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I enjoy my food: Chef Damu
Chef Damu, a household name in South India, wins over viewers with his charming cookery shows. He took time off his busy schedule to answer Bawarchi users` queries on Indian cooking. Here is the complete chat transcript...

Could you give me the recipe for vegetable korma with exact quantities?
Vegetables 1/2 kg, coconut 1/4 no, poppy seeds 4 teaspoon, curd 1 cup, ginger garlic paste 1 teaspoon, chilli powder 2 teaspoon, coriander powder 3 teaspoon, turmeric powder 1/2 teaspoon, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves two no each. Grind coconut, poppy seeds, ginger garlic to a fine paste. Keep a kadai on the fire, add oil, temper with ccc, add 200 grams chopped onion and saute well. Add 200 gms chopped tomatoes, saute add all the veg cut in to cubes. Saute, add curd, chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder, add water and cook till it becomes tender. Add ground coconut paste cook well. Serve with chapathis

Is noodles good for health?
Not every day

Children always love to eat - hotel food - Why ? Whatever care we take - home food is not that tempting to kids. Any special reason for this ?
We do not serve them what they like. If you prepare according to their taste then they will eat.

Is it better to eat with a spoon or with our own hands ?
It is better to eat with own hands because the taste differs.

Is paneer good for health?
Yes, very good.

Better to learn cooking from a book / or from a person (Like you Sir ) :)
First from a person, then from the book.

Is there any health food for arthritis?
Ladies finger

Is it true that cooking in copper vessels is good for health ?
Yes

Do you still agree that home made food is safe and healthy ?
verymuch

Can you cook Indian dishes with rum in it?
No

How can you stop cabbage from smelling when cooking it?
Add turmeric powder

How do we make French Fry?
Par boil potatoes, cut them into finger sized slices and deep fry to a golden brown.

It is felt that cooking with fire wood add flavour - (especially in marriages / feast) - is this true ?
yes espesialy all gravy items

How do I make sora puttu? Could you give me the recipe with the exact quantities?
Sora 1/2 kg, onion 250 gms, garlic 100 gms, green chillies 10 nos, curry leaves, oil 1 round spoon. Boil shark with turmeric powder, squeze the water. Heat oil in a kadai, saute onion, add green chillies, chopped green chillies, curry leaves and saute well. Add boiled shark and saute till it becomes like a bread crumbs.

How to make soft paneer at home?
Boil milk, add lemon, allow to settle down then strain to get good soft panner.

Is your food that good that you are not able to resist yourself - you are little more chubby?
I enjoy my food that is the reasoon I look chubby and smart

Do you like eating your own cooking or do you relish others cooking ?
I like to eat others cook and serve with love and affection

Is it ok for kids to eat fried chicken once a week?
Yes

From where did you learn cooking ? Better - from home or from your course
At the age of 12 years

For people with peanut allergy, what is the alternative?
Cashew nut

Is it bad to eat fruits after dinner
It is very good. Fruits should be taken only after meals

Is there a South Indian equivalent to Mutton do pyaza?
Mutton kulambu

Is it safe to eat raw mushroom as salad?
No. It should be parboiled at least.

What is your favourite food, to eat and also to cook?
I like prawns, it is very yummy

Do we have any short cut to ensure the softness of cake without adding any baking soda?
No

Is there any truth in the saying that curd and fish should never be eaten together?
Nothing like that.

Is it safe to eat curd after eating ghee?
Generaly it not advisable - it may cause indigestion

How to make chilli beef fry?
Boil beef with onion, tomatoes and other masala. Dry completely. Heat oil in a kadai, add onion, green chillies, saute. Add boiled beef and dry.

Will cooking fish with gingelly oil make it tasty?
Yes, it will be very good.

How can I retain the tenderness of sausages while cooking it, without breaking it into smaller pieces?
Boil the sausages before you use them.

Is it ok to use yeast in everday cooking
Not every day

Can you tell me the basic thng to remember while making biriyani?
Curd, mint and ginger garlic paste.

How do we make flaky parottas?
You shoud make dough with maida adding 50% water. Make small balls, apply oil on them, then spread as thinly as possible like paper. Then fold it like malai kaja sweet, apply oil on top and leave it for 10 min. Use your palm to make round shapes and saute without oil. Add 1 teaspoon oil. after making 4 parathas. Smash in between the palm to get layers.

My mutton pepper fry always ends up being soggy.. how do I prevent this from happening?
Add some water while pressure cooking, then dry completely.

Hi sir, Can we use palm oil?
Yes but the food quality may not be that good.

I want to know how to make low calorie butter chicken
Avoid butter and add any rice bran oil.

