Monday, May 31, 2010

Pepper Mutton Chops

Hope all of you had a wonderful weekend.Today I am going to share with you guys a non-vegetarian recipe..It is a delicious mutton recipe:"Pepper-Mutton Chops". Last 2-3 weeks we didn't get a chance to visit the halal market. Last day we went there and bought some goat mix.and the  same day I prepared this mutton dish.this one is my husband's favorite one... He likes to have it with appam or chapathi. sometimes we love to have it with bread as well. Nowadays this dish is a very common one in our menu. You can eat 5-6 appam with this chops. Really mouth-watering combo. I got this recipe idea from one of the cookery show..It's  quite different recipe.we are using curd, coconut and dried coconut for the preparation. (If u don't have dried coconut, don't worry, if you have some fresh coconut, just bake it for 10-20 minute in 300F.then that should be better to use for this recipe).The dried coconut is available in all indian groceries.(it is known as Copra).
If u have a plan to prepare this recipe buy the goat-mix (contains both bone-less and bone cuts). While buying the mutton tell them to give the mutton mix. If u try this recipe with boneless, you won't get the exact taste. (By definition Mutton chops means the mutton pieces with bones). Any meat if you prepare with bone would be more tastier than the same with boneless. The bones itself gives nice flavor to the dish.
Its a very spicy one. According to ur taste u can change the spice levels..Try it today itself and enjoy. OK, no more stories today..let me tell you how I prepared this delicious chops..
Preparation Time:30-45 minutes
Cost of the item:3.49 usd/Pound
Mutton chops(mutton with bones): 1 pound
Ginger : 1 medium size
Garlic: 2 pods
Green chili: 2 nos
Red Onion:2 medium size
Tomato: 1 medium size
TurmericPowder: 1 tsp
Pepper Powder: 1tsp
Garam Masala Powder: 1 tsp
Curd: 1/4 cup
Coriander leaves chopped:1/2 cup
salt : to taste
Water:2 cups
Oil: 2tbsp
For Grinding
1.Dried coconut pieces(copra)-4 medium pieces
  CousCous: 2 tbsp
2.grated Coconut: 1/2 cup
3.Peppercorn: 5 nos
  • Clean the mutton pieces and marinate with some salt
  • Crush the ginger and garlic
  • Chop the green chili
  • Slice the onion into strips
  • Cut the tomato into  8 pieces.
  • Dilute the curd by adding 1/4 cup of water.
Make the paste of the following:
  1. Dried coconut pieces and couscous
  2. Grated coconut
  3. Peppercorns(for grinding add some water)
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the diluted curd into the oil and let it boil for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the Sliced onion into the curd mix.saute the onions until they are golden and transparent
  • Add the ginger garlic and green chili into it and saute well
  • Add the pepper paste followed by the coconut paste. saute until the oil separates.
  • Add the tomatoes and chopped coriander leaves itnto the mix.saute for sometime.
  • Add the Couscous-dried coconut meat mix ,stir well.
  • Add 2 cups of water followed by the turmeric powder and garam masala.mix all the ingrediets together. Let the mix to boil for 3-4 minute .
  • Add the Mutton pieces into it.Let it boil until mutton the pieces get cooked.Meantime add pepper powder and mix well.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and cover  the pan with airtight lid and let the mix to boil 10-15 minutes.
The delicious Mutton chops are ready to have..Have it with Appam or chapathi or bread.
Cook's Tip
  • According to your taste change the spice level.
  • Slow cooking make the chops so tasty.
  • Do not try to cook it in high heat.Close the pan with airtight lid and let the chops to slowly cooks in medium heat.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Three In One-Lima Beans-Dal-GreenPeas Tomato Curry

First of all i want to say a big "Thank you" to all my friends for your lovely birthday wishes.Today i am going to share with you guys a simple recipe which I used for preparing three curries. I hope that now you got the idea of the title Three in one..don't confuse with the name..It means 3 curries with a recipe but the main ingredient is different.They are: Spilt mung dal,Green peas and Lima beans. The mung Dal-tomato curry is the one I used to prepare for chapati and rice. But when i tried the same recipe with lima beans/Butter bean( always prefer to use the Lima beans for veg-fried rice and veg kurma.)and green peas it came out nicely and we really liked the curries. Nowadays I got 2 more vegggie varieties in our menu. The best thing is that it is very simple and good combo with rice and chapathi. I think sometimes our trial will end up with  new dish to our daily menu.
Don't forget to try this dishes sure u will love all these. Let me explain how we can prepare this simple and delicious curries:
1.Lima Beans-Tomato curry
Lima beans: 1 cup
Oil: 1 tsp
Green chili: 2 nos
Garlic : 2 pods
Ginger: medium size
Onion: 1 small
Tomato: 2 small
Ground cumin :1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
Chili Powder: 2 tsp
Coriander Powder: 1 tsp
Garam Masala:1 tsp
Kasoori methi:1/2 tsp
Water: enough
Salt: to taste
Coriander Leaves:some
  • Cook the Lima beans in a pressure cooker with 1/2 cup of water until one whistle. Do not over cook. Add salt to taste
  • Crush ginger and Garlic.
  • Cut the green chili into small pieces
  • Cut the tomato into 8 pieces
  • Dice the onion into small pieces
  • Heat the oil in a pan.Add green chili and crushed Ginger garlic.saute for sometime.
  • Add the diced onion and saute well.
  • Add the tomato pieces into it..stir well ..
  • Once the tomatoes are well cooked add the Turemric powder followed by Chili poswder,coriander powder and garam masala.Mix well.
  • Add the cooked Lima beans into it.
  • Add the Kasoori methi, ground cumin,coriander leaves and salt into the mix.
  • Saute well and then add 1-11/2 cups of water.
  • Close the pan and let the mix to cook for 5-10 minutes in medium heat.
The Delicious Lima beans Tomato currry is ready to have..very good combo with Rice and Chapati..

