Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Savoury Dampfnudel - Chicken stuffed buns

This month, the recipe is from the land of "Bavaria" cuisine. Saras gaves us a eggless sweet dampfnudel. It was quite attractive, I was about to plan for a dinner, so wanted to change it to a savoury version. Had some chicken ,so prepared a simple filling for the dampfnudel. Its almost like a chicken stuffed bun. It was so soft and great for a dinner. Loved the recipe. Will try the original sweet version. 

500 gram flour
40 grams sugar
6 gr salt
1 packet of dry yeast
100 gr butter
300 ml milk
1 tablespoon rum

For Milk Mixture:
300 ml milk
50 grams butter
A pinch of salt

For the filling:
1 lb Chicken
1/2 onion
1 green chillies
1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp of chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
a pinch of garam masala.
2 tsp of oil
salt to taste
* Take chicken in a pressure cooker,with little ginger garlic paste and turmeric powder. Add 1/4 cup of water and cook it well. Once the whistle is released, take the chicken and shred it.Take a pan oil, saute the chopped onion ,green chillies and cook. Now add turmeric powder,chilli powder and garam masala. When the raw smell of the masala is released, add the cooked chicken and mix. Adjust salt to the filling. The filling should be dry. Keep this ready to be stuffed.

* Take a mixing bowl, add flour,sugar,salt yeast and mix well. Take another bowl, add butter and melt it. Now half way through melting, add milk and mix. Let the mxiture cool for some time.

* Pour the butter+ milk  to the dry mixture and knead it to a soft pilable dough. I used my stand mixer to knead the dough. The dough should pass window pane test. It means, when the dough is elongated, it should form a thin film of dough and then tear into a small hole, Now cover the bowl and proof it inside a lighted oven. This is the warm place for the yeast to work with the dough.After approximately 30 - 40 minutes, the dough would have doubled in size.
* Divide the dough into 6 equal sized balls. Now take the chicken stuffing and get ready to stuff them.
* Take one ball, flat it like a disc. Place a scoop of chicken filling inside the disc and close it, as shown in the picture.
* Similarly, stuff all the balls with the chicken filling. Seal the balls well, if not the filling will come out. Mix the nutter and milf under"Milk mixture" . The butter has to be melted ,cooled and then added to the milk. Pour ,half the milk mixture to the pan first. Take a iron pan, and place the chicken balls in. The seam side should be facing down. Now pour the remaining milk mixtrue on top of the iron skillet. Let it proof it again for 20 minutes or untill the balls are doubled in size.
* Pre heat the oven @350 degree farenhiet. Here the balls are doubled in its volume. Place the iron pan in the oven and bake the chicken balls for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven, and let the pan sit inside the oven for 20 minutes. Don't open the oven in between baking and cooling time, if not the balls will shrink in its size.

* Now place the iron skillet, on top of the stove and cook it covered for another 15 - 20 minutes, to get a crispy bottom. But make sure to check the pan, if not it will get burnt at the bottom. Cut the buns and serve .The buns were so soft. Don't keep it in the stove for so long, if not it will be burnt.

* We can also stuff with vegetable or paneer filling.
* If we don't want a crispy bottom, we can just bake without cooking on the stove top,till it changes colour.
* Don't open the door of the oven, if not it will shrink in size. Let it sit for some time.
* Don't overcook the buns, if not it will become hard.

Linking this to "International Food Challenge" hosted by Saraswathi and Shobana 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Salem Fish Curry - சேலம் மீன் குழம்பு - A guest post from my friend " Geetha Achal"

        Today's Guest post is given ,by my friend and blogger " Geetha Achal" of "En Samayal Araiyil" . Our friendship started in 2010 and going strongly till now. We are blogger friends, but never met. We used to speak on phone for monthly once. It changed to weekly once and now it  is daily twice. Yes, as years passes, our friendship got thick. She become one of my family member .She is a very good human, who always gives feedback about my space and recipes.I always admire her stamina and courage. She is from Chennai too. Is that not enough for our bond ?
         She is one of the well known bloggers in "Tamil" language. Her blog is a interesting collection of recipes. Never seen these many biriyani varieties in any blog. I could say, she is "Biriyani Queen". If you give her some chicken, she will turn it into 100 different varieties. So energetic blogger,who will passionetly search for new ideas and recipes always. Happy to be her friend. Don't miss to check her space. This special fish curry is one of her speciality. This invloves grinding fresh masalas.This masalas gives a wonderfull flavour to the curry.Now back to her recipe.                              

