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Friday, October 7, 2011

Chilli Chicken from a Foodlover!!!!

This recipe was the out come of Hurricane Irene. Even though Irene was a destruction to many places along the east coast of US, the after effects of Irene was fun episode for us.

A day before Irene's landfall in New Jersey, we had moved to a small town near Pittsburg, PA for a night. When we returned, our neighboring towns were under water, the rails and most of the roads closed. But lucky enough, our town was not flooded and had power. The only issue was that our town's sewage system flooded and it just stopped working, so our community send a notice warning us "Not to use the flush until further notice." That was hilarious, but it was fixed in a days time so basically we did not face much difficulties unlike few of our friends.

A friend of mine from high school Nirun Raju, I met him after 9 years in New Jersey, which was a surprise for us :);  had his house under water and the bridge leading to his home was washed away during the storm. We asked him to stay with us until everything was fixed at his place. Now I should also mention that he is an excellent cook, who is not a fan of baking but loves to play with fire in your pan kind. But surprisingly he is scared of the mustards and hot oil splattering.

One of these days during his stay with us, Nirun offered to make dinner. He wanted to try out his specialty Chilli Chicken. We went shopping initially to get the ingredients and on the way back his landlord called to inform that the house was all fixed. Nirun was tempted to go back but I told him if he doesn't make that Chilli Chicken, I would kill him. So he had no choice.

We were all set with the ingredients and I offered to clean and cut the chicken. Nirun did cut the vegetables. Briji was nowhere near the kitchen, he was busy in the deck checking out the"lifeguard beauties" at the pool. Once I finished with the chicken, I found that Nirun had also joined Briji at the deck to get a good view of the girls and finally I ended up making Nirun's Chilli Chicken. Of course this was 100% Nirun's recipe, but I MADE IT!!!!





So here you go with the recipe.

Ingredients

Boneless Chicken - 2lb (thighs would be good choice)
Onions - 2 nos
Capsicum/Green Bell Pepper - 1 nos
Garlic cloves - 2 nos
Soy sauce - 4 tbspn
Hot sauce - 4 tbspn (add more if you need spicy)
Corn flour - 1 tbspn
All purpose flour - 2 tbspn
Crushed Pepper - 1 tspn
Oil to deep fry
Spring Onions - 2 nos to garnish (optional)

Method

- Clean and cut the chicken into small pieces. It should be a little smaller than the medium size.
- In a bowl combine all purpose flour, corn flour, crushed pepper and salt. Add 4 tbspn water to make a thick paste. You may add more water, but make sure its not too watery. To this add the chicken pieces.
- In a thick bottom pan, heat the oil. Once the oil is hot, deep fry the coated chicken pieces until golden brown. Keep it aside.
- Cut the onions and capsicums into medium sized dices. Cut the garlic cloves into tiny pieces.
-In a heavy bottom pan, add 2 tbspn oil. Once the pan is heated, to this add the garlic. Saute for 10 secs and add the onions and capsicums.Saute for another 10 mins on medium heat.
- In a separate bowl, mix the soy sauce and hot sauce and combine well. You may use the usual chilli hot sauce that you get in the market. Add this mixture to the vegetables and mix well. Add salt.
- Once the veggies are cooked, add the deep fried chicken pieces and mix well on medium heat. Take off heat and garnish with spring onions.
- Serve hot with rice or rotis.

This is a simple recipe which is extra tasty. Guys try it out. Now for me this recipe was not spicy enough, so customized it a little when we made it the second time by adding a few extra green chillis. Also added 1/2 tspn of homemade garam masala into the thick paste to give it an Indian touch :).



Hope you guys enjoy this as much as we did and a special thanks to a wonderful friend for an amazingly simple recipe.

Enjoy!!!





Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Left over blend with Strawberry & Banana

I had some frozen strawberries left over after the Fresh Fraisier episode. I froze the strawberries so that it does not get spoiled very soon. Somehow both Briji and myself does not like to have the strawberries as fruit. We would not mind having it in cakes, ice creams or even drinks. So I had to do something with these.  I also had some ripe bananas and fresh honey from a nearby farm. So here is my creative recipe.



