Monday, December 15, 2008

Red Hot Chilli Prawns

My brother is here and I'm trying to spice up my cooking. He's just back from a holiday in Indonesia where he didn't really enjoy the food....so these days i do try to cook something special every day.

Today I was thinking of making my usual prawns in coconut gravy but I needed to spice it up. I ended up making something completely different indeed!!

1 cup large prawns
1 tbsp jeera garlic red chilli paste
1 large onion minced
2-3 hot green chillis
1/2 tsp jeera
200 ml coconut milk.
turmeric
salt
chilli pwd
oil
curry leaves
3 cloves, an inch sized stick of cinnamon
Chopped fresh coriander leaves.


Heat oil in a wok and drop in the cloves and cinnamon, add the jeera and let it sizzle. Add the curry leaves and the chillies, slit or in pieces. Stir for half a minute or so and add the finely chopped or minced onion. Don't let the onions burn. Stir well and once they are mildly brown add in the spice paste. You can make this paste yourself or buy it off the shelf (as I do). Mangal makes a good one and so does Atash. Add the salt, turmeric and a spicy chilli powder and a bit of water so the dry spices don't burn.
Once the spices are mixed in well, stir in the prawns (shelled and deveined, of course!). Mix well to coat with the spices. Pour in the coconut milk and let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Keep an eye on the prawns and be careful not to over cook them. Add in a generous amount of chopped fresh coriander leaves and you're done!

Serve with fluffy hot steamed rice and some poppadums.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Pancakes!!!



I learned how to make pancakes when I was ...maybe...9 or 10 years old. I made them recently for breakfast, after a really long time and was flooded with memories of my childhood. This was one of the first things I could cook from scratch without anyone's help and ma allowed me to make it quite often :)

The thumb rule that I remember for pancakes is 1+1+1.

1 cup of milk
1 egg
1 cup flour, sifted.
Mix all three in a large bowl and add some salt. Let it rest in the fridge, covered, for at least half and hour.
In a small non-stick pan, add a little oil and ladle in the batter, enough to cover the base. Once it bubbles, flip the pancake and cook the other side. This should take about 3 to 4 minutes in all.

You can make them thick or thin, as you prefer. To make thin pancakes, simply add some milk to the batter.





Serve hot with honey, peanut butter, Nutella, cheese spread, jam, marmalade, sauteed mushrooms....whatever you like!! We had ours with honey and with bacon rashers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Akuri- Masala Scrambled Eggs, The Parsi way..



4 Eggs
1/4 cup milk.
1 cup Tomatoes, Chopped
1 cup Onions, Chopped fine
Chillies
fresh Coriander, Chopped Fine
A sprig of curry leaves
Ginger Garlic Paste
Jeera powder
Turmeric
Chilli powder
Salt
oil

In a non stick frying pan heat oil and fry the onions on a medium flame till almost caremalised. Don't burn them. Add the tomatoes and the chillies, the sprig of curry leaves, a teaspoon of ginger garlic paste, half teaspoon each turmeric, chilli and jeera powders, mix well. Cook till tomatoes are cooked through and the oil is released. Lower the heat. Add salt and the chopped coriander and mix well.
In a cup or bowl beat the eggs and milk. Pour it slowly into the pan, stirring constantly till all is poured in. Keep the heat low or the Akuri will thicken too fast. Remove from heat when it comes to the consistency you like- loose and runny or firm or somewhere in between...
Serve with rotis, warmed Brun bread or with regular sliced bread.

Add a dollop of butter just before serving :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Grilled Chicken Livers

This is what Hubby has requested I make this evening to have with drinks...
Its an extremely simple recipe, practically cooks itself...and with delicious results.

Chicken livers, cleaned.
Cajun seasoning
salt
neutral oil

Sprinkle the Cajun seasoning liberally over the chicken livers and let it marinate for a while. Add salt too.
Heat some oil in a non stick pan and fry the livers quickly over a high flame. Reduce heat after a minute and let it cook further. Don't cover, let the moisture evaporate while cooking. Once the livers have turned pink inside, they're done.
Serve in a pretty platter with toothpicks and napkins.

In case you don't have Cajun seasoning, make a mix of some fried garlic, chilli flakes, a little pepper, salt and you get quite ggod results using this combination too.

Sorse Ilish or Ilish in Mustard Sauce

We were at the fish shop this morning and I chanced upon a small Ilish, all silver and glistening. We have friends coming home for dinner tonight so I snapped it up. As soon as I got home I called up my mum and asked her how to cook this Bengali classic dish.

Here is what I did-

Sliced Ilish pieces, washed.
3 green chillies
Mustard paste
mustard oil
kalonji seeds
salt
turmeric
Fresh coriander leaves.

Wash the fish pieces and coat with salt and turmeric. Keep aside. Heat the mustard oil in a kadai and drop in the green chillies and the kalonji seeds. Let them all splutter. Slide in the fish pieces and fry on a low flame. Be gentle as the fish tends to break. Pour in the mustard paste and some water. Let it cook covered for a few minutes till the fish is cooked through. Remove to your serving bowl. Pour a tablespoon of mustard oil on the dish and sprinkle with well washed fresh coriander leaves.
Serve with hot rice.

Photobucket

This is one of the very few recipes where neither ginger nor garlic paste, not even onions are used. It is an extremely simple recipe, ready in less than 15 minutes....but sublimely delicious to eat.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Chicken Salad with Home-made Honey Mustard Mayo

This divinely simple salad is what we had for dinner yesterday...thanks to my dear hubby..

We were both tired of the usual rice/roti/dal/subzi routine and I was a bit off the cooking wagon. So hubby volunteered..

The salad is quite simple-

Take a cup each of cubed carrots, potatoes and medium cut french beans, all boiled but firm. Boil them separately. Cool and combine in a bowl.

Boil some chicken with salt and pepper. Once cooled, chop into small cubes or strips. Add to the veggies.

For the mayo-

Crack two eggs in your blender, add a tablespoon of honey, a good squeeze of mustard, a pinch of salt, two tbsp vinegar, some pepper and start blending with a thin stream of neutral oil. About a cup or a bit more is what you'll require.
Once the mayo is done, add as much as required to the salad and refrigerate the rest in a closed container.

Mix the salad and add a dash or two of tabasco for a bit of bite.

Serve the salad absolutely chilled.

Of course you can add other veggies to the salad- beetroot, cucumbers, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, whatever you fancy. Of course ham, salami, chopped boiled eggs will work wonderfully well too. Hubby used what we had at home.. The true joy of the salad of course was in the mayo- not your generic store bought variety but home-made and absolutely delicious and simple.

Hubby's tip- use chicken leg meat, preferably as breast meat tends to dry out and taste stringy.

