Friday, October 30, 2009

KONJU VARUTHATHU ~ Pan Fried Scampi in Kerala style ~






'Konju' is a speciality of Kuttanad and this was one of the highlights during my parent's engagement back in 1982 :) Even now when people talk about that day, they always remember to bring up the topic of 'those huge prawns' :)


My grandad used to cultivate them in the natural pond in our backyard in Pallikuttumma. So we always had them in plenty. But nowadays, we buy it from the fisherman :(

My mom's bro makes it a point that we have it everytime we go there :) And last time when he visited us, he brought these. They were so good! But for a person like me, you cannot eat more than one! It is almost 8 inches long and weighs quite a bit :)



KONJU VARUTHATU
Recipe source: Amma

Ingredients:

Konju/Scampi/Prawns-4
Red Chilli powder1-1 1/2 tbsp ( depending on your spice tolerance level & also the type of chilli powder used. We mix Kashmiri chilli powder + regular red chilli powder so that it has a beautiful colour and is not too spicy)

Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Salt-to taste
Water- few tbso, just enough to make a thick paste
Oil for shallow frying- 5-6 tbsp ( we prefer coconut oil)
Skewers (optional)

Method:

  • Clean the scampi and let the head remain intact.
  • Make a thick paste using red chilli powder, turmeric powder,salt and water.
  • Coat the scampi with it and shallow fry it,covered. It takes much more time than prawns as it is very thick and fleshy.
  • Serve hot with rice.




Wednesday, October 28, 2009

BESAN LADOO & a new friend for life! YAY!



If I have something on the back of my mind, I HAVE to sort it out somehow! And one such thing was my relationship with besan! Seriously, I could never get along with it somehow!

I had tried many times in the past to make good friends with them but they always turned out to be a bitter experience! Have tried making ladoo's , mysore pak (Aparna, I am still sorry for that rude comment! ) etc. Everything failed !

My best friend from college Vasu, always used to get these ladoo's from her home in Allahabad. And I was the one who used to finish it for her. I have always asked her to get me the proportion but she always said her mom eyeballs the amount of ingredients used in it. So I decided to eyeball it myself one day! There are no prices for guessing where it all went into in the end! It was so bitter, besan was uncooked and I wasted my precious ghee! Ghee, butter,fresh cream & chocolates are something I am terrified of going waste!


But this time around, I was sure that I will get it right because Hetal & Anuja are so good with their recipes and instructions.And I have always found sucess with their recipes I had tried out so far ( Kaju Burfi, Reshmi Kababs) I would advise you to see their video for this recipe to get that small tip which helped me find my sucess!

BESAN LADOO
Adapted from Show me the curry

Ingredients
Besan/Chickpea flour- 1 cup ( approx 100 g)
Warm milk-1 tbsp
Warm ghee-1 tbsp
Ghee/Clarified Butter-1/3 cup
Sugar-1/2 cup (110g)
Powdered Cardamom -1/4 tsp
Cashewnuts for garnishing

Method:
  • Mix the warm milk with warm ghee.
  • Mix Besan with ghee & milk mixture and keep aside for 5-6 mins.
  • Rum the flour through a medium holed sieve to give it texture.
  • In a non-stick pan, heat ghee and fry besan on low flame until light golden & fragrant.Stir continously.
  • Switch of the stove & add the cardamom powder and sugar and mix well.Let it cool.
  • Form ladoos & garnish them with cashew nuts.
  • Store in airtight containers.

These ladoo's were a big hit at home. Dad gobbled down 4 in one go and I gobbled down 3! :)

P.S Thank you all for wishing me good health ( from my previous post)! Please wish me more as I am recovering from a food poisoning! :(

I am sending this post as an entry to My Legume Love Affair-16th helping hosted by Jeanne of Cook Sister which was started by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook

I am also sending this post as an entry to Sanghi's FIL- Ghee event.


Friday, October 23, 2009

CHOCOLATE RUM TRUFFLES ~Waste not Want not!

