c

Chowshok's Profile

Title Last Reply

Next year will be different: Thanksgiving

Mix some sauteed onions and a couple cans of drained tuna fish, make patties. Its so Yummy, even kids like it...

Dec 04, 2014
Chowshok in Home Cooking

CHICKEN CURRY! Home Cooking Dish of the Month (November 2014)

Unfortunately, if the curry leaves are not dried properly, they are really not even worth considered to be substitute to the fresh leaves. We get air-tight plastic satchets/packets of fresh curry leaves in our local Indian store. Depending on how long the leaves have been sealed in those packets, there is some moisture content in them. We usually cut open the packet, remove the leaves, dry them and the packet with a paper towel, put the leaves back in the packet and stick it in our egg shelf of our refrigerator, with its open end upright. This way the leaves dry slowly without loosing much color or flavor. But if we do not open/dry the packets as soon as we get them from the store, the leaves become darker and darker in color - which is IMO decayed leaves.

WE have also toasted the leaves by spreading them evenly on a baking pan and in a hot oven for 5-10 minutes. Crush the toasted leaves and use them like you would dried basil or oregano or other herbs, but for recipes which call for curry leaves.

Nov 04, 2014
Chowshok in Home Cooking

CHICKEN CURRY! Home Cooking Dish of the Month (November 2014)

What a coincidence. I made Chettinad Chicken too over the weekend by following the recipe found at this link http://vahrevah.com/pepper-chicken-ch...

Mustard & Cumin seeds are added to hot oil in a dutch oven. When they start to sputter, chopped onions, curry leaves, salt to taste are added and sauteed for 4-5 minutes. Instead of adding the whole bayleaves/ cinnamon/ cardamom/cloves as suggested, I ground them finely in a coffee grinder and added the ground powder along with the onions. Chopped green chillies, turmeric and ginger garlic paste are added and cooked for a few minutes, followed by finely diced tomatoes, red chilli (cayene) powder, coriander powder. The mixture is stirred well and allowed to cook till the oil oozes out. Chicken pieces are added and mixed well with the masala. The Dutch oven is covered, heat reduced and the pot is allowed to cook for 10 to 15 minutes, till the chicken is cooked through. Some crushed black pepper is mixed in with the curry at this stage and then chopped cilantro is sprinkled as garnish. I added approx. 14oz of chicken broth to the cooked curry to allow us to dunk some crusty bread into the curry.
This is such a great spicy Chicken curry. The addition of mustard seeds & curry leaves along with the simple garam masala makes it so unique.

Nov 04, 2014
Chowshok in Home Cooking

What's in your slow cooker today

Dry Lamb Roast
I mixed thoroughly 1.5 lbs of lamb shoulders with S&P, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1T white vinegar, 1 tsp of red chilly powder, 1tsp each of ginger, garlic & green chilly pastes, 1tsp of Shaan biryani masala, a handful of fried onion slices (all got from an Indian store), 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves & mint leaves. Spread a tsp of oil & ghee each on the base and sides of the SC ceramic insert and transferred the lamb into it. Surrounded the meat with a skinned & cubed potato and coarsely chopped onion and set the SC on low all night. Next morning I added two finely chopped tomatoes and let it cook for another 30 minutes (I like the tomatoes just warmed in my dishes). Sprinkled some more chopped cilantro and squeezed some lime juice and ate it with white rice.
The meat was so succulent and the resulting curry was cooked perfectly. A little dry, but mixed with the rice, it tasted like Biryani. It is so goood!! Yum!!

Jun 04, 2014
Chowshok in Home Cooking
1

Lobster ravioli sauce

Wow!! Such great ideas for the sauce. The SO found this at BJ's last week. We just added a cup of vodka sauce to the ravioli, it tasted blah!! I should have known better and checked out chow for these great ideas. Next time she gets it, we'll definately try out one of these sauces.

May 13, 2014
Chowshok in Home Cooking

What's in your slow cooker today

Thanks all :-) I just borrowed the idea from Indian Simmer blog. Here's the link:

http://www.indiansimmer.com/2013/01/h...

May 13, 2014
Chowshok in Home Cooking

What's in your slow cooker today

I just use a dedicated strainer lined with a cheese cloth, while the Ghee is still warm. :-)

May 01, 2014
Chowshok in Home Cooking

What's in your slow cooker today

Last night had two SC's going on at the same time. One to make Chicken Broth - with neck, wings, spine bone, etc. that were to be discarded from a whole chicken, with some onion, carrots, garlic, a tsp whole black pepper, a cinnamon stick, a bay leaf, a handful of cilantro stems. Sauteed everything in a tsp of Olive Oil, seasoned w/ S&P and transferred into the SC. Filled it to the brim with (about 6 cups) of water, cooked on high for an hour, then on low all night. The house smells great!!

