Chicken Kurma

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Last time when I fell sick,since I couldnt cook,we had food mostly from outside,mainly from a restaurant near by our house,owned by my Hubby’s colleague’s family.It was a small restaurant but the food served there was very tasty,hygienic and homely.At the opening hours,the restaurant would be practically overflowing with people..!The cuisine served was mostly Indian,Chinese,International and  a few Malay dishes..!Upon asking the owner’s wife as to which was the popular dishes..she said that all Indian dishes were the ones ordered by the customers mostly.I mean the Indian dishes were the popular ones :)  ..reminding the popular saying..Good Food knows No Boundaries!!Soo..true!

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From the most popular dishes as mentioned above,we chose Chicken Kurma.It was sooo loved by my family!We ordered it a lot of times..eversince I tasted this delicious dish,I have been wanting to try it in my kitchen :) So today being a sunday,with the recipe straight from the Chefs mouth..I tried this Chicken Kurma!I must admit,it was sooooo tasty…The taste still lingers in your senses…even if the Kurma is over!Guess what?I am planning to make some more tommorw!

Ingredients:

  • chicken pieces – 1 kg
  • onion –  2(large),Finely chopped.
  • ginger garlic paste – 1 1/2 tbsp.
  • tomato – 1 large one(finely chopped)
  • red chilli pwd – 1 tsp
  •  turmeric pwd – 1/4 tsp.
  •  lemon juice- 1 1/2 tbsp.
  • salt to taste
  • 2-3 tbsps oil
  • chopped coriander leaves/cilantro for garnish

Dry roast:

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp saunf/fennel seeds..
  • 1″ cinnamon
  • 2 cardamoms
  • 5 tbsp grated fresh coconut
  • 8 cashew nuts

Roast: (in 2 tsps oil for 5 mts)

  •  curry leaves – 10 leaves.
  • shallots/sambar onions – 8 -10
  • green chillies – 2
  •  chopped coriander leaves – 3 tbsp
  • mint leaves – a handful.

Method:

1 Make a paste of ingredients under ‘dry roast’ and ‘roast’ by adding a few tbsps of water and keep aside.
2 Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel, add curry leaves and saute for few secs. Add the chopped onions and fry till transparent. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute for 3 mts. Add red chilli pwd, turmeric pwd and salt and combine. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry for 4-5 mts.
3 Add the ground paste and cook over medium heat for 7-8 mts.
4 Add lemon juice and the chicken pieces and combine. Cook without lid for 5-6 mts. Add 3 cups of water and cook with lid on simmer till the chicken is tender and the gravy thickens. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Turn off heat.
5 Serve hot with chapthis /Rice and Enjoy!

 

 

Vegetable Stew(Kerala style) with Coconut Milk

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Todays post is that of a very delicious Vegetable Stew that tastes perfect with Appam !Today being the starting of the 8 days of Lent observed in Gods own country ,Kerala..mainly honouring the Most Blessed Mother Mary,the mother of Jesus,the end of the eight day..that is september 8 believed to be The Blessed Virgin Mary’s Birthday!!This 8 days Lent or Ettu Noyambu,as it is called in Kerala starts from September 1st and ends with great celebration in the catholic churches of Kerala.Non vegetarian dishes are completely avoided during these 8 days..I remember my mother preparing Vegetable Stew ,served with warm,soft and lacy Appams..So now I being a mother,continue her tradition :)

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This is a perfect Vegetable Stew recipe,the typical flavourful Kerala Stew,perfect for vegetarians and it tastes absolutely haevenly with Appams!Here goes the magic recipe!Try it out and bring magic on your dining tables!

