Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mysore bah

This is the first time I have ever tried making Mysore bah at home.
When I was in Madras , there was no chance for me to prepare my favorite sweets because of its easy availability and fresh taste. But thanks to abroad life style all of us have become 'super chefs':)
I am sure all my regular readers and friends will know my schedule. So as usual here is a snack / dessert for the long weekend.
My request is do not get panic to see the measurements of oil and ghee here.
The bitter truth about Mysore bah is it contains lot and lot of oil:( I found out this while preparing this dish only. Now after making this sweet at home I am reconsidering my preference on sweets:)
Calorific value: 47 gms gives nearly 195 calories. (Reference The daily plate)
Reference:
Method from Vah chef and Ingredients from my mom's recipe note book.
Inspired by the pictures and presentations of Vibaas Besan burfi.
I am a great fan of the vah chef at vahrehvah.com. Kindly go through his videos before making this mysore bah. His procedures are wonderful and so easy to follow.

Ingredients:
Besan flour / Bengal gram flour - 1 1/4 cup (250 gms)
sugar - 2 cups
oil - 1 cup
ghee- 1/4 cup
cardamom - 3 pods (optional)

other items:
Big Non sick tawa - 1
vessel to heat oil - 1
Laddle for hot oil - 1
Long handle non stick spoon - 1
vessel for flour - 1
sieve
a plate / a cake mould.

Method:

Measure the besan flour and keep it in a broad vessel.
Heat oil and ghee together to smoky. Take a laddle of hot oil and pour to the flour.
Mix gently and remove the lumps by using a sieve. This is very important to keep the basan flour in a loose state without any lumps.
Now heat the water and sugar to boil. The consistency should be very thick enough to make soft balls if dropped in cool water.
Add the sieved besan flour little by little and stir continuously till it gets separate from the vessel.
Same time heat the oil to smoky hot and add to the hot mixture little by little.
Add hot oil in three or four intervals. You may see the flour forms a froth / bubble all over and starts to change color .
This is the perfect condition to switch off flamme.
Pour it to a plate and let it cool.
Cut in to small squares or diamond shapes.
Mysore bah is ready.

Serving suggestions:
Makes 30 pieces of size 2"x2"x2" diamond shapes. (Number may vary by height of plate and pieces size).
Serve as dessert.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

THANK YOU !!



Happy Thanks giving day everybody. Thank you my friends for all your support and encouragement. Lets spread the smile and happiness through our blogs.
Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Poori festival

I am sure all of you guys know how to make poori. But I am posting it to show some of the side dishes. May be a feast to our eyes too:)
Last weekend we had a small get-together in our house and I made poori with channa and Hotel style 'Poori kilangu'. Poori-kilangu is a famous dish in South India. Almost every restaurant will gladly present this kilangu with poori. Poori-kilanu is a non spicy potato masala curry made without much masala powders .This is the masala they keep inside paper-roast dosa to make masal dosa.

Poori:


Ingredients:
Wheat flour / Al purpose flour - 2 cups
salt - 1/2 tsp
baking soda - 1/2 tsp
water - enough to knead
oil - 300 ml (1 1/2 cup)

Method:

Mix flour, salt and baking soda in a wide vessel. Add water little by little to make a chapathi / bread dough. coat with oil and keep aside.
Do not make the dough a long time before making poori, otherwise they will absorb a lot of oil.
Divide the dough into small lemon size balls.
Then using a rolling pin , flatten each and every ball in to thin discs of diameter of your palm . keep them on plastic sheets.
Immediately heat oil and fry the flattened pooris one by one both sides.
Keep the fried pooris on paper towels to extract the left over oil.
Then serve hot with channa or potato masala.
Makes 25 number of palm size pooris.

Poori-kilangu:


This is the yummiest potato masala served with poori in South India.
Ingredients:
Potato - 4 (300 gms)
onion - 1
green chilli - 4
ginger- 2 tsp (chopped)
curry leaves - a brig
mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
channa dhal (Bengal gram) - 2 tbsp
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
oil- 2 tsp
Besan flour - 2tsp
salt - to taste

Method:
Wash and Pressure cook the potatoes . Peel the skin and cut in to big chunks.
Mash the potato as fine as possible. (some people keep it as small cubes).
Chop the onion, green chillies , curry leaves and ginger.
Heat oil in a vessel. Add channa dal and then mustard seeds.
After the mustard seeds splutter add the chopped onion, green chilli curry leaves and ginger. Saute them a while till onion gets cooked add turmeric, salt, mashed potatoes.
Check for salt. Let it get thicken.
Mix 2 tsp besan flour with 1/4 cup water and add that to the boiling potatoes.
After a minute put off stove.
Poori-kilangu masala is ready. This is the basic version prepared in Madras hotels. Some people prefer adding tomato, green peas also.
Makes 2 cups of thick gravy like potato masala.

