Archive for January, 2010

Punjabi And Kashmiri Garam Masala.


2010
01.27

kgm2Some years ago while working for an Indian company I had to move to Bloomington, IL, for an assignment at an American establishment.  Bloomington, which is about a 100 miles from Chicago, was then a small humdrum city (town?) and had absolutely nothing ever happening there. People who know me are well aware that it doesn’t take much to please me. I’m not the outdoorsy, or the carousing kind. Nor do I need that constant stimulation around me to keep me alive. So, if I have to say a place was dull and boring, trust me people, you would want to move there only if you are seeking isolation or running away from the law.

So on day one, as I stepped into this town from its tiny winy Airport, the bitter arctic air bit right into my marrows, so hard, that I immediately began hating this place with every fiber of my being. Though it was fairly early in the evening as I drove to the hotel from the airport, the only visible sign of habitation were a handful of cars that drove past me.  All around me were deserted streets, snow sprawling her icy limbs as far as my eyes could see and my sinking heart hit rock bottom. The fat fact that I was still recovering from a recent heartbreak goaded the situation further. My balance was clearly upset and I pictured myself growing old and miserable in this small town, all by myself, with frost bitten hand and limbs, microwaving cold single dinners while picking at my cold sores.

Days passed and I began settling down. Though I had a caring family and strong circle of friends who called me every single day to check on me and keep me going, I continued to wallow in self pity and persisted at loathing every minute of my existence in that little town. Then, unnoticed by me, two little (in size only) packages of delight walked right into my life. A1, my high spirited little Kashmiri roommate and A2, my little Punjabi colleague  who sat right behind me at work. We all worked for the same employer and though we were acquainted with each other from early on, it was our stay in this cold secluded place that sparked a connection which, to this day I remember with great fondness.

We were much younger then, each at different stages of committed relationships. A1, was engaged to be married, an arranged one, and obviously was chary of the risks involved. A2 was picking up lost ties with his childhood sweetheart after several years of break up, and was now contemplating marriage with her again. And me like I said earlier, was grieving  from a recent break up, sworn off all men and was determined to die an old maid. This unusual combination of wary, hope and distress between the three of us, brought about a new perspective in our individual lives. Each one of us saw through the other ones eyes, and in a strange way received reassurance. Together we explored the quaint little town, which turned out not that bad after all. In each others company we cooked during the winter,  traveled during summer, partied during the weekends,  survived a car crash, spoke through the nights, slept through the days  and most important of all spent long hours of familiar silence in each others comforting presence. After a year in that place, the three of us moved out. I moved to sunny California to marry my soulmate, R, who, but for my friends, I don’t think I would have found. The little As too soon married and are settled now with more little As of their own. And I somehow know for certain they’ve found their true loves too.

This post is for friendships found when you least expect it. It doesn’t matter if you keep them forever or you move on. They were there when you needed them and that is all that matters. Like someone rightly said, friends are the siblings God forgot to give us.

pgm2

The little As both fine cooks, exposed the Punjabi and Kashmir cuisines to my then budding awareness of the culinary world. I owe my curiosity to explore more of these cuisines to their superior cooking.

Punjabi Garma Masala

 kgmp10Ingredients

1/2 cup [amazon-product type=”text” text=”cumin seeds”]B000JMBECW [/amazon-product]/ jeera
2 tbsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”coriander seeds”]B000N4WWS6[/amazon-product] / dhania
1½ ” (1.5 inches)[amazon-product type=”text” text=”cinnamon”]B001VNP1T0[/amazon-product] stick /patta / dalchini
1 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”green cardamom”]B000JMBEEK[/amazon-product] seeds /elaichi
1 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”black cardamom”]B000S16XV6[/amazon-product]seeds /moti elaichi
2 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”cloves”]B00017P2LE[/amazon-product] /long
1/8 [amazon-product type=”text” text=”nutmeg”]B00017WSNE[/amazon-product] kernel /jaiphal
2 blades of [amazon-product type=”text” text=”mace”]B000M930C4[/amazon-product] / javitri
1 tbsp black pepper corns
2 whole [amazon-product type=”text” text=”star anise”]B000EWMI5O[/amazon-product]/ chakra phool
4 [amazon-product type=”text” text=”bay leaf”] B000JMBG2A [/amazon-product] /tej patta

