Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Crab Cutlets

It was the first time I was buying crabs.. and was sure excited about how dishes will turn out.. At the fish monger place, I had placed order for 500 gms crab, for which he gave me quite a stare and he suggested take atleast 2 crabs ( blue sea crabs), which itself will be about 760 gms.. Later I realized that people buy at about 3- 4 Kgs at a time..but I dint want to buy too much and later have a big disaster at hand.

Either way, I had bought it cleaned and then extracted the crab meat which is quite a clumsy process. The meat is quite watery and pudgy. I was not quite sure of what I wanted to prepare.. some options where the minced varient like scrambled egg, or a curry with coconut milk.. but it dint seem interesting enought. Finally decided that it should be cutlets as we were expecting couple of friends for dinner and this would be a different starter..

Here is the recipe..

1. Crab meat : about 250 Gms ( after extraction from shell )
2. Ginger Garlic Paste : 1.5 tea spoon
  Green Chilli - 3 no:s
  Onion : 2 mid sized cut into small pieces
  Ground Black Pepper Powder : 2 teaspoon
  Salt to taste
  oil for shallow frying

3. Bread crumbs : 2 slice breads crumbled

For the coating

Egg white : 1 egg white
Bread crumbs ; 1 slice bread crubmled

Heat oil in a kadai, cook ingredients 2 & 1 without adding any water. Cook for about 10-15 mins.Mince this cooked crab masala mixture. Add the bread crumbs ( ingredient 3) to the minced crab and mix well. The purpose of bread crumbs it to hold the crab mixture together. Make small cutlets with this. Brush the cutlets in egg white and roll it in the breadcrumbs so that it gets a good coating. Shallow fry the cutlets. Serve hot..

It did turn out very well and I was quite happy with the result..the peppery taste and the surprise in crab meat is what went well I guess...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Roasted Stuffed Chicken - Desi Style

Thanksgiving Day is not quite celebrated in India with as much status it has in the western world. So though a christian I have really not had my fill of Stuffed Turkey " THE dish "  for thanksgiving days.

In the umpteen T.V soaps I have always liked the part where the family celebrates the Turkey carving as big gettogether event. I think I have been highly influenced by Monica ( Courteny Cox)  in Friends on this.
But eating a whole portion of  turkey or chicken is too much for mild non veggies like me, so wanted to adapt it to chicken breasts or thighs. Here is the recipe of stuffed chicken desi style..

Ingredients :

Chicken : 500 Gms  ( Chicken Breast Boneless)

Slice chicken longtitudinal, such that the same piece can be used as a single bigger piece, This is requried for folding in the stuffing and then securing it. Flatten the chicken piece slighlty using a rolling pin.

Make braises on the chicken so that the marinate sticks well. Its good to do on both sides of the chicken.

Marinate :

Curd / Yoghurt   - 2 -3 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste - 3 tsp
Lime Juice  - 2 tsp
Chilli Powder - 2 tsp
Pepper Powder - 3 tsp
Thai Seasoning -1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp

Prepare the marinate. Coat chicken well with the marinate. The lime extract helps in making the chicken tender and easy to cook. Refrigerate for about 2- 3 hours. Accidently I kept for about 5-6 hours and I think it turned out better that way.

Filling :

I used the Jugal Sausage Salad left overs, recipe is here http://tangyroute.blogspot.com/2010/10/sausage-salad.html
Otherwise, minced chicken, onion, tomato & potato gravy etc can be used for filling.

Spead the filling over one half of the chicken piece, Roll the other portion of the chicken. Secure using toothpicks or tie it up with a thick string.
Roast this prepared chicken in a pan with a little oil for about 3-4 mins. Turn sides and let it roast for another 4 mins. Now transfer contents into a microwavable plate and bake/ grill for about 10 mins at 180 deg C. Turn sides and grill for another 10 mins.

Serve Hot

Jugal Sausage Salad

This is completely an inspired recipe after a mad day at the grocery store where I picked up veggie's in random without anything particular in mind. Its easy to cook and can be served as salad or topping for a pizza, along with noodles or may be even as stuffing..

