Sunday, September 11, 2011

Creation on 9/11 completing decade... Pav Bhaji

Confused as to why is Thotaji Baawarchi dedicating a recipe on such a tragic days' anniversary!!! Pav Bhaji means a combination of different kind of vegetables cooked together to be enjoyed as a great meal with butter toasted bread. Which is just like the way even after such a tragic scene in our lives, all of us come together forgetting our distances and difference to be one in another's sorrow as well as happiness to carry on with life with better future to look for.

Wishing a safe and prosperous life for each and every one and with prays for all those deceased and their family members, I wish to go ahead and give the secrets of this awesome recipe.

Pav Bhaji

Ingredients - (For four people)

For butter toasted bread -

Pav (Indian Bread) - 8 nos
Salted Butter - 4 tablespoons

For Bhaji (Vegetable Mixture) -

Potatoes - 200 gms
Cauliflower - 100 gms
Green Peas - 50 gms
Carrots - 50 gms
Onions - 100 gms
Capsicum - 50 gms
Tomatoes - 200 gms
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Chilli Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Pav Bhaji Masala Powder - 1 1/2 teaspoon
Black Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Butter - 4 tablespoon
Garlic - 4 Cloves
Red Chillies - 4 nos
Green Chillies - 4 nos
Salt - To taste
(Optional as Black salt and Pav Bhaji Masala would actually provide the required amount of salt taste)

For Serving -

Onion - 1 large
Lemon - 1 no
Coriander - 1 tablespoon

Method to prepare -

It's one of the most easiest and simplest way of making Pav Bhaji and I think you could make it even more simple with your own innovation.
Cut the potatoes, cauliflower and carrots into small pieces, post that boil them till soft and mash them into a coarse paste
Chop the capsicum and boil it along with green peas, post that just mix it up with mixture of potatoes, cauliflower and carrots
Chop onions and tomatoes into very small pieces or if I have to say it in my style; "cut them into such small pieces that you might have to look up for them through a microscope"
Now, soak red chillies in some warm water for about 15 minutes along and then blend them into a fine paste along with garlic and green chillies
Add 4 tablespoons of butter to a pan and heat till it melts off
Now add the garlic chilli paste to the butter and saute till it turns golden in colour
Add the chopped onions along with black salt as this would make onions fry faster (Secret - Onions actually start loosing moisture if salt is added to them making it easier to fry quicker)
Once onions are fried well add tomatoes to it and fry till oil oozes out and the mixture is totally cooked
Its finally time for you to add black salt, chilli powder, turmeric as well as pav bhaji masala powder
to the mixture and cook for another 3-5 minutes
Now time for the mixture to be add to the onion and tomato fry and cook till done (When I say done it means it starts smelling great because there is probably only 30 seconds gap between the dish moving from smelling great to burnt... LOL... :P)
Once cooked take it off the stove and add another tablespoon of butter and sprinkle with chopped coriander
Now heat a frying pan with little butter and toast the pav by cutting it into two halves and toast it on both sides
Serve in a plate with bhaji, toasted pav along with some chopped onions and lemon wedge on the side
Best way to consume it, mix the chopped onions with bhaji and squeeze the lemon on it and enjoy with toasted pav

Enjoy it to the fullest and as always please leave your comments or feedback on either of the social media platforms, which I use.

- Thotaji Baawarchi :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dedicating the recipe to the beginning of 65th year of Independence...

Cock a doodle doo... Cock a doodle doo... Cock a doodle doo... Don't you dare call me Chicken... :)

On the first day of my beloved Country's 65th Year of Independence, thought why don't I dedicate a dish to the year itself on my blog. So, here we go with my dedication to the 65th Year of Independence - Chicken 65.