Ingredients:

  • Potatoes – 1 cup(skinned and cubed)
  • Carrots – 1/4 cups(Skinned and Cubed)
  • Beans – cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Cauliflower florets – 1/4 cup
  • Ginger – A small piece(Crushed)
  • Garlic – 4 pearls(Crushed)
  • Onion – 1 Big(sliced finely)
  • Green chilli – 2 (halved)
  • Coriander powder – 2 tbsps
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp.
  • Crushed black pepper – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Thin Coconut milk – 3 cups.
  • Thick Coconut milk – 3/4 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Garam Masala – 2tbsp
  • Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
  • Mustard – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – a handfull

Procedure :

  1. In a pressure cooker,cook potatoes,carrots,Beans,Ginger,Garlic,Onion,Green chillies,Coriander powder,Turmeric Powder,Crushed black pepper,thin Coconut milk,garam masala and salt for 3 whistles.
  2. After the pressure releases,open the lid and mix well with a spoon and on low flame,add the thick coconut milk.Add salt again if needed and keep on low flame for 2-3 minutes.Turn off and keep aside.
  3. Now in a pan,heat oil,splutter mustard seeds,then add curry leaves,then turn off the flame and pour it into the vegetable gravy in the pressure cooker.Mix well.Vegetable stew is ready.
  4. Transfer into a serving dish and serve with Appam/Chapathis/Bread and Enjoy !!

Notes:

You can use any kind of vegetables in this stew.

 

 

Broccoli Roll Muffins

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After my last post of Chocolate cake with chocolate glaze..and the loving feedback I got from dear friends,neighbours and my family..I was very much into the mood of baking..So today evening I decided to bake something..something different..something savoury..!I remembered how much we enjoyed the Garlic Mozzarella muffins I baked last month.So I thought to incorporate that idea but using some greens this time.The main problem that was disturbing in my mind was about my youngest 2 year old man ;) He is by far the fussiest eater in the universe..All he prefers is just plain rice with no greens :( and french fries.Cant give him that all the time.And the doctor had been regularly asking me to try and change his food habits..I happened to have a huge Broccoli in my refrigerator..so i decided to use that!I found this recipe here,along with a few modifications from my side.

One thing I must mention here is that when you bake these savoury babies..the aroma filling the air..is really really awesome!!And the happiest part for me is my lil man just LOVED it!!I was wonderstruck..him n Broccoli!!No way!But he just loved it!Now I am going to bake these often!My family loved it too!I share a few with my neighbour too(You know she is quite frank and a good food critic) and she said they tasted wonderful!

You know you can substitute the broccoli with almost any kinda veggies u like or even you can use meat!And this is a very easy recipe perfect for breakfast as well as with tea!Or you can have as for Brunch too!Try it out!

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Ingredients:

  • All purpose Flour – 1 cup
  • Wheat Flour – 2 cups.
  • Instant yeast – 1 tbsp.
  • Salt – 1 tsp.
  • Water – as needed.
  • Olive Oil     1-2 tbsp
  • Butter   2-3 tbsp or as needed
  • Milk     2 tbsp (for brushing)
  • Sesame seeds  – 1 tsp or as needed

For the Filling:

  • Broccoli (Chopped finely)  –  1 1/4 cup.
  • Red Onion  –    1/4 cup (finely chopped)
  • Garlic – 2 cloves(finely crushed)
  • Ground Cumin / Cumin powder  -1/4 tsp
  • Red chili Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Garam Masala Powder –  1/4 tsp
  • Salt  – to taste
  • Oil     1-2 tsp
  • Mozzarella cheese(shredded) – 1/2 cup
  • Pasta sauce/Tomato Sauce/Pizza sauce – 1/4 cup.

Method:

  1. Sift flours into a big mixing bowl.
  2. Add yeast and salt and mix well and add sufficient water and knead into a soft and smooth dough.
  3. Now drizzle oil onto the dough and again knead it  for about 10 minutes into a smooth dough.
  4. Then apply a few drops of oil all over the dough and cover the bowl using a cling wrap or a wet cloth and leave aside in a warm place for about 40 – 45 minutes or until it doubles its volume.
  5. Meanwhile lets prepare the Broccoli filling.
  6. Heat oil in a pan,add onion and garlic and saute well for a few minutes.Then add chopped Broccoli and saute well.Now add all the spice powders and salt and saute till it emits an aroma.
  7. Now turn off the flame and keep aside to cool.
  8. Once the dough has risen to double its size,preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit or 180 degree Celsius.
  9. Grease the muffin tray with olive oil or cooking spray and keep aside.
  10. Now punch down the air in the dough and knead again for a few seconds.Now divide the dough in to two equal parts, take one portion and on a well floured surface roll the dough to a round 1/4″ thick shape using a rolling pin.
  11. Now apply butter all over surface of  the rolled dough(round shaped) and spread all over it and add 2-3 tbsp for broccoli filling,with shredded mozzarella cheese on the top and start rolling from one end and completely.
  12. Then cut the rolled roll in to 6-7 equal small rolls and place in the greased muffin pans.
  13. Repeat the same procedure for the remaining portion and arrange everything on the baking pan and sprinkle remaining  butter on top  and smear pasta sauce on the top(Using the back of a spoon)and brush with milk, sprinkle some sesame seeds.Do this for all the roll muffins and bake them for 20-25 minutes or till the top turns crispy and golden brown.
  14. After this remove from the oven,allow to cool on a wire rack till warm.. and serve and Enjoy!

