Showing newest 17 of 22 posts from March 2009. Show older posts
Showing newest 17 of 22 posts from March 2009. Show older posts

30.3.09

Chili Tofu




Chili Tofu:

History of Tofu: Tofu was invented in China, about 2000 years ago! Although the exact details is hard to claim, the story goes like this...accidentally cook dropped the seaweed in a pot of soy milk...seen them curdle and throw up into Tofu! Tofu was introduced to Japan, as early as 8th Century, where it gained its importance after 17th Century. The love for food and the greed for possessing all the nature's best for themselves...made westerners to turn to tofu!! It was marketed as 'meat alternate steak'!!

Science behind Tofu: Soya has isoflavones and oestrogen like substances, believed to be good for women's health. Research says the phytoestrogens, genistein and diadzein forms as a receptors at estrogen docking sites! Thereby controlling the fluctuations in the hormones during menopause or even during irregular cycle and the hormonal imbalances. Isoflovones are believed to reabsorb calcium and strengthen bone...where osteoporosis is common in post-menopausal women. Tofu has significant amount of Iron and Copper. As you might be already aware of Iron and its importance(Iron is a key compound that is necessary for haemoglobin-red blood cells & oxygen transport)! Whereas copper, (so little studied, but still an important mineral to the body)it plays a good role along with magnesium, involves with an enzyme lysyl oxidase...they in turn act as cross-link between these collagen & elastin, which gives plasticity to the blood vessels, joints and bones...so ultimately they also reduce arthritis related pain!! Isoflavones also lowers bad cholesterol in the body, so prevents heart diseases. They are powerful anthioxidants, they maintain bone density and good for diabetic patient. More over Tofu is an exellant source of protein!!!

Caution: Soy beans has lots of isoflavones and thiocynates, so individual already having thyroid...please avoid it! As these components are considered as goiterogens(they interfere with thyroid gland's function)!! Tofu is also rich in oxalates(guess, you guys remember about oxalates...I wrote few weeks ago). Well, oxalates may interfere with calcium absorption in the body also overdoing may lead to kidney troubles!!

Tofu, I can never relate it with my Indian counterpart 'cottage cheese - Paneer'. Though in one way both are same, kind of bland but accepts all the flavours later while cooking!!

Ingredients:

Extra firm, water packed tofu 100 grams - sliced
Salt
Turmeric 1/4 spoon
Chili powder 1 spoon
Garam masala 1/4 spoon
Lemon juice few spoons
Vinegar few spoons
Oil for shallow frying.

Method:

Marinate tofu with all the above said ingredients, except oil.

Then shallow fry them carefully till crisp on the outside!

Serve warm as an appetizers.

28.3.09

Tomato Special - Round Up !!

Country Chicken Tomato Curry:

Fish in Rich Tomato based Curry:

Thakkali Thokku:

Araithu Vitta Rasam:

Ramzaan Pachadi:

Paneer Tomato Curry:


Tomato Specials:

Lycopene is an open-chain unsaturated carotene that imparts deep red color to the tomatoes! Lycopene is insoluble in water and soluble only in organic solvents and oil. The double bond present in them between 2 carbon atoms, yeah...that is the one, is responsible for that deep stain that you get every time you fix tomato based food...on the white plates, cooking vessels and on your shirt / fabrics (if you stained with tomato pickle, ketchup or sauce...its kind of hard to remove)!

Though lycopene is important factor for various bio synthetic pathways (at cellular level). Technically it ain't that important nutrient for a human body, though we all widely use them in culinary!! Lets keep this info' aside and look at the bright side!! Anyways, they are powerful antioxidants!! As usual they posses all the beneficial factors that an antioxidant should posses! Yea, Yeah...they neutralize the free radicals, there by reduce oxidative stress and prevents aging(cellular level). So thumbs up!!!

The interesting thing here is...neither eating them raw or juicing will won't fetch the goodness!! So naturovores, please think again!! Sometimes 'cooking', well...again I mean, 'Proper Cooking' can only yield lycopene(bio-available)!!!

If you still prefer to eat 'raw tomatoes', may I suggest to add a slice of butter to it! If you prefer adding them to your salads, kindly add olive oil/any oil for the dressing!!

