Saturday 25 July 2009

Channa Masala (Chickpeas Curry)

I have always preferred the "Potato Masala" for my Pooris (a typical Pondicherrian am I:) until I tasted some of the delicious Punjabi food during my trip to the northern states of India, a couple of years back and believe me, that definitely made a remarkable expansion in my menus, making me more gastronome than ever.........well, this is one nice substitute for the "Potato Masala". I'm having a great time enjoying my holidays, hope you're having a nice time too!
Ingredients:
2 cups chickpeas
salt
2 onions
2 tomatoes
1 tbsp minced ginger and garlic
1 tsp chilly powder
salt
a pinch of black salt
1/2 tsp dry mango powder
5 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds

To roast and powder:
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp pomegranate seeds
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 clove
2 peppercorns
2 cardamoms
1 tsp cumin seeds

Method:

Wash the chickpeas thoroughly and soak it overnight in a big casserole of water.

Remove and pressure cook in enough water(maybe double the quantity of chickpeas) and some salt until 3 whistles. Strain and keep aside.
Take 3 tbsp of the cooked chick peas and mash them to make a rough paste.

Chop the onions and the tomatoes very finely.
Grate the ginger and garlic.
Dry roast the whole spices and powder them.


Heat oil in a vessel, splutter the cumin seeds and add the onions, fry until slightly brown.
Reduce the flame to medium and add the grated ginger and garlic and fry until the raw smell disappears. Add the chilly powder,mango powder and the salts followed by the roasted powdered masalas and stir-fry. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry until well mashed.
Add the chickpeas and the pasted chickpeas mixture; Add some water and correct the salt if necessary.

Cook closed for another 15 minutes. You may like to garnish with some julienned ginger or with some coriander leaves/shallots/some fresh tomatoes or maybe a green chilly! Enjoy!

Sunday 12 July 2009

Kanavaa Meen varuval / Squid fry

Whether it is served as an appetizer or as a side dish, it tastes delicious enough for a second serving I suggest you better double the quantity if you want something left for the next meal :) This is a simple way to savour this sea treasure, a big thanks to my sister dear for sharing this recipe with me, thanks Eli :)

Ingredients:
Squid: 500g
5 tbsp Lime juice
Salt
1 tsp chilly powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
7 tbsp oil
Some curry leaves
2 big onions
5 garlic pods and equal amount of peeled and sliced ginger
1 tbsp fennel seeds powder

Method:


Clean the squid and cut into bite size pieces.
Wash it thoroughly with the lime juice diluted in some water. Pat dry and keep aside.

Marinate the squid in a mixture of turmeric powder, chilly powder and salt.

Chop the onions very finely. Grind ginger and garlic to a fine paste.

Heat some oil in a wok or a large skillet. Splutter the curry leaves and then fry the onions until brown. Add the pasted ginger and garlic and stir fry on high heat. Add the squid and stir fry on high heat for about a minute. Check salt and correct if necessary. Close with a lid and leave it for another minute. Open and add the fennel seeds powder, stir fry for another two minutes or until almost dry and serve (Do not over cook the squid or it will become rubbery).


Enjoy!

Thursday 9 July 2009

a small roundup of my breakfast series...

Posting some of my favourite posts for my participation in the " EFM - Breakfast Series" that SriLekha is hosting.
Have a great day!

Croissants
The French “croissants” (literally crescents) are one of the most common viennoiseries in France, made by layering butter (lot of butter!!!) on top of a pastry dough, and then folding, rolling and folding and rolling repeatedly in order to get a multi layered buttery pastry, often served for Breakfast with coffee.

A perfect croissant should be crumbly and flaky on the outside and soft, light and airy in the inside.
After so many trials, since at least two weeks (tried at least 6 different methods with different variations in the measurements and the procedure), I’m ready to post the recipe for these buttery and flaky crescent shaped pastries, that I found at Christine’s Christhumm (merci à vous Christine:)) the one which finally gave me the sensation of eating the finest croissants of France.

Although the name “croissant” sounds French, the legends say that the croissants were first made by the bakers of Vienna (Austria) in the year 1693, when the Turkish Empire had Austria under siege and that it was Marie Antoinette, the Austrian Princess who married Louis XVI, fond of these Viennese breads, who introduced the croissants to the French, who reinvented the bread using a pastry dough, which then became the national symbol of France. These delicious pastries symbolize France and its heritage of fine cuisine.

The process of doing them might be long and tedious, but believe me, the final result is worth it....... If there’s one thing that can make me jump out of my bed with full enthusiasm, EARLY in the morning, then it would be for these freshly baked croissants.

I simply enjoy doing this fluffy pastry just for the pleasure of doing it like a French culinary expert or a chef who master the art of baking after years and years of fine tuning and experience but also to share my joy of making these at home and enjoying the pleasure with my beloved ones.

Ingredients: (for 8 to 10 croissants)
120g water
120g milk
22g fresh yeast
500g pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
50g sugar
1 tsp salt
50g softened butter
250g butter
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten for egg wash

Method:
In a bowl, mix together the flour, salt and sugar.
In another bowl, add water, milk, the yeast and mix together. (the temperature of the solution must be around 37°C)
Pour the above to the flour mixture along with the softened butter (50g) and start kneading it to make a stiff dough that is no longer sticky.
Cover with a plastic food wrapper and leave it in the refrigerator overnight (let’s say for about 15 hours) until it doubles the volume.
Remove the 250g of butter from the refrigerator along with the prepared dough and keep it at room temperature and mold it to form a block and flatten it to make a flat square (Cover the butter with a baking sheet or a plastic sheet and press it down). Punch down the dough to remove the air from the dough and roll out to form a square or a flour leaf clover (the center part of the dough should be thick). Place the butter diagonally in the center
and bring the four edges of the dough to the center (we want to cover the butter completely). Wrap it with a plastic sheet and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Remove and spread the dough on a slightly floured surface and roll out to form a rectangle of about 50X20 cm. Fold into two, lower part first (i've loaded the picture upside down :) then the upper part on to the other. Cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Remove and roll out to form a rectangle of about 70X20 cm
and bring the upper part to the center and the lower end to the center
and then fold it like a purse.
Cover and refrigerate (one last time :), patience please) for about 20 minutes.

Pound the dough once again and roll out evenly (70X20 cm) and cut into triangles. Incise a cm in the center of each triangle (to make the folding easier) and roll into crescents.

( Roll out loose by allowing space for the dough to rise).
Put them on a baking sheet and let them rise at room temperature for few hours (it took 2 ½ hours for me).
Brush each croissant with the egg wash
and bake for 15 minutes to 20 minutes in a pre-heated oven of 210°C or until golden brown.
Bon appétit!

Brioche

Though I was off my pc during my two weeks of holidays that I spent peacefully and happily with my teddies and my beloved, I’ve been taking a glance of all your comments and encouragements (without being able to reply at once). A big thanks to all of you for stopping by and and hope you’ve been doing good. It's so nice to come back blogging along with some motivating and encouraging awards from my dear friends, tell me what else do we need to do what you like?

One of my daughter’s favorite for breakfast is this sweet feathery bread,
there's another version that I’ve already tried and posted here, quite good too but I found this one much more perfect for my taste, I loved the fluffy texture and the slight vanillated orange flavor...(I found the recipe here and I thank Guylaine for sharing this recipe that I'd treasure); came out to be the best of all sweet breads I’ve ever tried so far, up to my expectations, and approved by the whole family.



Ingredients:
500 g of Pastry flour
1 tsp salt
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk for basting
125 g sugar
2 tbsp pearl sugar (I haven’t used it here)
75 g softened butter( cut into small cubes)
2 tbsp fresh cream
15g baker's yeast
100 ml warm milk
1 tbsp Cointreau / vanilla extract (I added both in equal quantities)
1 tbsp orange flower water

Method:
Crumble the yeast in the warm milk and dissolve it.


In a bowl, mix together the sifted flour, sugar and salt and make a pit (hole) in the middle;

Add the 2 eggs, the cream, milk and the yeast mixture along with the softened butter. Add the Cointreau and the orange flower water and knead (approximately 10 minutes) until you get a homogeneous dough which is almost unsticky. (You may use a robot for doing this but take care not to let the yeast get in contact directly with the salt).
Make a ball and wrap it with a plastic food wrapper and let it stand for an hour in a warm place until it doubles it's volume.


When it has doubled the volume, divide the dough into 4 and form 3 or 4 long rods out of it. Place them one beside another and press the top part together to form one and then pass them one below another and pleat.

Place it on a baking sheet and leave it in a warm place, air –tight, for about an hour.

Dilute the egg yolk with a spoon of water and beat slightly. Brush the top of the pleated dough with the solution.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for about 20 to 25 minutes.

(If the top browns too quickly, cover the dough with an aluminum foil.)

You may like to top with some pearl sugar (I haven’t done here)



Let it cool down before serving.(Thing that we didn’t respect at all, half of it was already over by the time each one us took a bite to taste, then another one more and then one small bite……) Ideal even for tea time with toppings or fillings of your choice. Happy Baking!









Poori

Poori is a common south Asian unleavened bread prepared in India for Breakfast or Tiffin.




Ingredients:
4 cups -All purpose flour
2 cups yoghurt
2 tsp baking powder
5 tbsp fine semolina
Salt as needed (1 tbsp for me)
5 tbsp warm oil
1 tsp sugar
Water for kneading
Oil for deep frying

Method:
In a wide bowl, mix the flour and the sugar together. Add the oil and mix the flour together with your fingers.
Make a hole in the middle of the flour and add the baking powder, salt, yoghurt, semolina and salt. Knead everything by adding warm water a little at a time, to make a stiff dough. Let it stand for 20 minutes.
Divide the dough into equal-sized balls. Shape each ball smoothly and roll out to form a flat disc.
Heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep wok until hot.
Gently place a disc into the hot oil and wait until it floats up, press down with the back of a slotted spoon and submerge the poori totally in the oil so that air gets into the dough and puffs up the poori completely.
As soon as the poori has puffed up, turn it over and fry the other side until slightly brown
Remove the pooris with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
Serve at once.


I’ve served with Potato Masala. It can also be served with any other curries like Vegetable Kurma or Channa Masala.

and one more event....

Reposting this recipe for Padma's "Dosa Corner " Event.

Mutta Dosa


Ingredients:
1 cup Boiled Rice
6 cups Rice grains
2 cups urad dhal (skinned)
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (optional)
½ handful salt
Ghee or oil for frying
Eggs as necessary

Preparing the dosai batter:
Soak the rice, the fenugreek seeds and the dhal separately, for about 5-8 hours. Grind the rice using a blender or food processor in batches with sufficient water until it is a smooth paste.

Grind the urad dhal until fluffy by adding a little water at a time.

Mix together the two pastes with the salt in a big vessel to make a thick batter. Leave it in a dark warm place for about 8 hours. The batter triples its initial volume after fermentation, so it’s better to make sure the bowl is big enough to allow space for the batter to rise.
Frying dosais:
If the fermented batter is too thick add some water to make it thinner or to obtain a flowing consistency. Let’s say about a ladle of water for 6 ladles of dough.
Prepare a bowl of ghee/oil.
In another bowl prepare another 5tbsps of ghee and half an onion pricked on the bulged part with a fork.
Heat a heavy cast iron griddle or a non-stick pan until a few drops of water dropped on the surface sizzles.
Dip the pricked onion in the ghee and grease the surface of the griddle/pan with the ghee.
Take a deep ladle full of batter and drop the batter in the middle of the pan, quickly swirl the batter away from the middle until it is spreads evenly in a circle around the pan. You must do this quickly because once the batter cooks, it is difficult to spread. Take a teaspoon full of ghee/oil and spread it on the dosa and also around the edges of the dosa. Wait a minute or two, until you see the edges browning and insert a flat ladle under the dosa and all around the dosai, until it is released completely. After releasing the dosa, flip it around on the other side.
Break an egg and drop it on the dosa, wait a minute or two until it is cooked and remove from the pan. Mutta dosa is ready; Sprinkle some fresh and coarsely ground pepper and some salt and serve hot.

Plain dosa can also be prepared out of this batter, in that case skip the eggs.

Dosa batter can be very well conserved in a refrigerator for a week.

Wednesday 8 July 2009

Yera Sodhi Kozhambu (Prawns and Spinach in coconut milk curry)

Summer is here and I'm enjoying everything; Rest, Lethargy, Fun, Outings, Barbecues, and late dinners are in the menu and I know I ignored my darling blog for sometime.......well, well, well, it's high time I posted something.....

Though we're simply celebrating the return of the sunny climate here, this curry is what we needed to bear last week's hot temperature. We were simply eating grilled food and salads abusively and my tongue was just dying for something else, let me say Indian, anything would have been a feast but then, I needed something watery, filling, tasty and healthy at the same time and this is what triumphed.......



You can find the basic method to do a Sodhi Kozhambu Here, a vegetarian version actually and all you need to do is just add some prawns along with the onions and fry and continue the recipe as indicated. You may increase or decrease the coconut milk as per your needs. Have a great summer!

Uralakizhangu Podimaas / Mushed Potato Fry

I think this is one of the simplest side-dish/ poriyal that one can make with potatoes…..This dish goes well with any vegetarian curries like Sambhar, Rassam, Kattu Sore Kozhambu or any other.I made this to go with the Yera Sodhi Kozhambu (Prawns and Spinach curry).

Ingredients:

4 / 5 Potatoes

Salt

For tempering:

5 tbsp ghee

2 dry red chilies (whole or split roughly)

¼ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp Mustard seeds

½ tsp urad dhal

1 tsp gram dhal

A pinch of asafetida

2 tbsp split cashew nuts (optional)

Curry leaves


Method:

Boil the potatoes until soft; Peel and crush it roughly. Keep it aside.

Heat ghee in a pan on medium flame; fry the cashew nuts and the dhals until golden brown. Splutter the curry leaves, the red chillies and the mustard seeds, add the salt and turmeric, fry and add the asafetida quickly followed by the boiled potatoes. Stir-fry everything for a couple of minutes and serve.Enjoy!