Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Aloo Palak

When ever we used to visit a restaurant, there would be a common order, like Butter naan, Butter Chicken and for vegetarian dish it would be either Palak Paneer or Aloo Palak. This has been coming from my childhood days. But now the items in the order have changed because of the new restaurants budding everyday, and elaborated menus.
But still, the dishes I mentioned are my favorite till date :)


aloopalak1
Aloo Palak



I always thought that preparing Aloo Palak is a tedious and a long process, till I came to know about the recipe, and it looked very easy and no-fuss type. I made this for dinner yesterday and served with some hot rotis and it was a hit!

Now to the Recipe,

Ingredients:
Palak/Spinach: 500 gms
Ginger Garlic Paste: 2 Tbsp
Onion: 1 big, chopped
Green chilies: 4, chopped (adjust acc. to taste)
Aloo/Potatoes: 5, boiled and diced
Turmeric: 1 Tsp
Ghee/Butter: 4 Tbsp
Cumin seeds: 1 Tsp
Garam masala: 1 Tsp
Coriander and Cumin powder: 1 Tsp
Fresh cream: 1 Tbsp
Salt to taste

How I did it:

  1. Boil spinach and Keep aside.
  2. Take oil in a small Kadai and fry onions, green chilies and ginger garlic paste.
  3. Blend them to a fine puree, along with boiled spinach and keep aside.
  4. Heat ghee in a wide pan, fry cumin seeds and add spinach and onion mixture. Boil covered on low for 5 mins.
  5. Now add the potatoes, garam masala, coriander-cumin powder, salt and water if needed. Boil for few minutes till the potatoes absorb the flavor.
  6. Season with fresh cream.
  7. Serve hot with hot rotis or jeera rice.


aloopalak3
Aloo Palak



And the Verdict:
Creamy, Rich and Delicious.
Its even perfect for children as it is low in spice levels.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Chicken Fry

There are many ways to fry chicken. But this the simply delicious and easiest recipe I have got!!

chickenfry1
Chicken Fry



Ingredients:
Chicken: 1 Kg
Onions: 2 big, pureed
Green Chillies: 5, slit lengthwise, adjust to taste
Ginger garlic paste: 2 Tbsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder: 2 tsp, adjust to taste
Garam masala: 1 tsp
Curd: 1 Tbsp
Salt, to taste
Oil
Coriander leaves and Curry leaves, to garnish
Cashews, to garnish

How I did it:

  1. Clean chicken pieces and add salt, turmeric pwd, curd, ginger garlic paste, onion paste and marinate for 20 mins.
  2. Boil the chicken mixture on high till the water evaporates, and chicken is half done.
  3. Heat oil in a large frying pan, add red chilli pwd, and chicken mixture.
  4. Fry on medium till chicken is done, this takes atleast 30 mins. Add Garam Masala and adjust salt.
  5. Heat some oil in a small pan, and add green chillies, cashews, and curry leaves. Fry till crisp.
  6. Garnish the chicken with the fried chillies and cashews and coriander leaves.
  7. Serve hot with Rice or Rotis.


chickenfry2
Chicken Fry



And the Verdict:
Yummy, Tasty and Spicy and we enjoyed our meal to the last piece!!

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Mooli Ke Paranthe with Carrot-Tomato Raita

I came home today after work, with a determination to make some punjabi food.
When I take a peep in the fridge I find nothing but one radish, which I bought few days ago to add it in the Sambhar.
And the only dish which striked me was Radish Paratha!

mooli3
Mooli Paranths with Carrot-Tomato Raita



Ingredients:


White radish: 1 cup, grated
Ginger: 1 tsp grated
Green chillies: 2, finely chopped
Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Chappati flour: 2 cups
Garam Masala: 1 tsp
Salt, to taste
Oil, to fry

How I did it:

  1. Mix the grated radish, ginger, and chopped green chillies, corriander, garam masala and salt. Leave to marinate for sometime.
  2. Squeeze well to remove the juice, add this juice while making the chappati dough.
  3. Cover the dough with a wet muslin cloth and let it rest for about 30 mins.
  4. Roll out small balls of the dough and fill with 1 tbsp of the filling.
  5. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin. Dust liberally with flour to avoid the stickiness.
  6. Pat off the excess flour and roast on a hot griddle.
  7. Fry one side for 1 minute and then turn over and brush with a little oil.
  8. When the second side is done and golden brown, flip and brush with a little oil on that side too.
  9. Serve hot with raita.


mooli1
Mooli Paranths



Carrot and Tomato Raita
Ingredients:

Yogurt: 2 cups
Carrot: 1 small, grated
Tomato: 1, finely chopped
Salt, to taste
Chat Masala, 1 tsp

Method:
  1. Beat the yogurt to get smooth consistency.
  2. Add salt, grated carrot, and chopped Tomato.
  3. Mix well and sprinkle with chat masala on the top.
  4. Serve Chilled.


mooli2
Carrot-Tomato Raita



And the verdict:
The right recipe for people who run away from Radish. Though it gives a strong odour while peeling and marinating, it tastes and as well smells heaven when the paranthas are ready to eat!!

