Monday, November 12, 2012

Veg Manchurian and Manchurian Sauce

The day has started off well with a perfect Sindhi breakfast and a perfect Chinese combo for lunch. We had vegetable fried rice with vegetable manchurian plus mushroom manchurian in sauce. You can find the recipe for the fried rice here.

We had eaten Chinese food the previous week at Shitake at Park Square Mall and were bitterly disappointed. Today, it feels like we ate "Chinese" food.

Ingredients :

  1. Mixed vegetables like finely chopped carrots and french beans 
  2. 1 cup maida
  3. 2 tbsp cornflour
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 1 tsp red chilli powder
  6. 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  7. 1 tsp black pepper powder
  8. Water - enough to make a thick dosa batter
  9. Oil for deep frying
How I made it :
  1. Mix together all ingredients from 1 to 7. 
  2. Add water little by little till it resembles a thick pakoda batter.
  3. Heat oil and fry tiny balls of this mixture. 
  4. Serve hot. 
I had made the sauce below for the mushroom manchurian, which was reused for this.

Manchurian Sauce :
Ingredients :
  1. 1 tsp cornflour mixed in 1/2 cup cold water - do not use hot water
  2. 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  3. 1 tbsp oil
  4. 5 spring onions - chopped, green and white separately
  5. 2 finely chopped green chillies
  6. 2 tbsp soya sauce
  7. 1/4 cup Maggi Oriental Sauce - (optional)
  8. 1/4 cup tomato ketchup - use 1/2 cup if not using the oriental sauce
  9. 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
How I made it :
  1. Heat oil in a pan. 
  2. Fry the ginger garlic paste.
  3. Add the white parts of the spring onion and fry for 3 minutes on low heat
  4. Add the green chillies and black pepper
  5. After a minute, add the soya sauce taking care to not let it burn. 
  6. Add both the oriental as well as tomato ketchup.
  7. Once it starts bubbling, put in the water containing dissolved cornflour. 
  8. Once the sauce starts to thicken, turn off heat
Here is a picture of the mushroom manchurian in the sauce.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sindhi Breakfast - Koki - my favorite

Koki is a kind of mixed paratha. Onions, green chillies, chopped coriander, red chilli powder and salt are a must add to the flour while making the dough. Optionally, jeera/cumin or saunf could be added.

I love koki and think that it is a quickie breakfast. Kokis go well with tea, unsalted butter and sugar, pickle, curd and papad. My mom and aunt's kokis are famous amongst my friends and they, mostly men, have taken to cooking kokis when away from home. There must be something about them right?

Ingredients (makes 2 kokis):

  1. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  2. 1 medium sized onion chopped finely
  3. 3 tablespoons oil + extra for cooking
  4. 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  5. 1 finely sliced green chilly
  6. finely chopped coriander
  7. salt to taste
  8. Water - enough to make the dough. I used the whey which is left after making homemade panneer this time
How I made it :

  1.   In a wide bowl, mix in all ingredients from 1 to 7. 
  2. Slowly add water to make a dough. 
  3. Roll out into 1/2 cm thick parathas. 
  4. Use a knife to draw a criss cross on one side - this helps it cook more evenly and also makes it look more interesting.
  5. On a hot tawa/flat pan, on high heat, place the paratha with the criss cross side on top.
  6. After 30 seconds, pour some oil on top and flip it. Reduce heat to low.
  7. Cook for about 2 minutes and flip it again making the heat high. Add more oil as desired. 
  8. When dark brown spots appear, it is done. Serve hot or cold. These stay for about 24 hours in an airtight container and are perfect for travelling. Have it with a hot cup of chai.

No wonder I keep saying that people don't use their common sense! He's dead Jim!

I came across this as a comment on It reflects how I feel exactly these days when
  • I see people honking madly to get through traffic
  • I see two wheeler riders trying to get through the four wheelers
  • I see the piles of garbage dumped at every corner imaginable
  • I see that people still argue about garbage segregation like it is not their responsibility, the garbage is not their responsibility
  • I read news about couples suing the builders for not putting proper protective railing in balconies and windows
  • Just too many to list out here... but you get the point!

"An Obituary printed in the London Times…….. Interesting and sadly rather true
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; Why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn’t always fair; and maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.
He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I’m A Victim
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing"
Please note that all thoughts on this blog are mine alone and may or may not change with the passage of time. None of my thoughts are targeted at any one person in particular.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My first gel wax candle

Have got some tips from my teacher to avoid those bubbles.. until next time.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Panneer Stuffed Snake Gourd recipe

Well, I did not want to make the same usual stuff with the snake gourd that I'd got at hand and so decided to try and stuff it. I do remember seeing related recipes a very long time back but when I did google for "stuffed snake gourd" I was shocked to see that most of them were stuffed with meat or aloo. I decided to do it with panneer as I had in mind while returning from work.

