Archive for February, 2010

Kerala Beef Fry / Erachi Olathiyathu


2010
02.26

IMG_5180

If I were to pull out an old shoe, shove it in a preheated oven at 350 degree, bake it for an hour and serve it for dinner, my husband R, would take the first bite, look around, find a bottle of Tabasco, empty the bottle on top of the leather, wipe his plate clean and then exclaim, baby, you out did yourself again!

There is not a jot of deception or exaggeration in the above admission. That simply is R. One, he can eat anything when doused with red hot peppers.Two, he will eat anything I make, like it were manna from the sky. Ok, the first reason I blame on his, for sure, paralyzed taste buds. The second, I’d like to assume is his unconditional love for me ;).  I’m led to believe the second reason holds water most often. But, at times when I nag him for having missed a spot under the fridge while vacuuming or when I’m yelling my throat sore for something he didn’t  do or more habitually, for something  he did, I notice his confused eyes emanate some teeny-weenie amounts of conditions.

Anyway, coming back to his taste buds or lack thereof, people who know me would assume that, the big opportunist in me would had have taken best advantage of a situation (condition?) like this for personal gains. But of course I did!! Ever since the day I realized that my sweetheart could eat virtually anything he believed came from a trusted source, I’ve been like a cat on heat in the kitchen. HOLD ON! If you are about to close this site thinking he’s been my lab rat and I most certainly, appreciate those reservations. But no, he’s not the rat, he’s my darling scavenger. All the risks I take in the kitchen I owe completely to him. Thanks to his sturdy stomach (and my mom’s rosaries, novenas and prayers) he’s still alive in spite of having wolfed down my many a burnt, undercooked, overcooked and outrageously disgusting dinners.

I suffer from an OCD because of which I cannot have any food in the trash or in the drain. I’d rather you eat it and die, than let it reach the sea unconsumed. So, in spite of my disease I frolic in the kitchen only because I have my antidote R, behind me.

Kerala Beef fry is one of R’s most favorite dish that I make.  Favorites for a guy deficient of taste buds, you ask? Yes, these are the times I believe he does it all for love :).  Though the dish says ‘fry’, in truth the spiced pieces are sautéed dry. And in spite of all the cooking involved it is amazing how the beef, caramelized on the outside stays so perfectly tender inside.

beeffry5

Variations: This can be made with any kind of meat you prefer. Like chicken, mutton or pork. You will only have to vary the cook time accordingly.

Ingredients

2 lbs beef cut into 1’’ cubes, like you would do for stew.
1  large onion finely sliced
5 –6 shallots finely sliced (replace with one onion if you don’t have these)
2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp white vinegar
3 tbsp thinly sliced (not grated) coconut
3/4 tsp kerala garam masala
11/2 tsp red chili powder (base this on tolerable spice levels)
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 –3 sprigs of curry leaves
salt to taste
2 tbsp coconut oil/ refined vegetable oil

Directions

  • Mix turmeric,garam masala, coriander, chili powder with the vinegar and salt and marinate the meat pieces with this spice mixture for an hour.
  • Add 1/4 cup water and pressure cook. After the first whistle reduce the flame and let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes (slow cooking on a low fame is the key to cook the meat tender).
  • If you don’t have a pressure cooker, cook the marinated pieces in a tightly closed pan with 1 cup of water on high for 5 minutes and then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 20 – 25 minutes on low heat, till it is just about cooked.
  • Heat oil in a large sauté pan, add mustard and when they pop add in the curry leaves.
  • Add the onions and sauté until the onions are caramelized to a dark brown. Crush ginger and garlic add to the onions, sauté until the oil separates.
  • Add the partially cooked beef to the pan, add pepper, coconut and sauté on medium heat till all the gravy completely dries out.
  • Serve as an appetizer or with white rice or rotis.
  • Stir Fried Bitter Gourd With Jaggery / Gur ka Karela


    2010
    02.25

    karela6

    My sister S, the eldest among the three of us, the doctor in the family, Dad’s pride(the only one amongst his progenies, he believed, carried his superior intelligent genes), raises an eyebrow at almost all my recipes. Why? Apparently, all she can see in them is a blatant, outrageous and shameful cry for fat- FAT-Fat and more fat.

