Nov 30, 2010

Fettuccine paneer alfredo



Here is fettuccine with cilantro and paneer. A pulse of fresh garlic and cilantro in cream gives lovely mellow flavor to the appealing Alfredo sauce and fettuccine. Try it!

What I used: Serves 4
1 lb fettuccine pasta
½ lb paneer (Indian cheese) cut to cubes
A little parmesan cheese grated
Fettuccine paneer alfredo recipe4 sticks of fresh whole cilantro
2 tsp butter
2 tsp olive oil
¼ cup milk
½ cup cream
¼ tsp red chili flakes
¼ tsp white pepper powder
2tsp fresh cilantro chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped
½ cup scallions chopped
2tsp fresh carrot grated

Fettuccine paneer alfredo recipe
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or as per instructions on the box. 

Meanwhile, wash, chop and prep the vegetables. In a food processor, add 4 sticks of cilantro, 1 chopped garlic petal and cream. Give it a few pulses until the mixture is light green.

Fettuccine paneer alfredo recipe
In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Add the remaining chopped garlic. Once the aroma kicks in, add the chopped scallions. Cook a minute, stir in cream and pepper. Add the paneer cubes and milk; cook mixture in a low simmer, say 5 minutes. Stir in Parmesan until melted. Stir in chopped cilantro, chili flakes, salt; toss in the  cooked fettuccine. Finally add the olive oil and garnish it with grated carrot. Serve hot!

Hesarakalu huli (Green gram curry)


My mom’s little sister makes this curry so well. The use of fresh cilantro, charred onions and curry leaves roasted in ghee brings out the true taste of this vegetarian dish. Yum!
            I spent summer vacation in the village with their family when I was 12. They had a huge house, a joint family, where 3 brothers, their wives and children, cows, goats, helpers and maids lived. It is a very common style of village living, even today. Vanja aunty has 3 daughters, and we played all day in the acres of vineyards, and Sapota (juicy fleshy brown tropical fruit) orchards. On a hot summer day, it would be swimming in their huge, newly constructed well. Uncle would tie empty plastic cans to keep us kids afloat in that deep water. Swimming in a pool is something; these large wells are a whole other thing. So deep! I never cared that they mocked me to be a city kid. The fear that green little garden snakes may emerge from the rocks (man spooky or what? ) kept me on the steps most of the time. Gallons of hot water boiled in mulberry wood after a tiring swim was so relaxing! The only thing I could not stand was waiting for the bathroom in the mornings. Why did they have just one for so many people?
Vanja aunty is still the same. Mother Teresa as we call her goes out of her way to help people in need. Her talkativeness, quick cooking, and sense of humor, are to die for.
What I used: Serves 4
1 cup hesarakalu (whole green gram)
1 medium tomato chopped
1 medium onion, half chopped, half kept by the burning stove to char.
3 scallion sticks finely chopped
1 tsp curry powder
1tsp whole dry tamarind or ½ tsp tamarind paste
2tsp fresh or dry coconut (optional)
4 sticks of fresh cilantro
½ tsp hing
Salt to taste
For tempering:
1tsp ghee/oil, ½ tsp each – mustard and cumin seeds, 3 or 4 curry leaves and 2 whole red chilies.

Dry roast the hesarakalu, till they are nice and hot, browning a bit. Add 3 cups of hot water, and salt; bring it to a boil on high heat. In about 10 minutes, the grams should be cooked to a little soft texture. Be sure to put half an onion right next to the burner so it chars. Set aside.

In a blender, add 1 tsp of the boiled gram, charred onion, 2 tsp raw chopped onion, tamarind, curry powder, coconut and fresh cilantro. Make a paste.
Ina  medium saucepan, add 1tsp ghee. On medium heat, add mustard and cumin, cover. When the splattering reduces, add curry leaves and red chilies. Now add all the remaining chopped onions. Cook to a brown. Add tomatoes and cook till soft and pulpy.

