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November 30, 2016

Peerkangai Poriyal | Ridge gourd Curry

Ridge gourd is a versatile vegetable where the peel and flesh can be used for making different dishes. This peerkangai curry is simple and quick.  This is a great accomplishment for rotis.

Ingredients :

  1. Oil - 1 tbsp
  2. Onion - 2 medium sized
  3. Ridge gourd - 2 nos
  4. Tomato - 1 no
  5. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
  8. Chilly powder - 1 tsp
  9. Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  10. Garam masala - 1 tsp
  11. Coriander leaves for garnishing

Method :

1.   Peel the ridge gourd skin and cut them.  Keep aside.

2.   Heat oil in the pan, add finely chopped onions and saute till tender.

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

4.   Add chopped tomato, chilly powder, coriander powder and chopped ridge gourd.  Cook them till done.  It takes 10 mins on low-medium heat without covering the lid.

5.   Add garam masala and cook for 2 mins. Garnish it with coriander leaves.

Serve with rotis.

November 28, 2016

Homemade Coconut Milk & How to store them for longer use !!!

Coconut milk is extracted from the coconut meat & water.  This milk is sold canned for use in Thai & Asian Cuisine or for flavouring desserts.  Homemade coconut milk is soo easy to make & taste great in smoothies, curries and kheer.  We can store the coconut milk for 4 days in the fridge and for longer used I generally freeze it.  Coconut milk is a nutritious beverage for kids as well.

Ingredients :

  1. Shredded coconut - 1 medium sized
  2. Water - 1 1/2 cups Plus 1 cup Plus 1 cup
Method :

1.   Blend together shredded coconut and 1 1/2 cups of water for 3 mins on high.  Strain the coconut milk and this is thick & creamy coconut milk.  Save the grounded coconut.

2.   Add one more cup to the coconut again.  Blend them again and strain them for thin coconut milk.  

3.   Repeat the step again with another cup of water.  This is third thin coconut milk.


1.   Thick coconut milk can be used for making curries / graves / Biryani / Pulav.

2.   I use thin coconut milk for making kheer / payasam / smoothie / milkshake.

3.   I use the third thin coconut milk for my baby food.

How to Store :

1.  Transfer the coconut milk to a plastic storage container. Seal the container with a tight-fitting lid.
2.  Store the coconut milk in the refrigerator for four to six days. For long-term preservation, store the coconut milk in the freezer for up three months.
3.  Thaw frozen coconut milk in the refrigerator for 24 hours before using it.
4.  Stir the milk to recombine it immediately before use. A thick layer of milk rises to the surface during both refrigeration and freezing.
Enjoy !!!

November 26, 2016

Vegetable Biryani using coconut milk

Vegetable biryani is one of my comfort lunch menu.  Coconut milk is the main ingredient in this  biryani which adds up the flavour & taste delicious.  Serve it simple with onion raita or with vegetable curry / lamp curry / chicken curry.  I use pressure cooker for making this biryani but without using the weight(whistle).  We can use either basmati rice or raw rice, but I personally like basmati rice for this dish.  Less time consuming but taste awesome !!!!

Ingredients :
  1. Oil / Ghee - 3 tbsp
  2. Basmati rice - 1 cup
  3. Cinnamon stick - 2 nos
  4. Cloves - 3 nos
  5. Cardamom - 2 no
  6. Bay leaf - 1 no
  7. Star anise - 1 no
  8. Onion - 2 medium sized
  9. Tomato - 2 nos
  10. Green chillies - 2 no
  11. Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
  12. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  13. Salt to taste
  14. Vegetables (Carrot, beans, cauliflower, green peas, potato) - 1 cup, chopped
  15. Chilly powder - 1 tsp
  16. Yoghurt - 1 tbsp
  17. Garam masala - 1 tsp
  18. Coconut milk - 2 cups (I used thin coconut milk)
  19. Lime juice - 1 tsp
  20. Mint leaves 
  21. Coriander leaves 
  22. Cashew nuts - 1 tbsp

Method :

1.  Heat oil/Ghee in the heavy bottomed pan, add cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, bay leaf and star anise.  Add finely sliced onions and saute till tender.

2.   Add ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder and salt to taste.

3.   Add finely chopped tomatoes and vegetables.  Saute.

4.  Add yoghurt, chilly powder, garam masala, mint leaves and coriander leaves.  

5.   Meanwhile. soak the basmati rice in enough water for atleast  10 mins.  Add basmati rice to the above mixture.

6.   Add coconut milk, finely chopped mint leaves, coriander leaves, lime juice and roasted cashew nuts.  Adjust the salt if necessary.  

