Friday, February 26, 2010

Dirty Rice with Smoked Sausages


A few days back I saw this post of Dirty rice with smoked sausages on the food network site. I was wondering why the hell this rice is called "Dirty" and hence was very curious to try it out :) Last week, I decided to make this recipe with a few changes in the ingredients. I must say it turned out really well.

I really liked the flavor of the spices combined with the sausages. This dish is very similar to the Indian rice pulao with some added sausages to it. But, what makes this dish really unique is the cayenne pepper which gives this dish a whole lot of flavors.

More than me, my daughter enjoyed this dish that I was surprised when she asked me for a second helping :) So, I will only say this dish is a must try for all and yes, there is nothing dirty about it :)

Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients :

2 cups long grain basmati rice
5 cups chicken stock, divided (I used Knorr chicken cubes)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 pound, canned chicken sausages, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper chopped
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Method :

  • First make the chicken stock as per the directions on the packet and keep aside.
  • Heat some oil in a vessel and fry 2 cups rice and then combine the rice with 4 cups of chicken stock and cover and cook till the rice is done.
  • Meanwhile, in another pan, heat some oil and brown the sausages and keep them aside.
  • In the same oil, add some garlic and onion and fry nicely till the onions are golden brown.
  • Then add the celery and green bell peppers and fry again for another 5 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper and add 1 cup of chicken stock and cayenne pepper. Now add the sausages back to the pan and cover and cook till the stock has reduced.
  • Then add the rice and parsley to the sausages and stir thoroughly.
  • Serve hot with any salad of your choice.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Plantain or Banana Chips






These chips are also known as "Kerala chips". I love buying these chips and munching on them all the time. They are really very addictive. Last Christmas, my aunt made these chips at home. I found them pretty simple to make and decided to give it a try. Today, I was in mood to eat some banana chips and so decided to make them as tea time snack.
Traditionally, these chips are made with coconut oil but I used corn oil and it tasted equally good. I didn't have the chip maker so simply used my knife to cut thin slices. As I was making them, my daughter gobbled down most of it. Well, nothing tastes better than home-made food and I was happy to make these home-made banana chips. My hubby and daughter simply loved it.


Ingredients :

3 raw green plantains
salt
oil for deep frying

Method :

  • First peel the bananas and cut them into thin slices
  • Dissolve a teaspoon full of salt in little water and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the chips on medium flame.


  • Once it is half done, reduce the flame and drop half a spoon of salt water into the oil.
  • Fry the chips till golden brown and drain the excess oil using a kitchen towel or tissue.
  • Serves as a perfect tea-time snack.
Note: Always reduce the flame while adding salt water. Adding salt water to the oil helps in uniform distribution of salt.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Zebra Cake




I always found this cake very interesting. I have been dreaming of making this cake, especially because it looks very attractive. I thought it would be very difficult to make this cake until, I visited one of my friend's place and she told me how to make it. It sounded so easy that I just couldn't wait to go home and experiment it out in my kitchen. So, today I decided to bake this cake. My 21/2 year old daughter, Emily was also keen on helping me make this cake. It was lot of fun baking it up and Emily enjoyed licking the left over batter from the bowl and it was an overall fun experience. Needless to say, the cake turned out really good and we all enjoyed eating it as much as we did baking it.

Preparation Time : 40 minutes

Ingredients :

2 Eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
2 tbsp dark cocoa powder

Method :
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugar until creamy and light in colour.
  • Add milk and oil, and continue beating till well blended
  • Add vanilla essence to the mixture. Gradually, add flour, baking soda and salt and beat until the mixture is smooth and the dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated
  • Now, divide the mixture into 2 equal portions. Keep one portion plain and to the other add the dark cocoa powder.
  • Preheat the over to 400 degree F and grease the baking dish with butter and keep aside.
  • The most important part is assembling the cake batter in the baking pan. This is what you do: Scoop 3 heaped tbsp of the plain batter into the centre of the baking pan. Then scoop 3 tbsp of the cocoa batter and pour it in the centre on top of the plain batter.
  • Do not spread the batter or tilt the pan to distribute the mixture. It will spread by itself and fill the pan gradually.
  • Continue alternating the batters till you finish them.
  • Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes
  • This is how it looks when it come out of the oven.
  • Let it cool for a while and then slice and serve it.




