February 28, 2013

Cutlets in Tomato Sauce

We had a simple dinner last night, Home-made buns with Cutlets in Tomato sauce. Though it seems to be a simple dinner, but indeed a time consuming one. Still everyone loves cutlets.

Well, just thought of inventing something out of cutlets and it was a success. Instead of having plain cutlets, I prepared this simple tomato sauce and immersed the shallow fried cutlets in the sauce. This can be said my version of Meatballs in sauce. We all loved this preparation.

This time haven't used neither breadcrumbs nor egg for making these cutlets. Just make sure there shouldn't be any water in potatoes. I had leftovers of cooked mutton and made my job a bit easier.

To prepare cutlet balls:

Ingredients:

Bone-less Cooked Mutton - 1 cup, dry consistency
Onions - 3 nos, finely chopped
Green chilli - 2 nos, finely chopped
Ginger - ½ tbsp, finely grated
Garlic - 1 tbsp, finely grated
Potatoes - 3 nos, cut in cubes
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Fennel powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves - handful, finely chopped
Oil
Salt

Instructions:
  • Place the potatoes and salt cut in cubes in a microwave safe bowl and cook without adding water until the potatoes turns soft. Once cooked, mash it well.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add finely chopped onions, green chillies and sauté till it turns transparent.
  • Add grated ginger and garlic and sauté till the raw smell is gone.
  • Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, fennel powder, garam masala and sauté till the spices are fragrant.
  • Now add the dry cooked mutton and fry for few minutes. Let the flavours infuse. Check for salt.
  • Add the chopped coriander leaves and switch off the flame.
  • When the mixture has cooled down, roll and shape into small balls. Refrigerate the rolled cutlet balls for 30 minutes.
  • Pour oil in a pan and shallow fry the cutlet balls on all sides. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan.

To prepare Tomato Sauce:

Ingredients:

Egg Tomatoes - 3 nos, blanch the tomatoes
Onion - 1 no, finely chopped
Garlic - 2 nos, finely chopped
Cumin powder - ½ tbsp
Salt
Sugar - 1 tsp

Instructions:

  • To blanch the tomatoes, slit the tomatoes on the base. Boil water in a sauce pan and place the tomatoes.Take it out after 2 minutes when the skin would be able to pull apart. Blend the skinless tomatoes into a fine paste.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add finely chopped garlic and sauté till the raw smell is gone.
  • Add chopped onion and sauté till it turns transparent.
  • Add tomato purée  salt, sugar and cumin powder. Cover with a lid and let it reduce to pouring consistency.
  • Place the shallow fried cutlet balls in the tomato sauce and keep it in flame for 5 minutes.
  • Switch off the flame and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

February 25, 2013

Happy B'day to me !!


My first attempt with fondant and it paid my effort !!!!

February 22, 2013

Fried Semolina balls

An easy and perfect tea time snack; learnt from my mother-in law. It requires very few ingredients and just deep fry the batter.

Recipe Source: MIL

Ingredients:

Coarse semolina - 1 cup approx
Egg - 1
Sugar - 4 tbsp, as per taste
Baking powder - a pinch
Cardamom powder - ½ tsp
Oil - to deep fry

Instructions:
  • Pour oil to a saucepan and keep it on medium flame.
  • Beat the egg with a fork. Add sugar according to your taste and beat until dissolved.
  • Add cardamom powder, baking powder and mix well.
  • Now add coarse semolina until the mixture turns really thick (thicker than the idli consistency).
  • Allow the batter to rest for few minutes. 
  • When oil is medium-hot, dip in a spoonful of batter to the hot oil.
  • Once it turns golden brown colour on one side, just turnover.
  • Take out the fried semolina balls from out of the hot oil when the fried balls have turned to a nice brown colour.
Notes:
  • I'm unable to provide the accurate measurement of the semolina used as it depends on the size of the egg used & the coarse semolina variety.
  • When you dip the spoonful of batter and if the spreads without holding the shape, then you need to add more semolina to the batter to make it thick consistency.
  • When consistency is really thick, the batter will hold it's shape when dropped in hot oil.

