Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Crab curry (Roasted coconut gravy)

We decided to wrap up the year 2010 with our post of  this delicious crab curry.  Very popular in North Kerala, this is a must try for any seafood lover.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Crab Pieces: 10
Onions (sliced): 1 
Garlic (chopped): 2 teaspoon
Ginger (chopped): 2 teaspoon
Green Chili (chopped): 2-3
Tomatoes (chopped): 2
Chili Powder: 1 1/2 tablespoons
Turmeric Powder: 1 teaspoon
Coriander Powder: 2 tablespoons
Dried Red Chili: 2-3
Grated Coconut: 1/2 cup
Mustard Seeds: 1 teaspoon
Curry Leaves: handful
Salt to taste

We used the cut crab pieces we got from Asian store

To make Roasted coconut, in a pan dry roast the grated coconut for 6-7 minutes. Add 1/2 tablespoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder and 1 tablespoon coriander powder, 1 dried red chili and saute well. sprinkle some salt and saute until the coconut is golden brown (check the ingredient pic)

Heat some oil in a pan, add ginger, garlic, green chilies and onions. Sprinkle some salt and saute well for 6-8 minutes. Meanwhile grind the roasted coconut to a smooth paste. Add chopped tomatoes, crab pieces, chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and saute. Once tomatoes are cooked add the ground paste and mix well. Add enough water and let crab simmer in this gravy on medium heat. Crab meat cooks very fast and can be recognized when it turns into a whitish color. Adjust salt and spice level according to you liking. 

For final seasoning, heat some oil in a pan. Splutter mustard seeds, dried red chilies, curry leaves and pour it to the curry.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

 A very popular side in any thanksgiving dinner brussels sprout which resembles a mini cabbage is known for its nutritional value. Here is a a simple yet delicious way of serving brussels sprout.

Prep Time: 10 mins
 Brussels sprouts: 1 cup
* You could cut them in halves for it to get a little more crispier on the inside.
Olive oil: about 3-4 tablespoons
Garlic powder: a tiny pinch
Dried red chillies flakes: 1 teaspoon
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a baking tray, roll these brussel sprouts in olive oil. Rub the salt, garlic powder, red chili flakes and salt. Bake until the edges start to a crispy golden brown. Keep tossing them once a while.
These dont taste half as good if eaten cold. So make sure you enjoy them while they are hot.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Naadan Chicken Masala

Holiday season means having more reasons for family n friends to come together and enjoy some delicious food. We'll introduce you to one of our favorites on the dinner plate for such ocassions Nadan chicken masala. Its again a very easy recipe that uses  everyday ingredients. So dont forget to add this one to your party menu coz its gonna be one big hit!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Chicken (cubed): 2 cups
Onions (sliced): 2
Tomatoes (chopped): 1
Green Chilies (slit): 3-4
Garlic (chopped): 1 tablespoon
Ginger (chopped): 1 tablespoon
Turmeric Powder: 1-2 teaspoons
Chili Powder: 2-3 teaspoons
Coriander Powder: 4 teaspoons
Chicken Masala: 2-3 teaspoons
Curry Leaves: handful
Coconut cuts (optional): handful
Salt to taste

* Marinate the chicken pieces with little bit of turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder, lemon juice and salt for 10 to 15 minutes.

Heat some oil in a deep pan. Saute the chopped ginger, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves. Add the sliced red onions and saute until it is pinkish. Now add the rest of  the turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, chicken masala, chopped tomatoes and saute well until all the spices blend in. Add the marinated chicken pieces and mix well. Cover and let it cook on a slow fire for 6-7 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked, keep sautéing until the water/gravy dries up. Spray/add some oil and fry for few more minutes. Add the coconut cuts and mix well.

Serve it hot with rice or roti. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chicken Hakka Noodles

Another Indo-Chinese favorite among many of us is the Hakka Noodles. Lots of veggies and sauces stirred up together makes this a colorful complete meal for any day of the week.

