Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ayurvedic Diets


Picture courtesy: Tribuneindia

Ayurvedic diets originated from India several hundred years ago. Surprisingly most of the Indian food are cooked in Ayurvedic way. In ayurveda the diet is based on nature (prakruthi) and respective Doshas. The diets can also be based on the type of food consumed. In diets Based on doshas (vata, pitta, kapha) they are classified as vata, pitta and kapha diet respectively. There are also Bidoshic and tridoshic diet (suitable for 2 or all the 3 doshas respectively).
The diets based on the type of food consumed is classified into 3 types:
  1. Satvik diet
  2. Rajasik diet
  3. Tamasik diet
Satvik (literally means light) diet refers to simple and easy to digest food. Usually minimal cooking is done like boiling, steaming etc. and not much processing done. Raw food is not included in this diet, fresh fruits and veggies are exceptions. Milk and milk products like ghee are also included in this diet. Spices like aniseed, turmeric, coriander, ginger, Cinnamon, cardamom are included in this. Onions, garlic and other pungent and astringent spices like red chillies, black pepper are completely excluded. If a person follows such kind of diet, it balances mind, body and soul keeping all the stress and sickness away.
Rajasik (literally means royal, richness) diet refers to rich, heavy and hard to digest food. This diet is high is sugar, salt and is spicy. Meat, poultry, high protein food fried in excessive butter, with strong flavour, and very spicy food are all included in this diet. If a person follows such a diet the person will be very much materialistic and attached to this world. Thus can enjoy the worldly pleasures and also be a part of stress.
Tamasik (literally means darkness) diet refers to overcooked, stale and highly processed food. Eggs come under this category (since, eggs can harbour microorganisms). Raw meat, fast food, packed food, tinned food, pizza, pastries, ice-creams, chocolates, refined oils and fats (vansapathi), carbonated drinks, stimulants like coffee, tea, alcohol and tobacco come under this diet. If a person follows this diet the result would be a life of pain, suffering, sickness and as the name suggests complete darkness.

Its important to understand the principles of Ayurvedic diets even before we start one like
  1. Food (ahaar) should be cooked (samskar - process of enhancing or modifying properties of something)
  2. Food should be tasty and easy to digest (not raw)
  3. Food should be consumed after a thanksgiving (yajna-a ceremony to thank for the food that is made available either from plants of animals{plant or animal is sacrificed}).
  4. Food should be consumed in proper amounts (like 1/2 food, 1/4 water, 1/4 air {1/4 should remain empty for the air})
  5. Food should be consumed after the previous meal has been completely digested
  6. Food consumed should not be contradicting in nature (eg. proteins and carbs should not be consumed at the same time {Dal and rice are exceptions})
  7. Food should not be consumed in a hurry, or with other distractions (like watching TV, talking etc.)
  8. One should eat food which is suitable for their nature (Prakruthi) (eg. If one suffers from pitta dosha, food that increases pitta immensely should be avoided completely)
When the diet is based on our doshas. It is important to understand if we are vata, pitta or kapha doshic in nature. A good ayurvedic vaidya will be in a position of help us figure out our nature or prakruthi. All the 6 tastes has to be in a ayurvedic meal (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent, pungent). When Dosha type diet is followed the taste has to be based on the dosha.
Vata - Sweet, sour, salty
Pitta - Bitter, astringent, sweet
Kapha - bitter, astringent, punget

Will post some Dosha related recipes soon.

References: Ayurvedic cooking for all by Amadea morningstar.

Masala brown rice with veggies


This one can be prepared in a jiffy and it is quite healthy too as brown rice has been used instead of polished white rice. Brown rice is fibre rich and can make us feel full (so, that the quantity consumed will be less). Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Brown rice (cooked) - 2 cup
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Aniseed powder -1/4 tsp
Carrot - 1 nos
Capsicum - 1 nos
Oyster mushroom - 1 hand full
Sweet corn - 1 hand full
Salt for taste
Olive oil - 1 tbsp

Method:
Heat oil in a wok, add carrots sliced lengthwise, diced capsicum, oyster mushroom (roughly teared), sweet corn and stir fry for 3 min. Add chilly powder, garam masala powder, aniseed powder and give it a stir. Add boiled rice, salt for taste and stir well till each rice grain is well coated with masala. Serve hot

Note:
Oil and rice used may be of individual choice. I have used boiled rice and olive oil as it is a healthy option. Leftover brown rice can be used for the same.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mixed clear soup



Soups are excellent health foods. One can completely feed on this diet food as it is healthy and filling. Hot clear soups when consumed at the beginning of a meal can actually increase the metabolic rate and also make us feel full (hence, the food consumed afterwards will be of little quantity). I usually make clear soups at home ( rarely make thick soups, creamy soups etc) for health reasons. When chicken or egg white etc. is also added a portion of protein requirement is also met. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Chicken (boneless) - 200 grams
Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Carrots - 1 nos
Capsicum - 1 nos
Beans - 50grams
Oyster mushrooms - 1 handful
Sweet corn - 1 handful
Chicken stock cube - 1 nos
Salt and pepper for taste
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Water for making the soup (about 10cups)

Method:
Heat oil in a stew pot, add chicken and give a good stir. Add garlic paste and continue to saute for a min. Add all the veggies cut into thin strips, mushrooms and sweet corn (can just be added that way), water and cover and cook for 45min. Add chicken stock cube (add more water if required), salt if required. Uncover lid and cook it till its done. Serve hot topped with pepper powder.

