Sunday, 2 October 2016

Rice Murukku

The other day I met another Indian lady and she smiled back at me.I was surprised,we Indians,as strange as this sounds,never smile at each other.We adeptly recognise each other from pretty far away and then make sure that we don't make eye contact.Our radars are well developed,we even sense if we speak the same language,in other words,we even recognise if we are from the same state or part of India and then decide if we need to smile.I have no clue why most Indians do this,but it could be partly because we are told right from our childhood to be cautious around strangers.Well this lady and me smiled at each other and then started speaking with each other in English.After the lady had left another friend of mine asked me why we Indians always speak with each other in English.
                                               'Is English your mother tongue ?'
                                                'No,Tamil is my mother tongue.'
                                                            'Then English ?'
                                            'Well,you could call that my Father tongue '
                                             She laughs.'Well then German ?'
                                             Me promptly 'That's my Husband tongue'
After a good laugh ,I told her how we Indians,despite having so many languages, resort to speaking in English which is more or less a common tongue.And yes we do have our official language Hindi,which we south Indians do speak a bit,thanks to Shah Rukh Khan and Bollywood,but  a very few of us actually master it enough ,to hold a decent conversation .Which leaves us with no other choice but to switch to English,which is definitely better than our Hindi ('Ek Ghao mein ek kisaan raghu thaatha ') !!
Coming to the recipe this is a very yummy snack that can be prepared in no time.The flour, if prepared from scratch at home, could take a long time to make,but if you have store brought rice flour at hand,it makes the job very easy.This murruku is usually referred to as 'Thenkuzhal',which i assume has something to do with the press.But I can never call it that because the only 'Thenkuzhal' I remember fondly are the ones I had as a kid in my grandma's place.They,true to the name Thenkuzhal-Honeytubes,were sweet and oozed out sugar syrup.So for me these would always be Muruuku :) So off to the recipe !!


You'll Need:
Rice Flour - 1 and 1/4 cups
Urad dal Flour - 1/4 cup
Melted salted butter - 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds -  1 tsp
salt - 1 and 1/4 tsp
Hing a pinch
oil as needed for deep frying
Water as needed
Murukku press


Method:
-For the flours : For the rice flour - I used store brought Idiyappam/String hoppers rice flour.
                                For the Urad dal flour- Dry roast the urad dal on a pan on low heat,once it gives a         nice aroma,grind it to a fine powder.Make sure it doesn't get burnt.
-In a bowl add the flours and the salt and mix well.Next add the butter and mix with you hand.When you take a little between your fingers and press it,it should hold its shape for a few seconds ,before crumbling.
-Mix the hing in the water.Add the water little by little to the flour to make a medium tight dough.Be careful with the amount of water as it can make the dough soggy.
-Heat the oil in the pan and let it heat up,it shouldn't be very hot,let it stay on medium heat.
-Now add a portion of the dough in the press and pipe shapes on a baking paper or any surface greased with oil so that it doesn't stick.
-Always keep the remaining portion of the dough covered with a damp cloth.
-Carefully slide the piped shape into the hot oil and  fry it ,turning it over in between.When it's done the oil around it will stop sizzling.Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
-Once they are cooled store them in airtight containers.


Thanks for stopping by ! Have a nice day !

Butter Murukku

This is another version of Rice Murukku,it can be made more quickly and easily as they don't even need to be pressed into shapes,they can be pressed directly into the oil.The process is more or less similar to the rice murukku,These ones are super soft and melt in your mouth !!


You'll Need:
Rice Flour - 1 and 1/4 cups
Daria/Roasted Chana Dal/Pottukkadalai powder - 2 Tbsp
Melted salted butter - 2  - 3 tbsp
Cumin seeds (optional)-  1 tsp
salt - 1 and 1/4 tsp
Hing a pinch
oil as needed for deep frying
Water as needed
Murukku press

Method:
-For the flours : For the rice flour - I used store brought Idiyappam/String hoppers rice flour.
For the Daria powder - Just grind Daria to a fine powder.
-In a bowl add the flours and the salt and mix well.Next add the butter and mix with you hand .When you take a little between your fingers and press it,it should hold its shape for a few seconds ,before crumbling.
-Mix the hing in the water.Add the water little by little to the flour to make a medium tight dough.Be careful with the amount of water as it can make the dough soggy.
-Heat the oil in the pan and let it heat up,it shouldn't be very hot,let it stay on medium heat.
-Now add a portion of the dough in the press .
-Always keep the remaining portion of the dough covered with a damp cloth.
-Pipe into the hot oil and  fry them ,turning it over in between.When they are done the oil around them will stop sizzling.Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
-Once they are cooled store them in airtight containers.


Thanks for stopping by ! Have a nice day !

