Friday, April 30, 2010

lentils Kofta curry (parappu kola urundai kulumbu)



Kofta curry is a south Indian delicacy. I must say its such a prominent part of chettinad meals. This one is parappu kola urundai kulumbu which means lentils kofta curry. Quite an elaborate one, but its worth it. The taste is so classy. I can't imagine anything better than this for a vegetarian feast. Its one of the best vegetarian curries that I have ever had. Traditionally they make kofta by steaming, then make a kulumbu or curry using onion, tomatoes and other spices (for thickening the gravy they add rice powder (usually idly rice is roasted, then ground to paste along with spices and added to the gravy). They add the seasoning in the beginning , but I prefer to add it at the end. The way I cook is bit different as I prefer to grind everything in to paste (as this increases thickness of the gravy). This gravy or curry has all the spice, tang and flavour in it. For non-vegetarians there is meat balls curry, how about the vegetarians??? here is this recipe for them lentils dumpling curry. This is simply superb! and worth it! I would be sending this recipe to Delicious dals event conducted by Suma of veggieplatter.
Here is the recipe..

Ingredients:
lentils koftas - 6 nos
onions - 1/2 cup
ginger - garlic paste - 1 tbsp
chilly powder - 1 tbsp
thick tamarind paste - 1 tbsp
salt for taste
oil - 4 tbsp

To grind ( mixture 1):
Tomatoes - 2 nos
onions - 1 nos
grated coconut - 1/4 cup

Fry in oil then grind ( mixture 2):
Red chillies - 10 nos
coriander powder - 1 tsp
jeera powder - 1/4 tsp
aniseed - 1/4 tsp
poppy seeds - 1 tsp

Finally grind mixture 2 along with mixture 1 to make the FINAL MASALA

For seasoning:
mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
aniseed - 1/2 tsp
curry leaves - 1 stalk

Method:
Heat oil in a stew pot, add finely sliced onions(1/2 cup) and fry till golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute for a min. Add chilly powder and continue to fry. Add the final masala mixture and stir well. Add salt, water, cover and cook until its almost done. Now add lentil koftas and cook for 5 min. Finally do the seasoning. Serve hot with rice.

Note:
Do not fry fenugreek seeds for long( during seasoning) as this may make the curry bitter.
recipe for lentil koftas - Soak toor dal(1/2 cup) and channa dal ( 1/2 cup) for 2 hours in water( or can use only toor dal quantity should be 1 cup). Grind red chillies(8 nos), aniseed and cumin seed (1/2 tsp), salt and grind to smooth paste. Now add soaked dals and grind to coarse paste( don't add water).
Add finely chopped onions, coriander leaves, and grated coconut to this ground paste and mix well. Make small balls and deep fry in hot oil( can also steam them)

Prawn aloo masala




This is again very simple and tasty. Potatoes gives their unique flavour and richness to the masala. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Onions - 2 nos
tomatoes - 1 nos
ginger-garlic paste - 1 tsp
prawns - 500 grams
potatoes - 2 nos
chilly powder - 3 tbsp
pepper powder - 2 tbsp
green chillies - 4 nos
thick coconut milk - 1 tbsp

Method:
Heat oil in a wok, stir fry onions until they turn golden brown. Add tomatoes, ginger garlic paste and saute till the oil separates. Now add chilly powder stir fry for a min. Now add potatoes,green chillies, enough water and cover and cook till its half cooked. Now add prawns, pepper powder , salt for taste and cook till gravy thickens. At this point add thick coconut milk and cook till done. Serve hot with pulav, rice etc.

Note:
Thick coconut milk is optional. Can add curry leaves and coriander leaves etc.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Traditional coconut rice( thengai sadam/ thengina anna)



When I tasted this traditional coconut rice ( would be using coconut rice hereafter), I just couldn't stop with that one, I wanted to have more. It is heavenly! Here is the recipe....

Ingredients:
cooked rice - 1 kg
grated coconut - 1/2 cup
salt for taste

For seasoning:
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
urad dal - 1 tsp
channa dal - 1 tbsp
red chillies - 4 nos
green chillies - 2 nos
curry leaves - 1 stalk
oil -6 tbsp

Method:
In a wok heat oil, splutter mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal. When the dal start to brown add red chillies and curry leaves. Add green chillies and immediately add cooked rice ( add salt while cooking the rice). Add Salt if and only if required. Mix well. Garnish with grated coconut and mix well again. Serve hot with pickle or any spicy gravy.

Note:
For Coconut pulav click here

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

String hoppers ( idiappam/ nool puttu/nool appam)



String hoppers are simple and easy to digest food served at breakfast, or dinner (I can't remember having it anywhere at lunch). These are so simple and made out of rice flour and water. Very healthy as it is only steamed. This is given to elderly people and also infants (as its very easy to digest). Tastes best when Served with chicken, fish, egg or mutton curry (usually at wedding parties it is served with mutton or chicken gravy). In kerala they serve it with coconut milk and sugar, even little children prefer to have it that way. I remember when I was a child I simply used to love the coloured string hoppers( pink, blue, etc.) which one of my aunt used to make (and I remember her whenever I cook string hoppers). Some people prefer to add wheat flour, that gives a brownish color. To do string hoppers, you will surely need a vermicelli press or idiappam press, a idiappam plate or idli plates or steaming plates( with holes) and a steamer. Here is the recipe...

