Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hi Everyone!!!. I hope all of you had a wonderful Navarathri celebration more importantly the 'sundal celebration'. I'm sure you would have all geared up for the next festival, Diwali. My mother made lots of bhakshanams(sweets and savories) during all festivals and more importantly diwali. However I didn't ever care to taste any of them.Mainly becoz I was all alone at home and there wasn't anyone to give me company. However, when my sisters were around, we all had a blast. Gone are the days when diwali was so much fun. After we came to the US, diwali is more like any other normal day, except that we ate some homemade sweets, wore a new dress and of course made calls to India (unable to hear each other due to the noise of fire works) and finally rushing to office. But this year I think we could add some color to diwali as it comes on a saturday. Here is one of the savory that my mother prepares for diwali and it has always been a hit. I made this for navarathri this year. It came out so well that I'm thinking of making the second batch the coming weekend.


Here's the recipe for Homemade Mixture:





Ingredients for Bhoondhi:


Besan Flour(Chick Pea Flour) - 1 1/2 cup
Rice Flour - 1/2 cup
Cooking soda - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
water - as required


Ingredients for thin Sev:


Besan Flour(Chick Pea Flour) - 1 cup
Rice Flour - 1 cup
Salt - 1 tsp
water - as required


Other Ingredients:


oil for frying - 2 cups
Thick Rice Flakes(Aval) - 2 tbsp(optional)
Peanut - 2 tbsp(optional)
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 tbsp
salt - 1 tsp
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Asafoetida - 4 pinches
Roasted Channa Dhal -  2 tbsp


Method:


For Bhoondhi:


1. Mix the above said ingredients for bhoondhi.
2. Add water such that the batter is slightly thinner than pancake consistency(should be like a bajji batter).
3.Pour oil in a pan and heat the pan.
4. When the oil is smokey hot, pour the batter slowly on a flat ladle that has small pores in them. I used the one in the below picture.





5. Using another ladle (as shown in the picture), gently make circular motions on top of the batter that is there in the porous ladle.
6. U should be able to see minute pebbles dropping in the oil. Pour as mush as the pan can hold(just one layer should be fine).
7. Let it stay undisturbed for sometime. Turn them over only once. When the oil stops making the bubble sound, remove the bhoondhi from oil and place them on top of an absorbent paper.
8. Repeat the steps with rest of the batter.


For thin Sev:


1. Mix all the ingredients mentioned for sev.
2. Add very little water and make a thick dough, similar to a poori dough.
3. Heat oil in a wide pan.
4.Put the dough into a sev press and squeeze them onto hot oil making big circle(as big as the pan can hold).





5. Leave them for a 2 min and turn them over. Remove from oil once the oil stops making bubble sound.
6. Place them in absorbent paper.
7. Repeat the procedure with rest of the dough.


Frying other ingredients:


1. In the same oil pour the rice flakes and fry them for a min. Drain and place them on absorbent paper.
2. Now add cashews and fry them till golden brown.
3. Then goes peanuts and curry leaves.







Mixing all prepared items:


1. Now spread a big sheet of paper(I used newspaper) and pour the sev, bhoondhi, fried rice flakes, peanuts, cashews and curry leaves. 
2. Mix them together after adding chilli powder, salt, asafoetida and ghee.
3.If need be u can crush the sev to smaller pieces.
4. Store them in an airtight container.





For some reason I don't like to eat them separately. I usually make this as a side dish for sambhar rice, rasam rice, curd rice, etc.


This savory is participating in Sara’a event- Sweet and savories event.


Enjoy!!!


Soy Wadi Fry

I got this recipe from one of my friend. She offered this to us when we had been to her home for lunch. She said that it tastes like chicken fry(she became a veg. after marriage).





