March 2, 2010

Banana Bread

Bananas are a usual at my place first few days we try to consume them with upma when they are just of the right ripeness then as days pass by they start turning color and then nobody wants them any more not even me. So usually these ripe and slightly blackened bananas get transformed into the banana bread I am sure who ever invented this recipe did it out of desperation to use up the too ripe bananas what ever be the case it turns out great. This recipe is based on the food network website very easy and simple to make , and a great snack too.

what u need :

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.
Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the milk and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until flour disappears.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool completely before slicing.

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February 26, 2010

Beef Curry

We are just back from our India trip which was so good, all of us had a great time. Among all the dishes we got to try the one that inspired me to make this dish was the beef curry well I have modified it a bit , but this is a good gravy dish with appam , rotis or rice too.

what u need :

beef cut up-1 pound
onion - 1 cup chopped length wise
garlic -1 tablespoon chopped fine
ginger- 1 tablespoon chopped fine
tomato- 1-2 chopped
curry leaves- 7-8
turmeric- 1 teaspoon
chilli pwd -1 teaspoon (add spice as needed)
paprika - 1 teaspoon
black pepper ground- 1 teaspoon
garam masala- 1 teaspoon
EVOO-2 teaspoon
salt to taste
coconut milk- 1/2 cup

  • Clean and cut the meat in bite size pieces add 1/2 cup water cook in the cooker till at least 2 whistles let it cool down

  • Meanwhile heat up a thick bottom pan, add 2 teaspoon EVOO add the chopped onions and curry leaves cook till translucent.

  • Add the chopped ginger- garlic till raw smell is gone.

  • Add the paprika, garam masala , black pepper, cook for few mins , then add the cooked beef.

  • As beef is going to take some time to cook so cover the pan and let it cook on low flame, be sure to be mixing it once in a while so that it does not get burnt .

  • Add the chopped tomato let it cook down.

  • After about 20-25 mins the beef starts to sweat out the oil , add the coconut milk in the end .

  • Add salt as per taste, and serve with hot rice or chapathi.

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    January 10, 2010

    Chiken Fry with coconut

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    Chicken Fry with Coconut:

    There are so many dishes to make chicken but every time I cut up chicken , it ends up in the same old curry style so this time I decided to make it a little different way.This dish is partly inspired by a u tube cook and partly by my dad who is a fantastic cook.
    There are very few people who enjoy cooking and my dad is one of them, he made sure that everyone who was around participates in the cooking process even if it was just watching him cook which was so entertaining , and the cooked dish usually was a winner!! He made the whole process of cooking so easy and enjoyable looking back I guess that was one of the reasons I love to cook :)
    This year as we are planning our trip to India there are so many things on the TO DO LIST most of all is to spend some quality time with family and friends and also get to eat some great Indian food .Most of the time we go out to eat is to some fancy Indian Restaurant and end up having Indian dishes unheard of so me and my hubby usually sneak out the house under some shopping pretense and coz we love to eat the street food pipping hot vada pav's , pav bhaji and my favorite the hot masala dosa right of a tava on the streets of Mumbai irresistible . We manage to have all these every trip , trying to keep the tradition on for this trip too.
    Coming back to the recipe this a a little time consuming dish but all the time and effort put in in the end is well worth it.

    What u need :
    • chicken – 1 full cut up in bite size pieces
    • onion – 1 cup chopped
    • coconut grated - ½ cup
    • ginger garlic – 1 tablespoon chopped
    • red dried chillies – 4-5
    • black pepper whole – 1 teaspoon full
    • cinnamon bark- 2-3
    • cloves- 4-5
    • bay leaves – 3-4
    • cardamon – 3-4
    • anise star- 2-3
    • curry leaves - 1-2 springs
    • oil – 1-2 tablespoon
    • salt to taste
    • turmeric- 1 teaspoon full
    • paprika 1 tablespoon
    Heat a small pan and roast the whole spices for a few minutes , set aside to cool .In the same pan roast the grated coconut till they r crispy and brown this usually takes 5-10 mins be careful to not burn the coconut.Now mix the coconut with the spices using a blender , mix till it is in a fine shredded form do not add any water this has to be in a dry texture.Heat a pan add oil , saute the chopped onions , add ginger garlic and cook for 5-10 mins add the curry leaves too.Add the coconut mix , along with spices turmeric and the paprika add the chicken to this mix cook for at least 20 mins till the chicken is all cooked well. Serve with hot rotis!!

