I have been a great believer in the ‘never-skip-breakfast’ theory. The credit for this goes to my mum, who made sure that my sister and me had our breakfast before setting out for school, college or work. Although, I personally prefer the Indian variety like chappati, upma or dosa; the continental variety like ham, sausage etc. is eaten with equal élan. The only thing is that it should be piping hot and accompanied by an equally hot cup of tea. That’s all that is required to get my day started.
Among the Indian breakfast variety, upma is the most preferred. Upma is primarily a sort a savory made from semolina (rava), onions, peas and seasoned with coconut. The sweeter version of the upma is called Sheera. This is usually made with ghee and generously seasoned with dry fruits. Another version of the Sheera is the “Pineapple Sheera”, which makes to the blog today. This recipe was actually made by my sister (who by the way has a whole set of sweet teeth). Though personally, I am not a sweets person, I particularly liked this version since it contained my favorite fruit the pineapple. This is one sweet that I didn’t mind taking 3 servings; drop in a few dry fruits and you have a combination that is quick, easy and liked by everyone.
Pineapple Sheera (My Sisters Style)
- 1 Large cup semolina (rava)
- ½ cup pineapple puree (*Refer Note 1 below)
- ½ cup pineapple pieces
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup water (slightly hot)
- ½ tablespoons cardamom powder
- Few Assorted nuts (Rasins, Cashews, Pistachios)
- Few drops of pineapple essence
- A little butter
- In a non-stick pan, heat butter; add the pineapple puree and the pineapple pieces. Let this cook for a while. Then add some sugar and mix well. Keep aside and allow cooling.
- In another pan, add the ghee & roast the nuts. Now take out the nuts and add semolina. Cook till the semolina has turned brown. Once it turns brown add the milk and hot water. Cook till the semolina has absorbed the milk and water. Add the sugar and stir.
- Now, add the pineapple puree and pieces while reducing the flame to low. Lastly, add the pineapple essence and cardamom powder the roasted nuts and stir well.
- Serve hot with a cup of coffee.
- To make the pineapple puree
- Clean the pineapple and chop the flesh roughly discard the center portion of the pineapple.
- Grind this to a fine puree in the mixer and add a teaspoon of sugar for that bit of glaze.
- We add sugar to the puree when cooking so that just incase the pineapple is sour; the sugar coats it renders it sweet.
Certain combinations at times seem weird; when you hear of them the first question that comes to mind is ‘will it work?’ Today’s recipe is one such combination. When you hear chicken and methi (fenugreek) you begin to doubt if this marriage will work. Believe me, it works and works like magic.
There is nothing concrete that speaks of the origins of this dish; though I’m sure it must have been a genius to take two ingredients that are poles apart and come up with a winner. Most restaurants have it on the menu and I have seen recent variants like Methi Malai Murg or the Shahi Methi Murgh. I tried making this a couple of days back, and it came out simply yum… Although, I kept the gravy a bit less consciously to get that slight hint of bitterness from the fenugreek. The trick is to get the fenugreek to blend with the spices and yoghurt well. This is also a good way to ensure some healthy greens make their way to the tummy and tastes best when eaten with parathas or nan and goes reasonably well with pulao or rice
I’m sure you would want to try this out and I shall wait to hear from you on how it turned out.
- 1 kg chicken
- 1 large bunch of fenugreek leaves (use only the leaves)
- 150 grams curd – beaten well (If you want some more gravy, increase the quantity of curd)
- 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder (and some for marinating the chicken)
- 1 tablespoon garam masala powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- Whole Spices (a small cinnamon stick/ 2 small cardamoms/ 1 big cardamom/ 1 small bay leaf)
- 5 tablespoons oil or ghee (clarified butter)
- Salt to taste
- Juice of half a lime.
Grind to a paste:-
- 2 large onions
- 10 pods garlic
- 1 small piece of ginger
- 3-4 green chillies
- Clean, wash, cut the chicken and marinate it with salt, turmeric and lime juice and keep a side for about half an hour.
