Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Blackened Prawns

Recipe No: 130
This dish came up as an accident while I was trying to make some Prawns to put on top of the Roasted Tomato Soup. But when tasted, I was so amazed by its taste and so  decided to make it into a separate recipe. If the prawns are cleaned and the ingredients are prepped this will practically take only 3 minutes to prepare. As my husband commented ‘this will go perfect with 'drinks’….
Ingredients                           Serves 2
  • Large Shrimp………........15 no (Clean, slit lengthwise with the last segment attached)
  • Salt…………………….........As per taste
  • Oil…………………………….3 Tablespoons
  • Mustard Seeds…….........1/2 Teaspoon
  • Red Chilly Powder…......1/2 Teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder……....1 Teaspoon
  • Garam Masala Powder…1/4 Teaspoon
  • Black Pepper Powder…..1/4 Teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder………..1/4 Teaspoon
  • Ginger..................…….…1/2 Tablespoon(Sliced into thin, long pieces)
  • Garlic...................…..…..1 Teaspoon(Sliced into thin, long pieces)
  • Curry Leaves…………..….1 Sprig
Method of Preparation
  1.  Split the prawns lengthwise till the last segment along the line that we make to remove the digestive system.(Take a look at the photo) Take care not to detach both halves. Remove the thin thread (digestive system) on its back, wash and pat dry.
  2. Marinate the Prawns with Salt and keep aside till ready to be used.
  3. Mix Red Chilly Powder, Coriander Powder, Turmeric Powder, Garam Masala Powder and Pepper Powder and keep aside.
  4. Heat Oil in a pan on medium high heat and add the Mustard Seeds and let it splutter.
  5. Add the Sliced Ginger, Garlic and Curry leaves to the hot Oil and saute for 30 seconds or it is starts to brown along the edges.
  6. Add the Spice Mixture and fry for another 30 seconds or until its raw smell is   gone. Take care not to burn it but still it should attain a light black color. Do stir constantly.
  7. Add the marinated Shrimp and saute till it is cooked through. This will take only two minutes on medium high heat.
  8. Remove from heat and serve hot with rice.
Notes:
  • Shrimp has only a very small cooking time and in this case it will be even lesser as the Shrimp is already split lengthwise almost along its entire length. 
  • Splitting the Shrimp as mentioned in this recipe will make it appear larger.
  • Keep everything ready before starting to cook, as the dish will be ready in minutes.
  • The amount of Oil mentioned in the recipe is crucial and also it will be better to make this in a wok like pan so that the Oil won't spread out too much, as the spice mixture need to fry  immersed in the hot Oil for maximum taste. 

     




    Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and 
    serve it to your family with love…

    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    Banana Halwa

    Recipe No: 129
    I have this very close friend of mine in Philly who, at times, call me and ask  what to do with  over ripened Bananas. Well… this happens to all of us at times... most of the family members ignoring the Bananas whose skin is getting black...Even though its skin is black the inside  will be perfectly good...What I do with these Bananas vary with the amount of Bananas on hand. If there are only two or three of them, then I prefer Banana cake or Bread but if there are more I’ll go for Banana Pradhaman, Varattiyathu or Halwa.

    This week the Bananas that I bought somehow started turning black pretty soon, which gave me an excellent opportunity to make Banana Halwa. When you make these in small quantities you will never feel it that hard which is very good as, you will be able to taste that homemade deliciousness, even though it will disappear in a matter of minutes!!!
    Ingredients
    • Ripe Bananas Mashed………….2 heaping cups (Around 6 big Bananas)
    • Grated Jaggery……………………1 ½ Cups
    • Sugar………………………………...1/4 Cup
    • Ghee………………………………....2 Tablespoons
    • Broken Cashew Pieces………….1/4 Cup
    • Fresh Cardamom Powder….….1/4 Teaspoon
    Method of Preparation
    1. Melt together Jaggery and Sugar with ¼ Cup of water.
    2. In another wide pan on medium high heat melt the Ghee and add the mashed Banana and stir till the it dries up a bit.
    3. Add the melted Jaggery through a strainer into the Banana mixture; stir and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until most of the water is evaporated.
    4. Add the Cashew nut and cook for a few minutes till the mixture comes together as a mass and forms peaks when you lift your spatula and Ghee starts to ooze out. (Note the consistency in the picture)
    5. Add the Cardamom powder; mix well and move the Halwa to a greased container. Flatten the top with the back of a greased spoon.
    6. Cut and serve, once completely cooled.
    Notes:
    • I used both Jaggery and Sugar for a particular reason. Jaggery gives the best taste for the Halwa, but it will take a long time to get to a stage where we can cut the Halwa into pieces. On the other hand with Sugar, you don’t have to cook so long as Sugar will harden up more once cooled, but at the same time it won’t give that signature taste and color of Banana Halwa. So to get the best of both worlds, I used a major portion of Jaggery and a small portion of Sugar.
    • The Bananas that are very common is US is the Robusta type, which is used in this recipe too.
    • It is not necessary to stir it all the way through at first but do stir like every 3 minutes, but towards the end it is better to stir throughout. Take care not to burn the bottom.
    • This whole process will not take more than 25 minutes.
     




    Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and 
    serve it to your family with love…

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    Fried Chocolate Wontons-A ‘no recipe’ recipe!!!

    Recipe No: 128
    This is a dessert, which is both quick and easy but still needs no recipe!! You can customize it however you want, but definitely, I would love to give some ideas…serve it with a light dusting of powdered sugar or Cinnamon sugar (sugar with a bit of Cinnamon) or serve it warm with Vanilla Ice-cream or for Chocoholics, coat it again with melted white or dark Chocolate and sprinkle some chopped toasted nuts…

    I am an absolute fan of the Chocolate – Hazelnut spread…Nutella, which had been one of my favorite ‘pregnancy treats’... believe it or not, as if they are keeping their Mother’s legacy both of my kids are crazy about this stuff…they even fight on who is cleaning the almost finished jar!!! Well I have to say that my kids  are usually a bit picky on Desserts and as they love Nutella, I made this specially for them….
    Ingredients
    • Wonton Wrappers……..As per needed
    • Nutella……………………..As per needed
    • Oil for deep frying
    • Powdered sugar for dusting
    Method of Preparation
    1. Take a Wonton wrapper and place ¼ teaspoon of Nutella in the middle.
    2. Wet the edges of the wrappers with some water, fold one side over the Nutella to cover it.
    3. Stick the ends nicely by pressing, taking care to remove any air bubbles that may be trapped inside.
    4. Repeat this with the rest of the wrappers.
    5. Heat at least 2 inches of Oil in a frying pan on high heat and deep fry the prepared Wontons till golden brown in color.
    6. Drain the excess Oil on a paper towel and serve it the way you want (options stated in the introduction).
    Notes:
    • Don’t over stuff the Wontons with more Nutella as it will become overly sweet.
    • Pressing the air bubbles out and sealing the edges properly are very important; failure to do these will result in spilling of Nutella into the Oil.
    • Working with Wontons is tricky, as it dries out pretty fast. So take only one by one out of its cover or make sure to cover the extra ones with a damp cloth if it is out of its cover.
    • Wonton wrappers are available in the frozen section of most of the grocery stores and in the stores that sells Asian groceries.
     



