Showing newest 11 of 38 posts from February 2011. Show older posts
Showing newest 11 of 38 posts from February 2011. Show older posts

28.2.11

Godhumai Ravai Kushka / Samba Rawa Birinji / Cracked Wheat Pilaf




Godhumai Rawai Masala Kitchedi:

You don't have to make that grumpy face at dinner time, anymore! Is healthy food is scaring you a lot? Prepare it enthusiastically with your favorite spices and treat yourselves with exciting morphed recipes:) Well, its not that the wheat (or cracked wheat for that matter) is less in calories than white polished rice, certainly not! All it has is...some extra fiber and am positive that you guys are aware of the health benefits it possess! So, include them in your diet now and then...try to skip white rice, refined flour and fortified-enriched carbohydrates as much as possible! Besides, these tips are only for people who want to cut down their calories (due to health reasons, like diabetes or obesity or simply to stay fit). One common thing' that people on strict diet do is to give up eating quality food! No doctor advises you to starve or deny the basic likings for 'tasty meals'! Just swab fresh produce in place of mere energy foods, tweak your regular meals a little by including healthy ingredients and last but not least, try to get enough physical activity:)I am happy to share this recipe of mine with you all today...I fix this quite often upon request by my social group - relatives n friends! People ranging from senior citizens to adult-kids, who are overwhelmingly alert to stay fit! Oh yeah, I have received lots of appreciation for this:)

Ingredients:

Cracked wheat - 1 cup
Curry leaves few
Green chilies 6-7 slitted
Onion 1 large sliced
Garlic 10-15 cloves
Tomatoes 2 crushed
Mint leaves 1 fistful
Cilantro leaves 1 cup
Salt to taste
Meat/Chicken Broth 2 cups(Vegetarian's options, Veg broth or thin coconut milk)
Fennel seeds 1 spoon
Peppercorns 1 spoon
Cumin seeds 1 spoon
Cinnamon 1 stick
Cloves 3-5
Cardamom 3 crushed
Black cardamom 1
Bay leaves 1-2
Birinji flower 1
Star Anise 1
Ghee or Oil 1/4.

Method:

Dry toast the cracked wheat and set aside.

Heat oil in a wide, deep-heavy bottomed vessel. Throw in all the whole spices, followed by curry leaves, chilies, garlic and onions. Fry real good, till fragrant.

Followed by mint, cilantro leaves and crushed tomatoes. Fry till oil shows up on the sides.

Now add the veg or meat broth, bring this to boil. Further add the cracked wheat without forming any lumps. Cover and cook over low-medium heat.

Once all the moisture is sucked up, and the pilaf looks glossy enough, remove from heat.

Serve warm along with fresh raitha/pachadi or yogurts.

27.2.11

Stuffed Ridge Gourd / Gutti Beerakaye / Bharwa Thurai





Stuffed Ridge Gourd:

Ingredients:


Ridge gourd - tender 2-3
Ginger-garlic paste
Onion paste
Salt
Turmeric
Chili powder
Sesame oil few spoons.

To be Toasted and Powdered:

Coriander seeds 2 spoons
Cumin seeds 1 spoon
Pepper 1/2 spoon
Cloves 2
Cinnamon 1 stick
Poppy seeds 1/2 spoon
Sesame seeds 2 spoons
Dry red chilies 5
Dry coconut 2 spoons.

Method:

Peel the ridges and cut the veggie into big chunks. Slit them twice and stuff them with powdered spices.

In a wide wok, heat oil and fry ginger-garlic and onion...add the remaining spice powder. Now add the veggies, cover and cook, till tender.

Serve to go with your rotis or plain steamed rice.

Vankozhi Biriyani / Turkey Biriyani - Simply The Best!




Ingredients:

For Meat Marination:

Turkey 2-4 large pieces
Ginger-garlic paste 1 spoon(freshly prepared)
Green chili 2 minced
Scallion 1 grated
Country Tomato 1 grated
Mint 6-8 leaves bruised
Cilantro leaves bruised few
Lemon 1 fruit freshly squeezed
Rock Salt
Chili Powder 1/4 spoon
Yogurts 1/4 cup.

For Biriyani:

Long Grained Rice 2 cups
Green chilies 6 slitted
Onions 1 sliced
Tomatoes 2 chopped
Salt
Chili powder (optional...its not used generally)
Mint leaves 1 fistful
Cilantro few leaves
Ghee 1 cup.

Spices:

Cloves 3
Cinnamon 2 sticks
Cardamm 6 crushed
Bay leaves 3 crumbled
Star anise 2
Marati Mokku 3
Rose petal few(dried)
Birinji flower 1
Saffron few strands - tapped

Method:

Spray oil in an oven safe tray, arrange the marinated meat on it, spray oil if necessary. Bake the meat for about one and half hours, 450 F. When the meat is done' to reddish brown and cooked thoroughly, remove from heat.

