Sunday, November 30, 2008


What is a SNACK?? It is a confusing word, but Chef Sanjeev Kapoor has the right answer "A snack is a Light informal meal", so does wikipedia also says. A snack can be of many varieties, tastes, the way it is cooked and eaten. In Europe Mini Pizzas, savoury pies, puffs ,burgers etc are all called snacks. India also has a very large variety with various tastes from Idly, Dosa. Uppma in the South to the famous Tikkis, Puris,, Bhajis and Sevs in the North. Eating in between meal also means having a snack. I love potatoes and tried my way of making Potato wedges try it even though there are many recipes for the same....this was done on a Tawa...............

POTATO WEDGES

YOU NEED

Potatoes 3 nos ( medium size all same shape)

Chilly powder 1/2 tsp

Coriander powder 1 tsp

Pepper powder 1/2 tsp

Garam masala 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Garlic 3 cloves

Oil 3 tbsp

DO IT

-Wash the potatoes well with the skin ,cut into four wedge in each, also retain the centre portion also can be used. Parboil in little salt water till the potatoes are cooked 70 percent.

-Remove drain the water and mix in the chilly, coriander and crushed garlic with the pepper.

-Heat a tawa put in 2 tbsp of oil and place the potatoes in it and cook on medium fire, then simmer and keep turning and drizzling oil on it till it looks crisp and dry , sprinkle some more salt and garam masala and serve hot.

If you want little Tangy taste sprinkle some chat masala or squeeze a wedge of lime

Cold beverages can be served in many varieties as Milk shake, Smoothies, tangy concoctions etc,A light beverage can be served as an Appetiser also, but it all depends on the occasion and the time of service, avoid heavy beverage before a meal, try this natural Smoothie.................

BANANA SMOOTHIE

YOU NEED--For 2 glasses

Banana 2 nos

Dates 2 tbsp

Cashew nuts 2 tbsp

Honey 4tbsp

Ice as required

DO IT

-Peel and dice banana put in a blender, add date, cashew nuts honey little water and blend well.

-Put ice in 2 tall glasses and pour over the mixture stir and serve.

Another delicious smoothie with milk, chocolate and banana..........

CHOC TREAT

YOU NEED

Banana 2 nos

Chocolate 2tbsp

Milk 2 cups

Crushed ice as required

DO IT

-Peel and slice the bananas put in a blender with the chocolate, milk and blend well.

-Take 2 glasses put in crushed ice and add the mixture stir well and serve.


There are many Myths about coffee you can refer to www.wikipedia.com , coffee with honey is a great combination but the mixing proportion has to be checked to get the best result.Try my recipe of ............
HONEY COFFEE
YOU NEED
Instant coffee 2 tsp
Boiling water 1/2 cup
Honey 2 tbsp
Milk 1 cup
Ice cubes as required
DO IT
-Dissolve the Instant coffee in hot water, stir in honey and mix well.
-Pour in a tall Glass, add little cold water Ice , top with milk stir well and serve.
Simple as that............. try for a change..........

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Coffee is another widely consumed stimulant Beverage prepared from roasted coffee beans as commonly known, Coffee dates back to somewhere in the 9th century and originated from Ethiopia and then found its way to the other parts. today the biggest producer of coffee is Brazil.The coffee beans once ripe are picked, processed and dried. the seeds are then roasted at different degrees depending on the desired flavour.In India coffee is grown mostly in the Southern parts of the country, hence the coffee consumers are also a majority in the South, the coffee Estates of Co org are famous.In Tamilnadu coffee is grown at the Hills of Kodaikanal and Nilgiris, the State has its own recipe for coffee and known as and pronounced as Pilter Kappi ....that is FILTER COFFEE. Try this but ensure you have a tradional Filter or percolator that comes in two section the bottom the collector the top that filters through with a small umbrella pressing and an airtight lid on top.

PILTER KAPPI

YOU NEED

Coffee powder 1 Packet (buy the filter coffee powder available)

Sugar and milk to Taste

DO IT

-Keep the percolator ready,, put in 6 tsp of coffee in the upper compartment and put the umbrella on.

-Boil 4 cups of water and pour on top of the umbrella and cover the lid, keep aside.

-Ready when dripped through.

-Take the required quantity heat slightly add to very hot milk and sugar to taste, Its ready enjoy your cuppa...

Best get it organised at night so your filtered decoction is ready for the early morning ritual.

Children are never given coffee or tea at many homes considering it harmful, so milk or other health drinks are given.Tea is a very good antioxidant and recommended by doctors also for prevention of Cancer. Tea is synonymous with many words like tea party, tea cosy, tea room , tea bags, tea breaks, tea chest , tea caddy and the most popular measuring used TEA SPOON etc......there is a traditional way of drinking tea and it must never be boiled or even simmered for a long time, I had some Green tea bags and tried this it really tastes good.................but no milk

GREEN GINGER TEA

YOU NEED-----For 2 cups

Green tea bags 3 nos

Crushed fresh Ginger 1 tsp

Sugar to taste

DO IT

-In a warm tea pot put in the crushed ginger and keep 3 tea bags, boil 2 cups of water and pour into the pot , keep covered for 2 Min's serve strained with minimum sugar .

Keep trying you own concoctions substituting with Mint, Cardamon or any other spices to your taste.

