Sunday, October 19, 2014

Green Chili Pottukadalai Murukku

Rice Flour - 5 cups
Pottukadalai /Roasted Chana Dalia  - 1 cup, powdered
Green Chili Paste* - 2 1/2 tsps
Salt - as per taste
Lemon Juice - 2 1/2 tsps
Water - required for making dough
Oil - for deep frying

*Use fresh green chilies to make a paste. Adjust according to your spice level.

Mix the rice flour, pottu kadalai powder and salt. Divide the mixture into 5 equal portions. Heat the oil in a kadai for deep frying. Once the oil is hot enough for deep frying, add 1/2 tsp of lemon juice, 1/2 tsp green chili paste and sprinkle water to make a stiff dough to the first portion of the mixture. Make out enough balls from the dough, put in the murukku press. Squeeze out the murukku over a greased plate and drop them gently into the hot oil, fry on both sides until the oil stops bubbling and the murukku turn golden in color. Drain in a paper towel and cool completely. 
Once the first portion is done, do the same to the remaining four portions and deep fry the murukkus till golden brown. Cool completely and store the murukkus in a airtight container.

NOTE: When making in large batches do not add the lemon juice to the entire dough. It will make the murukku brown without being fried properly. Add the lemon juice little by little to the portion you are using to press. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Apple Halwa

Apple* - 3 big, peeled, chopped and pureed
Sugar** - 1 cup + 1 tsp
Cardamom - a pinch
Orange Food Color - a pinch soaked in a tsp of milk
Cashews - 1 tbspn, chopped
Ghee - 4 tbspns

*You can either grate it or make puree, approximately 3 cups puree
**Adjust according to the sweetness of the apple. Mine was too sweet

Heat 1 tbspn of ghee in a non stick kadai. Fry the cashews till golden brown and keep it aside. In the same pan add the remaining ghee and add in the apple puree. Fry it on medium flame until the water content in the puree is evaporated and the puree becomes slightly thick, it will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Now add sugar to the puree and mix well. Keep stirring the mixture and add the food color soaked in the milk. Stir until the halwa leaves the sides of the kadai and until the mixture looks glossy. Now add the cardamom powder and the fried cashews. Finally mix everything well and transfer it to a greased bowl. 
Apple Halwa is ready to serve :) :) You can serve as it is or cut into squares.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Rava and Coconut Ladoo/Rava and Coconut Laddu

Yields 19 Balls
Rava (coarse) - 1 cup (250 ml cup)
Coconut - 1 cup, scrapped
Sugar - 1 cup
Cashews - 2 tbspns. chopped
Cardamom - 1/4 tsp, powdered
Ghee - 2 tsps
Milk - 1/4 cup + 2 tbspns

Add the ghee in a pan and roast the cashews on low heat until golden brown. Keep it separate. In the same pan roast the rava until you get a nice aroma ( until it starts turning golden brown ). Remove the rava from the pan and keep it aside. In the same pan add the scrapped coconut and fry for few minutes approximately 2-3 minutes. Now add the rava to the toasted coconut and mix it until the mixture is well blended. Now add the sugar and mix it well with the rava, coconut mixture. Add the roasted cashews. Mix everything well for a minute or until the sugar starts to melt. Switch off the stove. Let it cool approximately for 2-3 minutes. Now add the milk little by little until you are able to hold the mixture and shape into balls. Make equal sized balls of the mixture. If you are not able to shape into balls, heat the mixture for a minute and sprinkle some more milk. 
Let the balls cool completely. Store them into air tight containers.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Apple Kheer/Apple Payasam

Serves 2
Milk - 2 cups
Grated Apples* - 1/2 cup
Sweetened Condensed Milk - 3 tbspns
Sugar** - 1 tsp
Cardamom Powder - 1/4 tsp
Saffron - few strands soaked in a tbspn of lukewarm milk
Almonds - 1 tbspn, chopped
Cashews - 1 tbspn, chopped
Raisin - 1 tbspn
Ghee - 1 tsp

