Monday, March 12, 2007

Idiyappam


Idiyappam is a very popular dish of south india (especially Kerala). Its made either sweet or without the sweetness its made to eat with various traditional south indian gravies like "kadala curry" (channa masala or chickepea), "ishtoo (stew)", "chicken curry" ......or with just plain sugar and sweet coconut milk. To make it you need a Idiyappam mould which you get in almost all Indian stores. The same mould which is used to make Chakli can be used for making Idiyappam. So here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

Rice flour which is roasted (no oil) , until its heated (or you get idiyappam flour in Indian stores): 1 cup
Water: 2 cups
Oil: 3 tablespoons
Salt: to taste

Method:

Let the rice flour cool and then sieve it (optional to sieve) to avoid lumps. Then add salt and mix it. Boil water in another vessel. Take the vessel off fire. Wait until it is a bit cool so that you dont burn your hands while mixing it later with rice flour. Add oil to the rice flour and mix well until the rice flours stick together to form a course mixture. Then slowly sprinke 2 tablespoons of water and mix again. Continue adding water and mixing (it is not necessary to use the entire two cups of boiled water) until you attain the desired consistency of idiyappam where, the rice and water for a smooth dough, which is a bit smoother than the chappatthi dough. Heat water in the steamer or cooker. Rub oil on the idli stands and inside the idiyappam mould. Then add the dough to the mould to fill it to the maximum. Make idiyappam on the idli stands using the mould and then keep the stand in the pressure cooker which is filled with sufficient water to cook the idiyappam. Cook and check for doneness after around 15 minutes or more.

Chilli Chicken curry




Chilli Chicken has been my favorite dish to order when I visit any Indian restaurant which serves non-vegetarian dishes. I like it because its spicy and I like spicy food. I had done several tries in my cooking with chicken to create a chilli chicken dish, but all didnt satisfy my standard of chilli chicken taste. So then I came across a recipe in internet which tells that it adds more taste if we were to saute the chicken initially along with lots of spices like ginger and garlic and chilli, to get a restaurant type taste for home cooked chilli chicken. And I also invented a method to add more taste to the chicken and that ingredient is the Tomato-Chilli sause you get in any Indian store. You would definitly see the difference if you were to use in this dish. So here is the recipe:

Ingredients:
==========
Chicken (Boneless): 4 large pieces cut into bite size pieces
Onion
Capscicum
Garlic
Ginger paste
Green Chilli
Salt
Spices:
Tomato - Chilli sauce
Cinnamon powder
Coriander powder
Chilli powder
Nutmeg powder
Method:
========
In a wide bottom vessel which can be used to prepare the chilli chicken curry, heat 2 tablespoons of butter and add chopped garlic, ginger, and green chilli and saute them for 10 seconds on high fire, add the chicken pieces, saute again for another 2 minutes.
Reduce the fire a little, and saute until the chicken pices turn light brown on all sides. This will take atleast 15 minutes where you need to keep stirring in between. Then add all the spices to it and miz uniformly.
Meanwhile in another vessel, add 2 tablespoons of oil and saute chopped onion, capscicum and saute until they turn golden brown. Add a pinch of salt and mix uniformly.
Add this mixture to the chicken in the other vessel and mix uniformly again.Add enough water or chicken broth to just cover the pieces and lower the fire to medium. Cover the vessel and allow to cook until chicken is done.
To make a thicker gravy, in a vessel, mix rice flour (or cornflour or maida) (the amount depends on how much thick you need your gravy to be) and enough water to form a thick gravy like paste and add this to the chilli chicken curry and stir and wait until the mixture thickens.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice or chappatthi.

Hyderabadi Biriyani


The first time I heard about Hyderabadi Biriyani and had it too , was when I was in Hyderabad for my friend's marriage. She took me to a authentic hyderabadi restaurant which was famous for their biriyani. I just loved the aroma and the taste it bought with it. It was so tasty that I cannot describe what exactly was the secret ingredient behind the biriyani. Though I could not reproduce the same effect with my version of this Hyderabadi Biriyani, I made this with help from a friend who is from Hyderabad and a good cook too....She told me that the meat which we use in this biriyani is marinated for a long time in curd and spices. So thats the secret I guess. Here is the recipe:


Ingredients:


Chicken (boneless) : 4 large pieces cut into bite sizes

Basmati rice: 2 cups

Onion: 2 sliced long

Capscicum: 1 no

Garlic: 3 pods

Ginger paste: 1 teaspoon

Coriander leaves: 2 or 3 strands chopped into small pieces for garnish

Cashewnut: 1/2 cup (optional)

Raisins: 1/2 cup (optional)

Curd: for marinating the chicken

Water: 3 cups

Butter: 2 tablespoons

Green chilli:3 nos


Spices:

--------

Cloves: 1 - 2 nos

Star-Anis: 2 nos broken into pieces

Cinnamon powder: 1/4 teaspoon

Coriander powder: 1 teaspoon

Chilli powder: 1 teaspoon or according to taste

Cumin powder: 1/2 teaspoon

Nutmeg powder: 1/4 teaspoon


Method:

=======

Marinate the chicken in curd, salt, chilli powder, and coriander powder. Keep the chicken refrigerated while marinating it. Marinate it for a whole night if you are preparing a day early or for around 4 hours if you want to prepare it in a hurry:)


In a small vessel heat oil and add the raisins and saute until they have become plump. Also saute cashewnuts seperately in the same oil.


