Classic Cheese Omelette

Eggs are the easiest dish to make anytime of the day. I am adding a twist to the normal Omelette by introducing Cheese. I can assure you this is the best cheese omelette I have ever had in my life, so yummy.

So into a frying pan, first you need to add some oil/ghee. Now spread it on the surface of the pan by gently swirling the pan. Keep the flame low, you don’t want the eggs to cook fast. I am starting with 2 eggs. Break the eggs into the pan. You could instead break the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk them and then pour it into the pan. In this way, you could get a more fluffier omelette. Well, I am keeping it simple by breaking the eggs directly into the pan, I can owe it to my laziness to wash an extra bowl. If you see that the yolk hasn’t spread enough, just use a spoon to spread it a bit.

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Sprinkle salt and pepper. These are the most important ingredients in any egg omelette.photo6275811105339189237

Place the cheese slices somewhere along the diameter of the omelette. I have just taken a full cheese slice and cut into 3 small pieces and placed it over the omelette. You could very well use grated cheese or any variety of cheese.photo6275811105339189238

Now you need to fold in the omelette from both sides over the cheese. The aim is to see that the cheese is sealed inside the omelette. Cheese tends to melt quickly and ooze out, so ensure the sealing is perfect.

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Turn it over to cook the other side. You can see some part of my cheese has come out. Well, my sealing wasn’t perfect. Perfection comes with practice.photo6275811105339189240

Once both sides are cooked, transfer the cheese omelette to a plate.photo6275811105339189241Now what are you waiting for? Devour this delicious mouth watering dish and let me know how it turned out for you. Were you able to seal the cheese perfectly the first time? If so, you are going to be a classy cook 🙂

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Sausage Roll/ Wrap

I do cook on all weekdays but when weekends comes, I tend to be so lazy that I am hesitant to even get up from my bed forget entering the kitchen. My stomach doesn’t agree with my laziness and insists on being provided with food by growling out loud. There are 2 options at this juncture: 1. Order food 2. Make something under 5 minutes. I picked option 2 as ordered food for a long time hasn’t satisfied my sophisticated palate.

Enter the kitchen and add some oil/ ghee into a frying pan. Place 2 sausages into it. Since you have taken it directly from the freezer, there’s high chance that oil would start to splutter, so keep the frying pan covered. Turn the sausages around and see that they are cooked well.

Take a ready to fry chapathi and fry it on both sides in the same frying pan. Don’t cook for long, else it will harden up and start to break up.

Place cheese slices/ strips over the chapathi. Keep it along the diameter of the chapathi.

Place the sausage over the cheese strips.

Now I am going to add some sweet chilly garlic sauce over the sausages. You could add any sauce of your choice.

Next step is to make a roll out of it. Fold from bottom first. Then from the sides. Your delicious sausage roll is ready to be eaten.Serve hot.

Tossed Mushroom

I feel it absolutely unethical to not include such a delicious dish in a post. This recipe is already doing its rounds of being famous on its own ever since it has already been mentioned about in another post – Mushroom fight!

For this dish, you require button mushrooms. I am using close to 100 grams of button mushroom.

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You need to clean the mushrooms first. 2 ways of doing it. One is use water – ensure the entire water is drained off properly from inside mushrooms after washing. Two is wipe it thoroughly using a damp cloth.

Into a frying pan, add some ghee/oil. Add the mushrooms along with some salt and freshly grounded pepper. Allow it to cook in medium flame. Keep stirring constantly. You can alternatively keep it covered for a while.

Once an awesome aroma starts coming, or when you feel mushrooms are cooked properly, you need to add some tomatoes and capsicum, diced. I have used one half tomato and one half capsicum, The main reason why I added this is to increase quantity.

The capsicum pieces and the tomato pieces starts to blend with the mushrooms. Now one last step. You can skip this if you don’t want to add any sauce. Add a bit of sweet chilly garlic sauce and toss it well with the mushrooms.

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Mouthwatering tossed mushrooms are ready to gulp.

Indian Mackerel / Aiyla Meen Fry

I am usually clueless about fish. I do not know which is a good fish to fry and which a good one make a curry of. So I ask the experts, the shop keepers, to suggest me a good fish. I am more of a fish fry person than a fish curry person.

At the shop, since I don’t want to look awfully stupid, I proceed like this. I point at any fish and ask if it is a good fish to be fried. Then the shopkeeper points at a different fish and says ‘this is a better fish’. Task completed. I get a fish that can be fried.

