Prawn Malai Curry

Here's a great recipe from Bengal- prawns simmered in coconut milk. Its wonderful with hot steamed rice and chapatis too.

Here's what you need:

Prawn / Shrimp: 1 lbs
Cup Coconut Milk: 1 cup
Medium Size Onion: 1 nos
Ginger Paste: 1 tbsp
Slitted Green Chili: 4 nos
Red Chili Powder: 1 tsp
Bay Leaf: 2 nos
Sugar: 2 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp
Whole Cardamom: 2 nos
Cinnamon: 1/2 "
Whole Cloves: 4 nos
Cooking Oil: 50 gms
Salt to taste.

Start off by washing the prawns thoroughly and removing the veins.
Rub some turmeric powder and add salt and turmeric on the prawns and marinate.
Chop the onions. Crush cardamom, cinnamon and cloves into a fine powder.
Heat oil and fry onions till they are golden brown.
Add the garlic and ginger paste, bay leaf, red chilli powder and stir fry for about 5 - 7 minutes.
Add the prawns and fry along with the spices for a few minutes.
Add coconut milk, sugar, salt and the ground spices (cardamom, cinnamon and cloves).
Cover the vessel and simmer in medium heat for about 10 minutes.
Add green chillies. Close the cover for another 10 minutes.

And you are done! Enjoy your meal.

-reshmi mitra

"Raw Mango" Juice

Well incase you are thinking that this is not the right season for juice recipes, let me just state that liquids are recommended as dietary intake irrespective of time or seasonal constraints (by liquids, I meant the non-alcoholic kinds !).

What comes to your mind when you think of raw mangoes ? Green and Sour fruit (unlike its ripened juicy counterpart). Fine, lets do some value addition to this poor fruit.

After a Requirements analysis, this is what we need to provide the requisite value addition:

* One ripe raw mango (?! sounds more like an oxymoron. Ok, a green slightly juicy one will do )
* Chopped ginger, filling 1/4th of the cup
* Sugar and salt, catering to the consumer's taste
* Water, catering to the consumer's need for thickness (After all, Consumer is God, right?)
* A Juicer / Mixer Grinder /Blender
* Glasses (we have to take care of the minutest detail during the requirements gathering.)

Lets skip the Design Phase (only for a dire emergency like this : quenching of thirst ) and move directly into execution.

Peel and cut the mango into slices.
Add the ginger and mango slices in the blender.
Add the sugar, salt and water.
Blend in the blender and refrigerate.

Add a sprig of mint leaves and chat masala and serve in glasses.
(Wondering about the additional culinary needs at this stage ? Now who can claim to have become an expert at requirements analysis. We all make msitakes !!)

Cheers to our imperfections !!

Priya Varadan Som

exotic recipes: Chilli Dodo

Today we present an exotic recipe lost to civilization since the 17th century unearthed during the latest Alien versus Predator battle!

We will be using an assortment of spices and condiments which will be available easily at your local food store.
However, it's doubtful if you can get hold of the main ingredient of the recipe...and that, if you haven't guessed it yet, is a Dodo.

A flightless forest-dwelling bird of Mauritius, extinct since the late 17th century, it has a unique taste especially when cooked in a coconut gravy. And Dodo eggs are a "rare" delicacy too.

But before we go on further with the preparation, we have to ensure that you do not compromise on the central ingredient. The recipe being very precious, we have to be certain that it falls into the hands of the person who is genuinely interested. So please do mail us at vibeindia@yahoo.com "after" you have the Dodo with you and we will mail you a personal copy of the recipe!

Suman Datta


Dhokla, this famous North Indian starter has its origins in Gujarat. Though there are several varieties of this starter available in Gujarat, we will be making the one which is the most popular and has spread in entire Northern India. It comes in different shades of yellow and is available in sweet and salty tastes with beautiful garnishing. The taste is so heavenly that we shouldn’t wait for more and quickly make and eat some of them.

* 1) ½ kg curd
* 2) 250 gms semolina(sooji/rawa)
* 3) 2 green chillies
* 4) 1.5 cm of ginger
* 5) 1 tablespoon of salt
* 6) 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
* 7) A pinch of baking soda
* 8) 1 sachet of ENO
* 9) Chopped coriander leaves
* 10) ½ tablespoon mustard seeds
* 11) 1 ½ cup of water
* 12) A pinch of turmeric

Mix curd, semolina and ½ cup water well and keep it for 30 min(if the curd is not sour keep it for 3-4 hrs).

* 1) Make a paste of green chillies and ginger and mix it to the above mixture.
* 2) Add salt, turmeric, baking soda and ENO and mix it well.
* 3) As soon as the mixture become fluffy, add it to a pan(add only that much amount which fills half of the pan depth-wise)
* 4) Put the pan in a cooker with ½ glass of water and steam it for around 10 min.
* 5) Remove the pan and cut into small pieces (for sweet taste add some sugar water on them)
* 6) Heat a small pan and add oil to it.
* 7) When oil becomes hot add mustard seeds and spread the oil onto the dhoklas
* 8) Spread the chopped coriander and serve the dhoklas with chutney or sauce

Mona Tanwani

hyderabad eatouts: Add Pizzazz to your taste.

