Monday, May 24, 2010

* Stuffed Mushroom

                       Stuffed Mushroom is  one great finger food to serve for  any cocktail parties. It is tastes awesome and is good if you  have some vegetarian guests around. One evening I just  mixed all the  ingredients  together which I  love such as bell peppers,celery(because of the  health benefits I love to add this wherever I can specially my husband doesn't eat celery as such  so I try to  disguise it as much as possible and strangely he loves them :) ),Mozzarella cheese,garlic...etc and it came out real good.Got a   great review from my extremely choosy  husband.And we love to eat each mushroom in a  bite so I specially love the smaller ones.

Here goes the recipe:
 For this recipe all the  veggies are  finely chopped, so that  you get each veggie in  each bite which makes it very flavourful.


1. Button mushrooms - 15 nos
2. Celery                    - 1 tb sp(finely chopped )
3. Garlic                     - 1 tb sp(finely chopped)
4. Green Bell Pepper - 2 tb sp (finely chopped)
5. Orange bell pepper - 2 tb sp (finely chopped)
6. Onion                     -4 tb sp (finely chopped )
7. Mozzarella cheese   - 1/2 cup(Shredded)
8. Parmesan cheese     - few pinches
9. Olive oil                  - 1.5 t sp
10. Dry Oregano          -1/2 tsp(optional)
11. Salt                         - to taste

Procedure :

1. Clean and remove the  stem from the mushrooms.Keep the stem for using them in for  stuffing.
2. Chop the stem  finely and keep  all the finely veggies and  preheat the oven.
3. Now  heat the pan and add 1/ t sp  Olive oil and place the de-stemmed mushrooms on the  hot pan for 3- 
    4  minutes.Take them  out  and keep aside.
4. Add the rest 1 t sp  Olive oil to the pan and throw in the onion,then celery's , when these ingredients
  are little cooked(not browned) add the chopped mushroom stalks.When Mushrooms are cooked for
  about  3 minutes,,add garlic and  finally add the bell peppers at the end so that they remain crunchy.
5. Finally add 2 tb sp grated mozzarella cheese and turn off the heat.Give   it a quick  mix and now the 
    stuffing is ready.
6. Take  the Mushrooms and  fill in the Stuffing.(Here if you divide the  stuffing as per your number of 
     mushrooms it will be  easy )
7. Now  these mushrooms go to the pre heated oven for 10 minutes on 350 degree Celsius.After 10 minutes
    take  them out and sprinkle some mozzarella cheese and  Parmesan cheese  on top of each
    mushroom.And then  goes back to oven for  5 more minutes in broil mode.
8. Now the tasty stuffed mushrooms are ready to serve.

The beauty of this dish is the stuffing options are numerous and just go by your  instinct you will find something very new with  every other option.

Thanks for visiting and I would be  more than happy to  hear from you.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

* Chenna poda(Cheese cake from Eastern India)

                                                                                                     (Click on the picture to enlarge)
       Chena poda is a delicious cheese cake from Orissa(a province in eastern part of India where cheese deserts are pretty famous and they are simply awesome,there are numerous types of deserts just made from home made cheese).I love this desert a lot,,in my last visit to India I had 250 gm to 500 gm of chena poda almost everyday.Now that's not very healthy,,but I have a sweet sweet tooth and with the company of my husband,,,we give each other good company is  eating kilos of sweets like this.So the other day we  had this BIG  craving for  chena poda and he bought a gallon of 3.25% milk.So I had no way  but to make it.Even though I was tired when the  process was over and   had a bite of this virgin Chena poda,  I forgot all the was yumm,,the caramel that  I poured was  not as good looking but definitely that is a `must`  for a beautiful looking and  tasting crust.Ok,,now without wasting a minute I should  jot down the  process.
So here you go.....

Now there  is two parts to the process
First ,The cheese making process.(It is  basis of many more sweets  like rasgulla,rasmalai,chenna jhilly,,,etc.)
Second, The Chenna poda baking.

As I will be posting   the other deserts made up of soft cheese so I will keep the  cheese making process separate here.
For making Cheese:

1. Milk- 4 Litres(I used 4 L this time  coz I was baking in 9X9 inch dish,,this amount  can  varry as per your
     requirements,if baking in a  smaller dish  you can reduce the amount or increase the  amont,,the  more the
2. Vinegar --1/4 cup
3. Water -- 1 cup(for  diluting the  vinegar )
4. Ice  cube --2-3 cups
5. cheese cloth (to filter the cheese)

                                                                                                                       (Click on the picture to enlarge)
1. Bring the milk to  boil and let  it boil for  2  minutes.
2. Dilute the vinegar with the 1 cup of water.
3. Pour the  diluted vinegar  over the boiling milk slowly....slowly because  the cheese will be  soft
    this way,,,and  when the milk  cuddles and you can see the  water and solid  separated,,turn off the stove and pour the ice cubes  so that the cuddling process stops immediately.
4. Filter through  cheese cloth which will separate the  solids from the liquid.
5. Hang the cheese for 15 minutes to let the water drain out.
Now the cheese  is ready and  this can be used  for   any purpose you  want.I just eat few spoons  at this time,,this fresh cheese tastes  so  good.

