Oh my..!!! look whose back??!!?? is what most of you people may say..! After my disappearing act.. I know right!! I have been pretty busy with my baking venture “Floured” that I hardly had time to feed myself anything new or prepare something worth blogging. Even if I did manage & squeeze some time out for something new, I did not have the time to write a post forget clicking pictures of the same. Sorry again for my absence, I promise I’ll try & post at least a couple of recipes a week.
By the way, I don’t think I have mentioned my Pet Dog Sherlock here in the blog. He is an Indian streetie we adopted a while back. A very adorable & attention seeking one! He always wants to know what I’m up to. So clicking behind closed doors was a big no no. He would begin to scratch the door wanting to be let in. Sherlock is an apt name for him. I’m sure most of you know dogs or any pets when it comes to food, they always want a some of it even when it’s not their food. That is another reason I really couldn’t blog, I had to wait for him to grow older so that he understands & adjusts to my blogging life.
Even today as I was setting up the scene for the pictures & clicking away, he kept staring at me from his mat wondering & giving me those “Now what is this new thing your up to” kind of looks. More stories of Sherlock will follow in my newer posts. 🙂
I realised how much I missed blogging. My creative streak was fading away. My favourite way of talking to so many of you following my blog was dying out.. I had to bring it back to life! I’m a chatterbox & for someone of my chit chatting calibre, a work from home job was leaving me with so much left unsaid. I do keep blabbering to Sherlock who listens patiently for a bit & then shows me his ass & walks away.
I have been trying to get my hands on a part-time job which is interesting & creative. Sigh nothing of my interest came by. I do have spare time at times which can allow me to do a part-time job. That’s when I realised I should get back to blogging while I can. Even if they are simple everyday recipes. So many of my quick impromptu recipes were getting lost because I had forgotten to jot them down.
Lets move on before I forget that I need to write my recipe & not chat! This is a simple & everyday recipe you can try as an accompaniment for Roti’s or rice. Its a dry dish so I suggest you also prepare some dal/gravy to go along with it.
Ingredients: (Serves 2) Time Required: 25 mins
Raw Banana – 1 large, skin peeled roughly using a peeler. Cut the raw banana into quarter circles or in any way you wish.
Tip: Remember not to chop the banana well in advance. They get oxidised & begin to turn black as time passes by.
Note: I like to leave some green bits on the banana as it has lots of nutritional value.
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp
Spit black gram – 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig, say about 10-12 leaves
Onion – 1 medium-sized, chopped
Tomatoes – 1 medium-sized, chopped
Garlic – 2-3 plump cloves, crushed roughly using a pestle
Green Chilli’s – 1, slit
Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp, use more if you want to pep up the dish
Coriander powder – 1.5 tsp
Tumeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala powder – 1/2 tsp (I used the Badshah garam masala powder)
Cooking Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a kadai set at medium heat. Once the oil is hot add the mustard seeds & let them splutter. Next add the cumin seeds & let them splutter too. Now add the split black gram. Once the gram turns a light brown, add the slit green chilli & sauté it for a minute so that the spice from the chilli enters the oil. Throw in the curry leaves.
Chopped onions go in next. Once the onions turn translucent, add the turmeric, coriander & red chilli powder. Mix well. In a couple of minutes after adding the spice powders, add the tomatoes & sauté them for a minute or two. Throw in the crushed garlic bits & sauté for a minute. Now, add the garam masala powder & the chopped raw Banana pieces. Mix well so that the raw banana pieces get coated well with the onion-tomato mixture. Add salt to taste along with about 50 ml water, simmer, cover & cook till done.
Garnish with some additional curry leaves if you wish.
Serve hot as an accompaniment with hot steamed rice & dal or with Roti & dal.
If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Kale Koddel/ Raw plantain in a tangy coconut curry…, Peppery Raw plantain sabji…, The Versatile Aloo/Potato Bhaji – South Indian style, Easy Potato fry/ Aloo fry, Taro/Arbi/Alva Manda Masala Stir Fry etc.
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?
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.
