeds Masala

When I was a kid, Mom used to make very limited varieties with Beerakaya either Pachadi/Chutney or Beerakaya Palakura (with milk), as dad prefers only these varieties compare to any other masala curries with it. Beerakaya Chutney tastes so good with Rice and Beerakaya milk based curry is divine when you pair it with pulka. So I haven't witnessed many varieties with this tender veggie Beerakaya. However due to high yield of Beerakaya/Turai in my garden from the past 2 years I have been interested in exploring more recipes with it. In exchange of beerakaya to my friends and neighbors I did get their version of Beerakaya recipes, Win-Win! :-) So today I am bringing a Andhra delicacy recipe with this veggie "Beerakaya Nuvvula Kura" that is shared by my beloved music (sangeetam) teacher Meenakshi Anipindi. This recipe is so tasty and sesame masala adds more creaminess and richness to this dish, this taste good with rice or roti.  Here is the recipe, Njoy!

Beerakaya Nuvvula Kura ~ Andhra Delicacy


Ingredients:
Beerakaya - 3 mediu
Onion - 1 medium
Green Chili - 2
Oil - 2 Tbsp
Chana Dal - 1 tsp
Urad Dal - 1 tsp 
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - 10 ( 2 stems)
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
salt - 1 tsp ( adjust per your taste)

Sesame Masala:
Sesame Seeds - 2 Tbsp
Rice - 1 Tbsp
Red Chili - 1 
Milk - 1 Tbsp

Preparatory Steps:
  • Trim edges and peel Beerakaya/Turai, wash thoroughly, chop into small pieces (I always use my Vidalia Wizard for chopping, now my kids are trained to use it and they are my little 'chopping' helpers in the kitchen :-)).
  • Chop onion and green chili and set aside.
  • Sesame Masala: Dry roast sesame seeds and rice together along with red chili in the non-stick pan for 2 min. Let it cool and grind in the small mixie jar until it becomes coarse, then add 1 tbsp milk and grind again until it becomes into smooth paste.


Method:
  1. Heat non-stick pan and add oil to it. Once the oil is hot, add chana dal, urad dal, cumin, mustard seeds. Saute until mustard starts spluttering, then add curry leaves and followed by turmeric powder. Add chopped onion and green chili to the tempering and sauté until onion becomes translucent and tender. 
  2. Add Beerakaya/Turai pieces to the pan and mix well or toss it so that everything mixed well. Close the lid and let it simmer on medium to low heat for 15 min. 
  3. After 15 min, Beerakya/Turai becomes tender and comes together as gravy, add 1 tsp salt to it and, simmer for 5 more minutes. Now add sesame masala to the gravy and mix it well. Increase the heat to medium to high and cook for another 5 min (with out closing lid) or until gravy comes together and becomes thick. 
  4. Now taste and adjust any salt/seasonings and top with Cilantro and switch off the stove. After 5 min transfer to serving bowl and enjoy with white rice or warm roti. 
Notes:
  • Be careful when you are dry roasting sesame seeds, they can quickly get burned as they are very delicate,  keep them on watch when you are roasting. 
  • I usually make this curry mild so that kids enjoy and it goes well with roti. If you prefer little spicy version you can add red chili in tempering and add increase red chili in sesame masala or increase green chili. However I do not suggest to add red chili powder to this curry, as usually the red chili  powder doesn't get infuse well in milk based curries. 
  • Sesame seeds masala adds creaminess and rich ness to this dish, and these beerakaya are from my garden, they are very tender and this curry tasted absolute delicious and divine.
will be back with another simple, delicacy dish
take care until then
-Mythreyi

Read more ...

Aug 28, 2017 1 comment:

Carrot Cupcakes

As 'Back to School' bash started this week, my morning has been fun and hectic in the kitchen with making lunches and packing lunch boxes for my kids. I always love to make fresh meal to pack in their lunch box, as I feel like I connect to them through food while they eat lunch. Me and my silly belief, do you ever feel that way, or am I the crazy one  :-) This year I have started packing their snacks in a cute snack box, it's a save on plastic ( I used to pack in ziplock snack bags) and will do good to earth. Though I make time to pack healthy lunches, but I end up packing processed and sugar filled food for their snacks. I have been eyeing to make a batch of cupcakes, so that I can load in their snack box, but the crieteria is they should be healthy ones! When I spotted this Carrot Cupcakes recipe at Pinch of Yum, that made my day. The recipe is so simple with minimalistic ingredients that you can find in your panty and these cupcakes are loaded with goodness of grated carrot. I have made a batch right away and gave these hesistantly to my kids crossing my fingers to see their reaction, they have super liked these and I immediately got their approval to pack these in snack box. They have double okayed it, I bet these will happen once a week for sure in my kitchen from now-on-wards. Here is the recipe for you, Njoy!


























