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Friday, November 30, 2012

Gulab Jamun Recipe | Gulab Jamun made using milk powder

Gulab Jamun is my favorite dessert. I used to make it for every festival. I make it with the box mix which worked fine for me so never really thought about trying from scratch. This Diwali I wanted to try it from scratch and remembered seeing Gulab Jamun in Sangeetha's space. So decided to give a try. It was a huge success- the shape, the color, the texture and the taste everything scored A+.  

Recipe Source:Spicy Treats

What are the ingredients needed?

For Jamuns
Milk Mawa Powder, 1 cup
All purpose flour, 1/2 cup
Baking Soda, 1/4 teaspoon
Unsalted Butter (Room temperature), 2 tablespoon
Milk, to make dough (around 6 tablespoons approximately)
Oil for deep frying

For the syrup
Sugar, 2 cups
Water,2 cups
Cardamom, 3-4 crushed
Rose essence, few drops (optional)


How it is made?
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine Milk mawa powder, all purpose flour and baking soda. 
  2. Then add the butter and mix well. Then add milk little by little and keep kneading till a smooth dough is formed. Let it rest for half an hour. 
  3. Then equally divide the dough and grease the hands with butter and roll them into balls.
  4. Mean while, prepare the sugar syrup. Add the sugar and water together and boil it for few minutes, then add the crushed cardamom and boil for some more time and turn off the heat. Add few drops of rose essence, if you need and mix well.
  5. Now deep fry the dough balls in medium heat  till they turn golden brown color. Keep turning the jamuns in the oil, to attain uniform color through out. 
  6. Remove from the oil and drain in the paper towel. Finish frying all the jamuns. 
  7. When the syrup is still warm, add the fried jamuns and let it soak for atleast 2- 3 hours. 
  8. Serve the soaked Jamuns either warm or chilled depending on your preference.
For the size I made(smaller compared to the usual size), it yielded 36 Jamuns.


Note:
  • If you do not have milk mawa powder, you can use regular milk powder too.
  • Add just the right enough milk to knead. Add the milk little by little(one  tablespoon at a time) The dough should be soft, smooth but not sticking in the hand.
  • The temperature of oil is very important, if it is too hot then the jamuns will burn when the inside is still uncooked. So keep a check on the temperature while adding every new batch.
  • You can also garnish it with pistachios, almonds or shredded coconut to make it more interesting.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Nei Appam / Neyyappam- Karthigai Deepam special


For Karthigai Deepam festival yesterday, I made Nei Appam, Karthigai Adai and Sundal. Last year I got the nei appam recipe online and noted it in my recipe note book. I was not into blogging then so I had not noted the recipe source. Today am sharing with you the recipe. The aroma and taste of ghee in this appam makes it more special. 



What are the ingredients needed?

Raw rice, 2 cups
Jaggery, 1 1/2cups - 2 cups
Powdered Cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon
Grated Coconut, 1/4 cup
Salt, a pinch
Ripe Bananas, 2 nos.
Ghee, as needed



How it is made?
  1. Soak the rice for at least 3-4 hours.
  2. Grind the soaked rice in to a smooth paste, adding very little water.
  3. Powder the jaggery and melt them adding little water. Once they are melted and start boiling, remove from heat, filter the impurities and add to the ground rice paste and mix well. 
  4. Mash the banana and add to this mixture, add the powdered cardamom, salt and mix well.
  5. Let it sit at room temperature for 3-4 hours.
  6. When it is time to cook, add the grated coconut, mix well.
  7. Heat a paniyaram pan, add ghee to each paniyaram mould, pour the batter and cook covered in low heat till the sides turn crispy, golden brown and it is easy to flip to the other side.
  8. Turn the other side and cook for a minute or two till it is done. 
  9. Remove from pan and serve it warm.


