Saturday, 10 March 2018

Cauliflower poha (Low-carb, KETO recipe)

Recipe adapted from here
Cauliflower rice- 300 gms, one medium head of cauliflower 
Peanuts- skinless, around 3 tbsp

To cook
Ghee- 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Dried red chilli- 1
Curry leaves- 1 large sprig
Onion- 1 medium size, finely diced
Ginger- 1 tsp (optional)
Green chilli- 1 small (adjust according to heat)
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Salt-- to taste
Coriander leaves- to garnish
Slice the cauliflower into big chunks and use a food processor or grater to mince them to resemble fine rice or couscous.
In a large frying pan, dry roast the peanuts to a golden brown. Keep aside.

Into the same frying pan, melt the ghee and once hot throw in the mustard seeds.
Once they crackle, add the dried red chilli and curry leaves and saute for a few seconds.
Add the onions, ginger, green chilli and turmeric, season with some salt and cook for a few minutes, till the onions become soft.
Tip in the peanuts and give a good mix.
Finally, add the minced cauliflower, and mix it all together.
Season with salt, add a dash of water, and cover and cook on medium heat for about 5 to 6 minutes.
Keep checking in between and give a mix so that it doesn't stick to the pan.
Once the cauliflower is cooked, remove from heat and generously garnish with coriander leaves,
Mix before serving
I served this with Sri Lankan egg curry

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Shikampuri kebab (cheese stuffed kebab)

Recipe adapted from Vah Chef (makes around 20)

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Meat- 500 gms (I used minced beef, you can use beef cubes, minced lamb, lamb cubes, or even chicken)
Chana dal- 1/2 cup, washed till water runs clear
Ground pepper- 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon- 2, 1 inch pieces
Cardamom- 3 pods
Cloves- 2
Dried red chilly- 3
Salt- to taste

Mint leaves- 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Fried onions- 2 tbsp
Cumin powder- 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder- 1 tsp
Red chilly powder- 1 tsp
Lime juice- 1 tbsp

For the filling
Ricotta cheese- 250 gms (Traditionally, hung curd is used)
Green chillies- 2, finely chopped (add more if you want it spicy)
Coriander leaves- 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Onions- 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Salt- to taste

Oil- to shallow fry
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Cook together the meat, chana dal, ground pepper, whole spices and red chilly in a pressure cooker with little or no water. I used about 1/4 cup water.
Once you open the cooker, if there is lot of stock, cook on high flame till most of the water has evaporated. 
Keep aside to cool completely and then blend to a paste. Do not add any water.

Transfer this mix to a mixing bowl and add the mint, coriander, fried onions, cumin, garam masala, red chilli powder and lime juice. 
Using your hands, mix the masala into the meat paste, as evenly as possible. 
If you feel that the mix is slightly moist, keep in the refrigerator so its easier to shape.

While the meat is cooking you can also get the filling ready.
Mix together all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl. Keep refrigerated till ready to use.
I used ricotta because it was a more convenient option. But even then there was quite a bit of water content in the cheese, so i still hung it in a cloth and tried to get as much water out. 

At this stage if you fee that the meat mix is too dry, as in, its cracking while you are tying to make balls, then sprinkle some water and knead well. Add water bit by bit, or else the kebab will fall apart while frying,
Make lime size balls out of the meat mix, you should get around 20 of them.
Flatten it out , make a well and stuff about 1/2 tsp of cheese filling. Bring edges together and seal.
Gently flatten the kebab using your palm, and shape into a round
This takes a wee bit of practise. If the filling is too much then it oozes out, so start with a small quantity and once you get the hang of it, add more filling.
Heat a tawa and drizzle the oil. Not too much oil, just enough to shallow fry.
Fry the kebabs on medium heat till both the sides turn crisp and brown.
Serve with mint chutney.

If you are using minced meat, you can cook it in a frying pan as well.
Ive also tried it with Mascarpone cheese and it works fine.
Make sure your filling isnt loose, as it will ooze out of the kebab while frying. remove as much water content possible.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Prawn vada/ balls with chilli mayo dip

Recipe adapted from here
Prawns- 200-225 gms
Grated coconut- 1 cup
green chillies- 4
Shallots- 1/4 cup, peeled and roughly chopped
Ginger- 1/2 tbsp, peeled and roughly chopped
Garlic- 6, peeled and roughly chopped
Curry leaves- 1 big sprig
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Kashmiri chilli powder- 1 tsp
Pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
Salt- to taste

Oil- to fry

Chilli mayo dip
Mayonnaise- 1/2 cup
Tomato ketchup- 2 tsp
Green chilli sauce- 1 tsp (you can also use the green Tabasco sauce but reduce the quantity as they are more potent
For the vada, grind together all the ingredients to a coarse paste.
Grease your palm with a little oil and make small balls out of the mixture.
(You can also flatten it to make them look like vada)
(You can freeze them at this point and then defrost at room temp and make them into balls for frying)
Heat oil in a deep pan and add the prawn balls into them in batches
Fry till brown on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
Serve with a dip as an appetiser or as a side to rice.

Mix together all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl. Adjust the heat by increasing or reducing the amount of green chilli sauce. Refrigerate till ready to use.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Simple potato fry

My mum makes this potato fry back home and its so so tasty, i can eat just that and rice and be content. Its a very simple recipe with not a lot of ingredients but you will need patience to make it, as it needs a wee bit of slow roasting. 