    I’m not the kind who does much to appease her. I leave that to my second sis, S ;). S, might deny as she may, but I’ve watched her, all my growing up years, worship the ground, the then budding doc, walked on. The luminary and the fan were always a team, for evident reasons of course, and I was left to scratch my own sores.  A grown lady now, I still begrudge them for robbing me of the fun I could have had then, if only they’d let me in. Though I’m pretty convinced it couldn’t have been my kind of fun between a daddy’s pet and a teachers pet! Discussing Iliad over a bucket of popcorn at the most?! Pffft!

    Anyway, to prove to the health freak that I’m not all about indulgence, I decided to post a recipe of her favorite, one of the healthiest of veggies, the bitter gourd. I was never a fan of this vegetable as a child but, my adult taste buds find them elating! The heat from the spices, the bitterness of the gourd, the subtle sweetness of the jaggery and the tart tamarind forms a mélange of confusing wonderment in this dish, that you can’t help but ask for more. I’ve used the bitter melons found in the Chinese market for the recipe. I find it less bitter compared to the Indian kind.

    Ingredients:
    1 lb bitter gourd/melon
    1/2 onion chopped
    2 sprigs of curry leaves
    1 tsp chili powder (base it on your tolerance)
    1/4 tsp turmeric powder
    1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
    1/4 tsp ground cumin
    1/4 tsp grated ginger.
    pinch of aesofateda
    1 tsp jaggery shavings (reduce the amount if you don’t want to feel the sweetness)
    1/4 tsp tamarind paste
    1- 2 tbsp refined vegetable oil
    salt to taste

    Directions

  • Cut the gourd into thin circular slices (up to you to retain or throw away the pit. I keep them)
  • Heat oil on medium heat in a non stick skillet.
  • Add asafoetida,mustard seeds, cumin and curry leaves.
  • When the mustard pops add the onions and crushed ginger and sauté until they are nicely caramelized.
  • Add the gourd, chili, turmeric and salt. Sauté for a few minutes.
  • Add tamarind paste and jaggery and cover the pan tight and let it cook for five minutes.
  • Take off the lid, reduce the flame and turn over the slices carefully without mashing them up.
  • Continue to do this on low flame until you have a thin caramelization on all the slices.
  • Serve with white rice and rasam
  • Mushroom Biryani


    2010
    02.22

    mushroombiryani

    If ever due to some freak occurrence or if at some blessed moment, better judgment were to prevail upon me and I were to turn 100% vegetarian, then in all my recipes, where ever there would be a need for the life of an innocent living creature, I would use  mushrooms instead. Mushrooms to me are the next of kin in taste, for all kinds of meats. I know, I know, there is tofu, I’ve heard nothing is impossible with tofu  and of course I wont deny tofu can help you survive if the sun disappears! But, I simply DONT do tofu. It is my pet peeve when it comes to food. And I’d safely leave it at that. I’m still a greenhorn to blogging and I’m not ready yet, for the scorn of the Internet (may be in a years time I’ll detail out the whys of my dislike ;))

    So my dear veggie friends, if you have been wondering what all this fuss is about  the biryanis, the meat lovers are every so often raving about, try out a biryani recipe and replace the meat with your favorite kind of mushroom. If you like it, you are very close to knowing what all the revelry is about. And, if you don’t like it, you can rest assured, that us blood thirsty sinners are having it no better than you already are.

