Tasty Fish Dish in £1 – ready in 10 minutes !

If someone told me I could make a fish main in £1 I would laugh aloud and make them a cup of tea to help them feel normal again.But trust me on this one you really can make a very delicious side dish and serve it with a spicy rice main for 2 adults for 2 main meals.Yes it’s possible to be thrifty and yet feed your family for less without compromising on taste.

When my friend S told me the easy-peasy recipe I just had to buy myself a pack from my new fav supermarket.This is probably the easiest recipe for a side dish ever.

Total prep time :Under 10 minutes Serves:2 adults as a side for 2 main meals

Ingredients:

  • Sprat Fish pack – contains about 20-25 fishes and costs around 90p to 95p
  • Turmeric powder 1 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder -1.5tsp
  • 2 small hot green chillies sliced in a slant
  • Salt to taste
  • a pinch of Asafoetida
  • Oil – 2 tsp
  • 4 tsp Colmans Mustard
  • 1 tsp hot BBQ Mustard – don’t worry if you don’t have this just add half a teaspoon of paprika to 1 tsp of any mustard that you have lying around and mix half tsp of  BBQ sauce into this for a smoky flavour.

IMG_4734 with text

Recipe:

  • Wash the fish well under tap water and handle gently as it’s a small delicate creature and needs some fawning over but hey not much fuss I tell ya! But its all worth it because even my hubby apprehension that this fish has loads of tiny bones were all gone as he clicked his fingers after the meal 🙂
  • Heat a saucepan and  add 1sp oil ,add asafoetida and the turmeric powder and salt and then the washed Sprat fish
  • Gently sautee them for about 1 minute or until you see the skin start to come off , don’t over do it as they need to cook with the mustard in the next step.

Sprat has been sauteed

  • Remove the fish into a clean bowl and in the same sauce on a very low flame add another tsp oil, both the mustards pastes, choped green chillies ,red chilli powder and then the fish.
  • As it is a delicate fish it will cook quickly and as it does the big bone that runs lengthwise inside this tiny fish will be easy to remove and so you can get the head off to, I am not squeamish but the hubster is and refuses to eat the eyes but they are supposed to be packed with iron and fish itself is high on Omega 3 fatty acids, the good stuff your body needs.Mothers who breast feed and consume fish are said to help give the baby better eyesight which is due to the high content Omega 3 fatty acids.Not only that as this recipe contains turmeric it has a heap of health benefits especially the fact that it helps people struggling to cope with psoriasis. If anyone has seen that episode of The Food Hospital on Channel 4 where a young mother and her son struggled with psoriasis, one of the big changes that they did to their diet was add turmeric to even stuff like scrambled eggs. Please click here to read more about that particular episode.
  • A word here about the Le Range Mesurier BBQ Mustard, it’s one of the few things I purchased at the Cake & Bake Show 2013 apart from the sweet stuff.I also got a jar of zesty lime mayo from the same brand , they had a super offer of 4 jars at a great price!
  • I slant the green chillies slanted just because it looks posh 🙂
  • Ok so I manage to remove most of the big middle bone with the heads and the fish cooks very easily in under 3 minutes.
  • Add a small helping of very finely chopped coriander for garnish.
  • Serve hot with steaming hot rice or khichadi ,click here for a posh khichadi recipe from one of my older posts.
  • Do leave comments below and let me know what you thought of this recipe!

Sprat fish side is ready to serve!

 

I am entering this dish into a wonderful linky challenge called £1 or less recipe challenge started by Michelle Rice who blogs at Utterly Scrummy , with so much fresh and yummy fish made into a delicious dish and served with plain steamed rice its a thrifty budget dream dish full of flavour and ready without too much of labouring in the kitchen.Do link up and help spread the good cheer around in times of gloom when many families are struggling to makes ends meet and feeding families with healthy food on a shoestring budget is a very real challenge for many.

one pound or less logo

Peach Melba with Vanilla Ice Cream – easy, gorgeous, fruity, summer dessert recipe

This recipe of Peach Melba is a favourite with my mum in law.On one of the days when I wasn’t feeling too bright she decided to set the mood right with one of her sweet fixes.She disappeared into the kitchen and 20 minutes later appeared with a tray with this gorgeous dessert topped with vanilla ice cream begging to be devoured!

