Monday, December 10, 2012

Tomato Pulao

This is a yummy tomato rice recipe that I learnt from my cousin Roopa. She makes this every time we visit as it is my daughter's favorite. My daughter has even named this rice as Roopa Peri mammu :-)

 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 3 Tomatoes (medium size)
  • 1" piece Cinnamon
  • 4 Cloves
  • 2 Cardamom
  • 1 cup thin Coconut milk OR 1 cup Water
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1" piece Ginger
  • 2 Green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Chilli Powder (Adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 2 tbsp Oil (I use Olive Oil)
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida
  • 2 springs Coriander Leaves finely chopped
  • 1 spring Mint leaves finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Salt (Adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 cup Paneer cubes
Method
  1. Grind the tomatoes, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, green chillies in a mixer and keep aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a cooker and add the asafoetida, cumin seeds and bay leaf. When the cumin seeds start crackling, add the ground tomato mixture, turmeric powder, chilli powder and coriander powder and saute till it starts to leave oil.
  3. Wash and drain the rice and add it to the cooker along with the coconut milk/ water and salt and close the cooker and allow it to cook on low heat for 10-15 min or till done.
  4. Around 10 min later add the Paneer cubes and the mint leaves and give it a stir. Taste and adjust the salt or spice requirements and close and simmer for 2 more min and switch off.
  5. Garnish with Coriander leaves and serve hot or pack it for your picnic as it tastes good even when cold.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Malai Parwal

This is an awesome recipe from Shanti Krishnakumar's cook book. Not many like Kovakkai in my house but everybody loved this dish and Kovakkai is a very healthy vegetable too.
 

Ingredients
  • 2 cups Kovakkai (Parwal / dhondakkai) cut thinly, length wise
  • 1 Tomato chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp Salt (Adjust to taste)
  • Milk - 1/2 cup
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1" Cinnamon Stick
  • 4 Cloves
  • 2 Cardamom
  • 10 Cashews
  • 1/4 cup grated Coconut
  • 4 Red chillies
Method
  1. In a pressure pan, heat oil and add the cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. When the cumin seeds start spluttering, add the tomatoes and saute well.
  2. Add the Kovakkai / Parwal, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt and mix well. Add 1/4 cup water and pressure cook for 1 whistle.
  3. Meanwhile, grind the cashews, coconut, and red chillies to a fine paste and keep aside.
  4. When the pressure is released from the pan, take out the lid and add the ground paste and garam masala. Add milk and cook in low heat till the gravy thickens and becomes creamy.
  5. Serve hot with any Indian flat bread of your choice. It goes well with rice too!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Jangiri

Jangiri is everybody's favorite and especially in Tamil Nadu. It was always thought to be difficult to make at home and generally made by the experienced cooks at the weddings. But actually it is not very complicated at all. This Diwali, lets make Jangiri and surprise our families. After checking out a lot of recipes, I zeroed in on this one. I used the ketchup bottle to squeeze out the jangiri.

Ingredients
For Jangiri
  • 1 cup Urad Dhal
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp Rice Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Food Colour
  • Oil for deep frying
For Sugar Syrup
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • A pinch of Cardamom Powder

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Laddu

Laddu is a must have in our house for Diwali. My grandma and mom are experts in Laddu and here is the recipe for you to enjoy on Diwali!

Ingredients
For the Boondis
  • 3 cups Gram flour (Besan)
  • A pinch of yellow food colour and a pinch of kesar food colour
  • 2 tbsp broken cashews and 2 tbsp Raisins fried in 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp small sugar candy in the shape of diamonds (diamond Kalkandu)
  • Oil to fry
For the Sugar Syrup
  • 3 cups Sugar
  • 1 cup Water

Utensils required: Big Perforated spoon with round holes for making the boondis, laddle and a perforated spoon to remove the boondis from oil.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Krishna Jayanthi

Lord Krishna's birthday is celebrated with a lot of pomp and glory at my house. We make lots of sweets and snacks along with butter as prasad. The kids of the house are dressed up as Krishna / Radha. We draw small footprints with rice flour batter all around the house that represents Lord Krishna's footprints. Here are the links to the recipes and some pictures of the Krishna Jayanthi celebrations at my house.





Now for the recipes for Krishna Jayanthi. Click on the links to go to the recipe....

