Sunday, August 29, 2010

Badam Burfi/Almond Squares

In my Okra-Fry post, i have mentioned about Pongiduthal tradition. Now, for that feast we made some Badam burfi. This Is my SIL's(Brother's Wife) recipe. Though she was trying this for the first time, it came out great. Very soft and Flavourful!!!!


Ingredients
1 cup Almonds
1 cup Sugar
3- 4 tbsp Clarified Butter
Roasted Almonds for Garnishing

Method
Soak almonds Overnight. Next Day Morning, peel the skin and Grind the almonds to fine paste, without adding any water.
In a Heavy Bottom pan, Put the almond mixture and Sugar together and keep stirring. The Sugar starts melting and this almond mixture gets cooked. Add the ghee and mix well. Keep Stirring. Mean-while, grease a flat plate with some ghee and keep it ready.

Once the Almond mixture, starts leaving the sides of the pan, Pour it on the grease plate and spread it flat.

Let it cool, then use a sharp knife and cut it into squares.Decorated the top with some roasted almonds.

 Store the squares in a Air-tight Container and Enjoy!!!

Sending this to Festive Food - Rakhi 2010 @ Indian Khana by Priti And to 'Only' Kids Delight @ Foodelicious by Pari and to Dish Name starts with A @ Akila's Kitchen

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pirandai Thogayal/Veldt Grape Chutney

The Humble Pirandai, Known as Veldt Grape or Devil's Backbone, Has been used as a medicinal plant since antiquity. The Ayurveda mentions it as a tonic and analgesic, and prescribes its use to help heal broken bones, thus its name asthisamharaka (that which prevents the destruction of bones). Has also been used to treat osteoporosis,asthma, cough, hemorrhoids, and gonorrhea.

Picture from My Brother's In-Laws Garden
It contains a rich source of carotenoids, triterpenoids and ascorbic acid. Compounds that act as receptor antagonists of glucocorticoids have reduced the healing time of broken bones 30 to 50 percent in clinical trials. It has also been used to treat obesity and associated oxidative stress.[1] Its bactericidal effects on Helicobacter pylori hold promise as an effective treatment of gastric ulcers and preventative of stomach cancer
Info Source : WIKIPEDIA : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cissus_quadrangularis
http://www.a1tamilnadu.com/htmlfiles/238_Pirandai_(_Veldt_Grape).html

Pirandai Thogayal/Chutney is a tasty Condiment, made especially during Devasam/Pithru Devasam/Sraadham. The Feast prepared on these days will be heavy, So, to ease the process of digestion, Pirandai thogayal/Veldt Grape Chuntey is made.

Ingredients
3 Links of Pirandai/Veldt Grape (Cut into 1 inch piece)
1/4 cup Urad dal
4 tsp Gram dal
2 tsp White sesame seeds
6nos Red Chillie
1 small Tomato
Ginger a small piece
one tight fist Curry leaves
A small ball of Tamarind
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp - 1 tsp Jaggery (Depending on your taste)
Hing a pinch


Method
Roast All the above ingredients separately with little oil, except Tamarind, salt and jaggery. Grind all the ingredients, except pirandai/Veldt Grape to a coarse mixture then add pirandai/Veldt grape and grind them to fine paste with little water.
Makes a Wonderful Combo with any Heavy Meal. Sending this MLLA-26, hosted by Briciole, Event started by Susan

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Baris- dried lentil dumplings - ICC July Challenge

The Sun God, tested my patience a lot today!!!! Phew!!!! Partly my Laziness too. Attempted to do the Baris only day before yesterday!!! :) :). So, all these tests were on my Invitation!!!! :) But anyways, the Baris were worth these sothanai's!!! They tasted damn yummy as raw batter (sure, all of you wud have tasted it!!!), now when all dried, i m waiting to taste them in some curry!!!
My Mother feels that this Baris are same like the Karuvadam, we make minus the fermenting and other extra spices we add. We just Grind the batter, add Ash-gourd and salt. Both are Sun-dried, so it is normally made during those Extra-Sun Months Mar-Apr-May!!!! Though we have good sun even now, but this isnt enough for the baris to bone-dry, these comments are also from my Amma Darling!!!!
Now Coming to the recipe, I have followed a mix of Mamta' recipe and Sharmila's Recipe!!!
Lentil Grinding and Soaking was done according to Mamta's Recipe, wheras the spice mix i took it from Sharmila's.
I m giving you the measurements, which i followed.
Ingredients
1/2 cup Urad dal
1/2 cup grated Ash-gourd
1/2 tsp Methi seeds
2 Green Chillies
1 red Chilli
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Cumin
2 sprigs Curry leaves
A small piece of ginger
Hing a pinch
Salt to taste

