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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Banana/Plantain Chips

Crispy Banana/Plantain Chips

Simple and crispy homemade Plantain chips or Banana Chips, is very easy to make. Kerala style chips at home for people who are staying away from home. 

Ingredients: Quantity
Plantain/Unripe Green Banana 2-3 nos
Chili Powder 1/2 tsp
Paprika 1/2 tsp
Salt To taste
Vegetable Oil For Shallow Frying

1) Peel and cut the plantain into thin slices. Wash it in water and pat dry.
2) Heat oil in a shallow pan. Let the oil boil up to 350-360°F.
3) Fry the plantain slices in the oil for less than a minute and turn them once in between and remove them from oil. (Be careful not to splash hot oil while placing the slices in the oil.)
4) Place them on a paper towel and sprinkle salt and chili powder immediately, so that it would stick well while it is hot and oily. Plantain/Banana Chips is ready to eat. Store it in a airtight container and enjoy for a couple of days.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Veggie Lasagna

Vegetable Lasagna Primavera with Cheese Sauce

Lasagna baked with vegetables and pasta sauce and served with a creamy Parmesan cheese sauce. When I ate this lasagna primavera at Olive garden just loved it. So had tried to imitate that dish.

Ingredients: Quantity
Lasagna 4-5 sheets
Zucchini finely chopped 1 nos
Squash finely chopped 1 nos
Roasted Red Pepper chopped 1 nos
Roasted Garlic finely minced 2 tbsp
Pasta Sauce* 1 cup (or as needed)
Grated Mozzarella Cheese 2-3 tbsp
Grated Parmesan Cheese 1-2 tbsp
Fresh Basil Finely Chopped 1-2 tbsp
Dried Oregano 1/2 tsp
Dried Thyme 1/4 tsp
Pepper Powder To season
Salt To taste
Olive Oil 1-2 tbsp
Parmesan Cheese Sauce To serve
Fresh Parsley Chopped To Garnish

1) Cook Lasagna according to package instructions. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2) Mix the chopped zucchini, squash, roasted peppers, roasted garlic, little olive oil, salt and pepper.
3) Brush a baking tin with olive oil and layer the pasta sauce and layer it with a cooked lasagna sheet.
4) Add the mixed vegetables and little pasta sauce. Repeat the Lasagna and vegetable layers.
5) Complete it with sprinkling grated mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
6) Cover it with a foil and bake it for 40 Min's and then remove the cover and bake it for another 5-10 Min's.
7) Cut into half and place them on the Parmesan cheese sauce and garnish with chopped parsley and serve hot.

Note: * You can use store bought pasta sauce or home made sauce. To make your own sauce refer to Marinara Sauce recipe.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Parmesan Cheese Sauce

Creamy Parmesan Cheese Sauce with herbs

Ingredients: Quantity
Parmesan Cheese Grated 1/4 cup
Milk 1/2 cup
Heavy Cream 1 cup
Dried Basil crushed 1/2 tsp
Dried Oregano Crushed 1/2 tsp
Dried Parsley Crushed 1 tsp
Salt To taste
Pepper Powder To taste

1) Heat heavy cream in a sauce pan. Simmer until it reduces to half.
2) Mix the Parmesan cheese and milk and add it to the simmered heavy cream and let it cook for 2 Min's.
3) Add the dried herbs and season with pepper and salt (Parmesan Cheese contains salt. Finally adjust salt if required). Serve it immediately with pasta or roasted or grilled chicken.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Ricotta Cheesecake

Baked Ricotta Cheesecake

Baked Ricotta Cheesecake with a almond meal base. I have substituted the usual biscuit/cracker base with almond meal.

Ingredients: Quantity
For Base*:
Almond Meal** 1/2 cup***
All purpose Flour 1/2 cup***
Sugar 4 tbsp
Unsalted Butter 6 tbsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
For Filling:
Ricotta Cheese 15 oz
Cream Cheese 4 oz
Sour Cream 1/2 cup
Caster Sugar 3/4 cup
Eggs 3 nos
All purpose Flour 4 tbsp
Vanilla Extract 1 tsp
Orange/Lemon Juice 2 tbsp
Orange/Lemon Zest 1/2 tsp
Berries (optional) To Garnish

1) Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease a 8" round baking tin with butter.
2) Mix all the ingredients for the base and fill it in the baking tin and press it evenly. Bake it for 12-15 Min's in the preheated oven.
3) Beat the eggs and sugar and vanilla extract. Then add the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, flour, orange juice and orange zest and blend them with an electric blender. Pour it into the cake tin over the base. Tap lightly to remove any trapped air to avoid air bubbles.
4) Bake it in the preheated oven for 50-60 Min's. Let it cool and then refrigerate it until it is cold and sets well.
5) Serve slices topped with berries.

