January 31, 2009

Kancheepuram idli

These days when everyone is on the go, both parents have to work and single parents strive to provide a better future for their children, an instant dinner is not sufficient. In our society today, organic products are becoming scarce, and more preservatives are found in instant meals that being healthy is becoming more of a challenge. We have forgotten that healthy dinner recipes are important not just for growing children but also for adults to give them the nutrients they need after a grueling day at work. Nutritious dinner recipes also provide us the stamina and energy that we need to prepare for the next morning.

Idli is the traditional nutritious & healthy food popularly served throughout south India. I remember, having fluffy & soft idlies in "Murugan Idli shop" (in chennai) with atleast 4 - 5 varieties of spicy chutneys with sambar & in "Rathna cafe" they serve idlies with lotz of sambar in the banana leaf, it taste awesome.

Kancheepuram idlis have a distinct taste of cumin seeds, ginger and pepper. Idli with sambar & chutney are the best combo.

INGREDIENTS:

  1. 3 cups parboiled rice
  2. 1 ¼ cup urad dal (black gram)
  3. Ghee - 2 tbsp
  4. Curd - 1/2cup
  5. 1 tbsp cashew nuts
  6. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  7. 2 green chillies
  8. Ginger - 1 tsp (finely chopped)
  9. A pinch of asafoetida
  10. Pepper - 2 tsp
  11. Jeera - 3 tsp
  12. Curry leaves - few leaves
  13. Gingely oil - 4 tbsp
  14. salt to taste

METHOD:

  • Soak the rice and urad dal separately in water for 4 hrs. Drain off the water and grind each of these to a batter, adding some water if necessary.

  • Mix the two batters, salt & curd.Allow it to ferment for 7-8 hrs.

  • Heat 4 tbsp of oil and splutter mustard seeds, asafoetida, cashew nuts, pepper, jeera, ginger, curry leaves,green chillies in it.Switch off the flame and add ghee.

  • Mix this with idli batter thoroughly.

  • Pour this batter into the idli moulds and steam it for 10-15 mins or until cooked.

Enjoy this soft & fluffy kancheepuram idli with "Gaati chutney"


January 30, 2009

Tamarind thokku

My father was grown up in ananthapur district in AP,India. My grandma is an expert in preparing spicy and delicious thooku varieties. This thokku is one of her speciality & can be preserved for a week in refrigerator. During my pregnancy days, this was a treat to my tongue. It taste delicious!!!

Ingredients :
  1. 3 medium sized onions
  2. Garlic - 10 pods
  3. Tamarind - lemon sized
  4. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  5. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  6. 1 tsp chilly powder
  7. 1/2 Fenugreek seed(Methi seeds)
  8. 1 tbsp curry leaves
  9. Oil - 3 tbsp
  10. Salt to taste

Directions :

  • Soak the tamarind in the water & extract its pulp.

  • Heat oil in the pan, fry onion & garlic till it becomes transparent. Grind them coarsely & keep aside.

  • Roast & grind the mustard & methi seeds.

  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add curry leaves, tamarind pulp, onion paste & spice powder.

  • Add turmeric powder,chilly powder & salt to taste. Cook until it becomes thick.

Taste great with rice. Enjoy!

January 28, 2009

Kadai chicken

Kadai Chicken is one of the recipes that is probably available in every restaurant in India, especially in virudhunagar hotel in chennai they serve this dish in copper based kadai, which looks opt to its name. It's fairly easy to make & taste YUM!!!

The marinated chicken was soft and succulent, the overall flavor fragrant and delicious. My family likes to have this with naan or roties along with onion raita.

Ingredients:

  1. 1.5 lbs Chicken
  2. 2 medium onions - finely chopped
  3. 2-3 tomatoes - finely chopped
  4. 1 medium green pepper- finely chopped
  5. 1 green chilli - slit
  6. 1 dry red chilli
  7. 1 1/2 tbsp Yogurt
  8. 1 1/2 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
  9. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  10. 1" cinnamon stick
  11. 2-3 cloves
  12. 2 green cardamoms
  13. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  14. 1 tsp chili powder (adjust to taste)
  15. 1 tsp coriander powder
  16. 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  17. 1 tsp cumin powder
  18. 1 tsp kasoori methi
  19. Finely chopped corriander leaves - 2 tbspSalt to taste
  20. 2 tbsp oil
Method:
  • Clean and marinate chicken with salt, and half of turmeric, chilli and garam masala powder for 4-5 hours and then lightly saute the chicken and set it aside.

  • In a deep pan, heat oil and temper it with cumin seeds, red chilli, green chilli, cinnamon, cloves and cardamons. Let it sputter. Then add the ginger garlic paste.

  • Add the onions and saute till the onion turns brown. Then add the tomatoes and green peppers and cook on closed lid till the tomatoes turn soft.

  • Add the chicken pieces along with the rest of the masalas - turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, kasoori methi and cook for 15-20 minutes. Then add the yogurt, salt and let it cook for another 15-20 minutes till the chicken is cooked. Add 1/2 cup water if needed.
Serve hot kadai chicken with rotis, naan or rice.