Note:
Can also add dried herbs of choice like sage, chives, dill, oregano, parsley, thyme etc.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Gnocchi in creamy mushroom sauce (Healthy version)




Gnocchi pasta with creamy mushroom sauce and other vegetables was healthy and tasty enough to satisfy me. I used a very very low fat cream (extra light), along with oyster mushrooms, carrots, capsicum and freshly chopped parsley. It was simple and quick, yet so fantastic. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Gnocchi pasta - 1 cup
Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Carrots - 1 nos
Capsicum - 1 nos
Oyster mushroom - 1 cup
Freshly chopped parsley - 1 handful
Veg stock cube - 1 nos
Pepper for taste
Salt for taste
Extra light cream - 150ml
Olive oil - 2 tsp

Method:
Bring water to boil in a stew pot. Add the gnocchi pasta along with salt and cook for 10min or till its done. Strain water using a colander. Keep this pasta aside. In a wok, heat oil, add garlic paste and saute for a min. Add thinly sliced carrots and capsicum along with oyster mushrooms and stir fry for 3 min. Add veg stock cube, salt and pepper for taste, gnocchi pasta and stir well again. Add the cream with constant stirring. Finally add freshly chopped parsley and toss well till the pasta is well coated with cream. Now its done. Serve hot.

Note:
Can increase the cream quantity to 200ml. And can also substitute with cream with fat.
Looking for some other PASTA ?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ambur egg biryani




Ambur biryani is famous and I have seen it always with chicken. Tried it with egg and it was a huge hit here at home. Coriander leaves were not available, hence I replaced it with parsley and it did an amazing job. Was not sure if the flavours of parsley and mint would clash!!! So, I just added parsley and excluded mint leaves from the recipe. Here goes the recipe....


Ingredients:
Basmati rice -5 cups (1 kilo approx)
Boiled eggs - 4 nos
Onions (large) - 4 nos
Ginger-garlic paste - 2 tbsp
Tomatoes - 3 nos
Green chillies - 2 nos
Parsley (chopped) - 1 cup
Curd - 1 tbsp
Lime juice - 1tbsp
Red chilly powder - 4 tbsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tbsp
Ghee - 3/4 cup
Salt for taste

Whole spices like:
Cloves - 6 nos
Cardamom - 6nos
Cinnamon - 1 stick
Bay leaves - 2 nos
Mace - 2-4 nos
Star aniseed - 2 nos
Aniseed - 1 tbsp

Method:
Heat ghee in a broad bottomed vessel, add whole spices and fry till all the aroma is released. Add finely sliced onions and fry till golden brown. Now add ginger-garlic paste and saute for a min. Add chilly powder and give it a stir. Add finely chopped tomatoes and saute for 2 min. Add curd, lime juice, finely chopped parsley, green chillies (slit lengthwise) and stir well. Add garam masala powder. Cover and cook till gravy thickens. Add basmati rice (soaked in hot water for 30min), 8 cups of hot water, salt for taste. Cover with the lid and simmer for 7-10 min. Stir well and turn off the flame.
Heat a tsp oil, add chilly powder. Cut the boiled eggs into 2 and place them on the pan. Now place this in the biryani. Cover the mouth of the vessel with a aluminium foil, then cover with lid. Add charcoal on the top of the lid, and leave it for 1 hour. Serve with raitha, brinjal masala or side dish of your choice

Note:
When the charcoal is over, add more up to one hour. Can garnish with mint and coriander leaves. I substituted parsley leaves to coriander and mint leaves.
Looking for some other biryani recipe?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Potato baaji ( Alu gedde palya)

This is a common side dish for poori/puri . Very simple, easy and quick. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Potatoes (boiled,mashed) - 3 nos
Onions -3 nos
Garlic paste (optional) - 1/4 tsp
Green chillies - 2 nos
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt for taste
Oil - 2 tbsp
Water for cooking

For the seasoning:
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Bengal gram dal - 1 tbsp

Method:
Heat oil in a wok, do the seasoning. Now add finely sliced onions,garlic paste and stir fry for 2 min. Add turmeric powder and stir for a min. Add mashed potatoes (roughly mashed), green chillies (slit lengthwise), salt for taste, water for cooking and cook till the required consistency is obtained. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

Note:
Some prefer to mix 1tsp gram flour with little water and add to the recipe instead of plain water.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Gobi manchurian (dry)




Do I need to confess I'm a guilt free SHOPAHOLIC person??? I love to shop for hours together and it really acts like a stress buster for me. Can I say shopping has kept me from blogging for the past two days (lol)??? What ever may be the reason, cooking for me has no reason or any season. I love to cook always and never fail to prepare some mouth watering dishes like gobi manchurian at home. Gobi manchurian is a very popular Indo-Chinese recipe. Its quite common food street food in India. It can be served as a starter, tea time snack or even part of main course along with fried rice, pulav etc. Here goes the recipe....

Ingredients:
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Water for cooking

Cauliflower florets of one medium sized cauliflower
Onions - 1 nos
Ginger - garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Capsicum - 1 nos
Green chilly - 2 nos
Dark soya sauce - 1 tbsp
Tomato ketchup - 1/2 tsp
Corn starch -1 tsp
Ajinomoto for taste
Black pepper for taste
Oil - 3 tbsp

For the batter:
All purpose flour or maida - 1/2 cup
Corn flour - 1 tsp
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Soya sauce - 1 tbsp
Ajinomoto for taste
Sparkling water for making the batter

Oil for deep frying

For garnishing:
Chopped coriander leaves or spring onions

Method:
Bring water to boil in a stew pot. Add cauliflower florets, pinch of turmeric powder, cover with a lid, turn off the flame and keep it for 5 min. Strain the water using a colander and keep the cauliflower pieces aside. Make a thick batter with all ' for the batter' ingredients. Coat the cauliflower with the batter and deep fry in hot oil (in batches). Strain oil using a kitchen tissue and keep this aside.
In a wok, heat oil, fry finely chopped onions along with ginger-garlic paste for a min. Now add chilly powder and give a good stir. Add diced capsicum, batter fried cauliflower florets, green chillies slit lengthwise, tomato ketchup, dark soya sauce and give a good stir. Add corn starch and stir well so that the pieces are well coated. Add pepper and ajinomoto for taste, stir fry till its done. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves or spring onions and serve hot along with fried rice.

