Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Chocolate Barfi - Khoya/Mawa Barfi - Chocolate Milk Fudge

Barfi's can be prepared in many ways like caramelizing whole milk from scratch, simmering it slowly over stove top for hours or by using condensed milk or by using khoya/mawa which is readily available in the shops. The first method is highly time consuming. So, I have used the khoya method here. You can also make khoya at home using milk powder. By using homemade khoya, you can save lots of time in making this Barfi. Here is the recipe for home made khoya and the Chocolate barfi as well...

Home made Khoya

Milk powder - 1 cup
Ghee/clarified butter - 1/2 tbsp
Milk - 1/4 cup

Preparation method
  1. Take milk powder in a bowl. Heat the milk and ghee in a small pan. Heat the mixture just till it comes to a boil.
  2. Add this hot milk-ghee mixture to milk powder. And mix it with a spoon. It will look like crumbled khoya. If it looks still dry you can add more milk, add very less at a time.
  3. You can shape it however you like while it is warm. As it cools it will hold that shape and it will harden. After that you can grate or crumble it and use in many Indian Sweets
Ingredients

Khoya/Mawa - 250 gms
Sugar - 100 gms
Ghee - 2 or 3 tbsp
Cocoa powder - 2 tsp
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Chopped cashews/almonds - 2 tbsp or 1/4 cup (optional)
Sliced pistachios - 1 tbsp, for garnish (optional)




Method for preparing chocolate barfi

Add ghee to a heavy bottomed pan or kadai, add khoya and roast on a slow heat till it gets medium brown. ( it will take around 10 minutes )

Meanwhile in another pan make sugar syrup by adding sugar and very less water, just to wet the sugar. Bring it to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. The idea is to just dissolve the sugar. No string consistency is required. Remember, if you boil the sugar syrup too much the barfi will become chewy or very hard. Sugar syrup consistency is the key thing here.

Add sugar syrup to the roasted khoya and keep stirring, add cardamom powder, cocoa powder and chopped cashews/almonds.

Mix everything for 4-5 minutes on a medium flame. Transfer a mixture into a greased tray, garnish with sliced pistachios and level it out with spoon.  Let it cool completely and cut them into desire shape.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Paneer Butter Masala - Restaurant Style Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer butter masala is the most popular side dish when compared to the other paneer curries. Its a rich Punjabi dish made with paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese). The near perfect combination of spiciness and creaminess of its gravy makes it simply irresistible and versatile to be served with any Indian bread or with pulav or any biriyanis. Tomato puree is the key in this recipe. To get the right color choose red ripe tomatoes and good red chilli powder. Now to the delicious recipe.
 


Ingredients 
Onion -2
Tomatoes - 4 or tomato puree - 1 cup
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
Paneer - 200 grams, cubed
Cashews - 10 nos
Kasuri Methi -1 tsp (dry fenugreek leaves)
Salt as required

Spice Powder
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Chilli Powder - 3/4 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp

For the seasoning
Butter- 2 tbsp + Oil-1 tbsp
Cinnamon -1 inch piece
Cloves- 2
Cardamom -1
 

For Garnishing
Fresh cream - 2 or 3 tbsp
Finely chopped coriander leaves



Method


First, you need to make 3 pastes out of these ingredients. And then its just as easy as that to prepare the gravy. 


Onion Paste -Remove the skin, chop the onion into 4 pieces and boil them in water for 10 minutes. Drain the water completely and grind it to a paste.

Tomato puree - Blanch tomatoes- (ie) put the tomatoes in boiling water and close it. After 10 minutes, drain the water, remove the skin and puree the tomatoes.

Cashew nut paste- Soak 10 cashew nuts in hot water for 15 minutes and grind it to a paste.
Heat 2 tbsp butter +1 tbsp oil, add cinnamon, cardamom and cloves, when it splutters, add onion paste and saute till it becomes golden brown, then add ginger garlic paste and saute for some more time.
Then add tomato puree and all the spice powder mentioned under spice powder. Cook until the raw smell of the tomato goes and it starts leaving oil. Do not add any water now, else the raw smell will not go off completely
 
Then add cashew nut paste and saute nicely for a few minutes till the raw smell goes.
Add the paneer cubes to the cooked tomato paste. Add 1/2 cup of water, needed salt, kasuri methi and coriander leaves. Simmer and cook for a few minutes.

Garnish with fresh cream and serve with pulao or roti or chapati.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Bread Besan Toast - Eggless Spicy French Toast - Quick Snack

Bread besan toast is a nice alternative to the French toast, for those who do not eat eggs. This is a very quick snack which can be prepared in less than 15 minutes. Use a wheat or multi-grain bread to make this evening snack a healthier option.



Ingredients
 

Bread - 3
Besan flour - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1/2, finely chopped
Coriander leaves - 1/2 tbsp, finely choped
Green chilli - 1, thinly sliced
Salt - as per taste
Hing - a pinch
Water - for making the batter

Oil/Ghee to toast 
 
Method
 
1. Mix all the above ingredients except bread to form a thin batter.
2. Dip each bread piece in the batter.
3. Heat the tawa, drizzle oil and toast both sides till light brown.While toasting press the bread slices so that all sides are cooked properly.
4. Cut each bread pieces into half diagonally.
5. Serve hot with tomato sauce!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Vanilla Panna Cotta Using China Grass/Agar Agar

Panna Cotta is an Italian dessert prepared using fresh cream and full fat milk. Panna Cotta means "Cooked Cream, with a smooth and velvetty like texture which can be achieved by using China Grass/Agar Agar powder. You can also use gelatin instead. As gelatin is not a vegan option I opted for china grass. China grass can be easily found in any departmental store in the aisle where you can find other baking/pudding ingredients.

I was introduced to this dessert from one of the cookery shows. From then on it was on my To Taste and Try list. Few months back I happened to taste this in the Cream Centre restaurant and it was absolutely heavenly. Just melted in my mouth. I desperately wanted to try this and planned for a special occasion. Yeah, its been one year since I started this blog and its our anniversary too. So here comes one special recipe with lots of tips that I have learnt. I got it right only on my third attempt and all my learnings are here for the benefit of you :-)

What does a perfect panna cotta look like? Once you pour the cooked cream in any mould or ramekins and refrigerate, it should be set in 5 or 6 hours. Set in the sense, you should be able to flip it down and unmould it. Still it should hold its shape. Nor runny or too cheesy either. It should wibble-wobble like a jelly and should be soft and creamy when you eat. It can be achieved with the right quantity of china grass/agar agar. If too less it wont set, if too much it will be too stiff and cheesy. Fresh cream and full fat milk are the must. They cannot be substituted with any other ingredients. Else the you won't get the exact creamy and soft texture and taste.