Friday, 16 September 2016

ABC Breakfast Muffins

Sometimes when you hear a certain old song or read a certain book or watch a certain old movie ,doesn't it make you get all nostalgic and literally take you back in time to a certain phase in life.Mostly they rekindle pleasant and fond memories.Watching them or listening to them makes you feel so happy and young.I have books,songs and movies that mark almost every important phase in my life :)Once you have kids the songs and movies are replaced by cartoons and rhymes.I remember every phase of my daughter's life with cartoons,Mary had a little lamb - she's laughing and cruising,Pocoyo - she's running around, Caillou - she's talking ,Peppa Pig - Kindergarten and now Mia and Me - School :) I know I sound like that perfect bad parent who uses cartoons as her baby sitter.As much as you'd condemn the cartoons,I'm indebted to them.They are those angels who help me get at least 30 minutes of break to get something done around the house.Now I'm not talking about those cartoons where the characters speaks Filmy dialogues :) The last time on my India trip I was honestly astonished with the cartoons on certain TV channels.Chinese cartoon characters speaking Tamil movie dialogues,the world is indeed becoming small.Well I did grow up watching Uncle Scrooge (Duck Tales) talking Hindi ,but watching Hattori sing 'Naan aducha thange maate'  is heights of comedy :) I sort of believe that good cartoons do benefit our kids,they do pick up a few good things from them.The only thing I don't like is the way they portray these perfect parents who never raise they voices and keep their calm like a Buddha statue :) Guess cartoons have taken over my life,when everybody else were curious to know who Jon Snow's (GoT) parents were,I was breaking my head over who Charlie and Lola's parents were,don't you think it's spooky,they never ever show them :p
Coming to the recipe,this is a perfect snack box recipe.What I love about it ,is it's ease of preparing,just mix all the ingredients in a bowl and bake.I stumbled across the vegan version of this recipe on 'The Minimalist baker's blog'.She has a wonderful collection of easy vegan recipes. I've changed the recipe a bit and I used very ripe bananas,it kind of gave it a creamy taste.When you have those bananas which are so ripe that their skins are almost fully black,this is is the perfect recipe to use them up.I named them ABC because they have apples,bananas and carrots in them.They taste super yum for breakfast and stay good for a day or two. So off to the recipe !!


Makes about 8 muffins
Recipe adapted from here
You'll Need:
Egg - 1
Olive oil - 4 tbsp
Honey - 4 tbsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon powder - 1/2 tsp
Milk - 1/2 cup - 125 ml
Carrot -  2 grated - 1 cup
Apple grated(Finely) - 1 or unsweetened Apple sauce -  1/2 cup
Half a big banana - mashed - 1/2 a cup
Spelt Flour/Whole Wheat Flour - 1 cup
Oats - 3/4 cup
Almond powder - 3 - 4 tbsp
Brown Sugar - 1/2 a cup


Method:
-Preheat the oven to 150°C/ .Line a muffin tray with 8 muffin cups.
-In a big mixing bowl add the egg,olive oil ,honey ,mashed banana and whisk.Next add the salt,cinnamon powder,sugar and apple and whisk.
-Next add the grated carrot and milk and mix.
-Finally add the spelt flour,oats and almond flower and mix well.
-Divide the batter equally among the 8 muffin cups and bake for 25 - 35 minutes.Keep checking from the 25th minute,mine were done by the 30th minute.I use a small OTG,the baking time and temperature might vary with oven.Use the temperature settings used for cake baking :)


Thanks for stopping by ! Have a nice day!

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Aviyal

Have you ever noticed that your food taste changes over the years.I remember being a very picky eater as a kid.I'd rather starve than eat food that I didn't favour,and the list of foods that I didn't like was pretty long.But over the years,call it maturity or ageing, I started eating most of these stuff,partly because I realised the health benefits they offer or I just started liking them.I still don't like certain varieties of Spinach though ,and I still try to swallow them with a cup of water :) Aviyal was probably the last thing on my list as a kid,it was synonymous with my grand mom's place.My mom hails  from a small town in the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala,and everything in the town from the food habits to culture is so similar to Kerala ,that I sometime wonder why the town is still a part of Tamil Nadu. Coconuts,fish and Aviyals are a part of day to day cooking.I started liking Aviyal mainly during my pregnancy,it's such a nutritious dish with so many vegetables and involves absolutely no sauteing.This dish really helps,when your heightened sense of smell and tiredness makes cooking difficult during pregnancy.This is not an authentic version of it,but I tweak it to fit whatever I find in my kitchen :)It pairs up well with rice ,So off to the recipe.....


You'll Need:
Drumstick - 1/2 a long one(cleaned and chopped into 2" pieces)
Carrot - 1 medium(cleaned and chopped)
Potato or yam - a small one(cleaned ,peeled and chopped)
Raw Banana - 1 big(cleaned ,peeled and chopped)
Curd - 2 - 3 tbsp
Turmeric Powder - a pinch
salt as needed
To Grind:
Green Chilli - 1 to 2
Coconut- 2 tbsp(grated)
Cumin Seeds -  1/2 tsp
Whole Pepper Corns - 1/4 tsp
To temper:
Coconut oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves - leaves from a sprig


Method:
-In a vessel add the chopped carrot,potato,yam,raw banana and drumstick.
-Add about 1/2 a cup of water,a pinch of turmeric and salt as needed and mix well.
-On a medium flame let it cook until the vegetables are 3/4th cooked,they should hold their shape and not turn mushy.
-Add the ground coconut paste and mix well.Let it cook further for another 4 -5 minutes until it loses its raw flavour.
-Now remove it from the stove and add the curd and mix well.
-In a small pan heat the coconut oil and splutter the curry leaves and mustard.
-Add the tempering to the cooked Aviyal and gently mix.Done !


Thanks for stopping by ! Have a nice day !

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Sweet Corn Vada

The Olympic season each time doesn't just bring out the best sport-talent ,but also brings out the best human beings.There are always so many beautiful people who beat the odds to create history.Like I read somewhere 'People who practice so hard for years for just moments of glory'.So many awe inspiring stories of people who push themselves beyond the limits.Michael Phelps turned into an unbeatable legend,it's not just his winning this year ,but the way he fought with his personal struggles,that makes him more remarkable.Bolt ,true to his name ,literally,as always bolted :) He's always been my favourite ,but this year Dipa Karmakar stole the show.For a person from a country where sports(which is almost synonymous with cricket ) is given absolutely no importance, to have come this far is no mean feat.And to be more specific, in a country where people seem to strongly believe that the words sports and fitness have nothing do with girls, what's she's done is the absolute display of will power and strength.I really admire her parents, who I'm sure would've heard a million of times from people around them that they were making a mistake,still took that leap of faith and trusted and stood by their daughter.And today it took another woman,Sakshi Malik to fetch India its first medal.I know this sounds like a feminist:p ,but I'm kind of very happy that it was a woman who finally got the medal.For a country which still boasts of its patriarchal society and shuns the girl child,India sometimes still needs its women to find its glory.Be it Saina Nehwal,Mary Kom or Sania Mirza,Indian women really fight hard and get their place in the Hall of fame.I somehow felt that Dipa Karmakar deserved a medal,but sometimes life can be testing :)Anyway it's a great day for India and I'm waiting for the Men's 200 m run to watch Bolt,probably jog, to get that gold medal !
Coming to the recipe,this is an instant vada. If you love sweet corn ,you are sure to love this.It can be done in no time and tastes amazing !


