Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sweet Tomato Pachadi

This is a variation of the Mango Chutney which I shared earlier.



Cashew Nuts
Cinnamon Bark

Beet Root (Optional)
(I just happened to see it when I was shopping
 and thought it would give a nice reddish color
 to the pachadi and it sure did.
Alternatively, use only beet root, without any tomatos. )

Peel and roughly chop the beet root (if using).
Squash the tomatoes.
Set aside.
Heat the ghee and fry the cashew nuts.
Remove the cashews and set aside.
In the ghee left in the wok, fry cinnamon until fragrant.
Add the chopped beet root.
Fry until soft.
Add the squashed tomatoes.

Keep stirring until the mixture yields its liquid.
Add the sugar.
Cook until the liquid is reduced to the desired consistency.
(Taste the pachadi for desired sweetness.  Add additional sugar or tomatoes as needed.)
Stir in the fried cashew nuts.
Let simmer for a 1 or 2 minutes.
The tomato pachadi is ready to be served.

The pachadi may be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator before serving.

Notice that I have not mentioned any quantity for the ingredients. It's just a matter of individual taste. The recipe can be done using 2 or 3 ripe tomatoes and about 2 tablespoons full of sugar. For the above, I used 2kg. of tomatoes and about 700gm. of sugar.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Eliche with Tuna and Cilantro

It has been awhile since I updated this blog.  So I decided to prepare a simple pasta dish which was shared by my sister a few years back.  I didn't have a written recipe to follow, so I did it from my memory of how I think it was prepared.  The result was delicious, so here goes:

Eliche Pasta (or any pasta of your choice)
Canned Tuna (chunks or flakes in water)
Large Onions
Cilantro (Coriander Leaves)

Olive Oil

Chili Powder
Turmeric Powder

Salt (to taste)

Cook pasta according to packet instructions.
(Don't forget to add salt and oil to the water.)

Finely chop onions, garlic and cilantro.
 Place wok on stove.
Add olive oil.
Add chopped garlic.
Turn on the stove.
When using olive oil, light the stove AFTER adding the oil.
 When the garlic appears softened, add the chopped onions.
 Add the chili powder and turmeric powder, if using. 
 When the onions begin to brown, drain the tuna and add to the wok.
 When the tuna is well mixed, add the chopped cilantro.
 Mix well.
 Add the cooked pasta.
 Stir well until the pasta is completely coated with the other ingredients.
Taste for salt before adding any.  (The water to cook the pasta was salted and the canned tuna is also already salted.)
Bon Appetit!
(Enjoy your meal!)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mixed Vegetables - Stir Fry

There is actually no need for a recipe for stir fried mixed vegetables.  Just get some different varieties of vegetables - clean, wash and cut to desired size and toss it into a wok... walla its ready.

A friend recently asked me for the recipe and that's why I'm choosing to include it here. This is one of my signature contributions to family feast occasions.
 I normally select my vegetables for colour and texture.  I like them crunchy and look pleasing.
First heat the wok, add oil and immediately put in the garlic.  When the garlic is fragrant, add the onions.
When the onions are soft, add the prepared vegetables one at a time.  I base my sequence on what I think requires more time to cook.
Season with salt and add a pinch of sugar to caramelize and retain the colour of the vegetables.
When using vegetables with a strong colour (like the purple cabbage) cook it separately and add it before serving.  If it is added during the cooking process, it will dis-colour the rest of the vegetables.

Note: When you remove the vegetables from the wok, make sure you drain away any excess moisture from the them.  If this is not done, the vegetable will continue to cook in the water, loose their vibrant colour and begin to look pale.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Curried Oyster Mushrooms

Some years back I had invited some friends over for a get together.  Then I found out that one of the 'drivers' was observing a vegetarian diet due to some vow that he had undertaken.  If I did not cater to his needs, a number of invitees would have to miss the event.

While I did buy some food from a vegetarian restaurant, I also like to serve food I myself cook.  This is one of the ways I cook meat and here I substituted oyster mushrooms for meat. (I had to purchase new knives, a chopping board, a wok and disposable utensils as my friend takes his religion seriously and I have to respect him for that.) 

 about 10 Shallots (Sliced)
5 Shallots, 5 pips Garlic and  about 2 inch Ginger (grind to a paste)
2 tablespoons Thick Coconut Cream or Yogurt
1 tablespoon Meat Curry Powder
200 gm Oyster Mushrooms (wash and tear into pieces)
Salt (about 3/4 teaspoon or to taste)
about 4 tablespoons oil

 Heat Wok
Heat oil
Saute sliced shallots till soft
Add ground paste
Fry till fragrant
Add curry powder
Fry till all ingredients well mixed
Add in the oyster mushrooms
Stir till the seasoning ingredients are well mixed with the mushrooms
As the mushrooms begin to wilt, the juices will flow out of the mushrooms
Keep stirring till most of the juice has dried up
Season with salt
Add the coconut cream or yogurt
 Keep cooking for another 5 minutes or so
  It should be ready to serve.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Mango Chutney

A simple accompaniment to any meal is this sweet and sour mango chutney.  Very few ingredients and easy to make.

 Green Mangoes
 Cinnamon Bark, Cashew Nuts, Raisins

Peel and wash mangoes

Chop mangoes (any way you want, just make sure you don't include the pits)

Place chopped mangoes in a container and pour boiling water to cover
Let stand for half to one hour
(This is to soften the pieces and to get rid of any excessive sourness)
Heat about 4 tablespoons of ghee in a pan
Fry the cashew nuts and raisins separately
Set aside
 Fry the cinnamon bark till fragrent

Drain the mangoes and add to the pan
Keep stirring until the mango gets cooked
(It begins to look gooey)
Add the sugar
(The amount depends on the sourness of the mango
and also personal preference
I use about 2 to 3 tablespoons for each mango)
Its done when the sugar is dissolved and the mixture begins to bubble
(At this stage, have a taste and add more sugar is required)
Remove the cinnamon bark and stir in the fried cashew nuts and raisins.

If the mangoes are too sour, you may want to add some over-ripe tomatoes to the chutney.  

If you are someone who does not like 'sour' use only over-ripe tomatoes and make tomato chutney.  The ingredients are the same, except replace mangoes with tomatoes.

The method is also the same, except that you crush the tomatoes by hand and there is no need to soak in boiling water.

I have also tried this with beet root and it was just as delicious (just grate the beet root for beet root chutney).