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Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 2011 !!!

Wishing you all a very Happy and Yummy New Year 2011...

May this new year bring you lots of happiness and of course lots of newer, tastier dishes as well..:-)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tomato Dal/Tomato Pappu

Today in the morning I just went into my garden (huh! Its still under debate whether such a small area can be called a gardenJ) and saw ripe tomatoes waiting to be plucked. So with these tomatoes I thought of making my favorite tomato dal. And yes, I was too excited about using my home-grown ingredient in a dish.
Tomato dal is an effortless and appetizing main course dish. This is a very common and basic preparation in Andhra cuisine. The combination of tomatoes and dal gives a wonderful flavor to the dish. When you are in a dilemma about making curries, this is an easy dish to fall back. This dish, with a dollop of ghee in hot rice along with avakkai pickle makes a lip smacking combination.


Ingredients:
  1. Toor dal- 1cup
  2. Tomatoes- 2nos
  3. Onion- 1no
  4. Green Chilies- 2nos
  5. Turmeric powder- 2tsp
  6. Red chilly powder- 1tsp
  7. Oil- 1tbsp
  8. Mustard seeds- 1tsp
  9. Curry leaves- few
  10. Salt- as per taste

Method:
  1. Pressure cook the dal, tomatoes, onion and green chilies until the dal turns soft and mash slightly.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds and curry leaves. Remove from flame then add turmeric and red chilly powder.
  3. Pour this to the dal mixture and add salt and stir well .
  4. This can be served with rice and roti.

Sardines with crushed coconut/Meen pattichathu

This is yet another traditional Kerala delicacy, usually prepared using small backwater fishes (anchovy etc ). Traditionally these dishes are made in a clay pot (mannchatti) , to bring out the special taste which is inherent with anything cooked in clay pot and ideally in traditional choolah.
 In this recipe, I am using sardines since it is not easy to get real fresh backwater fish where I am living. Also, the ingredients are mixed with hand to get the optimum gelling of all flavors.


Ingredients:
  1. Fish (Small Sardines)-  1/2kg
  2. Coconut (grated)- 1cup
  3. Ginger- 1” piece
  4. Green Chilies- 3nos
  5. Shallots- 6nos
  6. Curry Leaves- few
  7. Salt- as per taste
  8. Oil-2tbsp
  9. Mustard seeds- 1tsp
  10. Turmeric powder- 1tsp
  11. Kokum (Kudampuli)- 2nos(you can also use tamarind)

Method:
  1. Mix grated coconut, green chilies, shallots, ginger, curry leaves and salt with hand.
  2. Add kudampuli and fish to the above mixture.
  3. Add a little water, just enough for the fish to get cooked.
  4. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds and add the above fish mixture into it and just mix it lightly.
  5. Cover the pan. After 5-10 minutes, remove from flame.
  6. There should not be any water left, by the time the fish is finally cooked and ready.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Congratulations Pankaj Bhadouria - India's First Master Chef

A very stiff competition and finally a very deserving result. Congratulations Pankaj and Jaya for making it to the grand finale and Pankaj for winning the final crown of India's first master chef.

Both of you are going to be a very inspiring story for anyone who is dreaming to make it big. You guys did it with so much of patience and perseverence. Hats off Pankaj and Jaya !!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chocó Banana Terrine

This recipe is very delicious and nutritious. This is another simple recipe made with chocolate and requires very few ingredients. Please bear with me for the look of the dessert in the photo. This one was taken out of the refrigerator a little too soon since we wanted to serve it for our guests.


Ingredients:
  1. Small bananas – Ripe - 5nos
  2. Cream – 1cup
  3. Dark or milk chocolate(chopped)- 500gms

Method:
  1. Place cling film inside a loaf pan (terrine)
  2. Add the chopped bananas in the pan.
  3. Boil the cream in a pan and add chocolate to the cream and stir until it melts and turns smooth.
  4. Pour this mixture over the bananas. Cool this and refrigerate until set.
  5. Lift the choco banana terrine from the loaf pan using the cling film.
  6. Remove film and serve. Garnish with nuts.
  7. This dessert tastes great when served with vanilla ice cream.

