Friday, July 22, 2011

Aloha sandwich

Alohaaa.... :) That's a Hawaiian word which means Hello or Goodbye... On our way to Hana in Maui, we tasted a dish called the "Aloha sandwich" and really liked it. A few days after coming back home, I tried recollecting the ingredients and here is what became my version of the Aloha sandwich.This is a real quick sandwich recipe for breakfast or an evening snack.

Sandwich bread - 2 slices (I used hamburger buns here but sandwich breads are preferred)
**Refried beans (1/2 cup). Add Schezuan sauce (11/2 Tbsp ), Pepper - (1 tsp).Add Paprika - 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp red chili powder to the refried beans spread.
Veggies - Cucumber slices, lettuce, Alpha alpha sprouts (optional) 
Small fruit chunks - Pineapple, papaya (optional) 
Shredded cheese - 1 Tbsp
Salt  - to taste

 Spread the butter ( 1 tsp)  and  Refried beans spread(1Tbsp for 2 slices)  on the bread slices. Arrange all the veggies and fruit chunks. Put the shredded cheese ( opt.) on it and enjoy the sandwich with ketchup ... Alohaa :)
* If refried beans are not available, you can use boiled and blended black eyed peas and add 1 tsp onion powder, 1 garlic powder and salt to taste.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Thai Panang curry with Tofu / chicken / shrimp

Thailand has developed new strategies to attract tourists including culinary tourism.Unlike many other South Asian countries, Thailand has never been ruled by European nations. Thai cuisine is ancient just like the country's history. Rice is central to Thai cuisine and culture. Banana plantations are seen all over the country and leaves are used to serve the food as well as in the cooking.
The very first time I tried Thai, I tasted panang curry and loved it !!! The taste of Thai food is close to Indian cuisine. This curry is a spicy sauce with a coconutty flavor. While making this dish I chose to get a ready-made red curry paste from a local store. It's easily available in the market. The following Red curry paste recipe is from a book.( if someone wishes to make it fresh !!)  Fresh ingredients always gives best results.

Red curry paste -
10 red chilies ,3 shallots. 4 garlic cloves, 1 inch fresh ginger, 1/2 stalk lemongrass, 1/2 tsp galangal powder,1 tsp coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp caraway or Persian cumin seeds, 3 Tbsp tamarind water, 3 Tbsp fish sauce or soy sauce, juice of half lemon, black pepper to taste. (Source: Everybody's San Francisco cookbook - By Charles Le mos )

 Panang curry ingredients - Cubed Tofu  OR Chicken OR Shrimp ,Cubed veggies (carrots, bell peppers yellow or green, Shallots), Coconut milk (1 can), Red curry paste 2 Tbsp, Sugar 2 tsp, Soy  OR fish sauce ( 1 tsp), Lime juice (2 tsp).

Put oil in a pan and saute red curry paste on oil for 2-3 minutes. Put all veggies and the main ingredient (Tofu /shrimp/chicken). Cook it well for 5-6 minutes. Add 1 can of coconut milk and 100 ml water. Let it boil for a couple of minutes. When its almost ready, add soy sauce and sugar. Serve hot and enjoy with rice.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Ragda - patties

Though elsewhere it is called as aaloo tikki chaat , but we Mumbaikars call it ''Ragda patties''. This is one of the most popular street snack items you will relish across Mumbai. The main ingredients are mashed white peas curry and potato patties. The curry is garnished with a spicy n sweet chutney , nylon sev and cilantro. I had never tried this dish before marriage. But my hubby is the biggest fan of all chaat items so I tried my hand at this dish.

For patties - Boiled and mashed potatoes (4-5) , fresh bread crumbs (1 cup), salt, chopped green chillies and ginger garlic paste (1 tsp). Mix and knead all the ingredients to form round patties and shallow-fry them.

For Ragda ( white -peas curry) - Boiled and mashed white peas,One small onion chopped, ginger-garlic paste, cumin powder (1tsp), coriander powder (1tsp), Chaat masala ( 1tsp),  sweet chutney (1 Tbsp) and  salt. Heat oil in a pan. Put tempering of jeera or cumin seeds (1 tsp). Fry onions and ginger-garlic paste in the oil. Mix all the above ingredients.

For sweet chutney - Soaked dates (10 -12), soaked tamarind (1 Tbsp), chili powder (1/4 tsp), jeera powder (1/4 tsp),sugar (1 Tbsp). Blend all the ingredients to make sweet chutney.