Channa masala:


Ingredients:

Chick peas / whole channa dal - 1 cup
tomato - 1
Red onion - 2 (medium size)
green chillies - 4
coriander leaves - a handful.
mint leaves - few
curry leaves - few
curd - 1/2 cup
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
red chilli powder - 1 tbsp
turmeric powder - a pich
MTR channa masala powder - 1 tsp (optional)
salt - to taste
olive oil - 1 tbsp
cardamom - 2
cloves - 2
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
bay leaf - 1
Method:
Soak channa dal overnight and cook it to tender in a pressure cooker for 5 whistles.
After getting the first whistle ,I reduce the flame to the minimum and heat the cooker for another 10 minutes to cook this dal. You can follow this idea if you want to reduce the noise pollution:)
Grind ginger and garlic together.
Grind curd ,cardamom, cloves, cumin seeds and 1 onion together. keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan. fry some fennel seeds and bay leaf.
Add the chopped onion, green chillies ,curry leaves, cilantro and mint leaves. After the onion turns golden brown , add ginger garlic paste and saute well.
Now add cooked channa dhal with the remaining water.
Add chilli powder, turmeric powder , channa masal powder and stir well.
close the lid and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the ground curd masala and let it boil till the raw smell vanishes.
Now add salt , curd and mix well.
Using a laddle mash a few channa dhals to get a thick gravy.
Boil it for one minute and Switch off immediately .

Serving suggestions:

Goes well with parathas ,poori , roti and naan .
Makes 2 cups of channa masala.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thukkada


I am sure this is the simplest of all the snacks ,no need to to spend a lot of time or looking for rare ingredients. Still the flavor and crispy Thukkada will attract every one in the house.
It just took 20 minutes to make the entire dish .

Ingredients:

All purpose flour - 1 cup
rice flour - 1 tbsp
baking soda - 1/4 tsp
garam masala - 1 tsp
curry leaves - 1 brig (torn into pieces)
salt - 3/4 tsp (check)
chilli powder - 1 tsp
water - a little
corn oil - to deep fry (250 ml )

Method:

Mix all the above except oil and water.
Then add water little by little to make a firm chapathi dough.
Divide the dough into equal lemon size balls.
Make thin chapathis one by one and cut diamond shapes out of them.
Heat oil in a pan .
Immediately deep fry them in oil to golden color and strain them out.
Then roll out another chapathi, cut diamonds and repeat the process .
Let them cool and store in air tight box for longevity.
Serve as snacks with tea in the evenings.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Showers of awards !!

More and more awards !!!
I think this is awards mela here in our 'blog kingdom' and Some of my friends have passed me a few more awards. I am so happy and excited about these new awards.

Gita and Yasmeen have passed me the Great Buddy Award and kreative blogger award .
Thank you soo much friends, I am so honored :)
Malar Gandhi and Purva have passed me the Hard working blogger award and Kreative blogger award.
I am so happy to receive these award. Thank you friends :)

I gladly pass those awards to the following friends.
Usha from http://veginspirations.blogspot.com/
Deesha from http://vegetableplatter.blogspot.com/
Vij from http://spicesnaroma.blogspot.com/
Anu from http://mixtomatch.blogspot.com/

Jayashree has passed me the Kreative Blogger Award. Thanks a lot dear :)
I am glad to pass this award to
Vibaas from http://vibaas-world.blogspot.com/
Shama from http://easy2cookrecipes.blogspot.com/
Mahimaa from http://spicesetc.blogspot.com/
Sujatha from http://spicykhazana.blogspot.com/

Ramya and Purva have honoured me with a 360 Deg. foodie award. Thanks a lot friends:)

I am passing this award to
Malar Gandhi from http://www.kitchentantra.com/
Gita from http://gitaskitchen.blogspot.com/
Yasmeen from http://yasmeen-healthnut.blogspot.com/ yasmeen
Shama from http://easy2cookrecipes.blogspot.com/
Mahimaa from http://spicesetc.blogspot.com/
Sujatha from http://spicykhazana.blogspot.com/

Congrats friends!
I owe you all big time. All of you deserve these awards even some of you may already have received these awards. I am displaying the Great Buddy Award , 360 deg blogger award , Hard working blogger award and Kreative Blogger Award in the left side column .
Enjoy!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Venthaya kulambu (Methi spicy gravy)

Fenugreek (Methi) seeds and leaves helps in reducing the fatty tissue in our body.
Help in digestion by improving the liver function and to increase blood formation.
It has also shown results in controlling diabetes mellitus.
Soak one teaspoonful of fenugreek seeds in water overnight and this water should be consumed in empty stomach in the morning for controlling Blood Sugar.
So it is good to add it in our daily cooking in some form.
From the link :

Medicinal value of fenugreek

I love this venthaya kulambu for its lovely flavor and simplicity. Many families will have their own recipe for this venthaya kulambu and I am sure every one's version will be yummier than the other.
And here is the Tirunelveli (my native place) version.