February 20, 2013

Kappa Biriyani


Kappa/Tapioca./Cassava is one of  malayalee's comfort food. It can be prepared in several ways like Kappa vevichathu, Kappa puzhukku with/without mathi, Kappa curry etc. Kappa vevichathu is one of my favourite tea time snack :)

I've never had Kappa Biriyani before, heard about this from Sathya. He used to have it from a mess in Bangalore. I've not had the chance to taste it. This is not much famous in North Malabar. I got the recipe from our friends Benny & Treesa.

Kappa Biriyani is combination of any meat along with Kappa instead of rice. I've used Beef, can be replaced with chicken, lamb or pork. I think the best combo would be beef :)

This was indeed finger licking good and I would definitely include it in my menu once in a month.

Recipe Source: Treesa

Ingredients:

Tapioca - 1 kg, cut in chunks
Beef - 500 g
Grated coconut - 1 cup
Small onions/Shallots - 5-6 nos
Garlic - 5  nos
Green chilli - 5 nos, adjust to your taste
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tbsp
Salt
Water
Mustard seeds - ½ tbsp, to temper
Whole dry red chilli - 3 nos, to temper

For Beef Marination:

Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Kashmiri chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - ½ tbsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Ginger - ½ tsp, finely grated
Garlic - 1 tsp, finely grated
Lemon juice
Salt

Marinate the cleaned beef pieces with the above mentioned powders for an hour.

Instructions:

To prepare beef:
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add finely sliced onion (1 no) and sauté till it's golden brown.
  • Add the marinated beef and fry till the beef turns brown colour.
  • Pressure cook the beef until it is cooked well.
To prepare Kappa:
  • Take enough water and put the kappa pieces.
  • Add salt and turmeric powder.
  • Let the water boil and then close the lid for the pieces to get cooked. Stir in intervals.
  • When the kappa gets soft and cooked, discard the water.
  • Grind coconut, green chillies, garlic, a sprig of curry leaves,small onions, cumin seeds to a coarse paste.
  • Add the grounded coconut mixture paste to the cooked kappa and sauté for few minutes.
  • Add in the cooked beef as well.
  • Let the mixture gets thoroughly combined and cooked all together. Check for salt.
  • Sauté till the beef aroma spreads to the kappa pieces :) Kappa biriyani should have a thick consistency.
To Temper:
  • Heat coconut oil. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds. Wait till the mustard gets cracked.
  • Split the whole dry red chillies, curry leaves and stir for a minute until it changes color.
  • Add this to the Kappa Biriyani and stir well.
Notes:
  • Using a kilo of tapioca will lasts definitely for 2 days :)
  • Use coconut oil to temper the biriyani.

February 19, 2013

Parippu Vada

This reminds me of the thattukada near Crown theatre, where Achan & Moothachan used to get us hot crispy parippu vadas packed in greasy newspaper. Super delicious ones. I'm not sure whether that thattukada still exists there. Have to include this in the To do list when I reach Calicut. Back home, mom grinds the soaked dal on an ammikkallu which gives a nice flavour to vadas.

Serve hot parippu vadas with a cup of steaming hot tea and enjoy a nice evening.

Recipe Source: Mom

Ingredients:

Channa dal - 1½ cups
Onion - 1 no, finely chopped
Ginger -  tbsp, finely chopped
Green chilli - 4 nos, chopped
Curry leave - a sprig, coarsely chopped
Asafoetida - ½ tsp
Salt
Oil - to deep fry

Instructions:
  • Wash and soak the channa dal for 3-4 hours. On a kitchen towel, spread the channa dal and let it completely dry.
  • Once dried, grind the channa dal into a coarse paste and transfer to a bowl.
  • Add chopped onion, ginger, green chilli, curry leaves, asafoetida and salt to the coarse grounded channa dal and mix well.
  • Make into small size balls and lightly flatten each ball.
  • Heat the oil in a high flame at first. Then reduce the flame to medium hot and fry the vadas.
  • Place the fried parippu vadas on a kitchen tissue to soak the excess oil.
  • Serve hot.

February 17, 2013

Pepper Chicken

This is the way my mother-in law prepares Pepper chicken and is really yummy. I've added a dash of soya sauce to the dish to give a smooth rich flavour and is optional.
To get the authentic taste, use coconut oil, few more sprigs of curry leaves and no need of soya sauce :)

The cute bowl in this pic was gifted by our friend and batch-mate Rachana. Thanks Rachs !!

