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Paneer Shimla Mirchi…

Paneer Shimla Mirchi…

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.. !!!

Paneer Shimla Mirchi…

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.

Shimla Mirchi & coriander if you were wondering what were those things in the background which were out of focus…

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

Method:
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. 

Garnishing:
Garnish with some chopped coriander.

Paneer Shimla Mirchi…

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot as an accompaniment with hot Indian breads.

Paneer Shimla Mirchi…

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?


Lemon-Coriander Hummus….

Lemon-Coriander Hummus...

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.

Lemon-Coriander Hummus......

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.

Ingredients for the hummus....

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.

Lemon-Coriander Hummus...

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

Ingredients for the hummus....
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

Method:
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…!

Garnishing:
Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with some olive oil & some chopped cilantro.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve it as a dip with some falafel & pita bread or with some tortilla chips or with crudités.

Lemon-Coriander Hummus...

 

 


Steamed Momos/dumplings with an aromatic Veggie filling…

Steamed Momos/dumplings with an aromatic Veggie filling…

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

Method:
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.

Method:
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.

Steaming momo's...

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.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot with your favourite dip.

Steamed Momos/dumplings with an aromatic Veggie filling…

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.

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Chicken Frankie RollAloo Tikki Chole Chaat…Chole Chaat…Egg Pakodi ChaatGreek Souvlaki wrap with salad & tzatziki etc.

 


Chicken Thoran.. from the yummy state of Kerala.. ;)

Chicken Thoran...

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.

Chicken Thoran..

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.

Chicken Thoran..

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

Shallots/Sambhar onions..

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

Method:
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.

Marinate the chicken...

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..

Coarse grind the ingredients...

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.

Add the marinated chicken...

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.

Garnishing:
Garnish with some additional curry leaves.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve as a starter or as a side along with some boiled rice & curry or along with chapatis’.

Chicken Thoran...

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Chicken Stew – Kerala StyleMeen Molee/Boneless fish pieces in a fragrant Kerala style coconut curryPrawn Pepper Fry – Kerala styleMutton Chilli Masala……..Alle Piyava Ghashi/Konkani style Fish curry.., etc.

 


Goan Chorizo/Pork Sausage Chilly….

Goan Chorizo/Pork Sausage Chilly

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.

Goan Chorizo/Pork Sausage Chilly...Goan Chorizo/Pork Sausage Chilly...

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 & other ingredients..
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

Method:
To a deep bottom pan, add all the ingredients.

Throw in all the ingredients together...

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.

Add water & 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.

Goan Chorizo/Pork Sausage Chilly ready..

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… !!!

Best relished:
Serve hot with some warm bread/pao/pav. Such an awesome, quick recipe, sure to blow your senses away..!!

Goan Chorizo/Pork Sausage Chilly...

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 ChukkaBlanketed Frankfurters…Greek Souvlaki wrap with salad & tzatziki etc.


Mutton Chilli Masala……..

Mutton Chilli Masala……

Mutton on your mind? No bother if it’s not, it has been on my mind for a while now.. !A few of my friends have been waiting for me to post some Mutton recipes. Back in Glasgow I was unable to do so.I’m not a huge fan of lamb ;), hence you don’t see any lamb recipe’s :). To tell you the truth, after I started my blog, I hardly had a pang to cook lamb.. I do like mutton though, but not as much as I like my fish/chicken curry.

Mutton Chilli Masala...

Since I had not eaten mutton for close to 2 years I had a craving to eat some good mutton. Mum never cooks mutton, so dad instantly said Mutton when I asked him what he wanted me to cook.. 😉Dad sourced some mutton through a friend. Mutton is a tricky meat, well that’s my take on this meat. 

Oops, pardon me for not mentioning it earlier, Goat meat is referred to as Mutton in India. This meat like most red meat takes longer to cook, sometimes unusually long too depending on the type of breed the goat belongs to. Ya well, it took me an hour to cook this meat perfectly, under pressure in a pressure cooker. The things people do to cook & eat certain food.. 😉  What you need while cooking mutton is a whole lot of patience.