 

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate glaze icing

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Birthdays,Dinner parties,PotLuck,Get togethers…!There are so many reasons to celebrate life!And to make those celebrations complete,what more can be more suiting than a very yummy and delicious cake!?!So today my reason to celebrate was my little girl’s Birthday!So I made this Chocolate cake with a chocolate glaze as the icing!

Enjoy this super chocolatey,delicious and moist Chocolate cake to satisfy your chocolate cravings.This is very easy to bake and the aroma that fills the air..Its unexplainable!The Icing that I have given is a very simple glaze icing with the most easily available ingredients.And more over the glaze does not require butter or cream for its preparation!So what are you waiting for?

Go…!Make,Bake the delicious Chocolate Cake!

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Ingredients:

  • Flour – 2 cups
  • Sugar – 1 1/2 cups
  • Cocoa powder – 3/4 cup.
  • Baking soda – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt -a  pinch
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Vegetable Oil – 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
  • Instant coffee powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Hot water – 1 cup
  • Eggs – 2

Glaze:

  • Powdered Sugar – 1 1/2 cup.
  • Cocoa Powder – 4 tbsp.
  • Salt – 1 pinch.
  • Milk – 4-5 tbsp
  • Vanilla Essence – 1tsp.

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 Degree F. Grease and flour the cake pan.
  2. Add a tbsp of instant coffee powder to the hot water and keep aside.
  3. In a large bowl, sieve the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the sugar and mix well with the dry ingredients.
  4. Make a well in the center and add the milk, oil, vanilla essence and beaten eggs and mix. Finally add the hot coffee mixture and mix. Do not over mix.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and bake in the middle rack of the oven for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Start checking from 35 minutes onwards.
  6. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack. Bring to room temperature. If the cake has a dome shape, use a serrated knife and slice the dome off and level the cake till it has a flat top.

For Glaze:

  1. Sieve together Powdered Sugar,Cocoa Powder and Salt.
  2. Now to this add 4-5 tbsp of milk.(The consistency should be that of a thick one,pourable onto the cake)
  3. Whisk well using a wire whisk.Now add vanilla essence and again whisk well.
  4. Pour this onto the top of the cake so that it spreads uniformly(Gently shake the plate or the rack in which the cake is on gently for uniform spreading).
  5. Allow to set(untouched) for 30 minutes.Then decorate accordingly.(Refer picture)

 

 

 

Sausage Rice

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Kids are the light of our lives isnt it?I am sure if you are a parent or a loving aunt or uncle or even a teacher..you will agree with me totally!I have 3 kids and they mean the world to me.I see “Me” in them when ever they play,they eat specially their eating habits..in everything!So todays post is specially dedicated to kids..kids all through the world!

Always after the summer holidays here in brunei which lasts upto 3 -4 weeks..my kids are not very enthusiastic to go back to school.. :) I know this is same story almost everywhere..ofcourse ! And If they go to school too…their lunch boxes remain untouched :( The only way out of my experience to chase away those kiddy blues is to be creative in their tiny lunch packs!Creative yet healthy and filling!Something that will give them energy to study and play!

