Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Hearty chicken soup with vegetables and rice and an Announcement !!

Well the weather continues to be cold and windy and there seems to be no respite from the rain. 

This week Baby A has had his 2 year development check and everything seems to be in good working order :). Now all that is left to do is to reduce the amount of milk he has during the day ( ooo he does love his milk :)) and replace it with a nutritious meal. I've learned from past experience with Baby A that the quickest way to get anything solid into his tummy is through a bowl of soup. 

So apron donned I made him this delicious simple chicken broth, filled it with a handful of veges, a good serving of chicken, not forgetting the carbs (some rice). What can I worked!! He loved it :))) A few pinches of pepper and adults would love it too. Do try this soup out, Id love to know how you got on. 
PS: Please do not miss the Giveaway Pre-announcement at the end of this post :)

To make Hearty chicken soup with vegetables and rice
Butter/Olive oil: 1 tbsp
Cinnamon: 2 inch
Onions: 1/2 large
Ginger garlic paste: 1tsp
Yoghurt: 1 tbsp
Plain Flour: 1 tsp
Chicken: 2 pieces ( I used: 1 leg and 1 thigh)
Vegetables: 1 cup mixed- (carrot, peas, broccoli)
Rice: 1tbsp
Salt to taste

1. In butter add whole spices  fry till aromatic, add the onions and ginger garlic paste fry together till onions are lightly brown
2. Add yoghurt fry well till almost dry and brown, add flour, fry well for another 2 mins on a low flame  till brown stirring constantly.
3. Add chicken, vegetables and 1 large cup water, rice, salt and pressure cook for 5-6 whistles. Turn off flame allow pressure to drop. Open the cooker. Keep chicken pieces aside in a seperate bowl, try to fish out all the whole spices and discard. Using the edge of the spoon try to chop up vegetables into smaller bits.
4. Add hot boiled water to the soup in the cooker if needed to thin it down a bit if required. Shred the chicken add to the soup. Adjust salt, squeeze over lemon juice. Serve warm.

 Caysera's Notes:
1. This soup can be served as a clear broth with bit of chicken or a Murg Shorba
Method for Simple Broth with Chicken/ Murg Shorba:
Once soup is ready, keep the cooked chicken pieces aside. Pour the entire soup through a strainer into a bowl, adjust the seasoning, add shreds of chicken, serve warm.

Well now for the interesting bit....

This is to Pre-Announce a very special Giveaway at 'Tickle My Senses'. 

In the next couple of weeks I will put up an 'Official Giveaway Announcement' with more details on the what's, why's and when of the Giveaway.. ...but for now.... for the naturally inquisitive the first question must be ' what ', exactly, is in the pipeline? 

Well, one lucky person anywhere in the world, is going to get a brand new copy of one of my favourite cookbook's..... Well.......What say you?? 

If you wish not to miss any of the giveaway announcements make sure you join me on this blog or on Facebook.....till my next post, keep warm, be happy and keep yourself fed !! 


Carol Sequeira Pereira

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Mangalore Style Spicy Rabbit Sukka/ Sukkha, Rabbit in a Spicy Dry Coconut Gravy.

Well Britian has been gripped with subzero temperatures, snow and flooding the past week.  There has been traffic disruption, closed schools and lots of snowmen :))

We have tried to keep warm, the heating has been running 24X7 and we've been through a lot of spicy comforting home food.

Image taken from the Guardian

Last Sunday hubby brought home a rabbit and without much discussion it was decided, that we were going to have our favourite Mangalorean Style Sukkha/ Sukka or Rabbit cooked in a rich spice infused semi dry coconut preparation. I usually make my mom's Mangalorean Chicken Sukka, Chicken in a Dry Spice Paste with Coconut . This time I decided to make a version I watched my MIL prepare. She usually cooks rabbit or country chicken this way in a little clarified butter or ghee, which she says helps to bring out the best flavours in the meat. This sukkha/ sukka is truly lip smacking delicious, spicy and comforting, do give it a go. 

If you would like a simpler version, you could simply substitute the ground spice paste with the Mangalore Baffat powder ( available in most Mangalore Stores), add ginger garlic paste and grated coconut to the Baffat powder and pulse in the mixie 2-3 times to get a coarse mix. Then follow rest of the recipe as given below.

