Javanese Soto Ayam ( Indonesian chicken Noodle soup)

Javanese Soto Ayam
(Indonesian chicken noodle  soup)
Soto is a traditional Indonesian soup mainly composed of broth, meat, and vegetables. Many traditional soups are called soto, and the ingredients vary from region to region.
Its a light flavoursome soup on the lines of a Burnese khowsuey, but minus the coconut milk. A DIY style of having soup. A flavoursome soup is made out of herbs, and chicken is normally boiled in it and shredded afterwards. Accompanied by some steamed vegetables. It does require some preparation but the end result is amazing.
Do try this soup as cooked in my home.
Its a one bowl meal.😊

Soups bring comfort during winters and make for a light meal during summers. Sadly, soups were not something made very often at home when we were kids.

Mummy made soup only if we were sick.😊.

But living in Indonesia, its been very easy to make friends with a number of soup varieties. And Soto is a favourite of mine.😊
On to the recipe…


Ingredients to be ground to a fine paste for the soup..
15 small shallots
1 inch pc of ginger
1 inch pc of galangal( can omit)
5 to 6 garlic pods
1 inch piece of fresh turmeric
1 tbsp corriander seeds
5 candle nuts( pan roasted) or 5 cashew nuts

To be added to the soup
300 gms chicken with bone( I prefer the thigh).

Ingredients for flavouring the soup
1 lemongrass root( bashed)
Few fresh bay leaves
Few kaffir lime leaves

Heat 2 tbsps of oil in a sauce pan
Add lemongrass root, bay and kaffir lime leaves. Saute till the herbs release thier fragrance.
Add ground paste and chicken,
saute till oil seperates.
Add 1 litre of hot water.
Add salt and sugar.
Let it simmer for 10 to 15 mins.
Remove chicken, shred and keep aside
Strain  the remaining soup and keep hot.
Prepare the remaining ingredients
1 cup finely sliced cabbage( blanched)
1 cup of bean sprouts( blanched)
1/2 cup of finely chopped spring onions and celery
1/2 cup of fried onions
2 potatoes( cut into thin slices and fried, or use ready potato chips)
Rice noodles, boiled and strained( about 1 big bowl)
1 bowl of shredded chicken
2 boiled eggs( quartered)
Slices of lime
Sambal( boil 6 red chillies, and blend with a little water, 2 pods garlic, salt.

Assembling
Take a bowl and add rice noodles, cabbage, beansprouts ,  boiled eggs, shredded chicken, potato chips, spring onions, fried onions.
Top with very hot soup. And enjoy with a squirt of lime juice and sambal.

Ras kalaan

A vegetarian dish which is simple to cook and delicious to eat, describes Ras kalaan, which originates from the southern state of Kerala, inspite of not containing any onions, garlic or ginger, is yet so pleasing to the palette.
In today’s recipe I have added drumsticks, sweet potato, broccoli and green peas. Normally it is made using tubers like yam or potatoes. I like adding different vegetables to this, and at times, have even used mushroons, babycorn etc . Do try this recipe which comes together very quickly.
KALAAN, A name which was so unfamiliar to me years ago, until I stumbled upon it by chance when south Indian food was a big mood with me, it was that particular year when I was cooking a lot of south Indian food. Having been born and brought up In India, I love the regional food which our great country has to offer.
Back to the KAALAN, which is basically a keralite preparation, made with fresh coconut and yogurt. Its fresh and tangy taste is so refreshing , making you want to make it it often. The ideal pairing for this vegetable is rice, though I prefer having it with a roti adai(rice flour roti)or paratha.
Many of us have a image about south Indian food which probably consists of Dosa, Idli, Uttapams etc. Reality is that its a vast platter of numerous dishes which delight the palette. So, on to the recipe. Feel free to replace any vegetables with your favourites.😊

