Broccoli and Cheese Paratha / Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Flat Bread



Broccoli is not a familiar vegetable among south Indians though it is cultivated more in India (source: wikipedia, in the year 2011). Fortunately, I happened to know this veggie, purple cabbage and Brussels sprouts through my dad. He worked as a supervisor on weekends after his weekdays teacher job in an estate in ooty for couple of years. During those days, he leaves on Friday evenings and come back home on Monday mornings. During the harvesting time of the vegetables, he used to bring some to home.

Amma makes many dishes out of it and Broccoli clear soup is my favorite among them. After he left that job, we stopped making broccoli based dishes as we don't get any of them in our local market there at my native. But I buy this vegetable at time and make simple stir fry and soup. But my husband hats it and when I say it is 'broccoli stir-fry' he would run a kilo meter away :-), just opposite to me. So I try some good alternates to make him eat it. And this paratha is such a small try to make my family members to develop the taste of it, tried similar to my gobi paratha.



Basic Information:

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 6-7 parathas


Ingredients:

For Dough:


Atta / Wheat Flour - 1 cup + 1/4 cup for dusting
Milk - 1/4 cup
Oil - 1 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Water - as required

For Stuffing:

Broccoli - 1 small size (yielded 1 cup when grated, tight packing)
Grated Processed Cheese - 3/4 cup - 1 cup (I used Amul)
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Amchoor Powder / Dry Mango Powder - a big pinch (Optional)
Salt - to taste
Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Oil - 2 teaspoons

Method:

For Making Dough:

1) Take wheat flour in a wide mixing bowl.
2) Add milk, oil and salt. Mix well.


3) Add the water slowly and make soft and stiff dough. You may required only less than 1/2 cup or 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of water depends upon the flour type.
4) Knead well for 5 minutes. Set aside by covering it by kitchen towel or using a plate.

For Making the Stuffing:

1) Cut the broccoli into florets.
2) Add to the hot boiling water just for 1/2 minute. Quickly drain the water and make sure there is no water left with broccoli.


3) Grate the broccoli using grater. You can also use pulse option in the mixer to make the job easier.
4) Heat the oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and let it splutters.
5) Add broccoli followed by red chilli powder, dry mango powder and salt. Saute till the raw smell of spices goes off or till the grated broccoli cooked well. This steps make the broccoli to bind well while rolling parathas. I just sauteed it for 4 minutes.


6) Allow the sauteed broccoli to cool down to room temperature.
7) Meanwhile, make a crumble of cheese or simply grate it.


8) When sauteed broccoli comes to room temperature, add the grated cheese. Mix well.

For Rolling Paratha:

1) Divide the dough into equal number of balls.
2) According to the dough balls, divide the stuffing into equal sized balls. Make sure the stuffing is slightly bigger than the dough balls.


3) Roll the dough ball into a small circular disc of 4-5 inch diameter.
4) Place the stuffing to the center of it and gather edges to seal it. Pinch off the excess dough if any during the sealing process.


5) Pat it, with the help of flour, roll again to a 7-8 inch circular paratha. Repeat this step for the remaining dough and stuffing.
6) Heat the skillet / tawa/ dosa pan. When it is hot, smear the surface with oil and place the paratha.
7) After few minutes, turn to other side.
8) When both the sides are cooked, transfer to a plate. Repeat the step for other parathas.
9) Serve hot with raita and pickle.


Notes:

1) Sauteing the broccoli is optional. but if you saute it, it binds well while rolling.
2) You can increase the cheese quantity as per your choice. Use unsalted cheese for this recipe.

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Drumstick Masala / Murungakkai Masala / Mulakkada Masala


I am not a big fan of Drumstick but I like to eat it in certain dishes where its flavors are alluring. Drumstick thokku, Drumstick Masala, Drumstick puli Kulambu are few examples. My husband, on the other hand, likes drumstick in sambar rather than eating it with some other dishes. So, most of the time drumsticks go with sambar in my house. My hubby never forgets to pick one or two on every visit to Indian shop when we stayed abroad. But there, Drumsticks are mostly overpriced owing to scarcity / less demand.

I grew up in South India where I have seen Drumstick growing in trees at the backyard of every house. I have never seen people buying drumsticks from the market in the place where I grew up. Any one of my neighbors would cultivate it in their farm where the annual turnover is high. They, would share a bundle or two with us.