I acted smart and made panneer burji. I made that in excess so that I could stuff the snake gourd with the same. It was scrumptuous.

Ingredients :

  1. Medium snake gourd - peeled and deseeded
  2. Enough panneer burji to stuff in
  3. Salt to rub onto the snake gourd
  4. 2 tbsp oil
How I made it :
  1. Rub salt onto the snake gourd and cook on high in microwave for 5 minutes or until 3/4th cooked.
  2. Fill it with panner burji
  3. Heat oil in a wide pan.
  4. Shallow fry the stuffed snake gourd pieces
Serve hot with rotis. Best had hot. As it cools, you may not like the taste of the oil - remember that shallow frying causes food to actually absorb/retain more oil.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Glazed Tofu with Stir fried BokChoy and Veggies

I had bought BokChoy recently and I had also picked up Tofu. Google showed me this very interesting recipe which I just had to try. I also added some more veggies to the stir fry and here's what it looked it.

Thengai Poli/Ubittu

Whilst in Chennai, our company used to sponsor snacks, which used to be my dinner, for those staying back beyond 7pm at work. This was a real motivation for many to stay back until 7pm. One of my favorites was poli. Warm and sweet, these melt in the mouth stuffed rotis were never something that I stayed away from. I saw this recipe on Nag's blog and it reminded me of poli. I had some coconut on hand and so decided to make the poli with the coconut stuffing rather than the dal. This would also make Pras very happy as he is a keralite who loves his coconuts (wicked smile ;))

When I gave Pras the first one, he went "It tastes just like it does in the store brought ones." Well, what more would I want to hear :)

Ingredients (makes 5 polis): 

  1. 1 cup of maida - you could use whole wheat if you like
  2. 1/2 cup jaggery
  3. 1/2 cup coconut grated
  4. 2 pods of green cardomom crushed
  5. Salt a pinch
  6. 1 tbsp oil
  7. 2 tbsp ghee
  8. Water - 1/4 cup + enough to make a smooth dough
How I made it :
  1. Add the pinch of salt to the flour and make a smooth dough. Ply the dough for about 2 minutes before letting it rest for about 1 hour.
  2. In the meantime, use as little water as possible to melt the jaggery in. This can be done on the stove top with regular mixing. Cutting the jaggery into smaller pieces help this get done sooner. 
  3. Sieve this melted jaggery syrup to remove any impurities.
  4. Add the coconut to this and cook on the stove until the mixture becomes sticky and almost dry.
  5. To this add the crushed cardamom powder.
  6. Now rub some oil onto a plastic sheet. 
  7. Take a ball of dough and flatten it out in your palm, making a well in the center.
  8. Fill this with the coconut jaggery mixture. Try to put as much as possible. Don't be scared of it coming out as this will be a sticky mixture and wont ooze out or cause too much trouble when rolling out. 
  9. Pull the ends of the dough so as to enclose the coconut jaggery mixture and roll this into a thin stuffed roti. You could alternately make it like making stuffed aloo paratha.
  10. Cook on a hot tava until both sides brown. Apply ghee generously and take off the heat.

Nilam Special Uzhunnu Vada

Well, we all know how Sandy and Nilam struck at about the same time, except at different places. So it was one of those rainy holidays on which I had to sit at home. Pras was working and so we had no plans of going out. I woke up and soaked urad dal for making my favorite vada. It is the perfect accompaniment to tea on a cold rainy day or may be any day :)

Ingredients (For 10 vadas) :

  1. 1 cup skinless white urad dal soaked in water for about 4 hours
  2. 1 medium sized onion chopped
  3. 2 green chillies finely chopped
  4. chopped coriander leaves
  5. 1 tsp whole pepper corns
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Oil for frying
Equipment needed: 
A grinder/food processor

How I made it :
  1. Grind the soaked urad dal with as little water as possible to make a thick smooth paste.
  2. To this ground batter add the chopped onions, coriander, green chillies, pepper corns and salt.
  3. Heat up some oil in a deep pan/wok/kadai.
  4. This step is all about frying but if you want to get the right shape of a vada, read on. Keep a bowl of water on the side. Dip the fingers of your right hand in the water. With the excess water wet the palm of your left hand. Now, using your right hand scoop out a sapota sized ball of batter. Flatten it out on your left palm. Now, dip your right index finger into the water and make a hole in the center of the flattened batter.Drop this into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes a side. 
  5. Serve hot with a steaming cup of chai and coconut chutney
Tips :
  1. Use as little water when grinding. The more water you use, grinding may be easy but getting the right shape and texture for frying will be tough.
  2. If you have added a lot of water, you could add some rice flour to thicken the batter.
  3. You could add pieces of coconut to the batter.
  4. To test the oil, put in a small drop of the batter. If it rises immediately, the oil is hot. You don't want smoking hot oil either
  5. Serve with sambar for breakfast