April 30, 2015

Prawns/ Chemmeen Curry with raw mango

Prawns always reminds me of my sister - Soumya  -  a hard core non veg food fan, who is convinced that prawns cannot be categorized as non vegetarian food. She says - look at the size of it - how can that be non vegetarian? That is what she grew up saying and doesn't care much about prawns to date.

Although I love prawns, I have not tried many recipes with it. I was craving for prawns and that is when I remembered the curry my colleague used to often bring to office. Hailing from Trissur in Kerala, he often brought to office the traditional delicacies from the region.And yes, all of us have gobbled on it.I soon had the recipe in my hands, thanks to his wife who managed to write it down despite having a four month old baby and a lovely four year old to look after. 

 Sharing the Chemmeen curry recipe which my husband and his colleagues loved.
Prawns/Chemmeen Curry with raw mango


Ingredients

Prawns - 1/2 kg
Coconut - 1 grated
Raw Mango - 2 cut into long pieces
Ginger - 2 tsp finely chopped
Green Chilly - 4 to 5 slit
Shallots - 4-5 finely chopped
Chilly powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Coconut oil
Curry leaves
Salt to taste

Preparation
    Prawns/Chemmeen curry with raw mango
  1. Marinate the prawns in 1 tsp chilly powder and salt.
  2. Take the first milk from the coconut and keep aside. To the second milk add mango, ginger, green chilly,chilly powder, turmeric powder, salt and the marinated prawns. Cook it covered till the prawns are cooked and the gravy has become sufficiently thick.
  3. Now add the first milk and boil for 2-3 minutes till it thickens and you get the desired consistency.
  4. In a separate pan, heat coconut oil. Toss in the curry leaves and the shallots and fry till golden brown. Add a little chilly powder and pour this into the gravy and boil for another 2 - 3. Serve hot with rice.









April 22, 2015

Carrot Cake

It all started for Christmas in 2012 when a colleague gave me a cake recipe. The very same day I purchased all the ingredients and made my very first cake. I did not have an oven and resorted to baking the cake in a cooker. ( you need to be careful, you don't use water and gasket and the cooker gets mighty hot). Since then, I have tried a lot of cakes in the cooker. It did turn out tasty but often a little too hard with the bottom and the edges burnt,

I have also tried the traditional method of baking where the cake tray is inserted into a vessel with hot sand generally kept over the traditional chullah. The vessel is then covered with a lid with burning coal on top as well so that the cake gets evenly baked. I was too scared to handle that and it was my mother who was a master in that and me just a by stander.

It was only post marriage in 2014 that I learnt to use an oven to bake cakes. I had no idea about the right temperature nor the timings .After a few burnt and also sometimes under cooked cakes, I do have an approximate idea now.

Initially cake baking was a tedious and tasking job for me - sometimes the cake does not rise, I have too many bubbles in the cake, I have the nuts and fruits settling at the bottom and the top of the cake is not cooked enough where as the bottom is burnt. My husband is a wonderful 'analyser' and I would say 'get it right person'. He often googled up and found solutions to most of my problems.

I have not yet mastered the art of baking and I hope to some day. As of now, I am still learning and correcting as I go along.

Your cakes can turn out right if you learn to love your ingredients and handle them as instructed in the recipes you find across in different sites. For instance - make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature and stick to the measurements provided. Once you have a knack of it, you may try variations.

So let me move on to my carrot cake.

A wonderful evening with Tea, Cake and a Perfect book.


Carrot Cake



Ingredients

All purpose flour/Maida - 2 cups
Powdered sugar - 1 cup ( you may raise it to 1 and a half cup - neither of us have sweet tooth so I generally add lesser sugar)
Egg - 2( if the egg is really small you may add 3)
Buttermilk - 1/2 cup
Oil - 1/4 cup
Cinnamon powder - 2 tsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Carrot - 2 grated
Raisins
Cashew nuts
Salt

Preparation


    Carrot Cake
  1. Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl - flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon powder. Sieve it in order to prevent formation of lumps.
  2. Beat the eggs well along with vanilla essence and add in the buttermilk and oil. Combine it well.
  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients mixing it well as you add. Do not beat it further, just enough for the ingredients to mix else it may lead to formation of air bubbles.
  4. Add the grated carrot into the cake mix and fold in gently.
  5. Roll in the cashews and raisins in a little flour  and keep aside.
  6. Preheat your oven at 180 degrees for about 10-15 minutes. 
  7. Grease your cake tray with a little oil and dust flour on top of it. Turn the tray upside down and pat away the excess flour.
  8.  Pour your cake mix into the pan and add the nuts and raisins evenly . Just run your spoon across once and cover the cake tray with an aluminium foil. Gently fold in the sides of the foil- no free ends should be sticking out touching the corners of your oven. Covering your cake with foil allows the top of the cake to be uniformly heated and baked.
  9. Place your tray in the oven at temperature of 180 degree. Check your cake after 20 minutes. Insert a tooth pick or pin and if it comes out clean your cake is ready. Else keep it for 10-15 more minutes. The cooking time may vary depending on the tray you use and the consistency of your mixture. The ideal time would be somewhere between 20 to 35 minutes. My carrot cake took about 25 minutes.
  10. Once baked , remove the cake from the cake and let it cool before your slice and have your first bite.
Enjoy every bite of your cake with steaming tea!!