Caution: Though lot of people think tomatoes are good for cancer and especially prostate cancer, research has not confirmed it yet! Like most of the vitamins and minerals, high intake of tomatoes(or any lycopene rich fruits) can be dangerous, laterally! As over eating tomatoes shows highest risk of having cancer!! Over intake of calcium rich tomatoes may also considered responsible for kidney troubles! Moderation is key for everything.

Well...all these recipes are going to Sanghi's tasty bites,'Tomato Event'!!

26.3.09

Fish Molee





Fish Molee:

Kerala Fish Stew. Fish in Coconut Sauce. Meen Thengai-Paal Kuzhambu. Fish Moli.

This fish was caught by AK's friend Davi Doss from his home pond, at Water Valley, Mississippi. Although went for fishing couple of times with my cooking class crew, it really didnt budge any luck to me...only thing I wasted my time sitting under the sun! When I said, living in Mississippi and living in 'The Lakes' subdivision with more than 7 lakes around me...but never tried 'Cat Fish'...people gave me a 'Weird Look'!! Guess, need to really learn some proper fishing from Davy!

When I went on a vacation to Taj, Kumarakom, Kerala...I liked my stay there! Kumarakom is a group of islands on Vembanad lake. Kumarakom is a nice place for vacation, the stretches and stretches of backwaters, mangroves, on one side & a thick green lush, coconut trees on the other. The boat house, Conoe rides, ayurvedic clinics, bird watching, sun set view...lot of recreational activities!!

Anyways...I tasted Vegetable stew and Fish Molee for the first time there! I have already posted Veg-Stew! So this is a long time due for me. Though I have posted Kerala Fish Stew already, it was kind of totally different from today's one. As the previous one has rich curry color & infused with 'kodam puli'(special tamarind from Kerala & South Tamil Nadu).

Well...coming back to the today's recipe! Fish was slightly fried and then immersed in coconut stew! It gives little crunch on the outer and the flesh is infused with spices and coconut flavour. In fact, I like the color, though I didn't add any turmeric...the whitish cream sauce gives out rich yellow oil! The peppercorns and cardamom are responsible for this unique color! Great!

Ingredients:

Cat Fish 1 large
Salt
Pepper
Lemon juice
Coconut oil for frying.

For Sauce:

Scallion 1 sliced
Ginfer 2" julienned
Garlic 6 julienned
Green chilies 3 julienned
Tomatoes 1 large - cut in wedges
Salt
Thick Coconut milk 2-4 cups
Peppercorns 1/4 spoon
Cardamom pods 6 crushed
Cinnamon stick 1
Cloves 3-5
Fennel seeds 1/4 spoon
Star anise 1
Curry leaves
Cilantro leaves to garnish
Coconut oil few spoons.

Method:

Marinate fish with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Bring oil in shallow frying pan. Fish the fish to give a nice crunch to the skin, set aside.

In a deep wok, heat oil. Add all the spices. Then followed by chilies, ginger, garlic and scaliion. Fry real good.

Then add tomatoes...do not wilt them, try to retain its shape. Then add coconut milk to it.

Bring them to sauce consistency. Now add fish fillets and continue cooking, maybe till the fish is done.

Then garnish with cilantro or fried curry leaves. Enjoy with appam, iddiyaappam, rice or barotta.

24.3.09

Hong Kong Table - Dim Sums


Hong Kong Table - Test Drive - Dim Sums!!!

My friends chit-chatting!!:)

Platter - Dim Sums.

Cream buns with lotus seeds filling!

Pork BBQ Sums(no idea about the taste)

Lotus leaf wrapped Sticky rice(Leaf is not eaten tho' hee hee)
This was bit stinky to me!:(

Shrimp Dumplings, everyone's favourite!

I fried these Sesame balls.

Daphne & Suzete seriously cooking!
Dim Sums:

I am an active member of Cook! Eat! Share! - the International Club at Oxford, University of Mississippi. It is an unique club, we talk about culture, history, business and life style. Pretty much like the name, we also Cook, Eat and Share!

