Thursday, December 31, 2009

Green beans & Butter beans - Kerala style Curry in Coconut gravy.

Today for lunch, I cooked this "Beans-Combination" curry in Kerala style. Mixing fresh green beans with butter beans in coconut gravy made delicious wholesome Curry.

  • 2 1/2 Cup fresh cut Green beans - cut into 2 inch long pieces.
  • 1 Can of butter beans (14 Oz) - rinsed thoroughly under running water.
  • 1 Cup - finely chopped onions.
  • 1 Cup fresh grated coconut.
  • 1 Tb.spoon corriander seeds - make fine powder.
  • 1 T.spoon Jeera powder - make fine powder.
  • 1 Tb.spoon red chili powder. ( reduce quantity for less heat)
  • 1/2 T.spoon turmeric powder.
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro - finely chopped.
  • 1 Tb.spoon cooking oil.
  • 1 T.spoon mustard seeds.
  • 12-15 curry leaves.
  • 1 T.spoon coconut oil - (optional)
Preparing coconut paste
  • Add fresh grated coconut with one cup warm water and red chili powder in a blender jar. Grind to fine paste. ( My blender jar is small so I made coconut paste in two batches..first batch I added half cup coconut and in next batch added remaining coconut with chili powder..this is the reason you see two types of pastes in the picture)

Method of Cooking :-
  1. Heat 1 Tb.spoon cooking oil in heavy gauge pot. Add 1 tspoon mustard seeds, wait for few seconds till mustard seeds sizzle and splutter, quickly add chopped onions. Saute until onions turn soft and translucent - 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add green beans, corriander, jeera powder, turmeric, little salt, 6-7 curry leaves - Mix all well and add half cup water. Let it cook on medium heat with covered lid for 7-8 minutes. Keep stirring at regular interval. You may add little more water if beans get too dry.
  3. Add ground coconut+red chili powder paste. Mix well and let it cook for 2 minutes on medium heat.
  4. Add rinsed butter beans and gently mix all well. Add remaining curry leaves, adjust salt and heat level......also add little water as per your desired curry consistency. (You may add 1tspoon coconut oil to get authentic Kerala flavor) Let it cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
  5. Garnish with fresh cilantro and enjoy with rice and roti.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Spicy Indian Chicken Curry with Mexican Ancho chiles

I enjoy cooking variety of chicken curries......slight variation of spices, herbs and cooking procedure brings completely different taste to the curry.This curry is cooked in routine manner with use of Ancho Chiles to bring deep dark glow.......other variation is - use of single whole Star anise and home ground spice blend. I maintained thick rich gravy which complimented well with dark glow of the curry.

Ingredients :-
  • 1 Whole skinless chicken (3.5 pound) cut into medium pieces - marinate with salt.
  • 2 Large onions - finely chopped.
  • 2 inch piece of ginger - finely crushed.
  • 7-8 large cloves of fresh garlic - finely crushed.
  • 1 Extra large or 2 roma tomatoes - diced.
  • 1 Cup fresh cilantro finely chopped.
  • 2 Tb.spoon cooking oil.
  • 1 Big size Star anise.
  • 1 T.spoon red chili powder.
  • 1 Cup fresh grated coconut. ( can be replaced with half cup canned coconut milk)
  • 2 Ancho chilies - (3 inch long) - remove stem,seeds.. wash under water and tear in 3-4 pieces.......put in bowl........cover with water and microwave for 2-3 minutes.

Preparing Ancho chili paste

Use small mixer jar -Mix fresh grated coconut and microwaved ancho chilies. Make fine paste. I first made powdered spice blend and in the same jar added coconut and chilies. Depends on your blender type you can either grind all together or separate.

Spice Blend :-

  • 1 Tb.spoon - Fennel seeds
  • 1 T.spoon - Cumin seeds.
  • 1 Tb.spoon - whole black pepper.
  • 4 Cardamom
  • 12 Cloves.
  • 1 Bay leaf - 3 inch long.
  • 2 inch long piece of cinnamon.

Mildly roast all above spices and make fine powder.

Curry is almost cooked

Method Of Cooking :-
  1. Take 4 quart heavy gauge pot and heat 2 tb.spoon oil. Add 1 star anise and saute for 15 seconds.....quickly add chopped onions. Saute on medium heat for 4-5 minutes till onions turn soft.
  2. Add finely crushed ginger and garlic - Mix with onions and saute for 2 minutes.
  3. Add Ancho chili +coconut paste and ground spice blend. Saute for 2 minutes on medium heat.
  4. Add marinated chicken and stir well in the pot, make sure all chicken pieces get rightly coated with gravy. Increase heat to high and keep stirring with wooden spoon till chicken turns white. You may sprinkle little water to ease stirring and avoid sticking it to the bottom. This will take 4-5 minutes.
  5. Add red chilli power, adjust salt level - reduce heat to medium and let it cook for 10 minutes with covered lid. At regular interval keep stirring. At this stage inside steam will create more liquid gravy.
  6. Increase heat to medium high and let curry cook without lid for another 8-10 minutes. At this stage instead of stirring with spoon hold both pot handles.......lift pot and give clockwise stir to pot. (If you are not used to this method then just use wooden spoon to stir).
  7. Add diced roma tomatoes and cilantro. Mix well and let curry simmer for another 7-8 minutes on medium heat without lid. Stir at regular interval. Shut off the heat and let curry stay covered for another 15 minutes before serving with rice or roti.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Greetings.....

