Monthly Archives: July 2014

KNIFE SKILLS FROM THE CULINARY COOK

Carving skillsPart 1

Many of us although we cook pretty tasty dishes, are unaware of the knife skills or to put it more simply, the cutting skills of raw food prior to preparation. May be it is that we do not pay attention to the art of culinary skills, which is as important as adding salt and pepper to make the food tastier. To put it simply carving skills is an art. Learning carving skills has a number of benefits such as:-

1. Retaining the nutritional values of the food.
2. Retaining the colour of the food.
3. Easy to consume.
4. Proper presentation of food that is pleasing to the eye and tempting.

We obtain our food from two sections. One from trees and creepers and the other from animals, such as meat, poultry. Several types of fish fall into this category. Both these are necessary for humans to sustain themselves.

Every tree that produces edible leaves, fruits and vegetables are unique to itself. Hence, we need to keep in mind to retain this unique quality when cutting them prior to cooking.

Today we bring you the art of cutting carrots:-

Prior to peeling the carrot, remove its ends. Then slice the carrot into segmental lengths of 4 cm. Taking one of the segments, you will slice the carrot to produce an even surface. This surface will then be laid flat and you will continue the process for remaining sides. Now you are ready to start producing the cut you need.

1. The Julienne Cut

The Julienne Cut is a cut that is very thin. Cut from a squared off item, you then slice them lengthwise. This cut resembles match sticks.

2. The Tiny Dice

Use Julienne as your base cut. Thereafter, dice the carrots.

3. The Baton

The baton is the biggest stick cut your can cut. It is used for presentation purposes.

A potato can be cut in half. Thereafter it can be cut into four and if it is for a soup, you can cut a potato in to 16 segments. A potato can be cut into Julienne strips for chips and thin round slices also for chips.

Among these methods of cutting are other ways and means of preparation that form an art.

a) Breaking into large pieces
b) Tearing into thread like strips
c) Pounding in a motar and pestle
d) Grinding on a grinding stone
e) Grating
f) Scrapping the pulp out of a fruit or vegetable.
g) Stuffing of vegetables without damaging the surface.

All of the above fall into the carving standards. When a person looks at raw materials prepared for cooking, he or she should be able to decipher or distinguish what type of dish is to be prepared, whether it’s a mallung, devilled item, or even a curry.

Hence, always take care and pay attention to the method of cutting, as this too plays an important role in your culinary skills.

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Murunga and Cashew Curry

drumsticks curryIngredients
100 g raw or cooking cashew (the latter is available in all supermarkets), 150 g murunga (Drumsticks), 30 g red onions (sliced), 2 cloves garlic (chopped), 1 ½ tsp Mc Currie unroasted curry powder, ½ tsp Mc Currie turmeric powder, 3 fresh green chillies (sliced), 3 cups thin coconut milk, 1 ½ cups thick coconut milk, 1” piece Mc Currie cinnamon quills, 1” piece Mc Currie rampe, ½ tsp Mc Currie fenugreek seeds, 1 tbsp Mc Currie curry leaves, salt to taste.

Method

Split the Murunga (drumsticks) lengthwise and scoop out the pump. Except for the murunga pulp, mix all the other ingredients together and boil on a low flame. Thereafter, add the murunga pulp and boil for 2 -3 minutes. Add the thick coconut milk and simmer for 3 minutes on a low flame.

Compiled by Debbie

8 FOODS THAT HELP REDUCE CHOLESTEROL

CholesterolCholesterol in humans is as common as the common chest cold. The main reason for this is that people do not pay enough attention to the quality and nutritional value of the food they consume. Today’s food is packed with oil and of low quality. For example, fast food outlets do not pay the slightest attention to giving their customers low cholesterol food.

However, if you need to stay healthy, you need to draw up your own planned diet and look at the foods you should literally “kick” out of your kitchen diet.

Mc Currie brings to you today 8 foods that help you reduce cholesterol.

1. Cauliflower

Cauliflower boiled, with the addition of only pepper and salt, makes a healthy salad by lowering cholesterol.

2. Almonds

Almonds are expensive, but not so expensive to give your arteries and heart a healthier and longer lifespan. Munching a few almonds daily makes your heart healthy and keeps cholesterol at bay.

3. Grapes

Purple and red grapes lowers blood clots and LDL.

4. Chocolate

Well who would think chocolates would lower cholesterol?  It is not every variety of chocolate that helps reduce cholesterol, but the dark chocolate, as it has flavoured antioxidants that help keep blood platelets from gumming up together. Research has shown that an ounce of dark chocolate a day increases good cholesterol and prevents bad cholesterol from oxidizing.

5. Red Bell Pepper

Red Bell Peppers are also a source of cholesterol lowering soluble fibre.

6. Green or Black Tea

Studies prove that Green or Black Tea helps to keep blood vessels relax and prevent blood clots. Flavonoids, the major antioxidants in tea, have  shown to prevent the oxidation of LDL Cholesterol, that leads to plaque formation on artery walls.

7. Barley

Barley reduces bad cholesterol levels. Barley is full of soluble fibre that helps prevent the cholesterol in foods from being absorbed into your blood stream.

8. Fish

Fish contains one of the richest sources of omega 3 fatty acids, that increase good cholesterol and prevents bad cholesterol from clogging arteries.

Mc Currie is very mindful of our customers health and well being.

