Sunday, August 28, 2005
Bone less chicken slices (look for the chicken thats for stir frying)
Half an Onion
Minced Ginger (use your own measure)
Half-boiled Potatoes (3-4 minutes in the microwave)
Some plain yogurt
- Cumin seeds (a pinch)
A skillet. (Preferably something thats not non-stick... ideally a cast-iron skillet, adds to the taste and is also a healthier option. In its absence stick to a regular steel pan!!) + regular overhead.
Marinate the chicken in yogurt and nothing else
Heat a wee bit of olive oil in the pan... just to wet the surface. All the ingredients give out their own oil, so don't over kill on the grease. Thats also a very good reason to buy free-range corn fed farmed chicken... so you don't cook your food in artificial enzymes, growth hormones and unhappy energies.
Put in a pinch of cumin seeds and wait till they crackle.
Put in the mushroom, reduce the flame and sautee for about a minute.
Put in the finely chopped onions and shortly after add the ginger
Fry till the onions turn golden brown
Put in the herbs... typically I sprinkle generously. Use your judgement.
Add a wee bit water, becasue the herbs tend to rise... not too much water because you don't want to boil things yet.
Fry till things get a nice sauteed look
Put in the marinated chicken and half-boiled potatoes
Stir fry for a wee bit, till the chicken turns white.
Add water, turn the flame to medium and let the whole deal simmer... and add salt to taste
Let it simmer for a little while till the potatoes are done and the chicken is cooked.
Sprinkle some parsely, oregano and thyme and serve with rice or bread.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Frozen Cut Okra /Bhindi- one 16 ounce bag
Red Onion - one medium sized
Yogurt - 1 cup
Chaat Masala - 2 tbsps
Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Salt - To Taste (the Chaat Masala has some salt in it)
1. Slice the Onion thickly.
2. In a microwave proof bowl mix all the ingredients and then microwave on high for 7-8 minutes till the okra is cooked through.
3. Serve warm with bread.
Monday, August 15, 2005
After retirement my parents moved from company housing to their own place very near the banks of the Subarnarekha river (which translates to “Golden Line” - legend has it that the river carries gold from mines far, far away); where on early mornings they could waylay villagers crossing the river to sell their produce and gloat about the freshness of vegetables and fish acquired this way. Soon, the villagers stopped going all the way to the market and now setup stalls every morning and evening outside our place instead!!! It has been ages since I stepped into one of those hustling, bustling market places. I am not particularly fond of the chain grocery stores but I am quite satisfied with the produce at my local Korean store and the occasional trip to the Farmer’s Market (read once a year maybe!!). My parents on the other hand found the ultra hygienic confines of the local supermarket stifling and the produce insipid. The Korean store with its fishy smells felt a little more homely but still…. The Farmer’s Market on the other hand …aha!!…now we were talking fresh vegetables for the first time. We came back from the Farmer’s Market with loads of vegetables on Saturday morning. Amongst which were three beautifully glistening, greenish black peppers which were promptly cooked when we returned home. We picked them from this box of other colorful peppers.
The recipe is an old one which was taken from some cook book or the other (the details escape me at the moment). The try-it-with-tofu-if-you-are-a health-food-nut-like-me advice comes free of charge as usual. On the other hand if you have recently discovered feelings of ummm…the not so friendly kind…towards any fellow human/s, call them over for a meal and cook this with loads of ghee instead (and for added taste deep fry the paneer in ghee). And then after a meal, sit back and let that warm glow of a job well done spread within as you mentally picture his/her arteries clogging up!!!!Paneer with Peppers
Paneer– 400 gms
Peppers– 2 medium sized
Plum Tomatoes – 4 medium sized
Ginger paste – 2 tbsps
Garlic Paste – 2 tbsps
Coriander seeds – 2 tbsps
Dried Red Chilly or Cayenne Pepper – 3 (add more if you like it spicy)
Seranno Pepper/Tai Peppers – 2 (add more if you like it spicy)
Salt – to taste
1. Slice the paneer and the peppers and keep aside. Finely chop the tomatoes. Crush the coriander and dried red chillies in a mortar. The spice mix should be coarsely ground. Remove seeds and spine from the Serrano peppers and finely slice them.
