Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Aval Payasam and Thiruvonashamsakal!!!

എല്ലാവര്‍ക്കും എന്‍റെ ഹൃദയം നിറഞ്ഞ  തിരുവോണാശംസകള്‍ !!!

I Wish All A Very Happy Onam!!!!! 
Today's recipe a simple and very ezee Payasam/Kheer made with Aval or Poha. I've used Red Flattened Poha/Rose Matta Aval for making this Payasam but you can also use White Aval/Poha but make sure you use thick flattened aval/poha not the thin one's. I normally use White Poha for making Aval Payasam which we absolutely love and tastes excellent. Since my parents bought these beautiful Kerala red aval flakes which was locally made and less processed I gave it a quick rinse in a colander before making payasam. If using the store bought white aval/poha you don't have to rinse it as I always see it being finely processed, clean and not much powdery stuff around. So check, if you feel the Poha is very fine go ahead and make the payasam directly by roasting them in ghee and without any rinse. Make it for Onam and Enjoy with Family and Friends!!! Happy Onam!!!!

Ingredients Used:-
  1. Chemba Aval/Red Flattened Poha - 1 Cup(or white thick Poha/Aval)
  2. Full Fat Milk - 6 Cups
  3. Sugar - 1¼ Cup
  4. Ghee - 2 tbsp
  5. Cardamom pods - 1 (optional)

Preparation Method:-
  • Put the Aval/Poha in a colander and give a quick rinse to the Poha, drain to a paper towel if required. Make sure aval/poha don't become soggy.
  • Heat up a vessel preferably non-stick, pour the ghee. Add the poha and saute and roast for a minute or two till they absorb the aroma of ghee. Move it to plate and set aside.
  • Pour Milk to the same vessel and bring to boil stirring couple of times just to make sure milk don't stick to the bottom of the pan. Drop the sauteed aval/poha to the boiling milk and let it boil again. Reduce the heat to medium and let it cook for another five-ten minutes till poha become very soft and cooked.

  • Add the sugar now and stir well and let it cook and boil . Simmer the heat to low-medium and let it roll/boil for another 20-30 minutes stirring every now and then till the aval/poha absorbs the sweetness and the milk is reduced and thickened well to the payasam consistency.

  • Crush the cardamom pod and add it to the Payasam, give it a stir(It tastes awesome even without cardamom and any raisins/cashews so cardamom is purely optional). Switch off the stove. Serve it warm or chilled!!!! 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Oats Yogurt Porridge ~ Oats Thayir Saadam

How do you use Oats in your daily diet which is considered as healthful, nutritious, which also have cholesterol lowering properties, very fibrous and above all considered as great alternative for rice/rotis for people who are diabetic. Though we are not diabetic oats plays an important role in our day to day food, especially when it comes to dinner. There is one more reason(secret) behind my love for oats, it comes handy when I feel terribly lazy to roll Rotis in the evenings. Though we are Oat freaks, my hubby is not so fond of our normal Oats Milk Porridge, even if I mix n match with the addition of brown sugar, generous amount of his favorite nuts, fruits and many more in the name of adding flavor and taste. That is how I ended up making Oats Poha which is one of his favorite, to be more precise he like something with the blend of spices, more Indian than something bland.

And now since my parents are here and my mom don't eat rice at night, I'm always experimenting with oats, wheat flour, Quinoa, Raagi Flour and many more healthy alternative at nights. That is when my sister told me to try it with Yogurt/Curd which she tried once and liked. I was waiting for something new like this and end result of making it for the first time was an empty vessel which was relished by the whole family including my little teddies. I call it Oats Thayir Saadam/Yogurt Rice as they looks similar and the cooking process and taste resemble a lot. I believe may be because my little ones love Thayir Saadam they tend to love this Oats Porridge as well. So lemme stop blabbering and move on to this delicious and healthy oats recipe which is equally good for young and elderly people, Try it today and Enjoy with your loved ones !!!!!

