Thursday, December 5, 2013

Kerala Beef Fry (Ollarthiyathu)

This is the first time I'm making Kerala Beef fry,thanks to a generous family friend,who e-mailed this authentic recipe to me yesterday!The beef is cooked with a beautiful combination of aromatic whole spices and stir fried with onions/shallots,curry leaves,green chillies and coconut slices.I love how the coconut slices add a nice crunch,and imparts a really nice flavor to the dish.

Recipe Source : Jacob George (Thank you Uncle for this recipe!)

  • 2.2 lbs (1 kg) Beef-tender meat cut into 1 inch pieces

  • 1 and half tablespoons -Chilly Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon-Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tablespoon-White Vinegar
  • Salt to taste

Method for Marination
  1. Clean and wash the cubed beef pieces,pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Add  the chilly powder,turmeric powder,white vinegar and salt to the beef cubes.
  3. Allow the meat to marinate for 30 minutes.(If you are pressed for time keep the marinated meat in the refrigerator for 10 minutes)

Ingredients for cooking the Beef
  • 2 Onions sliced  or 200 grams= 3/4 cup of shallots (shallots work the best,you can use onions,if you don't find shallots )
  • 1 and half tablespoons- Red chilli powder (adjust to spice level)
  • 1/2 teaspoon-Turmeric powder
  • 1 and half tablespoons-Coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon-Pepper powder
  • 1 inch Cinnamon stick (broken into two pieces or two small sticks)
  • 1 Green Cardamon Pods1
  • 1 teaspoon-Aniseeds
  • 1 teaspoon-Fennel seeds
  • 1 and half tablespoons-Ginger slices
  • 1 and half tablespoons-Garlic slices
  • 2 tablespoons of Coconut oil 
  • Salt to taste

Method for cooking the meat
  1. In a large pressure cooker or heavy based pot,add the coconut oil.
  2. When the oil is heated,add 2 onions or shallots and saute them till they turn a golden brown color.
  3. Add the ginger and garlic slices,and saute them till they are cooked.
  4. Add the spice powders (chilly,turmeric,coriander powder and pepper powder)saute this for a quick minute.
  5. Add the whole spices (cinnamon sticks,fennel seeds,aniseed seeds and cardamom pods).Saute this for a few minutes,till the oils separates.
  6. Add the marinated beef cubes and add salt to taste and saute the meat and the spices till everything incorporates nicely.
  7. Add enough water to cover the meat and pressure cook ( if your meat is tender you can cover the pot with a nice fitted lid and cook the meat for 15 to 20 minutes or until your meat is cooked,I pressure cooked my meat for 3 whistles)

For frying the meat
  • 2 Onions or 200 grams of Shallots ( 3/4 cup)
  • 4-5 Green Chillies-slit ( adjust to taste )
  • 1 cup of sliced coconut
  • 20-30 Curry Leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of Coconut Oil

    Method for making the beef fry 
    1. In a wide based pan,add the coconut oil. 
    2. When the oil is heated, add onions,and saute the onions to a golden brown color.
    3. Add the green chillies,coconut slices,curry leaves and saute these to a nice golden brown color.
    4. Add the cooked beef to this mixture ( add a teaspoon of oil and leave it on the heat)
    5. Stir fry this,stirring once in a while for five to ten minutes .
    6. Add salt if needed,and the water in this dish should have completed evaporated.
    7. This dish tastes the best the following day,as the meat absorbs all the spices really well.
    8. This dish is a good appetizer,can be eaten with rice or any Indian flat breads.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Turkey Salad with Cranberry Dressing.

I love thanksgiving leftovers,there's a ton of meals that can be made with leftovers,I love making turkey omelets,turkey soups,sandwiches,and salads.This salad is made using the leftover turkey and for the dressing I used the homemade cranberry sauce and added olive oil balsamic vinaigrette and made a cranberry dressing!

