Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hung Yogurt

A really simple, extremely addictive, & tangy dip which is a great add-on to any menu. Its one of those 'quick to put together', 'nothing can go wrong' sorta recipes, which is a great hit and good for finger food. For kids I serve it with chips, and always add veggies like steamed broccoli, cucumber sticks,baby carrots, baby corn etc on the side.
I have to add that the dip is very nutritious when served with veggies!

Sandwich chutney

Sandwich chutney is also the green chutney which is used for almost everything! It is so yummy, sometimes we have it with idli, dosai also!



Curried bean or rajma wrap

Wonderful colorfull healthy wrap that is super simple to bring together.
Light yet filling meal. Pack your child’s lunch box with these protein rich wraps or cut them and serve as appetizers.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kozhakatai & appam

Sankatahara Chaturthi is the fourth day of the waning lunar phase after the full moon. Sankashti means liberation during difficult times and therefore observing this fast is believed to reduce problems and seek the blessings of Lord Ganesh. If Sankashti Chaturthi falls on Tuesday, it is known as Angaraki Chaturthi or Angaraka Chaturthi. Angaraki is the other name of Mangal or Kuja or Chevaai or Bhauma (planet Mars).
Traditionally, Kozhakattai or modak are made on this day.
Sankata literally means “problems or worries” and Hara means “removing or eliminating”, therefore Sankata Hara Chadurthi or Sankatahara Chadurthi is a day to invoke the blessings of Lord Ganesh to remove all problems in life. 
 
How to perform Sankashti Chaturthi Puja & Vrat?

Devotees observe fast for the whole day and conclude it after moonrise. After taking a bath in the evening, Lord Ganesh is worshipped with Durva (a variety of very fine grass). Aarti is taken and the Naivedyam is offered to Lord Ganesha. Then Lord Moon is worshipped and the fast is broken by offering meal to Brahmin. Reciting prayers of Lord Ganesh form an important part of the Sankashti fast. Ganesh Gayatri, Ganesh Ashtothram Shatanamavali (108 Names), and Ganesh Atharvashirsha Avartan are the main mantras recited while observing Ganesha Sankatahara Chaturthi Vrata. Observing this fast brings happiness and fulfills one’s desires.

I used to stay on fasting till the pooja gets over, and complete my fasting with the Modak, and appam, that I prepare on this day!

For Modak


Sankatahara Chaturthi!



Mooshika Vahana
Mooshika vaahana modhaha hastha
Chamara karna vilambitha suthra
Vamana rupa maheswara puthra
Vigna vinayaka padha namaste

Namavali
Pahi pahi Gajanana
Parvathi thanaya gajanana

Spice Translation

India is a land of 15 official languages and 1568 dialects, so the list of food items in India is a never-ending list. Here is a collection of food names that are widely recognized and commonly used in Indian cooking.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Potato Sandwich

After the weekend, another new week has just started! 
I wanted to make something heavy for breakfast today! I had not tried potato sandwich, so I gave a try to it! It came out so well, and also we feel quite heavy after it!



Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rice Gheer

I had made this on my birthday. I remember my mom making gheer on all of our birthdays. She makes different types of gheer. Although only the main one ingredient differs, and they all taste mostly the same and always yummy!I used to have this big job of drinking the gheer when my mom made this. Always wondered if I would be making all this if I have to do on my own? Sounded weird to me, and now my mom gave me the feeling using the same old stuffs and still making it to taste similar to my mom's taste is not so tough!
So I make this only on our anniversary and all of our birthdays! My little Sundari loves it a lot, so make more than I want for a day and store it for her for couple of days!

Here, I was quite conscious of calories, so made with low fat milk. And to my surprise, everyone asked if I made out of milkmaid. It came out toooo yummy!

