26 Announcing Cooking with seeds-Pepper event

Hello All I am back after a few days break and am in India on vacation. Will start posting few recipes and also am hosting an event this month.

Cooking with seeds is an event started by Priya
. Who does not know Priya in this blogosphere. Just visit her space and you will find more than 1000 recipes. I just admire her cooking I do wonder how she has the energy to post atleast 2 recipes every day. Just give her a
ingredient and she can use it in any form and prepare from appetiser to desert. I am happy to host her event for the month of June and have chosen pepper as the theme.

Pepper is one of the most popular and oldest of spices, and has a pungent odor, exotic flavor and aroma. The specialty of pepper is that the same fruit can be processed differently to produce four kinds of peppercorn: black, white, red and green. Of these, black pepper is the most common,
while white pepper is used in some cuisines. The outer hull or mesocarp is removed to produce white pepper. The mesocarp has some sugar and volatile aromatic compounds, so white
pepper has a different flavor, while retaining the pungency. Pepper has nutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals. These include carotene, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, vitamin K, iron, manganese, calcium,
phosphorus and iron. The mesocarp has a resin called chavicine which gives the pungency. Pepper is commonly known as an ingredient in cooking, but it also has many health benefits. Pepper is a digestive and stimulant, which stimulates the taste buds and the appetite; it
also increases hydrochloric acid which aids digestion.
Due to the antioxidant qualities, pepper neutralizes the harmful effects of free radicals, and prevents skin problems and degenerative diseases. The anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help to eliminate toxins through sweating and even prevent cancer.
To know more about the benefits
click here.

All you have to do is just prepare any dish using pepper as one of the ingredient and post it in your blog. Can send in both vegetarian and Non vegetarian dishes. Entries sent to this event can be sent to other events. No problem if you have any recipes in your archives, all you have to do is
just repost and link back to this post and also to
Priya's event announcement
( http://priyaeasyntastyrecipes.blogspot.com/2010/01/cooking-with-seeds-host-line-up.html ) .
Linking both is a must. No problem if you don't have a blog, just send in your recipe along
with a picture of the dish to my email id padmasrecipes.blogspot.com.

Here are the details that you have to send:-

Your Name:

Blog Name:
Recipe Name:
Recipe URL:
Photo with size( 300 X 300 px ):

Using of logo is preferrable.

Send them to padmasrecipes@gmail.com with the subject as CWS-Pepper on or before June 30th, 2010.

Thanks and expecting your entries. Will be posting the roundup on first week of July.

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Palak(Spinach) with corn and a break for few days.

Recently have not been very active in my blog. Reason being that I am leaving to India on vacation for 2 months after a gap of 3 years. I know it is very long.
Definitely Won't be a complete break for my blog, but a break until this month end. Will come up with many more interesting dishes and keep posting them now and then. Until then keep visiting and leave your valuable comments which I very much need. That is what makes me to post more and more :D

Had this post from a very long time in my drafts. So thought of posting it. This tasted great with parathas/chapathi's. Can also make this when have a very small qty of spinach leaves. Have already made spinach with channa and potato, this time added corn which gave a very good taste and also was a excellent combo.

Spinach/palak leaves - 1 big bunch( cleaned and washed)
Corn(sweet corn) - 3/4 cup( partially cooked/steamed)
Onion - 1 chopped fine
Tomato paste - 1 tbsp
Ginger and garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Cream - 2 tbsp(optional)or also can use yogurt
Salt as needed
Oil - 2 tbsp
Spices( very few of each cumin seeds, clove, cinnamon, cardamom) - adding all these to get goo flavor which you can always skip

Heat water (around 2 cups)
in a vessel and allow it to boil. Add spinach leaves and allow it to cook for 3 - 4 minutes. Remove and cool. Later grind to a fine paste.

Heat oil in a pan and add the spices first. Next add onion and saute till they are golden brown. Then add ginger and garlic paste and saute for a minute and add tomato paste. Fry for less than a minute. Now add all the powders and mix well. Next add the spinach paste along with the cooked/steamed corn. Also add salt and reduce flame and cook for another 5 - 6 minutes. Add cream for thickness and creamy taste. Serve with your favourite chapathi/parathas/rotis and enjoy.

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Onion Pakoda/Uthiri or Thool Pakoda.

A very simple and delicious pakoda/pakoras that can be made with less ingredients and served a snack.

You can make crunchy or crispy pakodas according to your need. If you want crispy and hard/firm pakodas, then add rice flour the same quantity as you add besan/chick pea flour.

