Urad Daal Bonda – (Quick and easy alternative for Uzhunnu Vada)

bondaUrad Dal – 1 cup
Rava / Sooji – 2 tbsp
Onion – 1 big (Red onion preferred)
Chopped Green Chilly – For your taste (I chop 7-8 Thai hot chili pepper)
Black Pepper crushed – For your taste (I use about 1 tsp)
Red Chilly flakes – For your taste (I use about 2 tsp)
Salt – For your taste
Chopped Curry leaves – 10-12

Soak Urad daal for 30 mts to 1  hr in water, then drain, and grind it. Add only half cup of water as we don’t want it to be too loose. Grind to a fine batter, and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients to it, and beat the batter really well with a spatula/spoon. Make sure this is beaten well for air to get inside to make it more soft. (Next time I will try to beat this with an electric stand mixer and see if it is easier. handheld mixer should be fine too).

Heat oil in a frying pan to medium to medium high  for frying this. Make sure you have enough oil to cover the bonda.  Once oil is hot, you can put small balls of the batter to the oil and fry. I usually use two table spoons to make bonda shape. Or you can use wet hand to make bonda balls. Once bottom of the bonda is golden brown, you can turn it upside down for the other side to become golden brown. Adjust heat, if needed.

You can eat this with coconut chutney.  Recipe below:

Grind -> Coconut (1 cup), 4 green chili, 2 tsp red chili powder, salt, Couple of curry leaves, little ginger,  half Red onion chopped (small shallots preferred), and half cup of water. Add bit more water, if chutney is too thick. You can eat like this. -OR- do the next step too. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a small pan, add 2 tsp mustard, when it splutters,  turn off the stove, and add 2 dried red chili broken into pieces, and some curry leaf. Mix it together. When it cools off little add the ground chutney mix and mix well.

Sanju’s Sweet Potato Fries (Oven Baked)

SweetPotatoFriesIngredients:
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 3-4 inch long, and 1/4-wide inch strips.

3 tbsp Oil (any oil. I used Canola Oil)
1/2 tsp Salt (Sea Salt preferred)
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp garlic powder

Steps:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray.

Place sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Mix in oil, salt, garlic powder, black pepper and paprika, and toss lightly.

Place Parchment/baking paper on a cookie tray or another large flat baking tray.
Arrange potatoes in a single layer on it. Don’t overcrowd. Spray Cooking oil on it.

Bake until tender and golden brown. Cooking time is 18 to 24 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before serving. Oven temp and time varies. So, taste a piece, and if you like it to be baked some more you can. I put it in 500 degrees F for 8-10mts. Please make sure it is not getting burnt during this last step.

Tuscan Sausage and Kale Soup

tuscansoup
Ingredients: 

1 lb (450g) Hot Italian sausage (or turkey sausage). I used 3 Turkey Hot Italian sausage from Whole Foods
Bacon Cooked – 4-6 strips (chop into small pieces)

1.5-2 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced or sliced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes – chop and soak in water. Add water just enough to soak it. Microwave for 1 minute with water to make it soft.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
32oz low-sodium chicken broth
1 bunch kale, leaves stripped and chopped. (I used 8oz chopped& washed kale pack)
1.5 cup heavy cream
2-3 teaspoon red pepper flakes crushed  – (change according to your spice level)

1/4 cup shredded grated Parmesan, for serving
Fresh chopped parsley, for garnishing/serving

 

Instructions:

Heat a  large skillet (cast iron preferred), add few tsp’s of oil to brown sausage meat. Cut open sausage into half – lengthwise, and place them on the heated skillet over medium heat.  Make sure the sausage’s inside faces down. Brown the ground sausage together until cooked through. You can break the sausage into small chunks while cooking.

Drain grease, if there is any, and transfer sausage  into a 6-quart slow cooker.
In the same skillet, add olive oil and sliced garlic,  chopped onions, and chopped bacon and saute until translucent and fragrant. Add crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, salt, and pepper, and sauté for a minute. Then add kale and sauté for few more minutes until kale reduces its volume.

