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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, April 30, 2012

Tiramisu!

Good morning all..hope u guys had a great relaxing weekend. I was pretty homesick this weekend...missed A like crazy :(. I cant wait to see him...but I guess what they say is true...distance does make the heart grow fonder. When I'm sad or a little lonely, i resort to 2 things..ice cream and baking! I looooove ice cream..and it's known to solve many major problems..at least in my case lolz! So i sat down last evening with a big bowl of mango and butterscotch ice cream (trust me, it's a deadly combo!) and then decided to make a nice tiramisu.
My cousin had requested this recipe from me a while ago, so did one of my colleagues. So Sheetal and Satakshee, this one's for you guys. And of course, A, my darling, this one's for u too!

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 packet (400 gms) Ladysfingers biscuits- I used a brand called Emma's. (Refer notes below)
  • 1 1/2 cups black coffee (6 tablespoons of nescafe or any instant coffee in 1 1/2 cups boiling water- Refer notes)
  • 250 gms Philadelphia cream cheese- room temperature (Refer notes)
  • 3 eggs
  • 7 tablespoons sugar
  • Cocoa powder- dusting
METHOD
  • Make the black coffee and set aside. The coffee needs to be at room temperature by the time you start making the tiramisu.
  • Separate the whites from the yolks. Ensure that the whites go into a bowl with absolutely no water in it, else it gets difficult to whip them.
  • Beat the yolks with sugar until the mixture becomes thick, creamy and a golden yellow.
  • Beat the whites until semi thick and fluffy.
  • Now fold in the whites with the yolks mixture and blend until smooth and creamy with no lumps.
  • Add the cream cheese bit by bit and blend in completely.
  • Check sugar levels as the sweetness can reduce after adding the cheese.
  • Take a rectangular baking dish and layer the ladysfingers at the bottom.
  • Using a spoon, pour some coffee over each biscuit so as to soften them.
  • Using a strainer, dust some cocoa powder over this.
  • Over this, layer another set of ladysfingers and repeat the same step as above.
  • If there are any empty spaces in between in the baking dish, cover the spots with the cream cheese mixture.
  • I managed to have 3 layers of ladysfingers.  This tiramisu is good enough for atleast 6 people. Trust me , there wont be any leftovers!
Notes
  • Ladysfingers are nothing but Italian biscuits which you would find in any big supermarket. i used a brand called Emma's. Please note that you cannot make a tiramisu without ladysfingers.
  • People have this notion that you need to have espresso to make an authentic tiramisu. Nothing like that...i used normal coffee and it tasted awesome!
  • Mascarpone cheese is also considered to be mandatory for a tiramisu. Here again, I used normal cream cheese. I recommend using Philadelphia and no other brand as this is the creamiest cheese in the world, atleast according to me!
  • Always make the coffee first before you do anything else, as the coffee needs to be at room temperature. If not, the biscuits will break easily.
  • Brandy/Rum are normally used in a tiramisu. This is purely optional. i do not drink alcohol, neither does my father in law, so I did'nt add any alcohol to this. If you do want to add some alcohol, you can add upto 3 tablespoons.
Time for the pics...I've taken a few, so do let me know what you think..
And a slice for my colleague and friend, Satakshee..

So there we are..and you know what..my spirits were lifted once i made this. Of course, nothing better than seeing my love though...which i will be doing in another 3 weeks..Yippee!!! So till next time, adios amigos and God bless!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Prawns roast!

Yaaay...my first prawns recipe!!! Ok, for those of you who are not used to my exclamation marks and these kinds of remarks from me, I get excited very easily..he he! Hence the unbridled enthusiasm! This is my first prawns recipe, and I have adapted it from one of my favorite blogs, Edible Garden. So Nags, this one's for you! By the way, this was in turn adapted from Varsha, who runs the Will o the Wisp. So Nags and Varsha, this one's for you guys! BTW, in case you want to have the authentic recipe from where I originally adapted it, you can find it right here Kerala-Style Chemmeen / Prawn Roast - A Spicy Treat.

INGREDIENTS
  • 500 gms prawns- cleaned, deshelled and deveined
  • 2 garlic pods, finely chopped
  • 1/4"piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 10 shallots (small onions-kunjulli)- finely chopped or 2 medium sized onions, finely sliced
  • 1 medium sized tomato finely chopped or 2 small tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilly powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (All spice powder)
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel/cumin seeds (perinjeerakam)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1-2 tablespoons oil (coconut oil is the best, however, I used Sunflower oil)
  • Curry leaves- loads!
  • Salt to taste
METHOD
  • Clean the prawns thoroughly using vinegar, lemon juice and salt. De shell and devein them.
  • In a sauce pan, heat the oil and add cloves.
  • After about 10 seconds, add the mustard seeds, fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds.
  • Once they pop, add the ginger, garlic and green chillies. Saute till they give out a nice aroma.
  • Now add the onions and some salt. Fry till the onions turn light brown.
  • Mix the turmeric, chilly,coriander and pepper powders with the vinegar and water and add this paste to the pan. Lower the flame at this stage and saute till the oil separates from the mixture.
  • Add the tomatoes and saute till mashed completely.
  • Add a little salt at this stage.
  • Finally add the prawns. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on a low flame. Don't overcook the prawns otherwise they will become hard.
  • After 10 minutes, check salt levels, and garnish with curry leaves and a tablespoon of oil.
Tada, scrumptious prawn roast is ready! Here's the final picture.
So, what do you think? Do let me know, okay? So, have a great weekend guys. Take care and God bless!



