Friday, December 27, 2013

WALNUT PESTO PASTA


Pesto sauce is made with basil leaves and walnuts or pine nuts, either one can be used. I made with walnuts as they are my hubby's favourite among the dry fruits. He makes it so well too. Any kind of pasta can be used in this preparation.

Ingredients:
Penne Pasta ... 1 cup
Basil leaves .... 1 cup
Garlic .......... 2-3 cloves (optional )
Vinegar ...... 1 tbsp (optional)
Walnuts .........  4
Cheese ......... 1 tbsp (grated)
Cream ........ 1 tbsp
Olive oil .....5-6  tbsps
White / black pepper ... to taste
Salt ......... to taste



Method:
1. In a pan pour 5-6 cups of water. Add salt and a tbsp of oil.
2. Boil the pasta until almost done but not mushy. Drain and run under cold water. Pour a little oil to keep them seperate.
3. Grind the basil adding walnuts, vinegar, garlic, cheese and add the oil little by little while grinding.
4. In a pan add a little oil and pour the pesto sauce. Stir it for half a minute and tip in the boiled pasta.
5. Mix a spoon of cream and temper with salt and black pepper. If you want a thinner consistency you can add a little milk.
Garnish and serve immediately.

Note: You can substitute the cream with milk if you want it lighter and skip the cheese in the pesto sauce.
Just use a little for garnishing if you like.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

MEEN MOILEE / MOLEE ( Kerala Style Fish Curry with Coconut Milk )



This is a very simple fish curry / stew from Kerala, cooked with coconut milk. It is very mild in spices and can be served with plain rice or appams. You can use any fish which has less bones and firm in texture, ideally pomfret or king fish. In Kerala usually the stews are cooked in a "Chatti " - an earthen pot. It brings out the rustic taste in the dishes and they also use coconut oil for cooking.


Ingredients:
Fish .....  4-5 slices ( I have used king fish)

For Marination:
Lemon juice ....  1 tbsp
Turmeric powder .. 1 tsp
Salt .. as required

For the Curry:
Onions .... 3-4 small (about 3/4 cup)
Tomato ... 1 cut into cubes.
Garlic ...... 7-8 pods (crushed)
Ginger .... 1 inch piece (grated)
Green chillies .. 3-4 (add more if you like it spicy)
Curry leaves ... few
Mustard seeds ... 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder ... 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder ..... 1tsp
Kokams ..... 3-4
Coconut milk ... Thin and thick milk extracted from one coconut or you may use the ready milk from tetra pack
Salt ... to taste
Oil .. as needed (preferably coconut oil.)
Coriander leaves .. handful.



Method:



1. Marinate the fish slices and set aside for 1 hour. Fry them until half done.

2. Take the same oil which you used for frying the fish in a pan or chatti ( earthen pot ) Add the mustard seeds and when they crackle, tip in the garlic, ginger and saute.




3. Now add the onion and green chillies and stir fry for a minute until the onion is pink in colour.






4. Add the thin coconut milk, salt, turmeric powder, kokams and the fish slices.






5. Simmer to cook and half way through add the tomato cubes and coriander leaves.






6. Now add the thick milk and cook on low flame for half a minute.


Note: If you don't have kokams you may use lemon juice. Do not over cook after adding the thick milk as it will curdle. Best way is to prepare the curry with thin milk and just before serving add the thick milk and simmer.

Monday, December 16, 2013

ONYO CHHOLAR DAL ( Bengali Style Chana Dal )


I was always fascinated by the Bengali style of cooking veg and non veg dishes. Bong Mom's cook book caught my attention recently and before I could buy it I was lucky to win the same in one of the blog events hosted by Cooking 4 all Seasons. Today I have tried out a simple Chholar Dal recipe.

