Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sabudana Vada

Wrapping up the year 2009 blogging with this vada made with sabudana and potato, which is a popular Marathi fasting snack. During fasting there are certain restrictions followed in the food preparations. Like for this vada, addition of onion and coriander leaves will add good flavor and taste. But during fasting these are avoided. Do add onion and coriander leaves to suit your taste. Even without them this vada tastes good.
There was a lot of changes in my life during 2009 and it reflected on my blogging slowing down [ If any one noticed :) ] a bit. Hoping the brand new year 2010 brings in new opportunities , positivity and prosperity. Here i wish all my readers a happy new year in advance. Hope you guys and gals have a good year ahead.

Ingredients

1.5 cup - Sabudana/ sago
3 to 4 medium size - Potato, boiled & chopped to small bits
1/2 cup - Roasted & ground peanut powder
5 to 6 - Green chili, finely chopped
1 tsp - Jeera seeds
1 to 2 sprigs - Curry leaves, chopped
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Method

1 ) Soak sago overnight in water and drain into a colander in the morning. Keep aside to drain for an hour or 2 . Drain off all the water very well. Soaking time can be for 3 to 4 hours.

2 ) Into a mixing bowl add, sago, potato, jeera, chili, peanut powder, curry leaves and salt to taste. Combine all the ingredients and make small equal size balls. Take one ball at a time, place it in the center of one palm and flattened with the other palm.

3 ) Heat enough oil to deep fry on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the vada till both sides turn golden brown. Drain off the oil and transfer to a plate.


Serve with tea and if needed with your choice of chutney.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mushroom Soup

Happy holidays, everyone ! With the cold weather outside, you can warm up with a cuppa soup, cozying up in a couch. Or you can serve this soup along with your Christmas feast. Mushroom soup was one soup i loved as a kid and still a favourite. Try this homemade mushroom soup and let me know what you think.

Ingredients

1 +1 cups - Chopped Button Mushrooms
1/2 cup - Shallots, chopped
6 flakes - Garlic, crushed
2 tbsp - Maida / All purpose flour
1 cup - Milk
1 - Bay leaf
3 cups - Chicken stock Or water
1 to 1.5 tsp - Lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 to 2 tbsp - Cream / half and half

Garnishing

5 - Shallots, diced
1 tbsp - Chopped Parsley

Method

1 ) Heat 2 tbsp to 3 tbsp butter in a big pan. Fry the shallots for garnishing to a brown and crisp on medium heat. Drain off the butter and set aside. Now add 1/2 cup chopped shallots and garlic and fry till they soften. Now add 1 cup of chopped mushroom to the pan and fry till they soften and starts to fry a bit. Now stir in 2 tbsp of flour, mix well and cook for 3 minutes.

2 ) Remove pan from fire and gradually add the 3 cups chicken stock or water, bay leaf, salt and pepper powder to taste and bring to a boil. Now simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Turn the stove off and cool a bit.

3 ) Sieve or liquidize and strain the soup.If you are liquidizing the soup, add the contents to a blender to liquidise only after the soup has cool down a bit. Otherwise there is all possibility of the hot contents splashing out of the blender. It happened to me and i learnt my lesson, so just a word of caution here.

4 ) Pour the strained soup back into the pan and keep it back on fire. Now add 1 cup milk, 1 to 1.5 cup water and 1 cup chopped mushrooms. Bring to a boil and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Simmer and cook covered for 10 minutes. Turn off the stove. Now add lemon juice, stir in and then cream.

5 ) Garnish with fried shallots and parsley.



Serve hot and enjoy. You can reheat the soup, but do not bring it to a boil.

To clean Mushroom : Mix a spoonful of cornflour in water and wash mushroom with this. This will remove all the surface mud.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Chakka / Jackfruit Avial

Getting to see young unripe jack fruits in the market now. The young small ones will be good to make, thoran, avial, idichakka and like dishes. Jack fruits are found in abundance in kerala, during the season. Ripe and unripe fruit is used to make different dishes. Buy a small unripe jack fruit to make jack fruit avial.

Ingredients

4 cups - Unripe jack fruit, chopped to small pieces
1/2 to 1 tsp - Turmeric powder
4 to5 tsp - Curds
2 sprigs - Curry leaves
2 tbsp - Coconut oil
Salt to taste

Grind to a coarse paste

1 cup - Freshly grated coconut
1/4 tsp - Jeera
4 - Green chili
5 - Shallots/ small onion
2 flakes - Garlic
1 sprig - Curry leaves

Method

1 ) Cook jack fruit with turmeric powder and salt till soft. You can pressure cook in cooker for one whistle or simmer and cook in a pan with enough water. Add a little coconut oil when the water boils.

