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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Baby Corn Manchurian (Step by Step Pics) ~ Indo - Chinese Appetizer

The word 'Manchurian' in itself is mouth watering and my kids love it with fried rice. Manchurian can be made with different vegetables and chicken. Gobi manchurian is one of the famous one that all  frequently try and then there is mushroom manchurian soya manachurian, prawns manchurian, chicken manchurian.  I have tried all of these once in a while whenever I prepare fried rice but these days spring onion is a rare entity in our near by veg shops. Minus the spring onion all of the rest was available and so made baby corn manchurian. All manchurian can be made dry or with gravy. This is a simple manchurian that you can prepare quickly with baby corn. You can use fresh or frozen baby corn. If you are using frozen baby corn, then can omit boiling the baby corn. I have used fresh baby corn in this recipe. The frying part of baby corn is the only place where you can go wrong if the fried baby corn turn soft. To avoid this its better to boil the baby corn pieces and then add to the prepared batter and then fry the baby corn pieces which will make the pieces crispy. Do give this a try and enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 3-4
for batter fry
baby corn  6-8
maida 3 tbsp
corn flour 2 tbsp
chilli powder 1/2 tsp
salt to taste
oil to fry

for sauce
capsicum cube chopped 1 medium sized
onion 1 cubed
garlic cloves 3 fine chopped
chilli sauce 1 tbsp
dark soy sauce 2 tsp
tomato sauce/ ketchup 2tbsp
corn flour 1 tbsp
salt a pinch
sugar a pinch
vinegar 1 tsp (optional)
oil 2 tbsp

  • Peel the husk and hair of baby corn. Wash under running water and then slit vertically. Cut horizontally in two and keep ready. Heat water in a sauce pan and add salt. To this add the chopped baby corn pieces when the water is boiling. Then cook for 4-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove all pieces in a plate (this step is important to get the baby corn pieces crisp while frying, otherwise the pieces gets cooked when frying and becomes soft when drained off the oil).

  • Make a batter using maida, corn flour, chilli powder, salt and water. The batter should be thick so that when we add the baby corn pieces, it loosens slightly and will become the right consistency else the batter may not coat the baby corn pieces well.

  • Heat oil in a wok or kadai and add oil to this. When oil is hot, drop each pieces of baby corn coated with batter to the oil. Please don't overcrowd the wok and fry the pieces in batches. Drain on a paper towel and then immediately remove this on a plate ( if left in the paper towel, it becomes soggy and soft).
  • Use 2 tbsp of the same oil in a non stick pan and add the chopped garlic. Saute the garlic until lightly browned. Add in the chopped capsicum and onion, saute for 30- 45 seconds on high heat. Then add the sauces one by one. Mix the corn flour in a tbsp of water and pour to the sauces. 

  • Finally slide in the baby corn pieces, adjust salt if needed and add a pinch of sugar,vinegar at this point if using(I generally don't use vinegar as it doesn't suit us). Switch off flame.
  • Finally garnish with spring onion / chopped cilantro and a tbsp of sesame seeds on top. Serve hot.
* If you don't have chilli sauce, replace this with 1/2 tsp chilli powder or crushed chilli flakes.
* Vinegar is optional as the sauces already have this in it.
* Please be careful while adding salt to sauces as the sauces have salt in it.
* Also if you are preparing ahead, make till the sauces and wait to mix the fried baby corn pieces else it becomes soft while serving. It good to mix just before serving for the best results.
* If you wish to have a gravy then, please go ahead and 2 tbsp of corn flour more to half a cup of water and add top to the sauces. This way the gravy will be thick and not watery.

* Baby corn Stir fry

Monday, September 21, 2020

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies(Eggless) ~ Step by Step Pics

Cookies are my younger son's favorite and he will never spare any cookie, the most favorite being the chocolate cookies. I tasted chocolate chip cookies, double chocolate cookies after landing in US and how kids used to go crazy after these. But gradually I started baking my own batch of chocolate chip cookie at home with wheat flour and a mch healthier one. The chocolate chip cookie I already have posted here but that just uses chocolate chip. These cookies have cocoa powder and chocolate chips in them to call it double. There is also a third variant called triple chocolate chip which am yet to try. These double chocolate chip cookies are crisp on the edges and thin outer cover but inside is chewy and soft.

