Monday, January 28, 2008

Secret Late Night Pleasures - A.K.A Corn and egg with rice

After I fed the family dinner tonight and put V to bed it was 9PM. I usually have my dinner by 7 but today it just got too busy. Since no one noticed I didn't have dinner, I decided to quickly whip me up something special. If you want to know, I love to treat myself like this. I am special to me ;). Enough talk, let's get to business.


Frozen Corn Kernels - 1/4 cup
Left Over Rice - 1/4 cup
Egg - 1
Chili oil - 1/2 tsp.
Oil - 2 Tsp.
Soy Sauce - 1 tsp.
Salt - to taste
Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp ( totally optional)


- Heat Chili oil and regular oil in a wok. if you don't have a wok a wide skillet is just fine.
- Add corn kernels, salt, soy sauce and chili powder.
- Let it cook for a minute or 2.
- Crack an egg into this and quickly stir till egg is completely cooked. I don't like runny eggs so I cook it well.
- Add left over rice to this and mix well.

Take it to your room, get your favorite book and enjoy it all by yourself;).

Note: No pictures of this dish because it's secret. I am just bluffing, my camera broke. Till then I have to post picture-less recipes.

Foodie Blog Roll and other changes

I am very HTML challenged at the moment but after several attempts I somehow managed to add Foodie blog roll to my list. It's awesome to see all of them in one place.

Also, stay with me while I try to make the blog look tad bit decent and also start adding more pictures :).

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Yummy Yummy Chicken Drumsticks

What else can I call it. I have been trying to come up with new recipes that Swetha asked for and this one turned out very very good. You can buy skinless drumsticks for this but if you cannot, let me tell you the trick that our good friend Partha told me. Just take two kitchen paper towels. Grab the drumstick with one towel and use the other one to pull the skin away. You might have to use tad bit force but comes off easy.
Regarding the yogurt I used int his recipe. I usually use home-made curd for marinating my meat some times but this time I used "European Style extra Creamy" yogurt I bought from Trader Joe's. You can also use low fat yogurt and will work just fine.

I did add 1 tablespoon of butter. That might seem like a lot but adds a very yummy flavor and gives the whole dish great aroma. If you are trying to work around the calories, feel free to avoid it or just add a tea spoon.

Note: CCC powder stands for clove, cinnamon and cardamom powder


Chicken Drumsticks (skinless) - 8
Yogurt - 1/2 cup.
Paprika - 2 tsps.
Chili Powder - 2 tsps(less if you like it less spicy)
Garam Masala or CCC powder - 1.5 tsps
Garlic Paste - 1 tsp.
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp.
Salt - to taste
Butter - 1 Tbsp.
Oil - 2 Tbsp.


- Clean the drumsticks and make small slits cross wise. 3 to 4 small cuts per piece should be good.
- Add all the ingredients except oil and butter to the drumsticks and mix well till all the spices are coated to the drumstick pieces well enough.
- Cover and refrigerate(not freezer) for minimum of 2 hours. If you can let it sit overnight then much better.
- If you want to do this without getting your hands dirty. Just take a 1 gallon zip-lock bag and throw all the ingredients in there. Shake well and store in the fridge.
- Heat oil and butter in a wide skillet. Add the marinated chicken pieces along with the marinade.
- Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes on medium low flame.
- Once meat is cooked turn the flame to high and cook for 5 minutes stirring in between and making sure it's not sticking to the pan.

Another alternative method to this cooking is to wrap aluminum foil to a cookie sheet and spray with any cooking oil. Just bake the drumsticks in a 400 degree pre-heated oven till meat is cooked.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Zucchini Pancakes or Cutlets

I am a big fan of Ina Garten. I am in the process of starting to collect her cook books and bought her "Barefoot Contessa At Home" couple of months ago. I made Zucchini pancakes from that book earlier and it came out good. It's a very simple recipe with grated zucchini, eggs, flour and stuff.

However, I made these yesterday without eggs as my mom doesn't eat eggs on Thursday's ( don't even ask;)). I added a 8OZ can of washed cannellini beans that I had on hand. I have to say it was very very good and was able to make V try one. he came back asking for more :).


