Archive for October, 2010

What was that again?


2010
10.20

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The last one year for Nish who turned 4  in September has been profound in terms of mental maturity and verbal acquisitions. His preschooler sass, innocent fumbles, wise observations and insightful witticisms never fail to amuse us. Our days would definitely be dull without him.

Here are some of his quips for some laughs—

Ma, can you please leave the bathroom? I need some privacy.

Pa, you need to listen to Ma, ok? him is the only grown up in this house.

Ma, grow up!

Hey Pa, can you turn on the lamp? I need some sun light in the room.

Ma, when I was a baby in your tummy did I come out when you threw up?

Ma, I don’t need a baby brother or a baby sister, can you make me a baby puppy instead?

Reciting the Lords prayer – Our Father in heaven hallowed be thy name ……do not bring us to the test but deliver us from Eagle – Amen

And these might be incriminating for my food blog, but nevertheless ….

Ma, I only said it smells good, I didn’t say it tastes good.

Ma, this tastes  funny. are you sure it is food?

Aloo Gobi

IMG_8647Well since I could never bend it like Beckham I chose the easier alternative and learnt to make a killer Aloo Gobi. I consider a bowl of Aloo Gobi perfect when the potatoes and the cauliflowers remain )…[read more]

 

 

 

 

 

 Methi Pulao/ Fenugreek Leaves Rice Pilaf

IMG_8794Methi Pulao is something that I usually make when I’m entertaining vegetarian friends.  No reason in particular. But since I’m a big fan of the flavor of fenugreek leaf flavor I just assume every vegetarian out ….[read more]

 

 

 

 

 Kadai Paneer

IMG_8663

This all famous colorfully vibrant Punjabi dish goes perfectly well with all Indian breads. This is a very simple dish to make but can look very attractive on the table when you are entertaining. It is not just about the looks either, it tastes amazing too….[read more]

Methi Pulao/ Fenugreek Leaves Rice Pilaf


2010
10.20

 

IMG_8794

Methi Pulao is something that I usually make when I’m entertaining vegetarian friends.  No reason in particular. But since I’m a big fan of the fenugreek leaf flavor I just assume every vegetarian out there will find it irresistible too.  And frankly every time I’ve made it I haven’t met anyone till date who hasn’t gone for a second helping of this. So like I always say, my assumptions are very rarely wrong ;).

Ingredients

1 cup Basmati/Long grained rice
2 packed cups chopped fenugreek/methi leaves
1 med onion, finely sliced
1/2 cup fresh green peas
1 med tomato cut into chunks
2 green chilies, slit lengthwise
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp red chili powder
4 cloves
2, 1/4 inch pieces of cinnamon 
1 crushed cardamom
2 tbsp roasted cashewnuts 
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp saunf/fennel seeds
Salt as per taste
ghee/oil

Directions

  • Soak rice in water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside for 15 minutes.
  • Heat a tsp of ghee in a pan, gently roast the rice for a couple of minutes.
  • Pour two cups of water and cook the rice. When cooked fluff it up and set aside to cool.
  • Heat oil/ghee in a wide pan.
  • Add cumin, fennel, cloves,cinnamon, cardamom and let the spices roast.
  • Add onions and sauté until they are golden brown.
  • Add green chilies, ginger garlic paste and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, turmeric, chili powder and sauté until oil separates.
  • Add fenugreek leaves, peas, salt to taste and sauté until cooked.
  • Add rice and lemon juice and gently mix on low flame.
  • Kadai Paneer


    2010
    10.15

    This all famous colorfully vibrant Punjabi dish goes perfectly well with all Indian breads. It is a very simple dish to make but can look very attractive on the table when you are entertaining. It is not just about the looks either, the taste’s amazing too. The powerful Indian spices ignites a roaring flame of passion between the mild and sweet colorful peppers  and the nutty cubes of paneer. Just one bite and you’ll know exactly what I’m harping about.

