Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kerala style clam - Kakka irachi thoran

Kakka irachi are the tiny clams that are found in abundance in the backwaters of Kerala. There are a lot of amazing recipes around, but this one is the typical 'thoran' style. Lightly flavored, and complimented by the freshly ground coconut.

The above pic has been taken from the net, just to show how it looks raw.

We get this already out of the shells. All we have to do it, squeeze it in the middle, and a sac of dirt will push out. Just remove that dirt sac . wash the flesh in water twice.

Clams - 250 gms
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder - 1/4 tsp
Sliced green chillies - 2
Curry leaves - 1 stalk
Salt - to taste
Tamarind / kudam puli - 2 pieces
Water -just to cover the clams in the pot

Add all the ingredients to a pot and cook on medium, lid on for 5 minutes, and then off to let the water reduce as much as possible. Take off the stove.

Meanwhile, lightly grind (or pulse twice), the following ingredients..

Grated coconut - 1 tbsp
Jeera /cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Shallots - 4 nos

Add  this lightly ground paste to the cooked clams.

In a  hot wok, add
Coconut oil (what else ?) - 1 tbsp (use olive oil or sunflower oil if u feel like it)
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves  - 1 stalk
Dried red chillies - 2

Just stir though the clam and coconut mixture, add more salt of needed, and switch off..

Enjoy as a side dish with rice n some curry.. great combination with moru curry.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cheese and Garlic Rolls -

I have been clicking a lot of pictures of my dishes, and not getting the time to post. And after seeing this recipe for the Garlic pull-apart rolls on Edible garden, I just had to experiment!!!. Especially, since her pictures are drool - worthy and difficult to resist...

This is a totally vegetarian recipe. And even though it uses yeast, the directions are so easy to follow, and results are virtually fail proof.... I made two batches within 24 hours !!!

The recipe from Edible Garden is here . She has step - by step pictures too, So please check it out.

I did slightly tweak it. I did not have any fresh coriander leaves, so used those mixed herbs from the Pizza hut .. you can also use dried oregano.

So this is how I did it.

After reading a few comments on the Edible garden blog, I let the yeast rise separately.

Flour (maida) - 1 and 1/2 cups
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Yeast - 1/2 tbsp
Warm Water - 1 cup + 1 tbsp (approximately - according to the flour, you may need to use a bit less or a bit more)

Olive oil - about 1 tbsp (keep aside)
Grated cheese - 2 tbsps

Garlic butter - I used 50 gms of Amul butter (salted), at room temperature and mixed through with 4 cloves of finely grated garlic. Mix well and keep aside.

In a glass, take about half of the warm water, yeast and sugar and mix.. in minutes (5 to 10), you can see the yeast frothing.

Add this to a bowl with the flour and salt and the remaining water, and mix well. This will become a slightly sticky dough.

Knead through the dough with some olive oil -  approximately 1 tbsp till the dough is elastic, cover the bowl with Cling film and let the dough rise, by leaving it in a warm place for about 45 minutes.

Take the dough and knock the air out. Then divide into 2 equal portions.

Grease a baking tray with olive oil or butter and keep ready.

Now, take one of the dough balls and flatten it out in a rough rectangle shape.

 (usually, when I try to roll out round chappatis, i get a rectangle or square shape.. this time when i tried to make a rectangle, i got a circle...I got a bit carried away with rolling, so the rectangle shape was a bit thinner than it should have been.. I realised that only after i spread butter on..)

Spread on half of the garlic butter. Then i sprinkled over with the pizza herbs and a bit of grated cheese .

Then roll the rectangle into a log. cut into half and then the two pieces into halves again.  So you get four. Repeat the entire rolling out, spreading butter, rolling and cutting with the other half of the dough ball and u get 8 pieces.

(Since my roll was longer and thinner, to keep the shape, i had to cut each half into 8 . So i had 16 mini rolls when i was done.)

Arrange these in the greased baking tray. Brush the tops with some milk, instead of egg wash.

Let them rest for a half hour, so they will increase in size. Meanwhile , preheat the Oven to 180 C.

I have a convection oven. So I set it for 30 minutes. After 20 minutes were done, I sprinkled the grated cheese mixed with the bits of garlic butter and baked the rest of 10 minutes.

If kept for the whole of 30 minutes, the cheese would have burnt.

Take off the oven, It tastes equally great served hot or even cooled, but mostly getting to sample it cold may be impossible.... Absolutely tasty... It is definitely moreish ...

I loved this recipe because of the guaranteed results, that even an 'iffy' baker like me could do it. I made a second batch the very next morning...  !!!!

Try it out and let me know....