Archive for the ‘Main Course’ Category

Love Thai Food…

I am in love with Thai food… It’s my go-to food when I want to eat something nice and familiar and be sure that I will love it. So making Thai food at home is not a usual thing for us as when we feel like it we just go out or take out from our favorite Thai restaurants around our place. A few weeks back I bought this cookbook from Barnes and Noble. The reason I picked it up was it was on sale and it had a ton of very pretty pictures. I love cookbooks with pretty pictures. It just makes it easier for me to decide on whether I want to or not make a particular recipe. So this book that I picked up is called ‘Curry Bible’ by Mridula Baljekar. There are a pages of recipes for different meats and vegetables all with the same link – curry. This is where I picked this recipe from – Thai Yellow Chicken Curry, one main reason being that it has baby corns in it. I love baby corns and so does Amit and both of us love Thai food, so why not. Oh and an added incentive was that it does not use all coconut milk, instead it uses yogurt which makes it an healthier version. I did make a couple of changes to the recipe either because I did not have the ingredients or felt it would make the dish just a little more flavorful. This recipe serves 4 and takes about 45  mins to prepare.

Ingredients:

  1. 6 tbsp Thai yellow curry paste (ingredients and recipe follow)
  2. 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  3. 1/4 cup coconut milk
  4. 1.5 cups water
  5. handful of fresh cilantro
  6. handful of thai basil leaves (I did not have these handy so skipped it)
  7. 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  8. 1 large red onion cut into wedges
  9. 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  10. 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (cut into strips)
  11. 6 oz baby corns (halved lengthwise)
For Thai Yellow Curry Paste
  1. 2 orange habanero chili (I wanted it spicy, you could use normal orange or yellow chilies)
  2. 3 garlic cloves
  3. 4 shallots
  4. 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 12-15 black peppercorns, crushed
  7. 1 lemongrass stalk, chopped
  8. 1″ fresh ginger

Directions:

  • Heat 1/2 tbsp oil and add the yellow curry paste. Stir fry the paste till it is fragrant for a min or two.
  • Add the chicken and baby corn to the paste and transfer it to another bowl.
  • In the same pan heat the rest of the oil and stir fry the onions and garlic till the onions are pink.
  • Now add the chicken and baby corn to this and stir fry till the chicken and baby corn are tender.
  • Now stir in the yogurt, coconut milk, water, cilantro and thai basil.  Bring this to a boil and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Garnish with some cilantro and basil and serve hot with rice.
For Yellow Curry Paste
  • Grind the ingredients together in a food processor or grinder to a smooth paste. You can store this in the refrigerator for upto a week.

I served this with some saffron coconut rice. The recipe for the saffron coconut rice will be uploaded soon. The recipe is very easy to make and goes well with either rice or bread. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.

Shilpa

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In love with fish…

As a kid I wasn’t a fish lover. But I think I start loving it more and more as I grew older and realized that it’s a tastier and healthier option. And now it’s even more easier with all the fillets readily available. Ond day I hope to live some place where, I can go to the market and get fresh fish, till then I will make do with the freshest fish I can find here in AZ. So last night was a fish dinner night. I wanted to make something quick and easy.

On another note, Amit and I were going to get some coffee the other day on Mill Avenue (it’s the street on which our lab is located). There is this quaint little book store on this otherwise, restaurant / bar / pub filled street. It’s a really nice bookstore, I think owned by an old couple who are also very nice. They have tons of books on every conceivable topic and some that I bet you won’t find elsewhere. And they have a large gray cat who sits around watching all the people who come into the store.

So while browsing through the books, I saw this Martha Stewart book on sale. I glanced through it and since I do not have any of her books, I thought why not. I am sure I can get atleast a couple of recipes that I can tweek to my liking in here. She had a recipe for a roasted salmon with herbed stuffing. I did not have salmon, for that matter I did not want to but a whole fish to make the dish. So I decided to tweek it to make it a roasted swai with rolled / filled herb filling. And I must say, I was very happy with the final dish. It was as intended very easy to make and took about 15-20 minutes of preparation time and then about 15-20 minutes in the oven. So technically I was busy cooking it for only 15-20 mins, the oven was the one cooking after that. The herbed filling is sufficient for about 3 large Swai fillets.

