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Thalassery Mutton Dum Biryani!

Hello, my lovelies!!!! I am baaaaaack!!!! Ok, I do need to apologize for the extremely long hiatus...and no, I am not going to make any exc...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Spaghetti Carbonara!

One of my all time favorite cuisines, apart from Indian of course, is Italian.  Whenever we go out for a buffet, I always end up ordering for the pasta and in the process don't eat anything else..he he! Both A and my dad say it's a total waste of money taking me out coz I end up eating just one dish. Incidentally, pasta is also one of the easiest dishes to make, especially if you are too lazy to cook a big meal. It gets done in 15 minutes but needs to be eaten instantly. If you microwave it, it loses its flavor completely.

There are different types of pasta. One of my favorites is penne, but I also enjoy spaghetti and linguine. I have already made a linguine dish that you can find here. This dish involves a white sauce and I have used sausage. You can have a completely vegetarian pasta as well if you eliminate sausage, though it does use eggs. So, shall we start? Here goes...

INGREDIENTS (For 1)

  • Spaghetti- A handful
  • Egg- 2
  • Thick cream- 1/4 cup
  • Grated Parmesan cheese- 1/4 cup
  • Black pepper powder- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt- 3 tablespoons
  • Boiling water- Enough to cook the spaghetti
  • Butter- 3 teaspoons
  • Sausage- 1 cup uncooked, cut into small pieces/cubes
  • Parsley leaves- Garnish
METHOD
  • Boil a vessel of water. Once the water is boiling thoroughly, add salt. To this add the spaghetti. Different brands of spaghetti have different cooking times which are mentioned on the packet. I cooked it for 11 minutes.
  • While this is cooking, we have to prepare the sauce. Beat the egg, cream and cheese to a smooth mixture until they are all blended properly. Add the pepper powder to this and mix. You an use a fork for this. 
  • Heat butter in a separate saucepan and fry the sausages to a golden brown.
  • By now, the pasta will have cooked. Save a bit of the liquid in a cup (about a quarter) and drain  out the rest. Transfer the pasta to the pan containing sausages and mix thoroughly.
  • Finally add the sauce and the liquid in which the pasta was cooked and coat completely.
  • While serving, garnish with parsley leaves and a bit of cheese.
Here's how the final product looks like..

And a closeup!
Notes

  • You have the option of making this veg by not adding sausage. You can try not adding egg as well, but the sauce may lose a bit of it's thickness. Worth a try though! 
  • Instead of sausage, you can also use pancetta, ham, bacon or any other type of meat that you are comfortable with. 
  • Pepper powder is optional. I need spice with everything which is why I added it to the sauce.
  • Parmesan cheese is sufficiently salty, so you can use the liquid in which you cooked the pasta only if you want to. The liquid also helps the sauce from being too thick.
  • Spaghetti can also be replaced with linguine, penne or any other form of pasta you are comfortable with.
Do try this out and let me know how it turns out! Till next time, God bless!


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Chilly beef fry!

Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la.....Yayyyyy! It's the month of December, Christmas time, woohoo! Time for Santa Claus to come to town, which means, time for all of us to pull up our socks and be good, at least pretend to be, if we need to get into his good books, he he!

We had a mini get together at our place on Thursday night, just my cousins, but oh what a blast we had. I actually wanted to cook a 3 course meal, but unfortunately, had time to cook only 2 mains. One was my Prawns Roast, and then I thought I'd make some beef. This particular beef recipe has been adapted from Dr. Lakshmi Nair, who happens to be one of my all time fav chefs, as I have mentioned before, simply because she makes cooking seem so effortless. This particular recipe uses soy sauce as well, but trust me, at the end of it all, it is a nice, spicy dish with a very "naadan" (traditional) touch to it. In fact, did you know, that at the "kallu shaaps" (toddy shops!) in Kerala, they use soy sauce to make the beef look really dark. See, the toddy shops are not so "naadan" (traditional) after all, he he! I would like to dedicate this dish to Ranjith cheta, Ravin and Sheetal, who helped us have a memorable weekend. We should do it more often! Special mention to Sheetal for taking some lovely pics! Thanks darlin!