Cashew Burfi


Vella Cheedai


Uppu Cheedai


Kai Murukku


Thattai


Thenguzhal


Chakkarai Appam

Pal Payasam



Cashew Burfi

This is a very easy recipe from my mom that lets you make yummy cashew burfi in only a few minutes.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup Cashew Powder (Powder the raw Cashew nuts in a mixer)
  • 1/3 cup Ghee
  • 1/3 cup Milk Powder
  • 1 cup Sugar (Adjust to Taste)

Vella Cheedai

This is another of Lord Krishna's favorite that is made on Krishna Jayanthi. This is an easy and a no fail  recipe from my mom. Many people complain that the cheedai dissolves in oil or bursts in oil but me or my mom have never experienced that with this recipe. So enjoy it with Krishna!


Ingredients
  • 2 cups Rice Flour (I use Nirapara brand)
  • 1/4 cup Urad dal Flour (Store bought)
  • 2 tsp Ghee
  • 1 tsp Sesame seeds
  • A pinch of Cardamom powder
  • 1 1/2 cups Jaggery
  • 2 cups of water
  • Oil to deep fry
Method
  1. Sieve and dry roast the Rice flour and Urad dal flour. (Frying gives less chance of the cheedai bursting in oil.)
  2. Heat water and melt the jaggery in it and filter it. Allow the filtered jaggery mixture to boil and add the roasted rice and dal flour, ghee, sesame seeds and cardamom powder. Mix well to form a dough.
  3. Once it cools down a bit, mix the dough with your hands and if it feels too dry add hot water little by little till you are able to get a smooth pliable dough.
  4. Make small smooth balls of the dough and deep fry them on medium heat.
  5. Once cooled, store them in an air tight container.
Suggestions / Notes
  1. If the jaggery is too much, the Cheedai will dissolve in water. But this recipe will not fail you.
  2. The ingredients used and the place made should be very clean as even little impurities in the dough will cause it to burst.

Chakkarai Appam

This Appam is my favourite and for every function or festival at home my mom makes this and this is a must in my house for Krishna Jayanthi. This is my grandmother's recipe that will never fail you.


Ingredients
  • 1 cup Rava
  • 1 cup Maida (All Purpose Flour)
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Milk
  • Pinch of Cardamom
  • Oil to deep fry
Method
  1. Mix all the ingredients except oil, in a bowl and keep aside for 3-4 hours.
  2. Heat Oil in a kadai. Add a small drop of the batter in the oil and if it sizzles up immediately then it means the oil is ready. 
  3. Using a tablespoon, pour the batter in the oil to make the appams. Cook the Appams on medium flame only, otherwise they wouldn't get cooked.
  4. Flip them when they turn brown and remove them using a slotted spoon once they are completely browned on all sides.
  5. Drain the excess oil on a paper towel and store them in an air tight container once they cool down completely.

Thattai

This is a tasty south indian snack. We can have many variations of this by adding the spices that suit your taste but this recipe is in its original.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups Rice Flour (I use Nirapara brand)
  • 1/4 cup Urad dal Flour (Store bought)
  • 2 tbsp Fried Gram dal Flour (Pottu Kadalai Podi)
  • 1 tsp Sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp Channa dal
  • 2 tbsp yellow Moong dal
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • Oil to deep fry

Uppu Cheedai

This is a tasty south indian snack generally made for Krishna Jayanthi. Extreme care has to be taken about the cleanliness of the ingredients and the place made, as this cheedai is very well known for bursting in the oil at the slightest impurity.