*Grate the apple only when you are ready to saute. Or else it will get oxidized and turns brown.
**Adjust the amount of condensed milk to your preferred sweetness levels

Bring the milk to boil in a pan and let it simmer on low flame. Stir frequently to prevent it from burning. Meanwhile, in a kadai, heat the ghee and roast the almonds, cashews until light golden brown. To this add raisin. Keep it separate. In the same pan add the grated apple and saute for 3 minutes. The mixture will turn dry and the apples will soften a bit but still retain the crunch.

In about 10 mins or so, the milk would have reduced to half the original amount. At this point, add the condensed milk and sugar. Cook for 2 minutes. Now add the cardamom and soaked saffron. Mix and let it cook for another minute. Now add the grated apple and let it cook for another 2 minutes. Apple kheer is ready to serve !
Apple kheer is best served chilled.


Increase the amount of milk if you want a thinner kheer. 

It's normal for the milk to curdle slightly when the apples are added. This is perfectly fine and enhances the taste of the kheer.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Peanut Cutlet

Roasted Peanuts – 2 cups, coarsely powdered
Potatoes – 4, medium sized boiled, peeled and mashed
Bread Slices – 5 to 6
Green Chilies – 6 to 8
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Coriander Leaves – few, chopped
Bread Crumbs – 2 cups
Oil - required for deep frying
Salt as per taste

Grind together the green chilies, ginger and coriander leaves to a fine paste. Cut the corners of the bread and dip the bread slices in water and squeeze dry. Transfer to a large bowl.
Add the mashed potatoes, peanuts, green chili paste, salt and mix well. Make small balls and shape them into cutlets of desired shapes. Heat oil in a frying pan. Roll the cutlets in the breadcrumbs and add to the hot oil. Fry until golden brown. Remove and drain excess oil.
Serve with sauce or chutney of choice.

Inspired from here

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Guacamole Cones

Yields 6 cones
Tortillas - 3
Oil - 1 tbspn
Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp
Avocados - 1 ripe
Fresh Lime Juice - 1 tbspn
Onion - 1 tbspn, finely chopped
Salt and Black Pepper - as per taste
Dash of hot pepper sauce(optional)
Tomatoes - 3 tbspns, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350F. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut tortillas in half. Roll each tortilla half into cone shape and secure them with toothpicks. Brush outside of the cone with oil and sprinkle lightly with chili powder. Place the cone in the prepared baking sheet.
Bake 9 minutes or until cones are lightly brown. Turn cones upside down, bake about 5 minutes or until golden brown on all sides. Cool cones for 1 minute and remove the toothpicks. Cool completely.
Cut avocados in half, remove and discard the seed. Scoop the pulp and place them in a medium bowl, mash it with a fork. Stir in lime juice, onion, salt and pepper and hot pepper sauce, if using and mix it until blended.
Place the chopped tomatoes in each tortilla cones, top with small scoop of guacamole and additional chopped tomatoes. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Banana Custard

Bananas – 4 small ones or 2 big, ripe
Custard Powder – 2 tbspns
Milk – 1 1/2 cups + 2 tbspns
Sugar – 1/2 cup + 1 tbspn
Vanilla Essence – 1/2 tsp
Cashew Nuts – few, chopped
Almonds – few, chopped
Pistachios – few, chopped

Peel and chop the bananas in a bowl. Add 1 tbspn of sugar and mix it well. Keep it aside.
Now mix 2 tbspns of custard powder in a tbspn of luke warm milk. Keep it aside.
Bring 1 1/2 cups of milk to a boil over low/medium flame. Add the custard powder mixture to the milk and mix it well. When it starts to thicken, add the bananas. Switch off the stove. Add vanilla essence and chopped nuts. Mix well and keep it in the fridge for 2 hours. Serve chilled.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Carrot Chutney