Wish you all lots of love, Peace, joy and happiness
Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Pathiri - Kannur Style

Pathiri/Patthiri is a delicacy from Northern Kerala region. During my last year visit to Kannur in India, I had an opportunity to make pathiri in my in-laws home. Simple ingredients, little tedious method but delicious end result. We made deep fried type pathiri.Fusion of fennel seeds,onion,coconut with rice flour brings distinctive aroma and taste to pathiri . Below I am adding few pictures captured while making pathiri along with recipe details.
  • (A) -- Soak rice in water for 6 hours. After rinsing and draining out all water, spread rice on a piece of cloth and let it dry over night. Next day coarsely grind rice in mixer without adding water. Gently roast rice powder on low flame for 10-12 minutes.
  • (B) -- Make Coarse paste of Ulli (tiny Indian onions / pearl onions),coconut,fennel seeds. Add the paste to roasted rice flour . Add little salt and make soft dough by adding hot water.
  • (C) -- Take chapati making board or any kitchen pot/pan with flat smooth top. Tightly wrap plastic cling wrap around it. Apply few drops of oil in center. Take bigger than lemon size ball of dough and place it on plastic wrapped surface. By using fingers and palm press and stretch it into nice round shape. (3 inch diameter). Apply oil to fingers to avoid stickiness.
  • (D) -- Heat oil in shallow pan or Kadhai and gently take out pathiri from chapati board and place it in oil. Deep fry them on both sides till pathiri gets light golden color. Maintain medium heat.
  • (E) -- Place fried pathiri on paper towel. After they cool them in a broad dish and cover. Relish with spicy meat/chicken/fish curry or enjoy them plain.

Deep Fried Pathiri from Kannur region.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pumpkin (Kaddu) subzi with Snake gourd & Capsicum.

It was time to go for grocery. My refrigerator was low and odd on vegetable stock. There was small piece of pumpkin, one capsicum, and one snake gourd in refrigerator. I mixed them all and made this combination subzi. Since all veggies were sweetish in nature, I used green chilies to add hot zest and generous use of fresh cilantro infused fresh aroma.

  • 2 Cup pumpkin cubes- 1 inch size pieces.
  • 1 small size snake gourd cut into one inch pieces ( 1 1/2 cup)
  • 1 Capsicum cut into one inch pieces. ( 1 Cup)
  • 1/2 Cup frozen green peas.
  • 1 Medium size onion - chopped.
  • 1 1/2 Cup - finely chopped fresh cilantro.
  • 5-6 green chilies - finely crushed.
  • 10-12 curry leaves.
  • 1/2 T.spoon turmeric powder.
  • 2 Tb.spoon cooking oil.

Method of Cooking:-
  1. Take heavy bottom pot and heat 2 tb.spoon oil. Add chopped onion and saute for 3-4 minute on high heat.
  2. Add snake gourd pieces and stir fry for 2-3 minutes on high heat. Add half cup water and cover the pot with lid. Let it cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Add pieces of pumpkin and capsicum - mix all well and stir-fry on high heat for 2 minutes.
  4. Add curry leaves, crushed green chilies and half the quantity of chopped cilantro. Mix well.
  5. Add salt,turmeric powder, green peas and half cup water. Mix well. Cover the lid and let it cook for 7-8 minutes on medium heat. Keep on stirring at regular interval.
  6. Check if pumpkin is tender. If you find some liquid in subzi then increase heat to high and saute till water content gets evaporated.
  7. Add remaining chopped cilantro - mix well and shut off the gas. Serve with rice and roti.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sabudana Kheer/Payasam

Sabudana is Tapioca pearl/pearl sago.It is mostly enjoyed during various fasting days.Today I made Sabudana Kheer in milk...nice thick texture with softened pearls..tasted delicious with saffron , cardamom aroma.

  • 1 Cup Sabudana - ( check below- for soaking procedure)
  • 5 Cup 2% Fat Milk. (You may need 1 more cup to adjust desired consistency)
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar.
  • 2 pinch saffron.
  • 8-10 cardamom - make fine powder.
  • 15-20 Cashew nuts. (few chopped and few whole)
  • 2 Tb.spoon Golden raisins.
  • 3-4 Tb.spoon Ghee.
Pre-Soaking Sabudana
  1. Rinse 1 Cup sabudana in water..drain all water.
  2. Take medium size bowl - add 1 Cup fresh water and soak sabudana for 15 minutes.
  3. After 15 minutes Drain out remaining water from bowl - (approximate 1/4 cup water will be drained out)
  4. Toss sabudana and cover with plastic wrap and keep it aside for at least 2 hours. (This will completely puff up/soften each pearl.)