Ingredients:
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Tamarind - 1/4 lemon size
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tspn
small white or green Brinjal- 3 nos
cury leaves - 1 brig
onion - 1 small
Tomato - 1 small
Hing - a pinch (optional)
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp

venthaya kulambu masala:

Fenugreek seeds- 1tbsp
cumin - 1/4 tsp
Thoor dal (Red gram) - 2 tbsp
Dry chilli - 4
shredded Coconut - 1 tbsp

Method:
Heat oil in a pan.
Add Fenugreek seeds, Thoor dal, cumin,Dry chillies and fry till it turns golden brown. Then add shredded coconut.
Fry to get golden color.Cool the mixture and grind this to a powder.
Soak Tamarind in hot water and extract juice. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan.
Splutter the Mustard seeds and add chopped onion and fry till it becomes brown.
Then add curry leaves and chopped tomato.
Fry the tomato till it becomes tender.
Then goes the tamarind extract ,turmeric powder, Salt and brinjal.
Cook every thing till the brinjal gets cooked.
Then add the ground venthaya kulambu masala and let it boil for 3 minutes.
Venthaya kulambu is ready.

Serving suggestions:
Goes fine with rice and chapathi.
If served with rice , paruppu usili can be a good combo.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Milk Porridge / Paal Kanchi.

Porridge is otherwise called poor man's food. But there are a few exceptional porridges too. One of a such kind is the Milk porridge.
I find it easy to cook and digest whenever we have a great snack in the evening.
This is a one pot meal (Needs just only one pot for the entire cooking). In this time I should admit a fact that most of the traditional recipes in India or any country were cooked by using only one pot. The history of one pot cooking is a very interesting one.Nowadays , thanks to the line / batch manufacturing techniques, we get a wide range of vessels.

Let us relish the Medicinal value and goodness of this porridge.
*It is easy to digest and helps to get a 'good night' sleep.
*People recovering from fever and strong medications can have this porridge.
*People with dietary concern can replace rice with cracked wheat.
*Good diuretic, as cumin seeds helps this.
*Dietitians recommend this porridge without sugar for people with heart diseases ,as garlic has such a healing power.

Ingredients:
Rice - 3/4 cup (150 gms)
cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds(Methi) - 1/2 tsp
Garlic - 10 pods
water - 1 cup
Milk - 2 cups
sugar - 1/3 cup (optional)
salt - 1/4 tsp

Method:
Choose any rice like Basmathi / sona masoori/ Jeeraga samba.
In a dry mixie jar, coarsely grind rice with methi seeds.
Transfer the powdered rice to a vessel with lid.
Add salt and Cook them with water and milk .
Care should be taken while cooking , as rice may tend to form bubbles and spill.
After the rice gets cooked add cumin seeds, chopped garlic and sugar.
Then cook it in low heat for 5 minutes and turn off heat.
The consistency should be like a soup.
Milk porridge is ready.

Serving suggestions:

This can be Served as a mild & non stuffy dinner during festival times.
Serve hot in soup bowls with sesame / mint chutney.
One spoon of porridge and then goes a pinch of chutney..This is how I like it.
The quantity given above will be enough to serve 2 adults.

Milk porridge goes to Rice Mela.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Its Award time !!!

I think it is award time here and awards are flowing.
I am so glad when Sreesha of Mom's recipes has selected me to pass the following awards . Thank you dear for choosing me.

1. Friendship award.
2. Butterfly award.
3. Chocoholic award.
4. Good Job award.
5. Inspiration award.

Thank You Sreesha for your encouragement.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Black gram sweet ball. (Ulunthan kali)

The ulunthangali is a traditional food prepared in villages of Tamilnadu.
People make this ulunthankali as a healthy breakfast for girls who attains puberty. They mix this kali (sweet ball) with gingelly / sesame oil as garnishing layer. Moreover everyone can consume this for its high nutrition and fibre content.
This is considered to be a wholesome food and so it is served as breakfast. (But I prepare it for an early dinner too). Actually people use dry powdered blackgram and rice flour.
But I have tweaked it with germinated whole black gram (urid dhal) and substituted palm jaggery (not available here) with ordinary jaggery.
It is believed that palm jaggery can be safely used in small amounts even by diabetic people .