My town Kannur, is a small one with very few people who are into serious cooking/baking. So I guess that's the reason why we don't have a regular supply of cooking chocolate, fresh cream, food colours, lasagna, dried herbs, celery,etc. So I have to either substitute for it or keep my eyes wide open while I travel :D

So whenever I see Fresh Cream on shelves, I just grab them. I had once picked up 10 packets together! Aparna knows that very well! :D
Last Saturday we had a huge order and I had some cream left after making Silky Chocolate Custard Pudding. I can never waste cream & had to use every bit left and that's when my mom gave me a signal that it doesn't stay fresh in the fridge for long! The next thing I knew was that I was making some truffles...something that I had been waiting to try for long.


CHOCOLATE RUM TRUFFLES
Recipe adapted from Joy Of Baking

Ingredients:

8oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
3/4th cup heavy whipping cream (I used 25% fat fresh cream)
2 tbsp unsalted butter ( I used regular butter)
2 tbsp rum
Cocoa powder for coating

Method:

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth. If desired, add the liqueur. Cover and place in the refrigerator until the truffle mixture is firm (this will take several hours or overnight).

Place your coatings for the truffles on a plate. Remove the truffle mixture from the refrigerator. With your hands, or else a melon baller or small spoon form the chocolate into round or mis-shaped bite-sized balls. Immediately roll the truffle in the coating and place on a parchment lined baking sheet or tray. Cover and place in the refrigerator until firm. Truffles can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks or else frozen for a couple of months. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Makes 30 small truffles


They are decadent and silky smooth! Never knew these brown beauties would be so easy to work with! We love ganache at home , so I knew this would be an instant hit and boy! I was not wrong! :)










Wednesday, October 21, 2009

MINI CHICKEN & BELL PEPPER SPRING ROLLS

I just can't believe that it's been a week since I updated my blog! Whoa! See this is what happens when the 'Manavatti' ( gonna-be-bride) goes shopping! :D
It was actually shopping + a small vacation in Trivandrum. But lil did I know that I would come back with a terrible back pain. Went to the doc today and he said it was just a muscular pain...what ever ! All I know is I can't even brush my teeth! ACK!
This is one of my mom's signature snack and we always have atleast one packet ready in our freezer :) It is a super good make-ahead snack, all you need to do is thaw and fry them .I had tried making it 2 years ago for the first time, but it turned out to be something else ( shapewise ) BUT trust me the filling was delicious :)
MINI CHICKEN & BELL PEPPER SPRING ROLLS
Recipe source: My mom

Ingredients:

For the wrapper:
Flour:500g
Oil-1/2 cup
Salt-to taste
Water- as required

For the filling:
Chicken-250 g,boiled & shredded
Cabbage-250 g
Carrot-250g
Beans-250 g
Onion-250g
Bell pepper-1 ,small
Ginger garlic paste-3 tbsp
Soya sauce-1 tbsp
Green chilli- 3-4
Aji-no-moto - a pinch, optional
Salt-to taste
Black pepper powder-to taste
Oil-5 tbsp

Oil for deep frying
Method:

For the wrapper:
  • Mix everthing together and form a soft dough. Leave it aside for 10 mins.
  • Divide them into lime sized balls and roll out into thin flat discs.
  • Heat a flat pan, and cook them only on one side. Make sure you don't end up with dark brown spots on them because they will be too dry to roll up.
  • Continue with the other wrappers in the same manner.

For the filling:
  • Heat oil, and saute ginger garlic paste.
  • Add the vegetables and mix well. Cover and cook them till they turn soft making sure you give them a good stir often.
  • Add the soya sauce & salt.
  • If you want it to be more spicy, add some black pepper powder.
  • Use this to fill the wrappers.

Assembly:
  • Put the filling on the uncooked side of the wrapper
  • Check this video to see the rolling up of the wrapper with the filling inside .
  • Deep fry and serve hot with a sauce of your choice.
I always try to stay away from these because I know I can never stop with 1 ! It remains crisp for few hours provided you don't leave them under a fan! :)

You can make these as tiny as our lil finger or slightly bigger. If it's the latter, you can cut them diagonally and serve!


Monday, October 12, 2009

IT'S MY 1ST BIRTHDAY!!



Re-wind:


12 Oct '08


She was typing out recipes for her friend which was almost an everyday business. Her younger brother (15 yr old) who was watching her asked, 'What is that you type out everyday?' . She said, 'Recipes'. He was quite for a few seconds and then he asked,'Why don't you start a blog?' and that left her puzzled!