Add the masala paste. Cook for a couple of minutes. Now add the cooked grams and add salt. Cook it on medium high for 5 minutes till all the vegetables and grams cook to soft texture. Don’t walk away from the curry, or it will burn. Add in the chopped scallions. Bring the heat back up to medium. Cook for a minute or two. 

Garnish with cilantro. Serve with soft cooked rice or ragi mudhe.





Nov 29, 2010

Tomato chutney


This bright orange pasty sauce is a spicy and tangy accompaniment for dosa or other spicy fritters and snacks. There are many different kinds with variation in their recipes. Here is one of them. 

What I used: Makes 1 cup thick or 2 cups thin chutney
1/2 coconut (fresh/dry, chopped or grated)
2 ripe tomatoes
Small ginger slice, chopped finely
1 tsp chili powder
2-4 tsp channa dal (kadale poppu) 
2-4 garlic petals
1tsp lime juice
Salt to taste

Grind them all together with a little water, to a slightly coarse and thick consistency. You may temper it with a little jeera (cumin) and uddina bele (ural dhal). Sprinkle some powdered hing (aesofotida, great for digestion!)

Aloo Palya (Spicy potato fry)


I just love the colors and taste of this dish. It is a little tangy and spicy. The burst of flavors when you eat it in a Masala Dosa, just awesome! It happens to be the must have fillers for Masala Dosa. 

What I used: Makes 2 cups of filling
3 medium potatoes, cooked, peeled and diced to large chunks.
1 medium onion sliced finely
4-6 green chilies sliced lengthwise
¼ cup of grated carrot
¼ cup of finely chopped cilantro
A small slice of ginger finely chopped
A few curry leaves chopped finely
1tsp uddina bele (urad dhal)
1tsp kadale bele (split yellow lentil)
¼ tsp mustard and jeera (cumin) seeds
¼ tsp hing
Pinch of turmeric
½ a lime juice
Salt to taste
2tsp oil

Heat a large pan on medium.  Add oil. When it shimmers, add the mustard, cumin, dhals; cook to a light brown. Add in the ginger, green chilies, and curry leaves; cover.

When the splattering subsides, add the onions, roast to a light brown. Add in the cooked, diced potatoes, salt turmeric and hing. Blend well. Add the chopped cilantro and grated carrot. Stir it all well to form a colorful spicy fry. Cook on low for about 3-5 minutes. 

It can be used as a vegetarian side dish; as a filing inside dosa /chapathi/tortilla. Works great on toasted bread when I need a quick munch. Enjoy!





Nov 27, 2010

German Black forest cake



The reason I disfavor the American version, is that it starts off with a heavy butter cake. It lacks good syrup, and is topped with bountiful cherry filling and cream. They each tend to overpower the cake in their own way. 
This is a great recipe, comprising of fatless chocolate cake and a thin layer of filling and frosting. The cake is soaked in yum brandy syrup. After eating the German version, you will never want to get back to the American version.  I made this for a get together with friends tonight. I doubled the recipe to make 2- 11x15 rectangle cakes. Put the kids to sleep and got everything done last night. Tasted it this morning, it is so so good. I wish I had soaked it a wee bit more. 


What I used: Makes a 2 layer 8 inch cake
2 - 8 inch pans (If you have one, just use it 2 times, greasing and flouring at every use)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
2tsp vanilla extract
6 eggs
3 heaped tsp cocoa powder
For the syrup:
3tsp cherry brandy or rum
6tsp sugar dissolved in 1 cup of boiling water (or in the maraschino cherry syrup)
1tsp lime juice
1tsp strawberry jam
For filling and frosting:
1lb ready whip cream
6tsp strawberry/raspberry jam – whisked with 2tsp of syrup
A chocolate bar, grated to shavings
8oz can of maraschino cherries in syrup