2. In a heated work, add two turns of oil. Add the garlic paste and cook till fragrant. Now add the sliced peppers. Let it cook for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the ginger paste and the Serrano peppers to the wok and cook for two minutes.
4. Now add the coarsely ground spice mix and stir. Once the spice blend is mixed in well, add the tomatoes and cook, till the oil separates from the vegetables.
5. Finally add the paneer slices and the salt to taste. Let the paneer heat through, don’t overcook.
Remove from heat and serve garnished with chopped cilantro. This is turns out a little on the dry side and goes very well with naans, paranthas or any other Indian bread.
Sunday, August 14, 2005
I physically moved to MI on 8/1 and the movers still have not arrived. So I have been left with eating frozen TV dinners (the oven being my only cooking tool).
Yeah! Why don't I eat out? I am officially broke - at least till all my first pay cheque comes in and I start getting reimbursed for my moving expenses
Why don't I get myself a bare-bone kitchen utensil set? Heres my sad story. I don't have a car so I am yet to drive around this new town to find an appropriate place to buy utensils. However, yesterday I made an honest attempt. Looked up the map and trudged down a couple of miles to the nearby strip mall. But alas! I couldn't find a place where they sold utensils ... I was only looking for a saucepan.
However, I did hunt down a stainless steel bowl and a set of paper plates and plastic spoons so I can at least boil rice and dal.
Of course I still have to get off my computer and trudge to the grocery store so I can buy the stuff I need to boil.
Isn't it interesting, I made it a point to have the net up and running at home but completely goated out on the kitchen bit.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Try to use a white fish fillet without too much overwhelming flavor of its own for this dish. Catfish and Sword fish hold up rather well. I normally get four catfish fillets and then make 4 approximately 4” X 2” pieces out of each fillet. Feel free to use any other size that you might be comfortable with. The recipe is rather basic like any other fried fish recipe, so feel free to experiment with the quantities as per your taste. If you don’t have the rice flour this recipe calls for, use all purpose flour instead. I am assuming that bread crumbs would work just fine too.
You Will Need…
Fish Fillets – 4 pieces (4” X2”)
Tamarind Concentrate – 1.5 tbsps
Ginger Paste – 1 tbsps
Garlic Paste – 1 tbsps
Salt – to taste
Sugar – to taste
Red chilli Powder – ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Rice flour – 6 to 8 tbsps
Rawa – 4 tbsps
Oil for frying
Now Get Down and Dirty…
Marinate the fish in salt, turmeric and ginger, garlic paste. While the fish is marinating make a dipping sauce out of the tamarind concentrate, salt, sugar and red chilli powder. Use water to adjust its consistency. The sauce should be a little on the tart side.
In a separate plate mix the rawa and the rice flour and keep aside. Now take each fish piece, first dip liberally in the tamarind sauce and then roll in rice flour mix and set aside.
Finally shallow fry the pieces and serve on bed of onion rings. If you don’t mind the grease go ahead and deep fry the fish.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Monday, August 01, 2005
Paneer (cubed)- 250 gms
Onion (sliced) - 1 medium
Cinnamon - 1/2 stick
Cloves - 6
Green Cardamoms - 6
Bay Leaf - 1
Black Cumin Seeds - 1 tbsp (may subsitute with normal cumin )
Ginger Paste - 2 tbsp
Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
Chilli Powder - 1 tbsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tbsp
Cumin Powder - 2 tbsp
Turmeric POwder - 1/4 tbsp
Yogurt - 1/4 cup( please no fat free here)
Water - 1 cup
Green Chillies Sliced -2
Cilantro Chopped - for garnish
Vegetable Oil - 2 turns of wok
Salt to Taste
Phew!! that was quite a list wasn't it...so now we cook. Since the gravy for this dish is yogurt based you would do well not to use any of the fat free stuff...makes the gravy quite runny.
1. Sautee onions in oil, add cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf and the black cumin seeds and fry till fragrant.
2. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and stir fry. Then add the cubed paneer.
3. Sprinkle in the chilli, coariander, cumin and turmeric powders and mix well.
4. Add yogurt mixed well with one cup of water and cook over low heat.
5. Once the gravy has thickened considerably, add the salt and remove from flame.
6. Garnish with sliced green chilies and cilantro. You may throw in some slivered almonds for added effect.
PS: Add the salt last as the yogurt tends to curdle into lumps when salt is added while cooking.