    In my biryani recipe I mostly use Portobello mushrooms. I find them hearty, earthy and very flavorful, a perfect replacement for meat. You can go ahead and use  any kind you like or have. You wont be disappointed.

    mushroombiryani2

    Ingredients
    1 lb mushrooms of your choice, cut into bite sizes chunks
    1 large  or 2 medium sized onions finely sliced
    4 large tomatoes, diced in chunks
    5- 6 green chilies, slit length wise
    1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    2 tbsp grated ginger
    2 tbsp diced garlic
    1/2 tsp black pepper corns
    1/2 tsp 3 Cs spice mix
    3 cups basmati rice
    pinch of saffron
    refined vegetable oil
    2 tsp sesame oil or ghee (clarified butter)
    2 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
    1 tbsp chopped mint
    1 cup coconut milk
    1/2 tsp red chili powder, alter this based on tolerable spice level
    1 tsp lemon juice
    Salt to taste

    Directions

    • Soak washed basmati rice with 5 cups of water and set aside for an hour.
    • Sauté 3/4th of the chopped onions in 2 – 3 tbsp of oil  in a wide bottomed  hollow pan  until golden brown; make sure the pan can be fitted with a tight lid that doesn’t let steam escape.
    • Crush the grated ginger and garlic and add them to the pan along with the green chilies and continue to sauté for 5 minutes.
    • Add in the diced tomatoes, turmeric powder, spice mix, pepper corns, chili powder, chopped mint and cilantro and continue to sauté until oil separates.
    • Add salt to taste
    • Add in the mushrooms and sauté until they are cooked. Then reduce the flame to low.
    • Add one cup of coconut milk, lemon juice, salt and 2 tbsp of sesame oil or ghee to the rice soaking in water and then set to cook until the water boils and the rice is only  3/4 done.
    • Gather all the mushroom and the masala mixture together and flatten it at he bottom of the pan.
    • Dissolve a pinch of saffron in 2 tbsp of milk and add to the boiling rice and mix it.
    • Pour in the boiling rice into the pan making the rice form a layer on top of the masala and has no direct contact to the bottom of the pan.
    • Close the pan tight shut and let it sit on the very low flame for 15 – 20 min or until the rice at the top is done.
    • Remove from the stove and mix in the rice and masala
    • Deep fry the remaining sliced onion and sprinkle on the rice as garnish.
    • Serve with raitha or baingan masaledar.

    Aloo Paratha / Flatbread Stuffed with Spiced Potatoes


    2010
    02.21

    alooparatha4

    I watched my friend K make some really scrumptious Aloo Parathas when she had us over for dinner the other day, and I just couldn’t get past this week without trying them out myself at home. I’ve always been a big fan of stuffed parathas, but there was something that held me back when it came to making them on my own. I being a hard core Mallu and all, with minimal experience in making Indian breads thought it was beyond me to keep the stuffing inside while I rolled out the dough. So, when I saw K , facilely flatten out the stuffed balls and  later when the parathas hissed and billowed into big swollen puffs on the flame, my lifelong intimidation disappeared and I couldn’t wait to get to my kitchen and do some show and tell 😀

    Very much unlike me, K loves to slow dance in the kitchen. She finds cooking at a slow pace therapeutic. And that day, this worked perfectly  for me.. It gave me ample time to make mental notes while watching her cook in spite of being busy in an intense, persisting gossip session. Thanks for letting me plonk my base on your counter top while you did all the cooking, K. You are the best ;).

    You can spice up the stuffing any which way you want. Some like to add garam masala, others add chaat masala and some sauté the onions with the spices until they are cooked, before mixing it into the potatoes. I did mine simple with spring onions, cilantro, cumin and amchoor (dried mango powder). Go ahead, modify and alter it to your tastes. There is no right or wrong.

    Making the stuffing as dry as possible allows you to roll out the parathas evenly thin and keeps the stuffing from breaking out. For this, ensure the potatoes are thoroughly cooked but not soggy. 

    alooparatha8

    The below recipe makes around 5 – 6 medium sized parathas.