Notes
  • While grinding rice, take care to add very little water. Water just right enough to ensure the grinding process. 
  • After adding the jaggery syrup, if the batter turns watery, add couple of tablespoons of rice flour.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pepper Chicken Roast | Milagu Kozhi Varuval | South Indian style Pepper Chicken Recipe

The weather is beginning to get colder here and it is dark and gloomy for the most part of the day. What happens then? Everything progresses slow and dull.  Even my spirits were not high and hence not in a mood to do anything. I was just sitting in front of TV and was watching the movie Hangover, most part of this movie was shot in Las Vegas. Whenever I hear the name Las Vegas, I always felt a little disappointed, the reason, I had never been there in spite of staying in proximity of Las Vegas. We were in California before moving here, Las Vegas is much close from there. Every one of my friends have visited there. But Hubby refused to take us saying it is not for family, there are just casinos there. But later after seeing the pictures my friends posted and discussing various things to do in Vegas other than poker, Hubby agreed to take me there. But unfortunately when the trip was in the planning phase, we had to move from California and never got a chance to go to Vegas. For a foodie like me, there is also another one reason to be attracted by Vegas. Yes there is an Indian restaurant named Origin India with very good reviews. Though I enjoyed watching the movie, the rest of the day was like oh I couldn’t go to Vegas. So friends, how many of you have been to Vegas and how many are planning to go there?? May be some day I would go too.
With this going on in my mind, I almost missed to prepare the lunch. All of us were having cold and Thaara had asked for chicken so made pepper chicken roast. It was delicious and very good for the cold.


What are the ingredients needed?

To marinate the chicken
Boneless Chicken, 1 lb
Ginger garlic paste, 1 teaspoon
Pepper powder, 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon
Salt to taste

To roast and grind
Pepper, 2 teaspoon
Cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon
Fennel seeds, ½ teaspoon

Other ingredients needed
Oil, 2-3 teaspoon
Cloves, 3-4 nos.
Cinnamon stick, small
Onion, 1 medium sized
Curry leaves, 1 sprigs
  

How it is made?
1.    Marinate the chicken as listed in the things to marinate for at least one hour.
2.    Roast fennel seeds, pepper and cumin seeds, let them cool and powder them.
3.    Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add the cloves, cinnamon and fry for a minute or two, then add chopped onions, curry leaves and sauté till onions turn translucent.
4.    Then add the marinated chicken and cook. Don’t add water. The chicken will release water.
5. Once the chicken is cooked and all water is evaporated, add the powdered pepper mixture and mix well and keep sautéing as the powder is coated well in the chicken and it is well roasted.
6.    Remove the pan from heat and serve.

Notes:

  • I have used bone-less Chicken. You can use chicken with bones too.
  • Adjust spice level according to your taste.




Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dates Badam Laddu/ Dates Almonds Balls- A Healthy Dessert

I was determined to try some healthy dessert. After all sugary, high calorie desserts enjoyed during Diwali, I  wanted to try something without sugar and enjoy it guilt free. This weekend we had plans to meet one of our friends who is pregnant, what would be a better occasion to try a healthy dessert than this? So I tried this Dates almonds laddu, Sweetness from the date and the crunchiness from the almonds made a wonderful combination. The cinnamon and nutmeg used perfectly set the holiday mood. Perfect as a dessert for the holiday parties for those health conscious guests. :) 
  

What are the ingredients needed?
Dates, 1 cup
Almonds, 1/4 cup
Milk, 2-3 teaspoon
Cinnamon powder, 1/4 tsp
Cardamom powder,1/4 tsp
Nutmeg powder, a pinch
Butter (room temperature), for rolling


