Inviting you all to Viki's kitchen in facebook too. Also welcoming you all to visit my arts and hobbies page in facebook.. Have a nice day !

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Frosted Sugar cookies


I prepared this frosted sugar cookies for the Christmas feast.
I chose to make butter cream icing in advance and refrigerated it for easy handling.
It is like an easy breeze to make and great for kids.

Ingredients:
granulated sugar - 1 cup
unsalted butter - 1 cup
milk -3 tablespoon
vanilla essence -1teaspoon
egg-1
all purpose flour-3 cup
baking powder-1 1/2 teaspoon
salt 1/2 teaspoon
sugar a little to sprinkle.

Method:
Beat the egg , milk, and vanilla essence .
In a large bowl, combine sugar, butter with the beaten egg mixture.Blend well.
Add flour, baking powder and salt to the mixture and make it into a dough.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour for easier handling.
Preheat oven to 400 F .
Make small balls and flaten them on silverfoil or ungreased cookie sheet over the oven tray.
( place each cookie 1 inch apart)
sprinkle sugar over the cookies before baking.
Bake at 400 F for 5-9 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.
Immediately remove from cookie sheets and decorate as desired.
Makes 6 dozen cookies.


Frosting:

Unsalted butter - 1/2 bar (5 tbsp)
confectionery sugar - 2 cups
milk - 1 tbsp
cookie sprinkles - 1/2 cup
vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Cool the cookies completely before frosting.
Mix softened butter with confectionery sugar, milk and vanilla essence.
This can be of a thick consistency like a chapathi dough.
Spread the white icing uniformly all over the cookies by using a knife or icing tool.
Then decorate the cookies with sprinkles .

Frosted sugar cookies is ready!
Store them in air tight box and it will last for a month.

Frosted sugar cookies goes to FIC : White event in Yummy food.

Malar of Kitchen Tantra has tagged me for this baking event. Thanks for tagging me for this noble cause dear.

The following is quoted from the Breadline Africa Bake-Off site:
On 15 October, we launched The Breadline Africa Worldwide Blogger Bake Off. The Blogger Bake Off is an online campaign that challenges blogger to get involved by baking bread, and then acting by donating to end poverty. And then, challenge their readers and five other blogger to do the same.With the money raised, we will be supporting grass roots community projects aimed at ending poverty and hunger in Africa. We’ll be placing container kitchens, vegetable gardens and more in poor communities, sending emergency food relief where needed
and helping these poor communities to help themselves.

The rules for blogger are outlined below:

If you are tagged, copy and paste the rules into your post.
Bake bread, do something you would’t normally do, and blog about it. Upload your picture and recipe.
Give dough, donate to Breadline Africa and help us end poverty.
Tag five blogger, and ping us so we know you’ve done so.

The person who raises the most funds will get to name a Breadline Africa community kitchen and win $500 Amazon Vouchers.
There are also three minor prizes of $250 Amazon vouchers for people who receive the most votes in the following categories: Most Unusual Recipe; Most Nutritious Recipe and Most Traditional Recipe.
Breadline Africa is a registered charity in South Africa that is seeking to put an end to poverty in South Africa and further afield in Africa. Their aim is to break the cycle of poverty and help communities to achieve long term self-sustainability. Breadline Africa was founded in 1993 by social workers and communities in South Africa with minded colleagues in Europe, (who were well placed to source out donations). They are geared to help fund small ground level projects in Africa which are most likely to succeed with financial help.

On Blog Action Day Breadline Africa launched their Worldwide Blogger Bake-Off campaign. The aim is to raise $1 million in funds for a project to convert shipping containers into locations for food production and distribution in Africa. It is hoped that these sustainable community kitchens will not only provide food such as bread and soup to those in need, but also opportunities for skills development within poor communities.This bake-off gives us baking blogger the power to make a difference in this world. What do we do? Bake bread. Give Dough. Feed Africa. Vals says, "You can sign up for the campaign, make a donation, upload your bread recipes and document your culinary adventures in the media center to spread the word. You don't have to donate money but simply just mention the campaign and create awareness."

I am tagging 5 of my friends for this event.
Premy
Saraswathy
Usha Nandhini
Akal's saapadu
Shama
Best wishes my friends!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Wheat Halwa


While talking about wheat halwa , many will not be aware of its varieties.
There are two kinds of wheat halwa.
One made in a glossy form called Tirunelveli halwa and the other an opaque one.
The glossy Tirunelveli Halwa requires samba wheat (a red color wheat), more soaking time and a lot of ghee.
I did not plan in advance to make an halwa , so I could not make a Tirunelveli halwa. Instead I prepared the ordinary wheat halwa that can be seen in any other part of India.

