Monday, February 22, 2010

Idichakka Thoran - Tender Jackfruit Stir Fry

When such traditional dishes are made, makes me think, if only i had the ammikallu. That would have made the pounding easy. I remember as a kid,my mother's kitchen well equipped with traditional gadgets like ammi kallu and like. But then later those gadget were replaced by modern gadget like mixie / grinder that made life easy in a city life. Though bit laborious in comparison to grinder to make a smooth paste of ingredients with ammi kallu, the taste that is got from ingredients pounded and ground in ammi kallu is not found in the modern grinder.
Coming to the recipe, very young and tender jackfruit is used to make this thoran. Applying oil liberally on hands and knife before cutting helps to prevent your hand and knife getting sticky from the gum inside the jackfruit. De-skin the jackfruit and then chop the jackfruit to small pieces. Once done with chopping, you can clean the knife clean, by placing it on fire and then wiping the knife with a newspaper.

Ingredients

3 cups - Chopped tender jackfruit
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
Few curry leaves
Coconut oil
Salt to taste

Grind coarsely

1/2 to 3/4 cup - Freshly grated coconut
1/2 tsp - Cumin / jeera seeds
4 - Green chili
6 big flakes - Garlic
2 - Shallots / small onion
A small piece - Ginger
Few curry leaves

Seasoning

1 tsp - Mustard seeds
1 tsp - Urad dal
2 - Whole dry red chili
1/3 cup - Shallots, chopped
Few curry leaves

Method

1 ) To a pan add 1.5 cup water, turmeric powder, salt to taste and bring to a boil. Add jackfruit pieces, little coconut oil and cook closed with a lid on simmer till jackfruit is cooked well. Once jack fruit pieces are cooked, increase heat and let all the water dry out. Cool and then you can add in little batches jack fruit into a blender/ grinder and pulse one or two times to get it crushed. Or you can use a mortar and a pestle to pound the jack fruit pieces lightly.

2 ) Heat a kadai /wok with coconut oil, add mustard seeds urad dal and let the mustard seeds pop. Then add dry chili and saute, then small onion and fry till lightly browned. Add curry leaves and the coarsely ground coconut mixture. Fry till the raw smell goes, then add jack fruit and mix in well. Stir and fry for a few minutes and take off the stove.


Serve with rice as a side dish.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Rogan Josh

Mutton cooked in a rich gravy of spices, that is roasted and ground to a smooth paste, releases an aroma that is so delightful, it can tickle your palate with flavor and taste. Kashmiri chili gives the deep red color for the gravy.

Ingredients

1 to 1.1/4 Kilo - Mutton Shoulder, cut to small pieces
2 medium - Onion, sliced
2 Medium - Tomato, pureed
2 - Bay leaves
2 sticks - Cinnamon
5 - Green cardamoms
1 tsp - Turmeric powder
1 tbsp - Red chili powder
3/4 cup - Thick & sour Curds /yogurt, beaten

To roast

1 tbsp - Coriander seeds
2 tsp - Cumin seeds
1 tbsp - Poppy seeds
16 - Almonds, shelled
2 - Brown cardamoms
1/4 tsp - Pepper corns
4 - Cloves
A large pinch - Mace
2 Tbsp - Coconut, grated

To grind along with roasted ingredients

5 to 6 - Kashmiri,whole dry red chili
2'' piece - Ginger, chopped
10 to 15 flakes - Garlic
A large pinch - Nutmeg, grated

Method

1 ) Soak kashmiri chili in 1/2 cup hot water for 15 minutes. In a pan roast all ingredients listed to roast from coriander seeds to coconut on medium heat, stirring continuously until the spices give out their distinct aromas.

2 ) Now grind the roasted ingredients to a smooth paste along with kashmiri chili, ginger, garlic and nutmeg. Add and use the water in which kashmiri chilies were soaked in, little by little to grind the ingredients to a smooth paste.Aroma from the spices ground fills up your kitchen.

3 ) Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add bay leaves, cinnamon and green cardamoms. Stir for a few seconds Then add onion and fry till onions are golden brown. Now reduce flame and add turmeric powder, chili powder and stir for a second. Then add the ground paste, tomato puree and stir well.