So this time, the shopkeeper pointed out the Indian Mackerel to me.The Indian Mackerel looks awesome. See for yourselves. I got 3 of them to fry.

Even though, fish is born and brought up in waters, they need to be again put in water and cleaned. I don’t like to keep the head, so I cut them off. Clean the inside of the fish well, remove all traces of black colour and wash them multiple times with salt till the water being drained is void of blood stains.

Next step is optional, you can cut the fish into pieces or leave it as whole. I am cutting each fish into 3 pieces each. The intended use of this fish fry is to serve as an accompaniment for my lunch and my lunch box is small that it can’t accommodate a long fish.

Now is the masala time. Masala is what is going to determine how your fish is going to taste, it could range from being super yummy to super awful. I am adding salt, chilly powder, fish masala, garam masala and a very little vinegar. You can add or remove ingredients as per your choice.

You need to apply this masala thoroughly on the fish flesh with hands and leave it for sometime to marinate.

Now after 10-15 minutes, let us get the pan ready for frying the fish. I am using coconut oil for this. You could use any other oil. Heat a pan, add oil and then add the fish slices into the oil. Ensure that no fish slice is above another fish.

Once one side is fried, you need to turn the fish pieces and fry the other side. Remove the fish from the fire and serve hot. I prefer mackerel fish fry with rice. This is the final product of the process above.

Idiyappam /Noolappam /String Hoppers

It’s after a long gap that I am posting a recipe. It doesn’t mean that I wasn’t cooking in the meanwhile. Putting a post about any dish actually takes a lot of time, you need to take more pictures and measure quantities which is slightly tiresome and I am lazy. I am still not over my laziness, so this post has minimal pictures for reference 🙂

Coming to the title, String hoppers is an age old culinary specialty in the southern states of India. I am going to describe about the easiest way to prepare this dish in an edible manner. If you think this recipe can be simplified further, do let me know. I would want to skip more steps 🙂

So I start by ordering this double horse appam idiyappam pathiri pouch .Image result for double horse idiyappam big basket

Once you get the pouch, let’s begin. You require boiled water. If you are planning to use one glass of idiyappam powder, then you need exactly one glass of boiled water. Now this can be tricky if you start with one glass of water and then boil it. So I advice to take some extra water and then measure out one glass of water from it.

Now into the boiled water, add salt and a little amount of ghee. Add the idiyappam powder now and mix it well using a spoon. I said spoon because the water is very hot and you shouldn’t get your fingers burnt. Once you see the powder is wet everywhere, cover and keep  the mix for 15 minutes. This will help the dough to become softer and also the dough gets cooler in the meantime. You should keep the dough covered so that it doesn’t cool down very quickly and get hardened.

Now after 15 minutes, use your hands to kneed the dough. It should be possible to touch the dough now. You have to get hold of an idly steamer and maker.

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Just like how you make idli, you need to boil water in the idly pot. You need to grease the idli mould with ghee to avoid noolappam sticking onto the moulds. Next you need to use a kitchen press.

Super Classic Set of 15 Pattern Discs Kitchen Press

Again grease the inside of the kitchen press. Make small balls out of the dough and fill it inside the kitchen press. Never over fill. Close the lid and start pressing the dough out into the idly moulds. One thing to remember, use the smallest available pattern disc of kitchen press for thinner noolappams. You can add grated coconut into the idli mould while you are pressing the kitchen press.

Keep the idli moulds into the idly pot and start steaming the idiyappams. Once steam starts coming, remove the idly moulds from fire, allow the moulds to cool for a while and then remove the idiyappams from the mould.

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Serve with egg curry or chicken curry or even coconut milk.

Banana Fritters

Banana fritters or ripe plantain fritters is an awesome snack to munch on. You should have the ripest bananas possible. So if you have some bananas which seem overripe, you could use it for this recipe without wasting them.

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Well this is the ripeness I was talking about. So you take some 2-3 ripe plantains, cut both the tips using a knife and then peel off the skin. Why I mentioned to cut the tips is to avoid any deformation to the bananas while you use your fingers to remove it. Next step is to cut the bananas. Now there is no hard and fast rule as to how big each slice should be or how small it can be. I have cut my bananas into 4 pieces each.

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Next step is to make the batter. You can use an egg if required. If using an egg, beat it well before you add the other ingredients. If you go to any restaurant or tea shop, the banana fritters usually would be made using egg.

Now into this beaten egg (empty mixing dish, if not adding egg), add some sugar. The riper the bananas you are using, the lesser the sugar required. It is advised to keep the sugar less. The bananas are extremely sweet, so why to add more sweetness into it?

