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Archive for February, 2006

Szechuan Vegetable Noodles

Posted by Annita on February 28, 2006

Szechuan Cuisine is one among several regional Chineese Cuisines.Hearing about Szechuan ,people immediately think of hot ,spicy dish with a bright attractive red color.But the fact is that Szechuan dishes are not that hot compared to Indian food.Many among them are not at all spicy.
Szechuan cuisine is a style of cooking originated from Sichuan , a province in central-western China with its capital at Chengdu.Sichuan is also known as the “Land of Abundance”,which is one of the major production bases in China.The climate is often heavily wet,cold &foggy .It is the Szechuan red peppercorns ( “huajiao” means flower pepper in Chinese) that gives Szechuan dishes its distinctive taste.This is inexpensive and are available in different Chineese groceries.
My recipe is an Indianized version of Szechuan Noodles.As i don’t have Szechuan peppercorns with me,i normally use red chilly paste in all Szechuan dishes i prepare.But experts says this cannot be used as an alternative for Szechuan peppercorns.Anyway I didn’t get a chance to try it.
Here goes my recipe …

Ingredients:-
Cooked Noodles – 4 cups.
Add noodles to boiling water adding 1/2 tsp of oil into it(this will prevent noodles from sticking together).Cook it for 5 minutes.Immediately washed the noodles in cold running water for 4-5 times.Drain well using a strainer and keep aside.
Vegetables(Carrots,Green Beans) cut into thin slices – 2 cups
Diced Onions – 1
Diced Capsicum- 1/2(If you want you can add red peppers,yellow peppers etc according to your choice & taste)

Ingredients
Veggies Needed

Sun dried Tomatoes(Optional) -3
Vinegar – 2 tbsp
Soya Sauce -1 tbsp
Red Chilly sauce – 1 tbsp
Whole dried red chillies – 3 -4
Red Chilly paste -1 tbsp(You can buy it ready made from Grocery stores or you can prepare it by mixing kashmiri red chilly powder,salt & Vinegar)
Oil as needed
Salt to taste

Method:-

Heat oil in a pan and stir fry onions and capsicum for sometime.When it starts to change its color add vegetables and tomatoes into it.Stir it well .Add Whole red chillies,and red chilly paste into it.Then add all the sauces and salt.Be careful while adding salt,as soyasauce may be salty.Then slowly add cooked noodles into it and mix it thoroughly.Add vinegar and keep it in high heat for 3-4 minutes stirring continuously.Serve hot when its done.

Szechuan Noodles
Szechuan Veggie Noodles

Usually for Chineese dishes they do all the cooking in a large pan and applying high heat tossing continuosly.Thats why we don’t usually get the same restaurant taste for Chineese dishes when we do at home.

Posted in Chinese Dishes, International Food, Rice & Noodles | 9 Comments »

My Favourite Vegetable Stew

Posted by Annita on February 22, 2006

I prepared Idiappom & this Veg Stew last week when our friends Shuba & Swami visited us.Something when cooked in cococnut milk is usually called Stew.You can prepare stew with chicken,mutton,fish,egg or any vegetables of your choice.There are different recipes for vegetable stew.But this one is my favourite.I do not prepare this quite often,as it need a little bit frying .This recipe is directly from my Amma’s Kitchen.Actually this is her Chicken Stew recipe.I simply added vegetables instead of chicken.You can have this with Appam,Idiappam and Puttu.I don’t think it’ll go well with roti,as it is not that spicy.

Vegetable Stew
Vegetable Stew

The recipe goes like..

Ingredients:-
Potatoes cubed – 1 large
Carrots , Beans sliced into small bite-sized pieces(just like in Sambar) – 1 cup
Green Peas – 1/2 cup
(You can add cauliflower ,broccoli & turnip if you like..Remember not to add soft fleshy vegetables)
Onion -1
Green Chillies -3
Tomato sliced -1/2
Curry Leaves – a few
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp

Cardamom -2
Cinnamon – 1
Cloves -4
Bayleaves -1
Pepper – 8
All Spice – 3
Crush all the above spices into tiny pieces.

