Sunday, September 30, 2012

Announcing Serve It Series - Serve It - Boiled

This month's theme for Serve It series is Serve It - Boiled. We just had to reserve this theme for October. With the onset of monsoons we all would like something steaming hot for a meal. Starting with your morning cup of joe, followed by an awesome curry with rice/roti and ending the day with a warm bowl of soup for dinner would be so comforting and satisfying. That is the reason for this theme being featured this month. Check out the rules below and let your entries flow..

Here are the guidelines for the event:
1. You may send in any entry that is boiled in a stove-top. 
2. You may use other appliances like mixie/blender/grinder for the preparation process but the whole cooking process should be done only in the stove-top on an open or closed pan. No usage of pressure cooker is allowed either.
3. Examples include coffee, tea, soups, chowder, curries (including sambar, rasam). Dry curries like poriyals, palya are not allowed.
4. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are allowed.
5. Please link back to this announcement page and also to Denny's page here.
6. New entries are appreciated, however if you are sending archived entries, please re-post as latest (with a date in October 2012) and update with both the links to the announcement page and logo.
7. Usage of links and logo is mandatory.
8. Last date for submission of your entries is October 31, 2012.
9. To submit your entries, just link your entries using the linky tool below.
10. Non-bloggers also can send their entries with a picture to the below email-id.
11. If you have a problem in linking email us your problem to serveit[dot]series[at]gmail[dot]com. We will try to resolve it.
Note: If the entries are inappropriate to the theme, we would have to remove the entries from the linky sans notification. If there are other issues like link or logo missing we would definitely notify through email.
Linky for Boiled entries:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Vegetable Kurma / Chapathi Kuruma / Korma for Pulao in Pressure Cooker | Indian Curry Recipes

My idea of kuruma is that it is a rich coconut or cashew based gravy. But I was proven wrong when MIL made this delicious kurma with very little of those two rich ingredients. The main player here is yogurt, the healthier sibling of cream. Though coconut and cashew is present here, very little amount of these are added here at the end just for the touch. This goes well with steamed rice, Pulao, Rotis, Idli and Dosa. You could make this once and serve for all the meals in a day! ;)
Mixed vegetables - 3 cups (I used a mixture of Carrot, Potato, Cauliflower & Peas)
Onion - 1/2 cup - sliced thin
Tomato - 1/2 - chopped fine
Ginger paste - 1 tsp
Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp or to taste
Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Yogurt - 3/4 cup
Whole garam masala - 3 cloves, 1 bay leaf, 1" cinnamon, Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Grind to a paste:
Khus Khus/ Poppy seeds - 1 tbsp
Cashew nuts - 3
Grated Coconut - 2 tbsp
Soak the poppy seeds and cashew nuts in 2 tbsp of water for about 15 mins. Grind it to a smooth runny paste along with coconut. In a pressure cooker, heat oil and fry the whole garam masala. Add the onions and saute for about 2 minutes. Now add the ginger & garlic pastes and fry for 2 minutes. Add the cut vegetables, tomato with spice powders and mix well. In medium heat add the yogurt and mix well. Add 4 to 5 cups of water or as desired with salt to taste. Cover and pressure cook for 1 whistle, you could also cook in stove top until the vegetables are tender. When the pressure is released add the ground coconut paste and allow it to boil for 5 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot. This is a great accompaniment for pulaos, rotis, idli/dosa.
Sending this tasty kurma to Anu's South Indian Cooking #2 guest hosted by Sangeetha; Cooking with Spices - Poppy Seeds by Anu.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Babycorn Satay with Peanut Sauce - Guest Post by Prathima of Prat's Corner

Prathima from Prats Corner is this month's guest host in my kitchen. Prats and I are real "virtual" friends. Though it may sound oxymoronic, it is a true statement. We got to know each other through the blogging world and Facebook and became good friends. Emails and chats kept us connected. I love her elegant blogspace and unique dishes. My favorite is the authentic Davanagare Benne Dosa. I completely adore her style of writing which makes her posts enduringly interesting. She recently celebrated 1,00,000 hits in her space. Prats Corner is not just recipes but also about her other interests. Her charcoal painting of her grandpa is just awesome. Here is Prats in her own words.

"We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow, suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken" ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky

Some people you meet in the journey called 'life', you will take a little while to get acquainted to. And then with some its an instant connection! You go on and on chatting with this newly met friend all about your past, your dreams maybe or your opinions and anything about you find interesting. And in the end you say it was like a reunion with an old friend!

I now know that distance cannot act as barrier between friendship, nor does difference in culture or language. This reminds me of my grandmother who by conversing in  Kannada and very few words of English thrown in between made good friendship with a German lady. And this lady simply adored my grandma! Essence of  a good friendship leans more towards feelings, emotions and the bond we share with the other person.

