Friday, October 30, 2009

Rajma Pakora


I started this blog just to do something interesting during the very little free time I get in a day. From the day I started to visit the other blogs and got to know about the events being hosted, the idea of participating in the events drove me to steal some of the time I spent with my kid(nowadays my hubby dear takes care of putting our lil one to sleep, while I blog..:)). I have started to try something crazy too. One such thing that I arrived at is this Rajma Pakora. This was mainly to arrive at an entry for the event JFI Rajma by Divya Vikram.


This is all you would need for the pakora


Rajma - 1 cup
Par boiled rice - 1 cup
Red dry chillis - 6 nos
Green chillis - 2 nos
curry leaves - few nos
asafoetida - few pinches
salt - for taste
oil - for deep frying
turmeric - 1 teaspoon(optional)

Method

1. Soak rajma for 8 to 10 hrs and rice and dry red chillis together for 2 to 3 hrs.
2. Grind them together with green chillis to a coarse paste by adding very little water.
3. Add salt, asafoetida, curry leaves and turmeric(for color and flavor) and mix them together.
4. Heat oil in a wide pan.
5. Make small balls out of the batter and drop it in the smokey oil.
6. Let it fry till it turns crispy or golden brown.
7.Place it in absorbant paper to absorb excess oil.
8. I like to have this with tea. You can also pair it with ketchup or coconut chutney.



This recipe is participating in JFI Rajma event hosted by Divya Vikram originally started by Indira



Thursday, October 29, 2009


Apart from the usual sambhar powder, u are sure to find this powder in my kitchen cabinet. Last week I ran out off stock of this powder and also the idly milagai powder. My mom had prepared both these powders when she had been here and it almost stayed so long. Had to prepare a fresh batch and I'm glad I got a chance coz this recipe is getting a place in Think Spice Think Coriander event hosted by Priya.

You can use this powder in three ways
1. Add a tablespoon of this powder to the sambhar just after adding the cooked dhal.
2. Mix this powder and gingely oil to hot steamed rice. This goes well with any kind of pachidi.
3. Mix this powder to a tablespoon of curd and add it to any kootu of ur choice and allow it to cook for few minutes. It tastes heavenly.

Here's all you would need for making this powder

Ingredients:

Coriander Seeds - 1 cup
Dry Red Chillis - 20 nos
Tamarind - size of a gooseberry
Urad Dhal - 1/4 cup
Salt - for taste
Curry Leaves - 4 tbsps
Grated coconut - 1/4 cup
asafoetida - few pinches

Method:

1. Dry roast all the ingredients in the following order Chilli Powder, Coriander seeds,  urad dhal and curry leaves. Roast till the urad dhal turns goden brown.

2. Keep them aside in a clean dry plate. In the same pan dry roast grated coconut. Roast till the coconut becomes almost dry and golden brown color.


3. Grind the ingredients mentioned in step 1 and 2 along with tamarind (make small pieces cos it might get struck in the mixie blades.
4. Add salt  and asafoetida at the end.


5. Store it in an air tight container for longer shelf life.


I'm sending this recipe to Think Spice Think Coriander event hosted by Priya event started by Sunita


Enjoy!!!



Monday, October 26, 2009


Aftermath of diwali was full of surprises for me. In the blog world, there were quite a number of  awards that were showered on me from my bloggie friends.
 Thank you so much friends. Your encouragement in the form of comments and awards has definitely awestruck me. Its surely motivating. Thanks a ton my dear fellow bloggers. So here comes the awards.

Vidya Rao at The Tastes of South India has passed the 'Kreativ Blogger' award. Thank You So much Vidya, this is my first award without an event tagged to it.






Here are the rules of the award:

* You must thank the person who has given you the award.
* Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
* Link to the person who has nominated you for the award.
* Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
* Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
* Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
* Leave a comment in the nominated blogs to let them know they have been nominated.
 