Ras Kalaan
Ingredients
4 drumsticks..scraped,cut into 4 to 5 pieces , and boiled.
1 small sweet potatoe, boiled and cubed
1/2 cup green peas( I used frozen)
1 cup broccoli flowerlets, par boiled.
(Roughly about 200 gms mixed vegetables)
1 cup fresh grated coconut
4 dry red chillies
2 cups fresh yogurt
1 tsp methi seeds (fenugreek)
1 tsp raw rice(washed)
2 tbsps palm sugar( gur) jaggery
1 or 2 green chillies
FOR TEMPERING
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies, broken into pcs
1 tbsp chana dal
1 tbsp urad dal
Few curry leaves
Salt
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

Method
1. Heat 1 tsp coconut oil in a pan and add 1 tsp methi seeds and 2 dry red chillies(broken). Saute for 2 mins.
2. Grind 1 cup grated coconut, 2 cups yogurt, 2 green chillies, 1 tsp raw rice, the sauted methi seeds and dry red chillies. Grind to a smooth paste. Keep aside.
3. Heat 2 tbsps coconut oil in a pan, add 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tbsp chana dal and 1 tbsp udad dal, curry leaves. Saute for a while till fragrant.
4. Add the vegetables and coconut paste along with turmeric powder, salt, 2 tbsps palm sugar and half cup of water.
5. Cook for 5 to 10 mins. Untill oil seperates.
Serve hot with steamed rice, or parathas.

Asian fusion noodle omelette

Eggs, world wide favorite ingredient for countless recipes. You name it and an egg is most often present in most cakes, custards, souffles, in savoury dishes and the list goes on.
At our home eggs in some form are always present at breakfast time.
My favourite anytime dish is bedo dabroti( an omelette and a slice of bread).
Today’s recipe incorporates instant noodles mixed with beaten eggs and some vegetables to give you a noodle omelette. The slight difference here is that I have not cooked the noodles. So the omelette has a bit of crunch. A hearty snack or an accompaniment to a bowl of soup or a crunchy salad .
Do try this simple to put together recipe. Feel free to add or change the vegetables. A bit of crunchy bacon or ham will surely high light this simple wholesome dish. Came across this idea on a tik tok video and played around with the additional vegetables and realised that we used to make a similar omelette using cooked noodles. Flash back mode.😊. Do try this recipe.



Ingredients

2 packets of any brand instant noodles… maggie, indomie etc
Spice mix sachets( included with noodles)
2 tbsps finely chopped carrots
2 tbsps finely chopped cabbage
2 tbsps finely chopped paprika
2 tbsps finely chopped spring onions and celery.
3 big eggs or 4 small eggs.



Method..
Put the noodles from the 2 packets in a food processor and blitz for few seconds. You will get crushed noodles. Alternately you can crush the noodles manually while still in the packet, with your hands or a rolling pin.
Transfer broken noodles to a big bowl, add the spice mixture from both the packets. At this point you can add some chillie flakes or chopped chillies if you wish.
Add the carrots, cabbage, parika and spring onions celery to the noodles.
Beat the eggs seperately and add to the noodles. Mix well and add to a preheated nonstick frying pan to which about 3 tbsps oil have been added.
Spread the egg mixture evenly.
Cook on a low flame for few mins, untill golden brown.
(Do not cover)
Gently flip the omelette. Cook for a few more minutes.
Remove onto a platter and cut into wedges.
Serve hot…
** as we are using the spice packets which are included in instant noodle packets, there is no need to add salt or any other spice. Unless you wish to make it more spicy.

Dhaba chicken

Many years ago, I happened to come across a concept to making a meat dish similar to the recipe I will be sharing with you all today. This particular dish is really very tasty, and best eaten with parathas or phulkas. For those of you who are eggetarians, can substitute paneer for chicken. Just imagine a delicious chicken curry, topped with beaten and seasoned eggs, then steamed for a short time.
Please try and use boneless chicken fillet or thigh .
The name which I have given to this dish, not a very original name for sure, but thats how I have written it in my cook book. And also because I always make it in a stainless steel container, which is also called a dhaba. Today’s reference picture also contains a small glass ramekin, in which I made it, just for you all to see how it looks.
Do try this recipe, and serve it with kechumbo( onion relish).

