Friday, September 26, 2014

Sesame Pulao

The season of Navrathri has started. And here I am struggling to find ways to cook without onion and garlic.

Rice : 1 cup
White sesame seeds : 2 tbsp
Peanuts : 2 tbsp
Cashew : 2 tbsp
Milk : 1/2 cup
Ghee : 4 tsp
Curry leaves a few
Urad dal : 1/2 tsp
Red chilli for tempering : 2 to 3

1. Soak basmati rice for an hour.
2. In a deep pan add ghee and temper with urad dal, peanuts,  cashews and once they turn brown add red chilli, curry leaves and sesame seeds.
3. Add the rice and half cup of milk and 1 cup of water for 1 cup of basmati rice.
( The ratio being 1 : 1.5)
4. Add salt and cook the rice using dum method.

Note : Can substitute milk with fresh cream :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Almond cookies with Strawberry Thumbprint

Cookie's!!! Yumm!!! This cookie reminded me of a biscuit I used to eat as a kid. Easy to make and eat.

Maida : 1.5 cup
Sugar : 3/4 cup
Butter : 1/2 cup
Egg : 1 ( separate the yolk and egg white)
Almond : 1 cup ( crumbled to bits)
Baking Soda : 1/8th of tbsp
Strawberry jam : Enough to fill the dent

1. In a bowl mix the melted butter, sugar, egg yolk, almond pieces, baking soda and maida.
2. Mix well and roll into lemon sized ball and press them flat.
3. Roll them in egg white and coat with almond crumbs.
4. Make a thumbprint in the centre and add the strawberry jam in the dent.
5. Preheat the oven at 300°F and bake for 15 min.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Khubani ka meetha

I am not a good cook when it comes to desserts. But recently I got a good review for this from R.K. 

Dried Apricots :  20-25 in number
Sugar : 3/4 cup
Milk : 1/ 2 cup
Water to soak the apricots
Chopped pistachios and almonds

1. Soak the apricots in water overnight till its swollen.

2. Remove the soaked apricots from water and transfer in a pan with some water and cook for 20 to 25 min  and milk till it is completely cooked.

3. The water used for cooking is the one in which we soaked the apricots.

4. Add the chopped pistachios and almonds.

5. Serve with whipped cream.

Capsicum Rice

Ingredients :

Cooked rice : 2 cups
Capsicum : 1 of each color
Lemon juice : 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder : 1/2 tsp

For tempering:
Oil or ghee : 2 tbsp
mustard seeds : 1/2 tsp
Urad dal : 1/2 tsp
Chana dal : 1 tsp
Red chillies : 2 to 3
Roasted peanut s :  2 tbsp
A few curry leaves

For masala powder:
Red chillies : 3
Cinnamon : 1 inch
Coriander seeds : 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds : 1tsp
Urad dal : 1/2 tsp
Chana dal : 1/2 tsp

Procedure :

1. Fry the ingredients for masala powder in 1 tsp oil until golden brown. Cool,grind to a powder, and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a pan and add all the ingredients for seasoning. Fry until the dals turn golden brown.
3. Add the capsicum, some salt, and turmeric powder. Reduce heat and cook until the capsicum turns soft.
4. Add the cooked rice to this and mix well. Heat through.
5. Finally add the masala powder and lemon juice. Check for salt and add more if required.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mutton Biryani

I do not know how this recipe tastes.  Because I do not eat mutton.  But R.K. gave me thumb's up.

Ingredients :
Mutton : 1 kg
Bamathi Rice : 2 cups ( soak for half an hour)
Pepper Powder ( coarse) : 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds : 1 tbsp
Cardamom : 3
Cloves : 4
Bay Leaf : 3
Cinnamon : 1 inch piece
Star Anise : 2
Onion : 1 large
Tomato : 1 small
Coconut milk : 1/2 cup
Garlic : 4 -5 pods (cut into small pieces)
Ginger : 2 inch
Mint leaves : 1 bunch
Coriander leaves : 1 bunch
Garam Masala : 1 tsp
Chilli Powder : 1 tsp
Salt according to taste
Oil : 1 tbsp
Ghee : 1 tbsp

