Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Onion Raita

Onion raita is the common raita or pachhadi. In southindian meals, thayir pachadi is part of the meal. Also in northindian meals, they are served as raita. Just the garnishing is different in both of them.
In my house, curd or yogurt is a must after every meal in the day time. I either serve in the form of raita or we take as simple curd. Ofcourse, I prefer home made curd. I do not like that creamy or the sticky flavor of the curd. So I make at home. The store bought yogurt does not taste the same as we get in Aavin. Here, they add guar gum or xanthum gum. So, if you have kids who love to eat curd, then take that little effort to make them at home. You can prepare by boiling the milk in microwave too. Its not much an effort, just the calculation of boiling the milk.

When choosing to prepare onion raita, I always like to use small onions and not the pearl onions. When I was in US, during the initial days, I used to buy the pearl onions and wondered why it tasted different here. Then I started buying shallots. I just love the shallots even for my upma.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Carrot Almond Gheer

Gheer or Payasam is made on auspisious days, birthdays, & anniversaries. So if you are a 6 member family including grand parents, am sure to prepare payasam at least once a month. I always get bored with vermicilli or rice or poha. So I prepare the carrot badam payasam or beetroot payasam on any one such occasions.

Basically, I am not fond of gheer. When my mom used to prepare gheer, I never have it the same day. But, Sundar is just the other way. He loves gheer, and it gets exhausted very soon. Both my kids love to have gheer. I always make a savory to my craving when all others have the sweet @ my place.

Chilli Parotta | Kothu Parotta

It is more than 18 months since I visited India. When this time gap increases, you begin to crave more for the authentic local dishes, events, and meeting people. You cannot make the events happen here very like it happens in India neither can you have all of them here. At-least, we can prepare the foods we crave for. This way, I have satisfied myself with the road-side foods I eat there.

It is so much fun to be with your friends, watch the road side vehicles, stay in the fresh air. And wait with the watering mouth for the food to be served. Especially, if you are living near the beach side, then you will never like to relocate to any part of the world. The bajjis, sundal, tender coconut, cotton candy, chats, etc., cannot be replaced.

Chilli Parotta is one such food, which brings some nostalgic moments. I was telling all my childhood stories during my preparation to my daughter. Well, I would exaggerate quite many things and she enjoys them.

The easiest way to prepare is to use the frozen parottas. One of my friends, asks me why don't you buy chilli parotta itself from store instead of buy frozen parottas and preparing. I always prefer fresh ones, so I do not even buy the parotta from shop. I preapre at home and store in the fridge and use it the following day or within a week. If you are trying the first time, you can try with frozen parottas.

Paneer Butter Masala | Party style

Let's talk about Paneer Butter Masala today. Not just any kind, the kind that you get in Indian restaurants. Why? Its one of most wanted recipes for almost all of us once in a while.

Sundar likes it so much so do I. Little girl comes frequently to pick a piece of the paneer from the masala. When you hit the search button for paneer butter masala, you get pages and pages of recipe. Almost all will be similar, but not all will give you the taste from the restaurant. 

In most Indian restaurants, dishes are more creamy and have thicker gravy. The reason is very simple - they use cream. Also they use food colors for most of the dishes to get the rich color. When I cook on day to day basis, I do not appreciate both the above. But when you prepare for the party, use of cream enhances the taste.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Preparations for Navaratri

It is Navaratri time, today being the eve to the Navaratri, the Mahalaya Amavasai. Today is the Auspisious day to arrange the Navaratri dolls. This is an important event in India, especially for the women. Colorful dolls and clay statues of Indian Gods, common folk etc are neatly arranged on wooden or steel mounted steps "padis". Varieties of sundal are made on the nine days and neighbors and friends are invited to view the Navaratri and take Thambulam.

It is really great fun to have your friends invited to your home like a get together. Isn't this so close to living in India-having the best of both worlds. I am sure that several other cities that have a siginificant number of
Indians like California, Austin/Dallas in Texas etc have their own Indian community.

Just the word Navaratri calls to my mind the childhood days. We lived in apartment and golu was not kept in all the hosues.  Those navaratri days as a kid with my friend priya, we used to go to all the house on all the days. Sundals from different homes used to be our dinner. If priya looks into this, I'm sure it bring the same nostalgic memories.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chilled Guacamole Soup

Slowly the sun peeps in the windows and makes and creates a warm climate. I always find hard to wake from my bed whether it is summer or winter. But who wants to miss even a tiny bit of summer. Of-course, not I love to play outside with my kids or with my SH. It is fun in the sun.

