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

-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

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

-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

-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

-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 !
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