Showing posts with label Odiya Rosai. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Odiya Rosai. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Macha Tarkari aka Fish Curry

Shanti would sit just outside the porch and call out for Aai  in her shrill voice that can be heard from a mile after keeping aside her big basket of fish. Her timing is always perfect..... 9 am sharp, Sunday mornings. The old bamboo basket is now falling apart and permanently stinks fish. Shanti has been selling fish for many years now. She is a dark busty woman with paan stained teeth. Padma, Aai's domestic help would also follow Aai to the porch. Buying fish every Sunday was more of a ritual. Shanti would carefully remove the leaves from top of the basket and pull out the best one for Aai. But it is Padma who would give the final approval after checking the gills. Then they all nod in agreement before the fish is weighed and cut. 

Aai's house had a big aangan,a courtyard in the middle of the house. The fish is cleaned there, even now. While Padma cleans it, there are more than one onlookers. One of them being Meeoon - Aai's cat, my sister M and few crows perched on the roof. The cleaning regime is completed admist constant chatter, purring of Meeoon and cawing of the crows. After through cleaning the pieces are marinated with a generous amount of haldi and salt and kept away securely from the prying eyes, especially Meeoon. 

Aai eye balls the amount of garlic, ginger and onion and hands it to Padma. And its perfect every time. The masala for the fish curry is prepared the old school way using a seelbata (a mortal and pestle made of stone). Padma's bangles make a nice jingle as she grinds the masala. 

The smoky and nutty smell of hot mustard oil fills the kitchen as Aai carefully drops the fish into the hot oil. And you don't need a sensitive nose to know that the maach is already in the oil. Even before the first batch is out of the kadhai, little M is already there waiting for her share with a small shiny steel plate. Aai smiles and carefully places a crisp hot piece on M's plate with a warning "hot". And as for Meeoon, she is curled comfortably on the kitchen doormat hoping that she gets a little more than the left over bones. 

Preparation Time - 60 minutes
Serves - 4
Rohu Fish - 750 gms ( You can also prepare this with Catla or Tilapia)  
Potato - 2 small
For the masala
Onion - 1 medium 
Tomato - 1 small
Ginger - 1 inch
Garlic - 4-5 pods
Cinnamon - 1 inch 
Cardamom - 2 
Bayleaf - 1
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Corriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/3 tsp
Turmeric - 1/3 tsp
Cayenne Pepper/ Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt -  to taste 
Oil for cooking 

Method of Preparation
1. Wash the fish pieces and pat dry. Add 1 tsp of turmeric and 1/2 tsp salt to the fish. Marinate and keep aside.
2. Chop the onion, ginger and garlic roughly and make a smooth paste using a food processer/ blender.
3. Cut tomato into small pieces and keep aside.
4. Cut the potatoes skin on into medium side wedges.
5. Pour some mustard oil (you can use any vegetable oil instead) and heat it to smoking point. Slowly add the fish pieces one by one and shallow fry them in batches. 
6. When the fish is done add the potatoes and shallow fry them in the same oil and keep aside.
7. If enough oil is still left in the kadhai (else add some more oil)  add whole garam masala to it, ie cinnamon, cardamom and bayleaf.
8. Next add the onion ginger garlic paste to the oil. Stir and fry the masala till the masala is cooked and there is no raw smell. Add chopped tomato, turmeric, cumin powder,corriander powder, chili powder and salt. Cook for few more minutes till the masala starts leaving oil at the sides. Cover and let the curry simmer on medium heat till potatoes get soft.
9. Remove from heat and add chopped coriander leaves on top to garnish.

Serve with rice. 
9. Add 2 cups water to the masala to make a gravy. Cover and bring it to a boil.
10. Add potato wedges and fish to it. Now add the garam masala powder. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cheena Tarkari aka Cottage cheese dumpling curry .....

