Archives for

Less/No Oil Recipes

Indo-Thai Veg Yellow Curry

Thai yellow curry

Thai Yellow curry is one of the staple food of Thai people and probably there are hundreds of recipes to make this mildly spiced, highly aromatic curry.

The Thai yellow curry, also known as Gaeng leuang in local language, varies from rest of  Thai curries, namely, Red Thai curry, Green Thai curry, Masamam Curry etc, in terms of  heat quotient and colour. I have tried green Thai curry and didn’t liked it much, and though Masamam curry tastes good, but I  use the Masamam paste to make Masamam rice, and never the curry. Thai food is not often cooked at my home, hence I haven’t got chance to experiment much with the flavors and textures of various Thai curries. But when I recently tasted Thai yellow curry at a friend’s home, I liked the subtly sweet and aromatic flavors of it. I googled some recipes and referred some recipe books and finally after few trials and errors, I nailed down the flavors that please our palettes. This is not ‘The Authentic Thai Yellow Curry‘ as I couldn’t find some ingredients required in traditional curries. Also, I customized the recipe to make it pleasantly sour by adding tomato and raw mango in vegetable stock along with dry lemon grass. And since Kaffir lime leaves were unavailable, I added a Bay leaf instead (Not a good substitute, I know, but it imparted it’s own flavor in a beautiful way). I used whole, dried Kashmiri Red chillies, instead of Thai chillies. Hence it won’t be wrong if we call this curry as Indo-Thai curry.

The Thai curry pastes are available in grocery stores, and so are the tetra packs and cans of Coconut milk, but since I avoid using any packaged/frozen/canned food for cooking our meals, I preferred to make the paste and coconut milk from scratch. No big deal, I swear! It does need a little bit of preparation but it makes sure that you are serving your family the chemical /preservative/radiation free food.

Ingredients to make Indo-Thai Yellow Curry:

Serves 3-4

For Yellow paste: (makes around  21/2 tbsp of paste)

  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 dry red chillies (Kashmiri or Thai chillies, soaked for 15 min, in 1 cup of warm water)
  • 6 cloves of garlic (peeled)
  • 11/2 inch piece of Galangal, locally known as Kulinjan ( I used normal ginger)
  • 1 small red onion or 2-3 shallots , peeled and diced ( broiled or raw, either will do)
  • 2 tsp Vinegar
  • Pinch of sugar

For vegetable stock:

  • 1 Orange carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 Red carrot, peeled and diced
  • 3-4 french beans, tip off the ends and cut the beans into 2
  • 2-3 florets of Cauliflower (with stem)
  • Few spinach leaves
  • 2-3 button mushrooms, wiped clean and diced
  • 1-2 stalks of lemon grass (Fresh or dry)
  • 1/2 green capsicum, diced
  • 1 tomato cut into two
  • 1 -2 green chillies
  • 4-5 cups of water
  • Few kaffir lime leaves ( I used 1 bayleaf )
  • Half raw mango (Optional)

Vegetables for curry

  • 1 Orange carrot, peeled and diced
  • 4-5 French beans, cut into slants of 1 inch
  • 5-6 button mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced/diced
  • 1 small head of Broccoli (Separate the florets using hands)
  • 5-6 tender baby corns (Use whole if small , or else cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 1 small Yellow capsicum (discard the seeds and cut into large chunks/dices)
  • 1 Red capsicum ( discard the seeds and cut into large chunks/dices)

For Coconut Milk:

  • 1/2  fresh coconut, grated
  • 1-2 cups warm water

Other ingredients:

  • 1 tsp or more of Turmeric powder
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1/2 tsp Lemongrass powder
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • Basil leaves (Optional)
  • 1/2 tsp or more of Sugar

Method:

To make Vegetable stock:

  • In a pressure cooker, put all the vegetables listed under ‘For Vegetable stock’ list, except tomato and lemongrass. Saute for a while and add around 4-5 cups of water. Add tomato and lemon grass and close the lid of cooker.
  • Wait for 5 whistles (or after 1st whistle of pressure cooker, lower the flame and let the broth simmer under pressure for 4-6 minutes). Put off the flame and let the pressure subside. Strain the broth and keep it aside.

