Wednesday December 11, 2013
Strange fact - hubby and I have a close friend who cannot eat without breaking into a sweat! Add chilli to the food and he is a complete wreck! The truth is, there is nothing like a good, hot meal to warm one up on a cold day. Add chilli to that and things get toastier still.
Though Indian food has the reputation of being all hot and spicy, this is definitely not true. Chilli is more the exception than the rule in well cooked Indian food and is only used to enhance the flavor of a dish, never to overpower it.
Today however, let's focus on this important Indian ingredient. Mirchi is the Hindi word for chillies and it is used to make yummy foods like Mirchi Ka Saalan (pictured at right) or Hot and Sour Green Pepper Curry which is made with chillies but surprisingly mild, Bharvaan Laal Mirchi Ka Achaar or Stuffed Red Chilli Pickle which I used to spread on toast and eat for breakfast as a child! Mirchis are also used in Mirchi Ka Pakoda or Chilli Fritters and Bharvaan Simla Mirchi (stuffed green peppers).
Image © 2013 Petrina Verma Sarkar licensed to About.com
Saturday November 30, 2013
The word 'Chaat' is not just used to describe a food, it is also often used as a generic term for a group of spicy, tangy, sweet street foods. Mostly North Indian in origin, they make a great alternative to a meal because they're wholesome, quick and easy to prepare. Chaats are always made fresh and eaten immediately and because they combine tangy, hot and sweet tastes together, are very addictive! They are so well loved, crowds line up alongside roadside Chaat stalls in India!
One of my favorite Chaats is Sev Batata Puri, 'born and raised' in the streets of Mumbai! It is extremely easy to put together... in fact, once you have a few basic ingredients ready, it takes just a few minutes!
Image © Gauravmasand | Dreamstime.com
Friday November 29, 2013
Dum Pukht means slow cooking in a sealed container. This ancient technique is usually used to cook meats in almost no water but in their own juices. The low heat and pressure inside the pot slowly tenderizes the meat and infuses the rest of the dish with its flavors!
Dum Pukht Biryani is a great example of Dum Pukht cooking. Featuring layers of rice and meat and topped with saffron, it is a meal fit for kings! While Dum Pukht Biryani takes time to cook, the technique for cooking it is simple. The result is a dish that you will be glad you tried.
Image © Szefei | Dreamstime.com
Friday November 29, 2013
When it comes to food, I usually get carried away with quantities! I always cook more food than is required. While this could be a problem, I use it to my advantage by reinventing the leftovers for another meal. Clever right? :-)
When you start with leftovers, your job is already half done! So, if you want to get creative with leftovers, here are a bunch of my recipes....
© Photographer: Sasha Davas; Agency: Dreamstime.com