I WAS a fussy eater ...... well not any more. The list of things that would not make it to the plate far more out numbered the ones that did. Milk and it's bi-products were a BIG NO for me. The milk had to be religiously strained before adding a liberal amount of Bourvita to it. There should be NO malai in the milk and it should taste anything but not milky. Paneer was also in the DISLIKE list. I had my own criteria ...... Paneer (Cheena) as rasogolla was fine, even Cheena Poda (another traditional sweet from Odisha) was fine but not Cheena Payesh or even for that matter steamed paneer cake. Forget about Paneer Curry and all that ...... 
And I am sure you would not want to go through the long list of vegetables ..... Except for Potatoes, Cauliflower, Peas, and a select few everything else !
Not just that I would sit with food on my plate for hours. My tantrums were unlimited.

Either my parents had given up on me as a hopeless case or had loads of patience. I have to go with the later ..... not because I am biased but because it was their patience and perseverance of not giving up on me that I am a foodie now !! Yeah Rome was not built in a year. 
My parents would constantly worry about my eating habits especially when I would have to leave their nest and go out to make a life of my own. No matter how stern mom looked she wept like a baby when she left me at my hostel. And the real world beckoned upon me ...... Bitter gourd curry was served for dinner the first night at my hostel along with some other greens, curd, rice, sambar and chappati. Tears welled up and was chocked. Either I had to eat or starve. I served a small spoon of rice and sambar and tried to swallow it. And I have to say that my stay in the hostel taught me many lessons of life .... including food !! And I changed my habits for the better. 

The next time I visited home after my first semester break ..... my family was quite surprised to meet the no more fussy eater. I ate all and with delight. And today my list of food that I don't eat has shrunk and if ever I am made to do a thank you speech on who changed my food habits, it has to be the horrible cook of my hostel ...... lol

About the recipe ........

Cottage cheese is called Cheena in the eastern part of India. This curry is very typical to Odisha/ West Bengal. Goes well with Indian Flat Bread ( Roti/ Phulka/ Chappati/ Poori/ Paratha etc ). Best when consumed fresh.
Preparation Time - 30 minutes

Serves - 2 
Cottage Cheese - 250 gms
Baking Soda -  1 pinch
Onion - 1 small
Tomato - 1 small
Ginger - 1 inch
Garlic - 4-5 pods
Cinnamon - 1 inch 
Cardamom - 2 
Fennel - 1/2 tsp
Cumin - 1 pinch
Cashew nuts - A handful
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - 1 small pinch
Cayenne Pepper/ Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt -  to taste 
Oil for cooking 
Method of Preparation
1. Knead the Cheena/ cottage cheese after adding baking soda to it to make a soft pliable dough. Pinch out small balls of the cottage cheese and roll between your palms to make smooth balls.  Heat oil in a kadhai/ wok to medium heat and fry them till they are golden brown. Remove and drain on a kitchen paper towel to remove excess oil. Keep aside.
2. Make a paste of Onion, ginger and garlic and cumin seeds . Puree the tomato separately. Make a paste of cashew nuts. Keep aside
3. Take 2 tbsp of oil in a wok. When warm add cinnamon, cardamom and fennel seeds. Now add the onion ginger garlic cumin paste to it. Stir and fry the masala till the masala is cooked and there is no raw smell. Add tomato puree, turmeric, chili powder and salt. Cook for few more minutes till the masala starts leaving oil at the sides. 
4. Add the cashew nut paste to it and simmer. Add garam masala. If needed add water to adjust the consistency.
5. If you are making this dish in advance, heat the gravy and add the Cheena balls to it just before serving. Else they tend to soak the gravy and make it dry.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nothing political about this Vegetable Cutlet

I am not a person who is interested in politics ........ Long time ago I did learn about the political system of the country in my Civics lessons . I was left with no choice but to mug it up for the heck of passing my exams. I am aware that people who make it to the parliament and like wise are called "politicians". And in the recent times the common man who elects and empowers such people is called a civilian.
Every alternate day there are scandals, corruption is rampant and then of-course inflation.There are a lot of things to complain about.
And then there are forums and discussions about various issues across TV Channels where people scream their lungs out to make a point. But I have never been able to pull these kinda discussions together. But the man in the house is quite my opposite, he gets it all ....... not something unusual huh !!
These days our self proclaimed mullahs and messiahs (politicians) are debating on a bill about women's rights on the husbands property after separation. Quite a fancy topic to grab any persons attention ....... I believe the men would be equally interested as much as the women about the outcome of this proposal !!