January 26, 2009

Mutter Paneer


Happy republic day to all my blog buddies & viewers. Wherever we r & whatever we do, be proud to be an Indian.

To make this day special, I personally felt mutter paneer is most appropriate!!! isn't it?.

Paneer could be made at home by simply bringing milk to a boil and using acid to separate the curd. The curds are then drained in a cheesecloth or muslin cloth and excess water is pressed out. It is a good source of protein. This taste great when mixed with vegetables. Green peas are one among the best combination.

Ingredients :

  1. 1 whole paneer - cubed
  2. 1 medium size onion grated or finely chopped
  3. Tomato puree 1/2 cup
  4. 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  5. 1/4 cup green peas (frozen or fresh)
  6. 1/4 cup yogurt or curd
  7. Green chillies 2 to 3 nos
  8. 1 tsp turmeric powder
  9. 1 tbsp Dhania or Coriander powder
  10. 1 tsp red chilli powder
  11. 1 tsp Garam masala
  12. 1 cinnamon stick
  13. 3 -4 cloves
  14. 1 bay leaf
  15. 1 cardamom
  16. 1 tsp cumin seeds or jeera
  17. Oil and salt to taste
  18. Corriander leaves for garnishing
Directions :

  • Cube the paneer into half inch pieces and deep-fry them on medium high heat. Fry until the paneer becomes a light golden color.
  • In a pan, add oil and when hot, add jeera. Then add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaf and elaichi and saute. Now add the grated onion, green chilly and saute well. Add the tomato puree and let it cook well until oil separates.
  • Add some turmeric, chilli powder, dhania powder, garam masala to the yogurt and mix well.
  • Add this yogurt mixture to the onions and cook. Add some water if needed. Then add the paneer pieces, mix well. In the end, add the thawed peas.
If you are using fresh peas, first add the peas, cook and then add the paneer. Bring it to a boil.

All time favorite paneer recipe is ready to be served with Bread or Chappatis or Rotis or naan.

January 25, 2009

Zesty Salsa

First time i had this as a starter in a mexican restaurant. Taste of frest tomatoes with jalapeno was awesome. The taste of this dish is based on the quality of tomatoes we use.

This will be great for evening snacks. Especially kids love this. Try this, urs family will enjoy this.

Ingredients :
  1. 4 firm, large tomatoes, halved
  2. 1/2 medium onion, grated
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  4. 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  5. 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  6. Juice of 1 lime
  7. Pinch of sugar
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Corn chips

Prep time : 15 min

  • Grate tomatoes on largest holes of a non-metal hand grater (use a flat hand grater if you have it). If the tomato sauce looks too watery, strain out a bit of liquid.

  • Add rest of the ingredients except corn chips; regrigerate until serving time.

Serve with corn chips.

January 24, 2009

Pakistani chicken briyani


As most of us say, I learnt cooking only after my marriage. Chicken briyani is one of the most popular non-vegetarian Indian meals. I tried making spicy chicken briyani in many ways. Suprisingly, my first preparation was awesome. I followed the exact measurement of the ingredients as listed.

I normally marinate the chicken with all the masalas overnight. Its makes my cooking very easy next day & chicken becomes tender too. kuruma with onion raita & egg are the best combination.

INGREDIENTS :

  1. Basmati rice - 2 cups
  2. Chicken - 1/2 kg
  3. Curd - 1 1/2 cup
  4. Turmeric pdr - 1/2 tsp
  5. Chilly pdr - 2 tsp
  6. Dhaniya pdr - 3 tsp
  7. Jeera pdr - 1/2 tsp
  8. Ginger paste - 1 tsp
  9. Garlic paste - 1 tsp
  10. Green chillies - 5 nos
  11. Garam masala pdr - 1/2 tsp
  12. Cinnamon - 3 pieces
  13. Clove - 6 nos
  14. Cardamom - 4 nos
  15. Onion - 4 large
  16. Cashews - 20 nos
  17. Raisins - 10 nos (Dry grapes)
  18. Ghee - 1/4 cup
  19. Oil - 1/4 cup
  20. Mint leaves chopped - 1/2 bunch
  21. Coriander - 1/2 bunch chopped
  22. Salt to taste

METHOD :

  • Wash and soak the rice for 10 mins. Drain and keep aside.

  • Clean and cut the chicken in medium pieces.

  • Marinate the chicken in curd, all powders, ginger, garlic paste, slitted green chilly, salt for atleast 1 hour.

  • Heat oil and ghee in a heavy bottomed pan, fry onion till golden brown and keep aside.

  • In the remaining oil fry cashews and raisins and keep aside.

  • Remove the oil from pan and put the marinated chicken in it . Cook till its half done adding 2 cups of water.

  • Heat little oil in another pan, add the rice and fry for 2-3 mins.

  • Add spices, half fried onion to it.

  • Measure the stock of the chicken and pour in 1:1 1/2 ratio.

  • Add chopped pudina and coriander leaves and salt.

  • Cook for 10 - 15 mins close it with a lid. When water dries off , cook in low flame for 5-10 min pour ghee on top.

  • Garnish with fried onions,raisins and cashews.


Serve with boiled eggs and raita.