Note: *You get a nice thin base with the recipe above. If you prefer a thicker base, then you can add a little more of the ingredients in the same proportion.
** You can use store bought almond meal or just make a fine powder of unblanched almonds.
*** You can crumble digestive biscuits or plain biscuits substituting the almond meal and all purpose flour.

Mango Milkshake

Mango Milkshake

Ingredients: Quantity
Medium sized Mangoes 4 nos
Milk 2 cups
Sugar 1-2 tbsp
Rose Water Essence 1 tsp
Saffron soaked in warm water 2-3 strands
Cardamom Powder A Pinch
Crushed Ice (Optional) 1/2 cup

1) Peel and cut the mangoes. Reserve a few tiny pieces for garnishing.
2) Puree the mangoes in a blender/juicer and then add the milk, crushed ice (if using) and rest of the ingredients and pulse it for few seconds.
3) Garnish with the reserved mango pieces and serve chilled.

Note: Do not add crushed ice and mango pieces if it is for little ones.
You can use berries, banana or any other fruit of your choice or a combination.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Malai Kofta Curry

Malai Kofta cooked in Curry Sauce

Rich and creamy restaurant style Malai Kofta Curry. Panner and Vegetable Kofta balls cooked in Onion and Tomato Gravy.

Ingredients: Quantity
Boiled and ground Onion 2 nos
Tomatoes Pureed 3-4 nos
Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tbsp
Cashew Paste 1/4 cup
Garam Masala 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder 1 tsp
Crushed Kasuri Methi Leaves 1/2 tbsp
Butter 1 tbsp
Fresh Cream 1/4 cup
Sugar 1 tsp
Salt To taste
Cinnamon 1 stick
Cloves 2-3 nos
Cardamom 1-2 nos
For Kofta:
Panner finely grated 1 whole packet
Potato boiled and mashed 2 nos
Carrot boiled and mashed 2 nos
Peas cooked and mashed 1/4 cup
Onion finely chopped 1/4 cup
Ginger Garlic paste 1/2 tsp
Green Chilies finely chopped 2-3 nos
Bread soaked in water and crushed 2-3 nos
Garam Masala 1 tsp
Paprika(Optional) 1/2 tsp
Corn Flour 1-2 tbsp
Oil 2-3 tbsp
Salt To taste

1) Preheat oven to 375°F*. Mix all the ingredients for Kofta together and make them into equal sized balls**. Line them in a baking sheet and sprinkle some oil.
2) Bake them for 15 Min's on one side and turn them to the other side without breaking the Kofta balls and bake them for another 12-15 Min's. Broil them for 2 Min's***. Kofta balls should be crispy and browned on all sides.
3) Meanwhile heat a sauté pan with butter/oil and all the whole garam masala listed in tempering. Saute for a few seconds and then add the boiled and ground onion paste and ginger garlic paste. Sauté them for 2-3 Min's.
4) Add the pureed tomato, cashew paste, red chili powder and garam masala powder. Close with a lid for few Min's and let it cook until the raw smell disappears.
5) When it is almost cooked add the cream into it and sauté for a min.
6) Add the cooked Kofta balls just before serving and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with Naan or Pulao Rice.

Note:* Usually the Kofta balls are deep fried in oil. To reduce the amount of oil I have roasted them in oven. You can use the traditional method too.
**Squeeze out any excess amount of water from the ingredients before making into Kofta balls.
***Need not broil if the Kofta balls are roasted well in the oven.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Achaari Bhindi

Crispy and Tangy Okra

Crispy fried Okra's cooked in Tangy Tomato Gravy with Achaari masala.

Ingredients: Quantity
Okra/Bhindi 1 lb
Tomatoes finely Chopped 2 nos
Ginger grated 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder 1 tsp
Coriander Powder 1 tsp
Garam Masala 1/2 tsp
Amchoor Powder 1/4 tsp
Yogurt 2-3 tbsp
Lime Juice 2 tsp
Salt To taste
Olive oil 2-3 tbsp
Achaari Masala:
Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
Fennel Seeds 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds 1/4 tsp
Nigella Seeds/Kalonji 1/4 tsp
Asafeotida A pinch

1) Preheat oven to 400°F. Clean, pat dry and cut the okra lengthwise into four pieces.
2) Spread the Okra on a oven proof plate and sprinkle oil and salt. * Roast them for 10-12 mins and then broil them for 2-3 mins.
3) Meanwhile heat oil in a pan and add all the spices for Achaari masala and fry until mustard splutters.
4) Add the finely chopped tomatoes and grated ginger and sauté for 2-3 mins and then add the red chili powder, coriander powder, amchoor powder and garam masala.
5) Saute until the raw smell of the masala disappear. Remove the pan from heat and add the yogurt into the tomato masala. Simmer and cook for 5 mins.
6) Add the crispy okra into the masala and add the lime juice and let it cook for 4-5 mins. Adjust salt and serve the crispy and tangy okra with Roti or Dal and rice.

Usually the cut okra is fried in a pan, but frying in pan consumes lot of oil to get rid of the stickiness of the okra.