2 ) Just coarsely grind ingredients listed to be ground. Add this mixture to the cooked jack fruit. Add salt to taste and bring to a boil. Then simmer, add curds and stir in.

3 ) Crush some curry leaves and add to the pan then pour coconut oil on top, stir and close with a lid. Take off stove and serve.



Serve as a side dish with rice.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Kanda Poha

Delicious, healthy and filling breakfast to start the day with. A maharastrian breakfast dish, where kanda means onion in marathi.

Ingredients

2 to 3 cups - Thick Poha / Beaten rice
1 medium - Potato, cut to small bits
1 big - Onion, chopped
1 to 2 - Green chili, chopped
1/2 of a - Lemon
2 to 3 sprigs - Curry leaves
Salt to taste

Seasoning

1 tsp - Mustard Seeds
1 tsp - Urad dal
1 tsp - Channa dal
1/4 tsp - Turmeric powder

Garnishing

1/4 cup - Coriander leaves
1/4 cup - Freshly grated coconut

Method

1 ) Wash poha in water and drain in a colander. Set aside to drain off the water.

2 ) Heat oil in a kadai / wok, add mustard, urad dal, channa dal and let the mustard pop and the dals brown a bit. When done, add onion, turmeric powder, curry leaves, green chili and fry for a minute or two on medium heat. Now add potato and salt to taste to the pan. Stir and fry well. Close with a lid and cook on low heat. Occassionally stir in between. Cook till potato has cooked and browned a bit.

3 ) Now add the drained poha and mix in well with the ingredients in the kadai. Garnish with coriander leaves, coconut, adjust salt to taste and stir well. Close with a lid and swtich off the gas. After 5 minutes open and sprinkle lemon juice. Stir in well.


Serve for breakfast.

Note - You can add boiled green peas while adding potato. Tomato can be used instead of lemon juice. If you like peanuts, add peanuts along with urad dal and chana dal and fry it.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Njandu / Crab Coconut Masala

How about a nice crab coconut masala to go with rice ? Now in this recipe the coconut is not dry roasted before grinding. Crab is coated with the coconut masala when you bite into it. This is more of a dry preparation with little gravy, that coats the crab.

Ingredients

10 - Big Crab, wash & cleaned
1/2 cup - Shallots, chopped
2 to 4 - Green chili, slit in center
5 flakes - Garlic, make a paste
1'' piece - Ginger, make a paste
3 pieces - Kudampuli, Wash & clean
1 tsp - Turmeric powder
3 sprigs - Curry leaves
1 tsp - Mustard seeds
Salt to taste

Grind to a smooth paste

2 flakes - Garlic
5 - Shallots /Small onion
5 - Dry red chili
1/2 tsp - Fennel seed
4 tsp - Coriander powder
1/2 cup - Freshly grated coconut

Method

1 ) Heat coconut oil in a manchatty / earthen pot, add mustard seed and let it pop. Then add shallot, green chili, curry leaves, fry for a minute. Then add ginger and garlic paste and fry till it browns lightly.

2 ) Now add turmeric powder, kudampuli and the ground coconut masala paste, fry for a minute. Then add little water for gravy, salt to taste and the cleaned crab pieces. Bring to a boil, simmer and cook till crab is cooked. Finally add some curry leaves and coconut oil on top. Take off the stove and serve.


Serve hot with rice.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Masoor - Ma - Gosh

A parsi delicacy, that is cooked with masoor dal and mutton. The combination brings out a delightful taste, with the help of the spices cooked along with it. Makes the dish more healthy with the use of whole masoor dal. A dish that you can enjoy, served hot with roti.

Ingredients

3/4 cup - Whole masoor dal
1/2 kilo - Mutton, Use leg or shoulder cut pieces
2 - Onions, chopped
1 big - Tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp - Jeera
3 to 4 sprigs - Curry leaves
Salt to taste

Grind to a paste with vinegar

6 - Red chilies
4 medium - Green chilies
1 tsp - Jeera / Cumin
1 big flake - Garlic
1'' piece - Ginger
1 to 1.5 tbsp - Vinegar

Method

1 ) Wash and soak masoor dal in water for an hour. Put into a pressure cooker along with mutton pieces, salt, turmeric powder, jeera and salt to taste. Add 2 to 3 cups of water and pressure cook for 2 to 3 whistles.