Vegetable Stew [Kerala Style] !

Boy oh boy!! Canada is truly a funny place, I tell you. I don't know whether I told you this but I am currently in Canada at a place called Halifax. Heard of it? It houses the world's second largest harbour, and when the Titanic sank, many of the people were buried here. Hmmm..all that is good..but this weather is not. It's supposed to be spring here, but i see no signs of flowers blooming or birds chirping...:(. The sad part of it all is that I come from Dubai, where it's hot most of the year and where I'm used to the scorching heat. But anyways, let's look at the positive side of things. At least I have all my senses in tact to feel the wind through my hair or feel the snow at my fingertips. I guess I'm in the mood to contemplate today.. he he! But before you guys run away, here's my latest recipe. It has been a while since I posted anything vegetarian, and my cousin brother had very kindly requested for a veg recipe. So I decided to give him a medley of veggies in the form of a nice mild flavoured stew. This recipe has been adapted from Rak's kitchen, www.rakskitchen.net, but with a few changes of my own.  Raks, thank you! And Rajesh cheta, this one's for you.

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 potatoes, chopped into cubes
  • 2 carrots, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 kilo beans - chopped into quarter size pieces
  • 1 onion- finely sliced
  • 1/4" piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies- slit through the centre
  • 1 cup thin coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup thick coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon oil (refined oil or coconut oil. I used refined Sunflower oil)
  • Salt to taste
METHOD
  • In a saucepan, heat a tablespoon of oil and add ginger and green chilies.
  • After a few seconds, add the finely sliced onion and saute till the raw smell goes and it becomes semi transparent. You can add a little salt at this stage to speed up the onion cooking process.
  • Add the green beans, potatoes and carrots along with the thin coconut milk and some more salt.
  • Cover and cook on a medium flam for about 10 minutes.
  • Now add the thick coconut milk and lower the flame. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Check salt levels.
  • Switch off the flame and garnish with curry leaves and a teaspoon of oil.
Tada, vegetable ishtu (that's how we call it in Kerala) is ready!!! This curry is relatively simple, right? Anyone can do it. And the best part is, you will love it even if you are not a veggie lover. I can't stand veggies, but i can take this stew any day. You could have this with bread, chapathys or appams. So, don't you want to see the final product?
And another one..

So, what do you think? Do let me know your thoughts. The perfect recipe for a rainy day, according to me...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chicken in roasted gravy!

Good morning all...hope u guys are doing good today! This is a recipe I have been wanting to do for quite some time actually..and I finally got the opportunity yesterday. You would probably have heard of Maria's Menu? Who has'nt, eh? if you haven't, you should check her out at http://www.mariasmenu.com/. Trust me, you wont regret it. But at the same time, please don't ignore this poor soul :P. Anyways, this recipe is from her blog. So, Maria, this one's for you girl! Here we go...

INGREDIENTS
  • Chicken- 1/2 kilo (500 gms)
  • Onions- 2 1/2 medium sized- finely chopped
  • 6-8 shallots (kunjulli)- finely chopped
  • Garlic- 3 cloves, chopped
  • Ginger- 1/4" piece, chopped
  • Tomato- 1 medium or 2 small- chopped
  • Ginger-Garlic paste- 1 teaspoon
  • Red chilly powder- 2 1/2 teaspoons
  • Coriander powder- 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon
  • Black pepper powder- 2 teaspoons
  • Garam masala powder- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Fennel powder (perinjeerakam powder)- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Water- 1/2 cup
  • Oil -2 tablespoons
  • Salt to taste
METHOD
  • Marinate the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon red chilly powder, 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder, 1 teaspoon black pepper powder, 1/2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste and salt. Keep this aside for 15-20 minutes.
  • In the sauce pan, heat oil and add shallots.
  • Wait till they turn slightly brown, before adding the onions.
  • Saute till the onions turn dark brown. Add a little salt at this stage. Ensure they don't get burnt. This should take upto 7 minutes on a medium flame.
  • Add the ginger and garlic and saute for another 2 minutes till you get a nice aroma.
  • Now add all your masala powders and reduce the flame so as to not burn the powders.
  • Add tomatoes and saute till they get nicely mashed.
  • Now add the water and salt.
  • Add chicken pieces and cook for 5 minutes on a medium flame.
  • Now reduce the flame and cover the chicken and cook for another 15-20 minutes till the chicken is done.
  • Garnish with curry leaves.


So, what do you think? Do try it out and leave behind your thoughts.

BTW, neetustastytreats is now on google plus!! Woohoo!! You can leave your feedback there too! So till next time, take care and God bless! Am sending this over to the Master Chef Eventhttp://youtoocancookindianfood.blogspot.ca/2012/05/my-first-event-master-chef-contest-win.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:%20YouTooCanCook%20(You%20Too%20Can%20Cook), hosted by Divya Pramil, who has a lovely blog, http://youtoocancookindianfood.blogspot.ca/. Fingers crossed!



Monday, April 23, 2012

Tilapia Fish Curry!

Hello All,

Hope u guys had a great week and an even greater weekend! I apologise for the delay in posting...I've been working crazy hours off late...but thank you for visiting my blog nevertheless in spite of my relatively long absence. :).