    Ingredients

    alooparatha2For the dough
    1 cup wheat flour
    1/2 – 3/4 cup water (sufficient to knead the flour together)
    salt to taste
    alooparatha3For the stuffing
    2 large potatoes thoroughly cooked
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 tsp green chili finely chopped
    4 -5 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
    1/2 teaspoon amchoor (dried mango)
    1/4 cup onions finely chopped
    1/2 tsp grated ginger
    pinch of crushed ajwain
    pinch of turmeric
    salt to taste
    ghee /oil

    Directions

    alooparatha5

  • Knead the flour with salt and water together to make a soft non sticky dough.
  •  Cover and set aside.
  • Peel and mash the cooked potatoes, using a grater ensures there are no lumps.
  • Mix onions, chilies, cilantro, cumin, amchoor and salt to the mashed potatoes.
  • Divide the dough and potato mixture into 6 equal parts each. I like my parathas with lots of stuffing so, I used stuffing, twice the size of the dough.
  • Roll out the dough into small circles, place a ball of stuffing in the center of each circle of dough, gather the edges of the dough together and seal with a twist on top. Press down the protruding bit and let them be for a minute or two.
  • alooparatha6

  • Pat the stuffed balls with dry flour before beginning to roll them out.
  • Keeping the seal on top, gently press down the ball with your fingers.
  • When they are as flat as your fingers could get them to be, use a rolling pin and gently roll out the paratha to the thickness you desire. I like mine very thin.
  • Heat a skillet on high.
  • Place the paratha over the skillet.
  • When the paratha begins to puff up on the edges turn it over.
  • When the paratha billows into a big balloon apply 1/2 – 1 tsp of ghee to the surface and turn over.
  • Press down using a spatula and apply ghee similarly on this side too.
  • Take off the flame when cooked thoroughly on both sides.
  • Serve hot with, curd, pickles or butter.
  • Cool completely in the open if you want to box them for later.
  •  

    alooparatha9

    Malai Kulfi / Creamy Indian Pistachio Popsicles


    2010
    02.17

    kulfi2000

    The other day, my preschooler picked up the word ‘humongous’ from Sesame Street’s word of the day and threw it into every possible sentence he could make. He managed to use the word fittingly at most times. Picking up the fat Oxford dictionary he quipped “Mama, this book is humongous”. Looking up at his dad he admiringly declared “Papa is humongous”., “I have a humongous thomaph ache” he whined, calling for attention. I was pretty pleased at his newly adopted vocabulary until, he caught me while cleaning up his toys, sprawled on my fours with my rear end jutting right into his face. “Wow! Mama has a humongous bum” he exclaimed, sending me fleeing to the bathroom’s full sized mirrors, glutted with self doubt and loath, wondering and checking if it was a pertinent use of his new lexis or was it his inexperience. Like the time he called the ant or his pinkie humongous?  Or, was my binge eating finally catching up on me?

    kulfi200Nah!! The eternal optimist in me quickly brushed it off as an innocent inappropriate remark. After all he was only a naive 3 year old who had just called his dad humongous (no offence Hon, 5 ft 8’’ does not a tall man make). OK agreed, I thrive on denial and like to lash out on others when I’m victimized. But, I was certain it was just a bad choice of words and to show off how convinced I was, I decided on indulging in one of the richest possible Indian desserts.

    Disclaimer:This dessert is solely for proving my conviction and is not recommended for people who are worried about their waist line and definitely not  for those who take their 3 year olds outcries seriously.

    This is one of the easiest recipe for an Indian dessert, that is just impossible to go wrong with.  If you are really calorie conscious, but find it hard to resist this treat, you can use 3 slices of bread with sides trimmed off, blended to a smooth powder, instead of the 1/2 pint heavy whipping cream. It provides the creamy texture to the kulfis without adding fat. And frankly, there is no difference in taste.

    kulfi1 

    Ingredients
    2 , 12 oz cans of evaporated milk
    1/2 pt (8 oz)  heavy whipping cream or 3 slices of white bread with sides trimmed out.
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 tbsp chopped pistachios
    1/4 -1/2 tsp crushed cardamom seeds
    pinch of saffron