Beverages are termed in two categories, hot beverage and cold beverage. Hot beverages are usually preferred for breakfast by many people. Nothing like a hot cup of Tea or "CHAI" as called in India,having a cup of tea with the paper in my hand is my morning ritual, try this simple Masala Chai, no fuss, no ground masala just crush and drop in the hot water that is boiling then add leaves.............

MASALA CHAI

YOU NEED-----FOR 2 CUPS

Water 2 cups

Cinnamon 1 piece

Pepper corns 6 nos

Dry ginger powder 1/2 tsp

Tea leaves 2 tsp

Sugar and Milk to your taste

DO IT

-Crush the pepper corns and cinnamon keep aside.

-Take 2 cups of water in a deep pan when it boils add the crushed peppercorns and cinnamon along with the ginger powder and tea, cover and let it simmer just for a minute only.

-Take 2 cups rinse in hot water and strain in the tea.

-Add milk and sugar to your taste and enjoy.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

This is a good combination of Eggplants with Shrimps, the fishy smell gets into the eggplants and makes them taste better, and you will be surprised to try it with Iddli or Dosa, it is the YERA KATHRIKAI KOZHAMBU go ahead and try it............ copied from my Moms ........................

YERA KATHRIKAI KOZHAMBU

YOU NEED

Shrimps 2 cups (cleaned)

Bringal 6 nos ( round ones preferred)

Oil 3 tbsp

Mustard 1/2 tsp

Fennel seeds 1 tsp

Fenugreek 1 tsp

Curry leaf 1 sprig

Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Cloves 5 nos

Cinnamon 1 piece

Coconut 1/2 cup (grated)

Green chilly 3 Nos

Salt to taste

Vinegar 1tsp

Lemon juice 1 tbsp

Onion 1 cup ( Finely chopped)

Tomato 1 cup (finely chopped)

Ginger & Garlic paste 1 tbsp

Coriander 2tbsp for garnishing

DO IT

-Wash the shrimps , add a little salt a bit of turmeric marinate well and keep aside for 30 Min's, c

ut the bringal into halves then slit them and keep them in saltwater.

-Grind the green chilly, coconut and the two spices with a little water and keep.

-Heat oil in a deep vessel add the mustard when it crackles add the onions, fenugreek, fennel seeds sauteing at the same time add the tomatoes and the paste along with the ginger garlic and curry leaves, add the turmeric and mix well on medium heat till the oil separates from the masala, strain the bringals and mix them in the curry, add 3 cups of water and salt let it cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes,.

-Add the shrimps, ,lemon juice vinegar and mix well , simmer for 5 Min's till the shrimps are cooked be careful not to boil too much or the shrimps will become like rubber.

-Remove and serve garnished with coriander.

Straight from the Sea to a steaming hot Samaithu Paarungalthat is what you must try now, the way my Mom used to make this fish curry without any coconut, but good amount of that Tangy tamarind; it is Meen Puli Kozhambu, tastes great the next day when the tamarind extra and the fishes settle down well......

MEEN PULI KOZHAMBU

YOU NEED

Fish 500 gms (Preferably a single Pomfret cleaned and cut into darne pieces)

Mustard 1 tsp

Fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp

Jeera seeds 1/2 tsp

Onion 1 cup (finely sliced)

Ginger and Garlic 2 tbsp( finely Sliced)

Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Chilly powder 1 tsp

Coriander powder 2 tsp

Tomatoes 2 nos ( Ripe ones slice)

Curry leaf 1 sprig

Tamarind 1 lemon size

Salt to taste

Oil 2tbsp

Coriander for garnishing

DO IT

-Heat the oil in a vessel add the mustard when it crackles add the jeera, fenugreek, onions ginger and garlic, currleaves and saute well , put in the powders and sprinkle little water mixing well all the while on moderate flame, add the tomatoes 2 cups of water and letit boil for 8-10 mins.

-Soak the tamarind in water and extract good pulp with water to a one and a half cup quantity and add this to the curry, add salt and check for consistency.

-Reduce the flame to simmer and slide in the fish , simmer for 2 mins.

-Remove from fire and serve garnished with coriander leaves

Goes great with Plain rice and an excellent combo with Dosa next day, but always remember once the fish is in the curry you must have an eye on the curry till the utensil is off the range........thats it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Good news!!! and very true.The Chinese believe in serving of seafood brings them Prosperity. A whole fish served with the head pointing towards the guest of honour to assure him or her of good fortune; this practise is followed even today in some Provinces of China. Fishes that are cheap in India and what many poor people buy are the Sardines, Anchovy, and Red Mullet the best season for Fish in India is from the month of August to March . Sardines are rich in fat and proteins a lot of patience and care is required to clean and prepare fresh Sardines, so just try this simple fried Sardines, the name of the fish in Tamil is Mathi, here is MATHI PORICHITHU............

MATHI PORICHITHU

YOU NEED

Sardines 6 Nos (slit the body on the side remove intestines, make two scars on the body)

Chilly powder 1 tbsp

Coriander powder 1 tsp

Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Lemon juice 1 tbsp

Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp

Oil for shallow frying

Lemon wedges for garnish

DO IT

-Wash the Fish thoroughly drain the water well and mix in the powders with required salt, lemon juice and ginger garlic paste, keep aside for 30 Min's.

-Since it has to be shallow fried take a pan heat required oil and place 3 sardines,fry on medium heat for a few minutes, turn gently fry the other side.

