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Saturday, 30 August 2014

LOVED this dish! CHICKEN GHEE ROAST from the state of Karnataka. I have never tasted this before. To be frank I live in Karnataka for past 2 years and I have never really had their authentic dishes yet! *facepalm* and this is an authentic chicken dish from Mangalore. I have been collecting few recipes of the state I live currently. So you can expect to see more. Ok ok coming back to the Chicken Ghee Roast. I know the state of Kerala has a Chicken Roast recipe. And the first time I heard about this dish in a food show (I watch too many. Am like an ADDICT! Am addicted, totally) and the word "ghee" actually caught my attention. 



And yes the dish stands true to its name. Its cooked in Ghee completely. Well you can use half ghee and half oil but trust me you MUST MAKE this ONLY with GHEE! The aroma of ghee and the spices is just too good to miss and flavours were so fresh to me. It really has got an unique flavour and aroma. I just could not stop eating it. Its so worth of all the calories. 

Serves 3 - 4

You Will Need:
1 Kg Chicken
Juice of a Lime
1/2 Cup Yogurt
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
Salt
30 Kashmiri Red Chillies
1 tbsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 tsp Peppercorns
1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
10 Garlic Cloves
Cherry sized Tamarind Soaked in 2 tbsp water
A cup of Ghee
1 tsp Sugar
Some coriander leaves, Chopped
Few Curry Leaves

The Cooking:


Place the chicken in a bowl and add lime juice,yogurt, turmeric and salt. Mix all these together and marinate for an hour at least or overnight.


Meanwhile, dry roast red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns and fenugreek. Cool the roasted spices and grind in a mixer along with the tamarind and garlic cloves. Grind it to a fine smooth paste. Keep aside.

Heat a large pan with 1/4th cup of ghee. Once the ghee is hot add the marinated chicken along with the marinade and cook till the chicken is almost done. Then transfer the chicken to a bowl and keep aside. In the same pan heat the remaining ghee and add the ground masala paste. Cook this till the masala is cooked and oil separates from the sides.

Once the masala is done tip in the previously fried chicken along with the juice accumulated from the chicken into the masala with salt. Cook this till the chicken is cooked through and the masala dries. Then add the sugar, curry leaves and coriander leaves. Stir well for few mins and take off heat. Serve hot!

Happy Cooking!

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DHANIA CHICKEN  is slightly marinated chicken cooked in a unique blend of fresh coriander curry. Its so easy to make. I love recipes with has minimal chopping (I love to chop though!) and its taste awesome. The best way to finish up leftover fresh coriander, which happens all the time in my home. Best served with Naan / Kulacha / Roti or any mildly flavoured rice. 


Its basically not a tricky dish. There is no fine line of balancing between flavours. Its Dhania Chicken and its meant to have those fresh flavours of coriander leaves. So don't go overboard with onions. 

You Will Need:

1kg Chicken
Juice of a Lime
Salt
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
2 Large Onions, Finely Chopped
1 Green Chilli, Finely Chopped
1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
3 Green Cardamom
1 Cinnamon Stick
3 Cloves
1 Big Bunch Coriander Leaves, Roughly Chopped
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
5 tbsp Oil

The Cooking:

Marinate the chicken with lime juice, salt and red chilli powder for at least an hour. 

Meanwhile heat oil in a pan. Once hot add cinnamon, cloves, cardamon and 3/4th of the chopped onions. Saute till the onions are pink and translucent. Then add roughly torn coriander leaves and green chillies and saute for few mins. Now add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and coriander powder. Saute for couple of mis and take off heat. Let it cool and grind it to smooth. 

NOTE: You need to add only 2 onions to this gravy, mediam to large onions and loads of fresh coriander. If you increase the number of onions it will overpower & mask the flavours of coriander. 

Heat the same pan with remaining oil and saute the remaining chopped onions till soft. Then add the marinated chicken and cook for 5 mins. Then add the ginger garlic paste and cook covered till the chicken is tender. Stir occasionally to avoid from burning at the bottom.

NOTE: NO NEED to add water to cook the chicken. The chicken will release a lot of juice on its own.  

Once the chicken is tender add the ground coriander onion paste. Add salt and stir for few mins. Then add 1/2 cup of water and cook covered till oil separates from the sides and the gravy has thickened. 

Serve hot with rice / roti!

Happy Cooking!





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Friday, 29 August 2014

Lord Ganesh is worshipped in almost all hindu festivals and he is called as the god of the beginnings. Every temple & any auspicious occasions begins with worshipping of Lord Ganesh.  Ganesh Chaturthi / Vinayaka Chathurthi is celebrated in the honour of this elephant headed in the Indian Hindu community. Traditionally, an idol of Lord Ganesh is kept at houses and are decorated with flowers and herbal leaves and worshipped for 3 or more days. Later the clay idol is put into lakes / rivers / wells or beaches along with the herbal leaves. It is said to purify the water. 


