Saturday, August 26, 2006

Prawns & Peas Risotto

I have been so very busy recently, that I am unable to give enough time to my blog. I should come out of my busy schedule in a few weeks & continue with my regular posts.

I have had a lot of inquiries about this wonderful italian feast from all my blog visitors & I really apologise for the delay in posting the recipe. Risotto is a wonderful italian treat, I used to feast on this treat only in italian joints. But after watching a couple of episodes on Food Network, I decided to try it at home. I was so happy with the results & the process is not really difficult. All you need is a little patience.

1 cup arborio rice
12 - 15 cups of chicken stock/ broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, sliced
1 cup shrimps/ prawns
1/2 cup frozen green peas
handful of finely chopped parsley
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp olive oil

Pour the chicken stock/ broth in a saucepan & keep on medium-low flame.

Heat oil in a flat bottomed wide skillet over medium flame. Put in the minced garlic & saute for a few seconds till you get a nice aroma. Put in the sliced shallots & saute till it turns transparent. Add the arborio rice to the pan & saute for a few more mins. Pour in the white wine & saute well till the alcohol evaporates. Pour a ladleful of the chicken stock/ broth into the pan. Saute till the rice absorbs the liquid. Pour another ladleful of the stock/ broth into the pan & saute again till the rice absorbs the liquid. Continue this process till the rice is completely cook. It is not necessary that you use up the entire stock/ broth. Just keep pouring the liquid till the rice is almost done. Add the prawns & peas & continue the process till the rice is completely cooked. This should take approximately 20 mins. Season with some salt & pepper. Garnish with finely chopped parsley & freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Serve hot.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Goan Prawns Ambot Tik

'Ambot' means 'Sour' in konkani & 'Tik' means 'Pungent'. This is a traditional dish in both Goa & Mangalore. The preparation style is a little different though, but the majority of the ingredients remains the same. I got this recipe from one of my Goan friends.
The tamarind, peppercorns & red chillies add a distinct flavour to the dish. You can substitute prawns for any other fish of your choice. Mangaloreans & Goans prepare Ambot Tik of skate, shark or catfish as they absorb the hot & sour flavour of the gravy very well.

To make Ambot-Tik, you need :

1/2 kg prawns or any fish of your choice
1 onion, finely sliced
2 tbsp oil

Grind the below ingredients using very little water :

10 dried kashmiri red chillies ( they are less spicy & add more colour to the curry)
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
4 peppercorns
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
4 cloves garlic
1/2 inch ginger
marble sized ball tamarind

Apply salt to the prawns & keep aside.

Heat oil in a vessel. Fry onion till it is golden brown. Add the ground masala. Fry for sometime. Add a cup of water & allow to boil. Add the prawns. Cook till tender on low flame. Add salt & vinegar, only if necessary.

Goes well with steamed rice.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Promfret Fry

Ask about my favourite fish & I would call it Promfret & I like them fried crisp. I am not much crazy about them in gravies. Fried frish with dal & rice was often a great & comforting meal at our home. Occassionally, my mother would stuff promfrets with green masala or ground shrimps & then fry them.
Promfrets are not available everywhere in the US. You would only find them at local chinese markets. Last week, I was lucky to find a chinese market on my trip to Jersey. So not looking for a second chance, I just hopped into the market & bought 2 beautiful large sized promfrets. I just could'nt wait to get back home & fry it up.

So here it is, fried all crisp..

1 medium to large sized promfret, cleaned well by removing all the internal inedible stuff
3 - 4 tbsp rava (semolina)
2 - 3 tbsp oil, for frying
1 lemon, cut into wedges

For Marinate :

1 tsp tandoori masala powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp corainder powder
salt, to taste
3 cloves garlic, ground to a paste
1/2 inch ginger piece, ground to a paste
1 tbsp vinegar

Wash the promfret well. Make gashes on both sides of the promfret for the marinade to seep in.

In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients for the marinade. Apply marinade to the promfret, rubbing well into the gashes & inside the promfret. Set aside to marinate in the refrigerator for atleast an hour.

Heat a heavy bottomed pan on medium flame. Pour oil into the hot pan.

Coat the promfret with semolina (rava) & place it on the hot pan. Let it fry undisturbed on medium flame for 10 minutes. Flip & turn over the promfret on the other side. Let it fry for 10 minutes more.

Serve hot with lemon wedges.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Kesar Badam Nankathai

Baking has become one of my recent passion. I have always baked cakes. Now its time for cookies, since my toddler loves nibbling onto them. I recently tried Nupur's - Kesar Pista Nankathai. Since I did'nt have pistachios at home, I substituted it with almonds & they turned out awesome. I also skipped the addition of water as per the recipe.

Overall, the nankathai's were kind of melt-in-the-mouth & a good tea-time snack.

Thanks Nupur, for such a great recipe.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Mom's Traditional Meatloaf

Another top recipe in my mom's list is her meatloaf & if its meatloaf, this is the standard way she would make it & nothing on earth would ever make her change the recipe. My mother generally uses about 1/2 kg bacon mince & 1/2 kg beef mince for this recipe. Since bacon mince is not easily available in the US, I use the meatloaf mix that you get in the meat section of the grocery store. It has a combination of pork, beef & veal & the right amount of fat to deliver a perfect meatloaf. Secondly, she wraps the meatloaf in an aluminium foil & steams it in an idli steamer. So you really dont need an oven to make this meatloaf. This recipe is a must try.

1 pkg of meatloaf mix (approx. 1 lb package)
1 egg
1/2 - 1 tsp nutmeg powder (depending on the intensity of the flavour desired)
3/4th tsp pepper powder
1 big lemon, squeeze juice
2 - 3 slices of bread, crumbed
salt, to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Shape into a loaf & bake in a 350 deg F, pre-heated oven till done & the top of the meatloaf looks nice & brown (approx. 45 - 50 mins). Alternatively, you can even wrap the meatloaf in an aluminium foil & steam it in an idli steamer. Once done, set aside for 15 mins & then slice it.

This meatloaf can be served hot as well as cold.