    January 2, 2010

    Dal Fry

    After a long hectic travel day or a long round of high calorie fattening foods all u feel like eating is something simple and comforting. Usually after we r back from a hectic trip I try to whip up some simple Dal and Rice just brings back goodness in every bite!! A little pickle and yogurt um um good!!
    Looking back through ancient India till today one of the most prominent dishes that show up in each and every Indian cuisine be North Indian, South Indian, West or East Indian is undoubtly the dal rice.I think every Indian restaurant has this dish on its menu may a little more fancy version of dal , like dal makhani , or dal tadka , or on the south side parippu etc but all these boils down to the same thing. I remember flipping pages of international magzines mostly the travel or food magzines where u stuble upon an article about India and a snap of a plate of rice and yellow gravy by the side ( dal ). Brings back so many warm memories.
    Dal basically is also called lentils and fall in the category of pulses loaded with protein. Easily available in most Indian stores actually now I have seen them in the regular grocery stores too, usually in the Asian aisle. There are quite a few varieties of dal for that matter

    Toor dal , Masoor Dal & Moong Dal

    Many more u can add on , but these are the most common ones found almost in every Indian Pantry.
    I remember when we were young my parents used to get all their groceries from this one store where everyone goes to, and usually a whole year’s worth, not by pounds but by kilos. Same with rice in our kitchen there was this huge aluminum vessel filled with dal which as and when my mom could use the lentils it was like a magic vessel which was never empty which my mom always made sure . My mom made dal almost few times a week it goes a long way, made be mostly in sambar form by adding lots of vegetables to it.
    I always loved simple dal and rice so fulfilling and comforting usually I make it with toor and masoor dal mixed in equal proportion.
    Sometimes I boil them in excess and store in the freezer in smaller containers then as and when needed U can thaw and use it.
    Now to the recipe what u need :
    · Toor dal ½ cup
    · Masoor dal ½ cup
    · Onion chopped fine ¼ cup
    · 1 Tomato chopped
    · 2-3 chopped garlic
    · 1-2 green chillies ( optional )
    · Cilantro chopped ¼ cup
    · 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (meethi )
    · 1 tablespoon olive oil or any u prefer
    · ½ teaspoon full turmeric powder
    · 1 teaspoon full or mustard seeds and jeera
    · Salt to taste
    Boil both the dals after washing few times in water, usually I boil it in a cooker with the water level an inch above the dal , u can also boil it in the deep set pan but takes a lot longer. After the dal has cooled down .Heat a pan with the oil add the mustard and jeera when they start to pop add the chopped onion cook for a few minutes . Then add the chopped garlic and green chillies sauté till soft and a little brown in color.
    At this point u can also add a chopped tomato which is optional, cook the tomato thru then add the dried fenugreek leaves which have a very strong flavor absolutely flavorful this ingredient will just seal the deal for u, makes the dal so yummy and AUTHENTIC. Add the turmeric powder stir for a few minutes and add the cooked dal make sure it is a thick consistency u can add water as per your preference.Add salt in the end if water is added do let it boil then add the chopped cilantro leaves for garnish.
    Serve with hot steaming rice or rotis too .Enjoy !!

