Nei Payasam| Kerala Rice Kheer

This year, the festival of Onam falls on August 27. I am eagerly waiting for the day to arrive, so I can lay my hands on a typical Onam sadya (a traditional plantain-leaf feast served on the occasion of Onam). 😉 Till then, I plan to herald the festival on my blog through a series of Onam-special recipes, courtesy of my mother-in-law who hails from Palakkad.

Today, I present to you the recipe for Nei Payasam, a Kerala-style kheer made with matta rice. This payasam is typically served in the course of an Onam sadya. It is also commonly prepared during weddings and other festive occasions, and as an offering to God in the temples of Kerala.

Nei payasam‘ literally translates into ‘kheer with ghee‘, and, true to its name, this kheer is redolent of the goodness of ghee. All of us at home are big fans of this nei payasam, with its coconut-ghee flavour, and slurp it up by the bowlfuls. Yes, the bub included! 🙂

This kheer is traditionally made with jaggery, and is really sweet and rich and heavenly, especially to those with a huge sweet tooth like us. In fact, this dish is often referred to as ‘Kadu Madhura Payasam‘ or ‘kheer that is very sweet’ in Kerala households. I have slightly reduced the quantity of jaggery, ghee and coconut than what is usually used, but the payasam still tasted absolutely beautiful.

Now, without further ado, let’s get to the recipe for this Kerala nei payasam aka kadu madhura payasam, shall we?

Ingredients (serves 4-5):

  1. 1/2 cup broken matta rice
  2. 1 cup jaggery
  3. 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
  4. 2 pinches of dry ginger powder (optional)
  5. 2 pinches of cardamom (elaichi) powder
  6. 4 tablespoons ghee (divided)
  7. 8-10 cashewnuts
  8. 1 tablespoon raisins

Method:

1. Wash the broken matta rice thoroughly under running water, a couple of times. Drain out all the excess water.

2. Pressure cook the washed and drained rice with 1 cup water for 4 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.

3. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the jaggery together with 2 cups of water. Keep on high flame till the jaggery melts completely. Let the jaggery syrup come to a boil.

4. Now, turn the flame to medium. Add the cooked broken matta rice to the melted jaggery in the pan, along with the fresh grated coconut.

5. Cook on medium flame, stirring intermittently, till the mixture begins to thicken.

6. When the mixture starts thickening add in 2 tablespoons of ghee. Cook for a minute or so more, or till the mixture is thick, yet slightly runny.

7. Add in the dry ginger powder and cardamom powder. Mix well. Cook for a few seconds, then switch off the flame.

8. In another pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee. Add in the cashewnuts (broken) and the raisins. Once the raisins plump up, switch off the gas. Ensure the cashewnuts and raisins do not burn.

9. Add the plumped raisins and cashewnuts to the rice-jaggery mixture in the other pan. Mix well.

10. Serve the nei payasam hot, at room temperature or chilled.

Notes:

1. I have used broken matta rice here, which is also called Palakkadan rosematta rice or Kerala red rice. You can use any variety of Kerala rice to make this nei payasam.

2. You can even add slivered almonds to the nei payasam. I haven’t.

3. I have used yellowish-coloured jaggery to make this payasam, which has contributed to its light colour. Traditionally, in Kerala homes, reddish jaggery is used, which gives the payasam a deep reddish-brown hue.

4. Some people add in slices of banana to the payasam, after it is cooked. I have skipped that.

5. The quantities of rice, jaggery, water and ghee above were just perfect for us. You may increase or decrease the quantities of these ingredients, as per personal taste preferences.

6. Make sure the cashewnuts and raisins do not get burnt.

7. For best results, use good-quality grainy ghee and jaggery. Also, ensure that you use freshly grated coconut.

8. You can add in a few slivers of coconut while frying the raisins and cashewnuts. I haven’t.

9. Do not overcook the payasam, as that will lead to the rice getting overly hard. Also, add in the rice when the jaggery has fully melted and the syrup is beginning to boil.

10. Remember that the rice needs to be pressure cooked well, but should not be overlooked. A slightly grainy texture works best for this nei payasam.

11. Switch off the gas when the payasam has thickened considerably, but is still quite runny. It thickens quite a bit more on cooling.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

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Foodie Monday Blog HopThis post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme this week is ‘Onam Recipes’.

I’m also sharing this with Fiesta Friday #236, whose co-hosts this week are Julianna @ Foodie on Board and Debanita @ Canvassed Recipes.

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Stuffed Kuzhi Paniyaram, My Tribute To The Ravishing Rekha

Today, I present to you the recipe for Stuffed Kuzhi Paniyaram. These might look like ordinary kuzhi paniyaram from the outside, but one bite into them and you’ll understand that they are far from ordinary. These are kuzhi paniyaram with a difference – the surprise inside will surely blow your mind away!

I prepared these Stuffed Kuzhi Paniyaram for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop, which has a very unique theme this week – Filmi Foodies! All of us food bloggers are paying a tribute to Bollywood, via food of course! 🙂 Interesting, right? This is my little tribute to the ravishing and hugely talented Rekha ji.

