Sunday, 27 February 2011

Fish Fry

We used to have fish quiet regularly in India. I never had it in the UK as the most common fish (Haddock and Cod) are not suitable for Indian cooking. They break very easily and the worst – they have the "fishy" smell which I hate.

After staying in UK for almost 4 years (this was more than a year back), me and P thought its high time we start trying out different kinds of fish to see which tastes good. We were browsing through the ASDA fish counter and saw this Vietnamese River Cobbler fillets. We picked it up as it was the cheapest fish on the counter – It was about 7 Pounds per KG. We thought if we were trying, we might as well start with the cheapest.

We bought 3 fillets (approx 500gms) and made fish fry. To our delight, the fish didn't break, it didn't smell and it tasted like Koramenu (Murrell) – the fish I love in India.

From then, I followed the same recipe to make fish fry once in atleast 10 days. Until my mother came... She tweaked the recipe and made it from good to awesome. We follow that recipe till date and it never fails us. Its almost like comfort food for the three of us.

While V has the fry on its own, me and P have it with either a soup or Jeera Rice.

500 gm - Fish - cut into chunks (firm white fish) - I used Vietnamese River Cobbler
1/2 Small Onion
3 tsp Chopped Tomatoes
1 tsp Chilli Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
3/4 tsp Cumin Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
2 tbsp Lime / Lemon Juice
a hand full of chopped coriander leaves (optional - I didn't use it this time)
Salt to taste
Oil to shallow fry

  1. Make a fine paste of the Onion, Tomato, Chilli Powder, Coriander Powder, Cumin Powder, Turmeric Powder, Ginger Garlic Paste, Lime Juice and Coriander Leaves.
  2. Marinate fish in the paste for atleast 20 mins.
  3. Take a flat non stick frying pan and add 2 tbsp oil.
  4. Once the oil is hot, add the fish pieces one by one and fry them on both sides till they are done.
  5. If you have more fish left, proceed in the same way. You might need to add a little more oil to fry.

Note: If you are on a diet, have it with some salad.

This goes to Dish Name Starts with F started and hosted by Akila

Thursday, 24 February 2011

French Toast

My first memory of this dish is from a Star hotel in India. We were staying there and went down for the free breakfast. In the buffet, there was an item called French Toast. It just looked liked pieces of bread toasted with something. I took it (and others) and went to my table.

I hated it the moment I took a bite into it. It was sweet and soggy and smelt of egg. I never tried it again... until recently when I made my "Indian Version".

Like Egg Puff, this is a totally trial and error recipe. But these are the quantities I've used:

6 Bread Slices – cut in any shape / size
4 Eggs
1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Pepper
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
Salt to Taste
Oil to fry.

  1. Break the eggs into a flat bowl so the bread slices can fit in well.
  2. Mix all the other ingredients (except bread and oil) and beat well.
  3. Put 1 tbsp Oil in a frying pan.
  4. When the oil is hot, dip 1 slice bread in the egg mixture. Turn it around so the egg mixture is coated on both sides of the bread.
  5. Place the bread slice on the pan. Repeat steps 4 and 5 till the frying pan is filled with bread slices in a single layer.
  6. At this point, you can cover and cook – I like to do this to ensure that the egg is cooked well inside the bread slice.
  7. Repeat steps 3, 4, 5 and 6 till all the bread slices are cooked turning each slice in between.
  8. Serve hot.

Note 1: If there’s any left over egg mixture, you can make an omelette with it.
Note 2: You can add finely chopped green chilli to "up" the spice factor.

This goes to Dish Name Starts with F started and hosted by Akila

This also goes to Food palette series brown started and hosted by Torview

Monday, 21 February 2011

Potato Leek Soup

Probably one of the easiest soups I have ever made (till now). I first had it when we went to Blair Drummond National Park in June 2010. We ordered it for V as we thought he might enjoy soup. He did enjoy it but couldn't finish it. As usual, I finished it. It was quiet tasty.

Though this is very common in the UK, I couldn’t get myself to have it. I never knew what leeks were and didn't want to try – thinking they'll taste bad (I am not too sure of the UK taste buds). But this proved me wrong.

