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Archive for March, 2007

Our professor in formulation development dept used to say that pharmacy is much like cooking and I always remember his words while I make puttu. It reminds me of the steps involved in tablet granulation. Tablets & puttu….Who are the guinea pigs then???? Sorry dear ones they are tried & tested!!!! 

Well Irachi puttu is not at all my invention. It was while back at home where I was a regular watcher of Kairali Tv’s Magic oven presented by Lakshmi nair, where in one episode was dedicated to this recipe. It sound to me different among the puttu we make. Nothing special, only cooked & spiced minced meat added which shows the difference. But somehow I liked the recipe and thought of sharing! 

To know more about puttu read this & also about chiratta puttu over here & here 

Also try another great innovation of Varna Puttu

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The meat stuff 

  • Here I used cooked & minced chicken 1 cup[ any meat can be used ]
  • Shallots chopped finely 4to 5
  • Ginger chopped finely ¼ tsp
  • Garlic chopped finely ¼ tsp
  • Red chilly powder 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder ¼ tsp
  • Fennel seeds 1 or 2 pinch
  • Chicken masala ½ tsp
  • Salt
  • Oil 

Stir fry the shallots, ginger-garlic in oil, add up spice, salt & cooked chicken to it. Keep stirring until everything is mixed properly. 

For Puttu 

Rice flour  2 cups

 
Grated coconut 1 cup  
Water approximately ½ cup  
Salt to taste  

Add salt & water to the rice flour & mix in required consistency. It should neither be too wet nor too dry. In a puttu maker, layer 2 tsp grated coconut, rice mixture, then the meat stuff, again rice mix then grated coconut & steam till done!!

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Gravies add the whole body or content to Indian recipes. As rotis & rice form the staple diet in Indian cuisines, gravy form a basic part to go along with it. There are n’ number of ways of making the same or similar kind of gravies which mainly includes onion-tomato, only tomato, green masala , curd, cashew nut, coconut, poppy seeds, roux…etc etc as even I am unaware how many of them are there.  

It is easier to make any kind of dish if the basic of making gravy is known. I was initially very much avid to know how people make so many variations with a single vegetable as I was familiar with one and only funda in gravy making; one reduced to the simplest & significant form possible without loss of generality I suppose, “Sautéed onions, tomatoes with turmeric & red chilly powder”.  

To my curiosity I started collecting the various blending ideas with recipe booklets & my own cook mentor “Google highness”, one great invention! Many of which is described in Saroj’s Cook book  Here I made two kind of gravies, where mushroom was my choice of ingredient to add up. 

Call it Mushroom kadai or Mushroom dahivale …the choice is left with you!!  

You just need Button mushrooms 15 to 20 for each item or paneer or any vegetables of your choice. Servings for 3 people.

  

Mushroom in cashewnut gravy

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For the gravy 

  • Onion 1 medium sized sliced
  • Cashewnuts 15 to 20 soaked in water for 15 minutes
  • Turmeric powder ¼ tsp
  • Red chilly powder 1 tsp
  • Jeera powder ½ tsp
  • Garam masala powder 1 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste 1 ½ tsp
  • Salt
  • Oil 

Sautee onions till its golden brown. Grind cashewnuts and sautéed onions into fine paste. In the same pan fry ginger garlic paste and add the ground masala to it. Add spice mix and keep stirring for a while till the raw taste of cashew goes nil. Add mushrooms and cook till the mushrooms are done. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Mushroom in curd gravy

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 For the gravy

  • Onions chopped finely 1

  • Garlic chopped finely 3 to 4 pods

  • Green chilies chopped finely 4

  • Ginger chopped finely 1 tsp

  • Turmeric powder ¼ tsp

  • Kalongi or onion seeds 1/4 tsp

  • Red chilly powder ½ tsp

  • Garam masala 1 tsp

  • 1 tsp of any flour [corn, wheat or all purpose]

  • Curd 1 cup

  • Salt

  • Oil

Sauté onions, garlic, ginger & green chilies till transparent. Add spices together and stir for a while. Add the flour and keep stirring till everything is blend together. Add curd and cook for a while in slow flame. Keep stirring, add mushrooms & salt to taste. Garnish with coriander leaves.

