Feb 23, 2007

(E)gg Pakoras

This is my contribution to Nupur’s A – Z series. I was first introduced to this dish when a friend tried them and got us some for tasting. We have a lot of bachelors staying nearby, and I must say that some of them are really great cooks. I have seen them baking cakes from scratch, trying different cuisines, desserts, vegetables. In fact, all of us out here are learning to cook and when something turns out good, we send out a portion for sampling and feedback:-) Anyways, I was intrigued when my friend made egg pakoras and was waiting to try them out. You can really make pakoras with anything – onion, potato, cabbage, mushrooms, eggs, moog, and so on. These egg pakoras are extremely tasty and serve as a good evening snack or a wonderful starter in a full course meal. Here’s the recipe:

Egg Pakoras

1.4 boiled eggs
2.½ cup besan
3.1-2 finely chopped green chillies
4.½ tsp cumin seeds
5.¼ tsp ajwain
6.¼ tsp turmeric powder
7.¼ tsp coriander powder
8.¼ tsp red chilli powder
9.Salt to taste
10.Oil for frying

1.Cut the boiled eggs in two halves.
2.Add all the ingredients in besan (except oil) and make a thick batter.
3.Heat oil on medium flame. Dip the boiled eggs in the batter. Make sure that the batter sticks on all sides of the eggs. Fry till golden brown and drain oil on paper.
4.Serve with ketchup.

Feb 18, 2007

Pineapple Sheera

My nearest and dearest cousin sister got engaged today. I and Nunu, as I called her when were kids, have been closer than real sisters. When we roamed together, people used to think we were twins. We have shared a lot since childhood. Unfortunately, I won’t be with her to share her special days. I will be missing her wedding in India scheduled for May:-(. Anyways, I thought I would make something sweet to share in her joy of getting engaged.

There have been a few pineapple slices sitting in my fridge for a long time, and I didn’t know what to do with them. I didn’t want to make pineapple milkshake, as it sounded too simple. Yesterday, I went to a friend’s place and the topic got to the famous ICH canteen in Seepz. This canteen serves pineapple sheera every Monday and Friday. I remember eating loads of this sheera. The sheera used to get over too soon, so you would have to wait for the next week to taste it. Well, that’s when the idea struck me that I would make this sheera. This one’s for you, Nunu.

Pineapple Sheera

1.Rava/Semolina – 1/2 cup
2.Sugar - 1/4 cup
3.Water - 1 cup
4.Pineapple – 1/2 cup, cut into small pieces
5.Pineapple Essence - 1 tsp (optional)
6.Ghee – 2.5 tbsp
7.Cashewnuts - 1 tsp, broken into small pieces.
8.Raisins - 1 tsp
9.Orange/Yellow colour powder - a small pinch (optional)

1.Boil the pineapples till they become soft. Drain the water and preserve it for boiling.
2.Heat a pan on low flame.
3.Add ghee to the pan. When it becomes slightly hot, add cashewnuts and raisins. Fry for some time.
4.Add rava to the pan and fry till rava turns brown. The moment it starts turning brown add sugar, boiled pineapples, and water. Stir till the rava thickens a bit.
5.Add cardamom powder and saffron.
6.Serve hot.

The sheera turned out delicious:-)

Feb 15, 2007

"Love actually" is all around

Valentine’s Day is one very special day for me. Two years back, my husband proposed me on this day. I still remember the nervous look on his face. As for me, I was down with cold and doing nothing else but take care of my leaky nose:P After saying the golden words, he opened a bag full of gifts – a book I wanted to read, a CD of my favorite songs, chocolates, and roses. This day started our wonderful relationship (touchwood!).

Since the time I have known him, he has been the most understanding person in this world. He’s been my best buddy- always caring, supportive, putting up with my temper tantrums, jovial, teasing me, and much more. This Valentine’s day I showed him my appreciation for all that he has done for me by cooking something special. I made phirni, chole, and tomato rice. Here's the recipe for the rice:

Tomato Rice

1. Basmati Rice- 1 cup
2. Onions, 2 medium sized - sliced
3. Tomatoes, 2 - chopped finely
4. Red chilli powder - 1- 11/2 tsp
5. Cinnamon - 1/2 to 1" piece
6. Cloves - 3
7. Bay leaves - 2
8. Black cardamom - 1 whole
9. Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
10. Green peas - 1 small cup (optional)
11. Cilantro or coriander leaves - 1/4 bunch, chopped fine.

