Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Onion Tomato Chutney

Here's a delectable chutney to go with your idlis or dosas. I made this as an accompaniment to my rawa idlis.

  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
  • 4 to 5 pods of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 6 to 7 curry leaves
 Heat one tbsp oil and add the garlic, onion and tomatoes to it. Saute well for five minutes.

Cool them down, add tamarind paste and blend them to a puree. Now add the salt, red chilli powder and mix well.

Heat the remaining oil and add the mustard seeds, hing, curry leaves and urad dal.

Add the tempering to the tomato puree. Mix well and serve.

Happy Cooking!

Rawa Methi Idli

It is Saee's Sharing & Caring Day in school. Once every month they hold this day as a means to promote sharing among kids. I, however, call it a kids' Dabba Party. The instructions are clear and specific. There has to be something homemade and healthy in the dabba. Store bought food is not allowed. Not that I intended to ever do that. This morning I thought I might make some chillas. But then what about PIC? So I decided to make something that I had never made before. Rawa Idli. Seemed to be a challenge when I have failed so many times in making a regular idli from scratch.

However, it was so easy to make this recipe! The idlis turned out to be really soft and pillowy. You will see the pictures (Thanks to Jeejaji who brought the camera down from Indore, and to my husband, whom I woke up from deep slumber at 10 a.m. to click the pictures)

There are many different recipes on the net. However I did some things differently. You'll know. Read on.

  • 1 cup wheat (sooji) rawa
  • 1 cup curd (dahi)
  • 1/4 tsp eno fruit salt
  • 1/4 tsp soda bicarb (khane ka soda)
  • 3 to 4 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/4th tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • 2 tbsp cashewnuts
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 2 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (if you are making this for kids. Add more if you want)
  • Salt to taste
 Heat oil in a kadhai. Add the mustard seeds and once they crackle, add the cashewnuts and asafoetida. Allow the cashews to become a little brown.

Now add the sooji rawa and roast well till it turns slightly brown. This takes about five minutes. Remove the above mixture into a bowl. Add the curd to the rawa. Put three to four tablespoonfuls of water in the kadhai and pour the water in the mixture (the water becomes slightly warm this way and the idlis become lusciously soft)

Cover and keep aside for 30 minutes.

Now add the carrots, methi, salt, and red chilli powder and mix well.

Pour water in a steamer and bring it to a boil. Grease the idli moulds well with a little oil and keep them aside.

Finally, at the last minute, add the eno fruit salt and soda bicarb. Mix only in one direction and do not overmix. A few large sweeping strokes should be enough. Spoon out the batter into the idli moulds.

Place the idli moulds in the steamer. Cover and steam for 10 to 12 minutes. Allow the idlis to cool a little and remove and serve them with tomato onion chutney. (Recipe follows)

Happy Cooking!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Another good chicken recipe. Though technically not the kind of chicken satay served in Indo-Chinese restaurants, this tasted pretty good. The peanut sauce was delectable. Sweet, and hot with undertones of sour. Try it if you want to make a party recipe but you don't have a lot of time. Although the marination time is more, you can cook it in only ten minutes. Taste in a jiffy!

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 6 to 7 garlic pods
  • 6 red chillies
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
For the peanut sauce
  • 2 tbsp roasted peanuts
  • 3 red chillies
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • juice of 3 lemons
  • sugar to taste
  • salt to taste
 Grind the red chillies, garlic and lemon juice to a fine paste. To this add the salt, sugar, turmeric powder and cumin powder.

Chop the chicken breasts into 3 inch long strips. Apply the above mixture to the chicken pieces and keep them aside for an hour. (If you want to marinade more then you must keep the chicken pieces in the refrigerator.)

If you have bamboo skewers, then pierce the chicken pieces with these and cook them on a non-stick griddle foor about 3 minutes on each side. When you touch the cooked pieces, they should feel firm and elastic. If they are too firm, they have become rubbery and dry, if they are too elastic they are raw. They should be cooked to a happy median.

Mix all the ingredients for the peanut sauce and blend them to form a smooth paste. Serve the chicken satay with this sauce.

Happy Cooking!

Stuffed Roast Chicken

FINALLY!!! Finally I could debone and stuff a chicken. Feels like a dream come true. Even though in the process I might have hurt my finger a little bit, the bird looked fantastic, and I earned some brownie points as a good cook. :)

Please do let me know if you want to learn how to de-bone a whole chicken.

Here is my recipe

  • 1 whole chicken with skin (de-boned! :-D )
For marinating
  • 1 cup thick yoghurt
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tsp red chilli powder
  • 3 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
For stuffing
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped capsicum
  • 1/2 cup garlic pods (whole)
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp pasta seasoning
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • salt to taste
Mix all ingredients of the marinade and apply generously to the chicken both from outside and within the cavity. Cover the chicken with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the chicken for as long as possible (at least for 2 to 3 hours).

Heat the oil in a wok. Add the ingredients for the stuffing and flash fry for a minute or two. Turn off the heat, and allow the stuffing to cool down.

Remove the bird, and put the stuffing into its cavity. Truss the chicken with kitchen yarn and a needle. (I used a crochet needle to do the same. Works fine, I say, so long as you don't use the same for crocheting any more hahaha!

