Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Aloo 65

Ever since I got on to Facebook, blogging has taken a back seat. My reader is brimming over with unread posts....but I can't pull myself away from FB. I am either hunting treasure or planting seeds on my farm or thinking up status messages.
This post is my way of telling myself that I can stop myself from logging onto FB if I really want to.
Aloo 65 is one of the easiest side dishes to make and also quite tasty. The only thing that takes a little bit of time is peeling the baby potatoes. Once that is done, making this is a breeze.

What you need:
Baby potatoes - about 20,cooked, peeled and pricked with a fork a few times
Thick curd - 1 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam masala - 3/4 tsp
Kashmiri chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
1 green chilli + 3 cloves of garlic - ground into a paste
Jeera powder - 1/2 tsp

Take the curd in a large bowl and stir it with a ladle until it is smooth. Add in all the ingredients except the potatoes and mix well.
Marinate the potatoes in this mixture for at least an hour. Remember, the more you let it marinate, the more pronounced and better the flavour will be.
Heat about 3 tbsp of oil in a pan. Add the potatoes to this along with any left over marinade. Let it cook on a low flame until all the moisture is absorbed and the potatoes are well browned.

These taste great on their own and would make an ideal starter. It can also be served along with rice/rotis.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

And the answer is.....

First things first - If you don't know what the question is, go back and read this post.

The guy chose his mother. No surprises there, I suppose.
I would have loved it if he, like Sra suggests, had said they are both great cooks.....his ma makes vathal kozhambu or whatever it is well, while his wife makes a mean schezwan fried rice. But no, the answer popped out of his mouth almost as soon as the question was asked.
The wife said she had no issues with that, but then, the MIL went on to say that it was "already" 3 years after their marriage and the DIL "still" didn't know how to cook.
I felt so sorry for the can anyone say such a thing on national TV? How can she ever forgive her MIL for saying that....or her husband for standing by and saying nothing to defend her?
And what is with the "already three years"? Is there a time limit on these in, the day after you become married, you have to prove that you are a master chef?
These people forget that this young girl was in all respects just like her husband until she got married. She studied, had a good time at home and with friends, and quite likely, spent very little time in the kitchen. While he can still do as he pleases, she is expected to change overnight. Isn't that grossly unfair???

Friday, April 23, 2010

Who is the better cook?

Recently, on a talk show that I watch, the older generation(mothers & MILs) and the younger generation were pitted against each other. They talked about different aspects of life which they approached with different styles. As is the norm with all things Indian, the conversation gradually moved on to food and who was better at cooking and serving it. Interestingly, both the groups were comprised entirely of females.
What I want to draw your attention to is this young man who was called up on stage and asked to choose between his mother's and his wife's cooking.
Who do you think he said is the better cook? More importantly, do you think it was right on the host's part to ask this question at all? How do you think he should have answered???

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hot off the stove - ICC Sago Murukku

I forgot all about this month's Indian Cooking Challenge until I saw Valli's post this morning. Thinking that I still had the rest of today to make it, I soaked sago in buttermilk in the morning. It fluffed up beautifully by evening and I was all set to make the murukku. That's when the trouble started. There were two packets of identical white flours in the freezer - one clearly labelled rice flour and the other with no label. The labelled pack contained about 3/4th of a cup of flour. I was quite sure the other one was maida though I couldn't tell. I decided to add some water to it to see if it was sticky, but that didn't enlighten me any further. Anyways, I decided that if it was maida, so be it....I was still going to make murukku with it. All the flours were duly mixed and I started squeezing the dough out of the murukku press. That was disaster no.2. I used the achu with three circular holes in it....and it was really, really hard to squeeze the dough out. I tried making it more watery, but that didn't help. The murukku kept breaking out in pieces. The end product does look quite good, though....reminds me of serial lights with little white bulbs at the end.

After 15 minutes of struggling with it, I decided to use another achu and used the one with three star shaped holes in it. I squeezed it into the oil fully expecting it to be just as difficult to squeeze out....but no, that seems to be the one thing I did slid out of the press quite easily and in another 15 minutes, I'd used up all the dough and had a dabba-ful of tasty, crunchy murukkus.

