Apr 29, 2012

Kadala Curry for Puttu / Idiyappam / Appam ..


Kadala curry for Puttu / Idiyappam / Appam

A very tasty chick peas curry (black chickpeas), made of dry roasted coconut paste and onion seasoning. Goes well with Puttu / Idiyappam / AppamPuttu is a traditional breakfast dish in Kerala. Baisc recipe adapted from Femina & Chef Purushottam Naidu, The Leela, Mumbai.

Serves: 3

Ingredients

For coconut paste:

1 teaspoon oil (or up to 3 tablespoon)

½ coconut, grated

20 g coriander seeds (4 teaspoons)

5 red chillies (big size 5 or 7 small size)

4 green cardamom

3 stick cinnamon (1 – inch insize)

5 cloves

2 teaspoon peppercorns

Method

In an iron kadai / pan, heat 1 teaspoon oil on a medium heat. Dry roast grated coconut, coriander seeds, red chillies, green cardamom, cinnamon sticks, cloves and peppercorns until fragrant / light brown and crisp. Stir continuously on a medium to low heat. Approximate roasting time 15 – 18 minutes. Keep aside to cool for half an hour and make a smooth paste in a mixer. Sprinkle very little water if required (1 – 2 tablespoons).

For kadala (chickpeas):

Please use same measuring cup to measure kadala & water.

1 cup (100 g) kadala

2 cups water

Extra 2 cups water

1 tomato, chopped

1 onion, chopped

½ inch piece ginger, finely chopped

1 green chilli, slit lengthwise (1 big size or 2 small size)

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 st stage:

Wash and soak kadala in 2 cups of water for 6 – 7 hours or overnight. Drain out water.

2 nd stage:

In a pressure cooker, add drained kadala, fresh 2 cups of water, chopped tomato, onion, ginger, green chilli, turmeric powder and salt and pressure cook for 20 – 22 minutes until done and soft (reduce the heat on high after 3 rd whistle and cook on medium heat for 15 – 18 minutes. Switch off the heat. Allow the cooker to cool naturally).

Open the lid. Add coconut masala paste into cooked kadala. Add salt to taste if required. Adjust the masala with extra ½ cup (75 - 100 ml, not more than 100 ml) water if required. It won’t be tasty if the gravy is too thin. Cover with a lid and cook on a medium to low heat for 10 – 12 minutes or until the masala starts separate from the oil (also brown in color / fragrant / gravy thickens). Switch off the heat.

Final stage:

For onion seasoning:

1 tablespoon oil

½ teaspoon mustard seeds

10 shallots (small onion / chuvannulli), finely sliced

6 – 10 curry leaves (dark green)

Method

Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add sliced onions and fry on a medium to low heat until golden color and crisp. Add curry leaves and fry till crisp and fragrant. Pour the seasoning over kadala curry and serve with Puttu / Idiyappam / Appam ..


Apr 28, 2012

Shahi Paneer with tender cashew nuts or Bibbe / Bee galnu Shahi Paneer



Shahi Paneer with Tender cashew nuts or Bibbe / Bee galnu Shahi Paneer

A rich paneer curry with tender cashew nuts. Best with Naans / Rotis / Pulao

Serves: 3

Ingredients

1 tablespoon oil

1 onion, finely sliced

1 tablespoon thick ginger – garlic paste (fresh and homemade)

¾ teaspoon red chilli powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

1/4 teaspoon clove powder (2 pinches)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder (2 pinches)

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder (2 pinches)

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (or 4 teaspoons) tomato puree

½ cup (100 g or 1 tea cup) tender cashew nuts (bibbe / harvi bee)

½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)

½ cup (100 ml) water

200 g paneer (cottage cheese), cut into cubes or desired shape

1 – 2 tablespoon fresh cream

2 teaspoon chopped coriander leaves

Method

Dilute red chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder 1 tablespoon of water and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Add sliced onions and fry till golden color on a medium to low heat.

Add thick ginger – garlic paste. Stir well on a low heat for 2 – 3 minutes or until the raw smell goes.

Add diluted red chilli – coriander – turmeric powder mix. Stir well on a low heat for 2 – 3 minutes or until thickens/ well combined with onion and ginger - garlic paste.

Add clove powder, cinnamon powder and nutmeg powder. Mix well.