And the food that is cooked as offerings are typically Spicy Chickpea Sundal, Kozhukattai, Ladoos (Rava Ladoo recipe coming soon)and fruits. But it varies from every household. And I love Kozhukattai! Its my breakfast/lunch/dinner on vinayaka chathurthi.  



Technically I have never come across Elai "kozhukattai". There is Ela Ada / Elai Adai with is a Kerela sweet make in the same say which has chopped jackfruits. And there is "Olai" kozhukattai, the same dish made in olai and steamed. So am really not sure if its right to call this Elai Kozhukattai but it is and its absolutely delicious. 




You Will Need:
2 Cups of Rice Flour
Little Salt
1/2 tsp of Coconut Oil / Vegetable Oil
Approx 1 1/2 - 2 cups of water

Coconut Poornam / Filling:
1 1/4 Cups of Freshly Grated Coconut
1/ Cup Jaggery, Broken 
Little Salt
1/4 tsp of Cardamom Powder
1/2 tsp Ghee 

The Cooking:

Step 1:

Preparing the Filling / Poornam. 
Place a heavy bottom pan on  medium heat with jaggery. Add a dash of water to help melt the jaggery. Once its melted completely with no lumps strain it through a sieve. Then bring the jaggery back on heat. Once the jaggery begins to bubble around the sides add the grated coconut. Let it cook for few mins till the coconut has drained all the excess water and the fillings has started to thicken a little. Sprinkle the cardamom powder and the ghee and give a good mix. Take off heat and keep aside. 

Step 2:

Preparing the Rice Flour Dough:
Place the flour on a large bowl.
Pour the water, oil and salt in a bowl and bring it to a rolling boil. Once the water comes up to a good boil gently and carefully pour the water into the flour and mix with a wooden spoon / steel spatuala.

NOTE: The consistency you are looking for is a non sticky soft dough neither dry or crumble or too watery.  

NOTE: The mentions water quantity is approx. It may require more or less to achieve the consistency. 

Step 3:

Preparing the Kozhukattai:
Place the banana left directly over the stove to welt the leaf. This makes easy folding. Now oil your palms well and make a lime sized ball out of the rice flour dough. Then cut rectangles out of banana leaf and apply little oil. Then flatten the ball of dough on the leaf using your fingers. Make sure it does not go out of the leaf. Then take the filling and stretch it over the spread rice flour. 

NOTE: If you want little less in sweet then spread the filling in over in half of the rice flour. If you want more sweet (that's how I like mine) spread the filling fully over the rice flour. 

Then just fold the banana leaf into half and seal shut slightly flattening it with your palm. 

NOTE: You can simply do by folding the banana leaf into half or make a parcel and tie with twines to make it more fancy.

Step 4:

Steaming the Kozhukattai:

Now place the prepared kokukattaies into a steamer and steam for about 7 - 10 mins or until the rice flour is completely cooked. 





Happy Cooking!






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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The man of the house loves pies. A good vegetarian pie for a weekend lunch makes him always happy. My Shepard's pie is his favourite and this is his second most. This SPINACH & MUSHROOM IMPOSSIBLE PIE is the most easiest pie recipe you can ever make. Its so simple and when baked it beautifully forms a base and a crust on its own. The base is just breadcrumbs and the topping is an egg mixture with flour and milk. When baked the breadcrumbs form a crust in the bottom and the egg mixture fluffs up and holds the entire pie together. Its that simple! 




Pies are always great to make. You can use any leftover as filling. Any favourite veggies or meat  can be uses and it can be made according to your liking. 


I have used fresh home made breadcrumbs for the base. I really don't like the store bought ones. If you want to make home made breadcrumbs just take slices of 2 day old bread and place it in a food processor  / blender and pulse it few times. 


You Will Need:

For the Bottom Layer:
1 tbsp Oil, just regular refined oil will do
2 - 3 tbsps of Breadcrumbs, Store bought / Homemade

For the Spinach & Mushroom Layer:
1 Small Bundle Baby Spinach
1 cup of Button Mushrooms, Quartered
1 Small Onion, Finely Chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic, Grated
1/4 cup Crumbled Cottage Cheese / Paneer
1/2 Cup of Cheddar Cheese, Grated
1 tbsp Oil
Salt & Pepper to Season

For the Top Layer:
1/2 Cup of Plain Flour
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
1 tbsp of Unsalted Butter, Chilled
1 Cup of Milk
2 Large Eggs, Well Beaten
Any Herbs to Season, I used some Italian Seasoning & Chilli Flakes
Salt & Pepper to Season

The Cooking:

Step 1:
Take a baking dish approx. 1.5l. and grease the bottom with a tbsp of oil and sprinkle breadcrumbs evenly. Keep aside.