It is an easy way to learn one's culture, through food! Every 3 months, we feature a table, that reflects the culture and cuisine of the country! We the members, meet up every week and decide about the theme. A member from that particular country will let us know about their lifestyle, how to procure the ingredients, cooking style, eating habits and culture associated with it!! Almost every week, he/she will be bringing in some food, to share...which goes into criticism and approval mode! Finally we will decide the menu for a table and test drive the recipes picked!

Well, on the big day, when we host 'The International Table', it will also have an interesting presentation!! It is a big challenge to cook for 40 - 50 people!! We follow the same restaurant rules. Cook from scratch. All the members will divide our labour, in the kitchen plus at the table services. The member of that particular country(that we are featuring) will be the boss in the kitchen, we will go by his/her rule. The real challenge comes from the table settings, services, cooking to perfection, maintaining the warmness of food through out the episode....etc.

We are featuring Hong Kong table this month, so finally thought to blog about the club!! My friend, Daphne Ingene is native to Hong Kong. She is doing her PH.D in counselling! While talking about the Hong Kong culture, certainly a talk about 'Dim Sums' didn't escape from our conversation. 'Dim Sums' literally means 'Little Hearts' in Cantonese language. It will served along with Oolong tea or Jasmine tea.

History:It seems at first, at various tea shops, they only served tea in the beginning, were folks gathered for a drink and little chit chat. Later they started serving light snacks along with tea. Over time, now dim sums is always associated with tea and became a breakfast menu. There are several Dim Sums Restaurants in Hong Kong today, were families come in for a Saturday breakfast...talk talk and talk.

Criticism:When we test drived our recipes, I did notice, dim sums tasted better...only when we drank tea along with it. Fried Sesame balls are dessert's, but I prefered them as starters, crunchy and chewy to start the food. There was one unique and very interesting recipe...although we all agreed on, not to try it(forever)!! Yeah it is chicken feet dim sums, liked by the natives! Daphne said...they are delicacies the ligaments tastes better(if someone need adventure, keep this info' in mind)!! The lotus wrap sticky rice with chicken and mushroom was too good!! Choy Sum - a Chinese flowering cabbage(Bok Choy in U.S, Australia and France), was pretty much like spinach to me. Choy sum means inner stalks and tips in Cantonese(so don't hesitate to pick them up, next time you see in Korean/Chinese market). I didn't try Pork BBBQ sums, as I have never eaten pork in my life(no beef or pork, by choice). But everyone said it was damn good!! Crytal shrimp dumplings and chive dumplings were awesome(I started to cook them for myself at home). The dessert 'Cream bun' was unique, much like 'Indian Pooran Modhak', were the filling varied...sweetened lotus seeds.

Culture:Imagine we are dinning in Hong Kong...try to order more than 5-7 dim sums varieties and share with friends, yeah that's the culture there. And each table has its own Tea pot, if the pot is empty...you don't have to yell at the waiter...just keep the lid open, the waiter will be soon there. When the waiter comes to service...you may not necessarily say 'Thank you' as you'll be busy engaged in talking...but try to tap twice on the table(use fore and middle finger, to tap twice). It implies that you're thank full, real multi tasking, right!

21.3.09

Keezhanelli Mor



Keezhanelli Mor:

Phyllanthus amarus/ Phyllanthus nururui is the Botanical of this fragile plant! It is called Keezhanelli in Tamil. Keezh - Under/Underneath and Nelli - Berry/ goose berry/ amla!! This teeny plant has sesame seed sized leaves and underneath each leaf blade, it posses black mustard sized berries, which looks exactly like microscopic amla/gooseberry...Oh Tamilians are known for their 'Kaarana Peyar' (meaningful names)!

This plant grows in wild, among the weeds and often gets out of our attention! The whole plant is about 10-20 cms! It is native to Central Asia! It belongs to the family of Euphorbiacea. It is used in medicine, since time immemorial by both Chinese and Indian medicines(both Older civilization, right). Well...since then it has been handed down via tradition to the next generation! Although it sounds like a folks remedy, lot of research has been very convincing so far. It posses immense power to cure various ailments from jaundice to diabetes!

