Culinary Skills, Kills, and Thrills

August 29, 2010

Kadi Pakora

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2BigChefs @ 10:02 pm

It was a lazy Sunday for me, but MasterChef was swarmed with work. While he sat at his desk working, look what I came up with:

Now that I got you salivating, let me get into the details about this simple North Indian dish.

What you need:

Besan/gram flour – 1.5 cups
Yoghurt – 0.5 cup
Water – 2 cups
Chopped onion, garlic, ginger, green chillies
Dried red chilly, jeera, curry leaves
Turmeric powder, red chilly powder, heeng, methi powder

What you do:

In a bowl, mix 0.5 cup besan, yoghurt, water, Turmeric powder, red chilly powder, heeng, methi powder, powdered jeera and set aside. It should be mixed well enough so that there are no lumps in the bowl. The mixture should be really watery.

Now, let’s work on the pakoras. To the chopped onion, garlic, ginger, green chillies, add jeera, 0.5 cup besan, baking soda (optional), and a little water. Combine this well enough such that there are no besan lumps and the whole thing is a thick paste. Heat some oil in a wok and drop dollops of this paste into it and fry until they are golden brown. These are the pakoras. Some like to add peas or potatoes to the pakoras while some like it plain. This is entirely up to you. Place the pakoras in some tissue paper to get rid of the excess oil.
To the remaining oil (which is hopefully just a teaspoon or so) in the wok, add dried red chilly, jeera, curry leaves and splutter them. Now add the kadi mix into this wok and cook until the raw flavour of besan wears off. Now add the pakoras into the wok and cook for a while until the gravy becomes thick.
Add salt to taste and serve kadi along with steaming hot rice. If you are not planning to eat immediately, it is always a good idea to not add the pakoras into the wok and cook. Since the pakoras have oil and besan, it tends to “drink” all the gravy you initially planned for the dish. I learnt that the hard way. 🙂
— OddChef

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August 23, 2010

Avial

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2BigChefs @ 8:55 pm

This is a semi-dry preparation which is a mixture of all sorts of vegetables cooked in coconut and yoghurt. This is a healthy way to eat your veggies since there is minimal use of oil and you can pick and choose the vegetables you would like to use. Also, please remember to avoid eggplant and lady’s fingers, or any other vegetable that tends to get, well, slippery. J

What you need:

Yam sliced thinly into 11/2″ length pieces       1cup

Potatoes 1 cup

Snake gourd sliced into 11/2″ length pieces   1cup

Carrot sliced into into 11/2″ length pieces       1/4cup

Long runner-beans sliced into 11/2″ length pieces     1/2cup

Drumstick cut into 2″ length pieces    2nos

Raw bananas sliced into 11/2″ length pieces   1no

Yoghurt

Turmeric powder         1/2tsp

Salt      to taste

Grated coconut            1/2quantity

Green chillies   5nos

Cumin seeds    1/2tsp

Curry leaves     2sprigs

Coconut oil       3tbs

What you do:

Coarsely grind the coconut, yoghurt, green chillies and cumin seeds. Keep it aside. Clean the vegetables. Heat 2tbs coconut oil in a thick bottom vessel. Add the vegetables and cook in a low flame. Do not add water. When it is done, add turmeric powder, salt and mix it well. Remove the vegetables from the middle and put sliced bananas and cover it with the other vegetables. When steam comes out, add the coconut paste and stir well. Remove from fire. Mix the remaining coconut oil and curry leaves in the avial.

— OddChef

Puliinji

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2BigChefs @ 8:53 pm

In this onam dish, ginger, tamarind, and jaggery are the main ingredients. It is a sweet-and-spicy concoction that is surely going to whet your appetite!

What you need:

Type 1 : Ginger (25gm), Green Chilly (4nos)

Type 2 : cooking oil (25gm),  Dried red chilly (1no.) cut in to 4 pieces, Mustard seeds           1/2tsp

Type 3 : Tamarind (size of a lemon),  Water (2cups )

Type 4 : Turmeric powder,  Chilly Powder, Asafoetida powder,  Jaggery (grated 25gm), Curry leaves, Fenugreek seeds

What you do:

Peal ginger and cut into very small pieces. Cut the green chillies also into small pieces.

Heat oil and sauté the 2nd Type ingredients for a minute. Add ginger and green chilly pieces and fry well and keep it aside. Put tamarind in two cups of water, squeeze well and take the liquid. Keep this liquid on fire adding the 4th Type ingredients. Boil till the solution becomes thick. Add the fried ginger and chilly pieces, boil once more and remove from fire.

– OddChef

Erissery

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2BigChefs @ 6:00 pm

What you need:

  • Ripe Pumpkin sliced into pieces 2 cups
  • Red oriental bean 1/2 cup
  • Oil 2 dsp
  • Squeezed coconut milk   1 dsp
  • Dried chilli 2 nos
  • Mustard 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves 2 springs
  • Salt to taste
  • Water

 To be Ground: Grated Coconut 1 cup, Small onions 1 or 2 nos, Garlic 2 nos, Cumin 1/2 tsp, Turmeric powder          1/2 tsp, Green chilli 2 or 3 nos

What you do:

Cook pumpkin after adding enough water and salt. Cook red oriental beans separately and mix it along with the pumpkin. Grind the ingredients to be ground coarsely. Add it to the pumpkin, boil for some time and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan, season mustard, curry leaves and dry chillies and add the thick coconut milk. Pour it to the cooked pumpkin curry & mix well. Tasty erissery is ready to be served.

