Thursday, September 30, 2010

~Happy First Birthday Blog Baby~

Happy First Birthday, Blog baby! Yes, Pan Gravy Kadai Curry turns one today. Last year this time I started my blog with my very first post "Party Stuffed Mushrooms". Since then I have been slowly but steadily gaining momentum without losing ground in terms of posting(260+ posts so far), loyal readership and bonding with fellow bloggers(the best part!). Its been a fantastic journey so far and I plan on taking this journey to exciting new levels(Hint: Have you seen the movie Julie And Julia?? Hey, its just a thought. Dunno if I can actually do it)

I sincerely thank everyone from all the 120 countries who have been giving me their loyal and loving support. I couldn't have come this far without you all. XoXo.

So let me treat you with a 7-course meal for being my champions. Come feast with me.
7-course multi-cuisine menu-card:
Soup And Stews:
Palate Cleanser:
Rice And Pasta Entree:
Meat, Fish and Poultry:
It is my pleasure to have you all here with me. Please enjoy your stay and stop by again.

Monday, September 27, 2010

RecipeReplica: Cottage Cheese And Dry Fruit Bars

What was meant to be a cake ended up as a cakey bar. Well, it maybe because I didn't use the Indian Cottage Cheese(Paneer) that the original recipe called for as I didn't have it handy. It was either making Paneer(Indian Cottage Cheese) from scratch or using up the creamy North American Cottage Cheese I already had. Since I was pinched for time over the weekend and also due to the fact that cottage cheese has super short shelf life I decided to make do with it.But it didn't yield me a cake. Naturally I should've been disappointed but I wasn't. Neither were my friends at the get together I took these bars to cause these tasted like the famous Indian sweet "Gulab Jamun". And this is the best recipe I messed-up ever.
  • 3/4 Cup King Arthur All Purpose Flour
  • 2/3 Cup Horizon Organic Cottage Cheese 
  • 4 Tbsp Low-fat Sweetened Condensed Milk(I used 1 Nestle La Lecherita 30oz can)
  • 1 Tbsp Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/8 Tsp Cardamom powder
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Dry fruits( I used Dry Plums and Apricots)
  • A pinch of Salt
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda along with cardamom flour in a bowl.
  • Mix cottage cheese, oil, condensed milk, vinegar and sugar till it is smooth and clump free.
  • Add the sifted flour to the wet ingredient mixture in batches and mix till evenly incorporated.
  • Fold the dry fruit into the flour mixture.
  • Pour the batter into a greased oven proof 8 X 8 inch pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F(180C) for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300F(150C) and bake for another 20 minutes.
  • Cool and cut into bars and serve with a cup of coffee/tea.
Makes 9 single-serving bars.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

RecipeReplica: Eggless Strawberry And Walnut Yogurt Bread

This is an egg-less variation I tried out about a dozen days ago from ChefInYou. There can't be many who doesn't know about DK, the ChefInYou fame. She has managed to a carve a niche in the blogosphere with her boisterous write-ups and foolproof recipes. I only recently came to know about ChefInYou through a blogger buddy of mine.Makes me wonder why I didn't know about her blog earlier. Brrr. I have  bookmarked a dozen recipes to try.The base recipe calls for a couple of eggs which I replaced with banana and cornstarch. I can tell you, the eggs weren't missed. In any way. Enjoy it with a dollop of jelly like I did.
  • 1 3/4 Cups King Arthur All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Ripe Banana, pulped
  • 2 tbsp Hodgson Mill Pure Cornstarch 
  • 1 Cup Ripe Strawberries, finely chopped
  • 1 Cup Toasted Walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, softened and at room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup Yogurt, whisked
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 Mini 5.75" X 3" Loaf Pan  Or 1 9" X 5" Loaf Pan
  • Sift together all the dry ingredients(flour, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch, ground cinnamon) in a wide bowl.
  • Cream the butter and sugar till a fluffy consistency is reached.
  • Add the sifted dry ingredients, salt to the creamed butter-sugar mixture along with the yogurt.
  • Stir-in the nuts and the berries. Mix only till all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  • Grease the loaf pans with little oil or butter.
  • Divide the mixture between 2 mini loaf pans(if using 2 mini loaf pans) and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a tooth pick comes clean when inserted in the center.
  • Cool the loaf/loaves completely prior to slicing.
  • Enjoy it by itself or with a bit of jelly(like I did).