In a country where it's still unsafe for a woman to walk on the streets after dusk, where women have nowhere to urinate when they are in a public place .Women are supposed to exercise yogic control over their bursting bladders, especially when they travel.Can we please first talk about our "basic" rights !!
Subhadra who has studied only till the fifth standard and can hardly write her name is in the same boat as me. She has much to bother about and is least interested to know what these Neta's across political parties got to say about the women empowerment bill and women property rights after divorce from her husband. But she knows her mathematics well .......... Give her a hundred rupees note and she will hand you the exact change without faltering.
Widowed at a very young age she was left alone to fight with her destiny with two more hungry mouths. Her days were long and nights dark ........ no political system in the country could get food to her plate. She ran errands for the affluent class in her village and worked on their farms. With the mere savings that she had, she gathered enough courage to leave the village and head towards the city. She is a fruit vendor in the city market for many years now. She looks happy and content with life.
There are many more Subhadra's in every nook and corner of the country. And let me tell you, they are not left to the mercy of the lawmakers who are fighting over it on the name of vote bank politics.
I know I am a bit too late to mention about "Women's Day" The world celebrated it with much glee ........ March 8th to be precise !! And with women holding the highest office in this country ....... My demand is for "Basic Rights" !! Are the women in power listening ??

This is a vegetable cutlet that you can eat guilt free .......

Preparation Time - 1 hour
Serves - 4
Boiled and mashed potato - 2 cups
Carrot - 1/2 cup
Beetroot - 1/2 cup
Green chilies - 1 tsp finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Semolina - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves to garnish

Method of Preparation

1. Boil all the vegetables (carrot/ beetroot) till they are soft.
2 Cool and mash them. Add to the mashed potatoes and mix well.
3 In a pan, add some oil. When warm add chopped green chilies and ginger garlic paste. Saute for 3-4 minutes stirring constantly on medium flame.
4 Add the above mixture and mix well. Add salt and garam masala as well. Stir for 4- 5 minutes and remove from flame. Let the mixture cool.
5. Pinch out small amount of the mixture and give desired shape. Roll on the semolina
6 Take little oil in a shallow pan. When hot, shallow fry. Make sure the oil is hot enough else the cutlet will break.
7. Garnish with chopped coriander.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sweet Almond Rice & Life in a Metro !

Life in a Metro ……………. Well it is not about the fast forward life I lead, I am not complaining, period!

It is not even about how I have build cubicles around myself and that I don’t even know my next door neighbors. Sure it’s not my business to ‘know’ them. I don’t like being labeled as a person who pokes her nose ……. Of course it’s none of anyone’s business to know what Mr Iyer does for his living, although I have shared the same apartment corridor with him for more than two years. But I do know what car he drives! It’s not criminal if I don’t know his family. I know my etiquette's; sure I do smile at my neighbors whenever we come face to face on the corridor. Even I did care to return a post of Mr Iyer which had once made its way into my mailbox. I managed to get their phone number from the apartment security. I did check with them over phone before knocking on their door to pass the letter. And Mrs Iyer is a fine woman too. She did let me in and we exchanged few words over her perfectly brewed filter coffee while my eyes browsed through her well furnished home. It’s not like I didn’t know her at all ……… She is a religious and god fearing woman. How?? The chants of the shlokas and the aroma of the agarbattis that flow with the morning breeze tell it all. And yes did I tell you she looks gorgeous in her kanjeevarams and jasmines. 