It had a very delicate flavour and was very filling. Later I got to know that Leeks were part of the Onion family but not as strong as Onions themselves. Apparently, they are good for health as well – they are supposed to lower the bad cholesterol.

With V liking soups, I thought I should try this soup. So I started "googling". I found a lot of recipes. I went through a few and came up with this and it was what I wanted. The best part about this soup was the cooking. The smell that filled the kitchen when the Leeks touched the hot butter was enough to make me want to finish the soup fast and dig in.

250 gms Leeks Chopped
3 Potatoes Peeled and Chopped (I cut in ½ inch pieces for faster cooking)
1 tbsp Garlic Paste (Optional)
1 Vegetable Stock Cube (I used the low salt one)
2 cups Water
2 tbsp Butter
Salt to Taste

  1. Melt butter in a pan.
  2. When it melts, add Leeks and fry for 2 minutes.
  3. If adding Garlic Paste, add it now and fry for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the Potato and mix well.
  5. Crumble and add the Stock Cube. Add water and mix.
  6. Cover and Cook till the Potatoes are done.
  7. Taste and adjust the salt.
  8. Serve it with bread roll

Note: You can blend the soup if you don't want the bite. I blend it for my son. Me and P like the "bite" version.

This goes to Reva's A.W.E.D. - British. A.W.E.D was started by DK of Chef In You.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Green Peas Pulao

I have been searching forever for a Green Peas Pulao that the restaurants serve you. Its extremely simple and tasty. Not too many masalas – Just right enough to be eaten on its own or with any of the side dishes.

When Jayasri announced Blogger's Marathon and chose Rak's Kitchen as the blog, I started going through her "Home Made" section. I found this Green Peas Pulao that I wanted to try out as it didn’t have 101 spices. This was THE recipe I was looking for.

It was amazing on its own and was very tasty with the Prawn Curry I that I made as a side dish. Since it was less spicy, it wasn't that difficult to feed V (who’s been saying "hot" for everything even remotely Indian now a days).

Thought I have followed Rak's recipes word for word, I am writing it down here as this quantity is just enough for the three of us.

1 1/2 cups Basmati Rice – washed and soaked for atleast 20 mins
1 cup Frozen Peas
1 Onion – Finely Sliced
2 Chilles – Slit length wise
1 1/2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1 Bay Leaf
1 Inch Piece Cinnamon Stick
1 tsp Shah Jeera (Caraway Seeds) / Cumin Seeds
2 1/4 cup Water
2 tbsp Oil
Salt to Taste
Chopped Coriander Leaves for Garnish

  1. Heat Oil in a pan. Add the Bay Leaf, Caraway Seeds and Cinnamon Stick and fry for a minute.
  2. Add the Chillies and fry for 2 minutes
  3. Add the Onions and fry till they become transparent.
  4. Add the Ginger Garlic Paste and fry till the raw smell goes.
  5. Now add the Peas and mix well.
  6. Strain the rice and add it to the pan. Mix well, add the water and salt and bring to boil.
  7. Cover the pan and cook till done (approx 10 to 12 mins).
  8. Garnish with Coriander Leaves and serve.

This goes to Jayasri's Blogger's Marathon without a doubt. This also goes to Sara's Corner's Healing Foods - Ginger and Garlic. Healing Foods was started by Siri of Cooking With Siri.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Bulgur Wheat Upma

I am trying out different kinds of Upma to test the textures (mainly for V). I also want to add that little extra nutrition / fibre into our meals. This does not happen every day, but something is better than nothing – isn't it?

This is another kind of Upma that I made the other day. It was an instant hit.

V loved the texture, so he chewed on the Bulgur and the Veggies. When I give him the regular (semolina) upma, he tries to swallow – which is ok when its just the semolina. But he chokes when he tries to swallow the Veggies. So I used to mash the Veggies and pick the chana dal every time I gave him. But this, he ate all the veggies and the chana dal without a fuss.

Lesson Learnt: Never mix textures for babies. They might get confused. (Atleast mine did).

With this experience (and lesson), here's the recipe.