Note:
Gobi manchurian can be prepared dry, or semi gravy or gravy type as per individual choice. Fried rice goes really well with gobi manchurian.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Soya chunks biryani




Soya chunks are great substitute for meat. It is high in proteins and is suitable for vegans. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Basmati rice - 5 cups
Onions - 3 nos
Tomatoes - 2 nos
Ginger - garlic paste - 2 tbsp
Chilly powder - 3 tbsp
Soya chunks - 2 cups
Yogurt - 1 tbsp
Lime juice - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tbsp
Black pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Cloves - 6 nos
Cardamom - 4 nos
Cinnamon - 1 stick
Bay leaves - 2 nos
Mace - 2 nos
Aniseed - 1/2 tsp
Dried plums with pits - 2 nos
veg stock cube - 1 nos
Screw pines or Kewra/ketaki flower( optional ) - just for flavour
Food colors (optional) or saffron strands - 1 pinch
Salt for taste
Ghee - 1 cup

Method:
Soak soya chunks in hot water, drain water. Again soak in hot water, and then drain.Repeat the process till the smell is gone and keep the soya chunks aside. Soak basmati rice for 30 min then cook it in hot boiling water along with salt until its almost done (not fully cooked), strain water using a colander and keep the rice aside. In a wok, Add 1/2 cup ghee, when hot add all the whole spices like cloves, cardamom, Cinnamon, bay leaves, mace, aniseed, kewra and stir till the aroma is released. Now add finely sliced onions and fry till golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and fry for a min. Add turmeric powder, and chilly powder and stir for 1/2 min. Now add tomatoes along with coriander powder, pepper powder, garam masala powder, dried plums with pits and veg stock cube and cook till oil separates. Now add all the soya chunks, yogurt, lime juice, enough salt and cook till it done (can add little water if required). Just see that the masala is dry and the ghee is floating on top. Now this is done. Take a baking try, grease it with ghee and spread a layer of rice, top it with a layer of masala, then again a layer of rice, then masala, then finally cover with rice and pour the remaining ghee all over it. Pour some colored water if you wish your biryani to be colorful. Cover with aluminium foil and bake at 200 degrees Celsius/400 degree Fahrenheit for 15 min and its done. Garnish with fried onions, cashews, saffron etc. Serve hot with raitha

Note:
Wash soya chunks in hot water until the smell is completely gone for best results.
Looking for some other biryani?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mixed stir fried noodles


I usually roast 2 chicken at a time, one to be served hot and the other one to be used the next day to prepare some classic leftover recipes like fried rice, stir fried noodles etc. This one is a mixed noodles simply because it has mixed ingredients like prawns, chicken, egg etc. And this was stir fried. Hence the name Mixed stir fried noodles. This one was spicy due to the usage of leftover Asian spicy prawns. On the whole this was a complete leftover noodles. Here goes the recipe....

Ingredients:
Wheat noodles - 200 grams
Carrots - 1 nos
Capsicum - 1 nos
Leftover Asian spicy prawns - 4 nos
Leftover Roasted chicken - 100 grams
Eggs - 4 nos
Chicken stock cube - 1nos
Salt (optional) for taste
Pepper for taste
Oil for stir frying


Method:
Bring lots of water to boil in a stew pot. Add noodles and cook till done. Strain using a colander and keep aside. Cut thin strips of carrots, dice the capsicum and keep aside. In a wok (kadai) add oil and stir fry eggs, leftover roasted chicken and vegetables. Now add leftover Asian spicy prawn, chicken stock cubes (can dissolve in little water and then add) and stir fry. Finally add cooked noodles, salt and pepper and stir for 3 min or until the noodles is hot. Serve hot.

Note:
Instead of leftover Asian spicy prawns and leftover roasted chicken, fresh and newly prepared Asian spicy prawn and roasted chicken can be used in the recipe.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Asian spicy prawns

Spicy n' hot, spicy n' hot, Spicy n' hot ... this is how I call this. Simply spicy... Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Chilly paste - 1 tbsp
Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Salt for taste
Oil - 2 tbsp

For the marinade:
Tiger prawns (cleaned) - 500 grams
Chilly powder -2 tbsp
Pepper powder - 1 tbsp
Oyster sauce - 1 tbsp
Tomato paste - 1 tsp
Dark soya sauce - 1 tsp


Method:
Mix all ingredients and marinate for 1 hour. Heat oil in a wok, add chilly paste, garlic paste and saute for a min. Add the marinated prawns and stir fry for a min. Add salt if required, water, cover and cook till its done. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

Note:
Cook till oil separates and the masala is dry.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Curd rice ( Mosranna/Thayir sadam)


Curd rice is quite a popular dish and is served just as a complete comfort food or as part of mini meals, executive thali meals, etc.
I usually prepare that every Saturdays along with papad, pickle, and some other variety rice (like tomato rice, lemon rice, tamarind rice, vangi bath, bisibele bath, veg biryani etc.). I simply love this as it is so satisfying. This is so cooling in nature and perfect for a hot summer lunch. Here goes the recipe....

