Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chaat Mela # 2 - Crispy Corn & Cup Corn

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Crispy corn and cup corn popped up instantly in my mind when I was trying to recollect all my favorite chaats.

Cup corn has been a recent entry to the road side stall chaats and most of you would have tasted and fallen in love with its taste. The simplicity of the dish is a special attraction to me. Ever since I found the secret behind the taste, I have been repeating it every time I buy corn :)

I have had Crispy corn as a starter in Mainland China restaurant, but the style of the dish can easily fall under chaat category also. I was totally bowled out by the idea when I had it for the first time itself and tried to formulate it myself at home and succeeded in making it as well. Yahooooo :)

Now these two styles of chaat have become my family favorites and especially the crispy corn is my grandma's favorite since she found it easier to chew :)

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Crispy Corn

Ingredients:

Sweet corn cobs - 2
Corn flour - 2 tblsp
Rice flour - 1 tblsp
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Salt - for taste
Oil - for frying
Tomato - 1
Onion - 1
Coriander leaves
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Chaat masala - 1 tsp

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Method:

Pressure cook the corn cobs for about 5 long whistles in salt water.

Remove the cobs from water and shred the corn kernels and collect them on a flat plate.

Mix corn flour, rice flour, chilly powder and some salt together and sprinkle this mixture on the shredded corn kernels. Spray few drops of water and mix them nicely with your hand so that the corn kernels are coated nicely with the powders.

Heat oil in a wok and deep fry the corn kernels in medium flame until golden color. The corn kernels would become really crisp.

Once fried, collect them on a tissue to remove excess oil.

They might have got grouped together while frying, separate them using your hands.

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Chop onion, tomato and coriander leaves finely.

Now mix the chopped vegetables and the fried corn in a bowl. Add a pinch of salt, chaat masala and lemon extract and mix well.

Serve immediately :)

Enjoy the crispy, tangy and yummy corn chaat :)

Tips:

Do not add more than few drops of water while mixing in the rice and corn flour to the corn kernels. More water would cause you trouble while deep frying.

Serve it as soon as it is done. Eating it crisp is the punch of the dish.

You can use canned sweet corn as well.

Sweet corn is the best choice for these two chaats than the normal corns.

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Cup Corn

Ingredients:

Corn cob - 1
Olive oil / butter / ghee - 1 tsp
Mixed herbs - 1 tsp
Salt - for taste

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Method:

Pressure cook the corn cob in salt water for 5 whistles.

Remove the cobs from water and shred the corn kernels and collect them in a microwave safe bowl.

Add the butter, mixed herbs and salt to it and mix well.

Microwave at high for 30 seconds and serve it hot :)

Simple cup corn is ready to eat :)

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Tips:

Mixed herbs are easily available in supermarkets. There are a wide choice of brands as well.

You can use the herbs of your choice to make different flavors of cup corn.

You can mix in spices like pepper or chilly powder to the cooked corn kernels too.

Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Chaat Mela #1 - Pani Puri

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All Indians would be familiar with the term Chaat and are mostly big time fans of chaat as well :)

Chaat is basically a plate of savory snack served mostly on the roadside stalls or carts in India. This style of food originated in Northern states of India and spread across covering the entire country now :)

I am so inclined towards chaat items and can afford to break my diet plans for them anytime. Most of the time I step out of home for some shopping, I end up snacking on some roadside chaat :)

Hence 4th Sense Cooking would celebrate the love for Chaat in the next few posts calling it Chaat Mela :)

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Pani puri takes the first place in the list of chaats and I can easily call it the King of Chaats :)

Pani puri is also called as Gol Gappa, Pani Ke Bataashe or Gup Chup. Its a very popular snack comprising of a hollow puri, fried crisp and filled with various mixtures and finally dipped in flavored water.

I am going to give me quick version of pani puri here with store bought puri and Pani puri masala for the pani.

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Recipe for Mint chutney

Ingredients:

Mint leaves(pudina) - 1 bunch
Green chillies - 2
Ginger - 1/4 inch piece
Salt - for taste

Method:

Clean and wash the mint leaves. Grind mint leaves, green chillies, ginger and salt together to make the mint chutney.

You can store this for upto ten days in the refrigerator and use them.

