Archive | May 2012

Thai Pineapple Rice

 

 

Servings:  3        

Preparation Time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 15 mins

Level: Moderate

Ingredients:

1)      Pineapple (Excluding the skin)            275 gm (Big one)

2)      Cooked rice                                  600 gm

3)      Diced carrots and peas               150 gm

4)      Shrimps                                        15 nos /100 gm

5)      Onion                                           150 gm (1 medium)

6)      Garlic                                           2 cloves

7)      Green chilli                                  2 nos

8)      Egg                                               2 nos

9)      Cashewnut                                   15 nos

10)   Raisins                                         1 Tbsp

11)   Curry powder                               1 Tbsp

12)   Fish sauce /Soy sauce                 2 Tbsp

13)   Salt                                               as required

Preparation:


1)      Fry the cashewnuts either by toasting them in oil or in oven.

2)      Clean the shrimps thoroughly and dry them using towel.

3)      Dice the carrot into small cubes.

4)      Chop the onions and garlic finely. Chop the green chillies.

5)      Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. Add the egg and cook it like you cook scrambled egg. Keep it aside.

6)      Chop the side of the pineapple and make it into two pieces one large like serving bowl another

with a thickness of a lid. Scoop all the pineapple from the largest portion. Try to get large chunks.

7)      Cube the pineapple. Take 1/3rd of the pineapple and juice it.

8)      Using fork separate any lumps in the cooked rice.

 Cooking:

 1)      Heat 1 Tbsp Oil in a wok.

2)      Add the chopped garlic, onion and green chilli. Fry them till onion turns golden brown.

3)      Add the shrimps and diced vegetables. Saute for 3-4 mins or till the shrimps turn pinkish.

4)      Now add the pineapple along with the juice and sauté for a minute.

5)      Add in the curry powder and salt. Mix well.

6)      Add the rice and stir well till it combines well with the mixture.

7)      Now add the scrambled egg and fish sauce. Toss them to combine.

8)      Taste for correcting salt and curry powder. If needed add it at this stage.

9)      Turn off the heat. Transfer to the scooped pineapples’s large portion carefully.

10)   Serve hot.

Pepper Chicken

Image

Servings:  2

Preparation Time: 20 mins

Cooking time: 1 hr

Level: Moderate

 Ingredients:

1)      Chicken with bone                         300 gm

2)      Onion                                                  200 gm (One Big)

3)      Tomato                                               150 gm  (Two Small)

4)      Ginger                                                 15 gm

5)      Garlic                                                   4 cloves

6)      Green chilli                                        2 nos

7)      Curry leaves                                      10 nos

8)      Cumin seeds                                     1 Tsp

9)      Clove                                                   4 nos

10)   Green Cardamom                          2 nos

11)   Bay leaves                                         2 nos

12)   Cinnamom                                         1 stick 5cm length

13)   Turmeric powder                            ¼ Tsp

14)   Vegetable Oil                                   1 Tbsp

15)   Coriander leaves                             For garnishing

16)   Water                                                  1 Cup

For Marinade

17)   Lemon juice                                      2 Tbsp

18)   Coriander powder                          1 Tbsp

19)   Red chilli powder                            ½ Tsp

20)   Turmeric powder                            ¼ Tsp

21)   Cumin powder                                 1 Tsp

22)   Ginger garlic paste                        

23)   Crushed black pepper                  1 Tbsp

24)   Salt                                                       as required

25)   Vegetable oil                                    1 Tbsp

For Dry Roast

26)   Coriander seeds                              1 Tbsp

27)   Black peppercorns                         1 ½  Tbsp

Method:

Preparation:

1)      Dry roast the black pepper corns and coriander seeds separately

2)      Grind the coriander seeds to fine powder and crush the pepper

corns to coarse.

3)      Make a paste of ginger, garlic and one green chilli.

4)      Clean the chicken and pat dry using towel. Marinate chicken with lemon juice, ginger garlic paste,

 powdered coriander seeds, turmeric powder, Red chilli powder, Cumin powder,  Salt, Oil and

 half of the crushed  black peppercorns. Marinate for atleast 15 mins.

5)      Slice the onion thinly. Slit remaining one green chilli. Chop the tomatoes and grind them

using blender.

Cooking:

1)      Heat 1 Tbsp Oil in a pan.