Foodie Monday Blog Hop

I can watch Rekha ji in action any time, any day. I am never not awed by the depth of her acting, the way she brings her characters to life, the way she carries her movies on her shoulders. She can carry off any role – from that of a demure housewife to that of a siren – with equal elan. She is timeless – even today, years after she has stopped appearing in films, she still has the same grace and beauty to her. And, oh, those Kanjeevaram sarees and big bindis she makes an appearance in! She has had a tough life, and has withstood all of it.

Image Source: Free Press Journal

The kuzhi paniyaram, too, like Rekha ji, is timeless. It is a South Indian classic that will never get old, which will continue to win the hearts of kids and adults alike. Like Rekha ji, this Stuffed Kuzhi Paniyaram might look simple from the outside, but it packs in quite a sucker punch!

Now, let’s move on to the recipe for Stuffed Kuzhi Paniyaram, shall we?

Ingredients (makes 25-30 pieces):

  1. 3 cups idli/dosa batter
  2. Salt, to taste
  3. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
  4. 1 medium-sized onion
  5. About 5 cubes of processed cheese, or as needed
  6. 10-12 big slices of pickled jalapenos, or as needed
  7. 1 teaspoon oil + more as needed to make the kuzhi paniyaram
  8. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  9. 2 pinches of asafoetida

Method:

  1. Take the idli/dosa batter in a mixing bowl. Add in salt to taste.
  2. Chop the onion finely. Add to the mixing bowl.
  3. Add the finely chopped coriander to the mixing bowl.
  4. Chop the pickled jalapeno slices finely, and add to the mixing bowl.
  5. Heat oil in a pan, and add the mustard seeds. Allow them to pop. Add in the asafoetida, and let it stay in for a couple of seconds. Switch off the gas, and add the mustard tempering to the mixing bowl.
  6. Mix the batter well and keep ready.
  7. Cut each of the cheese cubes into 6 small pieces. Keep aside.
  8. Drizzle a little oil into each of the cavities of a kuzhi paniyaram pan. Place on high flame and allow the oil to heat up a little.
  9. Now, reduce the flame to low-medium. Using a spoon, drop a little of the batter into each cavity of the pan. Ensure that the cavities are only about half filled with batter. Drop a piece of cheese in the centre of the batter, into each cavity. Spoon in some more batter into the cavities, filling them up to the brim, covering the cheese.
  10. Cover the kuzhi paniyaram pan with a lid. Cook the paniyarams on low-medium flame till they begin to brown at the bottom. Ensure that they do not burn. Now, flip the paniyarams over to the other side, using a spoon. Cover again and cook on low-medium flame till the paniyarams turn brown on the other side too.
  11. Transfer the stuffed kuzhi paniyarams to a serving plate. Serve hot.

Notes:

1. You may also add in grated carrot, finely chopped spinach leaves or mint, finely chopped cabbage or capsicum or any other veggies of your choice, to the batter.

2. I have used store-bought pickled jalapenos in these stuffed kuzhi paniyarams. If you don’t have them, you can use finely chopped regular green chillies instead.

3. Use idli/dosa batter that is well fermented and only slightly sour, for best results.

4. I have used Amul processed cheese cubes to make these stuffed kuzhi paniyarams. Alternatively, you can use any other type of cheese.

5. Once the kuzhi paniyaram pan has heated up, lower the flame to low-medium. Make the stuffed kuzhi paniyaram on low-medium heat, to prevent burning.

6. These stuffed kuzhi paniyarams do not really need an accompaniment, and can be served on their own. However, if you do want to serve them with an accompaniment, you can use a chutney of your choice, some pasta/pizza sauce or Schezwan sauce. Here is how you can make a delicious pasta/pizza sauce at home!

7. I have used home-made idlidosa batter here.

Did you like the recipe? Please do tell me in your comments!

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I’m sending this recipe to Fiesta Friday #234, and the co-hosts this week are Jenny @ Apply To Face Blog and Deb @ Pantry Portfolio.

Pressure Cooker Gutti Vankaya Koora| Healthy Andhra-Style Stuffed Baby Eggplants

Gutti Vankaya Koora is one of my most favourite preparations using brinjals or eggplant. This is an Andhra Pradesh specialty, where baby eggplants are stuffed with a spice mix and then cooked in a fragrant, flavourful gravy. It tastes absolutely heavenly with some hot phulkas or rice.

There are a whole lot of variations to the Gutti Vankaya Koora, from what I understand. Different families cook it in different ways, use different types of stuffing. This particular version, taught to me long back by a Telugu neighbour of ours, uses a groundnut and garlic stuffing. It is so simple to make, yet so rich and bursting with flavour!

Our neighbour made the Gutti Vankaya Koora in a pan, though, cooking it in a lot of oil. With time, I began making it in a pressure cooker, with just 1 spoon of oil. It still tastes the same, but is healthier and makes me feel less guilty afterwards.

