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Archive for July, 2007

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I have tasted and cooked many kinds of vegetable pulaos before this. While each one of them holds a dear memory for me, this in particular is very popular in my home. This is my mother in-laws recipe. When she was visiting us last year my husband was asking her to make this dish in particular. I knew exactly why just after I took my first bite :). Since then it’s been a regular in my kitchen.

What you need
2 cup basmati rice – uncooked
1/ 4 cup Yogurt
4 Carrots
20-25 Green Beans
2 potatoes
2 medium size onions
2 tablespoon peas
8-10 Mint leaves
6-7 Small green chilies – slit lengthwise
3 small cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon diced ginger
6 cloves
8 cardamoms
3-5 Black pepper corns
Pinch turmeric powder
1 tablespoon oil
Salt to taste

How to make
Cut carrots, beans and potatoes lengthwise (about 1.5 inch long and ¼ inch thick pieces).
Grind garlic and ginger to a fine paste. (Fresh paste works better than the store bought paste).
Cook rice till it’s about almost done. *
Heat oil in a Pan.
When oil is heated add pinch of turmeric powder and then add onion and fry for couple of minutes.
Add Cloves, cardamoms, peppercorns and green chilies and continue cooking whole stirring for another minute.
Add ginger garlic paste and fry for another minute.
Now add all the cut vegetables and peas and stir them to mix well.
Close the lid and continue cooking till vegetables are about ¾ cooked.
Keep opening the lid and stir in-between to ensure the vegetables aren’t getting burnt.
When the vegetables are ¾ cooked reduce the heat and add mint leaves and yogurt.
(Make sure not to add yogurt when the pan is on high heat as that will curdle the yogurt.)
Continue cooking on low heat till vegetables are cooked and all liquid has evaporated.
Mix in the rice, close the lid and cook for couple of minutes on low flame.
This serves grate with some pappad and raita

* How I cook Rice
There was a time I used to cook rice in microwave as I would get fluffy and non sticky rice.
Then I read somewhere that when you cook any carbohydrate in microwave for longer periods, its composition changes and it essentially becomes hard for the body to process. So no more microwave rice.
Wash rice for about 2-3 times in cold water.
Put few drops of ghee / oil in a pan and when it’s heated add washed rice and fry for about a minute.
Add about 1.75 times of water to the pan and continue to cook on medium high flame.
Bring it to a boil.
When water starts bubbling, reduce heat to low-medium and cover with a lid.
Don’t peek, don’t stir and let it cook for 12-13 minutes. By then all water would have been soaked up.
Turn the heat off let it stand for 10 minutes.
There you have it most fluffy, separated and non broken grains – to the restaurant standard!If you have nothing against cloves, try adding a few cloves to oil / ghee before adding the rice. It gives a wonderful aroma to rice.

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We love to nibble on spicy Jalapeno poppers. I don’t so much prefer the store bought ones, for they are very mild, deep fried and hence loaded with extra fat, breaded which makes them carb heavy.So I definitely had to come up with a healthier version if I wanted to accommodate them on my plate without much of guilt. 🙂

This is my entry into JFI for August hosted by Saffron Trail.

These chilies are hot and you definitely need gloves if you wish to keep your hands cool. If incase you did set your hands on fire make sure to check my tips section to see how you can soothe your hands.

What you need
12 Jalapeno Peppers
1 cup shredded cheddar Jack cheese
1/4 non fat cup sour cream
6 prosciutto slices cut in half (thus yielding 12 wraps) / you can also use bacon instead.
If you like zucchini, you can make thin slices of them with a vegetable peeler and use instead of prosciutto.


How to make
Make a slit in the chilly carefully so as to not to cut the chilly into two.
With your figure tips put a little pressure on top and tip of the chilly so you can widen the slit.
Remove the seeds and ribs from the chilly – you can use a small spoon to core the ribs and seeds.
Chilies should now will look like this:popper1.jpg
With a spoon put a small dollop of sour cream and spread it so it coats all the inside walls.
My logic in doing so is that it will help melt the cheese evenly.
Now fill a spoonful of shredded cheese and press firmly.
Wrap around a prosciutto and secure with a tooth pick.
If You want to go vegetarian use the zucchini slices for wrap around or continue to grilling without a wrap.
Heat the grill on medium high, spray a few spritz of oil and grill these for about 3-4 minutes.
Turn and grill on the other side for 3-4 minutes.
Timing may vary, but Jalapeno’s should be cooked, so that they are soft to touch and have few blisters.
Now turn the heat to low and cover with a foil tent and allow the cheese to settle for about 2-3 minutes.
When not grilling them on the grill, I just use a grill pan that I can use over the cooking range.
With a grill pan it takes a little longer to cook. A work around could be to grill the plain cored chilies a bit then cool, stuff and wrap them and re grill them.

