Tomato Pickle

Super Yummy Tomato Pickle!!!

Rava Kesari

Easy Sweet Recipe to impress your guests !!.

Channa Sundal

Healthy Sundal For Navarathiri !!

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

Authentic Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu !!

Hot Cocoa

Perfect Hot Drink to Pamper Yourself !!

September 29, 2010

Uppu Kozhukattai/Indian Savory Dumpling - Vinayagar Chathurthi Recipe


After last week's awesome treats, this week I'm really playing low with some subtle dal, stir fries etc. Nothing new from my kitchen and I donno how long it will atlast may be tomorrow I will post some spicy chicken or some chocolaty treat. This dish which I share today reminds me of the festive mornings back in India where my Mom would wake us up at around 5 am to get ready to decorate the puja room.We would throw in all our creativity and help her in arranging for the celebration. Especially during Ganesh Chaturthi I would never have any breakfast, will just stick to the sweet and savory kozhukattai. Late lunch in vazhayilai and will make us so full . We just sit and watch the special TV programs. I'm planning for a vacation during Diwali and eagerly waiting such an festive morning after so many years !!!

This is one variety of prasadham offered to Hindu god Lord Ganesha on the auspicious day of Ganesh Chaturti. It is an easier and savory version of the Kozhukattai. I have shared the Sweet version here. We simply love kozhukattai and do not wait for the festival. It turns out be a usual evening snack in our place. It is a quickie and can be prepared in half an hour if you are using store bought rice powder. It requires no expertise , so Prepare, Steam and Enjoy !!!

Ingredients

Rice Flour - 1 cup
Water - 3/4 cup
Salt for taste
Oil - 2 drops

For Seasoning

Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Channa Dal - 1 tsp
Urid Dal - 1 tsp
Green Chilly - 4 no
Curry Leaves
Oil - 1 tsp



Preparation
  • Add salt to the water and boil it well.
  • Slowly add the boiling water to the rice flour and knead it into a smooth dough. The dough should not be too sticky so carefully add the water.
  • Finely chop the green chillies and curry leaves.
Method
  • Heat oil in a small pan, add the mustard and allow it to splutter.
  • Add the channa dal, urad dal and saute in medium flame until they turn golden brown.
  • Add the chopped green chillies, curry leaves and saute them.
  • Transfer the seasoning to the prepared dough.
  • Mix well and shape them into small cone like structures.
  • Place the kozhukkatai's in greased idly plates or any steamer and steam for about 10 - 12 minutes.
  • Serve Warm.


My Notes
  • You can use ready made rice flour available in stores or soak raw rice, dry it and grind it to a fine powder and use it.
  • If you are using store bought powder, buy the one especially for kozhukattai or Idiyappam.
  • Kozhukattai will become dry if over steamed.

September 27, 2010

Carrot Halwa


Last week was like Food Festival at our home. We cooked special food each and every day due to my brother in law's visit. I think we need to fast this week to compensate last week's high calorie diet. How could I call it a food festival without any sweet treats. I prepared Carrot Halwa one of our favorite sweet. I'm not a big sweet lover but I just like some of the homemade ones. This one is my Mom's specialty. I just remember the days when I was back from school, I would smell the aroma of the ghee and carrots in air when I'm inside my block. I would run upstairs and ask my Mom whether she prepared the halwa and she would say no, may be the aroma is from the neighbor's house. I would not believe her and I would pull a chair and check all the shelves and finally jump out of joy when I find it. She prepares it so well, I used to finish my quota very soon and pester her for more..

Carrot Halwa is a wonderful blend of carrots, milk and sugar, flavored with the exotic cardamom and garnished with the roasted cashews. It is a simple dessert which is a good party recipe. My mom used to spend a lot time in grating carrots but now we can use our food processor and it hardly took 2 minutes. It can be served both warm and cold. I love it both the ways. This is a must try dessert. Just Cook Eat and Enjoy !!!

Preparation Time - 5 minutes

Cooking Time - 15 - 20 minutes

Serves - 4

Ingredients


Grated Carrots - 4 cups
Milk - 3 cups
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 4 tbsp
Cardamom pods - 4 - 5 no
Cashews - 8 - 10 no


Preparation
  • Heat 1/2 tsp ghee and fry the cashews until golden brown and keep aside for garnishing.
  • Grind the cardamom seeds with little sugar into a coarse powder.
Method
  • Heat ghee in a non stick pan and add the grated carrots to it.
  • Saute the carrot for about 10 minutes until it is tender and has changed color.
  • Meanwhile in a heavy bottomed pan boil the milk until for about 10 minutes. Stir the milk often so that it does not gets burnt.
  • Add the milk to the carrot and cook in medium flame until all the milk is dried up. It might take about 10 minutes.
  • Add the sugar to the cooked carrot mixture and mix well.
  • Saute continuously until the halwa starts to leave the edges of the pan and starts to roll.
  • Garnish with the fried cashews.
My Notes
  • Adjust the sugar level according to your taste.
  • You can use other garnishing like golden raisins to make it more richer.
  • Keep an eye on the flame and continuously saute the contents else it might get burnt.