As usual it was polished off before I could take a picture...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mutton like Didin made.....



Didin is what I called my maternal Grand mom. And like most of us do, I loved her immensely!! All holidays as a child were spent at the big rambling house in Calcutta being spoilt silly by her and a myriad aunts, uncles and other relatives. We (my brother and I) would descend upon them every summer and rampage around their houses for a full 2 and a half months till summer ended and the new school year beckoned…

One of the ‘tastes’ of these holidays were ‘Mangsho’r jhol’ or mutton stew eaten with plain hot rice. This was my absolute favorite and was made every three or four days, or at least once a week if I remember correctly. Chicken was not on the menu very often. Bengalis prefer mutton.

The mutton would be bought from a particular shop, and the butcher would be given a severe warning- the grandchildren are visiting, so make sure you give tender mutton that they will be able to eat easily, not an old animal which will make their jaws ache from chewing and chewing!!

I would be excited waiting in anticipation, hovering near the kitchen, watching to see how far the cooking had progressed. Very often Didin would give us a small bowl of the Jhol with a piece or two of mutton and a nice piece of potato to ‘taste’ and then verify that it was quite alright … how I miss her indulgent love..

Here’s how Mangsho’r jhol was made in Didin’s house.

1 kg tender kid
2 large onions, sliced fine
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces.
4 carrots, peeled and cut into thick sticks or large cylinders.
100 gms, fresh curd
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
Turmeric, chilli , coriander and cumin powders
Salt
Whole garam masala- cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon, star anise,
Mustard oil

Wash the meat and drain excess water. Don’t wash too much, just a quick rinse. Take a clean vessel and put in the meat to marinate. Add the fresh curd, ginger garlic paste, powdered spices, salt and mix thoroughly. Make sure the meat is well coated in the marinade. Let it marinate in the fridge for a good 3 or four hours.

In a pressure cooker heat the mustard oil till it just smokes. Reduce the flame and fry the potatoes till golden, infact even a dark brown… remove to a plate.

Photobucket


Then put in the whole spices. Increase heat if required. Stir for a minute till the aromas are released and then add the sliced onions. Stir well so the onions don’t burn. Let them fry on a low flame till they turn brown. You must keep an eye on them. Sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar and mix well to let them caramelize.

Add the marinated mutton to the onions and mix well. Let it fry for about 10 minutes turning and stirring every 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining marinade if any is left in the bowl. Mix thoroughly. Once the meat has changed colour evenly, add the potatoes, carrots and a cup and a half of water. Use your judgment - there shouldn’t be too much water or the gravy will be thin and watery. Shut the pressure cooker and let it cook on a high flame. At the first ‘whistle’ simmer down the heat and let the mutton cook under pressure for 10 minutes by the clock. Once you have switched it off, let the cooker cool completely before opening.

Your mangsho’r jhol is ready to serve. It tastes great with rice and also with plain parathas.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Traditional Dhansakh

Dhansaakh

(Dhaan + Shak or Rice + Cooked Vegetables)
The name dhansakh implies rice eaten with the famous daal cooked with veggies in it. The rice is not plain white steamed rice but is a rich caramelized rice, cooked with a mix of whole spices. The daal of course is famous..

So here’s how the two are made-

For the rice-

Good quality Basmati rice, washed
whole spices- Bay leaves, cassia Bark, Cloves, pepper corns, Black cardamom (elcha), Star Anise, Javitri (mace)
Sugar

In a pan make caramel with the sugar. About 1 tbsp of sugar for a cup of rice. Add a cup of water to the caramel moments before it burns. Take off the heat and keep aside. You want a liquid, not thick hard caramel.

Make rice as usual adding the caramel water and whole spices, salt (optional)and a tablespoon of oil or ghee. The rice should be brownish in colour.

Garnish with long fried onions.

The Daal

masoor daal
Tuvar daal
Red Pumpkin
Brinjals, small pink ones
spring onions
baby methi sprouts
tomatoes
Curry leaves
Dhansakh masala powder
turmeric
Salt
Ghee
Kairi Sambhar powder (not south Indian sambar masala) Available at Motilal masala, Grant rd, East, available under the Mangal brand.


Wash equal quantities of both daals, about a cup each. Add chopped pumpkin (200gm), brinjals (200gm), spring onions (1/2 bunch), one bunch methi sprouts, half a tsp of haldi, salt and pressure cook with enough water.
Once cooked, puree the whole thing.

In a kadai heat ghee and add the curry leaves and the masala powders, and fry. Add chopped tomatoes and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Smash up the tomatoes while cooking. Add the mashed daal puree to this and mix well. Add water if required. Let it come to a good rolling boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Traditionally dhansakh is made with mutton, though chicken is often used these days. To use either, marinate the meat in ginger-garlic paste, salt, and braise before pressure cooking along with the daals and veggies. (Remove before pureeing). Alternatively you can cook the meat separately and add to the cooked daal/veggie puree later. But the first way tastes far better!

Dhansakh is not a celebration dish, contrary to popular belief. Traditionally dhansakh is served on the fourth day after a funeral.
Of course, it is not restricted to such sombre occasions and is often on the menu for a family Sunday lunch :)

Parsi New Year and a lot of food....

We're just recovering from a very hectic week indeed. There were 3 important days of the Parsi calendar- Pateti, Navroze and Khordad Saal. All are celebrated with enthusiasm and of course, food!
Pateti is the last day of the Parsi calendar. A lot of people mistake it to be the New Year day. It is, in fact, a slightly solemn day, the last day of the year. One reflects on the year past, thinks about what one has done in that time and looks back in penitence over the mistakes made, the sins committed and promises to do better in the forthcoming New Year. The day is also full of hope for the coming New Year, so it is sombre and hopeful, sad and happy together.
The menu this year for Pateti was-

Russian Pattice
Patra ni Machhi
Pisela Badam Darakh ma Marghi
Mutton Pullao with Dhansakh Daal
Lagan nu Custard


Navroze is New Year's day...a joyful and hopeful day looking forward to a brand new year. As is done in all commuities, Navroze is celebrated with much celebration and plenty of good sumptuous food.

The Menu this Navroze was-

Bheja Cutlets
Sahs ni Machchhi
Chicken Mhaiwahlan
Sali Jardaloo Mutton
Prawn Pullao with Dhansakh Daal
Lagan Custard

The 6th day of theNew Year is Khordad Saal, or the Prophet's Birthday.

We had-

Mutton Cutlets with gravy
Baked Fish Florentine
Coq au vin
Paella or Spanish rice
Chocolate Mousse.

For the Vegetarians, yes, Parsis do eat vegetarian food (!!), there was-

Vegetable Cutlets
lagan nu Istew
Paneer Makkhanwala
Vegetable Pullao with Dhansakh Daal.