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I am not much of a baker but however I save all the recipes that I want to bake some day.
When I saw the ingredient list on Royal Foodie Joust, my analytical mind got thinking about mixing two recipes that I had tucked away in the box to bake someday.
With this step over the threshold I hope to bake more often 🙂 .
This is my entry to August’s Royal Foodie Joust on Leftover Queen Forum.

What you need
4 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
4 tablespoon cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 large eggs
0.75 teaspoons vanilla extract
0.75 cups whole wheat flour / All purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1.25 cups quick-cooking oats
1 medium peaches, pitted peeled and diced
1/4 cup chopped almonds (Optional)

How to Make
In a large mixing bowl, cream the brown sugar, sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla.
Combine whole wheat flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and stir into egg mixture until smooth. Recipe calls for All purpose flour, I prefer whole wheat as I like to minimize the processed food consumption.
Fold in oats, peaches and chopped almonds.
Refrigerate until chilled, about 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Drop by the tablespoonful onto nonstick cookie sheets.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden.
Cool on wire racks.
Makes 15 cookies.

For Glaze

Sugar – 6 tablespoon
Honey – 2 tablespoon
Chopped nuts (I used chopped Pistachio and Cashew Nuts)
In a pan combine sugar and 1/4 cup of water and boil it for 5mins.
Remove the syrup from fire and let cool for couple of minutes. Stir in the honey.*
Dip each cold cookie in the warm syrup and sprinkle immediately with chopped nuts

* In original glaze recipe, you would heat water sugar and honey together.
However According to Ayurveda Honey should never be heated above body temperature.
As I try to cook in a healthy way using all my knowledge, I didnt heat honey.

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This is a recipe from my mom’s friend.I think this is a common curry cooked in many Konkani families. This curry gives me a homely feeling may be because like most of Konkani dishes this one is prepared with coconut just as many of the havyaka (which I am) dishes are. This stays dear to me for this curry is one my earliest memories of treading into unknown culinary waters.

 What you need:

1 pound chicken – cleaned and washed (any other chicken meat than chicken breast is a best bet for this one)

For Curry Paste
2 large onions – roughly chopped
3 large tomatoes- roughly chopped
2 tablespoon coriander seeds
3 cloves
2 cardamoms
4-5 black peppers
1 inch cinnamon stick
1/3 cup grated coconut (fresh / frozen)*
5-6 whole dry red chilies (go with as much as your palate is comfortable)
4 modicum sized garlic cloves – – roughly chopped
1.5 inch long ginger piece – roughly chopped
Salt to taste

For second layer of the curry
1 large onion – finely diced
1 large tomato – finely diced
½ inch ginger thinly sliced
3/4 teas spoon Garam masala powder
3/4 tablespoon oil
  

How to make:

Grind all the ingredients in the curry paste together with no or as little as water to a fine paste.
Mix the chicken pieces with this paste.
Let the chicken marinate for about 1-2 hours in the fridge.
Cook the marinated chicken in a pressure cooker for about 2 whistles.
If you don’t have a pressure cooker handy, you can cook on stove top till the chicken cooks – this however will give a slightly different taste.
Now on to second layer of the curry
In a pan heat the oil.
Add the onions and fry till they turn pink.
Add the tomato and ginger and fry till it tomato becomes soft and is cooked.
Now add the cooked chicken let it simmer for 5 minutes.
Add garam masala powder and simmer for another couple of minutes.

This curry tatses great with plain dosas and rice

* Recipe calls for 1/3 – 1/2 cup of coconut. Since we all watch what we eat now, I use 1/4 cup and I feel it comes out almost same taste if we go easy on water while grinding.

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My sister keeps talking about these paneer sandwiches that her kids and kid’s friends love a lot. She is a busy bee managing zillion activities with her fulltime job and still somehow cooking delicious meals every time. She will slave in the kitchen for hours to prepare yummy delights and then say “oh it can cook quickly 🙂 ”. But she made these and served them while having a phone conversation with me. So I had to believe that these do turn around quickly and I had to try these Paneer Sandwiches this time she mentioned it.