Vanilla extract or vanilla essence? Both are really different. Vanilla extract is originally obtained from the vanilla bean or pod in the natural way. Whereas vanilla essence is just the flavor obtained by some chemical processing and is watery than the extract. Vanilla essence can be replaced for extract just use a little more than the mentioned quantity. 



Here comes the recipe!

Ingredients

Fresh Cream - 1/2 cup
Full fat milk - 1/2  cup
Sugar - 2-3 tbsp
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp (OR) Vanilla essence - 1 1/2 tsp
China Grass/Agar Agar powder - 2 tsp
Water - 2 tbsp

Method
  1. Slightly grease the moulds in which you are going to pour the cooked cream with any unflavored oil. 
  2. Heat the water in a small vessel, once it starts boiling turn off the flame and add the agar agar powder. Stir well until it dissolves and set aside.
  3. Take a heavy bottomed pan and add the fresh cream, full fat milk and sugar. Bring to a boil in low flame. Stir well so the sugar dissolves completely. Now add the agar agar dissolved water to this, mix well and cook on low flame for two more minutes. Turn off the flame and add the vanilla extract. Mix well and immediately pour into the greased moulds.
  4. Allow them to come to room temperature and then refrigerate for 5-6 hours or overnight. Even before refrigerating, the mixture would have thickened and starts setting. 
  5. To unmould, run a thin knife around the sides of the mould/ramekin. Dip the mould in a bowl containing water for 5-10 seconds. Invert the mould over a serving plate and shake it gently so that it can easily come out of the mould and fall in the plate.
It is very important to cook the china grass dissolved water along with milk and cream for atleast couple of minutes. I missed this step in my first two attempts and the panna cotta didn't set at all. Do not worry, if it didn't set. Take it out of the refrigerator and add it again to a heavy bottomed pan and cook for few minutes. Allow to cook down and now refrigerate. Voila, its all set now and ready to be enjoyed :-)

Serving suggestions
  • Garnish with fresh fruits (any berries, pomogranate etc.) 
  • Drizzle with chocolate sauce
  • Warm some strawberry or fruit jam with very less water and drizzle on top of it
  • Sprinkle some grated chocolates or chopped nuts

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Mango Rice - Mangai Sadham

Mango rice is such a simple and easy recipe. This is VJs favorite. Whenever he sees raw mangoes in the vegetable shop he will pick one and ask me to prepare this rice. You don't need much of ingredients or any spice powders to prepare this. All you need is some cooked rice and grated mangoes, the mango rice will be ready in minutes. Preparation method is just the same as we do for Carrot Rice. So, here is the recipe!



Ingredients

Cooked Rice - 2 cups
Mango - 1, peeled and grated
Onion - 1, chopped
Peanuts - 1 tbsp (optional)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Hing -a pinch
Salt as needed

To Temper

Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds -1 tsp
Bengal gram/channa dal - 1 tsp
Urad dal -1 tsp
Green chillies -2 slit
Curry leaves - few

Method
If using peanuts dry roast them separately first and set aside. You can also use the store brought salted peanuts. Or instead of peanuts you can also use cooked peas. 

Take a wide pan, add oil and do the seasoning with the ingredients mentioned. Then add onions and saute until they turn transparent. Now add the grated mangoes, peanuts/peas, hing, turmeric powder, salt and stir well, just to mix them together and turn off the flame. Do not over cook.

Add the cooked rice and mix gently. Check and adjust salt. Enjoy with papad/chips or with any fry.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Masala Idly - Idly LeftOvers

What to do with left over idlis. Idly upma is the only option that comes to our mind. For a change you can try this masala idly, idly pieces tossed with onion, tomatoes, capsicum and the regular spices. Its so flavorful and spicy, takes less than 15 mins to prepare. Here's the recipe!



Ingredients

Left over idlis - 5 or 6, cut into cubes or any preferred size
Onion - 1, chopped finely
Tomatoes - 2, chopped finely
Garlic - 2 or 3, chopped finely
Green chilli - 1 or 2, slit lengthwise
Capsicum - 1 tbsp, finely chopped (use any color)
Red chilli powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves - fistful, finely chopped
Oil - 2 or 3 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Salt a pinch
(You can also use vegetables like carrot, cooked peas etc optionally)

Method
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the curry leaves, garlic and green chillies. Saute for few mins. Then add the chopped onions and saute until they turn transparent. Now add the chopped tomatoes, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and required salt.
  • Saute until the tomatoes turn mushy. Now add the finely chopped coriander leaves and the cubed idlis. Mix well and turn off the flame. Keep covered for couple of minutes so that the flavors blend well. Serve warm with plain curd or with ketchup.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Aviyal Recipe - Kerala Style Aviyal - Adai Aviyal

Avial is a traditional kerala dish prepared with mixed vegetables, curd, coconut and is seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves. This can be served as an accompaniment for Adai dosa or with rice. You can use as many vegetables as you wish, just omit those mushy vegetables like tomatoes, cabbage, brinjal, raddish, ladies finger etc. Aviyal has to be seasoned with coconut oil, so do not substitute that with any other oil. Now, to the recipe!


 
Ingredients


Vegetables of your choice (Carrots, beans, potato, yam, drumstick, plantain, arbi etc) - 1 cup
Curd - 2 tbsp

To grind to a smooth paste

Grated coconut - 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds /Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Green chilli - 2 or 3


For the seasoning

Coconut oil - 2 tsp

Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - few

Red chillies - 1 or 2

Method
  1. Cut all the vegetables into bite size cubes and cook them with salt and turmeric powder. Do not overcook. They should retain their shape perfectly.
  2. Grind the grated coconut with cumin seeds and green chillies
  3. Mix the cooked vegetables and the ground paste in a pan and boil for few minutes. Check for salt and add if required
  4. Add the curd, mix well and switch off the flame. Once added the curd don't keep the avial on stove for more than a minute
  5. Do the seasoning with the above mentioned ingredients and enjoy with Adai dosa or with hot steamed rice.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Kollu Rasam - HorseGram Rasam - Kollu Recipes

Here is another recipe made with Kollu. After learning the benefits of horsegram this has become a part of our regular menu. The process for making kollu rasam is very easy, tastes good and healthier too. So, is there any reason to avoid this? Also check the recipe for Kollu Masiyal here.




