Monday, October 31, 2016

Urad Dal Murukku/Cooked urad dal Murukku - Diwali Snack

Every Diwali, whether i make sweets or not, i have to make murukku, a lot of them. Both my kiddos, lovvee these crunchy munchy snack.  Whether it is Diwali or Krishna Jayanthi, irrespective of festivals, murukku's are regular at home. So, while checking some murukku varieties, i came across this boiled urad dal murukku at +kannamma cooks
I immediately tried the recipe and got a keeper recipe for myself. I made some teeny weeny changes to the recipe, she has actually mentioned 1 part dal and 5 parts of rice flour, but i have used only 3 parts rice flour and have got nice murukkus. May be it is the urad dal variety, i have used broken urad dal, and she has used whole urad dal. The muruku's are a super duper hit at home. i have made it twice in one week, that is around 6 cups and got around 100-120 murukkus. This one is sure a keeper recipe, do try it and let me know how you liked it.
Inspired from here
1 cup urad dal
3 cups of rice flour
1.5 tsp ghee
1.5 tsp of salt
3/4 tsp of cumin seeds
3/4 tsp of white sesame seeds
1 cup of water 
oil for deep frying
  • Wash and soak urad dal for 30 minutes. Pressure cook until soft by adding water 1 inch above the dal.
  • Let the pressure fall on its own. Remove the dal, and blend it smooth in a blender, do not add any water. The consistency should be of vada batter.
  • Take the blended dal mixture in a wide bowl, to this add rice flour, cumin seeds, sesame seeds, ghee and salt. Mix well, to resemble coarse mix.
  • Now slowly add water and make a smooth and soft dough. You will not need all the water, so add carefully. 
  • Divide the dough into 10 - 12 fist-sized logs. Take one log at a time in the murhukku press, with the thenkuzhal mould and press murukku on a newspaper or parchment paper.
  • Once you are ready with 10 murukkus, heat oil in a wide kadai/pan, when it is hot enough, drop 3-4 murukkus at atime and deep fry on the both sides. When the shhh sound ceases, remove the murukku with a slotted spoon on a kitchen towel. Let it cool completely, store it in an air-tight container.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Mullu Murukku/Magizhampoo Murukku - Diwali Snack

There is so much fond memories attached with this one particular murukku. As kids we never thought, it is such a big task to make them at home, that too for a crowd. Amma, being a working woman, religiously makes tins of these delicacies for every festival.Not only for us, but for neighbours, relatives and office colleagues. 
Those big biscuit tins, just the thought of them, makes me nostalgic. I become pretty emotional, during Diwali, i miss home so much. Though i m here with my little family, though we meet friends that day, but nothing beats like being at home(Chennai) with mom & dad, amongst that loud noise, smell of diwali sweets wafting through the air,  ladies ramping up and down in their new sarees, kids fighting for their share of crackers, ohh my, there is truck loads to add to this list, sob, sob!!! 
Ok, now coming to the recipe of this yumm snack, i make them in  batches, about 1 cup everytime. So, this is the ingredients i use for making a batch, though the dal mixture i make it for around 4 batches.
Ingredients (Makes around 20 Murukku)
1 cup rice flour, store bought
2 tbsp moong dal/dehusked green gram dal
2 tbsp Chana dal/Gram dal
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp white sesame seeds
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp melted butter
a generous pinch of hing/asafoetida
About 3/4 cup of warm water
  • If using store bought flour, warm it slightly on the stove . Let it cool
  • Take moong dal and Chana dal in a pan, dry roast it in a simmer flame until it is aromatic. Take care not to burn it. Let it cool completely. Take it in the small mixer jar and grind it to a fine powder. Sieve the powder well to remove any coarse dal mixture. Try grinding the coarse dal mix again in a smaller mixer jar and sieve it again.
To make the dough for the murukku
  • I normally make the murukku in batches, that is 1 cup rice flour at a time. This ensures the dough doesn't dry out.
  • Take the flour in a wide bowl, add the ground dal mixture. Add cumin and sesame seeds on top.
  • Add salt and hing and mix well. Add butter to the flour and mix well. Now slowly add water and make a soft dough. Do not add all the water at a time. Keep the dough covered with a cotton cloth.
  • Divide the dough into 3 portions. Take one portion at a time into the murukku press with single star plate.
  • Press the murukku on a parchment paper.  After making around 10 murukkus. Heat oil for deep frying.
  • Once it is hot enough, drop 3-4 murukku at a time and fry on  both sides until golden brown. While frying keep the stove in medium flame.  Once the sizzling sound ceases, remove the murukku using a slotted spoon on to a plate lined with kitchen towel. Let it cool completely, then store it in an air-tight container.
  • Keep the dough covered if working with a large batch. The dough might dry and it might be difficult to press. If it happens, sprinkle warm water, little at a time, and make it soft.
  • Do not add more butter, the murukku might break. if it happens, add little rice flour to the dough and knead again and try. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Orange Jelly/Orange Jelly using China grass/Agar-Agar - Vegan

