Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Egg Fry / Muttai Varuval

I have already posted an egg fry recipe using tomato paste. This is another verson of that without using the tomato paste.This is how my mother used to make along with lemon rice during my schooldays. Even now sometimes during vacation I ask my mom to make this simple combo and wind of the cooking as early as possible (which is very hard for her to do), so that we have some time to talk .
But that never happens, because now that she has some extra time in her hands, she starts making preparation for some nice elaborate snacks for the evening...
And when the time comes to leave she would always say " pesa kooda neram illa" - meaning  "didnt get time to talk at all"  : ). Thats how it is everytime...
But I manage to finish up all the chit chat through phone....thanks to the voip technology .
Now coming to the recipe...

4 eggs
1tsp chilli powder
2 cloves garlic , chopped
few curry leaves/curry leaves powder
salt and oil as per taste

Hard boil the eggs and make cut into two equal halves.
Add two tsp of oil in a non stick pan.
Add the chopped garlic and curry leaves to the hot oil, stir for a minute.
Reduce the flame to medium and add the chilli powder and salt.
Stir for a minute and add 1/2 cup of water, and let it boil.
Now add the eggs, cut side down and cook till all the water evaporates.
Turn the eggs gently, so that the masala is coated well on all sides.
Serve with any mixed rice.

Cooking from Other Blogs:

Now and then I keep reminding myself that I need to cook up the bookmarked recipes from other blogs. I do that, but mostly they are baking recipes. There was this event which I used to like very much called the "MBP" - Monthly Blog Patrol, which would motivate me to look into other blogs for interesting recipes, with a purpose, instead of just browsing through. Iam not  sure if that event is still going on or it had been stopped. Any Idea !!

This weekend , bored with the usual chicken curry I started looking at my bookmarks and decided to try  Sarah Naveen's " Nadan Chicken roast " from Vazhayila. It was absolutely delicious and the taste was totally different from what we were used to, and that was excatly what I was expecting. Iam glad I tried it and will be making this often.
I followed the recipe as such, except that I added two tsps of tomato paste, to get that colour, as  my tomatoes were very bland, typical for this time of the year.
After Inspired by this recipe , I have decided to check out all the other bookmarked dishes, atleast once in a week. Lets see how it goes.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Stuffed Mushroom for Global Kadai

I have been making this dish for more than 8 years now, and everytime its a big hit. But this is the first time I tried with different ingredients for the Global Kadai event started by Cilantro and being hosted right here for this month. I tried to Indianise this dish by adding grated paneer, and chat masala and also spiced it up a little bit by chopped green chillies.It turned out even more delicious than I expected. We can never go wrong with our own Indian ingredients right. So here's how I made it.

1 Packet Button Mushrooms (preferable large ones)
1 medium onion chopped.
2 tblsp finely chopped garlic
2 tblsp butter
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup grate paneer
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
1 tblsp chat Masala or (1tsp garam masala + 1tsp Amchoor powder)
1 tsp chopped green chillies
1 cup shredded mozorella cheese
few tblsp Olive oil
Salt and peper to taste.

Preheat the Oven to 350F/200C
Wipe the Mushrooms with a wet towel, to remove all the dirt.
Remove the stalk and the rims with a knife.Reserve the stalk.
Finely chop the stalk, onions and garlic.
In a pan add the butter and when its hot add the onion, garlic and chopped green chillies.
Fry till the onion shrinks and turns tranlucent.
Add the chopped mushroom stalks, and fry well.
To this add the grated paneer, chat masala and chopped coriander leaves and stir for a few seconds.
Now add the bread crumbs, salt and pepper.Mix well.
Switch off the stove and allow it to cool.
Apply little olive oil over the mushroom cap, arrange in a baking tray and bake for 10 mins.
Now tightly stuff the baked mushrooms with prepared stuffing.
Sprinkle the shredded mozerrella cheese over the top and bake for another 10- 12 mins or until the cheese melts and golden spots appear on the top

Click here for the clear pictorial and details about stuffing the Mushrooms.