How to make Kheer
  1. Take thick bottom pot ( 3 quart size minimum)and add 5 Cups milk .Add two pinches of saffron strands and let milk boil on medium low heat.. frequently stir milk.
  2. Add soaked Sabudana and reduce heat to low. Let it simmer in milk for 7-8 minutes.
  3. Add 1/3 Cup Sugar & Cardamom powder - Mix well with milk. Let it simmer for 4-5 minutes on low heat.
  4. In the mean time heat 2 tb.spoon Ghee in small pan and shallow fry cashew nuts on medium low heat till they turn golden brown.Keep them aside on paper towel.
  5. Wipe out Ghee from pan with paper towel and add fresh 2 tb.spoon Ghee- Heat it and add golden raisins -shallow fry them by turning with spoon.They quickly puff up and turn golden brown..remove them and set on paper towel.
  6. Now add roasted cashew nuts and raisins to milk and mix well. By now you will notice that each pearl of sago is well puffed up and appears translucent also consistency of Kheer gets thicker. You may add little milk to have desired consistency.Also adjust sugar level.After 2-3 minutes turn off the gas and let Kheer cool. Don't serve this Kheer hot, it tastes better at normal or cold temperature.

Monday, December 7, 2009

French Green Lentil and Whole Masoor Dal Spicy curry.

This hearty & nourishing spicy lentil curry is perfect dish to warm up cold winter days. French Green lentils look like whole masoor dal except they are dark greenish, blackish in color. They cook quick and look very tempting with their tiny flat round shape. Seasoned with ginger, garlic and few spices makes this curry aromatic and delicious.

  • 1 Cup French Green lentil - Soak in water for 1 hour
  • 1 Cup Whole Masoor Dal - Soak in water for 1 hour
  • 1 Large size onion - chopped.
  • 2 Large size tomatoes - diced.
  • 1 1/2 inch piece of ginger - minced
  • 6-7 large size fresh garlic cloves - minced
  • 1 Bay leaf - 2 inch size.
  • 10-12 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 Cup fresh chopped cilantro.
  • 1 Tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 Tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Garam Masala
  • 1 Tsp. brown sugar or little jaggery.
Pre-Cooking Lentil
  1. Rinse French green lentil and Masoor Dal in water. Soak in water for at least one hour. After half an hour again thoroughly rinse lentil in water and re-soak in fresh water.
  2. Take pressure pan/pressure cooker and add soaked lentils with minimum 3 cups water. Add salt and let it simmer, after it starts boiling put lid with whistle. After first whistle reduce heat to low,very soon it will build enough steam inside pressure cooker and as second whistle is blown, immediately turn off the gas .Place pressure cooker aside on heat proof surface.
Lentils Soaked in water
Pressure cooked Lentils
Method of cooking:-
  1. Take 4 quart heavy bottom pot and heat 1 Tb.spoon oil. Add bay leaf and fry for 15 seconds. Add chopped onions. Saute them on medium heat till they turn translucent - about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add minced ginger and garlic - combine with onion and stir-fry for 1 minute.
  3. Add 1 tb.spoon Garam masala , 5-6 curry leaves - Mix and stir for 1 minute.
  4. Add half chopped tomatoes (rest save for later step) and saute for 2 minutes.
  5. Now pour cooked Lentils into pot and add 2 Cups water.Stir and Mix.
  6. Add red chili powder,turmeric , brown sugar and little chopped cilantro.Let curry simmer for 5-6 minutes on medium heat.
  7. Add remaining diced tomatoes and curry leaves, add little more salt as per taste, adjust consistency of curry by adding little more water.Let it simmer for 7-8 minutes on low medium heat.Make sure that all lentils are cooked and tender.
  8. Lastly garnish with fresh cilantro and enjoy with rice or roti. You may also enjoy as spicy lentil soup by topping it with melted ghee or butter.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tava Fried Baingan Stir-Fry with Kalonji and Ajwain

Recently I got locally produced tender long chinese eggplants in Indian Grocery store. They looked adorable with their vibrant white,green and purple color. When I cooked them first time, its original color vibrancy was lost, so second time I decided to cook them differently. I griddle fried and cooked them open which helped to maintain its skin color and texture. Seasoning of kalonji, ajwain and aamchur enhanced the taste.

Ingredients :-
  • 10-12 tender chinese eggplants cut into half an inch long disc shape. (about 3 cups)
  • 1 Extra large Onion - cut half lengthwise and half in small pieces.
  • 10-15 curry leaves.
  • 4-5 finely chopped green chilies.
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro.
  • 1/2 T.spoon - Kalonji seeds
  • 1/2 T.spoon - Ajwain seeds
  • 1 T.spoon - Aamchur powder.
  • 3-4 Tb.spoon cooking oil.