                                     Salem Fish Curry !!!

Highlights of this Curry :
* In this curry,pepper ,cumin seeds,onion,tomato,garlic and coconut are roasted and then grinded to puree.
* While tempering, cumin seeds are added, this brings out a superb flavour to the curry.
* If you are using sambar powder, instead of  plain chilli powder, then no need to use coriander powder.

Cooking Time : 30 - 40 minutes
Serves : 4

To Roast and Grind:
1.Pepper corns - 1 tsp
2.Cumin seeds  -  1 tsp
3.Pearl onions   -  10
4.Garlic pods    -  5
5.Tomato  - 1/2
6.Coconut pieces - 1 ( chopped)

1. Fish - 1 lb
2.Pearl onion - 10
3.Garlic pods- 5
4.Tomato - 1/2
5.Curry leaves - few
6.Tamarind - small lemon size
7.Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
8.Chilli powder  - 1 tbsp
9.Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
10.Salt - as needed

To temper:
1.Oil - 2 tbsp
2.Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
3.Methi seeds - 1/4 tsp
4.Cumin seeds  - 1/4 tsp

To add at the end:
1.Oil - 1 tbsp
2.Methi seeds - 1/2 tsp

* Wash the fish slices separately . Chop garlic pods,onion, tomato. Take the ingredients" to roast" in a pan of little oil and saute it.Cool the ingredients and puree it in the blender to a fine paste.
* Dilute tamarind in 3 cups of water and extract the juice. Add the pureed masala to the tamarind water and mix it well.

* Take another pan, add oil and temper with mustard seeds,cumin seeds and methi seeds. Saute chopped pearl onuons,garli pods and curry leaves. Let the onion turn translucent.
* Add tomato and sprinkle little salt to it.When the tomatoes are cooked well, add the tamarind water and masala powders. Bring it to boil. Let the curry cook for atleast 10 minutes. This will remove the raw smell of the masala powder and tamarind.
* Mean while, roast the methi seeds in a pan. Powder it finely.Take a tablespoon of oil and heat it well.This oil has to be poured on top of the curry at the end.
* At last, add the washed fish to the curry cook it covered. Finally, add the powdered methi seeds along with heated oil.Turn off the stove. The curry will be in the hot stove for some time. This will bring out the flavours of the curry well.

Tasty Salem fish curry is ready. This will stay good for two days. Serve it with hot rice or idli , dosa.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sweet Corn Sandwich - Kid's healthy breakfast

     Its been raining for the past 2 days.The grass are turning green. I feel like being in India, during monsoon season. The urge of  having fried snack is increasing. I postpone the thought to certain extent. May be the urge will overcome me by this evening :) Took these pictures, during one of the cloudy days. Felt happy with the outcome. The antique wooden tray, I got in Home goods, gave a rustic effect to the picture.This is a healthy sandwich ,with all the goodness of cheese and corn. Its a breeze breakfast.

Preparation time : 5 minutes
Cooking time       : 5 minutes
Baking time         : 5 minutes
Yield                     : 2

1.Bread slices -  2
2.Onion  -  1/2
3.Tomato-  1/4
4.Green chillies - 2
5.Corn kernels -  1/4 cup
6.Garam masala - a pinch
7.Parmesan - 1/4 cup
8.Cream or malai - 2 tbsp
9.Cilantro - few
10.Oil - 2 tbsp
11.Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
12.Salt - to taste
* Take a pan , add oil and splutter with cumin seeds. Add chopped onionn, slit green chillies .Saute it till the onion turns translucent.Now add cubed tomatoes and sprinkle little salt. The tomato should not be mushy, it should be cooked.

* Add the corn kernels to the pan. Mix it well.Blend the corn to the ,masala .At last add garam masala and salt. Now , we can add cream or malai to the pan. Turn off the stove immediately. Since ,I didn't have cream, just took malai from milk and added it to the pan. This gives a creamy texture to the mix.
* Toast the bread slices with little oil or butter on a pan. Scoop the masala and spread it on the toasted bread slices .Chop the cilantro and sprinkle it on the bread .
* Pre heat the oven @350 farenhiet. Spread shredded cheese on top of the bread. Place the bread slices on a baking pan, covered with aluminium foil.