    Directions

  • Blend all the ingredients together to a nice fluff.
  • Pour into kulfi molds and freeze for 7 –8 hours. If you don’t have kulfi molds, pour into ice trays and insert tooth picks for sticks.
  • Garnish with chopped pistachios and strings of saffron while serving.
  • Kerala Style -Meen Curry With Thengapal/Fish Curry With Coconut Milk


    2010
    02.14

     

    fish in coconut milk200

    Had one of those rare weekends when everything went as planned. A quiet Saturday with friends of the family, a flawless Sunday with a long afternoon nap, clean to-do list, and best of all, with Monday being a holiday, absolutely no dreadful Sunday-Evening-Jitters. Yes, I bask in the  luxury of weekends and all. But the torture I go through at dusk every Sunday,  at the thought of having to get back to work the next day, makes me sometimes wish they never happened. Silly me, I agree. I choose the monotony of a work week forever, over a roller coaster of work, fun,  and back to work again.

    Anyway, well rested and in high spirits on Monday evening I drove to the market, having decided to treat my DH with some well deserved home cooked meal. He did a fine job at making the weekend perfect for me. Among many other things, he’d gotten the  house  immaculately spic without me having to raise a finger (sigh! if only we had more valentines day weekends). So, when my fish monger showed off his wears of some the finest silver white Pomfrets that I hadn’t seen for a long time, I was glad my luck was still sticking around. And, like I always do when I see a good buy, I went amuck. So, if you are not a big fan of Pomfrets, I’d suggest you come back to this site in probably a year’s time, because the next gazillion posts are going to be Pomfret this, Pomfret that and Pomfret this and that too ;).

    By the time I was  done with the bulk Pomfret shopping, there wasn’t much time left to cook. So, I changed plans and decided to make this quick and easy fish curry in coconut milk, one of R’s favorite.  The recipe is similar to the Kerala Red Fish Curry , except that you thicken the gravy with rich coconut milk right at the very end. At my sister S’, insistence, if you haven’t already noticed, I managed to stick in a piece of kudampulli in the pictures too. She has me convinced that the pictures of fish curries in my previous posts looked incomplete without one of these jutting out like a sore thumb (*rolling eyes*). So, there S, I hope it meets your standards now :D!

    fish in coconut milk

    Ingredients

    1 lb fish cut into slices
    2 tsp red [amazon-product type=”text” text=”chili powder”]B000JMAXNS[/amazon-product](base it on tolerable  spice levels)
    1 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”paprika”]B000NO5CRY[/amazon-product](mainly for the red color) 
    1/4 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”turmeric powder”]B000JMAXOC[/amazon-product]
    3 –4 shallots finely sliced (if you don’t have these you can use one med sized onion) 
    1 tsp grated ginger
    1tsp finely chopped garlic 
    2 kudampulli (camboge fruit rinds)
    (If you don’t have this you can use tamarind instead, but the taste won’t be authentic)
    1/4 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”fenugreek seeds powder”]B000JMBEGS[/amazon-product]
    2 sprigs of curry leaves
    1/2 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”black mustard seeds”]B001E6CFAW[/amazon-product]
    2 –3 tbsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”coconut oil”]B002DGNP10[/amazon-product]/any vegetable refined oil
    2- 3 oz of canned coconut milk ( canned coconut milk is much thicker and creamier than fresh coconut milk. If you are using fresh you might need about a cup in this recipe) salt to taste

    Directions

  • Soak kudampulli in a cup of hot salt water and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add [amazon-product type=”text” text=”black mustard seeds”]B001E6CFAW[/amazon-product], when they pop add in the curry leaves and [amazon-product type=”text” text=”powdered fenugreek”]B000JMBEGS[/amazon-product].
  • Add sliced shallot and sauté till golden brown.
  • Add crushed ginger and garlic and sauté till oil separates.
  • Mix together [amazon-product type=”text” text=”chili powder”]B000JMAXNS[/amazon-product], [amazon-product type=”text” text=”paprika”]B000NO5CRY[/amazon-product] and [amazon-product type=”text” text=”turmeric powder”]B000JMAXOC[/amazon-product]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 necessary.
  • Add coconut milk and mix in gently. let it simmer for 5 minutes before putting off the flame.
  • Season again with a little oil, mustard and curry leaves if desired.
  • Serve with Rice or Kappa
  • Rava Dosai / Sooji Dosa/ Spiced Semolina Crêpes