Griddle fried Baingan

Method of cooking :-
  1. Take thick gauge open saute pan/skillet. Heat 2-3 Tb.spoon oil. Add baingan pieces and roast them on medium flames by occasionally stirring and turning (around 3-4 minutes for each batch). Keep roasted baingan aside. Pat them with paper towel. Sprinkle some salt and toss (Refer above picture).
  2. Wipe the pan with paper towel. Heat 1/2 Tb.spoon oil (just hot not smoking hot). Add 6-7 curry leaves. When they start sizzling, add 1/2 T.spoon Kalonji seeds and Ajwain seeds. Stir for 20 seconds.
  3. Add cut onions and fry on medium heat for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add fried eggplants along with chopped green chilies and stir well on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add Aamchur powder and adjust salt level. Add remaining curry leaves and saute on high heat for 2 minutes. Shut off the heat.
  6. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy with roti and rice.

Notes :-
  • You may give your choice of cut to eggplants long, cube or disc shape.
  • Kalonji and Ajwain can be replaced with mustard/cumin.
  • 1 Tb.spoon Toasted sesame seeds can be used for final garnish.
  • Bhindi (Okra), tindora, Parval can be stir-fried in similar manner.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Red Radish and Tofu Stir-Fry with Green Peas

This is one of the quick, colorful and wholesome stir-fry for routine cooking. It is packed with natural flavors and taste of Radish, tomato, green peas. Garam Masala, Ginger and green chili brings good zest and scrambled Tofu texture adds richness.

Ingredients :-
  • 10-12 Red Radish - chop out both ends and cut into thin disc shape. (2 cups)
  • 200 gm Firm Tofu. (remove excess liquid from tofu by gently squeezing tofu cube)
  • 1 Extra large tomato - diced.
  • 1 Tb.spoon oil.
  • 1 small size onion - finely chopped.
  • 1 inch piece of ginger - finely minced.
  • 3-4 Green chilies - cut in small pieces.
  • 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro.
  • 1 T.spoon Garam masala.
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas.

Method Of Cooking:-
  1. Take heavy bottom open pan. Heat 1 Tb.spoon oil. Add finely chopped onions. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add minced ginger and pieces of green chili - Stir fry for one minute.
  3. Add sliced Red radish and mix well with onions. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes on high heat. As you saute try separating all stuck radish pieces. Sprinkle little water if it starts sticking to bottom.
  4. Reduce flames to medium -Take cube of Tofu in hand and directly crumble it into the pan. Stir and Mix well with onions and radish.
  5. Add some salt and 1 T.spoon garam masala. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add diced tomatoes and Green peas - Mix everything well and let it cook for 3-4 minutes. Make sure all water is properly evaporated.
  7. Add little chopped cilantro and mix well. Shut off gas after a minute.
  8. Before serving garnish with remaining cilantro.
  9. Enjoy with rice and roti or enjoy like salad in bowl.
Note :-
  1. If you are not using frozen green peas then pre-boil and add along with tomatoes.
  2. Avoid overcooking to maintain red color of radish.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Radish and Black eyed peas with Milpero & Guajillo Chili sauce

I don't regularly cook radish but this recipe is an attempt to bring more interesting taste to radish subzi. Recently I found two mexican ingredients which can get well complemented in Indian cooking. First one is Milpero Tomatillo which is miniature version of Tomatillo. They have good sour taste. Second is Guajillo dry chili, these are very mild and have great bright red color. Milpero and Guajillo chilies along with black eyed peas made this Radish subzi tasty.

  • 2 cup Radish - cubed in 1/2 inch size. (preboil in microwave for 7-8 minutes)
  • 1 Can of Black eyed Peas - thoroughly rinsed under water.
  • 4-5 Milpero - cut in small pieces.
  • 1 Tb.spoon oil.
  • 1 Medium size onion - finely chopped.
  • 3-4 guajillo dry chilies (3-4 inch long) Soak in hot water for half an hour.
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic.
  • 1 T.spoon Garam Masala.
  • 1.T.spoon red chili powder.
  • 1 small boiled potato or 1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes.
  • 1 Cup fresh finely chopped cilantro.

Bright red color of Guajillo chili paste

Preparations before cooking:-
  1. Preboil cubed radish in microwave for 6-7 minutes. Use lightly salted water. Drain water and keep aside.
  2. Soak chilies in hot water for half an hour and make fine paste in blender with 2 fresh garlic cloves. Use half cup water.
  3. If instant mashed potato flakes are not available then cut one small potato in cubes and boil in microwave for 3-4 minutes in lightly salted water.
Method of Cooking:-
  1. Heat 1 Tb.spoon oil in heavy bottom pan. Add finely chopped onions and stir-fry till onions turn soft, 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add cut Milpero and stir-fry with onions for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add ground paste of chilies, mix and stir, for one minute.
  4. Add little salt, red chili powder and Garam Masala. Mix all well and saute for one minute.
  5. Add boiled Radish. Mix with gravy and let it cook on medium flame for 3-4 minutes. Keep stirring at regular interval.
  6. Add fully rinsed and drained black eyed peas - Stir well for a minute.
  7. Add 1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes. (Alternatively You may use one small cubed and boiled potato) Now add one cup water and adjust gravy and level of salt. Sprinkle little chopped cilantro. Cover with lid and let it cook for 7-8 minutes on medium heat.Keep stirring at regular intervals. Check if radish are tender.
  8. Finally garnish with remaining cilantro and enjoy with rice and roti.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Potato Shrimp Masala with Malvan Style Flavor

This Potato Shrimp Masala I cooked during my recent stay in Mumbai. My kitchen was not well equipped, few times I managed to cook with available ingredients. I had one cup cleaned small shrimps and two potatoes, few spices which I had brought to enrich my spice rack in USA. I decided to add few unique spices - Tirphal, Dagad phool and Nagkesar and addition of some finely ground coconut paste influenced this curry with Malvan/Goan style flavor and aroma.

