Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Malai Vegetable Curry

I am always in search of veg curry options, especially the quick and easy ones with a "different" taste. There are a lot of them that I am familiar with like the Errisery, Kalan, Pachadi, Sambar, etc., which are part of the yummy Sadya (Traditional Kerala Feast). I love all these curries, but I am more of a roti eater and these curries don't go well with rotis (at least for me). So this is one of the attempts to create a veggie dish that will go well with rotis and is easy to make as well.

Serves 6-7 people

Oil- 2 tbsp
Onion- 1 (around 0.75 lbs)
Ginger Garlic Paste- 1 1/2  tbsp
Tomato- 0.25 lbs
Turmeric Powder- 1/4 tsp
Chilly Powder- 1 tbsp
Coriander Powder- 1/2 tbsp
Cumin Powder- 1 tsp
Mixed Vegetables- 18 oz.(1 1/8 lbs)
Heavy Cream- 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup
Kasoori Methi- 1 1/2 tbsp
Salt- to taste
Water- 1/2 cup + 4tbsp
  1. Heat the oil in a pan and add the sliced onions.
  2. Saute the onions until they are transparent.
  3. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and saute for 3-4 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and cumin powder with 4 tbsp of water.
  6. Add the powder paste to the sauteed onions and continue to saute for 5-10 minutes in a medium heat.
  7. Add the mixed vegetables and salt to the pan and mix well to coat the masalas. I used frozen vegetables that had vegetables like peas, zucchini, cauliflower, carrot, green beans, red pepper and Baby Lima Beans. You could use any vegetables of your choice.
  8. Add the remaining water and let it cook. Add more water, if needed to cook the vegetables.
  9. Once the vegetables are cooked, add the cream and cook for 3-4 minutes in a medium heat.
  10. Turn off the stove and crush the kasoori methi with your hands and add to the curry.

The addition of kasoori methi makes this dish all the more flavorful. Add more colorful vegetables to make a more colorful feast! This is a perfect combination for Chapathi, Roti, Naan and Ghee Rice.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chilly Fish

I really didn't know whether I should call this Chilly Fish or Fish Manchurian. Finally I settled with Chilly Fish; whatever the name is, this is a lip smacking dish! You could follow this preparation with Chicken or even with some fleshy veggies. You could make this dry and serve as an appetizer or make this with gravy and use as a side for rotis or a rice preparation. I also love the dry version with Roti and rice. This dish is a feast for the eyes as well as for your stomach!

Serves 6-7 people

For the Fry
Fish- 1 lb
Corn Starch/Corn Flour- 3 tbsp
Ginger Garlic Paste- 1 tbsp
Chilly Powder- 1 tbsp
Salt- to taste
Water- 1/4 cup
Oil- as needed to shallow fry the fish
  1. Make a batter with the corn flour, chilly powder, ginger garlic paste, water and salt.
  2. Cut the fish into small cube sized pieces. Use any boneless fish. I used Tilapia fillets.
  3. Dip the fish pieces into the batter.
  4. Heat the oil and add the fish pieces to the hot oil and fry.
  5. It is ideal to fry the fish well/dark brown, which will help it keep its shape when adding to the gravy. Also it enhances the taste.
  6. Transfer the fried fish pieces to a plate lined with a paper kitchen tissue, to absorb any excess oil.
For the Gravy
Oil- 3 tbsp (left from frying)
Ginger- 2 big piece (0.10 lbs)
Garlic- 15 big cloves (0.10 lbs)
Green Chilly- 3 big (0.10 lbs)
Onion- 1 (0.75 lbs)
Tomato Sauce- 3 tbsp
Soya Sauce- 3 tbsp
Water- 1/2 cup
Coriander Leaves- handful for garnish (chopped)
Salt- to taste

  1. Heat a pan and add 3 tbsp of oil (used for frying the fish) to it. 
  2. When the oil starts to heat up, add the finely chopped ginger and garlic to it.  
  3. Saute the ginger and garlic until the raw smell is gone (for about a minute). 
  4. Add the finely chopped onions and a little salt and saute it well.  
  5. When the onions are almost translucent, add the chopped green chillies and saute for a minute. 
  6. Add the tomato sauce and soya sauce and mix well. 
  7. Add 1/2 cup water and mix well.  
  8. When the water just starts to boil, add the fried fish pieces and mix well to coat the sauces to the fish pieces.
  9. Adjust the salt, if needed and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. 
  10. Turn off the stove and leave the pan closed for at least 10-15 minutes for the fish to absorb the sauces and the taste to set in.
Note: - If you want a gravy version, you could add more water (around 1/2 cup) mixed with a little corn starch/corn flour (about 1 tsp). Make sure the corn starch is mixed well without any lumps.

This is an easy version of Chilly fish with just the basic ingredients. You could also add red bell peppers and spring onions to make it more colorful, if needed.
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