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Cover: Some like it hot

Recipes with red chilli peppers

23Jun 12

Mango Pachadi

Mango PachadiMango 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:

  1. Peel the large mango. You can use a normal potato peeler to do this because mango peels are quite thin. In fact, I have always found mangos very easy to work with.
  2. Next chop the large mango into small pieces. These can be roughly 2 centimetre pieces. But again, I mean very roughly.
  3. Add the mango to a pot, along with the turmeric powder and the water. Bring the water to the boil, then lower to medium heat. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until the mango is cooked. You will know the mango is cooked when it is soft.
  4. When the mango is cooked, remove it from the water
  5. Mince the red chillies and set them aside.
  6. In a separate pot, heat up oil on a very high flame. Add the mustard seeds. They will start to pop and crackle. But be careful they do not the splatter on you, or you will get burned.
  7. Lower to medium flame. Now add the minced red chillies, jaggery, chilli powder and asafoetida to the pan. Fry for 3 minutes.
  8. Now add the mango to the pan. Add another 150ml of water and stir slowly on a low heat for a few minutes.
  9. Add salt to taste.
  10. In a separate bowl, combine 300ml of water with the rice flour to make a paste.
  11. Add this paste to the pot and stir slowly until thick.

Makes: 2 servings
Takes: 40 minutes

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20Jun 12

Lamb Biryani

Lamb BiryaniLamb 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
  • 1l Water
  • 1/2tsp Lemon Juice
  • Pinch of Salt to taste
  • 200g Ghee

Preparation Method:

  1. Chop the raw lamb into medium-sized cubes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the yoghurt, red chilli peppers, garam masala, ginger paste, garlic paste and mint.
  3. Now slowly stir in the cubes of raw lamb.
  4. Add the turmeric powder and stir.
  5. Peel and chop the onions.
  6. Heat the ghee in a pan on a medium flame and add the chopped onions. Fry the onions until they are crispy and light brown. Do not fry them for so long that they get caramelised.
  7. Remove the onions and place them on a plate with a kitchen towel or paper towel below them. You want the ghee to drain away so that the onions are crispy.
  8. Let the crispy onions cool. Then, add them to the marinade.
  9. Put the bowl in the fridge and let the lamb marinate for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
  10. Soak the rice for 20 minutes in cold water.
  11. Wash the rice and put it in a pot with 1 litre of water. Bring the water to the boil, then lower the flame and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the rice from the heat and set it aside.
  12. Heat the ghee in the pot on a medium flame.
  13. Add the marinated lamb—with all the marinade—to the pot.
  14. Add the basmati rice on top of this.
  15. Squeeze a little lemon juice onto the rice.
  16. Add a pinch of salt to taste.
  17. Cover the pot. Allow it to cook on a high flame for about 15 minutes. Then lower the flame and let is simmer for about 1 to 2 hours, or until the lamb is tender and fully cooked.

Makes: Enough for 6 servings
Takes: 2 hours (plus 6 hours to marinate the lamb)

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07Jun 12

Coconut Chutney

Coconut ChutneyCoconut Chutney is a lovely type of chutney that is perfect for breakfast. You can spread it on your toast in the morning for a healthy treat. This chutney is quite filling, so it will keep you going all morning. However, keep in mind that coconut is actually quite fattening, so you will not want to spread too much on your morning toast—unless you are planning to go for a jog afterwards!

For another variation, you can try this green coconut chutney used on rice flour pancakes.

Coconut Chutney also goes well with Bhaturas.

Ingredients:

  • 40g cashews, crushed
  • 30g Channa Daal
  • 500g shredded coconut
  • 8 whole red chilli peppers, dried
  • 5 curry leaves
  • ½ tbsp. ginger power
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp. whole cumin seeds
  • Salt – to taste
  • 4 tbsp. vegetable oil

Preparation Method:

  1. In a frying pan, heat a small amount of vegetable oil on low heat.
  2. Crush the cashews. I typically use a mortar and pestle for this. Or, you can put them into a ziplock plastic bag and hammer them on the counter with the bottom of a pan for a minute
  3. Add the Channa Daal and crushed cashews to the frying pan, stirring slowly for a few minutes.
  4. Remove the Channa Daal and crushed cashews and put them in a blender.
  5. With the same vegetable oil, slowly fry the shredded coconut on low heat for a few minutes. Remove the coconut and add it to the blender.
  6. Put the ginger powder in the blender.
  7. Blend thoroughly.
  8. Add salt to taste and give it a final stir.
  9. Remove this paste and put it in a serving bowl.
  10. In a separate pan, heat more vegetable oil on high heat.
  11. Add the mustard seeds, but be careful! They will pop, so don’t let them splatter on you.
  12. Now add the cumin seeds to the pan and stir quickly.
  13. Add the dried red chilli peppers to the pan and stir with energy. Remember, these chilli peppers are whole. Do not chop them, or the hot, spicy taste will become too intense and will overwhelm the chutney.
  14. Add in the curry leaves and stir for 30 second more.
  15. Remove this and pour it directly on the chutney paste in the serving bowl.
  16. The coconut chutney is now ready to be served. Enjoy!

Makes: Enough for 8 servings.
Takes: 45 minutes (plus 8 hours soaking time)

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