Ingredients:
Cooked rice - 1 cup
Thick curd - 4 tbsp
Onion - 1 nos
Green chillies (finely chopped) - 2 nos
Carrot (grated) - 1 tbsp
Grated ginger - 1/4 tsp
Hot boiling water - 50ml
Salt for taste

For the seasoning:
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprigs
Dry red chillies (optional)- 2 nos
Oil - 2 tbsp

Method:
Add hot boiling water to the cooked rice and mix well. Add the curd and continue to mix well. Now add chopped onions, green chillies, grated carrot and ginger and mix well. Add salt for taste and mix again. Finally do the seasoning. Mix well and serve with pickle

Note:
For variation, can add coriander leaves instead of grated carrots, or can even add pomegranate seeds if sweetness is preferred. Also can exclude carrot and make it simple curd rice.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Veg wrap (Mushroom filling)


Simple, easy, and quick wrap. Tastes really yummy. Parents will love it for its healthy and kids will love it for its tasty. Most parents are worried if their child is eating healthy. This is one great way to make them eat healthy. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Lebanese bread - 1 nos

For the filling:
Onion - 1 nos
Capsicum - 1 nos
Oyster mushroom - 1 cup
Veg stock cube - 1 nos
Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Salt for taste
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp

Method:
In a wok, heat oil and stir fry sliced onions, capsicum and oyster mushroom. Cook till its almost done (I prefer my veggies to be crunchy, So I stir fry just for 3-5 min). Now add veg stock cube, pepper and salt for taste. The filling is now ready. Warm the bread on a tawa or pan. Now place the Lebanese bread on a work table. Place the filling on it. Wrap it using a aluminium foil paper or any wrapping paper. Enjoy.

Note:
Lebanese bread can be replaced with chappathi made of wheat or white flour, Rice roti, pita, tortilla etc.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ambur chicken biryani

Ambur biryani is one spicy biryani. Quite famous in a place called Ambur in T.N. It is available in other parts of the state. This one is a dum biryani and I enjoyed cooking it. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Basmati rice -5 cups (1 kilo approx)
Chicken thigh piece - 1 kilo
Onions (large) - 4 nos
Ginger-garlic paste - 2 tbsp
Tomatoes - 3 nos
Green chillies - 2 nos
Mint and coriander leaves (chopped) - 1 cup
Curd - 1 tbsp
Lime juice - 1tbsp
Red chilly powder - 4 tbsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tbsp
Ghee - 3/4 cup
Salt for taste

Whole spices like:
Cloves - 6 nos
Cardamom - 6nos
Cinnamon - 1 stick
Bay leaves - 2 nos
Mace - 2-4 nos
Star aniseed - 2 nos
Aniseed - 1 tbsp

Method:
Heat ghee in a broad bottomed vessel, add whole spices and fry till all the aroma is released.
Add finely sliced onions and fry till golden brown. Now add ginger-garlic paste and saute for a min. Add chilly powder and give it a stir. Add finely chopped tomatoes and saute for 2 min. Add curd, lime juice, finely chopped mint and coriander, green chillies (slit lengthwise) and stir well. Cut the chicken thighs into 2, and add it along with garam masala powder. Cover and cook till its half done. Add basmati rice (soaked in hot water for 30min), 8 cups of hot water, salt for taste. Cover with the lid and simmer for 7-10 min.Stir well and turn off the flame. Cover the mouth of the vessel with a aluminium foil, then cover with lid. Add charcoal on the top of the lid, and leave it for 1 hour. Serve with raitha, brinjal masala or side dish of your choice

Note:
When the charcoal is over, add more up to one hour. Can garnish with mint and coriander leaves.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chappathi wraps (scrambbled egg filling)



Kids at home can always be fussy eaters. They may say a big ' NO NO' for the chappathi that is made at home or even a simple egg burji (scrambled egg). They are not very happy with the so called health food which is green, fresh and nutritious (expectations are always a treasure! If you think your child loves to eat healthy and nutritious fresh and green veggies.... count yourself to be lucky!). Instead, fried and frozen food are preferred by them. But, when simple things are made to look differently, they always want to eat such food. They are either fascinated by the looks of the food or they like things differently, I'm not really sure!!!??? This one is simple wrap with easy and quick scrambled egg as a filling. Here goes the recipe.

Ingredients:
Chappathi - 4 nos

For the filling:
Onions - 2 nos
Tomatoes - 2 nos
Green chillies - 2 nos
Chilly powder - 2 tbsp
Pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Eggs - 8 nos
Salt for taste
Oil - 4 tbsp

Method:
Heat oil in a wok, add finely sliced onions and saute for 3 min. Now add red chilly powder, chopped tomatoes and fry for a min. Now add the beaten egg with constant stirring and cook till oil separates. Finally add chopped green chillies, pepper powder, salt for taste and stir well. Now the filling is ready. Place 1/4 th of the filling on one chappathi and wrap it using aluminium foil or wrapping paper.Follow the same for remaining chappathi. Serve hot

Note:
I have used whole wheat flour to prepare chappathi and also did not add any oil while preparing them. Can add oil if required. Top with some tomato ketchup as kids would like it that way.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tandoori Prawns


Traditionally any tandoori recipe needs to be done using a tandoor oven. But, I have used a traditional charcoal grill. I followed same method which I used for tandoori chicken. Only changes were like the quantity was used as per requirement, chicken stock cube was replaced with prawn stock cube, most importantly, the marination time is very less in this recipe. Here it goes.


Ingredients:
Tiger prawns - 8 nos
Butter for basting

For the marinade:
Thick yogurt - 1 tbsp
Red chilly powder - 1 tbsp
Coriander powder -1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/8 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Aniseed powder - 1/2 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Lime juice - 1/2 tbsp
Red color drops (optional) -1/2 tsp
Prawn stock cube - 1 nos
Salt for taste

Method:
Mix all 'for the marinade' ingredients to form a thick paste. Clean the prawns and mix it well with this paste. Marinade for 2 hours. Take out from the fridge 1/2 hour before grilling. Grill it on hot charcoal grill for 5 min, baste with butter and cook until done. Serve with lemon wedges, onion rings,etc.

