Friday, November 29, 2013

Chocolate Trifle A Taste of Heaven


This eye catching, full of rich chocolate flavor is a dream dessert with six luxurious layers of cream,custard and chocolate cake crumbles. If you want to taste heaven with every scoop this dessert will not fail you. So go ahead and surprise your loved ones..


Ingredients
  • 6 tbsp chocolate cake crumbles
  • 6 tbsp whipped cream
  • 3 medium size glasses
  • 6 tbsp chocolate custard

For chocolate custard
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp custard powder
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp sugar
Procedure

To prepate chocolate custard in a bowl mix the cocoa powder, custard powder and little milk.Mix nicely keep aside.


Boil rest of the milk, add sugar and mix nicely. Then add the above mixture to this and stir continously so that it does not stick to the bottom. Once it begins to boil switch it off after one minute and let it cool.


In a serving glass, put 2 tbsp crumbled chocolate cake, 2 tbsp chocolate custard, 2 tbsp whipped cream some nuts then again add 2tbsp of chocolate crumbles , chocolate custard and whipped cream.

Sprinkle some tutty fruttie and refrigerate for 8 hrs

Serve chilled

Note: To prepare whipped cream please refer to the homemade whipped cream frosting I had prepared earlier
 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tasty and Easy Puffed Rice Upma / Maramaralu Upma


Puffed rice can be used innovatively even for breakfast.If you are looking for something quick and light on the stomach then do try this out. Sometimes puffed rice may become slightly soft and cannot be used for bhelpuri then this recipe of using puffed rice will be a delightful evening snack too.

Ingredients: 
  • 3 cups puffed rice ( Maramaralu / Pori )
  • 1.5 cup chopped veggies (cauliflower, carrot, potato)
  • 1/4 tsp jeera / cummin seeds
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes
  • 3 slit green chilies
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • salt to taste
 Cooking Procedure
 
Heat oil in the same pan, add cumin seeds, chilies  then add the chopped veggies and fry till they become tender.
 
Then add tomatoes and cilantro/coriander and cook until it becomes soft. Add salt and tomato ketchup and mix nicely,

Put the puffed rice in water for a seconds then immediately drain the water then add the puffed rice and give a quick stir so that everything can blend ricely. Serve immediately. It tastes great when served hot.
 
Note: Dont soak it too much in water and neither stir too much after adding to the veggies.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Tasty and Healthy Avocado Sandwich

Avocado is a healthy fruit also known as butter fruit in the indian market . One of my close friend gave me this recipe to try out. It got some amazing flavor and with its creamy and buttery texture it feels you have added cheese to the sandwich.

You can even eat it as a dip with some garlic bread/sticks/nachos.

Ingredients
  • 12 bread slices
  • 1 avacado medium size
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander
  • 1/4 tsp of any pickle or lemon juice
  • 1-2 chopped green chilli
  • 1/4 tsp roasted jeera/cummin powder
  • salt to taste
Procedure
Cut the avacado into half, discard the seed and scoop out the pulp into a bowl. Add rest of the ingredients to it and mash it with a fork to a smooth paste. And your stuffing in ready.



Apply the spread to one slide of bread and close it with another.Heat a tawa and toast the bread with some butter/ghee until light golden brown. Slice in triangle and serve hot.

Note:
Make sure it is ripe when you buy it ... it will be slightly soft without dark spots.

A firm avocado will ripen in a paper bag or in a fruit basket at room temperature within a few days. As the fruit ripens, the skin will turn darker. Avocados should not be refrigerated until they are ripe. Once ripe, they can be kept refrigerated for up to a week. If you are refrigerating a whole avocado, it is best to keep it whole and not slice it in order to avoid browning that occurs when the flesh is exposed to air.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Rajasthani Special Mathri The Tiny Little Crispy Wonder

Mathris or Mathis are the perfect anywhere, anytime snack. They taste really nice with a hot cup of tea.Mathris are eaten with a spicy mango or lemon pickle and are often served with tea. This savory indian cracker is a signature snack of rajasthan and with dewali just around the corner this can light up your life