A bit of history about how this dessert came into being should be shared here I guess as it makes me appreciate the recipe so much more.This is a brainchild of French Chef Auguste Escoffier who created this in honour of Australian Soprano Dame Nellie Melba, known as the ”first Australian Diva” to quote from the website of a museum dedicated to her. When she was performing in London, The Duke of Ore’lans hosted a dinner party to celebrate Dame Nellie Melba‘s triumph and  Chef Auguste Escoffier gave the world what we now know as the Peach Melba – peaches served on a bed of ice cream, he later created various versions of which the one topped with raspberry sauce is most popular now.

Serves:4 Prep Time :20 minutes + cooling for few hour in the refrigerator

Ingredients:

  • 4 fresh juicy peaches
  • Plain everyday white sugar
  • The best vanilla ice cream you can lay your hands on
  • Toasted blanched almonds to garnish

Method:

  • Heat water in a pan,when it has boiled,gently lower the washed peaches into it  and blanch them.When you remove them the skin should readily come off. Test for how ripe your fruits are before you blanch ,over ripe fruits will not take well to being dunked in hot water!
  • Remove the skin and remove the seed and halve, if you are unable to do that just get of as much of the fleshy bit from around the seed as you can.
  • In another saucepan add enough water to hold these peaches in a pool of sugary syrup approx 250ml .
  • Add 4 heaped tablespoons of sugar and stir continuously on a low flame til the sugar is totally dissolved and you have a proper sugar syrup,nice and thick and of course sweet!
  • Dunk the peaches into this syrup and on a very low flame let them soften , do not allow the sugar syrup to turn dark in colour and a maximum of 5-7 minutes should do the trick as the peaches will ”cook” quickly”
  • Thoroughly cool the fruit+syrup mix and decant into a bowl and place in the refrigerator.
  • Serve on a bed of your best vanilla ice cream and top off with the toasted almonds.
  • Smile when your guests praise you and regale them with the story of how this lovely dessert was created or how much you enjoyed reading this blog and creating the dessert, ok all right all right, won’t show off 😉

This dessert was something I had drafted quite some time back and thankfully as I made this yum dessert to finish off my Caribbean themed summer party menu, it will now finally appear on my blog!That’s why you must make the most of the summer days and have as many parties and barbecues and picnics as you can!Wooohooo!

Peach Melba with Vanilla Ice Cream

Clear Veg soup- my way, Easy Cooking,Healthy Food.

Happy New Year everyone! It’s a great way to start a new year on a healthy note hence some soup for new years day lunch light and easy !

Nothing warms us up in winter like a steaming hot soup, if it is filling , easy to make and wholesome it makes life even better! Agree? I love ordering clear vegetable soup when I go eating out and though this is not the typical chinese take away and is a very home cooking and simplistic approach it’s still what a soup should essentially be – wholesome…

You can add as many veggies as you like that would marry well with the basic list I think is essential, I basically use whatever is available in my vegetable tray on the said day !

The following roughly make for 2 large bowls of soup and a small leftover portion for Lunch next day, perfect I say !