INGREDIENTS

  • Beef- 1 kilo
  • Ginger Garlic paste- 2 tablespoons
  • Soy sauce- 4 tablespoons
  • Black pepper powder- 1 tablespoon
  • Vinegar- 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Red chilly powder- 1 teaspoon
  • Onions- 2 or 3 medium, finely sliced
  • Green chilies- 2
  • Coconut oil/Refined Oil - 2 tablespoons
  • Curry leaves- plenty
  • Salt to taste
METHOD
  • Clean beef thoroughly and drain all the water. Place in a pressure cooker.
  • To this add ginger garlic paste, soy sauce, pepper powder, salt and vinegar.
  • Mix thoroughly, close the cooker and pressure cook for 2 whistles on a high flame. After 2 whistles, lower the flame slightly and cook for another 7 minutes. Switch off the flame and wait for all the pressure to release before opening the vessel.
  • Do not add any water, as the beef releases water while cooking. After opening the vessel, switch on the flame once again so as to evaporate all the water. Keep stirring so that the beef does not stick to the bottom. 
  • Ina  separate sauce pan, heat oil and add the onions. Do not add any salt at this stage since salt was added to the beef. 
  • Add the green chilies.
  • After a few seconds, add the turmeric and chilly powders. 
  • Finally add the cooked beef, and lower the flame. Cook for about 10 minutes till the beef gets coated with the masala and turns darker in color. 
  • Garnish with curry leaves and serve.
I did not roast the beef for 2 long, since I wanted it to be a bit moist, which makes it better to have with bread, parathas, naan and even rice. So, the final result...



So, what do you think? Do try this dish out and let me know your thoughts. Take care and God bless!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

The perfect Hummus!

I was born and raised in the Middle East, in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It was only in 2002, when my dad was offered a better job opportunity, that we shifted to Dubai. So technically, though I'm Indian, I consider Dubai to be my home. In fact, so does A, considering that he was born and raised here too. 

On the 2nd of December, the UAE celebrates it's 41st National Day. So, I thought, what better way to commemorate the happy occasion than by making a dish that's really close to the hearts of almost all Arab people. Hummus is nothing but a chickpea based paste that serves as the perfect dip/side dish to anything..meat, salads, or just plain bread. Personally, I like to eat it all by itself!! The 2 main things required for Hummus are Chickpeas and Tahina paste (also called Tahini), both of which are readily available in all markets and groceries. Tahina paste is ground sesame seeds which you can make from scratch at home or just buy it ready made  like I did. Trust me, this recipe is really simple to make as you will see below, in fact a total of 20 minutes max. And trust me, you will absolutely love it, guaranteed! I was looking around for the perfect recipe and got it  from Deedee's Mediterranean kitchen. Dede in fact has got some great Mediterranean recipes, so do check out her site for more Arab recipes! So, here's wishing the UAE in advance, and here's introducing my very first Mediterranean recipe, woohoo!!

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 can of chickpeas (approx 450 gms)- I used the brand "California Garden"
  • Tahina paste- 4 tablespoons
  • Yogurt- 4 tablespoons
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • Garlic cloves- 2
  • Salt- To taste
  • Chilly powder- Garnish
  • Olive oil- Garnish
METHOD
  • Drain out the water from the can of chickpeas and rinse it once or twice under normal running water.
  • Put the chickpeas into a blender, and to this add the tahina paste and the yogurt. Blend it into a smooth paste. This could take a while, so to make the process easier, you could add 2 or 3 teaspoons of water. Ensure that the paste does not become too watery, because hummus should be thick.
  • Now add the lemon juice, salt and mashed garlic and blend properly to get a thick creamy paste.
  • Optionally, you could also add a few mint and parsley leaves, which gives it a great aroma. Unfortunately, I didn't have them with me, so had to skip that step.  
  • Once the hummus is ready, spread it out on your serving dish with the back of a spoon. You will notice that there will be quite a few ripples in the mixture, only because it is thick. 
  •  Sprinkle a little chilly powder (optional) as a final garnish and pour some olive oil all over. This makes the hummus more moist.
  • Additionally, you could also garnish it with a few olives. 
Though I didn't have olives (and I'm not a very big fan of them anyways!), I was pretty lavish with the chilly powder and olive oil. So, wasn't that an easy breezy recipe? Here are the final pics. Let me know your thoughts!



So, what do you think? It does look a bit plain, but if you want more color  go ahead and add a few olives and some more chilly powder!

Do try this out and let me know the results. Till next time, adios amigos and God bless!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pineapple pachadi!

Hello all! All my UAE friends, hope u guys had a great weekend..and are all set to start afresh. I guess the rest of the world is gearing up for their weekend..and what better way to start the weekend than with a new recipe on the menu, huh!!
Pineapple pachadi was something that I was planning on cooking for a very long time, but for some reason, never got along to do it. The normal pachadis that I cook are beetroot and cucumber (vellarika), but this was something that I was planning on trying for quite a while. So, much to my surprise on Thursday, I realized I had all the ingredients I was looking for..which is a bonus as far as I'm concerned, lolz! I looked around quite a bit for what I thought was the perfect recipe and came across one from the Yummy Team, which I thought was just perfect. There's just one difference though, they've used jaggery in their dish, while I've avoided it. So, for a more detailed step by step procedure, check out Yummy O Yummy, but for the moment, check out my recipe minus the jaggery!

