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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pasta in Roasted Peppers freshly infused with Tomato sauce

I am surprised to get Wild Mushroom Agnolotti from the folks at Foodbuzz. It's generously filled with fresh portobello & crimini mushrooms, imported Grana Padano & Parmesan cheese and fresh roasted garlic.

Thanks to the folks at Foodbuzz for sampling it to every foodies including me to get creative in the kitchen and let them choose what combinations we love.

I wanted to try something creative on my own in the kitchen. Slowly, I came up with idea of bedding little pillowy pasta with roasted peppers and freshly infused with tomato sauce to give divine flavor.
If time is an issue, assemble the baked pasta dishes the day before you plan to serve them Believe it or not, it’s my first attempt to assemble pasta. I never enjoyed an expensive Italian restaurant after coming to US, and so I am not good in expert to assemble pasta.
To invent your own baked pasta combinations, try a mix-and-match approach.

I am sending this plate to Buitoni to create my own masterpiece.

Pasta in Roasted Peppers freshly infused with Tomato sauce

1 pack Buitoni Wild Mushroom Agnolotti
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 big onion chopped finely
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon red pepper flakes (As desired)
6 ripe Roma tomatoes chopped finely
2 tablespoon tomato sauce
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar (Optional)
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped Coriander leaves
Grated Parmesan Cheese to serve

Cook the pasta of your choice by following its instructions. Drain the pasta reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
Heat the oil in a saucepan and add crushed fennel seeds and minced garlic. Let them infused with the oil for a minute or two, but don’t burn too much
Add onion and fry it for 5 minutes until it becomes translucent.
Add pepper flakes with tomatoes to onion mixture for few minutes, and bring them to boil.
Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes and stirring occasionally.
Cut roasted green, red, and yellow peppers into julienne strips.
Add roasted pepper strips, salt, and freshly ground pepper to tomato mixture and cook for 3 minutes or until cooked through.
Combine tomato mixture, cooked pasta, and basil in a large bowl, and toss mixture well. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Generally, I do not add cheese to any pasta that has seafood, or hot spices as as the cheese would diffuse the heat of the sauce. I like to add little more of the pepper flakes and wait for a few minutes before tasting. You can always add more if desired, but you can't remove them if you have made the sauce too hot initially.

Roasted Peppers:
Cut the peppers in half, and remove the seeds and membranes. Then place the peppers on a baking sheet, and press each with the palm of your hand to flatten them.

Broil the peppers 5 1/2 inches from heat 15 to 20 minutes or until the skins are blackened. Immediately plunge the charred peppers into a bowl of ice water. Peel the charred skins from the peppers, and discard the pepper skins. The soft, slippery roasted pepper flesh will be ready to use or to freeze.

Buon Appetito!

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Nadar Mutton Kari Kulambo

Yes, it took long time for me to post my latest recipes. Let me tell you what I did from April 1st to April 24th. I was so tired of updating my two blogs and I only forgot about myself. Oh, pls dont get me wrong that I took care of my family,cooking and visitng my friend's houses. Then I didnt release my birthday on April 9th. One day before my birthday, my Mom called me to wish me and reminded me of my Birthday. But Karthik knows and wants to surprise me on that day. He just smiled at me. I told them that I wonder how time went so fast that day. Then I took break off to spend more time with my family and friends.
I won Freshwater Pearls when I participated in the contests of other blogs. I feel it's a special gift for my birthday.
Every days after school, I am taking care of my close friend's daughter,Sritha as her mother is working in her office and she'll come to pick her up after her office hours. She's a very sweet girl enough to surprise me with her lovely drawings for my birthday.
Easter day came on April 12th. We had function in our apartment office. We enjoyed lot in egg hunting after having morning free breakfast buffet there. The kids played Pumped-it-up. We were chatting with friends, having popcorn, cotton candy and snow-icecream. We came home with more egg candies, small packets of popcorn and some cotton candies. The next day, my house was in a mess. I was so tired to clean the whole house, throw the empty egg candies that I found everywhere in the house. Ah! lot of mess to clean and made me to foget me and my blog.
My neighbouring friend gave some sweets for us for Tamil New Year. I didnt cook anything special that day as I've enough food for us. After that, I had less free time to browse somethings. Then I came to know that Earth day is on 22 April. I recycled some stuffs and cleaned my kitchen.
On April 23rd, We enjoyed rehearsal program in school. After the program, We rushed to Starbucks with my cup to get free coffee on that day. I am only the coffee lover in the house.
On my birthday, we had fasting for full moon day. Before my birthday, Karthik bought me mutton as we all enjoyed to eat mutton kari kulambo. The recipe is very simple to cook but it gives more flavor and hard to resist. Pls dont blame me if you become addictive!
My Mutton Kari Kulambo goes to Orginal recipe