Ingredients:

Ordinary Whole wheat (wheat grains) - 1 lb
Sugar - 4 cups
lemon - 1/2
Cardamom - 4 nos
Ghee + oil - 1 cup
Red food-color - 1 pinch
Cashew - 1/2 cup chopped (garnishing)

Method:

Wash and soak the wheat for 12 hours. (overnight)
Next morning grind it in a blender by adding 1 cup of water. Spread a muslin cloth over a sieve and Strain repeatedly to get milk.
Grind again with some water and strain again till we end up with the husk.
Let it stand undisturbed for 6 hours. Thick milk gets settled at the bottom.
Take the clear lean milk above . Use both milks and discard the sediment.
Add lime juice, sugar, red color (not necessary) and mix well with the wheat milk.
Pour it in to a thick bottomed pan and heat till the liquid starts to solidify.
Then reduce flame and keep stirring continuously.
Add the ghee+ oil when the halwa starts thickening. Add the cardamom powder. Mix well.
Cook till you can roll the halwa into a ball with your fingers.
Add chopped cashews along with the hot halwa and switch off flame.
Spread on a greased plate and allow to cool .Then cut it into desired shape.

Wheat halwa is ready !

Wheat halwa goes to celebrate the Christmas feast event with Purva.

I would like to thank my friend Varsha for passing me this cute award.

Thank you Varsha!
I pass this award to my friends below.

Premy's cakes

Akal's saapadu

Usha Nandhini

Saraswathy


Congrats!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008

Merry Christmas Friends!
On 24 th evening we celebrated the Christmas mass in the 'Our Lady of Peace Church'of NJ .
The church was decorated with a lot of Christmas trees .The 'Nativity scene ' describing the birth of Jesus was enchanting. Oh! there are no words to describe a Christmas eve...The poinsettia plants(a plant with red color bracts/leaves at tip) around every corner, stars and lights, the children waiting for santa's gifts (we too) , people clad in red coats (conspicuous color of the Christmas), the marvelous songs of the choir , ... wonderful experience for me :)
I prepared some sweets like fruit cake , wheat halwa and sugar cookies for the festival. We celebrated Christmas in a very simple but cheerful manner along with some friends. I am very glad that the Turkey biryani turned out good and the chicken fry did not consume much energy and oil. (I baked and broiled it...saved a lot of time.). Here are some snaps. Recipes coming soon....
Happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Plum Cake

Wish You all a 'Merry Christmas' and a prosperous NEW YEAR!
In India , during the Christmas we used to buy and distribute these rich plum cakes as gifts to our friends. This cake even without any frosting enjoys the center of attraction for everyone there. I have been longing to taste this fruit cake after coming here. But couldn't get that flavor.while googling I came across Cham's Fruit cake and Prema's Plum cake recipes. So I thought of trying it for this season. As a trial , I baked one and got it a big hit.


To my surprise , the end result was very similar to the Plum cakes sold in Tuticorin and Tirunelveli bakeries.

Chams and Premas recipes were much useful .Other than my variation, it is completely their recipe and I am just recording it for my future use.

I.For caramelizing
sugar-1/4 cup
water - 1tbsp + 1/2 cup
Add sugar and 1 tbsp water keep in stove at low to medium heat. When the sugar starts to turn brown , stir slowly .The sugar will start to change color from light brown to dark. In between , keep in microwave the water for 1 min and warm it. When the sugar starts to turn brown , pour slowly the warm water. Be cautious , as it may splutter .
Plum cake recipe:

My first fruit cake:) 2008 Christmas.
Ingredients
All purpose flour (maida)- 1 1/4 cup
sugar- 3/4 cup
butter- 1 stick (8 tbsp butter = 1/2 cup oil)
(I used 1/2 cup olive oil)
dried fruits-(dates, raisins, dried cherries,plums,pears, prunes and apricots)- 1 cup
dried nuts-(almonds, cashews and walnuts) - 1/2 cup
egg -3
baking powder-1 tsp
baking soda-1/4 tsp
salt-1/2 tsp
vanilla extract -1 tsp
candied lemon and orange peels- 1tbsp
(I crushed peels of an orange)
All spice powder(cinnamon, nutmeg,clove and dry ginger)- 1 tsp
(I used 1/4 tsp of each powder)
Rum or Brandy- 1/2 cup (or) Rum extract - 1 1/2 tsp
(or) grape juice- 1/4 cup + orange juice- 1/4 cup
(or) orange juice - 3/4 cup

Preparation:
Chop the dried fruits and soak them in Rum /Brandy or grape and orange juice for a few hours.
I soaked it in 3/4 cup orange juice for 3 days. (Not inside fridge, just in room temperature.stir it twice a day).
On the third day, add 3 tbsp of alcohol essence to the soaked fruits.
Do not waste the juice. we can use it while baking.

Method:

Step 1.Preheat the oven at 350 degree, grease a small loaf pan and place a parchment paper at the bottom.
Step 2:In a blender ,add 2 cloves, nutmeg powder ,1/2 inch cinnamon ,dry ginger powder , orange peel and crush them.
Then add olive oil , eggs, caramelized sugar,sugar, vanilla essence,salt and beat again.
Add all purpose flour, baking soda , baking powder together and run the blender again to get fluffy batter.
Pour it in a broad mixing bowl.
Step 3:Add the dry fruits only (if you ve little juice left keep it away or add in the cake mixture)and fold again.
step 4:Take 1 tbsp of AP flour and mix it with the broken nuts.
step 5:Pour in grease pan . Now spread the flour coated nuts (do not stir after adding the nuts)over the cake batter .
step 6:Cook in middle of the rack for 40 to 50 minutes in 350 deg C. If not cooked increase 10 min each time. The cake will be done in 45 minutes. The cake is ready when a toothpick inserted into it comes out clean.
My cake got ready in 55 min (gas operated oven).
Cool completely before storing it.

