Jun 19, 2012

Dal Khichdi

Dal Khichdi is a fabulous dish and a complete meal on its own.I prepare it very rarely because khichdi is normally made when someone is ill.But I just love it.I had khichdi as kid but that was million years ago and don't remember how it used to taste back then.But my bengali friend once made khichdi for lunch in india back in my college days and I happened to taste it there.It was a mouth watering dish made with ghee and spices and all.Yummy!

Today I watched Chef Harpal Singh recipe and made it for lunch and even my hubby ate it and loved it.I was missing on ghee,tej patta,curry patta but even then it came out great.Make sure you have the ingredients,out here,getting these means going out to the supermarket and isnt available just about everywhere.

Ingredients :

2 cups of rice ( I used basmati)

1 cup of masoor dal ( can use chana,moong with chilka or without,toor dal too)

Soak the rice and dal together after washing it thoroughly for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile,chop finely 6 cloves of garlic ,an inch of ginger,green chillies ( depends on how spicy you like it),1 tomato.

After the soaking period,throw the water out and in a non stick vessel( i used normal aluminium one),add the rice-dal and add water.The water level should be just an inch above the rice .If you like chipki or pasty,add a little more water maybe another half an inch or an inch more.

To it add - 1 tsp haldi,red chilli powder for more spiciness,the cut green chillies and salt to taste.

Cover the lid and let it cook for at least 15 minutes.It will cooked by then.But make sure,check the taste,salt content and how much more time it requires.

Meanwhile prepare the tadka masala :

Add 2 tbsp of ghee,add half a tsp of jeera seeds,tej pata 2,chopped ginger and garlic( I added half an onion finely chopped as well),when it got a brown,I added chopped tomatoes and on low heat cooked it till the tomatoes melted away in the masala.

The water in the rice has dried off almost,add this tadka and mix it well.Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Can have it with pickle,papad or curd and yummy.

Jun 5, 2012

Kitchen tips

What I have noticed over the years is women,do not share their best kitchen secrets with everyone.It could be a recipe or some miracle cleaning tip or some short cuts in cooking.Usually ,they would go like," You will learn eventually as you get better in the kitchen.",What they mean to say is," you want to be better,then do it yourself,Make mistakes,Hell can freeze over  before I just tell you all the secrets to the trade especially when I had to learn it the hard way."

Sometimes when I'm doing finding something difficult or appear tired,my in law goes," I had it harder.I had to do it like this and like that plus I also had to do this and that and that and this."I know she thinks we women or people have it much much easier than they had it,million years ago.But we cant change anything  as they were born then,and we were born in the age of the hippies.

But thanks to the Internet,everything is practically available at our fingertips.All we have to do now,is type it in and get the results and work on it.I'm lazy to do that even at times but Hey ! We aren't perfect.So much for too much blabbering,lets actually begin.
  1. Adding a pinch of turmeric when cooking Dal can hasten the cooking process.
 2. Wrapping bananas in a newspaper and then refrigerating them can keep them fresh for longer.

  3.  Warm garlic cloves in the microwave slightly and you’ll see the skin peeling off without difficulty. Also, you can submerge them in water for about 10 minutes before peeling the skin.

4.  Pressure-cook tomatoes with salt to taste. When cool, churn them in a mixer and strain the juice. Deep freeze the juice in an ice tray. Place the juice cubes in a box or a plastic bag and store them in the freezer. Use them to make tomato soup, vegetables and gravies when you’re falling short of time or have run out of tomatoes.

5.  Before you pour milk into the pot for boiling, rub butter along the top edge and the inside lip of the pot. Due to this, the milk won’t overflow when it foams up.

6. Excess salt in any dish can be brought down by adding diced potatoes, tomatoes or a teaspoon of sugar.

7.  Try peeling and cutting onions under running water or try chopping them near a gas flame. Refrigerating onions before cutting them is also a good idea.

8. To regain freshness in stale chapatis: Just wrap them in a clean cloth and pack them in an airtight container that will fit into the pressure cooker and pressure cook for two whistles. Serve fresh and hot.
  1. Lemons, if stored at room temperature can only last a week before they start hardening. To preserve lemons for a longer duration, coat them with coconut oil and refrigerate them in an open container.

  1. To retain the bright green colour of leafy vegetables, add a pinch of sugar while cooking them. You can also put the vegetables in ice cold water, as soon as you blanch them. When cooking eggplant, add a spoon of milk to a bowl of water and add the chopped pieces to that water. The eggplant will stay dark purple.

  1. Wash the grains a few times until the water runs clear. Remove all the water and let it sit for 20 minutes. This will remove all the starch and also won’t make the rice sticky. You can add a few drops of lemon juice to the rice while cooking it to ensure that the grains do not stick to each other.

  1. Try this trick. Cut the potatoes into thin strips and deep-fry (half done). Cool the fries and store them in the freezer for 5 to 6 hours. Make sure they are covered with a plastic wrap. Fry them just before you have to serve them.
What I also is,boil the potato wedges or frites a little bit and throw the water away.The starch is almost out.I dry them completely out and then after a while,I deep fry them.