The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including Gluten Free dishes.


May 17, 2010

Evolution of Kitchen Gadgets

I'm always curious about the different gadgets used in the kitchen these days. Last week for Mothers' Day, my mom wanted to make a dessert that's quick and easy (according to her). So she sent my dad on a mission to find our handy dandy Coconut Grater. I don't know about you, but the grater we have is very unique, sharp and it gets the job done. Here's a brief description of what it looks like...see if you can picture it with my details: The stainless steel blade is fixed onto a 9" piece of wood rectangular in shape. We used to grate the coconut by placing the gadget on the floor and stepping on it and grating the coconut on the blade. When we moved to the United States, we realized that it would be more practical to clamp it to the counter space to keep it steady and using the gadget that way. Nowadays, there are more varieties of these gadgets that are being released to make this process more manageable.

**Indian Coconut Grater:
I know you're dying to see this baby in action. Just click on the video for a demonstration:
I just love watching my dad use this gadget. It grated all the juicy coconut flesh out of the shell. This beats chipping the coconut pieces with a knife and grinding them down with a chopper. Less work, if you ask me!

While my dad was grating away at the coconut, my mind wandered a bit and I started thinking about a few questions about the ease of culinary masterpieces created these days. Whenever I tune into my favorite cooking shows, I wonder how all their ingredients are so perfectly grated and diced and proper. Then it dawned on me that maybe they replaced the old clunky ones that got the job done but took too long with newer and faster ones...likes the ones found on the web link below:
By the looks of some these gadgets, I felt that they just got fancier but can they really get the job done? If you look at the link above, there are gadgets for almost everything you can think of...even an Avocado slicer? OMG! Are you kidding me? I just use a big spoon and scoop it out. Then I mash it up myself; but hey if you are making a presentation with Avocados and want to make the dish look nice, you can use the slicer.

What Gadgets or contraptions do you use at home that you think are better than the modern/techie versions? Please feel free to share!

**FYI: The Coconut Grater in this post is from India. If you are looking for one like ours, you can inquire for one from your local Indian grocer.

May 9, 2010

Garam Garam Aloo Paratha!!

Today is Mothers' Day!! Let's take a moment and praise our mothers for their patience, love, support and wonderful culinary talents. I had this whole plan of making her all these different dishes but my plans got messed up when we lost power on Saturday due to the weather and I just decided to stick to simple stuff. I took over her cooking duties for the Sunday and started the day by giving her lots of hugs and love.
I saw potatoes soaking in the pot and I quickly knew what she wanted to eat for lunch: Aloo Paratha (potato stuffed Indian flat-bread). If you want more information about this type of bread, search on Wikipedia. This type of flat-bread can be made with different ingredients but potato is most filling and easiest. This flat-bread can be purchased at any grocery store but you know, it always tastes better when it's made at home with love.

To make the dough and the stuffing you need the following ingredients:
- 5 medium Potatoes
- 3 cups of Atta (durum wheat flour), for making the dough
- 1 cup of Atta, for rolling parathas
- Salt, for taste
- Half of medium Onion, chopped finely (optional)
- 1 tsp Red Chili Powder
- 1 tbsp of Coriander (Cilantro), optional
- 1 tsp of Whole Cumin seeds, optional
- Vegetable Oil, for frying parathas

1) Wash well and microwave potatoes for 8 minutes (or until soft). Remove them from microwave immediately and immerse in cold water for 5- 10 minutes. Remove from water and peel the potatoes. Next, crumble them, add salt, chili powder and mix well and set aside. Finely cut fresh coriander and cumin seeds can be added if available.

2) Take the wheat flour in a shallow container (mixing bowl), add salt to taste and mix well. Knead the flour into a smooth dough by using ½ - ¾ cup of water. Add a teaspoon of oil and cover dough for at least 15 minutes. Watch video for further assistance:
3) Clean the kitchen counter and take the dough of the size of lemon flatten it and dab it with flour on both sides and roll it evenly into a circular size of approx. 6-inches diameter. Spread 2 heaped tbsp of the potato mixture onto half-area of the circle.

Fold over the remaining half onto the potato mixture and seal the ends, representing a ‘D’. Fold it once more to make a quarter and set aside. Prepare similar quarters with rest of the potato mixture.

4) Heat a Non-stick griddle or tawa on medium heat. Roll-out each quarter into parathas evenly to a size of 6-8 inches long triangle and place it on the griddle.

5) Flip to other side after 30 seconds, and spray oil around and on the paratha. Spread the oil evenly with a wooden spatula and flip the other side. Brown the paratha on both sides.

6) Serve the parathas hot with mixed vegetable achar (available in Indian grocery stores), and/or raita.