Serves 3-4 as part of side dish
Potato- 2 large, peeled and sliced into small cubes
Coconut oil- 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Dried red chillies- 3
Curry leaves- 2 sprigs
Kashmiri chilli powder- 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Water- 1/4 cup
Salt- to taste

Slice the potatoes into small cubes. The trick here is to try and get them all as uniformly as possible. My mum cubes them much smaller which is even better.
Heat coconut oil in a frying pan and splutter mustard seeds followed by dried red chillis (break them in half) and curry leaves. 
Keeping heat on medium low, stir for a few seconds and then add the potato.
Saute well with the infused oil, preventing the potato from sticking to the pan.
Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt and mix well with the potatoes, making sure they are all coated well with the masala.
Pour in water, give a final stir and close with a lid. 
Cook on medium/low heat, stirring in between carefully without breaking the potatoes.
Once they are partially cooked, open the lid and continue cooking till the water evaporates and the masalas are dry and coats the potato. 
On medium low heat again slow roast it, till the sides of the potatoes slightly crisp up. It takes a while, but don't skip this step as that's what makes it taste so much better. Scrape the base of the pan to get all the masalas off it.
Serve with rice, moru kachiyathu and pappadam.

Notes: Be extremely careful while saunteeing the potatoes as they will easily break and become a mushy mess.
You can add a tsp of coconut oil and curry leaves towards the end for some extra taste, but i avoided it.
Coconut oil imparts that gorgeous taste, so do try with it or a mix of coconut and vegetable oil at least.

Monday, 26 June 2017

French yogurt cake with cardamom and pistachio

Makes 1 loaf cake

Granulated sugar- 1/2 cup
Eggs- 2 small
Vanilla extract- 1/4 tsp
Plain yoghurt- 1/4 cup

All purpose flour- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp
Baking powder- 1 tsp
Salt- a pinch
Ground cardamom- 3/4th tsp

Flavourless oil- 1/4 cup
Pistachio nuts- 1/2 cup, lightly crushed

Preheat oven to 175C and line a small loaf pan with baking paper.
In a mixing bowl whisk together the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and yogurt till well combined and pale yellow..approx 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the dry ingredients (flour to cardamom) and mix well to combine.
Pour in the oil and fold lightly, don't have to whisk vigorously, but make sure its all mixed well
Pour the batter into the pan and top with the chopped nuts.
Bake for about 30 minutes or till a skewer comes out clean.
Take them out and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.
Slice and have with a cuppa.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

South Indian garlic and coconut rice

Serves 4 as part of main meal (recipe adapted from here)
Oil- 1tsp
Curry leaves- 6 to 8 leaves
Garlic- 15 medium size pods, peeled and roughly chopped
Dried red chilli- 1 large (add more if you want it spicy)
Fennel seeds- 1/4 tsp
Grated coconut- 1 cup
Kashmiri chilli powder- 1 tsp

Ghee- 1/2 tbsp
Oil- 1 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Curry leaves- 1 sprig
Urad dal- 1 tsp
Dried red chilli- 2

Cooked rice- 6 cups (could be basmati, or any leftover rice)
Heat the oil in a wok and keeping heat to medium low, add the curry leaves, garlic, dried red chilli, fennel seeds, grated coconut and chilli powder.
Roast till the coconut changes in colour a bit and all the spices are aromatic, for about 5 minutes or so. Keep stirring continuously or they will burn. 
Once cool, grind to a coarse mix.

Heat the ghee in the same wok and splutter mustard seeds.
Add curry leaves, urad dal and the dried red chilli to temper.
Add the ground mix and saute for a couple of minutes, just to warm it up.
Add cooked rice into the wok and mix it into the tempered ingredients and ground mix slowly, without breaking the rice.
Keep on heat just enough to warm the rice.
Serve with cold raita and pickle and papad.

Notes: Its a dish that is very strong on the garlic flavour. Reduce it if you want to mellow it down a bit.
Cold cooked rice, or rice that has stayed a couple of days in the fridge is best in this recipe.
You can ease the process by adding the ground mix with the rice in a bowl and then pouring the tempered ingredients on top of the rice and giving a good mix.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Harissa and garlic smashed potatoes

Serves 3 as part of side
Charlotte potatoes- 10
Olive oil- 4 tbsp
Harissa paste- 2 tsp
Garlic- 6 pods, peeled and finely chopped
Salt- to taste
Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese- 1/4 cup, finely grated
Chopped parsley- to garnish

Wash and scrub the potatoes and cook them in a pan of boiling water for about 20 minutes or till they are just about fork tender.  
Drain and keep aside.

While the potatoes are boiling, take a small bowl and pour in the olive oil.
Into it add the harissa paste, garlic pods and salt to taste.
Give a thorough mix and keep aside till ready to use.
Preheat oven grill/broiler to 200C and line a baking tray with kitchen foil.
Generously brush the foil with some of the olive oil (without any garlic bits). You can also use an oil spray if that's more convenient.

Place the potatoes on the tray, a few inches apart and using a potato masher, slightly smash them, without going all the way through, and by retaining the shape. If you mash it too much, the potatoes would break.
Douse or brush the smashed potatoes with the harissa paste and garlic olive oil, making sure there are a few garlic pieces on top of each of the potatoes. Be generous here and use up all the oil, as it adds to the flavour and also helps crisp up the potatoes a bit.

Place under the grill for about 10 to 12 minutes.
Take it out, top the grilled potatoes with the cheese and place it back under the grill for another 3 minutes or so, just until the cheese is melted.
Just before serving, sprinkle the chopped parsley, and serve warm.

Notes: We served this as a side to Roast pork and it was great.
You can use melted butter instead of olive oil for an enhanced taste.