The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including Gluten Free dishes.

September 24, 2011

*~*Rangoli Contest*~* - CLOSED

Put on your thinking caps and get those creative juices flowing for this special opportunity!

Rangoli is truly a work of art. It is drawn on all Hindu festivals and weddings all over the world, as it is thought to bring good luck. The designs are usually of flowers, simple geometric shapes, religious symbols, intricate patterns or a combination of all of the above. My grandmother once told me that my mom used to win prizes for her unique designs in all the rangoli competitions. Hopefully, one day I can impress her with mine. The material used to create these patterns is dry or wet granulated rice flour (white) and by mixing colors such as vermilion, turmeric, and other natural ingredients. These days, chemical colors are combined to produce more variety of choices. As colored powders are not readily available, we use colored chalk to create these beautiful works of art.
Diwali is the most popular festival and with it just a month away, we are looking into more elaborate designs. In the past, we have drawn simple designs due to the lack of time. The more intricate and unique the design, the more time and colors required to make it more appealing. Below are a few of the designs we have come across and would like to share with you:



This year, we decided to open up the floor and request our readers to share their rangoli designs with us.  Please send your ideas to Jahnavi at: IKME2010@gmail.com. All entries must be in by October  22, 2011. We will select one from the submissions, showcase it on the day of the festival and on our Facebook Fan Page for everyone's viewing pleasure. Feel free to use the same email address to send us questions about the CONTEST.

September 13, 2011

Ended Summer With A BANG-AN!

I can’t believe summer has come to end. One of my favorite memories this past summer was going fruit picking at a local farm with my family.  Even my grandmother had fun; she especially enjoyed the hayride around the orchard.  We were so famished from picking “all day” that we stayed at the farm for some grub.

The staff served up free samples of dishes cooked with the fresh produce. It was such a delight! My favorite was the Charred eggplant, zucchini and red bell peppers. It closely resembled a dish we prepare called Baigan Bharta; baigan means eggplant in Hindi. We don't grill that often so it was nice trying the dishes at the farm.

Over  Labor Day weekend, we finally set up the grill and had ourselves a mini barbecue with corn on the cob and Baigan bharta sandwiches. I brushed the corn on the cob with a little bit of lemon juice, chili powder and salt and it delicious. The sandwiches came out so well, I thought I would share the wealth.

Below is the recipe for the filling and it is good enough for 6-7 sandwiches.

Ingredients:
Main Ingredients
- 1 medium sized Eggplant, peeled and chopped into small cubes
- ½ cup of Crushed Tomato (use equivalent amount blending fresh tomatoes)
- 1 medium sized Onion (red or regular), chopped finely
- ½ cup of Coriander, chopped
- 1 tsp of Chili powder
- ½ tsp of Turmeric
- ½ tsp of Mustard Seeds
- ½ tsp of Whole Cumin seeds
- 1 tsp of Salt (Adjust to taste)
- 2 tbsp of Vegetable oil
- 2 to 3 tbsp of BBQ sauce (preferably Smoky flavored)*  

Procedure:           
1)  In a skillet heat oil and season with mustard and cumin seeds, when they start to splatter, add a pinch of hing (optional), turmeric and chili powder. Then mix well.


2) Add onions and stir until transparent, add tomato and cook well. Add chopped eggplant and salt, cook well under covered lid mixing intermittently.
3) When the eggplant is cooked well and blended into tomato, remove the lid and add chopped coriander and mix. Lastly, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the Smoky flavored bbq sauce.


Baigan bharta can be served as a side dish for any meal. It can be also be served with roti, naan or rice. For our sandwiches, we toasted whole wheat bread and topped the bharta with Monterrey Jack (love the spicy kick). It was like eating sandwiches hot off the grill; especially with the addition of the smoky barbecue sauce in the recipe and the hot gooey cheese.


***Quick Tip: We used the smoky flavored BBQ sauce to add the charred flavor to the dish; similar to making it with roasted or grilled eggplant.

Check out the review of this dish on Wanderlust Wednesday. Have some feedback about our dishes, please feel free to post your comments and/or send us an email. 

September 5, 2011

Ginger & Coriander Relish

The most popular relish in the United States is made with pickled cucumbers and it's commonly used on hot dogs or burgers. In Indian cooking, relishes or chutneys can be eaten with just about anything. There's one in particular that we prepare on Ganesh Chavithi that goes great with steamed rice and lentil dumplings and that is Ginger and Coriander relish. Along with the dumplings, this chutney goes great with moong dosa, namkeen (savory) pongal, and sooji (semolina) upma.

The main ingredients of course are ginger and coriander. The only prep work involved in this recipe is chopping up the coriander and soaking the tamarind.

Ingredients:
- 4" piece of Ginger, peeled and grated
⅓ bunch (1 ½ cups chopped) of fresh Coriander/Cilantro
¼ cup of Chutney powder
- 2 tbsp of Brown Sugar/Jaggery
- Size of a lemon of Tamarind or (1 tbsp if using concentrate)
- 1 tsp of Salt (to be adjusted per taste)

Remove any seeds and soak the tamarind in ½ cup of warm water for 15 minutes (if using concentrate, then skip this step). Next blend all the ingredients together on high speed to a smooth paste. If needed, add additional water to make a paste. Lastly, sample the chutney to check for salt and desired sweetness. Adjust as needed.


I think I'll go have some dumplings with the chutney...see you later!