Saturday, July 26, 2014

Baingan Bhurtha

It has been long time since I wrote something here other than the recipes. It wouldn’t be completely true if I say I got “Busy” with work, my lil one, household chores etc.. It is just the matter of priority everywhere. And now the main reason why I wanted to write up something here is because, I wanted to boast out that this curry is made from the home made eggplants. No Not me in the garden – All credits to my mom, dad & AJ. The only thing  I did was to choose the eggplant plant from the store. And may be watered it once or twice. But still it’s a great feeling to see the fruits and flowers in our own garden.

Now that I started my write up, I wish I could see the page full. But what to write about? Life is going on with not much happenings – Or I would like to look at it from the other corner. Every thing and every day is special, so what do I choose to express here.  Now that I have already spent 15 – 20 mins on what to write, I give up for now J. Let me try next time.

Baingan Bhartha 3

Ingredients (Serves 5 - 6):

Eggplant                     --    1lb , I used 5 as in the below picture
Onions                         --   1 large
Ginger Garlic paste --   2 tsp, or you can use fresh ginger and garlic crushed
Tomatoes                  --   2 large
Asofoetida                --   1 pinch
Turmeric                   --    ½ tsp
Frozen peas              --   ½ cup, optional
Coriander powder  --   2 tsp
Cumin powder         --   1 tsp
Garam Masala          --   1tsp
Red Chili Powder    --   1 tsp
Green Chilies            --   2
Coriander leaves    --   5 sprigs, for garnishing
Oil                                 --   2 tbsp
Salt                               --   to taste


Pre-heat the oven at 400 degrees, keep the eggplants in a oven-proof dish and cook for 45 mins to 1 hour. The skin should be loose and will start to have cracks. Also check with a fork or knife for doneness. You can also do this on a gas stove. Just roast it on fire and peel off the skin. That would be quick and easy.

Baingan Bhartha

Once that is done, take Eggplant out, let it cool and then peel off the skin. Mash it slightly and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan. Add asofoetida and turmeric and saute for few seconds. Add finely chopped onions. Mix well and saute until the onions turn translucent. Add the ginger garlic paste and let it cook till the onions start turning golden brown.

Add the chopped tomatoes and the frozen peas, if using and cook till the oil separates from the mixture. Keep stirring and make sure that it does not get burnt.

    Baingan Bhartha 1                  Baingan Bhartha 2

Add salt,garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilly powder and the finely chopped green chillies. Saute for a minute.

Add the mashed eggplant and mix well. Let it cook closed and on medium flame for few minutes. Add ½ cup of water at this stage if required.
Do a taste check and switch off when the masala is well mixed with the eggplant and peas. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves. I like to keep it aside for half an hour before serving. This will help the flavors to get set well.

Baingan Bhartha 4

Serve hot with chapathi, roti etc

Recipe Courtesy: Show me the curry

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Carrot–Beans Thoran


Ingredients: (Serves 4 - 6)

Carrot                          --   2 medium
Beans                           --   200 gms 
Green chillies           --   3 - 4
Shallots                       --   2
Shredded coconut  --   ½ cup
Turmeric powder    --   ¼ tsp
Curry leaves              --   1 sprig
Mustard seeds          --   1 tsp
Red chillies                --   1
Salt                                --   as required
Oil                                  --   as required.


Chop the carrot and beans into small and medium thin pieces. Chop the shallots and slit the green chillies. In a big bowl, add the chopped carrots, beans ,shallots,green chillies, curry leaves,turmeric powder, shredded coconut and salt. Mix well, preferably with your hand.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add the red chillies and saute for a minute. Add the above mixture, give a good mix, close with a lid and cook on a low flame. Make sure to saute every 2 -3 minutes to avoid burning at the bottom. Cook until done. It should not take more than 10 - 15 minutes. Serve with rice.


Recipe Courtesy: Amma

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Black Forest Cake

Black Forest  Cake 6



Cake Flour                --   ½ cup
Salt                              --   ¼ tsp
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder --   1/3 cup
Eggs                            --   4 large
Granulated Sugar  --   2/3 cup
Vanilla extract       --   1 tsp
Unsalted Butter     --   3 tbsp, melted

Cherry Sauce:

Cherries                    --   1 lb pitted and chopped, reserve few for decorating
Sugar                          --   ¾ cup
Water                         --   1 cup

Black Forest  Cake 4

Whipped Cream Frosting

Heavy whipping cream  --   2 ½ cups
Vanilla extract       --   1 tsp
Granulated Sugar  --   3 tsp

Chocolate Shavings & Curls

Bar chocolate  --   3.5 oz

Black Forest  Cake 8


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch round cake pan and line the bottom of pan with parchment paper.

