Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Paruppa(Channa Dhal) Vada



Paruppa Vada is a  very popular snack of South India and one of my favorites. This is also called as Masala Vada. Best way to enjoy this is with a cup of tea or coffee.

INGRDIENTS:

Channa dhal - 1 cup
Red Onion - 1
Green chillies - 3-4
Ginger - 1-1 1/2" long
Curry leaves - few sprigs
Chilli powder - 1-2 tsp
Fennel powder - 1/2-1 tsp
Asafoetida powder - 1/2 tsp
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Salt to taste


PREPARATION:

Soak Channa dhal in water for few hours (4-5hrs min). Drain the water completely.
Keep aside a tablespoon of the soaked  Channa dhal  and some Curry leaves. This is to make sure that you have some whole Channa dhal and some whole Curry leaves in the Vadas and it basically gives it a good appearance.
Roughly chop the onion, ginger and green chillies.

Grind all the remaining Channa dhal in the food processor. Try not to add any water or else the batter will not stick together during the frying process. Now add the roughly chopped onion, green chillies, ginger, curry leaves to the food processor and pulse it until everything gets mixed well. Add the chilli powder, fennel powder, asafoetida powder and salt and pulse it again. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Now add the Channa dhal and the curry leaves that you had kept aside. Make sure everything is incorporated well.  Let it rest for 15-20 minutes.

Heat some oil in a deep frying pan. Keep it at medium heat. Make sure the oil is not very hot. If the oil is  too hot, it will prevent the inside part of the Vadas from getting cooked and the outer part will only get burned.

Make small balls out of the mixture and flatten them slightly with your hands. Now slowly drop it into the heated oil. Make sure both sides get cooked properly. Take them out when it has attained golden brown in color. Enjoy !

Monday, November 7, 2011

Vegetable Biriyani

 
I have made this vegetable biriyani several times and my family and I have enjoyed it every single time that I have prepared it. So, for this year's Diwali celebration, I decided to make this Vegetable biriyani  and remembered to take some pictures so that I could share it with all of you.
Although the basic recipe is adapted from VahReVah, I have made a few changes.

INGREDIENTS:

Basmati rice - 4 cups
Cauliflower florets - 1 cup
Carrots -2
Frozen green peas - 1/2 cup
Potatoes - 2 medium sized
Beans - 1/2 cup
Red Onion - 1 medium
Green chillies - 2 or 3
Fresh coriander leaves - 1 bunch chopped
Fresh mint leaves - 1/2 bunch chopped
Fresh ginger and garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
Slivered almonds - 2 tablespoons
Cashew nuts - 2 tablespoons
Golden raisins - 2 tablespoons
Few slices of bread for croutons
Plain Yogurt  - 1 cup
Ghee - 1-2 tablespoons
Oil
Salt
A pinch of Saffron thread soaked in lukewarm milk.

Spice powders:
Turmeric - 1-2 tsp
Cayenne - 1-2 tsp
Fennel  - 1/2 tsp
Coriander - 1-2 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1-2 tsp

Whole garam masala : 1 cinnamon stick, 4 whole cardamoms, 4 cloves, 2 bay leaves, 2 star anise.

PREPARATION:
  • Wash and soak the rice for at least 30 minutes.
  • Get all the veggies ready by cutting them into big bite size pieces.
  • In a big saute pan, add the ghee, oil , the whole garam masalas ,veggies, and the ginger and garlic paste
  • When the veggies are half cooked, lower the heat and add some chopped coriander and mint leaves, slit green chillies, 1/2 cup of curd, and the spice powders (turmeric, cayenne, coriander and fennel).
  • While the veggies continue to cook, drain the soaked rice and cook it with 6 cups of water in the rice cooker. Add 1tsp of ghee, 1tsp of garam masala powder and some salt to the rice cooker.
  • Meanwhile, in a different pan, heat some ghee and roast the almonds, cashews, raisins and the bread pieces one at a time. Add some more ghee to the pan and fry the thinly sliced onions until golden brown. Keep these aside.
  • Check and see if the veggie masala is done. Now transfer half the masala to a different platter. With the fire on low, add the remaining yogurt to the masala in the pan, add some more coriander and mint leaves and some nuts.