Ingredients:

Strawberries - 1 cup
Banana - 1
Honey - 1/2 cup
Milk - 1 cup
Heavy cream - 1/2 cup (optional)

Method:

- In a mixer, blend the strawberries, banana and milk together until smooth. You may add more milk if you need it really liquid. This proportion will give you a thick drink.
- To this add the honey and blend it until mixed well. You can also add more honey depending how sweet you want the drink to be.
-In a separate bowl, take the heavy cream and with a hand mixer blend it until stiff peaks are formed.
- Pour the drink in the serving glass, fill it 3/4th. Take the whipped cream in pipping bag and pipe it over this drink. (this step is optional, you may just serve the drink without the whipped cream).




This recipe makes about 4 medium glass. I used less banana so that it does not over power the strawberry flavor.

I could not name this drink, so contributions are welcome and I will rename this post if we have any suggestions from the readers.

Enjoy and will be back soon with more....

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kadala Pradaman, an Onam affair...

Onam is the largest festival of Kerala, the southern state of India, which is celebrated by every Malayalee regardless of religion, caste or culture. It marks the homecoming of the mythical King Mahabali who ruled Kerala a long time ago. Onam falls in the Malayalam month of Chingam (Aug/Sept). During this festive day, the ladies drape themselves in settu mundu/saree and gents in kasavu mundu. The celebrations starts with laying down the pookalam (floral carpet) followed by lavish feast sadhya with almost 20 different dishes which is served on the plantain leaf. Celebrating Onam also includes many games. This is also a time when all the family get-together and celebrate.



Its been a long time since I celebrated Onam with my family. Being away from Kerala, this is something you miss out. But the celebration is no less here in US. I think its celebrated in much larger scale than back home. Every year we have many Onam celebrations, with our relatives and friends. This year we have 4 different Onam celebrations, 2 are done and 2 more to go.

One of the celebrations was organized by NJ Malayalees. This is a group formed by few close friends and every year they come together to celebrate Onam. We were also invited to this celebration. The programs included pookalam, sadhya, tiruvathira (traditional dance), songs, skit and games. The sadhya was potluck, each member had to choose a dish. Sadhya was excellent and each dish was delicious. My share in the sadhya was the dessert, Kadala Pradaman (chana dal pudding / payasam). Here is the recipe.

Kadala Pradaman


Making a pradaman in US is much easier when compared to back home. My mom is a payasam specialist and she uses the fresh coconut milk to prepare. The tedious part would be grating the coconuts and squeezing the milk out. But here I use the ready made coconut milk, which makes it much easier. If you are looking forward to try this recipe, my advice is to use the canned coconut milk rather than the powder.

This recipe will serve about 25 nos. I made double this count.

Ingredients:

Chana Dal -  2.5 cups
Jaggery - 500 grams (approx 1 pack)
Coconut milk - 3 cans
Ghee - 1/2 cup
Cardamom - 4 - 5 nos
Cashew nuts - 1/2 cup
Raisins - 1/2 cup
Coconuts cut into small pieces - 1/2 cup

- Pressure cook the chana dal with enough water. Cook it till just 1 whistle and keep it until the pressure is all gone. It should be just cooked well to the right consistency, do not smash it. If there is excess water, drain all the water and keep it aside.
- In a vessel take the jaggery and fill it 3/4th water. Keep the vessel in heat and let the jaggery melt. Don't let the syrup boil, take it off the heat once the jaggery has melted completely. Strain the syrup into another bowl and keep it aside.
- In a pan add 2 tbspn ghee and fry the cashew nuts, raisins and coconut pieces separately. Keep it aside.
-Heat 4 tbspn ghee in a heavy bottom pan/pot. Add the cooked chana dal and stir it until its dry and has mixed well with the ghee.
- To this add the jaggery syrup, 1/2 cup at a time. Each time the syrup is added keep stirring continuously. Keep the heat in medium so that the chana is not burnt. This should become a thick consistency. You can limit the syrup depending on how sweet you need the pradaman to be.
- Mix one and half can of coconut milk with equal amount of water. Add this to the chana-jaggery mixture still on heat. Keep stirring.
- Crush the cardamoms and add this to the mixture. Add fried cashew nuts and raisins.
- Once it boils, lower the heat and add the remaining thick coconut milk. Make sure that no water is added at this time. Mix well. Leave it on heat for 2-3 mins.