Sift the flour, salt and cocoa powder 3 - 4 times. Melt the butter and keep aside.

In a heatproof bowl whisk the eggs with the sugar. Place it over a saucepan of simmering water heat until the mixture is lukewarm, keep whisking so that the the eggs do not cook. Remove from heat. Beat on high speed until the mixture is thick and it will fall back into the bowl in a ribbon-like pattern. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Then sift the flour mixture over the egg mixture in three batches and gently fold in using a spatula on each addition.

Take 2 tbsp of the batter and fold it into the melted butter. Then gently fold it into the egg batter.

Pour into your pan, smoothing the top. Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a metal rack before removing from pan.

I froze the cake for two days before assembling. Also I wanted a 3 layer cake, so I made 2 batches of the above.

Cherry Filling:

In a sauce pan, add the chopped cherries, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Let it simmer until the cherries are soft and cooked. Remove the cherries and let the liquid alone simmer until you get a semi-thick syrup. Keep aside to cool.

Black Forest  Cake 2

Whipped Cream Frosting:

In the mixing bowl place the whipping cream, vanilla extract, and sugar and stir to combine. Cover and chill the bowl and wire whisk in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, then beat the mixture just until stiff peaks form.

Black Forest  Cake 5

Chocolate Shavings & Curls:

Use a sharp knife and shave the chocolate bar on the flat side for thin flat shavings. Once that is done, scrape the remaining sides for short curls.

Black Forest  Cake 1

Assemble the Cake:

Cut the genoise, into two layers. Keep the top layer of the cake on the board. Brush the cake layer with ½ of the cherry syrup and cherries. Take ¾ cup of whipped cream and spread on the moistened genoise.

Repeat this with another layer - As I said before, I made 2 cakes and used 3 layers and had 1 left over layer.

Brush the cut-side of second genoise layer with ¼ cup syrup. Place cut-side down on top of the cream.

Black Forest  Cake 3

Reserve some whipped cream for decorating, if required and spread the remaining cream over top and sides of cake. Decorate with fresh cherries and shaved chocolate. Cover and refrigerate the cake for overnight before serving.

Black Forest  Cake 7


Recipe Courtesy: Joy of baking

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mutton / Lamb Curry–Kerala Style


Ingredients (Serves 5 - 6):

Mutton                               --   500gms
Turmeric powder          --   ½ tsp
Kashmiri chili powder --   ¾ tsp
Onion sliced                     --   2 large size
Curry leaves                    --  1 - 2 sprig
Tomato chopped           --   1 medium size
Coconut milk                   --   ¼ cup, medium consistency
Boiling Water                   --   ½ cup
Mustard seeds                 --   ¼ tsp
Oil                                         --   2 - 3 tbsp
Salt                                       --   to taste

For masala:

Green chilies                   --  3 to 4 nos
Garlic                                 --   2 large cloves
Ginger                                --   1" piece
Turmeric powder         --   ½ tsp
Kashmiri chili powder--   2 to 3 tsp
Coriander powder        --   1 tbsp
Pepper powder              --   ¼ tsp
Garam masala                --   1 tsp
Fennel seeds                   --   1tsp
Water                                 --   as required


Wash and clean the mutton / lamb. Marinate it with ½ tsp turmeric powder, ¾ tsp kashmiri chilly powder and salt for atleast 2 hours.Refrigerate it if possible. that will help the masala to really stick onto the meat.

Grind all the ingredients for the masala to form a smooth paste.Keep aside.

Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add the sliced onions and curry leaves, leaving a few curry leaves aside for garnishing.Saute until onion turns golden brown. Reduce the flame to low,add the prepared masala paste and saute until oil separates or until it starts to leave the sides of the pan.

Add chopped tomato ,marinated mutton pieces ,boiling water and salt to taste.Cover and cook until done. With my pressure cooker, I need 2 whistles.

Let the pressure release before opening the cooker. Add coconut milk and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes  or until the desired consistency is reached.

Heat oil in another pan and add mustard seeds ,let it splutter.Add curry leaves and switch off the flame. Pour this over the curry.

Serve hot with rice / rotis / appam / pathiri.


