Monday, June 30, 2008

Chicken noodle soup

This is very very easy to make and takes amazingly little time.

Leek - 1 to 2 (sliced fine)
You may use 1 onion and Spring onions instead of the leek
Garlic - 2to 3 cloves peeled and crushed
Tomato - 1 large (deseeded and diced)
Turmeric - a pinch
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp or more to taste
Chicken - 150 gms(cubed/ dice)
Chicken stock cubes - 2(or fresh/frozen chicken stock)
Sausage - 2 (or more)(sliced)
Noodles - 1 packet (I used egg hakka noodled)
Salt - to taste
Soy sauce - 1 tsp

Heat a thick bottomed vessel, saute the leek/onion/spring onion...toss in the garlic and add the chicken, saute for 2 minutes. Now add the tomatoes, turmeric, chilli powder and close with a lid to let the tomato cook through. If the stock is liquid or frozen, add it or add a glass of water and the chicken stock cubes..
Let the soup boil. Now add the noodles and and the sliced sausages. finally add the soy sauce, salt to taste and pepper powder.

If you prefer, beat an egg and add it to the boiling soup while stirring constantly. Have it hot and life will seem very beautiful at that moment...:)

A new project...sewing!!!

I have dabbled a lot in embroidery, have made cross-stitch samplers and a lot of flowers...sadly nothing to show.

This time, I am on a different track.......trying to stitch a dress for our little princess who turns two in a few days...

I found the material...and am going to keep things very very simple...

But after having promised myself that I would get her anything but a pink dress, I have gone and bought ....yep! PINK!!!

So here is the material..have got some lace too sinced the material is is (i guess) Sand crepe material and has a lovely sheen to it.

So watch this space for the finished product...:)

Glass paintings

These are a couple of glass paintings that I did some while back....

I am absolutely fascinated by Ganesha..I personally have drawn atleast fifty Ganeshas and I know that there are soooo many ways I can still keep on drawing this absolutely fascinating image...

The paint is laid very thin and I have crinkled the foil a lot so as to reflect the light well.

In the underwater piece, I just went through a lot of underwater photos and drew the the fish all on one surface...and I have done my best to adhere to the colours of the fish, but maybe there is a bit of artistic license thrown in too...

And everything is free-hand drawing.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Related to Fish Moilee !!!!

This is a slightly spicier, yet easier to make, cousin of fish 'moilee' or fish 'molly' not too sure about the right spelling, but it is one of my favourite fish dishes..

This is a short cut to first frying the fish and then starting over with making the curry, but this way, I guess it saves time and there are lesser pots and pans to use..which is a big priority with me...

The best tasting fish moilee I have had has always been made with Karimeen..but sadly it has been ages since I could sink my teeth into some, let alone get some to cook ....sob!

Any fleshy fish cut into fillets would do...

Fish - 1/2 kg cut and cleaned

Heat a flat bottomed cooking vessel with lid on medium flame.. Then to this add
cooking oil - 2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp

Mix the powders in oil and spread the oil till the entire bottom is coated in oil. Now add the fish pieces so they all get the spice evenly. put the lid on and steam for 2 minutes. Now, gently the fish pieces over and again put the lid. Steam for two minutes and then take off the lid and let the fish slowly fry...

Meanwhile, take

Onions - 2 large (sliced fine)
Tomatoes - 2 medium (nearly ripe - sliced fine)
Green chillies - 2 (slit)
coconut milk powder 2 tsp - mixed with 1/2 glass of water
Curry leaves - 1 to 2 stalks
Add these to the fish ..just distribute over the fish evenly and let it cook

Coarsely grind
Cumin - 1 tsp
Garlic - 6-8 cloves
pepper corns - 7-8 or more

mix the ground paste with a few drops of oil and 1 tsp (or more) of vinegar and add when the gravy starts boiling.

Now, Mix
cocnut milk powder 4 tsp in 1/2 of water and switch off the stove before it boils. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with rice, pulao etc.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rosemaling - another attempt...

As I had posted earlier, I find the style of rosemailing very very pleasing. this was also done a while back, but with shifting and unpacking, it got put away in an unlikely box and i did not discover this until a few days sooo happy i found it..and I did find another fabric painting that I had done only half way..
as soon as i find time to complete it, I will post that too..

Meanwhile, I am trying to make a slightly grand dress for my daugter..have lots of designs in my mind..and as i am a dince at sewing with machines, I have to do the stitching with hand, unless I find someone to stitch it for me!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Thoran - Cabbage and String beans

This is the traditional malayali preparation of thoran. Usually, we use vegetables like beans, cabbage etc individually, or combine carrots, cabbage , beetroot etc together.

I got some very tender string beans which could have been used in another preparation, but since I had some grated coconut handy, I made the thoran. And just to put a different twist on it, added some cabbage too..