Ingredients:

Chana dal ... 1 cup


For Tempering:
Bay leaf ... 1
Green cardamoms ... 3
Cloves .............. 3
Cinnamon stick ... 1 inch piece
Dry red chillies ..... 2
Onion .... 1/4 cup (finely chopped)
Garlic ...... 1 clove (crushed)
Ginger ..... 1 tsp (grated)
Tomato puree ... 1 tbsp
Asafoetida ... a pinch
Turmeric powder ... 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder ... 1/4 tsp
Sugar ... 1/4 tsp
Salt .... to taste
Oil / ghee ... 2 tbsps




Method:
1. Wash and soak dal for few hours.
2. Pressure cook dal with 2 cups water adding salt and turmeric powder. The lentils should remain seperate. Avoid making them mushy.
3. Heat oil in a frying pan. Add the whole spices first and when they leave an aroma add the asafoetida and the chopped onion, ginger and garlic.
4. Fry until the onion becomes slightly brown. Now add the pureed tomato and the spice powders, salt and sugar. Saute until the oil separates.
5. Add the tempering to the cooked dal. Add water according to the consistency you desire.Bring to a boil.

Note: Adjust the seasoning according to your preference and you may skip the sugar if you want.


LEHSUNI / LASOONI PALAK


This is a very flavourful garlicky spinach which can be served with rotis or rice dishes.

Ingredients:
Spinach / Palak - 1 bunch (chopped very finely)
Onion .... 1 small ( about 3-4 tbsps finely chopped)
Tomato ... 1 small
Green chillies - 2
Garlic ..... 6-7 cloves
Ginger .... 1 inch piece
Yogurt .... 2-3 tbsps
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder .. 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds ... 1 tsp
Asafoetida ..... a generous pinch
Salt .... to taste
Oil .... 3-4 tbsps ( I used mustard oil)

For Tempering :
Garlic -- 6-7 cloves (finely Chopped)
Oil / ghee  .. 1tbsp


Method:
1. In a pan add the mustard oil and the cumin, mustadr seeds and the asafoetida.
2. When they crackle add the onion and saute until translucent.
3. Now add the crushed ginger, garlic and green chillies and stir in the finely chopped tomato. Saute until the tomato is cooked.
4. Now tip in the finely chopped spinach and add the salt, turmeric and coriander powder. Cover and simmer to cook.
5. When it is almost done and the water from the palak is dried up, stir in the whisked yogurt and mix well. Cook until well blended.
6. Now heat oil or ghee in a pan and add the chopped garlic pieces. ( you may crush it if you don't  like it that way)
Fry on a low flame to make it crisp and light brown.
7. Add it to the cooked palak before serving as a garnish.

Linking to:

Potluck Party Event @ - Jagruti's Cooking Odyssey

Sunday, December 15, 2013

MAGZA JA PAKORA ( GOAT BRAIN FRITTERS )


Goat brain fritters / pakoras is a delicacy of Sindhi Cuisine. They taste delicious !

Ingredients:
Goat brains ..     2 (or as needed)
Gram flour / besan ....  1 cup
Baking soda .... a pinch
Salt ... as needed
Turmeric powder ... 1/4 tsp
Whole cardamoms .. 2
Cinnamon stick .. 1 small piece
Cloves .... 2-3
Saunf / aniseeds ... 1/4 tsp
Garam masala powder .... 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder ... as needed
Cumin powder ... 1/4 tsp
Oil ... to fry



Method:
1. Clean the brains carefully by immersing them in the water and remove the top skin and veins.
2. In a pan take 2-3 cups water and boil the brains adding salt, turmeric powder, cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves and ani seeds.
3.Turn the side once and boil until done ( 4-5 minutes) Remove and set aside to cool.
4. Cut them into big pieces.( chunks). Sprinkle cumin powder, red chilli powder and garam masala on them.
5. Make batter with the besan adding salt, baking powder and water as needed.
6. Heat oil in a frying pan. Dip the pieces carefully in the batter and half-fry them.
7. Just before serving, press the pakoras lightly and re-fry them until crisp.
Serve with any chutney / sauce





Thursday, December 12, 2013

CHINGRI POSTO MALAIKARI ( Bengali Style Prawn Curry with Poppy Seeds and Coconut Milk )


This is a Traditional Bengali recipe, prawns cooked with poppy seed paste ( Posto) and thickened with coconut cream. Bengali posto dishes are very delicious specially when we use the mustard oil for cooking. You can also prepare fish or vegetables following the same recipe. Prawns being my personal favourite I have made it with prawns today.