7 things about me:


1. I'm addicted to blogs nowadays.
2. Gethan is my pen name. My actual name starts with the letter 'S'..:)
3. If I'm given a day for myself, I would like to sit idle.(running behind the kid entire day is too tiresome).
4. Like to listen to any kind of melody songs(Illayaraja 80's songs).
5. Books are my first friends. I would like to flip thru few pages before I go to bed.
6. I love the spring season here in the US. Makes me vibrant. Though fall is equally      beautiful, makes me fear about the approaching winter.
7. Come on...do I need to think this long to write 7 things about me.ok..may be, I have eyes, nose, etc...reminds me of my daughter who is starting to point to body parts..:)

I'm passing this tough task of writing about oneself to Divya, San, prasu, Ambika, RAKS KITCHEN,Shri. Tried to pick 7 of them who haven't received this award so far. Hope I'm right..:). Gals, Enjoy!!!

Rohini of 'Curries and Spices' has showered me with quite a lot of awards. Thank You dear!!




 






Would like to pass this on to vidhas,Divya Vikram,

Here is the recipe part:

Thought I would make 'Diwali Marundhu' or 'Diwali Legyum' a separate posts for 2 reasons. One being the Sweets posted was cluttered with too many recipes and the other considering the medicinal value a post had to be dedicated for this. I generally dont use the legyum powder that is available in the market becoz I dont get them here in the US and the other reason being that homemade mixture always tasted better for me.

If you have a stomach upset a tsp of this legyum would offer great relief. Thats why this is prepared on diwali day when one spends most of the time eating.

Ingredients:

Dry Ginger(Sukku) - 1 tbsp
Alpina galanga(Sitharathai) - 1 tbsp
Long Pepper(kandathippili) - 1 tbsp
round Pepper(Milagu) - 1tbsp
nutmeg flower(Omam )
Jaggery powder - 4 tbsp
gingelly oil - 1 tbsp
ghee - 1tbsp
honey - 1 tbsp

Method:

1. Soak dry ginger, alpina galanga, long pepper, round pepper, nutmeg flower in hot water for 8 to 12 hrs.

2. Crush them to small pieces using hand or knife(this is to make grinding easy)
3. Grind them to a smooth paste using a bender. Add enough water to make grinding easy.
4. Extract the juice and repeat the grinding with the residue. Repeat till u are sure the residue hasn't got any juice in it.
5. Cook them in low flame till it becomes thick like a pancake batter.
6. Add jaggery and cook for 10 more min.
7. Add gingelly oil and cook for some more time.
8. Switch off the flame and top it with ghee and honey and do a final mix. 
9. Stays good for more than 2 months if refrigerated.



This Legyum is paricipating in Sweet Series event hosted by Sireesha


Friday, October 23, 2009


This is my first entry for Taste & Create and I'm glad I was paired with Chaya from Sweet and Savory Says it All. I got to know a lot of baked recipes from her blog. As I don't eat meat or chicken or egg, I did some hunting for a dish sans these items. There I arrived at this soup which is sure to impress you all.


Before me going to the recipe, I would like to say a few words about 'Taste & Create'  a food event started by Nicole from For the Love of Food. Every month we would be paired with another fellow blogger. Our job is to replicate one of their recipe. Does it sound interesting??. Do drop by their site and enroll if interested.

Now let hop on to the recipe. 

Ingredients:

margarine - 1/4 cup(I used butter instead)
minced onions - 2 tbsps
Thinly sliced carrots - 1 cup
Chopped green pepper - 3/4 cup
red cabbage (colors soup - you might want to use white cabbage) - 3/4 cup
water - 1 cup
flour - 1/4 cup(I used corn flour)
milk - 2 cups
shredded cheddar and muenster cheese, combined (1/2 lb.) - 2cups
finely minced parsley


Method:

1. Heat butter in a pan.
2. Add onions and fry till translucent.
3. Add other vegetables and fry for sometime.
4.Pour water and let it cook for 15 min. Simmer the flame.
5. Mix flour and milk and pour this mixture slowly over the cooked vegetables.
6. Add cheese and cook till it melts
7.Garnish with minced parsley.
8. I added salt and pepper for taste.