Prep Time: 20 mins
Hakka Noodles: 1 packet
Soy Sauce: 2-3 teaspoons
Vinegar: 2-3 teaspoons
Green Chili Sauce: 1 teaspoon
Chili Garlic Sauce: 1 teaspoon

Vegetables : 1/2 cup (we used a mix of  the following)
Beans (Cut lengthwise)
Carrots (Cut lengthwise)
Green & Red bell peppers(Cut lengthwise)
Cabbage (shredded)
Onions (sliced)

Green Chilies (slit): 2-3:
Ginger(sliced): 1 tablespoon
Garlic (sliced): 1/2 tablespoon
Spring Onion (Chopped): handful
Salt & Pepper to taste
Oil to fry (You could regular cooking oil or some sesame oil)
Egg: 1
Chicken (Shredded): 1 can

For convenience we used store bought can of chicken breast in water.
* You could also add cooked shrimp to this if you like.

Boil water in a deep pan. Sprinkle some salt and a few drops of oil. Add the hakka noodles and let it cook. This should take about 5-7 mins. Turn off the heat and drain off the water in a colander and rinse the cooked noodles under cold water.
Meanwhile chop all the veggies and keep aside. In a wok, heat some oil. On medium to high flame, stir fry the cut ginger, garlic and green chillies, Add all the veggies and stir. Add the soy sauce, green chilli sauce, chilli garlic sauce and vinegar. Now add the shredded chicken.When the veggies are half done, add the noodles and stir well. Adjust the salt. Sprinkle some pepper too. In a another small frying pan, heat some oil and add beaten egg and  scramble it. Add this also to the noodles. Give a final stir and the noodles are read. Garnish with freshly chopped spring onions.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Beetroot Raita

Here's an easy  raita enriched with  beetroot's deep color and flavor that can made a great side for Biryanis, Pulav etc. So definitely put this one the must try list !

Prep Time: 10 mins
Grated beetroot: 1/3 cup
Yogurt: 1/2 cup or more
Green chillies (chopped): 2
Ginger (chopped): 1/2 teaspoon
Garlic (chopped): 1 small pod- optional
Curryleaves: few
Mustard seeds: 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil for seasoning

Heat some oil in pan. Splutter the mustard seeds. Add curry leaves, chopped ginger, green chillies, garlic and saute. You could also add dried red chillies if you like. Add the grated beetroot. Add salt and saute till the beetroot is almost cooked. Turn off the heat and let it cool. Once is fully cooled add the yogurt and mix well. Adjust the salt.

The raita is ready to be served. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Home made Paneer

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Milk: 1/2 gallon
Lemon juice: 2 tablespoons
* We used the regular 2% organic milk.

Bring the milk to boil in a pot. Squeeze in the lemon juice and allow it to fully curdle. Turn off the heat. You can see the light water separate form the milk fat. Strain this out and save the fat. Squeeze out all the water and set in a flat plate. Cover it with cling wrap and place some thing heavy (like another plate) over it and let it set in the refrigerator for about 3-4 hours. Cut into cubes and use as necessary.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sundal/ Spiced Black Chana

Sundal is a very festive snack that originates from the Tamilnadu cuisine. However it has gained popularity all over, south India these days and is made from different beans like pattani (dried green peas), red beans, garbanzo and even peanuts. It is mainly made as an offering to the gods on religious days and served as part of prasadam.

Prep time: 10-15 mins excluding cooking time of the chana
Black chana: 1/2 cup (soaked and cooked in turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt)
* We usually keep aside some black chana for this while making Kadala curry.
Grated coconut: 1/4 cup
Dried red chillies: 3-4
Hing/Asofoetida: a pinch
Curry leaves: one sprig
Urad dal: 2 teaspoons
Mustard seeds: 1 teaspoon
Oil : 1 tablespoon

Heat the oil in a pan. Splutter the mustard seeds, add dried red chillies, urad dal, and curry leaves. Sprinkle some hing. Add the grated coconut and stir for 2 mins. Now add the boiled chana. You could adjust the salt and spice. Saute for about 10 mins. Turn off the heat. Sundal is ready to be served.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Veggies n Pasta Bake

With the very first snow showers of the year, Seattle looks gorgeous all over covered up in a white blanket. And such cozy weather only adds to the thanksgiving festivity. Well for this  holiday we decided to make one simple dish which offers comfort and warmth in every bite. So here's wishing a very Happy and Wonderful Thanksgiving to all our dear friends out there.

