Friday, March 30, 2012

Simple Masala Eggs

This is a nice way to spice up your boiled eggs..they can just be eaten as a snack!!

Eggs - 10
Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt, to taste

  1. Boil eggs in water with some added salt and remove the shells and let them cool for a few minutes.
  2. Heat some oil and add all the masalas and salt and after a minute add all the eggs and mix. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Chicken Kurma

This chicken kurma is a perfect side dish for paratas or chapatis and even rice.
Chicken thighs/breasts - 1 1/2 lbs
Onion, diced - 1 large
Tomato, diced - 1 large
Coconut, shredded - 1/3 cup
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon stick - 2 nos
Cloves - 4
Cardamom - 1
Ginger Garlic, paste - 1 Tbsp
Cilantro, chopped - 1 Tbsp
Chilli powder -  1/2 Tbsp
Coriander Powder -  1/2 Tbsp
Tamarind paste - 1/2 Tbsp
Salt, to taste

  1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Add the onions and sauté until golden and add the ginger garlic paste and sauté until the raw smell goes away.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes and sauté for a few minutes. Add the chilli and coriander powders and salt and sauté for a minute and then add the chicken and let it cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add 2 cups of water and cover and cook for 2 whistles and switch off.
  4. Meanwhile grind the coconut and the fennel seeds to a fine paste.
  5. Remove the lid once the pressure goes off, switch on flame again and add the coconut paste and tamarind paste and let it all boil until it forms a loose gravy like consistency.
Serve with chapatti or rice

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pepper Chicken

I am so sorry for slacking on new posts..As many of you already know, my parents are in town!! yay! So, I was busy eating all the dishes my mom was making, that I had no time to post them! :P
Finished them off before we could take any pictures...
My mom's an amazing cook and she is my inspiration for my cooking adventures..
I am starting off with my most favorite chicken dish!! My mom's pepper chicken..OMG! I just cannot stop eating this..Hope you enjoy it!
Chicken Thighs, Boneless & skinless - 1 1/2lbs
Ginger Garlic, paste - 1/2 Tbsp
Onion, chopped - 2 Large
Tomato,chopped - 2 medium
Pepper powder - 1/2 Tbsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 Tbsp
Coriander powder - 1/4 Tbsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 Tbsp
Cilantro, chopped - 1 Tbsp
Salt, to taste
  1. Heat oil in a kadai or pan and add onions and saute until golden and add the ginger garlic paste and saute until the raw smell goes away. Now, add the chopped tomatoes and saute for a few minutes.
  2. Add the chicken, chilli and coriander powders, salt and cook in medium flame for 30 minutes and stirring every 5 minutes until it reaches a thick gravy like consistency.
  3. In a small saute pan, heat a Tbsp of oil and add the jeera and pepper powders and curry leaves and add this mixture to the gravy pan. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Top with chopped cilantro.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Eggs Cocotte

A healthy breakfast to get your veggies and eggs in! These can be totally customized with any kind of veggies or meat you have..

Eggs: 4
Spinach, chopped -  1/2 cup
Onions, chopped - 1/2 cup
Garlic, grated - 4 cloves
Chilli Paste (like Sriracha) - 1/8 tsp
Milk - 2 Tbsp
Crushed Red Pepper - 1 tsp
Parmesan - 1/4 cup
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Divide the onions, spinach and garlic between the ramekins. Add salt, pepper, chilli paste in each and mix.
  3. Add one egg in each ramekin and top with 1/2 Tbsp of milk in each.
  4. Season with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and parmesan or gruyere cheese. 
  5. Pop in the oven for about 6 mins for half cooked and 15 mins for fully cooked egg. 
You can top it with crumbled crispy bacon or chicken to get an extra crunch!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Turkey Meatballs w/ Angel Hair Pasta

Lately, I've been watching a lot of cooking episodes where they used ground beef, ground chicken, turkey in some form and I thought it's been such a long time since I made meatballs..and this time I wanted to try turkey! These meatballs can be served in several different ways..As an appetizer, curry, in sliders, pitas or traditionally with pasta..I am so bored of having spaghetti now that I wanted to try angel hair pasta..I loved this version sooo much better..coz of the lightness of the angel hair..

