Thursday, February 28, 2013

Easy Mango Pickle





Ingredients: 

1. Mango - 3, chopped into small pieces
2. Red chilli powder - 1 tsp (for the marinade) + 1 tsp
3. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp (for the marinade)+ 1/2 tsp 
4. Distilled white vinegar (optional - only necessary if the mangoes are not sour) - 2 tbsp
5. Salt - As desired 
6. Gingelly oil (Nallenna or sesame oil) - 2 tbsp
7. Garlic - finely chopped, 7-8 cloves
8. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
9. Curry leaves - 1 sprig
10. Asafoetida - 1 pinch 

Preparation: 

1. Marinate the mango pieces in ingredients 2-5 about 4-5 hours, preferably overnight. 
2. Heat the oil in a pan. Make sure the heat is medium-low as gingelly oil smokes quickly. Splutter mustard seeds. Add the chopped garlic. Add the red chilli, turmeric powder and mix well.
3. Once the raw smell goes away add the marinated mango pieces, curry leaves and mix. 
4. Cook on medium low until the mango pieces are cooked. 
5. Add the asafoetida, mix and remove from heat. 
6. Transfer to a jar once fully cool. 

Enjoy! :D 







Padavalanga (Snake Gourd) Thoran



Ingredients:

1. Snake gourd (Padavalanga) - De-skinned and chopped, 2 medium size
2. Red onion - 1 small, chopped length wise
3. Garlic - finely chopped, 3-4 cloves
4. Shredded coconut  - 1/4 cup
5. Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
6. Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
7. Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
8. Curry leaves - 1 sprig
9. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
10. Oil - 2-3 tbsp
12. Salt - As desired

Preparation:

1. Mix the coconut and cumin powder and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan. Splutter mustard seeds. Add the chopped garlic. Saute for about 30 seconds.
3. Add the chopped onion. Add a pinch of salt. Stir until the onions sweat.
4. Add turmeric and red chilli powder. Mix for a few seconds or until the raw smell goes away.
5. Add the chopped snake gourd and a little water. Mix well and cook until the snake gourd is done. That would take about 10 -15 minutes.
6. Add the coconut cumin powder mix. Mix well and let cook for another 2-3 minutes.
7. Add curry leaves and remove from heat.

Enjoy! :D





Friday, February 22, 2013

Blackberry and Lemon Yogurt Muffin


A fairly basic and healthy yogurt muffin recipe - can be adapted for vanilla yogurt or any other berry for different flavors. This muffin is moist on the inside with a bread like texture and a nice golden crust. 



Ingredients (Makes about 12 medium sized muffins. ): 

1. All purpose flour - 2 cups
2. Non fat yogurt - 1 cup
3. Brown sugar - 1/2 cup
4. Baking powder - 1 tsp
5. Baking soda - 1/4 tsp 
6. Lemon zest - From 1 lemon 
7. Blackberries - 1 cup (Fresh or frozen, if using frozen do not thaw)
8. Oil - 1/3 cup
10. Salt - 1 pinch
11. Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
12. Egg - 1

Preparation: 

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. 
2. Beat the egg lightly in a bowl. Add yogurt, vanilla extract, oil and lemon zest and mix well. 
3. Add the all purpose flour to another bowl. Add all the dry ingredients - sugar, baking powder and soda, salt and black berries and mix well. 
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. 
5. Transfer the batter to the muffin tray and bake for 10-15 min or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean. 
6. Let cool for half an hour before serving. 

Enjoy! :D 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte - Black Forest Cherry Liquor Cake



A little kick, a little caffeine, loads of chocolate, loads of sweetness, last but not least, one true love.... 
Wish you all a very Happy Valentine's Day!!! May all of you be blessed with true love.... :)

"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt. "






Ingredients: 

1. Cherries - 1/2 lbs (pitted and chopped) and some for decoration
2. Kirschwässer (Cherry liquor) - 3 tbsp (to soak the cherries) and 3 tbsp (for the syrup)
3. Coffee - 1/4 cup 
4. Cake flour - 3/4 cup (sifted)
5. Dutch processed cocoa - 1/4 cup (sifted)
6. Eggs - 6 (at room temperature, whites and yolks separated in 2 big bowls)
7. Powdered sugar - 3/4 cup to mix with the egg yolks, 1/4 cup for egg whites
8. Granulated sugar - 3 tbsp for the syrup, 3 tbsp for the cherries
9. Salt - A pinch 
10. Baking powder - 1 tsp
11. Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
12. Cream of tartar - 1 tsp

Preparation: 

For the Sugar syrup: 

1. Melt 3 tbsps sugar in 1/4 cup water and 3 tbsp Kirschwässer and keep aside. 

Soaking the Cherries: 

1. Soak the pitted and chopped cherries in sugar and Kirschwässer over night or for 3-4 hours. 

For the Cake: 

