Garnish: Mise-en-Place| Foody Categories| ITCC:If thoughts could cook!

Monday, October 31, 2005

Carrot+Coconut Barfi

Its Diwali today and I bring to you an "extremely" easy sweet-dish that my didi 'elder sis' told me to make 2 years ago... on my first Diwali here in Oz without her (when she got married :( )

I was sad n homesick .... n didnt feel like doing anything at all. And she called and asked what I was making for Diwali and I mumbled, "Nothing!" as I thought of the juicy gulaab jamun's that she used to make every year for the last three years she was in Oz with me. And she scolded me disprovingly and said, "No! Get up and make something. You can't NOT do anything on Diwali. I'll tell you something very easy that you'll make in 10 mins."

So, dear blogmates, here is what she told me to do -

Gaajar aur Naariyal Barfi ( Carrot+Coconut Barfi)

*I have scoured the web, but cant find the pic. So here's me cheating n posting something similar, but shall post my own pics one day when I get my own digi camera!* :)

Ingredients --
5 medium length carrots - peeled and grated
1 small cup grated or dessicated coconut. *you can use dry ones from the super market as I do, but I'm told that fresh ones taste good too!*
1 teaspoon cardamom powder *or 4 crushed cardamoms*
2 tablespoons of pure Ghee
few strings of saffron
sugar to taste

Method --
1. In a pan, heat the ghee for a minute, then add the grated carrots and cook for about 4 minutes.
2. Toss frequently so the carrots dont burn. Add the coconut, cardamom and sugar and mix well. Cook for another 2 minutes or till the mixture becomes thick and the ingredients start sticking to each other.
3. Sprinkle the saffron strings and mix and then put aside.
4. Take a flat plate and spread some ghee all over it with fingers. Then spread the carrot mix on the plate. Can have as thick as you like (but remember that its its too thick it'll fall into pieces when you pick them!)
5. Cover and leave in a cool place to set for a few hours or overnight if possible.

Garnish with silver or dryfruits if you like them and cut into bite size pieces.
And the yummy barfi is ready!! :D

My best wishes for you and your families on this festive season!
God Bless!!

Thursday, October 20, 2005


The first half of October has literally rushed by.....And the first ITCC keyword has made many creamy waves. :)

Below is a short summary of what you thought - when you thought 'creamy'!
* Creamy Pastries * 2
* Creamy Dal Makhni * 2
* Creamy Mushroom Soup
* Creamy Mango lassi
* Creamy Soy nugget bake
* Creamy Paneer Butter Masala
* Creamy Coffee
* Creamy 'Dark temptations' (chocolate cake + chocolate syrup + icecream + cream)
* Creamy Kheer
* Creamy Vanila milk shake with cream :) * 2
* Creamy Pasta (Ariabiatta in white sauce)
* Creamy Cakes with thick creamy icing * 2
* Creamy Malai kofta
* Creamy Cream of tomato soup
* Creamy Vindaloo
* Creamy Lemon pudding

*slurrrrp!* Drooling?! Yeah I was after reading each entry!

THAT - is a lot of creamy in just over a fortnight! :D And the best part being that you all did come up with beautiful stuff that was ranging all the way from sweet to spicy and frozen to hot!! Excellent effort indeed!

And I thank each and every one of you who came and replied. Now as I endevour to find the recipes for as many creamy goodies as I can, I leave you today with the next edition.

ITCC: Oct Part II, the mystery keyword is 'saucy'.

And remember guys - the challenge is "to think outside the skillet"! :) *outside the box* and come up with something as unique as possible.

For new comers the rules of ITCC can be found here. And rush your entries people, for this mystery keyword expires on 1st Nov 2005.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Soybean Goulash

This recipe is the Vegetarian version of Hungarian Beef Goulash. Because we are using soybean, you can rest assured that its very nutritious and tastes just beautiful!

Before we begin a note - This recipe being a Hungarian recipe tastes great with 'red Hungarian paparika'. But if you dont have that, then normal hot chilli powder will do.

