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Ranji's Kitchen Corner



We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are. Adelle Davis



Updated: 2017-12-17T06:58:34.596-05:00

 



CRISPY BAKED ONIONS RINGS

2016-02-19T11:02:30.210-05:00

Who doesnt like Fried foods?They are so tasty and comforting any given day but a lot of guilt comes with it. For a person like me who loves fried food but doesnt like to fry its  such a daunting task to stand in front of the hot oil and fry especially in this summer heat. But I had to do something to satisfy my cravings for it. This crispy baked onion rings is just the solution. Its totally GUILT FREE and completely satisfying. Its one of the best onion rings I ever had.The secret is to coat the bread crumbs with a little bit of oil before coating it onto the rings. This helps it to brown evenly. This was one of the tips given by the chef on foodnetwork. Dont remember his name.INGREDIENTSVidalia onions - 2 nosButtermilk - 1 cupHot Sauce - 1 tbsp ( I used buffalo wing sauce)All Purpose flour -  1 cupGarlic pdr - a few sprinklesCayenne pepper - 2 tspBlack pepper pdr - 1 tspPanko Bread crumbs(seasoned)oil - 1 tspIce cold waterNote:- The measurements here doesnt have to be perfect you can increase and decrease the amount according to your taste.You can also add any other spices and herbs you like.onion pdr, cumin pdr, thyme etcMETHODSlice the onions to 1/2" thick rings. Separate them and put them in ice cold water to firm it up.In a plate mix flour,garlic pdr,cayenne pepper, pepper. Salt is not reqd if you are using seasoned breadcrumbs otherwise add some for taste. In a bowl pour buttermilk and hot sauce.If you like spicy add more hot sauce. In another plater add bread crumbs and a tsp or so just enough to wet the crumbs. This helps the crumbs to brown nicely without drying out. I like to use panko breadcrumbs cause it gives a great crunch.Preheat oven to 375 deg F. Remove the rings from the cold water one at a time.You dont have to pat it dry, the water will help the flour to stick to the onions. Coat the rings  in the order of flour, buttermilk and bread crumbs. Transfer it to the cooling rack. Baking it on the cooling rack will let the heat to flow nicely and help the rings to brown evenly. Bake for about 20- 25 mins or until brown. Serve warm with coffee or tea!!!ENJOY!!! [...]



FRESH ORANGE CAKE

2012-06-18T14:12:48.291-04:00

We buy  big bags of oranges every week. With so many oranges in the house all the time it was hightime I do something with it.Recently I saw Paula deen bake her fresh tangerine cake. Usually i am against paula deen's recipes since she uses tons of butter for no reason. But this one was a simple recipe and I fell in love with it the instant I saw it. I did make some changes , not to the recipe as such. I used fresh oranges instead of tangerine and for topping I used fresh whipped cream instead of her sweet buttery icing. The cake was super moist and delicious and the whipped cream on top made it so complete.Source - Adapted from Paula DeenINGREDIENTSAll Purpose Flour - 2 1/2 cupsSugar - 1 3/4 cupsBaking pdr - 1 tspBaking soda - 1 1/2 tspSalt - 1/2 tspEggs - 3 nos, beatenVeg. oil - 1 cupSour Cream - 1 (8 Oz) container, i used fat freeFreshly squeezed orange juice - 1 cup, ( u can use store bought too)Orange zest - 1 tbspSome fresh orange wedges - to garnishTopping:-Whipping cream - 1 cupSugar - 1/4 cupMETHODPreheat oven to 350 deg F.Spray a round baking dish with some cooking spray.In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients  flour, sugar,baking pdr, baking soda n salt. Then add the wet ingredients one by one. Mix it all together until well incorporated.Pour it into the baking dish and bake for 1 hr or until the fork when poked in the center comes clean.For making whipped cream.Take a bowl (its better if the bowl is kept in the refrigerator for half an hr).Pour the cream and using an electric mixer beat on low for a few mins and slowly increse the speed.Ones it starts to thicken slowly add in the sugar. Whip on high speed until it form stiff peaks.Let the cake cool completely before putting the cream on top.Spread the cream all over the cake on the sides as well.Garnish with some fresh orange wedges n serve.NOTE:- Paula deen divided the batter equally into 2 pans and baked for 25 mins. I baked it in 1 batch in a bigger baking dish so thats why the baking time is more.ENJOY!!! [...]



PEACH COBBLER

2012-06-08T10:37:02.517-04:00

After long, dull winter months we always look forward to an active summer,  great outdoor activities, gardening, and vacations etc. Apart from that I also look forward to the variety of fruits summer has to offer. Peach is one of them. A sweet juicy bite of one of them is good enough to brighten up your mood . For a change I decided to bake it. Peach cobbler was the perfect choice. Its easy and simple to make and tastes absolutely delicious. Cobbler refers to a variety of dishes, consisting of a fruit or savoury filling poured into a large baking dish and covered with a batter, biscuit, or pie crust before being baked. Unlike a pie, cobbler never contains a bottom crust.(source - wikipedia)I have come across many cobbler recipes, most of it are same and requires a lot of butter so I modified it to my taste by reducing the butter quantity and adding oats for more fiber.INGREDIENTSPeach - 7-8 nos, peeled and dicedSugar - 1 1/2 tbspFlour - 1 tbspCinnamon pdr - 1 tspFor the crust:-Flour - 1 cupOats - 4 tbsp (I used quaker quick cooking oats)Baking pdr - 1 tspBaking soda - 1/2 tspSugar - 1/4 cup Cold butter - 3 tbspCold milk - 5-6 tbspMETHODPreheat oven to 425 deg F. In a large mixing bowl, mix in the diced peach,sugar,flour and cinnamon pdr until the fruit is all evenly coated. Keep it aside.In another bowl mix all the dry ingredients required for making the crust. Add the cold butter and slowly crush it into the flour. Make sure not to melt it. Now slowly add the milk 1 tbsp at a time and mix it well until it forms a soft dough.Grease a baking dish with some cooking spray. Put the fruit mix at the bottom. Place small pieces of the dough on top of the fruit until fully covered. Place it i the oven. Bake for 20-22 mins or until crust is golden brown. Serve warm with some whipped cream or ice cream.ENJOY!!! [...]