All that I can remember when I eat this is secretly stashing my lunch-bag packed for school with some raw mangoes that fell from our Mango tree during the season. We had two lovely, huge Mango trees at home. “HAD” Sad but true, one very close to the gate & it fell one nasty stormy night blocking the road in front of out house & we lost electricity as it brought down the electricity pole along with it. We had to sit in darkness for almost for a couple of days till the power lines were restored. Sadly the other one had to be cut down 4-5 yrs after the first one fell because of old age.
I went to school with a bunch of other kids on an auto-rickshaw. Singing, eating & chattering all the way. Was so much of fun. We were a bunch belonging to different classes. I lived like 10 km away from school. But thoroughly enjoyed jumping into the auto rickshaw & having a ball. 🙂 Yes, coming back to my stash of raw mangoes in the lunch bag, as few of my classmates went home for lunch I would hand it over to them & ask them to mix it up with the required ingredients to prepare this or just ask them to chop it up into wedges & pack some salt & red chilli powder & pack it back to class. Afternoon sessions were then fun… the box with the raw mangoes & the masala were passed around carefully during class & we would devour all of it till we licked our fingers clean. I was allowed to eat this only once in a while as an overdose can make you sick.. Oh such fun days those were, first the secret picking from the ground since mum wouldn’t approve eating too much of it, she would let me carry some approvingly maybe once a fortnight, but then the girls in class would demand for some almost every couple of days :)).
This is something that takes me down memory lane.. such warm & fond memories :))) This is easily available in small carts in and around Mangalore & small towns around Mangalore when it is the mango season. It is a very popular snack loved by people from all age groups. Many refer to this recipe as an instant mango pickle. It tastes just like a pickle because it has all the similar flavours other than excess oil & salt.
Ingredients: (Serves 2) Preparation Time: 5 mins
Raw Mango – Use the variety you like, I always preferred my home-grown variety but now I usually use Totapuri variety.
Tip: Use a variety that isn’t too sour. Raw mangoes which are just beginning to ripen also taste good as they add a lovely sweetness to the sour & the hot recipe.
Asafoetida – a pinch
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp, adjust according to you taste
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Sambar powder – 1/2 tsp
Coconut oil – 1 tsp, adds an authentic touch, if you can’t consume coconut oil then add some extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
You can grate or finely chop the raw mangoes. Throw away the kernel & the fibrous covering around the kernel. Throw the chopped or grated raw mango into a bowl, add all the spice powders, asafoetida, salt & oil. Give contents of the bowl a good mix. Dig in to the bowl to check & adjust the salt & spice. That is it your done.. 🙂
If you have some patience, cover the bowl & let the raw mango pieces absorb the salt & other flavours.
Serve as is, as a side or as a snack.
A simple dish, yet so flavourful. This is something I have been meaning to post from a long time. Baby potatoes are a favourite in our kitchen. They have a very distinct sweet flavour & they are just so silky smooth in this curry… A definite must try for all potato & Indian curry lovers. So easy to prepare but, the time taken is a wee longer compared to other curry’s, but then if you are looking for a good curry then you better not complain. Try it out once & it will frequent your kitchen very often then on.
Indulging in a curry with some cashews as the base is not a sin..! Every once in a while you do need to pamper yourself with a rich curry. Look at the brighter side – there is no butter, cream or cheese.. its healthier since you are adding some curd/yogurt. But please don’t go skinny on the yogurt too, else you are going to destroy the dish.
