Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mint Rice

While I was studying in the US, I would take every opportunity to go visit my sister and her family, and the big highlight was to be able to eat home cooked meals. She really makes the best rasam and pongal I've ever had! Mint rice was one of the dishes always made in her house. Its dangerously good!

Mint Rice

4 cups Rice (I used brown Basmati, but regular Basmati works fine), cooked with salt
5 Cloves
2 bunches Mint Leaves, chopped
2 bunches Coriander Leaves, chopped
2 Red Bell Peppers, just the seeds
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 tsp Ginger, minced
Salt, to taste
4 Green Chillies, ground

Heat a tablespoon of oil on a slow fire. Add the cloves, mint, coriander and keep stirring. Add the bell pepper seeds, garlic, green chillies and ginger.

When the leaves are wilted, add the rice. Keep stirring until fully combined.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chilli Chicken

This isn't like the Indian-Chinese chilli chicken in restaurants. That was a disclaimer. This is more a hot, spicy chicken. This is great served with rice or as an appetizer.

Chilli Chicken
2 lbs Chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 tbsp Vinegar
1 tsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Chilli Sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 tbsp Corn Flour
4 tbsp Oil
8 cloves Garlic
10 Green Chillies

Grind chilli and garlic and mix with all the other ingredients, except the chicken.

Marinate chicken for 2 hour and then saute in a heated pan. Do not cover while cooking. Take care not to overcook the chicken.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vegetable Adai

Adai is a sort of thick pancake made with lentils usually. Here, I have added vegetables to give it a healthier twist. This is a wonderful breakfast - packed with protein and vegetable goodness.

Vegetable Adai

1 cup Parboiled Rice
1/4 cup Urad Dal
1/4 cup Toor Dal
1/4 cup Bengal Gram Dal (Kadalai Paruppu)
6 Dried Red Chillies
1 tsp Asoefetida
3 tbsp Coconut, shredded
1 Onion, chopped fine
1 Tomato, chopped fine
1 Carrot, cooked
1/4 cup shredded Cauliflower, or cut into tiny pieces, cooked
1/4 cup Peas, cooked
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 cloves Garlic
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup Cilantro Leaves, chopped

Soak the rice and the dals for 2-3 hours. Grind the soaked mixture to a grainy consistency after washing well.

Heat some oil and add the garlic, coconut, mustard seeds, cumin, onions and saute well. Add the vegetables and continue to saute. Add this mixture to the ground rice and dals. Add the tomato, asoefitida, salt, cilantro and mix well. If needed, you can add a 1/4 cup water to get the batter to a pouring consistency.

Heat a dosa/ crepe pan. Pour a ladle-ful of the batter onto the heated pan. Wait for a few minutes for one side to brown and then flip it over and cook for a few more minutes. Repeat the flipping every couple of minutes for about 6-8 minutes.

Serve with chutney or sambar.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


My husband's family is from Kerala and I've learnt a lot of food from my mother in law who is a superb cook! Her cooking, though, is totally on the fly and she hardly uses or writes down any recipes or ingredient quantities. I've tried my best to document her cooking.

(vegetables in a spiced coconut curry)

1 cup Toor Dal, cooked
1 cup Vegetables (any vegetable except okra, cabbage and eggplant), diced
1 cup Coconut, shredded
1 tso Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Peppercorn
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Chilli Powder
Salt, to taste
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
3-4 Curry Leaves
2-3 Dried Red Chillies

Cook the diced vegetables with the turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Meanwhile, grind together the coconut, cumin and peppercorn and add to the cooking vegetables. Add the cooked dal to the veggies as well.

Heat some oil in another pan and add the seasoning ingredients. When the mustard seeds pop, add the seasoning to the vegetable curry.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lamb Roganjosh

Though I'm vegetarian, I've learned how to cook several kinds of meats and chicken dishes. I've still not attempted making any seafood, and I really don't see myself doing that any time soon! This is a no-fail lamb curry that was passed onto me by a friend. Being a vegetarian and not being able to taste as you cook, no-fail recipes are essential!

Lamb Roganjosh

600 g Lamb Filet
300 g Onions, chopped
1 cup Plain Yogurt
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 tsp Coriander Powder
1 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
2 tsp Garlic, minced
2 tsp Ginger, minced
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tbsp Tomato Paste
1 1/2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 Bay Leaves, crumbled
2 Cardamom, split open at the top
1 small Cinnamon stick, broken in half
4 Cloves
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1 tbsp Mint Leaves, chopped
2 tbsp Coriander Leaves

Mix the yogurt with the cayenne pepper, coriander, cumin, garlic, ginger, paprika and turmeric.
Trim the lamb of any fat and cut into bite-sized cubes. Put into a non-stick pan with the onions. Cook at medium heat and stir until the contents begin to sizzle.

Add the yogurt mixture, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the lamb has released its natural juices.

Remove the lid, increase the heat to medium and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently until the sauce reduces to a paste-like consistency.

Put a kettle of water onto boil. Add the tomato paste, some salt and butter to the lamb. Reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered for about 3-4 minutes stirring frequently. Then add 1.5 cups of boiling water from the kettle, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.

In a small pan, melt the remaining butter over low heat, add the bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves and allow to sizzle for 35-40 seconds. Add the nutmeg, stir once and pour the contents over the meat. Mix well, cover and cook for a further 10-12 minutes. Stir in the chopped mint and coriander.

Serve warm with rice.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Curry Leaf Rice

Curry Leaves are very often used in Indian food. Sometimes, I'm not sure why. They add some flavor, but really, the dish tastes pretty much the same without adding the leaf too! Except in this wonderful rice that's made of crushed curry leaves and spices. Curry leaves have a very subtle flavor, and this makes the rice mild and delicious.

Curry Leaf Rice

1/2 cup Curry Leaves
2 tbsp Channa Dal
2 tbsp Urad Dal
6 dried Red Chillies
Salt, to taste
2 cups Rice, cooked

Heat a pan and add the above ingredients. Keep stirring on a low heat until the lentils are golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool. Grind in a spice grinder to a coarse consistency. Toss thoroughly with the cooked rice. Serve hot.