Having lived in an air force base I have seen people relocating often. When the Sharma’s came with their truck load of things on a sunny afternoon, I was at my study table next to the bedroom window. The window did let in fresh air and fresh thoughts to break the monotony of the unsolved Mathematics questions that I often struggled with. I saw many faces peeping out of their respective homes ………… and within minutes a group of people had assembled on the road. They were off loading stuff from the truck. I too sneaked out of the house and became a quite spectator of the entire ‘shifting’ episode. 

People were there to offer all kind of advice and help, like where the sofa should be placed according to Vaastu, what school the kids should be sent, Mrs Misra also promised to send Mala her domestic help to help them with the initial cleaning. Neighbors’ volunteered for lunch and dinner till their kitchen became functional ……. One of the neighbors’ bought a jug full of ‘Nimbu Pani’. I wondered if these people knew each other already! There seemed to be some kind of celebration and connection between these people on the street. I was back at my study intermittently monitoring all that was going on. In a couple of hours the house of the Sharma’s was set and they were heading over to their next door neighbor for evening tea and snacks.

It seemed like the new kid on the block was no longer ‘new’. 

I felt a jerk, the announcement on the Noida City Centre bound Metro Rail interrupted my thoughts. I realized that the train was approaching the next station. I looked around myself to only see lifeless, tired and indifferent faces. Some were busy texting and checking their mobile phones while some spoke atop their voice ignoring others ……….. few browsed through magazines and books. Sigh there was not much difference between the ‘Bangalore’ or the ‘Delhi’ Metro or the 'New York' Subway either.

My stop was approaching fast. I de-boarded the train carefully watching the gap. The thoughts of Iyer’s and the Sharma’s afresh and haunting me.

Note : This is not a true story, only a replica of my perception of the modern society we are living in.

Preparation Time – 20 minutes
Serves – 2

Long grain basmati rice – 1 cup
Milk – 1 cup
Water – 1 cup
Cinnamon – 2 inches
Cardamom – 4
Fennel Seeds – 1/3 tsp
Bay leaf – 1
Dry red chili - 1
Sugar – ½ Cup
Almonds – handful
Clarified Butter/ Ghee – 2 tsp
Salt – 1 pinch
Turmeric – 1 pinch 
Coriander leaf - for garnishing

Method of Preparation
Wash and drain the rice in a colander till dry. Sprinkle the turmeric on the rice grains for color.
Put a pressure cooker on medium heat and add the clarified butter to melt. Add all the whole spices ( Cinnamon,Cardamom,Fennel Seeds, Bay Leaf and Red Chili ). One you smell the aroma of the spices add almonds and saute for 2 minutes.
Add the drained rice and fry on low heat for about 10 minutes. Stir continuously else the rice will stick to the bottom.
Add the sugar and salt and stir in till the sugar dissolves.
Add milk and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Add water and pressure cook till one whistle.

Remove pressure and let the rice cool. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves

Serving Tips
Serve warm with spicy curry.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mansha Tarkari aka Mutton Curry

It was a big day at Plot No - 1 Budheswari Colony. Mr Jamai Babu (Son in law) was visiting for the first time after our wedding. Undoubtedly he was the apple of every one's eye. His face dazzled with all the attention he was getting. It was a big fat gathering.
After taking a peek into all the rooms I slipped into one of the quite corners of the house to lie down and rest my tired aching bones. J was surrounded by my Uncles, Aunts and Grandparents. Some visitors from the neighborhood had also barged in to see the new Jamai. Jhumpa, the four year girl from our neighborhood jumped on J's lap without the slightest hesitation and stared at his face as he was doing all the talking. I wondered if J looked like an alien to her.
While I was at solace in my own house J was bombarded with curious questions from everyone. Everybody was eager to know how the Amerikan Jamai was surviving at the far off land.Ironically no body was interested to know what he did for his living in Amerika ..... all they were curious about was food and food alone !
'Do you get fresh fish there ?' was my grandfather's question. 'No only frozen fish', J answered after clearing his choked throat. ' What about our desi vegetables ?' Every question revolved around food. All these just reaffirmed that we Odiyas' live and die for food !! If we know of a big meteorite heading towards earth we will spend all the time cooking and dining !
While the male members of my family kept J entertained, the female members were busy in chopping, grinding and cooking. It was a big deal and there was no stone unturned for this lavish lunch.

