Coconut pancakes

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This delicious pancakes with coconut stuffing can be served with yogurt, sour cream or jam.

1 cup flour
1 egg
¼ cup milk
3 tbsp sugar
4 cup fresh coconut, grated
½ inch ginger root, grated
yogurt, salt, aniseeds to taste
oil

1. Beat up egg with 2 tbsp milk, combine with flour and salt and make thick pastry. Leave in a cold place for 30 minutes.
2. Add the rest of milk to get pastry looking like nonfat cream. If it’s too thick, add some milk. Preheat a small pan and fry over medium or strong heat.
3. Combine coconut, aniseeds, sugar and ginger. Put 1 full tsp coconut stuffing on each pancake and fold in four. Cover and let it cool about 30 minutes.
4. Decorate with the rest of grated coconut and serve with yogurt.

Chutney with cilantro and tomatoes

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6-7 small tomatoes
2 bunch fresh cilantro
6 green chili peppers
salt

Combine all ingredients and blend.

Kesar kheer (Rice pudding with pistachios and saffron)

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Don’t be affraid of this sophisticated dish name. Kesar kheer means sweet rice pudding with various second helpings and it’s a quite easy recipe.

½ cup rice
4 cup milk
8 tbsp sugar
1 tsp saffron
1 cup pistachios, shells removed
½ cardamom

1. Soak pistachios in water for 3 hours. Wash rice, combine with 2 cups milk and mix. Cook 20-25 minutes until soft.
2. Add saffron, cardamom, sugar and the rest of milk. Cook 10 minutes more until thicken. If pudding seems to be too thick, add some milk or water.
3. Decorate with pistachios and serve hot or cold.

Garam Masala

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This spicy mixture is an essential part of many Indian courses. You can make it yourself by frying all these spices in a dry pan for a minute. This will make them more fragrant. Then just crush spices in a coffe-grinder and put garam masala in a clean jar for spices.

2 tbsp fennel
4 parts anisetree
3 inches cinnamon stick
2 tbsp black pepper peas
2 tbsp caraway seeds
2 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp cardamom
1 tbsp cloves

Bananas with caramel and sesame seeds

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This sweet dish is really delicious. Soft banana pieces covered with caramel and sesame seeds is a healthy dessert.

4 bananas, peeled
½ cup sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2/3 yogurt or sour cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp powdered sugar
lemon peel for decoration

1. Slice bananas in pieces 2 inches (5 cm) long, put in a bowl, add lemon juice and roll them in.
2. Combine water and sugar in a small pan and heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes.
3. Pour off lemon juice and dry bananas with a tea-towel. Lay butter-paper on backing sheet and place bananas on it.
4. Sprinkle bananas with caramel. Do it quickly because caramel congeals right away. Strew with sesame seeds and leave for 10 minutes.
5. Mix yogurt, powdered sugar and vanilla essence.
6. Remove bananas from butter-paper, pour upon yogurt and trim with lemon peel.

Miraculous world of Indian spices

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In my recent article about Indian cuisine I’ve already written about some facts about curry and other Indian spices. It’s quite true, that Hindus have a lot of spices, but some of those herbs and spices enjoy special popularity and make Indian cuisine unique and unforgettable. Spices can make even a usual dish exquisite. They are an inexhaustible source of vitamins and microelements. Besides, Indian spices are also used in medicine and cosmetology; they normalize digestion system, purge blood and improve memory.

Cardamom is a traditional ingredient of curry. You can buy it in a pod (it must be light green, dark-brown or beige and fuzzy) and grind seeds, but they lose aroma soon.

Asafetida has a specific smell, that’s why it’s used in small amount. Goes well together with chicken.

Chana dal looks like small yellow peas. It’s used as adhesion agent in Indian cuisine.

Chick-pea is hard goldish peas, that has a rich nut taste. It suits perfectly for curry and goulash. Dried chick-pea needs soaking for 6-7 hours (potted one doesn’t require prior soaking).