INGREDIENTS

  • 500 gm can of pineapple chunks
  • Yogurt- 1 cup
  • Shredded coconut- 6 tablespoons
  • Chilly powder- 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds- 1/4 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds- 1/4 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Dry red chillies- tempering
  • Oil- 1-2 tablespoons
  • Curry leaves- Garnish
METHOD
  • Cook pineapple slices with the turmeric and chilly powders and some salt for about 15 minutes on a medium flame, till they become soft and mushy.
  • While this is cooking, grind together coconut, yogurt, a pinch of mustard seeds and the cumin seeds to  a smooth paste.
  • Once the pineapple slices are cooked, let them cool down and grind them completely to a smooth paste.
  • In a pan, combine the coconut and pineapple pastes and cook on a low flame for about 5 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil, else it may curdle.
  • In a frying pan, heat oil and fry the curry leaves and dry red chillies. Pour this over the pachadi.
Tada, yummy pineapple pachadi is ready! You could also use fresh pineapple. Since I had a tin at home, I thought I'd try it with that. 

This was how the final result looked...


There you are, doesent that look good? This is typically a sadya item, but since it's so easy to make, am sure you can adapt it for normal lunches too. So, chk out the recipe and let me know your thoughts. Till next time, take care and God bless!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Kerala style Potato Curry!

I'm feeling a little guilty...only because I posted a non vegetarian recipe earlier. I felt that I was being a bit inconsiderate to my veggie pals..he he! This recipe suddenly took me back to my college days for some reason, only coz I thought of one of my dear friends, Namitha. She's a pure vegetarian. The other day, she mailed me saying that she wanted to jump on a plane and come and see me, just to talk to me. That really teared me up. College days, no one can ever take that from you, I guess...So this one's for you Nami.. I hope you like it.

INGREDIENTS

  • Potatoes- 2 medium sized
  • Onion - 1 medium sized
  • Ginger Garlic paste - 1 teaspoon (If using fresh ginger and garlic, 2 garlic pods crushed and a small piece of ginger crushed)
  • Green chilies - 4-5 slit through the middle
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder - 1 tablespoon
  • Thick coconut milk - 1/2 cup
  • Water - 2 cups
  • Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • Oil - 1 tablespoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Curry leaves - garnish
METHOD
  • Boil potatoes with their skins for 20 minutes on a low flame. Once boiled, allow them to cool and peel of their skin. Cut them into cubes.
  • Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds.
  • To this, add the ginger garlic paste and green chilies.
  • Now add onions and salt and wait for the onions to turn slightly brown.
  • Add the turmeric and coriander powders. Fry for 30 seconds.
  • Add the potatoes to this along with the water. Wait for it to boil properly and the gravy to thicken. This could take almost 10 minutes.
  • Finally add the coconut milk and wait for it to boil for another 2 minutes.
  • Check salt levels. Switch off the flame and garnish with curry leaves.
Hot and creamy potato curry is ready. A couple of pics for your viewing pleasure.



Doesn't this curry remind you of sunshine? For some reason, I just feel so nice looking at it..he he! Looks like I'm completely losing it...so before I drive you even more crazy, am signing off! Take care darlins!


I am back...with Chicken Biryani!!!

