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 !!

January 31, 2013

Vendhaya Kuzhambu | Fenugreek Gravy | South Indian Gravy

Vendhaya Kuzhambu

After all the celebrations coming to an end it is time to enjoy some traditional food. When I think of Traditional South Indian Food it reminds me of the grand lunches that are served in big plantain leaves during weddings and festivals. The variety of food served makes us forget all our diet plans. We just simply jump in and enjoy the food. The food offered has all types of flavors well blended together and it is served in the right order. First we start with the dal and ghee, then spicy kuzhambu, then rasam and then more kuzhambu. Finally we finish the meal with a sweet. The spicy gravies in the meal would be mostly Mizhagu Kuzhambu, Vendhya Kuzhambu etc., Today I will be sharing my Mom's Style Vendhaya Kuzhambu with you all.

When we were small my mom used to make all kind of thogaiyals and medicinal kuzhambu varieties once in a week to boost digestion. Vendhaya Kuzhambu/Fenugreek gravy is one such recipe. Fenugreek as such has many medicinal values so she made it a point to use it often. I simply love her version. The slight bitter taste from the fenugreek seeds, tanginess from the tamarind make the gravy a keeper. It is usually made as thick gravy and served with hot steaming rice. I normally serve this gravy along with Seppankizhangu Fry. The combination is super good. Due to the spice level, I also make some More Kuzhambu/Buttermilk Gravy which helps counter balance.


Preparation Time - 10 minutes

Cooking Time - 15 minutes

Serves : 4 people

Ingredients

Pearl Onion - 8 - 10 no
Garlic flakes - 8 - 10 no
Dry Red Chilly - 2 -3 no
Tamarind - Lemon size
Coriander Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek - 1 1/4 tsp
Whole peppercorns - 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1
Mustard - 1 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida/Hing - 1 pinch
Curry Leaves - 2 Sprigs
Sesame Oil - 2 tsp
Salt to taste

Preparation
  • Peel and cut the onion and garlic into fine pieces.
  • Soak the tamarind for 15 minutes or microwave for 1 min and extract thick tamarind juice.
  • Dry roast the whole peppercorns, cumin seeds, 1/4 tsp fenugreek, 1/4 tsp mustard in medium flame until aroma rises. Allow it cool down and grind to a fine powder.
  • Soak remaining 1 tsp fenugreek seeds for about 30 minutes.
Method
  • Heat sesame oil in a kadai and add the mustard, asafoetida, when the mustard starts to crackle drain the soaked fenugreek seeds and add it.
  • Next add the chopped garlic, 1 sprig curry leaves, followed by the onions.
  • When the onion turns translucent add the red chillies.
  • Reduce the flame to low, add the ground powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and saute. Do not burn the powders
  • Next add the tamarind juice, salt and mix everything well.
  • Close the kadai with a lid and cook in medium flame for about 10 minutes checking in between.
  • Once the oil separates, garnish with curry leaves and serve with hot rice.
Notes
  • If you do not have pearl onions you can replace it with 1 red onion.
  • Do not burn or allow the contents to be browned it spoils the taste of the gravy.
  • Soaking the fenugreek seeds before, releases the flavor to the gravy.


January 22, 2013

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake has been in my to do list for a long time now. I had tasted this cake for the first time after landing in the United States. In my office cafeteria they would have large slices of carrot cake which would look super good. He would always want to eat it but would hesitate, as it is quite impossible to finish the slice all alone. Me not being a cake person was very reluctant and finally tasted it and instantly fell for the taste. It is entirely different from the other cakes I had tasted back in India. I had always tasted cakes with too much icing and did not like them not all. This one is definitely not to be missed.

In the place where I live there is one good bakery, though we like all their cakes, I personally felt that the carrot cake was too sweet. So finally I wanted to make it at home according to our taste. It came out perfect. The cake was light as it was butter-less and the sweetness was just the level we liked. I do not like my carrot cake with too much frosting so I did a light frosting. If you are in search for a simple and yummy carrot cake your search ends here !!