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Recipe for Sweet chutney:

Ingredients:

Dates - 10
Tamarind paste - 1/2 cup
Jaggery - 1 tblsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Asafoetida - a pinch

Method:

Soak the dates in warm water for one hour.

Grind the dates, tamarind paste and jaggery together in the mixie until smooth.

Take a pan and add just a spoon of oil and crackle cumin seeds. Add the ground paste and a little water and cook this on medium flame for a while. Add a pinch of salt and asafoetida and mix well. Switch off once the chutney is slightly thick and sticky.

Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate.

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Method to make pani:

I bought ready made pani puri powder by Everest brand and diluted 5 tblsp of powder for 2 cups of water to make pani.

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I used store bought puri too :P I was a little lazy you see ;) I wanted everything to be ready in a jiffy. So choose to buy them :)

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Recipe to make Pani Puri:

Ingredients:

Puri - 10
Pani - 2 cups
Onion - 1
Potatoes - 3
Chilly powder - for taste
Salt - for taste
Sprouted green gram - 1/2 cup
Mint chutney
Sweet chutney
Bhujia(oma podi) - 1/2 cup

Method:

Cook the potatoes and smash them. Mix a tsp of chilly powder and required salt to the mashed potatoes.

Chop onion finely and keep it aside.

Now to assemble the puri, break open a hole on one side of the puri and drop a tsp of mashed potato. Follow it by a tsp of chopped onion, then a tsp of sprouted green gram, then mint chutney and sweet chutney. Finally top it with some bhujia and serve them with a cup of prepared pani. :)

Pour a tblsp of pani into the filled puri and gobble them into your mouth :)

Mmmmmyummmmyummm pani puri is ready :) Enjoy making and enjoy eating as well :)

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Tips:

Check both the sides of the puri and choose the weakest side of the puri to break open a hole. This will help to keep the pani inside the puri till you gobble them.

If you want to make these for a party, you can mix the mint chutney and sweet chutney to the pani itself and get all the puris filled with the rest of the ingredients and set it ready before you serve. Avoiding the wet ingredients(Mint and sweet chutney) in the puri will keep the puri crisp until it is served.

If you happen to find a lot of broken puris or puris with lots of holes, just crush them and put them in a bowl with all the other ingredients and enjoy eating a mixed chaat :)

Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.



Friday, March 25, 2011

Omam / Carom Seeds/ Ajwain Rice - A healthy meal

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I have been indulging on a lot of fatty and junk food lately ;) After all it was a birthday month at home with me and sis celebrating our birthdays ;) with loads of cakes and icecreams etc..

So just wanted a break from sinful food and get into a health conscious meal at-least for a day and so made this rice today ;)

Omam(Tamil) which is called as Ajwain in hindi and Carom seeds or Bishop's weed in English is a healthy spicy that helps a lot for digestion.

So this aromatic rice is for sure going to be a treat to the tongue and nose and also help you deal with your digestion issues. :)

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Ingredients:

Rice - 1 cup rice(cooked)
Omam/Ajwain/Carom seeds - 1 tblsp
Garlic - 10 pods
Marinated chillies(Moar milagai) - 4
Salt - for taste
Ghee

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Method:

Cook rice and separate the grains by adding some ghee to it.

Take a tsp of ghee in a pan and fry the garlic pods for few mins and collect them on a plate.

In the same pan, add the omam and marinated chillies and fry for two mins. Now add the fried garlic to the pan along with the cooked rice and salt. Saute for a while till everything gets mixed and salt is evenly spread.

Serve it hot with potato chips.

Yummy and super healthy Omam rice is ready to eat. :)

Happy making :)
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Find recipe for Moar milagai(Marinated chillies) over here.

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Tips:

Since omam has a different flavor its best to make this rice with normal cooking rice than using basmathi. Basmathi would over take the flavor of omam which wouldn't be really good.

Eat the marinated chillies along with the rice. They are extremely tasty and not too spicy :)

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Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Eggless Brownies

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I have been craving for brownies for the past one week and was waiting for a chance to bake them.

