Recipes

18 Jul 2010

Small potato and chick peas pulao

Small potato pulao is one of the favourites of my brother and me at home. The favourite has many steps in its preparation, but it is definitely worth the work !!!!

I wanted to make aloo dum actually but then, I thought it is nicer to prepare a variation of this rice for the afternoon. This is a recipe adapted from 100 Rice delights of Mallika badrinath.

I used the baby potatoes that I bought from the Thursday farmers market last week, they turned out to be little sweet in taste. I also used the "Tomates perle" (pearl tomatoes) from the market.

We need the following for 3 persons:-

Sona masuri / Basmati rice - 1 1/2 cups
Baby potatoes - 15
Tomatoes paste and water (I used the cooked chick peas water) - 2 1/2 cups (Has to be 
adjusted on the amount of water required by the rice to cook nicely to the separate grain consistency)
Chick peas - 1/2 cup (soaked overnight)
Echalotes (Shallots) - 3 medium sized, finely sliced
Corriander - 6 sprigs
Curd - 2 tbsp
Garam masala - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp

For the masala paste:-

Corriander seeds - 1 1/3 tbsp
Cumin - 2/3 tbsp + a pinch
Red chillies - 2 big + 1 small
Dry coconut - 1 tbsp
Ginger - 1.5 inch piece

Procedure:

1. Wash and cook the rice with the tomato paste and water -  to separate grains consistency. Spread on a plate and cool the rice.

2. Dry roast all the masala paste ingredients except ginger. Cool and make a coarse paste of the roasted ingredients and ginger with water.

3. Make a paste of corriander leaves and curd.

4. Now heat a pan with oil and fry the onions on slow heat till they turn brown.

5. Now the process is simple, add the masala paste fry for 4 mins and then add the corriander and curd paste and mix nicely.

6. Add the boiled and peeled potatoes, cooked chick peas and mix nicely. Now add salt and garam masala powder. Add the cooked rice and mix in nicely. Serve hot with raita.

 Small potato and chick peas pulao, onion raita and cucumber - Today's lunch

16 Jul 2010

Stuffed Capsicum

It is so hot nowadays, believe me even gourmet food does not look so appetizing. I think the heat wave in Germany is having an effect on this place too....

Body finds solace in the simplest of foods now. "Curd rice" is THE saviour !!!!!
But only carbohydrates wont do good to the body, a good portion of vegetables is a must.
So the lunch menu was Curd rice and stuffed capsicum. I will be blogging the recipe for curd rice later.....

Now comes the stuffed capsicum. This recipe is an inspiration from a barbaque party that we had some days ago. I tried to make a taste bud satisfying potato stuffing for the capsicums that I had bought the day before.

The stuffing I prepared was for 3 medium sized capsicum.

Ingredients

Potatoes - 2 large (around 740 gms, boiled and mashed)
Red Onion - 1 large (chopped)
Oil - 1 tsp
Salt - 2/3 tsp

Masala powder for the stuffing:-

Corriander seeds - 3/4 tbsp
Cumin - 1/3 tbsp
Methi seeds - 5 nos.
Red chilli - 1 small

Method

1. Heat a pan, now dry roast the masala powder ingredients. Cool it and grind into coarse powder (I used a Mortar and pestle for this).

2. Heat a pan with 1 tsp oil, add the chopped onions and fry it on medium heat. It is always good to cook the onions before the mashed potato is added. If necessary little water can be sprinkled to help the onions cook.

3. Once the onions are cooked add the mashed potatoes, salt, masala powder and nicely mix to combine all the ingredients well. Once it is done remove it from heat to cool it before stuffing it into the capsicums.

4. Now clean the insides of the capsicum and stuff the capsicum with the potato stuffing leaving around 1.5 inch level unfilled. (Since the stuffing raises once the capsicum starts cooking.)

5. Preheat the oven at 220°C for 12 mins, place the capsicum on the grill rack in the 2nd row from bottom and bake for 30 mins. Serve hot.

This the dry version of the stuffed capsicum that I made for the curd rice.


Potato stuffed Capsicum



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4 Jul 2010

Kozhakattai

It is friday - time to prepare a special sweet for God :)

This time I wanted to keep the sweet simple, subtle and good to eat. The sweet that immediately came in to my mind was Kozhakkattai

The traditional version of the sweet is somewhat time taking, but I found a simple way to make it.

