Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My first blog event entry for Susan's Black and White Wednesday Event #76, a weekly culinary gallery. {Images of Green peanuts, French green lentils and Purslane}

Since long time I was wishing to join Susan's Black and White Wednesday event but could not catch up. Today I am pleased to join her event with two images which I failed to submit earlier. Susan from Well seasoned cook is the founder of this  unique weekly event  where she invites  Black and white images relating to food. Classic look of  heart warming black and white images  portray beautiful texture and emotional essence. I am thankful to Susan for initiating me to give an appreciative look at black and white images/photography.

Now Cinzia of  Cindystarblog is a new admin for Susan's Black and White Wednesday event.For all guidelines  and an index of  all future hosting blogs please check her post here. Participants can join Flickr group created for B&W event.

I am contributing following two images  to Black and White Wednesday Event - Week #76  March 27, 2013  which is being hosted by event  founder Susan of  Well Seasoned Cook.

 Curry recipe - French Green lentils and green peanuts.

Purslane an edible weed. Check published post 

Black and White Wednesday Event #76

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spicy Home style Indian chicken curry for weeknight dinner, made with fresh home ground chicken curry Masala blend. {Chicken curry and Roti Meal}

This chicken curry was made for one  weeknight dinner. It was just basic Indian chicken curry but the  profile of mix and match of fresh ground spice blend and addition of some canned coconut milk made this chicken curry worth sharing on blog and repeating in future. I saved some curry to take images next day, after taking images for the blog post I savored  this chicken curry and roti for my lunch. Extra thick rolled Roti in image is made with American whole wheat flour which is more coarse and full of natural wheat flavor. This home made roti makes a delicious and wholesome match with home style chicken curry.

Hand rolled, fully puffed American whole wheat flour Roti.

Curry Quantity is good for 4 people.
  • 2 whole boneless and skinless chicken breasts - (1.5 lbs) cut into one inch cubes.
  • 2 large onions - finely chopped, 3cups heaped quantity. (I used one Red and one Yellow)
  • 3-4 Roma tomatoes - diced (2.5 cups yield)
  • 3 inch piece -Ginger coarsely crushed
  • 7-8 - large Garlic cloves coarsely crushed
  • 1 cup - chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 T.spoon - Red chili powder
  • Coconut milk - 3/4 cup. (try to use all natural, I used Renuka brand.)
  • 2 Tb.spoon - oil
Spice blend
  • 1 Tb.spoon - corriander seeds
  • 1/2 T.spoon - shahijeera
  • 1 T.spoon - fennel seeds
  • 6 - cloves
  • 1 T.spoon - whole black peppers
  • 1 star anise - small size flower
  • 1/2 inch square - cinnamon piece
  • 1 Bay leaf - 2 inch long
  • 6-7 inch long - Guajillo chilies or 4-5 bedgi chilies or you may use Kashmiri chili powder for color.
Cut dry chilies into very small pieces, Combine all above spices and chili pieces  in a spice grinder bowl, grind them to a  fine powder.

Method for preparing HomeStyle Indian Chicken Curry.
  1. Clean chicken breasts, pat dry, cut into one inch cubes. Marinate with little salt, keep it aside.You can use your choice of  chicken pieces or whole chicken cut up, give more cooking time for bone in large size chicken pieces also increase onion quantity with one cup.
  2. Combine ginger and garlic in a small blender jar, grind to a coarse mixture. Alternatively you can grate it by using microplane.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a thick gauge pot. (3-4 quart size) Add chopped onions, increase heat to high,  fry the onions stirring continuously  for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue to saute onions, now stirring at some intervals. This will take around 8-10 minutes to soften the onions. Now add coarse crushed mixture of ginger and garlic, mix-saute for one minute.
  4. Next add ground spice blend, mix well, saute over medium low heat for 3-4 minutes. If mixture sticks to the bottom and gets dry, sprinkle little water and continue to saute.
  5. Add salt marinated chicken pieces, mix well. Cover with lid, cook over medium low heat for 7-8 minutes, stirring few times.
  6. Now add half the quantity of diced tomatoes, salt, 3/4 cup water and 1 tsp red chili powder,  mix all well, cover with lid and  continue to cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring at some interval. (spice blend has 1 tsp of black pepper which brings good heat, skip adding red chili powder if you want medium hot curry.)
  7. Stir in remaining chopped tomatoes, 3/4 cup coconut milk, little chopped cilantro, mix well, check and adjust salt level, cook over medium heat without covering the lid for 7-8 minutes. If you want thick gravy then cook over high heat for few more minutes, stirring often until  you have achieved the desired  gravy consistency. Finally add remaining chopped cilantro and shut off the heat. Cover with lid, allow to rest one hour before serving. You can serve this chicken curry over rice or eat with roti.