For the Salad
  • 2 Cups of Spinach ( Sliced lengthwise,I used organic baby spinach leaves)
  • 1 Small Apple ( sliced)
  • Left over turkey slices ( you can use as much or as little as you like)
  • A handful of pecans

For the dressing
  • 1 Cup of Cranberry Sauce (I made my cranberry sauce at home,it was very chunky and thick)
  • 1/2  cup of Olive oil Balsamic Vinaigrette (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 cup of water (to make the dressing thinner-adjust to desired consistency)
  1. I added a cup of cranberry sauce,balsamic vinaigrette and water in a blender and gave it a quick pulse or two until all the ingredients were incorporated.
  2. Add the dressing to you salad and enjoy!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Kichidi(Rice,Lentils and Spinach)

Hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving.We had a nice quite one this year,as a few of us were under the weather,and are now on the road to recovery after a few bouts of cold and sore throats!

The holiday season calls for rich decadent meals and after a few meals like that we crave simple comfort food,and nothing is more satisfying to us than a steaming cup of kichidi and a dollop of ghee.Kichidi is a rice based dish;the rice and lentils are cooked together along with aromatic whole spices and a good serving of vegetables of your choice (I added spinach in this one!).

Recipe Source : My Mother-in-law

  • 2 cups of Basamati Rice
  • 1 cup of Lentils ( I used masoor dhal,you can also use the small spilt yellow dhal)
  • 1 and 1/4 cups of Spinach (tightly packed,I used frozen chopped spinach,you can use vegetable of your choice,carrots,peas or potatoes)
  • 2 Large Onions(sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 green chillies (slit,add more if you like it spicier,adjust to spice level)
  • 1 inch Cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 6 Green Cardamom pods
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of ghee or oil of your choice
  • 4 cups of hot water
  • Salt to taste

Method :
  1. Wash the basamati rice in couple of changes of water.(drain all the water,from the rice and set aside)
  2. Wash the lentils in couple of changes of water and drain all the water.
  3. Heat a heavy based pan,add two tablespoons of ghee,when the ghee is heated add the cumin seeds,and they will sizzle.
  4. Add the whole aromatic spices (cinnamon,cardamom and cloves) and fry this for a quick minute.
  5. Add the sliced onions and saute them till they become translucent.
  6. Add the ginger and garlic paste and saute this till all the raw smell goes away.
  7. Add the green chillies,saute for another minute.
  8. Add the turmeric powder,add rice and fry the rice for a quick minute
  9. Add your lentils and fry this for another minute.
  10. Add the vegetables,I added frozen spinach,sauted it for another quick minute.
  11. In another pot boil 4 cups of water.
  12. Add 4 cups of hot water to the rice,lentil and vegetables,add salt and taste the water,it should taste a little salty.
  13. Cover the pot with a fitted lid and cook for 15-20 minutes till all the water has evaporated and the rice is cooked.( stir once in between)
  14. When the rice is cooked you can add a dollop of ghee prior to serving,enjoy the kichidi with your favorite curry,our favorite combination is kichidi and meatball curry,click here for the recipe: Meatball Curry (just the way my mother-in-law makes it!)

    I'm taking part in the Cooking with Seeds (CWS)-Rice event,hosted by The Big Sweet tooth,here

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is such a versatile ingredient.I love using Quinoa in different forms,my favorite use of quinoa is in salads,it adds a little texture and I like that you can get creative with it,by adding your favorite add ins!

I had an abundance of apples,pomegranate seeds and pecans at home,I wanted to incorporate all these ingredients and make a simple meal.I like the simplicity of this dish and this would be a perfect side for the Summer BBQ's.

