Friday, January 11, 2013

Lilva Thuvar Aloo Subzi (pigeon pea gravy)

 

Ingredients
1 cup fresh green Thuvar
1 cup baby potatoes
1 large onion
2 medium tomatoes
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 large green chillies (slit)
2 tbsp Poppy seeds
1 tbsp fresh methi leaves
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves to garnish
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp kitchen king masala
1 tsp Garam masala
1 tsp cumin seeds
a dash of asafoetida
2 tbsp oil
salt to taste

Preparation

Soak poppy seeds in 2-3 tbsp water for 1 hour. Grind poppy and tomato to make paste. Pressure cook Green thuvar and potatoes separately in cooker for 2 whistles. In a pan add 2 tbsp oil and add the baby potatoes after removing the skin. Fry them till golden and crisp along with few methi leaves. Set aside. Heat a pan, add oil, cumin seeds and let it splutter. To this add asafoetida, onions, ginger-garlic paste, chillies and saute. When onion turns slight golden add the tomato- poppy paste, all the masalas except garam masala. Let it cook on medium till the mixture leaves oil. Add the thuvar and bring to boil. Simmer the heat,  add potatoes, Garam masala, mix and turn off the heat. Garnish and serve hot with Rotis!


Monday, January 7, 2013

Tangy plantain curry/ Aratikaya Kura

This recipe is my mom-in-laws speciality. It tastes very good with rice and rotis!

Ingredients
4 medium size Plantains cut in cubes
2-3 medium tomatoes pureed
2 tsp tamarind pulp (optional if you do not prefer lot of tangy flavour)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
salt to taste

For Tempering
2-3 red chillies
sprig of curry leaves
1/3 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp split urad dal
1/2 tsp chana dal
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
a dash of asafoetida
4 tbsp oil


Preparation

Heat a wide pan with 2 tbsp oil, add the plantain cubes and fry on high heat for 2 minutes.
To the Plantain add salt, turmeric, chilli powder, tomato puree, mix well and cover with lid. Cook on medium to low heat till the plantain absorbs all the moisture and becomes soft. This might take about 5- 7 minutes.
Open the lid, add tamarind pulp and cook on  high heat for 2 minutes till crisp. Turn off the heat.
For tempering in a pan heat 2 tbsp oil, mustard seeds. After they splutter, add urad, chana, fenugreek , asafoetida, red chillies and curry leaves in the given order! Add this tempering to the plantain and toss. Serve warm with rice or roti!


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Super Chef Aditya Bal and Creamy Corn Gravy

NDTV Good Times took the food celebrations to its viewers in more ways than one. This year, as a lead up to the main events, They invited foodizens for interesting “Meet the Super Chef” sessions,held in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. In these sessions,Super Chefs – Vicky Ratnani, Ritu Dalmia and Aditya Bal shared some of their signature recipes.
I along with fellow bloggers was invited to attend live demonstrations by Chef Aditya Bal. He prepared the following recipes:
Dilli Ki Fried Aloo Chaat
Bengali Doi Maach
Zaffrani Pulao

Check out the 3rd NDTV Food Awards 2012 winners !

He hosts a show CHAKH LE - INDIA where Aditya hits the road less travelled into the unexplored, and forgotten pockets of India in his hunt for authentic flavours.

About The Chef in his words- "After a successful career as a model spanning 8 years and traveling far and wide, I stumbled across my love of cooking by chance a few years later. A self taught chef with 2 years of experience working at a few select restaurants and honing my skills in continental cuisine and the intricacies of the business. I love travel, adventure and of course, food. I am obsessive when it comes to cooking in all its forms. Love baking and slow cooking as well. It’s my passion and mission in life to create fine food and I promise a great dining experience when I open my own restaurant. I’m always on the look out for new ideas and feel the culinary world is never ending. There’s so much more to see. "

Corn Gravy
I learnt this recipe from his TV show and it was a super hit!