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    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    Wonton Soup and Freezing Wontons

    Recipe No: 127
    This is a Chinese style soup and I should say very tasty. This uses both Pork and Shrimp and ideally Pork should have some amount of fat. But personally I am not a ‘Pork Fat’ person, so mostly I use Pork with less fat. So if you want your Wontons melt in your mouth, include some fat but even without that it is an awesome tasting Soup. It is also very easy to freeze this Wontons so that  homemade Wontons are ready in your refrigerator to make Soup on a cold and lazy Winter evening. This recipe is adapted from Linda Doeser's 'Wok and Stir Fry ' with some modifications.
    Ingredients                                                                  Serves 5
    • Ground Pork………………………….1 Cup (around 200 grams)
    • Shrimp……………………………….…6 big ones cleaned, deveined and chopped finely
    • Light Brown Sugar………………..1 Teaspoon (If not available, use grated Jaggary)
    • Rice Wine…………………………..…1 Tablespoon (If not available,use any dry white wine)
    • Soy Sauce…………………………..…2 Tablespoons divided
    • Green/Spring Onion chopped….1 Tablespoon
    • Ginger chopped finely………….…1 Teaspoon
    • Wonton wrappers…………………..30
    • Chicken Stock…………………….…3 Cups
    • Sliced Green/Spring Onion for garnish
    Method of Preparation
    1. Combine together Pork, Shrimp, Brown Sugar, Rice Wine, one tablespoon Soy Sauce, Chopped Green / Spring Onion, and Ginger. Keep it aside for 20 minutes till all the flavors mingle.
    2. Place ¾ teaspoon of filling in the middle of the Wonton wrapper.
    3. Wet the edges of the wrapper with water and press all the edges together with your fingers to seal. Make all the Wontons like this.
    4. Heat 3 Cups of Chicken Stock till rolling boil, add 20 Wontons and cook for 5-7 minutes.
    5. Add one tablespoon of Soy Sauce, mix well, switch off the stove and transfer the Soup to individual serving bowls.
    6. Garnish with Spring/ Green Onions and serve hot.
    Notes:
    • The no of Wontons to be served per portion depends on you. Anywhere from 3 to 5 Wontons per serving is fine.
    • Usually I cook one Wonton extra per person if in case any of the Wontons open up in the Stock and become unable to be served. But if closed properly by pressing the tips of the Wontons tightly, then I am sure it will not open up.
    • Working with Wontons wrappers are tricky, as it dries out pretty fast. So take only one by one out of its cover or make sure to cover the extra ones with a damp cloth if it is out of its cover.
    • From this amount you will get 30-32 Wontons. Use only 18-20 for this recipe. Freeze the rest so that Wontons are ready in your fridge when you crave for this Soup the next time.
    • Wonton wrappers are available in the frozen section of most of the grocery stores. Both square and round ones work perfectly.
      To Store the extra Wontons
      • Place the extra Wontons without touching each other on a lightly floured plate or tray and keep in the refrigerator for 10-12 hours. By this time each of them will be individually frozen.
      • Once individually frozen, put them in a Zip Lock bag and store it in the Freezer. 
      • If you skip on individually freezing the Wontons, then they will form one frozen mass.
      • When ready to be used the next time, let then thaw on a lightly floured plate without touching each other, covered with a damp cloth and make Soup as stated above.
       






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      serve it to your family with love…

      Saturday, November 20, 2010

      Chicken Mappas

      Recipe No: 126
      Mappas is somewhat like a stew but with more spices and a lot more of Coconut milk. Even though this goes really good with flat breads, I like it the most with Appam.
      Ingredients                                Serves 4
      To Marinate
      • Chicken……………………….600 grams (8 big pieces)
      • Red Chilly Powder………...3/4 Teaspoon
      • Salt……………………………..1/2 Teaspoon
      To Saute
      • Oil……………………………........3 Tablespoons (Coconut Oil preferred)
      • Whole Spices crushed…........3 Cardamom pods, 6 Cloves, 1 small Cinnamon piece
      • Onion Sliced thin……….........2 Cups
      • Ginger …………………….......…3 Tablespoons (Slice into thin long pieces)
      • Garlic……………………..….......3 Tablespoons (Slice into thin long pieces)
      • Indian Green Chilly……........5 no (Slit into two)
      • Curry Leaves…………….......…2 Sprigs
      • Turmeric Powder………......…1/2 Teaspoon
      • Coriander Powder………........1 Tablespoon
      • Fennel Powder…………….......1 ½ Teaspoon
      • Garam Masala Powder..........1 ½ Teaspoon
      • Pepper Powder……………….….1/2 Teaspoon
      • Medium thick Coconut milk…2 ½ Cups
      • Thick Coconut milk…………….1/2-3/4 Cup
      • Vinegar…………………………..…1 Teaspoon
      • ½ teaspoon Garam Masala and a sprig of Curry leaf to sprinkle on top at the end.
      Method of Preparation
      1. Wash and dry the Chicken pieces thoroughly and marinate with Red Chilly Powder and Salt. Keep aside on the counter top for 30 minutes.
      2. Heat Oil in a pan on medium high heat and add the crushed Whole spices; fry them till fragrant.
      3. Add Onion, Green Chilly, Ginger, Garlic and Curry Leaves and fry them till they are golden brown.
      4. Lower the heat to low and add Turmeric Powder, Coriander Powder, Garam Masala Powder, Fennel Powder and Pepper Powder and fry till its raw smell is gone for about a minute.
      5. Add the medium thick Coconut milk; raise the heat and let it come to a boil.
      6. Add the Chicken pieces together with enough salt (keep in mind that there is some salt already in the Chicken) and allow boiling. Once boiled, let the Chicken to cook on medium low heat.
      7. When the Chicken is fully cooked, add the thick Coconut milk and Vinegar; allow boiling once more and switch off the flame.
      8. Sprinkle Garam Masala Powder and teared Curry Leaves on top; close the pan and let it sit for 30 minutes. Don’t forget to mix thoroughly before serving it hot with Appam or any sort of Flat breads.
      Notes:
      The consistency of Coconut Milk deserves some explanation.
      • If you are using Canned Coconut milk: Some Canned Coconut Milk are really thick. In that case dilute 1 cup with 1½ Cups of water to get the medium thick Coconut Milk and use 1/3 Cup of thick Coconut milk in the end. If your canned Coconut milk is not so thick then use 1 ¼ cup of Milk and 1 ¼ cup of water to make medium thick coconut milk and use 1/2 Cup of thick Coconut milk in the end.
      • If you are squeezing fresh Coconut: In this case, grate Coconut from a small Coconut and keep aside 3/4 Cup of thick Coconut milk to use at the end. Combine the Milk that is obtained from second and third squeezing together and use it as medium thick Coconut milk. (If in case you obtain more than ¾ Cup thick Coconut milk, mix the extra with the medium thick Coconut milk.)
       




      Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and 
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      Wednesday, November 17, 2010

      Maduraseva/ Sweet Sev

      Recipe No: 125
      Madhuraseva is another one of my favorite Kerala snack item, another taste that I became familiar with, from my Mother’s kitchen. This is very easy to make and requires only a very few no. of ingredients.
      Ingredients
      To make the Seva
      • Chick Pea Flour/ Besan/ Kadala Mavu…..2 Cups
      • Salt…………………………………………………….A pinch
      • Cumin Seeds………………………………….……1/4 teaspoon (Optional)
      • Water…………………………………………….…..1/3 – ½ Cup
      To make the Sugar Syrup
      • Sugar………………………………………………….3/4 Cup
      • Water…………………………………………..…….1/4 Cup
      Others
        • Powdered Sugar for dusting in the end
        • Oil for deep frying
        • Idiyappam Maker with big hole attachment


        Method of Preparation
        1. Mix Besan/ Kadalamavu with Salt and Cumin Seeds (if using) and make a soft dough using water. Start with 1/3 cup and use more as needed.
        2. Heat at least 2 inches of Oil in a frying pan on medium high heat.
        3. Fill the Idiyappam maker, fitted with the big hole attachment, with the Besan dough.
        4. Once the Oil is hot, press the dough into the hot Oil as one big Sev and fry on both sides. This will not take much time and when fried, the sizzling will reduce tremendously.
        5. Drain the excess Oil on a paper towel and gently crush it into small pieces with your hands; keep it aside till ready to be used.
        6. Melt Sugar in ¼ cup of water and boil it till it reaches a one thread consistency or 230˚F/110˚C on a  Candy Thermometer.
        7. Add the fried Sev into the Syrup and mix thoroughly until the Sev is evenly coated with the Syrup.
        8. Once the syrup is all absorbed switch off the stove; let it cool down a bit and dust the powdered sugar on top. Gently mix to incorporate.
        9. Store in air tight containers and serve at room temperature.
        Notes:
        • One thread consistency can be checked by pressing and pulling apart the sugar syrup between your index finger and thumb. If the syrup forms one thread between your fingers, then it is ready.
        • Dusting of powdered sugar on top when slightly cooled gives  Maduraseva its classic look.






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        Tuesday, November 16, 2010

        Kerala Mullu Murukku

        Recipe No: 124
        As far as I can remember this is the way my mother used to make Murukku, one of those snacks that can be stored in airtight containers and keep for weeks. She used to make containers full of these during our summer vacations and even after all these years if we, three of her kids and their families, gather together for 3 or 4 days she will make it again… but only one thing... now the VIP’s that have full time access to the jars are of course her  5 Grand Kids… and most of them are crazy about her snacks!!!!
        Ingredients                                                  Makes 30 -32
        • Rice Flour……….2 Cups
        • Ural Dal……..…...1 Cup(either whole or split without skin)
        • Salt………………...1 Teaspoon
        • Sesame Seeds….1 Teaspoon
        • Cumin Seeds……1/2 Teaspoon
        • Water………..……2 ½ to 3 Cups (use more if needed)
        • Oil for deep frying
        • Idiyappam maker with the star hole attachment
        Method of Preparation
        1. Wash and drain  Urad Dal well and dry it by spreading on  a kitchen towel.
        2. In a dry pan on medium heat, fry the Urad Dal till it attains an even light brown color, stirring constantly.
        3. Once lightly cooled, powder it in a grinder into a smooth powder.
        4. Combine Urad Dal powder, Rice flour, Salt, Sesame seeds and Cumin Seeds well and make it into a smooth dough using water. Start with 2 cups and use more as needed. The dough should be soft that it can be easily pressed through and Idiyappam maker.
        5. Heat at least 2 inches of Oil in a pan on medium high heat.
        6. Lay a sheet of parchment or wax paper or a piece of Plantain leaf and lightly oil it.
        7. Fill the dough in the Idiyappam maker. The dough has a tendency to stick. So dip your hand in water to minimize the stickiness.
        8. Press the dough onto the oiled paper in concentric circles. Anywhere from 5 to 7 circles will make a big Murukku.
        9. Once 5 or 6 ones are made, hold your palm over the Murukku and lift the paper and turn it over so that the Murukku falls into your palm. Put it in the Oil and fry till it is crispy and attains a very light brown color. If over browned, it will become hard later.
        10. Let the excess Oil drain on a paper towel and when thoroughly cooled, store them in airtight containers.
        Notes:
        • You can use a Coffee Grinder or the dry grinding bowl of a Mixer Grinder to powder the Urad Dal.
        • Even though my mother used to make fresh Rice flour, store bought ones will work fine. If you wish to make your own, wash and soak long grain white Rice for 30 minutes, drain well and grind it into a  fine powder.
         





