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.