Prep time: 45 mins
Pasta: 1 cup
Veggies (your choice): 3/4 cup 
* We used the following vegetables
Carrots (cubed)
Green beans (cut)
Cauliflower (florets)
Broccoli (florets)
Green and red peppers (cubed)
Onions (cubed)
Corn niblets
Snow peas

Garlic: 1 pod
Marinara sauce: 1/3 cup
* We used the tomato,garlic and basil marinara sauce.
Tomato ketchup: 2 teaspoons

White sauce
Butter/Olive oil : 2 tablespoons
All purpose flour: 1 1/2 tablespoons
Milk: 1/3 cup
Grated Parmesan cheese: 1 tablespoon
Grated Mozzarella cheese: 3 tablespoons + 2  tablespoons

Salt & Pepper to taste

* You could also include boiled and cubed chicken pieces to this for all those who cant be all vegetarian.

Heat some oil in pan. Saute the chopped garlic and cubed onions. Add all the veggies and saute well. Add a little bit of salt and pepper. When the veggies are almost cooked, turn off the heat. Add the marinara sauce and toss all the veggies. Add the tomato ketchup and mix.
Meanwhile, boil the pasta with a little salt in a large pot of water. Drizzle some oil into the pasta while boiling so that it doesn't stick to each other. Once cooked, drain it off it and rinse in cold water and keep aside. 

To make the white sauce, heat the butter/olive oil in pan. Add the all purpose flour and stir well. When the raw smells goes, add milk and continuously stir. It will start to thicken. Turn off the heat. Add the grated Parmesan cheese and 3 tablespoons of the mozzarella cheese and mix well. Check for salt and pepper.

Now in a glass dish, spread out the veggies in the marinara sauce. Pour the white sauce you just made over it. Give a gentle mix. Add the remaining grated mozzarella on the top and bake in the oven for 10- 15 mins at 350 F  till the top cheese melts.

Serve warm. Garlic bread can be added on as a great side.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Kozhi / Chicken Thoran

We eventually turned to this recipe shared by a friend long time ago when we had no time left for elaborate cooking and were still in a mood to eat some non veg. We knew this recipe had to taste good. Its really simplicity at its best. And thoran of any form not only adds comfort but makes any meal more enjoyable to a true Mallu.

Prep Time: 10 mins
Chicken (boiled and shredded): 3/4 cup
Grate coconut : 1/4 cup
Green chillies: 2-3
Ginger (crushed): 1 teaspoon
Garlic (crushed): 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves: few
Mustard seeds: 1 teaspoon
Dried red chillies: 2-3
Turmeric powder: 1/2 teaspoon
Chilli powder: 1-2 teaspoons
Coriander powder: 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

* For convenience sake, we used the precooked chicken breast in water available in cans in most supermarkets. You could otherwise just cook the chicken meat with some salt and pepper and shred it.

Heat some oil in a pan. Splutter the mustard seeds. Add the dried red chillies, curry leaves. Roughly crush the green chillies, ginger and garlic together. Add this and saute for a  few mins. Now add the shredded chicken. Add the turmeric, chilli and coriander powder and stir well. Cover with a lid and leave it on medium heat  for a few mins before you add the grated coconut. Saute for another 5 mins and the thoran is ready to be served.

Makes a great side for rice or roti.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dal Palak Kerala Style

We have come up with a mallu twist to the regular dal palak (spinach dal). Mallu means having something to do with coconut and here it is. This curry takes the least amount of time to make and goes great with anything on the side. So defenitely give this nutrients packed yummy dal a try.

