Count down to Due date of my Second Blessing

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy Republic Day

Long live the Indian Republic. May this day remind us of the sacrifices made by our previous generations and the struggle they had undergone, that we enjoy the freedom we take for granted today.

We should try and make ourselves better citizens of our country. We should be cognisant of our rights, but also be diligent in carrying out our duties. Share the knowledge you have. Blogging is one way to do it. Food is a basic need and a major unifying factor in our diverse culture. By studying the various cuisines within the country, we can come to know of the different cultures in our multicultural society.

Jai Hind

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chicken Jeera Fry (Reverse Braised)

Now this is a chicken fry but not a fry. I was wondering how to classify  this dish. In braising the item is first seared in high heat and then water is added and cooked slowly. Here the chicken pieces are cooked with water first and then browned in the oil. Thats why I called it reverse braised. This method is useful when you have no time to marinate the chicken but need a fry item. In my house it is referred to as chicken periamma style because I adapted it from a Mutton recipe prepared by my Periamma (Mothers Elder Sister). My husband requests this dish often.

As I told you this is a emergency recipe for me. A non stick pan is preferable as you will see in the last few steps.

You will need:

Chicken cut into medium sized pieces - 7-8 pieces. ( I have used whole thighs Bone in and a leg piece)
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tbsp
Garam Masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Pepper Jeera Powder - 3/4 tsp
salt to taste
Cumin seeds 2 to 3 Tbsp (Crush coarsely)
Oil - 2 -3 Tbsp

Mix all ingredients in a nonstick pan, add around one inch water, bring to boil and then simmer covered till chicken is cooked, flipping in between once or twice, cooking time will vary as per the size of the pieces, around 1/2 hour will do. By the time the chicken is cooked the water also would have evaporated (Check that it dosent burn). The oil will be left behind, turn up the flame and brown the chicken in the same oil. A few drops of coconut oil or a knob of butter improves the flavour greatly. Remove the chicken pieces to the plate, Scrape the browned masala (Really yummy crispy crunchy Jeera seeds now) Leave the oil behind in the pan by tilting the pan while scraping. Sprinkle the masala on top of the chicken pieces.
Chicken with all the other ingredients before mixing

Simmering away filling the house with aroma of cumin
Some people I know (no names) add rice to the pan and mix it in the oil and eat. It will be delish but even if I didnt care that I am overweight, My face will show it if I do the same. So I will resign myself to pangs of envy.
Why I call it an emergency recipe is that I can put the rice in the rice cooker and this on the stove, then go on to a rasam or sambhar and a vegetable poriyal. By the time the rice is cooked everything is finished. You dont have to stand next to it. turning and adjusting the flame as when frying. all pieces are done at the same time. And ofcourse it is a good combo with Lemon Rice.

Chicken topped with the Crunchy Jeera Masala.

I am sending this recipe as an entry to Any One Can Cook: Series 38 by Ayesha Riaz at Taste of Pearl City.

Cucumber Green Pachadi

This is a raita or as we say pachadi I make when I want to add a dash of colour to my Menu. Also it has the advantage of being healthy, as the green corriander has a beneficial effect of reducing the piththam when we eat very rich foods. It helps in digestion. The pudina leaves act as carminative and prevents gas problems, curd and cucumber are coolants. If we look into the medicinal qualities of the food we eat, then we will not have to take medicine as food.


Cucumbers (baby variety) - 4 - 6 (Cut in even sized pieces)
(If using Large Cucumber with developed seeds remove the peel and seeds)
Green Chillies - 1-2 (depending on your spice tolerance)
Small (Sambhar Onions) - 3-4 nos peeled and chopped
Garlic - 1 clove
Curry leaves - One sprig
Corriander Cleaned and chopped - 1/2 cup
Pudina cleaned and chopped - 1/2 cup
Pepper jeera Powder - 1/2 tsp
salt to taste
Curd - 1 to two cups.