  1. Cauliflower 1/4th finely chopped
  2. Small hand full green peas
  3. 2 – 3 large sprigs of spring onion finally chopped
  4. Bottle Gourd – 1/4th finely chopped
  5. 2 large cloves of garlic
  6. A pinch of cummin seeds
  7. Half a tea-spoon ghee or low-fat butter example :Lurpack
  8. 2 small carrots finely chopped
  9. Hand full french beans very finely chopped
  10. 1/4th tomato very finely chopped for flavour
  11. Large bit of fresh ginger smashed with skin to add flavour

Optional : Brocoli, sweet corn,potatoes,cabbage

Method:

  1. Boil all the veggies in water with salt to taste and the large piece of ginger with skin after its washed thoroughly , if it has too much mud on it please remove the skin , no knife skills needed just let yourself go, as Jamie Oliver would say !
  2. While these are almost boiled ,take the ghee/butter in a tadka pan(image pasted below ) add the garlic cloves with skin smash them using a mortar pestle before adding and then add the cumin seeds when the gee/butter is hot and sputtering.Add this ”tadka” or seasoning to the boiled veggie water mix and serve hot.
  3. The toasted garlic and ghee combination give off a sweet flavour and an appetising aroma.
  4. An ideal accompaniment is a boiled sweet corn stub slathered in low-fat butter and a slice of your favourite baguette !

Cheers to good health , easy cooking , healthy and wholesome meals and of course winter warmers !

Clear Veg Soup with an Indian Tadkawholesome goodness of vegetables in a broth!

The Humble Cauliflower spiced up for bhaji/sabzee/sabji with green peas!

I love cauliflower as a vegetable for its taste and sheer possibilities in the kitchen, my fav everyday vegetable to be eaten with chapatis is a mix of cauliflower and green peas in a spicy,semi dry sabzi form.I used biryani masala to add a twang to my usual taste and the result was worth sharing:)

Skill level beginner,basic

Serves :2 with rotis and curd to make a light meal

You will need :

  1. I medium-sized cauliflower
  2. A handful of fresh or frozen green peas
  3. 1-2 red onions very finely sliced
  4. Curry leaves – 3-4
  5. Green chillies – 2 chopped in big pieces
  6. Biryani Masala
  7. 1/4th red juicy tomato chopped into tiny pieces
  8. ginger paste
  9. 2 cloves of garlic very finely sliced
  10. Oil for tadka
  11. Mustard seeds
  12. Cumin seeds
  13. salt to taste
  14. Turmeric and red chilli paste as per taste and colour requirements
  15. Coriander powder
  16. Jeera Powder
  17. 2 large spoon full of any packet biryani masala.
  18. few sprigs of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped to garnish
  19. a tiny squeeze of lime
  20. A pinch of asafoetida/hing

Method:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a saucepan – when it’s hot add the asafoetida and mustard seed, when the seeds start to pop add cumin seeds and the finely chopped garlic bits,as always I love the garlic skin, I let the beautiful aromas take over my olfactory senses ,my imagination ,my kitchen and umm well probably the building hallway as well ;)’
  2. Ensure the cumin seeds turn a toasty brown and then swiftly move on to the next ingredients
  3. Next go in the fresh green curry leaves and green chillies, chopped onion, I used the food processor this time so it was almost a puree and this onion takes up the flavours of the spices faster I imagine.
  4. Add the coriander powder,ginger and garlic pastes and stir well and allow it to become a sticky sort of paste
  5. Then add the biryani masala and feel the explosion in the aroma as it marries well with the paste we had ready
  6. Then go into  cauliflower florets neatly chopped and the green peas
  7. Turn off the heat for a bit,sprinkle turmeric powder,red chilli powder,cumin powder and salt to taste.
  8. Turn on the heat on a low flame and sprinkle some water enough to wet the veggies and allow for some steam to happen to cook the cauliflower.
  9. Stirring occasionally cook with a lid for about 10 minutes.
  10. garnish with freshly coriander finely chopped and a tiny squeeze of lime to add an extra twang.
  11. Eat with hot puffy rotis off the hob!

 

I am linking this favourite Maharashtrian vegetarian recipe for Cauliflower and Green Peas sabji with In My Veg Box for May2014 hosted by me for Nayna who Blogs at Simply.Food and Citrus Spice.