2)      Add cumin and allow it to splutter.

3)      When it splutters add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and bay leaves. Sauté for 30 sec.

4)      Now add half of the thinly sliced onions. Stir fry till it becomes translucent adding little salt.

5)      Add turmeric into the onion and mix well

6)      Add the marinated chicken and combine well. Stir till chicken turns white.

7)      Now add the tomato paste and 1 cup of water. Mix everything well.

8)      Reduce the flame to low and cook the chicken for 30 -45 mins or till gravy thickens. Stir inbetween

to avoid  gravy sticking to the pan. Check for salt and if needed add it.

9)      When the gravy is thickened add the remaining crushed peppercorns. Stir to mix well.

10)   Turn off the heat.

For Tadka

11)   Take another pan and heat oil.

12)   Add curry leaves, remaining sliced onions and green chilli. Fry till onion become golden brown and

little crunchy.

13)   Transfer this mixture to the chicken and combine well.

14)   Garnish with coriander leaves and onion. Serve with rice or rotis.


Bhuna Gosht

 

Last weekend my husband and I went to downtown for grocery shopping. After shopping, with heavily loaded bag we got into a taxi and somehow my husband managed to guide the driver to the nearest metro station Xiaobei to get back home. The guy was so surprised and happy to see my husband speaking broken Chinese ;).

While trying to explain about the metro station, he nodded for some reason and asked whether we are going for dining. We were confused and was checking GPS all the way till we got there. When finally we got down in the right destination we realized huh!! That’s what he meant.. I guess he thought we are from  middle east countries and we are heading to have dinner at Arabic street..

The street is full of Arab restaurants and stores.We’d no idea such place exists in here.. We bookmarked the place to reach out again for Middle east cuisines. But we did go through a store selling imported foods from Arab countries. As our days shopping had over, we just had a look around. But one thing caught our eyes lying on the bakery was Pita bread. I’d heard many recipes of Pita bread but never got a chance to use them. So quickly i grabbed one pack. The next day we made sandwiches with pita.

With 2 more breads left and we both were craving for spicy meat dish for long, I decided to cook “Bhuna Gosht” to have with pita breads. Its not traditional but pita bread is very similar to Naan bread. So went very well with Bhuna gosht.

Bhuna Gosht is all about spices. Mutton is slow cooked with loads of spices for hours. The slow cooking process gives the brown color to the dish. It takes 1-2 hrs to cook the meat along with all the spices. But its worth the wait.  It is rich and Lip smacking delicious. It can be made easier by using pressure cooker. But there is no room for taste when you hurry up for this dish. My advice is to make this recipe when you have plenty of time and mood of cooking something special for your tastebud….  I love the Bhuna gosht recipe from “ecurry” and this recipe has been adapted from them with slight variation.

Servings:  2        

Preparation Time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 1 hr

Level: Moderate

 

Ingredients:

1)      Mutton                                               250 gm

2)      Onion                                                 200 gm (1 Medium)

3)      Tomato                                              150 gm ( 1 Medium)

4)      Ginger                                                15 gm

5)      Garlic                                                 4 cloves

6)      Green chilli                                        2 nos

7)      Cumin seeds                                      1 Tsp

8)      Bay leaves                                         2 nos

9)      Cloves                                                4 nos

10)   Green cardamom                               2 nos

11)   Black cardamom                                1 no

12)   Mace                                                  a pinch

13)   Cinnamon                                          1 no , 5cm stick

14)   Nutmeg                                              a pinch

15)   Coriander powder                              1 Tbsp

16)   Cumin powder                                    1 Tsp

17)   Red chilli powder                               ½ Tsp

18)   Black pepper powder                         ½ Tsp

19)   Salt                                                     as req

20)   Curd/Yogurt                                        2 Tbsp

21)   Water                                                 2 cups

22)   Vegetable Oil                                     1 Tbsp

Method:

Preparation:

 

1)      Marinate mutton by combining yogurt,  half quantity of following spices – Coriander powder,

cumin powder, red chilli powder, pepper powder and salt.  Mix well with the meat and leave for 20 mins.

2)      Chop the onion, ginger, garlic and green chillies finely.

3)      Blend the tomatoes in a blender and set aside.

 

Cooking:

 

1)      Heat 1 Tbsp Oil in a large skillet.

