March 20, 2013

Ginger Panna Cotta with Pineapple salsa


We are now die-hard fans of Panna cotta. Introducing my post of ginger and lemon infused panna cotta with sautéed pineapple salsa. I really hope to post many more varieties of panna cotta :)

Panna cotta desserts can be made ahead of party and will surely be a hit. No need of baking. It can be set either in ramekins or in dariole moulds.

Adapted from Gail Simmons "A twist on the classic Italian dessert"

Ingredients for Panna Cotta:

Milk - 1 cup, another ¼ cup to bloom gelatin
Whipping cream - 1 cup
Sugar - ½ cup
Fresh Ginger - 6 slices
Lemon peel - 1 strip
Vanilla extract - a dash
Gelatin - 2 tsp
Non-stick spray - to grease ramekins

To prepare Panna Cotta:
  • In a saucepan, pour 1 cup milk, whipping cream, sugar, ginger slices, lemon peel, vanilla extract and heat in medium flame.
  • Bring to simmer, switch off the flame and cover with a lid. Allow to steep for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile bloom the gelatin. To bloom, warm ¼ cup of milk and sprinkle the gelatin powder on top. DO NOT STIR YET. Leave it for 5 minutes to soak and soften; then stir the milk and combine the gelatin. If any lumps form, warm the milk and give a good stir; make sure you do not boil the milk as the gelatin loses the settiing agent when boiled.
  • Now pour the gelatin dissolved milk back to the saucepan and give a good stir. Pour through a sieve to remove the gelatin lumps and the ginger lemon peel.
  • Spray the ramekins with non-stick spray to evenly coat the insides. Pour the panna cotta mixture evenly on the ramekins, cover with cling film and refrigerate for 5 hours or overnight to set.
Ingredients for Pineapple salsa:

Chopped fresh pineapple - 1 cup
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Water - 2 tbsp
Fresh ginger - 2 slices, cut in julienne

To prepare Pineapple salsa:
  • Heat sugar and water in a saucepan.
  • Add chopped pineapple and ginger and cook it turns soft.
  • Cool the mixture. Strain the liquid and reserve the pineapple.
To Assemble:

  • Once the panna cotta is set, invert the ramekins on to a plate.
  • Garnish with pineapple pieces on top and pour the liquid over the sides.

March 16, 2013

Stuffed Capsicums


Tasted stuffed capsicums first time from Subbuchechi. It is very filling and can be added to dinner menu. Can roast other veggies along with it; I've baked asparagus which goes well this.

Recipe Source: Subbuchechi

Ingredients:

Capsicums - 3 nos
Potato - 2 nos, big ones
Onions - 2 nos, finely chopped
Green chilies - 2 nos, finely chopped
Ginger - ½ tbsp, finely grated
Garlic - 1 tbsp, finely grated
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Coriander powder - ½ tbsp
Fennel powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - ½ tsp
Corainder leaves - a bunch, finely chopped
Breadcrumbs - ¼ cup (optional)
Cheese - handful
Salt
Oil

Instructions:

For stuffing:

  • Peel the potatoes and cut in cubes. Apply salt and mix well. Put the chopped potatoes in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until soft, cooked. No need to add water to microwave the potatoes.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add chopped onions and green chillies. Sauté till it is translucent.
  • Add grated ginger and garlic, sauté till raw smell is gone.
  • Add turmeric, coriander, fennel powders and sauté till spices get fragrant.
  • Mash the cooked potatoes and transfer to the hot pan.Mix well and fry for 5 minutes for the masala to coat well with potatoes. Check for salt.
  • Switch off the flame and garnish with chopped coriander leaves and breadcrumbs.

To Assemble:

  • Clean the capsicums and pat dry well. Cut the top part like shown in the picture.
  • Scoop out and discard the seeds from the capsicums.
  • Pre-heat oven to 200 degree Celsius for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile stuff each capsicum with the a table spoon of stuffing, then a layer of cheese, again with the stuffing mixture and top with cheese layer.
  • Close the capsicums with the top part.
  • Smear drop of oil on the capsicum skin. Place in a baking tray in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
  • Capsicums are ready to take out from the oven when you feel how cooked you need capsicums to be. I wait for the skin to shrink a bit.
  • Serve hot with tomato ketchep, lemon wedges or just plain.

To prepare Asparagus:

  • Cut the base of the asparagus up to an inch.
  • Sprinkle salt, pepper and olive oil to the asparagus and mix well.
  • Throw in asparagus to the oven in the last 10 minutes.
  • Throw in asparagus in the last 10 minutes.

March 12, 2013

Uzhunnu vada


Back home, Mom makes uzhunnu vada very rarely. Because of it's tedious task of grinding the urad dal in ammikkallu and anything deep fried is not that entertained. Yes, she prefers grinding in ammikkallu.  Whenever craving for uzhunnu vada, we grab it from the Ruchi veg restaurant, Kozhikode. As always, home-made ones will be the best in taste and better in hygiene.

My first hands-on with making vada shape was pretty much ok.