2.Dal-Tomato curry
Use the Split mung dal 1/2 cup 
rest of the ingredients are same as above.
  • In step1 cook the Dal with 1 cup of water  in a pressure cooker for 2 whistle or until well cooked.Add salt to taste.
  • Follow Step2 & 3 as described above
  • In Step4 add the cooked Dal and rest is same as above.
3.Green Peas-Tomato Curry
Use the Green Peas  1/2 cup .(soak it Overnight)
rest of the ingredients are same as above.
  • In step1cook the green peas with 1 cup of water  in a pressure cooker for 2 whistle or until well cooked.Add salt to taste.
  • Follow Step2 & 3 as described above
  • In Step4 add the cooked Green peas  and cook as per the above recipe.
Cook's Tip
  • Do not overcook Green peas and Lima beans .
  • According to your taste change the quantity of masala
  • If u need more gravy add more water at Step4.

Enjoy the Delicious curries..
Sending this to sara's My legume love affair 23. and also to Cooking with seeds -Cumin seeds event hosted by Sara and the event started by Priya.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Szechuan Chili Chicken and Chicken& Vegetable Soup

Today I am going to share with you guys something special, it is a Chinese dish. It is so special for me because it was prepared by my Husband and a  special treat on my birthday.It was on last Friday and my hus got a special chance to work from home on. In the evening I thought I can get ready for dinner but suddenly my hus told me: "I think we can go out tomorrow and today as a special I can cook for u..".I really wondered and simply said OK because i love his cooking and of sure i know it would be so delicious one. I don't know whether i mentioned about his cooking in any of my earlier posts. you know he is a very good cook. but after marriage I rarely get a chance to taste his cooking. The best dish cooked by him is the Gobi Manchurian (Cauliflower Stir-fry) . I love it  very's taste like anything. Always his friends mention about that food.I learnt it form him only.

On this special occasion my hus  prepared for me the Chinese dish. He knows that i am a great fan of Chinese dish. Really guys, i always prefer to eat Chinese and Thai food from outside. I never get tired of eating Chinese/Thai food. I like it as much as our Indian food.may be thats the reason he  just chosen the Chinese dish for me on this special occation.What he prepared was Szechuan Chili chicken,Chicken and Mixed vegetable&Chicken soup,rice(me) and a drink.So it was a 3 course food.Nowadys i have a good collection of cook books from library.he got the recipe idea from one of the book.

Whenever he starts cooking he used to call me and ask me "where is that curry powder? this curry powder?"..even if it is in front of his eyes he couldn't see that, finally I  have to come and show the same. And also he always has a demand that I need to clean and marinate the chicken. He doesn't like to wash and clean it. He doesn't even like to see or touch the fresh chicken. Sometimes when I cut the whole chicken (or fish) he will be away from that area. He couldn't even hear the cutting sound or and does not like to see the cleaning process.So I just kept all the ingredients in the kitchen cabin , cleaned the chicken and marinated the pieces as per his instruction.

It took almost an hour to complete his cooking. Even though I was playing with our little one, I kept on asking whether he need any help and i just want to do something. At last he told me to prepare the rice..I was so happy to do the same.The funny thing happened is usually after lunch or dinner I used to say "Oh! tired... lots of work na?" This time also after dinner I simply said "Oh tired, So much work na?" He was laughing like anything. Suddenly I realized my blunder and I added: "yea! too much tired of eating..."

