Oct 30, 2009

How to make cabbage rice- easy and quick

I make varieties of rice almost with anything and everything, but am surprised that only a few have found their way to the blog. I hope to post more of them in future. This one is so simple and takes only a few minutes to make and goes well with curds or raitha.
cabbage rice
Ingredients-
Rice-2 cups
Cabbage-250gms (shredded)
Onion- 1 sliced
Ginger-1' crushed
Garlic- 2 to 3 cloves crushed
Green chillies- 2 chopped fine
Turmeric powder- 1tsp
Coriander powder-2tsp
Garam masala- 1tsp
Mustard-1tsp
Cumin seeds/jeera-1tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 2-3tsp

Method-
Cook the rice and ensure that each grain is seperate.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard and cumin seeds. Add the green chillies, ginger and garlic and then the onions and saute till onions turn translucent. Then mix in the cabbage along with the spices and salt. Saute till the cabbage is cooked. Now mix this well with the cooked rice till the rice is coated well with the spices.
Serve with plain curd or raitha.

Oct 28, 2009

Pineapple upside down Cake

Making this kind of cake was in my mind for a long time. After a long gap, I set to bake a cake since I had all the ingredients and suddenly when I spotted a tray of freshly cut pineapple in my refrigerator, I decided it was going to be a Pineapple upside down cake. It came out great and tasted delicious too. I used the usual cake recipe I use for most of my cakes and it really works. The cake was just perfect and spongy and now I am more confident of the basic recipe.

pineapple upside down cakeIngredients-
Plain flour- 2 cups
Baking powder- 4tsps
Baking soda - 1tsp
Eggs- 2
Oil- 1/2cup
Milk-1/4 cup
Pineapple essence-1tsp(I used vanilla)
Sugar- 1 cup+1tbsp(I used fine white sugar, but you can use soft brown sugar instead)
Pineapple slices or rings- I used halved slices.

pineapple upside down cakeMethod-
Grease your cake tin with butter or oil. Sprinkle a layer of sugar on the tin. Arrange the pineapple slices to fill up the tin.
Now beat the eggs till frothy. Add the oil and milk. Mix well. Now combine the sugar and essence and mix well.
Combine the dry ingredients together and then mix it with wet ingredients mixture gradually. Now pour this batter gently into the cake tin containing the pineapple slices .
Bake this in a preheated oven at 180c for about 35 minutes.
Cool the cake for 5 minutes and loosen the edges and invert it on a wire rack.

pineapple upside down cake

Oct 26, 2009

Vegetable Uthapam

Its more often nowadays, that I make idli /dosa batter , sounds tedious, but then you can be completely relaxed when you have the batter in hand. There are so many things which you can make with it without having to spend much of your precious time in the kitchen. So apart from the usual dosas and idlis , one of these days, I tried making the vegetable uttapam for breakfast. And the colourful beauties were enjoyed by all. You can use your choice of vegetables like cabbage or just sliced onions and green chillies. You can make this for your kids too with their favourite vegetables!!!
veg uthapamIngredients-
Idli rice- 1cup
Raw rice- 2 cups
whole udid dal(white)- 1cup
Salt to taste
Your choice of vegetables- I used capsicum, carrots coriander and fresh red chillies- cut into long pieces
Gingelly oil- As required

Method-
Soak the rice and udid dal seperately. First grind the udid dal to a smooth paste. Then grind the rice to a smooth paste.Combine them together. Add salt and mix well. Keep it overnight (8 hours) preferably and allow it it ferment. Your batter is ready.
Now heat oil in the pan. Add the chopped vegetables, add salt and stir fry them till they become tender.
Heat a dosa pan. Pour a ladleful of batter onto the pan and spread by rolling them into a circle with base of the ladle.Add little oil on the edges. Add the vegetables on the top and gently press it into the batter. When the base is cooked and is golden brown, turn and flip with a spatula and cook on the other side too. Serve hot with sambar and chutney.

veg uthapam

Oct 23, 2009

How to make Phirni - Indian Rice pudding recipe

        Pal payasam/Kheer/rice pudding is an exclusive Indian dessert mostly prepared during festive occasions. As I had mentioned in my previous mail that vadai and payasam is certainly made during any Tamil festival. I had made this payasam for Deepavali lunch.
         There are various ways people prepare this dessert. Some use precooked rice and then add it to the milk. Some use soaked rice and then cook it along with the milk.
       This time,I prepared it in a slightly different manner. I made it in the north indian style called phirni where the rice is broken to a semolina like consistency.
       It was really delicious. I love it chilled!!