And when I say lavish I mean lavish !! The variety of food could easily outnumber the dishes of an restaurant. I could smell an amalgamation of macha besara, chicken curry, mutton jhola , ghanta tarkari, saga badi bhaja , pulao, kheeri, rasgulla and what not.
It was impossible for me to stick to ettiquetes ..... I marched straight into the kitchen, picked up my steel tray ..... mine because it was gifted to me on my naming ceremony and hence belonged to me. Nothing attracted me more than the Mansha Jhola with potatoes dunked in the gravy (Mutton Curry). I took a big serving of the mansha jhola with some pulao and went to the courtyard. I saw J being escorted to the dining area by my grandmother. Mom laid some shiny new steel plates and bowls. J was literally pampered to the extent of spoon feeding. I am sure my kith and kin were sympathizing with the lad for having married me - for cooking was never my cup of tea those days. There were too many people around the table and everyone trying to say something to him. They fed him till he chocked. Perhaps they thought of feeding him so much that it would last till his next visit. And that hopefully we won't complain about my miserable cooking ...... But I quite enjoyed the scene of the 'Jamai Bhojan' sitting under the guava tree in our courtyard under the warm winter Sun, smacking the bowl of mutton curry clean and throwing the bones at my pet cat 'Sundari'.

Preparation Time 45 minutes
Serves - 4

Mutton/ Lamb - 2 pounds
Potato - 1 big diced
2 Medium size Onions finely chopped
Ginger Garlic Paste - 2 tsp
Tomato - 1 small
Curd - 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 2 tsp (per taste)
Turmeric Powder - 1.5 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Mutton Curry Powder - 1 tbsp
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Cardamon - 2
Cloves - 5
Whole Black Pepper - 8
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Bay Leaf - 1
Salt per taste
Ghee - 1/2 tsp
Mustard Oil for Cooking (You may use any oil alternatively)

Method of Preparation

1 Wash the mutton and remove moisture from it. Add 1 tsp red chili powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder, curd, salt and marinate. Keep aside for 20-30 minutes.
2 Heat mustard oil in a pan. When hot fry the diced potato till golden brown on all sides. Keep aside.
3 In a pressure cooker add some mustard oil. When warm add all the whole garam masala/ spices including cumin seeds. Add the finely sliced onions to it and saute till the onions are golden brown. You may add a little salt to the onions to cook it faster. Add ginger garlic paste and mix in with the onions. Also add tomatoes, 1 tsp red chili powder and tomatoes. Mix well and cook till the masala is cooked. Add cumin powder and Mutton curry masala and stir in.
4 Add the diced potatoes and marinated mutton pieces to the masala. Fry them mixing well for 10 minutes. Make sure you stir them continuously else the masala will stick to the bottom.
5 Add enough water to cover the mutton and potatoes. Pressure cook for 3 whistles.
6 Remove from heat and let it cool. Open the cooker and add 1/2 tsp of ghee and mix well.

Serving Tips
Serve warm with plain basmati rice/ pulao or any Indian flat bread.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Kankada Tarkari .... Crab Curry Odiya Style

