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Archive for September, 2006

Masala Baingan/Bharwan Baingan

Posted by Annita on September 30, 2006

If someone ask me about the vegetable I love most,I can say without any thinking..”Its Eggplant..“.My eyes always get struck with any eggplant dishes, whenever I hop through the food blogs.This was one such dish,which I decided to give a try from the very first sight,and it was really really good.The recipe is from dear Asha’s Foodie’s Hope,she has many more Eggplant dishes,and most of them are in my ‘Must try’ waiting list.

Masala Baingan
Masala Baingan

Ok,now the recipe..

Ingredients:-

Eggplant diced into small pieces- 1 big
Chopped Onion – 1
Chopped Cilantro – 2 tsp
salt – to taste
Oil – as needed

For Grinding:-

Dry Coconut – 1/4 cup
Coriander Seeds – 1 tbsp
Onion – 1
Cloves – 4
Pepper corns – 4
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Chilly POwder – 1/2 tsp
Cashew Nuts – 6
Sugar – 1/2 tsp
Tamarind Paste – 2 tsp

For Garnishing:-

Chopped Cilantro
Heavy Cream

Method:-

Dry roast all the ingredients for grinding,cool it and grind to a smooth paste.Keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan,add chopped onion and fry it until brown.Add eggplant pieces and any other veggies(optional),and fry it until they are almost done.Stir in the masala paste,salt and cilantro and fry it until thick and oil starts to seperate.

Garnish it with cilantro and heavy cream and serve hot with roti/chappathi.Asha says it tastes delicious if roasted pototo or fried pearl onions is added to the dish.Hopefully i’ll try adding them next time.
Thanks again Asha for this wonderful recipe.

Posted in Blogger's Recipes, Veg Dishes | 13 Comments »

Sesame Soya Chicken

Posted by Annita on September 28, 2006

Another Chineese dish from master chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s Khana Khazana recipe book.The dish tastes very unique with a dashing sesame flavour.

Sesame Soya Chicken
Sesame Soya Chicken

So here goes the recipe..

Ingredients:-

Chicken breasts(Skinned & bonned) diced into small pieces- 4
Chopped Garlic Cloves – 4-6
Chopped Spring Onion – 1
Sliced Whole Red Chillies – 2 (Increase the number for more heat)
Corn Starch – 1 tbsp
Dark Soya Sauce – 2 tbsps
Port Wine(Optional) – 2 tbsps (I didn’t add this to my curry)
White Vinegar – 1 tbsp
Sesame Oil – 1 tsp

Salt – to taste
Vegetable Oil – as needed

For Garnishing
White Sesame seeds – 2 tsps
Chopped Spring Onion greens – 1 tsp

Method:-

Dry roast sesame seeds to a golden brown color and keep it aside.Heat oil in a pan,add spring onion and garlic and stir fry briefly.Stir in dark soya sauce and thinly sliced red chillies.Immediately add chicken pieces and allow it to cook on high heat stirring continuosly for 1 or 2 minute,or until the chicken pieces turns white.Add Port wine and 1/2 cup of water,bring it to a boil.Dissolve corn starch in quarter cup of water and add it to the chicken stirring continuosly.Simmer for 3- 5 mts.Add salt,white vinegar and sesame oil.Mix it well and turn off the heat.
Garnish with roasted sesame seeds and spring onion greens.Serve hot with any type of rice/noodles/roti.

Sesame Soya Chicken
A Happy Meal

P.S:- The curry was supposed to look a little more brownish,I think it may be because of the soya sauce.I didn’t have dark soya sauce and so i just used the light one(increased the quantity to 3 tbsps),which I had.

Posted in Chicken, Chinese Dishes | 9 Comments »

Chilly Fish

Posted by Annita on September 26, 2006

Last weekend some of our friends came over all the way from Colombus.I knew how they all loved fish and so prepared this chilly fish and shrimp fried rice to go along with it.The recipe is from Mrs.K.M Mathew’s Malayala Pachakam.

Chilly Fish
Chilly Fish

I’ve used King fish here,but you can use any fish of your choice.

Here’s the recipe..