How it is made?
  1. Dry roast the almonds and chop them to small pieces.
  2. Roughly chop the dates and coarsely grind them in a food processor along with cinnamon powder, cardamom powder and nutmeg powder. To ease grinding process,  add a teaspoon of milk (or more as needed, but add gradually).
  3. Heat a non stick pan and add the ground mixture from food processor, cook for few minutes. 
  4. Add the chopped almonds to this and mix well.
  5. Remove from heat and let it cool lightly to a bearable warmth. Then equally divide them and grease hands with butter and roll them into balls.
  6. For the size of balls (small bite size ones) I have made, I got 14.
  7. Store them in airtight container and enjoy !!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Black Forest Cupcakes- A Guest Post by Archana Vijay


It is a great pleasure to have Archana Vijay of Tangy Minds here for a guest post. She is a great baker and a wonderful blogger. We both share the same interest of Wilton cake decorating courses- I have just completed level 1, while she has finished all four courses.So I know the amount of work, effort and dedication required for these courses. And I was awestruck to see her grand finale cake, a tall, multi-tiered cake.  it was so beautiful. When I asked about her motivation to start blogging, the answer is here in her own words, "After I came to the USA,I used to feel lonely at free times and it made me very bored.When I switch on the TV it was Food Network Show.It makes me to watch daily and I loved it.First I began baking Banana muffins and it came out well..That is the beginning  of my baking life.MY Hubby and my friends asked me to do blogging ! I was quite blank as I never known it..Day by day..I started learning it and I was quite happy with my blog and of course got lovely blogger friends :)"

Now over to Archana,

This post makes me happier as I had celebrated my birthday as well as my anniversary at the same time. I had got Divya as my very wonderful & loving friend. She is very intelligent, also busy bee. I have got her from our baking group. I like to chat with her and my mom also chatted with her. I got quite surprised that how my mom does knew her? She said am her friend and she likes to chat with my friends.  Her blog is very amazing with full of traditional recipes. When  she asked me to do a guest post and I immediately said sure  and love to do it. When I asked regarding my recipe, She said it is one of her favorite. Am glad that my recipe is liked by her.  It made me so happy.

Here is the recipe that I am sharing it with you all. It’ll be great for everyone to bake it on any occasion. Herewith am sharing this recipe called as “BLACK FOREST CUPCAKES” .






Here are the ingredients:

For the cupcakes:
  • 1 Cup Self-Raising Flour
  •  ½ Tsp Baking Soda
  • ¼ Cup Butter
  •  ¼ Cup Vegetable oil(You can use canola oil )
  • 1 ½ Cups Milk
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg lightly beaten

 For filling: 
  •  ¼ cup water
  •  ½ cup Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Corn starch
  •  ½ to 1 cup Cherries freshly one.
  •  Cherry jam or chopped cherries soaked in sugar syrup or maraschino cherries

  For Topping:
  • 1/4 Cup Heavy whipping Cream
  • ½ Cup powdered sugar
  •  ½ Tsp Vanilla extract

 For Garnishing:
  • Chocolate shavings
  • Cherries


Method:

For making Cupcake batter:
  1. In a medium saucepan, add milk, butter, oil and cocoa powder to it on medium heat. Allow the butter to melt completely.(Do not put on high heat) Stir once ill it gets brown color.
  2. Allow it to cool at room temperature.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 F or 180 C, line muffin cup papers on the muffin pan and set aside.
  4. Whisk together baking soda, self-rising flour, sugar into the bowl.
  5. Add beaten egg along with dry ingredients as step 4  by using electric stand mixer or hand mixer.
  6. Mix well until it is well incorporated.
  7. Add the egg flour mixture to the cooled butter cocoa powder mixture.
  8. Continue to stir until it is well mixed up.
  9. Do not over mix.
  10. Transfer the batter to the muffin cups. Do not overload.
  11. Bake it for about 15 to 20 minutes or the tooth pick comes out clean after inserted it.

For making Filling:
  1. Chop the fresh cherries.
  2. Add water and sugar into the medium saucepan. Allow it to boil until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Add corn starch and chopped cherries to it.
  4. Continue stirring on medium heat until it is thick one.
  5. Allow it to cool once turned off the heat.
  6. Transfer it into the piping bag or you can use spoon to make hole inside the cooled cupcakes and insert the cooled soaked cherries to it.