Step 2:
Blanch the spinach a little and squeeze out excess water and roughly chop. Heat a pan with oil and add the chopped onions and grated garlic. Saute for few mins till the onions are pin and translucent, then add the chopped mushrooms and saute for few mins. Then tumble in the spinach and saute breaking the clumps of spinach. Saute till all the mix is dry and season with salt & pepper. Take off heat and keep aside.

Step 3:
In  blender or a food processor  place the flour, baking powder & butter. Pulse it for few secs till the butter is mixed through and the mixture appears crumbly. Then pour in the milk, beaten eggs and season with salt, pepper & herbs. Blitz this for few more secs till everything is blended together. It will appear a little thick but still it will be runny.

Step 4:
Take the baking dish that has been crumb coated in the bottom previously. Place the spinach mixture on top of the breadcrumbs and spread evenly. Sprinkle the crumbled panner over the spinach mixture and top it off with grated cheese. Then slowly pour over the flour batter all over the cheese.

Place it in a pre heated oven at 180 degree Celsius and bake for 30 - 35 mins or until the pie has fluffed up, the top slightly browned and the pie set. Cool for 10 mins so that the pie sets well making it easier to get a nice clean slice.

Serve immediately hot or warm but not in room temperature. 

Recipe adapted from Tadka Pasta!
Happy Cooking!




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I was in chocolate heaven when I tried this BROWNIE PUDDING! SOoOoO gooey and chocolaty that are sure to make your eyeballs roll back into your head!!! Creepy?! Well I say that in a good sense. Its that good. Its such an easy recipe to follow and you can whip up the batter in just few mins. The pudding has a hard top that cracks when you break into it and a gooey gooey moist center. 


You Will Need:
3/4th Cup Unsweetened Coco Powder
1/2 Cup Plain Flour
2 Cups Sugar
4 Large Eggs, room temperature
Seeds form 1 Vanilla Bean
1 Cup Unsalted Butter

The Baking:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a 1.5l baking dish. Melt the butter and bring it to room temperature. 

Sift together flour and cocoa powder in bowl and set aside. In another bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until pale yellow for 5 - 10 mins. Then add the vanilla and coco flour mixture and mix until combined. Then pour in the melted butter and mix until just combined. 


Then pour the mixture into the prepared dish and place the dish into another baking tray and fill water half way. Bake in a preheated oven till cake tester comes out with wet crumbs and the top is hard. and its risen a little. Remove the baking dish from the baking pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature. 



Recipe Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker!
Happy Baking!
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Saturday, 16 August 2014

Remember my mom's Cauliflower Masala Fry, one of the most popular recipes on the blog? I said you can never find it anywhere at any hotels. And this recipe is something you cannot guess (exactly) unless I tell you what it is! And this recipe is my grandma's and she has been keeping this under lock and key. Even my mom does not make this often, its my granny who prepares this all the time. No one else in our entire family can make it like her. You can never find this dish else where. But if you do, am all ears!

KARI MUTTAI CHOPS....Mutton Chops is a spicy curry and the chops is actually hidden inside the eggs. See I told you, you can't guess unless I tell you what it is. Its a family favourite. You got to try this I tell you, and wow your family or play guessing game with the guest! 


You Will Need:
1 Kg Mutton, Boneless
4 eggs Per 250g of Mutton 
1 Small Onion, Finely Chopped
1 Small Tomato, Finely Chopped
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 - 3 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste

For the Chops Masala:
100g Peppercorns
50g Cumin Seeds
1 tbsp Fennel Seeds
2 inch Ginger 
8 Garlic Cloves
Some Curry Leaves
Some Coriander Leaves
6 Green Chillies
4 Cloves
1 Cinnamon

The Cooking:

Step 1:
Place all the ingredients for the chops masala and grind them to a paste. It should be smooth and at the same time not very coarse. 


Step 2:
Clean the mutton and place it in a bowl and smear it with the prepared masala. Make sure you massage the mutton well and that the masala is fully coated. Let this rest for an hour at least.


Step 3:
Heat a pressure cooker with oil and add the chopped onions. Once they are translucent add the chopped tomatoes and saute for a 2 - 3 mins. 


Now tumble in the marinated mutton, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, required salt and give it a quick stir. Water is not required to cook the meat since it will cook in its own juices and chops masala. But if you find the water content its too low then sprinkle some but not much. 


Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles or until the meat is done. 


Step 4:
The chops will be little runny. So transfer it to a kadai and simmer till it dries up.


Step 5:
Break eggs into a large bowl and add required salt. Whisk. Add couple of ladles of chops with the mutton pieces into the beaten eggs. If the eggs are in excess you can make a spicy omelet out of it. So don't stress about the mutton to eggs ratio. 


Step 6:
Heat a heavy bottom kadai. DO NOT use flat base ones, the bottom should be curved. Scoop the egg along with a piece of mutton and place in oiled kadai. The kadai must be really hot. It only needs fews seconds of cooking. Now its not tricky, just roll the edges with a spatula couple of times so that the eggs seal the chops. If you see a tear and chops peeking out, then just pour a little beaten egg on it. 





Happy Cooking!
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Thursday, 14 August 2014

VARALAKSHMI VRATAM is a festival to propitiate the Goddess Lakshmi. Varalakshmi is said to grant boons or varam. This is a very important pooja performed by many women in Southern regions of Indian Hindu community. Mostly married women take part in this pooja for the prosperity of her family members, especially her husband. She also prays god Astalakshmi the eight goddess of wealth, earth, learning, love, fame, peace, pleasure and strength. 






My Granny's Devotional song book from which she recites devotional songs every year. 

We have been celebrating this for the past 20 years. My mom started when I was in my kindergarden. I still remember those days from the past. How the previous night my mom makes me sit in the living room with boxes of glass bangles, small wallet mirrors, combs, packets of bindi, mehandhi cones, kumkum and turmeric powder, coconut and betel leaves and would tell me to put one item each in every cover to be given to married women, young girls and girl children. She invites our relatives and our neighbours and its been growing with each passing year. And the last three years were quite special to me. I got married, then the next year I was carry little A and this year he was looking at the proceedings with his wide eyes filled with curiosity. 






Mom invites around 40 people for this pooja every year and it is always followed by lunch. And its the lunch that I wanna talk about here. Past few years we ordered it outside but this year she decided to cook at home. It was very hectic the previous night I tell you. All the chopping, sorting out and the prep work was going on full speed so that next day morning she can finish off cooking for everyone before the commencement of pooja. 

Sweet Pongal, made as an offering to the god during pooja.




Meal that is served during the pooja is a pure vegetarian South Indian thali. It consist of two varieties of sweet, Vada, three vegetable curries / stir fries, rice, sambar, rasam, yogurt / spicy buttermilk, pickle and papadums / appalams. And its traditionally served on a banana leaf and known is Ilai Sappadu. Now there is something unique eating on a banana leaf. Somehow the taste gets enchanced when eaten from a banana leaf and not just plates. When hot food is served on the leaf, the food actually absorbs the flavour of the banana leaf. Don't believe what am talking about? You need to try it to know it. Also try eating payasam (a South Indian dessert made with rice / semolina / dal / poha with sugar, milk, condensed milk, nuts and cardamom). It quite tricky, you need special technique and grace to scoop off the payasam off the banana leaf and put it into your mouth before it starts dribbling down your fingers. Its tastes just fab. 

From left to right....Buttermilk, Poha Payasam, Vadai (Bought Outside), Potato Curry, Kootu, Cabbage Poriyal, Appalams, Rice, Vatha Kuzhambhu, Sambar and Sweet Pongal





Generally there is a saying among the elders that food prepared for any auspicious occasions / poojas has an elevated taste than them being prepared duirng the normal days. And when served on the banana leaf it adds to it even. 

If you have not had a meal on a banana leaf, you know you are missing something!!!

Happy Cooking!



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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

This is my first guest post and I was definitely so excited about that. One of my fellow food bloggers friend Beula Pandian Thomas, invited me to write a guest post for her food blog My Eaterspot. India's Independence day was around the corner and she is celebrating it by dedicating this whole week to Indian Food. So, Thank you so much Beula for this wonderful opportunity :) She also requested me a Non Veggie dish and I very happily obliged her. 

I made one of the most popular dishes in India....the BHUNA GOSHT! 'Gosht' is a Persian translation for meat and here I have take Mutton as the protein.  The part that makes this dish special and gives its name is "Bhuna". Bhuna means sloe cooking / frying the meat in onions, tomatoes and spices for a long time. And this part is what gives the flavour and taste the dish. It actually a very easy recipe to follow. You can cook this in a pressure cooker too but traditional method calls for gently simmering away the meat in very less oil so that they cook in their own juices. Their is nice punch form the whole garam masalas that are used and its little spicy. 


You can find the full recipe HERE in my guest blog post at My Eaterspot


Happy Cooking!

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