August 15, 2017

Nei Appam | Karthigai Appam | Sweet Appam


Nei appam is a traditional South Indian sweet prepared during the festival season.  We use rice flour, jaggery and banana for preparing this delicious sweet.  


Ingredients :

  1. Raw rice - 1 cup
  2. Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
  3. Jaggery - 1 cup
  4. 1 ripe medium sized banana
  5. Cardamom powder 
  6. A pinch of baking soda (optional)
  7. Ghee for frying

Method :

1.  Soak the rice for atleast 3 hours.  

2.  Grind the rice along with the coconut and banana to smooth paste. Use 3 tbsp of water for grinding.


3.  In a pan, cook the jaggery along with 2 tbsp of water until they melts.  Filter the jaggery water and add them to the rice mixture.  Add some cardamom powder, baking soda (optional) and mix well.  The batter should resemble like idly / pancake batter.

4.  Heat ghee in the deep frying pan, drop a ladle of batter and fry them over medium heat until cooked on either side.


Serve warm.

August 10, 2017

Sweet Pidi Kozhukattai !!


Sweet Pidi Kozhukattai is most popular festival snack.  For authentic, kozhukattai use only homemade rice paste and fresh coconut.  It enhances the flavour of this dish.



Ingredients :
  1. Raw rice - 1 cup
  2. Jaggery powder - 1 cup
  3. Water - 2 cups
  4.  Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
  5. Coconut pieces - 2 tbsp (or grated coconut)
  6. Ghee - 1 tbsp

Method :

1.  Soak the rice for atleast one hour.  Grind them to smooth paste using one cup of water.

2.  Heat one cup of water in the pan, add jaggery and dissolve them completely.  Filter the jaggery water and pour them back in the pan.  Bring it to boil.

3.  Add rice paste, cardamom powder, coconut pieces and a tsp of ghee to the jaggery water and keep stirring them, till they form a stiff dough.


4.  When it is warm, grease your hand with ghee and make oval shapes out of the mixture.  Give a impression in the kozhukattai using your fingers.

5.  Steam the kozhukattai in the pressure cooker / pan for 8 - 10 mins or until done.


Serve warm.

August 7, 2017

Shell pasta with simple homemade tomato sauce - Kids friendly !!


This simple recipe of pasta, garlic, parmesan cheese and homemade tomato sauce is very easy to prepare and delicious.  My son loves this pasta and is our main staple in the house!



Ingredients :
  1. Shell pasta - 1 cup
  2. Water
  3. Salt to taste
  4. Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
  5. Onion, finely chopped - 1 small sized
  6. Garlic, finely chopped - 2 cloves
  7. Capsicum, finely chopped - 2 tbsp
  8. Tomato puree - 1/4 cup
  9. Tomato ketchup - 1 tbsp
  10. Salt to taste
  11. Black pepper powder to taste
  12. Dried Oregano - 1/2 tsp
  13. Dried Basil - 1/2 tsp
  14. Parmesan cheese for garnishing

Method :
 
1.  Bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook as directed on the package, until done. 



2.  In a sauce pan, add a tbsp of olive oil.  Add finely chopped garlic, onion, capsicum and salt to taste.  Saute for few mins.

3.  Add tomato puree and cook.



4.  Add tomato ketchup, black pepper powder and dried oregano & basil.  Cook for few more mins.

5.  Finally, add pasta to the pan and toss to combine.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.


Serve.


August 4, 2017

Simple Orange Cookies !!


This is a simple orange cookie recipe made using the fresh orange zest.  


Ingredients :

  1. All purpose flour - 2 cups
  2. Baking soda - 1 tsp
  3. Salt - 1/4 tsp
  4. Unsalted butter, softened - 1 cup
  5. Sugar - 1 cup
  6. Grated orange peel - 4 tbsp
  7. Vanilla extract - 2 tsp
  8. Nut (of your choice), optional - 1/4 cup

Method :

1.  Preheat the oven at 180 C and line up the cookie tray with parchment paper.

2.  Cream together butter and sugar.  Add in the orange peel and vanilla extract, beat well.

3.  Sieve together flour, baking soda and salt.


4.  Mix in the flour mixture into the creamed butter mixture along with the chopped nut (optional) to form a dough.  If the dough is not stiff, refrigerate them for an hour.  

5.  Roll the dough and using the cookie cutter, cut them in the desired shape.  Arrange them in the prepared baking sheet and bake them for 10 mins or until the edges are browned lightly.  Cool them completely before storing them in an air tight container.


Enjoy baking:)

August 1, 2017

Carrot n Ginger Salad - Refreshing !!