January 23, 2009

Black forest cake

People celebrate the special occasions in their own style. Yesterday, I was wondering how to make our anniversary special today! Finally, I decided to gift him Armani code perfume which adds his armani collections & bake his fav black forest cake with cherries on top.

Fortunately, my bake turns great & taste yummy. It was 12'o clock sharp this morning, I gave him a surprise under a candle light, mouthwatering black forest cake & the gift. Equally, he surprised me with swatch watch which look georgeous.

Black forest cake is a chocolate layer cake with Kirsch, whipped cream, sour cherries and chocolate curls.

Ingredients:

For the cake:
  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  3. 1 1/4 cups milk
  4. 1/2 cup butter
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoon soda
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1/2 cup cocoa
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the filling:
1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling, chilled.

For the frosting:

2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Chocolate crumbs
12 cherries

How to bake :

  • Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, flour, milk, baking soda, cocoa and vanilla. Blend on low, scraping constantly. Beat 3 minutes on high speed. Pour into two 9 inch round cake pans that have been greased and floured. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes. Cool thoroughly.

  • Whip heavy cream with confectioners' sugar.

  • Slice each cake round horizontally to make four layers. Place one layer on flat plate.

  • Fill pastry bag with whipped cream and pipe a generous ring around edge of cake layer. Fill exposed ring of cake with cherry pie filling. Place third layer on top, and frost entire cake with whipped cream. Crumble the fourth layer into fine crumbs and sprinkle on sides of cake.

Garnish the top of cake with the chocolate crumbs & cherries.

January 22, 2009

Channa masala (Chola masala)


This is a wonderful "confort food" dish - which is really very easy to make. Channa Masala is spicy masala chickpeas - and can be as mild or as hot as you like it! It is a classic North Indian vegetarian dish - and is either eaten with rice or roti (chappati) as a main meal - or is served as a side-dish with a non-veg dish e.g. chicken or lamb. When served as a main meal - it is especially delicious when eaten with a kind of bread called "bhatura" - which is a deep-fried bread. It is also served as a mid-afternoon snack in the form of a "chaat" - which is when it is mixed with a couple of spoonfulls of imli (tamarind) chutney and poured on top of a broken samosa with some sprinkling of bhel puri or "sev" fried bits. Absolutely delicious!

Ingredients :

  1. Chick peas - 1 cup
  2. 1 medium size potato (Boiled)
  3. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  4. Chilly powder - 1 tsp
  5. Corriander powder - 1 tsp
  6. Onion - 2 nos
  7. 1 Tomato
  8. Fennel seed - 1 tsp1
  9. Green chillies - 2-3 nos
  10. Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
  11. Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
  12. Chola masala - 1 tsp
  13. Dry kasthuri methi powder - 1 tsp
  14. Salt to taste

Method :

1. Soak dry chickpeas in 3 cups of water overnight. Add salt to taste to the soaked chickpeas. Boil in the same water for about ½ hour or until chickpeas are tender.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan, fry fennel seeds. Add chopped onions, ginger garlic paste, tomato & salt , saute it till cooked. Grind this onion mixture & keep it aside.
3. Heat oil in the another saucepan, add the onion mixture & all the remaining ingredients. Cook till you get the desired consistency.
4. Garnish it with corriander leaves. Adding kasthuri methi & potato will increase the flavour & taste to this dish.


Serve this hot with roti.


January 21, 2009

Pineapple kesari

During my younger days, we mostly spend our holidays in my grandparents home. My patti is an excellent cook. She cooks all traditional southindian meals which starts with a sweet & never ends without a glass of spicy butter milk. When I spoke to them today to wish their "50th anniversary".....it recollects my school days.

To celebrate this occasion, I made this pineapple kesari which is one of the most famous desserts from Southern India. This is an easy and delicious dessert made from semolina, milk, water, and pineapples. To make it easier here's a quick and tasty Microwave recipe.

Ingredients :

  1. Rava - 1 cup
  2. Milk -1 cup
  3. Water - 1 1/2 cup
  4. Lemon yellow color - a pinch
  5. Powdered sugar - 1 1/2 cups
  6. Ghee -3 tbsp
  7. Pineapple essence -1/2 tsp
  8. Chopped pineapple - 1/2 cup
  9. 1/4 tsp cardomom powder
  10. Cashews
  11. Badam
  12. Raisins
  13. saffron

Method :

  • In a microwave safe bowl mix together the semolina and ghee and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes, stirring after every 30 seconds.
  • In another microwave-safe bowl mix together the chopped pineapples & 1 tbsp sugar and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes.
  • Combine roasted rava, milk, water & food color. Mix well, cover and cook in micro high for 3 mins.
  • Add sugar, ghee, pineapple mixture & cook for 4 mins in micro medium. Standing time -5 mins.
  • Add pineapple essence, cardomom powder & mix well.

Garnish with a few strands of saffron, and maybe a few crushed nuts, and serve hot.