Ingredients:



Dry Soy Wadi - 1 cup
Chilli Powder(I used kashmiri chilli powder) - 1 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Cumin Powder -1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
oil - 2 tbsp
salt - as required
water -  as required
coriander leaves -  for garnishing


Method:


1. Soak the soy wadi in warm water for 1 min.
2. Add turmeric powder and salt and cook this in microwave high for 5 min with the lid closed.
3. Allow it to cool. It should have absorbed all the water. If not drain excess water.
4. Add chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, ginger garlic paste and mix them well.
5. Let this stay in the refrigerator freezer section for 2 hrs for it to incorporate the spices.
6. After 2 hrs remove from the refrigerator and allow it to settle for 15 min.
7.Mix oil and fry it in microwave high for 10 min. U can increase the timing to 15 min if u want them crispy.
8.Alternatively u can fry them on stove top just like any other curry.
9. Garnish with coriander leaves.
I offered this to my 1.5 yr old and she loved it. I'm sure you would know the nutritional value of Soy and how good it is for kids.


This recipe is participating in Srivalli's Kid's delight event and also in Srivalli's-MEC event.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Paal Kozhukattai" is one recipe that's been carried forward from generations in our family. My mom said that she learnt this from her grand mom. I prepared this on the first day of Navrathri. I'm waiting for my daughter to grow up so that I could pass this on to her. Here's the recipe for u.



Ingredients:


Raw Rice - 3/4 cup
Jaggery - 1 cup powdered jaggery.(Add water and filter them if required).
grated coconut - 1/4 cup
water - as required
saffron - 4 or 5 strings
cardamom powder - 4 pinches


Method:


1. Soak the raw rice for 2 hrs.
2. Grind them to a smooth and thick paste.
3. Add 1/2 cup of jaggery and 1 1/2 cups of water to this ground paste and mix them well.
4. Pour this mixture in a broad pan(preferably nonstick) and cook this in medium flame until the mixture becomes thick. (to a consistency wherein u could make balls with the cooked mixture).
5.Allow this mixture to cool.
6. Now make small balls out of this dough mixture(1 cm dia)
7. In the same broad pan pour rest of the jaggery and add 2 1/2 cups of water, boil this in medium flame and allow the jaggery to melt. Filter the solution if need be.
8. Now add the balls that u had prepared in step 6.
9. Let this cook for sometime, till the dough balls becomes twice its original size.
10. Grind the coconut to a smooth paste by adding little water.
11. Pour this paste to the boiling mixture.
12. Let it cook for 5 more min.
13.Add cardamom and saffron.
14. U can serve this either hot or cold.





I'm sending this to the following events




EC’s WYF-Festive treats


Shanthi’s -Sweets for festivals


Sara’a event- Sweet and savories

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Here are some of the health benefits of oats that I've tried to paste from wikipedia.


* Oat bran is the outer casing of the oat. Its consumption is believed to lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol, and possibly to reduce the risk of heart disease.
* Dietary oats can help lower cholesterol
* Oats contain more soluble fiber than any other grain, resulting in slower digestion and an extended sensation of fullness.
* Oat is the only cereal containing a globulin or legume-like protein, avenalin, as the major (80%) storage protein.


I have just picked some from the site. Having realized the health benefit of oats, we at home started to have oats as the morning breakfast. The other reason was it was also so easy to make. We tried various flavors of oats and at one point I decided to switch to the plain Quaker oats. I cooked oats on stove top and we started to have this in porridge consistency. Like anyone else my husband always needed some change in the menu and he resisted to have oats everyday. So I switched to a flavored cereal. The poor oats bag lay untouched for months together. I never bothered to make this again.


Last Friday, I decided to make pesarattu and soaked green gram. Suddenly a thought clicked me "why not add oats to this batter". That's how "Green Gram and Oats Dosa" was born. 


