Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Cheera Kootan | Cheera Parippu Curry | Kerala Style Spinach Gravy with Dal & Coconut


We are the Popeye family in matters of spinach :) We love spinach. It always so happens that I end up preparing dishes with spinach at least twice a week. I like it more when spinach is cooked along with dal but Deeps loves it in any form. 

My mom is such an ardent fan of spinach that there was a time when she used to make it daily. Any day you drop by my house for lunch then, there would be a keerai poriyal or masiyal or parippu keerai, either as a side dish or as the gravy for rice ;) She is an expert in preparing any variety of the spinach. Yes, there are umpteen varieties of spinach that is available in Tamil Nadu. And there is a nuance or knack in which each should be prepared. Some should be paired up with dal & some should not be ! Some need more onions, while some need extra shallots. And there is a variety of the spinach that she says is very good for relief from joint pains, I suppose 'Mudakathan keerai', which she uses to make dosa. Trust me, they taste yum :) I am still learning all these tit-bits from her.  

Having said all that, this recipe is not from my mom and is from my mil. As Deeps loves this dish, I prepare it often. You can say that this is a mallu version of dal palak with coconut paste added to it. This is best had by pairing up with steamed rice & curd. If you have some fried fish on the side then definitely you would want extra helpings of rice :) As it was a no fish day, I made peace with some chettinadu baby potato roast :) So do try out & let me know how you liked it !


Recipe Source: Amma

 

I Took: 30 minutes

 

Serves : 2 persons


I Used:

Spinach/Keerai/Cheera - ½ a bunch (approx 100 gms)
Tur Dal/Tuvara Parippu - 1 medium sized (finely chopped)
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Salt - As needed

To Grind:

Grated Coconut - ¼ cup (2 tbsp)
Cumin Seeds - ¼ tsp
Green Chilly - 2 no

To Temper:
Coconut Oil - 1 tbsp
Shallots - 4-5 nos (chopped)

The Way:


1. Rinse the tur dal thoroughly & soak in water (I took 1.5 cups) for 30 minutes. Add turmeric powder & salt and pressure cook it till done (3-4 whistles)

2. Clean & chop the spinach finely. Add the chopped spinach to the cooked dal & pressure cook for another 2 whistles. (Refer notes)















3. Grind together the ingredients under 'To Grind' to a fine paste, by adding a little water. 

4. Add this to the cooked spinach and give a stir. Allow it to boil for another 2-3 minutes & then switch off the stove















5. Heat oil in a small tadka pan & temper the shallots. When it turns brown in colour, add this to the cooked spinach-dal & mix. 



Serve hot with steamed rice !

Notes:


  • Pressure cooking the spinach is optional. Many do not like to do that as it is believed that the nutritional values are lost when the spinach is pressure cooked. In that case, you can add the chopped spinach to the cooked dal & allow it to cook for 10 minutes or till the spinach is cooked.
  • I used thandu keerai as this recipe suits that variety of spinach the most

Cheers,
Chitz

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Nadan Chicken Curry - Kerala Style without coconut

Chicken cooked in onion, tomatoes & dry roasted Indian spices



All those regular readers of mine would know my love for chicken & how I love to prepare chicken dishes ! So here I am back with a basic & simple chicken recipe. This one is very easy to prepare, do not be taken aback with the number of steps, it's just a pinch of this & a handful of that from your masala dabbas/pantry & voila, you are left with a very flavorful & aromatic side dish that will definitely elevate your mild flavored rice or simple phulkas & leave you contented :) 

This is a personal favorite at home & Deeps loves to prepare this by himself, so as usual, I'm the happy apprentice then. This time we paired it up with 'Nei Choru' & we lost count of how many helpings we took while having lunch with one of our favorite 'House' series on ;) This is just one of the types in which Nadan chicken curry is made at our place. There are many variations to this which I will post in the future. So this time, try this out & let me know how you liked it :)

Other Chicken recipes:

Chettinadu Kozhi Kulambu
Chicken Masaledar | Spicy Chicken Masala




Recipe Source: Deeps

 

I Took:

Marination: 30 minutes

Preparation: 40 minutes

 

Serves : 3-4 persons


I Used:

 

For Marination:

Chicken - 500 gm
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Salt - As needed
Lemon juice - ½ of a small sized lemon

To Roast & Grind:


Red Chilly - 4 nos
Coriander Seeds - 1 tsp
Mustard - ¼ tsp
Cumin seeds - ½ tsp
Pepper - ½ tsp
Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
Cloves - 2 nos
Cardamom - 1 no
Star Anise - 1 no
Bay leaf - 1 no

For Gravy:


Onion - 4-5 medium sized (sliced)
Tomato - 2 medium sized (sliced)
Green Chilly - 2 nos
Ginger Garlic paste - 2 tbsp
Red Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Curd - 2 tbsp (optional)
Coriander leaves - 2 sprig
Curry leaves - 2 sprig
Salt - As needed
Oil - As needed
Water - As needed





To Temper: (optional)

Oil  - 2 tbsp
Garlic - 1 pod
Pepper - 1 tsp




The Way:


1. Dry roast the ingredients under 'To roast & grind' in a pan. Add little water to it & grind  it to a fine paste

2. Marinate the cleaned & cut chicken pieces with the ingredients under 'For Marination' &  keep aside for 30 minutes















3. In a kadai, heat oil. Add the sliced onions & salt & saute well. The taste of this dish depends on how well you saute the onions. This is the key step & it may take you around 10-12 minutes. Keep sauteing occasionally till it reduces to half & becomes mushy. You can cover & cook as well in between

4. Once the the onions are nicely sauteed, add the sliced tomatoes & slit green chillies & saute well till the tomatoes becomes mushy

5. Now add the ginger-garlic paste & saute till the raw smell goes off. This may take around 2-3 minutes















6. Now add turmeric powder, red chilly powder, coriander powder & saute well for about a minute or two


7. Dunk in the marinated chicken pieces & give a nice stir. Close the kadai & cook in a medium/low flame till the chicken pieces become soft & are half-cooked. This takes about another 10 minutes

8. Now uncover the kadai & you can see that the chicken has let out some water. At this stage add the ground paste & sufficient water (if required) to bring it to the consistency for the gravy that you require. Close the kadai & cook again till the chicken is done



9. Now add in curd & give a stir. This step is totally optional. We like to add curd as it brings a tangy zing to the gravy which enhances the flavour of the dish

10. Add in the chopped coriander leaves & curry leaves & give a stir. Leave it in medium flame for another 30-60 seconds for the flavour of the leaves to sink in















11. Now for the tempering, heat oil in a kadai & fry the garlic pods & pepper separately


12. The garlic pods should slightly change colour & the pepper should just start to crackle. This tempering is also totally optional. We add it as Deeps like the crunch that the tempering adds to the gravy
















You can serve hot with Nei Choru / Coconut Milk Rice / Roti / Idiyappam / Appam / Porotta / Puttu or any mild flavoured rice !

Cheers,
Chitz

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Kiwi Smoothie

I am an ardent fan of exotic fruits. I love tasting and experimenting with new fruits & also veggies for that matter, but Deeps mostly prefer to stick to tested & approved tastes! What's your choice? Having said that, now you wouldn't mind me posting this recipe at a time when kiwis are not much in season, right? This post had been in my drafts for quite long & I feel it's high time for it to feature here.

Kiwis or Chinese gooseberries are native to some European nations & New Zealand. When ripe, they taste real sweet & can be devoured as such. Loaded with anti-oxidants, they make an excellent & quick option for making smoothies for your busy packed mornings.



