August 30, 2011

Chakli for Lord Ganesha

Just as little Krishna loves fried snacks, Ganesha loves good food too :) which is why a whole lot of sweets & savouries are made for Ganesh Chaturthi. 

My MIL made a huge batch of Chaklis this morning & I took a few pictures before they are stored away so that no one can eat them before it is offered to the Lord. So these yummy Chaklis are for Lord Ganesha.


Chakli


There are tons of recipes for making Chaklis. A few use Maida or All purpose flour, whereas a few use  besan & rice flour, The one that I've made uses Rice flour & Urad dal in a proportion of 4:1. The rice flour along with melted butter lends a crisp texture to the chaklis while the urad dal adds a very yummy taste.

You Will Need:
  • 4 cups Rice flour
  • 1 cup Urad dal
  • 2 1/2 tbsp melted butter
  • salt as per taste
  • A bit of Hing
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • Oil for deep frying

How To:
  • Pressure cook urad dal until mushy. allow it to cool & knead into a smooth paste.
  • In a large bowl, sift rice flour, add melted butter, Hing, cumin seeds, salt & Urad dal paste.
  • Add very little water & knead into a smooth stiff dough.
  • Fix the 1 star attachment into the chakli maker. Take a small amount of dough & place it inside the chakli maker. Press the dough on a plastic sheet & as you press the dough, rotate the chakli maker round & round until it forms a circle. It should form a medium sized circle..
  • Transfer the chaklis from the plastic sheet to your hands & carefully drop them in hot oil.
  • Fry 3 - 4 chaklis at a time. Fry until it turns slightly golden in color.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon & dry on paper towels. Allow it to cool & store in air tight jars.
Enjoi them with a hot cup of Coffee ...

Hope you guys have a great time celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi ..

This goes to Anjali's place for the event for Ganesh Chaturthi Celebration

August 24, 2011

Sweet Corn & Pomegranate Salad


How many of you make it a point to eat salads everyday?? Well, atleast I am not one of those. While, I do appreciate  a well made salad, I am plain lazy to whip up a salad on a everyday basis & I am happy eating Rice:-)

The other day, I made this simple Pomegranate & sweet corn salad with a dash of bell pepper in it. The sweet taste of pomegranate & sweet corn blended so well with bell peppers & the vinaigrette. I hope you guys love it as well

Sweet Corn & Pomegranate Salad

You Will Need
  • 1 cup Pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup sweet corn -boiled with a bit of salt
  • 1 cup green bell pepper - finely diced
For the Vinaigrette
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp any dried herb
  • Salt as per taste
How To Make the Vinaigrette:
  • In a small bowl, add apple cider vinegar, dried herb & salt. mix well. Add extra virgin olive oil & give it a good whisk & set aside.
To Assemble the Salad:
  • In a large bowl, thrown in pomegranate seeds, sweetcorn & bell peppers, mix well.
  • Add prepared vinaigrette, toss well for the flavours to incorporate. Check for salt. Chill for an hour before serving
Enjoi !!!

August 18, 2011

Hari Nayak's 'My Indian Kitchen' - A Review

When Cheryl from Cheryl Duncan & co. asked me if I would like to review Hari Nayak's latest cookbook,  I readily agreed. And, Stephanie from TUTTLE PUBLISHING was gracious enough to send me  a complimentary copy of Hari Nayak's latest 'My Indian Kitchen', I was thrilled for I heart cookbooks. As a food blogger, I have more than one reason to fall in love with cookbooks.

Those of you, who do not know, Hari Nayak is an Indian celebrity chef who lives in New Jersey. He is also an author who has several books to his credit. Nayak hails from Udipi, a small town close to Mangalore. So all those who love South Indian food, you can look forward to some lovely South Indian recipes here.


My Indian Kitchen

The book arrived on rainy afternoon here, I immediately sat down with a cuppa Masala Chai, & as I flipped through the pages, I was already in love with this book. The pictures are by Jack Turkel are such a visual treat. Along with a few of his popular dishes, this book includes some of his family recipes as & a few tips & tricks which makes cooking easier.

The book starts with an introduction to Indian Cuisine & what I loved was a note on Pairing Wines with Indian food. Now we all know, which wine to pick with that spicy curry.