In the small jar of the mixie or blender add all items excepting cucumber and yoghurt and blend to a paste, add a little yoghurt to help with the process if necessary. Mix with the cut cucumber pieces. Check for salt just before serving because the little salt you add at the beginning will draw the water out of the cucumber.

Doesn't the tomato rose look good against the green of the Raita?
You can mix salt with the cucumber pieces, wait for ten mins and drain away the water from the cucumber, but I prefer not to waste the minerals in the cucumber in that way. You can add drained curd but same problem. I dont have the patience to store the drained water to use in something else. I am not such a good girl.

I vary the spice level depending upon what I am serving, for less spicy items I add more chillies or pepper jeera powder, for spicy Biriyanis, Variety rice the pachadi is almost bland. I remove the seeds in the green chillies.

I am watching endrendum raaja on Jaya TV. Ilayaraja = Genius. No more words are necessary.

I am sending this to Zesty palette Series # 3 - New U Event by Vardhini.

I am also sending this to Gimme Green by Rosh

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Happy Pongal with Tomato Sweet Pachadi.

Happy Pongal, பொங்கல் நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்,

May the coming year be filled with happiness prosperity and sweetness. Today we had two guests for Lunch. They are tamillian colleagues of my Husband, both are first time NRI’s as in this is their first Pongal away from their familes. I wanted to make Chakkarai pongal and Venpongal, They are pucca veggies by the way, but they had asked for veg biriyani and I was happy to oblige. Here is a click of the full Menu barring the paal payasam which I forgot to take photo.
Pongal Special Friday Lunch

Vegetable Biriyani
Cucumber Green Pachadi
Tomato Sweet Pachadi
Paal Payasam (not in Photo)
I will start with the sweet dish first and go on to the rest in the following posts.

Tomato Sweet Pachadi:
Tomato Sweet Pachadi

This is served in marriages in thirunelveli, tenkasi etc..along with Biriyani to counteract the spiciness of the Biriyani perhaps. I remember trying to keep the sweet pachadi separate from the rest of the savoury stuff on the banana leaf.

When we were in Bangalore, we had a neighbour with two boys around my age (14 or so), they used to eat such that I thought their stomachs have no bottoms, their mother used to make such lovely jams, this reminded me of the tomato jam that Aunty used to make to keep up with her boys apetites. Around fifth or sixth std I had severe jaundice, and so was forbidden to eat any oily food, so everything was either boiled, roasted or steamed, but aunty had a regular supply of jams and such oil free treats for me that I remember that period of time as a treat than a trial. They were from Maharashtra and used to celebrate sankranti, my favorite was the sugar dolls available at that time.
I think I am a very Lucky person to have had such people in my life.
Coming to the topic, this dish requires a little patience but basically an easy dish. For this you need a heavy bottom pan or kadai, a flat ended spoon like a dosai thiruppi what am I doing. Spatula. I was searching for this word in my mind. OK lets go to the ingredients list:

Tomatoes – 6 or 7
One pinch of salt (strictly one pinch or less)
Sugar 1 cup or as per taste
Cardomom Powder – ½ tsp
Cinnamon – 1 big stick (Use mara pattai instead of surul pattai explanation follows)
Ghee – 3 tbsps or more
Maida or cornflour 2 tsps
Water 2 tbsp
Juice of half a Lime (Optional)

Wash tomatoes well. Check for any worms etc. Score the tomatoes with a sharp knife as shown in the figure. 
Score Tomatoes with knife as shown above
Steam in a steamer or cover with boiling water for 5 to ten mins. The peel will lift away easily along the scored lines.

Mash the tomatoes. Heat a pan or kadai and add ghee. Add the tomato mash, whole cinnamon stick and simmer on medium heat till thick. Add sugar and a pinch of salt. Stir till sugar dissolves and reduce a little more.Taste and add juice of half a lime for tanginess if required. Mix flour in water and add to the mixture. Take care to stir while adding flour mixture to avoid lumps. The pachadi will get a glossy look at this stage. Add cardamom powder and mix well. It is ready when the mixture leaves a trail at the bottom of the pan and comes together when you pass the spatula through it.  Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.