Ingredients
  • 2 cups Rice Flour (I use Nirapara brand)
  • 1/4 cup Urad dal Flour (Store bought)
  • 1 tsp Sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp Channa dal
  • 2 tbsp yellow Moong dal
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • Oil to deep fry
Method
  1. Soak the Channa dal and Moong dal for an hour.
  2. Sieve and dry roast the Rice flour and Urad dal flour. (Frying gives less chance of the cheedai bursting in oil.) Mix the roasted flours along with salt, asafoetida, sesame seeds, soaked dals and butter. Add water little by little to make it into a soft but firm dough.
  3. Make very small balls of the dough and spread them on a clean cloth or newspaper. The cheedai balls should NOT be rolled tight and smooth but rolled loosely with cracks by using only the fingers. If it is rolled into tight smooth balls, then chances of it bursting in oil is very high. Also the balls should be very small and almost the same size as only then they will get cooked even and crisp.
  4. You can use coconut oil to rub on your hands so that the dough will not be too dry or sticky and it would be easy to roll out the small balls. Also it adds a nice flavor to the Cheedai.
  5. Once you have rolled out all the Cheedai balls, heat oil in a kadai/ wok. To test the oil add a pinch of the dough and it should sizzle up immediately. Now fry the Cheedai on medium heat and in small batches. Once done, cool them and store in an air tight container.
Suggestions / Notes
  • Traditionally after mixing the dough we make a small cone with it and keep it aside. This cone represents the god who will be witnessing the cooking so that there wouldn't be any hassles during the process.
  • If the oil is too hot the cheedai will not get cooked inside and if it is not the right temperature it will be soggy and not so crunchy. So make sure the oil is of the medium heat.
  • It is advisable to stay away from the stove after dropping the cheedai balls in the oil so that atleast you wouldnt be hurt if the cheedai decides to burst!

Kai Murukku

My Grandma is an expert in this and in those days it was a laborious task to make it by soaking and grinding rice but my mom has an easy version, which is so easy that you can make this murukku any time you want very quickly and more important without compromising on the taste.


Ingredients
  • 2 cups Idiyapam Rice Flour 
  • 1/4 cup Urad dal Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil (optional)
  • Oil to deep fry (I use Sunflower oil. But any other oil can also be used.)
Method
  1. Sieve the rice flour and urad dal flour and mix them along with salt, asafoetida and butter. Add water little by little to make it into a soft dough. If the dough is too dry it will be difficult to twist the murukku. So add water in small quantities till you are able to make a smooth murukku. 
  2. On a clean cloth or newspaper, make the murukku by taking a small ball of dough and twisting it with your fingers to form a thread like shape and swirling it to form rounds as shown in the picture.
  3. You can use coconut oil to rub on your hands so that the dough will not be too dry or sticky and the murukku will come out smooth. Also it adds a nice flavor to the murukku.
  4. Once you have made the murukku, heat oil in a kadai/ wok. To test the oil add a pinch of the dough and it should sizzle up immediately. Now fry the murukku on medium heat and in small batches. Once done, cool them and store in an air tight container.

Suggestions/ Notes

  1. Traditionally after mixing the dough we make a small cone with it and keep it aside. This cone represents the god who will be witnessing the cooking so that there wouldn't be any hassles during the process.
  2. The Murukku dough should be mixed and made immediately else they will turn brown.
  3. If the oil is too hot the Murukku will turn brownish and if it is not the right temperature it will be soggy. So make sure the oil is of the right temperature.

Thenguzhal

Thenguzhal is a yummy snack and here is the recipe for it. This recipe requires a special instrument called chakli/murukku press.


Ingredients
  • 2 cups Rice flour  (store bought)
  • 1/4 cup Urad dal flour (store bought)
  • 1 tsp Salt (Adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1 tsp Sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 cup Water (use as required)
  • Oil for deep frying

Monday, July 30, 2012

Vegetable Biriyani

Vegetable Biriyani is an exotic dish with the inviting smell of saffron. It makes a very good party food. It may look a little time consuming but in the end, you will feel it was definitely worth your time. Enjoy cooking!!!