-Repeat the same process for the balance , serve on a platter with lemon wedges.

Goes best with a combination of hot Rice and Dal, but many prefer it with Rasam yummmmmy.....

Shrimp and Prawn are very synonymous when we look at seafood, the interchangeable word confuses Diners in restaurants as well, actually PRAWN is referred to a large SHRIMP... simple as that. There are hundreds of salt water and fresh water species of prawn through out the world. Prawns are called YERA in Tamil, CHEMEEN in Malayalam and ROYALLU in Telugu, I make this with my own recipe but then later I saw many recipes also featured the same ingredients, its Yummy YERA MASALA....................

YERA MASALA

YOU NEED

Prawns 250 gms ( divined and washed)

Oil 3 tbsp

Onion 1/2 cup (finely chopped)

Mustard 1/2 tsp

Jeera `1 tsp

Fenugreek seeds 1 tsp

Shallots 1 cup (peel and cut into two)

Curry leaf 1 sprig

Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Chilly powder 1 tsp

Coriander powder 1 tsp

Garam masala 1/2 tsp

Ginger garlic paste 1tbsp

Green Chilly (deseeded and slit)

Tomato 1 cup (chopped or pureed)

Salt to taste

Lemon juice 1 tsp

Coriander and wedge of lemon for garnish

DO IT

-Heat oil in a kadai, add the mustard when it crackles add thefenugreek, jeera,ginger garlic paste, chopped onion , curry leaves and all the powders sauteing at the same time add the shallots the green chilly and sprinkling little water cook on medium heat till the raw smell disappears add the tomatoes and cook for 5 Min's till the mixture becomes thick.

-Add the prawns and cook on moderate heat for 5 Min's till the prawns are cooked , at this stage do not overcook the prawns it will become hard.

-Remove from fire spoon over the lemon juice andgaram masala powder mix well and serve garnished with lemon wedge and coriander.

Shell Fish!!! Which non-vegetarian and seafood lover does not like this, the tastiest sea varieties... the Crabs, Crayfish,Langostinos,Lobsters.Mussels,Oysters Scallops,Shrimps and Prawn. Crab is a favourite of many seafood lovers,many say a good crab soup is a good cure for cold. In India most Crab eaters stay in the coastal areas only and this is due to the fact of easy availability in these places and especially the Southern parts of India,King Crab, Snow Crab and Blue Crab are the most popular ones, here is a signature dish of mine for Crabs and it is called Nandu Masala in Tamil...........

NANDU MASALA

YOU NEED

Crabs 4 nos ( Cleaned, remove the top shell and apron below wash thoroughly)

Oil 4 tbsp

Mustard 1 tsp

Curry leaf 1 sprig

Fenugreek seeds 1 tsp

Jeera 1 tsp

Pepper powder 1 tsp

Red Chilly powder 1 tsp

Coriander powder 2 tsp

Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Bay leaf 2 nos

Cloves 6 nos

Cardamon 6 nos

Cinnamon 2 pieces

Onion 1 cup (finely chopped)

Ginger and Garlic 2 tbsp (finely Chopped)

Tomato 1 cup (finely chopped or Puree)

Lemon juice 1 tbsp

Salt to taste

Coriander for garnish

DO IT

-In a large wok or kadai heat the oil add the mustard when it crackles add the jeera, fenugreek, cloves,cinnamon,cardamon, curry leaves and saute add the onions,powders and saute sprinkling a little water on high flame ,add the ginger garlic and tomatoes mixing well.

-Now add the crabs and salt mix well and drizzle a cup of water over it and cook on medium heat for 8-10 Min's.

-When almost dry; remove spoon the lemon juice , garnish with coriander and serve.

Wow a wonderful combination for Rice, Dal..........

Talking about Seafood!!! the best when eaten fresh, always buy the fresh ones you can find. The flesh of the Fish should spring back when gently pressed and eyes should be clear and full, not sunken.Fresh Fish has a mild aroma and does not have a strong fishy smell. Best is to avoid storage of fish for more than 3 days in the refrigerator, so buy as much as you need only. In India Fish is generally prepared very spicy to keep the smell less, it is cooked in a curry gravy form, fried, steamed,and cooked in the Tandoori. Now give this Fish curry a try its my favourite with Mackerel , generally known as I- elai or Kanakelthi in Tamil...........................
I-ELAI MEEN KOZAMBU
YOU NEED
Mackerel fish 3 nos (cleaned and cut into two---that is 6pcs)
Oil 3 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp
Jeera seeds 1/2 tsp
Onion 1 cup (finely sliced)
Ginger and Garlic 2 tbsp(sliced)
Curry leaf 1 sprig
Green chilly 3 nos (deseed and slit)
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Tomato 1 nos (Good ripe one thinly sliced)
Tamarind a marble size
Coconut 1 cup (grind to a paste form)
Salt to taste ans half lime
Coriander 2 tbsp for garnish
DO IT
-In a deep bottomed vessel heat the oil , add the mustard when it crackles add the fenugreek,jeera, then the onions, ginger garlic, slit green chilly, curry leaves and saute well, add the powders sprinkle a little water and mix well on high flame drop in the sliced tomatoes and 3 cups of water now let it boil covered for 8-10 Min's.
-The extracted tamarind with water forming 1 cup the coconut paste to be added and simmer for 3 Min's.
-Add the fish , salt to taste and simmer for another few minutes till the fish is cooked, never let the curry to boil at this stage .
-Remove from the fire squeeze some lime and garnish with coriander.
An excellent Combo for Rice..............

