Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Chicken Pulao!!

Chicken Pulao:



Ingredients:
Chicken 1 medium(cut into large pieces)
Basmati rice 2 cups
Onions 2 large nos.
Ginger-garlic paste 1 tbsp
Mint leaves chopped 1tbsp
Coriander leaves chopped 1 tbsp
yogurt 1cup
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Jeera powder 1 tsp
Kashmiri red chilli powder 2 tsp
Green chillies 4-5 nos.
Cinnamon 2 pieces
Cloves 5 nos.
Cardamoms 4 nos.
Salt to taste
Oil 3 tbsp
ghee 2tbsp
Saffron a few strands (optional)
Milk 4 tbsp (optional)
Cashew nuts 10 nos.




Wash and soak the rice in water for 1/2 hour.

Saute the chillies in ghee. Mix the chillies, ginger, garlic, and half the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom together and grind into a fine paste. Add the ground spices along with yogurt to the chicken pieces & marinate for 1/2 hour.

Heat the oil/ghee and add the chicken marinade and rest of the spices and half the onions and cook over a low fire until the chicken is tender.

Heat the remaining oil and add the remaining cinnamon,cloves and cardamom. After few minutes add rest of the onions and fry until they are golden brown. Add the rice and fry until it is slightly brown. At this point, add 5 cups water, turmeric and salt. Let the rice mixture cook until the water is almost level with the grains (the rice should be half done ) and then add the chicken along with the gravy . Do not mix them, add saffron soaked in milk & coriander and mint leaves & place a tight lid & let the rice simmer for 15-20 minutes. After this, mix well and garnish with fried cashews, It's ready to serve with Raita.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Tomato & Cucumber Raita !!

Tomato & Cucumber Raita !!

The combination of cucumber and yogurt makes a traditional cooling accompaniment to serve with spicy Indian dishes.




Ingredients:

1 cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp. chopped, coriander leaves
1-1/2 cups thick curds (yogurt)
Salt to taste
For Seasoning:
1 tsp. oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 green chillies chopped

Method:
Mix together all the above ingredients in a large bowl.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Almond(Badam) Burfi!

My Appreciation of the intricacies of Indian cuisine always ranks quite high!!

This is one such power packed sweet that makes all the difference --- could say a world away from regular Indian sweets prepared at home!! The truth is it's actually a simple affair.



Badam Burfi:(Almond cake)








Almonds (Badam) 1 cup
Butter 1/2 stick
Sugar 1 1/4 cups
Milk 1/4 cup
ghee 2tbsp


Put almonds in a microwave container. Soak in water. Cook on high for 6-8 minutes. Cool. Peel skin off of the almonds and grind the peeled almonds in blender with milk to a smooth paste. Take a pan,melt butter and add almond paste. Keep stirring on medium flame, until it starts to thicken. Add sugar and continue stirring. Add ghee by spoonfuls every minute and continue to stir. Cardamom powder can be added if needed for flavour(optional) .Keep stirring until it becomes very thick and leaves the side of the pan. Take greased plate. Pour the above onto it. When slightly cool, cut it into desired shapes

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Yummy Baked Sweet Potato !

Baked Sweet Potato:A Taste that lingers!




The most nutritious of vegetables, eaten with the skin, a baked sweet potato is an excellent fiber source .They are rich in vitamins C and B6, and manganese, as well as a small amount of potassium.





Preparation Method:

Pierce the potatoes with a fork before baking to let the steam escape. To speed clean-up, place the potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch the sticky juices that ooze from them as they bake.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Egg Rolls !!

Couldn't think of anything better when I took a peek at my refrigerator--with the eggs in sight , it was enough to change my plan --:) though my plan to begin with was to do something with boiled potato & peas for the evening --- somehow, ended up making these delicious rolls..

Egg Rolls:






Ingredients:

Boiled eggs
2tsp chopped spring onions
2 big potatoes boiled & mashed.
soy sauce 1 tsp
green chillies 2( finely chopped)
1tsp Coriander leaves (cilantro) chopped
1tbsp corn flour.
bread crumbs
salt to taste

Method:

Chop spring onion finely. & mix with mashed potato, corn flour, soy sauce ,green chillies & cilantro. make this into a thick paste to coat the boiled eggs. Now coat the potato pasted eggs with breadcrumbs. Heat the deep frying pan with oil, deep fry coated eggs over a low heat. Keep stirring until coated eggs turn into golden colour & it's ready to serve.