A typical dish from the Northern state of India – Punjab. You can’t say no to Punjabi curry’s can you?? A very staple recipe from a Punjabi family’s house. You will find loads of recipe’s for this dish over the internet. This is the way I make it at home. Being a friday post, hope this gives you an opportunity to try this dish out over the weekend. A true delight & you will never order this at an Indian restaurant again, since you will master this at home with this recipe. 😀
Ingredients: (Serves 3-4) Preparation Time: 45 mins
Baby potatoes – 22-25, washed
Cinnamon – 1/2 inch piece
Green Cardamom – 2 cloves
Cashews – 10-12 whole
Cloves – 3-4 whole
Bay leaves – 1 medium-sized leaf, torn into 3-4 pieces
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
Asafoetida – 2 pinches
Ginger – 1 inch piece, roughly chopped
Garlic – 5-6 cloves, peeled & roughly chopped
Onion – 1 large, roughly chopped
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder/Dried Kashmiri Chilli’s – 1 tsp/4-5; Alter according to your palate as the spices used will also make the dish hot
Fresh curd/Natural yogurt – 3/4 cup
Kasuri Methi/Dried Fenugreek leaves – 1 tbsp, crushed between your palms
Sugar – 1 tsp
Coriander leaves (Optional) – 1-2 sprigs, finely chopped
Cooking oil – 1/2 tsp + 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Take a small fry pan & dry roast the spices – cloves, cumin, coriander seeds, cinnamon along with the cashews. If you have Kashmiri chilli’s add them too (i.e. if you plan to use dried chilli’s instead of the store-bought powder). Maintain heat at medium. Do not burn the spices. Roast them till the aroma of all the roasting spices fills up your nose & they begin to slightly change in colour. Turn the heat off. Keep aside to cool.
Bring about a litre of water to a boil in a pressure cooker. Add generous amount of salt to the water for the baby potatoes to absorb some. Add the washed baby potatoes. When the water begins to bubble, cover with the lid & cook for 10 minutes with the cooker weight on, at medium heat. Turn off the heat & let the cooker cool. It is perfectly fine if the cooker does not blow its whistle at all.
Meanwhile, when the potatoes are cooking away, transfer the dry roasted spices & cashews to a blender jar & powder them to a fine powder. Keep it aside.
If the pressure is off the pressure cooker, open it transfer the baby potatoes to a bowl of cold water. Notice that the potatoes are not completely cooked & they are still firm. Now peel their skin away. Next pierce the potatoes with a fork in 2-3 places so as to help them absorb the flavours from the gravy.
Heat 1 tsp oil in deep bottom non stick fry pan. When the oil is hot a pinch of asafoetida & let it sizzle for a couple of seconds. Turn heat to low & throw in the baby potatoes. Slowly cook them on all sides till they turn golden brown.
Probably will take you 12-15 minutes on low heat. While the potatoes are frying away, keeping a close eye on them, mince the roughly chopped onions, garlic & ginger using a mini chopper or food processor.
Take out the golden brown potatoes from the frying pan & transfer them to a kitchen paper to drain away the excess oil.
In the same fry pan add 1 tbsp of oil. Maintain heat at medium. Once the oil heats up, throw in a pinch of asafoetida, let it sizzle for a couple of seconds. Next add the torn bay leaf, fry for about 30-40 seconds till its aroma fills up the air around. Now add the minced onion-ginger-garlic paste. Add some salt to help the onions turn translucent quicker & mix well. When the onion is cooking to turn translucent, beat the curd/natural yogurt to remove any lumps.
Once the onion turns translucent add the turmeric & the freshly ground spice paste & mix well. Add the red chilli powder if you did not use whole dried red chilli’s while preparing the fresh spice powder.Let the mixture cook for a couple of minutes. Now add the beaten curd/yogurt to the frying pan along with the sugar. Mix well. Turn the heat to low.
Once the mixture begins to bubble, throw in the golden baby potatoes along with the crushed kasuri methi. Add about 300 ml water, add salt to taste & give it a good mix. Cover with a lid & cook on low heat for 10-12 minutes, till all the raw flavours fade away & the excess water has evaporated leaving behind a gravy with the consistency you need. Originally this dish is served with a thick gravy sticking to the potatoes.
Note: Be around & check once midway so that the gravy does not begin to burn from the bottom. If you cannot be around, heat a heavy pancake pan/tava & transfer the frying pan with the potatoes over the tava & cook on low heat for 15 minutes or till the desired consistency is achieved.
Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves if required. You can opt not to as the gravy already has an awesome flavour from the Kasuri Methi.
Serve hot with Roti’s/Chapati’s/Naan or your favourite Indian breads. This also is a good accompaniment for Vegetable Pilaf/Jeera/Peas Pilaf.