 

 To make Yellow paste:

  • Dry roast on griddle, the cumin and coriander seeds till aromatic, without letting them turn into darker shades (roast on low flame). Cool well.
  • Discard the water in which red chillies were soaked.
  • Now grind/blend all the ingredients listed under ‘For yellow paste’, including the roasted cumin seeds, coriander seeds and soaked red chillies. Use few drops of water, if needed, and make a smooth paste.This is our Yellow curry paste

To make Coconut milk:

  • Grate the fresh coconut and  add 1-2 cups of warm water to it. After 10-15 minutes, blend it till smoother in texture. Strain well using muslin cloth or cheese cloth. Add some more water, if needed , so as to make at least 11/2 cups of coconut milk.

 Finally To make Indo Thai veg yellow curry:

  • In a pot or pan, take 1 tbsp of oil and add the yellow curry paste. Cook well for 2 minutes and add all the vegetables, except the capsicums. Add salt, turmeric powder and bit of sugar and mix well. Let the vegetables absorb some flavors of aromatic curry paste. After 2-3 minutes, add the reserved vegetable stock (broth) and let the mixture come to a boil. Use as much stock as much the quantity of curry is required. Reserve some stock if excess or add some water if stock is less.
  • Simmer the curry till vegetables are almost cooked. Add capsicums, lemongrass powder and taste to adjust the seasonings. If curry is less salty, add bit of salt, if less tart, add some lemon juice. If less spicy, then add some black pepper powder. But do not add any sugar even if the curry tastes less sweet, because we are yet to add the coconut milk.
  • Now add around 1 1/2  cups of coconut milk and let the curry simmer for few minutes.DO NOT LET THE CURRY BOIL, or else the coconut milk might curdle. Add some basil leaves (optional…I didn’t liked the flavor of basil in this curry, hence I skipped it when I made this curry for second time).
  • Finally taste the curry again and adjust the seasonings.
  • Serve with plain steamed rice, preferably Jasmine rice (It tastes equally good with Basmati rice or even Kolam rice).

 

 

Sweet and Sour Salad wraps

Sweet and sour salad wraps

This refreshing salad is easy to make and the sweet and sour flavors blend so well. Wrapping the salad in a lettuce leaf or salad leaf, gives it an exotic look.The crunch of lettuce, followed by the sweet and sour flavors of honey, melon, dried fruits and raw mango, lemon juice, respectively. Pomegranate seeds and mint leaves taste so refreshing!

The ingredients used, and the quantities mentioned, could easily be tweaked as per your choice. Feel free to add and omit whatever you please.

Ingredients for Sweet and sour salad wraps

  • Carrot 1 small
  • Cucumber 1 small
  • Red onion 1
  • Tomato 1
  • Zucchini 1/2
  • Bell pepper 1/2
  • Dried figs 2-3
  • Semi dried apricots 2
  • Some fresh pomegranate seeds
  • Boiled Potato 1 small
  • Unsalted roasted peanuts  crushed 2tbsp
  • Finely chopped raw mango 2-3 tsp
  • Firm Honeydew melon (finely chopped, 2tbsp) (optional)
  • Few mint leaves

For the dressing:

  • Freshly squeezed  juice of  1 lemon/lime
  • Honey 1-2 tsp
  • Salt
  • Red chilly flakes/powder 1/2 tsp (or as per your taste)

To wrap salad:

  • Fresh crisp leaves of lettuce or salad leaves
  • Some toothpicks

Method:

  • Rinse Iceberg lettuce or Salad leaves (whichever available) and soak the leaves in cold water and refrigerate till use.
  • Rinse all the vegetables, fruits, and dried fruits.
    Peel carrot, cucumber and onion and finely chop them. Chop rest of the vegetables, apricots and dried figs.
  • If you do not have unsalted roasted peanuts, then simply roast the plain peanuts in a  pan, using few drops of oil, till they crackle. Cool and  rub between your palms to separate the skin of peanuts. Crush these lightly to obtain coarse nuts.
  • Peel potato and cut it into small dices. Roast in a pan (add little bit of oil)  till lightly brown.
  • In a small bowl mix lemon juice, salt, red chilly flakes and honey and stir well.
  • In a large bowl mix all the chopped vegetables, fruits and dried fruits. Add potato, pomegranate seeds and crushed peanuts. Mix in the salad dressing and toss the salad gently. Tear some mint leaves, with hands and add to salad. Check the seasoning and adjust as per taste. Let the mixture sit for a while so that the flavors blend in slightly (5-10 minutes). Drain excess liquid/juice. (use it to add in the Dal/curry/kneading  chapati dough).
  • Just before serving, remove the salad leaves from water and for each serving, place a spoonful of mixed salad and wrap the leaves around so as to make a roll or a’ wrap’. Use more than 1 leaf if the leaf is tender and unable to hold the salad. You can  ‘pin  down’ the wrap by using a toothpick. Serve immediately.

