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Friday, January 28, 2011

Parippu Vada / Chana Dal Vada


Who doesn’t like to eat hot steaming vadas on cold wintery evenings? So in a cold evening I made these vadas as a snack, so that when my husband comes back from office enjoys eating this with a hot green tea. I learnt this snack recipe from my mom who is an expert in parippu vada.
These can be made in different varieties and methods. The vadas which we get in Kerala hotels are much bigger and they taste yummy. You can also deep fry these vadas in coconut oil if you would like to enjoy the authentic Kerala taste.


 Ingredients:
  1. Chana dal / Kadala Parippu- 1cup
  2. Dry red chillies- 2-3nos
  3. Ginger- 1tbsp
  4. Onions- 1no
  5. Curry leaves- few
  6. Salt- as per taste
  7. Oil- for deep frying

Method: 
  1. Soak the chana dal nearly about 3-4hours. Drain well so that there is no water left.
  2. Grind chana dal and red chillies coarsely. Do not add water.
  3. Take this ground mixture in a bowl and add chopped onions, ginger curry leaves and salt and mix well.
  4. Wet your palms and take small amount of dal mixture and make a ball. Flatten this ball to a round shape.
  5. Heat oil in wok for deep frying. When it is hot, slide the vada into the oil and fry on both sides to a golden brown colour. Remove from oil and drain it on kitchen towel or tissue paper.

I am sending this dish to Kerala Kitchen, a monthly event hosted by Magpie and Ria are hosting.


Kerala Style Fish Curry / Naadan Meen Curry


There are hundreds of variations for Kerala fish curry, but this is the dish which is made more frequently in my family, using Kokum. Kodum puli or Kokum is a type of tamarind which is used in kerala fish curries. Traditional Kerala curries are made in mann chatty / earthen pot, I made this that way so that the authentic flavor will enhance.
When my Mil prepares this curry we refer it as “idivettu” meen curryJ, which means thunderous fish curry and it looks red hot, but it is not as spicy since we use kashmiri chilli powder.  Almost every NVG loving malayali would  like this simple fish curry recipe.


Ingredients:
  1. Fish- ½ kg
  2. Shallots(sliced)- 10-11nos
  3. Ginger(minced)- 2tbsp
  4. Garlic(minced)- 2tbsp
  5. Green chillies- 3nos
  6. Curry leaves- few
  7. Red chilli powder- 2tbsp
  8. Coriander powder- 1tbsp
  9. Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
  10. Fenugreek powder- ¼ tsp
  11. Kudam puli / kokum- 2nos
  12. Oil 2tbsp
  13. Mustard seeds- 1tsp
  14. Fenugreek seeds-1/2tsp

Method:
  1. Wash the fish neatly and drain it.
  2. Pour oil in an earthen ware and when it is hot add mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. When they splutter, add sliced onions, ginger, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves. Stir well.
  3. Add the kudam puli and mix well. Now add red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and fenugreek powder and mix well.
  4. When the raw smell of the powders is gone, add little water. When the water gets to the boiling point, add the fish pieces and let it cook in simmer till the fish is well cooked.
  5. Make sure you do not stir in between as this can mash the fish pieces. Just rotate the earthen ware to ensure that the fish and masala are mixed well. When the gravy becomes thick remove from flame.
  6. Serve this with hot rice.


I am sending this dish to Kerala Kitchen, a monthly event hosted by Magpie.





Monday, January 24, 2011

Chocolate Brownies


Yesterday was our wedding anniversary and I thought of making something sweet which I never tried before.  I didn’t want to bake a cake as always, so I thought of baking something different. The best part of baking is the aroma that fills in the house.
I came across this recipe from one of my old collections, which I had written in my diary long time back. As I had all the ingredients handy, I thought of trying this out. I tasted the brownies when I went to a coffee shop. I generally love anything made with chocolates J
After making these and taking some snaps of these brownies, I was transferring the pics to my comp. After returning, to my dismay, only 2 or 3 brownies were left. My little one and my Husband ate them all. However I was really happy that they liked it so much and wanted more of it.