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear 'San Francisco' ? If your instant answer is the Golden Gate Bridge, please congratulate yourself. You belong to the category of normal or sane people walking on the surface of this blue planet. Why ? The Golden Gate Bridge is the most photographed bridge of the world ? Oh sure you knew ....
Or did somebody whisper 'Crabs at Fisherman's Wraf' ? Welcome aboard. I don't want to be the only insane, crazy Crustacean eater. The Golden Gate and other things are secondary !
The first time I was at Fisherman's Wraf I just went crazy at the very sight of these one pound ones. They were huge as compared to their cousins residing in the Bay of Bengal. All I needed was salt, pepper, lime juice and a little space in those tight shops selling sea food. Forgetting all codes of conduct I started with my hands ... I didn't require any of those sophisticated tools for cracking the claws. J stared at me startled ...... "Crabby Girl" was his clear expression. I ignored all that and the crowd around me and continued cracking my crab trying to reach the sweet meat in every corner and then smacking it clean.
When I turned around to ask the shop guy for another one ...... the self looked empty. This Chinese guy selling crabs signaled that the crabs are gone. The only thing I understood from his broken english was that I needed to wait for two more hours if I wished for another one. The next trailer with this priced Pacific catch would arrive at 9.30 pm he said.
Was the wait worth, especially in the month of December when the chilled Pacific wind freezes you. Yes without a doubt !
The crabby affair continues till date. I go nuts at the very sight of these . Ask me if I am willing to take a six hours flight from New York to San Francisco ...... The answer is 'Yes' (Courtesy if it is a Business Trip).
For the time being I have to satisfy myself with the ones available in the neighborhood sea food stores. The guy selling those tells me that these crabs travel all the way from the Pacific coast to make it to my kitchen. I have no option but to believe him for the love of these beautiful creations of God !!

So get your hands dirty and enjoy !!

Preparation Time - 40 minutes

Crabs Cleaned Cooked and de shelled - 2
Potato - 1 medium
Chopped Onion - 1 medium
Ginger - 1 inch
Garlic Cloves - 2 big
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Coriander Seeds - 1tsp
Dry Red Chilies - 2
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1 big pinch
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp (per taste)
Bay Leaf - 1
Salt per taste
Mustard Oil for cooking ( You can also use Canola/Vegetable Oil)

Method of Preparation

1. Cut potatoes into wedges. For the masala make a smooth paste of onion, ginger and garlic Coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dry red chilies and cinnamon in a blender.
2. Heat Mustard Oil in a kadhai and fry the potato wedges on both sides till golden brown. Remove and keep aside.
3 Reduce the heat and add the bay leaf. Add the masala, turmeric, red chili powder and salt. Fry till the masala is cooked and there is no raw smell.
4 Add water to make a gravy of diluted consistency. Add the Potato wedges and crabs. Simmer for 5 minutes. Sprinkle garam masala powder and cook for one more minute.

Serving Tips
Serve warm with plain rice.

Oops ...... Sorry I forgot about the normal people who are not crabby and who would visit SFO for reasons more than crabs .... Here is the list of things you can do when in this beautiful city .... But my last word - Do check out the Pacific Crabs ;-)
1 Golden Gate Bridge
2 China Town
3 Alcatraz
4 Embarcadero
5 Pier 39
6 Fisherman's Wraf
7 The Exploratorium
8 Cable Cars
9 Coit Tower

Monday, December 13, 2010

Charred Tawa Prawns

Have you ever built a snowman and discovered the next day that his grin has gotten a little crooked, or his tree-branch arms have moved? And you've wondered . . . what do snowmen do at night?
What do these little snow people do when we tuck ourselves cozy in our bed ....... Have you ever wondered if all the snowman march up to the neighborhood park for a little "Snowman' get together. Do they slide down the slopes of snow and throw snow balls at each other. Or do they accompany Santa on his sledge and go distributing gifts to all the cute angels on earth.
Mr Gavin took us to a wonderland of fantasy as he read out this hilarious story of 'Snow Man in the Night' to his students. I was one of the lucky audiences of Mr Gavin's Story telling group. My friend's 6 year old had invited me to be a part of Snowman's Night Celebration at his school this weekend. We did a little scrap book on snowman later in his classroom. This super creative fella made a Snowman Baby and a Snowman Mommy ...... Can you be any better creative than him. I loved watching him doing his little Snowman family.
I felt like I was back to school after all these years. He was excited to show me his school. Cut outs of Snow Man adored every nook and corner of the school. The school cafeteria served hot chocolates and there was cookies for everyone. What better than dunking some cookies in hot chocolate while watching lil brats run and play all around you. Ahh I was loving every moment of it and wished if time could come to a halt.
As we walked out after the event we saw flurries all over. The night could not get any better....... Kids were sticking their tongues out to feel the cold cottony snow ..... I knew it was going to snow ....... an indication of 'Snowman Night'.
I remembered the little snowman I had made last winter and how he looked distorted the next morning with a crooked grin. Well now I know what Snowman do at night :-)

My Snowman family with their sledge and reindeer :-)

Well this Charred Masala Tawa Prawns are a HIT ..... Perfect Appetizer for a cold snowy eve when you want to have some quick fix meal.

