Food for thought..! Ever wondered how some dishes/recipes were named.. !?! I’m sure every cuisine has some very interesting names.. Since my interaction has been the most with Indian food … Indian food does have some real bizarre names like – pasanda, navratan, jalfrezi, tikka, ragda patties etc.. whoever came up with such fancy names.. hats off! Now come the other boring names, probably named by someone who was simply caught up on a day like this where he could not just come up with anything fancy…I’m talking about the use of names like masala, fry, curry, kadai, handi, tandoori etc. The name of this dish sounds familiar huh… just like Aloo Shimla Mirchi.. I know! But I couldn’t come up with a more innovative name…! I kept racking my brains over it.. Not one of my very innovative days when it comes to naming dishes I suppose & of course not for K as well..! I asked K to try the dish & give this dish a name.. he came up with this tacky name…! I smiled & asked him if it’s all he could come up with.. he replied “I’m hungry, right now this is what I can come up with!”. I did not want to bug him more.. so I just stuck with naming it this way.. !!!
I had a huge stash of Paneer in my fridge which I had completely forgotten about… Thanks to my 3 year twin nephews who were fighting for more Paneer on their plate during our Skype Video chat, I decided I’ll cook K a paneer dish for dinner!
With all the shows on TLC I watch.. K is always drooling on the Bacon, the numerous cheese’s, pink salmon, Ham & cheese, fish & chips, .. the list goes on..! You place paneer in front of K along with some roti’s, he is happy..! K’s vegetarian happy meal formula in Indian food has to have some Paneer…!
This dish is again something I just made up on the go.. ! It tangy, sweet & sour and mildly hot… with some lovely flavour & crunch added by the green peppers/capsicum/Shimla mirchi.
This is one of the first time I tried to shoot pictures this way.. not too much on the background, a less busy picture.. Just a little bored with my usual style of photography. Hope you guys find these pictures appealing..! Change is the only constant isn’t it??!
Ingredients: (Serves 2-3 ) Preparation Time: 30 mins
Paneer – 175 gms, cubed
Onions – 2 medium-sized, finely chopped
Bay leaves – 1/2 of a medium-sized leaf, roughly torn into 2-3 pieces
Dried red chilli’s – 2, medium spicy variety, each roughly torn into 2-3 pieces
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric – a pinch
Tamarind – 1/2 of a marble-sized ball, without seeds, soak in 1/4 warm cup water & keep aside
Sugar – 1/2 tsp
Capsicum – 1 medium-sized, de-seeded and cubed
Coriander – 2 sprigs, finely chopped to garnish
Cashews – 5, soaked in 1/4 cup milk for at least 30 mins, make a paste of the cashews with the milk
Tip: Skip the Cashews if you wanna go skinny with this dish
Cooking oil – 1.5 tbsp
Salt to taste
For the fresh paste:
Tomato – 1 medium-sized, roughly chopped
Coriander – 10-12 sprigs with the stems
Green chilli’s – 1, roughly chopped
Garlic – 8 plump cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
Ginger – 1 small piece,roughly chopped
Cardamom – 3 whole
Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
Heat oil in a kadai/deep bottom fry pan. Once the oil heats up, set heat to medium. Throw in the bay leaves bits & let them sizzle. In about 30 seconds, throw in the cumin seeds & let them sizzle, do not let them turn black. Add the finely chopped onion & add some salt to help fry them quicker. Let them turn translucent.
Meanwhile, grind all the ingredients mentioned for a paste except the tomatoes. Once the rest of the ingredients have turned into a rough paste, add the tomatoes & blend to as smooth a paste as possible. Add a bit of water if required.
Squeeze the juice out of the soaking tamarind & throw the pulp away, reserving all the water.
When the onion begins to turn a light brown, add the roughly torn dried red chilli’s, mix it around. Next add the freshly ground paste along with 1 cup water. Simmer. When the sauce thickens throw in the turmeric & coriander powder. Mix it around. Let it fry for a couple of minutes. Now throw in the sugar, tamarind juice & give the sauce a good mix.
Note: Do not let the sauce burn, reduce heat & add a little water if it is too dry.
When all the raw flavours fade away add the cashew paste if you wish to add & throw in the capsicum & fry till the capsicum cooks in to a way you like it, I like a bit crunch in them so I cook them halfway.
Note: If you need some gravy in this dish, add about 1/2 cup of water before you add the capsicum. Else you can let all the water evaporate & make this a dry dish.
Lastly add the paneer cubes, mix well so that the sauce coats the paneer. Cook the paneer till tender.
Garnish with some chopped coriander.
Serve hot as an accompaniment with hot Indian breads.
Else you can make them into rolls. Add a couple of spoons of the sabji with some freshly chopped onions, coloured peppers and make yourself a roll or a wrap. :) This sounds perfect if you have just enough leftovers right?
K loves mangoes…. Just the way I love crabs.. :D. You give him a couple of mangoes & I won’t feel his presence around.. He gets lost in his own world.. We suddenly have loads of Mangoes at home.. Thanks to a friends farmhouse & K’s cousin who brought us some from a friends orchard. All seem to be ripening at the same time almost… !! Such lovely sweet mangoes cannot go a waste can they??!? Had to come up with ways to eat them in as many ways as possible..!