Preparation Time : 20 minutes

Baking Time : 30 minutes

Total Time : 50 minutes

Serves: 10 - 12

Recipe from here

Ingredients for Cake

All purpose Flour - 2 cups (260 gms)
Walnuts - 1 1/2 cups
Raw Carrots - 3/4 lb
Granulated White Sugar - 1 1/2 cups
Baking Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda - 1 tsp
Ground Cinnamon - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Vegetable Oil / Canola Oil - 1 cup
Carrot Puree (Baby food) - 4 tbsp
Pure Vanilla Extract - 2 tsp
Eggs - 4 no

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese -1 8 oz pack (227 gms)
Sifted Confectioners Sugar - 2 cups
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Unsalted Butter - 1/4 cup

Preparation
  • Preheat the oven at 350 F and place the rack in the center of the oven.
  • Butter or spray two 9 X 2 inch round pans and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • Toast the walnuts for about 8 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant. Cool and coarsely chop them.
  • Sift the confectioners sugar for 2 or 3 times and keep aside.
  • Peel and finely grate the carrots. It should yield about 2 1/2 cups.
Method for Cake
  • In large bowl sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ground cinnamon and salt.
  • To the bowl of your stand mixer beat the eggs until frothy alternatively you can also use your electric beater.
  • Gradually add the sugar and mix in low speed until the mixture turns thick and light colored.
  • Next add the vegetable oil gradually and then add the vanilla extract.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture and beat just until combined.
  • Next with a rubber spatula fold in the toasted walnuts, carrot puree and grated carrot.
  • Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for about 25 - 30 minutes or until took pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Place the pans on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and cool it completely before frosting.
Method for Cream Cheese Frosting
  • In the bowl of the stand mixer or using the hand mixer beat the cream cheese and butter on low speed until they are blended.
  • Gradually add the sifted confectioner's sugar, vanilla extract and beat until it is smooth and reaches spreading consistency
To Assemble the Cake
  • Place the first layer of the cake (flat side up) on your serving plate and spread about half of the frosting on top with a spatula or knife.
  • Then place the second layer on top and spread the remaining frosting on top of the cake.
  • Decorate with walnuts shavings,toasted nuts or any decorations.
Notes
  • We normally prefer light frosting. If you prefer a fully frosted cake double the frosting ingredients and follow the same way.
  • You can substitute pecans instead of walnuts.
  • Do not directly scoop the flour using the measuring cup. Too much flour would make the cake denser.


January 13, 2013

Kalkandu Pongal | Sweet Pongal | Festival recipes


Kalkandu Pongal

Wishing all my readers and friends a "Happy Pongal". Pongal is a South Indian festival celebrated in the 3rd week January which is the start of the first Tamil Month "Thai". We celebrate this festival to thank the Sun god for giving us a good harvest. It is normally celebrated for 4 days. First day being "Bhogi" where the houses are cleaned and the unwanted items are burnt in the evening. Second day is the main celebration where "Pongal" is made with the first grain and offered to the Sun god. Third day is "Maatu Pongal" and the fourth day being Kaanum Pongal.

Today I have shared Kalkandu Pongal which is a famous type of Pongal prepared on this day and offered to god.The wonderful taste of Kalkandu/Sugar Candy and ghee gives a unique flavor to the dish. The taste of using normal sugar is totally different. Do try this wonderful dish on the auspicious day of Pongal and let me know how it turned out !!


Preparation Time : 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Serves : 4

Ingredients

Raw Rice - 1/2 cup
Moong Dal - 2 tbsp
Kalkandu - 3/4 cup
Milk - 1 cup
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1 pinch
Ghee - 2 tbsps
Cashews - 10 no
Raisins - 8 no

Preparation
  • Dry roast the Moong dal in medium high heat until aroma comes out.
  • Fry the cashews and raisins in 1 tsp ghee and keep aside.
Method
  • Wash and cook the rice, roasted dal and pinch of salt together with 1 tsp ghee. For 1/2 cup rice add 1/2 milk and 1 1/2 cups water and cook for about 3 whistles.
  • Once pressure is released from the cooker, add the remaining 1/2 cup milk and smash the rice and dal mixture with a laddle.
  • Next add the kalkandu ,remaining ghee and cook in medium low flame for about 2 minutes. Stir Continuously, the kalkandu will melt within this time.
  • Mix all the contents well, add the ground cardamom powder, fried cashews and raisins and cook in medium low heat for about 1 minute. Serve Hot.
Notes
  • Make sure you do not burn the contents always cook in medium low.
  • It tastes best when it is served as soon it is made.

January 8, 2013

Tomato/Thakkali Chutney | Sidedish for Idly, Dosa, Paniyaram | Chutney with no Coconut

Tomato Chutney

With the schools reopened life is back to square one. I would not call this as a hectic week as we are playing low at work after the long holidays. No one is ready to start something new and we are just finishing what we started last year. The cold weather outside stops us from enjoying the outside world. We are stuck indoors with the remotes in hand. The twines of the routine life is slowly starting to get tightened. Though we complain at times we do enjoy it in a way. Life without commitments is so boring. Thanks to this wonderful blog which always spices up the life and adds flavor to it !!!

