I managed to survive nearly 50-odd days without LPG in my kitchen, thanks to some hand-me-down portions of creative prowess in the kitchen from the Mater and Pater. I managed to cook all our meals in the microwave. Well, cooking in the microwave is no biggie, but since you’re so limited in terms of what you can make, you’ve got to have that thinking cap on all the time. Continue reading
Posted in Saagus and Stews
Tagged Chili pepper, Coconut, coconut milk, Cook, cook curry nook, Cook-curry nook, cookcurry nook, cookcurrynook, Cooking, curry, curry leaves, easy curry, easy curry in under 1 hour, Food, garlic, health, healthy, healthy food, Home, India, mixed vegetable curry, mixed vegetables, raw mango, vegetarian, veggies
Would you believe me if I said that if you make this chutney and have a go at it, you will not stop licking your fingers? Yes, it’s true. If you’re like me and you love tangy chutneys, this one nails it. Like never before.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Chili pepper, chutney, Coconut, Cook, coriander, Cumin, Curry Tree, easy chutney in under 15 minutes, easy vegetarian, Fruit and Vegetable, garlic, Tamarind, tomato, Turmeric, vegetarian, vegetarian cooking, vegetarian recipe
A cholesterol-free, healthy chutney podi version from Daddy dearest. Yet another successful experiment of his which I’m proud to share with you all. After chocolate, my next favourite flavour is garlic so no doubt this podi had me sold all the way. What I particularly loved about this chutney podi is what the mint and garlic do to your taste-buds…they tease and they taunt, and before you know it you’ll be reaching out to the jar to get some more onto your plate. The nutty flavour from the flax seeds works wonders too. Those of you following this blog should know by now about how I obsess with flax-seed. So does Daddy. Like father, like daughter. This traditional spice powder with the coeval healthy twist is a must-try. Traditional chutney podi uses dry copra and I don’t deny that it lends a beautiful distinct flavour. However, this healthy version does not make you miss the copra one bit. I urge you to give it a shot. It’s totally worth it.
Posted in Traditional Spice Powders
Tagged chutney podi, chutney powder, Flax, flax seed, flax seed chutney podi, flax seed chutney powder, garlic, health, mint, mint leaves, Omega-3 fatty acid, traditional chutney podi, traditional chutney powder
I’m a sucker for Chinese food and when we dine out, most often than not, I pick Chinese cuisine (you can guess the argument that ensues!). Nowadays, we aren’t eating out that much cos of two things…work’s keeping us busy so we just flop tired in front of the TV on weekends. And two, we are trying our best to eat healthy. Sure, eating out once in a while never did anyone any harm, but we’ve both turned into health freaks off-late.
I made us this simple rice entrée on the weekend cos I felt like some Chinese food and we didn’t feel like going out. If Abu doesn’t go to the mountain, the mountain comes to Abu yeah? Also made us some Baby-corn Manchurian to go with this and we enjoyed a relaxed meal as we caught a wonderful Romantic Comedy flick on our Home Theatre, and laughed hard…something we hadn’t done in a long time! As you may have already guessed, we had some wine to go along with our meal, and I’m not really sure what made us laugh so hard – the movie, the wine, or a combo of them both. I’ll leave that for you to figure. Hic! ;)
- Jeerak Samba Rice/Jeera Rice (short-grained, fragrant rice used in Chinese cooking) – 3 cups
- Onions – 2 nos (medium-sized; finely chopped)
- Capsicum/Bell-pepper – 2 nos (large-sized; finely chopped)
- Ginger – 2″ long piece; finely chopped/minced
- Garlic – 8-10 pods; minced/crushed (alter to suit your taste)
- Green Chillies – 2-3 nos (or as much as you like; finely chopped)
- Spring Onion Shoots – 15-20 nos (chopped to 1/2″ pieces)
- Soy-sauce – 1 tbsps
- Chilli-sauce (optional) – 1-2 tbsps (or as much to suit your taste)
- Salt – to taste
- Ghee – 2 tbsps
- Oil – 1 tbsp
Note: I do not use MSG or Ajinomoto in my cooking since it is believed to be very un-healthy and cancer-causing. If you are using it currently, I urge you to stop using it cos some of the things I’ve heard about it are not so pretty at all.
