Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Malai Kofta

Koftas are delicious, but are rich in calories. However, by using an air fryer you can avoid deep frying koftas in oil. Today I wish to share this air fryer recipe for making yummy malai koftas.

Ingredients - For the koftas:
Paneer or cottage cheese - 200 gms
Green chilis - 2 no, chopped
Salt - to taste
Baking powder - ½ teaspoon
Corn flour - 2 teaspoons
Coriander leaves - chopped, 2 teaspoons
Oil - for brushing

For the gravy:
Onions - 3 no, cubed
Tomato puree - ½ teacup or 100 ml measure
Coconut milk - ½ teacup or 100 ml measure
Ginger garlic paste - 1 teaspoon
Green chilies - 2 no
Coriander powder - 1 tablespoon
Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
Poppy seeds - 1 teaspoon
Cashew nuts - 1 tablespoon
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Cinnamon - 1" stick
Cloves - 3 no
Cardamom - 3 no, seeds removed and powdered
Salt - to taste


Method - Making koftas: Crumble paneer in a bowl. Add corn flour, green chilies, baking powder, salt and coriander leaves. Mix well and knead into firm dough. Divide into 10 equal parts. Roll them into  balls. Brush little oil all over the balls. Grease the wire mesh in the air fryer with oil. Place the balls on the wire mesh, leaving 1 cm space around the balls. Cook for 10 minutes at 180º Celsius. Remove from the air fryer and allow the koftas to cool.

Making the gravy: Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a kadai and fry onions till transparent. Grind fried onions and green chilies into a fine paste. Similarly grind poppy seeds and cashew nuts into a smooth paste. Keep aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a kadai, add the cinnamon and clove, saute for a minute. Add ground masala and ginger garlic paste, mix well and cook on low flame till oil separates. Now add tomato puree, coriander powder, cumin powder and required salt. Mix well and bring it to boil. Simmer; add coconut milk and cardamom powder. Mix well; cook for a minute. Finally add cashew paste and cook on low flame for 2 minutes. Switch off the stove. Just before serving, add the koftas to the gravy. Let it stand for 2 minutes. Serve hot with poori, paratha or chapatti.

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Thursday, 22 November 2018

Apple Chutney (ஆப்பிள் சட்னி)

Once in a while, I crave for something different to eat and in those moments I tend to experiment in the kitchen, sometimes with great results. Here is the result of one such experiment. This apple chutney is the traditional Indian chutney with a twist and it goes well with our very own dosa.

Ingredients:

Apple – small, 1 no, cut into cubes
Carrot – small, 1 no, cut into cubes
Coconut – grated, 3 tablespoons
Green chili – 2 to 3 no, adjust to taste
Salt – to taste
Method: Simple. Grind all the ingredients into a smooth paste using a mixer-grinder. Serve with dosa or idly. You can also serve it with snacks like koftas. 

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Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Bread Kofta

Do you have leftover bread slices? Here’s a recipe to convert the leftover bread slices to a yummy snack!  Bread kofta is an easy-to-make snack that can also be added to khadi.

Ingredients:
Bread slices – 6 no, preferably sandwich bread
Bengal gram flour – 3 tablespoons
Potato – 1 no, medium sized, cooked
Red chili powder – ½ teaspoon
Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
Garam masala – ½ teaspoon (optional)
Salt – to taste
Oil – for shallow frying
Onion slices – a few
Coriander leaves – a few


Method: Dip the bread slices one by one in a bowl of water, immersing each slice for 30 seconds and squeezing the water out immediately. Keep the squeezed slices in a bowl. Peel the cooked potato, mash it well and add to the bowl. Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, Bengal gram flour, coriander powder and salt to the bowl and mix the ingredients thoroughly to form firm dough. Divide the dough into 12 equal parts and shape them into balls.

Heat oil in a sauce pan on low flame and fry the balls till they become brown on all sides. Remove from the oil and place them on tissue paper to remove the excess oil. Garnish with onion slices and coriander leaves. Serve hot with tomato ketch up, date chutney or green chutney. Alternatively you may add these koftas to khadi instead of besan dumplings and serve with rice, chapatti or roti. 

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Monday, 1 October 2018

Date Chutney

Recently, I came across an exotic recipe when I visited my relative Mrs. Radha, who kindly shared it with me. I tried this wonderful sweet and spicy chutney recipe, which came out very well. Date chutney is easy-to-make, simple, and goes well with all types of idly, dosa and adai preparations.

Ingredients:
Coriander leaves – washed well and chopped, ½ tea cup
Mint leaves – removed from stalks and washed well, ½ tea cup
Dates – seed removed, 5-8 no
Green chili – medium size, 1 no
Salt – to taste
Fried gram – 2 tablespoons


Method: Wash the leaves very well and drain. Blend the leaves with all other ingredients into a fine paste using the mixer grinder. Transfer to a bowl. Date chutney is ready! Serve with your favorite breakfast.

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Monday, 2 July 2018

When my favorite library closed...

I had been a member of Eloor lending library, Chennai for almost two decades, and have had the pleasure of borrowing diverse titles including fiction, biography, art, psychology, health, self help and non-fiction. Over the years, the library with its ever increasing collection of books fulfilled my thirst for reading. Hence, the closure of the library owing to poor patronage and mounting losses came as a rude shock to me.

Eloor library, first started in Ernakulam, Kerala in 1979, has subsequently opened branches in Trivandrum, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata and Delhi. Falling number of visitors and cancellation of memberships have led to the closure of Delhi and Kokata outlets as well. This well stacked library had books of all genres and I do miss the joy of browsing through the books before selecting the titles I wanted to read. 

In 2017, five branches of Delhi public library were closed due to lack of membership.  Can digitalization be blamed for the dwindling interest in books? Is the Gen Next just not interested in reading anymore? Well, one cannot escape the fast changing environment steered by digitalization. Be it communication, healthcare, banking, media or retail, digitalization has its tentacles reaching every walk of life. Online shopping for books, both print and e-books, has adversely affected the traditional book stores. This is forcing the publishers to re-orient themselves to the changing markets. 


Tablets, e-readers, and now, the mobile phones are competing with humble books and news papers. Today’s reader does not have the patience to read through lengthy articles nor does he perceive the joy of reading. It is only the information that counts, that too provided succinctly in just a few words! With unlimited online sources easily available to the reader, it is inevitable that publications and libraries suffer. 

Of course, there are ample benefits in digitalization. However, it lacks the charm of some of the olden ways. Today’s digital natives miss out on human interaction, enjoying subtle pleasures of life, and meaningful communication, to name a few. The effect of rapid digitalization on the body and mind can only be assessed over time. It is difficult at this point of time to say whether its benefits outweigh the risks, which are not fully understood yet. However, one is forced to adapt to the changing times! Well, I had to settle for a kindle e-reader and a kindle unlimited subscription. Is it a “library in your hand”? Oh, I am not sure; I still miss the joy of reading a proper book.  

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This article was also published on LinkedIn on 2nd July 2018.