Friday, May 29, 2009

Butter bisuit

I don't know the exact name of this biscuit. But in my home town (Tirunelveli, TN,India) they call it as soosbery biscuit / butter biscuit and in other places as suji biscuit that means a biscuit made of ghee / clarified butter.
In some bakeries they make it with dalda / vanaspathi .
I have been searching for this recipe for a long time, as we cannot get it here. Luckily I came across Subhie Arun's excellent recipe for it.
I am recording the recipe again for my own use. Thanks dear for sharing this rare recipe. only thing I modified is flattened it a bit, just to get my home town biscuit:)
The biscuits came out just exactly like the Tirunelveli bakery's butter biscuit ...just try it and enjoy the weekend.



Ingredients:

Ghee - 1/2 cup
Icing Sugar - 1/2 cup
Baking powder- 1/4 tsp
All purpose flour - 1 1/4 cup
Salt a pinch

Method


Preheat the oven to 350 degree C.
1. Mix ghee and sugar in mixing bowl with a fork to get a creamy texture.
2. Mix well the salt,baking powder and flour.
3. Add everything together , knead and make a dough like chapathi dough.
Make a soft dough.The dough should be slightly sticky on your finger.
(adjust flour and sugar to get the dough consistency).
4. Place an aluminium foil on a baking tray. Make small balls , slightly flatten it and place it on the baking tray and bake for just 8 - 10 minutes depending upon your oven.
5.Remove the biscuit once it starts leaving the tray. Don't worry about it being soft now, after cooling it becomes hard.
Let it cool and then store in air tight container.
Butter biscuit is ready!

Note:
Makes 20 biscuits approximately.

Award:

Surprisingly while publishing this "Subhie's version of butter biscuit, I got an award from her. Great coincidence ...right:)

Thank you dear. I feel honored.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bachelor's chicken thokku

A very easy Indian chicken recipe that could be helpful for a beginner.Thokku means a thick gravy

I crafted this simple chicken thokku recipe for my friends and brothers who longed to have home cooked food. Before blogging, I used to email this recipe to whoever asks me for a simple chicken recipe. All those who used this recipe were almost bachelors at that time, so I christened the recipe as Bachelor's chicken thokku.
Surprisingly one day hubby asked me to take rest and he told me that he wants to cook some chicken for me.
I started freaking out and was terribly upset to hear that, because I have never seen him inside the kitchen and I didn't want to end up hungry on a weekend.
Some how he managed to get my approval and I wrote the procedure on a piece of paper, gave him a brief tour on masalas and went out with a faint heart.
You know what friends? After some time I started sensing his success through my nose and rushed into the kitchen. I could not believe my eyes. While I was just sitting and waiting to find some fault:) the chicken thokku appeared in the wok with great taste and I enjoyed my real holiday devouring the chicken. From the moment I became very confident that anyone can make a decent home cooked chicken curry with this recipe.



I took a snap of what he cooked and publishing it on behalf of hubby for the event ' The potluck - chicken ' hosted by me.

Ingredients:
Chicken - 500 gms
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Black pepper - 1 tsp
coriander powder - 3 tsp
cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
(Garam masala powder should have cinnamon, cloves, cardamom as main ingredient)
Salt - to taste
Red onion - 2 (100 gms)
green chilli - 2
Cilantro , mint leaf - a handful (to garnish)
Tomato - 4
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tbsp
(grind 2 inch ginger and 3 pearls of garlic together to get the ginger garlic paste)
Oil - 5 tbsp
Fennel seed - 1 tsp
curd (plain yogurt) - 1/2 cup

Preparation:

1.Wash and clean the chicken. Remove skin and fat. Apply some turmeric all over and rinse again .
Cut it into medium size pieces and keep aside.

2.Chop the onion and tomato separately.

3.Grind 2 inch ginger, 3 garlic pods , green chilly , black pepper together to a fine paste.
or simply use the black pepper powder, chopped chilly and store bought ginger garlic paste.

Method:
1. Heat the oil in a wok , add the fennel seeds and let it become red.
Then add the chopped onion and fry till it becomes golden brown.
Now put the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes.
Add the chopped tomato and fry till it becomes mushy.

2.Now add the chicken pieces , curd , all the powders mentioned above, salt, and a cup of water.

