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Monday, October 27, 2014

Karela (BItter Melan) bitter sweet dry Sabji



Karela or Momordica charantia, called bitter melon or bitter gourd in English, is a tropical and subtropical vine of the family Cucurbitaceae, widely grown in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean for its edible fruit, which is among the most bitter of all fruits. There are many varieties that differ substantially in the shape and bitterness of the fruit.
Bitter melon is generally consumed cooked in the green or early yellowing stage. The young shoots and leaves of the bitter melon may also be eaten as greens.
Bitter melon is often used in Chinese cooking for its bitter flavor, typically in stir-fries (often with pork and douchi), soups, and also as tea.
It is very popular throughout South Asia. In North India, it is often prepared with potatoes and served with yogurt on the side to offset the bitterness, or used in sabji.
In Punjabi cuisine is stuffed with spices and then fried in oil. In Southern India it is used in the dishes thoran/thuvaran (mixed with grated coconut), theeyal (cooked with roasted coconut) and pachadi (which is considered a medicinal food for diabetics). Other popular recipes include preparations with curry, deep fried with peanuts or other ground nuts, and pachi pulusu, a soup with fried onions and other spices.

  In Pakistan and Bangladesh, bitter melon is often cooked with onions, red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt, coriander powder, and a pinch of cumin seeds. Another dish in Pakistan calls for whole, unpeeled bitter melon to be boiled and then stuffed with cooked ground beef, served with either hot tandoori bread, naan, chappati, or with khichri (a mixture of lentils and rice).
 Bitter melon is a significant ingredient in Okinawan cuisine, and is increasingly used in mainland Japan. It is popularly credited with Okinawan life expectancies being higher than the already long Japanese ones. In Indonesia, bitter melon is prepared in various dishes, such as gado-gado, and also stir fried, cooked in coconut milk, or steamed.
In Vietnam, raw bitter melon slices consumed with dried meat floss and bitter melon soup with shrimp are popular dishes. Bitter melons stuffed with ground pork are served as a popular summer soup in the South. It is also used as the main ingredient of "stewed bitter melon". This dish is usually cooked for the Tết holiday, where its "bitter" name is taken as a reminder of the poor living conditions experienced in the past.
In the Philippines, bitter melon may be stir-fried with ground beef and oyster sauce, or with eggs and diced tomato. The dish pinakbet, popular in the Ilocos region of Luzon, consists mainly of bitter melons, eggplant, okra, string beans, tomatoes, lima beans, and other various regional vegetables altogether stewed with a little bagoong-based stock.
In Nepal, bitter melon is prepared as a fresh pickle called achar. For this the bitter gourd is cut into cubes or slices and sautéed covered in oil and a sprinkle of water. When it is softened and reduced, it is minced in a mortar with a few cloves of garlic, salt and a red or green pepper. It is also sauteed to golden-brown, stuffed, or as a curry on its own or with potatoes.
In Trinidad and Tobago, bitter melons are usually sauteed with onion, garlic and scotch bonnet pepper until almost crisp.
Just a word of caution, it takes a while to acquire the taste of bitter melon, however it is not for everyone's palate.
You either love it or hate it, but if you learn its medicinal value and goodness, you will quickly learn to love it.


Ingredients:




  • 2 Karela / Karla

  • 1 Onion finely chopped

  • 2 tbsp Oil

  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala

  • 1 tsp Red Chilli powder

  • 4 tbsp Tamarind Pulp

  • 1 tsp Ginger Garlic paste

  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

  • 2 tbsp Jaggery / Gudh / Gul

     


Method




  • Cut karela in to small round and scoop out seeds from karela rounds.
  • Add karela rings in to hot boiling water, cover and cook for 15 to 20 mts until karela becomes tender.


Ingredients:





  • 2 Karela / Karla

  • 1 Onion finely chopped

  • 2 tbsp Oil

  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala

  • 1 tsp Red Chilli powder

  • 4 tbsp Tamarind Pulp

  • 1 tsp Ginger Garlic paste

  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

  • 2 tbsp Jaggery / Gudh / Gul

     


Method





  • Cut karela in to small round and scoop out seeds from karela rounds.

  • Add karela rings in to hot boiling water, cover and cook for 15 to 20 mts until karela becomes tender.

  • Heat up oil, add finely chopped onion and cook until onion becomes soft.

  • Add ginger garlic paste and cook up for another minute.

  • Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and cook for 2 more minutes.

  • Add tamarind pulp, jaggery and mix.

  • Add boiled karela, mix well, cover and cook for 5 mts.

  • Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
- See more at: http://www.madhurasrecipe.com/veg/Karela-Sabzi#sthash.1zfF18tE.dpuf

Ingredients:



  • 2 Karela / Karla

  • 1 Onion finely chopped

  • 2 tbsp Oil

  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala

  • 1 tsp Red Chilli powder

  • 4 tbsp Tamarind Pulp

  • 1 tsp Ginger Garlic paste

  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

  • 2 tbsp Jaggery / Gudh / Gul

     

Method



  • Cut karela in to small round and scoop out seeds from karela rounds.

  • Add karela rings in to hot boiling water, cover and cook for 15 to 20 mts until karela becomes tender.

  • Heat up oil, add finely chopped onion and cook until onion becomes soft.