Ingredients:
Prawns ... 500 gms
Onion ..... 1
Green chillies .. 3-4
Poppy seeds .. 3-4 tbsps ( soak them for a few hours and grind to a paste)
Ginger ... 1 tsp
Garlic .... 1 tsp
Coconut milk ... 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder .. 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder ... 1/2 tsp
Bay leaf .... 1
Cinnamon Stick .. 1 inch piece
Salt .... to taste
Sugar .. to taste ( optional)
Yogurt ... 1-2 tbsps
Mustard oil ... 4-5 tbsps


Method:
1. Clean the prawns. Retain the tail if you like. Marinate them with turmeric and salt.
2. Grind the onion, 2 green chillies, ginger and garlic to a coarse paste.
3. In a pan add half of  the mustard oil and shallow fry the prawns until they change colour (half cooked)
4. In another pan heat the remaining mustard oil and add the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. When they give out aroma, add the ground onion paste and saute until it dries up.
5. Now tip in the fried prawns and saute for a few minutes.
6. Add the poppy seed paste and curd. Add the salt and slit green chillies. Mix well and pour 1 cup water ( or as much gravy you require) . Simmer to cook. (about 5 minutes)
7. Finally stir in the coconut milk and garam masala powder. Bring to a boil until blended and cooked.



                                     Serve with plain rice.



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

GUR JI TEHRI ( Sweet Jaggery Rice)


Dear friends I have reached my 600 th post on the auspicious occasion of Diwali. Today I am sharing the recipe of Gur Ji Tehri, which is sweet jaggery rice. Now this can be made with sugar or jaggery. Tehri is made in all Sindhi homes on auspicious and festive days. It is usually served with Sai Bhaji or any kind of Aloo preparation.I have served it with Methi Aloo which is my hubby's favourite.


Ingredients:
Rice - 1 cup
Jaggery .. 1/2 cup or little more ( as per your taste)
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Coconut slivers - 1 tbsp (you can use fresh or dry coconut)
Cardamoms ..... 5-6
Saffron ....... a pinch
Cashew nuts ... few
Salt .... a pinch to balance the taste
Ghee ... about 2-3 tbsps or as needed
Chopped almonds /pistachios for garnishing.


Method:
1. Melt the jaggery in one cup of water and discard the impurities.
2. Heat a spoonful of ghee and add the cardamoms, coconut slivers, cashews, and fennel seeds.
3. When they change coclour, add the rice and saute for half a minute.
4. Add one and half cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat.
5. Add the saffron to the cooking rice.
6. When it is half done, strain the jaggery water which would be around 3/4 th cup after boiling.
7. Stir to mix and reduce the heat. Simmer on very low flame to cook.
8. When the water is all evaporated, place the pot on a tawa / griddle for dum.
9. Heat a little ghee and pour on top of the rice. Mix carefully with the back of a spoon to avoid the rice grains from breaking. (I use a chopstick to do this)
Garnish with chopped nuts.



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

LAUKI / DUDHI KOFTA CURRY


Ingredients:
Lauki / Dudhi (grated) ..... 2 cups
Besan ....... 3/4 cup or as needed
Onion ...... 1 (sliced)
Garlic ..... 1 tsp
Ginger .... 1 inch piece
Green chillies .... 2
Kasoori methi ... 1 tsp
Tomato puree .... 2 tbsps
Cream ........... 2 tbsps
Turmeric powder... 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder ... 1 tsp
Red chilli powder .... 1/4 tsp ( or as per your liking)
Salt ... to taste
Oil


Method:
1. Heat a little oil and saute the onions until light brown.
2. Add the ginger, garlic and green chillies. Saute and add a little water to cook.
3. When done grind it and set aside.
4. Now grate the lauki / dudhi and squeeze out the water completely.
5. Heat oil in a kadai for frying the koftas and mean while mix the besan, salt, chillies, kasoori methi and make round balls or koftas. Deep fry them and set aside.
6. Heat a little oil in a pan and add the onion paste and the tomato puree. Add the spice powders and salt.
7. Saute and add water as per the consistency of the gravy you require. Tip in the koftas and simmer for a few minutes.
8. Stir in the cream and garam masala powder.

