Friday, 30 September 2011

Owner's Delight n Neighbour's Envy- Goan Pork Sausages Curry with Potatoes and Peppers!


This is one helluva sausage.......found and made only in Goa, India, these spicy handmade sausages are in my opinion the best  flavoured sausages in the whole world. They are homemade by certain specialist sausage makers in Goa, marinated with chillies, vinegar and a secret blend of spices, then sundried or smoked.They are so aromatic  and full of flavour that when cooked the whole house smells divine.....and you can smell these sausages from a couple of houses down the road......no jokes!!.....when cooked with peppers, potatoes and onions it produces a mind blowing pork sausage curry, which is paradise on a plate , .....enjoy with plain white bread, a fresh salad and a glass of your favourite tipple...hmmm..yummy.......



Whenever I visit home, this is one food item that has to come back with me. This batch of Goan Sausages was brought for me by Aunty Edna Morras.....thankyou sooo much aunty...thought of you all the while I was cooking and enjoying it :)

To make Goan Sausage Curry you will need:
Ingredients:
10 sausages
1 large onion largely cubed
2 green chillies
2 medium potatoes medium size cubes
1 capsicum/ pepper

Method:
1.Chop the onion,  potatoes and pepper to medium size cubes. Open up the sausage outer covers and empty the sausage meat into a large cooking vessel. Rinse the outer covers in a cup of water and add this water to the sausages.Let the sausage meat and the gravy come to a boil on a medium flame, then close the vessel and allow the meat to cook for 10 minutes.



2. Add the cubed potatoes and slit green chillies to the meat mixture, and let the potatoes cook with the meat covered till almost done. Add the cubed onions and peppers once potatoes are almost cooked. and cook for another 5-7 minutes till onions turn translucent. Taste for salt. Drain away all the excess fat using a spoon.



Serve hot with white bread and a fresh salad. Enjoy!!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Tickle My Baby Series - Baby Food- 7 months onwards: Simple Vegetables with Rice and Lentils.

Well its been on my mind for a long time to make a record of all the things we did for baby, things we bought for him, the essentials, the not so important, bath, nappy, clothes etc etc.......just as a future reference for ourselves and as information for first time moms who might be interested. So introducing the "Tickle My Baby Series".

For today, its all about BABY FOOD

Well the hardest part for any parent who has begun weaning their baby onto solid foods is what to feed them? to buy ready foods or make our own? what recipes to follow?

Here I will share with you the various simple recipes that I make for Baby A, ones that he really enjoys eating. Please note I am not a nutritionist, and these recipes are made as per my understanding and after speaking to my mum and friends with children. Please consult your health professional before introducing your baby to any food.

I tend to mainly use frozen vegetables to cook baby's food, as they make my life easy. I keep a wide range of frozen vegetables in my freezer to ensure baby gets a wide variety nutrients from them. If you do not get frozen vegetables, then you can use fresh vegetables, just make sure they are thoroughly washed prior to cooking.


Todays recipe is a Simple Vegetables ( Beans, Spinach and Carrots) with Rice and Lentils.

 I chose beans, spinach and carrots to accompany the rice and lentils, as spinach is loaded with iron which  is very important for baby's at this stage (as baby's iron stores deplete by 6 months of age), and carrots and beans  have various vitamins and minerals,  rice is a good source of carbohydrate (easily digested) and mung dal a  good source of protein.You can use other vegetables like broccoli, peas, butternut squash, celery, radish with the same recipe  for variety. I cooked all these ingredients in a heat proof bowl with milk in a pressure cooker with sufficient water. Then pureed everything in a clean blender and cooled it down before feeding him. My health visitor suggested accompanying baby's meals with a little diluted fruit juice, as it contains Vitamin C ( like apple, pear, berry juice, mango) which helps in the absorption of iron in the food.

Makes 1 serving for  7-8 month baby.
To Make Simple Vegetables with Rice and Lentils you will need

Ingredients:
White rice: 1tsp
Mung dal: 1 tbsp
Spinach : 1 tbsp
Carrot: 1/4
Green Beans: a few
Milk: 1 cup

Method:

1. Place washed rice, dal  in a heat proof bowl. 


Add the frozen/ fresh vegetables



Add the milk to the bowl



Place the bowl in a pressure cook which has been filled with water upto 1/3rd its depth.