Ingredients

1 corn cob
2-3 green chillies
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1/3 dash of asafoetida mixed in 2 tsp water
2 tsp freshly chopped coriander leaves
salt to taste

Preparation

Grate the corn cob in a grater and you will get a thick corn paste called Mawa. Keep aside. Heat a pan with oil, add the mustard and cumin seed. Allow it to splutter. Now add all the green chillies allow them to get fried a little and add spice powders. Keep the heat on low flame. To this add asafoetida mixed with water. Now add the corn paste and salt. The gravy thickens fast so if required add 1/2 cup water to it. After the gravy comes to a boil, remove from heat, Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

BritanniaTreat Fruit Cream Biscuits


A lip smacking treat, Britannia Fruit Cream biscuits are deliciously flavored fruity and ice-creamy bikis. A delicious layer of ice- creamy fruit cream coupled with crispy, crunchy biscuits creates an exciting treat that promises to leave kids craving for more! Britannia Treat Fruit converts kid’s favorite ice-cream flavors - pineapple, mango, strawberry and orange, to the creamiest, softest and yummiest cream flavors packed in biscuits. The unique design of the biscuits gives a sneak peek into the delicious flavored cream, opening up a window to the ice-creamy world. Kids can now give into the temptation of having as many ice-creams as they want by gorging on Treat Fruit Cream’s lip-smacking cream biscuits. It is just what the kids ordered for – a yummy fun filled delicacy to give them more of things they love! Kids can now dive straight into the four awesome combos of fruit and ice-cream flavored cream biscuits and cherish the never-before-experience of enjoying mouthfuls of delight…all bundled into one explosive, eye-popping pack of Britannia Treat Fruit Cream!


About Treat: Since its launch in 2002, Treat has been one of the best loved brands by children all over India. They have always relished unravelling the irresistibly, delicious cream hidden inside each Treat biscuit – and this time they have unique fruit flavored creams to top it off!


When I got this Treat Fruit cream Biscuits , It was a true treat. The cream inside the biscuit was not dry but tasted fresh and creamy. I did not have enough biscuits to click pics:) Not only my kids but even elders in the family enjoyed the Treat:)


Party Ideas - It can be served during birthday parties instead of chips and fries! I created a center piece of these Biscuits with different flavours along with chocolates, cheese cubes, cherry tomatoes.
You can also use strawberries, blueberries, candies and many more for a party! Kids would love it!


Another Party idea is to make butterscotch or vanilla sauce. Kids would like to dip the biscuits in their favourite flavour and then use some colourful sprinkles, gems and chopped cherries to decorate them. They can do this before the party like a cooking session for the kids! This can be refrigerated before biting into crunchy goodness. serve these quick bites with banana smoothie to up the health quotient!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Baked Mediterranean Vegetables - Chef's Signature recipe from Twenty.21

Baked Mediterranean vegetables with light tomato and cheese sauce- Mediterranean vegetables like olives, crougettes, peppers tossed in tomato sauce and topped with white sauce and aged cheddar cheese and gratinated in oven

Ingredients
For the Baked vegetables

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red capsicum, chopped
2 zucchinis, sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tbsp tomato pasta sauce
2 tbsp white sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
¼ teaspoon salt
2 small aubergines, cut into 2.5cm chunks
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil (extra)
50g vegetarian Parmesan, finely grated

For the White sauce
2 cups milk
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp vegetarian Cheddar, coarsely grated
1/2 tsp white pepper powder

To make the white sauce, melt butter in a heavy-bottomed pan and stir in the flour.Cook for four to six
minutes over low heat till fragrant. Whisk in the milk till smooth. Cook for 4-5 minutes, Stirring
continuously, till the sauce thickens.Add salt and white pepper powder and mix well. Add grated cheese
and mix well. You can cool and store this too.


Preparation

Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté onion, capsicum, eggplant and zucchini until soft. Add mushrooms and sauté for 1 minute. Stir through pasta sauce, basil and salt. Heat through. Add 2-3 tbsp white sauce. Pour mixture into a oven proof casserole dish.  
Sprinkle it all with the Parmesan cheese and bake in a moderate oven, 180ºC, for 30 minutes or until
golden and bubbling. Serve with garlic bread and salad.

I was invited to review "Twenty.21" which is famous for its European and Mediterranean cuisine!