Ingredients

Kollu (HorseGram) - 2 tbsp
Tomato - 1, crushed
Tamarind - gooseberry size, soaked and extracted
Coriander leaves - few, finely chopped
Salt and hing as per taste

To Temper

Ghee - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds, methi seeds, curry leaves and red chilli as per taste and preference

To Grind to a coarse powder

Garlic - 2 or 3 cloves
Jeera - 1 tsp
Pepper - 1/2 tsp

Method
  • Soak kollu overnight with enough water. Drain the soaked water, add fresh water and pressure cook for 3 whistles in high flame and simmer for 7-10 mins. Mash it well and set aside.
  • Grind Garlic, jeera and pepper to a coarse powder.
  • In a pan or vessel add the crushed tomato with enough water and add the coarsely ground powder, salt, hing and bring it to a boil. Then add the extracted tamarind water. When it starts to boil add the mashed kollu and the water along with it. Add chopped coriander leaves. Bring it to a rolling boil (i.e it should just start boiling) and turn off the flame.
  • Do the tempering and pour it to the rasam. Serve hot with steaming rice.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Kollu Masiyal - HorseGram Masiyal

Until couple of days back I had never thought of including kollu (horsegram) in my menu. I was actually thinking they were used only for cattle feed. But when I happened to watch a cookery show in which Madam Revathy Shanmugam was making a dish out of Kollu and she was talking about its health benefits, instantly I started browsing to know more about it and I prepared this masiyal the next day itself. As I haven't tasted any dish made out of this legume I was little scared as how it would taste, thankfully there was no compromise :-)

Few things has to be noted while cooking this legume. Like any other legume this has to be soaked overnight or atleast for 5-6 hours and then pressure cooked for 3 whistles and then simmer for 5-10 mins. It doesn't mash up well like the dals. So I had to give a pulse using my mixer to get a coarse texture. You can use the kollu cooked water for making kollu rasam. I made the rasam too, recipe to be posted soon. You can also sprout this like any other pulses to improve its nutritive value



Ingredients

Kollu - 1/2 cup (soaked overnight)
Shallots - 6
Garlic cloves - 5 or 6
Tomato - 1
Green chilli - 1
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Hing - 1/4 tsp
Salt as per taste

To Temper

Oil, mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves and red chillies

Method
  • Take a pressure cooker and add the soaked kollu, shallots, garlic, chopped tomatoes, green chilli, cumin seeds, turmeric powder and hing. Add enough water to pressure cook. Close the lid and cook for 3 whistles in high flame and simmer for 7-10 minutes.
  • Allow the pressure to subside. Drain excess water and reserve this for using Kollu Rasam. Use a hand blender or a mixer to mash/grind it coarsely. If using a mixer just pulse twice or thrice. A coarse texture should be fine. You cannot mash it easily like we do for the dals. Add required salt and  mix well.
  • Do the tempering and add it to the masiyal. Enjoy the nutritious kollu masiyal with hot rice.

Health Benefits

Kollu aids in reducing cholestrol to a great extent. It helps relieve menstrual problems in women. Regular intake of horsegram water or adding adding sprouts or any horsegram recipes in your diet daily treats irregular periods. Horsegram water is also used for regulating fever and treating cough/cold. Taking horsegram powder  in a little bit of water regularly, helps in treating and controlling skin rashes and boils.

What's the best way to cook your vegetables?

Have you ever thought if we are consuming the whole of the nutrients from our food. Then, couple of things has to be taken care. Cooking methodology & Cooking temperature.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How to make your family eat the "Not Liked" vegetable

Give a twist to the most hated veggie of you or your family. A simple change in the cooking method will do wonders and make it their favorite. You can also share your own combinations/methods here. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Masal Vadai - Masala Vadai - Paruppu Vadai

Masal vadai is a very popular snack of South India usually had with a cup of tea/coffee. It can also be served as a side dish for any rice, especially with curd rice. During summer days, we used to have this masal vada with pazhaya sadham and mango thokku. Nothing can beat this combo. Well! Are you carving for  a street food style masala vadai now? Here is a very simple recipe !!

 
Ingredients

Channa dal/Bengal gram/Kadalai paruppu - 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp
Red Chillies - 2 (adjust as per your spice needs)
Fennel seeds /Sombu - 1 tsp
Onion- 1 chopped finely
Green chillies - 1 or 2 chopped finely
Curry leaves - few
Coriander leaves - few chopped finely
mint leaves - 5 or 6, chopped finely (optional)
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Method


Soak Channa dal (kadalai paruppu) in water for 3-4 hours. Drain the water completely and keep 1 tbsp of channa dal aside.

Grind 2 red chillies and fennel seeds first and then add the rest of the channa dal and grind without adding water coarsely.
Then add finely chopped onions, soaked and drained channa dal, which you have reserved seperately, finely chopped green chillies, finely chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves and few curry leaves to the ground channa dal mixture.
Take a small lemon sized ball from the channa dal mixture. Pat it slightly in the shape of vadas. Make the corners slightly thinner than the middle. Do the same and make a batch of patties.

Heat oil meanwhile.Check if the oil is hot enough. For this, drop a pinch of batter and if it raises immediately the oil is ready for frying. Drop the patties in the hot oil and fry them in batches, until they turn golden brown and crispy on both the sides. Drain in paper towel. Serve hot with tea/coffee, but curd rice is my favorite combo.

Notes 
  • If we do not soak for enough time, vada may turn hard.
  • You can add about a tbsp of rice flour for more crispness.
  • You can also add ginger and garlic or ginger-garlic paste for added flavor
  • You can also avoid red chillies and use only green chillies
  • No need to add water while grinding
  • When you drop oil, flame should be high. Simmer after you drop all the patties and cook in medium flame until done. 
  • The number of patties you add to the oil depends on the quantity of oil you heat

Friday, October 24, 2014

Green Peas Masala Mom's Style

My mom used to prepare this peas masala whenever she makes poori. For me, this is the best combination for poori, rather than the poori masala that is usually served. Whenever she packs this for my lunch box during school days I and my friend will exchange our lunch boxes, cos she loves this a lot :-). Also, this is very simple and doesn't require much ingredients. Actually, the original recipe grinds all the grinding ingredients first and then cooks them. But for added taste and flavor I used to saute them first and then grind to a paste and cook again along with the peas and spices. You can opt for any method depending on your preference. Now, to the recipe.



Ingredients

Green peas - 1 cup (Soaked overnight or atleast for 5-6 hours)
Tomatoes - 3
Onion - 2 (1 for grinding and the other for sauteing)
Ginger - 2 inch piece
Garlic - 4 cloves
Cinnamon stick - 1, a small one
Cloves - 2
Cumin powder - 2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Oil, mustard seeds and curry leaves for tempering

Method
  1. Soak the green peas overnight or atleast for 5-6 hours and pressure cook for 3 whistles in high flame and 5 minutes in simmer. Soaking is not required if using fresh peas.
  2. Chop the ginger, garlic, one onion and tomatoes and set aside. Heat oil in a pan, add the cinnamon stick and cloves and saute for few seconds. Then add the ginger and garlic pieces and saute for couple of minutes. 
  3. Then add the onions and fry until they turn transparent. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry until they turn mushy. Allow this to cool down and grind to a coarse paste. You need not have to grind to a smooth paste. This gives a nice texture and flavor to the gravy.
  4. Heat oil in a pan and do the tempering and add the ground paste. Add the spice powders, salt and hing. Stir well and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Then add the cooked peas and add more water if the gravy is too thick. Allow to cook for few more minutes and turn off the flame. Enjoy with hot and puffy Poori's.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Thattai Recipe - How to make Crispy Thattai

Thattai is mostly prepared for Krishna Jayanthi or Diwali in the Southern parts of India. I had tried this couple of times earlier, but have never clicked or posted the recipe. So I wanted to prepare this for this Diwali and here is the recipe along with the tips that I have learnt so far.

