Monday, October 4, 2010

Indo Chinese Prawns

It's been eons since I posted a recipe here. A lot of things have changed in the interim. We've moved countries, rather continents ;) and two cities in India since. My family has grown from just the two of us to include a cute little hyper active baby boy, who we have named Calvin; I've moved from being a super busy career woman at IBM, to a home maker, to a work from home mom; my husband has changed jobs; all in all our world has changed drastically. Between the baby and a full time job (who ever said work from home jobs were easy!), I get very little time to experiment in the kitchen. So that's been the reason for my so called disappearance from the blogging scene.But yeah, the underlying passion for cooking has always been there and I'd never want that to go away. When I referred to my blog recently to check the ingredients for Punjabi Chole, nostalgia set in and thought, this was a good time as any to restart the blog; also, now that I'm back to cooking everyday, I'll have enough recipes to post as well.

Being close to the sea (Bay of Bengal), Chennai offers an amazing variety of sea food- fresh and tasty. Prawns in particular are available in abundance and at attractive prices too. I've been making a lot of prawn since we've moved here. I will post recipes for all of them soon, but today I have for you, a quick but very tasty prawn dry recipe. I call it Indo Chinese prawn because this dish is made by marinating the prawns in Indian spices and cooking them in Chinese sauces. The taste is sweet and savory - a perfect combo to have with fried rice/ noodles. This isn't spicy but is flavorful and the addition of veggies adds a nice dimension to this dish. Don't get disheartened with the long list of ingredients; it sure isn't as complicated as it reads. So try out Indo Chinese prawns and let me how the dish turned out.

Prawns: 1 lb
Ginger finely chopped: 1 tsp
Garlic finely chopped: 1 tsp
Green Chillies: 2- slit into half lengthwise
Spring Onions: 2 sprigs
Precooked Vegetables like carrots, brocolli,capsicum, mushroom etc
Oil: 1 tbsp
sugar: 1 tsp
cilantro: for garnishing

For Marination:
Ginger Garlic Paste: 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp
Coriander Powder: 2 tsp
Red Pepper/Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Black pepper powder - 2 tsp
Vinegar: 2 tsp

For the Sauce:
Tomato sauce: 2 tbsp or as required
Soy sauce: 2 tsp or as required
Vinegar: 1 tsp
Green chilli sauce: 1 tsp
Ajinamoto (optional)
salt: to taste


1)Clean and de-vein the prawns. If the prawns are of a good size, leave the shells on. The shells enhance flavor.
2)Marinate the prawns with ginger garlic paste, and the powders mentioned above, and vinegar. Leave aside for an hour or so in the refrigerator. The longer you marinate the better the flavor.
3)Cut the veggies of your choice into slices (lengthwise would be better) and cook them in salted water for just about a minute or two. They will be stir fried later, so don't overcook them. Drain off the water.
4)Heat oil in a wok and add chopped ginger and garlic. Fry for a few seconds and add green chillies and spring onions. Now add the vegetables from the previous step and give it a good stir on high flame. Mix in the sauces and keep stirring. Add sugar and vinegar. Ajinamoto if used, should be added at this point.I refrain from using ajinamoto, but there's no denying the fact that it enhances the taste and flavor of any Chinese preparation.
5)Now add in the prawns and incorporate them nicely into the veggie/sauce mix. Taste the dish to see if you need any heat/spice/salt and add accordingly. Give the prawns a couple of minutes to cook and once the shells change color, switch off the stove.
6)Garnish with cilantro

a)Make sure the prawns are not overcooked. If they cook longer than required they turn rubbery and the delicate flavors are lost.
b)This dish is on the sweet/sour side. Not something I'd recommed as a starter with drinks
c)If you want more gravy, after adding the sauces, add water mixed with corn flour ( in the ratio 1 cup of water: 2 tsp of corn flour)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Easy Breezy Crabs (Kurlyo Thel Piyaav)

Today I have for you an authentic Mangalorean recipe, which even a novice who has no cooking experience can make. In Konkani, we call this style of cooking "Thel Piyaav" (Oil and Onion). Most Mangalorean Catholics cook their veggies in this Thel Piyaav style. There is no grinding, no frying, and no tempering. Just add all the ingredients and place them on the stove, cook and voila your recipe is ready.