The murukku felt chewy when it was just out of the oil, but turned perfectly crunchy on cooling.
Here is Valli's recipe:
What you need:

Rice Flour 2 cups
Besan flour 1/2 cup
Fried gram flour - 1/2 cup
Sago - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Curd - 1/4 cup
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp or as per taste

To make:
Soak Sago in Butter milk for 3 hrs, please ensure that you soak it enough else you may risk having the sago burst.

Mix all the flour together, heat 50 gms oil, mix to the flour along with salt and chili powder. Then add the buttermilk soaked sago slowly and knead to a chapati dough consistency

Heat oil for deep frying.In the murukku achu, add the dough. When the oil is hot, press down directly as as murukkus.

Cook on medium flame to ensure the murukku is cooked well.

Ensure sago soaks in buttermilk well and is soft or else it will burst when you press it down in hot oil.
Cook on medium to ensure even cooking.
Fried Gram flour is fried channa dal that is available commercially. It is general sold as the dal, we have to powder it at home. This is also referred as chutney dal as it is used in making coconut chutney.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

MEC-Celebrating bloggers round-up

I have always wondered why people host events. Sending out e-mails, checking entries for adherence to rules, collating all the entries in one place, and then thinking out a post that would put all these together in an interesting manner – PHEW!!! To me, that has always seemed like too much work.
When I said YES to hosting Valli’s MEC, it was the analyst in me that was at the forefront. I really wanted to find out for myself what made people do this.
Now that I’ve done it, I can tell you – THIS IS ADDICTIVE. I would never have thought that receiving a mail with the subject line MEC in it could make me so happy or that a day without any entries could have me so worried. Believe me, I loved hosting so much, I am already thinking of other event ideas.
Here’s the lineup of entries that Celebrate fellow bloggers.

“Bookmarking dishes from other blogs and trying them out is no more anything new to me..I do that all the time!!” says Divya, as she cooks up some amazing looking Chundo from Srivalli’s blog.

“It was a simple, yummy dessert, which could be prepared under 20 minutes in a MW”, is what Suma has to say about this Beet halwa made from Mahima’s blog.

Paneer is a guaranteed party pleaser. Nandini sends in Palak Paneer which she tried from Cham’s blog.

Here’s one entry that I can vouch for because I tasted it and polished it off by the end of the day. New blogger Nirmala cooked up this amazing Chocolate Cashew Almond burfi from My Culinary Endeavours.

“Iam getting very tensed, when the stuff is in oven, like i was in exam hall. i have successfully burnt cookies in my previous attempt's.” If you look at the eggless coconut and raisin scones that Lavi has made from Aparna’s blog, you will definitely not believe what she says about her cookies.

I started following Priya’s blog recently and am awed by the number of posts that pop up on my reader each day. She sends in not one, but two entries. Check out the brinjal chips she has made from Valli’s blog

and the mixed veggie halwa made from her namesake’s blog.

Sowmya sends in two entries, both chosen from my blog – Kasi halwa

and tandoori aloo,

Thank you for choosing my recipes, Sowmya. You have no idea how happy I am.

Valar makes halwa making sound like a breeze with this Carrot halwa made from Lubna’s blog.

Blogging introduces me to something new each day. Never before reading Jayasree’s post (based on Priya’s recipe) did I know that fresh jackfruit could be used to make payasam.

"Whenever i return from India first thing he checks with me is Did u get Grand Sweets/Aavin Thirati Paal?", says Priya , talking of her husband’s love for therattipal. Now that she has this microwave version tried from her friend’s blog, she doesn’t have to make trips to Aavin any more.

It is not just a sweet tooth that Priya satisfies…..she also brings in a healthy microwave spinach raita cooked from Suma’s blog

and baby-corn potato stir fry from Valli’s blog.

How long do you think it will take to make tandoori paneer? Iam sure there’s no way you would have guessed five minutes. That’s what Umm Razeen does – she whips up a mean looking dish of tandoori paneer from Priya’s blog, quicker than you can say Microwave Easy Cooking.

Aparna’s scones find another taker in Tasty Curry Leaf. Curry leaf says she is surprised that scones can be made in the microwave.

I made Sowmya’s eggless chocolate cake which is just perfect to satisfy any cravings for something sweet in a jiffy

and Indira’s strawberry cake which was baked close to midnight and polished off in a remarkably short amount of time.

Thank you all for you lovely entries. If I have inadvertently made any mistakes or left out any entries, please do let me know.