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What they call Kadi in Northern parts of India is called More Kozambhu inTamilnadu, Majjige in Andhra and Mosaru in Kannada, there is always a variation in the preparation , this is another signature dish that I love to make and just for me because I know that no one else prefer this just try this out with Sauteed Lady's Finger......................

VENDAKAI MORE KOZAMBHU

YOU NEED

Lady's Finger 5 nos

Sour Curd 1 cup

Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Mustard seeds 1/2tsp

Jeera seeds 1 tsp

Curry leaf 1 sprig

Dried red chilly 3 nos

Asofoetida 1/4 tsp

Rice 2 tbsp

Bengal Gram 3 tbsp

Salt to taste

Oil 4 tsp

Coriander 1 tbsp for Garnish

DO IT

-Soak the rice , gram and jeera for 2 hours and then grind it to a coarse paste,keep aside.

-Wash and pat dry the Lady's finger with a kitchen towel and cut it into 1 inch pieces then saute it with 1 tsp of oil and keep aside.

-Churn the curd with 3 cups of water and mix the paste in it without any lumps.

-Heat the remaining oil in a kadai and add the mustard when it splutters add the curry leaves, asofoetida, turmeric, broken dry chilly and saute well, then pour the mixture of churned curd and add required salt to taste, when it comes to boil reduce and simmer for 3 Min's after adding the lady's finger with another cup of water, stir gently do not let it boil as it might curdle.

-Serve garnished with coriander.

It is very important that the Lady's finger is sauteed before adding or else it will become a sort of sticky sticky and spoil the dish.

For making a Khadi only the right amount of all ingredients can make a perfect Kadi and bring about the real taste. Punjabi Kadi' s are great and taste super. Try the Punjabi Kadi the way I made it..................

PAKORA KADI

YOU NEED

Gram flour 2 cups+1/2 cup

Onion 1/2 cup (finely chopped)

Soda bi-carbonate 1/4 tsp

Ajwain 1/2 tsp

Jeera 1/2 tsp

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Curry leaf 1 sprig

Red chilly powder 1/2 tsp

Green chilly 1 tsp ( finely chopped)

Spinach 1/2 cup (Washed and finely chopped)

Turmeric 1 tsp

Oil to fry and cook

Curd 1 cup

Red Chilly 3 nos

Fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp

Asofoetida 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Coriander 2 tbsp for garnishing

DO IT

-Firstly make the Pakoras. Take 2 cups of gram flour in a bowl add 1/2 tsp of turmeric,salt to taste, chopped Spinach, green chilly, Ajwain, soda bi-carbonate,chilly powder half teaspoon, now add some water and make to soft dough, rest for a while and deep fry in hot oil by dropping a spoonful , strain and keep aside. now your Pakoras are ready.

-Churn the curd with 2 cups of water, add the 1/2 cup of gram flour and convert into a smooth watery paste.

-Heat 3 tsp of oil in a kadai and add the mustard when it splutters add the jeera, curry leaves, broken red chilly and the 1/2 tsp of turmeric along with asofoetida and saute well pour the mixture of curd and let it boil add required salt, add a little more water and let it simmer for a while about 3 Min's.

-Add the pakoras and simmer for another 3 Min's , remove garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with chapatti, it goes good with rice also.

Ha ha when ever I make this I swipe one small bowl of it before my main food

I start my food.

In those days the required spices used to be broiled and then ground with a little water in a AMMI KAL and then mixed into the tamarind pulp well with hand, these days all types of Rasam powders are available in different taste and weights from sachets to big packets. All one has to do is make the extract , mix the powder and do the required tempering and boil.there are many types of Rasam the popular one being the Tomato, then there is Dal Rasam. Garlic , Ginger, Lemon, Pineapple,buttermilk, mint,goose berry Rasam etc. even though Tamarind is available in paste form many prefer to extract the pulp with water by using the Tamarind that is got as raw. Now try this Dal Rasa that is prepared with the ready made mix of Rasam powder available in the market, its the PARUPPU RASAM........

PARUPPU RASAM

YOU NEED

Tu var Dal 1/2 cup

Tamarind marble sized

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Jeera seeds 1/2 tsp

Curry leaf 1 sprig

Garlic 6 cloves ( with the skin on)

Ready made Rasam powder 3 tsp

Green chill 2 nos (deseeded and slit)

Asofettida 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste and a wedge of lime

Oil 3 tsp

Coriander 2 tbsp

DO IT

-Wash the Dal and boil it with 2 cups of water and mash it, keep aside .

-Mix the tamarind in two cups of hot water and extract the pulp, add this to the Dal mixture, add 3 tsp of Rasam ready made powder.

-Heat oil in a vessel add the mustard when it crackles add he jeera, slit green chilly, crushed garlic ,curry leaves and the asofoetida saute on high heat and pour in the Dal mixture cover and let it boil.

-Add the salt stir in the coriander leaves and remove from fire squeeze the wedge of lime and serve.

