Showing posts with label Side Dishes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Side Dishes. Show all posts

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Coconut Shrimp Poppers
























Everybody loves my coconut shrimp poppers and I have made these many times for get togethers at home, friends' parties, pot lucks etc and each time I made them they disappeared in no time. They have an extra crunch that awakens your senses when you take your first bite. Then the subtle heat from the dijon mustard infused with the Sriracha hot sauce kicks in resulting in a tongue tingling sensation. And the dipping soy sauce fired up with ginger and green chillies has enough zing to ignite your soul and take you to another level of flavour. Hmm, what an experience of flavours to enjoy!


 Ingredients:
Raw Jumbo Tiger shrimps -  1/2 Kg
Kellog's Corn flakes - 1 cup
Panko Crumbs           - 1 cup
White flour                -  1 cup
Black Pepper - 1tsp
Dijon Mustard - 1 tsp
Sriracha chilly sauce - 1 tsp
Garlic Powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper - 1 tsp
Egg - 1 -2
Flour - 1 cup
White sesame seeds - 1tbs
Unsweetened coconut flakes - 1/2 cup
Vegetable oil for frying
Salt to taste
           
1.Peel the shrimp but leave the tail, then devein, rinse, drain and dry on paper towels. Season them with salt and pepper and set them aside. 

2.Mix together dijon mustard, sriracha sauce, garlic and cumin powders and marinate the shrimps with this paste. Leave for half an hour. 

3.Put the corn flakes in a ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Do not make a fine powder. they should be coarsely crushed. Mix together the crushed corn flakes with the panko crumbs. Add some salt, pepper, coconut flakes and sesame seeds.  

 4.Place the beaten egg, flour and Panko Corn flakes mixture separately in 3 different bowls.

5.Take each shrimp, first coat with flour, next dip in the beaten egg and then roll in the panko corn flakes mixture. Repeat for all the shrimps with patience taking care to coat them evenly. 

6.Heat oil in a frying pan and fry them till golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels and serve hot with soy dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Dipping Sauce: 

Ingredients: 
Soy sauce                      -  1/2 cup  
Chopped ginger             - 1 tsp
Chopped green chillies - 1 tsp
White Vinegar               - 2 tsp
Franks Red hot sauce    - 1 tsp

Method:
1.Mix together all the above ingredients and leave aside for at least 15 mins. The soy dipping sauce infused with the flavours of ginger, green chillies and red hot sauce is now ready for use. Enjoy the Shrimp Poppers with the dipping sauce.
               



Friday, November 11, 2016

Ande ki kadi (Egg Curry)



Ingredients:
Eggs - 4
Onion - 1 medium size
Tomato - 1 large
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Dried seedless tamarind pulp - 1 tsp 
Vegetable oil - 2 tbs
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Fenugreek powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - a few 
Green chillies - 4 small

Method:

1. Hard boil the eggs and keep aside. Please make sure that the eggs and the water are at room temperature before you put them to boil. Switch off the stove when the water begins to boil. Leave for 15 minutes then drain the water and allow them to cool in cold water before you start peeling their shell. Overcooked eggs have a crumbly yolk with a grey green tint, a sulphur like odour which is distasteful and a rubbery white. 

2. Cut the onion into thin slices and tomatoes into small quarters. Remove stems from the green chillies. 

3. Heat the vegetable oil in a pot. Fry the sliced onion to golden brown. Add the ginger garlic paste, tomatoes, curry leaves, whole green chillies and salt, followed by turmeric, red chilly, coriander, cumin and fenugreek powders. You can enhance the flavour by adding roasted ground cumin and fenugreek (roast the cumin and fenugreek seeds first then grind them to a powder). 

4. Stir fry till the tomatoes are soft and tender. 

5. Soak the tamarind pulp in a little water after rinsing it. Squeeze the tamarind in the water to extract the juice and add it to the curry. I don't like to use tamarind paste as the taste and flavour is different, plus it has preservatives. 

6. Adjust the salt and simmer for sometime. Now remove the shells from the boiled eggs, make long slits and add them to the curry. Leave them on simmer to absorb the curry juices till they get discoloured. 

7. Garnish with chopped cilantro. The egg curry is now ready to serve. Enjoy with boiled jasmine rice. It goes so well with this curry. 


