Monday, April 30, 2007

Spinach / Palak Paneer Kofta



To make palak paneer kofta seemed to be a long process. Since i was making paneer fresh at home. But when i started cooking, it didn't take too long to finish it.

Ingredients

To make fresh paneer
1.5 cup - Whole milk
3 tsp - Vinegar

To make spinach paneer dough

Prepared fresh paneer
10 oz ( 283 gram) - Frozen Spinach packet or use fresh spinach,chopped
3 to 4 tsp - Besan / bengal gram flour
1/2 tsp - Red chili powder
1/2 tsp - Ginger paste
1/2 tsp - Coriander powder
1/2 tsp - Garam masala powder
1 pinch - MDH kofta masala powder

To make gravy

1/2 tsp - Jeera / cumin
1 pinch - Hing
3 flakes - Garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp - Ginger, grated
1 - Green chili, chopped
1 medium size - Onion, chopped
2 - Tomato
1 tsp - Tomato paste
5 - Almonds
5 - Cashew nuts
3 to 4 tsp - Whipping cream Or
1.5 tsp - yogurts /curds
1.5 cup - Water

Garnish

Coriander leaves, chopped

Method

1 ) To make paneer - In a heavy bottom utensil, bring milk to a boil. Simmer heat and add vinegar. Stir continuously. The milk will curdle and whey will separate. Take off the stove and let it stand for a few minutes. (In picture, boiling milk and then curdled milk.)












2 ) Pour the contents to a cheese cloth placed on a sieve. Squeeze & drain out all the whey to get fresh paneer.

3 ) To make the kofta - Mix fresh paneer with rest of the ingredients listed for the kofta dough.When using frozen spinach, wash and drain all the water. Squeeze out all the water and then mix with other ingredients to make a dough.













4 ) Make small balls of the dough. Heat enough oil to deep fry kofta's. Fry kofta's to deep brown color. Take out and set aside.

5 ) To make the gravy - In a heavy bottom pan, heat some oil, add jeera, hing, garlic, ginger, green chili. Stir and fry for a minute. Add chopped onions and brown it well. Now add chopped tomatoes and tomato paste, stir and fry till oil separates. Add almonds, cashew nuts and salt to taste. Take off the stove and cool.

6 ) Add the cooked gravy ingredients to a blender, add whipping cream or you can use yogurt and make a smooth paste.

7 ) Place a saucepan on stove, add the ground gravy paste and water in it. Bring to a boil, simmer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Adjust salt to taste. Now add the fried kofta's to the gravy and cook for a minute or two. Take off the stove.


Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot as a side dish with roti or steamed basmati rice.

This is my recipe contribution for JFI-WBB greens, hosted by Indira of Mahanandi.

Mutton Masala Chops


Ingredients

1 lb - Mutton chops
2 - Tomato, finely chopped
1/4 cup - Curds
1 tsp - Coriander powder
1 tsp - Red chili powder
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp - Cumin powder/ Jeera
1.5 cup - water
Salt to taste

Grind to paste

1 medium size - Onion
1 inch piece - Ginger
2 - Green chili
6 flakes - Garlic

Garnish

1 cup - Coriander leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp - Garam masala powder


Method

1 ) Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add the ground ingredients and fry till golden brown.

2 ) Add chili powder, turmeric, coriander and cumin powder. Stir and fry for a second. Add tomato and yogurt. Stir and fry till tomatoes are well mashed and oil separates.
3 ) Add mutton chops and salt to taste. Fry till chops are brown. Add water and pressure cook for 3 to 4 whistles. Take off stove, cool and open pressure cooker.

4 ) Place cooker back on stove. Add coriander leaves and garam masala. Cook till the gravy is thick. Take off the stove and serve.

Serve hot with kerala porotta or roti.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Chemmeen / Prawns Theeyal

There are certain curries, you will not be satisfied having just a little and end up having a large meal. This is one such curry for me. I heard about chemmeen theeyal from a friend and how good it tasted. She is so right and i am hooked.

Ingredients

1 lb - Prawns, cleaned
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
2 to 3 piece - Kodampuli
Salt to taste

Dry roast & grind to paste

1 cup - Grated coconut
2 tsp - Red chili powder
2 to 3 tsp - Coriander powder
2 pinch - Fenugreek powder / Uluva

Seasoning

1 tbsp - Coconut bits / Thenga kothu
4 - Shallots, sliced
2 - Green chili, slit in center
2 sprig - Curry leaves
Coconut oil


Method

1 ) Clean prawns and marinate with turmeric powder and salt. Set aside. Wash kodampuli and soak in little water.

