Sunday, April 28, 2013

Monkey Bread( Spiced with Italian Herbs)

Today I baked Monkey bread with Italian herbs for the Potluck party event hosted byJagruti's Cooking Odyssey.
I made Monkey Bread referring post from Archana of "Tangy Minds". She brought An Italian Spiced Herbs Monkey Bread to the party.Archana's pictures were so tempting and bread looked delicious. This was something very new to me and hadn't tried it before .....when done, the bread came out very well .. like it to the core , my hubby too liked it very much ...hence forth plan to make it quiet often. Archana,Thank you so much for sharing this dish with us!!!

In "Potluck party, cyber style" event, we members post their own favorite dish in the first part(on 10th of every month), latter have to cook and post the dish posted by person with whom you are paired with, in the  second part(on 28th of every month). Since we all are living in different parts of the world, we get a chance to know about cuisines of various regions .So this potluck party gives us a golden opportunity to cook and taste different regions cuisines. 

Here is the Recipe for Monkey Bread


For the dough
  • All purpose flour-1.5cups
  • Yeast-1/2tbsp
  • Sugar-1tbsp
  • Egg-1
  • 1/2cup Milk plus Luke warm milk-10tbsp
  • Oil/butter-3tbsp
  • Unsalted butter-3tbsp   
  • Salt-1/4tsp
For making the herb spices 
  • White/black sesame seeds-1/2tsp
  • Oregano-1/2tsp
  • Garlic minced-1tsp

  • Add the yeast to the luke warm milk with sugar,keep aside for few minutes until the yeast turns foamy.
  • Sieve the flour and salt in a bowl.
  • Now pour the risen yeast to the flour and salt containing bowl.Add a beaten egg also.Knead everything by using your hands or electric mixer.Knead well the dough for about 10 minutes.
  • Pour the dough into a greased bowl and cover it with wet towel.Allow it to rise for about 2 hours or till it rises.
  • Scrape out dough into the working surface.Lightly butter hands,divide the dough into equal portions.
  • Take each ball of dough,pinch and seal the underside so that each ball becomes smooth on top.
  • Now take each ball and dip it in the melted butter.Place them in the greased baking pan/bundt pan.I used around 9'' round nonstick baking pan.  
  • Leave some place in between each balls while keeping into the pan.The dough will rise again.Cover the pan with wet towel and keep this in a warm place for an hour until they double the volume.
  • Prepare the herbs under the ingredient as given.Mix well. 
  • Beat an egg white and brush this on top of the balls gently.Put already prepared herbs mixture on each ball generously. 
  • Bake it in a preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes at 180 degree celsius or 350 degree F.After it is done,take it out from the oven.
  • Brush the hot monkey bread with  the extra melted butter.Take care not to brush the herbs and seeds off.
  • Allow to cool. 

Serve the warm bread along with your favourite choice of pasta or soup......

Happy Baking!!!

Linking this dish to Potluck Party, Cyber Style.....


Thursday, April 25, 2013

VEGETABLE PULAO( Spiced Vegetable Rice)

This is a fragrant rice recipe with lots of vegetables and spices.Vegetable pulao is the most comforting one pot meal which is cooked with a blend of spices and veggies with flavorful Basmati rice.Pulao can be made in different ways and there are many versions and recipes too.

Rice plays an important role in Indian cuisine.Basmati rice is a variety of  long grain rice grown in the nothern regions of India.It's fragarant and delicate.The main characteristic of Basmati is the intense fragrance that fills the air when the rice is being cooked.Basmati rice is available in 2 varieties:white and brown.   

Feeling lazy?...Make pulao.Ther's nothing like a pulao or biryani to save you time on a busy day.....I have been making this pulao for many years now.We usually have the pulao with meat or paneer curries or with grilled meat.I use whole spices instead of masala powder which yields an  aromatic mild flavor to the rice and a combination of ghee and oil for sauteing the veggies which brings out their flavor very nicely.Yesterday,I prepared this pulao  and my guests enjoyed well.So I thought of sharing the recipe to my friends who are very lazy during week days.