Folks Remedy : The whole plant, along with its root, is washed and ground into paste - swallowed in empty stomach and to wash that down, salt less buttermilk is given. A period of 10 days is said enough to cure even severe jaundice(both Hepatitis B & C). When English medicines fail for small pox and jaundice, people do follow this alternate medicines! Though its going to take a while with severe diet plan, at least it has no side effects!!

Science Behind The Plant: The major constituents of this plants are 1. Liganins, 2. Alkaloids, 3. Plant Flavonoids, 4. Polyphenol compounds and 5. Tanins. [ All these may be composed of phyllanthine, demethoxyninarthin, entnorsecurinine, phyllanthoside, quercetin, ellagic acid, gallic acid etc ]. Well, to give it simple the plant components imply that they are rich in anti-oxidants and disease fighting factors!!

The species P.nururui has been widely studied! The report says that it inhibits the growth and proliferation of the virus (anti hepatitis B) and also affects the replication of their genetic material! The P.nururui exactly blocks the DNA polymerase, an active enzyme...which is very important for both Hepatitis B & C virus to reproduce! Aaaha there is the key!

The gallic acid and the steroidal compounds present in them maybe an effective pain killer of an inflammation! Phyllanthus also cures away the excess uric acid present in the body. The alkoloids helps them to remove stones from the kidney and it also clears the gall bladder. Well, both P.amarus and P.nururui overall strengthens liver and reduces the severity of liver damage(due to fat, drugs, alcohol and even stress/damage caused by cortisol hormone). If you ask me, I will suggest to take them as best detoxing concoctions(even without any serious health issues) to cleanse your body.

When I went to India(last vacation), I spotted this humble fragile plant in my garden! Though Pappa was telling me, not to pluck them, without the need...I kind of did it...for the photo and always wanted to know, what they taste like, he he.

Ingredients:

Keezhanelli plant 1 (along with root)
Butter milk 1 cup
Salt to taste.

Method:

Do you seriously want to know the steps here!!:)

20.3.09

Plagiarism - Support my Fellow Blogger

Swapna from www.tiffinroom.blogspot.com has copied and duplicated my friend Usha Nandini's picture, www.ushanandini.blogspot.com.

Swapna has portrayed the picture, to appear has hers! Very talented to copyright the stolen picture! Aaah, what to say, wish she uses the same energy in cooking for herself or doing something productive than stealing!

I know all my blogger friends and readers...will identify and appreciate only the original work! Since all we guys stood up together, when I got plagiarised...I confidently promised Usha to support her, during this time.

Please, leave comforting message to Usha and also politely ask Swapna to remove the picture. Hope we can do this!!

To compare the picture, please take a look here:

The Cropped:
http://tiffinroom.blogspot.com/2009/03/thattai.html


The Original:
http://ushanandini.blogspot.com/2008/10/thattai.html

The worst part is...she has even sent this recipe plus picture to two events! Wish even the host site understands this and removes the picture, at the earliest!

18.3.09

Fish Fries



Fish Fries:

As usual I was playing with my food, in my kitchen! I had this bag of salmon lying in the freezer, for pretty long time! Actually, I thought of making finger fish...but didn't like the fact of skinning the fish!! Aaah...that takes away all the good cholesterol, right! So...just like that, sliced them into thin strips and marinated with my favourite spices & deep fried them!! I was wondering what to name them finally! Okay, let me call this 'fish fries' for now!:)

Ingredients:

Salmon 1 large fillet
Vinegar 1 cap full
Lemon zest 1 teaspoon
Kosher salt
Chili powder 1 spoon
Turmeric 1 pinch
Corn flour 1-2 spoons
Egg white 1
Oil for deep frying.

Method:

Marinate fish with all the above mentioned ingredients, except oil. Let it sit for 2-4 hours.

Heat oil in a skillet, deep fry them till they turn crispy.

Serve warm as an appetizer.

17.3.09

Paneer Muttat Masala - from Kranthi's Kitchen




Muttat Paneer Masala:

My friend Kranti(from Herndon, Virginia) has generously contributed her recipe to my blog! I feel proud to display her recipe here!:) A few words about my best friend. We were hostel mates, back then at Hyderabad. Also serious Civil Services aspirants.