Note:A dish that is best served hot with ketchup & small sized eggs are more easier to handle in the deep frying pan:

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

"Cashewnuts" The Nutty Ingredient of Indian Cuisine!

Indian cuisine features a rich palette of Ingredients, flavours & textures --

Nuts in Indian Cuisine--CASHEWNUTS !

The most popular use of cashew is in the form of its edible nut.Cashew splits are embedded in pastry and many oriental sweets.




"Cashewnut" This Nut is ubiquitous in Indian cuisine as it adds a unique flavour for which there is no adequate substitute. Cashew nuts, are an excellent source of protein and fiber. They are rich in mono-unsaturated fat which may help protect the heart. Cashew nuts are also a good source of potassium, B vitamins and folate. They contain useful amounts of magnesium, phosphorous, selenium and copper.Cashew ranks third in the world’s production of edible tree nuts.Cashews are graded on how white they are and how broken the kernel is

The leaves from the cashew tree can provide vitamin C, calcium and iron.
The wood of a cashew tree is water resistant and is used in constructing boats and ferries.




The Cashew Apple




The shell of the fruit is taken off and the thin skin peeled off from the nut inside before we get the kernels we call cashew nuts.The highly unusual cashew fruit consists of both a crab apple (called the cashew apple), and a kidney bean shaped appendage on the end of the fruit called the cashew nut. The apple is shaped like and is the same size as a pear; when ripe, it is a brilliant yellow, red or scarlet color. Like all fruit trees, a flower emerges and the nut grows from the center of the flower.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Shrimp and Green pepper curry:

A Platter of steaming Shrimp and Green pepper curry:---In a word: Yummy!

Most studies today have shown that adding seafood into your diet once a week can improve your health ,they are a major source of omega-3 fatty acids.In indian cuisine you have a whole lot of variations when it comes to curry prepartions from state to state.

Here's an exotic curry --




Ingredients:

shrimps 12-15
Ginger-Garlic Paste -2 tsp.
Onions - 2
Tomatoes - 2 chopped
green peppers 2
garam masala 1tsp
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
cummin seeds 1/2 tsp
Black pepper powder1/2 tsp
Red chilli Powder 1- tsp
Oil - ½ cup.
Lime juice- 1tbsp


Method:

Chop the onions and tomatoes. In a heavy bottomed pan add the oil and heat it. Add cumin seeds to the oil and fry them later add the ginger- garlic paste and fry for a minute. Next add the chopped onions and fry them till they turn transparent. Add the cleaned shrimps and turmeric powder and cook till the shrimps become tender. Add the tomatoes, green peppers ,chilli powder, garam masala powder ,black pepper powder and salt and mix the contents well. Add some water and cook them over a slow flame till done. finally add the lime juice & garnish with cilantro leaves & a slit green chilli if you like it hot- & it's ready to serve with Rice.




Note:The lime juice keeps the shrimp tender and moist and the flavour is exotic !

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Carrot Halwa!

Here's a weekend special : An Easy to Make Carrot Dessert!





Ingredients:

2 cups grated carrots
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk
cashews
golden raisins

edible silver foil to decorate.


Method:


Fry the grated carrots in ghee.
Add milk (should be enough to cover the carrots), and cook till carrots become very soft.
Add sugar and let simmer for a while, till sugar dissolves, and the mixture thickens.
Add the cardamom powder.
Garnish with raisins and cashewnuts and decorate with the edible silver (paper like foil).
Serve hot or cold with fresh low fat cream !

Friday, November 18, 2005

Cabbage Treat!








Cabbage Kootu:


This is an interesting variation of cabbage that goes well with chappathis/poori


Ingredients:

1Cabbage chopped finely
2tbsp Channa dhal(Bengal gram)
1tbsp Fresh Coconut grated
1tsp Jeera
1tsp Mustard
2-3 Red Chillies
Salt, Turmeric powder
Curry leaves
Coriander leaves (optional)
1tsp Rice flour(optional)

For seasoning:

Oil, Mustard, Black gram and Curry leaves




Method:

Soak bengal gram(channa dhal) for an hour & boil it with little salt . Keep aside. Chop the cabbage finely and add a small quantity of water, salt, turmeric powder, cook for just 3 mts & Keep aside. Next, grind coconut, jeera, red chillies.

In a pan, do the seasoning and add the cabbage, channa dhal, coconut paste and if necessary, add salt. Make sure they are well blended . Let it boil until it is thick. Add little rice flour if you need the kootu to be thick. Garnish with Coriander leaves.


