Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gobi Manchurian

Who can resist the golden fried cauliflowers in a mouthwatering tangy spicy sauce?  I am sure no one can avoid this when you go to an Indo chinese place. However hard I try, I cannot skip this as an appetizer when I go to an Indo-chinese place.There are many street food vendors who are experts in this as well. During my college days, my hungry tummy will more often drag me to one of the street food vendors who makes this delicious manchurian.



Ingredients for the fry:

1. Cauliflower - 1 large head broken into small florets
2. All purpose flour / Maida - 1 cup
3. Corn flour - 1/2 cup
4. Soy sauce - 1 tablespoon
5. Salt - as needed
6. Ginger garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
7. Pepper powder - 1 teaspoon
8. Oil - to deep fry


Ingredients for the sauce:


1. Onion - 1 medium finely chopped
2. Garlic - 1/4 cup minced
3. Ginger - 1/3 cup grated
4. Pure sesame oil - 3 tablespoons
5. Soy sauce - 3 tablespoons
6. Sweet chilli sauce - 3 teaspoons
7. Tomato paste - 1/3 cup
8. Green chilli - 4 slitted
9. Salt - as needed
10. Corn starch - 2 teaspoons


Method:


For the fry:


In a a wide vessel of hot salted water, add the cauliflower florets. Let it come to a boil . The florets should still be crunchy and should not turn soft.Remove from heat, drain the water and pat dry all the florets with a paper towel and keep it aside. Mix all the ingredients under the ingredients for the fry section except the cauliflower. Make a thick paste adding little water at a time. Dip the florets into this paste to coat it entirely and deep fry the florets till they turn golden brown. Do not over crowd the frying pan as the florets will stick to each other.


For the sauce:


In a hot wide wok/ pan , add the sesame oil. Add onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies. Saute till the raw smell goes away. Stir in the soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce, tomato paste and salt if needed. Soy sauce will already contain salt. So make sure you taste the sauce before adding salt. Let it come to a boil. Mix corn starch with 1/3 cup of water and add it to the sauce. Wait till the sauce gets thick.


Combine the fried cauliflower to this sauce and give it a gentle stir so that the sauce covers all the fried pieces. Let it stand in the wok for a couple of minutes. Remove from the wok and garnish it with spring onions. I didn't have spring onions. So used cilantro.


Serve with your favorite fried rice.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Potato Kuruma for vegetable briyani

Do you sometimes crave for something simple yet classic? With very few basic ingretients that you could find in the pantry, you can have this classic potato kuruma in no time. This goes best with briyani. When I tasted this, it reminded me of the kuruma that used to be served in many Tamil weddings along with the vegetable briyani. 


Ingredients:

1. Potatoes - 2
2. Onion - 1 finely chopped
3. Tomatoes - 2 small finely chopped
4. Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tablespoon
5. Oil - 2 tablespoons
6. Cardamom - 2
7. Cloves - 2
8. Cinnamon stick - 1 inch
9. Fennel seeds - 1 teaspoon
10. Coconut - 1/4 cup
11. Poppy seeds - 1 tablespoon
12. Cilantro - to garnish
13. Chilli powder - 2 teaspoons / per taste
14. Coriander powder - 2 teaspoons
15. Salt - per taste
16. Frozen/ fresh Peas - 1/2 cup

Method:

1. Boil the potatoes, peel the skin,chop it roughly and keep it aside.
2. Make a fine paste of coconut and poppy seeds adding little water.
3. In a hot pan, add oil and all the whole garam masala. Saute it for a couple of minutes till you get a nice aroma.
4. Now add onions and ginger garlic paste till the onions turn translucent.
5. Add tomatoes, salt and turmeric and let it cook till the tomatoes get soft and mushy.
6. Then add the chilli powder and coriander powder. Stir in the chopped potatoes ,peas and add 2 cups of water. Bring it to a boil.
7. Now add the coconut mixture and let it boil for 5 to 10 minutes till the kuruma thickens to the right consistency.

