Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lunch Accompaniments - Snake Gourd Thoran and Carrot Thoran

Our afternoon lunches are incomplete without a vegetable thoran or a stir fry/saute. In the morning, after dropping my son off at summer camp, I was reminded of the snake gourd thoran my mum makes which is usually accompanied with a fish fry or fish curry. It's a sumptuous combination to be had. So instantly stopped to buy the snake gourd and got to making it the way Mummy does. Had some leftover carrots about to rot in my fridge, which also ended up being a thoran too.

Snake Gourd Thoran

Snake Gourd - 300gms cored, de-seeded and finely chopped.
Coconut gratings - 1/4cup
Shallots - 10-12 finely sliced
Garlic - 5-6 pods finely chopped
Turmeric Powder - 1/4tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/4tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1tsp
Green chillies - 2 finely chopped
Curry leaves - a sprig
Egg - 1 beaten
Salt to taste

Into a frying pan, heat some oil, and splutter the mustard seeds, curry leaves and shallots. Once the shallots turn brown, add the chopped garlic, chopped, green chillies and sauté for a minute. Then add the finely chopped gourd sauté the gourd for about 3-4 minutes. Add turmeric and cumin powder and again sauté for about a minute. Then add the coconut gratings, sprinkle in some water, so that the mixture doesn't turn dry.Cover cook on low flame for about 5-7minutes. Add the beaten egg into the mixture give it a good mix and cook for another 2minutes. Add salt to taste.Serve hot with rice.

Carrot Thoran

Carrots - 300gms grated
Coconut gratings - 1/4cup
Shallots - 10-12finely sliced
Garlic - 5-6 finely chopped
Turmeric Powder - 1/4tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/4tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1tsp
Green chillies - 2 finely chopped
Curry Leaves - a sprig
Salt to taste

Into a frying pan, heat some oil. Splutter the mustard seeds, followed by the curry leaves. Brown the shallots, and then add the chopped garlic and chopped chillies and sauté for a minute. Add the grated carrots and sauté for a minute, Then add the turmeric and cumin powder and continue sauteing for another 2minutes. Then add the grated coconut, sprinkle in some water - about a tablespoon or two, cover and cook for approximately 5minutes on low flame. Serve hot.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

100th Post - Lemon Citrus Cheesecake

Its my 100th post...''Wooohhooo".. I'm totally ecstatic and overwhelmed at the fact that I have made it this far. After all the zillion ISD calls to my Mum on the basics,  I feel 'I'm not that bad a cook now'. So thank you Mummy for the constant thunderous verbal admonishing. Thank you Sat and Arun for being the guinea pigs to my every created dish and sometimes to the disastrous ones too. Thank you Jen gurl and BJ for being my everyday tasters to the desserts and bakes I dish out. My all time assistant needs special mention which is my son, for pitching in to help which only results in a messed up kitchen and house. And much to your surprise you just might find my vegetable peeler in his toy box, or an onion peel stuffed into the DVD player.

Speaking of my "My blog", this is something that birthed out of sheer boredom. In my random surfing on the net I have came across images of dishes being plated/ baked/made in the most exquisite and alluring ways possible. And bang on I knew that more than the cooking, its capturing the food through the lens that gives me the absolute pleasure. A new found hobby, and blogging is all about a continuous journey of not only cooking different culinary styles, but experimenting the new, being introduced to the unknown and getting to know amazing blogger friends. An ode to myself for having reached one of the many milestones - Cheers!!

[For the base]
Digestive Biscuits - 150gms crushed
Butter - 2 oz melted

For the filling
Lemon Jelly - 5oz
Cream Cheese - 8oz
Castor Sugar - 4oz
Vanilla Essence - 1/2tsp
Whipping cream - 250ml
Sour cream - 150ml

To garnish
Kiwi - cut into semi roundrels
Strawberries - quartered

Into a large bowl, combine the crushed biscuits and melted butter. Press onto the bottom of a well greased of 8-9 inch spring form pan. Refrigerate to chill while making the filling.
Dissolve the jelly in 150ml of hot water, and leave it cool and set partially. In the meantime, using a hand - mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in vanilla essence. Add the sour cream and beat well. Into another clean bowl beat the whipping cream till stiff and soft peaks are formed. Fold the cheese mixture into the whipped cream. Fold in half-set jelly. Pour over the biscuit base and leave to set in the refrigerator overnight. Once the cheesecake has set, garnish with kiwis and strawberries and serve.

Tip: To procure lemon jelly is what I found difficult, so instead used 2tsps of gelatin dissolved in 4-5tbs of water. Microwave the gelatin mixture for about 5-10 secs till dissolved. Add about 1tsp of lemon essence to the gelatin mixture. Add this to the folded cream cheese mixture and combine well.
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