3.Cook tightly covered in low heat for an hour. stir it once in every 15 minutes.
Then put off fire after the oil starts showing and the meat is done.

4. Garnish with chopped cilantro and mint leaf.
Bachelor's chicken thokku is ready!

Serving suggestion:

Serve as side dish with plain white rice or any Indian bread.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Pachai Puli thanneer Rasam

Here comes another interesting rasam 'Pachai puli thanneer' rasam that means raw tamarind extract rasam . To make this rasam we won't need a stove.
May be this rasam could be a very old cuisine prepared by the travelers in India.
The other name of this rasam is 'vandikkaaran rasam', that means the rasam prepared by the bullock cart drivers:)
In those days , before the invention of motor vehicles, people were traveling in bullock carts from place to place. Some times they may take even a month to reach their destination. So they would take rest once in a week in a nearby city and would stock up some grocery items and food. The restaurants were rare to commons and the annachathiram (free meal place) would be scanty. So, in the mean time they would have prepared Puliyotharai, lemon rice, curd rice etc for the first three days and for the next coming period they need to cook , at least for two days.
The only way to sustain the travel was to cook the rice with the available wood and to fix up some easy side dish like rasam and thovaiyal (hand ground chutney). Thus comes the invention of this raw tamarind rasam.
May be we also find it very easy to fix a delicious simple dinner, if running late. Good for the summer too:)
I remember those days when my elder brother and myself voraciously consuming the rice without any hesitation with our mom's puli thanneer rasam:)



Ingredients:
Tamarind - size of a small key-lime
Shallot onion - 10
(or 1 red onion)
green chilly - 2
cumin seed - 1 tsp
curry leaf - 1 brig
water - 3 cups
salt - to taste

Method:
Extract the juice of tamarind by soaking it in water.
Finely chop the onion, green chilly, curry leaf and mix it with the tamarind water.
Add cumin seeds and salt.
Let them soak for an hour or we can use it immediately also.
Pachai puli rasam is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Pour over piping hot fully cooked rice along with any thogaiyal , vadagam or appalam as sides.

Note:
Prepare more quantity of rice than the usual amount and you will find the reason after tasting this rasam:)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Puthina (Mint leaf) rasam

Puthina / Mint leaf is my favorite herb. I love to add mint in my tea. Mint leaf is believed to do a lot of good to our intestine, memory power , skin, breathing system etc etc. Moreover the plants add a touch of greenery to our house. So I proudly display some plants always in my window garden. Mostly the price of a bunch will be expensive in USA. But surprisingly last week I bought some mint leaf bunches for very less price in the Indian stores.
I feel it has been ages since I posted a vegetarian recipe and almost many of my vegetarian friends could have forgotten me:)
So I am posting two vegetarian recipes with mint leaf today.

First one is a rasam with mint leaf. Hope it is a unique rasam of TamilNadu (India) Muslims. Because I have not seen it with others. I bet, this could be a wonderful recipe laid hidden in the kitchens of so many sweet sisters.



Mint leaf Rasam / Pudina Rasam:

Ingredients:
Cooked Toor dal (Red gram) - 1/2 cup
Tomato - 100 gm
garlic - 3 pearls
Tamarind - a gooseberry size
Black pepper - 1/2 tbsp
coriander seed - 2 tsp
Dry red chilly - 3
cumin seed - 1/2 tsp
garlic - 3 pearls.
Mint leaf - a small bunch (1 1/2 cup chopped leaves)
oil - 1 tbsp
mustard - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
salt - to taste

Method:
Cook the Toor dhal and mash it .
(I take out the necessary dhal after pressure cooking for sambar).
Extract juice from tamarind.
Dry roast pepper, coriander, cumin, red chili and powder them together with fresh garlic.
Wash and clean the mint leaves. Chop the mint leaves finely.
Heat oil in a wok. Add mustard, cumin , asafoetida. After the mustard crackles , add the chopped tomato and fry till oil oozes out.
Pour the mashed dal, powdered masala, tamarind extract, chopped mint leaf and let it come to a boil.
As soon as the rasam starts to boil, immediately switch off and add salt.
Mint leaf rasam is ready!