This is a perfect, healthy, delicious food for all ages.

Happy cooking!!!





This soup is participating in WFY Light Meal by EC and Say Cheese event hosted by  Sara's Corner

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Though my favorite is savories, I was supposed to make some sweets for diwali, since the other two persons in our house are fond of sweets. One, always liked the Jamun that his mother prepared during childhood and the other kid is toothless. So I had to prepare something easily chewable to the lil one. There I arrived at these menus.

Cashew Diamonds(Kaju Kathli):

Ingredients:


Roasted and Powdered Cashews  - 2 cups
Sugar - 1 cup(I preferred a lighter sweetness)
Water - as required

Method:

1. Dry roast the cashews in any of the below method- the cashews should turn crispy without change in color.
  •  Preheat the oven for 10 min at 350 degree. Spread the cashews in one single layer on a baking sheet.Place this in the preheated oven for 5 min.
  • Spread the cashews in a microwave safe bowl in one single layer and microwave it in high for 5 min, checking every 1 min by tossing the cashews.
  • Heat a pan on a stove top and roast the cashews for 10 min till it generates a nice aroma and still has its color.
2. Using any of the above method roast the cashews. Let it stay for some time ,coz it turns crispy only when it returns to room temperature
3. Powder the cashews in a mixie in minimal speed. Stop every min and turn them over using a laddle. Make a smooth powder.
4. Add sugar to a pan and add very little water(such that it just immerses the sugar).
5. Heat the sugar syrup.
6. When the sugar syrup starts to emanate bubbles ,add  cashew powder and gently stir them using a laddle.
7. Notice the mixture getting thicker.
8. Drop a small piece of the mixture and see if it hardens once cold. This is the correct time to switch off the flame.
9. Allow them to cool.
10. Now knead the mixture using hand. 
11. It would start to ooze out oil.
12. Using a rolling pin roll them to 1/2 inch sheet.
13. Make diamonds out of the sheet.





Tip.


If the mixture is watery. Cook this again for few more min.
If it becomes powdery add few drops of milk and knead them well.


Badam Halwa:

Ingredients:


Badam - 2 cups
Sugar - as required
milk - as required
ghee - 2 tbsp
water - as required

Method:

1. Soak Badam in hot water for 4 hrs.Peel the skin and keep them aside.
2. Add milk to the peeled badam such that it just covers the badam.
3. Let it soak for 1 more hr.
4. Grind the badam to a smooth paste by adding the milk that was used for soaking.

5. To 1 measure of this ground paste add 3/4 measure of sugar.
6. Transfer it to a heated pan and stir this mixture continuously.
7. Once the mixture starts to thicken switch off the flame.
8. Add ghee to this mixture and stir well. 
9. The mixture would have absorbed all the ghee.
10. Pour this mixture on a plate and allow it to set.
11. Make diamonds out of them.



Bombay Kajas:

Ingredients

Maida or all purpose flour - 2 cups
Besan flour - 2 tbsps
Cooking soda - 1 tsp
Curd - 1 tbsp
Sugar - 1 1/4cup
Oil - for frying

Method:


1. Add maida, a tsp of sugar, curd, cooking soda and mix them evenly.
2.Add little water and prepare a smooth dough.
3. Add little oil to the besan flour and make a thin fluid out of it.
4.Now make thin circular chappathis out of the dough.



5.Make 4 similar chappathis.
6. Apply the besan batter on 1 chappathi and place another one on top of this. repeat the same procedure for the other chappathis.
7. Now you would have 4 stacked chappathis layered with besan batter.
8. Roll them tightly starting in one corner.

9. Cut 1 inch strips out of this roll.


10.Using a rolling pin gently press each strip.


11. Add 3/4 cup of water the the sugar and make a 1/2 string consistency sugar syrup.
12. Heat oil in a pan and fry all the dough strips made in step 10.
13. Let it fry till the oil stops making bubble sound.
14. Drop it in the sugar syrup.
15. Let it stay in the syrup till the next batch is ready to be soaked.
Crispy Khaja is ready to be tasted.




