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Repost for an Event - Baby Corn Salsa

>> January 30, 2011

the original recipe can be read here


Soya Cutlets ( baked or fried )

>> January 29, 2011

Until recently, I have been preparing only soya chunk curries. Once I tried to prepare recipes with soya mince, it seems to be very interesting. Therefore, the soya mince curry came up and then I tried to prepare cutlets using soya mince. On the first bite it is very difficult to distinguish whether this is a meat cutlet. However on the second bite you will definitely know that this is soya, because you can taste its flavor.

About Soya Mince, you can either prepare it at home or just use store bought ones. In the soya mince curry I had used a different method to prepare the mince and for this cutlet I followed a different method. The latter is a better process.

I prepared a baked cutlet to reduce the oil intake as well as to save time. You can just bake everything in one go.

the recipe

soya chunks – 20 -25 nos
potato – 2 medium or 3

the quantity of potatoes must be equal to or more than the soya mince bcoz soya has a very strong flavor

onion, finely chopped – 1
garlic, finely chopped – 2 cloves
ginger,  finely chopped – ¼ inch piece
garam masala – ½ tsp
coriander leaves, chopped – 2 – 3 table spoon
lime juice – 1 tsp
turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp
chilly powder – ½ tsp
pepper powder – ¼ tsp
salt to taste
oil – 1 tbsp

to coat the cutlets

milk – ¼ cup
pepper powder – a pinch
bread crumbs – from two slices

the method

Boil adequate water to immerse the soya chunks. Turn off heat. Add ½ tsp salt into the water and stir in the soya chunks. Cover and let it soak for 20 minutes. Drain off and squeeze water from soya chunks. Wash it with fresh water. Cut it into two. Place the chunks in a blender and blend for 2 seconds. It would have become strands. Keep it aside.

Boil, peel and mash the potatoes.

Heat oil in a pan and sauté the onions. When translucent add the chopped ginger & garlic (ginger garlic paste is also okay). Add turmeric, chilly, garam masala and pepper powder.  Stir in the soya mince and salt. Sauté until it is coated well with the spices (add few drops of water if need be). Add the lime juice and coriander leaves. Turn off heat. Let it cool.

Add the mashed potatoes to the sautéed mince. Knead it to a dough. Keep it aside for 10 minutes. Shape it into patties of desired shapes.

Take the milk in a slightly wide bowl and add the pepper powder.

Keep the bread crumbs in a flat plate.

Take each cutlet, immerse it in the milk mix and then put it in the bread crumbs and coat it well.

Preheat over at 200 C for 5 minutes. Bake the prepared cutlets at 200 C for ten minutes. Serve with tomato ketchup or as you please.

* this cutlet can be either baked or fried


Butter Chicken

>> January 25, 2011

Butter Chicken is a mild and slightly creamy chicken preparation that can be had with any kind of Indian flat bread like chapati, naan or batura. The addition of butter may not sound healthy, but i feel it is okay to have a little bit of sinful indulgence once in a while.

the recipe

ingredients for the marinade

Chicken - 500 gms
Lemon juice (optional) - 1 tbsp
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Ginger Garlic  paste - 1 tbsp
Garam Masala- 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp

other ingredients

Butter - 1 + 1 + 1 tbsp
Onion - 1 (ground to paste)
Tomato puree - from 2 tomatoes
Kashmiri Chilie powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/4 - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/4 - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves & stem, chopped - 1/4 cup
Cream - 1/4 cup
salt to taste

the method

Cut the chicken into small pieces. Marinate it with the ingredients for the marinade for 30 minutes.

Heat one tbsp butter in a heavy bottom pan / pressure cooked in low heat. Add the marinated chicken and saute for about ten minutes.

In another pan add one tbsp butter and pour the onion paste. Add some salt so that the water from the onion will evaporate quickly. Saute for a minute or until the raw smell has gone. Pour the tomato puree and add turmeric, coriander, chilly and cumin powder. Let it boil for a while. Add the sauted chicken and mix well. Bring it to a boil. When the chicken is almost done add the garam masala. Reduce to low heat and add the lightly beaten cream. Stir briskly so that the cream will completely blend with the gravy and will not curdle. Check salt and stir in the coriander leaves. As per butter chicken recipes a final dollop of butter is essential. I have also added the same but it melted and came on top of the curry as you can see in the picture. So it is thoroughly optional whether to add another tablespoon of butter before turning off heat. This is a very tasty preaparation. Enjoy as you please.

the same recipe can be followed to prepare Butter Paneer or even a Butter Potato ;-)



Guest Post at Nithu's Kitchen

>> January 24, 2011

hi everybody,

glad to inform you that i got a chance to guest post one of my recipe and have a small chat at Nithu's Kitchen which has some yummy recipes.....

i guest (re-)posted Kashmiri Paneer recipe ...please do check out Nithu's Kitchen.....