Serving suggestions:

Serve over hot plain rice.
Goes well with a simple thovaiyal (thick chutney) and appalam.

Events:
Mint leaf rasam goes to JFI : Mint event hosted by Ashwini of Spicy cuisine. originally created by Indira of Mahanadi.

Also sending this mint leaf Rasam to the SWC - cooking with greens event hosted by Sowmya of creative saga.

Award:
I am very much excited when two of my friends Ann of Happy and healthy cooking and Ammu of Nature kitchen passed me this beautiful award.

Thank you friends. I feel honored.
I think it is appropriate to pass on this award to all who visit me. Feel free to pick it up buddies.
Enjoy!

Puthina thuvaiyal (Mint leaf chutney)

Here comes a very refreshing chutney made with the aromatic fresh mint leaves.
My mom used to say , " A few mint leaves in our daily cooking will drive away the body odor and bad breathe ".
There are so many versions in this thuvaiyal. But I am narrating a very basic method.



Mint leaf chutney / Pudina chutney:

Ingredients:

Mint leaf - a small bunch
urid dhal (black gram) - 1 tbsp
tamarind - a gooseberry size
Dry red chili - 4
salt - 1/4 tsp (check taste)
shredded coconut - 2 tbsp

Method:

Soak the tamarind in little water.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok.
Fry the red chili to get nice flavor. Take it out and keep aside.
Fry the urid dhal to red.
Then add the mint leaf and sautee till the mint leaf becomes little tender.
Do not fry it more than that. Let it cool completely.
Grind it along with fried chili, tamarind, salt and shredded coconut to a fine paste with almost very very little water in a mixer / blender.
Garnish with fried mustard seeds.

Mint leaf chutney is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Goes well with chapathi, Idly , dosa, any rice.
I love it with curd rice.

Events:

Mint leaf chutney goes to JFI : Mint event hosted by Ashwini of Spicy cuisine. originally created by Indira of Mahanadi.

It took just 15 minutes to get the entire dish done. So I am eager to end this chutney to the 15 minutes cooking event hosted by Mahima of Mahimaa's kitchen's.

Also the mint leaf chutney goes to the SWC - cooking with greens event hosted by Sowmya of creative saga.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Butter chicken

Butter chicken is a kind of less spicy but creamy side-dish prepared in India. Due to its silky texture and lesser spice it is loved all over the world. So if you are new to Indian cuisine but eager to try some Indian restaurant then you can safely go for a butter chicken. I am sure you will become addicted to that creamy chicken with lots cashews and butter. The origin of butter chicken can be traced back to the Mughal period. It is a common dish in Delhi restaurants. Even though general recipe of butter chicken is well known, the actual flavor can vary from restaurant to restaurant even within India. Butter chicken is usually served with naan, roti, parathas or steamed rice.
Including this silky butter chicken for the event 'Potluck - chicken' hosted by me.

Butter chicken / Murg Makhani :



Ingredients:
Chicken (boneless & skinless) - 2 lb
thick curd - 2 tbsp 
Red Onion - 1 (50 gm)
Tomato - 3 (100 gm)
cashew nut - a handful (20 numbers)
Butter - 100 gm (1 bar / 8 tbsp)
ginger - 2 inch
garlic - 6 pods
salt - to taste
Chilly powder - 1 1/2 tsp
coriander powder - 2 tsp
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
fennel seed - 1/2 tsp
cloves - 6
cardamom - 4
bay leaf - 2
cinnamon - 1 inch
oil - 4 tbsp
dried methi leaves (kasuri methi) - 2 tbsp
fresh cream - 2 tbsp (or) whole milk - 1 cup

Method:

1.Grind ginger and garlic to a fine paste.

2.Clean the chicken pieces in running water. Again apply 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and wash finally.
Cut it in to medium size squares. Pat dry with a paper towel.
Apply salt, ginger garlic paste, thick yogurt 2 tbsp and mix well.
Let it marinate for an hour.

3.Then heat 3 tbsp oil in a wok and fry the chicken pieces just till the chicken becomes golden grown in the outside.
(No need to cook it till crispy).
Take out the fried chicken.

4.Add another tbsp oil and fry the chopped onion to golden. Keep aside.

5.In a lidded vessel cook the whole tomatoes with 1 cup of water till their skin cracks.
Let it cool.