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        Monday, November 15, 2010

        Cauliflower in Cashew-Peanut Gravy

        Recipe No: 123
        If you are not a Cauliflower fan, then chances are there, that this will change your whole outlook about Cauliflower. If you guess that this dish will taste like Peanut or Cashew nut, then you are in for a surprise on tasting. There is something  very addictive about this preparation, which is a very easy, rich and delicious. It can be served with flat breads of your choice.
        Ingredients                                        Serves 4
        • Cauliflower florets…………………3 Cups (Cut into bite size pieces, wash and drain)
        • Oil……………………………………....3 Tablespoons
        • Peanuts……………………………….1/4 Cup
        • Cashew nuts………………………...1/4 Cup
        • Onion Chopped finely…………....1 Cup
        • Ginger-Garlic paste……………...1 ½ Teaspoons
        • Red Chilly powder………………..1 Teaspoon
        • Coriander Powder…………….….2 Teaspoon
        • Turmeric powder…………..…….1/4 teaspoon
        • Garam Masala Powder…………1/2 Teaspoon
        • Tomato chopped………………….1/2 large
        • Cream or milk….………………....1/4 Cup
        • Coriander leaves chopped …….3 Tablespoons
        • Salt to taste
        Method of Preparation
        1. Heat Oil in a pan on medium heat and fry the Peanuts and the Cashew nuts until golden brown.
        2. Remove it from the Oil and when slightly cooled grind it into a smooth paste using only just enough water.
        3. To the rest of the Oil in the pan add chopped Onion together with Salt and saute till it starts to brown along the edges.
        4. Add Ginger Garlic paste and continue sauteing till the raw smell is gone and Onion starts to brown.
        5. Add Red Chilly powder, Coriander powder, Turmeric powder and Garam Masala powder and saute till the raw smell is gone for about a minute.
        6. Add chopped Tomato and the ground Nut paste and saute till Oil starts to ooze out.Stir now and then.
        7. Add a cup of water to dilute the gravy and add the Cauliflower florets; mix well; close the pan and let it cook for 8 to 10 minutes on medium heat. Don’t let the florets fall apart. Cook only till it is just cooked.
        8. Add Cream and Coriander leaves, mix well and let it start to boil along the edges. Adjust the Salt level.
        9. Switch off the heat, close the pan and let it sit for 15 minutes before serving.
        Notes:
        • If Cauliflower is pretty fresh and clean just wash and drain them. But if it is not so fresh and have some marks on top, chances are high that there are some worms playing ‘peek-a-boo’ inside. So while cleaning Cauliflower put them in salty water for 5-10 minutes. This will bring out all the worms (if any) that are hiding inside, out. Wash it again to get rid of the extra Salt and drain.
        • This dish has a tendency to thicken as it sits. So keep that in mind while adjusting the level of gravy.
        • Since there are nuts in the gravy, chances are there it may stick to the bottom of the pan. So stir it now and then.
         





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        Mixed Chinese Fried Rice

        Recipe No: 122
        I had already posted two types of Fried Rice. Now this is entirely different in taste from both of them. I am writing this recipe as a mixed one containing Chicken, Beef, Shrimp, Sausage and Egg. But if you want to take any of these out, please feel free to do so and customize it according to your taste, it will be as perfect as this one. 
        As I always used to write in fried rice recipes, this dish will be easy to make if cold rice is used. And another thing that I have to mention is the Soy Sauce that I am using. It’s dark Soy which is essential in this recipe for both color and taste.

        Ingredients                                                          Serves 8
        • Jasmine Rice………………....2 ½ Cups (If Jasmine Rice is not available use Basmati)
        • Chicken…............................1 Cup (Cooked and shredded)
        • Shrimp…………………........…3/4 Cups (Sprinkle a pinch of Salt and Pepper; fry lightly)
        • Hot Dog Sausage……...........2 (Slice thinly and fry lightly)
        • Egg………………………........…3 (Beat and scramble)
        • Beef………………………..........1/4 Cup (Sliced thin and cook with Salt and Pepper)
        • Chopped vegetables…........1 ½ Cups (I used Carrots, Onion, Beans, Capsicum and fresh Green Peas)
        • Celery Chopped fine…........3 Tablespoons
        • Green Onions Chopped......5 (Separate Whites and Greens)
        • Oil……………………..………....4 Tablespoons
        • Ginger and Garlic chopped...1/3 cup together(Take equal quantities of both)
        • Dark Soy Sauce……………….2 Tablespoons (I used Ching’s Secret Dark Soy Sauce)
        • Pepper and Salt as per taste
        Method of Preparation
        To cook the Rice
        1. Wash and soak the Rice for 20 minutes.
        2. Boil at least 10 cups of water.
        3. Once the water is boiled add the Rice and cook till it is just cooked. Take care not to overcook.
        4. Drain, let cool and then chill in the refrigerator.
        To make the Fried Rice
        1. Keep all the ingredients specially the non vegetarian items  ready before you start cooking. Because once you start, everything goes into the pan within minutes.
        2. Heat Oil in a wide pan on high heat and add Ginger, Garlic, Spring Onion Whites and Celery and saute for 30 seconds.
        3. Add the Vegetables and continue sauteing for a minute. The Vegetables should be still crisp.
        4. Add Rice, all the non vegetarian items, Soy Sauce, Pepper and Spring Onion Greens and mix thoroughly.
        5. Do a taste test and add enough Salt.
        6. Mix thoroughly; switch off the flame and serve hot garnished with Spring Onion Greens.
        Notes:
        • As soon as the rice is drained well, spread it on a big tray. Or the Rice at the bottom will be mashed and become lumpy.
        • The Shrimp that I used were big, so I sliced them lengthwise along the slit that was put to remove the vein, into two. This will cook them fast too.
        • Add enough Salt so that you can eat the Rice by itself.
        • It’s necessary to use dark Soy Sauce in this recipe and Ching’s Secret Dark Soy Sauce is available in almost all Indian stores.