Instead of the usual milkshake or cut fruit with muesli or corn flakes, Pancakes seemed to be good alternative.. Been a while since we had pancakes for breakfast..! So ended up fixing some mango pancakes for breakfast..! K’s face lit up with the very sound of mango pancakes.. He loves bacon & pancakes for breakfast the American way :D.. Every time I read this combo on a menu card, I always found I quite strange, until I tried in & really liked it, a shame that I had not given this wonderful combo a shot earlier..!! Sigh..! I used the salted butter to make-do with the saltiness from the Bacon..
Yes, I know I’m on a diet & watching my calorie intake..!!! I try to make one good meal for K so that he does not have to suffer due to my diet. They smelled so heavenly that I just could not say no to them.. Just indulged in one small pancake & had my cup of green tea with it.. ! I just know how my mind tempts me, by giving me these awesome creative ideas about food just when I should not be thinking about such indulgent food..!
You see mangoes everywhere in the market. Even alphonso’s have gotten cheaper now, a carton/dozen for just 300/- which is a steal compared to buying them for 900/- for a dozen in the beginning of the season. Look at the yellow-golden pancakes screaming out at you from the pictures…! Don’t you think this recipe is worth giving a shot??!??
Ingredients: (Serves 2) Preparation Time: 20 mins
Mango pulp – from one medium-sized mango, use any sweet variety of mango
Flour – 3/4 cup
Castor sugar – 2 tbsp, use more if the mango isn’t sweet enough
Ground Cinnamon – 1/4 tsp + more to drizzle
Salt – 1/8 tsp
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Egg – 1
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Milk – 3/4 cup
Salted butter – 1 tbsp for frying
Mango cubes to serve
Sift Flour, salt & baking powder together into a measuring mug. I usually use a mug since it is easier to pour the batter on to the frypan. Add the sugar & give the ingredients a good whisk. If you like to you can add about 1/4 tsp of cinnamon here to the dry ingredients as well. I like cinnamon a lot, so I added cinnamon while preparing the batter as well. :) You can skip adding cinnamon here if you find it very overpowering.
Puree the mango pulp along with 1/2 cup of the milk, so that it is easier to puree the mango pulp. Now add the cooking oil & the egg & whisk well. If the wet ingredients seem to be too thick adjust by adding 1/4 cup of remaining milk, till a smooth runny consistency is achieved. (Remember haven’t added the dry ingredients yet so it is going to get thicker). Add the wet ingredients to the dry & fold till the dry ingredients are incorporated well. Make sure the batter is just the right consistency.
Heat your non-stick pancake pan. Set heat to low. Grease the pan with some salted butter & allow it to melt. Pour enough batter required to make a pancake on to the pan. Add some butter around the pancake & cover the pan & let the pancake cook for a couple of minutes. Remember do not increase the heat from low. Open the lid, the top of the pancake should have also cooked, else cover & cook for another minute. Do not let the underside burn. Spread some butter on top, turn the pancake upside down for about a minute. Take the pancake off heat.
Garnish with some fresh-cut mango pulp cubes with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon. I did not have any fresh whipped cream with me.
Serve the pancakes with the garnish mentioned along with some fresh whipped cream if you have some. :) Else you can serve this with some syrup & crispy bacon the American way..!!! Or serve it with some Vanilla ice-cream as a dessert.. :))
Dig in.. indulge! We can all die another day.. :)
Hummus is a very popular dip in the Middle Eastern countries made from cooked chickpeas. This essentially needs a sesame seed paste known as Tahini. There are loads of flavoured hummus available in the market. It is a super healthy dip, made of fresh/boiled ingredients with loads of olive oil.
Those of you who saw the recipe I posted yesterday would know that the Hummus recipe was coming up next. I made some homemade Tahini, as ready-made Tahini paste is hard to come by easily in India. You may find it is some exclusive stores in certain cities. Such exclusive stores which stock up of world foods is not close to the place I live, in Bangalore. Anyways it is a pretty simple recipe. One does not really need to go hunting for store-bought Tahini. It is ready in a jiffy. Check here for the – Tahini Recipe.
Now once you have Tahini ready, all you need is a can of chickpeas or you can soak a cup of chickpeas overnight & cook it till tender. The rest of the ingredients are pretty easy to find too. A small bunch of fresh coriander, juice of lemons, a few cloves of garlic, some coriander powder, extra virgin olive oil and some salt to taste… that is it.. blend them all together & your done..
Hummus is traditionally served with flatbread such as Pita or as a part of meze. It is also served as an accompaniment to falafel. You can also eat hummus with some tortilla chips & salsa, instead of the guacamole/sour cream on the side.
I always used to pick flavoured hummus tubs like – Jalapeño hummus, Thai sweet chilli hummus, Red pepper hummus etc. from stores when living in the UK & eat them with crudités or with tortilla chips. You can even eat it as it is.. Both K &I love hummus as it is, it’s really really tasty & does not actually need an accompaniment with it, just dig in & I guarantee that you will lick your fingers clean..!
