Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Shrimp in Fried Onion Masala

Shrimp masala is a spicy,semi-dry prawn dish cooked in a thick sauce of ginger,  fried onions and tamarind paste.It is a simple home-style preparation,the recipe handed over to me by my mother. It is quick and easy to make.

Whenever I cook seafood I cannot help remembering my hometown... the beautiful backwaters that adds to its beauty, the lovely boat rides ,the seashore, boats and ferries loaded with fresh catch and my grandmother hurrying to buy fresh fish as soon as the boats reaches the banks of the kayal (backwaters). It was like a ceremonious duty which my grandmother enjoyed and many times felt offended if my father offered to help or plan to go all by himself. Who will not enjoy.... beautiful dawn, light morning breeze,  little gossips and chatting with friends and finally the struggle and  tactics to get the best fish at reasonable price of which she could boast the whole day :)

Fried onion paste- 3/4 cup
Shallots chopped -4-5

Green chilly-2
Ginger- 1 inch
garlic- 5 cloves
Tamarind- a small ball
Garam masala- 1 tsp
Coriander-   1 tsp
Red Chilly- 3
Turmeric- 1/3tsp

Thick coconut milk-1/4 cup
salt to taste

Make a paste of fried onion,roasted coriander, roasted red chilly,garam masala, , ginger and garlic and green chilly. Mix tamarind pulp into the paste.
In a pan heat oil and add curry leaves and thinly sliced ginger. Then add shallots and fry in medium till it becomes golden brown. To this add the masala paste and cook till the oil separates.  Add shrimp and mix well and spread in an even layer and cook. Drizzle coconut milk on top.After a minute use a spatula and gently turn to the other side and cook till both sides are browned up . Allow that to get slightly roasted. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Try this..
Hope you will all enjoy..

Monday, September 27, 2010

Chenna/Yam Pachadi

Chenna or yam pachadi is a delicious way to cook yam. I tried this recipe after I saw it in Lakshmi Nair Cookery show. This is a simple and quick recipe and she called it "instant pachadi'. I brought a little variation to the original which was like a chutney- grinding all the raw ingredients in a blender and then adding the thadka. The recipe had asked to use raw yam, but I was a it reluctant to try that since I did not get fresh yam and tried this with the frozen one.

Yam- chopped- 2 cup
Coconut- 1/2 cup
yogurt- 1 cup
Green chilly- 3 
Ginger- 1 inch thick
Jaggery- 1 tsp
Tamarind a small ball
Shallot -1
mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
Red chilly-3
Curry leaves-
Salt to taste

Chop the yam into small cubes. Cook this along with slitted green chilly, tamarind juice and salt.

Make a fine paste of coconut, ginger, a pinch of  mustard seeds. When the yam cooks add this paste and mix well. Simmer for a minute and add yogurt and heat it for a few seconds in low flames. Add jaggery powder and set aside.
In a separate pan heat oil  and allow mustard seeds to crackle.Fry chopped shallots, red chillies and curry leaves and add to the pachadi. This can be served with rice.

Note: The quicker version of this recipe ( as per the cookery show) is to grind  into a coarse paste, coconut, yam, green chilly, ginger and tamarind. Mix in the yogurt and set aside. Finally heat oil and add mustard seeds. When it crackles add sliced shallots, dry red chilly, curry leaves and fry. Pour this over the pachadi and mix well.

Try this..
Hope you will all enjoy. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mutton Biryani

Mutton Biryani is the most loved and popular dish of India. It is an exotic dish prepared and served on all festive occasions. This is more a Kerala style of mutton biryani - a rather simplified version. It is not an authentic style as different regions of Kerala have their own subtle taste preferences and their own style of making biryani- north is milder and south seems more spicier. Anyways here is a strange blend of both styles...both my parents are from two different parts of Kerala :). I have only added green chilly in this recipe, but you can add chilly powder also as per your taste preference.

Rice- 3 cups
Ghee- 1 tsp
Salt- to taste
Water- 6 cups
Cinnamon- 2 inch
clove- 4-5
Star Ainseed - 2

Mutton - 1 1/2 lb
Onion - 2 large
Shallots- 1 cup
Green Chilly- 10- 15
Ginger- 2 inch peice
Garlic pods- 8-10
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder-1 tsp
Poppy seed- 2 tsp
Badam/ cashew nut paste- 1 tsp
Tomato- 1
Lemon juice- 1 tbs
Yogurt- 1/2 cup
Fennel- 1 tsp
Cinnamon- 1 inch thick
Cardamon- 3
small jeera- 1/2 tsp
Cloves- 5-6
nutmeg- a smallpeice
Mace- 2-3
salt to taste

Onion thinly sliced- 2 medium
Cashew nuts- 20
Raisins- a hand full
Coconut milk- 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder- 1/3 tsp
saffron- a pinch
Carrot finely chopped- 1 
Pineapple- 1/2 cup chopped

Ghee- 2 tsp
mint leaves 
Coriander leaves

Step one is the making of the masala.
Crush onions, shallots,green chillies, ginger and garlic. Roast the eight spices and make a fine powder.Make a fine paste of poppy seeds along with cashew nut or badam (5-8 socked)
Clean and cut mutton and completely drain the excess water. Heat ghee in a pan and add the crushed onion, garlic and green chilly mixture. Saute for 5-6 minutes in medium flame till is golden brown. Add turmeric and after a minute add mutton and stir till all the masala is incorporated. Do not add water as the meat will shed its own moister and get cooked. Continue stiring and frying in low flame till the meat gets browned up ( 8-10 minutes). Add salt,tomatoes, poppy seed paste and yogurt and allow it to get cooked and incorporated. Finally add lemon juice and one cup of water. Close lid and cook for 18 to twenty minutes( or pressure cook according to the meat tenderness)

Step two is cooking the rice.
Wash and drain rice completely dry. Bring water to boil. Tie all the spices in a cheese cloth and add to the boiling water. Add salt, ghee and rice and cook till the rice is 80% done. Remove the cheese cloth and spread in a wide plate or tray and allow to cool.

Step three is to prepare the garnish.
Cut two medium onion into thin slices and fry them in ghee till brown. Drain and in the same ghee fry Cashew nuts and raisins. Chop carrot, pineapple,mint and coriander leaves. Mix together coconut milk, saffron and turmeric powder and set aside. Make a dough with maida if you would like to use the dum method or pre heat oven to350 degree.

Final stage is assembling. 
Layer the  meat and gravy and then a second layer of rice. Add a portion of chopped mint and coriander, fried onion and a second layer of meat. Again add rice a portion of the green leaves, fried onion and cashew nuts, one tsp of ghee, coconut milk mixture, chopped carrots and pineapple. Now a third layer of rice and finish with the garnish of chopped coriander, mint leaves, fried onion,cashew raisins and lemon juice. Roll the maida dough in the shape of a long rope and stick to the edge of the cooking vessel and press down the lid and place a gentle weight on top .Start with a high flame for 3 minutes and them lower the flame to low for another 15 minutes( If going into the oven cover with aluminum foil and bake in oven for 8-10 minutes. Serve warm with raita, pickle and papad.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Apple Raspberry Halwa

Apple Raspberry halwa is a must try delicious sweet. This was an accidental sometimes happens in my kitchen..I started with another recipe and ended up with this one.I started with not so optimistic note and with a grim experimenting with food in  future. To begin  with it was pale and unattractive pink.But as the cooking proceeded I was surprised and once I let the halwa set I was truly happy..But my laziness reflects in these pictures..the seeds of the raspberries. I did not puree and stain them but just dumped them along with chopped apples. Anyways hubby felt that the seeds looked cute:).

Apples - 4
Raspberries-  1 cup
Sugar- 2 1/2 cup
Ghee- 1/2 cup
water- 1/2 cup
evaporated milk- 1/2 cup
rice flour- 3 tbs
Cashew nuts roasted or plain- 1/3 cup
Cardamon  powder - 1/2 tsp

Dice apples into thin slices or chop them and fry them in two tsp of oil.Saute till it is cooked and get easy to mash. Add in the raspberry (pureed and strained)and cook them too this the mixture is marshy. Let it cool down completely. Bring water to a boil and add sugar and simmer till it becomes a syrup. Mix milk and rice flour together and strain it.Add in the cooked fruit puree and  milk and flour and combine. Mix ghee and stir continuously till the mixture becomes a thick mass and leaves the edges of the pan and till ghee separates. Grease a plate and pour in the mixture. Spread evenly with a spatula. Once set cut into desired shapes.

Try this..
Hope you will all enjoy..

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mathanga Erisseri/ Pumpkin Curry

Erisseri is a traditional Kerala vegetarian dish. Pumpkin erisseri is the most popular for sadhyas or feasts,  but you can use other vegetables like snake guard, yam, plantain, papaya or a combination of several of these vegetables. Erisseri is usually mashed vegetables and lentils seasoned with roasted coconut, fried curry leaves which adds to its unique flavor and taste. Personally I like pumpkin erisseri due to its mild sweet flavor and beautiful yellow color. Traditionally red beans and black eye beans are used, but you can also use green gram for this recipe. 

Pumpkin diced - 3 cups
Red bean- 3/4 cup
Shredded Coconut- 3/4 cup+ 1/3 cup
Turmeric- a pinch
Dry red chilly- 5
Jeera -1/3 tsp
Garlic- 2 pods
Curry leaves
mustard seeds- 1/3 tsp 
Salt to taste 

Soak beans for at least three hours and cook them and set aside.
Chop pumpkin into cubes and cook with 1/2 cup of water, turmeric and salt.
Roast 3 dry red chilly with a little of oil till a nice aroma comes and it is browned up
Note : There is another version which gives a different aroma and taste.You can use chilly powder and add a little pepper powder in the end
Keep aside 2-3 tsp of coconut( to roast later) and grind the rest into a fine paste with the roasted dry red chilly, jeera/cumin.Crush garlic and blend with the coconut paste. Add this to the cooked pumpkin along with the cooked beans. Allow this to simmer in a medium heat for two- three minutes.
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they splutter add two dry red chilly, curry leaves and  1/3 cup of coconut. Roast this is low flame till it gets browned up and add to the curry and mix well. Serve with rice.

Try this...
Hope you will all enjoy..

Friday, September 17, 2010

Eggplant Fry

Fried eggplant is a simple and easy recipe. Eggplant is a wonderful vegetable but I like it best when fried and my mother had a tough time making us ( me and sister )eat this when we were kids. But we made no fuss when it was fried. This is definitely lot more calories but what is wonderful in this recipe is that it gets  fried crispy but not soggy. The best  way to fry eggplant is to use very little oil as it has a tendency to absorb and you will never get it crispy. It goes well with rice and dal/sambar, but it is also a nice snack or an appetizer.
 Try this recipe will surely love this.

Egg plant big- 1
Italian bread crumbs- 1/2 cup
Chilly powder- 3/4 tsp
Pepper powder -a pinch
corn flour- 1 tsp
Chopped coriander leaves- 2 tsp
Chopped lemon grass- 1/2 tsp
Parmesan cheese- 1 tsp
salt to taste
oil for frying

Cut eggplant into half inch thick round pieces and sprinkle a little salt after a minute place them on  paper towel and gently press down and take off the excess water. Now marinate this with chilly powder, pepper powder and a pinch of salt if necessary.
Beat one egg and add chopped lemon grass, coriander leaves and Parmesan cheese and mix together.
In a plate spread bread crumbs.I used Italian bread crumbs but you can also use the plain bread crumbs too. 
Take the eggplant pieces one by one and roll them in corn flour and then dip into the egg mixture and finally into the bread crumbs. Heat two to three tsp of oil in a frying pan and fry both sides. Serve warm with rice and dal.

Thanks Akheela for sending this lovely card.

Try this..
Hope you will all enjoy.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Simple Shrimp Curry/Chemmeen Oyichu Curry

Simple Shrimp Curry/Chemmeen Oyichu Curry

This is a simple Kerala style nadan chemmeen oyichu curry /shrimp curry with minimal ingredients. Moru curry and puliserri are usual curries served over rice in Kerala. Yet another popular curry served over rice is oyichu curry.  It is a quick coconut based gravy and is less spicy compared to the regular prawns curry. You can use fresh prawns or dried prawns. There are also vegetarian versions and different vegetables green mango, cucumber, jack fruit seeds, plantains etc can be used.Try this recipe,you will surely love it

Shrimp- 1 lb
Onion / Shallot- 1 medium/1/2 cup
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Green Chilly-3
Grated coconut- 1 cup
Turmeric powder- 1/3 tsp
Chilly powder- 1 tsp
Fenugreek powder- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves
Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

Clean and marinate the  prawns with a pinch of turmeric, salt  for ten minutes.
Make a fine paste of coconut, ginger and two shallots.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan and allow mustard seeds to splutter. Add  green chilly and curry leaves and onions and saute till golden brown. Add tomatoes and saute till it turns soft. Next add chilly powder, fenugreek powder and marinated shrimp/prawns and saute for a minute.Add half cup of water, cover and cook till the prawns is done. Finally add the ground coconut paste adjust consistency and simmer for two minutes . Serve with rice.
Note: instead of tomatoes you can use sliced green mango for this recipe.

Try this..
Hope you will all enjoy.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tamarind Rice/ Puliogare

Tamarind rice is a South Indian favorite. This tangy spicy rice needs no introduction.For me it is truly divine- a prasadam . I still remember relishing that small leaf bowls of tangy rice offered as prasadam in temples of Tamil nadu and Andhra. Puliogare is also a special offering during Ganesha Chathurthi. It is a festive rice and great for any occasions

This is not the authentic version. I think it is a simpler version which my mom usually makes. This one is perfect for lunch boxes or for picnics. It tastes even better the next day.

Basmathi Rice- 2 cups
Peanuts- 1/4 cup
Urad Dal- 1 tsp
Channa Dal- 2-3 tsp
Green chilly- 2
Ginger chopped- 1/2 tsp
Sesame seeds - 1 tsp
Red Chilly- 4
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Tamarind- lemon sized ball
Jaggery - 1 tsp
Fenugreek powder- 1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds- 1 tsp
Hing-a pinch
Curry leaves
Mustard seeds-1/3 tsp
Salt to taste

Sock tamarind, coriander seeds and red chillies for ten minutes and make a  fine paste.
Cook rice adding enough salt, drain and keep aside Allow it to cool.Heat a pan and roast sesame seeds and one tsp of channa dal and make it into a fine powder. Heat oil in a pan .Add mustard and allow to crackle. Add green chilly, channa dal, and red chilly and roast. Next add urad dal,turmeric,hing ,fenugreek powder, curry leaves and the roasted powder and jaggery. Finally add tamarind paste and simmer till oil separates. Mix this paste with the rice and garnish with roasted peanuts.

Sending this to Akeela's wonderful event

Try this..
Hope you will all enjoy...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pepper Fish Masala

Pepper Fish Masala is a simple fish preparation which can be served as a side dish for steamed rice or masala rice. It is fried fish  sauteed in masala gravy till completely dried up.It is flavorful with caramelized onion, roasted coconut and sesame seeds. I have added a little of garam masala., but  it is optional.You can use any kind of I have used King fish.

Fish - 1 lb
Onions- 2 medium
Tomatoes-1 medium
Ginger- 2 inch thick
Sesame seeds  - 2 tsp
Coconut grated- 1/3 cup
chilly powder- 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder- 1 tsp
turmeric- 1/3 tsp
coriander  powder- 1/2 tsp
Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice-1/2 lemon
coriander leaves
Salt to taste
oil for frying

Marinate fish pieces with turmeric,salt, half of the pepper powder and lemon juice. Keep aside  for ten minutes and then fry them till cooked and golden brown . Use boneless bite size pieces .
Roast sesame seeds and coconut till browned up and make it into a fine powder.

In the same pan in which you fried fish add ginger and curry leaves  and saute till the raw flavor disappears.Saute onions till golden brown and add tomatoes and saute till tomatoes get soft. Add chilly powder, coriander powder, rest of pepper powder, garam masala and salt to taste. Roast the spice powders in a low flame for a few seconds.

 Add three to four  tsp of water and slide in the fried fish and close the lid for a minute. Stir till completely dried up and sprinkle the sesame and coconut powder and garnish  with coriander leaves.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chicken Puffs

Spicy chicken puffs is a favorite tea time snack with my family..when I say spicy it is the really spicy peppery chicken puffs with hot piping tea.  This crunchy munchy tea time snack is perfect for every occasion. Puffs can be made with several types of filling. But my most favorite is this chicken filled pastry. I was so happy to find a pack of ready to roll puff pasty sheet at our local grocery store. I was really missing the spicy yummy puffs sold at the corner bakery near my home in Kerala. The aroma of the fresh baked puffs would fill the surroundings and many times we felt that he purposely baked them in the evenings when we children were coming back from school  hungry :) 

Puff Pastry sheets- 1 pack
Egg white -1
Boneless chicken- 1/2 lb
Onion- 1 medium
Ginger garlic paste- 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Chilly powder- 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder- 1 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder - 3/4 tsp
Tomato chopped- 1 medium
Garam Masala- 3/4 tsp
Meat Masala- 3/4 tsp
Chopped coriander leaves
Chopped mint leaves - 1 tsp
lemon juice- a few drops
salt to taste.

Thaw the puff sheet as instructed in the package.
Cook chicken (boneless, skinless) with little of turmeric powder, salt and half of the pepper powder for six to eight minutes. Chop them into smaller pieces and set aside.
Heat oil in a pan and saute onions till golden brown. Saute ginger garlic paste till the raw flavor disappears.Add the powders and fry them for a minute and finally add chopped tomatoes and chicken and fry for two minutes Finally add in mint and coriander leaves and lemon juice . Carefully roll out the sheets and cut into desired shapes. Beat egg whites till light and fluffy.Fill with  chicken masala in the sheets and seal the edges. Lightly brush with egg whites and bake pre heated oven 325 degree for about eight minutes. Enjoy.

Try this..
Hope you will all enjoy.

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