- Separate the methi leaves in two halves. Cut one half of it fine, and leave the other half whole.
- In a pan heat the oil and once it’s hot add the cumin seeds and whole spices and allow them to crackle a bit.
- Once the spices are cooked in the oil, add the paste of the onions, ginger- garlic and chillies and fry until the paste is light brown in colour. Add in the methi leaves and cook for a while.
- Now, add in the red chilli powder, turmeric powder & the garam masala powders and mix well.
- Add in the curdand allow it to cook for a while till the oil separates.
- Now add in the chicken pieces, salt and cook for about 15 minutes
- Garnish with few methi leaves, and serve hot with parathas.
Life has its share of funny moments. I must mention an incident I came across recently when dining at a restaurant. A steward was taking down orders from a guest. At the end of a reasonably long list the guest ended by ordering “lamb pepper fry with no pepper please”. Hilarious as it may seem, it took the bemused steward quite a while and some effort to convince the guest about the importance of pepper in lamb pepper fry.
That incident though set the tone for my post this week. I have adapted the Chicken Pepper fry from the famous Kerala dish, the Lamb pepper fry, better known as the Lamb Chop Pepper fry. For those of you who have been to Kerala, I am sure you would have fond memories of the lovely backwaters and scenic hills there. A lesser known fact is that the food over there is equally good. No wonder then, that Kerala is so rightly called “God’s own country”.
The cuisine of Kerala is in many ways similar to Manglorean cuisine; flavored with coconut and generously seasoned with pepper. As mentioned, the original dish is made with lamb, though I played around a bit and made it with chicken. The best thing is that it gets done in about 45 minutes and can be had as an entree or even as a main. Although at my place we dont like our food too spicy, I adjusted the pepper just enough. My suggestion, is be liberal with the pepper, that huge spice burst just as you swallow the morsel is impossible to describe and must be experienced.
Please do give it a try I am sure the pepper will leave a lasting impression on your palette; just like the scenery of Kerala leaves an everlasting impression on your mind.
Chicken Pepper Fry
- 800 grams chicken (I used boneless)
- 1 large onion
- 1 medium capsicum (I used the green one, you could add red and yellow incase you want to visually enhance the dish.)
- 1/2 tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 2 green chillies ( I used red chilli flakes)
- 2 large sprigs of curry leaves
- 1 large tablespoon Red chilli Powder
- 1 tablespoon Turmeric Powder
- 1 tablespoon Jeera (cumin seeds)
- 2 large tablespoons crushed Pepper
- 5 tablespoons of Oil.
- Salt to taste.
- Juice of Half a lemon
- Clean, wash the meat and keep aside
- Heat oil in a pan. Slice the onions finely and brown them. Once done take them out and drain on an absorbent paper.
- In the same oil add cumin seeds, curry leaves, ginger garlic paste and cook for a while.
- Add the chicken pieces and let them fry well in the oil. Once the chicken begins to brown slightly, add the tomato puree, capsicum and stir well.
- Add in the chilli powder, turmeric powder and stir well.
- Now, add the onions and let them integrate well with the meat and cook well
- Lastly, add in the pepper and mix well.
- Just before serving, add in the juice of lime.
Ladies and Gentlemen, please put your hands together and welcome the first vegetarian dish on my blog. Being the first veggie dish means it had to be something special and what better dish than something made from the world’s favorite vegetable, the humble potato. Well, what do I say about the potato that hasn’t been said already? Simply put, if there was an award in the vegetable kingdom, I’m sure the humble potato would sure win the “most versatile ingredient award” hands down. Wedges, fries, and mashes, you name it and the potato has adapted itself so wonderfully to suit taste tastes and culinary preferences. You shouldn’t be surprised that across the world, there are more than 3000 different ways to cook the potato.