The pradaman is ready to be served. It tastes great when served on the plantain leaf with banana. I did have mine in the same way. Now the secret to a better tasting pradaman depends on how long you stir the jaggery- chana mixture. I did mine for almost an hour and that definitely made my pradaman yummy. Back home my mom's assistant is my dad for stirring the pradaman since that is the most tedious job.

I hope you guys try this one. Be back soon with more cakes and recipes...

ENJOY!!!












Friday, August 5, 2011

Fresh Fraisiers

The July 2011 Daring Bakers challenge was to make the Fresh Fraisiers. This months host for the challenge was Jana from Cherry Tea Cakes and she was inspired by this recipe from the cookbook Tartine. I missed a couple of the DB challenge and was looking forward to do this one. The minute I saw the challenge, was really excited in trying this out. It was the first time that I even heard about this dessert. Well it tastes also amazing!!! Lets get started.



We are using strawberries which is the standard ingredient for the Fraisiers. But you are free to use any fruit for that matter. Since this was my first time making them and I didnt want to mess up this beautiful dessert, I chose to stick to the recipe as far as I can. But I did choose to make the coconut chiffon cake.

The recipe is explained in each step. So here you go with the ingredients and directions.

Coconut Chiffon Cake

1 cup plus 2 tbspn all purpose flour
1 tspn of baking powder
3/4 cups of sugar
1/4 tspn of nutmeg
1/2 tspn of salt
1/8th cup of vegetable oil (30 ml)
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup of water (65ml)
5 large egg whites
1/3 cup of unsweetened coconut milk

Direction:

Preheat the oven at 325 degree F. You will need to use a spring form pan about 8'. Line the pan with parchment paper(butter paper).
In a mixing bowl, add flour, nutmeg, salt, baking powder and 3 tbspn of sugar. Mix well.
In another bowl, mix together the egg yolks, oil, water and coconut milk. Use a hand mixer to blend all the ingredients.
Combine the dry and wet ingredients. They should be mixed thoroughly until smooth. Keep it aside.
Take the egg whites in a bowl and using the hand mixer, beat at medium speed until it doubles and makes soft peaks. Now add the remaining sugar and beat on medium speed until they hold firm and becomes shiny peaks.
Now add 1/3 of the white mixture into the batter prepared earlier and fold them together with a spatula. Gently fold the remaining white mixture until combined. It is important in this step that you fold the mixture and not stirring it. Here is the link which explains how to fold in the ingredients: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP4vbktd-PM
Pour the batter into the pan and bake it for 45-55 mins or until done. You can test it by inserting a toothpick/fork and it should come out clean.
Set the cake aside to cool.

Pastry Cream

1/2 tspn vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbspn corn starch
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tspn salt
1 egg
2 tbspn unsalted butter
3/4 tspn gelatin
1/2 tbspn water

Directions:

Heat milk, vanilla and salt in a heavy bottom sauce pan on medium heat. Stir in occasionally  bring this near to a boil.
In a bowl add the sugar and corn starch and mix well. To this add the eggs and combine until smooth.
Pour the heated milk to the egg mixture. This should be done while whisking, it is advisable to use a stand mixer. But I used a hand mixer and it was fine. Make sure the milk is poured slowly and pour it from the side of the bowl into the egg mixture.
Now pour this mixture back to the saucepan and cook on medium heat. The mixture should be cooked until it become custard thick. Stir continuously. My mixture had bubbles while heating, was worried if it was spoiled. But once it started cooking, it turned to be fine and became perfect custard thick.
Once it reaches the required consistency, remove from heat and pass it through a mesh sieve into a bowl. Allow it to cool, stirring occasionally.
Cut the butter into small pieces, add into the pastry cream one at a time. Blend the butter into the cream. The butter should melt with the heat of the cream. Whisk until the cream is smooth.
Cover the cream with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap should be pressing to the cream, to avoid the skin forming on the top. You can keep this refrigerated upto 5 days.
Sprinkle gelatin over water in a separate dish and let it soften.
Take 2 inches of water in a saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Take 1/4 cup of the pastry cream in a stainless steel bowl that will sit on the saucepan without touching the water.
Heat the cream until 120F. I didnt have any device to check the temperature. I heated it until it was smooth and became a little loose consistency. The cream was just warmed.
Add the gelatin to this and whisk until smooth. Remove from the simmering water. Add the remaining pastry cream and incorporate them.
Whip the heavy cream in a bowl until soft peaks are formed. Fold in the whipped cream into the pastry cream. They should be incorporated by folding with a spatula.