I practically survived with her Mommy's pickles and podis, at hostel. Later when she permanently shifted to Hyderabad from Vijayawada...It became like my second home! Kranthi's mother is my culinary guru! I love her so much as a person and as a great home chef!! Each time, just before leaving to my place for vacation(Tamil Nadu). She used to prepare and pack me...my favourite pickles(Chicken pickle, Pandu Mirchi Pachadi & Allam Pachadi etc). How sweet, right! Even my mother started admiring her culinary skills! I learnt a lot from her...Bobatlu, Pesarattu, Sugar cane juice - pongal...and her famous authentic Andhra Oorugai(pickles).

Well...my Sweet friend Kranti never picked up her spatula(back then). Whenever she comes to my place(I was self cooking). She will assist me to go to the market, buy vegetables, meat and what not! As I will be cooking for both of us...she will feel bad, that she couldn't help me in cooking! I enjoyed cooking for her! But she always puts effort like, lending my the wrong spatula...removing the pressure cooker whistle, when it is still in hyper pressure, planning to put salt in coffee(okay this she never did, I am exaggerating). Anyways...after me finishing cooking, we used chat and eat for hours. Talk talk talk the whole night(that's our kind of Saturday fun). Oh boy, that was some time! We girls had a great time. If I need to talk about Hyderabad stories...I will be going on and on. So let me come to the point.

Now the same Kranti after marriage has become an amazing Cook! Whoo-Aaah!! 'Puli-kku pirandhadhu Poonai aaguma?'!!! This is a Tamil proverb...literally can be translated like this 'She is born to the Tigress, can she be a cat?? She did inherit the quality gene from her mother! Its innate property, the style in cooking and bringing taste in cooking (beyond basic science). I am proud of my friend!:)

In her Exact Words:

Paneer Mutter Masala:

Paneer cubes -1 1/2 to 2 cups
Peas- 1cup
Onions(blanched and pureed)-2
Tomatoes(blanched and pureed)-3
Cashew paste-2 tsp(soak few cashews in milk and grind them)
Chilies-3
Turmeric-pinch
Chili powder-1 1/2 spoons
Salt as per taste
Butter-3tbsp
Oil-little
Corriander powder-2 tsp
Garam masala-1/2 tsp
Whole spices(cinnamon, 1 elachi,2 cloves)
Ginger garlic paste-2 tsp
Cilantro and cream for garnish.

Procedure:

1. Fry the panner in a tbsp of butter till light golden brown.keep them aside
2. Heat the pan ,add butter and little oil,add the whole spices .
3. Add pureed onion and fry for 3-4 mins on medium flame.
4. Add pureed tomato and fry for few mins.
5. Add ginger garlic paste and let them be cooked for few mins till all the raw smell
is gone.add corriander powder and give a stir.
6. Add cashew paste ...
7. Add panner cubes and frozen peas.u can add little water at this stage
keep the lid on and simmer it till u reach the consistensy.
8 Add garam masala before u switch off the stove.
9. Garnish with cilantro and fresh cream.
best combo:roti.can be had with rice

16.3.09

Sweet Corn Soup



Restaurant Style Sweet Corn Soup:

Sweet Corn Soup. Corn Kernels Soup. Vegetable-Sweet Corn Soup.

I am talking about the unique recipe, that found on Indian restaurant menu(in India)! The true restaurant style, 'Sweet Corn Soup'! Although its not an authentic food...restaurant's custom created (catered) to suit the needs of Indian palate! What I wonder is, we grow lots of field corns in India...rather sweet corn! But somehow...restaurants manage to get them through out the year!! Sounds nice huh!

I never payed attention to vegetarian food on the menu! My friend Balaji introduced me to this dish. As per the un written law...we always go for that 1 by 2, when we order soup! (Its hard to hang out with vegetarians,you know...ha ha). Anyways...I am glad that I tried it! Wow...another veggie delight, that took my heart away.

I really struggled a lot to find the exact recipe for this. Since its totally a restaurant food...not many home chefs were aware of it. So...with minimum idea, I kept trying and trying...to perfect the recipe. Finally my Auntie helped me to figure out, the mistake I am doing (that's where chili sauce comes in...its our little secret, okay)!!!