Garnish with cilantro and serve it with briyani.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Vegetable Briyani

This vegetable briyani is very easy to prepare. The flavor comes from fresh cilantro and mint. The coconut milk adds richness to the rice. This briyani tastes so yumm with the potato kuruma  .



Ingredients:

1. Basmathi rice - 2 cups
2. Ghee - 2 tablespoons
3. Cardamoms - 2
4. Cloves - 2
5. Cinnamon - 1 inch tick
6. Briyani leaf - 1
7. Onion - 1 chopped fine
8. Tomato - 1 chopped fine
10. Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
11. Salt - as needed
12. Thick yogurt - 2 tablespoons
13. Coconut milk - 1/2 - 3/4th cup
14. Cilantro - 1 cup
15. Mint leaves - 1 cup
16. Vegetables - 2 cups -(I used beans and carrots) finely chopped
17. Green chillis - 4 (per taste)

Method:

1. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes.
2. Heat ghee in a rice cooker vessel. Add the whole garam masalas. saute for a few seconds.
3. Add ginger garlic paste, saute till the raw smell goes off.
4. Add onions, saute till it turns translucent and then add tomatoes, saute till it turns soft.
5. Make a paste of cilantro, mint, green chillies and add it to the sauteed masala, let it cook till the raw smell goes away.
6. Now add curd and the cut vegetables and give a quick stir.
7. Add the soaked rice, water, coconut milk and salt. Coconut milk and water should make 4 cups. Proportion of rice : water + coconut milk should be 2:4
8. Place the vessel in the rice cooker and cook it till done.

Serve it with raitha or potato kuruma.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Salmon Bites

Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3, vitamin D , selenium and protein. I try to include it in my cooking as often as I could. One such dish that came out of my experiments with salmon is salmon bites. Kids will love it and so do you. It is a perfect appetizer. All the prep work can be done the previous night and refrigerated and you can keep the frying part alone just few minutes before the guests arrive.



Ingredients:

1. Salmon fillet - 1/2 pound
2. Potato - 1 medium (cooked and mashed)
3. Salt - as needed
4. Onion - 1 small chopped finely
5. Garlic - 2 cloves minced
6. Cilantro - few springs chopped
7. Egg - 1
8. Seasoned Breadcrumbs - 1 cup


Method:


1. Cook the salmon fillet and crumble it  Mix it with the mashed potato and keep it aside.
2. In a pan, heat a teaspoon of oil and saute onions and garlic. If you decide to add spice. Add chopped green chillis to this saute.
3. Add it to the salmon potato mixture. add some cilantro, salt and mix well.
4. Make any shape you wish out of this mixture.
5. Dip each of them into a whisked egg mixture and then into the breadcrumbs.
6. Deep fry them till golden brown.


Serve it with a tangy yogurt dip or tartar sauce.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Adai - A protein rich breakfast

I did not know this is one of my favorite breakfast until I realized my mom making it every time I go home on a short break from college. I guess, I have too many favorites to keep track of. :-) This adai is a flavorful combination of rice and lentils with sauteed onions and hing. This is a very filling breakfast that you will not even think about a mid morning snack if you have this for your breakfast.

Sorry for the dull pictures. 



 
This recipe will yield approximately 6 adais.

Ingredients:

1. Idli rice - 1 cup
2. Mixture of dhals - 1 cup (I used uradh dhal, moong dhal, toor dhal and channa dhal in equal amounts to fill the cup)
3. Onion - 1 medium chopped finely
4. Dried Red chillies -2
5. Hing - a generous pinch
6. Salt - as needed



Method:

1. Soak rice and all the dhals together at least for 4 hours. Grind them into a coarse mixture with dried red chillies and salt and less water. When you touch the better it should feel like a mixture of coarse rava/sooji. The batter should be a bit thicker than idli batter.
2. In a hot tawa, add a teaspoon of oil. Add onions and saute till it get soft. Do not let it turn brown.
3. Add the sauteed onions with a generous pinch of hing to the batter.
4. Heat an iron griddle or a dosa pan, spray some cooking spray or oil.
5. Pour a spoon full of the batter and make a thick adai. Sprinkle oil on the sides of the adai. Keep the heat low. I kept it in 3 all the while while cooking adai. This is make the adai nice, crispy and golden brown. Lift it and see if the adai has turned golden brown and crispy.
6. Gently flip it over, add another spoon full of oil to the sides. Adding oil the second time is really optional. But this enhances the crispiness and taste. Remove it from heat once the other side turns crispy and golden brown.