Directions

  • Dry roast the spices individually in a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron. Make sure the flame is set at medium heat. Keep stirring, be watchful and don’t let the spices burn on you.
  • Grind all the spices together into a fine powder.
  • Store in an air tight container.
  • Use sparingly since these are intense spices and can be over powering.
  •  

    Kashmiri Garam Masala

    kgmp20Ingredients

    1/4 cup [amazon-product type=”text” text=”black cumin”]B000JMBE2W[/amazon-product] seeds /shahi jeera
    2-3 [amazon-product type=”text” text=”bay leaves”] B000JMBG2A [/amazon-product], crushed
    2 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”green cardamom”]B000JMBEEK[/amazon-product] seeds
    2 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”black cardamom”]B000S16XV6[/amazon-product] seeds
    1 tbsp black peppercorns
    2 tsp whole [amazon-product type=”text” text=”cloves”]B00017P2LE[/amazon-product] /gramboo/long
    1 tbsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”fennel”]B000N5YJZE[/amazon-product] /saunf
    1 tsp crushed [amazon-product type=”text” text=”mace”]B000M930C4[/amazon-product] /may flower/javitri
    1½ ” (1.5 inches) [amazon-product type=”text” text=”cinnamon”]B001VNP1T0[/amazon-product] stick /patta / dalchini
    1/8 [amazon-product type=”text” text=”nutmeg”]B00017WSNE[/amazon-product] kernel /jaiphal
    1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds

    Directions

  • Dry roast the spices individually in a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron. Make sure the flame is set at medium heat. Keep stirring, be watchful and don’t let spices burn on you.
  • Grind all the spices together into a fine powder.
  • Store in an air tight container.
  • Use sparingly since these are intense spices and can be over powering.
  • Pan Roasted Salmon / Kerala fish Fry


    2010
    01.27

    fish2

    Every time I’m at the fish mongers’, I cannot get myself to pass by the salmon without dropping a pound or two of it in my cart. Salmon is my favorite among all the fish. This does not mean I like other fish any less. No, I actually love them all. With an untainted genealogy of blood thirsty Mallus, I, but obviously, devour all of the sea world with great relish and gusto. I’d maybe wipe up the salmon a tad bit faster though ;).

    Salmon tastes the least bit fishy to me and hence allows me a lot of room to cook it any which way I want. Though we never did salmon in India, I was surprised that it tasted amazing in all Indian recipes. Fish is a staple for most meat eating Malayalees and we usually have a number of ways of cooking it. But I find the ‘Kerala fish fry’ to be the tastiest and easiest of them all.

    There are just 5 basic ingredients for this fried fish marinade – ginger, garlic, chili, turmeric and salt. Everything else you add are just enhancers or taste boosters as I would like to call them. I grill or roast them in a non stick pan with very little oil.  I can feel big nods of disapproval when I use the word ‘non stick’. But I find, while working with eggs or fish, nothing serves you better than a non stick pan. You just need to use it right. Teflon allows you to use very little oil and the food doesn’t burn up on you (which is more of a carcinogen if you ask me) . Just make sure you cook in low to medium heat and use wooden utensils on it. The pan I use for my eggs and fish, I’ve had for years and there is not a single scratch or blemish on it (of course I’ve had to hide it away when my Mom visits;)).

      fish

    Ingredients
    1 lb salmon (any firm wish will taste just as great!), sliced into desired sizes
    1 1/2 tbsp of fresh ginger garlic paste ( ginger and garlic in a 1:1 ratio)
    1 tsp chili powder (base it on tolerable spice levels)
    1/2 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”turmeric powder”]B000JMAXOC[/amazon-product]
    1/2 tsp black ground pepper
    salt to taste
    1 tsp of lime juice (optional)
    a sprig or 2 of curry leaves (optional)
    [amazon-product type=”text” text=”coconut oil”]B002DGNP10[/amazon-product]/refined vegetable oil for roasting.

