Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Chilli meat with curry leaves

Its amazing ... there are a gazillion chicken recipes out there ..or for that matter a gazillion recipes for everything.What do I say of world cuisine when I have not even scratched the surface of the Indian recipe-Pandora's box .The treasure hunt is on though .

Every region in India has a different take on spices,herbs , oils, veg, non -veg dishes .When I think I have made quite a few,more and yet more keep turning up. Slowly, yet steadily I plan to try them all..After all ,its a long life and I have plenty of time;). Hopefully ,I'll be an expert of them and some of them might not augur well with me but heck , its worth a try.What do you say?:)

I have tried plenty of non vegetarian(read chicken,mutton, lamb) recipes from North India , plenty more from East of India (umpteen varities of fish,chicken,mutton,lamb,prawns) and the other day I decided to strike on some south indian recipes -specifically ,from Andhra Pradesh .

The Andhra cuisine has a great Mughal impact. Their food is known for its spiciness and hotness
Curry leaves and chillies are two of the hallmark ingredients used here or for that matter in other southern states of India. The recipe I chose was chilli meat with curry leaves ,where the hottest chillies known as Gunter(named after the region they are grown in) are abundantly available.

You need :(tb=tablespoon, ts=teaspoon)
2 tb vegetable oil
1 large finely sliced onion
2 in piece fresh root ginger
grated 4 garlic cloves
crushed 12 curry leaves
3 tb extra hot curry paste or 4 tbsp hot curry powder(madras style)
1 tb chilli powder
1 ts five-spice powder 5 ml
1 ts ground turmeric
2lb chicken cubes(you can substitute them with pork,lamb or beef)
3/4 cup thick coconut milk
Salt to taste
Red onion, finely sliced, to garnish

Heres how to make madras style curry powder
Grind 2 and 1/2 tb corriander seeds, (sieve if any large husks remain). Additionally grind 2ts Garlic Powder, 1 tb Ground Cumin,2 ts Ground Tumeric, 1 ts Ground Ginger,1 ts Chili flakes/powder, 1/2 ts Ground Allspice, 1 tb Salt,1 tb Ground Black Pepper,1/2 tb Dry Mustard,1/4 ts Saffron.Blend all of the ingredient together and store in an airtight jar. This recipe makes 3 ounces of curry powder.

How to cook it
1) Heat the oil in a wok, karahi or large pan and fry the onion, ginger, garlic and curry leaves until onion becomes soft.
2) Add the curry paste or powder, chilli and five-spice powder, turmeric and salt.
3) Add the meat and stir well over a medium heat to seal and evenly brown the meat pieces. Keep stirring until the oil separates.
4) Cover the pan and cook for about 20 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer, cover until the meat is cooked.
5)Towards the end of the cooking, uncover the pan to reduce the excess liquid.

Serve with yogurt and rice/indian bread.Garnish with a sprig of corrainder leaves and a slice of lemon .


If you decide to cook this , let me know how it went :-)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Butter Chicken - recipe on special demand

I usually put stuff on my blog that I tried, like to cook , or made for a party/get together..Over time some of the folks who have read my blog have asked for my recipes

Heres the butter chicken recipe that I tried for a the xmas party at work .Meena , this is what you asked for

You need:
2 lbs chicken(I took chicken breast tenders, easy to dice and cook really fast)
1 stick of butter
3/4 cup tomotoes (chopped finely)
1 large onion (chopped finely)
1/2 cup cashews (grounded smoothly)
chilli flakes/powder -according to taste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 cinnamon stick
turmeric powder
salt-according to taste

This is how you cook it :
1 Heat half a stick of butter in medium heat and fry onions and cinnamon sticks till onion turns transparent.
2 Add turmeric, chilly, ginger and garlic paste, salt and a little water. Heat few more seconds with continuous stirring.
3 Add tomatoes and heat few more seconds with continuous stirring
4 Add grounded cashew paste and some more water to make it into a thick gravy. (Add more or less water while cooking to get according to your preference for consistency of gravy.)
5 When the mixture starts to boil, add the chicken and cook until it is fully cooked
6 Before you take chicken off the heat, add rest of the butter over it.

and Voila !!! Serve with rice /roti /naan and garnish as you please :-)

Seekh Kebab

I haven't tried making seekh kabab at home before , and yesterday I wondered why ..

There was no satisfactory answer other than the fact that I don't have a nice big grill .."So what, don't you have an oven , you silly girl?" My inner voice chided me ...and I started laughing .It was time to make some kebabs .