LAYERING:
 

  •  Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a big oven proof dish, layer the bottom part with the masala left in the saute pan.
  • Top it off with the cooked rice, some nuts and raisins and some chopped coriander and mint leaves.
  • Add the remaining masala on the top and repeat the process and end it with more nuts, raisins, fried onions, croutons and sprinkle the saffron milk on the top. 
  • Cover the dish well with aluminium foil and bake for 15 minutes. Leave it in the oven for another 10-15minutes after it is switched off.
  • Transfer to a serving dish when ready to eat. It is best served with Raita and pickle.





















































Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pancakes with Blueberry syrup


  
I was on the lookout for a very simple homemade pancake mix that could be stored and used whenever we craved for some yummy pancakes. Thanks to Nigella Lawson for this finger lickin' good recipe and for getting myself and my family addicted to these light, fluffy, petite, irresistible pancakes with the mouth-watering blueberry syrup. We not only devoured plenty of these pancakes yesterday but my kids wanted these for breakfast even today. How lucky am I to have kids who could read my mind.....




Adapted from Nigella Lawson's Homemade pancakes with Blueberry syrup:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ice cream Bombe





This one was a BIG hit at my friend's birthday party yesterday, not to mention all that SPECIAL attention that I received for making this wonderful desert.


Being a huge fan of Ina Garten and after watching her Ice cream Bombe  show, I couldn't wait to grab an opportunity to make this. Yesterday's party was the perfect one for introducing this BOMBE


I loved hearing all the ooh's and aah's from everybody when they saw those vibrant colors popping out after it was sliced. 



 For making this, I used store-bought Mango, Raspberry and Soy Vanilla Sorbet and followed Ina's method..
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/ice-cream-bombe-recipe/index.html



Enjoy this DELICIOUS desert and have a fun time making this.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Maggi noodles with Tuna

  
INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 big pack containing 4 Masala Maggi noodles
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup fresh corn
  • 1 can of yellow fin tuna in olive oil
  • 1 can of white tuna in olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

PREPARATION:
 Cooking the Noodles:
 Boil some water in a pot. Add some olive oil and salt to this. When it starts bubbling, break each block of noodle into half and add it to the water. It hardly takes 2 minutes to cook the noodles. Drain and leave it in cold water.


For the Sauce:
In  a shallow pan heat 2 tsps of oil. Once it has heated, add the chopped onions. Cook until it turns translucent. Now add the tomatoes and stir them for couple of minutes. Add the corn and the taste maker that comes with the Maggi noodles packet. Add half a cup of water, mix it well and cook it for 5 minutes or until the sauce is thickened. Add the chopped coriander leaves and the drained  tuna from the can.

  
Now drain the noodles from the cold water and add it to the sauce. Slowly mix it. Be careful not to break the tuna chunks. 


Bon Appetit!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Steamed chicken in banana leaf

I was wondering what to do with all the left over banana leaves that we had got for Onam,  and remembered this amazing steamed chicken dish wrapped in banana leaves that my Uncle, who is a fabulous cook had made for me. So here I am, sharing it with all of you.


Cookery is not chemistry. It is an art. It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements.”
- Chef Marcel Boulestin

INGREDIENTS:

The recipe calls for 1 full chicken but I used 3 half breasts.

3 half breasts of chicken (cleaned and slit)
1 or 2 banana leaves
2 Onions cut into thin round slices
1 ripe tomato cut into thin round slices
2 green chillies slit lengthwise
4-5 Garlic cloves smashed
2 Potatoes cut into thin round slices
2 Carrots cut into thin round slices
Salt and pepper

PREPARATION:

Clean the chicken and make some slits. Dry it well using a tissue paper. Apply the salt and pepper to the chicken and keep it aside.

I used an Indian pressure cooker for preparing this dish. I have not tried baking it.