Prep Time: 25 mins

Toor Dal: 1/2 Cup
Spinach(chopped): 1/3 cup
Garlic pods: 1-2
Green chillies: 2-3
Grated Coconut: 1/4 cup
Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon
Chilli Powder: 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

Mustard seeds: 1 teaspoon
Dried red chillies: 2-3
Curry leaves: few

Pressure cook the toor dal with salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder, garlic pods and the chopped spinach in about 1 1/4 cups of water.
Meanwhile grind the grated coconut, cumin seeds and green chillies to a fine paste. When you take off the pressure whistle from the cooker, stir everything and keep on low heat. Add the ground coconut mixture to this and let evrything come to a good boil. Adjust the salt and spices. Finally heat some oil for the seasoning. Splutter the mustard seeds, red chillies and curry leaves. Add to curry and the nadaan dal palak is ready. Serve hot with rice or rotis.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Karela Shaped Namkeen

With the Diwali hangover, we decided to make one more easy snack great for teatime. This one  gets its name because of  the resemblance to the karela/ bittergaurd. If you don't want to spend a lot of time in shaping them, these can be made in simple rounds to make a papdis which can be later used for any chaat.

Prep Time: 20 mins
All purpose flour: 1 cup
Chilli powder: 1-2 teaspoons
Cumin /Jeera seeds: 1/2 teaspoons
Oil : 2 tablespoons
Salt to taste
Water: 1/4 cup more or less

Mix all the ingredients except the  oil and water in a bowl. Add warm water and oil  to make a smooth dough as you would for rotis.  Keep aside for 10 mins. Make small balls of the dough and flatten it with a rolling pin like the size of a  big puri. Cut into semicircles. With a knife, make long cuts in the centre without touching the ends. Then slowly roll over and twist the ends to lock it. You will get this karela shape.

Heat some oil in a kadai for deep frying these.  Fry until golden brown. Drain off the excess oil and serve these warm or after completely cooled off.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Diwali - Besan Ladoo

May the lights of this Diwali bless your family with success, happiness and prosperity. We Wish all our readers Happy Diwali.

Prep Time: 1 hour
Besan Flour/Gram Flour: 1 cup
Semolina(Rava): 1 tablespoon optional
Sugar: 1/2 cup or more (to your taste)
Ghee: 1/3 cup + lil more on your palms while making the ladoos
Cardamom powder: 1 teaspoon
Nuts(Slivered almonds): optional

In a flat pan on slow -medium heat, dry roast the besan/gram flour for about 30 to 40 mins. The best indication is when you start to get a nice fragrance of the besan and it starts to slightly change colour. Then add the ghee and keep roasting for some more time making sure there are no lumps formed. Add the rava and roast. Meanwhile powder the cardamom seeds and sugar to a fine powder. Turn off the gas. While continuously stirring add the powdered sugar mix to the besan. 
When this mix is of bearable warmth, apply little ghee onto your palms and roll them into small/medium sized balls. Besan ladoos are ready. 

Store them in an airtight container and they will last for a few weeks.  Once again we wish you all a safe Diwali.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Diamond Cuts

We are again in the festive mood, getting geared up for the festival of lights "Diwali". Like all Indian festivals offer, Diwali also treats all our palettes with an array of sweets and savories. It brings back memories of our moms starting to make different sweets and snacks before a week or two in preparation for the festival. And the best part its just not what you make at home, you exchange it with friends and neighbors to taste their share too. So apart from the fireworks, lighting up the place its time to go overboard on fun food delicacies.

Heres one such common sweet made at our homes. If you havent ever tried these, this is the perfect time to make some.

Prep Time: 20 mins
All purpose flour: 1 cup
Water: 1/4 cup (more or less)
Oil: 2 tablespoons
Salt: a pinch
Oil to deep fry

Coating (Sugar Syrup)
Sugar: 1/2 cup
Water: little less than 1/4 cup
* To get the exact color on the coating,  you would have to use the white sugar, rather than organic raw sugar or brown sugar.

Heat the water in the microwave for 30 secs. Add salt to the all purpose flour. Pour the lukewarm water and make a medium soft dough. Pour the oil and smoothen as you work a little more on the dough. Make medium sized balls and flatten it out like you would for a roti. Then make strips and run the knife along to make diamond cuts all over (just like shown in the picture).

