Thursday, April 18, 2013

Panakkam/Panagam/Jaggery Water and Paruppu/Moong Dal Salad for RamNavami

Sri RamNavami, Happy Birthday to Lord Rama, celebrated during the Tamil month Chitrai(14th April - 14th May) on the 9th day following the New Moon. The Offering/Neivedhiyam to Lord is Simple/Humble Panagam or Jaggery Water, Butter Milk and Moong Dal Salad. Both the recipes makes a Delicious and healthy Snack anytime.
1/3 Cup of Powdered Jaggery
1.5 Cups of Water
juice of half lemon (optional)
3 pods of Cardamom, Crushed
1/2 tsp Dry ginger powder/Sukku Podi

  • In a Bowl, add Jaggery, Water, Dry Ginger Powder, Lemon juice(if adding),Let it sit for 15-20 minutes, until jaggery dissolves completely in the water.
  • Using a Strainer, strain the jaggery water into another bowl, add the crushed cardamom and mix well.
  • Serve Chill.
Vadai Paruppu/Moong Dal Salad
2 tbsp Moong Dal
2 tsp freshly grated coconut
1/2 tsp shredded ginger

1 tsp Oil
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 or 2 green chili, finely chopped
4-5 curry leaves
hing and turmeric, each a pinch

Additional Dressings
2-3 tbsp Chopped Raw Mango
2-3 tbsp chopped Cucumber
2-3 tbsp Shredded Carrot

  • Soak Moong Dal in 1/4 Cup Water for an hour. By this time, the dal would have absorbed most of the water and become soft. Now, Drainthe excess water completely.
  • Take the dal in a bowl, heat oil given under tempering,add mustard seeds and let them splutter, add the chopped green chillies, curry leaves, hing and turmeric.
  • Pour the sizzling tempering over the dal, add the freshly grated coconut and adjust the salt and mix well.
  • Traditional Neivedhiyam/Offering for Ram Navami doesn't include the additional dressings. If you prefer to add, then you can also include grated carrot, raw mango and chopped cucumber to the above tempered Dal and make a Delicious and Filling Salad that makes a yummy and healthy snack.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

No Bake Mango Cheese Cake

Baking Partners this month, Swathi chose to make Cheese cake, she gave us four recipes to choose from and i chose Sweatha's suggestion No Bake Mango Cheese Cake from Divine Taste
Though i got all the ingredients ready the same week, but then my lil one got sick, Viral Fever for 2 weeks, so totally got tied up and couldn't do the bake on time. Then finally last weekend, i made it for Dinner and man, we enjoyed it a lot!!!! I had to save few slices for the Click the next day, it was that yum!!

For Crust
1 1/2 cups digestive biscuits/plain sweet biscuits, crushed
1/2 cup  butter (preferably salted butter), chopped

For Filling
1/2 cup fine sugar or powdered sugar
3 cups thick full cream yogurt
1 cup water
1/4 Cup Chinagrass or Agar Agar 
2.5 Cups of Mango Puree, i used canned mangoes, Fresh Mangoes can also be used
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the Mango Glaze
1/2 cup Mango Puree
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp lime juice

Hung Yogurt n Paneer

  • Place the yogurt in a cheesecloth lined colander over a container and allow to drain overnight to get half the quantity thick yogurt.
  • For making Paneer, boil 2 litres of Milk, add a juice of lemon when it starts to boil  keep stirring until the whey separates completely. Add 7-8 ice-cubes, take t off the stove. Strain it over a cheese-cloth lined colander. Collect the whey completely.

Prepare the crust
  • Place all the biscuits in a sealed plastic bag (Zip loc) and with a rolling pin beat until the biscuits are powdered or use your blender to do the job.  
  • Once this is done put the biscuits in a large mixing bowl. Put in the butter and rub with your hands until the mixture is well mixed.  Alternatively, process the biscuits in a food processor until fine, drop in the butter and process again until the mixture is properly blended.
  • Remove the mixture and press it evenly into the base of an 8” deep round spring-form pan or any pan with a removable bottom or a 9” regular round pan. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes or in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Prepare the filling
  • Break the china grass into small pieces and soak in 1 cup warm water for about 10 minutes until it becomes soft.
  • In a food processor fitted with the metal blade or blender place the strained yogurt and paneer cheese or cottage cheese and process until smooth and creamy. Transfer this to a mixing bowl.
  • In a sauce pan, heat the mango puree over a medium flame. Do not allow this to boil. In another saucepan place the china-grass and water mixture and stir on low heat until it melts completely, about 10-12 minutes. Do not allow this to boil.
  • After the china grass melts completely, pour the hot china grass solution into the hot mango puree, stirring all the while.
  • Slowly add the mango mixture into the yogurt and cheese mixture, stir in the sugar and vanilla extract and beat well with a wire whisk until well blended.
  • Pour this mixture over the prepared crust, level with a spoon and chill in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours.For the Mango Glaze
  • Place all the ingredients for the glaze in a saucepan and cook over medium heat. When it begins to boil, reduce the flame and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more. Allow to come to room temperature and then spread the glaze over the cheesecake with a spoon. 
  • Allow the glaze to set over the cheesecake for 2 to 3 hours or more before slicing it.  Allow the cheesecake to set for an hour or so before spreading the glaze over it.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