Tilapia is a fish I was introduced to after marriage. It's a really nice white fish, with practically no bones, so it's a relatively easy fish to dissect and eat ;). My mom in law cooks this with vinegar as the "sour factor", but here i used tomatoes instead and a bit of coconut milk at the end. The result was a truly succulent curry (hey, I am allowed to blow my own horn once in a while right?!?). I apologise if the photos are not very good, took them with my ipad as a bit of experimentation instead of my usual Sony camera. This is a very simple curry, so without any further delays, let's see how truly simple and scrumptious this dish is...This recipe is courtesy Vineetha Vijayan and Beena Premachandran, who had cooked for a competition for the Kerala Club, California. Hats off to u guys and thanks once again for the recipe!

INGREDIENTS
  • Tilapia fillets, cut into small pieces- 1/2 kilo (500 gms)
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4" piece of ginger- finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 medium sized onions, finely sliced
  • 1 medium sized tomato, or 2 small tomatoes
  • 4-5 green chillies, finely chopped
  • Chilly powder- 3 tablespoons
  • Coriander powder- 3 tablespoons
  • Turmeric Powder- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Fenugreek seeds- 1/4 teaspoon (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup of thick coconut milk. I(31/2 tablespoons coconut milk powder + 1/2 cup hot water)
  • Salt to taste
  • Curry leaves to garnish
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil or any refined oil
METHOD
  • Wash the tilapia fillets in a mixture of salt and vinegar.
  • Marinate the  fillets with a tablespoon of coriander powder, a tablespoon of red chilly powder and turmeric powder. Set this aside for at least 15 minutes.
  • In a frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil and lightly fry the fish. This is to avoid them from breaking while in the curry. Fry them lightly for 3 minutes on each side.
  • Separately, in a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and add the mustard seeds.
  • Once the seeds start popping, add the finely chopped ginger and saute till they emit a nice aroma.
  • Add the onions and green chillies along with a bit of salt to speed up the cooking process of the onions.
  • Now add the fenugreek seeds, coriander and chilly powders and saute. Ensure to reduce the flame so as to avoid burning the powders.
  • Now add the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the water and allow it to boil for 2-3 minutes. Add salt at this stage.
  • Now add the fish to this and cook on a low flame for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, add the coconut milk and cook closed again for another 5 minutes.
  • Switch off the flame, add curry leaves and a tablespoon of oil.
Tada, tilapia fish curry is ready! Oh of course, the photos....
You can have this curry with rice, chapatis, bread, naan...and the list is endless. In this curry, we have not used garlic and small onions. Instead we have used mustard seeds which is quite different for a fish curry. Also, the tanginess is provided by the tomatoes, instead of the usual tamarind or vinegar.

So, please do try this out. You could this with any fleshy fish, like king fish, salmon, black trout or pom fret.

So, till next time, take care and God bless!

BTW, am sending this over to Julie's site for the Kerala Kitchen event she's hosting this month! Wish me luck!! Do check out her site http://erivumpuliyumm.blogspot.ca/2012/05/event-announcement-kerala-kitchen-june.html for more details!



Monday, April 16, 2012

Egg roast!

Hello all...Hope u guys had a great weekend..Mine was relatively quiet as usual (no surprises there!). So Sunday being a lazy day and all, I decided to cook a lazy meal..and for me, any meal with egg constitutes to a lazy meal..he he! It's just for the simple reason that it takes hardly any time to cook. I have posted a recipe for egg curry with coconut milk at the bottom..and yes, I do promise to sort them out in categories, but for now, let's see how to prepare a nice,easy going egg roast!

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 eggs hard boiled
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 teaspoon
  • Red chilly powder- 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder- 2 teaspoons
  • Garam Masala powder (All Spice powder)- 1 teaspoon
  • Ginger Garlic paste- 1 teaspoon (I bought this at the store. Alternatively you can substitute with 2 cloves of garlic smashed and a small piece of ginger smashed).
  • Green chillies- 2 finely chopped
  • Onion, medium sized- 1, finely chopped
  • Curry leaves- Generous amount
  • Coriander leaves to garnish
  • 1 tablespoon refined oil
  • 4 teaspoons water (1/4 cup)
  • Salt to taste
METHOD
  • Boil eggs for about 20 minutes on a medium flame with a pinch of salt.
  • Once boiled, drain out the water and let it cool before removing the shell.
  • In a separate vessel, add the oil and wait for it to heat up.
  • Once heated, splutter the mustard seeds.
  • Add a few curry leaves, followed by the ginger garlic paste and green chilies.
  • Add finely sliced onion along with some salt to cook it faster. Wait for the onions to turn a golden brown. DO NOT burn them.
  • Once this emits a nice aroma, add the turmeric powder, red chilly powder and coriander powder. Reduce the flame when doingg this, otherwise the powders will get burnt.
  • Once they emit a nice aroma, add 2 teaspoons of water from a recently boiling kettle.
  • Add salt and let it cook for about 3 minutes.
  • Now add the deshelled eggs, which have been cut into half (totally 4 pieces).
  • Coat them gently with the masala and allow it to cook for another 3 minutes on a low flame.
  • Finally add the all spice powder. This step can be omitted if you wish.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve piping hot with bread, chapathys, naan or parathas.
A little snap for your viewing pleasure..:)

There we are...try it out and let me know what you think. i have a request for a tiramisu from my cousin, so I shall be posting that some time soon. Watch this space for more. Until then, take care and God bless!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Moru kachiyathu (buttermilk)!