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Steamed Coconut Radish



This is a light side dish which is enjoyed with rice and curry or dal. It is just steamed for a few minutes till tender and then tempered with mustard, dried red chillies and curry leaves. I love to eat this with boiled rice and sambar. 

I prefer to use small or medium size white radishes for this dish as they have strong flavour unlike the chinese lobok which are usually very huge and lacking in flavour.   

Ingredients: 

White radish - 1 medium size 
Fresh coconut finely grated - 1/4 cup
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 4 or 5
Dried red chilly - 1 small
Canola oil - 1 tsp
Green chilly - 1 small
Salt to taste

Method: 

1. Peel, wash and cut the radish into small pieces. Add a little salt, slit green chilly,  then cover and steam it with just a teaspoon of water in a sauce pan till it is tender. 

2. Grate finely or coarsely grind the fresh coconut and add it to the steamed radish and on low heat turn it over a bit just to coat all the pieces with the fresh coconut. Do not cook anymore. 

3. For tempering heat the canola oil in a small sauce pan. Break the dried red chilly into two pieces and add it to the oil followed by mustard seeds. When they begin to splutter add the fresh curry leaves. Switch off the stove and pour the tempering over the steamed radish. 

4. Turn over, adjust the salt and enjoy with rice and curry. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Dal Zucchini

I love this dal for its amazing flavour. This is more or less like a lentil (dal) curry with zucchini slices cooked till just tender and then to give a unique taste it is flavoured with black seeds and cumin seeds. So nutritious and comforting to eat with rotis or rice. 



Ingredients:

1 Zucchini 
 1/2 cup Moong Dal (Yellow lentils) 
1/2 Tsp Tomato paste
2 Tbs Chopped onions 
1 Tsp Ginger garlic paste 
1 Small Dried red chilli
2 Small Green chillies whole 
1/2 Tsp Black seeds 
1/2 Tsp Cumin seeds 
 1Tbs Cilantro chopped 
1/4 Tsp Turmeric powder 
 1Tbs Canola oil 
Salt to taste

Method:

1. Wash and soak the moong dal for 10 minutes. Slice the zucchini, chop the onions, grind ginger garlic paste and keep everything ready.

2. Heat the oil in a sauce pan. Add the dried red chilli, black seeds, cumin seeds followed by chopped onions.

3. When the onions start turning slightly golden add the turmeric, ginger garlic paste and the moong dal after draining it.

4. Roast the moong dal till it no longer sticks to the pan.

5. Throw in the zucchini slices, gently turn them over with the dal and roast them too a bit.

6. Now pour in 2 cups of water, salt and whole green chillies.

7. Turn the heat to medium and cook till just done. The dal should be of pouring consistency - soft but not mushy and the zucchini not overdone either.

8. Add chopped cilantro, and serve hot with rice or parantas. You may add boiled eggs if you want, but slit them before adding them. Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Bottle gourd coconut yoghurt curry

This is just one of my favourite side dishes to eat with rice. It is a very flavourful dish which is made with vegetables steamed in a coconut yoghurt sauce and flavoured with ground spices and tempering. A great vegetarian delight originating from Kerala but enjoyed by all the south indians. This can be made with pumpkin, bottle gourd, ash gourd, cucumber, white radish, beetroot and pineapple. Whenever I make this dish I wipe the pot clean, because it is so tasty. I just love it!

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:

Bottle gourd - 2 cups
Turmeric      - 1/2 tsp
Coconut grated - 1/2 cup
Green Chillies  - 2 small
Cumin seeds    - 1 tsp
Cilantro           - 1 tbs
Yoghurt           - 1/2 cup
Coconut oil / Canola oil       - 2 tsp
Water             -  1/4 cup

For Tempering:

Dried red chillies - 2 small
Curry Leaves       -  6
Mustard seeds      1/2 tsp  

Method: 

1. Peel the bottle gourd, cut it lengthwise into 2 halves, scoop out the pulp and cut it into small cubes.

2. Steam it with 1/4 cup water till it is just tender, do not over cook.

3. Grind together the grated coconut, cumin seeds, green chillies and cilantro with a little water to make a smooth paste.

4. Add this ground paste to the cooked bottle gourd along with the turmeric powder and simmer for a while till the raw smell vanishes. Switch off the stove.