Chocolate Truffles

A big bar of Cadburys was lying in my fridge for a while and I thought of making something different with that. But WHAT? I was just flipping the pages of my diary and stumbled on this recipe. I always love recipes with chocolate due to my inherent craving for chocolates J
I had only heard about truffles and this is the first time I was attempting this recipe and was skeptical about how it is going to come out. But my effort didn’t go waste as these truffles came out perfectly well and tasted heavenly. This is so simple to make and that too with very minimal ingredients.
Chocolate truffles are said to be the queen of all French chocolates. They are delicate and melt in your mouth. I have coated these truffles with cocoa powder. You can also use icing sugar, coconut powder, nuts, etc.


Ingredients:
  1. Dark chocolate- 1/2kg
  2. Fresh cream-  250ml
  3. Melted butter- 75gms
  4. Cocoa powder- 250gms

Method:
  1. Put the chocolate pieces into a bowl and place it in a tray of boiling water (double boiler). Stir continuously.
  2. Boil the cream and pour it on the melted chocolate. Mix well and add melted butter. Stir till it is blended well.
  3. This mix is called GANACHE.
  4. Cover and place in refrigerator until it turns firm. It could take several hours or even overnight.
  5. Remove the truffle mixture from fridge and with hands or with a small spoon, shape the chocolate mixture into any desired shape and keep it in fridge  for 20-25 minutes to harden and set in their shapes.
  6. Roll the truffles in cocoa powder and place on a baking sheet.
  7. These truffles can be stored in cool room temperature in an air tight container.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Onion Pakoda

It was one of the wintery evenings when the thought of these steaming pakodas hit my mind. I just jumped on it to prepare since the ingredients are all very simple.

This is served along with tea or coffee.I am sure you will really enjoy this crunchy crispy pakoda. This pakoda can be made with any thing like cauliflower, cabbage,....



Ingredients:

  1. Onions(sliced)- 2nos
  2. Besan flour/gram flour- 1cup
  3. Ginger and garlic paste- 1tsp
  4. Green chillies(chopped)- 2nos
  5. Red chilli powder- 1tsp
  6. Baking powder- 1/4tsp
  7. Salt- as per taste
  8. Water- as required
  9. Oil- deep frying 

Method:

  1. Take all the ingredients except oil in a bowl and mix well with hands to make a batter. Avoid using excess water.
  2. In a deep skillet, pour oil for deep frying and drop small portions of the batter in oil and fry till the pakodas turn golden brown.
  3. Can be served with the ketchup of your choice or just as is.

Simple Vanilla cake

Its Christmas Season !!! and I thought of baking this easy and simple cake. I tried this for the first time when I bought my new microwave oven and it came out reasonably well. I know plum cakes are the season's favorite, but this vanilla cake was really my baby step in cake making.

Vanilla cake is a very popular cake. Even though egg is not added this cake is soft and fluffy.



Ingredients:

  1. All purpose flour- 120gms
  2. Vanilla essence- 1tsp
  3. Butter- 40gms
  4. Baking powder- 1tsp
  5. Milkmaid- 130gms
  6. Milk- 1/4cup
  7. Baking soda- 1/4tsp

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C
  2. Sieve the flour, baking powder and soda in a bowl.
  3. Beat butter, vanilla essence and milkmaid well. Add the flour and beat well.
  4. Add milk and mix.
  5. Grease the baking bowl and pour the cake batter into it.Pat the bowl containing batter so that the batter settles well inside the bowl and becomes free of air particles inside the batter.
  6. Bake the cake in pre heated oven for 30 minutes.The baking may take less or more time and hence be watchful.
  7. Once the cooking is done, allow the cake to cool completely.
  8. Decorate the cake as you wish. Garnishing with whipping cream, icing sugar etc. goes well with the texture of this cake.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Egg Curry

There are different styles of making egg curry. This doesnot take much time to prepare. This egg curry  is simplest egg dish and very easy to make. I make this dish for breakfast along with appam, chapathi, idiappam,...