Add the above onion and kale mix to the slow cooker. Add the chopped, softened Sun dried tomatoes. Add the chicken broth. Mix until combined.

Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. I usually use low setting and leave it until I come back from work.. Most likely 9-10 hrs.

After cooking time is up add the heavy cream and mix until combined. Leave in slow cooker for another 15 minutes. When it is done, change slow cooker setting to “Keep warm”

Taste, season with salt and pepper as needed, to taste
Serve hot garnished with chopped parsley, and shredded parmesan cheese. If you like it more spicy, add crush red pepper flakes.

Recipe ideas from:

https://www.eatwell101.com/instant-pot-keto-tuscan-soup-recipe   (Using Instapot)
https://www.eazypeazymealz.com/slow-cooker-zuppa-toscana-low-carb-keto-friendly/  (Using Slow Cooker)

Overnight Oats (Muesli) With Banana

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup rolled old fashioned oats
  • 1 large, ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes (unsweetened should be OK too)
  • 1 cup milk (+ more for adding in the morning) (I used 2% milk. Most recipes use Almond milk)
  • Toppings (any/all/none): Banana, Strawberry, Blueberry etc (optional), whipped cream (Extra creamy Reddi Wip) or homemade whipped cream.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mash the banana with hand or a masher.
  2. Add mashed banana, rolled oats, walnuts, almonds, dates and coconut flakes, and milk to a bowl and Mix well with hand or spoon.
  3. If you have an airtight container/jar transfer to that. If not, Cover the bowl tight with a cling wrap.
  4. Place in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 6 hours.
  5. In the morning add additional milk (few spoons) to thin out (if desired) and top with toppings you like or have. A squirt of whipped cream is only 15 calories, and adds nice touch/taste to it. You can be creative and try any toppings you like.
    1. Also, I usually transfer half cup or more of the mixture to the serving glass/bowl first, and add milk & toppings individually to have a good presentation, and also to save leftover mixture back in the fridge.

Tips/Notes

 

Veggie Coconut milk soup

Sambal paste  – few tsp
coconut milk – 5-6 Tbl spoons
lemongrass – to taste add few pieces and see
Soy Sauce
White wine vinegar (or rice vinegar) – 2 tsp (to taste)
Fish sauce
Oyster sauce
Chicken broth
Chicken breast or tenderloin
Cilantro
Ginger garlic
Green chili – 5
Cabbage, carrot, beans, bok choy, onion
Salt,
Oil to saute chicken, ginger, garlic, chili and sambal paste

Award Winning Chili

I followed this recipe and it came out veryyyy goooood……

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/78299/boilermaker-tailgate-chili/

I followed suggestions from reviews and made some changes to the above recipe. Here are the changes made:

1) I used 4-5 hot italian sausages (uncooked) for sausage. Opened them up to get the ground meat inside. Mixed this with ground beef and cooked together as explained in the recipe

2) 4 (15 oz) cans chili beans in sauce, NOT drained.

3) I omitted the celery and tabasco sauce,

4) 1 jalapeno instead of chile peppers,

5) I made fresh bacon with thick cut strips and made pieces from it,

6) 1 cup of beer

7) Instead of using 2 (28oz) cans of diced tomatoes with juice, I used 3 (14 1/2 oz) can of diced tomatoes and 1 (14 1/2 oz) can of diced tomatoes with basil/oregano/garlic.

8) I cooked this in a slow cooker for 8-10 hours. We can refrigerate or freeze it, and reheat as well.

Toppings (optional) – Cheddar cheese shredded, Sour Cream, Green onions chopped, cilantro chopped, jalapenos chopped etc.