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        Sunday, November 14, 2010

        Chilly Beef

        Recipe No: 121
        We were cutting back on Beef for some time but still how much miserable life will be without occasional splurges… I used to make this very often one or two years back, so when I made it again after this long gap it was so demanding…and so I thought about sharing its recipe…
        Ingredients                                                     Serves 6
        To Pressure cook
        • Beef……………………………1/2 kg (Cut into thin long pieces approximately 2 ½ Cup)
        • Water…………………………1/2 Cup
        • Salt……………………….……1/2 Teaspoon
        • Pepper Powder…………...1/2 Teaspoon
        To saute
        • Oil………………………….…..3 Tablespoons
        • Ginger chopped finely..…1/4 Cup
        • Garlic chopped finely…...1/4 Cup
        • Onion………………….……..1 ½ Cups (Sliced into slightly big long pieces, about the size of the beef)
        • Green Capsicum……….…1/2 Cups (also known as Bell Pepper;sliced into slightly big long pieces, about the size of the beef)
        • Green/ Spring Onion……6 no (Slice and separate the whites and the Greens)
        • Indian Green Chilly…..…4 big ones sliced
        • Dark Soy Sauce………..….1 ½ Tablespoon (I used Ching’s secret Dark Soy Sauce)
        • Corn Starch………………...1 ½ Teaspoons
        • Water………………….……..2 Tablespoons
        • Salt and Pepper as needed
        Method of Preparation
        1. Pressure cook the ingredients mentioned in the ‘to Pressure cook’ section till the Beef is soft. 4 to 5 whistles will be enough.
        2. Once cooled separate the stock and the meat.
        3. Heat Oil in a wide pan on high heat, and add Ginger and Garlic and fry till the raw smell is gone for about 30 seconds. Take care not to burn.
        4. Add Onion, Capsicum, Green Chilly and Green Onion Whites and saute for 2 minutes or till the Onion is wilted.
        5. Add Beef and saute for a minute and then add Soy Sauce  and the stock that was reserved earlier and let it cook together till the water content is reduced.
        6. Dilute Corn Starch in Water and add this to the beef and mix till the gravy is thickened. Taste for Salt and Pepper and add more if needed.
        7. Add the Spring Onion greens; switch off the stove and serve hot.
        Notes:
        • It is a must in this dish to use dark Soy (I used Ching’s Secret Dark Soy Sauce that are available in Indian stores) for both taste and color. Add extra Salt only at the end as Soy Sauce contains good amount of Salt.
        • The Vegetables should be still crisp when the dish is done. 
        • Its better to cut Beef, Onion and Capsicum  in the same size approximately.
        • If you want that usual red color of Chilly Beef do add a pinch of red food color together with the stock. 
        • Keep everything ready before sauteing as this dish will be ready in minutes.
        • I like this dish the most when served with Chinese Fried Rice.





        Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and
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        Saturday, November 13, 2010

        Flat Soda Bread

        Recipe No: 120
        I started to make this when doctors asked my husband to go on an yeast free diet temporarily. Getting bored with Chappati every night, I decided to go for a Maida/ All Purpose Flour based flat bread…and so came this recipe. This is very versatile in the sense that it can be either fried or cook on a griddle.
        Ingredients                                              Makes 8
        • All Purpose Flour/ Maida……2 Cups
        • Baking Soda……………………...1/2 Teaspoons
        • Salt…………………………………..1/2 Teaspoon
        • Oil…………………………………….2 Tablespoon
        • Yogurt…………………………..….2 Tablespoon
        • Egg…………………………………..1
        • Water……………………………....1/4 Cup
        • Butter as needed
        Method of Preparation
        1. Combine All Purpose Flour, Salt and baking Soda well.
        2. Beat together Egg, Yogurt and Oil really well.
        3. Mix the Yogurt mixture and Flour mixture and make a soft dough using water. Start with ¼ Cups of water and use more as needed. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
        To make on a griddle
        1. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.
        2. Roll each of them into 8 inch circles.
        3. Place it on a hot griddle/thava and cook on both sides.
        4. Once out of the griddle rub both sides of the bread with Butter.
        5. Serve it hot with Curries that have lots of  gravy. 
         

        To deep fry
        1. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces
        2. Roll each of the pieces into 4 inch circles.
        3. Heat at least 2 inches of Oil in a deep pan.
        4. Fry the rolled out dough till golden brown. Do turn it over half way through frying.
        5. Serve it hot with Curries that have lots of  gravy.



          Notes:
          • The flat bread from the griddle tends to become dry when cold. So please serve it as hot as possible with lots of gravy.
           




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          Friday, November 12, 2010

          Chicken in Roasted Coconut Gravy/ Theenga Varutharacha Curry

          Recipe No: 119
          Ingredients                                             Serves 6
          • Bone in Chicken pieces…………..750 grams
          • Oil………………………………………2 Tablespoons
          • Mustard Seeds………………….....1/2 Teaspoon
          • Onion Chopped………………...….1 Cup
          • Ginger- Garlic paste………….….1 Teaspoon
          • Tomato……………………………….1 Small chopped
          • Turmeric Powder…………...……1/2 Teaspoon
          • Water…………………………………1/2 Cup
          • Curry Leaf…………………………..1 Sprig
          • Salt as needed
          To Roast and Grind
          • Grated Coconut…………………..1 Cup
          • Shallots sliced…………………..…1/2 Cup
          • Garlic sliced…………………..……3 Big cloves
          • Ginger sliced…………………...….1 inch piece
          • Whole Red Chilly……………...…10-12 no
          • Coriander Seeds………………….3 Tablespoons
          • Cumin Seeds…………………..…..1/2 Teaspoon
          • Curry Leaf………………………….1 Sprig
          • ¾ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder, A sprig of Curry Leaf and 1 teaspoon of Coconut Oil to sprinkle on top.
          Method of Preparation
          1. Heat Oil in a pan on medium high heat and splutter the Mustard Seeds.
          2. Add Chopped Onion and saute till light brown. Half way through sauteing, add Ginger- Garlic paste.
          3. Add Turmeric Powder, Tomato, Chicken, Curry leaves and Salt and saute for 5 minutes. Mix in between.
          4. Add ½ Cup water and close the pan and let the Chicken cook on medium heat.
          5. While the Chicken is cooking roast all the ingredients mentioned in the ‘to roast’ section till golden brown.
          6. Grind everything into a smooth paste in a blender.
          7. Add this roasted Coconut paste into the Chicken when it is half way through cooking.
          8. Close the pan and let it finish cooking. Add more water if you need more gravy.
          9. When the Chicken is done, sprinkle ¾ teaspoon of Garam Masala powder, 1 teaspoon of Coconut Oil and a sprig of Curry Leaves (Tear it before putting); off the heat; close the pan and let it sit 20 minutes before serving it with rice or any flat breads.
          Notes:
          • If you are using desiccated Coconut then add a teaspoon of Oil and fry all the other ingredients to roast other than Coconut till almost brown and then add desiccated Coconut and fry till brown. Otherwise the Coconut will brown fast without frying the other ingredients.
          • I like this Curry without much gravy if using with Rice and with more gravy if using with flat breads.






          Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and 
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          Thursday, November 11, 2010

          Roasted Garlic Tomato Bruschetta

          Recipe No: 118
          I love French Baguette and have tons of sweet memories about it . Baguette usually has a tough outer side and a soft inside and will become tough when it sits. Back in Tiruvanandapuram, we know only one place that sells this…a Swiss Bake House at Kowdiar. I remember, as newlyweds we making frequent visits to this shop on our favorite Hero Honda Motor Cycle and coming back with this long, thin bread squished between both of us...my mother in law saying a big ‘No’ to this bread when her ‘Nigeria bought ‘‘England Made’ bread knife fails to cut through its surface… hearing that 'No' my groom running with that bread upstairs to watch that days Cricket highlights (or a match from the previous decade)…me and him having a ‘Tug of War’ on the bread to get a piece… and enjoying its taste by chewing it in front of the Television… Ha… memories…

          Even though our Hero Honda is not with us anymore and a new one came and gone…  but still that old one is our favorite bike of all time…the one who took us back to our nest many times in pouring rain from Cinema Theaters…a silent witness to all our ‘roaming around’ as newlyweds…who had never given us a trouble amidst our ventures…. I should say if we used a car then… boy…we wouldn’t have been realizing how much fun we are missing out…

          Coming back to the present, I had Tomato Bruschetta at one of our friend’s party a long time before. Even though there were a lot of other fabulous dishes, this one grabbed by taste buds suddenly. I made this many times  with some modifications every time. But this one is my favorite. 

          Roasting Garlic is very easy and you won’t believe what a difference roasting makes to our regular everyday Garlic. Give this dish a try either as a vegetarian appetizer or a nutritious 4’O clock snack.

          Ingredients                                                 Makes 14
          To make Roasted Garlic Butter
          • Garlic head……………………………1 (Whole)
          • Butter…………………………..………4 Tablespoons (at room temperature)
          • Salt………………………………………A pinch (Avoid this if you are using salted butter)
          To make the Bruschetta
          • Thin Slices of French Bread……14 Pieces (Slice diagonally to get long pieces)
          • Tomato Chopped…………….…….1 ½ Cups (Remove seeds before chopping)
          • Salt……………………………...………1/2 Teaspoon
          • Pepper Powder………………..……1/4 Teaspoon
          • Balsamic Vinegar………………….1/2 Teaspoon (If not available use ½ teaspoon regular Vinegar)
          • Fresh Basil Leaves………………2-3 Chopped (If not substitute with ½ teaspoon dried Basil; Read ‘notes’ section for more substitutes)
          • Mozzarella Cheese………………..as per needed (Slice into thin long pieces or shred)
            Method of Preparation
            To make roasted Garlic Butter
            1. Cut the Garlic head into  two through the middle and drizzle ½ teaspoon of Oil; cover in an Aluminum foil and roast in a 400˚F/ 204˚C oven for 1 hour. I don't prefer keeping the Oven at such high temperature for this long for just roasting Garlic. So I will do this when I bake something else and keep the roasted Garlic in the refrigerator. It will stay good for a long time.
            2. When it is cold enough to handle, press the roasted Garlic out of its skin and mash it with the help of a fork.
            3. Mix in Butter and Salt with the mashed roasted Garlic and keep it aside till ready to be used.
            To make the Tomato Mixture
            1. Combine Tomato, Basil, Salt, Pepper and Balsamic Vinegar; mix well and keep aside till ready to be used.
            To make Bruschetta
            1. Set the broil mode on your Oven to high.
            2. Spread a thin layer of roasted Garlic butter on one side of the Bread slice and keep the buttered side down on a baking sheet.
            3. Place it on the second rack from the top and let it toast for 2 minutes or till the sides starts to turn golden brown.
            4. Take it out of the oven, turn the bread and let it crisp up in the Oven for another two minutes.
            5. Take the bread out of the oven and spread an even layer of Tomato mixture on top followed by a few strands of Mozzarella Cheese.
            6. Keep it back in the oven (On broil again) for a minute or till the Cheese starts to melt.
            7. Take it out of the Oven and serve hot while the bread is crispy.
            Notes:
            • Instead of roasting Garlic and making Garlic Butter, you can use ready made Garlic Butter or Garlic spread that are available in the market.
            • Thulsi comes from the same family as that of Basil and both of them have a very similar flavor and taste and so you can substitute Basil with Thulsi.
            • Lining the baking sheet with Aluminum foil before arranging the bread will aid in easy clean up later.
            • When you layer the Tomato make sure to discard the excess water that may ooze out from the Tomato, otherwise it will make the bread soggy.
            • Do keep an eye on the bread while it is in the oven broiling, as it may burn fast.
            • If you keep this dish at room temperature for long time the bread may lose the crispiness.






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            Wednesday, November 10, 2010

            Squid/ Kanava Masala

            Recipe No: 117
            Last week when we went to a fish market we got cleaned Squid tubes. These were so large that there were only 5 tubes in the 2lb I bought. So I thought it is a perfect time to make this dish.

            Ingredients                                             Serves 4
            • Cleaned Squid…………………2 heaping cups (Cut into bite size pieces)
            • Oil…………………………………2 Tablespoons
            • Mustard seeds……………….1/2 Teaspoon
            • Shallots sliced………...………1/2 Cup
            • Ginger sliced thin...…………2 Tablespoons
            • Garlic sliced thin…….………2 Tablespoons
            • Slit Green Chilly……..………2
            • Curry Leaves………………...2 Sprigs
            • Coriander Powder………....2 Teaspoons
            • Red Chilly Powder………...3/4 teaspoon
            • Turmeric Powder…….…….1/4 Teaspoon
            • Black Pepper Powder……..1/2 Teaspoon
            • Garam Masala Powder.….1/2 Teaspoon
            • Salt…………………….………..As per Taste
            • Tomato sliced……………….1 Small
            • Vinegar…………………….….1/4 Teaspoon
            • 1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala, a sprig of Curry Leaf and a teaspoon of Coconut Oil for sprinkling on top in the end
            Method of Preparation
            1. Heat Oil in a pan on medium high heat and put the Mustard Seeds; let it splutter.
            2. Add Sliced Shallots, Ginger, Garlic, Green Chilly and Curry Leaves and fry till it is golden brown in color.
            3. Lower the heat to low and add Coriander Powder, Red Chilly Powder, Turmeric Powder, Black Pepper Powder, Garam Masala Powder and Salt and saute till the raw smell is gone for about 3 minutes.
            4. Add Squid and saute for 3 more minutes. Add the Tomato together with 1 cup of water and transfer everything to a Pressure Cooker and cook till 5 whistles.
            5. Once the Pressure is gone, open the pan and let the extra water evaporate.  Mix in the Vinegar.
            6. Add ½ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder, a sprig of Curry Leaf and a teaspoon of Coconut Oil on top and cover it and let it stand for 10 minutes before serving hot with rice or Chappathi/ Roti. Don't forget to mix thoroughly before serving.
            Notes:
            • Squid has three phases in cooking. If you cook it for a minute only it will be soft but it will become hard when you cook more than that. But if you cook it for a long time or pressure cook, it will become soft. I prefer this for Indian dishes because it will give enough time for the Squid to absorb all the flavors.
             