Home style spice laden Indian Chicken Curry.

Chicken Curry Roti Lunch.

Curry cooked on 19th,March..published on 17th May,2013.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Parsley paratha enriched with flaxseed powder and teff flour, flavored with mild hint of few ground spices and spiced with Florida Hot green chilies. {Parsley flavored Indian unleavened flat bread.}

Today morning I prepared Parsley parathas / rotis to pack in lunch box. I had one bunch of parsley laying in refrigerator over one week, so decided to prepare parsley paratha. I enriched it with some flax seed powder and Teff flour, for a change I flavored it with freshly ground cloves, Kalonji, corriander and shahijeera spice blend. To bring the heat I used Florida Hot green chilies which are very long and appealing but exactly not too hot for Indian palate. Parsley is deep green, curly herb with  remarkable health benefits. This is my first attempt to prepare  Parsley paratha. Parathas were aromatic and full of  flavor.

Parsley Herb

Ingredients to make Parsley Paratha :
  • 1.5 cup - wheat flour ( I used Indian chakki aata-Royal Brand)
  • 4 Tb.spoon - Besan/ chickpea flour
  • 3 Tb.spoon - Teff flour ( you can substitute with any other grain flour like jawar, bajra,ragi)
  • 1 Tb.spoon -  flax seed powder/ Alsi powder
  • 1.5 cup - extra finely chopped parsley
  • 4-5  - garlic cloves
  • 1 inch - ginger piece
  • 1/2 cup - roughly crushed onions
  • 2 Florida hot green chilies or regular 3-4 chilies.(for mild heat use 1 Florida Hot chili.)
  • 1/4 cup - yogurt
  • 1/2 T.spoon - turmeric powder
  • 1/2 T.spoon slightly heaped - salt
  • 5-6 Tb.spoon water
  • 2 Tb.spoon oil + more to apply while roasting parathas.
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour/ Maida - to dust dough balls. (you can use rice flour or same wheat flour)
Spices to grind :
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/2 T.spoon - shahijeera
  • 1 Tb.spoon corriander seeds
  • 2 pinches kalonji 
Combine and grind to fine powder.

Note : You can change this spice blend with your choices of spices, even you entirely skip adding spices these parathas will taste good, only change I will suggest is  increase ginger and garlic quantity.

How to make Parsley Paratha/ Roti.
  1. Roughly chop onion, garlic, ginger and green chilies. Combine all in a small mixer bowl, crush to coarse texture without adding water. Alternatively you can grate onion, garlic, ginger and finely chop chilies.
  2. In a medium bowl combine 1.5 cup wheat flour, 4 tbsp besan, 3 tbsp Teff flour, 1 tbsp flaxseed powder, finely chopped parsley, coarse ground mixture of onion-ginger-garlic-green chilies, 1/4 cup yogurt, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp salt, ground spice powder. Mix all together with wooden spoon.
  3. Add 5 tbsp water, knead until mixture forms into dough. If  dough doesn't  form ball add 1-2 tbsp more water. Once dough is merged it  will be sticky so smear dough ball with 1 tbsp or little more oil  and knead again. Press several times with your fist to make smooth dough ball.
  4. Divide the dough into eight balls of equal size. Dust each ball with little flour, roll  each ball  circular holding between your oil greased palms. Make perfect shallow round dough balls, dust  with flour, keep aside covered for 15-20 minutes. 
  5. Heat griddle over medium low heat. Slowly roll out dough ball over flour dusted surface. You may experience some difficulty as we have lot of rough texture of crushed herbs. Pat cracked edges with spatula or fingers to  make edges smooth. Continue to roll paratha  by flipping  one or two times. Stretch up to 6 inch diameter. If  white flour is visible over rolled paratha, dust if off by using brush or wet paper towel.
  6. Spray 2-3 drops of oil  in the center of the griddle before placing  rolled paratha.(Use home made oil spray, Take new plastic spray bottle, rinse with water, dry and fill with cooking oil.) After placing rolled paratha over griddle maintain medium low heat for 30 seconds then increase heat to medium. Spray some oil above and over the edges. Press with kitchen towel/ balled paper towel or wooden chapati press. After one minute flip paratha, again you may spray little oil and fry for 30-40 seconds. You may once again flip paratha and fry for few seconds to ensure it is rightly fried. Give around two minutes for each paratha and maintain medium low to medium heat.Don't let get dark browned burnt spots on paratha. Slow roast for more flavor.
  7. As you finish frying each paratha, stack it on a  paper towel lined plate. Cover with dome lid to keep them soft. Do wipe out formed steam from dome lead with paper towel after stacking 3-4 parathas.
  8. Serve hot with sour cream, mayonnaise, plain yogurt, whipped cream cheese or parsley infused yogurt like shown in the image. To make parsley infused yogurt - Take half cup yogurt, add salt and 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley.