The book then gets divided into 9 delicious chapters beginning with recipes for Indian Spice mixes, the quitessential Indian Chutneys, Appetizers, Soups & dal, Vegetable & cheese dishes. There is a separate section for sea food & another one for meat & poultry. There is another chapter dedicated to Indian faltbreads & Rice varieties, in which he also teaches how to cook the perfect Basmati Rice. There is a Desserts & drinks section at the end, which features some delectable desserts. I personally loved the Pistachio & Mango Ice Cream.

A few other unique recipes that caught my fancy were the Avocado & roasted cumin Raita, Potato & Onion Fritters, & Zucchini with lentils & roasted garlic. These recipes are a perfect way of giving western vegbetables an Indian touch.

If you are a vegetarian who hates buying cookbooks because of the Non Vegetarian recipes in them, you need not worry, for this book has ample Vegetraian recipes. I am a vegetarian myself & I was not dissappointed with the veggie collection here.

However, if you are trying your hand at Indian cooking for the first time, this book is perfect to make a beginning & it lives up to its tagline, 'Preparing delicious Indian meals without fear or fuss'. For a novice, the pictures are such boon because you will know what the end result should look like. Most of the recipes are very easy & with simple narration, anybody can get a hang of what Indian cusine is all about.

In case you already own this gorgeous book, some of my favorite recipes in this book that you may want to try are
  • Pomegranate & mint potato salad
  • Carrot Yogurt Slaw
  • Hyderabadi mixed vegetables
  • Pureed spinach with cheese balls
  • Mint Rice with potatoes & toasted cumin
  • Baked garlic naan
  • Chai Creme Brulee
  • Mumbai fruit punch

There are a lot more other fabuluous recipes from this book, which I will be doing in my upcoming posts .. Do watch out

Verdict

Nayak's effort is sincere which reflects in his recipes. The narration is simple, precise & well written. Nayak clearly suceeds in his motive to make Indian cooking less intimidating.

It is a solid cookbook which covers a wide array of the vast Indian cuisine. As the author rightly puts, 'It is for all who love the value of a home cooked family meal' .. Those who love collecting cookbooks,this book definitely deserves a place in your book shelf. It also makes for a great gift to cooking enthusiasts .. Go for it ..

If you wish to know more about Hari Nayak, visit his website at http://www.harinayak.com/.
Also, log on to http://www.myindiankitchen.com/ , to have a look at the recipe gallery.

August 11, 2011

Tempered Green Mangoes

We get this wonderful variety of green mangoes called Gini Mooti Mavinkayi which literally translates to Parrot Faced Mangoes :-) I don't know, what it is called in other languages though. Please to let me know, if you are aware of it.
These mangoes aren't extactly sour. The skin is not to be peeled off, as it lends a sweet taste to the mangoes.

DSC_1125

We love eating these mango slices with some salt & chilli powder rubbed on them. But sometimes I also love to temper them with some mustard seeds, chilli & coriander powder .. YUMM

How To:
  • 2 Gini Mooti mangoes - washed & diced into small cubes
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • A few Curry Leaves
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • A big pinch of Haldi
  • 1/2 tsp of coriander powder
  • Salt as per taste
How To:
  • In a small frying pan, heat oil. Splutter mustard seeds & curry leaves
  • Add all the dry powders one by one, & mix in the mango cubes.
  • Add some salt. On low flame,mix everything together for a minute.
  • Turn of the stove & serve ..
Enjoi !!! But do not over indulge as you may end up with some bad cough ..

August 6, 2011

Dilli ki Aloo Matar Chaat

I was looking for something that I can make with potatoes & I fumbled upon this recipe. The moment I read this , I knew I would be making it soon ..

It took about 15 minutes for me to make this & the end result was just yummy

Dilli ki Aloo Matar Chaat


You Will Need:
  • 2 large Potatoes - cubed
  • A handful of fresh green peas
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger.
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Amchur powder
  •  A pinch of Hing
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • Salt as per taste
  • fresh Coriander for Garnish
How To:
  • Boil green peas over the stove top or in a microwave until tender. Drain & set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a Kadhai, splutter cumin seeds. Add a dash of Hing & grated ginger. Saute for a few secs.
  • Add potato cubes, some salt & shallow fry in oil until crisp. Add all the dry powders one by one. Throw in boiled peads & fry for a couple of minutes until the flavours get absorbed.
  • Turn off the stove & serve along with tooth picks .. Add a dash of lemon juice if you like & garnish with fresh coriander

While I was making this, I didn't really expect it to be any different from the dry potato curry that we all make, But it was way different that that .. I would call it a cross between our Desi Pottao Fry & Potato Wedges from McDonalds ... But you will love it for sure ..