Thursday, January 29, 2009

Erisseri (vegetable curry)

Erisseri belongs to Kerala. It is an yummy side dish served during all the feasts in kerala and south Tamil Nadu. The yam I am referring here is the 'Indian Yam' which is a root/ tuber otherwise called Elephant foot yam / suran (Hindi) / senai kilangu (Tamil).
It is not the same yam as we see in USA. Here they are calling a root similar to sweet potato as yam.
Yam is available in all seasons in India. Even a small grocery shop in Chennai will sell it. A matured yam will weigh nearly 4 kgs or more. So in India they cut and sell the yam . This vegetable will not rot for a month or two, if kept uncut.
We should be careful in cleaning a fresh yam , as it may cause itching to the hands. To avoid any itching, apply tamarind juice to your hands after cutting this vegetable.
We can buy frozen yam from the 'Indian stores' in USA . So we need not worry about this cleaning or itching , but surely we miss the fresh flavor.
Here is the recipe for Erisseri. Hope you all like it:)



Ingredients:
Yam - 150 gms
Raw banana - 1
turmeric - 1/4 tsp
salt - to taste
coconut oil - 1 tbsp
mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
curry leaf - 1 brig
To grind:
shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
whole black pepper - 1 tbsp

Method:

Cut the yam and banana into small cubes.
Cook it with 1 cup of water , turmeric powder and salt.
Grind the items given to a fine paste.
After the vegetables get cooked, slightly mash them with the ladle and add the masala paste.
Saute them in low flame till the curry becomes thicker.
Heat oil in a wok, splutter the mustard seeds .
Add curry leaves and 1 tbsp shredded coconut to the cracked mustard . Saute well till the coconut turns brown .
Mix it with the curry.
(Traditionally they add a tbsp of hot coconut oil after switching off the flame. )
Erissery is ready.

Serving suggestions:

It can be served as side dish with plain steamed rice, chapathi or sambar rice.
Note:
The consistency should be like a semi solid curry. The coconut masala should be more visible than the vegetables. People who do not like coconut can reduce it to 1/4 cup instead of 1/2 cup.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kale leaf curry

I have been watching this kale leaf bunch in every grocery store in USA for a long time . But my desi brain couldn't even identify it as a keerai (greens). I assumed it as a kind of cabbage:)
Never dared to take it home as hubby hates trying new greens:)
Then heard of its nutritional value from my friend Malar of Kitchen Tantra.
She has a vast knowledge about the rare greens. This leaf has a lot of vitamin K and good for women. Thanks for the info Malar. Then I started cooking it like our very native paruppu keerai (dhal and spinach).. I don't know any recipe for this. It tastes heavenly. Besides we need not depend on our Indian store spinach alone.That's amazing right:)



Ingredients:

Kale leaf - 3/4 lb
Thoor dhal - 1/4 cup
Onion - 1
Dry red chilly - 2
cumin seed - few
mustard seed - 1/2 tsp
salt - to taste
turmeric powder - a pinch
asafoetida - a pinch
olive oil - 1 tbsp

Method:

Wash the kale leaf by placing it in a big mixing bowl.
Remove the thicker vains and chop into big pieces. vegetables chopped into tiny pieces may loose their water-soluble vitamins easily.
Pressure cook thoor dhal with 1 cup water, little turmeric powder, asafoetida and mash it .
Heat olive oil in a non stick wok.
Add mustard seeds. Once they get cracked , add the chopped onion, dry red chilli and saute well.
After the onion gets semi cooked add the chopped kale leaves and stir well.
Add a cup of water and close the lid.
Let the greens cook (but not 100%). It will get cooked in 5 minutes.
Open the lid , add salt, cumin seeds and cooked dhal.
Mix well and let it come to boil.
Switch off flame.
Kale leaf curry is ready.

Serving suggestions:

Serve as side dish with steamed rice or roti / chapathi.
Makes two cups of curry.
1 cup chopped kale leaf gives 36 calories.(citation: The daily plate )
We can add the calories for the olive oil, lentil and onion to calculate the calorie consumed.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Pesarattu (Green gram dosai)

Pesarattu is a special breakfast cum dinner served in Andhra restaurants.
Being born and brought up in a southern most part of India , I have never heard of Pesarattu till I moved to Madras.
One fine morning I tasted the Pesarattu made by my Sakuntala Athai (Aunt) and became a fan of Pesarattu.
Most of her recipes were new to me .Then only I understood that the Madras families surely will have a touch of the Andhra cuisines and that's really delectable.