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Beetroot kichadi is one of the specialities in Kerala sadyas which is included in “thodukaris”. This colorful recipe gives a centerpiece attraction for the sadya. In some places the term kichadi is substituted with pachadi, I guess.beetroot-kichadi.jpg

Many people are of the belief that Beetroot is good for the blood. This is not correct. Of course beetroot is good, but not high in iron so it will not help to prevent anemia, which many believe it will do. Beetroot’s main benefits are that it contains no fat, very few calories and is a great source of fiber.
Beetroot has for many years been used as a treatment for cancer in Europe. Specific anti-carcinogens are bound to the red coloring matter which supposedly helps fight against cancer and beetroot also increases the uptake of oxygen by as much as 400 percent. Additional studies are taking place to add support to these claims. The green leafy part of the beetroot is also of nutritional value containing beta-carotene and other carotenoids.
Beetroot contains folate, potassium and manganese. The green leafy tops are especially nutritious as they contain calcium, beta-carotene and iron.Beetroots are notable for their sweetness, they have the highest sugar content of any vegetable, but they are very low in calories[4 oz/100g = 36 calories]. beet-ingr.jpg

  • Beetroot 2 medium sized grated
  • Coconut [ground with a tsp of mustard seeds & 3 to 4 green chilies] 1 cup
  • Curd 1 cup mixed with half cup of water.
  • Mustard seeds, red whole chilies & curry leaves for spluttering
  • Turmeric powder ¼ tsp
  • Salt
  • Oil for spluttering 

Cook beetroot with turmeric powder & salt with little water. Add ground coconut and cook for another 5 minutes. Add curd and simmer for a while. Finally splutter it with said items. 

Fresh beetroot also supplies a nutritional bonus; their green tops are an excellent source of beta-carotene, calcium, and iron.

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Rich source of calcium & riboflavin, readily digestible proteins, an ideal diet for sensitive digestive systems and what not. Could it be in the form of lassi or buttermilk or let it be as it is, the most delicious of all! Curd is used in numerous ways in Indian culinary art. Over 50 per cent of the total milk in the country is converted in curd.

During the process of making curd, bacteria convert milk into curd and predigest milk protein. These bacteria then inhibit the growth of hostile or illness‑causing bacteria inside the intestinal tract and promote beneficial bacteria needed for digestion. These friendly bacteria facilitate the absorption of minerals and aid in the synthesis of vitamins of B group. Buttermilk, which has same nutritive and curative value as curd, is prepared by churning curd and adding some water, removing the fat in the form of butter.

Orla Jensen of Copenhagen, author of Lactic Acid Bacteria, observes that yogurt and fermented beverages may be frequently used in case of gastric irritation where other food cannot be retained by stomach. The lactic acid, he says, is completely metabolized to carbondioxide and water is not excreted in the urine. It also does not have any effect on acid-base balance in the system. It is thus an alkaline food. Besides aiding in the digestion of food, curd decreases dryness and gas in the stomach by helping in secretion of hydrochloric acid, pepsin and renin.

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I was unaware of making good quality curd in my initial days of marriage. As curd is ineluctable in my diet, I knew there must be some standard methods of making it.

I researched and got a solution; Curd is produced by the controlled fermentationof milk by two species of bacteria (Lactobacillus sp. and Streptococcus sp.).  The sugar in milk (called lactose) is fermented to acid (lactic acid) and it is this that causes the characteristic curd to form.  The acid also restricts the growth of food poisoning bacteria and some spoilage bacteria.  So, whereas milk is a potential source of food poisoning and only has a shelf life of a few days, curd is safer and can be kept for up to ten days, under proper storage conditions.   

For making curd you need a starter culture. Buy a packet of curd from any desi stores to get that Indian taste; I got it from one of my friend’s place. In US, I have heard of people getting it from India. I don’t know how far it’s true but genuinely accepted it.

Boil half a gallon of milk [could be 2% or whole milk, but not low fat] & cool till its luke warm [40-45°C]. Add starter culture, be generous and add half a cup into a clean canister preferably made of steel or porcelain. Loosen the curd & add the warm milk to it. Keep this overnight or for 6 to 8 hours. In cold countries, keep the container either in a preheated oven [150F] or switch on the oven lamp until the whole fermentation is carried out, 6 to 8 hrs or could be more in winter days. Also, I have heard to get thicker consistency people do add 1 tbsp of milk powder to it. If possible, then cool the curd in a refrigerator until it is eaten.

