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Cover: Some like it hot

11Jul 12

Sarkarai Pongal

Sarkarai Pongal is a traditional sweet dish from South India. It is made during the Pongal festival, and symbolically offered to the sun god before being eaten. But you don’t have to go all the way to South India during the Pongal festival to enjoy this tasty treat. I’m going to teach you how to prepare it from the comfort of your own home. This recipe calls for mung daal, which are mung beans that have been stripped of their hulls. These healthy legumes can be found in speciality vegetarian shops or speciality Indian shops. You will also need to buy jaggery, a healthy natural sugar, to prepare this dessert properly. The refined white sugar you buy at the supermarket has been heavily processed with many chemicals. Jaggery, however, is naturally processed from sap, without any added stuff. This means it retains all its natural properties and minerals. And apart […]

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10Jul 12

Zesty Green Chutney

Green Chutney is perhaps the simplest chutney to make, and it is also the most versatile. The combination of  coriander, lemon juice and mint make this chutney extremely zesty. It goes very well with all kinds of samosas or even Viatnemese spring rolls. Samosas and Bondas are finger foods, which is why this Green Chutney makes the perfect dip. Since it is so flavourful, you could also pour it over something a bit more subtle such as cottage cheese, as you see in the photo. Not everyone makes Green Chutney with mint. However, I find mint to be very refreshing, and it balances the spicier ingredients perfectly. I have a friend who once tried this with dried mint herbs she bought at the supermarket, but she told me it just was not the same. When mint dries, it loses its zesty flavour, and that really takes away a lot from […]

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07Jul 12

Mild Lentil and Tomato Stew

This Mild Lentil and Tomato Stew is a vegetarian stew that is very substantial and filling, without being fattening at all. It is perfect for a cold or rainy day and is similar to this red lentil and potato bake, except a bit spicier. Cardamom is a zesty Indian spice that you can buy at your local Indian grocery store. Since cardamom tastes slightly like lemon, it goes very well with the lemon juice. Both the cardamom and lemon juice are added at the very end as a final touch. Ingredients: 800g Lentils 2 litres Water 1/4tsp Cumin seeds 1/4tsp Coriander seeds 1 large Onion, chopped 3 cloves Garlic, chopped ½tbsp Turmeric 1/2tbsp Ginger powder 5 large Tomatoes 1/2tsp Cayenne pepper 1tbs Paprika 1 clove Cardamom, ground 3tbs Lemon Juice 5tbs Olive Oil Preparation Method: Wash the lentils thoroughly and put them in a bowl. Cover the lentils and leave them […]

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03Jul 12

Spicy Tomato Chutney

Chutneys are a clever and delectable way to consume your daily intake of fruits and veggies. You can use them in all sorts of dishes to jazz them up or create an interesting twist on the flavours, or simply enjoy on top of  a hunk of bread with a side of cheese.   I suggest you try my recipe for tomato chutney, as it is a very versatile chutney that goes well with rice and with tandoori chicken kebabs. This is a great recipe for the summer when tomatoes are in season. Ingredients: ¼ teaspoons mustard seeds 2 red chilli peppers, whole ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds 1 teaspoon Channa Dal nuts 1 large onion, chopped 5 cloves garlic 2 teaspoons ginger powder 2 green chilli peppers, chopped 1 teaspoon cashew nuts, chopped 10 large, fresh tomatoes, chopped into 2 cm by 2 cm cubes 4 curry leaves Pinch of salt […]

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28Jun 12

Dum Aloo

Dum Aloo is a delicious vegetarian potato dish. It consists of fried potatoes in a thick yoghurt gravy. Since Dum Aloo is a lot like a potato stew,  (try this red lentil and potato bake recipe), it is rather substantial and filling, so it makes for a great veggie meal. This potato dish goes well with naan bread or even with rice. When preparing this recipe, be careful not to add too much ginger, or it will overpower the entire dish. The potatoes and yoghurt gravy can be garnished with chopped coriander leaves. This will give the dish a lovely refreshing touch. Ingredients: 10 small potatoes 4 onions 3tbsp ghee 4 curry leaves 2 bay leaves 1tsp ginger powder 1/2tsp red chilli powder 2tsp coriander powder 1tsp cumin powder 250ml yoghurt Pinch of salt to taste 1/2tsp garam masala powder vegetable oil to deep fry the potatoes 10g fresh coriander […]