2)      Turn to medium heat and add cumin seeds. When it  splutters add the spices bay leaves, cinnamon,

 green cardamom, cloves, and black cardamom pods  respectively.

3)      Add chopped garlic ginger and sauté well for 1 min.

4)      Now add the chopped onion and green chilli along with little salt. Adding salt will ease the frying process.

5)      When the onions have turned to brown,  sprinkle mace and nutmeg powder. Sauté for few seconds.

6)      Add in the blended tomato and combine well. Add the marinated meat.

7)      Pour 2 cups of water, mix well and reduce the flame to low. Close the lid and cook for 30 mins stirring

        in-between.

8)      After half an hour check for salt and add salt if required. If the gravy is dry add little more water and cook

another 15-20 mins or till the oil floats and the gravy is thick.

9)      Garnish with coriander leaves and sliced onion.

10)   Serve with naan, rice or any Indian bread.

 

Note:

 

1)      If using pressure cooker, cook the marinated mutton with 1 cup of water in cooker. And follow the

other steps.  No need of adding water while cooking in pan. Instead of cooking 45 mins,  just cook

till the gravy thickens.

2)      Yogurt is optional. Instead you can use 1 Tbsp of lemon juice while marinating.

3)     I have used boneless mutton pieces. Better way is to use boned meat.

 

Bhuna Gosht


Last weekend my husband and I went to downtown for grocery shopping. After shopping, with heavily loaded bag we got into a taxi and somehow my husband managed to guide the driver to the nearest metro station Xiaobei to get back home. The guy was so surprised and happy to see my husband speaking broken Chinese ;).
While trying to explain about the metro station, he nodded for some reason and asked whether we are going for dining. We were confused and was checking GPS all the way till we got there. When finally we got down in the right destination we realized huh!! That’s what he meant.. I guess he thought we are from  middle east countries and we are heading to have dinner at Arabic street..
The street is full of Arab restaurants and stores.We’d no idea such place exists in here.. We bookmarked the place to reach out again for Middle east cuisines. But we did go through a store selling imported foods from Arab countries. As our days shopping had over, we just had a look around. But one thing caught our eyes lying on the bakery was Pita bread. I’d heard many recipes of Pita bread but never got a chance to use them. So quickly i grabbed one pack. The next day we made sandwiches with pita.
With 2 more breads left and we both were craving for spicy meat dish for long, I decided to cook “Bhuna Gosht” to have with pita breads. Its not traditional but pita bread is very similar to Naan bread. So went very well with Bhuna gosht.
Bhuna Gosht is all about spices. Mutton is slow cooked with loads of spices for hours. The slow cooking process gives the brown color to the dish. It takes 1-2 hrs to cook the meat along with all the spices. But its worth the wait.  It is rich and Lip smacking delicious. It can be made easier by using pressure cooker. But there is no room for taste when you hurry up for this dish. My advice is to make this recipe when you have plenty of time and mood of cooking something special for your tastebud….  I love the Bhuna gosht recipe from “ecurryand this recipe has been adapted from them with slight variation.


Servings:  2        

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 1 hr
Level: Moderate
Ingredients:
1)      Mutton                                               250 gm

2)      Onion                                                 200 gm (1 Medium)