    December 29, 2009

    Cabbage Thoran

    Cabbage Thoran
    Such a universal keralite side dish, in Kerala practically every vegetable can be turned into a thoran just because of the abundance of coconuts all around the state.
    But also makes every vegetable simple delectable I remember one of my aunt's in Kerala use to make okra thoran which tasted good of course it was loaded up
    with shallots and grated coconut. I like the thorans , but by far the one that tops the list will be the cabbage thoran also because my brother loves this thoran
    goes great with fried fish and Moru curry.
    In India my neighbor who lived next door to us was a fantastic cook and the way she sliced cabbage was a sight in itself, most common way to chop the vegetable down south was and is to use a finger glove to protect ur finger which still gets bruised at the end of the ordeal
    Cutting by holding the vegetable in ur hand which needs a talent not everybody can do it but sure with some practice and cuts u will get there and not using the chopping board, but the product was amazingly fine and small.
    Coming to the US I was surprised when I walked through the grocery store aisles especially the produce, that cabbages are available in so many varieties, the usual one the green cabbage that we get in India then the red cabbage more like a purple red which I not a big fan of then who can forget the lil' version called Brussels sprouts.
    A whole lot to choose from, I have tried all of them Brussels sprouts do taste a little different than the regular green cabbage and good too.
    Now to the recipe which is a super simple and easy dish to make,
    what u need
    Cabbage 1/2 chopped fine
    Grated Coconut 1/4 cup
    Shallots 1-2 chopped
    Ginger 1/2 inch grated
    Green chillis chopped 1-2
    Curry leaves 1 spring
    Mustard seeds 1 teaspoon
    Oil to cook 1-2 teaspoon
    Salt to taste
    Heat a non stick pan , add oil to the pan , after a few minutes add mustard seeds when they start to pop, add the chopped shallots, ginger, green chillis and curry leaves , and sauté for a few minutes.
    Add the chopped cabbage and the grated coconut together sauté add salt as needed let it cook for 10 minutes
    In between keep stirring the pan to avoid the thoran getting burnt. Once the cabbage looks translucent u can switch the heat off
    I like to cook it a little more to brown the cabbage just a tiny bit adds flavor to the dish.
    Serve with rice or rotis too.

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    December 22, 2009

    Merry Christmas & happy new year

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    It's the most wonderful time of the year
    With the kids jingle belling and everyone telling you
    "Be of good cheer"
    It's the most wonderful time of the year.



    December 21, 2009

    Moru Curry

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    Moru Curry is a traditional side dish at any keralite home , perfectly blends with chicken , fish , meat or vegetables, This dish is basically yogurt sauteed with mustard seeds and shallots, some variations of theses are by adding either mango, pineapple, raw bananas, white cucumber etc . The addition of veges just makes it more hardy and filling. I remember having this dish almost every few days but still was never bored of it , if nothing kalan or pulissery is always there which are the other names for this yummy dish.
    This Year as Christmas is just around the corner the one thing we all look forward to is the warmth, and goodness, with our family and yes ! the yummy food. This dish was a regular side dish for all Christmas dinner's we had along with the family and still is .There are always the popular ones like chicken curry , beef olatheyadhe and pork vindaloo. Along all the other dishes are on the list I decided to share this one something simple and super easy still so tasty!! It perfectly complements the non-vegetarian dishes sort of adding a added comfort level to the dishes.
    What u need:
    1 shallot chopped
    5-6 red Chillies

  • 1 teaspoonful garlic chopped

  • ½ tea spoon Turmeric Powder
    ¼ tea spoon Methi (Uluva) Powder
    ¼ tea spoon Cumin (jeera) Powder

    2½ cup Yogurt (Curd)

  • salt, oil, mustard seeds, and curry leaves.

    Heat oil in a deep set pan add mustard seeds , red chillies, garlic curry leaves and chopped shallots.
    Stir for a while and then add the turmeric powder, methi powder, cumin powder and salt.
    Now add some water. Cover it and cook for some time.
    When cooked well, switch off the stove, and after a while add the whipped yogurt to it, stir well.
    add the whipped yogurt gently in to the pan with stirring it .
    Add salt in the end with constant stirring . U can also add coconut milk for a rich flavor .
    Other options also include adding cooked cub sized veges like white cucumber, raw banana or pineapple too.
    Enjoy with rice !!

    November 30, 2009

    Baked Chicken with herbs

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    Thanksgiving is always such a great time to reach out and celebrate the season, before coming to the US little did I know of such a tradition existing, but now that my lil' kinder gardener comes homes with all the educational information it is so interesting to learn about Thanksgiving and what it has evolved in.
    Every year we at home celebrate Thanksgiving by giving thanks to all the people who make your life and world a beautiful place, also we make the dishes only difference since we do not have a big family around whom we always MISS during the holidays , so the big Turkey is substituted by a whole chicken which a family of four can easily devour.

    this baked chicken is super simple and a delicious,

    What u need:

    whole chicken thawed
    butter - 2 tablespoon RT(room temp)
    all herbs -thyme, oregano, rosemary my favourite
    rock salt- as needed
    black pepper- freshly crushed
    lemon-1 cut in slices

    Rub the dried chicken with butter, salt and pepper all around
    make sure to go under the skin of the chicken.
    Add the herbs to the baking pan rub lemon on the chicken
    keep it for at least 2 hours in the fridge.
    then Preheat oven to 400°F Cook for 30 minutes at 400°F.
    Then lower the heat to 350°F and cook for 10-30 minutes more (approximately 14 to 15 minutes per pound total cooking time) until juices run clear (not pink)
    when poked with a sharp knife or the internal temperature of the
    chicken breasts is 170°F and the thighs 185°.
    serve with potatoes and Njoy !