Ingredients:

  1. 3 Swai fillets
  2. 2 tsps olive oil
  3. 1 red onion (thinly sliced)
  4. 2 carrots (grated)
  5. 1 bunch of green onions (chopped)
  6. 5-6 small cloves garlic (chopped)
  7. 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  8. 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  9. 1 cup chopped coriander
  10. 5-6 basil leaves
  11. 1 sprig tarragon
  12. 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  13. some oil to brush the baking dish
  14. kitchen string
  15. 1/2 teaspoon butter

For seasoning the fish fillet

  1. 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  2. salt to taste
  3. ginger powder
  4. coriander powder

Directions:

  • Heat the olive oil and add the cumin and fennel seeds when the oil is hot.
  • Next add the red onions and fry till they soften and start turning pink.
  • Now add the garlic and fry a few more minutes till the raw smell of garlic is gone.
  • Next add the carrots and green onions and cook for a few minutes till the carrots have softened.
  • Finally add all the herbs except the tarragon.
  • Preheat the oven to 500F.
  • Now place a fillet on a large plate and season one side with the red chilli powder, salt, ginger powder and coriander powder. You may add as much or as little of these spices. I added about 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder, 1 tsp coriander pwd, 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder and salt to taste.
  • Next spread the filling on the wider end  of the fillet to about three fourths of the way down to the narrower end.
  • Start rolling the fillet from the wider end to the narrower end and tie it up with the kitchen string.
  • Now place the tied up fillets on a baking dish brushed with some oil.
  • Place the tarragon sprigs on the rolled fillet and place in the oven.
  • Turn the rolled fillet over after about 10 minutes and let it cook for another 5 mins. Keep a careful eye on the fish so that you do not overcook it.
  • At the very end, pull out the baking dish from the oven and brush the top with some of the butter and place it under the broiler for a couple of mins so that it browns slightly.
  • Serve with some greens and it makes a meal in itself.

We loved this fish with the filling and I am definitely gonna make different fillings because there are a multitude of possibilities for that. I will definitely keep you posted on what other fillings I try out. This one makes the entire dish very fresh, the herbs are definitely the main reason for that. Hope you enjoy the dish and thanks for reading.

A lazy Saturday afternoon lunch…

Today was one of the days where we actually woke up kind of early enough to have breakfast. But after some bagels and coffee Amit decided that he needed a late morning, early afternoon nap. So I decided that I would make some eggplant for lunch following the recipe that my Mom used to make at home.

I started making the eggplant and realized that I did not have a key ingredient, tomatoes. So I decided to improvise and make a different gravy. So instead of the onion tomato gravy that I was going to make for the eggplant, I decided to make a coconut onion gravy instead. And I am so glad I did not have tomatoes to make the original recipe; this one is just as good. It takes about 15-20 minutes to make the gravy and depending in how big a frying pan you have, about 5-10 minutes for each batch of eggplant slices. I had to fry the eggplant in about 4 batches so it took me about 30 minutes to be done with the frying, and the gravy was ready in the meanwhile. It takes close to 40-50 mins prepare the dish. It serves about 3 – 4 persons.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 large eggplant
  2. 1 tsp oil
  3. 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  4. 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
  5. 1 onion
  6. 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  7. 1/2 cup thick coconut milk
  8. 1/2 cup thin coconut milk
  9. 1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
  10. 1 tsp coriander powder
  11. salt to taste

For frying the eggplant

  1. oil
  2. 2 red chilli powder
  3. 2 tsp ginger powder
  4. 1 1/2 tsp dried mango powder (amchur)
  5. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  6. 1/4 tsp garam masala
  7. salt to taste
  8. 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

Directions:

  • Slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch thick slices.
  • Mix the oil with the ingredients listed under ‘For frying the eggplant’. Brush the eggplant slices on both sides with the oil mixed in with the dried spices.
  • Heat a pan and fry the slices on without any oil. The oil brushed on the slices to saute/fry  it.
  • While the slices are frying you start preparing the gravy.

  • Heat some oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds and red chilli flakes.
  • Once the cumin seeds are browned add the chopped onions and fry it till it is browned slightly.
  • Next add the ginger garlic paste and cook till the raw smell of the ginger garlic paste is gone.
  • Now add the coriander powder and fry till the dry spice is cooked.
  • Next add the thin coconut milk and let it some to a simmer. Now add the chopped coriander leaves.
  • Once the coriander leaves are thoroughly mixed, add the thick coconut milk and salt and bring to a simmer.
  • Once the eggplant slices are all fried, transfer them to a baking dish.
  • Now pour the gravy over the eggplant slices in the baking dish.
  • Place the baking dish in the oven for about 10-20 minutes or till ready to serve.

