Friday, April 24, 2009

Asian Salad

I got bored of making the same salad everytime, so I called Chef Shiyam, and this is his recipe.
For the dressing
Garlic - 1 whole garlic, peeled
Black Sesame Seeds - 2 Teaspoons
Red chillies 2
Chinese Sesame Oil - 2 Tablespoons
Young Ginger - 1" Piece, peeled and grated
For The Salad
Napa Cabbage - 1 Big Size, chopped in ribbons
2 Carrots - Peeled and then peel the carrot in ribbons and add in salad bowl
Glass Noodles - 2 handfuls
Spinach - 1 handful - optional
--->In an aluminium foil add the garlic, red chillies, sesame seeds and put in a toaster oven at 300 degrees for 15 minutes
--->Once it cools, put it in a mortar and grind it well, add the oil and ginger to this and make a thick paste.
--->Now add the napa cabbage to the salad bowl, add the carrrots and this paste and add salt as needed and mix well, if you like you can add the spinach for some color
--->Just before eating cook the glass noodles according to instructions on the box and toss it in to the salad....

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Filter Coffee

I saw a lot of filter coffee posts on the net, all of them are good and pretty much the same method I use also, but since I also drink it, I thought I must add my version to this list.

Let me tell you about my Filter, I take it with me, where ever I travel, along with the coffee powder. Recently at Newark Airport, I had to take an early morning flight back to Atlanta.
I had just made Filter Coffee in the morning and had washed the filter immediately and packed, the security guard looked at in the Xray and asked what kind of contraption it was, and I said, it is a coffee filter, and sure enough he opened it and could smell the coffee and he was intrigued .... :)

Now lets read the instructions,
You will need a filter for this, it has 4 parts, the cover, the press, the bottom, and the top with the holes. I grind my own coffee beans with a Braun Coffee Grinder. I buy the Millstone Columbia Supremo coffee beans, and grind what I need every day. (Yes, I do this EVERY morning). To use the powder in the filter, it has to be super fine.

For 2 people to drink coffee
You need
Coffee Powder - 3 Table spoons
Milk - 2 Cups
Sugar - as needed
Boiling Water - 1/2 cup
---> Take the Coffee powder, and press in to the top part of the filter and use the press to press it down well
---> The water should be boiling water, and should be poured s-lo-wl-y over it
---> Cover the filter
In 5 to 10 minutes you should have the decoction
---> Take 1 cup of milk in a microwaveble pyrex glass cup and heat it well
--->Pour the milk frothy in a cup
and mix in 1/2 the decoction in it and add the sugar and you can have coffee
and repeat the same instructions for the second cup of coffee.

That is my favorite cup to have coffee. My family in India, tell me that I drink it in a jug, but I prefer to call it a cup :)

I liked these two posts on filter coffee also,

Monday, April 20, 2009

Cucumber Raita

As with any Raita, You start with good Yogurt. I make my own. I got this Culture from a Friend, Vasanthi. In case I lose the culture for what ever reason, there is a yogurt group which also includes my cousins, so there is a back up...

So take the Yogurt about 2 to 3 cups, beat it well....
You Need
Yogurt - 2 To 3 Cups Yogurt
Cucumber - 3 or 4, peeled and chopped or grated
Ginger - 1 inch piece grated
Salt - as needed
Black pepper - 1/2 teaspoon
Red Chilli powder - Optional - Pinch
Chopped Coriander - a handful
--->Add the cucumber, grated ginger, salt and Black pepper to the Yogurt, and mix well
--->Now just spinkle the red chilli powder and Coriander

As an extra option,
You can add Tadka to this also.......

Subz Biryani

Would you believe it if I said that I hadn't heard about or tasted biryani till I was about 15? I grew up in an orthodox tamil (Iyer) brahmin household...... In our cuisine the main spices we use are Cumin, Coriander, Black Pepper and Red Chillies and at the most Cardamom for Sweets....
So, when I had the first whiff of this dish, my instinct was to throw up :)
This dish has actually wooed me a long time, before I succumbed to it....
I agree this is not the best Biryani ever, BUT, it is a foolproof recipe and comes out well every time..
The Best Biriyani I have had is made by my friend Suhasini.... I will get her recipe and post it on this blog ...
This recipe was taken from a NITA MEHTA Book called Mughlai Cuisine....
This recipe serves 5-6
Here is the Recipe
6-7 Flakes Garlic
1" piece Ginger
1 Tbsp Saunf (Ani Seeds)
1 Tsp Jeera (Cumin Seeds)
3 Red Chillies
1 Tsp Dhania Powder (Coriander Powder)
1 Stick Dalchini (Cinnamon)
3-4 Laung (Cloves)
3-4 Saboot Kali Mirch (Pepper Corns)
Seeds of 2 Moti Elaichi (Brown Cardamoms)
Other Ingredients
2 Cups Basmati Rice - Soaked for 1 Hour
1-2 Carrots - Cut Diagonally in to slices
1 Small Cauliflower - Cut into Big Flakes
8-10 French Beans - Cut into 1"long Diagonal Pieces
2 Small Potatoes - Cut into fours
2 Onions - Sliced Finely
1/2 cup Oil
3 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
1 Bay Leaf
--->Soak Rice for 1 Hour.
---> Grind the ingredients of the paste together with a little water.
--->Heat Oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add Onions, Cook till golden brown.
---> Add the vegetables and stir fry 3-4 minutes.
---> Add the paste and the Bay Leaf
---> Measure 4 cups of water and add to vegetables.
---> Add Salt and Lemon Juice
---> When Water boils, drain the soaked rice and add to the water.
---> Put a tawa under the pan of rice to reduce the hear further.
---> Cover the pan of rice with a small towel or naplin and then with a well fitting lid. Keep some heavy weight on the lid
---> Slow down the fire and cook till the rice is done (10- 15 minutes).
---> Serve after 10 minutes
I used a handi pressure cooker so did not do the tawa under the pan etc, i just reduced the flame to a very low level and continued to cook it.
It Tasted excellent, an easy one pot meal , I served it with some Cucumber Raita...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My brother's blog.......

I would like to introduce Shiyam to everyone....
He is my cousin brother, who is a chef in california.....
He has started his own blog... at

The great thing about it is, he will include Non Veg recipies in there also....
He has given it my Mom's name .... Ranjani's......

Do visit when you have time!

Vandana :)