Cinnamon sticks are made from pressed rolled bark of an evergreen tree, growing in India. Cinnamon is a good flavor not only for pastry and desserts, but also for meat dishes.

Sesame seeds are small and pointed. They impart distinguishing sweet and hot taste relish to food and go well with other spices.

Fragrant cloves do the best for rice and sabja (basil seeds).

Black onion seeds look like onion seeds. They improve digestion.

Small brown fenugreek seeds are very often used in curry and different piquant mixtures.

Curry has various components depending on cook, region and traditions. Usually it consists of turmeric, pepper, sesame, coriander, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom and chili powder. According to proportions curry can be very hot or a little spicy.

Black mustards seeds are smaller then usual mustard. The more you fry them, the hotter they are.

Garam masala is very popular in India. This flavor is highly fragrant. Garam masala consists of sesame, coriander, cardamom and black pepper. In contrast with curry powder this spice is to add when the dish is almost cooked or after cooking.

Cayenne pepper is very poignant. Use it in minimal amount.

Ghee is made by dint of heating butter until evaporation of all water, when refined butter sinks to bottom. The left grease can be heated to high temperatures without being burnt.

Ginger is one of the first Indian spices widespread in western lands. Its fragrance is a bit pungent, but freshening. Fresh ginger root should be smooth and plump. Don’t store it more than a month.

Tamarind is a pod flesh of a tropical tree, that we usually buy as paste or dry mixture. It has dewy sour taste and dark brown color. Tamarind is commonly get soaked in hot water before usage. Sourish water is used then for chutney, curry or other courses.

Fresh turmeric root looks like ginger root, but its pulp has a bright orange color. It maintains its color when grinded or dried. Turmeric imparts warm spicy relish to dishes.

Black salt is mined in India and it has almost violet color. It has a specific aroma of bad egg, in spite of this black salt is used as a laxative and digestive aid.

Mango chutney

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 It’s a very easy and tasty chutney recipe – try it!

1 mango, peeled and diced
1 tsp ghee or butter
1 red chili pepper, sliced
1 clove garlic, grated
pinch of salt and sugar
curry, oil and apple vinegar to taste

1. Fry mango flesh for some minutes in a pan with butter. Add chili pepper and garlic.
2. Allow it cool, add salt, sugar curry oil and vinegar and make a smooth puree in a blender.

Coconut chutney

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Chutney is Indian dressing, which is made from fruits or vegetables with spices and vinegar. It should be smooth and tender. Besides, I’ve heard it must draw for a couple of weeks to have richer taste, but it’s not obligatory to my mind.

Coconut chutney

1 cup dried coconut, grated
1 tsp urad dal
3 chilies
1 tsp yogurt
2 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp oil
salt

1. Heat oil over medium heat. Fry coconut and urad dal until coconut is light golden.
2. Place in blender with spices and grind coarsely.

Pakora

Snacks No Comments

Pakora is vegetables fried in dough. You can use for pakora almost all the veggies, just cut them in equal pieces so that they are cooked at one time. I usually serve pakora as a single dish, with or without chutney.

1 ½ cup besan
3 onions, sliced
1 large potato, finely sliced
1 tbsp ginger, grated
4 green chilies, sliced
1 tsp chili powder
1 bunch cilantro (coriander), chopped
3 tbsp ghee or butter
pinch of soda and salt
oil

1. Stir 1 tbsp ghee with soda, until mixture bubbles. Combine with besan, ginger, chili powder, salt and ghee and add enough water to get thick dough.
2. Add vegetables and cilantro and mix well. Heat oil in a big saucepan to 180 C.
3. Scoop dough with a spoon (moistening spoon in hot water) and put into a pan. Fry until goldish.
4. Put pakoras on the rack to let grease flow down. Serve up with coconut chutney or tomato dressing.

Fresh tomato dressing (recipe 2)

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This is another indian tomato dressing, which contains less components and is more quickly to cook.

2 cups oil or yogurt
1 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoon asafoetida
2 tomatoes

Combine all ingredients in blender and dress the salad.

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