Ingredients:

Green gram - 1 1/2 cup
Rice - 1 tbsp
onion - chopped 1 cup
green chilly - 3
ginger - 1 inch
cumin seed - 1/2 tsp
curry leaf - 1 brig
sesame oil - 1 tsp per pesarattu.

Method:

Soak green gram with 1 tbsp rice overnight (or 8 hours).
Grind green chilly, ginger, with the soaked dhal and rice to a paste like dosa batter.
Add salt, chopped onion , curry leaf and cumin seeds .
Heat a dosa girdle . Pour a ladle of batter and flatten it to a thin crepe dosa.
Sprinkle little sesame oil over the pesarattu.
Flip over and let it cook both sides.
Pesarattu is ready.

Serving suggestions:
In some Andhra restaurants , they place a spoon of rava uppuma inside the Pesarattu and fold it like masala dosai.
The suitable side dishes can be red capsicum chutney or green chilly chutney or tomato chutney or vada curry .
Makes 20 Pesarattu.

If minimal oil is used then this is good for a less calorie diet .


Green chilly chutney (less spicy)

When I planned to make the Andhra 's Pesarattu , the side dish sparked in my mind was their special green chilly chutney. Green chilly chutney is loved by the people of North Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. I remember a version of green chilly chutney but it calls for a lot of Indian green chilly without Jaggery.
At the same time while browsing through Jaishree's Ruchi , I got a green chilly pickle recipe.
Then I got an idea to add Jaggery to the chutney. My friend Prathiba from Bangalore told me to substitute Jalapeno peppers for half of the green chilly. I didn't have any Jalapeno pepper so I used a big green bell pepper to reduce the spice of chilly.
The result is the following "Less spicy green chilly chutney". The flavor reminds me of Andhra restaurant chutney , but with less spice.
If you want more spice , then go for 5 Jalapeno peppers instead of a bell pepper. No need to temper the chutney.


Green chilli chutney / Less spicy chilly chutney/ Pachai milagai chutney

Ingredients:

Green Bell pepper - 1
Indian green chilly - 10
sesame seed - 1 tbsp
garlic - 2
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
tamarind - a big strawberry size
crushed Jaggery - 1 tbsp
salt - to taste

Method:
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a wok.
Chop the bell pepper. Do not chop the small green chilly.
Fry both with 1 tbsp sesame seeds . Cook them covered till the chilly turns pale brown.
Deseed and soak the tamarind.
Grind fried chilly, sesame seed, cumin seed, tamarind , salt, jaggery and garlic to a fine paste.
No need to garnish.
Green chilly chutney is ready!

Serving suggestions:

The above said quantity will be comfortably enough for 4 people.
Serve hot as side dish with idly, dosa, pesarattu , chapathi etc.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rava Idly

Rava Idly / Semolina Idly is a kind of Idly served in TamilNadu restaurants. It is much easier to prepare and a delicacy to serve along with sambar or tomato chutney.
I tried making this Rava Idly many times and failed to get that fluffiness. I got something like uppuma:)
Then got the recipe from a old magazine. They insist on grinding urid dhal.Many people do not use urid dhal. But it gives a wonderful texture and it resembles much like original Idly.



Ingredients:

Rava - 2 1/2 cup
urid dhal - 1/2 cup
curd - 1/2 cup
water - 1 cup
To temper:
oil - 2 tbsp
cashew - 10
ginger - 1 inch
green chilli - 2
mustard - 1 tsp
channa dhal - 1 tbsp.
curry leaf - 1 brig
cilantro - a handful
salt - 1 1/2 tsp

Method:
Soak the urid dhal for 1 hour.
Dry roast the rava till you get a nice aroma.
Grind the urid dhal to a fine paste and mix it with the rava along with salt, curd and yeast.
I didn't have a sour curd, so I added a pinch of yeast to the batter for fermentation. There is no need to add yeast during summer. Do not add a lot of water.
The consistency should be like a pan cake mix / urid dhal vadai batter.
Keep it inside oven or any warm place and let it ferment for 8 hours.
Just before making idly, we need to add the tempering.
Chop the green chilli, cilantro, ginger and curry leaves.
Heat a pan with 1 tbsp oil .Add the channa dhal and mustard.
Let the mustard crackle.
Then add the cashews , chopped green chilli, cilantro, curry leaves and ginger.
Fry them for a while and mix it with the fermented batter.
Coat the idly vessel with little oil and pour the batter.
Steam cook the idly for 10 minutes (Do not put 'cooker-weight' if you are using a pressure cooker).
Take the idly vessel out , keep it out and scoop the Rava idly after 2 minutes .
Rava Idly is ready.