It's called RASAM in Tamilnadu and SAARU in other states of the south and it is eaten with Rice only in South India and many call it the enjoying combination as a good meal, after eating the first portion of a meal with Sambar or the prepared curry a second helping goes on with Rice, Rasam Pa pad and pickle, mixed thoroughly with all the five fingers and a good fist fight goes on between the mouth and the plate. This Tamarind water that is tempered with spices is an essential dish in all function meals and is a must.A milder non spicy form of Rasam is mixed well with rice and given to a person who is Ill with fever, and this is very true with the contents of pepper and cumin in it , would bring down the temperature of fever.

now try this simple recipe from my ancestors, the good old Tomato Rasam............................

TOMATO RASAM

YOU NEED

Tomato 3 nos (ripe and firm)

Tamarind 1 marble size

Jeera seeds 1 tsp

Pepper 1 tsp

Red chilly 3 nos

Fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp

Asofoetida 1/2 tsp

Garlic 6 cloves ( with the skin on)

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Curry leaf 1 sprig

Coriander 1 1/2 tbsp ( finely chopped)

Salt to taste

Green chilly 2 nos (deseed and slit)

Oil 3 tsp

DO IT

-Boil the tomatoes in 2 cups of water, cool it and remove the skin and then smash the tomatoes in the same water and keep aside.

-Mix the Tamarind in 2 cups of hot water and extract the pulp, keep aside.

-Broil the Jeera, pepper, fenugreek------ cool and powder and add to the tomato extract.

-Heat the oil in a small vessel add the mustard when it crackles add the curry leaves, asofoetida, crushed garlic, slit green chilly and saute well .

-Pour in the tomato extract, the tamarind pulp and mix well add salt and cover to boil, as it boils add the chopped coriander stir well cover and put the flame off.

-Serve this with plain hot Rice with Pickle and Papads as accompaniments.

This is great for a cold winter afternoon or rainy day

THIS IS AN IMPORTANT SPICE BOX THAT EVERY INDIAN KITCHEN HAS ........

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Kidney beans soaked over night and cooked the next day is called Rajmah in Northern parts of India Punjabi Rajmah, Kashmir Rajmah etc.Its cooked with onion, tomato and spices in a gravy form, try this recipe simple and good....

RAJMAH MASALA

YOU NEED

Rajmah (Kidney beans) 2 cups

Black Gram Dal 1 cup

Onion 1 cup ( finely chopped)

Ginger Garlic Paste 2 tbsp

Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Asofedia 1/2 tsp

Red chilly powder 1/2 tsp

Coriander powder 1/2 tsp

Mango powder 1/2 tsp

Jeera powder 1/2 tsp

Tomato puree 1 cup

Curd 1/2 cup

Oil 3 tbsp

Garam masala 1 tsp

Salt to taste and half a lemon

Coriander 1 tbsp for garnish

DO IT

-Soak the Rajmah and Black Dal over night, wash it and pressure cook with enough water till the beans are cooked and on the verge of breaking at this stage remove and keep aside.

-In a kadai heat the oil and saute the onions when translucent add the ginger garlic paste, chilly, jeera, coriander, turmeric, and mango powders and mix well on high flame adding little water forthe raw smell to disappear then add the tomato puree and stir well.

-Now add the cooked rajmah mixture and mix well let it simmer for 10 minutes, mix in the beaten curd and cook for another 3 Min's check for the required consistency nice and thick.

-Sprinkle the Garam masala remove from the fire squeeze the lemon garnish with coriander and serve.

If you prefer add a little ghee .............

Dal's can be mixed and cooked, but certain Dals have to be soaked for a longer perod of time may be upto 5- 6 hours before cooking, like the horse gram, Chic peas, Lima beans , Kidney beans etc. Yellow Dal fry is the most common and favourite of many diners to Restaurants also the Black Dal generally called Dal Makhani. Now try this five variety of Dal that I mixed and tried very carefully almost spending the whole morning just to complete it perfectly and I called it PAANCH DAL MASALA.............................................


PAANCH DAL MASALA


YOU NEED


Tuvar dal 2 tbsp


Moong Dal 2 tbsp (broken)


Moong Dal 2 tbsp (whole)


Masoor Dal 2 tbsp (Pink lentils)


Channa Dal 2 tbsp


Onion 1/2 cup (roughly Chopped)


Ginger & Garlic 2 tbsp (roughly choppedTurmeric 1/2 tsp


Coriander powder 1 tsp


Chilly powder 1/2 tsp


Garam Masala powder 1/2 tsp


Oil 2 tbsp


Curry leaf 1 sprig


Asofedia 1/2 tsp


Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp


Jeera seeds 1/2 tsp


Green chilly 1 tsp (finely chopped)


Salt to taste and Half a lemon


Coriander 1 tbsp for garnishing


DO IT


-Soak all the five types of Dal for 3 hours, then wash it thoroughly and put in a pressure cooker add the chopped onion, ginger, garlic, powders add enough water about 4 cups and cook till soft depending on the pressure cooker-- well 5 alarm whistles should be okay. Remove from fire cool and check.


-In a kadai het the oil and add the mustard when it splutters add the jeera, chopped chilly ,curry leafand Asofedia andsaute on high heat, add the dal, salt to taste and simmer for 10 mins till you get a good thick consistency.


-Remove and squeeze the lemon ,mix serve garnished with coriander.


WOW !! goes great with plain Rice and Papads.