Ingredients-
Rice- 1/2 cup
Milk- 500 ml
Sugar-3/4 cup to 1 cup
Cashews- 5
Almonds- 5
Ghee-1tsp
Cardamom powder-a pinch
Kesar/saffron- few strands


Method-
Soak the rice for an hour.
Drain the water.
Add a spoon of milk.
Then grind it to a coarse paste(consistency of fine rava).
Heat a pan and add ghee. Fry the nuts till they turn golden brown
Boil the milk. Add the rice paste.
Add the sugar.
Add the cardamom powder and kesar.
Keep stirring till the rice gets cooked and the volume of milk slightly reduces and the whole mixture thickens.
Add the roasted nuts.
  Serve hot or chilled.




rice payasam

Oct 22, 2009

Parappu vadai or dal vada

No festive lunch in Tamilnadu is said to be complete without Vadai (vada) and payasam (kheer). Though I never cook an elaborate lunch, I was quite eager to do so for this Diwali. So the lunch menu was of course parappu vadai and pal payasam along with drumstick sambar, tomato rasam, podalangai(snakegourd) kootu, beans poriyal, fried appalams and rice. I was really busy to take a picture of the whole thali this time. But for those who are interested can see a post on Tamil festive lunch here.
parappu vadai
Ingredients-

Tuvar dal- 1/2cup
Channa dal- 1cup
Udid dal- 1tbsp
Dried red chillies- 6-7
Curry leaves- 1 sprig
Salt- to taste
Hing/asafoetida- a pinch
Oil for deep frying

Method-
Soak the dals for atleast 3 hours. Then add the red chillies and grind the soaked dal to a coarse paste without adding water.
Now add the hing, curry leaves and salt and mix well. Heat the oil for deep frying.
On a thick plastic sheet, put a drop of oil. Take a small portion of batter on the platic sheet and flatten it to form a small thick disc. Deep fry them in hot oil till they turn a golden brown.
Serve hot.

Oct 20, 2009

Mixed fruit pancakes- a fruity indulgence (using atta

Who doesn't like to start a day with a yummy and healthy breakfast. Breakfasts are supposed to be nutritious ,filling and balanced. And pancakes is indeed a filling one and could be made healthy with the proper ingredients, full of goodness. Though I would love to have them with just honey or maple syrup, this time I used a mixture of fruits for that extra indulgence and it tasted just wonderful !!

mixed fruit pancakesIngredients

For Pancakes-
Whole wheat flour/atta- 1 1/2cup
Oats- 1/2 cup
Milk- 1 cup+a little more if the batter is too thick.
Egg- 1
Baking powder- 1tsp
Baking soda-1/2tsp
Sugar- 2tbsp

For fruits
Mixed fruits of your choice-I used apple, banana, plums,orange- Cut into small pieces
Sugar- 1tbsp

Method-

For the Pancakes-
Combine the dry ingredients together. Beat the egg and mix with milk. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together to form a uniform batter. Keep aside for half an hour. Now heat a non stick pan. Pour a ladle full of batter on the pan. After it gets cooked on one side, flip and allow to cook on the other side.

For the fruits-
Heat a pan. Add the cut fruits and sugar. Mix well and allow to cook till they turn a little soft.
Serve the pancakes stacked on each other with the fruit sauce in between them.

I am sending them to Cooking for kids- wheat event hosted by Sireesha , an event started by Sharmi of neivedyam.

Oct 15, 2009

Besan puri ladoo recipe- besan ladoo made differently- step by step pictures

Besan ladoo is usually made by roasting the gram flour or besan for sometime and then mixing with sugar syrup. But this method of preparation is totally different and I learned to make this from a Maharashtrian friend of mine. I am not usually too fond of besan ladoo, but when made this way , it tastes really good and different and I have noticed that even people who hate sweets in general simply fall in love with this one.
I made this for diwali. I was not too keen in making lot of sweets this year,thanks to the increasing waist lines. But after making this one and discussions with friends(like what they made and sharing recipes), the diwali fervour has set in and now I am in a mood to try some more sweets and savouries. Why not? After all, Diwali just comes once a year. Isn't it?
Hope you enjoy making this one and I am sure the step by step pictures will be quite useful.