In another SC, dumped 2 lbs of butter sticks and let her rip on high for 3 hours. I had the lid cracked open a little to let the vapor escape. Had beautiful golden, nutty flavored Ghee at the end, with all the browned milk solids settled at the base. My mother will be proud for such an awesome ghee without any effort or baby sitting it :-)

May 01, 2014
Chowshok in Home Cooking

What's in your slow cooker today

Thanks for the great idea foodieX2. I did my caramelized onions using my SC too. It is fantastic. I blended half of it into a fine paste & froze it. Every now and then I add a couple tablespoons of this paste to recipes that call for caramelized onions, to achieve that additional depth of flavor.

Apr 25, 2014
Chowshok in Home Cooking
1

What's in your slow cooker today

Don't know what to call the dish, but since i used chicken sausages, italian spice blend & portobello mushroom-cheese tortillenes, I will probably say its a recipe that closely resembles the minestrone soup.
Browned 6-8 chicken sausages (flavoured with cheese & peppers) in some olive oil, transferred them to the SC. Sauteed a sliced onion w/ 3 cloves of smashed garlic, 1 cup chopped carrots, and seasoned w/ s&p, red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp crushed fennell seeds, 1tsp mccormick's italian spice blend. Transferred the whole mess into the SC, washed down the skillet with a couple cups of water which went in to the SC as well. Also added a 14oz can of rinsed northern beans. Set the SC at high for 2 hours. In the last half hour, stirred in 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, 1 cup chopped spinach and the tortillenes. Instead of tomato paste, i added a couple tablespoons of caramalized onion paste. I also added a couple spalshes of worchestershire sauce.
When served in a bowl, I added a splash of lime juice, some more red pepper flakes and some crumbled feta cheese.. It was so yummy and filled us up.

Apr 25, 2014
Chowshok in Home Cooking
1

Cooking with whole spices

We leave the whole spices in the final dish too. Biting into a Cardamom pod or a clove is surely unpleasant, but in addition to their mouth/palate cleansing abilities, they both have great medicinal properties, aiding in antiseptic and digestive processes in the body. Biting into a clove actually helps those with tooth or gum aches.
However, as our two toddlers are fed the same spicy food that we eat (yeah we started them young, and sometimes the dish is mixed with some yoghurt to cut the edge off), and to avoid them choking on the whole spices, I reduce the amount of cardamom and cloves by a quarter (if the recipe says 4, I add 3) and powder them in the coffee grinder and use it, as I would the whole spices.

Hope this helps :-)

Mar 20, 2014
Chowshok in Home Cooking

Truly Mexican: Essential Recipes and Techniques for Authentic Mexican Cooking by Roberto Santibanez

I know its a very late reply Mexijo, but no, I have not tried anything yet, except maybe a Salsa. These past 8-9 months have been excruciatingly challenging with a sick mother overseas, loosing two of my father's siblings in a span of 3 months, along with extreme work challenges and studying for an exam. Cooking has been pushed to back burner. Hopefully will get to the book in a month's time. There is a lot of good info on this thread, which provides good starting points.
Thank you all for your lovely inputs.

Mar 14, 2014
Chowshok in Home Cooking

What's in your slow cooker today

Adopt the recipe for a smaller quantity and to cook on Stovetop and then compare the results. If you like it, then maybe the PB is getting overcooked in the SC. Solution for that is to add the PB almost at the end of cooking in SC, probably during the last 30 minutes or so. Also try adding some heat (as in red pepper flakes or sriracha or chilli garlic sauce) if kids are Ok to eat it. That might also boost the rest of the flavor.
We are not fans of PB, other than on a sandwich with jelly. Otherwise would have loved to try it out. :-) Good lUck!

Feb 11, 2014
Chowshok in Home Cooking

What's in your slow cooker today

No fldhkbnva, I have not tried it yet. Skimming through the recipe, I just realised that IMHO it might not be an authentic vindaloo recipe (adding vinegar and mustard seeds to a bunch of other ingredients does not make it vindaloo) that I am used to. Plus addition of a generic curry powder, tomato sauce(?), and parsley didnt seem right. Its probably just a recipe for a dish similar to a korma! Also breast meat in SC just mushes it up. I would use bone-in thigh pieces for the said amount of time in the SC.
I normally use the recipe on stove-top at this link :
http://www.aayisrecipes.com/nonveg/ch...

I am thinking of adopting this recipe to the SC cooking method mentioned in the link you provided.
Some other links for good Pork (which is a very good candidate for SC cooking) Vindaloo :

http://maunikagowardhan.co.uk/curry/c...

http://blog.sigsiv.com/2010/09/goan-p...

Note: These two recipes are fiery hot! Please adjust the chilli peppers and black pepper according to your taste buds :-

)

Enjoy!!