Serving: 
6-8 people



Friday, June 25, 2010

Gobi Manchurian (dry ) - a tantalising appetizer

It is friday, weekend mood!  Some nice food to cook before weekend getaways. I was so confused in deciding, then saw some cauliflowers. Another yummy day with gobi manchurian. So instead of making like baji, I want to make an appetizer.
Dry Gobi Manchurian is a tantalizing Indian Chinese appetizer and very different from the gravy version. The Cauliflower has a crispy coating and is tossed with a mouth-watering spicy sauce. It can be picked up with a fork and enjoyed with cocktails or before a meal. Although it is dry, sometimes we have it along with rotis.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Onion Thogayal

Everytime I make chutneys for idli and dosai. It has become a routine side dish. We had a very heavy lunch and I thought I would make a not a heavy side dish! I also don't have much time, and something different frmo the routine one. Then I thought I would prepare onion thogayal, which is one of my favorite made by my grandmother.


Chocolate cake - - - pleasure to every one

These days, I am very fond of cooking and esp., baking is more fun! I am just a starter, and feel there are plenty more things to learn everyday. I seem to be getting involved more day by day! It was 4 months since I tried my first sponge cake. And then this year I want to celebrate with my own cakes. And now it is my birthday, I love chocolate flavors. Who dont like it? I made this chocolate cake, and it turned out extremly well!
I had couple of my friends for a lunch at my home with their kid. And to my surprise the kids were licking every bit of cake served to them.

Chocolate Cake
 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tapioca Puzhukku with Banana podimas

Prep time 60 min
cooking time 15 min

fresh Tapioca - 2 Big pieces
turmeric powder 1/2 tspn
water to cook 4-5 cups
coconut oil
curry leaves

To make a coarse paste
frozen or fresh coconut -
1 cup
red dry chilli - 3-4 pieces  
green chilli - 2 pieces
cumin seeds - 1 tspn
Grind the above to make a coarse mix.
 
Take the Tapioca, Peel the skin completely. If you do not like its irritation in your hand, apply coconut oil in your hand and then peel.
Now cut into 2 halves. In the center there will be the root(thread like) peel that off completely.
After peeling the skin, still there will be a thin layer which needs to be removed. (It is like a layer covering up, if you start peeling on one side it gets off like a banana skin.

Now, add this to 3 cups of boiling water. Let it stay for 2-3 mins. Then drain the water off. Now cut into 1/2 cubes, and add 2 1/2 cups of water. To it add turmeric powder and bring it to boil. Let it go for 5 mins.

Now add the ground paste to it and let it cook for another 5-8 mins.
In a small pan, add 2 tspn coconut oil and slightly fry curry leaves and to the puzhuku.
The puzhukku is ready, and it tastes good on the same day. It gets too mushy for consequent days.
Banana podimas goes well with this. And it can be prepared in no time.
 
Ingredients
4 unripe banana
coconut - 2 tspn
Urad dhall - 4 tspn
asafoetida - 1/4 tspn
coriander seeds - 1/4 tspn
red dry chillies - 10 pieces
curry leaves - 1 bunch
oil - 2tspn for frying
 
Cook the banana in cooker for 5 -8 mins. Once cooked, remove and peel the skin away.
Slightly mash the banana or can be cut into small pieces.
Now add this to the pan to fry with the masala powder.

Heat oil in a pan, add coriander seeds then add Urad dhall, fry untill it turns to golden color.Then add coconut, asafoetida, chillies for about 1 min.
Grind this to a slightly coarse powder.
Add this masala powder to the cooked banana in the pan.
And curry leaves, simmer and cook for 2 mins.
Now Banana podimas is ready to served with Puzhuku.
The puzhukku can be made gravy and had with rice(like sambar). Or it can be had like a poriyal with less water. 

