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 !!

March 29, 2013

Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter

Chocolate Peanut Butter

Peanut butter has been on my to do list for a very long time now. I love peanuts but could not relate how it will taste as a spread. Peanut Butter is extremely popular in the United States. I have seen people not only using it as a spread for their bread, but using it as a dip for fruits and what not. Shweets will have a choice of peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch when they serve meat. She would not eat it and would say she does not like that and I started to send lunch from home when they had PBJ. This totally held me back from trying to make the peanut butter at home. But one of my friend had asked for this recipe and I wanted to try it when possible atleast for her sake. When I saw a Chocolatey version of the peanut butter then I thought it will taste something similar to Nutella and instantly tried it !!

Chocolate Peanut Butter is super easy to make. Will you believe it hardly took 5 minutes to whip up a spread that would last for the entire week, yes it did. When you make something like this at home kids usually like it and are thrilled. You can prepare and place it at room temperature. But I did place it in the refrigerator. It got slightly solidified but bringing back to room temperature made it easy to spread. If you do not have the time to bring it back to room temperature then just take out the amount of peanut butter you need and microwave for about 5 - 10 secs for it reach the spreadable consistency. You can enjoy it with your bread or use it as a dip for apples or any fruit for that matter. Choices are plenty use it as you wish.



Preparation Time - 10 minutes

Yields - About 1 cup of Chocolate Peanut Butter

Recipe adapted from here

Ingredients

Roasted Peanuts - 1 cup
Chocolate Chips - 1/2 cup
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp

Preparation
  • Wash and dry the Food Processor bowl.
  • Wash and dry an airtight bottle or any container to store the peanut butter.
Method
  • Add the roasted peanuts to the bowl of a food processor.
  • Process on high power for about 2 minutes. The peanut first will get crushed, then powdered. At this stage add the chocolate chips, vanilla extract and continue to process on high power.
  • The powdered peanuts will start to turn into a thick paste and then it will form a ball and finally the oil from the peanuts will be released and the peanut butter will become thinner.
  • When the peanut butter reaches the consistency which took about 5 minutes totally, Transfer the peanut butter to a clean, dry and airtight bottle.
Notes
  • I used roasted, slightly salted peanuts. You can also use honey roasted, unsalted peanuts.
  • If you do not have the food processor, you can also use your mixer jar for grinding.
  • I refrigerated the butter and because of the chocolate it got hardened. You leave it in room temperature for 15 - 20 minutes to get softened or take the need amount in a small cup and microwave for about 10 seconds to reach spreadable consistency.
  • You can use it as a spread or dip for your favorite breads.


March 23, 2013

Crispy Onion Pakoda/Pakora | Evening Snack

Onion Pakoda

There are some dishes you always think it is better to get from outside and it will not turn out perfect when it is made at home. I have many friends complaining about the texture of the homemade pakodas. They are not as crispy as the ones in the famous joints. I always like my pakoda super crispy and slightly darker in shade. Back at my Mom's place there was a sweet shop where they would make fresh pakodas in the evenings. The place will be crowded and everyone would ask for bigger pieces. I would be the odd one asking for small sized ones or the thool pakoda that are fried little longer. It is an awesome evening snack with some hot coffee or tea on a rainy day.

The simple secret behind crispy pakodas is you should add any water to the onion, flour mixture. By keeping aside for about 20 minutes, onion and salt would release water which would be more than sufficient to bind everything together. Addition of water makes it soggy. I normally prefer to use the red onions because they give the exact flavor we get in stores. Also you have to eat them as soon it is made else it will become slightly soggy and will not taste the best. You can adjust the spice level as per your taste buds. If you like the flavor of fennel seeds you can add little to the mixture. Why wait try to make this super easy evening snack and pep up your coffee time.



Preparation Time - 10 minutes

Waiting Time - 20 minutes

Cooking Time - 10 minutes

Serves - 4

Ingredients

Onion - 2 medium sized
Besan Flour - 1/2 cup
Rice Flour - 1/2 cup
Green Chilly - 1 - 2 no
Ginger - 2 inch piece
Garlic flakes - 3 - 4 no
Red Chilly Powder - 1 tsp
Asafoetida/Hing - 1 pinch
Ghee/Clarified Butter - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - handful
Coriander Leaves - handful
Salt for taste
Oil for deep frying

Preparation
  • Cut the onion to thin slices.
  • Chop the green chillies into thin circles.
  • Chop and crush the ginger and garlic.
  • Finely chop curry leaves and coriander leaves.
Method
  • Place the onion in wide mouthed vessel. Add the rice flour and besan flour to it.
  • Next add the chopped green chillies, ginger, garlic, curry leaves and coriander leaves.
  • Add the red chilly powder, salt, ghee and hing to the mixture.
  • Mix everything together, check salt and leave it aside for about 15 - 20 minutes .
  • By this time the onion and salt would have released water and this would be enough to bind the contents. Knead the contents well.
  • Heat oil in a kadai, when it is piping hot carefully drop small portions of the mixture into the oil.
  • Using a slotted laddle slowly turn the pakoda pieces so that it gets cooked on all sides.
  • When they turned golden brown and looks cooked remove them out of the oil, drain the excess oil and place it in a kitchen tissue.
  • Serve hot with some piping hot coffee.
Notes
  • Do not add any water to bind the mixture. The water from onion and salt would be more than enough.
  • You can also some fennel seeds to the mixture. It adds some extra flavor.
  • You can either drop slightly bigger portions or small portions depending on the size of pakodas you need.
  • Carefully drop the mixture because the oil is super hot.