As the world grows more digital, borders blend, horizons flatten, degrees of separation become
tighter and we all see ourselves in a global melting pot. With experiences from the Spanish coast to
the Mediterranean seas, the European continent has some wonderful culinary traditions to offer our
palate. Twenty.21 brings you a veritable medley of European cuisine that transcends borders – all
thanks to the immense love that we have for continental food today.
From the smoked ham, to the use of organic vegetables, to stuffed poultry, to melting mozzarella
pizzas and finally to mouth-watering fresh pasta, They offer everything your taste buds could
desire.

Parveen Kumar - Executive Chef - Continental Kitchen (Twenty.21)


Chef Parveen Kumar started his promising career with the Oberoi Group of Hotels. His career
spanned 4 years of working under the supervision of a Michelin-star awarded English chef.
He then moved to London to work as sous chef in a top seafood restaurant within Sheraton Hotel.
He also worked with the legendary Chef Pascal Proyart – listed as one of the top 10 chefs in the U.K.
– specializing in contemporary French fine dining and seafood. Chef Parveen then tried his hand at
molecular gastronomy as well before finally zeroing in on his skills as a continental food specialist.
He is truly the master of his culinary domain.

These are some of his other Signature recipes which he had prepared for us with lots of care!

Watermelon and feta cheese salad-Chilled slices of watermelon layered with feta cheese, mint and extra virgin olive oil and finished with balsamic treacle



Apple and beetroot salad with rucola and goat cheese-Roasted beetroot, green apple and goat cheese tossed in redwine vinegar dressing and topped with rocket lettuce and balsamic reduction


Roasted pumpkin and rosemary soup with crème fraiche-Soup made with oven roasted pumpkin and rosemary and finished with sour cream. This soup have very little amount of cream unlike other soup.
 
 
Cream of broccoli with toasted almond-Fresh broccoli soup has a good flavor of broccoli which is well complimented with the nutty flavor of almonds
 

Assorted bread basket

Starters I picked up from the Buffet table for my daughter- Corn fritters!

Mushroom and Risotto croquettes with creamy tomato dip


Mushroom duxelle with garlic bread-Chopped mushroom cooked in white wine, cream and Parmesan cheese served with garlic bread

Med platter veg-Assorted dips from Mediterranean region (hummus, babaganoush, tomato onion relish, guacamole) served with freshly made pita bread

Gnocchi with sun dried tomatoes, pesto and cream-Freshly made potato gnocchi tossed in pesto sauce, sun dried tomatoes and olives

Baked cheese cake with fig compote-Cream cheese cake baked in oven and flavoured with lemon zest (slightly) and served with fig compote

Tiramisu-Classic Italian dessert which is layered with mascarpone cheese, khalua and coffee.
 
These desserts are served during lunch buffet !

Treat to the eyes:)
 
This one is for me and my daughter:) 

The Decor and Ambiance is kept simple and elegant.


Twenty.21 has Awesome food  which one should definitely try. The prices are very reasonable and the best part is the food right from breads, salads, to soups everything is served very fresh. Being a vegan I had many choices and did not feel like I was compromising.  For more details on the restaurant visit http://www.orangetomato.net/




Sunday, August 26, 2012

Shahi Paneer a Royal Delicacy!

Shahi paneer is a Royal delicacy of paneer  in a thick, creamy and slightly spicy gravy of tomato, onion and cashew nuts paste. 
 
 
Ingredients
 
200 grams of Paneer-cubed
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 small Onions, finely copped
2 Tomatoes- pureed
2 tsp Ginger garlic paste
1 Green Chili slit lengthwise
1 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
¾ cup Cashew Pieces
1 cup Milk
1 to 1 1/2 cup Water
Salt to taste
2-4 sprigs of Coriander / mint , finely chopped for garnishing
 