Whole Wheat Angel Hair Pasta - 1 lb
Salt, to taste
Olive oil - 1/2 Tbsp

For the Meatballs:
Ground Turkey - 1 lb
Onion - 1/2 medium
Garlic, minced - 3 cloves
Egg, beaten - 1
Tomato paste - 1 Tbsp
Chilly Paste (I used Sriracha) - 1/2 tsp
Lemon Juice - 1 Tbsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Curry Powder - 1 tsp
Salt free All purpose seasoning - 1/2 tsp
Breadcrumbs, seasoned - 1/4 cup
Wheat bread - 2 slices
Milk - 1/4 cup
Parmesan cheese,grated - 1/4 cup
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
For the Sauce:
Onion, diced - 1 medium
Fire roasted Tomatoes - 1 can
Stewed Tomatoes - 1 can
Garlic, crushed - 3 cloves
Crushed red pepper - 1 tsp
Red Cooking wine - 1/2 cup
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry powder - 1/2 tsp
Italian seasoning - 1/2 tsp
Parmesan, grated - 1/4 cup
Olive Oil - 1 Tbsp
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Soak the bread in milk for a minute. 
  3. Add everything from the Ingredients list and the soaked up bread and mix. Make 1- 1 1/2 inch balls and line on a baking tray and spray some cooking spray on the top of each meatball and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the meatballs halfway so that it doesn't get too brown on one side. 
  4. Cook pasta as per packaging directions in enough boiling water with salt and olive oil and drain. 
  5. For the sauce, heat oil in a pan and add crushed garlic and sauté until slightly browned.
  6. Add onions and sauté until golden. Now add the tomatoes, wine and let it simmer for a few minutes until the alcohol evaporates.
  7. Add everything else from the sauce list and bring to a boil and add the meatballs and remove from flame. 
  8. Serve meatballs marinara with the cooked angel hair pasta and sprinkle some parmesan on top and enjoy! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Garlic Shrimp Pasta

This is a delicious and garlicky shrimp pasta that'll make the whole house fragrant just while cooking!!

Shrimp - 1/2 lb
Garlic, minced - 5 cloves
Red Onion, diced -1/4
Stewed tomatoes- 1/3 cup
White wine - 1/3 cup
Marsala wine -1/3 cup
Pasta water - 1/2 cup
Whole wheat Linguine/spaghetti - 1/2 lb
Crushed red pepper - 1tsp
Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp
Parmesan, grated - 1/4 cup
Bread crumbs, seasoned - 1/4 cup
Olive Oil - 3-4 Tbsp
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

  1. Cook pasta in boiling water with enough salt and some olive oil for about 8-10 minutes until al dente. 
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan and add crushed garlic and sauté until slightly browned and add onions and sauté until golden. 
  3. Add the stewed tomatoes, white and the marsala wines and let it simmer. 
  4. Add pasta water, lemon juice and the shrimp and let it cook for a few minutes until the shrimp is all curled up and pink. 
  5. Add crushed pepper, salt & pepper, parmesan, breadcrumbs, pasta and chopped parsley and mix it in the heat for a few minutes and remove.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Indian Baby food?

Wondering about the title? Don't laugh at me for posting this..But since I started making this for my daughter, I realized that it became more of my husband's favorite than my daughter's! :)
And I found this to be a quick and easy dinner fix if you are not interested to make an elaborate meal..
This is a traditional food that we start giving the babies when they start eating solid foods..healthy and tasty of course! But in our house this is pretty much everybody's dinner whenever I make it!
Servings: 2

Rice - 1/2 cup
Toor Dal - 1/2 cup
Mixed Vegegtables - 1/2 cup
Spinach, frozen - 1/4 cup (optional)
Garlic, minced - 4 cloves
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp
Water - 2 1/2 cups
Salt, to taste
Ghee/Clarified Butter - 2 Tbsp

  1. Take a small pressure cooker and add everything else from above except the ghee. 
  2. Cover and pressure cook for up to 3 whistles. 
  3. Once the pressure goes off, remove the lid and mix ghee and serve. 
The spice measurements above are for a mild rice, if you are really targeting this for adults, you can increase the curry and chilli powders by 1/2 tsp more. This is a wholesome meal with veggies, protein and carbs that is more like a one pot dish that cooks in minutes. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Choco Banana Tofu Panna Cotta

Have you ever had tofu in your dessert? Before you say "yew" think again..This is my first trial with tofu as a dessert ingredient. I watched this episode in Food Network where they made honey lemon Panna cotta and I had an instant urge to make something similar but healthy. So I saw some other recipes where they substituted heavy cream with Tofu..I thought it was very interesting and surprisingly I had tofu in my I came up with this yummy and healthy panna cotta recipe that you will definitely enjoy!!!
Servings : 4-5

Tofu - 1/2 lb
Banana, ripened - 1 no
Milk, 2% - 1 cup
Cocoa powder - 3 Tbsp
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Vanilla Extract - 1/2 tsp
Gelatin powder - 1 pouch