Food Event:
This is my entry for the RCI: Punjabi Cuisine event being hosted by Richa of As Dear as Salt.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Colorful Platter of Peppers

I was craving for stuffed Capsicum/Peppers from past one week. And when I saw the peppers here from Cynthia, I could not resist anymore. So here is my version of stuffed peppers!!
Stuff2
Stuffed Bell Peppers


The recipe of Stuffed Peppers varies from person to person. Each one has their own version of stuffing.
These brightly colored bell peppers be it red, green or yellow, are rich source of nutrients!!
Selecting the Bell Peppers: When selecting, peppers should be well shaped and firm. The skin should be unwrinkled and their stems fresh and green.

Capsicum1
Bell Peppers



Rice Stuffed Peppers:

Rice I used for this recipe is the vegetable fried rice, I made for lunch today.

VegRice
Vegetable Fried Rice


You can use your imagination and stuff them with anything of your choice, be it potatoes, ground meat with veggies or rice.

Ingredients:
Capsicum: 3
Oil: 1 Tbsp
Salt, as per taste
Stuffing: 2 cups cooked vegetable rice, or any stuff of your choice

How I did it:
  1. Cut the top part of the peppers and remove the seeds inside.
  2. Place the peppers in a bowl of water enough to cover them, add salt and boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove and fill them with the vegetable rice. Cover them with the lids.
  4. Brush the peppers with oil, from outside and bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  5. Serve hot.


Stuff3
Stuffed Bell Peppers



And the Verdict:
Impressive dish with the leftovers
This Colorful Platter is a feast to both eyes and the tummy :)

Monday, 16 July 2007

Pretty Cookies

A friend of mine, saw these cookies and said "Wow! these are like the biscuits I used to buy at Karachi Bakery, and I love them!". I was on cloud 9, at the very comparison of my cookies with the Karachi Bakery ones :)

cherryknob2
Pretty Cookies - Cherry Knob



If you are familiar with Hyderabad, Karachi Bakery is sure to ring a bell. To those who don't know, here is some info about it.

Karachi bakery is established by Khanchand Ramnani in 1952 near Mozamjahi market in Hyderabad. It is known the world over for its excellent biscuits, which include Fruit biscuits, Cashew biscuits etc. They are often carried outstation as souvenirs from Shahi Hyderabad.
The aroma of bread and biscuits, which emanates from the bakery, compels one to peep into the bakery once.

Mozamzahi Market also hosts the time tested hyderabadi favourite IceCreams - Famous ice cream parlour which is the 65 year-old ice cream parlour and has seasonal specials like mango ice creams and muskmelon ice creams.
Anyone visiting Hyderabad must not miss these, and not to mention the Hyderabadi Biryani!

cherryknob1
Cookies just out of Oven!



Cherry Knob

Ingredients:
Flour: 225 gms
Butter: 115 gms
Sugar: 60 gms
Egg: 1, seperated
Vannila Essence: 1/2 tsp
Lemon rind, a little
Milk, to mix, only if required
Cashewnuts: 60 gms, broken into pieces
Glazed Cherries: 30 gms

How I did it:
  1. Sift Flour and keep aside.
  2. Cream Butter till soft.
  3. Add Sugar, little by little, and beat till fluffy.
  4. Add egg yolk, essence and lemon rind to the butter mixture and beat on medium speed till well mixed.
  5. With the help of a clean wooden spoon or a rubber spatula, you can even use your hands if comfortable, add flour gradually and make a soft dough, do not knead it for long. (At this stage, add a little milk only if required i.e., if the dough is too stiff)
  6. Form small balls, and dip half in slightly beaten egg white.
  7. Roll in chopped nuts. Press half cherry into center of each ball.
  8. Put on a greased tray. Bake at 180C for 25 mins.

cherryknob3
Cherry Knob



And the Verdict:
Crisp, soft and delicious.
Not very sweet but the cherry compensates the sweetness of the cookies.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Foodies' Delight - Mirchi Bajji

I call myself as a pure hyderabadi. Some say you can identify a hyderabadi easily :)
If your answer is "YES" to most of the points below, then you are a Hyderabadi!

Bajji4

Mirchi Bajji


  1. Your answer is 'Seeedha Chale Jao' when somebody asks you for directions, whether it is to Malakpet, Masab Tank, Malkajgiri or Moosapet.
  2. You have at least one cousin, friend, colleague or acquaintance in the US in software.
  3. Everytime somebody gives you a piece of good news, the first thing you ask them is "Party kab hain?"
  4. You call 11 AM as 'SUBAH SUBAH'
  5. You look at the fixed price stand and still ask 'DENE KA BOLO'
  6. You crave for Pani Puris, Bhel Puri, Pav Bhaji and Mirchi Bajji etc., though you have many restaurants serving exotic food around.
And as said in the last point, I started craving for some spicy chat food from the moment I saw the JFI event hosted by SaffronTrail this month. And the ingredient for the month is Chillies, and what could be a better option to choose for the event - Mirchi Bajji.

Bajji2
Green Chillies



So here is the recipe for it.