Add tomato puree and mix well.

Add tender cashew nuts (bibbe / bee), salt to taste and ½ cup (100 ml) water (Cooking time of tender cashew nuts and paneer is different. Cashew nuts need more cooking time). Cover with a tight lid and cook on a medium to low heat 15 minutes or until the cashew nuts are soft.

Add paneer pieces, cover again and cook on a low to medium heat for 7 minutes or until done and paneer pieces soft / gravy thickens.

Add thick fresh cream (1 – 2 tablespoon) and sprinkle chopped coriander leaves. Consume immediately with Naans / Rotis / Pulao


Apr 27, 2012

Photos of Matrimandir, Auroville, Pondichery

Matrimandir

Auroville (14 km from Pondichery and 3 hours drive from Chennai)

Information adapted from Wikipedia

Auroville (City of Dawn) is an "experimental" township in Viluppuram district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, near Pondicherry in South India. It was founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa (also known as "The Mother") and designedby architect Roger Anger. As stated in Alfassa's first public message about the township, "Auroville is meant to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity."

Auroville was founded asa project of the Sri Aurobindo Society on Wednesday 28 February 1968 by Mirra Alfassa, "The Mother". She was an equal spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo, who believed that "man is a transitional being". Alfassa expected that this experimental "universal township" would contribute significantly in the "progress of humanity towards its splendid future by bringing together people of goodwill and aspiration for a better world." Alfassa also believed that such a universal township willcontribute decisively to the Indian renaissance (Ref. Mother's Agenda, Vol. 9, dt.3.02.68). The Government of India endorsed the township, and in 1966, UNESCO also endorsed it inviting the member-states to participate in the development of Auroville. UNESCO re-endorsed Auroville four times more in the course of the last 40 years.

In the inauguration ceremony attended by delegates of 124 nations on 28 February 1968, Alfassa gave Auroville its 4-point Charter setting forth her vision of Integral living:

Auroville belongs to nobody in particular. Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole. But to live in Auroville, one must be the willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness.

Auroville will be the place of an unending education, of constant progress, and a youth that never ages.

Auroville wants to be the bridge between the past and the future. Taking advantage of all discoveries from without and from within, Auroville will boldly spring towards future realisations.

Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual Human Unity.

In the middle of the town is the Matrimandir, which has been acclaimed as "an outstanding and original architectural achievement". It was conceived by "The Mother" (Alfassa) as "a symbol of the Divine's answer to man's inspiration for perfection". Silence is maintained inside the Matrimandir to ensure the tranquility of the space and entire area surrounding the Matrimandir is called Peace area. Inside the Matrimandir, a spiraling ramp leads upwards to an air-conditioned chamber of polished white marble referred to as "a place to find one's consciousness". At its centre is a 70 cm crystal ball in a gold mount which glows with a single ray of sunlight that is directed on the globe from the top of the structure. According to Alfassa, this represents "a symbol of future realisation."


Milkmaid Sweetened Condensed Milk Peda (with milk powder)



Milkmaid Condensed milk Peda (with milk powder)

Peda is a popular sweet dish in India.

Makes: 21 – 23 pedas

Ingredients

1/2 teaspoon butter / ghee

1 tin Milkmaid sweetened condensed milk (400 g)

4 tablespoon milk powder (Nestle Everyday / Britannia / Amul are the leading brands in India)

1 tablespoon sugar

2 pinches cardamom powder

1/2 teaspoon extra ghee

Method

In a thick non stick pan, heat 1/2 teaspoon butter /ghee. Reduce the heat to medium. Add milkmaid condensed milk and stir continuously for 15 - 18 minutes on a medium to low heat or until the mixture slightly thickens.

At this stage, add milk powder and sugar. Stir continuously for another 15 minutes until thickens and leaves from the sides of the pan. Sprinkle cardamom powder and mix well. Switch off the heat and keep aside to cool for half an hour.

Apply remaining ghee on both the palms and shape the mixture into small balls / pedas. Decorate with cashew nut splits / almond /.. (optional).


Prawns Rice



Prawns Rice

A tasty rice, goes well with raita / pickle / salad / korma...

Serves: 3

Ingredients

Please use same measuring cup to measure rice and water.