We love fresh orange juice at home. Though my lil one, gets a little bit nosy after drinking it, he gets too excited when he sees them, i too cannot say no to him, after all he is loving something fresh and healthy, so allow him to take 1/4 cup of it. 
Last week, i was cleaning up the fridge after navrathri. We always end up with loads of fruits, when i say, loads i mean it. I had around 1.5 dozens of oranges, apples countless and pears. I warned my hubby not to buy any fruits for another 2 weeks. How many apples can we eat? I made some banana cake with bananas, chopped some fruits and froze them for smoothies in the future. Now with oranges,after drinking half the juice, i made jelly with the rest. 
A quick to make recipe with just 2 or 3 ingredients. If you are ok with using gelatin, then use it instead of agar-agar/china grass. A definite crowd pleaser and a make ahead recipe.

Ingredients (Makes 6 chai glasses)
750 ml/3 cups of Freshly squeezed Orange Juice
1/4 cup China grass strands
1/2 cup warm water for soaking the strands
3-4 tbsp of sugar (optional. adjust according to the taste of orange juice
Moulds for the pudding

For the caramalized oranges (make it before serving)
1 orange, cut into wedges or roundels
1/4 cup sugar
a tbsp of butter
  • Squeeze orange juice and refrigerate until use. I had about 1.5 dozens of oranges and got around 1 litre of juice. 
  • Soak the china grass strands for 30 minutes in warm water. Take the soaked china grass strands in a sauce pan, and heat in simmer flame. Do not allow the liquid to boil. Keep stirring frequently. Once the strands dissolve, Strain the liquid and add it to the orange juice.
  • Heat the orange juice in a simmer flame, until it is slightly warm. Stir well. Take it off the heat, pour it in small glasses/moulds. Let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes. Then refrigerate for 5-6 hours for the jelly to set.
  • Just before serving the jelly, make the caramelized oranges, Take the cut oranges, sugar and butter in a small sauce pan, let it simmer. The sugar will melt and start caramelizing after 15-20 minutes. Take it off the stove, let it cool a bit.
  • After the 6 hours, take the jelly out of  the refrigerator and garnished with a tbsp of carmalized oranges and enjoy!!
Sending this jelly to Kids Delight - Fruit based recipes, hosted by Varada, an event by +Srivalli Jetti 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Roasted Garlic

Finally the last post of Cooking Carnival 2016,a simple roasted garlic, that pairs pretty well with toasted bread or can be added to whisked yogurt or cream cheese for a yummy dip. 
i love them as such, everyday morning in empty stomach. For those who dread eating raw garlic, try these roasted ones, you will not be able to stop with one.
Sorry for the bad picture, these were taken the night navrathri started, i couldn't click during day, so i managed something with my phone, before the day ended. Will try to take a decent picture sometime later. 
3 bulbs of garlic, i used indian garlic
1 tbsp of olive oil
aluminium foil for baking 

  • Remove the papery outer cover of the garlic, Keep the head together, chop the tip of the garlic bulb.
Before popping into the Oven
  • Keep the garlic on the aluminium foil, with the head part down, slowly pour the olive oil on  the garlic, covering all the cloves. 
  • Close the aluminium foil. Pre-heat the oven to 200C, roast/bake the garlic for about 30-40 minutes. Remove the garlic from the oven after 5 minutes. The garlic must have turned light brown, and soft, when squished the flesh pops out mushy. 
After 40 minutes of roasting in the oven
  • Enjoy soft, mushy pulp garlic over your toast, or mix it with cream cheese for a flavorful spread, or simply pop it every morning in empty stomach for a healthy heart.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Orange peel spicy thogayal/Chutney