Ingredients
For Rice:
  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Oil (Preferably Olive oil)
  • 2 pinch Saffron threads
  • 2 tbsp warm Milk
For Marinating:
  • 4 cups chopped Vegetables (Carrots, Beans, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Green Peas, Potato)
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Curd
To Grind:
  • 1 Cardamom
  • 1" Cinnamon
  • 2 medium Tomatoes
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1" Ginger
  • 2 Green chillies
For Vegetable Gravy:
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 Black Cardamom
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/4 tsp Salt (Adjust to taste)
For Garnish:
  • 1 tbsp Sliced Almonds
  • 1 tbsp Melted butter
Method:
  1. In a big bowl, add the ingredients for marinating except the vegetables and mix well. Now add the chopped vegetables and mix well so that the vegetables are coated well with the masala. Close it and keep aside to allow it to marinate for 30 min. 
  2. Now wash and cook the rice separately with oil, salt and water.
  3. Soak the saffron threads in warm milk for 15 min.
  4. In the mean time prepare the ground paste with the ingredients to grind.
  5. Heat a large wok and add the oil. Add the black cardamom, star anise, bay leaf, cumin seeds and asafoetida.
  6. When the cumin seeds start crackling, add the ground paste and stir well till it begins to leave oil.
  7. Add the marinated vegetables, salt, Garam masala and cover and cook on medium heat till they are tender but not mushy. Switch off and keep aside.
  8. Now gently fluff the cooked rice with a fork and fold in the saffron milk.
  9. Now take a huge bowl that is oven safe and put half the cooked vegetables and spread it into an even layer.
  10. On top of the vegetables, add half the cooked rice with saffron and spread it into an even layer.
  11. Add the remaining vegetable gravy on top of the rice and spread it evenly.
  12. Now add the remaining rice and spread it evenly.
  13. Spread the melted butter evenly on top and add the chopped almonds.
  14. Preheat the oven to 350F and cover the bowl with aluminium foil and place it in the oven for 30 minutes.
  15. Yummy Vegetable biriyani is ready to serve.
Suggestions / Notes
  1. If you don't have an oven, you may use a microwave safe bowl and arrange the biriyani and place it in microwave (covered) on high for 5 min.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Akkaravadisal

"Inno Thiru Aadi Pooram, yemakkaka anno ingu Andaal avadharithaal. 
Kunnaadha vaazhwaana vaikuntha vaan bogam thannai igazhnthu Azhwaar thirumagalaaraai"


Today being Thiru Aadi Pooram (Andaal's birthday), this is the special prasadam made for this day. This is an Iyengar speciality and the recipe is from my mom.




Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup Raw Rice 
  • 1/4 cup Moong Dal
  • 1 1/2 cups Jaggery (Adjust to taste)
  • 6 cups Milk
  • A handful of Cashews (broken to bits)
  • A handful of Almonds (broken to bits)
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • A pinch of Cardamom powder
  • A pinch of Saffron strands (optional)
Method
  1. In a pan, heat 1 tsp ghee and fry the cashews and almonds till they turn golden brown. Keep aside.
  2. Fry the moong dal and rice in the same pan till they turn a light golden brown.
  3. In a cooker vessel, add the rice dal mixture and 5 cups of milk and place it in a cooker and cook it for 5-6 whistles.
  4. Melt the jaggery in a small vessel and filter the jaggery. Add this jaggery to a thick bottomed vessel along with the cooked rice dal mixture, remaining ghee, remaining milk, cardamom powder and saffron.
  5. Simmer and cook for a few minutes till the mixture reaches the desired (semi solid) consistency.
  6. Garnish the Akkaravadisal with the fried cashews and almonds.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Aadi Paal

This is a payasam made of coconut milk and jaggery and is a must have on the Aadi pandigai (the first day of the tamil month of Aadi.). This recipe serves 4.


Ingredients
  • 3 cups Coconut Milk 
  • 1 cup powdered Jaggery
  • A pinch of Cardamom powder
  • A pinch of Saffron (Optional)
  • A handful of Cashews broken to bits
  • A handful of Raisins
  • A handful of Almonds broken to bits
  • 1 tsp Ghee
Method
  1. Heat ghee in a thick bottomed vessel. Add the cashews, raisins and almonds and roast them till they turn a golden brown and keep these aside.
  2. Add around 1/4 cup water to the jaggery and microwave it on high for 3 min till the jaggery melts. Strain it and add to the hard bottomed vessel and heat on medium high till the jaggery liquid thickens and froths up.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and add the coconut milk extract, cardamom powder and saffron. Allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Add the roasted nuts and raisins and serve!

Homemade Coconut Milk

Many recipes use coconut milk. While there are many brands of ready made coconut milk available in the market, homemade coconut milk is the best and free from preservatives too.


Ingredients
  • 1 medium size coconut
  • Water as required
Method
  • Break the coconut into two and scrape each halves or as required and soak the grated coconut in 1 cup of hot water for 10 minutes. 
  • Grind the coconut mixture in a blender.
  • Place a sieve or strainer over a large bowl. Line it with a double layer of cheesecloth. Pour the ground coconut extract into the lined strainer. 
  • Lift the cheesecloth, pull the edges together, and squeeze out the coconut milk. This is the first extract of coconut milk. Keep aside.
  • Again, grind the squeezed coconut with a cup of water and take out the second extract of coconut milk as in the previous step. Keep aside separately.
Suggestions / Notes
  • The second extract of the coconut milk can be used instead of water in cooking the dishes that call for coconut milk. The first extract of coconut milk will break down if boiled on high. Hence it should be used only in the final step and also only on low flame.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Shortbread Cookies

I am a fan of the Scottish Shortbread cookies and wanted to try them at home and the result was awesome. Make sure you use the best, tastiest butter as that is the main ingredient here, responsible for the taste.


