Sunday, August 31, 2008

Soyabean Patties / Tikkis

Soya is something which I try to incorporate in my diet as much as possible. When I came to know that for August'08 the JFI is Soya , I started thinking about what to make . This was an opportunity to make something new ...after all I had a valid reason this time :-) .

I usually make Soya crispies ...which I would post someday soon ...but when we invited a few friends over for an evening tea ... I decided to make my version of soya tikki which I had read somewhere while searching for a good recipe . I made these healthy tikkis using very little oil though you can also fry these tikkis. Everyone loved these tikkis and needless to say that they disappeared as soon as I could make them . I would definitely make these more often , I am glad that now I have a new recipe to incorporate healthy soya in our diet.

Ingredients :-
Soya beans - 1 cup ( soaked and boiled)
Potatoes - 2 large ones
Onion - 1 large ( finely chopped)
Green chillies - 2-3 ( as per taste)
Coriander leaves - finely chopped ( 2-3 tb sp)
Red chili powder - 1 t sp ( as per taste)
Garam masala - 1 t sp
Amchoor / dry mango powder - 2 t sp
Turmeric powder - 1 t sp
Salt - as per taste
Oil - 2 tb sp

Soak 1 cup of soya beans over night . Add a little turmeric powder and salt and boil these beans with little water ( I pressure cooked them in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles).
Roughly mash the boiled soya beans , add the peeled and mashed potatoes to it . Add the onion, green chillies,coriander and all the spices , mix them well.

Then form patties / tikkis , shallow fry them in a little oil . Fry till they are golden brown in color.
Serve hot with ketchup or any chutney of your choice.

This is my last minute entry for JFI- Soya hosted by Sia of monsoon spice, I hope she accepts it.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Offering for the Baal Gopal - Nariyal Burfi and Malai Ladoos

One of my favorite festivals is Janmasthami ( birthday of Lord Krishna) mainly because of the memories associated with the same . It is the probably the first festival on which I would have "fasted" . The fast was only for name sakes though and I am sure I always ended eating a whole lot of delicacies .... this was one "fast" we always looked forward to . Another aspect was the "Jhanki" which we would set up every year ... we would use our toys , new figurines bought from the market to depict various events in Baal Gopal's life ... it involved so much planning and use of imagination and we kids would be busy the whole day . Evenings would go checking out other Jhankis.. comparing them , dressing up as gopis and krishna and going to temple. All in all it used to be a fun day for us .

This year I did not fast on this day due to many unavoidable reasons , however like my mom I prepared a few offerings for the Baal Gopal. I prepared a very simple NARIYAL BURFI ( Coconut burfi/fudge) and MALAI LADOOS . I also prepared the Makhana Kheer using the secret ingredient from LG of Tasteofmysore which I had got in the bloggers meet, but that will be a separate post.

They were both very simple and hardly took any time .

Nariyal Burfi -

Ingredients - ( about 10 pieces)
Dessicated coconut - 1 cup
Condensed milk - 1 cup
Powdered cardamom - 1 t sp
Oil - a little

Dry roast the coconut over low flame, till it becomes fragrant. Take care that it does not change color.
Then add the condensed milk and the cardamom powder. Keep mixing it continuously till the mixture thickens and starts separating from the pan. Switch off the flame and let it cool for 10-15 minutes . Take a flat plate and apply oil all over it , then spread the prepared mix over it . Flatten with a spatula . Keep it in the refrigerator for 1 hour and then cut into diamond shape pieces .

Nariyal Burfi is ready :-)

Since condensed milk is already sweet , I did not add any sugar . You can sprinkle this with dried dessicated coconut if you want.

Malai Ladoos -

I read about this recipe in one Sanjeev Kapoor recipe book and had been wanting to make them ever since . Janmasthami seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so :-)

Ingredients : ( for about 10 ladoos)

Paneer/Cottage cheese - 1 cup (I used freshly made cottage cheese which had not been pressed into any shape, if you are using the hardened one then either crumble it or grate it)
Condensed milk - 200 ml
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
Dessicated coconut - about 3 tb sp

Take the paneer /cottage cheese in a heavy bottomed pan . Heat it a little and then add the condensed milk . Keep stirring continuously so that it does not stick to the bottom.Take off the flame. Add the cardamom powder and stir well . Once its a little cool form into small ladoos.

I rolled the ladoos in dried dessicated coconut as malai ladoos are a little sticky and hence a little difficult to handle . I rolled the prepared ladoos in the coconut powder and coated them lightly . It also gave a slight taste of coconut to the final ladoo which we liked however you can totally avoid this if you want.

These two go as my entry for the Krishna and Ganesh Chaturthi event hosted by Purva of Purva's daawat

Two men and a chicken - MUGHLAI CHICKEN

What happens when two men get one chicken in the freezer ...... a wonderful chicken curry is served for dinner . At least that is what happened when hubby dear and one of our good friend's R decided to make "special" chicken for dinner . Both of them are big foodies and they undertook this task to prove to me that men are better cooks than women ;-) .... in reality I don't mind them cooking even if it means that I have to keep praising them and nurturing their notion that they are better cooks ;-)

But jokes apart ...this curry came out really well and that is when I asked for their permission to put it on the blog :-) . I think anyone can be a good cook provided they do it with passion and love . As my mother-in-law always says anything prepared with love tastes yum !.