Try and enjoy this unique, refreshing and delicious salad flavoured with ginger and lime dressing.


Ingredients :

  1. Grated carrot - 2 cups
  2. Ginger - 1 inch piece
  3. Oil - 1 tsp
  4. Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  5. Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
  6. A pinch of hing
  7. Green chillies, finely chopped - 1 to 2 nos, 
  8. Onion, chopped - 1 small sized
  9. Coriander leaves, chopped
  10. Lime juice - 1 tsp
  11. Salt to taste


Method :

1.  Grate the ginger and extract the juice.  Keep aside.

2.  Heat oil in the pan, add urad dal, mustard seeds, green chillies and hing.  Keep the tadka aside.

3.   In a serving bowl, mix together grated carrots, ginger juice, onion, coriander leaves, lime juice, salt to taste and tadka. 




Serve immediately or cold.

July 29, 2017

Mirchi Ka Salan !!



Mirchi ka salan is most popular Hyderabadi curry served with biryani.  It taste great even with plain rice / roti / bread.  Mirchi ka salad is cooked using tomatoes /tamarind / yoghurt and this is my best version of salan using curd.  We can substitute green chillies with capsicum / tomato / bottle gourd.    Try this & enjoy the YUM !!!!


Ingredients :
  1. Green chillies - 4 - 5 nos
  2. Oil 
  3. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  4. Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  5. Methi seeds - 1/4 tsp
  6. Kalonji seeds - 1/4 tsp
  7. Red chilly - 2 nos
  8. Curry leaves 
  9. Onion - 1 no, sliced
  10. Curd - 100 gms
  11. Tamarind pulp - 1 tsp
  12. Turmeric powder
  13. Ginger garlic paste
  14. Salt to taste
  15. Green chilly - 1 no (optional)
  16. Red chilly powder - 1 tsp
  17. Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
  18. Cumin powder - 1 tsp
  19. Sugar - a pinch
  20. Coriander leaves for garnishing
  21. Mint leaves for garnishing
  22. Peanut - 1 tbsp
  23. White sesame seeds - 1 tbsp
  24. Coconut, grated - 1 tbsp

Method :

1.  Dry roast the peanut, sesame seeds and coconut.  Grind them to smooth paste.  Keep aside.

2.   Heat a tbsp of oil and shallow fry the slit green chillies.  If the chilly is spicy remove the seeds and them shallow fry them.  Keep aside.

3.  In the same pan, add a tsp of oil.  Add mustards seeds, cumin seeds, methi seeds, kalonji, red chilly, curry leaves and sliced onions.  Saute till tender.


4.   Add ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, beaten curd, tamarind pulp, red chilly powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt to taste.  Saute for 10 mins over low-medium heat.

5.   Add grounded peanut paste, sugar and cook for another 10 mins over low flame.

6.  Once done, add fried green chillies and garnish it mint leaves and coriander leaves.


Serve with roti / rice.

July 26, 2017

Semiya Upma | Vermicelli Upma - Just 15 mins !!!


Semiya Upma is one of my favourite and easy breakfast menu, as it needs only few ingredients and less cooking time.  I make this simple upma without any vegetables, yet it taste simply delicious with coconut chutney or pickle.  


Ingredients :

  1. Semiya / Vermicelli, roasted - 1 cup
  2. Oil - 1 tbsp
  3. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  4. Urad dal - 1 tsp
  5. Curry leaves - 1 tbsp
  6. Red chillies (or green chillies ) - 3 nos
  7. A pinch of hing
  8. Onion - 1 large sized
  9. Salt to taste
  10. Water - 1 cup

Method :

1.  Heat oil in the pan, add mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves, red chillies, hing and chopped onion.  Saute till tender.

2.  Meanwhile, boil water in another pan.

3.  Add semiya and roast them along with the onion for few mins.  Add salt to taste.

4.  Add hot water and stir them until done.  


Garnish it with coriander leaves and serve.

July 23, 2017

Kaju Pista roll !!


Try this simple and delicious sweets with your family and friends.