Ingredients
  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 cup Butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure Vanilla extract
Method
  1. In a bowl beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add the Sugar, salt and vanilla extract and beat the ingredients till smooth. Stir in the flour and make a soft dough.
  2. You can make small balls of the dough or if you want to use the cookie cutter to shape the cookies, flatten the dough into a disc shape and cover it with a parchment paper and freeze it for 10 min. Then flatten the dough with a rolling pin to 1/4" thickness and use the cookie cutter to cut the cookies.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F and line the cookie sheet with the parchment paper.
  4. Place the cookies on the cookie sheet and bake them at 350F for 10 min. These cookies will not brown much, so when the edges/ the bottom side turn a golden brown, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.
  5. Yummy shortbread cookies ready to eat!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rava Kesari

This is another of my mother's recipe who is an expert in Rava Kesari. This recipe serves 4.


Ingredients
  • 1 cup Rava
  • 1 cup Ghee
  • 2 cups Sugar (Adjust to taste)
  • 2 cups Water
  • A pinch of Cardamom
  • A pinch of Orange-Red Food Colouring (Optional)
  • 1/2 cup Raisins & Chopped nuts (Cashews/Almonds)
Method
  1. Heat 1 tsp Ghee and roast the raisins and the nuts till they turn golden brown and keep aside.
  2. Now roast the Rava in the same pan till it turns golden brown and keep aside.
  3. Add water to the pan and bring it to a boil. Simmer the stove and add the roasted rava slowly and mix well so as to not form any lumps. Cook the rava till it is done.
  4. Add the Sugar and mix well. Then add the remaining ghee and mix well till all the lumps are removed.
  5. Add the cardamom and the food colouring and mix again.
  6. Switch off the stove and garnish the Kesari with the roasted raisins and nuts.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Adai / Savoury Pancakes

Adai is a speciality of Tamil Nadu and is rich in protein. It can be had for breakfast, snack or dinner. It goes well with Avial, Chutney, Jaggery or just with Butter or Ghee.




Ingredients
  • 3 cups Idli Rice
  • 1 cup Toor Dal
  • 1 cup yellow Moong Dal
  • 1 cup Channa Dal
  • 10 Red Chillies (Adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp Salt (Adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1 spring of Curry leaves
Method
  1. Soak the Rice and Dals for 2-3 hrs.
  2. Drain and add the Rice, Dals, Red chillies, Asafoetida, and Salt to the mixer and grind coarsely. Add only just enough water required to grind. The Adai batter should be thick and not watery.
  3. Heat a girdle and add a laddle of batter in the center and spread it in a circular motion. Add a tsp of oil around it.
  4. Once the bottom side is done (i.e. when it turns a light golden brown) flip it over and cook the other side too.
  5. Once both the sides are done, remove from the girdle and serve hot!
  6. Repeat for the remaining batter. The leftover batter can be refrigerated and used within 3-4 days.
Variations
  1. Add 1/2 cup of chopped greens like Drumstick leaves, Methi leaves, Mint leaves or Coriander leaves in the batter to make tastier and healthier Adais.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Dilkush

My husband loves Dilkush and today being his birthday I made a Vanilla cake as that is his favorite but also wanted to make something special and I made this and surprised him! He misses this delicacy that is mainly a product of Kerala bakeries and so I made this today to take him back to his childhood days! I adapted this recipe from Erivum Puliyumm. Made a few modifications to the ingredients and the quantities to make it eggless and suit my taste. My husband and daughter loved this a lot!