1 cup Raw Bulgur Wheat
1 cup Mix Vegetables – cut into same size pieces (I used potatoes & peas)
1 Onion – Finely Chopped
2 Chillies – Slit length wise
3 tsp Chopped Tomatoes
1 tbsp Ginger Paste / Grated Ginger
1 tsp Chana Dal
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
10 to 15 Curry Leaves
2 – 3 cups water
2 tbsp Oil
Salt to Taste
Coriander Leaves to garnish

  1. Heat Oil in a pan. When hot, add the Mustard Seeds and let them Pop.
  2. Then add Jeera and let them crackle.
  3. Now add Curry Leaves and fry for a minute.
  4. Add the Onions and allow them to change colour.
  5. Now add the Ginger and fry till the raw smell goes.
  6. Add the Tomatoes and cook till the oil separates.
  7. Add the Vegetables, Bulgar Wheat and Salt and mix well.
  8. Add 2 Cups of Water and cook till the Bulgar Wheat is done. (It took me about half an hour.)
  9. Keep checking the water and add more if necessary.
  10. Garnish with Coriander Leaves and serve.

Note1: To save time, you can cook the Bulgur Wheat separately according to the package instructions and cook the vegetables in the microwave and mix them together when the tomatoes cook.

Note2: My method saves me from washing 2 extra dishes. Also, as the Vegetables and Bulgur Wheat cook together, I can do my other work (like have tea or browse the net).

This goes to Sara's Corner's Healing Foods - Ginger and Garlic. Healing Foods was started by Siri of Cooking With Siri.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Pepper Coriander Mushroom Curry

Mushrooms... Never liked them much till I ate this dish. My mother had never prepared Mushrooms and wanted to make a dish. So she called her friend and took the recipe and made it. Reluctantly I took a bite and have been in love with the dish ever since. I won't say I love Mushrooms. But I love this dish.

This dish is extremely spicy (ofcourse, it depends on the amount of pepper you use). When my mother went back to India, I tried this dish a few times and it didn't come out that well. It was nice, but not wooow!!!

Recently when my cousin was here, he bought a packet of frozen sliced mushrooms and used very little. The packet was lying in my freezer occupying precious space. I got fed up of seeing the packet lying there, so I called my mother and took the recipe again. That's when she said its important to add lots of Coriander. That's the ingredient that I missed previously. With this new addition, my dish turned out WOOOW!!!

500 gms Mushrooms sliced (if possible cooked in the microwave)
2 Onions - Finely Chopped
2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
2 tsp Cumin Seeds
3/4 tsp Coriander Powder
3/4 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 1/2 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper (I ground it to a coarse powder)
2 fistfuls Fresh Coriander Leaves - Roughly Chopped
2 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste

  1. Heat Oil in a Pan. Once hot, add the Mustard Seeds.
  2. When they pop, add the Cumin Seeds and let them crackle.
  3. Now add the onions and fry them till they get a nice brown colour.
  4. Add the Ginger Garlic Paste and fry till the raw smell goes.
  5. Add the Coriander Powder, Red Chilli Powder and salt and fry for a minute taking care that the spices dont burn.
  6. Now add the mushrooms and cook till done. If the mushrooms are pre cooked, cook till you get the right consistency.
  7. Add the Pepper Powder, mix and turn off the heat.
  8. Add the Corinder Leaves and mix.
  9. Serve hot with roti.

Note: I had a little left over curry with plain curd and it tasted excellent.

This goes to Sara's Corner's Healing Foods - Ginger and Garlic. Healing Foods was started by Siri of Cooking With Siri.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Goru Chikkudu (Guvar) - Mamidikaya Kura / Cluster Beans – Raw Mango Curry

Mamidikaya – Ooooh! I love it. I used to wait for summer in India just to eat it. I am taking about the raw variety. The really tangy one. I would finish any dish made with this. I remember, me and my mom used to eat the raw mangoes every day – with salt and chilli powder. I am sure many of you are aware of this. It was almost like a competition between us.

I love almost anything tangy. I am happy that V also likes the "tangy stuff". So I try and use raw mangoes whenever I get good ones.

My mother had got these cut mango pieces from India and they were in the freezer. Ofcourse, I ate queit a few pieces before I put them in the freezer.

When I called my pinni (mom's sister) – my usual source of recipes what to do with the Guvar that I had bought, she told me the recipe and said – "If you add mango, it'll be really tasty. But I don't know if you can get mangoes there". I told her I have mangoes and I'll use them. After I put down the phone, I made this and it was amazing.