Monday, February 22, 2010

Basundi


Basundi is a delicious Indian Dessert made out of thickened milk and nuts.


Preparation Time : 30 minutes
Serves : 3

Ingredients:

1 litre milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 tsp kesar milk powder
2-3 drops of yellow food color
1/2 cup chopped nuts (almonds & pistachios)

Method :

  • Boil the milk in a heavy bottom pan.
  • Keep stirring continuously and reduce it till it becomes thick and the quantity of the milk is approximately half a litre.
  • Then add the sugar to the reduced milk and allow it to cook till it starts thickening.
  • Then remove it from heat and transfer it to a bowl and add the cardamom powder, kesar milk powder, yellow food color and the chopped nuts.
  • Mix well and refrigerate it for about 3 hours and then enjoy this yummy delicacy.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Grilled Chicken Breasts


As everyone was at home on Saturday, I didn't want to spend a lot of time cooking in the Kitchen. Hence, a day prior I marinated my chicken with some spices so that we could enjoy a quick and delicious meal on Saturday. I made mango salsa to go with the grilled chicken.

Preparation Time : 30 minutes + marination time
Serves : 4

Ingredients :

4 big Chicken breasts with bone
100 gms Yogurt
11/2 tbsp tandoori masala powder
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 green chilli chopped
2 tbsp lime juice
Chaat masala
1 tbsp butter

Method :
  • First beat the yogurt nicely.
  • To the yogurt, add the tandoori masala, chilli flakes, ginger-garlic paste, green chillies, lime juice and salt and mix well.
  • Then apply this marinade to the chicken breasts nicely and keep it in the refrigerator overnight or for atleast 4-5 hours
  • Heat some oil in a grill pan, and grill the chicken breasts on both sides on high heat till you see the charcoal marks on the breasts.
  • Then take it out and smear some butter on it and grill them in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degree F.
  • Remove from oven and squeeze 1 tbsp lime juice over it and sprinkle some chaat masala.
  • Serve hot with mango salsa.




Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tomato Feta Pasta Salad


I love watching Ina Garten cook on Food Network. Some days back, I was watching her show and I simply loved this Pasta Salad she made. So decided to try it out at home. I didn't have a few ingredients like capers, Parmesan cheese with me and hence decided to do without it. The salad was fantastic and we all enjoyed it a lot. So here is the recipe...


Preparation Time : 20 minutes
Cooking Time : 25 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients :

11/2 cup fusilli (spirals) pasta
salt
Olive oil
1 ripe tomato, chopped
3/4 cup olives chopped
1/4 cup feta cheese cut into small cubes
6 sun-dried tomatoes drained and chopped

For the dressing:

5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
6 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp pepper
salt to taste
Parsley chopped

Method :
  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water with a splash of oil to keep it from sticking together. Boil for 12 minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, feta cheese and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
  • For the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a food processor until almost smooth.
  • Pour this dressing over pasta, sprinkle with parsley and toss well.

Mango Salsa




This is one of my own creation. One day during my visit to the supermarket, I picked up some mangoes and there I got this idea of making mango salsa. This is a very simple recipe and just with a couple of ingredients you get this sweet and spicy salsa which is a perfect side dish.

Preparation Time : 10 minutes
Serves : 2

Ingredients :

1/2 mango peeled and finely chopped
2 small green chillies finely chopped
1/2 onion finely chopped
salt to taste

Method :

  • Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl and serve chilled.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Poached Egg Curry


Some days back I wanted to make egg curry and was a little tired of making my regular curry. So wanted to make it in a different way this time, hence I started browsing the net. There, I came across this blog called 100 recipes.blogspot.com. This is another interesting blog I came across, it has some unique recipes.

When I saw the recipe of poached egg curry, I was not really sure how it would taste with such few ingredients. Also I did not have poppy seeds with me but I decided to go with the flow and to my surprise, it came out really well. I just made a few simple changes to the recipe, keeping everything else the same. It turned out be a sweet and sour gravy.

