Friday, April 23, 2010

Kerala Fish Curry (meen pattichathu)


MEEN CURRY WITH KUDAM PULI

Kudam puli scientifically known as Garcinia cambogia is actually good for the heart, cholesterol, and fights obesity. We knanayaites use this puli in all our fish (meen) curries. The only other people I know other than us who use Kudam puli is the = Coorgies, but they do not use the whole puli in their curries. They use Kacham puli ie they mix 5 or 10 kg puli with water and heat it and take the pulp by simmering it. So 1 tsp of kacham puli is enough to give puli to 1 kg pork curry or meen curry. They use it to make Coorgie pork fry, chicken curry, and in some vegetable curry. They also put in ½ tsp of kacham puli along with the chilly powder and salt to marinate fish for frying (this I always do when I fry fish and the taste is awesome). If anyone visits coorg please make sure that you get at least one bottle of kacham puli….it is really worth.

Update: March 2014
Updated with step by step pictures.




MEEN CURRY:

Ingredients:

Fish: ½ kg.
Kudam puli: 3 or 4.
Kashmiri red chilly powder:5 or 6 tsp.
Turmeric: A pinch.
Pepper powder: ½ tsp.
Mustard seeds: ½ tsp.
Fenugreek or uluva seeds: ¼ tsp. (Refer note)
Button onions chopped: 7 or 8. (Refer note)
Garlic chopped: 4 or 5 cloves.
Ginger chopped: 1 inch.
Green chillies: 2.
Curry leaves.
Salt to taste.

Method:

In a chatti pour little oil and crack the mustard seeds and the fenugreek seeds. Add chopped onions, garlic, ginger, green chillies and sauté till light brown. Put in the chilly powder, turmeric and fry for a little time. Pour little water and put in cleaned puli, salt, and curry leaves. Put in the fish and when it boils leave to simmer for 10 -20 minutes and add the pepper powder. When the fish is done add more curry leaves.

Note: Adding ½ tsp fenugreek roasted and powdered gives a nice flavor.
If you do not get button onions or is lazy to clean button onions, can use ordinary onion.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

HOMEMADE BUTTER!!!!


I use a lot of butter in my cooking usually for baking and puddings (which I have been doing a lot since the summer vacation set in). Butter has become very costly these days so, why not make butter at home. I have been doing this for a long time and I am never short of butter.

Updated step by step post.

First boil 1 ½ liters of milk (preferably Milma blue packet) in an open steel vessel and allow it to cool and refrigerate it. Do not close the lid and leave it to cool. Do this in the evening and leave it in the fridge overnight.




Next day morning take the cream which has formed on top of the milk and put it in a container and store it in freezer. Do this every day.




When the container is full, thaw it and put it in a blender add cold water and blend it. You will get butter within minutes. Rise the butter in water 3 or 4 times and store in fridge and it is ready to make wonderful cakes and cookies. Store the butter in fridge.

This cream-less milk is your healthy skimmed milk



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PUDDINGS TO BEAT THE SUMMER HEAT:


I am a little lazy when it comes to taking photographs, but I will try my best on that aspect. I know when it comes to making puddings one wants it to be easy and it should turn out well. So today, I am posting two of the easiest and yummiest puddings which are very easy to make and I assure you whoever makes this won’t be disappointed. My amma’s sister, Lata used to make this easy pudding when my brothers and I used to spend our holidays at her house. This is one of the easiest puddings that I have come across. All you need is butter and glucose biscuits.

COFFEE BISCUIT PUDDING:

Ingredients:

Britannia glucose biscuit: 2 or 3 pkts.
Homemade Butter: 100 gms.
Powdered sugar: 2 cups.
Milk: 1 glass.
Nescafe: 2 tblsp.(plus little sugar while making the coffee).
Egg white: 1 egg.
Little coffee mix for serving.
Chocolate gratings (optional).

METHOD:

Cream butter and sugar, fold egg white into it. Warm up the milk, add Nescafe and little sugar and make coffee. Take a glass tray, dip each biscuit into the coffee and lay on the base of the tray, then spread butter mix on top of it, likewise do at least 3 layers and the cream mix should come on top, sprinkle chocolate gratings. Put into fridge to set and after 2 or 3 hours the pudding is ready to serve. Cut into squares and drizzle little coffee mix on top of it while serving.

