Saturday, October 30, 2010

How To Make Delicious Indian Food

If you want to surprise your family with something different for dinner then a unique and delicious Indian dish might be your perfect choice. However, being a non-Indian you might wonder why the ‘Chicken butter masala’ or the ‘Goan fish curry’ that you cooked did not taste the same as your Indian friend made it when you visited them. The distinctive taste of all true Indian dishes comes from the unique preparations and methods that are used to make them. This is true not only for Indian dishes but for any authentic cuisine that originates from different parts of the world. If you attempt to prepare an Indian dish in American style then of course the taste will turn out to be more American than Indian.

One of the secrets to make authentic Indian dishes is to add the right amount of spices, particularly for non-vegetarian dishes. Even a pinch more can offset the taste of the dish. Another tip to make your Indian dish taste more Indian is to buy the spices from an Indian store. This is because the origin of the spices used also makes a difference in how the dish tastes.

For instance, for Indian dishes that require tamarind you have to make use of Indian tamarind and not, say Thai tamarind. This is because Thai tamarind tastes much sweeter than Indian tamarind.

If you want to make classic Indian dishes like chicken curry, it is better to get ready made masalas required for that particular dish from an Indian store. Trying to put together the complex mix of different spices in right proportions by yourself might not turn out as good as you expected.

India is a tropical country where coconut is found everywhere and not surprisingly in most of the Indian dishes. Most Indian recipes, especially South Indian cuisine has either scraped coconut or coconut milk as one of the main ingredients. If you are trying to make an Indian dish that requires coconut it is better to buy the real coconut instead of making do with the readily available coconut powder.

To make Indian dishes with better results, it is better to follow recipes from authentic sources created by Indians. You can find numerous mouth-watering recipes from the various Indian recipe websites.

Roasted Eggplant Chutney
Spices and dals are roasted in oil till golden brown and ground into fine powder using a spice blender. Large eggplant is roasted on direct flame till its charred. Then the roasted eggplant pulp is mashed with ground spice powder and garnished with cilantro and curry leaves.
Makes: around 2 Servings of Roasted Eggplant Chutney.

Large Eggplant 1
Chana Dal 1/2 tsp
Urad Dal 1/2 tsp
Coriander Seeds 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp
Whole Red Chiles 1 – 2
Tamarind 1 inch Piece
Turmeric Powder a Pinch
Curry Leaves 4
Cilantro few Sprigs
Oil 1/2 tsp

Method of preparation:
Wash and finely chop the curry leaves and cilantro.
Heat half a tsp oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal, urad dal, coriander seeds and red chiles in order.
Fry till aromatic or until all the ingredients are golden brown.
Cool the ingredients to room temperature and grind into fine powder along with tamarind and salt.
Wash and pat dry eggplant.
Place the eggplant directly on the low flame turning occasionally until the skin is completely charred on all sides.
Cool the cooked eggplant and remove the charred skin with the help of wet hands.
Discard stem and remove the roasted eggplant onto a bowl (around 1 Cup).
Pulse the roasted eggplant pulp, ground masala powder and salt briefly for 5 seconds.
Remove the eggplant chutney onto a bowl and garnish with curry leaves and cilantro.
Serve roasted eggplant chutney with steamed rice or with roti.
Notes: Make sure eggplant is cooked well while roasting.
Suggestions: If eggplant is not cooked well, put it back on heat or cook covered in a pan till done.

Variations: You can also temper the chutney with mustard seeds and curry leaves.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Broiled Orange Cake

Ingredients and method

1 Stick Butter Or Margarine

1 Cup Sugar

1 Egg

2 Cups Sifted Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

1 Cup Buttermilk

1 Cup White Raisins -- ground

Rind Of 1 Orange -- grated 1/2 Cup Chopped Nuts

--Topping-- Juice Of 1 Orange Juice Of 1 Lemon 1 Cup Sugar

1 Tablespoon Melted Butter

Whipped Cream As Garnish

FOR THE CAKE: Cream butter, add sugar, and blend. Add unbeaten egg and beat well. Sift dry ingredients together and add alternately with buttermilk. Blend in raisins, orange rind, and nuts, if desired. Pour into 8 x 11 x 2-inch pan and start in cold oven set at 325?. Bake until well done, about 1 hour. Test for doneness with toothpick; cake is done when toothpick comes out clean.

FOR THE TOPPING: Combine orange and lemon juices with sugar and melted butter. Pour over cake. Place under broiler until topping browns sllightly, but watch carefully not to burn. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream. Keep cake in pan to retain moisture.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Baked Salmon


2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons light olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
2 (6 ounce) salmon fillets


In a medium glass bowl, prepare marinade by mixing garlic, light olive oil, basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and parsley.2Place salmon fillets in a medium glass baking dish, and cover with the marinade.3Marinate in the refrigerator about 1 hour, turning occasionally.4Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).5Place fillets in aluminum foil, cover with marinade, and seal.6Place sealed salmon in the glass dish, and bake 35 to 45 minutes, until easily flaked with a fork.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cream Corn


3 tb Butter or margarine
3 tb Flour
1 1/2 c Warmed lowfat milk, whole
-milk or light cream
3 c Fresh corn kernels, cut
-from about 5 ears of corn
Salt to taste
White pepper to taste
Chopped chives
Julienne red pepper strips
Julienne green pepper strips
Shredded carrot
Sauteed button mushrooms
pn Curry powder
Crumbled bacon


1. Melt butter, stir in flour. Add milk slowly, stirring with whisk until completely blended, thickened and gently bubbling. Add kernels and simmer about 3 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper.

2. Leftover Creamed Corn; pureed in blender or food processor, makes a quick sauce for shrimp, scallops or crab. Mix cooked seafood into corn sauce, simmer gently and spoon over a toasted English muffin.

3. Although any variety of fresh corn will do, white, thin-skinned kernels make a superb creamed vegetable dish.