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour/maida
  • 1/4 cup semolina/sooji
  • 2 tbsp clarified butter/ghee
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/4 tsp roasted cummin/jeera powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • oil to deep fry
Procedure
Mix all the above ingredients nicely except ghee.Then add ghee and mix it nicely to get a crumbled texture. To this add water as required to make it a firm dough

Let it rest for 1/2 hr. Heat oil in a pan for deep fry. Divide the dough in 3-4 ball, spread with roller and cut small circles with a cookie cutter or make tiny puri and prick them with a fork so that they do not puff up.

Fry in medium flame until crispy golden brown , then take them out and spread on tissue paper to remove excess oil. One they are cool completely store in airtight container and enjoy your tiny little crispy wonder.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

South Indian Delight Pearl Millet Laddu / Kambu Laddu

With my new found passion for millets when I recently mentioned to one of my close friend that I had prepared curd rice when she mentioned millets would also taste wonderfull as laddus.So I found a recipe online and tried it out immediately.

This laddu has a wonderfull crunchy and crispy texture that would break softly and make you feel excited with every bite.And as it is packed with nutrition you can have it guilt free !!

Millets are also a great economic booster to the farming community so its my small contribution to make India self reliant and healthy.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup pearl millet (Bajra, Kambu)
  • 1 cup grated jaggery
  • 1 tbsp chopped cashewnuts
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 3-4 cardamom crushed
  • 5 tbsp ghee
Procedure
Dry roast the pearl millet until a nice aroma drifts in the air or until it is light golden color. Let it cool for some time, then grind it to make it a powder.

Heat 1 tbsp clarified butter or ghee in a pan, add cashewnuts and raisins and fry till golden brown. Switch off the flame, add the above millet powder, jaggery, cardamon powder to this mixture and mix properly.The heat of the pan will make the jaggery melt a little and blend nicely into the mixture.

Transfer the whole mixture to a plate , take portion by portion of mixture, add little ghee and make your laddus.

Note:
In place of jaggery you can use sugar

You can replace the ghee with honey and also reducie the quantity of jaggery, so that you laddu is sweet and binded.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sattu Ki Kachori A Tasty Delicacy from Bihar

If you are looking for an authentic delicacy for breakfast or dinner then sattu ki kachori also known as makuni in bihar would be a wonderfull treat and would not dissapoint you even as a evening snack. They compliment well with pickle or potato curry.

I made these very recently after I got the recipe from my SIL who is from north india.She is one of the best cooks I have known who shares a lot of lovely north indian delicacies.So just try this out and make your family have a wonderfull evening snack.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup wheat flour/ atta
  • pinch of ajwain / carrom seeds
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • oil to deep fry
  • water as required
For Stuffing
  • 4 tbsp sattu ka atta/roasted gram flour
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp finely chopped green chillies
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp pickle oil or mustard oil
  • salt to taste
Procedure
Mix the flour with oil,ajwain and salt nicely, then add required amount of water to form a nice dough. Not too soft like chappati or not firm as poori.Let it sit for 1/2 hr.

Make the stuffing by mixing all the ingredients mentioned above.It will be somewhat dry , add approximately 1 tbsp water to this mixture to make it little lumpy in our fist.

After 1/2 hr knead the dough again for 1-2 min, divide into small lemon size balls,and flatten it by pressing. Place 1/2 table spoon of stuffing on it and enclose it.Seal the edges completely so that stuffing does not come out. Flatten again, sprinkle a little flour and roll them with a rolling pin to approximately 2.5 inch diameter



Heat oil for deep fry to medium temperature. Drop kachodi one by one and deep fry till both side golden brown. Drain the excess the oil and put them in a plate with tissue paper. Serve immediately..

 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Eat Perfect Curd Rice with Kodo Millets and Also Save India


Recently during my recent encounters in my grocery shopping I felt encouraged to buy millets. I researched online for recipes and came across a very important source of infomation.
 