Simple Syrup

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water

This syrup is used to moist the cake. Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and heat it over medium heat. Bring it to a boil. Cool the syrup.
You may also add flavor if required. I kept it simple without any flavoring added.

Chocolate Mirror Glaze


1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tbspn unsalted butter
1/2 tspn gelatin
2 tbspn water

In a saucepan heat the heavy cream on medium. Remove it from heat just before it boils.
Sprinkle the gelatin in a dish over water and keep it aside to soften.

Add the butter little by little and whisk for 1 min.
To this add the gelatin and mix well. Keep it aside.

Assembly of the Fraisier


1 pound fresh Strawberries
1 Chiffon Cake
Pastry Cream
Simple Syrup
Chocolate Mirror
1/2 cup White Chocolate

The 1st step is to prepare the spring form pan. Line the 8' pan with parchment paper on the sides. You can also use the plastic wrap.
Cut the Chiffon cake into half horizontally. Place the bottom layer of the cake on the prepared pan.
Moisten the cake with simple syrup evenly.
Cut the strawberries in half. Place the them on the sides of the pan, with the cut side facing the pan and the point side up forming a ring. You may arrange the strawberries close to each other. I decided to have spacing between each strawberry.
Now pipe the pastry cream between these strawberries and a thin layer on the cake.
Place the remaining strawberries on the cream. If you have the cream left, pipe it on top of the strawberries filling the gap and smoothing it out.



Place the 2nd half of the Chiffon cake on top. Moist with the simple syrup evenly. The fraisier is ready. You have to refrigerate for 4 hours before serving.  But I wanted it to look beautiful. So the Chocolate mirror is my version added.
Pour a thin layer of Chocolate mirror on top of the cake. Refrigerate the fraisier for 1 hour.
Pour another layer of the Chocolate mirror and refrigerate for another 4 hours. Cover the fraisier with plastic wrap while refrigerating.
Before serving remove the spring form and parchment paper.

I melted white chocolate chips and pipped it on the chocolate mirror once set. This was just for the decoration. It is purely optional.

Things I did wrong:
- Using frozen strawberries. Never use frozen fruits unless mentioned in the recipe.
- Rather than refrigerating the fraisier, I froze it. It was my first attempt with the chocolate mirror. For speedy setting, I kept the fraisier in the freezer. Which didnt help the chocolate mirror to set. So never try that.

But finally I did get a beautiful and tasty fraisier treat. Even though this recipe is lengthy, its easy to make. So guys try it out. I had great fun with this challenge of DB. Excited and looking forward for the next one.

ENJOY!!!!



Thursday, July 7, 2011

Meringue Coffee Cake

OK guys am back after quite a long break. Its summer time and we were into loads of travelling. It looked like caged birds set free finally after a long bad winter. We had some amazing vacations and get-together with friends, so yes I was a little too lazy on blogging. Not that I didn't try out any new recipes or stopped baking. Just that was too occupied with other stuffs that stopped me from posting my experiments. So there is more to come soon :).

Coffee Cake

This was one of the Daring Bakers Challenge which I didn't post on time. Loved this one and I had some new friends over while experimenting this recipe. They loved it and of course we loved them too. It was over in no time. Guys I don't say this is an easy recipe, but its delicious. Its a little tough to work with the dough, all the hard work will definitely payoff.


Ingredients:

For cake dough

4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2-1/4 tsp dried yeast
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 large eggs

This makes 2 round cakes. You may half the quantity to make 1 cake.

