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I recently had a long chat with a friend who confessed to me that she absolutely dreaded the hour before it was dinnertime. She hates cooking, and the mere thought of “Whats’s for dinner tonight?” can really drive her up the wall. What she faces everyday is nothing new to most of us. Me included! I’ve been known to stare into the fridge, almost willing it to pop out a completely tasty, well balanced meal straight onto my dining table.
I’ve never been one to meal plan on weekly basis. I know its advantages and have sincerely tried to follow through many times. But, unless and until I hit the stores and check out the fresh produce they have to offer, I’m not motivated. I love feeling the freshness of the bright coloured fruits and veggies, checking out the cheese display and rummaging through the aisles for new spices and flavours. All this, the dedication and time I put into grocery shopping each week, is what inspires me and helps me creative in the kitchen.
As much as I love to play around with the ingredients I have to create a wonderful meal, there are many nights where all I want is something no-fuss, quick and healthy, and call it a night! It’s for nights like these that I save some of my go-to family favourite recipes that come together in a snap and satisfy our hungry tummies. Most of these recipes are either one-pot meals, or a mish-mash of some protein and veggies that can be easily served with rice/rotis/bread to complete the meal. Add a side salad, and you’re good to go!
Today’s recipe is one that fits the bill. Infact, it’s going to be dinner for Baby Dear and me tonight. Hubby Dear has dinner plans at work and I’m knee deep in house chores, so dinner needs to be quick. I always have a bag of frozen shrimp in my freezer and some form green leafy vegetable in the fridge. Be it bok choy, spinach or kale, they all work well in this recipe.
SHRIMP & GREENS CURRY
PREP TIME: 5 MIN | COOKING TIME: 15 MIN | SERVES: 2-4 AS MAIN, 6 AS SIDE Ingredients:
2 tbsp light cooking oilDirections:
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp tamarind concentrate
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
1 400ml can of coconut milk
2-3 cups chopped greens (bok choy or spinach)
15-20 medium-sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a large deep pan on medium heat, add in onion and fry for 2-3 minutes till lightly browned.
Add garlic and spices, and fry for a minute or two till fragrant. Stir in the tamarind concentrate and tomatoes, and combine well with the onion and spices.
Cook for a minute or two, stirring occasionally till the tomatoes start to pulp and blend with the spice mixture.
Add in the coconut milk and stir well, allowing it to come a boil.
Add in the greens and shrimp, and cook covered for a few minutes till the shrimp is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper, and serve warm with a side of rice.
SRI VARADARAJAPERUMAL TEMPLE RECIPE
(To make 10 idlis)
IngredientsRaw rice 2kg, Urad dhal kg, Methi 25gm, Pepper 100gm, Jeera 100gm, Dry ginger 100gm,Asafoetida, Curry leaves, Ghee 800gm, Salt
Method: Soak the rice, urad dhal and methi for an hour. Grind to a rough consistency. Add salt and leave overnight. In the morning, add pepper, jeera, dry ginger, asafoetida (all without tempering), sautéd curry leaves and ghee. Mix well and cook. It takes about an hour to cook.
I don't know what are Mandharai leaves. Hope you readers can enlighten me.
At home, in a cooker it may take only 15 minutes. Place pieces of mandharai leaves on the idli tray and then pour the batter.
