Sunday, September 25, 2011

Kerala Poratta with Beef Varattiyathu

Porattas are the most unhealthy food that you get in any restaurant in Kerala. Still it is hard to find someone who doesn't like this soft, fluffy, layered bread. I am pretty sure that anyone would have had this the most from the college canteens – Don't you guys agree?  Be it for breakfast, lunch, evening snack or dinner, it doesn’t matter what the curry is; this is always welcome.

In restaurants they use dalda instead of oil to get well layered fluffy parottas. I did not have that in my pantry and went with a mixture of ghee and canola oil. You need lots of energy to knead the dough as it really matters when it comes to the softness. Also in order to stretch the dough to the maximum during people kind of wave it in air on to the board(veeshi adikkuka). I did not have practice and did not know to do that, so used my rolling pin to stretch. You can see videos in youtube and try practicing it.

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Ingredients – Parotta (Yields – 10 - 12 small parottas):

Maida/All Purpose Flour --   4 cups
Egg                     --   1 large
Milk                    --   1 cup
Salt                     --   To taste
Oil                       --   ¾ cup  (¼ + ½) – I used equal amounts of ghee and canola oil.

Preparation of the parotta:

Take the flour in a large mixing bowl. Add salt. Mix the egg and milk and beat well.

Make a small hole in the center of the flour and pour in the egg - milk mix.

Mix softly to get crumbles.Make sure almost all the flour is wet. Now add the ¼ cup oil in divided portions and knead the dough well. It is easy to knead on a clean flat surface. The dough needs to be kneaded well, say for around 10 - 15 minutes with maximum pressure to get a smooth and soft dough.

Cover and keep the dough with a wet cloth, and let it stand for 4 -5  hrs.

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Grease your palms well and knead the dough once again for a minute or two. Make equal size balls out of it.

Apply oil liberally on a board and now roll the balls into its maximum stretch. Make sure not to tear a lot. Small holes are bound to appear and is acceptable for beginners like me.

Take 1 tsp of oil and apply it on the flattened dough. Make pleats as shown and then coil. This is done to make layers.

Roll it again into small circles using your palm, greased well(needs lots of pressure) OR you can use the rolling pin.

Fry it on a tawa on medium flame, applying oil on both sides. Once cooked keep it on a dry towel. When 3 -4 are done, pile it up, cover the parottas with the towel an beat from the sides. This helps to separate the layers.

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Enjoy with the beef varattiyathu. I love to have this with chicken curry or beef roast or vegetable kurma or kadala curry or green peas... the list is never ending J

Ingredients – Beef (Yields – 2 –3 servings):

Beef                                --    ½ kg
Ginger                           --   2 tbsp minced/finely chopped
Garlic                            --   3 tbsp minced/finely chopped
Green Chillies            --   4
Red/Pearl Onions   --    1 cup, finely chopped
Coconut slices/Thengakothu -- ½ cup
Curry Leaves            --   2 springs
Turmeric Powder   --   ½ tsp
Chilly Powder          --   1½ tsp
Coriander Powder --   2 tbsp
Salt                               --   to taste
Coconut oil               --   2 tbsp

For Masala powder: (Can be substituted with 2 - 2½ tbsp of Eastern Meat Masala)

Fennel Seeds           --   1½ tbsp
Whole Pepper         --   ½ tbsp
Cinnamon Sticks   --   2 to 3 - 1 inch sticks
Cardamom              --   2
Cloves                        --  2
Mace                          --  1 – I omitted this as I did not have it in stock; but try not to :)

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Preparation of Beef Varattiyathu:

Grind  the ingredients for the masala into fine powder.  Keep ½ tsp of masala aside.

Cut and clean the beef, preferably wash it 6 – 7 times. I also use a tsp of vinegar during my 3rd or 4th wash and then rinse it thoroughly.

Make a marinade with the rest of the masala, 1 tbsp of ginger, 2 tbsp of garlic, ¼ tsp turmeric powder and salt. Apply it thoroughly on the cleaned beef  and keep it aside for half an hour. Pressure cook without adding any water until the beef is completely cooked. It takes around 4 – 5 whistles in my pressure cooker.

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Heat oil in a pan and add the slit green chillies, remaining ginger and garlic and saute until the raw smell starts leaving. Add the finely chopped pearl onions and saute until they turn slightly golden, on a medium- low flame. Add the remaining turmeric powder, chilly powder and coriander powder and let the raw smell go off. Make sure you do not burn the powders.

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Now add the curry leaves and the coconut pieces and fry well. Then add the cooked beef and mix well with the onion masala. Let it boil and the water in the meat dry  slightly.

When the gravy/onions start sticking on to the meat, add the reserved ½tsp of masala and fry well until you get a dark brown colour. Make sure you keep on sautéing the beef at this stage.

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Add more curry leaves for a good aroma and flavor and mix well. Switch off the flame and close the pan with a lid to lock the aroma. Serve hot with the parottas. This goes well with appam, puttu, any Indian breads or even with simply steamed rice.

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Does this really pair with a black label ??? I have never tried – But so says my sweet heart !!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pierre Herme’s Vienesse Chocolate Sables – Chocolate cookies

This is again inspired by Shirley. I just spend some time her blog and finally decided to bookmark the whole site and not the recipes one by one ;)

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Ingredients(Yields around 50 cookies):

All purpose flour           --   2 cups
Unsalted Butter             --   1 cup
Salt                                      --  a pinch -  Original recipe calls for Fleur de Sel
Dutch processed cocoa powder   --    ¼ cup
Powdered Sugar           --   ¾ cup sifted
Egg White                        --   2 eggs

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Preparation of the cookies:

Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix the flour and cocoa powder and keep aside.

Whisk the butter(at room temperature) and salt until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and beat sugar mix well and the mixture is creamy.Add egg white; as Shirley said,the mixture may curdle a little but it will smoothen out after flour is added.

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Now add the flour-cocoa mix and whisk until well blended.

Scoop batter into a piping bag with a star tip. Pipe into "W" or "M" shaped cookies.

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Bake for 10 -12 mins.Cool down and store in air tight container. Take care as the cookies would be delicate.

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