Filling Meringue:

1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Method:

*Combine 1.5 cups of flour, sugar, yeast and salt into a large bowl.
*Combine milk, butter and water in a saucepan and heat it in a low heat untill the butter is melted.
*Add this warm liquid gradually into the flour mixture and mix it will with an electric mixture on low    speed. Once the mixture is blended well, increase the speed and mix it for 2 mins.
*Add the 2 eggs and 1 cup of flour into this mixture and blend it on high speed for 2 min.
*Stir in the remaining flour into this mixture to make a dough. Knead the dough for another 10 mins untill it becomes soft and elastic in texture. Keep the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover it with a plastic wrap. Keep it aside for 60-90 mins. The dough should rise.

For Filling - Meringue:

* Make the filling once the dough has doubled.
* Beat the eggs and salt in high speed until it becomes foamy.
* Add vanilla and sugar a tablespoon at a time and beat untill it forms peaks. The mixture will be glossy at this stage.

Assembling the Coffee Cake:

* Divide the dough in half.
* Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and slighly rub with butter.
* Lighly flour the work area and start working with one half of the dough. Roll out the dough in a rectangle shape. For me this was the toughest part. The dough will be a little difficult to roll out.
* Spread the meringue onto the rolled out dough. Do not spread till the edges, leave about 1/2 inch from the edge. You can add the chocolate chips on to this.
* Now carefully roll out the dough from the longer side. Seal the ends by pinching the dough. Make sure the ends are sealed.
* Carefully transfer the roll into the baking sheet. Bring the ends of the roll together and seal it forming a ring. But I made it as a arc by sealing both the ends. This will be your choice.
* Using a knife make small cuts on the outside edge of the roll. Keep it aside for 40-60 mins.
* Repeat the same with the other dough.
* Preheat the oven for 350 degrees. Brush the coffee cakes top with egg wash and bake it for approx 30 mins or untill it turns golden brown.
* Once taken out from the oven, allow it to cool.

The coffee cake can be servered by dusting some confectioner sugar on top and coffee :). Mine was over in no time. ENJOY!!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

** Creamy Treat for February** Daring Bakers Challenge!!




Each month I eagerly wait for the new challenge with the Daring Bakers. I was really excited about the January challenge. I did participate in it but didnt post it here.  Didnt turn out how I wanted it. I am all determined to try it again and post that soon.

Since the last challege didnt come out just right, I was waiting for the next challege. Trying to guess what it was going to be this time. And again this time too it was something new to me. Never heard of this amazing Italian Dessert. The February challenge was hosted by Miss Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. Miss Mallory challenged us to make the creamy silky Panna Cotta with Florentine Cookies. I must say that these challenges help me learn new techniques and recipes.

Panna Cotta is made with simple ingredients. There are many varities of Panna Cotta. Its usually paried with fruits, berries, caremel, gelee, chocolate sauce. We can play with this dessert by trying different ways of layering the dessert. This is one of those desserts where you can amaze your guests with the presentations.



Panna Cotta with Raspberry Jelly

Ingredients

- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon unflavored powdered gelatin
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup honey
- Pinch of salt

 For Raspberry Jelly

- 2 Tbspn cold water
- 1/2 tspn powdered gelatin
- 1/2 cup raspberry juice

Method

1.Pour the milk into a bowl  and sprinkle gelatin evenly over the milk. Let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.
2.Pour the milk into the saucepan/pot and place over medium heat on the stove. Heat this mixture until it is hot, but not boiling, about five minutes. Whisk it a few times.
3. Add sugar, cream, honey and pinch of salt to this. The mixture should not boil, continue to heat until the sugar is dissolved which takes about 5 minutes.
4.Remove from heat, allow it to sit for a few minutes to cool slightly. Then pour into the glass or ramekin. Refrigerate at least 3-4 hours untill its set.

Raspberry Jelly

1. In a bowl, sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the cold water. Let stand for 5 minutes.
2. In a saucepan, combine the raspberry juice gelatin. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the gelatin dissolves. make sure this mixture is not let to boil.
3. Remove from heat  Let cool .
4. Pour the raspberry jelly over the panna cottas, and return to the refrigerator for another 4 hours.
5. Remove from refrigerator and garnish to serve.




Florentine Cookies

Ingredients

- 2 cups quick oats
- 2/3 cup  unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cups dark  chocolate melted (optional)

Method

1. Preheat oven to  375 degree F. Prepare the baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat once melted.
3. To the melted butter add oats, sugar, flour, milk, vanilla, and salt. Mix well.
4. Drop a tablespoon full, three inches apart onto your prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the back of your tablespoon
5. Bake this for about 10 mins or until the cookies turn golden brown. Cool the cookies.
6. Melt the chocolate in the microwave until smooth. Garnish the cookies with the chocolate.