If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Meen Varatharachathu… another fish delicacy from Kerala..!, Makai Malai Palak/Sweetcorn in a creamy spinach sauce.., Kumbh Mutter Masala with a Shahi twist to it..! etc.
Staying on the top floor has its advantages & flaws doesn’t it?? You get a good view yes but then you also have to put up with the intolerable heat during summers. Oh what am I talking about? South India has only 2 seasons, Summer & rainy. It’s summer for almost 8 months of the year. It’s been super hot here in Bangalore. Man! how K & I miss Glasgow now..! Been trying to keep ourselves hydrated by eating loads of watermelon, salads, drinking loads of water & juices.
South Indian’s never have enough chutney recipe’s. We can hog on chutney everyday for breakfast can’t we?? But then you can’t make the same chutney everyday can you?? Having a variety of chutney recipe’s handy is always a blessing. The same Dosa/Idli/Upma etc. can be made to taste different if you can manage to prepare a new dip/accompaniment :). If I do happen to ask K what kind of chutney he would like, the answer is “A green coloured chutney” or “White or Orange” now that is not an answer one would expect, that’s like asking a kid which coloured candy he would like.. 😀
My mum has a huge collection of chutney recipe’s. Unfortunately since I’m not a morning person, I never bothered to note down her chutney recipe’s. In Glasgow we loved our Bacon & eggs, sausages with the lovely selection of breads at our disposal. Fermenting the Dosa, Idli batter was always a challenge. So only during the summer’s there was some hope to prepare Dosa batter at home.
It’s just K & me, I don’t make my own Dosa/Idli batter at home here in India too. You must be thinking I’m crazy. The reason is, if I do I will end up with loads of it & the batter will turn sour in a couple of days as it is so hot here, will all go down the drain. Though from sour batter you can make some Utappams (Thick savoury pancakes, topped with raw veggie’s like chopped onions, green chilli’s, coriander leaves, tomatoes etc.) K is not an everyday South Indian breakfast person. Strangely he claims that he feels sleepy if he eats Dosa’s. Oh well, whatever..! I have tried to make some sense from it, but never did understand how & why. Do any of you feel that way?? Ponder over it the next time you have dosa for breakfast. So when I get my Dosa pangs… we buy ready to cook Dosa/Idli batter from the store & it lasts us for 2-3 days :).
I have to eat my Dosa/Idli with some yummy chutney or any other South Indian dip like – thokku/sambhar/kozhumbu. I love to create new chutneys specially when we have dosa’s for breakfast. Whenever I prepare chutney’s I always remember one of my very good friends who is crazy about chutney’s. She eats more chutney than dosa ;). Some garlic in my chutney, me loves :D. If you don’t like garlic in your breakfast then, skip it.
Ingredients: (Serves 3-4 ) Preparation Time: 15 mins
Coconut – Freshly grated, 1 cup
Garlic – 2, medium-sized cloves, peeled & roughly chopped
Ginger – 1/2 an inch piece, roughly chopped
Coriander seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Black peppercorns – 15-20, depends on your tolerance
Green Chilli’s – 3 medium-sized, slit
Coriander leaves – 7-8 sprigs along with the stalks, roughly chopped
Note: Add as much of the coriander stalk as you can, this adds additional flavour to the chutney
For the tempering:
Split Urad dal – 1/2 tsp
Black Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
Asafoetida – a pinch
Oil – 1 tbsp + 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Heat a tempering vessel or a small fry pan. Maintain heat at medium, when it heats up, add the coriander seeds & cumin seeds, black peppercorns & dry roast them till they begin to change colour. Turn the heat off & keep aside.
Throw in all the ingredients mentioned other than the ones for the tempering into a small blender jar. Add the dry roasted ingredients as well. Grind the ingredients to a smooth paste, using water as required. I like this chutney a little runny, but if you don’t then add just as much water as you need. Transfer the ground chutney to a serving bowl. Add salt to taste, mix.
Heat a tempering vessel or a small fry pan & add oil. When the oil heats up, maintain heat at medium. Add asafoetida, let it sizzle. Next throw in the mustard seeds & let it splutter. Next add the split urad dal & let it turn a light golden brown. Turn the heat off, throw in the curry leaves & mix.