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            Cauliflower Pie

            Recipe No: 116
            My mother in law used to describe this dish as Cauliflower Pie and so do all of us at home. But once in US, I came across a French dish called Cauliflower Gratin which is made almost the same why, but with some extra herbs and a lot more cheese. Whatever the origin or name, well, I should say that this is a very delicious way to eat Cauliflower.
            Ingredients                                         Serves 4
            • Cauliflower florets…………..4 Cups (Washed and drained)
            • Salt…………………….…………1/4 Teaspoon
            • Water…………………..……….1/4 Cup
            • Bread Crumbs………….…….1/3 Cup
            • Oil……………………..………….1 Teaspoon
            For the Sauce
            • Butter……………………………2 Tablespoons
            • Flour…………………….……….1 ½ Tablespoons
            • Milk……………………...……….1 ½ Cups (Low fat milk will also work)
            • Salt………………….....…………1/2 Teaspoon
            • Pepper powder………..……..1/4 Teaspoon
            • Grated Cheese………………..1/4 Cup (I used Parmasan but any sort of grated  White Cheese will do)
            Method of Preparation
            1. In a pan boil Cauliflower, Salt and Water for 4-5 minutes and strain if there is any water left. Keep the drained water for later use. The Cauliflower should be just cooked  and   not be falling apart.
            To make the sauce
            1. In a pan on medium heat, melt the Butter and add the Flour and stir till the raw smell is gone. It will start to smell nutty after a minute or two.
            2. Add half of the cold milk and stir continuously with a whisk so that the mixture is smooth without any lumps. Mix in the rest of the milk and the left over water in which the Cauliflower was boiled (if any) and stir continuously till it is thickened.
            3. Off the heat and add Salt, Pepper and Cheese and stir it in.
            To assemble and bake the Pie
            1. Preheat the oven to 380˚F/194˚C.
            2. In a 9×6  inch pan, spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom and then put all the Cauliflower and level the top.
            3. Pour all the sauce on the Cauliflower evenly. It should fill all the gaps in between the florets.
            4. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top and finish it off by drizzling a teaspoon of Oil on top.
            5. Bake the Pie for 20-30 minutes or until it is bubbly and the bread crumbs browns slightly.
            6. Serve it hot with a few pieces of crusty bread.
            Notes:
            • If Cauliflower is pretty fresh and clean just wash and drain them. But if it is not so fresh and have some marks on top, chances are high that there are some worms playing ‘peek-a-boo’ inside. So while cleaning Cauliflower put them in salty water for 5-10 minutes. This will bring out all the worms (if any) that are hiding inside, out. Wash it again to get rid of the extra Salt and drain.
            • While making the White sauce you need to cook it till it is thick. It should coat the back of a spoon and if you draw a line in the middle of the back side of the spoon from top to bottom the line should stay there or the sauce shouldn’t flow over and cover the line. Don't use more than 1/4 cup of left over water from the cooking of Cauliflower.
            • The sauce should be a bit on the salty side when made in order to make the dish taste with enough salt in the end as the Cauliflower florets have only very little salt.
            • The Oil drizzled on top of the bread crumbs will help it brown.
            • There are chances that the pie may bubble and overflow. So it is better to place it on a baking tray before putting in the oven. Otherwise you will have to clean up the oven after wards.
             



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            Sunday, November 7, 2010

            Kerala Parotta/ Porotta/ Borotta

            Recipe No: 115
            After ‘God knows  how many times’ I got my favorite ‘thattukada’ food, the one thing that is responsible for my 7 kg increase in weight on our last Kerala visit, right. Somehow many people like Parottas from roadside shops (Thattukada) better than what you get from a rather high class restaurant. May be I am one among them…This is an entirely different thing from the North Indian Parathas, but from the information in the internet, I come to know that variations of this can be found in some other countries (like Singapore) too..

            Ingredients                                                Makes 10-12
            • Maida………………4 Cups (I don’t prefer All Purpose Flour)
            • Sugar……………….2 Tablespoons
            • Salt………………….3/4 Teaspoon
            • Water……………...1 ½ Cups (Distilled or Spring Water preferred)
            • Oil………………...…1/3 Cup + 2 Tablespoons
            Method of Preparation
            video
            1. Mix together Maida, Sugar and Salt and make a dough using Water. Dump it onto a flat surface (Marble, counter top or a large cutting board will do) and knead thoroughly into soft, elastic dough. If you are kneading by hand it will take at least 20 minutes but if you have a stand mixer, knead it for about 8 minutes on speed 2.
            2. Towards the end of kneading add two tablespoons of Oil and knead well. Don’t use flour to reduce sticking. Use only Oil. At the end of kneading the dough should be smooth, elastic and soft.
            3. Spread some Oil on top of the Dough; cover it with a damp cloth and let it rest for 20 minutes.
            4. After resting, divide the dough into 12 equal parts. For this, smooth the surface of the dough and detach the amount of dough for the ball from the rest by pressing with the thump and the index finger. This will give a perfectly smooth ball of dough.
            5. Rub the ball with Oil and arrange them on an oiled tray covered with a damp cloth. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
            6. On a large working surface (Marble, counter top or a large cutting board will do) roll each portion as thin as possible. The dough may tear in between but that is perfectly okay.
            7. Spread a tablespoon of Oil on the rolled out dough.
            8. Now you can either pleat or just raise one side of the dough with one hand and let the rest form a pleat with some help from the other hand. This will result in a long piece of pleated dough.
            9. With a circular motion roll it as concentric circles on itself. Tuck the end of the dough on the under side of the pleated ball.
            10. Let this sit under a damp cloth while you work with the other pieces.
            11. Heat a pan on medium high heat. Rub the surface with Oil.
            12. Roll each piece again into 5 or 6 inch circles and place on the heated pan. When the under surface starts to cook turn it over and let the other side also cook. Turn it once more and start pressing. This will reveal the layers.
            13. Once cooked and slightly browned on both sides, take it from the pan and place it on a board.
            14. Once two of them are ready, layer then on top of each other and press with both hands from both sides. This will partially separate the layers, which is a characteristic of Parottas.
            15. Serve it hot with desired Curries.
            Notes:
            • Don’t use more Maida than mentioned in the ingredient section and use only Oil to prevent sticking.
            • If the kneading is not done properly the Parottas will be tough to tear. I should confess that it happened to me a lot of times, but since I have a stand mixer now, kneading is a breeze and the Parottas are as soft as store bought ones.
            • Parotta makers at the roadside shops won’t roll out the Poratta dough but they will stretch it  by holding with two hands on one end and throw the other side in the air and let it hit the work surface (Veeshal). This needs experience and a big work surface. But this way of rolling and pleating is perfect when you make this at home.
            • I like to use Indian Maida in this recipe over All Purpose Flour as in my experience the former one gives a much similar texture of Parottas.
            • Tap water may change the behavior of the dough slightly. So I prefer Spring or Distilled water from bottles.
             