Ingredients
  • 2 cups All purpose flour
  • 1/2 pkt or 1 1/2 tsp Active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup Warm Milk (Around 115F)
  • 4 tbsp Oil (preferably Olive oil)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Butter (melted at room temperature)
for filling
  • 3/4 cup Shredded Coconut 
  • 4 tbsp Raisins
  • 2 tbsp tutty fruity
  • 2 tbsp Cashew nuts
  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • A pinch of Cardamom powder 
Method
  1. In a small bowl, add the warm milk and stir in the sugar and yeast into it and mix well. Keep it aside for 5 min or till it froths up.
  2. In a big bowl add the flour, salt, oil and the yeast mixture and knead it into a smooth dough.
  3. Grease the sides of a bowl with a little oil and place the dough in it and flip it till the dough is also coated with oil. Cover the bowl and keep aside in a warm place for 1-2 hours till it almost doubles its size.
  4. Now prepare the filling by mixing coconut, sugar, tutty fruity, raisins, cashews and cardamom powder.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and roll each with a rolling pin by dipping in flour lightly. 
  6. Roll one part of the dough into a circle of diameter 8'' and 1/2" thickness.
  7. Spread the filling into the circle leaving 1/2-1" space at the outer border and keep aside.
  8. Roll out another ball in the same way of diameter 9''and 1/2'' thickness. Cover it on top of the filling one and tuck the sides under the first one such that it properly covers the sides. Apply water to seal the tucked edges.
  9. Leave aside to rise for 20-30 minutes. 
  10. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  11. Apply the melted butter generously on top of the dilkush and place it on a cookie sheet in a oven for 15-20 minutes or till done.
  12. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes and Serve with tea!!


Suggestions/ Notes
  1. The Dilkush can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Sending this to The Kerala Kitchen hosted at Erivum Puliyumm


 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ribbon Pakoda

Ribbon Pakoda is the favourite in my house. My mom always makes this whenever we have guests at home. This recipe requires a special instrument called chakli/murukku press.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups Rice flour
  • 1 cup Besan
  • 1 tsp Chilli powder (Adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp Salt (Adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1 tsp Sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp Butter, softened
  • 1 cup Water (use as required)
  • Oil for deep frying

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Strawberry Cake

We went Strawberry picking in a nearby Farm and got a lot of fresh Strawberries. So I had to think of a way to use them and decided to make a Strawberry cake as it is my sister's birthday too. The original recipe was for cupcakes but I made a round cake and decorated it with fresh Strawberries. We celebrated her birthday with this cake while she is celebrating with her family in Blore. Happy Birthday Divya!!



Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cup All Purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 3/4 cup Milk powder
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1 cup Strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup (slightly) hot Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • A few drops of lemon juice plus 2 tsp sugar for the strawberries
Method
  1) Wash and slice the strawberries. Mix in the lemon juice and the sugar and keep aside for about 15 minutes. This helps to bring out the flavour of the strawberries.
  2) In the meanwhile, preheat the oven at 350F and line a cake tin with Parchment paper and grease the sides with butter.
  3) In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and the vanilla with a hand blender or with a wire whisk, about 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the sugar and the milk powder and beat until soft. Add the baking powder and baking soda and stir in half the flour, add half the milk and beat until soft, for about 2 minutes. Put in the remaining flour and milk and beat again until soft for 2 minutes. Mix in the strawberries with their juices.
  4) Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes or till done (until a skewer comes clean).

  5) Allow the cake to completely cool down while you prepare the strawberry cream frosting. (If the cake is hot the frosting will melt and not stay.)
  6) Apply the frosting on the sides and top using the back of the spoon / basting brush and decorate it with some fresh sliced strawberries.

Suggestions / Notes
  1. I would suggest you keep the leftovers of the cake (if any) in the refrigerator as it may not keep well outside for more than a day since we have used fresh fruits here.

Strawberry Buttercream frosting

This is a delicious frosting made with fresh Strawberries.

Ingredients
  • 1/2  cup  Butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 cups Powdered sugar  / Icing Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh whole strawberries
Method
  1. Puree the Strawberries in a blender.
  2. Beat butter in a bowl for a minute or until smooth. Mix in the sugar and the Strawberries puree and beat until smooth and creamy. You can adjust the consistency by adding more sugar if frosting is too thin or strawberries if it is too thick.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Puliyodharai

This is my mother's famous Puliyodharai recipe. It tastes so similar to the puliyodharai prasadam you get at the temples. She always makes the Pulikaaichal her own random way with no specific spoon measurement but only eye measurement (kann alavu as she says) ;-) So I asked her to note down the measurements of how much she has used with the proper measuring spoons, the next time she made and she immediately did this the next day and gave me the recipe. Now I am revealing her secret :-)




Pulikaaichal
This is the Tamarind spice mixture needed to make the Puliyodharai. It is like a pickle or thokku that can be made and stored for later use.