Drumstick is a long, slender vegetable having triangular sided seeds. The leaves, flower and the whole vegetable is edible and is part of many South Indian cuisines for years. Now note this is not funny, but there are many people who might wonder how to eat this vegetable, since its skin is thick, green and fibrous which can be omitted while eating. There are two common ways of relishing a drumstick. Few people simply chew the entire piece, extract pulp and juice while chewing, omitting the fibrous part. Few separate juicy pulpy part, some even remove the seeds (mature seeds tastes bitter) by hand. Few scrape out the pulpy inside part using their teeth while eating. If you having this vegetable for the first time, I would recommend you to try Drumstick thokku which uses only fleshy part of the drumstick.


Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 5


Ingredients:

For Masala:

Drumstick - 6 nos.,
Onion - 2 nos, medium size, finely chopped
Tomato - 2 nos., medium size, grind it to a fine paste
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoons
Curry leaves - 1 spring
Water - as required
Red chilli powder - 2 teaspoons
Coriander Powder - 2 teaspoons
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - to taste

For Grinding:

Coconut - 1/3 cup, grated
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Garlic - 5 cloves


Method:

1) Clean and chop drumstick into 3 inch length pieces. Partially peel off the skin while cutting. Keep immersed in water.
2) Heat oil in a wide pan. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves and allow it to splutter.


3) Add onion and saute till it becomes soft and translucent.
4) Add ground tomato and cook till the raw smell of the tomato goes off. It will take few minutes.


5) Add the drumsticks after draining the water. Add 1/2 cup of water. Reduce the flame and cover the pan using lid till the drumsticks get cooked well.
6) Add the red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Stir well till the raw smell of the masala goes off, say about 2 minutes.


7) Grind the coconut with cumin seeds and 1/4 cup of water. The ground paste should be smooth. Add this to the pan and stir well so that the ground paste blends with the drumsticks well.


8) Let it cook for 1-2 more minute(s) and turn off the flame.
9) Serve hot with accompaniment with hot steamed rice and any of your favourite gravy.


Notes:

1) Try choosing smooth, green coloured drumstick for making this curry. Few drumsticks have seeds bulging out from its skin which are matured one, has less flesh and seeds might taste bitter. It should be in between, neither matured nor tender.
2) You can also reduce the red chilli powder quantity and add few green chillies while grinding the coconut.

Citron Rice / Narthangai Sadam


One of our relatives of my chithi has citron tree at her backyard and sweet enough to send some citrons when my chithi visit her everytime. As you all know my family loves pickles and we often prepare home made pickles. So it would be a pickle time when we have citrons at home. Couple of months before, she sent some good quantity of citrons in a large plastic bag to my chithi. The moment she came home, the plastic bag torn due to over weight and all the citrons were spilled over.  My self and her gather all the citrons and didn't notice the one which was under the sofa.  We quartered all the citrons, added salt and kept aside for making pickle.

The very next day, my cousins were playing around and they found a citron which was hiding under the sofa. They came over and gave me the found one which I used to make this rice. The preparation is as same as the lemon rice and there was slight change in taste. But the flavor was very good which make our tummy hungry for sure. Try it out !!!


Basic Information:

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2


Ingredients:

For Rice:

Cooked Rice -  2 and 1/2 cups
Gingelly oil / Sesame Oil - 1 tablespoon
Narthangai / Citron - 1 no. (yielded little less than 1/4 cup)
Turmeric powder - a generous pinch
Salt - to taste

For Seasoning:

Gingelly oil / Sesame oil - 1 tablespoon
Curry leaves - 1 spring
Mustard seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
Urad dal - 1/4 teaspoon
Channa dal - 1 tablespoon
Asafoetida - a pinch
Green chilli - 2 nos., slit
Dry red chilli - 2 nos.,

Method:

1) Spread the cooked rice in a wide plate. Drizzle some gingelly oil and fluff it using fork or just pat the plate to separate the rice grains.
2) Squeeze out the juice from citron in a small bowl. Add turmeric and salt. Mix it using spoon and set aside.


3) Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan. Throw mustard seeds, urad dal and channa dal to it.


4) After both the added ingredients are spluttered, add asafoetida, dry red chilli, green chilli and curry leaves.Stir.


5) After a minute, add cooked rice in simmer flame and warm it up. Once the rice is warmed well turn the flame off and add the citron juice to it.
6) Mix well and serve.

Notes:

1) You can use either of both freshly cooked rice or left over rice.
2) Do not over-squeeze the citron which gives bitter taste from its skin.

Kattu Thanni / Kollu Chaaru / Horsegram Soup


When I shared a recipe of making Kollu thokku, I made a note to save the water after cooking the horsegram in a pressure cooker. Today What you are going to see is some fat burning soup made using that water with tamarind, small onions, spice powders and coconut.

