Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Two second flavored milk...

What do you do with a forgotten bottle of strawberry jam lying in the fridge? Make some flavored milk...All you need is a bit of milk and icecubes- In a blender, scoop in a liberal dose of the strawberry jam, ice cubes and chilled milk. Give it a quick blend and viola, enjoy the chilled milk for a sunny afternoon- Generally you make a milkshake with icecream and milk- why not try it with Jam and milk instead? Generally all jams contain sugar so you don't even need to add sugar! Just blend it and top it with chopped nuts...Yum :)                                                  

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Spinach cooked with cottage cheese...

I love Paneer (cottage cheese) and any recipe tastes great with it! Especially if you are not a huge fan of spinach, then try making it with paneer and boy you will love it. This recipe is very popular in northern India. Here is my take on palak paneer- Enjoyyyyyyy

Ingredients- Spinach (about 500 gms), cottage cheese (cubed- about one big cup)
For the Gravy- you need 2 onions (finely chopped), garlic (3-4 cloves-crushed and chopped), grated ginger (about a small tablespoon), medium sized tomatoe (finely chopped)- the spices that go in are- cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, bay leaves, a little bit of ajwain (carom seeds), garam masala, corriander powder, amchoor powder (dried mango powder), dried red chillies (2 pieces) and of course my favorite chopped corriander leaves!   

Preparation is simple- We need to wash the spinach leaves, and boil them a bit in water till they become soft- once they are soft blend them in a mixer to a paste and keep it aside- Now get the gravy ready- In a wok, pour oil (liberal dose), and once it becomes hot add the cumin seeds, garlic, ginger, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, a bit of ajwain or carom seeds-When the garlic is golden brown add the chopped onions, dried red chillies and roast them till they are golden brown. Toss in the chopped tomatoes and keep mixing the ingredients till the tomatoes blend with onions and becomes a paste. 

Now comes the spices- Put in the garam masala, corriander powder(about a big tablespoon each) and amchur powder (just a dash of it). Cook the ingredients till the masala blends and the mixture starts to become a thick consistency of a gravy. Add salt according to taste. 

Add in the blended spinach to the gravy and cook till spinach loses its raw taste and takes in the spices. Add the bowl of cottage cheese towards the end and cook it on a low flame for around 5 minutes. Before removing it from fire, add a big tablespoon of butter and blend in till the butter melts. Garnish it with chopped corriander! There is a slight variation in this recipe- Usually, the cottage cheese is deep fried (separately) in oil before mixing it with spinach. I simply love to keep the flavor of cottage cheese and mix it without frying it in oil. 

Serve it with hot rotis- yum!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Spice up your world....

I wanted to highlight some of the spices used in Indian cooking- 

Garam masala- (hot masala powder)- well, the recipe differs from region to region and I am pretty much sure that you will get a decent brand from your local market- Garam Masala is a culmination of various spices like- cumin seeds, shahi jeera or black cumin, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom (Green, black and brown varities), nutmeg, coriander seeds, fennel seeds (may contain traces of garlic powder, ginger powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder- depending upon the brand). Using Garam masala will add good authentic Indian flavor to your food.

Another powder which I most commonly use is the hot curry masala powder. This is similar to garam masala but has a different and strong flavor than Garam masala- This masala not only contains similar spices to that of Garam masala but also asafoetida, mustard seeds, caraway, coriander seeds and brings in a little bit of color to your food (because of turmeric).

Corriander powder- I love using this one and tend to add it to almost all my cusine because of the exotic flavor it brings to the food.

Turmeric powder- Bring that lovely color to your food with turmeric powder- it is really good for health! 
To get a tangy taste to your recipe you can even use amchur powder (made from dried, ground mangoes)- A dash of this powder in vegetables wouldn't hurt and gives a nice tangy flavor-

Bay leaves gives you an exotic aroma to any gravy or rice and I do use it a lot along with green cardamom-

I love adding a bit of Ajwain seeds (Carom seeds) for medical reasons- It helps reliving gas from your stomach- 

There are many more masalas that can be used to bring a good flavor- I have often seen that sticking to the basic ones really helps and you can keep trying out different ones till you feel a particular combination gets your taste buds tingling! There is no hard and fast rule for the masalas- My mom always used to tell me- Keep it simple for the real flavor to come through :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mushroom Mattar

I am not so fond of mushrooms- When I tried my hand at this north Indian recipe, I have started enjoying Mushrooms and this one is real simple and tastes great with rice or naan! 