Thursday, September 23, 2010

RecipeReplica: Baked Potata With Cottage Cheese And Vegetables Stuffing

When I saw this recipe at Veggie Fare, I wanted to stop what I was doing to go try this right-away.What stopped me was the fact that this is a bit more time consuming than you'd think. Since I am not a big fan of extensive labor,especially in the kitchen with a snot-nosed brat clinging to my legs like a leech, I had to keep postponing it. Only on rare occasions I make an exception to cook for hours together -- when I need therapy.Badly.Culinary therapy that is. I have to say, these days I am getting frustrated on many levels and that too more often than not.Frustration in many forms and from many angles, like this scenario for instance:
Conversation btw my twaddler(A) and me-
Me: A, come lets have food
A: Mommy, no. Want Emma Thamma Candy (M&M Candy)
Me:Candy is not food. Candy is a treat "after" you eat food. Come let me strap you in the high chair.
(After a bit of hassle, I strap him to the high chair)
A: Mommy, wanna watch Max &Yuuuby (Max&Ruby in Nickelodeon Jr, recorded episode)
(I place a plate of food and let him get a sense of what he is going to eat)
A: Mommy, wanna Orange Juice(Thats how he says, Lol)
(I get him a glass of OJ)
A: Mommy, wanna Ice Cube Jiya(Water with Ice cubes)
(I get him a glass of Cold water)
(Baby A loudly drags the water through the straw and sprays it all over the food tray)
(I drag the glass of water, place it closeby and take a spoon of food to force-feed)
(Baby A pretends he is a DJ and makes similar motions in the air with both hands to block the spoon from touching his mouth)
Me:A, do you want timeout in the dark room, with just the Vacuum cleaner for company?
A:Sowwie (Sorry)
Me:A,Do you want me to call the cops? Cops arrest bad boys like you.
A:No mommy Sowwie. No Cops,No Vacuum Cleaner and No Dark Room. (Baahhhh and Crocodile tears)
(Dad switches off all the lights. Lets go)
(All lights are switched off for a minute)
A: No daddy..No Mommy. Sowwie. **Scream**
Me: Then tell me you will eat your food. 
A: Yes Mommy. Eat Food.
(All lights are turned on)
(A opens his mouth like a piggy-bank slit. Eats a bit and spits on his bib)
A: Mommy, its beans.
Me: A, its not beans. Its carrot and eggs. Chew and swallow.
(A has issues with eating coarse foods)
(A Eats a second spoon of food and is about spit that one too)
Me: A, do you want to watch Tom and Jerry, car chasing scene?
(A loves watching anything that has cars and trucks. So I get to the recorded episode and FF to the scene where there is a car chase scene)
(A is distracted and I stuff food quickly into his mouth all the while chanting the mantra "Chew and Swallow", "Chew and Swallow" atleast a couple of hundred times)
Oh, this happens at every meal and by the end of the session I am ready to kick some butt or pull someone's hair. To top it,my MIL will come and tell me that it isn't easy raising a child. I laugh out loud, on the inside cause there was a time, some 3 yrs ago when I thought child bearing and birthing was the biggest challenge I faced. Now, I tell you my readers, that was a walk in the park. Child rearing is the toughest one yet.
My son who makes me brim with pride on many occasions -- Yeah, he turned 3 just last week and he can tell A-Z, 1-50, all days in a week,all month in a year, knows almost all veggies and fruits, can read 3 letter words etc etc -- makes me despair with his eating habits. I dream of a time in future when my strapping son would make me cook for an army and eat it all up and ask for more.Will it ever come true, I wonder.