Amit is my eggplant expert. He is the one who buys and makes eggplants for us at home. But today since he was taking a nap, I decided to make eggplant and he loved it. So it’s Amit certified!!! 🙂 Hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did. Its definitely different from the usual recipes I have made with eggplant before. Thank you for reading this post and have a great rest of the weekend.

In celebration of completing another major step towards my PhD!!!

I know I have been missing from my blog from a very long time. In fact it will be two months on the 22nd of August. But well I guess sometimes you just need to prioritize and you end up giving up the very thing that makes your life less stressful. But I can say one thing about the last two months, I did manage to accomplish two major milestones towards my doctoral degree; first – I submitted my PhD proposal and second – I completed the written part of my comprehensive exam. A couple more steps and I will be pretty close to officially completing my PhD program…

So in celebration of having completed all these milestones, I decided to make some chicken tikka masala tonight. In fact I was to start making it around 6:30 pm but thanks to the dust storm that rolled into Phoenix this evening, I was stuck at school for an hour more than I had planned.The chicken tikka masala essentially has two main ingredients, the gravy/masala and the chicken tikka. This recipe serves 4 persons and takes about an hour to prepare from start to finish if you make the chicken tikka and masala simultaneously.

Ingredients:

  1. 500 grams of boneless cubes of chicken
  2. 2 tbsp oil
  3. ½ tsp Cumin seeds
  4. 1 Bay leaf
  5. 2 Black cardamoms
  6. 3 Green cardamom
  7. 3 Cloves
  8. 1 inch Cinnamon
  9. 3 medium / 2 large Chopped onions
  10. 2 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
  11. 3 chopped Tomatoes
  12. 1 ½ tsp Coriander powder
  13. 1 tbsp Red Chili powder
  14. ¼ tsp Turmeric
  15. Salt to taste
  16. 4 tbsp Cashewnut paste
  17. 1 Tomato (no pulp chopped into large chunks)
  18. 1 Green pepper / Capsicum chopped into large chunks
  19. 1 Onion chopped into large chunks
  20. 2 tbsp Cream
  21. ½ tsp Garam masala
  22. fresh Coriander for garnishing
  23. 1 tbsp lime juice

For the chicken marinade

  1. 1 tsp Ginger paste
  2. 1 tsp Garlic paste
  3. 1 tsp Chili powder
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 1 tbsp Lime juice
  6. 2 tbsp Oil
  7. 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  8. 1/4 tsp carom seeds / ajwain
  9. 2 tbsp Gram flour
  10. 1 cup Yogurt
  11. 1 tsp red Chili powder
  12. 2 tsp Ginger garlic paste
  13. ¼ tsp Turmeric
  14. Salt to taste
  15. ½ tsp Garam masala

Directions:

Chicken Tikka

  • Marinate the chicken in ingredients 1 to 5  under ‘For the chicken marinade’ for 20 minutes.
  • In the meanwhile heat the oil and add the carom seeds. Once the carom seeds start popping, add the gram flour and roast it till it is cooked through. There will be a nutty smell once the gram flour is cooked.
  • Now add this to the yogurt, red chili powder, ginger garlic paste, turmeric, salt and garam masala.
  • After 20 mins add the marinated chicken to the yogurt mixture.
  • Let the chicken marinate for about 2-3 hours. (I did not have 2-3 hrs. I managed to marinate it only for an hour or so)
  • Once the chicken is marinated long enough, oil a baking sheet and pre heat the oven to 425F.
  • Skewer the chicken cubes onto skewers and place the skewers on the baking sheet. The chicken will cook pretty fast, about 15-20 mins. After once side is cooked, turn over the chicken on the skewers. After about 10 mins, turn it over once again. It should be browned slightly on either side.
  • Add the chunks of tomato, green pepper and onions to the leftover marinade.
  • Set the chicken aside. You can start preparing the gravy while the chicken cooks.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, set the oven to the broiler setting and transfer the vegetables on the same baking sheet.
  • Once the vegetables brown remove them from the oven and set them aside.