September 25, 2010

Mint Thogaiyal | Pudhina Thogaiyal | Idly/Dosa Sidedish

Mint is of one my favorite herb. They are aromatic and has a pleasant, fresh taste.The minute mint is added to any dish the aroma lingers around the kitchen especially while cooking biryani.

Mint is said to have medicinal value and cures common cold. It is also used alleviate stomach pain and whiten teeth. Without of pack of mint leaves my weekend shopping is incomplete.


Today I wanted to prepare mint chutney and Thakkali thokku (Tomato Chutney) for Idly..but my shweets poured the whole bottle of paint on her dress..wiped it with her hands and cleaning up the mess took away all my time and ended up only with the mint chutney.But the mint chutney and Idly were quite satisfying and did not miss the tomato chutney much...:-)



Ingredients

Mint Leaves - 1 cup
Urid Dhal - 1 tsp
Channa Dhal - 1 tsp
Red Chilly - 3 nos
Tamarind paste - 1/4 tsp
Coconut flakes - 1 tsp
Jaggery - 1/2 tsp
Salt - for taste
Oil - 1/2 tsp

Method

  • Heat oil, add urid dal, channa dal in medium flame.
  • Once they golden brown, add red chillies, coconut flakes, and saute well.
  • Add mint leaves, tamarind paste, salt and saute for 5 min. Allow the contents to cool.
  • In a blender add the sauteed mixture, jaggery and little water and grind it to a coarse paste. Do not make it a smooth paste.
  • Serve with Idly/Dosa.
Sending this flavorful chutney to Jagruti's CMT - Chutney event.


September 24, 2010

Onion Chutney | Kara/Spicy Chutney



What should I call this dish I used to call this "Kara Chatni (Spicy Chatni)" but during potlucks my friends asked me why do u call it that way because it was not that spicy..I had to reduce the chillies keeping the kids in mind. My niece used to call this "Red Chatni" and would be happy even if we gave it to her for breakfast and Dinner :-) I usually get reminded of my Mom when I prepare this it is her specialty and it is big hit among my cousins. Of course my cousins gave it a different name "Periyamma Chatni"Ahhhhhhhh...Finally after so much confusion I named it Onion Chatni.

This simple and easy side dish goes well with Idly, Dosa varieties, Pongal etc.,One of my favorites and all my friends like it a lot.

Preparation Time - 5 minutes

Cooking Time - 10 minutes

Serves - 2 - 4

Ingredients

Onion - 2 no
Garlic Cloves - 6 no
Tomato - 2 no
Red Chilly - 3 - 5 no
Coconut flakes - 2 tsp
Roasted gram - 2 tsp
Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves
Salt - for taste
Oil -2 tsp

Preparation
  • Chop the onion and tomato into medium size pieces.
  • Peel and chop the garlic.
Method
  • Heat 1 tsp oil, add onions, garlic, tomato, red chillies one after other and saute well.
  • Once the ingredients are cooked allow it to cool.
  • In a mixer add the coconut flakes, roasted gram, cooked onion, garlic, tomato mixture, salt and grind it to a coarse paste.
  • Transfer to a vessel and add water until desired consistency.
  • Heat remaining oil, add mustard and curry leaves in medium flame.
  • Add the seasoning to the chutney.
  • Serve with Idly, Dosa or Pongal.
Notes
  • Do not allow the burnt else the flavor will not be good.
  • Adjust the red chilly according to your desired spice level.

September 23, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies


I was all alone at home when all the others went to the Aquarium. I almost finished all my work around 4.30 and was sitting idle with nothing much to do. As we had plans of eating out at a famous Japanese restaurant there was no need for any dinner prep work. The place was so still and silent which made feel very lonely and dull. I sometimes used to wish that I could have time of my own without anyone around me. That never happened. This day was something close to that but I started to feel so bored. After much thinking I thought I will bake some cookies and have it with my tea. I always prefer crispy cookies and not the chewy ones atleast with my tea I want something crispy and crunchy !!

I almost fell in love with baking cookies. One thing that interests me in cookie baking is that it it takes very less time and you can make a number of variations based on your taste. I did some research on making crispy cookies, high moisture content in the cookies causes the cookies to be chewy. So baking time and temperature plays an important role in deciding the texture of the cookies. The amount of dough you drop decides whether it will be thick or thin cookies. So with all the tips I got I baked some delicious crispy cookies. They are perfect ones with a cup of tea !!

