Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mushroom Kulambu | South Indian Curry Recipes

Us Indians are known for the love of spicy curries. Every region has its own specialty and every family has its own signature dish.  This recipe here is a family recipe for chicken or mutton preparations. Married to a vegetarian I do not cook non-vegetarian often. But the spicy cravings inside me is satisfied by this kulambu made with mushrooms but with all the aromatic spices found in a South-Indian spicy curry. This kuzhambu is a great combo for rice, idli and dosa.
White button Mushrooms - 200 g / 8 oz
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Corainder leaves - a little
Oil - 2 tsp
Coriander seeds - 2-1/2 tbsp
Dry red chillies - 2 or 3
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Raw Rice - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Pearl onions - 3
Garlic cloves - 2
Tomato - 1/2 of a small one, chopped
Grated Coconut - 3 tbsp
Clean the mushrooms and make thick slices.
Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan and roast the coriander seeds, urad dhal, rice, cumin for about 2 minutes. Add the crushed garlic and pearl onions and continue to roast until the rice starts to become a shade darker. Now add the tomatoes and fry for a minute until slightly cooked. Add the grated coconut, and turn off the heat. Continue to roast in the residual heat until the coconut is toasted. Allow the mix to cool and make a fine paste. Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan and fry the mushrooms with turmeric powder until it starts to shrink. Add the ground paste, salt and about a cup of water. Allow it to come to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice, roti, dosa or naan.
Linking this to Priya's Vegan Thursdays.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles / Pumpkin Cinnamon Sugar Cookies | Cookie Recipes

If you love cookies and sugar cookies especially, I am sure you will love this Pumpkin Cinnamon Sugar cookies aka Snickerdoodles. The reason and the meaning for the name Snickerdoodles is unknown but that doesn't stop us from indulging in these crinkly top beauties, does it? 
I love the Fall season. Apples and Pumpkins and the color orange, orange everywhere. Today being the first day of the Fall/Autumn season, what better way than to make the pumpkin version of these cookies. These are crispy on the outside but will be super soft on the inside, like biting into a cloud. Incidentally this is my 400th post and I wanted to post something sweet to celebrate that.
Recipe from Sweet Pea's Kitchen
Makes 4 dozen cookies
All purpose flour / Maida - 2-3/4 cups
Cream of tartar - 2 tsp
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Pumpkin spice - 2 - 3 tsp (based on how much you like pumpkin spice)
Sugar - 1-1/2 cup
Butter - 1 cup
Egg, slightly beaten - 1
Canned Pumpkin puree - 3/4 cup
For rolling:
Sugar - 1/4 cup
Cinnamon - 4 tsp
Pumpkin spice - 2 tsp (Pumpkin Spice Recipe follows)
Place the butter in room temperature for about 10 minutes. Mix/sieve the flour, salt, cream of tartar, baking soda and pumpkin spice together. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy with a hand mixer. Add the beaten egg and whisk until incorporated, about half a minute. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk another half a minute. Add the flour mixture and whisk until just mixed, scraping the sides of the bowl once. At this stage the cookie dough may be in a roll-able consistency. If it is not, pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 F/200 C. Line a baking sheet with parchment sheet. Mix the sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin spice for rolling the cookie-dough in a shallow bowl. Scoop about 1 tbsp of the cookie dough and drop in the sugar spice. Roll it around and place in the lined baking sheet, about a dozen in one batch. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the tops are puffed up and slightly crinkled. Remove from the oven and let the cookies in the baking sheet for a couple of minutes. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. These cookies taste great warm or room temperature and a perfect pair for a hot cup of chai. They keep good for a couple of days in room temperature.
Notes: I halved the above recipe and made 2 dozen cookies. That is a perfect amount for making some for ourselves and share the remaining with a friend.
Play around with the spices, use a combination of your favorite spices, chai spice would a be a great addition I think.

Make your own Pumpkin Spice
Mix the below spices and use as needed.

Ground Cinnamon - 2 tsp
Ground Ginger - 1 tsp
Ground cloves - 1/2 tsp
Nutmeg - 1/4 tsp (heaped)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Kadai Paneer | Indian Curry Recipes

