Friday, 18 May 2012

Rustic Goan Prawn and Okra Curry

Some pairs are made in heaven strawberries - cream, wine - cheese , Champagne - caviar and one that I've known about for a while  but tried for the first time yesterday and loved  Prawns and Okra

This is a great smooth curry .....full bodied and so flavorful  and somehow the okra stays crunchy despite being cooked in the curry for a while!

This recipe is something I picked up from the sweet cook at the home-stay we lived in during our last visit to Goa ......

So here goes!

Rustic Goan Prawn and Okra Curry (Serves 2)

 Prawns cleaned , de-veined  : 250 grams
Okra : 50 grams ( tops and end chopped off with a slit running through the middle....but keep the bhindi intact ...dont slit all the way through)
200 ml thick coconut milk ( I used the Homemade can....but fresh is always better)
2 pieces kokum or Tamrind
1/2 cup thin coconut milk
Salt to taste
Lemon juice
1/2 cup water or as required
Grind to a smooth paste 

6 dry kashmiri red chillies  ( I removed all seeds)
1/2 tsp peppercorn balls whole
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1/4 tsp Turmeric
6 cloves of garlic
A little piece of ginger 1/4th inch or so
1.5 tsp white sesame seeds

Grind all this to a smooth paste with a little water.

1. Mix ground spice paste with thin coconut milk ....put into a heavy bottom pan. Cook over low heat for 5- 7 minutes till the spice paste is cooked and changed color.

2. Slowly add the thick coconut milk ....stirring all the while till everything is mixed well .Add kokum.

3. Next add okra ...cook for 3-5 minutes . Then add prawns cook for another 5- 7 minutes . Add 1/2 cup of water at this stage.

4. Add lemon juice and serve hot!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Sirke walle pyaaz ( Pickeled vinegar onions)

Ruby red , crunchy , sweet and sour all at once these pickled onions were a standard accompaniment to all Indian /Punjabi  meals that you ate in  restaurants in the 90s .

For some reason I dont see them so much these days but I love them so I decided to make them . A little bit of trial and error this recipe worked the best just like the sirke walle pyaaz at Kumar Sweets in Dehradoon.

The first time I tried making these I just put onions in vinegar but that resulted in only a very slight pink color and not such a great taste! I guess thats how American pickled onions are made ......since thats all I could find on the internet .

 But this recipe is perfect....the secret to getting a nice full bodied color is the beetroot! :)

Sirke walle pyaaz

Onions (the tiny kind ) : 100 grams cleaned  ...I used  sambar onions
Regular White Vinegar : 1/2 cup
Peppercorn : 7
Bay leaf : 1
Sugar : 2 teaspoons
Salt: to taste
Beetroot : 1/2 of one small beetroot

Boil vinegar along with sugar , peppercorns , bay leaf , sugar and salt for around 5 minutes .
Add thinly sliced beetroot.
As soon as you add the beetroot vinegar will change color to a ruby red . Boil for another 2-3 minutes.

Put clean dry onions in a clean dry glass bottle . Strain the red vinegar solution into the glass bottle . Add a few pieces of the beetroot that you strained out into the bottle as well.

Keep in the fridge . Eat after 24 hours , gets better with time as onions loose their sharpness .Keeps well for 2-3 weeks as long as it dosent come in contact with water!

Julia Child

I love Julia Child and I love Meryl Streep .....So I obviously liked the movie Julie & Julia (2009).

I think every foodie, food blogger should watch it! Of course I wish it had more about the life of Julia Child but it was a great watch none the less. In fact this movie has inspired so many people to start writing their own food blogs.

For the uninitiated Julia Child  was an American chef , author and television show host. She taught Americans to love food and take pride in making it in the 60s with her debut book Mastering the art of French cooking. 
Julia Child 

So going back to the movie it talks about how Julia Child a bored house wife started cooking at the age of 32 by enrolling at the Le Cordon Bleu in Paris in 1950 and in parallel talks of Julie Powells life in 2002 a bored secretary who takes on the challenge of cooking 524 of Julia Childs recipes in 365 days in her tiny apartment kitchen and then blogs about all her cooking experiences .

So two great women whose lives take on entirely new meaning when they discover that with the right combination of  passion , fearlessness , butter and cream anything is possible.

Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen 

Meryl Streep as Julia Child

Julia Child was a one- of - a -kind woman absolutely fearless and not afraid of massaging poultry and dropping food and utensils when cooking . She also left us with some great quotes some of my favorites:

“Cooking is like love; it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” 

“I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate” 

"Tears mess up your make-up" :))

“Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed. Eh bien, tant pis. Usually one's cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is truly vile, then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile, and learn from her mistakes.” 
― Julia ChildMy Life in France

Sunday, 6 May 2012


Nothing says "Sunday" like pancakes for breakfast ......And sometimes I like having breakfast for dinner! :))
Yes I do.........nothing like waffles and pancakes drowning in Maple syrup +butter + Honey just before you got to bed!

So here it is super simple make-your-own-pancakes-from-scratch- recipe thats seriously good........... results in pancakes with just the right light  texture and no eggy taste :))

Serves - 2 very hungry people or 3 moderately hungry people  :))

Makes around 7-8 little pancakes 
1/2 cup flour
1 Tablespoon white sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 pinches salt

1 small egg (beaten)
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon oil

In a bowl mix flour,sugar,baking powder ,salt till its mixed.  Make a well in the centre and add egg , milk and oil .

Mix well till smooth and well combined .

Heat a lightly oiled pan .....add a big spoonful of batter cook around 3-4 minutes each side till well browned.
Serve hot  with butter and maple syrup/honey.