Chicken Sausages : Skinless ( 4-5 ),
Button Mushrooms : Cleaned ( 4 - 5 )
Onion : 1
Tomato - 1
Capsicum ( Yellow / Blue / Red ) - 1/ 2 each, make as colorful as possible
Red Peppers  : 2 to 3
Parsley Leaves : 1 or 2 ground
Olive Oil  : 1 tsp
Thai Seasoning : 1/2 tsp
Salt to Taste
Coarsely Ground Black Pepper - 2 tsp
Soy Sauce - 1 tsp

Cut Sausage & Mushrooms into small cubes. Capsicums & Peppers into long slivers. Heat a pan and toss fry all the ingredients for about 7 - 8 mins. Do not add any water, mushrooms when heated will release some water content. Serve hot. Garnish with lettuce leaves

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rava Laddu

Rava or Semolina Laddu is a common after meals sweets in south & western India.Its quite common in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra and is associated with Janmashtami celebrations.
This is supposedly a low calorie dish though its difficult to ascertain how any sweet can be low on cal.

Here is my recipe..

Prep Time : - 3 - 4 mins & Cooking time - 10 - 15 mins

Rava or Semolina flour  - 2 cups
Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Butter - 1 tbsp
Milk - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup - 1 cup ( depending on how much of a sweet tooth u are)
Cardomom powder - 1 tsp
Cashews and raisins - 1 tsp each

Heat the butter in a kadai and add the cashews & raisins. Add the rava flour and stir it well for about 5 mins. Add the grated coconut and keep stirring it well till the moisture in the coconut drains off. Meanwhile heat milk. Once milk has boiled, add sugar to the milk and stir well. When the coconut and rava starts to change color ( a  light off white color) add the milk and cardomom powder. If requried vanilla essence can also be added for an additional flavor. Mix well , so that there is a thick consistency to the dough. Let it cool for about 2- 3 mins and start making small round laddy with your hands. Try and insert one raisin / cashew nut into each laddu.

This can be stored in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Aloo Poshto

Aloo Poshto is a bengali everyday dish.. Poshto or Poppy Seeds or Khus- Khus as it is known in certain parts of the country originates from Poppy flowers..well it does have a connection to Opium which is secreted from the same flowers, but dont worry Aloo Poshto is definetly not a sedative but a delight it is...
Interstingly these seeds are protien rich and used as a thickening agent in both Indian and Jewish cooking. It is also a a prevalent spice in Greek cooking and used in baking too.
The recipe listed here is a slightly modified Poshto recipe..

Aloo ( Potatoes) - 3 / 4 medium sized
Poppy Seeds - 3- 4 tbsp
Green Chillies - 6 no:s
Ginger Paste - 1 tbsp
Shallots - 6 - 7 no:s
Fennel Seeds - 1 tsp

Salt  - as per taste
Turmeric - 1 tsp Optional.
Oil - 1 tbsp (  Mustard oil preffered)
Coriander Leaves - For Garnishing

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Kerala Parotta

For a long time I have been wanting to make Kerala Parotta of KP as it is popularily known in most of the Bangalore restaurants. I always thought it was a very difficult recipe and completely dipped in oil but was surprised to see that it was not the case.
KP's can be quite a novelty especially while having guests. Though it does take some time to prepare,some bit of early preparation can be done.
This recipe was off the internet and is the easier way to make KP's ( unlike the original Thattu Kada recipe's)...


Maida ( all purpose flour ) - 2 cups ( for about 4- 5 KP's)
Hot Water - as required to make dough ( about 3/4 cup)
Salt to taste

Oil - 2 tsp

Preparation Time - 1 hour

Make the flour by kneading the maida, water & salt well. It would become a very smooth white dough. It is quite difficult to make maida dough as the whole thing can get sticky if there is excess water. So add water slowly, till it is just right and smooth.
If this needs to be stored, then cover with a muslin cloth ( the dough should retain its moisture) and not become dry.
Seperate the dough into tennis ball sized balls.
Roll the dough using a rolling pin ( similar to making roti's). This needs to be done on a flat surface,like the kitchen table. Spread a little oil on the flat surface before rolling. Shape is not a problem here, it cab be rolled horizontaly, vertically, diagnonally or just about in any direction. The key is to make it as thin as possible. Even if the dough tears in certain areas, it is still pardonable.
Now using both hands pleat the rolled dough. Similar to the way saris's are done. About an inch width would be good enough. (Pleat - From any one direction fold the rolled dough back & forth across the length). At the end there would be one single length wise folded dough.
Roll this in a concentric fashion.  Even at this stage it can be stored ( covered with a muslin cloth).

Take the concentric dough and flatten using a rolling pin ( do not make it very thin, leave it thick). Use oil to flatten if required.