  • 1 cup small size shrimps cleaned and deveined - Marinate with salt and turmeric.
  • 2 medium size potatoes diced in 1/2- inch cubes.(3 cups full).
  • 1 Tb.spoon oil.
  • 1 medium size onion - finely chopped.
  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut - Grind to fine paste by adding 1 cup water.
  • 1 T.spoon red chili powder.
  • 1 inch piece ginger - finely minced.
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic - finely minced.
  • 1 cup fresh chopped cilantro.
Special Spice Blend:-
  • 1 Tb.spoon Cumin seeds
  • 4-5 pieces of Dagad phool
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon
  • 3 whole Tirphal - (pound them well before grinding)
  • 4 whole Nagkesar
  • 1 Bay leaf 2 inch long
Slightly toast all the above spices and make fine powder.

Method Of Cooking:-
  1. Take medium size heavy bottom pan and heat 1 Tb.spoon oil. Maintain medium heat. Add finely chopped onions. Saute them till they turn soft.
  2. Add finely minced ginger and garlic - Mix and saute with onions for about 1 minute.
  3. Mix finely ground powder of spice blend and stir-fry for one minute.
  4. Add 6-7 shrimps and saute for a minute.
  5. Add all cubed potatoes, little salt, 1 T.spoon red chili powder. Mix all well and stir-fry for two minutes on high heat. Add 1 Cup water and reduce flames to medium and let it cook for 6-7 minutes with closed lid. Stir at regular intervals.
  6. Add half ground paste of coconut and marinated shrimps. Mix all together. Add little chopped cilantro and let it cook on medium flame with closed lid for 7-8 minutes. Adjust final salt level. Stir at regular intervals.
  7. Add remaining ground coconut paste and adjust thickness of gravy as per your taste. Check if potatoes are rightly cooked. Let it cook for another 3-4 minutes without lid.
  8. Add remaining chopped cilantro and serve with rice and roti.
Note :-
  • In absence of those unique spices you may use 1 Tb.spoon ready made Garam Masala, it will still bring flavorful taste to this curry.
  • Remove seed from Tirphal spice and pound it very hard before grinding into powder. You may avoid grinding but in that case use 6-7 whole Tirphal.
  • If you have bigger size shrimp then use 15-20. I used very small shrimps which were 30-40 in count.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Long Beans and Green beans Stir-fry

This is one of the simplest combination beans stir-fry for everyday cooking. Very few ingredients and fresh beans brings true bean flavors and makes this stir-fry very tasty and nutritious.

Ingredients :
  • 1 1/2 Cup cut Long beans - duly cut into 1 Cm long pieces (slightly cut off both the ends)
  • 2 Cup cut green beans - duly cut into 1 Cm long pieces (slightly cut off both the ends)
  • 1 small size onion duly chopped.
  • 3 green chilies chopped.
  • 10-15 curry leaves.
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro.
  • 1 Tb.spoon oil.
Method Of cooking:
  1. Heat 1 Tb.spoon oil in medium size pan.
  2. Add 7-8 curry leaves as they sizzle wait for 15 seconds and add chopped onions. Stir-fry for 5-6 minutes on medium flames.
  3. Add 1 1/2 cups cut long green beans and little salt. Stir and mix with onions and curry leaves. Increase flames to high and stirrfry for 3-4 minutes by constantly stirring.
  4. Add 1/2 cup water. Reduce flames to medium and let it cook with closed lid for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Now add two cups cut green beans, chopped green chilies, remaining curry leaves and add little more salt. Stir all well and let it cook for 6-7 minutes on medium flames.
  6. Make sure that all water gets evaporated. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve with rice and roti.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kadhai Paneer

Kadhai Paneer is most popular rich subzi dish on the menu of Indian restaurants. I always wondered why there has to be Capsicum when they call it Kadhai Paneer. I googled it and found that no recipe is without addition of capsicum. Here is my version of Kadhai Paneer. I cooked with almost no gravy to bring more taste of Paneer and Capsicum in each bite.

Ingredients :
  • 250 gm paneer - 2 Cups griddle fried cubes
  • 2 medium sized capsicum cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 large onion - cut lengthwise
  • 6 Roma tomatoes diced in cubes
  • 2 Tb.spoon oil ( some extra for frying paneer and capsicum)
  • 2 Tb.spoon heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 T.spoon red chili powder
  • 5 Garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger finely minced
Spice Blend
  • 5 Cloves.
  • 2 Cardamom.
  • 1 T.spoon shahajira.
  • 1 Tb.spoon Fennel seeds.
  • 1 Small Bay leaf.
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon.
  • 5-6 strands of Saffron.
Except saffron finely powder all spices.

