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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Eggless Flauones (Cypriot Savoury Easter Cheese Pies)

Flauones are savory cheese baked pies which are so tempting and irresistible. It is quite addictive and you cannot stop with one. This is choice for this month’s We Knead to Bake that Aparna has chosen from here. The original recipe has quite a lot of eggs and it was challenge to make them egg free. The filling is equally addictive, so it is better to keep them aside and you will finish the stuffing even before making the flaoune. This recipe makes 8 pies. Two Mediterranean flavor powders (Mastic, Mahleb)  are used in this recipe traditionally, but I have omitted it as I could not lay my hands on it. .  From Aparna’s Blog – “Flaounes are savoury cheese pies baked for Greek Orthodox Easter, traditionally made on Good Friday, and are part of the fast-breaking meal after Lent when meat and cheese are not eaten. The cheese that is traditionally used in these pies is called “Flaounes” cheese which is cheese that is produced locally by Cypriot shepherds, and very difficult to find outside the country. Flaounes cheese can be substituted with a combination of Cheddar or similar hard cheeses and a softer, milder one like Halloumi. The cheese filling tends to be salty so choose one cheese which is quite salty. Some of the cheeses suggested as substitutes for Flaounes cheese are Cypriot/ Greek cheeses like Kefalotyri, Kefalogravier or Kaskavali. Other cheeses include Halloumi, English Cheddar, Italian cheeses likeParmesan, Romanelo or Pressato (mild), Pecorino (salty) or French Cantal cheese. “ This is a very delicious snack which is so tempting and kid friendly. My little one helped me make the filling. Yes that is her little hand mixing it for me..
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Makki Di Roti / Corn Tortillas - Punjab

Coming to the beautiful state of Punjab. Punjab’s name is derived from “Panch / Punj” means five and “ab” means water. A land of 5 rivers. From wiki – “Punjab is one of the most fertile regions on earth. The region is ideal for wheat-growing. Rice, sugar cane, fruits and vegetables are also grown. Indian Punjab is called the "Granary of India" or "India's bread-basket". It produces 10.26% of India's cotton, 19.5% of India's wheat, and 11% of India's rice. The Fazilka and Ferozpur Districts are the largest producers of wheat and rice in the state. In worldwide terms, Indian Punjab produces 2% of the world's cotton, 2% of its wheat and 1% of its rice. People in the area of Lahore and Amritsar prefer stuffed parathas and dairy products which is well known in the area for the quality of its milk products. There are certain dishes which are exclusive to Punjab, such as sarson da saag and makki di roti. The main masala in a Punjabi dish consists of onion, garlic and ginger. Tandoori food is a Punjabi specialty. The largest cultivated crop is wheat. Other important crops are rice, cotton, sugarcane, pearl millet, maize, barley and fruit. The infrastructure of Punjab has been rated the best in India. ”…. IMG_6866IMG_6862

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kadala Kuzhambu–Chickpeas Gravy - Pondicherry

Come and travel with me to the beautiful coastal territory of Pondicherry. It is an Union Territory consisting of four unconnected districts of Pondicherry, Karaikkal, Yanam and Mahe. The city of Puducherry is divided into two sections – The French quarter and the Indian quarter. From Wiki – “Many streets retain French names, and French-style villas are a common sight. In the French quarter, the buildings are typically colonial style with long compounds and stately walls. The Indian quarter consists of houses lined with verandas and with large doors and grills. These French and Indian style houses are preserved from destruction by an organisation named INTACH. The French language can still be seen and heard in Puducherry.” From mapsofindia – “The French and the Indo style have given birth to an innovative taste that is simply marvelous. The influence of the neighboring areas like Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala is also visible. The concoction of the various kinds of cuisines is something to be savored and relished” Coming to today’s recipe it is a kuzhambu made with garbanzo beans. You could also used peanuts instead of garbanzo beans.. You will not need to soak the groundnuts overnight. Just pressure cook it and use it. Kuzhambu and sambar varieties are part of our daily food. There are many varieties and variations. Each of them very comforting and lip smacking.. Eat them with rice and you can call it a meal.. A delicious kuzhambu which is tangy and lip smacking.. I got this recipe from here and loved it..

