Sunday, July 23, 2017

Baked Pearl Spot Fish in Kerala Spices/ Baked Karimeen pollichathu/ Meen pollichathu

Baked fish or karimeen pollichathu is a traditional Kerala delicacy which I would love to eat in restaurants in Kerala. This is my all time favorite, which is available in different shapes, varieties, and sizes in different restaurants. We can make these at home, but whenever we get this pearl spot fish, we will end up making a Kerala curry or fry. Rarely we will do this pollichathu on special occasions.

Keralites love for fish is well known. Meen pollichathu is one classic dish which will be loved by all and this one is made using a fish which is called as “karimeen” or “pearl spot fish”. We can make this pollichathu with other varieties of fish but this pearl spot tastes delicious for this type of preparation.

“Karimeen” is the name of the fish and “pollichathu” means burnt or fried. It’s been 2 years since we ate this pearl spot fish. Here in the US, very rarely we can see any pearl spot fish in frozen section.We will get all other varieties of fishes in the Indian store, but this time luckily we got it and the first thing that came to my mind is to make this dish, which we didn’t have for 2 long years.

In this “ meen pollichathu” fish is first fried and then wrapped in foil along with the onion masala and baked till done. Instead of baking, we can roast on a pan. We can directly roast the fish without frying as I did in my earlier post of karimeen pollichathu.
Traditionally the fish is wrapped in banana leaf and then fried. The banana leaf gives a unique flavor to the fish which penetrates into the fish and the aroma of the banana leaf is divine which makes the dish more appetizing and mouth watering. Here as it is difficult to find a banana leaf, I used aluminum foil. Try this out and let me know.

  1. Pearl Spot Fish- 4 nos
To Fry:
  1. Red Chilli Powder- 4 tbsp
  2. Turmeric Powder- 2 tsp
  3. Salt- as required
  4. Ginger and Garlic Paste- 1 tbsp
  5. Oil- 2 tbsp
For Gravy:
  1. Onions (chopped)- 2 nos
  2. Tomatoes (chopped)- 3 nos
  3. Lemon Juice- 1 tbsp
  4. Curry Leaves- few
  5. Pepper powder- 1 tbsp
  6. Oil- 1 tsp

  1. Clean, wash and pat dry the pearl spot fish well. Make slits on both the sides of the fish. Keep this aside.
  2. Mix the red chili powder, turmeric powder, ginger- garlic paste, and salt, by adding a little water. Smear this masala paste on the pat dried fish and keep this aside for 30 minutes.
  3. Shallow fry the fish in 2 tbsp of oil just for about 5- 7 minutes on flipping both the sides and drain them on a kitchen towel.
  4. Meanwhile, for the gravy, heat oil in a pan, add the chopped onions and stir fry till it becomes translucent.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes, when they turn mushy, add the lemon juice and the above made remaining masala paste. Stir well till everything gets combined well.
  6. Add the curry leaves along with pepper powder and salt. Mix and switch off the flame.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Take an aluminum foil to wrap the fish. Place 2 tbsp of the above-made gravy in the middle of the foil, place the fried fish on the gravy and place another 2 tbsp of the gravy on top of the fish, Place a lemon wedge on top and wrap the fish using foil.
  9. Repeat with the remaining fried fish and bake for about 20- 25 minutes on a baking tray. Enjoy with hot steaming rice.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Whole Wheat Pasta with Roasted Pepper and Chicken Sausage

One of the best things to have a food blog is that I get a chance to try different varieties of dishes so that I can feed my blog. This is one of the recipes which I was thinking to make for so long, as I was not sure about broiling. One day I tried and this is the result.

Broiled Bell Pepper
Pasta is one of the most preferred dinners on any day in my house. My kids, even the small one, love the pasta made in any sauce. They love Mac and Cheese a lot. So I make sure that they get all the healthy nutrients by adding lots of veggies. By adding different varieties of cheese and herbs, we can make the pasta more delicious and flavorful.

In this recipe, I broiled the bell peppers till it becomes soft and the skin came out easily. We can also roast these bell peppers on the stove top. These freshly roasted peppers will give the pasta a nice smoky taste. I have mixed both penne and fusilli pasta. We can also add cooked chicken pieces instead of sausage. As my kids love to eat the small round discs of sausage I add them a lot. This recipe takes less time to prepare and can be enjoyed by all.

Here I have added the chopped garlic at first so that the garlic flavor is infused in the oil and the pasta will be full of flavor. Hope you all like this. Try this out and let me know.
  1. Whole Wheat Penne & Fusilli Pasta ( cooked and drained)- 2 Cups
  2. Red Peppers- 3 nos
  3. Chicken Sausage ( sliced)- 1 Cup
  4. Onions (chopped)- ½ Cup
  5. Garlic (chopped)- 3 tbsp
  6. Olive Oil- 2 tbsp
  7. Tomatoes (chopped)- 3 nos
  8. Dried Oregano- 2 tbsp
  9. Dried Basil- 1 tbsp
  10. Salt- as required
  11. Black Pepper Powder- 2 Tsp

  1. Broil the red peppers in the oven, high for about 10 minutes, rotating in between. When done keep this aside and remove the charred skin when cooled. Slice into pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add the garlic. Let it simmer for some time, till the flavors are infused in the oil. Add the chopped onions and stir till becomes translucent.
  3. Add the sliced sausage, stir till it becomes brown. Add the chopped tomatoes, mix and close with a lid and let this simmer for 5- 10 minutes. By this time the tomatoes will become mushy and everything gets blended well.
  4. Add the dried oregano and dried basil. Mix, add sliced red peppers, salt, and pepper. At last, add the cooked penne pasta, stir to combine and close with a lid. Allow the pasta to cook in the pepper sauce for about 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Swedish Chokladbollar (chocolate balls)

Chokladbollar is a Swedish dessert which we usually find in almost all the IKEA shops in the form of chocolates, not like these round balls. The chocolates from IKEA tastes so unique and fully packed with flavors. I came around this dessert when I was checking for some other recipe on the net and this name caught my attention. I researched about this dessert and found out to be very easy, less time consuming and very healthy and nutritious chocolate balls.