                               Mushroom and peas cooked in a gravy-

Ingredients- Sliced mushrooms (about half a kilo), 1 cup frozen peas (thawed and ready to use)
For the Gravy- 3 onions finely chopped, 1 tomato finely chopped, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, bay leaves, pinch/dash of cardomom powder for flavor, crushed garlic 2 big pieces, a little bit of chopped ginger, garam masala, curry masala powder, corriander powder, chopped green chillies (about 2) and corriander leaves for garnishing-

First step is the Gravy- In a wok, add liberal dose of oil. Once the oil is hot,  add cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, one bay leaf, green chillies, crushed garlic and ginger. Allow the oil to absorb the garlic and ginger. Add the chopped onions and fry it till the onions lose their raw taste and becomes translucent. Put in the tomato and fry it till it mixes thoroughly with onion and forms a paste. Now comes the masala- add a spoon of garam masala, corriander powder, curry masala powder and allow the contents to cook into a thick paste.

Add salt according to taste. Now pour in two glasses of water to make it to a thick pouring consistency liquid gravy. Toss in the chopped mushrooms and peas to this gravy and allow it to boil till the ingredients blend well. Towards the end, add a dollop of butter and chopped corriander to enhance the taste!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vibrant Vermicelli

With the football fever around you hardly feel like cooking at home- We land up ordering pizzas before the game. Absolutely sick and tired of eating pizzas, I decided to do some fast cooking- I remembered having a packet of vermicelli (rice noodles or fedelini) and decided to toss it up with some vegetables in fridge- Took me half an hour to prepare and simply vanished within seconds when served :)

Ingredients- Grab all the vegetables that you can find in your fridge- Peas, carrot, beans, Cauliflower, broccoli... cut them and keep it aside. Empty the packet of vermicelli on a hot frying pan and dry roast it till it is light brown. In a wok, heat some oil. When the oil is hot - toss in cumin seeds, peanuts (optional), cashew nuts, green chillies or red dried chillies and fry it till golden brown. Now toss in the vegetables and give a good swirl. Add salt according to taste. Once the vegetables are tender, pour in two cups of water (for two cups of vermicelli) and allow it to boil. When the water is boiling add the roasted vermicelli and allow it to cook with the vegetables. When the vermicelli is cooked and water has completely dried up add in some butter or oil and give it a good toss. This will stop the noodles from sticking to each other and give an enhanced taste. Before serving, add in chopped corriander leaves and enjoy your football game! Tastes great with hot chilli sauce-

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pyaz dhaniya wala parantha

Parantha or stuffed roti is a great delicacy and you can make so many interesting varieties out of it- I have seen my friend stuffing bizarre things/left overs and let me tell you there is no hard and fast rule for making paranthas! I once made a noodles parantha- stuffed some left over maggi noodles and it came out really well- here is a simple one with basic ingredients and tastes divine with pickle and yoghurt. The most common parantha everyone makes is with boiled potatoes. However, if you fancy something quick and different try out this Pyaz dhania parantha-

Ingredients for the stuffing- Two big oninons (finely chopped), Corriander leaves (finely chopped), green chillies (finely chopped), garam masala, chilli flakes (optional), salt and oil to mix(optional)- 


The stuffing is pretty simple- Mix the chopped onions, green chillies, corriander leaves, garam masala, salt and chilli flakes in a bowl (add a bit of oil to mix it- entirely optional). Before you get the filling ready, prepare the dough (wheat powder/atta). Mix wheat powder in water and knead it to a smooth dough. Take a small ball of wheat dough and flatten it with a rolling pin- take a sizable amount of the filling and place it in the middle of the flattened dough. Fold the sides with the filling in middle so that it appears as a small pouch- now flatten this small pouch with the rolling pin (use a bit of wheat powder on the surface before you roll so that it doesn't stick).


Now put it on a hot frying pan and fry both sides till golden brown- Use butter/ghee for frying paranthas as this lends an inherent taste to the dish- Now top it with pickle/sauce to enjoy a fine evening by the television!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Blend that Spinach...