I absolutely had no idea what a blog was. Ritchie was the one who showed me what that was and how I can sign in and create my space for free. Anything FREE is always welcome :)


I had no clue how I had to move forward, but having lil common sense left in me, I figured it out in less than half an hour :) So what next! Which recipe should I post for the world to see ?( I thought that the very moment I typed it out, millions would check it! DUMBO! :P ) I finally chose my favourite biscuit pudding recipe.


I didn't know anything about commenting. And I din't know when I would be getting one. So days passed by so did months! :D And one day when I opened my e-mail, I saw the very first comment!! I was so happy, beyond words!


It was as follows:





Divya Kudua said...




Hi Ria..came here from Mishmash..I make a similar choc-biscuit pudding.It would help if you could add pictures of your dish..happy blogging!!

Thank you Divya! You have no idea how happy I was that day!
But I was lazy , never updated except for once every month.
It was in April that I started blogging in full swing! All thanks to these lovely ladies for inspiring me :Hetal & Anjua, Manjula Aunty, Shn & Archana


12 Oct '09


Here I am, proud to celebrate my 'bloggie's ' first birthday!! :) I am sure she had a good ride with all your support! If it wasn't for your motivation and comments, I would have stopped it long back! :)


Thank you all so much for being there for my bloggie :) Don't go away! :)



















Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My few minutes of FAME! :)

It was my mom first and now it's my claim to fame! :D I missed out on seeing it on TV as I was in my Aunt's estate and there was no power then! UGH! ;P

And I am sorry that I couldn't inform anyone ahead about it via twitter, orkut, facebook etc as coming online in an estate is not that easy!

UPDATE: I have recieved many comments about the video not working properly,so I thought I would leave the direct links here :)

Gold Coin: Click here

video

The recipe can be found here


Cheese Pasta Rolls : Click here
video

The recipe can be found here

I still haven't seen the whole video as my internet connection is slow now and watching a video on youtube can take hours together : ) From the 2-3 mins of what I saw from each video I really think I need to improve a LOT!! I personally give it a 4/10 rating :)

Oh! Need to say that that t-shirt of mine is pinkish peach in colour and not that jazzy! LOL! Just saying! :D And I look a lil more better in real life! LOL! I look so sticky in there! OMG! I can go on & on!!

God! give me another chance please! I will do a much better job! :)

In the meantime why don't you guys try those dishes?!? They are really yum...else they wouldn't be given a celeb status by me :)


Monday, October 5, 2009

CHERUPAYAR ULARTHIYATHU / Stir fry with green grams




Everytime I eat this, it reminds me of my cousin Tia.She was ,is and forever will be an ardent fan of kanji and payar :-) I guess 'kanjiyum thayyirrrum payarum' was her favourite phrase when she was a baby! 'Thayir' means 'curd' in Malayalam,our mother tongue. So nowadays it is taken for granted that if Tia is visiting us, we will have kanji 'n' payar ready on the table :)This is a very common dish in every Malayalee household. I love the fact that it is very simple to cook but exceptionally tasty. 



This dish freezes very well! Our family is known for freezing curries because we never know when a guest can pop in :-) It is very often because we are now 73 members on my mom's side alone! :-D




CHERUPAYAR ULARTHIYATHU
Recipe source : Amma

Ingredients:
Green grams/cherupayar - 1 cup
Shallots- 5
Garlic- 5 cloves
Dry Red Chillies- 3
Salt & Pepper -to taste
Curry leaf- 1 sprig
Oil- 3-4 tbsp (we prefer coconut oil)

Method:
  • Wash the gram very well under running water.
  • Soak green gram in 4 cups water for 20 mins.Drain.
  • Using a pressure cooker, cook the gram using 1 1/2 cup water and salt.
  • Grind shallots,garlic and dry red chillies together.
  • Heat oil, add the ground paste and saute till you get a nice aroma.
  • Add the cooked gram and mix well but carefully so that it doesn't get pasty.
  • If you like a drier version, pour  another 2-3 tbsp oil and saute well.
  • Add pepper to spice up the dish.
  • Garnish with curry leaf and serve hot with kanji/rice




That is my idea of comfort food!



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