Ingredients:

  1. Eggs(hard boiled)- 2nos
  2. Onions(chopped)- 1no
  3. Ginger paste- 2tsp
  4. Garlic paste- 2tsp
  5. Red chilli powder- 2tsp
  6. Coriander powder- 1tsp
  7. Turmeric powder- 1/2tsp
  8. Garam masala powder- 1/2tsp
  9. Oil- 1tbsp
  10. Curry leaves- few
  11. Mustard seeds- 1/2tsp

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a kadai and splutter mustard seeds and curry leaves. Now fry onions till slightly brown colour.
  2. Add ginger garlic paste, add the powders and mix well till the oil begins to seperate from the masala.
  3. Now add 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil on medium flame. Stir in between.
  4. Half slit the boiled eggs vertically and add to the gravy.Cook for 10 minutes on low flame till the gravy is thickened and blended well.
  5. Turn off the fire and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with desired breakfast.



Vazhakka thoran/Raw banana with grated coconut

Banana plant or plantain is found in large quantity in the backyard of most of the houses. Every part of the plant, the fruit, flower and the inner stem are edible and is consumed in a variety of recipes especially in south indian cuisine. The leaf is sometimes also used to wrap the food in to add flavour and are used as plates while serving south indian thali or during sadhya.

Raw banana thoran is a delectable vegetable preparation with chopped raw bananas and coconut. This is an easy to make side dish which takes only 10 minutes to prepare.



Ingredients:

  1. Raw banana- 2nos
  2. Water- as required
  3. Coconut(grated)- 1cup
  4. Green chillies- 3nos
  5. Cumin seeds- 1/2tsp
  6. Garlic- 2cloves
  7. Turmeric powder- 1/2tsp
  8. Oil- 1tbsp
  9. Curry leaves- few
  10. Mustard seeds- 1/2tsp
  11. Salt- as per taste

Method:

  1. Peel the bananas, cut into small pieces and wash them properly.
  2. Take a pan and put the sliced bananas, turmeric powder, salt and water as required and cook it.
  3. Grind coconut, green chillies, cumin seeds and garlic coarsely.
  4. Add this to the cooked bananas and mix it properly and saute for 2 minutes on low flame.
  5. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When it splutters add curry leaves and pour this to the cooked banana mixture and mix till it blends well.
  6. Serve warm with rice.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Prawns fry

To me, this is by far the easiest and quickest way to prepare prawns.There are so many different ways to prepare prawns, no matter which method you use, the dish with prawns is always delicious. This goes well along with rice and can also be used as a starter. This is one of my favourite dish (as with any other prawns preparation) :-)



Ingredients:

  1. Tiger Prawns- 10-12nos
  2. Ginger garlic paste- 1tbsp
  3. Chilli powder- 1tbsp
  4. Pepper powder- 1tsp
  5. Coriander powder- 1tsp
  6. Turmeric powder- 1tsp
  7. Salt- as per taste
  8. Lemon juice- 2tsp
  9. Oil- 2tsp and for frying.

Method:

  1. Clean the prawns and set aside.
  2. Mix all the ingredients and make a paste. Marinate prawns with this paste and keep aside for 1hr.
  3. Heat oil in a kadai and deep fry the marinated prawns for 6-7 minutes.
  4. Drain it on absorbent paper.

Rice Sev

There are so many names for this snack, but I call this as "rice sev".This is the first time I am trying this snack which is a crispy and easy to make snack on any occasion. My mom used to make this one when she gets free time or when my brothers come home for vacation. This can be made with besan(bengal gram dal powder) alone.