Helloooooooooooooooo my darlings!!! I have to start of by apologizing ..for not being in touch for so long. I truly am sorry. If you remember, I was in Canada for a bit, on a project. As of August though, my job finished and I was permanently back to Dubai to be with A!! In the excitement of things, I have to be honest, I did become a teeny tiny bit lazy, but i promise, I never did forget you guys. I really mean that! This chicken biryani is proof of that. I made this in August, for my father in law's birthday, and saved up the pics for you guys. See, so sweet of me right..:P. Yeah okay, that was a bit too much even for me. Enough of me already, how have you been? I have to thank you for being so supportive and still checking out my blog and even becoming members, despite me being so inactive. So, I have decided to make it up to you by posting a scrumptious chicken biryani recipe! Biryani can actually be made in several ways. There's no hard and fast rule to make a biryani. Some people cook the chicken and rice together, while others, like myself cook it separately. Likewise, some people marinate the chicken with all the ingredients listed below under "For Marination" and include curd as well, but I don't. Irrespective, made in the right proportions and with an ample amount of love, any dish turns out to be scrumptious! This biryani is very special, coz it's my mom's very own recipe. The first time I ever made this was for my sister in law, brother in law and mother in law..and they absolutely loved it. Enough with the melodrama already, let's get this show on the road!!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 kilos chicken
For Marination
  • Coriander powder- 3 tablespoons
  • Chilly powder- 2 tablespoons
  • Turmeric powder- 1 teaspoon
  • Salt- To taste
  • Lemon juice - 1 lemon
For Gravy
  • Onions - 4
  • Garlic - 1 whole piece
  • Ginger - 1 whole piece
  • Green chilies - 7
  • Curd - 1/2 litre
  • Tomatoes - 1 big or 2 small
  • Coriander leaves - A handful
  • Mint leaves (Pudina leaves) - A handful
  • Oil - 4-5 tablespoons
For Rice
  • Basmati Rice - 3 cups (1 cup=240 ml)
  • Boiling water - 2 cups
  • Butter - 1 tablespoon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Cloves - 2
  • Cinnamon- 1 small piece
  • Cardamom - 2 
  • Salt - To taste
METHOD
  • First, marinate the chicken with ingredients under "For Marination" section. Ideally, it would be nice to marinate it overnight. However, if you don't have time, marinate it for at least 30 minutes. Also, using your blender, blend yogurt along with coriander and mint leaves and set aside. 
  • Start preparing the gravy. For this, pour oil into a non stick vessel and wait for it to heat.
  •  Once oil is hot, add the ginger, garlic and green chilies and saute till they turn slightly brown. 
  • Now add the onions and a little salt, so as to cook the onions faster. Wait for the onions to turn golden brown.
  • Now add the tomatoes and mix together till it turns into a fine paste. 
  • Finally add the chicken and the curd mixture, mix thoroughly and keep closed for 15 minutes on a medium flame.
  • During this time, was the basmati rice at least 3 times, pour water so that it is just above the rice, and set this aside. You can start preparing the rice once the gravy is ready.
  • Take the pan in which you will prepare the rice. Into this, pour 2 cups of boiling water, add the cloves, cinnamon, cardamon, lemon juice and butter and wait for it to boil thoroughly. 
  • After 20-25 minutes, check the chicken gravy. It should be ready. Check salt levels, switch of the flame and set aside.
  • Time to prepare the rice. Once the water starts boiling, add the washed rice to this and stir it once. Keep stirring every couple of minutes. Basmati rice is tricky, because if overcooked, it becomes really sticky. The rice needs to be only half cooked, so once you pick a grain of rice and squeeze it, one half will remain solid while the other half gets mashed. It should take approximately 5-7 minutes to cook the rice. 
  • Once the rice is semi cooked, switch off the flame and drain the rice to remove all water. 
  • Now, we need to combine the rice and chicken so as to make the biryani. For this, take a non stick sauce pan, and butter the bottom.
  • Pour the gravy at the bottom of the dish, and layer the rice above. Put a few chicken pieces on the rice and put more rice on top, until you finally end up with rice on the very top. 
  • Keep this pan on the lowest flame on your stove and cook for approx 30 minutes, so that the semi cooked rice gets completely cooked.
  • As a garnish, set aside a few coriander and mint leaves and sprinkle on top once the flame is switched off.
Tada, chicken biryani is ready! Serve with a delicious cucumber raita, papad and pickle. Don't you want to see the final results?

Scrumptious Biryani!
Closeup of the biryani!

So, what do you guys think? Promise me that you will try this out and let me know, okay? So, till next time, adios amigos, take care and God bless!


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My first award..woohoo!!!

Hello fellow bloggers! I have to apologize because I have been very lazy and have not posted any recipes in a while. Well, the good news is that I will be on vacation from day after, so I will have more time to experiment and post new recipes!! Many thanks to Punitha from South India Food Recipes (http://www.southindiafoodrecipes.blogspot.in/) for giving me my first award..it really means a lot to me! So here I am, sharing this award with all my 14 other blogger members!! Grab your award and pass it along! God bless!!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mutton Curry ~ Kerala Style!

Yipee, my first mutton curry recipe!! I bought some mutton the day before and was dying to make it, coz it has been so long since I had some nice mutton curry. It's at these times that I truly miss mom :(...so i tried to recreate her magic in the kitchen. When she makes mutton curry, she doesent use coconut milk, but here I added some just to make the curry even more richer than it already is. The result was truly scrumptious, no where near mom's though. So, here we are...hope u guys like this!

INGREDIENTS

  • 500 gms mutton, finely cubed
  • 2 onions- medium, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 inch piece ginger, chopped roughly
  • 3 green chillies, slit through the middle
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
  • 2 teaspoons red chilly powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • Turmeric powder- A pinch
  • Garam masala (All spice powder)- 1 teaspoon
  • 2 tomatoes -cut into small cubes
  • 300 ml coconut milk (4 teaspoons coconut milk powder with a quarter cup hot water)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil- 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • Curry leaves- Garnish
METHOD
  • Heat oil in a pan. Once it is sufficiently hot, add the garlic, ginger and chillies and fry for a minute till they give out a nice aroma.
  • Add onions and saute till they turn slightly transparent and the raw smell goes. Add a little salt to cook them faster.
  • Mix the turmeric, chilly and coriander powders with 2 tablespoons water and add this to the pan. Fry for a minute till the raw smell goes. Reduce the flame slightly at this stage.
  • Add the garam masala powder and fry for another minute.
  • Now, add the tomatoes and mix till the tomatoes get properly mashed.
  • Add the mutton pieces and cover for about 10 minutes on a low flame till the mutton pieces become slightly brown.
  • Now, add the coconut milk and increase the flame till it boils properly. Then reduce the flame and let it simmer for another 40 minutes or till the mutton gets cooked.
  • Garnish with curry leaves.
Tada, mutton curry is ready. Most people cook using a pressure cooker, but I prefer cooking in the pot, as I feel it tastes better. Alright, picture time..


