September 28, 2009

Sweet Corn in Rich Onion Sauce - Step by Step Recipe

Sweet Corn Curry in an Onion Sauce - a perfect side dish for chapati/roti and pulao.

I took this picture recently.

Yes, I take all the pictures for this site but this one is easily the most delicious looking, according to me. If you don't agree, its because you don't know how good this dish tastes, so let's do something about that, shall we?

2 corn cobs from the super market and I was good to go.

First step is to chop them up corn cobs into 1" long pieces. I want to be honest with you here - you need a mighty sharp knife for this. I only have wuss-knives and it was a very tough task. I did the best I could and then shaved the rest of the corn off the cob. That will get added to the sauce gravy. Nice, eh?

Speaking of the sauce, let's get started with that. Chop up 2 large onions, 2 pods garlic and a 2" piece of ginger and throw them into the mixer.

Grind to a coarse paste like so.

To this, add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp jeera (cumin), 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp onion seeds (optional, cuz I didn't have any!), 1/2 tsp sugar and 6-8 curry leaves.

Something about the above picture makes me smile. I think its those fresh curry leaves. Fresh curry leaves always make me smile.

Mix well. If you are anything like me, you would smell this mixture before keeping it aside. Go ahead, do just that!

Heat about 1 cup oil in a pan.

Gently place the corn pieces in the hot oil. Take care not to splash oil on yourself. It burns!

Turn and fry the other side, until its golden brown all over.

Drain and set aside. (Sidenote: using steel ladles on your non-stick cookware and taking a picture with your right hand while dealing with hot stuff with your left is to be done at your own risk. )

When the oil has cooled down a bit, remove the excess. We want only about 1 tbsp oil for the sauce.

Start up the stove again and when the oil heats up, add the mixed onion-spices paste.

Fry for 8-10 mins and then add the shaved corn pieces. (An extra step because I don't have sharp knives in the house - refer above). Mix well.

Now add the fried corn cobs.

Lower fire to minimum and top it off with 1 cup scant curd/yogurt. I added 1/2 cup water to 1/2 cup curd and beat well before adding (make sure your heat is at low and you use scant yogurt, otherwise the mixture will curdle and that will just not be a good thing to happen at this stage!)

Let it simmer on a low fire for 2-3 mins. Add salt and mix well before removing from fire.

Its absolutely yummy. If you like corn, this is super delicious - hot and sweet!

Here's the recipe again, all in one place.
Sweet Corn in Rich Onion Sauce
Serves: 2

2 corn cobs
2 large onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves
A 2" piece ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp onion seeds (optional)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chili powder
6-8 curry leaves
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup scant yogurt

1. Cut corn cob into 1" pieces.
2. Grind onion, garlic and ginger.
3. To the above, mix in the spices, curry leaves and sugar.
4. Heat 1 cup oil and fry corn pieces until golden brown. Remove excess oil and fry the onion paste mixture until oil separates (8-10 mins). Add the shaved corn pieces and the fried corn cobs. Mix well.
5. Lower heat and fold in the curd/yogurt. Simmer for 2-3 mins. Add salt and remove from fire.
This may be a good combination with roti. Or maybe even rice. We have no idea because we ate it as is. We bit into the juicy corn and licked the sauce until the plate was clean.

September 22, 2009

Baingan Bharta - Recipe with Grilled Eggplant & Spices

I don't what it is about Punjabi recipes that is so alluring. Both TH and I, though born South Indians, have a huge affinity towards North Indian food. His favourite meal of all times would be garlic naan and palak paneer (which he orders in every Indian restaurant we every go to!) and I love my khadis, and khichdis and paneer butter masala too.

This is another recipe I'd been meaning to try forever. I had bookmarked a lot of variations from different sources but ended up making it my way. The ingredients list is basically the same across all baingan bharta recipes I saw online but I largely adjusted the amount of spices to suit our taste. Please be mindful of that when you try our your version.