6.Peel the skin and grind the tomato along with cashews, fried onion, cumin seed, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon. fennel seeds.
Mix the masala with fried chicken, red chilly powder, coriander powder, red food color , salt and mix well.

7.Melt butter in a pan, add cardamom, cloves, bay leaf, fennel and add the mixtue.
Fry well till the gravy thickens.
Finally garnish with chopped cilantro, fresh cream (optional) and dried methi leaves.
Butter chicken is ready!

serving suggestions:

Serve as side dish with any Indian bread.
Goes well with Naan , paratha , plain rice and chapathi.

Note:
I did not add any fresh cream before serving. But if you like a less spicy version , then add a tbsp of fresh cream per serving.
Instead I have added 1 cup whole milk.
Decorated the dish with my home-grown mint leaf:)
Instead of frying the chicken pieces, we can bake them in oven at 375 dec C for 20 minutes and use as told above.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Announcing the event 'The Potluck - Chicken '

After going through many useful blog events I felt it very interesting to start an event chain. The name of the chain is 'The Potluck' .
A potluck is a gathering of people where each person is expected to bring a dish of food to be shared among the group. I invite all of you for my Potluck with your amazing dishes.
The theme for this event is 'Chicken'.
Are you a fan of chicken dishes and waiting to post your recipes for an event? Send it to the 'The Potluck - Chicken' event. (Veggie friends need not worry, I will announce a theme for you in the upcoming event).


Here are some rules:


1) Make any dish with chicken as the main ingredient and post the same in your blog and link back to this announcement. Feel free to use the logo.
You can send in your entries from the archive also, provided they are re-posted for this event between May 11 and June 20, 2009.

2) Multiple entries are most welcome .

3) The entries sent to 'Potluck - Chicken' can be entered to other events.

4)you can send your entries to vikiskitchen@gmail.com and the Subject as The Potluck - Chicken , with the following details.

Your Name:
Blog URL:
Recipe Name:
Recipe URL:
Attach a picture of the dish.

5) Non bloggers can send their entries with the recipe details and picture if any to my email account.

Send it on or before June 20, 2009.


Looking forward for your delectable dishes.....

--------------------------------------------
Results are in the below links:

with images:
links only:

Monday, May 4, 2009

Carrot cake - Repost

I prepared this carrot cake with marshmallow bunnies for the Easter 2009.
I am re-posting this Easter carrot cake for Sanghi's FIL : Carrots event.
Dedicating the carrot cake to my hubby as his passion for carrot cake made me dig into Google to get this recipe. This is a fusion of 3 or 4 original recipes and I added many ingredients to make it more delicious. I am sure anyone can make this carrot cake without fail and I am revealing all my secret ingredients below.


Ingredients:
Any brand 'moist white' cake mix - 1/2 of 1 lb pack.
water - 1/2 cup (half of the amount said in the pack, as the carrot , pineapple will release some water)
Powdered cinnamon - 2 tsp
vegetable oil - 1/3 cup
egg - 1
cocoa powder - 1 tsp
orange peels - 2 tbsp
vanilla extract - 1 tsp
shredded carrots - 1 cup
Shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
chopped walnuts - 1/2 cup
raisins - 1/4 cup
crushed pineapple in can (drained)- 1/2 of a 8 oz can.

For Butter cream icing:

Unsalted butter - 1/2 bar (5 tbsp)
confectionery sugar - 2 cups
milk - 1 tbsp
vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Food colors like orange , yellow and green

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
Mix water, oil, egg and vanilla using in a blender / mixie.
Add cake mix flour, cinnamon and run the mixer again to get a smooth batter.
Pour the batter to a broad bowl.
Add the carrots, coconut, walnuts and pineapple and mix well with a spoon.
Pour into a round pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 - 40 minutes..
Allow to cool and turn it upside down.

Frosting:
Mix softened butter with confectionary sugar, milk and vanilla essence.
This can be of a thick conssistency like a murukku flour.
Keep 1/2 cup icing separate , to add color.
Spread the white icing uniformly all over the cake by using a knife or icing tool.
Mix colors to the remaining icing .
Then decorate the cake with color icing using the icing cone.
If you do not have an icing cone then fill the colors to small zip lock covers , cut a small opening at a corner and decorate the cake.
The ultimate carrot cake is ready!

