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Some people are too stingy in sharing a recipe not knowing that the taste lies in the tact, interest and passion of the person who cooks - I believe-Sharing is caring -Pushpee

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

American Chop Suey

I had learnt the technique of Chinese cooking many years ago, when there used to be column on ‘Chinese cooking’ in ‘MID DAY’ , the afternoon paper. There used to be a small chat and there would be two recipes per week, every Wednesday. Since I was interested in cooking, I tried two recipes every week dutifully and shared the food with my family. They loved it and encouraged me. The column went on for one year, and I had learnt all the basics of Chinese cooking.

Over the years, I have improved my skill and have even shared the tips with whom-so-ever-who-is-willing-to-learn.

Friendship means cooking specials meals for your favorite ones. This week I invited some of my friends for lunch. My friends also bring dishes whenever we meet over lunch at home  so that there is less pressure on hostess. I had made Thai curry and rice. But then I decided to make a snack that was simple, easy to make and cooked in just 5 minutes. I had fried noodles saved in the fridge, plus some exotic vegetables like red and green vegetables, Bakchoi and mushrooms so all I needed to do was stir fry veggies and pour sauce on it. ...



The romance started as soon as my friends saw the sweet n sour sauce simmering on the stove. I poured that sauce over the bed of fried noodles n crunchy veggies and as soon as the dish touched the dinning table, it disappeared, all I heard was the lip smacking sighs in the room full of food loving friends... such happiness in churning out a perfect meal

My friend liked it so much that she sent back her feedback the next day. She says: “It was a delicious meal. The crunchy veggies & crispy noodles with a delectable sauce with a subtle flavour of kaffir Leaves and the right amount of sweet & sour flavour, the " bang on " consistency of the sauce was simply a gastronomical delight! ! ! ! Thank you. YEH DIL, DIMAAG AUR TONGUE MAANGE MORE.”

I am not sure if I will be able to reproduce the same taste, but my friends want it again…..


Method

Arrange the deep-fried noodles in the plate * Stir fry exotic vegetables like broccoli  red and yellow capsicum, mushrooms, carrots, bakchoi, etc * cover the noodles with stir fried noodles

For sauce
Take 2cups water, add 1tbsp vinegar, 1tbsp tomato sauce, 1tbsp tomato ketchup, soya sauce, kafir leaves, basil leaves, vegetarian cube and 1tbsp corn flour. Mix and heat till it becomes thick

Pour over vegetables.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Root Vegetables and Yam Kofta Curry

I love root vegetables. Plenty of vegetables fall under this group, like sweet potato, carrots, beets, to name the few. They are very nutritious and so very tasty.



Carrots are the part of my daily diet. The minute my maid step into my house she rushes to make fresh vegetables juice with carrots, bottle gourd, apples and cucumber. I love carrots raw too, just chomp them while chopping veggies. Sometimes I pickle them, and eat it with roti. It is handy on my lazy-to-cook-days.




Colocasia is another root vegetable that I love for its nutty taste. Boiled and soaked in tamarind sauce tastes great but I like to deep fry the boiled colocasia and then garnish it with dry spices, it pairs well with dhal and rice.

Ginger is another root vegetable that I relish it and use it regularly to spice up my curries. I pickle thin slices of ginger with lime juice and green chilies and this becomes important accessory to pair with bland meals.

Potato is another favorite that is grown underground, although technically they are tubers, not roots. Sweet potato is the root but I am not too fond of it.

Since many foods are grown underground in manure, dirt, compost, I prefer to peel them, and throw away the skin. But if you like the skin, then it would be better to invest in a proper scrubbing brush to clean the dirt off the veggies.

Another root vegetable that I particularly like is Jimikand or Yam. Suran is what we call in Hindi. I normally cook this on meatless day and follow meat recipes to cook it.

This week I cooked Yam kofta curry and took it to my sister’s house to enjoy it with her family. I was happy when they side stepped the mutton dish and preferred my spicy vegetarian fare instead. 

I had used Shaan masala (instead of garam masala) in this recipe and it turned out good. Roasted this powder and then used it.