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 small Apple (diced)
  • 1/4 cup Pomegranate Seeds
  • 1/4 cup of Raisins ( you can use craisins instead of raisins) 
  • A handful of Pecans (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons of Honey ( I used raw organic honey-adjust to desired sweetness level)
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

Method :
  1. Take 1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa,wash it with a couple of changes of water.
  2. Drain all the water.
  3. Add 1 cup of water,a little salt and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a Pot.( you can add your favorite broth too and cook the quinoa in broth if you like)
  4. Bring the water to a boil,once the water reaches a boil add your quinoa.
  5. Cook this on medium-low heat covered,till all your water evaporates and the quinoa is cooked.
  6. Once the quinoa is cooked,spread the hot quinoa on a tray or big plate and let it cool down.
  7. Add the diced apples,pomegranate seeds,raisins or craisins and pecans to the quinoa.
  8. To make your dressing mix olive oil and honey till they are both combined,then add the lemon juice and mix well.Add salt to taste and pour this dressing over the salad.
Tip :
  • If you like more dressing,you can add your favorite dressing to it,my favorite dressing is the organic lemon seasame dressing and I love adding that to my salad!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Meatball Curry

Meatball Curry is our household favorite dish,the homemade meatballs take this curry to the next level.Making the meatballs is definitely a labor of love,and totally worth it!

My grandmother makes this curry with her sweet pulav rice and my mother-in-law makes meatball curry with her kichidi pulav,and they both are a delicious combination.Every year for my husband's birthday I make meatball curry and kichidi pulav and that's his favorite comfort food.

Ingredients :-

1lb Ground Meat (use meat of your choice)

To be ground :-
  • 1 small Onion
  • 2 Green Chillies ( adjust to spice level)
  • 1 inch Ginger
  • 6 Flakes of Garlic
  • 6 Mint leaves
  • 8 tender stalks of Cilantro Leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 3 Dried Red Chillies or 1/2 teaspoon Chilly Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper powder or 6 Pepper Corns
  • Salt to taste

Method (to make meatballs)
  1. Heat a teaspoon of oil and  saute the onions till they are translucent.
  2. Add the ginger and garlic and saute till they are cooked.
  3. Add the fresh herbs,green chillies and the spice powders and all the ingredients included in the "to be ground" section,and cook it till the spices are nicely cooked.
  4. Once cooked,Grind the cooked ingredients without adding water (if it does not grind,add a tablespoon of water) to a fine paste.
  5. Add this ground masala to the ground meat and mix it well.
  6. Take a little quantity of ground meat and make tight meatballs,as big as a lemon and keep aside.

Ingredients for the curry :
  • 1 Large Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 Medium Ripe Tomato (finely chopped)
  • 2 Green Chillies (adjust to spice level)
  • 1 inch Ginger (finely chopped)
  • 6 Flakes of Garlic (finely chopped)
  • 12 Mint leaves (if using tender stalks add only 6)
  • 12 Stalks of tender Cilantro Leaves
  • 6 Curry Leaves
  • 1 inch Cinnamom
  • 4 Cloves
  • 2 Green Cardamom Pods 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chilly Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
  • 2 teaspoon Corriander Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
  • 1/4 cup of thick Coconut Milk
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon of Oil
  • 1 and half cups of water

Method for making the Meatball Curry:
  1. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a heavy based pot on medium heat,when the oil is heated,add the whole spices (cinnamom,cloves and cardamom) Saute the whole spices for a minute.
  2. Add the Curry leaves and saute for a quick minute.
  3. Add the chopped onions and saute them till they become translucent.
  4. Add the chopped ginger and garlic,and saute this till the raw smell is gone.
  5. Add the fresh herbs (cilantro and mint leaves).Saute this for another minute.
  6. Add the tomatoes and salt to taste.
  7. Add all the spice powders (chilly,turmeric,cumin,coriander and garam masala).
  8. Saute this mixture,till your powders are cooked (saute this for a good 5 minutes).If the mixture sticks to the bottom of your pot,you can add a little water and continue to cook. (I usually like to transfer this masala in the blender and make a fine paste and then transfer it back to the pot,this is an optional step)
  9. In another pot,boil a cup and half water.Once it is boiled,add the water to the masala.
  10. Add your meatballs one by one to this curry,make sure your meatballs are far apart and do not use a ladle or spoon,or stir the curry when you add your meatballs,otherwise your meatballs will break or mash)
  11. Cover your pot with a fitted lid and cook your meatballs in the curry for a good 15 to 20 minutes,until your meatballs have cooked.(to check whether your meatball is fulled cooked,take a meatball and cut it open,if its brown on the inside its cooked fully,if you see any pink spots,it needs to cook more)
  12. Once the meatballs have cooked,add 1/4 cup of coconut milk,bring it to a boil and turn off the heat.