For making Whipped cream:
  1.  In clean bowl, whisk all the ingredients together till you get peak forms.

For garnishing:
  1. Take any chocolate of your favorite one. Grate it as much you want

 To Assemble:
  1.  Take cooled cupcake, Make a hole and insert the cherry jam or soaked cherry syrup or chopped cherries.
  2. Take a piping bag, put the whipped cream to it and pipe it on the top of the cupcake.
  3. Garnish It with chocolate shavings and a cherry on the top.
  4.  Serve it.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Murukku Recipe | Rice Murukku Recipe | Murukku made using Idli/Idly rice


Murukku recipe that I am posting today is made using Idli/ Idly rice. Diwali is not complete without murukku. Though I make Thattai murukku regularly, I have not made any other murukkus. First I was like if I had the murukku press, I would definitely do it, then SIL got it from India and it was lying untouched for more than 6 months now. When we were discussing about Diwali, my friend Geetha came to the rescue. Hope you all remember her, She is the one who helped me with Mysore pak. She is an expert in all traditional cooking. We made Murukku, Laddu and Gulab jamun for Diwali. I will be posting the recipe for laddu too in a day or two. After this, though I have not mastered the art of murukku making, I can manage now. But without my friend, I don't think I would have made all this. Thanks to her.
How to make Murukku
Murukku
This way of making murukku is mostly prevalent around the Kongu region of Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore, Tirupur and surrounding areas. Coming to the recipe.

What are the ingredients needed?

Idly rice, 4 cups
Pottu kadalai/ Roasted gram, 2 cups
Long Red chillies, 7-8 nos.
Salt to taste
Sesame seeds, 1 Tablespoon
Asafoetida, a pinch
Butter, 4 tablespoons(room temperature)
Oil for deep frying

Easy to make homemade murukku
Murukku Recipe 
How to make Murukku?
  1. Soak the rice for atleast 4 hours.
  2. Grind a small quantity of soaked rice with the red chillies, asaofoetida along with salt and when they are ground into a smooth paste, add the rest of the soaked rice and grind them till they are smooth, with minimum amount of water. (Careful : Add water just right enough to ensure grinding, too much water will affect the final form of murukku)
  3. Powder the pottukadalai and sieve them to get the fine powder.
  4. Transfer the ground rice to a big bowl, add pottukadalai powder, sesame seeds,  butter and knead them till they are well incorporated.
  5. Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pan.
  6. Then take a murukku press, add the required nozzle, then press the murukku to the desired shape at the back of the slotted spoon. (Tip: Just dripping the slotted spoon in hot oil before pressing, ensures the murukku not to be stuck with the spoon).
  7. Once the oil is hot enough, immerse the murukku, deep fry them till they are light golden brown and remove them from oil. 
  8. Once done, let them cool down and store in air tight containers.
Easy murukku recipe
Murukku 
Notes:
  • If you don't have a big slotted spoon for making murrukku, you can use greased banana leaf or greased plastic sheet. You can press murukku to required shape in them and drop in oil.
  • Fry murukku in batches, (batch size depends of pan size and amount of oil in the pan), overcrowding will not ensure properly fried murrukus.
  • Maintain the temperature of the oil, if the temperature of the oil is reduced the murukku will be soggy and too high temperature, murukku will brown very fast.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Corn flakes mixture

When we were kids my Dad used to get cornflakes mixture for snack, which was one of my favorites. I just love it. I have seen my MIL preparing it at home once. But never have tried preparing it at home. Yesterday the weather was cold so decided to give it a try for evening snack. It was so easy to prepare and tasted just like the one Dad used to get for us.  Here is the recipe


What are the ingredients needed?

Cornflakes, 2 cups
Pottu kadalai/Dalia/ Roasted gram, 1/2 cup
Raw peanuts, 1/2 cup
Curry leaves, a hand ful
Chilli powder, 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder, 1/4 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil, to deep fry


How it is made?