Heat some oil to deep fry these cuts. Turn each one over until puffed and lightly brown. Drain the excess oil onto a paper towel and keep aside to cool.

Now heat the sugar and water in a pot to make the syrup. Once the sugar has fully melted. Turn off the heat and toss the cooled diamond cuts in this sugar syrup. Let it just coat and move it onto a tray or a plate and let it cool. As it cools the sugar turns white. 

* If you put the fried cuts into the sugar syrup before it fully cools, it will become soft and can lose the crunch. 

The diamond cuts are ready to eat. Store them in a airtight container and can last upto a few weeks.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pickled Vegetable - Carrot/Beetroot

Heres a super easy pickle you could make without much investment of time or effort. This instant pickle is a great side to make any of meals a little more peppy and colorful. It tastes great even  if you decide to have it on the same day or  wait for a week.

Prep Time: 15 mins
Grated Carrots: 1/2 cup
Ginger (finely cut): 1 tablespoon
Green Chili (sliced): 4-5
Garlic (finely cut): 1 tablespoon
White Vinegar: 1/4 cup
Chili Powder: 1 1/2 teaspoons
Mustard seeds: 1 teaspoon
Curry Leaves: few
Dried Red Chili: 2-3
Sesame oil: 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste and little more.

* This pickle is not meant to last for a long time time. So its best when consumed within a month.

Heat the oil in a pan. Splutter the mustard seeds.Add the dried red chillies and curry leaves. Add the chilli powder. Stir. Turn off the gas. Immediately add in the grated carrots , sliced ginger, garlic and green chillies. Stir well. Add salt. Its okay if you add little more salt because, it will balance out in a few days as in gets fully absorbed into the pickle. Pour the vinegar over it. Mix well. Store this in a clean jar. You can have this instantly or leave it in the refrigerator for a few days.


Beetroot Pickle

You can follow the exact same procedure as above while replacing the carrots for grated beetroot.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Vendakka (Okra) Theeyal

Theeyal literally means burnt dish and gets the name because the primary ingredient in it is the ground mixture of roasted (close to being burnt) coconut with some great spices. The gravy is typically dark brown and has a dominant tangy taste with a hint of sweetness. This dish is very popular in Kerala and  is made either with Ladies finger or Pearl Onions. We also hear that there is another popular version of this gravy with Prawns and drumsticks which we shall soon try and give verdict to.

Prep Time: 15 - 20 mins
Ladies Finger: 8- 10 (cut )
Grated Coconut: 1/4 cup
Green chillies: 2
Chilli powder: 1-2  teaspoons
Turmeric powder: 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder: 1 1/2 teaspoons
Jeera powder: 1/2 teaspoon
Tamarind pulp: 1 tablespoon
Water: 1/3 cup or less
Jaggery (optional): 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek powder: a pinch


Mustard  seeds: 1 teaspoon
Dried Red chillies: 2
Onions(finely chopped): 1 tablespoon
Curry leaves: few

* You could also replace the Ladies Finger with pearl onions to make the Ulli Theeyal.

In a pan, dry roast the grated coconut, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and jeera powder until brown and aromatic. Turn off the gas and keep aside. 
Dissolve the tamarind pulp in 1/4 cup water and keep aside. Grind this roasted coconut with some of the tamarind water to make a smooth paste.
Chop the ladies finger. Heat little oil in a pan. Saute the ladies finger with a little salt. When 1/2 done, pour the ground paste and the remaining tamarind pulp and water. Cover and cook. Let everything come to good boil. Add the optional jaggery and fenugreek powder. Check for the salt and spice. 
In a small pan, heat little more oil for the seasoning. Splutter the mustard seeds. Add dried red chillies, curry leaves and the finely chopped onions. Fry until the onions turn golden brown and pour this seasoning over the gravy.
Give a final mix and its ready to serve with hot steaming rice. This gravy goes great even with chappathis.


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