Millet is one of the oldest foods, history goes behind 3000 years.Millets are the real god particle as it can fight the four challenges india is facing
1. Water shortage
2. Diabetes
3. Malnutrition

4. Encourage farmers livelihood from debt and drought



We use 4000 litres of water to grow one kg of rice while all millets grow without irrigation. This can turn out to be a tremendous national gain especially in the ensuing decades of climate crisis. In a future, where water and food crisis stares us in the face, millets can become the food of security.


Another advantage of growing millets for farmers is it is pest resistant so it is by default grown organic saving farmers from buying pesticides.
 
40% of indian population is heading towards diabetes. One of the main reasons for this is we are eating a single cereal diet. People are eating only rice or only wheat. It is very important to bring in a multigrain diet into our life.

It has become a recent trend to include oats in our diet.The top 5 producers of Oats is European Union, Russia, Canada, Australia and United States

It does not benefit India or Indian farmers. When we buy millets we really support our own farmers.Why should I buy something manufactured by farmers in EU and US when our own farmers produce equivalently nutritive food.A kg of millets is cheaper than a kg of oats.  When nature has provided India with a grain that has equal benefit then why eat oats. And I have also found millets taste much better than oats  and can be used to make a lot of indian recipes.

Millet and other whole grains are a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in the body's use of glucose and insulin secretion

Millets are amazing in their nutrition content. Each of the millets is three to five times nutritionally superior to the widely promoted rice and wheat in terms of proteins, minerals and vitamins. Each of the millets is a storehouse of dozens of nutrients in large quantities. They include major and micro nutrients needed by the human body. Hence they can help people withstand malnutrition

Millets are alkaline in nature and hence beneficial for anti-aging

More info on millets

Varieties of millets
http://millets.wordpress.com/millets/

Saving India
http://cm.naturelabs.org/?p=552

12 Health Benefits
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/12-health-benefits-of-millet.html  

Nutritional Benefits of Millets
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=53

Millet Vs Oats
http://suryaecolife.blogspot.in/2013/04/millets-vs-oats.html

To begin with I tried curd rice with the kodo millets it tasted so perfect every spoonfull would simply slide in with joy.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup kodo millet (Hindi: Kodra; Tamil: Varagu; Telugu: Arikelu; Kannada: Harka)
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp curd
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp chopped cashew nuts
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tbsp grated carrot
  • 1 tbsp chopped cashew nuts
  • 1 sping curry leaves
  • 2-3 chopped green chillies
  • 1 tsp oil
  • salt to taste
Procedure
Wash the kodo millets properly and pressure cook the millet with 2.5 cups of water with 4 whistles on high flame  and 5 mins in low flame.Once it cools take the cooked millet out and mix it with spatula in a large bowl,now add the milk and mix nice till millet and milk blend nicely.Then add the curd,carrot mix again.

To prepare the tempering heat oil in a small pan ,add mustard seeds,cashew nuts and fry in medium flame till mustard splutters then add green chilli,curry leaves and fry for 30 sec and add to curd millet porridge. Let it sit for 1-2 hours

Note:
 1.If you can make the millet curd rice in the morning itself and serve it at lunch

time ,it will taste awesome as you made it fully with milk
 2.If you have lack of time then in place of milk you can directly make it with curd
but have to serve immediately
3.Milltets are pest resistant hence they are organic by nature

In chennai millets are begun to be available across many stores however I have found them priced appropriately at murugan stores (43 rs/500 gms)

Location of Murugan store: On poonamalee high road after hot breads near anna nagar arch ...
   

Friday, October 11, 2013

Eggless and Natural Velvet Beet Cake

I normally prefer not to use food colors in my food and when I saw the beet version cake,I just immediately bookmarked it. Its got a natural beautifull deep red color and infused with a mild flavor of beetroot which no one can guess.