In a wide crock pot, heat ghee. Throw in all the spices. Let them crackle up.

Then add chilies, wait till it splutters and turns white.

Followed by onions...fry real good till fragrant. Maybe add salt to hasten your process.

Now add tomatoes, cover and cook. When tomatoes turn pulpy, add chili powder and baked meat to it. Then stir-in rice, add enough water. Cover and cook.

Once the rice is done, remove from heat.

Serve warm as a main dish.

26.2.11

Chinese Paratha / Indo-Chinese Paratha - Fusion Cooking







Indian-Chinese Paratha:

Chinese Style Stir-Fried Vegetables Stuffed in Indian Flat Bread - How about that? China is a neighbor country to India. Since time immemorial they have been visiting India, through land route. And right from Xuanzang (popularly known as Hsüan-tsang, in India 602 - 664 CE) were traveling to India in search of Buddhist scripts and for education. For several years they have been residents of India, especially in the big Metropolitan cities. Many were serving their distinctions as Dentist, Hair Stylist, Tannery Owners and Sauce manufacturers! But we have to say that, they found their glory in India through 'Food' ! Yes, by opening the Restaurants! In fact, the better Sino-Indian cultural fusion, perhaps began in the Kitchen! However, the original Chinese menu in the restaurants were kind of bland and not so appetizing to the predominant local population, who are big time spicy food lovers! So, a curious restaurateur at Mumbai, Nelson Wang (1975) prepared an amalgamation recipe to suit the palate of his customers. And, it was highly successful ! The credit goes to this one person, who first came up with the idea of fusing Indian Garam Masala with that of Chinese Soy Sauce! Later, the culinary perfection happened over years! Now, it took a new dimension of evolving into a distinct cuisine throughout the Sub-Continent! And, these days it is even getting popular in U.S. A. In many major cities 'Indo-Chinese restaurants are gradually mushrooming up! So, if you are curious to check it out' here you go.

Ingredients:

Mixed Vegetables(Carrot, Beans and Cabbage) -thinly sliced 2-4 cups
All purpose flour - Dough
Green chilies 6 finely chopped
Ginger 1" minced
Garlic 1-2 minced
Salt
MSG
Chinese 5-spice powder/garam masala 1/4 spoon
Soy Sauce few teaspoons
Green Onion chopped 1-2 cups
Sesame oil few spoons.

Method:

In a wide wok, heat oil and ginger-garlic, chilies and vegetables. Add salt, MSG and soy sauce. Stir-fry over high heat. Set aside to come down to room temperature.

Now roll the parathas as usual and fill the vegetables in it. Toast the same both the sides, until well-done.

Serve to go with Ketchup or any Chinese style side dish.

25.2.11

Ragi Paniyaram / Kezhvaragu Paniyaram - Graceful Shapes n Earthy Flavor






Finger-Millet Paniyaram:

Ingredients:

Ragi flour 1 cup
Green chilies 3 chopped
Ginger 1" grated
Onion 1 small chopped
Cilantro leaves few
Curry leaves few
Salt
Asafoetida 1 pinch
Chana dal 1 spoon
Urad dal 1 spoon
Mustard seeds 1/2 spoon
Cumin seeds 1/2 spoon
Sesame oil few spoons.

Method:

In a small pan, heat oil and throw in all the spices one by one and fry real good. Now mix this to the flour and add water, make a heavy consistency batter.

Smear the paniyaram griddle with oil. Fill them up with this batter. Cook both the sides to perfection. There you go...got it.

Serve them with fresh mint or coconut chutney. Dinner ready:)

24.2.11

Mississippi Blackened Cat-Fish - Healthy Way To Eat It






Crispy Oven-Baked Fish:

Southern Cooking - Blackened Cat-fish (not fried but baked)! Since, I have rooted at Mississippi for a long time, now...I have a slight incline towards Southern delights (U.S.A). No wonder that many call it as soul food n comfort food. I have strong affinity towards anything down-home country cooking! Well, to me it reflects the culture. And moreover studying 'Food-Ways and Culture' is part of my Thesis! Though, I cook frequently the local flavor' I have to admit that I haven't mastered the art of Southern cooking, yet! So, I never blogged about the food that I encountered in my kitchen:(

Since, there are plenty of water-bodies around, preparing cat-fish is inevitable from the menu. So, this is one of the famous recipe around my area...blackened cat-fish, pan-fried with lots of seasoning, considered very spicy(However, it won't be that spicy for an Indian palate)! I have followed all the thumb rules of an authentic recipe...but switched to oven-baking instead of pan-frying!Hmmm, the fish looked' like all sucked up, without any moisture...but you got to trust me, it turned out to be good, well-done! The good news is, it was very crispy than I imagined, guilt-free and quite comforting:)

Ingredients:

Cat-fish fillets 4
Salt
Vinegar 1 cap-full
Onion powder 1-2 spoons
Garlic powder 1 spoon
Chili powder 1 spoon
Black pepper powder 1 spoon
Oil for spraying.