|Monday||Masala Poha||Cluster Beans CurryMethi-Tomato DalTomato Rasam||Makki Roti with Rajma|
|Tuesday||Foxtail Millet Pesarattu||Capsicum Eggplant Rice||Palak Poori with Aloo Gobi Masala|
|Wednesday||Tomato Omlette||Menthiya Keerai SambharCabbage Carrot PoriyalCumin Pepper Rasam||Instant wheat dosa|
|Thursday||Instant Oats Idli, Peanut Chutney||Vegetarian Tahari||Multi Grain Roti, Aloo Kurma|
|Friday||Bread Upma||Thepla with Potato Curry||Veg Fried Rice with Paneer Manchurian|
|Saturday||Ven Pongal, Groundnut Chutney||Cauliflower Dum BiryaniSpinach Raita||Pani Puri and Ragda Patties|
|Sunday||Poori Channa Masala||Hyderabadi Vegetable Biryani||Tonak Pav|
|Monday||Mixed Vegetable Cheese Sandwich||Ghee RiceTomato curry with Egg||Spinach Dal Paratha|
|Tuesday||Rava Idli with Coconut Mint Chutney||Minty Carrot and Peas Rice||Carrot Sage Lasangna Roll Ups|
|Wednesday||Dadpe Poha||Roasted Habanero Pineapple Wrap||Andhra Chicken Gravy with Rotis|
|Thursday||Instant Oats Dosa||Andhra Pulihora||Mutton Keema with Rotis|
|Friday||Sandwich with Leftover Keema||Mix Veg KadaiMoong Dal Pachadi with Rice||Quick Corn and Paneer Subzi|
|Saturday||Classic American breakfast||Herbed Oat Rolls||Poori, Pitla and Tomato Shorva|
|Sunday||Costa Rican breakfast||Chicken RoastChicken Dum Briyani||Lentil Soup|
I’m sure you’ve seen a variety of Tiramisu recipes by now. I’ve also posted a Tiramisu cake recipe earlier. However this is a no bake version. Whenever I’m pressed for time to think about recipe ideas for dessert, I make this. This is good enough for a crowd and also it’s too easy to put together. I’ve made this “n” number of times and without fail, every time, I was rewarded with big happy smiling faces licking their spoons :)
Btw, how’s Easter preps going on? All set?
Jose and I wish you and your loved ones a Happy and Blessed Easter! May the Risen Christ Bless you!
I’ve put together a party menu for Easter, you can see it here.
Here you go with the step by step pictures…
In a mixing bowl, with a manual whisk, whisk mascarpone cheese with icing sugar, vanilla essence, Baileys Irish Cream (if using) and 3 tablespoons of the espresso syrup until blended…
With an electric mixer whisk the whipping cream until soft peak (do not over whip)…
With a spatula, fold in 1/4 of the whipped cream to the mascarpone mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream to the mascarpone mixture…
Spread a layer of the cake in the pudding dish / individual dessert bowl. Brush the cake with espresso syrup to moisten it. Spoon over half of the filling over the moistened cake layer. Spread evenly. Repeat with another layer of moistened cake and spoon over the remaining filling. Spread and smooth the top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, best left overnight…
Recipe adapted from here:
Please read the “notes” section before you proceed with the recipe.Print No Bake Tiramisu Author: Maria Jose Martin Serves: 6-8 Ingredients
As a kid, I loved sleeping in. Obviously, with school on weekdays, it was hard to keep my eyes shut with Mom screaming from the kitchen for me to get dressed. But not weekends. Aah… weekends were when I could get as much shut eye as I wanted – or rather, as much as my parents allowed me! There was a time when my Dad had to scan the markets to find an alarm loud enough to break my sweet slumber. Alas, even then Mom would come running to my room to shut it off before the neighbours heard the deafening shrill. But me, I did not even twitch a muscle. I truly believed that had I been Sleeping Beauty, the fairy tale would’ve ended very differently! But who am I kidding? That was eons ago, in a time when sleep for me was more of a sport than a luxury. I think all moms reading this can nod their heads in agreement that once the home has welcomed its first baby, our sleep and life as we know it, takes a completely different turn!
Baby Dear is a morning person in every sense of the word. He wakes up bright-eyed and bushy tailed every weekend when the sun comes out and announces his rising through the baby monitor as loud as he possibly can. Either Hubby Dear or I will then, in our dazed half asleep state, bring him into our room and put him in the middle of our bed under the covers with the cartoons turned on. Then, we fall back to sleep. In the meanwhile, our Tarzan baby who has learned that no amount of coercing will wake up his sleep-deprived parents, will entertain himself with the TV, reading his books or playing – all the while nestled between the both of us. But this will only last a few minutes till he realizes that its no fun talking to yourself and not getting any responses back. And Baby Dear is nothing if he can’t talk and be talked back to.
So there we are, up and early on a Saturday morning at the kitchen table. And that’s exactly why I tend to always have a stash of some delicious baked goodies to tie us over till I’ve had my first sip of coffee and can actually start thinking of what to feed my family. This recipe is one of our favourites, and one that I’ve made upmteen number of times. It’s perfect to take with you on the go for a quick morning bite. Or, if you’re fortunate like us and have a happy early riser to shake you off your deep, sweet slumber, then it’ll feel like a godsend to have them at arm’s length!
