Monday, March 29, 2010

Aloo Matar Tikki, Fruit Chaat

Chaats are popular street food in india, especially in the northern regions. These are savoury snacks that are lip smacking and filling. Aloo matar tikki, a potato- green peas pattie, that is served with fruits and garnished with onion, coriander leaves, spice powders and drizzled with curds, is a very filling and delightful snack. With the tartness and sweetness of the fruits and the savoury taste of aloo matar tikki, it's a combination of taste in your mouth. Also check out aloo tikki choley chaat, i had posted some time back.


Ingredients

For Tikki

3 big - Potato, boiled with skin
1/2 cup - Green peas, boiled
2 - Green chili, finely chopped
1/2 '' piece - Ginger, finely chopped
1/2 cup - Coriander leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp - Garam masala powder
Salt to taste

To coat

4 tbsp - Bengal gram flour

To Garnish

1 cup - Mixed fruits, diced
1 - Onion, chopped
1 cup - Thick curds, beat with a little sugar
1/2 tsp - Roasted cumin powder
1/2 tsp - Red chili powder
Few sprigs coriander leaves

Method

1 ) To make tikki - Mash potato, while still warm very well. There should not be any lumps. Then crush peas with hand lightly and add to the potato and mix. Add green chili, ginger, coriander leave, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and salt to taste. Mix well, then take a little of the mixture, make a ball of it, then flatten to make a pattie / cutlet /tikki shape.

2 ) Heat oil in a pan. Spread some bengal gram flour on a plate, roll the tikki, in bengal gram flour and deep fry or shallow fry until golden brown in color. Make tikki's in the same manner with rest of the mixture.

3 ) Now to garnish and serve the tikki with fruits - Place two tikki's in a serving plate along with some diced fruits. Add some beaten curds around the plate. Sprinkle roasted jeera powder and chili powder. Garnish with chopped onion and coriander leaves.

Fruit suggestion - Pomegranates, grapes, apple and like. Cut fresh fruits when ready to serve.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Garam Masala - A Marathi Way Of Making It.

Garam Masala Powder is a blend of various spices, that is dry roasted to release the aroma of the spices and then powdered. This is stored in air tight containers, so that the aroma of the spice mix is not lost. Garam masala powder is used in a dish towards the end of the cooking, when the dish is almost done, so that the aroma of the powder is not lost. Making of garam masala powder differ from region to region and as per one's requirement to a particular dish. Here is a spice blend, given to me by a maharastrian lady, who uses this garam masala powder in her chicken curry, sabzi and other maharastrian dishes that she prepares.


Ingredients

2 tbsp - Coriander seeds
2tbsp - Black pepper corns
2 tbsp - Fennel seeds
1 tbsp - Cloves
1 tsp - Shah jeera
4 big sticks - Cinnamon
2 to 3 - Mace /Javitri
6 - Bay leaves
5 - Big black cardamom
2 - Star anise
1 to 2 tbsp - Khus khus / poppy seeds

Method

1 ) In a heavy kadai / pan, add the all the ingredients listed except khus-khus. On a low heat stir and dry roast the spices. The spices will release it's aroma and will turn lightly brown. Turn the stove off, transfer the spices into a plate to cool. Now add khus khus to hot pan and let it warm up in the heat of the pan. If needed place pan on low heat till khus-khus turn light brown. Take off stove and cool.

2 ) Once cool, transfer to a coffee grinder or a good blender that can powder the ingredients well.
Transfer the powder into a air tight container.


Now an homemade garam masala powder is ready to be used in any dish that calls for this spice blend to flavor and spice up the taste buds, with its aromatic flavors.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Phirni - Creamy Rice Pudding

It's been long since i posted a sweet dish here. Phirni / firni, a creamy rice pudding is easy to put together and a sweet delight that is garnished with nuts. The basic ingredients are milk, rice and sugar, then as to one's taste and preference you can make variations to this basic recipe. Addition of almonds, rose water, saffron or mango or strawberry can bring about variation in taste. This recipe has some almonds and rose water to enhance the taste of phirni.

Ingredients

4 cups - Milk
3 to 4 tbsp - Coarsely ground basmati rice
1/2 to 3/4 cup - Sugar ( or as to taste )
1 to 1.5 tsp - Rose water or few drops of rose essence
20 - Almonds, blanched & thinly sliced

Method

1 ) To blanch Almond - Put almond in microwave safe bowl, with little water. Microwave for one minute. Take off the microwave and set aside for few minutes to cool. You can now peel the almond skin off very easily. Slice thinly and set aside.

2 ) Boil milk in a big pan. Once the milk has boiled, take some boiled milk and mix it with ground rice to a smooth consistency. Then pour the rice mixture to the milk on stove and keep stirring continuously. Cook till the milk has thickened and has a creamy smooth consistency. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes of cooking time.

3 ) Add sugar and taste for sweetness. Adjust sweetness as per your taste and preference. After adding sugar simmer for a few minutes to dissolve the sugar, while stirring constantly. Take off the stove, add the rose essence and stir in the sliced almonds, reserving some for final garnish on top.



Pour phirni into shallow dessert bowls. Allow to cool to room temperature, refrigerate and serve cold. Traditionally phirni is served in small earthen cups / matkas, like the one in the picture.

Note - For variation, crushed pistachio nuts can be added as final garnish. Also cardamom powder can be sprinkled.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Stuffed Soya Potato Cutlet

Soya nuggets are rich source of proteins and they are referred to as the vegetarian meat. And it's so true, that this soya potato cutlet tastes more like a meat cutlet, when you bite into the stuffed soya nugget filling in the center. A delicious snack, which will be a good add to your tea time.