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9 - inch round cake pan, sprinkle a little flour - cocoa mix and keep aside. 
2. Sift the baking powder, flour, cocoa and salt and keep aside. 
3. Add the 3/4 cup of sugar to the egg yolks along with vanilla extract. Beat starting on low and then slowly raising up to medium-high until thick ribbons are formed. Keep aside. 
4. Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites ( add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar gradually) and beat them until stiff peaks are formed. 
5. Sift the flour- cake mixture again and gently fold into the beaten egg yolks. 
6. Fold in the egg whites into this by parts. 
7. Transfer to the cake pan and bake immediately for 25-30 min. A toothpick or fork inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean.  
8. Allow the cake to cool completely. This should take about an hour. 
9. Cut the cake into 2 equal halves horizontally using a serrated knife or a very sharp knife. 
11. Pour the sugar syrup and coffee using a spoon over the cake. This would give the cake a dark color and keep the cake moist. Keep aside for a while. 


Whip cream frosting: 

1. Heavy whip cream - 2 cups
2. Powdered sugar - 1/2 cup
3. Left over syrup from the soaked cherries - 2 tbsp

Preparation: 

1. Make sure the whip cream and the blades and the bowl (a large steel bowl would be ideal) are chilled for at least 30 mins before beating. 
2. Add the whip cream, sugar, vanilla extract and the syrup into a large bowl and beat until thick ribbons are formed. 

Cake layering: 

1. Add a big scoop of whip cream on the first layer of cake. 
2. Spread the soaked cherries on top of it in one layer. 
3. Place the second layer of the cake on top. 
4. Cover the cake with the whip cream frosting. 
5. Decorate with cherries and chocolate shavings. 
6. Chill for 3-4 hours before serving. 

Enjoy! :D 




Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Butter Chicken




Can you believe that I have tried making butter chicken with "I can't believe it's not butter" ??? Tasted ridiculous by the way.. :P. But trust me..  I tried.. ! Wikipedia says butter chicken was initially made by Indian chefs in Britain to suit the European palate. Well I just tried to make it suitable for a healthy American palate... But... like they say .. “As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists.” 
Enjoy! 





Ingredients: 

For the marinade: 

1. Chicken - 1 lbs
2. Yogurt - 1 tbsp 
3. Chilli powder - 1 tbsp
4. Turmeric - 1/2 tsp 
5. Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
6. Salt - To taste

Preparation: 

1. Marinate the chicken pieces with the ingredients listed for at least 4 hours. Overnight would be ideal. 
2. Arrange the chicken pieces in a baking sheet lined with aluminium foil. Drizzle a little oil on the chicken pieces. 
3. Bake the marinated chicken pieces at 400F for 20 - 30 minutes or until 75% cooked. (You could alternatively fry them lightly in oil or grill them. Just make sure that the chicken is only 75% cooked). 

For the sauce: 

1. Tomatoes - 2 big ripe tomatoes (blanched and pureed)
2. Onion - 1 big,  chopped
3. Ginger - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
4. Garlic - 1 tbsp, finely chopped 
5. Cinnamon stick - 1 inch 
6. Green cardamoms - 3-4 lightly crushed
7. Black cardamom - 1 lightly crushed
8. Kashmiri chilli powder - 1 tsp
9. Kasoori Methi (Dry fenugreek leaves) - 1 tsp
10. Cashew nuts - (Soaked in water and pureed to a fine paste)
11. Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
12. Butter - 3 tbsps 
13. Heavy cream - 1/4 cup (optional)
14. Oil - 1 tsp
15. Salt - As required
16. Sugar - 1 tsp

Preparation: 

1. Heat oil in pan. Add the ginger and garlic. Saute for a minute until lightly browned. 
2. Add the onions and mix until lightly browned. 
3. Transfer the ginger garlic onion mix to a food processor and grind to a fine paste adding a little water. Keep aside. 
4. Melt the butter in the same pan on low heat. Add the cinnamon sticks black and green cardamoms. 
5. Saute for a few seconds. 
6. Add the kashmiri chilli powder and turmeric powder and saute until the raw smell goes away. That would take about 30 seconds. 
7. Add the baked chicken pieces to this and mix well. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium - high. 
8. Add the onion paste and mix well for a few minutes. 
9. Add the tomato paste, kasoori methi, and sugar. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. 
10. The sauce should be bright red by now. Add the cashew nut paste. Mix well. Let cook for another 5 minutes. 
11. Add the heavy cream, mix well and remove from the heat. 
12. Garnish with coriander leaves. 

