Sunday, August 28, 2011

Naan (Indian Bread)

I've been contemplating on making Naan at home for a long time now. I used to think that this bread was more fit to be cooked at restaurants. But I like to try new things and recipe for Naan intrigued me. I wanted to see if I could replicate the results of a restaurant or how close I could come to it. How hard is it anyways? The ingredients seemed nothing complicated and, for the most part, were readily available in my pantry. This was probably the only North Indian dish I had not attempted. Why leave a stone unturned- I thought to myself and decided to take a stab at it.

Sundays are the best days for cooking and relishing something special like this :)

1. 3-4 cups all purpose flour (maida)
2. 2.5 Tsp beaten yogurt
3. 1 tsp yeast
4. 1 cup milk at room temperature
5. Warm water
6. Sugar, 1 tsp
7. salt, 1 tsp
8. Baking soda, a pinch
9. oil
10. Nigella seeds (kalonji)
11. Cilantro, chopped

1. Dissolve 1 yeast in warm water. Let it stand for 10 mins.
2. To the all purpose flour, add sugar, salt, yogurt, oil.
3. Mix well so that it starts to look like crumbs.
4. Add milk, dissolved yeast and knead to a sticky dough.
5. Add some oil and make a smooth dough.
6. Cover with cellophane wrap and put it in a warm place.
7. When the dough rises to double, punch it and knead with hands again.
8. Divide the dough into equal portions and make small balls of the dough.
9. Using a rolling pin, flatten the balls to an elongated shape making sure its not too thin.
10. Sprinkle cilantro and nigella seeds on it.
11. Broil 3-4 naans at a time in the oven on parchment paper at 200deg for 3-4 mins
12. When you see brown spots on the naan, take it out of the oven and apply butter.

Serve warm with Shahi Paneer.

Thanks, Manjula.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ras Malai (Cheese dumplings Soaked in Sweetened Cream)

Ras Malai is a popular Indian dessert. Ras malai is flattened, white cheese balls soaked in saffron infused, thickened and sweetened cream, delicately flavoured with cardamom.

1. Half and half milk, 1L
2. Sugar
3. Pistaichoes
4. Strands of saffrom
5. Cardamom powder
6. Paneer (cottage cheese) for the cheese balls.

1. Boil the half and half milk with a few strands of saffrom.
2. Reduce the flame and simmer until the milk thickens and reduces to half.
3. Let it cool.
4. Add sugar to taste and mix.
5. Drop the cheeese balls in this milk.
6. Sprinkle cardamom powder and pistaichoes.

Refrigerate for a few hours. Serve chilled. Sweet decadent!

To make the cheese balls, follow any one of the following procedures:
1. Paneer can be made at home by adding a few tsp of lemon juice to milk and then straining the liquid and retaining the thickened part of the milk. You can make small balls of the thickened part which is paneer.
2. You can buy paneer from a grocery store.
3. You can bake balls of ricotta cheese in a muffin tray in the oven at 350 deg for abt 30-40mins. Cool before dropping into the condensed milk.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Kofta (Dumpling Curry)

King of all Indian curries is Kofta or dumpling curry. This is one dish that could potential sway a non-vegetarian into ordering a vegetarian dish instead, when at an Indian restaurant. The dumplings can be of various types but typically the key ingredient is either dairy or vegetables.

For the dumpling
1. Cabbage, shredded, 1 cup
2. few tbsp water
3. Besan (chickpea flour), 4-6 tbsp
4. Red chili powder 1 tsp
5. Salt to taste
6. Garam masala

For the gravy::
1. 1/2 onion
2. 2-3 sprigs of curry leaf
3. Tomato paste, 2 tbsp
4. Poppy seeds (optional), 3-4 tbsp
5. Shredded coconut, 2-3 tbsp
6. 2-3 green chili
7. Tamarind pulp
8. Salt to taste
9. Oil
10. heeng (optional), a pinch
11. Cumin seeds

For the dumpling:
1. Mix ingredients 1-6 and make small balls of it.
2. Deep fry.
3. Set aside.

Instructions for the Gravy:
1. Make a paste of ingredients 1-6
2. Heat oil in a wok
3. Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle
4. Add heeng
5. Add the paste and saute until the raw smell of the onion is gone.
6. Add tamarind pulp, salt, and water.
7. Boil.
8. Add the dumplings to the gravy.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dalia (Cracked Wheat)

Dalia is a healthy one pot dish that is low in fat and high in taste. It's easy to cook and a perfect dish for brunch/lunch/breakfast. Dalia is known as broken wheat in English.