The dish for today is “Aloo Saunfiyana”. Honestly, I have made this dish many times earlier each time making subtle changes and this recipe finally was confirmed to be worthy of the blog by the two taste queens at my place, my mum and my sister. Infact, I had made this when a cousin had come over for dinner (a slightly drier version though) and she’s been asking me for the recipe since then. Even if you prefer spicy food, my suggestion is try not using too many spices. The crisp fried baby potatoes and the strong fennel form a combination you wouldn’t want to resist for long.
I do hope you will like it as much as my cousin did!
- 200 grams baby potatoes
- 1 cup boiled onion paste * Refer note 1 below
- 125 grams curd (beaten well)
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 2 green chillies, finely chopped (I used red chili flakes; just for a slight twist)
- 2 large tablespoons fennel seeds (lightly roasted and crushed a bit) *Refer note 2 below
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
- Oil for frying the potatoes and 3 tablespoons oil for the gravy
- Salt to taste
- Fresh Coriander leaves, chopped
- Ginger julienne for garnishing
- Peel, wash, prick and fry the potatoes till they are golden brown in colour. Once done, remove on an absorbent paper and keep aside.
- For the gravy, heat oil in a pan add the cumin seeds and garlic paste and cook well.
- Now add in the boiled onion paste and cook till the raw smell leaves and the paste starts leaving the sides. If it is getting too dry, you could add in very little water
- Once the onion paste is cooked add in the chilli flakes, chilli powder, turmeric powder and the garam masala powder. Cook this for a while.
- Add in the curd and stir well so that all ingredients integrate well. Add some water if required.
- When it comes to a boil add in the potatoes and mix well till the potatoes are well covered with the gravy.
- Add in the fennel seeds, chopped corriander and the salt and stir well.
- Garnish with ginger juliennes and serve hot with chappatis or parathas
- For the boiled onion paste:
- Peel about 3- 4 onions (depending on the quantity of paste you want) and cut them into halves.
- In a deep pan add water and bring to a boil. Once the water boils add the onions and cook till the onions soften or loose colour.
- Once they are cooked, remove the onions and put them in a bowl of cold water. This is to stop the cooking process.
- After about 5 minutes, grind them to a fine paste.
- This paste can be used as a base for gravies by itself.
- For the fennel seeds.
- Lightly roast the fennel seeds on a pan and when they cool crush them lightly; but not entirely as you don’t want a powder. Use as instructed in the recipe.
In my post about pork sorpotel, I had mentioned about sanna being the perfect accompaniment to it (pork sorpotel). Hence, that post would be incomplete without the post on sanna’s. Frankly, I intended doing this post immediately after that one; but somehow it remained saved in my drafts until I could almost hear the pork sorpotel crying for an accompaniment and I realised it was time to do this post.
Sanna’s (pronunced ‘Sun- naa’) are Mangalore’s version of the South Indian Idli. Although idlis are smaller in size and rougher in texture. Sanna’s are slightly bigger in height and smoother to the touch. I’m sure every Manglorean would have fond memories have fond memories of having eaten them at roce (pre-wedding) functions and at weddings. But that’s not all. As an absolutely healthy option, you could eat them (and as many as you want) for breakfast, lunch or dinner and not feel guilty about adding calories. Believe you me, they taste is awesome if you’re having it with chutney, an exquisite gravy or simply dunking it into a cup of tea.
The trick to making Sanna’s is getting the batter right. A lot of people use yeast as a fermenter; but my mum (from whom I learnt this recipe) never uses it but the result is the same nevertheless. Adding a handful of Poha (puffed rice) is the secret to make the sanna’s softer and fluffier.
Well, I don’t think I should make you wait any longer and start with the recipe.
Sanna’s (Steamed rice buns)
- 2 cups Boiled rice (also called as Parboiled rice)
- 1/4 cup Urad dal (Split Black Gram Dal)
- 1 fistful puffed rice (poha)
- salt to taste (about 1 level tsp for the above mentioned quantity)
- sugar to taste (around 1 teaspoon)
- Soak the rice and Urad dal together for at least 6hours (preferably overnight).