Cooking in a kitchen which is not your’s is always tough.. even if its your mum’s kitchen it still is an adventure.. Things have all changed.. it’s not how I remember it… I have to constantly nag my mum to hand me the different ingredients..With all the small tiffs & disagreements in between the cooking, on why things have been moved.. why she does not stock up on certain things anymore.. blah blah.. its sure looks like a battle..! 😉

Finally, I had to do with what she had stocked up in her pantry.. I should not really blame her now for not stocking up on certain ingredients as this new recipe would not have been born else. I won’t complain as my dad loved it.. & I second it.. 🙂 It was perfect with Dosa & with rice.. sadly my bro did not get to taste it. 😀

I’ll let you in on a secret.. this is the second time I cooked Mutton. I have cooked Lamb many times.. 🙂 Well don’t doubt my abilities though. This dish turned out to be perfect & yummy. The curry leaves have their evergreen inviting aroma that draws your hand instantly towards this dish.. the occasional bite into the green chilli bits or the black pepper leave a craving for more & the lovely onion & garlic gravy that envelopes the juicy mutton pieces are just finger-licking good.. !

Mutton Chilli Masala...

I wanted to hold a small bake sale for Christmas.. & the electrical equipment dealers in Karnataka played spoil sport. No dealer has the model in stock or have any clue about the date when they expect the shipment to arrive. Can you believe it!!!?!!. I’m so annoyed.. :(!!!! So all the baking is paused till I get my hands on what I need…

Ingredients: (Serves 3-4)  Preparation Time: 80-90 mins (Excludes time for marination)
Mutton – 500 gms with bones, curry cut, washed & drained
Cloves – 4
Star anise – half of one star
Bay leaves – 1 large leaf, torn into 2-3 pieces
Dried red chilli’s – 3-4 roughly torn, medium-spicy variety, I used the byadge variety
Onions – 1 medium-sized, finely chopped
Ginger – 1 inch piece, finely chopped
Garlic – 1 pod, skin on, bruised using a mortar & pestle
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Freshly ground peppercorns – 1 tsp
Garam Masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Green chilli’s = 2, finely chopped
Curry leaves – 8-10 leaves
White Vinegar – 1.5 tsp
Clarified butter/ghee – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method:
Marinate the mutton with turmeric, red chilli, coriander powders, salt & the freshly ground peppercorns for at least 30 mins. Heat the ghee in a pressure cooker pan. Once the ghee melts & heats up, add the dry spices – cloves, bay leaves, star anise along with the red chilli’s. Simmer & let the flavours infuse into the ghee.
Do not burn the ghee or the spices. Next add the bruised garlic & finely chopped ginger. Fry for a minute. Now add onions with a pinch of salt & fry them till they turn translucent.

Now throw in the marinated mutton pieces with any leftover spice powders left. Toss them around for a couple of minutes.
Next add about 400-500ml water, just enough to cover the mutton pieces & let the water bubble. Add salt to taste (Remember that you marinated the mutton with salt, so add accordingly).

Cover the pressure cooker with its lid & insert its weight, maintain the heat at simmer & pressure cook the chicken for at least 6 whistles. Turn off the heat & let the pressure cooker lose its pressure before you open.

Check if the meat is cooked, else close & pressure cook again for a couple more whistles.
Once the meat is cooked, place the cooker back on heat again, without the lid & simmer. There would be a good amount of water left back in the pressure cooker. Add the finely chopped green chilli’s, garam masala, vinegar & check & adjust the salt. (If you want spice up the curry some more, add more green chilli’s).

Tip: If you like a wee bit more vinegar in your food then add another tsp.

Now its your call if you need this dish as a curry or as semi-gravy. Based on your choice, let the curry simmer or turn off the heat. Throw in the curry leaves just before you turn off the heat.

Mutton Chilli Masala...

How I ate it..
Hot, as an accompaniment with boiled rice for lunch & then the left overs with some Dosa for breakfast… 🙂 slurp..! This dish will be perfect with some sanna’s or Idli’s & chapatis’ too.. Take your pick.. !

K is away with my laptop. I only managed this one pic. More to be uploaded soon.. 🙂

Tip: The leftovers taste better than the freshly cooked curry.. 😉 So make sure you have some left over for the next day.. !!! Also make sure you heat the leftover curry before you eat it, since the ghee & the fat from the meat tend to solidify.

You may also enjoy – Chicken Puli Munchi/Chicken in Tangy Hot curry- Mangalorean styleKori Ghassi/Mangalorean style chicken curryChicken Stew – Kerala StylePudina/Mint Chicken with hints of CilantroDukra Maas – as they call it in Mangalore; the best Pork curry ever!!! etc.