Enjoy! :D 




Friday, February 8, 2013

Egg and Veggie Fried Rice




They say every dish has a story.. Here is mine.. It's a very short story really.. More like a lesson.. When preparing fried rice and chilli chicken, the much loved food in every Kerala house hold, always make it a point to make the chilli chicken last.. Otherwise you would end up not having enough to serve during the meal time.. The scenario could be even worser if your friends are going to show up... :P :D 




Ingredients: 

1. Thai Jasmine rice - 2 cups 
2.  Mixed vegetables (Green beans, peas, carrots) - 1 cup ( I used frozen)
3. Celery chopped - 1/2 cup 
4. Green onions chopped - 1/2 cup 
5. Eggs scrambled with salt and pepper - 1 
6. Soy sauce - 2 tbsp
7. Sriracha hot sauce - 1 tsp 
8. Sesame oil (I used expeller pressed sesame oil) - 2 tbsp 

Preparation: 

1. Wash the jasmine rice a couple of times. Cook according to packet instructions. Prepare the rice the night before preparing the fried rice. Fluff the rice with a fork and refrigerate. This is ideal as jasmine rice is pretty starchy and tends to be soggy and sticky when used immediately. 
2. Microwave the veggies with 2 tbps water on high for 4 minutes. Let it rest in the microwave. 
3. Heat the sesame oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the chopped green onions. Saute for about 30 seconds. 
4. Add the chopped celery. Saute for a few seconds. 
5. Add the boiled veggies and the sauces and a little salt. Let cook for 4-5 minutes. 
6. Slowly add the rice in parts and mix lightly with the veggies. 
7. Let cook for a minute or two. Add the scrambled eggs and garnish with green onions.

Enjoy with Chilli Chicken! :D 





Chilli Chicken





Ingredients: 

1. Chicken - 1 lbs
2. Onion - 1 large 
3. Green bell pepper - 1 
4. Ginger finely chopped - 2 tbsp
5. Garlic finely chopped - 2 tbsp 
6. Green chillies finely chopped - 2 tbsp 
7. Green onions - For garnish 
8. Oil - For frying 
9. Hot Sriracha sauce - 2 tbsp
10. Soy Sauce - 1 tbsp

For the marinade: 

1. Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp 
2. Egg - 1 
3. White vinegar - 2 tbsp
4. Salt - As desired 
5. Hot Sriracha sauce - 3 tbsp 
6. Soy sauce - 2 tbsp
7. Corn Starch - 1 tsp 

Preparation: 

1. Marinate the chicken pieces with all the ingredients listed for 1 -2 hrs. 
2. Fry the chicken pieces in oil until they are about 3/4 cooked and still juicy. Keep aside
3. Heat a little oil in a pan and saute the chopped ginger and garlic for about 30 seconds on medium heat. 
4. Add the onions and green peppers and saute until the onions sweat. 
5. Add the soy, sriracha sauce, corn starch and the fried chicken and mix well. 
6. Let cook for 10 - 15 minutes. 
7. Garnish with green onions. 

Enjoy! :D 





Monday, February 4, 2013

Indian Style Meat Kofta Curry


Try out this amazing Indian style meatball curry. You could substitute the meatballs with store bought ones to save time. It is wonderful! 



For the meat balls (Can be substituted with store bought frozen Italian Meatballs): 

Ingredients: 

1. Minced beef - 1 lbs
2. Ginger - 1 inch finely chopped
3. Garlic - 3 pods finely chopped
4. Ground cumin - 1/2 tsp
5. Garam masala - 1 tsp
6. Salt - To taste

Preparation: 

1. Add all the above ingredients to a food processor and give it 1-2 pulses to mix. 
2. With moist hands shape them into small meat balls (1 - 1.5 inch diameter). 
3. Refrigerate for at least 30 min - 1 hr to set. 
4. Heat oven to 350 F and bake for 20 - 30 mins until the outside is crisp and brown.
5. Keep aside. 

Tip: You could alternatively fry them lightly. 



For the Curry: 

1. Tomato - 1 large 
2. Onion - 1 large chopped
3. Ginger - 1 inch piece chopped 
4. Garlic - 3-4  cloves chopped 
5. Oil - 2 - 3 tbsp 
6. Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
7. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
8. Garam masala - 1 tsp
9. Freshly ground fennel seeds - 1 tsp
10. Freshly crushed green cardmom - 4-5 
11. Cloves - Crushed 3-4
12. Cinnamon stick - 1 inch
13. Salt - As desired 
14. Chicken Broth / Beef Broth - 1 cup 
15. Dry kasoori methi - 1 tsp
16. Coriander leaves - For garnish

Preparation: 

1. Blanch the tomato in water, peel the skin off, puree and keep aside. 
2. Heat oil in a pan. Add ginger and garlic. Saute for a minute until lightly browned. 
3. Add the onions and saute until lightly golden brown. 
4. Add the above mix to a food processor along with 1/2 a cup of the stock and process to a smooth paste. 
5. Heat a little oil in a pan and add ingredients 6-12 on medium low heat and mix until the raw smell of the spices go way. That would take 30 seconds to a min. 
6. Add the onion paste slowly and keep on stirring as you add the onion paste and mix well with the spices. 
7. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the meat balls, tomato puree and the remaining broth and cook for another 10-15 mins until the gravy thickens. 
8. Add the fenugreek leaves and garam masala. Mix well. Simmer for a few minutes and remove from the heat. 
9. Garnish with coriander leaves. 
10. Serve hot with rotis or naan. 

Enjoy! :D 




 
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