2 ) Heat oil in a pan, add onion, curry leaves and fry the onion till it turns golden brown in color. Now add the ground masala and fry till the oil separates. Add tomato, fry and cook till it is soft on low heat.

3 ) Once tomato is done, add cooked masoor and mutton mixture to the pan, simmer and cook till the flavors blend in.


Serve hot with chapathi /roti.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stuffed Bread Pakoda

There are varieties of pakoda's made with different vegetables and even with chicken and fish. This bread pakoda is stuffed with mashed potato, then dipped in besan batter and fried. Stuffing make this pakoda, interesting. But then you can even make a plain bread pakoda, just by dipping in the besan batter without the stuffing too. So you can go either ways. When you feel lazy to make the stuffing, just go plain.

Ingredients

10 to 12 - Bread slices

For stuffing


3 medium size - Potato, boiled

1 to 2 - Green chili, finely chopped

A small piece - Ginger, finely grated
2 to 3 tbsp - Coriander leaves, finely chopped

1/8 tsp - Turmeric powder
Salt to taste


Besan
Batter

1 cup -
Besan / gram flour, shifted
1/4 tsp - Red chili powder

1/4 tsp - Coriander powder
1/4 tsp - Garam masala powder

1/4 tsp - Ajwain
1/4 tsp -
Amchoor powder / dry mango powder
1/8 tsp - Turmeric powder

Salt to taste


Method


1 ) Trim the edges of the bread ( if you prefer it ) Cut it into a triangle and again cut that triangle to a smaller triangle and set aside. You can cut the bread into a round or small square pieces, whatever shape and size you prefer.


2 ) Mash the boiled potato very well, with no lumps. Then add turmeric powder, green chili, ginger, coriander leaves, salt to taste and mix ingredients well. If you prefer you can lightly fry the chili, ginger in oil, then add turmeric powder, coriander leaves, stir and take off stove, then add to the potato and mix to make the stuffing.


3 ) Make the
besan batter, by adding all the powders listed with besan and add a cup of water to make a loose batter. Add salt to taste.

4 ) Keep a plate with little water to dip the bread pieces. Now take one bread triangle piece at a time, dip in water on both side quickly and then press with both your palms to squeeze off excess water out. Now spread a little potato stuffing on the bread slice, then dip another triangle piece in water and squeeze off excess water and then place on the stuffed piece. Press and seal the sides lightly. Make use of all the triangle pieces to make similar stuffed bread pieces and keep ready to dip in batter and fry.


5 ) Heat enough oil in a kadai / wok. When the oil is hot enough, reduce heat to medium, then dip one stuffed bread piece at a time in the besan batter and then slide into the hot oil. Fry on both sides to golden brown color. Drain off the oil and transfer to a paper towel.

6 ) To make plain bread pakoda - cut the bread slices to desired shape and size and then dip in the above given besan
batter and fry in oil.

Serve with tomato ketchup and have along with tea.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Paneer Paratha

I boiled 2 litres of milk and i hear some strange sound coming from the milk pot. Having a look i see the milk has curdled ! OMG ! now what do i do ? I phoned my friends around and asked what to do with spoiled milk. Just throw it out said one friend and some had no clue if i could make something out of the spoiled milk. Then i asked my maid, if i can salvage this and make anything out of it. She told me, anyways you curdle milk to make paneer and from the 2 litres i had good amount of paneer formed. So go ahead and make some paneer dish out of it. So i drained out all the whey and collected the paneer into a muslin cloth and hung it to drain out all the water. It took a while and i got all the whey out of the paneer. And then i thought of making paneer paratha out of it. Paratha's turned out well. It tasted like i had stuffed scrambled eggs inside the paratha. Anyways, any of you trying out this recipe can make paneer from fresh milk and curdle it with vinegar or lemon juice to make fresh paneer.

Ingredients

3 cups - Wheat flour
1 tbsp - Ghee / Oil
Water to knead the dough
Salt to taste

Instead of ghee or oil, i used 1/4 cup - crumbled paneer, freshly made. ( This helps in making paratha soft)

For Stuffing

1.5 cup - Fresh crumbled paneer
1 medium - Onion, very finely chopped
2 to 3 - Green chili, very finely chopped
1 small piece - Ginger, grated ( optional )
1/2 cup - Coriander leaves, very finely chopped
1/2 tsp - Coriander powder
1/2 tsp - Amchoor powder /dry mango powder
1/2 tsp - Garam masala powder
1/2 tsp - Roasted jeera powder / Roasted cumin powder
Salt to taste

Method

1 ) To make stuffing - Its important that all the water is drained out of the paneer. Coriander leaves has to be washed, cleaned, dried and chopped. There should not be any water in the stuffing. Now mix all the ingredients listed for stuffing together and keep aside.