DAL'S, KADI'S AND RASAM

These are usually served with Rice and Chapatti's as an accompaniment's. Rice and Dal or Dal and Roti as it is known is good comfort food in India it is eaten and relished by the rich and poor, this forms a good Indian diet also. Called Lentil under the Pulses category with dried kidney beans, butter beans, peas, soya beans, horse gram etc.these are rich in Proteins, high on fibre, low fat and easily digestible. It can be cooked in different flavours and textures.

Now, Dal can be cooked in many ways in India and the popular one is the Dal Makhani, in every Punjabi Dhaba(Restaurant)one can definitely find a Dal item be it the favouriteMakhani,Dal Maha di,Dal Maharani, or Dal Amritsar ( these are not mere names but each has it's own taste and flavour) Try this simple Dal that I make and call it "TUVARAM PARUPPU MASIAL".........

TUVARAM PARUPPU MASIAL

YOU NEED

Tu var Dal 1 cup

Onion 2 tbsp (finely chopped)

Ginger 1 tsp (finely chopped(

Green Chilly 1 nos (finely chopped)

Tomato 1 nos (finely chopped)

Garlic 5 cloves (finely chopped)

Curry leaf 1 sprig

Mustard 1/2 tsp seeds

Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Chilly powder 1/2 tsp

Coriander powder 1/2 tsp

Jeera seeds 1/2 tsp

Mango powder 1/2 tsp

Fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp

Asofedia 1/2 tsp

Oil 2 tbsp

Salt to taste & Lemon juice

Coriander 1 tbsp finely chopped for garnish.

DO IT

-Wash the Dal and pressure cook it with 3 cups of water, ensure it is not mashed or over cooked.

-Heat oil in a kadai and add the mustard when it crackles add the other seeds, Asofedia and saute well, then add the onions,ginger, garlic and green chilly and when cooked add the powders turmeric and mix well on high heat do not burn, now add the chopped tomatoes and mix well.

-Now pour in the Dal and simmer on slow fire till the required consistency(thick).

-Remove drizzle half a teaspoon of lime mix well, garnish with the chopped coriander and serve in a bowl.

This recipe is straight from my Mom's village and she used to call it 'KOZHI PATTIKATU KOZAMBU'. I had to rack my brains to revive the recipe and tried a couple of times before blogging, here it goes...........

KOZHI PATTIKATTU KOZAMBU

YOU NEED

Chicken 1 nos ( with bones on cut into 15-20 pieces)

Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Curry Leaf 1 sprig

Oil 4 tbsp

Bay leaf 2 nos

Cinnamon 2 sticks

Coconut 1 cup

Sam bar Onion 1/2 cup

Ginger 1'' piece

Garlic 10 cloves

Green Chilly 4 nos

Red chilly 3 nos

Coriander seeds 1 tbsp

Salt to taste

Coriander 2 tbsp for garnishing.

DO IT

-Wash the Chicken pieces and rub with turmeric and little salt, keep aside for 30 minutes.

-Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a kadai and saute the coconut, sambar onion, green and red chilly, ginger , garlic and coriander seeds till a good aroma comes and the coconut is slightly browned. Cool and grind it to a fine paste.

-In a deep bottomed vessel heat the balance oil, add the bay leaf, Cinnamon and fry slightly, now add the curry leaf marinated chicken and saute on high heat to seal the surface of the meat.

-Add the masala paste and mix thoroughly.

-Pour 2 cups of water, add the required salt to taste and cook on high flame till the chicken is half cooked, stir well and let it simmer till it thickens to the required consistency.

-Serve hot in a bowl garnished with coriander, goes well with plain rice.

Lately I was looking for a recipe and finally found it in one my collection of Cookery books, It is a very simple dish and used to feature in many Menu cards of the 1980's, its known as the COUNTRY CAPTAIN a simple ingredient dish that goes well with Paratha or Nan, here it goes.........

COUNTRY CAPTAIN

YOU NEED

Chicken 500 gms (Cut into good 5 pieces)

Oil 3 tbsp

Onion 1/2 cup (chopped)

Ginger & Garlic 1 tbsp (finely chopped)

Green Chilly 3 nos (seeded and chopped)

Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Coriander 1 tbsp for garnishing

DO IT

-Heat oil in a pan , add the onions and saute well, then add the ginger and garlic as you saute add the chicken pieces mix on high flame till chicken gets firm.

-Add 1 cup of water the chilly with salt to taste and mix well and let it simmer on slow fire till the chicken is cooked and dry.

-Serve garnished with coriander.

Try this out but which Chef stumbled and made the recipe is amazing since it contains no other spices.........must have been a short cut way to make a Chicken Dish.

Sunday, November 9, 2008



Chicken can be cooked in different categories as Whole Chicken Either Roasted, Grilled, Tandoori then comes the breast of chicken in speciality dishes, wings of chicken, legs of chicken etc.Chicken Malai is a speciality dish that is rich and creamy, but try this a simple way I tried ......but the ingredients are a lot


CHICKEN MALAI


YOU NEED


Chicken 1 full ( boneless pieces of 15-20)


Ginger & Garlic paste 2 tbs


Oil 4 tbs


Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp


Cinnamon 3 pieces


Cardamon 5 nos


Cloves 5 nos


Bay leaf 2 nos


Chilly powder 1 tsp


Coriander powder 2 tsp


Jeera powder 1 tsp


Onion 1 1/2 cup ( finely chopped)


Tomato Puree 1 cup


Cream 1 cup


Salt to taste


Coriander 2 tbsp finely chopped


DO IT


-Marinate the Chicken with ginger and garlic paste along with turmeric powder and set aside for 30 Min's.