3)      Tomato                                              150 gm ( 1 Medium)
4)      Ginger                                                15 gm
5)      Garlic                                                 4 cloves
6)      Green chilli                                        2 nos
7)      Cumin seeds                                      1 Tsp
8)      Bay leaves                                         2 nos
9)      Cloves                                                4 nos
10)   Green cardamom                               2 nos
11)   Black cardamom                                1 no
12)   Mace                                                  a pinch
13)   Cinnamon                                          1 no , 5cm stick
14)   Nutmeg                                              a pinch
15)   Coriander powder                              1 Tbsp
16)   Cumin powder                                    1 Tsp
17)   Red chilli powder                               ½ Tsp
18)   Black pepper powder                         ½ Tsp    
19)   Salt                                                     as req
20)   Curd/Yogurt                                        2 Tbsp
21)   Water                                                 2 cups
22)   Vegetable Oil                                     1 Tbsp  
Method:
Preparation:
1)      Marinate mutton by combining yogurt,  half quantity of following spices – Coriander powder,
cumin powder, red chilli powder, pepper powder and salt.  Mix well with the meat and leave for 20 mins.
2)      Chop the onion, ginger, garlic and green chillies finely.
3)      Blend the tomatoes in a blender and set aside.
Cooking:
1)      Heat 1 Tbsp Oil in a large skillet.
2)      Turn to medium heat and add cumin seeds. When it  splutters add the spices bay leaves, cinnamon,
 green cardamom, cloves, and black cardamom pods  respectively. 
3)      Add chopped garlic ginger and sauté well for 1 min.
4)      Now add the chopped onion and green chilli along with little salt. Adding salt will ease the frying process.
5)      When the onions have turned to brown,  sprinkle mace and nutmeg powder. Sauté for few seconds.
6)      Add in the blended tomato and combine well. Add the marinated meat.
7)      Pour 2 cups of water, mix well and reduce the flame to low. Close the lid and cook for 30 mins stirring
        in-between.  
8)      After half an hour check for salt and add salt if required. If the gravy is dry add little more water and cook
another 15-20 mins or till the oil floats and the gravy is thick.
9)      Garnish with coriander leaves and sliced onion.
10)   Serve with naan, rice or any Indian bread.
Note:
1)      If using pressure cooker, cook the marinated mutton with 1 cup of water in cooker. And follow the
other steps.  No need of adding water while cooking in pan. Instead of cooking 45 mins,  just cook
till the gravy thickens.
2)      Yogurt is optional. Instead you can use 1 Tbsp of lemon juice while marinating.
3)     I have used boneless mutton pieces. Better way is to use boned meat.

Tricolor Pasta Salad

Always I find fun to make salads. No matter what I have in my hand, it may be pickled veggies or fresh ones, meat or veg, Pasta or Tuna, creamy dressing or Vinaigrette I use to enjoy throwing in whatever available.. So here is one of our favourite pasta salad. Since I made this accidentally,  I have used very few ingredients. Usually I use a combination of yogurt/sour cream and mayonnaise for dressing. Though I haven’t used yogurt here, I managed to make it creamy and taste the same. 

Servings:  2

Preparation Time: 5-8 mins

Cooking time: 10 mins

Level: Easy

Ingredients:

1)      Tri colour Rotini Pasta                       100 gm

2)      Lettuce                                               2 Leaves

3)      Olives                                                 10 nos

4)      Cucumber                                           1 small

5)      Plum tomato                                       5 nos

6)      Mayonnaise                                        2 Tbsp

7)      Black pepper powder                          1 Tsp

8)      Salt                                                      ¼ Tsp

Method:

1)    Boil water in a large pan. Once water comes to boiling temperature immerse the pasta. Turn heat

to low and cook for another 10 minutes.  Keep it aside till it cools down.Or cook the pasta as per

the instruction given in the package.

2)    Chop the cucumber, olives and lettuce. Cut the plum tomatoes into half. Since I had no plum tomatoes

stored, I have used normal tomatoes

3)    Mix pepper powder and salt with the mayonnaise.

4)    Combine all the vegetables and mayonnaise dressing with the pasta and mix gently.


Note:


1)      If you want meat in your salad add chopped bacon, ham or any sausages. 

2)      I have used green olives. For colorful salad use black olives instead.

3)     If you are gonna mix yogurt/sour cream with mayonnaise, only add half the quantity of 

mayonnaise mentioned here.

Creamy Tricolor Rotini Pasta Salad

 Always I find fun to make salads. No matter what I have in my hand, it may be pickled veggies or fresh ones, meat or veg, Pasta or Tuna, creamy dressing or Vinaigrette I use to enjoy throwing in whatever available.. So here is one of our favourite pasta salad. Since I made this accidentally,  I have used very few ingredients. Usually I use a combination of yogurt/sour cream and mayonnaise for dressing. Though I haven’t used yogurt here, I managed to make it creamy and taste the same. 