The beetroot puree makes up for the eggs and with rice bran oil it becomes a very healthy cupcake. Do try it and I bet no one would guess beetroot has been used in this cupcake !! And the best part it tastes awesome.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose flour / maida
  • 2 medium size beetroot
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup oil ( I used rice bran oil )
  • 1 cup milk
  • pinch of salt
Procedure
Wash the beetroot thuroughly and pressure cook for 4 whistles or until its tender . Once it cools remove the skin and make a smooth puree and keep aside

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees

Seive the dry ingredients (flour,cocoa powder, salt , baking powder) for 3 times. Grind the sugar to fine powder if the sugar granules are big.Mix the beetroot puree and sugar in a big bowl nicely then add milk, vanilla essence and oil and mix nicely.

Add the dry ingredients to it and mix properly to a fine lump free consistency. Pour into cupcake moulds upto 3/4 level.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or till done. Insert a toothpick in the center , if it comes out cleanly then its done.

Remove and let the cupcakes rest in a cooling rack. Serve warm as it is or with a scoop of vanilla icecream.

Note:
1.Baking time may vary from oven to oven so keep a eye over it when baking.
2.If you wish you can use a medium size 9 inch cake pan instead of cupcake moulds.
3.I got approximately 20 cup cakes

4. You can sprinkle sugar powder over it to give it a little zing

 

 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tangy and Healthy Mango Ginger Pickle


Mango-ginger is neither related to mango nor ginger but to turmeric. It is a rhizome which is pale yellow inside and lighter colour outside.It combines the zing of ginger and the coolness of sweet, sour, raw mango.
 
Mango-ginger has excellent medicinal properties and finds extensive use in the indigenous system of medicine. It is an appetizer that aids digestion, a aphrodisiac as it stimulates blood circulation, an antipyretic as it cools down the body in case of a fever. It is also effecive against inflammation due to injures. It has been discovered in germany recently that people who have eaten mango ginger regularly have lost weight naturally.
 
This is a south indian delicacy with many variations. This version is the most basic and a wonderfull pickle to have with rice and rotis.

Ingredients
  • 250 gms mango ginger
  • 6-7 green chilles
  • 6 lemons medium size
  • 3/4 tbsp

Procedure

Wash and peel the mango ginger, cut into short slices lengthwise

Cut the green chillies lengthwise of same size.
In a preferably glass/plastic bowl squeeze the lemons, add the mango ginger and chillies with the salt and mix nicely.

Let it sit for 24 hrs for it to pickle. Enjoy with rice and rotis

Note: Dont cut the ginger too thin else it will loose it crucnhiness and if it is too thick it will take more time to pickle

Use dry spoon for serving as else it will form fungus, it will have a shelf life of 4 -5 day if it is kept outside. If it is refridgerated it will last for 15 days.
 
 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Delightful Corn Bhurji Sandwich

I tried many sandwiches with corn and this is one of my favorite. If you are looking for a new variety of corn based sandwich this would be a tasty option to try out. The spread used in this has many tasty ingredients that add crunch and flavor to the sandwich.Dont be surprised if your kids ask for more !! Recipe adopted from chef harpal singh sokhi.
 
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup fine chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped capsicum
  • 1/2 cup fine chopped tomato
  • 1 cup boiled corn
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup crumbled paneer
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cummin/jeera powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 finely chopped green chillies
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste ( approx 4 garlic / 1/2 inch ginger)
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves optional
  • pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp amchur powder
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt to taste
Procedure

Boil the corn kernels and grind it with milk to a fine paste

Heat oil in a pan, add onion, green chilli, ginger garlic paste when onion become translucent, then add the chopped capsicum and let it fry for 1 min, then add the chopped tomatoes, salt,chilli powder, turmeric, cummin and coriander powder and fry till tomatoes become soft Add the corn paste and fry for another 5 min till everything blends nicely, now add amchur powder and mix nicely

Add the crumbled paneer and cilantro leaves and mix nicely

Add butter to the above mixture, mix it and switch off the flame, your sandwich spead is ready

Once it cools it will be soft and lumpy which you can spread evenly on a bread slide and grill it with another slice on top of it in a sandwich maker or on a pan.

