Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Kothmira Annam / Coriander Rice

I finally planted my herbs on Thursday. The pots are sitting near the garden door in my kitchen. It will take about 2 weeks to get the saplings I suppose. I'll keep you updated on this part.

Time changed on Sunday so we "lost" an hour. We are on summer time now. I don't know why they change the time though.

This is one of the first dishes I tried out from Sailu's Food. I've tried a lot of other recipes from her blog ever since and everything I make is a hit. They are all on my "To Blog" list.
This is another dish I hadn't prepared in a long time. I tweaked it a teeny weeny bit from Sailu's blog to our taste and my convinience. Here's my version:

1.5 cups rice, washed and soaked in water for half an hour and drained
Stems of coriander from a big bunch - chopped - you can use leaves also
2 Green Chillies slit length wise
1 tsp Ginger Paste
1 tsp Garlic Paste
3 tbsp Chopped Tomatoes
4 Cloves
2 Green Cardamoms
1 inch Cinnamon Stick
1 Bay Leaf
Salt to Taste
2 tbsp + 2 tbsp Oil

  1. Heat 2 tbsp Oil in a pan.
  2. When hot, add the Chopped Coriander Stems and the Chillies and fry till the raw smell goes.
  3. Remove from heat, add the Ginger and Garlic pastes and blend. Add a little water if necessary.
  4. Heat the other 2 tbsp Oil in a separate pan.
  5. When hot, add the Cloves, Cardamoms, Cinnamon and Bay Leaf and for a minute taking care they don't burn.
  6. Add the ground paste and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Now add the Chopped Tomatoes and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  8. Add the drained Rice and mix well.
  9. Add 2 cups water, salt and cover and cook till the rice is done.
  10. Serve hot with raita / plain curd

This goes to the following events:

Kirthi's Herbs and Flowers in my Platter - Coriander leaves/Cilantro that was started by PJ of Seduce your Tastebuds.

Priya's Bookmarked Recipes Every Tuesday Volume 34 - 29th March 2011

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Mullangi / Radish Sambar

V was "cracking a joke" yesterday. He was calling me "ammamma (mom's mom)" and P "tata (mom's dad)" and laughing. Even though when we were telling him we were amma and naanna (mom and dad in telugu), he would call us ammamma and tata and laugh. Not that he got confused or anything (he's 2 and half and knows very well who his parents are), he was just "cracking a joke". When we started playing along, he gave up soon.

BTW, his latest is to call me and P by name. If he calls us and we don't listen to him, fourth time, he calls our names and runs – expecting us to chase him. He's really becoming a handful. P keeps telling, he was better off not talking. Can't stop him now. And to think of it, it was P who really wanted V to talk fast.

When Vanessa announced Radish as this month's Veg, the only dish I could think of is Radish Sambar as I don't know anything else that you can make with this vegetable. I don't remember anyone making any other dish with this at home. So for me, Radish is synonymous with Sambar.

For a change, I didn't call my Pinni for this recipe. This is one of those recipes I had written down in my recipe book when I came to UK.

1 cup Toor Dal
1 (or more) white radish cut into desired shapes (I sliced them round)
1 Onion sliced thinly
3 – 4 Chillies slit length wise
3 tbsp Chopped Tomatoes
1 tsp Tamarind Concentrate
2 tsp Sambar Powder – made a thick paste with water
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
2 tsp Cumin Seeds
15 to 20 Curry Leaves
2 tbsp Oil
Salt to Taste
Chopped Coriander Leaves to garnish

  1. Pressure cook Toor dal with 3/4th of the Sliced Onion, Chillies and Turmeric Powder in 2 and a half cups water for 3 to 4 whistles. Once the pressure comes down, mash it and leave in the cooker.
  2. In a separate pan, heat the oil and add the Mustard Seeds.
  3. Once they start popping, add the Cumin Seeds and let them crackle.
  4. Now add the Curry Leaves and saute for a minute.
  5. Add the remaining Onion and fry till brown.
  6. Now add the Tomatoes, and fry till the oil separates.
  7. Add the Tamarind Concentrate and fry till it mixes completely.
  8. Add the radish, mix well and fry for 5 minutes.
  9. Put this mixture along with Salt in the pressure cooker and let it cook for 1 to 2 whistles. This is to cook the Radish. So this time depends on the size of the Radish.
  10. Once the pressure comes down, add the Sambar Powder and mix well.
  11. Garnish with Coriander Leaves and serve hot with rice, ghee and papad. Yum.

Note: I use Tamarind Concentrate so my Sambar will be darker in colour. If you are using freshly squeezed tamarind "juice", your colour will be better and you can add the "juice" after you fry the radish.

