Monday, August 30, 2010

Gastronomic Gallivant: Keralan Steamed Coarsen Rice with Grated Coconut, Brown Sugar And Nuts "Puttu"

Sorry, this was meant to be posted yesterday but I was out shopping and celebrating my 7th wedding anniversary. :). This dish instantly takes me back to childhood days when Ma and Grand-Ma used to make this as breakfast and evening snacks for me and my sister. There would always be a fight on who gets a bigger portion and a debate whether to have it with ripe banana or ripe plantains.It tastes equally good by itself too. This dish is a Keralan specialty but its equally popular in other Southern states of India too.
  • 1 Cups Red Rice Flour like "Brahmins"(Available at Indian stores)
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh or Frozen Grated Coconut
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar/Granulated White Sugar or less(depends on how sweet you want it)
  • 2 tbsp Ghee(Clarified butter) or butter
  • 3 tbsp Cashew
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom powder
  • A pinch of Salt
  • Steamed Rice Cake Maker(Puttu Maker) or Any steamer
  • Fry the cashews with a tbsp of Ghee. Set aside.
  • Mix salt and the rice flour in a small bowl.
  • Sprinkle water to the powder, little by little. The flour should get barely coated with water to facilitate steaming.Should resemble a coarse meal. Do not make it soggy.
  • If using Puttu Maker: Add a little grated coconut to the bottom of the Puttu Maker and small scoop full of moist flour. Alternate with coconut and rice flour and top it with grated coconut.
  • If using any flat steamer: Mix the coconut and moist flour and add it to the top portion of the steamer vessel.
  • Steam the contents for about 10-12 minutes.The steamed puttu would look like this if made using a puttu maker-
  • Remove the steamed Puttu to a bowl and mix it with a tbsp of Ghee, roasted nuts and brown sugar.
  • Serve warm by itself or with ripe banana/plantain, Strawberries like in the previous picture.
Makes 3-4 servings.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Guess this dish + What I bought with my KrazyKitchen CSNStore Giftcard Win..

I know I promised that I will be posting some traditional dishes, MIL style and this is one such dish. Can you guess what it is? It is made with coarsen red rice, shredded coconut, powdered cardamom and jaggery to be had as breakfast or an evening snack. :). Look forward to the recipe this Sunday.
Ages ago I also promised I will post about what I bought with my $60 CSN store gift card that I won at Krazy Kitchen.I took some time to decide on what I wanted to buy and this is what I got, for props -
iTTala Teema Pasta Bowl in Turquoise(Set of 2, $35), Nikko Ceramics 'Blanc Fleur' Relish tray(Set of 2, $28)
Thanks a bunch Krazy Kitchen. I am enjoying my buys. Immensely!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Egg Fried Rice

This is so simple that it doesn't need more than 30 minutes from start to finish. Most of you know that is the kind of cooking that I like the best. I love to have this hot steaming egg fried rice with seafood/meaty side-dish or with mixed vegetable curry. Either way it tastes exceptionally good. FYI,recipes for both the sides in the photo will be posted soon. But for the time being here are a few 'choice' sides - Stuffed Peppers, Stuffed Eggplants, Chicken in Walnut Gravy, Moroccon Chicken with Apricots N Cashews, Minty Shrimp.
  • 1 Cup Basmati Rice, soaked for 30 minutes prior to cooking
  • 5 Eggs whites & 3 Egg Yolks, whisked together with little milk
  • 1 large Yellow Onion, vertically slit
  • 1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 4-5 Green Chillies, vertically slit
  • 1 stalk curry leaf, optional
  • 1/2 tsp or more Cracked pepper
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt for taste
  • In a deep skillet, add a tbsp of oil and add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Add the slit onions, ginger-garlic paste, green chilli once the mustard starts sputtering.
  • Saute until the onions are browned. Sprinkle the cracked pepper.
  • Drain the soaked basmati rice completely of water and add to the pan.
  • Stir gently for a couple of minutes and then add water(usually 1:2, depends on the rice too).
  • Lid the pan and cook the rice on a medium flame for 7-8 minutes.
  • Stir in the whisked eggs and gently mix. Cook for another 8-10 minutes or till the rice is done.
  • Serve with any side-dish of choice. Here are some choices - Stuffed Peppers, Stuffed Eggplants, Chicken in Walnut Gravy, Moroccon Chicken with Apricots N Cashews, Minty Shrimp.
Makes 3-4 servings.



Monday, August 23, 2010

SugarPlum Balls With Dry Fruits, Nuts and Grand Marnier

With the advent of dozens of snack choices post-blogging, this still has managed to stay as a family favorite for nearly a year. That is because its so tasty on top of being healthy.Just a couple of this will keep you sated for 2-3 hours due to the fiber-packed dry fruits in it. I almost always make these sugarplum balls with orange juice/pear juice as the binding ingredient but this time I had some Orange Liqueur left at home and I decided to use it up to make a grownup variation of this after getting the idea from 'Joy Of Baking' site.
For the other recipe with Pear juice, click here.
  • Pecan/Walnuts -a handful
  • Dried sugar-free figs - 4
  • Dates - 6, pitted
  • Mariani Sun-Ripened Mixed Dry Fruits(Apricot, Apples, Plum, Peach, Pear) - 2 Cups
  • Orange Liqueur like Grand Marnier - 2 tbsp
  • In a food processor, coarsely blend(pulse) all the dry fruits and nuts with little bit of Orange Liqueur until they resemble a coarse meal.
  • Divide the mixture into 10-12 bite-size balls and refrigerate for an hour before consuming.
Makes 12-14 bite-sized balls.



Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chicken, Mushroom and Peppers Dry Curry

This is a super quick curry to make when one is hard-pressed for time. I make this very often and eat it with brown rice. Lean protein from chicken and Vitamins B and C from mushrooms and peppers respectively along with the good Carb from brown rice makes for a substantial meal.
  • 4 chicken thighs, skinned
  • 8 Mini Peppers, roughly diced
  • 8 Button/Cremini  Mushrooms, cleaned and halved
  • 1/2 Red Onion, fine diced
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, pureed
  • 2 tsp(or less/more) Cracked Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt for taste
For the Marinade:
  • 1 tbsp Thick Yogurt
  • A pinch of Turmeric powder
  • A dash of Pepper powder
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Mix all the ingredients under "Marinade" and marinate the chicken for atleast 30 minutes.
  • Shallow fry the peppers and mushrooms in a tbsp of oil for 5 minutes or so. Set aside.
  • Heat the remaining tbsp of oil in the pan and bring it to a smoking point.
  • Sear the marinated chicken until its browned on all sides.
  • Add the chopped onions to the pan and fry along with the chicken until its translucent.
  • Pour the tomato puree and add the cracked pepper and salt to the pan.
  • Lid the pan and cook for ~10-12 minutes on medium flame until the chicken in almost cooked.
  • Transfer the mushrooms and peppers to the pan and gently mix. Cook for 5 more minutes or until almost all the water has evaporated and remove from flame.
  • Top this piping hot dry curry on top of brown rice and serve.
Makes ~3 Servings.



Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Love "Le Creuset" Pots and Pans + some reposts

Hi lovelies, how are you all doing? I have been away for nearly 2 weeks due to 1.MIL's arrival and 2.nearly a month-long condition called "Menorrhagia" due to thyroid imbalance which has made me severely anemic,fatigued and dizzy spells abound. So I have been taking it easy. But I am back on track and will slowly but steadily catch up with all your posts.

Now, Do you all remember what I got for Mother's Day? A 10-piece 'All-Clad pots and pans' set after pestering DH for nearly a year. With my wedding anniversary fast approaching(just a dozen days away), I am routing for something else - A new set of pots and pans, but this time from Le Creuset. Now I don't have to tell you all about this superior brand of french cookware, all made by experienced craftsmen for a lifetime enjoyment. I own a couple of pans from this award-winning cookware and I have to say I thoroughly enjoying cooking/baking in them.

So if you cooking fanatics are looking for a cult to follow or a crusade to join, wait no more. Check these wide array of Le Creuset pots and pans and start collecting. While doing so, write a will/a decree,if you will, for those pans to leave it behind, cause these pots and pans will far outlive you.If you take good care of it, that is!:-)

A few of my favorite things I already own/I wish to own, from Le Creuset:
Square Baking Pans In Carribean($25): Excellent stoneware that is an answer for most of your baking needs. I have these in Cherry and I enjoy baking with these.
2.25 Quart Saucier Pan in Cassis($160): An ideal multi-task pan for making Sauce, Stock, Saute or Sambhar.A bit pricey but IMHO totally worth the price.
Ramekins in Cobalt ($10 each):Excellent for keeping Salt/Pepper/Sugar or ideal for making mousse, creme brulee or flan.

8-0z Petite Casseroles in Cherry ($20 each):This attractive mini-casserole has me dreaming of Pot-pies,French onion soups, Baked puddings and Portion-control lasagnas.

For more choices and colors, check the "Le Creuset" Page @

Some re-posts for upcoming event this month:
For this month's Monthly Mingle - Party Treats, brainchild of Meeta of What's For Lunch Honey, hosted at Sara's Corner:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

And the Winner is..

Hello There- How is it going?I have been extremely busy with the journey called life. Sounds very melodramatic, I know. But very true. Plan to get into some sort of routine soon. Will catch up with all your lovely posts in a bit.
Plenty thanks to everyone who participated in the Giveaway Contest.

The winner of Beso's $80 Gift-Certificate Giveaway is-Comment#12 - Ms.Mitharwal. Congrats, dear.
Please send me your valid email address to everyone else, there is always next time.

Guys/Girls, don't forget to check out my "Picture Project 365" here.

Monday, August 2, 2010

An 'August' Announcement - Picture Project 365

"The World is full of Beautiful Things
    Butterfly Wings, Fairytale Things

The World abounds with many delights
  Magical Sights, Fanciful Sights
Our lives tick by like Pendulum Swings
  Delicate Things, Butterfly Wings
And each new day undoubtedly brings
   Still more beautiful things

-- Beautiful Things by Bobby Darin
Okay, what am I getting at by quoting Bobby's Beautiful things? Well, after a long, very long, extremely long thought(trust me) I have decided to jump the 'Picture Project 365' Bandwagon that seems to be all the rage in Facebook, Flickr, Blog etc etc. I shall be posting one picture a day, everyday for 365 days starting this month in my Facebook Fanpage.

Pictures could be of Art, Architecture, Food,Family,Nature,Wildlife,Scenic, Self, Sun and Sundry.Come follow me on my eclectic photo excursion for a jolly good time. While you are there, show me your support by hitting the "Like" button. Brash, I know. :). I'll see you there.