Serve the sandwich immediately hot and crispy

Note:
1. The corn kernels which have normally not tender can be best used for this sandwich

2. If you like tangy flavor you can add lemon juice in the curry

3.You can use this spread in a stuffed paratha as it will be the best choice for a lunch box as it will taste good even if it is cool.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Exotic Crumbled Banana Walnut Muffin

 
If you love banana and walnuts this would be the perfect treat for your tastebuds. I spotted this recipe on australian womens weekly and gave it a try. It has a wonderful flavor and texture with every bite. The best part if you have overriped bananas to throw away you could use it here !!
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cup all purpose flour / maida
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup oil (rice bran oil)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • pinch of salt
For Topping
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp butter
Procedure

Line a muffin pan 2x3 with paper cups.


Prepare the topping by combining sugar and flour in a bowl, rub in butter and mix the chopped walnuts and keep aside
 
Preheat the oven to 200 degree centigrade, sieve the dry ingredients(flour,baking soda,baking powder,salt) into a bowl for 3 times
 
Beat the egg with brown sugar for 1 min then mix milk,oil,banana to it. Now add the dry ingredients to the mixture slowly till all ingredients get incorporated. Do not overmix.
 
Mix the walnut and pour the mixture into the paper cup upto 3/4th level.Sprinkle muffins with topping, bake at 200 C for 25 min or until the muffins are brown and firm. Remove and let it cool on a cooling rack.
 
Serve warm or store in a air tight container.
 
 
 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sizzling Hot Mirchi Bhajji / Chilli Fritter Treat

This is one popular fritter all over India , You can try this Andhra version of mirchi bhajji that will make your guests jump with joy with every bite. The serving of mirchi bhajji with the stuffing of chopped onion with a dash of soda and a little sprinkling of lemon juice creates a wonderfull sizzling effect and tickles your taste buds. The perfect recipe for the monsoon.

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup besan / chickpea flour / garbanzo flour
  • 1/3 tsp chilli powder
  • oil for deep fry
  • 8 green bhajji chillies
  • pinch of cooking soda
  • salt to taste

Wash the chilli,pat them dry with kitchen towel.If you feel the chilli are likely to be spicy, slit them and deseed them.If the chilli are big cut them into two.



Mix all the ingredients except the green chillies with water into a semi-thick paste and keep aside

Heat oil in a pan, dip each chilli in the batter and slowly slide it into the oil.

Deep fry in medium flame till you get a nice golden crust .Put them in a plate with a paper towel that will absorb all the extra oil

Slit each chilli and stuff with chopped onion,and sprinkle some cooking soda and salt.Before serving squeeze a little lemon on each mirchi bhajji, when soda reacts with lemon it will give a sizzling effect and serve immediately

Note:
Normally batter will not stick to the chilli so while it is getting fried remove in half cooked state and redip in batter and again deep fry.This will give a nice shape to the chilli bhajji.

Oil should not be too hot while frying as it will become too crusty on the outside and will be uncooked inside.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Authentic and Exotic Kanchipuram Idli


I learnt this kanchipuram idli recipe from a lovely granny born and brought up in tamilnadu.There are many variations of this kanchipuram idli however the recipe shared by this granny was delicious to taste with a mild but appetising spiceiness.


Located on the banks of the Vegavathy River, Kanchipuram has been ruled by the Pallavas, the Medieval Cholas, the Later Cholas, the Later Pandyas, the Vijayanagar Empire, the Carnatic kingdom, and the British.

Kanchipuram has a nickname as the city with a thousand temples.Of the 108 holy temples of the Hindu god Vishnu, 14 are located in Kanchipuram. The city is well known for its hand woven silk sarees and most of the city's workforce is involved in the weaving industry.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup urad dal
  • 3 cups rice rava (cracked raw rice)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp cummin seeds
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp chopped green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 springs curry leaves

Procedure

Soak urad dal for 3 hrs then make a smooth paste and shift it to a large bowl

Soak rice rava in warm water for 1/2 hr then squeeze the rava and mix it with the urad dal paste.Then add salt  and mix very nicely and cover to keep it aside for fermentation for 1 night

Next day heat oil in a pan, add cummin seeds, mustard seeds once it splutters add chopped ginger and green chilles and the crushed black pepper and curry leaves.And fry for 30 seconds then add this directly to the fermented batter and mix nicely.

