Thursday, September 27, 2007

Kotthu Porotta a.k.a Kitchen Sink

First about Kotthu porotta - I had this first time in Chennai after my wedding. It's basically a porotta or thick chapathi or bread which is cooked and then cut into pieces and cooked with any assortment of vegetables, egg and meat. The restaurant I went to had like 10 different varieties. Egg, peppers, onion, chillies, chicken, lamb - you name it , they got it. Prabu then explained to me that it was actually a street food gone high end. You still see those road side places in India doing this on a big wide pan and the guy will be killing it with 2 big spatulas. It's very very tasty though.

The reason I call this kitchen sink is very simple. There is this Vietnamese place on plainfield avenue in New Jersey that sells a dish called Kitchen Sink :). It basically has noodles, shrimp roll, vegetables, meat and anything you can imagine ( except Palmolive soap). Sounds nasty to call something a kitchen sink but hey that's what it is. Mix of everything.

Here is my recipe to the Indian Kitchen Sink. I use store bought frozen porottas. You can just microwave them for a minute or two and they are good to go. You have to be careful in picking these up. They are not naan, or rotis. They are slightly thicker almost like a roti canai. They are also called malaysian porottas. They are very flaky and multi layered.

When I use fancy word like Julienned I mean, thin slices length wise;)


Porottas - 4 shredded to pieces by hand
Onions - 1 small white onion thinly sliced length wise
Green bell pepper - 1 julienned
Red bell pepper - 1 julienned
Tomato - 1 medium sliced thin
Eggs - 3 large beaten with salt and pepper
Curry leaves - 6
Green chillies - 3 slit length wise
Sambar Powder - 1 tsp.
Slat - to taste
Oil - as needed


Heat oil in a wide skillet. Add green chillies and curry leaves.

After 30 seconds add onions and peppers. Mix in salt and saute till the vegetables are soft.

Add tomatoes and cook till tomatoes wilt.

Add the sambar powder and saute for 2 minutes.

Stir in egg and cook till you don't see any runniness from eggs ( I like my eggs well cooked. no watery stuff for me )

Add the shredded porottas and mix until they are well blended.

Eat hot :).

Monday, September 24, 2007

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I am very disappointed in me for not trying this vegetable years ago. I cooked it first time today and boy was it good. This is definitely going on my veggie shopping list and will be on top. This is so easy to make.


Brussel sprouts - 1 lb washed, trimmed and quartered ( you get 4 pieces out of one)
Olive oil - 1/4 cup
Coarsley ground mustard - 1 Tbsp.
Dijon Mustard - 1 tsp.
Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp.
Black pepper - 1/2 tsp. freshly ground
Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric - pinch
Salt - to taste


Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.

Wash the brussel sprouts, trim edges and cut them into quarters. In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients and mix well. Add the brussel sprouts to this mixture and mix till the veggies are completely coated with the marinate.

Transfer them into a roasting pan and into the oven they go for 25 - 35 minutes. Check in between to turn them around so they get brown on all sides.

Mom and I added these in to the pre-made greek salad we bought from costco. It was delicious.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


My first memory of Kichdi is eating it hot off the stove when I was in my 10th grade and falling in love with it :) ( yup I love my food and have a great relationship with them;)). My aunt (Dad's Cousin) who was visiting us made it and it really was yummy.

So today I made it for the first time and I have to say I am in love again;). You can add any kind of vegetables you want. Also, try to use fresh ginger and garlic and not those jar stuff. Here is the recipe for another one pot dish.