Note: The above said quantity is enough to make one round cake of 2 inch height.
So , double the quantity to bake 2 rounds .
Adding 2 tbsp of chocolate cake mix will enhance the taste.
Adding orange juice instead of water will make the cake more flavorful.


Serving suggestions:

Refrigerate the cake and serve chill as dessert.
Makes one round cake.

Kale leaf Stir fry (keerai poriyal)

Drumstick leaves ('Murungai Ilai' in Tamil) happen to be a staple green in most of the houses of Indian villages. People in my native place make it in a unique way by adding powdered rice and fennel seeds (Sombu).Though I do not get the drumstick leaves here, I wanted to record that recipe. The recipe needs a firm green like drumstick leaf. So I replaced it with my favorite kale leaf and it turned out very successful and resembled much like our drumstick leaves.
Here goes a simple stir fry using Kale leaves.




To dry roast and powder:

Any uncooked rice - 1 tbsp
Fennel seed (sombu in tamil) - 1/2 tsp

Heat a wok. Dry roast the rice and fennel till the rice becomes white and puffy.
Let it cool. Make a fine powder out of it in a blender.

Other Ingredients:

Drumstick leaves / kale leaf - a bunch (1/4 kg)
Garlic - 10 pods
red chili - 2
Fresh shredded coconut - 2 tbsp
salt - to taste
Shallot - 4
Mustard seed - 1 tsp
Curry leaf - a brig
Sesame oil - 2 tbsp

Method:
1.Take out the leaves leaving the stem.
Wash and clean the leaf very well.
If using kale leaf, chop it in to medium size pieces.
(If drumstick leaves are used, then no need to chop the individual leaves).

2. Heat Oil in a wok. Add the mustard seeds and let them crackle.
Then add the chopped shallot onion , curry leaf, broken red chilly , garlic and fry well till the onion turns soft.

3. Now put the greens and fry till the leaf reduce in volume.
Sprinkle some water and cook covered.

4.As soon as the greens get cooked add salt , powdered rice + fennel, shredded coconut and fry really well till all the water gets evaporated.

Kale leaf stir fry is ready!
(Use the same procedure to make drumstick leaves too).

Serving suggestions:
Serve as side dish with any rice.
The above said quantity will be enough for 2 people.
Cooking time : 15 minutes.

Events:

It took just 15 minutes to get the entire dish done. So I am eager to end this kale leaf stir fry to the 15 minutes cooking event hosted by Mahima of Mahimaa's kitchen's.

Also the kale leaf stir fry goes to the SWC - cooking with greens event hosted by Sowmya of creative saga.

Almond Kulfi (Indian Ice cream ) - A short cut

Whenever I do grocery shopping with my list , Inspite of the weather my man will stand in the Ice cream aisle and will try to accommodate a bunch of packs in his hand. After seeing me he will tell 'Oh, no honey ....some Ice cream packs were falling from the aisle while I opened and so I am arranging them ...hi..hi'.
Ok, you can guess the next scene. Myself reminding him of his diet plans and stuffing them back leaving only one for the whole month.
Can you imagine , if such a man is allowed to see the famous Indian Kulfi Icecream in Indian grocery store? That happened last month and he bought me a lot of kulfi forgetting my grocery list.
They were very teeny tiny packs with just a scoop in it and he took just a day to finish all of them:(
Then considering his thirst on them and health benefits I decided to make a low fat version of kulfi that too without an icecream maker and less effort.
Hence I infused some short cuts to get that authentic kulfi and the taste was very very similar to the original one. Now a days I am also in  LOVE with ICE CREAMS :)
Here goes the Lazy chef's Kulfi.



Ingredients:
Low fat Icecream - 2 cups
Almond - 1/2 cup
Pistachio - 5 (garnish)
Cardamom (Elakkai) - 5
Condensed milk - 4 tbsp
Saffron - a pinch

Method:
Soak almond overnight or in hot water for 4 hours.
Peel the skin and chop it in a blender/ mixie for just two pulses to chop it into big pieces.
chop the pistachio into small pieces.
Powder the cardamom and discard the skin or add the skin in the tea.
In a mixing bowl put the condensed milk, ice cream , cardamom , chopped almond and mix well.
Mix saffron in a spoon of milk and add it to the ice cream. Mix well.
Put it in kulfi molds (get from Indian grocery stores) or simply keep in lidded container.
Keep frozen for an hour or more.
(I got mine ready in just an hour).
Garnish with pistachio while serving.
Kulfi Ice cream is ready.