PANEER CASHEW CURRY

2012-05-30T14:27:36.725-04:00

Paneer is one of my favorite ingredients to cook with.Every time i make some paneer at home i want to cook something different.This time as the title says i combined paneer and cashews.Here the Paneer/cottage cheese is cooked in a combined onion ,tomato and cashew gravy.This is one of the tastiest dish i have cooked.Simply melts in your mouth.The green bell pepper compliments the paneer well.INGREDIENTSPaneer cubes - 20 nosOnions - 2 medium size , dicedTomatoes - 2 medium size, dicedGreen bell pepper - 1 medium size, dicedFrozen green peas - 1/4 cupGinger- Garlic - 1 tbsp, finely choppedGreen chillies - 3 nos ,slitCurry leaves - 1 whole sprigBroken Cashews - 3 tbsp, divided 2 + 1Cumin seeds - 1 tspTurmeric pdr - 1/2 tspChilli pdr - 1/2 tspCoriander pdr - 1 tsp + 1/2 tspSugar -1/2 tspSalt to tasteOil,ButterWater as reqdMETHODFirst we need to brown the paneer cubes.For that spread some butter on the bottom of a pan.Put the paneer cubes  on it and brown 2 sides of the cottage cheese/paneer.Remove and keep it aside.Next step is to prepare the gravy.For that heat some oil in a pan.Add finely chopped ginger garlic, green chillies and curry leaves.Saute for a few secs.Add chopped onions and some salt.Let it caramelize.Then add turmeric pdr,chilli pdr and coriander pdr.Saute for a minute.Now add the diced tomatoes.Let it cook for some time.Check salt.Transfer the contents into a food processor ,add 2 tbsp of cashews and enough water to help grind it smoothly.Keep aside.In the same pan heat a tsp of butter and oil.Add cumin seeds and 1/2 tsp of oriander pdr .Then add the diced green bell pepper and the remaining broken cashews.Add salt.Saute until the pepper is slightly soft.Add the frozen peas.Saute until the peas get warmed up.Add the onion tomato gravy.Pour enough water to make the consistency thin.Stir in the Paneer cubes.Cover and let it simmer for 5-8 mins.Serve warm with rotis,rice,bread.ENJOY!!! [...]



PATHRODO UKKARI / STIR FRY

2012-05-02T15:52:01.498-04:00

Pathrodo is soooo delicious when it's just out hot of the steaming pot. My mouth's watering just thinking about it. Last summer I planted some taro roots to get some leaves and make pathrodo at least ones. I got more than I expected, made it several times :). I have already planted some this yr. Cant wait for it to grow. I came upon some of these expensive colocasia leaves in our local Indian store. Got 3 pkts( 4 in each). Not much to cook with but something is better than nothing isnt it especially when it's hard to get these here. It was just enough to make 3 mini loaves. We had 2 loaves immediately , kept the last one to make some of this hot stir fry. It's simply amazing what a simple leaf can do.A must try.Goes well with coffee or rice and dal.INGREDIENTSLeftover Pathrodo - cut to small piecesshallots - 7-8 nos , thinly slicedoil- 1 tbspmustard seeds - 1/2 tspCumin seeds - 1 tspUrad dal - 1 tspFenugreek seeds - 1/2 tspasafoetida - a pinchCurry leaves - 1 full sprig, torn to small piecesRed chilli pdr - 1 tspMETHODHeat some oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. One's it starts to pop add cumin seeds, urad dal, fenugreek seeds,and curry leaves. Stir for a minute until the dal is lightly brown. Then add a pinch of asafoetida and chilli pdr.Add the shallots and some salt. Stir until its lightly brown.Now add the pathrodo pieces ,stir until its completely covered with all the seasoning. Lower the flame a bit and stir fry until light brown. Serve warm with a hot cup of coffee or tea.ENJOY!!!! [...]



STRAWBERRY CUP CAKE

2012-04-11T15:28:55.320-04:00

I always wanted to bake a strawberry cake but never got a chance since the strawberry as it is will be finished up in no time. Its a family favourite. But now that its in season , we get 3-4 boxes of strawberries every week. With that much quantity, there is 0 complains anymore. After my lil one and hubby are done eating there is still plenty left for me to bake. This is a very simple recipe that results in a super moist and soft cake. Its sweet as it is so i didnt use any frosting.But you can always use your favorite frosting.INGREDIENTSAll purpose Flour - 2 cupsBaking soda - 1 tspBaking pdr - 1 tspSalt - 1/4 tspButter - 2 tbsp,softenenedOil - 1/2 cupSugar - 1 1/4 cupsEggs - 2 nosVanilla Extract- 1 tspButtermilk - 1/2 cup + 2 tbspStrawberry - 1 cup, chopped , mixed with a tbsp of sugar.METHODPreheat oven to 350 deg F. Sift the dry ingredients Flour,baking soda,baking pdr and salt. Keep aside.Now in another bowl, Beat butter,oil and sugar together until fully incorporated. Add eggs one by one. Then flavor it with some vanilla extract. Now Alternately add dry and wet mixture until fully incorporated, begining and ending with dry ingredients. Add the dry mixture in 3 batches. Fold in the last batch of the dry mixture. Finally add the chopped strawberries and slowly fold it in the mixture. Line the muffin tin with paper cups.Grease it using a cooking spray. Use a ice-cream scoop to put the batter in the paper cups. Bake for 20-25 mins. Serve at room temperature with a cup of coffee.ENJOY!!! [...]



CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA - Slow Cooked

2012-03-29T13:43:38.794-04:00

Slowly cooked dishes are really worth waiting for. Chicken tikka masala which is one of our favourites tastes heavenly when slowly cooked. They are so juicy, tender and all the flavours have blended in. The meat is melt in your mouth delicious. One of the best things i ever cooked.You have just got to try it.INGREDIENTSSlow CookerFor the Marinade:-Boneless Chicken Breasts - 2 large , diced to bite size piecesPlain Yogurt - 1 cup, whey removedCoriander pdr - 2 tbspCumin pdr - 1 tbspKashmiri chilli pdr - 2 tbspPepper Pdr - 1 tspGaram masala - 1 1/2 tspSalt to tasteFor the Gravy:-Onion  - 1 medium size, finely choppedGinger - 1 tbsp,finely choppedGarlic - 1 tbsp, finely choppedTomato sauce - 1 small canCashews, broken - 2 tbsp, roastedCoriander pdr - 1 1/2 tbspCumin pdr - 1 1/2 tspTurmeric pdr - 1 tspKashmiri Chilli pdr - 1 tbspCinnamon stick  - 1 noSugar - 1 tbspWhole Cardamam pods - 4-5 , crushedGreen chillies - 3-4 nos, slitCream - 1 cup (you can also use milk)Corn starch - 1 tbspVegetable stock - 1 1/2 cups (you can also use water)Dried kasuri methi - 1 tspCoriander leaves - a bunch , to garnishButter - 1 tbsp for sauteeingSalt to tasteMETHODIn a bowl, mix well all the ingredients required for the marinade except chicken. Check salt now. If correct add chicken pieces.Mix well.Let it marinate for atleast 1 hr.In the meantime prepare the gravy, In a pan, heat some butter, add ginger and garlic.Sautee for a minute then add the onions and some salt. Sautee until golden brown. Now add the spices coriander pdr,turmeric pdr,cumin pdr and kashmiri chilli pdr. Stir for a minute. Transfer this into a food processor along with roasted cashews. With help of some vegetable stock grind to a fine paste. Leave aside.Before transfering everything into the slow cooker sear the chicken .That adds more flavor.For that heat some oil or butter in a cast iron pan.Turn the heat to high. Add the chicken pieces. Brown it on both sides.Takes only a few seconds. Dont have to cook it fully. Now transfer the chicken into the slow cooker. Pour the onion cashew paste over it. Add the tomato sauce. Stir well. Slowly add the vegetable stock or water until you get the right consistency,not too thick nor thin. Now add the sugar, cinnamon stick ,green chillies and the cardamam pods.Stir well. Cover it and switch the cooker on. Let it cook for 4-5 hrs. Mix the cream and the corn starch. Pour this into the mix 10- 15 mins before switching it off . Check for salt. Rub the kasuri methi on top. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve warm with some basmati rice, naan, roti etc.ENJOY!!! [...]



BRUSCHETTA TOPPED WITH WHITE BEANS

2012-03-20T14:49:59.638-04:00

Bruschetta is an Italian appetizer or antipasto. Its basically a roasted piece of bread with various toppings. The bread usually used to make a bruschetta is a baguette.The bread is sliced and roasted and then rubbed with garlic ,served with any toppings and some olive oil. I used some simple cannellini beans sauteed with some garlic,onions and tomatoes. A sprinkle of thyme and a splash of white wine gives a boost of  flavor. A quick, simple and easy appetizer to make. For toppings use anything  of your choice even a simple tomato and onion salad or just cheese. Choices are endless.INGREDIENTSFor Bruschetta:-Baguette - 1, sliced Garlic cloves -  1-2Olive oil to brush on topFor the topping:-Cannellini beans - 1 can, fully drainedOnion - 1 medium size, finely choppedTomato - 1 medium size, dicedGarlic cloves - 2 cloves, finely choppedChilli flakes - 1/2 tspDry thyme - 1/2 tspOlive oil - 1 1/2 tspDry White Wine - a small splashSalt and pepperParsley - a bunch , to garnishMETHODPreheat the oven to 400 deg F. Brush the bread with oil on both sides and bake it for 10-15 mins or until golden brown. While they are still hot rub it with some garlic on top. Set it aside.In a pan heat some oil.Add chopped garlic,chilli flakes and onions.Saute until the onions are golden brown. Sprinkle some dry thyme.Stir for a minute and then add the diced tomatoes. Let it cook fo a couple of minutes.When they become soft mash them using a wooden spoon. Now add the beans, salt and pepper and a splash of wine. Cover and let it simmer for 5 mins. Mash some of the beans using the wooden spoon .This helps to bring the whole thing together. Garnish with some chopped parsley. Let it cool.Top it just before serving. [...]



CHICKEN STIR FRY

2011-12-07T15:08:17.546-05:00

Chicken is an ingredient  that i love to cook with. Most of the time i try to make something new with it. I have prepared many variations of chicken stir fry over the yrs,  peppery chicken ,a herb chicken fry among the popular ones in the family.This one is the simplest of them all with salt ,pepper and a dash of chilli pdr being the only spices added.I also coated the chicken with some all purpose flour for some crispiness and a change of texture. They are quick to prepare and tastes absolutely delicious. Great as appetizers.INGREDIENTSChicken tenders - 4 strips, cut to bite size piecesSalt and pepperChilli pdr - 1/2 tspAll purpose flour -enough to coat the chickenOnions - a medium size,slicedCurry leaves - 1 sprigOil - 1 1/2 tbspMETHODMarinate the chicken with salt,pepper and chilli pdr.Coat it well with some flour.Leave it aside.Heat oil in a wide cast iron skillet.Slowly add the coated chicken.Shallow fry the chicken pieces  until brown on both sides.Transfer it to  plate.In the same skillet add the sliced onions and curry leaves.Add salt and pepper.When it becomes slightly brown add the chicken pieces.Stir fry for a minute or two.Serve warm as appetizers.ENJOY!!! [...]



