January 29, 2017

Coriander Chutney

There is nothing like a hearty breakfast!

I would not say that breakfast is the best meal of the day for me - I am always partial towards dinner. Yet having a good breakfast keeps you going for most part of the day.  As a part of my first job in India, we were part of the HR panel for Campus recruitment of freshers. This demanded of us to travel to different cities and were often put up in hotels approved by the company. No compromise on safety and security! Goes without saying that we had the luxury of staying in a couple of prominent 5 star hotels - royal bedrooms and hearty meals. Breakfast is complementary in these hotels and we would definitely not miss that! It was always a combo of Indian and English - from idli, vada, sambar to the croissants, muffins and sausages - name it and you had it there.  So even now when I hear of breakfast buffets I jump at the idea. The widespread buffet is such a visual treat and leaves you with a happy tummy.

So over to my recipe today. Since I have talked about breakfast - my recipe also has got something to do with breakfast. Coriander chutney is our bowl of happiness with idli or dosa. Do try it and enjoy!



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Ingredients

  1. Coconut - 1 cup grated
  2. Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup chopped including stems
  3. Green Chilly - 1 or 2 depending on the spice quotient
  4. Ginger - 1 tsp chopped
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Water - 1/2 cup
  7. Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
  8. Urad dal - 1/4 tsp
  9. Oil
Method
  • Pulse together the coconut, coriander leaves, green chilly, ginger and salt. Add the water to attain the desired consistency.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add urad dal and once the color begins to change lightly add the chutney. Add more water if required and switch off the flame when it heats up. Do not let it boil.
  • A great breakfast companion with idli, dosa or vada.
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You may also note - 
  • You could also add curry leaves and red chilies for tempering
  • The fresher the coriander and grated coconut the better the flavor

January 24, 2017

Caribbean Plantain Fritters

Sue's Kitchen in Bangalore is a popular Caribbean restaurant. It was for a team lunch that I stepped in there for the first time in December couple of years back. It was a small yet cozy place and I fell in love with the food. I was intrigued by the similarity of the Caribbean food to the Kerala cuisines. The buffet spread was decent and the variety amazed me. I was particularly fond of the pan fried plantains. It is something that we often make at home - yet I simply could not resist going back for more.

So on those lazy days when I sit back and wonder what to do with time in hand - I have flashbacks of some wonderful moments and Sue's Kitchen happened to be one of them. I had plantains and I wanted it to be Caribbean. So off I set on a internet search and came up with the fritters recipe. The basic difference I have incorporated is steaming of the plantains and cooking on tawa without deep frying it.  It is definitely a hassle free recipe and would make a good snack time recipe. So here we are - 


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Ingredients
( Serves - 4)
  1. Plantain - 2 ripe
  2. All purpose flour - 1/2 cup
  3. Milk - 1/4 cup
  4. Nutmeg powder - 1/8 tsp
  5. Cinnamon powder - 1/4 tsp
  6. Sugar - 1 tsp 
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Ghee
Method
  • Steam the plantains skin on until soft and let it cool.
  • Remove the skin and mash it using a fork adding 1 tbsp of sugar into it.
  • Sieve the flour, salt, nutmeg powder, cinnamon powder and set aside.
  • Now add the milk and give it a good whisk 
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients in batches until well combined. The batter would be thicker than the pancake batter.
  • Heat a tawa and grease it with ghee ( oil also will do, personally I feel that ghee goes along perfectly well with plantains.) Ensure that the flame is on low throughout the cooking.
  • Wet your hands and scoop out a lemon sized ball. Place it on the tawa and press it with your hands to get into a round shape. Alternatively scoop using a laddle and press it down onto the tawa. The second method gave me inconsistent shapes and hence I began using hands for the process. Give it about a minute to cook on one side and flip it over.
  • Serve it with honey, peanut butter or even jam.
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You may also note
  • Caribbean recipes call for deep or shallow frying. To reduce the oil consumption I used a tawa - you could opt for frying it.

January 15, 2017

Udupi Bread masala

New Year started on a pretty low note. Climate is amazing here in Dubai and so very apt for all sorts of infections! So after two weeks of medicines and rest, we are slowly getting back on track. 

Phew! finally food tastes like food! 
Two weeks almost made us forget what it was like to be foodies with our tongues absolutely losing its sense for taste. The beginning of a New Year went by and our third wedding anniversary too confined within blankets and cup after cup of ginger tea! Since it did not exactly feel like a New Year - we decided to postpone all our celebrations till we were fine and we are on the verge of recovery now. Now, I do wish we could have posted about a dinner date or romantic outing on our anniversary but never mind we did something special too! We took care of each other:) It is not easy having two sick people taking care of each other but we did tide through proving true the marriage vows we took three years back - 'In sickness and in health'! 