    Directions

  • Marinate the cut pieces of fish with a tsp of lime juice and set aside.
  • Mix all the spices with ginger-garlic and salt  to make a thick smooth paste. The marinade should be slightly on the saltier side.
  • Apply the paste on all pieces of fish making sure all sides are completely coated by a thin layer of marinade.
  • Set it aside for 30 mins or so.
  • Heat oil/[amazon-product type=”text” text=”coconut oil”]B002DGNP10[/amazon-product]in a shallow non stick pan and  slide in the pieces one at a time.
  • Roast on medium heat and flip the pieces to other side after 2-3 min or when you see the fish is 3/4 cooked from the bottom.
  • The time you let to roast on each side depends on the size of each piece and how crisp you would like it to be.
  • When done palce the pieces in paper towel to soak up any extra oil.
  • Garnish with  ground pepper and fried curry leaves.
  • Kerala Moru Curry / Curried Buttermilk


    2010
    01.26

    more2The Indian subcontinent has a gazillion different recipes that work with yogurt and buttermilk as the main ingredient. Some take forever to make. Some not so long and some come together in a matter of minutes. Moru curry is one such yogurt dish made traditionally in Kerala and has a thousand and one variations in preparation.

    This dish, along with some form of fish, was served invariably for every meal at the Ganapathiplackals (yes, that weird sounding thing is my maiden name). There were subtle deviations in the recipes every other day though. Sometimes they had vegetables in them, at times ground coconut, onions, ginger and garlic, sometimes   all of these and most times, plain by itself just seasoned with mustard, fenugreek, curry leaves and chilies. I got so used to eating this at most of our meals that till today if it is Kerala cuisine, and there is no ‘Moru Curry’ in it, I find it quite incomplete no matter how elaborate the spread might be.

    Ingredients

    2 cups yogurt
    3 tbsp Grated Coconut
    2 –3 shallots
    1 tsp finely chopped garlic
    1tsp finely grated ginger
    1/2 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”turmeric powder”]B000JMAXOC[/amazon-product]
    1/4 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”fenugreek seeds”]B000RHSW10[/amazon-product]
    1/2 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”cumin seeds”]B000JMBECW [/amazon-product]
    1/2 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”black mustard seeds”]B001E6CFAW[/amazon-product]
    4 dried red chilies
    1 –2 sprigs of curry leaves
    2 tbsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”coconut oil”]B002DGNP10[/amazon-product]/refined oil
    salt to taste

    moru

    Directions

  • Beat curd with equal quantity of water and set aside.
  • Grind coconut, [amazon-product type=”text” text=”turmeric powder”]B000JMAXOC[/amazon-product], 2 red chilies  and [amazon-product type=”text” text=”cumin”]B000JMBECW [/amazon-product]
    with a little water to a  fine paste.
  • Add curd to the coconut mixture and blend.
  • Gently warm on low flame, stirring constantly.
  • Heat oil in a shallow pan, Add [amazon-product type=”text” text=”mustard”]B001E6CFAW[/amazon-product], [amazon-product type=”text” text=”fenugreek seeds”]B000RHSW10[/amazon-product], remaining red chilies and curry leaves.
  • When the [amazon-product type=”text” text=”mustard”]B001E6CFAW[/amazon-product] pops, add ginger, garlic and shallots and sauté till golden brown.
  • Let this cool for a bit and then pour on top of the curd mixture with constant stirring.
  • Put off the flame.
  • Serve with white rice.
  • Kappa and Meen Curry / Tapioca with Curried fish