Recipe Source - Mom-in law

Ingredients:

Chicken - ½ kg
Onions -  2 nos, finely sliced
Ginger - 1½ tbsp, finely sliced
Green chilli - 3 nos, slit lengthwise
Tomato - 1 no, sliced
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Pepper powder - 2 tbsp, as per taste
Curry leaves - a sprig
Soya sauce - 1 tbsp (optional)
Salt
Water
Oil - Use coconut oil, I've used Olive oil.

Instructions:

  • Heat oil in a pan.Add sliced onions, slit green chillies, sliced ginger, curry leaves and sauté till golden brown.
  • Add turmeric and pepper powder and fry till the spices are fragrant.
  • Add sliced tomatoes and chicken pieces. Sauté till the masala coats on the pieces well.
  • Add enough salt, water and close with a lid for the chicken to get cooked.
  • When chicken is cooked, add pepper powder in case needed as per your taste.
  • Let the chicken turn to a semi-dry consistency and pour soya sauce. Cook for few more minutes and switch off the flame.

February 15, 2013

Home-made Chicken Thin Crust Pizza


Nothing beats a home-baked pizza and with such a wide variety of toppings to choose from, there's a pizza for every taste.My first attempt with home-made pizza base and pizza sauce was an instant hit. With just a little bit of preparations, we all can stack it up.

I'm not much fond of buying frozen stuffs. Fresh pizza dough is always better than the frozen pizza base. Making pizza dough is really simple. So lets knead !!!


Ingredients for Pizza dough:

All purpose flour - 1½ cups
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Dry yeast - 1 tsp
Lukewarm water - ½ cup
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - ½ tsp

Ingredients for Pizza sauce:

Egg (Roma) tomatoes - 3 nos
Garlic cloves - 3 nos, finely chopped
Capsicum - ¼ cup, finely chopped
Dried mixed herbs - 1 tsp, according to your taste
Oil - ½ tsp
Salt
Sugar

Toppings used:

Chicken strips - ½ cup, shallow fried
Green capsicum - handful,  sliced
Yellow capsicum - handful, sliced
Button Mushrooms - 5 nos, sliced
Onions - handful, sliced
Chilli flakes
Mozzarella cheese - garnish
I used Cheddar and Parmesan cheese to garnish

Marinated the chicken strips with ginger garlic paste, turmeric and kashmiri chilli powder, lemon juice and salt. Then shallow fried in oil.

How to make Pizza Sauce:
  • Blanch the tomatoes. For blanching, place water in a deep pan and let it boil. Slit an X mark at the base. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water and let it sit only for a minute. Transfer the tomatoes to cold water and peel off and discard the skin. Blend the skinless tomatoes and make a fine paste.
  • Pour oil on a hot pan and add finely chopped garlic. Sauté for a minute making sure not to burn them.
  • Add chopped capsicum and sauté till soft.
  • Now add the tomato purée and add a pinch of salt and sugar.
  • Close with a lid and let the sauce get thickened well like a spreadable consistency.
  • Add the mixed dry herbs before switching off the flame.
  • Left-over pizza sauce can be refrigerated for later use.
How to make Pizza dough:
  • Dissolve yeast and sugar in lukewarm water. Leave the mixture to prove for a few minutes. The yeast should start to bubble or foam in the water.
  • Sift the flour and salt. Make a well in the centre and pour the oil and dissolved yeast,sugar mixture.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon until dough becomes too firm to stir.
  • Using hands, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. 
  • Coat a bowl with a drizzle of oil so that the dough doesn't get stick.
  • Transfer the dough top the greased bowl and cover with a cling wrap.
  • Leave it for 1 hour to rise. Wait until the dough has doubled it's size.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 220 degree Celsius.
  • When the dough has risen, knock out the air bubbles on the dough using your palms.
  • Lightly flour the kitchen counter and knead the dough for 2-3 minutes.
  • Transfer the dough on to the baking tray and pat and push dough outwards until it reaches the edges, forming a thick rim on the outside. Choose any desired shape.
  • If you wish to have a thin crust, flatten it up very thin else go for a thick base.
To garnish the Pizza:
  • Spread the pizza sauce on top of the flattened dough.
  • Add all the toppings. 
  • Bake pizza for 10-15 minutes until the cheese has melted, the veggies get crunchy and the edges of the pizza base has turned slightly golden brown.

