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February 26, 2008

Tandoori Aloo Chicken | Tandoori Chicken with Potatoes Recipe

Tandoori Aloo Chicken Recipe

Though I am immensely interested in cooking something nice and healthy for myself over weeknights, its almost always never possible. Simply because I am lazy or blame it on tiredness. In such situations, there is a place that we order take out from called Surabhi Restaurant. Once, I ordered tandoori chicken kabab as an appetizer for dinner. There was quite a lot leftover and I just stashed it in the fridge, thinking I will deal with it the next day.

Tandoori Aloo Chicken | Tandoori Chicken with Potatoes Recipe

Around 5-6 pieces of frozen tandoori kabab stood staring at me next day morning and I briefly looked at the vegetable tray only to find some good old (literally!) potatoes in there. Idea struck and here is what I came up with.

February 23, 2008

Gujarati Chana Moong Dal - Khattay Aloo Recipe

I made 2 easy Gujarati Recipes last week, my first time ever! From the title you all know where this is going, right? Yep! Right over to Mythili's RCI - Gujarati Cuisine. As always I did some research on the state's cuisine and came across some amazing dishes like Khandvi, Dhokla (both of which I am dying to try, but couldn't this time cuz of some logistical issues) and mostly sweet and vegetarian dishes. I zeroed in on some easy dishes to make a simple Saturday brunch.

I made a simple meal of Channa Moong Dal, Gujarati Khattay Aloo and Rice.

Chana Moong Dal Recipe

Gujarati Chana Moong Dal - Khattay Aloo Recipe

Ingredients:
Yellow moong dal - 1/2 cup
Oil - tbsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Juice of - 1/2 lemon
Grated giner - 1/2" piece
2 cups water

How to Make Gujarati Dal Recipe:

1. Pressure cook dal with one cup water and a pinch of turmeric for approx 4 whistles.

2. Mix all the spice powders in 1/2 cup water to make a thin paste.

3. Heat oil in a pan. Add some cumin & coriander seeds. Once they splutter, add the ginger.

4. Add the paste of spice powders, fry for a minute, and then add the dal. Bring to a boil.

5. Add lemon juice and required amount of salt.

Gujarati Khattay Aloo Recipe

Gujarati Chana Moong Dal - Khattay Aloo Recipe

Ingredients:
Potatoes - 3 big
Tamarind pulp - 1 tbsp
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Fresh green chilies - 2
Grated coconut - 2 tbsp

How to make Khattay Aloo Recipe:

1. Peel and dice potatoes.

2. Soak tamarind in hot water for 5 minutes and then squeeze it firmly to extract all the juice and strain the liquid through a seive. Dissolve the sugar in the liquid.

3. Heat 1 tbsp ghee or oil and fry some mustard seeds until they pop. Add the turmeric, chilly powder, coriander and cumin and fry for about 1 minute on low fire.

4. Add the potatoes and toss for about a minute. Sprinkle with salt and little water, (about 1/4 cup) cover tightly and cook on a very low flame for about 15 minutes.

5. Add the tamarind juice, sliced chillies and coconut and stir well. Cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.

February 21, 2008

Easy Tomato Spaghetti Recipe with Shredded Chicken

Any kind of pasta is always a welcome dinner for me, simple because it is hassle-free and doesn't demand a side dish or gravy. Isn't that a perfect meal for one? (Oh!! How I hate cooking just for myself!) I prefer the tomato based paste to the cheese base, though I crave for the latter occasionally. This is an as-simple-as-it-gets kind of recipe to make some yummy spaghetti. Vegetarians, just avoid the chicken and add mushrooms instead, if you like them, or just go plain!

Easy Tomato Spaghetti Recipe with Shredded Chicken


Tomato Spaghetti with Chicken

Ingredients:
Spaghetti - one packet
Shredded cooked chicken - 1/2 cup
Pureed tomatoes - 4
Capsicum/bell pepper - half
Spinach (optional) - 3 to 4 stalks
Crushed garlic - 6 pods
Oregano - 2 tsp
Pepper - 3 tsp
Salt - to taste
Olive oil - 1 tbsp

How I Made It:

1. Cook the spaghetti in boiling water till done. Add some salt and a little oil the water to enhance flavour and prevent it from sticking together once done.