* Toast the bread slices for about 5 minutes or till the cheese is melted. Serve immediately for break fast or snack.

* We can also add some pepper powder to the masala. Adjust the spices according to your taste.
* Adding malai ,gives a creamy texture to the masala. If you don't have skip it.
* We can also add some other veges to the masala.
* Don't bake the bread for too long, then it will become crisp.
* We can also , grill the bread slices, by closing the sandwich.
* The masala should not be too mushy, then the bread will become soggy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

சத்து மாவு / How to make Ragi Malt powder at home / Sprouted grains porridge for kids

      Ragi malt is a  mixture of different grains, which are sprouted first, dried, roasted and then milled to a fine powder. This process may tend to be lengthy, but it is worth the pain. My mom is making this powder for the past 20 + years. Every time, she makes, I smell the same aroma and same taste. Nothing has changed, its her "Kai Pakkuvam", means her experience.We grew, drinking this drink and now our kids are drinking this tasty and healthy drink. Since, the grains are sprouted and powdered, it is very healthy. She used to dry them in our terrace, where we get lot of sunlight. This strict drying process, ensures us to have a clean and secure ragi malt ,which can be stored for months. 
       Whenever ,I go for vacation, I pack this wonderfull powder and use it   6 months - 1 year for  sure, here in US. When I went to vacation last year, clicked these pictures, while my mom was busy processing. Unfortunately, didn't take the pictures of the grains. Next time, when I go to India, will take complete pictures and update this space. I always see this ragi malt powder, which packed with nutrition and love from my mother. I always wonder about her hard work. When summer arrives, she will prepare vathal,vadagam,lemon pickles,tomato pickle, mango pickle and store it for the entire year. Everything ,from start to finish , within 2 months ( April - May). I am nothing ,compared to my mom. She does everything from scratch, no short cuts. I just documented this wonderfull recipe, for my future use or my next generation to adapt and follow. Since our ancestors ,didn't document so many rare recipes, we are left out with so many junk foods.This blog is a documentation of  "What I enjoyed eating" and "What, I enjoyed cooking". Hope this helps my next generation .



In Tamil 


Green Gram
Roasted  gram
Pearl Millet
Cardamom pods

பச்சை பயறு
பொட்டு கடலை

1 Kg
1/2 Kg
1/4 Kg
1/4 Kg
1/4 Kg
1/4 Kg
1/4 Kg
1/4 Kg
100 gm
100 gm
25 gm
100 gm 

* Start the preparation in the morning of Day 1. Wash ragi,wheat,green gram,millet and pearl millet well. Soak these grains in water in separate bowls. 
* At the end of the day (night), take the grains out of water and tie them separately in clean wet towels .The wet towels help, the grains to sprout. Tie the towels using separate threads and hang them . This will make the excess water to drain from the towel. 
* When we open the towel in the morning of day 2, the grains would have sprouted well. Take them out and dry them on clean towels in open space . The grains should be dry . During summer, the grains will dry quickly .
*  Now start roasting the sprouted grains one  by one. Dry roast the rice,roasted gram,almonds,cashews,sago ,peanuts separately.
* Combine all the grains and nuts . Let them cool completely. The grains should not be hot, while grinding.Powder them well in a Flour Mill. Let the powdered ragi malt, cool completely. Store them in air tight containers.

* The sprouted grains should be dry ,while roasting it. If not it will not stay fresh for longer time. Always dry them in hot and dry place , under direct sunlight.
* We can add some pistachios also, its optional.
* Cardamom pods has to be added very less, as it has strong flavour.
* Ragi malt powder has to be stored in clean containers, if not bugs will infest them.
* Don't skip the sprouting process, as it increases the nutritious values of the powder.
* We can also try to powder them using mixie, but it may not pulse it well.

                                                     To make Ragi malt for kids !!!