Griddle Fried Capsicum and Paneer Cubes

Method Of Preparation :-

A) Preparing Paneer cubes :

Cut paneer slab in half inch strips. Heat griddle to medium and pour some oil. Place all strips on the griddle and reduce heat to low. It will take approximate 10 minutes to fry them to golden brown color. At interval turn them to all sides. Check the picture. Do not over fry them. Paneer quickly gets burnt so keep flames on very low temperature. After all sides are fried to golden brown color remove from griddle and let them cool. Make half inch cubes with sharp knife.

B) Stir-frying Capsicum :

In the same griddle pour some more oil and add capsicum. Increase flames to high heat and stir-fry them by continuous stirring. It will take three - four minutes to cook capsicum. Remove from griddle and set on paper towel sprinkle some salt and toss.

C) Cooking Kadhai Paneer :

  1. Take a big Kadhai or any heavy bottom pan. I cooked in anodized saute pan. Heat 2 Tb.spoon oil and add onions. Saute them for 4-5 minutes on high heat till they turn soft and transparent.
  2. Add minced ginger and garlic and saute all for one minutes.
  3. Add powdered spices and strands of saffron saute for two minutes.
  4. Add half quantity of chopped tomatoes and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes on medium heat.
  5. Add Fried cubed paneer and capsicum. Add red chilli powder and salt as per taste. Mix all well and let it cook for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add 1/2 cup water and remaining tomatoes. Cook for 4-5 minutes. At this stage you can adjust gravy. Add little more water if you need more gravy. I cooked in dry manner, almost no gravy, just let paneer and capsicum to get coated with onion, spices, tomatoes.
  7. Add 2 Tb.spoon heavy cream. Mix all well and add fresh cilantro. Stir-fry on high heat for two minutes. Shut off gas. Cover with lid and let it stay for some time before serving with roti or rice.

Kesar Pista Flavored Shrikhand.

Shrikhand is a creamy and delicious healthy dessert from Maharashtra/Gujrat. I made this Kesar and Pista flavored Shrikhand for Dussehra.

Ingredients :-
  • 32 Ounce (2 pound) Yogurt.
  • 1 Cup confectioners sugar (adjust as per taste).
  • 3 pinches of Saffron strands (Soak in 1Tb.spoon hot milk for 2 hours).
  • 8-10 cardamom - make fine powder.
  • 1/4 Cup Pistachio - Pick only bright green colored pistachio and remove skin. Make 1Tb. spoon fine powder and finely slice remaining pistachios.
  • 1 piece cheese cloth or muslin cloth ( For cheese cloth make three layers).

Preparation Method:-
  1. Take one medium deep bowl and place cloth over bowl, spread edges of cloth equally over bowl. Slowly add 32 Oz. yogurt into the bowl. Hold all four edges of cloth and merge together and make tight knot. Tightly secure all yogurt. Don't leave any gaps while making knot. Hang this over sink or any other suitable place in kitchen. Use same bowl to collect dipping liquid from yogurt. Give at least 15-20 hours to drain out all liquid. You may reduce hanging time by gently pressing yogurt at regular intervals and speed up the process of extracting liquid from yogurt. After 15 hours open the knot and take out strained yogurt ball (Chakka). Scrap all yogurt from cloth.
  2. Take 2-3 quart glass or steel bowl and place strained yogurt ball (Chakka). Add 1 cup confectioners sugar, saffron milk and half soaked saffron strands, powdered cardamom, powdered pistachio and half the quantity of sliced pistachio. Mix all with spatula. You may use hand blender and give one quick swirl to mix all ingredients in the bowl. Do not over run hand blender. Adjust level of sugar as per taste.
  3. Add remaining soaked saffron strands and sliced pistachio. Mix all well with spatula and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.
  4. Serve with puri, chapati or enjoy in bowl.

Note :- You may add some sour cream for more creamy and rich taste also this will help to increase the quantity. 32 Oz. Yogurt gives you one full cup of Chakka and 1 1/2 cup of strained liquid (Whey).

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tofu and Onion Bhajia - (Onion Tofu Fritters)

Kanda Bhajia is very popular Indian appetizer and tea time snack, one of the highly craved snack during wet and cold weather. I made little variation to regular onion bhajia by adding tofu cubes and served them with green chutney made with sweet relish, fresh cilantro and green chilies.