Yesterday being my sisy's birthday, I thought I should treat her with her favorite dessert - sizzling sundae. Sizzling sundae is one of the best desserts ever and we both are die hard fan of it. But making a sizzling chocolate drizzle is slightly not on the possible side, so I baked eggless version of brownies and we had them paired with vanilla ice cream :)

My super critic sis said it was awesome and I was in bliss ;)

I am happy to send this brownie to my cute blogger buddy Divya's Brownie event :)

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Ingredients:

All purpose flour(maida) - 1 cup
Cocoa powder - 1/2 cup
Powdered Sugar - 3/4 cup
Salt - a pinch
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Cooking oil - 5 tblsp
Butter milk - 1 cup
Instant coffee powder - 2 tsp
Walnuts - 10

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Method:

Sift all purpose flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt together.

Dissolve the instant coffee powder in one tblsp hot water.

Take the sifted contents in a bowl and combine oil, butter milk and diluted coffee to it. Stir with a spatula until everything combines into a smooth batter.

Chop the walnuts roughly and add it to the batter and stir ones.

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Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Grease and flour the baking pan. Pour in the prepared batter into the pan and bake in 180°C for 20-25 mins or until wooden tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool on wire rack and slice them into squares.

Eggless brownie is ready :)

Serve with vanilla ice cream :)

Happy making :)


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Note:

For a vegan recipe substitute the butter milk with soy milk and a tsp of lemon juice.

You can use melted butter instead of cooking oil.

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Tips:

Add more of assorted nuts to make a nutty brownie.

You can add chocolate chips as well.

Checkout for the microwave version of Brownie here.

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Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rajma Paratha / Red Kidney Beans Paratha

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Aloo partha is our family favorite and definitely occupies the dinner menu at least once in a month.

But this time I really wanted to make a healthier version of paratha replacing potato to something that is healthier and at the same time tasty too.

So I choose Rajma (red kidney beans) to make the filling for the paratha and it came out really well. All of us loved it and this dish made the slightly bland bean into a very tasty and healthy dish.

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Ingredients:

Rajma (Red Kidney Beans) - 1 cup
Onions - 2
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder - 2 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Lemon extract - 1 tblsp
Salt - for taste
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves

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Method:

Soak the rajma in water over night.

Cook the soaked beans in pressure cooker for 6 whistles.

Chop the onion finely and keep it aside.

Mash the cooked rajma into a smooth paste. You can even run it in mixie adding some water to it to make the paste.

Take 3 tsps of oil in a pan and drop in the cumin seeds. Once it splutters, add the chopped onion and fry until it turns golden brown. Now add the mashed rajma paste to the pan along with chilly powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, sugar and salt. Mix them well and cook on medium flame for a while till it becomes thick.

Switch off the flame and add the lemon extract to it and mix well until it blends. Finally add finely chopped coriander leaves and mix well.

Rajma filling is ready.

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Make lemon sized balls of rajma filling and keep it ready.

Make chapathi dough and roll out balls bigger than the rajma balls. Flour the work surface and roll the chapathi slightly into a thick circle and place the filling ball in the center and gather the dough from all the sides and seal the ball.

Press the ball slightly and roll the paratha gently into a large circle of 1/4 inch thickness. The trick is to roll it without the filling getting exposed ;)

Roast the paratha on tawa by adding few drops of oil.

Rajma paratha is ready to serve.

Serve it with thick curd or raitha of your choice :)

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Tips:

You can add finely chopped green chillies instead of chilly powder.

Try your choice of beans and follow the same recipe to make paratha :)

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Enjoy making healthy version of paratha :)

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Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Watermelon Dosa

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Yupeeeeeee! its the melon season and I'm enjoying them every day :)

Water melons are one of the best body coolants and are filling for the evening grumble too.

I made melon cake for my blog's birthday and really dint want to throw away the white rind portion of the melon. So came up with an interesting dosa with it :)

It was equally tasty and awesome :)

You can also check out the Moar kolambu that I made long back with the white rind of the melon. :)

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Ingredients:

Par boiled rice(pulungarisi) - 1 1/2 cup
Melon pieces(white rind portion alone) - 1 cup
Scrapped coconut - 1/2 cup
Salt - for taste

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Method:

Soak the par boiled rice in water for two hours.

Puree the white portion of the watermelon.

Grind the soaked rice, coconut and melon puree together into a smooth batter.

