Crispy dosa goodness: Rava Dosa

I met Rava Dosas a little after I got married, and it made me wonder how I had lived so long without it. I have barely ever eaten a regular dosa since. Given the opportunity, I always prefer Rava Dosa. I always assumed it must have been a difficult dish to make (because dosas generally need so much preperation) and didn’t ever bother attempting it. Then one day I did. And since then (after a lot of tweaking of recipes) there has been no looking back. This has become my go to weekend breakfast. Every Friday, this is what I absolutely must eat. Somehow my Friday’s don’t seem complete if I miss out on my Rava Dosa and if that ever happens, I make up on Saturday.

What I love about it more than how much I love it’s tastes and how happy it makes me, is how ridiculously EASY it is. There is absolutely no soaking, grinding, leaving overnight to rise, business. It’s literally a one bowl mix which can be made right when you want to eat it!! What can be better?! The regular dosa is just so.much.work that I can never be bothered with it. Yes, you need to make your side of potatoes and a chutney or two to enjoy the full goodness and joy that rava dosa can unleash, but considering how easy it is to make the dosa, the rest of the sides don’t feel like too much work to put the meal together. Some days I even eat my rava dosa without any potatoes. Of course the potatoes make it yummier, but it’s quite nice with just some chutney on the side.

Admittedly this dosa needs a little extra time on the griddle than a regular rice dosa, but it’s just a couple of minutes really. A couple of extra minutes for such deliciousness when I have saved so much energy with the easy mix feels like fair trade.

Everyone who has tried these at our house have loved them and asked for the recipe. Which goes to show, I am not alone in my rava dosa mad love!! My brother, who can’t be bothered to make it just shows up every time he has a craving – he claims it’s better than any he’s ever eaten at a restaurant! He might be biased, but I’m not complaining of such rave reviews!

But seriously, it’s really really good. Try it out! I mean one bowl! That alone should sell it!

And, recipe stalkers (you know who you are) this one is for you. Enjoy!! Sorry you have had to wait so long, but this post needed pictures!!

Rava Dosa

Rava Dosa.jpg

Serves – 4

Ingredients:
Semolina (Rava) – 1/4 cup
Buttermilk – 1/8 cup (about 2 tbsp)
Nirapara* Rice flour/powder – 3/4 cup
All purpose flour (Maida) – 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 3/4 tsp
Black pepper corns – 1/2 tsp
Green chili – 1, finely chopped
Coriander leaves – 1/4 cup
Salt – to taste
Water – 1 1/4 cup
Onion – 1/2, finely chopped (optional)
Oil**

*Tip 1 – I have found that using this particular brand of rice flour is the key to this recipe. I have tried various rice powders and this is the one that works the best to get the tastiest, crispiest dosas.

**Tip 2 – For the dosas, I like to put the oil in a small spray bottle and spray the oil on. It isn’t a requirement, but I prefer it over drizzling oil over the dosa with a teaspoon. I feel I use lesser oil while using the spray and it covers a larger surface of the dosa. It’s a personal choice and I recommend it, but drizzling the oil on also works just as well.

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix the semolina with the buttermilk and allow to rest for a few minutes (while you mix together the next bowl really!).
  2. In another bowl, mix together the Nirapara rice flour, all purpose flour, cumin seeds, black pepper corns, green chili, coriander leaves and salt.
  3. Now add the semolina+buttermilk mix to the above bowl.
  4. Slowly add the water, mixing as you add, so that there are no lumps formed. Mix well. The dosa mix should be runny.dosamixnew.jpg
  5. Heat a large pan, preferably a heavy bottomed one.
  6. Using you ladde, stir the dosa mix well. This is very very important. The semolina sinks to the bottom within seconds and you have to make sure you give a quick stir to mix it all up befor you scoop what you need into your laddle. You have to do this every single time you need to pour the mix into the pan.stir.jpg
  7. Once you’ve given your stir, and your pan is hot, scoop the dosa mix into the ladle and pour into the outer circle of the pan in a circular motion. This doesn’t have to be perfect. Just be sure to pour in a quick motion because the semolina will start to sink in the laddle as well.rounddosa.jpg
  8. Give a quick stir to the dosa mix, scoop the mix in your ladle and pour in the pan to fill gap in the center. DO NOT fill in the bubbles that form up. If there are very large holes, you may fill them up, but don’t fill in the bubbles, this is what makes the dosa crisp.
  9. If you are adding onions, sprinkle the chopped onions over now. (I haven’t used onions in the dosa being made in the pictures. But I usually do and it tastes quite lovely. And that’s what’s called an Onion Rava Masala Dosa btw!)
  10. Spray/drizzle oil over the dosa.fillup.jpg
  11. Now wait.This takes a about 3-5 minutes of minutes. Really. What you want is to see the golden browning inside of the bubbles.before you turn.jpg
  12. By now, the dosa is pretty much ready to release itself. The corners should be fairly easy to release with a spatula. You can choose to serve the dosa as is, but I like to add an extra step and flip it over to get a tad bit of crispiness on the inside.flip.jpg
  13. After a minute or so, flip over again, fold in half on the pan and serve.