2. Heat the oil and fry the garlic for 30 seconds. Add the diced spinach and capsicum, pureed tomatoes and the chicken and fry for another minute.

3. Add the spaghetti and mix well. Season with the oregano and pepper while still on the stove and mix well. Adjust salt and remove from fire.

Serve hot.

February 15, 2008

Kerala Kadala Curry/ Chana Masala for Puttu, Appam

The Kerala style kadala curry (chana masala) is made with roasted coconut in the gravy which goes great with puttu, idiyappam and paalappam. We make this quite often at home to go with even dosa but mostly with puttu. Puttu and kadala curry is a staple breakfast in Kerala available in almost all restaurants big and small.

The kadala curry at home always tastes different when my mom makes it. Its a mix of a lot of cuisines, I am sure, but the end result is always yummy. This one is from my archives, a recipe that I always wanted to document. I pulled it out because of Ziah's request for a Kerala Kadala Curry so this recipe is dedicated to her :)


Kerala-Style Kadala (Chana / Chickpeas) Curry

What I Used:

Serves 2

Chickpeas/Kabuli Channa/Velutha Kadala - 1 cup
Coriander - 4 tbsp
Coconut - 4 tbsp
Red chillies - 4
Garlic - 6 pods
Star anise - 2

For tempering:

Oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves.

How to make Kadala Curry:

1. The chickpeas should be soaked in water overnight. Pressure cook this for 2 whistles, with some turmeric and salt.

2. Roast the coriander, garlic, red chillies, star anise and coconut in a non-stick pan till it emits a nice smell and turns golden (about 5-7 minutes). Let it cool.

3. Grind the roasted masala to a coarse paste with very little water.

4. Heat oil, let the mustard seeds crackle. Add curry leaves and some more red chillies if you like the curry spicy. Add the masala paste to this and stir for a minute. Add the cooked chick peas and adjust water and salt at this stage.

Serve hot with puttu/ appam/ dosa/ roti, etc.

February 12, 2008

Chow Chow Sambar Recipe - Sambar Recipe with Chow Chow

I saw this vegetable - chow chow aka chayote squash - in Reliance Fresh and immediately wanted to try it out. I had heard about chow chow bhath but I had a certain someone visiting me over the weekend and he is not much of a variety rice person. So we decided on a simple chow chow sambhar to be served with curd rice.

Chow chow/Chayote Squash

Chow chow is rich in Vitamin C and potassium, and 1 cup counts for around 40 calories. The vegetable in itself is quite tasteless but chow chow bhath and chow chow koottu seem to be quite popular, especially in the Andhra cuisine.

Chow chow cut into half

Here is the recipe for Chow Chow Sambar (Chayote Squash Cooked with Lentils)

What I Used:

Chow chow - one, cubed
Toor dal - 1/2 cup
Water - 2 cups
Turmeric - one pinch
Green chillies - 2, slit on the sides
Onion - 1
Salt - to taste
Tamarind paste - 1 tbsp
Sambhar powder - 1 tbsp

For Seasoning

Mustard seeds, curry leaves, chilly powder, chopped coriander leaves.

How I Made It:

1. Pressure cook the dal with chillies, turmeric, cubed onions, and chow chow.

2. Add tamarind paste to the cooked dal. Also add the sambhar powder. Adjust water to get the consistency you like.

3. Heat oil in a separate kadai, add mustard seeds, chilly powder and curry leaves and fry for 10 seconds. Add to the dal mixture. Mix well. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.


Chow chow sambhar with curd rice

I served it with some curd rice.

February 11, 2008

South Indian Curd Rice Recipe - Bagala Bath Recipe

South Indian curd rice or bagala bath recipe - this post is not to to share a unique recipe of curd rice. Its not even to talk about the memories this dish brings. One main reason is I had a ripe pomegranate in the house with a broken mixer-grinder that prevented me from making the smoothie I had originally intended with it. The only other option I could think of was to add it to curd rice. The other reason is, I have started using photoshop (finally!!) after having installed it almost a year back. Note: you can also check out this Iyengar-style curd rice recipe I have shared. It has grated ginger and some extra spices and has fast become my default curd rice recipe. You can also make a curd rice recipe with vegetables to make sure you are taking in a more balanced meal and not just rice and yogurt.