Preparation Time : 20 minutes
Serves : 2

Ingredients :

3 eggs
1/2 medium onion finely chopped
11/2 tbsp cashewnut powder
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 green chilli finely chopped
3 tbsp oil
salt to taste

Method :

  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions till they are golden brown
  • Mix tomato ketchup, cashew nut powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, garlic, green chillies, red chilli powder and salt together and add this to the onions.
  • Fry this nicely for about 5 minutes
  • Now add one cup water to the above mixture.
  • Simmer and bring the gravy to a boil.
  • Now carefully break the eggs and drop them raw into the boiling gravy. Be very careful not to drop some pieces of shells inside.
  • Sprinkle a bit of salt on the yolk while it is still soft to ensure that the eggs are seasoned well.
  • Now cover and cook for about 5 minutes or until the eggs are completely cooked
  • If you find the gravy too thick, then adjust by adding some water.
  • Remove from heat and serve with some steamed rice.

Simple Cabbage Vegetable


This is one of the simple dishes which I make quite often. It is very easy to make and also tastes good. It goes very well with rice and dal.


Preparation Time : 20 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients :

1/2 cabbage chopped finely
1 onion finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 green chillies slit
1 tsp mustard
10 curry leaves
3 tbsp freshly grated coconut
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil

Method :
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves and allow it to crackle.
  • Then add the garlic, green chillies and onions and fry nicely till the onions are golden brown
  • Then add the cabbage and fry nicely. Add some salt and cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • When the cabbage is almost cooked, add the coconut and mix well.
  • Serve hot with rice and dal or can also be eaten with rotis.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pav Bhaji (Mumbai Juhi beach style)











"Pav Bhaji" literally means bread and vegetables and is the quintessential Mumbai street food. Pav bhaji has a very interesting history. It originated way back when the textile mills flourished in Mumbai. The reasons were firstly the mill workers got very little time to have their lunch and secondly they could not afford to have a full lunch because that would make them very sleepy and they had to return to physical work. A vendor realized this problem and he came out with his own concoction. He replaced the traditional roti or rice with "pav" and replaced the curry with a spicy vegetable called "bhaji" and thus "Pav Bhaji" was born.

Pav Bhaji can be prepared in numerous ways. But, I like it the way it is prepared in Mumbai Juhu beach. Last year when I was in Mumbai, I visited Juhi beach and ordered one plate of Pav Bhaji. While I was standing waiting for my order, I was keenly observing the way it was being prepared. I tried it a several times at home and it came out really good tasting just like the Juhu beach style. So here goes the recipe...



Ingredients :

Preparation Time : 30 minutes
Serves : 5

1 big onion finely chopped
2 medium sized potatoes
1 big capsicum finely chopped
1 cup peas boiled
1 cup cauliflower
3 tomatoes finely chopped
2 green chillies finely chopped
4 tbsp Badshah Pav bhaji masala
salt to taste
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves chopped
1 tbsp fenugreek leaves
2 tsp red chilli powder
a pinch of asafoetida
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
water
10 Pav bhaji bread or dinner rolls
Butter
lime juice

Method :

  • First boil the potatoes and cauliflower together with some salt in the cooker and keep aside.
  • Take a big frying pan, and heat some butter in it. To this add the chopped onions and green chillies and fry nicely till they are slightly brown in colour.
  • Then add 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste, 1 tsp pav bhaji masala, 2 tbsp freshly chopped coriander leaves, 1 tbsp fenugreek leaves, 1/2 lime juice, 1 tsp red chilli powder and fry nicely for about 5 minutes. Then take it out in a plate and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add some more butter. Then add chopped capsicum and some water and fry nicely so that the capsicum gets softened and cooked.
  • Then add the tomatoes and ginger garlic paste and fry nicely.
  • Then add the mashed potatoes, cauliflower, and boiled peas. Mash it nicely and mix it well with the tomato mixture.
  • To this add 3 tbsp pav bhaji masala, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida, salt to taste, 1/2 lime juice, freshly chopped coriander leaves and mix and fry nicely again.
  • To this add the onion mixture which was kept aside and fry again very well.
  • Add a little water and mash well and fry nicely.
  • Adjust the seasoning and garnish with coriander and finely chopped onions.
  • Serve this with masala pav, onions and lime wedges.

Method (Masala Pav) :
  • Take a frying pan and heat a tbsp of butter. To this add 1 tsp pav bhaji masala, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves. Fry this nicely.
  • Take horizontally split pav or bread and roast them on the pan so that they soak the masala and became soft.