FISH PICKLE

2011-11-03T14:08:26.745-04:00

My quest to make Fish Pickle goes back to my college days where I had the oppurtunity to eat the best fish pickle i ever had. Unfortunately that was the only time.I have lived in kerala my whole life and Fish Pickle being one of the most popular items there, its surprising to me that i havent had it even ones.Also in this cold weather when you are looking for things to keep yourself warm pickles definitely helps.The fish pickle i made is quite different from the one i had.Its equally good nevertheless.Its fairly simple and quick to make.It took me just about less than 30 mins to make it from start to finish.I made a small batch.Now that i am done i wish i had made more.Its finger licking,lip smacking delicious.Its that good.Very very addictive.INGREDIENTSFish fillet - 1, any white fish, I used tilapia,Sliced Shallots - 5-6 nos, sliced thinGinger - 1 1/2 tbsp , juliennedGarlic - 4-5 cloves, slliced thinKashmiri red chilli pdr - 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp Mustard seeds - 1/2 tspCurry leaves - 2-3 sprigsAsafoetida - a big pinchSalt  and pepper to tasteOil - 1 1/2 tbsp + 1 tbspMETHODFirst Marinate the sliced fish with 2 tbsp of chilli pdr,sat and pepper.Keep aside for 15-20 mins.Heat some oil in a wide pan.Shallow fry the fish pieces. Sprinkle some asafoetida on top and transfer it to a bowl.In the same pan pour the rest of the oil and when its hot add mustard seeds.When it starts to pop add curry leaves,ginger,garlic and shallots.Add salt.When it starts to become light brown add the rest of the chilli pdr.Dont add any water..Lower the flame and stir for a minute until fully incorporated.Add the fried fish to this and mix well.Serve immediately ,warm or cold with some rice.ENJOY!!! [...]



CHEWY PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

2011-11-01T13:22:56.431-04:00

I love to snack on peanut butter sandwich (without the jelly) anytime, especially if its chunky peanut butter. Its very filling and so nutritious that i sometimes replace my meal with a peanut butter and banana sandwich.It's really delicious.So absolutely no surprise that i made these cookies.These cookies are chewy with a perfect crunch to it.All you need is a glass of milk to dunk it in :).INGREDIENTSChunky peanut  butter -- 1 cup( can also use smooth one too, add nuts in the end for the crunchiness)Sugar - 1/3 cupBrown sugar - 1/3 cup, tightly packedEgg  - 1Milk - 2 tbspVanilla extract - 2 tspAll purpose flour - 2 tbspBaking powder - 1 tspbaking soda - 1/4 tspMETHODPreheat oven to 350 deg F.Mix together flour,baking powder and soda in a bowl.Keep aside.In another bowl,using a beater ,cream together peanut butter,sugar and brown sugar until well combined. Add the egg and beat again.Now add the milk and vanilla extract. Beat it until its all mixed together.Do not over beat.Stir in the flour mixture.Line a cookie sheet with aluminium foil.Grease your palm with some oil.Make lemon size balls of the dough and put it on the sheet.Press it  a little.Leave enough space between each balls for the cookies to spreaad. Bake for 10-12 mins until golden brown. Let it cool for 10-15 mins before eating.ENJOY!!! [...]



HERB - CRUSTED FISH

2011-09-21T13:17:18.374-04:00

I love fish, can have it every single day.Most of the time i try making the kerala type fish dishes like fish molay or meen pollichathu or fish fry. For me making those dishes are really tough because even though they are edible they dont come close to perfection.But this one is as perfect as it can be.Credit goes to my brother who taught me to cook this. I never thought such simple ingredients could make a fish so tasty. He served it on top of some caramelized onions and pepper. YUMMY!!!Its melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Its great as an appetiser.My l'il one  loves it too. This is just one of the many tasty dishes i got out of my brother, hoping for more :). INGREDIENTSFish fillet - 1-2 nos(i used tilapia. You can use any white fish like catfish or flounder)Dry oreganoDry thymeDill weedSalt and pepperOilNo particular measurements just spread as much or as less as you want.(You can use any combination of dry herbs that you have in your pantry)METHODFirst clean the fish and wipe it dry.Apply some oil on both sides of the fish to help the herbs and salt stick to it.Put salt,pepper,and herbs all over the fish on both sides.Press it gently so tht they stick well to the fish.Heat a tbsp each of butter and oil in a wide cast-iron skillet.When its smoking hot put the fish in the skillet and let it cook for couple of minutes on both sides.This fish cooks pretty fast.Transfer it to a paper towel to absorb the extra oil. Serve warm on the side of white rice  or as an appetizer. [...]



THIKSANI BAJJI/ MULAGA BAJJI/ CHILLI FRITTERS

2011-09-08T15:48:29.723-04:00

Weatherwise its been so dull the last couple of days, continuous rains and still going on.Days like this i crave to have something spicy. Most of the time i would settle for a bowl of hot soup or some spicy curry on the side. But this time when there were some ready-to-be-picked banana peppers in my garden, i just couldnt resist making these spicy Chilli Fritters to go with my hot cup of coffee.No doubt they were absolutely perfect. Chilli Fritters also brings back fond memories of my childhood tirupati trips with my family.After getting a good darshan dad used to buy us these freshly made fritters from the small food stalls there.They fry these whole without removing the seeds which makes them extremely spicy.To add to the heat we had some delicious hot badam milk to go with it.A Deadly combo indeed.INGREDIENTSBanana peppers - 9-10 nosOil for deep fryingFor the batter:-Besan - 1 cupChilli pdr - 1 tspAsafoetida - A big pinchCumin seeds - 1 tsp (optional)Salt to tasteWaterMETHODClean the banana peppers well. I leave the top stalk as it is to help me hold and i think the final product looks good with the stalk on it. Now using a knife slit the pepper from top to bottom to help remove some of the seeds. Apply some salt and leave it aside.Mix all the dry ingredients of the batter in a wide bowl.Add water just enough to make a medium thick batter. The consistency of the batter should be such that it holds onto the pepper when dipped.Not too thick though ,that will take way the taste of the pepper.Check salt.Heat oil for frying.When its ready.Dip the pepper in the batter and slowly drop it in the oil. Fry 2-3 at a time depending or how big your frying pan is.Do not over crowd the pan. Let it cook until brown on all sides. Transfer it to a paper towel inorder to soak the extra oil. Serve warm with a hot cup of tea or coffee.ENJOY!!! [...]