    IMG_8663

     

    Ingredients

    2 cups mixed multicolored bell peppers
    14 oz of paneer/cottage cheese
    1 medium onion chopped fine
    1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
    1 large tomato chopped into chunks
    1/2 tsp turmeric 
    1 tsp cumin seeds
    1 tsp katoori methi / dried fenugreek leaves
    1 tbsp coriander powder
    2 tsp chopped green chilies
    1 tsp red paprika/ kashmiri mirch
    1/2 tsp 3 Cs spice mix
    1 bay leaf
    1 star anise
    1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
    1 tbsp cashew-almond paste -optional (cashew nuts and almonds in equal proportions ground to a paste with little water)
    2 tbsp chopped cilantro
    2-3 tsp fresh cream for garnish
    refined oil
    salt to taste

    Directions

  • Cut the paneer into slabs (not cubes) and toast them on both sides in a non stick pan in 1 tbsp of oil. Make sure you don’t over do it. Both the sides should have just a slight hint of brown to bring out the nutty flavor of the paneer.
  • When all the slabs of paneer are toasted cut them up into small cubes, sprinkle a little salt and set aside.
  • Heat a tbsp of refined oil, add star anise, bay leaf and cumin and sauté for a minute.
  • Add in the chopped onions, sauté till golden brown
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a minute
  • Add salt, chilies,paprika,  turmeric, coriander, spice mix, cashew-almond paste and tomatoes and sauté till the oil comes clear.
  • Add the bell peppers and kastoori methi and sauté till the veggies are cooked but yet crunchy.
  • Stir in the paneer cubes and let it cook for a couple of minutes till it all comes together.
  • Take off the flame. Garnish with heavy cream and cilantro
  • Serve hot with Indian Breads .
  • Aloo Gobi


    2010
    10.14

    Since I could never bend it like Beckham, I chose the easier alternative and learnt to make a killer Aloo Gobi. I consider a bowl of Aloo Gobi perfect when the potatoes and the cauliflowers remain intact in shape and size but are yet cooked thoroughly through. And of course the cauliflower florets shouldn’t be giving off that God-awful gaseous stench.  Over the years I figured the best way not to stink up your kitchen while cooking cauliflower and the like (cabbage, kohlrabi etc) was to cook them dry. And the easiest was to cook them dry is to deep fry them (tastier option) or broil/bake them (healthier option). You of course can cook them dry directly in the pan too. But that requires frequent stirring and totally depends on how patient you are willing to be. I’ve detailed all four techniques here. Follow what ever floats your boat.

    IMG_8647

    Ingredients

    2 cups cauliflower florets
    1 cup quartered potatoes
    1 small onion chopped fine
    1 tsp grated ginger
    1 medium tomato chopped into chunks
    3/4 tsp amchoor /dry mango powder
    1/2 tsp turmeric 
    1 tsp cumin seeds
    1 tsp katoori methi / dried fenugreek leaves
    pinch of asafoetida
    1 tbsp coriander powder
    1 tsp chopped green chilies
    1 tsp red chili powder
    1 tsp punjabi garam masala
    2 bay leaves
    2 tbsp chopped cilantro
    refined oil
    salt to taste

    Directions

    If deep frying – Heat refined oil in a deep pan. Sprinkle salt on the cauliflower and potatoes and deep fry them until they are cooked through and light golden brown in color.  Set them aside on paper towels to drain out the excess oil.

    If broiling – Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a shallow pan. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida and turmeric. When the cumin seeds are roasted switch off the flame.  Spread out the cauliflower and potatoes on a flat dish. Sprinkle salt  and drizzle the hot seasoned oil on all the veggies. Broil until cooked through to a golden brown color tossing it every 8 minutes.

    If baking – Preaheat oven to 350 F. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a shallow pan. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida and turmeric. When the cumin seeds are roasted switch off the flame.  Spread out the cauliflower and potatoes on a flat dish. Sprinkle salt  and drizzle the hot seasoned oil on all the veggies. Bake on 350F until the veggies are cooked through.

    If stir-frying in a shallow pan with no water – Follow the instructions below to make the masala. When done, add the veggies and mix well into the masala. Close the pan and let is simmer on medium heat. Stir every 5 minutes and close the pan with a tight lid when left to simmer.

    Making it all come together –

  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil in shallow pan
  • Add cumin seeds, asafoetida and turmeric, sauté until the cumin is roasted. (omit this step is broiling or baking)
  • Add bay leaf and saute for 30 secs.
  • Add ginger and onions and sauté until onions are golden brown
  • Add tomatoes, coriander powder, green chilies, red chili powder,garam masala,  kastoori methi, amchoor and sauté until oil separates. 
  • Add the cooked veggies and mix them well into the masala until they come together.
  • If adding uncooked veggies follow stir-frying directions.
  • Garnish with cilantro. Switch off the flame.
  • Server hot with Indian breads 
  • Chutneys Galore


    2010
    10.07

    2010-08-30

    Well it is a day over a over a month since I bought my new toy and evidently I’m not yet bored with it like I thought I would be (or should be) by now. And since the Wife/Mother has shown no signs of curbing herself, the Husband and Son have stopped making efforts to hide their annoyance as well. The boys hopelessly voice out their oh-no! not again shrieks while the obsessive and unrelenting South Indian in me serves them yet another variation of a fermented crêpe or a mutant version of some fried or steamed dumpling they just had a day before.