I love sea-food and crab is an absolute favorite. I can eat crab in any form ; as a crab cake, stuffed crab , a yummy crab gravy, roasted crab or as spicy crab masala. However, the way I really savor the taste of crab is in Thel Piyaav. But I must warn my readers that Crab Thel Piyaav is an acquired taste. If you only like spicy food, give this a pass. Note down the recipe:

Crabs: 2 cleaned and cut
Green Chillies: 2
Onion: 1 small sliced
Ginger: 2 tsp finely chopped
Garlic: 10 flakes
Coconut oil: 1 tbsp
water: as required


1)In a thick bottomed vessel, mix togther crabs, green chillies, onion, ginger, garlic and oil
2)Now keep the mixture on low flame and let it cook. Keep stirring once in a while and if you need to add a little water, do so sparingly.
3)When the crab meat is cooked, add salt and mix well and switch off the stove.
4)Serve hot.

Read other crab recipes here:
Blue Crab on Foodista

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Punjabi Kadhi

Today I have yet another yogurt based gravy for you. I first ate Punjabi Kadhi at Delhi, when my mom in law made it. Although most North Indian dishes are best eaten with Roti or Naan, there are a few dishes which are eaten exclusively with rice. Rajma Chawal (Kidney beans and rice )is one such combo and the other one is Kadhi Chawal. Kadhi is usually made with sour curds/yogurt. Plain pakoras are fried and added to the yogurt gravy to make a mouth watering Kadhi. Let's look at the ingredients required

For the pakoras
Onions: 2
Coriander seeds: 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder: a pinch
Salt: a pinch
Gram Flour/Besan: 1 cup or as required
Oil for deep frying

For the Kadhi and tempering
Gram Flour/Besan: 1 cup
Yogurt: 500 gms
Water: 5 cups
Onion: 1
Ginger: chopped 1.5 tsp
Asafoetida/Hing: 1 pinch
Methi seeds: 1/2 tsp
Red pepper/Chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
Salt: to taste
Kasoori Methi: for garnishing
Oil: 2 tbsp


1)In a bowl, mix all the ingredients required to make the pakodas (onion, coriander seeds, chilli powder, salt). Add besan and water to make pakora consistency. Deep fry the pakoras in oil, drain excess oil and keep aside for cooling.
2)In a large vessel, mix the ingredients required for the Kadhi ( Besan, Beaten yogurt, Turmeric powder, Chilli powder and Salt). Now add 5 cups of water to the mixture and keep aside.
3)Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan. When the oil is hot, temper with methi seeds and asafoetida (hing). Now add the onions and ginger to the same oil and stir well for 2 minutes.
4)Add the mixed Kadhi, made in step 2 to the tempered mixture and let it boil.
5)Let the gravy simmer till the quantity of gravy is reduced to 3/4th of the original quantity.
6)Now add the pakodas and let the gravy come to another boil.
7)Garnish with Kasoori Methi and serve hot with white rice and pickle.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Masala Buttermilk

I know, I know... my blog posts have become as unpredictable as the Indian election results, which almost all exit polls got wrong. Guilty as charged! But the reason is a pleasant one. I've started working full time now, so that leaves me with very little time for blogging, although I have loads of recipes and pictures sitting all ready in my drafts folder.

Mom-in-law has been churning out some lovely delicacies, and I'm not able to blog as fast as she cooks them. I also visited my hometown Mangalore, a fortnight back and got back a bunch of recipes for authentic Mangalorean fish curries and pork. I pestered mummy to make some 5 dishes a day, so I could click pictures for the blog and she, being the nicest mom in the world willingly obliged! Love you mummy :)

So, yeah, slow I might be, but I promise that you will enjoy most of the recipes I put up here, mainly because these are recipes from two people I admire the most, my mother and mother in law, who are amazing cooks.

