Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Moving Home!

I know quite a few of you are wondering what happened to Sailu.Thanks for the e-mails making enquiries..:).

Well,I am happy to announce that I am moving home.Yes, I have moved to my own domain at http://sailusfood.com and I invite you all to visit my new home.

Thank you all for your kind words,support and encouragement.I'd appreciate if you could update your bookmarks and blogrolls and continue to support my site as you always have.

Welcome to my new home at Sailusfood !

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Aloo Tamatar Subzi - Curried Potatoes In Tomato Sauce

Simple,comforting and flavorful – is how I would describe today’s vegetarian dish with overtones of North Indian style of cooking.I learnt this recipe during my college days from one of my numerous North Indian friends who would bring it in her tiffin dabba with rotis.I reminse the days when we would swap our tiffin dabbas and how I'd lap up delicious North Indian fare like stuffed paranthas and chole while my friends would relish our South Indian tiffins like masala dosas,idlis and garellu.

I always tried out different combinations of a particular dish(which is new to me) using different spices with recipes like curried baby potatoes and aloo palak and finally settle for one which is suited to my palate in terms of spice and flavor.North Indian cuisine calls for the use of less spice than our Andhra cuisine.If I feel that the flavor of a dish needs to be peped up a bit in terms of spice then I do make a subtle change without playing too much with the ingredients and cooking style of the authentic original recipe.The end result has never been disappointing so far and I always had my family and friends relish the food served to them..:)

Aloo Tamatar Sabzi or Curried Potatoes in Tomato Sauce is very simple,everyday dish regularly cooked in many North Indian kitchens.Boiled potatoes are cooked in a spiced gravy of onions and tomatoes and it makes a great curry with rotis and chapatis.I also make this sometimes as an accompaniment to a subtle flavored rice or steamed white rice.
Aloo Tamatar Subzi (Potato-Tomato Curry)


4 medium potatoes (boiled and slightly mash with hand roughly to form small chunks)
1 large onion chopped finely
3 cloves garlic finely minced
1" ginger finely minced
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chillis
10-12 curry leaves
2 green chilli slit length wise
1 tsp red chilli pwd (adjust according to your choice)
1 tbsp coriander pwd
1/2 tsp cumin pwd
1/4 tsp turmeric pwd
salt to taste
3 medium sized tomatoes finely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp oil
chopped coriander leaves for garnish
1 tsp jaggery or sugar (optional)

Heat oil in a cooking vessel and add the mustard seeds and let them pop.Now add the red chillis and curry leaves and stir fry for a few seconds till the flavors are released in the oil.Now add onions,ginger and garlic and saute till the onions turn light brown.Add the green chillis and all the pwds.Combine.
Add the tomatoes and stir fry till the oil seperates and it gets mushy.
Add the potatoes and combine and keep covered with a lid on low heat for 3-4 minutes.
Remove lid and cook further for another 3-4 mts stirring once in a while.
Add salt and enough water to cover the potatoes.
Bring to a boil and let it simmer on low heat till you get the desired curry consistency.Finally add the jaggery/sugar and combine.Turn off heat.Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve hot with rotis/chapatis/steamed white rice.

This is my entry to Sweetnicks Antioxidant Rich Foods ARF 5 A Day Tuesdays.


Saturday, April 15, 2006

Miriyala Annam - Pepper Flavored Rice

Did you know that the humble ,shriveled black pepper corn has a great history, status and a glorious past behind it? During its long and fascinating history, black pepper has often been more valuable than gold or precious stones and trade in pepper has been an extraordinarily influential factor in ancient history.

When Barbara of Tigers & Strawberries announced the theme "Ancient Spices" for her food event "The Spice is Right" ,the first thought that came to my mind were Seasame Seeds and Black Pepper Corns.Since I had already blogged about sesame seeds in one of my earlier posts "Nuvvulu Annam"(seasame flavored rice),I decided to blog about Black Pepper which is one of the most exotic ancient spice of India after saffron and is known to be the King of all spices.
Black Pepper,whose name is derived from the Sanskrit word Pippali and Latin name Piper Nigrum meaning pepper black,is native to Malabar, the Western Coast of South India(Kerala).Black Pepper was a valuable spice during ancient times and was used as a currency to trade between east and west. It's been said that no other spice has had a greater effect on world history than pepper. The term ‘peppercorn rent’ actually came from rent which was paid in the form of pepper during the middle ages and that often a man’s wealth was measured by his accumulation of pepper.So high was its value that during ancient times it was used as a currency to pay taxes and there are stories of how 3000 pounds worth of pepper was paid as ransom/tribute when the Germanic tribe or Goths laid siege to Rome,soldiers being paid in pepper for a successful campaign,dowries of pepper given and it was also used as a sacred offering.Read more about the fascinating history of black pepper and how to select , store and tips on cooking with pepper

Ancient Chinese and Sanskrit texts dating to more than 3000 years ago have mentioned about black pepper with Ayurvedic nutrition and Chinese medicine advocating the importance of black pepper as an important spice with powerful healing properties and used in treatment of ailments of stomach and throat,considered to have anti-aging properties,good digestive and a detoxifier too.One of the best home remedies for cold and flu is drinking tea made of pepper corns and ginger.Aromatheraphy oil of pepper is used to clear the head,great for massaging aching muscles and for treating poor circulation.

This exotic spice with a sharp,pungent woody aroma and flavor when cooked for too long ,loses its flavor and aroma ,so adding it towards the end of the cooking will help preserve its flavor.To bring out the sharp flavor of black pepper,I prepared Miriyala Annam or Pepper Flavored Rice with pepper being the main ingredient and curry leaves and seasame seeds were used to offset the heat of black pepper.Hints of the aromatic flavor of curry leaves, mild nutty taste of seasame seeds and the sharp flavor of pepper blended into the rice giving it an irresistable authentic flavor.
Miriyala Annam (Pepper Flavoured Rice)

3 cups of cooked white rice (each grain should be separate)
1 1/2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1 tsp cumin seeds
3/4 tsp mustard seeds
1 1/2 tbsp black pepper corns
1 1/2 tbsp seasame seeds
10-12 curry leaves (fresh leaves only)
salt to taste

Dry roast the black pepper corns,sesame seeds and curry leaves in a pan for a few minutes on medium heat tossing them around till the flavors come out and you find a nice aroma emanates the kitchen.Once the seasame seeds change color you can turn off the heat and make a coarse powder.

Heat ghee in a pan and add the mustard seeds and let them pop.Add the cumin seeds and let them brown.Add the cooked rice and combine it with the tempering.Now add the ground spice pwd and salt and combine the rice with it such that the spices coat the rice well.The full flavor of the pepper is obtained on freshly ground pepper corns which enhances the taste of the rice giving it a sharper, more lively flavor than the pre-ground pepper powder and also by adding it towards the end of the cooking process which further enhances its taste.
Serve hot with any gravy curry or plain rasam ,appadam(papad) and curds.

Note:Use only fresh pepper corns and not pre- ground black pepper powder as it wont serve any purpose and you are definitely not going to enjoy the flavor of the rice if you use the store bought pre-ground pepper powder.If you venture into your kitchen to cook up this simple flavorful dish be prepared to use only the freshly ground pepper corns,I repeat..:)

Miriyala Annam or Pepper Flavored Rice is my entry to "The Spice is Right" - Ancient Spices" food blog event started by Barbara of Tigers & Strawberries.