What you need
1 Medium Onion (Red) chopped medium
8 oz Corn (canned / frozen) – Dry on a paper towel to rid off all moisture
12 oz Paneer – cut into small pieces about 1 cm x 1cm
12 Bread Slices
2 Teaspoon oil
3 Teaspoon chili Powder
1.5 Teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
Pinch turmeric powder
Salt to taste

How to make

Heat oil in a pan on medium heat.
When oil is heated add chopped onions and fry for a minute.
Add the sweet corn and continue frying for another 2-3 minutes till corn is cooked.
Add chili powder, garam masala powder, turmeric powder.
Continue frying for another minute, keep stirring to ensure the mixture doesn’t stick to the pan.
Add paneer pieces and cook for a minute.
Turn off the heat.
This is how the mixture will look like.

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Place a spoonful of above mixture on a bread slice, spread evenly, cover a slice on top.
Grill the sandwiches in a sandwich grill.
If you don’t have a sandwich grill, you can heat a griddle on medium flame and put a drop of oil on the griddle.
Place the stuffed sandwich on the griddle and place another heavy pot on top.
Turn sides after couple of minutes.

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I have never tasted this payasa while growing up. I had heard about this from a few classmates of mine in Belgaum and concluded that this was a south Karnataka thing.
When I got married to a Mysorean I was certain that this surely was a Mysore / Bangalore delicacy.
My mother in law makes a dandy Gasgase payasa, and it is cooked in my Kitchen only when she visits us.
This time around my friend Anu tasted it and has been behind my life to get the recipe.
When I took the recipe from my mom in law this weekend, my husband was festinating to eat this sedating confection.
Drink at your own risk, I am not to blame if you can’t stop gulping this down and can’t stop drowsing away 🙂


What you need
2 tablespoon of rice (preferably basmati / sona masoori)
3 tablespoon Poppy seeds
½ cup grated coconut (fresh / frozen)
1/3 cup powdered jaggery
3 cardamom powdered
Milk about 2.5 cups


How to make

Soak rice in some water for 2-3 hours.
On a low flame roast the poppy seeds without any oil / butter.
Grind rice, poppy seeds and coconut to a fine paste.
Don’t add lot of water to grind as that wont allow for a finer paste.
In a pot add few tablespoons of water and heat the jaggery till it melts and starts bubbling.
Add the ground mixture and cardamom powder to jaggery and continue cooking on medium flame till it boils.
Now add milk and continue till it boils. If you feel its too thick you can go ahead and add more milk till desired consistency is reached.
Its eaten both hot and cold.

Makes about 4 glasses

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Ever since we tried South Beach diet, my husband has become a big Quiche fan. I don’t like the healthy version from South beach which is loaded with spinach, nor do I like the ones that we get in store as its too creamy, buttery and cheesy for my palate. Sometime back my husband had got some mini Quiches that his boss had made; and for once I liked Quiche. Since then I have been in quest of a good recipe so that I could satisfy both our taste buds.
I found this one on I believe yahoo foods and I made some changes to the ingredient proportions. I have tried a few different combinations of meat and veggies in this and it comes out good with almost everything.It’s an ideal make ahead breakfast for busy mornings; it freezes well and stays in Fridge for couple of days. It works well for brunches when you have few stay at home guests

What you need
8 ounces turkey breakfast sausage, removed from casing and crumbled into small pieces
8 ounces mushrooms
1/4 cup sliced scallions
¼ cup finely diced red/yellow pepper.
1 Jalapeno finely chopped (I can’t eat anything without heat in it)
1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese / Sharp Cheddar cheese
5 eggs
4 egg whites
1 cup skim milk (You can use any % of fat as long as you are Ok with it)
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper for seasoning


How to makeIf you have a good nonstick muffin tin, you can grease it and directly cook in that. I however used foil muffin cups as I hate to cleanup afterward.
Pre heat the oven to 325 degree Fahrenheit.
Heat a sauté pan on medium heat and fry the sausage till it’s cooked. (You can replace sausage with ham or bacon).
Once done Remove from pan and spread on a paper towel lined dish to cool
Heat sauté pan on medium high and add oil. Sauté mushrooms and peppers. Add the mushroom first as it will release moisture. Add peppers later, when almost all moisture is evaporated.
Spread this mixture on a paper towel lined dish / bowl and let it cool.
Mix the cheese, scallion and cooled off sausage and sautéed vegetables.
In a bowl beat the eggs, egg whites, milk, salt and pepper.
Pour the veggie/ sausage mixture in to the beaten egg mixture and mix evenly.
Take a deep ladle and pour in the mixture into muffin cups. Leave a little space on top for the quiche to plump up.Bake for about 25 minutes till the top looks cooked and golden.
Makes 12 mini Quiches.
I believe they have about only 120 Kcals per serving.

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