In my veg box cauliflower

 

I just noticed how I wrote my blog posts earlier on and how greatly my food photography has changed for the better – no its not a case of a donkey praising his own tail just a mere observation 😉

Basic Chocolate Cake with Frosting

What better way to celebrate a new FOODISTA Badge for my post on Shahi Khichadi than by baking a chocolate cake , I firmly believe that chocolate is the one word that instantly lifts sagging spirits and the whole baking process itself is cathartic ! So sistah’s lets BAKE !

Prep: 25 mins | Cook: 30 mins

Level :EASY PEASY !

You will Need the Following :

  1. 225g butter, softened
  2. 225g caster sugar
  3. 4 Eggs
  4. 220g Self Raising Flour
  5. 3 tsp Baking Powder
  6. 1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
  7. Half tiny spoonfull of Soda Bicarbonate

For the FILLING

  1. 100g Butter
  2. 100g Icing Sugar
  3. 1 level tbsp Cocoa Powder
  4. Chocolate for adding chocolate shavings,or crunchy choco balls or FRESH strawberries sliced – whatever suits your mood , mine says GO ALL OUT FOR CHOCOLATE !

Preparation:

  1. Lightly Grease two cake tins and line the bottoms with non stick-parchment. Perheat Oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. I manage without parchment , it’s up to you, if your baking for the first time use it as it prevents the sides from burning.
  2. Ensure butter is completely softened or else use the old foolproof way – heat water in a pan ,place a vessel on top with the butter inside minus any packaging, watch it soften like a man melts when he looks onto the eyes’s of his dearest ,ahem …
  3. Measure the Butter and sugar into a bowl and mix well they form a creamy mix, I used a fork and gave it a good old whipping:) – think of someone you dislike – your boss , your mil, your annoying neighbour, Baba Yaga the Witch – whoever – just whip away hehehe
  4. Add 3 medium or 4 small eggs, I used 3 medium-sized eggs.
  5. Swift the self-raising flour into this mix ,followed by the baking powder, soda bicarbonate ,cocoa powder and beat till really smooth , I didn’t even need a hand blender as the butter was perfectly soft and the flour well swifted , though do go ahead and use a hand blender on low setting for about a minute , have added a picture so you know the look of consistency.
  6. Divide the mixture between the two tins and put into the oven to bake for 25-30mins.I used the foil of the butter packaging to grease the cake tins, no wastage in my kitchen !
  7. While in the oven make the icing by creaming together the butter and icing sugar and add cocoa powder, mix until smooth.
  8. Sandwich together the two cakes with the icing.Add some on the sides and sprinkle the crunchy choco balls on the top , go all crazy and add some chocolate shavings , I did !
    When you bake this and sink your teeth into the chocolately heaven , enjoy the moment and then….drop me a line ! 🙂
    PICTURES !
    Hover over the pic for a title …

Choco Chip Cookies to kill insomnia and cure heartache

I baked these to cheer myself up and trust me they have done more than that ! I baked cookies for the first time ever and I was gald they turned out so nice .

They take a total of about 30 minutes to prepare  including the baking time so they are not just easy peasy they will earn you massive brownie points with everyone at home !Enjoy!

Ingredient List :

  1. 175g softened butter
  2. 115g sugar
  3. 225g self-raising flour
  4. 50g chopped chocolate

These will make about 25 small cookies and about 15 beeeggg ones , I like the bigger ones more fun to chew ,chomp and gobble !

Method:

  1. Measure out the butter and sugar and mix well with a spoon in a mixing bowl . I love my beeegg Orange plastic bowl for this :).The butter should be kept outside and must be soft , if not put it not a thick glass bowl and hold it over a pot containing ho water , that should do the trick!
  2. Then add the flour in parts and mix well.
  3. Add a pinch of soda bicarbonate and another pinch of baking powder.
  4. Then crush the chocolate with your hand if it is soft ,if not just make pieces and add them with the little chocolate dust that you create in the process.
  5. If you have a cookie cutter use that to cut out shapes , especially if you are baking for little ones:)
  6. I simply make tiny dough balls in my palms , rolled them around and kept the centre puffy and flattened the sides , then placed them on my baking trays and baked them for 15 minutes at 180C.
  7. After 15 minutes remove from oven and place on a wire rack to completely cool down.
  8. The settings on other ovens which coordinate are 350F/Gas mark 4.

