Thursday, April 20, 2017

Onion uthappam

Uthappam / oothappam is a typical Tamil dish, but celebrated all over India. I have seen many people eagerly buying this batter in Indian grocery stores. These batters come as 'ready to make' oothappam mix in dry form or wet batter (fridge isle). That is a very good idea too. But traditionally most of us make it using a few days old dosa batter. Baking soda is added to the dosa batter, just minutes before cooking. It makes the oothappam more porous and soft, just like the way it should be. If we are more concerned we can add 'enos fruit salt' also. The secret to any good idli, dosa, oothapam is bringing the batter to room temperature by leaving it in kitchen counter for few hours (say 2 - 3 hours in cold countries).  If our batter is very good, there won't be any need to add baking soda or fruit salt.  We can find out the fineness of the batter while making the first oothapam :) Click to see my vegetable uthappam too.

'Camp chef' brand cast iron 14 "pizza pan from ebay is the best tawa for dosa too.

Dosa / idly batter - 2 cup
baking soda - 2 pinch
ghee - 2 tsp (or smart balance butterlike product)
sesame oil - 2 tbsp
onion - a handful for 1 dosa
green chilly - 1 finely chopped 
idly podi - 2 tbsp
curry leaf , cilantro - a handful

Take required quantity of sour idly batter from fridge. Add baking soda and mix the batter briskly for few times. Let it sit for 1 - 3 hours to bring to room temperature. 
Heat a dosa tawa. Coat the tawa with 2 drops of sesame oil . Sprinkle little water over it.
Using a clean cloth wipe the tawa.
Take a ladle of batter and pour it gently over the tawa and let it spread to a thick but small dosa (6 inch dia. approximately). Reduce the flame to medium heat.
Spread the finely chopped onion, chilly, curry leaf, cilantro over the uthappam. Pour some sesame oil + ghee around and over the dosa.
Strew a tsp idly milagai podi over the uthappam.
(Place a dome shaped lid to cover it. The uthappam should be cooked in that steam to get a spongy texture inside. This step is optional, but I prefer this)

// If needed ,  flip the uthappam and let it cook the other side for less than 30 seconds. Mostly it is not necessary to flip oothappam, as it gets cooked by that cover and steam//. Take out the dosa Again increase the flame, apply oil and repeat the above process to make as many uthappam as we need.

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot with Coconut chutney and sambar.
Once we start making the uthappam, we have to serve it immediately to get that true taste. 

Batter : Add a tbsp of besan flour for  every cup of dosa batter to get a golden red uthappam.
Sour dosa batter can only give a delicious uthappam. If its not so, then add some desi yogurt/ buttermilk and leave for a few hours or start preparing immediately.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Apple capsicum chicken

We started liking brown rice after having it prepared by our friend Uma. After that I too bought a pack of brown rice and trying some new recipes. Brown rice cooked with rice is served as a  side in this recipe.  This chicken recipe is my very own creation. This is a less spicy version of chicken. The green apple makes the dish more tangy and delicious. Feel free to make this with any apple and vary the spice level as per taste.
Apple capsicum chicken with quinoa brown rice and broccoli 

Sautéed apple capsicum 

Baked chicken with apples and capsicum

enjoy !

To marinate:
Chicken (white meat) - 1 lb
salt - to taste (1 tsp)
pepper powder - 1 tsp
cumin powder - 1 tsp
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
curry masala powder - 1/2 tsp
lemon juice - 1/2 fruit
olive oil - 1 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste (ginger -  2 inch + peeled garlic - 6 )

Cut the chicken white meat into small pieces.
Marinate with everything above for 1 - 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 F for 10 minutes.
Coat a baking tray with olive oil and spread the marinated pieces.
Bake for 15 minutes., check if its cooked (by slicing). Reduce heat to 350 and bake again for 5 minutes to get a golden red color.
Switch off, keep the baked chicken in an airtight container or just fold the aluminum foil to keep the moisture of the chicken (otherwise it gets dry).

Red capsicum - 1
green capsicum - 1
green apple - 1
olive oil - 1 tbsp
salt - to taste
lemon juce - 1/2 fruit
cilantro (chopped) - handful

Chop the apple and capsicums to small cubes.
Heat oil in a wok.
Gently sautée everything together along with salt and lemon juice for 2 minutes.
Mix this with the baked chicken, cilantro.
Bake again for 5 minutes at 350.

Apple capsicum chicken is ready!

Serve along with any sides like rice , vegetables .

Saturday, April 15, 2017

More books .....

On the other day, I was discussing about books with one of my friends. We were talking how books are  replaced by others these days. Anything can be read in internet, but the feel of a paper book is different. Though it is bulky, it has limited browsing effects, it needs more physical space, I love collecting books. When talking about cook books, some think that blogs are replacing cook books. But I will never say so. Recipe blogs can never replace a well trusted generation old cook book. Books give us a nostalgic feel, they take us to our happy places. So I encourage buying books as much as reading a blog.
These are the dollar store gems I got recently. I am yet to finish reading them.  But the topics seemed interesting to me. They are sitting just next to me, while I am trying to find better ways to create good foods, better than my previous.
Happy Easter ! Happy Tamil New year ! Happy Vishu !