Monday, August 27, 2007

Momo's

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Last Friday, I was at Mohit's place for a typical workplace guys nightout ( Shefali joined us too, taking the guy's part out ). Cynthia, Mohit's wife, treated us to some amazing momo's followed by more amazing snacks and food. Being the Foodie that I am, nosing around for great stuff, getting my hand on the momo recipe that too from someone from Nagaland was too good an opportunity to miss. Armed with a camera phone and a helpful Cynthia I learned the art of making the momo's.
Momo's are kind of Tibetan Dumplings, that has found its way to all neighbouring countries of Bhutan, Nepal and India through Sikkim, West Bengal, Meghalaya and other North-Eastern States. Infact, I think we have more momo joints in the Delhi region than in the whole of Tibet.
The best place in Delhi I still believe is to go to Sikkim House. The other option is to go to Chanakya Cinema and have it at the stalls outside Yashwant Place shopping mall, or make a trip to Momo point at Kamla Nagar.
Dumplings can be made out flour doughs, leave casings etc. and they can either be steamed,poached or deep fried. Every region in the world has it's own version, Indians have the Modak ( a sweet version, loved by the Elephant God Ganesha), Mongolians have their buuz, Chinese have Jiaozi,Shaomai, the Japanese have the Gyoza, Korean Mandu ( you can see the version of these types here on wikipedia ...makes good reading). Europe hasn't been far behind either. Greeks have the Koulakli Manti (Minced meat dumplings), Loukoumades (deep-fried Honey Dumplings) and Dolmas ( or Dolmathes ...made out of cabbage or vine leaves as casings), other regions have their own, I could go on, but you see ...the list is endless.
So sticking around with the one recipe for Momo that I have at hand, here it goes...
Ingredients: For the Casing:
Refined Flour - 3 Cups
Water - 1 Cup
For the Filling:
Minced Meat - 400 gms
Onions, minced - 200 gms
Corriander or Cilantro, chopped very fine - 110 gm
Ajinomoto ( MSG ) - 1 tsp.
Salt - To Taste
For the Sauce:
Red Chillies - 20 no.
Tomatoes - 100 gm
Method:1. Make dough out of
Flour and water ( It should be flexible). Keep aside.
2. Mix minced meat, minced onions and corriander alongwith salt as per taste and keep aside.
3. Take a small marble size ball of dough and roll it into a thin small round circles.
4. Fill a little of the filling in each of these & fold over by binding the edges with little water. To see how to give shape see the attached video.
5. Place the momo's in the steamer and steam for 10 minutes.
6. Take the momo's of the steamer and serve with the chutney.
To Make Chutney:
1. Boil red chillies with the tomatoes.
2. Drain.
3. Grind coarsely and mix salt per taste.
4. Chutney is ready to be served with the momo's.

Note:
1. To make your own minced meat, boil chicken and then shred it into little pieces. Put in grinder and make a coarse paste.
2. Typically authentic momo's are steamed, not with plain water, but a stock which also flavors the dumplings. This stock is later also served as a soup, called Thukpa.
3. To prevent the momo's from sticking, place cabbage leaves on the steamer and place the dumplings on top of the leaves.
4. Addition of Ajinomoto is optional. Incase you are not adding in the ajinomoto, add in some chopped green chillies, a teaspoon minced garlic, 1 tsp. minced ginger, and around 100 gm chopped spring onion (green onion).
5. Vegans Rejoice. Replace the minced meat with cabbage and mushrooms, both nicely shredded and chopped respectively. Also add in the ingredients, I mentioned in the point above.
6. Some people would also add vinegar to the chillies and tomatoes while grinding to bring about a sourness to the chutney. I have only remained true to the way I had them at Mohit's place.
videoJustify Full