Ingredients: (Serves 3) Preparation Time: 10 mins
Chickpea’s – 1.5 cups
Note: You can pre-cooked canned chickpeas, washed & drained. Else you can also soak 3/4 cup of chickpea’s overnight, throw away the water used to soak the chickpea & cook it in fresh water till tender, drain away the water and use it for this recipe.
Coriander – 1 small bunch washed & roughly chopped, reserve some chopped leaves to garnish
Note: Let the stalks be, they add a lovely flavour
Garlic cloves – 3, peeled & roughly chopped
Tahini – 1 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp of freshly squeezed juice
Extra virgin Olive oil – 3-4 tbsp or use as per required
Salt to taste
Throw in all the ingredients into a blender jar. Blend until smooth. If the hummus is dry, add some more olive oil. This is a pretty thick, shiny/glossy dip, very flavourful too. The Tahini adds a nutty feel & the lemon-coriander add its tangy bit & freshness…!
Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with some olive oil & some chopped cilantro.
Serve it as a dip with some falafel & pita bread or with some tortilla chips or with crudités.
“Its been a while..” hmmmm… while I think what to write next.. & I kept staring at “Its been a while”… it reminded me of the number by the band – Staind..! nothing to do with the mood of the song.. it’s just the name of the song!
Sadly…I have no pictures for this post.. but let me tell you.. Take my word for it.. give this recipe a shot over this weekend.. & I’m sure it will make your tummy feel good…real good..!! :D Now moving on to why there are no pics for this post… its a no brainer.. it is simple.. “It is HOT!!!” rather boiling here in Bangalore.. n when I’m done with cooking, all I want to do is head for a quick shower..! The evening showers of rain do make the days hotter..! I will get down to clicking pictures as soon as I get a chance to cook this again..!
After my fortnight long vacation in Mumbai.. the Bombay sandwiches, vada pav, sheekh kebab’s, the chicken rolls, the fish curry’s Pav bhaji etc. all that food hangs on back to me on my body like memories from the trip!..A bad simile huh??? Yup I’m the fattest ever..! Now that i’m back… my lunch is usually a large bowl of salads with some skinny dressing. A bowl of sprouts for a snack… a cup of green tea & cereals for breakfast… no more paratha’s or dosa’s for me till I shed some weight!.. Only boiled meat/fish… Dieting alone doesn’t help.. does it??? So, I have started exercising as well.. Hope to get back into shape soon.. Poor K also eats almost what I eat.. :( I knew K was craving for some good chicken curry, he was not going to tell me that since he was helping me keep up with my diet.. I thought I’d make him something that has greens..since he makes quite a fuss to eat spinach most times, I schemingly disguised & marinated the meat with a paste made of greens. When you see the curry you wouldn’t know it has greens.. A good way to make your family eat some greens I must say :D.
My head was going to burst thinking of a name to call this curry, this is something that just made its way into my mind.. The ingredients just blended so well that I knew I had to post it with the stupidest name that I come up with.. Since I have used vinegar in this curry and vinegar is abundant in the Goan cuisine.. I decided to call this the “Greens marinated Chicken curry with a Goan twist”… :D
Ingredients: (Serves 3-4) Preparation Time: 30 mins (Marination time not included)
Chicken – 500 gms, curry cut, skinless, washed & drained; You can use 400 gms of boneless chicken cut into chunks/strips.
For the Chicken Marinade:
Palak/Spinach – a small bunch, washed & drained
Garlic – 5-6 plump cloves, peeled & roughly chopped
Coriander leaves – 5-6 sprigs, washed & drained
Mint leaves – 10 – 12 medium-sized leaves
Cashews – 4-5 whole, soaked in about 50ml water
Freshly crushed black peppercorns – 1/4 tsp
Vinegar – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
For the curry:
Mace – 1/4 of a whole flower
Cloves – 4 whole
Cinnamon – 1/2 inch piece
Bay leaf – 1 small leaf roughly torn
Green Cardamom – 4 small, roughly crushed
Onion – 2 medium-sized, finely chopped
Tomatoes – 2, medium-sized, finely chopped
Ginger – 1 inch piece, finely minced
Sugar – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Coriander powder – 1.5 tsp
Cumin powder – 3/4 tsp
Red Chilli powder – 1/2 – 3/4 tsp
Freshly crushed black peppercorns – 1/4 tsp
Vinegar – 1 – 1.5 tsp
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Ghee/Clarified butter – 1.tbsp
Salt to taste
Make a fine paste using all the ingredients mentioned for the marinade. Liberally coat the washed chicken pieces with the freshly made marinade of greens. Let the chicken marinate for at least 40 mins covered in the refrigerator.
When the chicken has marinated, chop & prep all the rest of the ingredients. Heat oil & clarified butter together in a kadai/deep bottom fry pan. When hot add the dry spices – mace, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, green cardamom. Maintain heat at medium. Let the spices let out their flavour into the oil for a minute or two. Add the chopped onions & throw in a pinch of salt to help fry the onions quicker. Fry till the onions turns translucent. Add the ginger in & fry for a couple of minutes. Now add all the spice powders – turmeric, coriander , cumin, red chilli powder. Mix well & let them fry for a couple of minutes. Next add the chopped tomatoes & toss them around till they begin to loosen up. By now the raw flavours of the spice powders should begin to fade away. Add the vinegar, mix. Add the sugar, I love to add some sugar in some curry’s because it just takes the flavours to another level.Throw in the marinated chicken pieces along with any left over marinade. Mix well. Add a cup of water, salt to taste, mix well. When the water begins to bubble add the crushed black peppercorns, mix well & simmer. Let the chicken cook & absorb all the flavours.