I have tasted my mom's Horsegram soup (Katti Thanni as she calls it) which was quite simple. She just adds salt, pepper and serve hot.  If needed, she adds crushed cumin seeds. Couple of months ago, My mom showed me a recipe of same soup(Kattu Thanni) with different variation from a Chef Dhamu's cookbook. She also wrote the recipe down and passed me the paper to try here at my home and that is the one what your seeing it here now.


Basic Information:
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Serves : 4


Ingredients:

Kollu / Horse gram / Kaanam - 1/2 cup
Water - 2 cups + 1 cup
Tamarind - a lemon size ball
Small onion / Shallots/ Chinna vengayam - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/8 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 2 teaspoons
Coriander powder - 2 teaspoons
Salt - to taste
Fresh coconut - 2 tablespoons, grated

Method:

1) Wash and soak the kollu for 15 minutes. Soak tamarind in 1 cup of warm water.


2) Pressure cook the horse gram for 4 to 5 whistles by adding 2 cups of water. Cooking time varies depends upon the horse gram.


3) Wait for the steam releases from the pressure cooker and drain the water completely from it. Use the kollu for making this thokku or sundal.
4) Squeeze and extract the juice from tamarind and discard any pulp.


5) Take the drained water in a sauce pan or deep pan. Add the tamarind water.
6) Add small onions.


7) Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt to taste. Taste and adjust the water level only if required. Bring to a nice boil.


8) Add 2 tablespoons of grated coconut when the water is boiling and small onions become tender.
9) After a minute adding the grated coconut, turn the flame off.


10) Have this as soup or as a accompaniment for rice along with this thokku. We had it with Saamai rice.


Notes:
1) Use whole shallots without cuting them and you can skip coconut if you don't prefer them.
2) Adjust the red chilli level as per your taste and adjust water quantity if needed.

Pearl Millet Dosa / Kambu Dosai / Bajra Dosa


From yesterday's post, you might have correctly guessed that this week's recipes are going to be a true treat from villages of Tamil Nadu.  I have been collecting many recipes from my grandma and others who still cooks village delicacies. This includes recipes which doesn't have whole grain in it. Over a period, I have good number of recipes at hand and posted few of them already. Chola dosai, chola paniyaram, and Mudakathan dosai are to name a few. And today, this pearl millet dosa has been included in that list.

Pearl millets are harvested more in India and it is been mainly used to make pearl millet sadam /kanji out of it. But this dosa is an another alternate form of eating it. All my dosas, using whole grains can be prepared in the same way as described here just by changing the whole grain with any of your favourite whole grain.

But I am here posting the another variation so that you can pick any of these two as per the availability of the ingredients at your pantry. Try it out this way using Idly rice. I am sure everyone loves to eat Kambu in this way.


Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Fermentation Time: 6-8 hours
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 5


Ingredients:

Kambu / Pearl millet / Bajra - 1 and 1/4 cup
Idly rice - 1 cup
Urad dal - 1/4 cup, heaped
Fenugreek seeds - 1 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Water - as required


Method:

1) Except Kambu, wash all the ingredients separately and soak in water for 2- 4 hours.Water level should be1 inch or 2 inch above the rice and urad dal quantity.
2) After 4 hours or when you are about to grind all the ingredients, wash kambu well and drain the water completely. Kambu should look moist and there shouldn't be any water in it.
3) Now, add soaked rice and fenugreek to the grinder and grind it by adding sufficient quantity of water.
4) Meanwhile, take the kambu now in a mixer/blender and make a powder of it without adding water. It will take 5- 10 minutes.
5) Add this powdered kambu to the grinder(which is grinding rice) and continue grinding it.
6) Two minutes after adding the powdered kambu, add urad dal. Continue grinding till it reaches the dosa batter consistency.
7) Add salt to taste and ferment it for 6 to 8 hours.
8) Heat a tawa or dosa pan. Pour a ladle full of dosa batter to the center of the pan and using the same ladle spread it in a circular motion towards outside. Drizzle some oil over the dosa.
9) After few seconds, flip the dosa to cook other side.
10) When both the sides are cooked, transfer the dosa to serving plate and serve hot. We enjoyed it with tomato mint onion chutney and Pirandai chutney.


Notes:
1) You can also soak kambu for 8 hours in water and then grind it. It generally takes long time to grind and so I always prefer the above method mentioned.
2) Always Serve this dosa HOT for best results.
3) Don't ferment the batter for more than 8 hours. Usually it tend to ferment quickly. So check after 4 or 5 hours and keep it again for fermentation if required.

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