Preparation
 
Soak the cashew nuts in milk for about 15 minutes.
Heat 2 tbsp Oil in a pan on medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let it splutter.
Add Onions and fry until slightly golden.
Add Ginger-Garlic paste and Green Chilli and cook for 1 minute.
Add Tomato puree and stir well and cook until oil separates.
While Onions/Tomato mixture is cooking, blend soaked Cashew nuts and milk in a blender until smooth.
Once Onion/Tomato mixture is ready, add Cumin powder, Coriander powder and garam masala and mix well. Add cashew nuts and milk mixture and mix well. There should be no lumps in the gravy. The heat should be on low as the gravy will thicken fast. Add water, Salt and bring to boil.
While waiting for the gravy to boil, slightly sauté cubed paneer in 1 tbsp oil, on medium to high heat in a non-stick pan.
Once paneer is slight golden brown in color, drain excess oil.
Once gravy comes to a boil, add in paneer and mix.
Garnish with fresh coriander, mint or additional broken cashews.
If you like thicker or thinner gravy, adjust the amount of water accordingly.
Serve warm with Rotis or Naan.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bliss Luxury Chocolates - Review

"The Mayans believed chocolate to be the food of the Gods, and our veneration of chocolate is nothing less!" is what the creators of Bliss Chocolates have to say.
Bliss is India's first luxury chocolate brand and has brought the first Chocolate Lounge to India.They are dedicated to crafting exquisite handmade European chocolates & desserts. The first Chocolate Lounge was launched with great success at the Whitefield Forum Value Mall in Bangalore, India in June, 2009.
The Founders of Bliss chocolates are NRIs from Australia who have vast experience in a variety of fields ranging from the Hospitality Industry to Finance, IT and HR. Founded in 2008, Bliss currently has four lounges across the city – the Bliss Luxe Lounge in UB City, the Bliss Lounge at Mantri Square, Bliss Chocolate Lounge at Forum Mall and Forum Value Mall.

I and my dear friend Sweatha of  "Tasty curry leaf" were invited to the lounge for a review and how blissful is that!! 


Bliss is a premium brand that creates unique Luxury Chocolates, Cakes and Desserts. Their raw chocolate is sourced from all around the world and Their recipes are unique and created by world renowned chocolatiers and patisseries.


It was truly a blissful treat to our eye and soul. I loved the chilly and Masala chai flavor and my daughter loved strawberry flavoured chocolates:)

 The Bliss executives greeted us very warmly with these lovely spread of chocolates and desserts. We were served  Balloon brownie -A chocolate balloon over the brownie sizzles in front of you once the hot chocolate is poured over, Belgian Chocolate Truffle Cake, Chocolate mousse cake, a Chocolate Marquise -A dessert that has dark chocolate mousse layered by chocolate brownie  and chocolates with signature flavours like Rum truffle, Cardamom, Raspberry, Strawberry  Masala Chai, Cumin, Praline passion, Pina colada, Almond Sensation, Cinnamon, Honey ginger, Hazelnut and many more..



Blue berry mousse layered with vanilla sponge and topped with blueberry puree, Strawberry Mousse Cake, Mango Passion- A mixture of mango and passion fruit yogurt based dessert for the fruity lovers.


The Belgian Chocolate Truffle cake which had sponge cake layers stuffed with Belgian Chocolate Ganache is completely eggless.

They also have sugar free chocolates. Diabetics and weight watchers can now enjoy without guilt the sugar free range of chocolate bars, in which sugar has been substituted with Maltitol.
They have lovely Gifting ideas and hampers in their website.
Bliss also has launched its new range of gourmet boutique breads at Gourmet West at the Forum Mall, Koramangala, Bangalore. Gourmet West has got multigrain breads, burger buns, Whole Wheat breads, lavash, bread sticks, muffins, croissants, tea cakes and much more!!

It was truly a blissful journey into the world of chocolates especially when you get to taste Indian flavours in a chocolate!

DISCLAIMER: All the views in this post are my own and done by tasting the product. This is not a paid review.