Ingredients:
  1. Rice flour- 2cups
  2. Besan/gram flour- 1/2cup
  3. Asafoetida- 1/4tsp
  4. Butter- 1tbsp
  5. Salt- as per taste
  6. Water- as needed
  7. Oil- for deep frying

Method:
  1. Mix rice flour, gram flour, asafoetida, butter and salt in a bowl.
  2. Combine all the ingredients with enough water and mix to form a soft dough.
  3. Heat oil in a kadai.
  4. Place the dough in a sev mould, press and squeeze by hand through the sev into hot oil.
  5. Repeat this process till all the dough is finished.
  6. Deep fry rice sev on medium heat until it is light brown in colour.
  7. Drain on absorbent paper.
  8. Cool and store in an air tight container.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Van Payar Curry/Black Eyed Beans Curry

"Van payar", also known as black eyed beans, red cow beans and rose moong dal, is very rich in proteins. This can be prepared easily without adding any coconut, so its healthy without any compromise on the taste.This is yet another recipe from my MIL's cook books, but my Mom also makes in the same way. So whenever my MIL prepares some dish, it reminds me of my Mom.



Ingredients:

  1. Vanpayar/black eyed beans- 1cup
  2. Onions(chopped)- 2nos
  3. Green chillies(slit)- 3nos
  4. Water- 2cups
  5. Red chilli powder(kashmiri)- 21/2tbsp
  6. Coriander powder- 2tbsp
  7. Turmeric powder- 1tsp
  8. Tamarind juice-1/2cup
  9. Mustard seeds-1tsp
  10. Curry leaves- few
  11. Oil- 2tbsp
  12. Salt- as per taste

Method:

  1. Soak vanpayar (beans) for 1hr and cook it in pressure cooker with enough water,till soft.
  2. Heat oil in a kadai, splutter mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  3. Add onions and green chillies and saute well till golden brown.
  4. Now add red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well till the raw smell of the powders are gone. Now pour the tamarind juice and mix well.
  5. At last add the cooked beans. Do not add water as the cooked water will be there and let it boil for some time till less water is remaining.
  6. This can be served with rice.

Raw Mango Chutney/Pacha Manga Chammanthi

Chammanthi (chutney) is a very simple and common preparation in Kerala, especially used to complement the other main course curries. This chutney along with hot rice in itself is a great treat for my taste buds :-).
Chammanthi is the malayalam equivalent for chutney.
Chutney tends to be little liquid, whereas chammanthi is a dry coarse paste. This can always make for a different taste to accompany your other regular curries. To make a good mango chutney, the mangoes used must be raw and sour.The more the sour the best.
You must be wondering how I managed to get mangoes in winter. Well, we get it here in some super markets, though a touch expensive.



Ingredients:
  1. Raw mango(peeled and chopped)- 1/2 cup
  2. Shallots- 3nos
  3. Green chillies- 3nos
  4. Grated coconut- 1cup
  5. Salt- as per taste
Method:
  1. Grind all the ingredients in aspice grinder to form a thick and smooth paste.
  2. Serve hot with rice.
Note:
  1. Adjust the ratio of coconut according to the sourness of mangoes.
  2. If the mangoes are not sour then add little lemon juice or little tamarind.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mutton Curry

This is an excellent mutton curry recipe from my mother-in-law's kittie. This can be served with rice, chapathis, parathas, etc. My MIL uses perfect blend of spices and she is just a perfect cook. Whenever they visit us, she cooks perfect kerala style recipes. This is made in pressure cooker so that the mutton becomes really tender and juicy.



Ingredients:

  1. Mutton- 1/2kg
  2. Onions(sliced)-2nos
  3. Shallots(sliced)- 9-10nos
  4. Ginger paste- 2tbsp
  5. garlic paste-2tbsp
  6. Salt- As per taste
  7. Red Chilli powder- 3tbsp
  8. Coriander powder- 4tbsp
  9. Turmeric powder- 1tsp
  10. Garam masala powder-1tbsp
  11. Water- 1/2cup
  12. Oil- 3tbsp


Method:

  1. Wash and drain mutton.
  2. Heat oil in pressure cooker and saute onions and shallots till golden brown.
  3. Now add ginger paste, garlic paste, curry leaves and salt and mix well.
  4. When it is blended well add chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and garam masala powder.
  5. Finally, add drained mutton pieces and add water. Half cup of water should be enough because while cooking mutton pieces, water would drain further from the meat.
  6. Cook until the curry turns into a semi thick gravy.




