Sunday, June 30, 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Homemade Rasam Powder- My Father-in-Law's Recipe

Rasam Powder, Every house-hold has a different recipe for this particular spice-mix. Atleast Sambhar powder, will be more or less the same ingredients, but Rasam Powder is always different  I dont use rasam powder for rasam,instead i use my Kootu Podi itself . This habit follows from my mom.  So, when i wanted to try a Pucca Rasam Powder recipe, i called my Father-in-Law, yes you read it right, Even my Sambhar powder is his recipe. He is the King of Kitchen @ his place. He gave me the recipe which will last you for a month, i have scaled down the recipe and made 1/2 Cup of Rasam Powder, the reduced measurements i m giving it in brackets. 
Ingredients : Scaled Down quantity is given in brackets
300 gms Daniya/Coriander Seeds  (1/2 Cup)
50 gms Red Chilies/Milagai (5-6 nos)
100 gms Peppercorns/Milagu (2 tbsp)
25 gms Jeera/Cumin Seeds(2 tsp)
1 handfull of Tuvar dal/Thuvaram Paruppu/Split Yellow pigeon peas (1 tbsp)
1 handful of Gram Dal/Chana Dal/Kadala Paruppu (1 tbsp)
Method
  • Dry Roast all the given ingredients one by one, in a slow flame.
  • Spread the Roasted ingredients on a flat plate, let it cool. Then Grind it to a fine powder using  your Spice Grinder or Mixer.

  • Spread on a newspaper for it cool down again, then store it in an Air-tight container. If grinding little quantities, no need to cool it down after grinding.

  • While making Rasam, use 2 heaped teaspoons of rasam powder along with 1/2 tsp of Sambar Powder and make rasam.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#29

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Curry Podi/Curry Powder

Curry Podi is another essential Masala in many south-indian kitchen. I normally use my Sambhar Powder to spice my dry curries/Subzi's which i make everyday to go with Rice. But some use this combination of spice-mix for the same purpose.  Whenever i make Brinjal Curry or Stuffed Brinjals i use this spice for the special kick it gives. 
This time i tried using this spice for the Bhindi Subzi, Loved the taste n aroma of Freshly pound Coriander along with red chilies, try it and you will know what i m talking about.

Ingredients
1/2 Cup Coriander seeds/Dhaniya
2 tbsp Chana Dal/Gram Dal/Kadalai paruppu
7-8 Red Chilies (long variety)(reduce to 5, if you don't prefer Hot Curries)
1 tsp Peppercorns
2 tbsp Desiccated Coconut
2 Sprigs of Curry leaves
Method
  • Dry roast coriander seeds and gram dal together in a very low flame. Roast till the dal turn golden brown and the coriander starts giving out a nice aroma.
  • Switch of the gas and add the red chilies, Peppercorns and Desiccated Coconut to the Hot pan and Mix well with a spatula for it to roast on the residual heat.
  • Take it out on a Flat plate, let it cool, then take grind it to a fine powder using a Spice grinder.
  • The Above Quantity gives you approximately 1/2 Cup of Powder, use a tsp or two of this powder to spice your Dry Curies/Subzi.
  • This Powder can also be used to Thicken Sambhar, take 2 tsp of this powder, add little water to make a thin paste and add to sambhar
  • Since this Spice Powder contains Desiccated Coconut, try to store this in refrigerator or else it might give you an odd smell. Make it in little quantities, that way it stays fresh.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Kootu Podi/Spice Mix for Kootu

Kootu Podi, this recipe is my Amma's recipe. I have been following this for the past 8 years and my Kootu has never failed to attract appreciation. It is a simple to make and easy to remember recipe. I always use a Tea Cup/Coffee Dabara to measure the quantities while making this Powder. This Stores well in Room Temperature,More than a month. The below given measurements will keep you going for a month. I use the same powder for my Rasam too, with a green chili added, it tastes great.