Now we will  proceed to the  Chenna poda making process:

Ingredients  for  Chenna poda:
1. Fresh made cheese - 1.5 lbs(may be you  can  use ricotta cheese,,if you don't want to go through the cheese making process.I personally never tried,but the ricotta making process looks very similar.So if  any one tries this alternative,,I would be  happy to hear how it came out)
2. Semolina - 2  tb sp (soaked in  3 tb sp water)
3. Sugar - 1.5 cups(1  cup of sugar  for the  cheese cake  and  1/2  cup for  caramel  that we will  spread at
                               the bottom of the  baking dish )
4. Cardamom powder -1  tsp
5. Raisin --2-3 tb sp
6. Cashew -- 2-3  tb sp
7. Oil/Ghee -1/2  t sp (for  sauteing the  dry fruits)
8. water -1/2  cup for caramel
9. Aluminium Foil - for  covering the  9X9 inch  baking dish

Procedure  for  chenna  poda :
                                                                                           (Click on the picture to enlarge)
1. Pre heat the  oven at 350 degree celcius.
2. Start  with making the caramel.Pour  1/2  cup  sugar and 1/2  cup water in  a saucepan and  make the 
    caramel(For detail you can  refer the  cream caramel  recipe in my  blog,,,
3.Once the caramel is ready,pour it  on the   baking dish .(just try to cover as  much area you  can  spread
   quickly,because it will  get  hard  very  might not  be  very looking at this  point  of time,but when
   you finish  baking ,, this will impart the  flavour to  die  for)
4. Fry the Cashew and raisin in oil/Ghee  until they just  get a light brown colour.
5. Now in a bowl, mix Fresh cheese,Sugar, Cardamom powder,soaked semolina very well and
    knead  for  5-10 minutes.
6.Spread the cheese  mixture on the  baking tray where you  already  have spread the caramel.Level the
   cheese  and cover the baking dish with  aluminum  foil ,make some slits on the foil with a  knife.

7. Bake it for  30-40 minutes  in 350degrees F.
8. Test the  doneness by pricking a toothpick or knife.
9.Let  it cool for sometime and you can munch on it,,It  is also good when chilled.But i prefer warm so if i take it out of freeze  then  microwave for 10-15 secs and it melts in my mouth.

You liked or disliked.or a have a suggestion ...feel free to write back to me...

                                                                                                                         (Click on the picture to enlarge)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

* Fish Curry in Coconut Gravy

            This is one excellent fish curry (my favourite) which my mom makes. And she learnt it long time back from my dad's best friend's wife. Thanks Tamilmani aunty for giving mom this excellent recipe. My mom often used to make this whenever I used to go home for vacation and I make sure I eat it in lunch as well as in dinner. It tastes nice in lunch but in dinner it is awesome..coz the gravy and flavour is infused in fish by night. I compare this dish with wine ,,as it gets better as it ages :).I feel nostalgic whenever I eat this dish,,reminds of the comfort and cosiness of my parent's home and  the love of my Mom. Everybody has some special memories of home,,for me this is just one  of the many fond memories and it is  like carrying your heritage now :)

Here goes the recipe

Ingredients for the gravy:

1. Fresh grated coconut --1 cup
2. Chopped Onion --1/4 cup
3. Pepper corn -- 5-6
4. Whole Cumin -- 1 tsp
5. Garlic Cloves -- 1-2 cloves will do
6. Liquified Tamarind Pulp -- 8-10 cups(From 2 tb sp pulp)
7. Coriander powder -- 1 tb sp
8. Turmeric Powder -- 1 tsp
9. Red chili powder -- 1/2 tsp(adjust to your taste)
10. salt(to your teste)

Ingredients for Curry :

1. Fish - 1 lb(approx 450 gms,I use Tilapia steaks for this preparation)
2. Chopped Onion -- 1/2 cup
3. Fenugreek Seed -- 1/2 tsp
4. Mustard seeds -- 1 tsp
5. Whole red chilly -- 2
6. Curry leaves -- 10
7. Vegetable oil -- 7-8 tb sp

Preparation :
1. In a blender put the grated coconut,whole cumin, pepper corn,
garlic ,blend all ingredients to a fine paste.
2. Add the coconut paste to the tamarind water.(To make the tamarind
water soak the tamarind pulp in water water for 10-15 mins and squeeze
out all the juices and add 3-4 cups of water fro 2 tb sp pulp)
3. Mix the coriander powder,turmeric powder,red chilly powder salt to
the tamarind,coconut mixture.Taste the salt to perfection at this
stage,because then you wont be able to taste later as you will be
adding fish to it.
4. Clean the fish and keep it aside.

5. Now starts the curry making process.Pour the vegetable oil in a hot
pan,Splutter the mustard seeds and fenugreek seed.Add whole red
chillies,Curry leaves and onion to oil and saute for 5-7 minutes or
until the onion is soft and translucent.
6. Now time to add the tamarind and coconut mixture.
7.Bring this mixture to a boil(it may take around 5 mins) in high heat.Once
it comes to boil lower the heat.
8. Add the fish to the simmering gravy and cook in low heat for about 45
minutes.Don't stir in between,Fish in this curry is very soft so it will
break apart.You can stir very gently in between.
When the gravy reduces to almost half the original amount, the curry
is ready.
9. Serve the delicious  curry with  rice..I  love it with chapati too.