Enjoy with your cuppa tea , sip sip ,dip dip 🙂

Images :

The Dough is all done….

The 2nd tray is ready to go into the oven to Bake

The 1st tray was polished off in minutes , this is what remains from the 2nd tray ,whoooahahahahhaha;)

The SUPERMAN mug was then filled with some cold milk and several burps later a few crumbs remained :

 

”POSH ”Victoria Sponge Cake

What better way to celebrate the excitement surrounding the Olympics happening in London than sinking my teeth into a perfectly delicious soft Victoria Sponge Cake !

It’s an easy recipe and the result left me feeling like so very happy !

I tried to read up online why it is called a ”Victoria” Sponge cake and the apt answer seems that since Queen Victoria loved this soft cake with her afternoon tea ! So I am going to savour the cake and afternoon tea as I cheer myself hoarse in front of the telly whilst watching the Olympics 🙂

Lovely! So let’s get baking and when your done gobbling some of it , drop me a line and let me know how much you enjoyed creating this yummy delight !

This cake serves 8 people, takes about an hour to prepare.

I choose to call it ”POSH” because that’s Victoria Beckham’s pop name,our very own British star and this cake is modernised version of a British Classic recipe with a twist as it is layered with Creme Chantilly’ – very posh sounding indeed !

Ingredients:

  1. 225 g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  2. 4 Medium sized eggs, organic if you please
  3. 225 g caster sugar
  4. 225 g self-raising flour
  5. 4- 5 Large tablespoons of Strawberry Jam , the traditional version uses raspberry Jam, I used strawberry conserve.
  6. 250 gm fresh strawberries sliced lengthways
  7. Icing Sugar for dusting on top of the cake
  8. Soda Bicarbonate – 1 teaspoon
  9. Baking Powder 1 Teaspoon

To make the  crème Chantilly:

  1. 300 ml double cream – so sinful 😉
  2. 25 g icing sugar
  3. I tiny cap full of Vanilla essence , the original recipe inspired by The Good Food Channel advises to use – 1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways and seeds scraped or vanilla extract- Please click on the hyperlink to see the original recipe on The Good Food Channel website !

METHOD :

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line two 18cm cake  tins with a removable based with baking paper.I inauguarted my brand new weighing scales and cute cake tins I purchased for all future cake making experiments !
  2. Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and cream well until light and fluffy – this will take at least 10 minutes to get it properly aerated.Use the 10 minutes you have to wash and clean the strawberries and slice them lengthwise.This was also a first for me in terms of using my food processor to mix the butter and sugar mix.Then empty this butter sugar mix into a large mixing bowl , I also have a NEW nice bright Orange bowl !
  3. Break each egg and add one at a time , whisk the mixture  well after each addition to ensure its soft and fluffy.
  4. Add the self-raising flour to the above butter ,sugar and egg mixtures , I added one spoon at a times and mixed it really well each time . Add the Bicarbonate of soda and Baking Powder to this mixture , I used this as I do in every cake but the original good food channel recipe does not mention these 2 ingredients.Later I used a hand blender to really get this mixture feel like one entity and till it felt right to pour into the ready cake tins .
  5. Now pour the above cake mix in equal portions into the  2 cake tins and smooth the top with a plastic spoon, the type you get with a food processor.
  6. Bake for 20 minute,with a timer , until risen and golden. Ensure you do not go over the 20 minutes,also if you are using a fan oven like I do , use only the setting that heats from below.
  7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the baking pans and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the crème Chantilly:

  1. Put the cream in the food processor , add the icing sugar and  the vanilla essence. Whip to the soft peak stage, using the slow speed setting  then refrigerate until slightly firmed.
  2. Take the strawberry jam into a small pan and warm gently whilst stirring ,use low flame and do not leave on pan for tool long.
  3. Remove the cakes from the cake tin , on the top of one cake spread the jam from the pan and add the chopped strawberries .
  4. Then get the Creme Chantilly’ from the fridge and spread generously over this.
  5. Place the second cake on this and press down ever so gently .
  6. Dust the top of this lovely sponge cake with a bit of icing sugar and decorate with a blob of the Creme Chantilly’ and some sliced strawberries !