  • Add ginger garlic paste and cook up for another minute.

  • Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and cook for 2 more minutes.

  • Add tamarind pulp, jaggery and mix.

  • Add boiled karela, mix well, cover and cook for 5 mts.

  • Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
- See more at: http://www.madhurasrecipe.com/veg/Karela-Sabzi#sthash.aQ09Bxkh.dpuf


Ingredients:


  • 5 Karelas


  • 1 and half teaspoon salt


  • 3 table spoon vegetable oil


  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds


  • 1/2  teaspoon black mustard seeds


  • 1/8 tsp asefoetida


  • 1 tsp Red Chilli powder


  • 1 tsp turmeric


  • 2 tablespoons coriander power and 1 tsp cumin powder


  • 2 tablespoon mango power  to taste


  • 1/4 cup brown sugar


  • 2" piece of Jaggery.

  •  

      Method: 
    • Peel the rough ridged skin off of each Karela.

    • Cut them in to small round and take out the big seeds from karela rounds, may leave the small ones in there.

    • Add salt to Karela rings and toss with hands to mix salt and let it sit for 15 to 20 mins until you see some water coming out of Karela rings.


    •  Squeeze all the  water out Kerala by pressing handful of rings in between your palms. Discard water.
    • Heat oil and add  cumin seeds and mustard seeds, when these crackle add asefoetida.

    • Add Karela rings and saute them on medium heat for  5 min
    • Then put some cold water in a thali (round rimmed tray) (not in Karela) cover the pot with this reduce the head to medium-low and cook the rings stirring in between until tender. Be careful when lifting the tray of water and do not drop water in the cooking Karela rings.  (My mom taught  me this way to cook veggies tender without adding water to them.)
    • When rings are tender, add brown sugar and Jaggery, mix well.
    • Cook on medium heat, until all Jaggery and brown sugar is melted.,
    • Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin and coriander powder and cook for 2 more minutes.
    • Add mango powder mix well.
    • Taste and see if you need more salt, may add it to taste.  You may not need to add salt since initially we tossed the rings with salt to get  the bitter water out of  Karela rings.


    Suggestions:
    • Serve this side dish with Chapatis.
    • You may  add 1/4 cup of cashew halves to this sabji when sauteing Karela rings. This gives the sabji some crunch and nutty taste also tones down the bitterness a little.
    • Instead of Mango powder you can use tamarind paste  or lime juice for tartness.
    • Instead of Jaggery you may use granulated sugar (2 tbl spoon or to taste).

    Bitter Melon description source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitter_melon
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_Creative_Commons_Attribution-ShareAlike_3.0_Unported_License


    Recipe and Photographs by Surekha

    Monday, September 15, 2014

    Adapted Recipe for Double Tree Chocolate Chip Cookies


    I love staying at Double Tree Hotel because they provide these warm chocolate chip cookies at time of check in an in between during your entire stay. 
    Well,  that is not the only reason I like to stay there but these cookies are out of this world.



    On the way back, I googled the recipe on my phone and there they were.... so many of them and all were adapted from this one recipe that I am going to give credit to. This recipe was by "Jenny" and is posted on Foodgeeks.com.  I could not wait to try it, so as soon as we came back home, I tried it with the ingredients that  I had.

    Here it is.. my modified version..



    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup rolled oats
    2-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon 
    2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
    1-1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    2 tsp. vanilla
    1/2 tsp. lemon juice (I used lime juice)
    2 eggs
    1 cup semi-sweet, chocolate chips
    2 dark  chocolate bars (5.29 oz each) by Choceur crushed in to chocolate chunks
    2 cups chopped walnuts

    Method:

    * Grind oats in a food processor or blender until fine. 

    * Combine the ground oats with the  baking soda,  brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

    * Add chopped nuts.

    * Cream together the butter, sugars, vanilla, and lemon/lime juice in another medium bowl with an electric mixer. 

    * Add the eggs and mix until smooth. 

    * Stir in flour and  the dry mixture into the wet mixture and blend well.  

    * Add the chocolate chips and chunks to the dough and mix by hand until ingredients are well incorporated.

    * Per original recipe for the best results, chill the dough overnight in the refrigerator before baking the cookies. (but I did not have that much patience so I just baked them right away)
     
    * Spoon rounded 1/4 cup portions (I used an ice cream scoop) onto an ungreased cookie sheet. (I used Silicone cookie sheet)

    * Place the scoops about 2 inches apart. Bake in a 350°F oven for 16-18 minutes or until cookies are light brown and soft in the middle. 

    * Cool and store in a sealed container.




     








    This recipe yields 20-21 large cookies.  
    You may follow the original recipe,  I just modified to what I had in my pantry and also I did not want them very sweet so I cut down on granulated sugar and increased the amount of brown sugar instead.
    If not using chocolate bar for chunks you may use 3 cups of semisweet chocolate chips instead.
    Please note that the dark chocolate bars that I used are not very bitter like some dark chocolate, they are almost like milk chocolate but less sweet and with more cocoa.





    Recipe adapted and modified by Surekha from this recipe by Jenny at http://www.foodgeeks.com/recipes/doubletree-hotel-chocolate-chip-cookies-18302#

    Photographs by Surekha.

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