Note: You don’t need to add water if you want to make this a dry dish.
Check on the dish once in every 5 minutes. Add more water if required. Once the chicken is tender, turn off the heat.
Garnish with chopped coriander if you wish to.
Serve hot with bread, steamed rice, chapati’s, roti’s idli’s; basically anything that you can gobble a good chicken curry with. :D
I did indulge in a bit of the curry with a slice of bread..! Couldn’t stop my nose from sending signals to my brain about wanting the curry. My brain just gave up when the signals kept bombarding it! hehehhe… ! An extra 10 minutes of exercise hmmmph.. !
If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Karuveppilai/kadipatta/curry leaves chicken……, Winters setting in… Cloudy Chicken soup with Thai flavours., Chicken Stew – Kerala Style , Chicken Puli Munchi/Chicken in Tangy Hot curry- Mangalorean style etc.
People loved the Momo’s post so much that they also wanted me to post the dip to go with it. I do relish the tomato dip that the dimsums or the momo’s are usually served wit but like I said in my previous post, a friend introduced me to eating them with some soy sauce & it just took these momo’s to a completely new level altogether.. The saltiness from the soy sauce perfectly balanced the kinda bland momo to result in a perfect wedding of the two. But then again I had to innovate, why use a just some plain boring soy sauce out of a bottle.. ???? Why not make it a wee bit more flavourful & interesting….
If you missed the momo’s post, scroll down to the recipe right after this post on my homepage, else here is the link - Momo’s recipe.
This dip is very aromatic, once you mix it up & keep aside for the flavours to blend, your nose won’t let you concentrate on anything else. It is so magnetic that it draws you towards it. Don’t blame me if you get addicted to this dip.. !!!!
So here you go.. my soy-chilli dip… Pictures will be uploaded when I get down to preparing the dip & the momo’s to go with them.. that should be really soon.. :D.
Ingredients: (Serves 2-3) Preparation Time: 5 mins
Dark Soy sauce – 2 tbsp
White Vinegar – 1 tsp
Green Chilli – 1 small, finely chopped
Ginger – 1/4 inch piece, finely minced
Garlic – 1 small clove, finely minced
Sugar – 1/8 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/8-1/4 tsp, as you please
Honey – 1/4 tsp,
Coriander leaves – 1 sprig, finely chopped
Tip: Add more honey or sugar if your dip is too hot for your taste
Take a small mixing bowl & add all the ingredients together & mix well. Cover & set aside for 15 minutes, so that the flavours blend in well.
Note: Taste & check seasoning. I did not need to add any salt. Depends on the brand of soy sauce you use, most soy sauces are salty. If it is too hot for you, add some more honey or sugar. If you want it hot then add some more red chilli powder or more chopped green chilli’s.
You can garnish with 1/2 tsp sesame oil if you have some.
Serve with your favourite Chinese starters like – spring rolls, wanton’s, steamed or deep-fried dumplings etc.
Allison from the food blog – Spontaneous Tomato had a post on Nepali momo’s a while back. I’m a sucker for dumplings. I can eat them for breakfast, lunch, snack & dinner. Sigh no one serves dumplings for breakfast in restaurants :(. I have been on the quest to find that perfect recipe to prepare the wrappers for the momo’s at home from a while now. I have tried at least half a dozen recipes out but never could I master the art of preparing the wrappers just like how they are supposed to be. When Allison posted her recipe, I was way too tempted to try it out because her method was different from the way I have ended up making wrappers earlier. The previous recipe’s I tried always left me with thick wrappers, the wrappers themselves filled me up that I did not prefer to eat more than a couple of them.. :(.
I’m sure no one needs an introduction to this dish. If you do, then I have to say Oh My Goodness, you have clearly missed something wonderful all these years of your existence..! Really???….. what were you busy with???? Just like many other quick eats you can grab from street stalls (Pani Puri or other chat’s, sweet corn, Frankie’s, sandwiches etc.), you find small stalls for steamed momo’s in the streets of most popular cities in India. They serve yummy dumplings too. But indulge only if your tummy works well with street food.
It has been in the back of my mind. I even promised Allison that I would give her recipe a try. She has a lovely blog with truckloads of recipe’s. She made a wonderful tomato based dip for her recipe. I opted to create a soy-based sauce for my dumplings. I halved her recipe & made some changes to suit my taste buds. You can check her recipe out at her blog – recipe link. I can’t thank her enough for helping me find my prefect dumpling wrapper making method. :)
You will see more pics for this recipe post the next time I make them. For now you have to do with pics clicked via my phone. I just have a couple of pics.