Ingredients:

Sweet corn 2 ears
Corn kernels 1 table spoon
Corn flour 2-4 spoons
Vegetable broth
Sugar
Salt
Vinegar cap full
Chili sauce 2 spoons
Soy sauce 2 spoons
Vegetables sliced (carrots, string beans, Green Onions)
Vegetable oil.

Method:

Shred the kernels alone...cook them using vegetable broth. Once then are tender. Blend them coarsely, set aside.

In a wide pot, heat oil. Add flour, sugar, salt, vinegar, soy sauce and chili sauce...fry for 2 minutes.

Then add blended corn puree. Cover and cook for a while. Let it consolidate.

Now, add vegetables too. Let it come to boil.

Serve warm!

15.3.09

Award


My friends...Vinolia, Varsha and Sanghi has shared this 'Super Chef Award' with me! Thank you Sweet Hearts! It really means a lot to me. Well...I leave to all the food bloggers, here. Please feel free to take them with you...almost all the home chef's deserve it, I guess.

12.3.09

Zucchini Bake from my Brother's Kitchen


Solo Feasting!!

Close up!:)

Paari Cooking...
For those of you, who don't know what Zucchini is!!!

Zucchini Bake:

Did I ever mention, that my brother can also cook! If not...I got to tell you'll now! He cooks better than me, ha ha (at least he thinks so)! Pari Gandhi(Yes that's his official name) lives in Australia. You know, gone away for studies and job...that's how he started to boil water...oh okay okay...its seems 'cooking'!! I could never imagine, a boy who never knew, what is the basic difference between brinjal and beans can cook now!!!

Maybe some of you'll would have also bumped into his blog, already (accidentally / incidentally)! He used to write funny stuff that happened in his life...or simply 'All about nothing'!!! But very recently, he turned his blog into hide mode(due to some people, who started invading his privacy). That isn't just right, know! So myself and few of my friends plus his friends...felt really bad, that he stopped writing...kept his blog dormant and also switched to 'hide mode'!! Anyways...I have been asking him to resume back. Wish he considers my request!!!

www.parigandhi.blogspot.com

Though he has been practically cooking for himself...for about 7 years! I hardly had a chance to taste his food. As very rarely we bump into each other (visiting back home, at the same time - India). Couple of years ago...when I was still studying at Hyderabad, he used to visit me!! I did notice that, he inherited the family trait 'interest in cooking'! Anyways...now after I started cooking(since 3-4 years now). I regularly take advice from Pari. We exchange recipes over Yahoo chat. He will be a good critic to me. We improvise our old recipes...rethink over and over about our childhood food & try to figure its ingredients.

He Indianizes any vegetables or Greens! Like he mentions, he makes kootu out of Bok choy, masiyal with water cress, Sea weeds...and much more!! He also cooks various cuisines like Turkish, Thai, Chinese...his master piece are 'Stuffed Turkish Pizza', 'Thai Rice' and 'Dim Sims'. When it comes to invent recipes...he thinks beyond boundaries, like mint & greens marinated meat, baked fritters (yeah yeah, another fitness freak in the family) etc!!

This is totally his own recipe...although he gives credit to me! I am happy da!:) In his 'All about Nothing' blog...he did post 1 or 2 recipes, they were good! So this is one such good recipe from his kitchen.

In exactly his words:

Today I present to you "Zucchini Bake on Spinach Gravy", a recipe I thought about and improvised by discussing it with my sister, Malar Gandhi.

Ingredients:

Zucchini - 2 numbers
Spinach
Garlic
Onion
Tomato
Tamarind
Chilli Powder
Egg whites - 2 numbers
Corn Flour - 2 table spoons
Besan/Gram Flour - 2 table spoons
Salt,
Garam Masala,
Pepper - to taste
Curry leaves - to garnish

Zucchini Bake

1. Grate the Zucchini, and place it in a large bowl
2. Add pepper, salt, corn flour, besan flour and garam masala to the grated zucchini.
3. Add egg whites to the above and mix them well
4. Bake them in oven at 200 degrees for about 25 min or until it becomes golden brown.

