Friday, August 20, 2010

Happy Onam

I wish a Happy Onam (in advance) to all my friends…. I am missing all the fun of flower carpet and sadhya, especially payasam and the great get together which we used to have at home. We, our friends here, are planning to shift Onam celebrations to our convenient day with a pot luck– yet to be decided.

We are travelling to Florida (hopefully – depending one AJ’s work – we were supposed to start now.. But he is still on a bridge line LL)  Will be back after Onam and so thought would wish you all before I leave….

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Olan

Friends…. How is my new template? I did mess up my old template :(  My intention was to fix the problems  with the images on different browsers. But without saving the current one, I made changes to the same and there it goes :( :( ..

I was in love with the previous look and feel and did not want to lose it completely. So picked up a classic template (Hope that the classic one does not have any issues again.. Phew..) and made changes to the HTML. I have never worked so hard and concentrated even for deadlines at office :) :)

I am not yet completely satisfied with the look.. So suggestions are welcome from my dear friends. Ready to change except for the green bullet on the post title and the green image on the header :) :).. Crazy right ??

Well.. I see Onam sadhya items floating on each and every blog. I am not planning for a sadhya this time as we would be travelling on the day of Onam – Its our friend’s house warming. This one is from my drafts. I did not post this before as I was not satisfied with the clicks. But sacrificing that just to post an item for Onam :)







Ingredients:

Vanpayar / Red Chori                                     --    ¼ cup
Elavan / Kumbalanga / Winter melon    --   250gm
Green Chillies                                                      --   3 - 4
Pepper powder                                                  --   ½ tsp
Curry Leaves                                                      --   few
Shredded coconut                                            --   ¾ cup
Coconut Oil                                                          --   2 tbsp
Salt                                                                         --   to taste

Preparation of Olan:

Soak the vanpayar in water for 8 hours/overnight. Cook the vanpayar in a pressure cooker and keep aside. Normally it takes 3 – 4 whistles to get this cooked.

Extract the thick and thin milk out of the coconut and keep aside.

In another vessel, cook the winter melon with salt and green chillies.

 

Once it is well cooked, add the cooked vanpayar and the thin coconut milk. Cook on a low flame until the coconut milk blends into the curry.

 

Now turn off the fire, leave the vessel on the stove itself and add in the thick coconut milk. Sprinkle some pepper and garnish with curry leaves. Leave it covered for some time.


Serve hot with rice.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Malabar Fish Biriyani






Ingredients – Rice:

Basmati Rice / Jeera Rice --   ½ kg / 2 ¼ cup
Water                                         --   1 ½ measure of rice.
Lemon                                        --   1 medium
Cloves                                        --   3 - 4
Cardamom                              --   1 - 2
Cinnamon                                --   1 medium piece
Bay leaves                               --   2 leaves
Ghee                                           --   3 tbsp
Salt                                             --   1 tbsp (Check the taste though)

Ingredients – For garnishing & layering:

Onions                                      --   1
Cashew Nuts                         --   ¼ cup
Raisins                                     --   ¼ cup
Garam Masala                     --   1 tsp
Coriander leaves                --   A bunch
Mint leaves                           --   A bunch

Ingredients – Marinade:

Fish                                          --   ½ kg (2 big steak pieces)
Turmeric powder              --   ½ tsp
Red Chilly powder          -- 1 tsp (Mine is hot chilly powder. Adjust according to you taste buds)
Lime Juice                           --   ½ of a lemon
Salt                                         --   to taste
Oil                                           --   To fry (I did grill them in my oven)

Ingredients – Gravy:

Finely Chopped Onions  --   2 – 3 medium sized
Green chillies                      --   3 – 4 
Garlic                                     --   8-10 cloves – medium sized
Ginger                                    --   1 inch piece
Tomato                                 --   1 – 2 medium sized
Turmeric powder             --   ½ tsp
Coriander powder             --   1½ tsp
Garam Masala                   --   1 tsp
Pepper                                   --   1 tsp
Coriander leaves              --   A bunch (around 10 – 12 stem)
Mint leaves                         --   A bunch (around 10 – 12 stem)
Oil                                           --   2 tbsp
Salt                              --   to taste 


Preparation of Gravy:

Wash and clean the fish pieces and marinate with the marinade mentioned above. Keep it aside for half an hour.