My  other recipe 'Diwali legyum' will be a separate post.

Sending these to the Sweet Series  event hosted by Sireesha


Wondering if this is some kind of a new savory that I had invented. No, its not. Its the same old Murukku(Thenkuzhal), Ribbon Pakoda and Thattai Murukku. These were the savories that I prepared for diwali apart from my usual all time favorite Mixture. Wondering how I was able to prepare all this in a matter of 11/2 hrs. Its easy as the base flour mixture is the same. Yes, I used the same flour, altered the other ingredients and prepared 3 kinds of savories. That's the reason for the title.

Base Ingredients:

Par Boiled Rice - 3 cups
Raw Rice - 3 cups

Method:

1. Soak rices together for 3 to 4 hrs. 





2. Grind them into a smooth paste by adding very little water.
3. Keep this aside(Tough part is to take it out from the grinder or mixie. Its okay, as u get a very delicious savory).
4. Divide the ground batter to 3 parts.



Murukku(Thenguzhal):

Ingredients:

Prepared Rice Dough - 1 part(1 cup of raw rice + 1 cup of par boiled rice)
Dry Roasted and powdered urad dhal - 1 tsp
Butter - 50 gms
cumin seeds - 1 tbsp(the more the better it tastes)
Asafoetida - few pinches
Salt - as required
oil for deep frying

Method:

1. Mix all the ingredients and prepare a smooth dough.





2. Heat oil in a wide pan.
3. Put the dough into a murukku press and squeeze them onto hot oil making big circle(as big as the pan can hold).
4. Leave them for a 2 min and turn them over. Remove from oil once the oil stops making bubble sound.
5. Place them in absorbent paper.
6. Repeat the procedure with rest of the dough.




Note: The murukuu is sure to be maintain its color(white). If it becomes brown then it means that you have added more urad dhal. Reduce it during ur next try..:)


Ribbon Pakoda

Ingredients:

Prepared Rice dough - 1 part(1 cup of raw rice + 1 cup of par boiled rice)
Besan Flour - 1/2 cup
Butter - 50 gms
Chilli Powder - 2 tbsp(if you need more spice add some more of ur choice)
Salt - for taste
Asafoetide - few pinches
oil for frying

Method:

1. Mix all the ingredients and prepare a smooth dough.
2. Heat oil in a wide pan.
3. Put the dough into a ribbon pakoda press and squeeze them onto hot oil making big circle(as big as the pan can hold).
4. Leave them for a 2 min and turn them over. Remove from oil once the oil stops making bubble sound.
5. Place them in absorbent paper.
6.. Repeat the procedure with rest of the dough.



 I just had this remaining for the click..:). Other than the pakoda, do u see something else in the snap???

Thattai Murukku

Ingredients

Prepared Rice dough - 1 part(1 cup of raw rice + 1 cup of par boiled rice)
Red chillis - 6 mos
Green Chillis - 2 nos
Butter - 50 gms

Salt - for taste
soaked channa dhal - 2 tbsps

Asafoetida - few pinches
oil for frying

Method

1.Soak green chilli and red chillis together in warm water for 30 min.
2. Grind the chillis to a coarse paste.
3. Mix this with the other ingredients and make a smooth dough.
4. Prepare small balls out of the dough.
5. In a milk cover or zip lock cover or any polythene cover pat the balls to circular flat discs.
6. Heat oil in a wide pan
7. When oil is smokey hot put the flat disc dough and fry till the oil stops making bubble sound.
8. Place them in absorbent paper.
9. Repeat the procedure with rest of the dough.

Same here.....:)

Variations:

U can also try seedai and Kai murukku(see nithya's post) using the same flour. 

Tip:
  • ver add too much water as the savory might turn brown.
  • Roasted urad dhal powder: dry roast the urad dhal in a hot pan till golden brown. Allow it to cool and grind it to a smooth powder. Sieve it if required
  • use of freshly prepared urad dhal powder makes the savory retain its original color.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


For those who had got it right a hurray!!!...Yes, I'm talking about deepavali. Had been bc for almost a week preparing sweets and savories, cleaning the house to make the place presentable for the guests, making calls to India and wishing them for diwali, though unable to hear the voice of the receiver(thanks to the crackers....). 