Add this hot tempering to the ground chutney. Mix well.
Serve with any South Indian breakfast dishes of your choice like – Dosa, Idli, Akki-Rotti, Ragi-Rotti, Rava-Rotti, Upma etc.
Imagine waking up to such a colourful looking setting on your breakfast table..! Just peps up your day… What a colourful & flavourful start to your day! Do let me know your take on my recipe if you try it :).
If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Capsicum Chutney…., Alle Chutney/ Ginger Chutney, Takkali/Tomato Thokku…, Takkali Kolumbu/Kohzumbu…. a perfect dip for your Dosa/Idli etc.
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.. 😀 On a day like today, this was perfect to beat the heat off..!
From the very first time I tasted Basa, I just fell in love with it. The meat was so juicy & it just melted in my mouth. I had, had a basa sizzler when I was out with a friend. The meat does not smell at all, unlike most other fish. If you like haddock, then you will surely love it. The meat is firmer than haddock though & doesn’t break into pieces when cooking. I always found haddock melting away when I tried Indian curry’s with it. Have any of you faced such issues with Haddock??
K is very particular when it comes to fish, he won’t eat just about any fish. I’m particular too, but my preference is different. I don’t eat fresh water fish, I only eat Sea fish. K’s fish-eating depends largely on how the fish smells too ;). He won’t come anywhere around a sardine dish, forget eating it. He picks out the skin if he find it on the fish. I don’t blame him though, since he only ate fish once in a while at restaurants. He always prefers fish like Salmon, Haddock, Seer fish etc. whose bone placement is predictable. So, when I discovered this lovely fish I knew for sure he would fall in love with it, just like I did.
For those of you who have never given this fish a try I highly recommend it, the meat is white & nice & firm (when bought fresh of course ;)). It is easily available as fillets at the fish mongers. No bones, no hassles cleaning & making sure the scales are not present. The meat can be cut into smaller chunks, its perfect for an Indian fish curry as it does not disintegrate.
From the time I unpacked my Kitchen Aid mixer, K & I have moved on to eating a lot of Roti, fulka’s, paratha’s etc. as kneading the dough is not a big issue anymore. Our rice consumption has gone down considerably. I sometimes wonder how life changes you, it comes as a shock to K too, I settle easily to eat roti’s now. (If you have read my older posts you would know that I’m a rice eater. A meal was never complete without rice for me). It had been long since I ate some rice with a good curry to go with. I was looking for a hot flavourful curry & suddenly remembered that my aunt had passed me an old cookery book filled with various traditional recipe’s from Kerala. Since I love fish & so do Keralites (People who belong to the state of Kerala) I was thrilled when she passed on this book to me. You are sure to catch some more of their lovely recipe’s on the blog.
Tip: In Kerala Seer fish is usually used for this curry, you can use any fish which remains firm for this curry.
Ingredients: (Serves 2-3) Preparation Time: 25 mins
Basa/Seer fish – 250 gms, cleaned & cut into 2-3 inch chunks
Garlic – 8-10 cloves, peeled
Ginger – 2 cm piece,
Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp
Red Chilli powder – 1.5 – 2 tsp depending on your tolerance
Onion – 1 large, finely chopped
Green chilli’s – 4, slit or roughly chopped
Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
Tamarind – marble sized ball
Coriander powder – 2 tbsp
Tomato – 1 large, chopped into chunks
Coriander leaves – 4-5 sprigs, chopped
Oil – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
For the fresh ground paste:
Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
Coconut – 1/2 of a medium-sized, grated
Shallots – 3-4, chopped
Curry leaves – 10-12
Soak the tamarind in about 100 ml water. Use a tsp of oil & roast the fennel, coconut, shallots & curry leaves till all these are golden brown. Make sure you maintain the heat at medium-low once the ingredients are in the oil and constantly keep tossing them around, we do not want to burn them. Once done keep it aside to cool.
Make a fresh paste out of the ginger & garlic. Keep aside.