Serving suggestions:

Makes nearly 500 ml of Kulfi Ice cream.
Serve as dessert.

Events:

Sending this Almond Kulfi recipe to FF: Summer Treat event happening in Indian Khana.

Chicken 65

Last week I made this chicken 65 as side dish for plain rice and sambar.
Chicken 65 can be the very best choice of all the chicken lovers. After marriage I slowly introduced a lot of chicken items to Xav. Before that because of restaurant food and bachelor life he had an aversion towards most of the food, especially the non veg. In some restaurants the chicken 65 won't be fully cooked inside and people start hating it. Yes, we should be careful in selecting the restaurants .
The first item I made was 'Chicken thokku' and the next one was 'Chicken 65'. From that moment of tasting the flavorful and well cooked home made chicken 65 , he became a fan of it. I will narrate my stories with fish and mutton later:)
I love to make this chicken 65 just because I can see him around while frying it. He loves to taste some pieces immediately after frying , even before the lunch time or my photo session..... ha ha. See how this aromatic chicken 65 has changed my man:)
The biggest challenge I face is to get a 'Chicken 65 masala powder' just like chennai version. So I made my very own masala at home.
I have been researching many versions and found the following very useful. I got this recipe from a chef near my dad's house.
So here is a Chicken 65 made without store bought masala.
The story behind the name 'chicken 65':
I heard two versions on how the name chicken 65 could have originated.
1. I read in a magazine that it is a kind of kebab / dry fry served in restaurants of Bombay during the period 1965 and hence the name.
2. Some people say that the suitable chicken used for the recipe would have grown for 65 days and hence got the name.
Any way when it comes to eating I ignore all stories and focus on my plate. How about you guys?

Enjoy the fool proof restaurant version of chicken 65.




Chicken 65:

Ingredients:
skinless boneless chicken - 1/2 lb (1/4 kg)
(thighs are the best here. Breast will yield a dry chicken 65)
Red Chilli Powder - 3/4 tsp
Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Egg - 1
Corn flour / all purpose flour - 1 tsp
Rice flour - 1 tsp
curd / plain yogurt - 2 tbsp
Red food coloring - a pinch
garam masala - 1 tsp
Lemon juice / vinegar - 1 tbsp
Oil for deep frying _ 250 ml

To grind:

Ginger - 2 inch
Garlic - 4 pods

Method:

Wash and clean the chicken in running water.
Then again apply a tsp of Turmeric powder and wash it again. Drain the water. Pat dry it with paper towels.

Cut the chicken into 2 inch squares.

Grind the ginger and garlic to a fine paste.
In a mixing bowl add everything above except oil and chicken.
Blend it into a homogeneous mixture with a fork.Check for salt.

Then add the chicken and mix well.
Keep aside for the chicken to absorb the masalas for 1 hour or more .
(We can keep this in refrigerator overnight also - best way).

In a deep skillet heat the oil to smoking point.
Fry the chicken pieces in small batches in low heat until they are fully cooked.
Remove from oil and place on paper towels to remove excess oil .

Place it on serving bowl.
Squeeze a full lemon over the fried pieces (to make it soft) and serve with sliced onion and lemon wedges.
Chicken 65 is ready!
Tamilnadu style chicken 65 I made for a party ( Aug 2013)
Serving suggestion:
Serve as starter or side dish with any rice dish.
Goes well with plain rice and sambar / rasam.

Note:
Overnight marination inside fridge is my secret behind best juicy chicken 65.
If doing so, add 1 tbsp white vinegar per pound while marination to ensure freshness of meat.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Oven baked Pasta

Inspired by the restaurants and advertisements I made my very own version of 'Oven baked Pasta' with lesser cheese, lots of vegetables and rotini pasta . (Rotini is a type of helix- or corkscrew-shaped pasta made with AP flour or whole wheat). This recipe calls for a slow baking process, through which the pasta gets well soaked in the pasta sauce, that makes it more juicy and delicious.
Here is the step by step procedure.

