Wednesday, June 25, 2008

3 Potato Recipes

Here are three potato recipes I sent in to the Bangalore based magazine The Bengaluru Pages. This year 2008 has been declared as the year of the potato by the United Nations and you can read all about it here.

Potatoes with poppy seeds/ Aloo Posto
Recipe from Bengal

Poppy seeds add a wonderful nutty flavour to food. Bengalis use a lot of poppy seed in their cooking.

6 firm medium sized potatoes
4 tablespoons oil
3 whole dry red chiiles
½ a cup of white poppy seeds ground as finely as possible
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon red chilli powder
4 green chillies
Salt to taste

Peel the potatoes and cut them into small pieces – 2 cm
Heat oil, lower heat, add potatoes and fry till they are golden brown and just half cooked.
Remove with a slotted spoon.
Add the whole red chillies to oil. Once they darken, add ground poppy seeds and 2 tablespoons of warm water
Stir and sauté this paste ill it's a medium brown colour.
Add potatoes, ¾ cup warm water, turmeric, red chili powder, salt and slit green chillies.
Stir to mix and then cover and cook for 10 minutes till the potatoes are done and most of the water absorbed.

Preparation Time – 15 minutes
Cooking Time – 30 minutes

Potatoes with Cumin/ Batata Nu Shaak
Recipe from Gujarat

½ kilo to 700 gms of new potatoes with their skins on (scrubbed but not peeled)
3 tablespoons oil
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
Pinch of ground asafetida
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon red chilli powder
Salt to taste
Juice of half a lime

Cut the new potatoes with skin on into halves
Heat oil, add asafetida, mustard and cumin seeds and let them crackle
Add potatoes and stir for 2-3 minutes on a high heat.
Add turmeric powder, stir every now and then when the potatoes are almost done add coriander, cumin and red chilli powder. Add salt to taste and stir till masalas coat the potatoes nicely.
Sprinkle with lemon juice to make it tangy.

Preperation Time- 10 minutes
Cooking time- 20 minutes

Potato Curry/ Aloo Korma
Recipe from Hyderabad

½ kg large sized potatoes
½ teaspoon turmeric1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 inch piece of ginger
1 teaspoon ground garlic paste
6 cashew nuts
½ dry coconut (kopra)
3 tablespoons oil
2 green cardamoms
2" stick cinnamon
2 cloves
6 green chillies
2 teaspoon coriander powder
4 tomatoes chopped
½ teaspoon red chilli powder
1 cup whisked curd
Salt to taste
Chopped coriander leaves
Juice of 1 lime

Peel potatoes, and cut lengthwise into half. Make 4 long slices with each half.
Boil potato slices in water with turmeric till tender.
Grind poppy seeds, ginger, garlic, cashews and coconut together.
Heat oil, fry cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves, and green chillies, add ground paste and coriander powder. Fry well together for 6-8 minutes and till the raw aroma goes.
Add chopped tomatoes and fry for 5 minutes.
Add boiled potatoes and stir gently.
Add salt, chilly powder, whicked curd and simmer.
Add chopped coriander and lemon juice at the end

Preparation Time- 15 minutes
Cooking Time 30 minutes

Monday, June 23, 2008

Florentine, A restaurant in Saligaon-Goa

GoaWe've been in fabulous Goa for the past two weeks. Goa is beautiful in the monsoons, even if sometimes very inconvenient. We ate many meals at a memorable restaurant called Florentine, in Saligao, thanks to PB and M who told us about it. Its where the Goans eat and Chicken Cafreal seems to be a favourite for everyone. Not many people travel all the way to Goa to eat chicken, but if its the chicken cafreal at florentine's, believe me you'll go back for more. Its served with Pui, a delicious bread that you see on the plate below the cafreal. I have a recipe for cafreal. I can't promise it will taste as fabulous as the one at Florentine, but try it !
Chicken Cafreal

1 full chicken with skin, cut in large pieces
salt to taste
Juice of 1 lime
50 grams butter

Finely Grind:
6 dry red kashmiri chillies
1 1/2 cup fresh green coriander leaves
6 peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1/2 inch piece cinnamon
1 blade mace
1 pod garlic
2 inch piece of ginger

1. Marinate chicken pieces in salt, lime, and
ground spices for an hour at least. Marinating it overnight is best.
2. Baste the chicken with butter and seer it on either side first on high heat so that it browns
3. Either cook covered on stove top in a heavy bottomed pan or in the oven in a roasting tray covered with foil.
4. Keep turning the pieces and basting with butter