Here is how I make Gutti Vankaya Koora in a pressure cooker.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  1. 8-10 baby eggplants
  2. 1/2 cup raw groundnuts
  3. Salt to taste
  4. Red chilli powder to taste
  5. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  6. 5-6 fat cloves of garlic
  7. A gooseberry-sized ball of tamarind
  8. About 1-1/2 tablespoons powdered jaggery or to taste
  9. 1 tablespoon oil
  10. 1 teaspoon mustard
  11. 2 pinches asafoetida
  12. 3-4 dried red chillies
  13. 1 sprig fresh curry leaves
  14. A few stalks of fresh coriander leaves

Method:

1. Soak the tamarind in a little boiling water for some time. When it is cool enough to handle, extract a thick paste out of it, adding a little more water if needed. Keep aside.

2. Peel the garlic. Take the garlic cloves, raw groundnuts, red chilli powder and salt to taste, and the turmeric powder in a small mixer jar. Don’t add in any water. Pulse a couple of times, for a second each, stopping to scrape down the sides of the mixer. You should get a pasty, coarse powder. Keep aside.

3. Remove the stems from the baby eggplants. From the bottom towards the stem, make two long slits in the eggplants, in a + shape. You should cut half-way through the eggplant, leaving it intact towards the stem.

4. Stuff a generous amount of the groundnut-garlic mixture into the slits, in each baby eggplant. Keep aside. If there is any extra groundnut-garlic stuffing left over, do not worry – we will be using that later too.

5. Heat the oil in a small pressure cooker. Add in the mustard seeds, and let them pop. Now, add the dry red chillies, curry leaves and the asafoetida. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.

6. Add the stuffed baby eggplants to the pressure cooker. Stir gently, ensuring that they do not break, for a couple of seconds.

7. Now, turn the flame to low. Add in the tamarind paste, about 3/4 cup water, any leftover groundnut-garlic stuffing you might have, and jaggery powder. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings (salt, red chilli powder or jaggery) if needed.

8. Close the pressure cooker and put the weight on. Allow 3 whistles on high flame. Switch off gas immediately.

9. Chop the coriander finely and keep handy. When all the pressure from the cooker has released naturally, mix in the finely chopped coriander. Your Gutti Vankaya Koora is ready – serve it hot with rotis or with any rice dishes of your choice!

Notes:

1. For best results, use fresh baby eggplants that are neither too big nor too small.

2. Gingelly oil works best in the making of this Gutti Vankaya Koora. If you don’t have it, you may use any other kind of oil that you prefer.

3. Adjust the quantity of garlic, tamarind, salt, red chilli powder and jaggery as per your personal taste preferences.

4. I make this Gutti Vankaya Koora in a 3-1/2 litre pressure cooker.

5. I prefer cooking this curry for 3 whistles, which yields soft but not overly cooked eggplants. If you want the eggplants to retain their exact shape, you can cook for 2 whistles on high flame.

6. Add in less water if you want the eggplants to be drier. We prefer this curry with a bit of gravy, so adding in 3/4 cup of water works perfectly for us.

7. Be careful while stirring the eggplants. Stir gently, making sure they do not break.

8. You may increase the quantity of oil in this curry, if you want to.

Did you like this recipe? I hope you will try this version of Gutti Vankaya Koora out, and that you will love it as much as we do!

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Foodie Monday Blog HopThis recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘stuffed vegetables’.

I’m sending this recipe to Fiesta Friday #234, and the co-hosts this week are Jenny @ Apply To Face Blog and Deb @ Pantry Portfolio. I’m also sharing this recipe with Friday Frenzy.

 

How To Make Hot Lemon Tea With Honey

Hubby and I are big fans of the hot lemon tea we get here in Bangalore, in several bakeries. It is a light brew, but the lemon in it makes it so very refreshing. Most bakeries make it with sugar, and we love how the sweetness combines with the tartness of the lemon.

We often make a pit-stop at a nearby bakery to enjoy a glass of our favourite hot lemon tea, in the midst of grocery shopping or running other errands. This is just the perfect drink for us any day, but especially so on the kind of dark, rainy days that are prevalent in Bangalore right now. It is a great pick-me-up for us, a mood-changer, an energy-booster.

I have tried, several times over, to make hot lemon tea at home, but failed miserably. It continued to turn out too bitter or too bland, not at all the beautifully fragrant and flavourful brew that the Bangalore bakeries serve. Recently, though, a friend’s mother served us just the perfect hot lemon tea with honey, and I absolutely had to request her for the recipe. She taught me some great tips – when to put in the tea powder, when to add the honey, when to add the lemon, and so on. It was all so simple, but I had been doing it all wrong so far!

Now, thanks to these tips, I can make great hot lemon tea at home, whenever we feel like a cuppa! This version of hot lemon tea with honey is a healthier alternative to the one made with sugar, a relatively guilt-free drink. Taste-wise, I would say, it is close to the bakery lemon tea that we have come to love.

