Wednesday, March 27, 2013

GARLIC BREAD


Here is the recipe of yummy garlic bread to serve with your soups.

Ingredients:
French Bread Rolls .. 3-4 (small ones or 1 big )
Butter ...........    2 tbsps
Olive oil ....... 2 tbsps
Garlic ........... 1 tbsp ( crushed )
Basil or oregano .... 1 tsp  (or more if you like)
Salt ................... to taste

Method:
1. Make slits in the breads (slanting).

2. Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl.

3. Using a butter knife, apply the paste in between the slices and on the bread.

4. Wrap them in a foil paper individually.
5. Place them in the pre-heated oven 10 minutes before you are ready to serve them.

It can be eaten as a snack or with soup /any  baked dish.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

ROASTED SUMAC CHICKEN


This is a Middle Eastern dish and traditionally they use whole chicken with the skin. Sumac is a kind of sour berry which is used in a lot in cooking which gives the food a tangy, lemony flavour and pink colour. In case you don't find the sumac powder in the place where you live, you can try out this recipe using ground anardana / pomegranate.

Ingredients:
Chicken ... whole or leg thigh pieces (I have used 4 thigh pieces)
Onions ... 2 medium
Olive oil ... 6 tbsps
Sumac ....... 1 tbsp
Black pepper.. 1/4 tsp
Paprika ..... 1/2 tsp
Garlic ....... 1 tbsp
Zaatar ....... 1 tbsp ( this is tangy condiment used in most of the Middle Eastern recipes. It has Sumac (anardana powder / pomegranate) dried mint, crushed sesame seeds and other spices )
You may use garam masala if you don't get Zaatar
Vinegar ........ 1 tbsp
Salt ......... to taste (zaatar has a little salt in it too.if you are using that add accordingly)

Garnishing : Onion rings sauteed with sumac and salt.

Slice the onions and separate the rings. Take a little olive oil in a pan and place the rings. Sprinkle a little sumac powder and salt. Stir fry for half a minute and switch off the gas. Cover it with a lid until you are ready to use. It cooks in the steam.

Method:
1. Clean the chicken and make slits with a knife for better marination.

2. Mix the spice powders, mentioned above with 2 tbsps of olive oil and vinegar.

3. Marinate the chicken with this paste and set it aside for few hours.

4. Line a baking tray with foil paper and pour some olive oil. Place the chicken pieces and drizzle a little olive oil on top.
5. Roast the chicken in the oven until done.(250 degrees first 15 minutes, then reduce to 200)
It takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of the oven and the chicken. (whole chicken takes a little longer)

Serve this on the bed of onion rings sauteed with sumac..


Monday, March 25, 2013

GHEEAR / GHEEYAR ( HOLI SPECIAL )


This is a Sindhi sweet traditionally made during the Holi Festival. Sweet shops are loaded with the special sweets during the Festive season. This may not be an authentic recipe of a Halwai, but I am quite happy with the result. Usually the dough is kept overnight for fermenting. But since the weather is cold here I used the instant method by adding a little yeast to it.

Ingredients:
All purpose flour / maida .... 2 cups
Corn starch ......................... 1 tbsp
Yogurt ( sour ) .................. 1 cup
Saffron ......................... a generous pinch
Cardamoms ................ 4-5
Baking powder ........... a small pinch
Salt ................. a pinch ( about 1/8 tsp )
Sugar ............... 2 cups
Yeast .............. 1 tsp ( if making the instant recipe )
Orange food colour
Pistachios & Silver varq for garnishing
Oil ...... for deep frying.

Method:
1. In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, corn starch.
2. Add the sour yogurt and sufficient water to make a smooth batter. Add the colour. Leave it covered overnight for fermenting.
OR

If you want to make it instantly, add yeast. I have just crumbled the fresh yeast directly into the dough. If you are using dry yeast, take a little lukewarm water, add half a tsp of sugar and put the yeast granules. Leave it for 5 minutes in a warm place for proving. When it becomes frothy it is ready to be added. Mix it into the dough. Leave the dough for 15 - 20 minutes, covered in a warm place and it is ready for use.

