Tag Archives: mint

An Interesting Salad Idea-Paneer, Pineapple and Pomegranate Toss-Up

Most of the event-related dinners for our programs at TMTC are hosted at the Taj Blue Diamond and going there always reminds me  of our courtship days, when Shri and I ate their several times at their coffee shop. The place had a very cosy feel, with the highlight of the decor being these pretty lamp posts whose style I recognized as European only a very long time later, when we moved to France two years after we got married and I began to come across the same kind of lamp posts on European streets in cities
like Cannes !

But I digress. What I meant to write about here, lest I forget the ingredients or the idea in all the multitude of things  that happen every day, was the idea for a salad I ate when I was the hotel earlier this month.

The chef(s) had basically tossed together chunks of pineapple with paneer and pomegranate and added some salt and red chilli flakes to season it.

For some reason, the salad had acquired a bitter taste by the time I took some on my plate. But I think if one were to make it carefully, ideally this combination would make for a great and very different kind of salad, a pretty and colorful addition to the table. In fact I intend to make this one of these days and will probably leave out the chilli flakes and add some roughly chopped mint leaves for an extra dash of color.

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Mint- and Coriander-flavored Grilled Chicken

This is another recipe adapted from “Tikkas & Kebabs”, one of the “Chef’s Special” series published by Lustre Press in India.

I have wanted to try this one since a long time because of the very clear memory I have of the delicious mint-flavored chicken tikkas I ate once  in a restaurant in Delhi.

The girls loved this dish, when I cooked it for lunch last Wednesday.  When I told the boulanger about it – I wasn’t able to take any for him to taste because the girls and I polished it all off – he seemed to like the idea of it and has agreed to try it one Tuesday soon, instead of the usual tandoori chicken.

10-12 chicken drumsticks

100 grams of yogurt

2 tablespoons of lime juice

1 tablespoon of garlic paste

3-4 teaspoons of ginger paste

1 teaspoon of cummin powder

1 teaspoon of coriander powder

1 teaspoon of garam masala

4 tablespoons of oil

1/4 cup of finely chopped fresh coriander leaves

2 tablespoons of finely chopped mint leaves

4-5 tablespoons of melted butter, for basting the chicken

salt to taste ( two teaspoons or a little less, for this quantity of chicken, works for us)

Mix the ginger and garlic pastes with the salt and lemon juice.

Skin the chicken, make 3-4 incisions on each piece, toss the pieces thoroughly in the lemon juice mixture and  leave them in this marinade for 30 minutes in a large bowl.

In the meanwhile, strain the water in the yogurt by leaving it in a fine sieve for 15-20 minutes.

Mix the rest of the ingredients – except the butter – in the yogurt. Add this mixture to the chicken pieces and coat them well in it. Leave the chicken in this marinade for at least 8-1o hours, turning over the pieces once during this time.

Heat the grill to about 240 degrees Celsius, then place the chicken on a wire rack and grill till done (this takes about 40 minutes in my oven), turning the pieces over a couple of times during this time to make sure they are evenly cooked and basting with butter each time.

I love the mild but distinctive flavor of herbs here.

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Filed under Baked Main Meal Dishes, Picnic Food, Starters and Snacks, Versatile Accompaniments

Potato-stuffed Bread Rolls

Last night, dinner consisted of exactly the same combination that Ma often made for dinner in the winter when we lived in Bokaro – vegetable soup, with these aloo-filled bread rolls on the side.

Ma never served these rolls on salad leaves, but I guess I felt that a few leaves from the bag of mesclun would stop me from thinking about the significant amount of oil which the bread must have soaked up when I fried the rolls !

I actually made these as a sort of  trial-run, since I wanted to take a couple to the boulangerie.

This is another of Pooja’s suggestions and has been a winner too.

Next week’s order from the boulanger is for these rolls and vegetable korma.