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Lachedar Paneer - Orissa

Orissa or Odisha is in the Eastern part of India. It is quite famous for the Puri Jagannath Temple.. The kitchen of Puri Jagannath temple was one of the largest in the world with about 700 chefs working with 750 wood burning clays.. Wow that kitchen would be a treasure to watch. Around 10000 people are fed each day and the very popular Rasagulla and Khiri is from this state. The spices and flavors in Oriya Cuisine are very subtle and mild compared to the other Indian states. Only 6% of the Oriya population are vegetarian and I did quite a search to find this very delicious Paneer dish. I got this recipe from here and made very few changes. . This is a dry curry and goes very well with roti, naan or pulao. We loved it simplicity and flavor.. This dish has a creamy taste from the cashew paste and tastes very flavorful from all the spices added.
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Pumpkin Oambal - Nagaland

Come and travel with me to the far North Eastern India to the state of Nagaland. Nagaland is the smallest state in India and is the 16th state established. Agriculture is very rich and the important economic activity here. Principal crops include rice, corn, millet, pulses, oilseeds, potatoes and sugarcane. Nagaland is called the”Falcon capital of the World”. From Wiki – “The Nagas were originally referred to as Naka in Burmese language, which means 'people with pierced noses. Christianity is the predominant religion in this state. Nagaland is also the only “Baptist state in the World””. Another unique information to Nagaland is that there are about 20 languages that are used here. The cuisine of Nagaland, fondly called the Naga cuisine is predominant in meats and fish and they are smoked, fermented or dried. Now coming to today’s recipe, it is a delicious finger licking chutney.. The original recipe had bay leaf and lemon. I omitted them due to our taste and preference. I got this recipe from here and did make a few changes..
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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hmarcha Rawt - Mizoram

Today we are visiting the another North Eastern State – Mizoram. Mizoram means – the land of hill people. From Mapsofindia – “ The Mizoram cuisine offers mainly non-vegetarian delicacies. The people who belong to this place do eat vegetables, but they prefer to add some non-vegetarian ingredients to each and every dish they prepare. The staple food of these people is primarily rice. One of the most popular non-vegetarian items of the people of the state is fish. The most commonly used medium of cooking is mustard oil. The Mizos do not like to eat oily food and they prefer to cook most of the dishes with little oil.” With that being said that each and every meal has meat in it, it was a big challenge to land on a vegetarian meat free dish.. I got this recipe from here and made few changes..In South we make what is called as pachai milagai thuvayal, meaning Green Chili thuvayal. This is so similar to that. I have added tamarind and asafetida and the original recipe does not have that.. I have used half of green chili and half of red chili.. Choice is yours, you could either one only and both in different quantity. After roasting the red chili, it needs to be soaked in water for 10 minutes as it does not have water content like the green chili. A very spicy chutney..

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Spicy Asian Slaw–Meghalaya

After Manipur, let us travel to Meghalaya. Megha means “cloud”, aalayam means “place”, that is how the name Meghalaya should have been derived. Like the other North Eastern states, Meghalaya is also largely forested and Tribal people make up most of the population. And like the other North Eastern states, I had a tough time searching for a vegetarian recipe of the state as non-vegetarian was quite predominant. It was a breather when I found this simple salad on Sify from here. From Wiki – “The name means "the abode of clouds" in Sanskrit. The capital is Shillong, known as the "Scotland of the East". Meghalayan cuisine is unique and different from other northeastern Indian states.[83] Spiced meat is common, from goats, pigs, fowl, ducks, and cows. In the Khasi and Jaintia Hills districts, common foods include jadoh, ki kpu, tung-rymbai, and pickled bamboo shoots. Other common foods in Meghalaya include minil songa (steamed sticky rice), sakkin gata, and momo dumplings. Like other tribes in the northeast, the Garos ferment rice beer, which they consume in religious rites and secular celebrations”. After doing so many elaborate dishes for this BM, I wanted to do a simple one which is also easy and light on the stomach.. So I chose this delicious spicy salad which was very light and quite easy to make.. No cooking required and makes a great side. Have it with bread or soup for a light meal.

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