Ingredients
  • 200 gm Tamarind paste
  • 10 long Red chillies
  • 1 tsp Methi seeds
  • 1 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1/2 cup Oil
  • 2 tsp Urad dal
  • 2 tsp Channa dal
  • 1/4 cup Peanuts
  • 2 springs Curry leaves
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 5 Red chillies split into 2
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 (heaped) tsp Salt (Adjust to taste)
Method
  1. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan/ wok and fry the methi seeds and the 10 long red chillies. Fry them on medium heat till they turn brown. Switch off and allow it to cool and grind these in a mixer to a fine powder and keep aside.
  2. Heat the remaining oil in the pan and add the mustard seeds. When the mustard starts crackling add the asafoetida, urad dal, channa dal, 5 split red chillies and the peanuts and fry them till they turn a light brown.
  3. Now add the curry leaves and the water. Stand back while adding water as it will splatter. Then add the Tamarind paste, turmeric powder and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer it till the mixture thickens slightly (like a halwa).
  4. Now add the ground powder and mix well. Switch off the stove.
  5. Follow the recipe below to make the Puliyodharai and store the remaining Pulikaaichal in an airtight container once it is cooled.
Suggestions/ Notes
  1. The Pulikaaichal keeps good at room temperature for a week and it definitely keeps good for more than 6 months in the refrigerator but be sure to use a clean dry spoon every time.

Puliyodharai
This is also known asTamarind rice and is made by mixing the Pulikaaichal with cooked rice.



Ingredients
  • 1 tsp Pulikaaichal (Adjust to taste)
  • 1 cup cooked Sona Masoori Rice
Method
  1. Add the Pulikaaichal to the hot Rice and mix well with a fork.
  2. Puliyodharai is ready to serve hot or cold!
Suggestions/ Notes
  1. Once you make the Pulikaaichal, you can almost instantly make the Puliyodharai and this Puliyodharai tastes good even if it is cold. Hence it can serve as a nice picnic food or travel food. Also it keeps good for a day or two when kept at room temperature itself.
  2. My Mom heats a little oil and fry more peanuts and add it to the rice along with a pinch of turmeric and mix the Pulikaaichal to make the Puliyodharai. But I am a little lazy and want to make the Puliyodharai instantly so added more turmeric powder and peanuts in the Pulikaaichal itself :-)


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Marble Cake

Marble cake is my husband's favourite and I got this recipe from easy cooking and he was totally amazed at how soft this cake was, as he used to think only cake with eggs can be soft. All my friends too loved it and were amazed at how soft this cake has turned out and no one could believe it was eggless! Now I make this cake almost every other week.


Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 3 tbsp Condensed Milk
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 3/4 cup Powdered sugar
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp Hot water
Method

   1) In a bowl mix the All purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda.
   2) In another bowl add the butter, condensed milk, vanilla essence, sugar and milk and mix well. Add these to the All purpose flour mixture and mix everything well to form a smooth batter.(No need to worry if there are little amounts of lumps in the batter.)
   3) Take the hot water in a small bowl and add the cocoa powder and mix well so that it becomes a thick paste. Now add 1/4 of the batter to the cocoa paste and mix well.
   4) Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a cake tin or loaf pan with butter and flour or use a parchment paper. Pour the vanilla batter into the greased tin as shown below.


   5) Now pour the cocoa batter along the middle and make marble like designs using a fork. (But don't overdo the designs. It has to be a gentle zig zag like pattern with the fork.)


   6) Now bake the cake at 350F for 35-20 min or till a knife inserted comes out clean.
   7) Allow the cake to completely cool and then slice and serve!

Suggestions/ Notes
  1. The original recipe calls for orange zest but I skipped that as we all like only plain marble cake.
  2. You may replace condensed milk with milk powder as in the original recipe. I didn't have milk powder so I used condensed milk instead and since we all love this texture, I didn't try it with milk powder again.