Freedom gives you the right to express your life and live your life the way you want and the same way, even I took the freedom to change the actual recipe to modify and make it easier for everyone. There are 'n' number of stories behind the birth of "Chicken 65" but I guess the most common and sounding relevant to the name is the story of a military canteen some where in South India. "A cook who used to work in the armed forces had come out and started his restaurant. He was finding it very difficult to name all the dishes which he invented to present in his restaurant to increase his cliental. So he just started writing them on the menu in a different style, that is instead of starting with serial number and then followed by main ingredient in the dish, he wrote it the other way round that is main ingredient in dish followed by serial number. For e.g., instead of "65. Chicken", he wrote "Chicken. 65" That's how the great dish was born.

Now, enough of history lessons and gyaan from my end and let's jump right to learn how this awesome and yummy dish is created.

Chicken 65

Ingredients - (For two people)

For Marination -

Boneless Chicken - 450 gms
Salt - To Taste
Chilli Powder - 1 tablespoon
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Kabab Masala/Chicken Masala Powder - 1 tablespoon

For 65 Masala -

Garlic - 10 cloves
Ginger - 1 1/2 inch piece
Curry Leaves - 5-6 nos
Green Chillies - 4 nos
Dry Red Chillies - 4 nos
Cumin Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Mustard Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Curd/Yogurt - 100ml
Salt - To Taste
Chilli Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Lemon - 1/2 no

Method to prepare -

Chicken 65 was born out of innovation or rather I could say disaster when a cook was trying to make chinese dish and didn't know head or tail about chinese cuisine. So as per the actual recipe of Chicken 65 the only chinese thing about it was the corn flour, egg and ajinomoto. Hence, I decided why even use those ingredients as its better to make it simple yet yummy enough to taste exactly like Authentic Chicken 65.

  • First of all wash the chicken thoroughly in running cold water to make sure there is no dirt or any clotted blood or even excess fat or feathers
  • Cut the chicken into small peices and make sure they aren't bigger than about 1/2 inch and now don't go searching for a scale to check if they are exact 1/2 inch or not... Don't worry just go ahead and cut it
  • Now add salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder and kabab masala powder to the chicken before leaving it to marinate for about 15 minutes
  • Heat a deep frying pan with oil enough to deep fry these marinated chicken pieces
  • Add chicken slowly to the hot oil and deep fry till they are golden brown on the outer crust, be very careful while adding chicken to the oil as dropping off the chicken can result in splattering oil on your hands and upper body
  • Once deep fried keep chicken aside in a kitchen paper towel to drain out the oil, okay don't worry if you don't have kitchen paper towel when will you use all those newspapers which you pile up... Pull out some and put chicken on that to drain out excess oil
  • In the mean time fine chop the garlic and ginger, slit the green chillies along with that just break the dry red chillies into two halves
  • Heat a shallow frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil and add cumin & mustard seeds to it
  • Once the seeds start crackling add the curry leaves, red chillies & green chillies; fry for about a minute
  • Now add the fine chopped garlic & ginger and fry till they are little golden in colour
  • Add curd/yogurt to the mixture and then toss in the chicken along with salt to taste & red chilli powder
  • Mix them well and fry for about 2 minutes before taking them off the stove and serve hot

Quite simple isn't it to make Chicken 65 and remember as always I say, "Cooking isn't rocket science... Recipe is an innovation done by a hunger man with very limited resources and time in hand." Enjoy your dish and let me know the feedback on my 65th year's gift to everyone.

- Thotaji Baawarchi :)

Freedom to cook.... Goan Prawn Curry

Independence Special - On the occasion of my beloved country's 64th Independence, I thought probably I should also give freedom to all my readers from my deadly recipes... LOL... :P Don't you guys dare think that way...

