Friday, July 19, 2013

Shrimp Thokku | Yera Thokku | Prawn Thokku

Shrimp Thokku is a full-flavored spicy thick gravy made with seasoned shrimps. This recipe is prepared in Chennai style. My mother -in-law makes this recipe all the time and that's how I learnt it from her. It is onion-tomato based gravy cooked till perfection along with different spices added. It tastes best when served with steamed rice.

If you like crustaceans then this is the recipe you would yearn for!! 



Ingredients

20-25 Srimp, deveined
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Tomato finely chopped
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Fennel seeds
1 sprig of Curry leaves
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
small piece of Ginger, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 1/2 tsp Sambar powder (or)  1 tsp coriander powder & 1 tsp Red Chili powder
Salt
5 tsp Oil

Method

  • In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat oil; add mustard seeds, fennel seeds and curry leaves
  • Add onions, ginger and garlic. Saute until it turns transparent
  • Add turmeric powder and sambhar powder. Give it a toss
  • Then add tomatoes. Saute until oil separates out from rest of the ingredients
  • Add Shrimp and adjust salt as per taste. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until gravy thickens and shrimp is completely cooked
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with steamed rice or chapathi


Cabbage Palya | Kosu Palya | Cabbage Sabji

Cabbage Palya is a simple accompaniment for chapathi made with seasoned cabbage. I make this recipe quite often  for roti or chapathi. This left over cabbage palya can also be mixed with steamed rice and it is extremely tasty. 




Ingredients

1 kg Cabbage, finely chopped
1 large Onion, finely chopped
1 Tomato, diced
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 sprig of Curry leaves
1 tsp Red Chili powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt
4 tsp Oil

Method

  • In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat oil; add mustard seeds, curry leaves and onions. Fry until onions turn transparent

  • Then add turmeric powder, red chili powder, and garam masala
  • Add tomatoes and saute until oil separates out from rest of the ingredients

  • Add cabbage and mix well. Cook for 15 minutes in medium heat. Adjust salt as per taste and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes
  • Serve hot with chapathi

Lemon Capsicum Rice | Nimbekai Chitranna

Lemon Rice is a popular rice recipe in Karnataka. It is mostly prepared for breakfast and also widely popular in lunch-box recipes. It is made with lemon and seasoning mixed with steamed rice. It is extremely flavorful. 

At home, my mom makes different kinds of lemon rice like mavinakayi chitranna, nimbekai chitranna, nellikayi chitranna, pudi chitranna and many more. This recipe Lemon  capsicum rice is made with lemon and capsicum seasoned with mustard, channa dal and peanuts which adds lots of crunchiness. 




Ingredients

4 cups Steamed rice
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup Peanuts
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Channa dal
1 sprig of Curry leaves
5 green Chilies, finely chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 or 1 1/2 Lemon 
Salt
5 tsp Oil
1/2 cup Freshly grated coconut (optional)
few sprigs of cilantro(optional)

Method

  • In a sauce pan, heat oil; add mustard seeds, channa dal, curry leaves and  green chilies. when mustard seeds starts to sizzle, add onions, peanuts and saute until it turns transparent

  • Add bell pepper and turmeric. Saute until it is cooked

  • In a large mixing bowl, add steamed rice, onion capsicum seasoning, juice of 1 lemon and adjust salt as per taste. Mix well (adjust sour and tartness as per taste)

  • optionally you can add freshly grated coconut and cilantro that adds lot of taste and flavor
  • serve with Coconut Chutney


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fish Biryani | Meen Biryani

Fish biryani is one of the newest recipes that I tried recently. At home, everyone is fond of Biryani and my husband is  greatest critic. So I try to experiment with different kinds of biryani, though the ingredients are similar; but the challenge is with the preparation.

So, for this recipe I chose farm raised Cat fish because they are flavorful, delicious; and most importantly they are easy to work and this fish retains its shape even after cook, also they dont break apart. I like layered biryani and used this concept for this dish too. 


Ingredients

For fish mariantion
1 kg Cat Fish
4-5 Green chilies, cut lengthwise
1 cup Yogurt
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
Handful of Mint leaves, finely chopped
Salt

For Fish Gravy
2-3 bay leaf
1 stick Cinnamon
2 Cardamom
4 Cloves
3-4 piecesof Javitri
1 Mace
1 tsp Kala Jeera
4 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
Small piece of Ginger, finely chopped
1 Onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp oil | Ghee

For Rice
1 tsp ghee
1 cinnamon stick
1 Bay Leaf
2 Cloves
3 cups of Basmati Rice
4 1/2 cups Water
Salt

For garnishing
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp ghee
pinch of saffron strands
3 tsp warm milk