2 ) To make the dough - Mix wheat flour, oil and salt. Mix and rub the flour to get oil and salt well mixed. Then add water little by little, knead and make a stiff dough. Rest the dough for 20 to 30 minutes. Cover with wet towel, so that dough doesn't dry out. Then again knead the dough to get a soft workable dough.

3 ) Make small key lime size balls of the dough. To make one paratha, roll out 2 dough balls. In one rolled out dough, spread the filling. Place the other rolled out dough on top of the filled dough. Press the edges to seal in. Dust with flour and roll out the paratha.

4 ) Heat a tawa or a nonstick pan, on medium heat and place the paratha in it. Smear some ghee / oil on top and around the paratha. Flip and cook evenly on both sides, till it's golden brown in colour on both sides.


Serve hot with raita and pickle.
Check out other Parantha's with detailed pictures -

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Carrot Thoran / Upperi

Stir fry with fresh carrots, brings out a touch of sweetness of the carrot and then a spicy taste from the spices combined to make a good side dish to have with rice or roti. I always liked this upperi with rice and meen /fish curry. Easy to make, just leaving the part of cutting the carrots to small bits. It's simple in taste and easy to put together.

Ingredients

5 medium - Carrots, cleaned & cut to small pieces
1 medium - Red onion Or 6 to 7 big , shallots, diced
1/2 to 1 tsp - Red chili flakes
1/4 ts - Turmeric powder
1/4 cup - Freshly grated coconut
Coconut oil

Seasoning

1 to 2 tsp - Mustard seeds
2 to 3 sprigs - Curry leaves

Method

1 ) Heat oil in a kadai or a wok. Add mustard and let it pop. Then add carrot, onion, curry leaves, chili flakes, turmeric powder, salt to taste and stir in well to combine all the ingredients. Then sprinkle some water and close with a lid and cook on a very low heat till the carrot is cooked.

2 ) Add coconut and stir in. Add little coconut oil and fry for a minute to take off any moisture.

Serve hot with rice or roti.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Methi Paneer

Methi or the fenugreek leaves, for all you care, is bitter in taste; but then is a part and parcel of Indian cooking. It's known for its medicinal values, used as home remedies. Cooking with methi leaves, here is a combination of methi and paneer. When cooked, paneer balances the bitterness of methi and you get this wonderful dish, that will go well with roti/ chapati or basmati rice.

Ingredients

1 big bunch - Fresh Methi leaves
200 gram - Paneer, cubed
1 big - Tomato, pureed
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
1 tsp - Coriander powder
1/2 tsp - Cumin seeds

Masala Paste - Grind to smooth paste

2 to 3 - Green chili
7 big flakes - Garlic
2 '' piece - Ginger
8 - Black pepper corns
2 - Cardamom seeds, powdered

Garnish

1/2 Cup Coriander leaves, chopped

Method

1 ) Pick methi leaves from the stem and wash very well. Drain and set aside.

2 ) Heat oil in a kadai/ wok. When oil is hot, add paneer cubes in batches and fry to a light brown color. Drain and set aside.

3 ) In the remaining oil, add cumin seeds, when it splutters add ground masala paste, turmeric powder and salt to taste. Fry well for 2 to 3 minutes on low heat. Now add coriander powder and fry for a few seconds. Then add tomato puree and cook till oil separates on low heat. Add fenugreek leaves, saute for a few minutes, till the leaves are cooked.

4 ) Now add paneer cubes and mix in well. Let the paneer suck in the masala flavors. Add one or two tablespoon of water, cover and cook for a minute or two. Open and garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve hot with roti or basmati rice.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Varutharacha Mathi / Sardine Curry

This is the time of the year you start getting fatty oily sardines. Oil oozing out of the oily sardine float on top of the prepared curry. Eating these oily sardines have many health benefits and tastes good too.
In this preparation, the ingredients are roasted and ground to a paste. The fish is cooked in this roasted masala and you get a rich and oily gravy once the masala is cooked with the fish.