Ingredients:
whole Black gram - 1 cup
fenugreek / methi seeds - 1 tbsp
rice flour - 2 tbsp
jaggery - 1 cup
garlic pearls - 6
Gingelly oil - 2 tbsp

Method:

Wash and soak black gram and methi seeds together in water overnight (10 hours).
Grind the soaked black gram with methi seeds to a fine paste.
Heat 2 cups of water and jaggery.
(If you are lucky enough to get palm jaggery , then use that instead of jaggery).
Let it dissolve. Filter any dirt present.
Mix the jaggery solution with rice flour and ground black gram mixture.
Add chopped garlic. Then heat them in slow fire with constant stirring.
After the black gram gets cooked , the raw smell will disappear and the gali starts leaving the vessel like haalwa.
Then add gingelly oil and mix well.
Ulunthangali is ready.

Serving suggestions:

Garnish with Gingelly oil and Serve hot as breakfast.

This recipe is reaching FIC : Purple & Black .

An award

I much surprised and thrilled when my friend Shama Nagarajan presented me this Inspiring award.
Thank you shama.
I will pass on this award to my blogger friends who have inspired me a lot.
Actually it is much difficult to choose a few , but i love all my friends who encourage me to develop my blog by their valuable comments and suggestions.So I tried to pass this award to as many as possible.

sunshine mom

The cooker

Plantain leaf

Purvas Daawat

Spice club

Ruchi

Kitchen Tantra

Health nut

Passion for cooking

Veg Inspiration

Gita's kitchen

Kailas kitchen

Indian cooking

Vibaas world

Mahimaa's Kitchen

Taste of Mysore

Vegetable Platter

Matt

cookery corner

Adlak's tiny world


Congrats friends!
You can share this award with the bloggers you like.
Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Carrot cake and some celebrations

Today Mr. Barack Obama has been elected as the 44th President of USA. So I am dedicating this posting for his Victory.

Coming back to our carrot cake,
As soon as we arrived here ,hubby and myself decided to taste all the cakes of USA :)
We started with this carrot cake and our journey towards this carrot cake aisle has now become a non stop one.
Then I gathered some courage and tried baking one carrot cake for our wedding day.
As a trial version I baked one carrot cake two days before and got succeeded .Immediately we shared with friends and finished it off :)
Then I became more confident and baked another one with icing also.
This is my trial piece in icing , so kindly bear with my icing :)
Usually in bakeries , they start the mixture from the All purpose flour. But I have simplified the original recipe by using a cake mix ( Bakers' choice brand - moist white cake mix).
Almost all carrot cakes are decorated with the image of a carrot . But I have tried making some orange color flowers.
Mostly American carrot cakes are decorated with cream cheese icing . But I used butter cream icing.
You can use ready made icing too.


Ingredients:
Any brand 'moist white' cake mix - 1/2 of 1 lb pack.
water - 1/2 cup (half of the amount said in the pack, as the carrot , pineapple will release some water)
Powdered cinnamon - 2 tsp
vegetable oil - 1/3 cup
egg - 1
cocoa powder - 1 tsp
orange peels - 2 tbsp
vanilla extract - 1 tsp
shredded carrots - 1 cup
Shredded coconuut - 1/2 cup
chopped walnuts - 1/2 cup
crushed pineapple in can (drained)- 1/2 of a 8 oz can.

For Butter cream icing:

Unsalted butter - 1/2 bar (5 tbsp)
confectionary sugar - 2 cups
milk - 1 tbsp
vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Food colors like orange , yellow and green

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
Mix water, oil, eggs and vanilla using in a blender / mixie.
Add cake mix flour, cinnamon and run the mixer again to get a smooth batter.
Pour the batter to a broad bowl.
Add the carrots, coconut, walnuts and pineapple and mix well with a spoon.
Pour into a round pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 - 40 minutes..
Allow to cool and turn it upside down.

Frosting:
Mix softened butter with confectionary sugar, milk and vanilla essence.
This can be of a thick conssistency like a murukku flour.
Keep 1/2 cup icing separate , to add color.
Spread the white icing uniformly all over the cake by using a knife or icing tool.
Mix colors to the remaining icing .
Then decorate the cake with color icing using the icing cone.
If you do not have an icing cone then fill the colors to small zip lock covers , cut a small opening at a corner and decorate the cake.
The ultimate carrot cake is ready!