Ingredients:
  1. Chocolate -1/4 cup
  2. Butter -60gms
  3. All purpose floor –1 cup
  4. Baking powder - ½ cup
  5. Eggs -2nos
  6. Salt –a pinch
  7. Sugar – ¾ cup
  8. Vanilla -1tsp
  9. Almonds - ½ cup



Method:
  1. Sift all purpose flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler or keeping the bowl over hot water.
  3. In a bowl, beat the eggs. Add the sugar into the eggs slowly. Mix well.
  4. Blend in the butter and chocolate mixture and stir in the sifted flour, vanilla and crushed almonds.
  5. Pour this brownie batter in a greased and floured cake tin. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Bake the batter for about 25-30 minutes.
  6. Brownies are done when a pricked toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let it cool to room temperature.
  7. Dust it with powdered sugar and cut into square cubes   


I am sending these chocolate brownies to Delicious Desserts, an event hosted byWhat's Cooking today!!




Makar Sankranthi Sweets: Sesame seeds laddoo and Puffed Rice laddoo

Makar Sankranthi is celebrated in India as a harvest festival. This festival is celebrated with great zest in all parts of India and each state has its own ways of celebration.

                                           “ til gul ghya, god god bola”

This is what my friend wished me on Sankranthi day, which means “eat sweet and speak sweet words”. The other day I asked her to send me the photos of the sweets which she made for Sankranthi, so that I could post them on my blog. It was so nice of her that she remembered to get me the photos in spite of the celebrations.

The whole day before Sankranthi, she was busy making sweets and all the other festive treats. We also got to taste all these sweets right out of her kitchen and they tasted really yummy. I also found out that she has some great recipes in her collection and I would soon be posting them here J .

Tilache ladoo / Sesame seeds Laddoo:

Ingredients
  1. White sesame seeds- 1cup
  2. Jaggery- 1cup
  3. Roasted Peanuts- ½ cup
  4. Ghee- ¼ cup
Method
  1. Roast the sesame seeds and peanuts separately and keep it aside to cool. Skin the peanuts and crush them lightly.
  2. Heat the ghee in a vessel, when it is hot add the jaggery.
  3. The jaggery will melt and it will start to foam and froth. Remove the vessel from flame and add the roasted sesame seeds and peanuts. Mix and stir well.
  4. Using a little ghee to coat your hands, make small balls of 1 inch diameter with all the warm mixture.
  5. Store it in an air tight container. Will stay for a long period.


Kurmure Laddoo / Puffed rice Laddoo:

Ingredients
  1. Puffed rice / Kurmure- 2cups
  2. Jaggery- 1cup
  3. Ghee- 1tbsp
Method:
  1. Roast the puffed rice lightly.
  2. Heat ghee in a vessel and add jaggery till it melts and bubbling.
  3. Now add the roasted puffed rice and mix in quickly.
  4. Take the mixture off the flame and mix well till the puffed rice is well coated with jaggery.
  5. Rub your palms with little ghee. While the mixture is still hot, take a handful of the mixture and shape it into a perfect round ball.
  6. Do the same process for the remaining mixture.
  7. The number of laddoos will depend upon the amount of mixture you take.
  8. Store these in an air tight container.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lemon rice with a “twist”


Now you might be thinking, what is this “twist”? Its nothing but I have added egg in lemon rice. Lemon rice is a very common dish in south Indian cuisine. We eat lemon rice a lot and when my small one started eating rice she loved this rice. So sometimes I add egg while making this rice for her. If I make them separately like lemon rice and scrambled egg, she picks up only scrambled egg. So I combined both and she started liking this. 


We once tasted her rice and it was so yummmmmmy!!! From then on whenever we pack rice for journey we make it like this and its delicious. I think many of you might have tried this also.

Lemon rice can be made with left over rice. This can be made easily for lunch or dinner when you feel lazy to spend much time in kitchen. This rice can be eaten with pickle and pappads, no need of any curry. 