For the Masala / Gravy

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Once the oil is hot add the cumin seeds, bay leaf, cardamom (black and green), cloves & cinnamon to it. Once the whole spices start imparting their fragrance, add the chopped onions.
  • Brown the onions and add the ginger garlic paste at the very end. Once the ginger garlic paste is also fried add the tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are completely incorporated with the onions.
  • Next add the coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt. Let the dry spices cook through, it will take just a couple of minutes.
  • Once the dry spices are cooked through add the cashew paste and cook it for a couple of minutes till the oil starts separating from the mixture.
  • At this point add the chicken and mix thoroughly. You may want to add some water to the gravy at this point if it is too thick.
  • Let the gravy simmer for a couple of minutes then add the roasted vegetable chunks to the gravy. Mix the vegetables together and let it simmer for a couples of minutes.
  • Next add the cream, coriander leaves and lime juice to the gravy.
  • The chicken tikka masala is now ready to serve.

We had the chicken tikka masala with some naan and it was brilliant. Now no more craving for restaurant style chicken tikka masala. I can make it at home anytime. Though not too often, it’s not the healthiest of meals after all. But once in a while when you feel like indulging, its perfect. And I followed the recipe from the following link – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gh-SZ1drOMc. One change I made to the recipe was that I roasted the vegetables before added it to the gravy.

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did both making and eating it. And hopefully no more such long breaks from blogging for me. I can definitely say that cooking is my stress buster for sure. Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you enjoy the chicken tikka masala.

A lip-smacking, mouth-watering delight!

Chicken Makhani, this is one dish I always thought is for the restaurant. Not one to be recreated at home as it’s almost impossible to get the right mix of ingredients or I missed something. So I never actually got down to trying the recipe. Then the other day I went to Fresh and Easy on the way back home from work and picked up some never frozen chicken breasts. I really wanted to make something very Indian with some yummy curry. So I decided to challenge myself to the elusive perfect chicken makhani or the famous butter chicken. I browsed through a zillion recipes online and based on what I saw I came up with my own recipe. One which I hoped would be THE PERFECT BUTTER CHICKEN / CHICKEN MAKHANI.  This recipe serves 2. And takes about 45 minutes to make if you multitask making the curry and the chicken. The curry itself takes about 30 minutes to prepare and the chicken about 30 minutes in the oven. You will need to marinate the chicken for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight if time permits.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 medium sized chicken breasts (8-10 large chicken pieces)
  2. 2 tbsp cream
  3. 2 tbsp butter
  4. 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  5. 4-5 green cardamoms
  6. 4 tomatoes (chopped into large chunks)
  7. 1 inch piece of ginger (julienned)
  8. 2 green chilis (de-seeded and chopped fine)
  9. 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  10. 1/2 – 3/4 tsp red chili powder
  11. 1/2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  12. 2 tbsp oil
  13. salt to taste

For the marinade:

  1. 1/2 cup yogurt
  2. 2 tbsp cream
  3. 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  4. 2 tsp red chili powder
  5. 2 tsp cumin powder
  6. 1 tsp coriander powder
  7. 1/4 tsp garam masala
  8. 1/2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  9. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  10. salt to taste

Directions:

  • Cut the chicken into large chunks.
  • Marinate the chicken in the marinade for atleast a couple of hours.
  • Roast the chicken in the oven till cooked throughly.
  • Heat half the oil and butter. Once hot add the green cardamoms and nutmeg.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes after about 15 seconds.
  • Once the tomatoes are cooked thoroughly and mushy set it aside to cool.
  • Once the tomatoes are cooled grind it to a fine paste and strain it to remove any large chunks.
  • Next heat the rest of the oil and butter and add the garlic, ginger and green chilies to the hot oil.
  • Once they have browned add the strained tomato paste.
  • Let this mixture cook for about 2-3 minutes then add the red chili powder and salt.
  • Bring to a simmer and add the cooked chicken to the tomato gravy.
  • Bring to a simmer and add the dried fenugreek leaves and honey.
  • Mix the butter chicken thoroughly and add the cream and let the butter chicken come to a slow simmer.
  • Remove from heat and serve with naan, paratha or any other form of bread.

One of the main problems when I have made anything close to butter chicken in the past has been the color of the dish. It was never orange enough. But well this time it was perfect and no added colors. Secondly, though I had to add some butter and cream, I did not have to add cups of it to make it delicious. So when I served it Amit was speechless. In his own words – “This is the best butter chicken I have ever had!!!”. The gravy is mindblowing and if you follow my recipe to the tee, I guarantee you with the same great results. And the gravy is versatile enough to either add chicken, paneer or mixed vegetables to it. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did and thanks for reading…

Shilpa

Back after another unplanned break!!!

