Thursday, May 31, 2012

Announcing Serve It Series - Serve It - Raw

This month's theme for Serve It series is Serve It - Raw. Summer is in full swing everywhere and all we want to eat is something light, cool and that wouldn't weigh you down. We get a lot of fresh produce in spring and summer and I love to have salads as much as I can. Salads need not be something boring or unsatisfying as that is the commonly conceived notion. Adding little protein like eggs, chicken and nuts and fruits like dried cranberries, raisins, apricots etc makes it a whole meal in itself. When it comes to salads the options are nearly unending.
Here are the guidelines for the event:
1. You may send in any entry that is raw. Starter, Main course, Dessert salads, accompaniments (like raita/dip) are all accepted.
2. The salad ingredients should be raw, although a max of two ingredients can be cooked. For e.g. Garbanzo beans, chicken, eggs.
3. Salad dressing/vinaigrette recipes also can be linked but they should definitely be accompanied by the salad in the post.
4. The ingredients can be greens, vegetables, fruits, grains, pasta etc.,.
5. Both Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian entries are allowed. But No Beef/Pork/Alcohol please.
6. Please link back to this announcement page and also to Denny's page here.
7. New entries are appreciated, however if you are sending archived entries, please re-post as latest (with a date in June 2012) and update with both the links to the announcement page and logo.
8. Usage of links and logo is mandatory.
9. Last date for submission of your entries is June 30, 2012.
10. To submit your entries, just link your entries using the linky tool below. 
11. Non-bloggers also can send their entries with a picture to the below email-id.
12. If you have a problem in linking email us your problem to serveit[dot]series[at]gmail[dot]com. We will try to resolve it.
Note: If the entries are inappropriate to the theme, we would have to remove the entries from the linky sans notification. If there are other issues like link or logo missing we would definitely notify through email.
Linky for Raw entries:

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Chicken Chukka / Easy Indian Chicken Side Dish | Indian Chicken Recipes

This is the first non-veg dish in my space, though I used to eat meat at least twice a month before marriage. My family, Grandma, Dad and Sis are experts in cooking meat and I had been always a sous-chef whenever it comes to cooking non-veg. My territory was limited to the prepping and tasting area. DH is a pure vegetarian. Having said that, I never really had an idea to cook meat at home until recently. I started with salmon initially and slowly included chicken in my kitchen. I have started with cooking basic recipes, nothing fancy and hoping to post more non-vegetarian recipes here in my space. 
Preparation time - 10 mins; Cooking time - 15 mins
Serves - 2; Spice level - Medium
Chicken Breast - Boneless, Skinless - cut into 1" cubes - about 1 cup
Oil - 2-3 tbsp
Curry leaves - 4
Pearl onions / Shallots - 10 - chopped roughly - 1/2 cup or more, the more the tastier..
Tomato - chopped - 2 tbsp
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Curry powder / Kari Masala Powder - 1/2 tsp
Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp or to taste
Red chilli powder - 1/4 tsp or to taste
Turmeric Powder - a pinch
Salt - to taste
Heat oil in a pan and add curry leaves. When it splutters add the pearl onions and fry until it becomes light brown. Add tomato and a little salt and saute until it becomes mushy. Add ginger-garlic paste and cook for 2 minutes. Now reduce the heat to medium and add the spice powders, curry powder, pepper powder, chilli powder and turmeric powder with salt to taste. Fry for a minute, add the chicken and mix well. Cook in medium high heat for about 6-8 minutes or until done, mixing occasionally. Serve hot as a side dish.
Note: To check doneness, prick and split with a fork. If you want a more gravy like dish increase the amount of tomato and add half a cup of water at the end and boil for 5 minutes.
I am sending this simple Chicken dish to Chicken Feast event by MySpicyKitchen.
Chicken Feast, myspicykitchen, my spicy kitchen

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Vetrilai Poondu Sadham / Rice flavored with Garlic and Betel Leaves - Guest post by Reva of Kaarasaaram

This month's guest post is by Reva of Kaarasaaram. She is one of the dearest blog buddies of me. If you have not stopped by her place you should do so now. She has a pretty and neatly laid out space with gorgeous pictures. She hails from Coimbatore - the heart of the Kongu region in South-India, which has a deep-rooted culture and history associated with it. The Kongu cuisine always uses the freshest ingredients for every meal and has its own distinct cooking methods. This recipe Vetrilai Poondu Sadham is one of her Kongu region specialties. Reva's space does not only focus on the kongu cuisine but a variety of cuisines from all over the world. She is talented in making unique flavored dishes. My favorite is the Thai Icecream with Homemade wafer cones, which uses all the flavorings of Thai cuisine. And when I say flavorings, it includes lime leaves, lemon grass and surprisingly thai red chilli. See what I mean by unique??
She is a great flower lover too.. You could see almost all of her posts has pictures of gorgeous flowers which she uses to accentuate her food clicks.