Here is how to make hot lemon tea with honey, my friend’s mom’s way!

Ingredients (makes 2 cups):

  1. 2-1/2 cups water
  2. 1/2 teaspoon tea powder
  3. 2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
  4. Juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste
  5. A few fresh mint leaves

Method:

1. Heat the water in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil.

2. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add in the honey. Mix well. Switch off the gas.

3. Add the lemon juice and tea powder. Mix well.

4. Strain the lemon tea into two teacups. Serve immediately, garnished with a couple of fresh mint leaves.

Notes:

1. Add the tea powder only after the water has come to a rolling boil and the gas has been switched off. This will ensure a mild tea that isn’t very bitter in taste.

2. I use Wagh Bakri or Red Label tea powder to make this hot lemon tea with honey.

3. Adjust the quantity of honey and lemon you use, depending upon personal taste preferences.

4. Don’t heat the water too much after you add the honey.

5. You can add sugar or jaggery powder in place of honey, too. Personally, I don’t like the taste of jaggery in this tea. I usually make this tea with honey rather than sugar, as this is a sort of detox drink.

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘Different types of tea’.

I’m also sending this recipe to Fiesta Friday #233 and to Friday Frenzy.

Thai Yellow Vegetable Curry

Give me a well-made Thai curry with hot steamed rice any day, and I will be a very happy person!

It is no secret that I adore the Thai cuisine. I love the way it combines so many flavours – hot and tangy and salty and sweet – in such simple ways. I also love the fact that most Thai food is so very easy to prepare at home. Substitutes for some typical Thai ingredients are easily available in India, and it is not tough to put together a delish Thai meal within a matter of minutes. Check out this Thai Yellow Vegetable Curry that I recently prepared!

The recipe for this Thai Yellow Vegetable Curry comes from Cooking From Heart, a food blog I absolutely love. Indian substitutes have been used here for some Thai ingredients, cause for purists to balk, but I must say this is one of the most delicious curries I have ever had. I have made a few changes of my own to the original recipe.

I served the Thai Yellow Vegetable Curry with rice that I steamed with a little lemongrass, and it was a huge hit at home! All of us loved the curry so much that it disappeared within minutes!

Why don’t you try it out too?

Here is how I made the Thai Yellow Vegetable Curry.

Ingredients (serves 4):

For the curry paste:

  1. 7-8 shallots or small onions
  2. 7-8 cloves of garlic
  3. 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  4. 2 lemongrass stalks
  5. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  6. 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  7. 2 green chillies
  8. A 1-inch piece of ginger

Other ingredients:

  1. 5-6 button mushrooms
  2. Half of a medium-sized zucchini
  3. 1 small carrot
  4. 5 beans
  5. Half of a medium-sized capsicum
  6. 1/4 cup paneer
  7. 2-3 medium-sized florets of broccoli
  8. 4 pieces of babycorn
  9. 1 teaspoon oil
  10. 1 teaspoon soya sauce
  11. Salt to taste
  12. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  13. 1/2 teaspoon curry powder (I used sambar powder instead)
  14. 1 teaspoon sugar
  15. 1 cup thick coconut milk
  16. A few Thai basil leaves

Method:

  1. We will first prepare the curry paste. Peel the ginger, garlic and shallots. Chop the green chillies, ginger and lemongrass stalks into small pieces. Take the chopped green chillies, ginger, garlic, shallots and lemongrass stalks, lemon zest, and the coriander and cumin seeds in a small mixer jar. Grind to a smooth paste, using very little water. Keep the paste aside.
  2. Now, we will prep the veggies and paneer to make the curry. Cut the zucchini into cubes. Peel the carrot and cut into cubes. Chop the capsicum, button mushrooms, babycorn and broccoli into smaller pieces. Remove the strings from the beans and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Cut the paneer into cubes. Keep aside.
  3. Now, we will begin preparing the Thai Yellow Curry. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the chopped veggies and saute on medium flame till they are cooked, but still retain a bit of a crunch. Add in salt to taste, the sugar, turmeric powder, the paneer cubes, soya sauce, the curry paste we prepared earlier and the curry powder. Saute for a minute, on medium flame.
  4. Add the coconut milk. Mix well. Cook on medium flame till the curry begins to boil. Stir intermittently. Now, turn down the flame lower, and let the curry simmer for 2 minutes. Switch off gas.
  5. Roughly tear the Thai basil leaves, and add them to the pan. Mix well.
  6. Serve the Thai Yellow Vegetable Curry hot with steamed rice.