Ingredients :-
  • 2 cup Besan.
  • 1/2 cup Water.
  • 2 large size Onion cut lengthwise.
  • 1 cup chopped fresh Cilantro.
  • 9-10 chopped Green chilies.
  • 2 cups cubed Tofu- 1/2 inch size - Gently squeeze out water and lightly marinate with salt.
  • 1 T.spoon Ajwain (carom seeds)
  • Salt as per taste.
  • Canola oil for frying.
Method Of Preparation :-
  1. Take 3-4 quart glass or stainless steel bowl. Add 2 cups besan, salt, Ajwain, chopped chillies and cilantro. Mix all well.
  2. Add lengthwise cut onions and coat them well with besan mixture. Add half cup water and stir well. Leave mixture in bowl for 10 minutes.
  3. As mixture turns more moist add Tofu cubes and gently mix all batter.
  4. Heat oil in Kadhai/Wok. Once oil get hot maintain medium hot temperature. For checking right temperature add little batter through small spoon in Kadhai. Fritter should quickly float on top with lots of bubbles around. It should not quickly turn dark brown.
  5. For dropping fritters in oil you can either use spoon, small serving tong or hands. I find it comfortable to use hands. Merge all five finger tips together and dip in batter. Collect walnut size batter and gently drop into Kadhai. You need to be quick and cautious in this step. Make sure you grab onion pieces and tofu pieces in each pick.
  6. For each batch drop 8-12 fritters into Kadhai and fry them turning to both sides for at least 2-3 minutes. Be watchful on flames. Always maintain medium heat and in between you may rise temperature little higher but quickly get back to medium heat.
  7. Once you see all fritters turn golden brown and appear crisp in texture, remove them from oil and place it on open large plate layered with paper napkins.
  8. You will be able to make at least 40 fritters with this quantity.
  9. Serve them hot with following Green Hot-Sweet-Sour Chutney or ketchup.
Chutney :-
  • 4 Tb.spoon Sweet Relish.
  • 1/2 Cup chopped fresh Cilantro.
  • 6-10 Green chillies. (Adjust as per heat desired)
  • 1/2 T.spoon chat masala ( optional)
  • Sanchar (rock salt)
How to prepare Green chutney :-

  1. Take small jar of blender and add 4 Tb.spoon sweet relish, chopped corriader, green chilies.
  2. Blend it to fine paste. Add 1/2 T.spoon chat masala and little rock salt.
  3. You may add very little water to have your desired consistency for chutney.

Sweet relish gives sweet and sour taste also it helps to retain green color for longer time.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Aromatic and Creamy chicken curry in coconut milk

This chicken curry is made with slight variation. Whole spices are used with fresh coconut milk. Combination of whole spices bring unique aroma and chicken drumettes enhance the taste in curry.

Ingredients :
  • 10-12 Chicken Drumettes - (1.5 pounds) Marinate in salt for 20 minutes. (You may use other chicken parts cut into small pieces)
  • 1 Medium sized Onion - cut lengthwise.
  • 1 Tb.spoon cooking oil.
  • 1 inch piece of Ginger - cut into small pieces.
  • 5-6 Garlic cloves- cut into small pieces.
  • 1 Cup fresh grated Coconut - Add one cup warm water and grind coconut to fine paste then strain the mixture through tea strainer or cheese cloth. Use extracted milk or you may use 1 Cup canned coconut milk.
  • 1 T.spoon raw coconut oil - (optional)
  • 1 T.spoon red chilli powder - (Used Aashirvaad red and hot)
  • 1 T.spoon corriander seed + 1 T.spoon Fennel seeds - make fine powder.

Whole Spices:
  • 15-20 whole black pepper.
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon.
  • 1 small Bay leaf. ( 2 inch long)
  • 5 whole cloves.
  • 1 Star anise.
  • 2 whole cardamom.
Method of cooking:
  1. Heat 1 Tb.spoon cooking oil in heavy gauge pot. Add all whole spices and stir in hot oil for 30 seconds. This will infuse oil with aroma of whole spices. Keep gas flames to medium. Add all cut onion and keep stirring till onions are softened.
  2. Add ginger and garlic and stir for a minute. Add very little salt. Add half quantity of powdered fennel and corriander seed and 1 T.spoon red chilli powder.
  3. Add marinated drumettes and mix well with spices and onions. Turn gas to low flames. Cover lid and let it slowly cook for at least 15-20 minutes. Since we are not adding water you need to check curry in initial stages. Stir it and don't let it stick to the bottom. After 7-8 minutes it will create little gravy with inside steam.
  4. Add remaining powder of corriander, fennel and coconut milk. Stir well and adjust salt at this stage. Add 1.T.spoon coconut oil (optional). Cover the lid and let it cook for 5-6 minutes on medium flame.
Enjoy with rice or roti.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Carrot Thoran with Chayote & Radish

This is one of the most quickest, simplest and healthy subzi. Instead of eating complete raw veggies as Salad, I prefer them to quick semi-stir-fry with curry leaves, green chillies, Jeera, fresh grated coconut & lots of cilantro. This combination of Carrot+Chayote+Radish works very well. Cutting them in julienne style makes subzi look very appealing.

  • 1 1/2 Cup julienne style cut Carrots.
  • 1 Cup julienne style cut Chayote.
  • 1/2 Cup julienne style cut Radish.
  • 2-3 cut Green Chillies.
  • 1/2 Tb.spoon cooking oil.
  • 1 T.spoon Cumin seeds.
  • 2 springs of curry leaf.
  • 1/2 Cup fresh grated coconut.
  • 1/2 T.spoon Turmeric powder.
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro.