Servings:  2        
Preparation Time: 5-8 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
Level: Easy
Ingredients:
1)      Tri colour Rotini Pasta                       100 gm
2)      Lettuce                                               2 Leaves
3)      Olives                                                 10 nos
4)      Cucumber                                           1 small
5)      Plum tomato                                       5 nos
6)      Mayonnaise                                        2 Tbsp
7)      Black pepper powder                          1 Tsp
8)      Salt                                                      ¼ Tsp    
Method:
1)    Boil water in a large pan. Once water comes to boiling temperature immerse the pasta. Turn heat
to low and cook for another 10 minutes.  Keep it aside till it cools down.Or cook the pasta as per
the instruction given in the package.
2)    Chop the cucumber, olives and lettuce. Cut the plum tomatoes into half. Since I had no plum tomatoes
stored, I have used normal tomatoes
3)    Mix pepper powder and salt with the mayonnaise.
4)    Combine all the vegetables and mayonnaise dressing with the pasta and mix gently. 


Note:

1)      If you want meat in your salad add chopped bacon, ham or any sausages. 
2)      I have used green olives. For colorful salad use black olives instead.
3)     If you are gonna mix yogurt/sour cream with mayonnaise, only add half the quantity of 
mayonnaise mentioned here.




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Pavakka Theeyal/Kaippakkai Theeyal/ Bitter gourd curry

Another vegetarian dish from Kerala “Kaippakkai Theeyal”. Kaippakkai meaning “Bitter gourd”. You could also use vegetables like yam, pearl onion, raw mangoes, eggplant in place of bitter gourd. It’s a curry made with roasted spices,coconut and the vegetables are boiled in tamarind water.  
When we hear the name bitter gourd most of our face changes to no no mode..  But trust me, this

recipe is full of flavours. From sourness from the tamarind, sweet from coconut & jaggery, to slight bitter from the bitter gourd makes this dish delicious.
I like my theeyal with steaming hot rice and chutta papadam (Papad toasted in charcoal or fire). Give it a try and I am sure you will like it.

Servings:  2        

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Level: Moderate
Ingredients:
1)      Bitter gourd                                       100 gm
2)      Pearl onion                                        30 gm (5-6 nos)
3)      Asafoetida                                         a pinch
4)      Tamarind                                            5 gm
5)      Turmeric powder                                ¼ Tsp
6)      Jaggery                                               ¼ Tsp
7)      Coconut Oil                                            1 Tbsp
8)      Water                                                 1 ½ Cups             
For grinding:
9)      Coriander seeds                                1 Tbsp
10)   Peppercorns                                       ½ Tsp
11)   Garlic                                                 2 cloves (Optional)
12)   Dried red chilli                                   2 nos
13)   Fenugreek seeds                               ½ Tsp
14)   Coconut (Grated)                               ½ Cup/50 gm
For Tadka:
15)   Mustard seeds                                  ½ Tsp
16)   Curry leaves                                      10 nos
17)   Pearl onion                                        2 nos
Method:
Preparation:
1)      Dry roast the ingredients given under grinding except coconut and transfer to grinding jar.
2)      In the same pan dry roast the grated coconut till brown and transfer to the same grinding jar.
3)      Grind them using ½ cup of water to a paste.
4)      Chop the pearl onions coarsely.
5)      Slice the bitter gourd thinly.
6)      Soak the tamarind in ½ cup of warm water for 5 mins. And squeeze them to extract tamarind paste.
Cooking:

1)      Heat ½ Tbsp Oil in a pan.
2)      Add asafoetida and chopped onions.
3)      Fry till onions turn golden brown. Now add little turmeric powder.
4)      Add the sliced bitter gourd. Saute well to combine.
5)      Add the ground paste and salt. Stir fry for a minute till it is mixed well with the vegetables.
6)      Pour in the tamarind water, mix well and bring to boil.
7)      Once boiled, reduce the flame to low.
8)      Close the lid and cook till the bitter gourd becomes soft.
9)      Finally before turning the heat off add jaggery. Turn off the heat and transfer to serving bowl.
For Tadka
10)   Take another pan and heat oil.
11)   Add Mustard seeds. When it splutters add curry leaves and sliced onions.
12)   Fry till onion become golden brown.
13)   Pour the tadka onto the theeyal.
14)   Serve with steamed rice.

Note:

1)      Theeyal also can be made using okra, eggplant, raw mangoes, yam, pearl onions. 
2)      Adding jaggery is optional. Adding jaggery lessens the bitterness from the bitter gourd.
3)      The brown colour of the curry comes from the fried coconut and coriander seeds.
 So you need to fry them well.