You'll Need:
Sweet Corn Kernels (boiled) - 2 cups - 250 - 300 g
Corn Flour - 4 tbsp
All Purpose flour/ Maida - 4 tbsp
Ginger (chopped finely) - 1/2 tsp
Green Chilli - 2 (finely chopped)
Onion -  1 small (finely chopped)
Mint and Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp each ( finely chopped)
salt as needed

Oil for deep frying


Method:
-I used Tinned corn,so just drained them,If using fresh ones.Boil the corn on the cob and with a knife scrape the corn Kernels
-Keeping 2 tablespoons of corn apart,grind the rest of the corn kernels to a coarse paste.
-Now in a bowl mix the paste and all the other ingredients (except for the oil :))and add the 2 tbsps of full corn kernels.
-Let it rest in the refrigerator for 15 - 20 minutes.
-In a deep pan heat the oil,to check it it's warm enough add a pinch of the batter,it should rise immediately to the surface.
-Keep the heat in medium and make small patties of the batter and drop them in the oil.They can be a bit sticky,applying a little oil on your hands or wetting them with water helps.
-Fry the patties in small batches ,turning them over once or twice and let them drain on paper towels.
-They taste crisp and yummy when they're had within an hour of frying.


Note:If you find the batter a bit runny,you can add an extra Tablespoon of All purpose flour or rice flour.
Thanks for stopping by ! Have a nice day !

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Quick Mutton Curry

The summer this year's been an extension of spring.We've had just an occasional week of sun throughout this summer.And that for its part was too hot.Being accustomed to the sweltering heat of Chennai guess I shouldn't be complaining about the heat here.But the sea breeze somehow takes away the edge off the heat there,making it compartitively pleasant.But here you feel the heat till 9 or 10 in the evening.I like the way the sun behaves like a regular office-goer in Chennai,prompt from 6 -6 ,except for the rare rainy days.But here it goes into hiding throughout winter and when it does have to appear in summer,it does it reluctantly :) The rainy weather makes it difficult for me.as I'm then stuck at homes with my little ones.We are usually the weekend non vegetarians with the week having mostly veg dishes and egg.But when it's holidays, it's usually the other way around,mainly because of the ease at which non veg dishes can be prepared.This is one such curry,which needs just 15 minutes of preparation.It pairs up well with any main dish and tastes yum !


You'll Need:
Mutton - 250g
Onion - 1 large (sliced thinly)
Timato - 1 large ( chopped finely)
Oil - 2 Tb
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1/2 - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon - a small stick
Cloves - 1
Cardamom - 1
Stone flower/Kal Paasi - a small piece
Star Anise -  1/2 a medium one
Salt as needed
Coconut Milk - 3 -4 Tb(optional)
Coriander leaves - 2 sprigs (finely chopped)

To Grind to a fine paste:
Garlic - 3 -4 big cloves or 6 -8 small ones
Ginger - same quantity as Garlic
Green Chilli - 1 small
Whole Pepper Corns - 1/2 tsp
Fennel Seeds - 1 tsp
Poppy Seeds - 1 tsp
Cashew Nuts - 2 - 3


Method:
-To a pressure cooker  add the oil and when it heats,splutter the cardamom,cloves,cinnamon,star anise and stone flower.Saute for  a few seconds.
-Add the thinly sliced onions with a pinch of salt and saute for 3 -5 minutes until the onions shrink and are well browned.
-Next add the mutton pieces and saute for  3- 4 minutes until they turn pale brown.
-Add the coriander,turmeric and chilli powder and mix well.
-Add the Tomatoes and mix well.Saute for a few seconds.
-Add salt as needed.And close the lid.Cook on high heat until it whistles once.
-Reduce the flame and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
-Take it off the stove and wait till all the steam is released.
-Open the pressure cooker and add the coconut milk,coriander leaves and 1/4 tsp Garam Masala powder.Check for Salt and add if needed.Let it cook on low heat for another 3 -5 minutes.


Thanks for stopping by ! Have a nice day !

Monday, 1 August 2016

Mango Kesari - Mango Semolina Pudding

This is a quickie post.
Yet another attempt at adding Mango to desserts.
It adds a beautiful colour and flavour to the regular Kesari.
Though the mango flavour isn't very pronounced in the dish,the mangoes give a distinctively pleasant taste and aroma.


You'll Need:
Semolina/Rava - 2 cups
Mango - 2,mango pulp - 2 cups
Water - 6 cups
Sugar - 1 1/4 cups
Ghee - 50 ml(4 Tb) + 1 Tb
Nuts,Raisins - 2 tbsp
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp


Method:
-In a pan heat the ghee and when it heats up add the nuts and raisins and saute for a minute or two until the raisins puff.
-Add the Semolina and saute for 2 minutes until it gives out a nice aroma.
-In another vessel heat the water and when its warm add the mango puree to it and whisk well.
-Add the mango water mixture to the semolina and stir well ,make sure there are no lumps.
-Now reduce the flame and cover and cook on a low heat for 5 -6 minutes until the semolina is cooked.The semolina would have absorbed all the water and the whole mixture will be very thick.
-Now add the sugar and mix well.The mixture will loosen up again.Mix well.
-It tends to splutter so it's better to cover it and let it cook for a further 4 - 6 minutes until it thickens again.And becomes shiny and glossy.
-Now add the cardamom powder and the 1 Tb ghee and mix well.
-Let it again cook for another few minutes.Serve warm !!
-

Note: It does splutter a lot,so it's safer to stay at a distance while cooking :)
Thanks for stopping by ! Have  a nice day !