Dhaba chicken

500 gms boneless chicken cut into cubes.
150 gms finely chopped onions
2 tomatoes
4 pods garlic
1 inch piece of ginger
1 sprig curry leaves(12 leaves)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp red chillie powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp corriander powder
1 tsp chicken tikka masala or any box masala you have handy
Salt to taste
1 cup thick yogurt
Chopped corriander leaves.
2 eggs .
Grated cheddar cheese.

METHOD.
Take a bowl, add yogurt, red chillie powder, turmeric, corriander powder, garam masala, chicken tikka masala, chicken cubes. Mix well and keep aside.
Now heat 4 tbsps oil in a pot, and add finely chopped onions .
Saute till golden brown , remove and keep aside. When cool, blend together with 2 tomatoes and keep aside.
In a mixer jar, add curry leaves, cumin seeds, ginger and garlic. Add little water and grind to a fine paste.
Heat 2 tbsps oil in a pan and add the curry leaf paste, saute for 5 mins and add marinated chicken..cook till almost dry, then add the fried onion tomato paste. Cook till oil seperates. Add salt and corriander leaves. Check the gravy.
Consistency of gravy should be thick, but not dry.
Lastly smoke it.( optional) ( picture is included)
Now, put the chicken curry into a steel or heat resistant glass container. Beat eggs in a bowl , season with salt , and pour on top of the curry. Top with grated cheddar cheese, sprinkle red chillie powder and chopped corriander leaves.
Steam in a hot steamer for 10 or 15 mins. Serve hot with parathas or phulkas. And onion relish.

ONION RELISH/ KECHUMBO
Cut one big onion into slices, grate one carrot, and thinly sliced paprika. Mix with with 2 tsps salt. After sometime wash under running water, squeeze out all water, and add lime juice, salt and sugar to taste.

Sindhi Aisi bhaji/sabji (spinach and Ridge gourd)

Todays Delicious recipe is in memory of my dear mother in law, who made this particular version of spinach and turaiya, whenever I had given birth to my children. Supposedly very good for lactating mothers. She made sure I ate this sabji every second day for 40 days after child birth. It had to be turaiya every day, either mixed with spinach or made plain with only cardamom, which we sindhis call as phote bhugun turiyuoon And to be frank I loved eating both these variations. She sometimes served it with plain chappatis and sometimes with mitho lolo( sweet flat bread).The only thing that she omitted was chillies. Aisi, otherwise would mean only spinach cooked plain with out the addition of any other vegetables. But, this version of mummy is really very tasty..😊

The way this sabji is cooked is almost like the famous sindhi saibhaji, but the addition of turaiya gives it super silky texture. We cook it in the pressure cooker and mash it towards the end till everything is one beautiful green smooth sabji. Adding garlic once while cooking and once as a tadka just enhances the taste.

Spinach was not my favourite vegetable when we were growing up, but as an adult it definately has a special place in my list of favourite vegetables. I remember my mother making tikkis out of left over saibhaji, just by adding boiled potatoes after drying out the sai bhaji as much as possible by cooking it further. She always panfried the tikkis which were yummy… A close cousin to the hara bhara tikkis which we relish at Indian restaurants.

Do try this simple recipe and serve with any simple pulav or phulkas.

Ingredients

350 gms peeled and chopped turaiya/ ridge gourd

150 gms chopped spinach

1 big onion finely chopped

2 tomatoes sliced

4 green chillies finely chopped

2 tbsps chopped garlic

1 tbsp chopped ginger

1 tsp corriander powder

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp methi seeds

1/2 tsp hing..asafoetida

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Salt to taste

3 tbsps oil

Method..

Heat 2 tbsps oil in a pressure cooker and add methi seeds, cumin and hing. Saute till fragrant.

Add chopped onion and saute till golden brown.

Add 1 tbsp of garlic, ginger and green chillies.

Add tomatoes, corriander powder, turmeric, salt

When tomatoes are pulpy, add chopped turaiya and cook till the turaiya start letting out water.

Add the chopped spinach and 1/4 cup of water.

Close the cooker and cook for 3 to 4 whistles.

Open the lid, and churn with a wooden hand churner( mandiro) or an electric whisk.