Soybean Goulash

Ingredients --
1 large bowl full of soybean nuggets (about 20-25 pieces) soaked in hot water for 1/2hour.
1 packet elbow macaroni Pasta
1 large onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 can of tomato puree
1 medium tomato diced
Hungarian Paparika or Red chilli powder
Chilli flakes (optional or how hot u'd like)
Crushed Black pepper
Salt to taste

Method --
1. Cook the pasta according to the instructions in the packet. Drain and put aside.
2. In a wide pan, heat the oil, then add garlic and onions and cook till the onions are translucent.
3. Squeeze the soybean chunks to get rid of excess water and add to the pan and season with paparika, black pepper and the chilli flakes so they get fried with the rest.
4. Add the diced tomatoes and cook for a few minutes. (make sure not to add any water) And then add the tomato puree and continue to cook.
5. Mix the pasta with the soybean mixture and season with salt and pepper.

Done!! :)

Tips --
* The authentic recipe also includes potatoes, so you can add diced potatoes in the beginning.
* If the soy chunks become huge after soaking - cut them into halves or quaters for bite size pieces.
* Can add corn kernels for a brighter look!
* Can add peas if you'd like a sweeter taste.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Food from thought!

While I was playing with the template of this blog, I was thinking about the visual stimulation that we get when we see food. Personally I find that the presentation of food is like 40% of whether I'll taste it and like it or not. And I'm sure same is the case with a lot of us.

So.... I thought of starting a little quiz event here! Its called "If thoughts could cook!" :D

And all we have to do is....
  • every fortnight, I'll post a mystery keyword which can be anything ranging from the appearence of food, to texture of food, to smells of food all the way to the ingredients.
  • All you readers have to think of the first 'vegetarian' dish that comes to your mind. Now that can be entree, main or dessert. And can be bland, sweet or hot!!
Its all upto your imagination.....
Just leave a comment that looks like this --> 'Keyword blah' = 'Dish blah blah'

And you never know.... the recipe of your imaginary dish might appear on this blog very soon!! :)

Are you guys ready for the first ever ITCC: 'If thoughts could cook' event?

The mystery keyword for Oct Part 1 is 'creamy'.

Tell me your thoughts......

Coconut Chutney and Yogurt Dip

Third part in the South Indian range after the Part I and Part II.

An excellent way to enjoy your Semolina Uttapam or any south Indian dish is the age old Coconut chutney. Its ready in an instant and is an instant hit too! :)

Coconut Chutney

Ingredients --
1 small bowl of grated/dessicated coconut
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2 green chillies finely chopped
2 table spoons of yellow lentil (chana dal) dry roasted
1 tiny pinch of asafoetida *heeng*
2 teaspoons of mustard seeds *rai*
a few curry leaves
Chilli flakes (optional or how hot u'd like)
Salt to taste

Method --
1. Grind the coconut, ginger, chillies, yellow lentil into a fine paste. Can add water to fix the consistency. Set aside.
2. In a small pan, heat oil, add asafoetida and mustard seeds. Wait a minute till the seeds begin to splutter. Add the curry leaves and chilli flakes.
3. Fry briefly then pour this mix over the chutney paste made above. Add salt to taste.

Isn't that easy peasy! :D

And below is my yogurt version of the coconut chutney which I call the 'coconut dip' to avoid any confusion! :P

Coconut Dip

Ingredients --
1 small bowl of grated/dessicate coconut
1 large bowl of natural yogurt, whipped with a spoon.
2 teaspoons of mustard seeds *rai*
a few curry leaves
Chilli flakes (optional or how hot u'd like)
Salt to taste

Method --
1. Mix the yogurt and the coconut in a large bowl. Can add half a cup of water is the consistency is too thick. Set aside.
2. In a small pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds. Wait a minute till the seeds begin to splutter. Add the curry leaves and chilli flakes.
3. Fry briefly then pour this mix over the yogurt paste. Add salt to taste.