The recipes will follow soon..

Since work was insanely hectic I didn't get a chance to take any pictures.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Potato and Green Pea Samosas or a Lesson in Kitchen Geometry

These are my hubby's favorites. He loves them over any shop bought samosa, even the non-veg ones :)
I make them rarely as both he and I are struggling with being fat!!
But anyway, they're quite easy to make, I think. And they're delicious!!

maida
a little ghee
a pinch of salt
water

Potatoes, boiled and peeled. mashed roughly.
green peas
salt
turmeric
jeera
chilli powder
oil

To make the dough for the samosas mix the maida with the other ingredients till you get a smooth and soft dough. It shouldn't be very soft as it will turn sticky. You can also add some wheat flour for a healthier and quite tasty variation. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes.

For the filling, heat a little oil in a kadai. Sizzle the jeera and then add the potatoes. Add the spices and salt and mix well. Add in the boiled green peas if using fresh ones or thawed peas if using frozen ones. Mix well and let it cool.

To make the samosas, take a largeish lemon sized ball of dough. Flatten a bit on your board and roll out a small disc. Fold in half to make a half-moon. Roll out to elongate the semi circle and then join the two 'points' and fold. You'll get a rough triangle. Roll it further to make a larger triangle, about 6 inches on each side.

from triangle to pyramid

Put some of the filling in the centre and bring two points of the triangle together. Pinch along the sides to seal. Pick up the third point and shut the samosa. You should get a 4 sided pyramid.
Make up the samosas.

Ready samosas waiting to be fried

Heat oil in a deep wok and fry the samosas two or three at a time.

Frying samosas

Serve hot with a chutney or tomato ketchup.

Note: I have no pictures of the samosas after they were fried...err, we forgot. We ate them to soon, too fast!!! But I'm sure you all understand :) :)

Tarela Boomla - If you're Parsi you gotta love these!!!

Every monsoon my family (the in laws side) goes crazy with yearnings for Bombay Ducks or 'Boomlas'. These small longish 'gel-like' fish are a gastronome's delight and a gourmand like me's heaven :). I can, with pride, out eat anyone in the family where these babies are concerned!! Boomlas are a no-fuss fish. The best way to have them is fresh, deep fried, hot off the pan with some flavourful fresh-squeezed lemon juice. MMMMMMMMMMM!!!

Here's how I make them.

20 fresh Bombay Ducks, cleaned.
salt/turmeric/chilli powder
Chana atta/besan/chick pea flour
Oil to deep fry in.
Fresh limes to serve with.

Marinate the ducks in salt, turmeric and chilli powder. Use salt sparingly as the boomlas are naturally salty. Be sure to drain off any excess water after washing the fish or the marinade becomes watery and falls off the fish.

In a flat plate or on newspaper spread the chick pea flour and roll each fish individually, pressing a bit to coat well.

Bombay Ducks in Besan

Heat any neutral oil in a large flat pan. Let the oil heat up well and then fry the fish till golden. regulate the heat so you don't burn the outside. Turn the fish and cook the other side too. Be gentle when turning as the fish is delicate and might break.

Frying Bombay Ducks

Serve immediately with lemon wedges and INSIST that they are eaten hot!!

Ready to Eat!!

They are just delicious!! You can make simple daal and rice to go with them. I eat them with no distractions!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Simply Delicious Shortbread

This is a recipe I have used time and again.. it is from The Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits (Australian Women's Weekly Cookbook Series). It's an easy recipe and suitable for vegetarians too.

Here goes!!

You will need 250gms butter, softened.
2 tbsp rice flour/ground rice
2/3 cup icing sugar
2 cups plain flour.

Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Rub the butter into the mix. Turn out on to a lightly floured board or table top and knead untill smooth.

Grease a 9x9 baking tin and press the dough into the pan. Level the top with a spatula. mark squared with a blunt knife and poke lightly with the tines of a fork.

Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes at approx 170 C.
Cut while warm and let it cool after. Cut and serve with coffee. Store in an air tight tin, of course..

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Perfect Breakfast

Hubby cooked this breakfast a few days ago...

Scrambled Eggs with ham, Smoked Ham and Cheddar Cheese

Take 3 eggs, a knob of butter and a couple of slices of ham along with a tablespoon or so of milk.
In a pan melt butter and add the milk, stir and add the eggs, whisk around. Add a little salt. Add the ham, cut into small bits. Stir up till scramble is the consistency you like.

Serve in a plate with some smoked ham and a wedge of Cheddar and a couple of slices of bread.

Voila!!! The Perfect breakfast is ready!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Minced Chicken with Vegetables

The last time we stocked the freezer we bought a ton of chicken and plenty of chicken mince. Here is a simple preparation that both, hubby and I love. the good part is that it is chockful of vegetables and is very light on the spices. Its a perfect light summer lunch, and if you make it soupy, its a wonderful comforting soup in winter.

Here's how-

500g Chicken mince
1 large onion finely chopped
1 large carrot, cubed small
8 -10 french beans, strung and cut small
1/2 cup green peas
1 large tomato, chopped fine or tomato puree
1 large potato, cubed small
Celery, chopped fine
3-4 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
3 cardamoms
fresh cracked pepper
Salt
olive oil
mixed herbs

Heat the olive oil in a pan/wok. Saute the garlic and the onions. Add the bay leaves and cardamoms. Shake around. Don't let the onions brown or burn. Add the vegetables and stir well to mix. Cook covered for a minute. Add the minced chicken breaking up any lumps and mixing well. Cook on a high flame for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato and stir well. Add salt and pepper and cook covered till the mince is cooked. Add water, about a cup full. Let it come to a boil and then simmer till the veggies are cooked through.

Remove from flame and pour into your serving bowl. Garnish with mixed dried herbs.

You can turn this into a hearty winter One-Dish meal by making it soupy and adding some macaroni or other small pasta to it.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Good Old Chocolate Brownies



"Early to bed
and early to rise
I'll bake just as soon
as I open my eyes!!"

Sometime when I was in college my Mum bought me this little book...The ABC of Cookies from the Peter Pauper Press. It is chockful of easy recipes and little rhymes that all have to do with baking.

I've made Brownies following the instructions here hundreds of times....recipe is simple and absolutely guaranteed :)

2/3 cup Flour, sifted with a pinch of salt and 1/2 tsp baking powder.
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup soft buttter
2 eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
200 gms Chocolate
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a bowl mix the sugar with the butter whisking till light.Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or zap in the microwave. Add to the sugar-egg mix and blend it well. Add the flour gradually mixing as you go and finally stir in the nuts. Mix the batter well.
In a greased baking tin spread the batter and bake at 350 F or 180 C for about 25 minutes.