Ingredients:-

Fish pieces – 1 kg
(If you are using whole fish,clean it and make some slits over it.This will help the masalas to penetrate inside)

Red Chillies – 6
Chopped Onion – 2 cup
Chopped Garlic – 1/2 cup
Grated Ginger – 1 tsp
Chilly powder – 1 tsp
Finely chopped Tomato – 1/2 cup
Tomato Ketchup – 1/4 cup

1 cup of Fish Broth(Soup prepared by cooking some fish pieces adding salt and water)
(I ‘ve just used water instead of fish broth)
Vinegar – 1 tsp
Ajinomotto – 1/4 tsp(Optional-not recommended for regular use)
Corn flour – 1/2 tsp

Capsicum diced – 1/2 cup
Chopped Celery – 2 tsp
Chopped Spring Onion Greens – for garnishing
Salt – to taste
Peanut Oil- as needed

For Marinate:-

Soya Sauce – 3 tsp
Chilly POwder – 2 tsp
Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste

Prepare a marinate by mixing all these together.

Method:-

Apply the marinate on the fish pieces and allow it to stand for 2 hrs preferrably in a refrigerator.Then deep fry it in Peanut oil.( I didn’t have peanut oil,and so i used vegetable oil itself).
Heat little oil in another pan and fry the red chillies till brown.Remove them from pan,and pound them to a coarse powder. Keep it aside.In the remaining oil,add onion,ginger and garlic and saute them until onion turn translucent.Now add chilly powder,chopped tomato and ketchup and saute them till oil starts to seperate.Mix fish broth,vineger,corn flour, ajinomotto and salt together and pour the mixture into the sauteed masala.Allow it to boil for a while,and when the gravy starts to thicken throw in capsicum and celery.Simmer for 2-3 minutes.Now add the reserved red chilly powder ,and mix it well.

Arrange the fish pieces neatly in a serving powl.Pour the prepared sauce over it.Garnish with spring onion greens and serve hot.

Chilly Fish served with Fried Rice
Chilly Fish served with Fried Rice

Posted in Chinese Dishes, Seafood | 23 Comments »

VazhaChundu(Banana Flower) Cutlet

Posted by Annita on September 25, 2006

Banana trees plays a vital role in Kerala Cuisine,every single part of the tree is useful in one way or other.As everyone knows,leaves of banana tree is used for serving meals and also to prepare some traditional dishes like Ada,Meen Pollichathu etc,its stem (called ‘Vazha Pindi’ at our place) ,flower and fruit are used in many other deliccacies.

Banana Blossom
Vazha Chundu/Banana Blossom

The banana flower,or Banana blossom(We call it ‘Vazha Chundu’,it is also called ‘kodappan’ or’Vazha Poo’ in other parts of Kerala.Are there any more slangs for this?) is grown on the end of the stem which holds the banana clusters.It has a deep purple color and many layers of tightly packed leaves.You have to discard the outer leaves(may be 3 or 4),until the inner pale colored leaves can be seen.Outer dark colored leaves can be very bitter,and cannot be used for cooking.But its a nice idea to use it as a decorative serving bowl,pickles or salads can be served in it.The banana flower is a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A and it contains fair amounts of calcium and iron too.

Eventhough the vegetable is blessed with many nutrients,the flavor is a little starchy and bitter,but when cooked thoroughly and with the right ingredients,it can be turned into many tasty dishes.This cutlet is one such dish,very easy to make and very healthy too.

VazhaChundu Cutlet
Vazha Chundu Cutlet served with Onion Salad

Ok,now here comes the recipe..

Ingredients:-

Grated Banana flower – 1 medium sized
Turmeric Powder- 1/2 tsp
Chopped Onions – 1/2 cup
Green chillies sliced – 7-8
Chopped Ginger – 1 tsp
Chopped Coriander leaves – 2 tsp
Boiled Potato – 2
Boiled Carrot – 1
Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Egg – 2
Bread Crumbs – 1 cup
Salt – to taste
Oil – to deep fry + 2 tsp

Method:-

Cook grated banana flower until soft, adding little water,turmeric powder and salt.