Ingredients:

Adapted from:  Pinch of Yum

Flour - 1 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Cinnamon - 1 tsp
Baking Soda - 1 tsp
Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Grated Carrots - 1 1/2 cup
Oil - 2/3 cup
Eggs - 2

*yields - 12 cupcakes

Preparatory Steps:

  • Pre-heat the Oven to 350 F 
  • Line the cupcake liners in the Cupcake Baking Tray.
  • Trim edges and peel carrots. Grate carrots with the grater and set the grated carrots aside. 




Method:

  1. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Mix it with whisk and swift the flour so that there are no lumps in it and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine grated carrot and the oil. Slowly add the dry flour mixture to carrot mixture and fold in gently. Add the beaten eggs and stir/beat few times with cake mixer. ( around 15 beats)
  3. Scoop the batter into cupcake liners about 2/3 of full. Finish all the batter in 12 cup cake liners. Keep the cupcake tray in the oven and bake for 15 min. 
  4. After 15 min, you will notice the cupcakes are ready with springy tops and test with toothpick, it should come out clean when you poke inside. Take out these cupcakes from the tray and place them on cooling rack allowing them to cool for 10 to 15 min. Once these are cooled, they are ready to be served. 
  5. You can store them for 2 to 3 days at room temperature in air-tight container or store these in refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. 

Notes:
  • Original recipe calls to grate the carrot in food processor, but I did hand grated carrots in grater, I love the carrot flake like texture in my cupcakes.  Feel free to grate in food processor if you need to rush or less manual work. ( that doesn't change any flavor so you should be good either way)
  • For me 4 medium carrots yielded 1 1/2 cup grated carrot.
  • Baking time for these cupcakes varies based on the oven, I had to keep for 3 more minutes after 15 min. So I suggest to start with 15 min, adjust as needed later at the end. 
  • My family not a biggie for frosting on the cupcakes, that's why I didn't make any frosting or decorate with cream. You can decorate with cream cheese or vanilla frosting. Believe me, these tasted good as it is with out any frosting.
  • Oh, the cinnamon gives grate taste for these cupcakes, so I insist DO NOT skip the cinnamon, otherwise you will miss out lot of flavor.
  • These cup cakes are so delicious, spongy and so good. I suggest baking these in cupcake liners as you can directly pack them in lunchbox with liners to avoid any mess.

My kids loved these cupcakes, I hope your's will too, give it a try!


Will be back with another great and healthy recipe, 
See ya next time,
-Mythreyi



Read more ...

Aug 26, 2017 No comments:

Fruit & Yogurt Popsicles ~ 2 Ingredient Recipes

Back to School Rush has begun in Dallas, but the Texas heat hasn't cool down yet for this summer. My kids are returning from school with thirst quench. One day my daughter is back from school and craving for popsicles and we are out of popsicles or ice creams, she is so desperate for popsicles that she wanted to make popsicles right away, yes 'SHE wanted to make'! These days she is on the spree to make her own recipes. And also she remember that I bought several popsicle molds, but never used those, so she insisted! So I had to remember where I tucked in those  in my cabinates, and luckily found them quickly and we started making these fruit and yogurt popsicles right away.  I have to admit, "Daughters are daughters, LOL!'  Finally we both enjoyed making these together and had fun in the kitchen, That's what matters! Here is the recipe, enjoy!




