Posts Tagged ‘Potato’

Summer’s here and so is the June Daring Cook’s Challenge!!

I was driving to work the other day and the weather forecast was being read on the radio. And this is what they said – “Cooler temperatures today, with a high of 106F”. That’s when I knew summer in Phoenix has arrived. So when the daring cooks challenge for June was announced, it fit in perfectly with the rising summer temperatures. A healthy potato salad!!! I have never been a fan of the mayonnaise laden potato salads that are so common. So I decided to create my version of a potato salad, healthy and fresh!!!

Jami Sorrento was our June Daring Cooks hostess and she chose to challenge us to celebrate the humble spud by making a delicious and healthy potato salad. The Daring Cooks Potato Salad Challenge was sponsored by the nice people at the United States Potato Board, who awarded prizes to the top 3 most creative and healthy potato salads. A medium-size (5.3 ounce) potato has 110 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium and includes nearly half your daily value of vitamin C and has more potassium than a banana!

I chose to make a potato and chicken sausage salad with a lime-garlic-basil dressing. The chicken sausage is optional, I added it in because I found these interesting jalapeno-mango chicken sausages, which I thought would go well with the potato salad. And they added an awesome twist to the potato salad. This recipe serves 2 and takes about 1/2 hour to make (most of the time is spent in roasting the potatoes).

Ingredients:

  1. 20-25 small red potatoes (halved with skin)
  2. 1 jalapeno-mango chicken sausage (sliced and cooked)
  3. 1/2 cup chopped green onions (only the green part)
  4. salt to taste
  5. 1/4-1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  6. 2 tbsp olive oil

For the dressing

  1. 1/8 cup olive oil
  2. 1/4 cup lime juice
  3. 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  4. 1/4 tsp black pepper
  5. salt to taste
  6. 2 cloves chopped roasted garlic
  7. 1/4 – 1/2 tsp red chili flakes

Directions:

  • Mix the potatoes with the olive oil, salt and black pepper.
  • Roast it in the oven till the potatoes are cooked through.
  • Mix the cooked chicken sausages, potatoes and green onions.
  • Mix all the ingredients under ‘For the dressing’ in a grinder.
  • Mix the dressing with the salad and serve it warm.

I promise, you will love it. The dressing adds a fresh zing to the potato salad. And the sausage is completely optional. I loved it though as the sausage added an interesting twist to the potato salad.

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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 Lunch

I know I have once again managed to disappear but I guess that’s going to be the case for the next couple of months. My PhD program is at last coming to an end (hopefully). So now I have a research proposal to submit in March and then a written and oral proposal defense right after that. So March is pretty much going to be a very, very busy month. As for now I will try my best to post atleast once every week. This afternoon I wanted to make something quick and easy before we left for the lab. I was searching for ingredients in the refrigerator and the pantry. I found some onions, potatoes, green peas, sausages and some eggs. Obviously these ingredients come together best in a casserole. I also like to add a little crispness to the casserole, like a pie crust.

 

It took about 45-55 minutes to prepare, cook and bake this dish. It will easily serve about 4-5 persons.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 gold potatoes (chopped into 1/2 inch pieces)
  2. 1 small red onion (sliced)
  3. 1 cup green peas
  4. 2 teaspoons olive oil
  5. 1/2 cup chopped coriander
  6. 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
  7. 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  8. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  10. 2 hot Italian sausages (Use more if you like more meat in the casserole)
  11. 4 tablespoons of grated cheese
  12. 3 eggs
  13. 1/4 cup flour
  14. 1/4 cup milk
  15. 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Directions

  • Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil and add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splutter add 1/2 teaspoon, black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the chopped coriander leaves. Stir the spices and the coriander leaves together. 
  • Now add the sliced red onions and saute the onions till they soften (about 5 minutes).
  • Next add the potatoes and the green peas and stir till all the spices and the vegetables mix together thoroughly.
  • Add a few teaspoons of water and cover and cook for about 5-10 minutes.
  • In the meanwhile prepare a baking dish by applying 1/2 teaspoon of butter all over the dish.
  • Once the vegetables have softened, transfer the vegetables into the baking dish.
  • Remove the cover from the sausages and crush it into small pieces.
  • Cove the sausages in a pan till thoroughly cooked, then transfer it into the baking dish over the layer of vegetables.
  • Sprinkle the grated cheese over the sausages.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 374 degree F.
  • Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the flour, milk, cream, and remaining salt and pepper to it.
  • Pour this mixture over the sausages and bake the casserole for about 25-35 minutes or till the crust is a golden brown.
  • To test if the casserole is completely baked, insert a toothpick into the casserole and if it comes out clean, it’s ready to be taken out of the oven.