Method:

Marinate the fish briefly with all the above mentioned spices.

Grease the tin-foil with butter/oil. Place the fillets and bake them for at least one and half hours over 350 F. Check whether it is done-thoroughly.

Serve warm as a side dish.

Broccoli 65 / Broccoli Pakora - Fuss Free Snacks




Fried Broccoli Krispies:

You know what? Why fried food is so popular among many immigrant communities? One could get really creative to add their special flavor' ranging from soy sauce to garam masala and instantly get that native-country touch:) If you are looking for a healthy option...you should really try stir-frying! This isn't a good idea to fry vegetables! Yet, if you are planning to have a variation...this is it! Its pretty damn good. Am so tired of eating those steamed broccoli from the restaurants. I decided to fry this on a snowy-stormy-dark evening...when I had nothing useful to do, hehe. Well, I followed some discipline' frying upon one condition...using extra-virgin olive oil! We all do some trick to take away the guilt, right. Did I ever tell you this little secret of mine? Anything that is dark green and bit bitter-tasting, like Kale, Bitter melon, Broccoli etc...all achieve an unique flavor when treated with olive oil. I know, the olive oil itself has its own flavor and all. But still it kicks up some extra-effect with bitter-tasting greenish produce. Anyway, you guys try this experiment and let me know' if you like it(or if you don't)!

Ingredients:

Broccoli 2-3 heads
Ginger 2" minced
Garlic 3 cloves minced
Salt
MSG 1/4 Spoon
Soy sauce few spoons
Lemon juice few spoons
Corn flour few spoons
Chili powder 2 spoons
White pepper powder 1 spoon
Garam masala powder 1/4 spoon
Olive oil for pan/deep frying

Method:

Combine all the ingredients together(except oil).

Heat oil in a deep frying pan. When it comes to smoky hot, fry few florets at a time. Leave them over kitchen tissues for a while. Repeat the same for each batch.

Serve steaming hot with Indian Masala Chai. And you know the rest...enjoy:)

23.2.11

Kesari / Sooji ka Halwa - How Sweet Is That?




Zaffroni Sooji Ka Sheera:

Saffron Infused Semolina Halwa. Rawa Halwa. Rawa Kesari.

It isn't what I exactly planned it to be, blogging about nothing! I mean the usual stuff, I know sometimes (okay, okay kool...many a times) my recipes are not so blog worthy. Come on, how many people would actually ruin a simple dessert!! Are there really someone' who waits for my recipes to be published in order to cook a meal?! But, I still wanna work out so hard to re-create what Mommy fixed 'just like that' ! Love to record every single-simple everyday recipes!! However, I could never say that I perfected it though...that is a different story!!! Yet, it brings lots of happiness to imitate Mom's style of cooking:) Yeah, just the usual's, no fuzz menus:) I dunno, whenever am kind of home-sick' this sort of cooking therapy helps me to feel better! Well, so if you really care about my regular recipes, here you go...

Ingredients:


Semolina 1 cup
Condensed milk 1/4 cup
Whole milk 3 cups
Sugar 3/4 cup
Ghee 1/4 cup
Saffron few strands
Cashew nuts 1 fistful
Raisins 1 fistful.



Method:


Heat ghee and add the nuts and raisins, once they turn fragrant, set aside.

In the same oil, add sugar and a cup of water, bring this to thick syrup. Further add milk and condensed milk. Bring this to boil.

Add powdered saffron and semolina, cover and cook. Add ghee if necessary. If the moisture is all sucked up, its done.

Serve warm or chilled as a dessert.

22.2.11

Samosa - A Perfect Bite:)









Alu Samosa:

Potatoes Filled Hot Pockets. Garam Garam Aloo Samosas.

There were days, when I used to say 'I hate Fried food'! People go wide eyes 'Oh really'. Well, then they hardly knew me! It is always like that 'Sour Grapes' story!!! The fact is that I can never resist a perfect fried snack! I admit that, once in a while I treat myself with some home-made junk food! And now...don't ask me' how is that even 'good'. I am an adherent follower of Michael Pollan's guide lines. So, I just follow the old-world life style...prepare anything from scratch! Result? First of all, at the end of the day, you will realize 'how much time it takes to bring a product for consumption'(definitely you will be tired to go cook the same again); secondly...you will have control over your ingredients (one can actually take deep-frying to pan-frying; switch to olive oil, prepare a dough with whole wheat, change the filling with something rich in fiber); it is worth toiling in the kitchen than to wind up lying on the couch watching boring movies or playing solitaire; and finally, I like the idea of keeping the authentic recipe intact(without trying anything extreme) but have a control over my portions.