    2010
    02.12

    rava dosa20

    Like all typical South Indians, a couple of weeks without dosas or idlis, and my body flails frenzied from intense withdrawal symptoms. Initially nothing seemed to cure these pangs other than a salver of the fermented pancakes or the puffed dumplings. But soon the fact, that I had to grapple for myself and my lazy ass showed no compassion when it came to work, my body learned to settle, for if not the same, but equally good member of the aforesaid clan. Same name, just an added prefix -‘Rava’.

    Yes, Rava dosa is my saving grace when my senses are over powered with crapulous lust for some good South Indian gratification and my spirits, as always, are too weak (lazy?) to do much about it. Unlike the typical dosas, that take almost an entire day to make, considering the soaking, grinding and waiting to ferment period, this comes together in a matter of minutes if you are lucky to have some really sour curd/buttermilk at hand. If not, don’t fret. Just keep the batter in a warm place for an hour or two and voila, they are ready to be poured onto a hot skillet.

    Like most other Indian dishes, this too has a number of variations in the recipes. The basic ingredients are mostly rice flour, semolina/sooji/rava, wheat flour and buttermilk.  You can really go berserk with the seasoning. If you think it might taste nice, the chances are, it definitely will. That is how accommodating this dish is.

    A very hot skillet and very watery batter is the secret to the gossamer weave  finish of a semolina crêpe.

    rava dosa on the skillet2

    Ingredients

    ½  cup rice flour
    ½ cup rava /sooji /semolina
    1 tbsp wheat flour
    1 green chili finely chopped
    ½  tsp whole ground pepper
    2 –3 curry leaves chopped fine
    ½ tsp ginger grated on a micro plane
    1 tsp cilantro chopped fine
    big pinch of [amazon-product type=”text” text=”asafoetida”]B000JMAXOW[/amazon-product]
    1 small onion chopped fine
    [amazon-product type=”text” text=”sesame oil”]B000MXVH3O[/amazon-product] or ghee(clarified butter)
    ½ cup sour butter milk or ¼ curd
    2– 3 cups of water depending on how watery you want the batter to be
    salt to taste

    Directions

  • Crush (not grind) the whole black pepper and mix it with all the ingredients except oil to form a nice watery batter and set aside for 30 minutes.
  • Add more water if the batter gets thick once the semolina swells up.
  • Heat a skillet at high flame and smear it with 1/2 a tsp of oil (I use an onion cut horizontally into half, to smear oil on the skillet. This tends to give a nice aroma to the dosas).
  • Pour batter on the hot skillet, forming a circle from the outside and gradually filling up the insides.
  • Drizzle a little oil or ghee on the side and on the inside where ever you see tiny holes.
  • When you start noticing a golden brown color, Turn the dosa over.
  • Serve hot with sambar or any spicy chutneys.
  •  

    IMG_4848

    Rava Dosai / Sooji Dosa/ Spiced Semolina Crêpes


    2010
    02.12

    rava dosa20

    Like all typical South Indians, a couple of weeks without dosas or idlis, and my body flails frenzied from intense withdrawal symptoms. Initially nothing seemed to cure these pangs other than a salver of the fermented pancakes or the puffed dumplings. But soon the fact, that I had to grapple for myself and my lazy ass showed no compassion when it came to work, my body learned to settle, for if not the same, but equally good member of the aforesaid clan. Same name, just an added prefix -‘Rava’.

    Yes, Rava dosa is my saving grace when my senses are over powered with crapulous lust for some good South Indian gratification and my spirits, as always, are too weak (lazy?) to do much about it. Unlike the typical dosas, that take almost an entire day to make, considering the soaking, grinding and waiting to ferment period, this comes together in a matter of minutes if you are lucky to have some really sour curd/buttermilk at hand. If not, don’t fret. Just keep the batter in a warm place for an hour or two and voila, they are ready to be poured onto a hot skillet.