Preparation Time 20 minutes
Serves 2

Big Shrimps/ Prawns - 14 nos
Chopped Onion - 1/3 cup
Garlic Clove - 1
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Cinnamon Stick - 1 inch
Cumin seeds - 1/3 tsp
Red Dry Chili - 2
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Lemon Juice - 1 tsp
Salt per taste
Oil for cooking

Method of Preparation

1 Wash and de vein the shrimps/ prawns leaving only the tail. Pat dry and sprinkle some turmeric and salt. Keep aside
2 Make a smooth paste of Onion, ginger, garlic, dry red chili, cinnamon and cumin seeds in the blender and adding very little water or no water.
3 Add this mixture to the shrimps/ prawns and mix well. Add a little oil too while mixing.
4 Drizzle a little oil on a frying pan. When hot add the marinated shrimps/ prawns. Fry on medium-high heat till the masala on each side is a little charred.
5 Remove from heat and add a little lemon juice over it.

Serving Tips
Serve warm as an appetizer.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Potala Tarkari (Parwal Curry) Another way .......

If you want fresh Potala/ Parwal in this part of the world ..... you must be dreaming ! And if you badly want it then there is a word for it 'Compromise'. Sure you can find them in the frozen vegetable section of most Indian Grocery Stores. But I am little against that word 'Compromise' although it is a part of our everyday life. I still try to minimize it when it comes to cooking and pleasing my palette. Like they say 'Every thing comes for a price', the price of owning these fresh ones was 4.99 $ a pound. From the moment I picked those parwals I started weaving dreams of a special dinner ...... the attraction 'Potala Rasa'. What's so special about it ...... well you got to check that here.
But I was in two minds about it ..... Why ? Coz that recipe was already sitting on my blog and this vegetable was a rare sight. It's rare to spot fresh ones even in the Indian Grocery stores. So do you have this question for me "Do you cook to blog or Blog to Cook " .... Well Both !!
So my quest for a special Parwal Recipe began on Google and ended with my maternal Aunt. This was her tried and tested recipe so I was in no two minds about it. Although it needed a little bit of convincing for J who badly wanted Potala Rasa. The end result was great if you can buy my words.
It came out better than what I had expected and J was licking his fingers.

Preparation Time 30 minutes
Serves 3

Potala/Parwal - 10 nos (medium size)
Thin chopped Onion - 1 cup
Milk - 1 cup
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 tsp
Bay Leaf - 1
Cinnamon - 2 inches
Green Cardamom - 2
Black Cardamom - 1
Cloves - 3
Salt per taste
Oil for cooking

Method of Preparation

1 Wash Potala/Parwal and pat dry. Scrape the outer skin lightly. Slit in between.
2 Add some oil to a Kadhai. When hot fry the Potala/ Parwal by adding a little turmeric and salt to it. Cover and fry to cook faster. When Potala/Parwal gets 2/3 cooked remove from heat and keep aside.
3 Drizzle little more oil in the Kadhai. When warm add all the whole garam masala and bay leaf.
4 Add the chopped onions to it. Add salt per taste and a pinch of turmeric. Fry till the onions no more have raw smell and are soft. Add the cumin powder now.
5 Add milk to the onions, cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Now add the fried parwal to it. Cover and cook till the gravy is of medium consistency. ( Milk reduces to 1/2 it's volume).
6 Sprinkle garam masala in the end.

Serving Tips
Serve warm with any Indian flat bread.