Karuveppilai/kadipatta/curry leaves chicken……

Karuveppilai/kadipatta/curry leaves chicken……

I’m visiting Mangalore after about 2 years. Feels awesome being home. All the lazing around, the silence (hate the traffic noise all over Bangalore, you rarely find a place where it is quiet unless you have noise eliminating windows fitted), all yummy food you get at home & small quaint places around. My little brother is an encyclopaedia & he has a list of the best dish on the menu for almost every good eatery/restaurants around. Since I left to Manipal to attend University I never had the opportunity to explore all the places where my brother frequented.

Mum prepares such amazing food which I miss so much that I hardly go out to eat when in Mangalore. I stuffed myself so much with breakfast & lunch that I could not eat anything as an evening snack  & I skipped dinner as well. This is what I end up doing when I’m back home- hog, hog & hog even more.

Karuveppilai/kadipatta/curry leaves chicken……

This recipe is from my mums recipe trove. This dish is infused with lovely flavours from Tamil Nadu. You could adjust this recipe based on your taste to have loads of runny curry or a thick curry or make it dry as a starter. Even though this recipe uses very few ingredients it tastes amazing with rice/chapati’s or even as a starter.

Karuveppilai/kadipatta/curry leaves chicken……

Ingredients: (Serves 2-3)     Preparation Time: 20 mins
Chicken – 500 gms curry cut pieces
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Garlic – 3-4 cloves
Yogurt – 1 tbsp
Red onion – 1 medium-sized, diced
Red chilli powder – 1/2-1 tsp
Salt to taste

Some of the ingredients..

For the freshly ground paste:
Grated Coconut – 1 cup
Green chilli’s – 8 slit
Curry leaves – 10 sprigs + a few for garnishing
Cooking oil – 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Method:
Prepare a fresh paste out of the ginger & garlic. Wash & drain the chicken. Marinate the chicken with the yogurt, the freshly prepared ginger garlic paste & some salt. Let the chicken marinate for about at least 30 minutes.

While the chicken gets marinated, we can prepping up for the paste. Heat a tbsp of oil in a small fry pan. Once it heats up, reduce the heat to low, add the cumin seeds & let it sizzle & then add the green chilli’s. Now add the curry leaves & the coconut. Fry till the grated coconut begins to turn light brown.

Fry the ingredients for the paste..

Turn the heat off & let it cool before you grind this to a smooth paste.

Freshly grated coconut & curry leaves paste..

Add the 1 tbsp of oil to a pot & heat it. Once the oil is hot, reduce the heat to medium & throw in the onions along with some salt. Once the onions turn translucent add the marinated chicken & toss the chicken till the meat turns white.

Fry the chicken till the meat turns white..

Now add the freshly ground curry leaves & coconut paste. Mix it well.

Add the freshly ground paste..

Note: Remember that the chicken also lets out some water as it cooks..

Season with salt & add red chilli powder. Simmer & cook till the raw flavours fade away, adjust the thickness of the curry as per your requirement. Once the oil separates from the curry, check if the chicken is cooked & turn the heat off once it is.

Garnishing:
Garnish with some curry leaves.

Serving Suggestions:
Now serve hot with your choice of accompaniment like rice/chapati’s or as a starter.

Karuveppilai/kadipatta/curry leaves chicken……

If you like this recipe, then you may also like –


Pan roasted, Honey-glazed Mushrooms

Pan roasted, Honey-glazed Mushrooms...

I always resort to Mushrooms when I have meat cravings & can’t fulfil them because I’m lazy to head out & buy some meat… Anyways since I already had mushrooms to get over my meat craving I wanted to make them in such a way that I don’t end up with a watery mushroom dish or overcooking them to let the water evaporate..

Pan roasted, Honey-glazed Mushrooms...

 I always wondered how restaurants served mushrooms without water in it.. was going through the internet when I found the answer.. You throw mushrooms in pan.. don’t toss them around.. let them be.. the moment you do that they begin to sweat profusely.. Voila.. got my answer…

Today is my Father-in-laws bday.. Instead of baking a cake I decided to make something that he enjoys.. A good starter to go with a nice whiskey is always his favourite.. I really miss all the tiny parties he has at home.. K was here in the UK studying, so I used to spend a lot of time with my In laws. Go out with them over the weekend.. & take over the kitchen on the weekends when there were these tiny parties… My father in law retired from his job when it was time to retire. He has friends who live close-by who pop in at times for a chat & a drink.. 🙂 Had I been back home I would have made a whole lot of dishes he enjoys for his bday..

Pan roasted, Honey-glazed Mushrooms...