I Took : 10 minutes

Serves : 1 tall glass


I Used:



Kiwi - 2 nos
Milk - ¼ cup
Honey - 2 tbsp
Mint - 2 sprigs
Lime juice - From 1 lime
Ice cubes - ½ cup 


The Way:

Dunk in all the ingredients in a blender & blend to a smooth consistency. Adjust sweetness to your taste & serve chilled
Cheers,
Chitz

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Savory Semolina Cake | Savoury Rava Cake | Eggless Savory Rava Bread



So, here I am back with an easy recipe for all you lovely readers out there.. Am I going to be regular here from now on? I hope so.. So this is a very interesting recipe that can be served for breakfast or as a snack too ! I always have a soft spot for baked goodies & when I saw this interesting recipe with a twist at 'Erivum Puliyum', I decided I had to make it :) It is very easy except for the veggie chopping part. The rest is just whisk, whisk, whisk & bake !





Recipe Source: Here


I Took : 

Preparation Time : 15 minutes

Baking Time : 30 minutes


Makes : An 8 inch loaf


I Used:

Semolina  - 1 cup
Carrot  - 1 medium sized (finely chopped)
Beans - 6-8 no (finely chopped)
Ginger - 1 inch piece (finely chopped or grated)
Green Chilly - 3 nos (finely chopped)
Thick Yogurt - ½ cup 
Butter - 1 tbsp
Baking Soda - ½ tsp
Oil - 3 tbsp
Water - As required
Salt - As required
Coriander Leaves - 2 tbsp (finely chopped)

To Temper:

Mustard  - 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Sesame  - 1 tsp


The Way:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degree C
  2. Combine together the semolina (rava), salt & yogurt. Now add the chopped carrot, chopped beans, chopped ginger, finely chopped green chillies, chopped coriander & mix well
  3. Heat oil in a pan. When it heats up, splutter the mustard. Then add the cumin seeds & sesame. Take care not to brown. Now add this tempering to the semolina batter & give it a mix
  4. Grease the baking pan with butter
  5. Add baking soda to the batter & give it a whisk
  6. Pour the batter into the baking pan & garnish the top with some sesame seeds
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or till done (A tooth pick inserted would come out clean)
Serve warm with chutney or ketchup & a smoothie of your choice :)

    Notes:

    1. Baking soda is for the bread to rise properly. So add it in the end just before putting it to bake in the oven
    2. You can add veggies of your choice which can be baked easily like peas, zucchini etc
    3. Do not use sour yogurt. It can compromise the taste

    Cheers,
    Chitz

    Monday, 8 February 2016

    Vanilla cupcake | Easy Vanilla cupcake (Eggless & Butterless)


    I do not want to start the post with yet another apology for being away ;) as it is just the beginning of another fabulous year & also I am in a happy happy mood to share with you all the arrival of our bundle of joy - Dhruv. He is nearing his 4th month now & so you would all be understanding my busy schedule & lack of time to concentrate on other affairs :D But many a times I had been wanting to visit this another baby of mine as well, but you see, Dhruv takes precedence :D :D


    I was planning to post this cupcake recipe on his 100th day as a celebration but was not able to. This cupcake stays close to my heart for another special reason as I craved for it the most during my pregnancy time. Weird or cute, you guys should say, but this muffin stays top on my list still ! It is super easy to make with quite a few calories loaded as it has no egg & no butter. And it is fluffy soft and moist and just melts in your mouth and you can relish it absolutely fine without any topping or frosting or icing. So I am sure you would want to try this out today eve itself with your coffee & do let me know how it turned out :) 





    I Took : 

    Preparation Time : 15 minutes

    Baking Time : 40 minutes


    Makes : 20-25 muffins


    I Used:

    All purpose flour/Maida - 1 ½ cups - 3 tbsp
    Corn flour - 3 tbsp
    Sugar - ¾ cup
    Baking powder - 1 tsp
    Baking Soda - ½ tsp
    Oil - ½ cup
    Curd - 1 cup
    Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp


    The Way:

    1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree C
    2. Keep the muffin tray ready with the muffin liners or if you want to bake it as a cake, grease a 6 or 7 inch pan with butter & dust it with a tsp of flour
    3. Sieve well the all purpose flour & corn flour in a bowl and ensure that they are evenly blended & mixed
    4. In another bowl, mix well sugar & curd. Now add baking powder & baking soda into the mixture & mix well and allow it to rest for 2-3 minutes
    5. Now to this frothy mixture add oil & vanilla essence & mix well
    6. And then add the sieved flour, one tbsp at a time, and whisk well
    7. Once all the flour is mixed, pour in 1-2 tbsps of the batter into the muffin liners (or the baking pan)
    8. Bake them for around 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
    9. Allow them to cool for about 10 minutes & serve with ice-cream or chocolate syrup or any dressing of your choice

    Cheers,
    Chitz

    Wednesday, 25 February 2015

    Avocado Kiwi Smoothie


    I know I go on long unannounced breaks, but that has become completely unavoidable these days.. So what am I back with? It is another refreshing and healthy smoothie for all fruit lovers out there. Trust me, this combo tastes great and I just couldn't resist making them over and again..  And for those who do not like to eat fruits raw, what better way to take in those nutrients, than with this sugar free smoothie?


    I Took : 10 minutes

    Serves : 2 tall glasses


    I Used:


    Avocado-½ of a large one
    Kiwi-2 nos
    Milk-¼ cup
    Almond powder-2 tbsp
    Honey-2 tbsp
    Mint leaves-A sprig
    Ice cubes-3-4 cubes

    The Way:

    1. Place milk, almond powder, honey, mint leaves and ice cubes in blender & blend smoothly.
    2. Now add the scraped avocado and cubed kiwi and blend again till smooth & creamy.
    3. Serve chill for the refreshed feel !

    Cheers,
    Chitz

    Sunday, 30 November 2014

    Mutton Chops | Mutton Chukka

    Mutton cooked in spices & dry roasted

     


    Who doesn't love a dry roasted mutton dish with less oil & practically no frying? Yes, the recipe for the day is an easy, hassle free & diet friendly mutton sukka or mutton chaps. Actually, you do not need a main course for this dish, you can savour it just like that as a snack. Also you can pair it up with sambar sadam/rasam sadam/puliserry and it would taste heaven ! 

    My mom used to make a variation of this dish with chicken but it was at my friend 'D's place during a dinner party that I saw this made with mutton as a dry roast and immediately, me & Deeps fell for it. From the pics, don't think of it as burnt, as my dad commented, it is the colour of the dried onions & masala ;) So what you waiting for, try it out & get accolades from your family & friends & do let me know too :)





    Recipe Source : From my friend 'D'

    Preparation Time : 10 minutes

    Cooking Time : 45-60 minutes


    I Used:


    Mutton - ½ kg
    Onion - 2 medium sized - chopped
    Tomato - 2 small sized - chopped
    Ginger-Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
    Red Chilly Powder - 2 tsp
    Coriander Powder - 1 ½ tsp
    Turmeric Powder - ½ tsp
    Garam Masala - 1 tsp
    Salt - As needed
    Curry leaves - 2 sprig
    Water - ¼ cup
    Coriander leaves - To Garnish


    To Temper:


    Oil-3 tbsp
    Fennel seeds-½ tsp
    Cinnamon-½ inch stick
    Cloves-2-3 nos
    Bay leaf-1 leaf
    Curry leaves-2 sprigs


    The Way:

    1. Cut the mutton into medium bite sized pieces. Rinse the pieces thoroughly in water
    2. In a pressure cooker, add the mutton pieces, chopped onion, chopped tomato, ginger-garlic paste, red chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, salt, curry leaves and water and mix well
    3. Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles or until the mutton is cooked
    4. In a pan, heat oil. Temper the fennel seeds. Add bay leaf, cinnamon & cloves. Saute for about 30 seconds
    5. Then add the cooked mutton & curry leaves. Cook on low flame until the water evaporates and it becomes completely dry
    6. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves
    Serve with Jeera Rice/Peas Pulav/Coconut Milk Rice/Mutton Biriyani or Roti/Porrottas

    Cheers,
    Chitz