Method
I Grinded the urad dal coaresely, then soaked in enough water for the dal to immerse, 1/2 inch above the dal. Added hing and left the dal overnight to ferment. Next day morning, grind Chillies, Pepper, Cumin, Curry Leaves and ginger all together and mix with the Dal mixture. Squeeze out the extra water from ash-gourd add it to the dal mixture. Mix Well. It has to be stiff, dropping consistency. If you drop a blob of mixture in a bowl of water, it should float. 
Grease Two Flat plates with little oil and Place small blobs on the plate. Pray Sun God for his Mercy and Sun-dry them. Mine is 90% Done, But need to dry some more tomorrow morning with the mercy of Mr.Sun.
I didnt want to miss this Month'a ICC, so i sun-dried yesterday and air-dried today :( (since it was cloudy) and took the pics jus now @ 11:30 PM and posting it!!!! Sorry Valli, Amma veedu, Sorgam + Somberithanam, Aug 27th reaching my place, so will come be inline for next challenge!!!! :)
It was a Good Experience making these baris, now i know how much pain both my appa and amma take to make Vadam  of all sorts for us!!! Even now i have Dabba full of these yummies!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Vendaikaai Fry/Okra Fry

There is a Ritual called "Pongiduthal" in our Tradition. When there is a Marriage/Poonal Function in a family, the Paternal Aunt/Athai and Maternal Uncle/Mama Will do this Pongiduthal ritual to the bride/groom or to the Bramhachari/Bachelor from whom Poonal/Thread Wearing Ceremony is going to be done.
We have a family friend,whose son is getting married this month, he regards my mom as his elder sister.So My Mom as his Paternal Aunt invited the groom for the pongiduthal ceremony. 
The Story is we prepared a Traditional Lunch Last week. This Okra fry was part of that Menu!!!Very Easy to make tasty snack.A tricky treat to your toddlers too!!! :)

Ingredient
250gms Okra
4 tbsp Gram flour/Besan
3tbsp Corn flour
2tbsp Rice Flour
2-3 tsp Red Chili Powder
Hing,turmeric a pinch
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

Method
Wash and Pat dry the Okra's. Cut them into 1inch Pieces.Take them in a bowl, add all the flours and rest of the ingredients and mix well by sprinkling little water. Don't make it watery. The flours should just coat the okra. Let it sit for 30minutes.
Heat oil in a Kadai, when its hot,deep fry the okra's in batches. Dont turn them as soon as they are dropped!!! Wait for 2-3 minutes, Let it start frying then turn them. They might look clustered, but once they get fried they will separate. Avoid turning too often. Keep the heat to Medium.  Once they get browned,take them out of oil and drain on a Kitchen Towel. 
I didnt have time to do that, since i served them straight from the pan,Hot,Hot!!! Tasted Great!!!

A Glimpse of what we served that day
Badam Burfi, Raita, Potato Fry, Okra Fry, Appalam, Vadai, Yellow Rice,  Paruppu, VethaKozhambhu, Sambhar, Rasam and Sweet Semiya!!!:)

Friday, August 06, 2010

GAINING THOSE BROWNIE POINTS

This Story Came out as an article in Friday - Weekly Magazine that comes with Gulf News Newspaper @ UAE. My Hubby took efforts to type this and mail me. Thanks Vaasu!!!

The Story
Image Courtesy : WWW

The husband has really done it now. The man has lost seven kgs in four weeks.
I would never try to take personal credit for the husband's success, but I might mention that I had talked to him recently (several hundred times actually) about heart attack risks.
I talked to him about the danger of packing on weight around the middle, about the fact that he works outside a lot sweating in the heat and humidity, lugging heavy equipment, and about the fat contnent of ice cream and cheese.
Was it was my nagging that motivated him? No. He decided to knock off some weight before his high school reunion.
You want to know how he did it, right? Well, for a small weekly fee, a special weight-loss supplement called El Placebo, and a DVD of me carping about weight loss, just send a blank cheque and I'll tell you.
Just kidding, I'll tell you right now: He's a man. That's how he lost weight - men lose weight more easily than women. A man thinks, "I'm going to lose weight now," and two kgs drop to the floor.
A woman thinks, "I'm going to lose weight now," and her phone rings. She is asked to make brownies for a social function and dutifully agrees to do so.
She goes into the kitchen, mixes up brownie batter and licks the beater, hoping that no one is watching. She pours the batter into the pan and wipes the spatula clean with her finger, which goes directly into her mouth. She is about to wash the mixing bowl, but sees traces of batter clinging to the slides. Waste not, want not.