Now put 2 tbsp of batter into each idli mould depression, and stack the racks one above the other and steam in the pressure cooker or steamer for 15min on medium flame.

Remove them carefully from steamer and let it cool, take a sharp spoon and scoop them out into the plate.

Serve it with chutneys of your choice.

Note:

1. Preparing Rice Rava
Wash and soak the rice for 30 mins. Drain and spread the rice on a thin cotton cloth for about 30 - 45 mins and let it dry slowly. 

When the rice is slightly wet (not completely dry) , take the rice in batches and grind in a mixie to a coarse-fine consistency like idli rava/thick sooji . Sieve it to remove the flour and the rava and use how much ever rava you need to make idlis and rest can be stored for future use in airtight container

2.The fermentation should be proper to get a soft idlies

3.The container should be big enough to hold the batter otherwise after fermenting the batter will be overflow .
4. Traditionally you can also steam in a plate like a cake.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Wholesome and Healthy Apple Barley Salad


Yesterday I was watching Sanjeev Kapoors "Cook Smart" on foodfood channel. He described some good recipes with barley. This salad was a amazing fusion of colors and flavor and I tried it out today.

The salad has a unique flavor that blends all the ingredients into one wholesome salad that is filling and healthy.I used some garden fresh mint that made it very aromatic too.

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup barley
  • 1 medium size apple
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint leaves,parsley and cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon
  • 3 tbsp shredded lettuce
  • 2 tbsp roasted melon seeds
  • 2-3 tbsp apple juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
Procedure
Roast the barley lightly, add 3/4th cup water and pressure cook for 3 whistles and 10 minutes in sim.

Cut the apples in small chuncks. Toast the melon seeds lightly and keep aside. Now in a salad bowl add chopped apple chuncks, cooked barley lettuce and all the above ingredients (greens,honey,olive oil,lemon,apple juice) with salt and pepper to taste.Stir nicely.

Top the salad with the roasted melon seeds and stir lightly. Refridgerate add serve chilled.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Aakakarakaya /Spiny Gourd Fry


It is small ovoid, green and full of soft spines and looks like a baby sister of bitter gourd but not definitely not in taste.It is known as aakakarakaya in Telugu.

This vegetable has got a wonderfull crunchy bite and complements very well with rice. As it is a seasonal vegetable I am sure you can try it out.


Ingredients
  • 250 gms aakakarakaya/kantola (medium size)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp cummin/jeera
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 8-10 garlic pods
  • 3 whole red chillies
Procedure
Wash and cut the aakakarakaya in the ends and slice and cut through each into four pieces.


Heat 1 tsp oil add cummin seeds, once it splutter add the garlic pods and red chilles and saute for 1 minute or till garlic pods turn golden brown.Let is cool and make a fine powder.

In the same pan add the remaining oil once it heats up in high flame , add the akakarakaya, then add some turmeric, mix well and cover with low flame. Let it cook until it becomes tender, again make the flame high remove the cover and continue to fry till all the water evaporates and becomes golden brown. Then add the above prepared chilli garlic powder. And stir nicely.

Serve with hot ghee rice and enjoy

Monday, July 29, 2013

Amrakhand / Creamy Mango Flavored Yogurt Dessert



Been away for some time from blogging for month and thought it time to treat you all with a wonderfull dessert recipe made with curd and mango, Amrakhand/Mango Shrikhand is a authentic dessert made in gujarati and maharashtrian cuisine. It is a semi soft, sweetish sour, whole milk product prepared with curd.

With the mango season just getting over it time you could try this dessert for your family. So enjoy it...

