Monday, July 30, 2012

Upkari / Talasane - Stir Fry...Konkani Style.

'Upkari' , 'Talasane' - essentially a stir fry , traditionally made with vegetables.
It is a side at meals with rice and gravy based curries.
There can be innumerable types and varieties as you can vary the vegetables as you like and deem possible!
The dressings vary a little but otherwise truly it is a simple recipe to follow.
While 'Upkari' usually has a dressings of mustard seeds and curry leaves, ' Talasane' adds a twist by using garlic for the dressing!

I will try and blog here as and when I make these traditional sides.

Mashingha sangha- Gulla talasane...drumsticks and brinjal stir fry:

What you need for it:

2 cups of 2" size pieces of drumsticks
2 cups of bite sized pieces of brinjal/eggplant
1 tbsp oil
4 cloves garlic- peeled and crushed
3 dry red chillies- chopped.

How to make it:
Heat the oil, add the garlic and sauté till fragrant. Add the chopped chillies and sauté some more.
Add the drumsticks, brinjal and salt to taste. Pour water to cover the vegetables. Cover and Cook till done.
Serve hot with traditional meals of rice and gravy.

Alternatively you can skip the garlic for a dressing of mustard seeds and curry leaves with the chillies!

Any which way you do yours, here's hoping it turns into as favorite a dish at your table as it is at ours!

Kukka (chinese potato) Upkari:

Fresh Kooka /chinese potatoes were cooked in my mothers kitchen when they were available.
It certainly was not something she stocked up as an essential like the big potatoes, onions or garlic.
So needless to add once I moved out of India, it was not one of the first things I searched for. My subconscious may not have registered it as an essential!

But what a pleasant surprise to see a pack of it in the frozen section of my favorite Indian Grocery!!
Also found out what its 'english name ' was! Makes easy reference to non-konkani friends and now in this blog!
So since then it is one of the few things I stock up in my freezer.
G is not a big fan. He says a potato is a potato is a potato!
But having grown up relishing my amma's 'kukka upkari' , I make this everytime I crave it! Which is more often than not!

What goes into it:
1 pack of frozen chinese potatoes -defreezed, washed, and cut into bite size
1 tbspn oil
1 tspn mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
3 large red dry chillies -slit
1/2 tspn asafoetida (Hing) powder
1 tbspn fresh grated coconut -for garnish
Salt to taste.

How to make it:
In a large pan, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When they splutter de-stem and add the curry leaves with the asafoetida and chillies.
Saute and add the potatoes. Add salt and water (enough to cover the vegetable)  and cook covered until done.
Switch off, and add the coconut garnish on top.
Serve hot at traditional meals with rice and gravy.

Until next time,
Bon Appetite.

Leave me a comment, send me a photo of the food you cooked. Tell me a recipe!

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Spicy chicken - fried

You might in this particular recipe find shades of your favorite ' grilled' recipe. Some strains of your favorite 'tandoori' . I myself have called it 'chicken 65' (don't ask why!) , or ' chicken chili'.
Like on recent Fridays, we were looking for a nice new / old recipe to tickle our taste buds. A few pages from the recipe books were mixed together and was created this 'spicy fried chicken'.

What went into it:
For the chicken marination:
2 large breast pieces of chicken- washed, cleaned and cut into bite pieces
1 egg
2 tbspns of cornflour
2 tbspns of maida ( all purpose flour)
2 tbspns ginger- garlic paste
1 tbspn cayenne pepper (chili powder)
1 tbspn chicken curry powder
1 tspn red food colour - optional
Salt to taste

For deep frying:
4tbspn rice flour

For the seasoning:
2 tbspn oil
1 tspn black mustard seeds
1 tspn cumin seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tbspn ground pepper
1 tbspn gharam masala
3 tbspn yogurt
2 tbspn lime juice
2 tbspn cilantro - shredded

How to do it:
Mix all the ingredients for the marination in a bowl. Add the chicken pieces. Mix. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for min 2-3 hrs. Longer the better.