5. Whisk the yoghurt to a creamy texture and add it immediately to the pot with the bottle gourd, mix well gently. Put it back on the stove on very low heat till it is hot enough. Remove from heat to add the tempering.

6. Heat 2 tsp of oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and when they splutter add the dried red chillies followed by the curry leaves. Immediately pour this over the bottle gourd coconut yoghurt gravy. Close the lid to retain the flavours. Serve hot with boiled rice. It is so yummy!

Tips:

1. Do not over cook the vegetables.

2. Do not boil the gravy after adding the yoghurt as it will curdle. Heat it only on low heat while stirring every now and then.

3. Use 3 day old slightly sour yoghurt. The sweetness of the coconut combined with the tangy  yoghurt balances the taste.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Nutritious Kale Salad



Nutritious Kale Salad

Ingredients:
Kale - 1cup
Romain lettuce -  1 cup
Kalamata olives - 6
Red/green/yellow peppers - 1/2 cup diced
Tomatoes - 1/2 cup diced
Walnut pieces - 2 tbs
Sun flower seeds - 2 tsp

For the Salad Dressing:
Olive oil - 1 tbs
Balsamic vinegar- 1/2 tbs
Dijon mustard - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste 
Black pepper - just to sprinkle on top

Method:

1. Mix together kalamata olives, yellow peppers, tomatoes - all cut into dices along with chopped kale and lettuce. 

2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the salad. Top with walnuts and sunflower seeds and serve with the baked salmon fish filets: saffron flavoured baked salmon fish filets . Enjoy!


Friday, November 13, 2015

Egg Plant Tapenade



This is a mediterranean recipe that I modified to suit my taste. I flame grilled the egg plant to give it smoky flavour and substituted pine nuts for walnuts and sun dried tomatoes for fresh ones. The smoky egg plant combined with the slightly tangy and nutty flavours turned out really delicious. We should not forget that the egg plant is the king in this dish, so care should be taken not to over power it with other flavours. Therefore adding just the right proportions of everything makes it not only enhanced in flavour but also in taste.

Ingredients:
Large dark purple egg plant - 1
Sun dried tomatoes             - 1 tbs
Walnuts(lightly toasted)        - 2 tbs
Extra virgin olive oil              - 2 tbs
Pitted kalamata olives          - 8-10
Lemon juice                         - 1 tsp
Small onion(finely chopped  - 1
Garlic clove                          - 1

To garnish:
Ground Cumin                   - 1/2tsp
Cayenne pepper/paprika    - 1/4tsp
Extra virgin olive oil            - 2 tbs
Cilantro finely chopped      - 1 tbs

Method: 
1. Flame grill the egg plant on the gas stove till it is charred all over and becomes soft. Leave it to cool.
2. Toast the walnuts with a little olive oil. Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in just a little water.
3. Remove the charred skin from the cooled egg plant, clean well so that no charred remnants are sticking to the egg plant, cut it open without loosing its juices, scrape out the seeds if they are too big and hard, otherwise you can leave them.
4. Heat 2 tbs of olive oil in a sauce pan and fry the chopped onion, once it is translucent add the chopped garlic clove, walnuts, give it a quick stir and remove from stove.
5. In a dry grinder, grind together the chopped onion and walnut mixture (pour it with the olive oil in the pan into the grinder) along with the sun-dried tomatoes, salt and pepper to make a smooth paste. You can add a green chilly if you want some heat. For me without thegreen chilly it tasted better.
6. Now mash the egg plant with a hand blender and incorporate the ground mixture into it to make a sligthly smooth but still a little coarse paste. The roasted egg plant should be well blended with the ground paste.
7. Transfer the contents to a serving bowl. Add chopped cilantro, a dash of  lemon juice, adjust the salt and mix well.  Sprinkle cumin and cayenne or paprika on top, drizzle olive oil and enjoy!


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Zucchini Papaya Salad


Ingredients: 
1 Cup Light green zucchini
1 Cup Papaya (not so ripe)
4 Tbs Peanuts crushed
1 Tbs Sesame seeds

Lemon dressing:
1 Tbs Lemon juice
1 Tbs Olive oil
1/4 Tsp Sesame oil
1/2 Tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper as required

Method:
1. Peel the Zucchini and Papaya. Wash and towel dry. Grate into thin long strips or julienes.