Ingredients
3/4 Cup Dhaniya/Coriander Seeds
1 Cup Milagu/Pepper
1-1/2 Cups Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1 Cup Thuvaram Paruppu/Toor Dal/Split Pigeon peas
1 Cup Kadalai Paruppu/Chana Dal/Gram Dal
1/2 Cup Moong Dal
Method
  • Take all the given ingredients in a Mixer and Grind until almost fine.
  • Dont Grind it too fine, a little coarse dal, adds a great texture and taste to the Kootu or Rasam.
  • While using in Kootu, add 2 tsp of this spice mix, I have used the same  Spice mix in Malabar Vellari Kootu Recipe.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Strawberry Popsicle's - Vegan

I came across this recipe, while gawking @ Foodgawker. Was totally in love with the picture and i wanted to try a vegan version to know how it will taste. Believe me, the richness of this creamsicle's while taking every slurp, was amazing!!! Sun is Mercilessly roasting us here, the temperatures are very high during the day and we constantly look for something Chill to cool us. So, these Fruit Popsicle's  served double the purpose, a delicious summer treat and healthy too!!! Made it last weekend and we all enjoyed slurping this, watching a nice movie!!!
A Perfect Party snack, what is a kids's party without Ice-cream, so this batch goes straight to Kalyani's Space, where this month's Kids Delight - Party Ideas, is happening, an Event by Srivalli.
Recipe Source : Mississipi Kitchen
Ingredients
A Small box of Fresh Strawberries, about 1 to 1-1/2 Cups
1 Can of Coconut Milk (300ml)
Method
  • Wash the Strawberries. Remove the stem portion of the berries and also the white portion beneath it. This together is called hulling the strawberries.
  • Take the berries in the blender, Add half the coconut milk to it and Blend until smooth. Add the remaining Coconut Milk and Blend until mixed.
  • Transfer the blended mixture into Popsicle moulds. If you dont have Popsicle mould like me, then divide the mix among 6 plastic cups and place the cups in a muffin tray and Stick it in the freezer.
  • After an hour or two, insert a ice-cream stick in the center of each cup. Let it sit overnight.
  • Before Serving, Just cut open the plastic Cup from a Side and peel it to remove. Enjoy, Slurping!!! :) 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cherry Jelly/Cherry pie filling Jelly/Cherry agar agar Pudding

Kitchen-pantry Cleaning before vacation, uffff!!! Checking and organizing, things that can be used later and things to be finished before leaving. While doing that, this Can of Pie Filling hiding behind a stack of Flour packets, grinned!!!! Oh my, when did i buy this???? mmmmmmmm, not able to remember!! Sigh!!! 
Okie, it has be finished before July end. So, think, think, No Pies,!!!  Shall i make Pannacotta, Hubby Screamed, No Cream!!!!!!! 
Ok,lets make Jello!!!! 
Kuttu: Amma But Jello, should be a bit see through, kinda transparent!!!
Amma(to herself) : Fast, Think another name!!!! It is Faux Cherry Pannacotta!!! Howzzzat???

Ingredients
1 Can of Mother's Maid Cherry Pie Filling / 2.5 Cups of Cherry Pie Filling
1/3 Cup of Sugar (adjust according to taste)
1 tsp Vanillai Extract
1/2 Cup Agar/China Grass
Method
  • Soak Agar-Agar in 1 Cup Hot Water for 10 minutes.  I get Agar-Agar/China grass stalks. Whenever i make Pannacotta, i break them into small pieces and Soak them in Hot Water to ease the process of melting while cooking them.
  • Take the Agar-Agar Soaked Water to stove, Cook it in a Very low flame, Do not allow the liquid to boil. Keep it low and Stir to combine and melt. It will start melting after 10 minutes on the low flame. 
  • While this is cooking, Open the can of pie filling, take it in a blender add sugar and blend until smooth. Transfer the blended cherry filling to a sauce pan and start heating in a slow flame. Take care, it will be very thick, so there is a chance of it burning and it might also splutter out of the vessel, so keep the flame low.
  • When it is almost hot, and ready to boil, add vanilla extract and mix well. Now add the melted agar-agar using a strainer. This is to avoid any agar-agar goo getting into the finished dessert. Stir to combine well.
  • Take it off the stove, let it cool for 10 minutes, pour them into moulds and . Let it rest on the Kitchen Counter for 30 mins, then refrigerate atleast 4-5 hours for the Dessert to set. 
  • While Serving, un-mould it on a plate, cut into squares and serve. 
  • To Get more Smiles, Serve it with a blob of Fresh Cream or Whipped cream on top.
Sending this to Kids Delight - Party Ideas, happening @ Sizzling tastebuds, Event by Srivalli.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Doughless, Gluten-free, Carrot n Potato Crust, Vegetable Mini Pizza