Ingredients Used :- 

  1. Quaker Old Fashioned Oats - 1 Cup
  2. Water - 3 Cups(More if needed)
  3. Salt to taste(~ 1 tsp)
  4. Sour Yogurt/Curd - 1½ Cup(Add  ½ cup of water and dilute if the yogurt is very thick) 
  5. Cilantro/Coriander leaves chopped ~ 2tbsp
For Seasoning/Tempering:-
  1. Olive Oil/Oil - 2tbsp
  2. Mustard Seeds -1 tsp
  3. Jeera/Cumin - 1tsp
  4. Chopped Shallots - 1tbsp
  5. Ginger finely chopped - 1 tsp(optional, I add if I'm not in a hurry)
  6. Green chilies chopped - 1 tsp(optional, add it if you need to increase some spice)
  7. Urad Dal - 1 tsp
  8. Peanut - 2tbsp
  9. Curry leaves few 
  10. Dry Red Chilies -4
Preparation Method:-
  • In a wide vessel cook oats with water and salt stirring continuously. Once they start to boil simmer the heat to medium and let it cook for another four to five minutes. Take off the stove and let the heat come down from boiling hot to bearable.
  • Beat the yogurt gently with a fork, just to remove the lumps. Pour it over the cooked oats and give it a gentle stir to blend well.
  • For tempering heat up another small pan, pour oil, add mustard seeds. When they start to sizzle simmer the heat to medium, add jeera/cumin and let it pop. Add chopped shallots, red chilies, urad dal, peanut, curry leaves and saute till shallots turn golden brown. Pour over the Porridge and mix well. 
  • Serve warm with pickle and pappads/fryums or just plain.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tofu Manchurian Dry

Ingredients Used:-
  • Firm Tofu - 12Oz 
  • Onion - 1 Large(or 2 Med) cut into cubes
  • Green chilies - 3 to 4 chopped diagonally
  • Bell pepper/Capsicum - 1 big cubed(I used ½ red and ½ green bell pepper, you can use any color)
  • Garlic chopped fine - 1 tbsp
  • Spring onion/Green onion finely chopped - 2tbsp
  • Salt to taste(½ tsp, check and adjust)
  • Soy Sauce - 2 tbsp
  • Tomato Sauce or ketchup - 1 tbsp
  • Chili sauce(red or green chili) - 1 tbsp
  • Pepper powder - 1 tsp
  • Dry Red Chili flakes - 1 tsp(optional)
  • Oil- 1 tbsp + more for deep frying
  • Ajnamotto - ½ tsp(optional, I did not use it) 

Batter Ingredients:- 

***Corn flour-All purpose flour(Maida) ratio I use is 2:1, so if you increase the quantity of Tofu and other ingredients increase the batter ratio according to the ratio specified. 
  • Corn Flour - 4 tbsp
  • All purpose flour/Maida - 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste(~ ½ tsp)
  • Pepper Powder - ½ tsp tsp
  • Egg - 1(optional, if not using egg add 2 tbsp of water)

How I made It:-
  • Chop the tofu into medium sized cubes and set aside. 
  • In a big bowl mix together the 'Batter Ingredients' to get a thick batter, the consistency should be thick and bit runny but not too dry. If you feel the batter is too thick add few drops of water.
  • Drop the tofu in the batter and mix gently with clean hands to coat the tofu with batter. Set aside for 15-30 minutes(if possible).
  • Heat up oil in a kadai/frying pan for deep frying the tofu. Mix the tofu pieces once again in the batter and deep fry them. Drain into paper towels to remove excess oil and set aside. 
  • Heat up another Kadai/frying pan, pour 1 tbsp of oil, add chopped onions, salt and saute till soft and translucent.
  • Add chopped garlic, green chilies and saute for two more minutes or till raw smell of garlic goes off. 
  • Add the bell pepper/capsicum and saute well for another four to six minutes till they becomes soft.
  • Add pepper powder, chili flakes and saute. Add soy sauce, tomato sauce, chili sauce and saute till they start to boil. 
  • Set the stove in high heat, add the fried tofu pieces and saute well till everything is combined properly and sauce is dried up.
  •  Take off the stove, add chopped spring onions and saute well to mix. Garnish with more spring onions when you are ready to serve.
  • Serve warm as a starter or side dish with Rotis/Naan/Rice.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Reine de Saba avec Glaçage au Chocolat: Chocolate Almond Cake ~ Baking Partners # 1