  1. Heat oil.
  2. Deep fry peanuts in batches. Remove and drain them in paper towel.
  3. Then deep fry roasted gram and drain them in paper towel.
  4. Then deep fry corn flakes in batches and drain them too.
  5. Finally deep fry the curry leaves.
  6. Then when they are still warm mix all of the fried peanuts, roasted gram, cornflakes and curry leaves with salt, turmeric powder and chilli powder. ( May be put them in a bottle together and shake, shake, shake till they are mixed.)
  7. Transfer to an airtight container and store, if you are planning to store for long.

Serves 2-3 people. (of course, depending on how each person eats though.. ;) )


Note:

  • The temperature of oil is very important.  It should not be too hot or too low.
  • Too hot oil burns the ingredient and too low makes it soggy. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sambar Recipe using sambhar podi

Just posted the recipe of Sambhar podi, so thought will post the recipe for Sambhar using sambhar podi too. I have already posted a recipe of Sambhar which does not use the Sambhar powder. Each is different and unique on its own way. I really don't know how we south Indians can survive without sambhar. Yesterday made some drumstick sambhar and Idlis for breakfast, everything disappeared in minutes, literally.My family just loves sambhar.. Here is the recipe

easy sambar recipe

What are the ingredients needed?

Toor Dhal, 1 cup
Garlic, 4-5 cloves
Tomato, 2-3 nos(depending on the size)
Drumstick/Radish or any other vegetable of your choice (chopped), 1 cup
Tamarind, small lemon size
Oil, 2-3 teaspoons
Mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon
Onion(sliced), 1 no.
Curry leaves a sprig
Turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon
Asafoetida, a pinch
Sambhar powder, 2 tablespoons
Salt to taste
Cilantro, to garnish

Sambar recipe using sambar podi

How it is made?
  1. Pressure cook Toor dhal with garlic and tomatoes. Mash them.
  2. Steam the veggies till they are cooked but take care not overcooked, then they will turn mushy.
  3. Soak the tamarind in hot water and extract the juice and discard any seeds, fibers and other stuff that doesn't dissolve in water.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and when they crack, add sliced onions and curry leaves and saute till the onions turn golden brown.
  5. Then add the steamed vegetables, turmeric powder, asafoetida, sambhar powder and cook for few minutes.
  6. Then add the mashed toor dhal , extracted tamarind juice and mix well.
  7. Check the consistency of the sambhar, if needed add more water and adjust  and now add required salt and simmer for 7-8 minutes.
  8. Once it is ready, turn off the heat, garnish with cilantro and serve.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Homemade Sambar Powder / Sambhar Podi

Today I am posting here a simple recipe of Homemade sambar powder / Sambhar podi. Sambar powder is the mix of lentils and spices which makes the sambar more aromatic and flavorful. There are different versions of sambar powder (Sambar podi) available, each with different ratios of spices and lentils. The version I am posting today has the ratio that I follow. 
Here is the link to recipe of Sambhar using Sambhar podi.

Sambar Powder
What are the ingredients needed for Sambar Powder (Sambar Podi) ?

Coriander seeds, 1 cup
Whole red Chillies, 1 cup
Chana dhal, 1.5 Tablespoon
Urad dhal, 1.5 Tablespoon
Cumin seeds, 2 tablespoons
Black pepper, 2 tablespoons
Fenugreek seeds, 1.5 teaspoons
Turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon
Asafoetida, 1/2 teaspoon

Sambar Powder
How Sambar Powder is made?
  1. Dry roast chana dhal, urad dhal in a low heat till they lightly change in color.
  2. Then roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, pepper, fenugreek seeds till they lightly change color and give nice aroma.
  3. Then lastly roast the red chillies.
  4. Let them all cool completely. 
  5. Now grind them all together with turmeric and asafoetida.
  6. The ground powder may be warm, let it cool.
  7. Store them in a air tight container  and use.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Quinoa Payasam/ Quinoa Kheer- A guest post by Reshmi Mahesh

