Friday, September 26, 2008

T & T - Baby Corn Manchurian

It's that time of the month!!! Oh, C'mon... You know what I mean! It's time to Try and Taste!!!
Zlamushka has a wonderful blog up for the test! Sia churns out awesome food and warm stories about food and life.

She LOOOOOOOOVES Indo-Chinese food! So do I!

I mean, what's not to love? It's hot, spicy, tangy, everything that the spice loving Indian wants. 'Real' Chinese Food on the other hand, for us ( who want food that tickles the tongue or I can even got to the extent of saying, food so HOT that it burns a hole right thru to your sole!) is a total let down. At least it was for me. Having sworn off that Chinese food, every time I make Indo-Chinese, I have a bite and say, "Hah! THIS is the real stuff, smack! smack!"
Monsoon and Indo-Chinese food have a special place in my heart!
It was POURING! Five soaked-to- the- skin kids were walking happily along the Queen's Necklace enjoying the thrill of the lashing rain and the waves that erupted over the ledge and sprayed us with foam! Only my youngest cousin was in the danger of being blown away, she was after all very young and thin. Her elder brother was of the opinion that it wouldn't be such a bad thing if that happened. We shushed him then but secretly admitting the truth in our criminal minds. The four of us were a gang, she was an extra and not up to our 'standard'. Poor Takli as we nicknamed her! She put up a lot from us, just to be a part of our notorious gang.
After our day out in the rain , the famished five would go home to hot showers, a quick change of clothes and head out to a nearby restaurant to dig into Chinese food.
We would storm into the restaurant and place our order. The waiters would look at us with a sceptical eye.. "these bedraggled kids".. they would think," 3 skinny girls ( OK, one was a medium build- yours truly) and 2 skinny-on-the-verge-of-puberty boys. HUH!"
But once the food arrived and they saw us tuck in, they eyes would have a reverential look and they would hurriedly whisper behind their trays, " look at them go".
Our order was fairly predictable, Hot-n-sour soup, Fried Rice, Manchurian, Hakka Noodles or Schezwan Rice and Noodles ( kick up that spice level to make our wet hair stand on the end)
Repeat the same thing till we were bursting at the seams.

Sia's recipe brought back these wonderful memories and a longing to eat some spicy Indo-Chinese food and after a quick look at the list of ingredients my mind was made up!
To go to Sia's recipe click on the link above (and take a peek at the other awesome Indo-chinese recipes as well) or refer below for ease of use.


10-12 Baby Corns

3-4 tbsp Flour/maida

1 tbsp Cornflour

1 tsp Dry Red Chilli powder (Adjust acc to taste)

1 inch Ginger, chopped finely

3-4 flakes Garlic, chopped finely

3-4 spring onions, diced

1 small Green Capsicum/Bell pepper,diced

2-3 Green chillies, chopped (Adjust acc to taste)

3 tbsp Tomato Sauce/Ketchup

1 tbsp Soya Sauce

2 tbsp Coriander Leaves,finely chopped

Oil for deep frying

Salt to taste

In a pan take little oil and fry chopped garlic, chillies and ginger.

To this add Capsicum and saute it for 1-2 minutes.

Add Spring Onions, Coriander leaves,tomato sauce and soya sauce(if you want it to be more spicier add chilli sauce)

Cut Baby Corns length wise and keep aside.

Make a little thick batter with maida, cornflour, chilli powder, salt with water.

Coat the baby corn with the batter and then deep fry at medium flame till they turns golden brown.

Drain them in paper towel to remove excess oil.

Add the fried baby corn with the sauce you have prepared and mix well.

Garnish them with chopped coriander leaves and greens of spring onion and serve hot.

Yummy! Nothing beats Indo-chinese food! NOTHING! Try it to believe it!

THANK YOU! Dear Sia, for this wonderful recipe!

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Moong Daal Parathas with Fragrant Gujarati Garam Masala!

