Saturday, 17 May 2014

Rasmalai



I was inspired to try making rasmalai at home, after having it at my sister-in-law Shanoo’s place, though I think the recipe I followed is a little different from hers.



The recipe I followed is what I saw on the blogosphere, I saw this quick and easy recipe on many blogs and the tips I have included was in one of the blogs, don’t remember which one.

Here is how I made it...



Ingredients

1 cup milk powder,
1 tsp baking powder,
1 big pinch powdered green cardamom seeds,
1 beaten egg,
1 litre milk,
7 tbsps sugar,
1 tsp ghee,
A large pinch saffron strands
Sliced almonds or pistachios for garnishing

Method

In a mixing bowl take the milk powder, baking powder and cardamom powder. Mix it well, now add the beaten egg and mix it well with a spoon.

Don’t mix it with your fingers as it may get too messy. After it is well mixed with a spoon apply some ghee on your palms and some on the tips of your fingers.



Take a small portion of this mixture and roll it into a ball. Ensure you make small balls as they will swell up once they cook. I made about 20 balls from this mixture.

Once all the balls are ready prick them gently with a tooth pick.

Take the milk in a shallow pan and let it come to a gentle boil. Take some of this milk in a bowl and add the saffron strands to this bowl and immerse them in.



Add the sugar to the boiling milk and let it get dissolved. Once it is dissolved tip in the prepared balls and cook on a low heat. After about 5 minutes turn all the balls around and cook for another 5-7 minutes. They will almost double in size by now. Turn off the heat and pour the saffron milk over the rasmalai.

Serve chilled garnished with sliced almonds or pistachios.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Amritsari Macchi



Today was the first time I tried out this popular Amritsari roadside food item.

Before I actually made it, I did some research for the recipe but strangely most of the recipes I did find used fish like surmai and rawas. Now since this is a recipe from Amritsar a place which doesn’t have a sea closeby...I found this really funny ... given then both surmai and rawas are sea fish.
I tried with rohu which no one can debate is a river fish. Here goes my recipe...



Ingredients

About 6-8 slices of rohu,
2 1/2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste,
2 tbsp red chilli powder or as per taste,
Salt to taste,
1 tsp turmeric powder,
½ cup of gram flour,
2 tbsps yoghurt,
¾ tsp of ajwain,
1 tbsp lemon juice,
Oil for deep frying

Method

Clean the fish and pat dry. You can use any large fish of your choice, either boneless or with bones.

Make a marinade using half the ginger-garlic paste, half the red chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder. Apply this to the fish and let it marinate for at least half an hour. I marinated the fish for about 5-6 hours in the refrigerator.

Mix all the other ingredients except the oil and apply to the fish slices. Let this stand for another 20 minutes.

Heat the oil (I used mustard oil, you can use any refined oil) and add the slices about 2-3 slices at a time depending on the size of your pan. Fry till done.

If you like to have your fried fish crisp, refry it while serving, this will ensure the fish is really crisp.

Serve with onion slices and lemon wedges. You can sprinkle chaat masala on it too while serving (I did not feel the need for it).

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Tamarind Rice and Train Journeys



The first time I heard about tamarind rice was from our Tamilian neighbours, they mentioned that on long train journeys from Mumbai to Tamil Nadu they would always carry tamarind rice as it stayed for long and didn’t spoil.



Train journeys were so much fun. I guess in today’s era when all of us have very little time to spare we often choose other modes of travel rather than train travel. But in the days of yore travel by train was ‘the’ way to travel with tickets being booked way in advance and a lot of packing of things to eat enroute.

Different regions and communities had their own specific preferences on the best thing to take for these long journeys. South Indians would generally take tamarind rice or lemon rice. I know many northerners and even people from Gujarat and Maharashtra would always prefer puri and aloo ki sabzi made without any water for long life. The other day I met someone and she mentioned she still takes paratha and karele ki sabzi when she is travelling by train and yes aate ka halwa too. Then there are others who generally take paratha and kababs.

Every family would also have a large thermos for taking tea and yes I remember sometime back a friend had posted something about the Milton water cooler. That is so reminiscent about travel in those days :-). 
 
I got thinking about all this as I made pullikachal or the paste used for making tamarind rice the other day, though not for train journeys but as an easy thing to fill in my office lunch box ;-).

Ingredients

1 lemon-sized ball of tamarind,
Salt to taste,
½ tsp turmeric powder,
1-2 tsps jaggery

To be Roasted and Ground to a Powder

2 tsps urad dal,
3 tbsps channa dal,
2 tsps coriander seeds,
9-10 black pepper corns,
A handful of curry leaves,
1 tsp of sesame seeds,
½ tsp fenugreek seeds,
10-12 red chillies

For the Seasoning

3 tbsps of sesame oil,
2 red chillies,
1 tsp channa dal,
2-3 tbsps of peanuts,
1 tsp mustard seeds,
½ tsp asafoetida,
A few curry leaves

Method

Soak the tamarind and extract the juice.

Heat the oil and add the channa dal and peanuts, let them fry on a low flame till light brown in colour. Now add the halved red chillies, mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves.

Once the mustard seeds splutter, add tamarind juice and the turmeric. Let it come to a boil, then add the salt and spice powder.

Once it thickens add the jaggery and cook for a minute more. Cool and store in a dry container. This stays well in the refrigerator for about 2-3 weeks.

When you want to make tamarind rice just mix about 2-3 tps of this in 5 cups of cooked rice. You can vary the proportion according to how tangy or spicy you want your tamarind rice to be.

Tamarind rice tastes good with fried papad. One of my friends used to prefer to have it with curds.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Mummmy's Egg Drop Curry



There are somethings which we have always had in a particular way or things which you would say 'We always make it this way' or 'My mother would always make it this way'...well this is one such recipe. My mother always made egg curry this way. Then as we started growing up and started experimenting with other methods...this got kind of forgotten.

Since my mother is with me these days, I asked her to make it again. Here goes the recipe and yes it is zero-oil.

Ingredients

4 -5 eggs,
1/2 a coconut (grated),
3-4 kashmiri red chillies,
Red chilli powder to taste,
1 tsp powdered coriander,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
1 small onion,
3 garlic cloves,
1/2 inch of ginger,
Salt to taste

Method

Grind all the ingredients except the salt, onion and eggs into a fine paste using about a cup of water. This is critical the finer your paste, the better your curry will turn out.

Slice the onion.

Take the paste into a shallow cooking pan add about 1 1/2 cup of water and salt to it. Adjust the water quantity, so the curry is not too thick and neither too thin.

Let all of this come to a boil. Now add the sliced onion and lower the heat. Let it boil for another 2-3 minutes. Now on a low heat break the eggs and drop them into the curry. Space them out. Let it cook on a gentle heat till they are set. Turn off the heat.

It's done. Serve hot with plain rice or rotis made with rice. They will also go well with Neer dosas.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Raw Mango Salad South Indian Style



Summer is for salads. Summer is also for mangoes raw and ripe. Today I made a simple raw mango salad to go with our plain lunch of dal and rice. Bliss



Ingredients

1 large raw mango,
½ cup grated coconut,
4-5 green chillies,
Salt to taste,
1 tsp oil,
1 large pinch of mustard seeds,
Few curry leaves

Method

Peel the mango and grate it.

Pound the coconut and green chillies into a coarse paste.

Mix the mango, coconut-green chilli paste in a mixing bowl with salt to taste.

Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds, once they pop add the curry leaves and drizzle this over the salad.

That’s it!