For the more health conscious people, you can avoid adding the coconut milk and just cook it in water instead. That tastes great too. So anyways, do try this out and let me know your thoughts. This tastes great with chapathys, naan, bread and even rice. Coupled with some cucumber and curd salad, purrrfect!! God bless!

Sending this over to

Dish Name Starts with M

Image courtesy: Google Images


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Traditional Kerala chicken curry [Trissur style]!

Off late, I have been afflicted with a disease..it's called home sickness..:(. Symptoms are laziness, boredom, mood swings, sleepless nights, and the tendency to get a bear hug. I know, I know, I just came back from  vacation, but hey, I'm only human, right? I have feelings too. I so badly wanna see A. In this day and age, thanks to technology and a certain Mr. Steve Jobs, we have been able to see each other and talk regularly. Then comes the issue of the time difference. By the time I get home, he's fast asleep, miles away in Dubai. Oh well, enough already. I decided to buck up and do a bit of cooking to cheer myself up. Browsing through the net, I came across http://www.yummyoyummy.com/, run by Maya and Akhila, and thought that the curry looked pretty interesting. So, I decided to give it a try and am sure glad I did! So Maya and Akhila, this one's for you guys!

INGREDIENTS
  • Chicken - 900 gms (almost 1 kilo)
  • Onions- 2 medium, thinly sliced
  • Ginger garlic paste- 1 teaspoon
  • Green chillies- 3 slit through the middle
  • Turmeric powder- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Red Chilly powder- 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder- 1 teaspoon
  • Black pepper powder- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Garam masala powder (All spice powder) - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Tomatoes - 1 medium or 2 small, chopped in cubes
  • 1/2 cup thick coconut milk
  • Shallots for garnish
  • Salt- As required
  • Curry leaves- garnish
  • Oil - 1 1/2 tablespoons

METHOD
  • Marinate the chicken pieces with 1/2 teaspoon red chilly powder, pinch of turmeric powder and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder. Keep this aside for at least 1/2 an hour.
  • Heat oil in a sauce pan. Once the oil is sufficiently hot, add the finely sliced onions and saute till they turn golden. Add a little salt at this stage.
  • Add the green chilies and ginger garlic paste and saute till you get a nice aroma. 
  • Now add the remaining turmeric and chilly powders followed by the coriander powder and fry for a minute.
  • Now add the tomatoes and saute till they get mashed completely. If you want, you can add 2 tablespoons of water at this stage. Chicken releases water when it gets cooked. Check salt levels at this stage.
  • Add the chicken pieces, cover and cook on a low to medium flame for about 30 minutes or till the chicken is done.
  • Once the chicken is done, add the thick coconut milk and lower the flame. After one boil, switch off the flame.
  • In a  separate frying pan, heat oil, and fry chopped shallots(4-5) and curry leaves till the shallots turn brown.
  • Pour this over the gravy and close the pan immediately.
Superb chicken curry is ready. Here are the pics...




I tried to rotate the pics, but for some reason, it did not work :(. They're taken straight from the pan, for a more authentic feel. So, what do you think? Check it out n let me know, k?

Sending this over to "The Master Chef Contest" hosted by Rekha. Wish me luck! (http://youtoocancookindianfood.blogspot.ca/2012/05/my-first-event-master-chef-contest-win.html)





God bless!


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Vengaya Kara Kuzhambu!

The recipe that I am going to post today makes me a little nostalgic..takes me back to my college years in fact. So, if you feel that I am being a bit too sentimental, please do forgive. Life has a funny way of teaching us things. When we are in school, we want to break free from rules and enjoy in college. In college, we desperately want to get a job and earn fast cash. When we have a job and realize the pressures involved in getting a promotion, we just want to start all over again. At least, that's the case for me.

I had 3 best friends in college..Renuka, Bhuvana and Namitha. We all studied together in Chennai. This particular recipe takes me to the college canteen where we used to sit and laugh and share those good old days. Everyone's married and settled now but am sure that the good old memories will never be forgotten. This recipe is a dedication to my 3 friends and also Nags, from whose blog, Edible Garden, this recipe was borrowed. The original recipe is Vengaya Kara Kuzhambu (with Coconut Milk) Recipe, but my version is below, without the sambar powder. Enjoi!