Friday, 15 July 2016

Fish curry - Meen Kulambu

Traditions are funny things aren't they,neither can you put up with them nor can you do without them.And in their own way they characterise and make a culture unique. I've never been a huge fan of them and most of the time I follow them just to avoid fruitless and draining arguments.This is something you learn as you grow older,when you're young you question things and try to rebel and as you grow older you realise that tolerating things,more bluntly said indifference, saves you a lot of much needed energy :) Well, these days I look at traditions and customs with interest.As a kid when I found them illogical,I demanded for an explanation,and depending upon the mood of the grown up,I would either be threatened that not following them would bring evil or given a lecture about how I would understand their significance once I get old.Some patient people would tell me that each custom usually had some scientific reasoning behind it.I hope I'll one day figure out the scientific reason behind hanging a lemon on a vehicle or keeping a broomstick under the bed :) I was somehow of the idea ,that being raised in India I had seen it all when it comes to traditions, but I was in for a surprise. Every country seems to have their own share of traditions.Like I mentioned in my previous post my daughter's kindergarten years are over and she had a farewell party on her last day.Surprisingly or I'd rather say miraculously we were in time,I'm sure the whole kindergarten was shocked,we are always late .As we entered, the teachers were very excited and asked me if I was having mixed emotions  about the 'Rausschmiss .Now Rausschmiss directly translates to 'Throwing out'.That's the way things are here, everything from their language,clothes to their cakes, are pretty straight forward and practical,you'd rarely find anything very flowery or sugar coated,I have a separate post about that coming up later :)Coming to the 'Throwing out' part,I could sense the other parents moving about with a feeling of sadness and excitement.So we had an usual farewell party after which the parents were asked to take everything and go out and wait.I had no idea what I was waiting for when the teachers pulled up a big bed and threw it near the door.And then ,they carried the kids one by one and threw them out on the bed as the parents went near the bed to hug each one.The kids were super excited ,with each one demanding to be thrown higher than the previous one.One teary eyed mom standing near me whispered in my ears how it reminded her of her own 'Throwing out', where the kids were made to jump out of a window on the ground floor onto a similar bed.Guess though I didn't understand the reasoning behind the tradition,it would always be a cherished memory for the kids.Made me wonder if that was the whole idea behind some traditions,making memories.After all aren't memories one of those things which keeps us going !!
So now we have two months of holidays in our hands, and I literally have 'Two little monkeys jumping on the bed' :)Guess I'd be posting more sporadically,with both of them at home.Coming to the recipe,over the years my cooking style and taste has changed a lot.But this is one traditional recipe where I blindly follow my mom and Grandmother.This is a traditional south Indian dish. It is so easy to prepare and gives me that feeling of home.......


You'll Need:
Fish - 200 g
For the Masala Paste:
Small onion (shallots) - 7 -9 (peeled and chopped into two)
Tomato - 1 very big(finely chopped)
Coriander leaves - 3 -4 sprigs(finely chopped)
Curry leaves - from one sprig
Coconut - finely chopped -3 tbsp
Garlic - 5 -6 small cloves - chopped
Ginger - a tiny peice(optional)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Whole pepper corns - 1/2 tsp
Carom seeds -1/4 tsp(or lesser)
Cumin seeds -  1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1.5 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp

For the curry:
Tamarind - about the size of one or two big gooseberries
(soak in a cup of  warm water for 20 minutes and squeeze and drain to extract the juice)

 For the tempering:
Oil - 1 - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds -  1/4 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - a few

salt as needed


Method:
-For the masala: Add 2 tsp of oil to a pan ,when it heats up splutter the peppercorns, mustard,fennel ,carom and cumin seeds.Add the curry leaves and garlic.Saute for a minute or two.
-Add the small onions with a pinch of salt and saute for 2 minutes,Then add the Tomatoes along with the Turmeric,coriander and chilli powder and mix well.
-Simmer and let it cook until the mixture oozes out oil.
-Then add the coriander leaves and mix well.Finally add the coconut and saute for another two minutes.
-Remove the mixture off the stove,Let it cool and grind to a slightly coarse paste.
-Extract the juice from the Tamarind.
-Clean and chop the fish.

For the Curry:
-In a vessel add the paste and the tamarind juice and mix well.On a medium heat let the mixture cook for 4 -5 minutes.Check for salt and add as needed.
-Then add the fish and mix carefully.
-Let it cook on a low to medium flame for 10 - 15 minutes until it is full cooked.Do not mix often as the fish might break into pieces.Let it simmer for another 2 -3 minutes.
-In a another pan heat the oil for tempering and splutter the other ingredients.
-Add the tempering to the curry and take it off the stove.



Note:This curry pretty much works with any variety of fish,but the ones with bones taste better.

Thanks for stopping by ! Have a nice day !