Note:  You can also add some chopped spring onions instead of coriander leaves.

The last date for the "Global Kadai" event is the 28th of this month. Hope to see your version of this yummy dish  soon.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Moong Dhal Kachori for ICC

Well, I missed the last months challenge, but as soon as I saw the topic of this month's ICC I was all up for it as it is one of my favourite chat item next to Pav bhaji. Indian Cooking Challenge is an event started by Srivalli , where she challenges everyone of us with a unique Indian dish.

I was very much comfortable with the recipe and decided to do the moong dhal version.The only difficulty I faced was grinding the moong dhal. I only have  a big blender which can grind large quantities, perfect for grinding Idli dough. Since I used a small qualtity of the dhal, I managed to pound it  by hand using my small mortar and pestle.
 As Valli has mentioned in her post, the temperature of the oil is very important for this snack to turn out crispy and perfect. For me the first couple of them puffed up beautifully, but as the oil got heated up slowly, the second batch didnt do that good. Then after some adjustments on the heat the rest of the batch came out really good.

Oh..Thats my little one sneaking his hands in while Iam taking the picture...he couln't wait to taste one..

Recipe as given by Srivalli:
I halved the ingredients to make about 8 kachori's. I have given my measurements on the side in a different colour.


Adapated from Medhaa's Aunty and Tarla Dalal
Resting Time for the Dough is app 1/2 hr - 1 hr
Frying time for the Kachoris - 20 mins for each batch app.
Soaking Time for the Filling is app. 1 hr
Cooking Time for the Filling is app 15 mins

Yields - 15 ( 8 for me)
For the Dough
Ingredients Needed:
All purpose flour / Maida - 2 cups  (1 cup)
Oil/ Ghee - 1/4 cup , ( 3 tblsp)
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Water for kneading

Mix the flour and salt, Add the oil/ghee and mix till you get a bread crumbs texture.
Slowly add water and make a soft dough. Knead well for about 8 minutes.
Cover and keep aside to rest for atleast half hour.

Special Tips / Notes for the dough:
Keep the dough covered at all times, if not it will dry up and not puff up when frying. If the dough is made right wet cloth can be used if not just a towel.
The dough could spring back for many reasons:
Dough is too cold (If wet cloth is used)
Dough is not soft enough.
Not kneaded for enough time.
Oil is less.
Not rested enough.

Ingredients Needed:
Split Moong Dal (yellow) - 1/2 cup (1/4 cup)
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp  (1/2 tsp)
Hing / Asafoetida - a pinch
Curry Leaves - 2 tsp chopped fine (opt)
Green Chilli - Ginger paste - 1 tsp  ( I didnt use)
Sauf / Fennel seeds powder - 1 tsp (1/2 tsp)
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp  (1/4 tsp)
Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp (1/4 tsp)
Mango powder / Amchur - 1 tsp (1/2 tsp)
Oil - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

1. Wask and Soak dal in water for atleast 1 hour. You can go upto 4 hours not more.
2. Drain the water well.
3. Grind the dal to a coarsely. (Will resemble Idli Rawa)
4. Heat oil in a pan.
5. Add the hing and cumin seeds.
6. Once the seeds splutter add the curry leaves.
7. Add the dal.
8. Lower the heat and keep stirring for 5 minutes till the dal stops sticking to the pan.
9. Cook for another 10 minutes on low till the dal turns slightly brown.
10. Add all the masalas.
11. Cook for few minutes till the aroma of the spices hit you.
12. Add Salt.
13. Remove from heat and keep aside to cool.

The fillings have to be really dry if not when rolling they will ooze out when rolling.

Adjust the masalas according to your taste. What is given in this recipe is spicy to the extent one can still enjoy.
For idea on pressing the filled kachori, check out Manjula's method. If you try to press out using a rolling pin, the filling may come out and make holes in the kachori.
Fry the kachori's on medium low to get a crisp outer layer, that is the key. For people using electric stove, the numbers can be going from 6 to 4.

