Sunday, April 13, 2014

Shahi Tofu

T is for Tofu and T is for Terrific.
Tofu is the only versatile protein which despite of being bland and tasteless converts and adapts with any co-ingredient and absorbs the flavors resulting downright delicious dish.
Shahi Tofu
It's perfect to pair with any cooking method.Firm or silken you don't need to be an expert to cook Tofu.In Indian cooking,tofu is popular replacement for Paneer.
Palak paneer or paneer burji is made with tofu and given the healthy tag.
Shahi Tofu
1 cup firm Tofu,cubed
1 Onion,chopped
4 Tomatoes,chopped
½ tbsp ginger,chopped
2 green chilies
1 tsp kashmiri chili powder
½ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp kasuri methi
Whole spices:2 cloves,1 cardamom,1 black cardamom
¼ cup low-fat milk
1 tbsp tomato sauce
3 tbsp oil
salt to taste
Shahi Tofu
Heat a tbsp of oil,add the whole spices allow to splutter.Add onion,tomato,ginger and green chilies and cover to cook until mushy.
Remove and let it cool.Blend the mixture to fine paste with little water.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in the pan,add the blended mixture.Now add the garam masala,tomato sauce and salt to taste.
Bring it to boil,add the tofu and mix well.
Shahi Tofu
Gently stir in the milk and continue stirring until the tofu combines with mixture and oil leaves the sides.You can replace milk with light cooking cream.
Finally add the kasuri methi and gently mix and cook in simmer for another minute.
Shahi Tofu
Serve hot with rotis.
Shahi Tofu
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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Egg Hakka Noodles(Indian Hakka)

Hakka cuisine, or Kuhchia cuisine,originated in Southeastern Chinese is often mistaken with Indian Hakka cuisine.Both are far away planets with no match.Hakka cuisine from India is popular for its style:spicy flavors with crunchy vegetables makes it scrumptious.
Indian Hakka Noodles is one of the favorite recipes among Indo-Chinese cuisine.Very quick and easy and hundred times worth than instant cup-a-noodles.
Egg Hakka Noodles
1 pack of Hakka noodles(200gm)
1 onion,sliced
1 capsicum,cut into julienne strips
1 medium carrot,cut into julienne strips
1 egg
1 tbsp soy sauce(low-sodium)
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp red chili sauce
1 tsp green chili sauce
salt and pepper to taste
3 tsp sesame oil
few spring onions(greens) for garnish
Egg Hakka Noodles
Boil 3 cups of water with pinch of salt and cook the noodles to 3/4th(al dente )texture.Drain and wash it with cold water to clear the excess starch.
Add 1 tsp of oil to the noodles,mix and keep aside.

Heat 2 tsp of oil and add the onion,garlic and saute for a minute.Add the carrot and capsicum and saute for 2 minutes.
Egg Hakka Noodles
Move the vegetables to one side add the egg and stir to scramble and cook for a minute.
Add soya sauce,vinegar and both chili sauces,stir in.Add salt and pepper to taste.
Egg Hakka Noodles
Stir in the noodles,toss well to combine and serve with spring onions greens as garnish.
Egg Hakka Noodles
Grab the quick noodles with chinese flavors and crunchy vegetables.See you soon.
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Prawn Biryani

My love for seafood started since early childhood as my family consists of tagged seafood slaves.Mom's fish curry and prawn masala makes one drool just by the aroma of its making.
Prawn Biryani aka Jhinga Biryani is one of the popular recipe not to be missed in seafood category.
Prawn Biryani
Even though chicken or meat wins in bingo when it comes to Biryani.Prawns biryani stamps its own place by uniqueness.The flavors are divine and truly appreciated only by pure seafood lover.
Its time to open Mom's treasured recipe box and create one of my favorite recipe "Prawn biryani"-the right spice mix and tender prawns is all you need to make this delicious recipe.The taste grows by the end of the day so try to prepare it early and devour it after few hours;that makes it ideal for lunch or brunch or dinner parties.
Prawn Biryani
500gm Prawns
1 cup shallots,sliced
½ cup chopped tomatoes
3-4 Green Chillies – slit lengthwise¼ Cup yogurt½ Cup Mint Leaves,finely chopped 
½ Cup coriander leaves,finely chopped 
Whole Spices (Cinnamon – 2” ; 3 Cloves;2 cardamom,bay leaf and star anise,1tsp fennel seeds)
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste

1 tsp - Chilly Powder
½ tsp Turmeric Powder
1 Tbsp Lime Juice
1 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp ghee
Salt to Taste. 
Prawn Biryani
Method:Wash Rice and soak for 30 minutes,drain it completely and keep aside.
Wash and remove the Shell, devein Prawns  and wash well and drain. To the Prawns add the chili powder,turmeric,salt lemon juice,yogurt and 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste and leave to marinate for an hr.

Heat oil in the pressure cooker,add whole spices and allow to splutter.Add shallots,green chillies, ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute till golden brown.
Add the mint and coriander leaves with tomato and saute for 2 mins.
Prawn Biryani
Add the marinated prawns and saute till light brown for about 4-5 minutes. 

Add coconut milk with 3½ cups water.Check the seasoning add salt if needed.
Prawn Biryani
Gently stir in the completely drained rice and sprinkle the ghee on top.Cover the lid of cooker(without the whistle)and cook in simmer for 30 minutes.
Switch off the heat,allow the Biryani to rest for 5 minutes.Remove the lid and gently stir(without breaking the rice)and serve with raita or salan.
Prawn Biryani
See you soon with another recipe from treasure box.
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Monday, September 9, 2013

Mysore Pak

Have you heard about Kakasura Madappa?the genius brain who made the sweet taste buds burst with the simple concoction of gram flour, sugar and loaded ghee.Yeah-its time to enjoy the genuine creation made with simple ingredients found to address common people of Mysore.
Mysore Pak
The traditional Mysore pak,made with ghee is more porous and melts with each and every bite.It is cooked at very high temperature thereby the mixture retains the heat in the cooling down period giving it classic brown color in the centre.
The Krishna sweets in Chennai(India)made its stamp in Indian sweets with the invention of pure ghee and non-porous "Mysore Pa".
Mysore Pak or Mysore Pa,the answer is yes when it is offered in the dessert plate.

Mysore Pak
1 Cup gram flour(besan)
1 Cup ghee
1 Cup sugar
½ tsp cardamom powder
½ cup water
Mysore Pak
Grease a pan with ghee or parchment paper and keep aside.

Heat 1 cup of ghee in a pan until hot and keep aside.

In a mixing bowl add about 1 tbsp hot ghee to the gram flour and mix well.Sieve the gram flour and keep aside.

In another shallow pan(preferably non stick),bring sugar and water to boil to one-string consistency syrup.(When you touch the syrup between thumb and index finger,it will form a string)
Note:The bubbles in the sugar syrup contributes to the porous texture of Mysore pak.

Mysore Pak
Gently add in the gram flour to the sugar syrup,stirring continuously. Add a ladle full of hot ghee and continue stirring.Keep repeating unless the ghee is completely added to the gram and sugar mixture.
Continue stirring until the mixture leaves the sides of pan.The total process would take about 15-18 minutes.

