Holiday Fun

As we start the new year, I thought I should probably get back to learning how to cook Indian food and sharing my experiences with you.  During the holidays it is always fun in my house. It is chaotic and crazy as we decorate the house and cook Christmas goodies. I learned how to make 3 Indian sweets this year all by myself, which I will share with you at the end of this year.

But I am not going to leave you without something. So….here is the first recipe of the year.

Pork Vindaly

  • 4lbs of Pork Belly cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric  powder
  • teaspoons of salt  
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 springs of curry leaves
  • Ginger Garlic Paste*
  • Chili powder to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced 
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar

*To make the ginger garlic paste grind in a mixer 3 inches of ginger, 9 garlic cloves and 2 tablespoons of cumin seeds with water. Grind all ingredients till till become a paste.

Boil pork belly with 1/2 turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon of salt in a pressure cooker.

In another pot, heat 1/2 cup of vegetable oil and sauté onions and curry leaves. When the onions are brown, add the ginger garlic paste to the pot.  Add 1/4 cup of water to the mixture and continue to fry for 5 to 7 minutes.

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Right before we added the chili powder. 

Add chili powder to take, 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder, and tomatoes. Add some more water to the mixture to help cook the tomatoes. Continue to cook until the oil rises to the top of the pot.* Add the cooked pork and salt to taste to the mixture and cook till tender.  When the pork is tender, add vinegar to the pot and let simmer for 2 to 3 more minutes.

 

*This is a tip my Grandmother gave my mom when she was learning to cook.

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This is right when we added the pork to the pot when the oil raised to the top.

I hope you enjoy this dish. You can substitute  pork with chicken or shrimp.

~Till Next Time, Pida

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Finished Vindaly ready to serve!!

 

Success In Re-creating Recipes

This past weekend I had the opportunity to make two recipes my Mom taught me over the last few months. The first recipe was Upma, which is a breakfast dish. It turned out well and tasted just like how my Mom makes it. Dad said he liked it as well, so I will take it as a win.

This is from the first time we made it.
This is from the first time we made it.

The second recipe was Dhaal which was one of the first recipes that I learned but never made. Mom is always a little hesitant when I say I am going to make a dish. Even more surprising is she let me make it when we had guests coming over. That’s a lot of pressure to make Dhaal for the first time and make it for guests.

Dhaal
Dhaal

In the end though it turned out great! Of course Mom was looking over my shoulder to make sure it came out okay, we after all had guests coming over. After cooking the Dhaal we also made Cauliflower and Potato. Here is another easy tasty dish to make, hope you enjoy.

~Till Next Time

Pida

Cauliflower and Potato

1 head of cauliflower, chopped

1 large potato, chopped

1 medium onion, sliced

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon mustard seeds

1 large tomato, sliced

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 inch of ginger, grated

¾ tablespoon garam masala

Add salt and chili powder to taste

½ cup coriander leaves, chopped

In a large pot add oil, cauliflower, potato, onion, mustard and cumin seeds, tomato, turmeric, ginger, salt and chili powder. Also add a half-cup of water to help cook the cauliflower and potato. You may need to add more water but keep an eye on it. Towards the end add coriander leaves and garam masala.

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Crab Curry Side-Green Beans Poriyal

Our family friends and us celebrate the Fourth of July weekend with making Crab Curry. While I wasn’t there when the crab curry was made, I did get the chance to observe one of the Aunties make a vegetable dish. I didn’t eat the crab curry as I do not like seafood but everyone said it was delicious. Here is a link to how the crab curry was made http://www.jefreena.com/2015/07/moms-crab-curry/. From what I heard and you will read it was a real long process since the crabs kept absorbing the curry sauce.

Green Beans Poriyal

2 Tablespoon of oil

1 Medium Onion Finely Chopped

2 16oz of frozen greens bean

2 cubes of chicken flavor stock

5 to 6 pods of garlic sliced

2 small chilies sliced lengthwise

Salt to taste

½ cup of shredded coconut (unsweetened)

Sauté onions in oil and add green beans when onions are tender. Add cubes of stock, garlic and chilies to green beans. Add salt to taste. When green beans are almost done add the coconut.

