Butter Croissants and Coffee

One of the most best aromas on a beautiful morning

Samosa Chaat

Snack a little

Seekh Kabab

Try something different!

Decadent Chocolate

Do not forget to indulge once in a while

Steamed goodness

Various cooking methods bring variety in your palette

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Egg Fried Rice

This is my favorite recipe for egg fried rice. Usually it contains only rice, egg and soy sauce. But I like it with thinly cut vegetables too. More like a combination of vegetable and egg fried rice.

Rice - 1 cup
Eggs - 2
French beans - 10 nos.
Carrot - 1 large
Green Peas - 1/4 cup
Corn kernels - 1/4 cup (optional)
Green onion (spring onion) - 1 stalk
Ginger - 1 inch, minced
Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
Soy Sauce - 2 tbsp
Sambal Olek - 1 tbsp (optional)
Vegetable oil - 1 tbsp
Pepper - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Cook rice first. Fried rice works best with refrigerated rice, so if you have rice leftover from your last dinner, you can use that. Basically, the rice needs to be cooled down before frying it. So if you're cooking it now, drain it and let it cool down for a bit (let all the steam come out). Then stick it into the freezer for around 10 or 15 minutes. Meanwhile, chop beans finely, cube carrots finely and chop green onions too (including the white part and keep it separate).
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet or wok. The pan you're going to use needs to be wide so that you can work the stir fry properly, or else it will get sticky. Now add the white part of the green onions first and let it soften by stir-frying for a couple of minutes. Then add minced ginger and garlic, fry for 3 minutes. Then add the green beans and carrots. Stir fry for about 5 minutes. Then add green peas and fry for 5 more minutes. Stir often so that the vegetables don't brown. Move the vegetables to a corner of the pan. Break 2 eggs on the other side. Scramble it by mixing constantly. Then combine with the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper/ Finally add the rice and mix well. Pour in soy sauce and sambal (if using). Garnish with chopped green onions and serve with your favorite Chinese side.

Gobhi Manchurian - Cauliflower Manchurian

This is an Indo-Chinese recipe, that's very popular all across India. Cauliflower is known as Gobhi in Hindi.
I heard a funny story about a pure vegetarian software engineer in India, who was sent to China on an assignment. Being vegetarian, your options are pretty much limited in China. This guy confidently accepted the assignment, thinking that he can order Gobhi Manchurian and survive. To his horror, there is no such thing as Gobhi Manchurian or Gobhi Anything in China! This is a vegetarian dish using common Chinese ingredients and techniques, but only found in India. ;-)

Cauliflower - 1 medium
All purpose flour - 1/2 cup
Corn Starch - 1/4 cup
Soy Sauce - 5 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Pepper - 1 tsp
Yellow onion - 1 medium, minced
Garlic cloves - 3, minced
Freshly grated ginger - 2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Red Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Rice vinegar - 2 tsp
Siracha sauce or Sambal Olek - 1 tbsp
Maggi Hot and Sweet Tomato sauce - 1/4 cup (substitute: 1/2 cup tomato puree)
Apricot Jam - 2 tbsp (Substitute: 1 tsp sugar)
Vegetable oil - 1 tbsp, plus more for frying
Green Onion (spring onion) - 1 stalk, minced

Wash cauliflower florets. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Arrange the cauliflower on an oiled baking sheet, season with salt and pepper to taste, and roast until just tender, turning once, 12 to 15 minutes total. Remove from the oven and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
In a bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and cornstarch. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the coriander, 1/2 teaspoon of the red chilli powder, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce and the water and mix well to make a batter. Add another tablespoon or so of water if the batter is too thick.
In a large skillet, heat a thin layer of oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, dip the cauliflower in the batter, then arrange in the hot skillet. Fry until golden brown, turning once, 4 to 5 minutes total. Optionally, you can also deep fry it. Transfer the cooked cauliflower to the baking sheet and return to the oven to keep warm.
Heat the 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, 1/4 teaspoon salt, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon coriander, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder, and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the 1 tbsp apricot jam, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tsp rice vinegar, Sriracha (or Sambal Olek), Maggi hot and sweet tomato sauce (or tomato puree). Add 3 tablespoons of the Spring Onions and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened and the flavors have blended, about 5 minutes. Add up to 1/4 cup of water is the sauce is too thick. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Return the fried cauliflower to the pan and spoon on the sauce to coat, turning the cauliflower gently to coat with sauce. Serve immediately. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon green onions.

Beef Fry - Kerala style

This recipe is different from my mom's recipe. It's an adaptation from Vazhayila. But the quantity of spices used for the meat masala seemed a bit too much for me, so I made a few changes here and there. My mom uses a lesser amount of the masala. Both use coconut cuts (thenga kothu). As I wasn't in a position to break open a fresh coconut to cut out the pieces, I used grated coconut from my freezer. Still tasted amazing with steamed rice and kachiya moru.

For Meat masala powder:
Bowl -1 Roast and Grind
Dried red chili - 15   OR  Chili powder 2 tbsp
Coriander seeds - 3 tbsp   OR  Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
Black Pepper corns - 1 tsp
Cinnamon - 2 small sticks
Green Cardamom - 5 OR Cardamom seeds - 1 tsp
Cloves - 6
Star anise - 1
Bay leaf - 1
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp Or garam masala - 1 to 1.5 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp

To pressure cook:
Beef - 1 kg (chuck works best)
Salt to taste
Meat Masala powder - half of of the recipe above
Curry leaves

To roast:
Shallots chopped - 1 cup
Garlic chopped - 4-5 cloves
Ginger chopped - a small piece
Green chili chopped - 2
Coconut cuts ( Thenga kothu) - 1/4 cup OR Grated coconut - 2 to 3 tbsp
Salt to taste
Curry Leaves

Heat a small pan and add all the ingredients in the section for meat masala powder, except turmeric powder.
Dry roast it for 4-5 minutes on a medium steady flame , until aromatic and brown.
Switch off the heat and add turmeric powder. Grind it to a coarse powder in a coffee grinder.
This will give you about 5-6 table spoon of meat masala.

Clean and cut the beef into medium cubes and marinate it with half of the prepared masala powder (around 2.5 - 3 tbsp), salt to taste and curry leaves. Fill water till half the level of the beef pieces occupied. Pressure cook it for 3-4 whistles.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed cooking pan and add curry leaves and coconut cuts or grated coconut. Fry for 3-4 minutes. If using grated coconut, it will initially absorb the oil and start to foam. Then it will start to change color and foaming will stop. Do not let it overbrown.
Now add onion. Add crushed ginger,garlic and green chilies.
Saute till they start to turn brown. Add the remaining masala powder (or less if you think its too much masala) and fry for a minute or two.
Add the cooked beef along with cooking liquid if any and simmer until it is dry .
Turn the flame to medium and saute,stirring often and scrape the bottom of the pan to prevent from sticking,until it turns dark and dry. Serve warm with steamed rice and moru. Or another popular combination is to have it with Kerala Parotta.