We loved the casserole and I am definitely going to try different combinations of vegetables, spices and meat. And this is definitely a recipe that I am going to repeat pretty often. Hope you enjoy the recipe too. And I am definitely going to try my best to atleast post one recipe every week. There is a pav bhaji recipe that I most definitely have to post soon. Which I will because I have a lot of potatoes leftover from my last trip to the grocery store.

Back after a short break…

I have been away from my blog for a few days now. Well it’s not because I have been lazy, it’s more because I have had too many things happening all around me. Just never found the time to get to my blog. Also, Amit and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary last week. But am back now.

Last week we bought a lot of fish and I really needed to finish it before it got stale. I remember seeing a fish recipe which had some potatoes in them, so thought of doing just that. Though I do not remember the recipe but the idea of putting fish and potatoes together in the same dish intrigued me. For the red curry sauce I made a few changes to the recipe I found at a website which I have linked at the end of my blog. So here’s my own version of fish and potatoes in red curry sauce recipe.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 tilapia fillets
  2. 1 small potato
  3. 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  4. 4 garlic cloves (chopped fine)
  5. 3 sweet peppers (small) (chopped fine)
  6. 1 cup chopped red onion
  7. 2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
  8. 1 teaspoon curry powder
  9. 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  10. 4 teaspoon soy sauce
  11. 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  12. 7 ounce coconut milk
  13. 2 tablespoons chopped coriander
  14. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  15. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  16. salt to taste
  17. 2 teaspoons olive oil

Directions:

Preparing the Fish

  • Marinate the tilapia fillets in some salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground) for about 15 minutes.
  • Heat the broiler in the meanwhile.
  • Slice the potato into really thin slices.
  • Broil the fish fillets on one side for about 10 minutes.
  • Turn the fillets over and place the potato slices on top of the fish fillets. Broil this side for about 5 minutes. Once the potatoes start turning brown, turn over the potato slices. Once this side also browns set aside the fish and potato slices.

Preparing the Red Curry sauce

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan.
  • Add the ginger and garlic and saute this till it turns light brown.
  • Add the onions and fry it till it turns light brown. Now add the sweet pepper and cook till the pepper is soft and cooked through.
  • Once the pepper is cooked, add the cumin powder and curry powder and saute for a couple of minutes.
  • Then add the soy sauce, brown sugar and curry paste and stir till the mixture is homogeneous.
  • Next add the coconut milk and simmer for about 5 minutes. Now add the salt to taste. (The curry paste and soy sauce usually have some salt, therefore be careful when adding more salt)
  • Add the lemon juice and chopped cilantro and stir it.
  • Now remove the sauce from heat.
  • To serve, place the fish fillet in a plate and pour the red curry sauce over the fish fillet.
  • I cut the fillet into smaller pieces just because it’s easier to serve.

This serves two persons and does make some extra sauce. I was able to use the leftover sauce, the next day, with some boiled eggs. The entire recipe takes about 45 minutes from start to finish. And here is the original recipe for the red curry sauce http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=10000000348346. I did make some changes to suit my taste buds. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. You can make the sauce and use it as a topping over any other vegetables / meat. We loved this sauce over the boiled eggs as well.

Fish Cutlets

Posted: November 14, 2010 in Appetizers, Fish, Potatoes, Snacks
Tags: , , , ,
A walk down memory lane

I remember cutlets being the appetizer that my mom used to make when we had guests over. She used to make vegetable cutlets, fish cutlets, kheema cutlets. They are actually pretty easy to make and beyond delicious.

I have made vegetable cutlets before; they are my favorite among cutlets. I bought some tilapia at the grocery store the other day and had plans to fry or roast it for dinner. Then I noticed some boiled potatoes in the refrigerator, and that’s when it hit me, fish cutlets!!!