1. Dalia
2. ghee, 2 tsp
3. cumin seeds
4. heeng, a pinch
5. curry leaves
6. 1/2 onion chopped
7. 1 green chili, chopped
8. frozen mixed vegetables
9. frozen hash browns
10. salt
11. garam masala
12. 1/2 chopped ripe tomato

1. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker.
2. When it melts, add cumin seeds and heeng.
3. When the cumin seeds sizzle, add curry leaves, green chili, tomato, and onions.
4. Fry until translucent.
5. Add vegetables and hash browns and saute for a few mins.
6. Add salt, dalia, lemon juice, and water.
7. Pressure cooker for 2-3 whistles.
8. When the lid of the pressure cooker opens, add garam masala and red chili powder to taste.
9. Mix well.
10. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves (optional)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pan Fried Potato & Spring Onions

This is my mom's favorite. Simple yet tasty.

1. 3 small potatoes, cut in wedges
2. oil
3. 1 tsp mustard seeds
4. 1 tsp cumin seeds
5. Heeng, a pinch
6. 1.5 tsp amchoor powder (dried mango)
7. 1 tsp red chili powder
8. Salt to taste
9. 3-4 Spring onions, chopped
10. Turmeric powder

1. Heat oil in a non stick pan then add mustard seeds.
2. When it splutters, add cumin seeds and heeng.
3. When the cumin sizzles and turns dark brown, add turmeric powder.
4. Then add potatoes and mix well.
5. Fry on high heat stirring occasionally until the potatoes turn light golden.
6. Add spring onions, amchoor, red chili powder, and salt.
7. Cover and cook on low-medium heat for 5-7 mins.

Serve warm as a side with Kadi and white steamed rice.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Pad Thai

1. 1 packet fettucini or flat noddles (I used linguine)
2. 1 tbsp salt
3. 1-2 cups cabbage, shredded
4. Extra firm tofu block (1/4 juliened and rest cut in cubes)
5. Spring onions 4, chopped
6. 2 tbsp red chili garlic sauce
7. 4 pods garlic, minced
8. 2 shallots, chopped
9. 1 red bell pepper, cut in cubes
10. 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
11. 5-6 tbsp Oyester sauce
12. 3-4 tbsp soya sauce
13. 1 tsp vinegar
14. tamarind concentrate
15. 1 tsp brown sugar

1. Boil salt water in a heavy bottomed pan and then add a packet of fettucini.
2. Stir occasionally and cook until it is al-dente.
3. Drain water and let it cool.
4. Heat oil in a wok.
5. Add garlic, shallots, juliened tofu and cook until golden brown.
5. Next throw in the cubed tofu, green onion, cabbage, and red bell pepper.
6. Add oyester sauce, tamarind concentrate, red chili sauce, soya sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar.
7. Mix well and simmer until bell pepper is al dente.
8. Add the noodles to this along with bean sprouts.
9. Adjust seasoning is necessary.
10. Garnish with fresh choped green onion.

Verdict: This was good but did not turn out like the ones at thai restaurants.
Note: You could add crushed peanuts to add authenticity to this dish. But I passed as neither Mr. Husband nor I are a fan of peanuts.

Serve warm as a main. Inspired.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fish Curry

I didn't realize that it has been nearly 3 years since I started blogging and that this is my 151st post! Over these years, I have been inspired and encouraged by some very talented photographers, cooks, writers, and bloggers in the online world. I have learned a lot from others as well as from myself. I have seen myself evolve as well with each post. I look forward to the day I become a grandma and show my grandkids my blog. They will perhaps never care for this or who knows, they will?! But I am sure this blog will make me happy at that age and will be not only a chronicle or my musings in the kitchen but also a reminiscence of the time gone by.

Serves 2. No prep required.

1. Salmon, skinless, boneless, 3-4 pieces (I used frozen)
2. 1 tsp mustard seeds
3. 1 tsp cumin seeds
4. 10-15 fresh curry leaves
5. A pinch of heeng
6. Oil
7. Salt
8. Turmeric powder
9. Garlic, 4 pods, minced
10. 1 thai green chili, minced
11. 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
12. fresh tomatoes, chopped (I used tomato paste)
13. Coriander powder, 1 tsp
14. Fish curry masala, 3-4 tsp
15. Garam masala, 2 tsp

1. Rub turmeric powder and salt on the surface on the fish (both sides) then microwave for 5 mins, covered.
2. Heat oil in a pan.
3.. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter.
4. Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle.
5. Add heeng, wait for a min.
6. Add chili, garlic, onion, curry leaves and fry until the onion is translucent and the garlic looks cooked.
7. Add tomatoes (fresh or paste) and mix well.
8. Cook on medium-high heat until it leaves the oil.
9. Add fish curry masala, garam masala, coriander powder, salt and mix.
10. Simmer for 5 mins, stirring occasionally. Check the spices and adjust seasoning.
11. Add the fish pieces and some water. (i added about a cup). You can also add 2-3 tsp milk for a better consistency.
12. Cover and cook for 10 mins on low heat.

Serve with roti.

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