Boy, I'm on a roll today!! My third recipe for the day...This one's a typical kerala dish, also called comfort food, he he. This combined with the rice and chicken fry recipe below, and my day is made! Moru kachiyathu is a typical dish that you would find almost everyday at all Keralite households. I'm sure most of you'll know how to make this, but many a times, people make this using coconut. This can be a bit tedious especially when you have to grind the coconut. If you're short on time and as lazy as I am, this one's for you. It does not use coconut, yet you manage to get the perfect moru kachiyathu. so, on to the recipe...

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 cups yogurt (not too sour and at room temperature)
  • 5 small onions (shallots) crushed
  • Small piece of ginger crushed
  • 2 green chillies, slit through the centre
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • Curry leaves, as many as you like
  • Salt to taste
METHOD
  • Heat oil in a saucepan.
  • To this add mustard seeds.
  • Once they splutter, add fenugreek seeds. Bear in mind to reduce the heat, since fenugreek gets burnt easily leaving a bitter taste.
  • Add a few curry leaves (5-6).
  • Add dried red chillies.
  • Now add the onions and ginger followed by the green chillies.
  • Once they emit a nice aroma, add the turmeric powder.
  • Now reduce the flame to a complete low and add the yogurt and salt.
  • Bear in mind that yogurt should not boil since it will curdle. Once you add the yogurt, keep stirring it quickly till steam comes through your spatula or from the sauce pan. This should take approx 5-7 minutes on a really low flame.
  • Switch off the flame, pour a tablespoon of oil over this and garnish with curry leaves.
Tasty moru kachiyathu is ready! I took snaps after transferring it to the bowl, so they're not very clear. Yeah, I know, I'm a dummy..sorry about that :(. Hope you like it though...
Another one for you....


Sorry that the pics are not clearer than this, I hope you like them though...

Once again, hope you guys have a great weekend and an even better week ahead! God bless!


Kerala special chicken fry!

Remember my very first post on this blog? That's right, my oil free chicken curry. From oil free, we are going to take a giant leap forward to a chicken fry that relies heavily on oil. So for all those health conscious people, who have even the slightest issue with oil and cholesterol and all that jazz, you can stop right here. For the rest of you who beleive in living life to the fullest, go ahead :)

In Kerala, we have "Toddy shops" or as we say in Malayalam, "kallushaap". Aaahhh...the very word makes me drool. My first experience at a toddy shop was because of my dear sister in law and brother in law. I can still remember every dish we had there. Right from the "puttu and duck curry" to the beef. But one thing we did miss there was some real authentic chicken fry. This recipe is from a popular show on a Malayalam channel titled "Asianet". The program is called "Foodpath" and hosted by one of my favorite anchors Raj Kalesh. I made a few minor changes to the recipe, just because of the non availability of the ingredients where I live, but the end result was truly scrumptious. Naveen and Amy, this one's for you guys!

INGREDIENTS
  • 500 gms chicken, cut into medium pieces
  • 1 medium sized onion, finely sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 small piece ginger crushed
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons red chilly powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Curry leaves, garnish
METHOD
  • Wash the chicken pieces thoroughly. The final wash should be with vinegar and lemon juice to give the chicken a glaze.
  • Marinate this with the lemon juice for 10 minutes to soften the pieces.
  • Next marinate it with garlic, ginger,chilly powder, pepper powder, turmeric powder and sufficient salt. Keep this aside for at least half hour to 45 minutes.
  • Take sufficient oil for deep frying. For me, this was a 1/4 cup, but some people may require more.
  • Once the oil is sufficiently hot, lower the flame to medium. Add a few curry leaves.
  • Now add chicken pieces. Each side should take approx 5-7 minutes.
  • When the chicken is almost cooked, drain out the excess oil and set aside.
  • Now, in the same oil, fry the sliced onion till golden brown. Ensure to reduce the oil. I used only about 4 tablespoons.
  • Once the onions are brown, add the chicken and cook for another 5 minutes on medium flame.
  • Drain out the excessive oil and garnish with curry leaves.
Tada, special "kallushaap" chicken fry is ready! Don't you want to see how it looks like?
I've garnished this with a few onion and curry leaves...
So, what do you think? The best way to know if your chicken's cooked sufficiently, is when it starts falling of the bone...but then again, you probably know that..:).

Do try this out and tell me how it turned out!

Mango Icecream!

Hey everybody! How is everyone doing today? Hope you guys are having a great day wherever you are. For those of you'll in the U.A.E. and the Gulf regions, here's wishing all of you a great weekend. And what better way to start of a weekend than with something sweet... :)

Frankly, I was never a big dessert fan...as in, cakes, cookies, chocolates, stuff like that...but I am a biiiiig ice cream fan! It's just the opposite at A's place. His family love all kinds of sweets, but they're not very much into ice creams, except for my sister in law. Shes the only one who gives me company there. So Amy, this one's for you!

I got this recipe from showmethecurry.com. You would have probably heard of it. Run by 2 fantastic women, Hetal and Anuja, they do a cookery show just for YouTube, and they come up with these amazing recipes. In case you missed theirs, here's the recipe.....