Its been quite some days since I posted something here and the reasons obviously are the usual ones like kids attending online classes and so don't get hold of the system whenever am free and then laziness takes over above all the good reasons. Anyways better late than never, hope I remain consistent now. Coming back to today's recipe these double chocolate chip cookies are made with wheat flour, light brown sugar and are eggless. I haven't powdered the brown sugar and have beaten the butter with sugar the similar way and you can see the sugar speckles in pics too which we totally liked it as it gives a nice crunch. You can always powder the sugar and then beat the butter. These cookies stay good for few days in air tight containers. I didn't have much let overs to store for many days. Do give this a try and enjoy with a cup of warm milk.

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Baking time ~ 12-15 minutes
Serves ~ 12 cookies
Author ~ Julie
wheat flour 1 cup
cocoa powder 1/4 cup
corn flour 1tbsp
baking soda 1/2 tsp
softened unsalted butter(room temp) 100 gms or 1 stick
light brown sugar or regular sugar 1/2 cup
chocolate chips 1/4 cup
vanilla essence 1 tsp
milk 1/4 cup
salt a pinch

  • In  a bowl, add the dry ingredients- wheat flour, corn flour, cocoa powder, salt  and baking soda. Mix with a spatula.Keep aside.
  • In another bowl, add the softened butter. To this add powdered sugar (I have used light brown sugar but you can use regular granulated sugar as well). I haven't powdered the light brown sugar as the small crystals when bit in between the cookies tastes good. Then beat the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale.
  • To this add the vanilla extract and add the dry ingredients in batches. Add milk as needed and combine well to for a dough. To this add the chocolate chips(reserve a tbsp of chips for garnish) and then cover with a cling wrap.

  • Refrigerate this dough for 15-20 minutes. Then remove the dough, divide in two portions. Roll out one portion of 1/4" thickness. Using a cookie cutter of 2" diameter or a bottle lid, cut out small round discs. Place few chocolate chips on top of each cookie and press down gently.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place the prepared cookie on a tray lined with parchment paper, the cookies expand slightly so place leaving a little gap. Bake in pre heated oven to 12-15 minutes. Mine was done in 13 minutes, just check the sides if it turned slightly browned then its done. Cool on wire rack completely and then store in air tight containers. Enjoy !!

* You can use jaggery too instead of sugar if you get good quality jaggery.
* If your butter contains salt then omit the addition of salt in dough.
* You can use ghee instead of butter too.

Check this link for more cookies recipes in this space.

Monday, September 07, 2020

Kothamara(Kothavara) - Carrot Thoran | Guar Beans (Cluster Beans) Stir Fry

Kothamara was one of the less used vegetables at home until I found the benefits of this veggie. Initially kothavara was added only to sambar and aviyal but later on this was taken up by stir fry. I tasted this stir fry in a hotel but then it was made as kothamara stir fry alone.Later I started making it by adding carrots to this and found all loved this form than the kothamara alone.This is a simple stir fry but does require a little more time than usual to cut the veggie. Though kothamara can be made as a stir fry on its own but I feel addition of carrots balances the bitter flavor of kothamara.This  bitter flavor is further reduced considerably by the addition of shallots and grated coconut. The grated coconut added to this stir fry is slightly more than usual stir fries/ thoran. Check this out !!

Preparation time ~ 15 minutes
Cooking time ~ 10 minutes
Serves ~ 8-10
Author ~ Julie
kothavara/ guar beans 350 gms
carrot 2 large
grated coconut 3/4 cup
shallots/ kunjulli 10 chopped
green chilies / pacha mulaku 3 sliced
turmeric powder / manjal podi  1/2 tsp
curry leaves a sprig
coconut oil 2 tbsp
mustard seeds 1 tsp
salt to taste

  • Use tender cluster beans (guar/ kothamara) for stir fry. If you don't find the tender ones that then snip both edges or the hard sides of the cluster beans. Then chop the kothamara in small bits.

  • Peel the skin of carrot, wash and chop it small like kothamara.Chop the shallots, green chillies.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When it slutters add in the green chillies, chopped shallots and curry leaves. Saute until translucent. Add in the kothamara, carrots. Add turmeric powder and salt. Mix well, add 1/4 cup water. Cook covered for 5-6 minutes.
  • Run the grated coconut in a blender without adding water and pulse. Add the grated coconut, mix well. Check salt if needed. Then simmer on low flame for 2 minutes. Uncover lid and dry off any moisture left in the stir fry /thoran. Switch off flame, add a sprig of curry leaves. Keep covered for 10 minutes and serve.
* Remember to snip the hard sides of the mature kothamara(cluster beans) else it doesn't cook soft unlike the tender ones.
* Kothamara needs a little water to cook than just steam cooking. Add few tbsp of water to cook.
* If you like the stir fry more spicier then add more green chillies.
* Carrot is optional but it does reduces the bitterness of kothamara and adds a nice flavor.