It was like love at first bite. These are one of the easiest treats which can be prepared along with kids. This does not require any baking. In this, the powdered oats are mixed with all other ingredients, shaped and rolled in desiccated coconut. The fun part is to roll these cuties in sprinkles or sugar or anything else of our choice. The amount of sugar may vary according to one's preferences. Try this and let me know.

  1. Oats- 1 ½ Cups
  2. Butter- ½ Cup
  3. Sugar-¼ cup
  4. Cocoa Powder- 3 tbsp
  5. Vanilla essence- 1tsp
  6. Desiccated Coconut- 1 Cup

  1. In a food processor, add all the ingredients except desiccated coconut and blend to a coarse powder. Make sure the butter is mixed well.
  2. Roll the mixture into 10- 15 round balls and roll them in the desiccated coconut.
  3. Refrigerate before serving and enjoy.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Chicken- Egg Spring Rolls

Spring rolls are a perfect tea time snack or a party food. These spring rolls are a popular Indian snack which we get in almost all restaurants. Nothing can beat a bite into the crispy, crunchy, crackly, flavorful spring rolls. I make these spring rolls often using chicken/ eggs/ vegetables. Usually, I make the spring roll sheets from scratch just like the chicken spring rolls, but this time I used the store-bought spring roll sheets as I wanted to try making these with the ready-made sheets.

Spring rolls before frying

Here I have used the combination of chicken and eggs which was an amazing filling for spring rolls. The filling can be anything using prawns, fish or tofu. Our favorite is this chicken- egg filling, which is one of the easiest and the simplest methods.These spring rolls are also known as egg rolls.
The homemade spring roll sheets, when fried in oil will form bubble texture, while the store bought once have a smooth texture. I like both the sheets. Try this delicious snack and let me know.

  • Spring Roll Sheets- 12 no
For filling:
  1. Boneless Chicken- 1 Cup
  2. Eggs- 3 nos
  3. Onions- 1 no
  4. Tomato paste- 2 tbsp
  5. Coriander Leaves- ¼ Cup
  6. Salt- as required
  7. Red Chilli powder- 1 tsp
  8. Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
  9. Pepper powder- 1 tsp
  10. Ginger and Garlic paste- 1 tbsp
  11. Oil- deep frying + 1 tbsp

  1. Wash, drain and boil the chicken pieces till done. Chop the onions and coriander leaves into small.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan, fry the chopped onions. When they turn translucent add the ginger and garlic paste and tomato paste, stir for a minute.
  3. Add the red chili powder, turmeric powder, pepper powder and chopped coriander leaves. Stir well. Add the egg, one by one and scramble them till everything gets mixed up well.
  4. Add required amount of salt along with the boiled and minced chicken. Mix well and keep this aside.
  5. Take a square spring roll sheet and place two tablespoons of the chicken- egg filling. Fold in two opposite sides of the sheet. Then fold the bottom of the sheet over the top of the filling and roll.
  6. Repeat with the remaining sheets and filling. Heat oil for deep frying and fry the spring rolls until golden brown and serve along with ketchup.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Surprise M&M Chocolate Cupcakes

Excuse me all as I have been away for a while from blogging. In between, we shifted the house and lots of packing, unpacking, moving stuff here and there, throwing things and so on, lots of things are happening around. I thought I cannot blog till we got settled with everything, but I sneaked some time from packing, for my little space and today I am with a recipe which was in my archives.

These surprise cupcakes I made for my daughter’s birthday for her classmates. If you remember, I posted a lego cake for her birthday. Along with that birthday cake, I made these cupcakes.
She wanted something special for her class, and I came with the idea of these surprise cupcakes. I first thought of mixing the M&M's in the cake batter, but saw many videos on youtube and got the idea of how to hide the M&M’s.

Once the cupcakes are baked and cooled, I cut open the middle portion of the cupcake and scooped out a little bit of cake from the middle using a spoon to form a well. Then I placed 6- 7 M&M’s in the cupcakes and covered with the top portion of the cupcake and frosted it with the chocolate buttercream frosting. My daughter helped me with scooping out the cake and placing the M&M’s. It would be fun for the kids to help you out in small things.

It was a hit among her class friends and she was so happy that she again wanted the same cupcakes for her birthday party, which I ended up baking. These cupcakes are special for any occasion and more over kids will get attracted to this. Try this out and let me know.
Butter Cream Frosting
  1. Butter- 1 Cup
  2. Cocoa Powder- 3 tbsp
  3. Sugar- ½  Cup
  4. Milk- 2 tbsp
  5. Vanilla Extract- 1 tsp
  1. Cream all the ingredients till well combined. If the frosting appears dry add little more milk until it reaches the desired consistency.
  2. If it appears wet and does not hold, add little more sugar, a tablespoon at a time, till it reaches the desired consistency.
Assembling the surprise cupcakes:

  • Once the baked cupcakes are cooled, scoop out the middle portion using a spoon and fill with 6- 7 M&M’s and close the top portion of the cupcake. Frost the cupcakes using the chocolate buttercream frosting into desired shapes and enjoy.

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