This goes to the following events:

Vanessa's Veggie / Fruit a Month - Radish that was started by Priya
Mymoonah's A.W.E.D - Indian that was started by DK

ARS C for Colourful Currys

Monday, 21 March 2011

Prawn Pulao

I took out my recipe book recently and realised how many dishes I haven't made in a long time. I guess I am too busy trying out new dishes to go back to my old ones. I've decided I'll make the dishes from my recipe book more often.

This is one such dish that I used to quiet regularly. This used to see our table atleast once in 2 weeks if not more often.

I made this on Sunday after a really, really long time. When we sat down and started eating, I immediately realised how much I loved it. I definitely will be making it more often now.

This is a one dish meal that can be very satisfying and filling. Its quick and easy to make even after you come back from a tiring day at work. I don't prepare Raita every time I make this dish. It tastes really good even on its own.

1.5 cups Basmati Rice – soaked in water for atleast 20 mins
250 gms raw Prawns (I used frozen)
1 Onion – sliced thinly
3 Green Chillies – slit length wise
2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
3 tbsp Chopped Tomatoes
1 inch Cinnamon Stick
4 Cloves
4 Green Cardamom
1 Dried Bay Leaf
15 Curry Leaves
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 tbsp Oil
2 cups Water
Salt to Taste
Chopped Coriander for garnishing

  1. Heat Oil in a pan. When hot, add the Bay Leaf, Cardamom, Cloves and Cinnamon Stick and fry for 2 mins.
  2. Add the Cumin Seeds and fry till they crackle.
  3. Now add the Chillies and Curry Leaves and fry for 2 mins.
  4. Add the Onions and fry till they turn golden brown.
  5. Add the Red Chilli and Turmeric Powders and fry for a minute taking care the powders don't burn.
  6. Add the Tomatoes and cook till the oil separates.
  7. Add the Prawns drained Rice and Salt and mix well.
  8. Add water and bring to boil.
  9. Reduce to sim and cover and cook till done.
  10. Garnish with Coriander Leaves and serve with Raita or on its own.

I always end up breaking the rice in my pulaos. I don't add too much water and I don't mix too much. Any suggestions on how to keep the rice intact would be helpful.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Book Review - Mixed Doubles by Jill Mansell

This post has been long pending... A book review. I still have to write the review for the Shopaholic series. But this is it for now. This book got me into Rom Com novels.

I was not the romantic novel kinds. Even in college, when all my friends used to drool over Mills & Boons, I used to be like - 'Who will want to read romantic novels? They are so boring'. I was into crime, mystery, suspense (read Sidney Sheldon).

I went to a book store which had a closing down sale and the deal was 3 books for £10. I knew 2 books that I definitely wanted. They were costing me almost £9. I thought why should I let the deal go? So after much deliberation (and nagging from P to hurry up), I bought 'Mixed Doubles by Jill Mansell'.

When I read the back cover, I knew it was a girlie story(its about 3 best friends and their new year resolutions). But something told me its going to be full of humor and it'll be a nice time pass read. I was right and wrong. It was quiet funny. But it definitely was not a time pass read. Once you come to a certain point, I had to read it till the end. So instead of passing my time, the book took away my time (not that I am complaining). I did not think I'll enjoy a romantic comedy this much.

The book is about three best friends (all are above 30) and their new year resolutions and how they keep them up.

Liza - She's a successful food columnist(critic types). She's not the thin types but men find her irresistable. Her only problem is - she cant stay interested in a man for more than 2 weeks. She doesn't want that. So her new year resolution is to get married. She meets a person who is 9 years younger to her. She feels she's going to get bored of him like the other men in her life.

Dulcie - She's married to a workaholic. She has a lot of money on hand but doesn't have her husband when she needs him. His only excuse is - I am working for our better future. Her new year resolution is to divorce him and be single. She comes out of the relationship only to have a bad fling with the tennis coach. Its only when she sees her ex-husband with another girl does she realise that she still loves him.

Pru - The calmest among all, she's married to her first love and she feels he's helped her not to go through the teenage affaris. But she is not allowed to do anything that she likes except spend the money he earns. Her resolution is to stay married to him. Her world turns upside down when she discovers that her husband is having an affair with the cleaner and is bankrupt. She needs to start life fresh after having lived a protected life.

The book then goes on to see how the three friends cope up with the situations and the happenings in their lives during that one year.

Apart from a very few serious situations, the book is quiet funny. If you are the kind of person who'll laugh and cry with the books you read, you health will improve with this book (doesn't laughing make you healthier?).

Monday, 14 March 2011

Simple Chicken Curry

Finally... A dish I "invented". My husband works on a sunday (our non-veg day) once every month. I generally make prawns then. I ran out of my frozen prawns this particular weekend when my husband was working. We definitely didn't want to go to Costco to get a bag. We decided on chicken. Since I can't cut chicken, we thought we'll make the chicken on saturday night.