"The Szechuan Chili chicken and the  Mixed vegetable&Chicken soup" - it was one of the best treat I ever had on my b'day. I really enjoyed having it. He is very perfect in cooking. I have to learn so much from him..if i am doing something perfect in cooking that's because of his guidance and criticism. Never ever he said  a bad comment (negative comment) about the food which I prepared. Even though the food tastes bad, he usually say next time if u add this or that, it will be be perfect.  I think that those kind of comments are always inspirational. My father also do the same. He always say good comment about my food whether it is good or bad. But my brother would ask "Amma, why did u let her cook?". If I am doing anything good in cooking thats beacuse of these comments and support which I got from my loved ones.Lot of stories na..Now i am going to tell you how my hus prepared this delicious food.
1.Szechuan Chili-chicken

Chicken: 1/2 pound
Salt : to taste
Pepper Powder: 1tsp
Egg White: 1 no
Oil: 3 tbsp
Corn starch: 1 tbsp
Ginger : 1 medium size
Red Pepper: 1/2 portion 
Yellow Pepper: 1/2 portion (you can use green pepper as well)
(In USA, they call Capsicum as pepper. Based on its color, there are: Red Pepper, Green Pepper & Yellow Pepper)
Red chilli : 3 nos
Spring Onion: 1 no
Carrot: 1 small (optional)
Soy sauce: 1 1/2 tbsp
Rice Vinegar: 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Clean and Cut the chicken, Red, Yellow Pepper and carrot into bite sized pieces.
  • Make a mixture of salt 1 tsp oil,corn starch,pepper  Powder and egg white.Marinate the chicken with this mixture to make a thin coating and keep asaide for 30 - 1hour.
  • Chop the ginger and crush the red chili to make the flakes.chop the spring onion.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan just cook the chicken for about 5-7 minute in medium heat.and keep it aside.
  • Heat remaining oil in the pan and add the ginger chili peppers and Carrot and fry for 2 minutes.
  • Add the chicken pieces followed by  spring onion ,soy sauce and rice vinegar.Fry for another 2-3 minute.
The delicious Szechuan Chicken is ready to serve..Serve hot with rice and soup..
Cook's tip
  • Cut the chicken and peppers in similar shape.
  • Do not add more corn flour.
  • Do not over cook the chicken then chicken became chewy (rubbery).
  • If u like a hot version increase the number of red chili
2.Mixed vegetable&Chicken soup.
Chicken: 1/4 pound
Onion: 1 medium size
Carrot: 1 small
Celery: 1 stick
Whole pepper: 5 nos
Bay leaf: 1 leaf
Water: 4 cup
Salt: to taste
Pepper corn: 7-8
Spring Onion: 1 
Corn : 1/2 cup
Spring onion : small portion
Pepper powder
  • Cut the chicken into very small pieces
  • cut the onion into very small pieces
  • Grate the carrot using a grater
  • Chop the celery into small pieces(lengthwise )
  • Cut the green and white part of the spring onion into small pieces
  • In a heavy bottomed pan ,add the chicken,onion ,carrot ,celery,pepper corns, Bay leaf,spring onion..add the salt to taste. Add 4 cups of water. Bring to boil in medium heat for about 20-30 minutes
  • Once the chicken and veggies are almost cooked just mash them using a spatula.
  • Add the corns into it..bring them to boil about 10-15 minutes..
  • Just garnish the soup with spring onion..
The delicious soup is ready to serve..Add the salt and pepper according to ur taste.
3. Rice
Basmati Rice : 1 cup
Water : 2 cup
  • Wash the rice and soak it for 10-20 minute
  • Cook the rice with water in Pressure cooker until 1 whistle..
  • Transfer the rice into a service plate .serve with Szechuan chiken and soup
4.Lemon Soda
Sprite: 1 can
Lemon : 1 
Sugar: 1 tbsp
  • Extract the juice from lemon 
  • Add the sugar in to it and mix well.
  • Pour Sprite in to the mix and stir well
  • Transfer the whole content into the glass.
Enjoy the drink and the delicious meal..

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Unnakaya /Stuffed Ripe Plantain with Coconut

Today I thought I can share another traditional Kerala food..It is a famous snack in northern part of Kerala (Malabar region). It is very popular and demanded item during the Ramadan fasting days. The name of the snack is UNNAKAYA. It has a special shape and the shape is similar to the fruit called unnakaya.The main ingredient for this snack is ripe-plantain (Ethaykaya).The best part about this snack is that it can be prepared in both veg and non-veg versions so both vegetarians and non-vegetarians can have it. The non-vegetarian version is prepared with egg. It is a very tasty one and kids will really love this delicious snack. We can also call it as a stuffed plantain with coconut.
Frankly speaking, when i prepared this first 2-3 times it was a flop; the main problem I faced was that I couldn't prepare it in the perfect shape and while frying it was broken so we ate them as podimas. . 
Today, I prepared both the veggie and non-veg versions. My hus really liked the egg version.You can deep fry or shallow fry it. Here I shallow fried it. But be careful, it will get fried within minutes. if  u keep it for more time it will get burn and spoil the taste. If u try to prepare this, first prepare the stuffing and then boil the plantain. Because if u keep the mashed plantain for long time it will get dry and can not make out the correct shape. Better to prepare the filling first then boil and mash the plantain. Do not use the fully riped plantain.
Just try it..sure it will be a good addition to ur evening snack menu..
Lets talk about the recipe...