Serving suggestions:

We can microwave the idly before serving.
Serve Rava idly hot with tomato chutney or sambar.
Makes 14 fluffy Rava idly.

Rava Idly has black gram (Urid dhal) . So it goes to Legume affair hosted by Srivalli and Susan.

Adai Dosai

Adai dosai is a common breakfast / dinner item made in South Indian houses. we make it in many ways using many kind of lentils. The following recipe is an authentic one followed by people of Tirunelveli. My mom used to make it for saturday mornings. (Sundays were devoted to Poori). I don't even know when she would have got up or when she would have soaked them all..(Yes , it is the secret of mothers ). But those memories are really wonderful and the best part is , this was her favorite breakfast cum dinner.
I used to give her some appreciation by making my imperfect adais , after enjoying her crispy ones:) Later on those breakfast menus became dinner specials , paving way to oats and cereals.
Recently I enjoyed adai made by my friend Priya Anand and got inspired a lot again:)
She prepared it like a kerala adai and it was soo.... lovely. Will post that version also soon.
Hope this recipe brings many loving memories to you too guys:)

Adai dosai  served with coconut chutney.
Update (11- 25 - 2013)
Nowadays I make adai using my electric griddle (350 deg F or little lesser). This helps me make more adais in short time...also it will never char these lentil dosais. But we can make it just like dosa in dosa pan too. Both tastes good.




To grind:

Idly rice / any rice - 1cup
Thoor dhal (Thuvaram paruppu) - 1/2 cup
Channa dhal (Kadalai paruppu) - 1/2 cup
urid dhal (Uluntham paruppu) - 2 tbsp
galic - 5 pearls
ginger - 1 inch
Dry red chilli - 5
Asafoetida - a pinch
turmeric powder - a pinch
salt - 2 tsp

To temper:
Oil - 1 tbsp
urid dhal - 1 tbsp
channa dhal - 1 tbsp
onion - 2 cup
cilantro - a handful
curry leaf - 1 sprig

Method:

Wash and soak the rice , thoor dhal, channa dhal, urid dhal for 6 hours.
I soaked it by 12 Noon and made it for dinner.
(If you plan to make adai for a special breakfast, then soak all the items told and keep it inside fridge overnight.
Otherwise soak the rice overnight and soak the dhals for just 2 hours in the norning.
Because while making adai , the dhals should not ferment. Moreover donot use fermented left over batter, as it is believed to be hazardous)
After 6 hours grind soaked items along with red chilli, garlic, ginger, asafoetida, turmeric and salt like coarse dosa batter .
Heat a pan with oil and add urid dhal + channa dhal.
Let them get red in color, then add the chopped onion , cilantro, curry leaves and fry till the onion becomes transparent.
Then add this tempering to adai dosa batter.
Heat a dosa pan and coat it with a little sesame oil.
(Thick traditional dosa tawas make crispy adais than the non stick tawas)
Then pour a ladle of batter and make thick dosas.
Make a hole in the center of the adai and add 1 tsp sesame oil or ghee around the adai and in the center hole.
Flip it. wait to get adai cooked on both sides.
Like wise make as many as required.
Adai dosai is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve adai hot with coconut chutney or aviyal or onion chutney.
Do not prepare it in batches before serving. Because cold adai does not taste great.
So start making adai , as soon as anyone sits in front of the dinner plate.

Note:  
The taste will be enhanced if we add a handful of drumstick leaves to the batter before making adai.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sesame Ladoo

Sesame ladoo / Ell urundai is a kind of primordial Indian sweet . It is believed that , the people who extract oil (nallennai in tamil) from sesame seeds could have invented this amazing sweet. Actually they mix palm jaggery with the left over crushed sesame seeds after getting the oil .
We cannot get palm jaggery easily in USA , so here is a modern recipe for our store bought sesame seeds with ordinary jaggery:)




Ingredients:

Black Sesame seeds - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1/2 cup (grated)
cardamom - 2 pods (optional)

Method:
Sprinkle little water over black sesame seeds and dry roast it.
Sprinkling water avoids jumping of sesame seeds. Let it cool .
Then coarsly grind (just 2 pulse) the sesame seeds and cardamom in a mixer.
Heat the crushed jaggery with a spoon of water and make a thick liquid out of it.
Take care not to char the jaggery.
Then mix the crushed sesame seeds with jaggery and make lemon size balls.
Sesame ladoo is ready.