Note: Adai tastes best as soon as you make the batter. Unfortunately, the adai doesn't come out well if the batter is stored in the refrigerator and used later. 

Serve it with coconut chutney.



I am sending this entry to Srivalli's "Breakfast Mela"  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Baked French Toast Casserole

When it comes to French Toast, I am ready to try any version that I come across. Am not sure if it is because it is sweet or if it is because it is one of those dishes that reminds me of my childhood cooking. Whatever it might be, I just love French Toast :-) .

When I came across this recipe in SmittenKitchen, I knew I am going to make this for our weekend breakfast.I made it for a Sunday breakfast and it was absolutely delicious.


Ingredients:

1. Bread  - 1 loaf (I used a loaf of challah but any fresh loaf of bread should work)
2. Milk - 3 cups
3. Eggs - 3
4. Sugar - 3 tablespoons
5. Salt - a pinch
6. Cinnamon - 2 teaspoons

Method:

1. Mix Milk, eggs, sugar and salt and keep it aside.
2. Slice the bread into thick slices.
3. Foil a baking dish or casserole. Butter the baking dish generously. Line the bread slices. You can tear apart a bread slice and fill any gaps.
4. I couldn't make a second layer because my baking dish was not so deep. If you decide to have layers in your toast, pour the milk egg mixture over the first layer. You can add any dry fruits or nuts and then proceed with arranging the second layer.
5. Pour the remaining milk egg mixture over the second layer. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top. Cover with a cling wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.
6. The bread will absorb all the goodness while you are sleeping.
7. Bake it at 425F for 30 minutes. The bread will puff up nicely.

Serve it with maple syrup or any topping of your choice.


I am sending this entry to Srivalli's "Breakfast Mela"  

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Jeera Rice

Long grain rice flavored with cumin seeds cannot be missed by anyone visiting a north Indian restaurant. This rice is very easy to prepare and goes very well with any north Indian gravy.



Ingredients:

1. Basmathi rice - 2 cups
2. Butter - 2 tablespoons
3. Cloves- 2
4. Cinnamon stick - 1 inch
5. Cardamom - 2
6. Cilantro - 1/2 cup
5. Fresh mint leaves - 1/2 cup
6. Cumin seeds - 1 tablespoon
7. Fried onions - 2 tablespoons
8. Salt - as needed
9. Water - 4 cups

Method:

1. Soak basmathi rice for 2 hours.
2. Meanwhile, in a hot deep dish, add  butter. Add the cloves, cinnamon sticks, cardamom. Saute for sometime. Add cumin seeds, once it splutters, add cilantro and mint. Saute for sometime.
3. Add 4 cups of water to it and add enough salt.
4. Let it boil and add the soaked rice. Wait till all the water is absorbed. Just when all the water is absorbed, add the fried onions and close the dish with the lid and reduce the heat to low and let it cook for 5 minutes.
5. Switch off the heat, transfer it to a serving dish.

Nice and fluffy jeera rice is ready to serve with any creamy north Indian gravy.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Kadai Chicken

I made this last sunday and I should say it was a big hit. I wanted to make something different with chicken that will go well with rice as well as rotis and this was perfect.




Ingredients:


1. Chicken - 1 lb
2. Onion - 1 finely chopped
3. Tomato - 1 finely chopped
4. Ginger Garlic paste - 2 tablespoons
5. Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
6. Chilli powder - 2 teasppons/ per taste
7. Thick Yogurt - 1 tablespoon
8. Salt - as needed
9. Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
10. Coriander powder - 1 teaspoon
11. Kasoori Methi - 1 tablespoon
12. Cashewnuts - 10 -12 pieces
13. Ghee - 1 tablespoon
14. Oil - 1 teaspoon


Method:


1. Clean and cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Marianate the chicken with salt, turmeric, half of the chilli powder, ginger garlic paste and yogurt. Leave it in the fridge for 30 mins.
2. Meanwhile, in a hot tawa add oil, saute onion tomato and cashew till the raw smell goes off. Let it cool.
3. Pressure cook the marinated chicken for 1 whistle with a cup of water. Drain the water from the chicken and set it aside. Save the water. It adds a lot of taste to the gravy.
4. Grind the sauted onion tomato and cashew miture to a coarse paste. If you want it fine, you can make a fine paste. But I thought, the coarse mixture will add nice crunch and texture to the gravy.
5. In the same pan that you sauted onions, add ghee. Once it is hot, add the coarse onion mixture. Add the remaining chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, salt and the water that oozed out while cooking chicken.
6. Let it come to a boil and let it become thick.
7. Add the cooked chicken pieces. Give it a good stir so that the chicken pieces are covered with the masala.
8. Add Kasoori methi. It gives a very nice texture and flavour to the dish.
9. Let the gravy thicken. Saute it till the ghee seperates a little bit. Or, if you prefer having more gravy, remove from heat a bit early when you see the right consistency.


Serve with hot rice or roti.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Puttum Pazhamum

I know... I know.... The shape of the puttu presentation is unusual :-) That is the reason why puttu maker (the cylindrical one) is in the top of my shopping list when I go to India this time.

Regardless of whatever shape it is, I can just inhale it any time. My mom makes it very often just because I love it a lot. I can see her eyes twinkling with happiness when she sees me eating her puttu. When my mom was here with us last time, she made rice flour and I use that flour to make puttu. I came out perfect. I have tried using the store bought rice flour but never got that perfect taste. I usually make a little more puttu than actually needed and keep it in the refrigerator. It will come in handy to satisfy my sweet tooth after each meal :-) .

My mom used raw rice to make this flour. Soak raw rice in water for 2 hours. Drain all the water. Use a kitchen towel to dry the rice a little bit. It need not be very dry. Little moisture is needed. Grind the rice in a mixie till fine. Sieve it to get a very fine rice flour. Let it dry in the sun for 2 hours/ till it gets dry and store it in an air tight container. You can use this flour to make puttu, idiyappam, kozhukattai, etc..,



Ingredients:

1. Rice flour - 2 cups
2. Salt - a pinch
3. Luke warm water - as needed
4. Ghee - 2 tablespoons
5. Sugar - 8 teaspoons / per taste
6. Grated coconut - 3/4 cup

Method:

1. Mix rice flour with salt. Add water little by little and mix it till you get the flour with which you can make a firm ball yet breaks easily when you touch it.
2. Let it stand in your counter top for half an hour. 
3. Here come the secret step for my moms super soft puttu. Pulse the flour a couple of times in the mixie. Then sieve it till you get a fine rice flour. Lazy me skipped the pulsing part and that is why you an see few lumps in the picture :-)
4. Use a puttu make to layer the flour, coconut and sugar or steam cook it and then add coconut, sugar and ghee.

Serve hot with ripe bananas 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Aloo Parotta

May it be school tours or long travels, my mom always packs Aloo Parotta. Her version of aloo parotta is a little different from mine. She mixes everything in the dough and makes parottas whereas I do the stuffed version.  Today I am going to give the recipe for the stuffed version.

 
Ingredients:

For the dough :
1. Whole wheat flour - 2 cups
2. Salt - as needed
3. Luke Warm water - 1 cup approx
4. Oil - 2 teaspoons

For the stuffing:

1. Potatoes - 3 medium
2. Onions - 1 large (chopped)
3. Oil - 1 tablespoon
4. Ginger garlic paste - 2 teaspoons
5. Green chilly - 2 finely chopped
6. Cilantro - 2 tablespoons roughly chopped

Method:

1. Mix the flour salt and oil and mix it well, so that oil and flour mix properly without any lumps.
2. Add water little by little and knead it till you get a soft dough. Keep it aside.
3. For the stuffing, cook the potatoes till soft and mash it and keep it aside.
4. In a pan, heat some oil and add onions, green chillies and ginger garlic paste. Saute till the onions become soft.
5. Now add the mashed potato and cilantro. Remove it from heat and keep it aside.
6. Separate the dough we have prepared into 8 equal parts. Take one part of the dough, make a thick roti. Separate the stuffing into 8 equal parts and take one part of the stuffing and form it into lemon size ball. Place the stuffing in the middle of the thick roti. Bring the edges of the roti to seal. Now again roll the rotis with the seem side down to form thin parottas. Repeat the same with the other seven parts of dough and stuffing.
7. Heat a tawa, place one parotta at a time, let it cook. Flip it over and let it cook on the other side. Sprinkle some oil / ghee and cook both the sides till you see nice golden spots.

Serve it with your favourite Raitha.


I am sending this entry to Srivalli's "Breakfast Mela"  

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Quesadillas

A specific origin for the quesadilla is unknown. There are many ideas about where the quesadilla originated. The quesadilla is a food that changed and evolved over many years as people experimented with different variations of it. It is believed that it started in Mexico. The reasoning behind this is because of the ingredients. The tortilla is a mesoamerican food. Queso, which means cheese, has been apart of the Mexican language ever since the Spaniards introduced it to them.[Source: Wikipedia]

Sometimes, I feel like not cooking much. This usually happens on a Friday night. So I try to do some quick fix semi home made stuff. One such dish is the Quesadilla. It is very easy to assemble if you have the right ingredients. It involves very little cooking. You can adjust the filling with any vegetable/ meat you want.
I had left ovet mutton masala. So I added it to the filling and it tasted great. Quesadilla with an Indian twist :-) . I also made it with just the vegetable filling and that was great too. So people who are lazy like me or people who want to taste this homemade quesadillas, just grab some tortillas from the store and you can make a delicious dinner in no time.



Ingredients:

1. Store bought tortilla - 2
2. Oil - 1 table spoon
3. Onion - 1 medium thinly sliced
4. Green pepper - 1 thinly sliced
5. Red pepper - 1 thinly sliced
6. Mushrooms - 1 cup sliced
7. Salt - to taste
8. Pepper - to taste
9. Sharp cheddar cheese - 1 cup

Method:

1. In a skillet, heat some oil. Add onions, peppers and mushroom. Saute till it gets soft. Season it with some salt and pepper. Keep it aside.
2. Place the tortilla in another hot skillet with just a few drops of oil, leave it just for a couple of seconds and flip it over.Reduce the heat to medium low. All the fillings have to be placed in one half of the tortilla.
3. Sprinkle some cheese, then the sauted vegetables. If you decide to add some meat, place it now. I chopped the mutton masala and just added it as the next layer. For the last layer sprinkle some more cheese and fold the other half of the tortilla to form a semi circle.
4. Gently flip it, so that the cheese melts on the other side too.

 Serve it with salsa, guacamole and sour cream.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mutton Masala

This is a very easy to prepare mutton masala. You can have it with either hot rice or rotis.


Ingredients:


1. Mutton - 1 lb
2. Onion - 1 large (chopped)
3. Ginger garlic paste -  2 teaspoons
4. Chilli powder - 1 tablespoon
5. Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
6. Salt - as needed
7. Cumin powder - 2 teaspoons
8. Coriander powder - 2 teaspoons
9. Curry leaves - few
10. Coconut oil - 1 tablespoon
11. Pepper powder - 12 teaspoons
12. Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
13. Garam masala powder - 2 teaspoons


Method:


1. Clean and cut the mutton into bite size pieces. Mix turmeric and salt  with mutton and marinate it till all the other steps are completed.
2. In a pressure cooker, heat some oil  and add mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add few curry leaves.
3. Add chopped onions and ginger garlic paste. Saute till the onions turn pink.
4. Add all the masala powders and saute for a couple of minutes and add the marinated mutton. Add just enough water and pressure cook it for 3 -4 whistles.
5. After the pressure releases, open the cooker, see if the masala is thick enough. If it is watery, just let it cook without lid till you get the required consistency.
6. If you need a little gravy, add 1/2 a cup of coconut milk, let it cook for sometime.