Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spicy Shrimp Curry Recipe with home-made spice powder and Shubho Poila Boishak

Now that Easter holidays have started here, I do have some relaxed mornings to start off our days. Spring feels so refreshing all around us, with beautiful spring blossoms enticing our eye sight everywhere. Many times we have also touched and felt those soft cherry blossoms or the Hawthorn blossoms that are scattered along on our many walking trails here. Public parks are getting busier with picnic outings, although it still is nippy during the evenings or with other sorts of activities as well. This indeed gives us some push to be little more active, well when I say active I mean activating this dormant blog, not in other way precisely.

And soon it will be poila boishak on Tuesday.Well, cook delicious food and celebrate what ever way you prefer with your family and friends. So, here wishing all of you readers Shubho poila boishak.May the New Year fulfills all your dreams and wishes.

Here is shrimp curry with home-made spice powder.Chingrir jhaal with home-made spice powder. I guess I have already blogged about a new combination of spice powder that I have made couple of months back. I have even blogged a recipe of chicken with that spice powder.Here.
That spice powder remains the base spice for this curry with chingri or shrimp. I have found them even tastier. We do make shrimp less as my husband is allergic to shrimp, but when ever we mother-daughter due cook shrimp, we relish a lot. This spice powder was made with dry anar dana/pomegranate seeds and desiccated coconut as told earlier. We didn’t have any left-overs.Make and have it with rice or what ever way you prefer; this will really be a crowd puller.Next time I am going to make it with jumbo prawns for sure.

Since, I was cooking this for my kid, I almost halved the spice content, but if you do really like spice and hotness, please go ahead and add 4-5 slit green chilies or even more red pepper powder as well. Shrimp again I don’t have to tell you that they need just a stir /fry for 4- 5 mints or till they turn pale and changes color, otherwise be prepared to have a rubbery shrimp. In any case, if you really ask me I do like both, as for me shrimp is a shrimp and Chingri is something one can always enjoy, cooked to perfection or even if it’s over-cooked.

Spicy Shrimp curry with home-made spice powder
Recipe requirements
250 Gms of small shrimp
2 tbs of home-made spice powder recipe is here
½ tsp of garlic powder or two garlic cloves crushed
½ tsp of red pepper powder
½ tsp of turmeric powder
¾ tsp of salt or as per taste
1 cup of finely chopped coriander leaves
2-3 tbs of mustard oil
Wash and clean shrimp, discard shell if any. It’s better to cut the head and tail out if it’s already not done by your fishmonger.
Now marinate cleaned shrimp with salt and turmeric powder. Keep aside for half an hour.
Now heat up a fry pan/saucepan/kadai, add mustard oil.Add in galic if using fresh.
Now add in marinated shrimp. Add in home-made spice powder and red pepper powder and garlic powder.
Writing the recipe of home-made spice powder again, so that you all can have some ideas.
From previous post-here
Dry roast cumin 4 tbs of cumin seeds+ 2 tbs of panch phoron+5-6 cardamom+5-6 cloves+5-6 dry red chilies for about 1-2 mints, just to heat them up. Now dry grind these spices with 1/2 cup of desiccated coconut+ coconut powder and 1/2 cup of dried anar dana/pomegranate seeds. You can use fresh coconut instead of dry and desiccated coconut but the shelf life is reduced then and also it is advisable to store them in fridge. Otherwsie, use grated “gari” or desiccated coconut what ever is available. The small dry red chilies which are somewhat more hot is used in this spice which makes it very hot, so be careful while adjusting red pepper powder.
"Gari" – dried coconut/khopra  which is readily available in India and abroad and this not to be confused with dried cassava powder that are available here abroad.

Adjust salt if necessary. Add in finely chopped coriander leaves. Cover and let it cook for about 6-7 mints or the shrimp changes color.
Serve and enjoy. I have served it over cooked couscous, with butternut squash+potato stir/fry and a portion of Chicken Tandoori. As a healthy practice some salad leaves were also included. A whole some meal itself.

Wish all you readers a very Shubho Poila Boishak, Baisakhi,Puthandu,Puram Vishu and Rongali Bihu  .

Cook good food, enjoy and have a Shubho Nabo Barsha everyone.