- Next, grind both it together (along with the poha) to a thick batter. The consistency should be thick, but you should be able to pour it easily. Transfer to a bowl large enough to accommodate the batter as it would rise during fermentation.
- After the batter ferments, add salt to the batter. Pour water in a large steamer and bring to a boil. Keep the moulds ready and pour upto 3/4th full. Keep the moulds in the steamer and allow steaming for 10 minutes.
- Once done demould and allow to cool for a while.
- Serve with chutney or pork sorpotel.
Keep smiling and happy cooking
Hello everyone, since this is my first post of the year. Let me begin by wishing all of you a very Happy New Year. May the coming 365 days bring you joy, peace, love and yes, delicious food in plenty.
Although I have only recently started blogging, I have been fortunate enough to get to know people from across the globe; some who follow my blog and some who read it. It is great fun interacting with you all sharing tips, tricks, recipes and above all the love for good food. A co-blogger (who follows my blog and loves Indian food) recently wrote to me asking if preparing all kinds of Indian food involved detailed technique and consumed a lot of time. My answer? Yes and No. Because of the cultural diversity existing in the country, certain regions do have an elaborate cooking process, some places it’s a quick fix meal. Nevertheless, I promised her to put up Indian recipes that didn’t involve a lot of technique and would be quick to prepare. That set the creative juices flowing and the recipe you see below is the result of one such endeavor.
The Red Roast Chicken (well, that’s what I called it) gets done in about forty five minutes and with a minimal of ingredients. Although I originally thought of only using the masala as a base, the gravy lover in me wouldn’t budge and I added curd towards the end to give the dish some more depth. The dark red colour comes from using a secret trick that I would share with you a little later. The roasted chicken when combined with the aromatic spices and the fragrant curry leaves combines into something that is almost impossible to resist. It is slightly heavier on the spices and oil; however, you could adjust to your taste.
I would be glad to hear from you on whether you’ve tried it and the results.
Red Roast Chicken
- 1 Kg Chicken (I used boneless chicken)
- 5 Tablespoons Ghee (Clarified Butter)
- 3 Tablespoons Refined Oil
- 150 grams curd
- 2 ½ tablespoons Red Chili Powder
- 1 ½ tablespoons Garam Masala Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1 tablespoon Cumin Seeds (and some Cumin powder)
- 1 tablespoon Coriander Powder
- 1 tablespoon Cardamom Powder
- 1 tablespoon Cinnamon Powder
- 1 tablespoon Garlic Paste
- 1 tablespoon Ginger Paste
- 1 Big sprig of Curry leaves
- 1 Lemon sized ball of tamarind (Soaked in warm water)
- Green Coriander Leaves (For garnishing)
- Juice of One lime
- Salt to taste
- Clean, wash, dry and cut the chicken. Add in salt, lime juice, and some turmeric powder and keep aside for 20 minutes.
- Now, heat the Ghee and oil together in a pan. When it is hot, add in the chicken pieces and roast them well. Once the chicken pieces start to brown, take them out from the pan and keep aside.
- In the same pan, add in the cumin seeds and the curry leaves and let them splutter.
- Once they start spluttering, add in the Ginger and Garlic paste and let it cook for a while. Once it starts to brown, add in all the other masalas (spice powders) except for the red chili powder.
- At this point, your mixture may be dry so add in a little water, just enough to keep it moist.
- Well now is the time for the secret I promised earlier. When the oil begins leaving the masalas; beat the curd well and add the red chili powder to it. This is done so that the beautiful red colour is released enhancing the end colour of the dish. Add the curd to the mixture along with the roasted chicken and allow it to cook.
- Squeeze the pulp of the tamarind well and add the water to the mixture. Add in the salt.
- Add a little water if you would like it have gravy, else the chicken should be done in 10 minutes.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with steamed rice.
- That’s it. Red Roast Chicken is ready!!!