 2. Pressure cook for 2 whistles. Let the pressure drop before opening.


 3. Put the cooked food into a clean mixie and puree for a few seconds.


4. Pour the prepared puree into a clean bowl, cool over a cold water filled bowl, feed baby.



I usually feed baby this dish for lunch. He has it along with a few sips of  fresh diluted fruit juice which is rich in Vitamin C, that helps baby's intestines absorb all of  the iron in the food.

You can double the quantity of ingredients to increase the quantity of food you prepare, for freezing.
To Freeze food: Puree the food, pour into freezer pots, let it cool down completely to room temperature before placing the lids and placing in the freezer.
To Serve: Take the frozen food pots out from the freezer a couple of hours prior to serving to allow the food to defrost. Then heat thoroughly in a microwave on a medium setting for 2 minutes. ( be careful to avoid hot spots in food by mixing the heated food well, and make sure you cool down food, over a bowl of cold water before feeding baby).


Friday, 23 September 2011

Quick and Simple Prawns Ghee Roast!


This is one of Mangalore's most loved dishes....served in almost all Mangalorean restaurants and joints, first created in the kitchens of a well known eatery in Kundapur, Udupi of Dakshina Karnataka. It is a sought after delicacy, prepared using pure ghee or clarified butter and a wonderful blend of ground simple spices. The ghee roast is most commonly made with Chicken, but can also be made using prawns or for vegetarians with Paneer/Cottage cheese.

The traditional preparation is fragrant, fiery hot and tongue tingling, it will brings tears to your eyes, sweat to your brow and send your tastebuds into a wild frenzy....yet for reasons best known to oneself ...you just cannot stop eating it!!

This recipe is my version of the ghee roast, it is not as fiery hot as the one I have had in Mangalore, it is toned down and a very tasty version which is much simpler to prepare as well. It does not involve grinding to make the spice paste or masala, which I think helps when you are constrained for time!!
To make a Quick and Simple Chicken Ghee Roast using this recipe, simply double the quantity of the marinade and spice paste then follow the steps here


To make my version of the ghee roast you will need:

Ingredients:
Big Prawns - 15 nos cleaned deshelled and deveined.

Marinade:
Lemon juice- 1/2 no
Curds -2 tbsps
White Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4tsp
Salt - To taste
Rice flour: 1.5 tsp

For the Spice Paste or Masala:

Red chilli powder - 1.5 heaped tsps
Paprika - 1tsp
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
Cumin powder - ½ tsp
Methi powder - 1/4 tsp
Ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp
Tamarind paste- 1/4 tsp
Tomato paste: 1/2 tsp
Vegetable oil to make paste.

Pure Ghee for frying - 2 heaped tbsp
Curry Leaves- 1 sprig



Method:

1. Clean and devein prawns. Dry on kitchen paper to remove excess moisture.
2. In a bowl take all marinade ingredients and mix well. Add the prawns. Let it marinade for at least half an hour- 1 hour.
3. Take all the masala ingredients in a bowl, add a little oil to make a thick paste.
4. Heat ghee in a shallow pan. Take out prawns one by one and place into the heated ghee (shake off excess marinade from the prawns, let it drip back into the bowl, keep aside). Fry the marinated prawns till they turn an opaque white/ pink. Take out onto a plate and keep warm.
5. In the same ghee , fry curry leaves, add the masala paste and fry for about 2 minutes. Add the reserved marinade and the cooked prawns. Mix well, and keep for 2-3 mins on slow fire till he gravy comes to a boil. Check for seasoning . When the masala gets thick, transfer to serving dish, serve hot with lemon wedges.

Enjoy!!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Soft and Fluffy American Style Pancakes

American style pancakes make for the perfect weekend breakfast treat.
This is a very simple recipe, adapted from one of Nigella's shows......makes a very tasty and satisfying start to the weekend.....
  • Serve along with crispy streaky bacon .... or
.... if you are craving a sweet treat .....serve along with red, sweet and luscious strawberries with a large serving of maple syrup or honey......hmmm
To make these pancakes you will need-
Ingredients: Makes 11 pancakes.
225 gms plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs beaten
300 ml milk or a little less than 1 and 1/4 cup of milk
Method:
1. Measure all the ingredients into a large bowl, in the order listed.
2. Beat with a beater just until no longer lumpy. Do not overbeat or pancakes will be tough. Set aside for 20 minutes.
3. Heat a non stick pan on medium heat, pour approximately ¼ cup batter into the pan.
4. Allow the pancake to cook till bubbles appear on the top surface of the pancake. Turn over and cook for about a minute.
.....................hmmm heavenly......need i say more :)

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Easy Peasy- Oven baked Spicy Lady Fingers- The Express Way





If anyone were to ask me which were the 3 kitchen appliances I couldnt live without in order of importance , I would say......1. Dishwasher ( hands down) , 2. Spice grinder 3. Electric oven.