    Tip :
    • You can add potatoes to your curry,and boil them along with the meatballs.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mutton Curry (Meat Curry)

This is my grandmother's simple mutton curry recipe,the meat is cooked
with mild spices and a ton of fresh herbs (cilantro and mint leaves).I love
the simplicity of this curry,the freshly ground masala adds to the rustic
taste,reminding me of home and home cooked meals!

  • 1lb Mutton ( I used goat's meat)
  • 2 Large Onions ( Sliced)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder

To be ground :-
  • 2 Green Chillies (adjust to desired spice level)
  • 6 Flakes of Garlic
  • 1 inch Ginger (chopped)
  • 4 Curry Leaves
  • 10 Mint Leaves (I added tender stalks and the leaves)
  • 12 tender stalks of Cilantro Leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Chilly Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Poppy Seeds
  • 1 large ripe Tomato
  • Salt to taste
  1. Wash the meat,strain the water,pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Add turmeric powder and salt.Keep it aside.
  3. Grind all the ingredients in the "to be ground section"to a fine paste.Remove the masala and add a little water in the blender and save the masala water.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wide based pressure cooker,when the oil is heated add the sliced onions and fry till they reach a nice golden brown color.
  5. Add the meat and stir fry it for few minutes till it gets a nice sear.Stir it every once in a while so that it doesn’t stick to the pressure cooker.
  6. Add the ground masala to the meat,along with the masala water,make sure the meat is immersed in the liquid,allow it to boil,and then cover and pressure cook until 4-5 whistles (till your meat is cooked)
  7. Once the pressure cooker has been turned off and the pressure has been removed,you can open the cooker and turn it back on the heat and heat the curry on high if you want a thicker gravy.
  8. Enjoy the curry with a cup of steaming hot rice or any Indian flat bread.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Meat Chops (Mutton Chops)

This is my mother-in-law's recipe and is fondly called Jolly fry! It is a simple recipe,with very little prep time and the end result is a finger licking dish!It is a fantastic side dish accompanied with a steaming cup of rice and a simple rasam or tomato saar.

Ingredients :
1lb of Mutton Chops (I used goat's meat,you can also use chicken,beef or meat of your choice)

For Marination:
  • I tablespoon of Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of Ginger and Garlic paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste

For cooking the meat:
  • 1 teaspoon pepper corns
  • 4-6 small dried red chillies,broken into bits ( adjust to spice level)
  • 1 inch piece of Cinnamom
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 1-2 small potatoes (peeled and chopped into chunks)
  • 1 tablespoon of Oil
  • 1 and half cups of water

Method :
  1. Wash the meat and pat it dry with a paper towel.
  2. Marinate the meat with vinegar,turmeric powder,ginger.garlic paste and salt and set aside for 30 minutes.
  3. In a pressure cooker add oil,when the oil is heated add your marinated meat.Sear it,to a nice golden brown on all sides.
  4. Add the whole spices ( cinnamon,cardamom and cloves).Give this a quick stir.
  5. Add your pepper-corns and dried red chillies
  6. Add 1 and half cups of water and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles (until your meat is tender)
  7. Once the meat is pressure cooked,and the pressure cooker has cooled down,open the pressure cooker and add the potatoes and cook the potatoes in the meat broth.
  8. Once the potatoes are cooked, turn the heat to a medium-high and saute the meat and potatoes until all the broth evaporates and you get a dry meat chops dish,your meat and potatoes do char a little bit,that enhances the flavor of the meat and potatoes.