Note:
I used a red chilly powder which was not only spicy but gave nice rich red color. If less spice is preferred kashmiri chilly powder can be used. Can also add paprika powder. Butter can be substituted with olive oil while grilling. The tail of the prawn maybe retained for better looks, But, I have cleaned it since I was grilling it after skewering it.

Grilled fish (Indian style)


For diet food lovers, this one is simply perfect. Usually the entire fish is grilled and served along with some salad. But, I have used only a small portion of a large carpe rouge fish (used the remaining fish for making fish curry). I trust the food is best when it is simple. In simplicity there is so much of taste, aroma, flavour. Therefore the spices used were also very minimal. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Fish of choice (I used carpe rouge) - 1 nos
Chilly powder - 1 tbsp
Lime juice - 1/4 tsp
Ginger - garlic paste - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Salt for taste
Olive oil for basting

Method:
Mix all ingredients except fish and make a paste out of it. Rub this paste on the fish and leave it for 1 hour. Now grill the fish using a hot charcoal grill. Baste oil and cook till its done. Serve hot along with salad of your choice.

Note:
I have used lemon wedges, grilled onions, and chillies to garnish the fish. And served it along with sliced cucumbers.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Roasted fish (Ivorian style)


I'm wishing luck for team Ivory coast which is playing football today, People here in Ivory coast are simply loving the football mania that's in the air. I simply love the simplicity of food here in Ivory coast. Everything is so simple, yet so full of flavour. I guess its due to the use of aroma or flavour cubes in their food or due to the double concentrate tomato paste they use or due to the unique light green colored, extremely spicy chillies. Whatever may be the factor, I would always appreciate good food. Roasted fish is quite common food here and the usual fishes used for the same are like merou, carpe rouge, and its simple. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Petit carpe rouge (small red carps) - 2 nos
Prawn stock cube - 1nos
Local red chilly powder - 1 tbsp
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tsp
Oil for basting

Method:
Mix prawn stock cube, local red chilly powder, ginger garlic paste and make a paste out of it. Apply this on the fish (add salt if required). Baste with oil and roast in a preheated oven at 240degree c for 40 min or till its done. Garnish with roasted onions, tomatoes, chilly etc. and serve.

Note:
Traditionally this is done using a charcoal grill, I have used the oven instead.

Roasted chicken thighs (Indian style)

Accidentally or deliberately I always add Indian spices and masalas in everything I cook. I love the Indian twist in all that I prepare, may it be a pasta or a soup or salad, etc. This roasted chicken thighs was also marinated with Indian masala. This one is packed with proteins, it has it all the taste a non-veggie foodie would crave for. Simply perfect diet food for lunch or dinner. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Chicken thighs - 4 nos
Butter for basting

For the masala:
Yogurt - 1 tbsp
Kashmiri chilly powder -1 tbsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Aroma cube (tomato flavour) - 1 nos
Salt for taste



Method:
Slit 2-3 lines on the chicken using a knife (helps in penetration of masala). Mix all the ingredients except butter. Now coat the chicken pieces with the masala and marinate for 3-4 hours. Preheat the oven at 240degree. Place the marinated chicken in a greased pan (place a aluminium foil paper on the pan, baste that with olive oil). Roast at the same temperature for 15 min. Baste with butter. Now reduce the temperature to 200 degree Celsius and roast for another 25-30 min or till its done. Baste again with butter. Garnish with onions rings, lemon wedges and serve with roti, bread, pita etc.

Note:
As a healthy option, Olive oil can be used instead of butter.
Click here for (full chicken Roasted) Poulet roti

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chappathi wraps (Mix filling)




Whenever there is some leftover chicken, I try and do some leftover recipe like fried rice, noodles, wraps and rolls etc. I made this chappathi wrap which was different from chappathi-egg wrap as there was no egg layer on the chappathi. I have used a whole wheat flour to make chappathis healthy. All other ingredients are used keeping health in mind like egg white, boiled and shredded chicken, sweet corn, capsicum, mushrooms and onions. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Chappathi - 2 nos

For the filling:
Chicken (boiled and shredded) - 1 cup
Egg white of 2 eggs
Oyster mushrooms - 100 grams
Sweet corn - 50 grams
Capsicum - 1 nos
Onions - 1 nos
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tsp
Chilly powder - 1 tbsp
All spice powder - 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Chicken stock cube - 1 nos
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt for taste (optional)

Method:
Heat oil in a wok, add egg white and stir well. Now add onions, ginger-garlic paste and saute for a min. Add chilly powder, shredded oyster mushrooms, diced capsicum, Sweet corn and give a good stir. Add the remaining ingredients and stir fry till its done. Now the filling is ready. Place a chappathi on a work table, place the filling, wrap it using a aluminium foil or any wrapping paper and serve.