Spinach with corns- This is my take on a north Indian recipe and pretty easy to make- The main ingredients required are spinach & corn- For the gravy you need 2 onions (finely chopped), garlic (3-4 cloves-crushed and chopped), grated ginger (about a small tablespoon), medium sized tomatoe (finely chopped)- the spices that go in are- cumin seeds, bay leaves, garam masala, a dash of cardamom powder, corriander powder, chopped green chillies and of course my favorite chopped corriander leaves!                        

Preparation is simple- We need to wash the spinach leaves, and boil them a bit in water till they become soft- once they are soft blend them in a mixer to a paste and keep it aside (take about 500 gms of spinach)- Now get the gravy ready- In a wok, toss in the oil (liberal dose), and once it becomes hot add the cumin seeds, garlic, ginger and bay leaves- I know a lot of people tend to add the garlic and ginger later- but I tend to put in early when the oil is hot as the oil takes in the flavor of garlic and bay leaves! When the garlic is golden brown add the chopped onions, green chillies and roast them till they are golden brown. Toss in the chopped tomatoes and keep mixing the ingredients till the tomatoes blend with onions and becomes a paste. Now comes the spices- Put in the garam masala and corriander powder- (about a big tablespoon each), dash of cardamom powder. Cook the ingredients till the masala gets blended and the mixture starts to become a thick consistency of a gravy. Add salt according to taste. Now put in the corns (tinned sweet corn that you get in the local market) and the blended spinach- Cook the mixture till spinach loses its raw taste and takes in the spices. Before removing it from fire, add a big spoon of butter and chopped corriander to enjoy the dish! If need be you can put in additional masalas (like curry powder or aamchur) but I love the simple flavor of garam masala and tend to keep this dish simple- Enjoy this with piping hot parantha...Yummy :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Rice cakes anyone?

Pretty easy to make and has a simple taste- I love it ! The passion that drives me to cook kind of goes bust when it comes to cleaning up the kitchen. So here I am cleaning one night and in my irritating state I forget to keep the yoghurt in the fridge- The next day it goes all sour and I am not such a fan of sour yoghurt/curd. My mom who has a solution for everything (bit of Dumbledore she is...) quickly comments why not make rice cakes with it- and here is a simple recipe for sour yoghurt- Enjoy!

Ingredients- One cup of fine rice powder, sour yoghurt one big cup (dilute it in a bit of water, should not be thick yoghurt), 4 dry red chillies, cashew nut, Chana dal (split chickpea without coat), mustard.

Preparation-Prepare a liquid mixture of rice powder with sour yoghurt and set aside. In a wok add 3 spoons of cooking oil. Once the oil becomes warm add mustard, Chana dal and 4 pieces of dried red chillies. Allow the mustard to sputter and fry the red chillies to golden brown. Add in the cashews and turn the flame to medium. Pour the rice liquid in the wok slowly and keep stirring it continuously to avoid any lumps. Add salt according to your taste. Keep stirring continuously till the mixture becomes a dough and doesn't stick to the wok. Add two spoons of sesame oil and confirm that the mixture is fully cooked (if you taste the dough it should not stick to your mouth). Once cooked, put the dough in greased plate and allow it cool down. Once the dough sets cut it with a knife and make it to small pieces. Serve it with hot chutney or pickle- To make it more spicy, I usually add spicy powder which I mentioned in my previous blog when the dough is cooking in the Wok. You can also add ghee or butter once the dough is cooked to give it a rich taste.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

spicy powder....


I love the spicy powder with my Idli/dosa- For those who wonder what exactly is this powder, here are the full details- Spicy powder or gun powder (nick name) is a powder made of lentils and dried red chillies- Mix it with oil and it can be used as a sauce with south Indian dishes like dosa and idli. I tend to add this powder when making vegetable stir fry as it adds special flavor with appropriate spice! All you need is two kind of lentils- Channa dal (also called as split chick peas without seed coat) and white urad dal (white lentils). We need one cup each of the above lentils dry roasted till golden brown. Now comes the spice- dry red chillies. I use 5 big ones- If you need the powder to be really spicy add more and vice versa for less spice. Dry roast these red chillies and set aside. In addition to the above ingredients, dry roast 50 to 70 grams of sesame seeds. Grind all the dry roasted items to a fine powder and viola you have the spicy powder! Check out my spicy idli's- This powder sure adds a special spicy kick :) - 

Check out this version from one of the blogs I follow-

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rava idli with some steaming sambhar...

