Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Idli or is it?

Making idlis  is a long process. Soaking dal+rice, then grinding then fermenting. This is an instant version of idli similar to rava idli. Use cornmeal (used for polenta) instead of rava and result is equally good!

1 cup finely ground cornmeal
1/4 cup fine rava
salt to taste
1/4 cup thick yogurt
3/4 cups water (depends upon the consistency of the yogurt)
1/2 tea spoon baking soda
1 tea spoon minced chillies(optional)

Mix together cornmeal,rava and salt in a mixing bowl. Add yogurt and minced chillies and 1/2 cup water and mix everything with a whisk. Set aside this mixture for 15 minutes. Grease the idli
 moulds with little oil. Just before pouring the mixture into the moulds, add additional 1/4 cup water and baking soda to the mixture and whisk everything together. Mixture will bubble up a little. Pour into the moulds and steam for 18-20 minutes on medium heat. Remove idlis from the moulds once they are cooked. Serve hot with coconut chutney.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Ministrone soup and Jamie's Italy

Jamie Oliver is becoming my favourite for Italian food. Jamie's Italy is the book I am talking about. I borrowed it from library and read it in about 2 days! He has some wonderful recipes. Although I have limitations on how much I can try as I am a vegetarian. Still it is one of the best books I have ever read.
                 He has described minestrone soup in such a good way that I could almost smell it from the book. As he says, use seasonal ingredients to get the best taste. My version is summer minestrone with peppers,roasted corn and fresh basil! It was de-le-ci-ous.

1 tb spoon olive oil
2 medium size multi colour bell pepprs, roasted and sliced (I had red and green)
1 medium sized onion,sliced.
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup roasted corn (1 big corn ear)
5-6 medium size tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
2 tb spoons finely chopped basil
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup dried pasta (any short pasta would work or even broken noodles)
parmigiano reggiano  cheese to garnish

Before starting to make soup, roast the peppers,corn on the cob and tomatoes in 350F oven for 30 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and peppers are charred. Corn on the cob needs about 25 minutes , but 5 extra minutes wouldn't hurt. See here for how to roast corn in the oven. Cool everything to room temperature. Add olive oil to the pan. Add sliced onion and chopped garlic and fry until golden brown.Add 2 cups vegetable stock and let the mixture come to boil. While the mixture is boiling, purée the roasted tomatoes and set aside. Add puréed tomatoes and sliced bell peppers to the pan and let it boil for a minute. Add remaining vegetable stock and pasta and let the soup boil again until the pasta is done (about 8-9 minutes depending upon the size of pasta). Add roasted corn and chopped basil. Stir everything to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.Garnish with parmigiano reggiano and serve hot. A side of garlic bread would be perfect!