On a thava, heat it and turn sides. Add oil if requierd. The Kerala Paratta's are ready now.

Once about 4 or 5 KP's are made, keep them on a flat surface.Now try clapping with KP's in between. This helps in seperating the layers. This needs to be done with the KP's are hot so be careful with your hands.

It can be served with thick gravy curries..

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Brinjal Rava Fry

For the last 2 weeks my kitchen is completely on the veggie regime and both of us are loving it for a change. There is actually so much to make in vegetarian food. So here is something new that I tried last week.Original recipe is by my colleague who bought this as side dish for lunch the other day.
Brinjal / Bhaigan or egg plant is something which is an easy to cook and highly nutritous vegetable.It is high in pottassium and calcium with apt amount of dietary fiber.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Murukku is a very common south indian savory especially in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. In Karnataka it is referred to as " Chakli ". Most of the road side tea shops as well as bakeries provide this snack. Just like everything else , there are many varities of Murukku depending on what goes in, it can be kara, sweet, gingery, spicy and so on..but the bottomline is that it needs to be crunchy..and that " Muru" sound needs to be there while crunching into the fried snack. I'm sure that 's how this tea time snack got its name.

This recipe is from my MIL's kitchen, we made it this Onam and till then I had no idea that the complicated looking crispy snack was so easy to make.. My MIL has an idiappam maker which is about 40 years old, so using it was a breeze, Trust me, it just takes less than 30 mins to churn out some concentric beauties..

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Sambar..the first & foremost of all south Indian Dishes. It is again a " must have" in almost all festivities in the south. Every state and culture have a variant sambar recipe. Some like it more sweet, whereas others have it spicy with even ground fried coconut paste.

This dish is said to have an interesting origin. Many many years back when the Maratha's where ruling Tanjore under the King Sambhoji who was a great connosieur of food, he used to cook a dish with kokum which he got from Maharashtra. But once it so happened that there was delay in getting kokum for his favorite dish amti. The kitchen staff suggested that he use Tamarind instead which is used by locals for the sour taste.The chef king decided to try that and that was the origin of this new dish which got his name.

Soon this dish got popular in his kingdom and in nearby places ( who can refuse the King's recipe and still remain alive). In coastal areas where use of coconut was popular, spiced ground coconut paste was also added.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Its Onakalam again.. and time to make my fav dish..aviyal. Explained in english, its a concoction of many vegetables cooked in yoghurt with mildly flavored coconut..
Aviyal is said to have a very interesting origin. There are many stories which link it to royalty. Most commonly said is that it originated during Mahabharata when Bhima ( the strong man amongst the Pandavas) was working as a cook in a palace and while the king walked into the royal kitchen he saw lots of vegetables being left over. As the King did not like waste of any kind, he ordered all the remaining vegetables to be made into a dish..and our dear old Bhima cooked the veggies in some curd and coconut seasoning..& voila a new dish was born.

Interestingly the term " Aviyal " is used colloquially for variety or for mix and matches. There is even a Kerala rock band by this name in which there is a mix of various music genres.
I make aviyal for pretty much the same purpose - to use up left over veggies and also to because its one of the most tasty recipes for having a wide variety of greens..

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Idli Upma

Idli Upma is an easy dish especially during morning rush hours.. & the best part is that it can be made using left overs..Upma is said to be a kannada origin dish, considering the varieties of " bath" - bissibelle,kara etc,..this could be true.Usually kara bath & kesari bath go together. However upma has well adapted to most south indian states and is also popular in certain north indian states with certain changes.

Here is the recipe ( Serves 2)

Idlis : 4 No:s ( Leftovers are ok )
Grated Coconut - 1 cup ( medium size)
Shallots : 10 no:s ( small onions)
Mustard Seeds : 1 tsp
Curry leaves : 10 no:s
Green Chilli : 3-4 No:s
Fenugreek : 1 tsp
Black Pepper Powder: 1 Tbsp
Oil - 1 tsp
salt to taste

Heat oil in a kadai & splutter the mustard seeds, fenugreek & the curry leaves. Add sliced shallot, salt & cover with a lid. After 3-4 mins, add the coconut & sliced green chillis ( small pieces), stir & let it cook for about 2 mins.
Meanwhile crush the idlis ( Either by hand or simple grind in the mixer).The finer the better it is.As it should resemble upma.
Add the crushed idlis & stir well. Let it cook for another 2-3 mins. Sprinkle pepper powder, stir well & voila, ur idli upma is ready to eat :)

Garnish using Corainder Leaves, Fried cashewnuts etc. Other vegies like Carrot, Potato, Green Peas, Yellow/Red Peppers etc can also be added to make the upma more nutritious & colorful.