French Beans Curry/Dry Subzi

Beans Curry/Dry Subzi a simple saute which can be made either with moong dal or with Coconut. But i usually make it with both. In our place, this curry will also be part of a Festival Menu where the spread is like 2 Curry, Dal/Kootu, Sambhar, Rasam, Vadai and Payasam. Coz mostly one of the curries will be deep-fry and other will be a simple saute. It is an Easy to make, quick recipe that serves as a tasty accompaniment with Rice/roti or even with my Morning Breakfast Dosa!!!
2 Cups Chopped French Beans
3 tbsp of Moong dal
3 tbsp of freshly grated coconut 
1/2 cup Water
Salt to taste

2 tsp Vegetable Oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 sprigs of curry leaves
3 green chilies (i have used 2 Thai red chilies) , slit lengthwise
1/4 tsp hing/asafoetida
1/4 tsp turmeric powder

  • Heat a pan/kadai, with oil given under "Tempering", Splutter mustard seeds, add hing, turmeric powder, curry leaves and slit Chilies, and Saute.
  • Next add the Chopped Beans to the Tempering and saute for a minute or two. Next add 1/2 Cup Water, Grated Coconut, Moong dal to it . Close and Cook for 10-12 minutes. 
  • After the given time, if the beans is cooked, remove the lid and cook till it is dry. It takes another 3-5 minutes. If the beans is still uncooked after 12 minutes, then cover and cook for some more time.
  • Take it off the stove and Serve Hot with Rice/roti. I even have it with Dosa's.
Wishing you all a Very Happy Tamil New Year

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Mixed Vegetable Raita/Thayir Pachadi

Summer is here officially, it is tough to stay inside with out Air-conditioning. Outdoors are very sweaty and not to mention the crazy climate over here, Morning it was dusty, hazy Sand-storm and evening it is raining like crazy!!!! So, these days a raita or simple chopped cucumbers are sure in our daily meal. Made this Raita for my Hubby's Lunch-box last week to go along with Roti and Side-dish. An Easy to make summer coolant. A Perfect combo to One-pot meals and Stuffed Parathas.
1 medium-sized cucumber
medium-sized carrot
medium-sized onion
medium-sized Tomato
1 green chilli, Chopped fine
1 tsp shredded ginger
1/2 Cup Yogurt
a pinch of red chilli powder
a pinch of cumin powder
few Coriander leaves for garnishing
Salt to taste

  • Wash, Peel and chop Cucumber and Carrot thinly. Chop Onion and Tomato Finely. Take all the veggies in a bowl. 
  • To this bowl, add chopped green chili, shredded ginger and mix well.
  • Whisk the Yogurt well, add it to the veggie bowl. Stir to combine. Refrigerate until use.
  • Add salt just before serving.
  • If packing this raita for lunch, make hung curd instead of yogurt. Take the yogurt in a strainer and leave it for an hour or two for all the whey to strain out. Then add the veggies n keep the salt separately. 
  • You can Mix and Match your veggies here, the aim is to have Fresh/raw Veggies with all its Nutrients as such. You can even add Capsicum to this.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Home-made Sambhar Powder/Sambar Podi

Traveling abroad for the first time after marriage, first thing my amma  worried was about Sambhar Powder and Rasam Powder. We don't have Flour Mills here like we have in India. We have in some areas but,they grind large quantities and they also don't do it as fine as we do back home. So While coming for the first time, i brought a packet of Sambhar Powder from amma, which lasted for 3 months. 
But after that, I wasn't comfortable to ask somebody coming from india, to bring us the packet which amma prepares. So, i started grinding at home with my mixer. This measurement is what i follow, taken from my Amma and from my Father-in-Law, yeah you read right My FIL!!! It works fine for me for the past 8 years.
200gms Whole Coriander seeds/Dhaniya
200gms Round Chillies
100gms Toor Dal/Pigeon Peas
100gms Chana Dal/Gram Dal
25gms Methi Seeds
25gms Black Peppercorns
half  of a Copra/Khopra/Dried Coconut, Thinly Slcied
1 Cup of Curry Leaves (Loosely Packed)

  • In  a Hard-Bottom Pan, Dry Roast the given ingredients one by one, except Copra/Khopra/Dried Coconut.
  • After Dry roasting, spread them on a wide plate all together.Let it cool or come to room temperature.
 In the Dry-Grinding Jar of your Mixer/Food Processor, Grind roasted ingredients,in batches to a fine powder.
  • Spread the ground Powder on a Newspaper/Wide Plate to Cool. After 30 minutes or an hour, Transfer the Sambhar Powder in a Clean Jar. 
  • The Above Given Quantity of ingredients, i get sambhar powder which comes around a month for me. I use Sambhar powder even for my Dry Curries/Subzi's. Next time i wil try to weigh the sambhar powder and let you know the amount exactly.
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