For a variation Instead of channa dhal, you can add Moong dhal with the vegetable.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The South Indian Breakfast platter !

Idli & Sambar






Ingredients:

3 cups boiled rice
1 cup black gram whole
Salt - 3 tsps


Method:

Soak the long grain boiled rice for 4-5 hrs & urad dal for 3 hours.
Grind the soaked rice & urad to a fine paste
Mix both of them ,add salt & let it ferment atleast for a day.(overnight) mix the batter well and using Idli moulds idli's can be steamed or can use microwave Idli maker.




Delicious SAMBAR !





Ingredients:

Onion (small) - 3
Tomato -2 nos
Thoor Dhal - 1cup
coriander powder -1 tsp
MTR sambar powder 1tsp
Mustard -1 tsp
Tamarind - a lemon sized ball soaked in water
Red chillies - 4 nos
Curry leaves and coriander leaves
Salt to taste
Oil 2 to 3 tsp




Method:

Cook the dhal separately, mash it and keep it aside. Tamarind must be kept soaked in water for 10 mts. Squeeze the juice out of it. Heat the oil in a pan and allow it to splutter. Add chopped onions ,red chillies, chopped tomato, turmeric powder, coriander powder and fry it for a few seconds. Add the tamarind juice, MTR sambar powder, the cooked dhal and add salt to taste. Allow the gravy to boil for 10 mts. Remove from fire. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and curry leaves. It is best eaten with hot rice and a spoon of ghee which is clarified butter.



A small note for Idli lovers, you can also have idli's with a variety of chutneys and of course chutney powders .can check on shammi's molagapodi for dosa/idli @(shyamala R) and Indira's Idly Kaaram Podi @(Mahanandi)which would be great for Idli/dosa !

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Exotic Jackfruit!!

Fruity Expressions !



Mere sight of exotic fruits can be appetising---Surprisingly ever since I decided to go blogging the subject of cooking is demanding more attention than it has ever before-- even though cooking is an everyday necessity when done with enthusiasm it becomes a delightful work of expression more so if it's loaded with exotic fruits-----It makes an impact upon not just one of our senses ,but it makes an impact upon all five of them as in my picture, which speaks for itself!


The tropical Jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world.The yellowish pulp tastes a bit like banana. The seeds too are edible & can be boiled and eaten.


Appetising Jackfruit Salad & payasam(kheer)







Jackfruit Salad :

4cups fresh jackfruit sliced or chopped.
Juice of one lime
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2cup golden raisins
1tbsp low fat cream
1 cup toasted walnuts ( optional )
chat masala (available at indian stores)& salt to taste.

In a large mixing bowl, combine jackfruit, limejuice, coconut, raisins and low fat cream. After combining all ingredients, toss in chat masala & salt according to your taste. Add and mix in toasted walnuts just before serving. Yummy Jackfruit salad is done.

NOTE: Place walnuts on a cookie sheet, single layer, and toast for 5 minutes.




Jackfruit payasam:


Ingredients:

Finely chopped jackfruit sections-10 to 12
Aromatic Rice flour-1tbsp
Coconut milk -1 cup
Cardamom pwd- 1 tsp
Jaggery- 1 cup


Method:

Heat jaggery in 2 cups water. Add jackfruit & cook till the fruit softens. Add rice flour paste & cook. Add coconut milk & cardamom. Bring to boil & remove from the heat.Serve hot or cold.


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Coconut Palm Tree!! A rendevouz with Coconut : (Cocos nucifera)



A warm welcome awaits all the fun spirited foodies to my weekend blog !



It's a picture taken from my living room :-A Coconut Palm tree view !






Scientists believe it first grew in Southeast Asia, where Marco Polo described it as the "Indian Nuts" of Sumatra and India. The coconut is such a valuable plant with myriad uses ranging from it's nourishing water to milk extract , pulp , it's shells and it's oil in cooking & medicinal preparations.In indian cuisine coconut is shredded for use in many foods and desserts as coconuts add flavor & healthy nutrients to your diet. Coconuts are rich in lauric acid, which is known for being antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal, and boosts the immune system.

Fresh tender coconut water is one of the highest sources of electrolytes known to man, and can be used to prevent dehydration, for instance in cases of strenuous exercise.


Note: Considering the many health benefits Coconuts are indeed power house of nutrients,

Apple Dessert!

Apple Dessert:




Mmmm! A delicious & easy to make Apple dessert --- you wouldn't want to give a miss!