besan ladoo
Ingredients-

Besan/gram flour- 1 1/2 cup
Sugar- 1 1/2 cup
Cashew- 8 broken to pieces
Cardamom powder- 1/2tsp
Ghee or oil for deep frying

Method-

Make a dough with the gram flour adding some water and some oil.
Make small balls of the dough and then roll each ball into a circle. Appy some oil on the surface before rolling them, this will prevent them from tearing.
Now deep fry the circles or puris in oil or ghee till they are golden brown.
Tear the puris to small pieces.
Use a blender to grind the pieces to a coarse powder.
Now make the sugar syrup. Add the sugar along with 3/4the cup water and keep stirring in medium flame. Stir till it turns sticky and then till you get a one string consistency.(I forgot to take pictures while making the sugar syrup)
besan ladooRoast some cashews in ghee and add to the ground powder. Add the sugar syrup as required. Combine everything together and keep mixing with you fingers till it absorbs the syrup. See if you able to make it into a ball , if not add some more syrup. The ground flour at this point should be little moist , but not sticky.

Now roll them into small balls or ladoos.

Want one??
besan ladooI am sending them to the following events-
1.Diwali contest 2009' by Priya of Priya'feast
2. Festive food -Diwali dhamaka by purva
3. Sanghi FIL- ghee event
4. Sireesha's sweet series event
Have a safe and wonderful Diwali. Enjoy!!!

Oct 12, 2009

Vathal kuzhumbu recipe--How to make vetral/vatha kuzhumbu- Tamilian's comfort food

   Ask a Tamilian and he would say vathal kuzhumbu and "chutta appalam"(roasted papads) is the most comfort food for him!!!!
Basically this is a gravy with a blend of spices along with some vathals (dried vegetables) or sometimes even fresh vegetables. It is believed to have medicinals values.
Dried vegetables like sundakkai (turkey berry) or manathakali (sunberry)are used. Even shallots and drumsticks are sometimes added in this gravy. There are many other varieties too.I have given a list in the ingredients section.
Vathal kuzhumbu is usually prepared in large quantities because you can store this for a long time. Infact the taste gets even better the next day.
It has been a long time since I posted a tamil recipe. There are lot of new recipes to be explored into. So till then, do try making this gravy. A perfect comfort food!!

vathal kuzhumbuIngredients-
Tuvar dal/tuvaram parappu- 2tsp
Channa dal/kadala parappu- 2tsp
Udid dal- 1tsp
Dried red chillies- 5 to 8 nos.
Whole pepper- 1/2tsp
Curry leaves- 1 sprig
Tomato - 1 small
Garlic- 3-4 cloves
Tamarind-1 lime sized lump
Turkey berry/sundakkai(1/2 cup) or shallots(1 cup) or drumsticks(1 chopped into 2"pieces) or onions(1 chopped long) or brinjals(2-3 chopped in cubes)- According to your choice
Gingelly oil-1/2tbsp
Mustard- 1tsp
Salt to taste
Asafoetida- a pinch

Method-
Heat some oil in a pan. Add the dals/parappu/lentils , dried red chillies and pepper.
Roast till the dal turn golden brown. Allow it to cool.
Then add the curry leaves , tomatoes and garlic.
Grind it to a fine paste along with tamarind.
Heat some more oil.
Add the mustard .After it crackles, add your choice of dried or fresh vegetables(as mentioned in the ingredients list above. Add salt and asafoetida. Add the ground paste. Add 2 cups of water(rinse the blender and add that water too into this).  Mix well and cook till the gravy thickens. It will take around 10-15 minutes.
Serve with hot rice and roasted appalams/papads.
You can add more sesame oil to the rice after mixing with vathal kuzhumbu.

I found some interesting vathal kuzhumbu (other than those which I have already listed above) in the blogosphere. So thought of sharing it with you all if you havent already seen.