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            Saturday, November 6, 2010

            Paneer Stuffed Pooris

            Recipe No: 114
            When I was young my mom used to make this beef stuffed Pooris which she used to call ‘Puffs’. But with the availability of Puff Pastries which makes it easy to replicate Puffs, that name is not so apt here. Here is a vegetarian Paneer version of that same old 4’O clock snack which I and my brothers used to devour after our schools, with a new name and a few improvements...

            Ingredients                                Makes 18
            For the Covering
            • Atta/ Wheat Flour………..1 ½ Cups
            • Sooji/ Course Semolina…4 Tablespoons
            • Milk………………………..….2 Tablespoons
            • Oil………………………….…..1 Tablespoons
            • Salt…………………….………2/3 Teaspoon
            • Water…………………………1/2 Cup + more if needed
            For the Filling
            • Oil………………………..……1 Tablespoon
            • Paneer grated………….…1 Cup
            • Onion chopped………..….1/2 Cup
            • Ginger chopped………….1 Teaspoon
            • Green Chilly chopped.…1 Tablespoon
            • Coriander Leaves........…2 Tablespoons
            • Soy Sauce………….………1 Teaspoon
            • Water……………………….3 Tablespoons
            • Salt as per taste
            • Oil for deep frying
            Method of Preparation
            To make the covering
            1. Mix all the ingredients to make the covering and make smooth dough. Start with ½ cup of water and then use more as needed. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
            To make the filling
            1. Heat 1 tablespoon of Oil in a pan on medium heat and saute the Onion, Ginger and Green Chilly until transparent.
            2. Add Paneer, Coriander leaves, Soy Sauce, Salt and Water. Mix till everything is blended well.
            3. Off the heat and keep it aside until ready to be used.
            To make and fry the Pooris
            1. Divide the dough into 18 pieces and roll each of them into 3 inch rounds.
            2. Place a tablespoon of filling in the lower half of the Poori leaving a small space along the edges. (This is to seal the Pooris)
            3. Fold the empty half of the Poori over the filling and seal the edges by pressing with the help of a fork. This should be done on both sides to make sure that the filling will not escape into the Oil while frying.
            4. Repeat this with all the other Pooris.
            5. Heat at least two inches of Oil in a pan on medium high heat and deep fry the Pooris until golden brown. Do turn it over once for equal browning on both sides.
            6. Drain the excess Oil on a paper towel and serve hot with ketch up.
            Notes: 
            • Do not fry more than 3 Pooris at a time. Overcrowding may result in absorption of too much oil by them.
            • The Sooji/ Semolina in the dough will make it crispy.
               




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              Friday, November 5, 2010

              Vazhuthananga/ Brinjal/ Kathirikka/Egg Plant Thoran/ Stir fry with Coconut and Egg

              Recipe No: 113
              Ingredients                                            Serves 5
              • Indian Egg Plant/ Brinjal sliced thin….3 Cups (Require 3-4 big ones)
              • Oil…………………………………………...……2 Tablespoons
              • Mustard Seeds…………………………….…1/2 teaspoon
              • Shallots thinly sliced……………………….1/4 Cup
              • Curry Leaves…………………………….…..2 Sprigs
              • Indian Green Chilly……………………..…4 sliced into thin pieces
              • Shredded Coconut………………………….1/3 Cup (I used unsweetened dry Coconut)
              • Turmeric Powder…………………………..1/4 Teaspoon
              • Egg………………………………………….……1 Large (beaten well)
              • Salt as per taste
              Method of Preparation
              1. Take the top and bottom of the Brinjal and cut them into 1 inch thick rounds. Slice them lengthwise and slice again in the opposite direction into thin long pieces. Put them in cold water to prevent discoloration.
              2. Place them in a colander under running water and squeeze and wash them. This will get rid of all the seeds. Put them again in cold water and squeeze them really good and get rid of all the water when ready to be used.
              3. Mix together Coconut, Salt and Turmeric Powder really well with hand and keep them aside until ready to be used.
              4. Heat Oil in a pan on medium high heat and add the Mustard Seeds and wait until they crackle.
              5. Add the sliced Shallots and Curry Leaves and saute them until it become transparent.
              6. Add Green Chilly and saute till the Onion becomes golden brown.
              7. Squeeze the water off the Brinjal and put them in the already browned Shallots and stir fry for two minutes on high heat.
              8. Make a well in the middle of the Brinjal and add the Coconut mixture in the middle and cover it with the Brinjal mixture from the sides.
              9. Lower the heat to minimum, cover the pan and let it cook.
              10. When the Brinjal is cooked stir to mix everything well. Drizzle the Egg over the mixture and stir well until it is cooked thoroughly.
              11. Serve hot with rice.
              Notes:
              • If you are a Vegan please avoid the Egg, this will taste good even without it.
              • Freshly grated Coconut is the best for this. But because it is not available here I prefer dry Coconut over frozen grated Coconut. While the Frozen ones tend to give out a lot of water when thawed making the dish watery, the dry desiccated Coconut tends to absorb the excess water from the Vegetable, making it dry.
               




              Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and
              serve it to your family with love…