Mutton - 2lb preferably Goat Meat
Big Onion - 3 chopped finely
Tumeric ground - 1 big pinch
water to cook mutton - 1 cup
Coconut milk - 1/2 cup (optional)
Oil - 5 tbsp
Salt to taste

Grind to smooth paste:
Dry red chilly - 11
Cumin seeds - 8 tbsp
Coriander seeds - 8 tbsp

Clean the mutton and keep aside.
Pour some water in the blender and grind the above ingredients to smooth paste like chutney.
In a pressure cooker, heat oil and fry onion till golden brown. Add mutton and fry for 3 minutes. Add the grinded paste, turmeric powder and salt. Add water and bring to boil. Close the lid and let it cook for 15 minutes over medium-low flame. Open the lid after the steam oozes out. Cook it again in low flame to get thick curry.
I also added 1/2 cup of coconut milk if it's too spicy. Serve hot with rice/idly/dosa/rotis.

Dont cook it again in low flame if you want thin curry.
Adding 1/2 cup of coconut milk gives great flavor.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rose Milk: Unconditional Love

Rose Milk
What do you think of the color "Pink"? To me it always represents rose milk, the beautiful smell from the essence of Rose reminds me of my childhood memories. My mom used to make it and put ice on top and gave it to me after school with a big glass of rose milk. It's because I hate milk and never enjoy to drink it plain with sugar or any drink mixes like Ovaltine, Boost, Horlicks etc.
Nowadays, I never tried it and enjoyed lot only in few restaurants in Singapore. Here, in US, I asked indian stores whether rose syrup is available or not. I was happy to get it and tried it. To my surprised, Jaihari too enjoyed it lot but his friend, Sritha just heard its name and didnt try it here as she never liked it.

Rose Milk
I read its instruction in the back of the rose syrup. I know it'll be very sweet. So, I prepared my mind to change its measurement on my own. It's very easy and simpe unless you have rose syrup. Using the rose syrup, we can also make Semiya Payasam and other deserts.
I took rose syrup to Food of Miami who asked me what brand she can get it in the supermarket. She wants to try it urgently as it's very easy to make it for her. Let her enjoy drinking my rose milk, slurp...slurp...slurp... Do visit her blog to know the best restaurants, she ever tried, in the places where she travels around the world especially Mumbai.

Rose Milk
Rose Milk Syrup

Rose Milk
Here's what I need:
1/4 cup or to taste Rose Syrup
4 glasses of chill milk
Ice cubes if prefered
Blend rose syrup, chill milk and some ice in a blender and push frozen drinks & shakes button to blend well. Serve it in a glass with some ice cubes. I am using Oster fusion and it blends great for smoothies and shakes.
Slurp, slurp, slurp............... and enjoy.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Methi Matar Malai: Scrumptious Delights

Methi Matar Malai
On March 28th 2009, I thought of posting this recipe but unfortunatly we shop to Grapevine mall in texas to buy skate shoes for Jaihari who passed his Math test in Addition successfully. I am very busy mother in spending more time with him and Sritha(my friend's kid) to do their homework after their school. I love to write more in my blog but I didnt have enough time to write more in my blog. Please bear with me. I used to spend more time in cooking, helping to do thier homework, blogging and visiting my friends' houses.

My interent explorer is still not working till now. I use Mozilla Firefox and in that browser, my font sizes are too smaller and if I change it, then it'll look bigger in internet explorer. I dont want to change font in Mozilla Firefox. Pls let me know if anything goes wrong in interent explorer. My laptop is infected with virus. My hubby spend 2 days to clear it. I know it's hard. I'll greatly appreciate to you if you let me know the best software to protect the virus.
I decided to cook Methi Matar Malar to submit this picture to Click at jugalbandi, and the theme this month is wood and My Legume Love Affair - Ninth Helping (MLLA9) events. I dont have any suggestions of paticipating RCI-Lucknow event. Thanks lot dear Lavi of Home's Cook's recipe for asking me to send my recipe for Lucknowi special of Methi Matar Malai. I would be happy if anyone wishes me to choose dishes in my blog to participate their events.
Methi Matar Malai
Making time: 30 minutes excluding plucking fresh fenugreek leaves
Makes: 3 servings
1 bunch methi/fenugreek leaves chopped
1 cup green peas
2 small potatoes peeled and cut into cubed size pieces
1/2 cup cream or malai (I used half & half)
2 tbsp ghee or butter or oil
1 tsp sugar or 1/2 tsp splenda
1 pinch turmeric
salt to taste
1/2 tsp. cuminseeds
1 pinch asafoetida