Zuchhini - 2 grated
Onion - 1 small chopped fine
Cannelini beans - One 8 Oz can drained and smashed (not puree)
Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp.
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp.
All purpose Flour - 1/2 to 1 cup
Baking powder - pinch (optional)
Salt and pepper - to taste
Oil - for pan frying


- Heat oil in a wide skillet
- Mix all the ingredients except flour.
- Add flour little bit at a time to get the Zucchini batter to a thick consistency. It should be thicker than usual pancake better.
- Make patties and pan fry them turning after 20 to 30 seconds on each side.

Serve hot with any hot and sour sauce.

The picture of these cutlets standing up has been taken with an inspiration from Jai and Bee's Sweet potato Crisps :).

Chicken Cutlets

Few things before we get into the recipe. You can buy minced chicken in the poultry section of the super market or ask your butcher for it. If you don't get minced chicken, get skinless, boneless chicken breasts and grind them yourself using a food processor or a grinder. The reason I specify chicken breast is it has less fat than thigh meat which is considered dark meat(so I have been told :)). You can use store bought garam masala or just grind up cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and coriander.


Minced Chicken - 1 lb
Salt - to taste
Oil - as needed for pan frying
Chilli powder - 1 tsp.
Garam Masala - 1 tsp.

Grind to paste:
Green Chillies - 2
Onion - 1/4 small
Mint leaves - 8 to 10
curry leaves - 4
Coriander leaves - few sprigs


- Heat oil in a pan.
- While oil is getting hot, mix chicken with all the dry ingredients and the ground paste.
- Make them into the shapes of cutlets and pan fry them 2 minutes per side on medium to low flame.
- Make sure both sides turned brown.

You can make a small one, do it first, taste it for slat and seasonings and do the rest of the batch.

You can eat them by sprinkling some lemon juice and chopped up onions on top or if you are like me, eat them like biscuits :).

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Minced Lamb with Peas

I made this over the weekend and it was a hit. If you do not have the pressure cooker, use extra water, cover the vessel tight with a lid and cook on medium low for 30 to 45 minutes till meat is very tender.


Ground Lamb - 1.5 Lbs
Peas - 1 cup
Onion - 1 large chopped fine
Tomato - 2 small chopped fine
Ginger-Garlic Paste - 1 Tbsp.
Salt - to taste
Oil - as needed
Chilli powder - 1 - 2 Tsp.
Turmeric - 1 Tsp.

Grind To Paste
Green chillies - 2
Mint leaves - Handful
Coriander Leaves - Handful

Grind to dry powder:
Cloves - 6
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Cardamom - 3


- Heat oil in a pressure pan. Saute onions till light brown.
- Add salt, turmeric, ginger garlic paste and saute for 1 minute.
- Add tomatoes and ground lamb to this and mix well.
- Add chilli powder and 1/2 of the CCC (cloves, cinnamon and cardamom) powder, and the ground mint, coriander and green chilli paste and add 1/2 cup of water.
- Mix well and cover with the pressure pan lid. Once steam starts to come put the whistle on.
- Let it cook till 4 whistles. Wait till the whistle comes off without any force.
- While the meat s getting cooked, saute the peas in a separate pan till cooked.
- Add the peas and rest of the CCC powder to the meat and cook for 5 minutes.

Serve it with hot rice or roti's.

Screw Pictures - Let's talk recipes

Swetha wanted bunch of recipes. I told her I will post it as soon as I can. but with me trying to take super cute shots of dishes I made and not liking the pictures, it's just getting delayed. So I am going to post bunch of recipes in the next few days without any pictures.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What makes Asian food Asian?

Does it become traditional Indian curry if I add Mccormicks' curry powder into a concoction of vegetables?

Does it become Pad Thai if I add scallions and peanuts into noodles?

Does it become Chinese if we add MSG to every dish?

I saw this lady on food netweork, grill un-seasoned chicken breasts on a griddle and call it "Chicken Satay" . She served it with peanut sauce made with peanut butter, chilli oil and lime juice. And she had the nerve to say "this would be the best take-out Thai food you ever had."
What the Furikake?

If you are modifying a regional cuisine, then say so upfront. Don't you be mixing curry powder in water and tell me it's an Indian dish. We don't use that generic curry powder to make curries.

We have a term called "Indian-Chinese" . Basically it's the Indianized version of Chinese food. I mean hakka noodles, Aginomoto(MSG), American Chop-suey.. these are all the things you will find in a Chinese restaurant in India and not in China probably (someone correct me here). And some of my family will openly accept that they prefer the Indianized Chinese version to the traditional Chinese food.