Don’t the dumplings look so glossy & lovely?? Rather, they look perfect don’t they :D. So inviting & they give you a perfect sneak peek into their contents??? You will say so too and never look at ordering a plate of momo’s or dumplings the next time you visit your fav haunt for them & begin trying out other starter options :D. I’ll give myself a pat on my shoulder since I finally mastered it.. :D. The gloss is not from oil.. it just comes out naturally.. Again another shocker.. isn’t it?? these are oil free too.. ! The only draw-back is that they are made of All purpose flour or maida. Oh well.. you can’t have such yummy tasting food without there being a single flaw in it can you…?? Wish wheat could have been a more accommodating flour.. Let us start with our stairway to Heaven.. ;)
Ingredients for the wrappers : (Makes 25 – 30) Preparation Time: 60 mins (Excludes time for the dough resting)
All purpose flour/Maida – 1 + 1 cup,
Hot steaming water – 3/4 cup
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Take a heat proof mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of the flour to the bowl. Add 1/4 salt & whisk to mix the salt & flour well. Make a well in between & add the hot water. Using a spatula, mix the water & the flour together.
Note: Remember the water is hot, do not add your hand in.
Once the dough gets lumpy add the other cup of flour. Continue mixing with the spatula. Try to handle the dough with your hand once it has cooled down & it is warm enough to be handled by hand.
Lightly flour your counter & transfer the dough over the floured surface. Knead your dough to a smooth ball. Say, takes about 4-5 minutes. Add flour little by little if required.
Let the dough rest in a clean bowl, cover the bowl with a wet cloth to prevent the dough from drying up. Let the dough rest for at least an hour.
After an hour, make small marble or gooseberry sized balls out of the dough. Lightly flour your counter & roll the small balls into round shaped flat breads. Roll it as thin as possible.
Now fill the centre with your favourite kind of stuffing with minced meat, veggies or a mix of both. I used a veggie mix. Continue reading for my mix-veg filling.
Mix-Veggie filling for Momo’s/Dumplings:
Ingredients: (Fills 25-30 dumplings) Time: 10-15 mins
Cabbage leaves – 4-5 medium-sized leaves
Shallots – 15, peeled Note: Use a medium-sized red onion if you do not have shallots, roughly chop it into cubes.
Garlic – 5 cloves
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Tip: Please do not use store-bought Ginger-Garlic paste as a substitute for fresh ginger & garlic for this recipe. You might as well give up trying this recipe out if you only have store-bought paste with you.
Coriander leaves – 5-6 fresh sprigs, with stalk
Spring onions – 2 whole with the with the greens, peel the onion bulb & roughly chop them
Carrot – 1 medium-sized, peeled & cut into cubes
Green Chilli’s – 2 medium-sized, stalk removed
Mushrooms (optional) – 5-6, washed & drained. I skipped using mushrooms as I did not have any.
Grated Cheddar Cheese (optional) – If you love your dumplings with cheese, go ahead, mix about a cup of grated cheese to your veggie-mix
Salt to taste
For the meat variant: If you wish to add some meat, then leave out the carrot, mushrooms out of the veggie mix & add some pre-cooked mince of your favourite meat to the rest of the ingredients once they are chopped in a food processor.
Throw all these ingredients mentioned, other than the salt into a food processor & finely chop this ingredients together. Transfer the chopped ingredients into a bowl, season with salt. Check if you want to add a wee bit crushed black pepper.
Note: Do not add salt if you don’t plan to begin making the dumplings right away. The salt releases the water from the veggies & will make it soggy. So, add salt just about 5 minutes before you begin rolling the dough to make small circular dics.
I was not planning to post this recipe this soon on the blog, so I did not click pictures of the making. :( I ended up posting some pics clicked via my phone on Instagram & FaceBook & I had requests to post the recipe. So bear with me till I make this dish again for more detailed pics.
Let us continue with adding the filling to the rolled flour discs. Place a 2 tsp or lesser amount of the prepared filling in the centre of the disc. (The quantity of the filling used depends on how big/small a disc you have rolled). Now slowly bring together the edges together just like a money bag or in other traditional momo/dumpling shapes like I have.
Yes, no oil at all. Isn’t that just brilliant. So you can indulge, it is really ok if you gobble up some all-purpose flour covered steamed vegetable goodness.
I used a traditional dumpling steamer. So I did not need to oil it. If you are using a stainless steel steamer, you may need to grease it before you place your momo/dumplings in it to cook.
Being about a litre of water to a boil, simmer & place you steamer or top. Make sure that your steamer does not touch the water. So choose your vessel carefully. Similar to any double boiling method you have used.
Prepare just about 4-5 dumplings per batch (Unless you have a steamer that is used to feed giants.. I’m kidding I’m sure you won’t own a steamer enough to feed 4 people at the same time unless you run a restaurant. :D). Never crowd the steamer. We need to let the steam circulate well to help cook the dumplings. Steam each batch for about 8-10 minutes or till the dumplings come off the base of the steamer easily (Use a silicone spatula to turn to check if they are done), usually the top turns translucent letting you see whats filled when they are ready. Again only if you have rolled the discs real thin will the wrapper turn translucent when ready.
Note: 1. Don’t use your hand to pick the dumplings out if the steamer is still on the vessel producing the steam, you may burn yourself. 2. Also keep checking on the water & re-filling it, if all the water evaporates, then the vessel will start imparting a burnt flavour to the momo’s.