CABBAGE UNDI / STEAMED CABBAGE CAKE

2011-08-31T13:23:35.835-04:00

Cabbage undi/Steamed cabbage cake is one of the many ways to make any cabbage hater to eat cabbage.The vegetable is mixed in this spicy and tangy pathrodo batter and steamed to perfection. You can also make it in a appam mould and make small cabbage appams with it.Another option is to make cabbage dosa which i have already posted.INGREDIENTSPathrodo batterCabbage - 5-6 cups, finely choppedIdli steamer                                                                    BEFORE                                                                                                                     AFTERMETHODPut the finely chopped cabbage in a big mixing bowl.Add some salt.dont add a lot since the batter already has some salt in it.Now add  enough batter so that it holds the cabbage together.Adding little at a time helps.Pour some water in the steamer and let it boil.Using an ice cream scoop put some batter in each idli mould.Place the idli rack in the steamer and let it steam for 15-20 mins.Serve warm with some coconut oil or some spicy pickle.We had with some light olive oil which i received as part of the foodbuzz tastemaker program.ENJOY!!! [...]



CHICKEN VINDALOO

2011-08-22T16:50:49.578-04:00

Vindaloo is a sweet and sour dish introduced by the Portugese in Goa.Its traditionally made with pork but derived variations with it using chicken or potato as main ingredients.Its a dry sauce based dish with a lot of spices and vinegar.It tastes better as it ages.A great combo with rice or roti. INGREDIENTSBoneless chicken breasts - 1 large ,cut into bite size piecesonion - 1 medium size,chopped really fine(if u can also use 1 finely chopped tomato )Tomato paste - 3 tbspwater - 1/2 cupcurry leaves - of 1 sprigcoriander leaves - a bunch,choppedsaltFor Marination:-Tomato paste - 2 tbspFried onions - 1/2 cupcardamam - 3-4 noscinnamon - 1 whole stickcloves - 5-6 nosblack peppercorn - 5-6 nosturmeric pdr - 1/2 tspred chillies - 3-4Kashmiri chilli pdr - 1 tbspcoriander pdr - 2 tspginger - 1 1/2 tsp, choppedgarlic - 3 cloves, choppedwhite vinegar - 1/4 cupsaltMETHOD In a blender/mixer mix the ingredients for the marination and blend it to a smooth paste.Marinate the chicke pieces with this paste for about 2-3 hrs.In a wide pan heat some oil.Add the curry leaves and onions and cook it till golden brown.Add the tomato paste and stir it for 3-4 mins.Add the marinated chicken and cook it until its cooked halfway through.Now add the water and salt.Let it simmer for about another 5 mins .Garnish with coriander leaves.Serve hot with rice or roti.ENJOY!!! [...]



PATHRODO & PHANNA PATHRODO

2011-08-05T09:35:32.314-04:00

The lack or no availability of taro or colocasia leaves in US is one of the flaws of staying here. Being an avid Pathrodo fan i have to grow these in our backyard inorder to fulfill my cravings for it. I planted 6 taro roots in order to get as much leaves as possible.Waited 2 whole months and the result was well worth it.I got around 25 leaves and more waiting YIPPEE!!!I also used some of the zucchini leaves to make PHANNA PATHRODO.This one unlike the regular version which is steamed, is prepared directly in a pan with some seasoning.It tastes absolutely delicious.You can also make this with Taro leaves.I had already posted pathrodo step by step process long back thanks to my mom :).This batter recipe is slightly different than the earlier post. I added some shallots in the batter for extra flavor.We have a special offer at the end of  the post.INGREDIENTSTaro/coloccasia  leaves - Atleast 7-8(makes 1 small roll)Batter  (recipe follows)For BATTER :Idli rice - 3 cupsShredded coconut - 2 cupsPoha - A handfulCumin seeds - 1 tspTurmeric pdr - 1 tspAsafoetida - a big pinchRed chillies - 7-8 nos (more if u like it spicy)Shallots - 4-5 nosTamarind concentrate - 2 tbspSalt to tasteMETHODClean and devein the Taro leaves and keep aside.To prepare the batter first soak it for 3-4 hrs.Then grind it to a coarse texture similar to rava/semolina.Transfr it to a bowl.Now grind the rest of the ingredients and mix it into the rice.Add salt.Now pick the biggest leaf of the lot and place it on a flat surfae.Take handful of batter and spread it on the leaf.Now place a slightly small leaf over this and spread the batter again.Repeat this for a total of 8-9 leaves.This is good enough to make 1 small roll of pathrodo.In order to make the roll follow the instructions shown in the pic.Spread batter all over the roll.Heat some water in a steamer.Ones it starts to boil plae the rolls in the steamer and let it cook for 1 1/2 -2 hrs.You should let it cook fully otherwise it will irritate ur throat. PHANNA PATHRODO For that Clean and devein the Zucchini leaves. Spread batter and make rolls in the same way.Only preparation method is different.In a flat bottom vessel prepare the tadka/seasoning by adding 1 tbsp oil,mustard seeds,cumin seeds,fenugreek seeds,urad dal and curry leaves.Place the rolls in the vessel,add some water and cover it.Let it simmer for 40-45 mins or until fully cooked.Turn it halfway through cooking. Zucchini leaves dont itch and cook faster than taro leaves.ENJOY!!!We have a special offer for my readers.If you are a big fan of DANNON ACTIVIA YOGURT then you are in for a bonus.Visit the Activia Selects Facebook page to get your FREE coupon now!OFFER ends Aug 15th 2011.This sponsorship is brought to you by Activia Selects who we have partnered with for this promotion.FREE coupon offer good 8/3 /11 - 8/15/11, up to 1 million coupons, on any Activia Selects Single Serve, up to $3.00. One coupon per household. Offer valid in the U.S only. VOID IN LA, NJ, CA. Coupon valid until 8/15/11.Residents of LA, NJ, CA will be given a '$1 off 3 Activia Selects' coupon. [...]