Procedure :
1. Cook the mutton in the pressure cooker with very little water, salt, turmeric and coarse pepper powder for 7 to whistles.
2. In a pan add 1 tbsp ghee and 1 tbsp oil and add fennel seeds, cardamom,  cloves,  bay leaf, star anise and cinnamon; gently fry till the a fragrant smell of spices waft up.
3. Add thinly vertical slices of onion and fry till they turn brown; add finely chopped garlic and ginger; followed by mint leaves and coriander leaves.
4. Add vertically sliced tomato slices followed by Garam Masala, chilly powder and add the cooked mutton and mix with the rice.
5. Now take a pressure cooker or the electric cooker boil water ( water : rice =
1 :1.5).
6. Mix some 1/2 cup of coconut milk and calculate it as the water ratio.
7. Add the rice along with the cooked mutton and check the salt. ( Add if required)
8. If using a pressure cooker do not cook for more than 2 whistles.
9. Serve with salad.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Older Generation was Better

Grandparents's are one of the best thing to happen to Grandkids. Nothing can be compared to the memories made with them. Grandparents bring a little more warmth, love and happiness to our lives. I have spent majority part of my childhood with my Grandmom's. My Bapamma (dad's mother) stayed with us. And I used to visit my Mamama (mom's mother) during every summer vacation. And I was blessed to have one other bapamma (A lady who used to take care of me until I was 5). That generation was better at so many things than we are. When I compare at all the facilities available to us I feel we are much less productive than our previous generation. Lot of machines have been invented for our comfort and saving of time but they have made us lazy.

I am going to list a few thing that our older generation was better than ours.

1. Cooking from Scratch

Be it making of vodi (sun dried fritters), Canning and preserving the seasonal vegetables, making pickles and buying nothing ready made. People have become so lazy to the extent that they buy chopped and peeled vegetables. Missing the flavor of mom's food??? Try cooking from scratch.

2. The art of Stitching

My grandma was an expert at Crochet, embroidery, making stuffed toys and even stitching her own clothes. There was never a time I saw her sit idle. Her embroidery work used to cover our entire house from the door mat to wall hanging, handmade toys to small drawings on our books. Bliss isn't it.

3. The art of reading and writing

She never leaves a single page of the newspaper. Reading each and every inch of newspaper. We have also lost the old art of writing letters. The world of happiness to see the handwriting of our loved ones (without the help of auto-correct). We could basically feel the person whispering the words into our ears.

4. Socializing

Without the help of Facebook they would socialize with anyone and everyone. A festival comes and the house is filled with relatives.

5. Memory

This is what as we evolve would be less and less used. After all everything is available on the internet. Does anyone even remember more than 2 telephone numbers now a days? Even recipes?

And the list can go onto gardening, ironing (perfectly), washing clothes, haggling etc etc. As the generation passes by more things will be invented for our comfort. So do we forget the basics or get to learn whenever we have some time.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ivy Gourd and Cashew stir fry

One thing that I miss the most in Phoenix is someone to speak in Konkani. Eat konkani food and celebrate konkani festival. After coming here I have understood the importance of getting along well with your community members. I have a huge friends circle. But still sometimes a single person to talk in your mother tongue makes all the difference.

Ivy gourd : 250 gas
Cashews : 1 cup ( tender cashews are the best combination)
Chilli Powder / dry chilli: 1 tsp
Mustard seeds : 1 tsp
Grated coconut : 1 tbsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Salt according to taste

Procedure :
1. Cut the Ivy gourds vertically into 4 pieces.
2. If not using tender cashews soak them in hot water.
3. In a pan add oil; mustard seeds and once they start spluttering add dry chilli or chilli powder.
4. Add the cashews and Ivy Gourd and cook for 20 min on a low flame.
5. Once the ivy gourds are cooked well garnish with grated coconut.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Brocolli aloo Paratha

I always wanted to try cooking with this vegetable.  Then I came across brocolli paratha. I had some boiled potatoes at hand. Hence it led to this experiment.

Chapati dough
Brocolli : 1 cup of florets
Onion : 1
Boiled potatoes : 2
Chilli Powder : 1/2 tsp
Amchur Powder : 1/2 tsp
Green Chilli : 2
Ginger garlic paste : 1 tsp
Salt according to taste

1. Grate or grind the brocolli in food processor into small pieces.
2. In a pan add 1 tsp oil followed by chopped green chilli, small chopped onion pieces and ginger garlic paste.
3. Once the onion turns pink add the brocolli pieces followed by chilli powder, Amchur Powder and salt; cook on a low flame for 2 min; take the pan off from the flame
4. Now smash the boiled potatoes and mix with the other cooked ingredients.
5. Make small balls out of them and roll with the chapati dough like any stuff paratha.