Ask any south Indian and they love their idli-sambhar dish! I decided on the spur of the moment to make some piping hot Idli's with sambhar. Of course, preparing Idli's used to be a religious ceremony for my mom- I remember her working on the dough for a day, wait for it to ferment and then making some ultra soft steamed idli's. Me on the other hand loves to find a quick fix solution and here I am with my steamed rava-idli's with sambhar.

For the Rava idli- Use one cup of rava/sooji (dry roast it beforehand)- In a small tava, heat oil- add some mustard seeds. Once they start popping-add green chillies, cashew-nut, yellow lentils (channa dal) and allow it to get roasted. Reduce the heat and add some corriander leaves. Now toss these into the roasted rava and mix curd, water to make it a pouring consistency dough. I gave it a couple of hours time to ferment- you can add a bit of baking soda for a faster fermenting process! Once the dough is ready, grease idli plates and pour the dough. Steam them in a pressure cooker for about 10-12 minutes. Serve hot with sambhar.

For the sambhar- South Indian sambhar can be made in million ways and every single time, I keep hearing some version or the other from my relative. I prefer to keep it simple and flavorful and here is my version of sambhar-Boil one cup of toor dal (yellow dal) and keep it aside. Slice some onions (3-4). In a wok, pour some oil and allow it to heat. Add mustard seeds and red dry chillies. Once they start popping, toss in the onions and roast them in a medium flame- while the onions are getting roasted, take a small cup and pour in one big tablespoon of tamarind paste and dilute it in plain water. Once the onions are roasted, pour in the tamarind liquid, two cups of water and bring it to boil. The proportion should be one cup of tamarind liquid diluted in water with two cups of plain water. Add a big spoon of sambhar powder, asafoetida powder, corriander powder, pinch of cardamom powder and salt. Allow this mixture to boil for 20 to 30 minutes. once the mixture reaches a bit of consistency, add the toor dal and allow it to boil for another 10 minutes. To bring the sambhar to a good consistency dilute two small spoons of rice powder in a cup of water and dump it in the sambhar. Before serving, add a handful of corriander leaves (finely chopped)!

A simple south Indian Breakfast!

What do you do when you get up on a Sunday morning and feel like having a simple breakfast? I am pretty slow in the morning and take time to gear up...To put out a decent, simple and a fast breakfast I always rely on poha- What is Poha? Wikipedia, defines poha as a flattened rice- a dehusked rice which is flattened into flat light dry flakes. These flakes of rice swell when added to liquid, whether hot or cold, as they absorb water, milk or any other liquids. The thicknesses of these flakes vary between almost translucently thin (the more expensive varieties) to nearly four times thicker than a normal rice grain. You will find "poha" in any Indian store. It is the easiest dish to make and really tastes good! Recipe is simple- take a bowl of poha in a strainer and run water on it- It swells and becomes heavy-set it aside. In a wok, pour some oil- once the oil becomes hot, toss in the cumin seeds and dried chillies (2-3) - then toss in some cashew nuts and ground nuts and mix'em well- add in mashed potatoes (optional) or any vegetable (usually paprika, carrot, peas, corn) and stir them well- now the spices go in- salt, a dash of curry powder or masala powder and turmeric powder. Once this mixture is cooked well, add in the washed poha that was set aside earlier. Toss'em well so that the poha absorbs the spices...Before serving, squeeze in some lemon juice and corriander leaves to enjoy a good breakfast!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pasta Stir fry!

Yeah, it happened one saturday afternoon...I was super hungry and did not like any items in my kitchen closet. My mood was all for some fusion cooking- something different- unfortunately, I did not have much to choose from and did not enjoy stepping out for buying any ingredients- I bet it must have happened to a lot of people out there- you feel hungry for something good and find out that you have nothing to proceed with. The best I had was a packet of penne, bottle of olives, peas, a box of tinned sweet corn and dried tomatoes in vinegar- bizarre items! Well check out the pic and I turned those items into something edible and enjoyable- How? Simple- Boil the pasta and set aside- In a wok pour some olive oil (darn, you can use any cooking oil) toss in the olives, peas, corn and any vegetables that you fancy- add salt, garlic powder, chilli flakes (to give it some heat)- toss in the pasta and mix'em up! A quick fix for those days of nothing in your kitchen cabinet...Sprinkle some cheese (optional) to get a unique hunger satisfying experience :)


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