Saturday, July 23, 2011

Master Chef

I haven't cooked as much in my entire life as I ve done this week.
Starting with flounder fry on Sunday night to today's neer dosa and chutney , feels like I ve accomplished much. Mainly because I did so little cooking back home.

Flounder was a big risk as it was a totally unfamiliar fish.
The fish I had bought before that was also unfamiliar and a big disaster. First , the gravy turned out wrong . Too much methi made it bitter. So we fried it instead. But the fish itself had a peculiar taste.

So when I saw bought flounder at this Korean store I was sure that one more disaster was on its way. But it was good. I fried it the same way - with chilly powder , salt and a little rice flour for that crunchy texture and it turned out awesome. Much like the koddai fish. It was great with dal and rice but there was nothing left to pack for Monday lunch as I had bought just a single fillet. My friend who had seen me haul home beans , fish , prawns and chicken was surprised to see me buy that awful cafeteria food the next day for lunch.

So on Monday after work I set out to make prawns ghee roast.
Here is what I did-
Ground the following ingredients to a paste
-1 tsp chili powder
-1 tbsp coriander seeds
-1/4 tsp each of fenugreek seeds ,tamarind extract and turmeric.
-1 tsp each of chopped ginger and garlic.
The prawns were fried in this paste along with lots of ghee.
Though it did not exactly turn out to be ghee roast, it was pretty tasty.

Following day it was the turn of the chicken to be cooked.
The recipe is taken from here

And here is the final product with some rice and pickle.

And today , I set out to make neer dosa with coconut-coriander chutney. Here is it .

Chutney recipe is taken from

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Yogurt Parfait

Today I tried out the fancy looking Yogurt Parfait. And it was just strawberries in smooth curds. With a couple of black currants and some sweet corn. Not that great. Ideals Parfait would win hands down.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bombay Chopsticks

I don't remember having laughed till my sides ached in the recent past. Last week there have been a couple of hilarious situations but today when SN got a fortune cookie that said " You need to enhance your feminine side" I was in splits. Everyone ROFL'ed for a while. What kind of a fortune is that!

And hey , I was quite good with the chopsticks. It isn't that difficult after all. But I couldn't pull out the ice cube from my lime soda as SM challenged.

That lime soda was another fun part. As with all things in US , simple lime soda also has complicated options. There is lime soda and there is this lemon soda. The two taste quite different. Lime soda was what we ordered and we got a very bland carbonated lime juice. Lemon soda was more like it.

As the name Bombay Chopsticks indicates, cuisine was a mixture of Indian and Chinese. Starters were very good. But the gravy accompanying the main course wasn't that great. Didn't matter though. The starters made us quite full.The dessert was also great. Lychee Toffee was yum. So was the banana toffee that SN ordered.

There was so much of main course left uneaten at the end that I am sure I ll see it on our office lunch table on Monday.

Friday, June 17, 2011

America America

In Chicago USA.
Somehow Amrika feeling hasn't sunk in yet. My friend says that its because I haven't gone out much .
I had always felt that US would spring up many surprises right from the beginning .But somehow things seem familiar. Maybe because we have been told about US and its ways over and over again in those ILI sessions.Maybe because I ve so many of my friends around here. Anyways here are the first look observations
- There are no pedestrians here. Everyone owns a car. No one walks. And apparently if you walk where there is no pavement , you get fined.I miss taking strolls.
- When people have accumulated considerable number of things they have run out of use for , they put up a sale in their back yard. Its called garage sale and even used clothes and shoes are included.
- Vehicles on highways are super fast.
- You can use debit/credit cards for any amount of money. Even if you buy something worth a single dollar.
- Indian locality is Indian locality. There are chocolate wrappers strewn around, pan stains on pavements and even potholes on roads. I guess that's why Indians throng there - To feel at home.
- Its summer here and I haven't experienced such a chill during winter months in Mangalore .Me and my friend go about wearing jackets and full trousers while the rest wander about in shorts and Tee's. There is daylight till about 8 30 PM in summer. But seems darkness sets in at 4 PM during winter. Now daylight savings makes sense.
- Everyone says Thank You at every single opportunity. And strangers wish you Good Morning/Evening.

Here are some pics of Briarwood Terrace , My Apartment and the surrounding area

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fiery Prawns Ghee Roast

My Prawns Ghee Roast rocked at lunch today.

Took the recipe from here -

But I had to change the recipe a li'l as Mom felt that the amount of chillies was a li'l too much in the recipe and tamarind wasn't necessary as we were anyway adding lime and curds for sourness.

Here is what I did

- Marinated half kg of prawns with juice of half lemon, 1/2 tbsp pepper and 1/2 tsp turmeric overnight.
- Ground long red chillies (about 10) , 1/2 tsp coriander seeds , 1/4 tsp each pf cumin and fenugreek seeds and 8 garlic flakes into a paste with a li'l water.
- Roasted the marinated prawns with 2 tbsp oil for 6 mins (3 mins each side).
- Separately roasted the ground masala with some oil for 10 mins.
- Added salt , roasted prawns , 2 tbsp curds to the above masala and cooked for 2 more mins on low flame. The masala should have a thick consistency by now.
- Final touch : 3 tbsp ghee :). Mixed well and served hot.

And here is it.

I know I know . I need to work on the presentation.
But I am not a fan of coriander garnish and did not want to waste lime wedges just for visual effects

Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy Budday

I had the quietest birthday of my life yesterday. For the first time I did not spend a paise on b'day treat .

Sunday, January 30, 2011

In Chicken Manchow Soup

I love Chicken Manchow Soup .
Whenever I go out to dine , my meal always starts with Chicken Manchow soup unless there is a daring friend that wants to try some new variety of soup .
But there is one small worry about having Chinese too often - the harmful ingredient monosodium glutamate or ajinomoto that gives all chinese dishes that wonderful tangy flavor. So when I came across this Chicken Manchow soup recipe that did not include ajinomoto , I wanted to try it out.

Only 1 ingredient seemed inaccessible. Chicken stock - 4 cups.
Now where would I get chicken stock in Mangalore. I went to the best supermarkets in the city hunting for chicken stock.
The first stop was Nilgiris in Kankanady. Nopes . no chicken stock . But I found Maggi Chicken Stock tables.
"Free of Preservatives" was stamped in bold on the tiny pack. I just had to add those 2 tablets to 4 cups of water. Perfect . The rest of the ingredients were easy .
1 tsp each of finely chopped ginger , garlic ,green chillies .
1 tbsp coriander
2 tbsp each of cabbage , capsicum , mushroom , french beans , carrots and spring onions .
1 tsp pepper .
1 tsp soy sauce (I skipped this ).
4 tbsp cornflour mixed well in 1 cup water.
1 cup cooked chicken pieces

I got all my ingredients ready .
After stir frying the ginger, garlic and green chillies for 2 mins I added all the veggies and pepper and stir fried for another 2 mins.
Then added the chicken and the chicken stock and brought it to boil.
Tasted a little . Wow it was good.
It dint need salt . That Maggi stock had enough salt.
Last thing - to add that cornflour mixed water.
And my soup was ready :)
Tasted just like the the soup in those swanky restaurants.
That too with no Ajinomoto and Soy Sauce.

I gave myself a pat on the back and started cleaning up.
The maggi stock packet was lying there. I was about to throw it away when out of curiosity I searched for the ingredient list.
And there printed in minutest of font in the inner fold of the packet, among the list of ingredients , was this -
flavor enhancers (monosodium glutamate , disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate) :-X