Heat oil for deep frying. Roll each piece of marinated chicken in rice flour and deep fry till golden brown .

In a large pan, heat the oil for seasoning. Add mustard and cumin seeds. When they splutter add the curry leaves, the pepper and gharam masala. Switch off and add the yogurt. Mix in the lime juice.

Add the fried chicken. Sprinkle cilantro on top.Serve hot.
Can be served as an entrée or as a side with any type of bread or rice!

You can vary the spices as much or as little.
Again, I skip the food color if not for a special occasion.

Tell me how you do yours.
What do you and your family call it?

Until next time, enjoy what you eat.
Enjoy the process and most importantly whom you eat it with!
Bon appetite.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tandoori chicken- made easy

This past weekend, while G was gearing up to watch the Euro 2012, I started fishing in the fridge and pantry to see what I could whip up for lunch. The demand seemed to be a lunch worthy of a football final! Leftover pizza, bread, soup?
Sure! But maybe something more gourmet too?!
The kitchen was clean, the dishes done, fridge, pantry restocked! Check, check, check. A organized kitchen motivates the chef in the sous, for me. Everyday. Everytime.
So stock check done, I decided to marinate the fresh chicken for some tandoori style grilling!
Tandoori Chicken here we come!

What went into it:
3 large chicken breast pieces ( with bone)-cleaned and cut into manageable pieces.
2 cups of yogurt
1 tbspns of cayenne pepper ( red chilli powder)
1 tbspn 'Everest' tandoori powder
1 tspn turmeric powder
1 tbspn ginger- garlic paste
Red food coloring ( optional)
Salt to taste.

Pam for grilling
Lemon slices, onion rings - for serving

How it was made:
In a big bowl, add the yogurt, salt, pepper, tandoori powder, turmeric, ginger garlic paste and food color. Mix . Add the chicken pieces. Marinate in the refrigerator for atleast 3-4 hrs. Longer the better.
Fire up the grill. Layer with aluminum foil. Grease and grill the chicken pieces on both sides until done.
Serve hot with lemon slices and onion rings.

So for our Euro 2012 lunch we grilled the leftover bread into sandwiches, served soup and pizza with the fresh spicy tandoori.
A feast fit for a king! what do you say?

Traditionally this is done in a clay oven called a Tandoor.I have only seen these in authentic restaurants and so have always otherwise seen them done on a grill/oven.
I usually skip the food colour for everyday grilling.
Also in cold weather I grill/bake in the kitchen oven.Although the coal grill renders its own signature taste to it.
You can try variations in the spices. Skip the yogurt and use lemon juice. Use continental spices as much or as little.

Having grown up a pure vegetarian, this was one of the first few non vegetarian dishes I tried and loved.
To date it remains ear marked in my book as a go-to favourite!
Tell me how you do yours.

Until Next time, Bon Appetite.

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You can also read my non-culinary ramblings here at Musings.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Making healthy choices

Let's walk. Drink more water. Less oil, more fibre. Greens. Reduce sugar. Exercise!
We have been talking this for sometime now! We. G n I. But didn't really put our feet down here.
Then a holistic basket we bought at a fund raiser. A new inspiring friend!
Seemed like the push we needed.

Quinoa, chia, healthy granola snacks.
Walking, drinking water.
Rice milk, coconut water, green tea....

Are the oils completely out? All healthy? No!

The freedom we feel is cause our lifestyle is not overhauled. We still slum on junk food. We still deep fry. We are still eating most of what we used to!
But we are sneaking on salads, greens, water and exercise!

To each his own! A complete changeover would have created an emotional havoc a rebellion from us! From within!
Subtlety works for us!

Are you trying a change in your kitchen?
At your table?
In your home?

Tell me here!
Until next time eat healthy!
Bon appetite!

Sous Chef is now on Facebook!

You can also read my non-culinary ramblings here at Musings.