Voila , the classic British cake with a twist – Posh Victoria Sponge is ready for you to savour, impress your family and friends and enjoy baking over and over again !

The above recipe is now part of an exciting link up with Delicious Dish Tuesday , to find out more please click on the link below- please copy and paste the below URL into your browser window,also look for the ”Delicious Dish Tuesday”Badge on this blog 🙂

http://www.mamachocolateblog.com/delicious-dish-tuesday-recipe-link-up-23.html

 

Ressurecting LEFTOVERS !

 

Heya all ye blog readers, followers or mere net trawler’s !

I have a simple yet effective way of resurrecting plain white boiled/steamed rice and conjuring up a tasty spicy dish to allow for a guilt free ,time saving recipe which will not only help you NOT die of guilt for throwing away rice that’s perfectly OK but just stale and also having teh pleasure of cooking an easy peasy meal all on your own. Of course it’s NOT my own recipe but a hand me down from my mother ! GAAH and YOU actually thought I was that creative …giggles to herself and continues typing …

Well you need , yes ! Of course my dear genius some leftover white plain cooked rice.

Depending on bow much rice you have say roughly a medium sized soup bowl for example , you will need :

1.2 tablespoons oil

2.2 cloves of garlic with skin

3.1 medium sized red onion finely chopped and I mean FINELY !hehehe I like trying to sound very professional , am just joking here , chop it how you will !

4.few fresh green lovely curry leaves.

5.Turmeric Powder

6. Salt to taste

7.Chilli Powder

8.Pinch of Asafoetida

9.  A pinch of each Jeera (Cumin seeds) & Mohri (Mustard Seeds)

10. A tiny squeeze of lime

11. Some finely chopped freshly coriander for garnish

12. One or two green chillies chopped

Ok now heat the oil in a pan , add the Hing (Asafoetida powder) , add the Mustard seeds and Cumin seeds and wait for the mustard seeds to crackle in the hot oil, then add the garlic finely chopped with the skin and let it turn brown and crisp , believe me,it adds a power packed punch to the flavour of the rice,then add some green chillies chopped to a size that you can pick them out if you don’t want to set your tongue on fire ! Then,in go the curry leaves and the chopped red onion,after the onions are nicely tossed and turned in the oil to give them just the soft and crunchy texture you need,toss in the rice and slightly turn it with your hand before you do to prevent it from sticking , it should open up so that the flavours of the tadka (seasoning ) touch EACH grain and coat it with their heavenly goodness !

Then add the turmeic powder,red chilli powder and mix well,cover the vessel and cook on a very low flame so as to prevent the rice from sticking to the pan at the bottom. Steam for some time and open the lid,squeeze a generous bit of lime(everytime I think LIME or LEMON , I think of the way Jamie Oliver talks about it and uses it generously in MOST of his preparations, I am LOVE with LIME !) on this dish and garnish with fresh coriander, you can even add a few bits of chopped fresh tomato of you like.

Serve HOT with any curry or ”leftover” dal reheated.

I LOVE eating this plain with a big dollop of curd or plain yogurt too !

See told you it was eay peasy !

