Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Avoid wastage and give a longer fridge life for your greens and fruits

Find your greens gone bad after a week in the refrigerator? the same case for your strawberries and coriander / parsley? I faced the same thing, when I had to buy greens and when you buy in places Costo or Bj's or any other wholesale you tend to get it in huge quantities, it may work well for large families or family with kids.For just the two of us I always stored the remaining in the fridge and found it gone bad after 4 or 5 days. Here is a simple tip to increase the life time in double for all your greens and also your strawberries. Many of my friends have told me strawberries go waste in just 3 days when I buy it and I don know what to do. I tell them all the same tip. All you need is just a few kitchen towels / paper towels and you are good to go.
I have just added some pictures of how to store then remaining and make its fridge life longer. I am doing it with arugula and it goes good with spinach,kale,coriander,parsley,strawberry actually anything that hates moisture. All these fruits and veggies hate moisture. When we let them sit in the fridge you might have noticed moisture on top of the lid, this causes them to go bad so we need to keep the moisture out by adding layers of paper towel.So this helps in absorbing all the moisture build up and helps all your greens and herbs stay much longer actually double the fridge life than usual.If the quantity is more  give 2 or 3 layers and you are good to go. It might take a few minutes but its a useful use of the few minutes and reduce wastage and save a lot.
The below pictures explains the process.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Chilly chicken bites

I love the chili chicken bites  my mom made. These were always accompanied with chicken biriyani and it was a real treat. After I got married I never had it and until one day I badly wanted to eat them and decided to do them my style because I forgot how my mom made them. My husband told me he has never had them and I was surprised because I have had them for as long as I can remember. After that one time I don know how many times I have made them for him in the last two months.He insisted on having it on the game day Yesterday. So I made a big bowl of my chicken bites for the game. These are kind of Indian popcorn chicken.

He even mentioned to me that we should think about selling them here in the US. Hmmm now I know how much he likes them. So I made him my chicken bites and a bowl of fried chicken nuggets for myself!
Since my husband love this so much I wanted to feature this recipe. I have never written this recipe down until today. So here is the recipe for my famous chicken bites.
I used boneless chicken cut into nuggets, but you can use chicken with bone also. I used chicken tenderloins.

Chili chicken bites
Chicken cleaned,cut into nuggets - 1 cup, nearly 225 grms
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
chili powder - 1 1/2 tbspn
Pepper powder - 1 1/2 tbspn
Cumin powder - 1/2 tspn
Tomato Ketchup - 1.5 tspn (optional)
Lemon - 1/2 tspn
salt - 1/2 tspn ,use according to taste
Cornflour - 1 to 2 tbspn
Semolina / White Rava - 1/2 tbsp
Water - 1 tbspn
Oil for deep fry

Heat oil in the pan
Add the ginger garlic paste, the spices,ketchup,lemon juice,half the amount of salt and mix together.
Taste and check for salt.If less add the required salt.
Add the cornflour and mix well.
Add the chicken and coat with masala. If it appears very thick, add little water and mix to the right consistency that all the masala stiks to teh chicken.
Add the semolina and mix with the chicken.
Deep fry in oil for 5-6 minutes or until the masala turns deep red in colour.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Low calorie spicy spinach and artichoke dip

Big fan of spinach and artichoke dip? then you will adore this low calorie spinach and artichoke homemade dip. When you order in restaurants it appears as a humble dip but you are gobbling up lots and lots of calories. When you make it at home you can control what goes in and how much goes in, so homemade dips are an easy way to keep a check on calories plus you get to enjoy what you really like. There are so many versions of this dips, this is my version of the dip.It doesn't have mayo or sour cream, so if you are a calorie counter , this is the dip for you. Plus it doesn't have a huge amount of cheese but it does taste cheesy.

This dip is cheesy,hot, gooey and spicy. It is my version so I made it spicy for my husband. My husband doesn't like cheese. I know! who doesn't like cheese????? He removes cheese from pizza and east them??!! how about that.. plus reaches to my pizza and tries to remove mine too!!!! 
I have tried to give him cheese in a variety of ways, but he is like a dog sniffing a bone, he finds out that it contains cheese and that's why you would have seen a series of valentines day Italian dishes without cheese!
Here is the recipe.. try it you will love it too..
I am making a white sauce instead of mayo and sour cream and add the spinach and cheese to them. Use any kinda of cheese you like, which melts better like Parmesan.