Pour it on the greased plate and let it set.Cut into squares when warm and allow to cool down completely.
Store in airtight container.
Mysore Pak
You don't need a special occasion or reason to enjoy a piece of Mysore pak....grab a bite and relish.
See you soon.
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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sindhi Chicken Biryani

Homemade vs Store bought masalas?
This argument is ongoing and incessable,I would say it depends on every individual taste and time.My Mom had to cook for 20 people everyday thanks to the joint family strategy and she preferred to make homemade masalas considering taste as well as the economical value.
My mini family of three relies on homemade masala purely for taste but I have tried most of the store bought masalas,in fact it was one of my favorite aisle during before-kid phase. 
Sindhi Chicken Biryani
When I say store bought masalas the main check list will be biryani masala,garam masala,tandoori masala apart from basic kashmiri chili and coriander powder.
After a period of experimenting homemade masalas,I have a set of my own fool-proof recipes declining my visit to masala trail during shopping.
Biryani masala:You might find hundreds of brands and thousands of recipes under the name,but when you check the ingredients you will find the fact that it is more or less the same.Among the hundred brands few do make a mark and one among them is Shan masala.
The popular Sindhi and Bombay Biryani mix is hardly unnoticed.I have used both and I feel the spice balance is excess to the rice which in turn somewhat diminishes the meat/chicken flavor.This is purely my opinion as my Hubby still loves that recipe.
To devour Sindhi Biryani satisfying both his and my palate,I came out with a copy cat recipe like Shan Sindhi biryani mix,thanks to  vahchef and khanapakana for inspiring this recipe.The trick is simple,you need the basic biryani spices and aalo bukharey (dried plums/prunes) the key ingredient of this spice mix.Alternately you can also use dried apricots for similar taste.
Sindhi Chicken Biryani

Ingredients for Biryani:
500 gm Chicken,medium pieces
3 cups Basmati rice
Whole spice for cooking rice(1 bay leaf/cinnamon stick and clove)
½ cup Yogurt
3 Tomatoes,sliced
2 potatoes,diced
3 Onions,sliced
1 tbsp Garlic Paste
1 tbsp Ginger paste
4-5 small Green Chilies,slit
I cup fresh Coriander leaves,chopped
1 cup Mint Leaves,chopped
3tbsp ghee
few saffron strands(soaked in warm milk)
salt to taste
fried onions/cashews for garnish
3 tbsp Sindhi Biryani masala

Recipe for Sindhi Biryani Masala
5 aloo bukharey (dry plums)
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks(1”)
4 black cardamom
3 green cardamom
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp shahi jeera(cumin)
a small piece of mace
½ tsp dry mango powder(aamchoor)
2 tsp red chili powder
¼  tsp turmeric
Method:Dry roast the whole spices(bay leaf,cinnamon,cardamom,coriander,cumin,mace) in a pan for few seconds,mix it with turmeric,chili,mango powder and plums and crush it coarsely using mortar and pestle.
Sindhi Chicken Biryani

Method :
For Biryani:
Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes. Drain completely and set aside.
Bring 4½ cup of water to boil, add salt and few drops of ghee, a clove, cinnamon and bay leaf.Cook until it is done ¾th  and drain completely. Add saffron to part of rice and set aside.

Heat 2 tbsp ghee in shallow pan add onions and fry them to golden. Add ginger-garlic paste  with green chilies(reduce if you need less spicy) and sauté for a minute.

Sindhi Chicken Biryani

Add chicken, potatoes and sauté to cook for 5 minutes.
Mix yogurt and the biryani masala  and stir in about ½ cup water and continue cooking until chicken is tender and mixture is almost dry.

Remove half of the chicken mixture and keep aside.

Sindhi Chicken Biryani
Simmer the heat of pan with remaining half of chicken mixture covering the bottom of the pan evenly and spread the tomatoes, coriander and mint leaves over the chicken(Do not mix ).Cover and cook for another 3 minutes.

Layer it with the cooked rice covering the chicken mixture,repeat another layer of chicken mixture followed by tomatoes/coriander-mint and finally rice.Sprinkle  fried onions/cashew(if using )and few drops of remaining ghee on top.
Cover and cook in simmer for 20-25 minutes
Sindhi Chicken Biryani

Serve hot with raita/salan.
Sindhi Chicken Biryani
The biryani turned out delicious and appreciated by the family.The mixture was just right and there was perfect balance of spice and flavors.
Time for my lunch,see you soon.
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