Saturday, August 16, 2008

Poha Upma

Poha (flattened rice)-2 to 3 cups
Potatoes - 1
Carrot - 1
Onion - 1
Ginger - a small piece finely cut
Green Chillies - 2 to 4 depending on how spicy you want

Chop the carrot, onion, Chilles into small pieces . Cut the potatoes into bite size cubes. In a pan add the seasoning (Urad dal, Mustard seeds, Jeera, Curry Leaves) and when they splatter. Add potatoes first since they take longer to cook. Once the potatoes are a little soft add Carrots and let them cook.

Now take the poha, add water and wash them twice and then drain in a colander. Do not soak the poha or leave them after washing in the vessel. It is important to use the colander so all the water drains off. Leave this aside.

Now add onions, ginger, green chillies and salt as needed. When everything is cooked add the poha and mix it. Lower the flame and allow the poha to cook in the entire mixture.

It should not take longer than 3-5 min. Avoid turning it often, the poha may break and then enjoy the delicious poha upma.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I loved the double tree hotel Chocolate chip cookies which my husband gets for me from the hotel. I wanted to try the cookies at home. Remember, I've never baked cookies at home. I've always eaten them store-bought or if someone makes. Anyways, I bought all the ingredients needed and started to assemble them on my kitchen counter. The recipe called for butter to be mixed with sugar. I take 3 sticks of butter put it in a bowl and start my electric hand mixer. I got this really cheap mixer for 5$ when I was a student and it worked fine all the while. I should have been smart to think of getting the butter to room temperature before I start whisking with my electric mixer :) I used it and fumed the mixer. Yes I fumed it. It smoked and went dead in the process. So here I am stuck with a mixer which has the cookie dough half way mixed. In dismay, I went to the nearest grocery store which would be Cub Foods and bought a mixer came back home and completed the recipe. In the process of mixing I did realize that the dough was really a lot and realized looking at the recipe that it makes 3 dozens. :) My first batch of cookies were too hard. I did not know that you were supposed to take the cookies out really when it browns a little (even though the recipe says so). Second batch came out too soft since I really took them out 3 min earlier than the time. Third batch of perfect. At last I was able to enjoy delicious cookies.

Here is the recipe and the lessons I learned.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned (rolled) oats ( I used the regular oats)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup butter
3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
3 cups semisweet Ghiradelli chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Grind Oats in a food processor until fine. Combine grind oats with flour, baking soda, salt adn cinnamon in a medium bowl.

With an electric mixer, cream butter in large bowl. Add both sugars and beat on medium for 2 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add lemon juice and vanilla; mix well. Stir in flour mixture, mixing well. Add chocolate chips and nuts and stir to just combine.
Drop by 1/4 cupfuls on non-stick baking pans to ungreased cookie sheet, 2 to 3 inches apart.
The cookies will be much better if you freeze overnight and cook the next day, but you could do them imm. too.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Cool; transfer to wire racks and cool completely. Store in tightly sealed container .

Lessons Learned
  • Cookies will look uncooked but turn off and get them out of the oven before you burn them
  • Always follow the recipe if you are doing it the first time. Modify as needed the second time.
  • Do not force your mixer to turn if it does not want to. You will burn it.
  • Read the instructions on how much you are cooking

Monday, February 11, 2008

Palak/Spinach Tofu Curry

I was scared to cook Tofu since I cooked it once and did not like it. I wanted to give it another shot and this is what I made.. Palak Tofu... I started out thinking I would just add palak but I added potatoes and peas.. The more the veggies the merrier :)

Onion- 1/2
Green Chillies - 6
Spinach fresh - 2 bunches cleaned and chopped roughly

Tomato Puree (I had tomato paste at home, just mixed water with it and it worked fine) - 1/4 cup
Potato - 1 medium
Firm Tofu - drained, cubed (I found garlic one and thought it was interesting)

Frozen peas - 1/2 cup approx
Dhania powder - 2tbsp
Jeera powder -2 tbsp
ginger-garlic paste -2 tsps
salt, chilli powder as needed

In a pan, add 1 tbsp of oil and saute green chillies along with spinach. Saute until the spinach is wilted and cooks. I had a little water left and removed it from the stove. Let it cool and then blend it with a little salt. I used my food processor, you can use your blender too.

Drain the tofu and let it sit on a couple of paper towels so that all the water is gone. Cut into small cubes and fry it in a pan until golden brown. Remember you have to fry the tofu well or it will not taste good. It needs to be firm and not soft.

Saute onions in some oil. Add the potatoes and peas and let it cook

Add ginger-garlic paste, dhania powder, jeera powder, salt and chilli powder

Add the Tomato paste, blended spinach and add little water. You dont want to add too much water. The curry should be running but not too watery.

Let it cook for 5-10 minutes.

Add tofu to the cooked spinach

After 5 min, enjoy the wonderful Palak/spinach tofu with chapathi or rice or naan.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Thai Chicken Red Curry

This recipe is the courtesy of Achyuthanand. He makes this dish so good that I had to take the recipe from him. And after a lot of bugging I got the recipe and tried it. This time I decide to take pictures and blog it.