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Fish Patties - Meen Vadai

It has been a real hectic week with one of the kids falling sick and the other one having a sleepover at her kindergarten. I've never had a sleepover in all my life and when my little one's kindergarten said that they had a sleepover as a part of their farewell,I was a bit sceptical.But her enthusiasm was so contagious that I had to give in.It was fun to watch the almost 6 year old kids standing excitedly with their torch lights and backpacks,and the parents standing tiredly nearby with their makeshift beds.A part of me was happy when my little girl said 'Mummy leave I'm fine' and a part of me was also sad that she's suddenly all grown up and didn't say 'Mummy stay'.Having studied at the same school from kindergarten for 14 years,I find the system here a bit strange.The kids go to kindergarten for 3 years,then they move on to a Primary school for 4 years after which depending on their capabilities and accomplishments they move to different schools until they get to college.I am somehow convinced that most of the deep lasting friendships start in school and when the kids have to keep moving from one school to another, it would be difficult to find and hold on to a friendship.Not to mention the language and cultural barriers that they face with the kids coming from different countries.But on the other hand I guess it would also make them more adaptable and tougher.It's difficult being a parent, a part of you wants them to be tough and independent,and there's this other part which wishes that they'll always need you.Guess it's a long journey,the only way to keep going is to take one step at a time !

Coming to the recipe,this is an all time favourite at home .This is one starter that I prepare when I have guests coming over as it's easy to make and definitely a hit !



Makes 12 - 14
You'll Need:
Tuna or any bone less fish - 200 g (boiled and mashed)
Potatoes - 3 big (boiled,peeled,mashed)
Onion - 1/2 a medium one (finely chopped)
Ginger (grated) - 1/2 tsp(heaped)
Garlic (grated) - 1/2 tsp(heaped)
Green Chillies(finely chopped) - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves(finely chopped) - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves(finely chopped) - 1 tbsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli powder - 1/4 tsp
Pepper Powder  - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt as needed
Oil as needed


Method:
-Boil,peel and mash the potatoes.
-If using fresh fish:Clean,boil and mash the fish as well.Boil the fish with a little water and then simmer until all the water evaporates.If using Tinned fish u can directly drain the oil or water in it and use it.
-In a pan heat the oil and when it heats up splutter the ginger,garlic and green chillies.When they are slightly browned,add the onions and saute until they turn soft.
-Now add the powders,curry leaves and coriander leaves along with salt and mix well.Saute for another 2 - 3 minutes.Take it off the stove.
-Add the finely grated potatoes and mix well.Then add the fish and mix well.Check for salt ,adding more as needed.
-Shape the mixture into small round patties.
-Heat a little oil in a fat pan and shallow fry the patties turning them carefully after 4 minutes on each side.
-You can also deep fry them in oil or just smear some oil on them and bake in a preheated oven at 200 °C for 15 minutes,turning them over once after 8 - 10 minutes.


 Note:
If you wish to make cutlets,dip the patties in egg(one egg well beaten with a fork) and roll them on bread crumbs and fry them.


Thanks for stopping by ! Have a nice day !

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Potato Pudding

 It's football season again with the Euro Cup in full swing.The shops are again loaded with T shirts and small horns and everything else that goes with the season.I sort of miss the South American Teams,I even asked my hubby the other day when  Argentina was playing when he reminded me that it was the Euro cup :)I  still remember my initial days in Germany when I was surprised one day when everybody seemed to be blaring their car horns in the middle of the night.It was like a car horn chorus and went on for quite sometime. It was only later that I got to know that it was kind of a ritual and it was their way of celebrating their country's victory.Sort of reminded me of the stories from ancient days where they blew their horns once a battle was won.You hardly see anybody honk their car horns impatiently at you here,in traffic or on the road.Everybody follows the rules even when they know that nobody's watching and the cars seem to move like they are in a procession.It's not just the driving,people seemed to practice discipline and following rules like a regular thing here.
I found it impressive when compared to the chaos back in India. But when I tell friends here about how we sometimes honk when a cow decides to cross a road at its own pace during peak hours,or other stories of day to day chaos they find it interesting .They tell me that they would love to visit India as it's so full of life and colourful,and they find their life more mechanical and boring.
Guess grass is always greener on the other side :)
Coming to the recipe ,I watched this recipe on a TV show some time back.It's a warm dessert and takes no time to prepare.Tastes real yummy and no one would guess that it has potatoes in it.The dish is originally from Himachal Pradesh and since it din't have a name I decided to christen it as 'Potato Pudding ' :)


You'll Need:
Serves 6 - 8
Ghee - 2 Tb
Potatoes - 2 (small,peeled and grated)
Digestive biscuits - 5 (Crushed)
Cornflakes - 4 Tb(crushed)
Dry fruits and nuts - Dates,Dried Figs or Apricots,Raisins,Almonds,Cashew nuts- 1/4 - 1/2 cup
Desiccated Coconut - 5 Tb
Sugar - 3 - 5 Tb(adjust according to taste)
Milk - 400 ml (boiled)(or more if needed)


 Method :
-Crush the cornflakes and biscuits by pulsing them in a blender for a few seconds,Use any Tea Biscuit or Digestive biscuits ,I used Marie Biscuits.
-In a hollow pan,heat the ghee,once it heats up add the potato and saute for a 5 -7 minutes on a low flame.
-Next add the biscuits and corn flakes and mix well.
-Add the coconut and  dry fruits and mix well.
-Add the milk and mix well.Add the sugar and mix well.Check and add more sugar if needed.Simmer for  a few minutes.
-Serve hot !


Note:The dish tends to thicken as it cools,so add a little hot milk just before serving.

Thanks for stopping by ! Have a nice day !

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Mango Paneer Kheer

Some time back there was this public building which stood surrounded with scaffolding for what seemed like an eternity.But the poor old building retained it's freshly painted look for just a few days after reopening before people decided to show their rebellion by spraying Graffiti on it.Graffiti doesn't affect you until your kids reach the reading age,until then you see Graffiti with unseeing eyes.I still remember the time my daughter started reading, she would get all excited and try to read the stuff sprayed on the wall. And as if that weren't enough, the reading out was usually followed by a questioning session:
'Mummy what does that mean ? '
'It's a bad word Sophie,ignore it ,you should never use it'
'Who wrote it on the wall ?'
'Some grown up, who was apparently jobless'
'Can grown ups do all that they want,when will I be a grown up ?'