Thirty-five minutes later, she takes the brownies out of the oven. They look good, but they would look even better iced. She mixes up that fabulous recipe for chocolate icing which is printed on the back of a cocoa can. She has no choice but to repeatedly test the frosting for consistency.She ices the brownies and thinks what they could really use are some chopped nuts. And toasted coconut. She tests the nuts for freshness and coconut for toastedness.
The brownies look nice in the pan but she decides they would look superb on a platter. She cuts them into serving portions, gathering excess iced brownie with each drag of the knife. This brownie excess is dpeosited on a small plate for someone else to enjoy, but she devours it herself within seconds.
And then disaster strikes. Two brownies break on their way out of the pan. Since the brownies are broken, each piece is no smaller than a regular serving, meaning the calories are smaller, too, so she eats those as well.
The next morning the woman steps on the scale and screams, "Men! They have it so easy!" And that is how the husband lost weight - because he is a man and not a woman.
I refuse to believe it had anything to do with the fact that he cut out all eating between meals, ate smaller portion sizes, reduced the many glasses of milk he dran each day and eliminated all desserts with the exception of 45 calorie frozen fruit bars.
Believe whatever you want. Just dont ask me to make brownies. GAINING THOSE BROWNIE POINTS - sounding off in this Friday.
Story Ends:
This is from my Hubby  "Sorry Priya, I know that it is difficult to lose weight being in the kitchen, this article reinforces that. All the Very best."

Being in the Kitchen, It is a bit tough to stay on your diet, but it isn't impossible. Saying that, i haven't checked my weight for the past 2 months :) I m a bit scared!!!!!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Apricot Halwa/Qubani Ka Meetha

Every time when me or my brother comes home we get some dry fruits for appa amma. This time my brother got some dried apricots. Amma tried one and poor thing she didnt like the taste @ all. Now Appa, doesnt even want to come near that!!!! So, Poor Apricot was there in our freezer for the past 3 or 4 months!!!! Thought of Rescuing those Apricots, Made some halwa!! turned out yummy!!! 
Ingredients
3 cups Dried Apricot, Stuffed Loose
21/2 cups of Sugar
1/2 Cup Badam
6-8 pods of Cardamom
1/2 cup Ghee/Clarified Butter
Pinch of Pachai Karpooram or Cinnamomum Camphora or Edible Camphor

Method

  • Soak Apricots in Water, Water level should be to just immerse them. Leave it for 24 hrs. By this time, the apricots would have absorbed all the water and be very soggy!!! Grind it to a paste with whatever water remaining the bowl in which it was soaked. Keep aside.

  • Take sugar in a heavy-bottom pan and add water just to immerse the sugar, Let it boil and syrup reach single-thread consistency or otherwise "kambhi paagu". When u touch the sugar syrup and stretch it between your thumb and index finger u should get a single thread of Sugar syrup. In this mean time, Roast the almonds in Ghee and break it coarsely. 
  • Once the sugar syrup reaches this consistency, Mix the Grind apricot paste to the syrup and mix well. Now Comes the little effort part, STIRRING!!!!. 
  • Keep the Flame Low, Let the Halwa get a bit thick, Add Ghee little by Little and Keep Stirring, Just Keep Stirring, Just Keep Stirring,Stirring, Stirring, ha, ha, ha, we Stir!!!! (Suddenly Remembered Dory, The Little Blue From Finding Nemo!!!). 
  • Add the Pachai Karpooram/Edible Camphor and Broken Almonds and Mix Well.

  • Once the Ghee starts separating and the halwa doesnt stick to the sides of the pan, put off the flame and transfer it to Clean Plate. 
  • Serve this halwa to your kids in their Bread toast/Chapthi's, they will just love it and u too get a satisfaction of giving them something healthy and Home-made!!!! 
  • Serve this Halwa with some Cream, and your Qubani ka Meetha is ready!!!!
Note: Edible Camphor should be used very little, just a pinch or else you will get a bitter or rather unpleasant taste of it in the halwa.


Sending this Qubani Ka Meetha to Iftar Moments Event @ Taste of Pearl City by Umm Mymoonah and also to 
Festive Food - Rakhi 2010 @ Indian Khana by Priti And to 'Only' Kids Delight @ Foodelicious by Pari and to Dish Name starts with A @ Akila's Kitchen

 
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