Ripe Plantain: 2 nos
Vegetarian version:                         
Ghee: 1 tbsp     
Cardamom: 2 nos
Raisins: 5 nos
Cashewnut: 5 nos
couscous:3 tbsp(optional)
Grated Coconut: 1/2 cup
Sugar: 1/4 cup
Non vegetarian Version:                                         
Cardamom: 2 nos
Raisins: 5 nos
Cashewnut: 5 nos
Grated Coconut: 1/2 cup
Sugar: 1/4 cup 
Egg: 1 no   
  • Crush the cardamom and  cashew nut. If u like u can use the whole one.
  • Boil the plantain.
How to Boil the plantain:
  • Cut the plantain into 2 pieces.
  • In a pressure cooker just add enough water and cook until 1 or 2 whistle.
  • Let it cool and use accordingly
  • Cut the plantain into 2 pieces
  • In an idli cooker add the water and keep one idli mould plate and place the plantain on the plate.
  • Cook until 2 to 3 whistle.
  • Let it cool and use accordingly
  • Heat ghee in  a pan. Add the crushed cardamom ,cashews and raisins. Saute it for 30 seconds
  • Add the couscous followed by grated coconut and fry for 1-2 minute in medium heat. Add the Sugar..stir continuosly..Fry until the mix get a light brown color
For the non vegetarian 
  • Pour the egg into the pan.scramble it and mix with the coconut mixture..Stir continuously.
  • Mash the boiled plantain very nicely using ur hand or mixer.Do not add any water.Do not have any lumps on it..blend well
Step4: How to make the unnakaya stuffing
  • Make lemon sized balls from the cooked bananas
  • Apply some oil on ur palm.sothat it won't stick
  • Take one ball and place it on ur plam it using ur fingers and 
  • Take one  spoon full of coconut mix /eggmix,place it on the banaan mix cover and shape it. 
  • For making the shape make the edges in sharp and center portion will be thick (as shown in the picture)
  • Repeat the same process for all the balls we made .With 2 bananas u can make upto 6-8 unnakaya.
  •  Heat ghee in a pan.(oil is also fine) Shallow fry until all the four sides get nice brown color
The easy and delicious unnakaya is ready to have.Have it with Hot tea,best snack for evening tea.

Cook's Tip
  • Do not keep the mashed plantian mix for long time if u keep it it will get dry.
  • If u like u can deep fry the unnakaya pieces.
  • Do not use fully riped bananas.If u feel the mashed plantain is not in the right consistency add 1-2 tbsp flour into it.
  • If u like more egg taste reduce the amount of coconut.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Baby Bok choy Stir Fry/Chineese cabbage Thoran/Poriyal

Today i thought i can share something different,but it is a common one in everyone's menu thats nothing other than the thoran/Poriyal/vegettable stirfry..But the veggetable here i used is the Baby bok choy or Shanghai bok choy. This is a type of chineese cabbage.
Last time when I was searching for the leek, I saw this chineese cabbage.Yesterday when we went to the Chinese market for purchasing fish i shopped this bok choy also .We usually buy only fish from this shop.(sometimes we buy Chinese/Thai sauces and noodles as well). But this time i  spent some time in their veggies section...they got several varieties of cabbage..I found this cabbage called bok choy..Just picked a bundle of three and i thought i can try the usual thoran with this.Today i tried this thoran using this cabbage and it tastes so good..especilly my husband really liked the taste though he is not a cabbage fan.So i thought i can share this recipe with all of u.About its nutritional fact :the Bok choy is  a good source of calcium and it contains no fat or cholestrol. Its also low in sodium and high in vitamin A  and C. Its agood choice for diet also...ok let me share the details.
Cost of the item:0.99 usd/Pound
Cooking time : 10-15 minute
Bok Choy (Chinese Cabbage):3 bundle
Green chili: 3 nos
Carrot: 1 small sized(optional)
For grinding
Coconut: 1/2 cup
Red chilli :1 no
Cumin seed: 1 tsp
Fennel seed:1 tsp
salt: to taste
For seasoning
Oil: 1 tsp
split urad dal:1 tsp
Mustard seed: 1tsp
Red chili: 1 
Curry leaves: 1 spring
  • Chop the cabbage into small pieces.Wash the chopped one 2-3 times in cold water and strain it and keep it aside
  • Shred the carrot.(here i used the peeler ),because we can make very thin slices of carrot then it will easily get cooked with the cabbage.
  • Cut the green chili into small pieces
  • Crush the coconut, red chili, cumin seed and fennel seed.If u have mortar and pestle use that.
  • Mix the chopped cabbage, shredded carrot and green chili,add salt to taste.
  • Transfer the contents into a pan.Close the pan and Cook it  for 4-5 minutes in medium heat .The cabbage has its own moisture so do not add any water.
  • Add the coconut mixture into it and stir well ..cook it for 1-2 minute.
  • Heat oil in another pan..add mustard seeds..Once it get started spluttering add the dried red-chili and curry leaves folowed by the split urad dal..let it saute for 20-30 seconds..
  • Pour this mix into the cooked vegetable
The delcious thoran is ready to have..Have it with rice and sambar/rasam...
Cook's Tip
  • Do not over cook the cabage and carrot.
  • Do not add any water while cooking the vegetables.
  • if u like u can add more green chili according to ur taste..
  • You can add the garlic will give a nice flavor to the dish.
Sending this dish to Twenty-20 cooking event hosted by Niloufer Riyaz,  to Greengourment event hosted by Preeti and to Cooking with seeds -Cumin seeds event hosted by Sara and the event started by Priya.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Shrimp Biryani/Prawn Biryani