String bean is achinga in malayalam, and karamani in tamil. To avoid any more confusion, I am adding a picture I got from the web..there are many varieties of string beans, but what i made looked exactly like those in the picture.

String beans - 1/4 kilo
Cabbage - 1/4 kilo

chop both vegetables into the tiniest pieces.

Coconut - grated (1/4 to 1/2 cup)
Green chillies - 2
Small onions- 3 to 5 (peeled)
Jeera/ cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
lightly grind the coconut and the rest of the ingredients. 2 to 3 pulses in a dry grinder should be sufficient.

Turmeric - 1/ 4 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Add the above ingredients, the ground coconut, to the chopped vegetables and mix well.

In a kadai, add
oil - 2 tbsp

temper with
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Raw rice - 1 tsp
Dry red chillies - 2 (broken)
Curry leaves - 3 stalks, leaves separated.

Put the chopped vegetables, close the lid and steam for about 5 to 10 minutes. Mix well and take off the stove.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Fish curry with Capsicum (Green Bell peppers)

This is the basic fish curry that I make. And usually I make it very very hot. But for the sake of others who may use this recipe, I have made sure that the amount of chilli used is according to normal standards.

I have used a fish called Katla. It has thick flesh, with lots of bones, but this same recipe can be used for even the small fish like sardines or mackerel. (Mathi and ayala in malayalam).Capsicum adds more flavour to the curry, but it can be an optional ingredient.

Read the recipe through and assemble the ingredients for an easier cooking experience!!
Fish - 1/2 KG (cleaned and sliced)
Capsicum - 1 medium sized (deseeded and sliced)
Tamarind/ kudam puli/vinegar - 3 pieces/ 1 tsp
Keep the above aside for the time being.

As always, I go for the easier way, so I start with tempering the dish.

Oil - 1 tbsp (or less)
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Methi seeds /uluva - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 2-3 stalks (leaves separated)

Heat oil and add the given tempering agents in that order.

Now add,one by one,

Onions- 2 nos (sliced)
Garlic - (6 to 8) peeled and sliced
Ginger - (1 inch) sliced thin
Green chillies - 3 (slit)

Saute these well till the raw smell goes.

Make a paste with
coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Chilli powder - 1 and 1/2 tsp
Kashmir chilli powder or paprika - 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Water - just enough to make a thick paste

Add this and saute till the oil floats on top
now add
Tomatoes - 2 (sliced)(optional)
Keep the lid on so the tomatoes are cooked through and add to the thickness of the gravy. The traditional recipes never called for tomatoes, but tasted really good too. I personally prefer to add tomatoes since I feel it adds to the flavour.

Meanwhile, boil 1 cup of water, take about a quarter and soak kudampuli or tamarind (3 pieces) in water. In case this tamrind is not available, you can add about 1 tsp of vinegar.

Add the tamarind and boiled water to the paste and mix well.Add salt to taste.once the gravy starts boiling, add the fish pieces and capsicum. Cover and cook on medium fire (this particular fish took about 15-20 minutes)till done. Add some more curry leaves and a few drops of oil and put off the stove.

If preferred, the quantity of gravy can be reduced by adding less water or slightly letting off steam while the fish cooks.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Chicken stew - healthy too!!!

This is a very easy and very tasty dish to make......

Traditionally, this was made minus the tomatoes and the coconut milk was always extracted the old fashioned way...

I used to do this too, but since I have discovered the coconut milk powder,I always use it ..saves time, and the end result is just as delicious.

Chicken - 1 kg (cleaned and cut into small pieces)
Green chillies - 5 to 6 (slit)
Curry leaves - 3 to 5 stalks
Onion - 1 to 2 (sliced)
Tomatoes - 2 to 3 (sliced - make sure the tomatoes are not too ripe)
Potatoes - 2 to 3 (peeled and cut into cubes)
Salt - 1 tsp
Cardamom - full pods - 4 to 5
Cloves - 4 to 5
Cinnamom sticks - 2 ( 1 inch sticks)
Pepper corns - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1 pinch
Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp

Keep aside

Coconut milk powder - 5 tbsps
water - 1 glass
coriander leaves - cleaned and chopped
coconut oil - 1 tsp

Put all of the first set of ingredients (chicken to chilli powder) in the pressure cooker . Mix 1 tbsp of coconut milk powder with 3/4 glass of water and add to the lot. Pressure cook till 4 whistles. Take off the stove and leave till steam escapes.

Now, keep on the stove and add the remaining 4 tbsps of coconut milk powder to 1/4 glass of water.Add more salt as required. Switch off the stove before the stew boils.Add the bunch of chopped coriander leaves and a pinch of tarragon (optional). Add 1 tsp of coconut oil.

Superb with aapams, porotta, chappatis ..I love to have it with rice and lemon pickle.