    2010
    01.24

    The 80s in one of India’s finest cities, Bangalore, wasn’t easy for me as a child of two  Malayalee immigrants.  I hated that we stood out starkly among the rest, the natives and the other immigrants from elsewhere included. I was a vain kid to say the least, and keeping up with appearances was among the top most in my priorities then. I had lots of misgivings about my background. And try as I did, it was hard for me to conceal the huge gulf between ‘us’ and the rest. What with a nosey grandma sporting the traditional Syrian Christian attire, her all white dress of Chatta and Mundu with a pleated tail,  three huge coconut trees in our small garden that loudly shouted ‘Malayalee’ to the arid Bangalore skies, endless number of  Mundu clad UnGles, and AnDies with hair slicked in strong smelling coconut oil, visiting us from Kerala every so often, our odd furniture at home that never matched the drapes, our lunch boxes packed every other day with Puttu-Kadal  and the like, and not to forget the most thwarting of all – the infamous lingual problems of pure Malayalees – I cringed every time my parents spoke in their thick accent to a neighbor or a friend of mine. All these and many more inane differences agonized my amorphous little mind, and at times I longed to miraculously disappear and be born again in a Sambar and Rice eating house hold.

    knf

    My parents both, well educated and well read, worked decent jobs and tried hard to provide fairly for their four girls. Three of their own and one their niece, my cousin J. Oblivious of their youngest’s desperate woes, they persevered in their own ways to instill in their girls a pride for their heritage and an abiltiy to connect with their roots. And as a part of this agenda they made sure we spent every summer at our ancestral home in Kerala  bonding with our extended family.

    Of course this part I loved. What was not to love in that exotic paradise,  where I swam all day in blissful abandon in those crystal clear streams, where there was only green everywhere and the other colors were forced to shy away, where my grandparents pampered me like I were the princess of Persia and the only the chores I had to do was eat and sleep. With countless cousins hovering around me there was no dearth for playmates and I loved the candid risky trips I took with them to the local cinema hall, that played Malayalam comedies but always ran a full house. The problem my ingenious adventurous cousins quickly solved by making us carry our own chairs to sit.

    With all this fun, I wished dearly that the holidays days never end. But they always did. And, we had to go back to the city, my home, where I was transformed yet again into that silly Mallu spiting child.

    And then I grew up. Growing up thankfully peeled off my false pretenses and without my jaundiced glasses I found diversity all around me. I realized that, in spite of all the eccentricities every culture was guilty of, its people couldn’t help but be proud of their ethnicity. Unfounded were my niggles as a child and I too eventually couldn’t help but  embrace with pride, the Malayalee in me.

    This post is for my little boy N, born to immigrant parents and growing up in a land were all dreams are said to come true. I hope in his quest for wanting to belong, he finds an identity that he can be proud of. Be it as an American, an Indian or as a Malayalee.

    Kappa Puzhukku / Mashed Tapioca

    kappaKappa (tapioca) and Meen (fish) curry or like a Malayalee  would say it ‘kappa puzhukku end meen gurry’ is so [read more]

     

     

     

     

     Meen Curry / Kerala Red Fish Curry

    fishcurry

    The distinguishing character of this spicy hot red curried fish is the smoky sourness rendered to the fish and the gravy from the kudampulli [read more]

     

     

     

     

    Kappa Puzhukku / Mashed Tapioca


    2010
    01.24

    Kappa (tapioca) and Meen (fish) curry or like a Malayalee  would say ‘kappa puzhukku aend meen gurry’, is so characteristic to Kerala that I can vouch a million bucks, you wouldn’t find it anywhere else in the world unless there was a Malaylee or an influence of one within a hundred feet. The best part about kappa is that it has no boundaries in every sense of the term. It is a delicacy for both the rich and the poor. It can be served at anytime of the day, as breakfast, lunch or dinner, or even as an in between snack. It can be eaten all by itself or in combination with anything you can possibly imagine.  This is my all time favorite meal. It reminds me of the wonderful summers I spent with my amazing family in God’s Own Country.

    kappa

    Ingredients:

    2 lb peeled and diced tapioca
    1/2 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”turmeric powder”]B000JMAXOC[/amazon-product]
    1/3 -1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
    1/2 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”cumin seeds”]B000JMBECW[/amazon-product]
    3 – 4 cloves of garlic
    2 green chilies
    2 sprigs of curry leaves
    For seasoning (Optional)
    Coconut oil – 2 tsp
    1 tsp black [amazon-product type=”text” text=”mustard seeds”]B001E6CFAW[/amazon-product]
    2 –3 finely sliced shallots
    2 –3 dried red chilies
    1 tsp raw rice (*my sister reminded me about this one. must say it makes a huge difference*)
    2 sprigs of curry leaves

