Cook's Hideout: January 2010

January 15, 2010

Moong Dal Halwa (Burfi) for ICC

For this month's Indian Cooking Challenge (ICC), Srivalli chose this super yummy Moong dal Halwa, recipe courtesy Simran's mom. I started to drool the minute I read the recipe and wanted to make it asap. But the little one hot sick and then passed some germs on to me, so couldn't make it until the last minute.

So on Sankranthi day and with a partially impaired ear (due to infection), I finally made it. I'm sooooo happy with how it turned out. Simran's mom's recipe was perfect and it tasted awesome. I poured the halwa onto a lightly greased plate and when cool enough to handle, cut into squares. My son loved them too.

Here's the recipe from Valli:
Split Moong dal - 1/2 cup
Khowa - 1/4 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 1/4 cup
Cashews & Raisins - for garnish

  • Lightly roast moong dal and soak in water overnight. In the morning, grind dal with little water to make a smooth paste.
  • In a heavy bottom pan; melt ghee and add the paste. Cook until dal turns slightly brownish and ghee starts to separate.
  • Next add khowa and sugar and cook until sugar is melted and everything is completely incorporated.
  • Once the mixture starts to pull away from the sides, remove onto a lightly greased plate and smooth the top with a spoon.
  • When cool enough to handle, cut into squares and enjoy...

January 11, 2010

Curd Vermicelli

This is a very simple dish that is a little different and when you have rice overload then it is a great go-to dish. Vermicelli (I use bambino or MTR brands found in Indian stores) is cooked and the standard tadka used for curd rice is added, how simple can it get.

Vermicelli – ½ cup
Yogurt – 1cup
Milk – ¼ cup
Zucchini – ¼ cup, grated
Carrot – 1 small, grated
Green chilies – 2, slit
Ginger – 1’ piece
Salt – to taste

For tempering:
Urad dal – 1tsp
Mustard seeds – 1tsp
Cumin seeds – 1tsp
Red chilies – 2
Asafoetida (Hing) – ¼tsp
Curry leaves – 6-8

  • Bring a medium saucepan filled with water to boil. Add 1tsp salt and ½tsp oil and the vermicelli. Boil for 2 minutes, drain into a colander and rinse with cold water. Keep aside.
  • In a small saucepan, heat 1tsp oil, add the tempering ingredients and once the seeds start spluttering add ginger and green chilies. Sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Next add the grated veggies and cook until they don’t smell raw anymore.
  • Add this mixture to vermicelli along with a pinch of turmeric, yogurt, milk and salt. Mix well and serve cold garnished with coriander leaves.

January 05, 2010

Tofu-Udon Noodle Stir fry

Have you tried freezing tofu? I did when I had a package which was reaching its prime and I really liked the texture of frozen tofu. It turned out to be slightly chewier than regular tofu and what I realized was that frozen tofu marinates very well as it gets very spongy and sucks in any liquidy marinade you put it in.
I stir fried the marinated tofu with veggies & udon noodles and it made for a great lunch this weekend.

Extra firm Tofu – 1pkg (regular or frozen), well drained and cubed
Carrot – 1 medium, cut into thin half moons
Broccoli – 1 cup, cut into small florets
Onion – 1 small, thinly sliced
Green onions – 4, chopped
Ginger – 1” piece, grated
Garlic – 2cloves, minced
Udon Noodles – 1 pkg
Tamari (or soy sauce) – 2tbsp
Asian chili sauce – 1tsp

For the Marinade:
Low sodium tamari - ¼ cup
Asian Chili sauce – 2tsp (as per taste)
Rice vinegar – 2tbsp

  • Mix the ingredients for marinade in a shallow dish and add the tofu cubes. Frozen tofu absorbs the marinade in practically no time. But if using regular tofu marinate for at least 1 hour.
  • Cook udon noodles according to package directions and set aside.
  • Heat 2tbsp oil on medium-high heat in a large pan; add ginger & garlic and stir fry for 30sec or until fragrant (but not burnt).
  • Add the veggies & tofu; stir fry until crisp tender and lightly browned around the edges. Add soy sauce, chili sauce & salt.
  • Mix in cooked noodles & stir to combine everything. Serve hot.


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