Good for a healthy dessert for underweight kids!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cilantro rice

Kothamalli sadam / coriander rice / cilantro rice is a quick fix lunch box recipe. All that we need is just 20 minutes for the entire preparation .


Ingredients:

cilantro leaf - 2 handful
Rice - 1 cup
coriander seeds - 1 tsp
cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Dry red chilli - 3
Tamarind - 2 inch
Tomato - 1
garlic - 1 pearl
oil - 2 tbsp
mustard seeds - 1 tsp
urid dhal - 1 tbsp

Method:
Pick the leaves from the cilantro bunch.Clean and wash the cilantro leaves.
Heat oil in a kadai. Add the urid dhal, coriander seeds and mustard seeds.
After the mustard gets cracked, add the dry red chilli and fry for a while.
Then take the chilli alone out , keep it aside.
Now add the cilantro leaves and chopped tomato to the hot oil and fry them till the tomato becomes mushy.
Then add the cumin seeds, tamarind , salt, garlic and mix them all. Then switch off the stove.
After it gets cooled , grind it in to a fine paste in a mixer/ blender.
Check for salt.
Cook the rice with twice the measure of water and a little salt.
After the rice gets cooled , add the cilantro masala and mix well.
Cilantro rice is ready.

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot with egg omelet or raitha . I prepared cauliflower fry as a side dish.

I would like to thank Varsha of will-O'-the-wisp for passing me this cute award.

Thank you Varsha.
I am glad to pass this award to sriharivatsan , Premy's cakes,
Chitra , Swapna and Shama .
Enjoy .

Friday, January 16, 2009

Pongal Aviyal.

Aviyal is a kind of side dish prepared in TamilNadu and kerala during auspicious times . Aviyal means vegetables cooked in water . It contains many vegetables and root vegetables without much oil.There are many varieties of aviyal .
One of such kind is the TamilNadu aviyal or kalyana (wedding) aviyal or Pongal aviyal. TamilNadu Aviyal is flavored with turmeric , mango , tamarind and tomato instead of curd, While kerala aviyal has more coconut and curd. But I will tell both are yummy in their own way . Since it is a Pongal season , I felt it more appropriate to present you guys this TamilNadu's special aviyal. There is an old saying that people should add all the vegetables (atleast one piece) on Pongal day, so that they will not get allergic to any vegetable throughout the year.
This is a 'must to serve' side dish in almost all functions of TamilNadu.
What is more pleasant than a wedding feast, in which all can sit together to have this aviyal with Sambar rice served in a banana leaf?



vegetables:
Unripe banana (choose Indian banana) - 1
Baby brinjal / small eggplant - 3
Drumstick - 1
Red onion - 1
White pumkin - 100 gms
Tomato - 1
Yam (suran / senai kilangu) - 100 gms
Raw mango - 1/2
potato - 1
cluster beans - 100 gms
string beans - 100 gms

(Cauliflower , cabbage , broccoli , celery and beetroot do not go along with the recipe. Just use only native Indian vegetables.)

Masala:
fresh shredded coconut - 1 cup
green chilli - 4
shallot onion - 4 / 1 small red onion.
cumin seeds- 1 tsp
black pepper- 1 tsp
(Grind all of the above coarsely).

Other ingredients:
Channa dal - a handful
Tamarind extract - 1 tsp.
turmeric - 1/4 tsp
shredded coconut - 1 tbsp
coconut oil (or)any cooking oil - 1 tbsp
curry leaves - 1 brig
mustard seed - 1tsp
salt - to taste
water- 2 cups

Method:

Cut the vegetables in to big pieces .
Cook all the vegetables in water and turmeric powder. Add water just to immerse the vegetables. Add soaked channa dal.
After they become tender add salt and tamarind extract.
Then goes the coarsely ground masala and mix well. Bring it to boil.
check for salt.Now switch off the flame.
Heat a separate pan with coconut oil and splutter the mustard seeds. Add the remaining shredded coconut, curry leaves and run the 'thalippu' over the aviyal.
TamilNadu Pongal aviyal is ready.