Aloo Gobi Masala

As my Husband needs chappathis for dinner,  daily I have to think of making different curries. Since the curry made for rice is not suitable for chappathis,  I was searching one of my recipe diaries and I got this dish which I wanted to give a try. The main vegetable required in this gravy is cauliflower, which my Husband doesn't like at all ( btw, there are so many vegetables which he doesn't like and I love all the vegetables). So I thought of adding potatoes so that he can also enjoy the gravy. When I served this curry along with chappathi, he tasted the cauliflower and I ended up making extra chappathis for him:-). This one is quite easy to make.



Ingredients:

  1. Cauliflower- 1/2kg
  2. Potatoes(peeled and disced)- 2nos
  3. Oil- 3tbsp
  4. Mustard Seeds- 2tsp
  5. Ginger(grated)- 2tbsp
  6. Onions(chopped)- 2nos
  7. Tomatoes- 2nos
  8. Turmeric powder- 1/2tsp
  9. Red Chilli powder- 1tbsp
  10. Coriander powder- 1tbsp
  11. Garam Masala- 1/2tsp
  12. Asofoetida- 1/2tsp
  13. Curd- 3tbsp
  14. Green chillies(slit lengthwise)- 3nos
  15. salt- as per tate
  16. Water- 1cup

Method:

  1. Cut the cauliflower into medium pieces and wash in warm turmeric water. Drain it and keep aside for 
  2. sometime.
  3. Grind the tomatoes to paste.
  4. Heat 2tbsp oil in a kadai and fry drained cauliflower lightly and keep aside.
  5. In the same kadai, pour 1tbsp oil add mustard seeds, when they splutter fry grated ginger along with chopped onions and salt till golden brown.
  6. Now add tomato paste and green chillies and mix well.Add curd little by little.
  7. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and asofoetida then stir well.
  8. At last add fried cauliflower, potatoes and water. Cook on mediun heat till it is well blended and all the 
  9. water is dried up. Mix in between.
  10. Now this is ready to serve along with chappathis.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Double Ka Meeta

Somewhere down my memory, I have a flash of this recipe. I always  wanted to try this out, but I was not sure how the final product will be. At last I took the decision of trying this dish with the help from my mom. And the final product was ....awesome.

Double ka meeta is a popular dessert in Hyderabad cuisine. It is similar to "shahi tukda" which is more rich and heavier kind of this dish. This dish is served in weddings and parties as dessert. I remember  as a kid, I used to finish my dessert first and then fight with my brothers for more..:-)



Ingredients:
  1. Bread- 1loaf
  2. Ghee- 250gms
  3. Cardamom (powdered)- 5nos
  4. Milk- 1/2ltr
  5. Sugar- 1/2cup
  6. water-1/2cup
  7. Saffron threads- a pinch
  8. Cashewnuts (chopped)- 100gms
  9. Almonds (chopped)- 100gms
  10. Pistachios (chopped)- 100gms
Method:
  1. Fry cashews, pistachios and almonds in ghee.
  2. Remove the edges of the bread and cut diagonally into two and leave it open for 2hrs and get rid of the moisture. Fry the slices in ghee till golden brown.
  3. Make sugar syrup by adding water to sugar,  add cardamom  powder and saffron threads to this. Boil it for 15 minutes.
  4. Boil 1/2 ltr milk and let it cook till it has reduced to half its original quantity.
  5. Now arrange the fried bread pieces on a flat tray. Now gently pour the prepared sugar syrup and the reduced milk on to it.Garnish with fried nuts on top.
  6. Keep the dish aside for 2-3 hours, until it has completly cooled down and the bread has almost absorbed all the milk. Refrigerate it for a while and serve it chilled.
  7. It can be served warm or some prefer it chilled, it is up to ones own liking. 


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