In India the demand exceeds the product of Mushrooms. Hence only if you are lucky you may get your hands over a packet of fresh mushrooms. Weekends you can still get lucky.. but over the weekends the early bird wins.. 🙂

Is it tempting even to look at?? Don’t worry, its super easy… don’t have to fuss much.. You can fix yourself a drink or check your Facebook wall/timeline when this is getting ready.. The rosemary adds a lovely flavour.. The red wine vinegar adds the tangy flavour & the caramelised onions & garlic… hmmmm need I say more? guess I do since the honey glaze completes it.. & the crushed black pepper adds the spice..!

Pan roasted, Honey-glazed Mushrooms...

Perfect with a glass of red wine or spice it up a bit more for a mug of cold beer.. 🙂

Ingredients: (Serves 2) Preparation Time: 15 mins
Baby Button Mushrooms – 200 g, roughly about 15-20, washed & drained
Garlic – 2 cloves, finely chopped
Onion – 1 small, finely chopped
Dried Rosemary – 1/8 tsp, Note: Use Oregano, Basil or Parsley if you do not like Rosemary… 🙂
Red wine vinegar – 1 tsp
Freshly ground black pepper – 1/2 tsp
Roasted Pepper & Chilli infused Olive oil – 1/2 + 1/2 tbsp, Don’t worry you can use normal olive oil.. 🙂
Honey – 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Method:
Heat a large shallow fry pan. When hot, add the oil & let it warm up. Maintain the heat at medium. Next add the rosemary & let it sizzle for a less than 30 seconds. Now add the garlic & toss them around for less than 3o seconds. Next add the finely chopped onions. Add a pinch of salt.Add half of the ground black pepper. Add the red wine vinegar. Mix well. Spread the onions around the base of the fry pan, so that it covers the base well.

Let it be, till the onions begin to turn golden brown. Now move the onions using the head of the mushroom by holding them using the stem & place each mushroom with the head facing down in the pan. Do the same with all of them.

Place the mushrooms face/head down as shown

Turn the heat to medium low & sprinkle some salt over the top. Sprinkle some more ground black pepper & the rest of the olive oil. Do not move the mushrooms an inch. Let them sweat it out slowly.

In about 6-7 minutes you will begin to smell the caramelised onions,just lift one mushroom using its stem & check if they turning brown.

They need to turn golden brown this way..

Then do the same with a couple more & if they are turning golden brown then, now is the time to toss them around the fry pan.  Turn the heat back to medium. Throw in some more salt. Let them cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the honey. Mix well.

Garnishing:
Garnish with some more ground black pepper if required.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot as a starter.

Pan roasted, Honey-glazed Mushrooms...

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Crispy Rice flour battered Mushrooms….Chunky Guacamole…Paneer/Cottage Cheese Tava Masala… etc.


Indian spiced scrambled eggs/Anda burji…

Indian spiced scrambled eggs/Anda burji...

I don’t know why I missed posting such a simple & tasty recipe. Its a wonderful snack/breakfast/filler/side dish/starter. Yes, its put a versatile tag on this one.

Indian spiced scrambled eggs/Anda burji...

This serves as a wonderful spiced up breakfast with some bread by the side. If you on an outing or a picnic & want to carry some dry lunch/snack, use this as a filler in your chapati’s or wraps, pack it in your lunchbox for work or you need a quick starter & all you have in your pantry are a carton of eggs, perfect for this recipe 🙂 Get your bottle of chilled beer out of the fridge & drink away with these scrambled eggs to keep you munching on the side.

My mum makes scrambled eggs in a different way, no matter how many times I try, I have not attained the same taste. I can’t complain as I never really checked/watched her prepare them. I still remember when my kid brother came over to give me company as I was home alone & he asked me to prepare Anda burji for dinner along with some dal & rice; I ended up disappointing him as I could not fix them the way mum does.. 😦 Its his favourite egg dish. When we were kids, there was a point when he asked mum to make this everyday for lunch during summer vacations. The garam masala powder you use also can alter the taste is what mum told me when I told her that my bro was disappointed with what I made.

Oh yes, I had promised a sweet dish post for this time,I want to apologise for it, but I could not resist posting a picture of the scrambled eggs on the Keli Paan Facebook page & Mohan from Mobites kept looking for the recipe. So this post if for Mohan.