 

Koke Pallo| Traditional Sindhi Style Stuffed And Baked Fish

hilsa fish stuffed

A very traditional and unique way to cook fish, Koke Pallo is nothing but a whole fish stuffed with Sindhi style Onion garlic mixture, with the tangy tamarind or lime juice, wrapped in a layer of rolled dough and baked to perfection. The tender moist texture of fish and the perfectly spiced up stuffing makes Koke Pallo a fantastic party food.

whole baked fish

Preparation time: 30 min
Marination time: 30 min
Cooking time: 25-35 min
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients:
• Pallo (Bhing/Hilsa) whole 1
• Salt
• 1 tsp turmeric powder
• 2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
For the Stuffing:
• 2 Onions Grated or minced
• 4-6 cloves of garlic
• 2 inch piece of Ginger
• 3-4 Green chilies
• 1 cup fresh coriander leaves
• ½ tsp Turmeric powder
• 1 tsp Red chili powder
• 1 tbsp coriander powder
• 3 tbsp Tamarind pulp (Sieved)
• Salt as per taste
• 1 tbsp oil or ghee

To wrap the fish:
• 2 cups flour (Whole-wheat flour as well as Maida could be used)
• Water to knead dough
Method:
• Remove scales of the fish if any, clean and pat dry it. Cut open the fish moving the knife from head towards the tail, to make space for stuffing the fish, without separating the two halves.
• Marinate for half hour with salt, turmeric powder and lime juice. Drain and keep aside.
• Knead stiff dough from wholewheat flour (or use maida) and water and let it rest for a while.
• Pound coriander leaves, green chilies, ginger and garlic in a mortar pestle till coarse mixture is obtained.
• Grate onions and mix the pounded mixture to it.
• Add the spice powders, tamarind pulp, and 1 tbsp ghee. Instead of tamarind, lime juice of 3-4 lemons/lime could be used.
• Stuff the fish with this stuffing. Using a pastry brush, apply a thin layer of oil to the surface of fish.
• Divide the dough into two halves and roll each so as to make a Roti big enough to hold the fish.
• Place fish on one rolled roti and wrap it. Place rolled dough to completely cover the whole fish from all sides. Seal with dough, if any portions of fish are visible. The wrap must cover the fish tightly from all the sides.
• Preheat the oven to 180°C.
• Place the wrapped fish on a greased tray or aluminum foil-lined tray and bake for around 25-35 minutes or till the wrapped layer is golden brown.
• Transfer the baked fish on a serving plate and break open the crust while serving. Serve it on a bed of cabbage leaves, along with some limes, tomato, onion etc.

hilsa bhing fish cooked in Indian style sindhi style

Hyderabadi Mixed Vegetable Curry ! A Marut Sikka Recipe

Veg Hyderabadi

A long time ago I watched Marut Sikka on TV, cooking this Mixed vegetable curry, Hyderabad style! Of course I noted down the recipe and then down it went in the stacks of hand written recipes !

And then, when I landed upon this particular recipe while cleaning my wardrobe, I immediately cooked it for the lunch. This curry could be made as a dry/semi dry/semi liquid mixed vegetable subzi ! Unlike the rich creamy, butter laden red gravies or white ones, this is mildly spiced with hint of  cardamom, cinnamon and clove powder. As such its not much spicy and upon that I further toned it down, by using chopped green chillies, instead of red chilli powder as suggested in the original recipe. So if you  are looking for a recipe of a curry that have flavors of individual vegetables without the overpowering spices, then this is it !