Note: The above said quantity is enough to make one round cake of 2 inch height.
So , double the quantity to bake 2 rounds .
Adding 2 tbsp of chocolate cake mix will enhance the taste.
Adding orange juice instead of water will make the cake more flavorful.


Serving suggestions:

Refrigerate the cake and serve chill as dessert.
The quantity given above is enough to make one round cake and a heart shaped cup cake.

I am sending this recipe to JFI : Carrots hosted at The cooker

From scratch:
350 deg F , 30 - 35 min, Two rectangular pan.

3 cups shredded carrots
1 cups cooking oil
2 cup sugars
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
4 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Soft Chapathi and Green gram curry

Chapathi / roti is the staple food of North Indians .It is served as a main course meal with many healthy side dishes like dhal , kuruma etc.Making soft chapathi is really a great art. I envy those people who make chapthies that tear like a soft cotton. Because I was always bad at making chapathies .I tried adding curd, milk, bananas and even baking soda.But my chapathies were so stiff like pappads till I get the advice of Purva Desai of Purvas Daawat on the art of kneading the dough.It was much helpful.
In addition I googled and came out with a Gujarathis' technique on flattening the chapthi.They divide a chapathi dough into two pieces and roll one over another to get a layered texture.
Nowadays my chapthies are coming out as soft as a bread and I am sharing the secrets I got.

Ingredients:
wheat flour - 2 cups
salt - a pinch
olive oil- 3 tbsp
water - 3/4 cup (varies)

other Items needed
:
roti rolling pin,
a flat clean surface
a wet clean towel
thick dosa tawa (Always use a separate tawa for roti/ chapathi making.Otherwise you may not be getting dosa easily. ),
a spatula
A wide shallow vessel, .
a small piece of cloth rolled into a ball shape to press the chapathi.

Method:

Mix wheat flour with salt well.(buy the whole wheat flour in any Indian grocery store).
Add water little by little and knead a soft ball.
Beat it and knead for 2 minutes.
If you touch the dough , it should not stick to the fingers.This is the consistency.
Then coat the dough ball with little oil. Keep it inside the vessel. (Cover with cling wrap (or)
Take a clean towel, soak it in water and squeeze all the water.
Cover the top of the vessel with the wet towel ).
Keep the set up for 1 hour.
Then divide the dough in to equal portions of the size of a big lemon.
Take one ball, divide it into two portion.
Roll each one into smooth balls.
Keep some wheat flour in a wide bowl.
Dip the ball in flour and flatten it using the rolling pin to make thin circular chapathies.
Heat the tawa , and place the uncooked chapthi over it.
Sprinkle few drops of oil on chapati.
Flip it immediately and gently press once with the ball shaped cloth (or spatula) uniformly.
After 1 minute take out the chapathi and store it in closed vessel like a casserole / hot box.
The steam produced by the hot chapthies inside the vessel makes the chapathies more soft.
Serve hot with any curry / subzi.
Makes 10 chapathies.

Green Gram curry:


Ingredients:

Whole green gram - 1 cup
tomato - 1
red onion - 1/2
Garlic - 3 pearls
ginger - 1 inch
cilantro - a handful
mint leaf - a handful
chilli powder - 1 tsp
coriander powder -1 tsp
channa masala mix (or)
any Biryani masala - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
salt - to taste
oil- 1 tbsp

Method:
soak the green gram in water overnight (or) 12 hours and let it germinate.
Cook the sprouted green gram in boiling water for 5 minutes.
Grind onion, ginger, garlic , cilantro and mint leaf together.
Heat oil in a kadai
Add fennel seeds and let it turn red.
Then goes the ground mixture.
Stir fry the mixture till the raw smell goes.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook it.
Then add all the powders given along with cooked green gram and salt.
Cook it and mash a little to get a thick curry.
Green gram curry is ready.

Serving suggestions:
Garnish the curry with chopped raw onion and Serve it hot with soft chapathi/ roti.

Update (Dec 7, 2010):
 Recently I started adding luke warm water instead  of cold water  while kneading the dough.  By adding warm water, we can avoid adding oil to knead the dough. Make the dough as said above and it can be used to make chapathi immediately. Take a small ball out of the dough , dip it in dry wheat flour and start rolling out into thin circles. It will give very soft chapathis. 

 (The left over dough should be coated with a little oil and wrap with cling wrap / plastic cover and kept in fridge for further use.  we can make this dough in morning / night and keep refrigerated for next time use also).