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Home made Paneer and Capsicum

Home Made Paneer with capsicum, Home Made Cottage CheeseFirst make the home made paneer. I use Suvir Saran's method.
* 10 cups whole milk
* 1/2 cup buttermilk / yogurt (more maybe needed, so keep some extra)
In a large heavy bottomed pan, bring the milk to a boil over medium heat. Stir often to ensure that the milk is not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
When milk starts to boil, lower heat and add the buttermilk and stir until the milk starts to separate into curds.
Remove from heat as soon as this happens. You can even add a few ice cubes to the curd-whey mix. The heat will make the protein tougher. Hence the need to expose the cheese to as little heat as possible.
If the curds are not forming, add a little more buttermilk and cook for a couple of minutes more. And do the above as soon as the curds form.
Pour the curds-whey mix into a collander lined with several layers of cheese cloth or even a layer of muslin, draining onto a dish that will collect the whey.
Collect the sides of the cheesecloth or muslin and tie them up together and twist gently to help drain the whey from the curds.
Place the bundled curds on a tray and press this bundle with a heavy pan/container or obejct. Make sure this heavy weight covers the bundle fully.
To make cheese for dessert recipes or for koftas or even a bhujia, weight it down for no more than a half hour.
For recipes where cheese cubes are used, weight the bundle down for an hour or more. This will make the cheese form a firm mass that can be cut into neat cubes.

Note: I use buttermilk as it makes for cheese that has very little sour flavor. People use lemon or vinegar, these curdle the milk quickly but leave a strong aftertaste. This aftertaste is not nice when making desserts with cheese.

Try and use the cheese the same day as you make it. The more time it is kept the dryer it becomes and the harder it will be. When making soft cheese for desserts. Weight it down for a shorter time as I write above. You can leave more moisture in, if you know you will not use it till the next day. The cheese will get dryer in refrigeration.

For the firm cheese, you can make the firm cube and store it overnight in chilled water. But you cannot put the cheese in water until a firm cake, with all the whey drained is formed. So, first make your cheese cube, and if you are not using it the same day, immerse it in a container of water, seal with a cover and cut only when ready to use into smaller cubes.

paneer from 1 litre of milk / 1 cup curd
2 green capsicums, chopped small
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 small madras onions chopped
3 green chillies chopped
3 teaspoon oil
pinch of asoefatida (hing)
fresh green coriander
Heat the oil, add asoefatida, cumin seeds.
When they crackle add the green chillies and onions, stir.
Add the crumbly paneer and the capsicum, add the salt.
Cover and lower flame
Keep stirring
Cook for 10 minutes or thereabouts. The green capsicum should retain some of its fresh green colour.
Add the green coriander leaves.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Sprouted Green Moong Dal Salad

Sprouted Green Moong Dal SaladRead all about the benefits of sprouts here.
Its easy to sprout seeds and lentils at home as long as you remember to eat them up within a few days. They're great in salads, sandwich fillings, or even dunked in yoghurt as a raita.

1 cup green moong dal
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
pinch of turmeric
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
salt to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
fresh coriander leaves chopped
1 tomato chopped small

Soak whole green moong dal overnight. Sprout the dal in a sprouting dish, or keep it in
a sieve wrapped in a mist muslin cloth for sprouting.

Heat a teaspoon of oil, splutter the cumin seeds, add the sprouts, turmeric,
red chilli powder and salt. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Cool, and then add fresh coriander, chopped tomatoes and lemon juice.

An excellent salad to eat on its own or as a side dish.

Aloo-Gobhi with ginger and green coriander

Aloo Gobhi with ginger and green coriander, potato and cauliflower dishIngredients
1 large head cauliflower cleaned and chopped into small florets
3 medium potatoes peeled and chopped small
A large piece of ginger (6 cm x 2 cm) peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons oil
2 fresh green chillies chopped
1 cup fresh green coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon ground coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
salt to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Blend the ginger to a fine paste.
Heat oil, add ginger and turmeric. Fry, stirring constantly.
After 2 minutes add chopped green chillies, potatoes and cauliflower. Stir.
Add cumin, coriander, garam masala powders and salt. Cover and cook. Add a little warm water to prevent sticking.
Add fresh green coriander and lemon juice and stir when almost done.