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Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Designer Idli


          Idlis are a great breakfast option. These healthy steamed South Indian delicacy is anytime welcome with some coconut chutney, sambar and idli podi for a wholesome meal. So turn them into something interesting and appealing for your loved ones. Kids will surely love them. 

          Go ahead and create these beautiful designer idlis by adding some spinach and beetroot puree for a real visual treat. Besides breakfast, they can also be relished anytime of the day and can be an excellent lunch box meal too. 





  • 2-3 cups idli batter
  • 1 tbsp. spinach puree
  • 1 tbsp. beetroot puree
  • 1 tsp. oil to grease the idli moulds
  • coconut chutney, sambar and idli podi to serve






          Spoon the batter into greased idli moulds. Add in few drops of the spinach & beetroot puree. With a toothpick make swirls over them to create a pattern.

          Steam for 13-15 minutes or till done. when it slightly cools down, demould them and serve with chutney, sambar and idli podi for a wholesome meal. 



















Seaweed Fried Rice with Peri Peri Sauce


          Fried rice is a quick one-pot meal that is very easy to prepare and comes in handy when time is a constraint. So here is my version of a quick and a simple fried rice made with some roasted seaweed, mixed veggies and peri peri sauce. 

          Any leftover rice can be made use of. Enjoy this yummy Seaweed fried rice just as it is, with some extra sauce as accompaniment, with grilled meat / fish, any side dish or with raita. Do check for a quick step by step pictorial recipe to prepare this healthy concoction.







           Seaweed contains a lot of nutrients, minerals, iodine, calcium, is low in calories and helps in purifying the blood. So it is recommended for a balanced diet. Besides fried rice, you can dish out various recipes with it. 


          It is widely used by the Japanese, Koreans and the Chinese in their cuisines. As I had some last batch of these roasted seaweed (nori) sheets, I decided to incorporate them in the fried rice along with some veggies. 





  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 15 small roasted seaweed (nori) sheets, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 green cardamoms 
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1 dry red chili, broken
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds 
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1" ginger, chopped
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped mixed veggies
  • 3-4 tbsp. peri peri sauce
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1-2 tbsp. fried onions
  • 1-2 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped








          Heat oil in a pan and temper with cumin seeds, dry red chili, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Saute for a few seconds.

          Add the chopped onion, ginger, garlic and green chilies. Stir fry till light brown. Now add the mixed veggies and saute for 2-3 minutes. 

          Add the peri peri sauce, folowed by the cooked rice and all the dry spices. Mix everything well and saute for a couple of minutes. 

          When done, add the coriander leaves, seaweed and fried onion. Give it a toss and enjoy this yummy Seaweed fried rice just as it is, with some extra sauce as accompaniment, with grilled meat / fish, any side dish or with raita for a great comfort meal.











                      Heat oil in a pan & temper with cumin seeds, dry red chili, cinnamon, cloves
                      and cardamom. Saute for a few seconds.



                     Add chopped onion, ginger, garlic & green chilies. Stir fry till light brown. 



                     Now add the mixed veggies and saute for 2-3 minutes. 




                     Add the peri peri sauce, 




                      followed by the cooked rice & all the dry spices. Mix everything well and
                      saute for a couple of minutes. 



                      When done, add the coriander leaves, seaweed and fried onion. Mix 
                      everything well.







                    Enjoy this yummy Seaweed fried rice just as it is, with some extra sauce as                                      accompaniment, with grilled meat / fish, any side dish or with raita.












Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Mutton Dak Bungalow


          This is a very old and almost a forgotten Bengali recipe. The name is derived from the fact that it was prepared by the khansamah / caretakers in Government guest houses called Dak Bungalows during the British Raj. It was usually served to travelers, mostly officials, who would stop over for rest. 

           You can enjoy Mutton Dak Bungalow with hot luchi (poori), pulao, plain biryani, steamed rice or any type of Indian bread for a great weekend comfort meal. Do check for an easy step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it. 






          Whatever was available went into dishing out this mutton curry. Potatoes and boiled eggs are the two main ingredients, besides freshly ground spices that were used to prepare this yummy mutton gravy. 


          The mutton needs to be marinated for a couple of hours in yoghurt, ginger-garlic paste, mustard oil, etc. It is then tempered with radhuni (celery seeds), fenugreek seeds and bay leaves. 


          This recipe is found in very few restaurants these days and has remained mostly a homemade recipe. Recently during Durga Puja, I was able to taste this awesome dish when we ordered a Bengali Thali.  So decided to give it a try and include it in my blog. 





  • 500 gms. mutton with bones 
  • 1-2 potatoes
  • 1-2 boiled eggs
  • 2 tbsp. mustard oil 
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds 
  • 1/2 tsp. celery seeds (radhuni)
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste 
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves, chopped (opt)

Marination -

  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • salt to taste 
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp. mustard oil

Dry roast & grind - 

  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds 
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds 
  • 3-4 dry red chilies
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 small piece of nutmeg
  • 1/2 mace
  • 1/2 tsp. whole peppercorns









          Marinate the mutton with all the mentioned ingredients for 3-4 hours. Marinate the potatoes and the boiled eggs with a pinch of salt and turmeric powder for 5 minutes.

           Heat oil and ghee in a pan. Fry the marinated potatoes and boiled eggs till light golden in colour. Drain and keep aside. 

          Temper the same oil with bay leaves, celery seeds and fenugreek seeds. Add the onion and saute till light brown. 

          Now add the ginger-garlic paste and stir fry for a few seconds. Add the tomatoes and saute till it is mashed.

          Add the marinated mutton and cook on a high flame for 4-5 minutes. Add the ground spices and give it all a mix. Cover and simmer on a low flame till the oil separates. 

