Thursday, April 29, 2010

Re-creating the taste from Eden

Eden-One of the most frequented restaurants by vegetarians in Chennai. This unassuming place has stood the test of time and I must commend them for maintaining the consistent good quality and taste over the many years. I guess I went to Eden way back in 1998 for the first time. Not only did they have some really 'wow' food, but their offerings had some catchy names too. It might not sound like a great deal now. Back then, dessert names like "The last time I ever saw my waist" or "Death by Chocolate" was considered very fancy and Eden was a "hep" place to have a meal.

Well, the reason behind the whole prelude is that I was and am terribly impressed by one of their main courses called "Baby corn mushroom saute". Its a Tomato based Baby corn and Mushroom gravy served on a bed of herbed rice. And I was in a mood to re-create the taste in the confines on my kitchen because other than Eden, I havent found that entree in any of the other restaurants. And I remember the taste so well, after being a big fan all these years of this particular dish. So I took it up as a challenge and I was successful in recreating that taste, according to my palate though...:-)...So, without further ado, here we go with the recipe. [With a few little tweaks here and there...but the combined end result was as good...]

Sweet corn/Methi Pulav served with Tomato Gravy

Sweet corn-1 cup
Dried fenugreek leaves[Kasoori Methi]-1/2 cup
Onions-1, finely chopped
Cardamom-2 pods
Cinnamon-1 small stick
Green chillies-2, slit through the centre
Salt-As per taste
Basmati Rice-1 cup[soak for 10 minutes]
Water-2 cups
Oil/Butter-2 tbsp

  1. Heat Oil[and/or butter...I prefer adding a bit of both] in a wide mouthed vessel and add the cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. Wait for 5 seconds and add finely chopped onions, green chillies and saute until the onions are soft and pink.
  2. The add the sweet corn kernels and saute for about a minute and then add the Kasoori Methi.
  3. Saute them together for about 2-3 minutes and add 2 cups water and salt as per taste.
  4. Once the water comes to a boil, add the Basmati rice and cover and cook for exactly 10 minutes in medium heat and switch off stove. Wait for another 5 minutes to open and check the cooked rice.
Note: I always cook Basmati rice only for 10 minutes, no matter what the recipe because that's the time it takes to cook anyways. The secret is the 10 minute soaking time that softens the rice a bit before cooking. Not only do you get a nice aromatic flavour, the grains also stay separate even after cooking.

For the Gravy

Onion-1, finely chopped
Tomatoes-5 or6, finely chopped
Green chillies-2, slit at the centre
Coriander powder-1 tbsp
Red chilli powder-1/2 tsp
Salt-as per taste
Thick Coconut milk-1/4 cup
Baby corn-1/2 cup, cut into long strips
Mushroom-1/2 cup, rough chopped
Capsicum-1/2, chopped into 1 inch strips
Oil-2 tbsp
Coriander-finely chopped, for garnish[optional]
  1. Heat Oil in a kadai/wok and add finely chopped onions and saute just until brown.
  2. Add green chilli and saute for half a minute and then add coriander powder and red chilli powder and mix over stove for about 10 seconds.
  3. Add the finely chopped tomatoes and salt and cover and cook on medium flame until the tomatoes are really squishy and resemble a gravy.
  4. Saute the baby corn, mushroom and capsicum separately until they are cooked yet crunchy to bite into.
  5. Add the sauteed corn/mushroom/capsicum mixture into the tomato gravy and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the coconut milk to the gravy and cook uncovered for another 2 minutes.
  7. Switch off stove and garnish with finely chopped coriander.
To serve
Make a bed of rice on a plate and create a well at the centre of the plate. Spoon in the gravy just before serving. This allows the gravy to sort of seep through the rice slowly and gives a rich flavour.
For doing a picture and because we were eating it only after a while, I have done the picture with the rice and gravy separately on a plate.

Apeit Buena!

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