INGREDIENTS

  • 15 shallots, peeled and cleaned. Do not chop them.
  • 1 tomato, finely cubed
  • Juice from one lemon sized ball of tamarind (Soak tamarind in 1/4 cup of water for 10 minutes)
  • 2 teaspoons red chilly powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (all spice) powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
METHOD
  • Heat oil and splutter fenugreek seeds.
  • Once fenugreek seeds turn brown, add the whole shallots and chopped tomato and saute for a few minutes till the raw smell disappears.
  • Add the tamarind paste, all the spice powders and salt.
  • After one boil, simmer the gravy for about 12 minutes till the shallots have become soft.
  • Now add the coconut milk and wait for it to boil once before switching off the flame.
As simple as that! You can have this with just about anything, but rice is the best combination. Here are the pics..

On the stove!
A portion of my dinner!
As you can see, the gravy is extremely light coloured because of the coconut milk. You can increase the quantity of spices if you wish, but I feel this was perfect. Till next time, take care and God bless!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Boatman's Fish Curry!

Hello my dear friends!!! I am so glad to be blogging again..well, you guessed it..am back from vacation! Time just flew by..and I'll have to wait another 7 weeks before seeing A again. So, in the mean time, I'll just have to continue being occupied with my blog, and talking to all you lovely people out there!

It's time for my all time fave food again, fish! And this time, I prepared it in the way they make it on houseboats. The recipe is courtesy Amrita TV from one of my favorite programs, Taste of Kerala! I have to warn you though, this is an extremely spicy fish curry, so it's best you have it with some rice and moru kachiyathu. The best way to prepare this would be in an earthern pot or as we mallus call it, a mann chatti. I had to make do with the normal saucepan, but the taste was incredible. You can find the recipe of moru in my blog. I decided to experiment with a new fish this time, haddock. This is an extremely tender and incredibly tasty fish and i was glad I took a chance, it was totally worth it! So, enough blabbing, onwards with the recipe..

INGREDIENTS

  • 600 gms haddock fillets (you can use king fish, black pomfret, salmon, sardines)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 12 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, finely sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons red chilly powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 5-6 pieces kudampuli (camboge or fish tamarind)- In case you don't have this, you can use vaalan puli or the normal tamarind. You have to soak it for at least 15 minutes in warm water and squeeze out the pulp. If using this, you will require at least 4 tablespoons of the pulp.
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt to taste
  • Coconut oil, for cooking
  • Curry leaves, garnish
METHOD
  • In an earthern pot or saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and add fenugreek seeds. Ensure the seeds do not get burnt, else it gives the curry a bitter taste.
  • Once the seeds have turned slightly brown, add the ginger and garlic. Saute for 30 seconds till the raw smell goes.
  • Add the chopped shallots and saute till the raw smell goes. Add a little salt at this stage.
  • Make a paste of the chilly and turmeric powders and add this to the pan. Pour in some hot water to the bowl containing the paste, and add this, so as not to waste any of the paste. Saute this and reduce the flame while doing so to ensure that the powders don't get burnt. Wait till the oil starts appearing on top. 
  • Add the camboge pieces or tamarind pulp at this stage along with some salt. 
  • At this stage, if you feel the gravy is not enough, you can add 1 cup of water. You can add more water depending on the amount of gravy you require. I added only 1.
  • Once the gravy starts boiling, check salt levels.
  • Add the fish pieces gently, and rotate the pan. Avoid using the spoon so as to not break the fish pieces.
  • After it boils initially, reduce the flame to low and cook uncovered for about 10-12 minutes. Ensure that you do not cover the dish as the taste reduces.
  • The gravy will begin to thicken after 10 minutes, and the fish would have sufficiently cooked.
  • Switch off the flame and garnish with curry leaves and a tablespoon of oil.
Tada, scrumptious fish curry is ready! Notice that I asked to cook the curry uncovered. That's the beauty of this dish, and it lasts longer too, even if you don't refrigerate it. What's that? Pics, you say? Your wish is my command :)


And one with my rice..

So, what do you think? You can reduce the spiciness if you want by adding just 2 tablespoons of red chilly powder. Then again, what's life without a little spice? :) Do try this out and let me know what you think, k? So till next time, adios amigos, take care and God bless!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Beans Beetrot stir fry!

