Friday, May 23, 2008

Rice & Lentil Pudding...Chakarai Pongal - Think Spice

DSC02541 Last Monday being Victoria day we had a long weekend in Canada. Enjoyed watching the Fire works with kids from our balcony. And whats a holiday if it doesn't end with a sweet dish. I thought it would be right to post this pudding...for the Think Spice Food event. The spice for this month is "Cardamom"

This dessert which is mostly prepared for festivals in South India. "Chakarai Pongal" Chakarai in Tamil means Sugar. Pongal is the combo of cooked Rice and Moong Dhall.
Raw Rice - 1 cup
Moong Dhall - 1-1/2 cup
Jaggery 400 to 500gms or Sugar - 1.5 to 2 cups (depending upon your sweet tolerance level)
Cardamon powder - 5 pods
Salt - a pinch
Coconut small pieces or shredded - 1/2 cup (optional)
Milk - 1 cup (optional)
ghee - 1/4 cup
Cashew and raisins fried in ghee - 1/4 cup

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Wash & Pressure cook Rice and Dhall almost to paste consistency.
Make a jaggery or sugar syrup and add to the cooked rice and dhall mixture.
Add salt, cardamom powder, coconut, and milk.
Mix well and now add the ghee and stir well for the ghee to penetrate through the whole mixture.
Add the fried raisins and cashews and remove from heat.
Serve warm.

This is my entry for Think Spice - Cardamom originally created by Sunitha, and this month hosted by EasyCrafts.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Tandoori (Wild Atlantic) Salmon

DSC00236 Back home I never even heard of the name of Salmon fish. And the first time I ever tasted this fish was in an Air Canada flight from London to Toronto. When I had to choose from Chicken or Salmon, unlike other times I dared to try a totally new dish. That was a baked Salmon with creamy sauce and boiled greens..I was happy I liked it or else I would have starved that meal.

So there starts my story with this fish "Salmon"...and now for the past few years I enjoy the home cooked Salmon with boiled greens or vegies.

Though there are a variety of ways to cook this fish. This is one the most easiest, tastiest and healthiest ways I enjoy cooking it. And this contributes to a quick dinner meal...on the week days when you return home after a tired day of work.

More over kids and my Husband like it too. Though it can be made spicy..we can reduce the spice so kids can have too. As it is adviceable to have fish atleast 2-3 servings a week, I try to include fish in our meals. And if you are into that Omega3 slogan/jargon...then Salmon is one fish which contains "Omega3 fatty acids" which increases the good cholestrol.

More on Salmon:
DSC00234 Salmon nutrition facts show us that the benefits of salmon are many. The Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon and other fatty fish may help prevent heart disease and stroke by lowering the body's rate of blood clotting.

Omega-3 fatty acids also decrease the level of triglycerides, which damages your arteries, and can lower your blood pressure. All heart healthy advantages.

An added benefit is that research has shown that if you do have a heart attack, fish eaters are less likely to die from the irregular heart rhythm that often follows a heart attack.

Research is showing other benefits from eating salmon. Omega-3 fatty acids help lower LDL or "bad" cholesterol, another gain for a healthy heart. It is also thought to help prevent cancer, including prostate and breast cancer, as well as arthritis and other inflammatory diseases like psoriasis. You can see why salmon is thought to be one of the best foods with protein we can eat.

Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to reduce menstrual cramps, prevent depression and help protect against Alzheimer's disease.

A bonus for diabetics - Omega-3 fatty acids can help stabilize blood sugar. It is also thought to prevent hunger pangs, a real boon for those of us watching our calorie intake.

So if you are seafood eaters go ahead and take the benefit of eatign this fish.Here is one of the ways you can enjoy it.

The recipe below is the fusion of the western fish "Wild Atlantic Salmon" with the Eastern Spices. One of the best ways to eat this fish, cause Salmon has a mild flavour, to compliment it the addition of the Indian Spices really help.

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Wild Atlantic Salmon fish Steaks/Thick Fillets, w/or w/o skin.
Olive Oil for frying - 2 Tbsp; If baking top 1 tbsp oil on the fillets/steak

Plain Yogurt : 1 Tbsp
ginger/garlic paste - 1 tsp
Chilly powder - 1tsp (Optional)
Fish Masala - 2 tsp (I use Shan Fish masala)
Tandoori Masala - 1 Tbsp ( I use Kissan or Zaika)
Lemon pepper - 1/2 tsp
Sambar powder - 1 tsp (optional)
Finely chopped Fresh coriander and curry leaves
Salt to taste.

In a bowl mix all the marination items with enough water to make a paste.

Rub the Marinate on the fish fillets with the above marination for 1 - 3 hrs

Now either pan fry the fish peices with the heated oil.

If baking preheat oven to 375c and bake each side for 10 minutes.

Garnish with onion rings, cilantro and a dash of lime.

Serve this with Stir fried or baked Vegies.