I always like to make my foods and recipes season specific at my place. We have soups in winter time and salads in summer. Also insist on low calorie food in winter. I came across this guacamole soup. I am so nuts about Avocado and anything about it. So wanted to try it out and we loved it. My daughter do not like plain avocados, so I made like with less spice for her and more cheesy. You would surely like it, if you are a lover of avocados like us.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Road-side Serva | Salna | Kurma

The Serva or Salna are usually served with Parottas or very rarely with Biriyanis. And they taste the best only on the road-side shops. The road-side shops serve the serva along with the parottas. They are also served in some country sides in TN. There is a road that goes from venkatnarayana road to T.nagar, a shop opens every night at 9.00 pm. They make wonderful variety of dosas, parottas and some days biriyanis too. In that one of them specializes in vegetarian food.

When I was talking to India, my aunt always watches the recipe program that comes in tamil channel and she makes note of few things. I give it a try, and tell her how it was and let her to try. This was one of that. But it was noted down 4-5 months back. Suddenly when I was surfing around my notepads, I saw this and I tell you it is just easy to try. As it takes basic ingredients which we will have in our daily cooking, so no big preparation is required.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Kerala Parotta

Have you had road side parottas with the gravy called Salna or Serva, have you had beach side bajjis? I just do not care anything around for these parottas or bajjis or even the masala sundal I eat outside. But ofcourse, they do cause some stomach upsets and some allergies too!

My SH just loves this Serva and he has a very big story behind eating serve. Well, he always has stories for everything and my lil girl loves to hear every bit of his story. I have always wondered how could one narrate such creative stories and Hasini has begun to narrate her own stories these days!

The Parottas I made were soft and fluffy. I also prefer not to use the baking soda for my casual cooking. Although, for some preparations like Parotta or rava idli we ought to use, still I excuse the the final texture in not using the baking soda. Here, am posting the recipe with baking soda as that is the usual procedure and if you want you can avoid it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fresh Home baked Bread without Machine

When I step out to buy any grocery, I get confused with too much of options these days. One such confusions comes in choosing the yeast I buy. I wanted to look into what each yeast is for and what major variations they could bring?

Some facts from the web, the particular brand which I buy has these options for the type of yeast to choose;

Cake (moist) - the traditional live yeast; needs to be dissolved in water
Active dry - the traditional dry yeast; needs to be dissolved usually with a bit of sugar
Instant - contains a bit of yeast enhancer (citric acid, maybe some other stuff?) and is possibly more concentrated than active dry; does not need to be dissolved
Bread Machine - exactly the same as instant in a different package
Rapid Rise - larger amount of yeast enhancers and other packaging changes to the granules. Does not have to be dissolved. Works very fast and is intended for straight doughs that you want to complete within an hour or so. Generally not used by artisan bakers who seek slower, not faster, rise.

The confusing part is that some manufacturers reverse the meaning of "instant" and "rapid rise", and vary on which they call "bread machine".

Monday, June 18, 2012

Thank You and a Giveaway

Sweet Karam Kapi is celebrating 2 years in the Blogging World and approaching the "200th" post. I would like to celebrate this great occasion with all you out there. There is a surprise for that one lucky person out there.

I would like to start with a thank you to all my SweetKaramKapi readers, visitors, & co-bloggers. You all have supported me till here today. Just your visit to my blog means so much, and thanks for all your valuable comments and suggestions. I can no other answer make, but Thanks, and thanks. I registered in blogger quite earlier and never began to start blogging. But, it took me about an year to get into the world of blogging and meet such wonderful people. I had started with a very slow journey but a steady one indeed. The max support has come from my family of course, thanks to dear sundar and my sweetheart daughter. She is the first person who appreciates my photo work. Well, her appreciation had made me feel so happy so many days. A Big thank you again to all you who reading now and tomorrow. As a token of appreciation, I would like to have this giveaway. There are quite some reasons to have this giveaway, which I'm approaching my blog second anniversary, & 200th post. I did not know what to choose, finally I have ended up with the one below. This is a World wide giveaway open till August, 2012 and I can ship it to anywhere you live in this world. Anyone can participate in this if you fulfill the following requirements. The aim is to reach 200 blogger friends with equal facebook likes.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tomato Soup - The Restaurant Style

Some recipes, we do not want to deviate even a bit from the restaurant or the traditional ones. Somehow, I do not prefer even enhancements in the recipes. Such recipes are also always on the top wanted list of our food choices. One such is the tomato soup, I have hunted for some recipe in so many, so many places but never came to my satisfaction. The below recipe was shared from one of my friends, who's friend is a chef. And he shares the tricks and hints to restaurant style flavors.