Ingredients:

All purpose flour 1 bowl
Salt
Cooking soda 1/4 spoon
Warm water 1 cup
Ghee/clear butter

Dough preparation:

In a large bowl add flour. Add salt, soda and warm water. Knead them into soft dough. Add ghee for as finishing touch.

Filling

Potato 2-3
Salt
Cumin seeds 2 spoons
Garam masala powder 1/4 spoon
Cumin powder 1 spoon
Chili powder 1/2 spoon
Coriander powder 1 spoon
Turmeric powder 1/4 spoon
Green chili 2-3 finely chopped
Onions finely chopped 1 cup
Ginger-garlic paste 1 spoon
Coriander leaves 1 cup finely chopped
Dry flour for dusting
Oil for deep frying.

Masala preparation:

Bake potato in a microwave for 3-4 minutes and peel its skin. Or simply boil potato in water for 20 minutes and peel its skin.

Heat oil/ghee and add cumin seeds and fry till golden brown.

Then add green chilies, onions and ginger -garlic paste. Fry them till fragrant. Add salt, turmeric, chili, coriander, garam masala and cumin seeds powder. Toss the potatoes too, mash them using your spatula.

Samosa Preparation:

Divide the dough into equal parts, roll them into thin flat breads, cut them into strips. Place the filling and fold into triangles.

Well, heat oil in a pan, deep fry the same.

Serve warm as a snack.

21.2.11

Karela Paratha / Bitter Gourd Stuffed Paratha / Bitter Melon Stuffed Flat Bread





Pavakkai Paratha

Are you a bitter melon hater? Well, maybe its time to re-consider including it in your diet. As more and more research keeps pointing out that 'bitter tasting gourds' does help to keep the blood glucose level low (I mean it will be highly appreciated by type-2 diabetes patients). I would like to share few tips to retain the essential vitamins fresh and at the same time, to put the bitterness at bay. Rinse the vegetable in sour butter milk several times. Include either lemon juice or tamarind while preparing curry out of it. And increase your spices in proportion, which will counter the bitterness' also enhances the flavor...balances the taste. When you scrape away the ridges and remove the seeds for 'Stuffed Karela', please do not discard the scrap. As you might be already aware of the fact that the seeds and peels are loaded with goodness. I make Sambar out of the scrap sometimes or use them to stuff the gourd/parathas. Works well. So here you go

Ingredients:

Wheat flour 1 bowl
Salt
Cooking soda 1/4 spoon
Warm water 1 cup
Ghee/clear butter

Dough preparation:

In a wide bowl, bring wheat flour. Add salt and soda. Further add warm water and knead this to smooth dough. Add ghee as a finishing touch.

Ingredients:

Bitter Gourd (de seed) and grated
Mashed potatoes 1 small cup(for texture)
Salt
Garam masala powder 1/4 spoon
Cumin powder 1 spoon
Chili powder 1/2 spoon
Coriander powder 1 spoon
Turmeric powder 1/4 spoon
Green chili 2-3 finely chopped
Onions finely chopped 1 cup
Ginger-garlic paste 1 spoon
Coriander leaves 1 cup finely chopped
Dry wheat flour and ghee for making parathas.

Masala preparation:

Heat oil/ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds.

Add green chilies, onions and ginger -garlic paste. Fry till fragrant. Add salt, turmeric, chili, coriander, garam masala and cumin seeds powders.

Now add grated vegetable and mashed potatoes to the above masala, continue cooking...maybe till the vegetable is done.

Paratha Preparation:

Divide the dough into equal parts. Roll them into thin flat breads. Place a table spoon of filling, place an other chappathi over it...seal the edges. Repeat the same for the remaining dough.

Now toss them onto heated griddle, smear oil and cook both the sides.

Serve hot with punjabi gravy.

20.2.11

Green Beans - Shrimps Curry / Beans-Prawn Curry






Beans-Eral Kuzhambu:

Ingredients:

Beans 1 bowl
Prawns 10-15 large
Garlic 5-7 cloves minced
Ginger 2" grated
Onion 1 large- grated
Tomato 1-2 crushed
Salt
Turmeric 1/4 spoon
Chili powder 1 spoon
Cumin seeds 1 spoon
Oil few spoons.

Method:

Heat oil, and add cumin seeds. Add ginger-garlic and onions. Fry real good, till fragrant.

Further add tomatoes, salt, turmeric and chili powder. Add beans too. Cover and cook briefly.

Followed by shrimps...cover and cook till tender.

Serve to go with rotis or rice.