Low calorie Spicy spinach and artichoke dip Serves 4-5

Spinach - 1/ 2 bag (frozen or fresh) if frozen thawed
Artichoke canned,chopped - 3 hearts
Garlic cloves,chopped - 2
Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Cayenne pepper - 1/4 tsp
Red chilly flakes - a pinch
Cheese grated - 1/3 cup
Salt to taste
For the white sauce or rue
Milk - 3/4 cup and little more if needed
Plain flour - 1 tbsp - 2 tbsp
Oil - 3 tsp

Heat pan and add 1 tsp of oil. Add the chopped garlic and the chopped artichoke and cook for 5 minutes until the artichoke is slightly browned. 
Add spinach and cook them for a couple of minutes until the spinach has wilted down.Remove them and squeeze the excess water from the spinach and artichoke and chop then.
Remove them from pan and using the same pan over medium heat add the other 2 tsp of oil, and 1 tbsp of plain flour and toss the flour around until the raw smell goes off and it becomes a paste and let it cook for 2 minute.
Add the milk and be sure to  dissolve the flour in the milk,and let it cook for 2 minutes. If the mixture is too watery add more flour or if too thick add a little more milk.
Be sure to cook the flour and dissolve it in the milk. add the garlic powder, cayenne pepper and chili flakes and mix.
Add the cheese and stir until it dissolves.Add salt and taste.
Add the chopped spinach and artichoke mixture and stir to combine.
Sprinkle cheese on top if needed and put it in the oven broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Enjoy with your favorite chips or crackers.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Extra crispy chilly gobi / cauliflower

I apologize for not posting this recipe for a long time. Many requested for this recipe after I added the vegetable biriyani recipe, but somehow I missed to publish it. I had it all typed out but I guess got lost with other things.. So here it is after a long time.. It just takes minutes to get it ready and you cant stop eating it with just one!

Extra crispy Chilly gobi / cauliflower Serves 4

Tbsp - tablespoon
Tsp-tea spoon

Cauliflower,washed and cut into bite size chunks - 2 cups
Cornflour - 1/2 cup
Ginger and garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Red chilly powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder,coarsely ground - 2 tbsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Water - 4 tbs (optional)
Semolina / white sooji - 1 tbs (optional)
Oil for deep fry

Heat oil in a pan.
In a mixing bowl add the ginger garlic paste,chili, pepper,cumin powder,lemon juice, and salt and mix together, without adding water.
Add the cauliflower and rub the spice all over it.
Start adding the cornflour one spoon at a time and mix well, the mixture should not be watery.We are adding the cornflour,just to absorb the extra moisture.
So once the cornflour absorbs all the moisture,stop adding it.You can add little water to bring it to the right consistency.
Add the sooji / semolina and mix through.
Deep fry and serve immediately with fresh onion and lemon.

We are not adding any artificial color to it, so the color might be pale.Do not worry it is supposed to look like that. If your red chili powder is really red in color then you mixture will be some what of a red color.
Since we are not making a batter and dipping the cauliflower , you have to take care to rub the spice mixture all over the cauliflower.
Add cornflour 1 spoon at a time.
If the mixture is too thick, you can add water 1 spoon at a time.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Kimchi fried rice

Homemade fried rice is absolutely one of my favorite and if u are you too will love this kimchi fried rice.For those who are not familiar with kimchi, it is a Korean pickled cabbage and it is a staple in Korean cuisine.It taste sour, you might not be a fan on the first look or first bite either,but if you are a sour tooth person you will become a fan for sure. It is colorful, crunchy and sour cabbage that's all it is. I have previously made cucumber stir fry with kimchi. You can check out the recipe here cucumber stir fry with kimchi. I have been wanting to share this recipe for a long time and at last I am..

It is such a simple and a good twist on the usual fried rice we used to have. This recipe works well on left over rice too. I usually add onion and eggs and sometimes also add corn. I do not other veggies like carrot or green beans cos I want to stay true to the kimchi flavor and do not want any ingredient to over power the kimchi. The kimchi will be subtle yet you will know it is not your usual fried rice on your first bite.

I was able to get only one shot of the fried rice with my phone, the shot is not what I would prefer to post but I am left with no other. so here it is..

Just found some old photos I clicked when I cooked this fried rice.. so feast your eyes..

Kimchi fried rice Serves 4 - 5

Uncooked rice - 2 cups + water to cook rice.
Store bought Kimchi, chopped - 14 oz bottle
Garlic, chopped small - 5 heads
Red onion, sliced - 1
Eggs, beaten - 2
Frozen / fresh corn - 1/4 - 1/2 cup (optional)
Pepper - 3 tbs or less
Soy sauce - 1 tbsp (optional)
Salt to taste
Oil - 3 tbsp

Cook the rice as you usually do. 
Once the rice is cooked, cool the rice and fluff with a fork, do not let it become hard and into chunks.
Heat a deep bottomed pan with the oil and add the chopped onion. Cook for 5 minutes until the onions are translucent.
Add the garlic,corn,kimchi,soy sauce cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the rice, salt and pepper and toss around. Once combined make a well in the middle and add the beaten eggs and stir the eggs.
Once the eggs are almost cooked toss the rice along with the eggs and combine well until all the ingredients are combined well.
Taste for seasoning.
Serve hot or cold.