For rice:

1 cup (200 g) basmati rice (Kohinoor / India gate / Neesa …)

1 ¾ cup water

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon red chilli powder

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

2 cinnamon sticks (1 – inch in size)

3 cardamoms

3 cloves

1 teaspoon ghee

Method

Wash and clean rice.

In a non stick pan, soak rice with 1 ¾ cups of water, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ghee for 15 minutes. Cover with a tight lid and cook on a medium to low heat for until done / water dries up / rice cooked well. Stir occasionally.

For prawns masala:

For prawns:

500 g prawns (250 g net weight, after cleaning and deveining)

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ teaspoon salt

Method

Wash and clean prawns. Devein and marinate prawns with turmeric powder and salt. Cover and keep aside for half an hour.

For the masala:

1 tablespoon oil

1 onion, finely sliced

1 tablespoon ginger – garlic paste (thick in constituency, fresh and homemade)

2 well ripe tomatoes, finely chopped (1 big or 2 small in size)

½ teaspoon red chilli powder (3/4 teaspoon for more spicy)

1 teaspoon coriander powder

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ teaspoon garam masala powder

or

¼ teaspoon clove powder

¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder

¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder

1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves

1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves

½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Marinated prawns

Method

Dilute red chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder in 2 teaspoons of water and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Add sliced onions and fry till golden color on a medium to low heat.

Add thick ginger – garlic paste and stir on a low heat for 2 – 3 minutes.

Add finely chopped tomatoes and fry until thick in consistency.

Add diluted red chilli powder – coriander powder – turmeric powder mix. Saute on a low heat for 2 minutes until well combined with tomatoes.

Add garam masala powder or clove, cinnamon and nut meg powder. Mix well.

Add chopped mint and coriander leaves. Mix all the ingredients well. Adjust salt to taste. Cover with a tight lid and cook on a medium to low heat for 10 – 12 minutes or until the gravy thickens / fragrant / water almost dries up.

At this stage, add marinated prawns, stir well, cover again and cook for 5 - 7 minutes until pink in color. Do not overcook prawns. Switch off the heat.

Final preparation:

Add prawns masala into cooked rice and stir well continuously for 5 minutes until well combined. Serve with pickle / raita / fresh salad …


Apr 26, 2012

Chicken Pepper Fry



Chicken Pepper Fry

A delicious dry chicken dish, goes well as side dish with Rotis / Rice / Parattas / Brown bread or serve as a starter.

Serves: 2

Ingredients

1 tablespoon oil

15 shallots (50 g) shallots (chuvannulli / small onion / saanu piyyavu), finely sliced

6 curry leaves

¾ teaspoon pepper powder (1/2 teaspoon for less spicy)

¼ teaspoon red chilli powder

6 cooked chicken pieces (without gravy) from the chicken curry (any curry of your choice – Kerala chicken curry / Chicken Chettinad / Mangalore chicken curry/ Punjabi chicken curry …)

½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Method

Dilute pepper powder and red chilli powder in 2 teaspoons of water. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Add sliced shallots and fry until golden color on a medium to low heat.

Add curry leaves and fry until crisp.

Add diluted pepper powder – red chilli powder mix. Stir on a low heat for 2 minutes or until well mixed with onions, curry leaves and brown in color.

Add cooked chicken pieces, adjust salt to taste and fry on a low heat for 10 minutes / until spices well coated on chicken pieces and brown in color. Serve hot.


Bengali style Masoor Dal



Bengali Style Simple Masoor Dal

A tasty dal, made of masoor dal (pink color dal), green chilli and onion (also without tadka (seasoning)). Best with rice / rotis / luchi(Bengali style puris).

Serves: 3 – 4

Ingredients

For dal:

1 cup (100 g) masoor dal (pink color dal)

3 cups (300 ml) water

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ teaspoon oil

Method

Wash and clean dal. Soak in 3 cups of water for 15 minutes and boil in pressure cooker with its soaking water, turmeric powder and oil until done and soft (Switch off the heat on high after 3 rd whistle and allow the cooker to cool naturally). Open the lid.

Final preparation:

Ingredients

1 tablespoon oil

1 onion. Finely sliced

3 green chilli, slit lengthwise

½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Method

Heat oil in a kadai / pan. Add finely sliced onions and fry till golden color on a medium to low heat.