Ingredients

All-purpose flour - 1 cup
Butter - 1/2 cup
Firmly packed brown sugar - 1/2 cup
Granulated sugar - 1/3 cup
Vanilla extract - 1/2 tsp
Baking soda - 3/4 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Semisweet chocolate chips - 1 cup
Pecans (optional) - 1/2 cup


Preparation
  • Melt and cool the butter to room temperature.
  • Coarsely chop the pecans.
Method
  • Preheat oven to 300F.
  • To a bowl add butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed,until well blended.
  • Add 3 tablespoons water and the vanilla extract and beat until smooth, scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
  • In another medium size bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • Stir the dry mixture into the butter mixture until well incorporated.
  • Fold in chocolate chips and pecans.
  • Drop dough in 1 tablespoon portions, 2 inches apart, onto greased cookie sheets.
  • Bake in the oven until cookies are lightly browned around 18 to 20 minutes.
  • Using a spatula, transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.
My Notes
  • If the cookies start to break when it is hot let stand on pan to firm up to 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
  • Firmly packed brown sugar is a way to measure the correct amount of sugar.Brown sugar is kept moist and the water content will vary according to the environmental humidity, it is difficult to measure the exact same amount when fluffy and moist compared to when dry and more compact.you use the back of a spoon to press the sugar down into the measuring cup to pack it in and remove all the air trapped by the moisture (source: wiki)
  • This measures yields about 30 - 32 cookies.
 These crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies proudly enters my own event  Virtual Party - Chocolaty Dreams

September 22, 2010

An upcoming CSN Product Review

I was super excited when I was contacted by CSN stores to review one of their products. CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find everything  from cheap bedroom furniture to fantastic fitness equipment to cookware!. They have so much to choose from. You can just sit and spend the whole day browsing through their wonderful products. It is my own personal experience and simply loved all their bedroom furnitures and accessories.


Obviously one of my favorite site was the Cookware.com I'm sure you are going to love it. God knows what I would pick for the review  I'm so confused everything looks good and priced very low. The review could be either about a grill or a bake ware set or hmmmm....I'm still thinking. So Keep Guessing !!!!

September 21, 2010

Coconut Chutney

Coconut Chutney is one of the easiest side dish you can prepare in about 5 min..This goes on well with Idly, Dosa, Pongal etc., When I'm really tired after work and find Idly batter in the fridge this dish will be the first one to come to my mind..I love it with Pongal. Everybody will like this one..no doubt about that.. and it comes handy when you want to set your table fast...


This side dish is a South Indian side dish made out of coconut paste and roasted gram.

Ingredients

Coconut flakes - 1 cup
Roasted Gram - 1/2 cup
Green Chilly - 2 nos
Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Split Urid Dal - 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves
Salt for taste
Oil - 1 tsps

Method

  • Add grated coconut flakes, roasted gram, green chilly, salt, little water to a blender and grind until they turn into a coarse paste.
  • If required add water while grinding.
  • Heat oil, splutter mustard, add split urid dal, curry leaves and add it to the chutney.
  • Serve with Idly, Dosa etc.,
Sending this simple and easy chutney to Jagruti's CMT - Chutney event.



Achari Aloo


This weekend as expected was a totally busy one. Planned to make something new but MK suggested to stick onto the usuals.So we just went with spicy gravies, side dishes and had cool fun. Asusal Monday was hectic with all the catching up and loads of mails to answer so thought of having pizza dinner. But shweets was not keeping well so decided to make some home food. Suddenly got reminded of the baby potatoes I bought this weekend and tried out the flavorful Achari Aloo.

Achari Aloo is a spicy, tangy potato dry dish with lot of flavors. I had planned to make this dish for a long time and searched for a good homey recipe. It tasted so good and everyone at home loved it with Onion and Chili paratha. I was able to feel the taste of  all the different pickle spices and the tanginess due to lemon juice in the dish. Totally our type of dish. Do not get dizzy about the list of the ingredients they all are readily available in Indian Stores or International Markets. It truly tasted awesome. You got to try this for sure !!

Preparation Time - 5 minutes

Cooking Time - 20 minutes

Serves - 4

Recipe adapted from here

Ingredients

Red Potatoes - 12 no
Onion - 1 no
Tomato - 2 no
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1/2 tsp
Chilly Powder - 1 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Amchur - 1/2 tsp
Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Fennel Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/8 tsp
Nigella Seeds - 1/8 tsp
Ajwain - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves
Salt for taste
Oil - 2 tsp


Preparation
  • Boil, peel and cube the potatoes into medium size pieces.
  • Finely chop onion and tomatoes.
Method
  • Heat oil, add mustard, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, ajwain seeds, nigella seeds, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida in medium flame.
  • Add the onions and saute until it turns translucent.
  • Add in tomatoes, turmeric powder, salt and mix well and cook until oil separates.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and cook until raw smell is gone.
  • Add the potatoes and cook for about 6 - 7 minutes.
  • Add the coriander powder, garam masala, amchur, chilly powder and mix well.
  • Sprinkle some water and let the mixture get cooked for additional 5 minutes.
  • Once it is done add the lemon juice and mix well.
  • Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and Serve hot.


My Notes
  • If you get baby potatoes you need not cut them. Just use as whole potatoes.
  • Authentic Achari Aloo calls for deep frying. I added only 2 tsp of oil. Cook as per your choice.



September 20, 2010

Tomato Thokku/ Thakkali Thokku | Sidedish for Idly, Dosa, Chappati





After missing this delicious side dish day before yesterday was hoping to make it soon.Today had a wonderful lunch at my friends place and wanted to have something light for dinner.Thinking of light dinner there comes Idly(Rice cakes) on its way moreover wanted to finish my Idly batter soon.On deciding the main dish,thought to make the Tomato Thokku which goes along well with it. It is easy and taste different than the normal chutney's we make as we do not use coconut in it.