I have no idea what plays a role in this 'instant connection' between two strangers - is it the positive vibes or similar interests or fate?? Whatever the reason, this stranger is now your new found friend, a treasure worth cherishing for ever.

One such special person or my new found treasure in Krithi of Krithi`s Kitchen. She is friendly, a software engineer turned foodie with a fabulous food blog loaded with delicious, elegant, interesting recipes! Not to forget - she is also a good photographer!  She is someone I came in contact with through the food blogging world. She is someone I have not met personally and yet it does not seem that way! Just few casual messages exchanged and now she is a good friend of mine!

And I was truly delighted when I was asked to do a guest post on her blog - Krithi`s Kitchen. I picked a Thai starter recipe - Satay for this guest post which turned out to be delicious & more-ish!

What is a Satay?

Satay (pronounced - SAH-tay) is a popular South East Asian starter dish. Many articles on satay mention Indonesia as being the origin of satay. But it has now become popular in other South-Asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia and particularly Thailand. Thai cuisine being popular worldwide has led to considering this dish as originated from Thailand.

One or few main ingredients - be it vegetable chunks, tofu, meat, fish are seasoned and threaded onto satay sticks or bamboo skewers. They are then grilled or barbecued over a charcoal over wood fire. An authentic satay will have turmeric added to the marinade, giving it the characteristic yellow shade and will have a smoky flavor, the result of cooking over charcoal.

The difference between the satay recipes of these South East nations is mainly in the accompaniment served along with the barbecued ingredient and also in the way the vegetable/ meat is cut.

One popular accompaniment to the satay is the spicy peanut sauce served in Thailand. The sauce is generous in its spice level. Tang from the lemon and a hint of sweetness from palm sugar make this  a lip smacking dip!

In Singapore satay is sold in food courts, by street vendors and in upscale restaurants. The popular one here is the Chicken satay.

Different parts of Malaysia have their own versions of this popular appetizer. One popular veraion is the Sate Kajang where a sweet peanut sauce and some fried chilli paste is served along side with barbecued meat. Another version is the sate lok-lok from Penang where the dip is a sweet dark sauce or a chilli sauce. Sate celup is a verion where the satay is cooked in boiling peanut sauce.

The country where this popular appetizer originated - Indonesia, serves satay with soy based dip.  There are several versions of satay in this country. One popular one is the Sate Madura where meat is served with sweet soy sauce and eaten with rice or rice cakes wrapped with banana or coconut leaves. Such rice cakes are called ketupat. Few more accompaniments to other satay versions include - sambal (chilli paste), pineapple based satay sauce, sliced shallots or sliced fresh chillies.

Baby corn and vegetable satay on satay sticks :

Spicy, sweet peanut sauce with a hint of lemon :


Ethnicity : Thai / Course : starter

Makes 12 pieces


Baby corn – 12 whole pieces
Onion – 1, medium
Red capsicum – 1, medium

Vegetable oil – 2 tbsp, to pan fry vegetables

Satay sticks – 12+2 or as needed, soaked in water for 5 mins

For Marinade :
Soya sauce – 1 tbsp
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1.5 tsp
Brown sugar – 1 tsp
Honey – ½ tsp
Salt – 1 tsp/ to taste

For Peanut Sauce :
Vegetable oil – 1 tbsp
Onion – 1, small
Ginger – ½ “
Garlic – 4 cloves
Soya sauce – ¾ tbsp
Peanuts/ groundnuts (without skin) – 6 tbsp
Coconut milk – ¾ cup (tetra pack or fresh thin extract)
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Lemon rind – ½ tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp OR 1-2 chopped fresh red chilli
Honey OR brown sugar – 1 tbsp

For garnish – red chilli flakes (optional)


Prepare the vegetables – Wash baby corn, cube onion and red capsicum. Blanch baby corns in salted boiling water for 2 mins OR pressure cook for up to 2-3 whistles (open lid when pressure drops).

In a bowl combine the above vegetables, marinade ingredients. Toss. Set aside to marinade for 15 to 20 mins. Pierce all baby corns into satay sticks (1 per stick). Thread the other remaining vegetables between 2 to 3 separate sticks

Heat oil in a grill pan/ griddle. Place the sticks with vegetables onto the griddle. Pour any excess marinade on top of vegetables.

Cook the vegetables, turning sticks in between to cook the vegetables evenly on all sides. Cook till baby corn is brown and caramelized , onion-capsicum a bit charred on the edges. Remove and set aside.

For the sauce –  Chop onion for the sauce. Chop ginger, garlic. Grind the peanuts to a coarse powder, then add 1-2 tsp water and grind to smooth paste. Extract coconut milk if using fresh.