TIP: This can also be made without the egg white.



QUICK MILK PUDDING:

Amma used to make this pudding often and as kids we used to love this yummy pudding with its chocolate sauce.

Ingredients:

Condensed milk: 1 tin.
Milk: 2 tin.
Gelatin: 1 ½ tbsp.

METHOD:

Dissolve gelatin in little warm mix and keep aside. Boil both condense milk and milk together and stir well. When the milk has boiled, strain the dissolved gelatin into the milk and keep stirring for 2 or 3 minutes. Pour this into a tray to cool and when cooled put it into fridge to set. While serving the pudding drizzle chocolate sauce on top of the milk pudding.

CHOCOLATE SAUCE:

Water: 1 cup.
Sugar: ½ cup.
Cocoa: ½ cup.
Butter: 1 tbsp.

Mix all this in a saucepan and keep it on fire. When the sauce is little thickened or it coats the back of the spoon. Switch off fire and cool and refrigerate it.

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ladies drinks


I know this summer heat is making us want some cool cool drinks, so how about some ladies drink. No I am not talking about wine (that I will post later) I am talking about Irish cream and Apricot brandy which is my favorite . Having lived in Coorg for a long time gave me many wonderful Coorgi friends, who were kind enough to share some of their favorite recipes.

Amman, my friend from Coorg handed down this recipe to me which I am going to share today.

IRISH CREAM:

CONDENSED MILK: 1 TIN.
AMUL CREAM: 1 CUP.
COCOA: 1 TSP.
NESCAFE: 2 TSP.
WHISKY: 1 3/4 CUP.
ALMOND, VANILLA ESSENCE: 1 DROP (OPTIONAL).

METHOD:

Mix all this in a blender in low speed, strain, bottle, and refrigerate it. Will keep for 1 week in the fridge. Serve this with crushed ice.


APRICOT BRANDY:

DRY APRICOTS: 200 GMS.
RED KALKANDAM: 100 GM (if u need more sweetness add another 50 grams).
1 BOTTLE: MACDOWEL BRANDY.

METHOD:

Clean and sun dry the apricots. Crush apricots and red sugar or red kalkandam, add brandy and put all this into a glass jar. Keep for 2 months, stir well every 15 days, bottle and serve with crushed ice.


COFFEE LIQUOR:

WATER: 750 ML, BOILED AND COOLED.
SUGAR: 550 GMS.
NESCAFE: 3 TBSP.
BRANDY: 250 ML.
RUM: 250 ML.
A FEW DROPS OF VANILLA.

Mix all this and bottle and refrigerate. Serve with crushed ice.

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Friday, April 09, 2010

CAKES


CAKES CAKES CAKES CAKES

I know cakes have always been a fascination for young brides, mothers, and all women. When you see a nicely made up cake you will want to make it for your loved ones, but most of the time it does not turn out well. So I am going to tell a few things which I have learned from my experience.


FEW THINGS TO REMEMBER:

Basic cake is equal flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. So, if u are taking 4 eggs, flour should be 200 gm, butter 200 gm, sugar 200 gm; if you are using cocoa powder make the flour 150 gm and cocoa 50 gm.

Lemon juice and grind give a nice flavour to the cake.

Always cook the cocoa powder to get the dark colour; put the cocoa powder in a saucepan pour little water into it and put it on slow flame; when steam comes out, keep aside to cool.

When using egg beater to mix cake always whip the egg whites first and keep aside and while separating the yolks see that yolk does not break and fall into whites and also there should not be any water in the pan or on the egg beater; only then you will get stiff egg whites.

I know some of you must have noticed that after adding the eggs the cream mixture curdles, do not worry add 1 tbsp of maida and beat it with electric beater.


BASIC CAKE:

INGREDIENTS:


BUTTER 25O GMS.
SUGAR 250 GMS.(powdered)
MAIDA 250 GMS.
EGGS 5
VANILLA 1 TSP.
BAKING POWDER 1 TSP.
MILK LITTLE.