Chembu Curry (Colocasia / Taro)

>> January 19, 2011

It is interesting to note how recipes evolve in our kitchen. This chembu / colocasia recipe evolved as a result of a dialogue in a Malayalam movie where the protagonist asks his caretaker to prepare a fish-like chembu curry with cocum / camboge in it. 

in case you do not have cocum, it can be substituted with tamarind pulp.

the recipe

Colocasia / chembu - 300 gms
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp + 1/2 tsp
Green chilly - 1 or 2
Salt to taste

Coconut Oil / veg oil - 1 1/2 tsp
Small onion - 5
Curry leaves - 2 sprig
Chilly powder - 1 1/2 - 2 tsp
Coconut milk (second extract - thin) - 1 cup
Coconut milk (first extract - thick) - 3 /4 cup
Cocum - 2 medium size pieces
Ginger - 1 1/2 inch piece

the method

Peel and cut the colocasia / taro into small cubes. Wash thoroughly. Cook it in second extract / thin coconut milk with 1/4 tsp turmeric, salt and 1 green chilly. Stir in between to check whether it sticks to the pan (add water if need be). Once done, turn off heat.

In another pan, heat oil and stir in chopped onion. When translucent add ginger. Stir for a minute and add curry leaves, 1/2 tsp turmeric and chilly powder. Add 1/4 cup water and cocum pieces / tamarind. Let it boil for 5 -7 minutes. Turn to low heat and add the cooked colocasia and stir well. Check seasoning and let it boil for 5 minutes in low heat. Add the thick coconut milk and stir. Turn off heat when the curry starts to boil. Serve with rice and some veggies.


Peshawari Naan

>> January 16, 2011

I came to know about Peshawari naan while searching about the use of Kalonji. Peshawari Naan has similarities to a Kashmiri paratha in terms of the stuffing. I came across two recipes and I have come out with the best of two. I have avoided the use of eggs in the dough and have prepared it with wheat flour instead of maida / flour.

the recipe

Wheat flour - 1 cup
Yeast - 1 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Hot water - 3/4 cup
Butter - 2 tbsp
Butter - for pan frying the naan
Shahi jeera - 1/4 tsp

for the stuffing

Cashew nuts - 2 tbsp
Raisins - 1 tbsp

for rolling

kalonji / nigella seeds - 1 /2 tsp

the method

Place the hot water in a small bowl with the yeast, salt and sugar and lightly stir it. Cover the yeast mix and check it after ten minutes. The yeast would have come up. Place the wheat flour in a mixing bowl and make a well in it. Pour the yeast mix, shahi jeera and 2 tbsp  butter and knead it to a soft dough. Cover the dough with a wet muslic cloth. Let it rise (1 - 1 1/2 hours). Divide the dough into 8 - 10 balls. Stuff each ball with few cashew nuts and raisins. Flour a rolling surface and gently roll out oval shaped naans by sprinkling a tiny pinch of kalonji.

The naan is rolled gently to make sure that the air bubbles formed by the yeast is not pressed down completely.

Naan is usually cooked in a tandoori oven or in a usual oven. Since my previous experience with a baked naan was not good, i fried this in a pan, similar to a chapathi. Cook naan in medium to high heat and apply butter on either side. Serve with Kashmiri Paneer, Green Pea Green Kurma or any dish of your choice.

the recipe goes to Stuffed Paratha by Vardhini


Cherry, Cashewnut & Oatmeal Brownies

>> January 14, 2011


When you don't have many oatmeal porridge fans at home, the only way to add it in our diet  is to change the logic in which it is cooked. I hide the oats in pancakes, bread, sweet & savory dumplings, soups and also tried adding it in brownies. 

The brownie had a chewy texture. It was much to my dislike....so I leave a choice to you, if you like chewy brownies add oats other substitute it with flour and go ahead with the following recipe.As regards the cherry and cashew, it was very tasty. Cherry in chocolate is a really lovely combination. 

the recipe

bittersweet chocolate - 100 gms
butter - 100 gms
eggs - 2
sugar - 3/4 cup
cocoa powder - 2 tbsp
cherry - 1/4 cup
cashewnuts - 1/4 cup
flour - 1/2 cup
oats - 1/4 cup
vanilla extract - 3/4 tsp

the method

Preheat oven at 170 C. Prepare a square pan and line it with a butter paper.

Chop the chocolate and butter into small cubes and place it in a mixing bowl (this will be the mixing bowl for the entire brownie batter). Place the bowl in simmering hot water. Stir the chocolate and butter until they melt. Take it out of the double boiler and rest it until it becomes warm. 

Certain recipes recommend the use of whisk instead of electric beater to beat the sugar and eggs. But I strongly recommend the use of electric beater at speed 1 or 2.

