Popular Recipes

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Aroma From a Guest Kitchen"- (Guest- Vidhya Souresh)- Carrot Kheer

Guest: Vidhya Souresh
Dish: Carrot Kheer
Vidhya is my friend  'V' that I mention in many of my recipes. We spend a good 6-7 years together in Ithaca,NY. In those years...I must have learnt a lot of recipes, techniques from Vidhya and had her delicious food countless times!Oh how I miss those days :( 
When I was pregnant with 'A', Vidhya made this really nutritious and delicious (at the same time)..Carrot kheer for me. She said this kheer was made by her mom when she was little. The Carrot kheer  can be had as a 'warm dessert'/ or cold with a scoop of ice cream or even as a 'drink' for the kids. Either ways.... it tastes "AWESOME!!!
sugar -1cup or little less
cashews-10nos(soaked in milk for 20 min)
sliced almonds-4tbsps(garnishing)
milk-5cups (healthier version)
half & half-1cup & milk 3cups(occasionally.........to jazz up your taste buds)
1/8 tsp -salt.
vanilla ice cream(optional).

-grate the carrots and saute in ghee until raw smell disappears.
-pressure cook the carrots with enough milk and puree the carrots.
-make a syrup with sugar and add the puree.
- cook till the mixture turns transparent.
 -make a coarse paste out of cashews and add to the mixture.
 -pulse the milk in the blender for 2mins(this gives a creamy texture to the milk)and add to the mixture.
  -add half&half, cardamon,salt and saffron.
  -boil it for 10mins.
 -serve warm or cold with a scoop of ice cream.
~ Vidhya

Monday, April 4, 2011

"Sweet Treats"- Shrikhand/ Fruit and Nut Shrikhand


'Shrikhand' is one of the favorite sweets at home.Back home in India, it was surely on the menu for 'Padwa'. Last night I had all forgotten about 'Padwa' being today. This morning when I remembered,I checked the refrigerator and found 1 can of yogurt and some fruits. There I had the sweet for the occasion!
Earlier ...Shrikhand mostly came in 2 flavors- Elaichi and Mango (Amrakhand)...but now they make various different varieties...Fruit Shrikhand, Nuts Shrikhand, Dry Fruits Shrikhand etc etc...
I decided to sort of combine all of that and make my 'Fruit and Nut Shrikhand'

1- 32 Oz can of Plain yogurt(Will make about 1+ cup of Shrikhand)
1/4-1/3rd cup sugar (depends on how sweet you want it)
1/2 tsp Elaichi powder(Cardamon)
1/4tsp Nutmeg powder
1 pinch Saffron
1tsp warm milk

Fruits and Nuts cut up in small pieces:

1) On a cheesecloth, drain the yogurt.Tie the cheesecloth and hang for atleast 4 hrs.

2) All the water in the yogurt should drip away to give thick 'Chakka'. You can do this overnight.But 4-5 hrs will yield sufficient thick chakka.
3) Squeeze the cheesecloth occasionally to help water drain.
4) To the Chakka, add  sugar, cardamon, saffron in warm milk,nutmeg and mix well.Garnish with saffron and nuts.

5) For' fruit and nut' Shrikhand add the fruits and nuts.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

"Aroma From a Guest Kitchen"- (Guest= Seema Bakre)-Shrimp Biryani

Guest: Seema Bakre
Dish: Shrimp Biryani
After moving to Columbus,IN....Seema's house is like my 'Maher' (sister-brother's house). I get to go there and taste all the delicious food that she makes.She is always so enthusiastic about having people over...and making really good food for them.She had promised me to make her special 'Paneer Laddos'(and I haven't forgotten that Seema ;) I am going to make her make those sometime:)) But today she shares with us,this spicy- mouthwatering Shrimp Biryani which she made on a special occasion...her husbands birthday!

1 lb raw Shrimps washed and remove excess water.
2 big onion chopped vertically, fry till crisp on low heat and keep aside.
½ green bell paper chopped in 1” pieces
½ yellow bell paper chopped in 1” pieces
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
½ tsp shahi jeera
3 large tomatoes, finely chopped
¼ tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chilli pwd
2 tsp coriander powder
1-2 bay leaves
3 tbsp oil
pinch of saffron soaked in 3 tbsps luke warm milk for 10 mts
roasted cashews and fresh coriander leaves for garnish
2 tbsp mint coriander chutney (optional)
salt to taste

Dry roast on low flame for 2 mts and grind to a fine powder:
6-7 pepper corns
1″ cinnamon
4 cloves
1 green cardamom
1 black cardamom
½ star anise

1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp Tandoor Chicken masala

Method :
1.    Marinate shrimps with the ingredients called ‘marinade’ for 1/2 hr.
2.    Heat 3 tbsp oil add shahi jira and bay leaves
3.    Add ginger garlic paste and saute for 1 minute.
4.    Add dry roast masala powder and saute for 1 minute.
5.    Add chopped tomatoes and saute till the tomatoes are cooked and turn like a thick gravy.
6.    Add shrimps, green and yellow bell paper and cook till the shrimps are cooked. around 3 minutes. Do not over cook shrimps!
7.    Now add ¾ of the fried onions to this gravy and mix well.
8.    Add coriander powder, turmeric, chili powder.
9.    Adjust salt as per taste.
10.  Mix well and keep aside.
Ingredients for rice:
1 ½ cup Basmati rice
2 cloves
1 cardamom
1/2″ cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1/2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp salt
water as required

Cook rice in lots of water along with bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, oil and salt till its 80% cooked. Strain the water and spread the rice on a large wide plate.

Take a wide deep vessel to prepare the biryani.
1) In a heavy bottom pan, add 1tsp oil. Add 1/2 of the cooked shrimps gravy.
2) Add about 1/2 of the cooked rice on the gravy.
3) Add 2 tsp mint coriander chutney (optional) but gives very nice aroma to the rice.
4) Add the remaining gravy, and chopped cilantro.
5) Layer with remaining rice, fried onions and cashews. Sprinkle with saffron sticks in milk.
6) Close the pan with a tight lid.
7) Place the pan on a tava and then on a stove (this way the biryani won't burn while steaming)
8) Steam the biryani for about 8-10 mins Without letting much steam escape.
9) Garnish with cashews, cilantro,tomatoes and Serve hot!

~ Seema