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Vegetable Skewers

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Ingredients:
3 Firm Red Tomatoes, deseeded
2 Red Bell Peppers, deseeded
2 Yellow Bell Peppers, deseeded,
100 gm Paneer ( you can use Feta too )
100 gm Pineapple
Marinade:
150 ml Yoghurt
10 gm Ginger-Garlic Paste
2 green chillies, chopped finely
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 tsp Chaat Masala
1 tsp Curry Powder
1 tsp Crushed Black Pepper
1 tsp Sugar
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Mixed Herbs
Salt to Taste
Method:
1. Mix all ingredients for marinade and whisk to smooth consistency. Chill for 15 minutes.
2. Cut all other ingredients ( Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, Paneer, Pineapple) into 1 inch cubes.
3. Mix the cut vegetables in the marinade and leave for 5 minutes.
4. Skewer the marinated vegetables, paneer, pineapple on to toothpicks or bamboo skewers.
5. Grill for 3-4 minutes ( you can also microwave for 5 minutes) turning them once.
6. Serve hot or cold with chutney or relish.

Note :
Make your own chaat masala by mixing 1 Part of ground ginger, 3.5 parts of roasted fennel seeds, 3 parts of garam masala, 3 parts of amchoor (dried mango powder), 3 parts of cayenne pepper, pinch of asafoetida, 3 parts of black salt, and 4 parts of roasted cumin seeds.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Murgh Malai Tikka ( Creamy Chicken Kababs )

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The quintessential Punjabi favorite. Simply put, they are skewered cubes of boneless chicken that are cooked in a tandoor ( Indian Clay oven ). Hell, I dont have one in my house, but it is easily replicated in a microwave with convection.
Ingredients:
Boneless Chicken ( Cut into cubes) - 300 gms / 2 pieces of breast
Lemon Juice - 3 tsp
Butter - 30 gm
Marinade:
Plain Yoghurt ( nicely whisked) - 50 gms
Ginger-Garlic Paste - 1 Tblsp.
Double Cream - 1 Tbslp.
Green Cardamom (Seeds Only) - 3-4
Cumin Powder - 5 gm
Grated Nutmeg - 3 gm
Cheddar Cheese ( Finely Grated ) - 4 Tblsp
Green Chillies (Finely Chopped) -2
Salt - To Taste
Method:
1. Mix all the ingredients of the marinade and mix together to a smooth consistency. Marinate the chicken cubes in this marinade and leave for an hour in a refrigerator.
2. Skewer the Chicken cubes and grill / barbecue them turning them from time to time, till they are cooked through and turned light brown .
3. Halfway through the cooking, baste them with melted butter. ( This also prevents the kababs from drying).
4. After they are done, remove them from the skewers, and sprinkle remaining lemon juice on top.
5. Serve Hot with a Mint corriander chutney.

Note:
1. If you are using woodden /bamboo skewers, soak them in cold water for 15 minutes before putting the chicken cubes. This will prevent them from getting burnt on the grill.
2. If you are using microwave, put it convection for 20 minutes at 250 deg.
3. To get a variation you can also mix 20 gm of cashewnut paste into the marinade.

Gaurav's Konkani Fish Curry

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The Konkan belt is known as much for its cuisine as it's unexplored virgin beaches. Though most of the public makes a beeline for Goa, beaches like Tarkarli and Guhagarh can leave the goan beaches far far behind. Of course, you will not find a swanky hotel at these locations serving you Daiquiri's or Pinacolada's but then the food more or less makes up for it.
The konkani food is known for using ingredients that are a little less common,barring the exception of coconut and is mostly in all dishes. My love affair with Konkan food started 3 years back when I went to Kashid to spend a lazy weekend. Naturally, most of the holiday ended up being spent eating good food ...actually, good fish. Since then, I have made trips time and again to different destinations with the ulterior motive of getting good fish.
Here's my take on a fish recipe:
Ingredients:
Fish - 300gm
Lemon Juice - 100 ml
Coconut Milk - 200 ml
Kokum juice - 60 ml
Red chilli powder - 10 gm
Shallots - 100 gm
Tomatoes - 100 gm
Raw Mango - 1 ( grated )
Garam Masala - 20 gm
Ginger-Garlic Paste - 20 gm
Black Pepper - coarsely ground - 10 gm
Salt - To Taste
Oil - 100 ml
Method:
1. Clean & Cut Fish. Marinate with a little salt, lemon juice and crushed black pepper.
2. Mince half of the shallots finely. Skin the other half and keep whole.
3. Heat Oil. Add in minced shallots and ginger-garlic paste.
4. Once paste starts to turn golden, add in garam masala and red chilli powder.
5. After masala is cooked, add in kokum juice and pureed tomatoes.
6. Cook till gravy is done. Stir in the coconut milk. Cook for 5 more minutes.
7. Add in the fish pieces and the marinade.
8. add in grated mango, cook till fish is done.
9. Finish with bhunaoed red chillies.
10. Serve hot.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tiranga