Masoorachi Aamti or Red Lentil Curry

Masoorachi Aamti or Red Lentil Curry – Recipe adaptation from Mother, Mother in Law and a close CKP friend – Saai who loves to stir up some spicy CKP fare and generally succeeds at it 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 measures of Masoor Dal (Red Lentil) with their brown covers intact and whole
  • Mustard Seeds
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves
  • Green chillies 2- 3
  • Curry leaves about 5-6
  • Jeera (Cumin Seeds) – tiny spoonful
  • Freshly grated soft white coconut
  • Goda Masala – mommy made is so much better than the one from the shops but well

(**This is a mix of various spices readily available in Asian Grocery stores it’s basically a mixture of dry coconut roasted with a mixture of atleast 10 different spices, best of all it’s avaialble to buy online at itadka.com ,it’s so EASY PEASY grin grin grin  heres the link ,refrigerate this pack to increase shelf life ,yayay so many tips from me , don’t YOU just LOVE me , if u better dont just READ this make n slurp it all ALONE, drop me A LINE and thank meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee)

  • Coriander Powder
  • Ginger Garlic Paste

(Coriander and Chilli paste – 2 small sized bunches of coriander pureed with 2-3 green chillies – freeze and use on demand, handy and 1 of my 5 “save your face” purees for unwanted guests popping in at odd hours – the other 4 are listed at the end of this recipe)

  • 3 medium sized onion red – chopped fine
  • Asafoetida(Hing or Heeng)
  • Turmeric
  • Red Chilli Powder
  • Dhania Powder
  • Jaggery

Aamsul 2-3 soaked in lukewarm water to release it’s juices trapped inside the gorgeous maroon folds – Amsul – also called kokum or Garcinia indica, a plant in the mangosteen family (Clusiaceae)

  • Fresh leaves of Coriander chopped fine for dressing

 Process ( Once a Chemistry student and a retail employee stay that way forever , instead of “PREPARTION” I choose the word ”Process” which is drilled into a Retail Managers brain like young parents making their kids rote learn alphabets)

The masoor dal can be done 2 ways for stage 1 of this process, 1st is the short cut which I love as I suddenly get an urge mid evening to cook this typical CKP recipe to appease my urges to run to Heathrow n take the next flight to my parents home in Pune ,hummmmm, so we soak the masoor dal 2 measures feeds 2 adults with a ravenous appetite and leaves some to spare.

Then soak it in water for about 20 minutes , the traditional route is to soak the masoor for about 10 minutes and pressure cook with 1 or 2 whistles so that it doesn’t go too soft as it will not absorb the marvellous flavours of all the spices we are to add in the kadhai.

Heat 2 large generous tablespoons of oil in a wok, no weight watchers tip this huh? Indeed!

Add mustard seeds and wait for them to pop but please be carefull not to burn them, one classic error here is that there are 2 types of mustard seeds, one variety is slightly big and the other one is smaller n more packed with flavour according to my mother , I dare not disagree , the only reason I use the smaller variety is that it gives me an ego boost each time I do a phodni and don’t burn them.

Then add Asafoetida, crushed garlic cloves in their skin as the skin turns a tasty caramelised brown adding to the visual delight of the process of tempering a curry or dal! then when the garlic is starting to brown add the curry leaves , green chillies , jeera and then  a generous spoonful of the fresh grated coconut (fresh from froizen is fine by me too) then , stir in the goda masala – 2 generous teaspoons, coriander powder ,turmeric , a big blob of ginger garlic paste and coriander chilli paste and stir this wonderfully aromatic mixture till it starts to brown , then add the chopped onion  and stir it now n then , let the oil work its magic in the onion allowing it to brown so that it secrets it juices and adds the typical flavour that a powerfull pungent red onion has pack3ed inside each leaf ,umm , mouth salivating isn’t it by now reading this , it should that’s the whole point my friend .

Now when this mixture is nice and ready, drain the water from the soaked or boiled par-masoor dal and toss it into the kadhai, stir in enough water to cover the lentil n then some and cook it till it almost done, when your almost done pour in the water of the soaked amsool and the dunk the amsool in along with salt to taste and bring to boil.

Season with finely chopped fresh as ever coriander and serve piping hot with phulkas dripping with ghee (clarified butter) or the plain old boiled white rice.