CUCUMBER DOSA

2011-07-28T12:52:07.735-04:00

This year i took some interest in vegetable gardening. I planted zuchini,tomato,eggplant,cucumber etc.To my surprise the zuchini and cucumber plant yielded quite a bit.Zuchini gets over quickly since my son simply loves it.Cucumber just stays there.Well i can make a salad out of it but am simply bored just thinking about it. That got me thinking "What can one make with cucumber apart from boring salad?" and all of a sudden i remembered eating cucumber dosa when i was little. Not very often though but i remember it very well because the sheer taste of cucumber in an ordinary coconut dosa was very refreshing and it tasted really really good. INGREDIENTSIdli rice - 2 cupsShredded coconut - 3/4 cupThin poha - a handfulCucumber - 2 medium size, peeled and gratedCumin seed - 1 tspSalt to tasteWaterMETHODSoak rice for 4-5 hrs.Grind it to a smooth paste.Transfer it to a bowl.Now grind together coconut,poha and cumin seeds by adding some water.Mix this along with thr grounded rice.Add water.The batter should have the buttermilk consistency. Now add the grated cucumber.Check salt. Let it rest for atleast 1/2 an hr.Heat a tawa or griddle.Rub it with some oil.Pour a ladleful of batter on it and lightly spread it.Its not very easy to spread this batter have to do it slowly or just rotate the griddle so that the batter will spread on its own.Cover and let it cook for a minute or until it turns brown on the bottom.Serve warm with some chutney or any spicy curry or just haave it on its own.ENJOY!!! [...]



CHICKEN BURGER

2011-07-26T16:52:55.530-04:00

Burgers are the most popular fast food in America.You can see that with the increasing fast food restaurants all over the country and the world.To name a few popular ones are McDonald's, burger king, Subway etc.These are the ones we rely on when we are traveling.Beef is the most popular meat here for burgers but my favorite is chicken burger.For healthier reasons I wanted to give it a try making them at home.It was a success,my hubby really loved it and so did I.Its one of the easiest thing to make.Its so moist with so much of flavor.Here is the recipe. INGREDIENTSBun /bread - atleast 1mayonnaise - just enough to spread on the bunOnions - cut into thin ringstomato - cut into thin ringslettucedill pickles(optional)For making the Patties:-(Use the spices and seasonings more or less to your taste)Ground chicken - 1 lbsOnion - 1 medium size,diced smallGreen pepper - half a piece, diced smallGarlic - 2 cloves, choppedEgg white - of 1 eggRed chilli pdr - 2 tspGarlic pdr - 1 tspSeasoned breadcrumbs - 1/4 cup(can use plain breadcrumbs)Dried oregano - a few sprinkles Italian seasoning - a few sprinklesCajun seasoning - a few sprinklesCilantro - a small bunch,chopped (can use fresh parsley as well)salt and pepper to tasteMETHOD Heat some oil in a pan.Add the onions, garlic and green pepper .Saute them well on a medium low heat until they become soft and translucent.Add salt and pepper.Ones they are done mix in the chopped cilantro.Keep aside let it cool.In a bowl ,add the ground chicken,onion and green pepper mixture and the spices.Drop in the egg white for binding it all together.Add salt and pepper.Now use your hands to slowly mix in all the ingredients .Make medium size patties and keep them aside.Heat a pan and coat its bottom with oil.Ones the oil is hot place the patties and cook them for 3-4 mins.Flip it over and press it down gently using a spatula and cook that side too for 3-4 mins.Using a meat thermometer check the internal temperature of the patties.For ground chicken it should be 165 deg F.If it hasnt reached that temperature continue cooking the patties flipping it every 2 mins.Keep checking the temperature.Ones they are done keep them aside on a plate.Now keep all the ingredients nearby to arrange the bun.First lightly toast the insides of the bun/bread and apply mayonnaise on it. On the bottom half of the bun arrange the ingredients in the order of lettuce ,onions,tomatoes,dill pickles and the chicken patty.Cover it with the top half of the bun/bread.Serve it alongside ketchup and french fries. [...]



SPICY AND TANGY TENDLI

2011-06-17T12:04:02.724-04:00

 What all dishes do you prepare with Tendli?I love this vegetable but i have eaten and prepared this only one way my entire life,Tendli potato and cashew upkari.No doubt this dish is delicious but now am bored to prepare it .I want change.I remember seeing Tindora pickle in the Indian grocery store.I used that idea for preparing this Finger licking,Lip smacking SPICY AND TANGY TENDLI. You know what can really enhance the flavor of this dish even more? A CLAY POT. Yes thats the best way to prepare this dish, in a clay pot .But no worries if you dont have one you can use any vessel.INGREDIENTSTendli/Tindora - 25-30 nos,slit crosswise ,not fullyOnions - 1 medium size, finely choppedMustard seeds - 1/2 tspUrad dal - 1 tspGarlic - 1 tbspKashmiri chilli pdr - 2 tbsp ( for color and not too spicy)Coriander pdr - 1 tspGreen chilli - 3 nos, slitAsafoetida - a big pinchCurry leaves - 1 whole sprigRice pdr - 1 1/2 tsp,just for thickeningTamarind concentrate - 2-3 tbsp (depending on how tangy u want it)Salt to tasteOilWaterManchatty(clay pot)METHODFirst we need to brown the tendli's on the outside.For that heat some oil in a large pan.Put the tendli's in the pan,add some salt and stir.The heat should be on medium high otherwise it will simply steam and not brown and also make sure you use a wide pan.The tendli's just has to be brown on the outside need not be fully cooked.Ones brown keep aside.Heat 1 t bsp oil in a clay pot.Add mustard seeds.Ones it starts to pop add urad dal,curry leaves,green chilli and garlic.Stir for a minute.Now add the chopped onions and some salt.Saute until its soft and translucent.Add turmeric pdr,kashmiri chilli pdr, coriander pdr and rice pdr.If needed sprinkle some water.Stir for a min then add the tamarind concentrate and the browned tendli's.Now add just enough water to cover the tendli's.Check for salt.Cover with a lid and let it simmer(cook on low) for 15-20 mins or until the tendli's are soft and tender.Serve warm with hot steaming rice or kanji.ENJOY!!! [...]