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This one is for the Independence Day.
Ingredients:
Creme de Menthe - 30 ml
Lychee Juice - 90 ml
Mango Juice - 90 ml
Vodka - 30 ml
Slice of Lemon - For Garnishing
Method :
1. Mix Vodka and Mango juice in a glass and stir nicely. Keep aside.
2. In a champagne flute, add in the Lychee Juice.
3. Sink Creme the Menthe. ( Simply add in the liqueur in the centre, it will sink to the bottom)
4. Float the Vodka and Mango juice mixture on top. ( For instructions on how to float, see my first post here).
5. Garnish with a slice of lemon & serve.

Note: Please ensure all ingredients all chilled before you start making this cocktail.
Non-alcoholics can substitute Creme de Menthe for either Khus syrup or the non-alcoholic version of creme de menthe available. They also do not need to premix mango juice and vodka.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ennai Kathrikai (Masala Eggplant)

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Let me begin this post by wishing everyone on the occasion of the Indian Independence day. Today we celebrate our 60th Independence day.
Being married to a Tam Brahm ( that too an Iyer), can a Iyer Veggie dish be far behind on this blog (or flog as I call it ... Foodie Blog that is). So last week was spent trying out this shudh shakahari dish alongwith other carnivorous delights. Having worked in an Iyer Kitchen in a hotel and spending time rummaging through my in-laws kitchen to find a tandoori masala powder, I realised one thing that is the gospel truth, Coconut and Asafoetida are a must have. Another fact, Food typically consists of 3 courses, rice & rasam, rice & sambhar and Curd Rice, the others like chutneys, veg dishes and salads being only relegated to the sidelines. So, going by the courses you must have guessed by now ...Rice is Right.
Don't go by my english recipe name on top (Masala Eggplant), the literal translation of Ennai Kathrikai means Eggplants in oil, with Kathrikai meaning Eggplant ( or Brinjal) and Ennai meaning Oil. Some restaurants also serve it as Eggplant Curry.
Ingredients:
8-10 Baby Eggplants
1 Marble size ball of tamarind, soaked in 1/4 cup water,pulped and strained.
Cup Oil 100 ml
5 Curry Leaves
5 gm Mustard seeds
Masala:
5 gm cumin seeds
10 gm Corriander seeds
5 gm Split Bengal Gram ( Chana Dal)
5 gm Split Black Gram (Urad Dal)
2 Whole Dry Red Chillies
10 gm Black Peppercorn
Asafoetida (Hing) - Pinch
5-6 Curry Leaves
1/4 Cup Coconut, Scraped/grated
5 gm Turmeric Powder
Salt to Taste

Method:
1. Fry the masala ingredients except the grated coconut in 2 tsp oil and keep aside to cool. Grind to a powder once cooled.
2. Fry the grated coconut in 2 tsp oil to a reddish brown color. Mix with masala powder and leave to cool.
3.Slit the eggplants from the top, without separating the eggplant into 4 pieces. Check the eggplants from inside for worms or insects.
4. Fill the slit eggplants with the masala.
5. Heat 5 tsp oil in a wok. Add mustard seeds.
6. Once the mustard seeds sputter, add in the curry leaves and the stuffed eggplants. Put the leftover masala on top and cook.
7. Add the tamarind pulp, stir and cook for 15-20 more minutes. If the dish is too dry add in a little more water.
8. Serve Hot.