Before baking:


After baking:


Cooking the pasta:
Rotini Pasta (any big size pasta) - 2 cups (uncooked)
Water - 6 cups
First bring the water to boil and add the pasta and cook as per directions.
Drain water and run it under cold water.



Preparing the vegetables:

olive oil - 2 tbsp
Kale leaf - 1 cup (chopped)
Black olive fruits - 10 (cut in circles)
yellow bell pepper - 1/2 cup (chopped)
Green bell pepper - 1/2 cup
Carrot - 1 (cut into 2 inch sticks)
Onion - 1/2 cup (chopped)
Red pepper flakes - 1 tbsp
Garlic - 2 cloves
Heat oil in a wok. The add the crushed garlic followed by the onion and kale leaf.
Then add the chopped carrot and saute well.
Then add all above except olives and stir well.
Switch off flame .Now add the olives along with cooked pasta.


Preparation of Pasta sauce:

Tomato sauce - 5 tbsp
Dried mixed Italian herbs - 1 tbsp
Milk - 1/6 cup
Sour cream (I used plain yogurt)- 2 tbsp
shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese - 1 tbsp
All purpose flour - 1 tsp (for thickening)
Mix the flour with milk. Then add everything above and mix well.
Low fat Pasta sauce is ready.


Baking the pasta:
Shredded mozzarella cheese - 1/2 cup (1 cup if u want)
Low fat Ranch dressing - 2 tbsp (optional)

1.Preheat the oven to 400 deg F. Mix the prepared pasta sauce with the cooked pasta with vegetables.
2.Spray a 9 inch dia' baking dish with olive oil.
3.Transfer the mixed pasta to baking dish. Drizzle some ranch dressing and top it with the mozzarella cheese . Bake for 15 minutes or till the cheese starts bubbling.

Oven baked pasta is ready!

Serving suggestions:

Serve as main course lunch / dinner.
Garlic bread or Texas toast can be served as side along with a drink . I love it with coke:)
Serves 3.

Event:
Sending this oven baked pasta to Poornima's (Tasty treats) My Favorite things: cheese event which is a brain child of Bindiya .
Hope this suits the event.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Potato peas masal curry

Other Names: Aloo matar / Aloo mutter / Potato peas masala curry / urulai kilangu pattani curry (Tamil)
(Hindi: Aloo means Potato , Matar means green peas)

Aloo matar is a dry curry prepared with a lot of spices . It can be the most common curry prepared all over India.
The curry made with potato and peas can be a very back-up plan for every person, who tries to fix a side dish without much effort. Still the curry has its own commanding flavor that makes it a more suitable side dish for Sambar and rice.
Most of the Fridays my mom used to make this curry as a routine along with Sambar and rice. Hope many of you too have the same habit:)



Ingredients:
Potato - 4 (150 gms)
Fresh Green Peas - 1 Cup (I used canned peas)
Red Onions - 1 (small)
Tomato - 1
Fennel Seeds - 1/2 tsp
ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Red Chilly Powder - 3/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/8 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1/4 tsp (optional)
Coriander - 1 tsp
Cumin Powder / crushed cumin - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tsp
curry leaf - 1 brig
Coriander Leaves to garnish - as required

Method:

1.Bring 4 cups of water to boil.
Wash the potatoes and put them into the boiling water.
Cook them covered till the potatoes are completely cooked.
Peel and chop the potatoes into big chunks. Keep aside.

2. Heat oil in a wok. Add fennel seeds. As the fennel turns red , add the chopped onion, curry leaf and fry till it becomes golden.
Then add the ginger garlic paste and stir for 5 seconds.
Then add the chopped tomatoes and saute till oil starts showing up.

3. Add the peas , salt, chilly powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, Turmeric powder, Garam masala powder with handful of water and cook well.

4. Then add the cubed potatoes and mix well till the masala gets absorbed by the potato and the curry becomes dry.

Potato peas masala curry is ready!
Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot

Serving Suggestions:

Serves 4 people.
Aloo mattar can be served as a best side dish for chapathi, Naan , Sambar rice , curd rice etc.,