Independence mean Freedom to express and live the way you want to without any interventions from one another and I really enjoy that to the highest extent with my recipe blog. So, thought why not ask my best buddy to be a guest cook and share one of his best recipe to make your meal on Independence day even better. R. Venkatram aka Venky Baba has been my best buddy from college days and we both have done mischievous things which are greater than what probably all of you would feel, "so what even we did the same?!"... Sorry can't disclose those here because not only his wife but even my fiance would just take two brooms and clean us up big time... LOL... :)

Venky Baba is teaching all of us including me how to prepare Goan Prawn curry in the most easiest and the simplest method. And, by the way you guys must be thinking "Agreed if Venky is short for Venkatram but why 'BABA'?!" Long story but will shorten it for you guys and that is simple, he used to give unnecessary gyaan to all of us in college. From that day our entire batch started calling him "Venky Baba Ki Jai" the minute they see him. You don't believe me, go to FACEBOOK and check for Venky Baba you will find him, the one and only Baba on Facebook I guess.... LOL... :P

Goan Prawn Curry

Ingredients - (For four people)

Medium Sized Prawns - 500 gms
Salt - To taste
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Kokum - 4-5 nos
(Kokum or Garcinia Indica or even known as bhinda in Konkani or Murugala Hannu in Kannada is a western coastal fruit from a fruit tree and this is a very close substitute to tamarind or in plain and simple language a souring and tangy agent.)
Green Chillies - 2-4 nos

For paste -

Dry Red Chillies - 12 nos
Coconut Scraped - 1/2 no
Ginger - 30 gms
Garlic - 30 gms
Black Pepper Whole - 2 tablespoons
Coriander Seeds - 2 tablespoons
Cumin Seeds - 2 tablespoons
Turmeric - 1 tablespoon
Cooking Vinegar - 20ml

Method to prepare -

As I always aim at making the recipes as simple and easy as possible for you to try and I guess Venky Baba has also achieved my recipe blog aim in this recipe.

  • Grind all the ingredients mentioned under the tab "For paste" into a very fine paste and please keep in mind it has to be a really smooth paste, as even a coarse texture will spoil the whole curry
  • In the mean time, wash your prawns thoroughly and de-vein them, if you are wondering what is de-veining them, all you need to do is make a small slit on the back of the prawns and remove the black gastrointestinal tract
  • If you are really lazy and think why should I do it, forget it won't make much of a difference then don't forget to keep a strip of "LOMOTIL" tablets next to you because if that black thing is consumed by humans then we tend to have a very very very loose tap with a tsunami swirling in our tummies
  • Once the paste is ready along with prawns de-veined & washed, its time to prepare your dish
  • Heat a pan with a little oil, add the paste to that oil along with kokum and slit green chillies
  • Cook this mixture till it becomes thick and starts oozing out oil on the edges of the pan
  • Add 1/2 litre of water to the mixture and then place the raw prawns inside the curry before leaving it to cook
  • Cook this mixture to a boil and then simmer for about 5-7 minutes for the prawns to cook
  • Be careful while cooking prawns, because if you end up over cooking them then all you can do is take the prawns out from the curry, wash them and use as eraser for your kids drawings.... LOL... :)
  • There you go with your prawn curry and now all you need to do is enjoy it with pipping hot plain rice probably with a beetroot coconut fry and oil fried papad

Go ahead and try it out and let me know your feedback on this Independence Day Special Dish. Thank you Venky Baba for helping me out with Goan Prawn Curry and I did really feel that we both re-visited Goa with this curry and the few beers along with Goan Trance playing in the background the entire time.

- Thotaji Baawarchi :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fungi never tasted better.... Munchee Mushrooms

Fungi or quite commonly known as Fungus can be good, bad or deadly... Come on now, don't expect me to give you gyaan on Fungus because this isn't wikipedia nor am I a science guru... LOL... :)

Okay, coming to the point.. Today, we are going to learn how to prepare a dish which is probably the quickest way to prepare a snack for all you party lovers, just incase you are running short of your snacks and party hasn't even reached half time. And this dish is again an innovation or rather let's say shortage of time and limited ingredients left in the fridge...