1.Ragi malt powder          -        2 tsp
2.Milk                              -        1/2 cup
3.Water                            -        1 cup or as needed
4.Sugar                             -         1 tsp
5.Salt                                -         a pinch

* Take a bowl, add ragi malt powder and water. Let the ragi malt powder combine well with the water .We can alter the consistancy ,by adding more or less water. Cook the mixture in medium heat , mixing them in between.
* When the ragi malt is cooked well, it thickens. Turn off the stove ,add milk, sugar and salt.
* Serve these healthy ragi malt for all ages. 
* We can also skip sugar and serve these for adults too. A power packed breakfast for all.

Linking this to "Tamizhar Samayal Tuesday" started by "Nalini Suresh"

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Morgh Zereshk Polo - Barberry Chicken Rice - Persian Cuisine.

Morgh Polo is a traditional rice of Persian Cuisne. Here the  Zeresh or the bar berries are widely used in thier cuisine. Its a sweet and savoury rice. The berries contribute the sweetness. The rice is flavoured by saffron. Saffron and turmeric are two main spices of Persian cuisine. Bar berries are available in persian super markets.I couldn't find those, so replaced it with dried cranberries. We can also use pomegranate seeds to this rice.

Recipe :
500 grams Chicken –you can lesson the amount of chicken if you wish
1 small onion - finely chopped up
100 grams barberries (zereshk) or dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds
3-4 cups rice
1-2 teaspoon zireh (cumin)
1 teaspoon liquid saffron
2-3 tablespoons sugar

* Wash and soak the basmati rice with little salt for about 1/2 an hour.  Wash and clean the chicken well. Take a pan,heat oil, add chopped onion and garlic pods. When they give out nice aroma, add the chicken pieces.Add some turmeric powder, salt and pepper now.  Saute the chicken, for a while and add enough water . Cook the chicken ,covered for about 15 - 20 minutes in low flame or until the chicken is juicy and moist.
* Once the chicken is cooked , strain the water and reserve it for cooking the rice. Take a pot, add the chicken broth and bring it to boil. Now add the soaked basmati rice to the pot. If the broth is not enough, add some more water, so that the rice has enough water to cook. Rice has to cook just 50 %.

* Strain the rice using a colander. Wash it once, by running under a cold water pipe. This will stop the cooking process of the rice ,also ,it helps the rice to remain non sticky. Now take a pan, layer the chicken pieces. 

 * Spread the half cooked rice on top. Sprinkle some cumin seeds on top of the rice. Some people love to use some bay leaf to the rice, which will give a very good aroma to the rice.Add very little oil and salt at this point.Close the pan with a hand towel and cook on low flame for about 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
 * Mean while, we will prepare the zereshk or dried cranberries,when we are ready to serve the rice.. Wash the dried cranberries and soak for   15 minutes. Take a pan, add little oil, sauté the cranberries and add sugar to it. Let it get blended well. Turn off the stove and add saffron . While serving, take half of the rice and mix with cranberries . Serve the plain rice and then top it with the cranberry rice.
Serve the ricw with any spicy chicken curry . As this rice is milder in taste, goes very well with any spicy curry. 

* If we don't have liquid saffron, we can use saffron strands. Just dissolve it in warm milk for 10 minutes.
* Barberries are found in Iraninan shops. If you don't get ,then replace it with any kind of dried fruits.
* The rice has mild flavor, which is equallent to jeera rice.
* I have given the authentic version. You can substitute with the spices of your taste.
* Instead of cooking the rice in chicken broth, we can cook in normal water.This way the rice doesn't have light yellow colour.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Carrot Orange Cake - Baking Partner's Challenge

      This month, for Baking Partner's Challenge, Tamy of "Three Sides of Crazy"  throwed this yummy challenge. Enjoyed completely with the results. The cake was yummy and moist.I have skipped the frosting. Had the cake as such. 

  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp spice powder
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 cups finely shredded carrots
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 - 11 ounce can mandarin orange sections, drained WELL and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup - orange juice.
* Pre heat oven +350 Degrees  Farenhiet.Grease a 6 inch cake pan and flour it, line a muffin tray with liners.. Since I have quartered the recipe, I got one 6 inch cake and 3 muffins.Soak the raisins in orange juice for atleast an hour. Sift flour, baking powder,baking soda,spice powder ,orange peel and salt. Strain the juice from the raisins.Take some flour in a bowl and toss the soaked raisins,chopped orange pieces . This will prevent the fruits from settling down in the pan.
* Take eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat it till foamy and fluffy. The more you beat it, the more fluffier the cake. Add vanilla, oil to the egg mixture. Add flour and fruit juice, which we stratined from the raisins alternatively.Add shredded carrot and mix.