2 ) In a pan, dry roast grated coconut till light brown in color. Then add red chili, coriander and fenugreek powder. Stir for a minute, take off the stove and cool. Grind to a smooth paste with water.

3 ) Heat Coconut oil in a saucepan, add coconut bit and fry lightly. Then add shallots, green chili and curry leaves. Lightly fry the ingredients.

4 ) Add marinated prawns, ground coconut paste, kodampuli and enough water to make a gravy. Cook to a boil and simmer. Adjust salt as to taste. Simmer and cook till prawns is cooked.

Serve hot with rice and let me know if you are hooked or not.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Chembu / Taro Moru Curry

Taro is extensively used in South Asia. In Kerala state, it is used as a staple food, as a side dish, or as a component in various side dishes. As a staple food it is steamed, and eaten with a chutney of green pepper and shallot onions. The leaves and stems of certain varieties of taro are used as a vegetable in Kerala.

Taro is consumed in most of the regions of South Asia. It is called chembu in Malayalam, arvi in Hindi, kesu or kesuvinagadde in Kannada, aalu (अळू)
or arukudya in Marathi, alvamande in Konkani, chamagadda or chamadumpa in Telugu, chembu or cheppankizhangu in Tamil, saruwada in Oriya, and kochu in Bengali.Taro is so widely available in India and Bangladesh that its Bengali name kochu can also mean "worthless thing" or "nothing" in sayings. [ Source - Wikipedia ]
This moru curry's main ingredient is Chembu / Taro. A meal with chemu moru curry, meat masala fry along with rice is a great combination. The combination is irresistible for me. Curry tastes even better once it cools and sits for a while.

Ingredients

6 - Chembu / Taro, cut to small pieces
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp - Red chili powder
Salt to taste

Grind to a paste with yogurt

1 cup - Coconut
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp - Jeera / Cumin
1 - Green chili
2 - 3 flakes - Garlic
1/2 inch - Ginger
1 cup - Yogurt / Curds

Seasoning

1 tsp - Mustard seeds
1 tsp - Fenugreek seeds / Uluva
4 - Whole dry red chili
2 sprigs - Curry leaves
Sesame oil

Method

1 ) Boil taro in enough water with red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt. Cook till taro is well cooked.

2 ) Meanwhile grind ingredients listed to be ground to a thick paste.

3 ) Add ground paste to cooked taro. Add little water to make a thick gravy. Adjust salt as to taste. Cook on low heat till it comes to a boil. Take off the stove.

4 ) In a pan heat oil and pop mustards. Then add fenugreek seeds, whole red chili, curry leaves. Season chembu moru curry.

Serve with rice as a side dish.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Peanut Chikki

Kadala mithai as peanut chikki is known in malayalam, is a favorite sweet treat in our house. It's a simple recipe to follow.

Ingredients
1 cup - Roasted peanuts
1 cup - Jaggery
Little ghee

Method

1 ) Dissolve jaggery in little water, filter to remove any impurities.

2 ) Boil jaggery on medium heat, till jaggery thickens a bit. To check if the jaggery syrup is cooked enough to add peanuts; just drop some syrup drops in cold water. Take the drops, to test if it forms like a ball. If it is like a string, it needs to be cooked a bit more, till it forms like a ball.











3 ) Once the syrup is ready, add a little ghee to the syrup and also the roasted peanuts. Stir and mix for a minute. Keep ready a plate, that is greased with ghee. Transfer the peanuts to the plate and spread.

4 ) Cool for a while. Then you can apply a little ghee in your hands and make small balls of this peanut chikki. Otherwise you can cut into squares and break it up when cool.

Crunch on some chikki's and enjoy the flavour and taste of peanuts and jaggery.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Ela Ada - Steamed Sweet Dumpling

Ela Ada is a traditional kerala dish, which makes a great breakfast or a evening snack. Ela in malayalam means leaf and the leaf used in making this Ada is banana leaves. Before using banana leaves to make ada, the banana leaves has to be mildly wilted. By holding the banana leaf on top of a low flame for a few seconds, this can be done.Then cut the leaf to small desired pieces.
This is my first shot at making ela ada and i am satisfied with the outcome. I have tried with rice dough and ragi dough.