I'm always fond of Hot and sour soup, but somehow love to taste and enjoy the tomato soup every-time. In many times, I have tasted more of sugar in the soup. I do not like the sugar taste in anything but sweets.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Instant Oats dosa

Oats dosa is quite similar to rava dosa in preparation and cooking. These dosas have their own unique taste which differentiate from the rava dosa. Especially the nice aroma that comes while cooking them. I have seen recipes for oats dosa which calls for grinding the oats along with rice and urad dhal. But oats should be something that lends a helping hand to have instantly. I tried Oats dosa like rava dosa or wheat dosa and it did come as great as a rava dosa.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

My Best Cake...

The final day of my course 2 was  yesterday. Always, it was fun gathering there and chit chat while learning the techniques. I have always wondered if I would be able to prepare some nice cakes. I mean a neatly decorated cake. Even at the beginning of the last class, I never imagined I could make a nice decorated cake. But, I took back my opinion, when I could make a cake like this,

This is my best cake ever till now. When I prepare the cake, I was waiting to decorate and cut soon. As the cake is a vennila cake with Strawberry Marshmallow Mousse filling. I loved the filling and it tasted to good when I prepared them. But when I decorated the cake, I never had the mind to cut the cake :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Masala Papad Rolls

Papad snacks are so tasty and very yummy to eat. I used to prepare the masala papads as starter. I love to prepare this papad roll with your kind of stuffing. For kids, you can fill with paneer masala or veggie masalas. I generally make the masalas with potatoes.

Papads with potato masala are light to have and goes on great with the Urad dhal papad. I made this as a starter for my son's birthday party. Everyone loved the starter, unfortunately there was only one for each. They are simple and easy to prepare on a everyday basis.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Guava rice

Guava is such a great fruit, which is hardly seen here. I remember those childhood days, when we had a guava tree which gave enormous amount of fruits. We used to distribute them to all our friends in our neighborhood.  It is as sweet as sugar. I never knew the greatness of the fruit then as much we know now.

Recently, I heard from a relation to my husband was just saying about the recipe he made (70+ old man) was Guava rice. As he is a diabetic patient, he was sharing all the healthy recipes that he prepares to support his health. Since then I wanted to try this guava rice. And its almost 7months, only now I have this recipe ready for you.

Guava rice taste similar to coconut rice.  Since this rice is made to be part of healthy diet, I have included only such ingredients. You can modify, include more or exclude anything to suit your taste. But this recipe as such is just delectable.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Manoharam Kombu

The first functions for my kids happened here in USA thousands of miles away from my home town. I know I missed all of them there in India, but there were quite many things that I did not want to compromise during these functions were the specials things that we prepare for the functions, our traditional attire, the homam we perform and other rituals. One of the foods that we prepare for the occasion is the 'Paruppu thengai Koodu' and they can be filled with quite many things.

The Kombu adorns in the special occasions like marriage, house warming, seemantham, Ayushomama, Upnayanam etc. In all these occasions, it is shaped as cone and other times, they can be made in the form of balls.

I first prepared the Gunjaladdu for my daughter's Ayushomam and now for my son's Ayushomam, I have prepared Manoharam.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Class cakes - Basic Yellow Cake

I have started with more of baking these days. I should say I have begun to bake a cake moderately well and frost it well too! What to do after that? I am confused at this stage without much ideas. I have made varieties of cakes with chocolate shavings, black forest cake, fresh fruit cake & even dry fruit cake. I have seen many beautifully decorated cakes. I have wondered how they were made.

I browsed to find the basic cake class. And I came across Michaels' offering the Wilton's Cake Decorating class. And I have joined the course 1. The classes are so useful for any curious learner. We’ve learned to make the frosting, frost a pre-baked cake and also a few decorating techniques. It isn’t as hard as I thought it would be, I’m thoroughly enjoying. For all the cakes I’ve baked till now, I’ve used a whipped cream frosting, so the usual butter-cream frosting is new to me. The one taught in the class is very tasty indeed and is white as snow.
After going here, I really wonder so many ideas, and techniques and so many possibilities.

My instructor asked to use a boxed cake mix and not to use ready to use icing. But I have never preferred boxed cake mix nor the ready to use icing. I always loved to make the cake at home, as well learning the icing and preparing it every time helps you to overcome the mistakes we might make.

I have made cup cakes and cakes. For the cakes, I prepared the Basic yellow cake recipe from Wilton's Basic Yellow cake

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