Images of Paratha Preparation steps.

Rolled Parsley paratha over rolling pin/ Latne /Belan

Indian unleavened flat bread infused with Parsley.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Persian cucumber stir fry with fresh tomatoes and organic sprouted soybean tofu cubes..Light Indian subzi for everyday cooking / side dish for Chapati. [Tofu Recipes-3]

I picked few Persian cucumbers from Indian grocery store during weekly vegetable shopping. These cucumbers are small, bright green, extra crunchy with less and too tender seeds. I use them to make raita, bhajia, subji, add them in sambar also they are too good to eat just raw. Today morning  I made Persian cucumber subzi. It was simple preparation by using generous quantity of fresh tomatoes, organic sprouted soya bean tofu cubes. I seasoned it with Garam masala powder. This light subzi is good  to serve as side dish for chapati/roti in daily Indian meals.

Ingredients :
Quantity serves three people.
  • 2 - Persian cucumbers - cut  into 1/2 cm thick round slices.
  • 200 gm - block of extra firm tofu - diced into 1/2 inch size.
  • 1 - small size onion - slice into thin round rings or slice lengthwise.
  • 2 - medium size tomatoes - chopped ( yield - 3 cups)
  • 2 - green chilies - finely chopped
  • 1/2 - T.spoon - Turmeric powder
  • 1 T.spoon - garam masala or any of your favorite powdered masala blend.
  • 3/4 cup - finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tb.spoon - oil
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions to cook Persian cucumber subzi with Tofu and Tomato :
  1. Slightly trim both the tips of cucumber, make 1/2 cm thick round slices. No need to peel the skin or remove seeds. 
  2. Gently press/squeeze tofu block 4-5 times to drain out liquids then blot tofu block with two thick paper towels by slightly pressing from all sides few times, you don't need to thoroughly dry out tofu block because extra firm Tofu keeps its cube shape through out the cooking process. Once you dry out tofu block, cut into half an inch cubes, sprinkle very little salt over cubes, gently mix and toss, keep it aside.
  3. In a medium size heavy gauge pot heat 1 tbsp oil, add sliced onions - saute over medium heat for 7-8 minutes. Add chopped green chilies, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and one chopped tomato, stir fry for 2-3 minutes over high heat.
  4. Next add sliced Persian cucumber rounds, mix well. Add  1 tsp garam masala powder, salt, 1/4 cup water. Cook open over medium heat for 6-7 minutes.
  5. Add remaining chopped tomato, Tofu cubes, little chopped cilantro. Adjust salt level. If needed add 2-3 tbsp water and continue to cook open over medium low heat for 4-5 minutes or until Persian cucumbers are tender. Don't over cook, leave them a bit crunchy in texture.
  6. Finally add remaining chopped cilantro. Serve with rice or roti.
Persian cucumber stir fry with tofu and fresh tomatoes.

Subzi Roti lunch- Rotis are made with Newly arrived Royal brand Aata.

Persian Kakdi chi Bhaji/ kakadi Tofu Tamatar ki subzi.

Earlier blogged subzi recipes with Tofu.
1) Capsicum,Broccoli,Edamame  beans with Tofu.
2) Red radish and green peas with tofu.
3) Purslane stir fry with Tofu and Chayote.