I had promised you a few yogurt recipes earlier. One of my readers had emailed me for the recipe for Masala Buttermilk. Since this was a request, I thought I'll address it first. Buttermilk is the liquid that is left over after extracting butter from churning yogurt. It is pretty popular in the South and is usually had as an after lunch drink, to aid digestion. This is the authentic way of making buttermilk. An easier alternative to the above method is to use homemade or store bought curd and dilute it with water. Use a proportion of about 1:5 curd-water ratio or customize it per your taste. You can even buy plain buttermilk from the store to make Masala buttermilk.

The recipe is my variation of it, which imbibes a few ingredients from North Indian cooking, but most others from the South. Try it out

Chilled Buttermilk : 5 cups - Store bought or made in any of the methods described
Ginger: finely chopped, 2 tsp
Cilantro/Coriander leaves: 3 tsp
Black Salt: 1/2 tsp
Green chillies: chopped, 2-3 depending on preference
Salt: to taste

Optional Step:
Tempering with 1/2 tsp mustard and 4 curry leaves in a little bit of oil


1) Keep all the ingredients required to make the recipe cut and ready
2) In a vessel, take chilled buttermilk and add all the ingredients to it
3)As an optional step, temper with mustard and curry leaves
4)Serve chilled. No need to strain. The actual pleasure is to see all those floating cilantro and curry leaves in the glass and drinking it avoiding the leaves, in a single swig.

You can make a large batch of this and consume it as a healthy replacement to soft drinks and colas. Is particularly refreshing in the hot summer months.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Potato in Yogurt Sauce (Dahiwaale Aloo)

Delhi had its hottest day in 50 years a few days ago. The temperature reached a whopping 43.5 degrees (110.3 F), which is very hot, considering it was still April. It's May now and the temperature is only rising. Hoping things will improve and the much awaited rain will bring some relief.

What's the best way to cool it off when the temperature hits the roof? Drinking lots of cold water, eating fruit like watermelon and honeydew, chilling out on ice creams and popsicles, having a cold water bath, and sitting in an air-conditioned room all day are some options. In cooking, summer is generally the season when you go easy on the spices and ghee. Another important ingredient that finds its place in most Indian kitchens during the hot summer months is good old yogurt, also called curd or dahi. Dahi is eaten as-is after a meal, or mixed with sugar to substitute for dessert. Another dessert option is frozen yogurt which comes in plenty of flavors. Buttermilk (the liquid leftover after extracting butter from churned yogurt) is popular in the south of India, as an after meal drink and is said to aid digestion.

Curries made with yogurt sauce also gain popularity in summer. You should not be surprised then, that my next few posts involve yogurt as the main food ingredient. Today I bring you "Dahiwaale Aloo" or Potato stewed in a tangy yogurt sauce. This is my version of the recipe, though there are hundreds of versions out there. Feel free to experiment with the spices. This is a complete vegan recipe (no onions or garlic) and can be made really quickly (15 minutes tops) once you have the boiled potatoes ready. Here is the recipe:

Potatoes: 4 Medium, boiled and cut into bite size pieces
Yogurt/Dahi: 1 cup
Cumin Seeds: 1 tsp
Ginger Paste: 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida powder/Hing: a pinch
Besan/Gram flour: 3 tsp
Red pepper powder/Chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
All spice Powder/Garam Masala/Kitchen King: 1/2 tsp
Green Chillies: 2 finely chopped
Kasoori Methi/Cilantro for garnishing
Oil: 2 tbsp


1)Take yogurt in a bowl and add ginger, green chillies and the spice powders (chilli, turmeric, coriander, garam masala) and mix well.
2)Heat oil in a pan and when hot add the asafoetida powder, cumin seeds and the gram flour. Stir till the gram flour turns golden brown and gives out a good aroma.
3)Now add the yogurt mixture and keep stirring continuously till the mixture starts drying up and oil leaves the sides. Take care to keep stirring to avoid the yogurt from splitting up.
4)Add the potatoes and nicely incorporate them into the mixture.
5)Add about a cup of water and mix well. Let the gravy boil for a few minutes.
6)Garnish with Kasoori Methi or cilantro per preference.
a)I have used Kasoori Methi for garnishing.
b)By adjusting the amount of water added to the gravy, you could serve it either with roti or rice.
Check out more potato sauce recipes here at Foodista:
Potato Soup on Foodista

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bread Pudding

What can you make with old bread other than throwing it away? How about some bread pudding?
Bread pudding is a popular dessert across the world. It finds mention in American,French, Mexican and Belgian cuisine. There are subtle differences between the recipes, but the main ingredients remain the same; old bread, milk, sugar/syrup and dry fruit.