LEMON JUICE AND GRIND (OPTIONAL)

METHOD:

Separate the yolks from the whites and beat the white stiff in another bowl with an electric beater or with a fork. Beat butter and powdered sugar till it becomes fluffy. Beat in the yolks one by one to the cream mix. Add vanilla, lime juice, and lemon grind (scrap the outer part). Sieve maida with baking powder and fold in the maida, egg white alternatively into the cream mix. Add milk if the mix is too thick. Grease a baking tray and dust maida in it. Pour the batter into it and bake for around 30 min at 180 degrees.


CHOCOLATE CAKE: This is the one of my fav. Always use yellow butter for chocolate cake, white butter gives a different colour.

INGREDIENTS:

MAIDA: 175 GMS.
SUGAR: 225 GMS.
BUTTER: 225 GMS.
COCOA: 50 GMS.
EGGS: 4.
BAKING POWDER: 1 TSP.
VANILLA: 2 TSP.
WATER OR MILK: 1/4 CUP
SODA POWDER: 1/2 TSP.

METHOD:

Cook the cocoa powder with little water over low flame and keep aside to cool. Separate egg yolk and beat the egg whites stiff in another bowl. Beat butter and sugar till fluffy. Add yolks one by one. Add cooled cocoa and mix well, add vanilla, fold in maida and egg whites, add milk to make it into a creamy consistency. Grease a bake tin, dust with flour and bake.


CHOCOLATE COFFE CAKE:
This one is my friend Elsy’s recipe, we had wonderful time in Mercara sharing our recipes.

BUTTER: 150 GMS.
MAIDA: 180 GMS.
COCOA: 3 TBSP.
NESCAFE: 2 TSP.
EGGS: 2.
SODA POWDER: 1/2 TSP.
BAKING POWDER 1/2 TSP.
BOILING WATER: 100 OR 150 ML.
SUGAR: 1 CUP.
VINEGAR: 1 TSP.
VANILLA; 1 TSP.
SALT: A PINCH.

METHOD:

Dissolve coffee in boiling water. Add cocoa into it and mix well / Cream butter, sugar, add eggs one by one, add vinegar, vanilla. Fold in the maida, baking powder, soda powder alternatively to the mix and bake in oven.


SATIN CHOCOLATE ICING:

SUGAR: 1 CUP.
MILK: 1/2 CUP.
COCOA POWDER: 3 TBSP.
BUTTER: 1 TBSP.

Put sugar, milk, and cocoa powder and bring it to boil and stir. Mix till leaves the sides of the pan or coats the back of the spoon. Add butter, stir for sometime. Let it cool. Pour it on top of cake. Sprinkle with silver balls.



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More about me.


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I am married and have 2 children, Nidhi and Namit. I am now a stay-at-home mom that means on duty 24/7 :). I quit my job soon after my husband got transferred to Mercara, Coorg. I love to cook for my family and friends. I always try out something new and if it is really good, it stays in my heart. My husband, Homey and my kids are my greatest critics. I do not go for expensive things, my idea of cooking is to cook with what is available in the house. I am not an expert in cooking nor have a degree in home science. I just use ingredients approximately or if I am following a recipe I follow it. Fifteen years back I never stepped into my amma’s kitchen, but after marriage, I started experimenting South Indian and North Indian foods, then kids came along and that got me hooked to baking; cake, tarts, cookies etc. I think cooking should not be bothersome or troublesome, it should give great pleasure and satisfaction. When someone says “I don’t like cooking” I feel sad because they are missing so many things.

I have been thinking for a long time why not share my best recipes, of course, I always hand them down to my relatives and friends. My husband’s transferable job helped me to discover food of other states a well and whatever recipes I post have been tried and tested by me. All the measurements are approximate.

Like I mentioned before, I do not make food with too much expensive things. I always store cocoa powder (I buy from whole sale shops), butter (homemade butter), and fresh flour. My recipes are all easy, cooking should be easy. I hope to pass the spirit of cooking to each and everyone who visit my
blog. Once again thank you for visiting my blog.


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