Lastly heat 1 tbsp oil in a small pan, add 1 tbsp chopped garlic and fry till pale golden. Add this tadka to the sabji…mix well and serve.

The complete Sindhi meal with Basar jo pulav, ( onion pulav) sookha aloo( potatoes with dry spices) Boondi raita, some fryums and onion carrot achar.

Spinach chutney with rice flour roti

Todays recipes are influenced by my love for south  indian food, spinach cooked lightly with coconut and lentils and then ground to a paste, eaten with a dosa or as I prefer it, with soft fluffy rice flour rotis. The amazing food of dhakshin india or south India barely calls for lot of spices, the magic is created by just using very few basic ingredients. I use coconut oil when I cook south Indian food, the fragrance of the ingredients being sauted in this oil is just too heady. Of course when I talk of south India, its just a general grouping of the food.. For me the masala dosa, idli, utappas and the avials are food which I relish. Collage days breakfasts mainly consisted of idli sambhars and medhu wadas at the canteen, served with fresh coconut chutney. Even today, when I go back to Pune for my visits, I try my utmost to go to Vaishali restaurant  , I have yet to eat a better dosa elsewhere, standing in the line for a seat just wets the appetite more. The SPDP or sev puri dahi puri fusion is a must have there and the horlicks milkshake is to die for… All Puneites will definitely vouch for this famous udipi restaurant.

Back to the recipe, spinach chutney has been cooked at our home since many years, a favourite of my daughters. While cooking this chutney , try not to over cook it as we want to retain its fresh green colour.his chutney can be eaten hot or at room temperature,  do try both these recipes, simple home food at its best.

SPINACH CHUTNEY

INGREDIENTS

3 TBSPS COCONUT OIL

1 TBSP CHANA DAL

1 TBSP URAD DAL

1/4 TSP HING

6 DRY RED CHILIS BROKEN INTO PIECES

12 SLICED SHALLOTS

1 SLICED TOMATO

4 TBSPS GRATED FRESH COCONUT

2 CUPS FINELY CHOPPED SPINACH (LEAVES ONLY, DISCARD STEMS)

1 TBSP TAMARIND PASTE OR LIME JUICE

1/2 TSP TURMERIC POWDER

SALT TO TASTE

METHOD..

HEAT COCONUT OIL IN A PAN, ADD THE CHANA DAL AND URAD DAL.. SAUTE TILL GOLDEN BROWN.

NOW ADD THE HING, BROKEN RED CHILLIES AND SLICED SHALLOTS

SAUTE ON  MEDIUM HEAT TILL ONIONS TURN A PALE GOLDEN COLOUR

NOW ADD THE SLICED TOMATO AND GRATED COCONUT AND SAUTE TILL TOMATO SOFTENS AND BLENDS WELL WITH THE  ONIONS.

AT THIS POINT ADD  THE SALT AND TURMERIC, TAMARIND PASTE, AND20170820_150639 THE SPINACH

SAUTE FOR A FEW MINUTES UNTIL SPINACH WILTS  AND SHUT OFF THE HEAT.

DO NOT COVER THE SPINACH AT ANY POINT

WAIT FOR A FEW MINUTES AND GRIND THE SPINACH MIXTURE TO A FINE PASTE, ADDING COLD WATER TO MAKE GRINDING EASY..

CHECK CONSISTENCY AND SERVE WITH ROTIS.

Now the rice flour roti, eaten all over India but with different names , called akki roti in the south and chawal ki roti in the north. It can be eaten plain or with some spices and chopped onions added to it. These soft white rotis are really light on the stomach.

RICE FLOUR ROTI

INGREDIENTS

1 CUP FINE RICE FLOUR

1 CUP WATER

1 TSP OIL

1/2 TSP SALT

METHOD

ADD WATER TO A PAN, AND BRING TO A ROLLING BOIL

ADD SALT AND OIL

NEXT ADD RICE FLOUR, THE MIXTURE WILL IMMEDIATELY BECOME LUMPY.

SHUT OFF THE HEAT AND COVER THE PAN TIGHTLY AND LET THE FLOUR COOK IN ITS OWN STEAM.