Ingredients:
Rice flour - 1 cup
water - 1 cup
salt for taste
ghee/oil - 1 1/2 tsp

Method:
Boil water along with salt and ghee. Lower heat and add rice flour with constant stirring (see the mixture is lump free). Remove from heat, knead the mixture well to form dough. Put some dough into a vermicelli press and press onto the idli plates, rotating clockwise. Steam for 5 - 10 min or till done. Serve hot with veg kuruma, or chicken gravy or even coconut milk( sweetened).

Note:
Grated coconut can be added before steaming for better taste.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Veg Kuruma




Kuruma is yet another south Indian delicacy. Usually served along with idiappam and appam etc. Its usually some vegetables cooked along with ground coconut and spices. The flavours will be like ... fantastic... Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
onions - 2 nos
potatoes - 2 nos
green peas - 1/2 cup
chopped beans - 1/2 cup
carrots - 2 nos
salt for taste
oil - 4 tbsp

To grind:
Coconut grated - 1 cup
coriander powder - 2 tsp
cloves - 3 nos
Cinnamon - 1 stick
aniseed - 1/2 tsp
green chillies - 4 nos
turmeric - 1/4 tsp
poppy seeds - 1/4 tsp

Method:
Cook potatoes( diced), Green peas, chopped carrots and beans( chopped) and keep aside. Grind all the to grind ingredients into a coarse paste and keep aside. In a stew pot, heat oil , add finely sliced onions and fry till golden brown. Add the ground paste, enough water, salt for taste. Now cover and cook until its half cooked. Add the cooked vegetables and simmer for 5 min. Serve hot with appam or string hoppers etc.

Note:
Can add tomatoes if you'll prefer. Even some people prefer to stir fry whole spices like bay leaves, cloves, cardamon, Cinnamon etc along with onions... can do that if you'll prefer those flavours also.

Veg tikkis



Veg tikkis are such a great evening snack idea. I can't imagine anything better than veg tikkis with ketchup on a rainy day. For picnic, parties its a great idea. Kids are gonna love them for sure. Here goes the recipe.

Ingredients:
Potatoes - 4 nos
green peas - 1/2 cup
beet root - 1/2 cup
onions - 1 nos
green chillies - 2 nos
ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
chilly powder - 1 tbsp
garam masala - 1 tbsp
fresh green coriander - 1 bunch
salt for taste
oil - 2tbsp

bread crumbs for binding
oil for shallow fry

Method:
Boil and mash potatoes, green peas and beet root. In a wok, heat oil add chopped onions, green chillies, ginger garlic paste, and fry for a min. Now add chilly powder, garam masala powder and fry for a min. Add all the vegetables and freshly chopped coriander leaves, salt and mix well. Turn off the flame. Add bread crumbs for binding, make small round balls, then press them flat into tikkis. Roll over bread crumbs again and shallow fry in hot oil( use less oil)

Note:
This vegetable mixture( even before mixing breadcrumbs) can be used as a filling in burritos, chawarmas, chappathi rolls and tortilla wraps. For veg foodies, this is a classic filling mixture.

Mix fried rice




Mix fried rice is one such easy recipe and a its such a great way to use leftover rice (I have used fresh rice in this recipe though). Even leftover prawns, chicken or pork etc can be used. This recipe is quite common in south Asia including India( though only certain Chinese restaurants serve this). Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Cooked rice - 1 kilo
carrots - 2 nos
beans -50 grams
spring onions - 1 cup
mushrooms - 50 grams
Oyster sauce - 2 tbsp
mushroom sauce -1 tbsp
pepper - 1 tsp
chicken - 500 grams
prawns - 300 grams
egg - 4 nos
salt for taste
oil for stir frying

Method:
Stir fry finely chopped boneless chicken and keep aside. Stir fry prawns until they
change color( or done). Stir fry egg and keep aside. Now in a wok, heat oil add finely chopped carrots, beans, mushroom, 1/2 cup spring onions along with chicken, prawns and eggs( which was stir fried separately earlier). Add oyster sauce and mushroom sauce and stir well. Now add salt and pepper and cooked rice, toss well. Garnish with remaining spring onions. Serve hot.

