Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Simple Fried Egg

Ingredients : 
4 boiled eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
A pinch of turmeric powder
1 tablespoon oil
Few sprigs of cilantro finely chopped

Directions : 
1. Slice the eggs lengthwise into 2 halves.And place them on a plate with yolk side up.
2. Mix salt,chilli powder and turmeric in a bowl.
3. Sprinkle half of the spice mixture on the eggs.
4. Heat a pan on medium to medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil to it.
5. Lay the eggs yolk side down and sprinkle rest the spice mixture on the top.
6. Let the eggs fry for 3 to 4 minutes and then turn them.
7. Let it fry for 2 to 3 minutes then remove from heat.
8. Transfer to serving plate and sprinkle some chopped cilantro leaves. Serve hot.
Note : Be careful while frying the eggs, do not fry them for long and do not increase the heat. Keep moving them in the pan.

Eggplant Rolls

We saw this recipe on and wanted to try this. Originally eggplant rolls are made with cheese filling, we are not really a cheese fan so we modified the recipe with paneer filling and it turned out yummy !!!!
Ingredients : 
2 Eggplants
1 cup freshly made paneer(crumbled)
1 medium onion finely chopped
3 green chillis finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
A pinch of turmeric
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
Few sprigs cilantro
salt according to taste
2 tablespoons grated Mozzarella cheese 

Directions : 
1. Slice the eggplants lengthwise to approx. 1/2 an inch thickness.
2. Take a colander and add the sliced eggplant pieces and salt them generously(add upto 3 tablespoons of salt) and leave them for 30mins to 1 hour .
3. For the filling , in a pan heat 1 tablespoon of oil and add the cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds splutter add the onion add green chillis and fry till onions are nicely caramelized. 
4. Add ginger garlic paste and fry till raw smell goes off. Add turmeric,salt and red chilli powder and mix well.
5. Now, add the crumbled paneer and mix well so that all the spices combime well with paneer.
6. Let the paneer cook on medium heat for 8-10 mins. Mix every 2 mins.
7. Add garam masala. Check the taste and add more salt or chilli powder if required.Sprinkle some cilantro leaves and leave aside to cool.
8. Now, rinse off the salt from eggplants and pat them dry with a paper towel.
9. Heat some oil on a skillet or grill pan and cook the eggplant untill golden brown on both sides.
10. Allow the eggplants to cool enough to be able to touch it. 
11. Place a heaping spoon of the paneer mixture on the wide end of the cooked eggplant and roll the eggplant all the way.
12. Place the rolled eggplant in a lightly oiled baking sheet and repeat until all eggplant slices are rolled.
13. Bake uncovered in a 425 degree F preheated oven for 15 minutes (until the paneer mixture is heated all the way through).
Sprinkle Mozzarella cheese on top and broil in the oven for few minutes until cheese is melted and lightly brown.(keep an eye and remove immediately once the cheese is melted)
15. Serve hot.
Note : Freshly made paneer is the best option for this recipe as its easy to crumble and remains soft for long time. We tried with store bought paneer aswell, but the result was not as good as fresh paneer.

Curry Leaves Rice

Ingredients : 
Curry leaves 2cups
1 small onion finely chopped
5 green chillis ,split vertically
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon chana dal 
1 teaspoon urad dal
2 red chillis
Salt according to taste
2 cups rice(cooked)
1 tablespoon oil
Juice of 1/2 a lime
A few cashew nuts(optional)

Directions :  
1. Wash the curry leaves and let them dry completely.Finely chop the curry leaves with a knife.Keep aside.
2. Take 2 cups of rice in a bowl and add little salt and 2-3 drops of oil and mix well with a fork. This will prevent the rice from sticking.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan and add the cashews.Once the cashews are fried, add cumin seeds,chana dal,urad dal,red chillis and fry them.
4. Now add the chopped curry leaves and fry them for 30secs.
5. Add the green chillis and onions and fry till onions become transparent and soft.
6. Add the rice and mix well so that all the ingredients combine nicely.Let the rice fry for 2mins. Check for salt and add more if required.
7. Remove from heat and squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lime and mix again. Serve hot.