March 16, 2013

Rava Kesari | Semolina Pudding | Indian Sweet in less than 15 minutes



Last week was a hectic one. We had visa interview scheduled for my MIL and were going back and forth on the documents and interview questions. Finally she has got the visa and all set to visit us for the first time. We are eagerly waiting for her to come here. She was born and brought up in Chennai and her style of cooking is totally different from my mother who is from Coimbatore. I have learnt a lot dishes from her and I'm excited to learn more during her visit. Back at my place we were not sweet lovers. The only sweets we could agree upon were the jaggery based ones. So my mom hardly made sugar based sweets. Even if she makes it would be for the guests. Rava Kesari is one dish my MIL makes for kirthigai. She will make so many varieties that day and everything would taste out of the world. After I got married, MK influenced me so much and I started to like what all I never dared to try. Rava Kesari was one of them.

Rava Kesari, simply called as kesari is one of the most easiest Indian sweet recipe. It can be prepared with the simple ingredients available in any Indian Pantry. It takes less than 15 minutes to make this sweet and it will also vanish in minutes, no doubt about that. It is one of the most common sweet that will be made in any Indian household. But there are some tricks you need to know to get the correct consistency, texture and taste. Too much sugar or water or ghee would spoil the taste. We normally add orange food color to this sweet I don't know why. If you have unexpected guests and you want to serve them something quick and yummy, Kesari would be the best option. Do try and let me know

kesari

Preparation Time - 2 minutes

Cooking Time - 10 minutes

Serves - 4

Ingredients

Rava/Semolina - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Cashew - 6 - 8 no
Raisins - 6 - 8 no
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch
Ghee/Clarified Butter - 3 tbsp
Water - 1 1/4 cup
Orange food color - 1 pinch

Preparation
  • Break the cashews into halves.
  • Measure the rava, sugar, water and keep them ready.
  • Mix one pinch of the orange food color in 1 tsp of water and keep aside.
Method
  • In a non stick pan, heat 1 tsp of the ghee and fry the cashews until it turns golden brown.
  • Next in the same pan fry the raisins until they are bulged. It takes about 1/2 a minute.
  • In the same pan next add the rava and roast until aroma rises, roughly 3 - 4 minutes, transfer rava to a dry plate and keep aside.
  • To the non stick pan add the water and when it starts to boil reduce flame to medium, slowly add the rava and stir continuously to avoid lumps .
  • The rava will absorb all the water quickly keep stirring. At this stage add the food color.
  • When the rava is cooked, add the sugar and stir. Slowly start adding the remaining ghee while stirring.
  • The sugar melts and will help the rava to cook further.
  • Next add the cardamom powder, fried cashews, raisins and stir until the kesari leaves the sides forms a big mass. Switch off the stove and serve warm.
Notes
  • Add the sugar only after the rava is cooked. This helps to get the right consistency.
  • If you are ok, you add some extra melted ghee while serving.
  • Orange food color is the most used color for this dessert. You can also use yellow color or any color of your preference.

rava kesari

March 9, 2013

Orange Cake for 3rd Blog Anniversary

Orange Cake

It's time to celebrate, yes it's been 3 years since I started the blog !! I'm happy when I realize that till today I have same amount of commitment and excitement that I had when I posted my first recipe at "From My Home Kitchen". Blogging has become an important part of my life. Planning, Cooking, Styling, Clicking, Writing, Posting each activity excites me and gives me full satisfaction when I post a recipe. I have learnt so many things after I started the blog. Photography was never my thing, but now I'm totally interested in it and spend a lot of time with my camera. One other great thing is I got so many friends through this blog world, each one of them is special in a way. Everyone would say females normally do not carry their friendship after marriage. It is true with me, but now I have so many blogger friends and I love all of them !!

I thought of making something special to celebrate and decided to make the citrus filled and homey Orange Cake. This has been in my to do list for a very long time and thought this would be a perfect time to make it. The cake was super good and filled the home with the smell of orange. It tasted like the bakery cakes we used to get back in India. I was little doubtful whether the kids would like it as they always prefer chocolate cakes. But my kids loved it so much that the cake disappeared in no time. It turned out to be a perfect celebration cake !!



