Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Toronto Living - a beautiful Temple

The Swaminarayan Temple in Toronto

We finally had a chance last weekend, to visit the new temple in Toronto - The Swaminarayan Temple. It is a very beautiful temple - full of intricately hand-carved marbles imported from India. Read more here. Using no nails and no steel, the temple is held together through the sheer force of gravity and has been assembled like a jigsaw puzzle.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Chicken Liver Fry

Many might say 'Ewwww!' or 'Blech!' but there are some serious fans out there for chicken livers. Chicken livers are excellent source of nutrition (click here) ... Just a 22 gm piece of chicken liver can give 62% of Vitamin A, 14% of Iron, 77% of Vitamin B12, 41% of Folate, 29% of Riboflavin, 22% of Selenium and 17% of Pantothenic acid, 14% of Niacin and also satisfy 9% of the protein requirements. Just a 22 gm piece of chicken liver. Wow! All the more reason to eat chicken livers, don't you think? Now, Just a word of caution.. If you have high cholesterol or have a family history of high cholesterol(like me!), you may want to stay away from chicken liver or eat it once in a rare while. Why? The 22 gm piece of chicken liver also contains 32% of cholesterol!!!

Yes, I come from a family of high cholesterolites and for sure, I have the genes to boot. But I love the taste of this dish and love all the good stuff it has to offer. So, once in a while, we do indulge. Here's a tasty dish with a boatload of nutrition (and cholesterol!) .

Chicken Liver - one packet (1 lb)
Cummin seeds - 1/2 tbsp
Ginger-Garlic paste - 3-4 tbsp or more*
Onions - 2 big ones, very very very finely chopped
Curry leaves - one or two sprigs
Pepper powder- 1-2 tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Oil - 1-2 tbsp
Green chillies - 2-3 slightly minced or finely chopped. (Optional, I didn't use, but this adds a lot of flavor and taste. Reduce the pepper powder if you are adding the green chillies)

Chop the chicken livers to bite sized pieces and rinse them well and allow them to drain in a colander. Chop the onions, very fine. It will look like the onions are way too much, but trust me, it will be just right.

Heat oil in a skillet, preferably cast-iron, as it adds to the flavor of this particular dish. Add the cummin seeds when the oil is hot. When it emits a nice aroma, add the onions and minced green chillies (i.e. if you are adding them) and curry leaves. Saute them till the chopped onions lose their shape (should not get charred).

The best way is to do that is to steam-saute the onions. Saute them and close the skillet with a lid. The steam helps in cooking the onions faster without much oil. Open, stir once and close again. When done, Add the ginger garlic paste and pepper powder and stir once or twice. Add the chicken liver and salt and stir once to allow the masala to mix well with the liver pieces. Sprinkle some water (about 2-3 tbsp, no more) and stir once before closing the skillet with the lid. Allow to cook for 10-12 mins. Remove the lid and let it cook on the stove, till it gets very dry. Serve it hot with rice and rasam. You can also mix the livers with rice and have it.. I love it that way. Also, a great side for the rasam rice.

This dish tastes very similar to the chicken liver fry served in Restaurants. If you try it, do tell me how you liked it.

Note: * The ginger garlic paste used here, is way more than what we usually use for nonvegetarian cooking because it helps to negate the bad effects of cholesterol. I usually add more than the recommended amount of ginger garlic paste.