The compliments at my friend's place were all I needed ,to tell me that my experiment turned out very well .And ofcourse hubby dear has always been an ardent admirer of my cooking (Now that's love for you)

Here's how I made it
Took some lean turkey meat to which I added some vegetable oil and spices(salt, red chilly flakes, worchestor sauce , garam masala , dhania powder)

Made long sausage shaped rolls and inserted a skewer stick in each kebab. and put them on a baking tray which had been lightly sprayed with oil . (dip the skewer sticks for about 20 minutes in cold water to prevent burning in the oven)

The I put the tray in the oven which had been preheated at 350 degree F .Turned them skewers over periodically till the meat turned deep brown (While baking ,test the level of cooking by stickg a fork inside the meat and see if the prongs have any wet, sticky residue on them .If not then the meat is cooked and ready to serve )

Served it with a cooling yogurt sauce to which I added mint chutney .


Friday, December 16, 2005

Christmas with an indian flavor

Yay!!!

Iam back again to my food blog after a month and it feels good :-) to be writing about food once again .No long breaks this time.

Last friday , we had a christmas party at work (actually at someone's home after work) and we were all asked to get what we thought we would like to share from our culture .Me, I chose kesar pulao, butter chicken , vegetable cutlets (for appetisers) and saag paneer .

Butter chicken is a north indian chicken dish made with chicken cubes cooked in a spicy onion-tomato sauce to which almond-cashewnut paste is added for consistency and thickness .Usually food color is added but I did not add any and jsut stuck with turmeric .

Kesar pulao is an aromatic basmati rice cooked with clarified butter and salt to which raisins, cashewnuts and kesar (saffron) is added .YUM-O

Saag Paneer is a very popular North Indian dish as well .To prepare this I usually fry paneer( cottage cheese , this is not the cottage cheese in America .At the party I was telling what paneer is and how to make it .Here goes, squeeze a lemon in hot milk and let it seperate .Take the white residue and tie it up in a muslin cloth and let all the water drip .What remains is, paneer.You can crumble this or cut it up in cubes....I buy mine from the Indian store)

Vegetable cutlets are well, cutlets . Boil and mash potatoes and add peas, breadcrumbs, salt , black pepper and amchoor .Make little balls , flatten them and shallow fry them .Have them with corriander and/or turmeric chutney .

For dessert I took pumpkin pie .(and everyone knows what pumpkin pie is ).

All of the above were popular and here are some pictures .Enjoy


The Indian Twist


Kesar Pulao


Butter Chicken


Saag Paneer


Vegetable Cutlets


Pumpkin Pie


Merry Christmas every one :-)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Lamb Curry





Yeah ,lamb curry ....I had made a big brouhaha about this to some of my freinds(and they know who they are;)) and here Iam writing about it .

I recently made australian lamb curry ..took this big chunk of meat and chopped it up , marinated it overnight in yogurt and spices and then cooked it on slow heat ....

It turned out great ...served it with Rumali roti (for those of you who dont know what rumali roti is ...Its a very large, very thin bread from Northern India .Its supposed to be as fine as a silken scarf and is cooked on what looks like an upturned wok - a convex metal pan ...

In the picture below the rumali roti's look like the usual chappati (indian bread), but they have been folded a couple times to fit them on the serving dish .)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Simple yet Complete


After a hectic day at work most people come home and grab the nearest and the easiest thing to eat .Calories and vows to work towards a better body are forgotten ..All that matters is taking care of the hunger thats poking holes in your stomach ....

I often try to live up to my vow(pun intended ,wink!!) There are few days when I dont care for anything but boiled eggs (atleast they are healthy) and other days when I am capable (and thats mostly the situation) when I cook up a 2-3 course , healthy meal ...

The picture represents just that...boiled or steamed rice , yellow lentil soup(in india its called toor or arhar dal ), minced mea(called keema in india) with vegetables ,yogurt and some fresh salad ..A meal like this mostly takes care of my body , soul and my hunger and gets rave reviews..

Bon appetit :-)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Grilled Salmon with steamed vegetables


yeah ..healthy ,yummy and fast to cook..loaded with omega 3 fatty acids...

the vegetables(mushrooms, carrots, spinach , zucchini ,onion and yellow bell paper) were steamed and the salmon was marinated in olive oil and seasoned with salt,pepper , lemon and some "special masala "I have :-)

Enjoy !!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Durga Puja fare

I become extremely nostalgic when Durga Puja is around the corner and miss home ..The pandals ,the endless fun, the camaraderie and the food...Since I no longer get that food I decided to make it myself and fill the void.For those of you who dont know what Durga Pooja is,Well, it is a prominent festival amongst bengalis in India .