Method

For the gravy
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients listed in fish marination. Refrigerate for 1 hour
  • In a large pot, heat oil, add bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, javitri, mace, kala jeera and when it starts to sizzle; add onions, ginger and garlic
  • Add marinated fish to the pot and cook in medium heat until gravy thickens and oil separates out from rest of the ingredients
For the rice
  • In a separate pot, heat ghee, add cinnamon stick, bay leaf and cloves. Add water and bring it boil. Add basmati rice and adjust salt as per taste. Cook in medium heat until rice is completely cooked. 
For garnishing
  • In a sauce pan, heat ghee and add thinly sliced onion. Saute until onions turn brown
  • In a bowl mix milk and saffron strands
For layering
  • In a large pot, first add fish gravy; second- add a layer of cooked rice and spread it evenly; third add fish gravy and some fish pieces, next add rice and spread it evenly. Repeat this step. In the end add fried onions and saffron milk . Cover the pot with a lid. Cook in low heat for 15 to 20 minutes
  • Serve hot

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fish Kebab | Meen Varuval

When it comes to sea food, I am always hooked on to fish kebabs. This is the first recipe of sea food which I learnt from my Mom. I got trained by watching my mom preparing this recipe. 

This recipe requires marination. Also, my mom make batter from fine sooji (chiroti rava) that add lot of crunchiness to this kebabs. I have modified my mom's recipe with my sister's recipe where she prepares green masala for marination. I have used only green ingredients for marination like green chilies and coriander.



Ingredients

500gm Ocean Perch Fillet
4 Green chilies
4 Garlic Cloves
small bunch of Cilantro
1/2 tsp Cumin powder
1/2 tsp Pepper powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

For the batter
2 tsp Chiroti rava (fine soji)
2 tsp Rice flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

Method

  • Make a coarse paste of green chilies, garlic, cilantro, cumin powder, pepper powder and turmeric powder

  • In a large mixing bowl, add ocean perch fillet and ground spice paste. Adjust salt as per taste. refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours

  • In a small mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients listed for the batter. Add little water.

  • Preheat oil for deep frying
  • Now, apply the batter over refrigerated fish and gently leave it in hot oil. Fry in medium heat until it turns brown
  • Serve hot with red onion and lemon wedges

Monday, July 15, 2013

Meen Kuzhambu | Fish Curry

Cooking fish of different varieties has always been a challenge. Each variety of fish has its own taste and a recipe tied to it. My mother-in-law has been my tutor when it comes to sea food recipes. She cooks sea food recipes without any clinch. 

I have learnt the art of preparing fish curry using my mother-in-law's sambhar powder. I have tried this recipe with different kinds of fish like tilapia, ocean perch, red snapper and white fish fillet. But, cat fish turned out to be the best.  The secret ingredient for this recipe is right proportion of tamarind pulp and sambhar powder. This powder is made with coriander seeds, red chilies, turmeric and curry leaves. It is mostly served with steamed rice.

Tamarind is heavily used in this recipe. This curry tastes best following day, when fish has absorbed all its flavors. In olden times, this curry was prepared in a clay pot and was stored up to 1 week when preserved in right temperature.


Ingredients

1/2 kg Cat fish
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Fennel seeds
1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds
1 sprig of Curry leaves
3 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Tomato, finely chopped
lemon sized Tamarind
3 tsp Sambhar powder
(or)
2 tsp Coriander powder
3/4 tsp Red chili powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
Salt
4 tsp oil
2 Cups of Water

Method

  • In a large mixing bowl, soak tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes. Extract pulp and discard its fiber and skin. To this add sambhar powder and mix well
  • In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat oil, add mustard seeds, fennel seeds, and fenugreek seeds. When mustard seeds starts to crackle add garlic, curry leaves and onion. Fry until onions turn transparent
  • Add tomatoes. Saute until oil separates out from tomatoes
  • Add tamarind pulp and sambar. And then add 2 -3 cups of water. Simmer until oil starts to float on top and gravy thickens. Adjust salt as per taste
  • Add cat fish to the gravy. Cook in medium heat for 15 minutes
  • Serve hot with steamed rice. 


Tadka Dal | Paruppu Kulambu | Pappu Charu | Lentil curry

Tadka Dal  is a Indian lentil based curry. You can make this recipe on certain days when there are no vegetables or meat. This recipe is very light and a straightforward recipe. 

I made this recipe for light dinner. The flavors from  onions and tomatoes compliments very well; and spiced it up with green chilies. Tadka (seasoning) is made with mustard, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves which gives good aroma to this recipe. 




Ingredients

1 cup Toor Dal
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
4 Green Chilies
1 sprig of Curry leaves
1 small Onion, thinly sliced
1 Tomato, diced
3-4 sprigs of Cilantro
Salt
2 tsp Oil | Ghee

Method

  • Cook dal in pressure cooker with 3 cups of water. After cooker has cooled mash dal 

  • In a heavy bottm vessel, heat oil, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and  fenugreek seeds

  • When it starts to sizzle, add onions and  green chilies. Saute until onions turn transparent

  • Add Tomatoes. Cook in medium heat for 2-3 minutes

  • Add mashed dal to this seasoning. Add water is required

  • Adjust salt as per taste. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes while stirring in between

  • Garnish with cilantro. Serve hot with steamed rice or roti

Beans Stir Fry | Beans Varuval | Beans Palya

Stir fry is an easy option to use vegetables. They remain crisp and tender unlike they are soggy when cooked with lentils for curries.  Stir fry is one of the best way to increase intake of vegetables other than salads. 

