Monday, February 27, 2012

No fry Kofta Curry

This is a slight Mangalorean twist to a regular curry. In addition to the onions and tomatoes, this one also has coconut in it
It adds a lot of texture and body to the gravy and personally, I think it uses lesser oil too
The recipe for this curry is from the cook we had at Ma's place when I was there with my new-born baby. In Ma's daily cooking, there is at least one coconut used per day, so using coconut in a kofta curry was not surprising !

kofta curry

The koftas are made using bottle gourd, which is alkaline and very good for our stomach - it helps neutralize all the acid.
Deep frying these koftas then, didn't make sense - we would lose out on the 'good for health' tag that the bottle gourd brought. Inspired by Nags' kadhi pakodi, I decided to 'cook' these koftas in a paniyaram chatti / appe kadai / aebleskiver pan

Worked out great and you don't really miss out on the deep frying at all

So here's some healthy kofta curry, if you, like me, believe that coconut cannot be bad for health !!

No fry Kofta Curry

What you need -

For the kofta
1 medium sized bottle gourd / dudhi
1/2 cup chickpea flour / besan
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp carom seeds / ajwain
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 salt

For the gravy
2 onions
4 tomatoes
1 tbsp poppy seeds / khus khus (soaked it water for a couple of hours)
1 tsp cumin seed / jeera powder
1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander seed / dhania powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 salt

What you do with it -

For the curry
Blanch, peel and grind the tomatoes to a puree
Grind the grated coconut, onions and khus khus to a smooth paste, adding upto 1/2 cup water
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a deep pan and add the onion-coconut paste and fry for 2-3 mins
Then add the tomato puree and fry for another minute or so
Add the dhania powder, jeera powder, salt and chilli powder
Stir well
Add upto 1/2 cup water, as required
Sprinkle with garam masala and bring to a slow boil

For the koftas
Peel and grate the bottle gourd
Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, carom seeds and salt
The gourd release a lot of water, so just add enough besan, a spoon at a time, to make the batter thick enough
I got about a cup of grated bottle gourd and added little less that 5 tbsp of besan
Some people add cooking soda to make it fluff up more, but I prefer to avoid it
You could add a tsp of cooking soda if you really want to
Mix well
Heat the paniyaram chatti on a medium flame
Put in a drop of oil in each depression and swirl the pan around so the oil coats the entire area
Drop into the batter with a tbsp into each depression
Cover with a lid and keep on a low-medium flame
It should be done in about 2-3 mins, turn it over carefully
Keep on heat uncovered for another minute
Remove and keep aside. I cover it in aluminium foil and keep it a closed container

Add the koftas to the curry just before serving
Garnish with coriander leaves

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Arbi kebabs in hot and sour Tomato sauce

Losing someone almost always helps us get a perspective back on our life...We look for a deeper meaning in what we do, make more resolutions on how we want our life going, reach out to people that we perhaps, at some point, have taken for granted, do things that we have always wanted to, but postponed for another day...

I know, that in the last week, I have tried to reach out to my friends, who are always there for me, but with our own busy schedules, we just haven't made time to catch up...

arbi kebabs2

From what I can remember, the thing that really got Raji / Miri and me bonding was, not surprisingly, food ! We spoke so much about cooking, food, recipes and I was so glad I met someone who loved cooking as much as I did...

A friend of Raji's sent across a beautiful poem, which would have really been what Raji would have wanted after she was gone. This is how the poem ends...

"Love does not die, people do.
So, when all that's left of me is love,
Give me away as best you can

Here's another one from the set of recipes that she gifted me...Miss you my dear Miri...

Here, the kebabs are more like cutlets. The original recipe says the kebabs need to be deep fried. Since the arbi was already mushy, I could imagine the amount of oil it would guzzle up, so I rolled these in semolina and then shallow friend them in a pan. Less oil and still, great taste, so worked well for me

Arbi in hot and sour Tomato sauce

What you need -

250 gms Arbi / taro root / colocasia
1/2 cup shelled and boiled peas
1 onion chopped
1 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 green chillies
1" piece ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp besan / chickpea flour
salt to taste
1/2 cup fine rava / sooji / semolina

For the sauce

4 tomatoes / 200 ml ready tomato puree
2 tbsp butter
1 onion finely chopped
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp clove powder
1/2 tsp pepper powder
salt to taste

What you do with it -

For the sauce -
Slit the tomatoes at one end and blanch in hot water
Cool, peel and blend to a puree
Heat butter, add 1 tsp ginger garlic paste and chopped onion and saute till brown
Add the chilli powder, cinnamon powder, clove powder and pepper powder
Add the tomato puree and salt and cook for 5 mins. Keep aside

For the kebabs -
Boil, peel and mash the arbi
Pound the ginger and green chillies to a paste
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds, onions and ginger-chilli paste
Fry till onions turn brown
Add the besan, chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt
Add the mashed arbi and the cooked peas and mix well
Cool the mixture and then roll into kebabs
You can deep fry these or roll the kebabs in semolina and shallow fry them in a pan

To serve, spoon out the sauce in flat dish and then arrange the cutlets / kebabs over it. Spoon out some more sauce on the kebabs. Garnish with some cream and coriander leaves

Monday, February 13, 2012

Rest in peace, my dear friend...

My dear friend Raji, popular as Miri of Peppermill, passed away this morning.

I still can't believe it...

She's been a wonderful friend for many many years and an inspiration for many things in life, including this blog.

Extremely positive, full of love and warmth and such an amazing person. Nothing ever got her down.
She was suffering from a rare condition, which did not let her eat for a year, but every time I visited her, she would cook something new, all this when she was not allowed to even taste it

For one of my birthdays, she sent me a set of hand-written recipes, which I will always treasure - its something so rare these days, where no one has the time or patience to sit down and write a few lines

My go-to person for so many things, we discussed about bringing up kids, books to read, food, recipes, developing patience, dealing with unreasonable people, everything...

In the last couple of months, she was really struggling with her health, but it did not stop her from being the thoughtful person that she is - she still remembered birthdays, always sent little gifts, she still cooked up a storm and posted it on her blog, never showed how much pain she was going thru...

She was so full of life, love, hope and positive energy

May her soul rest in peace and may God give her family the strength to carry on without her

Will miss you terribly Raji


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