Ingredients: 


Whole green gram with skin - 1 cup
onion - 2 medium size
ginger - 1 inch
green chillies - 5
salt - as required
raw rice - 4 tbsp
oats - 4 tbsp


For topping: 


cut onions - 1/2 cup
finely cut green chillies - 1 tbsp
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
oin - 1 tbsp 


Method: 


1. Soak green gram and rice together in water for at least 10 hrs.
2.Grind with onion, ginger, green chillies and oats to a smooth paste. Add salt at the end of grinding.
3. Heat oil and cumin seeds. Then add onion and green chillies.
4.Heat a heavy dosa pan.
5.Pour batter in the center and spread them to sides in circular motion.
6.Add oil around the dosa.
7. Sprinkle the onion mixture on the top and press it with laddle.
8.Fry it in medium flame till dosa becomes crisp.
9.Fold and serve hot with a chutney of your choice.









I'm sending this to 
My legume love affair-15,this edition hosted by Sia of Monsoon spice,an event started by Susan.

I usually make Red Chilli Rice when I there is no stock of green chilli in my refrigerator and also am tired of all the masala spicy items. I added sprouted green gram so that this dish could also participate in My legume love affair-15,this edition hosted by Sia of Monsoon spice,an event started by Susan. 


So here it is for you all to give a try.


Red Chilli, Green Gram Rice





Ingredients:


Basmathi Rice - 1 cup
Large Onion - 2
(Following vegetables has to be cut lengthwise and measured after that)
Potato - 1/4 cup
Green Peppers - 1/4 cup
Cabbage - 1/4 cup
spring onions - 1/4 cup
carrot - 1/4 cup
oil - for frying
Ajinomoto - 1 tsp
salt - as required
sprouted whole green gram -  1/4 cup 


To be ground:


Dry red chilli - 8 nos
Garlic - 4 


Method:


1. Wash the basmathi rice and soak it for 10 min.=
2. Soak the red chilli for 10 min and grind it along with garlic to a smooth paste.
3. Pressure cook the basmathi rice and spread this in a plate by adding little ghee. Let this cool.
4. Add little oil in a wide pan and heat it in medium flame.
5.Add onion and fry until translucent.
6. Now add beans, potato, carrot, cabbage, soaked green gram, green peppers, spring onions in 5 min interval.
7. Add ajinomoto to the vegetables.
8. Once the vegetables are cooked add the ground chilli and onion paste and salt.





9. Add the steamed rice and let this stay for 5 more min in low flame.
10. Serve hot with any kind of raita.









I'm sending this to 
My legume love affair-15,this edition hosted by Sia of Monsoon spice,an event started by Susan.
and also joining Lakshmi for her ‘Think spice –Think red chillies’ event,an event to appreciate the goodness of spices,started by Sunitha..




Monday, September 21, 2009

Pina Colada:


I have been looking at 'Mexican Fiesta 2009' for a week and have been thinking of some kind of contribution from my end. The idea of 'Pina Colada' popped up in my mind coz thats one of the favorite drink when I go to any Mexican restaurant. I have also been amazed by the way they serve this. Most of the time I have seen them serving this inside a coconut shell. So thought I would do with pineapple. 





Ingredients:


Pineapple juice - 1/3 cup
Coconut cream - 3 tbsp or Coconut milk - 1/3 cup
Vanilla ice cream - 1/3 cup
ice cubes - as require
Note: I wanted this without rum and so skipped this
Method: Add all the ingredients and mix them together in a blender.




"Hey is it just 'Pina Colada' for the fiesta. There is nothing new here and have been posted by most of the fellow bloggers" was something that was lingering in my mind. I should admit the fact that I always fail miserably when I try any dish for the first time. I make a perfect dish after trying for many times. So I didn't want to try something new and tough. 'Mexican Wedding Cookie' was something that was easy to make and at the same time tasty too. Here it is for you all


Mexican Wedding Cakes





Ingredients:
All-Purpose Flour - 2 cups
Butter - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Confectioner's Sugar - 1/2 cup
Almonds - 1/2 cup
vanilla extract - 2 tsps
almond extract - 2tsps


Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place the almonds in a flat baking sheet and heat it in the oven for 5 min.
3. Allow it to cool and chop them to pieces by hand or a chopper.
4. In a large bowl mix the butter,sugar, almond extract and vanilla extract evenly.
5. Add chopped almonds, all-purpose flour and mix them well.
6. Make small 1 inch dia balls  out of the dough.
7. Refrigerate this for 1 to 2 hrs.
8. Place these dough balls in a cookie sheet and bake for 15 min till they are still white in color and firm.
9. Remove the sheet from oven and place the cookie in wire racks.
10. While the cookie is still warm roll them over confectioner's sugar.
11. Coat it again with confectioner's sugar after it's cooled completely. 
12. Wrap them using a chocolate wrap(optional).









I'm sending this to 'Mexican Fiesta 2009'





Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm proud to Christine 'Scenic Curd Rice Flakes' as the name of this recipe that I prepared y'day. Its quite easy to prepare and I'm sure many would have already tried and posted the recipe in their blog. We most of the time go blank when the question of 'what to prepare for dinner?' arises in our mind. I was in the same state y'day. I didn't know what to prepare and also was so lazy to cook. But I couldn't skip dinner and my poor little things(daughter and her dad) would also starve. So the idea of preparing curd semiya popped up. Searched for them in the cabinet and to my utter disappointment there was very little quantity in the pack. Hmmmmm...oh..not curd rice again....:(. I found the aval pack smiling at me. Grabbed them to prepare thayir aval. I do this decoration for most of the potlucks that we go. So thought I would do the same to make myself energetic.





Here's the recipe


Ingredients:


Rice Flakes (soaked in butter milk or water) - 1 cup
Curd/Yogurt - 2 cups
Salt - as required


For Seasoning/Decorating:


Mustard - 1 tbsp
Channa Dhal - 2 tbsp
Split Urad Dhal - 2 tbsp
Green Chilli - 2 nos
Fried More Milagai
(Fried curd chilli - sorry I don't know the actual name:)) -4 nos(optional)
Cashews  -as required
Curry leaves - as required
Coriander leaves -  as required
Pomogranate - as required
Grapes(green or red) - as required
oil/ghee - for frying the above.


Method:


1.Wash the rice flakes really well as its sure to have sand in them. Soak the rice flakes in water or buttermilk(such that the water/buttermilk is right above the rice flakes) for an hr.
2.Add salt,curd to the soaked rice flakes(for 1 cup of soaked rice flakes 2 cups of curd/yogurt).
3.Heat oil/ghee in a pan and fry the cashews, keep this aside.
4.Fry the channa dhal until golden brown and keep this aside.
5.Fry urad dhal in the left over oil till golden brown,drain this.
6.Add mustard in the end and allow it to splutter. Add this mustard to the curd aval and mix well.
7.Pour the curd aval in a rectangular container and decorate it as shown.
8.Leave the mixing to the guests.
Note: U can be creative and pour in your own ideas:)





If u have trouble recognising the decoration the following would help...:)


Ground(basement) - urad dhal
Tree trunk(left side) - channa dhal
Leaves of the tree - curry leaves
Fruits of the tree - grapes, some has fallen on the ground
Plants - coriander leaves
flowers - pomegranate
green chilli - sprouts on the ground
butterfly or a bird - more milagai trunk and cashews are the wings.


This dish is participating in 'Garnish the dish' event organised by Innovative In-Laws







Wednesday, September 16, 2009


She: Did you like the basundi??. This is my first try and I think its come out so well.
He: Yeah its good. 'Chakka Pradamam' is my favorite. Why don't u make it one day?


She: How is the 'Paal Kozhukattai'? My mother makes this often.
He: Tasty. But I loved the flavor of 'Chakka Pradamam' that I had in Trivandrum. Why don't u make it one day?


She: Our daughter is so fond of these 'Gulab Jamuns'. How abt you dear?
He: I like it too. But the taste of 'Chakka Pradamam' is still lingering in my mouth. Why don't u make it one day?
She: Honey what payasam do u want me to make on Vinayakar chadhurthi day?