Carrot - 1/2 cup, grated
Coconut - 1/2 cup, grated
Urad Dal - 1 tbspn
Red Chilies - 3 small, round ones
Tamarind - a small piece, peanut size or 1 tsp tamarind paste
Salt - as needed
Oil - 1/2 tsp

For tempering;
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 3/4 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - few

Heat 1/2 tsp of oil in a pan and fry the urad dal and red chilies till golden brown. Keep it separate. Now fry the grated carrots till raw smell goes off. Grind all the items together along with tamarind, coconut and salt with required amount of water to a smooth chutney.
Temper the items and mix it with the chutney.
Serve it with Idly or Dosa!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Quinoa and Oats Idli Milagai Podi/Quinoa and Oats Idli Spice Powder Mix

Quinoa - 3/4 cup
Oats - 3/4 cup
Whole Black Urad Dal or Plain Urad dal - 1/2 cup
Chana dal - 1/2 cup
White Sesame seeds - 2 tbspns
Red chilies - 8 
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp

Dry roast quinoa and oats separately till you get a nice aroma (approximately 3-4 minutes). Keep it separate. 
Heat 1 tsp oil in a kadai and roast whole urad until light golden brown over medium flame. It takes roughly 5-7 mins. Remove it and keep it aside.
Heat another tsp oil in the same kadai and roast chana dal until golden brown. Remove and keep it aside.
In the same kadai add red chilies and roast until crisp and changes its color. Remove and let them cool. Add sesame seeds to the same kadai and let them pop. It takes hardly a minute or two. Set aside. Once the ingredients are cooled down grind everything with salt(according to taste) in the mixer to a coarse powder.
Spread the mixture on a plate and once it is cooled pour into the air tight container and store it in the refrigerator for longer life. Serve it with idli/dosa/upma. Mix the powder with ghee or sesame oil while serving.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Black Bean Soup

Serves 3-4
Olive Oil - 1 tbspn
Onion - 1 cup, chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped finely
Jalapeno - 1, de seeded and chopped finely
Corn Kernels - 1/2 cup, frozen
Black Beans - 1 - 15 ounce can drained or 1 cup dried beans soaked and cooked
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Veg Broth - 1 cup or Water
Cilantro - 3 tbspns, chopped finely
Salt and Pepper to taste

For the topping;
Sour Cream
Tortilla Chips

Heat olive oil in a pot and saute the garlic, jalapenos and onions till the onions turns translucent. Add corn, veg broth, black beans, cumin powder, salt, pepper and half of the cilantro. Reduce heat, cover and let it cook for 10 minutes. Let it cool completely. Take half of the soup and blend it in a blender until smooth.
Return this puree to the soup pot and cook till the soup thickens approx for 2 - 3 minutes.
Top it with the remaining cilantro, sour cream and avocados. Serve it with Tortilla Chips!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Kadala Curry/Black Channa Gravy/Kala Channa Gravy

Serves 4
Brown Kondaikadalai/Kala channa* - 2 cups (cooked)
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbspn
Onion - 1 cup, chopped 
Green chili - 1 slit lengthwise 
Tomato -1, chopped
Grated coconut - 3/4 cup or Coconut Milk - 1/2 cup, thick
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp 
Chili Powder - 3/4 - 1 tbspn 
Coriander Powder - 3 tsps 
Garam Masala - 1 tsp 
Salt as per taste

*1 cup uncooked channa yields 2 cups cooked channa

To temper;
Oil - 2 tbspns 
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp 
Hing - a pinch 
Curry leaves - few

For Garnishing;
Coriander Leaves - 1 tbspn, chopped

Soak channa overnight or for 5-6 hours. Pressure cook until soft with a little salt and just enough water.
If using coconut, heat 1/2 tsp of oil and saute coconut on medium flame until it turns golden brown. Grind it to a smooth paste. Keep it aside. If you are using coconut milk, omit this step.

Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, hing, when mustard splutters, add ginger garlic paste and saute until the raw flavor goes. Then add onions, green chili, curry leaves and saute until onions turn light brown. Add a little salt to the onions to speed up the process.
Add tomatoes and cook until tomatoes become mushy. Once the tomato is cooked, add turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder, salt and saute until the raw flavor of the masala powder goes. If it becomes too dry, add a tbsp of water and cook.
Then add the cooked kadala along with the water. Add the ground coconut paste or the coconut milk and cook for a few minutes. Take a ladle of cooked channa, grind it to a coarse paste and add it to the gravy along with garam masala. Add more water and cook on medium flame until everything gets blended well.
Garnish with the chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with puttu, appam or with chapati or dosa or idiyappam.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Steamed Poha Balls/Aval Urundai/Aval Kozhukattai

Makes 10 Balls
Poha/Aval/Beaten Rice(thick or thin) - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup
Salt - to taste
Grated Coconut - 1 tbspn

For tempering;
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Chana dal - 1/2 tbspn
Red Chili - 1, broken

Curry Leaves - a few


Powder the aval coarsely in a mixer. Use juice/inch option to carefully do this evenly.
Heat a pan with oil and temper with the items given under “to temper” table. Add water, salt and bring to boil. Add the powdered aval and mix well. cook till all the water gets absorbed and the mixture resembles upma. Will take 2 minutes approximately. Switch off the stove and add grated coconut and mix well and cool down. Grease an idly plate and make balls/kozhukattais out of the aval mixture and steam it for 5 minutes.
Serve hot with chutney!

Inspired from here

Monday, July 28, 2014

Strawberry Lassi

Serves 2
Strawberry - 1 cup
Honey - 1 tbspn
Cardamom - a pinch
Yogurt - 3/4 cup
Ice Cubes

Blend all the ingredients in a blender to a smooth consistency. Serve chill!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pineapple Bhaji

Pineapple* - 4 to 5 cut into circles discarding the center
Oil for frying
Gram Flour/Besan Flour - 2 tbspns
Salt to taste
Crushed Black Pepper to taste 
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp

For the batter;
Gram Flour/Besan Flour - 1 cup
Red Chili Powder - 1 1/2 tsp(add more if the pineapple is too sweet)
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Water for making batter

Green Chutney - required for serving
*Select the one which is sweet but not juicy.

In a bowl add gram flour, chili powder, turmeric powder, salt, enough water. Mix well. Rest for 10 to 12 minutes. Heat the oil in a pan for frying. 
For dusting, in a separate bowl add gram flour, salt, red chili powder, crushed black pepper. Mix well. Dust the pineapple slices with the dry mixture and then coat the pineapple slices in the wet batter and deep fry them in hot oil. Remove them on a tissue.
Put the lotus stem slices in gram flour mixture and add red chili powder.
Arrange pineapple bhajis on a plate and serve with green chutney.

Inspired from here

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mango Payasam/Mango Kheer

Vermicelli - 3 tbspns
Milk - 3 cups(1 cup = 250 ml)
Condensed milk - 1/4 cup
Sugar* - 3 tbspns
Mango Pulp - 1 cup
Ghee - 2-3 tsps
Raisin - 7 Nos
Cashews - 7 Nos
Cardamom Powder - 1/4 tsp
Fresh Mango - 1/4 cup, chopped(optional)

*Add more depending upon the sweetness of the mango

In a pan heat a tsp of ghee and fry the vermicelli till it is lightly golden. Then add the milk to it and let it simmer till the vermicelli is cooked. Then add the sugar and condensed milk and bring it to boil and let it simmer for few minutes. Then add the powdered cardamom mix well and turn off the heat. 
Then let it cool completely, then add the mango pulp and mix well. 
Fry cashews and raisins in the ghee and then mix with this and also add the diced mangoes and mix well and serve. Add more milk to dilute the payasam if its thickened.
It tastes best when served cold.