Medium concentrated Coconut Milk (Randaam Paalu) – 2 cups
(Dilute the coconut milk by adding more water..If you can prepare coconut milk at home it’ll be good.You can view the recipe at Indira’s Mahanandi )

Thick coconut milk (Onnam Paalu) – 3 tbsp.
Vinegar – 1tbsp
Salt – to taste
Coconut Oil – as needed
Maida/Corn flour – 1 tbsp

Method:-
Heat the pan and add oil into it.Saute potatoes for a while and remove when the color starts to change.Repeat the procedure with each vegetable.Keep them aside.

Ingredients for the stew
Sauteed Veggies

You can add more oil if needed.Add crushed masalas and onion,saute for sometime .Do not brown the onions.Add maida and stir until the raw smell goes away.Then add turmeric powder,curry leaves,green chillies and all the vegetables .Pour thin coconut milk into the pan and cook the vegetables till done.Add salt and vinegar, simmer for 2 minutes.Add thick coconut milk and stir well.Remove from fire.Decorate with sliced tomatoes and curry leaves.Serve hot .

Posted in Traditional Kerala Dishes, Veg Dishes | 12 Comments »

Hot and Sour Egg roast

Posted by Annita on February 20, 2006

A new version of Naadan Egg Roast..The recipe source is again Leelamma Aunty only.She is my Amma’s elder sister.She used to try out different recipes and they all turned good.I think she’s born with talent.

Hpt & Sour Egg Roast
Hot & Sour Egg Roast

Back to the recipe..

Ingredients:-
Boiled eggs -4
Chopped Onion -3
Chopped Tomato -1 and half
Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Kashmiri Chilly Powder /Paprika – 1tbsp(This gives a bright red color to the curry.You can use normal chilly powder also,but then reduce the amount to 3/4 tsp..otherwise the curry will be too hot)
Coriander Powder -1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves -a few
Coriander Leaves chopped – 1 tbsp
Tomato Ketchup -1 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp

Method:-
Boil the eggs and break the shells.Cut the eggs into two.Keep aside.
Pour oil into a heated pan.When the oil is heated add chopped onion & curry leaves and saute for a while.
Add ginger-garlic paste and stir.When the onion turns brown add salt,chilly powder,coriander powder and turmeric powder.Saute till the raw smell of the masala goes away.Then add tomatoes and stir well.You can add water if needed.After sometime the oil starts to seperate.Add Tomato ketchup and stir for a while.Then add coriander leaves and egg pieces and let it simmer for 2-3 mins.Garnish with Coriander leaves.This goes very well with Porotta or Roti.

Posted in Egg Recipes, Traditional Kerala Dishes | 7 Comments »

Kerala Porotta

Posted by Annita on February 20, 2006

An easy way of preaparing Kerala Porotta.Usually in restaurants and Thattukada(small hotels seen on the road side),they prepare porotta by beating the dough well.Instead of doing that excessive beating which need expertise,my aunt tried an alternative ,and to our surprise it came out quite well.Now in my family we prepare porotta quite often.Leelamma aunty is really an expert in this.Her porotta tastes great.After trying it out 3-4 times ,you can also be a master in it.

Ingredients for the dough :-

Maida – 2 cups
Luke warm Water – as needed to prepare the dough
Veg Oil/Dalda – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste

Method:-

Step 1:-
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and knead the dough together thoroughly just like you prepare chappathi/roti dough.Keep it for 1 hr..covered with a wet muslin cloth.Also you can keep it in an air tight container.Otherise the top of the dough may become dry.
Step 2:-
Divide the dough into 10 equal portions of size a little less than tennis ball.
Step 3:-
Take a portion and apply some oil on it.
In a flat surface apply oil again and roll out the portion to the maximum .(Make it as thin as possible both length wise and width wise..no need to be worried about the shape..eventhough it breaks in between..its fine..Our objective is to make it as thin as possible..)You can use a rolling pin for this one also.We are doing this instead of the excessive beating required to prepare porotta.