Ingredients for rice dough

1 cup - Rice flour, lightly roasted
1.5 cup - Water
1 tbsp - Oil
Salt to taste

Ingredients for ragi dough

1 cup - Ragi powder
1/4 cup - Rice flour
Salt to taste

For filling

1.5 cup - Grated coconut, fresh
150 gm - Jaggery
2 - Cardamom, powdered
3 - Ripe plantain, cut to small pieces
1 cup - Beaten rice / Aval / Poha

For wrapping

Banana leaves

Method

1 ) To make rice dough - Boil water in a pan, add salt and oil.To boiling water add rice flour, put off the flame, stir and mix the flour very well. Close with a lid and set aside for a while. When the dough cools, but still slightly warm, knead the dough well and then make balls out of the dough.

2 ) To make ragi dough - Use enough cold water and mix all the ingredients listed for ragi dough.

2 ) To make filling - Boil little water & jaggery in a pan. Once the jaggery has dissolved, filter it and remove any dust particles. Then again boil melted jaggery to a thick syrup. Add coconut, beaten rice, Cardamom powder & banana pieces. Mix all ingredients well and cook till the filling is thick. Take off the stove.

3 ) On a small piece of banana leaf, place one rice dough ball, press and spread out on the leaf. Dipping your fingers in water will make it easy to spread the rice dough on the leaf.
Make small balls of ragi dough and spread out like the rice dough was done.

4 ) Spread the filling in the center, like in the picture. You can even just use grated coconut as a filling.

5 ) Now after the filling is done, fold the leaf in half and then press. Press the sides as well, so that the filling will not come out.

6 ) Place the prepared banana wraps in steaming vessel and steam for 10 to 15 minutes, till it is fully cooked.

7 ) Take the steamed ada out of the banana leaf wrap and serve.


Enjoy this delicious Ela Ada for breakfast or as a sweet treat.

If banana leaves are not available then parchment paper is used to make this ada. Check out Surya's Healthy N spicy and Priya's Kitchen to make with parchment paper.
Ammupatti's thoughts have displayed in a video, how traditionally elai adai is made.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Broccoli Masoor Dal Sabzi

Today it's broccoli and masoor dal sabzi with garlic naan, for lunch. I thought i will share my lunch with every one, in the cyber way of sharing.

Ingredients

1 cup - Masoor dal
2 cup - Broccoli, chopped
1 - Tomato, diced
1/2 inch piece - Ginger, grated
1 pinch - Asafoetida / Hing
1/4 tsp - Turmeric powder
1 tsp - Crushed red chili powder
1/2 tsp - Jeera powder/ Cumin seed powder
1/2 tsp - Garam masala powder
Salt to taste
Corn oil

Seasoning

1 tsp - Mustard seeds
2 - Shallots, chopped

Method

1 ) In a saucepan, cook masoor dal with turmeric powder, crushed red chili powder, hing, jeera, garam masala powder, ginger, tomato, salt to taste and little oil. Add enough water to cook the dal.

2 ) When the dal is cooking, in another pan, heat some oil and pop mustard in it. Add shallots, brown lightly, then add broccoli and stir fry. Cook on low heat. Don't over cook broccoli.

3 ) Once the dal is cooked, add broccoli , mix in well. Adjust salt to taste. Cook on low heat for 2 minutes. Take off the stove and serve

Serve hot with rice or roti.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Avalum Sharkarum - Beaten Rice with Jaggery

A simple sweetened snack made with beaten rice, jaggery, coconut and ripe plantain.

Ingredients

3 cups - Beaten rice / poha/ Aval
1/2 cup - Freshly grated coconut
3/4 cup - Jaggery syrup
2 pods - Cardamom, powdered
1 - Ripe plantain, chopped to small pieces



Method

1 ) Wet the beaten rice with little water. If you have freshly opened sweet coconut water, use that to wet the beaten rice.

2 ) Mix all the ingredients listed with beaten rice.

Serve as a snack and enjoy this jaggery sweetened Aval.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Peanut Masala

Snack on some crunchy masala peanuts and enjoy this savoury snack. A friend of mine told me, how to make this snack in the microwave. This is like a instant snack you can make, when you feel like it or you have a guest come by.