Mango Lassi


Mango Lassi is a perfect cooler on a hot day. But, if you are a mango lover, you can have this drink on any day. You could add extra sweetness to it with honey or sugar and also garnish it with crushed pistachios if you like it that way. Normally, I would have used fresh mangoes to make this drink, but it also tastes equally good with canned mangoes or canned mango pulp.


Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Serves : 4 glasses

Ingredients:

1 cup Canned Mango pulp
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1 cup crushed ice
2 tbsp honey
a pinch of salt

Method :

  • Mix everything together and blend in a blender to a fine puree. If it is too thick, you could add some water to it.
  • Pour in a glass and serve chilled.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Eggless Mango Cake


Some days back, I came across this site Red Chillies and I immediately bookmarked it. It had some interesting recipes and articles. One recipe which really caught my eye was "Eggless Mango Cake". I really found this recipe to be very simple and quick to make. So, today being "Family Day" in Canada, I decided to make it for my family.

However, I made a few changes in the recipe. I used brown sugar instead of the regular sugar. I also used oil instead of butter and almonds instead of walnuts & raisins. But the overall result was just too good. So here goes the recipe for all the mango lovers...


Preparation Time : 30 minutes

Ingredients :

1 cup Mango pulp
1 cup semolina/Rava/Sooji
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 cup oil
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup slivered almonds (keep some for sprinkling on top of the batter)

Method :

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degree F. Grease a baking tray with butter and keep aside.
  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and let the batter rest for 10 minutes.
  • Then pour this batter in the greased baking tray.
  • Sprinkle some almonds on top of the batter and bake at 375 degree F for 20-25 minutes.
  • Cool, slice and serve with some whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream or just eat it the way it is.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Cheese Quesedillas


This is another popular dish with kids. Yesterday, I made this for my daughter and she simply loved it. So here goes the recipe...

Preparation Time : 5 minutes
Serves : 1

Ingredients :

2 wheat tortillas medium sized
2 tbsp hot picante sauce or taco sauce
3 tbsp grated mozzarella cheese

Method :
  • Take a frying pan and warm the tortilla on it.
  • Then layer the tortilla as follows: First spread 2 tbsp of taco sauce on it and then top it with some grated mozzarella cheese and cover it with another tortilla.
  • Place this on the frying pan again and warm it just enough so that the cheese gets melted.
  • Cut it into triangles and serve hot.






Thursday, February 11, 2010

Macaroni & Cheese


All kids love eating macaroni and cheese and my daughter is no exception to it. Yesterday, she wanted me to make macaroni and cheese for her for lunch. So, I didn't want to disappoint her and hence decided to make it for her. She enjoyed her meal and I enjoyed watching her clean her plate:) So here goes the recipe...

Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Serves : 2

Ingredients :

1 cup macaroni
1/4 stick butter
1 tbsp all purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
milk

Method :

  • Boil the macaroni as per the packet instructions and keep aside
  • Pour some oil in the macaroni so that it does not stick to each other
  • In the meantime, heat butter in a pan. When the butter starts melting, add the all purpose flour, salt and pepper and stir continuously till the flour starts changing color.
  • Then keep pour milk slowly and stir continuously so as to get a sauce like consistency.
  • Once the milk and flour is mixed well, add the cheese and stir again till all the cheese is melted well and you get a nice smooth white sauce.
  • Add boiled macaroni to this sauce and ensure that all the macaroni is coated nicely with the white sauce.
  • Serve hot.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

From your Kitchen to Mine

I love reading about food and experimenting with it. I also like to try out various kinds of cuisine. While browsing through the net, I have come across several food blogs and found them to be very impressive. I have decided to try out a few of them and see how they turn out.

I will be making a few of the dishes from these food blogs and if they turn out well, then I will definitely post their site on my blog for all those who are interested in trying out new cuisines just like me.

All these dishes will be labelled under "From your Kitchen to Mine". Please do feel free to post your comments and feedback on them.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Neer Dosa (Pan Pole)


Growing up, I remember my mom making these dosas. This is a typical Mangalorean dish made out of rice. I used to watch her make them and quickly learnt by seeing her make it. This is a very simple dish and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You could also convert it into a snack by filling it with some freshly grated coconut and jaggery. You could also eat it with honey. These are generally called the "Mangalorean Pancakes" or "Panpole"
So here goes the recipe...

Preparation Time : 20 minutes + soaking time
Makes : 20 small neer dosas.