This side dish is made out of Tomatoes, onions and can be had with Idly, Dosa, Chappati.


Ingredients

Tomato - 4 no
Onion - 2 no
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Chilly Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves
Coriander Leaves
Salt for taste
Oil - 2 tsp

Method

  • Finely chop onions and tomatoes,curry leaves, coriander leaves.
  • Heat oil, add mustard seeds in medium flame.
  • Add onion, curry leaves and cook until onion is translucent.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and saute well.
  • Add tomatoes, turmeric powder, chilly powder, salt and saute well.
  • Smash the tomatoes and add 1/2 cup and allow it cool.
  • Once the tomatoes are well cooked and oil separates garnish with fresh coriander leaves.Serve Hot.


September 16, 2010

Classic White Bread


This weekend is going to be busy one for me. I have a guest at home, a birthday party for which I promised to make some item and some trips. So obviously there a lot of things going on in my mind menu for the weekend, dress for the party and what not. I think a lot of dishes when I'm in the car after work. But when I reach home the sun is all down and I'm no mood to cook something new because I will not be able to take good pictures. So when I'm requested for a new dish I simply say "Wait till the Weekend" .

I prepared this White Bread 2 or 3 weeks back. Preparing homemade white bread was a different experience. I had not baked any bread with yeast till now and this was in the wish list for a long time. While baking the aroma of the bread filled my entire kitchen and was eager to eat a slice. It was too good with homemade Strawberry N Plum Jam. Shweets liked it a lot and always asks me to make them again. Though it is a long process the outcome made me happy. I'm surely making this again !!

Ingredients

Bread Flour - 3 cups
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Salt -1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Active Dry Yeast - 1 pack
Milk - 1/2 cup
Water - 1/2 cup



Preparation
  • Place the water in the stove or microwave and heat it for less than 1 min until it is warm
  • Similarly heat the milk until it is Luke warm.
  • Grease a 9X5x3 loaf pan.
Method
  • Combine water, milk, sugar and yeast together in a large bowl.
  • Keep aside till it becomes frothy.
  • Add salt and oil to frothy mixture and mix well.
  • Slowly add the flour and knead while you add.
  • Knead the dough for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Rub the dough with oil and cover with clean towel for about a hour until dough is doubled in volume.
  • Gently punch down the dough and shape it to a loaf in a floured surface.
  • Place the shaped dough in the pan, cover it with a cling wrap and place it in a warm place for about a hour.
  • Dough would have raised to rim of the pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Bake for about 35 min until crust turns brown.
  • Cool on a wire rack for about 10 min and slice after it is completely cooled.
  • Serve with jam or any other spread of your choice.
My Notes
  • Bread flour can be replaced with the All Purpose Flour.
  • If the bread is browning to fast cover it with a loose aluminum foil after first 15 min.
  • When the bread is warm brush it with melted butter for a softer crust.

September 14, 2010

Nan khatai/ Butter Cookies


After an enjoyable weekend in the sunshine city, I was in good mood to bake something after I returned from work. But I wanted to finish it off fast so that it will not disturb our dinner schedule. If I serve dinner late then surely we would end getting up late and you know the consequences. So thought of some simple cookies and searched for it and finally got hooked to the Nan khatai recipe at Manjula's Kitchen. Easy to make and tasted awesome what else do you need. It hardly took 30 minutes for me to bake the cuties and we relished it with our evening tea.

I did not make any major changes to the recipe, just reduced the sugar level to suit our taste buds. After the first 10 minutes of baking the entire kitchen was filled with aroma of the butter and cardamom in the cookies. Simply loved the texture and taste so much that I will be making this often. All the ingredients used for Nan khatai should be readily available in any regular kitchen moreover it is an egg less cookie. This is surely a keeper. Try these out and Enjoy as we did !!!

Ingredients

All purpose flour - 1/3 cup
Fine Sooji or semolina - 1/3 cup
Besan flour - 1/2 cup
Baking soda - a pinch
Green Cardamom Pods - 5 no
Unsalted butter - 1 stick
Sugar - 2/3 cup
Almond - 10 - 15 no



Preparation
  • Grind the cardamom seeds with little sugar to make a coarse powder.
  • Slice the almonds into equal halves and keep aside for garnishing.
Method
  • Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  • In a bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, gram flour, sooji, baking soda and cardamom powder and set aside.
  • Let the butter come to the room temperature.Butter should be soft not melted
  • Add butter and sugar in a larger bowl and beat in medium speed for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Add the flour mix to butter and sugar mixture and knead them together to make a smooth dough.
  • Divide the dough into equal parts and make them into balls.
  • Press each ball between your palms lightly; every piece should be about 3/4 inches thickness.
  • Take the sliced almonds and press them into the dough gently.
  • Place the Nan khatai on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for about 13 to 15 minutes.
  • After they are lightly golden brown remove the cookie sheet from the oven.
  • Allow the Nan Khatai's to cool down for about 3 minutes and then remove them from cookie sheet.
  • Serve with Hot tea or coffee.