As a little girl I was very fond of birthdays and birthday parties! I was the center of attraction, people would pamper me, put up with my fussing and demands.. they did that anyway.. hmmm.. the cake, blowing candles, cutting the cake and eating it and finally.. presents! If blowing candles brought a twinkle to my eyes, accepting presents brought roses to my plump cheeks! Not content at having the time of my life on my birthday, I ensured that I had the same on my cousins birthdays too! My parents had a hard time holding me back when it was time to blow the candles!
Now you may wonder where all this is leading to. A couple of weeks ago I received a parcel in the post.. I was excited , the roses bloomed again! This time however it was a parcel for Little S, from dear Trupti . She sent him the most adorable baby clothes!! But wait, that's not all!! There was something in it for me too! (Yaaaaay!!)

This beautiful little jar contains fragrant Gujarati Garam masala! I was thrilled! I confess, I did not know that there was a Gujarati Garam Masala. I tell you this stuff is amazing!

For some time now , I have been laid back about making parathas / rotis and the likes. I missed parathas and wanted to make some. Trupti's masala came in at a time when I was craving for some spicy filling enclosed in a warm toasty whole wheat cover, piping hot, off the griddle with pickle on the side...ummmmmmm!
A few months ago I made Dhal Puri and the memory lingered and I wanted to re-create it, but this time I wanted to experiment with a different daal and use the Garam Masala. So this time around I opted for Moong Daal.

For the Filling :
1 cup Moong Daal
1 Dry Red Chili
1 Bayleaf
1 tsp. Ginger - Garlic paste
Salt to taste
1 tsp
Chili Garlic Sauce , alternatively use 1-2 green chilies
1/4 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
1/2 tsp Garam Masala (this imparts a subtle flavor which we prefer)
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Sugar (optional)
Juice of 1/2 Lime
1tbsp Chopped Cilantro

For the Cover :
Whole Wheat Flour / Gheun ka Atta
2 pinches Salt
Mix all the above and make a smooth dough (like the one made for Rotis. I did not use any specific measures for the dough. Any left over dough is used for making Fulkas.)

To make the Filling:
Pick and Wash the Moong Daal. Soak it in plenty of water for about 2-4 hours. In a saucepan add water, daal and cook till it is al dente.
Drain ALL water. Keep the daal aside for a while (after the daal was at room temperature, I kept it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours)
Grind to a coarse powder. I used my chopper.
Heat Oil in a wok/ kadhai. Add the bayleaf and red chiles.
Add the ginger-garlic paste ( keep a safe distance from the wok, this thing sputters and spatters.
Add the moong daal, chili garlic sauce. If using green chile's, add to the tempering and then add moong daal.
Mix well, add the garam masala, cumin pwd. Salt, sugar.
Do not overcook the mixture, this tends to make the filling very dry. Mix and let the spices blend in well.
Remove from heat, add lime juice and chopped cilantro. Let the mixture cool.
To make Parathas:
Heat the griddle/ Tawa.
Take a golf ball size piece of the dough and roll out a disc ( approx. the size of a puri).
Into this disc spoon the filling.
Bring together the sides and seal to make a ball.
Dust with flour and roll out parathas.
Transfer to the hot griddle and cook on both sides on Medium-High heat.
Brush with oil on both sides and cook till you see brown spots appear. Serve hot with pickle and curry of your choice or with plain Yogurt.

If you are new to making parathas, check out Cynthia's superb slide show on making parathas.
This Paratha is similar to dal puri and the subzi is a great accompaniment to the paratha.
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Monday, September 15, 2008

Veggie Enchiladas with Roasted Pepper Sauce

I was browsing thru the cook book section in the local library when I found American Masala , pouncing on it and leafing thru the contents was but natural! From there, picking out the recipes I liked most ( and of course were vegetarian) was a quick job. Selecting what to make first (and blog) was difficult!
The book has 125 recipes and pictures which are VERY drool worthy (of course they have to be, it's a cookbook Duh!!) I picked this recipe first for the simple reason, I had almost all the ingredients at hand.