After one such session, I crave for an elaborate recipe and this one fit the bill. For similar mouth watering vegetarian recipe ideas, visit Veggi Fare.
This can be eaten as an appetizer or served as a side to Ghee Rice, Egg Fried Rice, Herbed Vegan Fried Rice. I served it with a Karnatakan Specialty called Carrot Bhath(Recipe coming soon).
  • 6 mid-sized Red Potatoes, Parboiled for 10 minutes, Peeled, Hollowed with an Apple Corer
  • 2 Tbsp Cilantro, finely chopped for garnish
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
For the Filling:
  • 3/4 Cup of Mixed Vegetables(Carrots, String Beans, 3 Parboiled Potato Core), finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dried fenugreek leave(sold as "Kasuri Methi" in Indian stores)
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala (Indian Spice Mix)
  • 1/4 Cup Paneer, Cubed
  • 1/2 tsp Cracked pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
  • Salt for taste
For the Coating:
  • 3 Tbsp ChickPea Flour(sold as "Besan" in Indian store)
  • 1 Tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 4 Tbsp Thick Yogurt
  • 1/8 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Fenugreek leaves
  • Core the parboiled potatoes using an apple corer.
  • In a  pan, heat a tbsp of oil and add the cumin seeds and chopped onions.
  • Saute the onions till they are transparent. Add ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute or two.
  • Throw in the chopped vegetables and saute for a minute. 
  • Sprinkle a little water, lid the pan and cook the vegetables for 5 minutes.
  • Add Garam Masala, dried fenugreek leaves, salt and pepper and stir. Cook for a couple more minutes.
  • In another pan, add a tbsp of oil and shallow fry the paneer cubes till they are slightly brown on all sides. 
  • Cool and crumble the Paneer.
  • Add to the Vegetable mixture and mix well to incorporate. Cool the mixture.
  • Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the coating in a small bowl and keep it ready.
  • Fill the potatoes with the filling mixture using hands. Save the leftover fillings for garnish.
  • Dunk the potatoes in the Yogurt-Flour Coating and lay them on well-greased oven-proof sheet.
  • Bake at 375 degrees F for ~40 minutes, turning them once or twice midway.
  • Cool the potatoes slightly and carefully slice them.Arrange them on a serving dish.
  • Garnish with the leftover filling,chopped cilantro and a bit of lemon juice.
    Makes 4-5 Servings.


    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    RecipeReplica: Vegan Chocolate Banana Cake

    This week is going to be the week of replication. I have tried a few of the bookmarked recipes and I am all eager to post them.This recipe has been adapted from a site that has plenty of egg-less recipes, EggLess Cooking. The original recipe calls for Whole Wheat Pastry Flour which has been substituted with All-purpose flour and Cornstarch. Additionally, Dutch Cocoa powder was added to intensify the color. I like my cakes dark. Darker the better, no? The cake was so moist and not overly sweet, just the way I prefer. Plus this is a figure-friendly version as it has no butter and the absense of eggs means it can be tried by one and all. All things considered, this recipe is for keeps.
    Hey,Watch out. I am on the hunt and your blog might be next for my next edition of "RecipeReplica". 
    • 2 Cups Minus 4 tbsp (2 Cups - 4 tbsp) King Arthur All Purpose Flour
    • 4 tbsp Hodgson Mill Corn Starch
    • 1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
    • 1 Cup Banana Pulp (~2-2 1/2 bananas)
    • 2/3 Cup Cocoa Powder
    • 1 1/2 Cups Hot Water
    • 1/4 Cup Corn Oil
    • 2 tsp Dutch Cocoa Powder
    • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
    • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
    • 9 X 13 inch Baking Pan
    • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).
    • Sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and the cocoa powder(s) in a large bowl.
    • Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl - hot water, vanilla extract, oil and the banana pulp. Give it a gentle whisk.
    • Pour the wet ingredients atop the flour mixture. 
    • Combine the ingredients gently using a silicone spatula.
    • Grease the baking pan with Corn Oil and dust it with All-Purpose flour.
    • Transfer the cake mixture into the baking pan.
    • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a tooth-pick inserted in the center comes clean.
    • Flip it on to a flat serving plate and cut into wedges/squares.
    Makes Plenty of pieces.
    For a cake half this size, halve the ingredients and use an 8 X 8 inch pan.