2. Dry roast the peanuts and sesame seeds.

3. Mix all the dressing ingredients and whisk well till it emulsifies and thickens.

4. Pour the dressing over the grated zucchini and papaya.

5. Top with roasted peanuts and sesame seeds.

6. Enjoy.



Friday, August 21, 2015

Spicy Carrot and Green Apple Salad



This recipe is adapted from a carrot salad recipe I found on one of the south indian blogs. It is a very refreshing salad and I like it very much. The sauteed mustard seeds add an extra flavour to the salad.

Ingredients: 

Carrots shredded - 2
Green Apple Shredded - 1
Fresh Cilantro - 1 tbs
Fresh lemon juice - 1 tbs
Ginger grated - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Fresh Curry leaves - a few
Green chillies - 1 small (optional)
Vegetable oil - 1/2 tsp

Method:

1. Mix together the shredded carrots and apple. Add chopped cilantro.
2. Heat 1/2 tsp vegetable oil in a small sauce pan. Add the mustard seeds when the oil is just hot to make them splutter. Add the chopped curry leaves and remove immediately and pour it on the shredded salad mix.
3. Add lemon juice, salt and sugar, toss well and serve. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Chicken Dijon

This is a quick chicken dish for those who are pressed for time and want something quick and easy to make and at the same time is good to eat.

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:
Chicken breast - 1 lb
Garlic paste - 2 tsp
Djon mustard - 2tsp
Mayonnaise- 4 tbs
Salt
Pepper
Olive oil- 2 tbs + 1 tsp

Method:
1. Cut chicken breast into bite size pieces.
2. Rub garlic paste, salt and pepper.
3. Add 2 tbs olive oil to a sauce pan. Stir fry on medium heat till they are well cooked  and are golden and crispy. 
4. Remove from pan into a serving bowl.
5. Combine dijon, mayonnaise and olive oil and add it to the chicken. Mix well and enjoy.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Rice Ganji (Porridge)






















Rice Ganji or kanji is an all time favourite for Ifthaar during Ramadan in Chennai. It is served to fasting muslims at most of the mosques there and is also prepared in almost every muslim house in Ramadan. It is a satisfying and fulfilling meal and is enjoyed with all sorts of snacks especially different kinds of vadas, samosas, pakoras etc. Sometimes to make it rich, some ground lamb or beef is added and it is called Aash. As a variation, small fried meat balls are also added.
 On the left is the picture of the rice ganji with grated coconut, chopped ciilantro and mint and below is the picture without the coconut which is also flavourful but has a lighter taste.

 Most important of all is the tadka or tempering which (done right at the end with ghee) takes it to the next level by making it rich and aromatic. Grated coconut and a hint of mint and chopped cilantro added just before tempering enhances its flavour and taste.

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients: 

Rice - 1 cup
Moong dal - 1/4 cup
Onions - 1 small sliced
Green chillies - 2 small
Black pepper corns - 1/2  tsp + 5-6 for tempering
Fresh mint leaves - 5-6
Cilantro chopped - 1 tbs
Ghee - 2 tbs for tempering
Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Cloves - 2
Fresh grated coconut - 1 tbs
Ground beef/lamb - 1 tbs (optional)

Method: 

1. Dry roast the moong dal till lightly golden.
2. Wash the rice and the roasted moong dal till the water is clear.
3. Put it in a pressure cooker and add 2 cups of water, salt, pepper corns, green chillies and a little cilantro.
4. Close the lid and pressure cook for 5 mins after the first whizz or whistle. If you are not using a pressure cooker you can cook in the normal way by adding enough water and cooking on medium heat till the rice and dal are mushy.
5. Remove the lid of the pressure cooker after all the steam is out and add some more water to get a flowing consistency. It should neither be too thick nor too runny.
6. Now add the fresh grated coconut, mint and cilantro and let it simmer for 2 mins. Please note that the coconut has to be really fresh otherwise all your effort will be lost. Do not use the coconut if you get a stale or rancid smell. Transfer it to a serving bowl.
7. Now for the tempering, take a sauce pan, set it on medium heat.  Melt the ghee then add the 2 cloves, a few more (5-6) pepper corns and the sliced onions and stir continuously till they turn evenly golden brown. Now quickly add the ginger garlic paste, give it a stir and as soon as you get a whiff of the aroma pour it on top of  the prepared ganji.
8. Gently mix the tadka in the ganji and enjoy with fritters of your choice.
