It's then that I look at her and feel, how nice it would be if she would always remain this small little innocent child.'Can grown ups do everything that they want ?',isn't that the trickiest question of all.We have all the freedom in the world but can do nothing with it,but a child with its restrictions leads a more happy and free life.Life and its ironies !!


Coming to the recipe,this is one of my favourite desserts.It's pretty easy to make and sure to be a hit .I usually make it without the Mango.But the Mango season tempted me to add Mango to it and it turned out yummier than I expected.Off to the recipe !

Serves 4
You'll Need:
Whole Milk - 150 ml
Condensed Milk(unsweetened) - 125 ml
Sugar -  2 Tb
Cardamom seeds - 2
Paneer(Cottage Cheese) or fresh khoya - 100 g (grated finely)
Mango pulp(finely ground)  - about a cup
Ghee - 1 Tb
Nuts (Cashew and Almond) -  2 Tb


Method:
-Crush the cardamom pods and take the seeds.Pulse the seeds with the sugar in a blender a few times.
-In a wide mouthed thick bottomed pan,bring the whole milk and condensed milk to a boil.
-When it starts boiling,reduce the heat and simmer on the lowest heat for 20 - 25 mins.Keep stirring it often to make sure that it doesn't get burnt at the bottom.You can do this while your cooking something else so that you can keep and eye on it and stir it .
-Once it's reduced to 3/4 of it's original quantity.Add the sugar and stir well.let it simmer for another 2 - 3 mins.
-Add the Paneer and mix well.Simmer for another 4 -5 mins and remove from the stove.
-In a small pan heat the ghee and add the nuts,when they are slightly browned remove it from the stove.
-Add the nut and ghee mixture to the Paneer Kheer. Let it cool completely.
-Add the Mango and stir well.Chill for a few hours before serving.


Note: Make sure its fully cool before you add the mango.

Thanks for stopping by !Have a lovely day !



Thursday, 9 June 2016

Radish Chutney - Quickie

This is a very quick post and a quick recipe. I've wanted to try out this recipe ,ever since I came across it in a magazine. I've never been a big fan of Radish,but it has numerous health benefits.In India I've only come across the white variety of radish,but here we find the cute pinkish red ones which are usually eaten raw.They give the Chutney a real appetizing look.This is the kind of recipe you play with,increase or decrease the quantity of the ingredients to suit your taste :)So off to the recipe...


You'll Need:
Radish - a bunch of red ones or 2 white ones 
Whole Red Chillies - 2 - 4
Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup
Lemon Juice - 1 to 2 Tb
Salt as needed


Method:
-Clean and grate the radish finely.
-Roast the Red Chillies on a pan for a minute or 2.
-In a blender grind the red chillies,coconut,lemon juice and salt.
-Add the grated radish and pulse a few times until ground.


Note:If you find the smell of Radish a bit too strong,you can sauté the grated Radish in a little oil for a few minutes before grinding.
Thanks for stopping by ! Have a nice day !

Monday, 30 May 2016

Palak Rajma - Spinach & Kidney Beans Curry

I recently found a book meant for kids from 10 above in the library.It looked interesting so I decided to pick it up.The book 'A street kid from Tanzania'(original :Ein Straßenkind aus Tansania),talks about the life of a group of little boys who live on the streets of Tanzania.There are lots of small Kids who live on the streets in India too,but we kind of mostly look through them.We see them everywhere on the roads begging,selling things or doing odd jobs,walking barefoot in the scorching heat .I think it's long since any of us asked questions like,who are these kids ? where are their parents? Where do they sleep ? What do they do for a living ?.This book answers most of these questions.I felt that the book was a bit strong for kids ,as a grown up I found myself getting misty-eyed many times as I read through the book.The story is about a little boy who is forced to live on the streets after his Mother dies and his father deserts him.The book talks about the friendship that he builds with similar children and their everyday struggles.The book makes you appreciate the little things in life which we take for granted ,but are actually big blessings.Sadly the author ,Nasrin Siege writes only in German.She works currently with organisations to help Children in Africa.There is and there has always been injustice happening in the World,but it's really bad when Children are subjected to it and are forced to lose their innocence.Sadly there is not much  that anyone can do about it.....
Today's recipe is a very simple recipe,A very healthy and nice way to sneak Spinach into your diet !...


You'll Need:
Serves 4 -5
Rajma/Kidney Beans - 1/2 a cup 
Spinach - 150 g
Onion - 1 medium(finely chopped)
Tomato - 1 medium(finely chopped)
Garlic - 2 tsp(grated)
Ginger - 1 tsp(grated)
Green Chilli - 1 small one(finely chopped)
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Dry Mango powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/4 tsp
oil - 1 - 2 Tb
Cinnamon - a small stick
Milk - 1/4 cup 
Salt as needed

Garam Masala Powder  - 1/4 tsp

Method:
-Soak the Rajma/Kidney beans overnight or for 6 hours .Pressure cook with a little salt and about 1 and 1/2 cups of water until well cooked and soft.
-I used frozen spinach,If using fresh spinach,clean and chop well.Boil it with little water until it is well cooked.
-Heat the oil in a pan and when it heats up add the cinnamon stick,when it splutters add the Ginger,Garlic and Green Chilli and sauté until slightly browned.
-Add the onions and sauté until golden,Next add the Tomatoes and the powder and 2 Tb of water (you can also add the water from the Rajma /Kidney beans)and mix well.Cover and cook for 3 -5 minutes on low heat until it starts oozing out oil.
-Add the Rajma along with the water and spinach and mix well.Check for salt.
-Let the mixture simmer for 5 - 10 minutes.Add milk and let it simmer for another 2 minutes.Finally sprinkle 1/4 tsp of Garam Masala Powder .
-Goes well with Chapathis and Pulaos.