Baking the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease the 8 inch square/circle pan with butter and dust it with flour. Set aside. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Using a hand mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar together until the mixture doubles in quantity. When the mixture is light yellow and frothy, slowly add the flour and beat on the lowest setting until combined. Don’t over beat.
Pour the batter equally into 2 pans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool completely.
In the meantime, combine all the syrup ingredients, Bring to a boil. Turn off and cool. Take a cake board or tray where it will be placed. Spread a tsp or 2 of jam on the base of the board. Place the first cake on it. Gently scrape off any crumbs, cut off the head, if any, to form a flat cake. Using a fork, uniformly poke the cake top all over. This will aid in soaking the syrup. 
Soaking and layering:
Sprinkle the cake with 1/2 of prepared syrup. The first layer is jam; using 3-4 tsp, spread it evenly. On this add 1/2 of the ready whip cream, spread evenly to form the 2nd layer.
Gently mount the next chocolate cake. Scrape off the crumbs, cut off the head, if any, to form a flat cake. Now poke it with a fork. Soak it with the remaining syrup.
Use whip cream and cover sides of cake. Then cover the top. Sprinkle the grated/peeled chocolate. Decorate it with cherries.
My mom remains the expert at this. When I was a kid, mom made this numerous times. She chilled it in the fridge, knowing a rat (that’s me) would devour half of it by morning. Not once did my mom scold me for it. We remember those days and laugh about it now. Love you mom!
video

Pepper pork masala


This is my sister Uma’s superb recipe, handed down from her mom in-law. She uses hot green peppers and black pepper. Her late mother in-law (She was such a sweet heart) would make this pork dish when we went to her village. The whole pork with bone and fat was so greasy yum, and the pepper masala lingered in your mouth long after lunch. Nostalgia! I used boneless fat-less meat here. It felt nice to finally taste that recipe in my home, thousands of miles away. 

What you need: Serves 2-3
2lb pork meat (boneless, fat-less)
12-15 small green hot peppers (Modify according to your spice level, this is hot)
2tsp black pepper seeds
1 tsp whole ginger
2tsp fresh cilantro chopped
1tsp garlic petals
2tsp cilantro seed powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp garam masala powder
4tsp canola oil
1 medium onion diced
2 medium tomatoes diced
2tsp fresh or dry coconut
Salt to taste

On medium flame, heat 1tsp oil in a thick bottom pan. Add green chilies, pepper, ½ of the sliced onion, ginger and garlic and cover, it is sure to splatter; fry till brown. Cool. In a blender, add cilantro, cilantro seed powder, turmeric, and the roasted mixture. Blend to a coarse paste. 

In the empty pan, add 2tsp oil, when it shimmers, on medium high heat, add the pork. Roast to a brown, or till half cooked. Cook time will vary depending on the tenderness of the pork.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the salt and ground masala; cook covered, peeping and stirring until the pork cooks through and the oil separates from the masala (If you want dry pepper pork, cook it uncovered).

Now add the remaining raw onions and raw tomatoes. Sprinkle raw or dry coconut and garam masala powder. Cook for 5-7 minutes on low heat. 

I had to do without fresh cilantro, but you don’t miss it, a key ingredient. Gives it a dark green color, and the taste is better with it. Some warm chapathis or steamy rice compliments this dish. Thanks Umakka. Enjoy!

Nov 25, 2010

Fish Biriyani


This is a great biriyani. I like the fact that, the rice takes in the flavor of the spices and marinated fish. Yet, the smell of fish does not overpower the taste of rice, as the fish stays intact,in one piece. Really really good. Try it!

What I used: Serves 4


4 fresh/frozen boneless tilapia fillets
2 cup Rice (Basmati or Sona Masoori)
1tsp whole garam masala (4 cloves, 2 cardamoms, ½ inch cinnamon, 1 bay leaf)
½ cup onions chopped finely
½ cup tomatoes sliced lengthwise
¼ cup fresh/dry mint leaves
¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro
½ cup thick yogurt
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
8-10 green chilies sliced lengthwise
1 tsp biriyani masala powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp lime juice
4 tsp ghee/canola oil
Salt or to taste
¼ tsp saffron or turmeric soaked in 4tsp milk
For the marinate
1tsp red chili powder
½ tsp pepper powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1tsp ginger garlic paste
1tsp yogurt
1tsp oil
1tsp lime juice
Salt to taste


In a shallow bowl, mix the marinate ingredients. Massage it on both sides of the fillet. Set aside for 15-20 minutes.