I know I had promised I would not disappear for such long periods of time but I guess my PhD program does take precedence over all else… 🙂 But well I am back and this is gonna be a short post but a post nonetheless after one whole month. I had actually made this dish before I went on my one month sabbatical but never got down to posting the recipe. I love spinach and it’s healthy too. So why not combine some spinach with fish! And I do love all kinds of seafood so it  feels like the best combination…. And its takes about 30-45 minutes to make with about 20-30 minutes of active prep / cooking from your side.

Ingredients:

  1. 4 fish fillets (any kind cleaned and cut into four pieces each)
  2. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  3. 8 cups of spinach leaves
  4. 1 tomato (pureed)
  5. 1 1/2 onions (finely chopped)
  6. 4-5 cloves garlic (sliced fine)
  7. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  8. 2 teaspoons red chili powder
  9. 3 teaspoon cumin powder
  10. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
  11. 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  12. 2 teaspoons oil
  13. 1 cup water
  14. salt to taste

Directions:
  • Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil. Add the cumin seeds and when it sputters add the raw spinach leaves. Let the leaves wilt just a little; this takes about a minute.
  • Now transfer the spinach to the pureed tomato and puree the entire mixture together.
  • Heat the rest of the oil in the same pan and add the chopped onions to it. Once the onions soften a little add the sliced garlic.
  • Once the onion and garlic brown add the turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and cumin powder and fry for a minute.
  • Add the water and salt to this mixture and let it come to a simmer.
  • Now add the fish to this mixture and cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the cover and let the fish cook in the mixture for another 5 minutes or till the fish is partially cooked.
  • Now add the spinach – tomato puree to the fish and cover the pan. Let is cook for about 10 minutes.
Your fish in spinach curry is ready to be served either with rice or bread. This recipe is a keeper as far as I am concerned specially for the weeknights. And it serves about 2-3 persons. I hope to be a little more regular now with my posts but I do not think it’s going to be possible till after I am done with my exams. For now, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did. Now I am gonna go have dinner – some fish in spinach gravy with bread…
Vishu Aashamsagal! (Happy New Year…)

As I mentioned in my post a few days back, I celebrate the New year three times a year! And this is the third one in the year – Vishu. So Happy Vishu to everyone. We celebrated Vishu yesterday (15th April). So this is how we celebrate Vishu at home. The night before, Mom sets up the Vishu kanni. It has a plethora of things spread out for you to wake up to and see the first thing in the morning. There are fruits, grains, vegetables, yellow flowers, mirror, lamps, clothes, jewellery, etc.

I prepared everything the night before and was up before sunrise around 5:00 am – 5:15 am. I lit the lamps and candles and woke up Amit and asked him not to open his eyes till I told him to. At home Mom used to do the waking up everyone part. And then the best part of Vishu, everyone gets money from the head of the household. As kids, you can imagine how exciting that part used to be. Oh yes and then the firecrackers early in the morning. When we lived in Bombay, we never did that but in Kerala that’s how it is celebrated. You burst firecrackers to ring in the new year.

And then of course there was a delicious spread of food for lunch. Since I am in a bit of a time crunch with the whole proposal defense thing, I decided to go with appam and stew for dinner and pradavan for dessert. The stew is one of the easiest dishes I have made and it’s so delicious. And it is so versatile because you could make a vegetable stew like I did, or you could switch the vegetables with chicken, mutton or fish. This stew goes best with appams or palappam like they are called. The appam recipe is for another post. Today I will be blogging about the vegetable stew. This is a very easy recipe with a few ingredients and it takes about 30 mins to make. And this recipe serves about 2-3 persons.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 potatoes (chopped into 1/2″ cubes)
  2. 1 medium carrot (same size as the potato)
  3. 1 small onion (thinly sliced)
  4. 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  5. 1/2″ ginger (crushed)
  6. 2-3 green chillies (slit lengthwise) (to taste)
  7. 1 sprig curry leaves
  8. 3 cloves
  9. 1″ piece of cinnamon
  10. 2-3 bay leaves
  11. 4-5 whole black pepper
  12. 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  13. 1/2 – 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper powder
  14. 1 can coconut milk
  15. 1 teaspoon oil
  16. salt to taste

Method:

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan.
  • Then add the whole spices and fry for a minute.
  • Add the onions and fry for s couple of minutes.
  • Next add the ginger, garlic and curry leaves and fry the mixture till the onions are light brown.
  • Now add the coriander powder.
  • Next add the potatoes and carrots and mix till the onion mixture and vegetables are completely mixed.
  • Mix half the can of coconut milk with about a can of water and set it aside. Next add the salt and black pepper to the vegetable mixture. Add this coconut milk to the saucepan and let the vegetables cook completely.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked add about 1/4 cup of coconut milk and let it come to a simmer. Do not boil the stew once you add the coconut milk.