January 20, 2009

Chettinad Fish kulambu

Meen kulambu is my all time favourite curry. I traditionally make this curry using man chatti (earthen pot), which adds extra taste & flavour to the dish. My mom makes a variety of kulambu with different type of fish. My hubby likes to have meen kulambu with rotis, & thats how we enjoyed our sunday's dinner. (The heat level can be adjusted by reducing the black pepper & chilly powder. ) We like spicy meen kulambu.


Ingredients :

  1. 750 gms fish (can use Butter fish ,king fish,anchovy,salmon,catfish etc.Dont choose shell fishes for this preparation.)
  2. Tamarind - a lemon sized ball
  3. Water - 3 cups
  4. 1 Medium sized tomato
  5. Onion - 3 nos
  6. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  7. Chilly powder - 2 tsp (adjust as per ur spice level)
  8. Corriander seeds - 1 tsp
  9. Curry leaves - 1 tbsp
  10. Garlic - 3 pods
  11. Black pepper - 1tbsp
  12. Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  13. Fenugreek (methi seeds) - 1 tsp
  14. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  15. Salt to taste
  16. Oil - 3 tbsp
  17. Vadavam (Southindian spice ball) (optional)

How to cook :

  • Apply turmeric powder and salt on fish, keep aside.

  • Wash it properly after 5 minutes.

  • Soak tamarind in three cups of water for 15 min. Squeeze to remove pulp. Strain and keep aside.

  • Grind 2 onions, tomato, garlic, black pepper,cumin seeds & corriander seeds together. Combine it with tamarind pulp.

  • Heat oil in a pan and season it using mustard seeds, methi & vadavam.

  • Now add the curry leaves and 1 chopped onion. Cook it until the onion turns brown.

  • Add the tamarind pulp mixture and boil it, cover the pan tightly.

  • Add salt and when it is fully cooked and almost near the consistency you desire add the fish pcs & cook it for few min. The fish pieces cook really quick so add them finally.

  • Remove from the fire when done and garnish it with fresh curry leaves.

(Add lime juice if the gravy is too spicy).

Delicious meen kulambu is ready..... great with steaming white rice. Try it and drop ur comments.

January 19, 2009

Rasam Powder

Rasam is a light lentil soup made almost everyday in my house. It is almost like a staple. Eaten with plain rice, it is eaten either to start or end a meal. Many people like to drink this wonderfully spicy yet light soup-like-daal.

Rasam powder is an important ingredient in the preparation of rasam,as it adds flavour and fragrance to rasam.It is easy to prepare. The powder can be prepared and stored for 6 to 12 months. You can also buy the ready powder but then you are missing the fun and the lovely aroma of the freshly made rasam podi as it is called.

Here is the recipe for rasam powder from my mom's kitchen.

Ingredients :

  1. Bengal gram dal (urad dal) - 1 Tsp
  2. Coriander seeds - 100 gms
  3. Cumin seeds - 3 tsp
  4. Red chilly - 100 gms
  5. fenugreek seeds(methi) – ½ tsp
  6. Black pepper - 3 tsp
  7. Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
  8. Curry leaves - a small bunch
  9. Garlic - 4 pods
  10. Oil, 1 tsp
Preparation :

  • Spray oil in a non-stick frying pan and roast each of the above ingredients till they turn aromatic.

  • Mix all the ingredients and grind into a fine powder using a grinder.
Store the rasam powder in a dry air-tight container.

January 18, 2009

Southwestern style corn

The American Southwest/Mexican flavors of this corn salad come from the lime juice and spices. You can adjust the heat by the type and the heat of the jalapeno. If you think it isn't hot enough, allow it to marinate for an hour or so and taste before adding more spice. I like using corn oil instead of olive oil in this salad because of the more neutral flavor, you can use any vegetable oil, but the corn just seems to "go" with the flavors.

To get the most out of your lime, roll it on a cutting board under pressure from the palm of your hand, then microwave it for about 15 seconds.

Ingredients :

6 ears of Sweet Corn, steamed (kernels)
1 medium Red or green Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Jalapeno Pepper, minced
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 Lime, juiced
1/3 cup Corn Oil
1 tsp southwest seasoning
1 tsp chilly flakes (optional)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
Directions to cook:
  • Cook bell pepper and onion in corn oil until soft.
  • Put lime juice, salt and all the spices into a mixing bowl, mix well and allow the spices to rehydrate.
  • Allow to chill and marinate in the fridge for a couple hours before serving. Can be made a day ahead.

January 17, 2009

Rich tomato soup


Hot Tomato soup is ready to eat.... Need a cup??

This tomato recipe is better for fall, but can still be made any time of year. I like making soups during every saturdays as a starter for my lunch. And this is todays special. Tomatoes when cooked with vegetables & chicken (or vegetable) broth with some spices added to it Won't it taste yummy????