Ingredients :

3 cups diced Apples
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp Nutmeg powder
1tsp butter
1tbsp orange /lemon juice.


Method:

Peel and dice the Apples. Mix the Apples with cinnamon and nutmeg ,sugar, lemon or orange juice and cook this over a slow fire for 5-10 mts till you get a desired glazed look and desired consistency. Serve warm with Vanilla Ice Cream, Custard or freshly whipped Cream (My choice for the topping!)

Friday, November 11, 2005

Tomato & spring onion Medley!

A Tangy Tomato Treat!





Ingredients :

4 to 5 ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 onions, chopped finely
1 cup of spring onions
6cloves of garlic, chopped
2 green chillies
½ tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp turmeric
A small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp mustard seeds
1tsp black gram
curry leaves
salt to taste
1tsp of jaggery (optional)




Method :

Heat oil and add mustard ,cumin,black gram,curry leaves.Add onions and fry till golden brown. Add tomatoes, green chillies, chilli powder and turmeric. finally add spring onions &simmer until the gravy thickens.If you desire a little bit of jaggery can be added to the gravy to give a sweet touch.






Here's a picture and Info on "Jaggery " -- It is a "natural" sweetener made with the concentrated sugarcane juice used in most of the indian sweet preparations--. It does not have any chemicals or synthetic additives or preservatives. Jaggery is rich in nutrition and contains lot of minerals, protein, and vitamins.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Cool Indian Cucumber salad - (Kosumbari )



Cool Cucumber salad - (Kosumbari )

Kosumbari is a special salad made during south Indian festivals with the soaked green moong dhal (split lentil) minus its skin, spiced with salt, green chilli and mustard seed and mixed with tiny scrapings of coconut ,cucumber thinly diced or strips & carrot(optional)and dressed with a little lemon juice.


Ingredients :
1 big cucumber diced or cut into small strips.
Green gram dhal (moong dal) - 3/4cup
Chopped green Chilli - 3nos
Grated fresh coconut - 2tbs
Chopped coriander leaves - 2tbs
Salt - to taste
Lemon juice - 2tsp

For seasoning :

Oil
Mustard seeds - 1tsp
Curry leaves - few
Asafoetida - a pinch


Method of Preparation :

Soak green gram dhal in water for one hour. Drain water and add grated coconut, green chillies and coriander leaves. Sprinkle salt and lemon juice and mix well.
Heat oil and add the seasoning ingredients. Pour it over the prepared kosambari.


Note : It can be also made using Chana dhal (bengal gram dhal). For cucumber kosambari.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Spicy dhal & Potato korma !

Indian cuisine with its exotic flavor has a greater diversity than almost any country in the world.

Here's an Indian recipe which is wholesome and awesome !

Spicy dhal & Potato korma:( can be had with chapattis/naan/kulcha as per your choice)






Spicy dhal





Ingredients:

3/4 cup Red gram dhal /Toor dhal
2 medium Tomatoes
2 tbsp. coriander leaves
2-3 tsp. chilli powder
4 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. ginger
2 tbsp. butter
3 small onions
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
Salt to taste
few curry leaves
a pinch of hing(optional)

Method:

Boil toor dhal in a cooker for about two whistles. In the blender, grind together an onion, garlic, ginger, coriander leaves, tomatoes and red chillies. Slice the other onions finely. Melt the butter in a pan and fry the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and sliced onion and cury leaves. When the onions are turning a little brown, add the ground masala and fry for around 15-20 minutes. Now add the boiled dhal to it and add a little water to make some gravy. Add salt to taste. Boil for a while till you get the required consistency. Serve hot with Naan/Roti


Potato korma



Ingredients:

4 Potatoes
2 onions
1 Big Tomato
1 tspn Ginger-Garlic paste
2 Green chillies
1 tbspPaneer shredded
1 tspGaram masala
Coriander leaves
Oil
1/4tspTurmeric powder
2tspCoriander powder
2tspRed chilli powder
Salt to taste


Method:

Cut the potato into small pieces and fry along with salt to a crisp golden brown colour. Keep aside. In the remaining oil fry the sliced onions and green chillies till the onion turns golden brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste and continue frying. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder and chilli powder. After frying them, add the tomato pieces and coriander leaves. Then add the shredded paneer and salt and mix well. After frying well, add the garam masala and simmer. Finally, add the fried potato and mix well. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with chapattis or naan.

Monday, November 07, 2005

yum yum Masala dosa!