Ingredients

1 cup - Besan / Bengal gram dal flour
1 cup - Peanuts
1/2 to 3/4 tsp - Red chili powder
1/4 tsp - Turmeric powder
1 big pinch - Asafoetida / Hing
2 to 3 big flakes - Garlic, grated
3 tbsp - Oil
1/2 cup - Water
Few curry leaves
Salt to taste

Method

1 ) In a microwave safe plate, put all the ingredients together, except the oil and water. See in picture.


2 ) Then add oil, mix and rub together all the ingredients well. Little by Little add water as needed and mix all the ingredients and coat the peanuts well, as in picture.



3 ) Place the plate in the microwave. Microwave for 2 minutes. Take the plate out from microwave and with a fork crumble and break the peanuts apart. Add little more oil, if you feel the mixture needs it. Mix oil well into the mixture.


4 ) Place the plate back into the microwave and cook for 1 minute. Take the plate out and with a fork stir the peanuts. Again place the plate back into the microwave and cook for 1 minute.

5 ) Repeat for 2 - 3 times. Each time cooking for 1 minute, then take the plate out and stir the peanuts. Repeat till peanuts are crunchy and cooked.

Note: Watch when cooking in microwave, as the peanuts can burn up very fast and also the plate might crack. So take the plate out and cool for a minute, check if peanut is crunchy enough. Toward the end if you need just little more cooking , then just microwave for 50 seconds and see if it is crunchy.

Serve with a cup of hot tea or coffee.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Chana Fry

Chana also know as garbanzo beans, chickpeas is full of health benefits. You can read the health benefits of this legume here.

Now this is a simple and mildly spiced chana fry. This can be a very good snack or as a side dish.

Ingredients

2 cups - Cooked chana or 1 tin of cooked Garbanzo beans

Seasoning

1 tsp - Mustard seeds
1 sprig - Curry leaves
1/4 tsp - Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp - Black pepper powder ( add more if you like it spicy and like peppery flavour )
1/4 cup - Freshly grated coconut
Salt to taste

Method

1 ) When using dry chana, soak chana overnight and pressure cook in 3-4 whistles . When using cooked & canned chana, drain all the water and wash well. Set aside.

2 ) Heat oil in a kadai or wok. Add mustard, then curry leaves, turmeric powder and black pepper powder. Fry for minute on low heat.

3 ) Add the cooked chana to the spices, stir and fry on low heat. Add grated coconut, stir and mix. Take off the stove and serve.


This same recipe is followed in making :
kadala (malayalam), kala chana ( Hindi )

In picture : Kadala / kala chana

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Brinjal Mooru Kootan

Today is April Fools day and did some of you have a good time making a fool of the other ? It was really funny in the school days to be silly and try all your stunts to make a fool of your friends. That's some good memories.
Today my taste buds are craving for something tangy. I had some green brinjals in hand and thought why not experiment with them. So this recipe is the result of that experiment. If you like tangy taste, you will like/love, but not dislike this curry. Green brinjals are fried and cooked in yogurt gravy.



Ingredients

8 - Green round brinjal, chopped lengthwise
1/4 tsp - Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp - Red chili powder
1/2 tsp - Asafeotida/ hing

For Yogurt gravy

1. 5 cup - Sour thick Yogurt / curds
1 big flake - Garlic, chopped
1/2 inch - Ginger, chopped
1/2 tsp - Cumin powder / Jeera powder
Salt to taste

Seasoning

1 tsp - Mustard seeds
1 sprig - Curry leaves
2 -3 - Whole red chili
Corn Oil

Method

1 ) Heat oil in a pan, add turmeric powder, red chili powder and hing. Fry for a minute. Then add chopped brinjal, Stir and fry till brinjal is browned. Do not add salt now. Brinjal should not get mashed up.

2 ) Meanwhile, grind and blend ingredients for yogurt gravy in a blender. Add this to the fried brinjal. Add salt to taste and bring to a boil on low heat. Take off the stove.

3 ) Heat oil in a pan, pop mustard seeds, then add curry leaves and whole red chili. Fry for a minute. Add this seasoning to the brinjal yogurt curry.

Serve this delicious brinjal yogurt curry with plain rice.