Ingredients :

3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 medium carrot, shredded
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed or chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup half and half
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Pasta -1/4 cup (ccoked)
Fresh parsley finely chopped - 2 tbsp


Soup is ready :

  • Heat 2 tbsp of the butter and the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.
  • Add the garlic, onion and carrot and cook, stirring 3 minutes.
  • Add the stock and tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered, about 35 to 40 minutes, until the soup begins to thicken.
  • Allow the soup to cool to almost room temperature. Process the soup in batches in a blender or food processor. Pulse until soup is pureed. Return to the pot and bring to a simmer.
  • Stir in the half and half and parsley. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with the pasta on the top.
Enjoy :)

January 16, 2009

Mutton cabbage fry

Would you like to try different combination dish?
Tender mutton with juicy cabbage!!! isn't sounds different ?
Mutton taste good when cooked along with the vegetables, cabbage is one among the best combination. Cabbage is an exceptionally high source of vitamin C.
Mutton cabbage fry is just the way it is prepared in Indian homes. I prepare this dish during my regular weekends, which goes good with the rice (for my lunch) & chappathi (for the dinner).

U will love it!!!
Ingredients :
  1. Mutton - 500 gms
  2. Cabbage - 1/2 kg
  3. 1" stick of cinnamon
  4. 3 cloves
  5. Onion - 2 Nos (Finely chopped)
  6. Ginger garlic paste - 2 tbsp
  7. Chilly powder - 2 tsp (as per ur taste)
  8. Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  9. Oil - 1 tbsp
  10. Salt to taste

Directions to cook :

  • Clean the mutton thoroughly a few times under the running water.
  • Cut the cabbage in chunks - Do not peel layers .Set aside.
  • Heat the pressure cooker pan, add the oil, when its hot, add the cinnamon and cloves. Then add the onion and stir to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan. Saute the onions about 5-10 minutes & add ginger garlic paste & saute until they are golden brown in color.
  • Add the washed mutton pcs & combine well. Cook for 10 mins.
  • Add turmeric powder & chilly powder & mix well.
  • Add 1/2 cup water and salt and cook meat until tender.
  • Add the chopped cabbage, mix well & simmer for few min till cabbage is cooked.
  • Adjust the salt & garnish with corriander leaves if needed.


Enjoy the spicy mutton cabbage fry with rice or chappathi.

January 15, 2009

German chocolate cake

I love baking cakes. My interest on cake baking starts when my son is 5 mths old( & now he is 2 yrs). Everbody love chocolates & this cake is a good treat for all. I baked this cake for this newyear, which came out best & taste delicious.....
German Sweet Chocolate cake is not only mouthwateringly, good with its richly roasted pecan and coconut frosting, but happens to be perfect for entertaining guests. It is a cake that will stand out towing above all others with its three layers and is sure to be on everyone's plate at a family gatherings. The advantage of using this cake recipe is that it does not require refrigeration and you don't have to worry about it melting before people have time to enjoy it. Its icing is very rich and buttery, and blends perfectly with the Chocolate Cake inside.

Ingredients:

For the cake :
  1. 3/4 Cup Hot Water
  2. 5 ounces unsweetened Chocolate
  3. 1 Cup of Butter, softened
  4. 2 Cups Sugar
  5. 4 Eggs
  6. 2 Cup Flour
  7. 1 tsp Baking Soda
  8. 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  9. 1 Cup Buttermilk
  10. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
For Coconut pecan frosting :
  1. 1 Cup sugar
  2. 1 Cup Evaporated Milk
  3. 1/2 Cup Butter
  4. 3 Eggs, thoroughly beaten
  5. 1 1/3 Cups sweetened Coconut
  6. 1 Cup chopped Pecans
  7. 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Baking chocolate cake :

  • Preheat oven to 177 degrees C (350 degrees F).

  • Butter and lightly flour 2 round 10-inch baking pans.

  • In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate in the water and then remove from heat immediately and set aside.

  • In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to beat well in between each addition. Add the remaining ingredients. Blend at low speed until combined.

  • Pour the batter into the 2 baking pans and bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean.

  • Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Then, remove from pan carefully and let cool on a wire rack until completely cool.

Frosting for the cake :

In a medium saucepan combine the sugar, evaporated milk, butter, and eggs. Cook over medium heat until the mixture starts to lightly bubble. Stir CONSTANTLY!! or you will end up with scrambled eggs in your frosting!! Remove from heat immediately. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cool until spreadable consistency (over night on counter - do not refrigerate prior to frosting or it will be too thick).

January 14, 2009

Rice payasam

"May the sun radiate...
peace, Prosperity and
happiness in your life always......"

HAPPY PONGAL TO ALL MY VIEWERS .....

Rice payasam is one among my favourite & quickly becomes ur favourite too.... It's rice pudding typically made by boiling rice with milk and sugar. It is often flavored with cardamoms, saffron, pistachios or almonds. It’s a delightful dessert for anytime of the year and is served in almost many of Indian festivals & celebrations. While the dish is traditionally made with rice, it can also be made with other ingredients such as vermicelli (sayviah) which is a thin noodle.

My mom makes this with lots of nuts especially cashews & raisins, this add good flavour, aroma & richness to the rice pudding. Now, its my hubby fav too...