Fish Tikki

Ingredients : 
4 Salmon fillets (you can use any fish,just make sure there are no bones and no skin)
2 medium or 1 large potato(boiled,peeled and mashed)
1 medium onion finely chopped
4 green chillis finely chopped
Few sprigs cilantro finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder to taste
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin seeds powder
2 to 3 tablespoons oil

Directions : 
1. First, cook the fish fillets without oil. You can either cook it in a microwave for 4 to 5mins depending upon what fish you are using or you can cook them on a non stick skillet for 4 to 5 minutes on each side without oil.
2. Once the fish is cooked, flake it with a fork and let it cool down completely.
3. After the fish cools down add boiled potatoes,onions,green chillis,cilantro,salt,red chilli powder,garam masala,cumin powder and the lime juice and mix well using your hands.
4. Taste the mixture and add salt or other spices if required.
5. Now add the egg and mix well again.
6. Add the bread crumbs 2 tablespoons at a time and keep mixing.You need not use the complete 1 cup of bread crumbs.Stop when ever you feel its sufficient.You can stop when you are able to make a patty with the mixture.
7. Form patties from the mixture of desired size. 
8. Heat a flat non stick pan on medium high heat and add little oil.
9. Pan fry the patties with a little oil on both sides until golden brown.
10. Serve hot with mint chutney or ketchup.
Note : You can increase or decrease the number of fish fillets depending on the size.The fillets we used were small so we used 4.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chicken puffs

Ingredients :
1/2 lb boneless chicken thighs or chicken breast
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon chilli powder or to taste
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 drops red food color mixed in 1 tablespoon of water
Salt as per taste
1 tablespoon oil
2 ready to bake Puff pastry sheets (1 box)
1 egg, for egg wash (optional)
Few sprigs of cilantro,finely chopped
Juice of half a lime

Directions : 
First we have to make the stuffing : 
1. Clean the chicken and cut the chicken into small bite size pieces.
2. Take a skillet and heat the oil on medium high.
3. Add cumin seeds and once they splutter, add the onion.
4. Fry the onions on medium high flame so that they caramelize nicely.
5. Once the onions are brown, add ginger garlic paste and cook on medium heat till the raw smell goes off.
6. Now, add the chicken,turmeric and little salt. Mix well and cook on medium heat, covered.  
7. Keep mixing the chicken in between. It will take around 15 to 20 mins for the chicken to cook. Once the chicken is cooked remove the lid and increase the heat to medium high and open cook the chicken so that the water evaporates. Mix frequently so that it does not burn.
8. When all the water has evaporated, add chilli powder and red food color and mix well. Let it fry for 2mins.
9. Now add the garam masala and some of the chopped cilantro and mix well. Taste the chicken and add more salt or chilli powder accordingly.
10. Remove from heat and squeeze in half a lime and add rest of the cilantro and mix.
11. Transfer the stuffing to a plate and after 5minutes cover it with a clear wrap. The chicken has to cool down completely before stuffing it.
Keep the plate in the refrigerator to speed up the process.
To make the puffs : 
1. Take the puff pastry sheets out of the freezer and thaw them at room temperature for 40minutes (meanwhile the stuffing will also cool down).
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
3. Cut the pastry sheet strips into 2, to form a rectangle.
4. Put 1 tablespoon of stuffing on one end of the rectangle and apply water to the edges with your finger.
5. Fold the pastry sheet and press the edges to seal the puffs.
6. Arrange the prepared puffs on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.
7. Beat an egg and with the help of a pastry brush, apply the egg wash on the puffs.
8. Place them in the pre-heated oven and bake for 15 to 20 mins.
9. Serve warm with ketch up.

Note : Do not let the pastry sheets thaw for more than 4omins, otherwise they will stick to each other and will become difficult to handle.
Egg wash gives the puffs nice golden brown color.
Time taken to bake might vary from oven to oven so keep an eye on them and adjust the time accordingly.
Once out of the oven let the puffs sit for 5mins before serving.

Beetroot and Carrot poori

Ingredients :
4 Cups wheat flour , divided into 2 parts of 2 cups each
Salt according to taste
1/2 teaspoon Kalonji (black onion seeds)
1 medium beetroot
4 large carrots
1 tablespoon oil
Oil for deep frying

Directions : 
For Beetroot poori : 
1. Peel and roughly chop the beetroot.  Add the beetroot to a blender and blend into coarse paste.
2. Strain the juice using a strainer and also squeeze the juice from the pulp to get a clear liquid(we use a juicer which separates the juice and the pulp).
3. In a mixing bowl, add 2 cups of wheat flour,1/4th teaspoon salt,1/2 tablespoon oil,half of the kalonji seeds and mix well to incorporate all the oil into the flour.
4. Slowly add the beetroot juice and knead the dough. Add the juice slowly as you may not require all of it. The dough should not be very soft or very hard.
5. Once the dough is made, smear a couple of drops of oil and coat the dough. Oil will avoid the dough from becoming dry.
6. Cover and allow the dough to rest for 30minutes.