My menu had the quintessential Khichudi(a mixture of rice, lentils ,veggies and spices),cabbage with peas,Labda(a funny name but dont get mislead by it )a delicious,aromatic& sweet-salty mix of vegetables like squash, aubergines and potatoes,seasoned with five spices and cooked in mustard oil),tomato chutney(I also added dates,rasins and cherries to the mix), Begun bhaja(sliced aubergines marinated in turmeric and salt and panfried in mustard oil) and the dessert was khejur gud paish (rice pudding cooked in palm sugar)...

Shubho Bijoya everyone !!



khichudi


Labda (yeah say that again ..its a funny name):-)


cabbage and peas


begun bhaja (aubergines pan fried in mustard oil)


tomato chutney


khejur gud paish(rice pudding made with palm sugar)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Rock Fish fillet in Red Curry

Last evening I did'nt feel like eating fish grilled or the Indian way ,so I decided to go Thai.And cooked some Rock fish in thai red curry.

Cooking the curry :
This involves dicing rock fish fillets in medium sized cubes .Diced a large red onion into cubes and chopped soem baby carrots.Heated some sesame oil to which I added a couple of dried red chillies and then sauted the vegetables.When the veggies were a little soft added the fish cubes ,salt,red pepper flakes ,black pepper and some fish sauce .When the Veggies and fish were almost cooked ,added some thai red curry paste to which I had added coconut milk .Simmered the vegetables in sauce for a little while and there you go.

Cooking the Rice :
The rice that I cooked to accompany the fish curry was'nt the traditional jasmine rice but long grained basmati rice .For this ,I heated some ghee(clarified butter) and then added Nigella seeds(kalonji),whole red chillies and a couple of bay leaves .Added water and salt and then when the water was hot and bubbling , added the rice .And then cooked the rice on slow heat till it was done.



The fish in red curry



Fish curry and rice

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Pastalicious

I love pasta , noodles and sphagetti ....I dont eat them very often but when I do,its always my first priority to make it wholesome .

So I concocted one of these pasta dishes ...It has pasta that comes in 5 different shapes which I mix up with chicken and vegetables (spinach , peas, beans and carrots )I do a tomato based sauce with garlic in olive oil to which I add italian seasoning , black pepper ,salt and red chili flakes and cook the veggies and chicken in the sauce .Then I add boiled and strained pasta and garnish with cheese.

Viola ,An interesting mix of spices, texture and healthy food.And ofcourse ,you can always turn it up a notch with a glass of red wine :-)


Enjoy !!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Doi Maach

And so I continue with more "fishy" recipes.This one is called Doi maach ...and I love it .I do a quick version and sometimes a slow version.The slow version is obviously more labor intensive .One can use catfish, seabass, halibut fillets or any other that are available.

the recipe usually involves marinating the fish fillets in a mixture of ginger ,cumin,red pepper,salt, corriander powder,turmeric etc etc in yogurt..The rest can be discussed in any one wants to know(wink!!)

Enjoy:-)

Friday, September 30, 2005

Pyaaz Maach

I will continue to cover more items from bengali cuisine and then move to another region of India or perhaps the world .

Meanwhile , this is pyaaz maach( fish cooked in spicy onion gravy) .I enjoy this particularly because its hot and real spicy.I put a different spin on it sometimes by adding a little bit of tomato and that enhances the flavor .

Enjoy !!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Satisfied customers :-)

Suchita , my freinds younger sister was visiting me on july17,2005 and had been deprived of home made food .She's bengali and Iam part bengali too so I thought I would treat her to nice Bengali food .

I cooked pulao(rice with spices,ghee and salt),kosha mangsho(spicy chicken bengali style),dim curry(egg curry),aloor dom( baby potatoes in spices),luchi (pooris) and added yougurt and salad to the mix .Suchita enjoyed the food and I had a great time making it .Even more fun looking at the happy and satisfied faces of Suchita and Pankaj .

I will discuss recipes in the next post, Till then here are some pictures I would like to share .Enjoy


The spread


Suchita and Pankaj clink their beer glasses


They seem satisfied

Monday, September 26, 2005

Birth



A very lofty title for a food blog entry, but thats what you call the birth of a baby and this is mine . Food is one of my loves and I look at this as the beginning of all things good .I wish to discuss and sometimes offer my 2cents on food,wine, restaurants,and cusines from all over the world in addition to things I make everyday in my humble little kitchen .

Heres a lovely little poem on food which clearly sets the tone for this food blog.

Why food -
Is it at all necessary?
Why must we go
Every other day to the marts
To stock fish, condiments
And rice?
We hustle each day
At work
Only so that our bellies
Can be filled afterwards.
We think we control food,
But clearly it controls us
.(samuel nze)

Welcome folks ,to Foodies Unite.
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