    Directions:

  • Boil the tapioca in salted water until it is cooked. You know it is done when a fork can easily mash up the pieces.(while using a pressure cooker I allow it to cook for two whistles). Drain out the water.
  • Grind together coconut,[amazon-product type=”text” text=”cumin”]B000JMBECW[/amazon-product],green chilies,garlic, curry leaves and [amazon-product type=”text” text=”turmeric powder”]B000JMAXOC[/amazon-product] into a smooth paste.
  • Add the ground mixture to the tapioca and mix well.
  • Serve with Kerala chicken, beef or fish curry.
  • Seasoning
      This is an optional step. If you have old leftover mashed tapioca  or if there is no side dish accompanying the mashed tapioca, seasoning helps to add flavor.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add [amazon-product type=”text” text=”mustard seeds”]B001E6CFAW[/amazon-product] and as they pop, curry leaves, shallots,red chilies, raw rice and sauté until the shallots are caramelized. Add and fold into the mashed tapioca.
  • Kerala Meen Curry – Kerala Red Fish Curry


    2010
    01.24

    The distinguishing character of this spicy hot red  fish curry, is the smoky sourness rendered to the fish and the gravy from the kudampulli-dried and smoked fruit rinds of the camboge tree. In Kerala, fish is traditionally cooked in an earthen pot that provides a distinct flavor to the curry.

    fishcurry

    This dish is best served with Kappa or white rice. In my family we even ate it with rotis (Indian bread) and I must say, though it sounds odd, it is a wonderful combination.

    Ingredients

    1 lb fish cut into small pieces
    2 tsp red chili powder (base it on tolerable  spice levels)
    1 tsp paprika (mainly for the red color) 
    1/4 tsp fenugreek seed powder
    3 –4 shallots finely sliced (if you don’t have these you can use one med sized onion) 
    1.5 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
    2 kudampulli (camboge fruit rinds)
    1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    2 sprigs of curry leaves
    1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
    2 –3 tbsp coconut oil /any vegetable refined oil
    salt to taste

    Directions

  • Soak kudampulli in a cup of hot salt water and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add black mustard seeds, when they pop add in the curry leaves and powdered fenugreek.
  • Add sliced shallot and sauté till golden brown.
  • Add  ginger-garlic paste and sauté till oil separates.
  • Mix together chili powder, paprika and turmeric powder in a little warm water to make a smooth paste, add to the pan and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Add soaked kudampulli along with the water and allow it to boil for a few minutes.
  • Add the fish pieces.
  • Close the lid and let it boil it again.
  • Once the water boils, reduce the flame and let it simmer for about 5– 10 minutes until the fish is cooked. Add more water if desired.
  • Season again with 2 finely sliced shallots fried deep in 1 tsp of coconut oil, mustard and curry leaves if desired.
  • Serve with Rice or Kappa
  • Kerala Meen Curry – Kerala Red Fish Curry


    2010
    01.24

    The distinguishing character of this spicy hot red  fish curry, is the smoky sourness rendered to the fish and the gravy from the kudampulli-dried and smoked fruit rinds of the camboge tree. In Kerala, fish is traditionally cooked in an earthen pot that provides a distinct flavor to the curry.

    fishcurry

    This dish is best served with Kappa or white rice. In my family we even ate it with rotis (Indian bread) and I must say, though it sounds odd, it is a wonderful combination.