My Notes
  • Adjust the sugar level according to your taste.
  • Use garnishing as per you choice.
  • Store the Nan Khatai's in air tight containers to retain crispiness.
  • I used standard measuring cups used for baking and made 16 cookies out of it.

Sending this delicious Nan Khatai to Bookmarked Recipes Every Tuesday event Started by Priya Mitharwal and co-hosted by Aipi of US Masala.


Also would love to send it to the EFM Bakes and Cakes series event hosted by Srilekha.


September 13, 2010

Pepper N Cardamom Chicken Dry


Should confess that I'm getting too obsessed with blogging. I try to refresh my dashboard every now and then, checking for new recipes and to read all the wonderful comments. I'm not sure it is the way with all of you. It is a real good feeling when you have something of your own to share what you feel,cook and eat. The friends circle that is building out my blog makes me feel too good and other social networking sites are helping a lot. I see a lot food blogger meets going on and wish I could join them !!! With all the senti stuff going on I had prepared a flavorful chicken recently and would love to share it with you all.

Simply love to try different chicken varieties by adjusting ingredients or just remove usual ingredients and develop some flavorful side dishes. This is one such recipe. I did not use chilly powder or turmeric powder the spiciness is some from the pepper and red chillies. Loved the peppery chicken with aroma of the cardamom seeds and exotic flavor of the cumin seeds. Cook Eat Enjoy and have a great day !!

Ingredients

Chicken - 1/2 lb
Pearl onion - 15 - 20 no
Garlic Cloves - 4 no
Tomato - 2 no
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tsp
Dry Red Chillies - 5 - 7 no
Curry Leaves - 20 leaflets
Salt for taste
Oil - 2 tsp

For Spice Powder

Pepper Corns - 15 - 20 no
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Cardamom - 3 no

For Seasoning

Cinnamon - 2 pieces
Fennel Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cardamom - 2 no


Preparation
  • Wash and cut the chicken into small pieces.
  • Finely chop the pearl onion, garlic and tomatoes.
  • Dry roast pepper corns, cumin seeds and cardamom in medium flame for about 5 minutes and allow it to cool. Grind it to coarse powder.
Method
  • Heat oil in a wok, add the cinnamon, fennel seeds and cardamom in medium flame.
  • Add the onions, garlic and the curry leaves and saute well.
  • Add the red chillies followed by the finely chopped tomatoes and salt.
  • Once the tomatoes are well cooked and oil oozes out add the chicken and saute well.
  • Add the ground powder to the chicken mixture and mix well so that the spice powder is well coated onto the chicken.
  • Sprinkle little water and allow the chicken to cook.
  • When the chicken is well cooked increase heat and dry it.
  • Garnish with some fresh curry leaves and Serve Hot.
My Notes
  • In the absence of pearl onions use 2 medium sized onions.
  • Adjust pepper level according to your taste.
  • When increasing the flame make sure you don't burn the chicken.

September 12, 2010

Celebrations: Sweet Kozhukattai | Kadalai Paruppu Puranam | Ellu Puranam


Happy Vinayaka Chaturthi to all my friends and readers !!! We celebrated it in full swing with the usual prasadham just like we used to do it in India. I normally used to make around 10 varities of prasadham for offering to Lord Ganesha. After pooja I would love it place them in a big plate covered with plantain leaf and give it to my in laws. I used to feel so good when they used to praise me.Last year we did not celebrate any function for different reasons and so this year was very special to us !!

When we think of Chaturthi first thing that comes to our mind would be Kozhukattai. I simply love purna kozhukattai with channa dal and MK loves it with sesame seeds. So I prepared both types. Normally we used to grind rice flour at home but nowadays I buy rice flour suitable for kozhukattai. We enjoyed it with Uppu Kozhukattai, Sundal, Vadai etc., Recipes will follow. For now I will share the Kozhukktai recipes.Try, Eat and Enjoy !!!

Ingredients 

Rice Flour - 2 cup
Water - 1 1/2 cup
Salt for taste
Oil - 1 tsp

For Filling 1

Jaggery - 1 cup
Grated Coconut - 3/4 cup
Channa Dal - 1/2 cup
Cardamom pods - 4 no
Sugar - 1/2 tsp

For Filling 2

Jaggery - 1 cup
Grated Coconut - 3/4 cup
Sesame seeds - 1/2 cup
Cardamom pods - 4 no