-Heat oil in a kadai and saute the spices, add the chopped onions and cook till translucent.


-Add the marinated chicken and stir on high flame at the same time adding the chilly,coriander and jeera powder, now add salt.


-When sufficiently dry with a colour change add the tomato puree a little water and let it simmer on slow flame for 10 minutes, add some coriander leaves with a dash of lime mix well.


-Add the cream ,mix thoroughly and serve hot garnished with coriander














coriander.












Saturday, November 8, 2008

There are many recipes of the same type but this is a recreated version of mine with fresh coriander leaves, fresh ginger and fresh green chilly; to get the freshness and aroma avoid any ready mixed masala here it is the Chicken Hara Bara.................

CHICKEN HARA BARA

YOU NEED

Chicken 500 grams

Coriander 1/2 cup

Ginger & Garlic paste 2 tbsp

Curd 1/2 cup

Green chilly 3 nos

Onion 1 cup (chopped)

Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Pepper powder 1/2 tsp

Oil 3 tbsp

Salt to taste

DO IT

-Grind green chill and coriander and mix with the curd , set aside.

-Heat the kadai add oil and saute the onion till translucent, put the chicken and saute for a few minutes, add ginger garlic paste and cook with little water till the raw smell disappears.

-Add the mixture of curd, turmeric, pepper powder mix well and cook on slow fire till dry and chicken is done.

-Serve garnished with onion rings.

In Southern parts of India this Chicken is usually prepared very spicy and chilly hot, so always have some yogurt or lemon wedges so you can drizzle on the dish if it sets you alarming.Try this Chicken Pepper fry, one can find many recipes on this, but this is the way I make it and it is 'KOZHI MELAGU VARUVAL'.........
KOZHI MELAGU VARUVAL

YOU NEED
Chicken 1 Nos (with bones on cut into 8-10 pieces)
Oil 4 tbsp
Cummin seed 1 tsp
Redchilly 6 nos
Coconut 1/2 cup (grated)
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Curry leaf !sprig
Onion 1 cup (chopped)
Ginger & garlic 2 tbsp (finely chopped)
Black Pepper 1 tbsp
Lime juice 1 tbsp
DO IT
-First broil the coriander seeds, cummin, red chilly and coconut well, set aside to cool and then grind to a fine paste adding little water.
-Heat oil in a kadai add the onion and saute well, add ginger and garlic, curry leaf and mix well.
-Add the chicken, sprinkle in the turmeric and mix well on high heat by sprinkling little water and cook; add salt to taste.
-Low the flame and cook till the chicken is cooked and dry, add crushed pepper and lime juice , mix well and serve hot.
Now let s do some blogging about CHIC'S............yes Chicken is a good item for any non-vegetarian meal. Lean white meat recommended by doctors,Chicken is low in saturated fat, contains most of vitamin B and is a cheap source of Protein,the taste of chicken depends on how it is reared and fed. Corn fed chicken tastes the best and their flesh is slightly yellowish, in India chicken is cooked in many ways the most popular ones being Curry, Vindaloos,Koftas, Korma's, Kebabs and Tandoori cooked over naked fire. Now try this simple Chicken dish of mine and I call it Chicken Chap...............
CHICKENCHAAP
YOU NEED
Chicken 500 gms
Onion 1 cup (paste)
Ginger & Garlic 1 tbsp (chopped)
Chilly powder 1 tsp
Curd 1 cup
Oil 3 tbsp
Garam masala 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander 2 tbsp for garnish
DO IT
-Marinate the chicken with turmeric, ginger n garlic and curd. Keep aside for 1 hour.
-Heat oil in a kadai and saute the onion paste , then add the chilly powder, now add the marinated chicken and cook on high flame for 5 Min's .
-Add 1 cup of water, salt and cook on slow fire when almost dry and chicken is cooked sprinkle with the garam masala mix well.
-Remove and garnish with coriander and serve .
-

Sunday, November 2, 2008

One of my favourite site on Desserts is www.joyofbaking.com ; it is very informative with a good variety of recipes especially on Muffins, Scones and Pies,Microwave has become an important gadget in the kitchen and I use it mostly for cooking vegetables,making papads and heating up crispy food, cooking wholly in the microwave is not worth a try especially with Indian food, even for baking any day the oven baked version is better,.Try this Chocolate microwave Cake, some tips have been taken from Chef Sanjeev Kapoor and modified by me its good............

CHOCOLATE MICROWAVE CAKE

YOU NEED

All purpose flour 2 cups

Baking powder 2 tsp

Grated Chocolate 1 cup

Butter 1/2 cup

Sugar 1 cup (powdered)

Milk 3/4 cup

Walnuts 1/2 cup (chopped)

Vanilla essence 1/2 tsp

DO IT

-Sieve the flour and baking powder together and keep aside.

-Melt the Chocolate and butter in the microwave at 70 degrees for 2 Min's, remove and mix in the sugar, add the flour and milk mixing well till you get a pouring consistency, add the vanilla essence and chopped walnuts.

-Pour the mixture into a microwave greased dish and let it cook at 100 degrees for 5 Min's, open after 2 Min's and check if still not firm cook at 70 degrees for another 1 minute.