If you want to make it for 2 people just reduce the rice to one cup and kimchi to half the bottle, other ingredients can remain the same.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

10 minute donuts

Back online after a really long time.. Neglected my blog but kept cooking and I wish I shared all those with u .. Have been having some amazing homemade dishes these 2 months. Lots have happened in the 2 months went on a vacation, had a ball with my friends, moved to a new place, set up the new place and now back to my lovely food journal.. Plus now I am a 'lunch box-ing' wife so I have to constantly come up with healthy yet box-able recipes everyday and I am loving it. Actually I have become a healthy nut too now a days cos that's the only way to go in this fast foody cheesy gooey world. The truth I have gained quiet a few pounds in the last one year and I felt that is not doing me any good.Plus lots on my mind , thinking about giving this blog a new look ..hmm..

But today I am starting with a sweet indulgence. A sweet treat for those who love donuts. If you love donuts you will go crazy for these cos you do not have to drive or wait for the red 'HOT' sign to go up on krispy creme. It is a easy version of donuts no dough no, no kneading just some sweet indulgence for you and your family and its the perfect light desert to end a part or a get together.
All you need is a regular store bought biscuit dough and some fine granulated or confectionery sugar and some oil for frying.

I love donuts I used to eat them in boxes literally from Krispy kreme, its like you have taken a piece out of heaven so soft and perfectly sweet. I started to cut out those donuts slowly but I still had those sweet cravings at times and this was the perfect substitute for that store bought donuts. I have made these for my friends and they loved them. They take 10 minutes from fridge to the table and is a definite crowd pleaser. And I am sorry for my Indian friends cos I think you do not get the biscuit dough in India :( may be u get crescent dough I am not sure..

You can buy any store bought biscuit / crescent dough irrespective of the brand, and the result will be the same. Be careful when you get mini biscuit dough's, it takes only 30 seconds to cook. I am using Pillsbury crescent dough here. You can find the dough in near the butter / juice isle in most of the grocery stores.

10 Minute Donuts

Store bought biscuit / crescent dough
Fine granulated sugar / confectionery sugar - 1/2 cup
Oil for deep fry

Heat oil in deep bottomed pan
Open the biscuit can as per instructions and separate the dough.
Take a single piece of dough and poke it in the middle with your finger to make a hole ,like a donuts. (refer the pic)
Repeat the same for all the remaining dough.
Deep fry for 40 seconds on each side or golden brown for mini biscuits dough cook for 15 seconds each side.
Take out and sprinkle with 1 tbspn of sugar on both sides. 
Serve immediately.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easy egg curry with coconut milk / தேங்காய் பால் முட்டை குழம்பு

Ingredients Serves 4
Eggs - 4 (can use boiled egg also)
Coconut milk / cream - 1 can / 400 ml or fresh coconut milk
Water - 2 cups
Tomato,chopped - 1/2,Medium
Pearl onion / small onion,peeled - 10 heads
Dry red chili,slit in the center - 2
Red chilly powder - 1 1/4 tbsp or according to taste
Curry leaf - 1 stem
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Coconut oil - 2 tbsp or can use regular oil
Roasted gram dal powder - 2 tbsp (optional) To know how to make it Click here
Salt as needed.

Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds.
Once it pops add the curry leaf and the pearl onion and fry for 2 mins.
Add the chopped tomato and cook for 5 minutes and smash the tomato using the spoon.
Put the heat in medium ,add 1/4 cup of coconut milk,1 cup water, the chilly powder and the dry red chili and let it cook until it is reduced in half or cook until the raw chili powder smell is gone.
Add the remaining coconut milk, remaining water,salt and eggs and put the heat in low.
If you are not using boiled eggs- then break the eggs directly into the curry (or) if you are using pre boiled eggs, slash the egg whites slightly with a knife and drop them into the curry.
Do not stir if you are using raw eggs.Let the eggs cook for 5 minutes.
If the curry looks very runny , add the roasted gram dal powder and keep stirring in the other hand.
Close the lid and let it cook for 15 minutes in low heat.
Sprinkle with coriander.
Serve hot with rice.

The gram dal powder if not mixed well will form lumps, so use a tea strainer or icing sugar sprinkler to sprinkle and stir at the same time. It gives body to the curry ( a thickening agent). Do not use too much just around 1 - 2 tsp will be enough.
DO NOT cook on high heat, or else the coconut milk will curdle.