7.   Cover and cook on medium high flame for 4 mins and simmer the heat to low and cook them for another 10 mins.  (I used pressure cooker but without whistle)

8.   Once done, drizzle some ghee and garnish it coriander leaves.  Sometimes, I used bread croutons for garnishing too.

Serve with raita / curry.

November 23, 2016

Garlic Infused Chicken Curry

Garlic infused chicken curry taste great with naan / rotis / fried rice.  Garlic and chicken blends so well in this dish.  Chicken thighs are perfect for this recipe BUT breast can also be used.  Perfect meal is here at your fingertips.  This is soo good, you guys   HAFTA TRY THIS !!!

Ingredients :
  1. Chicken - 1 kg
  2. Salt to taste
  3. Garlic - 1 whole fig
  4. Oil - 3 tbsp
  5. Cloves - 3 no
  6. Cinnamon stick - 1 no
  7. Onion - 3 cups
  8. Tomato puree - 1/2 cup
  9. Coriander powder - 2 tsp
  10. Water 
  11. Coriander leaves for garnishing

For first marination :
  1. Salt
  2. Pepper powder - 1 tsp
  3. Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
  4. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Mix all the ingredients and marinate the chicken pieces for 30 mins.

For second marination :
  1. Garlic - 1 whole fig, roughly chopped
  2. Ginger - 1/2 inch piece
  3. Red chillies - 5 to 8 nos (Soak it in water for 10 mins)
  4. Plain yoghurt - 1 tbsp
Grind together garlic, ginger and red chillies with little water to smooth paste.  Marinate the chicken with this paste and yoghurt for another 30 mins.    

Method :

1.   Add oil, cloves, cinnamon stick and finely chopped garlic and then switch on the flame.  Add finely chopped onions.  Saute till tender.

2.   Add marinated chicken and cook covered for 10 mins.

3.   Add coriander powder, tomato puree and salt to taste.  Cook them over medium flame until done. 

4.   Add enough water depending upon the gravy consistency you desired.  Skip water for dry curry.

5.   Finally, garnish it with coriander leaves.

Serve with fried rice / naan.

November 21, 2016

Inji Thogayal | Ginger Chutney

Ginger is a common ingredients used in different cuisine cooking.  It is rich in minerals like magnesium & potassium.  Ginger Thogayal is served as a side dish to rice or idly or dosa.  This is very easy to prepare and I  personally like to have with rasam rice.  I tried this recipe from "Sivakasi Samayal".  Taste simply delicious :)

Ingredients :

  1. Oil - 2 tsp
  2. Urad dal - 1 tbsp
  3. A ping of hing
  4. Red chillies - 5 nos ( to spice level)
  5. Garlic - 2 pods
  6. Ginger - 1/2 cup, washed, peeled and chopped
  7. Onion - 1 medium sized
  8. Tomato - 1 small sized
  9. Tamarind (Gooseberry sized)
  10. Jaggery - 1 tsp
  11. Salt to taste
  12. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  13. Curry leaves - few leaves

Method :

1.   Heat 1 tsp of oil, add urad dal, hing, red chillies, garlic, curry leaves, chopped onions and saute for few mins.

2.   Add chopped ginger and cook till done.  Finally, add tomato pieces and saute for few more mins.  Add enough salt and switch off the flame.  Allow the mixture to cool completely.

3.   Grind the mixture along with the tamarind and jaggery to smooth paste without adding water.

4.   Heat 1 tsp of oil in the pan, add mustard seeds, curry leaves and the grounded mixture.  Cook the mixture for few mins till it separates from the pan.  

Serve with steamed rice / Idly.

November 18, 2016

Bottle gourd Halwa / Lauki Halwa / Doodhi Halwa / Dudhi Halwa / Suraikai Halwa

Bottle gourd halwa is very simple, delicious and healthy dessert made by grating the lauki and cooking them along with the milk & sugar and garnished with nuts.  There are many ways to make this dessert using khova / cream / condensed milk either in pressure cooker or on pan.  Today, I am sharing the simple method using the milk.  I didn't use food color instead I used saffron for natural color & flavour.  We enjoyed having them cold....

Ingredients :

  1. Bottle gourd - 1 medium sized ( around 3 cups)
  2. Ghee - 3 tbsp
  3. Sugar - 1/2 cup (adjust to your taste level)
  4. Milk - 3 cups
  5. Nuts (Cashewnuts, almonds, dry grapes), roasted -  2 tbsp
  6. Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
  7. Saffron (optional)
  8. Green food color (optional)

Method :

1.   Peel the bottle gourd skin off and grate them.  Keep aside.

2.   Heat ghee in the pan, fry the grated bottle gourd for few mins or until water evaporates completely.

3.   Now, add milk and cook them over medium flame stirring occasionally until the ghee leaves the sides of the pan.

4.   Finally, add the cardamom powder, saffron, food color and roasted nuts.  

Serve hot or cold.