As you lick your fingers n the plate don’t forget to thank your daddy for giving you an internet connection which allowed you to see my divine blog n stir up this delightfull dish !aww come on now did u really buy your laptop and your internet connection on your own ! Atta girl!

Key (reminds me of my Chemistry textbook in school years)

*C.K.P stands for Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu a sub section of the Maharashtrian community in India and they generally hail from the coastal regions and hence are rather partial to freshly grated coconut and amsool in their food, not to mention their love for fresh fish and mutton, oh yeah!

*Dal used loosely to refer to the uncooked Lentil and AMTI a Marathi word meaning cooked curry.

*Coriander = Cilantro

*Jeera – Cumin (what were you thinking?)

*Aamsul – this is typical to the Konkan region, a divine coastal region the state of Maharashtra State which gave the world the gorgeous Madhuri Dixit Nene, a Bollywoood actress par excellence better known for her elastic waist and dance moves that can drive hordes of men wild and in their make the women of these bubble green with jealousy and is now to be honoured and hence waxed err , have her wax statue placed at the one and only Madame Tussads at London, hence I shall visit the wax museum ONLY after her wax replica is unveiled, yes sir! On a serious note it is also called Kokum or Garcinia Indica (Fruit indigenous to the west coast of Maharashtra State in India- i.e. Konkan, Ratnagiri etc .Incidentally apart from the Wiki link for more info on Aamsul , I came across another food blog with a very good explanation about the fruit and have pasted the para from the blog below with the links the blogger has inserted intact and alink too in case anyone wants to visit the blog,it’s got some really good recipes , get clicking

!)

कोकम/अमसुल” (wild/red mangosteen-available in powdered forms too,but its better to use the fruit) are one of the very popular ingredients in Indian food.The outer rind of the fruit is a very popular culinary ingredient in all Maharashtra and in particular Konkan. The fruits are beaten with sticks to separate the rind from seeds. The rind is repeatedly sun dried after soaking in the pulp juice.

People in the Kokan region (Maharashtra) and Southern India often add it in various delicacies (from cold-drinks to soups to vegetables & dips).Dried/Wet Kokum or Amsul is available at most Indian stores in the bay area.Sour in taste,it has medicinal qualities and is used as an anti-allergic.

Raw Mangosteen is called Murgala (Karnataka), Punampuli (Kerala), Murgal (Tamil Nadu) ,Kokum(Gujarat),Kokum/amsul/ratamba/birund (Maharashtra) & Tintali (Orissa).It is called Atyamala, Raktapurak, Vrikshamla,chukra or tintidika in Sanskrit.

Blog credit : http://cookwithmoi.blogspot.com/2009/10/wild-red-mangosteen-soup.html

*Phodni – Marathi for tempering

*Kadhai – Hindi and Marathi for Wok, easy or what?!

*Phulkas – Also called chapattis or the delightful Indian Bread soft and fluffy and fresh off the pan has ghee smeared on it to pack some punch a many many calories 🙂

The other 4 SAVE ME NOW pastes are:

* a garlic ginger coarse paste,

* Finely grated fresh white coconut paste,

* Tomato red onion puree -1:3,

*And the best one for last aye? – few onion chopped lengthwise n lightly roasted in a kadhai (wok) with fresh white coconut finely grated till they turn slightly brown , then churned into a paste in the mixer )

Pic 1 :The saucepan contains oil heated and then the asafoetida, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, then the garlic , chopped green chillies and curry leaves and last but the best one GODA masala

Pic 2 :Chopped red onion added to the mix

Pic 3: That’s the dal cooking

Pic 4 & 5: All done , the AROMA is filling my senses and transporting me into my MIL’s kitchen , I want to HUG her nowwwwwwwwwww

P.S: Will post pictures to compare the 2 sizes of Mustard seeds at a later date , I am now going to be too busy slurping my amti (dal) off the plate 🙂