Hello everybody!!! I am finally back after a long break...well actually, I'm still on vacation, woohoo!! The long disappearance was just coz I reached Dubai on Thursday and then in the excitment of seeing A, I temporarily forgot about u guys..sorry!! But nevertheless, I'm here finally with yet anther tasty treat. So, did u miss me? I hope u did..:P. This particular dish is one of A's favorites and something I sort of came up with on my own. The reason I say "sort of" is because I saw the original recipe on another website and then adapted it to the ingredients I had at home. The result is a simple, tasty and healthy dish that you can have with rice or chapathys. So, on to the recipe...

INGREDIENTS
  • 1/2 kilo beans, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 medium sized beetroot, chopped finely
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 medium sized onion, finely sliced
  • 1/4" piece ginger, ground coarsely
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons red chilly powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coconut, grated
  • Salt to taste
  • Curry leaves, garnish
METHOD
  • Boil beans in water for about 15 minutes with turmeric powder and salt. After this, let them cool under running water.
  • While the beans cool, let the beetroot boil for 10 minutes till soft and the red colour almost goes.
  • In a saucepan, heat a tablespoon and a half of oil and splutter mustard seeds.
  • Add the ginger, curry leaves, green chillies and onions and saute till the raw smell goes. Add a little salt to cook the onions faster.
  • Add the turmeric, coriander and chilly powder and sautee for a minute. Reduce the flame at this stage.
  • Add beans at this stage, mix once and then close on a low flame for 5 minutes.
  • Now add the beetroot, mix and close for another 5 minutes.
  • Check salt levels at this stage.
  • Add the coconut at this stage and close for another 5-7 minutes on a very low flame.
  • Garnish with curry leaves.
Tada, beans beetroot stir fry is ready! Now, wasn't that simple? Even those who don't like veggies will surely love this one. Time for some pics....


So, what do u think? Not bad, right..try it out and let me know how it turns out. Till next time, God bless!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

"Almost" Oil Free Fish Curry!

Ok...I know, I know..the post title looks weird, but I promise you, I have a really good reason for that. This particular fish curry was born in "Malabar", a district in Kerala, specifically in a place called "Ponnani". Th reason I call this almost oil free is because, the making involves absolutely no oil. However, the final tempering process does involve a bit of oil as you will see in the Method below. Whatever the case, it's a really simple curry to make, and tastes awesome too, especially the next day, since it contains tamarind. However, I would recommend not keeping it for more than 2 days since it does contain coconut milk. Then again, I don't think the curry will last 2 days..he he! I got this recipe from "Mazhavil manorama" and the aunty who prepared it was Sushama aunty. So aunty, if at all you are reading this, this one's for you!

INGREDIENTS 
  • 1 kilo fish- I used Salmon, but you can also use Black Pomfret, Kingfish, Trout or any other fleshy fish
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, chopped finely
  • 5 garlic pods, chopped finely
  • 12 shallots, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons red chilly powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Tamarind, the size of a small lemon, soaked in 1/2 a cup of warm water (Valan puli)
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (perinjeerakam)- optional
  • Few curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
Tempering
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Few curry leaves
  • 5-6 shallots chopped finely
METHOD
  • Make a paste of the chilly, coriander and turmeric powders and set aside.
  • Before placing the saucepan on the stove, add the ginger, garlic, the curry paste, few curry leaves, the tamarind pulp, the fish fillets and the salt to taste.
  • Pour a little water in the bowl containing the curry paste and add this to the pan so as not to waste any of the paste.
  • Place this on the stove, and wait for it to boil properly, before reducing the flame and cooking it for 10-12 minutes on a low flame.
  • Grind the shallots with a few curry leaves coarsely using a mortar and pestle or a grinder. It need not be a fine paste.
  • Mix the above mixture with the coconut milk and add to the curry. Once coconut milk, the curry should not boil, it should just become warm.
  • Check for salt levels.
  • Meanwhile, in a frying pan, add the ingredients under "Tempering" and fry till shallots turn brown.
  • Add this to the curry as a garnish. You can also mix this in slightly as it gives more flavour to the curry.
Tada, fish curry is ready! So now do you know why I said it's almost oil free? I had this with rice and pickle as you can see below. You can also have this with chappathys, appam or bread. Whatever, it tastes delicious!

So, what do you think? Try it out and let me know, okay? God bless!


Monday, May 14, 2012

French Toast!

I woke up on Sunday morning, my stomach grumbling and crying out for food. And I went down memory lane to the time when mom used to make french toast for us as kids...she still does actually whenever we go home! Of course, nothing can beat mom's taste, but I was desperately craving for french toast, so much so that I ran down to the grocer's like as if my behind was on fire, got a pack of bread and got cooking. Seriously, even the girl in there was wondering whether to call an ambulance for me..he he! Anyways, french toast is really basic and am sure all of you know how to do it, but this is for all those newbies in the world of cooking. I remember the first time I made this after we got married and I burnt it, but my poor A still happily ate it. So A darling, this one's for you!