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. ~Stacia Tauscher….So to make that “Someone Today” ,that lil he/she needs good food so that we can develop their taste buds for that “Tommorow”!Heres a very delicious Sausage Rice which is easy to prepare and soo tasty that your kids will bring back their lunch boxes empty!What more can make you happy!!Here goes the recipe for the “little you” :)

Ingredients:

  • Basmati Rice – 1 cup
  • Chicken sausage – 3 numbers.
  • Chicken Stock -2 cups
  • Ginger -1 inch piece
  • Garlic  – 3 cloves
  • Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
  • Mint leaves – a few
  • Coriander leaves/cilantro – a few
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Cloves – 2
  • Cardamom – 3
  • Cinnamon – 1(1 inch piece)

Method:

  1. Chop the sausages to thick slices.
  2. Grind the ginger,garlic,cilantro and mintleaves in a grinder into a fine paste.
  3. Heat oil in a pressure cooker .add thewhole spices and saute till the spices emit an aroma.Then add the above ground paste and saute till the raw smell disappears.
  4. Now add the chopped chicken sausages and saute well for a minute.Then add the Red chilli powder,Turmeric powder,Garam masala powder and saute well.Add the Chicken stock and salt to this and bring to a boil.
  5. Now add the rice and close the lid and cook for 3 whistles.
  6. When pressure releases,fluff the rice gently with a fork.Transfer to the Lunch boxes for your kids to Enjoy!

Notes:

  • Check the salt while adding the chicken stock because sometimes store bought stocks might be salted.so adjust accordingly!

Sending this to Haffa’s Back to School Lunch Ideas

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Brinjal/Eggplant Fry

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Hello there!Hope your weekend was good and you had a good rest :) Well mine was a hectic one as usual…! Week ends are those very busy days for me..with kids running around..everywhere..guests visiting..and ofcourse church!So I dont get much time to cook and usually adjust with some easy to make dishes.. :) So today I happened to have a lot of Brinjals/Eggplant in my veggie tray..Now now..Brinjal is not my kind of veggie :( And I mostly buy them only to use them in preparing Sambar…But today I had way too many Eggplants..So I decided to relive those care free,good old Chennai Memories!

Well coming to Chennai memories,I was newly married..the  year 2006..and I was working at that time..and This was one of those side dishes I used to prepare when I was in a hurry..Ofcourse I used to wake up late,hurry burry,prepare rice,and this dish along with curd/Yoghurt..then I used to rush to my site :) This was one delicious side dish…the taste used to linger on your tongue for quite some time even after you had finished your lunch ages ago!And now after 8 long years ,with 3 kids..so many changes in my life..I still remember that delicious dish!Now I usually prepare this during the Easter Lent when I dont take any Non Veg Food.There is one reason for this.Ours is a family which consumes fish 3 times a day :) (Now dont laugh at me)..This dish,though completely vegetarian has a very similar taste to fish fry..may be beacause of the similarity in its masala :) So we have this as a sidedish for lunch and dinner during the times of Lent!

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So let me tell you one thing..Are you in a hurry?Only got 8-10 minutes to spare for cooking a side dish for lunch?Then this is the dish for you!Believe me!You will really love it to the core,even if you are not a Eggplant/Brinjal Lover !!

Ingredients:

  • Eggplants/Brinjal – 3 (big)(thinly sliced into round shape)
  • Red chilli Powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Crushed Black pepper – 1/2 tsp
  • Fenugreek Powder – 1 fat pinch(I used,optional though)
  • Lime juice – 3 tbsp
  • Salt to taste.
  • Oil for shallow frying the Brinjal/Egg plants.

Method:

  1. Marinate the Eggplant/Brinjal slices with Red Chilli Powder,Turmeric Powder,Crushed Black Pepper,Fenugreek Powder,Lime juice and Salt and leave aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and place the marinated Eggplant slices and fry them on both sides till browned evenly on low flame.
  3. Transfer to a serving plate and Serve with Hot steamed rice and Moru/Curd and Enjoy!

Appam

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Today my post is of a typical breakfast dish of Kerala.One of my blogger friends,Garima had asked me for an appam recipe and I promised her that I would post one!.These soft and lacy hoppers are called Appams or Palappams.They are soft rice pancakes with crispy sides and have a very soft,airy and fluffy centre(The centre reminds me of my baby’s cheeks,when I touch it with my eyes closed :) ..I can see my hubby laughing at my imagination ;) ) These Appams are soo easy to make with less ingredients and are very healthy..Moreover no oil is needed for this preparation.