The recipe I have for you today is again from my mom-in-law. A very straight forward recipe, with very little fuss with a rewarding end product to boot. Do try it out. You will never look at your old bread the same way again.
The pudding is baked exactly in the same fashion as caramel custard in a double boiler or water bath. Get the detailed method here:
If you do not have an oven, simply bake the pudding on the stove top, using two vessels, a larger one with water and the smaller one containing the pudding mix. Steam the pudding for about 30 minutes or till it is completely cooked.

Bread: 10 slices (we used brown bread, you could use white too)
Milk: 1/2 cup (plus more if required)
Sugar: 3 tbsp
Raisins: 50 gms
Ghee: 2 tbsp
Eggs: 2


1)Shred the bread slices into small pieces, by hand
2)Add milk and sugar to the slices and keep aside for about 10-15 minutes till the bread has soaked up all the milk and the sugar is melted.
3)After 15 minutes, using a spoon to mix the bread, milk, sugar to make a nice paste. Add more milk if required only.
4)Add the rest of the ingredients, viz eggs, raisins and ghee.
5)Caramelize sugar in a thick bottomed vessel and pour the resultant mixture into the baking pan. For more details follow the method here:
6)Add the ready pudding paste into the same pan
7)Bake the pudding either in an oven or on the stove top using a double boiler/water bath.
8)Once cooked, remove from oven/stove and cool.
9)Once cooled, invert the pudding into a serving dish. The caramelized sugar is on top of the pudding. Cut into slices.
10)Refrigerate before serving

a)This pudding can be also had as breakfast accompaniment, if the sugar quantity is reduced.
b)Use whipped cream or ice cream topping for added flavor.
c) Instead of ghee, you can use butter.
d)The amount of milk determines the consistency of the batter and the final thickness of the pudding. So add more milk if you want a flan like consistency.
e)The color of the pudding changes depending on the bread used. Don't be worried if your pudding looks different from the one in the picture :)

You'll find a few other variations for bread pudding at this link

Bread Pudding on Foodista

Bottle Gourd Kofta Curry (Louki)

The recipe I have for you today is my mom-in-law's recipe. MIL makes yummy pakodi/kofta curries and kadhi chaawal. I've tried making it on my own many times and somehow it never turns out the way her's does.I think the trick is she uses minimum spice powders and avoids garam masala whenever possible. I on the other hand, don't think a curry is complete without the customary sprinkling of garam masala on top.

I'm not a big fan of Louki. Somehow associate Louki as a veggie to be eaten when you have jaundice. But make koftas of Louki this way and you will refuse to believe it is bland in any way.

For the Koftas:
1 small bottle gourd (Louki),grated
Gram Flour/Besan : 3 tbsp
Coriander Seeds: 1 tsp
Pepper Seeds : 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

For the curry:
1 large Onion (finely chopped or ground)
2 Tomatoes: finely chopped
Ginger Garlic Paste: 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder: 1 tsp
Chilli Powder: 1/2 tsp
Oil: 1 tbsp
Cilantro for garnishing


To make the koftas: IN a bowl, mix in all the ingredients for the koftas and make a thick batter. Adjust the amounts of water/besan for the right consistency. Make small balls of the batter and deep fry them in oil to make the Louki koftas. Drain into a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Keep aside.