Today I am going to share with you something special is one of our favorite dish: Biryani.Here I prepared the Shrimp biryani. This is very easy to prepare one and no need to prepare any side dishes (curry poriyal etc) for this. We can prepare a tasty & delicious dinner without much effort. 
It is a very common in our menu. During our last grocery shopping I bought the shrimp. I used some of them for the fry and some for the curry. There were still some shrimps in my freezer. Today i was confused what to prepare for dinner then i saw these cute shrimps at the freezer and finally decided to prepare  this biryani. i already mentioned it is very easy one but while cooking make sure that you have nicely sauted and cooked the shrimp before adding the rice and also the rice-water ratio should be in right propotion otherwise biryani becomes payasam(Yes, It happened to me when i was in my cooking nursery school:)). Here i pressure cooked the biryani.If u r cooking the rice in pressure cooker the rice water ratio is 1:2 (its for basmati rice)
We always prefer to buy the fresh shrimp so we usually buy it from one of the intrnational market here called Jungle Jim's.The best shop I found here in OH. We get any kind of food items from all over the world and the arrangement is really good.For each country has separate sections and they display one  or the other items which are unique to that country..Our Indian section there is an Autoriksha and Elephant. I always love to go to this shop because I can buy so many new stuffs from there.
About the biryani: The fresh shrimp will give nice taste but we have to cook thoroughly and also we have to peel the shell off and clean it.. but that's not a big deal.Let me share the recipe..hope u will try this.. If you are so busy but love to cook something at home just try this.sure it will be good hit in ur  family.
Cost of the item :10.99USD/pound
Shrimp: 20 nos
Basmati Rice: 2 cup
Oil : enough
For marinating the shrimp
Ginger: small size
Garlic: 2 cloves
Chili powder: 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
Pepper Powder: 1 tbsp
Salt: to taste
For biryani masala
Pepper corns: 3 nos
Cardamom: 2 no
Cloves: 5 nos
Cinnamon: 1 medium sized 
star anise: 1 star
Onion: 1 big size
Tomato: 1 no
Green chili: 2 nos
Garlic: 2 cloves
Ginger : small size
Green Chili: 2 nos
Coriander leaves:little
Curry leaves: 1 spring
For Garnishing
Cahew nut: 10 nos
Raisins: 10 nos
Ghee: 1 tsp
  • Clean the shrimp -peel the shell off and wash it with Lemon juice.
  • Make a nice paste of ginger and garlic.
  • Marinate the shrimp with all the ingredients in the listing and keep it aside for 30 -1 hour
  • slice the onion ,cut the ginger garlic and green chili into small size(cut  lengthwise )
  • Cut the tomato into 8 pieces
  • Soak the rice for 15-30 minutes
  • Heat oil in kadai ..Add the whole spices(Pepper corns,Cardamom,Cloves,Cinnamon,star anise) and just saute it for a minute or less.
  • Add the 3G's(ginger garlic and green chili) and saute for some time then add the sliced onion..saute onions until becomes transparent
  • Add the Tomato,fry it for sometime then add the Turmeric,chili and coriander powders and mix well.
Step 3
  • Add the marinated shrimp into the spice mix..Cook until shrimps color changes.
  • Add the soaked and drained rice,chopped Coriander leaves and curry leaves into the cooked shrimp mix.Mix all together and fry for 4-5 minute
  • Transfer the content into a pressure cooker.Add 4 cups of water(use the same cup used for measuring the rice).Cook until 1 whistel..then switch off the heat let the Rice to cook to cook for sometime.
  • Meantime heat ghee in a pan.just shallow fry the cashews and raisins.
  • Pour the gheed mix to the biryani and also decorate with some cilantro
The Delicious shrimp biryani is ready to have.Have it with raitha.
Cucumber: 1/4 portion of 1 medium sized one
Tomato: 1 no
Red onion:1/2 portion of a small sized one
Green chili: 1 no
Curd: 1/2 cup
salt : to taste
Pepper Powder:1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves:little
  • Cut them into very small pieces.and mix all together with curd ..serve along with shrimp biryani..Enjoy
Cook's Tip
  • You can also use the cooked, frozen shrimp.
  • If u r using the cooked shrimp not necessary to cook it again.just fry it in the masala for 2-3 minutes in medium heat.
  • If u like u can make the shrimp masala and rice seperately and mix together and bake for sometime that also taste good.
  • Be careful add the double amount of water of rice for cooking..use the same cup for the measurement.
  • Add more spices according to ur taste.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Puli inji/Ginger Pickle/Ginger curry