    Like most other Indian dishes, this too has a number of variations in the recipes. The basic ingredients are mostly rice flour, semolina/sooji/rava, wheat flour and buttermilk.  You can really go berserk with the seasoning. If you think it might taste nice, the chances are, it definitely will. That is how accommodating this dish is.

    A very hot skillet and very watery batter is the secret to the gossamer weave  finish of a semolina crêpe.

    rava dosa on the skillet2

    Ingredients

    ½  cup rice flour
    ½ cup rava /sooji /semolina
    1 tbsp wheat flour
    1 green chili finely chopped
    ½  tsp whole ground pepper
    2 –3 curry leaves chopped fine
    ½ tsp ginger grated on a micro plane
    1 tsp cilantro chopped fine
    big pinch of [amazon-product type=”text” text=”asafoetida”]B000JMAXOW[/amazon-product]
    1 small onion chopped fine
    [amazon-product type=”text” text=”sesame oil”]B000MXVH3O[/amazon-product] or ghee(clarified butter)
    ½ cup sour butter milk or ¼ curd
    2– 3 cups of water depending on how watery you want the batter to be
    salt to taste

    Directions

  • Crush (not grind) the whole black pepper and mix it with all the ingredients except oil to form a nice watery batter and set aside for 30 minutes.
  • Add more water if the batter gets thick once the semolina swells up.
  • Heat a skillet at high flame and smear it with 1/2 a tsp of oil (I use an onion cut horizontally into half, to smear oil on the skillet. This tends to give a nice aroma to the dosas).
  • Pour batter on the hot skillet, forming a circle from the outside and gradually filling up the insides.
  • Drizzle a little oil or ghee on the side and on the inside where ever you see tiny holes.
  • When you start noticing a golden brown color, Turn the dosa over.
  • Serve hot with sambar or any spicy chutneys.
  •  

    IMG_4848

    Tomato Onion chutney


    2010
    02.10

    One of the non mallu  chutneys that I like most with my idlis or dosas is the tomato onion chutney. The tangy tomatoes cut through the delicate sweetness of the onions, creating a perfect symphony of sweet and sour.  The chutney is very easy to make and stays fresh for long, allowing you to make plenty to last for later :).

      tomato onion chutney

    Ingredients:

    3 med sized tomatoes chopped into chunks
    1 med sized onion chopped
    1/4 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”tamarind”]B002EE40B0 [/amazon-product] paste or marble sized pitted [amazon-product type=”text” text=”tamarind”]B002EE40B0 [/amazon-product].
    5 – 6 dried whole red chilies
    1 tbsp whole [amazon-product type=”text” text=”coriander seeds”]B000N4WWS6[/amazon-product]
    2 sprigs of curry leaves
    big pinch of [amazon-product type=”text” text=”asafoetida”]B000JMAXOW[/amazon-product]
    2 –3 cloves of garlic, chopped (optional)
    1/2 a tsp of grated ginger (optional)
    Salt to taste
    3 –4 tbsp oil
    1/2 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”black mustard seeds”]B001E6CFAW[/amazon-product]
    2 tbsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”sesame oil”]B000MXVH3O[/amazon-product] /any refined vegetable oil

    Directions

  • Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan, add red chillies, fry until they are roasted, and remove.
  • In the same hot oil, add onions, ginger, garlic [amazon-product type=”text” text=”asafoetida”]B000JMAXOW[/amazon-product], 1 spring of curry leaves, [amazon-product type=”text” text=”coriander seeds”]B000N4WWS6[/amazon-product], and sauté until the onions turn slightly brown.
  • Add the tomatoes and sauté until the tomatoes soften to a pulp.
  • Turn off the heat and let it cool.
  • Grind the cooled mixture with tamarind and salt.
  • Heat a tbsp of oil in a shallow pan, add mustard and remaining curry leaves.
  • When the mustard pops pour the seasoning over the ground mixture and mix well.
  • Server with idlis, dosa or rotis.
  • Butter Chicken / Murgh Makhani


    2010
    02.09

    The most popular Indian dish around the world, the Murgh Makhani, it is said, has its recipe traced backed to the Mughal rule in India. I can’t vouch for its history but I’d surely say that this dish is as magnificent and grand as the Mughals were.

