Sunday, March 27, 2011

An Autumn Day drive from Raleigh to Cary on a beautiful cloudy Day.

A  pleasant  morning during fall season, On 16th November 2010.. I was driving from Raleigh to Cary around 7.30 am, weather was  very pleasant, cloudy with lovely mild golden sun rays all around. I  captured following pictures with  cell phone camera (Samsung-SGH-A877) at certain catchy spots. In future I will be posting more pictures from my daily early morning drive. Enjoy!!


Monday, March 7, 2011

Thai flavored Spicy Baingan with Lal Mirch Tadka - garnished with purple Basil and Cilantro

I enjoy Chinese and Thai dishes for their distinct  taste, they are full of flavor and nutrients. I  mostly cook veg and non-veg stir fries by using basic Asian and Thai cooking ingredients. This simple eggplant stir fry has Thai flavor. It is quick to prepare and tastes spicy, sweet and sour. Fresh purple basil and cilantro infused extra herbal aroma. Try this stir fry when you crave for something Asian.

Ingredients :-
  • 3 Cup heaped - 1 inch chunks  of eggplant. ( I used three 6-7 inches long Chinese green egg plant)
  • 1 Medium size onion - cut lengthwise
  • 1 whole garlic - cut each garlic clove lengthwise
  • 4-5 whole dry red chilies - break in 1.5 inch pieces
  • 1 T.spoon fish sauce (vegetarians can skip and use little extra soy sauce)
  • 1.5 Tb.spoon malt vinegar (regular vinegar can be used)
  • 1 T.spoon soy sauce
  • 1 T.spoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 Cup - chopped purple Basil ( green is fine too)
  • 1/2 Cup - chopped fresh cilantro
Cooking Process :-
  1. In a small size thick gauge skillet heat 1 tablespoon oil. Toss in  red chilies, stir and sizzle  for 20 seconds. Now add onions and stir fry on medium heat for 5-6 minutes until onions turn soft and translucent.
  2. Now add garlic and stir fry for 1 minute on medium heat. Pour one tablespoon Malt vinegar, stir and mix  with onions - saute for 1 minute. Add fish sauce, mix well - stir  for one  minute.
  3. Add eggplant, mix with onions..Increase heat to medium high and cook by stirring continuously. During this process allow onion and eggplant pieces to catch few burnt spots, this will bring nice smoky aroma to the stir fry. If you find it too dry then add one tablespoon water. After 4 minutes sprinkle half tablespoon Malt vinegar, brown sugar and one teaspoon soy sauce over eggplant. Reduce heat to medium low and let it cook for 4-5 minutes or until eggplants get tender. This recipe don't require salt because fish sauce and soy sauce makes it salty. If you skip using fish sauce then add  half  teaspoon  more soy sauce. You may add little salt as per your requirement.
  4. Finally garnish with basil and cilantro. Enjoy with roti or rice.
Pot grown purple Basil during summer time.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sweet Potato Bhajia with Samo rice flour - Crunchy Spicy treat for Mahashivratri Fast.

My warm MahaShivaratri wishes to all  followers, readers and visitors. Lord Shiva's blessings may always be with you. Today I made spicy sweet potato (shakkarkand,ratale) bhajia with samo rice flour, since samo flour do not contain gluten I used mashed potato for binding. Cumin and green chili added zest. Fritters turned extra crispy and delicious. This is easy and delicious fasting treat.

Pictures of Lord Shiva Pooja done at home with offerings of Belpatra,
Belfal, Dhatura leaf and fruit, Bhang leaves. (Picture credits - S)

Sweet potato / ShakarKandi Bhajia Recipe

Ingredients :-
  • 2 Cup Sweet potato (ratale,shakkar kand) cut into juliennes (just like matchstick, I used julienne slicer)
  • 4-5 Green chilies - finely crushed
  • 1/2 Cup Samo rice flour
  • 4 Tb.spoon - Instant mashed potato flakes or you can use 1/2 Cup boiled finely mashed potato.
  • 1 T.spoon - Cumin
  • 1/4 Cup water to bind batter/mixture ( you may need little extra)
  • 2 Cup oil for deep frying
Process of making Sweet potato Fritters :-
  1. In a medium size bowl combine julienned sweet potato, salt,  finely crushed chilies, samo rice flour, cumin and mashed potato flakes. Slowly add water and stir-mix with wooden spoon. You may use fingers to combine all ingredients together. Batter/Mixture should be thick and not flowy, it should just coat around sweet potatoes.
  2. Heat 2 cup oil in wok/Kadhai. Drop tiny piece of sweet potato in oil; it should quickly rise up to the top and should not quickly get dark. This is the  indication of right oil temperature. I dropped fritters with fingers, if you have no prior experience to use fingers then use dinner spoon.
  3. Merge five fingers together and pick one tablespoon quantity batter and slowly drop into oil. Avoid making exact round shape to get nice crab like shape. Drop  6-8 fritters at a time and fry each side for at least 1.5 minutes or until fritters turn golden and crispy. After frying two batches if mixture gets a bit flowy then sprinkle some samo flour/ potato flakes or add more sweet potato.
  4. Remove from oil and set them on paper towel lined plate. You can make about 25 fritters. Enjoy with peanut-coconut chutney.
Peanut and Coconut Chutney

Ingredients :-
  • 1/4 Cup - Fresh coconut
  • 1/4 Cup Roasted peanuts
  • 3-4 Green chilies
  • 1/2 Cup water
Process :-

Combine coconut, roasted peanuts, green chilies and salt  into small blender jar - Add half cup water and grind to fine paste.