    Ingredients

    1 lb fish cut into small pieces
    2 tsp red chili powder (base it on tolerable  spice levels)
    1 tsp paprika (mainly for the red color) 
    1/4 tsp fenugreek seed powder
    3 –4 shallots finely sliced (if you don’t have these you can use one med sized onion) 
    1.5 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
    2 kudampulli (camboge fruit rinds)
    1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    2 sprigs of curry leaves
    1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
    2 –3 tbsp coconut oil /any vegetable refined oil
    salt to taste

    Directions

  • Soak kudampulli in a cup of hot salt water and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add black mustard seeds, when they pop add in the curry leaves and powdered fenugreek.
  • Add sliced shallot and sauté till golden brown.
  • Add  ginger-garlic paste and sauté till oil separates.
  • Mix together chili powder, paprika and turmeric powder in a little warm water to make a smooth paste, add to the pan and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Add soaked kudampulli along with the water and allow it to boil for a few minutes.
  • Add the fish pieces.
  • Close the lid and let it boil it again.
  • Once the water boils, reduce the flame and let it simmer for about 5– 10 minutes until the fish is cooked. Add more water if desired.
  • Season again with 2 finely sliced shallots fried deep in 1 tsp of coconut oil, mustard and curry leaves if desired.
  • Serve with Rice or Kappa
  • Lemon Rice


    2010
    01.23

    I had this argument  with my best friend V, who was insistent, it was rather stupid that I post this recipe. Now, arguing for both of us is second nature. And in spite of the fact that most of our phone calls have only grunts and swearing and eventual slamming down of the phones, we remain to this day the thickest of friends. I’m sorry to digress, but I had to tell you that, though I am aware of my seemingly innate habit to bicker, I am 101 percent sure she couldn’t be more wrong and I more right, in this squabble.

    For one, I don’t think posting this recipe is a stupid idea. Two- V, with her pedigree from Tamil Nadu, must have had all forms of lemon rice every other day and might be able to whip it up in her sleep. But, majority of the world and my friends are not.  And I think, if not all, at least a handful of them would be interested and curious to know the recipe. So V, when you see this, hit the humph button and move on. And to those who are interested here it goes.

    lemon200

    Lemon rice is a quick fix dish. It is usually associated with long train rides or picnics in the south of India because it can be eaten cold, stays pretty fresh for long periods and doesn’t spoil easy.  This recipe mainly calls for white rice and lemons. Every  ingredient for seasoning barring [amazon-product type=”text” text=”mustard”]B001E6CFAW[/amazon-product] and curry leaves are optional. There are many variations in making this. Some add onions, others add grated ginger and some garnish with coconut. My secret ingredient to herald the symphony – lemon zest, when I have fresh lemons, or finely sliced pickled lemon rinds that I spoke about earlier here. I’d also like to mention that while making any form of South Indian recipes for fried rices, it makes a world of difference when you use [amazon-product type=”text” text=”sesame oil”]B000MXVH3O[/amazon-product] (the golden, cold-pressed kind. Not the dark brown from toasted seeds found in the Chinese market), instead of ordinary refined oil.

    Ingredients
    4 cups of cooked white rice.
    2 tbsp of [amazon-product type=”text” text=”sesame oil”]B000MXVH3O[/amazon-product]  / ghee (clarified butter)
    a pinch of [amazon-product type=”text” text=”asafoetida”]B000JMAXOW[/amazon-product]
    2 dried red chilies – crumbled into 1’’ pieces
    1 tbsp of [amazon-product type=”text” text=”split black gram”]B000K8CIZW[/amazon-product] /urad dal (optional)
    1 tbsp of [amazon-product type=”text” text=”split Bengal gram”]B000K8949A[/amazon-product]/chana dal (optional)
    1/4 tsp of [amazon-product type=”text” text=”fenugreek seeds”]B000RHSW10[/amazon-product](optional)
    1/2 cup of [amazon-product type=”text” text=”unsalted peanuts”]B002KB440O[/amazon-product]
    1 tsp of [amazon-product type=”text” text=”black mustard seeds”]B001E6CFAW[/amazon-product]
    1 sprig of curry leaves
    3 – 4  tbsp fresh lemon juice
    1/2 tsp lemon zest (optional)
    1/4 tsp of [amazon-product type=”text” text=”turmeric powder”]B000JMAXOC[/amazon-product]
    1 tbsp of grated fresh coconut (optional)
    salt to taste