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26Jun 12

Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani is a tasty Indian dish made with a layer of marinated chicken and a layer of basmati rice. Some people alternate and do four or even six different layers, but in my house we always prepared it with just one layer of chicken and one layer of rice. I have always made this with ghee, which is Indian butter. Ghee can be bought at many speciality Indian grocery stores, or you can try my ghee recipe. Ingredients: 1kg Chicken 100ml Yoghurt 1 Green Chilli Pepper 8 Cloves Garlic 5tsp Ginger Powder 1/2tsp Red Chilli Powder 1/2tsp Coriander Powder 1/2tsp Turmeric Powder 500g Basmati Rice 1l Water 300g Ghee 2tbsp Whole Garam Masala 2 Large Onions 4 Medium Tomatoes, Chopped 30ml Milk 1/2tsp Saffron Pinch of Salt to taste Preparation Method: Chop the raw chicken into medium-sized cubes. Mix the yoghurt, finely chopped green chilli pepper, ginger powder, 4 […]

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23Jun 12

Mango Pachadi

Mango Pachadi is a delicious Indian side dish which is actually quite fun to make. It is best served with rice and curry like this yellow thai chicken curry. One of the key spices that gives this dish its distinctive flavour is asafoetida. This Indian spice is said to be very good for digestion. This is helpful, since many of my friends here in England say they find Indian food quite heavy. However, if you add a nice digestive ingredient like asafoetida, it makes for much better digestion and can be found at your local Indian market. Ingredients: 1 large mango ½tsp turmeric powder 10 red chilli peppers, minced 1tsp mustard seeds 2tbsp jaggery 1/2tsp chilli powder Pinch of Asafoetida 1.5tsp rice flour Salt to taste 600ml water 5tsp oil  Preparation Method: Peel the large mango. You can use a normal potato peeler to do this because mango peels are quite […]

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20Jun 12

Lamb Biryani

Lamb Biryani is a dish consisting of a layer of marinated lamb and a layer of basmati rice. It is quite tricky to cook both the marinated lamb and the rice to perfection. When you first cook the rice, it must only be half-cooked. When you add it to the pot later with the marinated lamb, it will finish cooking. If you want to get the flavour just right, you must use basmati rice. Once you get the hang of making sure the lamb and the rice are both cooked perfectly, you might want to try my Chicken Biryani recipe. But just love lamb? Give this lamb roast with garlic and rosemary a go. Ingredients: 1kg Lamb 100ml Yoghurt 2 Red Chilli Peppers, 1 chopped and 1 left whole 1/4tsp Garam Masala 2tsp Ginger Paste 2tsp Garlic Paste 1tsp Chopped Mint 1/4tsp Turmeric Powder 3 Large Onions 500g Basmati Rice […]

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19Jun 12

Carrot Kanji

Carrot Kanji is a refreshing drink made from fermented vegetables. You basically chop up various vegetables and mix them into water in a transparent pitcher and leave them in the sun for a few days to ferment. It does not take long to prepare, and once made, it can stay fresh in your refrigerator for up to two weeks. This drink is served chilled, and it has quite a strong, unique carroty flavour. In fact, some people find it a bit too strong the first few times they try it. Traditionally, kanji is made with black carrots, which are found in northern India in the winter. However, since black carrots are hard to find in the West, you can use regular orange carrots for this Carrot Kanji drink, and it will still have its distinctive flavour. (For a warm treat, I recommend this comforting carrot, coriander and cumin soup.) Carrot Kanji […]

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18Jun 12

Coriander Mint Chutney

Chutney is such an amazingly versatile food, and it goes well with so many Indian dishes. This Coriander Mint Chutney is a lovely, refreshing chutney recipe I got from my Mum. She likes to serve it with samosas. It is refreshing enough to offset the spicy taste of my Chickpea Samosas or my Vegetable Samosas. This Coriander Mint Chutney is not as spicy as my Tomato Chutney is. In fact, it is rather light and zesty, thanks to its combination of mint, coriander, lemon and lime. Mint is highly digestive. For many of my English friends, the hot spices of Indian food are rich and delicious – but make for difficult digestion. That is why I like to serve mint chutney along with many dishes. It really does help your stomach. Mint also goes very well with lamb, so this chutney can garnish your favourite lamb dish, such as this Lamb […]

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