Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Spicy Ham Egg Omelet with Indian fusion

DSC02458 Indian food is all about spice and flavour. Be it vegetarian or non-veg, there's got to be lot of flavour and this omelet is no exception. Cheese and ham omelet is quiet familiar in this part in the western world and a spicy omelet with lots of onions and green chillies is quiet common in South India..So this Spicy Egg Ham Omelet is the fusion of both.

This is so simple to make. Be it for a breakfast/brunch/snack or dinner, for a meaty full feeling you have the ham and for the goodness of veggies, herbs and spice we have the onions, green chillies, curry leaves, coriander leaves and the seasoning of salt and ground black pepper.I actually don't like the smoky smell of the ham...so the best way to cover this is to add the flavour from onions, green chillies, curry leaves and coriander..the aroma of the end product is exceptionally good.

Ingredients :
2 Eggs ( 1 whole + 1 white) - U can use 2 whole too. or use Egg substitute
1 Thick slice cut from a Smoked Processed Ham (I usually use black forest seasoned ham..but any variety will do) - either cut into small cubes or thin 1 inch length slices
1/2 inch wide cheddar cheese cut into cubes ( I usually don't use..I prefer mine w/o cheese)
1/2 onion cut breath-wise almost like semi circles
2 - 3 green chillies slit and cut into pieces
6-8 curry leaves
1/ tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp oil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
salt to taste

Beat the eggs till lathery, add the cut ham, onions, green chillies, curry leaves, coriander leaves, salt, pepper and cheese if you are using.
Mix together.
Apply oil or spray on a heated non-stick pan.
Spread the Egg ham mixture evenly on the surface of the pan and cover with a lid.
Cook on medium till one side is slightly brown.
Flip to the other side and cook till the onions are cooked and then remove from heat.
Enjoy it with a piece of whole wheat toast for breakfast or if you are having it for dinner with a cup of tempered chickpeas/kidney beans/white beans for a whole meal.

Usually I don't go near processed foods...but sometimes if I buy Ham on sale this the best way I enjoy it. Another best combo for ham is cranberry sauce...I can never eat ham just like it in a bland way...Little spice & flavour is always good. And my friends out there who eat ham..try out this indianized version of Ham omelet..and trust me,you will not be disappointed.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Egg and Spinach Gravy

Spinach and Egg Curry/ Palak aur Ande/Palakura Goddu Pulusu/Aarekeerai Muttai kuzhambu
There are these days where you want to have two side dishes for a meal, but don't have the mood or energy to make both. Usually I make a yummy Thick Egg gravy and a vegie dish separate to accompany it. One Day I didn't want to invest time making both but wanted the goodness of both dishes..So experimented this Spinach Egg gravy, which turned out to be good.

For those who don't eat Eggs, you can simply make the spinach gravy, and have it with rice and pappad.

Ingredients :
5 - 6 Large Eggs
1 Bunch/Pkt Spinach
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium onion
4-5 green chillies
8-10 curry leaves
1 lemon size Tamarind ball
1/4 cup tomato puree
1 tsp chilly powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp semolina/rava
Coriander leaves to garnish - finely chopped

Soak tamarind in 1/2 cup warm water for about 1/2 hour. Squeeze the juice into 2 cups of water. Keep aside.
Clean, wash and cut spinach leaves. Keep aside.
Boil egg till hard and peel of shell, make slits on all sides and fry them in oil for a minute or two, keep aside. The skin of the egg cracks a little while frying unlike being smooth.
My mom always use to fry hard boiled eggs before she dropped them into the boiling gravy.
To hot oil, add mustard and allow to splutter, add cumin seeds, wait for a few seconds and add green chillies, curry leaves, saute'
Add onions, cut into thin slices and fry till they cooked
Add the cut spinach, saute' for a minute, add salt and cook till greens are almost done.
Now add the tomato puree, and cook till raw tomato smell is gone.
Add the 3 spice powders and mix well and cook for 2 minutes
Now add the tamarind juice, and bring it to boil.
Once the gravy is bubbling, add the rava and the egg and mix well.
Once the rava expands in size you can remove the gravy from heat.
Add coriander leaves if desired.
Serve with hot plain rice with crunchy papad or roti.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Spicy Shrimp or Prawn Curry - Andhra Style

apc1-green Andhra is supposed to be the spiciest state in India. So most of the NV dishes are all spiced up to the core. Andhra style prawn/shrimp curry is no different. Usually the dry spices like cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, cloves are not accompanied with the Seafood varieties. But this prawn dish is an exception. It gets its unique spice flavour from the crushed cinnamon and cloves. Also a generous amount of ginger garlic paste makes this dish a real spice of Andhra.

Growing up mom never use to make it so spicy. she never added the garam masala powder and sometimes even omitted the GG paste. So I used to taste this special prawns curry sometimes in take outs or restaurants. I remember one such occasion where the taste of this prawn curry had left its memory with me..