* Pour the batter to the pan and tap it, for the air to escape. Bake the cake in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or untill the toothpick comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack , let it sit there for 5 minutes. Invert the pan and let the cake cool completely. Once cooled, run through the knife and remove from the pan. The cake was moist and fluffy. But I felt that the sugar was less, so increased the recipe to 1/4 cup.
* I have skipped the shredded coconut in this recipe.
* I didn't use rum, instead used orange juice to soak the raisins.
* Spice powder is nothing but, little cinnamon,little cloves and dry ginger pounded in a mortar and pestel, gives a very good flavour to the cake.

Linking this to Swathi Iyer's " Baking Partner's event.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Chennai Special Chicken Curry - Quick Pressure Cooker Chicken Curry - Bachelor's recipe

          Chennai is a metropolitan city, with diverse culture and food habit. Its one of the busiest city in India. Working ladies are more   in Chennai, then any other city in TN. So there will always no time to grind masalas from scratch and cook. Everything is ready made there. Still there is no compromise on the taste. This is an express  chicken recipe, which can be cooked under 30 minutes. The taste is equalent to the curries, which are prepared using grounded masalas.The ingredients are so simple, but the procedure is little bit different. This is my friend's recipe, where we enjoyed her cooking during our days.Usually, coconut is added at the end of the curry, but in this curry, coconut is added in the beginning. I know, you would be thinking me wierd. The reason, is coconut should be added at the end, so that it doesn't curdle. But, in this curry, coconut is added at the beginning, but it will not curdle. Thats the interesting part of the curry. Though, we add little oil, the fat from the coconut and chicken ,will beautifully float on top of the curry, after it is cooked. Ok, enough of bragging, try it and let me know the feed back.

Check my other chicken curries.
1. Naatu kozhi kuzhambu
2. Chicken Salna
3. Chettinadu Chicken Kuzhambu

Preparing time : 10 minutes
Cooking time  :  20 minutes
Serves            :  4



       Coconut pieces 
       Curry powder 
       Coriander powder
       Turmeric powder
        Fennel seeds
        Curry leaves 
          Ginger Garlic paste
          Green chillies

        1 lb
         1 big
          2 tbsp
           1 tbsp
            1/4 tsp
            1 tsp
             2 tbsp
             as needed
             as needed
             1 tsp 
              for garnish

* Wash the chicken 4 to 5 times. For the last time, add little turmeric powder and wash. This will take away the raw smell of the chicken. Take a bowl, add turmeric powder, 1 tbsp of curry powder and little coriander powder . Mix it well and add the chicken pieces to the marinade . Let it sit for atleast 15 minutes.Take a pressure pan, add oil and splutter with fennel seeds and curry leaves.Finely chop the onion and add it to the pan.
* Saute the onion, till it becomes translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and saute it.Grind coconut pieces, with little fennel seeds and green chillies ,to a fine paste.Now dump the grinded coconut paste to the pan and saute it a little bit.Now drop the marinated chicken pieces to the pan and saute, The chicken should be cooked 80 %.
* Now add the remaining curry powder,coriander powder and mix it. When the raw smell of the masala gets vanished, add water to the pan. Adjust the thickness of the curry according to our wish. Add salt to taste. Close the pan with a lid and cook the chicken in medium flame for a whistle. Let the whistle releases on its own. Open the chicken, oil should float on top of the curry.
* Though, we add little oil, the fat from the chicken combines with the oil and comes out .A perfectly cooked curry will have oil floating on its surface. We can also cook the chicken without giving a whistle. But the flame should be brought to low at the last 5 minutes. This will make the curry to give out oil .Serve this curry with rice or roti.

* This curry doesn't need tomatoes.
*  Coconut can be added at the end, but this particular recipe calls for the addition at the beginning.
* If we don't have time to marinate the chicken, just dump the chicken as such.
* Don't add too much coconut,then the curry will not have the desired spice level.

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