Ingredients

About 15 - Big Sardines / Mathi, cleaned
A big lime size - Tamarind
4 to 5 sprigs - Curry leaves
Salt to taste
Coconut oil

To Roast

3/4 cup - Freshly grated coconut
6 to 8 - Dry whole red chili
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
1.5 tbsp - Coriander powder
7 big - Shallots/ Small onion
1/8 tsp - Fenugreek seeds /Uluva
1/2 to 1 tsp - Black peppercorns
2 to 3 sprigs -Curry leaves

Method

1 ) Heat oil in pan, lower heat, add fenugreek seeds, peppercorn, dry red chili, curry leaves, small onions and fry for few seconds. Then add coconut , turmeric powder, coriander powder and roast on low heat till coconut turns brown in color. Take off the stove and cool. Transfer to a blender and grind to a smooth paste with little water.

2 ) Pour this masala into a manchatty / earthern pot. Extract tamarind juice adding enough water to the tamarind. Add tamarind extract to the pot, then add fish, salt to taste and more water if needed for the gravy. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook covered till the fish is cooked well. Now pour little coconut oil on top of the curry, some fresh curry leaves. Take off the stove and serve hot.


Serve hot with rice, will make a delicious meal.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Chivda

Diwali / Deepavali ( festival of lights) was here and neighbors brought in a sweets and snacks. Chivda was one among other snacks that is made for diwali and shared with friends and neighbors . This is a traditional maharastrian snack, made during festive times. Even otherwise you can make chivda, store it in air tight containers and snack on it, when ever you want to.

Ingredients

6 cups - Thin Poha / Rice flakes
1/2 cup - Roasted unsalted ground nuts
1/2 cups - Roasted dalia / puttukadalai
2 tsp - Mustard seeds
2 tsp - Coriander seeds
2 tsp - Fennel seeds
1 tsp - Jeera / Cumin
6 to 8 - Green chilies, chopped
1/4 cup - Curry leaves
1/2 to 3/4 tsp - Turmeric powder
1 to 1.5 tbsp - Sugar
About 1/2 cup - Vegetable oil
Salt to taste

Method

1 ) In a big kadai / wok, dry roast rice flakes in batches on medium heat. Rice flakes will start curling up a bit and will get crisp. Take off kadai and transfer into a big plate. If the ground nuts are not roasted then dry roast ground nuts till done and transfer to another plate to cool. Now add puttukadai into the kadai and lightly warm it. Transfer to the same plate ground nut is in.

2 ) Now heat oil in the kadai, add mustard and allow it to pop, then add coriander seeds, fennel, jeera, green chili, curry leaves and let the coriander seed brown lightly. Then add ground nut, puttukadalai, turmeric powder and stir for a second on low heat. Then add salt to taste and mix in well in oil, then add rice flakes and stir in well from all sides and mix all the ingredients well.Turn the stove off, then add sugar and mix in well.

Serve with tea and snack on some chivda.

Note - You can add dried coconut /copra flakes to this mixture, after lightly roasting it. Also sev can be mixed after the chivda is made.

Go easy , when adding salt..too much of salt will spoil the taste.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Matar Pulao - Green Peas Pulao

Flavorful and Aromatic pea pulao is easy to put together. Get hold of some frozen peas from your freezer, of course defrost it and cook along with basmati rice and spices. Serve along with any meat gravy, raita and pappad.

Ingredients

2 cups - Basmati rice
4 cups - Water
1 cup - Green peas
2 - Black cardamom
5 - Black peppercorns
3 - Cloves
1/2 tsp - Cumin / jeera seeds
1.5 tsp - Fresh ginger paste
2 tsp - Fresh garlic paste
1 small - Onion, chopped
Salt to taste
Ghee Or vegetable oil

Garnishing

1 tbsp - Unsalted cashew nuts
2 large - Onions, thinly sliced

Method

1 ) Wash rice well then soak in water for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to drain out well.

2 ) Heat oil in large pan, add sliced onions for garnishing into it and medium heat fry till onion turns brown and crisp. Drain off the oil and transfer to paper towel. Then in remaining oil, fry cashew nuts until golden brown. Drain and set side on the paper towel.

3 ) Add more oil if needed, then add black cardamom, peppercorns, cloves, cumin to the oil and fry for a few seconds. Then add ginger, garlic paste and fry for a few seconds, then add onion and fry till onion turns lightly brown. Now add peas and drained rice and saute for 5 minutes.

4 ) Add water and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to very low, cover and cook till all the water is used up. Turn stove off and let the rice remain on stove with lid for 5 to 10 minutes. Open and fluff rice gently with a fork. Serve on a severing platter. Garnish with fried onions and cashew nut.