Here I tried to duplicate that taste...
apc4-blue Ingredients:
2 lb shrimp or prawns - medium size, deshelled, deveined
2 Tbsp oil (Vegetable/Canola/Sunflower)
2 large tomatoes or 1 cup tomato puree
2 large onions finely chopped
5 -6 green chillies slit
12-15 curry leaves
1 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
2 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp turmeric power
1 tsp finely crushed cinnamon + cloves or garam masala powder
1/2 cup finely chopped coriander leaves.
Salt to taste

apc6 Directions:
Place the cleaned shrimp/prawn in a bowl and add enough salt, turmeric and chilly powder.
Allow to marinate for 5 - 10 min.
In a Kadai/pot, heat oil add the seasoned prawns and saute till prawn smell is gone and a wonderful aroma starts to come, the prawns are almost cooked here...
Remove from the kadai and keep aside.
Add more oil to the kadai and after the oil heats ups, add the crushed cinnamon + cloves, saute' till nice aroma is smelled.
Add cut onions, green chillies, curry leaves, and saute' till onions are fried and cooked fully.
Add ginger garlic paste and saute till raw smell is gone.
Add crushed tomatoes and cook till smell changes.
Add red chilly powder, salt and cook till oil leaves the thick gravy.
Add the sauteed prawns and mix well to coat them with the masala evenly.
Add a bit of garam masala powder now.
Once the red color is achieved, and the gravy is very thick sticking the prawns add the finely chopped coriander leaves and remove from heat.

Serve with hot rice and sambar.

apc7 This prawn curry dry is best accompanied with sambar though you can just mix the thick gravy with plain hot rice.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mutton or Lamb Dum Biryani Rice

Finally the wait for Biryani Rice post on my space is over...friends keep asking me "how come you have not published the famous Biryani recipe for which India is known for so much?"...No doubt the land of spices has this one drooling dish as jewel on its crown.

I would have made Chicken/Mutton/Lamb/Veal/Beef Biryani umpteen number of times in my 10 - 11 years of cooking experience, and in these 2 years of Food blogging, some how I never got an opportunity to shoot this Biryani dish whenever I made. One reason being that most of the times it is a special occasion for which I'm cooking and you can imagine how crazy rush I would have been into..and other reason is just thinking I will be cooking it many more times latter, so I won't brother to click. Somehow this time it just happened..though I was extremely busy I took time to click some pictures.

Well, Biryani is done in a few different ways...India being such a culturally varied country, each region adapted this recipe and added a few changes to accomadate their taste. I will have to probably post 3-4 varieties from time to time. For now I'm posting the Dum Biryani. Recently when I was chatting with my SIL we shared the recipes and one of it was the Biryani recipe, which she emailed to me..So I adapted some variation of my original recipe from hers...especially the coconut paste addition. Hubby is a huge fan of my biryani and my little ones call it "Brown rice".

lb3 We accompanied it with Chicken Karahi curry. BTW I should see if this qualifies as an entry for MM Ravishing Rice food blog event, this time hosted by Nags, originally created by Meeta.

lb5 Lets get into the making of this much awaited "Lamb Biryani - Dum style"
Raw : pound boneless lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes or 3 lb in with bones.(preferable for biryani)
2 lb Long grain basmati rice
2 large onion, cut into thin slices
4 Whole Tomatoes
4 Green chillies slit

For marination:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1//2 tsp garam masala powder
1/4 cup very finely chopped coriander and mint leaves
1/2 tsp salt

Dry Spices:

3 Star anise
6 bay leaves
6 cardamom pods
6 cloves
6 small cinnamon sticks
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 Nut meg
1 Tsp mace
1 tsp whole black pepper balls

Other Masalas/Spice powders:
1 tsp chilly powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste

Pastes :
2 Tbsp Ginger garlic paste

For the other paste grind :

1/4 cup grated fresh coconut
6 green chillies
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 cup yogurt
1 tsp black pepper balls
1/4 cup mint leaves
1/4 cup coriander leaves
Enough water

3 - 5 tablespoons butter/ghee

Garnish :
Fried Onions form 2 large onions, cut into thin slices
A few lemon wedges/circles
finely chopped coriander and mint leaves
Hard boiled egg halves - optional
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped cashews

Marinate lamb with the marinade items, for atleast 3 hours or overnight.
Wash and soak basmati rice for half an hour.
Soak saffron strands in milk.
Separately fry the garnish onions, cashew and raisins in ghee/oil and keep aside.
In a pot/pressure cooker heat ghee/oil and add the dry spices and saute' till the color changes.
Add the onions, green chillies and cook till onions are translucent.
Add ginger garlic paste and fry till the rawness is gone.
Add the meat pieces along with marinade and fry them for about 1-2 mins
Add the spice powders - chilly and garam masala powder. You can omit chilly powder if you don't desire that chilly flavour or too much spicy.
Keep mixing thoroughly on high heat for the mutton/lamb pieces to absorb the spices.
Add the ground coconut + mint coriander paste and mix well.
Now add the cut tomatoes and salt, mix well.
Add 1/2 cup of water mix well and pressure cook for 15 - 20 mints
If not using a pressure cooker than cook till the meat is almost done.

DSC03894 If the meat gravy is too watery, increase the heat and let the water evaporate to make it a medium thick gravy. But not too thick that the gravy cannot penetrate thru the rice layers.
Mean while cook rice till 3/4 done separately and keep aside. You can either strain the rice till it is 3/4 done or if using a rice cooker put 1:1 ratio and cook.
Once the meat and the rice are ready for the dam process, arrange them in layers alternatively in an aluminium foil tray or any oven proof glass/porcelain ware.
For each rice layer add some amount of saffron milk, lime circles and coriander mint leaves.
And for the end layer of rice add the fried onions, cashew and raisins.

DSC03896 Preheat the oven to 350c.
Cover the Biryani tray with foil and seal on the edges.
Place in the centre of the oven rack and bake for 1 hour, reducing the heat to 150 - 200c.
After 1 hour turn down the oven and let the Biryani rest for 1/2 an hour.
Remove from the oven decorate with more garnish items.
Serve with raita, eggplant masala or karahi gravy.