Heat oil in a pan, sauté onions till transparent. Add ginger, garlic, sauté for 1 min.

Add soya sauce, peanut paste, 3 to 4 tbsp water and stir. Add coconut milk, salt, honey/ brown sugar, chilli powder, lemon rind. May stir with a whisk if peanuts form lumps. Stir and simmer for 10 mins.

Lastly add lemon juice. Stir and remove sauce from heat.

To serve – Arrange the vegetable satay on sticks on a serving plate. Serve the sweet, spicy, tangy, nutty peanut sauced on the side. May sprinkle with red chilli flakes if desired. Serve hot!


1. Instead of above vegetables, you could make satay from tofu, button mushrooms, paneer (cottage cheese), green, yellow and red capsicum.
You could serve cubed cucumbers too but no need to marinade or grill them. Just thread cubed cucumber onto skewers and serve with the peanut sauce.

2. Instead of the above marinade, you could marinade the vegetable/tofu/mushroom/paneer with few tablespoons of the peanut sauce for 15 mins. Then grill as above. Serve hot with remaining peanut dip.

3. You could also add coconut milk made from coconut milk powder.

4. You could also serve this peanut sauce with boiled/teamed/grilled vegetables.

5. You may also add chopped lemongrass stalks along with coconut milk. Then reduce the amount of lemon juice.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Szechwan Babycorn in Microwave oven | Indo-Chinese Appetizers

Ever wonder what all you can make in a Microwave oven. Practically anything* provided you know the techniques and the approximate cooking time for various food items. I am not much of a great cook with microwave oven but trying to make use of it for cooking as frequently as possible. I did make and blog about Masala Peanuts and Broccoli Cheddar Soup cooked in microwave. I made this Szechwan Babycorn one rainy evening and was a breeze to make in the microwave oven.
Adapted from Mallika Badrinath Cookbook
Babycorn - 250g - 8 oz packet - Cut into 2 inch pieces and blanched
Corn flour - 4 tbsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Light Soy Sauce - 2 tbsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Tomato sauce (Maggi) - 2 tbsp
Red chilli sauce (Sriracha) - 1 tbsp
Cornflour - 1 tbsp
Salt - a pinch
Water - 200 ml
Green chillies - 1 or 2
Garlic - 6 fat cloves - minced
Spring onions - optional - I didn't have at hand.. Wish I did :(
Mix the ingredients for marinade with the drained babycorn pieces and let it sit for 15-30 mins. Remove the babycorn pieces from the marinade to a plate and dust the corn flour over it and mix well. Mix the sauce ingredients to the leftover marinade. Heat oil in a wide microwave-proof bowl for 2 minutes. Add the marinated babycorn pieces to the oil and mix well. Cook for 3 mins stirring once in between. Transfer to another plate. In the remaining oil add the items under saute and cook for 3 minutes stirring once in between. Add the sauce-marinade mixture to the bowl and cook for 4-5 mins until it boils. The mixture may look watery at this stage but will thicken up. Add the fried babycorn pieces with spring onions and cook for another 2 mins. Allow a standing time of 3 minutes and serve hot.
Marinating time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Standing time: 3 mins
* - Deep frying cannot be done in a microwave oven
Linking this plate to Serve It - Microwaved event happening at my space and Denny's. And also to Spotlight - Healthy Snacks; JCO Celebrate - Monsoon of India.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Spicy Onion Chilli Chutney / Chinna Vengaya Milagai Chutney | Side Dish for Idli Dosa

CAUTION: Contents Hot!!
Do you crave for something super hot and spicy to go with the spongy dosa or super soft idlis? Try this one. If I ask my DH what his favorite side dish for idli is "Vengaya Chutney" would be the reply. He simply adores this chutney. The ingredients in this chutney are not cooked and are in its raw form which gives a slight pungent flavor. The spiciness is countered (I wouldn't say balanced) by the addition of sugar. But this dish is not for the weak-hearted, you would have to have an extraordinary courage to taste this. Enough of the hype, and now off to the recipe.
Pearl Onions/Chinna vengayam - 10
Dry red chillies / Vara milagai - 12
Tamarind / Puli - a small piece (size of half a blueberry)
Sugar - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Blend the red chillies in a blender until it turns to powder. Now add the onions, tamarind, sugar and salt and blend until smooth. This generally does not need water because the moisture in the onions is enough for the chutney consistency. Serve topped with gingelly oil for hot idlis/dosas.
Note: You can substitute garlic pods for the pearl onions and make Poondu Milagai chutney, which is equally tasty. But the flavor is more sharper than this one.
Sending this colorful chutney to Sreevalli's Pickles and Chutneys Event and to Anu's South Indian Cooking #1.