Ingredients:
Honey Flavored Greek Yogurt - 1 cup
Fresh Fruit Cut-up - 1 cup ( I have used mango and strawberries)

Method:
  1. Take Yogurt in a medium bowl and cream it with spoon/small spatula/whisk, so that there are no lumps or flakes in the yogurt. 
  2. Peel mango and cut up into small cubes. Trim stems of strawberries and cut them into small tiny pieces.
  3. Start adding yogurt into popsicle molds and alternate with fruit pieces. Complete this process until all the molds are full. Seal these molds with cap that has stick that goes in the middle. 
  4. Keep them in freezer and allow them to freeze for 24 hours. 
  5. Next day take them out, run under lukewarm water and rub the molds in your palms and slowly take popsicles out from the molds, serve and enjoy these right away.


Notes:
  • For one posible I have used 1 fruit variety. You can add variety of fruits in one popsicle that makes it even more colorful. But try out with your kids favorite fruit first and then you can sneak in other fruits. ;-)
  • My daughter loved Mango flavored popsicle than strawberry ones, as strawberry one turned out little sour. 
  • Instead of greek yogurt, you can try these with home made yogurt with honey mixed in it. If you are using homemade yogurt, I suggest to strain in a cloth first to remove any cream flakes or lumps.
  • On Roti Subzi dinner days, I let kids enjoy these yogurt popsicle instead of Curd Rice. They get to enjoy their favorite and it is healthy as these are loaded with fruit and yogurt with no preservatives. Win-Win!

This is a very quick and easy kids friendly recipe, as there is no heat/stove/oven usage in this recipe, kids can just try this on their own. As the title says this recipe uses just 2 ingredients fruit & yogurt. I have used honey yogurt and fresh fruit, however you can vary this recipe by using flavored yogurt and/or frozen fruit variety as well. 


will be back with another easy recipe, 
Take Care until then
-Mythreyi

Read more ...

Feb 20, 2017 2 comments:

Ulli Kaaram Gutti Vankaya ~ Baby Eggplant with Onion Paprika Spices

The name 'Gutti Vankaya' itself makes my mouth water! I love this vegetable for two reasons, one it twists so well for all the different variations you try with it, two this is the only vegetable got the privilege to be pictured as romantic vegetable in our Telugu Literacy! I have tried several Gutti Vankaya recipes so far, but still my quest doesn't stop and I keep exploring more recipes with this vegetable. Today I am sharing this recipe, which is quite popular in Andhra region and this recipe will be cherished by non-veg lovers due to onion and other masala ingredients that are used. In this recipe, baby eggplants are stuffed with onion, green chili, red chili spices and simmered on low to medium heat until all the egg plants are cooked thoroughly.  The best taste of his dish comes with only when it served with hot white rice. Here is the recipe, njoy!




Ingredients:
Baby Eggplants (tender) - 12
Oil - 3 Tbsp
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
Clove - 2
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp

Ulli Kaaram Masala:
Onion - 2 medium
Green Chili - 3
Cilantro - 1/4 cup
Ginger - 1 inch stick
Garlic - 4 cloves
Tamarind - 1 Tbsp
Red Chili Powder - 1 Tbsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1 tsp





Method:

  1. Grind Onion, Green Chili, Cilantro, Ginger, Garlic and Tamarind in a small mixie jar and blend into coarse paste. Now add red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder to the onion paste and mix it well together and grind again until it becomes smooth paste. 
  2. Wash egg plants, trim the edges and make 4 slits at the bottom making sure they are still intact at the top. (keep the eggplants in water to avoid them from browning). Stuff eggplants with Ulli Kaaram Masala and keep them aside. 
  3. Take a wide pan and heat on stove on medium heat. Add Oil, once oil is hot, add cinnamon, clove and cumin seeds. As cumin start spluttering add stuffed eggplants to pan gently one-by-one. Keep them separate from each other allowing eggplants to be cooked on all sides. Keep rotating eggplants gently on all sides and saute them for 5 min. Now add remaining Onion Masala paste to pan and distribute evenly. Cover the lid, reduce the heat to low and simmer for at least 15 to 20 min. 
  4. After 20 min, remove lid and you notice egg plants are fully cooked becoming tender and masala comes together. Increase heat to medium to high and cook for another 10 min for all the gravy to come thick and together. 
  5. Switch off the stove and transfer Stuffed Brinjals to serving bowl and serve hot with White Rice. 




Check out other Vankaya / Brinjal Recipes:



Will be back with another regional recipe
Take care until then
-Mythreyi

Read more ...