For Spicy chutney - Mint leaves, cilantro leaves, green chillies, ginger (1/2) inch, black salt, Chaat masala  (1 tsp) and lime juice. Blend all the ingredients to make green chutney.

Garnishing - Chopped cilantro, onions, tomatoes and Nylon sev. sweet chutney, spicy chutney

Mix sweet and spicy chutneys with ragda in a plate. Then place the patties. Garnish with above ingredients. and enjoy !!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Aaloo ki sabji

Remembering the days when I was in school and maa  use to pack this for me on a picnic day... wow I still love this aaloo ki sabji with puri and I hardly know anyone who dislikes it. Its' famous all over India But I guess the preparation style is different in every state. This sabji is Maharashtrian style.Usually it is served with puris n amras during Gudipadwa or summer time.
Boiled and Cubed aaloo
Hing ( pinch )
Turmeric ( 1/4 tsp)
curry leaves - 5-6
Green chillies ( 4-5 small ) I like it spicy as there is no other spice to make it spicy.
Ginger - finely chopped 1 tbsp
Garlic - 3- 4 cloves finely chopped.
Cilantro ( chopped )
Mustard seeds ( 1/4 tsp)

Heat oil in the pan and then put mustard seeds,ginger, garlic, curry leaves and hing in the tempering. Fry it well. Then add  cubed n boiled potato, turmeric and salt. Garnish it with cilantro. some people like it little sour, they can add lime juice.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hawaiian food

Aaah...It's been a looong time since my last post..My blog post this time is not related to my own recipes. Its about some great food  I experienced on my Hawaii trip.
Me and my hubby had been to Hawaii last spring.  Hawaii has an ancient Polynesian culture. Most people were farmers, fishermen, hunters who enjoyed a diversity of foods. Their main sources of protein were seafood, chicken and red meat. Nowadays almost every cuisine is available in Hawaii.  

One can find fresh fruits like pineapples, bananas, coconuts, raspberries, strawberries, sugarcane and many more vegetables and nuts. Here are pictures of some dishes and  fresh fruits I liked.


Huli - Huli chicken
Its sweet n tangy. Chicken is marinated with garlic powder, salt, shoyu ( Asian soya sauce) ,Pineapple juice concentrate, Worcestershire sauce, white cooking wine and brown sugar. 

Coconut shrimp with sweet n spicy sauce - This was the award winning recipe of the restaurant. There was live music, and a vibrant hula dance performance on the beach to go along with some awesome seafood !!  The shrimp has tempura with coconut flakes with salt , pepper and a spicy-sweet sauce.

All of us fish lovers out there might have tried fish tacos at some point until now. I have had tried a few here in Texas but the ones me and my hubby tasted off the Hawaiian streets in Maui simply swept me off my feet. We were hanging out at the local fish market in Maui and it was past dinner time. We were starving and someone was kind enough to suggest this place for the best tacos in this area. People were swarming this little mobile restaurant which was a bit uncommon in the otherwise laid back part of town. The tacos had fish as fresh as you could imagine, the hottest and most unique blend of salsas/sauces and sure left a mark in our memories. 

Hana is the most pristine hidden place and Hawaii's treasure. Since it is away from commercialism, tourists have very few food choices. There are many restaurants which provide packed lunches on the way to Hana. We grabbed a crab meat sandwich, a Aloha veggie sandwich, some macaroni salad, chips and Choco chip cookies for the road and trust me, the sandwiches were awesome and had a unique taste !!!
Luau is a traditional festival or more a party .Polynesian cuisine is a melting pot of different cultures from around the world so we encountered many foreign food names we had never heard before !!! 
Mai Tai is a famous beverage served in the Luau. Other beverages like pina colada, Blue Hawaii, lava flow are also popular. Kalua pig or roasted pork, is prepared in the Hawaiian imu or an underground steam oven. Kalua pig is usually
served with sea salt and sometimes green onions.Other dishes like shoyu chicken, chicken long rice, lomilomi salmon, baked /fried mahi mahi, soba noodles are served as entree dishes.
Macadamia Nut Lu'au Cream Pie ,Haupia (sweet coconut cream custard cubes)  ,Pineapple upside down Cake, Bread Pudding were the desserts served. After seven days and several meals there,we returned with luscious memories of Polynesian food !!!  I will try to include some of them in future till then Bbyeee.


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