Preparation Time : 15 minutes

Baking Time : 50 minutes

Total Time : 65 minutes

Serves: 10 - 12

Recipe from here

Ingredients for Cake

All purpose Flour - 250 gms
Vanilla Pudding Powder - 40 gms
Granulated White Sugar - 340 gms
Baking Powder - 4 tsp
Butter - 80 gms
Orange Zest - 2 tsp
Orange Juice - 250ml
Eggs - 3 no

Ingredients for Orange Buttercream Frosting

Butter - 125 gm
Sifted Confectioners Sugar - 90 gms
Orange Zest - 1 tsp
Orange Juice - 1 tbsp

Preparation
  • Preheat the oven at 350 F and place the rack in the center of the oven.
  • Butter or spray 9 X 2 inch round pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • Place the butter in room temperature and cut into small pieces.
  • Sift the confectioners sugar for 2 or 3 times and keep aside.
Method for Cake
  • In large bowl sift the flour, baking powder and vanilla pudding powder.
  • In another bowl add the softened butter, gradually add the sugar and beat with a hand mixer.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and mix well.
  • Next add the orange juice and then add the vanilla extract.
  • Slowly add the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and whisk until mixture turns to a smooth mixture.
  • Next with a rubber spatula fold in the orange zest.
  • Transfer the batter into the prepared pan, use a spatula smooth out the top, tap 2 -3 times on the counter top to remove bubbles.
  • Bake for about 45 - 50 minutes or until took pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Place the pan on a wire rack for about 5 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pan and cool it completely before frosting.
Method for Orange Buttercream Frosting
  • In a bowl using the hand mixer whisk the butter.
  • Gradually add the sifted confectioner's sugar, orange juice and orange zest beat until it is smooth and reaches spreading consistency
To Assemble the Cake
  • After the cake is cooled completely, spread the frosting on top and sides of the cake.
  • Decorate with decorations of your choice.
Notes
  • We normally prefer light frosting and used it only on the top of the cake.
  • Do not directly scoop the flour using the measuring cup. Too much flour would make the cake denser.



March 2, 2013

Idly Milagai Podi | Spicy Chutney Powder | Side dish for Idly and Dosa


When I was talking to my clients in one of the meetings about breakfasts, I really felt that we are not eating Indian breakfasts nowadays. Actually the real reason is lack of time. I normally grind the Idly Dosa batter during the weekends but to make make some side dish and have it for breakfast is simply impossible. To get the kids ready, feed them and what not in 1 1/2 hr is already stressfu. Kids and me love cereals, bread and pancakes, but MK is not a big fan of all this and wants something Indian. So we need to have some sort of side dish his breakfast, the Idly Milagai Podi comes in handy in these situations.

Idly Milagai Podi can be made in a lot of ways. The one I'm sharing now is easy to make and it is garlic free. Adding few garlic pods to the Idly Milgai Podi gives it a unique flavor. But MK says no when it is for his breakfast. He says that he gets that garlic flavor and does not like it in the morning. So I make one without garlic for him. I will share the garlic flavored Idly Milagai Podi soon. You can enjoy some hot Idly or crispy dosas with these spicy chutney powder. You have to mix it with oil and serve. Sesame oil works best for this. If you are craving for some Indian breakfast on weekday mornings or too tired to whip up something for dinner then spend 15 minutes in the kitchen and make this Idly Milagai Podi and have a stress free week.



Preparation Time : 5 minutes

Cooking Time : 10 minutes

Cooling Time : 30 minutes

Ingredients

Channa Dal/Kadala Paruppu - 1 cup
Urad Dal/Ulutham Paruppu - 1/2 cup
Dry Red Chilly - 10 no
Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp

Preparation
  • Measure the ingredients and keep it ready.
  • Clean and dry out the mixer jar.
  • Clean and dry out a air tight container to store the Idly Milagai powder
Method
  • Add 1/2 tsp of oil and add the channa dal and roast in medium flame until it turns reddish. Keep aside.
  • To the same kadai, add remaining 1/2 tsp of oil and add the urad dal and roast in medium flame.
  • After about a minute add the red chillies and curry leaves and continue roasting until urad dal turns reddish.
  • Combine all ingredients and allow the contents to cool down for about 30 minutes.
  • Once the ingredients are completely cooled down, grind it along with asafoetida to a coarse powder.
  • Allow the ground mixture to sit for about 30 minutes and then transfer to air tight container.
  • You can take 2 - 3 tsps of the Idly Milagai Podi and add 1 - 2 tsps of sesame oil. Mix it together and serve.
Notes
  • Take care while dry roasting, if the dals are burnt it will spoil the taste of the Idly Milagai Podi.
  • Store the Idly Milagai Podi powder in a clean, dry container. Use dry spoon and it can be used for 3 months are so.
  • Idli Milgai Podi can be served as a side dish with Idly, Dosa.

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