Today I am going to share with you another traditional Kerala dish.It is Puli Inji - Ginger curry. This is actually considering as a pickle and is one of the main dish in Kerala feast. We mainly serve 2 or 3 pickles in the feast: ginger, mango and lemon. This puliinji is one of them.

There is a story behind the deliciousness of the pickle.I don't know whether you guys heard about the story of Vararuchi who was a member of King Vikramaadithyan's court, (around 300 AD). When he was searching for a girl as his partner, he set four conditions (to find out smart & intelligent girl - :) ). One of the condition was the girl should prepare 101 curry for his lunch. He visited so many home but none of them could satisfy these conditions. At last he reached  a poor peasant's home. An old man and his grand-daughter lived there . He told them about the reason of his visit and explained the conditions. The girl assured all his conditions. You might be thinking that the girl prepared 101 curries for his lunch, No, she just prepared the ginger curry which is same for preparing that many curries!.

We prepare the pickle day before the feast so that we can keep it overnight and will be perfect for the next day's feast. We can use this for a week or two by keeping it in a refrigerator.On Onam festival, Amma used to prepare these pickles on Uthradam day night. I always help her for  cleaning &cutting the veggies. But she never let me  cook any dishes especailly this ginger curry..The important part of preparing  this is frying the ginger and we should be very careful while doing that..if we burn it, the entire curry gets spoiled and loses its taste. In those days I was not that serious about cooking..sure, once she let me do the cooking the next day feast would be in trouble:(. I always enjoy the festivals..because it is a best time to enjoy with parents and family members. 

It is a very delicious pickle. The best part is that it is good for digestion too That's why it is included as a member of the heavy feast:)). Amma used to prepare this pickle in many different ways.Sometimes mom do not use jaggery..if u r not using the jaggery/sugar you can enjoy the real tangy taste of the tamarind in the curry. Sometimes amma used to add Pearl onions while frying the ginger..But this version can not be kept for long time.Usually i prefer to prepare this curry on festival time especially Onam and vishu..but this time i just prepared it as per my husband's request.Usually you can keep the ginger pickle for a week or two in the refrigerator...Never use wet spoons, it will get fungal.If u get a chance, try this puliinji, rice and curd. very delicious combo... We like it very much.

Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Cost of the item:0.99 usd/pound
For frying
Oil for frying
Ginger       -2big root
Green chili -10 nos
For the curry
Tamarind     - one lemon size
Chili powder - 2 tbsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Water   - 1/2cup
Jaggery - small portion
For seasoning
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Red chili - 2 nos
Curry leaves - 1spring

  • Cut the Ginger and green chili into very small pieces.
  • Heat oil in a pan.fry the Ginger and green chili until get nice brown color.keep the fried Ginger-green chili mix on a kitchen tissue paper(u can avoid the excess oil).
  • Once it gets cool, grind the fried Ginger chili mix and make a nice powder. Do not add water while grinding
Step2 :
  • Extract the tamarind juice
  • Mix the chilipowder coriander powder and the tamarind juice. Add 1/2cup of water.
Step4 :
  • Add the Grinded Ginger into the tamarind-chili juice and mix well
  • Heat oil in a pan add the musatrd seeds,once it started spluttering, add the red chili and curry leaves,sauté for sometime.
  • Add the Ginger mix into the oil. Cook it until the gravy thickens.
  • Add the jaggery  and just heat for 30 seconds .
The delicious puli inji is ready.enjoy the feast
Cook's Tip
  • Cut the ginger into very small pieces..if u do not have time to cut the ginger jush crush it using the mixer then fry it.Go not make a paste ..just crush it..
  • Make a nice powder of the fried ginger using the mixer(let the fried one to  cool down)
  • you can add sugar instead of jaggery.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

KadalaPradhaman /Payasam/Kheer

Today i thought i can  go with something traditional.ya its Kadala Pradhaman/Kadala Payasam/Kheer. It is a traditional Kerala style payasam.The main ingredient for this kheer is splitted Bengal gram or channa dal(Chholar dal in Bengali; Buta daali in Oriya; శనగ పప్పు Shanaga pappu in Telugu; ಕಡಲೆ ಬೀಳೆ Kadale bele in Kannada; Kaḍala parippu in Malayalam;and கடலை பருப்புkaḍalai paruppu in Tamil) We usually can find this kadala pradhaman in Kerala sadhya (Kerala Feast) which would be served in most of the kerala weddings and other traditional functions such as Onam, Vishu etc..The feast comes with minimum of 3 payasam. This kadala is a one of them.