M and I both like Mexican cuisine and for me, when I first came here, this was something that shared a likeness to Indian cuisine.. Tortilla= Roti. They too make Rice, Salsa = Tomato Koshimbir (Tomato Kachumber)!! I had heard of Mexican Cuisine tasted it once in Delhi ( some place where one gets Mex food served by waiters in cowboy outfits and Punabi accents) only to dismiss it all as a sorry affair. Now things were different when I had crossed borders and with a very limited choice in food I could eat outside, this soon became my option.

Then I read in another blog (which is now private) that lard was freely used in these preparations and I recoiled in horror and stayed miles off from it that day on. The only place I agreed to go into was Baja Fresh only because it clearly mentions No Lard. But somehow things changed.. I did not enjoy eating out that much. I missed the Enchiladas, Quesadillas, Tacos but nothing would persuade me to try it again. My only option was to make all these at home.

This recipe is different from what I have eaten outside, but I ain't complaining! It makes a wonderful one-dish meal and the sauce can be made ahead of time. Making the filling and assembly is not very time consuming.
A wonderful recipe and a good choice to make if one has guests coming over for an informal dinner, this taste is sure to make them enjoy every morsel.

For the Sauce ( serves 8-10)

3 tbsp. Canola Oil
1 Red Onion Chopped
4 Lare red Peppers Cored and chopped
2 Med. Tomatoes chopped
4 Garlic cloves
1 Jalapeno ( I used 3 Thai Green Chillies as I had those)
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp Gropund Peppercorns
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 pound Mozzarella or Queso Fresco cut into cubes

Preheat the oven to 450 deg. F. Grease a large baking dish with 1 tbs. oil, add onion, tomato, peppers, garlic, jalapeno. Sprinkle with salt and ground perrecorns. Drizzle with remaining oil. Toss to coat. Roast the veges. until soft and brown, for about 1 hour, stirring every 15 mins.

Transfer the veges to a blender along with cream and blend until smooth. Pour the puree into a med. saucepan and simmer. Reduce heat and add cheese and cook until it starts to melt. turn off the heat. Taste for salt and adjust accordingly.

This sauce is slightly sweet and has a delicate smoky flavor associated with red peppers and is a delightful chnge from the regular Enchilada sauce.This sauce can also be used as a dip with chips. For the Filling:

2 tbs Canola /Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Jalapeno finely chopped
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp. Coriander powder
1/2 tsp ground Peppercorns
10 Med. Carrots, peeled and grated
1 head Cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup chopped Cilantro
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Toasted cumin
1 tbs. Salt
Juice of 1 1/2 Lime

In a large wok or kadhai, heat Oil with Jalapeno, Cumin Seeds and ground Peppercorns on medium heat cooking until the cumin is fragrant and brown.

Add Coriander pwd. and cook for 15 secs. Add the cabbage and Carrots. Cook, stirring ocassionally until the cabbage has wilted yet is still al dente- about 4 mins.

Stir in Cilantro, Cayenne pepper, Sugar, Toasted Cumin and Salt.

Cook fo r 30 secs and then remove from heat. Stir in Lime juice.
For the Veggie Enchiladas with Roasted Pepper Sauce:
1 tbsp. Unsalted Butter at room temp.
Roasted Red Pepper Dip ( recipe as above)
8 Whole Wheat Tortillas (6 inch)
1/2 the Carrot - cabbage filling recipe as above
1 cup shredded cheese ( I used readymade Mexican blend from the store)
Sour cream to top (optional)

Preheat the oven to 450 deg. F.

Grease a 11x 9 inch baking dish with butter.

Add 1/2 cup Roasted Red Pepper Dip , spread it evenly and set aside.

Heat a griddle / Tawa. On med- high heat toast the Tortilla until it is pliable and toasty.

Roll a heaping of 1/4 cup of the carrot-cabbage salad in each Totilla and place seam side down in the baking dish.

Cove with the remaining dip and top with an even layer of cheese.

Bake until the cheese is melted and a golden brown.

Garnish with finely chopped cilantro & sour cream , if using.

And before I sign off, Rajee has honoured me by giving my humble blog this award!! Thank You ever so much Rajee! You made my day !

In turn ,I would like to pass on this award to :
Bee and Jai

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