Soak the raw rice in cold water, and set aside for 30 minutes. In a large pot, bring 5 cups of water to a good boil. Add salt and 1tsp oil. Drain the raw rice and add it in. Let it cook till it is 50% cooked. Drain and set aside.

Use a large quart pan with a thick bottom, or a cooker pan. Add in 3tsp ghee. When it begins to shimmer, on medium heat, add whole garam masala. When you smell the aroma of the spices, add whole mint leaves, slit green chilies and onions. After a minute, spread the onion mixture uniformly in the pan, to make a bed. Lower the heat. Arrange the marinated fish fillets. Let it cook for about 1 minute. Gently turn over to the other side. The fish should be half cooked. Remove all the fillets and place it on a platter.

Increase the pan heat to medium. Add 1 tsp ghee, add ginger garlic paste, and roast for another 30 seconds. Turn the heat up to medium high. Add in tomatoes. Cook a minute, add in the biriyani masala powder, salt, turmeric, chopped cilantro, yogurt, and any leftover marinate. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Add lime juice.

Take 3-4tsp of the cooking mixture and pour it over the cooked fish in the platter. Set aside. It is time to add the cooked rice now. Pour it over the yogurt mixture, and spread it evenly. Now pour this rice mixture into a baking dish.  Layer the top of the biriyani with the fish. Seal the baking dish with aluminum foil.

Set the oven to 350 degree F. Bake for about 20 minutes. Check to see if the rice is completely cooked. Do the finger test. The rice should mash completely between 2 fingers and should be dry, not gooey. The fish will sure by flaky by now. You may cook it on a stove top too, but I prefer the oven. It saves me the trouble of constantly peeping in to check if the bottom has not charred. In the oven, its cooked in steam on the inside. The taste is just so special. 

Garnish it with fresh cilantro and some ghee. First take out the fish onto a plate, and then add the rice on the side. Serve hot with a yogurt salad, or cucumber. Enjoy!

Nov 23, 2010

Hearty Sausage Curry and Fettuccine


The northwest has been snowing today. Schools and offices are closed. H and kids are home all day. This calls for a warm celebration feast! 
Italian sausage is a hearty pork sausage seasoned with fennel seeds. Fettuccine is ribbon like pasta, famous in Rome. The blend of rich pasta sauce with roasted sausage chunks poured over hot pasta is wonderful. The combination doesn’t sound too good, but comes together in a yummy wholesome family dinner. Try it; I am sure you will like it!

What I used: Serves 4
4 Italian sausages, thawed and cut into ¼ inch rings
1 lb fettuccine pasta cooked and drained as per instructions on the box.
1 lb store bought pasta sauce
1 onion, finely chopped
3 ripe pulpy tomatoes, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow/colored pepper, chopped
1 tsp cilantro leaves chopped
4 cups red wine/water
1tsp cumin seeds
1/2tsp red chili powder
A pinch of turmeric powder
2 tsp soft butter/olive oil
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, on medium heat, add 2tsp butter/olive oil. When it begins to shimmer, add cumin and sliced sausages, let it cook till it browns. Add in the chopped garlic, onion and colored pepper. 

Cook and stir until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in diced tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes, till it is soft. Add in the pasta sauce, chopped cilantro, red chili powder, turmeric and red wine/water. Let it cook covered on low; 15-20 minutes until sausages are thoroughly cooked. 

While that is simmering, cook fettuccine according to package directions and drain well. Serve sauce over fettuccine; top with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.  

I am not a wine consumer, but I know that Chianti or Zinfandel will be a great combination to sip aside dinner. Enjoy!