I tend to forget my own recipes so this is actually a note to self, in case I decide to make it once more.

Yam Kofta Curry


Ingredients:

For Koftas:
200gms Yam
2medium size potatoes
1cup gram dhal
5-6 garlic pods
1 inch ginger
½ onion
2 green chilies
1 tsp garam masala
½ lime
2tbsp crushed almonds
2tbsp crushed cashew nuts
salt to taste

For the gravy:
2 medium size onions
2 medium size tomatoes
1pkt Nihari Masala
1tsp crushed garlic
1tsp grated ginger
5-6 green chilies
1tsp Kashmiri red chili powder

For garnishing
2tbsp lime juice
2tbsp chopped coriander leaves.



Method

Soak Gram dhal for 2-3 hours. Make a paste with gram dhal, onion, garlic, ginger, green chilies.

Boil, peel and mash the yam and potatoes.

Add gram paste, salt, coriander powder, gram masala, coriander leaves and lime juice to the mashed yam and potatoes. Add chopped almonds and cashew nuts. Make golf size balls



In another pan, heat oil and add finely chopped onions, cook till light brown. Add one cup water and cook onions are tender. Place the kofta balls on top of onions, cover the pan and cook for ten minutes.

Remove the ball after they are steamed and keep it aside.

To the remaining onions, add grated ginger, crushed garlic, green chilies, Kashmiri chilies and tomatoes.

In another pan, roast Shaan Nihari Masala and add one cup water. Cook and then add it to the gravy.

Cook the gravy on slow fire till oil floats on the top.



Before serving, heat the gravy, add the steamed balls, cover and cook for five minutes. Transfer carefully in the serving dish and garnish with lime juice and coriander leaves.


Serve with onion-cucumber salad and freshly baked Parathas.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Product Review, Vinod Cookware

I don’t care much for brands, what really matters to me is its utility and its promise to keep me contended while using these products. I may pick up utensils from most weird places just because they look artistic or different. Every foreign trip I have made, I have always brought back cookware for myself and also as giveaway gifts. My kitchen is stocked with various pots and pans of different shapes and sizes from different countries, you could say, kitchen shopping is my favorite pass time.

So when I got invite from my food bloggers community FBAI to check out range of Vinod cookware, I was naturally curious.

Invitation was for Sunday morning, a lunch at ‘Out of Blue’ and then some gyan on the brand.

So how is this different from other brands and why should I buy this brand?

Personally, I am not a steel-loving person, so I was not actually attracted to the display of utensils placed at one corner of the restaurant.



But when the talk started, I began to pay attention.



I was attracted to this Tuscany pot that has been made with the aspect of cooking and serving from same pot. My mind drifted to the moments when I like making Khichidi and serving it directly at the dining table. No headache of washing too many dishes.



This is the pan I have been looking for since many days, its flat base large pan, perfect for making Spanish Paella. Gosh! They were heavy to hold. This Black Pearl pan aids in burn free cooking and is also nonstick. I didn’t know they were available in Mumbai. Now I know where to get them from.

One by one, the dishes made their rounds on our table. I was impressed. The cookware looked promising. The label said it all




It was informative session that ended with interesting quiz, and my fellow bloggers were quite intelligent and answered most of the answers on the spur of the moment.

On my way out, there was a take-away gift for every guest. It was too heavy for me to bring back home with me but they promised to courier it to me, and after one week it arrived…..3 piece combo set with 5 years guarantee.

I am thrilled….



Thank you FBAI for introducing me to Vinod_Cookware. Now that we get quality goods in our own home town, there is no need to carry heavy stuff back home. Goodbye to kitchen shopping in foreign markets.

I went for pressure cooker shopping, the storekeeper recommended Vinod Cookware and said it was better than other brands.

“As a store salesman, aren’t you supposed to sell all brands? What is so different about this brand?” I asked him

He smiled and went on to explain to me the special features of this brand that I had learnt just recently.

Some of the other writers who reviewed this cookware


Read more about Vinod_cookware at their site. You could buy these cookware at most supermarkets in India and also on online stores..or maybe you visit Vinod's website at

This is a sponsored post.



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