Baking has always been my long time passion, whether it be cakes, pastries, puddings, roast dinners or oven barbeques....I love to Bake....period!! after baby was born, Ive developed a newfound appreciation for the oven as most of my everyday cooking is now done in it......allowing me to get on with other jobs around the house.

This is one of the latest recipes I developed using lady fingers. It is a very simple recipe, one of those creations in times of need (TON).. Just chop up the lady fingers, onions and tomatoes, crush garlic flakes, place everything on a baking tray, sprinkle on some spices and let the oven do its magic........turn it once in between and 12 minutes later....its done.....very tasty and fuss free.........

Ingredients:
Lady Fingers: 20 nos ( choose tender LF, their tail ends should snap easily between fingers)
Onion: 1 large sliced
Tomato: 1 chopped
Garlic: 2 flakes crushed
Chilli powder: 1.5 tsps
Pepper powder: 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil

For tadka/ tempering:
Mustard seeds: 1tsp
Curry leaves: 1sprig

Method:

Preheat oven to 180C/ 350F.


1. Cut washed and dried lady fingers into large pieces of 2 inches .


2. Slice one onion


3. Chop one tomato.

4. Crush garlic flakes.



5. Place in a baking tray. Pour over 2-3 tbsps oil,



sprinkle over pepper powder,



chilli powder and



salt,



Use fingers to coat the spices over evenly.


6. Place in the centre of the oven and bake at 180C or 350F for approx 12 mins turning once in between. Do not over bake. ( time may vary for each oven, please check)



4. In a vessel take 2 tsps oil, splutter mustard seeds, add curry leaves fry, add baked onion, tomato and garlic and mash using back of spoon, fry for few secs, add lady fingers mix well. Add 1/4 cup of water, bring to a boil. Check for salt.


Serve hot with chappattis or rice pulao.
Enjoy!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Mangalorean Mixed Vegetable Coconut Curry with Spinach, Broccoli and Soya Beans


I made this traditional, spicy and tongue tingling hot vegetable curry on the 8th of September 2011 to celebrate the birthday of Our Blessed Mother Mary. It was a healthy, tasty and a perfect accompaniment for the lacy appams. The spice blend I used is a classic ( my moms) and is very versatile, can be used with most vegetables like cabbage, beans, potato, yam, raw papaya along with black eyed peas, tuvar dal or prawns.


I chose the broccoli, spinach and soyabeans combination, because not only are they are so full of vitamins and beneficial nutrients, but I also had them frozen, and ready to use in my freezer. The vegetables married beautifully in the flavourful gravy, it was a joyous meal.


Ingredients: Serves 2/3
For roasting and grinding
Dried red chillies: 5-7 ( Use 7 if you like it really hot)
Whole coriander: 1 tsp
Whole cumin: 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/4 tsp
Fresh grated coconut: handful
Garlic flakes: 1 large/ 2 small
Onion sliced: 1/2 small
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp

For vegetable curry
Dried Soya beans: 1/3 cup ( soaked in water for 2-3 hours)
Frozen broccoli: 1/2 cup
Frozen spinach: 1/2 cup
Onion sliced: 1/2
Tomato chopped : 1/2
Tamarind concentrate: 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Pinch of sugar

Method:
1. In a vessel take dried soya beans which have been soaking in water for 2-3 hours, 1/2 sliced onion and 1/2 chopped tomato, 1 cup water and salt to taste. Let the soya bean cook on medium- high flame till done. Will take about 10-12 minutes. Once soya beans have cooked, add the frozen broccoli florets and frozen spinach cubes and let it cook for another 5 minutes or till done.
2. While the vegetables are cooking, roast and grind the masala. In a non- stick pan take a 2 tsps oil and then roast onions and garlic first till onions are translucent, then add the rest of the ingredients (except turmeric) and roast till fragrant. Add turmeric and grind to a fine paste with a little water.
3. Add the ground masala to the cooked vegetables. Add masala water to make gravy of slightly medium-thin consistency. Add tamarind. Add salt to taste and a pinch of sugar. Let the gravy come to a boil. Add a tsp of vinegar if required.
Serve hot with appams or neer dosa/ panpole or white rice.
Note:
Seasoning the gravy with 1/2 a finely sliced onion, fried till golden brown, in a tsp of ghee, and poured over just before serving will give a very good flavour to curry.
Enjoy!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Nativity Day Meal