When Anusha Praveen of Tomato Blues asked to make an Avante Garde pizza for Groovy Gourmets this month, i challenged myself to make a Dough-less pizza and started looking for some inspiration for the same. I came across pizza with cauliflower crusts, chickpea flour,etc. I didn't want to settle for the usual. I decided to make a Potato Crust Pizza.
Hearing the name Potato Pizza, my hubby was so much worried about the amount of calories and carbs. Naturally, we always think Potato is something Loaded with Bad stuff and anybody saying they are on a diet and eating potatoes, are insane. Before Proceeding with the recipe, i wanted to confirm whether this thinking is right or not?So, i mailed my Nutritionist Sangeeta Khanna , who blogs @ Health Food DesiVideshi, to clear my doubts.
My Question was Does Potatoes Contradicts Healthy Eating? This is what she replied
Hmm..small amounts can be had, especially with skin. Fried is bad, boiled, roasted grilled is better. Potatoes are actually a healthy starch but most abused in Indian cooking. So with dense protein meals , potatoes can be had if you are not having roti or rice..
After seeing the reply, i happily proceeded to the kitchen and made this for the entire family. When making for kids, i would recommend adding a blob of butter, while cooking the base, this surely enhances the flavor. Its a perfect Party snack, try using different moulds and experiment with the toppings.
Inspired from : Paula's Healthy Living
Ingredients
1 Large Potato
1 Medium-Size  Carrot
1/4 tsp dried Oregano
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tsp dried Basil
Salt to taste

Toppings
1 Red Bell pepper, thinly sliced
Slices of Cheddar Cheese
Method
  • Peel Potato and Carrot, Chop into cubes. Take the veggies along with a Cup of water in  a Microwave Safe bowl and Cook @ Microwave high for 6 minutes. or until the vegetables are 3/4th cooked. You can even do it on stove-top. If doing on stove-top, then switch of the gas when the water starts boiling. Keep it covered for 10 minutes for the veggies to cook al dente.
  • Once the veggies are done, drain the excess water and let them be in the colander until the last drop of water has drained and veggies are completely dry. At this stage i kept them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes for them to firm up and ease grating. This is purely optional, but guarantees, easy grating without the veggies turning into mash!!!
  • Next step is to Grate the veggies using a grater. Take the grated veggies in a bowl,  add red chili powder, oregano, dried basil and salt. Combine together to form  a loose dough.
  • Heat a Skillet. Place a Cake ring in the center or any mould that is heat-resistant or if you are good in shaping it into a thick patty, then proceed without the cake ring.
  • Fill the Cake-ring/mould with 2-3 spoons of Veggie filling and press it well to form a good shape inside the ring/mould. After a minute, remove the ring mould. you can see a perfectly shaped crust there!!!
  • Let this cook in a Slow flame. Patience is important, if you cook in a high flame, the base might burn and the top will be uncooked, spoiling the taste. So, Let this cook in a slow flame. Take about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add a spoon of oil to the base and place 4-5 slices of red  bell pepper on it and tear a slice of cheese into 4-5 pieces and place it on top of the pizza. Sprinkle a pinch of oregano on top. Cover and Cook in a Slow flame for another 10 minutes or until the cheese melts. 
  • Transfer it into a serving plate and Hog Hot!!!! The Leftover pizza can be refrigerated, before serving, reheat for 30 seconds and Serve Hot.
Notes
  • The Skillet can be either Iron or Non-stick, i have used both. If using Iron-Skillet, then first add a tsp of oil to the skillet, let it rest of 4-5 seconds and wipe it off clean in circular motion, covering the entire pan, using a kitchen-towel and then start making the pizza
  • i tried baking it too, but the base didn't hold well even after baking for 12 minutes @200 C. May be adding a little Chickpea flour or any other gluten-free flour might help.