This pradhaman is my mom's favorite payasam. But I love palada & ada pradhaman, my brother likes semiya payasam (Vermicelli Kheer). My father is not so choosy he likes any food prepare  by Amma. So for any occasion, mom always prepares  either semiya or ada. Hardly give the priority to kadala payasam..Whenever she prepares this payasam in very rare occations, even though I didn't like it much, I used to have has a very unique taste. 
Amma's food is always special..nothing is comparable with her food. We can have any restaurant food 4 or 5 times, after that we will get tired of that..but amma's food whatever she prepares always has a unique taste. 

Actually when i saw mother's day event i just thought about some thing I can send for the event that should be amma's favorite food.Then i tried to find out what's amma's favorite,suddenly i got this kadala pradhaman.i do remember amma  didnt cook it often..because of us only.but whever she prepare we both love to have it.Mom's always give preference to their kid's favorite foods..That is a universal truth..

This is amma's recipe.2-3 times amma explained the preparation of this pradhaman because she was not sure i am going to prepare it perfectly.With her instruction i prepared this delicious payasam..when my husband came from office he tasted this and he told me that it is so good just like what we get in sadhyas.i became so happy.Next day i told the same to amma:))
Wishing you all a Happy and Wonderful Mother's day.. on this occation i am sharing  my mom's special recipe to all of my friends.Everyday is mother's day need for a special day for mom..I always think about Amma ,every day for one or the other reasons; while cooking I think Amma did that way, while combing the hair I think amma used to do this way..while pampering my kid I think amma used to do this way.for each and everything and everytime mom will be with us right."Amma" is so special gift from GOD.
Lots of stories right..Ok let me tell u the preparation steps of this Kadala Pradhaman.
Channa Dal/split Bengal gram: 1 cup
Water: 1 cup
Ghee: 3 tbsp
Jaggery: 1 cup or 2 medium balls
Water: 1 cup
Diluted Coconut Milk: 11/2 cup
Concendrated Coconut Milk: 1/2 cup
Cardamom: 3 piece
Ghee: 1 tsp
Cashew nuts: 10 nos
Raisins: 15 nos
  • Soak the Channa for 4 hours
  • In a pressure cooker cook the soaked channa with enough water.Cook until 2 - 3 whistle If u have excess water drain it and tranfer the cooked channa onto a plate and crush it.
  • Make the diluted and concentrated coconut milk.
  • Make the jaggery syrup - Add the jaggery and water then heat it until it became a liquid form.Strain it using a tea strainer.
  • In another pan just heat the ghee..add the cashews and saute well once it almost get a light brown color add the raisins saute for 2 minute and switch off the flame and keep it aside
  • Make a nice powder of the cardamom
  • Heat Ghee in a thick bottom vesel.Add the cooked channa into the ghee and nicely cook the channa again in ghee.Cook until all the watery contents evaporates from the dal.the right consistency how u can find is once it is completely done it will start seperating from the vessel..
  • Pour the jaggery syrup into it..stir continuously..keep the flame in medium otherwise there are chances of burning the channa.
  • Add the diluted coconut milk and mix well.Cook it for 5-7 minutes in medium heat..stir continuously
  • Add the cardamom powder.Mix well.
  • Add the concentrated coconut milk..reduce the heat to low..just heat it for 3-5 minute 
  • Add the Cashew nuts and  raisin in to the Kadala pradhaman and stir well.
The delciious Kadala Pradaman is ready to have.

Cook's Tip
  • Do not add excess water for cooking the channa.If water is there in the cooked channa completely drain it.
  • Once u strain the jaggery syrup immediately wash the strainer and the vessel used for the preparation .otherwise it will be so sticky.
  • First do all the things specified in step1.then only start preparing the payasam (step 2-5).Because u have to stir  continuously until its done.otherwise there are chances to stick /burn the dal.that will ruin the entire taste of the pradhaman.
Sending this Mom's favorite KadalaPradhaman  to Jyothi's Mother's Day event and  Sabitha's Celebrating Mom's Event 
Also sending this to Priya's cooking-with-seeds-cardamom-seeds Event