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 slices of bread
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 4-5 tablespoons granulated sugar. If using icing sugar, 2-3 tablespoons
  • 3 tablespoons butter, to fry
  • Icing sugar for dusting (optional)
METHOD
  • Beat the eggs and add milk and sugar to this. Set this aside for 5 minutes.
  • Heat the butter in the frying pan.
  • Reduce the flame to medium-low, soak the bread in the egg milk mixture and fry for 2 minutes on each side, till both sides are golden brown.
  • Repeat the same step for the other 2 pieces.
  • Garnish with a bit of icing sugar (optional).
  • Serve hot.
The pics, for your viewing pleasure!



What do u think of the pics? Looks yummy, no?? If any of you make french toast, do take pics and send them across too! Take care u guys!


Potato - Carrot Stir fry [Potato Carrot Mezhukkaparatti]!

It's time for my "once in a blue moon" vegetarian recipe..he he! I have always been very poor with veggies, as I have mentioned in the past. A's just the opposite..always needs atleast one veggie side dish. This is yet another dish I adapted from sarah's blog, vazhayilla.com. So, I'm dedicating this dish to both Sarah and A. This is a really simple, no nonsense dish where you cannot go wrong. I have made a few minor changes, but the recipe is still the same. Here we go...

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 potatoes, chopped into cubes
  • 1 large carrot or 2 small carrots, grated finely
  • 1 medium sized onion or 2 small onions, finely sliced
  • Garlic- 3 small cloves, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, chopped finely
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilly powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (All spice powder)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Curry leaves, garnish
  • 2 tablespoons oil
METHOD
  • Heat the oil and splutter mustard seeds.
  • Add the garlic, green chillies and curry leaves and fry for a minute.
  • Add the onions and sautee till tehy turn semi transparent and the raw smell goes. Add a little salt at this stage.
  • Now add the turmeric, chilly and garam masala powders. Fry for a few seonds.
  • Add some water at this stage.
  • Now add the grated carrot and toss for a few swconds.
  • Add the potatoes and more salt.
  • Cover for about 10 minutes on a low flame.
  • Check for salt levels.
  • Garnish with curry leaves and a teaspoon of oil.
Tada, potato carrot stir fry is ready! Here are the pics.

So, what do you think? Try it out and let me know, okay?? Take care and God bless!


Fish cooked in aluminium foil [Meen pollichathu]!

Good morning everybody...Hope all my dear people out there had a great weekend and I hope u guys have an even greater week ahead! I woke up with a smile on my face today...any guesses??? Well, next week, I shall finally be seeing A after 2 whole months..woohoo!!! I cannot wait to get back to Dubai and see A and everyone else, but most importantly, A of course! Enough of that already..the title of my post must look funny to some of you, if not all, but once u make this, I'm sure u'll be drooling as much as I did. This is a very traditional Kerala dish and is cooked with very minimum oil, so it's healthy too! The recipe is adapted from Sarah Naveen's www.vazhayilla.com site. So Sarah dear, because you were the first ever member of this blog, this one's for you! So, don't you want to know how to make this? Read on...

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 medium sized fish fillets, cleaned thoroughly with salt, vinegar and lime juice. I used salmon fillets, but you can also use king fish, tilapia, pomfret and even sardines.
  • 10 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/4 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies, slit through the middle
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 teaspoon
  • Chilly powder- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder- 1 teaspoon
  • Tomato- 1 medium sized, chopped into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup thick coconut milk
  • Salt to taste
  • Loads of curry leaves
For Marination
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilly powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
METHOD
  • Marinate the fillets with the ingredients under "For Marination" and set aside for at least 15-20 minutes. Lightly fry this in a teaspoon of oil and set aside.
  • In a separate pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and saute the garlic cloves, green chillies and ginger.
  • After a minute, add the shallots and saute till there's a nice aroma, and the onions turn semi transparent. Add a little salt at this stage.
  • Now add, the turmeric, coriander and chilly powders and cook till the raw smell goes and oil starts to separate from the powders.
  • Add the tomato at this stage. Saute till everything gets mashed together.
  • Finally, add the coconut milk and lower the flame. Let it stand for 2 minutes and then switch off the flame. Check salt levels.
  • Now place the fish fillet at the centre of the aluminium foil and coat both sides of the fish with the masala mixture. Each fillet should have it's own aluminium foil. Cover it completely to ensure that no gravy can slip out.
  • Now fry this in the frying pan without any oil for at least 20 minutes on each side on an extremely low flame.
Meen pollichathu is ready! I still had a bit of gravy left on my fish, but I enjoyed it coz the gravy was amazing, trust me. You can also use a banana leaf which would have even more flavour. Now for the photos..

And another one..

As you can see, there was a little gravy still, but it still tasted very good. So, do try this out n let me know how it turns out! God bless!


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