Ingredients :
  1. Basmati rice - 1/2 cup
  2. Sugar - 1/2 cup (as per ur taste)
  3. Whole Milk - 4 cups plus coconut milk - 1/2 cup
  4. Cardomom powder- 1/2 tsp
  5. Broken cashews - 1 tsp
  6. Raisins - 1 tsp
  7. pistachio crushed - 1 tsp
  8. Saffron - a pinch
  9. Ghee - 1 tbsp
  10. Condensed milk - 3 tbsp
Ready to eat :
  • Wash & soak the rice for 1/2 hr in water.
  • Boil the milk, in a heavy bootom pot. When the milk comes to a boil, add the rice & sugar and simmer. Stir to insure that the milk does not stick to the bottom.
  • Cook till the rice is cooked and the milk thickens and reduces to half its original volume.
  • Heat ghee on a low flame & add cashews, raisins and pistachios.
  • Add the roasted nuts, cardomom powder, condensed milk in the payasam & mix well.
  • Garnish it with a pinch of saffron & rose petals.
Enjoy this Pongal with this georgeous looking rice payasam & it taste yummy yummy.....

January 13, 2009

Medhu Vada


"Eat vada, it is very nice. Also have some sambar, you will love it." Thus spoke former Indian President, Dr. Abdul Kalam, in a land that normally considers whale steak as a national delicacy.

Medu vada is a traditional south indian food which is prepared especially during festival seasons. I still remember as kids we would be thrilled when my mom prepares it using banana leaf for special poojas in home & it taste heaven. Intially when I started making this, I would struggle to get them into those wonderful doughnut in shapes but now it looks wonderful & taste delicious.

Ingredients :
  1. 1 Cup Urad Dhal without skin
  2. 1/2" Ginger -finely chopped
  3. 3-4 Green Chillies chopped (as per ur taste)
  4. 1 Sprig Curry Leaves chopped
  5. 1/2 Onion chopped
  6. 1/4 Cup chopped Coriander leaves
  7. 1 tbsp coarsly grated coconut (For additional flavour)
  8. 4 Pepper corns
  9. Salt to taste
  10. Oil for deep frying

How to Fry :

1. Soak urad dal in water for atleast 4 hrs & grind it along with green chillies & salt without using any water. Batter should be thick enough to shape vadas.

2. Add chopped onion, curry leaves, peppercorns, corriander leaves, ginger pcs, coconut & salt to taste to the urad dal & mix well.

3. Heat oil in the pan. Wet your palm. Take a dollop of batter(lemon size), put it in your wet palm, flatten to a round shape & make a hole in the center with your finger. Dry fry them till golden brown & crispy.


Serve hot with coconut chutney & sambhar.

January 12, 2009

Moong dal payasam

My mom use to make this payasam very often to us as a evening snack. This is a very easy preparation and it takes very less time to prepare it & has high protein content and jaggery is good for health when compared to sugar.This can be either served hot or cold.

Ingredients :
  1. Yellow Moong Dal - 1 cup
  2. Jaggery - 250gms or as per taste
  3. Coconut milk: 1 cup
  4. Water - 2 cups (plus 1/2 cup)
  5. Cashew nuts - 10 nos
  6. Raisins
  7. Cardamom Powder - 1/2 tsp
  8. Ghee - 1 tbsp
  9. Dessicated coconut - 1 tsp
  10. Saffron (optional)

Method :

  • In a heavy bottom pan, dry roast the Dal till it emits pleasant aroma, and the Dal turns light pink in color.

  • Add 2 cups of water to roasted dal & cook till well done (mashed consistency).

  • In another pan heat the jaggery along with some water (1/2 cup). Bring it to a boil. Strain to remove any particles. When done add this to the cooked Dal & cook for some more time till it is semisolid paste.

  • Add the cardamom powder and coconut milk and heat.

  • Fry the nuts, coconut and the dried fruit in the ghee and add to the payasam.

Garnish it with saffrons on top. Can replace moong dal with channa dal for different flavour with other ingredients remaining same.


Serve this either hot or cool.


January 11, 2009

Ven pongal


'Pongal' means boiling water and symbolizes the excess and plentiful of harvest and prosperity.

Ven pongal is one of the traditional south indian receipe. This is very simple to cook but taste wonderful. When i make this dish, I always remember my grandmom where she use earthenware pot to cook. Believe me it taste g8!!!!!!!

Enjoy this festival by having fun time in cooking this traditionally in the pot shouting out pongal-o-pongal.

Ingredients :

  1. Raw rice - 1 cup
  2. Moong dal - 1/3 cup
  3. Blace pepper corns - 11/2 tsp
  4. Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  5. Curry leaves - 10 nos
  6. Pinch of Asafoetida
  7. Finely cut Ginger - 1 tsp
  8. Black pepper powder - 1/2 tsp (I like spicy pongal, its optional)
  9. Cashewnuts - 1 tbsp
  10. Ghee - 2 tbsp
  11. Oil - 1 tbsp
  12. Water - 4 cups
  13. Salt to taste

Directions to cook :

  • Dry roast the rice and dal for about 2 minutes till you can smell the roasted aroma.
  • Then, cook rice and dal in a pressure cooker with 4 cups of water.
  • Heat ghee & oil in the heavy bottomed pan, add cashewnuts, black pepper, cumin seeds.
    Once roasted, add ginger pcs, curry leaves followed by a pinch of asafoetida & black pepper powder.
  • Add this seasoning & salt to the rice & dal mixture & mix well till it gets fully mashed.
    Serve steaming hot with ghee on top along with sambhar & coconut chutney.