I served the stew hot with appams which Amit actually made. And yes Happy Vishu once again… Hope you enjoy the appam and stew as much as we loved it. And I will be trying to make the appam at home from scratch and posting that soon. And oh yeah, the pradavan recipe too.  So here’s to an awesome new year!

A Quick and Easy Dinner

This week seems to be one of those weeks where I am on a cooking spree. And since I am actually pretty busy, the dishes are going to be very quick ones with few ingredients. Perfect for a busy weekday night! Since I had some of the sausages left over from last night, I decided to make a Frittata with some sweet potatoes and sausages. It takes about 15-20 mins of preparation time and then about 40-45 minutes in the oven. So it does not actually need much of your actual time.

The colors in the dish are very eye-catching, green from the cilantro, orange from the sweet potatoes, yellow from the eggs and a rich brown from the sausage. I am amazed by the orange color of the sweet potatoes, back in India the sweet potatoes are not orange, they are a pale yellow. But I love the orange sweet potatoes, they add so much color to any dish.

Since I do not have much time, these posts are going to be to the point, without much ado. This serves 2-3 persons, 2 if this is all you are serving and 3 if there are some sides.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 medium/large sweet potato (diced)
  2. 2 sausages (I used chicken sausages) – diced into the same size as the sweet potato
  3. 1 cup chopped cilantro
  4. 4-5 green onions (chopped)
  5. 3 eggs
  6. 2 tbsp milk / 1 tbsp cream
  7. 1 cup chopped cilantro (coriander)
  8. 1 tsp red chili flakes
  9. 1/2 tsp powdered black pepper (add more or less to taste)
  10. 2 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
  11. salt to taste
  12. 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

  • Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the red chili flakes.
  • Pre heat the oven to 350 F.
  • Toss in the diced sausages and green onions and let the sausages brown.
  • Once the sausage has browned add the sweet potato and salt and cook for about 5-10 minutes till the sweet potato start softening.
  • In the meanwhile beat the eggs lightly in a bowl, then add the cilantro and the cream/milk and beat.
  • Once the sweet potatoes start softening add the egg mixture.
  • Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top and transfer the pan into the oven.
  • Let the Frittata bake in the oven for about 35-45 mins or till the Frittata is cooked through.

Loved the dish, hope you too love it. It’s easy to make and does not require much of your time. Once the dish is in the oven, you are free to do whatever else you need to. Therefore a perfect weekday dinner. Enjoy!

Muthu, I dedicate this to you!!!

Amit was out-of-town this weekend and I was too bored to cook for just me. But I picked up some broccoli at Safeway yesterday and since he hates broccoli, I decided to finish it before he got back. I am not a big fan of broccoli either, so I had to have it with something I really love. That’s sausages, but again, they are rather unhealthy so I decided to combine the broccoli with some chicken sausages. And then I had to make some  garlic cream sauce to go with the broccoli and sausage. I love garlic…

And I have to dedicate this post to one of my closest friends, Muthu, who is miles away in Zurich now. But when she was here in the US, she used to be the one who used to have all the broccoli when we went out to eat and forgot to tell the waitress not to put broccoli in our dish. She is going to be very proud of me for making broccoli at home. I used to be worried that it would turn all soggy and that I would not like. But as it turns out, not only is broccoli healthy, it is also very quick and easy to make.