CHICKEN SUKKA

2011-06-09T11:20:51.576-04:00

When i eat a dish in a restaurant or in a friends house and simply fall in love with it i try to recreate it in my kitchen.Sometimes the outcome is just the way i want it to taste.It's quite a while since i ate or prepared chicken and so was craving for it. Wanted something that was quick and easy to prepare.So decided on making Chicken sukka.I hade my first bite of Chicken sukka during my college days in manipal,karnataka.A dry coconut based dish with mild spiciness prepared with minimal ingredients.It's truly a delicious dish especially with some hot steaming rice.The recipe didnt disappoint me.The dish tasted same as the one i ate back then , YUMMY!!, brings back memories of college days.INGREDIENTSChicken tenders - 4 nos, diced smallOnion - 1 medium size, chopped Coconut - 1 cup, gratedGarlic - 1 tsp choppedMustard seeds - 1/2 tspCumin seeds - 1 tspTurmeric pdr - 1/2 tspMasala pdr - 2 tbsp + 2 tsp(recipe below)Curry leaves - 1 sprigOil - 1 tsp + 1 tspSalt to tasteTo Roast and Grind:-Coriander seeds - 2 tbspCumin seeds - 1 tbspPeppercorn - 1 tspFenugreek seeds - 1/2 tspFennel seeds - 1 tspCurryleaves - 4-5Dry red chillies - 3 nosMETHOD:-First make the masala pdr by roasting and grinding the ingredients mentioned above.Marinate the chicken with 2 tbsp of the griunded pdr.Keep the rest aside.Add salt and 1 tsp of oil to the chicken.Mix all well .Let it marinate for 1 hr. In the meantime in a large nonstick pan heat some oil.Add mustard seeds.Ones it starts to pop add cumin seeds,curry leaves and garlic.Stir for a minute then add onions.Add salt.Saute until its soft and translucent.Add turmeric pdr and 2 tsp of masala pdr .Stir for a minute.Now add the marinated chicken.Stir again.When the chicken is half cooked add the grated coconut.Mix it all in.Cover with a lid and simmer for 5-8 mins or until the chicken is fully cooked.Check for salt.Drizzle with some lime juice if you want.Serve warm with hot steaming rice.Great with chapathi's as well.ENJOY!!! [...]



PEPPERRY EGG FRY

2011-06-06T14:50:44.857-04:00

Whenever i need to make something quick to go with chapathi's i tend to lean on eggs.Egg dishes are so easy to make and tastes great.Peppery egg fry are spicy and delicious.I saw the pic of peppery egg in suma's blog . Something new made with egg and it catches my eye.I was simply drooling looking at the pic that i had to make it immediately. Result was not at all surprising - ABSOLUTELY PEPPERYABULOUS. It tastes good on its own and is great as an appetiser, made it multiple times. But this time i wanted something to go with chapathi's so i stir fried it with some onions, tomatoes and more pepper.They taste even more fabulous.INGREDIENTSBoiled egg - 3-4 nosFreshly ground pepper - 2 tbsp + 2 tspsalt to tasteoil - 1 tbspOnions - 1 medium size, thinly slicedTomato - 1 medium size, slicedGinger - 1 tsp, choppedGarlic - 1 tsp ,  choppedCurry leaves - 1 sprigGreen leaves - 2 nos, slitMETHODMix 2tbsp of pepper and some salt.Prick the eggs with the help of a fork. Then coat it in the ground pepper and salt mixture.In a pan pour some oil just enough to cover the bottom.Shallow fry them until its brown on the outside.Keep aside.In the same pan fry ginger and garlic for a minute.Add curry leaves and green chillies.Then add the sliced onions.Fry until it turns brown.Add tomatoes and the rest of the pepper pdr.Fry until the tomatoes are fully cooked.Add the fried eggs to the onion tomato mixture.Mix it well.Garnish with cilantro.Serve warm with chapathi.ENJOY!!! [...]



CHIPOTLE ROASTED VEGETABLE QUESADILLA

2011-05-18T14:23:28.377-04:00

Whenever the weather is dull like it is nowadays i crave for something spicy. Indian dishes are spicy , yes but i tend to get bored eating it. Thats when i try my hand at world cuisine. One of my favorites is Mexican food. It has the right amount of flavor and spiciness that makes it exceptionally good. If you have the ingredients mexican food is very easy to prepare. Quesadilla's are one of the many things thats easy to make.All you need are some vegetables,cheese and tortilla. Here i roasted the vegetables  and spiced it up a bit with some chipotle pepper adobo . I made some mango salsa to go on the side. They compliment each other really well.I sometimes add some grilled chicken pieces when i want to make chicken quesadilla's.INGREDIENTSQuesadilla:-Flour tortilla - atleast 2 nosmexican cheese blendRoasted vegetablesFor Roasting Vegetables:-Button mushroom - 5-6 nos, slicedOnion - 1 medium size, slicedGreen pepper - 1 medium size, thinly sliced (you can also use red, orange or yellow peppers)Corn kernels - 1/4 cup ( i used frozen)Chipotle pepper Adobo ( composed of chipotle peppers, vinegar, onion and tomato paste or ketchup) - 1 , deseeded and chopped.Adobo - 1-2 tbspSalt and pepper Cilantro - 2 tbsp, choppedoilIn addition to these vegetables you can also use zucchini and yellow squash.Mango salsa:-Semi ripe mango - 1 cup, peeled and diced smallTomato - 1 cup, diced smalllime juice - 1 tbspCilantro to garnishsalt and pepperMETHODHeat some oil in a non stick skillet. Add the mushroom first, stir for a couple of mins until slightly brown. Do not add salt now. Add the onions, stir for couple of mins as well.Add  the green peppers and corn kernels.Some salt and pepper. Cook it until its slightly soft. Now add the chopped chipotle pepper and the adobo.Stir in the cilantro.In a bowl ,combine all the ingredients to make the mango salsa. Keep aside. Now to prepare the quesadilla, keep all the above mentioned ingredients close by.Heat a nonstick skillet.Spread some oil.Place a tortilla in the skillet, spread the vegetables evenly over it.Now generously put the cheese on top.Cover it all with another tortilla.Roast it until that side turns brown. Then carefully flip it and brown the other side as well. .Serve warm along with some mango salsa. ENJOY!!! [...]