Nov 22, 2010

Pakodas


These are crisp, spicy fritters, made from chickpea flour. It has started to snow here, giving me all the more reason to make it. Hot, with a cup of tea, and you will be eating more pakodas than sipping tea (Yes, bad for my waistline, as I have made a resolution to follow yoga, like my mom). Well, after this, I will try to keep it off. Maybe, coming to think of it, thanksgiving and Christmas is round the corner, which means so many potlucks and scrumptious desserts. I have decided to push my exercising to January 2011. Shame on me, I am giving up already.  Why can’t I be more focused like mom and little sister? OK, focus..pakoda recipe!

What I used: Makes about 20 medium sized fritters
1/2 cup chickpea flour
¼ cup rice flour
1tsp chili powder
1/4tsp hing
Salt to taste
1 medium onion chopped 
¼ cup cilantro chopped
2 sticks curry leaves (optional)
1tsp jeera(cumin)
2 cups of oil to deep fry

Use a frying pan; pour in the oil to fry. Turn on the heat to medium. Mix the flours, chili powder, salt, jeera, onion, cilantro and curry leaves.  Take 2 tsp of hot oil from the heating pan, and pour it on the dry mixture. Mix it in. Now sprinkle a little water at a time, and blend it into a hard dough consistency. If you like soft pakodas, add more water, If you like them crispy, use very little water.

Scoop a spoonful and leave it down the pan of hot oil, on medium heat. Turn it over to cook evenly to a golden brown. Put it on to a colander or plate of tissue, so it drains out the excess oil. 

The fritters remain crunchy for 2 hours. The harder the dough, the crisper will they be, and stay that way longer. Try it with a chutney (mint or cilantro) or regular tomato ketchup.  Enjoy!

Spinach'n Chicken curry


What I used: Serves 4
2lb/1kg whole chicken cut up to 2 inch serving
10-12 green hot chilies slit lengthwise (add less or more as needed)
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
1 large onion chopped
2 medium tomatoes chopped
2tsp ginger garlic paste
½ cup of coconut milk
Whole garam masala (4 cloves, ½ inch cinnamon, 1 bay leaf, 1/2tsp fennel seeds, 2 cardamoms)
1tsp garam masala powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1tsp cilantro seed powder
3tsp olive oil
Salt to taste

In a thick bottom skillet, on medium heat, add 2 tsp olive oil. When it begins to shimmer, add half of the chopped onions and slit green chilies, cook covered. Fry to a golden brown. 

Add ginger garlic paste and tomato, and cook until it is soft and pulpy. Add the fresh spinach leaves, and cover for just a minute or 2. Turn off the heat. Cool, then grind it to a fine paste, along with cilantro seed powder, turmeric, and garam masala powder.

In the same empty skillet, on medium heat, add 1 tsp oil. To this add whole garam masala ingredients, when the aroma begins to disperse, toss in the onions. Cook to a light brown. Add the raw chicken pieces. 

Cook the mixture until the raw smell of chicken goes away, and it is light brown. Add the ground masala paste, and salt. Cook covered for about 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring once in a while. When the oil begins to separate, add the coconut milk. 

Cook on low heat for about 7-10 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.

Tip: If you want a runny curry for rice, add in extra coconut milk. This curry serves as a thick curry. It is complimented with flavored or plain rice. It tastes good with chapathis too!

Bele Saaru

Bele saaru means dal curry. It is the number 1 comfort food of South Indians. When we are away from home, on a vacation, or at a restaurant with bad food, the only thing that comes to mind, is relishing this curry and rice back home! 
It can be made plain, with just dal, onion and tomatoes, or with a variety of vegetables. You may use potatoes, beans, carrot, chayote-squash, drumsticks and egg plant.
What I use: Serves 4
½ cup thogri bele (toor dal, yellow or orange)
1 medium tomato diced
1 medium onion diced
 1 cup veggies (any or all of them diced potatoes, beans, carrot, chayote-squash, drumstick, eggplant)
1 tsp curry powder
1/2tsp tamarind paste or 1tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp sugar
½ tsp hing
Salt to taste
For tempering:  
1tsp ghee/oil, ½ tsp each – mustard and cumin seeds, 3 or 4 curry leaves and whole red chilies.