Ingredients :

21/2 cups (rice cooker measure) raw rice (Generally use a thin grain variety of rice called "Surai tandool" in Mangalore or par-boiled rice)
A little salt to taste
Water
Oil

Method :

  • Wash and soak the raw rice in water overnight and grind it the next day in the blender with a little salt to taste.
  • By adding water to the ground rice, make a batter of medium consistency.
  • Heat the frying pan with some cooking oil in it. (Take half an onion, prick it with a fork and dip it in oil and spread it on the frying pan so that the pan is evenly sprayed with oil)
  • Pour a ladle full of batter on a heated flat frying pan. Turn the pan so as to spread the batter evenly on the pan. Cover the pan with a lid.
  • After about 2 minutes, you will see the dosa leaving the sides, that's when you know that it is ready.
  • Remove it using a flat ladle.
  • You will see that the surface of the neer dosa is perforated with small holes.
  • Fold it and serve it hot with any chicken preparation or it can also be eaten with chutney or honey.
Note : You could make a filling of 1 cup freshly grated coconut, 200 gms jaggery and 1 tsp cardamom powder. Place a spoonful in the middle of the neer dosa, and roll it up and arrange it on a serving dish. This is perfect for an evening snack.

Chettinaad Chicken




Yesterday while browsing the net, I came across Sanjeev Kapoor's website and there I saw this recipe of "Chettinaad Chicken". I thought of giving it a try and modified it a little bit. The original recipe requires the chicken on the bone but I just had boneless chicken breasts and hence decided to go with it. I also altered the spice level a little bit as my daughter is not fond of spicy food. But overall, I must say the recipe turned out to be a success. I also made neer dosa to go with the chicken. So thanks to Sanjeevji :)

Preparation Time : 40 minutes
Cooking Time : 30 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients:

1 1/2 packet (750 gms) of boneless chicken breasts
5 tbsp oil
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
5 Whole dry red chilli
3/4 cup fresh coconut grated
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red kashmiri chilli powder
salt to taste
12 curry leaves
1 big onion chopped
1 inch piece ginger chopped
4-5 cloves garlic chopped
2 tbsp crushed pepper powder
2 tbsp lime juice

Method :

  • Heat oil in a pan and roast coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, dry red chillies, coconut and fry till the coconut turns golden. Set aside to cool.
  • Clean and cut the chicken in to cubes and marinate it with turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt and 2 tbsp of oil and keep aside for about half an hour.
  • In the meanwhile, grind the coconut mixture to a fine paste adding water as required.
  • Heat the remaining oil in another pan. Add the remaining cumin seeds, curry leaves and onions and fry till the onions turn golden brown.
  • Add garlic and ginger and fry for another minute or two.
  • Add the ground masala and fry it nicely for about 5 minutes.
  • Then add the chicken, crushed pepper powder and lime juice.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes or till the chicken is done. If required add a little water so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Serve hot with neer dosa.

Stuffed Pomfret in Green Masala


I am a big fan of pomfrets. During my visit to the Chinese market, I got 2 of them and decided to make this recipe using one of the pomfrets. This tastes so delicious and can also eaten as a starter or with rice and dal.

This is a typical Maharastrian delicacy.
There are several versions of making this recipe. However, this is my own version of making stuffed pomfrets and it tastes really yummy!!!


Preparation Time : 20 minutes + marination time
Serves : 2

Ingredients:

1 big pomfret

to grind to a paste:
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
4 mint leaves
2-3 peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp tamarind pulp
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 tbsp freshly grated coconut
4 green chillies chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste

Method :

  • Clean and dry the pomfret. Remove the head and the inside part properly till the fish looks white and clean. Then delicately make a slit from just below the head till the tail on the right side of the pomfret so that it forms a pocket for filling in the masala. Turn the fish and repeat the same procedure on the other side of the pomfret.
  • Marinate the pomfret in 1/4 tsp turmeric, salt and 1/2 tsp lime juice and keep aside for about half an hour.
  • Grind all the above ingredients to a paste. The paste should neither be too thick or too thin.
  • Apply this paste to the marinate fish and leave it in the refrigerator for about 3-5 hours.
  • Heat 3 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Fry the fish on both sides on high flame till it is golden brown in colour for just 1 minute on each side.
  • Then put this fish in a preheated oven at 400 degree F for 15 minutes. Sprinkle some oil on top before putting it in the oven.
  • Serve hot with lettuce and lemon slices.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Thai Red Curry Shrimps


This is another of my favorite thai recipes...

