Monday, December 30, 2013

Shrimp Tempura - IFC - Step by step

        This month, Shahzia of "Cutchi Kitchen", gave us the challenge from "Hokkaido Cuisine". There were so many recipes like Hokkaido milk bread, shiffon cake .. but shrimp tempura caught my eyes, as it was easy to make . One more reason, why I took this is , I don't have much shrimp recipes in my blog. So opted for this easy appetizer. Originally, this recipe is made with king prawns, since I couldn't get king Prawns from my grocery store, picked theses small shrimps. It tasted as good as king prawns, though the size was small.Prawns are dipped in batter, coated with bread crumbs and fried in oil.The spice level is bit low in this recipe, as the shrimps are served with spicy dip.
Serves                 :    2
Preparation time :    10 minutes
Cooking time      :    15 minutes

1.King prawns         -      10
2.Egg                       -       1
3.Flour                     -       1/2 cup
4.Pepper powder      -       1 tbsp
5.Ice water                -       2 to 3 tbsp
6.Salt                         -       to taste
7.Oil                          -       for frying
8.Bread crumbs         -       1/2 cup

* Wash the prawns, remove the skin ,but keep the tail intact. Take a sharp knife, slit in the middle of the prawn to make it look like a butterfly. As shown in the picture.

* Take a mixing bowl, add egg,salt and pepper. Beat it well. There should not be any lumps.
* Now add flour to the egg and mix it well.

 * Slowly add ice water to the mixture and form a smooth batter. Take a plate ,add the bread crumbs to it.


 * Take the devinded prawns and dip it in the batter first.

* Now coat the prawn with bread crumbs on both the sides.

 * Deep fry the shrimp in medium hot oil. Once they turn golden brown, strain the prawn.

Serve it with sweet chilli sauce. This can be made instantly, by mixing chilli sauce with honey.

* The prawns has to be cleaned very well.
* The batter should always be cold, If not keep the batter in fridge for few minutes.
* We can skip egg and add some corn flour, if we want.
*  If you don't have bread crumbs, then skip and fry directly, without coating it with bread crumbs.

Linking this to "International Food Challenge , started by "Saraswathi Tharagaram" and "Shobana Sekar".

Friday, December 27, 2013

Methi Pulao - வெந்தயக் கீரை சாதம் - Step by step

   Methi is a medicional plant, with so many health benefits. It helps to control sugar level in our blood. So try to infuse this leaves in your cooking . Today I tried methi pulao, which is very healthy and flavourfull.I have to bluff to Rohith this is spinach rice. He was happy to have .Ashwath as usual, messed the rice on his plate,with 4 or 5 servings into his tummy. Yes , he is going to be 2 and wants to eat on his own.
    I am just fiddling along with my new SLR settings. So kindly bear with my pictures. Will surely try to master with the manual mode.
1.Basmati rice   -    1 cup
2.Methi leaves   -    1 cup or a fistfull
3.Coconut milk  -    2 cups
4.Onion              -    1 (thinly sliced)
5.Green chillies  -    2
6. Cinnamon sticks -  1/2 inch
7.Cloves               -     2
8.Brinji leaf          -     2
9.Fennel seeds      -     1/2 tsp
10.Oil                   -      2 tbsp.
11.Ghee                -      1 tbsp.
12.Salt                   -      as needed
13.Cilantro leaves -      for ganishing 
14.Cashews           -      few
15.Ginger garlic paste -   1/2 tsp
16.Garam masama pwdr -  1/4 tsp
*Wash and soak the basmati rice for 20 minutes. Drain the rice over a colander for 20 minutes. Separate the leaves of the methi and wash it thoroughly.Take a bowl, add little salt and mix the methi leaves with it. Leave it for 5 minutes. This way the bitterness of the methi leaves may go.
*Take a pan or a dutch oven like mine. Add ghee and fry the cahsews till golden brown. Take the cashews and keep it aside.
* With the ghee, add oil and temper with the whole garam masalas.
* Add thinly sliced onions and green chillies. Sprinkle salt to the onion to cook fast.

* Add the ginger garlic paste and sauté it well. Make sure don't burn the ginger and garlic paste, then it will taste bitter.
* Now squeeze the water from the methi leaves and add it to the pan. Give it a stir.The leaves should wilt.
* Once the leaves lost its moisture, add the garam masala pwdr and mix.

* Add the soaked and drained rice to the pan. Slightly fry it .Take care not to break the rice.
* Add the coconut milk to the pan .Adjust salt to taste.

* Cover and cook for 15 - 20 minutes. If you are going to use pressure cooker, then cook the rice for a whistle and lower the flame ,keep in dhum for 15 minutes. My dutch oven took 18 minutes to cook the rice. Once the rice is cooked, I turned the flame off and kept the dutch oven unopened. This will help the rice to get separated.

* The rice will look like this, after keeping in dhum. Garnish with fried nuts and chopped cilantro.