We had a long day as we had to get some shopping done as well. It was almost dinner time by the time we got home. While I made dosas for V, P cut the chicken and me and V marinated it. Since we were in a hurry, I just added what ever I wanted to. Then when P was feeding V the dosas, I cut the onions and made the chicken.

To my surprise and delight, it came out pretty well. May be this is a tried and tested recipe with most of you, but to me, I "invented" it.

4 Boneless Chicken Breasts - cut into bite size pieces and washed
2 Onions - chopped finely
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
4 tsp Chopped Tomatoes
10 to 15 Curry Leaves
2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
2 tsp Green Chilli Paste
1 tsp Chilli Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
Chopped Coriander Leaves to garnish

  1. Marinate the chicken in Ginger Garlic Paste, Green Chilli Paste, Chilli Powder, Coriander Powder, Turmeric Powder and Salt for atleast 20 minutes.
  2. Heat Oil in a pan. When hot, add the Cumin Seeds and let them crackle.
  3. Add the Curry Leaves and saute for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the Onions and saute till they turn golden brown.
  5. Now add the Tomatoes and cook till oil separates.
  6. Add the chicken and cook till the chicken is cooked. No need to add water as the chicken will leave water.
  7. Garnish with Coriander Leaves.
  8. Serve hot with Roti or Rice.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Rava Idli

We are going to Manchester this weekend to visit my husband's brother and his wife. I am looking forward to meet them as its been almost 7 months since we've met them.

I love the Traffod Centre in Manchester. Its one of the most beautiful malls I've seen. We generally go to the mall every time we go to Manchester. How the whole day flies there, I still don't understand. Anyways, its just the weekend we are going for, so there won't be any breaks in blogging (as it is I blog once in 3 - 4 days).

Here's the Rava Idli recipe that I make with my Homemade Mix. Remember the veggies are totally optional. You can add more or avoid them totally. I did not add carrots when I clicked these photos. Hope you enjoy this as much as we enjoy it.

1 cup Homemade Rava Idli Mix
1 cup curd
1 tsp Chilli Paste / 1 Chilli finely chopped
1 tsp Ginger Paste
1 Carrot - grated
1/2 cup Frozen Peas
1 tsp Eno Fruit Salt
Water - as needed
Salt to taste

  1. In a bowl, take the curd and beat it with a fork.
  2. Mix in the Salt, Green Chilli Paste, Ginger, grated Carrot and Peas.
  3. Add the Homemade Rava Idli Mix and mix well so no lumps are formed.
  4. Add water to get the consistency of idli batter. Instead of water, you can also use more curd. Remember that Semolina soaks up a lot of water / curd.
  5. Leave it for about 20 mins to rest.
  6. In the meantime, grease the idli stand with oil.
  7. Add Eno Fruit Salt to the idli batter, mix well and pour into the idli moulds. Do not fill till the top as the idlies will rise.
  8. Steam it for about 20 mins.
  9. Serve hot with chutney or on their own.

This goes to Veggie Platter's Cooking With Seeds - Wheat. Cooking With Seeds was started by Priya.

This also goes to ARS B For Breakfast.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Eggless Chocolate Cake

I had bookmarked this recipe from Rak's Kitchen about 3 weeks ago. Never got the time or chance to try it. I kept postponing. But on sunday, I thought I had to try it. I had bought the cocoa powder also - only for this recipe.

With P away at work (he had a weekend shift) and V taking his nap, I started making this cake. No sooner had I put the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients to mix, V got up. So I got him, put him on the counter and mixed the batter. He got excited seeing it. He knew it was cake.

I put the batter to bake in the oven and gave(fed) V his lunch. When P came home (he works half days), he was surprised to see the cake. He hadn't expected it. He was the main reason that I hadn't baked it for so long. He tells that I don't clean the kitchen counters after I cook and that he had to clean every time.

But seriously speaking, there wasn't much to clean after making this dish. I think the key was to take a big enough dish so the flour wont fly when whisking. Anyways, me and P had our lunch and the three of us had the cake.

I am relatively new to baking. I have only baked a sponge cake about 3 years back. Nothing from then on. I followed the recipe almost word to word. But my cake was done in 20 mins. Here's the recipe for my records:

1 1/2 cups Plain White Flour
4 tbsp Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda / Sodium Bicarbonate)
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 cup Sunflower Oil
1 tbsp Vinegar
1 1/4 cup Water
1/2 tbsp Vanilla Essence
1/4 tsp Salt

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180oC
  2. In a large bowl, add water, salt and sugar and microwave on high for 1 minute. This will help dissolve the sugar fast.
  3. Whisk till the sugar dissolves completely.
  4. Add the Vinegar, Oil and Vanilla Essence and mix well.
  5. Sift Flour, Cocoa Powder and Baking Soda into this bowl and whisk well so no lumps are formed.
  6. Trasfer this batter into a greased and floured baking pan / cake tin. I used cocoa powder to flour.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes or till a tooth pick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out dry. If its not baked, keep checking every 5 minutes after the 20 minutes.
  8. Let it cool and enjoy.