3. Meanwhile prepare the sugar syrup. Take sugar in a pan and add one cup water.
Bring it to a boil and add the cardamoms and saffron. Remove the impurities and boil until it is thick.

4. Pour the batter into a plastic bottle that we use for sauces. Or alternately you can also use a plastic bag making a tiny hole in it.


5. Heat oil in a flat bottomed frying pan. It should not be too hot. Pour out the batter to make a big round gheeyar, like you make jalebis.
6. Fry on low / medium flame to make it crisp turning it a couple of times very carefully.

7. Dip them into the hot syrup, remove into a plate and garnish with crushed pistachios and silver varq.
 I have not used silver varq as it is said to be harmful for health.



Friday, March 22, 2013

GRILLED POTATO SALAD


This flavourful salad makes a good side dish with the grilled meats.

Ingredients:
Potatoes ...... 4 small or 2 large
Onion .......... 1
Mayonnaise ... 1/4 cup
Cheese ........ 1 tbsp (grated)
Garlic ......... 1 tsp (crushed)
Coriander or Parsley ... handful (chopped)
Paprika ......... 1/4 tsp
Black pepper .. 1/4 tsp ( or white pepper )
Dried basil ..... 1/4 tsp
Salt ............... to taste
Butter or olive oil .. 2 tbsps

Method:
1. Peel and cut the potatoes into thick rings (1/2 cm. )
2. Peel and cut the onion into rings and separate them.

3. Mix all the ingredients together in a bog bowl.

4. Spread a long sheet of foil paper ( Use a thick one or else use a double layer)
5. Drizzle a little olive oil and spoon the salad.

6. Seal the top and twist the sides as shown in the picture.
7. Bake it in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for about 30 -35 minutes.
(Reduce the temperature to 150 degrees after 15 minutes )

 This should be served hot immediately.

Note: Be careful of the hot steam while opening the foil.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

PORK CHOPS ( Grilled )


Tender pork chops marinated with a tangy, sweet and spicy sauce and grilled to perfection..served with a flavourful grilled potato salad !

Ingredients:
Pork chops ... 4 (select tender ones)

For Marination:
Garlic .......      1 tbsp (crushed)
Soy sauce ...     1 tbsp
Ketchup ....... 1 tbsp
Mustard sauce .. 1 tsp
Chilli sauce .......  1 tsp
Honey ................ 1 tsp
Salt ................. to taste
Olive oil ........ 1 tbsp
Vinegar .......... 1 tbsp

Method:

1. Clean the pork chops, remove the fat and marinate with the ingredients mentioned above for at least 5-6 hours.

2. Pour a litle oil on a griddle, and shallow fry the pork chops for 2-3 minutes on each side to get a nice colour.

3. Line a baking tray with a greased foil paper and place the chops pouring all the liquid from the marination. Grill them for 5-6 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 250 degrees turning the side once.


Serve with any side dish like boiled vegetables / mashes potatoes / salad

Note: The pork chops that I got were very tender. If they are thick it may take a little longer to grill them.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

AVIAL


This is a very simple South Indian dish which is not spicy. Raw banana and drumsticks are must in this preparation with the addition of few more vegetables like carrots beans and chuchu. These vegetables are cooked with a flavourful blend of coconut, ginger, cumin and green chillies and tempered with curry leaves and asafoetida. Preferably coconut oil is used for tempering but you can substitute it with any cooking oil. This can be served with Pongal and appams.

Ingredients:
Raw banana ... 1
Drumstick ..... 1
Carrots .......... 1/2
Chuchu ......... 1
Beans ............ 6
Coconut .......  1/2 cup
Yogurt .......... 1/2 cup
Green chillies ..2
Ginger ........... small piece
Cumin seeds ... 1 tsp
Asafoetida ...... a pinch
Turmeric powder ... 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves ...... 1 sprig
Salt ........ to taste
Oil ....... 2 tbsps  ( preferably coconut oil )

Method:

1. Peel and cut all the vegetables into long pieces ( about 1 inch )


2. Boil the adding salt and turmeric until they are almost done. ( don't overcook them)  Drain and set aside.

3. Grind the coconut, ginger, green chillies and cumin seeds to a smooth paste. You may add a few curry leaves too if you like the flavour.