And that’s it. God I am hungry just typing this out.

I haven’t gotten down to posting the potato masala and chutneys pictured above, but one of the chutney’s that can go well is the Coconut Chili Chuney.

Much love,
Anjum
(Click my name to see all my recipe posts!)

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Filed under Breakfast, Desi, Dosa, Quick & Easy, Vegetarian

Everyone loves Zucchini, right?

Between the age of 6-12 months, my daughter Zoya consumed every variety of vegetable I could lay my hand on. Fast forward to age three and a half, and her vegetable intake is next to nothing. Gone are the zucchini, squashes and veggies I have never heard of. So easy to steam and mash but so difficult to turn into a meal!

Coming from an Indian Muslim family, vegetables really don’t figure in a whole lot into my diet plan. Not a variety of them anyway. I do enjoy vegetarian food a lot but my imagination is usually limited to vegetables I can count on the fingers of one hand. No jokes. It doesn’t help that the husband doesn’t particularly enjoy veggies. If you are reading this husband, eating veggies so long as there is a bowl of masala prawn on the side doesn’t count as enjoying vegetable. End of.

So I’ve been struggling with increasing Z’s green intake and I came up with brilliant plan! At least I think it’s quite brilliant. I figured, if I sell her the idea of veggies by letting her shop and help with the cooking, she would be excited to try her own cooking right!? RIGHT!

I chose to start with soups, because they are the easiest and least messy. We shopped, chopped (chill out, I did, she watched :P) and she stirred and blended and stirred and waited excitedly. And, she loved it! Well I did make sure to have 101 Dalmatians playing to ensure there were no hiccups during the eating part, but you gotta do what you gotta do right?!

We cooked a Zucchini soup…because everyone loves Zucchini. If you don’t, you should!! Zucchini is one of my favorites – grill it, bake it, steam it – Always delicious. It also happened to be the first vegetable I introduced to Zoya when she started her solids. Which just goes to show how highly I regard it!

I hope you enjoy the soup!

Zucchini in a Bowl

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Serves 2

Ingredients:
Olive Oil – 1 tsp
Onion – 1 small, chopped
Garlic – 2 cloves, crushed/chopped
Zucchini – 1, chopped (not peeled)
Potato – 1 small, peeled and chopped
Chicken stock – 250 ml (replace with vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
Water – 250 ml
Salt – as per taste
Black pepper – 1-2 pinches, coarsely ground
(Optional) Thick cream / yogurt / cream cheese – a dollop
Parsley – 1 pinch, coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a vessel and add onion and garlic. Saute.
  2. Add the chopped zucchini and potato and cook for 5 minutes on low heat, stirring often to ensure the vegetables don’t burn.
  3. Add the chicken stock and water. Bring to boil, then lower the heat and allow to simmer 15-20 minutes.
  4. Turn off flame and transfer contents to a blender and whirr away until smooth. (If you are using a hand blender, allow to cool for some time before blending.)
  5. Transfer back to the vessel, heat on low and stir in the salt and pepper.
  6. Serve in bowl. Top with a dollop of topping if desired and sprinkle some parsley. (I recommend trying a different topping each time to give one soup a lot of variety! I’ve also tried garlic and herb cream cheese and it is deeeelicious!)
  7. Enjoy with some warm buttered bread!

Much love,
Anjum
(Click my name to see all my recipe posts!)

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Filed under Cream Cheese, Gluten Free, Quick & Easy, Soup, Vegetarian

Annddd, we’re back! Bringing you Stuffed Capsicums with Saucy Tomato lovin’!

I’ve been slacking. Big time. I first lost interest in posting to this blog when life took over (hello baby, you’re 3 years old now!) and it just got too busy to be spending my time on posting recipes for mostly unappreciative people. But I’ve gotten over that (the unappreciated people, not the baby!) and here I am again! And this time around we’re going to the original essence of blogging! So now the posts will include some a lot of chatter along with recipes that we love and would love for you to share! Sabeen, my-food-blogger-in-crime, will get back here soon too, so there is much fun around the corner!

I believe that the dish I am sharing today is of Arab origin. I’m not entirely sure. All I know is that it is very very tummy. My sister would make this for me and I never bothered to learn how to make it myself because every time I had a craving, I would just commission her to make it for me. I think she indulged my demands the most while I was pregnant and off late I have noticed her getting lazy and slacking at my cook-it-for-me requests. So, there was only one thing to be done now…I decided to corner her and weasel the recipe out her. Oh it’s so gloriously easy and delicious!