Since they decided on this recipe after an exhaustive internet search , I really don't know where they took the recipe from.

Here goes the recipe for this yummy "MUGHLAI CHICKEN" (Serves 4)

Ingredients :
800 grams chicken (whole)
1 cup(s) yogurt well beaten
1 teaspoon each of turmeric, garam masala and red chili powder
2 green chillies made into paste ( adjust according to taste)
1 tablespoon(s) each of ginger, garlic pastes
4 cloves
1" piece cinnamon
4 brown cardamoms peeled
8 black peppercorns 10 almonds
1 teaspoon(s) cumin seeds
2 teaspoon( coriander seeds
2 large onion(s) finely sliced
1 cup(s) tomato puree
1 cup(s) water
2 tablespoon(s) oil
salt to taste
fresh cream (optional) and finely chopped coriander leaves for garnishing

Clean the chicken and then make small cuts in it .

In a bowl mix together half of the ginger-garlic paste and red chilli powder. Add the garam masala powder, turmeric powder, yogurt and salt to taste. Mix well. Rub this marinade into the chicken very well and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour or two.

In a pan roast together cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamoms and almonds till they are aromatic. Fry the sliced onions till brown. Allow to cool. Grind together browned onions, roasted spices, and the remaining ginger garlic pastes with a little water.

Heat some in a heavy-bottomed pan till hot add the chicken (without the marinade) and fry on medium level for about 2 minutes or till the chicken is browned lightly. Remove the fried chicken from the pan and keep aside.

Add about 1tb sp oil, heat it till hot and fry the paste on medium level for about 2 minutes. Add the chicken, marinade, tomato puree. remaining red chili powder, water and sprinkle salt to taste. Mix well. Cover and cook on low heat for about 25 minutes or till the chicken is fully cooked.

Garnish with fresh cream (optional) and finely chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with chapati or paranthas.

The gravy is rich and creamy and tastes absolutely delicious. The chicken tasted even better the next day as all the flavors had really mixed together .

Friday, August 1, 2008

Paneer Bbq. sticks

We had a barbeque party in June. This was our first attempt at hosting a barbeque party and hence I was a little nervous about hosting it . Will the food cook properly , will everyone like the seasonings …etc etc. To add to my jitters was the fact that one of the guests was a complete vegetarian who would not have even touched something which was even near any meat.

I had a number of recipes for meats…but what to make for a vegetarian…what would look great and taste even better. I mulled over this question for a number of days and then one day while browsing through my recipe collection I came across a recipe that I had noted down from a book sometime back. The original recipe was for chicken, I decided to use it with paneer and add some colorful vegetables to make this lovely looking bbq sticks.

I have the pictures of the sticks before we barbequed them, they were consumed before I could click a snap. …and that in itself proves that this was a successful experiment :-)

I hope to make these more often, now that we are confident that we can indeed host a barbeque party successfully. Our friends have been asking us about the next party already J so hopefully I will have more recipes to post in the near future and this time I will click a snap before I allow anyone to eat it ;-)

Ingredients (makes about 9 medium sized sticks)

Paneer / cottage cheese – 400 grams
Red/ Green bell pepper –1 large sized one/ each color
White onion – 2 medium sized ones
Lime – 3-4 depending on size
Bamboo skewers – 9- 10

For marinade
For paneer/ cottage cheese
Crushed fenugreek seeds – 2 t sp
Amchoor powder / dry mango powder – 2 t sp
Garam masala – 2 t sp
Finely grated ginger – 4 t sp
Finely grated garlic – 4 t sp
Chili powder – 2 t sp

Turmeric – 1 t sp
Ground cumin powder – 2 t sp
Ground coriander powder – 2 t sp
Low fat yogurt – 300 ml
Oil - 1 t sp
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Salt – as per taste

For vegetables –

Olive oil – 1 tb sp
Lime juice – 1-2 tb sp (depending on sourness)
Ground pepper powder (black or white) -1 t sp
Salt – as per taste

Slice the cottage cheese into 1-inch cubes. Dice the bell peppers, onions into squares of 1 inch. Separate each layer of the white onion.

Dry roast the crushed fenugreek seeds, coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala, till fragrant. Then blend all the marinade ingredients in a blender. Pour over the cottage cheese cubes. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.

Then marinate the vegetables with the olive oil, limejuice, pepper powder and salt. Keep aside for 15-30 mins. Also soak the bamboo skewers in water (this prevents them from burning while barbequing)

Then thread the vegetables and cottage cheese, alternating them, as you like. Once all the skewers are done, cook them on a medium hot grill or charcoal. Turn to the other side when one side is cooked or slightly charred.
Sprinkle lemon juice on the ready sticks and serve hot with mint chutney।

This is my entry for MM-Grill It hosted by Sig of Live to Eat