Prawn Badun

Prawan BAdunIngredients 

1 kg medium sized prawns, 2 tsp, Mc Currie unroasted chillie powder, 1 tsp Mc Currie turmeric powder, 2 tbsp Mc Currie crushed chillie, 1 tsp Mc Currie crushed pepper, 1” piece Mc Currie cinnamon quills, 1 tbsp Mc Currie curry leaves, 1” piece Mc Currie rampe, 2 large onions (sliced), 4 fresh green chillies (sliced length-wise), 4 cloves garlic (chopped), 1” piece ginger (chopped). Salt to taste, 1 ½ tsp soy sauce, ½ tsp Mc Currie fenugreek seeds, 1 tsp Mc Currie mustard seeds, 2 tomatoes (sliced), lettuce leaves.

Method

Remove the heads of the prawns and de-vein them. Wash thoroughly. Keep the tails on. Boil the prawns lightly in 1 cup of water, along with the turmeric powder and salt. Set aside. In a bowl mix together the chillie powder, crushed pepper, cinnamon quills and fenugreek seeds. Add this mixture to the boiled prawns and marinate for ½ an hour.

Thereafter, heat the oil in a wok and fry the onions, green chillies, garlic, ginger, curry leaves, crushed chillies and tomatoes. Add the mustard seeds. To this add the prawn mixture and soy sauce and stir well. Let it fry on a low flame, stirring frequently until fragrant.

In a flat dish arrange the lettuce leaves and over this spoon out the Prawn Badun.

Note: Prawn badun is a spicy dish and could be consumed with Yellow rice and also makes a fine and tasty filling in a sandwich.

Mc Currie Ventures into the Restaurant Business

Mc Curry restaurantA sibling of Mc Currie is born and it’s named “Mc Curry”. It’s the exclusive name for Mc Currie’s newest addition, the “Mc Curry Restaurants”. It is situated at the “Mc Currie” factory premises at Makumbura Pannipitiya.

The spacious Restaurant is set in a homely atmosphere which is just right, if you are looking for a change in taste of food that is typical Sri Lankan. The Restaurant serves exquisite food, using our very own spices and ready-to-eat jar products.

Our menus consists of

Vegetable Rice & Curry-

Basmathi Rice, One Vegetable, Dhal with Mallum or Salad & Papaddam Rs 100

Additional Masala Traditional
Cuttlefish                                Rs 125
Thalapath Fish                        Rs 125
Chicken                                  Rs 150
Beef                                       Rs 150
Seer Fish                                Rs 200
Mutton                                    Rs 350

Mc Curry Biriyani (Accompanied With Salad & Fried Egg)

Beef                                       Rs 200
Prawn                                    Rs 260
Fish                                       Rs 280
Chicken                                  Rs 320
Mutton                                   Rs 400
Additional Plate of Biriyani Rice Rs100

Lanka Spice intends to open Showroom Restaurants in strategic locations, which will draw customers to patronize the Restaurants, where they could taste and savour meals and tasty recipes made from our very own products.

At “Mc Currie” we always endeavour to bring out unique ideas and the Showroom Restaurant concept is one of them.

So the next time you drive along the High Level Road towards Homagama, do not forget to step in at the “Mc Curry” Restaurant and enjoy the reawakening of your taste buds, that only the ‘House of Mc Currie” can offer.

THE BANANA LEAF – AN ACCESSORY TO SPRUCING UP YOUR DINING TABLE

lumprais Many of us have come to think of the banana leaf as a mere part of the banana tree. As for us Sri Lankans, we are a step ahead of this thinking. Yes, we are aware of the benefits of the banana leaf as an “accessory” that adorns our dining tables.

When serving Milk Rice, it is best served upon a banana leaf. The green background for the pure white kiribathMilk Rice gives a striking image and stands out among other dishes on the table. A more Sri Lankan style of presentation of Milk Rice is by placing the banana leaf upon a woven or thatched flimsy basket and then serving the Milk Rice.

In the days gone by prior to the invention of the “lunch sheet” packets of rice were wrapped in warmed up banana leaves. When the packet of rice was opened, the aroma of the food was enhanced by the banana leaf covering. Lump Rice is one item of food that cannot be served without the banana leaf.

So the next time you want to savour the freshness of a meal, wrap it up in a warmed banana leaf.

The Banana Leaf Restaurant in Sri Lanka, lives by its name, where patrons are served lunch and dinner on large warmed banana leaves.

SRI LANKAN STYLE MUSTARD BEEF SMORE

Ingredients

500 g topside beef (cut into cubes), 3 tsp Mc Currie unroasted chillie powder, 2 tsp Mc Currie dark roasted curry powder, 1 tsp Mc Currie turmeric powder, 1 tsp Mc Currie cumin powder, 3 tsp Mc Currie Mustard Seeds, Vegetable oil, salt to taste, 1 ½ tsp Mc Currie crushed pepper, 1 large onion (sliced), 3 fresh green chillies (sliced), 4 cloves garlic (crushed), 1” piece Mc Currie cinnamon quills, 1” piece ginger (chopped), 3 tsp tomato paste, 3 tsp lime juice, 1 cup thick coconut milk, 1 ½ tsp Mc Currie curry leaves, ½ cup water.

Method

Soak mustard seeds for ½ an hour. Thereafter, grind to a paste the soaked mustard seeds, garlic, ginger, green chillies and curry leaves and set aside.

Add all other ingredients to the cubed beef, except for the coconut milk, lime juice and mustard paste. Heat the oil in a wok and fry the beef mixture. Add water and let it simmer until the beef is tender. When the water is absorbed, add the lime juice, coconut milk and mustard paste. Cook for a further 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

Tips:-

a) This wrap could be eaten with bread or pol roti for dinner. You can also use Mutton or Pork instead of Beef.
b) Remember that all meats should be cooked on a low flame, to ensure that the meat is thoroughly cooked.

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