Notes:

  1. The original recipe calls for some curry powder. I used sambar powder instead. I didn’t find any discernible difference in the taste of the Thai Yellow Vegetable Curry, as I used the sambar powder in very little quantity.
  2. If you do not have lemongrass stalks, but have leaves instead, use about 1 handful of the leaves in this recipe.
  3. Paneer can be substituted with tofu.
  4. Indian ginger and lemon zest have been used in this recipe, in place of Thai galangal and kaffir lime leaves. I didn’t find any discernible change in the taste of the curry due to these substitutions. If you are able to get hold of the original ingredients, you can use them instead.
  5. I have used ordinary Indian green chillies here, instead of Thai bird’s eye chillies. If you have the latter, though, please do go ahead and use them.
  6. Make sure you grind the curry paste smoothly, for best results.
  7. I used a 200 ml pack of Dabur Coconut Milk to make this curry, which yielded just about 1 cup of thick milk. You can use home-made coconut milk instead.
  8. You can use Italian basil in this dish, if you do not have access to Thai basil.
  9. You can add in any vegetables of your choice. I used the veggies that I had handy, to make this Thai Yellow Vegetable Curry.
  10. Do not cook the curry too much after adding the coconut milk. Once it comes to a boil, lower the flame and let the curry simmer for a couple of minutes, and that’s it!

****************Foodie Monday Blog HopThis post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘Asian dishes’.

I’m sending this recipe to Fiesta Friday #231. The co-hosts this week are Antonia @ Zoale.com and Laurena @ Life Diet Health.

Cheese & Chutney Corn On The Cob

Corn on the cob is a hugely popular snack across India, one you will find being sold on the streets almost everywhere. The most common way to eat it, though, is boiled or char-grilled, with a generous dose of salt/chaat masala/red chilli powder and lemon. Today, I present to you a different way of eating corn – Cheese & Chutney Corn On The Cob.

Here, I have slathered boiled corn with spicy green chutney, which bursts with flavour, and eliminates the need for any other spices. The corn has also been sprinkled generously with grated cheese. This is an indulgent snack, an extremely delicious one, though.

The inspiration for this recipe for Cheese & Chutney Corn On The Cob comes from the street-side food carts of Ahmedabad, which I have grown up frequenting. Many of these street carts offer unimaginable varieties of corn on the cob – from the simple Butter-Lemon Corn to Schezwan Corn and Cheese-Chutney Corn. While those street carts typically use huge pots of boiling water to cook the corn, I have pressure cooked the cobs. I have also used my own version of green chutney, and grated cheese instead of the cheese spread that is commonly used by these carts.

I hope you like this simple, but delectable snack!

Ingredients (serves 2):

  1. 2 fresh cobs of sweet corn
  2. Spicy green chutney, as needed (See notes for the recipe)
  3. 2 cubes of cheese, grated, or as needed

Method:

  1. Peel the cobs of sweet corn and remove all the silk.
  2. Break each cob into two and place in a large vessel. Add in just enough water to cover the corn cobs.
  3. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 4 whistles. Allow the pressure to release naturally.
  4. When the pressure has completely gone down, remove the cooked corn cobs from the water. Shake them gently to drain out all the excess water.
  5. Spread spicy green chutney evenly over the cooked corn cobs.
  6. Sprinkle grated cheese evenly over the corn cobs. Place on a serving plate. Serve immediately.

Notes:

  1. Click here for the recipe that I use to make the spicy green chutney. Make sure you don’t add too much water while making the spicy green chutney. Only then will you be able to spread it well on the corn cobs.
  2. Use as much or as little spicy green chutney and grated cheese as you want to.
  3. I have used Amul Processed Cheese in this dish. You can use any variety of cheese that you prefer, instead.
  4. Make sure the corn is served immediately after preparation. Don’t let it sit around for too long once you have spread the spicy green chutney and the grated cheese over it.
  5. You can even char-grill the corn or roast it on the gas stove, instead of pressure-cooking it like I have done here.

Did you like this recipe for Cheese & Chutney Corn On The Cob? Do tell me, in your comments!

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop
This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘recipes using corn’.

I’m also sending this recipe for Fiesta Friday #230, co-hosted this week by Diann @ Of Goats and Greens.

Low-Oil Thai Green Vegetable Curry

It is no secret that the husband and I love Thai cuisine. We often choose Thai food when we go out for lunch, and I make Thai dishes at home quite often too. You will find a variety of Thai dishes – from Thai Tom Yum Soup and Thai Fried Rice to Thai Raw Papaya Salad and Thai Peanut Noodle Salad – on my blogs.

I have made what you would call ‘a cheat version’ of Thai Green Curry several times, substituting ingredients that I can get my hands on for the authentic ones. I would use lemon balm instead of lemongrass, for instance, or Indian ginger and paneer instead of galangal and tofu respectively. Recently, though, I went hunting for proper Thai ingredients like bird’s eye chillies, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, tofu and lemongrass, and a ‘proper’ Thai Green Curry came about. Of course, it tasted awesome – quite close to the Thai Green Curry we have sampled and loved in restaurants.

In case you have never tried making Thai Green Curry at home before, let me tell you that it is super simple. Just get together the right ingredients, and the cooking is a breeze! It is a super flavourful dish, too. What’s more, the curry can be made with just 1 teaspoon of oil – what more do you need from a dish, eh?