In which Indian dishes can we use kosher salt?
Namely all tandoor and North Indian dishes.

How do I make soft chappathis that would remain so over a long period?
50% water is compulsory to get soft chapathis.

My pooris often break when I deep fry them.. is there any way to prevent that from happening?
You should add 50% water, then mix properly, it will not break.

Is it safe for fish to be cooked with curds?
Yes it gives you better taste.

How can i make coconut chutney that would last longer?
You should refrigerate - max life only 2 days.

What is the actual way to make bittergourd pakodas?
Mix 2 hand ful of rice flour and two hand ful of maida and one hand ful of cornflour and chilli powder and ginger garlic paste with little red colour; sprinkle water and fry.

Hi Sir, how do you make groundnut chicken?
Cook the chicken with onion, tomatoes green chillies, crushed ginger and garlic with chilli powder, corinader powder and turmeric powder. Pressure cook them, turn in to kadai, dry and add coarsely ground nuts.

Hi Dr. Damu, I am a big follower of you, I have seen all your shows, they are fantastic.
Thank you so much. Happy cooking.

What is the meaning of saag as in methi saag?
Greens - could be palak or any greens - methi saag means menthi leaves cooked with gravy.

Hello Chef Damu. I love the curd rice prepared in Tamil Nadu. But when I try to make it at home, it does not turn out well. How do I make proper curd rice. And do I use milk or water to get the desired consistency?
Bil rice with water, smash well, then add milk mix well. Add two teaspoon of butter, 1/2 tsp salt, then add two teaspon of curd and temper. It will be very tasty with vatha kulambe or fish curry.

What masala is added to chicken biryani to make it tasty?
Not much of masala is required - only coriander powder, chilli powder and ginger garlic paste will give you the taste. Mint leaves will help for flavouring.

Whenever I try to brown onions to garnish biriyani with, they turn soggy. How can I make them crisp?
Oil must be hot and should be in the simmer form - add only a little quantity then it will not be soggy.

A chicken curry I make requires me to add curd right at the end, and then cook. But the curd always breaks, though I cook it on a low flame. Is there any way I can prevent the curd from breaking?
You should add the curd while sauting onion, ginger garlic, tomatoes and finally the curd. Then it will not break.

What is the difference between regular vinegar and Balsamic/white wine/red wine vinegar?
Regular vinegar is used for making paneer and for marination while the other one is used for cooking.

If I want to evenly brown paneer cubes on all four sides, is there any easy technique I can use. Right now, I tend to burn some when I saute them.
Keep oil in the simmer form. You place the paneer in the slicer then fry.

If I want to use Kashmiri chilli powder instead of regular chilli powder, What is the ratio I should follow? For example, if a recipe asks for 1 tablespoon of chilli powder, how many tablespoons of Kashmiri chilli powder should I use?
since it is not going to be too hot you can add 2 teaspoon

Can you tell us the secret to perfect round boondis for boondi ladoo, please?
You should use the right type of slicer

Do you have any work shop for unmarried girls on cooking?
Yes. In my college for a period of 3 months.

Apart from fruit salad, what can we cook without gas
Cooking without fire you can prepare full meals like sprouted bean salad, juices, aval with jaggery, coconut with grated carrot and dry grapes, etc.

For traveling which type of food will suits
Normally chappathis, katti rolls and variety rice is suggested.

Hi Dr.Dhamu sir, How are u? Can we use garlic to Idly uppuma, Aval uppuma, lemon rice ?
Do not add garlic for lemon rice.

If coconut milk is added to a vegetable curry and boiled, will it curdle?
No

How can we use flax seeds in daily cooking?
Can be used for baking cakes and gravies

Why does basmati rice turn hard while reheating?
Sprinkle some water then reheat it will not be rubbery

How do you make crisp medhu vada without adding soda?
Sprinkle rice flour on ground dal

Any trick to make fruits stay on top of a cake while baking?
Spread meringue on top of the fruits

How to roast papads in a microwave?
Slightly wet the papped

Is it true that Kashmiri mirchi is more suited for North Indian dishes?
Yes

How to prevent mushroom from getting black while cooking?
Rinse with vinegar, lemon or water

For cholestrol people, what type of food can be prepared?
Fibrous food

Is finger chips good for health?
Bad.

Is half boiled egg is good for health? Nowadays disease is spreading from tat? Is it true.
Bad to health

Hi Dhamu Sir. Am ur gr8 Fan. Am an unique person. I love to eat food with different combination. But my friends run out of me by doing this. Is a mixed combination of food bad to health??? Pls tell me.
Yes

Which oil is best suited to cook?
ricebran oil

How to lose weight by dieting?
By eating oats every day morning, it is possibile to lose weight.

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