Monday, June 30, 2008

Cauliflower Rassa

Rassa usually defines a thin watery curry and is especially popular in the state of Maharashtra. This recipe is a little different from the usual as it uses ground onions in its base. The curry goes well with any type of bread or rice.


Half a cauliflower, cut into florets
1 cup peas
1 large potato chopped
1 large onion
2 large tomatoes
2 tsp tomato paste
1 inch ginger
2 pods garlic
1 stick cinnamon
2 cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 tblsp lime juice
3-4 cups water
salt to taste


Grind together the ginger, garlic, onion, fresh tomatoes and tomato paste into a smooth pulp. Heat oil in a pot. Add cinnamon and cloves as it heats. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When seeds sputter add ground mixture. Add spices and cook till the onions are well cooked and the paste does not stick to the sides of the pan. Add cauliflower, peas and potato. Add 3-4 cups water. Add salt and lemon juice. Stir and cook covered on medium heat till all the vegetables are cooked. Garnish with chopped cilantro .

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Peanut Noodles with Tofu

I have recently developed a new found love for tofu. I never really cared for it until I ate a dish at this thai restaurant and loved it. Tofu also turns out to be a great substitute to be used in konkani cooking. How can that be right? Well konkani food uses a lot of coconut. If you have heart or cholesterol issues substitute shredded coconut for shredded tofu and it works like wonders. Great tip huh? So coming back to my love for tofu, I bought some extra firm tofu and then stared at the package for a few minutes wondering what I should use it for. In the end I made these noodles. The ingredients came up on the fly. It was a mix and match of pad thai ingredients and some random ingredients I threw in to get the taste I was looking for. I used egg noodles but any type of noodles should be fine.

Ingredients (serves 2)

One package egg noodles
One package extra firm tofu, cut into pieces
2 eggs, beaten
Green onions-2, chopped
1 heaped tsp chopped garlic
2 -3 tbslp crunchy peanut butter
1 tsp tamarind
1/2 cup Hoisin sauce
1 tblsp sriracha hot chilly sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
crushed peanuts
chopped cilantro


Pan fry tofu pieces till lightly browned on both sides. Also, prepare a flat omelette of the beaten eggs. Keep both aside. Boil water in a pot. Add egg noodles and cook according to package instructions. Meanwhile heat a generous amount of oil in a wok till the oil is very hot. Add garlic, green onions. Working quickly add all the sauces and peanut butter. Fry for a few seconds until well mixed. Immediately add the noodles, tofu and egg. Mix well and fast till all the sauce is incorporated into the noodles. Serve sprinkled with chopped peanuts, cilantro and a splash of lime.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tamarind Chicken Wings

These chicken wings are really really good. They make a great appetizer, a change from the typical wings. You can make them just tangy or sweet and tangy depending on what you prefer. I made the non-sweet version here. Also, adjust the hotness as you like. This is also my entry to JFI Tamarind hosted this month by Sig of Live to Eat. Here's the link to the main JFI page at Mahanandi.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

8-10 chicken wing potions

For Marinade
1 tblsp tamarind concentrate (for sweet version use date tamarind chutney 2-4 tbslp, available in most indian stores)
1 tblsp soy sauce
1 tblsp very finely chopped garlic
1 tblsp worcestershire sauce
3-4 tblsp buffalo wing sauce (mild or hot on your preference)
2 pinches cumin (for the smoky flavor)
1 tsp red chilly powder
2 tbslp olive oil
Salt to taste

Mix all marinade ingredients together. Beat well.