Hi everyone,
When Krithi asked me to do a guest post for her blog, I was overwhelmed at first for the simple reason that her beautiful blog is filled with traditional recipes and dishes from around the globe that are simple to make yet tastes immensely flavourful.
My favourite is Tawa Pulao with Paneer and Gobi Manchurian.. they are absolutely delicious and makes a lovely combo meal… try it sometime and you will know what I am talking about.
Krithi has the simple friendly attitude of "girl next door" and connects with the fellow blogger is an instant moment. The most outstanding thing about her is that she host a lovely events on her blog named  "Serve it Series" along with her buddy Denny which has different mode of cooking style every month but also she is the number one participant and contributor to most of the event hosted by fellow bloggers.
She lends her complete support to all her virtual friends in this blogging world in spite of her busy  schedule…. It is hard to find such a lovely dedicated person..:)
So when she asked me for a gust post, I didn’t know where to begin with. So at times of difficult decision making, it is always better to stick to the traditional recipe. I am from Coimbatore and I love Kongunad Cuisine. 
This recipe is one of the most traditional and age old recipe handed over from generation to generation. 
Truly an Ayurvedic combination of ingredients, it speaks volumes about unusual tastes and flavours but does tonnes of goodness to your internal systems. 
As you go through the ingredient list, you will understand that all are readily available in your store cupboard except for the betel leaves. This add an unusual flavor to the rice, the typical spicy betel leaf  flavor that is so refreshing.
The original recipe calls for dried turmeric stick [virali manjal] to be dry roasted and ground to a powder along with the other masala items. I had some fresh turmeric bulbs in hand and used them instead. The fresh turmeric not only tasted awesome but the aroma was wonderful and it also lent a lovely yellow tinge to the rice. 
Hope everyone enjoys this recipe from my city of Coimbatore..:))
Thank you Krithi for this lovely opportunity, it is indeed an honour to do a guest post for your wonderful blog … keep up your good work.
Vetrilai Poondu Saadham
Betel leaves: 4.
Seeraga Sambha Rice: 250 gms.
Large garlic pods: 5-6 .
Fresh turmeric bulbs: two – 1 inch pieces.
Fennel seeds: ½ tsp.
Cinnamon stick: one 1 inch piece.
Curry leaves: 1 sprig.
Special masala powder: 2-3 tbsp.
Gingelly oil: 3 tbsp.
Warm water: 450 mls.
Salt: to taste.
For the special masala powder:
Black sesame seeds: 1tsp.
Pepper corns: 1 tsp.
Ginger powder [sukku]: ½ tsp.
Red chillies: 5-6.
1. Roast all the ingredients in a dry pan on medium flame, cool and grind to a powder. Reserve until needed.
2. Wash the rice twice and soak it for ½ hour. Drain and add 1 tsp of salt and 1 tbsp of oil and water. Mix well and  cook in microwave high [850 HW] for  20-21 minutes until all the water is absorbed.
3. Remove from the oven and let the rice cool down. Once cooled very gently separate the rice with a fork. Keep aside until the masala is ready.

4. Wash the betel leaves, remove the stalk and chop the leaves finely. Peel the fresh turmeric bulbs and slice them thinly.
5. Place a large pan on medium flame and heat the remaining oil. Splutter the fennel seeds, curry leaves and add the cinnamon stick.
6. Add the garlic pods, sliced turmeric and chopped betel leaves. Fry for a minute.
7. Add the masala powder and sprinkle some water to prevent the masala powder from burning.
8. Add the cooked rice and a little salt and mix well.
9. Add just a sprinkle of water and reduce the flame to a slim flame. Cover the rice and let it sit for 5 -6 minutes on low flame.
10. After 5 minutes open the lid and give a final stir to the rice, check for salt and remove from heat.
Serve hot with some appalams and a teaspoon of pickle of your choice.
Note: It is essential to prepare the masala powder fresh as the flavours are at their full intensity. The betel leaves should not be too young nor too mature [very strong flavor edging towards bitterness] but just medium. You can add more garlic if you want.
The major contributor of flavor is the rice. If this variety is not available then use basmati rice but make sure it is not over cooked. You can also substitute ghee instead of oil.
Scribbled by Reva

Friday, May 11, 2012

Chole Masala / Channa Masala with Home-made Chana masala powder / Konda Kadalai Kurma | Indian Curry Recipes

We love Channa at home. It is a great way to include protein in our diet and whatever form I make it, the dish is a winner. I make a lot of variety with Channa with Sundal, Pulao, Vadas being few of them. I made this Channa / Chole Masala recently and totally fell in love with it. One popular dish featuring this channa masala is Channa Batura or Chole Batura. This is a great side dish for chapathis, pooris and bread. Not to mention it goes well with rice too.