Note:
Leftover chicken, prawns, pork, crab, etc can be used. Even leftover rice can be used. Traditionally soya sauce is used. But I have used oyster sauce and mushroom sauce instead( tastes equally good, only flavour is strong with oyster and mushroom sauce)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pork masala fry( panni/ pandi fry)



This one is so easy, quick and must try. You don't have to marinade for long hours. I can say its Instant pork masala fry. Here goes the recipe

Ingredients:
Pork - 650 grams
Chilly powder - 6 tbsp
pepper powder - 1 tbsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
ginger-garlic paste - 1 tbsp
oil for stir fry
salt for taste
water for cooking

Method:
Dry roast coriander powder and mix well with pork. Now mix chilly powder and pepper powder, and ginger-garlic paste to the pork and keep aside for 10 min. In a pressure pan or cooker heat oil, add the pork and stir fry. Add just enough water to cover the pork, add salt, cover and cook for 1 or 2 whistle. Serve hot with rice or roti.

Note:
Can add chilly powder as per requirement. Reduce or add more as you like

Sambar( Sambhar/sambaru)


Sambar is such a typical south Indian curry. It's lentils cooked along with lots of vegetables. The vegetables may be mainly one or can be a mixture of two or more. There are so many varieties of sambar like onion sambar, tomato sambar, radish sambar, brinjal sambar, drumstick sambar etc. ( I do not mean that's the only ingredient, that one could be a major one). Sambar is served at almost all restaurants. Even in street side idly or dosa shops or even tiffin centers( like MTR) they serve sambar with idli, dosa etc. I simply love sambar cause its really very very healthy and dal- e- cious( rather Delicious). Its so rich in protein and carbohydrates. lentils are very good source of magnesium. The numerous vegetables in it are so fibre rich and so full of vitamin and minerals (kindly use organic veggies). In south India a veg thali meals cannot be imagined without sambar( its almost the king of thali, hahaha...). here is the recipe...

Ingredients:
Vegetables of your choice( I have used radish, carrots, beans etc)
Lentils( toor dal) - 1/2 cup
tomatoes - 2 nos
small onions - 1/2 cup
ginger- garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
chilly powder - 2 tbsp
coriander powder - 1 tbsp
jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
tumeric powder - 1/4 tsp
asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
green chillies - 2 nos
tamarind paste - 1/2 tsp
oil - 4 tbsp
salt for taste

For seasoning:
oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
curry leaves - 1 stalk
dry red chillies - 2 nos

Method:
Pressure cook dal along with tomato and keep aside. In a wok heat oil, add asafoetida powder, cumin seeds, small onions and stir fry until onions turn golden brown, now add ginger- garlic paste and green chillies and stir fry for a min. Add all the powders in this same order turmeric powder, chilly powder stir well , continue to add jeera powder and coriander powder. Add all the remaining vegetables and saute for a while. Add the cooked dal and tomato mixture, add salt and cover and cook. When its almost done add the tamarind paste( even tamarind pulp can be used). Turn of the flame. Finally season with mustard seeds, curry leaves and dry red chillies. Garnish with coriander leaves if u prefer

Note:
If u have sambar powder, u can add that instead of all these powdered spices like chilly, turmeric etc. There are so many varieties of sambar powder ( like some prefer to add cloves and Cinnamon also, some prefer to add dry coconut etc). This is the simple recipe. I have used this as it would be easy for others to follow. I will try to post other varieties of sambar also. For Okra/Bendekai/Vendekai sambar click here

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Poulet roti ( roasted chicken - Indian style)





I'm such a great fan of Indian tandoori. I just love cooking everything in tandoor style. I have never ever felt the need to use a convectional oven since I was always sticking on to Indian way of cooking( using tandoor and charcoal). This time, I gave it a try to cooking inside my kitchen using oven and it was worth trying. I did this classic " poulet roti (roasted chicken)" in completely Indian style. I marinated the chicken for about 36 hours (usually I marinate for even longer) and then straight into the oven, then on the plate served with chips. I can't imagine anything better than chicken and chips for a lazy Sunday lunch. Chicken and chips , huh!!! Food combo forever. Here is the recipe...

Ingredients:
Chicken - 2 nos

For the marinade:
Yogurt - 2 tbsp
chilly powder - 4 tbsp
garam masala powder - 2 tbsp
nutmeg and mace powder - 1/2 tsp
coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
ginger- garlic paste - 2 tbsp
lemon juice - 1 tsp
chicken stock cube - 1 nos
salt for taste

olive oil - 2 tbsp
butter for basting

Method:
Mix all the ingredients for the marinade and make a thick paste. Rub it over the whole chicken and marinade for 36 hours or more. Take the chicken out of the fridge 30 min before cooking. In a roasting try, place the chicken, drizzle olive oil over it and place it in a preheated oven at 240 degree c/475 degree Fahrenheit/gas 9 and cook for about 15 min (this will make the outer crisp and hard). Remove and baste well with butter. Now reduce it to 200 degree c/ 400 degree Fahrenheit and cook for another 75 min. Now this done. Serve hot with chips.

Note:
A medium sized chicken would require about 1 hour 20 min for perfect cooking. 1st cooking on high for short duration, then cooking on low for a long time will make the out layer crisp and the inner layer of chicken soft like butter. This chicken can also be stuffed with some whole spices, lemon, dry herbs like oregano, sage, chive, dill etc.