Heat the rest of the oil in a medium-sized kadai or pot. Maintain heat at medium. Add fenugreek, when it changes colour add the chopped onion, green chilli’s & sauté till the onions turn translucent. Add a pinch of salt to help fry the onions.
Note: Fenugreek burns quickly, keep a constant check.
Next add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a couple of minutes. Add turmeric, red chilli, coriander powder & fry for a couple of minutes. Squeeze the juice out of the soaking tamarind & throw away the pulp. Add the tamarind juice along with another 200 ml water. Simmer & let the water begin to bubble. Add some salt to taste.
Meanwhile, grind the golden roasted coconut & rest of the ingredients to a smooth paste in a blender. Add water as required to help grind them to a smooth paste.
Now add the fish pieces & tomatoes to the bubbling water. Cook till the fish is done.
Now add the ground coconut paste, along with a cup of water.
Mix well. Check seasoning. Simmer & let the curry come to a boil. Turn off the heat.
Garnish with additional curry leaves & chopped coriander leaves.
Serve with a bowl of boiled rice or steamed rice.
Chicken has been playing on my mind since a few days. K’s cousin also has been craving for some home cooked chicken. Unfortunately when K went to pick some chicken at the butchers, he gave him a very old chicken whose meat was very thready. I was so disappointed that I did not cook that meat. Both K & I do not like eating thready chicken, it turns too chewy when cooked. So had to drop chicken cooking plans for yesterday. Later in the night went over to a supermarket & picked up chicken from their meat section.
Kerala is a yummy state & beautifully charming. I always have loads to say when it comes to Kerala. Food habits change from the north to the south & a particular recipe is prepared in slightly different ways when compared between the North & South parts of this state.
When I had visited my aunt in Calicut last year, she had prepared this for lunch on one of the days. I love the Mangalorean chicken sukka, this dish is tad similar to that & has a surprise in every bite because of the different spices added to the seasoning & the ground masala.
You will lick your fingers clean if you are a coconut lover. Remember to eat the curry leaves with your chicken. They are yummy & they are good for you.
I have had this dish before in small Mallu restaurants (People from Kerala are referred to as Mallu, I mean no offence any of you Mallayali’s) & Mallu messes (Mess is a small eatery which opens up only for lunch & dinner, usually serves a complete meal which consists of a dry vegetable, on chapati, rice, dal, sambhar & rasam along with some pickle & papad. You can order additional non-veg dishes & omelette’s as sides) in & around my workplace.
Note: Traditionally, most cooking in Kerala is done using coconut oil. But if you think the amount of coconut can stop with the grated coconut , go ahead & use any cooking oil of your choice for preparing this dish. Also, traditionally boneless pieces of chicken are used in this recipe. But since we prefer chicken with bones, I prepared it with bones.
I bought an organic brand of turmeric powder, hence my dish ended up looking a little extra yellowish than brownish.
Ingredients: (Serves 3-4) Preparation Time: 30 mins (Time for marination not included)
Chicken – 750 gms, skinless & cut into small pieces, I used pieces with bones, you can use diced chicken breast as well.
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp, use the small fennel seeds rather than the bigger ones if you do not want to bite into them, these closely resemble Cumin seeds
Curry Leaves – 3 sprigs + additional for garnishing if required
Red chilli’s – 4, whole, do not break them
Whole pepper corns – 1/2 tsp – freshly ground
Garam Masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Coconut oil – 2 tbsp, else use any cooking oil of your choice
Salt to taste
For the Chicken marination:
Green chilli’s – 5,
Ginger – 1 inch piece, roughly chopped
Garlic – 8-10 cloves
For the freshly ground masala:
Shallots/ Sambhar onions – 5-6, peeled
Freshly grated Coconut – 1/2 cup
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp or more based on your tolerance
Turmeric – a pinch
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Wash & drain the chicken pieces. Marinate it with the paste made of the ingredients mentioned for the chicken marination along with some salt. Use some water to help you grind the ingredients to a coarse paste. Let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes. More is good.
Put together all the ingredients required for the freshly ground masala into a blender & blend them to a coarse paste. Use very little water to help you grind. You need to feel the grainy texture of the coconut in each bite..