I must admit that one of the bigger reasons to re-start blogging was how obliged I’ve been feeling to share the this recipe (and the salted caramel popcorn recipe) with people who have asked for it. I love sharing my recipes just as much as I enjoy trying recipes from others. And anyone who knows me knows that I do not hesitate to ask for a recipe when I like something someone has made. Some are generous and share right away, some need a fair amount of coaxing and stalking and there are always some who will eat toothpaste for breakfast before they share the love. We’ll talk about the last type when I am in the mood for a rant someday.

But for now, on to business. I present to you, the most delicious way to eat your capsicum.

Image

Serves 4-6

Apart from an appetite, you will need the following:

Oil – 1-2 tbsp
Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
Garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Onions – 2 medium sized, chopped
Green chilies – 6-12, finely chopped
Minced meat – 400g (it doesn’t matter if it’s chicken or beef, whatever flavor you prefer. It tastes kick ass both ways)
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Bouillon Cubes – 2 (either chicken or beef, depending on what meat you are using)
Parsley – 1/2 cup, chopped
Rice – 2 cups, washed and drained
Water – 5 cups, boiling
Salt – as per taste
Tomato paste – 4 tbps
Capsicums – 6-8, large and even shaped (ideally they should be able to stand on their own)

For the saucy tomato:
Tomatoes – 8, large, quartered
Green chilies – 1-2
Salt – as per taste

Step 1: Preparing the meat

  1. Heat the oil in a vessel and add the ginger paste and garlic paste and saute for a couple of seconds.
  2. Add the chopped onions and green chilies. Fry until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the washed and drained minced meat, cumin powder, chili powder and bouillon cubes and mix well.
  4. Cook on low fame for 15-20 minutes, or until the meat is cooked. You may add a little water if needed to avoid any burning or sticking.
  5. Once cooked, turn off the flame and add the chopped parsley. Set aside.

Step 2: Preparing the rice

  1. In a vessel add the boiling water, half the amount of salt you would usually add (roughly 1-2 tsps) and add the rice.
  2. Allow to cook until half done.
  3. Drain, run over with cool water and drain again. Set aside.

Step 3: Preparing the filling

  1. Mix together the minced meat prepared in Step 1 and the rice prepared in Step 2 along with the tomato paste* and mix well.

Step 4: Preparing the capsicums

  1. Using a knife, horizontally chop off the “head” of the capsicum. Do not throw off the head. (See picture above if you don’t get it.)
  2. Using a knife, clean out the side of the capsicum. Set aside. Repeat for all capsicums.

Step 5: Preparation for the saucy tomato

  1. In a blender, add the tomato, salt and chilies. Whizzzz away until blended.

Step 6: Putting it all together, cooking and eating!

  1. Take a vessel that is higher than the height of the capsicum and in which all the capsicums fit tightly, standing upright. To test, place all the cleaned out capsicum into the dish. They should fit well supporting each other. You do not want the dish to be too wide that there are huge gaps/spaces between the standing capsicums. If there are gaps, the capsicums may topple over while cooking. It is better to use 2 smaller vessels that will hold the capsicums close together, rather than one very wide one.
  2. Pour the blended tomato prepared in Step 5 into the vessel.
  3. Take the capsicums prepared in Step 4 and stuff with rice and meat mixture prepared in Step 3. Fill almost to the top and place the capsicum head on top. Place the capsicum into the dish with the blended tomato. Repeat until all capsicums are filled and placed into the dish.
  4. Cover the dish and turn on the heat to medium and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the capsicums are done.
  5. Serve the capsicums hot, and don’t forget to get a helping of the saucy tomato! It totally completes the dish!

That’s it! It may look elaborate because I’ve broken down the steps for clarity, but it is truly a really easy dish to prepare when you get down to it. I hope you do give it a try!

Feel free to ask if you have any questions (or if have mentioned an ingredient and then not used it in the directions, like I have done before! :D)

Much love,
Anjum Khan
(Click my name to see all my recipe posts!)

* Update on 10 Apr: Of course I had forgotten to use up the tomato paste when I wrote this down! Typical! Thank you for noticing Dee :*

Disclaimer: I would like to remind you that I like my food on the spicy side, so feel free to adjust/omit the chilies according to your tolerance!

2 Comments

Filed under Beef, Chicken, Gluten Free, Main Course, Meat, Non Vegetarian, Sauce

Mutton Chops

Chef : Sabeen Murad

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Serves 4

Ingredients:

Mutton chops – 500 gms
Ginger paste – 1 tsp
Garlic paste  1 tsp
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp
Red chilli flakes  – 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder  – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Corn oil – 5 tbsp

Method:

  1. Rub the chops with the ginger and garlic pastes and all the spices. Leave to marinate in the fridge or a cool spot for 6 – 8 hours.
  2. Put the chops and the marinade in a pot, add half a cup of water and leave to cook on a very low flame till the chops are tender.
  3. Evaporate any remaining water so that the masala coats the chops.
  4. Heat the oil in a wide frying pan, add the chops and fry on both sides for three minutes per side.
  5. Serve hot.