Rice - 1.5 Cups washed
Split yellow lentils ( moong dal or pesarappu) - 1/2 cup soaked in water for 30 to 40 minutes
White Onions - 4 Tbsp. diced small
Napa Cabbage - 3 leaves chopped fine
Orange bell pepper - 1 diced fine
Green Peas - 1/4 cup
Ginger - 1 tsp. minced
Garlic - 1tsp. minced
Green chillies - 3 slit length wise ( you can add more if you want more spicy)
Curry Leaves - 4
Water - 3 cups
Salt - To taste
Turmeric - pinch
Oil - 4 Tsp.
Butter - 1Tbsp.
Dry masala ( to be ground to fine powder)
Cumin - 1/2 tsp.
Coriander Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cloves - 3
Cardamom - 1
Cinnamon Stick - 1/2 inch
Bay leaves - 2 dried

Heat oil and butter in a wide 5 quart pan.
Add green chillies, curry leaves, ginger and garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
Add onions and saute till soft.
Add the peppers, cabbage and peas. Season with enough salt and cook till veggies are soft.
Add turmeric and the ground masala. Fry for 1 minute.
Add the lentils and mix well. Add half cup of water and cover and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in between.
Wash and add the rice and mix.
Add the remaining 2.5 cups of water. Bring to a bowl. Lower the flame, cover and cook till rice is completely done and there is no water left.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Comfort Food - One Pot Chicken Biryani

I was raised in kadapa. My dad used to bring home this awesome chicken biryani home when I was growing up there. It was and is still the best biryani I have ever had.After 12 years of cooking, I have finally came up with a biryani recipe that is very darn close to taste as to the one I had in kadapa. So here is my one pot chicken biryani recipe. If you have a pressure cooker, use it. If not you can use a 5 quart pan. However, note that I use pressure cooker only to cook chicken but I do not cook the rice in the cooker with the whistle on.

Home made garam masala tastes much better than store bought one.

One pot Chicken Biryani


Chicken - 2 lbs boneless
Lemon Juice - 1 Tbsp.
Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp.
Turmeric - pinch

Rice – Uncooked – 3 cups
Onions – 1 large – cut into thin slices
Tomatoes – 2 medium - sliced thin
Green Chillies – 3 slit length wise
Curry leaves – 6 minced
Mint leaves -1/2 cup minced
Coriander leaves– 1/2 cup minced
Ginger and Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – 1 Tbsp
Red chilli Powder – 1 tsp
Water – 4.5 cups
Salt to taste
Oil as needed
Butter – 1 Tbsp.

Dry Masala:
Bay leaf – 3
Cloves – 6
Cinnamon stick – 2 inch stick
Whole peppercorn – 4
Cardamom – 5
Cumin – 1/2 tsp
Black Cardamom ( Marathi mogga) - 1 piece
Javitri ( Mace) - 1 crushed to powder


Marinate the chicken over night or at least for an hour before cooking.

Heat oil in a pressure cooker with 1 Tbsp butter. Add the dry masala. Fry for 30 seconds to one minute. Do not burn them.

Add chillies, curry, mint and coriander leaves. Stir for a minute. Add
onions and saute till onions turn soft brown color.

Add ginger and garlic paste, salt, garam masala and red chilli powder and stir for
2 minutes. Add tomatoes to this and cook till they become soft.

Add the chicken and mix well. Season with salt enough for the chicken. Add half cup of water and put the lid on. Once the pressure comes out, put the whistle on for the pressure cooker and cook for one whistle and turn the stove off.

Let it rest till the whistle comes out without having to use any force. Remove the lid and turn the stove back on.

Add remaining water and rice and bring it to a boil. Mix and check for salt. Turn the flame to low and cook covered with a regular lid till rice is completely cooked.

If the cooked biryani seems sticky or mushy - take it out of the pan and spread it into a cookie or baking pan and let it sit in the oven for 10 minutes at 150 degrees.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Comfort Food - Tomato Rice

Hmmmmm... This is the best thing that my mom taught me. It might seem like blah to some but this is my all time favorite food. Here is the recipe for it that I posted earlier.

I love it with the spiced eggs and or potato chips. It's so easy to make too and very few ingredients. Try and see for yourself.

Comfort Food

I will add new recipes in the comfort food series. These are things I make for myself when I use food as comfort. I love to have them when I am watching my favorite tv shows, or working or just reading ;). And most of them are recipes including rice or pasta :)