Masala Dosa With Potato Stuffing & Coconut Chutney:




Ingredients:
3 cups boiled rice
1 cup raw rice
1 cup black gram whole
Salt - 3 tsps

Method:

Soak rice and dhal separately for 3 hours. Grind to smooth paste with enough water for about 45 minutes in normal grinder. Add salt and allow to ferment for 10 hours in larger container giving enough space for the batter to raise. Next day blend the batter well and dilute the batter, if necessary with more water. Heat a tawa and pour a ladleful of dough in the centre Spread in a circular motion towards the outer edge. Add a teaspoon of oil or butter . Turn over and serve hot.



POTATO STUFFING:
Ingredients

1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 medium onion, finely chopped
250 g potatoes, boiled, cooled, peeled and diced
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder

Method

Heat the ghee and fry the mustard seeds for 1 minute.
Add the onion and saute until tender.
Add potatoes, turmeric and chilli, saute for 2 minutes or until dry. Put
a spoonful of this mixture in each dosa, roll up like a pancake and serve.


Coconut Chutney:

Ingredients
3 tablespoons of desiccated coconut
fresh ginger, chopped
3 or 4 dry red chillies
1 clove garlic, crushed
fresh lemon juice


Method

Grind coconut, ginger, chilli and garlic with enough
lemon juice & salt to a paste.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Kesari Pak


It is amazing to see a whole world of blogs of different genre !

even more so, from so many people out there, who seem to be adept at the art of cooking--making the whole food blog scene an excellent interactive culinary media.

Just hope some of my recipes does add a drop to this mighty ocean of blogs!



Kesari Pak:


Ingredients

100gms Condensed milk
1/2 cup semolina
1/4 cup Ghee
Water
cardomom or vanilla drops
Kesari (saffron )or yellow color
Cashews and raisins


Method

Heat the ghee and fry the cashews and raisins and keep aside.
Fry the semolina in the ghee till it turns brown.
Add the kesari to the 1 cup water (warm) and add to the semolina.
Keep stirring so that no lumps are formed.
Then add the condensed milk and keep stirring till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
Put on a greased plate and when cooled cut into the desired shapes.
Serve garnished with the roasted cashews and raisins.cardomom powder or vanilla can be used for flavor.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Friday, November 04, 2005

Lassi with a difference!

Here's a relishing Lassi with a difference!


Sweet Strawberry Lassi

Ingredients:

2/3 cup fresh yogurt
1 1/2 cups water
1 cardamom
1 cup diced sweet strawberries
honey to taste
Blend all ingredients together in a blender for about 3 minutes. Strain and enjoy.

Note - If using honey, add it after you pour the lassi into a glass, and stir briskly with a spoon.


Some tidbits for health freaks:

Use fresh homemade yogurt for the best flavor and health benefit.
Strawberries are high in fiber folate, potassium and vitamin C
Strawberries have been shown to enhance memory function and aid in the management of rheumatoid arthritis.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

It's a sweetblog!






I believe that the festive spirit indeed begins at home.. home is where the heart is and the heart is where the sweet is ;-) doesn't it sound true especially for Diwali .

After a heavy doze of sweets, am now on an absolutely nosweet diet hopefully to last for the rest of the week at least.However, I am not going to disappoint the Indian sweet cravers.

here's a recipe for puran poli that can be made anytime anywhere if you have the ingredients and the inclination to try this Indian sweet .

A small note.
Let me add to this, getting a perfect round puran poli is something one gets to perfect over the time.
I am sure,making the best use of this recipe can expand your experience & enrich your tastebuds in the best possible way..



Puran poli:

Ingredients:
2 cups. bengal gram (channa dal)
2 cups. jaggery
1 tsp. cardamom powder
1 cup. plain flour
1 tbsp. ghee
1 tbsp. oil for brushing
Warm water to knead dough
Ghee or oil for shallow fry

Method:

Boil bengal gram in water till soft and drain. Mash jaggery till lumps break, mix well into dal.
Put mixture in a heavy based saucepan and cook till a soft lump is formed.
Add cardamom powder and grind the mixture to a thick paste to make small balls. Keep aside.
Mix ghee, flour, add enough water to make a soft dough. Brush with a oil and knead for 10-15 minutes until smooth.Cover with a lid and set aside for 1 hour.

Take a small sized ball of dough, roll into a small round. Place same sized ball of sweet mix in the centre and seal.and again,roll carefully to a medium sized round rotis. Heat an iron tava over medium heat.Shallow fry on tava like a paratha adding ghee or oil on both sides. Roast till golden brown.Serve hot.