Archive for category Ease your life

vegetable salna (diluted curry)

If you happen to travel to the southern most states of India such as Kerala and Tamil nadu, one cannot miss the sight of fast food shops on street, one after the other, some sell fried rice and noodles, some ‘parotta and salna’. These street side shops are a life-saver for the working class.  It’s a quick 10 minute fast-food that you can grab and go and it’s pretty delicious.

vegetable salna and parotta

I tried making the parotta (yes,  from scratch) to go with this curry, but there’s definitely lot of room for improvement, hence I shall save that for a later post.   If you are interested, you can find tons of recipes online to make it from scratch.  Coming back to the highlight of the post, ‘salna’, which is a diluted form of curry cooked with pieces of meat such as chicken or lamb or just some veggies.

you will need:

  1. ½ red onion or 4-5 pearl onions chopped coarsely
  2. 2 tomatoes chopped coarsely
  3. 2 green chillies
  4. 4 cloves
  5. 1 stick of cinnamon
  6. 2 tsp of fennel seeds
  7. 1 tsp of poppy seeds
  8. 1 tsp of black pepper corns
  9. 4-5 garlic cloves
  10. 1” piece of ginger
  11. ½ cup shredded coconut
  12. 4 cashewnuts
  13. 1-2 tsp of red chilli powder
  14. 1 tsp of coriander powder
  15. ¼ tsp of turmeric
  16. 1 cup of veggies (peas, carrot and cauliflower)
  17. salt to taste

make it:

to grind:

* In a wide pan, add 2 tsp of oil, and add items 1- 11 and fry them for 5-7 minutes until the onion and tomatoes get partially cooked.

* Add the chilli + coriander + turmeric powder, mix well and let it cool for 10 minutes.  Add the cashews to the mix, and grind everything to a coarse paste by adding ½ a cup of water

for the curry:

* If you have a pressure cooker pan, that is ideal, else, a wide non-stick pan is sufficient.

* Add 3 tsp of oil, once the oil is heated, add the vegetables of your choice, sauté for 4-5 minutes.  If you like chunks of tomatoes and onions in the curry, you can add like 1/2 of chopped red onions and 1 tomato and fry them with the vegetable for 3-4 minutes (they really don’t need to get too soft)

* Add the ground curry paste, add 2 cups of water, salt to taste and let it come to a boil (should take about 7-8 mins)

* Close the cooker and let it pressure cook for 1 whistle or pressure release.  If using a pan, let it cook for 15- 20 minutes, until vegetables get cooked and you can see a layer of oil forming on the surface of the curry.    Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot with Parotta, Idli or Dosa.

Note:  This curry is supposed to be liquid and runny than the usual consistency of curries, so you might not see it thickening that much, as we added at least 2 cups of water.  However, due to the cashews and coconut from the ground paste, it will tend to thicken a bit

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spicy vegetable thai rice noodles

Choosing noodles for a weeknight meal works out perfectly to cleanup all the lonely veggies hanging around and in preparation for the weekend grocery shopping. Having used egg/wheat noodles mostly, this time I turned to rice noodles. The result was a super-light filling meal.


you will need:

1) 1/2 pack of Thai Kitchen brand Rice noodles (this makes about 3 servings)
2) 2 cups of your choice of vegetables (i used onions/ yellow squash/ mushrooms/ broccoli/ green bell pepper/ snow peas)
3) 1 tsp of finely chopped ginger
4) 2 tsp of soy sauce
5) 2 tsp of chilli garlic /sriracha sauce
(Alternately, I used 1/2 tsp of red chilli powder+ 1/4 tsp black pepper)
6) 2 tbsp of cooking oil
7) green onions
8) salt to taste

make it:
* Boil water in a saucepan, add noodles + 1 tsp of oil, switch off the heat, cover the saucepan with lid and let it stand for 5-6 mins
* Check the noodles, they should be al-dente, drain the water, spread on a plate, sprinkle a teaspoon of oil and gently loosen the noodles using a fork and let it cool for 10 – 15 mins
* Finely chop ginger, onion and all the veggies
* Heat the wok with oil, add the ginger, saute for a min, increase the heat to high, add the onion and the veggies except broccoli (save it to add last to retain the crunch) saute for 1 minute
* Add the red chilli powder (or the sauces) + soy sauce and let it cook for 1 more minute
* Add the broccoli, saute for 30 secs, add the noodles, mix well, adjust salt and let it cook for additional 2 minutes
* Finally top it with chopped green onions

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crispy granola…you made my day

Reading food blogs inspires me and gives me so much positive energy to make my own food, try healthy variations than buying them.  Cooking a meal for lunch or dinner is easy, however most of what I eat for breakfast are store-bought….. and also added to this is the hundreds of varieties of dry cereal, variations of bread, and tons of other stuff lined up in the aisles…. its easy to pick up a couple of them than spend time trying to make them from scratch….and this is my attempt to eat a homemade breakfast.

Thanks to tons of food bloggers who has posted a recipe for granola. I used this one.

Additions to the above recipe:

1/3 cup of wheat germ

1/3 cup of  Bob’s Red Mill 10 grain cereal

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Chicken Sausage Dry Curry

To suffice my random evening cravings to eat hot rice with freshly made chicken curry, I made this the other day.

think it…

You will need about 5 chicken sausages fully-cooked cut into 1/2 inch slices, 2 medium sized onions cut length wise, 4 garlic cloves and 1 inch ginger finely cut,  4 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon, chilli powder, chicken curry powder, turmeric, salt and oil and coriander.

make it…

In a pan, pour 4 tbsp of oil, add the cloves, cinnamon and fry the onion, garlic and ginger for 5-7 minutes in medium flame.

Once the onion browns, add the chilli + turmeric + chicken masala powder, fry for about 10 seconds, and add the chicken sausage pieces,  mix it well and keep it closed to cook for 10 minutes in order for the spices to blend in.

The sausages already have salt in them, so add 1/2 tsp salt for the onions and spices.

live it…

Garnish with fresh cilantro and lime juice (optional) and serve with hot rice.

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Simple & Satisfying Meal – Pasta

After a long day at work are you tired to think of anything to cook for dinner, then here’s a recipe for cookin a simple and satisfying meal for dinner.

think about it…

1)  Any kind of pasta – 250 gms
2)  Bellpepper – 2 (green,red, orange) – I had only green.
3)  Onion – sliced vertically -1
4)  Tomatoes – 2
5)  Olive Oil – 2 tsp
6)  Salt
7)  Freshly Milled pepper/chilli flakes – 1tsp
8)  Dry herbs – 1/2 tsp
9)  Minced Garlic pods – 3

make it…

* Cook the pasta for approximately 7 minutes in boiling water and drain and keep it aside.
* In a wide mouthed pan, add 2 tsp of olive oil, Minced Garlic pods, onion, bell pepper and saute everything for 2 minutes in medium flame.
* Add the chopped tomatoes and salt and fry until the tomatoes become mushy and the juice comes out. * Add the cooked pasta, milled pepper, chilli flakes, salt to taste simmer the flame and cover it with lid and cook for 5 minutes.

* Finally sprinkle the dry herbs and serve hot!!!

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