Sunday, May 06, 2007

I am gone...but I will be back

Dear friends,

I am on a long blogging break (due to personal and academic reasons), but I hope to be back soon gradually, may be in a new form. Thanks to some of you who enquired so warmly about me. I love you all- my readers and bloggers of the food world. I hope to be back to soon to cook and share with you in this warm and affectionate world of food. Meanwhile, take care of yourself, and check in once in a blue-moon just in case I am back :).


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Shrimp with mustard, poppy seeds and coconut

I apologise for the delay in posting of this recipe. There was a health-related emergency in the family but everything is much better now. So, now I have some time and hope to get back to blogging slowly but steadily.

This is a bengali recipe and the inspiration if from the Narkol-shorshe-chingri here .
I have of course made some changes. Here's the summary:

Time taken for us:
15-20 minutes

Shrimps- 1 frozen pack of cooked (about 0.5 Lb)
Red Onion- 1/2 sliced
Garlic- 1 tsp paste
Mustard Seeds- 1.5 Tblsp
Poppy Seed-1 Tblsp
Coriander Pdr- 1tsp
Cumin Pdr-1tsp
Turmeric Pdr- 1tsp
Chili Pdr- 1/4 tsp (optional)
Coconut shreds- 1 cup ( I thawed from a frozen pack)

Heat 1 tsp oil and saute the thawed shrimp with a little bit of turmeric and salt. Add 1 tbslp of water if it gets dry. For more authentic taste use uncooked ( I am just trying to save some time here).

Grind mustard, and poppy seed with a pinch of salt ( I use a coffee grinder). Make a paste of this grounded mustard and poppy seeds along with the rest of spices powders (cumin ,coriander, chilli, left over turmeric) with a some water.

Heat oil. Put onions and fry on medium heat until they are golden. Add the garlic and saute for few more minutes. Add the coconut shreds and stir till they take a slight golden hue. Add the spice paste and saute for a while. Add 1/2 cup of water and when it boils add the shrimps. Add salt to taste.

I like this with white rice.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Cooking from blogs: Kalakand

Poha pulau

I made this as breakfast on the day of Diwali. Breakfast is my absolute favorite meal, and it had to be special on Diwali. But I had an exam to prepare, so I whipped this up in a matter of 15 minutes (courtesy: frozen veggie...but hey, they are healthy) and was very happy with the result. I added lots of vegetables and peanuts to give it a twist of sorts :>.

Poha (pressed rice) 1 cup.
Onion - 1/2 cut into slices
Peanuts - 1/2 cut
Mixed Veg - I used precooked frozen veggie (carrots, peas, cauliflower, broccoli)
Spices: Cumin,coriander, turmeric powder - 1 tsp

How I did it in 15 minutes....:

Heat oil in a pan. Add onions and the peanuts and fry till onion turns translucent. Add the thawed vegetables at this point. Saute for some more time and add the spices and salt. Meanwhile soak the poha in water for about 2-3 minutes till softened. Drain the water and stir in this softened poha to the pan. Adjust the salt and spice.

Submitting this to Nandita's WBB.

Celebrating halloween with pumpkin muffins

I decided to make something related to pumpkin to celebrate 'Halloween'. I was inspired by a Tokyoastrogirl's this post. This is the second time I am trying this. First time I followed the original instructions from here except baking soda which I didn't have at hand. It tasted great, was very moist but looked crazy (because all of the muffins had sagged in the hoo) though they had the right color.
This time I tried again and did not forget the baking soda. The time for baking given here is about 55 minutes. But I was surprised that within 20 minutes my apartment had the lovely baking spice wafting around. I ignored for a while, but then decided to check the beauties. Uh-oh...they had turned a very scary brown..very apt for Halloween. But guess what ? They were really beautiful inside ( as you can see from the one cut open in the picture). It immediately brought the song " I am matter what they say" by c. aguilera to mind. Go ahead enjoy these semi-sweet, low-fat (no oil and cream as in the original recipe), scented with coconut milk and walnuts. Happy Halloween!

One question: What is the function of egg in baking ? Does it HAVE to be added ?

The stuff you need are:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour ( I love whole wheat!)
1 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon (heaped) baking soda
1 teaspoon (heaped) baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 can coconut milk
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

How I did it:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease muffin cups or put muffin paper shells in them.
Mix together all the dry ingredients( 1st six in the list) and wet (next 4 including sugar in sequence ) separately. Mix them all together at the end and stir in the walnut. Fill about 3/4 of the muffin cups with this. Bake it for ~30 minutes (or until tooth inserted into center comes out clean, or in my case..when it smells great :) )

( I tried to decorate every muffin with one chocolate chip in the center, but somehow they didn't melt !! )

I am submitting this to My Dhaba's Virtual Cooking Competition.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Non-food related: Blank Noise Project

This is a non-food related post. If you are in a mood to browse, I would encourage you to look at the Blank Noise Project, and support it if possible. This project spreads awareness about the reality of eve-teasing in India and the prejudices attached to it (eg. if a girl is harassed,its because of she is wearing...that's all nonsense most of the time!). Also, I have noticed that such harassment differ from state to state. For example, my experience was that Bengal was so much better in this respect compared to Bihar and UP; and Southern India (except Ooty in Tamil Nadu), is better than Northern India (all this while wearing 'super decent' salwar that is the constant factor). By this I do not want to isolate regions, but really understand where the problem lies. Any thoughts ?

I really feel strongly about this because I feel with newer technology (like stupid phone cameras, image morphings and trash emails sent, girls are being harassed more than ever before). Unfortunately, not much are being done to prevent these; though I heard some law has been placed for these cyber-crimes, but which girl in India would report such things; it's the responsibility of the authorities as well to put stricter rules. Honestly, that's one of the things of US I truely liked: I never had to bother once in the Univerisity about anything apart from my performance in work. I was never judged for how I look. I felt like a person, rather than a female. I love India a lot, and feel that we must make it a better place for everyone. I would appreciate your thoughts and ideas about this.

Friday, October 20, 2006

!! Happy Diwali !! with Malpoa!

Diwali is a festival of light encompassing all human. It is to spread the message of righteousness and wishes prosperity to all. As a child in India, we celebrated with lighting candles or earthen lamps all over the house, and sharing sweets and yes, with firecrakers, the small ones as well as charki and fuljhuri (don't know their English/Hindi names), and sharing sweets with one and all. This is my mother's sweet dish that I absolutely loved.
Wishing you all happiness, prosperity and peace with all on the occasion of Diwali with these sweet dishes called 'Malpoa'

Evaporated Milk- 2 cans ( This ready-made thickened milk. Traditionally this would be made by thickening the milk first, but I found this short-cut).
Flour - 1/2 cup
Fennel Seeds - 1.5 Tblsp ( Can use saffron or cardamom instead, but I like this)
Sugar - 2 cups
Water - 2 cups
Oil for frying

Mix the flour with the evaporated milk such that there is almost no lumps and the mixture is thick enough to pour like a batter (No sugar in batter). Meanwhile make a sugar syrup of 1 thread consistency with the sugar and water. In a pan heat about 1tsp of oil, put batter and fry it on both sides. Once done, transfer it to the sugar syrup. Continue this process. Transfer the Malpoa from the syrup container to another clean container. Serve it hot or cold.