Baingan Bharta Recipe
Serves: 4
Preparation time: 15mins grilling eggplant + 45mins for chopping and cooking

What I Used:

2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped fine
3 green chillies (adjust to taste, I used Indian green chillies)
1 tsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp minced garlic (optional)
1 tsp of Kashmiri chilli powder (for the deep red colour. If using ordinary red chilli powder, please be mindful of the extra heat)
1 tbsp coriander powder / malli podi
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp oil
1 lime wedge
Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

How I Made It:

1. Grill the eggplant, cool, peel, mash and set aside.

2. Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds. Once they sizzle, add the chopped onions, green chillies, ginger and garlic with a pinch of salt.

3. When the onions turn pink (don't brown it too much), add the garam masala, coriander powder, turmeric and chilli powder. Fry for 10 seconds and then add the chopped tomatoes. Mix well and cook covered for about 10 mins, stirring once or twice in between.

4. Once the tomatoes are cooked soft, add the mashed grilled eggplant and mix well. Adjust salt and let it simmer for 5-7 mins, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove from fire. Squeeze some lime juice and mix well. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis/phulkas/jeera rice.
This has become our favourite side dish with phulkas. If it didn't take this long for the eggplant to grill + make the baingan bharta, we would have this for dinner every other day.

September 17, 2009

How to Grill an Eggplant (Stove Top Method)

I don't own a grill. The grill where you can do your barbeques and make paneer tikka and garlic bread? Yeah, I don't have that. Not even an anti-social sized one that helps me make portions enough for two. And before you ask, no, my microwave does not come with a grill.

But, does that stop me from grilling? Hell no! Being a self-confessed eggplant lover, how can I not grill it and make those yummy grilled eggplant recipes?

So I got an eggplant one Saturday.

It was nice and fresh and fat when I bought it on this particular Saturday. Unfortunately, I didn't use it for a whole week and when I took it out the next Saturday morning, it had slightly begun to wilt and rot at the stalk. Just slightly though.

That's ok. Just chop off a bit from the stalk part and place it on a plate.

Stick a thick wooden skewer or slim spoon or something similar through the middle of the cut portion.

Take 1 tsp oil and coat the eggplant well. Go on, don't be a wuss and use your hand to do the oil massage.

Switch on your stove and keep it on low fire. Hold the wooden skewer firmly and place the oiled eggplant near the fire. Keep rotating slowly making sure all the sides get even heat.

The skin will being to shrivel and the skin starts getting charred. Make sure no sides burn by evenly distributing the heat.

Place on a plate and let it cool a bit.

Peel the charred skin and remove completely. The resulting eggplant meat will be soft, semi-cooked and very fragrant because of the stove-top grilling.

We can make a bunch of interesting stuff with grilled eggplant. Watch this space for the recipes :)

September 9, 2009

Vegetarian Burger - Step by Step Recipe - How to Make Vegetable Burger at Home

Before you start, I admit that a vegetable burger doesn't replace a quick Indian snack recipe but it sure hits the spot on some days. Read on to learn our story.

TH: "I miss the Mc Aloo Tikki and Paneer Burgers in McDonalds back home. Here, there's no way for us to get vegetarian burgers unless we ask them to remove the patty and eat the burger bun with cheese and lettuce. Damn!"

Nags: "Ok don't fuss. I will make you a burger at home. Its not that hard."

TH: "Ah! Ok, tell me what all stuff we need for it"

Nags: Here's the list of things we need to serve 2 people.
Vegetarian Burgers

4 burger buns
A box of baby greens
4 cheese slices or shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp mayo (any kind)
Half an onion, cut into rings
One tomato, sliced into circles

For the patties:
1 large potato
1 onion
1 carrot
10 French beans
1/4 cup green peas
1/4 cup sweet corn
2 green chillies or 1 tsp red chilli powder
Fresh coriander leaves
1 tsp jeera
1 tsp masala powder (any kind)
6 tbsp oil to shallow fry

For the French fries:
2 large potatoes
Oil to deep fry
TH: "Err.. that's a lot of stuff just to make us two burger meals each".