November 16, 2016

Simple Chicken Masala

Chole masala chicken curry is my new try from Sanjeev Kapoor recipe.  It taste really delicious with rice and rotis.  Actual recipe calls for Pav Bhaji masala, instead I used Chole masala.  Perfect recipe to try this weekend !!

Ingredients :

  1. Chicken - 1 kg
  2. Oil - 4 tbsp
  3. Onion - 8 medium
  4. Garlic cloves - 12 nos
  5. Green chillies - 4 no
  6. Ginger - 1 1/2 inch
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Red chilli powder - 2 tsp
  9. Chole masala - 3 tsp
  10. Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  11. Garam masala -  2 tsp
  12. Tomato puree - 3/4 cup
  13. Cumin powder - 1 tbsp
  14. Coriander powder - 2 tsp
  15. Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  16. Fresh cream - 3 tsp
  17. Coriander leaves for garnishing

Method :

1.   Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onions and saute till tender.  Grind together garlic, green chillies and ginger with a little water to a coarse paste and add.

2.  Marinate the chicken pieces in salt, 1/2 tsp of chilly powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp garam masala powder and 1 tsp whole masala and mix well.  

3.   Add ground paste to the pan, mix well and saute.  Add tomato puree and mix well.  

4.   Add remaining whole masala, remaining red chilly powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and remaining garam masala powder.  Mix and cook.

5.   Add marinated chicken and salt to taste.  Cover and cook till done.

6.   Finally, add  cream to the chicken.  

7.   Garnish it with roasted cumin seeds and coriander leaves.

Serve with roti / rice.

November 14, 2016

Kaju Katli !!!

Kaju Katli is the most popular Indian sweet made using very few ingredients.  This expensive cashew fudge is topped with silver leaf (Warak) but I didn't get them here so not used this time.   Addition of other ingredients like saffron, rosewater, milk, cardamom are optionally used to enhance the flavour of the sweet.   Perfect during festival seasons or holiday gift.

Ingredients :
  1. Cashew nuts - 1 cup
  2. Sugar - 1/2 cup
  3. Water - 1/4 cup
  4. Ghee - 2 tsp
  5. Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp

Method :

1.   Grease the plate with ghee and set aside.

2.   Grind the cashew nuts to fine powder.

3.   Place a pan over medium heat, add water and sugar.  Cook the sugar syrup to single thread consistency which may take around 20 - 35 mins.  

4.   Add the cashew nut powder, cardamom powder in the sugar syrup and keep stirring until they thicken.

5.   Cook the mixture till they form a ball and leaving the edges of the pan.  Allow the mixture to cool slightly.  

6.   Transfer the dough into the greased pan and level them using greased spatula.  

7.   Once cooled, cut them into desired shape.

Enjoy !!!

November 11, 2016

Kothavarangai Vathal | Sun dried Cluster beans chips

This sun dried cluster beans (Guar Phali) taste great with sambar rice / curd rice.  Cluster beans are first cooked in salted water and soaked in buttermilk and sun dried them for few days.  Addition of chilly powder makes it little spicy which is totally optional.  Sun dried cluster beans can be stored in air tight container for several months.  

Ingredients :
  1. Cluster beans / Kothavarangai -  1 kg
  2. Salt to taste
  3. Water - 1 cup
  4. Butter milk - 1/2 cup
  5. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  6. Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp

Method :

1.   Clean the cluster beans and set aside.

2.   Boil the water with salt.  Add cluster beans and cook them for 5 mins.  Drain  the beans completely and dry them overnight over a kitchen towel.

3.   Next day, mix together cluster beans, butter milk, chilly powder (optional) and turmeric powder and sun dry them for 4 to 5 days or until completely dehydrated.

4.   Heat oil in the deep frying pan, add the dried cluster beans and fry them. 

Store them in the air tight container.

November 9, 2016

Homemade Black Pepper Powder !!!

Black pepper is referred as "King of Spice" is incredibly popular spice in use.  This is the third most common ingredient on nearly every table after water and salt.  Freshly ground pepper powder gives distinct flavour for any dish and its easy to make at home.

Pepper is used daily by most people and offers health benefits include relief from respiratory disorders, coughs, the common cold, constipation, indigestion, anaemia, impotency, muscular strains, dental disease, pyorrhoea, diarrhoea and hear disease.

   Image Source : OrganicFacts

Ingredients :

Black pepper corns - 1/2 cup

Method :

1.   Dry roast the black pepper until it turns light brown.  It may take 3 mins over medium heat.  

2.   Allow them to cool completely before grinding them to fine powder.

Store it in an air tight container.
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