Ingredients: (Serves 2) Preparation Time: 10 – 12 mins
Eggs – 3, beaten well
Onion – 1, medium-sized, finely chopped
Tomato – 1, large, finely chopped
Green Chilli’s – 3-4, finely chopped
Garlic (optional) – 2 cloves, finely chopped, I have a weakness for garlic in my food, so I add some
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Garam Masala – 1/4 – 1/2 tsp, use accordingly
Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves – 2 sprigs, finely chopped
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method:
Heat oil in a deep bottom fry pan. Set heat to medium. Once hot throw in the green chilli’s & sauté for a minute. Next add the garlic if you plan to add them. Sauté them for a minute. Next add the chopped onions. Sprinkle some salt to help fry them quicker. Add the turmeric powder & mix well.

Once the onions turn translucent (if you like the onions a little on the brown side, fry them a wee bit longer), add the garam masala & cumin powder. Fry for a minute. Next add the tomatoes & fry till they start loosening up. Add some more salt, including some for the eggs too. Mix well. Now add the eggs & mix well to form a scramble out of them.

Once they cook & firm up, use your spatula to mince them into small bits, till they look like bigger grains of couscous. Turn the heat off.

Garnishing:
Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.

Indian spiced scrambled eggs/Anda burji...

Serving Suggestions:
Serve with hot chapatis’ or bread or as is.. Enjoy. Squeeze some lime if its hot.

Indian spiced scrambled eggs/Anda burji...

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Egg Puffs – A Savoury, South Indian Bakery treatMasaledar Ande/Eggs tossed in a hot & spicy onion sauce…Red pesto Egg BombsEgg Stumbler/ Spicy scrambled eggs tossed with bite size bread pieces etc. 


Crispy Rice flour battered Mushrooms….

Crispy Rice flour battered Mushrooms...

Mushrooms & mushrooms.. can I ever get enough of them.. I don’t think so… just like my other vegetarian friends love paneer.. my favourite starter when I think of going vegetarian for a meal is always Mushroom.. 😀

Crispy Rice flour battered Mushrooms...

I have been meaning to post this recipe from a while.. But never got down to it.. This recipe is real quick.. & I have used minimal oil to fry them.. I just sprinkled some oil on them once the mushrooms were battered… & then used a pastry brush to coat them with oil lightly.. this way the dish uses lesser amount of oil.. guilt free indulgence !!!

The batter I have used is an all time favourite Konkani style batter.. this is used for fish/other veggies & the rice flour used makes it super crispy.. love the fragrance & the flavour added by the asafoetida in this batter..

Crispy Rice flour battered Mushrooms....

Something fried on the side has always been sort of ritual at home.. & it is so in most Konkani homes.. it used to be always a fight between my brother I whenever there is something we both like.. & I would always be hovering around the kitchen to get my extra share since my brother would be glued to his computer games… he would anyways make up for it once the rest got on to the dining table..

I mention that this serves 2 but I can eat it all by myself & I just did after clicking the pictures.. 😉

You may think I’m a hog, I can be one when it gets to certain dishes..

Ingredients: (Serves 2)       Preparation Time: 15-20 mins
Baby Button Mushrooms – 150 gms
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Rice flour – 1 tbsp
Cooking oil – 1 tsp or less
Salt to taste

Some of the ingredients..

Method:
In a mixing bowl, mix the rice flour, asafoetida, red chilli powder & salt to taste. Now, cut each mushroom into 2, then wash the mushrooms & drain away the excess water. Immediately transfer the mushrooms into the mixing bowl which has the spiced flour mixture..

Gently move the mushrooms around so that they coated with the flour. Sprinkle few drops of water if the flour fails to coat the mushrooms.. Remember not too much of water.. just keep sprinkling a few drops every time, till they are coated as shown.

Battered mushrooms..

Keep aside for about 10 minutes.

Heat a fry pan. Set heat to medium. Dip a pastry brush in oil & apply some oil to the fry pan. Sprinkle a few drops of oil over the battered mushrooms & mix again.

When the pan heats up add enough mushrooms to the fry pan & fry them.

Fry the mushrooms with very little oil...

Lower heat if required. Coat the frying mushrooms with some more oil using the pastry brush if they look dry. Gently toss them around till they are golden brown & crisp.

Crispy golden brown mushrooms ready to be served..

Take them off heat once done. Repeat this method & finish frying all the mushrooms.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot as a starter or a side dish with rice & dali toy.. yummy…!

Crispy Rice flour battered Mushrooms...

I just finished them in 2 minutes after clicking the pictures.. 😛

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Fried CauliflowerCabbage Ambade/ cabbage & onion frittersChicken FryFish Fry with a Konkani style batter etc.