Sunday, June 29, 2014

Clams With Spinach

Traditional Mangalorean Clams With Spinach
Another traditional recipe that I miss which was a frequent dish in our house at least twice a month.  Every house had a chapra (frame) of basale (spinach)  growing in their garden and we could pluck it anytime we wanted to cook it.  Fresh and green and oh so delicious.  Cooked with fresh clams and freshly ground coconut and other condiments, this is a lip smacking, simple delight.

The Recipe:

500 gms of Indian spinach or basale, cut into finger sized pieces discarding the tough stems; 1/2 cup Indian Dhal (Tur dhal or yellow lentils); 1 kg  clams; salt to taste.

Masala:  Grind 1/4 cup grated coconut; 3 tsp coriander seeds; 1/4 tsp mustard; 2 pinch cumin seeds; 6 black pepper corns; 1/4 tsp turmeric powder; 4 flakes of garlic; 1 tsp chilli powder; 1 onion.  Consistency should be a thick, smooth paste.

Seasoning:  1 sprig curry leaves; 1/4 tsp mustard; 2 flakes crushed garlic; 1 tbsp oil.

Wash clams in running water till all the grit and sand is removed and water is clear.

Pressure cook the spinach and dhal with 250 ml water for 7 minutes.  Remove from stove. Open the cooker after 10 minutes cooling time and stir in the masala.  Return to the stove and add the clams.  They will open out within minutes.  Simmer for 3 minutes.  Add salt to taste.  Remove from stove and keep hot.

Heat oil in a shallow pan.  Add mustard and when it spurts, add the curry leaves.  Stir for a couple of minutes and then add the crushed garlic.  Fry till garlic is golden brown.  Pour it over the cooked Spinach and Clams  and serve hot with plain rice and home made mango pickle.

NB:  Can use prawns instead of clams.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Stuffed To The Gills

Stuffed Capsicum
This is a lovely recipe that can be made with left over mince.  While growing up, we had mince on more than one occasion and it remains one of my favourite foods today.  The aroma of mince being cooked is enough to send me into a frenzy and coupled with capsicum, this is literally to die for.  Those who have eaten it will vouch for it.  So add it to your list of Absolute Must Recipes To Try!
The Recipe:

2 green or yellow capsicums.  I used one of each.  Wash the capsicums and slice off 1/4 from the top.    Reserve the tops to cover the stuffed capsicum.  Gently de seed with a sharp knife retaining the shape of the capsicums.

1/2 kg mince; 2 onions, chopped; 2 spring onions, chopped; 3 flakes, garlic, minced; 1 inch ginger, minced; 2 green chillies, minced;  few coriander leaves, chopped; salt to taste; 2 tbsp oil for frying; a handful of green peas; 2 slices stale bread, crumbled.
Wash and drain mince.  Heat oil and add chopped onion, spring onion, ginger, garlic, corriander leaves and minced chillies.  Stir fry on medium heat until onions are golden browm.  Add the mince and fry till brown.  Add peas and 1/4 cup water and cover and cook 5 minutes.  Add salt to taste and the crumbled bread.  The bread will soak up all the liquid.  Cool.  Keep aside while you make the white sauce

White Sauce
 White Sauce:  1 whole egg; 1/2  cup chicken stock; 1/2 cup milk; salt & white pepper to taste; salt and pepper to taste; 1 dsp flour; 1 small onion minced.
      Heat oil in non stick pan.  Fry the minced onions until glazed and transparent.  Add flour and stir fry for a minute till crisp.  Lower flame and slowly pour in the chicken stock, stirring all the while to avoid lumps.  Next add the milk and keep stirring until thick and creamy.  Add the whole egg and gently mix.  Season with salt & white pepper.  Pour the sauce into a pyrex dish.  

a    Take a few spoonfuls of the mince and stuff it into the hollowed capsicum, to the brim.  Top with the sliced off lid.  Repeat with second capsicum.  Place capsicums in the dish on the white sauce and sprinkle remaining mince around it.  Bake at 200 Celcius in a preheated oven for 20 minutes or until done.  Serve hot with crusty bread.