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Monday, March 31, 2008

Kashmir Cuisine - "Phirni"

Regional Cuisines of India, Kashmir Cuisine - "Phirni", Creamy Rice Flour Pudding

This recipe had been posted for a cooking contest, for the community "Indian women in Singapore" - Regional Cuisines of India, Kashmir!!!

Milk - 3 cups
Long Grain Rice (preferably Basmati) - 3 tablespoons
Sugar - 3 tablespoons
Cardamom powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Almonds - few, cut into small pieces
Pistachios - few, cut into small pieces
Cashew nuts - few, cut into small pieces
Saffron - few, soaked in few drops of milk (optional)

Wash rice and soak it in half cup of hot water for about 30-45 minutes. Grind rice with little water, make a fine paste and keep aside.

Pour milk in heavy bottomed pan and bring it to a boil. Allow it to simmer in a low flame. Meanwhile, take few spoons of this hot milk in a bowl, add rice paste and dilute it. Add this to the simmering milk and mix it, stirring continuously. Add sugar and stir well. Cook on low heat until milk is thickened.

Then remove from heat, add saffron and sprinkle cardamom powder on top and mix well. Garnish with sliced almonds, pistachios and cashew nuts and serve chilled.

Cooking time - 30-40 minutes
Serves - 3 persons

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Snakegourd Fry (Pudalangai Poriyal)

Snake gourd (Pudalangai) - 2
Onion - 1, finely chopped
Channa dal (Fried split peas - Pottukadalai, which we use for chutney) - 2 tablespoons
Mustard Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Urad Dal (Black gram) - 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Red Chillies - 3-5
Curry leaves - few
Coriander leaves - few
Grated coconut - 2 tablespoons
Oil - 1-2 tablespoons
Salt to taste

Wash snake gourd and cut lengthwise to remove seeds. Slice it thin and cut into small pieces. Dry grind channa dal coarsely and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and let it split. Add urad dal, cumin seeds, curry leaves, red chilles, onion and saute it, until onions turn golden brown. Add cut snake gourd and mix it well. Close the pan and allow it to cook on a low flame. Once they are half cooked, add salt and mix them well, and allow it cook completely. Keep stirring if needed.

Once they are cooked, put off the flame, garnish with powdered channa dal, coconut and coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or chappathi.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Bisi Bela Bath (Sambhar Rice)

Raw Rice - 2 cups
Lentils (Toor Dal) - 1 & 1/4 cup
Green gram (Moong Dal) - 1/4 cup
Vegetables (Carrot, Green peas, Potatoes, French beans) - Cubed or sliced - 2 cups
Drumstick - 1 or 2, cut 2 inch long
Garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
Small Onions (Sambhar onions) - 15
Tomatoes - 2
Asafoetida powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Onions - 2 medium sized
Cashew - 10-15
Tamarind - medium lemon sized
Ghee - 3 tablespoons
Red Chillies - 2
Chilli powder - 2 tablespoons
Coriander powder - 2 tablespoons
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Fenugreek - 1/2 teaspoon
Mustard - 1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves - few
Coriander leaves - few
Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Oil - 2 tablespoons
Salt to taste

Wash rice, dals and vegetables well. Pressure cook them well with small onions, sliced tomatoes, cut drumsticks, chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida powder, cumin seeds. If pressure cooker is not available, cook in a heavy bottomed pan until rice and dal becomes soft.

Soak tamarind in a cup of warm water.

Heat Ghee in a pan, fry the cashews and keep aside. Add oil to the pan, add mustard seeds once it is hot. Once it starts spliting, add red chillies, fenu greek seeds, garlic paste and fry for 1 minute. Add sliced onions, curry leaves and fry until onions turn golden brown. Add this to the cooked rice. Also add tamarind extract, salt to the rice and mix well. Continue cooking on a low flame, stirring continuosly until all mixes well.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and fried cashews and serve hot with indian crackers.

Note: Those who like masala flavour, they can add 1-2 cloves, 1 small cinnamon when they cook rice.

Cooking time : 60 minutes
Serves - 4-5 persons

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Corn fritters

Corn Kernels - 1 cup
Plain flour (Maida) - 1 cup
Egg - 1
Butter - 1 tablespoon
Baking powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Garlic paste - 1 teaspoon (optional)
Pepper powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Corn Flakes - 2 tablespoons
Onions - 1 finely chopped
Corinader leaves - few, chopped
Bread crumbs - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

Cook the corn kernels until they become soft. Drain the water, add flour, butter, beaten egg, baking powder, pepper powder, garlic paste, chopped onions, coriander leaves, salt and make it a dough. Leave the dough to ferment for 1 hour. Then mix corn flakes with the dough and make small balls or any shape you desire.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan for deep frying. Roll the balls in bread crumbs and deep fry them. Crispy, tasty, corn fritters is ready to serve with tomato or chilli sauce.
Cooking time : 30 minutes
Serves 4-5 persons

Saturday, March 15, 2008

PIT Photo Contest - March 2008

Theme: Reflections (பிரதிபலிப்புக்கள்)

These are posted for the online photo contest at Photography In Tamil Blog.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Chicken Biriyani with Onion Raitha

Ingredients for Biriyani:
Long grain rice (Basmati Rice) - 3 cups
Chicken pieces - 1/4 kg
Onion - 3-4 medium sized
Tomato - 2 medium sized
Yoghurt - 1/4 cup
Coriander powder - 1 tablespoon
Red chilli powder - 2 tablespoons
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cashewnuts - 10
Garlic - 8-10 cloves
Ginger - 1.5 inch long
Mint leaves - handful
Coriander leaves - few
Green chillies - 3
Fennel seeds - 1 teaspoon
Cardamom - 2
Cinnamon - a stick
Cloves - 4-5
Nutmeg - a pinch
Star anise - 2
Bay leaves - 1
Saffron - a pinch
Milk - 2 tablespoons
Ghee - 4 tablespoons
Oil - 2 tablespoon
Salt to taste

Soak saffron in milk and keep aside.