Note: For a richer taste you can replace the milk with cream.
Thanks for stopping by ! have a blessed day !

Friday, 20 May 2016

Turkey Pepper Fry

My blog looked so neglected that I decided to give it a facelift.I wanted to rename it and  was surprised to find that there was either one blog or more than one blog with every possible name that I could think of .I was so frustrated that I even thought of naming it 'Lost in the Dessert' only to realise that even that was taken.Guess I was only left with the name 'Taken' :) It's funny how much a blog name reflects your thoughts.I asked my Hubby if he had any ideas and he immediately came up with 'Snackdown' and 'TasteWars' :)I was so happy that he din't come up with something like 'TasteTrek' or the 'The Big Clang theory'.Surprisingly my 5 year old came up with smarter names likes 'Hunger Games','Dessert Island' and 'Reni the first'.I get it ,I need to cut down her TV time.My sister sent me so many names on WhatsApp like she was firing from a cannon,that I asked her if she was using some tool called the "Autoblognamegenerator'.But unfortunately all of them were taken.Finally I settled with the name 'The Noisy Kitchen' which exactly depicts my Kitchen ,as I've said here :) I did like my previous name 'What's Cooking !',I had come up with it in no time.But there are so many Blogs out there with the same name that I decided that it was time to change.
Coming to the recipe,Turkey back in India was an once a year special .My Mother used to prepare a special Turkey curry ever year on New Year day.But here in Germany we find it easily and I find it like an intermediate between Chicken and Mutton,because I find Mutton a bit strong.This is a very easy and yummy dish and goes well with both Rice and Chapathi, or even with just a slice of white bread for an evening snack,that's my favourite too.So off to the recipe !





You'l Need:
Turkey - 200 g

To Grind to a paste for the marinade:
Coriander leaves - 5 - 6 sprigs
Lemon Juice - 1 Tb
Pepper Corns - 1 tsp
Green Chilli - 1 to 2
Ginger - 8 - 10 cloves
Garlic- the same amount as Garlic
salt - a little
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp

Onion - 1 very large(finely chopped)
Tomato - 1 very large(finely chopped)
Curd - 2 Tb
Cinnamon - 1 " stick
Cloves - 2
Oil -  1 Tb
Salt as needed

Tempering:
Oil- 2 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds -  1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - a few



Method:
-Marinate the Turkey in the paste for 1 -  2 hours in the refrigerator.
-Heat oil in a pan when it heats up,add the cinnamon and cloves,when they splutter add the onion with a pinch of salt and sauté until the onions are well browned.
-Add the Turkey along with the marinade and sauté well for 4 -5 minutes.Then add the curd,Tomatoes and coriander powder and required salt. Sauté for 2 minutes.
-Transfer the contents to a pressure cooker and cook until the Turkey is well cooked.The cooking time varies with the cooker,I cook it on high heat until the first whistle,then simmer for 7 -10 minutes.Turkey cooks faster than Mutton.
-Remove from the stove.
-In another pan heat the oil for tempering and when it heats up add the Garam masala powder,Fennel seeds and curry leaves .When they splutter add the contents of the pressure cooker and let it boil  until all the water evaporates.
-Now sauté it on medium heat until it becomes dry and starts oozing oil out.Garnish with a few coriander leaves.


Note:This curry works well with Mutton or Lamb too.

Thanks for stopping by ! Have a Nice day !

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Quick Brinjal Curry

There are days when the last thing I feel like doing is cooking.Guess this isn't how you are supposed to feel when you are a food blogger. But cooking everyday can be a real challenge and at times boring.I guess deciding on what to cook is tougher than the cooking itself.There are days when I postpone cooking till the last  minute,everything else seems interesting, meaningless browsing on the internet, checking Facebook for the umpteenth time,searching for the next book to read (this is something I simply love) - though it's a miracle if I get to read a few pages of the one that  I am currently reading :) and the funniest thing is that I need to get all this and the cooking done within the 45 minutes that my little one naps .This recipe comes in handy on days like these.It's quick and yummy. Talking about boring things,I believe that if there's a competition for the most boring task,folding clothes would beat everything else.That is one task I'll gladly postpone everyday.I wonder why these people who invented "life saving" machines like washing machine and Dish washer, haven't yet discovered a machine that folds clothes :) ,to save lazy people like me :p


You'll Need:
Brinjals - 6 - 7 medium(cleaned and cut lengthwise)
oil - 2 tsp
Coriander and Mint leaves - from 1 sprig each( finely chopped)
salt as needed

To Roast and Grind in 2 tsp of oil:
Onion - 1 large (finely chopped)
Tomato - 1 large (Finely chopped)
Whole Red Chillies -  2 - 3
Coriander Seeds - 1 Tb
Channa Dal - 1 Tb
Peanuts(skinless) - 1/2 Tb
Hing - a pinch
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Coconut (Grated or chopped) - 1 - 2 Tb


Method:
-In a pan heat the 2 tsp of oil and when it heats add the Hing and Turmeric Powder and stir for a few seconds.Then add the Channa Dal,Whole Red Chilli,Peanuts and Coriander seeds .
-When they are slightly browned add the onions and coconut and saute until the onions turn translucent.Then add the tomato and saute until it turns soft.Remove from the stove,cool the contents and grind to a fine paste.
-In a pressure cooker heat 2 tsp of oil and saute the Brinjal with a little salt until they are slightly browned.Now add the ground paste and 1 - 1.5 cups of water and mix well.Check for salt and add the mint and coriander leaves.You can add more water if you prefer a thinner gravy.
-Cook for 1 whistle and simmer for a few minutes.Done !