Pepper Chicken / Kozhi Milagu varuval

Black pepper is one of my favourite ingredient, especially when used in Non veg preparations. I am posting Pepper chicken recipe with a touch of Kerala tadka. The taste totally rely on the fresh ingredients we use to prepare. So I have used fresh ingredients wherever I can. This is definitely a treat to your taste bud. We love to have pepper chicken along with rasam and rice. However it can be also served with Indian bread. Nothing is as heavenly as an ice cream after this peppery meal.

Servings:  2        
Preparation Time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 1 hr
Level: Moderate
Ingredients:
1)      Chicken with bone                         300 gm
2)      Onion                                                  200 gm (One Big)
3)      Tomato                                               150 gm  (Two Small)                          
4)      Ginger                                                 15 gm
5)      Garlic                                                   4 cloves
6)      Green chilli                                        2 nos
7)      Curry leaves                                      10 nos
8)      Cumin seeds                                     1 Tsp
9)      Clove                                                   4 nos
10)   Green Cardamom                          2 nos
11)   Bay leaves                                         2 nos
12)   Cinnamom                                         1 stick 5cm length
13)   Turmeric powder                            ¼ Tsp
14)   Vegetable Oil                                   1 Tbsp
15)   Coriander leaves                             For garnishing
16)   Water                                                  1 Cup
For Marinade
17)   Lemon juice                                      2 Tbsp
18)   Coriander powder                          1 Tbsp
19)   Red chilli powder                            ½ Tsp
20)   Turmeric powder                            ¼ Tsp
21)   Cumin powder                                 1 Tsp
22)   Ginger garlic paste                        
23)   Crushed black pepper                  1 Tbsp
24)   Salt                                                       as required
25)   Vegetable oil                                    1 Tbsp
For Dry Roast
26)   Coriander seeds                              1 Tbsp
27)   Black peppercorns                         1 ½  Tbsp
Method:
Preparation:
1)      Dry roast the black pepper corns and coriander seeds separately
2)      Grind the coriander seeds to fine powder and crush the peppercorns to coarse.
3)      Make a paste of ginger, garlic and one green chilli.
4)      Clean the chicken and pat dry using towel. Marinate chicken with lemon juice, ginger garlic paste,
 powdered coriander seeds, turmeric powder, Red chilli powder, Cumin powder,  Salt, Oil and
 half of the crushed  black peppercorns. Marinate for atleast 15 mins.
5)      Slice the onion thinly. Slit remaining one green chilli. Chop the tomatoes and grind them
using blender.
Cooking:
1)      Heat 1 Tbsp Oil in a pan.
2)      Add cumin and allow it to splutter.
3)      When it splutters add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and bay leaves. Sauté for 30 sec.
4)      Now add half of the thinly sliced onions. Stir fry till it becomes translucent adding little salt.
5)      Add turmeric into the onion and mix well
6)      Add the marinated chicken and combine well. Stir till chicken turns white.
7)      Now add the tomato paste and 1 cup of water. Mix everything well.
8)      Reduce the flame to low and cook the chicken for 30 -45 mins or till gravy thickens. Stir inbetween
to avoid  gravy sticking to the pan. Check for salt and if needed add it.
9)      When the gravy is thickened add the remaining crushed peppercorns. Stir to mix well.
10)   Turn off the heat.
For Tadka
11)   Take another pan and heat oil.
12)   Add curry leaves, remaining sliced onions and green chilli. Fry till onion become golden brown and
little crunchy.
13)   Transfer this mixture to the chicken and combine well.
14)   Garnish with coriander leaves and onion. Serve with rice or rotis.
Note:
1)      While marinating, instead of lemon juice you can add vinegar or yogurt.
2)      Tadka step is optional. The taste of fried onion and curry leaves adds special taste to the gravy.
If you want to skip tadka then add the onion, curry leaves and green chilli after adding the whole
 spices (Step 3)
   

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Thai Pineapple Rice


Thai cuisine always been very close to my heart next to Indian food. You will notice similarities between them in few dishes but entirely different when it comes to cooking. More similarities can be seen with Chinese cuisine.