METHOD II

In this method, combine all the ingredients & cook till it done. It taste equally good.

  • Dry roast the moong dhal & keep aside.
  • Heat oil & ghee in a hevy bottomed pan (preferrable pressure cooker).
  • Add black pepper corns, cumin seeds, chopped ginger, asafoetida followed by curry leaves, black pepper powder.
  • Add rice, dhal & water with salt.
  • Pressure cook the pongal till done.
  • Finally add roasted cashewnuts & mix well.

If you dont want pongal to be mashed, reduce the water proportion to the half (i.e 2 cups)

Yummy yummy pongal is ready to eat. Serve it hot, with variety of chutneys.

This is all about adding flavours to ur life.....


January 10, 2009

Sakkarai Pongal / Sweet Pongal


Pongal is the harvest festival of Tamil Nadu. The enthusiasm and the zeal of Tamilians comes alive during the four day festival. Pongal literally means "boiling over". This festival is the biggest event of the year for the Tamilians.

The four day festival consists of Bhogi-Pongal, Surya-Pongal, Mattu-Pongal and Kanyapongal.

Pongal is a unifying festival in my family. On this day, we prepare atleast two varieties of pongal & exchange it to all my friends & neighbours near by. Pongal is all about spreading small amount of love and joy in the neigbouring homes and enjoy the festival with family and friends. I will start my pongal season with Sweet pongal receipe.

Ingredients :

  1. Rice - 1 cup
  2. Moong dhal - 1/4 cup
  3. Powdered Jaggery - 1 cup (as per ur taste)
  4. Milk - 2 cups
  5. Water - 2 cups (plus 1/2 cup)
  6. Cashews - 1/4 cup
  7. Cardomom powder - 1/2 tsp
  8. Edible camphor - a pinch
  9. Ghee - 1/2 cup (shows how richis ur pongal)
  10. Nutmeg powder - 1 tsp
  11. Raisins (kishmish) - 1 tbsp
  12. 1-2 tbsp Dry/Desiccated Coconut, grated/powdered ( Kobbari / Copra)

Directions :

1. Dry roast the yellow moong dal for a couple of minutes, or until it slightly changes color and the raw smell disappears; Do not let it turn brown.

2. Cook rice & roasted dal with 2 cups of milk & 2 cups of water.

3. Heat half cup of water & crush the jaggery into pieces and add to the water to dissolve. Once the jaggery is completely dissolved, turn off the heat and set aside to allow settling of any particles. After about 2-3 minutes, filter the solution to remove any particles.

4. Put the rice & dal in a big vessed and add the jaggery syrup & mix well so that all the rice/dal is coated with jaggery.

5. Fry the cashews, desiccated coconut, cardomon powder and raisins in the ghee & add it to the sweet pongal.

6. Finally add the edible camphor & nut meg poweder & mix well.


Happy pongal !!!

January 9, 2009

Pistachio kulfi


Kulfi is traditional Indian ice cream, which, needless to say was originally eaten in India as apposed to the common ice cream we eat today.
The ice cream is very soft and once out of the freezer is very quick to melt, much quicker than other ice creams, making it very soft to eat. It is very smooth and soft in texture and what hasn't melted already melts in your mouth. The taste is very much of pistachios and cream, although once past the pistachios on top the flavour is not overpowering but just refreshing. Perfect to sooth your mouth and throat after a spicy indian meal.

The pistachio contains bits of pistachios that you can see and taste in every bite of the kulfi. It has a mildly, nutty flavor and has a light crunch.
Ingredients :

  1. Whole milk - 4 cups (plus 2 tbsp)
  2. Douple whipping cream -250 gms
  3. Cardamom powder
  4. Saffron
  5. Granulated sugar - 1/4 cup
  6. Bread slice - 1 No (Remove the brown part of the bread)
  7. Cornflour - 1 tbsp
  8. Pistachio - 3 tbsp
  9. Almond flakes (optional) to decorate

How to Cook :

  • Grind pistachio to coarse Powder.
  • Heat a saucepan. Keep the heat on medium. Add milk and reduce it to half i.e. approximately 2 cups. Add sugar while reducing milk. Stir continuously from start to end, to avoid milk sticking to the bottom.

  • Take 2 tbsp cold milk in a small bowl. Add 1 tbsp Corn Flour & bread pcs. Use blender to make a smoth paste and add it to the boiling milk. Milk will start thickening.

  • Once milk become thick; add Cardamom Powder, Saffron, and Pista. Mix well and remove lumps. Mix well and remove from heat.

  • Let the mixture become little cool down.

  • Meanwhile beat the cream & fold it in the final mixture very gently & softly. This makes the mixture very light & smooth. Then pour into Kulfi mold or any Icecream mold and set into freezer.


  • All in all pistachio kulfi is a delicious end to any meal, particularly to cool your throat after an indian meals.

    January 8, 2009

    Apple Cake Pie

    I love this time of year when there is a chill to the air. It is the perfect time to bake.
    My family love the cake pie the best. It is a fairly basic cake recipe using the fresh apples & are delicious tool . When I made it the entire floor, we lived on, was filled with a sweet apple aroma.

