Some Indian Food recipes and Kitchen Tips

Tips on Indian Cooking

When I started cooking first I had to learn everything by trial and error. These are some of my recipes for my daughters who are both newly married [:-)] whenever they feel nostalgic for Mom's cooking. Others are also welcome !

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mor Kuzhambu

1 cup of slightly sour curds, beaten smoothly

Grind to a paste:
1/4 cup of grated coconut
1 clove of garlic peeled
1/4 inch of ginger, peeled
1 green chilli
1tsp of cumin seeds

Add the paste to the beaten curd along with 1 tsp of turmeric and 2 tsp of salt. Keep aside.

Cook a few pieces of vegetables in water, adding a pinch of turmeric and 1/2 tsp of salt, if you want to add them to the morkuzhambu. Keep aside.

1.Heat 1 tsp of oil in a kadai.

2. Add 1/2 tsp of mustard. When they pop, add a red chilli broken in half and a few curry leaves, along with a pinch of heeng (perungayam). Add cooked vegetables like poosanikai or ladies' finger at this stage, if you have prepared it by cooking in turmeric and salt mixed water.

3. Lower the heat and add the curd mixture. Let it come to near boiling point with the kuzhambu foaming at the sides. Don't let it boil but take it off the heat before it does. (If it boils curd breaks into water and particles, instead of being a smooth sauce.)

4. You can add masal vadai at this stage instead of vegetables.

5. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice.

Prawns Masala

1/4 kg prawns, shelled and deveined

2 onions, chopped fine

10 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped(about 1/2 pod)

1/2 inch piece ginger, finely chopped

1 big tomato, finely chopped

1/4 cup coconut, ground to a fine paste with 1 tsp of saunf (aniseeds)

1/4 cup tamarind juice, made from marble sized ball of tamarind

1. Wash the prawns well three times in running water. Add 1/4 tsp turmeric and 1 tsp butter milk in 2 cups of water and let the prawns soak in it for a few minutes. Drain. (This step helps get rid of the unwanted smell from the prawns.) Add 2 tsp of chilli powder, 2 tsp of coriander powder, 1 tsp of turmeric powder and 1 tsp of salt and mix well. Keep aside.

2. Heat 2 tsp of sesame oil (or any other veg oil) in a thick-bottomed pan. Add 1tsp of mustard and 1/2 tsp of fenugreek seeds. When they pop, add a few curry leaves. Add the chopped garlic, ginger and onion. Saute till golden on a low flame.

3.Add the chopped tomato and saute further adding a tsp of salt and sprinkling a little water to help mash it o low heat. Add the washed prawns and stir well. Cover it and let it cook on medium heat. Stir every few minutes and check if it sticks to the pan. Prawns get cooked very quickly. Check for soft-cooked prawns. Add 1/4 cup of tamarind water after a few (made from marble sized ball of tamarind-more if you like a tangier taste).

4. When it comes to boil add the ground coconut paste and stir well. Add the water used to wash the mixer clean, to bring the gravy to a thick sauce-like consistency. Simmer for a few minutes and take it off the heat.

Prawns should not be cooked for a long time as they turn hard and rubbery if overcooked. So, be on your toes and cook this gravy at one go, keeping all the ingredients ready by your side!