Cooking Banana Flower
Cooking grated banana flower

Seperate egg whites and yolks.Peel off the skin of potato and mash it well with hands and keep it aside.Similarly peel off the carrot skin ,mash it and reserve.Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds into it.Allow it to splutter and add urad dal into it.Fry it for a while.Now add onions,green chillies and ginger one by one and saute until onions turn translucent.Stir in mashed potato and cooked banana flower into it.Now add mashed carrot and salt and mix it all together.You can also add the seperated egg yolk into the cutlet mixture if you wish.Simmer until the mixture is thick and dry.Add chopped coriander leaves,simmer for 2 more minutes,stirring continuosly and remove from heat.

When the mixture is cooled,make it into equal sized balls.Flat each ball into any desired shape , dip it in egg white and coat with bread crumbs.Deep fry or shallow fry the cutlets and serve with ketchup or onion salad.

Instead of egg,you can also use maida flour mix with some water to make it a smooth paste.

VazhaChundu Cutlet
Deep fried Cutlets

See my another version of broiled cutlet for healthy eating.Here I haven’t used bread crumbs or eggs,I just made lemon sized balls with the prepared mixture and flattened it with my hand.Then I’ve arranged them neatly in a pan,applied a little oil on them using cooking spray.I broiled them for 5 minutes and then I turned them upside down,sprayed oil again and broiled them for 5 more minutes or until well browned.

Broiled Cutlet
Broiled Cutlets

Another one with the same cutlet mixture.No bread crumbs or eggs here too,take a lemon size ball,flatten it with your hand and elongate it.Shallow fry it in a pan.Arrange it on a burger bun ,with lettuce,lightly sauteed onion,lightly sauteed green capsicum,tomato slices and grated cheese.You can create your own burgers,with your choice of veggies and dressings along with this healthy Banana flower cutlet.

Burger made with VazhaChundu Cutlet
Vazha Chundu Burger

Posted in Lil' Milan's Choice, Snacks & Appetizers, Traditional Kerala Dishes | 19 Comments »

Fish Pickle

Posted by Annita on September 20, 2006

This is another treasured recipe from my Amma,very simple to make ,yet so delicious..I’ve prepared this fish pickle last week with 3 pounds of king fish,and its almost over by now.Actually I was hoping that it’ll stay for atleast 3 months.Ok,no complaints..I only gulped almost half of it,eventhough I blamed Deepu for finishing it off real soon.

Fish Pickle
Fish Pickle

The recipe follows ..

Ingredients:-

King Fish diced – 2 lb
Thinly sliced Ginger – 1/2 cup
Thinly sliced Garlic – 1/2 cup
Green Chillies Slit – 10
Kashmiri Red Chilly Powder mixed with a little vinegar(to make it a smooth paste) – 1/4 cup
Vinegar – 1 cup
Curry leaves -1 sprig
Mustard Seeds – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Oil – as needed

For Marinating Fish Pieces

Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
Red Chilly powder -1 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp

Method:-

Mix together turmeric powder,red chilly powder and salt ,adding little water and marinate fish pieces using this mixture. Keep it in a refrigerator for half an hour.Then deep fry the fish pieces,until brown and crisp.

Heat oil in another pan,pop mustard seeds,add curry leaves and fry for a while.Now add ginger,garlic and green chillies into it.Saute it for 3-4 mts in medium heat.(I used store brought ginger-garlic paste instead of sliced ginger & garlic.Be careful while using this ready made paste,it can splash all over and can cause burns.So its better to cover the pan immediately after adding it,but take care not to burn the ingredients).

Fish Pickle
Sauteing Ginger-Garlic paste

Mix in Red chilly paste and saute for few minutes.

Fish Pickle
Sauteing Red Chilly paste

Now add vinegar and salt and allow it to boil.When boiled,add the fish pieces into it and simmer for another 5-6 mts.You can add hot water or vinegar(check for sourness before adding it) if needed,and let it come to a boil once again.Switch off the stove,allow it to cool and store in an air tight container.

Fish Pickle

For better shelf life(in room temperature),fish pieces have to be completely dipped in the gravy,and oil has to be seen on top. Otherwise you can keep the pickle in a refrigerator and always use dry spoon in the pickle,water particles can spoil the pickle.

You can use any hard fish  for this like tuna or tilapia.I’ve even prepared this pickle using anchovies.The same method can be used to prepare meat pickle also.

Posted in Chutneys & Pickles, Seafood, Traditional Kerala Dishes | 80 Comments »