4 ) Add one tablespoon curds, stir till curd is well blended. In the same way, add remaining curds one tablespoon at a time, till all curd is used up. Now stir and cook till oil separates on the top. Add meat and salt to taste. Stir meat till lightly browned. Add one cup water, stir well. Close the cooker and pressure cook for 10 minutes. Remove cooker from heat and cool.



Serve with basmati rice or roti.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Egg Vindaloo

Portuguese influenced Indian cooking and this influence can be seen in the Goan cuisine. Vindaloo style of preparation was introduced by the Portuguese in Goa. The traditional Portuguese dish, vindaloo evolved into a fiery, vinegary curry with the addition of various indian spices that was ground with vinegar to give it a unique taste, that is tangy, spicy and flavorful. This egg vindaloo has got a sweet and sour taste to it.

Ingredients

8 to 10 - Hard boiled eggs, shelled & cut into halves
2 big - Onion, sliced
6 flakes - Garlic, crushed
1'' piece - Ginger, minced
1 medium size - Cinnamon bark
2 tsp - Chili powder
1/4 tsp - Cumin seed powder
2 tsp - Sugar
3 tbsp - Vinegar
2 tsp - Worcestershire sauce
Salt to taste

Method

1 ) Heat one tablespoon ghee, in a pan, add cinnamon bark,onion and fry until onion turn light brown in color. Now add garlic, ginger and saute, then add chili powder, cumin powder, fry for a second and then vinegar. Fry the spices well with the onion for five minutes.

2 ) Now its time to add sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt and one cup of water. When the curry boils add egg and simmer for 10 minutes, closed with a lid. Once done take off the stove and serve after half an hour to let the spices and vinegar settle and balance the flavors. Egg vindaloo can be had on the same day or after 2 to 3 days too.

Note - Boiled potato, cut in quarters can be added along with egg.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Rava Idli

While those white idlis are a common sight and need ahead of preparation time for soaking and fermenting, rava idli is a quick fix in comparison. With the addition of veggies like peas, tomato, it's nutritious as well as filling.

Ingredients

1 cup - Sooji rawa
2 cups - Curds / yogurt
1/4 cup - Green peas (optional )
1/4 cup - Freshly grated coconut
1 to 2 - Green chili, finely chopped
1 small piece - Ginger, finely chopped
1 small - Tomato, chopped (optional )
1/4 cup - Coriander leaves, finely chopped
4 to 5 - Cashew, spilt into half's
1/8 tsp - Hing powder
1/4 tsp - Baking soda / cooking soda
1/4 tsp - Eno fruit salt
Salt to taste

Seasoning
1/2 tsp - Mustard seeds
1 tsp - Urad dal
3 to 4 sprigs - Curry leaves
3 tbsp - Ghee

Method

1 ) Heat ghee in a kadai / wok, add mustard, urad dal and fry till mustard has spluttered and dal has lightly browned. Then add green chili, ginger and fry for few seconds. Then add curry leave, coriander leaves and fry a second . Now add rawa, cashew nut and fry for 3 to 4 minutes on low heat till rawa becomes crisp or roasted lightly.

2 ) Now transfer to a plate and cool. Once rawa has cooled down,then do the next step. In a mixing bowl add curds and beat well.Then add green peas, tomato, coconut and salt to taste. Dissolve hing powder in little water and add to the batter. Then add cooking soda and eno to the batter and stir in well. Then add roasted rawa and mix well. The batter consistency should be like the idli batter ( add little water if the batter is too thick). Immediately go ahead and make the idli's.

3 ) Now steam idli's in an idli cooker, pouring the mixture into well greased idli moulds. Steam cook for 10 minutes. Once idli is cooked, remove from cooker and cool for 5 minutes then remove from the mould and serve.


Serve with chutney. Makes a good breakfast dish or a good evening snack. This batter yields about 10 to 12 idli's.

Note - If the curds/ yogurt is sour then don't add tomato. End result could be too sour idli. Use yogurt that is not sour for this recipe.