He: How about....
She: 'Chakka Pradamam'. Is this wht you were trying to say?
He: Yeah. How did you know that???


My husband got a chance to spend a month or 2 in trivandrum during his early 20s and he had had this 'Chakka Pradamam' in one of his friend's house. He had been talking about this since our marriage. I too loved to make this for him. However, I never found the jackfruit in the market even once. Luckily, the 'Guruvayurappan temple' near our locality had hosted the onam celebration on a sunday, 2 weeks before. So we thought we would go and visit the temple. Another reason was, it was said the traditional onam lunch would be served in the afternoon. So, we thought it was a good chance to taste the 'Chakka Pradamam', my husband's all time favorite(I had never tasted it even once).We were there in the temple well in advance. Took part in the celebration and made our way to the lunch room. To our big shock there was a big line. With our 1.5 yr old daughter we thought it would be tough for us to stand in the line for more than an hr. Sadly we retreated. Having had pongal for the breakfast we didn't feel hungry. So we went for grocery purchase.Surprisingly, this time I saw the jackfruit in the grocery store. Picked one to surprise my hubby with his favorite the next day.


The next day I asked my husband if he had any idea about the ingredients. He said that he knew for sure that jackfruit was one of the ingredient(lol). So there I was googling for 'Chakka Pradamam', 'Chakka Pradamam recipe'. To my utter disappointment nothing popped up. Tried to grab some more info abt the end product from my hubby. Yeah.. we were in requirements gathering phase.


Me: Do you know if the the jackfruit was in pieces or was it mashed to a paste?
He: I couldn't feel the jackfruit
Me: So it was mashed. k. How about the color?
He: Dark brown.
Me: So its jaggery that has to added and not sugar.


With this information I headed to the kitchen and tried my own version of 'Chakka Pradamam'


So here you go 'Chakka Pradamam Ver. 1.1


Ingredients:


Jackfruit - 1 cup(finely cut, cooked in microwave for 10 min, and mashed well in a blender)
Jaggery - 1/4 cup
water - 1/4 cup

Milk - 1/2 cup
Coconut cream - 2 tbsp
honey - 1 tbsp
cashew - 5 pieces
ghee - 1/4 cup


Method:


1. Heat ghee in a pan and fry cashews till golden brown. Drain the cashews and keep it aside.
2. To the same ghee add cooked jackfruit and fry till all the moisture is absorbed.
3. Keep this paste aside.
4. Add water to the powdered jaggery and boil it for 5 min. Drain this mixture using a tea filter.(jaggery is said to contain dust particles. So its better to filter the mixture).
5. Now add the jackfruit paste to the jaggery mixture and allow it to boil till the mixture forms a thick paste.
6. Add milk and coconut cream and let it boil for 5 more min. 
7. Garnish with cashews and honey(honey was added as jackfruit is prone to upset the stomach)





My husband liked this version of chakka pradamam. I boasted by saying that I didn't find the recipe in the net and I tried it by myself. He googled and got few results for his search on 'chakapradhamam'. The recipe was slightly different. Thats fine, mine was quite close to the original version...:).



I was planning to make some more pradamam with the jackfruit that I had used for decoration. And do you want to know what happened to them?. My little one so dutifully threw those pieces in the trash bag. Guess she didn't want another serving :D



This wonderful sweet is participating in Sweet Series event hosted by Sireesha


Sunday, September 13, 2009

This is one of my childhood favorite. My mother made this frequently during my school days. However after I got married and began to cook myself I totally forgot about this dish. Moreover as you know I cannot expect to find the gooseberry in any of the grocery store here.(with plantain flower already in the market these days, who knows we can also find a gooseberry very soon). My sweet mom had remembered my craving for gooseberry pickles and this pachidi that she brought some when she had come to visit us last yr. Thanks to the customs guys, they didn't throw it off. She had also stocked some sun dried gooseberry in my kitchen. I saw this last week when I was cleaning the cabinets(my bad!! I call myself a 'homemaker..:(..   ). Thought I would make this pachidi mainly for posting it in the blog and secondly for us to have with 'Parupu Podi'. 