Serve hot with raita and chicken curry.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Diwali And Blog Anniversary

If there is someone still out there, checking my new posts, thanks for reading. It's been 3 years and 'Simply Spicy' is 3 years old.

I take this opportunity to wish every one a ' Happy Diwali '

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Marathi - Batata Baingan Bhaji ( Sabzi )

Brinjal and potato is cooked with spices and flavored with coarsely powdered peanut powder, which makes this dish interesting. A dry vegetable preparation, that will go well with roti, jowar bakri and like rotis.

Ingredients

3 to 4 - Green long variety brinjal, cubed
1 big - Potato, cubed
1 medium - Onion, diced
1/8 tsp - Hing / Asafoetida powder
1/2 tsp - Red chili powder
1/8 tsp - Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp - Garam masala powder
1 tbsp - Coarsely powdered roasted peanuts
Salt to taste

Garnish

1 tsp - Mustard seeds
2 to 3 sprigs - Curry leaves

Method

1 ) Soak chopped brinjal and potato cubes, till you have to add them to the pan, to avoid oxidisation.

2 ) Heat oil in a kadai / wok, add mustard seeds and pop them. Then add onion, curry leaves and fry till onion is reddish. Then add brinjal and potato pieces, drained from the water. Give a good stir and fry for a minute, then add the powders - hing, red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, salt to taste, stir well and close with a tight lid and cook on very low heat, till potato and brinjal gets cooked. Sprinkle some water if the vegetables are sticking to the pan.

3 ) Once the vegetables are cooked, add little oil and stir and fry for a minute. Turn off the stove, then sprinkle peanut powder and mix in well.

Serve hot. This will go very well with roti/ bakri
Note - Can add one tomato and cook along with brinjal and potato. Other than green brinjal, small purple one can be used too.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Coconut - Lasun / Garlic Chutney

A combination of coconut and raw garlic, with red chili and tamarind, gives a rustic taste to this condiment, that is very popular Marathi chutney preparation. Whenever i shopped for groceries, i would come across this chutney in packets to be sold. Most of the times i would buy it and have along with dosa. Once i had this chutney served along with batata vada in a function and it had strong garlic taste to it. You will need an after mint after having this chutney, since raw garlic is used to make this chutney.

Ingredients

1/2 shell - Coconut, freshly grated
10 to 12 - Dry whole red chili, (or as to one's taste )
10 to 12 flakes - Garlic
Small marble size - Tamarind
Salt to taste

Method

1 ) In a kadai, dry roast, red chilies on very low heat. Once the chilies are roasted (take care not to burn it ), transfer to a plate. Then add coconut and dry roast on low heat till coconut, starts getting the light brown tint. Take oof stove and transfer to a plate to cool.

2 ) In to a blender/grinder, add garlic, tamarind pulp and make a paste of it. Then add red chili and run the blender to powder it. Then add coconut, salt and run the blender to combine all the ingredients together. Don't have to make the chutney too smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Serve with dosa, roti or with rice.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Tangy Bengali Prawn Curry

As my dear friend subi said i am on a roll trying out new cuisines. After trying out Bengali coconut prawns curry recently, am too eager to taste more of Bengali cuisine. Here is yet another prawns curry, Bengali style. It's too very delicious and yum with rice. I should say mustard oil, indeed imparts special flavors and gives a unique flavor to bengali cuisine. Those you have not cooked with mustard oil, do try this curry and you will love it.

Ingredients

To marinate prawns

2 cups - Prawns / shrimp, cleaned
1 - Lemon
Salt to taste

For gravy

2 medium - Onion, chopped
1 tbsp - Fresh Garlic paste
2 tsp - Fresh ginger paste
1 tsp - Red chili powder
2 tsp - Coriander powder
4 medium - Tomato, pureed
2 tsp - Tamarind pulp
4 to 5 tbsp - Mustard oil
Salt to taste

Garnish

2 - Green chilies, split in center
1 tbsp - Coriander leaves

Method

1 ) Drain prawns well off any water, then marinate prawns in lime juice and salt to taste for 30 minutes.

2 ) Heat a kadai / wok, add mustard oil and heat the oil till it turns smoking hot. Take off from the fire and cool the oil slightly. Place the kadai back on stove add prawns and fry until half cooked. Remove prawns from kadai and transfer to another utensil.