Line a baking tray with aluminum foil, and spray a little olive oil on it. Place the chicken into the tray and spray a little oil on the chicken to avoid it going too dry. Place a few pods of garlic all around for their beautiful aroma.

Place in a preheated oven at 175 degrees. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes to an hour. Baste frequently
with oil spray. Prick the thickest part of chicken to see if it is cooked. If a  clear liquid oozes out, it has been cooked. Any more time in the oven, and your chicken will taste dry and rubbery.

Serve hot!

Happy cooking!

Mori Masala (Small Sharkfish Curry)

The best part about making Shark fish is that there is only that one central bone. There are no other bones, and the meat is really soft, fleshy and full of flavor. My mother makes this recipe in the typical Goan style. I followed a different recipe however, and the curry turned out to be really good.

Here goes.

  • 1 small sharkfish cleaned and chopped into medium sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 inch piece of cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 small tomato finely chopped
  • 2 cups fresh coconut milk
  • salt to taste
To marinade the fish
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Mix all the ingredients of the marinade and apply them to the fish. Marinade at room temperature  for 1/2 an hour to one hour.

Heat the oil in a wok, and add the mustard seeds. Now add the onions  and cook well till they are evenly browned. Add the ginger garlic paste and dry masalas and saute for 3  minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and 1 cup water. Cook till the water evaporates and oil leaves the masala. Now add the coconut milk, and one cup of water and bring the curry to a boil. Add the pieces of fish and cook for four to five minutes. Adjust salt according to taste.

Serve hot with steamed rice.

Happy Cooking!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pumpkin Raita

Before I began Project Indian Cooking, I hadn't eaten a lot of pumpkin. It was a vegetable primarily consumed as a small component of udipi-hotel-bought sambhar. Thanks to this blog, I have developed a taste for this fantastic vegetable. Pumpkin raita is a result of my never-ending thirst for making different recipes from the same basic ingredients. For the first time since I started this blog, pumpkin raita is the only recipe which garnered a sincere compliment from my mother-in-law.

The ingredients are simple and available in every household. Yet you never thought of pumpkin in a raita form. Atleast, I never did. It was a pleasant, and quite a delicious surprise for all of us.

  • 250 g pumpkin
  • 1 cup curd
  • 3 tsp red chilli powder
  • 3 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 green chillies chopped
  • 1 tsp methi dana
  • 2 tsp urad dal
  • 1/4th tsp asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt to taste
Wash and peel the pumpkin. Chop into large pieces. Allow the threads to remain, discard only the seeds. Boil the pumpkin pieces in a cup of water till they become soft.

Mash the tender pumpkin pieces with a fork. Do not make them very pulpy, allow them to remain a little chunky. Add yoghurt, salt, sugar and red chilli powder to the pumpkin. Mix them all up well.

Make the tempering. Heat oil in a wok, and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, methi dana, urad dal, green chillies and hing. Turn off the heat, and add the turmeric powder.

Pour the tempering into the pumpkin curd mixture and mix well. Place a cover on top of the bowl and keep it for 30 minutes.

Serve cold with chapati or parathas.

Happy Cooking!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Shengdanyachi Amti

  • 2 cups roasted and peeled peanuts 
  • 3 green chillies
  • 1 tsp coriander (dhania) powder
  • 1 tsp cumin (jeera) powder
  • 2 tsp jaggery (gudh)
  • salt to taste
  • 3 kokums
  • 3 tsp ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • chopped coriander to garnish
Grind together the peanuts, chillies, coriander and cumin powder, jaggery, and salt to a coarse powder.

Heat the ghee in a pan. Add the cumin seeds and the coarse peanut mixture. Add 2 cups of water, and kokum. Boil for 2 minutes and simmer for 2 more minutes.

Serve hot with samo rice.

Happy Cooking!

Untitled Chicken Kebabs

After a long hiatus, I am back with a new recipe. This recipe is my own creation. A thing materialized out of a challenge to feed my sister-in-laws family something non-vegetarian. It was a sort of untold test, to see whether I really can cook. I hope I passed with flying colors.


Unfortunately though, I do not have any pictures. My usually-unforgetful-hubby has forgotten the camera in Indore. So unless I get the camera on my trip back to Indore in December, there will be no pictures.

Please think of a cool-sounding name for my recipe!

  • 700 g tender chicken breasts chopped into large-ish chunks
  • 1 cup curd
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds (Badam, soaked in warm water for an hour and peeled)
  • 3 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt to taste
  • oil for frying or grilling
Wash the chicken breast pieces. Make a paste of the almonds. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade  in a separate bowl. Do a taste check for seasoning.

Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and keep the chicken covered in room temperature for about an hour.

Here is what I did. I heated oil in a shallow frying pan, and shallow fried the pieces for about three minutes on each side. Any more, and you will have rubbery pieces of chicken. Any less, and you will have undercooked chicken. Press the cooked chicken surface with your spatula. If it feels firm and yet slightly springy, it is done.This process is slightly messy in that it leaves black residue in your frying pan. Remove it from time to time, or it will stick to your frying pan, and become difficult to clean later.

Remove the chicken pieces on to a plate and serve with green chutney.

Alternatively you can grill the chicken pieces for about  5 minutes on each side, basting with oil regularly to prevent them from getting dry. Serve them with the green chutney.

Happy Cooking!