* There will be slight bitterness in the rice, which is not that noticeable.
* Adding coconut milk is optional, we can replace it with water also.
* If we want, we can also add some chilli pwdr to the rice.
* We can also add some lemon juice to the rice.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Rava Idli / ரவா இட்லி -step by step

      Rava idli is another tempting breakfast from South Indian cuisine. This is also a quick fix for breakfast or dinner. This batter can be made within 10 minutes and cooked within 10 minutes. This breakfast comes handy, when we don't have idli batter at home.  All our South Indian restaurants, serve these idlies anytime of the day. Tomato chutney,Coconut chutney,red chilly chutney,garlic chutney , anything can go with these idlies.Check my Rava dosai recipe here. Linking this to Nalini Suresh's "Tamizhar Tuesday Samayal". 
Yield                    :   9 idlies
Preparation time:   10 minutes
Cooking time      :   10 minutes 
1.Rava               -      1 cup
2.Yogurt            -      1/2 cup
3.Green chillies -      2 ( finely chopped)
4.Ginger            -       1/2 inch ( finely chopped)
5.Cilantro          -        2 tbsp. ( chopped)
6.Curry leaves   -        few springs
7.Water              -        1 cup or as needed
8.Baking soda    -         1/4 tsp or a fat pinch
9.Salt                  -         as per taste
10.Cashews        -         2 tbsp. ( split)
11.Ghee              -         1 tbsp.
12.Grated carrot  -         1/4 cup (for garnishing)
For tempering:
1.Oil                    -       2 tbsp.
2.Mustard seeds   -       1/4 tsp
3.Urad dal             -       1/2 tsp
4.Chana dal           -       1/2 tsp
5.Hing                    -       a pinch 
*  Take a pan, add oil , splutter with mustard seeds,urad dal,chana dal ,hing and curry leaves. When the dals,turn golden brown,slowly add the rava .
* Roast the rava in lmedium flame, till it gives out nice aroma. Take care not to burn the rava.
* Once the rava is roasted, turn off the flame and let it cool . This mixture can be stored in fridge or freezed . Whenever ,we need the idlies, just add the wet ingredients and cook the idlies. But never store the batter , since it has baking soda, it will not stay longer.
* Beat the yogurt till smooth. The yogurt has to be at room temperature.Take a mixing bowl, add the roasted rava mixture,yogurt, salt,baking soda,grated carrot,chopped cilantro. If we want, we can also add some grated coconut to the batter.Mix it well. Now slowly add water to the mixture and form a batter of pouring consistency. The batter should not be too thin or too thick. Keep the batter aside for 10 minutes .
* Take another pan, add ghee or oil and fry the cahsews till golden brown.Grease the idli plates with oil. Place the fried cashews on all the holes of the idli plate.
* Now pour the  batter on the idli paltes .Steam the idlies like we do for normal idlies. If you want, still grainy idlies, increase the amount of baking soda.

Once, the idlies are cooled, serve with chutneys of your choice. The idlies were soft and yummy.I served these idlies with coconut chutney, red chilly chutney and idli podi.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Chettinadu Kozhi Uppu Varuval - A guest post from Nalini Suresh

   Nalini Suresh from "Nalini's Kitchen", is one of my friends, which the blogging world gifted me with. She is one such a cute person, who always loves to talk about, food, photography and what not? We got introduced few months back ,through FB. I was glad to know that her Husband is a alumni of "IRTT" Erode. She is just like a "next door" girl, who loves to talk about food. She has a beautiful space, with lot of interesting recipes and pictures. I always admire her pictures, with lot of details.Do check her space for the recipes.She will never hesitate to discuss about the techniques. We will sure have a telephone call for atleast once in a month, though we chat in FB regularly. Now ,lets hear what Nalini talks about the recipe. 
      Today I am happy to share a guest post for one my friend cum blogger Savitha of Savitha's Kitchen.I got her friendship after I got into the blogging world,initially our friendship started in FB chatting and now we speak over the phone atleast once in a month.Savitha aked me to do a guest post in April,but due to my India trip and personal things kept me busy and finally at December.
     Here I am sharing a chicken fry popular in Chettinadu cuisine which goes very well with rasam rice and curd rice.This recipe is a simple and easy to make,doesn't need any fancy ingredients.There is no spice powder used for this fry,the spiciness is from the amount of red chillies used.
Basic Information
Preparation Time -15 minutes
Cooking Time - 25  minutes
Serves 2-3


Chicken(with bones)
11/2 lbs
Shallots/chinna vengayam(finely chopped)
1 (medium size)
Garlic/poondu(finely chopped)
7-8 cloves
Dried Red chilly/varamilgai(broken)
1/2' piece
Turmeric powder
Curry leaves/karivepillai
2 sprig
Coriander leaves/kothamalli
Ginger&garlic paste
Fennel seeds/sombu


  1. Clean and cut the chicken to  bite size pieces,marinate the chicken with ginger& garlic paste,1/2tsp salt and turmeric powder for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a pan with oil and crackle the fennel seeds,add in the broken red chillies,curry leaves.Now goes chopped shallots and garlic,saute it till transparent.
  3. Add the crushed ginger and tomato,cook it till the tomato becomes mushy.
  4. Now add the marinated chicken and saute in for couple of minutes.
  5. Add salt and a cup of water,cook it covered in a medium flame till the chicken gets tender.Stir it in between for 2 times.
  6. Once the chicken is cooked,sprinkle the chopped coriander leaves and keep in a flame for 2-3 minutes till it gets dried and reaches the desired consistency.
  7. Chicken Uppu Varuval is ready.

