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Crab Roast

>> February 27, 2011

Kochi is known for its backwaters, sea, the vivid forms of fishing and the wide variety of fish. Crabs taste  exotic even if it is simply boiled with a dash of salt. Crab Roast is an utterly spicy recipe that goes well with rice.  The one character you should have while eating crab is patience :- )

the ingredients

Crab - 500 gms
Ginger - 4 cm piece
Garlic - 10 cloves
Curry leaf - 1 sprig
Green Chilly - 1 small
Small onion - 10 to 15
Turmeric - 3/4 tsp
Chilly powder - 3/4 tsp
Pepper powder - 3/4 tsp
Cocum - 1 piece
Oil - 2 tbsp
Water - 3/4 cup
Salt - 1 to 1 1/4 tsp or to taste

the method

Clean the crab and cut it into four pieces. Break the legs of the crab to let the spice in.

Heat oil in a pan (preferably an earthern pot) and add the chopped small onions. When lightly brown add chopped ginger, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves. Stir it until light brown and then add turmeric, chilly powder and pepper. Stir well till the raw smell is gone. Add the crab pieces and salt. Stir for a minute and  add water and let it boil. Add 1 tsp salt and cocum. Simmer for about 15 - 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Adjust salt. Serve with rice.


Methi Palak Paneer

>> February 13, 2011

While watching the Discovery Travel & Living channel, I got to know that Palak Paneer is a royal dish. I was wondering how some green leaves paste would be called so. The explaination however went on to about the combination of cottage cheese and cream in a mildly spiced palak puree. I then realized that it is indeed royal. To be specific Palak Paneer is a Mughalai cuisine. As usual, I wanted give a twist to it by adding some Kasuri Methi or dried fenugreek leaves and I found that the recipe already exists and therefore the Methi Palak Paneer.

the recipe

Palak / Spinach leaves – 1 bunch (30 – 40 leaves)
Cottage Cheese / Paneer – 200 gms
Kasuri Methi / Dried Fenugreek leaves – 1 1/4 tsp
Tomato – 1 or 2
Onion – 1 big
Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Oil – 2 tbsp
Cream or milk – ¼ cup
Chilly powder – 1 tsp
Pepper powder – ¼ - ½ tsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Green chilly – 1
Salt - to taste

the method

Blanch the palak leaves – Boil adequate salted water to immerse the leaves. Place the leaves in the water until it is wilted (about 2 minutes). Drain the water. Take out the leaves, cut in into 2 or 3 pieces and grind it to a fine paste.

Soak the kasuri methi for 2-3 minutes. Wash twice and keep it aside.

Cut the paneer into small cubes. Heat oil in a pan and lightly fry the paneer in low -medium heat. Drain the paneer and place it in the milk or water. This prevents the paneer from turning rubbery. To the remaining oil, add the onion and sauté till translucent. Add the green chilly, ginger and garlic paste. Saute  for a minute and add the chilly, garam masala and pepper powder. Add ¼ tsp pepper powder and if need be add the remaining ¼ tsp at the end, while checking for seasoning. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and sauté till it turns soft. Add salt. Pour the palak paste, kasuri methi and ¼ cup water and bring it to a boil. Stir in the fried paneer pieces. Turn to low heat and add the milk or cream. Check seasoning and simmer for 5 – 7 minutes. Tastes good with any kind of roti or naan and also with rice and dal.


Aloo, Palak & Garlic Batura

>> February 01, 2011

Off late I have been preparing fatty preparations like butter chicken and this deep fried batura. Batura is usually prepared with maida and potatoes. Since it is still very cold in Kerala, I added palak to induce some heat into the body.  I have heard that palak is widely used in parathas during winter season. The garlic is to season the batura and the two veggies that has gone into the making. Further, this is a wheat + maida batura instead of a maida only one. You can also prepare this using wheat alone though you may have to compromise on the color with no compromise to the taste.

the recipe

maida / flour – ¾ cup
wheat – ¼ cup
salt to taste
palak (spinach), finely chopped – 20 leaves
potato – 1 big (boiled & mashed)
garlic – 8 small cloves or 6 medium cloves (this gives moderate garlic taste)
baking soda- ¼ tsp
water – a little less than ½ cup
oil to deep fry

the method

Place the maida, wheat flour and baking soda in a bowl and mix well.  Stir in the chopped palak, mashed potato and finely chopped garlic. Crumble all the ingredients together with your fingers. Sprinkle salted water little by little until the flour mix is kneaded into dough. Divide it into 8 balls and roll into into slightly thick baturas and deep fry it. Serve it with a curry of your choice.


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