Ingredients:


Fresh Gooseberry - 2 (or)
Dried gooseberry - 1 tbsp
coconut - 1 tbsp
green chillies - 2(add more if u like it spicy)
curd(yogurt) - 1 cup
salt - as required




Method:


1. Add gooseberry,coconut,green chillies and grind them to a smooth paste. Now add curd and salt to the paste. Dilute this with water to a pancake batter consistency. 
2. Goes well with any podis, vethakozhambu, adai, etc.


Variations:


Try it without gooseberry but with sour curd. This is an excellent side dish for adai.




Friday, September 11, 2009

B-E-A-N-S ADAI

"You are a Mami"
"She is a Mami"
"Vethakozhambhu"



Are you thinking y I'm writing all this. This is how my hubby calls me most of the time. That too mostly after a meal. Nowadays he sometimes says "Your mother is a Mami" to our lil angel too. Its becoz I most of the time like to have something Indian at home and I rarely go to any restaurants. My hubby is just the opposite. So I have to try different recipes at home so that he doesn't complain of not going to restaurants. A yr before I found '16 bean soup mix' in the grocery store and took a pack of them. I thought I would prepare a soup something to the one that we get in a Mexican restaurant. Though I'm not a great fan of soups I wanted to put a full stop to hubby's leg pulling. As we normally do I soaked the beans and went to bed. A sudden thought clicked in my mind. My mother used to say that we could add 'whole chick pea' to the adai to get a different flavor. So I thought why not use the 16 bean to make the adai and  'B-E-A-N-S ADAI' was born the next day. I bet, you would definitely love this adai. And now you will know why I'm a MAMI...:).


Here's the list of beans found in 16 bean soup mix(I took this from the 'CONTAINS' section of the bag)


Large Lima Beans
Small White Beans
Red Kidney Beans
Baby Lima Beans
Great Northern beans
Speckled Lima Beans
Black Beans
Green Baby Lima Beans
Pinto Beans
Cranberry Beans
Pink Beans
Whole Green Beans
Yellow Split Peas
Lentils
Green Split Peas
Small Red Beans
Navy Beans
Blackeye Peas


There are totally 18 kinds. This recipe is full of proteins and I'm sure you will enjoy a good meal too.


Here's the recipe of 'B-E-A-N-S ADAI'


Ingredients:


16 bean - 1 cup
Par Boiled Rice - 1 cup
Red Chillis - 5 nos
Green Chillis - 5 nos
Ginger - 1 inch size
large onion -  1 no(optional)
Curry Leaves - few leaves
Cilantro - 1/4 bunch
Asaefoetida - 4 pinches
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
salt - as required
oil - for frying


Method:


1. Soak the bean for 6 hrs and rice for 2 to 3 hrs
2. Drain the water and mix bean, rice, ginger, red chillies, green chillies, onion,turmeric powder(to get the adai color) and grind them to a coarse rawa consistency.
Caution: Never use a wet grinder. I have tried many times and it totally refused to move and I ended up transferring the mix to a blender and cleaning the wet grinder.
3. Add salt, asaefoetida, curry leaves and cilantro and mix them. Add water if needed and make the better similar to a dosa batter.





4. You can immediately prepare the adai or store the batter in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
5. For preparing the adai, heat the griddle and let it turn hot. 
6. Pour a liberal quantity of the batter and spread it in circular motion from the center to the outside. 
7. Make few holes on the adai.
6. Pour oil on the outside and also on the holes. Now simmer the flame.

7. Let it stay for sometime. With a flat laddle turn the adai to the other side. Let it stay for some more time.
8. Now remove the adai from the griddle.
9. Serve hot with 'onion sambhar', jaggery.



Sending this dish to Graziana,who is hosting this months edition of -Its a vegan word,an event started by Vyshali




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