Feb 04, 2014
Chowshok in Home Cooking

What's in your slow cooker today

Thanks

Jan 31, 2014
Chowshok in Home Cooking

What's in your slow cooker today

Can you share the recipe & method please? Thanks

Jan 30, 2014
Chowshok in Home Cooking

What's in your slow cooker today

Tried this Chipotle Chicken Tacos again this past weekend. This time tried with the frozen raw skinless-boneless Thighs, straight out of the freezer. Added 1/2 jar tomato salsa, 2tbsp Chipotle Chilly in Adobe sauce, 2 tbsp Chilli pwdr and couple shakes of cayene pepper, s&p. Did not add any broth. Dumped everything in the SC, cooked on high for 4 hours.
The meat was so tender, & moist. We ate it wrapped in Cabbage leaves that were softened in boiling water for a minute. Also had guacamole and salsa in the wrap. So yummy!! Never get tired of this recipe

Jan 27, 2014
Chowshok in Home Cooking

Why do my slow cooker recipes always taste bad?

+1 on User Error rather than the appliance fault :-)

Jan 23, 2014
Chowshok in Home Cooking

One Spice Two Spices - Cookbook by Floyd Cardoz

Thanks Ladyberd, sorry just saw your post. I did buy the book eventually and loving it!! I also happened to peek into your blog. Lovely recipes. Will definately try some of them.

Jan 15, 2014
Chowshok in Home Cooking

Does anyone have a recipe that is close to Chic Fil A's Spicy Chicken?

Tried this recipe again last night and it was really great. My family loved it!! This time I followed a combination of the recipes posted in both the links provided by Arebe & Anitlope (Thanks so much guys). I brined the chicken in the pickle juice & made the sauce per liftlovelife link and the rest per the seriouseats link.

We are currently on a Low-Carb diet, so instead of the flour, I used coarsely powdered walnuts. The Walnut chunks provided a great crust and the taste was so authentic. After the chicken was cooked, we chopped it up, mixed it with veggie salad along with the sauce and voila, we had Chic Fil A's Cobb Salad for dinner!! Seriously Good Eats!

Jan 15, 2014
Chowshok in Home Cooking

Braised Meats - Home Cooking Dish of the Month for November 2013

Braised Lamb Shanks in Fennel & Cumin Broth from 660 Curries, pg 186.
This recipe interested me as in the Tip section, the author suggests it is ideal for slow cooker although I ended up cooking it on stove top.
Started with marinating a couple lbs of lamb in yoghurt, ginger, garlic pastes, cayenne, salt & turmeric for a few hours. Heated 2 tbspns (1/4 cup seemed too much) mustard oil and browned the meat for 8-9 minutes, reduced heat, added marinate and cooked further till oil separates. The lamb is removed from the pan, onions added & sautéed in the same pan till soft. Spice blend of coarsely ground fennel, cumin, black cumin, star anise and ground ginger is added. Couple cups of water is added to deglaze the pan. Lamb is returned to the pan. After a boil, the heat is lowered, the lamb is covered with the onion mixture, the pan covered and braised for couple hours, by which time the lamb was tender and falling off the bone. I skipped adding the tbspn of rice flour to thicken the sauce, as I thought it was already perfect consistency to me. I then garnished the lamb with finely chopped mint & cilantro.
The dish was perfect with chapattis as well as rice. so Yum and perfect for this chill weather.

Nov 24, 2013
Chowshok in Home Cooking

South Indian food help...Dosas!

No. We use the Morton brand.

Nov 12, 2013
Chowshok in Home Cooking

South Indian food help...Dosas!

1:2 ratio for urad daal to rice with methi seeds (fenugreek) is perfect. Hope you are having wonderful results with your Dosa Batter/Dosa experience.
Adding Chana daal provides the Dosa a unique flavor. 1/4 cup chana daal or toor daal enhances flavor of the dosa, especially if you are making "Masala Dosa" - the one layered with dry and wet chutneys before being stuffed with the potato subji. Dont change the amount of rice.
I add a couple heaped tblspns of both chana and toor daals and also 1/4 cup of soaked and squeezed thick poha while grinding to make the dosa fluffier and crispier.
Warm your oven at the lowest setting for 10 minutes. Turn it off. After the batter is ground, add salt and stir it properly to mix. Cover the container loosely with a lid and keep it in the oven overnight. If the batter is swollen to two times the volume, its perfect. This trick never fails, regardless of whicseason you are in. :-)
Although luckyfatima is right that the batter will keep fermenting as the days progress, if kept in the fridge covered with a tight lid, it will be fine. We make a big batch of dosa batter during the weekend and end up eating dosa's for 3-4 breakfasts.

Nov 12, 2013
Chowshok in Home Cooking

tumeric root uses?