Tamarind Rasam - Counter Top



Pacha Puli Pulusu:

Counter-top Rasam. Tangy Tamarind Rasam, Imli ka Ras. Hot-Sour cold Soup!:)Plain Rasam. Thaalikaadha Rasam/Kodhi-vidaadha Rasam...ha ha what else can I name it!! Okay my friend, Kranti corrected me just now...it is called as 'Pachi Pulusu' in Telugu!!:)

When I was in Andhra Pradesh(Hyderabad)...my culinary expedition took different dimension! I got introduced to both fabulous Iranian recipes plus traditional Androidal foods!:) Isn't that exciting! I shared the house both with Iranian family(for 2 years) and a Hindu family(for 2 years). This really brought some change in my cooking style too.

This 'pacha puli pulusu' is more or less like Tamil Nadu rasam! But they don't cook it over a stove top...yeah they fix it on the counter top!! As anyone could guess...typical Andhra touch comes from their unique Guntur chilies!! They also add some aggressive amount of Purple onions to go on the top! Though onions are strong...as they sit for a while...all infused with tamarind and chili flavours...no worries, its going to be okay! This should be eaten with rice/pongal. But my friends prefer to even drink this(Kranti, Themnu & Saradha)!!

They used to make this at my hostel quite often! The cook Pushpa...is really good at it. I like her preparations anyway. Its hostel, right...but even tho' with minimum resources, she used to make fabulous meals! Initially, I had lots of inhibitions to have anything that is not cooked, that looks fiery hot...later when I tried, I felt comfortable. Now I am kind of addicted to those chilies, as well!

Ingredients:

Tamarind pulp - 1 lemon size
Garlic small 7-9 along with skin
Purple onions(I used white here)
Strong fiery hot dry chilies 6-7
Peppercorns 1 spoon
Cumin 1 spoon
Asafoetida 1 pinch
Fresh curry leaves 2-4 twigs(I used dried ones here)
Rock salt
Turmeric 1 pinch

Method:

Soak tamarind pulp for about 1-2 hours. Once they loosen up, make them mushy...using hands. Then extract juice out of them. Retain the juice, discard the pulp now.

Coarsely hand pound cumin and peppercorns.

Chop scallions/purple onions.

Flake the chilies using hands. Tear the curry leaves as well.

Crush garlic along with skin.

Now toss everything together in the tamarind juice. Allow them to sit for a while before serving.

10.3.09

Tomato Cream Soup



Tomato Cream Soup:

Never been a big fan of 'Tomato Soup'...all until, I discovered that Chinese restaurant near my Hostel, Delhi. During cold winters, myself and my roomie Poorani used to sneak out, to have this soup...with unique Delhi walas croutons, called 'Fans'!

That particular Chinese restaurant has an unique set of menu plan. All liquids, just slurp and drink kind of stuff! Broth based soup, creamy ones, hearty soup varieties and to finish hot cocoa coffee(their speciality, will post about it later)and much more!!

Anyways...we were crazy for this particular tomato soup, back then. They make it too good and rich!! Although I could never bring that taste, in my method...kind of satisfied with the result! I didn't use any croutons or fresh cream to garnish(you guessed it right, I never had them in my pantry). So please excuse me!

Ingredients:

Tomato puree 1 cup
Farm fresh organic whole milk 1 cup
Salt
Sugar 1 spoon
Corn starch 1-2 spoons
MSG 1 pinch(optional)
Butter 1 cube
White pepper 1 spoon
Black pepper to garnish
Croutons 4-6 per bowl
Fresh cream 1 spoon full to garnish
Mint leaves to garnish(optional).

Method:

Melt butter in a wide vessel. Add corn starch, salt, sugar and white pepper + MSG. Stir them slowly over low heat...until they turn color.

Now add silkened tomato puree...bring them to bubly level. Now add milk and bring them to boil too.

Add croutons and cream just before serving. Serve warm.

9.3.09

Quail Pakoda



Quail Pakoda:

Kaadai Pakoda. Kaadai Pakora. Deep fried Quails. Fried Quails.

I love this tender birds! They are gamier in taste, low in calories, better than chicken, low fat/thin skin...pretty fast in getting cooked! What else do we want!! Hmmm today I deep fried it, just for a variation! They turned out super crispy!