Curd Rice Recipe - Thayir Sadam - Bagala Bath Recipe

Pomegranate is one of those fruits that I ate a lot while growing up. We'd buy them in cartons and my grand mom would very patiently extract the seeds and keep them loosely covered in steel bowls on the dining table so the kids could eat a spoonful whenever they passed by. This also meant I never really learnt how to cut open a pomegranate and get the seeds out easily.

During my internship days in Bangalore, I'd often buy curd rice with pomegranates in them from Sukh Sagar and similar South Indian restaurants, which were the only ones I could really afford. Those meals were the most comforting during those days I missed home food terribly.


Curd Rice Recipe - Thayir Sadam - Bagala Bath Recipe

To make Bagala Bath:

Mix some salt to the curd and mix well. Mix the rice well in this. I don't like mashing up the rice so I leave it whole. Temper mustard seeds, urad dal and red chillies. Let it cool and then add to the rice mixture. Chop some coriander leaves finely and mix it well with this. (I prefer coriander leaves to curry leaves in my curd rice). Finally, top it off with some pomegranate seeds and mix well before serving.

Curd Rice Recipe - Thayir Sadam - Bagala Bath Recipe

I served bagala bath with some chow-chow sambar. A good pickle like the Kerala mango pickle also goes really well with curd rice.


February 7, 2008

Heart-Shaped Shortbread Cookies for Valentines Day

I have never been much of a Valentines Day person. I am one of those people who feel that expression of love should not be restricted to a day. But somehow the season is contagious. With shops selling cards and gifts and little knick-knacks for your loved one, and events in the food blogosphere gently nudging us into cooking something for our valentine. Now, that's something I don't mind.

I always feel inadequate when I need to bake anything. Mainly because I have an OTG without temperature control and just 2 baking dishes in which nothing except a cake can be made. I don't have muffin trays or pie dishes or even cookie cutters. I normall make round-shaped cookies by patting them into shape with my hands. But if I need anything heart-shaped, that's a different story, right?

But I used my hands again! Its crude, its far from perfect, but its still a heart!

Heart-Shaped Shortbread Cookies for your Valentine


February 5, 2008

Idiyappam with Potato Stew-Idiyappam Recipe-Sevai Recipe

How to make Idiyappam - and a Recipe for Potato Stew to go with it. 

UPDATE: I have posted a newer, better Idiyappam recipe step by step so please refer that for making idiyappam at home. Enjoy!

Idiyappam is a typical Kerala breakfast cooked in the traditional method of steaming. Its one of the healthiest ways of cooking and still forms a staple in many households. I can't imagine going through the trouble myself, what with my quick and fast recipes but amma always makes this when we go home on vacation. I had always wanted to document this so here we go.

Kerala Idiyappam Recipe with Potato Stew

To make idiyappam, you need 2 cups rice flour, 2 tsp ghee/oil, 3 cups boiled water and a pinch of salt. You will need a vessel you can use to steam cook it and also an idiyappam press.

How to Make Idiyappam:

1. Mix the rice flour and salt well. Add the boiled water when still warm little at a time till the dough is soft to touch. Mix in the ghee.

2. Take small portions and put into press.

3. Press directly onto idly moulds and steam cook till done. You can sprinkle some grated coconut before steaming, for the added 'Kerala' taste. Coconut always does that, doesn't it?

Serve warm with hot potato stew.

Idiyappam with Potato Stew-Idiyappam Recipe-Sevai Recipe

Potato Stew Recipe for Idiyappam

Ingredients:
Potatoes - 6, peeled and cubed
Coconut milk - 2 cups
Onions - 2
Grated ginger - 1 tsp
Garlic - 2 cloves
Green chillies - 3
Pepper powder - 1 tsp

How to Make Potato Stew:

1. Boil the potatoes and keep aside.

2. Grind the chillies, ginger, garlic and pepper coarsely. Lightly fry this in some oil.

3. Add the onions and saute till it turns transparent.

4. Add the potatoes and mix well.

5. Pour the coconut milk and remove from fire just before it boils. If you boil coconut milk, it loses it flavour. Adjust salt at this stage.