The dictionary says "an open pie made typically of flattened bread dough spread with a savory mixture usually including tomatoes and cheese and often other toppings and baked", but "Pizza" definitely has come a long way. The exotic toppings, innovative shapes (imagine square pizzas!) and a whole new range of crusts ... pizza freaks do have a lot to pick from!
This week we go on a pizza trip around Hyderabad.
Pizza Hut : ****

Think "Pizza Hut" and what springs to mind is an extremely amiable bunch of people who know best what service is all about! The personal touch that they lend towards their customers is really commendable. The place located in Road No 12,Banjara Hills has a lovely ambience and add to it the food they serve, it couldn't get better.
They have a variety of options to choose from - the pan pizza,the typical Italian delights, the Indian flavours and the Stuffed crust (this being their USP!).
Amongst the accompaniments ,the savory garlic bread with cheese, the appetizing potato wedges, the toothsome tropical chicken salad and the heavenly ebony & ivory are worth a try. In all, this place lives upto the "ten pizza commandments" they preach!
Pizza Corner : ***

Though they try their hands at all kinds of innovations with garlic flavoured crusts and square shaped pizzas, that can't hold your imagination for long for in the end its the taste in your mouth that matters, and "that's" exactly where they lose a point.
The pizza is easily forgettable and so is the ambience. But they do score a point with the "Italian herb bread"...its the best in the world!
Dominos : ***

Lets not talk of ambience ... guess they never really wanted to provide it! But, they definitely do the best in the "home delivery" section.
Though there is very little variety to choose from, you can't really complain about the taste and quality. In all,"Dominos" is an old and established brand and they thrive on that!
One piece of advice to dominos:" In the frantic food business you got to run to stay in the same place!"
... your take guys!

Arundhoti Banerjee

"Jinx"ed batter "Charm"ed bonda

a film by Priya Varadan Som

[The opening scene-]

finds you in a fix, with a packet of Dosa mix / Idli mix, purchased from the super market, and despite a hard fight to get some decent dosas/idlis prepared,

1) The dosa batter just sticks to your dosa tava with an infinite affinity.
2) Even the water/oil does not come to your help in pulling your favorite dosa from the tava.

[Cut to-]

you intently pondering on the fate of the batter:"maar diya jaye ya chhor diya jaaye" kind, thinking whether to dump the batter and look to your recipe book for making some snappy item (bomb!)
But finally like the real Bollywood hero kind, you give a hard look at the batter (and finding your hard earned money in fluid form) decide to use it in some other way(the classic "punar janam" act!)

[So we hire some "extras" for the climactic fight scene!]


* Refined oil - enough for doing some deep frying
* 2 Chopped green chilles
* 2 Chopped onions
* Curry leaves
* Coriander (Optional)
* Salt - to taste

and of course the "jinxed" Dosa batter!

[Cut to climax:]

With all the divine powers vested in you (remember you are a Bollywood hero!) you

1. Mix all the ingredients, except the oil, in a bowl.
2. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan.
3. Add the mixture prepared in step 1, as small balls in to the pan.
4. Fry till golden brown.

all at once and pop them hot with some chutney/sauce straight into your mouth with rajnikant's dexterity!
Its time to pack up!

Tangy Poha

This column is dedicated to appease thy hunger. Most of the times, we go back from office with a growling stomach and fatigued body. Though grabbing some food from outside seems to be a tempting option, spending just 5 minutes to make our own snack looks like a better one. Well, if you fall into this category, read on.My recipe will just take 5 - 7 minutes of your evening time.

Ingredients: (Serving for 1 person)

* Poha : 1 tea cup full
* Tamarind water/Buttermilk: enough to soak the poha (for people who don't prefer sour taste, just use water instead)
* Salt: to taste
* Chopped onions
* Oil : preferably refined oil (Health reasons :-) )
* Mustard seeds : a pinch
* Asafoetida : a pinch
* Red chilles(dry) : 2

1. Soak the poha in tamarind water/buttermilk/water for 2 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, put a kadai on the stove and heat oil.
3. Add the mustard seeds in the oil. After it splutters, add asafoetida, red chillies and onions.
4. Once the onions are golden brown, drain the liquid from the poha and add the poha to the kadai.
5. Add salt, mix and keep it covered till the poha gets cooked.

Enjoy it hot with some pickle!

P.S: Two things before I say bye
1. I haven't given the recipe any fancy name. It is just Poha made with a south indian flavor. Down south, it will be called Poha ('aval' as it called in TN)-ka-upma, but then for those of you who are allergic to the sound of "Upma", please yourself by naming it something else.

2. And for the calorie conscious guys, i am sorry, i don't know how much calorie (or kilo calorie) this will amount to. Most of it is carbhohydrates. But then, i recently read some site on Health consciousness about carbhohydrates. It said that carbohydrate rich food brings out more calmness, reduces stress etc. etc... All this had something to do with the Tryptophan amino acid that these foods produce.

I will stop here. Enjoy making and eating your poha.

Priya Varadan Som

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