Munchee Mushrooms

Ingredients - (For two people)

White Button Mushrooms - 1 packet or 200gms
Green Capsicum - 1 medium sized
Onion - 1 Medium Sized
Garlic - 8 cloves
Green Chillies - 5 nos
Salt - To taste
Dark Soy Sauce - 1 tablespoon
Chinese Chilli Sauce - 1/2 tablespoon
Oil - 2 teaspoons (Try Olive Oil or Chilli Oil)

Optional Ingredients -

Port/Cooking/Table Wine - 60ml

Method to prepare -

Even a kid would be able to make this dish, but don't get to carried away and keep the kids away from kitchen and its items.

  • Wash mushrooms throughly in running water to clean off any dirt or mud stuck on it and keep aside
  • Cut the long stalk away off the mushrooms and then drop them into a pot of boiling water before letting them to boil for about 15 minutes
  • Once, you feel the mushrooms have reduced half by size remove them from boiling water and put them into ICE cold water to stop the cooking immediately as well as to retain texture
  • In the mean time, cut the onion and capsicum into cube shaped pieces
  • Take the garlic along with chillies and fine chop them, but be careful not to chop off your fingers....
  • Now, cut the mushrooms into cubes; didn't understand!?! Okay, all you need to do is make sure cut the mushroom into four equal parts and keep aside
  • Put a pan with oil and keep the heat on high flame itself
  • Once you feel the oil is heated enough then add the fine chopped garlic & chillies and keep frying them till you start getting nice fried garlic smell
  • Add Onions and garlic immediately to the pan while its on high flame itself and keep stirring to fry it
  • Don't leave pan on stove to check your favorite serial but make sure you are standing there otherwise it would burn into nice black charcoal... LOL... :)
  • Fry for about 1 minutes or so and then add mushrooms to the pan and stir fry them for another 2-3 minutes
  • Add salt, chilli sauce and soy sauce to the mixture and fry for another 2 minutes on high flame itself
  • Add that 60 ml of port wine when you feel the mushroom and onions are looking as if they are turning crisp and fry for another 1-2 minutes
  • Take it off the stove and serve hot with your favorite drinks either alcoholic or non-alcoholic but please don't make a mistake of serving them with any milk based or cream based drinks as it would end up into a big tsunami in the stomach... I think you guys understood what I meant?!
Enjoy your munchee mushrooms and as always don't forget to comment, shout, scream or even abuse if you like or don't like the outcome because a hospital or a dustbin aren't far when you need one.... LOL... :)

- Thotaji Baawarchi :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Should I call it Chutney or Pachadi?! King of Vegetables smashed and sqaushed...

Even though Brinjal is considered king of vegetables, only quite a few of them know why is it termed as "KING"... And I am not one of those who know it but I prefer calling it king of vegetables only because of the awesome chutney what one can make out of it...

I have seen Mom, Aunt and Grand Mom make this chutney but I was always in a confusion would it turn out to the same when I make it and thanks to my friend Harsha, we both experimented and cracked it out.

Brinjal Chutney

Ingredients - (Four four people)

Big Fat Long Brinjal - 1 no (Approx 300 gms)
Green Chillies - 8-12 nos (Depending on the spice of the chilly)
Onion - 1 medium sized
Garlic Cloves - 12 flakes
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tea spoon
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tea spoon
Salt - 1 table spoon (15 gms) or as you wish
Oil - 3 table spoons (45-50 ml)

Method to prepare -

It's quite simple to prepare a dish where you don't have to work too much, and when I say too much I mean that you don't have quite a number of steps to follow to prepare the dish...
  • Apply some oil on the brinjal and please don't make insertions or cuts on the brinjal

  • Put that brinjal on direct fire and fry it from all side till you see the skin getting burnt and falling off from the brinjal, check the picture to understand how it needs to be done

  • In the mean time, keep a bowl of ice cold water (just put some ice in a bowl and pour water into it and there you have ice cold water)