Guys this is one amazing dessert which is very easy to make. Try it out. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

** Kerala Episode **

Reporting from Kerala. Well this doesn't mean that I am still there in India.  We are back from a month's vacation. It was great meeting up with relatives and old friends refreshing our memories of the wonderful time we had back then. Many of them have changed, some are married, others all set to enter into parenthood, the others have  little cuties around them. Things have changed, yet meeting them all in their new achievement was great. Something that's not expressible.

 The best part of the trip was the food. Tasty treats from our mothers. We had given a list of dishes that we wanted to have to our moms even before the travel.We have definitely added some pounds. I think am in a perfect circle now. Trying hard to shed some, but no luck.

So this episode is a part of the wonderful dinner that my mom had prepared for us. She made it from the list we had given her. Well it was specifically for Briji, since he wanted to have prawns and crab so badly.
I am just posting a part of her recipes, ie Iddiappam (Rice Noodles), Konchu Theeyal (Prawns Curry) and Crab Curry (Dry). The Crab Curry would be on a different posting.


Idiyappam (Steamed Rice Noodles)

Idiyappam is a south Indian dish made out of rice flour. Back home mommies make it the hard way, soaking the rice overnight, then drying it and grinding to get the flour. Now this is an easy method, you get the rice flour ready made from any Indian stores. So try this out.

Ingredients


- Rice Flour - 1 cup
- Boiling water - 2.5 cups
- Salt to taste
- Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
- Oil - 1 tsp

For the preparation of Idiappams you will need a idiappam press, which is also widely available in the Indian stores and idli mold.

Method


1. Boil 2.5 cups of water and keep it aside for 5-10 mins to cool.
2. Meanwhile mix rice flour and salt well.
3. Add the boiled water to the rice flour mixture and knead it with a spoon since its hot. Once the dough is soft, use hand to knead well.
4. Take a small quantity and fill the idiappam press. Prepare the idli mold by rubbing the oil. Press a layer of the rice dough into the idli mold in circular motion. Add 1 tbsp of grated coconut in between the layers. Two layers should be good.
5. Complete the same process until the dough finishes.
6. Steam in a vessel or pressure cooker (without the weight) for about 10 mins until its completely cooked.
Serve hot.

Idiappam can be served with chicken curry, egg roast, stew or even chutney. My mom served it with shrimp curry (konchu theeyal).

Prawns Curry (Konchu Theeyal)

Ingredients

1. Prawns (small) - 500 grms
2. Shallots (kunjulli) - 10
3. Drumstick - 1
4. Green Chillis -4
5. Coconut Shredded - 6 tbsp
6. Tamarind - 1 lemon sized
7. Chilli powder - 1.5 tbsp
8. Coriander powder -1.5 tbsp
9. Turmeric powder -1/2 tbsp
10. Mustard - 1 tbsp
11. Curry leaves - 1 bunch
12. Salt (to taste)
13. Coconut Oil - 2 tbsp

Method

1. In a pan, fry shredded coconut, chilli powder and coriander powder until the coconut turns light brown. Keep it aside to cool. Grind this mixture with water and tamarind to a fine paste.
2. In a claypot, add oil and splutter mustard seeds.
3. Cut shallots into half and add them to the mustard seeds. Saute them well. Add the green chillis to this
4. To this add the shrimp, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well. Cook the prawns covered in low flame for 15 mins.
5. Add the paste of shredded coconut, curry leaves and cut drumsticks. Cook for another 15 mins. Serve hot.

*Please add the chill powder according to your spice level. This recipes is really spicy one.

Hope you enjoy this dish. Thanks mom.



Enjoy!!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

*** Thanksgiving Feast ***

Happy New Year!!! I know am a little late to wish all of you. But hey I just got from a months vacation, yes was in the Gods Own Country for Xmas and New Year. It was nice to be home with parents and get pampered. More details on the vacation would be on the postings about something we adapted from Kerala. Now its back to my pending postings since Nov 2010.