April 13th 2010

I did, as planned, hand over bread rolls and korma for 10 to the boulanger this morning. But I have spent the last few days wondering if  this has really been such a good idea, to introduce the girls to this snack (well alright,my own tendency to over-indulge once the rolls are made has been worrying me too).

The combination of bread and potatoes which is then deep fried is surely not a recipe for good health.  I did substitute white bread with multi-cereal bread but then commercial versions of the latter are not the real deal at all.

Then, in what must surely be a Sign, a news story that  highlights once again the problems with high glycemic index foods – of which potatoes and white bread are common examples -caught my eye first thing this morning.

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/04/12/glycemic.diet.heart/?hpt=T2
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/diet-fitness/diabetes/articles/2010/04/12/eating-the-wrong-kind-of-carbohydrates-increases-heart-disease-risk.html

So while I fried a few rolls – which have been hugely popular with the girls – this evening for gouter –  with the leftover potato stuffing, I decided that I am not going to include this particular recipe here.

They’ll just have to call me for this one, if they do remember these rolls when they are older. For my part, I am not going to make these again in a hurry !

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Coriander and Mint Chutney, the way Ma makes it(1)

For the first four days this last week, it rained “elephants and hippopotamuses”, as the girls said.

So we had soup for dinner quite often, and one evening we had pakoras as well, since it was just the sort of weather when I enjoy them most.

I happened to have some coriander and mint chutney left over from a lot that I made a couple of weeks ago so we polished off the pakoras with that.

I usually keep this chutney now in a pretty glass jar which I brought back a couple of years ago from my mother’s kitchen as it is a pleasing reminder of the years when b. and I grew up in Bokaro. The way I remember it, this jar was always in the fridge, full of chutney. And the taste of the sandwiches b. and I sometimes made, with left over baigan bharta and this chutney,  is one of the nicest gastronomic memories of my childhood 🙂

Noor likes it a lot too, especially with dhokla.

Coriander and Mint Chutney

A big bunch of coriander; another of mint (I tend to use less of the mint and more of the coriander)

One small onion

One clove of garlic, peeled

1 green chilly, stalk removed, or a little red chilli powder, or half of a whole red chilly (optional)

salt to taste

1 tbsp of lime juice (use more or less, as you like)

1 tbsp of sugar (again, you could use more or less)

Wash the herbs thoroughly, then chop roughly after removing the hard stalks (I always retain the softer stems, instead of using only the leaves; it seems a waste to let the stems go since they have so much flavor too).

Peel and chop the onion in to 6-10 large-ish parts.

Blend together all the ingredients, using as little water as possible. This will therefore take time, since you will have to stop every once in a while to keep the machine of the food processor from overheating, and to stir the contents of the bowl/jar in which you are making the chutney. But it is worth spending the time rather than using too much water, since that would result in a watery chutney.

Also, add the sugar and lime juice gradually, so that you can control the amount you will use of each, depending on the balance of sweet and sour tastes that appeals to you.

This is such a  tangy treat with so many different things; besan ka cheela, pakoras, batata vadas and, yes, in sandwiches too !

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Potato Salad with Lemon and Chive Vinaigrette

At one point during these summer holidays, I found myself utterly exasperated with cooking the same things again and again. I happened to mentioned this to Jenny and told her that I was in desperate need of recipes that would be quick to cook and suited to the weather in terms of the cooking effort (low) and style (light, non-greasy, not spicy).

At this she was good enough to loan me, among other recipe books, her copy of Delia Smith’s ” Summer Collection”.

That’s where I found the recipe for this salad. When I made it last week  Indira liked enough to say “You should definitely make this again !”