    The only saving grace for both the parties involved have been the savory chutneys. These spicy and tangy dips always manage to get the boys excited and hence lessens the burden of guilt for me, though obviously I don’t seem as bothered as I should be ;). In any case, when I see my boys serve themselves big mounds of these chutneys, which again is so not the right way of doing it and I have had to dig my nails into the wall and eat my own hair to refrain myself from lecturing them about the correct or rather the traditionally allowed proportions, I’m glad I look less evil than what I actually am.  When your boys act like the dinner or at least a part of the dinner you served was finger licking good you definitely can pass for a good Mother/Wife. Can’t you?? 😉

    Green Chili Coconut Chutney

    IMG_8613This mildly sweet, delicately spicy, greenish tinged elegance pairs very well with dosas and idlis. This chutney is my Mom’s recipe and something that I absolutely love..[read more]

     

     

     

     

     

    Shallot Chutney/ Ulli Chammanthi

    IMG_8601This is another one of those chutneys that you continue to lick off of your plate even when the dosas and idlis are long gone..[read more]

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Onion and Garlic Chutney

    IMG_8598 This chunky,mouth watering, finger licking chutney is for those who crave for that hint of sugar in every spicy bite. This is one of my most favorite chutneys. It has a really long shelf life and actually never goes stale on you[read more]

     

     

     

     

     

    Onion and Garlic Chutney


    2010
    10.07

    IMG_8598

    This chunky,mouth watering, finger licking chutney is for those who crave for that hint of sugar in every spicy bite. This is one of my favorite chutneys. It has a really long shelf life and actually never goes stale on you.

    Ingredients
    1 chopped red onions
    1 tsp red chili powder (base it on taste)  
    1tsp paprika (for color)  
    2 tbsp sliced garlic  
    1/2 cup tamarind pulp extracted from 1 lemon sized tamarind
    3 green chilies slit lengthwise
    1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
    small pinch of asafoetida 
    1 tsp jaggery shavings 
    salt to taste 
    1 spring of curry leaves 
    2-3 tsp of sesame oil (cold pressed)

    Directions

  • Heat oil in a pan, add asafoetida, mustard and curry leaves.
  • Add onions, green chilies and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent
  • Add chili powder and paprika and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Pour in the tamarind pulp and bring to boil.
  • Add jaggery and salt to taste.
  • Serve with dosas or idlis.

  • Shallot Chutney / Ulli Chammanthi /Vengaya Chutney


    2010
    10.07

    This is another one of those chutneys that you continue to lick off of your plate even when the dosas and idlis are long gone.

    IMG_8601

    Ingredients
    1 cup shallots chopped
    4-5 dried red chilies  
    1tsp black gram dal/urad dal 
    1 tsp channa dal / bengal gram 
    1/4 tsp tamarind paste or marble sized pitted tamarind
    small pinch of asafoetida
    salt to taste
    2-3 tsp of sesame oil (cold pressed)

    Directions

  • Heat oil in a pan, add asafoetida, dals, dried chilies and shallots and sauté until the shallots are golden brown.
  • Add tamarind and sauté for a few more minutes. 
  • Switch off the flame and let the mixture cool.
  • Grind to a smooth paste.
  • Serve with dosas or idlis.
  • Green Chili Coconut Chutney


    2010
    10.07

    This mildly sweet, delicately spicy, greenish tinged elegance pairs very well with dosas and idlis. This chutney is my Mom’s recipe and something that I absolutely love.

    IMG_8613

    Ingredients
    1 cup grated fresh coconut
    2 green chilies
    2 tbsp chopped shallots
    salt to taste
    1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
    1 sprig of curry leaves
    2 tsp of coconut oil or refined vegetable oil

    Directions

  • Grind together coconut, shallots and green chilies with 1/2 cup of water. Add more water after grinding to get desired consistency.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and curry leaves and let the mustard pop.
  • Pour the seasoning over the ground mixture and mix well.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Serve with dosas or idlis.