Ingredients

6 medium - Potatoes, boiled
1 tsp - Chat masala powder
1 tsp - Ginger, finely chopped
1 - Green chili, finely chopped
Salt to taste

For filling in center

3/4 cup - Soya Nuggets
1 small - Onion, finely chopped
2 - Green chili, finely chopped
2 tsp - Ginger, finely chopped
Few coriander leaves, finely chopped
Salt to taste

For Coating

1 - egg
Salt to taste

Method

1 ) Soak Soya nuggets for one hour in water. Drain off the water from the nuggets after one hour.

2 ) Heat a pan with oil, fry onion, chili, ginger to a slight brown color. Then add coriander leaves and stir for a second then add soya nuggets, salt to taste, simmer and cook closed with a lid for 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle water in between and stir if the fry is getting too dry.Take off the stove and cool once the nuggets are cooked.Nuggets should be dry without any excess water.Once cool, transfer the cooked soya fry into a blender / grinder and pulse for one or two times to get a coarse mixture of the nuggets.

3 ) Boil potato with skin. Discard the skin and mash potato finely when still slightly warm. Knead to make a smooth dough. There should not be any lumps. Add chat masala powder, ginger, green chili and salt to taste. Mix well with the potato.

4 ) Take a small amount of potato dough, make a ball of it, then shape it like a cup to add filling in center. Add a little soya mixture in the center and then wrap it with potato dough. Now shape it like a ball and flatten little to a cutlet shape.

5 ) Beat an egg well with little salt. Dip the cutlets in the egg and then shallow fry it to a golden brown color. Drain off the oil and serve.


Serve hot as a snack with tomato ketchup.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Sraavu / Shark Curry

How about some fish and rice for lunch ? If there is a good fish curry, then there is nothing more i need with rice.When i got some fresh sraavu from market, i remembered the sraavu curry amma used to prepare. The gravy had a slight mustard flavor to it and made the taste quite unique for this fish curry. I have not seen amma add mustard seeds that is ground with other ingredients, for any other fish curry. So this was special for sraavu curry. I called amma for the recipe and here it goes.


Ingredients

1 kilo- Shark, skinned & cut to small pieces
1 tsp - Red chili powder
1 tsp - Turmeric powder
2 to 4 - Green chili, slit in center
1/2 cup - Small onion, diced
2'' piece - Ginger, chopped
1 big lemon size - Tamarind
Few sprigs - Curry leaves
Salt to taste

To grind to a smooth paste

1/2 shell - Coconut grated
4 - Kashmiri dry whole chili
1.5 to 2 tsp - Mustard seeds

Method

1 ) Extract 1 to 1.5 cup tamarind juice from the tamarind pulp, by soaking in water.

2 ) To a earthen pot add fish pieces, chili powder, turmeric powder, green chili, ginger, small onion, curry leaves, salt and enough water to immerse the fish in. Bring to a boil, simmer and cook till the fish is cooked.

3 ) Meanwhile, grind to a smooth paste, coconut and kashmiri chili with tamarind water. Then add mustard seeds and pulse two to three times to get the mustard seeds crushed. Just get the seeds crushed and not a paste.

4 ) Add the coconut paste to the fish and add more water if needed to get a semi- thick gravy consistency. Bring to a boil, simmer for a few minutes, add some curry leaves and pour some coconut oil on top. Take off the stove and serve hot.



Serve hot with rice and enjoy the meal.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Chicken Manchurian

I was so carried away by the beautiful blooms in my little garden, i was more focused on capturing the flowers in the frame rather than the chicken manchurian. Just love the picture to see the blooms. Coming to the recipe, a popular Indian chinese dish called chicken manchurian goes well with chinese fried rice. A manchurian implies, a sweet and salty brown sauce and you can read more about the origin of indian - chinese cuisine here.

Ingredients

1 kilo - Boneless chicken, cut into small pieces
1 - Egg white
1 tbsp - Cornflour

To marinate chicken

2 tsp - Red chili powder
1 tsp - Black pepper powder
2 tsp - Worcestershire sauce
Salt to taste

For Sauce

8 big flakes - Garlic, crushed & chopped finely
2 - Green chili, chopped
2 to 3 stalks - Spring onion, chopped
1/2 tbsp - Vinegar
1 cup Water
1 tbsp - Corn flour
1 tbsp - Soya sauce
1/2 tsp - Sugar
1/4 tsp - Pepper powder

Method

1 ) Marinate chicken pieces in ingredients listed for marination. Marinate for 3o minutes. Mix egg white and cornflour well. Add this mixture to chicken pieces and mix well.

2 ) Heat enough oil to deep fry. When the oil is hot, add chicken pieces in batches and fry till brown and done. Drain off the oil and set aside.

3 ) To make the sauce - Mix cornflour, vinegar, soya sauce, sugar, salt, pepper powder to one cup water and keep aside.Heat some oil in a pan , add garlic and green chilies and saute till garlic looses its raw smell, then set aside some spring onion for final garnish, rest add to the pan and saute for a minute. Then add the mixed ingredients in water to the pan, stir and bring to a boil. Simmer and add the chicken piece to the sauce and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, closed with a lid. Once the sauce has thickened and coated the chicken pieces, take off the stove and serve garnished with some chopped spring onion.

Serve hot as a side dish with chinese fried rice.

Note - I have suggested boneless chicken pieces, but i have done with chicken with bones. Also to enhance the Chinese flavor, a pinch of MSG, know as ajinomoto can be added, which is optional.