Grind to smooth paste:
1 big onion
4 green chilies
1 tsp cashewnuts or 1/2 tbsp Almonds
2-3 green chillies
1" ginger
2 cardamom
3" stick cinnamon
3 cloves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 cup Peas(to thicken the gravy)
1/2 cup water

1.Drain and wash well in colander under running water. Blend into smooth paste with 1/2 cup water.
2.Heat oil in a wide skillet/kadai. Season it with cumin seeds and asafoetida. Add ground paste and stirfry for 5 minutes in medium-low flame until the paste turns light golden brown.
3.Now add potatoes first, then methi leaves and finally peas. Stir fry for 2 minutes until the leaves wilt. Add sugar, salt and turmeric and stir fry for another 2 minutes
4. Add malai and 1 cup of water. Cover and cook in low flame for 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
5. Drizzle little cream or grated panner/tofu on top if desired and serve piping hot with any Indian bread or flavoured Rice.

For low fat version of this Methi Matar Malai, replace fresh cream with yogurt. Cashew nuts can also be avoided to replace it with almonds. You can also grind 1/4 cup of almond to get thick gravy instead of peas.
Sugar is optional but recommended to avoid bitterness from the fenugreek leaves. If the curry is too thick, mix in a few tblsp of milk.

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Cracked Wheat: Fast To cook, Good To Eat

Cracked Wheat with Tomato
On March 24, I had flu in the evening. I felt so drowsy after tablets, make me so tired and sleepy. Dont know what to cook for dinner. Thinking, thinking, thinking, I want to cook some simple and eloborate meal for tonight dinner. Upma is very simple to cook and some varieties of upma will not satisfy us fully. Atleast, I choosed to cook the cracked wheat#2 with tomato. This cracked wheat is little bigger than creacked wheat #1. Some of you may like it or not. We simply love to eat it with banana, sugar and pickle. Whenever I get mood and want to changes from tomato or few mixed veggies or only peas to plain upma only with chopped onion.
Oh, it's getting cold in our house when the weather is very warm outside, it'll be warm when the weather is hot outside and it'll be hot when it's very hot outside. I wonder the temperature inside and outside keep changing. In the same way, when you eat this upma as soon as it's cooked and you'll feel warm inside ur body. Isn't it that amazing?

2 cups Cracked wheat#2
1 cup Vermicelli/Semiya
6 cups water
1 big onion chopped finely
5 green chilies slit open
1 stick curry leaves
1 small tomato
4 garlic chopped finely
Salt to taste

2 tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp urad dal
1 tbsp chana dal
1/4 tsp Asafetida/Hing

Heat oil in a big kadai. Do the above seasonings. Add garlic, green chilies, curry leaves and fry till soft. Add onion and fry till golden brown. Add tomato and let it cook for 5 minutes till it turns pulpy and releases its juice. Add water and salt and bring to boil. Check salt to taste. Finally add cracked wheat and semiya. Mix well and close the lid. Let it cook for 8 to 10 minutes in medium low flame. Serve hot.
It's ok if it burnt little and it gives crunchy and chewy taste. Try it out and enjoy it.
Cracked Wheat with Tomato goes to goes to FIL-Tomatoes event by Sanghi of Sanghi's Food Delights, Srivalli of "Cooking for 4 all seasons", who is guest hosting "Monthly Mingle" this month with "Kids lunches" and JFI- Wheat

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Restaurant Style Tomato Chutney/Red Chutney

Restaurant Style Tomato Chutney
I know every one makes regular tomato chutney without coconut. Can anyone say how come this tasty is so tasty in the restaurant and enjoyed lot with idlies or king-sized Paper Dosai? We can sense they only add coconut to make it more chutney to save the costs of tomatoes. Isnt it? If anyone try it, then it'll remind you to get the similar taste that you tried in any good restaurants. Most of the women including me omit coconut as it's not good for health but enjoyed it lot in the restaurants. Yes, it's funny and just give good smile :). I am pleased to everyone to try it and let me know howmany idlies you had. I am very sure that everyone will enjoy it with more idlies especially kids. When I was in the restaurant, I tasted it 4 to 8 times by eating slowly to find out what ingredient they had. Then I found the smell of coconut and tried it. I was amazed that it gives the same taste as in the restaurant.
1 Red onion
1 big ripe tomato
2 dry red chilly
1/4 cup freshly grated coconut
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp split urad dal
1 dry red chilly
6 nos curry leaves
1/4 tsp ground Asafoetida
Idly with Tomato Chutney
Heat 1 tbsp of oil and fry dry red chilies along with chopped onion until translucent. Now add chopped tomatoes and cook until it becomes soft and mushy to blend well and make it a thick curry. Add salt and coconut and grind well. Add water little as required to run the blender to make thick and smooth chutney paste.
Heat one tsp of oil and do the above seasonings. Serve it with idly or dosa by drizzling with Gingely oil on top.
Luckily, only 2 entries I found to pass this chutney to FIL-Tomatoes event by Sanghi of Sanghi's Food Delights and FIC-PINK hosted by Priya of Priya's Easy And Tasty Recipes.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Paruppu Urundai Moru Kulambo:Fool Proof