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    $100 CSN Stores GiftCard Giveaway + Vegan Chocolate Cake "Click"

    Okay, its that time of the month.:). I am elated to announce that CSN Stores is sponsoring yet another giveaway for the loyal readers of Pan Gravy Kadai Curry. CSN Stores,a huge network of amazing online stores has everything -- from Modern Bedding to Bathroom Vanities, Wardrobes to Cookware etc etc.

    There's nothing like snuggling into a cozy bed on a cold winter night. Agreed? Now that Fall is upon us, its time to bring out those thicker Quilts/Duvets/Comforters from the closet or treat ourselves to something soft, something plush and something super-cozy like the luxurious and modern bedding choices from CSN Stores.

    I so want to snuggle into this cozy bed during cold winter nights with a cup of hot chocolate while my mind is thinking of balmy evenings and bare foot walks on the beaches of Morocco.
    My hubby prefers neutral bedding and this is something we might actually agree on -
    My twaddler son would adore the animal pattern on this super cute comforter. Rest assured, he will have pleasant dreams of Elephants,Giraffes and maybe even Unicorns.Don't you agree?
    For more choices, check Modern Bedding @ CSN Stores.

    Here are the rules to winning the $100 CSNStores Giftcard(Excludes Shipping cost). Giveaway applicable to US and Canada readers only. Sincere apologies to everyone residing elsewhere. :(.
    Please read the rules Carefully:
    • Mandatory - Pick your favorite bedding that you are most likely to snuggle under during a raging storm from Modern Bedding.
    • Mandatory - Follow PanGravyKadaiCurry "Publicly".
    • Optional but Highly desired(Additional 3 Entries) - Mention about this Giveaway in your blog/facebook. Leave 3 separate comments.
    • Optional but Highly desired (Additional 2 Entries) - "Like" PanGravyKadaiCurry on Facebook. Did you know ? There is a "Picture Project 365" happening at my fan-page. Come follow me on my eclectic photo excursion for a jolly good time. Click here to become a fan.Leave 2 separate comments
    • Optional but highly desired(Additional 2 Entries) - Follow me on twitter. Not much of a tweeter but I am still learning the art of concise tweet-talk. :). Leave 2 separate comments
    • Optional but highly desired( Additional 1 entry for every tweet) - Tweet about this giveaway. Leave a comment.
    • Optional but highly desired (Additional 2 Entries)- Subscribe to PanGravyKadaiCurry's RSS feeds.Click the orange decanter on the top right column. Leave a comment.
    The winner would be randomly chosen and announced on "October 8th", 2+ weeks from now.
    This is a teaser picture of an upcoming post for Vegan Chocolate Cake.Enjoy the Visual treat for now -


    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    FromFamilyNFriends: Cabbage Fritters

    This is from my Mother-In-Law. She is an accomplished cook and I am in awe of her culinary talent. Lets just say that her cooking experience and knowledge far exceeds my age. This cabbage fritters are one of her specialty.Be sure to give them a try and have it with a cup of coffee/tea. Umm delectable.
    • 1/2 small cabbage, thinly sliced
    • 2 tbsp curry leaves, finely chopped
    • 2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
    • 3 hot green chillies, thinly sliced
    • 4-5 tbsp rice flour
    • 6 tbsp chickpea flour(sold as 'Besan' flour in Indian stores)
    • 1/8 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp cracked pepper
    • Salt for taste
    • 4-5 cups Corn Oil for deep frying
    • Wash the cabbage leaves after cutting. Drain and add it to a wide bowl.
    • Add all the other ingredients and mix it thoroughly(for at-least 2 minutes) with hands. The moisture in the cabbage leaves will suffice. No need to add water.The mixture should look something similar to the one in the picture:
    • Heat the corn oil  in a thick bottomed pan and add the thick cabbage mixture to it in batches.
    • Remove from pan once it is evenly browned on all sides.
    • Serve as is or with a steaming cup of tea/coffee.
    Makes 4-5 mid-sized servings.