To Make Kachori's

Make a small ball from the dough. Roll out into a 2 inch diameter circle. Or flatten the ball using your fingers having the center thick and sides little thin.
Place about 1.5 tsp of the filling in the center of the rolled dough.
Cover the filling with the dough by slowly stretching it over the filling. Seal the ends and remove excess dough. Repeat with all the balls and keep aside for 5 -7 mins.
Then using your palm, flatten the balls by lightly pressing it, as using the rolling pin will make the filling come out. (See notes below). Keep aside covered. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Meanwhile heat some oil for deep frying. The oil should not become smoking hot. Test to see if the temperature is right by dropping a tiny ball of dough and see if it is rising slowly to the top.
Here is a picture of the kachori's filled, flattened, pressed and ready to be fried.

Drop the kachoris in batches of 3-4 gently into the oil. It should rise up slowly. If you don't want to use lot of oil, use just enough for two or three at a time and fry them.
After it rises up (about 2 minutes), turn it over.
Cook for about 6 to 10 minutes till the side down gets a golden brown color.
Turn and cook the other side for another 6 minutes or till its golden brown in color.
Remove when done, cool and store in airtight container.
Serve with coriander chutney and tamarind chutney

Special Tips / Notes for making the Kachoris:

You can fry 3 kachori's at a time.
The oil should be at a heat when you drop some dough it should come up slowly, if the dough comes up too fast the oil is too hot, if it does not come up then the oil is cold.
It will not be crisp if the oil is too hot.

This recipe is definitely a Keeper...Thanks Srivalli for this recipe and for the event.
It gives us an oppurtunity to try out different new and unique snacks and sweets.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Multi Fruits Kesari

Made this Kesari today ..The recipe is same as the Pineapple Kesari which I have posted earlier.The only difference is that I added muliple fruits ( store bought Can) instead of pineapple. I added red food color instead of kesari powder just to cut ot some hearts for Priya's Valantine's day event.

Happy Valentines day to all the lovely ladies out there...

Sending this also to the Valentine's day carnival event at "TheFunAndFoodCafe" by Mansi

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Prawn Pulao

Last week the weather was pretty good (comparitively) with slight sunshine and temperature above 5 C, but again this week its back to the usual,  cold and freezing . At times like this the craving for something hot and spicy starts creeping right from the morning as soon as you see the dark gloomy skies. Usually it ends up in a deep fried snack in the evening, but this time I made this delicious pulao for lunch to satisfy my craving. A perfect winter lunch to keep up with the freezing temperature.

2 cups basmati rice
15 jumbo sized Prawns
2 green chillies
1 medium tomato chopped finely
1 medium onion , sliced
1 cup of mint leaves(packed)
1 cup of coriander leaves(packed)
8 cloves of garlic
1 inch ginger piece
2 tsp coriander powder
1 inch cinnamon piece
3 cloves
1 cardomon
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tblsp lemon juice

Remove the shells and devein the prawns.Wash thoroughly and butterfly the Prawns.(Make a slit at the top).
 Marinate with 1/2 tsp of turmeric,  little bit of salt and some lemon juice.
Slice the onions and chop the tomatoes finely.
Grind the mint -coriander leaves, green chillies , garlic and ginger to a fine paste.
In a heavy bottomed pan or a non stick pan add 2 tblsp of oil.
When the oil is hot add cinnamon, cloves and cardamom, and when the cloves pop add the onion and fry well.
To this add the marinated prawns  and stir for 2- 3 minutes till all the prawns turn pink in colour.
At this stage remove all the prawns and keep aside.
Now add the ground masala and fry till the raw smell leaves.
To this add the chopped tomatoes , turmeric and coriander powder and fry till oil leaves the side of the pan.
Add 3 cups of water close with a lid and allow to boil.
When the water is boiling well, add the soaked basmati rice mix well and close with a tight lid and cook for 5-6 mins in medium heat.
At this stage the water will be 3/4th absorbed.Now add the cooked prawns stir well. Close with the tight lid  and cook for 10 - 12 minutes in a very low flame.
Sprinkle some lemon juice before serving.