  1. Add tofu, banana, cocoa powder, sugar and half the milk in a blender and blend it to a smooth liquid.
  2. Add the gelatin powder to the remaining milk and let it dissolve for a few minutes. 
  3. Mix the blended liquid with the gelatin mixture and heat up in a pan. When the mixture starts to froth remove from heat before it starts boiling. 
  4. If you want a smooth panna cotta strain the liquid in a strainer to remove any lumps. If you are like me who likes little surprises, just add the mixture to individual serving dishes and refrigerate for at least an hour to cool down. 
Serve chill and enjoy.
I was surprised that I couldn't taste the tofu at all..The banana and chocolate masks the tofu really well..
If you want to make it more interesting, try adding chopped nuts or chopped chocolate chips to the mixture right before refrigerating.
This is a guilt free dessert that you can enjoy anytime!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chicken Jalfrezi

This is a delicious tomato based curry with bell peppers and chicken.
Chicken breast - 2 nos
Onions - 2 medium
Bell pepper - 1
Ginger, grated - 2 tsp
Garlic, minced - 6 cloves
Green Chillies, cut long - 2 nos
Tomatoes, diced - 1 medium
Tomato puree - 1/2 can
Milk - 1 cup
Chilli Powder -
Curry Powder -
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder -
Salt, to taste

Chicken Marinade:
Chilli Powder - 2 tsp
Tumeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry powder - 1/2 Tbsp
Corriander powder - 1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 Tbsp
Vinegar - 1Tbsp
Worcestershire sauce - 1 Tbsp 
Salt - 1/2 Tbsp

  1. Cut chicken into 1/2 inch thick long strips. Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients from the "Chicken Marinade" list for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Cut onions and bell peppers into 1 inch squares.
  3. Heat olive oil in a pan and add minced garlic and when slightly browned add onions, bell peppers, ginger and sautee until the veggies are slightly browned and soft.
  4. Add the marinated chicken and sauté until cooked through and slightly browned.
  5. Now add the tomatoes, tomato puree and milk and let it cook for at least 10-15 minutes until the gravy thickens.
  6. Add garam masala and adjust chilli and curry powders to taste and bring to boil and remove from heat.
Worcestershire sauce is a combination of tamarind, garlic, vinegar and some other stuff that makes it a little tangy and can be used in indian cooking for sauces or marinade..and I've started using them a lot now and find it pretty interesting..

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pineapple Kesari

If you ever attended weddings or receptions in chennai, you would've definitely tasted pineapple kesari.
It's my all time favorite kind of kesari..sweet and delicious with a little hint of sourness from the pineapple..literally melts in your mouth..
Rava/Sooji - 1 cup
Crushed Pineapple (in sugar syrup) - 1 can
Sugar - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Cashews - 10 nos
Golden raisins - 10 nos
Ghee - 1/4 cup
Yellow food color - 1/4 tsp

  1. Dry roast rava in a pan until slightly brown and keep aside.
  2. In the same pan, heat some ghee and roast cashews and raisins until golden brown and keep aside.
  3. Drain the pineapple from the can, add 2 cups water and bring it to a boil in a pan. 
  4. Add sugar and as soon as the sugar dissolves, add shoji and mix and let it get all cooked through.
  5. Add the roasted cashews and raisins, remanning ghee and mix. Remove from heat and let it cool.  

I used the dole crushed pineapple can. The reason I suggest pineapple in sugar syrup is because that will take the sourness of the pineapples out. If you use the one without, you can still taste the sourness in the kesari. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Crab Cakes

I love crab cakes at restaurants and have tried making them at home at least 3 or 4 times and each time I tried different recipes. The first time, I made it with a ton of mayo which was delicious but I've finally settled down with this version of crab cakes which is equally yummy and definitely healthier and not drenched in mayo.. :)
You can make these in 2 different ways. The traditional way is to pan fry them in olive oil. The other one I tried this time, is baking. I'll mention both the methods here..
Crab Meat - 1 lb
Dijon Mustard - 2 Tbsp
Light Mayonaisse - 2 Tbsp
Lemon Juice - 1 Tbsp
Onion, diced - 1 medium
Celery sticks, diced - 5 nos
Garlic, crushed - 4 cloves
Chipotle sauce - 1 Tbsp
Worcestershire sauce - 1 Tbsp
Chili Sauce - 1/2 Tbsp
Egg, beaten - 1
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Paprika - 1/2 tsp
Rusk, crushed  - 4
Panko Breadcrumbs - 1/2 cup

For the Dip:
Light Mayonaise - 1/4 cup
Capers - 1 Tbsp
Dijon Mustard - 2 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Garlic, crushed - 1 clove
Sugar - 1 pinch
Pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste

  1. Heat about 2 Tbsp of oil in a pan and add onions, celery and crushed garlic and sauté until cooked through and soft. Remove from pan and cool. 
  2. To the sautéed veggies, add all the ingredients from above except for the breadcrumbs and chill the mixture in the refrigerator at least for an hour or two.
  3. Once chilled, scoop the mixture with an ice-cream scoop, put it on a plate and flatten it out a little bit using your hand to make it look like a cake and coat it with the breadcrumbs on both sides.
  4. Heat about 2-3 Tbsps of oil in a shallow pan and add the crab cakes one by one and pan fry until golden brown on both sides for about 4-5 minutes each side.
  5. For the dip mix everything together and enjoy! If you are lazy to make the dip, store bought tartar sauce will make a perfect dip. 
For Baking:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Place the crab mixture coated with breadcrumbs on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil and drizzle or spray a little olive oil on each cake and pop it in the oven for 10 minutes on one side.
  3. Flip the crab cakes to the other side and drizzle olive oil on each and bake for 10 more minutes until golden and crispy. 
I used canned crab cake meat that I bought at Costco. Chilling the mixture is very important for the crab cakes to be flavorful. I chilled them overnight and made it the next day in the evening as a snack. But 1 or 2 hours should be pretty sufficient.
The reason to drizzle some oil while baking is to maintain a little moisture in the cakes, otherwise baking dries them out and makes them a little harder than the pan fried ones. Even if you are pan frying, you don't need to use a lot of oil. Cooking them in a medium flame with little oil will roast them well enough. Enjoy and hope your weekend begins with crab cakes!! :) 

Chinese Fried Rice

My husband and I recently got chinese fried rice and orange chicken at the mall and guess who loved it the most?? Yes! my 18mth old..those days are gone by when kids used to eat paruppu sadham (dal rice) and thayir sadham (yoghurt rice) everyday without any trouble..Now all that they like are pasta, noodles, fried rice..
So this is my version of chinese fried rice I regularly make..and recently my daughter's fav..

Servings: 4 

Rice - 2 cups (rice cooker cup)
Water - 2 1/2 cups
Eggs - 4
Onion, diced - 1 medium
Mixed Vegetables - 2 cups
Shredded chicken - 1 cup
Ginger, grated - 1/2 Tbsp
Garlic, grated - 3 cloves
Olive Oil - 3-4 Tbsp
Sugar - 1pinch
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Ajinomoto - 1 pinch (optional)
Dark soy sauce - 1/2 Tbsp
Chili Soy - 1/2 Tbsp
Red Chili Sauce (like Sriracha) - 1/2 Tbsp 
Ketchup - 1/2 Tbsp
  1. Cook rice in a rice cooker with 2 1/2 cups of water, 2 tsps of salt and 1/2 Tbsp of oil and once cooked, let it cool down.
  2. Take a saute pan and scramble 4 eggs with salt and pepper. Remove from the pan and shred into tiny pieces and keep aside.
  3. Take cooked chicken strips and shred into small pieces with your hand and sauté it in the same pan with a little olive oil, salt and pepper for 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and keep aside.
  4. To the same pan, add some more oil, and add the onions, ginger and garlic and sauté until the raw smell goes away. 
  5. Now, add all the veggies, sugar, salt and pepper and sauté in high flame until cooked through. The sugar keeps the veggies retain their color and cooking in high flame allows the veggies to get cooked quickly without wilting them.
  6. Mix all the sauces from above to a paste. 
  7. Once the veggies are done, add the chicken, scrambled eggs, rice and the sauces and mix together in low flame for 2-3 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper and remove from heat.
I used grilled chicken strips from Costco that I always have in my refrigerator for this. You can use chicken breast and just sauté it in the pan with salt, olive oil, pepper and shred it. If you like yours much spicier, you can increase the Sriracha to 1 or 1/2 Tbsps. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Oatmeal Shake

This is a tastiest and healthiest way to have your morning oatmeal. My husband used to cook oatmeal in the microwave and then mix that with yoghurt and eat with a pickle :) Since I don't eat plain yoghurt, I never was a big fan of that combination..But I found this recipe to be perfect for everyone who like their oatmeal with a hint of sweetness. Ofcourse, you can eat oatmeal 100 different ways and I've so far only tried the sweet ones! If you like to have yoghurt and oatmeal for breakfast this is a good way!
Servings : 2
Oatmeal - 1/2 cup
Yoghurt - 1/2 cup
Milk - 1/2 cup
Ice cubes - 5
Strawberries, frozen - 3
Banana - 1/2
Honey - 2 tsp
Splenda - 5 packets or Sugar - 4 Tbsp
Protein powder - 1 scoop (optional)
Wheat germ - 1 Tbsp (optional)

  1. In a blender, add oatmeal and grind until powdered. You can also use a spice mixer or coffee bean grinner for this. 
  2. To this, add everything else from above and blend for 2-3 minutes until smooth. You can increase the amount of ice cubes or milk depending on the thickness you want. 
If you always find strawberries remaining as lumps at the bottom, I would suggest blending it with oatmeal before you add all the wet ingredients in order to get a smooth shake. You can use soy milk or Almond milk instead of regular milk to get a thicker consistency..