I have made some changes to the original; here is my version.

pics-on-camera 649

Potato Salad

6oo grams of potatoes, cooked in the microwave till they are soft, then peeled and diced (not too small) soon after you take them out

3-4 spring onions, trimmed and chopped small

2 tablespoons of fresh chives, snipped fine with scissors

For the vinaigrette

1 or 2 tablespoons of fresh, chopped mint

3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice

grated zest of one small lemon

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon (or a little more if you like more of this flavor) of grain mustard

1 clove of garlic, grated

rock salt, to taste

freshly milled black pepper, to taste

Combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette then pour it on to the potatoes while they are still quite warm (the original recipe therefore requires that baby potatoes be used. Cook these with the skin on and add the dressing as soon as the potatoes are done, after draining the cooking water) and mix well.  Add the spring onions and the chives next, and mix the salad again a couple of times.

This is simple and delicious, with lots of subtle flavor.

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Filed under Easy One Pot Cooking, Picnic Food, Quick Meal Ideas, Salads, Versatile Accompaniments

“Yoghurt Sauce with Mint” – aka – Pudina Raita

As I watched Indira happily polish off the remains of the yoghurt in Noor’s pot (Noor, who hasn’t been too well, had already gone in for her sieste without finishing her lunch)  after finishing her own, I was reminded once again of how Mataji, my maternal grandmother, used to call me “dadhipriya”, because I loved yoghurt so much. I see the same fondness for this food in Indira too.

It reminded me too, of her favorite raita, though that is not how she thinks of it. The extent of Indira’s francisation– the result of attending the local maternelle for three years and of eating lunch in the school cantine since the last two years- struck me one day last summer when she said,”You know that yoghurt sauce you make sometimes, that has mint in it? Will you make that again, please? I love it !!”

It took me a while to figure this one out , that she was talking about pudina raita.

So although it is a fairly cold winter day here, I thought I’d document this recipe too, since she loves this “sauce” so much. Of course, it is best eaten on a hot summer day, since the mint has such a cooling effect.

Pudina Raita

250 gms of yoghurt

2-3 tbsps of finely chopped fresh mint leaves

1/2 tsp of sugar

salt to taste

Whisk the salt and the sugar in to the yoghurt. Mix in the mint leaves, and then turn the raita in to a serving bowl and leave for an hour or two before eating, so that the flavor of the mint blends well with the yoghurt.

This raita is great with pulavs, paranthas, and heavy and spicy curries and meats. And it is a wonderfully cooling and fresh addition to meals in the summer.

And with tikkas and kebabs, I imagine it could even pass off as a dip or -yes ! – sauce:-)

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Filed under Dips,Chutneys,Sauces,Spreads, Raitas

One of Atto’s – Tangy Coriander & Mint Chutney

Atto – my husband’s bua – is one of the best cooks I know.

What makes her food more special though, is the care and affection with which she feeds people.

I have been saying to her for years that she ought to write a cookbook. In the meanwhile, here is her recipe for just the most delicious green chutney (with a couple of minor variations of my own; like I don’t recall if Atto used onion when I saw her make it, but my mom does in her coriander chutney; so I use it too)

Coriander and Mint Chutney

A big bunch of coriander; another of mint (I tend to use less of the mint and more of the coriander)

One medium sized onion

1 green chilly, stalk removed

salt to taste

2 tbsp of thick tamarind juice (use more or less, as you like)

3 tbsp of a thick solution of jaggery dissolved in water (again, you could use more or less)

Wash the herbs thoroughly, then chop roughly after removing the hard stalks (I always retain the softer stems, and don’t bother about using only the leaves; it seems a waste to let the stems go since they have so much flavor too).

Peel and chop the onion in to 6-10 large-ish parts.

Blend together all the ingredients, using as little water as possible. This will therefore take time, since you will have to stop every once in a while to keep the machine of the food processor from overheating, and to stir the contents of the bowl/jar in which you are making the chutney. But it is worth spending the time rather than using too much water, since that would result in a watery chutney.

Also, you could add the tamarind and jaggery pastes gradually, so that you can control the amount you will use of each, depending on the balance of sweet and sour tastes that appeals to you.

I just love this chutney; I find the use of tamarind instead of lime juice quite a great touch.

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Filed under Dips,Chutneys,Sauces,Spreads