Green Bean Poriyal
Green Bean Poriyal before the coconut was added
Green Bean Poriyal 2
Green Bean Poriyal being served
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Crab Curry with other dishes

Khichdi

I know Good Friday was a few weeks ago but Mom showed me how to make Khichdi in remembrance of my Grandmother. My Grandmother used to cook something similar to Khichdi on Good Fridays when she was growing up. Mom doesn’t usually make this so it was something special. I hope you enjoy!

Khichdi

 1 cup Rice (washed)

1 cup Moong Dal (washed)

1 ½ cups of peas and carrots*

¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder

¼ teaspoon of mustard seeds

¼ teaspoon cumin seeds

¼ teaspoon asafetida powder

1 large tomato cubed

1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger

2 green chilies finely chopped

2 tablespoon of ghee

Salt to taste

In a pot add rice, moong dal, turmeric powder, 1 tablespoon of ghee, peas and carrots and salt to taste with 3 cups of waters cook until tender.

In another pot add the rest of the ghee, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafetida powder. When seeds start to pop, add 1 large tomato and ½ cup of water to help cook the tomato. Also add the ginger and green chilies. Mix rice into the tomato mixture when tomato is done cooking. Then you are done.

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We ate our Khichdi with papadum and pickle.

Khichdi and Papadum
Khichdi and Papadum

*We used frozen peas and carrots but you can uses any vegetable you have on hand.

Note: If you use a pressure cooker to cook the rice and dal it will cook quicker.

Beef Poricha Curry

On this cold snowy day, I told my mom she needed to teach me a new recipe.  I got lucky and she did two!  Here is the first one, I hope you enjoy.

Here is what we had for dinner Beef Poricha Curry and Puli Kulambu with Rice
Here is what we had for dinner Beef Poricha Curry and Puli Kulambu with Rice

Beef Poricha Curry

2 lbs of beef stew

1 large onions, sliced

1 large tomato, sliced

1 spring of curry leaves

Ginger Garlic Paste* See below to make paste

½ cup of coriander leaves, (cilantro), chopped

3 to 4 green chilies, chopped

2 tablespoons of oil

¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder

½ teaspoon of red chili powder (add to taste)

Salt to taste

 Add beef, sliced onions, sliced tomatoes, ginger garlic paste, coriander leaves, green chilies, sprig of curry leaves, turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt, oil to pot. Add enough water to cook beef till tender. Bring everything to boil. Cook beef till it is tender.

Right before we closed the pressure cooker
Right before we closed the pressure cooker
Finished!
Finished!

*For Ginger Garlic Paste

Grind 1 ½ inch of ginger and 7 garlic pods with a little bit of water.

We used a pressure cooker to speed up cooking the beef. If you don’t use a pressure cooker, you will have to add water as the beef is cooking until it is fully cooked.

My grandmother use to say when the oil rises to the top that means the food is done.

Ready to Serve
Ready to Serve

French Style Chicken Stew with Peas

Below you will find a non-Indian recipe. To understand why I am putting this recipe up you need to know where my family is from. My mom and dad’s family are from a French territory in India, Pondicherry. (If you are wondering why this name sounds familiar it might be because of the book, Life of Pi is set there in the beginning of the book)

My mom knows a lot of recipes that are unique not only to South India but in particular Pondicherry. One of the great things about Indian cuisine is there are lots of variety from different regions of India. This is my grandmother’s recipe that she shared with my Aunt and Mom, which is a French recipe common in Pondicherry. I hope you enjoy it, as much as we do!

Chicken Stew with Peas

½ of a whole chicken cut

1 large onion, sliced

2 bay leaves

5 garlic cloves, sliced

2 medium tomatoes, sliced

8 oz of frozen peas

salt

pepper

½ cup of tomato sauce

This is how the onions and tomatoes should look before moving on.
This is how the onions and tomatoes should look before moving on.

