Friday, July 27, 2007

A Grilled Platter

In India, summer is like any other season. It is not a season that we wait for. But here in the US, summer is something to be excited about! Oh, how everybody waits for this season here is not surprising. After all those cold snowy months comes out the sun, bright and shining, and so come out the grills and the barbeques and the parties!

I had never grilled in India, So I was so excited about this whole grilling affair!

First was the difficult question of what type of grill I want...After much thinking and research I settled on an indoor grill pan rather than an outdoor one. The main reason for me was that if I have a stove top grill then I can grill anytime no matter what the season, rain or shine!

Then the next challenge was the recipes , since this would be my first experience in grilling I didn't want to fail at the first shot. So I brought a couple of good grilling cookbooks from the local library and started going through them.

The most important thing that I learned was that it is a common misconception that high heat would somehow speedup your grilling. It will just damage your grillpan. What is important is that you heat your grill pan over medium heat until very hot.To do this place your grillpan on the stove on medium heat and leave it undisturbed for atleast 5 mins.

The next important thing is that the food that you put on the grill pan should be at room temperature. This is particularly important with poultry, meat and seafood.

And always keep in mind that you dont have to turn food on the grill more than once. Let it rest and cook nicely, dont be in a hurry to turn it. This is very important for all those impatient souls ou there like me!

And the last but not the least is the cleaning of the pan itself. Because of all the ridges that it has, the most effective tool for cleaning the grill pan is a hard nylon scrubber, which allows you to reach between those ridges.

This was enough of that grilling gyan, now lets get to cooking, oops I mean grilling!

I used Boneless chicken thighs and an assortment of veggies that I had at hand, like onions, tomatoes and bell peppers.

Also an important step in grilling is the marination, particularly of poultry and meats.

I marinated the chicken in the morning and kept it in the fridge. While the vegetables were coated with the marinade towards evening, just a while before I started grilling.

For Marination I used-
Chicken tandoori masala(Everest brand)
Black pepper pwdr
Ginger-Garlic paste
Red chilli pwdr
Lime Juice
This is just a basic outline you can determine the quantity of ingredients according to your requirements.

Preheat the grillpan well before you start.
Then place the chicken pieces on the pan and do not turn them for atleast 5 to 8 mins.
Drizzle them with some oil.
When the flesh is ready to be turned it will lift off the pan easily.
Turn and cook them on the other side and again pour some oil.
Remove them from the pan when they are fully cooked and tender.
Similarly grill the vegetables, but they wont require as much time as the meats.
You can use Paneer, mushrooms and potatoes too.
Serve hot with lemon wedges.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

My First MeMe

When good friend Archana of Tried and Tested Recipes tagged me for a meme, I was hesitant to write about myself. But after reading all the memes of fellow bloggers, I thought why not try writing one myself too! When it comes to talking about myself, which I seldom do infront of others, I find it easy to jot it down and let others read it! So here goes my list of 7 Random Facts about myself-
  • The first and the most important fact of my life is that I am extremely God Fearing and I cant stop thanking God enough for all the blessings He has showered upon me. I start and end my day with thanksgiving to God. I try to love God above all things and be obedient to Him in all that I say, hear and do.I read my Bible everyday and never leave an oppurtunity to testify infront of others.I love to pray for my family, friends and relatives.
  • I am a very family person. I love to spend as much time as I can with my hubby and my daughter. I simply adore my daughter and cant imagine her getting married and going away from me one day!
  • I love to cook and more so to eat! I like to watch cookery shows, read cookery books(like novels) and eat home-cooked healthy food and also eating out! I ofcourse love visiting food blogs and trying out new recipes.
  • I am extremely fond of sleeping and can sleep for as long as possible! Once (ofcourse before marriage) I slept for 15 hrs at a stretch! I dont like to be waken up in the morning by anybody and I hate to get up early !
  • I am a very slow eater and keep chewing on my food! When evrybody in the family has finished their dinner and also their dessert, I would be still found gnawing at my food! I believe in drinking my food and eating my milk:). I love to drink milk and coffee but dislike tea anytime, anywhere!
  • I love to read all sorts of Books, Novels, Magazines and especially The Bible and anything under the sun regarding cooking!
  • I love to shop. And I can go on shopping (and ofcourse window shopping) without getting tired or bored for hours on end. I love travelling too. The mere idea of packing and going out makes me excited!
  • The last but not the least I want to do some social service in my life and be of help to people who are not in a position to return the favour.