Ingredients

Rice flour - 1 cup
Fried Gram dal flour (Pottukadalai Maavu) - 2 1/2 tbsp
(OR)
Urad dal flour - 1 tsp
Channa dal - 1 1/2 tsp
Peanuts - 1 tsp (optional)
Unsalted Butter - 1 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - few (Optional)
Hing, salt as per taste
Oil - for deep frying

Method

Preparing the flours and other ingredients
  • I used the store bought rice flour. Sieve the flour twice and roast it for couple of minutes. Just until the flour becomes warm. Transfer it to a wide bowl.                            
  • Take 2 1/2 tbsp of fried gram dal (pottukadalai) and powder it in a mixer. Sieve it and add it along with the rice flour.
  • If using urad dal flour, take a tsp of urad dal and fry until golden brown, allow to cool and grind it in the mixer. Sieve and add along with the rice flour. Remember, you need to use either fried gram dal flour or urad dal flour, not both.
  • Soak the channa dal in water for 30 mins.
  • In a pan dry roast the peanuts, remove the skin and add it along with the flours.

How to prepare thattai
  1. Take the bowl containing rice flour and gram/urad dal flour. Along with this add chilli powder, curry leaves, hing, channa dal, peanuts and salt. Mix well.                          
  2. Now add enough water to knead to a soft pliable dough. 1/2 cup of water is what I needed for getting the right consistency. Now, the thattai dough is ready. Check the dough for salt and add adjust accordingly.
  3. Make equal sized small balls out of it and keep covered.
  4. You will need ziplock bags or milk covers or any plastic sheets, greased with oil for flattening the thattai. Place a ziplock cover on a flat surface. Place few drops of oil in its center and grease it. Do the same to the other ziplock cover too. Now, place a dough ball over the ziplock cover and cover it with the other greased one. Meanwhile heat oil for deep frying. 
  5. Flatten it with your finger tips or use a bowl with a flat surface and press it until it is thin and even on all sides. This is the key thing for getting crispy thattais. Carefully take off from zip lock cover by inverting it on one hand and drop in hot oil. Cook in medium until golden brown and crispy on both sides. Repeat the same for all the thattais. Store in an airtight container  and enjoy the crispy thattais.
Tips
  1. The dough should not be too dry. For checking this, take a small ball and try flattening it. It should not crack, you should be able to flatten it smoothly. That is the right consistency.
  2. Flatten the thattais as thin as possible. Only then you will get crispy thattais.
  3. Prick it with a toothpick or fork here and there, if thattais are not cooked in the middle
  4. Oil temperature has to be perfect for perfect thattais. Oil should not be fuming hot, else the thattais will turn dark brown in color. Keep the flame in high while dropping the thattai dough. Then turn the flame to medium low and cook on both sides until golden brown.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Basundhi Recipe - How To Make Basundhi

Basundi is an easy-to-make milk dessert with a nice flavor of cardamom or kesar. It  is a traditional sweet recipe of Maharashtrians and Gujaratis. This recipe is very easy and doesn’t require much preparation as compared to other sweet dishes. The thicker version of Basundhi is called as Rabri. Rabdi is very thick with lots of malai / heavy cream when compared to Basundhi. It just took 30 minutes for me for the whole process. Do not worry if you don't have whole milk in hand. You can also use the 2% one. All you have to do is, once the milk reduces to half, add 4-5 drops of lemon juice and cook for 2 more minutes so that the milk curdles a bit and gives you a creamy texture. Now lets learn this easy recipe.

 
Ingredients

Serves - 2

Full Fat Milk (Whole Milk) - 1/2 litre
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Cardamom Powder - 1/8 tsp
Saffron strands - 5 or 6
Nuts of your choice - 1 tbsp (almonds, pistachios, cashews etc)

Method

In a heavy bottomed vessel (preferably non-stick), boil the milk until it reduces to half of its original quantity.

To do this, place the milk on high heat and bring to a boil. Then reduce the flame to medium-low and add sugar, nuts, saffron strands and the cardamom powder. Stir well until the sugar dissolves.

Keep on boiling until it reduces to half of its quantity, scraping its sides and bottom of the pan continuously. At the end of the process, the mixture will start to thicken and get a creamy texture. Turn off the stove. Serve hot or chilled.

Wishing you all a very Happy and Joyous Diwali with this yummy dessert.

Note

Scraping the sides and bottom of the pan continuously is very much important, else the milk can get burned at the bottom which might alter the taste of the basundhi. I used the rubber spatula which made my work easier for clean sides and bottoms without stickiness. You can also use a wooden spoon.

Once basundhi cools down completely, it would turn more thick. Refrigerate overnight for a better texture and taste.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Ribbon Murukku - Ribbon Pakoda - How to Make Ribbon Murukku

Ribbon Murukku is also called ribbon pakoda or Ola Pakoda. There are lots and lots of murukku varieties prepared in South Indian houses. Among these, ribbon murukku is the simplest one to prepare and tastes absolutely great. You can try this easy murukku recipe for this Diwali and enjoy with your family.




Ingredients

Rice flour - 1 cup
Roasted Gram dal (Pottukadalai) - 1 cup
Unsalted butter - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Sesame seeds - 2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 2 tsp (adjust as per your spice buds)
Salt - as needed
Water - as needed
Oil - for deep frying


Method
  •  In a mixer add the roasted gram dal and powder it finely. Sieve it twice and transfer it to a wide mixing bowl. Also sieve the rice flour and add it to the gram dal flour. 
  • Add unsalted butter, asafoetida, sesame seeds. red chilli powder and salt and crumble well. Now add water little by little and knead to a soft pliable dough.          

  • Heat oil for deep frying. Meanwhile take the murukku press and fill it to 3/4 with the dough. Test if the oil is hot enough (drop a small ball of dough into the oil, if it raises to the surface immediately, then the oil is hot enough for frying the murukkus)
  • Using the murukku maker pipe the dough directly in the hot oil. Make sure the flame is in medium high. You will get lot of bubbles and shh sound.           

  • Fry for few seconds, after some time the bubbles and the shh sound will start subsiding. Flip it to the other side and fry until golden brown. Remove it using a slotted ladle and drain in a paper towel.
          