Add ¼ cup of oil in a pan and heat. Add sliced onion to oil, with 2 bay leaves and sliced garlic. Fry onions till they are brown, once they are brown add tomatoes. Add a little water to the tomatoes and onions to help them cook. Cook till it is well done.

Add chicken to the onions and tomatoes and cook. Once chicken is about 1/3 of the way down add the peas to the pan and add the tomato sauce. Cover pot and let it boil. You want to let some of the water to evaporate and the sauce to thicken.

This is what everything looks like when we are cooking the chicken.
This is what everything looks like when we are cooking the chicken.

Once you are doing cooking it you can serve it with bread. My grandmother used to serve it with French bread.

Chicken Stew will look like this when it's done.
Chicken Stew will look like this when it’s done.
Finish Chicken Stew
Ready to be served!

 ~ Till Next Time

Pidabean

Pork Chop Marinade

Here is a marinade for pork chops.  My Aunt gave my mother this recipe and we have been enjoying for the last few months.   It’s nice easy to do and very good!   Hope you enjoy it!

~Till Next Time

Pidabean

Pork Chop Marinade

For this recipe you can either bake or grill the pork chops.

Ingredients:

11 pork chops

3 inches of ginger (peeled)

12 cloves of garlic

2 ½ tablespoons of cumin

1 ½ cups of yogurt

Chili powder

Salt.

Grind the peeled ginger, cumin and garlic together with a little water. (We used the blender to grind all the ingredients together.

Add the yogurt and the paste to the pork chops. Add Chili powder and salt to taste. Mix all together and marinate overnight or for 6 to 8 hours.

Bake at 375 for 35 minutes. Or grill till cooked.

You can eat the pork chops with a salad or with dhal rice.

Cabbage Poriyal

I know it’s been awhile since I posted a recipe but I actually had written this one up before the holidays. The holidays at our home is always busy so I didn’t get a chance to post it, which actually works out well since Mom doesn’t want to cook Indian Food at the moment. She did a lot of cooking over the last few weeks especially Indian Food. In a dream world I would have gotten all of the recipes but I may have been told to go away or she didn’t have time to measure things out for me. Like I said before someone (Mom) has a tendency of putting ingredients in when no one is looking. We will get back to it soon but here is something very yummy if you like cabbage.

~Till Next Time

Pida

Cabbage Poriyal

½ cup of chana dal

3 tablespoon of oil

½ teaspoon of mustard seed

1 sprig of curry leaves

1 medium onion sliced

½ teaspoon asafetida powder

4 garlic cloves sliced

3 chilies chopped

½ teaspoon of turmeric

Half a head of cabbage finely chopped

Salt to taste

½ cup of freshly coconut

In a pot boil water and add ½ cup chana dal. Cook until the dal is almost done. (We don’t want to cook it all the way because we will be adding it later when the cabbage is cooking.)

In a different saucepan add 3 tablespoons of oil and heat. Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds, ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds, sprig of curry leaves and sliced onions to the saucepan. Also add ½ of teaspoon asafetida powder, 4 garlic cloves sliced, 3 chilies chopped and ½ teaspoon of turmeric. Once the onions are browned add half head of cabbage finely chopped. Add 2 cups of water to help the cabbage cooked and salt to taste. Cover and let cook. When the cabbage is almost done add the partially cooked chana dal into the pan. Don’t over cook the dal and the cabbage as you don’t want it took become too mushy. Stir in ½ a cup of freshly grated coconut to the cabbage and turn of the stove. You are done!

You can enjoy the cabbage with some rice and curry or have it on its own with some naan or chapati.

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Quick and Easy Breakfast

Upma- (Indian Style Cream of Wheat)

Mom makes this quick easy breakfast for Dad, it’s one of his favorites. You can find different versions of Upma but I hope you enjoy ours!