Monday, July 9, 2012

Brown Rice Vegetable Pilaf



Ingredients

1 1/2 cups brown rice
1 large onion (Fried till brown and crisp)
2 medium  carrots, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
10-12 French beans, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 medium cauliflower, separated into small florets
6-7 medium fresh button mushrooms, halved
1/2 cup green peas, shelled and blanched
1 bay leaf
2-3 cloves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 inch cinnamon
Salt to taste
2 green chillies, slit
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

Preparation

Soak the brown rice in four to five cups of water for two hours.  Drain and set aside
Heat a deep non-stick pan, add the bay leaf, cloves, cumin seeds and cinnamon and roast for a few seconds or till fragrant.  Add the drained rice and salt and roast for one to two minutes.
Add four cups of water.  Bring it to a boil.
Add the carrots, French beans, cauliflower, mushrooms and green chillies.  Stir and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and cook till almost done
Add the green peas and mix gently.  Cover and cook till done
Serve hot, garnished with the fresh coriander and crisp fried onions!


Brown rice with vegetables is abundant in vitamins and minerals and the aroma of the spices whets the appetite.

Recipe inspired from Chef Sanjeev Kapoor!



Saturday, June 30, 2012

Forbidden Dirty Rice Dosa!


When someone gave me this rice I had no clue, what to do with it!! But then it was a trial and the dosas came out really crisp. Black rice is not used much in Indian cuisine except for pudding and desserts. Payasam is made out of this rice in the Chettinad Cuisine.
Photocourtesy: Getreal4healthfood


Ingredients

1 cup raw rice (washed and soaked for 3 hours)
1 cup Forbidden black rice (washed and soaked for 3 hours)
1 cup urad dal (washed and soaked for 3 hours)
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds (soaked )
Salt to taste

Preparation

Grind the rice and dals together or separately. If grinding separately, mix  up all the batter which should be of dosa consistency. Add salt and mix. Let it ferment for 4-5 hours.
Heat the tawa and pour one ladle of batter on the tawa and spread to make dosa. The tawa should be on medium high flame.  Flip gently and cook till crisp. Serve warm with chutney and sambar.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Idichakka Thoran ( Stir-fried tender jackfruit with coconut from Kerala)



Ingredients

3 cups roughly chopped tender jackfruit
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt or to taste

Ground to a coarse paste

1 cup grated fresh coconut
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
2 cloves garlic(Optional)
2-3 tbsp water

Tempering

2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp rice grains
2 dried red chillies, halved
1/2 cup onions sliced (optional)
1 green chilli, halved
1 sprig curry leaves

Place jackfruit in a pressure pan with turmeric powder, salt and 1 cup water.  Cook for 1 or 2 whistlesand turn off the heat.  remove from cooker, drain and crush jackfruit with a ladle into small shreds.
Blend in ground paste and set aside.
Heat oil for tempering in a frying pan over moderate heat.  Add remaining ingredients for tempering in the order given.  When mustard seeds splutter, add, onions, jackfruit, Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes till mixture is dry
Serve hot as a side dish.

Note: 500 gms of tender jackfruit is needed to get 3 cups of cleaned and chopped jackfruit.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mixed Dal Dosa (Adai)

I made a little variation from the traditional Adai recipe which is popularly made in Tamilnadu. I used Moong dal , chana dal, urad dal, thuvar dal, Masoor dal (Panchmeli Dal mix).


Ingredients

2 cups Raw rice ( washed and soaked for 3-4 hours)
1/2 cup husked urad dal (washed and soaked for 3 hours)
1/2 cup of mixed dal (chana dal, masoor dal(husked), moong dal, thuvar dal) (washed and soaked for 3 hours)
1 tsp fenugreek seeds (soaked along with the dals)
2" piece ginger
2-4 dry red chillies (soaked along with dals)
4 tbsp grated fresh coconut
1/2 tsp asafoetida
handful of curry leaves (chopped finely)
Salt to taste

Preparation

Grind the rice, dals, fenugreek, ginger, redchillies, coconut altogether. The batter should be of dosa batter consistency. Add salt, asafoetida, curry leaves and mix well. Fermentation is not required but leave the batter at room temperature for 4-5 hours. I did not refrigerate it immediately. To make Adai, pour a ladle of batter and spread like a dosa, as thin as possible. Pour a tsp of oil and leave the dosa on medium high till golden brown, flip carefully and fry till golden and crisp!  The dosa comes out very crisp with a lovely golden colour. It is also very healthy for kids! Serve hot with chutney, sambar or pickles! It tastes great with Powdered Jaggery and a dollop of butter :)