What’s a good Sadya without Aviyal!

Aviyal is a dish which is believed to have been originated from South India and is common in Kerala and Udupi cuisine. It is a thick mixture of vegetables and coconut, seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves. Avial is considered an essential part of the Sadya, the Keralite vegetarian feast.

It is supposed to have been invented by Bhima (one of the Pandava brothers) during their exile. According to the legend, when Ballav (Bhima’s name during this time) assumed his duties as the cook in the kitchen of Virata, he did not know how to cook. One of the first things he did was to chop up many different vegetables, boil them together and top the dish with grated coconut.

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Aviyal
Ingredients :
 1 cup chopped drumsticks (Shingh phali)
 1 cup chopped yam
 1 cup chopped carrots
 1 cup chopped green beans
 1 cup chopped tindora (tendli)

 1 cup chopped ash gourd (winter melon/ petha)
 1 cup chopped yellow pumpkin
 1 plantain, chopped
 1/4 tsp turmeric
 Salt as required
 1/2 cup curd
 2 tsp coconut oil
 1 tsp cumin seeds
 1 spring curry leaves
 For the coconut paste:
 3/4 cup of freshly grated coconut
 1 tsp cumin seeds
 3 green chillies, sliced
 Water, to make a paste
Method :
For paste:
 1.Coarsely grind the grated coconut into a paste. While making the paste, add cumin seeds, curry leaves
and few chillies.
For aviyal:
 Cut drumsticks, yam, carrots, green beans, ash gourd and yellow pumpkin into long rectangular pieces.
Each piece needs to be about one and a half inches long. Make sure all the vegetables are of the same size
 For plantain, peel only the ridges keeping the outer skin. Chop them also into rectangular pieces.
 Add, some water in a pan along with the chopped vegetables. Cover the pan for some time and cook them
till soft.
 Now, add a tsp of turmeric, curry leaves, 4 slit chillies and salt as required.
 Add the coconut paste to the pan and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
 Now add curd, oil, cumin seeds to the mix and simmer it for 2 to 3 minutes. Wait until the mix is semi-dry
 Serve hot with steamed rice.

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Sabroso…Papas bravas!

 

Patatas bravas, also called patatas a la bravas or papas bravas, is a Spanish dish often served as tapas in bars.

The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop.Potatoes are a staple food in many parts of the world and an integral part of much of the world’s food supply. Potatoes are the world’s fourth-largest food crop, following maize (corn), wheat, and rice.

Major producers are India, Russia, Ukraine and the United States.

However, the local importance of potato is variable and rapidly changing. It remains an essential crop in Europe.

 

Ingredients:

6 medium potatoes

salt to taste

1 1/2 – 2 cups Spanish olive oil for frying

1 large onion

2 garlic cloves

1.5- 2 tsp Spanish paprika

1 – 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes

2-3 tsp Tabasco sauce (or other vinegar-based hot sauce)

1/4 cup (60 ml) white wine

toothpicks for serving

Preparation:

  1. Peel the potatoes. Cut potatoes into 1/3″ to 1/2″ chunks and sprinkle with salt.
  2. Peel and finely chop onion and garlic.
  3. Heat a few tablespoons into a large heavy-bottom frying pan on medium-high heat. Sauté onion for 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Lower heat to medium and add minced garlic and paprika, mixing well. Pour in crushed tomatoes, Tabasco sauce and white wine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust as necessary with salt, more Tabasco, etc.
  4. Allow sauce to cool a few minutes. Then, blend the sauce in blender or food processor until smooth.
  5. Pour olive oil in a wide, deep frying pan, with a heavy bottom. Heat the oil on medium-high until hot. To test the oil, carefully place one piece of potato in the oil. It is hot enough if the potato immediately fries. If there is no bubbling/frying, the oil is not hot enough and the potato will absorb too much oil. Once the potatoes are fried(about 10 minutes), use a slotted spoon or spatula to remove and set them aside to drain.
  6. Place the potatoes on a platter or in a wide open dish. Pour the sauce over the potatoes and serve warm, with toothpicks.

If you like spicy, you will love this.

This is a stuffed brinjal or aubergine recipe from Andhra Pradesh. The brinjals are usually marinated in salt, turmeric, chilli powder and then deep fried.

This dish is very popular in Andhra Pradesh.