SAMBAR RICE

2011-05-04T11:49:35.497-04:00

When the weather is good I want to spend most of my time outdoors playing with my little one. SAMBAR RICE - a ONE POT MEAL is the perfect thing to cook.That way you can save time and be  happy about less clean up.You can make it with any vegetables that you have. It's so Healthy, Nutritious and not to forget Tasty which can be made with no effort at all. INGREDIENTSRice - 1 cupToor dal - 1/4 cupRaw banana ( small ) - 1, peeled and slicedTomato - 1 medium size, dicedLauki, sliced - 1 cupCarrot - 1 cup slicedWater - 3 1/2  cupsSalt to tasteFor Seasoning:-Mustard seeds - 1 tspCumin seeds - 1/2 tspSambar pdr - 4 tbsp (add more or less to suit your taste)Curry leaves - 1 sprigRed chilies - 3-4 nos, brokenAsafoetida - a pinchOil - 2 tspCilantro - to garnishOther veggies you can use - shallots,beans,peas,eggplant, okra etc.METHODWash and clean the rice and dal.Transfer it to a big vessel.Add the chopped vegetables to it.Pour water and season with salt.On a medium heat pressure cook it for 3 whistles.Add the seasoning when the rice is hot.That way the flavor will all get in the rice.To prepare the seasoning heat some oil in a pan.Add the mustard seeds.Ones it starts to pop add cumin seeds,red chillies,curry leaves and asafoetida.Switch off the heat and add the sambar pdr.Add it to the rice and dal mixture.Mix it well. Add some water to help it all blend in.Check for salt.Garnish with some cilantro leaves.Serve warm with some pappad or chips.ENJOY!!! [...]



NO FRY CORN - CAULIFLOWER MANCHURIAN

2011-05-02T11:57:04.923-04:00

Chinese Fooooood - Yummmmmmmmm,Cauliflower manchurian - YUM YUM YUMMMMM.How much ever i love having this dish i do feel guilty eating it thinking of the amount of oil that goes in making it.But that shouldnt deprive one from enjoying it. So here is a healthy way of preparing this dish and then eating it feeling guiltless about it :). This version is as good as the restaurant versions i have eaten with a big Bonus - No Frying Required and can be made in a Jiffy.Now lets go straight to the recipe. INGREDIENTSCauliflower florets - 4 cupsCorn kernels - 1 cupGreen pepper - 1 medium size, diced smallGreen onion - 3-4 nos, chopped smallGinger-garlic - 1 tbsp, chopped fineChilli flakes - 1 tspSoya Sauce - 1/4 cupKetchup - 1/4 cup(use more or less according to your taste)Chilli-garlic sauce - 2 tspSalt to tasteOil - 1 tbspMETHODPreheat oven to 425 deg F.Coat each of the florets with some oil and season with salt and pepper.Bake for 25- 30 mins or until it turns brown.Keep aside.To make the sauce,heat some oil in a pan.Add ginger-garlic, cook for a minute.Then add green onions, stir for a minute as well. Spice it up a little with some chilli flakes.Now add the diced green peppers and corn kernels.Seaon with salt.Cook until its soft.Now add the soya sauce,ketchup and chilli garlic sauce.Cook it for a couple of minutes and then add the baked cauliflower florets.Mix it in the sauce well. Let it simmer for 5 mins.Serve warm with fried rice or rotis.ENJOY!!! [...]



MANGO RICE

2011-04-22T16:03:15.689-04:00

The weather is great nowadays.The warm weather ,especially after such an horrendous winter is so welcoming that it puts everyone in a good mood.My one and a half yr old son is so happy to be out more frequently, play on the lawn and go crazy picking up leaves and sticks :).My husband taking up new home improvement projects every weekend and as for me, busy in kitchen trying out new dishes.Last week it was Mint puris, this week its Mango rice.Its got the right tang and tastes delicious. It's best when prepared using ghee.This is my first try and certainly not the last.INGREDIENTSRice - 3 cups,cookedRaw Mango- 1 cup, grated (dont squeeze the juice from it)Mustard seeds - 1 tspUrad dal - 1 tspPeppercorn - 3-4,wholeChana dal - 2 tspCurry leaves - 1 sprigGreen chillies - 3 nos,slitGinger - 2 tsp,finely choppedPeanuts or Cashews - 2 tbsp, roastedAsafoetida - a pinchTurmeric - 1/2 tspGhee - 1 tbspCilantro - a small bunch, choppedSalt to tasteMETHODHeat some ghee in a large pan.Ones hot add mustard seeds.Ones it starts to pop add urad  dal,chana dal, peppercorn,ginger,green chillies,and curry leaves.Stir it until the dals turn lightly brown.Then add turmeric and asafoetida.Stir for a couple of seconds then add grated mango.Stir well.Now add the cooked rice and season it with salt.Add the roasted nuts in the end.Combine it all well.Garnish with coriander leaves.Serve warm.ENJOY!!! [...]