4. Heat oil in a pan and add asafoetida and curry leaves. Stir in the ground paste and saute for a minute.

5. Check the salt and add the boiled vegetables. Stir carefully making sure you don't break the vegetables. Simmer for a minute.

5. Now beat the yogurt and carefully stir it into the dish. Just simmer it for half a minute. Do not cook on high flame at this stage as it will curdle.







How to make  PONGAL


 Click   HERE  for the Recipe.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

WHITE ONION GRAVY FOR SHAHI CURRIES



Make this onion gravy and store it after frying in a little oil. Comes handy for using in the curries with white gravies, specially Shahi dishes. You can freeze it too.

Boil the onions in water for 4-5 minutes and let them cool. Add just suffecient water while cooking so that you don't throw it away and use the same to grind it.


Heat a little oil in a pan and cook the onion paste for a few minutes on low flame, taking care not to make it brown. Add a little salt while cooking. Cool it.
You can freeze it in plastic containers.

Monday, March 18, 2013

RAW MANGO CHUTNEY



Here is a recipe of a nice tangy sweet and sour chutney made with raw mangoes. You can serve it with parathas, puris...

Ingredients:
Raw mangoes ..... 2 (grated)
Ginger ................ 1 tbsp
Garlic ................. 1 tbsp.
Mint leaves ......... 8-10 (for flavour)
Jaggery ............... 2 tbsps.
Red chilli powder ... 1 tsp.
Salt ...................... to taste
Oil ....................... 3 tbsp.

Method:
1. Grind the mango, ginger, garlic and mint leaves.

2. Heat oil in a pan and add the ground mixture and season it with chilli powder, salt and jaggery.
3. Stir fry on low flame for 3-4 minutes.
4. Let it cool and you can store it in the refrigerator.
Goes well with puris, parathas and snacks.

RAJMA PULAO



Pulao is such a versatile dish. We can make many varieties Veg/Non-veg, varying the ingredients. I have tried it out with Rajma as it is my husband's favourite dish.

Ingredients:
Rice ........ 1 cup
Rajma ..... 1/4 cup (soaked overnight)
Onions ..... 2 (sliced)
Green chillies ... 1-2
Ginger ............. 1 tsp. (Grated)
Garlic paste ...... 1 tsp.
Tomato ............ 1
Black cardamom ... 1
Cloves ............... 3-4
Bay leaf .............. 1
Cinnamon ......... 1 small piece
Garam masala .. 1/2 tsp.
Coriander powder ... 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder ........ 1/2 tsp.
Red chilli powder ... 1/4 tsp.
Turmeric ............... 1/8 tsp.
Salt ..................... to taste.
Ghee ................. 1-2 tbsp.
Oil
For garnishing :
Onion ... 1
Sprinkle salt on sliced onion and deep fry to a brown colour.
Method:
1. Pressure cook the rajma until done and set aside.
2.Boil rice adding salt, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf and cinnamon.Drain and set aside.
3. In a pan heat a little oil and fry the onions until brown. Add the tomato, green chillies, ginger and the garlic paste. Add a little water and simmer to cook.
4. Add the boiled rajma, salt and the dry spice powders and sprinkle a little water. Stir and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Keep the consistency thick.
5. In a sauce pan layer the rice and rajma pouring a little hot ghee between each layer. Keep covered on a low flame for a minute.
6. Garnish with fried onions.

RASAM


Any South Indian meal is incomplete without Rasam. We have an amazing variety of rasams with different flavours. It is good for digestion too.

