PEANUT BUTTER




We've been buying peanut butter since............... I can't even remember. The kids take peanut butter sandwiches to school like every other day.  So......me being me.....................I decided to make my own. Well.............are you thinking why go through the hassle of making your own when you just buy it off the shelf??Well........true if you just eat it once in awhile. But when households like us eat it everyday...................it feels good go know that there are no preservatives and wayyyyyyy less sugar.


The result was pretty good. Very close to the store bought ones in terms of taste. just think of all the preservatives and sugar etc you can actually cut down.

Add it to your smoothies, eat it with a fruit bowl or just dig in and eat it plain.............they are full of protein. Take a look at my Almond Butter Recipe while your here. Nut butters are all the rage at the moment and a good way to add some taste to the bla stuff :D

INGREDIENTS:
natural unsalted peanuts - 2 cups
sea salt - 1 tsp
coconut oil - 3 tbsp
sugar - 1/2 tsp (or can even skip)


PROCESS:
  • Slightly dry roast the peanuts till fragrant. Let it cool and then place them in a tea towel and gently massage them for all the skin to come off. Reserve the peanuts and discard the skin.
  • If you like bits of peanuts in your peanut butter (Crunchy) then reserve about 1/3 cup of the peanuts and add the rest of it into your blender or food processor.
  • Whizz until it becomes pastey. Slowly add in the coconut oil at regular intervals to ease the blending process.
  • In the end just add the the sea salt and the reserved peanuts and give it one last whizz.
  • Store in a clean jar and refrigerate for a longer shelf life.

THENGA PAAL SORU / COCONUT MILK RICE




This dish might look simple, but its big enough in terms of flavour to jazz up the rest of the meal. The smell of it cooking itself is enough to make you want to eat out of the pot! :)

It goes well with non vegetarian dishes........ like a spicy tamarind based fish curry or this Lamb Curry I posted yesterday.


INGREDIENTS:
basmathi rice (long grained rice) - 4 cups
cardamom - 4
bay leaves - 2
cloves - 5
cinnamon - 2 sticks
channa dal / kadala paruppu - 2 tbsps
fenugreek seeds/ vendhayam - 1 and a half tsp
onion, sliced thinly - 1 big
tomato, chopped - 1
ginger garlic paste - 1 and a half tbsp
curry leaves - 2 stems
ghee - 5 tbsps
oil to cook 
salt 
coconut milk and water - (equal proportions. see notes below)


PROCESS:
  • Wash and soak the basmathi rice in water atleast for 20 minutes before cooking.
  • Wash and soak the fenugreek and channa dal in water separately in water for atleast 20 minutes before cooking.
  • Heat the oil and ghee in a saucepan. add in the bayleaves, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon.
  • Add the onions and saute till slightly browned. the onions must be drowning in the oil and ghee while cooking. So don't be stingy with the oil. Add ginger garlic paste and cook for a few minutes till fragrant.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook well. 
  • Add the chana dal and cook for a few minutes till cooked (2-3 minutes)
  • Next, add the fenugreek, curry leaves and salt and cook for a further 1 minute
  • Switch off the flame.
  • Add in the coconut milk and water.
  • Pour this into a rice cooker and add in the drained rice. Check for salt and let it cook.
Notes:
  • To cook the rice, I use 1 and 1/4 cups liquid for 1 cup rice.
  • So, for 4 cups rice I have used 5 cups liquid
  • so for 5 cups liquid - 2 and 1/2 cups water and 2 and 1/2 cups diluted coconut milk

SPICED LAMB CURRY



I  was never good at making curries until I experimented with this one. pepper has become my new favourite ingredient for meaty Indian curries. This dish goes well with parathas or thenga paal  soru(coconut milk rice) . The recipe for the coconut milk rice is coming up in my next blog post!



Ok. So about this mutton curry............its spicy (ofcourse you can cut it down) and full of flavour. Make sure you cook the meat well so you bite into tender pieces and not hard ones! You can opt to add some coconut milk (about 2 tbsps of thick coconut milk) if you like. but I personally prefer it without!

This is 'A'  finger licking good recipe..........Imagine you come home to some of this mutton curry after a hard, long days work!!! :D ................or ............ummmmm............how about the thought of eating it for dinner??....................might even help you get through that long day at work??........ EVEN BETTER!!! (wink)












INGREDIENTS:
lamb with bones - 1 kg
cinnamon - 1 big piece
cardamom - 3
cloves - 5
onions, chopped - 4 to 5
green chilies, slit - 3
big tomatoes, chopped - 2
ginger garlic paste - 4 tbsps +1 tsp
chili powder - 2 tbsps
turmeric powder - 3/4 tsp
cumin powder - 3/4 tsp
coriander powder - 3 tbsps
black pepper powder - 3 tsps (or more if you want it spicier)
ghee - 1 tbsp
oil
salt
curry leaves - 1 big stem

PROCESS:
  • Wash the lamb and pressure cook it along with 1 tsp ginger garlic paste, a bit of salt and with just enough water to cook it . (the number of whistles depends on the quality of meat ) Keep aside.
  • In a wok, heat about 8 tbsps of oil. Add the cardamoms, cinnamon and cloves.
  • Add in the onions and green chilies and nicely saute them till they turn translucent and slightly brown. 
  • Next add in the ginger garlic paste and saute for a few minutes till its nice and fragrant.
  • Next add the chili powder and let it cook in the oil for a  minute or 2. Then add the tomatoes. Close and cover for a few minutes till they are soft and mushy. With the back of your spatula just mash them in so that the tomatoes are not lumpy. Make sure the contents of the pan are a nice masala at this stage.
  • Add in the cooked lamb (without the water. Reserve the water for later)
  • Stir well so that the lamb is coated with all the spices.
  • Now, add in the turmeric, salt, pepper, coriander powder and cumin powder. Stir well and cover and cook for a minute or so.
  • Add 3 to 3 and a half cups of water. (you can use the remaining water from cooking the lamb) close the pan and let it cook. 
  • After awhile when you see the water level has gone down slightly and its reached the required gravy consistency add the chopped coriander leaves, curry leaves and the ghee. stir and let it cook for a further 3 minutes and then switch off the flame. 

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