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. Any kind of pasta can be used in this preparation.
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
1. In a pan pour 5-6 cups of water. Add salt and a tbsp of oil. Boil the pasta until almost done but not mushy. Drain and run under cold water. Pour a little oil to keep them separate.
2. Grind the basil adding walnuts, vinegar, garlic, cheese and add the oil little by little while grinding.
3. In a pan add a little oil and pour the pesto sauce. Stir it for half a minute.
4. Tip in the boiled pasta. 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.
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.
Fish ..... 4-5 slices ( I have used king fish)
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.
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.
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.
Chana dal ... 1 cup
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
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 separate. 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.
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.
Goat brain fritters / pakoras is a delicacy of Sindhi Cuisine. They taste delicious !
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
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
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.
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
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.
Gur ji Tehri is sweet jaggery rice.flavoured with cardamoms, fennel seeds and saffron. This can be made with sugar. 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 Sukhe Aloo.
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
Raisins ...... 1 tbsp
Salt .... a pinch to balance the taste
Ghee ... about 2-3 tbsps or as needed
Chopped almonds /pistachios for garnishing.
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 colour, 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, raisins 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.
Note: You can also use organic jaggery powder. This can be added directly like sugar as it has no impurities. Add 1 and 3/4 th cups of water if using organic jaggery powder.