To make Mangalore Style Spicy Rabbit Sukka/ Sukkha.
Ingredients : 
Rabbit:1 kg cut into medium sized pieces
Cloves: 4 nos
Cinnamon: 2 inch
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Tomatoes: 2 large finely chopped
Onion:1 large finely chopped
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Coconut Oil/ Ghee/ any other refined oil - 2 tbsps

To dry roast and grind into spice paste:
Kashmiri Dry red chillies: 9-10 (increase or decrease according to individual heat levels)
Mustard seeds:1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds:1 tsp
Coriander seeds:2 tbsps
Black peppercorns:1 tsp
Garlic cloves: 5
Ginger: 1 inch

To add:
Freshly grated Coconut  - 1 small handful

1. Cut rabbit into medium sized pieces. Wash and drain. Keep aside.
2. In a pan dry roast the red chillies, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cumin, peppercorns  separately one by one - grind these ingredients to a fine paste along with the ginger and garlic. Add the grated coconut and pulse 2-3 times more to break down the coconut, but still retain its coarseness.
3. Heat ghee/oil in a vessel. Add cloves and cinnamon and curry leaves fry till aromatic, add chopped onion and fry. Once the onions turns light brown in colour, add turmeric powder and chopped tomatoes. Cook tomatoes till they turn soft. Add the rabbit and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, salt, mix well close the vessel and allow the rabbit to cook till meat is 3/4 done.
4. Then add the ground spice paste, mix well and cook for a few more minutes till the rabbit is tender and done. Allow most of the gravy to dry, adjust salt. Squeeze over lemon juice and garnish with fried curry leaves.

 Serve hot with boiled or white rice, daaliso saar/ lentil soup and a veggie side.


Monday, 21 January 2013

Beef Chilly Fry- A treasured family recipe

We Mangi's (short form for Mangaloreans) love our Beef. Be it a roast, a spicy curry, a stew or  a dry dish with coconut/ sukka. My favourite beef preparation by far would be the "Beef Chilly Fry". 

Every Mangalorean Catholic family has its own recipe for "Beef Chilly Fry". Most recipes tend to be hot and spicy and would involve cooking the beef in a ground spice paste of  whole or ground varieties of chillies and or black pepper. 
But my family's version of "Beef Chilly Fry" is quite different. It is more of an Indo-Chinese dish that is delicately spiced and bursting with fresh natural flavours. The sweetness of the onions and coloured capsicums/ peppers, with the gentle heat from a good sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper, the savouriness of the soya sauce and sourness of freshly squeezed lemons, creates a well balanced and wonderfully spiced succulent beef preparation that is irresistible and delicious. I happened to find tender garlic bulbs at the farmers market hence sliced up the whole garlic bulb for the stir fry, you could use regular garlic flakes instead.

Do try this recipe, Bachelors you will love this recipe. I would love to hear how you enjoyed it , do drop me a line!!

Recipe for Beef Chilly Fry
For Marinade:
Beef tenderloin: 700gms
Ginger- garlic paste: 1 tsp
Green chillies: 3 nos slit ( reduce if you prefer less heat)
Freshly ground black pepper powder: 1/2 tsp
Dark Soy sauce: 2 tsps
Tenderiser: 1tsp or papaya paste: 2 tsps (optional)
Yoghurt: 2 tbsps

Onion: 1(sliced into rings)
Green chillies: 3-5 slit ( reduce if you prefer less heat)
Peppers/ capsicums: 1 (Sliced into rings)
Garlic tender bulb: 1 bulb ( sliced into thin rings or 5-6 large garlic cloves finely sliced)

Pepper powder: 2 tsps or adjust to your heat levels
Soy sauce: a generous splash/ to taste
Lemon juice: to taste
Oil for stir frying- 2- 3 tbsps

1. Slice beef really thin against the grain, and then cut into thin long strips, remove all visible fat.
2. Mix marinade ingredients in a bowl, marinade beef strips in above marinade for 1 hr.
3. Place marinaded meat in a cooker without any water and cook for 1 whistle on medium -high flame, then turn down the flame and cook for further 10 mins on low.Turn off heat. Once pressure drops open the cooker and allow almost all liquid to dry by placing open cooker back on heat.
4. Prepare all the slicings while the meat is cooking.
5. In a wok or a big vessel take oil. When the oil is hot fry the slit green chillies till it turns white.
6. Add rest of slicings ( onions, capsicums, garlic) and stir fry on a high flame till almost soft but still slightly crunchy.
7. Add the cooked beef and stir fry for another 2 minutes. Sprinkle over pepper powder, add the soy sauce and lemon juice. Toss well. Taste for seasonings and adjust salt if required. Serve hot with a bowl of plain white rice or tossed noodles.