Preparation
  • Add salt to the water and boil it well.
  • Slowly add the boiling water to the rice flour and knead it into a smooth dough. The dough should not be too sticky so carefully add the water.
  • Grind cardamom powder with little sugar in a mixer.
Method For Filling 1
  • Pressure cook channa dal and grind it into a coarse paste.
  • Add little water to the jaggery,mix well and boil it.
  • Filter the impurities in the jaggery mixture and add channa dal to it.
  • Cook until everything comes together. Add cardamom powder and coconut and mix well.
  • Grease palms with oil and make small balls out of the kneaded dough.
  • Flatten them into small circles, place little filling and close it and seal the edges.
  • Place the kozhukkatai's in greased idly plates and steam for 10 - 12 minutes.
Method For Filling 2
  • Dry roast sesame seeds until it turns brown. Do not burn it.
  • Allow it cool down and grind it into a coarse powder.
  • Add 1/2 tsp ghee and roast the coconut for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the ground sesame seeds to grated jaggery.
  • Then add roasted coconut, cardamom powder and mix well.
  • Grease palms with oil and make small balls out of the kneaded dough.
  • Flatten them into small circles, place little filling and close it and seal the edges.
  • Place the kozhukkatai's in greased idly plates and steam for 10 - 12 minutes.
  
My Notes 
  •   While steaming the kozhukattai cover them with tissue or cloth so that color will not change.  
  •   The dough needs to be soft else the kozhukattai will turn out to be dry.
  • You can shape them like mountains by bringing all sides together or seal two sides and make them like the one shown in pictures.

September 10, 2010

Celebrations : Pal Payasam/Milk Pudding


Back in India my Mother in Law cooks very special dishes for Kirthigai which is the auspicious day for worshiping Lord Muruga and it is celebrated in a grand manner at our place. She used to make atleast 6 dishes for offering to the lord. All of us would eagerly wait for her to finish the pooja and just jump into the dining room for the wonderful lunch. So as I mentioned in my previous posts I have planned to celebrate all the festivals celebrated in our household without fail. I made this Pal Payasam for last Kirthigai and enjoyed every spoon of it !!!

Pal payasam is the most easiest prasadham as we can make it in a jiffy. We can make it rich by adding a lot of nuts, saffron etc. This version is the most simplest with just the cashews. This is also prepared for full fledged South Indian Lunches. I just get reminded of the feast we used to have in the Thalai Vazhayilai (Plantain Leaf). With all sweet memories here I'm with the simple and homey Pal Payasam.

Ingredients

Milk - 5 cups
Vermicelli/Semiya - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Cardamom Pods - 5 no
Ghee - 1 tsp
Cashews - 10 no


Preparation
  • If you are using unroasted semiya, Add 1 tsp ghee to a kadai and roast in medium flame until it turns golden brown.
  • Add little ghee and fry the cashews until it turns golden brown. Keep aside.
  • Grind the cardamom with little sugar in a mixer to make a coarse powder.
Method
  • Add milk to a heavy bottomed pan and bring it to boil.
  • When milk starts to boil add the sugar and mix well until the sugar is dissolved
  • Add the roasted semiya and allow it to cook for about 5 -6 minutes.
  • When the semiya is cooked add the cardamom powder, fried cashews along with the ghee and stir for additional 2 minutes.
  • Serve Warm.
My Notes
  • Adjust sugar level accordingly
  • Using roasted semiya saves atleast 10 min of the cooking time.
  • After 1 -2 hours all the milk might be absorbed by the semiya. In that case add little milk and sugar and boil it for about 2 minutes before serving.
  • Use nuts and other garnishing of your choice to make it more richer.

Sending this Friday Special to the Vegetarian Foodie Friday # 17

September 9, 2010

Strawberry N Plum Jam


Nowadays I'm totally into hunting different recipes and trying them out in my kitchen. Certain foods I never thought of making sounds very easy now and gives me a great satisfaction when it turns out great. One such recipe is the Strawberry N Plum Jam I had prepared recently. Never tried making jam before,the huge boxes of strawberries and plum made me think of making something with that. One other reason for making this jam, is that I broke the huge jam bottle we had brought over the weekend.I was cleaning the counter after our weekday breakfast and the jam bottle slipped and broke into pieces. I felt bad and did not want the two to hold onto the butter.

On a different note, shweets positively ran upstairs to inform her dad about me breaking the jam bottle. When I asked her have you told Dada. She innocently answered "yes mommy". Just came home early after work and was in good mood to make something. I got hold of a simply recipe in allrecipes.com and made my changes to it. It came out very well and simple loved the color. Actually pectin is added to the jams for it to set and have jelly like texture. I wanted the jam to be homey and just made it without pectin.Strawberries and Plums have natural pectin and it will be lost if the fruit is crushed too much. I read some lengthy processes of storing the fruit overnight etc., But I wanted something simple and easy to make and more important a small quantity so that I can prepare different varieties depending on the season.

Ingredients


Strawberries - 1 lb
Plum - 3 no
Sugar - 1 1/2 cup - 2 cup
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp


Preparation
  • To hull the strawberries - Hold the strawberries in one hand and a sharp knife in another and insert the tip of the knife into the flesh next to the stem. Turn the strawberry slowly angling the knife towards the center core of the strawberry. This will remove the cone shaped stem off the strawberry.
  • Wash and cut the plum into medium size pieces.
  • Add the strawberries and plum into food processor and chop them.
Method
  • In a heavy bottomed pan, mix strawberries and plum mixture, sugar and lemon juice.
  • Stir in low flame until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Once the sugar is dissolved increase the heat and bring the mixture to full rolling boil.
  • Boil and stir mixture until the mixture reaches 220F.
  • Transfer to hot sterile jars leaving 1/2 inch head space and refrigerate.