Add boiled dal along with 3 slit green chillies and salt. Mix all the ingredients well. Cover with a tight lid and cook on a medium to low heat for 10 – 12 minutes or until done and dal slightly thickens. Serve with Rice / Rotis / Luchi ..


Apr 25, 2012

Photo of Mortar & Pestle from Mamallapuram / Mahabalipuram



Stoneware mortar & pestle available @ Mamallapuram, near Shore Temple

Photos of Shore Temple, Mamallapuram / Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu


Shore Temple

The Shore Temple (700-728 AD) is so named because it overlooks the Bay of Bengal. It is a structural temple, built with blocks of granite, dating from the 8th century AD. It was built on a promontory sticking out into the Bay of Bengal at Mahabalipuram / Mamallapuram, a village south of Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The village was a busy port during the 7th and 8th century reign of the Pallava dynasty during the reign of Narasimhavarman II.

As one of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, it has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the oldest structural (versus rock-cut) stone temples of South India. Information adapted from Wikipedia.


Apr 23, 2012

Homestyle Spicy Aloo Jeera


Homestyle Spicy Aloo Jeera

A tasty side dish with Rotis !!!

Serves: 3

Ingredients

1 tablespoon oil

1 onion, finely sliced

75 g shallots (or 20 nos) (chuvannulli / small onion / saanu piyyavu), chopped

2 teaspoon jeera (cumin seeds)

½ teaspoon red chilli powder

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

3 potatoes, cut into desired shape and boil separately (peel off the skin)

½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1 teaspoon chopped coriander leaves

Method

Make a fine paste of chopped shallots and jeera in a small mixer bowl. Do not add water when making paste. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan / kadai. Add sliced onion and fry till golden color on a medium to low heat.

Add shallot – jeera paste. Stir well on a low heat for 3 – 4 minutes.

Add red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Stir on a low heat for 2 – 3 minutes.

Add separately boiled potatoes and salt to taste. Mix all the ingredients well. Cover with a tight lid and cook on a low heat for 10 – 12 minutes or until done / masala mixture well coated on potatoes. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with rotis.


Apr 22, 2012

Bibbe Upklari or Harvi Biyye Upkari (easy method - without coconut and tendli)


Bibbe Upkari or Harvi Biyye Upkari (easy method – without coconut & tendli)

A delicious side dish, made of tender cashew nuts, potatoes and green chillies. A popular dish in Konkani cuisine, goes well with rice and thoy !!!

Serves: 3

Ingredients

2 teaspoons oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

½ teaspoon jeera (cumin seeds)

½ cup (100 g) tender cashew nuts (harvi bee / bibbe)

2 potatoes (medium size), cut into thin slices

2 green chillies, slit lengthwise

½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)

75 ml (less than ½ cup) water

Method

Wash tender cashew nuts and drain out water thoroughly. Cut potatoes into thin slices.

Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add jeera. Fry on a low heat for 1 minute.

Add tender cashew nuts, potato slices, slit green chillies, salt to taste and 75 ml water (less than ½ cup). Mix all the ingredients well. Cover with a tight lid and cook on a medium to low heat for 15 – 20 minutes or until done / water dries up. Serve hot with rice and thoy (ThoyKonkani style dal) or any other accompaniments of your choice.


Apr 13, 2012

Thattukada style coconut chutney



Thattukada Style Coconut Chutney

A simple and tasty coconut chutney, goes well with Dosa / Idli / Vada / Pakoda

Serves: 3

Ingredients

75 g (5 tablespoons) grated coconut

4 shallots (chuvannulli /piyyavu / small onion), chopped

1 teaspoon coriander powder

½ teaspoon red chilli powder

¼ teaspoon thick tamarind paste

½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)

2 tablespoon water

Extra 50 ml (1/4 cup) water

Method

Transfer all the ingredients (except extra 50 ml water) in a small mixer bowl and make a smooth paste. Adjust the consistency of the chutney with extra 50 ml water.

For the Seasoning:

1 teaspoon cooking oil

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin ( jeera ) seeds

3 curry leaves

For the seasoning:

Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. When they pop, add cumin seeds and curry leaves. Saute on a low heat for 2 minutes. Pour this seasoning over chutney. Serve with dosa / idli / pongal / medu vada / dal vada....