Add salt to the batter and mix well. The batter doesn't have to ferment.

The dosa can be done in two methods.

Keep the batter consistency slightly thick and pour a ladle full of batter in the center of the skillet and spread it like normal dosa. Add a tsp of oil and roast on both the sides.

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You can add a little water to the batter and pour a ladle full of batter starting from the edges in a circular way. Since the batter is loose it will automatically fill the middle portion. Add a spoon of oil to it. Turn the dosa and roast it on both the sides. (Like rava dosa)

I personally liked the second method better :)

Yummy melon dosa is ready to serve. Serve it hot with tomato onion chutney.

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Ingredients:

Tomato - 2
Onion - 1
Red chillies - 2
Salt - for taste

Method:

Chop onion and tomatoes roughly.

Take a tsp of oil in a pan and drop the red chillies followed by chopped tomatoes and onion. Fry for few mins until the raw smell leaves. Switch off and allow it to cool for a while.

Grind them with enough salt. Temper with mustard seeds.

Tomato onion chutney is ready to eat :)

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Note:

Make the dosas just before serving and enjoy them hot. They have a tendency to harden after a while.

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Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bloggy Birthday - Two years & Two Lakh Hits

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Happy birthday Bloggy :)

Its TWO years since Fourth Sense Cooking was born :) I wouldn't have believed if someone said a few years back that a non living blog could change life drastically. But now, I feel it and accept it wholeheartedly with a big nod.

Fourth sense cooking has given life to my creativity and interests. It has literally shown me who I am. Now it even makes me feel proud of myself :) I can really feel my bloggy kid growing up and adding laurels to me :)

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I knew it was my blog's birthday today but really dint have a great idea to celebrate and all. It was just another day and I took a short nap this afternoon. I had a weird.. ahhh no no a cute dream. My little bloggy fourth sense cooking came up in my dream with a human figure and asked me "Why are you celebrating your birthday alone with chocolate cake topped with fresh cream and Ferrero Rocher but don't even bother to wish for my birthday? :( "

Ohhhh dear.. when something of this kind appears in a dream, is there a way we can get away with it!! Never, I really dint want to disappoint my blog. So here is a simple yet cute celebration for my little one's 2nd birthday :)

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Its 730 days of blogging!! yahooooo..

If at all I have blogged for these many days its all because of a lot of people around me and I really need to thank them all for making this happen.

My first thanks royally goes to my Mom. :) Amma, without you I wouldn't have known any of these and my interests are totally inherited from you. You are the soul reason behind this blog. You have taught me things, shared recipes with me, given me ideas to cook and click, helped me making them and have encouraged me to do what I like. A big hug and I bow down to you forever. Thank you Amma :)

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Love you Dad. You have got whatever I asked you for. Supported me totally to do what I like and never forced me on any day. Till date you have shown keen interests in what I do and your words of encouragement is my boost. :) And you have in fact enjoyed the dishes be it yummy or yuck!!! Thank you so much and Ummmmah Appa :)

Sisy my best pal :) You have been a super dooper criticizer to all my posts. Your words of encouragement helped me to do more and your criticizing words have helped me to do them better :) A perfect combi, so I owe you so much for it :) Thank you so much and I extend the thanks to my sweet brother in law who has got me a lot of props and equipments for my blogging :)

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Note: I have sprinkled some chaat masala on the melon balls and thats specially for my dad :)

Now comes the major part of people who I just cant afford to miss out.

A million thanks to my dearest READERS, FRIENDS and CO-Bloggers. You all play a major role behind this blog and you have always kept me going with the lovely comments that you all write and even by simply visiting my space and trying my recipes.

Nothing else can give me pleasure than my blog being useful to someone somewhere. :)

I thank you all so much for making this little girl's dream come true :)

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My little bloggy gave me a cute surprise. Fourth sense cooking has crossed 200000 hits today :)

Its a double bonanza celebration now :) Though it has been a slow and steady growth, the march from 1 lakh to 2 lakh has just taken a few months time and this makes me feel so good about the progress :)

I would like to thank all the visitors once again and really hope you enjoy the journey through this blog just as ever.

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Water melon cake inspired from - Veggie belly which was in turn an inspiration from Martha Stewart.

Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.




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