Macroni with Indian Spices

I am not a great fan of macronis, but my husband is. He always likes to taste it in a different flavor and so I decided to try my hands on macroni with a twist of Indian spices. I wanted to make it simple and easy and just used the basic ingredients of Indian cooking and married to Macroni. It came out very well and was ready in 30 minutes. And I realized I have too started liking it and the next time want to try it out with varied flavors.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Macroni - 100 gms
Vegetables - 1 cup finely chopped lengthwise
Red Chilly powder - 1 tablespoon
Coriander powder - 1 tablespoon
Garam Masala powder - 1 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Olive oil - 2 tablespoon

Preparation:

1. Cook macroni in boiling water with little salt (to avoid stickiness) as per the directions in the packet. Drain the water and keep it aside.
2. Chop all vegetables finely lengthwise.
3. Heat oil in a pan and when hot add the vegetable and saute well. Since you have chopped the vegetables finely, do not add water and let it cook in the oil.
4. Close the lid and cook it in medium flame for another 5-7 miinutes and add salt to taste, red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and cook for another 4-5 minutes untill the raw smell goes off.
5. Now add the drained macroni and saute well.
6. Cook in low flame for next 5 minutes and stir occassionally.

Hot and spicy masala macroni is ready to eat.

Simple Chicken Fry

Here is a simple preparation of a spicy,hot chicken fry. This will be a very good combination for Rotis or any rice.


Preparation Time: 1 hour


Ingredients:
Chicken - 250 gms
Onion - 1 big size finely chopped
Curry leaves- 4- 5
Coriander leaves -for garnish
Oil - 3 tablespoon
For paste:
Curd - 3 tablespoons
Chilly powder - 1 table spoon
Coriander powder - 2 tablespoon
Pepper - 1/2 tablespoon
Fennel Seeds - 1 tablespoon
Cumin Seeds - 1 tablespoon
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
Salt - to taste






Preparation:
1. Make a wet paste with the ingredients mentioned for paste.
2. Marinate the chicken with the ground paste and set it aside for at least 30 minutes.
3. Heat oil in a pan and when hot add finely chopped onions and curry leaves.
4. When the onions turn golden brown, add the marinated chicken and cook in a medium flame closed with a lid. Stir occassionally and cook until chicken becomes soft and tender.
5. Garnish with coriander leaves and spicy, hot chicken curry is ready to serve.

Egg Rice

It was almost 1 PM sunday afternoon and I was yet to prepare our lunch because of my hangover from previous night long pager calls. Both of us were very hungry and I wanted to prepare something real quick. I then realized I had nothing but eggs, potato and capsicum (of very smaller quantity) and decided to prepare egg rice. It came out real yummy and we had our lunch by 2 PM.

Preparation Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

1. Egg - 4
2. Onion - 1 medium sized finely chopped
3. Vegetable - 1 cup(100gms) finely chopped
4. Rice - 200 gms
5. Salt - to taste
6. Pepper powder - 1 tablespoon
7. Oil - 2 tablespoon





Preparation:
1. Boil rice and cook it until it is done 3/4th.
2. Heat oil in pan and add finely chopped onions and saute until it is transparent.
3. Add finely chopped vegetables and saute until they are cooked well. You can use any vegetable you prefer but make sure to chop them to cook it faster.
4. Break the eggs and whisk them with little turmeric powder.
5. Pour the eggs into the pan and add required salt and pepper powder and mix them thoroughly.
6. When it is almost done, add the cooked rice and mix it well and cook for next 5 minutes in a low flame.

Hot and quick egg rice is ready to serve. You can serve it with raitha or spicy kurma of your choice.

Tips:
1. You can also prepare this as a simple vegetable rice without eggs.
2. Use Basmathi rice for nice flavor.

Poli (With Channa Dhal/Jaggery)

Poli is a very famous sweet in souther india and also is known as Puran Poli in North. This is a festive season sweet made in almost all houses in TamilNadu and Andhra on their respective new year day. Preparation of this dish is a little time consuming process. I had been always enjoying this delicious sweet at my sweet home for all these years. This is the first time I tried my hands on this tamil new year (April 14,2010) and it turned out yummy!!! I also made the mixed dhal vada along with the sweet and took to office to celebrate the new year and all my colleagues liked it too! 

Ingredients:
1. Channa dhal - 150 gms
2. Jaggery (grated) - 100 gms
3. Maida Flour - 100 gms
4. Oil - 4 tablespoon
5. Salt - to taste
6. Ghee
7. Cardamom - 3
8. Turmeric powder - a pinch



Preparation:

To make the stuffing
1. Soak Channa dhal for 1 to 2 hours and pressure cook it with required water for 4 whistles.
2. After the pressure releases, drain the water from the dhal and grind it to a paste with grated jaggery and cardamom without water. This paste would be in a semi-solid consistency.
3. Heat a pan with strong base and add this paste to the pan. Cook and stir it ocassionally until the wetness goes off and the mixture comes to a solid consistency.
4. Now switch off the stove and bring the mixture to cool.

To make the outer layer

Mix the maida with little salt and turmeric powder. Add little water and knead the dough. Add required oil and knead it without lumps and until it becomes smooth. Once the dough is ready, spread little oil over the dough and keep it aside for atleast 30 minutes.

To make the Poli
In this preparation we need to use either fresh plantain leaves or plastic sheet. Wash it thoroughly in water and wipe it with a clean towel to dry.
It is good to have atleast two leaves/sheets to use alternatively. Wash your hands and get ready to make poli as the remaining preparation needs to be done by hands only.

1. Add 2 to 3 drops of oil in a plantain leaf/plastic sheet and spread it completely. This will help from not sticking the dough to the sheet when you transfer it to the tava.
2. Take a small portion of the kneaded maida dough and make it to a ball shape.
3. Place the ball shaped dough on the sheet and start spreading it with your fingers into a circle of even size.
4. Now make a small ball of the stuffing and place it in the dough and cover it completely with the dough around it.
5. Again spread it with your fingers into a circle of even size. Try to make it as thin as possible.
6. Now heat the tava and when it is hot enough slowly transfer the poli from the plaintain leaf/sheet to the tava without breaking it.
7. Spread 1 tablespoon of ghee around it and allow it to cook. Once it cooks, turn sides and cook it for another 1- 2 minutes.


Hot, tasty and sweety poli is ready to eat. 

Kothamalli Thokku

Ingredients:
1. Coriander Leaves - a bunch
2. Red chillies - 4 (vary according to your spice level)
3. Urud dhal - 3 tablespoon
4. Fenugreek Seeds - 2 teaspoon
5. Coriander seeds - 2 teaspoon
6. Asafoetida - a pinch  
7. Oil - 2 tablespoon
8. Mustard seeds - 2 teaspoon
9. Urud dhal - 1 tablespoon (for seasoning)
10. Salt - to taste




Preparation:
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and fry urud dhal, red chillies, fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds and asafoetida without over burning.
2. Then clean the coriander leaves with water and add it to the pan and fry well until the raw smell goes off.
3. Cool and grind it into coarse paste with required salt. 
4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and season mustard seeds and when it splutters, add the ground paste and mix it well for 2 -3 minutes.
Spicy, tatsy kothamalli thokku is ready to eat. 
This is a very good combination for Idly/dosa and also with white rice.  


Tips:
1. You can add few curry leaves along with coriander to make it tastier.