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.

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April 8, 2010

Cuckoo for Coconuts!!

I can't stand this sudden heat wave that has hit the Tri-State area. For the past week, it's been in the 80's and it's only first week of April. It's like Mother Nature got Hot Flashes and it's spewing them onto us. Whenever I feel like the heat is getting to me, nothing makes me feel better like a cool refreshing drink. During my lunch break I drove to Penang restaurant, which is about 10 miles and bought a couple of Fresh Coconuts. The cool sweet taste of the coconut water just makes it all worthwhile to drive so far.
Ahh! That's much better. I got camera shy, sorry for not smiling.
The best part after drinking all the juice is the tender white coconut flesh!! I scooped it all out and enjoyed it ever so slowly.
Now you don't have to get these fresh coconuts from only Malaysian restaurants, you can climb up the nearest coconut tree and cut yourself one too. Just kidding!! They are available in Indian stores or any grocery stores. I like it from this particular restaurant because the coconut is ready for you to drink and eat from it. That's what I call service.
Happy Drinking!!

April 4, 2010

Boring Soup No More - South Indian Kadhi

Ever since we went to Vatan for dinner last month, I have been craving Buttermilk and Spinach Soup or Kadhi (The Lazy Man's Buffet). This 'soup' is famous all over India and can be made in different ways. I love the way my mom makes it because it can be eaten by itself or with plain rice and papad, plus it is healthy. I'm always trying to eat better but without subtracting the Taste. If you are like me, you don't have to worry about it with this recipe. It has plenty of taste.

My dad and I are going to make this dish tonight. It will be ready by the time my mom arrives from the airport. I have the recipe that she left me in case I wanted to make it. If you want to try this at home, please keep in mind this recipe makes 6 servings (1 cup/serving).


Ingredients for Buttermilk and Spinach Soup (South Indian Kadhi):

Buttermilk - 1 quart / 32 fl oz / 945 ml
Frozen chopped Spinach - 2 cups
*Gram flour (Besan) - 1/4 cup (see quick tips)
Potatoes - 2 medium
fresh Ginger - 1 tbsp, grated
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp

Seasoning (Taalimpu):

Vegetable Oil - 2 tbsp
Whole Cumin Seeds (Jeera) - 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds (Rye) - 1 tsp

Asafoetida (Hing) - a pinch 
Garlic cloves - 6 finely chopped
Curry leaves - 8-10 leaves
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp (or as per taste)


Procedure:


1) In a 3 Qt multi-pot or casserole, mix gram flour and half cup of water until it becomes to a smooth liquid without any lumps

2) Add buttermilk and mix well.


3) Microwave the potatoes for 5-6 minutes until cooked and soak them in water to stop cooking. Remove the peel, cut into 1-inch cubes, and set aside.

4) To the mixture add spinach, potato cubes, ginger, turmeric powder, and chili powder and then mix again.


5) Bring the soup to a boil on Medium-Low Heat and continue mixing intermittently. Next reduce to low/medium heat and then boil it for another 4-5 minutes.

6) Remove from stove, add salt, and again mix well. Please put aside for now.

7) To make the seasoning, add oil in a small sauce pan, and heat it on medium. When heat is felt to the palm held over the pan, add mustard and cumin seeds, and then allow them to splutter. Immediately, add garlic and fry for 2 minutes or until golden. Remove from stove and add Hing powder and curry leaves.


Mix it well and pour it over the soup.


8) Serve 1 cup hot soup over 1/2 cup cooked plain rice and enjoy it with crunchy papad or even potato chips. For added taste, add a teaspoon of ghee (melted butter) to the serving. Papad can be toasted in the microwave for 30-40 seconds depending on size.



***Quick Tips
- Please note this soup can be made with either spinach or potato or both of them. Use 2-1/2 cups of spinach or 4 to 5 medium potatoes for 6 servings when used individually.
- You can use whole milk yogurt instead of buttermilk as well. 
- If you want to eat the South Indian Kadhi like soup use 1/3 cup besan; otherwise use 1/4 cup if you want to eat with rice.