Ingredients:
10 Long Green Chillies
2 cups Gram flour
1 tbsp Rice flour
1/4th tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Ajwan(vaamu)
Salt, to taste
Vegetable/ Sunflower Oil, for frying

For Filling:
1 cup Roasted peanuts, ground to coarse/fine powder.
2 tbsp Tamarind Paste
Salt, to taste

For Serving/Garnishing:
1 medium sized onion finely chopped
Chat Masala
1 Lemon, cut into quaters

Method:
  1. Wash the chillies, make a slit on one side of the chillies, with ends intact and carefully remove the seeds.
  2. Boil some water in a small pot with salt, drop these green chillies for a minute or two. Take them out and dry them on a kitchen towel.(You can even skip this step)
  3. Mix gram flour, rice flour, salt, baking soda, salt, ajwan and make a thick batter.
  4. In a small cup mix peanuts powder, salt and tamarind paste. Stuff this mixture inside the slit green chillies.(You can experiment with other stuffings too)


  5. Bajji3
    Green Chillies, stuffed with peanut, tamarind mixture



  6. Heat oil in a wok, dip the chillies one by one in the batter and deep fry them.
  7. For serving, make a slit on fried mirchi bajjis, sprinkle with some chat masala, chopped onion.
  8. Serve hot!


Bajji1
Hot Hot Mirchi Bajji :)



And the verdict:
What can I say, I went back 5 years to my college days at the very first bite... Ummm... it reminded me of Hyderabad once again.
J relished each one, watching his favourite movie :)
A perfect companion on a lazy, cloudy or rainy evening, teamed with a cup of hot chai.


Food Event!

This is my entry for Jihva For Ingredients - Chillies, hosted by Nanditha of SaffronTrail

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Chicken Korma

It was my friend V's birthday last week. She is from Philippines and a great fan of Indian food. She came to my desk and invited me to the party, and before leaving, she tured back and said, "Can you please do me a favor? Can you cook Chicken korma for me, for the party, Please?"

Chickenkorma1

Chicken Korma



Hmmmm... now that was a a big task for me, because everytime I cook chicken I just put in all the spices and other ingredients just according to my instincts..... And now to please everyone at the party, I had to be a bit more careful. And finally the outcome was pretty good.
This is the easiest korma recipe I have. Not too spicy, but with lots of flavor. I guess anybody who wants to try Indian food, this is a good one to start with.

Chickenkorma2

Chicken Korma



Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:
1 kg chicken pieces, skinned and cut into bite sized pieces.
6 tbsps vegetable oil
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp Garam Masala
4 cardamom pods
2 onions, pureed
2 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
1 cup Yougurt
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp chili powder, or to taste
Salt, to taste
2 tbsp Cashew nuts, paste
1/2 cup Coconut Milk

How I did it:

  1. Marinate the Chicken with a tsp of turmeric and half of chili powder and salt. Keep aside till further use.
  2. Put oil in wide frying pan and set over high heat. When hot, add dry spices. Stir and add onion paste. Add ginger garlic paste. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add Yogurt, put in chopped tomatoes and fry for another minute. Put in chicken, remaining half of chili powder, salt and about 100 ml water. Bring to boil. Cover turn heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes, turning chicken pieces over now and then. Add the cashew nut paste and fry for a little while.
  4. Remove cover, add coconut milk and cook on high heat for another 7-8 minutes or until gravy is thickened. Stir gently.
  5. Serve hot with rice.


Chickenkorma3

Chicken Korma Served with Plain Rice



And the Verdict:
It was a huge hit at the party, V was very happy.
Next day, my mail box was filled with mails requesting for the recipe... Hmm now that says a lot is'nt it?

Friday, 6 July 2007

Penne Al'Arrabiata

After out trip to Italy last month, we were missing Italian food very much. And the sad part is, we did not have much time to visit an Italian restaurant. So today I decided why not try some recipe for lunch?

Penne2

Penne al'Arrabiata


Since we both love hot and spice food, my pick for lunch was Penne al'Arrabiata... ummmm... sounds tasty is'nt it.... it tastes delicious too :)
The original recipe just has tomato sauce with chilles and oregano, but I even added some peas, beans and carrots for added nutrients.

Penne3

Penne al'Arrabiata


So here goes my recipe:

Ingredients:
3 cups penne, cooked according to instructions
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cup tomato puree
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup frozen/fresh peas, carrots and beans
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red chilli flakes (adjust acc. to your taste buds)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
2 tbsp parley, finely chopped
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

How I did it:

1. Heat oil in a deep wide pan and saute galic and onion till soft and fragrant. Add in tomatoes, tomato puree, salt, pepper, chilli flakes, basil and oregano and cook till tomatoes are soft and done.
2. Add the veggies and penne and mix to coat well with sauce. Cover cook for 5-7 minutes and sprinkle chopped parsley.
3. Serve warm.

Penne1

Penne al'Arrabiata



Cooking time: 15 mins
Serves: 4

And the verdict:
ummmmm... delicious!!! J ate till he was stuffed :)
In short it was quick, warm, spicy, nutritious and yummy lunch!!