Note:
Chicken stock cube that I used contained salt , so I did not add any salt. All spice powder is made of many spices and is available at supermarkets. Can substitute All spice powder with kebab masala, chawarma masala, garam masala etc. Chilly powder can be substituted with chilly paste and soya sauce may also be added (I excluded it, to make my wrap healthy).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cauliflower fritters

This one is a crispy fried cauliflower (Gobi) and is easy as ever. The same recipe can be used for broccoli, I bet it would taste equally good. Great tea time snack, or side dish for fried rice, veg pulav etc. for its simple and simply quick. Every time I prepare this, I binge to eat this. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Cauliflower florets - 1 bowl
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Water for cooking
Oil for deep frying

For the batter:
All purpose flour or maida - 4tbsp
Rice flour - 4tbsp
Corn flour - 4tbsp
Ginger-garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder - 1 tbsp (or as needed)
Salt for taste
Kashmiri chilly powder for color (can use color powder also)
Sparkling water for making the batter

Method:
Mix all ' for the batter' ingredients using sparkling water and make a batter of slightly thicker than pouring consistency and keep aside. Bring water to boil, add turmeric powder, the cauliflower florets, cover with a lid and turn off the flame. Let this stand for 5 min. (this kills all the germs present in cauliflower florets). Strain the water using a colander and keep the Gobi aside. Now dip this Gobi in the batter and coat well, add more sparkling water if required. Deep fry in hot oil. Strain excess oil using kitchen tissue and serve hot.

Note:
Can add a pinch of baking soda for the batter if preferred that way.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Gnocchi in rich tomato sauce



This is a simple Gnocchi pasta in rich red tomato sauce (rahu sauce). I have also used some mushrooms and capsicum for added flavours. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Gnocchi pasta - 1/2 cup
Chopped garlic- 2 tbsp
Oyster mushrooms (chopped) - 1/2 cup
Capsicum - 1 nos
Spring onions (chopped) - 1/2 cup
Kashmiri chilly powder - 1 tbsp
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Double concentrate tomato paste - 2 tbsp
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 double concentrate tomato paste, chilly powder and stir fry. Now add oyster mushrooms, diced capsicum, spring onions and cook for 5 min. Add the cooked pasta, pepper, and veg stock cube and stir for a min (water may be added). 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.
Click here for some other Pasta

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ginger mutton


Ginger is a root which is used round the world for its medicinal value and culinary purposes. Ginger flavoured meat!!! Huh, can't imagine any other flavours.... This ginger aids digestion, and is anti-inflammatory and anti bacterial in nature. Ginger tea is proved to be very beneficial after food. Goat meat, and ginger goes really well...I usually try out new recipes with this same combination. Here is one....

Ingredients:
Mutton - 1 kilo
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Ginger (large 2" root) - 1 nos
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Pepper powder - 1 tbsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Soya sauce - 1 tbsp
Meat stock cube - 1 nos
Green chillies - 2 nos
Oil - 4 tbsp
Salt for taste

Method:
Pressure cook the meat with just enough water to cover it, along with salt and turmeric powder. Once its done, drain the stock into another clean vessel and keep aside. In a wok, heat oil, add the meat along with chilly powder, finely sliced fresh ginger and stir fry for a min. Mix the meat stock cube along with the drained stock and pour it into the wok. Add garam masala powder, pepper powder, and stir fry till water evaporates. Now add the soya sauce, green chillies (slit lengthwise) and stir for a min. Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.

Note:
Ginger paste can be used instead of fresh ginger, but the flavour from fresh ginger is so unique and I prefer to use them in my cooking.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chappathi - Egg wraps (Corn, mushroom and boiled egg filling) and an award!





I couldn't really figure out how would someone even feel like stealing, copying or duplicating. I really want to vent out my anger here cause someone has copied my images from this blog. I have my copyrights and I have also expressed and explained clearly in my blog about copyrights. But, just this morning someone did copy an image of my rava kesari. I really don't mind when someone likes my recipe, tries it by themselves and then links back to my original post. That also clearly means giving the credits to me. After having found out someone has copied my images, it was really pain full and disappointing.

After all the disappointment, I was again bounced back with joy due to this award. My friend Suja passed this circle of friends award. I would thank her for all the support and love that she has given me. I would like to share this award with all my friends. My ever lasting gratitude to all of you'll for all the support and love that you'll have given as friends.

My vegetarian and eggitarian friends may be looking for veg and egg versions of chappthi - egg wraps. Here is one...


Ingredients:
Chappathi - 1 nos
Egg whites - 2 nos
Oil - 1 tsp

For the fillings:
Mushroom (oyster mushrooms)- 200grams
Sweet corn - 100 grams
Boiled egg - 1 nos
Onions - 1 nos
Chilly powder- 1/2tsp
Pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Garlic paste - 1tsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Salt for taste

Method:
For the filling:
In a wok, heat oil, add sliced onions, garlic paste and saute for a min. Add chilly powder, mushrooms, stir fry till its done (no need to add water as the mushroom would leave some water). Now add steamed sweet corn, salt and pepper, stir it. Add sliced boiled egg (I excluded the yolk, to make it healthy), give a good stir. Now the filling is ready.
In a wok, heat 1tsp oil , add the egg whites when the oil is really hot. Place a chappathi over it and press slightly. The egg white may ooze out from sides, not to worry. Turn of the flame after 1min. Now place this on a work table, place the filling , wrap it using a aluminium foil and enjoy.

Note:
Can use one egg with yolk, instead of 2 egg whites. Can just add the eggs or whisk them and then add. Great way to use leftover chappathi, eggs and mushrooms.
Looking for non-veg version? click here for Asian chicken filling

Chappathi - Egg wraps (Asian Chicken filling)


Chappathi - egg wraps are great for kids (as they always like something new and different), travelling food, snacking, Picnics (easy to carry and handle), etc... why is it not just chappathi wrap but called as chappathi egg wrap??? Because a layer of egg is stuck to the chappathi. I have used only the egg whites to keep it healthy. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Chappathi - 1 nos
Egg whites - 2 nos
Oil - 1 tsp

For the fillings:
Boneless chicken - 200grams
Onions - 1 nos
Capsicum - 1nos
Chilly paste - 1tsp
Dark soya sauce - 1 tsp
Garlic paste - 1tsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Salt for taste (optional)

Method:
For the filling:
Dice the boneless chicken and keep aside. In a wok, heat oil, add chopped onions, and garlic paste a saute for a min. Add chilly paste, chicken and stir fry till its done (can add little water if needed). Now add the diced capsicum or bell peppers (green), dark soya sauce and stir it. Add salt if required (I did not add salt as the dark soya sauce that I used had salt in it). Now the filling is ready.
In a wok, heat 1tsp oil , add the egg whites when the oil is really hot. place a chappathi over it and press slightly. The egg white may ooze out from sides, not to worry. Turn of the flame after 1min. Now place this on a work table, place the filling , wrap it using a aluminium foil and enjoy.