This amount was sufficient for four persons. My daughter didn't like it, but she dosen't like sweets in general, other than chocolate ofcourse, so no matter.

You can add the juice of a small beetroot for a deeper red colour, you can also add cashews fried in ghee, but I usually don’t.

Surul Pattai is cinnamon which come rolled like a mat thinner in texture and more fragile. Mara pattai is bark like and holds well so it is easy to remove before serving. The former is supposed to be more flavourful and has marginally higher medicinal properties. I don’t know. I have to research more on this subject. The latter is more easily available in the Middle east supermarkets.

I must say today’s meal was a success judjing from the compliments recieved from the gentlemen, but I don’t know whether it is because I am a good cook or because the poor men (Forced Bachelors – Family in India for the sake of children’s education) had a home cooked meal after maybe three months for the first time. I think both factors came into play today.

Happy Pongal to everybody.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Lemon Rice

Today I am going to post a simple recipe which is Lemon Rice Elumichcai sadham in Tamil and chitranna in Kannada. It is fragrant, and keeps well and so it is a favoured item in Picnics, lunch boxes. It is also quick to make and so was a weekly regular in my kitchen. My daughter loves it. Add a raw salad, fried chicken or pappadoms for protien and a cup of buttermilk to wash it all down and you have a complete meal. So here goes the recipe:

Lemon Rice

Rice - 1 cup - Cook with salt to taste as per your preferred method, but it should not be mushy. The grins should be well cooked but seperate.
Fresh Lemon juice - 1/4 cup
Asafoetida (Hing) - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Ginger - 1 inch piece chopped fine
Green Chillies - 2-3 Chopped
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Chana dal (Kadalai paruppu) 1 tbsp - soaked in water for around ten mins and drain well.
Udad dal and mustard seeds 1/2 tsp each
Oil - 1 1/2 tbsp

Ingredients for Lemon Rice (Lemon Juice with turmeric & Hing, Chana dal soaking in water, Green chillies, Chopped ginger, curry leaves, Mustard, udad dal)

Spread cooked rice on a plate. Mix Lemon juice, hing and turmeric powder in a small bowl. Add to rice and mix well to coat. The Rice will turn to a delightful yellow colour.

Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and udad dal. when mustard seeds splutter add curry leaves, green chillies, ginger and then the drained chana dal. stir for a few mins till the chana dal is fried. Add in the rice and toss well. Your Fragrant Lemon Rice is ready.

You can reduce the amount of lemon juice if you wish, but my family likes it really tangy and spicy.

I am sending this recipe to Any One Can Cook: Series 37 by Umm Mymoonah and Let's Cook #11 ~ Rice by Radhika.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year Everybody

Hello everybody,

Wish you a Happy 2012. May this coming year be filled with happiness and prosperity to all of you. May the blessings of the almighty be upon you.

First happy news I want to share is that I performed my first Umrah (Small Pilgrimage) in Mecca this friday. What words can I use to describe the experience? Divine. The Mosque around the Kaaba is huge and looks magnificient. but the real beauty is the Kaaba. You can feel the energy when you go near it. I felt like I could do anything in this world when the faith is in my heart. I only want to keep my corner of this world filled with faith, peace and love. I prayed for everybody I could remember at that time while circling the Kaaba.

Second Happy news, gastronomically speaking, I was able to get Ponni Rice from a Local Supermarket in Rabigh. And Tan da dain..... I got soft idlies today morning. Isn't 2012 starting on a wonderful note?

Third happy news. I was grumbling about the huge house my hubby has taken for rent here. honestly it takes forever to walk from the bedroom to the hall. but all that walking in the house has resulted in my losing 4.5 kg weight. I am like yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay ... Imagine no diet, absolutely no excercise (conscious)....  Mind you I am still 25 kg overweight but I am so HAPPPEEEE.

So again

Happy New Year Folks. Happy 2012.

PS. My Dh is using the digital camera for his office work, so no camera, I dont feel like posting my recipes. Still I will start posting my recipes again soon. Keep in touch.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...