Priti’s Awesome Kali Chicken

Ingredients for marinating chicken

1. Whole cut up chicken (1 chicken) cleaned, washed and drained (you can also wash with vinegar, before washing with water, to make it smell better)
2. Yogurt – Half Cup
3. Make a paste with Garlic (10 cloves), Green chili (3-4), black pepper (10-15), Black Jeera (1/2 tsp)
(You can make this paste and store in fridge for couple of days)
4. Ground black pepper – 1 tsp
5. Ground White pepper – 1 tsp
6. Red whole pepper – 2 or 3
7. Oil – 1 tsp (Olive, Canola, Vegetable oil etc is fine)
8. Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
9. Salt – as needed

Marinate washed and drained Chicken with ingredients above and leave it for an hour. (Sometimes I don’t get this much time, and I just do 15 mts, and still tastes good)

Heat some ghee (about 2 tbsp) in a pan and shallow fry the chicken. You can mix and turn in between for it to cook evenly. Take it out when it starts to brown. I usually see this as the chicken getting almost cooked, and getting firm.. so that it will stay nice and tasty when added to the gravy.

Ingredients for Gravy

Fennel Seeds – 20
Bay leaves – 4 one inch pieces
Cinnamon stick – 4-5 one inch sticks
Chopped yellow onion – 2 cups
Chopped tomatoes – 1 big tomato
Red chili powder – 1 tsp (reduce if you think it is getting more spicy)
Honey – 1 tsp
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp

Heat a pan with little oil. Put fennel seeds, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks let it be fry.
Then sauté chopped onions till it is slightly brown
Add chopped tomatoes and saute/fry again until it forms a nice sautéed mixture.
Add some salt for this mixture only.
Add red chili powder, Coriander powder and sauté for some more time.
Add prepared chicken to it, and mix well and cook on medium heat until chicken is tender.
Make a nut paste with milk (I used an equal mix of almond (10), walnut(10) and pistachio(10). You can just use cashews if that is easier).
Add the nut paste to chicken.
Stir 2-3 minutes for it to mix well.
Add water for gravy for the consistency you like. I like it little thick like butter chicken etc.
Garnish with 1 tsp honey & gram masala.

Goes well with Ghee rice, Pulav, Chapathi, Nan etc.

Priti’s Yummy Chilli Chicken

Ingredients

  • Chicken tenderloin – 3 pounds
  • Veggies for the Sauce:
    • Celery Chopped – 2-3 Sticks
    • Green  and Red Pepper chopped – 1 cup
    • Chopped Jalapeno – 2-3
  • Sauce
    • Tomato sauce (canned is OK too) – .5 cup
    • vinegar -1tspn
    • Maggi masala chili sauce – 2tbspn,
    • Ketchup – 2tbspn
    • Miracle Manchurian Mix from Indian Store – 1 tbspn
    • MSG – 2-3 pinches
    • Red chilli pwdr – to your taste
    • Chicken Broth – just enough to make the sauce to your desired consistency.
Note: Some ingredients are listed in the directions, and not in the ingredients list above. Also, add spices/chilli for your desired taste.  MSG is optional, but helps with the taste. This dish can also be made with Cauliflower or fish(tilapia).

Directions:

Wash chicken and get all the water out with a paper towel.  Use a meat mallet and tenderize chicken, and cut into small pieces. Keep aside.

Marinate chicken for 0.5 – 3hrs or overnight in a ziploc bag with: ginger-garlic paste, green chili sauce (or green chili), soy sauce, korean hot sauce, red chili powder, Kashmiri Chili (for color), black pepper, Corn flour (3 tbsp), wheat flour (1 tbsp), Korean pancake mix (1 tbsp – Optional), MSG, Vinegar – 1tsp, and Salt.

Fry the marinated chicken in Canola/Vegetable Oil, and keep it aside. You can freeze this for later use as well.

Saute 1 med sized onion chopped fine in canola or vegetable oil till it is light brown.  Add 2 tbsp of Chopped Ginger/Garlic, and saute for a minute. Add  1 cup of Chopped green onion and saute again for a minute. Add all veggies listed above for sauce. Saute it for couple of minutes until the veggies softens. Add all ingredients listed in the sauce section above and let it boil for few minutes to get it all blend well. Mix 1 tspn of corn starch with water, and add to the sauce (helps to thicken sauce).  Add Fried chicken to the sauce and blend it well for 2-3 minutes.

