December 25, 2012

Batata Sukke

Potatoes. A vegetable used as often in my house as many others. Many people tell me that they use a higher proportion of potatoes to other vegetables. In our household, that vegetable would be carrots (or peas). It is not that anyone here dislikes potatoes, everyone loves them.  I just don't always think of  the potato as a vegetable in its own right.

This year, for Ganesh Chaturthi, I made the entire amchi spread. We did our puja with somashe, modak, chakli, patrodo, dali saar, karatye ghasshi, phodiyo, etc. It was a huge spread for just us, but I went ahead anyway. One of the dishes that goes into this traditional feast is Batata Sukke.

1/4 kg Potatoes, cooked, peeled and cubed
1/2 tsp Urad Dal
1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
1/2 tsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Oil
1/4 cup Coconut
3-4 Red Chillies
1 tbsp Tamarind Paste
1/4 tsp Turmeric
Salt to taste

For the tempering:
1 tsp Oil
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
7-8 Curry Leaves

Heat the oil and fry the fenugreek seeds and the coriander seeds for a minute. Grind this along with the turmeric, tamarind, coconut and red chillies to a somewhat fine paste. Add salt to taste. Coat the potatoes with this mixture.
In a large pan, heat the teaspoon of oil for the tempering. Add the mustard and the asafoetida. When the mustard splutters, add the curry leaves. Add the potato mixture. Add a little water, if necessary. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes. Unlid and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Serve hot with rice and dali-saar or chapatis.

December 23, 2012

Black Forest Brownies

Brownies! I barely know of anyone who doesn't like the stuff. Having said that, I must admit that I have hardly ever been tempted to buy these beauties. Especially since I started baking them at home. I have tried different variations through the years, but have never put up recipes. I usually bake these to give away. So, I rarely take pictures and as a result, the recipes are not shared.

While I am yet to start my holiday baking, this seemed like a festive enough way to kickstart the process. We always have a stash of chocolate that is gifted to us throughout the year. While we all love chocolate, we don't eat it as much. Very recently, a friend gifted us a bar of Dairy Milk Black Forest. I just knew that it would also just languish in the pantry unless I rescued it. Now, I think I could do this with other chocolates too.
1/2 cup Oil
3/4 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla essence
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Flour
200g Dairy Milk Black Forest Bar (Powdered in a mixie jar)
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Grease a 9-inch square baking pan. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Beat the eggs and add the sugar, vanilla essence and oil. Add the flour, chocolate, baking powder and salt, gradually to the egg mixture. Spread the batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares and enjoy them.

The black forest chocolate is made with pieces of cherry jelly and biscuits. The surprise is in biting into a chewy brownie and finding an even chewier piece of jelly. Great combination and a keeper recipe.
Happy Holidays!