Note:
I have used maida chappathis (replace wheat flour with white flour). Can use one egg with yolk, instead of 2 egg whites. Can just add the eggs or whisk them and then add. Great way to use leftover chappathi and chicken.

Chappathi/chapathi/chapati


Chappathi is a unleavened Indian flat bread. It is made of wheat and is commonly consumed in most parts of India. It is a staple food and is usually served with subzi, dal, dahi etc. Usually made of wheat or maida or a mixture of wheat and maida. Here goes the recipe....

Ingredients:
Wheat flour - 2 cups
Maida - 1/2 cup
Oil/ghee - 4 tbsp
Salt for taste
Water for kneading

Method:
In a large mixing bowl, add wheat flour, maida, salt and mix well. Boil one cup water add the ghee into it and pour it over the flour mixture. Mix well forming crumbles. When it is just warm knead well into a soft dough (add water if required). Keep this aside for 30min. Make even sized balls and roll them into thin chappthis using a rolling pin. Add flour for dusting. Heat a tawa or a non-stick pan , place the chappathi on it. When it puffs, turn and cook till it is slightly brown. Press with a cloth softly so that it puffs well. After removing can add little ghee on top. Serve with subzi, dal etc.

Note:
Adding ghee after removing from fire, keeps the chappathis soft.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Roasted chicken biryani




This biryani with Roasted chicken (Indian style) was such a great hit. This was far easier than what I had imagined. I just marinated chicken for about 12 hours and followed the same method as in the recipe for Roasted chicken (can reduce the cooking time depending upon the chicken). Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Roasted chicken - 1 nos

Grind to smooth paste to get the masala paste:
Tomatoes - 2 nos
Mint - 1/4 cup
Coriander leaves - 1/4 cup
Green chillies - 3 nos


Other ingredients:
Basmati rice - 5 cups
Onions - 3 nos
Ginger - garlic paste - 2 tbsp
Chilly powder - 3 tbsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tbsp
Black pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Cloves - 6 nos
Cardamom - 4 nos
Cinnamon - 1 stick
Bay leaves - 2 nos
Mace - 2 nos
Aniseed - 1/2 tsp
Dried plums with pits - 2 nos
Screw pines or Kewra/ketaki flower (optional) - just for flavour
Chicken stock cube- 1 nos
Food colors (optional) or saffron strands - 1 pinch
Salt for taste
Ghee - 1 cup

Method:
Soak basmati rice for 30 min then cook it in hot boiling water along with salt until its almost done (not fully cooked), strain water using a colander and keep the rice aside. In a wok, Add 1/2 cup ghee, when hot add all the whole spices like cloves, cardamom, Cinnamon, bay leaves, mace, aniseed, kewra and stir till the aroma is released. Now add finely sliced onions and fry till golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and fry for a min. Add turmeric powder, and chilly powder and stir for 1/2 min. Now add coriander powder, pepper powder, garam masala powder, dried plums with pits and ground masala and cook till oil separates. Now add Roasted chicken pieces, enough salt and stir well. Just see that the final masala is dry and the ghee is floating on top. Now this is done. Take a baking try, grease it with ghee and spread a layer of rice, top it with a layer of masala, then again a layer of rice, then masala, then finally cover with rice and pour the remaining ghee all over it. Pour some colored water if you wish your biryani to be colorful. Cover with aluminium foil and bake at 200 degrees Celsius/400 degree Fahrenheit for 15 min and its done. Garnish with fried onions, cashews, saffron etc. Serve hot along with raitha.

Note:
Can use leftover roasted chicken. The ground masala paste may not smell good initially, not to worry (its due to strong smelling mint and chilly mixture). As final biryani will taste and smell good. Biryani can also be microwaved.
Click here for veg biryani
Click here for Mutton biryani
Click here for Fish biryani

Onion raitha (Thayir pachadi/errulli mosaru chutney)

Onion raitha is one of the simplest and basic raitha. The ingredients used are very minimal and can be prepared in a jiffy. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Thick yogurt - 1 cup
Onions - 2 nos
Green chillies - 2 nos
Salt for taste

Method:
Slice onions lengthwise, chop green chillies finely and keep aside. In a bowl, add yogurt, onions chillies, and mix well. Now add salt for taste and mix well again. Onion raitha is now ready. Enjoy with biryani, pulav, pilaf etc.

Note:
Click here for cucumber raitha

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuna salad


This simple tuna salad made of tuna, spring onions, boiled and mashed potatoes is like a complete diet meal. From complex carbohydrates to healthy oil, it has it all. Looking for a healthy and filling salad meal for lunch or dinner? Here is one...

Ingredients:
Tuna fillets - 500 grams
Potatoes (boiled and roughly mashed) - 1 cup
Spring onions chopped - 1 cup
Salt and pepper
Olive oil - 2 tbsp

Method:
Thaw the tuna fillets. Once its done, shred them into tiny chunks and keep aside. In a mixing or salad bowl, add tuna chunks, potatoes, chopped spring onions, pepper and salt and mix well. Transfer this to a serving bowl , drizzle olive oil and enjoy the salad.