Sow the root and harvest the leaves. Sun/Oven dry or even freeze the leaves. Add these leaves (one or two at a time) for coconut based - fish or bean curries. Takes the aroma and taste of the curries to whole another level.

For example try this curry with one leaf http://www.aayisrecipes.com/nonveg/fi...

Try it and thank me later :-)

Nov 12, 2013
Chowshok in Home Cooking

Healthy, easy slow cooker recipies?

@boogiebaby, that sounds so yum!! Have not done this onion mixture "tarka" to my dals before. I will try this one, for sure.
@whitneybee: I have slow cooked dals before. Since it does not matter how much dal you can slow cook, I usually cook a big batch (enough for 2 to 3 different dals or sambhar or rasam) and freeze in portions. Typically I add 1/2tsp fenugreek seeds, 1/2tsp cumin seeds and sometimes 1 or 2 serrano chilli to a pot of dal while its cooking. I usually do the "tarka" after the dal is cooked, just before eating dinner.
my different tarka's are:
1.Oil (coconut), a tsp mustard seeds, 1 or 2 dry red chillies, 1/3tsp turmeric
2. same as 1. + 4-5 curry leaves
3. same as 1. + a pinch of hing (asfoetida)
4. Oil, red chilli flakes, garlic
5. same as 1. + 4-5 cloves garlic, a tsp of julienned ginger, 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, 2-3 tbsp of chopped cilantro.

a squeeze of lime/lemon will just enhance the taste of the dal, regardless which of the above tarkas are added. Enjoy!!

Sep 25, 2013
Chowshok in Home Cooking

Impulse buy - methi leaf - what to do with it?

Go to any Indian Store near you, you should be able to find the fresh Methi leaves in the Veggie Section, the dried leaves (usually called Kasoori or Qasoori Methi) and the seeds (look for Methi or Fenugreek seeds) in the Spice aisle. All three forms of the Methi in one store :-)

BTW: Fresh Methi Murgh is so delicious. Guess I'll be making that tonite ;-)

Sep 24, 2013
Chowshok in Home Cooking

What is your Favourite Indian Dish?

Mutton or Chicken Biryani!! Absolutely!!

Sep 16, 2013
Chowshok in General Topics

Mackerel (Holy and otherwise)

Here’s a Fish Curry that is very popular in the Konkan Belt (West Coast) of India, where the Indian Mackerel is one of the cheapest and abundantly available fish. There are variations, of course, of the dish, but here’s how I do it. This curry can be adapted to any fish (I often use Tilapia filets here in US) and it still tastes yummy!

Clean the guts n gills n fins/tails of the fish. Be sure to remove the black lining in stomach cavity, which seems to add a bitter taste to the dish. No filets for the Mackerel please, just cut it in to 3-4 steaks. Use the head in the curry too, it just adds flavor. Add ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp turmeric powder to the cleaned pieces and marinate for about ½ hour.

Meanwhile grind together 1 tsp of coriander seeds, 1 cup of grated coconut, 3-4 red dry chilly peppers (more or less per your taste), 2 tsp tamarind paste, 1” chopped piece of fresh ginger into a smooth paste, by adding just enough water. Heat 2 tsp Coconut (or any other) oil, fry a finely chopped onion on low heat. Add 1 tsp of finely diced ginger and 2-3 green chilli peppers (slit into two pieces) and fry for another minute. Add the ground coconut paste, mix and cook for another minute. Add ½ cup of water and bring the curry to a boil. Slowly add the fish pieces and simmer for another 5-6 minutes till the fish is cooked through. Adjust salt to taste and serve with warm cooked rice.

Be careful with the bones of the fish while eating, but since I do not eat fish with spoon or fork , I can feel the bones with my fingers, before the fish goes into my mouth ;-) Thats just a more fun way to enjoy fish curry, in my opinion.

I know at least 2 other fish curries made with Mackerel that my family loves, but they need some very local-to-konkan belt ingredients. There are several fish fry recipes too.

Sep 13, 2013
Chowshok in Home Cooking

Matta Rice (aka Rose Matta, Kerala Red Rice, Kerala Matta Rice) Help. How to cook it?

Check this link for two methods of cooking this rice:

http://kitchenmishmash.blogspot.ca/20...

Here is another link, where the blogger is making rice porridge (called Kanji) using the Rose Matta rice:

http://kitchenmishmash.blogspot.ca/20...

hope these links are useful. In short, on the stove top, the rice needs to be boiled in excess water (just like pasta) till done and water drained off.

Aug 21, 2013
Chowshok in Home Cooking

Truly Mexican: Essential Recipes and Techniques for Authentic Mexican Cooking by Roberto Santibanez

Thanks for the clarification paulj. Will definately try the recipes out!

Jul 03, 2013
Chowshok in Home Cooking