Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings

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Seasons Greetings and a Very Merry Christmas 
To All

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Carrot Coconut Muffins

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Moist,delicious and easy to make,these carrot muffins with coconuts and crunchy walnuts and pecans are perfect for breakfast,brunch or as a snack.It goes well with coffee,tea or your favorite drink.Can be made ahead of time and stores well wrapped and freezed for later use.
1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups Sugar
2 1/2 cups Shredded carrots
3 Eggs - 2 whole eggs + Only egg white from the other egg
1/2 cup Shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 tbsp + 1 tsp cinnamon powder(+/- per preference)
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts and pecans each
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 cup Oil
1/4 tsp Salt

Preheat the oven to 375 F.Measure flour,cinnamon powder,salt and soda to a bowl.In another bowl add oil,vanilla,sugar and eggs,using an electric mixer mix on medium speed.Sift the dry ingredients from the other bowl,add to the wet mixture and mix again on low for a minute.Add carrots,coconut and the nuts and gently mix to blend well.Grease a muffin pan with oil and dust with flour and pour the batter and bake for 20-25 mins or till a toothpick poked in the middle comes out clean.
Sending this to the event Christmas Delicacy.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chicken Pulao

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1 cup basmati rice
1 large ripe tomato chopped
1 large onion sliced lengthwise(about 2 cups)
1 1/2 cups chicken with bones/5 small drumsticks skin removed
5 hot green chillies chopped
1 tbsp chopped ginger
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

4 tbsp oil
Mint leaves a fistful
2 tbsp cilantro leaves chopped
Salt to taste

Coarse Wet Paste
Mint Leaves - a fistful-5 sprigs
Cilantro - a fistful-10 sprigs
10 whole green cardamoms
5 hot green chillies

10 cloves
3 small cinnamon sticks
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 cup water

Cook 1 cup basmati rice in a vessel,when semi cooked,drain all the water(just like pasta) and set aside.Meanwhile heat oil in a pressure pan add cumin seeds,onions and salt when the onions turn translucent add ginger,garlic and saute for a min then add the chopped tomatoes,turmeric powder and stir cook till the tomatoes are mushed,add the mint leaves and stir for a min then add the wet paste and cook for another 2-3 mins,add chicken saute for 2 mins then add 1/2 cup water and cook the chicken for about 3 mins.Add the semi cooked rice,roughly 3/4th cup water and gently stir to blend well.Close the lid and pressure cook on medium low heat for about 10mins.When the heat cools off remove the lid and transfer the biryani to a serving bowl, add juice from half a fresh lemon(or serve with lemon wedges) and chopped cilantro leaves and gently stir to blend well.Enjoy with potato chips and yogurt.

Sending this to the event Christmas Delicacy

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Potlakaaya Pala Pappu Koora/Snake Gourd Milk Lentil Curry

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Snake gourd is also known as Potlakaaya or Podalanga or Padwal or Chichinga.Its a tropical fruit and grows in a creeper.Its extensively used in Asian cuisines.It adds great flavor to any meal and I love cooking with it quite often.

1/4 cup split yellow moong dal
1 1/2 cups chopped gourd(scrape the skin off and seeds off)
1/2 cup onion chopped
3 tbsp shredded coconut
Milk low fat as per taste
2 tsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste

1 sprig fresh curry leaves
1/2 tsp mustard and cumin seeds each
4 green chillies chopped
2 tsp oil

Pressure cook the dal in 3 cups water.It should yield 2 cups cooked dal.Heat oil in a pan add mustard and cumin seeds when it splutters add curry leaves,green chillies and set aside the tempering.Heat oil add onions and salt,when the onions are well cooked add the chopped gourd,coconut and stir cook for 3 mins then add the cooked dal and bring to a boil,add milk and cilantro leaves and finish cooking.Add the set aside tempering and mix to blend well.Goes well with plantain fry.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mochai Kottai Puli Kuzhambu

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Mochai kottai is a type of field beans and can be cooked in fresh or dried form.It is typically cooked with eggplants and other veggies.The tanginess of the tamarind and the flavor of the beans and veggies make this a delightful accompaniment with rice,dosas or idlis.

1/2 cup mochai kottai
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 okras
2 small fresh brinjal
1 sprig curry leaves
1 key lime size tamarind-soak and extract water
1 tsp chopped cilantro
Salt to taste

1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
2 tsp coriander powder cumin powder

Wet Grind
1 ripe tomato
2 tbsp shredded coconut
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup water

Soak the mochai overnight and pressure cook them.Wash and pat dry the okra very well.Trim the ends off and cut them into two inches length.Wash and cut the brinjals into cubes.Heat oil in a pan add okra,some salt and stir and cover cook them till slightly roasted and set oil in a pan add mustard and cumin seeds when they splutter add curry leaves,onions,salt.When the onons are cooked add brinjal stir and cover cook them.Add the mochais,okra,wet grind,spices stir to blend well add tamarind extract,2-3 cups water and bring it to a boil.Cover cook for 5 mins.Add cilantro and finish cooking when the curry thickens a bit.

Note:1/2 cup fish or prawn can be added before addition of cilantro for additional flavor.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Shiitake Mushroom Stir Fry

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Shiitake mushrooms for fabulous for their flavor,texture and nutritional content.For me it works as a great substitute for chicken.Shiitake mushrooms are a dietary staple in Asia and are popular for their medicinal values amongst the mushroom varieties.They can be used in both fresh and dry forms and are very healthy.They have a very unique smoky flavor yet not too strong and blend very well with other ingredients.

5 oz pack shiitake mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onions
3 cloves garlic chopped finely
2 tsp cilantro leaves chopped
1 tsp ginger chopped finely
1 tsp fresh tomato puree-optional
1 sprig curry leaves
3 tbsp oil
Salt to taste

1 tsp freshly crushed fennel seeds
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2-1 tsp sadaf garam masala
2 cinnamon sticks
3 cloves
Heat oil in a pan add cinnamon and cloves,then add onions,salt.When onions are cooked well add ginger,garlic,fennel and stir to blend well,then add tomato puree,chopped mushrooms and stir cook for a few mins till well blended.At this point if you don't want to add any more spices you could add the curry leaves and finish cooking the mushrooms.If not add cumin coriander,garam masala,chilli powder,1 tsp water and stir to blend well.Add the fresh curry leaves,stir and finish cooking the mushrooms.Enjoy hot over some basmati rice.

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