Wednesday, December 3, 2008

cooking with the clients - a lovely lesson of authentic Indian vegetarian cooking




these are hands that should be insured by Lloyds of London '
as a national treasure!





Venkats spice box (lid had the chilies see below)



Lakshmi explaining the daily spice box


toasting the urad dahl
notice the wooden spoon


Someones in the kitchen with Mama!



Lime Pickle and Kerala Style Coconut Chutney 
- thanks to Lakshmi's careful explainations, Chef Andrew Alexander-Crossan
 was able to reproduce and serve both of these wonderful condiments
 with hors d'oeuvres at Jenn and Venkats Wedding Celebration



an iddly of sorts called KOZHIKEKTTI
Pronounced “Correct – kha – Thai


kala chana salad (which we did replicate for the wedding )





the ghee toasted cashews ready as the finishing touch on the payasam!




Lakshmi explains that you need to constantly stir the payasam
(sort of like risotto in that sense)
and while here we used a wooden spoon,
in India a metal spoon would be the norm!




grinding the pooni rice for the payasam
(with Lakshmi clucking in the background
about how the blenders in India are MUCH better!)







MTR brand fresh (frozen) coconut is preferablble to Swad but both will work
for fresh coconut needed for these recipes


Iddli Rice - not part of this cooking lesson but Venkat and Lakshmi wanted us to see that
there are many types of rice available in Patel Brothers
(which in NYC is our go to choice for Indian and South Asian ingredients)
and choosing the correct one will affect the outcome of the recipe!


The Pooni Raw rice was used in two of the recipes
Lakshmi and Venkat taught us !




toasting the cashews for the payasam in ghee
what a cool truc Venkat has
using the wok spoon as a mini wok!



check it out - we had so much fun (and eating the final product
only added to the enjoyment)!


all hands on deck to make the KOZHIKEKTTI
Pronounced “Correct – kha – Thai

Steamed idly of sorts (incredibly delicious)
Eaten as bread with curry meal

******************************************************


KOZHIKEKTTI from Venkat and Lakshmi
Pronounced “Correct – kha – Thai

Steamed idly of sorts (incredibly delicious)
Eaten as bread with curry meal




INGREDIENTS:

Rice Long Grain Raw Pooni, 2,5 cups or 11.5 oz
Long Grain NOT BASMATI must say Pooni Rice

Coconut Grated Frozen 2.7 oz preferably MTR brand
(set aside ½ of coconut to puree with chopped chile with 1-2 teaspoons of water, and then add to rest)

Asophateda pinch approx half teaspoon or less

Chile green
Curry leaves 2 shredded
Mustard seeds .1 oz
Urad dhal .2 oz
Yellow chana dhal (chickpeas) .3 oz
Salt .3 oz (heaping teaspoon)

PREPARATION:
dry roast rice in frying pan (no ghee). let cool slightly and then coarsely grind,
rice mixture should resemble coarse sand and remain somewhat chunky not completely fine Consistency is that of bread crumbs or sand/kosher salt
1. sautee mustard seed and urad dhal in scant amount of vegetable oil in bigger pot and add asophateda sautee until mustard seeds pop. Stir well
2. when mustard is popping add 4.5 cups of cold water from tap (less than twice the amount of rice)
3. use up to another ½ cup of water to rinse the grinding bowl and add to pot, bringing to boil.
4. slowly add rice and stir constantly with wooden spoon until thick but still pourable It will pull away from bottom of pot when done.
5. Let cool slightly and with hands form egg shaped balls and steam for 10 minutes.
Yield: approximately 30 egg shaped balls ?? we forgot to count too busy eating

Lisas notes:
Do not use basmati rice
Balls should be egg shaped as round balls = funeral food

Do not roast coconut, only roast rice

Amount of liquid varies so err on side of caution


*****************************************************



LIME PICKLE from Venkat and Lakshmi

INGREDIENTS:

Lime
Chili Powder
Asophateda
Tumeric powder
¼ teaspoon Mustard seed
ghee
Salt
Sesame or vegetable oil

PREPARATION:

1) roast mustard seed until they start to pop in either vegetable or sesame oil
2) Mix roasted mustard seeds with pinch of tumeric powder and pinch of asophateda
3) Juice 3 limes and mix with 2 oz of chili powder (preferably from Indian store as paprika gives different effect)
4) Add salt to taste – approx 1 teaspoon
5) Add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil (more traditional in southern India – mustard oil used in northern India) or can sub regular vegetable oil