My Notes
  • Adjust the sugar level according to your taste.
  • I did not have thermometer to check the temperature so I just boiled it for 10 + 5 min.
  • To test the jelling of the jam, place a plate in freezer and after 10 minutes of boiling the mixture place a liquid of the jam onto the cold plate.Return the plate to freezer for a minute then run a finger through the jam if it does not try to run back together then it is ready.
  • When the jam is done it will look like a thick syrup it will take some time to set. If you over boil, the jam may become too rubbery.
  • After refrigerating for about 24 hrs if you feel the jam is runny then boil it again for some 5 - 7 min.
  • If you find jam too thick add some fruit juice to it or microwave the required amount for about 20 secs. This will make it spreadable.
  • If you are planning to store the jam for a longer period process in a water bath before refrigerating.

Check out CSN giveaway at Kiran's space. Click here for details.

I'm sending this colorful Strawberry N Plum jam to Sanyuktha's Visual Treat Event.

September 8, 2010

Event Announcement : Virtual Party !!!

When I was new to the blog world, I used to wonder what's all about these blog events. Slowly I understood the fun and facts behind these blog events. I simply enjoyed being part of these events and hosted one too. Truly it needs lot of commitment and quality time to conduct an event but the end result makes you feel so happy. Each and every entry that hit my mail box, boosted my energy. So here I'm with my second event.

I wanted to make this a monthly event so that it will be fun with different themes every month. I know there are lot of events around the blog world, but I feel More Events, More Fun What say ?? So as I'm done with the background of the event, now to the theme and the boring rules.

This Month's theme would be "Chocolaty Dreams" I wanted to start with a peppy theme and I know no one would dislike chocolates !!! So get ready to dream about chocolates and prepare something with Chocolates and Chocolate byproducts it can be a cake, cookie, drink whatever that features chocolate and fits the theme.



I will be accepting dishes for the party till the date mentioned under the rules section and will host the party within a week after the end date. So what are you all waiting for Get Ready to Party !!!

Virtual Party Rules
  • Prepare a dish that fits the theme and send your entries between September 8th - October 8th 2010.
  • Multiple entries are allowed.
  • Please make sure you link back to this announcement page.
  • Archive posts are accepted if they are re-posted with the link to the event.
  • Please email the details of the post to shabithasblog@gmail.com with subject as Virtual Party - Chocolaty Dreams with the below details       
         Your Name:
         Blog Name:
         Recipe Name:
         Recipe Url/Link:
         Picture of the dish: 300pixels wide
  • Non Blogger's please send out the entries to the above mail id.

September 7, 2010

Kadai Paneer



After a fun filled long weekend it was a dull and not so interesting day. We had super fun at the Florida beaches.Totally enjoyed the para sailing, dolphin watch, snorkeling wow it was a blast.These kind of relaxing breaks are needed for us once in a while to cope up with all the hectic schedules. It was not a planned outing and everything was booked on the go but turned to be good.

Though I prepared some new dishes today I wanted to post the paneer dish from my draft as the end date for the paneer event is nearing I wanted this one to go first !I had prepared Kadai Panner for our anniversary dinner and served it with paratha's.It is a simple and a flavorful North Indian dish which goes well with all kind of Indian flat breads. I used homemade paneer to make this dish and it turned out to be too good. Making all the store bought items like paneer, bread at home is so cool.Thanks to blogging !!!

Ingredients

Paneer - 10 - 12 cubes
Bell pepper - 1 no
Onion - 2 no medium size
Tomato - 2 no medium size
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Chilly Powder - 1 tsp
Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Kasoori Methi Leaves - 1 tbsp
Butter - 1/2 tbsp
Cardamom - 3 no
Oil - 2 tsp
Salt to taste



Preparation
  • Chop the bell pepper similar to the size of the cubed paneer.
  • Finely chop onions and tomatoes.
Method
  • Heat oil in a kadai, add onion and saute until onion turns translucent.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and cook until it's raw smell is gone in low flame.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook until it is mushy.
  • Add the chilly powder, cumin powder, pepper powder, turmeric powder and salt and mix well.
  • Once the mixture is cooked well and oil oozes out turn off heat and allow it to cool and grind it to a coarse paste.
  • Heat butter add the cardamom, followed by the ground mixture.
  • Add the bell pepper and allow it to cook.
  • When the bell pepper is half cooked add the paneer cubes and the kasoori methi leaves and mix well.
  • Cook for additional 5 - 7 minutes.
  • Serve hot with flat bread of your choice.
My Notes
  • Increase the quantity of butter if preferred.
  • If you are in a hurry just skip the grinding part and make it like a coarse mixture by cooking in medium flame.
My Kadai Paneer along with Paneer Butter Masala participates in the Let's Relish - Paneer event hosted Jay of Tasty Appetite.

It is also sent to the Show me your curry event hosted by Divya of Dilse.

