Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Beetroot Potato Cutlet - Diana Style

Growing up, Ma made these lovely Cutlets which were inspired by a restaurant which was and still is very close to our hearts. Its Diana Hotel located in the heart of Udupi, a small cosy town near Mangalore. Any visit to Diana would be incomplete without a trip to Diana for their signature dish - Beet-Potato Cutlet. I have some fond memories of dining at this place with my Grandma and Grandpa who are no longer in this world. Every time I visit this place, their memories flash by and my eyes turn misty. So in essence, it is greater part of our family legacy and past that will be cherished always.

This recipe is my Ma's spin inspired the same restaurant. She does not add too many vegetables and keeps it simple, plus its shallow fried so is an healthy option. As a kid, I loved packing these goodies for my school tiffin box. To make life easy, I prepare them way ahead before use. This way they can be easily shallow fried and quickly cooked.

~ Beetroot Potato Cutlet ~
Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 20 Cutlets

Potato - 4 (Medium - boiled, peeled and mashed)
Beetroot - 2 (Medium - boiled, peeled and mashed)

For Seasoning -
Green chillies - 3 (chopped finely)
Split Urad Dal - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tbsp
Rava (semolina) - 3/4 cup

1. Boil, peel and mash potatoes and beetroot together. Add salt and keep aside. To make things easy, I use a pressure cooker. 
2. In a small frying pan, heat few teaspoons of oil. Season with mustard seeds and once they splutter add Split Urad Dal. Saute till they change a shade or two in color. At this stage add the chopped green chillies. The chillies need to be well sauted to turn crispy. Allow the seasoning to cool.
3. Pour this seasoning and mix well with the mash mixture done earlier. Using a Cutlet mould, make cutlets of uniform shape and refrigerate till use. This helps in binding the mixture and firms their texture.
4. Heat a cast iron pan and dredge the cutlets in Rava. Pat lightly to let go of extra Rava and place on the pan side by side. After a minute, drizzle oil on sides. Keep the flame medium-to-high. Flip them with a turning spatula after 5 minutes. Let the cutlets cook on both sides. There will be a brown crust formed on either sides making the texture crisp. Once done, turn off flame and serve with Ketchup.

Note - Ensure the Cutlets are refrigerated after done. This process keeps them firm and aids binding when dredged in Rava.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Brocolli and Cheese Soup

Today the weather is quite funny! Its raining when it was just bright and sunny yesterday.
Cannot seem to understand the weather here, nevertheless what better thing than a warm bowl of soup and some farmer bread which is warm and all bathed in butter.

Today I prepared Brocolli and Cheese soup. The dish is simple and gets ready in almost half an hour. We got some produce of Brocolli this weekend. The stem is quite fresh and very cute, I could just devour it all raw!!

Serves: 2-3 individuals
Source: Self

Brocolli florets - 2 C
Cheese slice - 1
Salt - As per taste
Water - 4 to 6 C
Onion - 1/2 c (chopped finely)
Maggi cube - 1 buillion (vegeterian)

Boil Brocolli florests in water alongwith salt. Food cooks faster if boiled with water. Add Maggi buillion, if not available one can add local Maggi cubes the one which is available in plenty in any Indian local kirana store or super markets like Food World.

Bring the ingredients to gentle stir and boil and add cheese slice. Once cooked, add onions which is pre-fried and translucent.

Serve hot with Naan or Farmer's bread.

Yam Curry (Surna Tambudi)

Suran or Sooran is also known as Yam. Popularly available in South India, it belongs to the tube root or root family and grows in abundance and to a fairly bigger size. Some varieties of Suran leave an itchy feeling in throat so one needs to ensure that the Suran pieces are carefully cooked.

Surna Tambudi is a choicest and tasty coconut gravy based dish. Some people often complain about being unable to eat this dish owing to the itchy sensation it leaves on hands while cooking and throat post consumption. Unlike other 'Tambli' based dishes, this one is not cold and needs to be boiled and seasoned with spices.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20-30 minutes
Yield: 3-4 servings

Suran/ Yam - 3 cups (Frozen or fresh)
Coriander seeds - 2 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Asafoetida powder - 1/10 teaspoon
Grated coconut (optional) - 1 cup
Red Chillies (Byadgi chillies) - 3-5
Methi seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Water - For curry consistency
Salt - as per taste

For seasoning -
Oil - For frying
Curry leaves - 3-6 leaves

1. Defrost Suran and allow to thaw, keep aside for 1/2 hour at room temperature. If using fresh ones, chop off the thick skin and chop into bite sized pieces. Use kitchen gloves to prevent itchy sensation on hands. Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.
2. Heat 2 spoons of oil in a kadhai and temper with coriander seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric powder, red chillies. Take care to fry these ingredients on a low flame since the masalas could easily get burnt. Saute for around 5 minutes and towards the end while putting off the flame add grated coconut. This is optional however if added gives a great flavour to the dish. Once cooled, grind the masala to a paste.
3. In a saucepan, boil the Suran pieces and add the ground gravy. Bring it to a boil for around 10 minutes and simmer on low flame till the Yam pieces are completely cooked. Temper with a seasoning of Mustard seeds and Curry leaves tempered in heated oil. Serve hot with rice.