Here’s how to make Thai Green Curry with 1 teaspoon of oil.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

To grind to a paste:

  1. A 2-inch piece of galangal, chopped
  2. 2 tablespoons coriander stems, chopped
  3. 1 tablespoon brown sugar or jaggery
  4. 4 Thai bird’s eye chillies, chopped
  5. 2 dry red chillies, each broken into two
  6. 2 kaffir lime leaves, torn up
  7. A handful of lemongrass leaves, cut up
  8. 6-8 garlic cloves, peeled
  9. 6-8 shallots aka small sambar onions, peeled and chopped
  10. 1 tablespoon coriander seeds (sabut dhania)
  11. 1 tablespoon cumin (jeera)

Other ingredients:

  1. Salt, to taste
  2. 1 cup thick coconut milk
  3. A dash of lemon juice
  4. 1 teaspoon oil
  5. 3 cups of mixed vegetables (babycorn, zucchini, capsicum, broccoli, carrot, beans)
  6. 100 grams tofu, chopped into cubes
  7. 2 kaffir lime leaves
  8. A few Thai basil leaves

Method:

  1. First, we will get all the vegetables ready. Peel the carrot and chop into batons. Remove strings from the beans and cut into batons. Cut the babycorn, zucchini, broccoli and capsicum into medium-sized pieces. Keep aside.
  2. Grind all the ingredients for the paste together till smooth, in a mixer, using a little water. Keep aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan. Add in all the chopped veggies, 2 kaffir lime leaves, and salt to taste. Cook on low flame till the vegetables are cooked, but still retain a bit of a crunch. Stir intermittently. Sprinkle a little water every now and then, if needed, if you feel the vegetables are sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the paste we ground earlier, to the pan. Add in the tofu cubes. Keeping the flame medium, cook for 2 minutes or till the raw smell of the paste disappears.
  5. Now, still keeping the flame medium, add in the coconut milk. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for 1 minute. Add a bit of water if you think the curry is too thick. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
  6. Switch off gas, and add in the lemon juice. Roughly tear the Thai basil leaves and add them to the pan. Mix well. Serve the Thai Green Curry with steamed rice.

Notes:

  1. I used a 200-ml store-bought pack of coconut milk to make this Thai Green Curry, which comes to just about 1 cup. Alternatively, you may make the coconut milk at home, too.
  2. The kaffir lime leaves can be replaced with lemon zest. Similarly, the galangal can be replaced with Indian ginger, and the Thai bird’s eye chillies with Indian green chillies. Lemon balm can be used in place of the lemongrass, too. Paneer can be used in place of tofu, and Thai basil can be substituted for Italian basil. However, if you want the taste to be authentic, or at least close to authentic, please stick to the original ingredients.
  3. Adjust the quantity of bird’s eye chillies that you use, depending upon how spicy you want the Thai Green Curry to taste.
  4. You can use any other vegetables of your choice to make this Thai Green Curry. Green peas, mushrooms and cauliflower are some veggies that would go well in this curry.
  5. It is important not to overcook the vegetables. They should be just cooked and should retain a crunch to them. Overcooked veggies will lead to a mushy, tasteless curry.
  6. Ensure that you cook the Thai Green Curry on a medium flame only. Do not cook the curry too much after adding the coconut milk.
  7. I have used jaggery to make the spice paste for this Thai Green Curry.
  8. You can make a zero-oil version of this curry as well. Add about 1 cup of water to a pan, then add in the vegetables and cook till are done but retain a bit of a crunch. Then, proceed to add in the tofu, the green curry paste and coconut milk, and make the curry as outlined above.

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘Vegetables Cooked In 1 Teaspoon oil’.

I’m also sending this recipe to Fiesta Friday #229. The co-host this week is Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons.

Indian Spiced Orange Salad

Bored of eating oranges the usual way? Use them in this bright and beautiful Indian Spiced Orange Salad!

I have used Indian spices to delicately spice this salad, which is extremely flavourful and delicious. It is a medley of sweet and tangy and spicy in every bite, and would make a refreshing addition to any meal.

Here’s how to make this Indian Spiced Orange Salad.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  1. 2 large fresh oranges
  2. About 10 almonds
  3. 1 tablespoon honey
  4. Salt, to taste
  5. A dash of red chilli powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin (jeera) powder
  7. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander leaves

Method:

  1. Dry roast the almonds in a pan, on medium flame, till crisp. Take care to ensure that they do not burn. Keep aside and allow them to cool down completely.
  2. Peel the oranges and remove all the seeds and fibres. Roughly tear the segments into bite-sized pieces using your hands. Transfer the orange pieces to a large mixing bowl.
  3. When the almonds are cool enough to handle, chop them into slivers. Keep aside.
  4. Add salt to taste, honey, cumin powder, chilli powder, almond slivers and finely chopped coriander to the orange pieces in the mixing bowl. Mix gently.
  5. Transfer to serving plates and serve immediately.