Serving suggestions:

Makes 800 ml of aviyal (nearly 4 cups).
It can be served with sambar rice , rasam rice , roti , adai or chapathi .

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cranberry beans koottu

I am introduced to cranberry beans after coming to NJ only. While I was browsing through a chinese food market, I bumped on this lovely veggie that resembles much of an Indian butter beans. Before that I wanna share some memories on butter beans.
Butter beans is a famous , expensive but rare vegetable found in Tirunelveli / Tuticorin markets. Even in Madras I have not spotted this beans any where. We make a koottu (curry) out of it along with sambar rice. My Mom used to prepare it with Paruppu kulambu and I love those tongue tickling moments.
I applied the same formula with cranberry beans and the result was amazing. So in your next visit to any Asian food market look for this beans and enjoy this curry :)



cranberry beans / butter beans curry
Ingredients:
Cranberry beans/ butter beans - 1 lb
Shallot onion - 4
Shredded coconut - 2 tbsp
cumin seeds - 1 tsp
oil - 1 tsp
fennel seeds (sombu)- 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 brig
coriander powder - 2 tsp
red chilli powder - 1 tsp
turmeric powder - a pinch
tomato - 1 (chopped)
salt - to taste

Procedure:

Shell the cranberry beans , wash and clean the beans inside.
Bring to boil enough water and cook the beans to tender.
In a Indian mixer/ any blender grind the shallot, coconut and cumin seeds together to a coarse paste.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. Add the fennel seeds and let it become red. Then goes the curry leaves.
Immediately add the cooked beans along with the remaining water.
Now add coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt.
Slide in chopped tomatoes. Close the lid and cook for 5 minutes.
Then introduce the ground masala and keep stirring occasionally, till the koottu / curry becomes a gravy.
Butter beans/ cranberry beans koottu is ready.

Serving suggestions:

Makes nearly 600 ml of curry.
Serves 4 people .
Serve hot with chapathi, roti , vegetable pulav,or as side dish with sambar & rice.

Cranberry beans koottu goes to Legume affair hosted by Srivalli and Susan.
Also it will be seen in the Sunshine mom's FIC_ Yellow event.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Vegetable Biryani (Oven method)

Happy Pongal everybody . After a week , I come out with our very known dish 'vegetable Biryani'.Actually after posting the non veg biryani, one of my vegetarian friend ordered me for a delicious veg. biryani.... So I am dedicating it to her:)
Vegetable biryani always gives a great alternative to sambar and daal rice during the fasting season.
Some people prepare it in a rice cooker or a kadai. But if it comes for a pot luck or dinner , I prefer to prepare the vegetable Biryani in conventional oven.
Nothing more to say , but try this and tell me how it turned out.



Vegetables: Cauli flower - 5 big florets (pieces), green beans - 10 , carrot -1 , green peas - a handful , butter beans / cranberry beans - 1 cup
Ingredients:
Basmathi rice / Jeeraga samba raw rice - 3 cups
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red onion - 2 (medium size)
Tomato - 2
cilantro- 1 handful.
mint leaf -1 handful.
Ginger paste - 2 tsp
Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Fennel - 1 tsp
bay leaves - 2
star aniseed - 1,
cinnamom stick - 2 inch
cardamom - 2
cloves - 4
curd -1 cup,
ghee - 2 tbsp
olive oil - 3 tbsp
chilli powder - 2 tsp ,
green chillis - 5 (uncut).
Lemon - 1
cashew nuts -10
raisins- 10.
salt.
saffron color- 2 drops
rose essence-2 drops
milk - 2 tbsp

Marination:
wash and clean the vegetables. peel the skin of carrot and cut into long thin slices.
Cut the green beans in to long pieces. Pluck 5 -6 florets from the cauliflower.
Defreeze the green peas. Boil and cook the cranberry beans/ butter beans separately.
Put all the vegetables in a mixing bowl .
Add 2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp garam masal powder, 1 tsp ginger paste, 1/2 tsp garlic paste, 1 cup curd,2 tsp salt and juice from 1/2 a lemon.
Marinate the vegetables for 2 hours or overnight in refrigerator.

Biryani gravy preparation:

Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a broad bottom vessel.
Add fennel ,star aniseed , cinnamon stick,cardamom ,cloves, bay leaf .
Then goes the chopped onion .
Fry it till golden brown and take half of it aside.
Now add the chopped tomato and cook till the oil oozes out of it.
Then add the remaining ginger garlic paste and stir well till the raw smell goes.
Fry it till the oil start oozing out. Now add the marinated vegetables and stir well.
No need to cook the vegetables (except butter beans seeds), as they will get cooked in the oven.