AFTER 10 MINUTES, REMOVE THE MIXTURE ONTO A PLATE AND KNEAD IT TO SMOOTH DOUGH, COVER WITH A WET NAPKIN.

HEAT THE TAVA OR FLAT GIRDLE

MAKE SMALL BALLS FROM THE DOUGH AND ROLL OUT THE ROTI.. IF YOU FIND IT STICKY, ( WHICH IT SHOULD NOT BE) JUST DIP THE BALL IN DRY RICE FLOUR AND ROLL OUT THE ROTI

PUT ONTO A HOT TAWA AND COOK ON BOTH SIDES TILL PUFFED UP AND BROWN SPOTS START APPEARING

REMOVE AND KEEP WARM IN A HOT CASSEROLE DISH.20170820_150816

 

 

Coconut Dal

The indian comfort food which we all have grown up with is Dal and chawal, right from  the time when we are babies, we are fed dal and khicadi, wholesome food and protein packed. Dal or lentils, as it is known in the west is a must at almost every meal in India. It is the source of protein for most vegetarians. There being a vast variety of lentils, each having a different texture after being cooked , gives options to the home makers in giving a varied menu to her family,. Of course each region or for that matter home, will surely have their own favourite dal. The south indians, love their sambhars and rasams both made of Tur dal or split pigeon peas, but having a different texture, while a sambhar is thick , rasams are like a thin spicy broth. The north Indians love the whole moong dal , which is cooked to a creamy thick consistency and  served in the Gurudwara at langars, which is a community kitchen where meals are served free of charge.And so on, the ways of cooking the humble lentils differ from state to state, in some parts of India, dal is cooked on a charcoal flame or sigris, for a few hours gently simmering away to give a beautiful aromatic and creamy result.  Dal is mostly eaten with rice or sometimes with some indian flat bread like chappatis or parathas. The Indians love their dal, to the extent of incorporating it into their desserts like the maharashtrain puran poli, which is an Indian flatbread stuffed with a boiled and mashed chana dal which has jaggery and cardamon powder added to it, when well made it literally melts in the mouth. And the Bengal moong daaler payesh which has a creamy consistency and is made with milk, moong dal and jaggery.

Dal in the sindhi home which has received world wide fame is  the Dal Pakwan,  a dish of simple boiled chana dal topped with a sweet and sour chutney and onion relish or kechumbo as its called in sindhi and served with a pakwan which is a cummin flavoured flat bread deep fried to a crunchy crispness. The pleasure derived in every bite of the contrasting textures is what  has made this breakfast dish so popular. Today I will share with you a simple coconut dal recipe, It is a recipe given in our cooking group, by our group member Neetu. I have tweaked the recipe a little and made a few changes. Do try this amazing dal, which can be eaten with rice or phulkas. The addition of coconut  cream takes its texture to a new level..

Coconut Dal

Ingredients.

1/2 cup yellow moong dal, soaked and boiled to a mushy consistency.

6 tbsps of fresh grated coconut

4 dry red chillies, broken into pieces

1 tbsp chopped garlic

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

3 tbsps coconut cream [ I used kara]

2 tbsps coconut oil

Ingredients for tempering

1 sliced big onion

3  whole dry red chillies

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp cummin seeds

1/4 tsp hing or asafoetida

A sprig of curry leaves

1 tbsp of ghee

Method..

Boil and mash the dal, keep on a simmer.

In another pan,add coconut oil and grated coconut.. saute for a while and add the broken red chillie and garlic, saute till fragrant. grind this mixture with a little water till smooth and add to the dal along with the turmeric powder,IMG-20170812-WA0053 season to taste with salt.

At this point, your dal will be a pretty peach colour., simmer for abt 5 mins more.

Add coconut cream, check the consistency  of the dal which should not be watery .

Next, heat ghee in a seperate small pan and add mustard and cummin seeds to the hot ghee, also add the sliced onions, curry leaves, hing and whole red chillies.. saute till fragrant and add  this tempering to the simmering dal.

Serve dal with rice or phulkas.. enjoy.