Notes:

1. The oranges that I used were a good mix of sweet and tart, so I didn’t feel the need to use any lemon juice in the salad. If you think your oranges aren’t too tart, you could add in a dash of lemon juice.

2. Skip the honey if the oranges are too sweet. Use more honey if needed, depending upon your taste preferences.

3. Roasted peanuts, walnuts or cashewnuts can be used in place of almonds. The lemon juice can be substituted with vinegar, the red chilli powder with finely chopped green chillies, and the honey with maple syrup, palm sugar or any other sweetener. Similarly, you can use torn basil or mint leaves in place of the coriander.

4. You can use a mix of sweet lime (mosambi) and orange to make this salad too.

5. Make sure all the seeds and tough fibres are removed from the oranges, before proceeding to make this Indian Spiced Orange Salad.

6. Serve the Indian Spiced Orange Salad immediately after preparation. Do not let it sit for too long – it will then begin to release water and become tasteless.

Did you like the recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘Salad Recipes’.

I’m also sending this recipe over to Fiesta Friday #228.

 

Bread Rolls| Bread & Mixed Vegetable Cutlets

Eid is just around the corner! Here’s wishing good times to all those who are celebrating! 🙂

Today, I present to you a recipe for Bread Rolls or Bread & Mixed Vegetable Cutlets that you can make for Iftaar, the routine breaking of the fast during Ramzaan. You can also make these on the occasion of Eid, a hearty and nutritious vegetarian snack.

I have extremely fond memories associated with Bread Rolls aka Bread & Mixed Vegetable Cutlets. In the almost 36 hours it took to travel by train from Ahmedabad to Madras, while I was growing up, Bread & Mixed Vegetable Cutlets would make for my morning breakfast. I remember them tasting awesome (I’m not sure if I would still say the same about them!), and being all excited about having them because they were such a novelty for me – we never made them at home ourselves.

I also remember my school friends bringing home-made Bread Rolls in their snack boxes, and offering me a taste. I would adore them, and we would end up exchanging our boxes – they would happily gobble up my idlis while I munched on their Bread Rolls.

The bub was introduced to Bread & Mixed Vegetable Cutlets at school, and she happened to adore them. Like mom, like daughter, eh? When she came home from school grinning like a Cheshire cat a couple of days – because the snack was her favourite Bread & Mixed Vegetable Cutlets – I absolutely had to learn how to make them at home. I spoke to the parents who had sent them, understood how they had made them, and began making them with a few customisations. Now, they are a regular snack at our place, and a much-loved one, too!

I make these Bread Rolls with tonnes of vegetables and whole wheat bread, and use home-made garam masala to spice them. I use a dosa pan to shallow-fry them, with minimal oil, as opposed to deep-frying. They turn out absolutely delicious in taste, perfectly crisp from the outside, soft from the inside, just the way we like them to be.

At a lot of places, I find Bread & Mixed Vegetable Cutlets containing either too much of potatoes or too much of bread. The recipe I am going to tell you about today will help you avoid both these situations. These measurements will give you the perfect cutlets – perfectly balanced ones, with no one ingredient overpowering the others. Do try it out!

Here’s how to make the Bread & Mixed Vegetable Cutlets.

Ingredients (makes 18-20 cutlets):

  1. 4 medium-sized potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
  2. 2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped
  3. 1/3 cup shelled green peas
  4. 1/3 cup grated carrot
  5. 1/3 cup finely chopped cabbage
  6. 1/3 cup finely chopped beans
  7. 1/3 cup finely chopped capsicum
  8. 1/3 cup finely chopped cauliflower
  9. Salt, to taste
  10. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  11. 2 generous pinches of asafoetida
  12. 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
  13. Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
  14. 4 tablespoons bread crumbs + more as needed to coat the cutlets
  15. 3-4 tablespoons finely chopped coriander
  16. 2 tablespoons of slivered almonds
  17. 8 slices of bread
  18. 4 green chillies, finely chopped
  19. A 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  20. 1 tablespoon oil + more as needed for shallow-frying

Method:

  1. Heat the 1 tablespoon oil in a pan. Add in the chopped onion, carrot, cabbage, beans, capsicum and cauliflower, as well as the shelled green peas. Salt lightly. Cook on medium flame till the vegetables are half done – they should be cooked, but retain their crunch. Switch off the gas, and allow the cooked vegetables to cool down entirely.
  2. Grind the ginger and green chillies to a paste in a mixer, using very little water. Transfer the paste to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the peeled and mashed boiled potatoes to the mixing bowl.
  4. Soak each of the bread slices in water for just a second, then squeeze in between your hands and drain out all the water. Add the drained bread slices to the mixing bowl.
  5. To the mixing bowl, add the 4 tablespoons of bread crumbs, lemon juice, asafoetida, salt to taste, garam masala, turmeric powder, chopped coriander and slivered almonds.
  6. Once the cooked vegetables (the carrot, capsicum, beans, peas, cabbage, cauliflower) have completely cooled down, add them to the mixing bowl too.
  7. Mix all the ingredients in the mixing bowl together thoroughly. Shape patties out of this mixture. Keep aside.
  8. Heat a heavy dosa pan on high flame. When it is nice and hot, turn down the flame to medium.
  9. Spread out some bread crumbs on a large plate. Dip two of the patties in the breadcrumbs, evenly coating them, and place them on the hot dosa pan. Spread some oil around the patties, and cook on medium flame till the bottom gets brown and crisp, ensuring that they do not get burnt. Then, flip the patties over, add a little more oil around them, and cook till crisp and brown on the other side. Transfer to a serving plate.
  10. Prepare all the cutlets in a similar manner. Serve hot with hot green chutney, kasundi, tomato ketchup or sauce of your choice.