    Traditionally this dish is prepared using grilled or pan roasted boneless chicken marinated overnight in a spiced yogurt mixture. I however like to use chicken with bones because I hate to lose out on the flavor the bones impart to the meat.

    butter chicken

    Ingredients -for the tandoori chicken

    2 lbs skinless chicken, cut into desired size
    11/2 tbsp fresh ginger garlic paste
    3/4 cup fresh yogurt
    1 tsp paprika/kashmiri mirch (mainly for color)
    1 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”cayenne pepper/red chili powder”]B0001UQVUM[/amazon-product]
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1 1/2 tsp kashmiri garam masala
    1/2 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”fenugreek powder”]B000JMBEGS[/amazon-product]
    1/2 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”turmeric powder”]B000JMAXOC[/amazon-product]
    1 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”cumin powder”]B000JMAVVC[/amazon-product] 
    2 tbsp lemon juice
    salt to taste
    2 – 3 tbsp refined vegetable oil/ butter for basting

    Ingredients – for the gravy
    11/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
    5-6 tomatoes pureed (or 1/2 cup tomato paste mixed with 3/4 cup water)
    1/2 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”fenugreek powder”]B000JMBEGS[/amazon-product]
    2 tsp paprika/kashmiri mirch
    1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    2 –3 tbsp butter
    2 tsp minced cilantro
    1/2 cup half & half
    1 1/2 tsp kashmiri garam masala
    1 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”cumin powder”]B000JMAVVC[/amazon-product] 
    1/2 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”turmeric powder”]B000JMAXOC[/amazon-product]
    2 tbsp cashew nuts,  soaked in water and ground to a fine paste (use almonds if you have started worrying about all the calories)
    2 tbsp of refined vegetable oil/ butter
    1/4 tsp sugar
    1 tbsp fresh cream for garnish
    1 tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish

    Directions

  • Make a few slit on the pieces of chicken on all sides using a sharp knife.
  • Mix the tandoori portions of paprika, [amazon-product type=”text” text=”turmeric powder”]B000JMAXOC[/amazon-product], [amazon-product type=”text” text=”cayenne pepper/red chili powder”]B0001UQVUM[/amazon-product], salt, black pepper and lemon juice into a smooth mixture and apply liberally on the chicken pieces on all sides and set aside.
  • Prepare the marinade for the tandoori by combining, the salt, yogurt, ginger garlic paste, garam masala, [amazon-product type=”text” text=”fenugreek powder”]B000JMBEGS[/amazon-product], [amazon-product type=”text” text=”cumin powder”]B000JMAVVC[/amazon-product],salt and soak the chicken pieces in and refrigerate over night(make sure to bring it to room temperature before you broil it the next day)
  • Broil or pan roast the chicken  for about 10 – 15 minutes, turning it over every few minutes while basting with butter or oil to keep it moist.
  • Heat butter in a pan and stir in cumin and ginger garlic paste and sauté for a minute.
  • Add [amazon-product type=”text” text=”fenugreek powder”]B000JMBEGS[/amazon-product], black pepper, cashew nut paste, minced cilantro, tomato puree, [amazon-product type=”text” text=”turmeric powder”]B000JMAXOC[/amazon-product], garam masala, sugar and salt bring to boil.
  • Simmer and stir in cream or half and half.
  • Add water if the gravy is too thick.
  • Add the tandoori chicken and cook on low heat for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Take off the flame and garnish with cream and chopped cilantro.
  • Serve over Basamati rice or with Indian breads.