3 ) In the same remaining oil ( if you have run out of oil, then again add mustard oil and bring to a smoking hot, then cool a bit and proceed with next step ) add onion and fry till the onion turns golden brown. Add ginger- garlic paste, chili powder, coriander powder and salt to taste. Stir and fry well for 5 minutes on medium heat.

4 ) Then add tomato puree and cook till oil rises to the surface on medium heat. Add little water if the mixture is sticking to the pan . Now add the fried prawns back to the kadai, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Sharpen the tangy taste with tamarind pulp and stir in well. Garnish with green chili and coriander leaves.


Serve hot with rice.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Malvani Pomfret / Paplet Curry

Recently visiting a mall, happened to see a malvani food counter in the food court. We ordered a malvani thali and had the option to choose any non-veg dish to be included in the thali. We went for fish curry. The fish curry was made out of surmai / Sear fish, with coconut based gravy. It turned out to be very delicious. Coconut is liberally used in malvani food. Kokum is used as a souring agent, which is more like kerala, kudampuli. After having tasted that delicious fish curry and the thali food, i was very keen to learn malvani way of cooking. With the help of my maid, who provided me with this recipe, i prepared this pomfret curry. Since i didn't have kokam, i used kudampuli instead to make this curry.

Ingredients

6 to 8 small or medium - White pomfret, cleaned & cut to pieces
2 big flakes- Garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp - Red chili powder
1/4 tsp - Turmeric powder
4 to 5 pieces - Kokum Or Kudampuli
Salt to taste

Grind to a smooth paste

1/2 a shell of - Coconut, grated
1/2 '' piece - Ginger
2 big flakes - Garlic
4 to 5 - Green chilies
1 tbsp - Coriander seeds
3 stalks of - Coriander leaves, chopped ( about half a cup )

Method

1 ) Grind and keep ingredients to be ground to a smooth paste with minimal water and set aside. Wash kokum or kudampuli well.

2 ) Heat oil in a big pan, add chopped garlic and fry on medium heat to light brown color. Add the ground coconut paste, red chili powder, turmeric powder and fry for a minute or two. Then add enough water for the gravy, kokum, salt to taste and bring to a boil. Add fish pieces, simmer and cook closed with a lid till the fish is fully cooked.


Serve hot with rice.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bengali Coconut Prawns Curry

Traditional Bengali food is prepared using mustard oil. Cooking with mustard oil, always intrigued me. How will it be cooking with mustard oil. When you open a fresh bottle of mustard oil, you are taken in by the strong pungent smell and makes you think, will cooking with this oil be okay. I had once asked one of my bengali friend, how is it to cook with mustard oil ? And she said it's like you keralite's like your coconut oil, we like our mustard oil. Today i was bent on finding out how it tastes cooking with mustard oil and went on to make this prawns curry. I was pleasantly surprised. The strong smell of the oil was not found in the curry. Curry had smooth flavors and was soothing to taste.


Ingredients

2 cup - Cleaned prawns / Shrimps
2 tsp - Coriander powder
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
3/4 tsp - Garam masala powder
1/2 tsp - Sugar
1 cup thick & sour - Curds / yogurt
4 tbsp - Mustard oil
Salt to taste

Grind to a smooth paste

1/2 shell of a small - Fresh Coconut, grated
2'' piece - Ginger
4 - Green chilies
4 to 6 - Dry whole red chili
1 tsp - Mustard seeds

Method

1 ) Add all ingredients listed to be ground into a grinder, except mustard seeds. Grind to a smooth paste with little water. Then add mustard seeds and grind again to get the mustard seeds just enough ground (not too much ).

2 ) Heat 4 tbsp of mustard oil in a heavy pan till it starts smoking. Reduce heat or remove the pan from fire to cool oil, a little bit. Then place back to fire and add the ground masala paste. Fry on a medium heat till brown. When oil separates, add coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, salt and sugar. Fry lightly for a minute , then add curds, prawns and stir in. Now add about 1.5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer and cook covered, till the prawns is cooked and the gravy has thickened a bit.


Serve hot with plain boiled basmati rice.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dahiwalli Gobi - Cauliflower In Spiced Yoghurt Gravy

A north Indian style of preparation of cauliflower in spiced yogurt gravy. Will go well with Chapati /Roti / tortilla.