Ingredients
  • 1 cup hung curd made from 1/2 litre milk (3% fat)
  • 1 cup mango puree ( made with 1 big mango )
  • 3/4 tbsp sugar powder
  • pinch of nutmeg powder
  • 4-5 crushed cardamom
Procedure
Boil the milk and keep aside till it becomes warm, add a tbsp of curd mix well, let it rest for 4 hrs or till it sets, your curd is ready.

In a neat dry muslin cloth or any fine cotton cloth ( I used a old duphata) pour the curd and hang it for the water to stain.It will take 2 hrs, if the water is not stained yet then immediately put it on a stainer with a bowl below it and put in refridgerator so that it will not become sour.



Once all the water is drained take it out and remove from cloth and put it in a bowl.In a mixee/blender jar cur and put the mango pieces, add sugar and make a smooth puree. Now add this to this to the hung curd along with nutmeg powder and powdered cardamom. Beat well with a whisker until all the ngredients are smoothly blended.
Store again in refridgerator and serve chilled.

Note: You can also canned mango puree instead of fresh mangoes , reduce your sugar as canned mangoes would be sweetened

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Mango Mousse Chocolate Cake for Father's Day



I dedicate this cake to fathers day

 
"Treats your parents with loving care, you will only know their value when you see their empty chair" - Anonymous
 
Having lost my father in my childhood it is very important for me to celebrate fathers day with my FIL who has filled the gap .Yesterday was fathers day and my FIL has a sweet tooth for mangoes and cakes. Thought of combining both these to make his day special
 
Ingredients :
  • Chocolate cake
  • Mango mousse
  • Mango jelly
  • Soaking syrup
For chocolate cake
 
You can try out my Devil's chocolate cake or Eggless chocolate cake. Prepare the cake and let it sit on cooling rack to cool.
 
For mango mousse
You can try out my mango mousse recipe ,make the mousse just before assembling the cake.


Ingredients for Mango jelly 
  • 200 gms mango puree
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp gelatin
  • 3 tbsp water
Method
Mix gelation into the water and stir nicely and keep aside.
Heat mango puree with sugar in a pan to make it just warm .
Add the gelatin mix nicely till it completely dissolves and then switch off the
flame.. Make this mango jelly just before the assembly the cake
 
Ingredients for Soaking Syrup
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp of coffee powder
Method
Warm the water add the sugar and coffee powder mix nicely and keep aside

Assembling the cake
Cut the cake horizontally and sprinkle with syrup , pour 1/3 of the mango mousse over over one slice ,spread it evenly then put another slice on top of it and pour the remain  mouse on the cake and spread it evenly with a knife gently.And refridgerate it for 2 hrs

After 2 hrs take the cake out ,by the time it will set nicely ,now pour the prepared  mango jelly  over it and spread it gently over the cake and refridgerate it for 1 hr to set.

After 1 hr your mango mouse chocolate cake is ready for celebration.

Note: Mango jelly and mango mouse should be prepared just before it is assembled

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fresh Ajwain / Carom Leaves Fritters


Its been raining often in chennai and the weather was perfect to out try this fragnant bajji/fritter. The plant is not sold in markets but can be found in almost all indian home kitchen gardens.

The fritter has a golden translucent green texture that is very mystifying that will make you enjoy every bite. The leaf has a strong fragnance which will get infused with the fritter.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup besan / chickpea flour / garbanzo flour
  • 15 ajwain / vammu / omam leaves
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • oil for deep fry
  • pinch of cooking soda
  • salt to taste


Procedure

Wash the leaves properly and keep aside
Mix all the ingredients except the leaves to a slow flowy semi thick paste Heat oil in a pan, dip each leaf in the batter and slide the leaf on both side of the edge of bowl to discard the extra batter.

Slowly drop it into the oil and repeat the same for other leaves. Deep fry in medium flame till you get a nice golden crust on both sides. Put them in a plate with a paper towel that will absorb all the extra oil


Note:

If you like your fritters with more batter then you can drop them directly into oil without sliding the leaf on the edge bowl to get thicker fritters.