Repeat the same process to prepare & steam more dumplings.
Serve hot with your favourite dip.
A friend introduced me to eating my dumplings with soy sauce. I loved that variant so much that I wanted to create a lovely soy based dip to accompany my dumplings. Click the link for my soy-based dip recipe.
Hiya, hope alls been well with all of you, I would like to share some awesome news with all of you, my recipe for Shahi Paneer has been nominated to be one among the best 200 recipe’s for Shahi Paneer recipe’s on the internet. The recipe with the maximum number of votes will be chosen as the winner. Here is the link. My recipe is randomly positioned at No.29, do cast your vote if you think I deserve the vote. :).
A few days after we moved, K’s aunt – Geetha Atte (Atte in Kannada refers to Dad’s sister) had asked us to come over for breakfast. I would not have accepted the offer if she did not live close-by ;). Breakfast has always been one of the areas I need to work on. Not being a morning person has some advantages like – You can sleep longer. Have eggs for a quick breakfast & minimise your morning dishes.. :D. All this works when your just a couple I guess. So all you guys out there with kids would be cursing me as they have early morning hustle bustle & enormous amounts of cooking & dirty dishes in the sink. When it comes to disadvantages, there are loads, I have no time for an elaborate breakfast. Breakfast dishes which require a lot of prepping up are a big No No! Before you are done with breakfast you need to begin thinking about lunch :(.
Ah well back to the breakfast invite. When we went over to Geetha Atte’s house, she was ready with the batter for Rotti (Rotti is a savoury pancake in Karnataka). When she asked us if we were ready to have hot rotti’s, I thought she was referring to the traditional Akki Rotti (A recipe I posted a while back in the blog), the usual rotti prepared for breakfast by people from Karnataka. When she was preparing the rotti in the kitchen, the aroma that filled the house was very different from the one you usually fills the air when you prepare Akki Rotti. Different people prepare akki rotti with different veggies, I thought maybe she was using something different from the veggies I had tried before in Akki rotti. When she served us the rotti, I was surprised looking at the colour & texture as it did not look anything like akki rotti & nor did it taste like it. When I asked her what it was, she explained that it was just like akki rotti, made of semolina instead of rice flour & instead of water to bind the ingredients together, she uses tender cucumber juice. Then I figured that the rotti did have a subtle flavour of cooked cucumbers. All in all really yummy. She made really large rotti’s & I ended up eating 2 of them, I simply loved them.
I have been meaning to prepare this at home since that day & share the recipe with all of you. The recipe is quite similar to Akki Rotti & served with chutney, thokku, chutney pudi or pickle of your choice. Today happened to be that day.. :D. K likes the rotti’s thin & crispy. You can make them thicker too but these tend to get kinda heavy on the tummy; you have one & your done with your breakfast, so we prefer it thinner, so that we can eat a couple of them each. Well I don’t really know if this dish frequents in other Kannadiga’s kitchen’s, but for me it was a real catch.
The reason I have been playing Hide & Seek through my blog is because I have finally taken a step to being an Entrepreneur, I have been busy working out things & have started my Home Baking venture called “Floured”. :) I’m all excited & have been baking & packing the orders :D. Do wish me luck guys..! I promise to post as often as I can on Keli Paan, I won’t forget my first baby!!.
Ingredients: (Serves 2-3) Preparation Time: 30 mins
Fine Semolina/ Rava – 1.5 – 2 cups, You do not need pre-roasted rava for this.
Onion – 1 medium-sized, finely chopped
Carrot – 1 medium-sized, skin off & grated
Onion greens – 2-3 stalks, finely chopped. Note: you can use Spring onions greens as well.
Cucumber – 1 medium-sized, peeled. Note: make sure you have one with real tender seeds, else the large seeds will make the juice grainy
Green chilli’s – 3 medium-sized, slit & fine chopped into bits
Coriander leaves – 4-5 sprigs, finely chopped
Cumin seeds – 1 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Freshly Grated coconut (optional) – 2 tbsp,
Cooking oil – as per need
Salt to taste
Take a medium-sized mixing bowl & add the chopped onions, grated carrot, chopped onion greens, coriander, green chilli’s, cumin seeds, asafoetida & salt to taste. Mix well. Keep aside. Let the onion sweat & let out some water.
Roughly chop the peeled cucumber & blend it to a smooth paste. Do not add any water.
Note: 1. If you could not find a tender cucumber for this, make sure scoop out the seeds & throw them away, before you blend.
2. Geetha Atte says you can even grate the cucumber, but she prefers the convert it to juice.
Mix the juice along with the other ingredients & also add 1.5 cups of rava/semolina & the grated coconut if you wish to add. (I did not choose to add grated coconut). Mix well. Check if you need to add some more salt. We need a easy to handle dough. Not too dry & not too wet. If there is too much water in there, add some more semolina till you achieve a consistency which is easy to handle. Those of you who are familiar with akki rotti will know what I’m talking about.
Divide the dough into 4-5 equal portions. Take a tava or a pancake pan & spread one portion of the dough evenly around on the tava, using your fingertips. Spread it as thick or thin, it is completely upto your preference.