Tomato rice( tomato bath/ thakali sadam)



This tangy south Indian dish is such a easy meal. Tomatoes are so rich in antioxidants and I just love this. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Basmati rice - 6 cups
tomatoes - 6 nos
onions - 1nos
chilly powder - 1 tbsp
garam masala - 1 tsp
green chillies - 2 nos
ginger- garlic paste - 1 tbsp
veg stock cube -1 nos
cloves - 6 nos
cardamon - 6 nos
bay leaves - 2 nos
Cinnamon -1 stick
aniseed - 1/4 tsp
star aniseed - 1 nos
mace - 1 nos
ghee - 2 tbsp
dalda - 2 tbsp
oil - 2 tbsp
water - 6 cups

Method:
In a pressure cooker, add dalda and oil. When hot add all the whole spices like cloves, cardamom, Cinnamon, bay leaves, aniseed, star aniseed and mace and let it splutter. Now add onions and stir fry till golden brown. Add green chillies, ginger- garlic paste and fry for a min. Now add chilly powder, tomatoes, garam masala powder, veg stock cube and saute for a while. Finally add rice, salt, water and ghee. Cover and cook up to 2 whistles. Serve hot with papads.

Note:
In this recipe even leftover rice can be used. Make a thick paste out of all the ingredients and add the rice and toss well, until its well coated. Serve hot

Mutton cutlets




Mutton cutlet is so common in India. Its used like a starter, or side dish or even a tea time snack. Great recipe for kitty party, picnics etc. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Minced meat - 500 grams
potatoes - 2 nos
green peas( optional)- 100 grams
onions -1 nos
green chillies - 4 nos
fresh coriander - 1 bunch
ginger - garlic paste - 1 tbsp
chilly powder - 1 tbsp
garam masala powder - 1 tbsp
egg white of one egg
bread crumbs - 100 grams
salt for taste
oil- 4 tbsp
extra oil for shallow fry

Method:
Boil and mash potatoes and green peas and keep aside. In a wok, heat oil and add finely chopped onions and green chillies and fry for 2 min. Add ginger-garlic paste, chilly powder, garam masala powder and fry for a min. Add minced meat and fry till oil separates. Add salt, now add chopped fresh coriander leaves, mashed potatoes and green peas, check for salt and add if required. Turn off the flame and mix well( rather knead well). Make small balls and then flatten them to cutlet shaped cakes.Now dip this in egg white , then roll over bread crumbs. Shallow fry in a pan.

Note:
Do not deep fry as the cutlet breaks. Can use minced meat of lamb, chicken or beef etc. Some prefer to use curry leaves instead of coriander( but I prefer coriander leaves)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lemon rice( chitraanna/ lemon sadam)



One of the most famous south Indian recipe. I just love this. Its a great leftover recipe. Very simple yet tasty dish. Papads, pickles and chutneys can be a great combinations to add on. Here goes the recipe

Ingredients:
Cooked rice - 4 cups
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
urad dal - 1/2 tsp
channa dal - 1 tsp
red chillies - 4 nos
curry leaves - 1 stalk
green chillies - 3 nos
onions- 1 nos
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
oil - 4 tbsp
salt for taste
juice of 3 lemon

Method:
In a wok heat oil, add mustard seeds, urad dal and channa dal fry for a min. Now add red chillies, curry leaves and finely sliced onions. Add turmeric powder, green chillies, salt( must be excess as the rice is also added to the same mixture) and lemon juice. Finally add cooked rice and give a good toss till all the rice grains are well coated. Serve hot with papad, pickles, chutneys etc.

Note:
Can add peanuts also, this would give a different flavour. In this recipe even leftover rice can be used instead of freshly cooked rice. This also tastes equally good.

Friday, April 23, 2010

chicken tikka tagliatelle pasta




I was always thinking of cooking pasta with great Indian twist and flavours in it. This time I wanted to cook chicken tikka pasta. I Chose spinach flavoured tagliatelle pasta whose texture would be rough and porous enough to compliment the rich and spicy chicken tikka masala sauce. This ribbon shaped pastas goes really well with any sauce, and chicken tikka masala was just too good. For those who love the non-veg pasta... specially spicy ones, unlike the regular continental pastas. here is the recipe...

Ingredients:
Spinach flavoured tagliatelle - 6 nos
Chicken tikka - 300 grams
garlic cloves - 4 nos
carrots - 1 nos
bell peppers - 1 nos
tomato puree - 1 tin
basil chopped - 1 tsp
parsley chopped - 1 tsp
chicken stock cube - 1 nos
chilly powder - 1 tbsp
olive oil - 4 tbsp
salt for taste

Method:
In a stew pot boil enough water, add the pasta and cook till done. Strain the water using a colander. keep aside in a serving plate. In a wok, add olive oil, finely chopped garlic, carrots, bell peppers , chopped parsley and basil and stir for a min. Now add chilly powder, tomato puree, chicken stock cube and the chicken tikka pieces( cook chicken tikka before hand or even leftover chicken tikka can be used). check for salt, add if required. Cook for 5 min until the gravy thicken, turn off the flame. Pour this over the cooked pasta and serve.