1 packet (400 gms) Frozen Cut Guvar
1 Raw Mango – Cut into 1 inch Chunks (Make sure it’s the Tangy Variety – not the sweet one)
1 Onion – chopped
3 tbsp Chopped Tomato
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
2 tsp Jeera Seeds
2 sprigs Curry Leaves
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
2 tbsp Oil
Salt to Taste

  1. Heat Oil in a pan. When hot, add the Mustard Seeds and let them Pop.
  2. Then add Jeera and let them crackle.
  3. Now add Curry Leaves and fry for a minute.
  4. Add the Onions and allow them to change colour.
  5. When the Onions are brown in colour, add the Tomato and cook till the oil separates.
  6. Now add the Salt, Turmeric Powder and Chilli Powder and mix well.
  7. Add the Guvar and mango and mix well so the masala is ncorporated into them.
  8. Cover and cook till the Guvar is done.
  9. Serve with Rice. (I am sure it'll be good with roti as well – I didn't try it).

Note: Adjust the amount of mango depending on its size and how tangy you like yours.

This goes to JFI Re-Run Mango hosted by Satya. JFI was started by Indira of Mahanandi. This is a re-run of the same event.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Beans Coconut Fry

This was one vegetable I always ate without a fuss. Not that I love beans, but I don't mind it. My favourite in India was the Beans – Carrot Fry. I should try making that soon.

I tried out this recipe about 4 years ago and used desiccated coconut. It was nice, but I never made it again and I had forgotten about it. Recently, I was watching something on TV when I saw this combination (I don't remember what I was watching). I had frozen coconut and cut beans in the freezer. So I thought I should give it another try.

This is my own recipe. Its extremely simple, so I am sure many of you know it. But I really didn’t take it from any one's blog / site (just to avoid copyright issues).

300 gms French Beans (cut into half inch pieces)
2 tbsp Grated Coconut (Fresh / Frozen (defrost it) / dessicated)
1 Onion – chopped
2 Dry Red Chillies Split
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
2 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 sprigs Curry Leaves
2 tbsp Garlic paste
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Chilli Powder
2 tbsp Oil
Salt to Taste

  1. Heat Oil in a pan. When hot, add the Dry Red Chillies and fry for a minute.
  2. Add Mustard Seeds. Once they splutter, add Jeera Seeds and let them crackle.
  3. Now add Curry Leaves and fry for a minute.
  4. Add Onion and fry till it browns.
  5. Now add the Garlic Paste and fry till the raw smell goes.
  6. Add the Turmeric Powder and Salt and mix well.
  7. Add the Beans and Grated Coconut, mix well and let it cook till the Beans are almost done.
  8. Add the Chilli Powder, mix well and cook till the Beans are done.
  9. Serve hot with Rice / Roti.

For the lovely green colour, this is going to Torview's Food palette series Green

This also goes to Sara's Corner's Healing Foods - Ginger and Garlic. Healing Foods was started by Siri of Cooking With Siri.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Thai Green Curry

Me and P fell in love with Thai food when we went to Thailand for our first Anniversary. We freaked out on the food. Before we came to UK, there were no decent Thai restaurants in Hydereabad. When we came here, we frequented one restaurant as we thought that was the most authentic Thai we had eaten after Thailand.

But after V was born, its quiet difficult to go out and enjoy food. So we don’t go out much as we think there’s no point in going to a good restaurant and not enjoy the food. We do eat the food – but don't enjoy it.

A few months back, we went to this huge Asian (Not Indian) supermarket where I was looking at a Thai Green Curry paste. I had put it in my shopping basket when a lady (a complete stranger) told me that the paste I took is good but this other one is much better. She bought 2 packets in front of me and went.

Me and P thought may be we should try it. When we followed the instructions, cooked it and took a bite, it took us back to Thailand. The taste was really good.

Its quiet simple to make. Just boil the bite size chicken pieces in coconut milk and add the paste. That’s it.

This is seeing our dinner table quiet regularly from then. And since P can make it, I can relax. And enjoy the food.

We have it with regular white rice. This is one of the best ready made pastes I’ve had. I am sure people of Thai Origin can make it even better from scratch. But this paste is good enough for us.