You have to add equal quantities of the following flours – rice, maida, rava and corn. You could skip anyone if you wish to or don’t have readily available.

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You could add a pinch of turmeric for colour.

Next step is to mix them well into a proper consistency by adding water. Do not add a lot of water all of a sudden. You need to add water step by step.

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Now this is the consistency we are looking for.

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In the meantime, heat a pan and add oil into it. Add enough oil. We are going to deep fry the plantains.

Add the cut slices into this batter. Ensure to coat both sides of the slices with enough batter.

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Into the heated oil, add the slices one by one. Let them fry until brown.

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Now turn them upside down and fry the other side too.

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When evenly fried, take them out of the oil using a slotted spoon to allow all the oil to drain off.

There you have it, banana fritters are ready to be served hot.

The Science That an Egg has to teach.

You might be wondering what the title means, what science can a thing as simple as an egg teach us. Read on to know more.

Majority of us like to consume eggs in one form or the other ranging from boiled to poached to fried to scrambled. The dramatic transformation an egg goes through from its liquid raw state to its solid cooked state has always captured my attention and has led me to explore the “whats”, “whys” and “hows” of it. So here I am, sharing with you, my new found knowledge.

An egg consists of 2 parts – the yolk and the albumen. When you crack open an egg, the translucent liquid that you see is the albumen (egg white) that surrounds the generally yellowish yolk. It’s not at all necessary for the yolk to be yellow in shade, it largely depends on the diet the hen is on while laying the egg.

egg structureYou could imagine these 2 parts to be just sacks of water dispersed with proteins. To completely imagine the structure, you need to know how the proteins look like. Now this is where the science stuff begins. Protein molecules are basically made up of long chains of amino acids bound to one another by fairly weak chemical bonds.

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You might have this one doubt, i.e., if the composition of both yolk and albumen are the same, why does the raw yolk seem less runny than a raw egg white? I can say it is because the yolk contains some fat and this fat gets bound with the proteins and keeps them together. The runny nature of egg white can be attributed to the negative electrical charge of the proteins and as you know like charges repel each other. Hence we have the watery and loose egg white. Whereas in the yolk, the presence of fat is strong enough to withstand the repulsive force of the proteins.

Now as we start cooking, the egg gets heated up. All of its molecules start to move faster and collide with one another. As the temperature increases, the collisions become more intense resulting in the breaking apart of the weak chemical bonds holding the amino acid chains together. So now you will be having many short and loose protein strings. With further heat, these become entangled into some kind of a cobweb structure.

You might be wondering what happened to the water part of the egg during all this process? Well, the water has also got dispersed in the protein cobweb so it can no longer flow together, turning the liquid egg into a semi-solid. Continued heating causes more entanglement, leaving less space for the water. Eventually, much of the water is squeezed out (usually referred to as weeping) and evaporates, causing the egg protein to coagulate. When eggs are overcooked, the protein web becomes so tight and retains so little water that the egg white becomes rubbery and the yolk chalky. This difference is due to the fat interspersed with the protein web in the yolk.

So the story of conversion of a liquid to a solid in the presence of heat is the science which an egg has got to teach us all.

That is the end of this post. I would like to know how you feel about this post. Please do leave a comment below.

Making those Perfect Boiled Eggs

How hard is it to make some perfect boiled eggs? I have witnessed a lot of people complaining about the boiled eggs turning out to be either too runny or too firm. Right now I have the perfect solution to rectify this problem and am going to share it with you right away. But firstly, let’s see how to make boiled eggs – the basic procedure.

Take out ‘n’ (where n = any natural number) number of eggs from the fridge and keep it outside so that they warm up to the room temperatures.
Place the eggs in a saucepan and fill with normal tap water covering the eggs by about an inch which means the eggs should be absolutely immersed beneath the water.
Set the saucepan over high heat, uncovered.
Bring the water to a full, rolling boil. You can identify this when bubbles appears on the water surface.
As soon as the water comes to a boil, remove the pan from the stove (very important) and keep the pan covered.
Now you need a stopwatch or a timer to decide how long you need to leave the eggs in the covered pan.
To decide on the time span, you need to identify what type of egg you would like to consume.
If you want soft-boiled eggs, then you will have to take out the eggs quickly.
If you want hard-boiled eggs, then you will have to leave the eggs in water for a while longer.

See the image below of a small experiment on boiled eggs where the results at each minute is clearly indicated.