Ingredients:
  1. Cooked rice- 2cups
  2. Eggs- 2nos
  3. Pepper powder- 1tsp
  4. Lemon- 1no
  5. Oil- 2tbsp
  6. Mustard seeds- ½ tsp
  7. Chana dal- 1tbsp
  8. Urad dal- 1tbsp
  9. Green chillies- 3nos
  10. Dry red chillies- 2nos
  11. Asafoetida- a pinch
  12. Curry leaves- few
  13. Salt- as per taste
  14. Peanuts (roasted) - few (optional)
  15. Turmeric powder- 1tsp



Method:
  1. Whisk the eggs in a bowl. In a kadai, pour little oil and add the whisked eggs, salt and pepper and stir well till it blends. Take it in a bowl.
  2. In the same kadai, heat oil, splutter mustard seeds. Add the urad dal and chana dal and allow them to turn slightly red.
  3. Add green chillies, red chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida and stir for few more seconds.
  4. Switch off the flame and add salt, turmeric powder and lemon juice and mix well.
  5. Combine the cooked rice and scrambled eggs and mix well till the rice gets an even coating of the other ingredients.
  6. Serve hot with pickle and pappad.



Murg do pyaza / chicken in onion sauce

Do pyaza means “two onions” which indicates that onions are added 2 times. In this recipe chicken is cooked with lots of onions. This dish is very popular in mughal cuisine. This can be prepared with mutton, fish and also with paneer, ladies finger and so on. There are so many variations for this recipe.

I learnt this recipe from a cookery show when I was studying in college. That was the first recipe which I tried and came out delicious.





Ingredients:


1.       Chicken- ½ kg
2.      Onions- 4nos(2 sliced and 2 roughly chopped)
3.      Green chillies- 4nos
4.      Dry red chillies- 6nos
5.      Turmeric powder- 1tsp
6.      Garam masala powder- 2tsp
7.      Oil- 1tbsp
8.      Jeera- 1tsp
9.      Cashew paste- 2tbsp (optional)

Method:

1.       Heat oil in a kadai. Sauté the sliced onions and 2 dry red chillies and keep aside.
2.      Grind dry red chillies, green chillies, roughly chopped onions, garam masala powder and turmeric powder to a fine paste.
3.      In the kadai heat oil and splutter jeera. Add the above paste and stir well.
4.      Add chicken in the kadai along with salt and mix well. Keep the kadai covered for sometime till the chicken gets cooked.
5.      When the chicken becomes soft, add cashew paste and mix well.
6.      Pour the seasoning in (1) above into the chicken curry.
7.      Enjoy the murgh do pyaza with roti, naan, chapathis, etc.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Beans in Grated Coconut / Beans Thoran

Thoran is a typical kerala recipe. It is served as a side dish for rice. This same recipe can be made with different vegetables. This dish would taste great and more authentic if you use coconut oil. This dish is too easy to make and consumes very less time for preparation.


Ingredients:
  1. Chopped beans- ½ kg
  2. Coconut- 1cup
  3. Green chillies- 3nos
  4. Small onions- 4nos
  5. Mustard seeds- 1tsp
  6. Oil- 1tbsp
  7. Salt- as per taste
  8. Curry leaves- few
  9. Turmeric powder- 1/2tsp

Method:
  1. Grind coconut, onions, and green chillies coarsely.
  2. Pour oil and add mustard seeds. When it pops, add beans, curry leaves and salt and mix well.
  3. Pour little water so that the beans get cooked.
  4. When the water gets drained, add ground coconut mixture and turmeric powder and stir well. Close the lid and let it cook in a low flame for 5minutes.
  5. Serve hot with rice.



Qubani Ka Meeta / Dry Apricot Dessert

Qubani ka meeta is a dessert, originally from Hyderabad, India. Sumptuous feast in Hyderabadi weddings is incomplete without this dessert. Qubani in Urdu means, Apricot. It is prepared with dry apricots. This can be served along with fresh cream or with vanilla ice cream.

My s-i-l is a good cook. Once over phone, she mentioned about this dessert, which she cooked when my brother’s friends were coming home for lunch. She prepared this dessert for the first time and it came out well. So I thought of giving it a try myself. 


We used to eat this very often during our stay in various parts of Andhra. 



