Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A very Merry Xmas

Hope everyone had a great Christmas .I know I did...good food and great times with family..what else does one need? Here's a picture story of all the food and festivities .

Here comes Santa Claus

The stage is set and Dinner is served

Cornish Hen with Fresh Herbs and roasted potatoes

Mushroom and shrimp pulao

Green Bean Salad

Shahi Tukda

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Soyabean Matar Pulao with Basmati Rice

Alright, alright -I admit to to being spoilt .After eating long grained , fragrant and beautiful basmati rice which literally melts in your mouth, all my life ..I find it difficult to adjust to coarser, thicker rice .Eating freshly cooked basmati rice is like eating fluffy ,little white peices of heaven .I will also admit that with passage of time I have come to understand the virtues of different varieties of rice..

Did you know that the word ‘basmati’ means fragrant, and refers to the nutlike flavor and aroma of this small, but long grained rice. It has been used in India and Pakistan for thousands of years and is excellent with curries. Several varieties are now grown in the U.S., such as Texmati and Kasmati, and all are growing in popularity. (One U.S. company has made an effort to patent Basmati rice and trademark the name). Their flavor is very good, but not quite up to real imported Basmati. (

The other main ingredients of my pulao which are soyabean and peas are rife with proteins .I make matar pulao often but soyabeans make this dish much more protein packed and give it a twist .I love it and think you all should try it .

So let's get cracking

You need :
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 black cardamom seeds
6 whole black peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 cup cooked soyabeans (boiled in salted water)
2 cups uncooked basmati rice, rinsed and drained
4 cups water
salt to taste

This is how you make it :
Heat the oil in a deep heavy skillet over low heat. Add thecumin, cardamom seeds and peppercorns .Cook for a few minutes to bring out the aroma of the spices. Add the green peas to the pan, cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 4 cups of water and rice to the pan. Season with salt. Bring to a boil, then cover, and cook for about 10 minutes. Then add the cooked soyabean and cook until the rice is tender and the water has been absorbed.

Cover the skillet and let the rice sit for a while .S erve when its fluffy with cool cucumber raita and pickle .

Monday, December 18, 2006

Tilapia with wild rice

Fish and rice are wonderful ...I love fish and always look to making fish in different ways -baked, broiled, poached, fried , cooked in foil ...different herbs, marinades etc .Ofcourse there's always so many different kinds of fish availabe to choose from-salmon, tilapia, sea bass, catfish, mahi mahi, snapper, cod ..the list goes on and on .

This time I chose Tilapia..which is a fresh water fish and takes on new flavors easily .Tilapia species are native to Africa and the Levant (for example the sea of Galilee, where according to legend Jesus used it to feed the 5000, resulting in the nickname St. Peter's fish).

Wild rice also called Indian Rice, Water Rice, or Water Oats is considered a delicacy, has long been an important food of North American Indians and wild rice is not related to, related to rice (Oryza sativa). I once ate cornish hen with wild rice and was inspired to cook it more often or atleast try it a couple of times . So without further ado , lets start cooking .

You need
2 tilapia fillets !
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil for marinade
Olive oil to pan fry
black pepper
salt to taste
chopped corriander

1 cup wild rice
3 cups water or chicken broth
salt to taste
seasoning to taste (Maggi Chicken Flavored Bouillon )

This is how you make it
Marinate the tilapia fillets in olive oil and lemon juice. Add salt ,black pepper , chopped corriander and set aside for 15-20 minutes.

Cooking the rice
Wash 1 cup uncooked wild rice thoroughly. Add to 3 cups boiling water or chicken stock(I use chicken stock for extra flavor) , salted and seasoned to taste(add maggi chicken seasoning according to taste), in a saucepan. Return water to boil and stir. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 50-60 minutes or just until kernals puff open. Uncover and fluff with table fork. This will give you 3-4 cups of cooked wild rice.

Now , heat some olive oil or any other oil in the pan and pan fry the fish so that the it turns brown on both sides and flaky .Take care not to move the fish in the pan or it will break .

Your tilapia is now ready. Serve it on top of a bed of fragrant wild rice. Add salsa for that extra zing and enjoy .

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Pasta with catfish

I have found Pasta to be so versatile, there seems to be no end to the ways one can cook with pasta .And the types of pasta is a post or many by itself . On a busy work day with my fridge almost bare of anything , I found a couple of catfish fillets and some pasta and sundried tomotoes .After a minute or two of reflection this is what I came up with ...

You need
2 catfish fillets chopped into 1 inch cubes
1 tbsp lemon juice
olive oil to fry
salt to taste
red pepper to taste
3 tbsp julienned sun dried tomatoes
1/4 pound pasta (any shape will do)
1/2 a cup chicken stock
1/2 onion thinly sliced( we get big onions here)
1 tsp chopped garlic
Basil to garnish

This is how you make it
Marinate the catfish cubes in olive oil and lemon juice. Add salt and red pepper and set aside for 15-20 minutes. After that, fry the marinated pieces of fish in olive oil till they are brown and firm .take care not to burn them .Set aside
In the meantime cook pasta . On a seperate pan , fry the sliced onion with garlic , once the onion is soft add the chicken stock and let it boil and then turn the heat down .Now add the julienned tomatoes and toss the cooked pasta into the pan.Add salt and pepper to taste and now add the cooked peices of fish.

Mix everything thoroughly and garnish with basil leaves . Serve with white wine and salad and enjoy :-)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Iam BACK ...

hi folks ...

gots tonnes of messages while I was away and I agree I was away for a really long time ..almost 9 months ...was busy ..finishing up Masters, changing jobs, moving to a new city , visiting home and parents visiting ..and ofcourse my digital camera was'nt exactly cooperating ..couldnt take pictures for a while.

Thankyou all for keeping in touch and encouraging me to get back ..and though I was was away , I did not stop cooking ..had a lovely thanksgiving dinner complete with turkey , have cooked other dinners when freinds were over, birthdays , get togethers and hopefully some great stuff for Christmas ...

Keep watching this space
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