Thursday, July 24, 2014

Easy Stir-fried Capsicum

Easy Capsicum Stir-fry

I had the chance to savour this heart warming side dish in my sis-in-law's house. It was one of the humbly placed accompaniment, in a casserole, supposed to be a  'not-so-prompt' one among the lunch spread. When every one was enjoying the speciality meals of the day; vegetable biriyani, sambhar sadam, paruppu thuvayal sadam, raving about the array of rich as well as comfort food all laid on the table, the taste of this simple dish dominated my taste buds. It went perfectly well with the chapathis and all the varied rice meals!  Both Akka ( sis- in law) and her daughter-in-law were busy catering to our needs but as always, the curiosity heads and prompts me to find out the recipe!
 Gayathri, her pretty and homely daughter-in-law, narrated instantly how they made it, smilingly.

The mental note grasped by my recent 'not-so-efficient-n-highly-impatient-brain-cells' again prompt me loud and clear, Cummon , I can't hold it for long babe. Try soon, it's simple!
Succumbed to the instinct, I tried the  following week...

Easy Capsicum Stir-fry

Stir-fried Capsicum 
Serves two
Preparation time: 10 mins
Stove top time: 15-20 mins
Total time needed: less than 30 minutes

You need,
1 large green bell pepper / capsicum
One medium sized large onion
1/2 tsp sambhar powder
A fat pinch of turmeric powder
Salt - 1/4 tsp or to taste

To season,
2 tsps oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds and urad dal each
A sprig of Curry leaves

Easy Capsicum Stir-fry

Wash bell pepper and peeled big onion. Halve the pepper, de-seed and cut into 1 cm cubes. Chop onions.

Easy Capsicum Stir-fry

Heat oil in a non-stick kadai. Splutter mustard seeds, brown the urad dal and throw in the curry leaves. Add the bell pepper bits and sauté along for a few minutes, say for 4-5 minutes .  You may sprinkle very little water after a while only if needed to get them cooked. But see to it it retains the crunchiness. (Mine wasn't quite fresh, so I had to.) Now, stir along the chopped onions. Add salt and turmeric and sambhar powders. [I have used my own recipe of sambhar powder which contains no turmeric. If your version has already the turmeric powder in it, avoid using it again.]
 Remember, do not close the pan at any point while making this dish. Stir to combine. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, until the pieces are shrunk, cooked ( not soft but still, a little crunchy) and the spices seeped in.
Remove from fire and serve hot with steamed rice or Indian breads.

Easy Capsicum Stir-fry

I had them with warm phulkas.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Gothumai Rava Upma ~ A simple spicy meal made with broken wheat

Gothumai Rava Upma

While I am still clearing and organising the things put away carelessly, or rather dumped, during the post wedding phase, I stole some time to check my unread e-mails. Among loving enquiries of absence, ad requests, and personal mails, a few ones from my readers caught my attention. Their common and prime request had been nothing else but to post healthy meals. Simple dishes rich in fibre, wholesome and easy to make with available ingredients. I realised  I had been doing injustice with blogging  with not a good combination of recipes though I take extreme care with my everyday cooking.

Lately, I have been making this 'broken wheat meal' or 'Godhumai upma' made by 'Gothumai rava' for my better half twice a week for dinner but haven't really thought of blogging about it, probably because the portion gets over by night and there wont be anymore left for the next day's photo shoot. So, this one you see was made in the morning, shot, blogged and reserved for his dinner :)

I have made this according to his palate preferences; soaked in butter milk instead of water as he likes the natural tanginess of the same, extra ginger bits and no addition of vegetables. He insists Rava Upma has to be made this way and the addition of vegetables makes it a 'Khichadi'.

Soaking time- 15-20 minutes
Total stove top time- 15-20 minutes

Now, to make the 'Upma' to serve one,
Get Ready with:

Broken wheat rava - 3/4 cup
Table salt- 1/2 -3/4 tsp
Oil- 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp
Urad dal- 1/4 tsp
Bengal Gram dal- 1 tsp
Ginger, a one inch pc, chopped fine
Green chillies- 2, slit across
Big onion- 1 chopped
Thin and slightly sour butter milk - 3/4 cup or enough to soak the rava
Chopped coriander leaves- 1-2 tbsps
Curry leaves- A sprig


Godhumai Ravai Upma

Soak rava for 15-20 minutes in butter milk and salt, enough to cover and the liquid stays 1 cm above it. In the meanwhile chop the onions, ginger, chillies and coriander. After the rava has soaked well (press the grains to check whether they are fully hydrated and soft), heat a tbsp of oil in a non-stick kadai, splutter mustard seeds, brown the urad dal followed by the bengal gram dal. Throw in the ginger bits, chillies and onions in order and sauté until the onions are translucent and partly cooked. Say for 2-3 minutes in medium flame.

Godhumai Ravai Upma

Add in the soaked rava. Stir gently to combine. Close the kadai with a lid for 5 minutes keeping the flame low. Stir the upma at intervals, twice or thrice during this phase and close to lock the steam in. Open after 5 minutes. The Upma will be sticky at this point. Keep stirring at intervals, adding curry and coriander leaves in the open kadai, until the stickiness wades off and the rava is cooked with the seasonings infused well enough, for around 8-10 minutes. The Upma shouldn't be too dry as well. There should be a tint of moisture when you feel it between your fingers.
Serve hot with Coconut Chutney. I made it later in the evening and could not include here :)

Godhumai Ravai UpmaGodhumai Ravai UpmaGodhumai Ravai Upma