Two years back, one fine day during our trip to Beijing we decided to book our lunch at Thai restaurant “Banana leaf”. That was our first ever try to Thai food. We gathered some points before walking into the restaurant like lists of famous dishes, never miss items on the menu etc.. We were determined to try Green curry. papaya salad, one fried item and one of their well known dessert whichever available in menu. As expected, the menu covered most of the famous dishes from Thai. When we looked upon rice section we found “Thai Pineapple Rice” and the picture attracted us more. Couldn’t stop ordering the pineapple rice even it was not in our list. It got our thumbs up not only for its presentation also for its outstanding flavours.

From then on we have become its fan and somehow managed to discover the ingredients that it had. My husband have tried cooking Pineapple rice in so many ways to bring its flavour. Honestly, it took him more than 6 trials to get that authentic taste. Finally he succeeded in obtaining the same flavour. So here is his own customized recipe for “Thai Pineapple Rice”. Thanks to him. I love this particular recipe from him very much.
Servings:  3        

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Level: Moderate


Ingredients:
1)      Pineapple (Excluding the skin)            275 gm (Big one)
2)      Cooked rice                                  600 gm 
3)      Diced carrots and peas               150 gm                                 
4)      Shrimps                                        15 nos /100 gm
5)      Onion                                           150 gm (1 medium)
6)      Garlic                                           2 cloves
7)      Green chilli                                  2 nos
8)      Egg                                               2 nos
9)      Cashewnut                                   15 nos
10)   Raisins                                         1 Tbsp
11)   Curry powder                               1 Tbsp
12)   Fish sauce /Soy sauce                 2 Tbsp
13)   Salt                                               as required
Method:


Preparation:
1)      Fry the cashewnuts either by toasting them in oil or in oven.
2)      Clean the shrimps thoroughly and dry them using towel.
3)      Dice the carrot into small cubes.
4)      Chop the onions and garlic finely. Chop the green chillies.
5)      Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. Add the egg and cook it like you cook scrambled egg. Keep it aside.
6)      Chop the side of the pineapple and make it into two pieces one large like serving bowl another
with a thickness of a lid. Scoop all the pineapple from the largest portion. Try to get large chunks.
7)      Cube the pineapple. Take 1/3rd of the pineapple and juice it.
8)      Using fork separate any lumps in the cooked rice.
Cooking:
1)      Heat 1 Tbsp Oil in a wok.
2)      Add the chopped garlic, onion and green chilli. Fry them till onion turns golden brown.
3)      Add the shrimps and diced vegetables. Saute for 3-4 mins or till the shrimps turn pinkish.
4)      Now add the pineapple along with the juice and sauté for a minute.
5)      Add in the curry powder and salt. Mix well.
6)      Add the rice and stir well till it combines well with the mixture.
7)      Now add the scrambled egg and fish sauce. Toss them to combine.
8)      Taste for correcting salt and curry powder. If needed add it at this stage.
9)      Turn off the heat. Transfer to the scooped pineapples’s large portion carefully.
10)   Serve hot.

   
Note:

1)      For vegetarians, avoid using shrimps and eggs. Instead of fish sauce use soy sauce
considering same quantity as of fish sauce.

Kerala Chicken Curry with Cheratta Puttu / Nadan Kozhi Kuttan with Cheratta puttu

I have come up with one of the highly popular and most desirous recipe from Kerala”Puttu” (Malayalam). Usually served for breakfast along with “Chickpea curry”. “Puttu” is a dish made by steaming rice flour using cylindrical vessel and so the shape of puttu is cylindrical. It is called “Kuzha Puttu”(Kuzhal = Small Cylindrical pipe). Another way of steaming puttu is by using half coconut shell which is called “Cheratta puttu” (Cheratta = coconut shell). Nowadays  some variation of puttu uses wheat, rava, whole grains etc.. Also you can find readymade flour for making puttu. On the other hand, the accompaniments also varies widely. Most common is chickpea curry, banana and palm sugar. Also goes well with any other curries and non veg curries.

Since puttu is steamed, it is considered very healthy food. To add more healthiness and naturalistic to the dish, I have tried red rice flour and steamed using coconut shell. Instead of Kadala curry, I made Kerala Chicken curry (Nadan Kozhi Kuttan) to go with puttu.