- Set the rice to cook with rice:water in 1:2 ratio. Ensure you add about 1/2 tsp of salt to the water before you place in the cooker. I cooked my rice in my rice-cooker and got perfect, non-sticky and separate grains of rice once done (You could even use your normal, everyday rice. Only, it wouldn’t taste just the same, so don’t say I didn’t warn you!).
- Once the rice is done, gently spread on a wide plate and let it cool, preferably under a fan whirring in full speed. Don’t stir too much, else you’ll end up with mashed rice. Just let it do its thing while you get the other things ready.
- Now, heat oil in a wok. Add the finely chopped onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies. Saute on a medium flame till the onions are cooked tender and the whole house starts to smell like a Chinese restaurant.
- Add the spring onions and saute another 2 minutes till they wilt.
- Next, throw in the chopped capsicum/bell-pepper and continue to saute till the capsicum is cooked too.
- Add adequate salt (don’t forget the rice has salt added too, so be careful of how much you put in). Stir well.
- Add the ghee, stir well and let the lovely aroma fill your nostrils. (This is my secret ingredient in place of MSG. Try it..it works wonders! All you need to do is walk a mile or two extra the next morning, and you’re not guilty anymore)
- Simmer the flame and add the soy-sauce and chilli sauce (if using). Ensure you simmer before you add the soy-sauce, else you’ll end up with a funny, burnt taste in the fried rice…something I’m sure you wouldn’t relish. Stir well.
- By now the rice would have cooled. Use a long, flat spoon/spatula and gently flatten out any lumps in the rice. Add the rice to the wok , stir well to incorporate and cook on a high flame for 3-5 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Remove from flame and serve hot with some appetizing Manchurian or some Sweet-n-Sour Sauce, or any other Chinese gravy of choice. Bon-Appetit!
Psst, Happy All Fools’ Day to y’all! Have fun fooling around! ;)
Who can resist potatoes/aloo, and paranthas at that? Well atleast not me! Most of you visiting regularly must know by now about my love-affair with them taters! Though a lot of people prefer Aloo Paranthas for breakfast, I’d still vote for lunch/dinner b’cos they fill me up so much that I end up like a sitting duck with restricted movements!
For the stuffing:
- Onions – 2 nos (large-sized; finely chopped)
- Potatoes – 4 nos (large-sized; pressure cooked till soft, de-skinned and mashed)
- Green Chillies – 2-3 nos (finely chopped/minced; alter to suit your taste)
- Ginger – 1″ long piece; minced
- Garlic – 7-8 pods; minced
- Coriander/Cilantro – a handful; finely chopped
- Jeera/Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp
- Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp
- Jeera Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Dhaniya powder (optional) – 1/4 tsp
- Amchur powder (optional) – 1/4 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – 2 tbsps
For the dough:
- Whole wheat flour – 2 cups
- Salt – to taste
- Water – as required
- Oil – 2 tbsps
- Prepare a dough with whole wheat flour, as you would for rotis/chappathis. Cover and set aside.
- For the stuffing, heat oil in a wok. Add the jeera and allow to splutter.
- Add the finely chopped onions, minced ginger and garlic, finely chopped green chillies. Saute till the onions are cooked tender. Remove from flame.
- Transfer to a bowl and add the mashed potatoes, salt, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, jeera powder, dhaniya powder, amchur powder (if using) and coriander. Mash well to incorporate all the ingredients. Allow the mixture to cool a bit if it is still hot.
- Now, take a small amount of the roti dough and flatten with a rolling-pin.
- Put some stuffing in the centre. Make sure this filling is a little smaller than the dough you have rolled out.
- Draw the edges of the rolled out dough towards the centre to cover the stuffing (like a potli) and seal it well. Press the top of the ball with the palm of your hand until the dough gets depressed and forms a circular flatbread.
- Roll out to a thickness slightly more than that of your rotis. Too thick a parantha will not cook well and too thin will break/crumble easily. The trick is getting the thickness right.
- Heat a griddle/tawa and cook the parantha on a medium flame. It usually takes longer than a roti/chappathi to cook well.
- Use a generous amount of oil on both sides, to cook the parantha, else it wont get cooked well. (This is one reason why I dont make paranthas too often).