One of the festival that makes me long to be in India is this one. I have fond memories of my childhood deepavali celebration. Bursting the crackers(finding out who has made lot of crackers trashes - papers outside their home), distributing the sweets among neighbors and friends, visiting the temple twice, once with parents in the morning and with friends in the evening,  relishing the sweets and savories with friends in a common place, taking an afternoon nap, as we were made to wake up early in the morning. 


The next day, after diwali had been the most lousy day. Because of the crackers pollution, by now we would have developed cough, cold, etc. On top of this we had to get back to school...Had made me wonder why life hadn't been made easy by not going to school(yes, I had been a kid who resisted to go to school, esplly after a holiday..:)).


Past deepavali celebration, here in the US was just another day for us, as we had to go to work. But this time I decided to make this festival enlightening. We invited few guests on the eve of deepavali and we went for a dinner party on deepavali day. So it was a rejuvenating festival this year. I prepared couple of sweets in josh for many reasons one being, we had to entertain guests, other to write in the blog and thirdly to make the folks in India happy..:)


Here is the list of sweets and savories that I prepared for deepavali. I'm going to post the recipes as individual posts in the days to come.

Sweets

Kaju Katli
Bombay Khajas
Gulab Jamun - its the usual method so not going to write the recipe
Badam Halwa
Deepavali Marundhu(legyam)
Coconut Burfi


Savories:






P:S :Thanks to my daughter for giving me the time to edit the fotos and write this blog..:)

Thursday, October 15, 2009





My heartfelt thanks to the Innovative In-Laws for choosing me as one of the 'Winner - In-Laws Choice' in their contest titled 'Garnish the Dish '. My 'Scenic Curd Rice flakes' offered this feather to my hat. My Congratulations to the other winners Rohini, Kamala, Lakshmi. I'm dedicating this post to the award coz its my first award after I entered into this blog world.There is nothing sweet than relishing the first fruit of success and so this deserves a dedicated post...What say????? ahhh...:)



At this point would like to share some interesting happenings related to this event. After I created a blog, initially like most of you I started to visit other blogs. I gave comments and requested them to visit my blog. Nithya and Pavithra were amongst the few who gave their comments almost immediately. This was a great encouragement for a new comer like me. They were regular followers of my blog. The first thought about participating in an event popped up only after seeing the 'Garnish the Dish' event. To tell you the truth this was my first entry to an event. I'm so thrilled on this award and I hope I'm able to contribute with authentic recipes.


Thank you so much friends for your encouragement!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I went through all my posts and to my surprise found that there weren't any post related to rice. "How did I forget to post about the staple food rice?" was the question that arose to me. After creating the blog I nowadays click what ever I cook. So was looking at the clicks that I had taken and found the foto of the tomato coconut rice that I made 11 Sep 2009. When the whole country was mourning, I had prepared this rice and have also taken some effort to decorate it. Too bad ..:(. My mom prepares this often during my school days. This had been my 'biriyani' during those days. Not going to trouble you all any further, so here's the recipe of 'Tomato Coconut Rice' from my mom.



Ingredients:


Raw rice or basmathi rice - 1 cup
Tomato - 4
Large Onions - 2
green peas - 1/4 cup
Green Chillis - 8
Ginger root - 2 inches
coconut - 1 tbsp
coriander leaves - 1/2 cup (washed and finely cut)
mustard - 1 tsp
channa dhal - 1 tbsp
water - as required
sat - for taste
oil - 4 tbsps


Method:


1. Wash and cook the rice. Spread the cooked rice on a plate and sprinkle some oil on top of it. Allow it cool. Gently mix the oil with the rice.
2. Cut the tomatoes into fine pieces and onion lengthwise into thin pieces.
3. Heat oil in a large pan. Add mustard, let it splutter. Now add channa dhal and fry till golden brown. 
4. Now add cut onions  and fry till translucent.
5. Add tomatoes and saute for sometime.
6. Add salt to the mixture and close the lid of the pan. Simmer the flame.
7. Now grind coconut, chillis, ginger and coriander leaves together to a smooth paste. Add water if required.
8. Pour this to the onion tomato paste that is on the pan.
9. Add peas and cook them for some more time till the raw smell of coconut has gone.
10. Now add rice to this mixture. Add salt if required and mix them together.
11. Add ghee at the end for extra flavor.
12. Simmer the flame and cook this for 5 more min with lid closed.
13. Serve this with any kind of raita and potato chips.





Note: I tried to make a rose. Ended up with a rose bud and few petals out of those tomatoes...hahahaaa..:)



Monday, October 5, 2009

Is your baby resisting to eat the tasteless baby foods available out there in the market?
Are you not sure what  to prepare for dinner or an evening snack?
Are u suffering from cold and want instant relief?
Don't like to cook an expansive meal?
Too much vegetable in the refrigerator, all in small portions, don't know what to do with them?


If your answer is 'yes' to any of the above then read on....


This is the final version of the recipe I arrived at after making lot of modifications. Before I get into the recipe, I would like to share the story behind this...My daughter was 6 months old when the pediatrician said that I could start giving her some mashed vegetables and fruits. Consulted few of my friends and chose one of the best brands. For the first few days my sweet lil thing ate few spoons. Later she started to spit them out. I tasted them to see if it was ok. To my horror I didn't like a bit. Being a choosy person myself, I should expect some amount of this gene on my child too. So I started preparing myself. One vegetable everyday. I would pressure cook, grate and give her this. Didn't add salt because of sodium content..was too conscious ignoring the taste..:). Then we went to visit the doc on a routine checkup after a month. She started with a long list of fruits and vegetables and said I have to give her all of them. This little one would just have 2 or 3 spoonfuls and how am I going to feed all these vegetables. It was definitely a herculean task. So I started adding all the available vegetables and of course some lentils for some protein and a tinge of salt so that I could happily eat the leftovers. I started to make this for everyone in the family as it was delicious and healthy. In spite of all these my daughter is still below her normal weight.. 


Here's the list of things that's needed for making this soup.


Ingredients:


All kinds of vegetables that is available with you. - 2 cups (cut into 1 inch pieces)
(for eg: beans, carrot, beetroot(for the color), squash, potato, sweet potato, radish, peas, pumpkin, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflowe, corn)





small onion - 2
garlic - 1 clove
small tomato -1
turmeric powder - 1 tsp
moon dhal - 1 tbsp
garam masala powder -1 tsp(if its for your little one, ignore this)

corn flour -1 tsp
salt - as required
pepper - if required
butter - 1 tsp
milk - 4 tbsps
fresh cream - 1 tsp


Method:


1. Pressure cook the vegetables, tomato, onions, garlic, turmeric powder, moong dhal, garam masala together.
2. Allow it to cool.



3. Grind them to a smooth consistency using a blender.
4. Now heat a pan and melt the butter.
5. Add corn flour and roast them for a min.
6. Add milk and allow it to boil.
7. Now add the ground vegetables.
8. Add required salt and let it cook for sometime.
9. Serve hot topping it with fresh cream.
10. Add pepper if need be.





Variations:


1. Make it to a thick paste and offer it to an infant. Highly nutritious.
2. Don't add fresh cream. Add some more water and make it as a rasam. Add coriander leaves for extra flavor.Goes well with rice and papad.
3. Don't add garam masala while cooking the vegetables. After the vegetables are cooked add ground coconut, cumin seeds and green chilli. Cook them together for 5 min. Season with mustard, urad dhal and asafoetida. This is a good side dish for chappathi or rice varieties.


Do try this recipe and give your comments


This recipe is participating in the event Cooking for Infants and Toddlers 0-3 yrs by Radhika and  Sudeshna. This can be offered to children from ages 6 months and up!!
This soup is also participating in WFY Light Meal by EC.



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