  •  Repeat the same process for all the murukkus. Allow them to cool down and store it in an air tight container. Stays good for upto 2 weeks.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Poori/Puri Recipe - How to make puffy Poori

Poori is a yummy breakfast recipe that is loved by everyone irrespective of their ages. My mom used to make this for all sunday breakfast. The peas masala that she makes as a side is an ultimate combo. All my school friends love the combination. At times my mom used to prepare this specially for them. After marriage I had not prepared it often, but now since my little one loves it I have started making it frequently. That too a puffy and soft poori is a bit tricky one to prepare. Consistency of the dough, rolling the poori, oil temperature are the key things to be noted down. Now to the recipe!



Ingredients

Wheat flour - 1 cup
Oil - 1 tsp (optional)
Salt - as needed
Warm Water - as needed, 1/3 cup approximately is what I used

Method
  1. In a wide boil add the flour, salt and oil and mix well.  Add warm water little by little and knead to a soft dough. The dough should be little stiffer than the chapati dough, but not too stiff. Knead the dough well for few mins, this makes the dough smooth and soft. Do not allow the dough to sit for a long time as we do for chapati. Start making balls and roll them immediately
  2. Divide the dough into small equal portions and make balls out of it. Roll them evenly into circles. Do not roll them too thin, else the pooris will not puff up. Keep the rolled dough in a paper or plate without overlapping and keep covered
  3. Meanwhile heat oil for deep frying. Check the temperature of oil, put a small piece of dough. It should rise immediately, that's the correct temperature. Now start making poori's.
  4. Drop the rolled dough gently by sliding on the sides of the pan, after a second, press it with a slotted ladle. It will puff up, now flip it to the other side and allow to cook for few seconds. Remove and lower the flame till u drop the next poori .Drain in a tissue paper. Keep the flame in medium high and repeat the same for remaining pooris. If you feel the oil temperature is too high, switch off the flame for few seconds and turn it on.
 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Seppankizhangu Roast - Arbi Fry

Seppankizhangu is also known as arbi, colocasia, chembu-kizhangu, chamagadda etc in various parts of India.Varuval or fry made out of this vegetable is an excellent combination with any hot rice. Its slightly crunchy outside and extremely soft inside and tastes heavenly. You can either deep fry or tawa fry. For perfect cooking always buy fresh, firm and even sized vegetables.  Now, to the recipe.



Ingredients

Seppankizhangu - 250 gms
Sambar powder - 1 tsp, heaped
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Rice flour - 1 or 2 tsp
Salt and hing as per taste
Oil for deep frying

Method
  1. Wash the seppankizhangu well and pressure cook them for 4-5 whistles. They should be par boiled just enough to peel the skin. If it turns mushy, you cannot fry them. Allow to cool down and peel off the skin.
  2. Split them into two halves or cut them into roundels. Spread them in a wide plate and add all the powders and salt, mix well. Allow them to sit for 10-15 mins.
  3. Heat oil for deep frying, once the oil is hot enough fry the marinated arbi's until they turn golden brown on both sides. Drain them and enjoy this crispy outside, soft inside fries with any hot rice.
Note:

You can also make the same in the tawa instead of deep frying. Spread the pieces in a tawa, drizzle few drops of oil all around and cook on low or medium flame on both sides until golden brown.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Paruppu Podi - Dal Powder - Kandi Podi Recipe

Paruppu Podi is one of the favorites of my family, including our little master. Hot steaming rice mixed with paruppu podi and papad or potato chips is such a wonderful combination. I have actually reduced the spiciness of this. If you are a spice lover, increase the red chillies.



Ingredients

Toor dal - 1 cup
Fried gram - 3/4 cup
Garlic - 7 or 8 cloves
Jeera/Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 4

Pepper corns - 1/2 tsp
Hing - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - few (optional)
Salt as required


Method

Dry roast the toor dal and fried gram separately until they turn golden brown. Transfer to a plate. 

Without switching off the flame add garlic, cumin seeds, pepper, red chillies, curry leaves and hing and fry for few minutes. Turn off the flame and add this along with the dals. Allow to cool down completely. 

Add required salt and grind into a fine powder. Enjoy with hot steaming rice, ghee/oil and papad.

Adjust the quantity of red chillies as per your taste. You can also make this without including garlic. The flavor of the podi will be bit different.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Red Lobia Dry Curry - Black Eyed Bean Dry Curry

A very easy and tasty accompaniment for any Thengai Pal Kuzhambu or Rasam sadam. Just soak overnight, pressure cook in the morning and do the tempering part. As easy as that, but fully packed with Proteins.




Ingredients

Black Eyed Bean or any bean - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1
Turmeric Powder and Salt as needed

To grind to a coarse paste

Grated Coconut - 2 tbsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Jeera - 1 tsp
Pepper corns - 1/2 tsp
Garlic - 2 small cloves
Red Chilli - 1
Water - for grinding

To temper

Oil, mustard seeds and curry leaves as per need

Method

Wash the bean 2-3 times and soak overnight. Drain the water next day and pressure cook for 1 whistle and simmer for 10 minutes or until the bean is cooked soft.

Grind the items mentioned under "To Grind" to a coarse paste.

Heat oil in a pan and do the tempering. Add the chopped onion and fry until transparent. Then add the cooked bean, turmeric powder and salt and mix well. Then add the ground paste, mix well and cook in low flame for 8-10 minutes or until the moisture is totally absorbed. Serve as accompaniment for any Thengai Pal Kuzhambu or with rasam sadam.

Chow Chow Thengai Paal Kuzhambu - Chayote Coconut Milk Kuzhambu

My mom and sister used to make this chow chow kuzhambu very frequently. This is not a widely prepared curry thoughThis is an alternative to the usual tamarind based kuzhambu varieties. Coconut milk has got lot of health benefits. They are extensively rich in Iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and zinc. They improve the digestive system and promotes digestion. They also boosts up the immune system. On the other hand Chow Chow/Chayote is also low in calories and high on nutrition. So they make the best pair. Chow chow has a kind of mild sweet taste and so the coconut milk. While consuming, add a tsp of ghee to the white rice and mix this kuzhambu with the rice. Papads are the best combination. Any dried bean poriyal will go well as an accompaniment. I made this along with Red Lobia (Black eyed Beans) Poriyal.



How to choose a chow chow?

Choose chow chow that is green, firm and with no brown spots or no signs of sprouting.  They should have firm round edges, with a bright to dark green color.

Now to the recipe!

Ingredients

Chow Chow - 1
Onion - 1
Tomato - 1
Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Cumin Powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Coconut Milk - 1/2 cup
Salt as per taste

To Temper

Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - few

Method

Extract Coconut Milk -Take 3-4 tbsp of grated coconut in a mixie jar, grind for few seconds. Then, add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water and grind to a smooth paste. Strain the ground coconut using a tea strainer or a soft cloth. Press it with a ladle or squeeze to extract as much milk as possible. For this recipe the coconut milk should be thick, so do not add more water for extracting more milk. Coconut milk is ready. Set aside.