Garbanzo beans / Channa / Vellai Konda kadalai  - 1 cup (dry) or 1 small can of Garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed well - Click here to know how to make this at home
Onion - chopped - 1 1/2 cup
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/4 tsp or to taste
Channa Masala Powder - 2 tsp (recipe follows)
Tomato - chopped - 1 big - 1 cup
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp
To grind:
Grated Coconut - 2 tbsp
Shallots / Pearl onions - 8
Khus khus - 1 tsp (optional)
Soak the dry garbanzo beans overnight. Pressure cook with 3 cups of water with little salt for 2-3 whistles. Drain and set aside reserving the cooked liquid. Make a paste of the ingredients under "To grind". Heat oil in a kadai and add the chopped onions. Fry until golden brown, add the ginger garlic paste and saute for 2 mins. Add the Chilli powder, channa masala powder and chopped tomatoes. Add little salt and saute until the tomatoes becomes mushy and oil separates. Now add the cooked garbanzo beans with about 2 cups of water. Allow it to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the ground paste and mix well. Add another cup of water and allow it to boil. Check for seasoning and simmer for 10 minutes or until desired consistency is achieved. Serve hot with steamed rice, rotis, phulkas or pooris.
Home-made Channa Masala Powder:
When I was searching for home made channa masala powder I arrived at PJ's site. I made this right away to use in my channa masala. This is a simple recipe for the channa masala powder which is easy to make and tastes awesome.
Coriander Seeds / Dhania - 3 tbsp
Cumin Seeds / Jeera - 1 tbsp
Pepper corns - 1 tsp
Cinnamon - 1" piece
Cloves - 8
Dry red chillies - 2
Cardamom seeds from 2 pods
Add after grinding:
Dry Ginger powder - 1 tsp
Nutmeg powder - 1/4 tsp (I did not have at hand, so skipped)
Dry roast all the ingredients (except the two powders at the end) in medium heat until toasted. My suggestion would be to roast the ingredients one-by one since each item roasts at different temperature. Cool completely and grind to a fine powder in a mixer grinder or a coffee grinder, adding the last two powders.
Store in an air-tight container and use as per need.
I am sending this Home made Chana Masala powder to Julie's Ginger & Pepper event.
Sending this delicious power packed dish to Priya's Healthy Diet - Vegetarian Dishes and also to Sangee's HITS - Iron Rich Foods.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Spicy Ginger Pickle / Easy Inji Thokku

After I made the Tomato Thokku, I wanted to try my hand at making other variety of pickles. After all DH is a huge pickle fan and would not take his lunch without pickle. So to begin with I made a simple ginger pickle. I saw this recipe in a magazine and bought extra ginger on my grocery shopping last week. This is an easy to make pickle with simple ingredients.
Ginger - 50 g - 1 cup - roughly chopped
Red chillies - 6
Red chilli powder - 1/4 tsp or to taste 
Tamarind - Size of a strawberry
Garlic - 2 fat cloves
Salt - 1/2 tsp to taste
Gingelly oil - 50 ml - 70 ml - per need
To Temper:
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Jaggery - size of a blueberry
Heat 2 tbsp of oil and saute ginger, garlic, red chillies and tamarind. When the ginger cubes are cooked (should cut through when cut with a spoon) remove from heat and let it cool. Transfer to a blender/mixie and make a fine paste. Heat the remaining oil and add mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the mustard seeds splutter, add the ground paste with salt and red chilli powder. Cook in medium heat until the paste is cooked through and oil starts separating from the sides. Add the crushed jaggery and mix well. Remove from heat and allow it to cool. When it is cool transfer to a dry glass container and store.

I am sending this to Serve It - Preserved event happening at my space and Denny's.
Also sending my All-purpose Tomato Thokku, Fenugreek Coriander Thokku and Dried Figs and Dates Spicy Jam to the Serve It - Preserved event.

I am also sending this Ginger pickle to EP Series - Ginger & Pepper Powder event by Julie and also to Pickles & Preserves fest by Kalyani.