Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sooji Halwa and "Nice Matters" Award :)

Sooji Halwa is one of the easiest desserts to make. Anytime I am lazy to make an elaborate dessert for the two of us, I think I will go with this -- Lazy Pragyan's dessert. :) This is another sweet dish that I have learned from Maa during her stay with me. Back in India, we used to have this aplenty in the dorm cafeteria during dinner. This is also served as prasad in temples of Chennai, India.

Ingredients (makes 15 pieces)

Sooji/Semolina - 1 cup
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Salt - 1/8 tsp
Cardamom Powder - 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 6 tbsp
Milk - 1 cup

Heat ghee. Add sooji and salt. Once the sooji is cooked, add sugar. Once the sooji looks mildly roasted, add milk (cold milk is ok). Add cardamom powder. Keep stirring till the halwa leaves the side of the container.

Spread it out flatly on a thin plate. Let it cool for 10-15 mins and then cut them into diamond shapes.

Note - You can add a few strands of saffron to the milk to get a lovely orange color.

I received my second blogging award yesterday. A sweet little "Nice Matters" award from our dear Saswati that just made my day. Her kind words were very endearing making me end up feeling very nostalgic. Thank you, Saswati. Not to show off, but just to remind myself to live up to the thoughtful words and expectation of a fellow blogger, let me quote Saswati here "Pragyan@ Pragyan's Cooking has amazing oriya recipes which take me back to my motherland and her humble approach towards life in her writings makes me a great fan of hers.". Keep rocking, Saswati! :)

Nice Matters Award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world.

I would like to pass this on to the following fellow bloggers who have always inspired me with their kind and inspiring words. Please ignore if you have already received this.

  • Sandeepa from Bong Mom's Cookbook - She has an absolutely enrapturing style of writing. The sweet little comments left by her has always inspired me to strive to try new recipes and keep experimenting. Thanks, Sandeepa and we hope to read lots more from you.
  • Asha of Foodie's Hope - She is a dear friend who has always got a nice little word for you. No one can deny that and we all love her for that spirit which has rubbed off on quite a few of us. Always love hearing from you, Asha! I can never forget how enthusiastic and helpful you were when hosting RCI-Karnataka.
  • Sunita of Sunita's World - She is one of those bloggers who can make you drool over her food pics. I feel like wailing like a kid when I can't reach out and actually grab a bite! :) Her homely style of writing is very comforting to read.
  • Kribha of En Samayal Pakkam - She has a very lively style of writing. One who has always got a kind word for every post. Whenever she can, she provides her input which improves the recipe in the tastier direction.
  • Cynthia of Tastes Like Home - She has the knack of leaving comments that enthrall you. Always look forward to hear more from her. Her posts are very unique and make interesting read!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Paneer Jalfrazie (Is it?)

I had a few of the Sanjeev Kapoor Masala's lying around and I was wondering what to do with them that was different from what the pack recipe recommends. That's when I thought "why not experiment?"...well, when do I NOT say THAT? :) Let's go for Paneer Jalfrazie using the "Vegetable Jalfrazie Masala". Surprisingly, it turned out good. Hubby asked for second helping..yoo hoo, hit my absolute barometer of success! Dad even went to the extent of saying it was better than the last time we made Paneer...to be frank, I don't remember what I cooked last time but I am going ahead assuming it was my best Paneer preparation. ;)

Ingredient (Makes 10 servings)

Paneer - 25-30 small cubes (I use Nanak brand)
Sanjeev Kapoor's Vegetable Jalfrazie Masala - 3 tbsp
Potato - 1 medium, cubed same size as the Paneer cubes
Onion - 1/2 of a medium, chopped same size squares as the Paneer cubes
Water - 1 cup
Canola oil - 1 tbsp

Step 1

Cook the cubed potatoes in the microwave for 5mins. Add to the paneer cubes and marinade with the Veg Jalfrazie masala for 15 minutes.