If you go to any Indian restaurant outside India you may most definitely come across two curry dishes. First, Paneer Butter Masala aka Paneer Makhni and the second, Kadai Paneer. Kadai paneer is named so because the whole dish is made in one Kadai, the Indian wok. It is made with fresh ground spices and is spicier compared to its counterpart Paneer Butter Masala (it has cream).
Paired with any Paratha or Naan, it is great for lunch or dinner.
Serves - 3-4
Recipe adapted from vahchef
Paneer - 200 g/7 oz, cut into 1 cm cubes
Red bell pepper - 1 - cut into small cubes
Onion, cut into small cubes - 1/2 cup
Onion, finely chopped - 1/2 cup
Fresh Ginger, minced - 1 tsp
Garlic, minced - 1 tsp
Ripe Tomato - 3, approx 1-1/2 cups chopped
Garam Masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Spice Mix:
Dry Red Chillies - 3
Peppercorns - 1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dry roast the ingredients for spice mix until toasted. Allow to cool and pulse in a coffee grinder/mixie until coarse. Remove 1 tsp of this mixture and reserve. Grind the remaining spice to a fine powder. In a pan spray little oil and fry the bell pepper cubes in high heat until lightly charred. Repeat the process for the cubed onions. Add 1/2 tsp of oil again and fry the paneer pieces until light brown on all sides. Dunk the fried paneer pieces into a bowl of water. Heat oil in a kadai and add the chopped onion, ginger and garlic. Fry until the onion becomes soft. Add the garam masala powder and the finely ground spice powder and saute for half a minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and a pinch of salt and continue cooking until the tomatoes become mushy. Add about half a cup of water based on desired thickness level. Allow it to come to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers and onions and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Now throw in the paneer (drain the water and squeeze excess water) and mix well. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle the previously reserved coarsely ground spice powder over the top. Serve hot with parathas or jeera rice.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Garlic Herb Pull Apart Bread

Bread baking had never been my cup of tea until I tried my hand at foccacia. Home-made warm bread is a delight for a dinner with soup. I made this aromatic bread the other day for dinner to go with my Vegetable Soup. This pull-apart bread is quite a process, the slicing and stacking of the layers, but it is worth the effort when your kitchen is filled with this beautiful aroma of bread baking in the oven.

Recipe adapted from here
All purpose flour / Maida - 2-3/4 cups + 1/4 cup
Salt - 1 tsp
Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
Water - 1/2 cup
Milk - 3/4 cup
Sugar - 1 tsp
Active dry yeast - 2 tsp
Butter - 2 tbsp
For the filling:
Extra virgin olive oil - 1/4 cup
Garlic - 5 cloves, minced
Coriander leaves / Cilantro - 1/4 cup, tightly packed
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Pepper - 1/4 tsp

Warm the water and milk in a Microwave-proof bowl for about 60-80 seconds. Dissolve sugar and yeast in the milk mixture and mix well. Let the yeast bloom, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile whisk the flour, salt and garlic well with a whisk. Pour the yeast mixture over the flour and mix with the whisk until the dough comes together. Knead well to form a ball, dusting flour as required. Knead for 5 minutes, form into a ball and apply oil all over. Place in a well-oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel. Now place it in a warm place for about an hour or two until it doubles in volume. 
Grease a loaf tin with oil. Pulse the garlic and cilantro in a blender for a couple of times. Gently warm 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil in a pan. Remove the pan and add the crushed garlic and cilantro mixture. Set aside to cool. Dust the rolling board or the countertop with flour. Punch the dough down and roll it into a rough 12"x12" square. Apply the garlic olive oil mixture all over the rolled out dough with a brush. 
Cut the rolled dough into 6 equal strips. Arrange the strips one over the other, with the filling side facing up. Cut the arranged strips again into 6 pieces, to form 2" square pieces. Arrange the pieces in the greased loaf tin. Cover with a damp towel and allow it to rise again, for about 30 minutes. In the last 10 minutes of the proofing time, preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake the bread for about 35 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. Can be stored in room temperature for 2 days, wrapped in plastic wrap.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pudalankai Poriyal / Snakegourd Stir-fry | Stir-fry Recipes

Vegetables which grow in vine are very good for health. They are low are sugar and calories and rich in minerals and nutrients. Snake gourd is one such vegetable. If you have never heard of snake gourd or looking for a simple recipe with the vegetable, this one is for you. With bare minimum ingredients it can be made as a tasty side dish for rice. As with any poriyal recipes I like to have them topped with yogurt.

Serves - 2
Snake gourd / Pudalankai - 2 cups (see notes)
Toor dhal - 2 tbsp
Grated Coconut - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli - 1
Curry leaves - a few
Wash and cut the ends of the snake gourd. Cut into four lengthwise. Remove the flesh and seeds inside and discard. Stack the cut pieces and slice thin. In a saucepan sprinkle little salt and turmeric powder. Add the sliced vegetables and cook covered for 5 minutes. When cooked, drain the water and allow the cooked vegetable to cool. In the same water add the toor dhal and cook partially covered for 5 minutes. The toor dhal should be cooked through but still hold its shape. Drain the water. In a frying pan add oil and splutter the mustard seeds and urad dhal. Add the broken red chilli and curry leaves with salt. Add the cooled snake gourd and fry for a minute. Now tip in the toor dhal and mix well. Add the grated coconut and fry for a minute. Turn the heat off and let it rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve warm as a side.
Notes: I used 2 snake gourds about a feet in length.
Linking this to Priya's Vegan Thursdays.