Ingredients for Veg Hyderabadi (Mixed vegetable curry mildly spiced with cinnamon and clove powder):

  • Diced/ sliced vegetables 2 cups (Carrots, beans, baby corn)
  • Shelled peas  a handful
  • Potatoes 2
  • Aubergine (Brinjal/ Eggplant) 1
  • Florets of Cauliflower (6-8 small florets)
  • Finely chopped Onion 1
  • Ginger paste 1tsp
  • Garlic paste 2 tsp
  • Bay leaves 2
  • Yogurt/ curd 1/2 cup
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice (of half lemon/lime)
  •  Green cardamom powder 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon powder (a pinch)
  • Clove powder (a pinch)
  • Finely chopped green chillies 2
  • Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
  • Ghee 1 tbsp
  • Oil for shallow frying vegetables 2 tbsp
  • Salt as per taste

Method:

  • Heat ample of water in a pan and let it come to boil. Add peeled and sliced  (in strips) potatoes , some salt and let the potatoes cook till almost done. Add shelled peas somewhere in the mid of boiling.Drain and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry sliced/ diced vegetables individually for couple of minutes.( Fry sliced carrots for 2-3 minutes and drain on kitchen towel. Then fry cauliflower, brinjal, beans etc, in similar way, one by one).
  • Heat 1 tbsp of ghee in a pan and add bay leaves. After few seconds, add garlic paste, ginger paste, chopped onion and saute well till the mixture is light brown in colour ( I also added few leaves of spinach, blanched and chopped).
  • Add yogurt/ curd and mix vigorously on high flame.
  • Add turmeric powder, green chillies and cook well.
  • Add all the fried vegetables along with boiled potatoes and peas. Add salt, lemon juice and spice powders ( You can roast and crush the spices finely)
  • Mix well and let the flavors blend by cooking for couple of minutes. Add some warm water if you want the consistency of semi liquid gravy.
  • Garnish with coriander and serve with Roti or rice.

Rajasthani Gatte Ki Sabzi| Steamed Gramflour Dumplings In Delicious Curry

gatte ki sabzi

Rajasthan, the “Land of kings”  is the pride of India. Geographically it lies in the north west of India and is famous for its roots belonging to Indus Valley civilization. The far spread dessert areas, the Aravalli mountain ranges cradling  the beautiful Mount Abu, the grand palaces-now-turned-into luxury hotels, the lakes of Udaipur, the pink city, National parks, Dilwara temples etc attracts many tourists from all over the world.

Rajasthan has a rich heritage and have a distinct rustic feel in its folk culture. Bright splashes of colours could be seen in their places and clothes, and also in food. Having an arid environment, vegetables are scarce and available only in respective seasons. Hence the daily diet is much dependent on flour based dishes (Bajra, chickpea, Wheat, etc) and sun-dried vegetables along with meat.

Here is the recipe of  a very famous Rajasthani dish, called Gatte ki Subzi. The spiced, gram flour dumplings are steamed and added to the curry. The curry could be either a curd based, or Onion tomato based. There are many variations of this dish, each having its own flavors.

For Making Gatte (Steamed Gram flour Dumplings)

  • Chickpea flour/ Gram flour (Besan) 11/2 cup
  • Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder 1 tsp
  • Raw mango powder (Amchoor) 1/2 tsp
  • Green chilli paste 1 tsp (or 2 chillies finely chopped)
  • Red chilli powder 1/2 tsp
  • Carom seeds (Ajwain) 1/2 tsp
  • Refined oil 2 tbsp
  • Yogurt/Curd (Dahi) 3 tbsp (more or less*)
  • A pinch of Baking soda (Optional)
  • Asafoetida (Hing) a generous pinch
  • Salt as per taste
  • Few tsp of Warm water

For Making Gravy

  • Onions 2 large
  • Yogurt (Dahi) 200 gm
  • Ginger Garlic paste 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida (hing) A pinch
  • Coriander ppwder 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala powder 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds 1 tsp
  • Oil 1 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing

Method:
For Gatte (Dumplings)

  • Sieve gram flour and add all the ingredients except yogurt
  • Beat the yogurt well with a fork spoon and add it gradually in the gram flour, pouring 1-2 tsp at intervals to bring the flour together. Keep on adding curd till soft dough is obtained. You can add few tsp of warm water to soften the dough and make the kneading easy.You might need more or less curd than the above mentioned quantity*.
  • Let the dough rest, covered with a kitchen towel and in the meantime keep a huge shallow container with flat base ( preferred but not compulsory) filled with water for boiling.
  • As the water starts bubbling, divide the dough into 6-7 parts and roll each one into cylindrical rolls (like Cigars).
  • Carefully add cylindrical rolls into water and let these boil for 15-18 minutes or till the dumplings pass the skewer test (A knife or toothpick when inserted into the dumpling, must come out clean). Or else boil for few more minutes.
  • Take out the steamed rolls and drain in colander. Reserve the boiling water (in which rolls were boiled) and add it to the gravy later.
  • Cut each roll into smaller 1-2 inch pieces and keep aside.