Sending this to Kids Delight - Party Ideas, Happening @ Sizzling Tastebuds, Event by Srivalli, also to Only- Crazy for Potatoes, happening @ Nivedhanams, Event by Pari. What's with my Cuppa 2?, happening @ UK Rasoi.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#29

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Narkol Naru/Sticky Coconut Balls with Chopped Pears - Microwave Method

Today was a bit busy. In another two weeks i m leaving to india, for a two month bindaas vacation. So a bit of cleaning up started. And also, I met Nalini Suresh of Nalini's Kitchen in my home. It was such a pleasure meeting.  She came home with her hubby Mr. Suresh and her two Kiddo's. The Little one was still in Jet Lag and didn't open a eye-lid!!! We had a nice chat for some time and didn't know how the time flew. I felt like we knew each other for a long time ,would love to have such pleasured company and thanks to this Blogging World, for bringing us together as family and friends.
Coming to today's recipe, these truffles i made long ago, not knowing, that they belong to Bengali Cuisine. Originally thought of posting it for Next week's theme. While Blog-hopping, looking for Bengali Recipes, i came across these truffles @ Ishita's Space. Since today i couldn't manage to do what i intended to do, i thought i will post this today!!! Sigh!!!
So, let's talk some history about these truffles Traditionally this is made using Notun Gur/Nolen Gur/Date Jaggery, Nolen/Notun Jaggery literally means New Jaggery, which is available during Winter season. But here, i get the normal jaggery, but i m not sure of Date Jaggery. But , we do get, a lot of Date Syrup, fresh, thick and tasty, aromatic Date Syrup!!! I have made this using Date syrup. 
As i said, i didn't know this belongs to Bengali Cuisine, if known i wouldn't added Pear. So, if you guys want an authentic Bengali Delicacy, try without adding pears.!!!But i don't  regret adding Chopped pears to these truffles, Happy that  one way or the other some fruit is getting into their diet!!! :)
You can read some more about this Wonderful Cuisine @ Kolkatta's Sweetest Season

Ingredients
1 Cup Freshly Grated Coconut
3/4 Cup Date Syrup
2 Rosemary Pears, Finely Chopped (optional)
2-3 pods of Cardamom, Crushed
2 tbsp Roasted Almonds, Silvered (optional)
Method
  • In a Microwave Safe Pan/Bowl, Take the Almonds Silvers, add a drop of oil and Cook @ Microwave for a minute or two, for it to roast. In my Microwave, for this amount it takes a Minute to roast. Every Microwave works different, so cook accordingly.
  • In Another Microwave Safe Deep-Bowl, Take the Coconut and Date Syrup.  Cook @ Microwave High for 6 minutes. Taking the Bowl out. after Every 1 minute and Stirring well. After the first 3 minutes, the mixture might look runny, don't worry, Keep Cooking, it will start thickening.
  • After the first 6 minutes, the mixture will be medium thick, now add the chopped pears to this and Mix well. Cook @ Microwave high for another 3 minutes, taking out after every 1 minute and stirring.
  • After this add Crushed Cardamom and chopped almonds, Cook @ Microwave high for another 2-3 minutes, for the mixture to come together.
  • Take it out of the oven, let it sit for 4-5 minutes and Cool. Make Golf-size balls out of it and if needed you can roll it on some fresh coconut. But i skipped that, as such they tasted Good.
  • Store it in an Air-tight Container in the Refrigerator. It will stay good for a week, mine got over in 2-3 days.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#29

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mishti Doi/Sweetened Curd - A Bengali Delicacy

When Cooking Bengali Sweets and not making Mishti Doi, I consider it awful!!!!  What is this Mishti Doi/Mitha Dahi? According to me, it is a quick to make Snack/Dessert and healthy too!!! 
But, According to WIKI:
Mitha Dahi or Mishti doi is a fermented sweet dahi or sweet yogurt. It is common in the states of West Bengal and Odisha in India, and also in Bangladesh. 
Earthenware is always used as the container for making Mitha Dahi because the gradual evaporation of water through its porous walls not only further thickens the yoghurt, but also produces the right temperature for the growth of the culture. Very often the yoghurt is delicately seasoned with a pinch of elaichi (cardamom) for fragrance. Baked yogurt is a similar preparation in the west. As Dahi (Curd) is also considered auspicious in Hindu religion , it is also prepared on festive occasions and celebrations like Durga Puja and Diwali.
While Looking for this recipe, i came across many methods but i went on with a Bong's Recipe, yup i followed Sudheshna's recipe from Cook like a Bong!!! She needs no introduction, she has a wonderful collection of Bengali recipes and also some great history weaved with that food. Good Food, comes with Great Memories!!!