    Directions

  • Dry roast the [amazon-product type=”text” text=”peanuts”]B002KB440O[/amazon-product]
    and set aside.
  • Fluff up the cooked rice using a fork or your fingers. (If you are using bare hands applying a little oil to your palms make it less sticky.)
  • Heat oil/ghee in a shallow wide pan.
  • Add a pinch of [amazon-product type=”text” text=”asafoetida”]B000JMAXOW[/amazon-product].
  • Add chilies,[amazon-product type=”text” text=”split black gram”]B000K8CIZW[/amazon-product], [amazon-product type=”text” text=”split Bengal gram”]B000K8949A[/amazon-product] and [amazon-product type=”text” text=”fenugreek seeds”]B000RHSW10[/amazon-product]. sauté until it all turns golden brown. 
  • Add mustard seeds. When the [amazon-product type=”text” text=”mustard seeds”]B001E6CFAW[/amazon-product] pop, add curry leaves.
  • Add peanuts and [amazon-product type=”text” text=”turmeric powder”]B000JMAXOC[/amazon-product] and sauté for a minute.
  • Add cooked rice, salt and lemon juice and mix well.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Garnish with grated coconut and lemon zest.
  • A Simple Indian Meal


    2010
    01.19

    My American neighbor L, like many of my other American friends, is always asking me how we Indians manage to keep so fit in spite of all the rich good food we seem to be hogging. She was (is?) under the impression that we always ate Samosas, Briyanis, creamy Koftas, fried Masala Chicken and stuffed Paranthas on a daily basis. It took me some work to convince her that though these elaborate delicacies were always in the menus at the parties we Indians kept throwing every so often, our everyday meals were very simple and down to earth.

    lunch

    Simple Indian Meal: Rice, Roti, Masoor Dal, Egg Masala, Paapad, Okra Masala & Sautéed Tindora

    The staple diet of most Indians consists of Rice or Roti (Indian bread made of whole wheat)  or both. They are usually eaten in combination with vegetables, lentils, yogurt &/or meat/poultry/seafood.

    Dal (Lentils)

    dal

    Dal (pulses/legumes) can be made as simple or as complicated as possible. A simple Dal recipe mainly [read more]

     

     

     

     

     

    Bhindi Masala (Okra Masala)

    b

    A perfect Bhindi Masala should not be slimy and sticky. And the only way to make it that way is to pat dry the Okras after washing them [read more]

     

     

     

     

     

     Jalapeno Tomato Onion Egg Masala

    egg masala

    This delicately spicy dish serves very well with all kinds of breads. The secret to getting  the gravy really thick and just right, is to use a lot of onions. I’ve also used [read more]

     

     

      

     

     Sautéed Tindora – Sautéed Ivy Gourd

    TindooraThis is a favorite vegetable among most Keralites and they have a number of ways of cooking it. I like it best in this form [read more]

     

     

     

     

     

    Jalapeno Tomato Onion Egg Masala


    2010
    01.19

    This delicately spicy dish, serves very well with all kinds of breads. The secret to getting  the gravy really thick and just right, is to use a lot of onions. I’ve also used jalapenos in this recipe instead of green chilies for a slight twist. But it really doesn’t matter though. You could use any kind of green chili and still be happy with the outcome.

    egg masala

    Ingredients

    6 eggs, hard boiled and shelled
    2 onions, finely sliced
    4 tomatoes, finely chopped
    2 – 3 jalapenos (base it on your tolerable spice levels)
    1tbsp finely grated ginger
    1 tbsp finely diced garlic
    1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    1 tsp roasted cumin powder
    1/2 tsp kerala garam masala
    salt to taste

     

    Directions

  • Slit the eggs length wise, just sufficient to cut through the white, still keeping it whole.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add cumin, onions and sauté until golden brown.
  • Add crushed ginger, garlic, jalapenos and sauté until oil separates.
  • Add tomatoes, turmeric, kerala garam masala and sauté until oil separates.
  • Add boiled eggs and mix into the masala.
  • Serve with any kind of bread.