It is best had with any sort of chutneys ( from chilli-coconut,onion tomato, mint and so on)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Caramel Custard

Caramel Custard is one of the most common desserts made across the globe in exactly the same manner. It is said to have a french origin and was intially called flan. The recipe can be however traced back to the ancient Roman period and there is even a National Caramel Custard Day which is celebrated on October 3rd when Spanish and French households whip out eggs and prepare this dish or the more sweeter version called flan.

Caramel Custard is one of my fav desserts, I like it delicate and not very sweet but with enough caramel oozing out all over :)...

Here is my recipe..


1. Milk – 1 cup

2. Eggs – 2
3. Condensed milk - 1 cup ( same as milk qty)
4. Corn flour – 1 teaspoon
5. Vanilla essence -  1/2 teaspoon
6. Sugar – 2 dessert spoon

For Pudding

Beat the eggs well, first the whites and then the yolks, make it nice and fluffy. The softness of the dessert comes from how well the eggs are beaten. Blend in the condensed milk and continue to mix well. Mix one Tsp milk ( should be at room temperature) with corn flour and make a paste without any lumps. Add this paste to the condensed milk/eggs mixture. Add the remaining milk and vanilla essence. Mix well.
For Caramel

Spread 2-3 dessert spoon of sugar in the caramelising dish. Add some water & caramelise it. When it becomes golden brown colour, take it off from stove. Pour into the pudding dish. This needs to be done immediately as the caramel will cystalize quickly. Pour the pudding and cover the dish with alumunium foil. Pour 2 glasses of water in pressure cooker or any covered cooking vessel. Keep the pudding dish in that & cook for 10 minutes on slow fire after putting the weight. Turn off the gas. Keep the dish in pressure cooker for another 30 – 45 minutes. Once the dish is cooled keep in fridge for 3- 4 hrs.

While serving, reverse it onto the serving plate and serve cold. It goes well with fresh cream or ice cream also.It can be decoarted with choclate syrup or cashews and choco chips...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chettinad Chicken

Chettinad Cuisine is the cuisine of the Chettiar's,  one of the hindu castes in southern Tamil Nadu in India. It is said to have originated from Nedungadi  about 600 Km south of Chennai. The cuisine is one of the most spiciest and aromatic Indian cuisines. It uses all variety of spices liberally, but star anise, Black Stone Flower & dried flower pods are the classic trademarks of this cuisines along with ground pepper, dried red chillies and freid coconut.
It mostly goes well with meat, especially chicken, lamb and salted or dried vegetables which are called kulumabu. The curries go well with most Indian staples like steam rice, dosa, roti, paratha & so on..but watch out for the tangy taste and the aroma of spices...
Here is my recipe for Chettinad Chicken curry


1. Chicken – 1 kg (Medium cut, less bones or boneless)

2. Grated coconut – 1 1/2 cup
3. Spices - Poppy seeds – 2 tsp, Fennel seeds(perumjeerakam) – 1 tsp,Coriander seeds – 1 tsp,Jeera – 1/2 tsp,Red chilli – 6-8,Cinnamon stick – 1 medium size piece,Cardamom – 4,Clove – 3,Star anise – 1/2,
4. Ginger -  garlic Paste- 1 tbsp each
5. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp,Chili powder – 1 tsp
6. Onion Shallots ( Sambhar Onion) - 15- 20 ( sliced)
7. Tomato – 2 medium ( Cut into small pieces)
8. Lemon – 1
9. Curry leaves - the more the merrier ( about 10 leaves) , mustard seeds - 1 tbsp

Clean the chicken and cut into medium size pieces. Marinate the chicken in lime juice, tumeric powder and salt and keep aside for about 20 - 30 mins.
Fry the coconut with number 3 ingredients in oil, till it turn golden brown. Let it cool completely. Do not add water while grinding.This needs to be well ground and a thin film of oil ( from the coconut) will start to appear. 

