Sunday, January 13, 2013

CALDO DE FEIJAO ( Bean Soup)


This is a Brazilian bean soup made with beans.. we have such a large variety of beans here. I prefer to use red beans to get a nice perfect colour. You can even make from Rajma. I have made plain and simple soup but you can also add sausages or ham to it.

Ingredients:
Azuki beans ... 1/4 cup
Onion ........... 1 small
Garlic .......... 5-6 cloves ( 1 tsp )
Tomato puree ... 3-4 tbsps
Bay leaves ........ 1-2
Cinnamon stick ... small piece
Spring onions ..... for garnishing.
Salt ........ to taste
Oil ........ 1 tbsp

Method:
1. Soak the beans for few hours or overnight.
2. In a pressure cooker, heat the oil and add the bay leaf and cinnamon. Add the sliced onion and garlic cloves and saute a little.
3. Add the soaked beans, salt and 3 cups water. Allow it to cook until done. Let it cool.
4. Discard the cinnamon and bay leaves and blend the beans. Pour the bean soup back into the pan and add tomato puree. Bring it to a boil and add water according to the consistency you prefer.
You may also add sausages or ham to the soup while boiling.
5. Add the finely chopped spring onions and chilli sauce just before serving in individual bowls.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

BLACK PEPPER CHICKEN


Pepper Chicken curry is a spicy dish with the blend of black pepper, soy sauce, ginger garlic and some spices cooked with onions. The original version is quite spicy and uses a generous quantity of black peppers but I have adjusted it to my family preference. You can make this with gravy and serve with appams and dosas. It is a perfect combo. You may also relish the dry version like a snack.

Ingredients:
Chicken ... 500 gms ( I have used boneless..you can use with bones too)
Onions ..... 3 medium (sliced)
Black pepper ... 1 tbsp ( freshly crushed)
Garam masala ...... 1 + 1 tsp
Soy sauce ........... 1 tbsp
Cinnamon stick ... 1 inch piece
Black cardamom ... 1-2
Salt ....................... to taste
Oil

For Marination:
Lemon juice ..... 2-3 tbsps
Garlic paste ...... 1 tbsp
Black pepper .... 1 tbsp (crushed)
Garam masala ... 1 tsp
Turmeric powder (1/4 tsp
Salt

Method:

1. Clean and marinate the chicken pieces with the ingredients mentioned above.
2. In a pan heat oil and fry the onions until golden brown in colour. Add the cinnamon and cardamoms (whole) and half cup water. Simmer for 2 minutes.
3. Add the chicken and saute for a few minutes stirring from time to time.


4. Add sufficient water to cook depending on the consistency you prefer.(dry or gravy)
5. Check the salt and add carefully as the chicken is marinated with it and also we will be adding soy sauce later.
6. When the chicken is done, heat a little oil in a pan and add the remaining garam masala and black pepper. Switch off the gas and add the soya sauce into the pan. Stir well and add to the cooked chicken. Stir carefully to mix it.
Garnish with coriander leaves.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

FALAFEL SANDWICH / PITA POCKETS



This is a popular Lebanese snack/street food.

Falafels ... see recipe - HERE
Pita breads... small ones
Garlic sauce with Tahini ... You get it ready in stores.
( You can also use HUMMUS diluted a bit with yogurt.... I have used ROASTED BELL PEPPER HUMMUS )
Pickled vegetables
Onion ........... sliced
Tomato ...... sliced
Parsley or lettuce leaves

Method:
1. Warm the pita breads on a griddle/tawa and cut them into two.
2. Open up like pockets and spread the garlic sauce or diluted hummus.
3. Line with Lettuce or parsley. Stuff with falafels, sliced onions and tomatoes. Spoon out a little hummus on top.
Serve immediately before they become soggy.
FALAFEL
HUMMUS
ROASTED BELL PEPPER HUMMUS

FRANGO PASSARINHO ( Deep-Fried Chiken)


This is a Brazilian snack which is usually served as a snack with beer in pubs and small eateries.

Ingredients:
Chicken (with bones) ... 1/2 kg (cut into small pieces)
Garlic ................... 4-5 cloves (crushed)
Lemon juice ........ 2-3 tbsps
White wine ......... 1/4 cup (optional)
Nutmeg powder .... 1 pinch ( can add any other spice if you like)
Salt ................. to taste
Oil ............. to fry
Flour ....... 2 tbsps ... to dust
Spring onions and lemon wedges ... for garnishing

Method:
1. Wash the chicken pieces and marinate them with lemon juice, garlic, nutmeg powder,white wine (optional) and salt.
2. Drain the water and dust the dry flour on the chicken pieces.
3. Deep fry them until golden and crispy.
4. Garnish with spring onions and lemon wedges.
5. Serve with herb-flavoured olive oil.
(mix dry herbs, a little salt and vinegar in the olive oil. You can make this and store in a bottle for better results)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

PANATONE / PANETTONE

Panatone/Panettone is a sweet bread made during the Christmas and New Year. Although you can find panatone or panettone recipe in other countries like France, Switzerland and some Latin American ones, the origination is traced back to the city of Milan (Italy) where it is the symbol of the city. As Italians immigrated to the United States and other countries they took their recipes with them making this sweet fruit bread popular all over the world.