April 21, 2015

Fish Molly/Molee - Kerala fish stew

Appam has been my all time favorite. It's appam for Birthday, Christmas, Easter, Anniversary and any occasion you think of. Appam, according to me goes best with stew and hence set out to explore the best and easiest way to make stew.

I have come across various recipes for fish molly but I found my mothers recipe the easiest and the best . I tried out this recipe on my husband - the guinea pig of all my experiments. He seemed to pretty much like it and not to lie - I loved it too. So without much delay I decided to put it up here. This post is for my dearest Mamma from whom I learnt the tricks and trades of cooking. Let me not forget to thank my hubby who willingly tastes all that I cook.



Ingredients

For Marination

King Fish - 1 kg sliced ( Any fish of your choice but I personally feel it tastes the best with King Fish)
Pepper powder - 1 teaspoon
Salt as per taste

For Curry

Onion - 3 medium sized thickly sliced lengthwise
Ginger - 2 tsp finely chopped
Green Chilly - 4 slit
Potato - 2 Medium chopped
Coconut - 1 cup grated
Cinnamon - a small piece
Cloves - 2

Cardamom - 2
Curry leaves
Whole pepper
Cashew nuts
salt to taste
Oil

Preparation 


  1. Wash the fish slices and drain off excess water from the fish. Marinate the slices with pepper powder and salt and keep it aside for an hour.
  2. In a Kadai, heat a little oil and fry the fish gently on both the sides( Remember not to deep fry it or fry it for long.) Mop off the excess oil from the fish using a tissue paper.
  3. Splutter in ingredients 6-8 into the oil and stir them well. Into this ,add the sliced onion and saute for 3 minutes on low flame. Toss in the ginger and green chillies and saute for another 3 mins or till the raw smell of ginger goes away.
  4. Add the chopped potatoes and fry for another 5 minutes.( You could also separately fry the potatoes and add in). Pour in 1 cup of water and let it boil on low flame.
  5. Meanwhile let us get the coconut milk ready. Ideally, you need to blend the coconut three times in the mixer to get milk 3 times. The milk that you take first time is the thickest, followed by the medium one and then the thin.
  6. Pour in the thin milk into the kadai and let it boil for 2 minutes before pouring in the medium one. Let this boil well. Make sure the potato that you tossed in earlier is cooked well by now. Once you have poured in the milk, refrain from using high flame. Add the fried fish slices and salt as per taste. Have the lid of the kadai on for sometime. Finally pour in the thick coconut milk and switch off the flame just when the gravy just starts to boil. Do not let the gravy boil too long once the thick milk has been poured in.
  7. In a mortar and pestle crush 4-5 whole pepper and 2-3 slices of onion. Splutter it into little oil along with curry leaves. Your Fish Molly is now ready withe the final garnish of pepper, Curry leaves and Onion on top which gives it a special aroma.
  8. You can also fry the cashew nuts and spread it over the top while serving.

Fish Stew is a perfect side dish for appam and bread. I found this recipe simple and quick!! I hope you like it too!!

If you try it - do not forget to send me the pictures:)




April 15, 2015

Onion Chicken

Did I not tel you that every dish has a story to tell.  This one connects my mother and my husband:)

It's my mothers quick recipe that she packs when either me or my sister travel. She happened to cook this once, when my husband was home. He just loved it  and could not believe it was so simple to make.  He named the dish " Onion Chicken" and I retained the name in this blog. Time and again he has asked me to replicate the recipe and I have failed time and again. He " claims" - Ria your dish is good but definitely not like your mother's. Well, today I had my mother send me the recipe and tried it out in my kitchen. Yet I could not match her dish. After all your mothers recipe is always special. Nevertheless we loved the chicken and had a hearty meal.