Mixed Vegetable Coconut Curry (Broccoli, Spinach and Soya Beans)
Lacy Coconut Appams
Vorn ( Mung dal cooked in Coconut milk with jaggery and ground rice)
Recipes coming soon.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Introduction to the "Nativity Day" or "Monthi/ Monti Fest"


The Nativity of Our Lady (in Konkani- Monthi Fest) celebrates not only the birthday of the mother of Jesus Christ, but also venerates Our Lady with a recitation of prayers, devotions and blessings. She was a woman of incomparable purity and she received the most precious graces God ever gave a human being. Her birth represents the entrance into the world of a new grace, a new blessing, and the end of the age of darkness.

 The "Monthi Fest" has tremendous significance to the Mangalorean  community residing in Southern parts of India, as it celebrates not only the Birthday of the the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, but also the "New harvest/ Harvest Festival"

Traditionally, fresh vegetables, fruits and flowers, mostly grown on one's land, were offered first in church before being used to prepare the 'Novein Jovaan' or Festive Meal for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

An assortment of odd numbered vegetable dishes (5,7,9,11) are usually made and served in banana leaves. Before sitting down for the meal the entire family would gather for prayers to thank God for a good harvest and seek His continued blessings on the family members for the coming year . This is  followed by sharing of  the 'Novein' which is  a drink made by mixing together church blessed and pounded "new paddy" with milk. where Kernels of rice from the new crop are blessed and prayed over in gratitude for a successful yield. Fruits, vegetables and flowers are offered first in church. At home a few rice kernels are ground, mixed with milk, and shared amongst all the members of the household, in order of their seniority. An assortment of odd numbered vegetable dishes are prepared and served.

For Recipes of dishes prepared for the Nativity Day/ Monthe Fest click on this link

Monday, 5 September 2011

Hot and Spicy Masala Fried Chicken.


A lovely blend of spices makes this dish brilliant for a Saturday night in, on the couch, in front of the telly, with your favourite drink. Surely worth a try!

For best results marinade the chicken on the Friday night and allow it to sit in the fridge.

Ingredients:
Chicken:1 small (cut into medium sized pieces with skin on/off as preferred)
Marinade:
Curd: 1/2 cup
Tumeric: 1/4 tsp
White pepper powder: 1tsp
Lemon juice: 1/2 no.

Ginger garlic paste: 1tbsp
Salt: to taste
Masala to grind:
Dried Red chillies: 8
Coriander seeds : 2 tsps
Cumin seeds: 1tsp
Fennel seeds/ saunf: 1 tsp
Methi seeds: 3-4
To fry:
Onion: 1 finely sliced
Green chillies:2 slit
Curry leaves: 7-8 nos
Tomato puree: 1tsp


Method:
1. Make slits or gashes on the fleshy parts of chicken to allow the marinade to penetrate the meat better. Marinade the cleaned and cut chicken in the first marinade and leave it covered overnight in the fridge.
2. Take meat out of the fridge an hour before cooking. Put the marinaded chicken in a large pan, cover and cook on a medium heat without any water till done. ( approx 25-30 minutes).
3. Once the chicken is cooked, drain out any gravy to a cup and keep aside. Add 2-3 tsps oil to the same pan, turn the heat up to high, and fry the chicken pieces till their surface is browned or skin is crispy( if skin is on) .
4. In another non- stick pan take some oil/ ghee, fry the sliced onions, green chilli and curry leaves till onions turn brown, add the ground masala and fry for a few minutes till raw smell dissappears, add the tomato puree and some salt and fry till oil starts leaving the masala.
4. Add the fried chicken to the fried masala. Add the reserved marinade gravy. Mix well. Bring to a boil and cook till masala thickens and coats chicken. Check for salt . Squeeze over lemon juice.


Serve hot............Enjoy!!