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 !!

July 11, 2017

Noolkool Kurma | Turnip in Coconut Gravy !!

Easy, delicious and unique preparation using turnip.  Spicy coconut paste is prepared as a base for this recipe.  If the turnips are tender, we can use them with skin.  Serve them with rice or rotis.

Ingredients :

  1. Turnip - 2 medium sized
  2. Oil - 1 tbsp
  3. Cinnamon stick - 1" inch
  4. Cloves - 3 nos
  5. Cardamom - 2 nos
  6. Bay leaf - 1 no
  7. Onion - 1 large sized
  8. Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
  9. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  10. Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
  11. Tamarind extract - 1/2 tsp
  12. Chilly powder - 1 tsp
  13. Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
  14. Poppy seeds - 1 tsp (soaked in water for 5 mins)
  15. Cashew nuts - 5 nos
  16. Salt to taste
  17. Coriander leaves for garnishing
  18. Mint leaves

Method :

1.  Peel off the turnip skin and cut them in cubes.  

2.  Prepare the spice paste by grinding together grated coconut, chilly powder, coriander powder, poppy seeds, cashew nuts, salt and tamarind extract to a smooth paste.  (Adding water if necessary)

3.  Heat oil in the pressure cooker, add cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, bay leaf and finely chopped onion.  Saute till tender.

4.  Add ginger garlic paste and turmeric powder.  Saute.

5.  Add chopped turnips and saute for few mins.

6.  Add spice paste and required water.  Adjust the salt.  Pressure cook them till done.  (I cook them for 2 whistles)

7.  Finally, garnish it with finely chopped mint leaves and coriander leaves.

Serve with rice / rotis.

July 8, 2017

7 cup Burfi / Seven Cups Sweet !!!

This is one of the most famous homemade sweet prepared especially during the Diwali season.  We use 7 cups of ingredients which includes besan, coconut, sugar, nuts, milk and ghee.  Traditionally, they use 3 cups of sugar but we use 2 cups of sugar and a cup of nuts.  If you don't want to use nuts, you can skip it.  I used freshly grated coconut for this sweet, even desiccated coconut can be substituted.  This can be stored in the room temperature for a week.  Each time, I warm it for few seconds in the microwave and serve.

Ingredients :

  1. Besan / Chickpea flour / Gram flour - 1 cup
  2. Grated coconut - 1 cup 
  3. Sugar - 2 cups
  4. Nuts (Cashewnuts, almonds) - 1 cup 
  5. Milk - 1 cup 
  6. Ghee (Clarified butter) - 1 cup
Method :

1.  Add 1/2 cup of ghee in the non-stick pan and slightly roast the besan for few mins. ( Don't over roast the besan)

2.  Add grated coconut and roast them for few more mins. 

3.  Add sugar and roasted nuts.  (Retain few nuts for garnishing)

4.  Add milk and keep stirring.  (The mixture will be little watery)

5.  Add ghee gradually and keep mixing the mixture.  Remember to keep the flame over medium low.

6.  Keep stirring continuously, until the mixture becomes thick and starts leaving the sides of the pan.

7.  Grease the pan with ghee and spread the mixture evenly.  Garnish the top with chopped nuts and press them gently.

8.  Leave the mixture to cool for 5 mins, and slice the burfi in the desired shape using the greased knife.  Allow them to cool completely.  Remove and store the burfi.

Enjoy :)

July 5, 2017

Creamy Mango Smoothie - Restaurant style !!

I am big mango lover and like to have this smoothie for the breakfast or snacks.  When mangoes are on sale, buy a few, chop them up and freeze them for later use.  We can add oats / lime juice / bananas for different variations.

Ingredients :
  1. Mango pieces - 1/2 cup (diced and frozen)
  2. Milk - 1/2 cup
  3. Sugar - 1/2 tsp or to taste
  4. A pinch of cardamom powder, optional
Method :

1.  In a blender, combine frozen mango pieces, milk, sugar and cardamom powder.

2.  Blend until the mixture is smooth, adding little milk if needed.


July 3, 2017

Saffron Cardamom Popsicles !!!

Saffron and cardamom is definitely the star of this popsicle.  Addition of cream makes this popsicle rich and creamy.  You can skip heavy cream and increase the whole milk from 1 cup to 2 cups and add 2 tbsp milk powder to bring the thickness.  We can use cashew nut instead of almonds or even without nuts, it taste delicious.

Ingredients :

  1. Whole milk - 1 cup
  2. Heavy cream - 1 cup
  3. Sugar - 1/4 cup (to taste)
  4. Saffron strands - 1/4 tsp
  5. Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
  6. Toasted almonds, chopped - 1 tbsp

Method :

1.  Combine milk, cream and saffron in a saucepan.  Bring it to boil.  Remove from heat and bring it to room temperature.

2.  Once the mixture is cool, add cardamon powder and chopped almonds.  Mix well.

3.  Pour the mixture in the popsicle mould and freeze it, preferably overnight.

4.  Before serving, dip the mould in the hot water for few seconds and remove the popsicle gently.

Enjoy !! 
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