Traditionally,Appam batters were/are  fermented using Toddy/Kallu(as it is called in Malayalam and Tamil/Tadi(in hindi) ,which is a local alcoholic drink made from Coconut flowers. Since Toddy is not easily available,it can be substituted with active dry yeast.

Appam is our regular breakfast dish.We make it every week..Its a n unavoidable breakfast dish during special occasions like Christmas and Easter.I remember during my childhood,on easter sundays,I used to wake up to the delicious aroma of Appam and Stew prepared by my Mom in the kitchen.

Appam goes very well with Stew.I have a couple of stew recipes like Chicken Stew ,Beef Stew.Do check them out.Another popular combo is Appams with Egg Roast/Mutta roast or Appam and Naadan Mutta/Egg Curry.When I am too lazy to make a stew or a curry for Appam,I like to have Appam with sweetened Coconut milk.I prepare that by adding sugar(amount according to ones taste) to coconut milk,along with a pinch of cardamom powder.This combo is highly addictive.

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So Check out this recipe and do try it out!

Ingredients:

  • Raw Rice – 1 1/2 cup(You can use any rice like Sona Masuri)
  • Grated Coconut – 3/4 cup.
  • Cooked Rice – a handfull
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Sugar – 4 tbsp
  • Water – upto 3/4 cup for grinding..(please add little by little while grinding and check for the required consistency)
  • Yeast – 1 tsp
  • Luke warm water – 1/4 cup.
  • Sugar – 2tsp.

Method:

  1. Soak the raw rice in water for about 4 -5 hours.
  2. After 4-5 hours,drain the water and grind with the cooked rice and grated coconut in a mixer grinder.Add water little by little while grinding(you can add upto 3/4 cup of water) to get a smooth batter.
  3. Transfer the Batter to a big plastic/glass bowl and keep aside.
  4. Now in a bowl,take 1/4 cup of luke warm water.Add 1 tsp of yeast and 2 tsp of sugar.Leave aside for 15 mts and the yeast will dissolve, froth and double in size. Add this to the ground appam batter and mix well. Place lid and let it ferment overnight in a warm place. Next add morning, add salt and sugar to the fermented batter.
  5. Mix well,but donot overbeat the batter.
  6. Now heat a non stick Appa chatti/Appam pan for about 2 minutes(Sprinkle a few drops of water into the pan.If the water drops runs/glides all over,then the pan has got the right temperature to make Appams).
  7. Now pour a ladle full of Batter/a little more than 1/4 cup of batter into the centre of the pan.
  8. Lift the pan (off the flame of the stove) and twirl the batter in a clock wise direction so that the batter spreads out in a circular shape. Do not twirl more than twice. There will be more batter in the center than the sides, which is fine. Place back the pan on stove, cover with lid and cook on low flame. Check after 2 minutes and if it is done, remove from pan, otherwise continue to cook with lid for a little while longer. It should cook within 2 1/2 minutes to 3 minutes.
  9. The edges will be crisp and lacy and will begin to leave the sides of the pan.Using a  flat spatula,gently lift the appam off the pan and place on serving plate. You can cook for a while longer for browner edges but I prefer pure white appams.
  10. Serve warm Appams with Stew or sweetened coconut milk(as I have done,refer picture) and Enjoy!

Notes:

  • There is no need to flip the appam to cook the other side.
  • Left over fermented batter can be refrigerated upto 2 days and not beyond that as it contains coconut.
  • Left over batter that has been refrigerated and used on the second day can be slightly diluted with very little water.
  • If you want,you can substitute grated coconut with coconut milk.Instead of 3/4 cup of grated coconut,you can use 3/4 cup of thick coconut milk.Reduce the quantity of water then added to the batter like wise.
  • The batter should have a consisitency of a smooth flowing batter.( loose  than a dosa batter)
  • If you dont have an Appam pan,then use a kadai with handles (refer pic).Smear oil inside the kadai before pouring the batter then.Below is the picture of an Appam Chatti/Appam pan..A kadai similar to this can also be used.

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