For Carrot poori : 
1. Peel and roughly chop the carrots and blend into a coarse paste.
2. Strain the juice using a strainer and also squeeze the juice from the pulp to get a clear liquid.
3. In a mixing bowl, add 2 cups of wheat flour,1/4th teaspoon salt,1/2 tablespoon oil,rest of the kalonji seeds and mix well to incorporate all the oil into the flour.
4. Knead the dough by slowly adding the carrot juice and make the dough similar to the one mentioned above.
5. Cover and allow the dough to rest for 30minutes.
To make the pooris : 
1. Knead the dough once again before making the pooris.
2. Heat oil for frying pooris on a medium flame. Allow the oil to heat very well.
3. Make small smooth balls of the dough of desired size.
4. Roll the pooris with a rolling pin.
5. Once the oil is hot, slowly drop the poori into the oil and once the poori floats on the oil, slightly press it with the ladle(this will help the poori to puff up).
6. Flip the puri and cook on the other side.
7. Remove the poori from oil and place it on a paper towel to remove excess oil. Repeat the process for all the pooris.
8. Serve hot with chole.

Note : Do not roll the poori very thin, they will not puff up. And, use very little flour to dust the pooris while rolling.
The making of poori is similar for both beetroot and carrot dough.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Grilled Fish

Ingredients :
6 Tilapia fillets (we used frozen)
1 teaspoon salt or according to taste 
1 tablespoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon pepper powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
1/2 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon fish masala or tandoori masala
1 tablespoon oil
Oil spray (if you don't have an oil spray then just drizzle some oil with a spoon)
few sprigs of cilantro
juice of half a lime

Directions :
You can prepare this recipe either by marinating the fish for atleast 2 hours or even without marination.

If you have enough time for marination then : 
1. In a mixing bowl add salt,turmeric,chilli powder,pepper powder,garam masala,ginger garlic paste,tomato puree,fish masala, 1 tablespoon oil and mix well .
2. Add this mixture to the fish fillets and mix well so that the fish is coated properly with the spice mix.
3. Cover and let it sit in the refrigerator for atleast 2 hrs.

If you do not have time for marination then : 
1. In a mixing bowl add salt,turmeric,chilli powder,pepper powder,garam masala,ginger garlic paste,tomato puree,fish masala, 1 tablespoon oil and mix well ,keep aside.
2. Take one fish fillet and pat it dry with a paper towel.
3. Sprinkle very little salt and pepper on both sides of the fish and rub so that its coated well.
4. Now take some of the spice mixture and apply on both sides of the fish. Repeat the same for all the fillets.

Now, (if you are marinating the fish then remove it from the refrigerator 15mins prior to cooking)  
Heat the grill pan on medium high(we used a stove top grill) .
Once the grill is hot, spray/drizzle some oil and lay the fish on the pan (2 or 3 fillets at a time depending on the size of your grill) and spary some oil on top .
Tilapia takes very less time to cook so keep an eye on them. Give 4 minutes on each side and remove.
Repeat the same for all fillets.
Sprinkle few cilantro leaves and squeeze some lime juice on top. Serve hot.

Note : Be careful while turning the fish because it is very delicate and could break.Use a flat spatula to remove the fish.
Do not add lime juice to the marinade as the citric acid in lime will tend to cook the fish while marinating.
If you want to add lime juice to the marinade then let the fish marinate not more than 15 minutes.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Decorative Ice cubes (fruit and herb filled)

Ice cubes with slices or pieces of fresh fruit or herbs frozen inside are sure to make any ordinary drink the hit of the party. You can also use specialty-shaped ice cube trays and fill them up with your choice of fruit juice. Plan ahead and freeze a batch.

1. First boil a pot of water, then let it cool. This keeps the water crystal clear rather than the cloudy look you can get from tap water.

2. Next, if you are adding fruits or herbs into the cubes, decide what you want to freeze. Strawberry slices, rasberries, blueberries, cherries, or blackberries make good choices. You can also freeze mint leaves or lemon and orange wedges.
3. Place the fruit or herb into each section of the ice tray. Pour the water over the fruit or herbs. Do not overfill. Or, if using fruit juice, pour them into the selected ice trays.
4. Place ice trays into freezer for 3 to 4 hours or until frozen. Add to drinks just before serving.