1 ½ Cups of Cream of Wheat

2 tablespoons of oil

½ teaspoon of mustard seeds

1 medium onion (sliced)

1 sprig of curry leaves

Pinch of asafetida powder

3 chopped chilies*

½ teaspoon of turmeric powder

Salt to taste

Roast 1 ½ cups of cream of wheat in a pan. Once you start to get the roasted smell, take off the stove and transfer to another bowl.

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roasted cream of wheat

In the same pan add 2 tablespoon of oil. When the oil it hot add ½ teaspoon of mustard seeds, 1 medium sliced onion, a sprig of curry leaves, a pinch of asafetida powder, 3 chopped chilies* and ½ teaspoon turmeric powder. Fry till onions until slightly brown.

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Browned onions

Add three cups of hot water to bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling stir in roasted cream of wheat. Add salt to taste. Reduce the heat to prevent burning and you may need to add more water to help cook the cream wheat as you go (Make sure to add small amounts so you don’t add to much water). Towards the end you can add coriander leaves as well. Dad likes ghee to be added so we add 1 tablespoon to the Upma.

Finished Upma, Hope Santa Enjoys
Finished Upma, Hope Santa Enjoys

You can also add cashews to the Upma, if you like.

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Looking good!

*Dried Red Chilies can be added instead of green chilies

I figured it out!

So after many weeks of thinking about what to write about for my blog, I decided to write about my adventures in learning how to cook Indian Food. I will also write about books that I am reading and other fascinating things that may happen in my life.

My mom has for years been saying that she wanted me to learn Indian cooking but it never happened. Mom just throws ingredients in a pot and creates something yummy to eat where as I need a recipe to cook. Finally, today was the first day of my learning how to cook Indian Food.

Turkey Fry Indian Style

After Thanksgiving, mom made this Indian turkey fry earlier in the week and it was very tasty. Today, she made it again and it became my first ever Indian cooking class. My adventure in learning how to cook Indian food, here we go…

Ingredients:

1 medium onion

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Sprig of curry leaves

½ teaspoon of turmeric

1 tablespoon of grandma’s garam masala

½ of teaspoon of fennel seeds

½ of teaspoon of cardamom seeds

Leftover shredded turkey

You first need 1 medium onion finely chopped. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan and fry onions till brown. While browning the onions add a few curry leaves, ½ teaspoon of turmeric, 1 tablespoon of grandma’s garam masala (since you don’t have my grandmother’s garam masala, the one from the store will work fine as well). Once the onion is browned with the spices go ahead and add the turkey. Add some water to help it cook. Crush ½ teaspoon of fennel seeds and cardamom seeds in a mortar then and add to the fry. Stir until it becomes dry.

If you want you can add coriander leaves (cilantro). Simple enough, Right?

Turkey Fry
Turkey Fry

Alright ,let’s go to something a little difficult.

Need something saucy to go with our Turkey Fry, right? How about a classic, dhaal (lentils).

Ready?

1 cup Mysore Dhaal

1 medium onion sliced

1 tomato sliced or diced

5 garlic pods sliced

3 green chilies chopped

½ teaspoon of turmeric

10 strands of coriander leaves chopped

Salt to taste

½ teaspoon Mustard Seeds

½ teaspoon of cumin seeds

A pinch of asafetida powder

A few curry leaves

Take 1 cup of Mysore dhaal (the orange one) add 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil. While the water is boiling, add the following: 1 medium onion sliced, 1 tomato sliced or diced, 5 garlic pods sliced, 3 green chilies chopped, ½ teaspoon of turmeric, about ten strands of coriander leaves chopped and salt to taste.   The dhaal is done when it is soft to the touch. Finish the dhaal by seasoning it as follows:

In a different pot put 1 tablespoon of oil, a pinch of mustard seeds and ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds, a pinch of asafetida powder and curry leaves to sauté. As the seeds start to pop (be careful), take it off the stove and add the dhaal mixture to the seasoning and stir well. Turn the heat down and let boil for a few minutes. You want to get rid of the raw smell.

Guess what? It’s done. Enjoy.

Dhaal
Dhaal

I hope that was easy to fall along. If you make it and something comes out well let us know.

Till Next Time,

Pida