Delicious World of Chefette Spicy

formerly Ladles and High Heels


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Coconutty Egg Korma

I have plans for you this weekend: you are going to make this flavorful egg Korma with coconut milk for dinner. It will pair well with rice, Naan, grits, pita bread, lavash, quinoa or any other bread/grain you can think of! It is crazy good and made me wonder what I had in me to make this out of the blue. I mean, I am bad at making things up as I cook.
Coconutty Egg KormaGrowing up, I’ve had my share of tasty egg Kormas. If I’ve already told you this story, please forgive me for repeating, because my parents’ egg Korma deserves unlimited mentions! I also have very happy memories associated with this dish because egg for dinner always meant we were all alone at home, with no extended family for company. In a household that used to frown upon cooking egg in the kitchen with normal everyday utensils, family time with Roti and egg Korma was a luxury we would always look forward to.

Fast-forward to slightly grown up days, I remember gobbling up hot egg Biriyani with Jan and my favorite cousin, S, in dimly-lit restaurants that specialized in Biriyani from everywhich state. Oh, the taste. Of warm rice induced with every Indian spice imaginable. The succulent grains of Basmati coated with the Masala and fresh cilantro, oh heaven!  I had eggs, coconut milk and other things in my pantry that could make super yummy food. So I made up my own recipe and this is what I ended up with-Coconutty Egg Korma2Coconutty Egg Korma

Ingredients:
Four eggs, boiled, skins peeled and halved

One big purple onion, finely sliced

Two big tomatoes, diced

Half a can coconut milk

One Tbsp ginger-garlic paste

Two Thai green chilies

One Tbsp Dania-Jeera/Coriander-Cumin Powder

One tsp turmeric powder

One tsp cayenne pepper powder

Salt

To temper-
One tsp mustard seeds

One sprig curry leaves (optional)

Quarter bunch cilantro finely chopped

Two Tbsp cooking oil

Method:
Heat the oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and let it pop. Add the curry leaves and the sliced onions and saute on medium flame. When slightly brown, add the ginger garlic paste, chilies and tomato. Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for five minutes on medium-low.

When the tomato turns mushy, add the Dania-Jeera powder, turmeric powder, cayenne pepper powder and salt. Let is cook for a few minutes, then add the coconut milk and one cup of water. Bring it to boil and switch it off. Don’t let the gravy boil for too long, it will change the taste of the coconut milk. The curry will thicken when you add the halved boiled eggs. Garnish with cilantro.

I think S will dig this gravy. I just have to find a way to make it and sneak it to her when I visit home this time…


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Remembering Brunch and Looking Back

breakfast textIt was the most successful brunch I’ve ever made. A non-descriptive Sunday, fall time and I decided to make brunch to pick things up around the house. I have to admit that the cream cheese-Vanilla danish was not the best. I tried to imitate the creamy danish we buy sometimes from Costco. But my end product was slightly dry and lacked the shiny top. I was slightly disappointed but decided to store it up as an opportunity to perfect in the future. ¬†Vanilla-chocolate parfait, a bowl of yummy fresh strawberries (the last of the bounty for the season I snatched off the grocer’s shelf) and the star of the show, breakfast pizza with an egg on top and seasoned with green onions, corn and Sriracha.

This is certainly my happy place, a morning I would like to remember especially on a cold cold day like today was. With Aarabhi’s three-month old feet tapping the floor, Amma’s ever helpful hands rearranging the table for me and K patiently indulging my requests for closing and opening the patio door, I would call this one of my best shoots for the year!

So we are nearly there, the Christmas season and the end of the year. While brimming with excitement about the holiday season, I also feel a touch of melancholy brought on by the end of the year. But I am tuning all that away by making blog plans for next year. A lot is going to happen on here, beginning with a domain address change. Yes, my renewal is up and I am bidding ladlesandhighheels a final good-bye and migrating to the all new chefette spicy! I am also working on a new banner and other exciting stuff. The reveal will happen in 2014 so stay with me.

And finally, about the 100 likes on the facebook page. To keep up with the spirit of Christmas, I did a free cookie promo yesterday and invited a bunch of friends to like the page. We are 104 strong and counting! We have a winner she has picked a friend to send the cookies to. Overall, not a bad end of the year for Chefette Spicy!
christmas treeThe tree is decked up, the gifts are packed. I will certainly do a post before the year ends but if mid-December is here, it is never too early to wish y’all a Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays, people! Let there be peace on Earth.

 


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Making Time for a New, Albeit Random Post

Sigh, it is like a jinx. People asked me how I had time to cook when I had a baby to take care of. And then grad school began. It has been grueling to say the least. For the past one week, I’ve been at my computer, trying to edit (not very appealing) pics I clicked in a hurry. All I can say is thankfully I don’t make money off this blog for one look at the pics and my investors and readers would have gone “Whaaaaat!?!”