Cut the onions and tomatoes. Peel the chow chow and cut them into small cubes.

Take a pressure cooker, add oil and do the tempering. Then add the onions and saute until they turn transparent. Now add the chopped tomatoes and fry for few seconds.

Then add the cubed chow chow and add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and cumin powder and stir well. Add enough water to pressure cook the vegetable, say 1/2 cup of water. Close the lid and cook for 1 whistle and simmer for 2 mins. Turn off the flame.

Once the pressure subsides, add the extracted coconut milk and bring to a boil. Allow this to boil and thicken for couple of minutes. Turn off the flame once the gravy thickens. Do not boil for long time. Healthy and yummy chow chow kuzhambu is ready to be served. Enjoy along with hot rice, ghee and papad.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Pidi Kozhukattai - Vinayagar Chathurthi Recipe

My mom used to make this pidi kozhukattai often. It is very easy to prepare and is very healthy too. She used to prepare using both jaggery-coconut and sugar-coconut combination. Have given the recipe for both.



For Jaggery-Coconut kozhukattai
 
Ingredients

Kozhukattai flour/rice flour -1/2 cup
Jaggery-1/4 cup or little more than that (adjust as per your sweet preference)
Grated coconut -1/4 cup
Cardamom powder - a pinch
Salt - a pinch (to enhance the sweetness)
Ghee/clarified butter -1 tsp

Method

Sift the flour twice and transfer to a wide bowl. Add the grated coconut, cardamom powder, salt and ghee and give a nice mix. Set aside.

In a pan, dissolve jaggery in 1/4 cup  of water over low heat. (The quantity of water will differ according to the quality of rice flour. It will vary from 1:1.5 ratio). Filter it to remove impurities.

Add this jaggery syrup to the rice flour mixture mixing well with a spoon or spatula constantly.  Allow to cool down a bit if it is too hot. When it is still warm, knead to a smooth dough. Divide into equal balls of small size and then make oval shapes out of the mixture. Keep it on your palm and press it to get the desired shape. Grease your fingers with ghee if you want a very smooth appearance. Repeat the same with the rest of the dough. Steam cook for 10-15 minutes or until done.

Sugar-Coconut Kozhukattai version

Ingredients

Kozhukattai flour/rice flour -1/2 cup
Sugar -1/4 cup (adjust as per your sweet preference)
Grated coconut -1/4 cup
Water - 1/2 cup or a little more than that
Salt - a pinch (to enhance the sweetness)

Method

Sift the flour twice and transfer it to a bowl. Add sugar, grated coconut and salt and mix well. Set aside.

In a vessel boil the water, turn off the flame and pour this boiling water to the rice flour mixture. Simultaneously mix with a spoon or spatula. Allow to cool down a bit if it is too hot. 

When it is still warm, knead to a smooth dough. Divide into equal balls of small size and then make oval shapes out of the mixture. Keep it on your palm and press it to get the desired shape. Grease your fingers with ghee if you want a very smooth appearance. Repeat the same with the rest of the dough. Steam cook for 10-15 minutes or until done.

 Note
* After the dough is ready keep covered to avoid drying. Also cover the shaped kozhukattais too.
* After steaming, if you feel the kozhukattai is not cooked fully inside. Steam for few more minutes. It may need a minimum of 10 minutes for the kozhukattais to be fully cooked.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Kozhukattai Recipe - Vinayagar Chathurthi Recipe - Vella Kozhukattai (Sweet Kozhukattai)

Kozhukattai is a delicious sweet prepared and offered for Lord Ganesha on the Ganesh Chathurthi day. We can make many different varieties of kozhukattai like pidi kozhukattai, poorna kozhukattai etc. All these years I have only prepared pidi kozhukattai and poorna kozhukattai with just coconut and sugar stuffing. That is how my mom used to make it. But traditionally jaggery and coconut filling will be used. This year I opted for the traditional method. I made couple of attempts and got them perfect. Hence sharing the recipe here.




Ingredients

For the outer covering

Idiyappam/kozhukattai flour - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup or little more than that
Oil - 1 tsp
Salt - a pinch

Jaggery-Coconut filling

Shredded coconut - 1 cup
Jaggery - 3/4 cup (add more or less as per your sweet preference)
Cardamom powder - a pinch

Method

Let's prepare the filling first:
Add coconut and jaggery in a skillet. In low heat, saute until the jaggery melts and the mixture thickens. Add the cardamom to the mix and toss well.

Do not cook until string consistency, else the stuffing will become hard. If it does not thicken well, add a little rice flour and cook further for few seconds until it thickens. Allow to cool down a bit, when it is still warm, take a small piece of this filling (if it is sticky, grease your palms with ghee) and make a small ball. Do the same for the remaining filling.

Prepare dough for the outer cover
Sift the flour twice and take it in a wide bowl. Add salt and a tsp of oil and mix well. Add the water in a sauce pan and bring it to boil. Switch off the flame and add this boiling water to the rice flour. Using a spoon mix well. The dough should come together as for chapathi dough except that this will be sticky.

If you find the dough dry, add drops of hot water until it comes together. If the dough is too sticky or if you feel you have added more water, sprinkle more flour and try kneading. It is always preferable to go with less water and then add if needed more.

Now make the kozhukattais

Allow to sit for few minutes if it is too hot to handle. Have a bowl of oil and warm water near by for shaping the outer cover.

When the dough is still warm, take gooseberry sized ball out of the dough and using oil and water make small cup and add pooranam or filling in the middle. Very slowly brings the ends together over the top of the filling, until you seal the edges. Pinch off the excess dough.

Repeat the same process with the rest of the dough and steam cook for 10-15 minutes. You know if they are done by looking at its color. It will be shiny and changed in color.  Do not overcook, else the kozhukattais will turn rubbery/broken.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Vegetable Salna - Parotta Salna

Happy to write my 100th post, Veg Salna :-) Hot Parottas and spicy Salna or Chalna is the best combo. Nothing can beat this pair.  During our college days we used to get parottas on all weekends from a nearby shop. The magical aroma would fill the entire street, me and my friends are a die hard fan of those parottas and yummilicious Salna. The best way as for me to eat is to dung them in salna for some time and eat after some time :-) Mouth watering isn't it? Try this out, I hope you will like it too. This goes well with parotta, idly and dosas as well.