INGREDIENTS
  • Mango Pulp- 1 cup
  • Condensed Milk- 1 medium sized tin
  • Whipped Cream- 1 small packet, liquid
METHOD
  • In a big bowl, pour in the mango pulp.
  • To this, add the condensed milk and stir, until half blended.
  • Finally add the whipped cream.
  • Using a hand mixer (manual one, not the electric operated one), blend in all 3 ingredients till you see only a golden yellow colour.
  • Either freeze in the same bowl, or transfer to a container and freeze for a couple of hours. I had to freeze mine for 5 hours, but some refrigerators may take less time.
And voila, delicious mango ice cream is ready. You could garnish with fresh mango pieces if you like, but since I didn't have any, I avoided this step.

NOTES
  • You can buy ready made mango pulp from the store. This is what I used. The brand I used was "Kesar". If you want fresh though, chop up 2 mangoes finely and blend them with a cup of water. If using fresh mangoes, do not forget to add sufficient sugar depending on how sweet your mangoes are. The advantage of using mango pulp is that you can avoid the sugar, since sugar is already added to it.
  • You have 2 types of whipped cream, the powder version and the liquid version. I used the liquid version, which is much easier to handle as opposed to the powder type.
  • Lastly, NEVER use an electric mixer since the electric mixer makes the whipped cream go flat and the texture is completely lost.
So there we are. And yes, the final product itself...


And another one...
I understand the ice cream looks like mango juice, but that's before I froze it. It tasted so good, I had to eat it that way!

So, there we are. try this out and let me know your thoughts. BTW, am sending this across to http://sravscc.blogspot.com/2012/06/announcing-cooking-concepts-11-splash.html, Srav's Culinary Concepts for the event mentioned below. Wish me luck!




Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fish Moilee (Fried Fish in Coconut Milk)!

Hello my dearies!!!Let me start of by wishing you all a very Happy and Holy Easter! i hope you guys had a great time with your families, going to church and eating all that scrumptious food. Well, what did I do? Nothing much actually, just went to church and moped around at home :(. Oh, i did do something else too...tried to make a lamb stew...and it got burnt..he he! Well, mistakes happen right? At least, that's my excuse lolz! Easter was pretty quiet since i was alone in Canada without A...so that was sad. But I guess distance makes the heart grow fonder right? So, on that positive note, let's move on to a new recipe.

This particular recipe has to be every keralite's dream...i mean,seriously, I absolutely love this dish! The best part is, you could eat it with anything....appam,bread,chapatis,parottas, even rice (though I've not tried it with that!). It's the very first time I have ever made this dish, and after the lamb fiasco, i was so happy with the results (*pat on my back*). I tried this with salmon fillets, and the result was really good, trust me. Bear in mind, for this dish, I always recommend using the freshest fish you have. Do not use fish that's been frozen for a couple of days coz it absolutely kills the taste. So, enough with the speech already, onwards with the recipe.

INGREDIENTS
  • 500 gms salmon fillets (or any oily fish like black trout, king fish- fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids is the best)
  • 1 medium sized onion finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves finely sliced
  • 1 small piece of ginger, finely sliced
  • 4 green chillies finely chopped
  • 2 small tomatoes or 1 medium sized tomato finely chopped
  • 3 teaspoons garam masala (all spice) powder
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 cup thin coconut milk (1 1/2 tablespoons coconut milk powder + 1 cup boiling hot water)
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk (4 tablespoons coconut milk powder + 1 cup boiling hot water)
  • Curry leaves- As many as you want
  • Salt to taste
To fry fish
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • salt to taste

METHOD
  • Marinate fish with the ingredients under "to fry fish" and leave aside for 10 minutes.
  • In a saucepan, add 2 tablespoons of oil and lightly fry the fish. The fish should not be dark brown, just a very light golden brown.
  • At the same time, take a saucepan and add 2-3 tablespoons of oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, add onions and salt, and saute.
  • To this, add garlic cloves and chillies.
  • Once this emits a nice aroma, add the ginger.
  • Now, add turmeric powder, garam masala and black pepper powder.
  • Once the powders are cooked, add the tomatoes and saute. Bear in mind, the tomatoes need not be completely mashed, just soft and half mashed.
  • Now add the thin coconut milk and allow it to cook for 5-7 minutes or till the coconut milk thickens.
  • Now add the lightly fried fish and close the lid. Cook for about 7 minutes on a low to medium flame. The fish should not be too hard, else it tastes like rubber.
  • Check salt levels. Finally lower the flame completely and add the thick coconut milk.
  • Once this milk is added, the curry should not boil.
  • Switch of the flame. Add curry leaves and a tablespoon of oil.
Tada, scrumptious fish moilee is ready!

Here's a pic for you...


So there we are....do try this out and let me know what you think. Trust me, this curry is truly scrumptious, you wont have any to keep in the fridge...:P. Aleast I didn't!

Take care you guys. Watch this space tomorrow...i have some really nice recipes for you'll. Trust me, you'll love them. God bless!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Egg curry in coconut milk!

One of the advantages of living in a place where you have both your parents and in laws living is that, if you have a craving for a particular dish, you have, not one, but 2 moms to rely on :). So now you know why A calls me the laziest creature on the planet lolz! If you ask me for my mom in law's signature dish, 2 images come to mind...pork curry and egg curry in coconut milk. Egg curry is a staple dish on Friday mornings at A's place. Fridays are our weekends in the UAE. That combined with appam could keep me going all day :). I've tried to recreate her magic, but of course that could never happen. After all,a mother's taste is inimitable (is that even a word?!?). Her egg curry normally includes potatoes, but mine doesn't (hence the title of the laziest creature....). So mumma,this curry is for you....