Happy Cooking Friends

Monday, March 17, 2014

Three Nuts Katlis- being nutty for Holi

Today was hectic for me, as I was dropping dear daughter to school in the morning, I also reminded her to wish her friends happy Holi (two of them actually, as they are also from India) which I do hope she must have happily. I had couple of outside jobs that were urgent and needed to be done today only, but then when I came back home it was almost noon. I found out that I hadn’t prepared anything for Holi as such.

Actually I did make Mysore pak in microwave yesterday evening, and as it was done in microwave- I don’t think it matched up to the amount of work/cooking my Ma and Ma-in-law, does during festivals, I felt very disappointed, a sudden guilt , a sense that I didn’t do what was supposed to be coming out from me, perhaps.
But then those Mysore pak turned out nice, like barfi type- oh! Not Ranbir Kapoor seriously- a pointer- I guess most of you are familiar with or must have seen “Gupi-Gayen Bagha Byen”- it had a character, that old magician –“barfi” played by Harindranath Chattopadhyay . So, just compare some of the antics both these characters played in some of the scenes. Such similarity, isn’t!

Oh! Again going tangent here, coming to the topic itself, where was I, “Barfi” – no, Mysore pak yes! It was not melt in mouth type but still very favorable-sweet of course yes. Next time perhaps I will do the long way- over stove-top- stirring and mixing and with exercise of my muscles, and with less sugar and more ghee, so that they turn out just like – melt in mouth..I also happened to pack some of them and sent it along with dear husband to be shared with office friends.

Nimki/namkin, Oats -aloo tikki, gulab jamun, mysore pak and dudh badam shake

Once I was back home, made a cup of tea  for me ,and as I started recalling what exactly I had made last year, and then previous year, I knew I had plenty of recipes to start with. I started with soaking some yellow peas in warm water, as to us Ghughni with keema is must on Holi.And then made some namkins/nimki and other sweets. It’s almost evening now, and I am here now typing this post.
Well, evenings, especially holi evenings, reminded me about those growing up years, when Holi evenings were spent visiting family and relatives and then gorging on the food platters served individually to us. Then, once we came back from our evening get-togethers, we were so full of eating up food-stuff, that on many occasions we didn’t bother to have dinner and would straight retire to bed, tired and sleepy, with tons of memories cherished in our hearts.

But this post is about three-nut katlis, a nutty affair. Almonds, sesame and cashews were slightly toasted, and then dry grinded to a powder type consistency, although sesame seeds are not exactly nuts.Sugar syrup is made and then the three nuts mixture powder was slowly added , mixing well to form katlis.I have kept the almond skin as well, but if you do not wish to include it then , peel off the skin once you blanched them. But let them dry out properly before you dry –grind them. Please be careful if you have nut allergies regarding this sweet recipe preparation.

Now to the recipe ( Measurements are approx)
Three nuts Katlis- Almonds Sesame and Cashews
Almonds, Sesame, Cashews- in the ratio of 2:1:1 – and we will need 3 cups of this nut mixture.
¾ cup of sugar
¼ cup of water
Few saffron strands
2 -3 tbs of ghee

Dry roast almonds, sesame and cashews till the raw smell is gone, say about 4-5 mints at medium flame, stirring frequently. Do not burn them.
Now once they are cooled a little bit, make a dry powder by dry grinding in a heavy-duty mixer. We will require 3 cups of this, three –nuts mixture powder, so use the ingredients accordingly.
Now make the sugar syrup. We require two-thread consistency of the sugar syrup and should be thick. Add in saffron strands and let it simmer slowly till the sugar syrup is bubbling and is thick in consistency.
Add in powdered almonds+sesame+cashews and mix well. Add in ghee so that they start to collect well. Do this mixing and stirring over medium flame.
Now when it all starts to collect well and turn out more like sticky dough, switch off the flame.
Now you have to do the rolling and cutting the mixture hurriedly, otherwise if they cool out, it’s really difficult to roll them up.
Grease a plate with ghee, now take out, three nuts mixture in to the plate, with the help of rolling pins, and roll over with gently hands, once you start to roll over, the mixture becomes smooth and greasy enough, but carefully roll the mixture dough.
Cut into diamond shapes or whatever way you prefer. Enjoy three nuts Katlis and go nutty about it.

Happy Holi ....