Method of Cooking:-

  1. Heat 1/2 Tb.spoon oil in open saute pan. You don't have to wait for oil to get too hot. After few seconds, add one cumin seed and if it sizzles then quickly add 1 T.spoon cumin seeds followed by 1 spring of curry leaf and chopped green chillies. Saute for less than a minute.
  2. Add julienned carrots, radish, chayote. Mix well. Add 1/2 T.spoon turmeric powder and salt. Stir with wooden spoon for a minute on high flames.
  3. Sprinkle 1/4 cup water. Stir and cover with lid. Let it cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Check if all water is evaporated. If not then increase the heat and keep stirring till it evaporates. Add another spring of curry leaf and fresh grated coconut. Mix all well. Reduce the heat to low and let it stay for 2 minutes.
  5. Lastly garnish with fresh cilantro and enjoy with roti and rice.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tindora Stir-fry with Green tomatoes & spring onions

Today I cooked this simple Tindora stir-fry. There were no proper veggies in refrigerator , just few Tindoras, two raw Tomatoes and few Spring Onions ,this prompted me to make a combination stir-fry. Result was vibrantly delicious stir-fry.

Ingredients :-
  • 25-30 Tindora - Slightly chop both ends , make one vertical cut in center and make total four length wise pieces of each tindora. (Boil in microwave with salt water for 6 minutes)
  • 2 Green Tomatoes -cut in small cubes.
  • 4-5 Spring Onions (separate Green leaf and white onion portion)
  • 3-4 Green Chillies
  • 2 Curry Leaf Springs
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Tb.spoon cooking oil
  • 1/2 T.spoon turmeric powder
Method Of Preparation :-
  1. Take thick bottom pot and heat 1 Tb.spoon oil. Add finely chopped white onion portion and saute for 2-3 minutes on high heat.
  2. Add cut green tomatoes - Saute for 3-4 minutes on high heat.
  3. Add 1 spring curry leaves , chopped green chillies and 1/2 T.spoon turmeric powder - Mix well and saute for a minute.
  4. Drain water from boiled tindora add to the pot - add salt and stir for 2-3 minutes on high heat.
  5. Add chopped greens of spring onion ,remaining curry leaves and stir subzi for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Shut off the gas and add 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut - Mix well.
  7. Lastly garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and eat with Roti /Rice or just enjoy in bowl.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tindora Masala Curry in Sesame, Poppy and Peanut gravy

Today I was to cook Tindora but with restrictions of not using Onion, Ginger, Garlic. I don't wanted to cook simple stir-fried Tindora, so came up with this rich thick gravy based subzi of Tindora. I used minimum Garam Masala but generously added Sesame, Peanuts and poppy seeds.

Milford Sound in New Zealand

Ingredients :-
  • 40-50 Tindora - Slit each Tindora into two pieces by giving one center vertical cut .
  • 2 Medium size Tomato - diced.
  • 2 springs of curry leaves.
  • One cup chopped fresh cilantro.
  • 1 Tb.spoon brown sugar.
  • 1 Tb.spoon oil (Additional for deep frying Tindora).
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts - (make coarse powder)
  • 1 T.spoon red chilli powder.
  • 1 T.spoon Aamchur powder (optional)

Special Spice Blend :-
  • 2 Tb.spoon Sesame
  • 1 Tb.spoon Poppy Seeds
  • 1 Tb.spoon dry Corriander Seeds
  • 1 T.spoon Fennel Seeds
  • 1 T.spoon Jeera
  • 2 tiny Bay Leaf (1 inch long)
  • 3-4 small pieces of Dagad Fool.
  • 2 Cloves
A) Roast Sesame and poppy seeds together till one shade change. Let it cool.Grind to fine powder.

B) Gently roast rest all the spices on low flame till they release aroma. Let it cool. Grind to fine powder.

Milford Sound in New Zealand

Method of Cooking :-

  1. Deep fry Tindora by turning them in Kadhai few times (2-3 minutes each batch). As they wrinkle up, remove from oil and set on paper towel. Sprinkle some salt and massage over tindora. Pat excess oil by paper towel. Keep it aside. (You may boil tindora in microwave for 7-8 minutes)
  2. Heat 1Tb.spoon oil in heavy bottom pan and add few curry leaves followed by diced tomatoes. Saute them on high heat for two minutes.
  3. Add powdered spices and red chili powder - stir-fry for a minute.
  4. Add deep fried Tindora and stir-fry for a minute. Let all spices get coated over Tindora. Let it stay two minutes on medium flames.
  5. Now add powdered sesame and poppy seed, brown sugar, Aamchur power. Mix all well by stirring for a minute.
  6. Add half cup water, add some more salt and close the lid. Let it cook on medium flames for 5-6 minutes. Keep checking at interval and stir.
  7. Open the lid- Add roasted peanut powder, 1/4 cup water, remaining curry leaves little chopped cilantro and let it cook for 7-8 minutes on low flames. Here you may adjust gravy by adding little more water.
  8. Add remaining chopped fresh cilantro and serve with roti or rice.
Milford Sound in New Zealand