Shallow fry the fish in a big pan or Grill it in the oven. I did the grilling to avoid too much oil. This of course is a compromise on the taste.

Grind green chillies, garlic and ginger to a fine paste. Keep them aside.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Saute the sliced onions in oil until they become translucent. Add the ginger, garlic and green chilly paste. Add the tomatoes and let it cook until mashed.

Add coriander powder and garam masala and fry for 2 minutes. Add required amount of water for the gravy. Also add the chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves. Let it boil.

 

Add the fried fish once the gravy starts boiling. Let it boil for few minutes. Make sure you have enough/just enough gravy for the biriyani.


Keep the gravy aside for half an hour. This helps the essence of the fish to blend into the gravy.

Preparation of Rice:

Wash the rice thoroughly and soak in cold water for 25 – 30 minutes. Drain and keep aside.

Add 2 tbsp of ghee to a large vessel. Fry the cashews, raisins and one finely chopped onion in oil until its golden brown in colour, one after the other. Keep them aside for garnishing and layering.

Add cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and cardamom and fry for a minute. Add the drained rice and fry for 5 - 10 minutes. Meanwhile, keep the water on another stove and let it boil. Add the boiling water and salt to the fried rice.

Once the rice starts boiling, add the lemon juice (strained juice -> this helps the rice to be non-sticky).

Cook the rice with the vessel closed with a tight lid. Also gently stir in between to make sure that the rice does not stick on the bottom of the vessel. Once the rice is 85% cooked drain the water from the rice, if there is any excess water. This depends upon the type and quality of the rice used.

Empty the rice into another vessel, preferably other flat vessel/plates and let it cool.

Mix the biriyani:

Spread 1 tbsp of ghee in a big vessel (Oven safe, if baking in oven). Layer the first part with some rice.

Spread some chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves, garam masala powder, fried cashews, fried raisins and fried onions over the rice. Now add a layer of fish and gravy and continue layering until you are done with a layer of rice and the garnishing on the top.

 

Cover this tightly and keep in a pre-heated oven at 250 F for 25 minutes.

Alternately cover the vessel with a tight lid and keep on low flame. Also have some charcoal (a full vessel of boiled water in case if charcoal in unavailable) on the top of the lid. Leave this for 10 – 15 minutes. This is a conventional way of baking and this is how my mom does at home.

Mix the delicious biriyani and serve hot with raitha, pappadam and chammanthi.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Snow White Pudding




The original recipe of this pudding will give us a snow white colour and hence the name. Here I did some changes for a fancy. I made this for our get together last day and since I had made the same dessert last time, I thought of changing the colours to give a different feel J though it tasted the same.

I added few drops of beetroot juice to give a pinkish colour and replaced the shredded coconut with cooked pineapple. I was too last to skin off the almonds and grate them for the garnishing, so just spread the slivered almonds bought from the store. Without these variations, you ll definitely get a pure white pudding.
Ingredients:
Milk                                                     --    6 cups
Condensed milk                             --    1 tin
Water                                                 --    1 ½ cup
China Grass/ Agar Agar                  --    12 gm strands / 2.5 tsp, if using powder
Sugar                                                  --   15 tbsp (225 gm)
Corn Flour                                      --    6 tbsp
Cold Milk                                         --    1 cup
Butter                                               --    2 tsp
Vanilla Essence                             --   ½ tsp
Crushed coconut/Pineapple   --   1 cup / 2 cups (Need more pineapple to spread. You can use any fruit as per your wish and the quantity depends on the size of the tray you use.)
Almonds/Cashews                       --   ½ cup
Beetroot Juice                               --   1 tsp (Just if you too like to have the slight pinkish colour.)
Preparation of Snow white pudding:
Cut the china grass into small pieces. Soak in 1 ½ cup of water for half an hour.
 