Serve it with rice.

  • The amount of red chillies given here is for bit spicier version,can alter according to your taste.
  • Using shallots gives a nice flavor and taste to this curry so try to use shallots,if not use a large onion for this amount of chicken.
  • Cook it in a medium flame and if you feel the fry is very dry add another tsp of oil after the chicken cooked completely.
  • The garlic cloves used here is a fat clove,if it is a small clove use 15 cloves.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Kabsa Rice - Famous Saudi Chicken rice - Step by step

Kabsa rice is a traditional rice of  Arabia. Here chicken is cooked with the spices and removed at the end. Then the chicken is oven fried. At last the rice is served with chicken pieces and fried carrots and raisins.I bookmarked this at Geetha's space long back and in a Saudi television program video. So mixed both the methods to my taste. The main ingredients like chicken cube,dried lemon are a must in this recipe.  Chicken cube can be seen in all the grocery stores in "Hisponic " section. We have to dry the lemon for days in the sun to get a perfect dried lemon. But this is also available readily in Halal shops. We can either get store bought chicken broth or just make at homw. Just pressure cook some chicken pieces with bone, few onion cubes, few stems of cilantro, pepper corns ,garlic and 4 cups of water. Your chicken broth is ready, after discarding the chicken and other ingredients ,except the water. This dish is well worth trying . I am sure you will like it to the core. Because we loved it very well.
For grinding:
1.Pepper corns     -     1 tsp
2.Cinnamon         - 1/2 inch           
3.Cumin seeds     -  1 tsp
4.Cloves              -     5 to 6
5.Coriander seeds -  1 tsp
6.Cardamom          -    2
For the Rice:
0.Chicken Breast -    5 pieces or( 1 lb of chicken pieces)
1.Onion                -        1 (big sliced)
2.Tomato puree    -        2 tbsp
3.Garlic cloves     -         2 (big chopped)
4.Ginger               -          1/2 inch ( chopped
5.Chicken cube    -          2
6.Basmati rice      -          2 cups
7.Chicken broth   -          3 cups
8.Dried lemon     -          1
9.Carrot               -           1/2 cup (shredded)
10.Raisins            -           2 tbsp.
11.Oil                   -           1/4 cup
12.Salt                  -           as required
13.Water              -           1 cup
14.Ghee                -           for frying
15.Saffron             -           a pinch
16.Hot milk           -           1 tbsp
* Take the masala ingredients in a blender. Grind it into fine powder. Wash and soak basmati rice for atleast 20 minutes. Drain them well.Dissolve saffron strands in hot milk and keep it ready. It will take atleast 10 minutes for the saffron to give the colour.
 * Take a biriyani pan, add oil ,sauté the sliced onion . Just sprinkle some salt ,so that the onions get cooked well.
* Now add the chopped garlic and giner pieces. Saute them well .

* After the ginger and garlic pieces are cooked, add the chicken pieces. I have used chicken breasts. But you can also used chicken pieces.
*Pierce the dried lemon in 3 to 4 places using a pin. Saute the chicken well, till they are slightly sautéed. Now add tomato puree,dried lemon, half the grinded masala powder,dried lemon and half of grated carrot. At last add the saffron soaked milk to the pan.
* Let the masalas get infused in the chicken. The addition of masala powder depends on your taste. You can add more or less. But reserve some for rubbing it on the chicken in the final steps. Saute the chicken till it leaves out oil.

* Now pour the chicken broth, 1 cup of water and chicken cubes. Chicken cube has salt in it. So adjust salt to taste now.
* When the liquid starts to boil, remove the chicken breast or the chicken pieces from the pan. Now the chicken should have cooked well. If not cook the chicken for more time.

* Now preheat the oven at broil mode. Place the chicken breasts on a tray, lined with aluminium foil.

* Rub the chicken with the remaining  grounded masala powder in all its sides. Broil the chicken pieces 10 minutes each side, or until, the skin turns golden brown. Don't leave the chicken for long, then it will become hard. If you are using, small chicken pieces, we also fry them after rubbing them with the masala on  a pan, with little oil. This step can be adapted by people ,who doesn't have oven.

* Now add drained basmati rice to the pan and cook with the dried lemon and liquid.

* Cover the pan and let it cook in medium heat. This may take around 20 minutes in medium heat. Every rice cooks differently. So check for the time. The rice should not be mushy, it should be separated . You can use a biriyani pan as I have or a cooker works fine.

* Mean while add ghee in a pan, and fry the shredded carrots and raisins till golden brown and keep it ready. Now the chicken and rice would have been ready. At last discard the lemon .

* Take a serving plate, place the cooked rice first. Then place the broiled chicken and garnish with fried raisins and  carrots. Serve with raitha.


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