Note: Mix the kofta ingredients just before frying them as the lauki leaves a lot of water.



Thursday, December 5, 2013

WALDORF SALAD


This is one of the most popular salads. It is very simple and you can easily make it at home. This fruity salad is a treat in summer.

Ingredients:
Walnuts .... handful
Apples ...... 1
Celery ...... 1 stem
Lettuce ..... few leaves
Mayonnaise .. 2 tbsps
Yogurt .......... 2 tbsps
Honey .......... 1 tsp
Lemon juice ... 1 tbsp
Salt .............. a pinch or two
Black pepper ..... freshly ground.
I added one tsp of  crushed flaxseeds (not in the recipe but they are good for health.)

Method:
1. Toast the walnuts and break into pieces.
2. Wash and cut the apples into pieces with the skin. Squeeze lime juice over them. Chop the celery finely.
3. Whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, honey and season with pepper.
4. Toss the apple pieces, walnuts and celery in the mix and refrigerate.
5. Serve chilled on a bed of lettuce leaves.

You can add grapes or raisins to this salad if you like.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

VEGETABLE KEEMA



This is a lovely option for vegetarians. You can have it like a sabzi or even use it for fillings in samosas / buns and pies

Ingredients:
Cauliflower .. 1 and half cups (shredded finely)
Onion .... 1  (about 1 cup)
Green peas .. 1/4 cup
Tomato ... 1
Green chillies .. 1-2
Ginger ... 1 tsp
Garlic .... 1 tsp
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder ... 1 tsp
Cumin powder .... 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder ... 1/4 tsp
Garam masala .... 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves .. handful
Kasoori methi ... dried and powdered .. to sprinkle on top.
Salt ... to taste
Oil

Method:
1. Shred the cauliflower finely and put it in hot water to remove the impurities.
2. Boil the green peas and set aside.
3. In a pan heat oil and add the finely chopped onions. Saute until brown.
4. Add the ginger, garlic, green chillies, tomatoes and a little water to cook.
5. Now tip in the cauliflower and start sauteeing until you get a nice brown colour of the keema.You can sprinkle a little water if needed.
6. Add all the spice powders, salt and coriander leaves.
7. Finally add the green peas and  stir it.

Tip: Adding boiled green peas in the end gives a better look to the curry.




Wednesday, October 30, 2013

VEGETABLE PULAO ( With Shan Biriyani Masala )


Veg pulao is the most healthiest option for one pot meals.. I keep trying out variations with different spice mixes and masala pastes. Today's version is with the flavourful Shan Biriyani Masala. I just love the flavours of this powder.

Ingredients:
Rice ... 1 & 1/2 cups
Cauliflower ... 8-10 florets
Capsicum/bell pepper ... 1 cup of green and red colours,cubed
Green peas .......... handful
(add any vegetables of your choice)
Onion ............ 1 small, sliced
Ginger garlic paste .... 1 tbsp.
Green chillies ............ 1-2
Tomato ... .... 1 medium
Cardamoms ......... 3-4
Cloves ................. 3-4
Cinnamon .......... 1 " piece
Bay leaf .............. 1-2
Turmeric powder ... 1/4 tsp
Yogurt ............. half cup
Biriyani Masala... 1 & 1/2 tbsp.



(I used Shan Sindhi Biriyani Masala)
( available at all Indian grocery stores in USA)
Mint leaves ........... handful
Coriander leaves ... handful
Salt
Oil
Method:
1. Wash the rice and soak it for 1 hour.