Grind garlic, ginger, green chillies to a fine paste, without water.

Wash chicken pieces and strain all water. Marinate it with yoghurt, chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon of ginger garlic paste, mix it well and keep it aside for an hour.

Slice onions and tomatoes.

Heat Ghee in a heavy bottomed pan or pressure cooker. Fry cashew nuts until they are golden brown and keep the cashew nuts aside. To the ghee, add oil. Once it is hot, add bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise, fennel seeds and fry for 1/2 minute. Add ginger, garlic, chilli paste and fry until the raw smell goes off. Add onions and fry until they are soft. Add tomatoes and fry for 1 minute. Add marinated chicken and cook for 5-10 minutes. Wash rice and strain water. Add to the chicken and fry for 3 mintues. Add 4-5 cups of water, salt, mint leaves, fried cashew nuts, mix them carefully and close the lid, cook for 15-20 minutes until the water drains completely. Lower the flame, add saffron milk to one portion of rice. close the lid and cook for 10 minutes in a very low flame.

If pressure cooker is used, wait for 2 whistles and put off the flame. Add saffron milk to one portion of rice. close the lid and cook for 10 minutes in a very low flame.

Mix the rice, garnish with chopped corinader leaves and serve hot with raitha.

Ingredients for Onion Raitha:
Yoghurt - 1 cup
Onions - 1-2 finely chopped
Green chillies - 2 chopped (optional)
Coriander leaves - few chopped
Cumin seed powder - 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
Salt to taste

To avoid raw smell of onions, sprinkle salt on chopped onions and keep aside for 15-20 minutes, then drain the water formed, or it can be cooked in microwave for a minute, or sauted in a pan for 5 minutes. Add other ingredients and serve.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Adai with Onion Chutney

Par boiled Rice - 1 Cup
Lentils (Tur dhal) - ¼ Cup
Split chickpeas (Kadalai paruppu/Chana dal) - ¼ Cup
White lentils (Uzhundhu/black gram) - ¼ Cup
Mung bean (Green Gram/Pacha paruppu) - ¼ Cup
Red Chilies - 8-12, as spicy required
Onions - 3-4 finely chopped
Coriander leaves - few, chopped
Curry leaves - few, chopped
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Ginger - 1 inch long
Asafoetida powder - A pinch
Grated coconut - 4 tablespoons
Salt - to taste
Oil - as required

Soak all the pulses and rice seperately for 2 hours. Grind the chillies, ginger, salt first in a mixer/grinder.Then add the soaked rice and pulses and grind it to a coarse batter. To the batter add the coriander leaves, chopped onions, curry leaves, cumin seeds, grated coconut and asafoetida and mix well. Ferment for about 2-4 hours or it can be used freshly also.

Heat flat pan or tava. Pour a ladleful of the batter in the center of the pan and with the back of the ladle, swirl the batter from inside to outside to form a thin round pancake. Add a teaspoon of oil on the sides of the pancake and cook in a sim flame. Turn it and toast the other side also. Serve hot with Onion chutney.

Onion Chutney
Onions - 2, medium sized chopped
Ginger - 1/2 inch long
Red chillies - 4
Grated coconut - 3-4 tablespoons
Tamarind - pea sized
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 teaspoons

Saute onions in oil until they are golden brown. Grind all the ingredients with fried onions to a paste. Add little water if it is too thick. Delicious onion chutney is ready to serve.

Cooking time : 30 minutes
Serves : 4-5 persons

Monday, March 10, 2008

Okra Kara Kozhambu

Okra (Ladies finger/Vendakkai) - 100 gm
Onion - 2
Tomatoe - 2
Red chillies - 2
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Fenu greek - 1/2 teaspoon
Asafoetida powder - a pinch
Tamarind - a small lemon sized
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
Curry leaves - few
Coriander leaves - few
Chilli powder - 2 tablespoons
Coriander powder - 1 tablespoon
Cumin seed powder - 1/2 teaspoon or cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Oil - 2-3 tablespoons
Salt to taste

Method :
Wash okra and cut into 1 inch size pieces. Soak Tamarind in 1/2 cup of warm water. Extract the juice and keep aside. Chop onions and tomatoes.

Heat oil in a pan. Split mustard seeds in it. Add fenu greek, red chillies and asafoetida powder. Add chopped onions, curry leaves and fry them for 5 minutes. Add ginger garlic paste and saute for 5 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and fry for 5 minutes. Then add okra, chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin seed powder and saute them well for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of water and cook well. Once okras are cooked, add tamarind extract, salt to taste and bring it to a boil. If the gravy is more thick, 1/2 cup of water can be added along with tamarind extract. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice.

Cooking time : 30-40 minutes
Serves - 2-3 persons