Mix milk, sugar and condensed milk. Boil the mixture. At the same time, boil the china grass in water until it melts completely.
Add this to the milk mixture upon straining. Heat the mix for 1 minute. Make sure that it is not heated too much. Keep it aside.
 
Chop the pineapple into small pieces and cook them in 2 tbsp of water. If using canned pineapple cook them in the water in the can. I used fresh fruit.
 
Set the pudding pan by spreading the butter. Then have a small layer of coconut/ pineapple/ any fruit to have the base of the pudding.
Mix the corn flour with the cold milk. Add in the beetroot juice (totally optional).
 
Keep the pudding mix on the stove at a low flame. Slowly add the cold milk mixture to the pudding mix. Stir for 2 minutes. It should be thickening by the time.
Pour the mix into the pudding pans.
Garnish with thinly sliced almonds/cashew or caramelised sugar with cashews as per your wish.
Let it cool and then refrigerate. Drizzle some honey and Serve cool.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Kadala Curry




Puttu with kadala curry is a popular breakfast item in Kerala. We used to have this as a breakfast item atleast once a week. Puttu is kind of dry and so the kadala curry is prepared with a lot of gravy. My mom used to boil the left over kadala curry until the masala sticks on to the kadala with little gravy and that was a yummy side dish for the dinner. I love to have this curry along with pathiri, idyappam, appam, chapathi or even dosa. This one can be declared as the common side dish for any breakfast item.



Ingredients:

Kadala (Black chick pea)      --    1 cup
Turmeric powder                  --    ½ tsp
Coriander powder                --    1 tsp
Coriander – Chilly powder mix        --    1 - 2 tbsp
Finely Chopped Onions        --    1 medium onion
Green chillies                        --    3 -4
Tomato                                --    ½ of a medium size
Shredded Coconut               --   ½ cup
Mustard seeds                     --   ½ tsp
Curry leaves                        --   1 stem
Red chillies                          --   2
Small onions (Shallots)         --   2
Oil                                      --    2 tbsp
Salt                                     --   to taste

Serves - 4 

Preparation of chick pea Curry:

Soak the chick pea in water overnight.

Fry the shredded coconut until dark brown and then grind it to a fine paste/liquid form.

Pressure cook the chick pea for 3 -4 whistles.

Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped onions and green chillies. Once the onions are translucent add the chopped tomatoes and fry until they are squishy. Add the turmeric powder, coriander powder and the masala powder. Fry for a minute.

 

Add the cooked chick pea along with the excess water.

At times, I add finely chopped onions, green chillies, tomato, turmeric powder, coriander powder and masala powder along with the chick peas while pressure cooking.  

Add salt and the ground coconut and let it boil. Add water if required or let it boil until the extra water is evaporated as per the required consistency of the gravy. 


Add the curry leaves. Fry the mustard seeds, chopped shallots and red chillies in oil and garnish the curry. Serve hot



Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Prawns Fry



Ingredients:

Prawns                                   --   ½ kg
Onion                                    --    1 medium size
Ginger Garlic Paste             --    2 tsp
Turmeric powder                 --    ½ tsp
Chilly powder                       --    2 tbsp
Pepper powder                    --    1 tsp
Curry leaves                        --   3 springs
Coconut pieces                    --   as required
Oil                                        --   4 tbsp
Salt                                      --    to taste

Preparation of Prawns Fry:

Marinade the prawns with the turmeric powder, chilly powder, pepper powder, ginger garlic paste and salt. If using fresh prawns, cook it until the water is absorbed.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and add the cooked prawns. Fry them until they turn slightly crispy and fish them out. You can also add the fresh prawns directly into the oil for frying. I cook it before just to avoid the spluttering due to water content.

 

Add remaining oil in the pan and add the thinly sliced coconut pieces. Fry until they are very light brown in colour. Now add the finely chopped onions and curry leaves. Saute until the onions are light brown.


Add the fried prawns, mix well and serve hot.


Review on its way......