1. Heat oil in a pan.
2. Add bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon & cardamom.
3. When the cloves pop, put in the sliced onions & fry till light brown.
4. Add the chopped tomatoes & fry well till the tomatoes are soft.
5. Put in the ginger garlic paste & the red chilli powder & fry well.
6. Add the washed rice, green peas (optional), cilantro, salt to taste & the required amount of water. Mix well & allow it to cook till the rice is done.
7. Serve hot with onion, tomato & cucumber raita.

We enjoyed a beautiful candlelit dinner at home.Here’s the card I made for my hubby:

Valentine’s day is celebrated to tell everyone you love how much they mean to you. A big Thanks to my parents, little bro, friends, and relatives for being there for me when I needed them.

Feb 13, 2007

Treasure Hunting with MBP

Well, let me count…..it’s five whole months. I have not eaten decent samosas in five months. I landed in US five months back, and before coming here, I had made a list and devoured every junk item that I thought I wouldn’t find in the US. I did eat some samosas here, but they were pathetic and very, very oily. So, it’s been five months since my heart and tongue have been craving for samosas and for a total junkie like me, five months is a long wait.

And now, thanks to MBP and my blog buddy Rooma’s recipe, I made and ate delicious samosas right at home:-). I am new to food blogging and in the process of discovering all the blog events. When I came to know about MBP and the theme for this month, I saw it as a perfect opportunity to make something that I had been longing for. I loved the theme for this month – finger foods. I love eating food with hands. In fact, I don’t find my tummy filled if I eat something with a knife and fork. I have had some awkward moments while attempting to eat vadas with a fork, the vada just got air-borne and landed on the nearby table:-)

I was on the lookout for a samosa recipe. I loved Rooma’s recipe and the step-by-step instructions. I wanted to surprise my hubby and chose to make samosas for evening tea. The whole process took close to an hour. One variation that I made was that I added a little bit of ajwain to the masala. Also, I kept the gas on low flame while frying the samosas.

The samosas were fun to make and turned out just as I had wanted them to. Imagine, hubby’s surprised look when he came home to find hot samosas waiting with tea!

Feb 12, 2007

Veg Hakka Noodles and a meme

Weekend lunches usually consists of simple pulav, sandwiches, omlettes, or anything that takes less time. We are too busy watching movies and try to make something that is easy to make. Anyways, this weekend was a bit different. I made Veg Hakka Noodles. Again, a very simple dish, that tastes divine, nontheless.

My love for the Chinese food stems from my love for anything that has lots of colors in it. I love the green, saffron, white colors of all the veggies. Here's the recipe:

Veg Hakka Noodles

1. One pack of Hakka noodles
2. One cup of shredded cabbage
3. One cup of thinly sliced green capsicum
4. Half cup of cut carrots
5. Half cup of cut spring onions
6. Half cup of thinly sliced onions
7. 1/2 tsp ginger paste
8. 1/2 tsp garlic paste
9. 2 tbsp soya sauce
10.1 tbsp red chilly sauce
11.1 tsp vinegar
12. Salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil water. Add noodles to water and boil them for 2 minutes.
2. Drain water from the noodles. Add 1 tsp oil to the noodles and keep aside.
3. Heat oil in a pan.
4. Add carrots, cabbage, capsicum one after the other and let them cook.
5. Add onions, ginger, garlic and fry for some time.
6. Add salt, pepper, spring onions and keep stirring. Now, add all the sauces.
7. Add the noodles and mix all the ingredients.

Following the meme from Nupur. Five things that you don't know about me:

1. I can finish a whole bag of chips in no time:-)
2. I cannot cut my nails using a nail cutter. Either, I use a scissor, or worse a wire cutter.
3. I have a good sense of direction. I never forget a place once I have visited it.
4. I have this irritating habit of placing leftover onions beside the apple. My husband frowns upon this habit and I get a shouting atleast twice a week.
5. And now, something positive. I am a lazy person, but once I decide to do something, nothing can stop me!!!

Do continue this meme.