  • The minute your water is ready and the brinjal is fried properly from all sides just go ahead and give it a nice dip in the ice cold water

  • The secret for putting it in the ice cold water is that the brinjal stops cooking immediately and the same time the peel comes off quite easily

  • Now go ahead and cut the brinjal, chillies, onions and garlic into small pieces before putting them aside

  • Heat the oil in a vessel, add cumin and mustard seeds and let them fry till they crackle

  • Add the cut pieces into the vessel and fry them for about 2-4 minutes on high flame

  • Leave the mixture to cool down before putting into a mixer/grinder and blending it into a paste
Now there is no fixed time to check whether the mixture is blended or not but surely got a very simple technique to check if it's done... All you need to do is go ahead and take a spoonful and check if you find any lumps, if you don't find any lumps then there you have your Brinjal Chutney or the true telugu style "Vankaya Pachadi" is ready....

You can serve this chutney with hot rice and little bit of ghee or even serve with Dosa, Idly, Rotis or use it as a sandwich spread for evening snacks. Do try it out and let me know what you guys think about it through your comments on my blog, facebook, google plus or even on twitter...

- Thotaji Baawarchi :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lazyman's Egg Curry or Innovation in traditional egg curry cooking!!!

There has always been fight about what is the right recipe to cook any dish?! Because when you search for any recipe online or ask your mother or grand mother, they always come up with different recipes... So I guess why not innovate a new kind of recipe rather than following the age old style with just a difference in the presentation.

What is the meaning of "Innovation"?! As per Wikipedia, "The term innovation derives from the Latin word innovatus, which is the noun form of innovare "to renew or change," stemming from in-"into" +novus-"new". " But I have a different meaning to it... When someone is capable of great work but is just too lazy to work then out of their laziness is born "Innovation"... And this recipe is dedicated to all those brainy lazy bums...

Lazyman's Egg curry

Ingredients - (For four people)

Eggs - 6 nos
Onions - 4 medium sized
Tomatoes - 4 medium sized
Salt - To taste or about 1 tea spoon
Chilli Powder - 1 table spoon
(As please reduce if you aren't used to eating spicy food)
Turmeric Powder - A pinch
(Be careful while adding turmeric powder as it not only makes the curry look a lot yellow but also spoils the taste by making it bitter)
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tea spoon
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tea spoon
Garlic Flakes - 4 nos
Green Chillies - 3 nos
Oil - 1 table spoon
Water - 3 cups (Or approximately 250 ml)

Method to prepare -

As the name itself suggests you can prepare this when you feel very lazy to cook but hunger is killing you or specially when you piss off your spouse. Obviously, when you piss of your spouse there are only two options left in front of you either cook yourself or pick the phone to order for home delivery.
  • First of all fine chop garlic and chillies together and keep aside to fry
  • Heat oil in a pan, add mustard along with cumin seeds and let them fry till you start hearing the crackling sound
  • Immediately add fine chopped garlic and chillies and fry for sometime but reduce the flame below otherwise you will soon find burnt garlic
  • In the mean time chop up the onions and tomatoes quickly so that you can add them but same time be careful not to chop of your fingers in a hurry
  • Add chopped onions to the pan with the salt, because when you add salt to onions they sweat and help in cooking faster
  • The secret behind this recipe cooking is "LOW FLAME", keep the flame as low as possible because if you put the flame high you need to keep waiting next to the stove to watch it over, rather just pick a drink depends what mood you are in whether alcoholic or non alcoholic and enjoy watching TV in the mean time
  • After about 4-5 minutes of cooking onions on low flame just go ahead and add the tomatoes
  • Mix it up properly before covering with a lid and cooking it on low flame
  • Cook for at least 8-10 minutes, post that add turmeric along with chilli powder and mix it up
  • Add 250 ml/3 cups of water to the dish and leave it boil for another 12 minutes
  • When you see that the water added has almost reduced, go ahead break the eggs directly into the pan over the onion & tomato mixture.... Confused how to do that, then check out the picture as it would give you more realistic picture...
  • Cover it up and leave it to cook for another 10 minutes
Once, you feel the egg yolk is cooked then just go ahead and removed the pan from the stove and serve with freshly made hot rice...