I really enjoyed writing this meme and thanks Archana for giving me an oppurtunity to do so! I hope everyone would enjoy reading it too and if you feel like sharing your life facts with others then consider yourself tagged!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fish Curry with Rice

This is a very easy recipe for making fish curry. And it can be quickly made in a jiffy.
This recipe doesn't need coconut so it is different from the usual Fish curry.
This was the first time I made this recipe, usually I make it with coconut, but it was a nice change from the usual.

2 Sliced Onions
4 Slit Green Chillies
1"piece Ginger
5 cloves of Garlic
2 Tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 glass Water
4 tsps Fish Curry Masala(store-bought)
1 pound Fish Fillets(I used Tillapia)

Heat 2 tbsps oil in a pan.
Fry the onions, chillies, ginger and garlic well.
Then add the tomatoes.
Saute for sometime.
Then add a glass of water and boil well.
Add Salt to taste.
When the gravy is boiling add the fish pieces.
Reduce the flame and cook for 5-10 mins, till the fish is properly cooked.
Now your Fish Curry is ready to serve.

You can make this Fish Curry using any fish you like.
I used 'Bon Puli Munchi Masala', but you can use any other brand of fish curry masala too.
And if you dont have fish curry masala, then add-chilli pwdr, coriander pwdr, black pepper pwdr and cumin pwdr, it will still taste lovely.
I served this Fish curry with plain white rice.

To make Rice-
1 cup White Rice
2 cups Water
Wash the rice well.
Put it in the pressure cooker with water.
Give 2 whistles and its ready to serve.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bombay Bhel

Whenever I make SevPuri, it is always followed by BhelPuri.
The reason being, I am always left with some extra Chutneys and few puris at hand.And what better way to utilise this remaining stuff, than making the BhelPuri!

I remember whenever we use to eat at a 'bhelwala' in Bombay, I would say to my hubby, you order one sevpuri and I'll order one bhel and then we'll share and eat. But no sooner would this first round finish than I would feel like ordering a sevpuri for myself and he would want a bhel all for himself. So we ended up eating more of the junk food anyways!

So when I make Sevpuri we feel like rounding it off with the Bhel!

The recipe for this is very simple again.

Just throw in whatever you have at hand with some spicy chutneys and its ready to go!

Sometimes when I have some dry Farsan(like chivda and ghathia) at home, I just mix it up with some chutneys and throw in some peanuts and sev and it serves the purpose of a Bhel!

But for a more authentic bhel recipe I use-
Kurmure(puffed rice)
Onion, finely chopped
Tomatoes, finely chopped
Boiled and chopped potatoes
Raw mango, chopped
Peanuts and chana dal
Puris, crushed
Lime juice

The method is extremely simple.
Just put all the above ingredients together and mix well.
Garnish with cilantro, sev and lime juice.
And its ready to enjoy!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sev Puri

Sev Puri is again one of the favourites at my home. When we were in Mumbai such street food was easily accessible, but not anymore:( So the best option is to make on your own, at home:)

I remember even back home we used to think a hundred times before eating at a roadside 'thela'..You know the hygiene part and all. So I started making 'healthy' street food at home!!

And making Sev puri is not difficult at all.

What I do is, I bring the puris and the sev readymade from the indian grocery store and make the chutneys at you see it becomes quite simple!

For making sev puris you will need-

Onions, finely chopped
Tomatoes, finely chopped
Raw mango, finely chopped
Potatoes, boiled and chopped coarsely
Peanuts and fried chana dal(ready made from the store, again)
Cilantro for garnishing.
Salt and Chaat masala powder.
Sweet chutney
Green chutney

How to proceed-
To make the sweet chutney I use -
100 gms Dates
1 tbsp Tamarind
1 tbsp jaggery
Red chilly pwdr
Jeera pwdr
First of all if the dates are not seedless then deseed them.Soak the tamarind in water for around 1/2 an hour and then extract the juice or you can also use tamarind pulp that is readily available in the market.
Boil the dates and jaggery in little water for around 5 mins or till they are soft.
Cool them and add the tamarind juice and blend them in a mixie.
Then add salt, red chilly pwdr and jeera pwdr to this.
Add water if it is too thick for the desired consistency.

For making the Green chutney-
I blend together -
Lot of hot green chillies
Lime juice.

Now for the assembly-

Place the puris on a plate.
Place the potatoes on them next.
Then comes the chopped onions and tomatoes.
Then drizzle with the sweet and green chutneys.
Top up with generous amounts of sev and cilantro.
And scatter Raw mango, peanuts and chana dal on top.
Finally sprinkle salt and chaat masala pwdr and you can't wait to pop them in your mouth, I bet!