-Let it rest for a few Min's, then slice and serve.

Talking about Payasams, no Kerala Sandhya is complete without serving a Payasam,many people are die-hard fans of Payasam irrespective of age bar. I thought Payasam making was a tedious job, till I stumbled upon Chef Sanjeev Kapoor showing a TV host show on the same in ZeeTV, he called it the' SEVIAN', I simply gave it a try and was really worth it. Nowadays I make this very often and takes only a dash 15 to 20 Min's its nothing special the same old Semiya Payasam the way I make it. it is very simple, tasty with no time at all....no long standing at the cooking range....................

SEMIYA PAYASAM

YOU NEED

Vermicelli 2 cups

Milk 1 litre

Sugar 6 tbsp

Cardamon 1 tsp(powdered)

Saffron 5 strands

Cashew & Raisins( 1 tbsp each for garnish)

Ghee 3 tbsp

DO IT

-Heat a non-stick pan and brown the cashew and raisins keep aside, in the same pan roast vermicelli on moderate heat till lightly browned.

-In another deep pan boil the milk and let it simmer for 10 Min's, to this add sugar, vermicelli and cook for 2 minutes stirring.add the saffron strands.

Take the pan off the heat stir in the cardamon , cashew and raisins .

Serve hot or cold.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

However, desserts are NOT the focus of an Indian meal and the variety of these preparations differ from State to State, in Kerala you will find most of their preparations containing coconut and jaggery substituting sugar normal cows milk is avoided and coconut milk is used in the Northern parts of India a byproduct of Milk like Paneer, Kova or Yogurt is used.

Even the ordinary Rava kesari can be made in different ways and flavours , all one needs is to experiment with a bit of the same with different combinations this is another favourite of mine and always takes as little time to make try it RAVA KESARI......................

RAVA KESARI

YOU NEED

Rava (semolina) 1 cup

Ghee 3 tbsp

Sugar 1 cup

Water 2 cups

Cardamon 1/2 tsp(powdered)

Cashew nuts & Raisin (1 tbsp each for garnish)

Saffron 4 stands

DO IT

-In a non stick pan heat the ghee and brown the cashew and raisins , keep this aside.

-In the same pan saute the Rava till it gets slight golden colour and a good aroma comes.

-Now add water, sugar, cardamon,saffron and stir gently on low flame and let it cook , be careful not to allow any lumps.

When it is dry remove, garnish with the cashew and raisin best when served hot

You don't have to be a Good Baker to make Cakes and Cookies, all you need is a lot of patience, follow the weights and ingredient ratios very carefully as this is the most important aspect in baking. Nowadays I can bake some reasonably good cookies and cakes though I am far from being an expert, at times they come out hard and brittle.Why do you always have to BAKE A CAKE, just try this 'STEAM A CAKE' and the way I did it ......

STEAMED CHOCOLATE CAKE

YOU NEED

Maida flour 1 cup

Cocoa powder 4 tbsp

Sugar 1 cup(powdered)

Baking powder 1 tsp

Soda bi-carbonate 1/2 tsp

Milk 1 cup

Vinegar 2 tbsp

Egg 1 nos

Butter 1 tbsp (melted)

Vanilla essence 1 tsp

Salt a pinch

DO IT

-Mix the milk and vinegar and keep aside for 15 Min's this will give you sour milk.

-Sieve together maida baking powder, cocoa powder salt and soda bi-carbonate keep aside.

-Beat the egg and powdered sugar together until creamy, add the vanilla essence and butter also mixing it thoroughly.

-Add the flour mixture alternating with the milk to give smooth batter, now pour mixture into a greased dish and cover with butter paper or foil.

-Steam it in a moderate heat for 45 Min's in a steamer.

-Remove, cool it and serve sliced.

DESSERTS N SWEETS

DESSERTS N SWEETS

Who does not like sweets!!! Hey, unless you have been cautioned by you doctor of Diabetes in your system which is very common in India. Many sweet items are served these days as desserts compared to the old traditional French or Continental cuisines these vary from sweet short breads, cakes;souffles; mouses and in India Jamuns, variety of Kheer etc are served even Fresh fruits with flavoured sweet sauces are served. In the Continental section the choice is endless compared to their counterpart Oriental cuisine.
In India Kheer forms an important form of dessert it is just like a semi solid Pudding served in the continental section. In the Southern part of India the Kheer is known as Payasam , usually made of milk, sugar,dry fruits with flour and ghee. Try this speciality of Payasam made out of poppy seeds and the way I made it................
KHUSKHUS PAYASAM
YOU NEED
Khuskhus 1 cup
Rice 1/2 cup
Sugar 1 cup
Milk 2 cups
Cardamon 1/2 tsp (powdered)
Ghee 2 tbsp
Pistachios & Cashew nuts(chopped 1 tbsp of each for Garnish)
DO IT
-Soak Rice and Khuskhus for Three hours and grind into a coarse paste.
-Heat the ghee in a nonstick pan and brown the nuts , keep this aside.
-In the same pan add the ground paste and mix well till an aroma comes , add very little water and cook on high flame for 2 Min's, lower flame add the sugar and milk let it simmer till it becomes thick.
-Remove mix in the nuts , cardamon powder stir well and serve in small glass bowls----------thiscan be served cold also.