Blogging has earned me quite number of friends whom share the same ideas/thoughts/ interests as me. Reshmi of Easy Cook is one such wonderful friend. Facebook has also contributed a lot in growing this friendship, where we chat almost everyday till midnight. I can talk to her about Foodgawker and tastespotting, which is greek and latin to even my husband, also regarding anything else on earth she immediately understands what I exactly mean. 
I really  admire her pictures, they are mindblowing. She has a great eye for details.Do drop in her place and check it out and you will agree with me. She is blogging since 2008 and has an amazing collection of recipes. I am really glad to have such an wonderful blogger as a friend, we can also say it like a friend who is also a blogger.. :)
So when I asked her to do a guest post for me, she immediately agreed to it.  She has prepared a wonderful kheer with quinoa and here she is with the post. Over to Reshmi..


“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” ― C.S. Lewis

   Though I started blogging long back I was never too much into it..or I was not consistent with it.....There would be many reasons for that..With all these problems I have never had great friends too in this world...Those whom I meet joins me for some time..then I post after 1 or 2 months..they wud have gone ..I get new people again..ya I miss my previous friends but they never remember me and so I am forced to move on..:(..This was the case until I started my fb account...hey doesn't mean that things changed now..;) but I got to get some real friends with same thoughts and deeds...hoping that they wont leave me on the go...:)..

   The above statement about friendship is just perfect to describe Divya of Divya's culinary journey for whom I am Guest blogging today..:) Its "What! You too?" brought me close to her...Speaking to her makes me feel that I know her from quite a loooooooooong time...and that makes me feel gud..When she asked me for a Guest post I accepted it with no big thoughts...It took a while for me to decide the recipe and had many problems in between so the post really got delayed...She was gud enough to tell that it was Ok...which relived me a lot...When I have to describe Divya I wud say that she is a gud friend and a very lovely lady who spends her whole day for her lovely small family and her nights for blogging...:) She has lovely space with a great collection of recipes and lovely clicks...

   Today I am here to share a sweet.."Quinoa payasam "..A deliciously prepared payasam with quinoa and flavored and colored with rose syrup....Off to recipe...


Ingredients required:

Quinoa,1/4 cup
Water,1/2 cup
Milk, 2 cups
Granulated Sugar, 1/8 cup(adjust according to your taste)
Almonds, 2 tsp(Chopped,lightly toasted)
Rose syrup,1 tbsp



Method of Preparation:
  1. Wash quinoa thoroughly under water, drain and set aside.
  2. Heat water and add quinoa into it.Cook covered  on medium low heat till quinoa is cooked. ie the white thread(germ) comes out.Do stir in between cooking. Drain if any excess water is there.
  3. Boil the milk in a vessel and when it boils add the cooked quinoa to it and cook for 5 minutes. Do stir in between. Now add the sugar into it and continue cooking till the milk reduces and payasam forms slightly thick. The payasam tends to thicken while cooling.So keep that in mind while reducing the milk.
  4. Take off the heat and cool it. Now add the rose syrup and give it a good stir so that it mixes well.
  5. Garnish with toasted almonds and serve at room temperature or chilled.


Notes:
  • Rose syrup has sugar in it, so add sugar accordingly.
  • You can use condensed milk to thicken the payasam in that case add it after the 5 mins of cooking quinoa in milk. Reduce the milk to 1 and 1/2 cup in this case.Also avoid rose syrup.
  • Since rose syrup has a lovely smell and flavor, cardamom, ghee etc are not added here. You can add them, if avoiding rose syrup.
  • Keep stirring the payasam to avoid burned milk at the bottom of the vessel.
  • Add more rose syrup if u feel that you want a deep rose color.