STRAWBERRY BANANA ALMOND MUFFIN
Prep time: 10 min | Cooking time: 20-25 min | Makes: 12 muffins Ingredients:
3 ripe bananas, mashedDirections:
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix the mashed bananas with sugar, butter, vanilla extract, baking powder and soda. Add in in flour and mix well to form a smooth batter.
Fold in almonds and chopped strawberries, and fill a greased muffin tray three-fourths full.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, till muffins are done and brown on top.
Have you come across this situation… What if you could eat one of the food items you like very much only once in a year? It’s difficult to even imagine such a thing in this era of instant gratification, right? Well, this particular recipe belongs to that category. You can make this only once a year on Maundy Thursday, in remembrance of Passover. You can read more about it’s significance here.
As a child, I always used to wonder why these grownups were making so much fuss about cooking this? I mean, the preparation of this Appam and Paal is taken very seriously, at least at my place. It’s usually done by the eldest female member of the family. The mood in the kitchen would be completely different from normal days. The Appam and Paal is prepared with extra care and caution. The preparation would start around noon time and once the batter is ready, a small prayer is said while placing the Cross on the batter. By evening time, the whole family comes together for prayer and cutting the Appam.
On a regular basis I like my space in the kitchen. I like to move things in my own pace and everything remains where I keep it, yep I’m a bit of control freak when it comes to my space ;) Ok, what I was trying to say is, how-much- ever I like my space in the kitchen, every year when I make this by myself, standing alone in the quietness of my kitchen, I cannot help but wish, there is total chaos in my kitchen with people and dishes all over the place! Strange isnt it, how emotions can affect your normal self?
Though I’m making it since 2005, every year without fail, I’d be calling my Amma and Tesschechy (my aunt), at least 10 times while making this. I’ve become one of those fussy grownups! By trying to be extra cautious I become extra clumsy :( I tend to have ‘n’ number of doubts every year, may be because it’s made only once in a year or may be because I’m weighed down by its importance, sigh!
So, last year I thought enough is enough and decided to write down each and every detail about it and also take step by step pictures. I wanted to share with you the step by step pictures and the updated recipe. The qty of the ingredients remains the same. There is a small change in the method. However I’ve kept the old post too, if in case you’re used to that recipe :)
Again, even if all the details are in place, I’m sure I’ll be calling or What’s – apping Amma this year too, you know just to make sure that I’m not alone in the kitchen on this day :) After all, no man is an island!
Here you go with the step by step pictures…
Combine salt and roasted rice flour. Add boiling water gradually and using a wooden spatula mix the dough. Add water till the dough comes together. Using your hands (be careful the dough can be very hot), knead together until you get a smooth and soft dough…
Grind coconut with garlic, small onion and jeera with 1/2 cup water, until everything is combined well…
Transfer the batter to a well greased (I use coconut oil for greasing the tin) steaming tin. Place the cross made with palm leaves on the middle of the batter. Steam in appachembu/steamer for 25-35 minutes…
Melt jaggery with a little water. When it is completely melted, strain it…
Add 3 cups medium thick coconut milk and stir continuously and when more than half of it is evaporated, add thick coconut milk and stir well…Print Pesaha / Indri Appam Author: Maria Jose Martin Serves: 5-6 Ingredients For Pesaha Appam
You see… I wanted to post something special for Vishu, more like a Payasam recipe. I even zeroed down on Kadalaparippu Pradhaman, but then I happened to remember one of my “proclamations” – I’m giving up sweets from 1st April till Easter.
I’m not sure why I go around making such announcements and proclamations, when I’m almost certain that I wont be able to keep them. I think I like to make myself believe that I’m capable of leading a very disciplined and ordered life… it’s all about perceptions! Do you do such things? I mean… trying to make yourself believe that you are capable of doing certain things, when in reality, even when you’re not so keen about it?