Onion -1/2 [cut into thin strips]
Carrots -1 [cut into thin strips]
Tomatoes -2 small
Green pepper -1/2 (I added yellow and red too since I love veggies) [cut into strips]
Cilantro (garnish, I did not have any this day so skipped it)

Skinless boneless Chicken breast -2(If you are a vegetarian you can skip or add tofu)

Thai Chilli Garlic paste - depending on how spicy you want
Rice Vinegar - 2 tbsp (Actual recipe calls for Cooking Wine but I used this)
Soy Sauce - 2tbsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
crushed red pepper
Pepper, salt
Ginger-garlic paste, chilli powder (my additions to the recipe)

Red Thai Curry paste ( I used almost half of the can you see in the picture)
Bamboo shoots (My husband hates this so I just put half the can)
Baby corn ( I love them so put in the enitre can cut them into half)
Coconut milk -1 canSugar - 1-2 tbsp
Fish sauce - 2 tbsp ( I skipped this)

  • Cut Chicken into small strips
  • Add 2 tbsp of Rice vinegar, oil, pepper, salt and marinate it for 15 min. I added a little ginger-garlic paste and a little chilli powder but the actual recipe did not call for these.

  • Fry the chicken in a wok with little oil

  • Add Thai Curry paste to the chicken

  • Add soy sauce
  • Add Thai garlic paste

  • Let cook for about 10-15 min. so all the flavors blend into the chicken
  • Wash the bamboo shoots,baby corn and cut them into half if they are too long like mine are

  • Add Bamboo shoots, Baby Corn, Onion, Carrot Strips, Tomatoes

  • Add Coconut milk and bring to boil (approx. 10 min)

  • Add Green pepper, Basil, Cilantro, fish sauce, sugar.

  • Be careful not to overcook the green pepper. You want it to still be crunchy. Taste one and when you feel its cooked but cruchy turn it off
  • Garnish with Basil, red pepper flakes if you want it to be spicy

  • The ingredients made a huge dish so if you are trying it out the first time, cut everything into half.
  • Serve with rice and enjoy

    Note: If you want to make Green Curry just shop for green curry paste and follow the recipe

UPDATE: The curry turned out really spicy. You might want to watch how much Thai Chilli garlic paste you add. I think I added a lot.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Curried Corn Bisque

I wanted to make a soup so searched online and found this on yahoo food but as usual had to make it my own. Soups can be really bland sometimes but not this one.

My photos did not turn out as great as the soup. Approximations used, please change as needed.So here is what I did

Potatoes: 1 small cubed
Carrot: 1/2 cubed
Onions: 1 small diced
Garlic: 2 cut finely
Frozen corn: 1 cup
Chicken Broth: 1 cup (you can use vegetable broth)
Water: 1 cup
Coconut milk: 1/2 cup
Salt, pepper as desired
Hot Sauce (I used sri racha) (hmmm 3 squeezes I guess)
Curry powder (I had madras curry powder) - 1-2 tbsp ( the more the merrier if you like more spice)

  • Saute onions, garlic in 1-2 tbsp of oil.

  • Once onions are browned, add the carrots, potatoes and let them cook until they are almost cooked. (They should be still firm but cooked)
  • Add salt, pepper, hot sauce, curry powder and stir them until all veggies are coated well.
  • Add the corn, chicken broth, water, salt, and pepper

  • Let them boil for 5-10 minutes and cool them. I used my hand blender and just blended them coarsely. I like my veggies chunky in the soup. If you are a person who likes there soup smooth, I guess blend it more. Once its blended put the pot back on the stove and add coconut milk and heat again.

  • Garnish with cilantro and enjoy!!!!!

To describe how it tastes... its sweet from the corn, spicy from the hot sauce and the curry powder and overall tasty and yummy.

Ginger-Garlic Paste

Well this is no special recipe but really wanted to tell you guys that no readymade bottled ginger-garlic is as good as homemade. For years I have been thinking I should just do homemade but I was lazy and thought it was too much work and bought the readmade one and compromised on the flavor. Well finally when my sister was here I decided I will do it since I had her help.

So all I did was just buy already peeled garlic from Costco.. (did not use everything). So here is the quantity I used.

Ginger - 500 gms
Garlic - 500 gms
salt - 1 tbsp

Peeling the ginger was really easy too. You really dont have to peel perfectly. Just soak them for a while and peel them with a spoon. All I did was put it in the food processor. Here again my wonderful processor did the magic.

I froze half of it and kept half in the fridge. Fresh one doesnt stay long since there are no preservatives so its better to freeze them.

It's easy and its the best and changes a lot of flavor of your dishes.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Spring Rolls

Found the spring roll wrappers in Walmart when I was shopping for something else. So I decided to make them. Here is what I did

Spring roll wrappers - 1 packet

Finely cut the following (I used my Madeline to cut them fine)

Onions and Garlic

Carrot and Cooked Rice vermicelli noodles


Soy Sauce 2-3 tbsp
red chilly flakes
eggs: 1 or 2 (if you are a vegetarian you can skip these)

I mixed all the veggies, vermicelli and added salt, pepper, soy sauce, red chilly flakes. Made scrambled egg in another dish.

Took the wrapper placed them diagonally and put the veggie filling somewhat centered and put the scrambeled egg on the top

Rolled it as shown on the wrapper package

This is my first spring roll

and one after another this is how many I made

Deep fry it in oil.

Serve it with hot sauce and this is how it looks finally.

You could add cooked shredded chicken, tofu also and make it different. Next time I plan on adding chillies too.. I thought it was a little less spicy for my taste. I think this is more the Chinese version than Indian version
Please feel free to leave comments by clicking on the comments link below each recipe. I'd love to hear from you.