Sunday, December 28, 2014

Heart Warming Chicken Vindalho & Coconut Rice

It's a triple whammy, three posts in three weeks. Family and friends will vouch that I am a foodie. Besides, thanks to a foodie group I joined recently. This group being very enthusiastic and encouraging, fuels my culinary interests.
The downcast sky and a certain nip in the air this weekend merits a fiery meal. So, I decided to make and post one of the many signature dishes my father-in-law was adept at - Chicken Vindalho.

 Chicken Vindalho 
(I) Dressed broiler chicken - 1 to 1 kilo 250 grams.

 (II) Grind to a fine paste - 10 to 12 Kashmiri chillies, one table spoon whole cumin seeds (jeera), half tea spoon turmeric powder (haldi), 9 - 10 whole green cardamom pods (elaichi) and one large pod cleaned garlic flakes.

(III) Finely chop one cup fresh coriander leaves.
 (IV) Slice three medium sized onions.
 (V)  2-3 table spoon vinegar. 
  1. In a wide mouth pan, heat quarter cup oil. Saute onions until transparent.
  2. Add chicken, salt & coriander leaves. Sauté on medium flame 2-3 minutes, or, until oil coats the ingredients.
  3. Add ground spice paste. Lower flame and continue sautéing. Sprinkle water to avoid the spice paste from burning. Takes approximately 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add water for medium consistency gravy. Cook on medium flame. As soon as the gravy reaches boiling point, switch flame to lowest heat.
  5. Cover with a firmly fitting lid. Add quarter cup water on the lid and let it simmer. When water on the lid dries, add vinegar. Keep adding water on the lid until cooked. Check for salt.
 Serve after the dish is rested for minimum one or two hours. The predominant flavor in this chicken dish emanates from the fresh coriander leaves and cardomom pods.
To complement the spice in the Chicken Vindalho, I paired it with Coconut Rice. 

Coconut Rice Ingredients
 Rice - 1 cup / Oil - 3 tbsp.
Onions -  2 medium finely sliced / Bay leaves - 3
Quarter tea spoon each of turmeric powder (haldi), whole pepper corns, cloves & green cardomom
Thick coconut milk - 1/2 cup (I used 3 tbsp coconut milk powder)
Hot water - Two cups (depends on rice quality)
1. Heat oil on medium flame.
2. Lower flame, add onions & the whole spices.
3. Saute until light brown.
4. Add rice and saute until coated with oil.
5. Add salt, two cups hot water and haldi powder.
6. Partially cover the pan and cook rice on lowest flame until water evaporates and rice is almost cooked.
7. Mix the coconut juice in half cup hot water and add to the rice.
8. Let the rice cook in the open pan to avoid curdling the coconut milk.
9. Cover with a firm lid until ready to serve.

 A simple salad of cucumber, onion & tomatoes is all you add for a Sunday lunch and off you go for the famous susegad Goan siesta.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Love, Joy, Peace & Christmas Sweets!

It's the most beautiful and magical time of the year. Festivities all around.

Planning, preparing and executing the traditional way of celebrating the much awaited festival of the year -CHRISTMAS is fun and makes one nostalgic.

I love listening to Christmas carols while the sweet aroma of baking wafts throughout the house. heavenly!!

Goa, being the land of coconuts in plenty, this traditional sweet called 'Bulina' (pronounced bulinya) has it's distinct flavor coming from coconuts.

250 grams each of scraped coconut (ground fine), fine rawa/suji (cream of wheat) and sugar.
Three egg yolks and a teaspoon vanilla essence or cardamon powder .

1. Dry roast the rawa on lowest flame.
2. Simultaneously, in a large pan, melt the sugar in half cup of water.
3. Add the scraped coconut and toss for eight to ten minutes on slow flame.
4. Switch off the flame, add the rawa and blend thoroughly.
5. Cool the mixture completely before adding the egg yolks and vanilla essence.Mix thoroughly.
7. Keep aside for an hour or two to allow the rawa to absorb the moisture.
8. Drop large spoonfuls on your palm and shape into lime size balls.(I used paper cups and inserted tiny bits of glazed cherries  to give a festive look)
9. Pre-heat the oven and bake approximately on low temperature for 30 to 35 minutes.(These are more like cookies, so they need to be crunchy)

Savor these delicious bulinas with a steaming mug of tea/coffee/hot chocolate.

Note: My oven is as old as me so it works only to my command.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Bangda (Mackerel) Curry Goan style & Prawn (jatpat) chilly fry.

Mackerel (Bangda) Curry
5 Mackerels cut into 2-3 pcs. depending on size.

(I). Grind to a fine paste - 1/ cup grated coconut, 5 Red chillies, 1 tbsp whole dhania, 1/4 tsp whole jeera, 1/4 tsp. haldi pwd., 10-12 garlic flakes, 1/2" pc. ginger (optional), 1" pc. tamarind.

(II) Saute one large sliced onion in 3-4 tbsp of oil. Add the ground curry paste, saute for 2-3 mins. Add enough water to make gravy. Add 2-3 slit green chillies, 1 tbsp teppal/tirphal & 3-4 kokum pcs. Let it cook in open pan.on medium flame. Approx. 8-10 minutes.

(III) When the curry comes to a rolling boil add mackerel pieces and salt. Lower flame & cook till done. Approx. 8-10 minutes. Avoid stirring with a spoon.  Hold the pan and gently swirl around.

Prawn jatpat chilly fry with the heads(for me)

1 cup prawns - cleaned, deveined / heads (for me) cleaned & kept separately

(I) Heat oil on medium flame. Lower flame, add one cubed potato (for daughter), prawn heads, 4-5 green chillies, 1tsp each crushed ginger garlic. & salt. Cover and cook on lowest flame till 3/4th done.

(II) Add two onions cut into quarters,   prawns, 1/4 tsp haldi pwd, 1tsp chilly powder & 2-3 pcs. kokum. Saute in open pan till prawns are cooked.

Enjoy with freshly cooked steamed rice. Tastes even better with Goa, Mangalore or Kerala boiled rice.