2. In a pressure cooker heat oil and add the whole spices, the ginger garlic paste and saute. Add the onions and stir fry till golden brown.
3. Tip in the vegetables,green chillies, tomato, salt, turmeric.


4. Mix the biriyani masala with the yogurt and add to the vegetables.(The measurement given on the packet is a lot..makes it too strong in spices.. I usually add one tbsp. for one cup of rice)
5. Simmer for a few minutes.


6. Now add the rice and double quantity of water.( If using Basmati, add a little less than double). Check the salt and close the pressure cooker.
7. After 2 whistles, simmer it a little and close the gas. Leave it for 5-7 minutes before opening the cooker.


8. Carefully seperate the rice with the back of the spoon. I use a chop stick to do this.
Serve with raita or fried potatoes.



Monday, October 28, 2013

DAL VADA KADHI ( LENTIL FRITTERS IN YOGURT GRAVY )


This month I have been paired with Shazia of  Cutchi Kitchen  in the Potluck Party Cyber Style hosted by Jagruti.. The kadhi is very simple to make and so delicious. We loved it and it is going to be a regular feature in our house. I recommend you all to try it out.

Ingredients:
Chana dal ... 1/2 cup
Toor dal ..... 1/2 cup
Dry red chillies .. 1-2
Fennel seeds / saunf ... 1 tsp
Coriander seeds ...... 1 tsp
Onion ............. 1 small
Garlic ............ 3-4 cloves (optional)
Ginger .......... 1 small piece
Asafoetida ... a pinch
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Baking powder ... 1/8 tsp
Salt .... to taste
Sugar ... little (optional)
Yogurt ...... 1 cup
Besan / gram flour .. 2 tbsps
Oil .. to fry and for tempering.


Tempering ingredients:
Mustard seeds .... 1 tsp
Cumin seeds ....... 1 tsp
Dry red chillies ... 2 - 3
Curry leaves ..... few
Asafoetida ..... a pinch
Red chilli powder .. a pinch ( for colour)
Oil ... 1-2 tbsps


Method:
1. Soak dals for 2-3 hours. You can soak the dry red chillies with them too.
2. Grind them coarsely without adding water. Add the fennel seeds and coriander seeds while grinding.
3. Mix turmeric powder, salt and baking powder.
4. Make lemon sized balls and flatten them a bit. Deep fry these and set them aside.
5. In a pan mix the yogurt and the besan. Blend together adding sufficient water. ( 2-3 cups)
6. Bring the kadhi to a boil and simmer it. Add salt and turmeric powder and a little sugar if you like.
7. When the kadhi is thicker, tip in the dal fritters and simmer for about 4-5 minutes.
8. Heat a little oil and add the tempering ingredients except red chilli powder. When they crackle, remove from the gas and let it cool a little. Now add the chilli powder and temper the kadhi just before serving.


Linking to Potluck Party Event @ Jagruti's Cooking Odyssey

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

VEG STEW WITH OATS



A very healthy and nutritious dish with a combination of vegetables like carrot, potato and spinach.In addition we also have green gram for protiens and all of us know the health benifits of oats. This stew can even be relished without any roti or bread. I sometimes take a bowl full for lunch and it is quite filling.

Ingredients:
Oats .... 2 tbsps
Spinach ... 1 piece (30 grms. frozen) or (handful fresh)
Green gram .. handful (soaked for few hours)
Potato ........ 1 small
Carrot ........ half
Onion ........ 1 small
Tomato .... 1 small
Green chilli ... 1
Turmeric powder ... 1/8 tsp
Cumin powder ...... 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder ... 1/4 tsp (add if you like it spicy)
Oil.................. 1-2 tbsp

METHOD:
1. Cut all the vegetables into small pieces and soak the moong gram.

2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add the oats. Saute for a minute on low flame.

3. Now tip in the onion, tomato, chilli and all the vegetables and the soaked green gram.
4. Add the salt and spices mentioned above ( note: very little quantity of masalas required)

5. Add 2 cups of water and close the cooker. Cook for 4-5 whistles.
6. After opening the cooker, just give a gentle mash with a ladle/spoon and check for the salt.
I have served it with dinner rolls.. even garlic bread goes well with it.