Soak the dhal in enough water for 30 minutes. In a pan/pressure cooker pan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the dhal, onions and tomatoes. Let it cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat. You may also give it a pressure cook for 10 minutes.
On a parallel stove, cook the diced vegetables, on medium heat; with a pinch of salt and 1 cup water. 

Once both are cooked, pour vegetables into the dhal. In the empty pan, add ghee. On medium heat, add mustard and cumin seeds. When they splatter, add curry leaves and red chilies. Completely lower the heat. Add the curry powder, salt, sugar and hing. Add the tamarind paste or lime juice.  Give it a stir, to get rid of any lumps, when the ghee and powder combine, add a little dhal water, and let it simmer for 2 minutes. 

Bring the heat back up to medium. Add the dhal and vegetables. Let it cook for another 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with soft cooked rice.

Nov 20, 2010

Bread'n brandy pudding

Today, I had my girl friends and children over. Our kids had their final practice for tomorrow's show. I hope it turns out well. Fingers crossed. This pudding turned out great for dessert! It is a great way to turn your day old bread into a de-lish dish.

What I used:  Makes 1-8 inch round/square pan - about 8 servings
6-7 bread slices, diced into large chunks
1 and 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
4 eggs
2 cups milk
3 tsp brandy
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter at room temperature
1/4 cup raisins
2 tsp cashew nuts
Brown sugar sauce:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp brandy 

Grease an 8 inch pan generously with butter. Soak the raisins in brandy for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix together granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla. Whisk for a minute. Add milk, whisk another minute. Pour over cubed bread and let sit for 15 minutes. Pour into the greased pan.   

In another bowl, on low-medium heat, mix brown sugar and butter, when they melt to form a uniform mixture, turn off the heat. Add the raisin soaked brandy and cashews. Drizzle the mixture over the soaked bread. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until set. The crusts, and cashew should be browned. The pudding should spring back when touched in a serving spoon. Remove from oven. Serve warm with sauce or cold with vanilla ice cream.

For the sauce: Whisk together the brown sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir together until the sugar is melted. Turn off the heat. Pour brandy. Gently stir.Serve warm

Tip: I generally leave the pudding in the oven, after it is turned off for another 30 minutes. The crumbs get crisper. Oh it's so good!

Airplane cake

Nov 19, 2010

Carrot Halwa (Sticky carrot confection)

What I used: Serves 4
4 cups grated Carrot
2 cups white sugar (Vegans, substitute this ingredient with brown sugar)
2 cups milk (Vegans, substitute this ingredient with almond milk or just water)
2 tsp condensed milk
4 tsp ghee/butter
A few saffron strands
½ tsp powdered cardamom seeds
Raisins to garnish
In a thick cooker pan or skillet, add 2 tsp ghee and roast the grated carrot for about 5 minutes on medium-high. Add the milk, saffron and sugar; cook it on medium heat for the next 15-20 minutes, until all the water content evaporates and you are left with a thick consistency.
When it reaches this stage, add the condensed milk, ghee, raisins and cardamom powder. Cook on low, and constantly stir it for about 5 minutes so it does not burn. Turn off the heat. Serve it warm as dessert. It tastes great with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on the side. Enjoy!

Chicken Fried rice


I made this for my son’s thanksgiving feast at school. The teacher did not want anything spicy for the kids. So this rice filled with colorful veggies and chicken, was just ideal. The feast was wonderful, from turkey, ham, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and dessert. There was this pumpkin bar made by a parent that just kept me going back, for a third serving. It was a hit.  I hope I get the recipe :-)

What I used: Serves 4
1 boneless chicken breast
1 cups raw rice
4 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp pepper powder
Salt to taste
3 tsp oil
Veggies:
1 cup colored peppers diced
1/2 cup carrot and beans diced
1/2 cup peas
1 cup onions finely chopped
1 cup onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 green chilies finely chopped
1/2 cup scallions and/or cilantro (optional)

Soak the rice for 30 minutes in cold water. In a large pan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add 1/2tsp salt and 1tsp oil. Add in the raw rice, and cook. When the rice is 75% done, drain and set aside to cool.
On a parallel stove, boil the chicken breast in enough water, and salt. Cook for 7-10 minutes on medium heat. Drain the water out. Let it cool and dice it cubes of desired size.