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Steamed Sweet Dumplings "Kozhukattai"/ "Modak"

    Reason for 2 weeks of "non-existent" state -- 9 days of vacationing in scorching Florida, 2 days of recovering/relaxing, 2 days of suffering from bellyache and bathroom breaks because of these little dumplings. No, no they weren't a bad batch. They were so good that they promptly made me forget "All things in moderation" and turned me into a glutton.Ate a dozen of them and my belly simply couldn't deal with it.LoL. Kozhukattai as we call them in our tongue, is a dumpling that is made with rice flour dough and plenty of choices for fillings. This time though filling was made with sesame seeds and jaggery. Oh, this was made on Vinayaka Chathurthi(The "Elephant-Headed" God's Birthday, God of Goodwill and Prosperity) and relished by my folks.But mostly by me.
    Story of how Lord Ganesha got his Elephant-Face -Once upon a time Goddess Parvati wished to take a bath. She created a boy from the dirt of her body and asked him to stand guard outside while she cleansed herself. Meanwhile, Lord Shiva, who frequently goes away for long periods of time to meditate and such returned home. When he tried to enter the house, the boy prevented him from doing so. In anger, Shiva(Who BTW is The Destroyer) cut off the boy's head. When Parvati saw this, she burst into tears. In order to console her, Shiva sent out his troops to fetch the head of anyone found sleeping with his head pointing to the north. They found an elephant sleeping thus and brought back its head. Shiva then attached the elephant's head to the body of the boy and revived him. He named the boy Ganapati, which means commander of his troops. He granted him a boon that everyone would worship him (Ganesha) before beginning any work. Hence, all Hindus worship Lord Ganesha prior to beginning anything auspicious.  
    Significance of Lord Ganesha's Form - Ganesha's head symbolizes the Atman or the soul, which is the ultimate supreme reality of human existence, and his human body signifies Maya or the earthly existence of human beings. The elephant head denotes wisdom and its trunk represents Om, the sound symbol of cosmic reality. In his upper right hand Ganesha holds a goad, which helps him propel mankind forward on the eternal path and remove obstacles from the way. The noose in Ganesha's left hand is a gentle implement to capture all difficulties.
    The broken tusk that Ganesha holds like a pen in his lower right hand is a symbol of sacrifice, which he broke for writing the Mahabharata(Epic). The rosary in his other hand suggests that the pursuit of knowledge should be continuous. The laddoo (sweet) he holds in his trunk indicates that one must discover the sweetness of the Atman(Soul). His fan-like ears convey that he is all ears to our petition. The snake that runs round his waist represents energy in all forms. And he is humble enough to ride the lowest of creatures, a mouse.