Ok, before I go on blabbering and waste your time, let’s go to the recipe. Here’s one more recipe for Unniyappam. I’ve already posted a recipe before, which uses a combination of rice flour and plain flour. I’ve been getting mails asking for Unniyappam recipe with just rice flour. Came across this one and it worked out well :) It’s pretty easy recipe, the only thing you’ve to be careful about is the frying part. If you get the right temperature for frying, there is no looking back. Unlike the earlier recipe I posted, this recipe doesn’t call for resting of the batter before frying. So if you’ve all the ingredients, it’s pretty easy to fry it up ;)
If you are planning to make Sadya, please check out the recipes here.
Wish you and your loved ones a Happy Vishu!
Here is the recipe…
Melt jaggery in 1 cup water till it becomes syrupy, but not thick…
Add the melted jaggery to the rest of the ingredients and mix well. The batter should be of dropping consistency. If the batter is too thick, add water to loosen it…
Recipe adapted from “Flavours of the Spice Coast” by Mrs.K.M.MathewPrint Unniyappam Author: Maria Jose Martin Recipe type: Snack Cuisine: Indian, South Indian, Kerala Serves: 10 Ingredients
Over six years ago when I first introduced the Intro to Indian Cooking series of this very blog, I had no idea I was about to start a cult following. What started as a simple desire to help a few of my friends and readers learn the basics of Indian cooking, enabling them to enjoy good food cooked in the comforts of home using fresh, readily available, and healthy ingredients, turned out to be one of THE best decisions I ever made in my writing/blogging career. The series was soon picked up by The Mississauga News as a monthly feature in their food section. Over the years, I’ve received a ton of emails and comments on those posts from folks eager to learn more, much more, about Indian food. And it has been a true pleasure for me responding to each and every one of those queries.
I’ve been reading through a lot of feedback from you guys on the kind of content you’d like me to showcase more of on HoH. Let me just say that I have a couple of fun features/ideas that should take off soon that I’m sure you’ll enjoy very much. One of them that makes me giddy with excitement is a spin off from my Indian 101 series. I know that a lot of you have asked me to bring that back, but I think I can offer you something a step further. Join me, as I cook my way from A to Z of Indian Home Cooking. Each post in this series will showcase a recipe of a dish that begins with a letter from the alphabet. I’ll try my best to pick a variety of vegetarian, non-vegetarian and vegan recipes – both restaurant favourites, and simple home cook secrets.
Okay, so I’m back with the next episode in this series and today we’re on to the letter B. B for Bhuna Chicken. Bhuna is technique of cooking, which simply means to fry the flavour base or masala really well till it starts to caramelize and give out oil along the sides. This method of cooking ensures a robust burst of flavour in the dish and the end result is always a warm, comforting bite. It does take a bit of extra time and a watchful eye to make sure that the masala is cooking well without getting burnt. The secret to this, I believe, is low and slow. Keep the heat low and stir slowly every now and then.
This recipe is perfect for a weekend meal when you have the time and mood to putter about in the kitchen with nothing much else to tug at your attention. It also tastes even better the next day since the spices and flavour and enough time to penetrate and mingle through. Because of this, I love to serve this dish at dinner parties when I know I can cook it either the previous night or early that morning. Other than the little bit of extra time it takes to bhuno the masala, this recipe is fairly simple and a treat to eat.
PREP TIME: 15 MIN | COOKING TIME: 30 MIN | SERVES: 2-4 AS MAIN, 6 AS SIDE Ingredients:
2 tbsp light cooking oilDirections:
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 lb boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
water, as needed
a hefty pinch of kasoori methi
salt, to taste
handful of finely chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
Heat oil in a large deep pan on medium heat and add in the cumin, coriander and fennel seeds. As soon as they start to sizzle, add in onion and fry for 2-3 minutes till lightly browned.
Add ginger, garlic and spices, and fry for a minute or two till fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste and combine well with the onion and spices.
Add in tomatoes, stir well, and continue to fry the masala, stirring occasionally till the tomatoes start to pulp and blend with the spice mixture.
Add in the chicken, season with kasoori methi and salt and cook covered for 7-8 minutes on low heat. If you prefer a bit more of gravy, add some water and bring it to a slow simmer.
Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve hot with fresh made rotis or a side of rice.
|Source: Wikimedia commons|