Add chicken wings to a ziploc bag. Add marinade. Close bag and mix in the chicken wings with the marinade. Keep in the fridge overnight (If you're in a hurry marinate for atleast 30 minutes at room temp). Wings can also be frozen this way. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place chicken wings on it and pour any extra marinade over the wings. Bake at 425 F for about 30 minutes till chicken is cooked. In the last 5 minutes turn on broiler and broil on high for 5 minutes till wings turn dark brown on top. Serve hot with bleu cheese or ranch dip.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

spicy cabbage and shrimp

What happens and you come home to a fridge that has only cabbage and shrimp: this recipe! Its 9 at night, I get back from work thinking I should have gotten take out yet wanting to eat something a little bit healthier. In the past months with a lot of gym workouts and eating less I've lost a decent amount of weight and now I want to keep it off. So I take my wok and throw these ingredients into it and since I was on a roll I made chapatis as well and there you have it, quoting Rachel Ray, "I had made a delicious and healthy meal from start to finish in 30 minutes". It was surprisingly tasty. I had never put cabbage and shrimp together before and the ingredients came out just right.

Uncooked peeled and deveined shrimp 20-30
half a cabbage sliced
One large tomato
2 tblsp sriracha hot sauce
1 tsp red pepper flakes
3 pods garlic sliced
1 inch piece ginger sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala


Heat oil in a deep pan. Add red chilly flakes, ginger and garlic. Add Sriracha sauce. Add dry spices. Mix well. Add shrimps and mix into the sauce. The add the cabbage and the diced tomato. Add salt. Mix, cover and cook for about 5-10 minutes. Remove lid and cook till most of the water has evaporated. Serve with rice or chapatis.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Kerala Chicken Fry

When my dad was commanding his own regiment in the army, we had a cook called "Rajan Bhaiyya". He made the most amazing food everrrrr. His chicken fry was soooooo good that I wanted to remake it the way he did. I remember when my sister got married he came to visit. He had left the cooking days of the army behind and started his own little store in his kerala hometown. He was such a sweet guy. I hope wherever he is, he's doing well. I poured over all the blogs and recipes so I could find a recipe for chicken fry that seemed much like his and this is what I came up with. This recipe is a bit on the "fatty" side so if you want to cut out the extra oil just omit all the frying in oil bit.


Bone in chicken cut into medium pieces
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp red chil powder
2 onions, one medium, one large, sliced
about 15 dry red chilles
1/2 package frozen coconut, thawed, about 150 g
1/3 cup corriander seeds
10-12 curry leaves
1 large cinnamon stick
3-4 cloves
2 potatoes diced
2 tsp tamarind pulp
salt to taste

Season washed and dry chicken with salt, turmeric and red chilly powder. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Saute in oil till chicken pieces turn golden. Keep aside. In the same oil saute diced potatoes till golden. In oil saute one medium sliced onion.

Heat a deep dish pan. Roast red chillies and corriander seeds. Remove and add to the grinder. Roast coconut in the pan and add to the chillies. Add the sauted onions to the to coconut and red chillies. Grind the entire mixture with a little bit of water and tamarind pulp till it forms a smooth paste.

Heat oil in the same pot in which you fried the chicken. Add curry leaves and whole spices. Add the other large sliced onions. Fry till golden brown. Add the ground coconut paste.

Fry this mixture till the paste stops sticking to the sides of the pan and releases grease. This step is critical since it indicates the "ready" state of the base. If you are not patient enough to wait for this stage your base will not taste good. Once ready, add the chicken and potatoes. Mix and add salt and extra tamarind as needed. Cover and cook till chicken and potatoes are cooked through. Let it cook uncovered later to make the mixture as dry as needed. Serve hot with rice or chapatis.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Mixed vegetable

Aai and Baba left yesterday. When we came back after dropping them at the airport the house felt soooo empty. We both were feeling kind of blue. To cheer us up I decided to make something that we both really like a lot. I love this recipe. Its so easy and tastes really good. Its a nice side dish to make when you have guests over. Try it, i'm sure you'll love it.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 large green pepper
1/2 a caulifower, broken into florets
2 tomatoes
1 can baby corn/or fresh baby corn
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
one large pinch asafoetida
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tblsp lemon juice
1 tblsp Chopped cilantro
salt to taste


Chop vegetables except baby corn into long slices. Heat oil in a frying pan/wok. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida. Add all the vegetables. Stir fry. Add garam masala,salt, sugar and lime juice. Stir. Cover and cook till vegetables are cooked through. Take care to not overcook the veges. Garnish with chopped cilantro.