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010

    CrabCake & CrabFry /Njandu cake and NjanduFry

    Today i am going to share with u guys something special. That's a seafood - Crab-cake. Crab-cake is just like the cutlet prepared with crab meat. I don't know how many of you are aware of this dish,it's a very delicious food.
    During the travel we always love to have food from different restaurants.I hardly prefer seafood from outside because in restaurants they do not add that much spice as we used to do and also they do not cook as much as we do. My husband love to taste any food. He loves experience new dishes(sometimes we  could have  order another dishes(because of the new dish taste) too).
    We tasted this crab cake from Fisherman-wharf (Pier 39) in San Francisco.San Fransisco is one of the beautiful place in USA (It has the tropical weather similar to Kerela). Lot many attractions are there. The Pier 39 is one of them.In the fisherman wharf there are lot of street-side food shops, especially sea-food shops (like our thattukada). One of the best demanded items are "Crab-cake" and the seafood platter..Here i am attaching the picture of SFO pier 39.Its best place to enjoy,the main attarctions are the bay aquarium,fishermanwharf,cruises,wax Museum,Sea lions,shopping and eating..if u have enough time just walk from the pier 39 to pier 48 enjoy the beautiful views as well as the shops,food  etc.
    When we visited SFO as a part of experimenting new dishes my husband  tried this crab-cake.Usually he won't compel me to eat any seafood item if it is an experiment but when he tried this crab-cake he told me to try that.when i tasted i really loved that and had 2 set of crab cake..That day onwards crab-cake became one of our favorite.
    When I saw the Joyful Eating Whilst Traveling event, I was trying to find a dish for this event. My hus only suggested this crab-cake i decided to go with this delicious food. Google found paula deen's crab cake recipe for me. finally i prepared the crab-cake and  the result was awesome.we really enjoyed having it.. I am always thankful to my fellow bloggers because of these events (we experiment new ideas and recipes and try our best to prepare these food to get good outcome).
    Here I am going to share one more  simple recipe: that's "Crab fry. Let me explain how we make the delicious crab-cake and crab fry.
    Here we go with the crab cake:
    Crab meat: 1 pound
    Ritz crackers: 5 tbsp
    Green Onions: 3 count
    Bell Pepper: 1/2 portion of a medium size
    egg: 1 no
    Worcestershire sauce: 1 tsp
    Mustard:1 tsp
    Lemon juice: 1 tbsp
    Salt: enough
    Pepper Powder: 1 tsp
    Chili Powder: 1 tsp
    Flour : for dusting
    Oil: for frying
    For the Dipping sauce
    Mayonnaise: 1 tbsp
    Chili sauce: 1/2 tbsp
    • Chop the green onion into very small pieces(use both white and green part)
    • Chop the bell pepper into thin pieces
    • Crush the Ritz crackers
    • If u do not have Worcestershire sauce just add 1 tsp of wine and 1 tsp of chili powder.
    • In a large bowl add all the ingredients except flour and oil.The mix should be in the consistency of cutlet mix.
    • Make oval shaped patties from the mix.dust the patties with the flour.
    • Heat oil in a pan.Fry the patties until golden brown.
    • Place the fried crab cakes on a kitchen tissue.
    • Mix the Mayonnaise and Chili sauce in a small bowl and use this as a dipping sauce.
    The delicious Crab cake is ready to serve.Have it with the dipping sauce
    Cook's tip
    • Do not add any water while mixing the ingredients.
    • If the mix is not in the correct consistency  just add some bread slices into it.
    • If u don't find the sauce replace it with 1 tbsp wine and 1tbsp pepper powder
    • U can shallow fry the crab patties instead of deep frying..
    • Be careful by changing the sides of the crab cake while frying
    • The crab meat will be available in all grocery stores meat/seafood counter.
    Sending this Crabcake to Jagruti's Joyful Eating Whilst Traveling event.

      Crab Fry/Njandu Fry
      We both love eating crab dishes. This Crab fry is really simple  and very delicious one too It's a very healthy seafood,good source of calcium.Let me share the preparation steps of this wonderful dish
      Crab legs:2 nos (Try to use King Crab Legs)
      Ginger: 1 medium size
      Garlic:6 pods
      Pearl Onion/Re Onion:10 nos/1/2 portion of a medium sized
      Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp
      Chili Powder: 2 tbsp
      salt : to taste
      Cloves: 2 nos
      Cinnamon: 1 small portion
      Cardamom: 1 no
      Fennel seeds: 1 tsp
      Pepper : 4 nos
      Coriander Powder: 2 tbsp
      • Cut the crab legs into medium size pieces (1 inch length). Just wash it with lemon juice.
      • Make a nice paste of all the ingredients. Marinate the crab and keep it for 30-1 hour.
      • Heat oil in a pan and fry it until done (the crab became brown in color).
      The Delicious Njandu fry is ready to have..Have it with Rice
      Cook's Tip
      • If u r using the whole crab just cut them into  small pieces .
      • Wash with lemon juice.