Rolling the dough

Apply a little more oil over the rolled dough.

Applying oil over the rolled dough

Step 4:-
Using both hands make pleates on the rolled dough(just like saree pleates) starting from one end.(It’ll be more clear when you see the picture below.)

 

Making pleates

Step 5:-
Then holding at one end of the pleated dough ,rotate it just like a spiral.Keep aside.See the picture below.

Step 6:-
Repeat the above procedure for each portions and keep it aside.(Its not as difficult as you read the recipe)Again use wet muslin cloth to cover it or keep it in an air tight container.

porotta_step4.jpg

Dough pleated and rotated into spirals

Step 7:-
Heat a sauce pan until medium hot.
Roll out each portion just like roti,but not soo thin.Porotta should be a medium thick.Remember do not apply any flour on it.You can apply some oil/ghee if you like.

porotta_step5.jpg

Spiral shaped rolled out like a roti

Cook each roti with a little butter/ghee for 1 or 2 minutes,turning frequently ,until speckled brown and firm.Keep the cooked porotta in an aluminium foil or in air tight container.

porotta_step6.jpg

Kerala Porotta

Step 8:-
When 3 or 4 porottas are done,place them in a flat surface and holding them between hands ,beat the hands together.(Just like clapping,but 3-4 porottas are between).do not beat them soo hard such as you break the porottas..:)
We are doing this,just to seperate the different layers.Remember this does not add anything to the taste..

Now tasty Kerala Porotta is ready to serve..Its a long process..isn’t it?But as i told you before its not that difficult ,but time consuming…

This goes well with any non-veg,Egg roast,Green Peas Masala….or any veg masala/Korma.
Yesterday we had porotta and Hot & Sour Egg Roast(Recipe in Traditional Kerala Dishes-Egg)

Posted in Bread & Rotis, Traditional Kerala Dishes | 145 Comments »

Swiss Chard Thoran

Posted by Annita on February 16, 2006

Swiss chard otherwise known as chards is a close relative to beets which has big green leaves and red stems.Both the leaves and the central leaf ribs are consumed.It is rich source of vitamins and fiber.You can use it as an alternative for spinach(but it will give a bright red color.)

A bunch of SwissChard

Once I happened to buy it from Meijer ,and prepared Thoran with it.Then i noticed it tastes exactly like our Kerala Cheera(Red Spinach) thoran.And now its one of our favourite dish..infact we are not even missing the red cheera which we get in Kerala. You can find it in any grocery stores in vegetable section ,it’ll be kept near spinach.

Just try it and let me know how it is….

Ingredients:-

Chopped Swiss chard

1 bunch of Swiss Chard chopped finely
Grated Coconut – 1/2 cup
Chopped Garlic – 2 flakes
Chopped Green Chillies -2 or 3
Chopped Pearl Onion(Kunjulli) -4(You can also use onions ..eventhough Kunjulli tastes better)
Turmeric Powder -1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds -1 tsp
Urad dal -1/2 tsp
Jeera -1/2 tsp
Curry leaves -1/2 tsp

Method:-

Mix together grated coconut,green chillies,turmeric powder,chopped onions & salt.Add chopped swiss chard into the mixture and mix well with hand.
Heat oil in a pan ,add mustard seeds to splutter.Then add Jeera,curry leaves and urad dal.When urad dal turns light brown add swiss chad into it and mix well.Simmer for 10 minutes.Cover it with lid and remember not to add water.But be sure to check in between ,otherwise it may stick to the bottom.Cooking without adding water is one way of healthy cooking.My amma used to cover the cooking pan with a plate or lid which contains some water.While cooking ,due to the moisture water droplets will form under the lid and will drip into the pan .This way you can prevent food from sticking to the bottom.Not only healthy,this type of cooking increases the taste tooo….:))You can use beetroot leaves also to cook this recipe.

Swiss Chard Thoran

P.S:-Instead of coconut powder i’ve used coconut flakes here.

Posted in Veg Dishes | 9 Comments »