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The eggs change their texture from runny soft-boiled through to slightly runny soft-boiled through to firm soft-boiled through to creamy hard-boiled through to firm hard-boiled in minutes 1 to 18.

Now these minutes may vary depending on a number of factors like temperature, egg age, so on and so forth.
So you will have to determine the ideal minutes essential for obtaining what you desire for through repeated attempts and write it down.

Remove the eggs from the saucepan after the desired time has trickled away and place the eggs in a bowl of cold water.
Tap the shell using a spoon or hit it on a hard and smooth surface to crack open the shell.
Older eggs are actually easier to peel. This is because as an egg ages, its albumen shrinks and the space between the inner and outer shell membrane enlarges, which facilitates separating the membranes and removing the shell.
If you are using newer eggs, you should add salt in the boiling water while cooking.
Peel the egg shell off and enjoy the perfect boiled egg – the way you wanted it to be!

Tofu Masala

Tofu  might seem very similar to Paneer in looks but in no way are they similar. Tofu is a type of food that is formed by coagulating soy milk (which is a type of bean) whereas, Paneer is prepared by curdling milk with food acids such as lemon juice, vinegar. I had written an earlier post on how to make Paneer Masala and this dish is somewhat similar to that. So you could always refer to that or try a mix of this and that receipe.

I am not separating the ingredients list out. Will be explaining as we proceed.

Some ginger and garlic cut into small pieces along with 2 green chillies slit in center.

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2 medium sized onions sliced into small pieces.

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That’s 3 tomatoes sliced into small pieces.

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In a pan, you add oil and put the ginger and garlic.

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To it you add the sliced onions and green chillies and allow it to saute.

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Once saute, add in the tomatoes along with the masala. I have added turmeric powder, chilly powder, garam masala and salt. Mix it well.

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Now to the main ingredient – tofu. Tofu comes like this, unsliced.

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Slice the tofu pieces. I have done it like how I do Paneer pieces but its good to slice it into little more smaller pieces. Smaller pieces will aid in more masala absorption.

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Add a bit of pepper and turmeric in a pan of oil and add the tofu to it and mix well over fire. 

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By this time, the onions and tomatoes and the masala has blended very nicely.

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Add the tofu pieces into the masala mixture.

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Stir well and allow it to cook. Let the masala get thoroughly absorbed into the tofu pieces. There you have it – tofu masala.

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Can be served with poori, roti or naan.

Making Crispy French Fries at Home

Who doesn’t like to munch on those Fries offered at KFCs’ or MCDs’ – the ones which are crispy on the outside, fluffy in the center and delicious through and through? The taste lingers on the tongue and makes me crave for more and more. But who can keep on going to KFCs’ or MCDs’ for Fries on a daily basis, isn’t it?

The other day I was trying to make the McCain French Fries at home and I should say it was extra crisp and extra delicious. So this is the pack I bought, it’s a party pack, i.e. 1.25 kg. It is available in 200 g, 420 g, 750 g & 1.25 kg packs. Now I had kept it in freezer. Take it only when you are ready to fry. Do not thaw, even the packet says the same. (Cook from Frozen). Do you know why? Because the frost will soak into the french fries and make them mushy and then your crispy Fries are gone for ever. Another thing to note is, when you are buying, ensure that you buy it in good frozen condition and then you transfer it immediately to a freezer.

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This is the nutritional content mentioned on the pack.

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Now I have taken some fresh oil in a vessel and allowing it to heat. You should make sure the oil is heated enough before you put in the French Fries. Preheat oil(recommended maximum temperature: 175°C). Hot oil does not soak into the fries, because when the oil is hot the food immediately gets a skin on it that prevents the oil from soaking in.

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Looking inside the pack, this is how the Fries look – long and it is crisp to touch too.

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Put a handful into the heated oil. It’s always good to fry in small batches because throwing a large batch in will bring the oil temperature down. You should be hearing the oil sizzle when the Fries touch the oil. Stir once or twice. Do not cover.

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Cook well till it starts turning light golden brown. (Deep fry frozen McCain French Fries for about 3 minutes to a light golden colour.). The room will be filled with Fries aroma.

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Take it out of the oil and allow the Fries to be free of all oil content. You can use a wire rack or wire mesh for the same or even lay them on towels or something absorptive.

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In another vessel, add some salt and/ or pepper.

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Toss your Fries with the pepper-salt mixture and there you have it – extra crisp, extra delicious French Fries – homemade.

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Munch into it straightaway or dip it into some tomato ketchup and enjoy.