Place the tava on the stove & turn on the heat to medium. Sprinkle some drops of oil around just like you do when preparing a Dosa or a pancake. Cover & cook. Check after 2-3 minutes. Add some more oil if required. Cook till the rotti/pancake starts to separate away from the pan or starts to brown from the bottom. Turn over, cover & cook for another minute.
Take the lid off & transfer the rotti to a plate.
Tips: If you are using a non-stick coated tava then I suggest you have 2 tava’s when you plan to prepare this. After you take out one rotti, you will need to cool the tava back to room temperature. Else you will not be able to spread the dough & there are chances you will burn your fingertips.
Serve hot with your favourite accompaniment. We usually eat Rotti’s with chutney, thokku, chutney pudi or pickle.
1. No turmeric in here. Don’t think I forgot to mention it in the ingredient list. The slight yellow hue is from the grated carrots.
2. Never spread the rotti on a hot tava, You will end up burning your fingertips & plus it is a waste of time as you will not be able to spread the dough around.
3. You will need another tava at room temperature to prep up for the next rotti. Basically you need time to cool the one that is come off the heat & prep it again for its turn while the other one is on heat.
If you are looking for the akki rotti recipe on my blog – Akki Rotti/Savoury Rice Pancakes from Karnataka.
If you are looking for recipe’s for an accompaniment – Chutney’s & Thokku.
Experimenting should be my middle name, Oh well, that’s a lame one, don’t we all experiment with food?? Yes, of course we do. Now what made me experiment with strawberries & yogurt?? What could one possibly do when one ends up with half a litre of sourish yogurt & sour strawberries..? :( I did not have enough strawberries to make jam out of it, then again I would need to use the yogurt in another recipe. I was looking to do something with both together. I don’t like to throw away food, you would know that about me if you have been following my posts. If the food is still edible, why throw it away? If the person who had ended up with curdled milk had not experimented then we would have never known what cheese was all about. :) Enough of my lectures, I don’t want to bore you.
This is a very simple yet yummy raita. Will be ready in a jiffy. Just pick up some sour strawberries, a few basil leaves, 1 cup of sour yogurt (Do not worry if you do not have sour yogurt, use just natural yogurt). Any chilli of your choice to spice it up, honey to balance the sourness & some toasted sesame seeds for garnishing. A blend of fresh flavours.. best served chilled.
A rare day today for Keli Paan, rare because it has been ages since I did two posts on the blog. It is february & all my recent posts have been had loads of red in the ingredients or the photos.. :D. But I’m not that sorts who believes in celebrating one day for love..!
Ingredients: (Serves 2) Preparation Time: 5 mins
Yogurt – Sour preferably, else Natural is fine, I used homemade
Strawberries – 4-5 medium-sized
Honey – 1 tbsp to balance or kill the sourness
Fresh Red chilli – 1, medium-spicy, slit, de-seeded
Basil leaves – 3, roughly torn
Sesame seeds – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Toast the sesame seeds in a small fry pan and keep aside. Wash & hull the strawberries.
Add the yogurt to a blender & blend it well to make it smooth. If you are adventurous like me add the chilli along with the basil & blend it again till the chilli’s & basil get minced. Next add the strawberries & blend just for about 10 seconds. I wanted small pieces of strawberries to chew on in the raita.
Tip: If you do not wish to blend the strawberries then, you can chop them finely & add.
Add some salt to season & add the chilli if you have not blended it earlier with the yogurt like I did.
I made 2 batches of these today, with 2 different types of chilli’s. One version with dried red chilli’s & another version with a small piece of minced scotch bonnet chilli’s. The first version was not hot, whereas the one with the Scotch bonnet chilli’s was hot. So you can choose what type of chilli you want to use. Go ahead with some freshly ground peppercorns if you wish to or a pinch of ground red chilli powder/paprika/cayenne pepper powder.
Note: If you are making this for your kids, you can add just a pinch of the chilli & a wee bit more honey.
Garnish with the toasted sesame seeds just before you serve for that nutty crunch in the raita.
Serve as a side with any Pilaf or biryani.
Or eat it just as is for a snack just like I did.. :D On a day like today, this was perfect to beat the heat off..!
You know how cleaning up prawns is… I was so caught up with half a kilo of prawn cleaning today that I completely lost track of time,hunger began to creep in, had no lunch ready, a glance at the wall clock, it read thirty past two. K was home, I had to put together a quick lunch. I took a frantic look around my kitchen (my morning plans of preparing some basa fish curry would not hold good for now) & my eyes fell on small pile of garlic, since I bake a lot these days, we never run out of butter at home. My mind went racing & I literally put 2 & 2 together. ;) Craving for some butter garlic prawns instantly began :D. I chided myself!I was late, I did not have any time for starters & then get into cooking a main course. Sigh!
If I want to eat something, I will not rest till I have had it. I put on my thinking cap. The next thought that hit my mind was Pasta! I stock up a lot of pasta as well ;). It for sure will be yummy, no second thoughts when it comes to butter, garlic, prawns & spaghetti together!! That is wee story that gave life to this recipe :). K digs Pasta & prawns, it knew he will thoroughly enjoy this recipe.