Serve with raita of your choice.

Note: Adding the Prawns in the last stage prevents it from becoming rubbery.
Adjust the amount of green chillies as per your taste.
If you are using the presssure cooker, follow the same method. After adding the Prawns close the cooker, put on the weight, reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 mins.(do not wait for the whistle).

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Potato Fry/ Urulai kizhanghu Varuval - I

Who doesnt love Potato... if not for the calories I can have them day and night. Here in Belgium, I was surprised to see  fries (friets) being served as the main course along with salad and some meat, and its far better and delicious than what we are used to in ..  you know ..:)

One day in our office cafetaria, one of collegues who had freshly landed from India that morning, found nothing vegetarian to eat, asked for a plate of 'French fries'. The lady was so offended and became serious and replied "these are much better than french fries". At that moment I realised how much we are used to calling normal potato fries as 'French fries' and how it can be mistaken else where. So guys be careful when you use this term in Europe.

I dont use potatoes much in my regular cooking and if I do its always the good old south indian crispy potato fry, to be served with curd rice or lemon rice. Perfect combination to go in a lunch box.
Here is the recipe for the Potato fry that was peeping in the picture of the dhal in my previous post. I make two different versions of this fry and this is one of them .


3 medium sized potatoes.
1 tsp fennel powder/seeds
1 tsp curry leaves powder/ fresh curry leaves
1 tsp chilli powder
2 pods of garlic smashed
1 tsp mustard seeds
oil and salt as required.

Peel and slice the potatoes into semicircles.
Peel and smash the garlic using a knife.
Now add all the ingredients and tsp of olive oil to the sliced potatoes and mix well so the potatoes are evenly coated.

Heat about 1 tsp of olive oil in non stick pan, add the mustard .
When the mustard pops spread the marinated potaoes over it.
Using a wooden spoon gently stir the potaes couple of times, add about 1/2 cup of water and close with a tight lid. Cook for 10 mins.
Now Open the lid, again stir them gently,(or turn them over patiently) and allow to cook till crispy in a low flame(without the lid), approximately 10 mins. If you dont mind a couple of tsps of oil you can add at this stage.Its purely optional.

Note.The fennel seeds (sombhu)gives a delicious flavour to the dish, so that is a must.
Its better to use Fennel seeds powder than seeds.You an grind a handful in the spice gringer and store it for future use. A tsp of this powder in any vegetable fry tastes great.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Zucchini/Courgettes Dhal

Here is a recipe for a very simple dhal with Zucchini or Courgettes (as they say in Europe). I make this quite often as my son seemed to like it a lot and I dont have to make a seperate dish for him. It goes well with any breakfast items like dosai, Idli's , pongal, poori and also with chapati's and paratha's.
But serve it with a plate of hot rice with a dash of ghee and spicy potato fry on the side ....hmmm...now thats what I call "Comfort food".
1/2 cup Moong dhal
1 medium Zucchini
1 medium Onion
1 tomato
3 cloves Garlic
2 green chillies
1/2 tsp turmeric

For tempering:
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp urad dhal
1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
 a pinch of asfoetida/hing powder
few curry leaves
1 dry red chilli(optional)


Peel and chop the Zucchini into cubes.
Chop the onions and tomatoes
In a pressure cooker add the chopped Zucchini, onion, tomato, green chillies(slit), garlic, moong dhal, turmeric and salt. Pressure cook for 2 whistles.

Take 2 tsp of oil in a pan, to this add the mustard.When it splutters add the rest of the ingredients and stir for a minute. Add this to the cooked dhal mixture, give it a stir and boil for couple of minutes.
The consistency of the dhal should not be mushy. So take care not to over cook it.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve with a spicy side dish, in my case it was a potato fry.(will post the recipe in my next post)

Note : Adjust the amount of green chillies as per your taste. I sometimes make it without green chillies and just use a red chilli while tempering, it tastes equally good.
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