We the Baking Partners along with you all celebrates the 100th birthday of Julia Child with her Wonderful Cake 'Reine de Saba avec Glaçage au Chocolat' or in simple words 'Chocolate Almond Cake' as a tribute to this Culinary legend. I truly believe in her quote's "You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces -- just good food from fresh ingredients". She is recognized for bringing French cuisine to the American public with her debut cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and her subsequent television programs, the most notable of which was The French Chef.

I'm really happy and thankful to Swathi for choosing this awesome cake as our first assignment which I absolutely loved making and my family enjoyed every tiny bit of it. To be frank when I saw the recipe header it did scare me but when I went through the recipe thoroughly along with Swathi's Inputs and notes I felt there is nothing that I've to scratch my head. When I started making it I felt it is very simple and straight forward process, as for every bake you just have to pay proper attention. But I must thank all the wonderful ladies in our baking group who poured in with the suggestions and inputs after their bakes which made it more easier for many of us. Thanks a bunch girls, you guys are truly amazing.

Coming back to this cake, I felt its more fugdy kind, dense and moist. Very less flour is used in this cake and the almond meal(powdered/pulverized almond) added give it a rich texture which can be slurped even without any Icing.  The chocolate-butter Icing complimented the cake very well, I was delighted to see such a dense cake baked without using any enhancing agents like Baking Soda/baking powder. But just a word of caution at the end the calorie count in this cake may be high as it uses some generous amount of butter, but its worth every tiny bite. Now moving on to the recipe, though my final decoration is not great, it tasted fabulous!!!!!.

Ingredients Used for an 8" Cake Pan:-
  • Semi Sweet Chocolate - 4 ounce or 4 squares or113.4 grams 
  • Softened Butter - ¼  lb or 1 stick softened butter or 113g
  • Granulated Sugar - 2/3 cup/ 134g (add  ¼ cup mmore if you are on a sweeter side)  
  • Eggs - 3(Yolks and White Separated)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Almond extract  - ½ tsp. 
  • Cake flour - ½ cup or 57g(scooped and leveled, turned into a sifter)
  • Granulated sugar -  1 tbsp
  • 1/3 cup/ 65g pulverized  (ground) almonds(To pulverize almonds grind together Blanched or slivered Almonds with 1 tbsp of sugar)
Pulverized Almonds
Chocolate Icing:-
  • Semisweet Baking Chocolate -  2 Oz(2 squares)/ 56.7 g 
  • Rum or Coffee - 2 tbsp 
  • Unsalted butter - 5 to 6 tbsp

  • Preheat oven to 350F/ 180 C. Butter and flour the cake pan nd set aside.
  • Set the chocolate and rum or coffee in a small pan, cover and place (off heat-but boiling hot) in a larger pan of almost simmering water; let melt while you proceed with the recipe. 
  • Measure out the rest of the ingredients and keep handy.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes until they form a pale yellow, fluffy mixture. Beat in the egg yolks until well blended.
  • Beat the egg whites and salt in a separate bowl until soft peaks are formed (gradually increase the speed of your mixer and for about 5 minutes); sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed (it should have peaks not deflate ones).
  • With a rubber spatula, blend the melted chocolate into the butter and sugar mixture, then stir in the ground almonds, and almond extract. Immediately stir in one-fourth ( ¼) of the beaten egg whites to lighten the batter. 
  • Delicately fold in a third  (1/3rd) of the remaining whites and when partially blended, sift on one-third  ( 1/3rd) of the flour and continue folding. Alternate rapidly with more egg whites and more flour until all egg whites and flour are incorporated
  • Turn the batter into the cake pan, pushing the batter up to its rim with a rubber spatula. Bake in middle level of preheated oven for 25minutes. Cake is done when it has puffed, and 2 1/2 to 3 inches around the circumference are set so that a needle plunged  into that area comes out clean; the center should move slightly if the pan is shaken, and a needle comes out oily
  • Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and reverse cake on the rack. Allow it to cool for an hour or two, it must be thoroughly cold if it is to be iced.
  • To serve, use the chocolate-butter icing recipe below, and then press a design of almonds over the icing.
How to make Icing:-
  • Put a bowl filled with a tray of ice cubes and water to cover them and set aside.
  • Place the chocolate and rum or coffee in a small pan, cover, and set in a larger pan of almost simmering water(heat off-but boiled water).  
  • Remove pans from heat and let chocolate melt for 5 minutes or so, until perfectly smooth. Lift chocolate pan out of the hot water, and beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time. Then beat over the ice and water until chocolate mixture has cooled to spreading consistency. At once spread it over your cake with spatula or knife.
  • Garnish with slivered almonds or according to your choice.

