Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sharkara Upperi / Sharkara Varatti

This is a sweet snack famous in Kerala and another inevitable part of a Kerala Sadya.


Ingredients
  • 5 raw green plaintains (Nenthran kaai)
  • 1 1/2 cups jaggery
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Dry Ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom powder
  • Oil to Deep fry
  • 1 tbsp roasted Rice flour 
  • 1 tbsp Sugar (Optional)
Method
  1. Peel the Raw Bananas and soak them in water mixed with turmeric for around 10 min and then pat them dry.
  2. Cut each of banana into half lengthwise and then into small pieces of 1/4" thickness.
  3. Heat oil in a wok and carefully drop the pieces into the oil. Fry the pieces in batches till they are crisp and remove them with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel to drain the excess oil.
  4. Take a big pan and add the jaggery with 1/2 cup water and allow the mixture to boil. To check if it has reached the desired consistency, add a drop of the jaggery mixture in a bowl of cold water. You should be able to make a small ball from it without it melting into the water.
  5. Add the cardamom and ginger powder and stir well. Then simmer the stove and add the fried banana pieces into it with continuous stirring. Once the chips are covered with jaggery, switch off and add the rice flour and sugar and mix well.
  6. Transfer the mixture into a wide plate and allow it to cool completely. Once cooled, transfer it to an air tight container and enjoy!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sri Rama Navami

Sri Rama Navami is a festival to celebrate the birth of Lord Rama. As an offering to Sri Rama, the prasad made on this day are Panagam, Neer moru, Vadaparippu.




Panagam

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cold Water 
  • 1/2 cup Powdered Jaggery (Adjust to taste)
  • A pinch of Cardamom powder 
  • 1/4 tsp Dry ginger powder (Adjust to taste)
Method
  1. Dissolve the jaggery in water and strain it.
  2. Add the other ingredients and stir well and offer it to the Lord.

Neer Moru / Buttermilk

Ingredients
  • 1 cup Yogurt/ Curd
  • 1 cup cold Water (Add more or less to your liking)
  • A pinch of Asafoetida
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped Coriander leaves
Method
  1. Mix the yogurt and the water with a hand blender or stirrer. 
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well and offer it to the Lord

Vada Parippu

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Split Moong Dal 
  • 1 tbsp grated Coconut 
  • Salt - to taste
  • Raw mango / Cucumber - 1 tbsp grated (optional)
  • 1 tbsp chopped Coriander leaves

Method
  1. Soak moong dal in water for 30mins.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well and serve to the Lord.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Batura

This is a deep fried Indian bread that tastes good with Channa Masala and the combination is so popularly called Channa Batura or Chole Puri.


Ingredients
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour (Maida)
  • 1 cup Yogurt (Adjust as required)
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt (Adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp ghee for the dough
  • Oil for deep frying

Method
  1. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, ghee and add the yogurt little by little and mix well to form a soft pliable dough.
  2. Cover the dough with a wet cloth and keep aside for 1 hour.
  3. Gently punch the dough and divide it into small lemon size balls.
  4. Roll out each ball into circles 1/4 " thick.
  5. Heat oil in a wok and start to fry the rolled out baturas one by one.
  6. Serve the batura hot with Channa as side dish.

Channa Masala

Protein rich chickpeas (channa) in tomato gravy makes a yummy side dish for chappatis / poori or batura.


Ingredients
  • 1 cup Kabuli Channa (Chickpeas) 
  • 1 Tomato
  • 2 Cardamom
  • 5 Cloves
  • 1" piece Cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tea bag
  • 1 tsp Sambar powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp grated Ginger
  • 2 green chillies (Adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Kasuri methi
  • 1 tsp Salt (Adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel seeds (Saunf)
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice (Optional and Adjust to taste)
Method
  1. Wash and soak the channa for 6-8 hrs and then pressure cook it for 6 whistles along with the tea bag and salt and keep aside.
  2. Grind the tomato, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, fennel seeds, ginger and green chillies and keep aside
  3. Heat the pan and add the oil, bay leaf and cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds crackle, add the ground mixture and cook it for a few minutes. Then add the cooked channa after squeezing and removing the tea bag. Add the Kasuri methi, turmeric, sambar powder and salt and allow it to cook for a few more minutes so that all the flavors blend in.
  4. Remove the chole from fire and add the lemon juice and mix well. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with roti/ poori/ batura/ rice.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Cheese Crackers

This is an easy recipe adapted from divinetaste.org


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups packed cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder (Adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp salt (Adjust to taste)
Method:
  1. In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and mix them well into a pliable dough.
  2. Divide the dough into 2 equal halves and roll the dough into a log and wrap them with parchment paper. Chill the logs for 10 min in the freezer
  3. Unwrap the chilled dough and cut into 1/4” rounds. Place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for 10 to 12 minutes or until browned at the edges.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Celebration Chocolate cake

This is the most yummiest eggless cake I have ever eaten. It reminds me very much of the chocolate cake from Sweet Chariot in Bangalore. This awesome recipe has been adapted from DivineTaste and you can use it to make a 9" round cake. I doubled the ingredients to make a layered cake with chocolate frosting for my daughter's 5th birthday.


Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cup All purpose flour
  • 1 can (400 ml) Condensed milk
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp Baking soda
  • 8 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 8 tbsp Sugar
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients i.e. flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cocoa powder in a large bowl. 
  3. Add the wet ingredients, i.e milk, vanilla, melted butter and condensed milk and mix well. (You can use a whisk / beater to mix it well but since I dont have both, I just use my hands and it tuns out good too)
  4. Pour the batter into a greased and floured (or parchment lined) cake pan.
  5. Bake for around an hour or till the toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack and decorate the cake if you would like with your choice of frosting. 
Suggestion / Notes
if you would like a soft wet cake, then make a sugar syrup by boiling 1/4 cup of sugar in 1 1/2 cup of water and once cooled completely, pour the syrup on top of the cake before frosting the cake.

Pongal Kootu

Happy Pongal!! This is a must have item in the menu on Pongal day.


Ingredients
  • Mixed Vegetables cut into cubes- (Ash guard, Pumpkin, Carrot, Beans, Avaraikkai, Potato, Raw Banana, Chayote, Sweet potato, Green peas, Lima beans, Yam)
  • Toor Dal (cooked) - 1/2 cup
  • Tamarind Paste - 1 tbsp
  • Salt - 1 tbsp (Adjust to taste)
  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  • Gingelly Oil (Any cooking oil will do) - 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Sambar Powder - 2 tsp
  • A spring of Curry leaves
To Grind
  • Urad dal - 1 tbsp
  • Daniya - 2 tbsp
  • Channa dal - 1 tbsp
  • Red Chillies - 6
  • Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
  • Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup

Method
  1. Cook all the vegetables with turmeric and a little water in the pressure cooker for 1 whistle.
  2. Dry roast all the ingredients to grind and grind them with water.
  3. Take a deep bottomed pan and add the oil and mustard seeds till they crackle.
  4. Add the vegetables and the ground mixture, toor dal, sambar powder, salt and tamarind and boil the Kootu for a few minutes till the flavor seeps into the veggies.
  5. Garnish with curry leaves and serve hot with rice or Pongal.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Kunuku

This is a deep fried delicacy made at our homes especially when we are expecting a lot of guests. This recipe is easy to make and the Kunuku remains crispy and tasty even when it cools off. The ingredients are the same as Adai except that the Kunuku batter should be thick.


Ingredients
  • 3 cups Idli Rice
  • 1 cup Toor Dal
  • 1 cup yellow Moong Dal
  • 1 cup Channa Dal
  • 15 Red Chillies (Adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp Salt (Adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1 spring of Curry leaves chopped (Optional)
  • Oil to deep fry
Method
  1. Soak the Rice and Dals separately for 2-3 hrs.
  2. Drain the Rice and grind it coarsely along with the Red chillies, Asafoetida and Salt and keep the ground mixture aside. Now drain and grind the soaked dals coarsely and mix it with the ground rice mixture. The Kunuku batter should be thick like the Paruppu vada batter. Add the chopped curry leaves to the batter and mix well.
  3. Heat the oil in a Kadai. When the oil is hot, spoon the batter into the oil.
  4. Once it turns golden brown, remove the Kunuku with a slotted spoon and drain the excess oil on a paper tissue.
  5. Kunuku is ready to serve!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Omapodi

Omapodi or Sev as it is popularly known, is yummy to eat as it or with some chat or mixed in curd with some chat masala. This is my mom's recipe for Diwali.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup Besan 
  • 1/4 cup Rice flour
  • 1 tsp Ajwain (Omam)
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Salt (Adjust to taste)
  • Oil to deep fry

Method
  1. Wash and soak the Ajwain in a little water for 30 min and then grind the soaked ajwain with the water used for soaking.
  2. In a bowl, mix the rice flour, besan, ground ajwain mixture, butter, salt and make into a soft dough by adding more water little by little.
  3. Heat Oil in a Kadai/Wok for deep frying.
  4. Add a portion of the dough in the murukku press with the Omapodi achu and press it over the hot oil in a circular motion.
  5. When the sizzling sound subsides, flip it over and remove it with a big slotted spoon when it is done or when it begins to brown very slightly.
  6. Place the Omapodi on a paper towel to drain the excess oil and repeat the process for the remaining dough. 
  7. In the end with the very little dough that is leftover we an make small rings and fry them. Kids will like them too.
  8. Enjoy the crisp Omapodi as a tea time snack! Store the remaining in a dry airtight container once it is cooled completely.
Suggestions/ Notes
  1. Traditionally after mixing the dough we make a small cone with it and keep it aside. This cone represents the god who will be witnessing the cooking so that there wouldn't be any hassles during the process.
  2. The Omapodi dough should be mixed and made immediately else the Omapodi will turn brown.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Easy Apple Pie

It is Apple picking time!!! My daughter picked a few apples from the orchard when she went for apple picking from school and gave it to me to make apple pie. So I hunted for an easy recipe and came across this one. I made a few changes to the original recipe to suit our taste and it turned out a big hit at home!


Ingredients
No Roll Pastry 
1 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Sugar
1/2 cup Ghee
2 tbsp Milk

Pie Filling
3 Apples grated
1/2 cup Sugar (Adjust to taste)
A pinch of Cinnamon powder (Optional)
A pinch of Cardamom powder
2 tbsp Butter

Topping
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Sugar or Brown Sugar
1 cup All Purpose Flour

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the Pastry and press the dough into a greased pie pan with your fingers to line the bottom and sides of the pan.
  2. Mix the ingredients for the Pie Filling and pour it into the crust prepared.
  3. Mix the ingredients for the topping and sprinkle them on top of the pie to cover the pie.
  4. Bake the Pie at 350F for around 20 min or till the crust turns a golden brown.
  5. Yummy Apple Pie is ready to be served!!
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