Tips:

Care should be taken not to burn the rice porridge at the bottom of the pressure cooker or pot. So cook on medium heat, add enough water and stir from time to time.

Do not burn the onions in the tempering, nor let the ginger garlic paste burn too as all the flavour is lost if it is burnt.

Those who want a meaty flavour can add 1 tbs of ground beef/lamb to the pot initially along with the rice, dal and other ingredients and follow the same method for the rest of the cooking.

Alternatively you may roast the ground meat in a just a little oil or butter, add ginger garlic paste, and then add the rest of the ingredients and pressure cook. Follow the rest from step 5. And when you do the tempering just brown the onions with the pepper corns and cloves only and add to the ganji.

Or add small fried meat balls and simmer for a while just before tempering.




Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Murmura chicken ( A Crispy Chicken Snack)

This is a quick chicken dish which I made for my son. It tastes more like a chicken snack than a main dish. It could be eaten on its own or with rice and curry. Great as an appetizer or side dish.  


Ingredients:
Chicken breast pieces - 1lb
Ginger garlic paste - 1 heaped tsp.
Red Chilli powder - 1 heaped tsp.
Turmeric - 1/2 a tsp.
Garam masala powder -1 tsp.
Fresh lemon juice – 1tbs.
Crispy fried onions - 1 handful
Curry leaves - a few
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp.
Ginger chopped –1/2 tsp.
Dried red chillies – 2 small
Green chilli chopped –1 small
Onion chopped -1 small
 Vegetable oil –1 cup
Cilantro chopped – ½ cup

Method:
1.   Clean, wash and towel dry the chicken breast and cut into bite size pieces.
2.   Rub salt and lemon juice and leave aside for 5 minutes.
3.   Meanwhile mix together ginger garlic paste, turmeric, red chilli powder & garam masala powder and rub the chicken pieces with it.
4.   Heat the vegetable oil in a pot or frying pan and deep fry the chicken pieces till just crisp. Remove and drain on wire rack. (Draining on paper towels makes them soggy).
5.   Heat one teaspoon vegetable oil in a clean sauce pan. Add mustard seeds and when they crackle add dried red chillies (whole) and curry leaves followed by chopped onion & green chilli.
6.   Give it a good stir and quickly add the fried chicken pieces to the sauce pan.
7.   Throw in the crispy fried onions chopped ginger and chopped cilantro. Sprinkle some lemon juice and salt as required, then quickly give it another good stir and remove from pan.
8.   The crispy (murmura) chicken snack is now ready to enjoy.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Barbequed lamb chops

I had pickled garlic and figs at home and so I tried to use them in the marinade for the chops. It not only enhanced the barbecued flavor but also kicked it up a notch and was just so delicious!!

We got so busy enjoying the chops that I forgot to take a few shots for my blog. Here's the recipe:



Ingredients:

Lamb chops - 6-8 pcs (1kg)

Marinade 1
Pickled garlic - 6 small size
Pickled red chillies - 4
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Pepper - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tspa
Vegetable oil - 2 tbs

Marinade 2
Pickled figs 
Italian parsley
Garlic and red chillies pickled in vinegar

Method:
1. Clean, wash and dry the lamb chops with paper towels.
2. Grind together all the ingredients of marinade1 to a fine paste.
3. Rub the chops with salt. Then rub them well with the ground paste mixed with vegetable oil and leave to marinate for 3 - 4 hours. 
4. Barbecue the marinated chops on a medium hot grill for a few mins on both the sides till they are golden brown.
5. Grind together all the ingredients of marinade 2 to a fine paste and brush this rub at the final stage of barbecuing the chops. Keep basting with oil from time to time. 
6. Remove the chops quickly from the grill while they are still moist with the marinade. 
7. Brush more if there's any leftover marinade while they are still hot.
8. Sprinkle some chopped cilantro and serve them hot. Enjoy the delicious lamb chops.