Thanks for stopping by ! Have a nice day !

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Baked Broccoli Patties

The other day I was out with my 5 year old in the park, when she asked me "Mummy, why aren't you wearing shorts like the other mothers,It's a warm day and it's sure to be more comfortable." I grabbed the opportunity to give her a nice pep talk about how conservative and beautiful Indian culture was when she promptly asked me why the Leading ladies in most Indian movies are dressed in shorts,but she's hardly seen anyone in India wearing shorts.Made me realise how Indian Culture seems to be forever at this point where we try to simultaneously cling to our conservativeness and embrace the western Independence.It's funny how most movies paint a picture that in no way depicts a country or it's culture.On a funny note,if we were to go just by movies, we'd probably think that :

Tamil Movies -  
   -The only thing that matters in our life is to find the love or our life and marry them again all opposition, with cars flying and bombs blasting.
   -Chennai is full of Dons and their Henchmen, and all of them carry a gun(In a all my days in Chennai I've never ever seen a real gun:( )
  -Most Tamil men are machos, who can fly,fight and do everything with no gadgets or scientific intervention.Not to mention the 50 year old hero who's a college student :)
Telugu movies - I haven't watched a lot but from the few popular ones that I've watched.
 -  Most of them live in joint families in big Doll houses.
 -  All men do is to fight over women.
Hindi movies -
  Honestly I don't know what to make of them any more.The last time I watched a movie I had a  doubt if I was watching a movie or a fashion show .
Hollywood Movies -
  -Most men are skilled,intelligent ex FBI or CIA agents
 - Aliens and space ships are for real
  -Let's not get into science fiction and movies like SAW :)
Malayalam movies -
 These seem to be as close to reality as possible,but some of the latest ones makes me feel that they are fighting the temptation to make movies like their counterparts in the Tamil and Telugu industry.

Ironically I'm not a movie buff and I would've hardly watched a handful movies  before I married a movie buff who watches movies in every possible language :)nd I Would be unfair if I don't mention that there are a lot of good movies too in all these languages which really call for appreciation.



Coming to the recipe, this is a very quick and healthy dish.Makes a  great starter or side dish.It tastes yummier when shallow fried.I feel that ,Broccoli despite being very healthy doesn't gel well with Indian spices.I usually do a stir fry with lots of Garlic and pepper,Broccoli and garlic pair up real well.This is a yummier alternative and both my 1 year old and 5 year old loved it :)



Makes 12 - 14 patties
You'll Need:
Broccoli - Half a big one - 12 - 15 Florets
Egg - 1
Olive oil -  1 tsp
Bread slices - 3, or bread crumbs
Cheese grated ( Cheddar/ Paneer/ Parmesan) - 80 g
salt as needed

Method:
-In a big vessel boil water, add the broccoli florets,cover with a  lid and remove from the stop.Let it sit for 3 - 4 minutes.Remove the florets with a slotted ladle.Add it to a mixer jar and pulse for a few seconds.
-Toast the bread on stove top or in  an oven,pulse it in a mixer jar to get breadcrumbs.
-In  a bowl mix the broccoli,cheese and bread crumbs.Add salt as needed and the egg.Mix everything well with a fork.
-Make small patties and arrange them on a baking tray lined with a baking sheet.
-Bake in a pre-heated oven at 175°C,for 20 - 25 minutes.After the first 15 minutes flip them over for even cooking.
-They taste even yummier when shallow or deep fried :)


Have a nice day ! Thanks for stopping by !

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Coconut Macaroons

 I've put my weighing scale way under the bed,I wouldn't dare step on it in a long time. About time someone came up with a 'Law of weight gain for mothers' like ' The amount of weight gained by a mother is directly proportional to the number of kids she's had and indirectly proportional to the time she has to do something about it'.This is how my crazy brain works these days :)I don't remember the last time I posted.In fact I don't remember anything,most days I go around like a sleepless zombie .The goal is to get through each day with my two little screamers, who seem to have perfectly inherited my big loud voice(I really pity my neighbours),without losing my cool:) I wonder why our kids seem to exactly inherit the things that we don't want them to.
  I baked these macaroons for Christmas last year. Christmas last year was pretty low key with the heart wrenching floods in Chennai. I'm a big fan of Coconut macaroons and I love these condensed milk ones as they are real easy to make.I also find that the home made ones taste better than the store bought ones ,which are usually a bit too sweet.I complain about weight gain and post about macaroons,Guess I can't think about losing weight until I learn to control my big sweet tooth :)



Makes 20 - 25
You'll Need:
Sweetened Condensed Milk - 1/2 a tin(200 g)
Dessicated Coconut - 200 g
Egg White - 1 (large)
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp


Method:
-In a big bowl mix the dessicated coconut,vanilla essence and the condensed milk,until all the coconut flakes are moist and well mixed.
-In another bowl beat the egg white until stiff peaks form .
-With a ladle fold the egg whites slowly into the egg mixture.
-Line a baking tray with baking paper,and spoon about 1 Tb per cookie onto the tray.Keep them 3 - 4 cm apart.Bake for 18 - 20 minutes at 175°C.Let them cool and store in an airtight container.


Note:
-To make dessicated coconut at home,spread finely shredded fresh coconut on a baking tray(lined with baking sheet) and bake at 120°C for 5 - 10 minutes.
-The baking temperature can range from 150 - 175 °C, depending on the oven.

Thanks for stopping by ! Have a nice day !

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