Ingredients :

For Kaju :

  1. Cahewnuts, powdered - 1 cup
  2. Sugar - 1/2 cup
  3. Water - 1/4 cup
  4. Cardamom powder (or rose water ) - 1/2 tsp
  5. Ghee - 1 tbsp
For Pistachios :
  1. Pistachios, powdered - 1 cup
  2. Sugar, powdered - 1/4 cup 
  3. Green food colouring - Few drops
  4. Milk powder - 1 tbsp
  5. Water for kneading the dough 
  6. Saffron - few strands (dissolve it in little water for decoration)

Method :

For Pistachios :

1.  In a mixing bowl, combine powdered pistachios, sugar, food colouring and mix well.

2.  Add little water (around 2 tbsp) and start kneading the dough.

3.  Add milk powder and prepare a non-sticky dough.



For Kaju :

4.  Mix together sugar and water and cook them till one string consistency.  Simmer the flame.

5.  Slowly, add the cashew nut powder and stir continuously.

6.  Add cardamom powder (or rose water) and a tbsp of ghee.

7.  Continue stirring till the dough is formed, leaving the pan.

8.  Transfer the dough in the greased surface and knead the dough with little ghee.  Roll the dough.


Kaju Pista roll :

9.  Divide the cashew and pista dough into equal portion balls.  Roll and shape the pista dough balls into a log.

10.  Roll the cashew dough into thin circle and place the pista dough in the middle and roll them into cylinder shape.  Decorate the roll with saffron strands on the top, if desired.


Enjoy !!

July 19, 2017

Rava Pongal !!


Here is the best recipe to have pongal in the different & healthy way.  Rice is substituted with semolina (or rava) while the rest ingredients remains the same.  Try this rava pongal with sambar and coconut chutney.


Ingredients :
  1. Rava - 1/2 cup
  2. Moong Dal (Cooked) - 1/2 cup
  3. Ghee - 2 tbsp
  4. Black pepper corns - 1/2 tsp
  5. Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  6. Curry leaves 
  7. A pinch of hing
  8. Cashew nuts - 10 nos
  9. Grated ginger - 1/4 tsp
  10. Salt to taste
  11. Water - 3 cups

Method :

1.  Dry roast the rava (semolina) and keep aside.

2.  Heat ghee in the pan, add peppercorns, cumins seeds, curry leaves, hing, ginger, cashew nuts and roasted rava. 


3.  Meanwhile warm the water separately and pour it in the semolina along with the smashed moong dal. 

4.  Add salt and cook them over medium heat until done.


Sprinkle some ghee, if desired and serve.

July 17, 2017

Raw Plantain Stir Fry - Delicious !!


Plantain stir fry makes a perfect side dish for hot sambar rice / curd rice.  Addition of aromatic cinnamon powder brings intense flavour to the dish.  Try to use fresh green plantain for this preparation.  


Ingredients :

  1. Raw green plantains - 2 nos
  2. Onion - 1 large sized
  3. Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  4. Green chillies - 3 nos, slit
  5. Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
  6. Curry leaves - 10 nos
  7. Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
  8. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  9. Chilly powder - 1 tsp
  10. Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
  11. Roasted cumin powder - 1 tsp
  12. A pinch of cinnamon powder
  13. Salt to taste
  14. Fresh grated coconut - 2 tbsp
  15. Oil - 2 tbsp
  16. Coriander leaves for garnishing

Method :

1.  Peel and slice the plantain and place it in water.

2.  Mix together turmeric power, chilly powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, salt, ginger garlic paste, grated coconut to the sliced plantain.  Sprinkle some water and set aside for 15 mins.

3.  Heat oil in the pan, add cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, green chillies and sliced onion.  Saute till tender.


4.  Add plantain pieces and stir fry on medium high for 5 mins.  Keep stirring continuously.

5.  Reduce the heat to low flame and cook the plantain for 15 mins with lid.  Remove the lid, and cook on medium heat till roasted.  Once done, add cinnamon powder and finely chopped coriander leaves and switch off the heat.


Serve with rice.

July 13, 2017

Amla Urugai | Gooseberry Pickle !!


I love making pickles at home and this is my childhood favourite one.  I prefer to cut the gooseberries into small pieces instead of keeping it as a whole.  Try to use sesame oil for this preparation, as it enhances the flavour of pickle.  Refrigerate the pickle for longer use.  


Ingredients :

  1. Gooseberry - 1 1/2 cups
  2. Oil - 1/3 cup (preferably sesame oil)
  3. Chilly powder - 2 tbsp (to taste)
  4. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Vinegar - 2 tbsp
  7. Mustard Powder - 1/2 tsp (Dry roasted & powdered)
  8. Fenugreek Powder - 1/2 tsp (Dry roasted & powdered)

Method :

1.  Clean the gooseberry and dry them completely.  Cut them into small pieces (with or without seeds) if desired.

2.  Heat oil in the pan, add gooseberries and fry them for few mins or until half cooked.  Switch off the flame.

3.  In the same oil, add red chilly powder, turmeric powder, salt, mustard powder and fenugreek powder.   Cover the pan and set aside for few hours.

4.  Once the pickle is completely cooled, add vinegar and store it an air tight container. 


Enjoy !!


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