Cut into squares and serve hot!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Easy Pasta with Tuna and Vegetables

This is a dish that I made often in the hostel in Pune while we were doing MA and PhD... it is fairly simple and very flexible depending on what you have available in your pantry.

Any medium sized pasta- macaroni, fusili, etc
1 can Tuna in oil
2 or 3 eggs, boiled, peeled and chopped roughly
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
200 gms, mushrooms, washed and sliced
garlic, as required, chopped
capsicums,green or coloured, cut into small pieces
1 zucchini, chopped into small cubes
olive oil
1 or 2 flavour cubes, as required
dried oregano
cheese slices
salt
fresh cracked pepper

Cook the pasta till al dente and keep aside. Toss in a tsp of olive oil.
Flake the tuna in a saucer. Reserve the liquid.
In a pan or wok heat a tbsp of olive oil and fry the garlic and spring onions for a couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms and the zucchini. Cook till the water from the mushrooms has dried up but not completely. Add the flavour cube(s) and salt and pepper as required. Add the chopped capsicums and toss on heat for a minute.

In a large bowl mix the warm cooked pasta with the mushroom mix. Toss in the chopped boiled eggs, flaked tuna and mix gently. Tear the cheese slices into largeish shreds and add to the pasta. Pour in some of the reserved tuna oil and toss with the dried oregano. Ensure that the pastas is still warm when you toss in the cheese...it melts a bit and is just great!!

You can chuck in some sliced black or green olives for an added zing.

Just leave out the tuna and the eggs to make it vegetarian....the pasta still tastes quite yummy.

This makes a nice light lunch especially in the summer.

This is more of a 'salad' type of a pasta preparation.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Garlic Mushrooms

My love affair with mushrooms started just as I began college. My cousin Bipasha and I shared a great love for mushrooms and we discovered many recipes using the button mushrooms that were available in the market.

This is a very easy way of doing mushrooms and it is somethig I often serve when I'm having guests over...

250 gms Button mushrooms, washed thoroughly
garlic, finely minced or sliced
1 cube Maggi seasoning
fresh black pepper
1 tbsp soya sauce
olive oil

Slice the mushrooms, not too thin. Make sure they have been washed really well and all the mud is off. In a pan heat some olive oil and toss in the sliced garlic. Fry for a minute and then add the mushrooms. Once they release water crumble in the flavour cube. Add a good grinding of fresh black pepper. Let it cook covered till the mushrooms are done. Remove lid and dry out the excess liquid. Splash in the soya sauce and coat the mushrooms well.

Remove onto a serving plate and serve.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Short-cut Butter Chicken

This is how my hubby taught me to make Butter Chicken. Not the flaming red grasy concoction that we eat at most restaurants but a delicious flavoursome (and calorie-packed!!) version that I love making. It's also a very easy recipe indeed.

2 portions Chicken Tikkas
1 large onion, chopped fine
5 tbsp cashew nuts soaked and ground to a paste
approximately 3/4 cup tomato puree
garam masala powder
salt
butter/cream
oil

Its easiest if you get the chicken tikkas from your local tandoori joint because if you have to make the tikkas at home then the 'easiness' of this recipe ends right there.

For a generous portion of this dish, enough for about 4 people, take 2 portions of the tikkas.

In a wok/kadai fry the onions till pink. Add tomato puree and let it cook. Adjust the amount of puree depending on how sour it is. Add a generous spoonful of garam masala powder and pour in the cashew paste. Mix well and add the tikkas. Let it come to a boil. Add water if the gravy is too thick. Add salt as required. If you like a bit of a bite you can add a couple of minced green chillies along with onions at the start, or a good spoonful of chilli powder with the puree.
Once you have removed it to the serving bowl put a dollop of butter or cream and serve with parathas/naan.


Butter Chicken

You can also take a full Tandoori Chicken and shred the meat to use in this gravy instead of tikkas.
The same basic gravy can be made to make Paneer Tikka masala.

Chicken Cafreal..easier done than said!!!

Chicken Cafreal is one of my classic preparations. It is absolutely fool proof, it has never failed...and it is probably the easiest and yet impressive dish that I rustle up in no time at all. Of course there's no way I can really take all the credit for it. The secret is a ready-made marinade that I buy and always have in my pantry cupboard. Cafreal Masala by Goana foods. You can order this online, they will deliver it by post to you.

www.goanafoods.com

The masala itself is a coriander/mint paste with some other spices, a green masala.

Cafreal Masala

Chicken Cafreal.

1 chicken
cafreal masala
salt (only if you need it)
Butter/Olive oil


Marinate the chicken pieces in a generous amount of the marinade masala. Let it sit for half an hour or so. heat butter or Olive il in a flat pan and put in the marinated chicken and marinade. Fry on a high flame till chicken is well coated in oil/butter and the masala for about 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce flame and cook covered till the chicken is cooked through.

Serve with garlic bread or rotis or regular sliced bread. It tastes lovely with the little soft 'gutli' pavs that are available in Mumbai, too.

You can use this same masala with squid. Get the squid cleaned and sliced into thin rings. marinate and cook as above. It's just yummy!! Prawns work well too.

You can make a really yummy and out of the ordinary starter by doing chicken wings with this marinade. Make sure you have plenty of paper napkins around!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Spicy Whole Masoor

1 cup whole masoor
1 tsp GG paste
2 green chillies
1 large onion chopped fine
1 tomato, chopped fine
Turmeric, chilli, jeera, dhania powders
Garam masala powder
2 tbsp curd
Salt
Oil
Chopped coriander leaves

Pressure cook the washed whole masoor with turmeric till soft.
Heat oil in a kadai and chuck in the green chillies. Add the chopped onion and fry well for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato and the GG paste and fry further for another 2 minutes. Stir well. Add the powdered spices and mix well. Add the curd and mix it well. Let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes stirring occasionally. Pour in the cooked masoor and stir. Add salt. Let it come to a boil adding a little water if required. Let it boil well. Sprinkle the chopped coriander and serve with rotis/parathas/bread or even rice.
You can add a tablespoon of pure ghee to the pot at the end. It gives the entire dish a wonderful aroma and flavour.
You can also add small cubes of potatoes to the masoor while pressure cooking it.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Alu'r Dom

This is a typical Bong preparation, very easy to make, and is absolutely delicious!! Serve with hot luchis or porotas..