Now make the curry this way:
1) Fry the onions in hot oil till they turn golden brown
2) Add tomatoes and fry till they change color
3) Add the ginger garlic paste and continue frying.
4) Now add in all the powders(turmeric, chilli, coriander) and continue stirring.
5) Add about 2 cups of water and boil the gravy.
6) Turn off the gas and add the koftas.
7) Sprinkle cilantro for garnishing.

a) Always add the koftas in the end, after the gravy is ready. Do not boil the curry with the koftas in it, to avoid them from getting too soggy.
b) If you have made more koftas than required, save them in the fridge. They can be used another day.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bailey's Irish Cream Coffee

There is this nice place in Dunwoody Atlanta called Cafe Intermezzo, which has been our regular hangout for after dinner coffee. This is where I first tasted coffee with Bailey's Irish cream and loved it. Today I tried a home version of this which came out pretty good.
This could be another way of having bailey's irish cream, particularly on those cold balmy nights .. hmmm...blisss...

Coffee powder
Bailey's Irish Cream Liqueur


1)Make black coffee : Boil water. Add coffee powder. Add very little sugar. You can avoid sugar completely if you please, since the bailey's irish cream is sweet in itself.
2)Pour the steaming hot coffee into cups. Now add the liqueur to the coffee. (I used an approximate coffee-liqueur ratio of 5:1. You can adjust according to your preference.
That's it.. A nice warm coffee liqueur is ready. Best served as an after party drink when everyone has finished dinner and are ready to wind off.

You can also add a topping of whipped cream if you like.

Ginger Mint Heaven - Cocktail

I've been thinking of having a beverage/cocktail section as part of my blog and this is the first post in that category.
The credit for this particular beverage should go to Sean. This was one of the concoctions he came out with during our farewell party last weekend, and was a huge hit with the ladies.
If you are a fan of ginger ale, like I am, I can assure you that, you will love this. It's a change from the normal margaritas and mojitos and can be churned out in a jiffy.
Here's what you will need

Vodka: 1 cup (reduce or increase depending on your personal tolerance levels )
Ginger:crushed: a small piece
Mint leaves powder: 1/2 tsp
Juice of 1 lime
Ice: 4 cups
Salt: 1 tsp

Kitchen Items Required:
A blender
Measuring cups

1)Add ice into a blender and crush it.
2)Add in all the other ingredients mentioned above and blend it well using the mixer.
Taste to see if anything is required and adjust accordingly.
3)Pour into frosted glasses after straining.
4)Garnish with mint leaves
We did not have mint leaves, so we used cilantro for the decoration

Note: I think a non-alcoholic version of this would be to mix in sprite instead of the vodka and increase the amount of ginger and salt. I haven't tried this version, so if any of you do, please let me know how that turned out.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Egg Masala

Egg Masala is a very simple recipe to make. This is my "I don't feel like cooking, so what can I make quickly?" recipe. I use a small food processor to chop the onions and also use canned diced tomatoes, so it hardly takes me 15 minutes to make egg masala.
It is onions and tomatoes that mainly constitute the flavor in the recipe. The quantity of onions and tomatoes is the same. Ideally cut the onions into long slices to make an egg masala which looks as good as it tastes. In my recipe, I have used red color, just to brighten up things a bit, but you can completely avoid using color. Color does nothing for the flavor. Without further ado, here's what you will need

Eggs: 4 boiled, slit lengthwise
Onions: 1 cup, thinly sliced
Tomato: 1 cup, finely chopped or diced
Ginger garlic paste: 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
Red Pepper/Chilli Powder: 1.5 tsp
Garam Masala Powder: 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder: 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves: 5 leaves
Oil: as required
Salt to taste
A pinch of sugar

Kitchen Items Required

Vessel to cook and a flat spatula


1)Boil eggs, remove the shells, make slits on them (vertical)
2)In the vessel, add oil and when hot, add the curry leaves and then the onion
3)Fry onions till they just start browning. Add tomatoes.
4)Keep cooking the tomatoes, till they break down and form a nice gravy.
5)Add the ginger garlic paste and all the powders and mix well till the oil starts leaving the sides.
5)Add salt and sugar. Add more spice as needed.
6)Now add the eggs. Be careful when stirring the gravy, since the eggs can break easily. Garish with cilantro.
7)Serve with Roti or Rice.

To checkout more egg recipes, please follow this link to Foodista
Egg on Foodista

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