Tomatillo (Green Tomato) Dal

The weather is looking up these days and the sunshine and warmth are most welcome. It had been a while since my last visit to the Farmers Market and this time around I bought some Green Tomatoes or Tomatillos. I've used them before to make Salsa Verde for Enchiladas. I usually make Daal with ripe tomatoes and I was out of them so used the Tomatillos.

The tomatillos lend a natural tartness to the daal which is needless to say, flavorful.

You will need:

¼ cup Tuar Dal
¼ cup Yellow Moong Dal
½ tsp Turmeric powder
1 tbsp Oil
1 tsp Cumin seeds
6 Green chillies, cut lengthwise
¼ tsp Asafetida
1 onion, chopped
3-4 medium green tomatoes (tomatillos), husked and rinsed
A few sprigs cilantro, chopped
Salt to taste

Pressure cook the Tuar and Moong daal together with the turmeric powder. Heat oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds and sauté for a few seconds, then add the cut green chillies and asafetida. Add the chopped onions and cook on medium heat till the onions are done. Cut the tomatillos into bite size pieces and add them to the pan. Cook till the tomatillos are soft and well done. Now add the cooked daal and a cup of water. Season with salt and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, turn off heat and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Taste the daal and if you feel its too tart,add a small piece of jaggery when bringing the daal to a boil. This will cut back the tartness a bit and balance out the flavors.

We had this daal with rice as well as chapathis and it tasted good with both.

Bell Pepper Upma

This is one of the quick go-to meals on any given evening to serve unexpected guests or to simply satisfy early evening hunger. The heavenly aroma of this upma made us drool when mom made it and now when I make it here, the wait seems endless before I can grab a bite!

This upma is flavoured with Bisibelebath powder, not usually used in a dish like Upma. Bisibelebath powder is easy to make and has more uses than just one. So make a batch.

You will need:

1 cup Upma Sooji (Semolina), dry roasted till fragrant
2 ¼ cups Water
¼ cup Oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Urad Dal
½ tsp Chana Dal
Few curry leaves
1 cup chopped Green bell pepper
2 ½ tsp Bisibelebath powder
2 tsp fresh Lemon juice
Salt to taste
Chopped cilantro

Heat the oil in a non stick pan. Add the mustard seeds, and when it begins to splutter, add the urad and chana dals. Saute on medium heat for a few seconds and then add the curry leaves. Now add the chopped green bell pepper. Cook until soft and done about 7-8 minutes. Add the water, cover and bring to a boil on high heat.

When the water begins to boil, remove lid, add salt, lemon juice and Bisibelebath powder. Stir and then reduce heat to low. Slowly add the roasted sooji while stirring continuously to prevent lumps. The mixture will quickly thicken, stir and cover. Cook for 3-4 minutes and then stir again. Check for seasoning. Add the chopped cilantro and combine. Serve hot.

A variation to this recipe is to add Eggplant , 1 inch pieces instead of the Green bell pepper. It tastes just as good.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

You wouldn't believe me if I said I wasn't a chocoholic..I was just looking through my post archives and realized I have a lot of variations on the chocolate chip cookie...and I still say I'm not a chocoholic! You think I'm in denial...well maybe I am! :) It isn't a sin to deny chocoholism right? :D

Today is my dear sister's (cousin) birthday and she lives all the way across the country on the West Coast. So since there was no way I was going to meet her today, I wanted to surprise her with some home-baked Chocolate Chip Cookies. I baked some few days ago, wrapped them up and shipped them to her. She got the package yesterday(a day early) and loved the cookies..boy was I glad, all the efforts were well worth it. 

I chose Dorie Greenspan's Chocolate Chip Cookie from the book "Baking From my Home to Yours". I knew this recipe wouldn't fail in anyway and would yield gorgeous and delicious tasting cookies. I was tempted to add my own twists to the recipe along the way but decided to let the original reign for once! The only change I made was use semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of bittersweet.

You will need: (Makes 30-35 cookies)

2 cups All purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temp
1 cup Sugar
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups store-bought semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup finely chopped Walnuts(or Pecans)

Centre a rack in the oven and preheat to 375 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats. 

Whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Cream the butter on medium speed,using a hand held electric mixer or a stand up mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, for about a minute until smooth.Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 portions, mixing only until incorporated. Mix in the chocolate and walnuts sing a rubber spatula. 

Using a 1/4 cup ice-cream scoop, place leveled mounds of dough on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes until the edges are brown. Turn sheets half way through baking time. Bake only one sheet at a time and cool sheets between batches if using only two baking sheets. Remove baked cookies from sheet using a flat metal spatula and cool completely on wire racks. Store in air tight containers for up to a week.

I prefer to eat these while they are still warm and the chocolate is still gooey inside. The cookie texture is perfect, slightly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Delicious with a glass of cold milk. 

Wheat Noodles in a Schezwan Sauce

The weather has been crazy these past few days. We had the third snowfall of the season which is pretty unusual. Gloomy and cold weather prompted me to make something spicy. I had a packet of wheat noodles, so I whipped up some spicy schezwan style noodles.

Slurpy spicy goodness!

You will need:

Wheat noodles /Egg noodles
1 tsp Oil
1 quart of water

1 tbsp Sesame oil
1 tbsp minced Garlic
1 tbsp minced Ginger
1 large onion, sliced
1 large Red bell pepper, sliced
½ cup shredded Cabbage

For the Schezwan Sauce:
2 tbsp Ketchup
1 tsp Dark soy sauce (low-sodium)
½ tsp Light soy sauce (low-sodium)
½ tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Chili Sambal (Chinese red-chili paste)
¼ tsp White pepper
¼ tsp White distilled Vinegar

Salt to taste
Chopped Scallions for garnish

Bring the quart of water to boil. Add the wheat noodles and break up the rolls to loosen the noodles. Stir and cook for 8 minutes or until noodles are done. Drain noodles and run under cold water. Toss with 1 tsp of oil and set aside. This is to prevent the noodles from sticking to each other as they cool.

Heat the sesame oil in a wide pan. Add the minced ginger and garlic and sauté till fragrant. Now add the sliced bell pepper. When they are half done, add the onions and shredded cabbage. Saute till all the veggies are cooked but not browned. In a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients and pour over the veggies. Stir to coat the veggies. Cook for 2 minutes. Now add the cooked noodles, breaking large clumps, if any. Toss with the help of a pair of tongs to evenly combine the noodles, veggies and sauce. Cook till the noodles are heated through. Season with salt.

Top with chopped scallions before serving.

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