This is a short post to let you guys know about an upcoming product review. Yeah.. you guessed it right. Its from the CSN stores. For those who have not yet visited/heard about CSN stores,  it is an online store with a wide variety of items.  CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find everything from cookware to cribs to dining room sets and dog beds!


I am still in a dilemma on what to choose for review - which I know would definitely end up in a Yogurt maker or an icecream maker :)  Lets wait and watch.. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Meringues


This is the “macaroons” which we used to get in a local bakery at my place. Everyone at home, be it my parents, aunts, uncles or cousins, are crazy about this. I knew that the main ingredient of macaroons was egg white, but did not know that it was totally egg white.

Just saw the recipe of an easy cookie like stuff in youtube and prepared this. I couldn’t believe that it tasted the same as what we used fight for – Macaroons.


Ingredients:

Egg white                               --    3 eggs
Cashew nuts                          --    ½ cup
Sugar                                      --    1 cup

Preparation of Meringue:

Preheat the oven to 200 F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper / greased foil paper.

Pour the egg whites into a clean bowl. Make sure the bowl is clean with no traces of any oil and the whites are separated without any traces of egg yolk. 

Whisk the egg whites using an electric beater. Add sugar little by little. Whip until the whites form soft peaks.

  

Add the chopped cashew nuts and fold in well.



Drop spoonful of mixture on baking tray. Place them an inch apart. 

  

Bake in the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour. 



Let it cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Stuffed Buns


I had bookmarked these yummy buns @ yummy team’s blog right when they posted it. I never knew baking buns and bread is so easy. There are very few chances of any flops if you have some active yeast. They came out really well and AJ was happy to finish it especially since it had chicken filling. Thanks to Yummy team and Maria and Ria for this wonderful recipe.


Ingredients for bun:

All purpose flour                --    3 cups
Yeast                                --    3 tsp
Salt                                   --    1 tsp
Sugar                                --    2 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Water                               --    2 tbsp
Egg                                   --    1 + 1 (egg white only)
Milk                                  --    1 cup
Butter                                --    4 tbsp + 1 tsp
Sesame seeds                    --    to sprinkle
 
Ingredients for filling:

Chicken breasts                 --   3 -4
Onion                                --   1 medium
Green Chillies                     --   2 
Ginger Garlic paste            --    1 tsp
Turmeric Powder               --    ¼ tsp
Chilly Powder                    --    ½ tsp
Coriander Powder             --    ½ tsp
Garam Masala                   --    ½ tsp
Pepper Powder                 --    ½ tsp
Salt                                    --    to taste
Oil                                     --    as required
 



Preparation of filling:

Cook chicken pieces with salt, turmeric powder and half of pepper powder. Add water if required. Water will come out of the chicken pieces. Shred the cooked chicken, or slightly grind it in your mixer.
 
Heat oil in a pan and add chopped onion, green chillies, ginger garlic paste and salt. When the onions are translucent, add chilly powder, coriander powder and garam masala and sauté it well for 2 minutes in low flame.

 

Add the shredded chicken to the masala mix, then add pepper powder and mix well.
 

Preparation of buns:

Dissolve yeast and 1 tbsp of sugar into the warm water. Make sure that the water is just warm. Hot water may kill the yeast. Keep it aside until it forms froth and rises.

Mix the salt, sugar, milk, 4 tbsp of butter and one egg with half of the flour. Knead well and slowly mix the rest of the flour until you get a soft dough.

Grease a big bowl with butter, place the dough in it and keep it covered for 2 -3 hours until it doubles its size. Greasing the bowl will prevent the dough from sticking on to the bowl.

 

Divide the dough into equal sized balls. Flatten them, add the filling and shape it into a ball once again. You can flatten them in your hands itself. I used the plate just for the sake of a click.

 

Whip the egg whites until they are frothy. Apply the egg wash on each ball and sprinkle some sesame seeds on it.

 

Pre-heat the oven to 350 F and bake the buns for 20 – 25 minutes or until it turns brown. Mine was ready in 20 minutes.


Serve hot.



This goes to YeastSpotting for this week.