Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mutton Curry with Coconut Gravy

DSC04798 Christmas is here and it brings all the memories of childhood, where we enjoyed carols, home decorations, Christmas tree, greeting cards, new clothes, Church worship, family reunions, friends visiting, baking cakes, or making pastries, sweets and savories, purchasing cartons of fruits, distributing goodies to neighbours, friend, relations, etc.. and not to mention the scrumptious feast on the big day..The usual menu in our joint family was Pilaf or biriyani, variety of chicken curries and variety of veggie curries. In my Aunt's place it was always Pilaf/Biriyani with Spicy Mutton gravy and brinjal chutney. No doubt Mutton is the most favourite meat for most Non-Vegetarians back home.

DSC04800 Here is one version of the most loved mutton curry.

DSC04797 Ingredients :
2 lb Mutton cut into bite size
2 Tbsp Oil
3 - 4 Onions over medium size)
4 -5 Green chillies slit
2 Tbsp - Ginger garlic paste
2 Tomatoes (large) or 1 cup Tomato puree
2 tsp Red chilly powder - 2 ½ tsp.
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1 Tbsp five spice garam masala power
2 Tbsp poppy seeds (soaked in enough water and ground into a smooth paste)
1/2 cup Coconut paste/puree (add little water to the grated coconut and make a puree)
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves (finely chopped)

For the Five Spice powder :
Put together a handful (around 50 gms)of the following spices and grind into a coarse powder and store in a air tight container.
Fennel seeds
Star Anise
DSC04801 Method:
In a pressure cooker, allow oil to become hot and add onions, green chillies and saute' till onions are fully cooked and mushy.
Add ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw smell is gone.
Add the mutton pieces along with turmeric, chilly powder, and salt and mix thoroughly till all the mutton pieces are well coated.
Add half of the garam masala powder and mix again.
Add cut tomatoes or puree and close the cooker lid for 2 mints without the whistle inserted.
This will create pressure inside to inject the mutton pieces with masala and also in the process the water from the mutton gets released.
Remove lid and add cup of water or a little more, mix and again close the lid, this time with the whistle and cook for 25 -30 minutes on a medium low heat.
After the time is done, release pressure, remove lid and check to see if mutton is almost done.
Now add the poppy seed paste, coconut paste and remaining garam masala and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the mutton is soft.
Add coriander leaves and remove form heat.
Serve hot with any seasoned rice, or roti.


Sending this Mutton curry dish to EFM-Mutton Seriesevent hosted by Srilekha of Srishkitchen.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my viewers, readers, friends and family!!!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ghee Coconut Rice

DSC04819 As we experienced a long-overdue dose of winter-like weather with blowing snow, ice, rain, pellets, heavy snowfall, whiteouts - you name it - we've had a bit of everything. The wintery weather calls for some variety rice instead of a bland version to put some flavour and spice into the dull and dark days of freezing rain with light snow.

Ghee Rice is famous in south India mostly in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka states and northern parts of AP. A typical ghee rice is made with jeeraga samba rice(jeera rice) which has a unique flavour by itself which gets enhanced by addition of ghee and other ingredients..

In Tamil Nadu, they mix both ghee and coconut and make an extremely flavourful rice called Coconut Rice which is truly magical..Mostly basmati rice is used here. Very simple to make, yet packed with richness this Coconut Ghee rice is a great combo with any Vegetarian or Non Vegetarian curried gravies.

Hot Ghee is tempered with cashew nuts, curry leaves, thinly sliced green chillies, onions and grated coconut. To this cooked basmati rice is added and seasoned with salt. Perfect to enjoy with a creamy veggie, chicken or mutton gravy.

DSC04818 Ingredients:
4 cups cooked Basmati rice(add a little salt while cooking the rice)
3 Tbsp Ghee
1/2 cup crated coconut
1/4 Cashews and raisins
2 sprigs Curry leaves
1 large onions thinly sliced
3-4 green chillies slit into four and seeds removed
Salt to taste
Finely chopped coriander leaves if desired.