Some important Tips and Notes:-
*   Substitution for cake flour:- Add 1 tablespoon of corn flour/corn starch and then fill the rest of cup with all purpose flour(I did this instead of using cake flour)
** Reserve ¼ cup or more slivered almonds for decoration 
*** The cake is done when a cake tester inserted at the sides comes out clean where as when inserted in the center comes out with few moist crumbs.
*** Check out for the cake from 18 minutes as the baking time can vary according to different oven settings.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Happy Independence Day India

Dear All,

It is August 15th tomorrow, Indian Independence Day. So here I'm wishing all my fellow Indians A Very Happy Independence Day. This Tricolor Salad Flag is the same which I made for the last Republic Day :-)

Let my India emerge with Flying Colors, dynamic and Versatile In Every Manner.
Hope the spirit of Freedom, fills your life with joy, colors and Pride. 
Happy Independence Day!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Parippum Neyyum/Split Moong Dal Curry ~ A Kerala Sadya Recipe

Parippum Neyyum/Split Moong Dal Curry which is simply known as Parippu Curry is one of the simplest and  the modest Kerala Sadya dish. Now everyone has their own way of making this ethnic dish and may have regional differences. I normally make it in the simplest form by cooking Moong dal/Cherupayar Parippu with with two three green chilies, without ground coconut paste or tempering but just by seasoning them in the end with one or two tbsp of coconut oil and curry leaves. The flavor and aroma it imparts is really wonderful. Another reason of my love of it making this simple way is it is one of the best considered food for babies from 6 months to kids of any age, I used to make it a lot for my both kids and still make it this way. They love it with boiled rice and ghee which is really nutritious and so very simple, I hope you all agree with me.

But then these days when I've more than twenty-five to thirty guests for Onam/Vishu Sadya festivals here I go for this way of preparing Parippu Curry with Ground Coconut and Tempering. As I mentioned in the recipe the tempering is purely optional for this way of preparation also, instead you can just add few drops or two tbsp of coconut oil and some generous amount of curry leaves which will impart a lovely aroma and flavor. I sometimes add a clove of garlic while grinding the coconut paste as I have heard my granny and many elderly people saying its helps for digestion but its full on you as to how you want to make it.(I personally like to avoid using garlic but at the end of the festive days we tend to eat a lot and feel so heavy I believe its better to add some garlic in your sadya meals). Make sure for Sadya you serve it topped with a spoon of ghee and Pappadams which is the best combo. So make your parippu curry this way for this Onam and Enjoy with your loved ones :-)

Ingredients Used:- 
  1. Split Moong Dal - 1½ cup
  2. Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
  3. Split green chilies -3 to 4 split lengthwise 
  4. Salt to taste
  5. Water - 3 cups(more if required)
To Grind:-
  1. Grated Coconut - 1½ cup
  2. Jeera/Cumin - tsp
  3. Garlic - 1 clove(optional)
  4. Water - 3tbsp(or just enough to grind)
Tempering:-(Tempering is purely optional)
  1. Coconut oil/Ghee - 2 tbsp
  2. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  3. Jeera/Cumin - ½ tsp(optional)
  4. Shallots chopped - 1tbsp
  5. Curry leaves few
  6. Dry red chilies - 4