When the chocolate mix is warm add the sugar spoon by spoon until well incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and eggs. Add the eggs one by one. Mix the flour, cocoa powder and oats. Add it to the chocolate and mix well. Mix the cherry and cashew nuts with a tablespoon of flour and add half of it to the batter. Pour the batter to the prepared pan. Sprinkle other half of cherry and cashew on top of the batter.  Bake for 30 - 35 minutes. Keep checking after 30 minutes. The cherry, cashew and oatmeal brownies are done when a toothpick inserted comes out with few lumps of cooked batter.

The recipe goes to Priya’s CWF – Oats event started by Kiran


Spicy Coconuty Sweet Pongal

>> January 12, 2011

Pongal is the festival of harvest celebrated in Tamilnadu. Being brought up in Tamilnadu, all its festivities are close to my heart. I now live in Kerala and make sure Pongal and Deepavali is celebrated at least with a light zest. 

Sweet pongal is usually prepared with rice and moong dal. My mother usually prepares it only with rice. So I have skipped it in this recipe also. In addition to cardamom I have added few other spices and desiccated coconut. The spice does not overwhelm the taste, it just adds flavor to the overall taste. Enjoy!

the recipe

Raw rice - 1 cup
Water - 2 - 2 1/2 cup
Milk - 1 cup
Cardamom - 3-4 pods powdered
Nutmeg – 5 -7 gratings
Clove – 2 -3
Ghee – 2 tbsp or more

Jaggery, grated - 1 1/2 to 2 cups
Salt - a small pinch
Cashew nuts & raisins - 4 tbsp or more

the method

Heat ghee and fry the cashew nuts and raisins.

Place the jaggery in a saucepan and add ¼ cup water. Melt it in medium heat. Strain it and keep it aside.

Soak the rice for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Boil 2 cup water in a pan and stir in the soaked rice. Keep stirring so that it does not overflow. When the rice is almost done add the salt and milk. Simmer and let the rice cook. When the milk is almost absorbed by the rice add the jaggery and powdered cardamom, cloves & nutmeg. Mix well until the pongal gains a thick consistency. Add the desiccated coconut and dry fruits, along with the ghee. Garnish with more desiccated coconut and dry fruits. Serve hot.

the recipe goes to Pongal Feast Event

Next post at roshan's cucina : Cherry, Cashewnut & Oatmeal Brownies


Eggplant & Potato Vindaloo

>> January 09, 2011

Vindaloo or Vindalho is essentially a recipe used to prepare meat. Vindaloo means cooked with wine and garlic. Since white wine is not commonly available in India vinegar is used in the preparation. I tried this eggplant and potato vindaloo to introduce the taste to vegetarian readers. I should confess this tasted better than the meat vindaloo. 

The dish is slight fiery and pungent. Please adjust the quantity of chilly powder to suit your taste. Also, the quantity of cumin, fenugreek and mustard should be in the right proportion otherwise the dish will have a bad taste.

the recipe

Eggplant / Brinjal - 250 gms
Potato - 250 gms

ingredients for the mustard paste

Small onion - 5 or Onion - 1/2
Garlic - 3  cloves
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece
Mustard - 1/4 tsp
Cumin - 1 generous pinch
Fenugreek seeds - 1 pinch
Vinegar - 2 tbsp
Tomato - 2 medium

other ingredients

Small onion - 5 or Onion, chopped - 1/2
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar - 3/4 tsp
Oil - 1 1/2 tbsp

the method

Cut the potato and eggplant into cubes. Parboil the potatoes and keep it aside. Rub salt on the eggplant and keep it aside. This will take away the bitterness from the veggie. Wash it after 10 - 15 minutes.

Grind the ingredients for the mustard paste into a smooth paste (add adequate water to grind).

Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped onion. When translucent add turmeric. Add the eggplant and saute for a minute. Add the chillie powder and mix well. Pour the mustard paste and add the parboiled potatoes. Add salt and pepper powder. Add 1/4 cup water if need be.Stir well and let it boil. Simmer till the veggies have cooked. The consistency of vindaloo is a thick gravy. If there is more water, turn to high heat and let the water evaporate. Add sugar, mix well and turn off heat. Serve with rice or serve as you please.

the recipe goes to the event  Healthy Lunchbox Ideas - Brinjal/Aubergine hosted by Priya event started by Kalyani