Source: Venkat Shesan and mom Lakshmi

Yield: approximately ¼ cup or less (enough for one meal for 6 people)


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SOUTHERN INDIAN COCONUT CHUTNEY from Venkat and Lakshmi (D)

INGREDIENTS:

Coconut Grated Frozen 4 oz preferably MTR brand
Jalapeno Fresh 1 (if very spicy jalapeno then deseed)
Yogurt up to ½ cup
Asophateda pinch
Ginger, fresh & peeled generous 1 inch
Salt
Mustard seeds
Urad dhal
Curry leaves 4
ghee
Cilantro fresh a few leaves at end

PREPARATION:

1. roast mustard seed and urad dhal until they start to pop along with a few shreds of curry leaf (use vegetable or sesame oil) set aside
2. in food processor blend coconut, jalapeno, ginger, asophateda until fairly smooth add yogurt and add up to 4 oz of water as needed
3. Mix roasted mustard seeds (etc) with above mixture
4. add a few cilantro leaves processed with some coconut

Source: Venkat Shesan and mom Lakshmi

Yield: approximately 1 cup or less (enough for one meal for 6 people)

Lisas notes:
Fresh fronzen shredcded firm (not young) coconut – would have dark brown shell

In India would normally use green chile (bird chile) but jalapeno is a good substitute here in USA could also use serrano chile

Mustard seed with urad dahl is used as garnish (but also adds a lot of flavor)
Urad dal Рblack skinned (saut̩ed in ghee with mustard seeds and the curry leaves really pops the flavor of the whole chutney)

Chana dhal toasted and ground up chickpea can be added as filler.
If you use the chana dhal (chickpeas) then eliminate the ginger

Touch (just a few leaves) of cilantro (or fresh coriander for the brits) at end

Optional add yogurt or buttermilk at end to thin out. Homemade yogurt is best of course!
SOUTHERN INDIAN COCONUT CHUTNEY from Venkat and Lakshmi (D)


Lisas notes:
Fresh fronzen shredcded firm (not young) coconut – would have dark brown shell

In India would normally use green chile (bird chile) but jalapeno is a good substitute here in USA could also use serrano chile

Mustard seed with urad dahl is used as garnish (but also adds a lot of flavor)
Urad dal Рblack skinned (saut̩ed in ghee with mustard seeds and the curry leaves really pops the flavor of the whole chutney)

Chana dhal toasted and ground up chickpea can be added as filler.
If you use the chana dhal (chickpeas) then eliminate the ginger

Touch (just a few leaves) of cilantro (or fresh coriander for the brits) at end

Optional add yogurt or buttermilk at end to thin out. Homemade yogurt is best of course!

******************************************************
PAYASAM rice pudding from Venkat and Lakshmi (D)






INGREDIENTS:

Pooni Rice Raw, 3 oz
Long Grain NOT BASMATI must say Pooni Rice
Coconut Grated Frozen 2.5 oz preferably MTR brand
Jaggery 4.5 oz
cardamom , ground dried pinch
Milk 1 cup
Ghee few Tablespoons
Cashews 6-8 pieces

PREPARATION:

1. Roast rice in ghee so that it becomes a bit nutty (not just coating the rice with ghee.and then let cool
2. ten mix with coconut and grind together, the coconut helps with the moisture but you can also add 2 T of water to moisten and start processing., keep adding water until grinding is easy and looks like whipped cream and is smooth
3. melt jaggery in saucepan that you will be cooking mixture in eventually,
4. make sure there is enough water to cover jaggery
5. add rice/coconut mixture to melted jaggery and keep stirring until fully cooked
6. wash out grinder with a bit of water and add to mixture (waste not want not)
7. add one cup of milk to pot and keep stirring constantly with wooden spoon
8. cook about 6 – 8 cashews in ghee and stir into cooked rice pudding as finishing touch
9. add cardamom when cooking is done, just a flavoring agent, dust on top
Yield: approximately 3-4 cups

Lisas notes:
Do not use basmati rice

Do not roast coconut, only roast rice

Amount of liquid varies so err on side of caution






Life is a journey
Make it a delicious one!




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