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Gutti Vankaya Kura
Ingredients
 6 medium brinjals, slit halfway
 3 Tbsp refined oil
 1 stalk cinnamon
 1-2 green cardamoms
 2-3 cloves
 3-4 green chillies, sliced
 1 tsp cumin seeds
 1 tsp mustard seeds
 2 tsp minced garlic
 3 onion, chopped fine
 A handful of curry leaves
 1/2 tsp turmeric
 3 tomato, chopped fine
 2 tsp chilli powder (you could use less chilly also)
 1 tsp coriander powder
 2 tsp cumin powder
 1/2 cup coconut paste
 2 tsp salt or to taste
 1 Tbsp tamarind pulp
 Some water
 Coriander leaves to garnish

How to Make Gutti Vankaya Kura:
1.Deep fry the brinjals.
2.In another pan heat, some refine oil and saute cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon.
3.Now add the whole spices: green chillies, cumin, mustard seeds and garlic.
4.Once the garlic browns add the chopped onions.
5.Saute.
6.Add the curry leaves and turmeric powder.
7.Mix all.

8.Now add the tomatoes and cook the masala.
9.Add the red chilly powder, coriander powder and cumin powder.
10.Mix well. Add the coconut paste. Season with salt. Mix.
11.Once the masala cooks through and reaches a slightly dry consistency add some
tamarind extract.
12.Add some water to rich a liquid consistency.
13.Now add the fried brinjals.
14.Let it simmer for 5-7 minutes till the gravy becomes nice and thickish.
15.Garnish with coriander leaves.
16.Serve with rice.

A quick Mediterranean trip!

Kabsa is a family of mixed rice dishes that originated from Yemen, where it is commonly regarded as a national dish. The traditional Saudi Arabian dish is made with rice and meat.The Bedouins are said to prepare Al-Kasba is the most traditional method known as Al-Mandi.  This utilizes ancient techniques of cooking, first employed when man discovered fire. A lamb or chicken, prepared with rice, spices and water is barbecued in a deep hole in the ground that is covered while the meat cooks.

The meats used are usually chicken, goat, lamb, camel, beef, fish and shrimp. In chicken machbus, a whole chicken is used.

The spices used in kabsa are largely responsible for its taste; these are generally black pepper, cloves, cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, black lime, bay leaves and nutmeg.

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Kabsa is also known as machbūs in the Persian Gulf region.

Ingredients(Veg version)

1 vegetables cut into cubes (carrots, tomatoes etc, any other veg also added)

1 medium-sized red onion

4 cloves of garlic

Kabsa Spices (freshly ground)

4 cardamom pods

2 pinch of Saffron

4 chillies

1 tsp sweet paprika

1 tsp of coriander

1 tsp of turmeric

3 cups of Basmati rice

2 tbs tomato paste

Salt

Boiling water

Vegetable oil

Kabsa Spices:

Bay leaf

Saffron

Cumin (It has a slight cumin taste)

Mustard seeds

Ginger

Cinnamon

Black pepper

Allspice

Nutmeg

Coriander

Turmeric

Cardamom pods

Dried black lime

 

Method

  • Rinse the rice and soak for 10 minutes, then drain it and set it aside.
  • Heat the oil and add the finely diced onions, garlic, 2 chillies, and cardamom pods to the pot and toss them with the vegetables.

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  • Reduce to a medium heat, add all of the spices and tomato paste, cook until the spices release its aromas, then add the rinsed rice and coat each grain gently with the spices and tomato mixture.
  • At this point, pour the hot boiling water and the remaining two whole chillies, making sure that the water is slightly above the rice level.
  • Cook on high heat covered for 7 minutes or until the water level is even with the rice, then lower the heat and let it cook for 15 minutes.
  • Resist the urge to open the lid and check the rice, after 15 minutes on low heat check your rice it should be fluffy and each grain has soaked all of the water.

Note :

In the nonveg version, just substitute the vegetables for meat and give a quick saute before adding to the rice mixture(step 2)

 

It’s a flatbread… it’s Lavash!

Lavash is a soft, thin unleavened flatbread made in a tandoor and eaten all over the Caucasus, Western Asia and the areas surrounding the Caspian Sea. Lavash is one of the most widespread types of bread in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkey.
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Lavash bread is a traditional thin bread that forms an integral part of Armenian cuisine. Its preparation requires great effort, coordination and special skills and strengthens family, community and social ties.
Women work in groups to bake lavash, which is commonly served rolled around local cheeses, greens or meats. It plays a ritual role in weddings, where it is placed on the shoulders of newlyweds to bring fertility and prosperity. Men are also involved through making tools and building ovens.
LAVASH
 
Baking Temperature: 220 degree C
Baking Time:5-8minutes
 
Ingredients
FOR THE DOUGH:
Refined Flour – 150gms
Whole grain flour – 150gms
Salt – 3gms
Yeast – 20gms
Yoghurt – 20gms
Water – as required + 250ml
FOR THE TOPPING:
Milk – 30ml
Seeds – 2tbsp
 
 
Procedure
1)     Mix the flours and make a well in the center.
2)     Add yeast and yoghurt and water to the well and dust some flour over.
3)     Keep for five minutes.
4)     Knead to a soft dough and prove.
5)     Knock back the dough and divide into six equal parts and prove.
6)     Roll each dough very thinly, and stretch it to make a lavash.
7)     Brush with milk and sprinkle the seeds.
8)     Bake at the required temperature and time.