In Indian cuisine, stir fry veggies (palya, sabji, poriyal, kootu) is a part of every meal whether it is for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Indian stir fry vegetables are pan fried and seasoned lightly with different spices and the usage of spices vary across different regional cuisines.

My mom had sent me lot of spice powders from India like sambhar powder, vanghibath powder, and bisibelebath powder. These powders are homemade and made with different kinds of spice; also each powder has it own unique flavor and taste. I used sambhar powder for seasoning to make beans palya. This recipe turned out to be very tasty and I paired it with chapthi.

The recipe is very simple and here it goes !!



Ingredients

1/2 kg Green Beans, cut into 1 inches
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 sprig of Curry leaves
1 small piece of Ginger, finely chopped
1 Onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp sambhar powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
Salt
2 tsp Oil

Method

  • In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat oil. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves
  • When it starts to sizzle, add ginger and onions. Fry until onion turn transparent

  • Add turmeric powder, coriander powder and sambhar powder

  • Then add beans and 1 cup of water. Cover the vessel and cook in medium heat for 15 - 20 minutes with stirring in between

  • Serve hot with chapathi 

Watermelon Juice

A thirst quencher recipe. It is simply delicious and yet highly nutritious with many health benefits. It contains more than 90% water, and a good source of vitamin- A, C, B6, and he minerals-potassium and magnesium.

Watermelon is a seasonal fruit and when it is available, I normally make juices, sorbets or salads. 


Ingredients

2 cups diced Watermelon
1/2 Lemon


Method

  • In a blender, blend watermelon until it is completely pulverized
  •  Add juice of half a lemon
  • If you are using seedless watermelon then you don't need to strain the juice. Otherwise strain the juice using a filter ad discard its contents
  • Serve immediately

Tip-
  • Pick a good watermelon for juicing. It should be bright in color and the stripes should be symmetrical. Most importantly, there should be a yellow patch, which means that the water melon was left to grow in ground and it was ripened under the sun. 
  • If you have picked good watermelon, then no need to add sugar. Else you can add 1/2 tsp for ever cup of juice

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Jeera Rice

Bored of eating plain steamed rice?  Then you must try this flavored rice- Jeera Rice !!

Jeera rice is a simple and humble recipe. Basically, rice is flavored with cumin seeds. There are other spices used in this recipe to boost taste like bay leaf and garlic. Jeera rice compliments with any kind of curries or sauteed veggies/ meat. This recipe can be cooked effortlessly, especially  when you don't have enough time to cook.

You can also include this recipe in party planner when you planning to gather large crowd.




Ingredients

2 cups Basmati Rice
3 Cups Water
1 tsp Cumin seeds
2 Bay Leaf
2 cloves of Garlic
1/2 Red onions, thinly sliced
Salt
1 tsp Ghee

Method

  • In a large heavy bottom vessel, heat ghee. Add bay leaf, cumin seeds, garlic and onions. Fry until onions turn golden brown

  • Add water and adjust salt as per taste. Bring it to boil

  • Add washed basmathi rice. Cover the vessel and cook rice in low heat for 15 to 20 minutes




Tomato Egg Curry

Tomato Egg Curry is a spicy curry with boiled eggs cooks in tomato puree and a mixture of different spices. 

Boiled eggs is an easy ingredient to work with. They can be used in variety of dishes; it can be sauteed, or used in salads or deep fried or even dunked in curries. The other ingredient is tomato which is used in most of the dishes. And the combination of eggs and tomatoes works pretty well. 

 I created this dish using boiled eggs and tomato as primary ingredients. I made this recipe on a rainy day.  You can save this recipe for monsoons because tangy taste works well on a chilly day. 


Tip-
You can prepare the sauce in advance and soak boiled eggs 15 minutes before serving. The gravy tastes best when it is served following day


Ingredients

12 Boiled eggs, peeled and slit in middle
1 small piece ginger, finely chopped
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
Marble sized Tamarind
2 tsp Sambhar powder 
(or )
1 tsp Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Red Chili powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp Cumin powder
Salt
2 tsp Oil

For the puree
5- 6 Tomatoes
1 tsp oil
1 bay leaf
1 Star anise
1/2 tsp Fennel seeds
2 Cloves
1 stick of Cinnamon

Method

  • Puree tomatoes using a blender. 
  • In a large pot, heat oil, add star anise, bay leaf, fennel seeds, cloves and cinnamon. Then add tomato puree. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Keep it aside

  • In a small bowl, heat tamarind and water. Extract pulp and filter it. Discard its contents.
  • Add sambhar powder to tamarind and mix well

  • In a large pot, heat oil, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds. when it starts to crackle add ginger and onions. Saute in medium flame until onions turn brown

  • Add tamarind and tomato puree. Adjust salt as per taste. Simmer for 15 minutes 

  • Add boiled eggs and simmer for 5 minutes

  • garnish with coriander and serve hot with steamed rice