This is how i make it though the recipe will vary from family to family, cook to cook :)

Small or baby potatoes, boiled and skinned.
1 large onion, minced, not paste.
1 tsp GG paste
2 tbsp fresh curd/ dahi
turmeric
chilli powder
Dhania powder
Jeera powder
garam masala powder
whole garam masala
salt
mustard oil
Fresh coriander leaves

Heat mustard oil in a kadai. Let it heat up properly and then fry the boiled and peeled potatoes browning them nicely. Remove on to a plate and keep aside. Put in the whole spices- cardamom, cloves, bay leaf, etc. Fry for a minute and then add the onions. Fry well stirring all the time. Don't burn the onions. Add a minced green chilli if you like your food hot and spicy. Add the powdered spices and the fresh curd. Stir and mix well. let it cook. Add a tablespoon or two of water only if required. Stir well. Add the potatoes and mix well. In case the potatoes are biggish prick with a fork so that the spices and salt can get in. But be careful not to break the potatoes. Let it cook covered for a couple of minutes. There should be no gravy, just the thick masala paste coated all over the potatoes. garnish with fresh chopped coriander and serve.

You can add a little dried mango powder if you like with the other powdered spices. it adds a nice zing.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Dimer Jhol (Eggs in gravy)

This is a typical preparation eaten with rice. There are many variations to this basic recipe, this is what my Mom used to make.

4 boiled eggs
1 large onion, sliced
2 large potatoes, cut into 6 or 8 chunks
2 green chillies
1 medium tomato, chopped
jeera/turmeric/dhania powders
Ginger garlic paste
whole garam masala
oil
salt
Fresh coriander

Heat oil in a kadai and fry the potatoes till they are lightly browned. Remove and keep aside. in the same oil put in a stick of cinnamon, 4 cardamoms and a few cloves and a couple of bay leaves. Let it fry a bit and then add the green chillies and onions. Fry well till the onions turn pink, don't let them burn. Add the chopped tomato and the GG paste. Stir well and add the spice powders. Add a bit of water if required so that the powdered spices don't burn. Cook for a while mixing well. Add the salt and the boiled eggs (shelled of course!!). Stir to coat the eggs with the spice and onion mix. Add potatoes and a cup (or more) of water. Bring to a boil, simmer and cook covered till the potatoes are done. Adjust salt if necessary. Serve hot garnished with chopped corainder leaves.

Serve hot with rice.

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Doi Begun (Brinjals in yoghurt)

This is a very easy recipe and one of my favourite ways of cooking brinjals. You can use either the big purple brinjals or the small ones, but not the green varieties.

1 large brinjal or 10 small brinjals
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 large onion, sliced
1 medium tomato, minced
Turmeric
Cumin/jeera powder
Chilli powder
Ginger garlic paste
Salt
Oil
1 or 2 Green chillies
Fresh Coriander leaves, washed


Cube the brinjal and sprinkle with salt. Leave in a colander for 15 to 20 minutes. If you're using the small ones, slit in quarters upto the stem leaving it intact on the stem.

In a wok/kadai heat oil. I used Mustard oil. Once the oil is heated well drop in the mustardseeds and let them pop. Put in the brinjals and fry well turning constantly. Let the brinjals soften a bit. Put in the onions and fry well. Add the ginger garlic paste, tomato, green chillies and the spices and stir it well. Let it cook. Beat the yoghurt with a fork and add to the kadai. Stir it well and cook covered for 5 minutes or so. Check that the brinjals are cooked through. Adjust salt. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander and serve with rotis or parathas.


I made this dish using a ready cooking paste which contained tomatoes/onions/ginger and garlic/ and a little salt


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Friday, April 4, 2008

Masala Daal Parsi Style

This is an easy way to jazz up a simple daal. I use a mix of masoor and tuvar daals with more of the masoor and a little tuvar for body. About 2:1 ratio.
Wash the daals well and pressure cook with a generous bit of turmeric. Once the cooker is opened, mash the daals with a whisk or a flat spoon. Parsis like their daal to be a smooth thick puree.
In a wok or kadai heat some neutral oil- peanut/sunflower. Throw in some curry leaves, a chopped tomato, a couple of green chillies, some ginger/garlic paste and a generous spoonful of Dhansakh masala. Fry it well and then pour in the cooked daal. Add salt as required. Bring to a good rolling boil. Add a spoonful of ghee.
Garnish with finely chopped corinder leaves and serve hot.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Nariyal na Doodh ma Knolkol

This is one veggie I've never cooked before. Hubby loves it. So I procured some, called up my Ma in law and found out how to cook it.

It's quite simple, the recipe she gave me, and works with delicious results.

Knol Kol Parsi Style-

4 or 5 knol-kol
200 ml coconut milk
1 medium onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 green chilli, minced
1 tsp jeera seeds/ cumin seeds
1 tbsp oil
salt

Peel the hard outer sknin of the knol-kols. Cut into small cubes.
Heat oil in kadai. Put in the cumin seeds once the oil is hot. Add the garlic and the minced green chilli. Fry for a minute and then add the chopped onion. Fry well for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the cubed knol-kol and fry for atleast 5 minutes stirring well. add salt. Pour in the coconut milk and add some water if required. Bring to a boil and cook till the knol-kol is cooked through. This might take a while, so cut them into small cubes.
Serve hot with rice or rotis.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Surmai Machher Patla Jhol

This is a sort of amalgamation of my basic Bong palate and my adjustments to Parsi cuisine... Traditionally this thin stew like fish preparation is made with Rui or Catla, both 'sweet water' or river fish. Since they tend to have numerous bones my Hubby finds them difficult to eat. So I make this Jhol with Surmai instead.

4 surmai steaks
1 large onion, sliced
1 tomato, chopped fine
whole garam masala
1 green chilli
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
Turmeric
chilli powder
Jeera (cumin) powder)
Dhania (coriander) powder
salt
oil
Fresh coriander

Heat oil in a kadai or wok. Add 4 cardamoms, 2 cloves, 2 inch piece of cinnamon, 2 bay leaves and the green chilli. Let it fry for a minute. Add the sliced onion and fry. Don't let the onions brown or burn. Add the chopped tomato and stir well. Add the GG paste, the powdered spices, stir well and add a bit of water. Cook for a minute or two. Add salt. Mix it well and pour in a cup of water. Bring it to a boil and then add the fish steaks. Let the fish cook, add water to make the gravy thin, if necessary. You should have a thin watery gravy. Once the fish is cooked sprinkle with washed and chopped corainder leaves. Serve hot with rice.

If you like river fish this tastes fantastic cooked with Rui or Rohu.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Hello February :)

Hello February!!
the year is new no more...the winter chill is on in Navi Mumbai. I've never experienced a nice and chilly winter like this in Mumbai, ever. This time we got to drag out the blankies and the woollies and all the pretty shawls!

Lots of winter food has been made :)

will post soon about them...

Friday, January 25, 2008

My new Clock!!