To cook rice:
wash the rice and soak it for 1/2 an hour.
Bring to boil some 10 cups of water.
Add the juice of half a lemon and 2 tsp salt.
Then add the soaked rice and 1/2 cook it (50% done).
Immediately drain water using a colander (sieve) and keep it aside.

For garnishing:

Roast the cashews and raisins in 1 tbsp ghee. keep aside.
Chop cilantro and mint leaves.

Arrange the layers:

Take an aluminium foil baking tray. Clean it and spread half of the rice.
Then spread the prepared vegetable gravy over it .
Cover that with another layer of rice.
spread the chopped mint leaf, cilantro, uncut green chillies, fried onions, cashews and raisins.
Mix 2 drops of rose essence , saffron food color (or real saffron) with 2 tbsp milk.
sprinkle this mixture over the top layer of rice.
sprinkle 1 tbsp ghee over that.

In oven:

Now cover the tray with an aluminium foil.
Preheat the oven to 350 deg C and cook the biryani for 1 hour (or) more, till the rice is cooked completely. My biryani got ready in one hour.
Vegetable biryani is ready.

Serving suggestions:

Serve vegetable biryani hot with onion raitha .
Serves 6 people.

Vegetable Biryani goes to Sunshine mom's FIC_ Yellow event.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Shrimp curry (South Indian coastal region kulambu)

If any non vegetarian fan (like me) is asked to rate their favorite dish , then shrimp will definitely get a top score. To my surprise hubby never likes crab or shrimp (so I get a lion's share always :) . Love my man for his taste:)
Back to the shrimp curry, there are many ways to prepare the shrimp. Mostly we cook it exactly like a chicken curry or fry it like chicken 65. But the shrimp tastes great in whatever manner being cooked. (It tastes good if not cooked for a long time). Some American restaurants serve a half cooked cocktail shrimp and I love that taste too. I had it raw along with small gooseberry as a salad in Thailand and that was very lovely.
The recipe I narrate here traces its origin to the southern coastal region of Tamil Nadu. I got this charming recipe from a fish selling person (who regularly supplies fish to my father's house) and I love it because of its simplicity.
Here goes the recipe.




Ingredients:

Shrimp - 30 numbers
shredded coconut - 2 tbsp
cumin - 1/2 tsp
turmeric- a small bit
whole black Pepper - 2 tsp
coriander powder - 2 tbsp (not the seeds)
ginger - 1 inch
green chilli - 2 (split to half)
Chopped onion - 1 cup (1 number)
chopped tomato - 1 cup (2 number)
salt- to taste
oil - 1 tsp.
curry leaf - 2 brig

Method:
1.Wash srimp. Remove the veins and shell.Keep aside.
2.Bring to boil 1 cup of water in a vessel
Then add chopped onion and tomato .
3.Grind shredded coconut , cumin ,turmeric, black pepper, coriander powder
and ginger together.Add this mixture to the boiling onion-tomato .
4.Add the cleaned shrimp and cook covered in a low heat for 15 minutes.
5.Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan.
Fry fennel seeds (sombu) to red color then add the curry leaves and green chilli .
Now pour this tempering to the cooked shrimp kulambu. Check for salt.
The consistency should be watery like sambar.

Coastal region shrimp kulambu is ready!

Serving suggestion:
Makes nearly 3 cups of shrimp kulambu.
Serve hot with plain steamed rice.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Turkey Biryani

Turkey biryani has always been a fascinating dish for me since childhood. Most of the restaurants in Madras serve Turkey biryani only once in a week , because the turkey is a rare bird in India. This biryani has a vibrant flavor and taste.
Hubby being so delicate to taste new dishes, I waited  till I got a chance to prepare it for a dinner. I did this for a thanks giving day and Christmas function. Getting smaller portion of Turkey is a challenge here .  I was looking for a small portion of cut turkey. Finally succeeded in getting turkey wings from 'shop Rite' (Many other shops sell turkey as a whole bird ). It came out very tasty and we all enjoyed it very well. Here goes the recipe.
Hotel style Turkey biryani made with jeeraga samba rice.