Ingredients

Onion - 1 sliced
Green Chilli - 1
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Vegetables of your choice ( carrot , beans , peas, potato etc.) – 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Oil - 2-3 tsps
Coriander leaves - for garnish


To grind 

Oil – 2 tsp
Cinnamon – 1 small stick
Cloves – 2-3  nos
Cardamom – 1 seed
Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp 
Ginger - 1 inch piece, cut into small pieces
Garlic - 2 or 3 cloves, cut into small pieces
Big onion – 1, sliced
Tomato – 2 nos, sliced
Mint leaves - 10
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Jeera powder – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Grated coconut – 2 tbsp
Cashews – 3 nos (optional)

Method

In a pan, add 2-3 tsp of oil, add fennel seeds and fry for few seconds. Then add the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom and fry until a nice aroma rises. Then add the ginger and garlic and saute for 2 mins.

Then add the sliced  onion and fry until they turn transparent. Then add the cut tomatoes, mint leaves and all spice powders ( red chilli powder, turmeric, jeera and coriander powder) and mix well. Cook until tomatoes turn mushy. Then add the grated coconut and cashews. Switch off the flame and allow to cool down. Once cooled grind to a smooth paste adding little bit of water if necessary.

Cut the vegetables into small pieces. Heat a pressure cooker, add 2-3 tsp of oil and add the fennel seeds. Saute and then add the green chilli and sliced onions. Cook until onion turn transparent.

Then add the cut vegetables and fry for couple of minutes. Now add the ground masala paste, required amount of salt. Add enough water and pressure cook in high flame for 1 whistle and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the flame and allow the pressure to subside. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with hot parottas or as a side dish for idly/dosas.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Seedai - How to make Seedai - Krishna Jayanthi Recipes

Seedai is another traditional dish for Krishna Jayanthi neivedhyam. Though I like seedai the most I haven't tried preparing this at home. Last year I tried maida seedai following the recipe from Rakskitchen. It was bit hard. This is the first time I tried making uppu seedai. I did lot of blogging for gathering the details. I would say the end result is ok. Some flavor was missing. I guess I varied with the ratio of rice flour and urad dal flour. Gonna try this couple of more times and will update this page for sure. Now to the recipe that I followed.



Ingredients

Rice flour - 1 cup
Urad dal flour - 1 tbsp
Unsalted butter - 1 tsp
Sesame seeds or cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - as needed
Water - as needed (1 tumbler of water is what I used, approximately 120 ml)

Method
  •  Sieve the rice flour and urad dal flour couple of times and transfer to a wide bowl. Now add butter, sesame seeds/cumin seeds, asafoetida, chilli powder and salt. Mix well.
  • Now add the water little by little and knead to a soft dough. Do not add too much of water. 
  • Make tiny balls (Goligundu sized balls) and place these balls in a newspaper or clean cloth and allow to sit for 10 mins. 
  • Meanwhile heat oil for frying. Check if the oil is hot enough by dropping a small amount of dough, if the dough rises immediately then that is the correct temperature. 
  • Take the dough balls and fry them in batches. Do not overload the oil with more seedai. Fry them in medium flame until golden brown. Once done, remove from oil and drain in a paper towel or newspaper. Repeat the same for all seedais.
Bursting of seedai.

In all the recipes that I have referred there was a word of caution about bursting of seedais. For that reason do not make smooth balls or do not roll the balls too tightly. There should always be escape for the air bubbles. If they gets trapped in, the seedais will burst. Also, drying the balls in a cloth or paper towel is very important as this will absorb any excess moisture.

Murukku - How to prepare Murukku

My mom and sister are experts in making this murukku. It used to be crisp and very flavorful. VJ is a very big fan of this murukku. I have made this 3-4 times so far, they used to turn out well. But I used to call my sister every now and then and ask plenty of doubts each time I make them :-) So now I am gonna share each and every single detail I have gathered so far and hence from next time hope I will not have to call her :-)



Ingredients

Rice flour - 1 cup
Urad dal flour - 1/4 cup
Unsalted butter - 2 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Sesame seeds or cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Salt - as needed
Water - as needed (1 tumbler of water is what I used)
Oil - for deep frying

Method
  • Sieve the rice flour and urad dal flour couple of times. Take the flours in a wide bowl, add butter, asafoetida, sesame seeds or cumin seeds and salt. Mix well.
  • Now add the water little by little and knead a soft pliable dough. The dough should not be too hard or too sticky. Else the murukku will be hard or drink plenty of oil.
  • Heat oil in a kadai simultaneously. Fill the murukku press with the dough, squeeze in circular motion onto to the back of the ladle or in a polythene sheet or zip lock cover and then transfer it to the hot oil. You can also squeeze directly into the oil, but be cautious in that case. I used to do this way as I feel that's less time consuming as I make bigger size murukku's. 
  • Check if the oil is hot enough, just drop a small piece of murukku dough in the oil, if it raises to the surface immediately, it is an indication that the oil is hot. Now start making murukku's.
  • Make sure the flame is in medium high when you squeeze in the dough. Fry until golden brown, remove and drain it in a paper or drainer. The bubbling sound or the ssshhh sound should subside, that is the indication for the doneness of the murukku.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Aval Laddu/Poha Laddu - Krishna Jayanthi Recipes

This is the first time I am preparing Aval Laddu. When I was looking for some simple and less time consuming recipes for Krishna Jayanthi I came through this recipe in RaksKitchen. The process is all same as we make Besan Laddu. So I did a trial today and it came out well, except for the perfect shapes. I used little less ghee than the specified amount, that can be the reason. Otherwise the laddu's are too good.



Ingredients

Aval/Poha/Flattened Rice - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 1/4 cup
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Cashews - few, broken to small pieces
Raisinns - few

Method
  • Spread the poha in a plate and check for any dust or impurities. After removing them, heat a pan and dry roast the poha until golden brown. Allow to cool and then grind it to a fine powder in a mixer. Also powder the sugar in the mixie.
  • Heat ghee and fry the cashews until golden brown then add the raisins and fry until they become fluffy.
  • In a wide bowl add the powdered poha, sugar, cardamom powder, fried cashews, raisins and the ghee. Mix well and make laddus out of it. If required grease your hands with ghee for getting perfect shaped laddus.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Aval Payasam/Poha Kheer - Krishna Jayanthi Recipes

This year Krishna Jayanthi is only few days away. In my mom's place we don't follow much rituals or pooja. But its completely the opposite with VJ's family, they will do pooja for Lord Krishna by offering lots of sweets and neivedhyams. So I am trying to gear up for this year. Aval or Poha is one of Krishna's favorite. And hence people will offer aval in any form. Aval Payasam is one way of offering aval to Lord Krishna. It is very easy and less time consuming when compared to other payasams. I made it for the first time for last year's Krishna Jayanthi and it turned out very well. Have prepared this couple of times after that and I am planning to make this year too along with few more Krishna Jayanthi recipes.