For Gravy

  • Heat 1tbsp of oil in a pan and add Hing and cumin seeds.When the seeds crackle, add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.
  • Add finely chopped onions and saute till translucent.
  • In a bowl, mix yogurt, ginger garlic paste and powdered spices (Turmeric, coriander, garam masala) and mix well.
  • When onions turn pink and soft, add the yogurt mix and cook on high heat, mixing vigorously. Cook till oil separates out.
  • Add the reserved water and bring the gravy to boil. Add salt and  Gatte (dumplings) and cook on high heat for 10 minutes or so. Adjust the consistency of gravy as per your preferences.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with hot Rotis/phulkas

Here are some other type of curries made using Gatte:
Sindhi Style Gatte ki sabzi

Gatte cooked with Onion

 

 

Chinese Style Vegetable Fried Rice

A quick fix, delicious Chinese style Vegetable fried rice recipe !

Vegetable fried rice

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups of rice, soaked for half hour
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 small white onions/ spring onions/ red onion finely chopped
  • 11/2 Cup chopped vegetables(French beans, carrot, capsicum, baby corn)
  • 1 tbsp Soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp vinegar with few pinches of Sugar
  • 2-3 green chillies (depending upon your preference)
  • Ajinomotto (optional, I didn’t used any)
  • 1/4 tsp White/black pepper powder
  • Sal as per taste
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Spring onions chopped (for garnish)
  • Method:
  • Soak, rinse well and cook rice with some salt and water till al dente (almost cooked)
  • Drain excess water using colander and keep aside for 10-15 minutes (You can use strainer)or till completely dry.Fluff with a fork.
  • In a wok or pan, add oil, add ginger garlic and saute for 1 minute.
  • Add onion and saute till translucent (Do not let it brown)
  • Add chopped chillies, chopped vegetables and some salt ( remember there is salt in rice and also in soya sauce). Stir fry on high heat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add rice and soya sauce.Add vinegar and mix gently.You can add pepper powder and ajinomotto (optional)
  • Stir fry on high heat but make sure not to let the rice burn or stick to the bottom of pan.If sticking, just sprinkle some water or transfer the rice to microwave safe bowl and cook on ‘High’ for 3-4 minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped greens on spring onions and serve hot with Vegetable manchurian in sauce

This post was submitted by admin.

Hasselback Potatoes|Oven roasted potatoes with herbs

Hasselback potatoes

Forget the greasy fried potatoes, or the unhealthy French fries.This is one yummy way of enjoying delicious potatoes, crisp from outside, yet soft from within, spiced with fresh or dried herbs in olive oil, roasted in oven. Serve as a side dish or top it with some cheese, or pesto dip and savor every bite without any guilt pangs.

The recipe is adapted from here. Though ideally the potatoes aren’t peeled, I have to, because the potato skin didn’t looked edible even after scrubbing a lot.

Since some minute changes were done as compared to original recipe, due to unavailability of certain ingredients, here is my version of the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large, oblong potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Few pinches of garlic powder or finely crushed garlic cloves 2
  • 3 tbsps. olive oil
  • 3 tbsps. of mix herbs.I had dried herbs like mint, parsley, thyme and oregano.You can use whatever you have in your pantry
  • Black salt – 2 pinches
  • Salt (Preferably sea salt) to taste

Method:

  • Preheat the oven at 220 degree C
  • Wash and scrub the potatoes well.Use hot water to get rid of  dirt/grit.If still concerned regarding the look of skin of potatoes, better peel and proceed further.
  • Slice the potatoes at equal distance of about 1/2 centimeter or less, taking care not the run the knife till end of the base. Just slice till 3/4th of the depth of potato. (Refer picture)
  • In a bowl, take the olive oil and mix all the herbs along with salt.
  • Carefully pour the ‘herb-ed oil’ in between slices, a little in each gap between slices.
  • Line baking tray with foil. Arrange the potatoes, leaving some space between each.
  • Pour over the potatoes, the remaining oil, if any.
  • Bake on 220 degree C, for around 35-50 minutes, depending upon your oven. The outer layer must look brown and crisp, while flesh inside is soft .
  • Garnish with some black pepper powder and dried herbs and serve immediately.