Thursday, March 05, 2015

Broccoli and Onion Oothappam - Savory Indian style pancakes

While the world outside is covered in snow we are stuck indoors. I am sick of seeing white everywhere and want a change of scenery. Hoping that this is the last of the season and without further cribbing, I will quickly move on to the recipe.

There was a time when broccoli was a vegetable that I would run past as fast as my legs could carry me. I have never seen a broccoli before I came here to the US but that does not explain why it was not appreciated. My introduction came in the form of a soggy mess usually. It took a while to get over that and try it as the kids and DH seem to like eating it even raw. But my preferred ways of eating them are broiled/roasted with spices. Once roasted they can be used in recipes like this broccoli rice with corn and peanuts.

As I started to buy more broccoli I quickly realized how versatile the vegetable actually is. It does not deserve all the Presidential contempt it got. No just that president, there are a lot of people who like dissing the vegetable which sadly included me not too long ago.

Anyway now that I got to the other side I have come to like them if they are cooked the right way. The right way in my dictionary is that the broccoli should not be soggy and retain a bit of their crunch. When they are shredded raw and added to the dosai batter (I bet it would work perfect in pancake batter as well) and even after it is cooked there is a slight crunch which is what makes this oothappam special. Mix up the broccoli to give a change to the usual plain or onion oothappams.

Chop and get the vegetables ready.
Use a vegetable chopper or shredder and chop them into fine pieces.
Mix the shredded vegetables with the batter.
Heat a griddle and add a laddle of batter and spread it into a circular shape slightly thick. Drizzle some oil on the edges, flip and cook on the other side.
Serve hot with some spicy chutney on the side.

Broccoli and Onion Oothappam
Preparation Time:10 minutes
Cooking Time:20 minutes
  1. few days old idli/dosai batter (about 4-6 cups)
  2. 1 or 2 heads of broccoli roughly chopped, peel the woodsy parts and keep ready
  3. 1/2 onion
  4. 1 tbsp of grated ginger
  5. 2-3 green chilies
  6. salt to taste

  1. Use a food processor or a hand held chopper and chop the broccoli, onion and green chillies to fine pieces.
  2. Mix the fine processed vegetables and ginger to the dosai batter. Add salt if required.
  3. Heat a griddle and add a laddle of batter and gently spread it to a circle. It is spread a bit thicker.
  4. Drizzle some oil on the edges and let it cook on one side. Flip and cook on the other side.
  5. Serve hot with a spicy chutney.

Like what you are reading? Subscribe!

Monday, March 02, 2015

Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup - Indo Chinese Style Recipe

I wanted to post this recipe before the winter is out. The impetus to try this recipe came from looking at this one on Rasamalaysia but I am not particularly fond of the original Chinese style hot and sour but the one that was calling to me was the Indo Chinese style recipe.

I like the soup but for its slimy texture, the main reason I do not order it in Chinese restaurants. I would like the soup a lot better if it had a bit more heat and flavor like its Indo Chinese counterpart. The only solution to this conundrum is to try it at home. When it is cold and dreary outside and today happens to be one of those days the best thing to soothe your taste buds is to try this spicy and sour soup.

Chop and get the vegetables ready.
Heat oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven and saute the onions till translucent. Add in the vegetables one by one.
Once the mushrooms are sauteed add in all the flavorings, chili powder, chili sauce, soy sauce and vinegar.
Add in the broth and let it come to a boil. Get the corn starch ready by whisking it with water into a smooth liquid.
Add the corn starch liquid to the boiling soup and let cook for another couple of minutes. Serve when still hot.

Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup
Preparation Time:15 minutes
Cooking Time:20 minutes
  1. 8 cups of chicken broth (or use vegetarian stock)
  2. 1 box of mushrooms (I used Crimini)
  3. 1/2 cup of shredded cabbage (I used brussel sprouts)
  4. 1/2 cup of thinly sliced carrots
  5. 1/2 cup of thinly sliced green beans (I did not use them)
  6. 2 eggs beaten with a fork(optional - I did not use any)
  7. 1/2 cup diced onions
  8. 1 bunch of green onion diced
  9. 1 tsp pepper powder
  10. 1/2 tbsp sweet and spicy chili sauce
  11. 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  12. 1 tbsp soy sauce
  13. 3/4 tbsp corn starch
  14. salt to taste
  15. 2 tsp olive oil

  1. In a dutch oven or a deep mouthed pan heat oil and when hot add the onions and saute till they are translucent.
  2. Add in the green onions and saute for a couple of minutes followed by the carrots and then the brussel sprouts. Let them sauteed till about half cooked (about 3-4 minutes).
  3. Add in the sliced mushrooms and then saute for about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add in the chili powder, pepper powder, chili sauce and soy sauce. Mix it into the vegetables.
  5. Now add the chicken broth and if required salt as needed. Let it come to a boil and then cook for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Whisk the corn starch in about 3 tbsp of water till smooth and add to the boiling soup and let cook for 2-3 minutes more.
  7. If adding eggs beat the eggs with a fork and add to the boiling soup. Cook for another couple of minutes.
  8. Turn off the heat and serve the soup while it is still hot.

Like what you are reading? Subscribe!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Caramelized Toasted Bread - A Sweet Breakfast for kids

While making the Lemon Cookies I did something to speed up bringing the butter to room temperature which involved using a microwave and the end results were not pretty. I heated the butter for a bit too long in the microwave and it completely melted. A little bit longer it would have been ghee. I could have stopped and used the melted butter. Instead I added the sugar and tried to cream it like the recipe called for. Not a smart idea. It did not cream :(

Common sense returned. I kept aside the well mixed butter sugar mixture aside wondering what use I can put it to. Couple of days later when I was wondering what breakfast to make when this idea struck.

Who doesn't like caramelized sugar? This is less of a recipe and more of an idea. As for it being a kid breakfast depends on you. There is no reason for adults not to have a couple of slices.

Caramelized Toasted Bread
Preparation Time:5 minutes
Cooking Time:15 minutes
  1. 8-10 slices of whole wheat bread
  2. 1/4 tbsp of butter
  3. 1/4 cup of sugar

  1. Mix together melted butter and sugar. It is better to make it ahead of time, let it cool and let it thicken a bit.
  2. Now heat a griddle for toasting the bread.
  3. Apply the butter sugar mixture for each of the bread slices.
  4. Toast the bread on the hot griddle till the sugar melts, flip and cook on the other side. The darker the color the crunchier and tastier it is.
I call it breakfast but it is good as a dessert.