Cut all the veggies required. In a large wok/pan, add oil over high heat. When the oil begins to smoke, toss the garlic and green chilies; then the onions.

Work your hands constantly for the next 10 minutes, as you add in the vegetables. First the beans, peas and carrot, fry a minute. Now add the diced chicken, fry until lightly golden; to this add salt, pepper, soy sauce and vinegar. Fry until the soy sauce steams and 70% is soaked or evaporated. 

 
Add the diced colored peppers and the cooled rice now. Toss and mix thoroughly until very hot. Sprinkle with scallions/cilantro. Remove from heat. Serve hot!


Lamb curry - South Indian style


Lamb curry; just that name calls for a mouthwatering episode. Another classic recipe handed down from South Indian cooks. A lip smacking, finger licking dish. Yum!

What I used: Serves 4
2lb lamb meat with bone
Whole garam masala (4 cloves, ½ inch cinnamon, 2 cardamoms, 2 bay leaves, 1tsp fennel seeds)
1 tsp black pepper seeds
2tsp ginger garlic paste
2 cups onion diced
2 cups tomatoes diced
1 cup cilantro diced
¼ cup fresh coconut/dry coconut powder
4tsp canola oil
Powders:
3tsp red chili powder (Reduce the amount if you require less spicy, this is Hot!)
2tsp cilantro seed powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Marinate:
3tsp thick yogurt
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp pepper powder
½ tsp salt


First soak boned lamb with the marinate ingredients. Let stand for 30 minutes. Chop the veggies and assemble the required ingredients.

Use a large, heavy-based pot. Over medium heat, add oil. Toss the whole garam masala and pepper seeds. Toast for 2-3 minutes until aromatic. While they are toasting, add onion, garlic and ginger paste. Let the onions cook to a golden brown. Add the powders, toss for a minute and turn off the heat. Let cool.

In a blender, add fresh coconut, cilantro, and chopped tomatoes. Give it a quick pulse to coarsely grind them. Now add the cooled spices and onion mixture. Grind to a coarse paste.

Back in the large pot, Add oil, on medium heat, and add the ground masala paste. Let is simmer until all the raw smell disappears and the oil begins to separate.

Add the marinated lamb. After about 5-7 minutes, toss in a cup of diced tomatoes, and cook well covered, for about 15 minutes on medium heat or 30 minutes on a low simmer. Don’t stroll away and leave it unattended. Cooking time depends on how tender the raw meat is. If required, pressure cook a couple of minutes. Now the oil from the lamb as well as the curry would have separated. The meat should cook through completely. Turn off the heat right about now.  Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and onions. Serve piping hot with steamed rice or chapathis and a light yogurt salad.

Nov 17, 2010

Sausage Broccoli wrap/stirfry

Yet another sausage dish this week. I made this, stir-fry with some veggies and chicken sausage. Its best, when used in a tortilla/chapathi wrap.

What I used: Serves 4, or makes 6 wraps
6 sausages sliced to ½ inch discs.
1 cup broccoli, washed in hot water, and diced or broken to large bits
2 medium carrots sliced to ½ inch discs
1 cup onion sliced large and lengthwise
1 medium tomato sliced large and lengthwise OR 1tsp lime juice (optional)
1tsp jeera(cumin)
1/2tsp turmeric powder
1/2tsp red chili powder
Salt to taste
2tsp oil

In a large wok on medium high heat, toss in the jeera and onion together. Saute to a light brown color. Add the carrots, cook a minute; add in the sliced sausages. Cook for about 5 minutes without leaving the pan unattended. Add in the broccoli now. Toss the mixture for another 5 minutes. Add in the powders and salt. Once the sausage is cooked, turn off the heat and add in the tomato slices. You may eat it as is, or let it cool, and then make a wrap.


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