— OddChef

May 2, 2010

Rasam — Mah style!

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2BigChefs @ 11:41 pm

This is how I make rasam.

Here are the ingredients…

How to Prepare

Soak some imli in warm water and set aside. Slice and boil two tomatoes. Add crushed pepper and cumin seeds into this mixture. Add the imli water and salt. Now, in a separate pan, heat some oil and splutter mustard, methi seeds, and dried chilli. Saute onions, ginger, garlic. Add methi powder and asefoetida powder, turmeric, and chilly powder if needed. Add this mixture to the boiling tomato stew. Bring to boil, garnish with cilantro.

Serve with rice!

-OddChef

April 27, 2010

Celery : Curry Style!

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2BigChefs @ 8:53 pm

OK, so this recipe came by as a total need of the hour. I got a packet of celery sticks to munch on (because last week I had an overdose of all the vitamin A from carrot sticks!!).  Let me tell you this — I find celery sticks obnoxious! 😐 It needs to be cooked and that is the way how God meant it to be eaten. 🙂

Here  is what I made of it:

Chop celery sticks into neat little cubes. Chop onions, ginger, garlic, and half a tomato. Heat the pan with a drop of oil. Splutter some jeera and add two bay leaves to this. Sauté onions, ginger, and garlic. Now, add a pinch of turmeric and chilly powder. Cook celery and the diced tomatoes in this mixture. Cook it close lid and on slow simmering flame. Add a pinch of garam masala just to spice things up. Add salt to taste. Do NOT add water since the celery will give off a lot of that. Cook until you deem it fit to eat. 😛

This is what my dish looked like when done:

Enjoy this subzi with hot-hot rotis 🙂

-OddChef

April 10, 2010

Meen Peera

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2BigChefs @ 1:21 pm

As a child, this was OddChef’s favorite form of fish preparation. Mummy would make it with some fish that can’t be remembered right now.  Anyway, here is OddChef’s version of Kerala style meen peera.

Ingredients

Some cleaned and diced fish of your choice
Coconut grated or desicated
Kova or Kodam puli… it is also called bell tamarind
Chopped shallots or onions
Chopped ginger, garlic, green chillies
Turmeric and salt to taste

Preparation

Soak the tamarind pieces in hot water. In a skillet, heat some oil and splutter some mustard seeds and curry leaves.  Saute onions, ginger, garlic, and green chillies. Now, to this, add the coconut powder and tamarind pieces (not the water). Add fish to this mixture and turmeric and salt. Add some water, and cook in a low flame. When the fish is done, cook on a high flame and get rid of excess water. This dish is supposed to be dry.

Serve hot as a side dish along with rice and other curries of your choice.

March 6, 2010

Pasta with Zucchini, Peas, and Red Sauce

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2BigChefs @ 9:41 pm

In the mood for Italian tonight? Why not try some pasta with zucchini? Don’t make a face and read on…

Chop two good sized zucchinis and set some green peas aside. Heat some oil in a pan. Add the veggies into the pan along with some parsley, oregano, salt and black pepper powder.

These are the spices I use:

I use whole grained wheat pasta since it is healthier.

Boil the pasta along with a pinch of salt and some drops of extra virgin olive oil…

Let’s not forget about the veggies! Add some red pasta sauce of your choice. I am using roasted garlic and zucchini sauce.

Drain the cooked pasta and add it into the vegetables. Mix well and serve hot.

Yummmmmmy!!!!

-OddChef

February 28, 2010

Edible Potpourri!

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2BigChefs @ 5:07 pm

OK, OK, before you think that I have completely lost it, let me explain. I made this dish with the leaves and stems of beetroot. I did not use the vegetable itself. Here’s how I made it…

Chop the leaves and stems to nice tiny pieces. It should be small enough to cook with steam.

Heat the pan, add oil. Adding oil is actually optional.

Now, steam the leaves and beetroot stem. Cook with the pan’s lid closed. Sprinkle some salt, turmeric, and chilly powder.

Cook for 15 minutes. Just before switching off the flame, add some grated coconut into the pan. Mix well.

Serve as a side dish with rice or roti.

– OddChef

December 18, 2009

Christmas Cake : A success story

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2BigChefs @ 9:55 pm

So, I worked on two different recipes to come up with this cake!

Oh, this deserves one more shot!

This is the recipe I *almost* followed:

Ingredients

  • 1/8 cup chopped dried cherries
  • 1/8 cup chopped dried mango
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons chopped candied citron
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup dark rum, divided

1.     Soak cherries, mango, cranberries, currants, and citron in 1/4 cup rum for at least 24 hours. Cover tightly, and store at room temperature.

2.     Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Butter a 6×3 inch round pan, and line with parchment paper.

3.     In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; mix into butter and sugar in three batches, alternating with molasses and milk. Stir in soaked fruit and chopped nuts. Scrape batter into prepared pan.

4.     Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons rum.

Cut out one piece parchment paper and one piece cheesecloth, each large enough to wrap around the cake. Moisten cheesecloth with 1 tablespoon rum. Arrange cheesecloth on top of parchment paper, and unmold cake onto it. Sprinkle top and sides of cake with remaining rum. Wrap the cheesecloth closely to the surface of the cake, then wrap with paper. Place in an airtight tin, and age for at least 10 weeks. If storing longer, douse with additional rum for every 10 weeks of storage. 

-OddChef

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