Sending this to  Bake Fest event guest hosted by Priya @ Now Serving


Monday, May 21, 2012

Sathu Maavu Urundai / Healthy Rounds

This is a very healthy snack that can be prepared within a minute or two. When I was a kid, my grandmother used to make this for me using just the sprouted and roasted Ragi flour. But nowadays you get many health drink mix (Sathu maavu for Kanji) readily available in the stores. The Health mix is basically a powder made from sprouted and roasted multi grains and nuts flavoured with cardamom. I generally use the Manna brand of Health mix which is readily available in powder form, from the Indian stores. Alternately you may also make the Health mix at home for which I shall post the recipe soon. Since most of the kids generally don't like to drink the porridge made with the health mix, this snack is a very nice way to get them to eat it. And not only kids even the grown ups will enjoy them.


Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp  Health Mix
  • 2 tbsp Organic Cane Sugar/ Powdered Jaggery
  • 3-4 tsp Ghee
Method
  1. Take the health mix in a bowl and add the organic sugar/ jaggery.
  2. Add the ghee little by little and mix to form a dough.
  3. Make small balls of the dough and serve the tasty and healthy snack.
Suggestions/ Notes
  1. You may use only sprouted and roasted Ragi flour if you don't have the Health mix readily available.
  2. The measures of the ingredients are only a suggestion. You may add more or less to adjust to your taste.
  3. Use only ghee for this recipe as butter will not taste as good.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Arisi (Rice) Upma

This is my mother's easy recipe for Arisi Upma. It can be served as breakfast but we make it very often for dinner when we are not in a mood to make chappatis and curries. Arisi Upma goes well with just pickle or chutney.


Ingredients
for Upma
  • 1 cup Raw Rice
  • 1/4 cup Toor dal
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Jeera
  • 1 tsp Salt(Adjust to taste)
for seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Oil (Gingelly oil preferred)
  • 1/2 tsp Urad dal
  • 1/2 tsp Channa dal
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 Red Chilli
  • 1 spring Curry Leaves
  • A pinch of Asafoetida
Method
  1. Grind coarsely all the ingredients for the Upma (except Salt) in a mixer.  
  2. Heat oil in a small pan and add mustard. When it starts spluttering add the channa dal, urad dal, red chilly and asafoetida. When the dals turn a light brown add the curry leaves and switch off the heat.
  3. Take a cooker vessel and add the ground mixture and water in the ratio of 1:2. Then add the Salt and the seasoning to it.
  4. Pressure cook the mixture for 3 - 4 whistles or cook till done.
  5. Rice Upma is ready to be served.
Suggestions/ Notes
  • To make it healthier I like to add moong sprouts to it. You may add them along with the water just before cooking in the pressure cooker (step 3). It is healthy and also very tasty.
  • You may grind and store the toor dal, rice, pepper and jeera mixture (mentioned in step 1), so that you can make the upma instantly whenever you want.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer is everybody's favoruite and here we go for the yummy recipe..


Ingredients
  • 500 gm /4 bunches / 7 cups Spinach Leaves(Palak)
  • 2 Tomatoes, cut into halves  (Optional)
  • 500 gm Paneer, cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 tbsp Oil (Olive Oil preferably)
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 3/4 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1 tsp fresh Ginger, grated
  • 2 Green chilies
  • 2 Cardamom
  • 1" piece Cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seed powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chili powder (Optional)
  • 1 tbsp Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves), crushed
  • 1 tsp Salt (Adjust to taste)
Method
  1. Wash the spinach leaves and microwave it along with tomatoes, green chilli, ginger and 1 tbsp water in a microwave safe bowl on high for 8-9 min or till the tomato and spinach are cooked. 
  2. Cool them and remove the skin of the tomatoes and puree the spinach tomato mixture in a blender along with the cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and keep aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok and add the cumin seeds and asafoetida. When the cumin seeds turn brown add the blended spinach mixture. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric and red chili powders and cook for 5-10 min till the raw smell of the Spinach is gone.
  4. Add the kasuri methi, paneer cubes and salt and cook for 10 more minutes till it attains the desired consistency.
  5. Turn off the heat and stir in the milk or cream. Serve hot with roti/naan/parata.
Suggestions/ Notes
  • If you don't want to add the Tomatoes along with Spinach you may skip that but adding tomatoes add more flavour in this dish.

Sending this to  Show Me Your HITS series #4 Iron Rich foods event hosted at Erivumpuliyumm.

Curries for Indian Flatbreads

Paneer Butter Masala
Methi Malai Mutter
Channa Masala