Note:
Click here for Chicken tikka recipe
Great way to use leftover chicken tikka pieces. The pasta can be added to the wok and tossed well with the sauce, if required or preferred that way.

Aviyal/Avial




Avial is mixed vegetables with coconut and curry leaves. This is a speciality of kerala. Quite common in T.N. also. This is a semi gravy kind of dish. Tastes really good. Rice, sambar, curd curry, rasam etc can be excellent combinations. Some people prefer to add tamarind or raw mangoes, but I have not included them in my recipe. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Veggies of choice like
drumsticks,carrots, brinjal,
raw banana, beans etc
salt for taste


To grind:
Coconut grated - 1/2 cup
yogurt - 2 tbsp
tumeric powder - 1/4 tsp
green chillies - 6 nos
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
garlic cloves - 4 nos

For seasoning:
small onions - 2 nos
mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
curry leaves - 1 stalk
Coconut oil - 3 tbsp

Method:
Cut all the veggies of your choice lengthwise( about 1.5 inch).Boil this along with minimum amount of water. When its half done, add the ground paste with constant stirring, add salt and cook till its completely done. Finally season with finely chopped onions, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Cover with banana leaves to keep the flavour and aroma intact.

Note:
In this recipe I have used veggies like raw banana, brinjal, carrot beans etc. I have excluded curry leaves and coconut oil due to non- availability. I have used sunflower oil instead.

Curd curry( more kulumbu/mosru saaru)



Curd curry is a south Indian speciality. Its very common in kerala and T.N. An excellent way to Include Curd in our diet. Very simple , easy and goes really well with brown rice. Great way to beat the heat. Here goes the recipe.

Ingredients:
Thick Curd - 2 cups
Onions - 1 nos
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
lady's finger - 200 grams
Salt for taste

To grind:
Coconut - 1/4 cup grated
green chillies - 6 nos
jeera - 1 tsp
garlic - 4 nos

For seasoning:
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
curry leaves - 1 stalk
coconut oil for cooking - 5 tbsp

Method:
Whip the thick curd and keep it aside. In a wok, add 3 tbsp coconut oil, when hot add finely chopped onions, turmeric powder and chilly powder and fry for a min. Now add ground paste and fry for a min. Reduce the flame to Sim, with constant stirring add whipped curd and add enough water ( for the gravy, with constant stirring). Now finally add chopped lady's fingers ( wash, dry using cloth , chop and microwave or stir fry before hand, to prevent slime). Check for salt and add. Just before turning of the flame do the seasoning with mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves using remaining coconut oil.

Note:
For simple curd curry, exclude the lady's fingers. Even other greens like beans, drumstick, green peas etc may be added. I have excluded curry leaves due to non-availability.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Farfalle pasta ( Indian twist)




Farfalle or bow tie pasta gets its name from the Italian word farfalla( butterfly).This looks exactly like a bow tie. Though its initially made like a rectangle shaped pasta, then its cut at the edges and then pinched in between giving a bow tie shape to it. Cooking with lots of cheese is really a good idea as the cheese can get stuck to the edges making it more delicious. But I have Just added the cheese at the end of the recipe( keeping the calories in mind... din't want all the calories from the fat).Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Pasta - 1cup
chopped garlic - 2 tbsp
carrots - 1/2 cup
beans - 1/2 cup
bell peppers - 1/2 cup
spring onions - 1/2 cup
chilly powder - 1 tbsp
paprika powder 1/2 tsp
pepper - 1/2 tsp
tomato puree - 1 small tin
Chopped parsley - 1 tbsp
chopped basil - 1 tbsp
veg stock cube - 1 nos
cheddar cheese - 1/4 cup grated
olive oil - 4 tbsp

Method:
In a stew pot boil water. Add pasta along with pinch of salt to the boiling water and cook for 12 min or untill its cooked. Strain water using a colander and keep the pasta aside. In a wok add olive oil, chopped garlic, chilly powder and saute. Now add juliennes of carrot, beans, bell peppers,spring onions and stir for a min. Add Tomato puree, chopped parsley and basil along with veg stock cube( add salt if required, as stock cubes contain salt) and stir fry. Finally add pasta along with pepper powder and give a good toss cook for a min and then change it to a serving plate garnish with cheese and serve.

Note:
You'll can add cheese of your choice. After topping with the cheese microwave for a min( this melts the cheese really quick).

Masala Kheema



Masala kheema is very easy yet delicious. It goes well with jeera rice, coconut pulav even plain basmati rice etc...Here is the recipe...

Ingredients:
Kheema - 500grams
Onions - 1 nos
ginger-garlic paste - 1 tbsp
chilly powder - 2 tbsp
garam masala - 1 tbsp
pepper - 1 tbsp
Salt for taste
Oil - 4 tbsp

To grind:
Onions - 1 nos
tomatoes - 2 nos

Method:
Heat oil in a wok. Fry onions till golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste, green chillies and add the minced meat (with constant stirring, so that no lumps are formed) and fry till oil separates. Now add chilly powder, garam masala powder and pepper powder and fry for a min. Finally add the ground paste, enough water to cover the minced meat and cook till done.Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with any roti or rice.