Cook basmati rice with just little salt and keep aside
Heat ghee in a wok/kadai/deep pan, add cashew and raisins and allow raisins to pop up and cashew turn little brown.
Remove cashew and raisins from ghee and transfer into a small bowl.
Allow curry leaves to sizzle in the same hot ghee and then add green chillies, onions and fry till onions are mild brown.
Add grated coconut and fry till coconut slightly turns color and changes smell.
Now add cooked basamati rice, salt, cashew and raisins and mix till all the rice is well coated with ghee, tempering and coconut.
Check to see for enough salt
Add coriander leaves if using and remove from heat.
Serve warm with Curried gravies.

DSC04814 Sending this rice to EFM-Variety Rice Series event hosted by Sriskitchen.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tandoori Finger Fish w/ Basa Fish Fillets

AKA Fish Pakoda

BFFF1 And finally 'Toronto' got its first heavy snow this week, after a record break of snow free November after 162 years. With festive season going in full zoom and the stage set for a perfect winter wonderland, its time to enjoy hot spicy finger food like Basa Tandoori finger fish/Pakoda.

The first time I got to taste this finger fish was from a Indian/Pakistani takeout 2 years ago. I and hubby were completely taken by the taste of it. Moreover my husband is a huge seafood fan. Again no misconceptions here..our seafood menu is very selective and confined only to cooked fish, shrimp/prawn and occasionally crabs. So fish being the main Seafood that we look forward to enjoy..I use to takeout this finger fish whenever I visited this takeout place and also found out from them that they were using Basa fish fillets to make this Tandoori fish pakoda. Then one day I was happy to find raw Basa fish fillet in the Asian grocery store's frozen food section. I took no time to grab one packet of that frozen Basa fish and the thought occured to me "why don't I try the Restaurant style Finger fish at home". I have this habit of trying out restaurant food at home. So I reproduced the takeout/restaurant style at home and it didn't disappoint me. Ever since I started making this at home instead of takeout. Though I made this finger fish a few times, never got a chance to click it. This time since I made and parcelled it to one of my my friend who is expecting, I tried to present it the same way as they do in the take out and clicked the same.

BFFF2 This fish fry makes a good starter dish and is apt to accompany the finger food trays.

So here is my recipe for Tandoori Basa Finger Fish :
Ingredients :
Two Basa fish fillets, cut into thin long strips about a finger length.
Oil for frying.
Corn flour/Channa flour - 2 Tbsp
ginger/garlic paste - 1 tsp
Chilly powder - 1tsp
Fish Masala - 2 tsp (I use Shan Fish masala)
Lemon pepper - 1/2 tsp
Tandoori Masala - 1 tsp
Salt to taste.
Garnish :
Onion rings
Lemon wedges
Coriander leaves chopped

Method :
In a mixing bowl add all the marination items with enough water to make a paste.
Marinated the fish strips with the above marination for 1 - 3 hrs
Now either deep fry or pan fry the fish pieces with enough oil.
Garnish with onion rings, cilantro and a dash of lime.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sweet Potato Laddus/Balls

DSC04920 In my previous post of sweet potato, I had mentioned all the goodness that this root vegetable has to offer us. So to find a way or two to include this in our diet helps. In my childhood, apart from eating it just in boiled form, we use to enjoy it when granny adds it to a curry or my dearest aunt used to make these sweet laddus.

In fact once when I was visiting my cousins for a vacation in childhood, my Aunt made these laddus, with which I totally fell in love with. I was all praises for her that she could transform the just boiled sweet potato into this flavourful dessert treat in no time.

After marriage I too try to make these laddus once in a while.

1 large sweet potato
1 tbsp + 1 tsp Ghee
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Condensed milk
1/4 cup grated Coconut
Little salt to add while boiling the potatoes

Cut the Sweet Potatoes into large chunks add enough water and salt and Pressure cook for 10 - 15 minutes.
Check to see if the potatoes are done by passing a knife through chunks.
If the knife passes freely, then remove from heat and discard water.
Remove skin once the potatoes can be touched without burning fingers.
Mash them a little and keep aside.
Roast the grated coconut in 1/2 tsp of ghee for a minute or so and add it to the mashed potato.
Now add ghee, sugar, condensed milk to the potato mixture and thoroughly mash and mix till all evenly mixed and the sugar is melted.
Grease fingers with the remaining ghee time to time and make small lemon size balls and serve immediately.
Good accompaniment for breakfasts.