Oil should properly heated neither too hot or too less before you drop the fritter otherwise they will absorb too much oil.

To test the heat when you drop batter it should sizzle and float immediately without drastic change in color

You can replace awjain with spinach leaves too
 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Achari Aloo / Spicy Pickled Baby Potatoes

Baby Potatoes blended with some exotic indian spices like saunf,kalonji,cummin and with amchur gives this side dish a very exciting pickled flavor. The recipe that will surprise your guests. It would be the perfect accompaniment for curd rice and rotis
 
Ingredients
  • 20-25 baby potatoes
  • 1 onion small size
  • 1 tsp garlic ginger paste
  • 1 small finely chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp saunf/fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek/methi
  • 1/2 tsp nigella seeds/kalonji
  • 1/2 tsp jeera/cummin seeds
  • pinch of turmeric
  • pinch of hing/asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp amchur powder
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt to taste
Procedure
Boil pototoes and remove the skin and keep aside
Make a coarse powder of saunf,mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds and keep aside
Heat oil in a pan, add kalonji and cummin seeds and once it splutter add onion and once it becomes translucent add ginger garlic paste and fry for one min.Then add tomatoes and fry till they become soft, now add the boiled potatoes and stir until is completely coated and fry in medium to flame till pototoes look crispy with a golfer brown texture.
Now add the prepared powder (saunf, fenugreek and mustard which we prepared earlier). Along with this add red chilli powder, amchur powder and salt and stir nicely till it completely blends for 30 seonds
Serve hot with rotis or rice
Note: Vinegar can also be added to give it a more tangy pickled flavor
 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Khaman Dhokla a Savory Steamed Cake

Dhokla can be eaten for breakfast or as a main course or as a snack. It is fluffy spongy and porous and a signature dish of gujarati cuisine. I served the dhokla with a sweet, spicy, tangy ginger tamarind chutney.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup chickpea flour/besan
  • 1/2 cup curd
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 green chillies fine chopped
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cooking soda or baking soda
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 sachet eno powder
  • salt to taste
For tempering
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1-2 springs curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp grated coconut
  • 2 chopped green chilli
  • pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • 1/4 cup water
Procedure
Mix the besan with curd and water until it is lump free with a consistency like idli batter, it should not be too flowy.Now add turmeric powder and soda and mix nicely, let is rest for 20 min

After 20 min the batter will rise, to this mix oil, lemon juice, salt, sugar, chopped green chillis and mix nicely. Meanwhile prepare your steamer or pressure cooker (place a bowl with water and then a plate which will hold the batter, I used baking tray instead of a plate).

Once the water starts bowling prepare the batter by mixing the eno to it nicely and pour into the plate immediately, because of adding eno you will find lot of bubbles in batter.

Steam for 5-7 minutes, remove the lid of pressure cooker and check with tooth pick, if it comes out clean your dhokla is ready for tempering. Switch off the gas and let it cool for 5 min, in the meantime prepare your tempering

Heat oil in a pan, add sesame seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves, chopped green chilles, when mustard start spluttering remove from gas and add 1/4 cup water to this and pour this tempering over the prepared dhokla and also sprinkle the grated coconut. 

Let it rest for five more minutes and cut it into a desired shape and size and serve with tamarind chutney or hari chutney



































Ginger Tamarind Chutney

Ingredients
  • 1 lemon size tamarind
  • 1 lemon size jaggery chunk
  • 2 green chilli
  • 1 spring curry leaves
  • 1 tsp chopped coriander/cilantro
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 1/4 tsp jeera/cummin seeds
  • pinch of turmeric
  • pinch of asafoetida
  • salt to taste
Make a smooth paste of all the above ingredients if required add little water and serve

Note:
1. Batter should not rest even for a min after adding the eno

2. If you prefer more sweetness in your dhokla then while preparing the tempering add 1 tsp of sugar to it. 

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