    Ingredients:

    Basic coffee-cake dough:
    1. 2 eggs, well beaten
    2. ¼ cup milk, warmed
    3. 1 pkg (or 1 tbsp) dry yeast
    4. ¼ cup warm water
    5. ½ cup butter (1 stick, melted but not hot)
    6. ¼ cup sugar
    7. ½ tsp. Salt
    8. 1 tsp. Grated lemon peel
    9. 3 cup flour (more if needed)

    How to Combine:

    Pour luke warm water, yeast, and sugar in mixing bowl.

    Add melted (not hot) butter, warmed milk, salt, lemon peel, and beaten eggs. Mix well.

    Add flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each cup. Add more flour, if necessary, to make a smooth dough, and turn out onto a floured surface. Knead very lightly.

    Let rise for about 1 hour, punch down and let rest for 10 min.

    Spread dough in 2 well greased 9 inch round or square cake pans, pushing it up on the sides as for pie crusts.

    TOPPING FOR APFEL KUCHEN (1 Apple cake)

    1. 3 medium sized apples
    2. 1/3 cup sugar (white or brown)
    3. 2 tbsp bread crumbs
    4. 2 tsp. Cinnamon
    5. 4 tbsp melted butter

    Peel and core apples, then cut into ¼ inch slices. Arrange in overlapping circles (or in random fashion if in a hurry) on top of dough. Drizzle melted butter over the fruit and crust, sprinkle with cinnamon, sugar and crumbs. Let rise for 30 minutes. Bake at 350o for 35 or 40 minutes.

    January 7, 2009

    Coconut Milk Rice


    Simple but rich in flavor! I prepare this for all special occasion in my house. . It taste good with hot & crispy mushroom pakoda / cauliflower machorian or can be accompanied with any kuruma (veg or non-veg).

    This is all about adding flavours to your life...

    Ingredients :

    1. Onion - 1 Medium size (sliced)
    2. Green chilly - 5 Nos
    3. Garlic - 7 pearls
    4. Cinnamon stick
    5. Cloves - 3Nos
    6. Cardomom - 2 Nos
    7. Bay leaf
    8. Basmathi Rice - 1 Cup
    9. Coconut Milk - 2 cups
    10. Lemon juice - 1 tsp
    11. Mint leaves - 12 Nos
    12. Ghee - 4tbsp
    13. Oil - 3 tbsp
    14. Salt to taste
    15. Fried cashewnuts (optional)

    Method:


    1. Soak the rice for 1/2 hr & drain it and fry it with 1 tbsp of ghee.

    2. Heat the oil & ghee in a heavy or non-stick pan.

    3. When hot add cinnamon sticks, Cardamom, Cloves, Bay Leaves & fry till u get the aroma.

    4. Now add the onion & fry till golden brown then add mint leaves, garlic, green chillies & saute till the raw smell goes away.

    5. Now add the rice then coconut milk extract, salt & Lemon juice.

    6. Bring to a boil. Simmer covered, till rice is cooked and water evaporates.

    7. Before serving add the fried cashewnuts for more flavour. (I normally add lotz of cashewnuts and run in treadmill for extra 10 min.)
    Enjoy the yummy yummy coconut milk rice with hot & crispy side dish.

    January 1, 2009

    Mushroom Pakoda

    Let me post my first dish on this blog with something I cooked this afternoon. My husband loves flavored rice so I had decided to cook Rice flavored with Coconut milk (That could be my next post!!) and to go with it thought we will commit some sin with deep fried Mushroom pakodas. Its spicy flavor combined with taste of juicy mushrooms is quite an mouthwatering combination but the mushroom pakoda could also become a good snack for the occasional vistor in the evenings.

    Ingredients:

    200 Gms - Chopped Mushrooms (If the mushroom is standing cut it from the top-vertically)
    2 Nos Medium sized Onions
    3 Nos - Finely chopped Green Chilies (However for Mr&Mrs. Neumann I would add just 1 Chilli) 1 Tsp - Ginger-Garlic paste
    1/4 Tsp - Turmeric Powder
    1 Tsp - Chilli Powder (That will defnitely send Mr.Neumann to the doctor, so for him I would limit to 1/4 Tsp)
    5 Tsp - Besan Powder
    2 Tsp - Cornflour
    Finely chopped Coriander leaves (3 Tbsp)
    Salt to taste

    Now to Rocket Science:


    1. Add the mushrooms to a bowl followed by all the ingredients as mentioned in the above order
    2. No need to add water as the wateriness of the onion will be sufficient
    3. Put a shallow vessel with sufficient oil to deep fry on the stove and let it reach high temperature
    4. Add the mushroom batter in small sizes ie the size of a Ferro Rocher choclate ball in the frying pan.
    5. Deep fry till the mushroom reaches golden brown color. Remove and stain the oil (The staining is just to prove a point that you are health concious)


    Enjoy hot mushroom pakodas with Tomato Ketchup and do let me know how it came out in your kitchen! Oh yeah its my recipe and not borrowed from my mil ok! So do thank me only for it!

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