Is it a dip or a salad?

Tzatziki is a sauce served with grilled meats or as a dip. Tzatziki is made of salted strained yoghurt (usually from sheep or goat milk) or diluted yoghurt mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, sometimes with vinegar or lemon juice, and some herbs like dill, mint, parsley, thyme etc. It is generally served cold.

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Ingredients:

  • Cucumber-1
  • Salt-to taste
  • Garlic-1 clove
  • Greek yoghurt-1 cup
  • Dill-1 tbsp

Procedure:

  1. Cut cucumber lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a spoon.
  2. Toss in salt and drain excess water.
  3. Pat dry the cucumber and mix with greek yoghurt, garlic and dill.
  4. Season and serve cold.

Khoroshyy denʹ

Borscht is a sour soup popular in several Eastern European cuisines, including Ukrainian, Armenian, Russian, Polish, Belarusian, Lithuanian, Romanian and Ashkenazi Jewish cuisines. The variety most commonly associated with the name in English is of Ukrainian origin and includes beetroots as one of the main ingredients, which gives the dish its distinctive red colour. It shares the name, however, with a wide selection of sour-tasting soups without beetroots, such as sorrel-based green borscht, rye-based white borscht and cabbage borscht.

Borscht derives from an ancient soup originally cooked from pickled stems, leaves and umbels of common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), a herbaceous plant growing in damp meadows, which lent the dish its Slavic name. With time, it evolved into a diverse array of tart soups, among which the beet-based red borscht has become the most popular. It is typically made by combining meat or bone stock with sautéed vegetables, which – as well as beetroots – usually include cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes and tomatoes. Depending on the recipe, borscht may include meat or fish, or be purely vegetarian; it may be served either hot or cold, and it may range from a hearty one-pot meal to a clear broth or a smooth drink. It is often served with smetana or sour cream, hard-boiled eggs or potatoes, but there exists an ample choice of more involved garnishes and side dishes, such as uszka or pampushky, that can be served with the soup.

Its popularity has spread throughout Eastern Europe and the former Russian Empire, and – by way of migration – to other continents. In North America, borscht is often linked with either Jews or Mennonites, the groups who first brought it there from Europe. Today, several ethnic groups claim borscht, in its various local guises, as their own national dish and consume it as part of ritual meals within Eastern Orthodox, Greek Catholic, Roman Catholic, and Jewish religious traditions.

borsht

Borcht

Ingredients:

  • 2 ltr vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 turnips
  • 2 carrot
  • 1/2 white cabbage
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 500g red beets
  • a bunch of dill
  • 2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 25ml sour cream
  • 2tbsp butter
  • a bunch of parsley

1 tsp sugar

Procedure
Peel and prepare the vegetables in small dices. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat with the oil and butter.

Add the onions and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are tender and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the beets, turnips, carrot, and cabbage. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly tender, about 8 minutes.

Add the broth and the bay leaf.Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 10 minutes before grating the beets directly into the soup.

Simmer, partially covered, until the soup is flavorful and the vegetables are completely tender about 15 minutes.Stir in the dill. Add the red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste.

Garnish the soup with sour cream and serve.

Blow those trumpets!Here come the Crumpets.

English crumpets are generally circular, roughly 8 centimetres (3 in) in diameter and 2 centimetres (34 in) thick. Their shape comes from being restrained in the pan/griddle by a shallow ring. They have a characteristic flat top with many small pores and a chewy and spongy texture. They may be cooked until ready to eat warm from the pan but are frequently left slightly undercooked so that they may be cooled and stored before being eaten freshly toasted. They are often eaten with a spread of butter or an alternative, such as jam, honey, chocolate spread, margarine, golden syrup or yeast extract.