Tips:

To pickle garlic, red chillies, figs etc just put them in a clean bottle and add salt, chilly powder (optional)  and vinegar, then cover the mouth of the bottle with cling wrap and leave it in the sun for a few days till they are soft, juicy and tender. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Eggplant egg sandwich


Ingredients: 
Sicilian egg plant - 1sliced
Panko crumbs - 1 cup
Corn flakes/ potato chips - 1 cup
White flour - 2 tbs
Egg - 1 for egg wash
Milk - 1tbs
Hard Boiled eggs- 2 - 4
Olive oill - 2 tbs
Mayonnaise
Tomato ketchup
Dijon Mustard


Method:

1. Cut the egg plant into 1/4" slices, sprinkle with salt and keep them aside.

2. Whisk the egg with 1 tbs milk in a bowl. Put the flour and the panko corn flake crumbs separately in two other bowls

3. Slice  the hard boiled eggs.

4. Take each egg plant slice, dust it with flour, then soak it in the egg wash, then coat it with the panko corn flake crumb mixture and keep it on a cookie sheet greased with olive oil. Sprinkle or spray some more oil on top of the slices.

5. Bake at 375 degrees fahrenheit for 10 mins or until golden brown. Set aside to cool. Another alternative is to fry the egg plant slices coated with crumbs on a non stick pan with a little olive oil.

6. Take one baked egg plant slice, spread some mayonnaise and dijon mustard on one side, place some boiled egg slices, sprinkle with salt and pepper, squirt some drops of ketchup then close it with another egg plant slice on which is spread mayonnaise and dijon mustard on the inside. Repeat with the other slices and make sandwiches out of them. Cut them into halves and enjoy.




Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Red bell pepper & chicken meat ball curry

The sweetness of the red bell pepper in the chicken mince gives a new dimension to the dish. This is one of the chicken dishes which is quick and easy to make.

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients for the koftas (meat balls): 
1kg chicken breast cut into cubes
1 large onion chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
1/2 a red bell pepper chopped
1 strand of cilantro
1 strand of parsley
1-2 small green chillies
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tbs corn flour
3/4 tsp green cardamom powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp juice of lime/lemon
Salt as required

Ingredients for the curry:
1 large onion
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric
4 green chillies
A little cilantro and parsley chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Salt as required.
Wholes spices (1/2" cinnamon stick, 4 cloves, 1bayleaf and 4 green cardamoms)

Yield: 15 Koftas

Method: 

1. Clean, rinse, towel dry the chicken breast, cut into cubes and keep aside.

2. Finely chop the onions, the red pepper,  cilantro, parsley, green chillies and keep aside.

3. Make ginger garlic paste.

4. Rub the chicken cubes with salt, lemon juice and leave to marinate in the freezer for half an hour.
















5. Add turmeric, cumin, black pepper, green cardamom powder, ginger garlic paste, corn flour and all the chopped vegetables to the partially frozen marinated chicken.  Mince everything together in a mincer/grinder using the medium mincing plate. Sprinkle a little more salt for the vegetables before grinding.  It is easier to grind and get a good texture when the chicken cubes are a bit frozen.

6. Make round balls with the chicken mince. Set aside 2 tbs of vegetable oil for the curry and heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan with a handle.
7. Shallow fry the chicken meat balls quickly, 2 or 3 at a time by turning and tossing them over. Remove them as soon as they turn opaque. No problem if they are still raw inside as they are going to cook in the curry. This way they remain soft. They would harden if you over cook them.
8. Meanwhile fry the onions with the whole spices to golden brown in the reserved 2 tbs of oil in a sauce pan. Add ginger garlic paste, turmeric, coriander powder and salt, stir for a few seconds,  then add thick yoghurt. Mix well to make a smooth sauce. You could remove the whole spices and the green chillies and use a hand blender or just mash the onions with the back of a wooden spoon. All depends on how finely you slice the onions and how gently and slowly you brown them on medium to low heat which helps them soften easily and blend in with the other ingredients to make a smooth sauce. In that case you don't require a hand blender at all.
9. Now poke the meat balls lightly with a tooth pick and gently drop them in the curry. Sprinkle 1/2 a cup of water around the sides of the sauce pan, cover with a lid and leave it to simmer for sometime till they get cooked completely. 

10. Add chopped coriander and when the sauce thickens and reaches the desired consistency remove from the stove. Garnish with some chopped coriander and serve hot with rice or chappatis. Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tangy sweet bittergourd masala


Ingredients: 

Bitter gourds - 4
Onions sliced - 1 large
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Dried red chilies - 1- 2 small
Chopped Ginger
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Brown sugar - 1/2 tsp
Vegetable oil - 2 tbs
Cilantro - 2 tbs

Method: 

1. Scrape the bitter gourds lightly, cut them lengthwise into two halves, scoop out the contents and cut into thin juliennes and keep aside.

2. Heat the vegetable oil in a sauce pan, add the mustard seeds when they splutter add the dried whole red chillies, slit green chilies and curry leaves followed by the bitter gourd juliennes.

3. Add the dry masala - turmeric, cumin, coriander & garam masala powders. Mix well, sprinkle a little water, cover it with a lid and let it simmer on low flame for a few minutes, giving it a stir every one and then, till it is just tender. 

4. Add the sliced onions and chopped coriander.  Sprinkle some salt, lemon juice and lastly brown sugar, mix well, cover it with the lid and simmer for a few more minutes till the onions soften a bit.  Remove from the stove, garnish with chopped coriander and serve with chappatis or rice. 




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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Black Rice Porridge


I had this porridge for my breakfast this morning instead of oats. I made it with the left over cooked black rice that I had in the fridge. It tasted nutty and delicious and I enjoyed eating it and wished there was more.... 

The health benefits of Black rice are amazing. It is a naturally gluten free grain, a super food that can keep you healthy. You will be surprised to know that it is packed with 18 amino acids and loaded with vitamins (a good source of vitamin B and E), minerals, is rich in iron and full of antioxidants. A spoonful of black rice has more antioxidants than a spoonful of blue berries. It is called a super food because of its high nutritive content and is known to prevent major diseases like cancer, Alzeimer's, diabetes, and lowers the risk of heart attack, also helps reduce levels of bad cholesterol (LDL). Studies show that Black rice contains a large amount of anthocyanin, an ingredient capable of controlling cholestrol levels than any other supplement available today. Read more about black rice on http://www.blackrice.com. 

I had also posted a black rice recipe earlier and it was a black rice salad. You can view the recipe here: http://www.mamasecretrecipes.blogspot.ca/2011/09/black-rice-salad.html

For best results in cooking Black rice, it has to be soaked overnight. Otherwise it takes longer to cook. It is better to cook it in the water it has been soaking in as its nutrients would be lost. 


Ingredients: 

1 Cup Black rice 
1.5 litres (6 cups) of Water 
1 Small Sliced Onion 
1Tsp Butter / Olive oil
1/4 Tsp Ginger garlic paste 
1/2 Tbs Salt
1 Tsp Chopped Cilantro 


Method: 

1. Wash the rice 2 or 3 times and soak it in water overnight. There should be at least 2 inches of water above the rice.

2. Bring to boil 1.5 litres of water in a pot. Add the black rice and 1/2 tbs of salt. 

3. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Stir one or two times just to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. 

4. Check to see if the rice is soft  and cooked, but not mushy.  If not, then add a little more water and simmer for some more time. 

5. To a sauce pan on medium heat add the butter or olive oil and fry the sliced onion till soft and golden. 

6. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry with the onions.

7. To this add the cooked black rice and 1 cup of water. Let it simmer till the water evaporates and starts thickening. When it attains porridge consistency, remove from heat. 

8. Garnish with a little chopped cilantro and serve warm. Good as a breakfast cereal. Very tasty and delicious.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Egg Salad


Ingredients:
Spring Mix - 1 cup
Boiled eggs - 2 sliced
Black and Green olives - 2 each crushed 
Tomatoes - 1 diced
Mushrooms sliced - 2 lightly fried in olive oil. 