Step 2

Heat the pan. Add 1 tbsp of canola oil. Fry the chopped onions till firm and cooked. Add the marinated paneer and potato cubes with water. Cook till you get the desired consistency. I cooked it such that certain amount of gravy was still there to be had with warm roti.

Serve hot with roti or rice.

(Note - Would love to know the origin of Jalfrazie and which cuisine it belongs to? What does it mean? Thanks in advance if you do know about it and leave the info as a comment.)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Microwave Besan Laddoo (Tee of Bhatukli)

My first ever attempt at making Besan Laddoo. It turned out ok, definitely edible and I will make it again. :) Reminded me of the ghee-oozing besan laddoos we had in Rajasthan. Food memories can sometimes be so strong. This is following the recipe posted by Tee of Bhatukli here. Thanks, Tee!

Ingredient (makes 12 laddoos)

Besan - 1 cup
Ghee - 4 tbsp
Sugar 3/4 cup
Cardamom Powder - 1/4 tsp

Mix the besan and ghee for 5 minutes, stirring every 1 min.
Cool the mixture and add sugar, cardamom powder when it is slightly warm. Mix.
Make small balls and let it cool.

Some tips by Tee:
  1. The mixture should not look too dry, otherwise the ladoos will not hold up their shape.
  2. If you realize that the ghee is not sufficient once you start making the ladoos, just heat some ghee and add to the mixture.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Fish Cutlet

Fish cutlets develop a different taste and texture than the fish it is made up of. A dish that can be filling by itself. Maa used to make them with Rohi fish. She pain-stakingly removes the bones of the fish. Naturally, I was delighted when I saw my SIL make a fish chop and she did not have to worry about the bones. Yes, she had used tilapia fish fillets. Since then, I have been using the tilapia fish for cutlets. I tried out the catfish and it tastes good too as cutlet. This tastes good with rice-dal or biryani or just by itself as an appetizer.

Ingredients (Makes 25-30 cutlets)

Tilapia Fish Fillet - 3 pieces (Catfish fillet also works!)
Salt - 2 tsp (1 tsp + 1 tsp)
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Ground Pepper - 1 tsp

Onion - 1 medium, chopped
Ginger paste - 1/2 tsp
Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Green chilli - 3 chopped OR Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Cilantro - 2 tbsp, chopped
Frozen Green Peas - 1/2 cup
Potatoes - 5, boiled cooked and mashed
Canola oil - 3 tsp + as required for frying the cutlets

Eggs - 4
Herbed Bread Crumb - 1 cup

Step 1

Marinade the Tilapia fish fillets with 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp ground pepper and 1 tsp garam masala. Keep it aside for about 2 hrs.

Step 2

Heat 1 tsp canola oil. Fry the marinated fish till the fish is cooked. Keep it aside.

Step 3

Heat 2 tsp of canola oil. Fry the chopped onions till golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and keep stirring till completely cooked. Add 1 tsp salt, chilli, chopped cilantro and thawed green peas till the peas are cooked. Add mashed potato and cook till the potatoes don't stick to the sides of the container. Add the cooked fish from Step 2 and break it as per the texture you like. Hubby likes good chunks of fish, so I coarsely break the fish. Cool the mixture.

Step 4

Beat the eggs. Take the bread crumbs in a medium-sized flat plate. Arrange the containers in this order - fish-potatoe mixture -> egg -> bread crumb -> oil for frying - so that you make the cutlets and drop them in the oil for frying. Make oval shape or circular shape of the cutlets as shown in the pic. Try to keep the depth of the cutlet to 1 inch or less.

Serve the cutlets hot with fresh chopped onions. Tastes good with some tomato sauce and chilli sauce.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Great Cooks Blogroll

Hello Everyone,

I have joined the "Great Cooks Blogroll". This blogroll is available on my right-hand-side side-bar. Check it out!

It's very easy to join. Just fill-up the form available at Jill's Simple Daily recipes here. Once you receive the blogroll code, add it to your blog and you are ready to mingle with the great cooks out there!

Thanks, Jill, for this blogroll!