Coming to the recipe, when I make chutneys I always get reminded of my Mom because she is a specialist in making variety of Chutneys. I do make some of them here and especially love this Tomato Chutney because it comes in handy when we do not have coconut. Normally getting good quality coconut is very difficult in the place I live and hence this spicy chutney and steaming Idlies are made regularly at home. Do try this Spicy and Flavorful Chutney and let me know how it turned out.


Preparation Time - 5 minutes

Cooking Time - 10 minutes

Serves : 4 people

Ingredients

Onion (medium size) - 2
Tomato(medium size)- 2
Garlic flakes - 5 - 6 no
Dry Red Chilly - 4 - 5 no
Roasted Gram (Pottu Kadalai) - 1 tbsp
Curry Leaves - 2 Sprigs
Oil - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

For Seasoning

Mustard - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
Oil - 1 tsp

Preparation 
  • Wash and cut the onion and tomato into medium size pieces. 
  • Peel the garlic and cut into slices.
Method
  • Heat 1 tsp oil in a kadai and add the garlic, curry leaves, followed by the onions.
  • When the onion turns translucent, add red chillies.
  • Next add the chopped tomatoes, roasted gram and cook in medium flame until tomato turns mushy.
  • Allow the mixture to cool down. Transfer the contents to mixer, add required salt and grind into a slightly coarse mixture.
  • Heat remaining 1 tsp oil and add the mustard and allow it to crackle. Add the curry leaves and saute for about 1/2  minute.
  • Transfer contents to the prepared chutney and mix well.
  • Serve as side with Idly, Dosa or Paniyaram. 
Notes
  • Adding garlic is optional.
  • Do not burn or allow the contents to be browned it spoils the taste of the chutney.
  • If you refrigerate the chutney, you can reheat the chutney by placing the container with the chutney on top of boilng water. Do not directly reheat it will spoil the taste of the chutney.

Thakkali Chutney

January 2, 2013

Rice Kheer | Arisi Payasam | Pal Payasam | Indian Dessert

Rice Kheer

I wish all my friends and readers a Happy and Prosperous New Year. May the year 2013 bring all the fun, happiness we wish for. When I think back about 2012, it was a good one for "From My Home Kitchen". I'm not as aggressive in posting recipes as before but I'm trying my best. Home, a full time job and hyperactive kids are keeping me very busy and they take most of my time. I'm hoping to be more regular and post as many recipes as possible. Also I want to thank each one of you who take time to go through my posts and provide valuable comments and a special thanks to my dear ones who try my recipes !!!. I wanted to start the New Year with a sweet note and made the ever special Rice Kheer (Pal Payasam).

Payasam/Kheer is one famous dessert very Indian would love. It is served in weddings, offered to god, served during all occasion. The main reason being it is easy to make for a bigger crowd. Rice Kheer is how the Northern part of India calls this dessert and Pal Payasam/ Arisi Payasam is how we South Indians call it. It takes about 45 minutes to make this sweet and there is also a shorter route,instead of slow cooking you can pressure cook and reduce the time. But the slow cooking method brings the original flavor of the dessert. Do try this all time favorite Indian dessert and enjoy !


Preparation Time - 10 minutes

Cooking Time - 30 minutes

Serves : 4 people

Ingredients

Rice - 1/4 cup
Sugar - 1/4 cup
Whole Milk - 4 cups
Ghee - 1 tsp
Cashews - 5 - 8 no
Almonds - 5 - 8 no
Raisins - 10 no
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp

Preparation
  • Thoroughly wash the rice until the water runs clear.
  • Chop the Cashews and Almonds into thin slices.
Method
  • To a wide mouthed and deep non stick pan, add the 1 tsp ghee. Transfer the sliced Cashews, Almonds, Raisins and saute until they golden brown. Transfer to a dry plate.
  • To the same pan add the washed rice and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add the 4 cups of milk to the rice and mix well. Allow it to boil in medium high heat.
  • When the milk starts to boil reduce the heat. At this stage add the sugar and mix well.
  • Allow the rice to cook. Stir in between to avoid the rice getting stuck to the bottom and getting burnt.
  • When the milk reduced to half the quantity and rice is soft, add the cardamom powder and mix well.
  • Next add the fried nuts and raisins.
  • Mix everything together and serve warm or chilled as you prefer.
Notes
  • Whole Milk works great for this dessert as it brings out the original flavor.
  • You can use sona masoori or any short grain rice. Basmati rice also works but not most preferred.
  • You can add nuts as per your preference. Adding two strands of saffron and pistachios always works great.
  • If you refrigerate the sweet the rice would absorb the milk and it will turn out to be thick. Boil about 2 - 4 tbsps of milk and add it to the kheer and then serve.


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