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Filed under Advance Preperation Required, Appetizer, Desi, Mutton, Side dish

Puris

Chef : Sabeen Murad

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Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

All purpose flour – 2 cups
Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Water to knead

Oil for frying

Method:

  1. Mix the two flours with the salt.
  2. Knead with water till a pliable dough is formed. Dough should neither be too soft nor sticky.
  3. Leave to rest for half an hour.
  4. Heat oil in a deep, heavy bottomed vessel.
  5. Roll out thin rounds of the dough and holding the puri vertical introduce it into the hot oil.
  6. Once it starts to lift up from the base of the vessel, press the sides of the puri lightly with a slotted spoon and pour hot oil on to its surface helping the puri puff.
  7. Turn the puri once the top is golden brown and repeat the same process on the bottom.
  8. Enjoy with aloo ki bhujia and dum ka qeema.

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Filed under Advance Preperation Required, Desi, Vegetarian

Ummul ka meetha

Chef : Sabeen Murad

This dessert is called “Ummul ka Meetha” because it was invented by Ummul :D It is brilliant in its simplicity and ease of preparation and makes for an impressive addition to a dinner party, especially when you don’t have the time to do something fussy or time consuming. I have used oranges in this version but fresh peaches or pineapple are also good.

S

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

Candi biscuits – 2 packets or 228 gms (These are crisp brown sugar biscuits)
Full fat natural yogurt – 500 gms
Heavy cream – 200 ml (like Haleeb cream or Puck thick cream)
Orange jelly crystals – 1 packet
Sweetened condensed milk – 400 gm tin
Oranges – 10, deseeded and cut into segments

Method:

  1. Pour the yogurt into a square of muslin, bring the fabric together and tie the ends of the cloth to the handle of a cabinet. Put a dish under the yogurt to catch the whey that will drain out of it. When the stream of whey changes to droplets transfer the yogurt to a big bowl.
  2. Prepare the jelly crystals according to package directions and cool to room temperature.
  3. Mix the jelly, yogurt and heavy cream together. Add half a can of condensed milk and taste. If the mixture is sweet enough, stop, otherwise continue adding the condensed milk until you reach the desired level of sweetness.
  4. Line the bottom of a 11 x 13 inch dish with a layer of biscuits. Fill the gaps with the remaining biscuits.
  5. Pour half the yogurt mixture onto the layer of biscuits.
  6. Layer half of the orange segments on top of the yogurt mixture.
  7. Top with the remaining mixture and orange segments.
  8. Once you are done you will have five layers, in this order: biscuits, yogurt mixture, fruit, yogurt mixture, fruit.
  9. Refrigerate till set and serve cold.

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Filed under Creme, Dessert, Egg-less Dessert, Quick & Easy, Vegetarian

Shakshouka

Chef : Sabeen Murad

Shakshouka is essentially eggs poached in a tomato sauce. You can put many different spins on it and it can very easily to taken from leisurely Sunday breakfast to brunch with friends.

S

Serves 1 (when increasing portions add one medium tomato per egg and multiply everything else by two)

Ingredients:

Tomato – 2, medium, very ripe, finely diced
Onion – 1, small, finely diced
Garlic clove – 2, fat, minced
Green chilli – 1, small, thinly sliced
Coriander or parsley leaves – few, coarsely chopped
Butter – 1 tbsp, salted (optional)
Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Egg – 1, large
Feta cheese – 1 tbsp, crumbled (optional)
Black olives – 1 tbsp, sliced (optional)

Freshly ground black pepper and salt

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a small frying pan, add onions and fry till soft but not caramelised.
  2. Add minced garlic, fry till fragrant.
  3. Add butter and fry onion and garlic mixture for a minute making sure the onion and garlic doesn’t colour. Add the diced tomatoes, green chillies and the spices (except black pepper).
  4. Fry till tomatoes are soft and completely broken down, this should be a liquid mixture. Add olives, taste.
  5. Make a well in the centre of the tomato mixture. Crack the egg into a bowl and tip carefully into the well, sprinkle some salt and pepper on the egg.
  6. Turn the heat to very low and cover the pan for a few seconds to a minute depending on how you like your eggs.
  7. Spoon egg and sauce into a plate, sprinkle with cilantro or parsley and feta cheese. (alternatively serve egg in the pan)
  8. Eat with a paratha or pita bread.

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Filed under Breakfast, Egg, Feta Cheese, Quick & Easy, Vegetarian