         Add 1 cup water, fried potatoes, fried eggs and green chilies. Pressure cook for 15-20 minutes on a low flame after the first whistle or till done.

          Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with hot luchi (pooris), pulao, plain biryani. steamed rice or any other Indian bread for a soul satisfying comfort meal. 




                     Marinate the mutton with all the mentioned ingredients for 3-4 hours.




                     The dry roasted & ground dry spices. 



                     Heat oil & ghee in a pan. Fry the marinated potatoes & boiled eggs till light
                     golden in colour. Drain and keep aside. 



                     Temper the same oil with bay leaves, celery seeds & fenugreek seeds.




                      Add the onion and saute till light brown. 



                     Add the ginger-garlic paste & stir fry for a few seconds.




                     Add the tomatoes and saute till it is mashed.



                      Add the marinated mutton and cook on a high flame for 4-5 minutes. 




                      Add the ground spices and give it all a mix. Cover and simmer on a low 
                      flame till the oil separates. 




                     Add 1 cup water, fried potatoes, fried eggs and green chilies. Pressure cook 
                     for 15-20 minutes on a low flame after the first whistle or till done.



                  Garnish with coriander leaves & serve with luchi (pooris), pulao, plain biryani
                  or any other Indian bread for a soul satisfying comfort meal. 












Monday, 7 October 2019

Onigiri (Japanese Stuffed Rice Balls)


          Onigiri are cute looking Japanese balls with some stuffing of your choice. In this recipe, I stuffed with some sauteed mushrooms. Made from sushi rice, they are an ideal option for snacks, lunch or for a lunch box meal. In the absence of sushi rice, I had to substitute with mashed Basmati rice. Very few ingredients goes into making this Japanese style rice balls. Any leftover rice can also be turned into these yummy visually appealing delicacy. 






          Onigiri is an ideal kids snack / lunch recipe. They can also be packed in their lunch box with their favourite stuffing. These visually appetizing rice balls will be a sure hit with them.


          Typically, in the original recipe, no seasoning is added to the rice directly. Instead some salt is rubbed on hands while shaping these rice balls. 






  • 3 cups cooked rice (warm & mashed)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 tsp. oil 
  • seaweed (nori) sheets
  • 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds 








          Heat oil in a pan and saute the mushrooms, pinch of salt and pepper for a couple of minutes till it turns soft. Keep aside to cool. 

          Now wet your hands and take sufficient amount of the cooked rice in one hand.  Make a hollow in the center and stuff little of the mushroom filling. 

          Cover it properly and press it carefully and gently to give it a triangle shape. Wrap it with a seaweed sheet. Sprinkle some sesame seeds and few finely cut seaweed and serve them just as it is as a snack or breakfast.
















Saturday, 5 October 2019

Seaweed Rice Balls - Korean Style


          These Korean Rice Balls are very easy and quick to dish out. They are called "Jumeokbap", which means fist balls. Very few ingredients, including seaweed goes into making these healthy snacks. Any leftover cooked rice can be turned into these simple and yummy Rice Balls. They can be served with soya sauce, red chili sauce, tomato ketchup or any chutney a la Indian style. So check for a step by step pictorial recipe to prepare this Korean delicacy. 






          Apart from the Koreans, Seaweed is widely used by the Japanese and the Chinese as well. It contains a lot of minerals, nutrients, iodine, calcium, is low in calories and helps in purifying the blood. So it is highly recommended for a well balanced diet. You can make various dished with it. 

          




          Cooked rice and seaweeds are the two main ingredients in this recipe. The Koreans, generally make use of sushi rice which is sticky and is perfect for making these balls. But in the absence of it, I used some cooked and mashed Basmati rice. It is a best way to serve fussy kids with their favorite dips or chutney. They can be packed for a lunch box meal too.





  • 2 cups cooked rice, mashed
  • 8-10 small roasted seaweed sheets, crumbled
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce / salt to taste 
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar 
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil 
  • 1/4 tsp. red chili flakes (opt)
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds 








          In a bowl, mix all the ingredients (except sesame seeds) until everything is well combined. Wet your hands and take a little portion of the rice mix. Shape them into round balls. 

          Make similar balls with the rest of the mix. Sprinkle the roasted sesame seeds over them and serve with soy sauce, red chili sauce, ketchup or any chutney a la Indian style.




                      I have made use of 8-10 of these small roasted seaweed sheets.



                 Mix all the ingredients (except sesame seeds) til everything is well combined. 



                     Wet your hands & take a little portion of the rice mix. Shape them into 
                     round balls. Make similar balls with the rest of the mix. 



                 Sprinkle the roasted sesame seeds over them.



                   Serve with soya sauce, red chili sauce, ketchup or chutney a la Indian style.











Thursday, 3 October 2019

Red Spinach Stir Fry with Chickpeas & Coconut


          Any type of greens is very healthy and nutritious. They need to be incorporated in our meal for a well balanced diet. So here is a simple and an easy Red Spinach stir fry where I also added some boiled chickpeas and fresh grated coconut for some added flavour. I like to relish with plain steamed rice, but you may also have it with chapati.








  • 2-3 bunches of Red Spinach, washed, rinsed & chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup boiled Chickpeas
  • 3 tbsp. fresh grated Coconut
  • 2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. mustard oil
  • 1 tsp. nigella seeds (kalonji)
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
  • 1-2 green chilies, slit
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. roasted cumin powder








          Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan. Temper with nigella seeds, asafoetida and green chilies. Saute for a few seconds.

          Add the onion and garlic. Stir fry till light brown. Now add the chopped greens, boiled chickpeas and all the dry spices.

          Mix everything well and cook, covered on a low flame till done. Switch off the flame. Add the coconut and the remaining mustard oil. Give it a stir and serve with rice or chapatis. 



















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