Paruppu Urndai Moru Kulambo

I tried it from 660 curries as it sounds new to me. Most of the tamil kitchen make Paruppu Urundai for this plain cury as kulambo. It tastes good but different from our regular moru kulambo. I was panic to use then number of chilies in this recipe but the pigeon peas, buttermilk, half and half, and coconut are all these purpose of lowering the heat.
I didnt follow the same instructions for making this dumplings from that book. I used paniyaram pan and spray cooking oil and put all the dumplings and cook it on very low flame. Outside of the dumplings cooked so fast but 100% is not cooked well inside :( Microwave them for 5 minutes so that they're fully cooked and added them into the buttermilk mixture. If anyone like my idea, you can also try it and you'll get the same result as shown in the above picture.
Serves 8
For the dumplings:
1 cup oily or unoily skinned split yellow pigeon peas (toovar dal),
12 dried red thai or cayenne chiles, stems removed
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh curry leaves
1/4 cup rice flour
1 teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground asafetida
1/4 cup canola oil
For the curry:
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 cup shredded fresh coconut; or 1/2 cup shredded dried unsweetened coconut, reconstituted
4 to 6 d dried red thai or cayenne chiles, to taste, stems removed
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt
12 medium-size to large fresh curry leaves
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon black or yellow mustard seeds
1. To make the dumplings:
Place the pigeon peas in a medium-size bowl. Fill the bowl halfway with water and rinse the peas by rubbing them between your fingertips. The water will become cloudy. Drain this water.
Repeat 3 or 4 times, until the water remains relatively clear; drain. Now fill the bowl halfway with warm water and the chiles. Let it sit at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap, until the pigeon peas have softenened, at least 30 minutes or as long as 4 hours.
2. Drain the pigeon peas and chiles, and transfer them to a food processor. Process to form a red-speckled slightly gritty paste. Scrape this into a medium-size bowl. Fold in the curry leaves, rice flour, salt and asafetida.
3. Heat a wok or a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium-heat. Drizzle the oil down its sides. When the oil has formed a shimmering pool at the bottom, add the thick pigeon pea paste. Cook, stirring and spreading it out evenly with a back of a spoon, until it changes from a wet, sticky-feeling, batterlike dough to a dull, dry-feeling, soft, doughlike mass, 3 to 5 minutes. (At first, the paste will stick to the spoon. Keep scraping it off with spatula. Then, as it cooks, the paste will stop sticking. Dont overcook it, or the dough will dry out, turning into small pebble-like chunks that will be difficult to shap.) Transfer the dough to a plate to cook.
4. Once it's cool to the touch, divide the dough into 16 equal portions. Compress each portion tightly in the palm of your hand, forming a tight walnut-size dumpling. Place the dumplings on a baking sheet, cover them with plastic wrap, and set them aside while you prepare the curry.(You can prepare the dumplings upto 2 days aheas; cover and refrigerate.)
5. Now, make the curry:
Whish the buttermilk and half-and-half together in a medium-size bowl.
6. Pour 1/4 cup water into a blender jar, followed by the coconut, chiles, cumin and coriander. Puree, scraping the inside of the jar as needed, to make a gritty, red speckled citrus-smelling sauce. Pour this into the butermilk mixture, and stir in the salt and curry leaves.
7. Heat the oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds, cover the pan, and cook until the seeds have stopped popping (not unlike popcorn), about 30 seconds. Immediately and carefully pour the buttermilk mixture into the pan and stir once or twice. Add the dumplings in a single layer. Lower the heat to medium and bring the curry to a gentle boil. As soon as it starts to boil, remove the pan from the heat. You will notice that the curry has instantly started to thicken, thanks to the rice flour in the dumplings and the coconut in the sauce. Gently lift the buttermilk-drenched dumplings and transfer them to a serving bowl or platter. Pour the sauce over them. ( One or two dumplings may fall apart, but that's okay. That's the reason why you remove the pan from the heat as soon as the sauce comes to boil; The more it boils, the more the dumplings will start to disintegrate.) Serve immediately.
I am sending this entry to My Legume Love Affair-Eighth Helping and Lentils Mela of Ashwini's spicy cuisine.

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