Heat oil in a bottom heavy pan, splutter the mustard seeds, curry leaves and add sliced shallots and fry it till it becomes golden brown. Add tomato and turmeric and chili powder and mix well. Add salt to taste Add the ground coconut paste and stir it continuously for a few minutes. Once the powders are fried well add chicken pieces, combine well and cook for 10 minutes. Add lemon juice and 2 cups water and cover and cook till the chicken is done. This curry has a thick gravy.

The addition of Tomato and lemon juice is important to reduce the pungent taste of the spices. Serve hot with rice / dosa/ bread / roti and so on...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sweet Grape Wine

This is quite a common drink made in Catholic Houses in Kerala especially for festivities like Christmas and Easter, or any family functions. It is best had with rich plum cake.
The kerala christian variety is a typical wine recipe, but the fermentation is less ( before all the sugar turns into alcohol) and grapes and sugar are in equal quantity, becuase of which there is a sweet taste.
Wine Making is practiced as quite an extensive affair in many parts of the world. It is actually a lot of fun and can be made into a whole family fun activity. Since it is usually made for festivals or functions like wedding and needs to be made well in advance, it is something that everyone looks forward to.
There are many varieties of wine, depending on levels of fermentation, color, ingredients and so on. The most common amongst which is grape wine, but varieties like gooseberry, ginger, rose apple, apple, pineapple , cranberry, plum etc are also getting popular. A friend of mine was saying that her mother makes it from shoeflower petals too ! There is even a branch of science called enology that deals with techniques of wine making

• 1 kg dark blue or purple or black, seedless grapes
• 1 kg sugar

• 1 Egg White, beaten
• 2tsp Yeast ( active dry yeast)
• 500 gm wheat kernels (Godhambu)
• 4 Liters water, boiled and cooled completely
• Cinnamom bark powdered ( 1 Tbsp)
• Cloves ( 3 or 4 )

Take a Glass/Ceramic jar with a tight lid ( should contain atleast 4 KG ), mash the grapes well with your hand or a wooden spatula till the juice is well extracted and add all the other ingredients. Keep the jar in a dark, humid place ( cellars, kitchen cupboards). After adding all the ingredients, there should be sufficient space for fermentation.
Stir the mixture every day or alternate day. As a reminder I had kept a Post-It on my fridge. This is quite important as the jar may break and mess up your kitchen.
Initially the grapes would be floating on top, after about 2 weeks they settle down over the wheat kernels.
After 21 days, strain the mixture in a muslin cloth. Keep the strained mixture for another 2 days, till the sediments settle.. Strain again and store in glass bottles.
Best served slightly chilled either in long/short stemmed wide mouthed wine glasses as  apertiff.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Baby Potatoes with Spinach ( Parsi Dish)

I had this dish at a Parsi restaurant in Bangalore ( Daddy's Deli ) and loved it and decided to try it at home . It tasted quite like the one we ate.  This is how I went about it -


500 gms - Baby Potatoes ( also called Potato sprouts)
500 gms - Green spinach ( cut finely)
Red Chilli Powder - 2 tbsp
Onion - 1
Salt - to Taste
Oil - Cooking (1 Tbsp)
Mustard & Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp each
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp

Boil the Baby potatoes, de-veil it and cut into 2. Cut Onion finely.
Splutter the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Add the Onion and stir on low fire for about 3 mins. Add chilli powder, salt &  turmeric. Add spinach and stir for another 2 mins before adding the cut potatoes. Stir well till the spinach is well cooked.
Once the potatoes are boiled, it can be made pretty easily ( especially on work week days ) and serves as a good side dish along with roti's or even rice.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lasooni Tikki

This is straight from a recipe book, I tried it at home, came out well but was a little extra salty. this particular recipe has paneer and garlic ( hence the name), but it can be tried with minced chiken, peas , mixed veggies and so on..

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Home Made Pizza

Pizza is a synonym for time out's either with friends or family. Lazy evenings are best spend with Pizza and couple of DVD's. This weekend I tried the home made version and it came out pretty well. Pizza is surprisingly a historic dish known to men from the neolithic age. It is basically defined as flat bread with tomato toppings.


Gobi Manchurian

Gobi Manchurian is a very common vegetable dish in India. The good thing about this dish is that it is very adaptable and can be had in many ways, you can make it dry and have it for starters or in the evening especially if it is raining.. or have it as a curry along with noodles, or even modify it as soup..I like it best dry.
Manchuria is a region in north eastern China,I guess that is the only chinese connection this dish has. It is made to suit the indian palate and served in almost all kinds of restaurants.