    November 16, 2009

    Egg Potato Curry

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    Every Sunday growing up I remember my mom would make idly , dosa or on occasions appam for breakfast, now that I am a mom myself I have few traditions of my own since the weekdays are so busy with two kids and jobs the weekend I prefer to make a hearty breakfast and the one that my 6 year old loves the most is appam and egg curry. Some days he will specially request for it.
    Since we all love it this one is a pretty common breakfast and easy to make too. I usually boil the eggs and potatoes the evening before make things a lot easier. Now to the recipe

    What you need :
    eggs-4 boiled
    potatoes-1 boiled cut cub size
    onion (shallots ) - 1/2 cup chopped
    ginger- 1 tablespoon chopped
    tomato-1 finely chopped
    turmeric- 1 teaspoon
    chilli pwd -2 teaspoon (add spice as needed)
    paprika - 2 teaspoon
    garam masala - 1 teaspoon
    curry leaves- 4-5
    half n half or coconut milk-1/4 cup
    whole spices -cinnamon, cardamon, bay leaves ,anise ,mace (few each)
    olive oil-2 tablespoon
    salt as needed

    heat a pan with the EVOO.
    add the whole spices in to get the flavor going,
    add chopped onions and chopped ginger into the hot oil and
    cook till the raw taste goes away or till the onion turns a little brown
    then add turmeric, paprika, chilli pwd, and garam masala and
    let it cook for a few mins more till the spice blend into the onion .
    Add the tomatoes mix well let it cook for at least 5-10 mins
    add the salt as per your taste
    let it simmer till the gravy is thick .
    Add the eggs and the boiled potatoes mix well now the give the sauce a creamy texture add coconut milk or half n half. Simmer for few mins more DO NOT BOIL.
    Serve with soft appams .

    November 9, 2009

    Mint Vegatable Biryani

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    Some days are just so hectic it is hard to make a full course dinner especially both me and hubby working and two kids it seems like we are always running and 24 hours do not seem enough, so to satisfy our hunger I usually try to make up some with whatever is left in the fridge since no one of us want to really go grocery shopping.
    So this is a very common biryani whipped up with everything left in bitesN bits in your fridge. Also since my mint plant is growing by leaps and bounds have to chop it off like every month had to add some of those too which made this dish turned out pretty much like a mint vegetable biryani.

    What u need:

    basmati rice 2 cups
    sliced onions 2
    thinly sliced onions seperate for garnish 1 cup optional
    tomato 1 cup
    chopped vegetables like cauliflower, potatoes, beans, carrots , peas etc
    green chillies 4 optional
    garlic 1 inch
    ginger 1 inch
    minced coriander leaves
    mint leaves about 1/2 of the cilantro
    salt to taste
    Star anise 1
    Bay leaves 3
    peppercorns 10
    cloves and cardamon 8 each
    cinnamon 2 pieces
    garam masala Sanjeev Kapoor's 1 tsp
    half n half 1/2 cup
    turmeric 1/2 teaspoon
    lemon juice 2 tsp

    Heat with oil fry whole spices lighlty.
    A minute or two later add onions cook till they r soft and little brown add tomatoes and veges fry well with the onions .
    add ginger and garlic in paste form along with mint n cilantro.
    Add to this turmeric powder and the spices u can add garam masala too I added Sanjeev Kapoor's garam masala.
    Once the veges are nice crispy n half cooked add the half n half or cream also is an option gives a very soft flavour to the biryani , let it simmer till the sauce is thick about 10-15 minutes.
    Now for the rice boil a pot of water with salt and lemon juice (lemon juice makes the rice fluffy ) and whole spices add the washed rice and cook till half done.
    Strain the rice and let it drain ,then mix the vege gravy and rice little at a time till even and bake for 30 mins at 350 C.
    What I need did was took it baking pan out slightly mixed the biryani put it back in again makes it even color .

    For garnish add fried onions and raisins serve with a yogurt based raita.

    Cinnamon rolls

      This year I decided to go on a baking mode with some new cookie recipes and some older tried and tested goodies, Filling up the house with...