Ingredients:
Boiled tur dal: 1/2 cup (makes from 1/4 cup lentils)
Tamarind paste : 2 tbsp
Black pepper: 1 tsp
Rasam powder: 4 tsp (See recipe in spice powders)
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
Tomatoes : 2 finely chopped
Coriander leaves

Tempering Ingredients:
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Dry red chillies - 2
Curry Leaves - 5-6
Asafoetida - a pinch
Garlic - 3 pods (optional)


Method:
1. Mash the boiled tur dal into a fine paste and add 3-4 cups of water.
2. Keep to boil in a pan. Add turmeric, red chilly powder, black pepper, salt to taste, coriander leaves and tamarind paste.
3. Allow to boil for 5 minutes. (This is supposed to be a watery dish and is considered a good digestive)
4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, add cumin & mustard seeds. When they splutter, add curry leaves, dry red chillies and hing. Also add crushed garlic.
5. When garlic turns brown, finally, add the Rasam powder, stir promptly and shift the tempering onto the rasam immediately.
Alternately, you may add the garlic into the rasam while boiling itself.


KARELA & CORIANDER JUICE



Karela ( bitter gourd ), as we all know, has lot of medicinal properties and is very rich in iron. One should try to consume some amount of karela in our diet, especially those suffering with diabetes.
The juice of coriander( also known as cilantro) is beneficial in producing vitamin A, B1, B2, C and iron. It is also highly beneficial in treating digestive disorders such as indigestion, nausea, dysentery, hepatitis and colitis.
Here is a recipe with the blend of both the juices. Some people find it difficult to consume karela juice because of the bitter taste, but when blended with coriander, lime and salt it is not as bad as we think.

Ingredients:
Karela .... 1
Coriander leaves ... handful
Lime juice ........ 1-2 tbsps. ( as per your taste)
Salt .................. 1/2 tsp.
Water ............... 1 small glass.

Method:
1. Wash and cut the karela into pieces.( do not peel)
2. Blend it with all the above ingredients.
3. Strain and serve chilled.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

RUMALI ROTI



 Any dinner in a Punjabi restaurant is incomplete without these soft, melt in the mouth Rumali Rotis. They pair very well with all the curries and tikkas as well.
The way they make them in the restaurants is really very interesting part as they throw them up in the air to make them thinner. I don't think we can ever do the same at home. I have rolled them as thin as possible and they were really good.

Ingredients:
Flour/maida ..... 2 cups
Oil / ghee ......... 2 tbsps
Salt ................ to taste
Baking soda ... a pinch
Water / milk ... to knead



Method:


1. Knead the dough with all the above ingredients. Set it aside well covered or wrapped in a cellophane for atleast 1 hour.

2. Roll out a small portion of it into a very thin roti.

3. Invert a wok/kadai on the gas burner. Let it become hot. Place the roti on it and turn it for a couple of times quickly until done. It has to remain soft..so don't over-cook it.

4. Fold it and keep in a foil immediately so that it remains soft.
Serve it with tikkas/makhni dal/butter chicken....it goes with anything.


RED AMARANTH LEAVES SABJI



Red amaranth leaves are highly nutritious and contain three times more calcium than spinach. The youngest leaves have a milder flavour and are good to use in salads, the mature leaves are better cooked like spinach. Anything you would use spinach for, just use amaranth leaves exactly the same way.



Ingredients:
Red amaranth leaves ... 1 bunch
Onion ...................... 1 ( sliced )
Chana dal ............... 1/4 cup ( soaked in water )
Green chillies ......... 1-2
Tomatoes ................ 1
Tamarind juice ... 1 tbsp.
Salt ....................... to taste
Turmeric powder ... 1/4 tsp.
Cumin powder ....... 1/2 tsp.
Coriander powder ... 1/2 tsp.
Ginger-garlic paste .... 1tbsp.

For tempering:
Cumin seeds ..... 1 tsp.
Mustard seeds ... 1 tsp.
Asafoetida .... a pinch
Whole red chillies ... 2
Dessicated coconut ..... 1 tbsp.
Oil


Method:
1. Soak the chana dal for at least one hour.

2. Separate the amaranth leaves from the stalks ( use only leaves) and wash them well.

3. In a pan heat a little oil and add the tempering ingredients. When they crackle, add the onion, green chillies and ginger garlic paste. Saute for 2 minutes.

4. Now add the tomato and the spice powders and put the amaranth leaves and the soaked chana dal.

5. Add one and half cups water, tamarind juice and let it simmer on very low flame until done.
Dal should remain whole ( do not overcook or mash it)



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