I'm sooo kicked!!! I found this cool looking clock on someone's blog and managed to get this really cute Orange one for my page. Figured out how to, and managed to 'generate the HTML code and copy it to the correct window...and voila! I have a clock on my page :) :)

The only problem however is that is half an hour slow...this is the closest I found to Indian Standard time...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Baked Bread & Cheese Comfy

This is something my Mom used to make when we were kids. It’s one of my yummiest memories :)


Cheddar or any tasty cheese cut into strips. Use Britannia Cheese Slices if you like.
Eggs
salt
Slices of bread
½ cup milk
Pepper

Take a small rectangular oven dish or a small loaf tin. Spread sides with a little butter. Soak the bread slices in milk and press out excess milk. Try not to break the slices.
Line the base of your dish or loaf tin with the slices.
Put a layer of cheddar strips or cheese slices.
Beat the eggs in a bowl with a little salt and pour some onto the cheese. Grind some pepper over this. Repeat the procedure starting again with milk soaked bread. Repeat till you have at least 3 or 4 layers. Finish with cheese on the top. Pour in any excess egg.
If it looks dry, beat an extra egg with a little milk and pour it in.
Cover with foil and bake in a hot oven for about 20 minutes. Carefully open foil and bake for another 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it checking to see it does not burn.

Take out from oven carefully and serve directly from the tin. The melted cheese and the cooked eggs make a delicious combo with the moist bread. Mmmmmmmmmmmm!!!

To make it even more awesome put a few slices of salami or some grilled bacon (rind removed) in the layers for added taste..

bread and cheese comfy

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Pancakes

1 cup plain flour
1 cup milk
1 egg

Combine the three in a bowl to make a runny batter. Refrigerate for half an hour.
Heat flat non stick pan and add a little oil. Stir the batter and pour a ladle of batter on the pan and let it form a flat pancake by tilting the pan from side to side. Let bubbles form on the surface. Using a flat spatula flip the pancake and cook the other side. Make the pancakes thick or thin, as you like.
Serve hot with jam, honey, peanut butter, Nutella spread…whatever you like.

Egg Bhurji

Chop an onion and a green chilli. Chop a tomato too. Fry the onion and green chilli in some oil in a pan till the onions turn brown. Add the tomato and mix well. Let it cook. Add some turmeric, chilli powder and salt and let it cook.
Take a couple of eggs, beat the hell out of them. Add to the pan and stir really well. Cook eggs till they thicken. Leave them runny if you like or cook further.

Eat with bread or rotis :)

Simply Subzis

Palak, Bengali style

1 bunch Spinach (palak) leaves
1 small potato, peeled and cubed into small pieces.
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 green chilli
salt

Wash spinach leaves thouroughly. Drain and chop. You don't have to chop it fine, just cut the bunch into about 5 sections across. Discard any roots.
Heat oil in a kadai/wok and put in the mustard seeds. Once they begin to splutter (they will) put in the peeled garlic and the green chilli with its stem removed. Stir for half a minute, and then add the cubed potatoes. Stir for a minute and cook covered for 5 minutes till potatoes are nearly cooked. Add the spinach leaves and salt. Don't add any water as the spinach will release lots of water. Cook till most of the water has evaporated.
Palak bhaji with potatoes is ready.

Simple Aloo Mutter

2 potatoes, peeled and cubed. Not too small.
1 cup green peas. Frozen will do very well.
1 tsp ginger garlic paste.
1 tomato, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 green chilli, stem removed
turmeric
chilli powder
Jeera powder
garam masala powder
3 cloves (lavang)
1 small piece cinnamon (dalchini)
2 elaichi (cardamom)
oil
salt


Thaw the frozen peas by soaking in water.
Heat oil in kadai. Add the whole garam masala- cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. Fry for a minute. Add the onions and fry till lightly browned. Keep the flame low so you don’t burn them. You can add half a teaspoon of sugar to brown them better. Add the tomato, GG paste and green chilli. Cook for a couple of minutes and add the turmeric, chilli & jeera powders and put in a couple of tablespoons of water so the dry spices don’t burn. Add the potatoes and stir well. Let it cook for 5 minutes giving it an occasional stir. Cook it covered. Drain the peas and add them to the pot. Stir everything well to mix, add a cup of water and let it cook. Add salt and the powdered garam masala and let it bubble till the potatoes are completely cooked.
You can garnish the dish with some chopped fresh coriander leaves.
You can add some paneer to this too.

Serve hot with rice, rotis or bread.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Easy Sponge Cake

I've been baking this basic sponge since I was about 11 or 12 years old....my Mom taught me this recipe and I've been making it ever since. It reminds of the long summer afternoons with Ma reading a 'Millsie' as she called them (Mills& Boon books) and me making stuff with her instructions. Sponge cake was learned one such afternoon :)

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3 eggs
125 gms Butter
1 heaped cup flour (maida)
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp Vanilla essence

Sift flour and baking powder together. Set aside.

In a clean bowl beat the butter and sugar using a hand mixer. They should be well combined. Add the eggs and vanilla essence and beat again. Pour in the sifted flour and baking powder and combine using the electric hand beater.

Line a baking tin with butter paper and pour in the batter. You can also use brown paper.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for about 40 minutes. Insert a knitting needle into centre of cake to test if done. The needle should come out absolutely clean.

Cool in tin and remove to a plate. Remember to remove paper from the base of the cake.

If you like you can cut the cake in half horizontally and spread some warm jam in between. Just microwave a couple of tablespoons of jam in a saucer and spread on the cake.

You might also roll some raisins in dry flour and add them to the batter. That is my Hubby's favourite.

Sometimes Mom added a generous tablespoon of cocoa powder to the batter with the flour to give the cake a nice chocolatey twist.
Enjoy :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Some shortcuts and Basic recipes

Here are some basic recipes and other lifesavers that make life in the kitchen easy..

Fried onions-
As the name suggests...slice a pile of onions. Fry in peanut/ sunflower or any neutral oil. Store in a closed jar. No need to refrigerate. The trick here is to fry the onions slowly till they are dark brown and nearly caramelised. Add a bit of sugar to speed things up.

Fried Garlic
Chop a mountain of garlic. Deep fry in hot oil without burning. Store in a bottle or jar. No need to refrigerate!!

Ginger garlic paste-

Scrape skin off ginger. Chop into small pieces. Peel garlic. Usually I take more garlic and less ginger but you can vary the roportions, or you can grind them separately and use as required. Grind in the mixie. Refrigerate.

Or you can take the easy way out and buy a jar from your local store :)

Infact nowadays you not only get the basic garlic/ginger paste but you also get combinations with jeera, red chilli, green chilli etc., added to the basic mix. So go for it!! Pick up a variety and experiment :)

Very Easy Rice.