Mom always used to make some extra cutlets for next day. I loved the cutlets the next day (not that I ate any less on the day of the party) because they used to be served piping hot – from the stove to my plate. The fish cutlets she used to make were from the tastiest fish varieties ever – I so long for the fresh fish from the fish markets in Bombay. I guess I’ll have to make do with the tilapia for now. So here’s the recipe for fish cutlets. You can make them even the day before and save yourself sometime on the day of a party. This recipe makes about 12 cutlets.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 Tilapia fillets
  2. salt and black pepper for seasoning the fish
  3. 2 potatoes – boiled and mashed
  4. 1 onion large
  5. 4 green chillies
  6. 2 cloves garlic
  7. 2 tsp black pepper
  8. 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  9. 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  10. 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  11. coriander leaves (1 cup chopped)
  12. 1 egg
  13. bread crumbs (made from 3-4 slices)
  14. 2 teaspoons oil
  15. oil for frying
  16. salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Season the fish fillets with salt and black pepper. Set this aside for a about 15 minutes.
  2. Bake the fish in the preheated oven at 350 deg F. Turn the fillet over after about 5-7 minutes. Turn over the fillet once again after another 5-7 minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven after about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Shred the fish into small pieces and set aside.
  4. In the meanwhile boil the potatoes and mash the potatoes to a smooth consistency.
  5. Chop the onions, green chillies and garlic cloves.
  6. Heat the oil and when hot add the onions and fry for a couple of minutes.
  7. Add the green chillies and the garlic and fry all the ingredients till the onions turn a brown in color.
  8. Now add the cumin, coriander powder and fry for a couple of minutes till the ingredients are mixed together well.
  9. Reduce the heat and add the mashed potatoes and mix well.
  10. Add salt to taste.
  11. Remove the potato mixture from the heat and add the shredded fish, coriander leaves and the lime juice to it. Mix all the ingredients together and ensure that the mixture has a sticky consistency.
  12. Make about 12 flat patties out of the mixture and set aside.
  13. Beat the egg in a separate bowl.
  14. Make the bread crumbs and set aside.
  15. Take each flat patty and apply a little egg on both side and then cover with the bread crumbs.
  16. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and place the cutlets in the frying pan.
  17. Fry the cutlets till brown on both sides.

This recipe takes about 30-40 minutes for preparation and another 10-15 mins for frying. These cutlets can be served with any kind of bread and some people also like some ketchup on the side. Some green chutney would also go well with the cutlets. I made these cutlets atleast 3 weeks back but then had a conference to go to so had to put an hold on the blog. But am back now and will be back to regular postings as before. You can easily substitute the fish with any other, it is not necessary to use tilapia. And the outer crust for the cutlets can be made using a lot of ingredients but I love the version with bread crumbs. You could also use corn meal or semolina. Hope you enjoy making these cutlets as much as my I did.

The Dassera Special

Being a Keralite brought up in Bombay has given me the opportunity to see different festivals celebrated in so many different ways. For instance Dassera, the name itself, can be spelt in so many different ways. I have always associated Dassera with two things, one being Dandiya and another being books (lets say the lack of it). For me Dassera is synonymous with the music and dance that people enjoy for during the entire festival. It does get pretty loud but it is also so pleasing to the eye – the colorfully decorated ‘pandals’, the beautifully dressed up girls and of course the music… You start dancing to the music without much effort, you don’t need to know how to – in fact I am sure Amit (who, I am pretty sure, has two left feet) can also manage pretty well.  I so miss being in India for these festivals.

The other reason for me so looking forward to this particular festival is the way we traditionally celebrate it in Kerala. At home we celebrate it primarily as Saraswati Puja (worshipping the goddess of knowledge). Ashtami, Navami, and Vijaya Dashami the last three of the ten day festival are celebrated as Saraswati Puja in which books are worshiped. For me it had always been a three day festival at home. When you say worshipping the books, it literally means that, we used to set aside our school books for the puja on the 1st day and then on the 3rd day after the rituals are completed the books are given back to us. And during the three days we are not allowed to study!!! So now you know why, as a kid, this was indeed the most awesome three days.

In Kerala, the books are either kept at home for worshiping, or at the temple. The third day, Vijaya Dashami is also considered to be a very auspicious day to initiate children into the world of books (or rather into reading and writing). This ceremony is called Vidyarambham (which quite literally translates to Vidya – Knowledge, Arambham – beginning).

And then there was the Ayudha Puja (worship of tools, implements, weapons, automobiles, etc) which was also on the same day as the Saraswati puja. Our car used to get decked up in a garland. In fact any automobile you would see on the streets would have the garland.

In fact this festival is celebrated in different ways in different states in India. Since I am no expert, I won’t delve into the details. But it is celebrated with much grandeur in almost all the states.

So that being said, we celebrated Dassera this Sunday at home. And since I was a bit too busy celebration for us meant cooking and then eating some awesome food. I decided on a 3-course meal and I intend to share all three recipes right here. We started off with an appetizer, the main course and of course ended with a sweet dish.