For the Dressing:
Lemon juice - 2 tbs
Olive oil1 tbs
Salt to taste
Pepper - 1/2 tap
Dijon mustard - 1/4 tsp

Method:
1. Prepare the dressing by mixing together all the dressing ingredients and whisking them well. 
2. Add 3/4th of the dressing to the spring mix after adding sliced fried mushrooms, olives, and diced tomatoes. Toss and mix well.
3. Layer the salad mix on a serving plate. Top with sliced boiled eggs.
4. Drizzle the remaining dressing on the eggs and enjoy. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pudina (Mint) Chutney Curry

This is one of my favorite curries that my mom used to make with plain boiled or palao rice. She would make it quite often but we never got tired of it and always enjoyed it very much. I know I can never make it as good as her but I have tried my best. Here's the recipe:




Ingredients:
Fresh Mint: 1 cup
Fresh Cilantro - 1/2 a cup
Green chillies - 4 (medium size)
Garlic cloves - 4 (medium size)
Tamarind - small ball (the size of a small lime)
 Dried red chillies - 3 - 4 small
Mustard seeds   - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Sliced onion - 1 large
Vegetable oil -  2tbs
Salt to taste

Method: 
1. Rinse the mint and cilantro leaves, green chillies, garlic and tamarind, drain and put everything in the grinder and grind to a slightly coarse paste.
2. Heat the oil in a sauce pan. Add dried red chillies and  mustard seeds.  When they begin to crackle add the onion slices and curry leaves.
3. Stir fry the onions till they turn translucent. At this stage add the ground chutney to the fried onions etc in the sauce pan. Give it a stir, adjust the salt. Your mouth watering mint chutney curry is ready. Enjoy!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Eggplant Chutney or Bagare Baingan
























Ingredients:

10-12 Egg plants (medium size)
2 tsp Cumin seeds
1tsp Methi (fenugreek) seeds
1/4 cup Peanuts
1 tbs Sesame seeds
1 tbs Poppy seeds
4-6  Dried red chillies (long ones)
10 Fresh Curry leaves
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 cup Vegetable oil + more for deep frying (1 cup)
1 tbs Tamarind dried
4 Green chillies
1 Onion (medium size)
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp Brown sugar
1 tbs White Vinegar
1/2 tsp Roasted Cumin and fenugreek powder

























Method:

1. Trim the crowns of the whole Indian egg plants. Rinse them in cold water, cut from the bottom into quarters just up to the crown so that the whole egg plants is intact at the crown and opens into quarters only from the bottom. Drain, towel dry and keep aside.
























2. Heat vegetable oil in a dutch oven or thick bottomed pot and deep fry them till they are crisp and shiny on the outside and soft and lightly browned on the inside. They look so yummy, you would want to eat them right away. Drain and set aside.

3. Dry roast lightly the peanuts, sesame seeds, poppy seed, cumin seeds and methi seeds separately, let them cool down completely then pulse them together coarsely. To this dd 4 tbs of water or a little more and grind to a paste. Do not grind the roasted seeds when they are still hot as all the flavour will be lost because of the heat.

4. Heat 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a pot or wok. Add mustard seeds and when they crackle add the dried red chillies and curry leaves followed by the onion paste. Fry it a little on medium heat till the water evaporates, then add the garlic paste and the ground masala from step 3.

























5. Fry the masala in the oil, adding a little (1-2 tbs) water if too dry. Now add the fried egg plant to the pot, sprinkle 1 tsp salt and mix well with the ground masala gently by turning over the egg plants slowly from the bottom of the pot one by one taking enough care not to break them. Toss in the whole green chillies after removing their stems. Leave the egg plants on simmer to cook and soften a bit while you prepare the tamarind juice. Take care not to let them turn mushy. 

6. Soak the tamarind in a little water then squeeze it with your fingers to extract the juice. Strain the juice into the pot over the egg plants. With your oven mitts or gloves hold the pot on the sides and slowly swirl to mix the tamarind juice with the egg plant masala.

7. Now add 1 tbs vinegar, then taste and adjust the salt till it reaches the bliss point. Then sprinkle a tsp of brown or cane sugar and let it simmer for a while till the oil comes on top.

8. As a finishing touch sprinkle a pinch of roasted cumin and fenugreek powder (for extra flavour), let it simmer for a couple of minutes and then turn off the heat. During the whole process of cooking enough care should be taken not break the egg plants, or let them stick to the bottom or turn mushy.

9. Serve warm as a side dish with Biryani or any other rice. Enjoy!!

Notes: 

* To make roasted cumin and fenugreek powder, roast 2 parts of zeera to 1 part of fenugreek seeds separately, cool completely and then grind to a coarse, but not very coarse powder to use in chutneys, sour curries etc.