This recipe takes about half hour from start to finish. You could serve it with a pasta or bread. I had just this for a light and quick dinner. I would say, that if you are serving this with a pasta or bread, it would serve 2 persons. I had just this for dinner and it was definitely a single serving.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 floret broccoli
  2. 2  chicken sausages (cut into 1/4 inch thick slices)
  3. 6-7 garlic cloves (sliced)
  4. 1 tablespoon sun dried tomato
  5. 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  6. 1/2 tsp oregano
  7. 1/2-1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
  8. 1/4 cup water
  9. 1/4 cup cream
  10. 2 teaspoons olive oil
  11. salt to taste
  12. 1 bowl iced water
  13. shredded parmesan cheese for garnish

Directions:

  • Bring 2-3 cups of water to a boil. Add salt to the water and once the water comes to a boil, add the broccoli florets and let it cook for 1 minute.
  • Immediately after a minute, drain the broccoli out of the water and put it into the bowl of iced water.
  • Heat the olive oil and add the garlic and sun-dried tomato. Saute the garlic and sun-dried tomato till the garlic turns brown.
  • Next add the oregano, red chilli flakes and pepper powder.
  • Mix the ingredients together and add 1/4 cup water.
  • Once the water starts simmering add the cream and mix throughly.
  • Transfer this sauce to a serving bowl and saute the broccoli in the same saucepan for a couple of minutes.
  • Now transfer the broccoli to the serving bowl over the garlic cream sauce.
  • Next saute the sliced chicken sausages in the saucepan till browned on both sides.
  • Now transfer the chicken sausage over the broccoli.
  • Top with some parmesan cheese and serve hot either by itself or with some pasta or bread.

I loved this dish. It has the healthy broccoli and the tasty sausage. The combination is mind blowing and the garlic sauce is very flavorful. And the dish looks very colorful thanks to the bright green of the broccoli.

I am still unpacking so am still trying to locate the batteries for my camera. So sorry about the pictures. I promise, I will have better pictures for my next post.

Happy Gudi Padwa

Spring time in India is time for new year celebrations. It’s amazing how almost each state has a different name and date to celebrate the occasion. And now that I am married to a Maharashtrian, I celebrate two of them at home. April 4th is Gudi Padwa – the Maharashtrian New Year. And in another 10 days I will be celebrating the Vishu, the New Year’s day according to the Malayalam Calender.

Since April 4th happens to be a weekday, it would have been almost impossible for me to make the special dinner / lunch on the 4th, so we decided to celebrate Gudi Padwa on the night of 3rd April, when it’s already 4th in India so technically the new year has already started!!!

So the menu was Puri with some homemade Shrikhand and some payasam / kheer. This post is dedicated to Shrikhand. It is really easy to make and takes about 10 minutes if you have all the ingredients at hand. And it so happens that Amit and I both LOVE SHRIKHAND, so I can guarantee you that we are going to have shrikhand at home very very often now. This serves about 3 persons. I do not have the exact meassurements but the approximate ones should work just fine. You can adjust the ingredients to suit you taste.

Sorry about the pictures, I am still unpacking (we moved to a new place this weekend) and therefore am still trying to locate the camera.

Ingredients:

  1. 21 ounces fat free greek yogurt (you could also use 2%, but you have to use greek yogurt to get the consistency)
  2. 4-6 tablespoons sour cream (more if required to get the desired sourness for your shrikhand)
  3. 4-6 tablespoons powdered sugar (again this can be adjusted to your liking depending on how sweet you like your shrikhand)
  4. a pinch of nutmeg
  5. 3/4 tsp – 1 1/4 tsp powdered cardamom
  6. a few strings of saffron dissolved in a tsp of just warm milk
  7. slivers of almond / pistachio for garnish

Directions:

  • Whisk the greek yogurt in a bowl till it is a smooth consistency (takes about a minute).
  • Now add 3 tablespoons of sour cream and continue whisking.
  • Next add 4 tablespoons of sugar and continue to whisk.
  • Add the saffron, nutmeg and 3/4 tsp cardamom and whisk till the mixture is throughly mixed.
  • Now comes the taste check, I added about 1 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp cardamom and 1 tbsp sour cream to get my desired taste.
  • Serve this chilled with a few slivers of almond or pistachio.

I served this with some puris and both Amit and I loved it. It tasted exactly like the shrikhand we used to get back home in India. Cheers to greek yogurt for making life so much easier and yummier… I did find quite a few recipes online for shrikhand with different variations. The ones that inspired me most are listed below:

http://www.aayisrecipes.com/2007/11/11/shrikhand/

http://chakali.blogspot.com/2009/04/instant-shrikhand-recipe.html

Happy Gudi Padwa to everyone… And for those who celebrate Ugadi or Cheti Chand, my wishes to you too. In case I missed out on naming any of the other festivals, here’s wishing you a very happy new year!!!