It feels as if i m writing a blog post after a lonngggg time, it is actually only 2 weeks since i blogged. I still have 2 posts pending for the Cooking Carnival 2016, i got so busy with Navrathri, then my lil one got so sick, i had to keep him away from school for a week. If this wasn't enough tension for me, my elder one SA exams started, uff!!This is the first time he is facing SA and with 8-10 chapters in each subject, it was like my exam. Finally, got time from everything to tend to my blog. 
With Google shutting down its drive sharing services, my recipe index wasn't working, and trusting google, i cancelled my amazon web services 6 months back.  All this week was spent, in getting my index back to working with AWS. 
Enough of my rant, coming to today's recipe. After navrathri, i always end up with lot of fruits. Apples, pears, nectarines, and loads of oranges. I chopped other fruits, portioned them in separated ziploc pouches and froze them for future use. I made some orange jelly with the oranges and was left with around 1.5 dozens of orange peels. I didn't want to throw them, so got down and looking for some recipes with peels. I came across sweet chuntey, which i making next, candied orange peels and thogayal. I immediately made a test batch of thogayal, missed some flavors, which i corrected in this batch. The taste is spot on, zesty, tangy and spicy, pucca south-indian thogayal. 
It tastes divine with hot steaming rice and yumm as a side with idly/dosa. Take care to add enough chilies and salt, since the oranges tend to mask both the spices to an extent. I have added around 10 red chilies for 2 orange peels, it needs that much spice. Try it and let me know how you liked it
Peels from 2 oranges
3 tbsp urad dal
1 tbsp chana dal
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp peppercorns
1 tsp white sesame seeds
10 nos red chilies, i used long variety ( reduce to 8 if you dont prefer it hot)
marble sized tamarind
salt to taste (i used almost 3/4 tsp)
a pinch of asafoetida
a sprig of curry leaf
2 tsp oil for(1 tsp + 1 tsp) for roasting the ingredients
water & turmeric for boiling the oranges.

I received comments, that 10 chilies is making this chutney a little more on the spicy side, it is a spicy chutney, incase if you feel 10 chilies is more to your spice level, reduce it to 7 or 8 chilies.

  • Wash and slice the orange peels into thin slices. Take the peels in a saucepan, add water to immerse the peels and heat. Let it boil for 5-8 minutes, remove from heat, drain all the water.  Fill water again, this time add 2 generous pinch of turmeric and 1/2 tsp salt to the water. Boil the peels again for 5-8 minutes. Drain the water and keep the peels aside, until use.
  • The above process, might sound like little work, but that helps in removing the bitterness if any in the orange peels and also makes the peel soft.
  • Now, in another pan, add a tsp of oil, and add urad dal, chana dal, coriander seeds, curry leaves, chilies, asafoetida and pepper corns. Roast the ingredients in a simmer flame, until the dal turns golden brown. Take care not to burn the dal. Once done, remove  the contents  to another plate and let it cool. To the hot pan, add sesame seeds and take it off  the stove. The seeds will get nicely toasted in the residue heat. Add it to the roasted dal.
  • In the same pan, add another tsp of oil and add the orange peels and saute them for 8-10 minutes in a simmer flame. Remove it to a flat plate to cool down. 
  • Once all the ingredients cools down,take them a mixer jar, along with tamarind and salt. Grind them to a coarse paste adding 1 tbsp of water at time.  The mixer might get stuck a bit, do not get tempted and add more water, it will become runny chutney. Add 1-2 tbsp of water and grind. 
  • To make it pretty more easy, grind the dals to a coarse paste, then add orange peels, tamarind and grind again. 
  • Remove the thogayal to a serving bowl. Serve it as side along with steaming hot rice and generous drizzle of sesame oil. We even enjoyed along with Dosa. Tasty, spicy and zesty side for rice/dosa.
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