September 3, 2010

Celebrations : Besan Ladoo




Back in India I used to celebrate all the festivals with full enthusiasm and would never miss any. But lately all enthusiasm went down and now back in form. Shweets is big enough to understand everything and helped me to decorate for the Pooja. It is very important for us to pass the tradition to the next generation. When she was decorating she said "God already so many ladoo why did you make some more" she was referring to the ladoo in the photos. I tried to explain to her all our rituals and she was quite convinced. The interest she showed towards festivals made me realize I should never miss any !!!

Besan Ladoo is one of the quickest and suitable sweet for Krishna Jayanthi which I could think of. I'm a big fan of sweets made out of jaggery and wanted to make the vella sedai but due to time crunch I prepared our favorite ladoo. Usually we fry the besan flour in low flame for about half hour until it turns light brown and then it needs to be cooled for another half hour. I just thought of using microwave and googled "microwave besan ladoo" search engine returned lot of sites. Then I told myself yes it is possible and used my proportions to make the ladoo. It was too good and I could save only a few for the clicks !!

Ingredients

Besan Flour - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Ghee - 5 - 6 tbsp
Cashew - 10 - 15 no



Preparation

  • Powder the sugar in a mixer until it turns into a very fine powder.
  • Fry the cashew in 1/2 tsp ghee until it turns golden brown.
Method
  • In a microwave safe bowl mix the ghee and besan flour and microwave in high for about 5 min.
  • Stir the contents after every minute, scraping the bottom.
  • After 5 minutes the mixture should have turned light brown and crumbly.
  • Allow it to cool completely for about half hour.
  • Add the powderered sugar, cardamom powder to the cooled besan mixture and mix well.
  • Apply very little ghee onto to your hands and shape the mixture into small balls.
  • Place a cashew on top when you are making the balls.
  • Quick and Easy besan ladoo is ready to be served.



My Notes
  • Microwave for additional 2 minutes if your mixture is not light brown.
  • Add little hot ghee to the mixture if it is too dry and it is not holding on.
  • Refrigerate the ladoo for about half hour so that it will set well.
I'm sending this Besan Ladoo to Nithu's Celebrate Sweets - Ladoo event which was started by Niveditha 

September 2, 2010

CSN giveaway winner

It has been a long and hectic week with work and celebrations. Eagerly waiting for the long weekend and and our trip to Florida Beaches. I wanted to make sure that I announce the winner of the CSN giveaway before I leave for the trip. I used random.org for selecting the winner.

The winner of the CSN sponsored $50 giveaway is Ragini Miranda who left comment #71. She writes at Happy Healthy, Fun Cooking.


Orkut Myspace Congratulation Scraps, Graphics and Comments
 
 
Congrats Ragini !!! Please send me valid email address to shabithasblog@gmail.com.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway and always there is a next time. 
 
Have a great day !!
 




September 1, 2010

Celebrations : Chocolate Cake



Celebrations are times which we really look forward and enjoy. We had celebrated our Wedding Anniversary last week and enjoyed the day to the fullest.Temple visit followed by a lunch in one of our favorite restaurants lightened the day. To add pep to the evening I baked this Chocolaty Cake. Shweets enjoyed helping me bake the cake. It was real fun and enjoyed our evening with cakes, clicks and music.

I wanted to make a simple and tasty cake because I did not want to spend time on elaborate cakes and miss the evening fun.Googled some for some cakes and got hooked to this simple chocolate cake in Hershey's Kitchen. Looked simple and moreover I had all the required ingredients what else to wait for !!Cake turned out to be super moist and yummy. Shweets finished 2 big pieces in no time and was ready for the third piece. I'm not a big cake eater just managed to have a small piece and I loved it too. Bake Eat Enjoy !!

Ingredients for the Cake

All-purpose flour 1 3/4 cup
Sugar - 2 cups
Cocoa powder - 3/4 cup
Baking powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Baking soda - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Eggs - 2 no
Milk - 1 cup
Vegetable oil - 1/2 cup
Vanilla extract - 2 tsp
Water - 1 cup


Preparation
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
  • Boil the 1 cup water.
Method for Cake
  • Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.
  • Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes.
  • Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).
  • Pour batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool for about 10 minutes and then remove from pans to wire racks.
  • Cool completely.
Ingredients for Chocolate Frosting

Butter - 1 stick
Cocoa powder - 2/3 cup
Icing sugar - 3 cups
Milk - 1/3 cup
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp

Method for Chocolate Frosting
  • Melt butter and cool it.
  • Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
  • Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla extract.
  • Makes bout 2 cups of chocolate frosting.
  • Place the first cake layer on a cake plate and slowly spread the frosting with a knife on the top surface.
  • Place the 2nd layer on top of it and spread the frosting on all sides and smooth the surface.



My Notes
  • I halved the above mentioned ingredients and made a single layer cake.
  • I had decorated with some chocolate sprinkles and strawberries. All kind of decorating items are available in the stores.
I'm sending this yummy Perfectly Chocolate Cake to Champa's Bake Off Event.

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