Facts about Tapioca:
  • Low in Saturated Fat, Sodium, and Cholesterol
The nutritional value of tapioca makes it somewhat suitable for:
  • Weight gain
Avoid including tapioca in your diet if you're interested in:
  • Weight loss
  • Maintaining optimum health

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

sambar Powder

Sambar Powder

Red chilli powder - 1/2 kg
Coriander seeds - 1 kg
Turmeric - 200 gm
Black pepper - 100 gm
Toor Dhal - 400 gm
Gram dhal - 25 gm
Cumin - 25 gm
Fenugreek - 5gm



Lightly roast each of the above and grind together into a fine powder. This is Sambar powder.
Store in a air tight container at room temperatur.

Paruppu Sambar

Sambar is an almost everyday menu for SouthIndias (esp., tamil people). This is easiest way to prepare sambar.

Prep Time: 70 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins

Ingredients
Okra - 10-12 pieces (chopped into 1/2 sizes)
(can be replaced with chayote, white/ yellow pumpkin, Radish, Drumstick, or Onion)
Sambar masala powder - 1 tbspn
Turmeric - 1/5 tspn
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tspn
Asafoetida - 1/4 tspn
Tamarind water - 1/2 cup
Cooked Toor dhal - 1 1/2 cup
Oil - 4 tbsp

Garnishing
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tspn
Urad dhal - 1/2 tspn
Curry leaves - 2 bunches
Corriander leaves - 1 bunch
Oil - 1 tbsp

1. Add oil to pan and add fenugreek seeds, after it turns color add the cut vegtables. To this add the Asafoetida and fry this for a minute.  Add the Tamarind water. ( I add fresh tamarind to water and make it to boil. Take this water)
2. To this add the sambar powder, turmeric powder, salt  and let it cook for 15 mins.
3. Mash the cooked dhal and add to the above sambar.
4. Let this cook for another 10 mins.
5. In another saute pan, crackle mustard seeds with 1 tspn oil, then add the urad dhall and curry leaves. Once it turns golden, add to the sambar.
6. Now it is ready to serve along with the rice.

I usually do not add coriander leaves, as I cannot keep the sambar for more than a day. If you intend to use the sambar in a day, then you can add.

Vadu Mangai (Baby raw mango)

By hearing the word pickles, all our mouth waters. And to me, vadu manga is the king of pickles. I love to eat vadu mangai with any of my foods.It is very easy to prepare. If it is preserved properly, we can have the vadu mangai for about an year.

Ingredients:
Vadu Mangai  - 5 kg
Caster oil - 50 - 100 ml
salt - 350 - 500gm
Asafoetida - 25gm
Mustard - 25gm
Red chilli powder - 50 gm

1. Wash the vadu mangai nicely and apply the caster oil nicely on all the vadu mangai. The more the oil the better it is.
2. Add the salt and keep it aside. I prefer little salty for the pickle, so I add 500gm for the pickle. 
3. Grind the Mustard along with Asafoetida (paste or powder) and along with the chilli powder add to the vadu mangai.
4. This can be preserved upto 1year. 

Note: After few days, the mangai will tend to shrink, then it is ready to eat.





Monday, June 7, 2010

Traditional Thirst Quencher

Buttermilk is ready to make in a minute thirst quencher. Especially during summer, not just as thirst quencher but also cools your body to a great extent.

Ingredients


Curd - 1cup
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Cumin powder - 1tspn
salt  - 2 tspn
Curry leaves - 1 bunch
Coriander leaves - 1 bunch
Green chillies - 1-2 cut lengthwise
Lemon - 1tspn

1. Beat the curd with 2 cups of water.
2. Take curry leaves, coriander leaves, and green chilli and rub ingredients together with fingers in the glass untill its spice is dissolved in the buttermilk.
3. Now add the asafoetida, cumin powder and salt. Also add lemon if required.

Some facts about buttermilk;
Cultured buttermilk is lower in fat and calories than regular milk because the fat from buttermilk has already been removed to make butter. It is high in potassium, vitamin B12 and calcium. Buttermilk is more easily digestible than whole milk and it also contains more lactic acid than skim milk. Due to being more easily digestible (a result of the bacteria added to the milk), protein and calcium can be taken up more easily by the body. There are 99 kilocalories and 2.2 grams of fat in one cup of buttermilk (fat content may be different with some buttermilk brands, as some brands are made with skim milk while others are made with reduced fat milk), as opposed to whole milk that has 157 kilocalories and 8.9 grams of fat.