Note:
I have used minced meat of Goat, you'll can use minced meat of chicken or beef as per individual choice.

Coconut pulav( coconut pilaf, thengina anna, thenga pal sadam)



In India, coconut is used both for its culinary and non-culinary uses. May it be rituals, auspicious days or just for cooking... coconut is always there. I simply love coconut water( its so refreshing). I use them a lot in my cooking. I sometimes ground them to fine paste along with other spices and use, or I use the coconut milk, or just grated coconut sprinkled over seasoned vegetables( poriyal), include them in varieties of chutneys. In kerala, a meal without coconut is so incomplete( In almost everything they add coconut, or at least have one thing on the menu which contains coconut). Today I made this coconut pulav... This is so heavenly!

Ingredients:
Basmati rice - 6 cups
Chopped onions - 1 nos
green chillies - 4 nos
ginger-garlic paste - 1 tbsp
veg or chicken stock cube - 1 nos
cloves - 6 nos
cardamom - 6 nos
cinnamom - 1 stick
bay leaves - 2 nos
star aniseed - 1 nos
mace - 1 nos
garam masala - 1 tsp
thick coconut milk - 3 cups
salt for taste
ghee - 4 tbsp
dalda - 4 tbsp
oil - 4 tbsp
water - 6 cups

Method:
In a pressure cooker, heat oil and dalda. Now fry all the whole spices (like cloves, Cinnamon, cardamon, mace, star aniseed, bay leaf.)till the aroma is released. Add onions and fry till golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste, green chillies and veg stock cube( chicken stock cube may also be used), garam masala and fry for a min. Add basmati rice( soaked for 30 min) and mix well. Now add thick coconut milk and 6 cups of water, ghee, salt(it should be slightly salty as the rice is also cooked in the same liquid). Cover and cook up to 2 whistle or till done. Serve hot with some chicken or mutton gravy.

Note:
Pinch of turmeric may be added , this gives color to the pulav. This pulav can also be prepared in a closed pot( stew pot)... only water added should be around 9 cups. I have served this rice along with Kheema masala. For Traditional coconut rice click here

Raw banana fry ( balle kai/ valle kai varuval)



Raw banana fry is very common in south India. In kerala and T.N. it is part of the meals. Tastes really yummy, when served along with with rice, sambar and rasam. Here in Ivory coast, they use raw banana to prepare a local delicacy called fufu ( pounded raw bananas) which is served along with some sauce.Raw bananas are very healthy as they are very low in saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium. They are also rich in Fibre, vitamin C, potassium etc. Only disadvantage is calories mostly come from sugars (so mind the quantity). Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Raw banana - 2 nos
chilly powder - 1 tsp
pepper powder - 1 tsp
asafoetida(hing) - 1/4 tsp
oil for stir frying
Salt for taste.

Method:
Peel outer skin and cut the raw banana into small cubes. In a pan add oil, hing, raw banana, chilly powder and fry for a min. Add salt and pepper and fry until its done. Serve hot.

Note:
Raw banana fry can cause gas trouble in some people( hing is added to compensate that). Even potatoes and yams may be used instead of raw banana and the same method may be followed.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Stir fried squid ( calamari fry, kanava fry)



Squid is popular among many cuisines of the world, including Indian. The arms , tentacles, ink are all edible. Addition of squid ink in squid gravy or sauce can give a dark or blackish color and would be packed with flavour. Squid rings are usually deep fried. I'm adapting the south Indian style where it is semi gravy to dry in consistency and stir fried in a pan. This spicy seafood recipe is very easy and quick. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Squid - 500 grams
chilly powder - 2 tbsp
pepper - 1 tbsp
oyster sauce - 1 tbsp
oil for stir frying
salt for taste
lime juice 1 tsp
water for cooking

Method:
Heat oil in a Pan. Add Finley sliced squid, chilly powder, pepper powder and fry. Now add oyster sauce and give it a toss. Add salt if required( oyster sauce would be salty). Add just enough water to cook the squid. When the water is evaporated, check if its done. If not, add more water and cook till done. Finally add lime juice and serve hot.

Note:
Best when served hot.