1. Orange peel vathal kuzhumbu
2. Sweet pumpkin vathal kuzhumbu
3. Thamarai thandu vathal kuzhumbu
4. Appalam vathalkuzhumbu

Oct 8, 2009

Adhraki dum aloo- simple yet delicious

Being in India was so much fun. I enjoyed meeting and visiting friends. I got to learn new dishes from them which I promptly noted down to be put in my blog. One was baafle which I have already shared with you all and has been the most viewed recipe in Creative saga. There are many more recipes to tried and tasted yet.This particular recipe, which I was quite eager to try out is adhraki dum aloo. I had this at a friend's place for dinner. I was quite amazed by the simplicity of the dish. The recipe involves only a few ingredients and is so simple to make and the outcome is too good. I especially loved the taste of ginger which is the key ingredient of the recipe.
adhraki aloo
Ingredients

Potatoes- 4-6 big ones deskinned and cut in half or use baby potatoes
Ginger- 2 finger sized pieces grated /or ground to paste in a blender.(about 1/2 a cup)
Curd- 1cup
Turmeric powder- 1tsp
red chilly powder- 1tsp
coriander powder- 1tsp
garam masala- 1tsp
Salt to taste
Oil-1tbsp+1tsp
Cumin seeds- 1tsp
fennel seeds- 1tsp

Method-
Pressure cook the potatoes till soft. Heat 1tbsp of oil in a pan. Add the boiled potatoes. Let the oil coat well on them and fry till golden brown. Keep aside.
Heat 1tsp of oil in a pan. Add the cumin and fennel seeds and then then the ginger. Saute for a minute. Add rest of the spices along with the curd. Cook in low flame till the spices combines with the curd and thickens and then add the processed potatoes. Mix well so that the potatoes combines with the gravy properly. Cook for few more minutes and remove from flame.
Serve with rotis.

Oct 6, 2009

How did I have my maggi one day?

With broccoli .... Another post which has been in my draft for sometime. Broccoli is something which is really healthy and should be an essential part of your diet. I buy them almost every week and use it in a soup or mixed veg . curry or pulao etc etc, though am not really too fond of its taste.
I thought of experimenting with it this time instead of usual thing. And combining it with maggi came to my mind. Maggi noodles is always a favourite and saviour during those days when you dont feel like cooking anything great. Of course, maggi will make you eat the broccoli too!!!

broccoli maggi soup Ingredients-
Broccoli- 200gms chopped
maggi noodles- 1 packet
Onion-1 finely chopped
Ginger garlic green chilly paste- 1tsp
Salt to taste
Vegetable stock cube- 1
Oil- 1tsp
maggi taste maker/the spice which comes along with the maggi noodles

Method-
Heat some oil and add the ginger green chilly garlic paste. Saute and add the onions.Fry till they appear translucent. Add the broccoli with salt and the stock. Cook till broccoli turns soft. Cool and blend the mixture in a blender.Add this mixture in a pan. Add around 4 cups of water. Add the maggi along with the tastemaker in this and allow the noodles to cook and mix well with the broccoli soup(for around 5 minutes). Serve hot.

Oct 5, 2009

I am back with some delicious naans-using atta

naan Yes , its almost a fortnight that there has been some silence from my side. Well, the thing is I am back to Singapore after a long trip to India. I had a lovely break, just relaxing and having a great time travelling and meeting with friends and family. Indeed , it was a much needed vacation. I feel so good and refreshed. And now I am all set to try out some new recipes and continue with some serious blogging too. Though I havent cooked anything worth blogging in this last few days, I had some naans waiting in my drafts to be posted. I remember making this some couple of months back for a weekend lunch. They had tasted so good and am dying to try them once again. I had referred here for the recipe though I modified it a bit for my convinience.
naanIngredients-

Whole wheat flour- 1cup
Maida/plain flour/all purpose flour- 1cup
Dry yeast- 1tsp
Salt-1tsp
Sugar-1tsp
Baking soda-A pinch
Oil-2tbsp
Curd-2 1/2 tbsp
Lukewarm water-3/4cup
Butter/ghee-1tsp
Flour for dusting
naan
Method

Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water and leave aside for 10 minutes till it becomes frothy. Add sugar ,salt and baking soda to the flour and mix well. Mix oil and yogurt and add it to the flour. Add the yeast mixture to it and knead it to a soft dough. Cover the dough and keep in a warm place for 2 to 3 hours. Dough should double in volume.
Heat oven to 200c. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes and divide it into 2 equal parts. Roll into 8'' oval shape , not too thin or too thick. Lightly wet your palms and place them in to the oven. You can also sprinkle some sesame seeds on them before baking. ( I simply placed the naans on a shallow baking dish, you can use a pizza stone if you have it.)
Cook for around 5 minutes till they appear a little brown on top. Remove from oven and apply some ghee or butter on it.
Serve hot with some subji or dal. I served mine with palak paneer.

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