This dish if served with rice is a meal all by itself and don't worry thinking that egg dropped raw into the curry would spoil the taste or give you a raw taste.

Egg white actually cooks up faster than many other ingredients and doesn't need too much of heat to cook and the same time there is a very fine layer around egg yolk which actually forms a strong bond around the yolk as soon as heat is applied.

Try it out and you will find it does taste awesome, otherwise find the nearest dust bin and throw it in before picking the phone and calling for home delivery.

- Thotaji Baawarchi :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Couch Surfer's Aloo Tikki or Bachelor's Burger Patty...

Mom always hated me when I was in college as I used to just lie on my couch or the dewan next to the idiot box and keep watching Star Movies and HBO back to back. But obviously as all moms are sweet and pamper their kids a lot, used to make different kinds of munches and straight from the kitchen in a plate to where ever I am lying around and lazing around it used to come. Love you mom...

Okay, coming back I thought will share one of my mom's recipe of munches what she used to make for me but with a twist and my style... LOL... :)

Aloo Tikki / Potato Burger Patties

Ingredients - (For four people)

Potatoes/Aloos - 5-6 medium sized nos
Salt - 1 tea spoon
Chilli Powder - 2 tea spoons
Garam Masala Powder / Chicken Masala Powder - 3 tea spoons
Turmeric Powder - A pinch
(Be very careful with turmeric powder as any more than instructed would lead to disaster)
Bread Crumbs - 300 gms
(If you can't make your own bread crumbs then substitute by taking about 10 rusks and crushing them to fine powder, but you would need to increase the spice as rusk is generally sweet)
Oil - 4 tables spoons (If Shallow frying and if deep frying then your wish...)

Method to prepare -

It's very simple to prepare and incase if you are scared of even making the most simple thing then call your nearest restaurant and ask them to deliver Aloo Tikki for you... LOL.. :)
  • First of all put all the potatoes to boil with the skin on in a big bowl with water level higher then the potatoes
  • Once the potatoes are completed boiled to the extent that they have turned soft and you can check that by poking a knife through the boiling potatoes, if you feel the potato is sliding off the knife when you try picking it up then they are done
  • Put them aside to cool and once they are cooled down, removed the skin and cut them into small pieces into a mixing bowl
  • Add salt, garam masala/chicken masala, turmeric powder and chilli powder along with cut potatoes
  • Now you have two ways of mashing them into a fine paste consistency either you could use a fork or you could use the dal/vegetable masher otherwise my personal favorite using a small bowl with a big base and firm grip
  • Take out all the frustration and anger that you might have on your boss, work place or even spouses/partners on to those ingredients and there you have properly mashed mixture ready
  • Now spread out the bread crumbs or rusk powder on a piece of news paper (Why news paper, who is going to wash so many vessels if you keep using different vessels for every step of recipe method...?!)
  • Now make equal portions of the entire mixture and shape them out to look like small miniature cakes, post that coat them with bread crumbs or the rusk powder before setting aside on a plate
  • You could go ahead and fry them on a pan with little bit of oil or you could go ahead and deep fry them as your wish
  • And incase if you planning to deep fry then first you need to keep it in the fridge for at least 3 hours before you fry them, otherwise there are chances of them breaking down while frying in hot oil
  • Now talking about the bachelor's burger, all you need to do is buy the bun from any local bakery and put the tikki along with raw vegetables of your choice or my favorite red chilli pickle before hogging it to glory sipping on some ice cold coke
Finally, after a little bit of hard work you would always enjoy the benefit of the outcome. So, go ahead and try it out and let me know what you think....

- Thotaji Baawarchi :)