Fish curry (meen saaru/meen kulumbu)


I'm using merou(Dusky grouper) fillets in this recipe. Fish curry( meen saaru or kulumbu) is staple food of the coastal people( non-vegetarians) in India, may it be kerala, kolkotta, goa, Chennai, mangalore or mumbai etc. They may have different versions of it like in kerala coconut oil is used for cooking along with coconut ground paste or coconut milk etc., in kolkotta they use mustard oil in their preparations etc, in Goa they may use vinegar in their cooking( they have a lot of Portuguese influence in their cuisine) etc.. I would be adapting my version of fish curry. At home, its a big time hit always. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Fish fillets - 1 kg
onions - 2 nos
tomato - 2 nos
thick coconut milk - 1 cup
green chillies - 2 nos
ginger - garlic paste - 1 tbsp
chilly powder - 2 tbsp
coriander powder - 1 tbsp
pepper powder - 1 tsp
cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
pram stock cubes - 1 nos
Tamarind puree - 1 tsp
Gingelly oil - 4 tbsp
salt for taste
water for cooking

for seasoning:
curry leaves - 1 stalk
mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
fenugreek seed - 1/2 tsp
gingely oil - 1 tbsp

Method:
Grind 1 onion and 2 tomatoes to a smooth paste and keep aside. In stew pot, heat oil, add Chopped onion( 1 nos) and fry till golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and fry.Add turmeric powder and chilly powder and fry. Now add the ground paste of onion and tomato and saute for 3 min. Add green chillies( slit lengthwise),prawn stock cubes and remaining masala powders and fry for a min. Now add fish fillets, just enough water to cover the fish, add salt for taste. cover and cook in sim for 7 min. Now add Thick coconut milk, tamarind paste and simmer for 5 min or until its done. Turn off the flame. In a tadka pan, heat oil add mustard seeds, curry leaves and fenugreek seeds. Finally do the seasoning. Serve hot with boiled rice or basmati rice.

Note:
Oil can be of your choice. Crushed aniseed may be added to the seasoning (this gives a unique aroma, and this is followed in chettinad style). Can garnish with coriander leaves also.

Batter fried fish ( meen fry)


For seafood lovers this is one fantastic recipe. I used merou(dusky grouper) in this recipe. This is a very quick and easy. The batter can be prepared before hand itself( batter can be preserved in the refrigerator for a day or two). This is so crisp on the outside, juicy and succulent on the inside. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Egg white - 1 nos
sparkling water - 1/2 cup
All purpose flour( maida) - 1 tbsp
corn flour - 1 tbsp
ginger- garlic paste - 1 tbsp
chilly powder - 1 tbsp
salt for taste( ajinomoto can be used)
Fish slices - 6 nos
Oil for deep frying
Lime juice( optional)

Method:
Mix egg white along with sparkling water slowly. Now add this to a mixture of maida, corn flour, chilly powder, ginger-garlic paste form a batter of pouring consistency. Check for salt and add as per requirement. Dip the fish slices and deep fry in hot oil for 10 min or until its cooked. Serve hot with a dash of lime juice squeezed over the fish.

Note:
Even fish fillets may be used. Fish can be of your choice like pomfret fillets, sole fillets, king fish, etc..

Monday, April 19, 2010

Poulet kedjenou



RECIPE COURTESY - AUDJUA

Poulet kedjenou is a local Ivorian cuisine. Its a simple chicken stew. The entire flavour and taste of the recipe is very unique( I guess due to the local variety of chillies that's there in the recipe). Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Chicken - 1 kilo
onions - 2 large
tomatoes - 2 nos
local variety fresh chillies - 5 nos
Maggi cubes( chicken) - 1 nos
oil - 4 tbsp
salt for taste

Method:
In a stew pot, heat oil and stir fry Finely sliced onions till golden brown, now add chopped tomatoes and saute for 5 min. Add chicken pieces, fresh chillies, Maggi cubes and salt( if required only, as Maggi cubes contains salt). Cover and cook till done

Note:
In this recipe water is not used for cooking. The whole idea is to cook the chicken in its own juices and other juices released from tomato, onions etc...

Dosa( Dosai,dose)



Dosa is a south Indian delicacy. It is served at breakfast and evening tiffin. This is very very healthy as it is made of rice and black lentils. Each dosa would cost you about 100 calories only( inclusive of the oil). I feel they are very healthy and tasty option. In available all around south India at restaurants and even some thathukadai dosa shops. In India there are certain restaurants which serves mainly dosa only( all varieties dosa, may or may not include other food on the menu) like Dosa express, Dosa calling, Dosa corner etc... Here is the recipe....

Ingredients:
Par boiled rice - 4 cups
urad dal( black lentils)- 2 cups
fenugreek seed - 1tsp
toor dal - 4 tsp
salt - 1 tsp
oil for cooking dosa

Method:
Soak rice and dal( add fenugreek seeds and toor dal along with dal) separately for about 4-6 hours. Grind this into a smooth paste and allow it to ferment overnight. In the morning, add salt and mix the batter well. Heat a non-stick pan( even dosa tawa is ok), pour dosa batter using a laddlespoon in the centre. Spread in circular motion to the outer edge.Drizzle a tbsp of oil all around. Turn over and cook if required( I cook only one side). Serve hot crispy dosas with sambar, chutney etc...

Note:
The pan should be hot enough before pouring the batter( not very hot). Pour oil in the sides as this helps in the dosa to come out well.

Poori/puri ( boori)





Poori is very common at Indian breakfast, evening tiffins and even thali lunch. Its a tasty dish. Not a very healthy option as they are deep fried. But indulging occasionally is just worth it. Here is the recipe..