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 Eggs, hard boiled
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 slit green chillies
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons red chilly powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder (cloves +cinnamon + cumin + cardamom + black pepper). You can also buy this at the store.
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 cup thin coconut milk
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • salt to taste
  • coriander leaves to garnish
METHOD
  • Boil 2 eggs with a pinch of salt for about 12-15 minutes.
  • Once boiled, immerse them in normal water at room temp to cool them.
  • Separately in a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil.
  • Splutter mustard seeds followed by cumin seeds (Malayalam- perinjeerakam).
  • Once they splutter, add ginger garlic paste followed by chilies.
  • Add onions and salt so as to cook the onions faster.
  • Once the onions turn translucent and the raw smell disappears, add the turmeric powder followed by chilly and coriander powder.
  • Now add the thin coconut milk and cook for about 3 minutes. Thin coconut milk is prepared by adding a tablespoon of coconut milk powder to a cup of boiling hot water. I use Maggi's coconut milk powder.
  • While this is coking, crack the shells of the eggs and slice them in half.
  • Add these halves to the simmering coconut milk and cook for another 3 minutes. At this stage, add the garam masala powder.
  • Check salt levels.
  • Finally add the thick coconut milk. To prepare this, add 4 tablespoons of coconut milk powder to a cup of boiling water.
  • After just one boil, switch of the stove.  
  • Pour a tablespoon of oil over the curry. Garnish generously with coriander leaves.
Tada, the curry is ready!

Now doesn't that look scrumptious :)

That's a closeup.
 So there we are! It's been a week since I started this blog and i must thank you for the incredible response I have been receiving so far.I must be honest..I did'nt expect this in such a short span of time. I do hope you continue to support and read my blog. Please do leave behind your comments on what you think of the dishes, and if I can make any improvements. Here's wishing you'll a very Happy Easter.God bless!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bride's pudding!

Today is Maundy Thursday, the day of "The Last Supper". So for those of my catholic friends wondering what the hell I'm doing cooking a dessert on this sad day, I only have one excuse...it's for all you dear people! :P. Jokes apart, today inded is a really sad day for the Catholic World but the good news is that, Easter is around the corner, and our risen Lord is coming to save us all!! So, that's enough of religion in this blog...time for the dessert.

I happened to glance upon this dessert for the first time in the Manorma News Channel, and instantly fell in love with it. Dont ask me why though, coz it's a very simple recipe, nothing fancy really. The final product does look like what my 1 year old nephew would do, given some crayons and a piece of paper, but hey, i never said that I had artistic skills. Am sure you'll love this though. So, without any further ado, I present to you, the Bride's pudding....

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tin condensed milk (Nestle's milkmaid)
  • 1 litre full cream milk
  • 6-7 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 packet gelatin
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water (preferably ice water)
For the chocolate sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 5 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup water from the kettle
  • 1 teaspoon butter
METHOD
  • Soak a packet of gelatin (approx 2 tablespoons) in cold water and set aside. This should take hardly a minute to set.
  • In a saucepan, heat condensed milk, milk and sugar. Set this on low flame and stir continusously. The intention is not to boil but to thicken.
  • In a seperate pan, melt the gelatin on low flame.
  • Once the milk mixture and the gelatin mixture reach almost the same temp, pour the gelatin into the milk mixture. Continue stirring. Note that the gelatin should have completely melted before doing this.
  • Continue stirring the milk mixture till it becomes semi thick. This entire process should take 20-25 minutes.
  • Transfer the hot milk mixture to the pudding dish and allow it to cool. Once it reaches room temperature, place it in the freezer for approx 25 minutes or till it sets.
  • Once it sets, prepare the sauce. for this, mix all the ingredients mentioned under "For the chcolate sauce" in a pan and stir on a low flame till completely melted.
  • You can pour this over the pudding in a design or just coat over the pudding as a seperate layer.
  • You can also add caramelized nuts on top as an option. I did not.
Tada, the pudding is ready.

Here's the pic, but promise me you wont laugh....

The pudding


All right u guys! Do try this out and let me know what you think. Trust me, you'll love it. In case, we dont see each other this week, here's wishing you all a very happy Easter in advance. May the risen lord spread His light on the whole world! God bless!

Linguine and the 2 minute sauce!

If you ask me who inspired me to cook, 2 names would spring to mind...Dr.Lakshmi Nair, also called the "pachakarani" (Food Queen) of Kerala, and Nigella Lawson, also called the "Domestic Goddess". seriously, these 2 women make cooking look like child's play. So today, I present to you one of the simplest recipes ever, and this one's courtesy Nigella Lawson.
Pasta is one dish that I could eat all year around. Seafood penne pasta with white sauce is my all time fav. The very thought is making me drool all over my keyboard...now that's not a pretty sight is it...:P. Anyway, this one does not involve penne, but another fav of mine, linguine. This is how it looks uncooked.
 