Ingredients:

Basmathi rice / Jeeraga samba raw rice - 3 cups
Turkey wings - 2 lbs
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red onion - 2 (medium size)
Tomato - 2
cilantro- 1 handful.
mint leaf -1 handful.
Ginger paste - 2 tsp
Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Fennel - 1 tsp
bay leaves - 2
star aniseed - 1,
cinnamom stick - 2 inch
cardamom - 2
cloves - 4
curd -1 cup,
ghee - 2 tbsp
olive oil - 3 tbsp
chilli powder - 2 tsp ,
green chillis - 5 (uncut).
Lemon - 1
cashew nuts -10
raisins- 10.
salt.
saffron color- 2 drops
rose essence-2 drops
milk - 2 tbsp

Note:
The meat in the biryani always tastes plain . So if we want to make them more juicy and tasty we should marinate the chicken/ turkey or any meat the day before preparing the biryani (but not earlier than that).
Then place the marinated meat tightly packed inside the refrigerator (not freezer).

Marination:
wash and clean the turkey pieces.
Cut it in to big portions. Apply 1/4 tsp turmeric over it.
Marinate the turkey with 2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp garam masal powder, 1 tsp ginger paste, 1/2 tsp garlic paste, 1 cup curd,
2 tsp salt and juice from 1/2 a lemon.
Keep it inside a Ziploc cover and place it inside a closed container . Keep it refrigerated .

Biryani gravy preparation:
Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a broad bottom vessel.
Add fennel ,star aniseed , cinnamon stick,cardamom ,cloves, bay leaf .
Then goes the chopped onion .
Fry it till golden brown and take half of it aside.
Now add the chopped tomato and cook till the oil oozes out of it.
Then add the remaining ginger garlic paste and stir well till the raw smell goes.
Now add the marinated turkey pieces and stir well. Fry it for some time.
Then pressure cook it for 4 whistles (or) keep in simmer for 5 minutes after 1 whistle.
Let all the pressure gets released and open the cooker. Check for salt. it should taste everything perfect.
Donot panic if you get some water added from steam. It will be sucked by the half cooked rice while slow cooking the biryani.

To cook rice:

wash the rice and soak it for 1/2 an hour.
Bring to boil some 10 cups of water.
Add the juice of half a lemon and 2 tsp salt.
Then add the soaked rice and 1/2 cook it (50% done).
Immediately drain water using a colander (sieve) and keep it aside.

For garnishing:

Roast the cashews and raisins in 1 tbsp ghee. keep aside.
Chop cilantro and mint leaves.

Arrange the layers:

Take an aluminium foil baking tray. Clean it and spread half of the rice.
Then spread the prepared turkey gravy over it .
Cover that with another layer of rice.
spread the chopped mint leaf, cilantro, uncut green chillies, fried onions, cashews and raisins.
Mix 2 drops of rose esssence , saffron food color (or real saffron) with 2 tbsp milk.
sprinkle this mixture over the top layer of rice.
sprinkle 1 tbsp ghee over that.

Dum or slow cooking:

Now cover the tray with an aluminium foil.
Preheat the oven to 350 deg C and cook the biryani for 1 hour (or) more, till the rice is cooked completely. My biryani got ready in 90 minutes.

Serving suggestions:

Serve turkey biryani hot with onion raitha and chicken gravy.
Serves 5 people.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Cranberry Sauce

Last month we bought a pack of cranberries, but just could not take that sour taste. So googled to find a dish with it and came across this famous 'cranberry sauce'.
We can substitute this home made sauce for jam as it resembles much like one.
These tiny red fruits are packed with a lot of nutrients and antioxidants. The fresh fruit is generally available from September to December.
But we can use frozen cranberries also to make this sauce.
Scientific researches are revealing the uses of cranberries and how it prevents aging .




Ingredients:
sugar - 1 cup (200 gms)
water - 1 cup
cranberries - 4 cups (12 oz pack)
black berries - 10
orange peel (grated) - 1 tsp
cinnamon- a dash
Raisins - a handful

Method:
Wash and clean the cranberries.
In a saucepan bring to a boil water and sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Now add cranberries and boil again.
Then reduce flame and wait till the cranberries burst.
Now add all the other ingredients. Remove from heat. Cool completely at room temperature and then chill in refrigerator.
Cranberry sauce is ready.

Serving suggestions:

Can be served with bread like jam or as dessert or with any spicy food.

Note:

The Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. So no need to add any thickening agent.
It will have a mild unnoticeable bitter taste as soon as prepared, but will become sweet after some time.