Papaya-Mango Smoothie

Ingredients :
2 cups fresh papaya chunks
1 1/2 cups chilled mango nectar
1/2 cup ripe mango,cubed (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 strawberry (optional)
papaya cubes (optional)

Directions :
1. Place papaya chunks, mango cubes in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Now add mango nectar, lime juice and sugar and blend again for 2mins.
3. Pour into serving glasses. Garnish with strawberry and papaya cube. You can also add some decorative ice cubes.
Note : Increase the amount of sugar depending on the sweetness of papaya.
You can also replace mango cubes with pineapple chunks and mango nectar with  pineapple juice.

Mango Smoothie

Ingredients : 
1/2 cup cubed ripe mango(fresh or frozen)
1 cup chilled mango nectar
1 cup low fat milk
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream or half and half (optional)
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
3 tablespoons sugar
6 blue berries (optional)
2 tablespoons green decorative sugar (optional)

Directions :
1. Place the green decorative sugar in a small shallow dish.Wet rims of 2 glasses with damp paper towel ,dip in sugar.Place glasses upright to dry.
2. Combine cubed mango,mango nectar,milk,half and half,and sugar in a blender. Blend until smooth.
3. Now add vanilla ice cream and blend again for 2 mins.
4. Pour into prepared glasses and top it with blue berries. You can also decorate the glass by arranging the blue berries on a toothpick .
5. Serve immediately .

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Barbecued Shrimp

We adapted this recipe from tandoori chicken and made some changes to it. 
Ingredients : 
1 Pound raw shrimp,cleaned and deveined 
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoon red chilly powder(if you eat less spicy then you can reduce the amount as per your requirement)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons tandoori masala
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
4 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons tomato puree 
Few sprigs of cilantro for garnish 
Juice of half a lemon

Directions : 
1. Wash and clean the shrimp. Wipe them dry with a paper towel.
2. To a mixing bowl add the shrimp,salt,chilly powder,turmeric,tandoori masala,ginger garlic paste,tomato puree and mix well . Now add the 1 tablespoon of oil and mix again.
3. Let the shrimp marinate in the refrigerator  for at least 3 hrs , preferably overnite.
4. Remove the shrimp from refrigerator 30mins prior to cooking.
5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and lay the shrimp on a baking tray. Drizzel 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil coating each and every shrimp.
6. Let it cook for 15mins and then turn the shrimp. Now drizzel rest of the oil.
7. Cook till you get a crisp layer on the shrimp.It will take around 15 to 20mins after turning them to get a crisp layer(it may vary from oven to oven , so keep an eye).
8. Remove from oven and let it rest for 5mins.
9. Transfer the shrimp to a serving plate and garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and squeeze the juice of half a lemon on top .
10. Serve hot.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gulab jamun

Ingredients :
For Gulab Jamun :
1 Gulab jamun packet(200gms)
1/2 cup of milk
oil for deep frying
For Sugar Syrup :
3 cups of sugar 
3 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
2 drops of lemon juice

Directions :
1. Empty the gulab jamun packet into a mixing bowl.
2. Make a soft dough by adding the milk slowly.Do not add all the milk at once. Do not over knead the dough.
3. Cover the dough and let it rest for 10mins .
4. While dough is resting prepare the sugar syrup.
    For Sugar Syrup :
     Add the sugar and water to a wide vessel.
    Keep the flame on medium high and let it come to a boil.
    Once the sugar is dissolved completely, add the cardamom powder.
    Add 2 drops of lemon juice(lemon juice stops the sugar from crystallizing) and mix well.
   Turn the heat to low and let it simmer.
5. Before making the gulab jamuns , get the oil ready for deep frying.Heat up the oil on low to medium heat.
6. Now make desired size balls from the dough and make sure they have no cracks otherwise they might break when you fry them .
7. To test the oil ,add a small piece of dough and if it sits at the bottom of the pan and floats to the surface slowly then the oil is ready .
8. Add a few balls to oil and fry them by rotating continuously.
9. Fry the jamuns till golden brown annd remove them on a paper towel.
10. Meanwhile bring the sugar syrup to a boil again.
11. Fry rest of the gulab jamuns .
12. Once the sugar syrup comes a boil, remove from heat and add the gulab jamuns.
13. Cover the vessel and let the gulab jamun rest for at least 3 hours.
14. Serve them warm or cold .

Note: Do not let balls sit for long before frying.They will become dry and can break in the oil.
Fry the balls on very low flame or they will get colour on outside but will remain uncooked from inside and stir them continously for even colouring.