Lets go back to the Thanksgiving Day. Now Thanksgiving Day is of course celebrated as a harvest festival in North American countries. Americans and Canadians celebrate it to thank bountiful harvest for the year. Thanksgiving is celebrated in America on the fourth Thursday of November. Traditionally there is a Turkey feast prepared on this day and the whole family meet to celebrate. Now why Turkey on this day, well this made me curious and did some research on that. There were many stories around, two reasons sounded sensible for me. One is that cows and hens were more useful way back than just meat like milk and eggs. Also commercial beef was more available only by the 19th century. The other reason was Turkeys usually born during spring will eat around worms and insects from the farm and will be ready for slaughter by fall season and also they were cheaper.

Now for us Thanksgiving Day is an awaited long weekend and also great day for shopping. I was really thankful this year for many reasons. We had a splendid dinner at my sister in law's with the tradional turkey feast on the eve of Thanksgiving. So I decided to make the Thanksgiving lunch. Of course didnt want to have the turkey feast again, so settled for the roasted chicken. I did have a helping hand for this day. One of our friend Jay and their little princess Vrinda got 3 dishes. We definitely had a feast. Here goes the menu - Oven Roasted Chicken, Chicken Stuffing, Baked Garden, Cuben Rice (Vrinda & Jay), Potato Skins (Vrinda & Jay) and Apple Pie (Vrinda).

Doesnt this look delicious?....




Lets start with the recipies..

Oven Roasted Chicken

Ingredients:
- Whole Chicken
- 1 Lemon
- 1 whole Garlic (10 cloves)
- 2 tble spn Chilli Powder
- 2 tble spn Corriander Powder
- 1 tble spn freshly grounded Pepper
- Bunch of Corriander Leaves
- 2 tble spn Olive oil
- Salt to taste
- String

Method:
1. Wash the whole chicken with skin thoroughly and pat dry with a cloth. Rub the chicken with olive oil.
2. Preheat the oven at 450 degree.
3. Mix all the powdered masala and salt with half lemon juice, set aside. Stuff the chicken with the half lemon, garlic cloves and the corriander leaves.
4. Apply the masala paste on the chicken. I have given this an Indian flavor, thus spicy. You may add the spices according to your taste.
5. Catch the ends of the legs and tie it with the strings so that the stuffing stays in tack. Keep it aside for 15 mins.
6. Transfer the prepared chicken to a baking dish and place it into the oven. Roast the chicken for almost 45 mins. For every pound it takens about 15 mins to cook. So set the time according to the weight of the chicken.

Volaa here is the oven roasted chicken...




Chicken Stuffing

Ingredients:
- 1 pack Boneless Chicken
- 2 tble spn Olive oil
- 10 small Mushrooms
- 1 Bell Pepper
- 1 large Onion
- 2 tble spn crushed Pepper
- 2 tble spn crushed Paprika
- 1 tble spn Soya sauce
- 1 tble spn hot Chilli sauce
- Salt to taste

Method:
1. Wash and clean the boneless chicken. Cut the chicken into very small peices. Set aside.
2. In a large wok, add olive oil and heat for 1 min. Add finely chopped onions, bell pepper and mushrooms to this. Saute for 5 mins.
3. To this add the cut chicken and cook for another 5 mins. Cook without cover.
4. Add crushed pepper, paprika, salt, soya sauce and chilli sauce. Saute well
5. Cook the chicken for another 10 mins and serve hot. Its basically stir frying the chicken with the veggies.

Since the chicken is cut into very fine peices, it cooks faster.



Baked Garden

Don't get scared on the facy name I gave the dish. Its just oven baking the fresh veggies. I added the veggies which I had in the fridge like potatos, french beans, onions, bell pepers, broccoli, carrots. Cut and wash them thoroghly.

Sprinkle some oil, salt and crushed pepper. Bake them for about 15 mins and its ready. This is a very healthy dish and assure you any veggie hater would love this.




The Cuban Rice and Potato Skins will be in the next part of the Thanksgiving Feast. Since I am not the source of these two recipies, it will be posted shortly. For the apple pie, you can refer to my posting Crostata. You just have to use apples here.

Enjoy the feast and meet you shortly with the rest of the recipies !!!!!