Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Prawn pickle

This was something we dreamed of, while in the hostels. When we went home, this was one item we would definitely ask our mom to make, to take back... and dinner times at the hostel with a bottle of prawn pickle always attracted more people to our table...

With this one thing, we need just rice and curd to make a perfectly satisfying meal....of course, most of the curries were unpalatable, so pickles were always the life-savers those days.

This recipe is my mom's - and the smaller the prawns, the tastier the pickles turn out..

Small prawns - 250 gms (shelled and de-veined)
Garlic - 100 gms (peeled and sliced lengthwise)
Red chilli powder - 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Sweet Paprika/ kashmir chilli powder - 1 tbsp (this is for colour and consistency)
Vinegar - 1 cup
Water - boiled and cooled - 1 and 1/2 cups
Fenugreek seeds/ uluva - 1/4 tsp
Green chillies - 4 to 5 (slit lengthwise)
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece (sliced fine)
salt to taste

marinate the prawns in turmeric, salt and a bit of the paprika powder. Shallow fry the prawns till they are semi cooked. They should not be tough and crisp. Keep aside

Now in a little oil, add the fenugreek seeds, then the garlic, ginger and chillies over a medium flame till the raw smell is gone.
Now add the Chilly powder, paprika and saute in 1/4 cup of vinegar. Add the rest of the vinegar and sauté the prawns. take off the stove and add the water. Add salt according to taste.

When cooled, bottle and refrigerate. If you want to keep the pickle outside, add a 1/2 cup of warm vegetable oil .

The proportions of vinegar and chilly powder are a matter of taste. So reduce or increase the quantities accordingly.

Friday, May 21, 2010


This is one of the projects that kept me busy the past weeks.. I had been going to learn how to make the three dimensional art work.. this particular one is called Jharoka and is said to be very popular in Rajasthan , Jaipur etc

I have seen many versions made from wood, with stone inlays, as mirror frames, etc..

this one was made with plywood as base. It was great learning how to make it. I learnt many techniques and I really love the bronze color.

Let me know what you think..

Meanwhile, I have two more works in progress, and am really enjoying myself.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Home-made grape wine

I may never have had tried this without the help of my friend Rehna... She actually is an old hand at making this wine and her mother had been making this wine for decades...

When she said that she would be making it this year, I also wanted to join her and we really had a great time making it, and it also yielded good results.... I have no idea what the connoisseurs would say, but what we got was a sweet and great-tasting wine that could be given to our kids too.

I am sure that I would be making it often. So here is the recipe, that has been passed on in Rehna's family...

Grapes - 4 kgs

Sugar - 3 kg (If you want the wine less sweet, reduce about 250 gms)

Egg whites - 4

Wheat grains - 150 gms ( pulse them in a dry grinder to coarse bits)

Yeast - 2 tbsp (dry )

Water - 4 litres (boiled and cooled)

Five litre jars - 3 nos (to store the wine)

Crush the grapes well. Add all the ingredients into the grapes. Mix well. Pour the mix in the jars only upto 3/4th of the jars because the fermenting will cause the wine to froth over.

Stir daily for 21 days. On the 22nd day, strain and keep in the jars for three more days. On the third day, remove the wine into bottles...

We got about 8 bottles .

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Shredded chicken and green peas

These days, I seem to be just rushing in and out of the kitchen ... as I can't find the time to make anything very elaborate or time-consuming...

This was a very easy dish to make... you can make it with previously cooked chicken, shredded into bite sized pieces...or boil a few pieces of chicken with a pinch of turmeric, salt and a half tsp of chilli powder.

And you may use green peas, shelled fresh..Make sure that if you get someone's help in shelling the peas, that 'someone' understands that those are not tiny balls to play with , throw in the air or endlessly scoop up and let to escape through the fingers...!!! I shelled some 3 cups' worth, but finally had about 2 cups to cook with....!!!!!!

so to get to the recipe,

Cooked and shredded chicken - 1 cup
Green peas - fresh or frozen - 2 cups
Onion - 1 sliced fine
Tomato - 1 diced
Green chilly - 1
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste

Sauté the onions till nearly brown in a little oil. Add the tomatoes, chilli powder, garam masala powder and cook till the tomatoes are mushy.. now add the chicken and the green peas. If the peas are fresh, add about a 1/4 glass of water, put a lid on the pot and cook till done. If frozen, just sauté it with the chicken as they will already be cooked and just need to be steamed through.

Now add more salt if needed, and serve with chappatis, bread or any kind of pulao, curd rice etc...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Spicy maida dosa (pancakes)

Wow.... life has not been smooth after coming back from Kerala....

My maid did a bunk a day after I returned... she called me up the next day to say she was ill...and the doctor has prescribed a week's rest.... after a week of reluctantly holding down the fort, she did not turn up and when i called, she very blithely told me to look for someone else....!

In between all that hubby left to Mumbai for a couple of days, and I had to deal howling and sobbing child till he came back...

There are dust storms blowing buckets of dust on to everything inside, so I cannot give cleaning a miss even for a day.....!! And of course, I have to plan healthy snacks for my daughter and do the daily cooking...and worse..................the dish washing !!!!

It has been three weeks and I still do not have a maid.....!!!

The highlight despite everything is that I am going to learn 3D mural art...

Meanwhile, i have been a bit lax in posting, but I have been taking pictures and I am still experimenting in the kitchen...this is proof of that..

These spicy pancakes were something I made for dinner a couple of days back...

Maida/ flour - 1/2 cup (for about 6 thin pancakes)

Egg - 1

Baking powder - 1/4 tsp

Water or milk - just to make a smooth and loose batter

Oregano - 1/2 tsp

Chilly flakes - 1 tsp (can add more or less)

Garam masala powder - 1/4 tsp

salt to taste

In a mixing bowl, take the flour, add the baking powder , the oregano, chilli flakes, garam masala and the salt and mix well. In a separate cup, beat the eggs with about a Tbsp of milk or water and add to the flour. Make a paste without lumps and then add enough water/milk to bring to the right consistency.

Now make the pancakes on a hot non-stick tawa.

We had it rolled around chicken sausages with some dips for added taste..

Also would be great in combination with chicken or vegetable stews.