Picture sent in by my Gomathi Athai

Onion - 2 medium cut lenthwise
Green chillies - 2 or 3 chopped fine
Ginger - 1/2 inch chopped or grates( optional)
Curry leaves - few chopped
Besan/chick pea flour/Kadalai maavu - 1 1/2 cup
Salt as needed

Fennel Seeds/Sompu - 3/4 tbsp(optional)
Oil for deep frying

In a vessel take onion, salt, green chillies and ginger. Mix well and leave it aside for 30 mts. This will leave out water. Later add besan flour and mix well. The water from the onions itself witll be sufficient enoug, if not spinkle some water and mix well so you get a mixture of dropping consistency.
Heat oil for deep frying. Drop this mixture in small quantity here and there and deep fry till crisp. Remove and serve.

In case you want very crisp pakodas add rice flour and mix with besan.
You can also mix besan along with onions and leave aside for the same time and follow the remaining steps.

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Capsicum Thayir Pachadi/Sauteed bell pepper in mild yogurt gravy.

Capsicum pachadi is a combination of chutney and raita. This goes well as a side dish with rice and or roti's/Chapthi. My mom gave me this recipe after seeing it in a magazine. She loved the taste and later asked me to try also.

Green capsicum - 2 medium
Pottu kadalai/fried gram/dalia - 1 tbsp
Green chillie - 2
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Coriander leaves - few
Salt as needed
Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - few
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Yogurt/curd - 4 tbsp

Cut capsicum into very thin pieces.

Grind together potti kadalai, green chillies, ginger, coriander leaves, salt as needed for that and little water to a fine paste. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds. Wait for few seconds and add capsicum. Fry for few minutes till they are soft but firm. Add salt and keep stirring. Next add the ground ingredients and fry together for 2 - 3 minutes. Remove and cool completely. Later add yogurt/curd and mix well and serve.

Sending this to Sara's CWS- Cumin seeds event.



Vegetable Puffs

Who will not say to this crispy snack. It is my all time favourite. Just can make any of your favourite filling and stuff the sheets and bake and enjoy your home made puffs. Though I make this is often at home, never took any pictures and posted the recipe until a friend asked me to do few days back.

Puff pastry sheet - 2
Onion - 1 small chopped fine
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Tomato - 1 medium chopped fine
Potato - 3 small
Mixed chopped vegetables( carrot, beans, green peas.....)
Capsicum - 1 small chopped
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves - few chopped
Salt as needed
Oil - 1 tbsp
Butter or egg white - for brushing

Boil potatoes seperately in a pressure or microwave till very soft. Remove peel skin and mash well. Cook the other vegetables till soft but firm, can cook in a microwave. Just sprinkle little water and cook for 8 - 10 mts. Keep aside.

Thaw the puff pastry sheet for 20 minutes. If there is any crack, then apply few drops of water and seal.

Heat oil in a pan and add onion, fry till light brown. Next add ginger garlic paste and saute for over a minute till raw smell leaves. Then add tomatoes , mash and cook till pulpy and water leaves out fully. Now add all the powders and mix well. Finally add the cooked veggies( potato and other cooked veggies). Also add salt and coriander leaves. Reduce flame and mix well and cook for 2 - 3 minutes. Remove and cool completely.

Spread the puff sheets and cut each sheet into 9. One one side of each slice keep some stuffing and carefully fold into half. Repeat until you are done with all slices. If you have any remaining stuffing, you can use it for some vegetable cutlets or can use in your bread sandwich.

Use a fork to press and seal the edges. This will also give a nice look to your puffs.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Brush melted butter or egg whites on top on each puff slices. Keep in the oven and allow it to cook/bake for 40 minutes. Keep checking in between. Cook till nice brown. Remove and serve hot with your favourite sauce.

Sending this entry to Champa's Bake-off event.

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Rice kesari is a much simpler version of my Kalkandu rice. Though the ingredients look almost same, the taste differs slightly. I have mentioned about my Gomathi Athai in my earlier posts and her cooking. Last year when we visited them in Toronto, Canada and stayed for over a week. She made this sweet one day during our stay along with other special foods prepared by her and my cousins wife. As serving a sweet is very common in our meals especially when we have guests. We loved this taste and this recipe is right from her and even photo sent by her. Just wanted to post her version.

Basmati rice - 1 cup
Sugar - 3/4 - 1 cup
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Food colour - a pinch
Fried cashew/raising/almonds - 2 tbsp

Cook basmati rice with 2 1/2 - 3 cups of water in a pressure cooker and when done remove and mash well. Heat ghee in a pan and add the cooked rice along with sugar and stir well till is all mixed. Add food colour and also mix. When it is thick enough add fried cashew/raisins/almonds. Can also add few strand of saffron. Adding basmati rice gives a very good flavor. But you can also try with any rice if needed. Add water according to its need.

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