In a deep bottom pan, heat the coconut oil. Set heat to medium. Add mustard seeds & let them splutter. Add curry leaves. Next throw in the fennel seeds. Let them sizzle. Now add the whole red chilli’s & fry them for a minute. Add the marinated chicken along with any juices left in the marination bowl. Mix well. Toss the mixture around for a minute or two. Add the freshly ground black pepper.
Now add the freshly ground masala & mix well. Season with salt. Also we want the raw flavours of the ingredients added to make the fresh coconut masala fade away. Simmer & let the chicken cook.
Note – If you want to make this as a curry, add some water when you add the coconut paste to the chicken.
The chicken will ooze out some water content present in it. When the water evaporates, add the garam masala powder. Mix well. Adjust seasoning. Check if the chicken is done. When the oil begins to separate out & the dish dries up, turns slightly brownish, its done. I wanted some moisture in the dish hence did not fry the chicken till it turned brownish.
Garnish with some additional curry leaves.
Serve as a starter or as a side along with some boiled rice & curry or along with chapatis’.
If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Chicken Stew – Kerala Style, Meen Molee/Boneless fish pieces in a fragrant Kerala style coconut curry, Prawn Pepper Fry – Kerala style, Mutton Chilli Masala…….., Alle Piyava Ghashi/Konkani style Fish curry.., etc.
Hiya… Happy New Year to all.. !! Hope all of you have had a lovely time with family & friends this holiday season.. I’m guilty for not showing my presence around from a while now.. Back in Bangalore now. I have been getting lazy & feeling lethargic, taking a break from cooking while I was in Mangalore, at my mum’s place & feasting on home food & the other favourites from the eateries around. Spent a few days at my aunt’s place in Calicut, got pampered by her as well.. ;). Had a rendezvous in Goa for a couple of days.. all we did was drink, eat & laze on the beach… Bliss.. I had to carry back some Goan Chorizo or Pork sausages. The owner of place we stayed in was kind enough to sell us some homemade chorizo from the stash he picks up for himself.
All those who love the Mexican style Chorizo will love these. A very tasty recipe this is. Hardly requires any effort & time from you; just add the staple chopped veggies used in most dish, along with some water to the crushed chorizo & you end up with a some hot, spicy, finger-licking accompaniment to go with some warm bread/pao/pav. The only effort required is to find some of these sausages in your city ;). I have found them in stores in Mangalore & friends tell me that it is available in Mumbai as well. Next time you visit Goa, don’t forget to pick some of these sausages on your way back. 🙂
Ingredients: (Serves 3) Preparation Time: 30-40 mins
Goan Chorizo – 1 link, approximately 250 gms, shell removed & the meat broken/crushed into bits.
Onion – 1 large, chopped
Tomato – 1 large, chopped
Green chilli’s – 3, finely chopped
Potatoes – 1 medium-sized, cubed
Water – 250 ml
Salt to taste
To a deep bottom pan, add all the ingredients.
Toss the ingredients around for a couple of minutes till they all warm up. Next add the glass of water, throw in a pinch of salt.
Just a pinch since the sausages already have salt content. Simmer when the water begins to bubble; let the meat & potatoes cook. Should take you approximately 30 mins. You will see some oil separate out of the fat when all the water evaporates & leave you a shiny dish.
Note: If the meat & the potatoes are not cooked & the water has already evaporated, then add some more water.
Tip: If you want the meat potatoes fried a little, cook on high for a couple of minutes, once the water evaporates & the meat & potatoes are cooked. Else if you like some gravy with your chorizo add some extra water when cooking.
The smoky aroma that builds up around your home is sure to pull in some neighbours.. ! A yummy one pot dish for sure… !!!
Serve hot with some warm bread/pao/pav. Such an awesome, quick recipe, sure to blow your senses away..!!
If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Dukra Maas – as they call it in Mangalore; the best Pork curry ever!!!, Sweet & Sour Pork…., Pork Chukka, Blanketed Frankfurters…, Greek Souvlaki wrap with salad & tzatziki etc.