Caysera's Notes:
1. Most beef back home in  India tends to be tough hence needs to be pressure cooked to tenderise prior to stir frying. The yoghurt and or tenderiser/ raw papaya(optional) paste  when used creates very tender meat.
In the UK, the cut of meat specially available for stir frying  is very tender and cooks very quickly, hence I simply place  the marinaded beef without any juices to a hot wok with a little oil and cook on a high heat for a couple of minutes till done. I seperately stir fry the vegetable in the wok and  then toss them both together and add the seasonings. However if using any other cut of beef I prefer to use the pressure cooker to precook the meat prior to stir frying.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Simple Mangalore Style Fish Curry without Coconut

Happy New Year dear readers and apologies for not bringing you recipes during the most exciting season of the year, Christmas, and for not responding to any of your comments or queries these past few weeks!!

I have been away across the seas to a place they call HOME, amidst people that mean the world to me. Its been a fairytale holiday comprising of late morning risings, tantalising aromas of freshly brewed coffee or tea, scrumptious food cooked by mom's loving hands, no mundane house chores, lots of meaningless chatter, time to sit in the garden watch the world go by, read the daily newspaper, lots of dancing, giggles and squabbles from the little ones, manicures and pedicures, bollywood songs, Mangalorean delicacies, Christmas cake and goodies, awesome Bangalore restaurant food, auto rickshaws, mad noisy traffic, street dogs barking at night and shopping!!!.......and then....

.... a week in hubby's coffee plantation to enjoy the silent bliss of nature, surrounded by the greenest and prettiest flowers, nature at its best, the fresh crisp morning air, sipping on  mil's to die for masala tea and munching on light and crispy dosas for breakfast and kuswar ( best gulios and nevriyos ever)  all daylong. The freshest spinach/ashgourd/ tendli (gherkins) vegetable preparation from plant to plate in minutes, plucking and enjoying ripe and juicy lychees, kids running wild on coffee drying yards, games of cricket or carrom, stamping on red ants, poking fingers at the dogs in kennels, mooing at the cows, skinny dipping in the river, sipping on water from large green tender coconuts, eating white sweets and sucking on coloured lollipops.........

BabyA  has loved it the most, being an hard core social bee, he has had a great time  stealing sweets and treats from grandpa, cuddles and kisses from grandma, never ending presents from uncles and aunts, bonding with 7 cousins, with no rules, no restrictions, lots of games, dancing, peek-a-bo adventures, and monkey tricks in the back seat of cars and 2 birthday wonder he was so upset coming back!!

Yes, we have been on a dream holiday with family and friends and coming back has made it so much harder. Anyways, as always good times do come to an end. We are back and getting back into our routine lives and to the jobs we both enjoy. 

To uplift our spirits and in celebration of good things to come here is a simple, spicy and tasty Mangalore style fish curry that is free from coconut.

 I hope you will enjoy making and eating it. Once again Happy New Year and may 2013 bring you and your family's lots of happiness, good health, peace and lots of tasty and healthy food. Cheers !!

Ingredients: Serves:3-4
Mackerals/ or any white or firm fish ( Cod/ River cobbler or Pangasius / Trout)  : 6 descaled, cleaned/gutted and slit of using mackerals or trout.

To Grind for spice paste/ masala:
Kashmiri red chilli powder: 2.5 tbsps

Onion large:1
Ginger garlic paste: 1.5 tsps
Coriander powder: 2.5 tbsps
Cumin powder: 2 tsps
Turmeric powder: 3/4 tsp
Methi powder:1/8 tsp
Fennel seeds: 1 tsp
Poppy seeds: 2tsps

Salt to taste
Tamarind extract: 1 tsp or vinegar to taste

Coconut oil: 2tbsp
Curry leaves: 1 sprig

Cumin seeds : 1 tsp

1. Grind all the  spice paste ingredients finely into a thick paste using water. 
2. In a wide based vessel heat 2 tbsp of oil, when hot add the cumin seeds and curry leaves, once the seeds splutter add the ground spice paste, fry on a low flame till aromatic, then add water to obtain a  gravy of your desired consistency ( I prefer the gravy slightly thick and to just cover the fish while cooking). Add salt to taste. Add tamarind extract for sourness. Close the vessel and allow the gravy to come to a boil on a medium heat and cook for 5-7 minutes. 
3. Then add the fish one at a time and in a single layer to the gravy. The gravy should slightly cover the fish.  Do not use a spoon to stir. Hold the sides of the vessel and turn around gently to swirl the gravy over the fish and cover it. Close the vessel and cook on a medium flame till fish is cooked. Taste for seasoning, and adjust if desired. Turn off the flame. Let the fish rest in gravy for a few hours or still better overnight in the fridge. The fish will absorb all the wonderful spices and sourness from the gravy and taste wonderful when served hot the next day.

 Next day serve the fish curry with some plain white or boiled rice and vegetable on the side. Enjoy.


Carol Sequeira Pereira