Preparation Time : 20 minutes
Serves : 3

Ingredients :

400 ml Coconut milk
1-2 tbsp thai red curry paste
2 tbsp thai fish sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 cup of vegetables (peas, squash, carrots, mushrooms, celery) stir fried in sesame oil.
250 gms fresh shrimp cleaned and de-veined
1 tsp dried basil or fresh basil
freshly chopped coriander leaves for garnish

Method :

  • In a large saucepan simmer coconut milk with 1-2 tbsp of thai red curry paste over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add 1-2 tbsp of thai fish sauce, 2 tbsp brown sugar, stir fried vegetables and 1/3 rd cup water.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in 250 gms fresh shrimp and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes, until the shrimps are cooked.
  • Garnish with fresh basil, coriander and serve hot with Jasmine Rice.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Green Peas Pulao


Yesterday I was feeling very tired and sleepy after a very long day and didn't feel like cooking much. I thought hey, why not make a simple peas pulao and the simplest pulao that came to my mind was Green Peas Pulao. So here it goes...

Preparation Time : 20 minutes + soaking time
Serves : 4

Ingredients :

2 cups basmati rice
4 cups of water
1/2 cup frozen or fresh peas
1 big onion cut finely lengthwise
1 big tomato chopped
2-3 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 vegetable or chicken cube
salt to taste

Method :

  • Wash and soak the rice in water for about 1/2 hour
  • In another vessel, boil 4 cups of water
  • Heat oil in a vessel. Add the cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, pepper corns and onions and fry till the onions are golden brown in color.
  • Then add the vegetable or chicken cube and mix well.
  • To this add the chopped tomatoes, salt and fry for 2-3 minutes
  • Then add the peas and give a good stir
  • Finally add the rice and mix it well with the peas and other ingredients and pour the hot water over it.
  • Cover and cook till the rice is done.




Thursday, February 4, 2010

Beans and Sprouts Salad

This is one of my own creation. The combination of bean sprouts with onions, lettuce, and kidney beans makes this salad very nutritious as well as tasty.

Preparation Time : 15 minutes + soaking time
Serves : 4


Ingredients :

1/2 cup of kidney beans
1/2 cup black chana
1/2 apple cut into small pieces
1/2 ice-berg lettuce
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 onion cut into thin slices lengthwise (optional)

for the dressing:

salt
1/2 lime squeezed to get juice
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp pepper

Method:

  • Soak the chana and the kidney beans overnight in
  • Boil the chana and kidney beans with some salt and allow it to cool down.
  • Then in a salad bowl, combine all the ingredients including the chana and kidney beans.
  • Combine the ingredients for the dressing and pour it over the salad.
  • Refrigerate and serve chilled

Carrot Juice


This is one of my all time favorite drinks. My daughter doesn't like eating carrots a lot, but simply loves carrots in this form :) This is a very nutritious drink and perfect for any weather.

When you ask for carrot juice in a restaurant, you generally get a thick paste of carrots blended in water and sugar and believe me it tastes yucky. But, this recipe will simply change your opinion about this drink. You have to try it to believe, so here goes the recipe...


Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Makes : 3 glasses

Ingredients :

2 big carrots peeled and grated or chopped finely
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cardamom powder
2 cups milk

Method :

  • In a blender, add the grated carrots and water and blend till it becomes a puree.
  • Then strain this puree through a thin muslin cloth or a strainer till you get all the juice out.
  • Put this juice in the blender again and add milk, sugar and cardamom powder and blend again till all the ingredients mix well.
  • Refrigerate for an hour and serve chilled.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Chinese Stir fry noodles




This is one of my own creation. I always used to wonder how these stir fry noodles tasted so yummy in restaurants. I could never get the sauce right until I visited this Chinese market last weekend. Over there, I found this thai chilli sauce and sesame oil. The thai chilli sauce has a sweet and spicy taste to it and when it combines with sesame oil, it gives the noodles an amazing flavour. Now, with these Chinese ingredients, I can enjoy my restaurant style Chinese stir fry noodles at home :) This tastes simply delicious. Must give it a try !!!