 Now, on to the recipe.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1/2 of 1 packet linguine (depending on the amount you can eat)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh cream
  • Grated mozzarella cheese
  • Parsley leaves
  • 1/2 litre boiling hot water
METHOD
  • The first step is to boil water. Once the water starts boiling, add a generous amount of salt. bear in mind not to add salt at the beginning, else the water takes extremely long to boil. the water also needs to be extremely salty to cook pasta, so be generous with the salt!
  • While the linguine is cooking away, prepare the sauce. Separate 2 yolks from their whites (Refer notes).
  • Beat the yolks until frothy and creamy. To this add grated mozzarella cheese. You can add as much as you like.
  • After mixing in the cheese, add cream. Again, adding cream is your individual choice. i love cream which is why i added half a cup. If you want your sauce to be thicker, add more.
  • Add lemon zest to this, followed by lemon juice.
  • Give everything a final swirl. Your sauce is ready!
  • Once the pasta is done, drain out the excess water, and add 2 tablespoons of butter.
  • Add 1/2 the juice to this to mix it in.
  • Once the pasta is ready to be served, pour the remaining juice on top.
  • Add mozzarella cheese as a final garnish.
Notes
  • Please note that I have'nt added salt, since mozzarella cheese is salty enough. pepper is optional, but I recommend not adding as it would kill the flavour of the lemon juice.
  • When separating whites from yolks, I make a small hole at the top of the egg, and pour out the white. i fell this is the easiest method and a lot less messier than breaking the egg in half and separating with your fingers. Also, when separating the whites, ensure you transfer them to a bowl with absolutely no droplets of water. Egg whites make great omelets, so don't worry about not using them!
  • I have been pretty vague with measurements here, compared to my previous recipes, the only reason being that this particular dish falls under the label of "comfort food", so measurements are completely your choice.
So, there we are. Lemon linguine is ready! This recipe is strictly for those days when you cant be bothered to spend any effort in the kitchen, so I hope you have fun making this!

The final product!

Do try it out and let me know what you think! Sending this ober for an event at Akhila's Kitchen titled

Dish Name Starts with L


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mommy's fish curry!

Hello all! Last evening I was wondering what to cook next, when I realised that since I had cooked one chicken and one veg dish, I would go the full circle and complete it with...a fish recipe! I am from a place called Kollam in Kerala. For my non Indian friends, Kerala is a state in India, and is divided into different districts. Kollam is towards the south. My husband is from a place called Cochin, which is about 3 hours away from us. In different part of Kerala, fish curry is made in different ways. In Cochin for instance, coconut milk plays a major factor in fish curries. On our side, we have a speciality called "soup curry". As the name suggests, it looks like soup and is made with raw mango as the base. The curry that I am going to make today though is neither of the 2. This curry made me miss my mom even more than usual. she used to make this at home and serve it with rice and "moru kachiyathu". Now that, my friends, in English, is nothing but buttermilk :). Enough with the speech already....this curry is dedicated to, you guessed it, mommy dearest....

INGREDIENTS
  • Fish fillets- 1/2 kilo- cleaned thoroughly with salt, vinegar and lime juice. (Refer notes below).
  • 1/2 of 1 medium sized onion or 8 shallots (small onions). (Refer notes below).
  • 1/4 piece of ginger crushed.
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed.
  • 3-4 green chilies crushed. (Refer notes below).
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds.
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds.
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder.
  •  2 tablespoons red chilly powder.
  • 4 lime size balls tamarind (kokum) soaked in salt water (Refer notes below).
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons oil (Refer notes below).
  • Curry leaves - As much as you like.
  • 1/2 cup boiling water.
  • Salt to taste
METHOD
  • In a quarter cup of hot salt water, soak tamarind and set aside. Do this before you start cleaning the fish and chopping, so that all the juice gets extracted from the tamarind.
  • In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Once hot, splutter mustard seeds.
  • Once the mustard seeds start spluttering, add the fenugreek seeds and wait for them to pop. Bear in mind that the heat should not be too high as the fenugreek seeds get burnt easily, leaving the curry with a bitter taste.
  • Now add the garlic, ginger, green chillies and the onions in that order. Simultaneously, in another smaller frying pan, heat a tablespoon of oil, vinegar, tamarind pulp, curry leaves and 3 tablespoons of water. leave this to boil.
  • In a small bowl, mix turmeric powder and red chilly powder with enough water to make a paste. Add this to the onion mixture in the main pan once the raw smell disappears.
  • Pour in a little extra water in the bowl to ensure that none of the powder paste goes to waste and add this to the main pan. Saute till the raw smell of the powders disappears.
  • To this, add the boiling tamarind pulp mixture from the frying pan. Add salt to taste.
  • Finally, add the cleaned fish fillets and add sufficient water to cook the fish. This would be approx 1/2 a cup.
  • Add curry leaves to this, mix and close the pan for approx 12-15 minutes. This will give the fish enough time to cook and the gravy to thicken a bit.
  • Pour a tablespoon of oil as a final garnish.
Tada, mommy's fish curry is ready!!!