How I made It:-
  • Wash Moong Dal two-three times, put them in the pressure cooker, pour water, add turmeric and salt. Pressure cook it for just one whistle and take it off the stove.
  • Meanwhile grind the 'To Grind' ingredients into smooth paste and keep aside.
  • When the pressure releases fully, open the pressure cooker lid and stir well to mash the cooked dal. Add the slit green chilies and ground coconut paste to the dal stir well again. 
  • Put on the stove and cook the dal coconut mix again, stir for couple of times to make sure dal don't stick on to the botoom and get burned.
  • When it starts to boil reduce the heat to medium and let it boil again for another five minutes. Take them off the stove. 
  • For tempering-heat up a small pan, pour coconut oil or ghee, add mustard seeds. When they start to splutter add jeera/cumin. When they sizzle add chopped shallots, curry leaves, dry red chilies and saute till shallots turn golden brown color.
  • Pour over the Parippu Curry and give it a gentle mix. Serve with rice topped with a tsp of ghee/clarified butter and Pappadam.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Chemmeen Pacha Manga Muringha Curry/Prawns Raw Mango Drumstick Curry

Another absolute family favorite recipe, Muringayum Pacha Mangayum chertha Chemmeen Curry or Prawns Curry made with Raw Mango and Drumsticks. If you have these simple ingredients handy it takes not more than 30 minutes to make this delicious meal companion. So without talking further let me move onto the recipe, make it today for a scrumptious meal :-)

Ingredients Used :-
  1. Prawns Big - 15 to 20 count(can use small prawns as well, increase the quantity as required)
  2. Chilly powder - 1 tbsp
  3. Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  4. Salt to taste(~ 1 tsp)
  5. Drumstick - 2 long(~ 15 pieces when cut into long strips)
  6. Raw Mango - 1 Medium Size(~ 1 to 1½ cups)
  7. Green Chilies - 5(slit into halves)
  8. Ginger chopped fine - 1 tbsp(A small piece)
  9. Curry leaves few
  10. Water - 2 Cups(or more)

To Grind:-
  1. Grated Coconut - 1½ Cup
  2. Jeera/Cumin - 1 tsp
  3. Dry red chilies - 2 
  4. Turmeric powder - ¼ tsp
For Tempering:- 
  1. Coconut Oil - 2 tsp
  2. Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
  3. Fenugreek seeds - ½ tsp
  4. Shallots chopped - 3
  5. Curry leaves few
  6. Dry Red Chilies - 4 
How I made It:-
  • Peel and deveine the Prawns, add some salt and mix well. Rinse two to three times in water, drain off completely.
  • Marinate the prawns the chilly powder, turmeric powder and salt. St aside for 30 minutes if possible.
  • Wash the drumstick, slightly scrape out the outer skin, cut lengthwise. 
  • Wash and peel the raw mango, cut into cubes. 
  • Grind the 'To Grind' ingredients to a fine smooth paste and set aside till ready to use. 
  • Add the marinated prawns, drumstick, raw mango, green chilies, ginger, curry leaves into the ManChatti/earthenware. Pour water and cook it covered till everything start to boil. Simmer to medium heat and let it cook for another five-seven minutes.
  • Now add the ground coconut paste and mix well, check for the salt and adjust. Add water if you feel more gravy is required. Increase the heat and bring it to boil with lid open.
  • Once the curry start to boil, simmer the heat again to medium and let it cook/boil again for another five-ten minutes. Take off the stove 
  • Now for seasoning/tempering, heat a small pan, pour coconut oil, add mustard seeds  and wait to sputter. When they start to crackle, reduce heat and add the fenugreek seeds, curry leaves , dry red chilies and chopped shallots.
  • Saute til the shallots turn golden brown color. Pour over the curry. Leave it for a while, Serve with boiled rice. Enjoy!!!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...