Pavlova.. It's Mini Pavlova's served for this special day!!

Happy Valentine's Day !!

Pavlova is supposed to be the National dessert of Aussies :) . It is meringue dessert with a crisp crust and soft and light inside. It is an integral part for Christmas lunch menu and yes I did bake Pavlova the first time during dec. We were in love with the very first bite of it.


As for this Valentines day, I'm baking P&P (Pizza & Pavlova) for my family :) I had plan only to make Pizza today; Sathya insisted he wanted a dessert to go with Pizza. I baked Mini Pavlova's this time; just halved the below mentioned ingredients.


The above snap was my first Pavlova attempt.

Recipe Source: Joy of baking

Ingredients:

Egg whites - 4 large, at room temperature
Caster sugar - 1 cup
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
White vinegar - 1 tsp
Cornflour - ½ tbsp

For Topping:

Whipping cream - 1 cup
Granulated sugar - 1½ tbsp
Vanilla extract - ½ tsp
Fresh fruits to garnish

Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 130°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Draw a 20cm circle on the paper, place on the tray, circle side down.
  • Use an electric mixer to whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, whisking for 1 minute after each addition. Once all the sugar has been added, continue to whisk on high for 3 minutes, until the meringue holds very stiff and shiny peaks.
  • Test to see if the sugar is fully dissolved by rubbing a little of the meringue. The meringue should feel smooth, not gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your finger.
  • Combine cornflour, vinegar and vanilla essence. Add to meringue and whisk until just combined.
  • Use a spatula to spread meringue over the circle, smoothing the surface and sides. Use a palette knife to draw the meringue mixture upwards around the edge to create furrows. This will help support the sides of your pavlova, and prevent it from cracking too much and collapsing.
  •  Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes - the pavlova should be dry to the touch. Turn off the oven and leave to cool completely.
  • For topping, whip the cream with electric mixer and add sugar, vanilla extract.
  • Scoop the whipped cream and decorate with fruits.
  • Chill for 30 minutes and serve.
Notes:

After baking the Pavlova, turn the oven off. Leave it in the oven, with door ajar, for up to 6 hours to cool completely. If you remove the Pavlova when it's still warm it will cool too quickly, and may crack and collapse.

February 8, 2013

Beef Fry


I learnt to make Beef fry from my Mootha(aunt) and she had learnt this from our neighbour, Rahmath aunty. The Beef fry that aunty makes is just awesome. Her secret ingredient is paste made from whole dry Kashmiri chilli. Now to simplify it, I've just used the powder. Here is my slight variation of Rahmath aunty's Beef fry.

Sathya loves it to be semi-dry consistency; this can be made either gravy or a very dry consistency like beef varattiyathu.

Recipe Source : Rahmath aunty

Ingredients:

Beef - 750 grams
Onions - 2, finely sliced
Ginger - ½ tbsp, finely grated
Garlic - 1½ tbsp, finely grated
Tomatoes - 2, sliced
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon - 2  nos, 1 inch stick
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Kashmiri chilli powder - 1½ tbsp
Red hot chilli powder - ½ tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Salt
Oil

Instructions:
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add cloves, cinnamon and sliced onions.
  • Fry the onions until it changes to golden brown.
  • Add grated ginger, garlic and sauté till the raw smell is gone.
  • Add the turmeric, kashmiri chilli, red hot chilli, coriander powders and roast till it is fragrant.
  • Add in sliced tomatoes and let it turn soft.
  • Add the cleaned beef pieces and fry till the mixture gets coated well with beef.
  • Pressure cook the beef.
  • When the beef is cooked, transfer the contents to a non-stick pan and roast it till your required consistency.
  • I've made my beef to semi-dry consistency.
Notes:

No need to add water while pressure cooking the beef as water will come from onions and tomatoes.
No need for adding oil while roasting the beef after it is cooked.