Ingredients:
wheat flour - 2 cups
maida - 1/2 cup
salt - 1/2 tsp
water for kneading the dough

Method:
Sieve flour with salt. In a mixing bowl mix along with water gradually.Knead to a soft dough( not very soft). Make small balls and roll out into puri discs using a rolling pin.Deep fry in hot oil until its golden brown and puffs both sides.Serve hot along with Saagu, kuruma, aloo masala, channa masala etc.

Note:
Sugar may be added. This would make the poori to puff up and remain crisp.

Chhole masala ( channa/chickpeas masala)



Channa masala( I would use this name instead of chhole masala ) is spicy gravy made from chickpeas. I would say this is a contribution from Punjabi cuisine. In Gujarati cuisine this is made as a dry and tangy side dish. In south India its quite famous. At restaurants its served along with large pooris or batura. Also commonly available as street food and chats. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Kabuli channa( chick peas) - 2 cups
tea bag - 1 nos
onions - 1 nos
tomato - 2 nos
ginger-garlic paste - 1 tbsp
chilly powder - 2 tbsp
coriander powder - 1 tbsp
garam masala powder - 1 tsp
dry mango powder - 1 tsp
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
mace and nutmeg powder - 1/4 tsp
oil - 5 tsp
salt for taste

Method:
Soak the channa overnight. Next day boil it along with one tea bag( can pressure cook up to 2-3 whistle). Strain water using a colander, discard the tea bag and keep the channa aside. In a wok, add oil and stir fry finely sliced onions along with ginger-garlic paste. Now add tumeric powder and chilly powder and fry for a min. Add chopped tomatoes and other masalas like coriander powder, garam masala powder, dry mango powder, mace and nutmeg powder and fry for 3 min. Add channa and salt and toss well. If a gravy is required, add water and cook till the desired consistency is obtained. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot along with any Indian breads like naan, kulcha etc..

Note:
I have cooked this like a gravy, this may be cooked like a dry dish also. If you like it more tangy add little more dry mango powder.

Jeera rice


Jeera rice is such a delicate and delicious recipe. Its lightly spiced and packed with flavour, quite healthy and goes well with almost all the gravies. Usually on Saturday lunch menu, this is on the top list (as its not time consuming and easy and tasty... all in one, must say).This is a great recipe anytime, anywhere... may it be fine dining, or at home, parties, picnics or even lunch box. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Basmati rice - 1 kg
Cumin seeds(jeera) - 1 tbsp
Onions large - 1 nos
green chillies - 4 nos
ginger-garlic paste - 1 tbsp
garam masala - 1 tsp
veg stock cube - 1 nos
dalda - 4 tbsp
oil/ghee - 4 tbsp
salt for taste

Method:
Cook basmati rice in hot boiling water until its almost done( not fully cooked). Strain the water using a colander and keep the rice aside. In a non- stick stew pot add dalda, oil/ghee and add cumin seeds and fry till the aroma is released. Add onions, green chillies and ginger-garlic paste and fry. Now add veg stock cube and garam masala, and stir for a minute. Add rice into this and toss well. Check for salt, add more if required. When all the rice is well coated with this mixture, its ready. Serve hot.

Note:
May exclude veg stock cubes. This goes well with rajma masala, paneer tikka masala, butter chicken masala etc.( I would say all the gravies).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spinach and tomato pasta( Indian twist)


I simply love pasta. I almost love to cook it everyday and eat all three times a day. Since I'm always using Durum wheat pasta( quite healthy), I just feel like having a second serving. I usually cook vegetarian pastas at home for me.( then I add some chicken or fish or prawns as per need of others). Though I cook quite a lot of variety of pasta like penne, gnocchi, tortiglioni, farfalle, tagliatelle, spaghetti etc... Rotini( helix shaped, not to be mistaken for fusili) as always been my favourite. This one is spinach and tomato flavoured and made from durum wheat( usually rotini is made of all purpose flour or maida). I have excluded cheese ( even cheese topping or grated cheese) and have included Indian spices. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Rotini pasta - 1 cup
chopped garlic- 2 tbsp
carrots( cut into thin strips ) - 1/2 cup
beans(juliennes) - 1/2 cup
spring onions( chopped) - 1/2 cup
chilly powder - 1 tbsp
pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
tomato puree - 1 small tin
veg stock cube - 1 nos
Oil( I prefer olive oil) - 4 tbsp

Method:
In a stew pot boil water. Add pasta to boiling water and cook for 10 min. When cooked strain using a colander and keep the pasta aside.In a wok add olive oil, chopped garlic and saute for a min. Add juliennes of carrot, beans, spring onions, chilly powder and stir fry. Now add pasta, pepper, and veg stock cube and stir for a min. Finally add tomato puree and toss for about 2 min. Pasta is now ready to be served.

Note: I have not added salt in this recipe as the veg stock cubes that I used contained salt, You'll may add salt if required.

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