Heat a wide bottom vessel which can be used to prepare the biriyani. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and add chopped garlic, ginger paste, cloves, star-anis and let it saute for 10 seconds.


Then add the chicken pieces and saute in high fire until chicken pieces turn brown. This might take around 15 minutes, adjust the fire accordingly in between the sauting so that the chicken pieces do not stick to the bottom of the vessel.


After that, add the chopped onion, capscicum and green chillies to the vessel and saute until everything is partially cooked. Then add the rest of the spices and saute.


Add the rice to the vessel and mix uniformly. Add water, salt and cover the vessel. Cook until all water is completly absorbed. Then garnish with coriander leaves and raisins and cashewnuts.


Enjoy this meal with a chicken curry or raita!

Pathrodo







Pathrodo is one of my favorite Konkani dish. I used to always watch my mom prepare the colocasia leaves for making this dish. I also remember her consistent advises about being careful while handling these leaves as they are very itchy. I have never prepared this dish when I was in India. However numerous times have assisted my mom in making it. I still get a nostalgic feeling when that aroma of the rice paste comes when applying it on the leaves. Since I came to US, I was wondering where I could get hold of those colocasia leaves, but to my dismay I could not find any. I then searched in google about this dish and voila! I came across this site called http://aayisrecipes.com where I got the inspiration to make Pathrodo using "Collard Greens" which we get in plenty in almost all american grocery stores. I got so excited and couldnt wait until my hubby returned from Miami so that we could purchase this leaf. After we bought a bunch, I was then busy taking out the veins, and preparing this dish. And as you can see above pic, it resembles the same Pathrodo made with the traditional colocasia leaf. and it tastes almost the same, that you cannot tell that it was made with a different type of leaf. (Though if you are very taste sensitive, you might pick up a bit of bitterness of the leaf, but only very very light tinge of bitterness which can be ignored coz the taste is otherwise so alike to the traditional Pathrodo). My hubby is fully impressed with this version of Pathrodo that he always buys me the leaf :) . And another advantage of using this leaf is, it doesnt even itch and is much faster to prepare than the colocasia leaf. So all in all I just love the idea of making Pathrodo using Collard Greens. Hope you too enjoy ! Do let me know if it came out good:) So here is the recipe:
Ingredients:
============
  • Collard Greens: 1 bunch
  • White Rice: 2 cups
  • Shredded coconut: 1 cup
  • Turmeric: a pinch
  • Tamarind pulp: 3 tablespoons
  • Asafoetida: a pinch
  • Salt: to taste (do add a little more than you usually add to bring out the taste of Pathrodo when cooked)
  • Red Chilli (or green chilli): to taste (do add a little more than you usually add to bring out the taste of Pathrodo when cooked)

Method:

  1. Soak white rice for 3 -4 hours. Grind coconut along with turmeric, tamarind, chilli and asafoatida using very little water. Then add white rice and salt and grind again using very little water because we need a paste form of this mixture to be applied on the leaves.
  2. Prepare the collard greens leaves by first taking out the stem and then carefully taking out the thick veins from the leaves using a knife.
  3. Use a plastic cover on a flat surface. Place a big leaf with the lighter green side facing the top, on the plastic cover and then apply the rice paste generously on the surface of the leaf.
  4. Place 2 leaves, one on each side of the first leaf, again with the lighter green surface facing the ceiling. apply the paste again on these leaves. Now we have a good base for placing the rest of the leaves.
  5. Repeat step 3 and 4 until you get sufficient thickness to roll a medium sized pathrodo.
  6. To roll the leaves, you can do it the way which you wish, I first roll the left and right sides and then roll from the top to bottom, tucking the parts of the leaves inside while rolling it. Also apply the paste each time you roll the sides, and this way the paste is applied on the darker side of the leaves.
  7. You have your pathrodo ready for steaming in your pressure cooker or any steam cooker. I have a steam cooker which I am very found of and as it is multipurpose.
  8. Fill sufficient water in the cooker taking into consideration that the cooking time for this Pathrodo is one hour. Then place the pathrodo on the idli stand and place it in cooker.
  9. Let the fire be high initially for around 15 minutes, then lower to medium and let it cook for the rest of the 45 minutes.
  10. Pathrodo is usually served along with coconut oil. You can use other oils too. You may also roast the cooked pathrodo on a heated tawa by adding few drops of oil on each side while roasting it. That is yummy too!

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