Ingredients

1 big - Cauliflower, cut into medium size florets
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
1 tsp - Coriander powder
1 tsp - Jeera / Cumin powder
1/2 tsp - Red chili powder
1 cup - Thick & sour yogurt / Curds
Salt to taste

Grind to a smooth paste

2 medium size - Onion
2''piece - Ginger
8 big flakes - Garlic
3 to 4 - Whole dry red chili
1'' piece - Cinnamon
4 - Cloves
1 - Cardamom
1 tbsp - Poppy seeds, soaked in water for 1/2 hr

Garnishing

1/2 cup - Coriander leaves, chopped

Method

1 ) To clean cauliflower well - Take enough water to soak cauliflower in an utensil, add 1 tsp turmeric powder into the water. Add cauliflower to it and keep it soaked for 15 to 20 minutes. Then wash well with plenty of water.

2 ) Grind the ingredients listed to be ground to a paste well. Heat a kadai or a wok with 4 tbsp of oil, add the ground paste into the kadai and fry on medium heat till the raw smell goes and till the oil starts separating. This will take a while, let the ingredients get cooked well and get lightly browned.

3 ) Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, chili powder and salt to taste. Stir and fry the powders well. Then add cauliflower florets and saute lightly.

4 ) Add yogurt / curds, stir in well. Close with a lid and cook the cauliflower on low heat till the cauliflower turns tender. Now open the lid and dry off excess liquid gravy on high heat, stirring the cauliflower in between. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve.

Serve with chapati /roti / tortilla.

Note - The dish is more reddish in color, since i used more than suggested chili powder in the recipe.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Chattipathiri - A traditional Malabar Moplah Sweet Dish !

A traditional Malabar Moplah / Muslim dish, which is made on special occasions, like during the time of Ramadan, when breaking the fast and feasting on good food. A sweet dish that is layered with chapati /roti, with filling of sweetened egg mixture and sprinkled with nuts, raisins and poppy seeds. A rather heavy sweet dish, that you can indulge in, occasionally. This is my first attempt at making this dish and am not sure if i have cooked this to perfection.

Ingredients

For the chapati / Roti

1 cup - Wheat flour
1 cup - Maida / All purpose flour

1 tbsp - Ghee

A pinch of salt

For Filling


6 to 7 - Large Eggs
200 gram - Sugar, powdered
2 tsp - Rose water Or Vanilla essence
10 - Green Cardamom, powdered

To Fry

100 gram - Poppy seeds / Khus khus
100 gram - Cashew nuts
100 gram - Golden raisins

100 gram - Ghee

Method


1 ) Make the chapati dough - Mix both the flours, ghee, salt and mix well. Then add water little at a time and make a soft dough.Divide the dough into 6 or more small balls. Then roll out the dough into very thin round chapati's. Size of chapati should be as per the size of the chatti or non-stick pan you are going to cook this dish in.

2 ) Heat a tawa or a griddle to cook the chapati's. Place one chapati at a time and cook very lightly on both side. Chapati should not get fully cooked. Just cook one side lightly, flip and cook the other side too lightly and take off the tawa. Do like wise to rest of the chapati dough. Spread little milk on each chapati.

3 ) Heat little ghee in a pan, add raisins and fry till it puffs up, drain off ghee and set aside in a plate. Then add cashew and poppy seeds and fry in ghee. Once they have browned lightly, drain off ghee and set aside alo
ng with raisins.

4 ) Egg mixture - Beat egg well then add sugar, rose essence, cardamo
m powder and beat well.

5 ) To Arrange and cook the chattipathiri - Take a non stick kadai, spread some ghee all around the bottom and sides of the kadai. Then sprinkle a little of the raisins, cashew and poppy seeds( sprinkle little, since you need to sprinkle this in each layer and then finally there should be some to garnish on the top ) Then pour little of the egg mixture evenly all around.Now dip one chapati in egg mixture and place the first layer of chapati in the pan. Pour little egg mixture evenly all around on top of the chapati.Then sprinkle some raisins, cashew and poppy seeds. Pour some ghee all around
the chapati. Now do the same process to the next layer of chapati and layer one after the other. Finally top with, pouring egg mixture evenly all around the top chapati, and garnishing the top with raisin, cashew and poppy seeds. Pour some ghee all around.

6 ) Place the non-stick pan on stove on a very l
ow heat. Cover and close with a tight lid and cook for 30 to 45 minutes on very low flame. Do not open in between to check. Once cooked, take it off the stove to cool a bit then cut in to pieces and serve.


Serve when still warm and enjoy this chattipathiri.

You can bake this dish, by preheating oven to 350 degree, place dish in the middle rack and baking 30 to 45 minutes. Depending upon you oven heating, it will take 30 t0 45 minutes.