Wednesday 27 May 2009

Mutton Masala

I love Mutton in any kind of preparation, whether it is grilled, curried or roasted, I simply love this meat.

It’s been quite hot last week and I should say that we almost attained the summer temperature and I had the impression that the summer holidays was already there except that the breeze of the beach, the palm trees or the coconut trees was missing of course :), and I’ve been doing something quick and easy for almost all the meals, salads and fruits were in the main menu most of the days……..But couldn’t continue that for a long time, my palates needed something hot and spicy and so, it happened to be my favorite combination, Mutton Masala with a simple More Kozhambu...
Ingredients:

½ kg Mutton
Salt (as needed)
¼ tsp Black pepper
1 tsp Cumin seeds powder
½ tsp Turmeric
1 tbsp ginger pasted
1 tbsp garlic pasted
½ tsp garam masala
1 tbsp red chilly powder (May be reduced or increased according to your taste)
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tbsp lime juice
6 tbsp oil
Whole spices (2 Bay leaves, 2 cloves, 1 small cinnamon, 1 cardamom)
1 big onion
2 or 3 green chilies slit (deseeded and slit lengthwise)
2 tomatoes
Coriander leaves

Method:

Get all the ingredients ready.
Powder the spices, chop the onions finely, the green chilies and the tomatoes as well.

Grind the ginger and garlic if you haven’t pasted, chop the coriander leaves roughly.

Clean and chop the mutton into bite size pieces, pat dry and keep it in a bowl. Add salt, turmeric, pepper, ginger and garlic paste, cumin seeds powder, red chilly powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder and sprinkle some lemon juice, mix all and let the mutton marinate in the above mixture for about half an hour.

Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a pressure cooker, add the marinated mutton mixture and stir fry until all the meat has been well coated. Close and pressure cook until 3 whistles.

Heat the remaining oil in a large wok, splutter the whole spices, add the onions, sprinkle some salt and fry until brown, add the green chilies, fry and add the tomatoes and fry until the oil separates. Add the cooked meat and stir fry until brown and dry, or until the liquid evaporates.

Sprinkle the coriander leaves and serve as a side dish.

Chow Chow More Kozhambu (Chayote Curd Curry)

More Kozhambu is one of those common curries served in South India, one because it needs very little basic ingredients to prepare it and so affordable for all and secondly since it is a curd based curry, it is something comfortable for the hot weather. It can be personalized in various ways like adding some fried dumplings to the curry or any vegetables like chayote, pumpkins, cucumbers or lady’s fingers and so, this is how I do it.....

Ingredients:

4 cups yoghurt / Curd
A dash of lime juice (If using sour curd, you may skip this)
1½ cups water
A pinch of turmeric
Salt
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
Few curry leaves
½ tsp channa dhal
A pinch of asafetida
2Chayotes
To dry fry each one of them separately and powder:
2 Dry red chilies
2 tbsp raw rice
2 green chilies
2 tbsp grated coconut / coconut flakes
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp Toor dhal (thuvaram paruppu)
2 tsp roasted gram dhal (Pottu Kadala)

Method:

Peel and chop the chayote and dice it into small cubes. Cook it in some water mixed with some turmeric and salt. Filter and reserve.

In a vessel, add all the ingredients under “To dry fry and powder” to the yoghurt along with the salt and turmeric and lime juice if using yoghurt and add the cooked chayote and stir it all together. Taste and correct if necessary.

Temper by heating the oil in a vessel, fry the channa dhal until brown, splutter the mustard seeds and the curry leaves, add the asafetida and pour all the prepared yoghurt mixture to the above and switch off. Garnish with some coriander leaves. I've served it with rice and Mutton Masala.

Monday 18 May 2009

Chow-Chow Kootu (Chayote Curry)

Chayote which belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family, tastes somewhat like a cucumber but has a firm, white flesh with a mild sweet flavor. This is one of my favorite and simple ways of relishing this vegetable....

Ingredients:
2 Chayotes ( peeled and diced)
1/4 cup greengram dhal (pacha payiru / moong dhal)
1/4 cup of kadala paruppu (channa dhal)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
salt
1 tsp sambhar powder
1/4 tsp chilly powder

For tempering: 2 tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
a sprig curry leaves
a pinch of asafetida

Method:
Pressure cook the dhals (Channa and moong) along with some salt.
Peel the Chayotes, cut into 2 halves, remove the seed and chop into small cubes.
Add salt, turmeric powder, sambhar powder and chilly powder and a cup of water to the chopped chayotes and cook until done (they should still be firm). Strain and keep aside.
In a bowl, stir together the cooked dhals and chayotes and correct salt if necessary.
Heat ghee in a vessel, splutter the mustard seeds and the curry leaves and then the asafetida, pour the dhals chayotte/ mixture, stir well and serve hot as a side dish.
Notes: The above preparartion can be enriched by adding a pasted mixture of a green chilly, a tsp of cumin seeds and 2 spoons of grated coconut at the end of the tempering.

and one more....

Padma from Padma's Recipes has offered this award to me; thank you Padma, thank you for appreciating what I do :)
The award comes with the following rules:

1) Add the logo of the award to your blog.

2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you.

3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs (Only if you like).

4) Add links to those blogs on your blog.

5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blog

I request the following bloggers to kindly accept this award:

Pavithra
DailyDiva
Vrinda
Cynthia
Ramya Vijaykumar
Lavanya Siva
Sireesha
Phanitha
Ann

Friday 15 May 2009

Almond/Pistachio Kulfi / Summer Blaster Challenge

Kulfi is an easy to make popular Indian frozen dessert, which is made with milk that has been boiled for several hours, flavored in different ways with the richest of the ingredients like Cardamom, Pistachios, Saffron, Almonds, Mango, Coconut and Panneer(Cream).
Unlike other frozen desserts (Ice-creams), the preparation of Kulfi doesn’t require any whipping and it is an egg-free 100% vegetarian ice cream, with all natural ingredients, and which can be done without an ice-cream maker.
It’s so simple and extremely irresistible that I don’t wait until Summer to relish this dense, rich, cardamom-flavored, sweet, creamy textured, pure heavenly goodness. I’ve been hesitating to do this dessert for a long time due to the time it takes to reduce the milk, until I came across Dipali’s beautiful demonstration for making the Kulfi (here) in an easier way, by using the condensed milk. I couldn’t wait any longer to try it out and it came out perfect, it’s a pure delight.

Ingredients: (for 6)

410g condensed milk
360g evaporated milk
200ml Fresh cream
50g powdered almonds
100g powdered pistachios
50g skinned, sliced and roasted almonds
50g pistachios
1 tsp ground cardamom
A tbsp rose water
1 tsp saffron strands
A tsp sugar

Method:
Crush the saffron with the sugar using a mortar and a pestle.

In a big bowl, mix together the condensed and the evaporated milks along with the saffron, rose water, cardamom powder and the powdered almonds and pistachios. Fold in the fresh cream and continue to whisk for a while.

Pour this mixture in individual moulds, cover with a plastic food wrapper and freeze overnight.
Leave at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving. Remove from the moulds and top with the roasted almonds and pistachios.I caramelized the almonds and the pistachios with a tbsp of sugar to add crunchiness to the topping.
Sending this recipe to Samahita's "Sam's Recipes" for the " Summer Blaster Challenge" event going on until the 30th May.

Some of my favorite Chicken dishes.....

I'm reposting the following Chicken recipes to participate in Vicky's "The Potluck-Chicken" Event going on until 20th June 2009:

Chicken Cutlets
Shahi Chicken Kurma
Crunchy Fried Chicken

Enjoy!

Chicken Cutlets

Ingredients:
1/2 kg chicken
5 medium sized Potatoes boiled and mashed
6 pods garlic
ginger (1/2 the quantity of garlic)
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp fennel seeds powder
salt (as needed)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp Chilly powder
3 onions
a handful of coriander leaves
a handful of mint leaves
2/3 green chilies deseeded and chopped finely into round pieces
3 tbsp chickpea flour (besan)
3 eggs
5 tbsps cashew nuts
Oil

Method:
Blend together ginger and garlic to a fine paste. Cut and wash the chicken.Add salt, turmeric, chilly powder, cumin and fennel powders, ginger and garlic paste and a cup of water. Cook the chicken for about 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked.

Remove the chicken pieces seperately, debone and shred the meat coarsely and reserve. Chop the onions finely lengthwise. Chop the coriander and mint leaves. Whip the eggs with little salt. Break the cashew nuts into small pieces.
Mix in a bowl the chicken, mashed potatoes, onions, coriander and mint leaves, chickpea flour, cashew nuts, green chilies;

Add the whipped eggs at last, mix well together everything and deep fry in oil;

This can be served as a rich snack or as an aperitif served with chilly sauce or tomatoe ketchup or as a side dish with any dishes like Briyani, Pulav, Parotta or Chapati.


Shahi Chicken Kurma



Ingredients:
1.8 kg Poularde
1 cup cashew nuts
½ cup coconut milk
1 tbsp fennel seeds powder
1 tbsp fennel seeds
4 green chilies
2 big onions
3 tomatoes
1 ½ tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tbsp chilly powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt as necessary
5 tbsp Oil
Whole spices (2 cinnamon sticks, 2 or 3 Bay leaves, 3 cloves)
Coriander leaves for garnishing

Method:
Cut the poularde into pieces (Poor thing but it doesn’t matter), clean and set aside.
Chop the onions and the tomatoes finely.
Slit the green chilies lengthwise and deseed.
Grind the cashew nuts to a fine paste and mix with the coconut milk and the fennel seeds powder.

Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add the whole spices and the whole fennel seeds, and splutter. Add the onions and green chilies and fry until slightly brown and translucent. Add the tomatoes and continue to fry until oil separates. Add the ginger garlic paste, salt and chilly powder and fry a little more. Now add the meat and fry for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of warm water just to cover the meat. Pressure cook up to 5 whistles. If an ordinary vessel is used, then cook for about one hour on low medium flame.
Open the pressure cooker, reduce the flame and add the cashew nut mixture. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove, garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve.

Excellent with Rotis (Chapati/Parotta/Rice/Naan/Ghee Rice).
PS: Poularde can be replaced by regular chicken. Then, simply skip the pressure cooking and cook normally for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Crunchy Fried Chicken

Ingredients:
1 kg Chicken pieces
2 eggs
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tbsp soy sauce
1¼ cup milk
1 tbsp parsley leaves
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 ½ tbsp chilly powder
1 tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp pepper powder
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
¾ cup breadcrumbs
Salt (as needed)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder

Method:
Wash, pat dry and skin the chicken. Beat the eggs until foamy.
Prepare a mixture of garlic paste (not the powder), soy sauce, milk, turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, ½ tbsp chilly powder, parsley leaves and pepper powder and mix them with the beaten eggs. (Check and correct the taste)
In another bowl, make a powder with a cup of flour, the breadcrumbs, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, the rest of the chilly and cumin powder.
In one more bowl, simply get the remaining ½ cup of flour ready.

Take a chicken and roll over the plain flour, then, dip it in the egg mixture and then one last time, coat it with the breadcrumbs mixture so that the whole is piece is covered completely.


Do it for the rest of the chicken and deep fry in medium hot oil for about 7 minutes or until golden brown.

Goes well with pan fried potatoes or French fries.
Also good as a side dish for More Kozhambu/Rassam/Kattu Sore Kozhambu

Thursday 14 May 2009

Prawn Noodle Soup

This is a recipe that I once noted down from a cookbook containing some popular Southeast Asian recipes, very easy to cook, loved by all at home, something stomach-filling yet well balanced and delicious. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

500g Prawns
1 tbsp each of chopped ginger and garlic
2 tbsp each of sesame oil and sunflower oil
200g spring onions (chopped finely)
2 Fresh red chilies (deseeded and chopped finely)
200g Bok Choy/Chinese cabbage, cut into halves / roughly
200g baby corns
Bean sprouts (as needed)
1 lime leaf
2 sprigs Ngo Om, a Vietnamese rice paddy herb which has a cumin like fragrance
Rau Ram, a Vietnamese herb which has a strong minty peppery flavor
(You may also substitute the above herbs with some coriander and mint leaves along with some fresh spinach) Rice Noodles (as needed)
Salt
Fish sauce
Soy sauce

Method:
Get all the ingredients ready.

Cook the rice noodles according to the instructions and filter.

Stir-fry the prawns in hot oil (both sesame and sunflower) and keep aside.

In the same oil, stir-fry the ginger and garlic and half of the spring onions along with the red chilies.

Add a liter of water and boil for about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the prawns, the Bok choy, all the herbs, the baby corns and let it cook for another 10 minutes.

Taste and correct Salt (you may like to substitute the salt with a tbsp of soy sauce and/or fish sauce)

Garnish a serving bowl with rice noodles, pour a ladle or two of the soup, top with the remaining spring onions and the bean sprouts and serve hot accompanied with a dipping sauces like hot soy sauce (4 Fresh red chilies marinated in ¼ cup of soy sauce) and the sauce Nuoc mam.

Tuesday 12 May 2009

Badam Burfi (Almond Fudge)

Among the innumerable Indian Sweets that I like, this is one of those which I do often, a highly concentrated mixture of cardamom flavored almonds, caloric but healthy when it is eaten with limit, for which I can hardly resist even after a scrumptious meal. Though there are various versions of these fudges, I prefer them slightly crunchy but still melting on the taste buds, pure goodness to be relished with special people on special days.



Ingredients:

3 cups of powdered almonds
A little milk
2 to 3 cups of sugar (according to taste)
1 cup of ghee
2 tbsp of cardamom powder
1 tbsp of saffron strands
Few almond slices for decoration

Method:

Soak the saffron strands in 2 tbsp of warm milk for about 10 minutes until the saffron dissolves completely.

Mix together the powdered almonds with some milk, just enough to make a soft dough.

Put the sugar in a double bottomed vessel and just pour enough water just to cover the sugar, let us say in the ratio of 2.5:1, sugar and water respectively. Boil on medium heat and when the sugar is all dissolved,keep boiling the syrup gently till you reach the one thread consistency. To check this, dip a wooden spatula in the syrup and lift out.

Allow to cool for a few seconds and dip your clean forefinger in the syrup and then bring your thumb together and pull apart gently. The syrup should form a single thread . If it doesn’t, then keep watching carefully and continue boiling.

As soon you get the one thread consistency, add the prepared almond dough and stir thoroughly until there are no lumps. Add the cardamom powder and the saffron milk.

From now on, keep stirring and stirring with a long spatula (if you don’t want to get spluttered) in one hand and the ghee on the other. Add a spoon at a time to the hot mixture while stirring constantly.

Stir and stir until the mixture doesn’t stick to the sides. The mixture should be leaving the sides of the vessel. Remove off the fire and pour into a greased plate and press it slightly with the back of a heavy spatula and decorate with the sliced almonds.

Leave it for a while and cut it into small pieces when still warm and Enjoy!