Frijole Mole (Chickpea Spread) - Reposted for MLLA 31

the original post / recipe is here

reposted  for the event MLLA 31 hosted by Simona event started by Susan


Chicken Manchurian

>> January 05, 2011

The era of Chilly Chicken almost ended in my kitchen when I started preparing Chicken Manchurian. It must be bcoz chilly chicken was very common and Manchurian was rare. The first manchurian trial took place around ten years back soon after I tasted it at Chiyang - the restaurant I have mentioned while writing about Mixed Noodles. It was a time when recipes could not be searched on web and I was neither a seasoned cook nor a seasoned web/ recipe searcher. Therefore, I tried it with whatever taste I could remember. I am writing this recipe after much research though it is the same as my first trial. I saw the use of tomato sauce in certain Manchurian recipes. It dint appeal to me so here is my Chicken Manchurian recipe with the taste as close to the Chiyang one.

ingredients to marinate the chicken

Chicken (boneless) - 300 - 400 gms
Corn flour (starch) - 3 tbsp
Flour (Maida) - 3 tbsp
Soy Sauce - 2 tbsp
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 1/2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Oil - to deep fry

ingredients for the tempering

Onion, finely chopped - 2
Garlic - 6 - 8 cloves (for garlicky taste add 8, for moderate one add 6)
Green chillies, finely chopped - 2-3
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Soya sauce - 1 tbsp
Corn starch - 1 tbsp
Water - 1/4 - 1/2 cup
Oil - 2 tbsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

the method

Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Add the ginger garlic paste, soya sauce and salt (please keep a check on the quantity of salt since soya is slightly salty). 

Mix the flour (maida) and corn starch powder well. Sprinkle half of the flour mix on the chicken. Turn the chicken pieces and sprinkle the balance flour mix. Mix the chicken pieces well and let it marinate for half an hour*. 

Heat oil in a pan. Deep fry the chicken in medium heat. 

Prepare corn starch solution using 1 tbsp corn flour and 1/4 cup water. If you need a saucy manchurian add 1/2 cup water to make the solution. Some home secrets - you can use the batter / flour left over from the chicken marinade to prepare the corn starch solution. This would be more tasty since the flour contains seasonings like soya sauce and ginger garlic paste. 

For the tempering, heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and stir in the onion, garlic and green chillies. When translucent, add soya sauce, salt and sugar. Stir well and add the corn starch solution. When it starts to boil, turn to low heat and add the fried chicken pieces. Mix well  and add pepper powder. Serve with fried rice or mixed noodles or as you please.

*Alternatively a thick batter can be prepared with the flour and the chicken pieces can be dipped into  it and fried. I prefer the non-batter method because the fried chicken is crispy and consumes less oil.


Chinese Mixed Noodles

>> January 03, 2011

Chinese food is very popular in our city as it is in our home. We frequent a Chinese restaurant and every time we either have a mixed noodles or a mixed rice which is a signature dish of the restaurant. After trying few of the Chinese restaurants in town, Chiyang seems to be the best place. The reason is many: i have not tasted ajino motto in their preparation, the portions are good, the ambiance is superb (in the air conditioned space) and the menu is reasonably priced.  The mixed noodles in the restaurant has chicken, beef, prawn, pork, eggs and an assortment of vegetables. In this recipe i have avoided beef and pork, yet it tasted very yummy.

the recipe

Hakka noodles - 400 gms
Ginger Garlic paste - 2 tbsp
Soya Sauce - 3 tbsp
Oil - 3 -4 tbsp
Chicken stock - 3/4 - 1 cup
Egg - 1 or 2
Sugar - 1 1/2 tsp
Spring onion, chopped - 2 tbsp
Pepper powder - 1/2 - 3/4 tsp
Salt to taste

ingredients to be sauted 

Capsicum, julienned - 1
Carrot, julienned - 2
Cabbage, julienned - 3/4 cup
Onion - 2 (cut into slight thick slices)
Celery, julienned - 3 stalks
Chicken, boiled & shredded - 3/4 cup
Boiled prawns - 3 -4 tbsp
Green chilly (optional), chopped - 1 or 2

the method

Beat the egg with required amount of salt and make an omelette. Cut it into thin strips / juliennes. 

Boil the noodles as per instruction. Add required amount of salt while boiling.

Heat 2-3 tbsp oil in a wok or a wide pan (uruli in Kerala) and add all the ingredients to be sauted. Add salt and stir briskly in high heat. When the vegetable are almost cooked but remains crunchy turn to low heat and make some space in the middle. Add a tbsp of oil and add the ginger garlic paste. Stir for a minute and then stir it along with the vegetables*. Turn to high heat, make space in the middle of the pan and add the soya sauce. Immediately add 1/2 tsp salt and 1 1/2 tsp sugar. When the sauce sizzles, mix all the vegetables. Add the cooked noodles. Pour the chicken stock 1/4  cup a time and mix with a fork and spoon on each hand. When the noodles reaches the preferred consistency stop using the stock. Add the egg and pepper powder. Garnish with spring onions and turn off heat. Serve with tomato sauce / ginger chicken / chicken manchurian / chillie chicken. 

*Ginger Garlic paste is added in the process of cooking to prevent it from burning in high heat. 


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