This post is to share the Aloo Mutter recipe that I made thanks to the recipe I found online. The link is given at the end of the blog. The recipe I found was for Mutter Paneer (Indian Cheese with peas) but since the appetizer had paneer, I decided to adapt the recipe for Potatoes and Peas in a Tomato gravy. The recipe takes about 30-40 minutes from start to finish.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 medium sized potatoes (cut into chunks and boiled)
  2. 1 cup green peas (cooked)
  3. 2 large tomatoes
  4. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  5. 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  6. 1″ piece cinnamon
  7. 4-5 cloves
  8. 4-5 green cardamom
  9. 10-15 cashews
  10. 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  11. 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  12. 1 teaspoon garam masala
  13. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  14. 1 cup plain yogurt (make sure the yogurt is not sour)
  15. 2 teaspoons cream (optional)
  16. 1 teaspoon oil
  17. Coriander leaves for garnish
  18. Salt to taste

Directions:

  • Soak the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and cashews in hot water for 10-15 minutes.
  • In the meanwhile cook the potatoes and peas separately.
  • Make a puree of the tomatoes in the blender.
  • Grind the whole spices and cashew to a fine paste.
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium heat and add the paste to it.
  • Fry the paste for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour in the tomato puree and cook for another 5 minutes (or till the sauce starts getting thick).
  • Add the chili powder, garam masala, coriander powder and turmeric powder and let the gravy cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Now add the yogurt and continue stirring on a low flame to a simmer.
  • Add the cooked peas and potatoes and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the cream and garnish with some coriander leaves and serve hot.

Since it was Dassera, I decided to indulge in some puris to go along with this dish. But you can serve this with any form of bread (indian or otherwise).  The ingredients listed above make about 4 servings. The original recipe is  available at http://www.tarladalal.com/Spicy-Mutter-Paneer-15657r. Hope you enjoy this version of Aloo Mutter. Sorry about the pictures, I took it a hurry, as I was worried that we would finish most of it and I won’t have any left to take pictures.

A Taste of Bombay…

The other day a friend of mine posted this link on facebook, http://www.cnngo.com/mumbai/eat/40-mumbai-foods-we-cannot-live-without-974140. And that was good enough to trigger a lot of awesome mouth watering memories. I so wanted the bombay sandwich, the Tibbs’  frankie at shivaji park, the samosa chole at Guru Kripa, the vada pav n the list goes on. I was in no mood to make anything that would take more than 1/2 hour. So I decided to make the Bombay sandwich for dinner. I know it’s not so much a dinner meal but well I guess I decide what’s on the menu!!!

And add to that the fact that my mom used to make a version of the bombay sandwich for lunch. And I remember my friends used to devour all of it and well I used to devour their lunch. So I made some Bombay Sandwiches for dinner. I was in such a hurry to eat it all up that I totally missed taking the photos part… But here’s my version of the bombay sandwich recipe. I’ll put up the pics next time I make them. This recipe takes about 1/2 hour to make from start to finish.

Ingredients:

  1. 6 slices of bread (white bread is the original bread used but I used slices of multi-grain bread)
  2. 2-3 medium sized potatoes, boiled and sliced
  3. 2 tomatoes, sliced
  4. 1 large onion, sliced
  5. 1 medium cucumber, sliced
  6. 1 cup fresh coriander
  7. 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  8. 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  9. 3 cloves garlic
  10. 1/8 medium onion
  11. 1 green chili (to taste)
  12. 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  13. 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  14. 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  15. salt to taste
  16. butter to spread

Directions:

  • Grind the coriander leaves, mint leaves, tamarind, garlic cloves, 1/8 onion, green chili, cumin powder, lemon juice in a blender.
  • Add salt to taste. If the chili turns out to be too spicy add some more sugar.
  • Spread the butter on one side of a slice, spread the green chutney over the butter and add one layer of potatoes, one layer of tomatoes , one layer of cucumber and one layer of onion.
  • Place the second slice (buttered and green chutney spread on one side) over this and then butter and apply the green chutney on the other side.
  • Again add the vegetables as before and top it off with the third slice of bread (buttered and the green chutney spread).
  • I like to chill the sandwich for half hour in the refrigerator before serving.
  • Cut the sandwich into 4 squares or triangles before serving.
  • This is also served toasted.

This makes 2 sandwiches, which were  pretty filling. I am almost always content with one sandwich. Now that I have made the bombay sandwich and devoured it, I now have my eyes on the frankie. I will most definitely be trying to make one as close as possible to the Tibb’s frankie. (Tibb’s frankie is a chain which makes the most mouth-watering frankies – a must try if you go to Bombay).

My mom’s version of the sandwich was made with a coconut chutney instead of the green chutney. That used to taste awesome too. I must ask her to make one for me the next time I go to India. After all you can never replicate your mom’s recipe. You can just get close enough to it.