Notes:

1. Cooking the Bread & Mixed Vegetable Cutlets on a dosa pan ensures that minimal oil is consumed, as against shallow frying in a deeper pan.

2. To make bread crumbs, just tear a few pieces of bread roughly and grind in a mixer. Alternatively, you can use store-bought bread crumbs, too.

3. You can use either whole wheat bread or white bread to make these Bread & Mixed Vegetable Cutlets.

4. Chana masala can be used in place of garam masala, too.

5. Increase or decrease the number of green chillies you use, depending upon how spicy you want the Bread & Mixed Vegetable Cutlets to be.

6. You can add any vegetables of your choice to these cutlets, but the ones I have mentioned above are the usual suspects. These are the veggies that go really well in the making of Bread & Mixed Vegetable Cutlets.

7. Make sure you soak the bread slices for just a second and then immediately drain out all the water from them, before proceeding to add them to the cutlet mixture. Over-soaking of the bread slices or retaining too much water in them will cause the cutlets to get soggy.

8. The above quantities of bread, bread crumbs and vegetables are perfect to get cutlets that are just right – neither too much of veggies nor too much of bread.

9. I prefer cooking these Bread & Mixed Vegetable Cutlets on a dosa pan, but you could deep-fry them too. If you want to deep-fry them, dip the prepared patties in a thin paste of maida or wheat flour and water, then coat evenly with bread crumbs, then proceed to put them in smoking hot oil. Deep fry on medium flame till evenly brown on both sides, ensuring the cutlets don’t get burnt.

10. Crumbled paneer or cheese can be added to the cutlets too. Alternatively, you can garnish the cutlets with grated cheese, just before serving them.

Did you like the recipe? Do tell me in your comments!

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘Eid-Special Recipes’.

I’m also sending this recipe to Fiesta Friday #227. The co-hosts this week are Lizet @ Chipa by the dozen and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.

 

Thai-Style Mango Salad

This Thai-Style Mango Salad is a great way to make use of the gorgeous mangoes that are in season right now. This is such a beautiful salad, bursting with sweet and sour and spicy flavours, yet one that can be put together within minutes.

Do try it out!

This is how you can make the Thai-Style Mango Salad.

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

  1. 2 medium-sized ripe mangoes
  2. 1/4 cup peanuts
  3. Salt, to taste
  4. 1 small onion
  5. A few stalks of fresh coriander
  6. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  7. Juice of 1/2 lemon
  8. 2 green chillies
  9. 1 tablespoon honey

Method:

1. Dry roast the peanuts on medium flame till crisp. Ensure they do not burn. Let them cool down completely.

2. Meanwhile, remove skin and seed from the mangoes. Chop the flesh into cubes, and place them in a large mixing bowl.

3. Peel the ginger and onion. Chop onion, ginger, coriander and green chillies very finely. Add to the mixing bowl.

4. Add in salt to taste, the honey and lemon juice.

5. When the peanuts are cool enough to handle, pulse them for just a second using the mixer. Add this to the mixing bowl.

6. Mix the salad gently but well. Serve immediately.

Notes:

1. I used 2 medium-sized Banganapalli mangoes to make the salad. You can use any variety of mango that you prefer.

2. Adjust the quantity of lemon juice, honey and green chillies that you use, depending upon personal taste preferences.

3. If the mangoes are too sweet, you may not use any honey in making the Thai-Style Mango Salad at all.

4. Using the onion is purely optional.

5. Use ripe mangoes that are firm, for best results. Over-ripe mangoes aren’t the greatest for making this Thai-Style Mango Salad.

7. Refined sugar powder, palm jaggery or powdered plain jaggery can be used in place of the honey, too. You could use any other healthy sweetener of your choice, as well.

8. Remember that you must just crush the peanuts coarsely, and not make a fine powder.

9. Serve the Thai-Style Mango Salad immediately. Do not let it sit for too long after preparing it.

10. The ginger, onion, green chillies and coriander need to be chopped very finely, for them to not overpower the entire dish.

Did you like the recipe? Do tell me in your comments!

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘Recipes with mangoes’.

I’m also sending this recipe to Fiesta Friday #227. The co-hosts this week are Lizet @ Chipa by the dozen and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.