Wait a minute, do we even get anything "traditional" in this country or is everything changed to suit the local palette?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Vegetable Fried Rice

Super simple fried rice :).


Cooked Rice - 3 cups
carrots - 2 Finely diced
Celery - 2 finely diced
Snow peas - 12 - 14 chopped fine
Fresh water chest nuts - 6 finely diced
Onions - 1/4 cup finely diced
Garlic - 2 cloves minced
Ginger - 1 tsp. minced
Chili oil - 1 tsp.
Sesame Oil - 1 tsp.
Vegetable Oil - 3 Tsp.
Soy Sauce - 3 Tbsp. + 3 Tbsp.
Salt and pepper - to taste


- Mix 3 Tbsp. soy sauce to the white rice and keep it in the refrigerator.
- Heat chili, soy and vegetable oils in a wok.
- Add ginger, garlic and onions and saute till fragrant.
- Add the vegetables and stir for 3 minutes.
- Season with slat and pepper and add 3 Tbsp. soy sauce.
- Add the cooked rice to this mixture and stir till you can see the grain separate.

Turn off and serve.

Creamy Corn Soup ( From One Steamy Kitchen to the other)

I decided to do a fried rice, soup and some sort of stir fried vegetable for lunch today. Ask me why? Because I bought new set of cute soup spoons, a nice new wok (ignoring Prabu's "Don't we have one wok already?") and I had to use them ;). I also put my microplane grater to use for the first time.

I got the soup recipe from Jaden's Steamy Kitchen. Here is the recipe.

I made very few changes to the soup in my kitchen.
- Used 2 cups of vegetable broth + 2 cups of water instead of the chicken stock.
- Used frozen corn kernels instead of fresh ears of corn
- Used dried parsley instead of fresh because..well I just forgot to pick it up at the grocery store :).

I have to say it turned out very good.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Easy Peasy Spicy Toast Suji's Style

Say that title fast 10 times ;). I used whole grain white bread for this, you can even use wheat bread if you like.


White bread - 6 slices edges cut off and sliced into 4 squares
Tomato - 1/4 cup deseeded and chopped fine
Onions - 1/4 cup chopped fine
Green Chillies - chopped
Cheese - American cheese slices ( optional)
Salt and pepper - to taste
Mustard Oil - 2 Tsp.


- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix onions, tomatoes, green chillies, salt, pepper and oil in a bowl and keep aside.
- Spray cooking oil in a baking pan and arrange the bread pieces.
- Scoop little bit of the onion and tomato mixture onto the bread slices.
- Bake them in the oven for 8 to 12 minutes or till bread is lightly toasted.
- If you are adding cheese, add them few minutes before you take the toast out of even so you get melted cheese and not burnt cheese.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Curried Corn stuffed Yellow Chillies

I found these chillies in my super market the other day and decided to try them. They are super spicy with the seeds inside but once you deseed and take the veins out, they are very good for stuffing. I was debating between a cream cheese filling and others. Decided to go with corn. I used Mccormick's curry powder. As far as I know, none of the Indian curry powders taste that way. use very little of the curry powder as it tends to overwhelm the dish.


Yellow chillies - 6 washed, deseeded and split in half
Corn Kernels - 1 to 2 cups
White onion - 1/4 cup diced fine
Curry powder - 1/2 tsp.
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil - as needed
Pam or any oil for spraying the baking sheet


- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Boil the corn and just mash them lightly ( don't make it into a mushy paste)
- Heat oil in a skillet. Saute onions till soft and add corn to this.
- Add curry powder and season with slat and pepper to taste.
- Remove the mixture from heat and let it come to room temperature.
- Spray a baking pan with oil and arrange the chillies. Season them salt and pepper and brush them lightly with little bit oil.
- Add the corn and onion mixture to these chillies. It's usually 1 to 2 tablespoons of mixture per chilli.

- Bake them for 10 o 15 minutes.

Williams-Sonoma's Soft centered Chocolate Cake

I made this individual cakes for Prabu's birthday. I didn't make the espresso ice cream. Instead I bought HaaganDaz's Coffee icecream and it was goooood. The reason I picked this cake instead of others is for it's simplicity in ingredients and making. You don't need no fancy mixer, the prep time is short and it uses only few ingredients :).

Here is the link to the recipe from WS's website.