Ingredients

Aval/Poha - 1 cup
Boiled Milk - 4 cups approximately
Sugar - 1/3 cup (adjust as per your sweet preference)
Cardamom/Elaichi - 2 (or)
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Saffron threads - 3 or 4 (optional)
Cashews - 10, broken into small pieces
Raisins - 1 tbsp
Ghee - 2 tsp

Method

  • Soak saffron threads in a tbsp of warm milk and set aside
  • Add a tsp of ghee in a pan and fry the cashews until golden brown. Remove the cashews and set aside. Reserve some for garnishing if you wish. Then in the same pan add the raisins and fry until they fluff up. Remove them and now add the poha and roast until it slightly changes color. Do not allow it to turn brown. 
  • Now to this add 3 cups of boiled milk and stir well. Allow the poha to cook in this milk. The poha should turn soft. Meantime if the milk is fully absorbed add one more cup of milk along with the raisins, cashews and cardamom powder/whole cardamoms. Add the sugar and the saffron dissolved milk too.
  • Stir until the sugar dissolves. Finally add one more tsp of ghee. This is totally optional but will enhance the flavor of the kheer. Garnish with the roasted cashews. Enjoy it hot or warm or even chilled. I like to have it cold, tastes very delicious!!

Vegetable Biryani In Pressure Cooker

Making Vegetable Biryani in pressure cooker is a very easy and quick method on any busy or lazy day. Biryani doesn't always need many ingredients and a lengthy process. My Veg Dum Biryani is one such which needs plenty of time in hand. This version of pressure cooking biryani is so simple and can be made in a jiffy. And it tastes equally good too. Here I did not use basmati rice as I was running short of it in my pantry. You can use your regular rice or basamti rice, but make sure the rice is cooked just right. Now to the recipe!



Ingredients

Basmati Rice - 1 cup
Mixed Vegetables - 1 cup (Carrots, french beans, cauliflower, potato, peas, capsicum, broccoli etc.)
Onion - 1
Green chilli - 2
Coriander leaves - handful
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Biriyani masala - 1 tbsp
Water - 1 1/2 to 2 cups (adjust depending on the quality of your rice)
Fennel seeds/Sombu - 1 tsp
Cloves - 2 or 3
Cinnamon Stick - 2 inch piece
Bay leaf - 1
Oil - 1 tbsp
Ghee - 1 or 2 tsp (optional)

To Grind 

Mint leaves - 10
Ginger - a small piece
Garlic - 3 or 4 pods

Method
  1. Wash the rice well and soak for 20 mins. Meantime chop the vegetables and grind the mint leaves along with ginger and garlic. 
  2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker along with the ghee, if using. Add the fennel seeds, followed by cloves, cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Saute for few seconds. Add the green chillies and then add the onions and saute until they turn transparent.
  3. Now add the ground mint and ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell of the ginger and garlic goes off. Now add the cut vegetables and mix well until the mint paste coats the vegetables well. Then add the chopped coriander leaves, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, biriyani masala and required amount of salt. Mix well. 
  4. Drain the water from the soaked rice. Add this rice along with the vegetables and saute for couple of minutes. Then add 2 cups of water, check and adjust the salt. Close the cooker lid and cook for 1 whistle in high flame and then for 5 minutes in simmer.
  5. Allow the  pressure to subside. Open the lid, fluff it up with a fork and enjoy with onion raita.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mixed Vegetable Kurma - Chapati Kurma, How to make mixed veg kurma

Kurma is a very popular side dish for chapathi's. I guess there are lot of variations all over India. But the South Indian style recipe uses coconut along with fennel seeds optionally including cashew or khus khus.  Here I have added a touch of pearl onion along with coconut. Personally I liked the flavor of it. You can also omit it if you don't want the flavor of the onion.



Ingredients

Onion - 1 chopped
Tomato -1 chopped
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Green chilli -1-2
Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp

Vegetables 

Carrot -1
Beans - 5-6
Potato -1
Green peas - 1/4 cup
Cauliflower florets -1/2 cup (blanched, I did not use this)
Coriander leaves - a fistful for garnishing

To grind to a paste

Grated coconut - 2-3 tbsp
Fennel seeds/sombu- 1 tsp
Pearl Onion - 1, peeled

For the seasoning

Oil - 1 tbsp
Fennel seeds/sombu - 1/2 tsp
Cloves -2
Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
Cardamom - 2

Curry leaves - few

Method
  1. Soak the green peas atleast for 5-6 hours and set aside. If using fresh peas or frozen peas, soaking is not required.  Wash the vegetables, peel them and cut them into small cubes.
  2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add the seasoning ingredients one by one and saute for few seconds. Then add the slit green chillies and the chopped onions. Saute until the onions turn transparent. Then add the ginger garlic paste and saute until the raw smell goes off. Add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder. Stir until the tomatoes are half cooked.
  3. Add the cubed vegetables, green peas and required amount of salt. Mix well and add approximately 1/2 cup of water. Close the lid and cook for 2 or 3 whistles.  Meanwhile grind the ingredients mentioned under "To Grind" section into a smooth paste by adding very little amount of water.
  4. On the other side, once the pressure subsides open the pressure cooker and add the ground coconut paste and stir well. Add water if necessary. The kurma should not be too thick or too watery. Adjust the water as per the consistency you need. Cook on medium flame for 5 minutes, check and adjust salt. Turn off the flame and garnish with coriander leaves. Server as side dish for chapathi, poori or parotta.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Beetroot Rice

Beetroots are not only rich in color, they also contain ample amount of Vitamins A, B and C. They are also rich in proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, folic acid and certain essential minerals like manganese and potassium. Beets are said to boost the stamina and is very good for those with anemia and fatigue. A rice made out of this colorful veggie has a nice flavor and subtle sweetness, so the kids love them the most. Pairs up well with any simple raita.



Ingredients

Rice - 1 cup, cooked
Channa/Garbanzo beans - 1/4 cup
Grated beetroot - 1 cup
Onion - 1, chopped
Green chilli - 1 or 2, slit lengthwise
Mint leaves - few
Coriander leaves - a fistful, chopped
Sambar powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Salt as per taste

To Temper

Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - few

Pre-preparation

Cook the rice, allow to cool and set aside. Soak the channa overnight and cook them until soft. Clean the beets, peel and grate them. Set aside. Chop the onions, green chilli and coriander leaves.

Method

Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and once they splutters add the cumin seeds and curry leaves. Then add the green chillies and do a couple of sauteing. Then add the onions and saute until they turn transparent.

Then add the grated beetroot, mint leaves, coriander leaves, sambar powder, required salt and saute for couple of minutes. Then sprinkle some water, stir and cover with a lid. Cook until the beetroot is well cooked. Stir in-between.

Once the beets are cooked well add the cooked channa and the garam masala powder. Stir well and add the cooked rice. Carefully mix the rice with the beetroot. Check for salt and add more if required. Serve with any raita of your choice.