Garnish with sesame oil and cilantro (Optional).

Enjoy with rice, fried rice, chapati or nan…..

Chateaubriand – Beef Tenderloin

  • 1 beef tenderloin trimmed/peeled – approx. 4-5 lb
    •   ( I like the one from Costco, and it costs less than regular stores. If you are buying non-trimmed version, trim it before using. There are several you tube videos showing this)
  • Basting Oil with herbs in it (I used Wegman’s basting oil) – 4 tbsp
  • Garlic 6pods – cut in half
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 8 shallots, cut lengthwise into two or four pieces

For Sauce

  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • Brown Gravy mix – 2 -3 tsp
  • Water – as needed
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon (1 tablespoon fresh) – Optional

Clean & Wipe meat. If tenderloin is long, cut it into two pieces. I like to keep between 6-8inches. Some people argue that you should not wash meat with water, and should just wipe it out with a paper towel. Use your judgement on this… 🙂

Tie it up with butcher’s twine, so that it holds together while pan searing and cooking. http://www.foodrepublic.com/2013/11/06/why-do-you-tie-a-roast/

Just before cooking, sprinkle and coat meat with  Cracked pepper and Kosher salt generously. Don’t do this in advance as meat will get soggy.

Pan Sear meat in Basting Oil, shallots and garlic on all sides as shown in video starting at 5mts. Just to get it brown and sealed. If you have more pieces of tenderloin, use a separate dish for each. Save this pan for later for making sauce. It help with all the juices from the meat.

Heat oven to 400F. Take a dish for roasting meat, put couple of pieces of butter in it, and put it in the oven, so that to will be hot when you add meat to it. Don’t leave it for too long as butter will start getting burnt. I usually put this in the oven few minutes before pan searing will finish. Also, if you have more pieces of tenderloin, take multiple dishes.. so that you won’t overcrowd it.

Transfer meat to the dish(s) in the oven and let it roast at 400F. Cook until an instant-read thermometer registers temperature according to your doneness preference. See list below.

When it is done take it out of the oven and cover the beef in the foil that lines the dish and let it  rest it for 8-10 minutes.

Make sauce:

While the beef roasts, heat up the skillet with juice, shallots and garlic, we used for pan searing over medium heat. If you used multiple skillets, transfer juices to a single one.  Add 1 cup of wine and let it boil stirring often, to reduce to half  over medium-high heat. Add the beef broth or water, brown gravy mix, and reduce the heat to low. Stir and make sure it gets to a desired consistency. If it is too thin or thick, add wine/broth or grave mix to change it your desired consistency. Unwrap the tenderloin and stir any accumulated juices into the sauce. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.  (Note: You can add chopped Rosemary or Tarragon to this while boiling. I haven’t tried these herbs yet)

Serving: Slice the meat and serve with the sauce.

Note: Will take pictures next time i make it, and attach here.

Meat cooking temperatures

Rare:  120-130 °F (50-55 °C) Internal appearance very red; very moist with warm juices. Approximate cooking and resting time: 20-25 min./lb. plus 8-10 min. resting

Medium-rare: 130-140 °F (55-60 °C) Internal appearance lighter red; very moist with warm juices. Approximate cooking and resting time: 25-30 min./lb.. plus 8-10 min. resting

Medium (with a touch of pink): 140-150 °F (60-65 °C) Internal appearance pink red color; moist with clear pink juice. Approximate cooking and resting time: 30-35 min./lb. plus 8-10 min. resting

Well-done: 150-165 °F (65-75 °C) Internal appearance no pink or red, slightly moist with clear juices

Watched multiple you tube videos on this to understand the recipe. I usually watch/read multiple recipes available when I want to try a new dish, and then use those ideas, to come up with a version that our family will like. Adding the one I liked most here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeO0tdKBAag