Recipe Source: Mom

Ingredients:

  • Urad dal - 1½ cups
  • Green chilly - 3 nos
  • Onion - 1 no, small size
  • Ginger - 1 inch piece
  • Curry leaf - few sprigs
  • Black Peppercorns - 2 tbsp
  • Baking soda - ½ tsp (optional)
  • Oil - to deep fry
  • Salt

Instructions:

  • Clean and soak the urad dal in water for 5-6 hours. Then grind the soaked urad dal without adding water into a fine paste. But I had to add couple drops of water to get a fine paste.
  • Coarsely crush the chopped onions, ginger, green chillies, curry leaves and peppercorns with a mortar & pestle.
  • Add the crushed mixture to the urad dal paste. Add salt, baking soda and mix well with your hands.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan. Let the oil be real hot and then reduce flame to medium.
  • Wet your hands, make a ball shape out of the uzhunnu vada batter, gently press on your palms and make a hole in the centre just like shown in the picture.
  • Drop it in the oil and let it cook, flip the vada till it's golden brown and crispy outside on both sides.
  • Drain the hot vadas on a kitchen tissue to soak the excess oil.
  • Serve hot with sambhar/chutney.
Notes:

Adjust the green chilly & peppercorns to your spice level.

March 7, 2013

Chicken Schnitzel with Mushroom Sauce


To prepare Chicken Schnitzel

Ingredients:

Chicken Breast - 2 nos
Plain flour - ¼ cup
Egg - 1 no, beaten
Breadcrumbs - ½ cup
Salt
Pepper
Oil - to shallow fry

Instructions:

  • Combine flour, salt, pepper in a bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg. Spread breadcrumbs as a layer on a plate.
  • Slit the chicken breast lengthwise, place the sliced chicken breast between cling film and pound it thin(I've skipped this step).
  • Dredge the chicken first in the flour and shake off the excess flour. Then dip the chicken in beaten egg Shake off the excess and then spread it on the breadcrumbs layer and coat with breadcrumbs well.
  • Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the chicken on both sides. Cover with an aluminium foil to keep it warm.
  • Reserve the excess flour for the Mushroom sauce

To prepare Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients:

Butter - 1 tbsp
Mushroom - 8 nos, sliced
Garlic - 1 nos, finely chopped
Chicken stock - 1 cup
Sour cream - ¼ cup
Soya sauce - 1½ tbsp
Parsley - to garnish
Plain flour - which was used for coating chicken

Instructions:

  • Heat butter in a pan and add in chopped garlic and sliced mushrooms. Sauté till the water evaporates from the mushrooms.
  • Now add the reserved plain flour and fry for a minute.
  • Add in chicken stock. Allow it to boil.
  • Add the sour cream and soya sauce. Check for salt. As the stock and plain flour has salt content, make sure to check the salt.
  • Switch off the flame when the gravy thickens. Garnish with chopped parsley.

March 4, 2013

Slow cooked Spicy Chicken

As the name suggests, this was cooked in a low flame and results in a very delicious spicy curry.

My mom does all her cooking in a low flame. She says that enhances the flavour and yes it is absolutely right. Mummy is a pakka vegetarian; not even egg/milk & milk products. However her one and only daughter doesn't come in that category at all. I should say she has no problem in cleaning, cooking meat/fish and is a gifted cook. Though she doesn't check for taste in non-veg recipes, she gets to know what's missing in a recipe by it's aroma. I don't think much folks have got that talent :) Hats off to Mummy !!!

Ingredients:

Chicken - 1 whole, cut in small pieces
Onions - 3 nos, finely sliced
Green chilly - 1 no, slit lenghtwise
Ginger - 1 tbsp, finely grated
Garlic - 5 cloves, finley grated
Tomato - 1 no, finely sliced
Curry leaf - a sprig
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Kashmiri Chilli powder - 1 tbsp
Hot chilli powder - ½ tbsp
Coriander powder - 1½ tbsp
Cumin powder - ½ tbsp
Fennel powder - ½ tbsp
Garam masala - 1 tbsp
Oil - I've used olive oil
Salt
Water
Coriander leaves - to garnish

Instructions:
  • For chicken marination, dry roast the spices. Heat a pan in low flame. Add the mentioned powders including garam masala. Stir the spices until the spices get fragrant. Make sure not to burn the powders. Add a tablespoon of oil, salt  to the roasted powders and mix well. Apply this marinade to the cleaned chicken pieces and marinate for 2 hours.
  • Heat oil in a pan in a low flame. Add sliced onions slit green chilli and sauté till it turns slightly brown.
  • Then add grated ginger, garlic and sauté till raw smell is gone.
  • Add sliced tomatoes and sauté till it turns soft.
  • Add the marinated chicken pieces, curry leaf and roast for 5 minutes. Make sure to stir in between.
  • Add half a cup of water to the chicken and cover with a lid. 
  • When the chicken is cooked, let the gravy thicken. Do not cover with lid at this stage.
  • Switch off the flame and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Notes:
  • The slow you cook, the better will it taste. If in a hurry, carry on to cook in a medium flame :)
  • Adjust the spiciness to your taste. This recipe is slightly hot to our palette.
  • Make sure to stir in between so that the pieces doesn't get burnt.
  • This recipe pairs well with chappathi, rice, appam, pathiri etc