This recipe does not have a sauce, it is more of a creamy buttery garlicky glaze to the spaghetti when ready. Do I see lip smacks?? ;) Well I sure did make your lip smack, come on admit it. :) This super quick & yummy recipe is a keeper for sure. You can wow your guests the next time you have a brunch or a lunch party at home.
Ingredients: (Serves 2) Preparation Time: 15 – 20 mins
Prawns – 14 medium-sized prawns, tail on, cleaned (de-veined) & drained
Spaghetti – 150 gms
Garlic – 8-10 medium-sized cloves, finely chopped
Butter – 1 tbsp, use salted/unsalted, your choice
Fresh cream – 1.5 tbsp
Coriander leaves – 2 sprigs, finely chopped
Crushed black pepper – 1 tsp
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp (To cook the spaghetti)
Salt to taste
Bring pot of water to a boil. Add enough salt to the water. Add the cooking oil. Cook till al dante or as per the instructions on the pack.
While the spaghetti is around 3-4 minutes into cooking, melt butter in a saucepan. Add the finely chopped garlic, lower heat to medium. Let the garlic flavour induce into the butter. Do not let the garlic change colour. Add the prawns after a minute. Sprinkle some salt to taste (Remember the spaghetti is already cooking in salty water, if you have used salted butter then add accordingly).
Once the prawns turn white on both sides, add the cream & mix well. Throw in 1/4 tsp of the freshly ground black pepper. Meanwhile, check on the spaghetti. Drain, reserve about 4-5 tbsp of the pasta water (For use just in case the pasta dries up). Throw in the cooke spaghetti. Mix well till the butter & cream sauce just glazes the spaghetti. Turn off the heat.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves & 1/2 tsp of crushed black pepper.
Serve with the leftover black pepper & wedges of lime, if you want to add a citrus twist.
Accompany this with a glass of wine that you like :).
We enjoyed this a lot. Do drop your comments if you happen to try this recipe. :)
Baking some biscuits has been on my to-do list since a very long time. I’m not a biscuits lover, so this never got done until last week. I’m a wee bit late in posting this, I was out-of-town for a cousin’s wedding.
I baked a huge lot of these biscuits for all my cousins & carried them along. All loved it, now mum wants me to make her some sugar-free ones & my FIL wants a savoury version of them. This is enough encouragement for me to bake more of these.
Since Valentines is around the corner, I decided to bake them in heart shapes. K was happy that I was finally putting the cookie cutters to use ;). He loves to have rusk/mathri/biscuits with his chai, so it worked out well for him. Who doesn’t love a batch of home-baked biscuits ;).
Raagi is very popular in Karnataka. Raagi as it is referred, yes with an extra “A” is usually eaten in the form of Ragi balls called as Raagi Mudde in Kannada. It is the staple diet of many Kannadigas (People who belong to one of the Southern State of India – Karnataka) living in the rural areas. Raagi mudde is usually prepared by cooking the flour with water to generate a dough like consistency & then rolled into balls of desired sizes. Mudde is smashed or broken into smaller pieces, swallowed after dipping it in one of these accompaniments – Sambhar, ghee, chicken/mutton curry, huli (a sour curry with tamarind) etc. Hmmm yes, swallowed & not chewed. I have never had raagi mudde ever. But I do hear from the people who have that it is pretty tasty.
Ragi is very nutritious. A porridge made of raagi flour with milk & sugar is fed to babies as an alternative to the store-bought Cerelac or the likewise. Ragi is known to keep the body cool. Hence consumed a lot in hot, dry areas of Karnataka. It is often used to prepare rotti, very similar to an old post of mine called Akki Rotti & consumed for breakfast. In Kerala, the famous putty is also made using ragi flour.
Lately, Ragi has shot to fame in the urban areas because of its high nutritional value (rich in calcium & iron). Now you often find Ragi sevvaiya/semiya, biscuits etc. in the market. Ragi malt is also popular.
These cookies are Gluten free, so these are just perfect for those who need a new variation in gluten-free biscuits. The cookies last for a week when stored in air-tight containers.
Ingredients: Preparation Time: 60 mins
Ragi flour – 320 gms
Unsalted Butter – 100 gms (Room Temperature)
Confectioners Sugar – 150 gms
Egg yolks – 2, You can substitute the egg yolks with 1 tbsp corn flour dissolved in 2 tbsp of water.
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Sift together the ragi flour, salt & keep aside.
Cream together the softened butter & sugar in an electric mixer. Add the yolks & vanilla extract. Mix till the egg blends in well. Add the sifted flour & salt mixture. Mix till you get a firm dough to work with.
Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees Celsius or 400 degree Fahrenheit.
Roll the dough into 1/2 cm thick sheets. If you find it easier, roll between 2 sheets of butter paper. Now cut to desired shapes using cookie cutters. Remove the extra bits of flour & transfer back to the remaining dough.
Note: The ragi dough is usually crumbly. You need some extra patience to work with this dough.
Bake the cookie shapes in the centre of the oven for 8-10 minutes or till done.
Tip : You will see that the cookies puff up a bit, so leave enough space between each cookie.
Repeat the process till you have consumed all the dough.
These biscuits are very crisp. The texture is a little powdery.
Tip: If you wish to, you can substitute Ragi flour with All purpose flour.