Ingredients
1 litre Full Fat Milk
1/3 Cup of Sugar (Make it 1/2 Cup, if you prefer more sweetness)
1-2 tbsp Yogurt
handful of pistachios and almond flakes, for garnishing
2 pinches of saffron

Method

  • Take milk in a thick bottom vessel and start heating it over low flame. I added 2 stainless steel spoons to it, to prevent burning of milk at the bottom of the pan. A Tip given by experienced Lataji of Flavors n Taste, which i follow till date while making Milk-based desserts.
  • As the milk, starts boiling add 4 tablespoons of sugar and keep on simmering till the volume is reduced to little less than half. Scrap down the sides and stir well frequently.
  • Take the remaining sugar with 2 tablespoons of water and heat till the sugar melts and attains a golden brown color
  • Gradually add the molten sugar over the milk and boil for another 15 minutes over low flame.
  • Take it out of flame and let it become lukewarm add Yogurt and saffron, whisk well and pour the mixture into small Earthen Pot/ramekins/bowls. Garnish with almonds and Pistachios.
  • Keep the bowls/ramekins/Earthern pot in a cool dry place, and let the yogurt set over night. Refrigerate the set the Mishti Doi and serve as a Chilled dessert.
Sending this to Healthy Me, Healthy Us Event, happening @ sizzling tastebuds, event by Priya of Mharo  Rajasthan Recipes. Also to My Bowl of Snack, happening  @ Jagruti's Space.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Chanar Jalebi /Paneer Jalebi

For the Second Week of Blogging Marathon#29, i have chosen Course-wise Meal from any State. I Chose Bengali Sweets. So, for the next 3 days i will be posting Bong Sweets!!! I m starting with Chanar Jallebi or Paneer Jalebi. This was the Challenge given to us by Chandrani Banerjee of Cuisine Delights for SNC Challenge. What is SNC? A Monthly Fun Challenge, organised by Divya Pramil of You too Can Cook. We have two teams, the South team and the North team and every month each team member will challenge the other with an authentic recipe of their team. This month, we got an Bengali Delight, Chanar Jalebi, an authentic sweet prepared on festive occasions. The jalebi's were light and great on taste.

Making these Swirly Beauties, brought back a lot of Nostalgic Moments. I , particularly have a special attachment to this Paneer Jalebi, since it was the First Sweet me and my hubby, tasted after our engagement. The only place we used to go was Spencer Plaza @ Mount Road, and Shree Mithai there was our little haven!!Thanks to Divya and Chandrani for an Amazing Challenge 
Ingredients
2 Liters of Full Fat Milk
Juice of one big lemon
1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
2-3 tbsp Maida/All Purpose Flour
Oil for Deep frying
2 tbsp of Pistachios for garnishing

Sugar Syrup
1 Cup of Sugar
1/2 Cup of Water
2-3 pods of Cardamom, Crushed
2 pinches of Saffron strands
Procedure
  • Boil milk in a heavy bottom pan and add the lemon juice. Keep Stirring, until the milk starts to curdle and let the whey water become clear.Line a sieve with a muslin or cotton cloth. Pour the curdled milk into it. Wash the Strained Paneer under running water to remove the strains of lemon juice added. 
  • Place the sieve on a bowl and set it aside for 30 minutes until all the water has been drained out. Remove the paneer from the cloth and transfer it to a plate. If not going to use immediately, then cling wrap it and refrigerate.
  • If making jalebi immediately, then add  maida, baking powder and cardamom powder to the paneer and Knead to form a smooth dough. Once formed, let the dough rest on the kitchen counter.
  • To make the Sugar Syrup, Take Sugar, Water, saffron and cardamom pods in a Sauce pan and bring it to boil. Let it boil in a low flames until the syrup becomes little sticky.Remove from the flame and set aside.
  • In another pan heat oil for deep frying. Pinch small balls out of the dough and roll the ball into a long thick rope. Shape the rope into a pretzel or just a swirl. Deep fry the jalebis until nicely they are golden brown.
  • Remove from oil and add it to the warm syrup. Repeat the process with rest of the dough. Let the jalebi's soak in the syrup for 3-4 hours. Garnish with sliced pistas and serve.
Notes
  • I made the paneer the previous day night and the jalebi's next day morning. So i kept the cottage cheese in the refrigerator cling-wrapped.
  • Next day, After removing from the refrigerator, i kept it on the counter for 30 minutes. I didn't add Milk to make the dough, since my dough was moisten enough to get a smooth dough. 

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