On the bright side, weekend is *finally* here and I am looking forward to a couple of interesting blog posts. One of them, a first time recipe and the rest are going to be recreated recipes from the blog. I swear I will take good pictures and share ’em. Happy Friday, y’all!
pongalThis here was last Saturday’s breakfast, Pongal, a wonderful South Indian dish that we love like American South loves its grits. It is filled with protein from Moong Dal, carbs from rice, wonderful flavors like whole pepper seeds, cumin seeds, cashew nuts, curry leaves and finished with a generous amount of browned butter/clarified butter. We eat it with different kinds of chutneys. Um, not the west’s version of a sweet and sour concoction but a spicy side that we make with coconut.

puffInspired by my Germany livin’ bro-in-law, I made egg puff for snack last weekend. He makes it all the time but this was my first. It was also the first time I worked with puff pastry (can ya imagine!). Puff is a quintessential bakery product in India and almost all of us have a favorite bakery which makes puff exactly how we like it. They come in a wide variety, ranging from vegetable filled puffs to ones stuffed with meat. Being a dedicated eggetarian, I love the egg puff from the bakery around the corner from our house. Although it is going to take some time to perfect the art of puff-making, this came out rather wonderfully for a first try.

A typical Indian bakery shelf with a whole range of baked goodies.

A typical Indian bakery shelf with a whole range of baked goodies.

egg spinach rollI came across spinach and herbs flavored tortillas last week at my grocery store, found it pretty interesting and decided to give it a try. Verdict: I’ll skip it the next time and buy my usual low-carb pack. For one, I hated the texture. It was slightly rubbery and became gooey when I stuffed it with the egg salad with croutons and Cesar dressing (on a bed of lettuce, topped with chipotle sauce). Not a pleasant taste but fortunately the salad made up for it.


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Sunday is for Biriyani

I cannot believe this is my first post on Biriyani! It is my all-time favorite dish and can eat it everyday if I had to. Thankfully, this world is big enough for more than hundred versions of Biriyani recipes and this one is from one of my best friends, A. It has a wonderful flavor and the spices can be adjusted according to how you want it to taste. This recipe was for Chicken Biriyani but since we are all non-meat eaters at home, I converted it into a very tasty egg biriyani. And boy! It sure doesn’t disappoint.

The vegetables you add could range from frozen vegetables in a bag or freshly cut ones. You can add mushrooms or Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) also to make it more interesting. But really, even without vegetables other than onion and tomato, this is an awesome dish and one I keep going back to!

Here is how I made it:

Spicy Egg Biriyani

Ingredients
One huge onion, chopped

Two Roma tomatoes, chopped

One cup mixed vegetables (if using)

Four pods of garlic, grated

One inch piece ginger, grated

Four Thai red chilies

One tsp turmeric powder

Half tsp cayenne pepper (this can be omitted or the quantity can be reduced)

One and a half tsp Garam Masala ( reduce if you hate a strong Masala taste)

Two tsp salt

Half a bunch cilantro

Half a bunch mint leaves

A generous pinch dry fenugreek leaves/Kasuri Methi (You could buy this in the Indian store or just omit it. But it does add a wonderful taste that cannot be replaced with anything else)

Spices-
A two inches stick of cinnamon

Two pods of cardamom

Two pieces of cloves

One bay leaf

Four Tbsp vegetable oil (or replace two with butter for extra flavor

One and a quarter cups Basmati rice

Two and a half cups water

Four hard-boiled eggs

Method
Before you start cooking, soak the rice in some water. In a dutch pan or a heavy bottom pan, heat the oil/butter. Reduce the heat to medium, add the spices to the pan and fry lightly. When the fragrance of the spices fills your kitchen, add the onion, ginger, garlic and chilis. Saute for a few minutes and add the tomatoes. This is when you add your other vegetables too if you are using. That includes mushrooms. If using Paneer, add it after the biriyani is completely done. Now mix in the turmeric, cayenne, salt and Garam Masala. While the vegetables cook, drain the rice and add it to the pan. Fry for a few minutes until the water is all absorbed. When done, add the cilantro, mint and Fenugreek leaves.

Pour in the water, give it a swish and check for salt. If it is spicier for your taste, don’t worry. The rice will absorb it as it cooks. Now close 90% of the pan with a lid and let it cook for seven minutes. The rice will be half cooked by then. Give it a gentle toss, replace the lid and turn the heat to low. Cook it for roughly eight more minutes, until the water is all absorbed and the rice and vegetables are cooked. You can add the Paneer now. The South Indian Biriyani is never too flaky. It is a little lumpy but not mushy.

Serve hot with Raita and the egg. Yumm!