Recipe Courtesy: Kurryleaves

Friday, July 11, 2014

Vanpayar Curry

Vanpayar Curry 1

Ingredients: (Serves 4 - 6)

Vanpayar / Red chori   --   ½ cup
Green Chillies                   --   3 - 4
Turmeric powder           --   ¼ tsp
Chilly powder                   --   1 tsp
Mustard seeds                  --    ½ tsp
Curry Leaves                    --    few
Shredded coconut          --   ¼ cup
Oil                                          --   2 tbsp
Salt                                        --   to taste

Vanpayar Curry 2

Preparation of Curry:

Soak the vanpayar in water overnight or for 6 - 8 hours.It expands when soaked, so make sure you do it in a big vessel, with lots of water.

In a pressure cooker, add the washed vanpayar, turmeric powder, chilly powder and 4 - 5 cups of water. Cook until done, It usually take 4 - 5 whistles in mine. Open after the pressure comes down.
Grind the shredded coconut and add this to the cooked dal. Add more water if required and let it boil.

Heat oil in another pan and add mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add curry leaves and pour it over the curry.Give a good mix.

Serve with rice or even chapathis.

Vanpayar Curry 3

Recipe Courtesy: Amma

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Kovakka–Kadala thoran

Kovakka - Kadala thoran 4

Ingredients: (Serves 4 - 6)

Kovakka/ Ivy gourd      --   300gms
Kadala / Black channa  --   ¼ cup
Green chillies           --   3 - 4
Shallots                       --   2
Shredded coconut  --   ½ cup
Turmeric powder    --   ¼ tsp
Mustard seeds          --   1 tsp 
Red chillies, dry      --   2
Curry leaves              --   1 sprig
Salt                                --   as required
Oil                                  --   2 tbsp.

Kovakka - Kadala thoran 1

Soak the kadala overnight or for 8 hours. Pressure cook it adding enough water and keep aside. In my cooker, I need 3 cups of water and 4 - 5 whistles to get it cooked.

Wash and chop the kovakka in any shape. I slit them and then cut into half. Chop the shallots and slit the green chillies.

In a pan, heat the oil and add  the mustard seeds. Let it splutter. Add the red chillies and curry leaves and saute for few seconds. Add the chopped kovakka,shallots,green chillies, turmeric powder, shredded coconut and salt. Mix well. Make sure not to squish the kovakka.

Let it cook on a low flame for 5 - 8 mins, with the lid on. Open and stir every minute to make sure that it does not stick onto the bottom. I prefer the kovakka to be a little crispy than well cooked. Switch off the flame, add the kadala and mix well.

Serve with rice.

Kovakka - Kadala thoran 3

Monday, July 7, 2014

Chicken Achaari

Murg Achaari 3
Ingredients: (serves 4 - 6)
Chicken     --   ¾ kg
Yogurt       --   ¼ cup
Onions       --   2 medium
Ginger        --   1½ inch piece
Garlic         --   8 - 10 cloves
Tomatoes --   3 medium
Turmeric Powder -- 1 tsp
Kashmiri chilly powder --   1tsp
Salt            -- as required
Oil              --   2 tbsp
Coriander Leaves / Spring onions -- For garnishing

To grind:
Red chillies, dry   --   5
Fenugreek seeds  -- 1 tsp
Kalonji                     --   1 tsp
Mustard seeds      --  1 tsp
Cumin Seeds         --   ½ tsp
Cinnamon              --   1 inch stick
Fennel seeds         --   1½ tsp
Cloves                     --   3
Cut, wash and drain the chicken. Marinate it with salt, yogurt and ½ tsp turmeric powder .
Dry roast the spices. Let it cool and grind it to a coarse powder. Set aside.
Puree the tomatoes and keep aside.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add onions, grated ginger and minced garlic sauté on medium heat until the onions are golden brown. Add the coarsely ground spice powder. Saute for another minute and make sure that the spices do not stick on to the pan.
Murg Achaari 1
Add the marinated chicken pieces & cook on high heat till the chicken the well coated with the masala. Add the tomato puree,remaining turmeric powder and the chilly powder and salt. Mix well. (In the pictured one, I did add 1/4 of a capsicum, cubed along with the tomato puree, just because I had that left over and did not want to waste. That is a totally optional choice. It slightly gives a different flavour - but not a big difference)
Cook at medium heat till oil appears on the sides.
Add about 2 cups of boiling water, mix well and let the chicken cook completely with the lid on.Once the chicken is done, open the lid and let the gravy thicken as to reach  the required consistency. If you need more gravy, add more boiling water. This one is usually a semi-gravy preparation
Garnished with chopped coriander leaves / spring onions.
Murg Achaari 2
Serve hot with rice or pulav.
Recipe Courtesy: Ecurry