Preparation Time : 30 minutes
Serves : 3

Ingredients :

1 pkt chinese style flat noodles
1 chicken breast
6 chinese black mushrooms cut into quarters
10 brocolli florets
250 gms chinese bok choy
1 red bell pepper cut lengthwise
1 celery stick cut into 1" pieces lengthwise
3 spring onions chopped
1 tbsp garlic chopped
4 tbsp thai chilli sauce
4 tbsp chinese soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
sesame oil
2 tbsp garlic butter

Method :

  • First marinate the chicken breast with 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sugar, salt and pepper and keep it aside for 15 minutes
  • Then take a frying pan and fry the chicken in sesame oil till it is fried nicely on both sides.
  • Then cut the chicken in thin long strips and keep aside
  • In a wok, add some sesame oil. Then throw in some chopped garlic and the bok choy and cover and cook for 4 minutes. Take it out and keep aside.
  • Then in the same wok, add some garlic butter and then stir fry the mushrooms and brocolli together on high flame for about 5 minutes. Take it out and keep aside.
  • Then add some sesame oil to the wok, and stir fry the red bell peppers, spring onions and celery on high flame for about 3 minutes.
  • Now put all the stir fried vegetables and chicken together in the wok and add the remaining soy sauce to it and 4 tbsp of thai chilli sauce, pepper and salt and stir fry again for 2 minutes.
  • In the meantime, boil the noodles as per the packet instructions and keep aside.
  • Then combine the noodles with the stir fried chicken and vegetables and serve hot.
Note : You could also add chopped peanuts on top of the noodles. It enhances the flavor. My daughter is allergic to peanuts and hence I didn't add them to the noodles

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mangalorean Style Surmai (King fish) Curry


King fish or Surmai is one of my favorite Indian fish. While in India, I used to cook this quite often as this is one of my husband's favorite dishes.

Last week I went to a Chinese market in Canada and found this fish there. I couldn't wait to come home and cook it. Needless to say that everyone enjoyed and relished it !!!

I have learned this recipe from my mother. A bowl of hot steamed rice with surmai curry simply tastes amazing.

Preparation Time : 20 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients :

6-8 Surmai fish pieces
1 tbsp vinegar
salt to taste
a small bunch of coriander leaves finely chopped
3 tbsp oil

to grind to a paste:
1 meduim onion chopped
3 whole dry kashmiri chillies
2 whole dry madras chillies
2 whole dry bedki chillies
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 cup coconut milk or 1/2 coconut freshly grated
5 peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp tamarind paste
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
salt

For tempering:

1/2 onion finely chopped
a few curry leaves

Method :

  • Marinate the fish with salt and turmeric and keep aside for 10 minutes.
  • In a mixer, grind all the ingredients as mentioned above to a fine paste with little water.
  • Take some oil in a frying pan and fry the marinated fish on both sides and keep aside.
  • Take another pan and heat some oil in it. Then add the curry leaves and the finely chopped onion and fry nicely.
  • Then add the ground masala and fry it well for about 5 minutes
  • Then add enough water to the masala to make it a gravy (not too thick or not too thin) like consistency
  • Bring this to a boil. Then add the vinegar and again bring to a boil. Check seasoning.
  • To this add the fried fish pieces and cover and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.

Egg bhurji




A "bhurji" is a term used to describe a dryish masala dish which is just a mixture of stuff in small pieces. e.g: pieces of paneer, potato, etc. A very commonly eaten bhurji is the egg version - which is effectively a spicy scrambled egg dish or more accurately is probably best described as a scrambled omelette comprising a masala of eggs, potatoes and onions.

Although I have mentioned the ingredients below, you could always add your own spices and make it more creative.

Vegetarians can use grated paneer instead of eggs and make paneer bhurji in the same manner.

I have to say that this is a really fast and easy dish to make and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or as a quick bite.

Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Serves : 3

Ingredients :

4 eggs beaten well
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 medium tomato finely chopped or 2 tbsp tomato puree
1 medium potato cut into small cubes and deep fried.
2 green chillies finely cut
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp milk
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil
a small bunch of fresh coriander finely chopped

Method :

  • Heat oil in a large frying pan and add onions to it. Fry the onions nicely till they are golden brown in colour.
  • To this add, ginger garlic paste and green chillies
  • Then add the tomato puree and fry again for a minute or two
  • Now add the spices (turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder, salt) and fry it well for about 2 minutes.
  • Then add the fried potatoes and allow it cook for about 3 minutes.
  • Then add the beaten eggs and milk and keep stirring continously to ensure that the eggs do not stick to the pan.
  • When you see the mixture coming together, check the seasoning and add the freshly chopped coriander leaves and remove from heat.
  • Serve hot with chapatis or you could also eat it as a sandwich between 2 buttered slices of bread.
Note: The recipe above mentions potatoes but the picture shown has no potatoes in them because I didn't have any potatoes readily available at home.





Monday, February 1, 2010

Chicken Samosas


If you're an Indian food lover, then you can't miss one of India's most popular appetizer : the samosa. It generally consists of a deep fried triangular shaped pastry shell with a savoury vegetable or meat filling.

Today I decided to make chicken samosas as a snack during tea-time and it was a huge success in my house. Follow these simple steps to make a crispy samosa with a delicious and spicy chicken mince stuffing.

Preparation Time : 40 minutes
Makes : 15 Samosas

Ingredients :

for the dough:

2 cups all purpose flour
salt to taste
2 tbsp ghee
11/2 cups water

OR

15 ready pastry sheets (this is what I used for the recipe)
1 egg white beaten lightly


for the stuffing:
500 gms ground chicken
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree or (1 tomato finely chopped)
2 green chillies finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
5 tbsp fresh coriander leaves finely chopped
1 tbsp patak's curry paste 0r (1 tsp cumin powder & 1 tsp coriander powder)
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
3 tbsp oil

for cooking the samosas:
Plenty of oil to deep fry the samosas

Method:

For making the stuffing:
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add onions and salt and fry till they they are lightly brown.
  • Then add ginger garlic paste, green chillies and cook for 2 minutes
  • Now add the spices (turmeric powder, chilli powder, curry paste, garam masal powder) and stir nicely. Make sure the onions are well coated with the spice mixture.
  • Now add the fresh coriander chopped and the tomato puree and mix well
  • To this add peas and let it cook for a minute or so.
  • If the mixture sticks to the bottom of the pan, then add a little more oil to it.
  • Now add the ground chicken and mix it well with the peas and spice mixture.
  • Leave it to cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes. But, give it a stir after every 5-10 minutes. Spread the meat in the pan, so that it cooks evenly.
  • After 20 minutes, you will see the mince has become slightly brown. Take it away from the heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes.

For the samosa triangles:

video


  • Look at the video above to make the samosa triangles using pastry sheets
  • Brush 1 beaten egg white over the pastry to seal the edges.
  • Repeat the same procedure with the remaining pastry sheets and stuffing
  • Deep fry the samosa in plenty of oil till they are golden brown on both sides
  • Serve hot with tomato ketchup
If using dough then:
  • In a bowl, sieve the flour and salt together
  • Add the ghee and mix with fingers
  • Knead into a soft dough using water
  • Divide the dough into 8 equal portions
  • Roll in each round into 150 mm (6") diameter chapattis.
  • Divide each chapatti into 2 halves
  • Make a cone from each part and stuff with samosa filling
  • Seal the edges carefully using a little water
  • Repeat with the remaining chapattis and stuffing
  • Deep fry in hot oil till golden brown in color
  • Serve hot with tomato ketchup.

Aloo Palak (Spinach & Potatoes)


This is a very simple and easy dish which I like to make quite often. It is very less time consuming and can be cooked in a jiffy. We as a family enjoy this dish a lot. So here it goes...

Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Serves : 3

Ingredients :

1 bunch spinach chopped finely
1 small potato cut into cubes
1 small onion finely chopped
1 small tomato finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 green chillies slit into half
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste
1/4 tsp sugar
oil

Method :

  • Heat about 1 tbsp oil in a vessel or a pan. Add cumin seeds and when they crackle, add the garlic, green chillies and fry for a minute
  • Then add the onions and fry nicely till they are lightly pink in color
  • Then add the tomatoes and fry for another minute
  • To this add the spices (turmeric powder, chilli powder, salt & sugar) and stir well.
  • Then add the potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes. Add little water if required.
  • Then add the finely chopped spinach and cook again for another 5 minutes or till the potatoes are cooked well
  • Serve hot with Indian chapatis.