Ingredients:
  1. Dry apricots- 200gms
  2. Sugar- 60gms
  3. Water- to boil the apricots
  4. Fresh cream- 50ml

Method:
  1. Boil the apricots in water till it turns soft and remove the seeds.
  2. Mash the apricots and pass the mixture through a strainer to remove fibre.
  3. Add sugar to the apricot pulp and cook till the mixture thickens and become bubbly.
  4. Allow the mixture to cool.
  5. Garnish with almonds and serve it with cream.
  6. I served this with almonds and vanilla ice cream.



Friday, January 7, 2011

Onions in tamarind gravy/ Vengaya Vathal Kozhamb

I ate this dish when we visited a friend’s place. Usually we end up eating dinner whenever we visit them. She is an excellent cook( though she won’t admit thatJ). There is perfection in taste, texture, flavors, etc. in the simple dishes that she makes. I am a big fan of her cooking. I love this curry because of its tanginess.
I have been trying to prepare this dish several times and always something or the other will go wrong. What all queries I have, she helps me out with patience. This time it came out perfect and I am dedicating this dish to my friend.
I had never tasted Tamil Brahmin cuisine before and now I have become a big fan of those preparations. I will soon be posting more recipes from her collection J



Ingredients:
  1. Small Onions/ shallots- 250gms
  2. Gingelly Oil- 1tbsp
  3. Mustard seeds- 1tsp
  4. Curry leaves- few
  5. Asafoetida- a pinch
  6. Chana Dal- 2tbsp
  7. Tamarind – lemon size
  8. Sambar powder- 2-3tbsp

Method:
  1. Soak tamarind in warm water and extract about 2cups of juice.
  2. Heat oil in a kadai and splutter mustard seeds and channa dal. Stir well.
  3. Add onions, curry leaves and asafoetida and mix well till the onions change color and it becomes a little soft.
  4. Pour the tamarind extract and add salt. Let it boil on medium heat till the onions are well cooked.
  5. At last, add the sambar powder and let it cook well. Add a little water if the gravy is too thick. Sambar powder is added as it contains extra spices.
  6. If you feel the tanginess is more you can add a little bit of jaggery.
  7. Serve hot along with rice.

Wheat/Godhamb Dosa with Spicy Onion Chutney (Easy Breakfast Dish)

This one I learnt after I got married. In my in-laws house this dosa is made as evening time tiffin along with chutney. My FIL likes this dosa a lot, so is his son (my Husband). At my home this is made very rarely.
Crispy wheat dosa with spicy onion chutney is a great combination. As this dosa doesn’t require the batter to be fermented or ground in a wet grinder, this can be made quickly at any time as breakfast or dinner. This dosa is really soft and melt in your mouth type. Nowadays whenever I feel lazy, I prepare this dosa for dinner instead of chapathis and we eat this with any curry made for rice.






For Wheat Dosa
Ingredients:

  1. Whole wheat flour- 2cups
  2. Salt- as per taste
  3. Water- to mix the flour
Method:

  1. Mix the above wheat flour and salt along with water in a bowl.
  2. Use an electric blender to mix the batter for a smooth consistency. We can mix this with hand also. Make sure that the batter is lump free.
  3.  Water should be added enough to make a thin batter than a normal dosa batter.
  4. Heat the tava and pour the batter with a spoon and make circles like a regular dosa.
  5. Cook both sides till it turns golden brown. If we want we can use oil on edges of the dosa.
  6. It takes a bit longer time to cook than regular dosa.

Onion Chutney
Ingredients:

  1. Shallots- 9-10 nos
  2. Red chilly powder- 2tsp
  3. Salt- as required
  4. Coconut Oil-1tbsp
Method:

  1. Grind onions coarsely. Put this in a bowl and add the red chilli powder, salt along with coconut oil and mix well.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Easy Chicken Biryani

Biryani is generally made on special occasions, so I thought of making a biryani for New Year. This was made by my husband’s aunt and I prepared it with a bit of improvisation. Biryani is garnished with fried onions, cashews and raisins and served with raita.