Ingredients:
Flour ..... 3 cups
Eggs ...... 3
Butter .... 1/2 cup
Sugar ..... 1/4 cup ( If you like it sweeter add a little more)
Salt ....... 3/4 tsp
Lemon rind ... 1 tsp (grated)
Raisins ....... 3/4 cup (black and golden)
Candied fruit .. 1/2 cup
Fresh yeast ..... 30 gms (2 cubes)
(You may use 2 tbsps. of dry yeast if fresh one is not available)
Panatone essence .... 1 tbsp


Method:



1. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
2. Add the eggs one by one and continue beating.
3. If using fresh yeast, just crumble it into the mixture. But if you are using dry yeast, you have to add it to 1/3 cup of luke warm water or milk along with a tsp of sugar. Leave it to become frothy in a warm place and then add to the mix.
4. Now add only 2 cups of flour slowly while beating. Save 1 cup for later use.
5. Add the essence, salt, raisins and candied fruit.

6. Remove this on a floured surface and knead adding the remaining flour until smooth and elastic.
7. Leave it in a covered bowl for 2 hours until it rises to double. In winter it may take longer. You can place it in a warm oven.
8. Punch the dough and knead it. Place it in a greased pan. Cover and leave it to rise to double. (you can brush with egg white for a glaze on top)

9. Pre-heat the oven. Bake it first on high for 7-8 minutes. Then reduce to medium and bake further for 20 - 25 minutes or until done.
Note: the time and temperature may vary depending on the type of oven you are using. You have to check it out.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

PALAK KI KADHI


Spinach / palak has a high nutritional value. I add a few leaves in most of my dishes, both veg & non veg like we add coriander leaves.  Today I have tried out yogurt kadhi with palak.


Ingredients:
Yogurt / curd...... 1 cup
Gram flour / besan ... 1 tbsp
Spinach / Palak ... 1/2 cup (finely chopped)
Coriander leaves ... handful
Grated ginger ..... 1 tsp
Curry leaves ...... few
Green chillies ... 1-2
Cumin seeds ... 1 tsp
Methi seeds ..... 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida...... 2 pinches
Cinnamon .... a small piece
Cloves .........  2
Turmeric powder .... 1/8 tsp
Salt .......... to taste
Sugar ..... 1/4 or 1/2 tsp (as you like it)
Oil ...... 2-3 tsps

Method:
1. In a pan heat oil. Add asafoetida, Cumin and methi seeds. When they crackle add the cinnamon stick, cloves, curry leaves, green chillies, ginger and palak. Saute for a minute.
2. Blend the yogurt and besan together adding 2 cups water. Pour it into the pan.
3. Add the salt, sugar and turmeric powder. When it starts boiling, simmer it and let it cook for 8-10 minutes.
4. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with plain rice.

Friday, January 4, 2013

PANQUECAS DE TAPIOCA ( Tapioca Pancakes)

These are flat griddle-cakes similar to a pancakes or crepes, white, chewy and without much flavor... Made with tapioca..rolled or folded and filled with any number of sweet or savory fillings, like crepes are. Some favorite fillings are  carne , banana with sugar and cinnamon powder, Grated coconut with condensed milk, grated cheese, or simply butter. This is a popular street food of Brazil.


How to make them:
Tapioca flour ... it is available ready in the stores. It has a slightly moist texture. In case of unavailability you may try out this tip. Grind the sago pearls in a mixer or dry grinder. Add a generous pinch of salt. Sprinkle cold water over it and spread it in a wide dish. It should resemble the crumbs texture.. Air it for an hour and try using it.


Heat a non-sticky pan. Reduce the heat. Using a large strainer, sift the tapioca flour into the pan spreading it evenly in a thin layer. Use your hand to push the flour. It just takes a couple of minutes to cook. Spread the topping of your choice and fold it like a dosa.You don't even need any oil.


1. With Chicken Mince Topping.
( I stir-fried some onion and added the chicken mince and Indian spice powders. Cooked it until done.This is the spicier version to suit our taste buds)

2. Grated Cheese Topping.
( This is the savoury topping that is usually made here... just the plain grated cheese. Add anything else to it if you like.)


3. Banana, Sugar and Cinnamon Topping:

(Slice the banana and spread on the pancake. Sprinkle cinnamon powder. Sugar is optional)



4. Chocolate Topping

(Grate the chocolate on the pancake while making it..)

ALOO CAPSICUM


This is a very simple sabzi of aloo and capsicum with bare minimum masalas. It is our family favourite. You can enjoy this with rotis and puris.

Ingredients:
Potatoes ..... 4 small
Capsicums .. 2 small
Tomato ....... 1 sliced
Ginger garlic paste ... 1 tbsp
Asafoetida .... a pinch
Cinnamon ... 1 inch piece
Turmeric powder ... 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds .......... 1 tsp
Cumin powder ...... 1 tsp
Salt ............... to taste
Oil

Method:
1. Slice the potatoes, rub a little salt and deep fry till done.
2. Slice the capsicums.
3. In a pan heat a little oil and add cumin seeds, cinnamon and asafoetida.
4. Put the sliced capsicums, a little salt and stir fry for a minute. Add the tomato slices and simmer for a minute again.
5. Now put the fried potatoes, turmeric and cumin powders. Mix well.
Serve with puris or rotis.

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