Note:
Do not refrigerate this salad as the sugar in potato will be converted into starch.
Click here for tuna cutlet recipe

Monday, June 7, 2010

Attieke

Attieke is a staple food here in Ivory coast. It is couscous made out of cassava or manioc. Cassava is skinned, chopped, and ground. This is allowed to ferment along with some old cassava which is already fermented in water, sun-dried and ground. This is again allowed to be evaporated to form tiny couscous like grains. This is a lengthy process and certain large instruments are used for pounding and evaporation etc. I picked up some from the local market here. So, it was quite easy. Attieke is high in carbohydrates, but very low in proteins and fat, hence easy to digest. This can be served along with grilled chicken, fried fish, meat, vegetables etc. I have served it along with south Indian style spicy fish curry. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Attieke - 1cup
Water - 1 cup
Butter - 1tbsp
Salt for taste

Recipe for the Spicy fish curry

Method:
In a microwave safe bowl boil 1 cup water. Add attieke, 1 tbsp butter, salt for taste (I just used a pinch), in that boiling water, stir well. Cook for 7 min on high. Mix well with a fork to so that there are no lumps of grains formed. Serve hot with spicy fish curry.

Note:
The water may be increased to 1 and 1/2 cup if required.

Spicy fish curry ( Meen saaru/ Meen kulumbu)



Fish curry is best tasted when it is spicy. This is a Manglorean style fish curry. Prepared with ground masala made of coconut, red chillies, coriander seeds, etc. I have added prawn stock cube for added taste. Even in Mangalore there are many varieties of fish curry. Here is one...

Ingredients:
Fish - 1 kg
Onions - 1 nos
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder - 1 tbsp
Green chillies - 2 nos
Prawn stock cubes - 1 nos
Tamarind extract- 1 tsp
Sunflower oil - 4 tbsp
Salt for taste
Water for cooking

To grind:
Tomato - 2 nos
Onion - 1 nos
Coconut grated - 1/4 cup
Ginger 1 " piece - 1 nos
Garlic minced - 1 tbsp
Red chillies - 8 nos
Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
Black peppercorns - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp

For seasoning:
Curry leaves - 1 stalk
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seed - 1/2 tsp
Sunflower oil - 1 tbsp

Method:
Grind 'to grind' ingredients to a smooth paste and keep aside. In stew pot, heat oil, add Chopped onion and fry till golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute for a min. Add turmeric powder and chilly powder and fry. Now add the ground paste and saute for 3 min. Add green chillies (slit lengthwise), prawn stock cubes and fry for a min. Now add fish pieces, just enough water to cover the fish, add salt for taste. Cover and cook in sim for 7 min. Now add tamarind extract and simmer for 5 min or until its done. Turn off the flame. Finally do the seasoning. Serve hot with boiled rice or basmati rice.

Note:
Oil can be of your choice. Can garnish with coriander leaves also.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Green gram dal curry (Hesaru bele saaru)



This one is a traditional recipe from karanataka. Green gram dal is healthy and easy to digest. I simply love this delicious curry with rice or chappathi. I have used a swirl of cream to garnish just for the picture. Authentically there is no cream used even for garnishing. The beauty of this recipe lies in original flavours of green gram dal and all the selected spices used. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Green gram dal (uncooked)- 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Onions - 1 nos
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 1 nos
Oil - 4 tbsp
Salt for taste

To grind:
Onions - 1 nos
Tomatoes - 2 nos
Chilly powder - 1 tbsp
Coriander powder - 1/4 tsp
Ginger 1" piece - 1 nos
Garlic minced - 2 tbsp

Method:
Pressure cook moong dal along with water till its done and keep aside. Grind all the ' To grind ' ingredients to smooth paste and keep aside. In a wok, heat oil and add finely chopped onions and fry till Golden brown. Add chilly powder and saute for a while. Add the ground paste and saute for 2 min. Add the cooked moong dal along with the water in which the dal was pressure cooked, green chilly slit lengthwise, salt for taste. Cook for 5 min or till its done. Serve hot with rice or chappathi.

Note:
Can roast and grind red chillies, coriander seeds if the powder is not preferred.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Drumstick masala gravy (Nuggekai gojju/Moringakai/Murungaikai masala)


Drumstick is one fantastic vegetable with lots of health benefits. I usually use them in sambar, and dals. It increases the flavour of sambar so much that its is simply superb. Occasionally I make this traditional nuggekai gojju or thick masala gravy of drumsticks and this goes really well with rice. Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
Drumsticks (cut into 1 and 1/2 " pieces) - 1 bowl
Onions- 1 nos
Chilly powder - 1 tbsp
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Oil - 4 tbsp
Salt for taste

To grind :
Onions (chopped) - 1 nos
Tomatoes (chopped)- 2 nos
Coconut grated - 2 tbsp

Fry in 1tbsp oil and grind:
Red chilly -6 nos
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Aniseed - 1 tsp

Method:
Grind all the 'To grind ingredients' into a smooth paste and keep aside. Fry in 1 tbsp oil and grind red chilly, coriander seeds, turmeric powder, cumin seeds and aniseed to a smooth paste and keep aside. In a wok, heat oil and fry finely chopped onions till they turn golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute for a min. Add the chilly powder and give it a stir. Add both the ground paste and saute for a min. Add the drumsticks (chopped into 1 and 1/2 ' pieces), salt for taste (water may be added if required). Cover and cook till its done. Serve hot with rice, roti etc.

Note:
Use kashmiri chillies if less spice is preferred.

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