1 cup basmati (long grain rice)

Wash the rice well. Pour enough water to submerge the rice about an inch or so. Put to cook. As soon as it begins to boil reduce heat and let it simmer. Cover the vessel leaving a little room open. The rice should be perfectly cooked in about 10 mins or so. Keep a check. You can add a bay leaf (tej patta) or a star anise (badiyan phool) to the rice along with a bit of salt. It gives the rice a beautiful aroma.

A couple of attempts and you will be an expert…My hubby taught me how to cook rice. He used to call me his very own cereal killer!!

Basic daal.

1 cup daal.
Masoor daal (the pink one) cooks the quickest. You can cook it without a pressure cooker. Just soak for a while after washing well. Put on stove with plenty of water and a teaspoon of haldi. Add salt after the daal is cooked. Adding salt during cooking process retards the cooking process and leaves the grains hard. So add it later.
Tuvar daal (large yellow grains) takes longer to cook. It’s better to use a pressure cooker for this.
Wash well. Put into cooker with approximately thrice the quantity of water. Add a teaspoon of turmeric and shut the cooker. Place on heat. After the first whistle lower the flame. Let it cook for another 5 minutes and switch off. Let the cooker cool on its own. DO NOT force open the cooker.

Once cooked, you can just add salt and ghee and mash up the daal a bit. It will taste lovely.

Or you can fry some onions, add some garlic, a green chilli or two and add this to the boiled daal with a spoon of ghee. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander (kothmir leaves) and you’re in business!!

You can make some of the easy accompaniments I've written about earlier...like fried potatoes or even fry a slice of fish to eat along with your Daal Chawal. A good spicy pickle is another great side.

Kitchen Start-Up

In my days living in the hostel and then in our own place I learned a lot of shortcuts to good cooking. Though I love cooking, I love it even more if I can find an easier way to do it.. The satisfaction of having a good meal without having a state of the art kitchen and a chef's certificate, is indeed immense!! Here are a few things that I do. Of course it does help that we are in the food business so I have access to some things quite easily...like fried onions, fried garlic, ginger garlic paste, etc. But most of this stuff is easily available or is easy to make..


Equipment

You can start with a hot plate or a gas burner...either works well, though a gas burner is far cheaper as far as fuel costs go. If you are using a hot plate make sure your cooking vessels have a flat base. No round bottomed kadais or woks.
I like to have a couple of good quality non-stick pans, apart from a pressure cooker, a few dekchis/ bowls etc and a selection of wooden or metal cooking spoons/spatulas, etc

You must invest in a small onion chopper. There are really nice ones by Black & Decker….mine is now more than 10 years old and its going strong. You can also buy a ‘stick mixie’ …the ones that look like a longish stick with a blade at one end. These come with a few jars and can do a little more than basic chopping.

And you must have a good knife. I don’t let anyone use mine. It’s a big one, serrated, and it’s a dream to use. Find one that you like and hang on to it!! And you must have a chopping board. Buy an acrylic one…they’re available everywhere. They’re easy to clean and maintain.


Stuff to stock in your pantry...

A basic selection of spices and powders..turmeric, chilli, jeera, dhania, garam masala, pepper, salt (of course!!) and whatever ready mixes you might like...rasam powder, sambar powder, chicken masala, biryani masala, chhole masala, etc.
I'm a great fan of the readymade gravy mixes that are availabe...Parampara, etc. And of course...you must have ginger and garlic paste, you can stock them separately pasted or in combination.

Basic staples like rice, dal, oil and onins, potatoes, garlic pods.

If you have a fridge (which is difficult if you're in a hostel) then the world is your onion :) Stock it well! Stock up on whatever non veg foods you like…fish, chicken, mutton, mince, etc., and have paneer, green peas, frozen corn too.

Most big cities have supermarket chains that sell pre-cut vegetables, sometimes even in combination…Chinese stir fry, sambar vegetables or individual veggies sliced or diced. I have even seen trays of salad!! And of course you do get cut mixed fruits too. These might cost a bit more but they do save a hell of a lot of bother.

As you go along your confidence in the kitchen will improve and soon you’ll be eating well and entertaining too!!


More later....

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Daal Chawal and....

Hubby demanded Daal Chawal again...this time with fried prawns on the side. It got me thinking.. what all do we eat as accompaniments to good old Daal chawal? Daal Chawal seems to be quite a universal staple in many homes across India, eaten along with a variety of fried or mashed side-dishes, pickles, poppadums or salads...

Here are a few of the fried stuff that are common in my house...

Fried Prawns.

Prawns, shelled and deveined.
Turmeric, chilli powder, salt, Ginger garlic paste, garam masala powder (optional), oil

Wash prawns well and drain. Mix in generous quantities of all ingredients except the oil. Let it marinate for a while. Fry in hot oil. Serve with a twist of lemon juice and a couple of fresh green chillies for added bite.

This is a typical Parsi way of doing fried prawns.


Aloo Bhaja

Fried potatoes, Bengali style.

Cube potatoes. Rub turmeric and salt into potatoes. Heat mustard oil and throw in some mustard seeds. Let them crackle. Add the potatoes. Stir well and fry on high heat for a minute. Lower flame and let it fry covered stirring once in a while. Don't let it burn. Serve hot once potatoes are cooked through.

Peyaanj Bhaja

Fried onions.

This is something my Mom's aunt used to make, especially for us kids.

Onions sliced. Sugar. Ghee.

Rub the onion slices with your fingers to open them up into individual strands. Heat a generous amount of ghee in a kadai. Fry the onions with some sugar. Fry over a slow flame so as to not burn the onions.
This tastes lovely with plain daal and rice. You can serve Aloo Bhate with it.


Aloo Bhate

Aloo Bhate is one of the most loved preparations that I would eat at my grandmom's house every summer when we visited during school summer holidays...

Boil a couple of potatoes with the peels. Peel after they are boiled. Mash the potatoes while they are still hot. The basic mash will have only mustard oil and salt. You can elevate it to a slightly fancier version by adding finely chopped onion and minced green chillies to it.


Tareli Machchhi

Fish fry, Parsi Style

Surmai or Pomfret slices.
Turmeric, chilli powder and salt
oil to fry

Marinate the fish in the spices for half an hour.
Fry in hot peanut or any neutral oil.
Serve hot with lemon slices.

Jewels to eat....

This is an incredibly simple but exceptionally yummy preparation of vegetables.