Note: Please cut the eggplants only after the masala has been prepared. If the eggplants are allowed to sit for long they discolor. You can always add some of the tamarind water to prevent the discoloration.
I receive a lot of comments in my mailbox ( remind me to take it off this blog later). Please post it directly.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hyderabadi Anjeer Murgh ( Chicken in figs gravy)

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Last week in Delhi, came across this which my father had picked up while he was in Hyderabad. Strange, considering I never came across this either on my visit to the restaurants in Hyderabad or a mention of it from my true blue Hyderabadi friends.
Tried it out, and it was extremely easy to make. The only variation being that I also added the figs to the marinade.
Ingredients:
Chicken - 500 gms ( Cut into small pieces)
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Red Chillies - 4 ( cut into pieces)
Dry Figs - 4
Onion Paste - 2 Onions
Oil - 100 ml
Salt - To taste

Marinade:
Thick Curd - 1 Cup
Chilli Powder - 1.5 tsp
Salt - 1.5 tsp
Garam Masala - 1.5 tsp ( make your own here)
Ginger-Garlic Paste - 2 tsp
Almond Powder - 1 Tblsp
Cashewnut Powder - 1 Tbslp
Green Chillies - 4 (Slit)
Saffron - few strands
Corriander Seed Powder - 2 Tsp
Cumin Seed Powder - 2 tsp
Finely Chopped Figs - 2

Method:
1. Mix all ingredients for the marinade into a smooth batter.
2. Apply to Chicken and leave aside for 2 hours.
3. Heat Oil. Add Cumin seeds, Red Chillies and figs. Fry for 2 minutes.
4. Add onion paste and fry till golden brown.
5. Add Chicken pieces alongwith marinade.
6. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or till done.
7. Serve hot with Steamed Rice.

Note: Add in a little water while cooking if desired.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Potato Chops

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Ingredients :
6 Medium Potatoes
1/2 tsp Turmeric Chilli Powder
Curry Leaves - Finely Chopped
3 Tblsp Rice Flour ( if you don't have it, learn how to make your own from here )
2 tsp Red Powder
2 tsp Corriander Powder
6 Cloves Garlic - Finely Chopped
Pinch of Hing (Asafoetida)
Salt to Taste
2 Tblsp Oil for shallow frying
1 Fresh Lemon.

Method:
1. Peel and slice Potatoes thickly in a medallion shape.
2. Parboil in water with Salt and turmeric powder.
3. Drain and set aside.
4. Make a paste out of mixing chopped curry leaves, corriander powder, red chilli powder, chopped garlic, hing, rice flour, little oil and water.
5. Apply the paste to the potatoes evenly. Keep aside for 15-20 minutes.
6. On a gridle plate or a pan, apply oil and heat.
7. Place the potatoes on the plate and shallow fry each end for five minutes or till golden brown.
8. Squeeze lemon on the chops and serve hot.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Most Exotic Food You've Eaten Till Date !

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While I cook up something new this weekend and post it here, let me throw this one open to everyone visiting this site. What is the most exotic dish or drink or food that you have had till date ??? Feel free to drop in your comments and if you have more than one all I can say is "the more the merrier ".
Personally, the most exotic dish that I have eaten till date has to be the Bushman Sosatie that is served in the Joe's beerhouse in Windhoek, Namibia. It is a grilled platter of Ostrich, Crocodile, Zebra, Kudu and Chicken meat. Exotic because these meats (barring chicken, of course) are impossible to get here in India, unless you lay siege on the zoo, and the platter was nicely presented, with salad, fritters and the meat itself nicely layered and it tasted mmmm.......excellent. Highly recommended to anybody making a trip to Namibia, "Bushman Sosatie". An yes, be sure to ask your steward/ess to let you know which meat is which in the platter. :-D

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Hari Machhli ( Fish in green sauce)

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Ingredients:
Fish ( Snapper or Pomfret) - 300 gm
Green Chilli paste - 15 gm
Mint Paste - 50 gm
Corriander paste - 50gm
Lemon Juice - 50 ml
Banana Leaf - 1
Oil - 1 tsp.

Method:
1. Clean, wash and dice the fish.
2. Apply lemon juice and salt and keep aside.
3. Mix the mint,corriander and green chili pastes.
4. Apply the paste to the fish.
5. Wrap the fish in the banana leaf.
6. Steam for 15 minutes.
7. Garnish with lemon slice and serve.

Serves : 4

Time for Preparation : 30 minutes

 
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