So here is what we need to make 12 kozhakattais (3.5" long);

Rice powder - 1 cup (I prefer to use the Nirapara brand)

Water (boiling) - 1 1/3 cup
Salt - 2 pinches

For the filling:

Fresh coconut chopped - 1 cup
Cardamom - 3
Sugar - 2/3 cup (I used the brown sugar of cane that we get here - it tastes similar to jaggery)
Water - 1/4 cup

1. Boil the water and pour this into a bowl containing the rice flour. Mix this nicely with a spoon. Allow it to cool enough for kneading it into a smooth dough.
2. While the above is cooling, grind the chopped coconut and cardamoms to a rough paste.
3. Heat a pan, pour in the sugar and water in it nicely stir it and then leave it for 3-4 minutes to boil to a nice consistency when the sugar syrup is not too watery add in the coconut and cardamom paste to it and mix it nicely till you reach a consistency where you can make balls out of the filling. Remove it from the heat, cool it.
4. Now knead the rice dough nicely, so that the dough is smooth.
5. Now heat the pressure cooker with 1 inch level water, make the idly plates ready by greasing them very lightly with oil.
6. Divide the dough into 12 equal balls and the filling also the same way.
7. Take a ball of dough start applying pressure in the middle part of the dough and slowly try to flatten it out into a curved semicircle. (The next time I prepare I will prepare a photo tutorial as to how to make a easy kozhakattai)
8. Now take a ball of the filling flatten it into a little oblong shape and place it inside the curved semicircular dough and close the open ends. In any of this process make sure that the dough does not stick to you hand, you can always keep a bowl of water beside.
9. Place each of the kozhakattais on the idli plate and steam them for 7-8 minutes. Serve them after it cools.

Kozhakattais for Lord Ganesha :)




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1 Jul 2010

Simple pizza sauce and Echalotes & black olive pizza

It was relaxing to prepare a simple pizza sauce yesterday. Just chop all the ingredients, fry them a little and the let them simmer on low heat for sometime, so that the sauce is infused will all the lovely flavours.

The sauce tops 3 - 20cm dia pizza perfectly.

Ingredients:

Cherry tomatoes - 16
Basil leaves - 4 (I used the fresh ones that a friend gave to me, since she grows them :). The fresh leaves gives a very nice flavour to the sauce)
Echalote (finely chopped) - 1
Pepper - 2 pinches
Bay leaf - 1
Cinnamon - 1 (1" stick)
Sugar - 1/3 tsp
Salt - 2/3 tsp (can be added according to the taste)
Olive oil - 1 tsp

Method:

1. Heat a pan with olive oil, when you start smelling the oil drop in the Echalotes and fry them for 3 mins.
2. Add the halved and sliced cherry tomatoes and the chopped Basil leaves and cook it till it becomes pulpy. At this point add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, red chilli garlic powder, sugar, salt and pepper and 1/2 cup of water to it and let it simmer on low heat for 15-20 mins till the sauce becomes thick enough to spread on the pizza.


Echalotes and black olive pizza

I used the aluminium 20 cm dia round mould for baking the pizzas. 

1. For the first pizza I oiled the mould very lightly and sprinkled flour over it.

2. Divide the pizza dough into 3 or 4 equal parts.

3. Sprinkle flour on a dry surface flatten the ball of dough and then place it on the mould the spread it evenly over in the mould.

4. Now spread 1/3rd or 1/4th of the above prepared sauce depending on the number of parts of the dough.

5. Sprinkle over it some sliced echalotes, some black olives and some of grated / sliced desired cheese (I used to cheese for sandwiches).

6. Preheat the oven for 10 mins at 200 degrees C. Bake the pizza in the lowest rack of the oven for 40 - 45 minutes.

Voila ! Le Pizza est prêt à manger !!!! (The pizza is ready to eat.)

Echalotes and black olive pizza.........



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Basic Pizza dough

I have followed the basic outline of the steps for the Basic pizza dough from Meeta of Whatsforlunchhoney it worked well for me.

I did not measure the temperature like Meeta, but the pizza was pretty decent. I also changed the flour that I used. I used Farine Bise as it is called here in Swiss. There are so many types of flour here. Well the experiment worked !

I used the following to make the basic pizza dough. It yielded me three 20 cm dia pizzas. (I think I could have managed to make 4 really thin crust pizzas out of it)

Farine bise - 2 1/4 cups
Yeast (Instant) - 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 1/2 tbsp
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Water - 300 ml

1. Mix in the flour, yeast, sugar and oil in a big bowl.

2. Mix either using your hands or using a electric mixer. Mix well till no dry flour is seen in the bowl.

3. Now either knead with your hand or change the attachment of the electric mixer to the kneading one and knead the dough for around 5-6 minutes. The dough must stick to the bottom of the bowl and not to the sides. If the dough sticks to the sides, just sprinkle a little more dough and then get the required consistency after kneading it well.

4. Let the dough rest in the same bowl for 2 hours, if you are going to prepare the pizza 2 hours later else just plastic wrap the dough and save it in the fridge may be for 2 days ( I am not sure about this because I immediately used all the dough to make pizzas).

I do not have a photo of the dough to display it but I sure do have the finished pizza.

Please check out my next post on making a simple pizza sauce and Echalotes and black olives pizza.





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