Monday, October 21, 2013

FISH GRILLED WITH SPINACH PUREE

We usually prepare grilled dishes with basic ginger garlic marinations. For a change I tried out something different and healthy.. used blanched spinach in addition to that and it gave a lovely colour too.along with the nutritions

Ingredients:
Fish fillet ..... 1
Spinach ...... 2 cups
Garlic ........ few cloves
Ginger ....... small piece
Onion ...... 2 tbsps
Green chillies .. 1-2
Lemon juice .... 2 tbsps
Turmeric powder ... 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder .... 1 tsp
Salt .... to taste
Oil ... 2 tbsps



Method:
1. Select a fish without bones. Clean the fillet.
2. Blanch the spinach and saute with the rest of the ingredients.( except lemon juice)
3. Grind it to a paste and add the lemon juice.
4. Marinate the fish fillet with the spinach puree.
5. Grease the baking tray or oven proof dish and place the fish fillet. Grill it for 20-25 minutes or until done.
Serve it hot with boiled vegetables or salad or garlic bread.
I have served with broccoli stir-fried with garlic.

Note: The grilling time may vary according to the size of the fish and the type of the oven.

                                      

Thursday, September 19, 2013

MOUSSE DE MARACUJA ( Eggless Passion Fruit Mousse)


This is a very easy dessert made with passion fruit. As the fruit is quite sour the mousse sets very well without the addition of egg white.

Ingredients:
Maracuja pulp or concentrate - 1 can
Condensed milk ..... 1 can
Cream ........ 1 can
( all three have to be equal quantity)

For Garnishing:
Passion fruit ... 1 (to use the seeds for garnishing)
Sugar ... 4-5 tsps.

Method:
1. Take all the three ingredients in the list 1 and blend in a mixer.
2. Pour them in a serving dish / bowl and refrigerate.
3. Cut the maracuja fruit and scoop out  the seeds.
4. In a pan add sugar and the seeds and cook on low flame stirring it until the sugar is melted.
5. Let it cool.
6. Pour it on the maracuja mousse before serving it.



HASSELBACK POTATOES WITH CHICKEN ROAST


Hasselback potatoes are a perfect accompaniment to your grilled meats or fish. Select large potatoes for this. You have to carefully make thin slices upto 3/4 th of the potato. The tip for doing this easily is to place the potato on the chopsticks and this way the knife will not reach the bottom. After slicing immerse them in ice cold water for some time. You will see them opening up like a fan. This makes it easier to spoon in the herbed butter.

Ingredients:
Potatoes - 2 large ( or as needed)
Butter ..... 2-3 spoons. (you may use olive oil too)
Oregano .. 1 tbsp (you may use any herbs available, dry or fresh)
Salt .... to taste ( if using salted butter you can skip it)

Method:
1. Place the potatoes on the chopsticks and make thin slices upto 3/4 th of it. Immerse them in ice cold water. They will open up like a fan.
2. Melt the butter and mix the herbs and salt. If you are using salted butter you can skip adding or add very little.
3. Spoon the herbed butter in between the slices.
4. Wrap them in a foil paper.
5. Bake them in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
In the final stage you can add some fresh herbs, grated cheese, paprika or black pepper if you like.
Serve them with grilled meats / fish.



For the Chicken Roast :

Chicken ..... 2 leg & thigh pieces
Garlic ...... 1 tsp (crushed)
Lemon juice .. 1-2 tbsps
salt ............ to taste
Red chilli powder .. 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder .. 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder .. 1/2 tsp
Oil ............. 1 tbsp

Method:
1. Clean the chicken and make light cuts on the surface.
2. Mix all the marination ingredients and rub on the chicken. Leave it for a few hours.
3. Place it on a greased tray and bake in a pre-heated oven turning the side once in between.
It takes 40 - 45 minutes.The time may vary a bit depending on the size and type of oven.