Cheratta puttu



Servings:  2        
Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Level: Easy
Ingredients:
1)      Red rice flour                                    200 gm
2)      Salt                                                    as required
3)      Grated coconut                                 4 Tbsp
4)      Warm water                                      1 cup
5)      Halved coconut shell                        2 nos
Method:
Preparation:
1)      Dry roast the rice flour using pan.
2)      Let it cool for 2 mins.
3)      Add salt to the warm water and mix well.
4)      Now add the warm water little by little to the rice flour mixing them well.
5)      Stop adding water when the consistency of the flour becomes somewhat moisture.
When you hold the mixture tight in your palm, it should form a ball.
6)      Rice flour should have moisture in it but not lumps.
7)      Clean the halved coconut shells using water.
Cooking:
8)      Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of grated coconut in each coconut shell.
9)      Divide the rice flour into two. Add each portion to each coconut shell.
10)   Sprinkle another 1 Tbsp of grated coconut at the end of the filling.
11)   Boil water in electric rice cooker (or) in a large pan (or) in idli cooker (or) any other steamer.
12)   Place the steamer partition on the electric rice cooker. If you are using idli cooker, place the
bottommost idli plate or if you are using any other steamer prepare the steamer for placing the shells.
13)    Place a wet cloth on the steamer and invert the coconut shell onto it, the mouth of the
 shell facing boiling water.
14)   Steam for 10- 15 mins.
15)   Turn off the heat and slowly take off the coconut shell from steamer along with the cloth to
avoid any fall off of rice flour.
16)   Place it on a plate and gently remove the coconut shell alone from the steamed rice flour.
17)   Serve hot with chicken curry.
Note:
1)      Use white rice flour, wheat flour, rava or any other whole grains in the place of red rice flour.
          Just make sure it should be coarsely powdered.  
 2)    Adjust the steaming time according to your steamer. Normal steaming time is 10 min in medium flame.


Kerala Chicken curry / Nadan Kozhi curry 

Servings:  2        
Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Level: Moderate
Ingredients:
1)      Chicken                                               300 gm 
2)      Onion                                                  200 gm (1 medium)
3)      Tomato                                               150 gm (1 medium)
4)      Green chilli                                         2 nos
5)      Curry leaves                                       10 nos
6)      Turmeric powder                                ¼ Tsp
7)      Salt                                                     as required
8)      Coriander leaves                                2-3 stems
9)      Vegetable oil                                      1 Tbsp
For roasting & grinding:
1)      Coriander seeds                                 1 Tbsp
2)      Cumin seeds                                       1 Tsp
3)      Dried Red chilli                                   2 nos
4)      Black pepper                                       1 Tsp
5)      Cinnamon                                            1 nos – 5 cm length
6)      Cloves                                                  3 nos
7)      Fennel seeds                                       1 Tsp
8)      Green cardamom                                 2 nos
9)      Poppy seeds                                         ½ Tsp
10)   Garlic                                                    5 cloves
11)   Ginger                                                  15 gm
12)   Pearl onion                                           5 nos
13)   Grated coconut                                    ½ cup
14)   Vegetable oil                                       1 Tsp
Method:
Preparation:
1)      Clean the chicken and drain all the excess water. Marinate with little salt, turmeric powder
and chilli powder.
2)      Chop the onion, green chiliies and tomatoes.
3)      Heat 1 tsp oil in a small pan.
4)      Add all the ingredients given under roasting and grinding except ginger and coconut.
5)      Roast till the spices leave aroma and the seeds are lightly brown.
6)      Keep aside till it cools and transfer to mixer jar for grinding. Now roast the grated coconut
in the same pan till it become golden brown color. Set aside.
7)      Grind the coriander mixture adding the ginger and water little by little to a fine paste.
8)      Add the coconut to it and grind to combine well.
Cooking:
1)      Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan.
2)      Add curry leaves followed by onion and fry till translucent adding little salt and turmeric powder.
3)      Add the green chillies and tomatoes to the onion. Stir fry for 4-5 mins.
4)      Now add the marinated chicken. Toss till the chicken turns to white color.
5)      Add the ground paste and 1 cup of water. Mix well.
6)      Bring the heat to low. Close the lid and cook for about 15 mins.
7)      Check chicken pieces for doneness.  If needed add more water and allow boiling.
The curry should be watery in consistent.
8)      When done, garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.

Note:
    
1)      Instead of grated coconut, you can also use coconut milk. In that case use 1 cup of milk.
2)      Use chicken.with bones.
3)      If you don’t have whole coriander seeds, use coriander powder.