- In the meanwhile, take some thick curd, whip lightly so as to form a smooth texture. Add 1/4 tsp each of black pepper powder and jeera powder. Add salt to taste and some finely chopped coriander (optional).
- Once the parantha is cooked, serve hot with the masala curd, some tomato slices and onion rings on the side. Yummax!
Posted in Indian Breads
Tagged aloo, aloo parathas, Chili pepper, Chili powder, coriander, Cumin, Dough, Garam masala, garlic, indian flatbread, parantha, potato, potatoes
Cauliflower/Phool Gobi/Hoo-kosu/Poo-kosu – one of my favourite veggies right from childhood is something that can cheer me up in no time. Do you agree that some veggies cheer you up, while some others depress you? Yeah, so cauliflower is one of my personal anti-depressants (we’ll talk about the depressing veggies some other time, not now). After a long and tiring day with my students at college couple of days back, I was wishing for a Cheering Charm from the world of Harry Potter! How I wish they were for real ;)
This baked dish is pretty easy and takes just about 25-30 minutes to make. Give just another 5 minutes to prepare the Garlic bread (since your oven is already hot from the bake, no need to pre-heat!), and dinner is fixed in a good half hour! Nice eh? Perfect for weekday dinners, when you’re tired and need something yummy to make you feel better.
- Cauliflower – 1 no (large-sized; cut into bite-sized florets and soaked in salt-water)
- Onion – 2 nos (large-sized; grated/minced)
- Tomatoes – 2 nos (large-sized; grated/minced)
- Ginger – 1″ long piece, freshly grated
- Garlic – 5-6 pods, grated/minced
- Green chillies – 3 nos, finely chopped/minced
- Sour cream/Hung-curd – 4-5 tbsps
- Coriander/Cilantro – a handful, finely chopped
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – 2 tsps
- Cheddar Cheese – 1/4 cup
- Pre-heat the oven to 230C/450F.
- In a wok, heat the oil and saute the onions, ginger and garlic till the onions are cooked tender.
- Add the green chillies and tomatoes. Cook till tomatoes are mushy.
- Add salt and cook another minute or two.
- Drain the cauliflower of all water and add to the wok. Stir well and cook covered for about 10 minutes, till the cauliflower pieces are firm but near done.
- Stir in the coriander and remove from flame.
- Add the sour cream and stir well.
- Transfer to a microwave-safe dish. Top with cheese and bake till the cheese gets bubbly, about 10-12 minutes. Give it a standing time of another 3-5 minutes.
- Serve hot with freshly prepared Garlic bread. Lip-smacking!
I’ve been having this post sit in my drafts for quite some time now. I’d forgotten all about it and then, a close friend asked for the recipe for Garlic Bread, so I managed to look for it and finally hit the ‘Publish’ button! I do have the recipe to a less sinful and simpler version here. However, if you are in that indulgent mood which we all get into once in a while, feel free to give this a try :D.
- French bread loaf – 1 long loaf or 2-3 small ones (like the ones they use for hot-dogs/subs)
- Butter – 50 gms (softened, to make spreading on the bread easy)
- Garlic pods – 5-6 (pounded or crushed to a paste)
- Oregano herbs – 1/2 tsp
- Chilli flakes (optional) – 1/2 tsp (adjust to suit your taste)
- Salt – to taste
- Cilantro/Coriander (optional) – a small fistful (finely chopped)
- Grated Mozzarella Cheese – 2 tbsps (for each slice)
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 C (390 F).
- Slit the french bread horizontally and keep aside. (If using the very long loaves to make this, also cut into sizable lengths)
- Get the spread ready by mixing together the butter, crushed garlic pods, oregano herbs and salt.
- Apply the spread lavishly on each cut slice of the bread.
- Sprinkle the cheese on the bread once you have applied the spread on the bread.
- Sprinkle the chilly flakes on the cheese, and lastly the coriander.
- Bake for about 6-8 minutes or until each slice is toasted to a light and crisp golden yellow. The time needed for the garlic bread to get done varies in each microwave oven since each has a different power. Adjust the time according to your oven.
- Allow to stand for a minute before you take them out of the oven and enjoy the hot, crisp and gooey garlic bread exotica!