Ingredients:

Quails 1-2 chopped to bite size
Salt
Chili powder 1 spoon
MSG 1 pinch
Soy sauce 2 spoons
Ginger-garlic paste 1 spoon
Egg whites 1
Lemon juice few spoons
Corn flour 4 spoons
Oil for deep frying
Curry leaves fried to garnish
Garlic 6-8 chopped & fried to garnish.

Method:

Marinate meat with all the ingredients mentioned above(except oil & garnish items). Let this sit for about 2 whole hours.

Heat oil in a wok. When it comes to smoky hot...deep fry them quickly for about 2-4 minutes.

Garnish with curry leaves and garlic. Enjoy as a snack/appetizer.

Cold Pasta Salad



Pasta Cold Salad:

Late in the afternoon, is the bad time...for most dieters and weight watchers! We indulge in any kind of snack that is presented! When glucose levels drop...not everyone could make a healthy choice! What if we already packed a snack for our high tea time!:) Doesn't that sound kool!

My friend Tina, once prepared this cold salad for me! And I really liked it! She said...tossed all the veggies and dressed them up with mayonnaise!

Ingredients:

Pasta(multi grain/omega 3 fortified)1 cup
Jalapenos 1 medium (deseed & slice)
Olives green 4 sliced
Olives black 4 sliced
Purple onion chopped 6 spoons
Roma tomato 1 chopped
Zucchini 1/2 chopped
Vinegar 2-4 cap full
Mayonnaise 4-6 spoons
Ragu sauce 4-6 spoons
Olive oil 2-4 spoons.

Method:

Cook pasta, as per the directions, drain the water and set aside.

In a wide salad bowl, bring all the ingredients vegetables and add vinegar to it. Let this sit for some time.

Then mix pasta to it. Further ass the mayonnaise and ragu sauce, mix well. Refrigerate them for about 4-6 hours. As they sit for couple of hours...vinegar works on the vegetables and pasta...make them delectable!

Serve cold as a salad. It could be a filling meal in between your meal time!

6.3.09

Awards





  • Sanghi

  • has passed me all these 4 great awards, that is so sweet!!! I am honoured, thank you sweet heart!!!

    Green Plantain Fry.



    Raw Plantain Fry:

    Fried Green Plantain. Green Plantain Fry. Vazhaikkai Varuval. Attikaye Koora. Kacha Kela ka Subzi.

    Radhai Aunty's vazhaikai varuval'...I usually name the dish, after a person...who introduced it to me!:) Makes it lot easier to remember! More than the taste...its always the associated memories for me!

    When I was at chennai last year(vacation). My aunty made this spicy varuval for me. It was more or less like the one, mommy do...but something was extra aromatic there! Yeah it was 'Vadagam'! Although we are regular vadagam users for tadka(tempering/thaalippu). Never actually tried them for varuval or poriyal!! Hmmm, nice way to announce the neighbourhood, that the lunch is ready....sizzzz - sizzling sound of tadka and the aroma!!! Enough already...let me tell you how to make it! If you have no clue what 'Vadagam' is, then you need to scroll back to my previous posts/use search button!!!

    Ingredients:

    Plantain 1 medium - sliced and left in water, until cooking
    Salt
    Turmeric powder 1/4 spoon
    Chili powder 1 spoon
    Tamarind paste 1/4 spoon
    Asafoetida 1/4 spoon
    Garlic 6 cloves with skin - crushed
    Ginger 2" grated
    Shallot 1 chopped finely
    Tomato 1 small chopped
    Sesame oil 1/4 cup
    Mustard seeds 1 spoon
    Curry leaves few
    Vadagam(Tamil Nadu Tempering spices mixture)1-2 spoons.

    Method:

    In a wide wok, add 1 cup of water. Throw in salt, turmeric, chili and tamarind to it.

    Now immerse the sliced plantain...cover and cook over medium heat.

    Once when they are done, remove from heat.

    In a wide wok, heat oil. add tempering spices and wait till it crackles. Then add ginger, garlic, shallots and tomatoes. Fry real good.

    Followed by cooked plantain. Spread them and fry till they get roasted evenly to all the sides.

    Serve warm as a side dish.