 Thought of making curd rice after scrumptious curd making session. Curd rice is one great comfort food . One could enjoy good tasting even with pickles or chutneys.

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Loosen curd [2cups with half a cup of water] & make sure it’s sour enough, if more then add milk. Splutter mustard, cumin & urad daal in a pan with few tbsp of oil. Add a pinch of asafetida. Add curry leaves few, green chilies chopped [4], ginger chopped ½ tsp. Stir for a while. Add curd & switch of the gas. Add cooked rice [2 cups, salt added while cooking] & stir all at once.Garnish with coriander leaves & have it with pickles or chutneys of your choice.

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Protest against Plagiarism

Yes I have heard the voice against Internet plagiarism. Exactly what I have heard may vary, depending on what I have read, or been listening to, and so been filtering the information or opinions that we all may encounter. But everyone is worried about it — And for good reason, I am with it!

Yahoo, rather blaming others for ill practice, its better to apologize!

For more awareness on what happened do read this

 

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Icon credits Sandeepa

 

 

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Blogging was one just option in making me engaged in doing something. Doing something in our own interesting area is fun, which is otherwise called hobby in our early childhood. But blogging could be said above all this. A word which every time spew from my mouth like feeling bored, feeling home sick and so on, has come to an end.    

Initially I just had liking for blogging, but now I started loving & my interest has powered to high degree. I make use of all the idle time in cooking, taking pictures, writing & reading other interesting blog. I will soon be getting engaged into my professional career, but I won’t be quitting this activity as my mind always feel fresh and active when I do this. I only repent on one thing why didn’t I start this before? 

Well I read about the JFI event in Mahanandi & quickly responded for this month’s event in happy burp. I was happier when I saw the JFI for this month is potato. I thought & the very next image which spring up into my mind was Mumbai’s chaat corner where you cannot find chaat without potatoes & I knew that I was going to make Ragada patties for this event.

Though high in carbs, potatoes maintain the blood sugar control in a steady manner as it releases the energy slowly, hence best source for long term energy. Potatoes are high in fiber aiding the digestive system and they absorb water which makes one feel satisfied and less hungry. Potatoes are fat free, cholesterol free, sodium free and saturated fat free. They are high in Vitamin C and potassium and are a great source of Vitamin B6 and dietary fiber. Hence they also show certain therapeutic effects. The alkaline in the potato can neutralize the acid of the stomach and relieve an upset stomach. It can help relieve heart burn or even a peptic ulcer can be helped by the alkaline in a potato.  

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Patties or tikkis are made of cooked and mashed potatoes & spices, which is then tawa fried [I baked it to reduce the oil content]. Ragada is used as relish for the patties, made by cooking chick peas in a spicy sauce and then pouring over the patties. The patties is finally garnished with tamarind chutney & chopped onions, green chilies, coriander leaves, curd & sev.

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Ragada

  • Chick peas 1 cup soaked overnight, cooked with salt and mashed a bit
  • Tomato 1 pureed
  • Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
  • Garam Masala powder 1tsp
  • Red chilly powder 3/4 tsp
  • Cumin powder 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil few tsp for cooking

Patties

  • Potatoes cooked and mashed 4 medium sized
  • Garlic chopped finely 1 tsp
  • Green chilies chopped finely 1 tsp
  • Ajwain ¼ tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to brush up the patties before baking
  • Tamarind chutney  

Extract juice of marble sized tamarind & raisins [4 to 5, soaked previously in water] in half cup of water & discard fibers left any. Add red chilly powder, cumin powder [¼ tsp each] to it & salt to taste. Microwave this for 20 to 30 seconds. I make this way instead of making in large quantities.


Method

Ragada 

Add pureed tomatoes in a sauce pan and cook for a while. Add all the spice mixtures & salt to it. Now add the cooked chick peas, a cup of water & let the boil come. Mash the chick peas while stirring. 

Patties

Mix all the ingredients together except oil. Make patties of any shape. I baked these patties for 30 minutes turning them in between at 375F. This is usually done by drizzling few drops of oil on a tawa / pan, placing these tikis on the tawa & frying on both sides. I thought of cutting down oil content. 

Place these tikis on a serving plate. Add the Ragada on top of it. Drizzle few drops of tamarind chutney & curd. Garnish with chopped onions, coriander leaves and green chilies. I did not have sev to garnish. That definitely gives a good taste.

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