A Scottish crumpet is essentially a pancake cooked in a slightly different way, made from the same ingredients as a Scotch pancake, and is about 180 millimetres (7 in) diameter and 8 millimetres (0.3 in) thick. They are available plain, or as a fruit crumpet with raisins baked in, usually fried in a pan and served with a fried breakfast – they are also sometimes served with butter and jam. The ingredients include a leavening agent, usually baking powder, and different proportions of eggs, flour, and milk which create a thin batter. Unlike a pancake, they are cooked to brown on one side only, resulting in a smooth darker side where it has been heated by the griddle, then lightly cooked on the other side which has holes where bubbles have risen to the surface during cooking. It bears little resemblance to the English crumpet.

Crumpet4

 

CRUMPETS

Ingredients

Flour – 225gms
Atta – 225gms
Salt – 10gms
Milk & Water – 600ml
Oil – 30ml
Sugar – 15gms
Yeast – 15gms
Soda-bi-carb – 2.5gms
Warm Water – 120ml

Procedure
1)    Lightly grease a griddle or a heavy based frying pan and 4×8 plain pastry cutters.
2)    Sift the flours and salt together into a large bowl and make a well in the center. Heat the milk & water, mix oil & sugar until lukewarm mix the yeast with 150ml of this liquid.
3)    Add the yeast mixture and remaining liquid to the center of the flour and beat vigorously for about 5mins until smooth and elastic. Cover and allow to rise for about 1 ½ hours till the mix is bubbly and about to fall.
4)    Dissolve the soda in the lukewarm water and stir into the batter. Re-cover for 30min.
5)    Place the cutter on the griddle and warm on a medium heat.
6)    Pour the batter into pastry cutter till 1/4th its height.
7)    Cook over a gentle heat for 6-7 min. the top should be dry with tiny holes.
8)    Serve warm with jam or butter.

What do you call a Spanish apple pie???

Apple cake is a popular dessert produced with the main ingredient of apples. Such a cake is made through the process of slicing this sweet fruit to add fragrance to a plain cake base. Traditional apple cakes go a step further by including various spices such as nutmeg or cinnamon, which give a unique flavour. Upon the addition of spices the batter can also be accompanied by crushed nuts, the most popular being walnuts and almonds.

Dorset apple cake, Devon apple cake and Somerset apple cake are traditional forms of this cake, respectively from Dorset, Devon and Somerset, England. They may include apple juices local to these counties as part of their recipes, but are not necessary.

Apples are also used in other cakes, including chocolate cake, where their water-retention can help a normally-dry cake to stay moist. In this case they may be either dried or fresh.

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PASTEL DE MANZANA (SPANISH)
 
Ingredients
Flour – 120gm
Powdered sugar – 60 gm
Chilled Butter – 60gm
Baking powder – ½ tsp
FILLING
Apples – 400 gm
Mint leaves – 5 gm
Cinnamon – ½ tsp
Margarine – 20 gm (for greasing the cake tin)
 
 
Procedure
1)     Preheat the oven at 350 degree F /175 degree C.
2)     Grease a baking dish with butter.
3)     Mix together chopped mint leaves & cinnamon. Add apple slices & toss until all the slices are evenly coated.
4)     Arrange apple slices overlapping in the greased baking dish.
5)     Spread the flour mix over it & press it gently so ensure that the apples are completely covered.
6)     Bake for 45 min until the surface is crusty.
7)     Remove from the oven, cover with a foil & set aside to cool.
8)     Serve at room temperature with whipped cream.

Stay cool this Christmas

Granita ) is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavorings. Originally from Sicily, it is available all over Italy in somewhat different forms. It is related to sorbet and Italian ice; however, in most of Sicily, it has a coarser, more crystalline texture.
Food writer Jeffrey Steingarten says that “the desired texture seems to vary from city to city” on the island; on the west coast and in Palermo, it is at its chunkiest, and in the east it is nearly as smooth as sorbet. This is largely the result of different freezing techniques: the smoother types are produced in a gelato machine, while the coarser varieties are frozen with only occasional agitation, then scraped or shaved to produce separated crystals.
Although its texture varies from coarse to smooth, it is always different from that of ice cream, which is creamier, and from that of sorbet, which is more compact; this makes granita distinct and unique.

granita

MELON GRANITA
 
Ingredients
Sugar – 50gms
Honey – 2tbsp
Lemon juice – 1tbsp
Melon – 1no
Water – 200ml
 
Procedure
1)     Cook sugar, honey & lemon juice with water till sugar has dissolved.
2)     Leave it aside to cool.
3)     Divide melon in two halves, ball one half & place in glasses & puree the other half.
4)     Add the puree to the syrup.
5)     Pour on the tray & refrigerate.
6)     When frozen scrape with a fork.
7)     Fill the glasses & serve chilled.
Note:
Can be made with any fruit.