Switch on the stove and  hold the banana leaf  slightly above the flame and  slightly heat all  parts of the leaf. This is to prevent the banana leaf from tearing when it is folded.
Now lay the banana leaf  inside the pressure cooker and let the ends fall out.
Layer the onion, tomato, carrot,  potato slices, and the chicken on the banana leaf. Do not add any water.
Sprinkle some salt and pepper. Now close the banana leaf. I put one more piece of banana leaf on the top of this to close it properly.
 Pressure cook on a low flame for 2-3 whistles. Switch off the stove and let it sit in the cooker for few minutes before serving.

Enjoy this dish with some Lavash bread, Garlic and Ginger vinaigrette, and hot and spicy ketchup.



INGREDIENTS FOR THE VINAIGRETTE:

3-4 Garlic cloves
1/2" piece of ginger
2 Green chillies
1/4 cup of white wine vinegar
1/4 cup of Olive oil
Salt to taste

METHOD:

Using a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic cloves, ginger and green chillies. Transfer this to a bowl and add the white wine vinegar, olive oil, and salt.  Whip this well.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Cauliflower Paneer stir fry (Gobi paneer)




 

I love Cauliflower and my standard dish with it is the Aloo Gobi (Cauliflower with potatoes). But once in a while I do get quite lazy about cooking and just can't get myself to even peel a potato. Paneer really comes in handy for those lazy days.

INGREDIENTS:

1 packet of Paneer diced into 1" long slices
1 Cauliflower cut into small florets
1 tomato cut into cubes
3-4 dried red chillies
Few pinches of asafoetida powder
1/4 -1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 -1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp - coriander powder
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Chopped fresh coriander leaves for garnish
Oil
Salt to taste

PREPARATION:

Heat a shallow pan on a medium fire. Add 3-4 tsp of oil to the pan. When hot, add the cumin seeds, red chillies, and asafoetida powder. Add the Cauliflower florets, tomatoes,  and  few pinches of salt. Close this with a lid and allow it cook  for few minutes. Reduce the heat if necessary. 
Once the cauliflower is half cooked, add the spice powders (cumin, coriander, garam masala, and chilli powder) and the lemon juice. Mix them well and check the salt content. Close the lid and let it cook for a couple of minutes.  Do not add any water. If necessary, add 2 tsps of oil. Stir it slowly and do not break the florets. 
Once the oil separates and the tomatoes are cooked, add the diced paneer. Paneer needs very little time to cook. Give it  a quick stir and let it cook for a minute or so. Take it off from the heat and add the chopped fresh coriander leaves and leave the lid on. Serve this with some bread / Roti's.

Boiled Sweet Potaoes

Back home we have boiled Sweet Potaoes with chutney powder or red crushed pepper mixed with coconut oil for a snack. I got some from the Farmer's market and couldn't wait to come home and have them ASAP.




PREPARATION:
 
Clean and wash them well. Put these into a pressure cooker,  add few pinches of salt and water just enough to fill these potatoes and pressure cook them  for 1 whistle ( I use the Indian style pressure cookers). 
Switch off the fire and allow it to sit in the pressure cooker for few minutes. It usually takes one whistle. Poke them with a knife to see if they are fully cooked; if not, cook them again for another whistle. Let it cool and then peel them. Serve these with Chutney powder/ Red crushed pepper mixed with Coconut oil . Chutney powders are available in Indian grocery stores. 



Enjoy these delicious healthy Sweet Potatoes !!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chicken curry with Coriander leaves (Dhone Patta Chicken)

I was blog hopping and came across this mouth watering Bengali Chicken curry.
It was so tempting, that I ended up making this for dinner. As the name suggests, it is cooked with lots of fresh coriander leaves and therefore the gravy is very light and refreshing . 
I enjoyed having this with some hot rice.


Ingredients to marinate the chicken:

2 chicken breasts with bones
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp  ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1/4 tsp  turmeric
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder

Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and marinate it with the above ingredients. 
Leave it in the fridge for 1-2 hrs.


Ingredients for the coriander paste:

3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp of chopped ginger                                              
4 green chillies
1/3 cup of chopped coriander leaves
Some water

Blend these ingredients in a blender with very little water and keep aside.


Remaining ingredients: