Friday 19 February 2010

Tuna Fish Stir-fry (Meen Puttu/ Podimas)



Here is a quick, easy, economical, modest and a tasty dish for fish lovers.

Economical in this case because I've used canned tuna fish. However, you may use any fresh or frozen fillets for this recipe as well.

It is usually on a day which has been preceded by rich meals, when our stomachs demand for something different while our palates persist for texture and subtlety, that this fish stir-fry comes to my attention. It blends perfectly well with watery and light curries like a Rasam (here & here) or More Kozhambu (Curd Curry) or Kattu sore Kozhambu / Spinach Sodhi Kozhambu.

In fact, this is such an easy and versatile dish that one can concoct the same as a filling in a sandwich or serve as a side dish or just try stirring in some of this copiously with some plain hot rice and tell me how it was!!

Ingredients: (for 4)

280g Tuna fish (I used unflavored canned salted tuna fish)
5 or 6 Shallots
3 green chillies (+/- according to your taste)
3 or 4 garlic pods (optional)
A sprig of curry leaves
½ a tsp of turmeric powder
5 spoons of Oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1tsp black gram dhal
1 tbsp fennel seeds
A tbsp fennel seeds powder
Salt
A tbsp of Lime/ Lemon juice
Coriander leaves (optional)

Method:

Drain the water from the can and crumble the fish. Add some turmeric powder to it, stir well and keep it aside.

Chop the shallots, garlic and the green chilies finely.

Heat oil in a wok, splutter the fennel seeds, the mustard seeds and the black gram dhal.

Add the curry leaves, the shallots, chopped garlic and the green chilies and fry until the shallots are slightly colored.

Add some salt (the fish is already salted, so we need just enough to season the masala) and now add the fish and stir-fry well for a couple of minutes.
Add the fennel seeds powder and fry one more minute and switch off the gas.

Sprinkle some lemon juice and maybe some coriander leaves and enjoy!!

PS: Canned Tuna fish can be very well substituted by other fresh or frozen fish fillets like Cod/ Haddock/ Hake. In this case, you just have to pre-cook them in some water, salt and turmeric powder and use as indicated in the recipe. Happy cooking  and have a nice week end dearies !!!!

Friday 12 February 2010

Mixture / Chivda

Chivda or Mixture (as called in TamilNadu) is a popular Indian Tea time snack which consists of combining fried lentils, peanuts, puffed rice, beaten /flattened rice flakes along with different types of fried snacks like Omapodi, Murukku, Boondi, Kara Sev, Diamond Cuts…… All of them are combined together and flavored with a blend of hot spices and salt and done in various combinations according to each one's tastes.

This snack can be very well conserved in air tight tins for more than a month unless you finish all of it within that period…….. which applies to me in that case, ‘coz whenever I do, I prepare a generous amount of it in order to avoid re-doing it in a short period of time as it is quite time-consuming and a lengthy procedure but it seems to be never sufficient each time.......
Well, honestly, if you give me the choice between a bowl of chips and this mixture in another, my preference will incontestably be this addicting crunchy munchy Mixture...... ok, let me try to explain this recipe now:

Ingredients you’ll have to Prepare for the Mixture:

5cups of Omapodi
3 cups of Boondi
1 cup of Murukku(didn’t add it here)
½ a cup of raw Peanuts
3 cups Beaten Rice/ Aval
½ tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 sprigs curry leaves

PS: the quantity of Omapodi/Murukku/Beaten rice can be increased or decreased according to your needs

For the Omapodi:

Ingredients:
2 cups gram flour
½ a cup Rice flour
1 tsp finely powdered Ajwain/ Carom seeds
¼ tsp asafetida
Salt (1 tsp or +/-according to your tastes)
Oil for deep frying

Method:
Mix salt, powdered ajwain and asafetida in half acup of water.

Sift gram flour and Rice flours in a bowl and add the prepared water to it little by little. Knead well (may add a little more water if necessary) to make soft smooth dough. The dough should be like a chapatti dough consistency neither too hard nor too soggy.

Heat enough oil for deep frying (maybe more than 3 cups) and reduce it to medium high.

Fill up a murukku press with the dough and use the plate with small minute holes (for omapodi ) to press out the omapodi in the oil. Fry until slightly colored and turn it over.
Remove and drain when it is crispy and uniformly colored.
Crush them when it comes to room temperature and store it in an airtight container.

You may enjoy the Omapodi as it is or scroll down to continue with the Mixture preparation....

For the Boondi:

Ingredients:
2 cups Gram flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp oil
Ghee/Oil for deep frying (approximately 4 cups)

Method:

Mix the salt and baking soda along with the gram flour and add oil and knead until you get a crumbly mixture.

Add water gradually, so that you get a smooth batter (like the Dosa batter consistency, it should be neither too thick nor too watery but should have a smooth flowing consistency).

Heat ghee or oil in a wok, on medium flame; pour the mixed batter through a boondi maker by spreading the batter with a spoon or a spatula so that small drops of boondi fall in the ghee.

Fry until they become crispy. Drain on a paper towel and do the same for the rest of the batter.

Keep aside for the mixture.

This boondi can also be served as a snack apart, as a Kara Boondi if you temper it in the following way:

Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan, splutter some curry leaves, fry some peanuts and 3 or 4 crushed garlic (along with the skin) and remove off the flame. Add a teaspoon or two of chilly powder, a little bit of salt and sprinkle all this on the fried boondis and stir well. This is called Kara Boondi.

If you’re doing the Boondis for the Mixture, just skip the above step and scroll down to continue....

For the Murukku:

Please see the recipe HERE


Fry the beaten/flattened rice flakes until crispy (always on medium flame) and keep aside.

Deep fry the peanuts and the curry leaves and keep aside.


Sift together the chilly powder, salt and sugar (given under the ingredients of mixture) in a separate bowl.

Gather all the fried Omapodi & Murukku (crush them into small pieces), Boondi, the beaten rice, the curry leaves and the peanuts together in a large bowl or vessel.

Sprinkle the chilly/salt/sugar powder on it and stir it all together and let it come to room temperature before storing it in air tight containers. Happy Tea time!!!

Place for some rewards from a sweet friend Devi:


Thank you for gratifying me with these lovely awards  my friend, I'd love to pass it on to all my dear Readers!!!!


Enjoooooooooy and have a nice Weekend !!!!!

Monday 8 February 2010

Gratin de macaronis à l’Emmental et au Canard Confit (Macaroni Gratin with Duck Confit)



Are you searching for an ideal winter dish? Something as simple like as to say “Hello”? Then you’re at the right page!!
This is a recipe I copied down from a book featuring some of the recipes of the famous young prodigy, Chef Cyril Lignac…so, I tried my hand at making this copious dish before the end of snow, and it came out to be a surprisingly delicious, tasty and comforting dish, simple, easy and quick to prepare and turned a simple dinner into a gourmet feast. Hope you’ll like it too…

Ingredients: (for 4)

350 g Macaronis
3 legs of Duck Confit
200g grated Emmental cheese
750 ml Milk
350 ml Heavy Whipping Cream
20g butter ( diced into small pieces)
3 shallots chopped finely 8 shallots chopped finely for me
1 garlic pod crushed roughly 5 garlic pods for me
A few branches of Parsley leaves (washed, pat dried and chopped) (I’d say it’s the key ingredient, so, the more the merrier)
Pepper, Salt

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°C (needs at least 15 minutes)

In a wide pot, boil one and a half liters of water with the milk and some salt.

Add the Macaronis and cook until al dente (refer to instructions).

Drain and add half of the grated cheese along with 200 ml of the cream while the pasta is still hot. Stir well and keep it warm.

Meanwhile, warm gently the legs of the duck confit in a pan, in order to separate the fat. Drain and save the fat separately.

Now, remove the skin from the duck and crumble/ shred the meat to small thread like pieces.

Heat the fat (saved previously) and fry the shallots and the garlic until they change color.

Remove from the heat and add the chopped parsley leaves and the shredded duck and stir gently.

Make a mixture of the remaining cream and the grated Emmental cheese. Keep aside.

Grease a baking tray, spread some of the prepared macaronis and top with the prepared duck/parsley preparation and finish the rest of the preparation in the same manner.

Coat with the Cream/Cheese mixture. Sprinkle some diced butter (yes, yes, you have to!!!) and add some freshly ground pepper and bake this for about 20 minutes.

Accompany it with green salad and Enjoy!!!

Wine suggestion: A Madiran would be an excellent pair!

Nadjibella from Saveurs et Gourmandises offered this lovely award to me!!! What could be more rewarding than a sign of appreciation from a wonderful foodie like her? I love trying out her recipes , specially those mouthwatering delicacies from the Orient ....Thank you Nadjibella!!!

I would love to share this award with the following friends who concocte excellent dishes in their kitchens too:

Kamala
Bong Mom 
Asha
Ushnishda
Jagruti
Kavitha
Malar
Vicky Xavier
Nithu Bala
Ramya Vijaykumar
Priya
Vineetha
Cham
Sumi
Balakrishna Saraswathy 
Palatable
Padhu
Yasmeen

Have a nice day, Cheers l!!!

Thursday 4 February 2010

Reshmi Kebab (Chicken Kebab) and Mint /Coriander Dip

Apart from the fact that the Mughals have left some of their great architectural traces in India, their strong influence in the Indian cuisine is an undeniable fact too; their rich, aromatic and spicy food style has conquered the whole country, especially in the northern parts of India. These succulent kebabs are one of their specialties too.
I did these for the aperitif on New Year’s Eve (ideal to pick, dip and eat while dancing, right?)and was a great success in the party. Since this was the first time I’m making it at home (have relished them for the first time at a restaurant in New Delhi), I took reference from these amazing cooks, Hetal and Anuja from “Show me the curry”. It came out so good, a big thanks to both of them for sharing this recipe!!! Hope my readers would like them too!!

Ingredients:

700g boneless meat from the thigh part of the chicken
A tbsp pasted garlic
A tbsp of pasted ginger
4 to 6 green chilies (I like it very hot; you may increase or reduce according to your taste)
3 tbsp of cleaned coriander leaves
3 tbsp cleaned mint leaves
Salt
½ a tsp of pepper (+/- according to your tastes)
250 ml heavy whipping cream
50g powdered Almonds (the original recipe didn't require)

Method:
Chop the chicken into bite size pieces. Pat- dry with a kitchen towel to remove any excess water.

Deseed the green chilies, chop the coriander and mint leaves roughly and grind all to a fine paste. (You may do this along with the ginger garlic too).

Whip the cream slightly along with pepper and salt together.

Now, take a non-metallic bowl and add all the above pasted ingredients, the cream mixture, the powdered almonds and the meat and stir it all together.
Taste and correct the salt if necessary.

PS:(the meat is going to absorb the flavors from the spices during the marinating time and the salt is going to be absorbed too, so it is advisable to keep the marinating liquid just a little saltier than the normal so that it tastes perfect after it is been cooked. (I precise, just a little more :) )

Now cover the bowl with a plastic wrapper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (If you have enough time, I’d recommend leaving it overnight, so that the meat has enough time to become extremely tender and juicy)

Pre heat the oven to the maximum (since the heat of a Tandoor, used traditionally to do these kebabs can attain 480°C, so……)

Thread the meat on to the skewers, which should have been soaked in water for few hours, which would avoid your skewers to burn while grilling.

Arrange the skewers on a lined and greased baking tray. Place the baking tray at the nearest possible to the heating element.

Bake until they brown, let me say for about 15 to 20 minutes (maximum) and enjoy it right away with a delicious Mint/Coriander Dip


PS: Re- heating the meat or cooking the meat too long would make the meat dry. In order to keep the meat juicy inside, take care to grill it at the highest possible and minimize the cooking time!!




Kothamalli/Pudhina Chutney (Coriander-Mint Dip for Kebabs):

Ingredients:

2 cups of coriander leaves
A cup of mint leaves
A tbsp of Cumin seeds
Salt
250 ml yoghurt (+/- according to the desired consistency)
3 or 4 green chilies (the more the better)
6 pods garlic and ginger (equal or half the quantity)
A tbsp or two of dry pomegranate seeds (may be substitutes by some lime juice)

Method:

Grind all the ingredients (except salt and yoghurt) to a smooth mixture, add salt and yoghurt and blend it once again. Enjoy with the Kebabs.

Enjoy and have a nice week end!!!

Monday 1 February 2010

Elumicha pazha Rasam (Lemon Rasam )



Rasam is a staple south Indian sour curry/soup which is done in most South Indian homes, almost everyday. One main reason for which it is prepared on a daily basis is that it contains the spices which facilitate digestion… so if you get to taste a traditional South Indian meal, you simply can’t miss the Rasam in your second course, which in turn is usually followed by some curd.
Rasam is made in many different ways using different ingredients like Tamarind/ Tomato/Pineapple/ Neem leaves and many more… and each one of them has its own distinct flavor. Lemon rasam is my favorite one and it can be eaten mixed with rice or drunk as it is, as well. Though most of you might know the recipe already, I 'm posting it for my dear readers from other parts of the world but also for my own record! hope you enjoy!!

Ingredients:
A cup of moong dhal
2 or 3 tomatoes ( chopped roughly)
A pinch of turmeric powder
¼ tsp black pepper powder

To temper:
3/4th tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
A sprig of curry leaves
2 green chilies ( I leave them whole)
A pinch of Asafetida
A pinch of turmeric powder
2 tbsp (heaped) chopped coriander leaves
2 or 3 crushed garlic pods (we don’t want to paste them, just crush them with the back of a spoon)
Juice of 3 lemons
Salt (as needed)
2 tbsp Ghee

Method:

Soak the moong dhal in water for few hours (reduces the cooking time)
Pressure cook the moong dhal along with triple it’s quantity of water, a little bit of salt, turmeric powder, green chilies, tomatoes and pepper powder until mushy.(If you’re not using a pressure cooker, then, simmer it for about 20 minutes until it’s cooked)

Drain and save the dhal water. (You may use the dhal for other dishes)

Now in a pan, heat the ghee, splutter the cumin seeds followed by the mustard seeds and the curry leaves. Add the crushed garlic and the green chilies now. Add the asafetida and turmeric powder followed by the tomatoes and the coriander leaves and stir for few seconds (we’re not going to cook the tomatoes completely);

Now remove the pan off the flame.

Pour the lemon juice to the above and add all this to the dhal water that we saved previously.

Taste and correct the salt if necessary and serve warm.

Fimère from "Aux délices des gourmets" (a wonderful foodie, whose recipes are ravishing one as the other) offered the following award to me:

Merci pour ce magnifique cadeau qui m' a beaucoup touché chère Fimère!!! Thank you dear!!

I would like to pass this on to the following bloggers:

Gita
?
Devi Meyyappan
Sushma Mallya
Swathi
Sashi
Erica
Dolly
Mythreyi Dilip
Rohini Vijay
Nandini
Namitha and Sunitha

Adukala Vishesham


Cheers !!!!!!!!