    Now lets move on to the recipe-
    Recipe Yields 25-30 Kozhukattai/Modaks
    • 1 1/2 Cups Rice Flour
    • 1  tsp Olive Oil or Ghee (Ghee is better)
    • 2 Cups Water
    • 1/8 tsp Salt
    For the Filling:
    • 3/4 Cup White Sesame Seeds
    • 1 Cup Jaggery Shavings(Un-refined Brown Sugar, available at Indian Stores)
    • 1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder
    • Modak Mould (optional)
    • Wooden Spatula with a smooth cylindrical handle
    • Dry roast the sesame seeds on medium flame until they turn light brown in color.
    • Grind the Sesame Seeds along with Jaggery Shavings and Cardamom powder to a coarse powder.Set aside.
    • Bring the water to a roiling boil along with salt and oil.
    • Add the rice flour to a thick bottomed pan. 
    • Pour the boiling water little by little while continuously stirring the flour with the "wooden handle" of the spatula until a nice, firm,lump-free dough is formed. DO NOT make it runny. Close the pan with a lid.
    • Cool the dough until it can be handled with hand and knead it to make it a smooth dough.
    • Take a small amount of dough and make a smooth ball, about the size of a marble. There are a couple of ways to make these dumplings - Garlic Bulb shaped or Empanada Shaped. For Garlic Bulb Shaped Dumplings: Using both hands make a cup with marble-sized dough and fill it with a tsp of the sesame-jaggery filling. Bring the edges together and seal it shut. If using Modak Mould, press the bulb shaped dumpling to give it some nice ridges. For Empanada Shaped Dumplings: Pat the dough to form(Oil may be used to help it stretch out) a nice flat circle and add 1 1/2 tsp filling in the center. Fold and press the edges to seal it tightly. Using the forefinger to make indents at the edges.
    • Steam the dumplings for 10 minutes in a bamboo/ghee-greased stainless steel steamer and serve when warm or cold.
    Makes 25-30 Sweet Dumplings.


      Wednesday, September 1, 2010

      ReviewAndARecipe: Meet my new "Staub" Grill pan + Grilled Turkey Burger

      World renowned chefs Paul Bocuse, Thomas Keller, Jean Joho, Joel Robuchon and I have something in common. Nope, certainly not the culinary talent. Then????? What I meant is that I have joined the ranks of  these chefs by acquiring the "Staub" line of cookware. A Staub Grill Pan to be specific! Now that the temperature is slowly falling,atleast in the North-east, its a perfect time for me to move the party indoors. So an indoor grill pan that can be used on the stove top and in the conventional oven is perfect choice item for "right now" and "round the year". Thanks to CSN Stores for allowing me to pick this item to write a review about. If by the end of this post you are impressed with this pan, hurry up and get it here as its on sale for $100 bucks.
      I don't have to tell about the Staub brand..If you ask someone in the culinary industry this is what they would say -- Le Creuset is for the masses, Staub is for those in the know. Enough said.
      So What is so special about this pan?The pan is made with the best durable cast-iron(Pay Attention Vegetarians and Anemic People) with a removable silicone handle. The feature I love the best about this is that it has 2 spouts to drain all the drippings. And most importantly knife resistant. And it gets better and better with use because the oils when used while cooking permeate the minuscule pores and create a natural, smooth non-stick surface. How cool is that? 
      Now on to the recipe..

      • 2 1/2 Cups Ground meat of choice ( I used Ground Turkey)
      • 2 stale Whole wheat bread, toasted and crumbed
      • 1/2 cup Yellow onion, chopped
      • 1/2 cup Mint and Cilantro, finely chopped and packed
      • 5 Garlic Cloves, minced
      • 3 Hot Green Chilli or 1 Jalapeno
      • 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
      • 3/4 tsp Cumin powder
      • 1/2 tsp Cracked pepper or more
      • 1 Egg, whisked
      • 1/2 tsp Olive oil
      • Salt to taste
      • Mix all the ingredients in a wide bowl. 
      • Knead with hands just enough until they are all combined.
      • Shape the meat- mixture into even sized balls(12-13) and gently press them to form patties.
      • Oil and the heat the grill pan.
      • Grill the patties on medium flame(Gas Mark 5) for 6-7 minutes per side. 
      • Serve it with any fixings of choice.
      Makes 12-13 mid-sized patties.

      For the Mango-Cucumber Tzatziki/Raita:
      • 1/2 Cup Raw Mango, grated
      • 3/4 Cup Cucumber, grated
      • 1/4 Cup Onion, finely chopped
      • 21/2 Cups Thick Yogurt
      • 1 tsp Cracked Pepper
      • 1/2 tsp Cracked Cumin seeds
      • Salt for taste
      • Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate until serving.

      This is how I ate my  Burger - With a middle-eastern flair..
      Some Reposts for AWED:Turkey hosted at Janet's.