Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Asparagus Saadam/Rice

So What is different about this rice from just a thoran-rice? Well, the flavor for one and when you try it, you too will not say this is thoran rice :)


  • Cooked & cooled Basmati Rice - 2 plates ( Pls dont use mushy or overcooked rice)
  • Asparagus- 1 lb chopped into rounds (discard the fibrous bottom part of the stem)
  • Thai green chillies - 2 medium slit
  • Garlic- 1-2 large cloves minced
  • Red Onion - 1/2 medium diced small
  • Cumin/Jeera - 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Almonds/ Walnuts - 10 diced
  • Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
  • Salt - as needed
  • Water- 2 Tbsp
  • Olive oil - 2 Tbsp

Once you have the rice cooled and have 2 plates of it ready, then
  • In a non stick saucepan, heat up 1 Tbsp olive oil and splutter Cumin seeds for about 10 secs. Add the diced almonds and stir it about till the almonds turn slightly golden.
  • Nest, add the minced garlic and the slit green chillies- saute it till the garlic is beginning to turn golden, the chillies will look almost crisped - Then add in the finely diced Onion and saute it well.
  • Once onion is sauteed, add the chopped asparagus along with turmeric and salt.
  • Next, sprinkle 2 Tbsp water, close with a tight lid and cook it through- approx 5-7 minutes. Asparagus cooks really fast and can turn mushy if unattended. The vegetable must retain a bite to it. Check for salt and the asparagus must be cooked just done - remove from heat. There will be a bit of water at the bottom of the pan, its okay - we will use it with the rice.
  • Using a wide saute pan that can hold the rice, heat up 1 Tbsp Olive oil - and splutter 1/2 Tbsp Cumin and when it turns golden, sprinkle some salt and stir it about and immediately add in the cooled rice in batches...mix it up well.
  • Lower heat and move the rice to the sides; Add the cooked asparagus (with any remaining water) and fold in the rice gently. Turn off the flame after 1 minute.
Enjoy the rice with any non-veg side dish. My pic is with a side dish of fish masala.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Butter Chicken masala without Butter

Yep, this is Butter Chicken masala without butter or cashew - this is the alternate Butter chicken masala recipe that i kinda worked around to suit our family's health specifics -

  • Chicken breast cubed - 3/4 kg
  • Almonds - 8 or 10 powdered and mixed with 1 Tbsp milk
  • Onions - 2 medium sized diced
  • Tomato paste - 1Tbsp or more to suit your family's luv of tomatoey taste ;)
  • Kasoori Methi (dry methi lvs)- 1 Tbsp ( plus a little for garnishing in the end)
  • Thick Yogurt - Tbsp
  • Coriander leaves- a handful chopped
  • Salt - as needed
  • Oil- 2Tbsp
  • (I use thick coconut cream as a substitute for the yogurt and milk for my dairy allergic diet)
Grind Masala
  • Ginger - Garlic paste - 11/2 Tsp each
  • Paprika - 1 Tbsp
  • Cinnamon stick 1 inch - 2 pieces
  • Cloves- 3 - 4
  • Cardamom -2
  • Jeera- 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1 Tbsp
  • Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
  • pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli powder - 1 tsp
  1. Grind the Masala ingredients together with minimum water and keep aside
  2. Heat 2Tbsp oil in a non stick pan that will hold the chicken and when the oil is hot, sautee Onion diced till it turns translucent.
  3. Add ground masala, sufficient salt and fry till oil separates. Add in the tomato paste and mix well to incorporate the spices.
  4. Add chicken breast cubes and dried methi leaves - mixing it well with the masala. Add water only to keep it from drying out. Close the pan with lid and cook in medium heat with very little water ( Dont add water if chicken lets out water). Cook until the chicken is tender. Pls do a taste test and adjust the salt or heat level by adding in more pepper powder if need be. There should not be too much gravy.
  5. Once chicken is cooked, add in the powdered almond mixed with 1Tbsp milk and coriander leaves, mixing it well into the masala and close lid to incorporate the flavors. approx 5 - 8 minutes.
  6. Once the masala has cooled a bit, mix in a tablespoon of thick yogurt and garnish with the reserved dried methi leaves and coriander leaves.
Psst... to make work a whole lot easier, I double or triple the masala and store it for later. That way I need to add in the other ingredients only, saving precious time while cooking.

Now the No Butter chicken masala is ready to be served with chappati, roti, Naan, paratha or even jeera rice/pulao.

Banana Cake

I luv cakes, I hate bananas and when I first heard banana cake, I was reluctant to try it...images of yellow banana in a cake just did not seem tasty to me ....Until my first bite of banana cake here in the US. Today my easiest cake is the banana cake and when I told my sister to try making banana cake...she thought the same thing about the cake ..."will it be nice?" bananas and cake?"
I got off the phone just now to post this pronto coz after hearing me out, my darling chechy and niece are gonna try this and asked me to post it ... So here's my tried and tested Banana cake recipe for you chech & molu...

  • 3 overripe yellow banana
  • 2 cups Maida or Cake flour
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter - room temperature( not melted)
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1tsp- Cardamom powder,
  • a pinch of Cinnamon powder, Nutmeg powder
  • 1/2 cup of chopped nuts- (almonds and walnuts mix i use.)

  1. Mash all the bananas, its ok to have some tiney lumps - keep aside.
  2. Sift all the dry powders together and keep in a bowl
  3. Cream butter and sugar till fluffy with a electric beater
  4. Adding 1 egg at a time, beat well and then add the mashed banana
  5. With a whisk, just stir in, or mix the banana mash (do not overbeat ) and then add the sifted flour.
  6. Mix in everything getntly - it will look a little lumpy - just gently mix in / fold it.
  7. Meanwhile start the oven to preheat it to 180 degree C (350 degree F). Once this is done you can -
  8. Add the chopped nuts and again fold it into the batter.. ensure that you dont overmix the whole batter.
  9. Grease a Cake tin ( 9 x3x 5) or any size that will have the batter come up till half way. (I notice that if the cake batter is filled in more than halfway up the cake tin, the cake doesnt have enough space to rise while baking)
  10. Bake in Preheated oven at 180 degree C (350 degree F) for 1 hour.
  11. Check for doneness after one hour - Insert a clean toothpick in the center of the cake, and if it comes out clean, the cake is done.
Take off from oven and cool the cake before you turn it over or eat it. Enjoy!