Here is the recipe for veg pulao
White Basmati rice-1cup
Mixed vegetables-
Carrot-1,cut in cubes
French beans-3-5 cut in small pieces
Green peas-1/4 cup
Cauli flower-5 florets(optional)
Onion-1 big,finely chopped
Ginger-Garlic paste-1tbsp
Green chillies-3-5,slit(As per tolerance level)
Turmeric powder-1/4tsp
Coriander powder-1/2tsp
Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
Cinnamon-1'' stick
Whole pepper-3-5
Pepper powder-1/2-1tsp
Bay leaf-2
Juice of half lemon 
Coriander leaves-a handful
Mint leaves-5 leaves
Cashew nuts-a handful
Raisins-a handful 
Salt to taste
Water-11/2 cups 
Ghee/oil-as required 

Wash and soak the rice in enough water for at least 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes,drain the water completely using a colander.Heat 1-2tbsp ghee/oil in a pan and fry rice for few minutes.This will help the rice to become lengthy(will not break)when it is cooked.
Heat ghee/oil in a heavy bottomed vessel.Add cumin seeds and allow to splutter.Add the all whole spices and stir for few seconds.
Add finely chopped onion and saute it till translucent followed by the ginger garlic paste and green chillies in order.
Now add turmeric powder,coriander powder and crushed pepper to this mixture and stir for few seconds.
Add chopped vegetables with a little salt. Saute it for few minutes.
Now add stir fried rice,combine well.Pour the measured water and bring to a boil.Stir in salt.Keep the pan closed and cook on slow heat until done.
Switch off heat and add lemon juice and combine well.Add chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves.Garnish with fried cashew nuts and raisins.

Serve hot with Raita,Pappad and Mango Pickle....
Happy Cooking!!!



Sunday, April 21, 2013

Kerala Beef /Chicken/Mutton Cutlet- Kerala Style

 Meat Cutlet 
Cutlets are a very common food in Kerala kitchens-be it the chicken,beef or veg cutlets,every one enjoys this crispy snacks.These are the best appetizers for a party.They can be made in advance.There might not be a single christian house where this does not form a staple food.

I always thought that cutlets are very hard to prepare and time consuming.I never attempted to make these before marriage.I had a lot of experience in shaping and frying them well.But getting the texture correct and not having them fall apart on me while frying gives a lot of experience.
I make it quite often now...almost thrice a month.I am happy to share the recipe to my friends.

  • Beef/Chicken/Mutton-1/2kg(boneless,cut into medium sized cubes)
  • Potato-2,large(boiled and smashed)
  • Onion-1 large,finely chopped
  • Ginger-1tbsp,minced
  • Garlic-1/2tsp,minced
  • Green chilly-7-8,cut into thin rounds(As per your tolerance level)
  • Pepper-1tsp,crushed
  • Garam masala-1tbsp
  • Turmeric powder-a couple of pinches 
  • Curry leaves-1-2sprigs,finely chopped
  • Coriander leaves-1tbsp,finely chopped  
  • Lemon juice-1/2tsp
  • Egg-1
  • Bread crumbs or powdered rusk-as required
  • Salt to taste 
  • Oil-as required 
  1. Clean the meat thoroughly and chop it into medium large pieces.
  2. Cook the meat(in pressure cooker) with turmeric powder,half tsp pepper powder and salt till it turns tender.Evaporate excess water and allow to cool. 
  3. After cooling down mince the meat and keep it aside.Boil the potatoes,peel the skin and mash well.  
  4. Heat oil in a large pan,add chopped onion and sprinkle salt,saute till it turns soft and translucent.
  5. Add  chopped ginger,garlic,green chillies and curry leaves, stir for few minutes or until the raw smell goes off.
  6. Now add garam masala and crushed pepper stir for few minutes.
  7. Add minced meat,stir for few minutes and add mashed potatoes and stir the mixture for few minutes or until all the water content evaporates.
  8. Now add chopped coriander leaves and lemon juice and adjust salt and seasoning.switch off heat.
  9. Make small lemon size balls out of this mixture and shape them into round or oval shapes patting gently with a flat side of the knife from all sides of the meat balls,until all the cracks that form in between are sealed. 
  10. Dip each cutlet into lightly beaten egg and roll it in bread crumbs.Tap off extra bread crumbs.Do this one by one.
  11. You can keep this in the freezer for a long time.Divide the cutlets in batches,one batch equal to how many you would need for once.Freeze.Remove from freezer.There is no need to defrost.
  12. Deep fry the cutlets in low-medium heat until they turn brown as in the picture.
Meat Cutlet Kerala Style

Serve warm with ketchup,mint chutney or challas.....

To make Challas,chop some big onions and add vinegar and sprinkle with some salt.Mix it with your fingers and keep it for at least 10 minutes and serve.

Happy Cooking!!!