NOTES
  • Mom's always told me that for a fish curry, never use big onions, shallots are the best. However, here in Canada, I had to make do with the normal onion. Irrespective, the fish curry tasted awesome, trust me. I used only half the onion, sliced it into fine pieces and crushed it in my mortar and pestle.
  • For non Indians who are not familiar with tamarind, it's a sour fruit that's used in most Kerala fish curry dishes. You can also buy tamarind paste at the local grocery store. In that case, you can use approx a tablespoon and a half for this curry. I love my curry to have the extra tangy taste, which is why I add loads of tamarind.
  • When cleaning fish, mix hot water with vinegar and salt. In the final rinse, pour vinegar and salt and do not wash this away. This ensures your fish does not smell in the curry, in fact it glistens! My mom also adds lemon juice while cleaning fish, which is equally good.
  • Green chilies are normally slit in half for a fish curry. However, i found something called green chilly paste at one of the local grocery stores here, which is just a mix of green chilies, salt and water.This is awesome!
  • Using oil depends on each person. i ave used 4 tablespoons of oil in total for this dish which is not an exorbitant amount. Also, most Kerala dishes use coconut oil. However, both A (hubby) and i are not big fans of the after taste it gives, so I used sunflower oil ,and it tasted great!
  • Last, but definitely not the least, fish curry with tamarind tastes even better the next day, so i cant wait to get home and dig in some more.
So there we are! Oh wait, almost forgot..the photos, silly me!
Closeup of my curry
So, I hope you try this out and have as much fun cooking it (and eating it!) as much as I did. Do leave behind your comments and suggestions. Constructive criticism is always welcome! Take care and God bless!

BTW, am sending this awesome curry to  the Kerala Kitchen  for their May event,  Kerala Kitchen cooking event! Am also sending this over to Srav's Culinary Concepts  for her Cooking Concepts event mentioned below! Wish me luck!!




Monday, April 2, 2012

Palm Sunday and the quickie potato masala!

Yesterday was Palm Sunday...and the first Holy week without A in the 3 years of our marriage :(. For the non catholics out there, Holy Week is perhaps the most important week for us Christians, and the week before our biggest feast ever, Easter. Now some may argue with me saying that Christmas is even bigger, but that's for another time and another place...now's the time for  my 7 minute aloo masala :) For non Indians, Aloo is Hindi for potato. This was just a random recipe from you tube. Unfortunately, she didn't mention her name, neither did she show herself, so I can just thank the Tamilian sister from whom I borrowed this brilliant recipe. This is the first time any potato dish of mine has come out so well, and I do hope you guys enjoy making it as much as I did. Here goes...

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 baby potatoes 
  • 2 cloves garlic, lightly mashed
  • 1 medium sized onion finely sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds (perinjeerakam)
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2-3 teaspoons water
  • salt to taste
  • coriander leaves to garnish
METHOD
  • Boil baby potatoes with salt for about 10 minutes till they are super soft. Once done, run the potatoes under water to cool them and mash them with your fingers.
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil. Once sufficiently hot, splutter the mustard seeds followed by the cumin seeds.
  • Add the lightly mashed garlic, followed by the onions. In order for the onions to cook faster, add some salt. This also makes the onions taste better.
  • Add the turmeric powder and continue to saute.
  • Add the red chilly powder.
  • Finally add the mashed potatoes and mix thoroughly.
  • Spray 2-3 teaspoons of water with your fingers to ensure that the potatoes don't stick to your pan.
  • Finally add a tablespoon of oil and saute.
  • Close the pan for approx 5 minutes or till the oil starts separating from the potatoes.
  • Garnish generously with coriander leaves.
Tada, the dish is ready! Now, I did mention that it is a 7 minute dish, but that's after boiling your potatoes first. But trust me, this is a dish that will be perfect for one of those lazy days when you don't feel like entering the kitchen, but you don't have a choice. Combine this with rice and rasam, and you will feel like a million dollars!



The final product!
 I hope u guys try this out and love it as much as i did. You could combine this with chapatis or rice, trust me, they would both be divine. Happy holy week to all my christian friends, and for the rest of the world, God bless!

Oil Free Chicken Curry!

Hey you guys! Ok, for those of you'll who've been wondering why my blog was up for a week without any recipes, I do have a good excuse...You see, I am based in Dubai, but my job requires me to travel sometimes. So currently I am in Canada, and was getting my bearings straightened out. But now I'm good to go! So, here goes my first recipe. This one's dedicated to my dear man, A, who stood by me when I came up with the idea of a blog. It's also for all those of my friends and family who believed in me when i told them about my idea. So Smi, Renu, Erin, this one's for u guys too. Most importantly, the people who helped me create this blog, my lil cousins, Samantha and Shaiba. So, that's it for my lil speech.tee hee! On with the recipe. 


As the name suggests, I have created this with absolutely zero oil, trust me! And you know what, it actually tasted good. So here we are...

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 kilo chicken, cut into medium pieces, cleaned properly. i recommend you wash it with salt and vinegar for that extra "glow".
  • 3 medium sized onions, chopped finely
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of ginger garlic paste. If using normal ginger and garlic, a medium sized ginger and approx 4-5 garlic cloves crushed using a grinder or a mortar and pestle.
  • 4 chilies, slit in half
  • 2 tomatoes chopped in small cubes
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 2 tablespoons red chilly powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala powder
  • 1 cup curd. For me a cup would mean about 4 tablespoons. Those of you'll who love curd, go ahead and use 5. Bear in mind the curd should not be too sour.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Coriander leaves to garnish
METHOD

In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients in the order mentioned above, except for the coriander leaves, and cook on a medium flame for approx 35 minutes, or till the chicken is done. Tada, oil free chicken curry is ready! Garnish generously with coriander leaves.


Closeup of the curry

And that's my lunch plate :)
 Ok, I apologise if the shots are not too professional..but hey I'm just getting started! I promise, I shall get better. In the mean time, do try out my dish and let me know what you guys think. I promise, you wont regret it :)

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