Monday, June 20, 2016

Fool Proof Rava Idli - Ravai Idli Recipe

There are days that you want to eat idli but cannot because you have not made the batter or fermented it. Making the traditional rice and lentil idli is a 2 day process from start to finish, though the work is well worth it, there are days you just want to have them without all the fuss.

Here is the recipe for the long process Idly 101, if that is what you want. At other times when you want steaming idlies quick and fast here is the perfect recipe.

A friend had made it and till it was mentioned I had no idea that it was rava idli. Normally I use the Quaker Cream of Wheat which is not exactly white and has some brown flecks in it. The Indian ravai on the other hand is white and really fine. If you use the Indian kind you cannot easily differentiate between the two types of idlies. Whichever kind you choose to use follow the proportions exactly is what my friend instructed me is the way to make soft and fluffy idliies. Overcooking the rava idli will make it hard and chewy.

Mix together the cream of wheat with the yogurt.
Pour into greased idli molds and steam for 6-7 minutes.

There is no recipe that can be quicker and easier than this. Correct?

Rava Idli Recipe
Preparation Time:20 minutes
Cooking Time:15 minutes
  1. 1 heaping cup of Cream of Wheat or Sooji or White Rava
  2. 1/2 tsp salt
  3. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  4. 1 1/2 cups of yogurt from 1% milk or butter milk (see Notes:)
  5. 1/2 cup of water

  1. Using a whisk or fork mix together the dry ingredients (1-3).
  2. Whisk together the yogurt/buttermilk and water to smooth.
  3. Now gently fold in the yogurt mixture into the cream of wheat and with a few strokes as possible.
  4. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Let the water in the idli pot come to a boil.
  6. Now apply oil to the idli mould and pour the batter. For my idli mould I got about 16 ildies from the 1 cup of rava.
  7. Once the water has come to a boil, place the idli mould and steam for 7 minutes and no more. Turn off the heat and let sit for another 6-10 minutes before unmoulding them.
  8. Note:Add water depending on the thickness of the yogurt. For yogurt from 1% milk, for 1 1/2 cups of yogurt add 1/2 cup of water. If it is 2% or full milk yogurt a little less yogurt and more water and so on.

Like what you are reading? Subscribe!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Brussel Sprouts and Green Cauliflower Pulao in a Pressure Cooker

One pot meals are delicious as they are versatile. They get tastier as they age and are perfect for lunch boxes - kids as well as adults. What is not to like? I have always liked cauliflower but Brussel Sprouts are a recent favorite. They seemed to be everywhere now and look fresh and inviting. While I barely glanced at them before now I find it hard to walk by them without picking a few.

As for these green cauliflower? I simple got tired of white cauliflower and decided to try one of

Brussel Sprouts are a Fall Crop just like the other cruciferous vegetables and require cool weather and are harvested by the first frost. I was able to find fresh Brussel Sprouts early spring. While they are great with potatoes like in this Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts Masala Fry my favorite is in a mixed vegetable rice. Great for a weeknight meal and the biggest benefit is having a perfect lunch.

While the Pulao can be made as fancy as you wish but for a weeknight meal it can be as simple as possible. A raita or some chips is all is needed to make it a complete meal.

Brussel Sprouts and Green Cauliflower Pulao
Preparation Time:15 minutes
Cooking Time:25 minutes
  1. 2 cups of Basmati Rice
  2. 15 Brussel Sprouts slit in half
  3. 3/4 of a cauliflower broken into florets
  4. 5-6 green chilies slit
  5. 1 tbsp grated ginger
  6. 1 tbsp of finely chopped garlic
  7. 2-3 tomatoes finely chopped
  8. 1 cup of chopped coriander leaves
  9. 1 cup of chopped mint leaves
  10. 1/2 tbsp of red chili powder
  11. salt to taste
  12. 2-3 tsp of oil
  13. seasonings - 1/2 inch cinnamon, few cloves and 1 star anise (whole spices)
  14. 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and 1/2 tsp fennel seeds

  1. Wash and soak the rice for about 20 minutes or so.
  2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and when hot add the seasonings (whole spices) and saute for 1/2 minute.
  3. Add in the cumin and fennel seeds followed by the onions.
  4. Add the onions and saute till the they start to brown. Add in the ginger and garlic and saute for a half minute more.
  5. Add the coriander leaves and mint leaves and saute till they are completed wilted.
  6. Add in the tomatoes and saute till they become mushy. Add in the salt and chili powder and mix it in.
  7. Now add in the brussel sprout and saute for a minute.
  8. Add the rice and saute gently for about a couple of minutes.
  9. Add the required amount of water (see Note:) and let it come to a boil. and let it cook for about 8-10 minutes till the rice is half cooked and about 3/4th of the water is absorbed.
  10. Add the cauliflower florets and mix it into the rice.
  11. Close the lid put the weight on and in medium low heat let the rice cook for about 6-8 minutes. Turn the heat off and let it sit for another 8 minutes or so.
  12. Note:The amount of water to rice varies depends on if the rice was soaked or not. The Basmati rice I had used required 2 cups of water for every cup of rice but since it was soaked it was sufficient to add 1 1/4 cups of water for every cup of rice.

Like what you are reading? Subscribe!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts Masala Fry - Masala Poriyal

I was having a conversation with a colleague at work about diet and how younger and younger folks seem to coming down with diseases which usually afflicts people who are much older. It happens that most people do not care about the sugar and salt in their diet. Whenever I see people warming up their frozen meals I wonder if they have noticed the salt levels in those foods.

But really! We work so hard and if we are not able to spend a few minutes to get a good meal for the family that is sad isn't? What I have noticed is that during lunch leftovers even those meh ones do taste sufficiently delicious. I prefer packing my left overs to lunch and though people make fun of the numerous containers I carry to the office I prefer to take each thing separately rather than dumping everything into one container. When I do that it really feels like leftovers. Anyway to each his own.

I am not sure why but anything with potatoes make great leftovers. When heated they become crispy and more delicious. Like this recipe for instance tasted even better the next day.

Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts Masala Fry
Preparation Time:15 minutes
Cooking Time:20 minutes
  1. 4-5 Potatoes washed, peeled and sliced thin sticks or wedges
  2. 20 Brussel Sprouts, each cut 4 ways
  3. 2-3 tsp oil (or more)
  4. seasonings: cumin seeds and mustard seeds
  5. Masala Paste
  6. 3 tbsp of chopped onions
  7. 1/2 tsp of pepper corn
  8. 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
  9. 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
  10. 6-7 Red Chilies
  1. In a cast iron pan or a wide mouthed pan (kadai) heat oil and add the seasonings.
  2. Add in the potatoes and brussel sprouts and let them cook half way. Keep sauteing so they do not stick to the bottom.
  3. Blending the Paste
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, heat a another saute pan, add a tsp of oil and saute the onions till they are browned.
  5. Add in the red chilies, pepper corn, cumin and coriander seeds and saute for another couple of minutes.
  6. Transfer the contents to a blender and blend to a smooth paste without adding water if possible.
  7. When the potatoes are partially cooked add in the blended paste and salt and continue to saute till the potatoes are completely cooked and the masala is well coated.
  8. Note:
  9. The potatoes can be made crispier by adding more oil while sauteing.

Like what you are reading? Subscribe!