I am not such a big fan of chocolate cake but this was an exception. The outer crust of the cake was hard, but the inside was moist and soft. That's just the way I like it. After this, my husband wants me to experiment with more cakes / icings. I'll need to strike a deal regarding the clean up with him. :).

See how V is enjoying it below. He used both his hands to eat. Can you notice the cake all over his mouth???

This goes to Priya's Bookmarked Recipes - Every Tuesday, Torview's Food palette series brown and Priya's Crazy for Cakes.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Rava Idli Mix

Before you draw your own conclusions, let me tell you this is not a ready made (read store bought) mix. This is a mix that you can make at home and use it when you need it.

I was tired of the regular idlies and wanted a change. I was also trying to include some veggies in our food. That's when the idea of rava idli hit me. Though this was never made at home in India, I knew that we could use veggies in this. So I thought I'll try it.

As usual, my first call went to my pinni who gave me the step by step recipe. In this post, I am giving you the procedure to make the mix. If done (roasted) and stored correctly, this mix can stay good for atleast 3 months.

I make the mix with about 1kg of Semolina at a time. I am writing the recipe for 1 cup semolina. You just multiply the quantities depending on the number of cups you are making. Most of the time, this is present in our house as its almost like instant idli.

This doesn't take much time - especially if you are making only 1 cup. 1 cup makes approx 10 to 12 idlies. So you might want to make accordingly.

1 cup Semolina
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
A Pinch Hing / Asafoetida
10 Curry Leaves
1 Red Chilli torn in pieces
1 tsp Chana Dal
1 tsp Urad Dal
1 tbsp Oil

  1. Heat Oil in a pan. When hot, add the Mustard Seeds and Hing.
  2. When the Mustard Seeds start to splutter, add the Red Chilli pieces, Curry Leaves, Chana Dal and Urad Dal and fry till Chana Dal changes colour.
  3. Now add the Semolina. Roast till the semolina gets a nice golden brown colour and you get the aroma of Semolina.
  4. Remove it from the pan, cool it and store it in an air tight jar.

Note 1: Make sure the jar you are storing in is clean and dry.
Note 2: Its important to remove the mix from the pan, else there are chances that it will burn.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Ready Made Soup - Maggi Hot and Sour Soup

The days are getting longer here in the UK. And the temperatures have started to touch double digits (in the positive). The chaos that the snow had caused in december seems a distant night mare now.

I'll be planting my herbs soon - weather permitting, this weekend. I have got all the required stuff for it. Lets hope they survive and grow this time.

I am sure everyone feels lazy during the winter months. Atleast I hope I am not the only one. So on those lazy winter nights, the ready made packet soups (that I got from India) came to my rescue.

Now... before you think I give my 2 year old this, let me tell you that I have frozen some of his food (either soups / rice with dal, veg or spinach) for emergencies. I am not such a bad mother. :-)

I have finished all the soup packets I have got from India. Waiting for my parents to get me more. I managed to click only one soup. Its the Maggi Veg Hot and Sour Soup.

I'll click more next time. But this is not such a bad option during those bad winter nights when all you want is comfort food. The soup is very close to the one we get in the restaurants back home. Here is the photo...

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Fish Curry

Continuing my "Fishy trials", when we went to the US in May 2010, we tasted Tilapia there – that was closer to Koramenu back home. But the problem was, I do not get Tilapia here. On my weekly trips to the Indian store, I was looking at the frozen fish section and found Frozen Tilapia fillets. Me and P were super excited.

We immediately bought a pack (of 3 fillets) and took it home. The next Sunday, I made this Fish Curry. It came out pretty well.

300 gms Fish - cut into chunks
1 Onion - Sliced finely
2 Green Chillies - slit in the middle
2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
3 tbsp Chopped Tomato
1 tsp Chilli Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 tbsp Oil
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste
Chopped Coriander Leaves to garnish

  1. Heat Oil in a pan. When hot, add the Cumin Seeds and let them crackle.
  2. Add the Green Chillies and fry for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the Onion and and fry till they turn golden brown.
  4. Add the Curry Leaves and fry for 2 minutes
  5. Add Ginger Garlic Paste and fry till the raw smell goes.
  6. Add the Tomatoes and let cook till the oil separates
  7. Add the Chilli Powder, Coriander Powder, Cumin Powder, Turmeric and Salt and mix well.
  8. Add the Fish, mix well and cover and cook till done.
  9. Garnish with Coriander Leaves.
  10. Serve hot with rice.

Now I am waiting for my mom to come and make her Fish Pulusu with Tilapia. This fish is quiet chunky. So we use the River Cobbler for the fry.

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