1 red capsicum (bell pepper)
1 yellow capsicum
3-4 spring onions
4 cloves garlic
1 large potato, cubed
salt
fresh cracked pepper
oil

Cut the capsicums into cubes and chop the spring onions using the greens and the bulb. Chop the garlic, not too fine.
Heat oil in a wok and first fry the cubed potatoes till nearly done. Add the spring onions and garlic and fry another couple of minutes. Toss in the capsicums and stir it all well. Add salt and plenty of fresh cracked pepper. Cover for a couple of minutes and let it cook. Leave the capsicums slightly crisp. That's it!! Serve hot with bread or rotis :)

The coloured capsicums look very pretty like glistening jewels :)

Boozy Chocolate Mousse

I've got to make chocolate mousse for 300 people. That's going to be a hell of a lot of mousse!! It's so simple to make and yet it is so delicious...

Here's how...

Dark cooking chocolate 250 gms
3 tsp sugar, preferably small grains
6 eggs
Your tipple of choice- 2 tsps




Microwave or double boiler.
Egg beater
2 very clean mixing bowls
egg separator
Rubber Spatula
Clean large spoon

Melt the chocolate in a microwave or use a double boiler (put a bowl with the chocolate in a saucepan with simmering water. Ensure that no water gets into the chocolate).
In one of the mixing bowls measure out the rumor other liquor and 2 tsp sugar. In the other put 1 tsp sugar.
Separate the eggs putting the yolks with the rum and sugar and the whites in the other bowl. Make sure that the whites have no trace absolutely of any yolk. I usually separate the eggs individually in a small bowl and the add into the large bowls. This ensures that in case a yolk breaks the entire batch of whites is not ruined.
Once the eggs are separated, add the melted chocolate to the egg yolks and beat till smooth.
Clean the beaters thoroughly and wipe clean. Beat the egg whites till firm peaks form.
Fold in the egg whites into the chocolate mixture using vertical circular movements with the large spoon. Don't stir as if you're cooking curry!! Fold in gradually incorporating as much air as you can. Scrape clean using a the spatula.
Pour mousse into a clean glass bowl, cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate to set.
The mousse will be set in a couple of hours.
Garnish with chocolate shavings or chips or whipped cream...whatever you like.

This recipe gives you about a litre of mousse...enough for about 8 people.

You can use liqueurs like Schnapps, Kirsch, Pear liqueur, Coffee liqueur, Cointreau...whatever you like :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Gorgeous Garlicky Chicken wings...

This is one of the easiest but most scrumptious recipes for making a quick snack or starter...

Chicken wings, tips removed.
salt
Fresh cracked pepper
Garlic, chopped and fried
Olive oil.

Marinate the wings in salt and pepper. Heat a little oil in a flat non-stick pan. Place the wings in hoy oil and lower the heat. Cover and let it cook for 3 to 5 minutes, undisturbed. Turn wings over to cook on the other side. Sprinkle a liberal amount of the fried garlic and cover again. Once the wings are cooked through (test with a fork. When juices run absolutely clear, they're done) increase heat and let the wings crisp a bit.
Serve hot!! They're simply yummy..

I usually keep a jar of fried garlic in my pantry.

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All you do is chop a mountain of garlic and deep fry it quickly without burning it. Let it cool completely and store in an air-tight jar.

Fish in Coconut..

1 Pomfret, cleaned and sliced
I can coconut milk or 1 pkt coconut powder (approx 200ml)
1 inch piece of cinnamon
1 star snise
3 cloves
1 generous tsp ginger garlic paste
1 onion, minced
2 green chillies
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powdr
salt
oil
Coriander leaves, chopped

Wash the fish well and drain. Sprinkle salt and a little turmeric powder, let it sit.
In a wok/kadai heat oil. Drop in the curry leaves and the chillies. Add the whole spices and fry for a minute and then add the chopped onions. Fry till the onions are pink. Add the GG paste, the turmeric and chilli powders. Stir well and add a couple of tablespoons of water. Let it cook for a minute or two.
Pour in the coconut milk and let it come to a boil. Add the fish pieces and salt as required. Once the fish is cooked remove from heat and garnish with fresh coriandder leaves.
Serve hot with simple steamed rice.

You can make this with prawns too...it tastes divine!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Lotsa cooking...and some recipes

I did a huge load of cooking today..my sis in law and her parents came over to spend the day. So I had an audience.. :) Or should I say guinea pigs :)

anyway, I enjoyed myself thoroughly. I cooked a mix of typical Bengali food and my own Indian-style preparations.

The menu was-

Rice
Daal
Fried Brinjal cubes
Chicken in a light gravy
Fish in coconut cream

Daal-
1 cup masoor daal, washed thoroughly
2 tbsp tuvar daal, also washed thoroughly
water
turmeric
salt
garlic, chopped and fried
Coriander leaves, washed, chopped fine
Ghee

Cook the two daals in plenty of water in a pressure cooker with a half teaspoon of turmeric. Mash it lightly to break up the grains. Add salt, garlic, coriander, and ghee and bring to a nice boil.
Serve hot with fried brinjals and hot rice.

Fried Brinjals

Large black brinjal (eggplant)
Salt
turmeric
Mustard oil

Cut the brinjal into largeish cubes. Sprinkle salt and turmeric on the brinjal cubes and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Heat oil till smoking an fry the brinjal cubes till they are slightly crisp on the outside, and done. Be careful not to burn them :)

and the other two recipes will follow soon :)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Some Pictures...

This is a set of bowls that I did...

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These are part of a set done with a Harappan Script motif. This is one of my favourites and we use it at home :)

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This is a large serving bowl that I did. Pretty, innit??

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And here is really pretty floral dinner plate...

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A mug I did for a friend..

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

More of me..

So as I was saying earlier...I paint, I cook, I stitch, I read...and I help my hubby run his catering firm.
We are based in Mumbai. We are called Dalal Enterprises. We specialise in authentic delicious Parsi Cuisine which is predominantly non vegetarian but does have its vegetarian moments of glory. The business was started about 30 odd years back by my mom in law, Dr Katy Dalal, from her home. The business grew over the years and today she (and through her, we) has a stellar reputation for delicious authentically cooked Parsi fare using original recipes, fresh ingredients and produce.
At present Dalal Enterprises is run by Dr Kurush Dalal, Katy's son (and my hubby).

....that's about the business, now more about moi :)

I'm a creative nutcase. I'm moody but brilliant...even if I say so myself. he he he :)
I love cooking. I find it to be the greatest stress buster ever. And I love to paint. On any surface. Glass, the walls, furniture, fabric, Tshirts, saris, and now- ceramics.
For the last few years I've been painting on ceramics on a fairly wide scale. I've had some ehxibitions and sales of my stuff. And I haven't done too badly :)
I will post pics of my work soon..

more later :)
Rhea

Hello!!

Hello there!!
Nice to see you here :)
Welcome to my space on the web. I'll be posting recipes that I've tried out, pictures of stuff that I've cooked or stitched or painted.. or of bits of my life... :)
Drop by and check it out!!
Ciao!!