So while we are just beginning our new year celebration - why don't you guys quickly skim through the recipe we have for you. It has been a while since I have been to Udupi and in less than 3 weeks I am going to be there! So here is a Udupi recipe - made popular by the famous Diana Hotel.

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Ingredients
(Serves - 3)
  1. White Bread - 8 slices
  2. Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
  3. Onion - 2 medium sized finely chopped
  4. Tomato - 1 big
  5. Ginger - 1 tsp chopped
  6. Garlic - 1 tsp chopped
  7. Green Chilly - 1
  8. Kashmiri chilly powder - 1 tsp
  9. Cloves - 2
  10. Cardamom - 2
  11. Cashew nuts - 8-10 pieces
  12. Milk - 1 cup
  13. Coriander leaves 
  14. Salt to taste
  15. Ghee
Method
  • Grind the ingredients listed from 4 to 11 into a fine paste.
  • Chop the bread slices into smaller squares or any random sizes.
  • Heat a tbsp of ghee in a skillet and add the mustard seeds. Once this pops, add the onions and saute until cooked.
  • To this, add the ground paste and cook until the raw smell of the masala goes away.
  • Adjust the salt at this stage and add milk. Bring it to a boil and simmer for a minute before switching off the flame.
  • Add the bread pieces in batches and combine well. Sprinkle corriander leaves and drizzle a tablespoon of ghee before serving it.
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You may also note - 
  • Ideal for breakfast or evening snacks. You could make the gravy ahead of time and store it. Mix the bread pieces only before your serve else it may become too soggy and melt into the gravy.
  • Alternatively, you could also toast the bread with a little butter before adding it to the gravy for the crunch.
  • While serving it as snack you could garnish with finely chopped onion as well or even spring onions.

January 3, 2017

Slow roasted chicken with vegetables

The festive season is incomplete without my favorite dinner - Slow roasted chicken with vegetables.
It's been two years since we moved to Dubai and I have lost count of the number of times of I have made roast chicken. This was one thing that Shibin wanted to have ever since the decision to move to Dubai was made since his Mom made it for him when they were in Al-Ain!

My first attempt at baking a chicken was a total disaster. I marinated the chicken a day in advance and I froze it! I did not thaw it before moving it into the oven. It sat in the oven for 2 hours and never cooked. We had to chop the half cooked chicken and fry it on a pan. Also, I had to throw off the vegetables since it tasted disgusting with the marinade I made. I am talking of our Christmas dinner two years back and we had our dinner finally at 12 am!!

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Ever since that episode, I have strived hard to perfect this - Tried different marinades and I stick to my favorite - seasoning of pepper, salt and lime juice.  This recipe would suit the beginners who want to give a shot at roasting whole chicken in the oven just like I began my roasting adventures!

Over to the recipe -


Ingredients
  1. Whole Chicken - 1 kg cleaned
  2. Potato - 2 large chopped in chunks
  3. Carrot - 2 chopped in chunks
  4. Red Onion - 2 chopped in chunks
  5. Olive oil - 3 tbsp
  6. Pepper powder  - 2 tbsp + 1 tsp coarsely ground 
  7. Lemon juice - 2 tbsp
  8. Garlic crushed - 5 to 6 cloves
  9. Salt to taste
  10. Mint leaves (optional)
Method
  • Pre-heat the oven to 220 degree centigrade.
  • Clean the whole chicken well inside and out. Remove the giblets and keep the skin of the chicken on. Set it aside to drain off excess water and creates gashes on the chicken with your knife.
  • Sprinkle 1 tsp of pepper and salt on the chopped vegetables and give it a good mix. Layer the bottom of baking tray with the vegetables and drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil.
  • Rub the chicken with olive oil and season with pepper powder, salt and lemon juice. Stuff the chicken cavities with crushed garlic and mint leaves.
  • Place this on the baking tray layered with the veggies.
  • Move it into the oven and retain the 220 degree centigrade for the first 20 minutes.
  • Reduce the temperature to 180 degrees and bake for 90 minutes, increasing the temperature again for the last 5 minutes to 220 degrees.
  • The juice from the chicken seeps onto the layered vegetables which gives it a distinct flavor.
  • Remove from the oven and let it rest covered for 15 minutes.

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You may also note
  • Baste the chicken and vegetables with a brush every 20 minutes while baking to ensure that the moisture stays and does not dry out.
  • The baking time varies depending on the oven size and the chicken size. Mine is a larger sized oven and hence takes considerably more time.  
  • You may marinate the chicken and refrigerate overnight.
  • Ensure that the chicken is completely defrosted before you begin cooking else may take a considerably longer time to cook.  
  • I prefer slow roasting the chicken because it gets juicy and the meat just falls apart. That is my idea of a baked chicken:)
  • You could tie together the legs of the chicken and another twine holding the wings together. It hold together the shape of the chicken and is believed to make it juicier.
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