Chick-pea Salad

Craving for some spicy snack?

Chick pea salad is a wonderful chat. It is an amazing tease of contrasts. Sour yet sweet. The bite of onion with the smoothness of chickpeas. The mineralization of rock salt with the tartness of mango powder and lime juice. It is an amazing dish.



Madras Mixture

Mixture is a very nice snack, although it is quite time consuming. We prepare this for every Diwali and keep for almost couple of months.


Prep Time 30 mins
cook'g time 75 mins

Ingredients
Red chillies - 15 to 25 (15 for more heat, and 25 for HOT)
pea nuts - 1 cup
Curry leaves - 3 bunches
Cashew - 1/4 cup
Bengal gram - 1/2 cup (optional - I do not like this)

for boondhi
Gram flour - 2cups
oil - 1/4 kg
Salt - 1 tsb
Water 2 cups
Perforated spoon

for murukku
2cups Rice flour
1/2cup Gram flour
2tsp moong dhal flour
2tsp Butter
2tsp Cumin seeds + sesame seeds
1+1/2tsp Red chilly powder
Oil
Salt

for sev
Gram flour - 2cups
oil - 1/4 kg
Salt - 1 tsb
Water 1 cups
Sev press

Boondhi

1. Take 2 glasses of gram flour, and add 2 cups of water and mix it well until there
are no dumplings.
2. Add half a table spoon of salt. And mix it well. The batter should be slightly
thinner to the Idli batter.
3. It is very important to use a perforated spoon. The holes should not be too big
or too small.
4. Heat oil in a wide pan until smoky.
5. Hold the spoon 1 inch above the oil and pour some batter on the spoon. Tap very
lightly at edge of spoon to allow small droplets to fall in the oil. (If the
batter is watery, then the it will not fall as balls or if the batter is not
falling through the spoon then add little water to the boondi to fall down in
round shape)
6. Keep adding the boondi in oil until the pan is entirely filled.
7. Stir the boondis in the oil gently and fry till crisp but not brown. Drain and
Keep it aside.
8. Repeat this until you finish with the entire batter.

Sev

1. Mix the gram flour and water by adding salt. The batter should be gooey sticky dough.
2. Grease hands with some oil for ease in handling dough. Grease the inside cylinder of press.
Fill with dough and screw the top tight.
3. Heat oil in heavy large frying pan. Hold the press about 8 inches above the hot oil. When it is hot, proceed to press and drop the dough through the press.
Move your hands in circular motion to make a circle and keep coming in to
form smaller circles and finish off when you come to center. You may cut off the dough with your fingers.
4. Cook for about a minute or so. Then carefully flip over the sev with a fork. Cook another minute, do not allow to become golden. Remove the sev when it still looks undone and whitish. Place on kitchen paper to drain and cool.
5. Repeat till all the dough is used up.
Store as is, or crush to small pieces.
Store in an air tight container.

Mullu Murukku
1. Mix all the ingredients above and add water untill becomes soft dough, it might be bit sticky, grease ur palms to avoid stickiness..
2. Use the murukku press with star nozzle.. heat the oil for deepfrying, meanwhile take a small portion from dough n squeeze out over a greased plate in circular shape
3. drop the murukku in the medium hot oil n fry on both sides until they turns brown, drain the excess of oil with paper towel.
4.Now, brake murukkus into small ones, and mix with bondhi and sev. Fry the red chillies and grind to soft powder, add salt, asafoetida, and add to the above mixture.
5.Fry the curry leaves, cashew and pea nuts separately until crispy and add to the mixture.
6. Store in a air tight container and served for more than a month.

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