Nags: "You want it or not?"

TH: "I do, I do! Ok, let's get started"

Nags: "As always, let's use a picture of the final dish to keep us motivated"

TH: drooool

First, boil all the vegetables except onion until soft. Pressure cooking them for about 2 whistles should do the trick.

Mash up the potato real nice. Cut the other vegetables into tiny pieces. Mix in salt, jeera, green chillies/red chilli powder, chopped coriander leaves and the masala powder. Shape into big-ish patties.

Shallow fry the patties until golden brown on both sides. Set aside.

Now comes the bit where we assemble the vegetable burgers.

We start with a burger bun, of course.

Cut it into half. Hopefully you can do a better job of cutting it evenly than I did.

Grab the box of baby greens or any lettuce you have in the fridge.

Lay it out on the lower half of the burger bun.

Top it off with some shredded cheddar cheese or one cheese slice. This is beginning to get yummier, eh?

Take one vegetable patty and place it on the cheese and greens, pressing down gently without crumbling it.

Spread some mayo over this. Between you and me, I ran out of mayo so I used thousand island dressing here. Use whatever you fancy, its your burger.

Onion rings are next. Aren't they pretty?

Tomatoes. TH's burger has an extra slice and mine has just one because raw tomato really doesn't do it for me.

Now bring in the other half of the burger, place it on the pile and press down gently. You can use a toothpick inserted through the center to hold it all together. We didn't really do all that. Just bite, chomp, gulp and go for the next bite if you're anything like us.

If you feel there is no burger experience without French fries, quickly make some. All you need to do is peel and slice potatoes into long thin slices. Mix in some salt.

Deep fry in oil.

There you go, a homemade vegetarian burger meal.

TH: "I think we should make this a monthly regular like our Pizza Friday"

Nags: "Sure! Now that you know how its done, go ahead. The kitchen is all yours"

TH: "Errr.. gulp.. o..k"


September 7, 2009

Condensed Milk 'Cupcake' Recipe

I think I should call these condensed milk 'chews' because they were quite chewy and don't really follow a cupcake recipe. I was wanting to make Mom's Delight but ended up mixing up the ingredients and baking them in muffin cups. The result was delightful.

I love desserts made with condensed milk or marie biscuits. The combination definitely makes it better! A quick evening snack for kids if you have all the ingredients in hand.

Condensed Milk Cupcakes or Chews
Makes about 10

Powdered Marie biscuits - 2 cups (you can also use digestive biscuits)
Sweetened condensed milk - 3/4 to 1 cup, depending on how sweet you sweet tooth is
Butter - 1 tbsp
Cocoa powder - 3 tbsp
Coarsely powdered almonds - 1/4 cup (use any dry nuts you have in hand or a mix of them)
Grated coconut - 2 tbsp
Milk - as required
A pinch of salt


1. Mix butter into the powdered marie biscuits with your fingertips. You will get a crumb-like mixture. To this, add the powdered almonds, coconut, salt and cocoa powder and mix well.

2. Add condensed milk slowly to the above. Mix well using fingers until well incorporated. Don't worry if its sticky, its supposed to be.

3. If the above mixture is a bit too dry, add 1 or 2 tbsp of milk to loosen it up just a bit. The mixture shouldn't be too lose, just of scooping consistency.

4. Grease muffin cups generously and add one spoonful of the mixture to each. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 20 mins.

Enjoy warm!

September 3, 2009

Mushroom Peas Curry / Matar Khumb Curry Recipe

I love those small recipe booklets by Neeta Mehta. They are nicely themed and mostly have traditional and easy recipes. This particular one where I got this Matar Khumb recipe has Punjabi recipes that are extremely popular yet I've never tried before, except maybe the Paneer Butter Masala recipe.

I've already tried two recipes from the book and loved them both. Here's the first one.