Ingredients:
  1. Basmathi rice-4cups
  2. Onions (sliced)- 5nos
  3. Green chillies- 3nos
  4. Ginger- 2tbsp
  5. Garlic- 2tbsp
  6. Tomatoes- 2nos
  7. Curd- ½ cup
  8. Coriander leaves- handful
  9. Garam masala- 1tbsp
  10. Turmeric powder- 1tsp

Method:
  1. Grind green chillies, ginger and garlic coarsely.
  2. Wash and drain  rice. Cook the rice and keep it aside.
  3. Fry onions in a pressure cooker and when it turns golden brown in colour, add the above ground mixture. Mix well.
  4. Now take out some fried onion mix in a bowl and to add later.
  5. Add chopped tomatos, curd and chopped coriander leaves and stir well till everything blends.
  6. Add the washed chicken pieces, garam masala, turmeric powder and salt. Pressure cook till the chicken is cooked.
  7. When the chicken is cooked, add the fried onion mix and let it cook till the water is drained well. Mix in between.
  8. Now layer the rice and chicken masala. At the end of layering, sprinkle the fried onions and cover the entirevessel with a wet cloth.
  9. Heat a tawa and place this large vessel on the tawa and cook on low heat for 5-10 minutes as the rice and masala mixes well.
  10. Now the biryani is ready to be served.

Black Forest Cake

Hello everybody! Hope you had a great start in this year 2011

I thought of welcoming the new year by baking a cake. This is the first time I am making this cake and the frosting.  I searched in all the super markets here for the whipping powder and also the whipping cream, but I couldn’t get it. So I tried using amul cream and whipped it with icing sugar for 10-15 minutes and YIPPPPEEEEEE the whipping cream was ready. The whipping cream and the cake was a total surprise for my Husband J
My love for BF cake started when I was in college. There was a restaurant near my house called “black forest restaurant”, and my friends used to give birthday parties here. In this restaurant, they used to make different varieties of black forest treats. From then on, I started looking out for BFC whenever I used to go to pastry shops.
So here I am, raising a toast to the  new year and a new decade with a Black Forest Cake.


Ingredients:
  1. All purpose flour/Maida- 1 ¼ cup
  2. Cocoa Powder- 2 ½tbsp
  3. Condensed milk- ¾ tin
  4. Baking powder- 1tsp
  5. Baking soda- ½ tsp
  6. Milk- ½ cup
  7. Melted butter- ½ cup
  8. Vanilla essence- 1tsp

For the whip cream filling:
  1. Amul cream-1 small pack (kept in fridge)
  2. Icing sugar- 2tbsp

For Sugar syrup:
  1. Water- ½cup
  2. Sugar- 3tbsp

Method:
  1. Pre heat the oven to 180C. Grease a cake pan with butter and then Maida.
  2. Sift the flour, coco powder, baking powder and soda in a bowl.
  3. Place the butter, vanilla essence and milkmaid in a large mixing bowl and beat with electric beater. Add the above sifted flour mixture and milk little by little and fold till everything is well mixed.
  4. Pour this cake batter in the greased pan and bake for45-50 minutes or until the skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  5. After 5 minutes turn the cake over to a wire rack and let it cool completely.

For the sugar syrup:
  1. In a small sauce over medium heat, combine the sugar and water. 
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.

For the whipping cream frosting:
  1. Beat the icing sugar and amul cream well, till stiff peaks are formed.

For assembling the cake:
  1. Cut the cake horizontally into 3 even layers. Place one portion of cake on serving plate and pour the sugar syrup (we can also sprinkle poached cherries along with sugar syrup) add 1/3 of the whipped cream and spread it with a spatula.
  2. Lay down the 2nd cake portion carefully on top of the first portion and press gently. Sprinkle sugar syrup and spread whipped cream. Top with the last cake slice and press gently and sprinkle the remaining sugar syrup (don’t sprinkle too much of sugar syrup, otherwise the cake will become too soggy) and spread the cream evenly on top and on sides of the cake and smooth it with a spatula.
  3. I decorated this cake with cherries, nutella and chocolate vermicelli.

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