Onion Chicken


This is a very easy recipe ideal for working women who want to put together something for dinner after a long day at work. So, here goes - 

Ingredients

Chicken - 800 gms
Onion - 3 big - cubed
Kashmiri Chilly powder - 6 tsp ( gives more color and not as spicy)
Soya Sauce - 5 tsp
Lime juice - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves
Spring Onion (optional)
Salt
Oil

Preparation
    Onion Chicken
  1. Marinate the cut and cleaned chicken in 4 tsp chilly powder, 3 tsp soya sauce, salt and lime juice for about an hour.
  2. Transfer the marinated chicken into a pan and cook it covered on low flame until tender. No water or oil needs to be added as water from the chicken oozes out and the chicken gets cooked.
  3.  In another pan heat the oil and toss in the onions. Saute it for around 3 minutes and add in salt, remaining chilly powder and soya sauce.
  4. Add the cooked chicken and coat it well with the sauce and cook it uncovered for another 4 minutes.
  5. Garnish it with coriander leaves, spring onions and may be rings of onion too. Serve it hot with rotis.
Onion Chicken as I prefer to call it -  is ready. A really simple dish with minimum ingredients and quite fast too. 

PS: you can ignore the marination for an hour part if you are in a hurry, still retains the flavors.



April 13, 2015

Chicken Lettuce Wraps


My inspiration for blogging is a college friend of mine - Anupa. We first started blogging when we were done with our MBA and were awaiting campus placements. A while after we got job, Anupa moved to USA and restarted blogging. Well, this time it was all about cooking and I was quite impressed with her work. I guess I took the inspiration from her again and started posting recipes here.

Few days back, I was just going through her blog - palaharam.blogspot.in and I came across this recipe of lettuce wraps. I had quite a bit of lettuce in the fridge and the pictures of the wraps Anupa put in looked lovely. Well, I decided to have my own take of the recipe.



Let us take a look at what goes into the recipe -

Ingredients
Chicken Lettuce wrap

Fresh Lettuce - cleaned and dried
Chicken - 1/4 kg diced into small pieces
Onion - 1 big diced
Ginger - 1 teaspoon minced
Garlic - 1 teaspoon minced
Soya sauce
Tomato sauce
Roasted Peanuts - 3 tablespoons
Spring Onion - 1/4 cup Chopped
Coriander leaves
Salt
Sugar
Oil


Preparation


  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and toss in the onions, ginger and garlic.Add a little salt to this. Fry it till they are tender and the raw smell vanishes.
  2. Now add the diced chicken pieces to this and stir it low flame till the pieces are almost cooked. Add 1 tbsp of tomato sauce and 1 tbsp of soya sauce to this and saute it. 
  3. Add the peanuts - make sure the peanuts are already roasted. Saute the mix for about 3-5 minutes on low flame.
  4. Add the chopped spring onion and 1 tsp sugar and saute it for about 2 minutes. Your filling is now ready.
  5. Cut the Lettuce into desired shape and serve the filling with this! Garnish with coriander leaf.
    Chicken Lettuce wraps

April 12, 2015

Fish/Meen Thoran


I wanted my first ever recipe on this blog to be really special. I spent almost two weeks wondering what it could possibly be. I came up with a big zero and that is when I made this fish thoran. It was a quick decision. I had few slices of fish left in the refrigerator and definitely did not want to fry it. That is when I remembered a dish my mother used to make. Without a minutes delay I messaged her and the next minute I had my recipe and in the next 45 minutes my dish was ready :)


Fish/Meen Thoran

So I guess no dish can be more perfect than this to start off. A recipe from my mothers kitchen and  a dish my husband devoured.
Thoran is a Keralite dish that is generally eaten with steamed rice and usually made from vegetables. Here is my attempt at creating a seafood version of the traditional thoran which is medium spicy and trust me quite crunchy too.

Ingredients

Fish  - 3 whole medium sized Mackerel( Use the fish of your choice - but I found Mackerel to be really tasty when steamed)
Onion - 2 medium sized finely chopped
Coconut - 5 tbsp heaped (grated)
Ginger - 2 tsp finely chopped ( you would not enjoy biting into big ginger chunks)
Green Chilly - 1 tsp finely chopped
Curry leaf - 1 whole sprig
Chilly powder - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Salt
Oil

Preparation

1. Marinate the mackerel in salt and turmeric powder and steam it till cooked. Alternatively you may also boil the fish in little water and make sure the entire water is dehydrated.
2. Once cooked, separate the fish from the bones. Ignore the very small delicate bones. Just mash the fish with your hands and keep this aside. ( Need not use a mixer for this)
3. In a Kadai, heat 2 tsp oil and throw in the finely chopped ginger and green chilly. Stir it for a minute and toss in the finely chopped onion. Stir till cooked.
4. Add the chilly powder and stir for a minute before you add in the cooked fish. Mix well and sprinkle the grated coconut. Stir well to combine all the ingredients. Keep it on low flame for another five minutes. Adjust salt as per your taste.
Fish/Meen Thoran5. Garnish - In a pan add little oil, toss in the curry leaves and once it splutters mix it with the dish. Your fish thoran is now ready to be served for lunch.

This is a very simple and quick recipe. Hope you do attempt making this and love the taste of it just like I did.





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