Note:
I made some variations while trying the first time. They are :
1. Added my home made alcohol flavor to substitute the Rum extract.
2. Replaced the butter completely by 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

I.How to make the alcohol essence?
This plum cake recipe recommended the usage of rum extract and I thought of leaving that ingredient as we don't have the habit of consuming any alcohol.
Last week while preparing the batter for Aappam, I got an idea to find a substitute for rum. (Well prepared aappam batter smells like some liquor on the next morning).Eureka!!! I found something interesting.
So I searched for an alcohol substitute and got the following recipe from alcohol substitutes and many other sites. This makes nearly a cup of alcohol flavored essence. This is not an alcohol. But has some flavor similar to it. You can buy rum extract also.
Friends ! please educate me, if am going wrong.
Ingredients:
Apple - 1 (big)
maple syrup - 1 tbsp
yeast - 1 tsp
sugar - 4 tsp
water - 1 cup.
Method:
Wash and remove the seeds of the apple. Crush it in a blender along with skin.
Add all the other ingredients and stir vigorously.
Then pour it into an air tight container and keep it in a warm place for 48 hours.
Do not open in between.(other wise , it will become vinegar).
Now carefully open the container (it will be under high pressure), by slowly releasing the cap.
Add 3 tbsp of this apple essense to the soaked the dry fruits while making the cake.
Refrigerate it and finish it within 15 days.

Update:
Nowadays I am simply using the orange juice with few spoons of apple juice and its giving a similar cake without alcohol or rum extract.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Here comes the Christmas !

Christmas is the happiest time of the year for me from my childhood. When I was a kid we lived in a town called Palayamkottai , where Christians live in bunches and we can easily see Anglo Indians too. So its of no wonder that they dedicate the whole December month for Christmas and New Year eve.Though I had very lesser opportunity to celebrate the birth of Jesus, I love the festival like anything. (I was born a Hindu and living as a Christian, admire all religions). They used to dcorate the whole city with 'electric stars' and colorful serial bulbs. Every day Santas from various denominations make a visit to our houses along with the carol service. This will be the peak moment for everyone to get gifts and offer the carol service people some offering for the Church.
I always have a great feeling that it is a time of joy and for positive thinking towards the world. So I love to decorate our house with lights, wreath , Christmas tree and Nativity scene.
We set up the tree on the Thanks giving weekend. Then within a week finish all the decorations for the tree. Now the tree would be ready to shine by December 1st.
Then during the advent season (Nov 30 to Christmas), there will be special mass on Sundays to emphasize the true meaning of Christmas.
Advent, the beginning of the liturgical year in the Catholic Church, is a time of preparation for the coming of Christ at Christmas. It was historically known as "little Lent," because, like Lent, it is a time of repentance, with prayer, fasting, and Confession.
Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas, and therefore varies in length between 22 days and 28 days. (In 2008, it is 25 days long.) The following is a list of the dates of the Sundays and major feast days that fall in Advent 2008.
* First Sunday of Advent (Sunday, November 30, 2008)
* Feast of Saint Nicholas (Saturday, December 6, 2008)(Our Santa clause)
* Second Sunday of Advent (Sunday, December 7, 2008)
* Immaculate Conception (Monday, December 8, 2008) ,Holy Day of Obligation.
* Our Lady of Guadalupe (Friday, December 12, 2008)
* Feast of Saint Lucy (Saturday, December 13, 2008)
* Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday) (Sunday, December 14, 2008)
* Fourth Sunday of Advent (Sunday, December 21, 2008)
* Christmas Eve (Wednesday, December 24, 2008)
* Christmas (Thursday, December 25, 2008), Holy Day of Obligation.
On the night before Christmas (or 3 days before) we set up a 'nativity scene ' depicting the birth of Jesus. On 24th evening, before attending the Christmas mass we visit our friends and distribute snacks and sweets.
Then by 8 PM (in India at 12 midnight) after dinner, we attend the special mass for Christmas . The mass ends by receiving holy communion and kissing the 'Infant Jesus'
The next day ,that is the Christmas day will be the Biriyani making day for me while my prince charming stretching himself before the TV:)
This is how we celebrate Christmas.
This is the wreath I made for our door decoration.

This is the tree on the first week. The top ornament denotes Jesus Christ , while other ornaments denote the members of the holy family. This tree is otherwise called a Jesse tree or a family tree. I will post the entire setup along with 'nativity scene' soon.

My regular readers may know that i make a trial run before every special dish. Likewise , while searching for a fruit cake I got Chams, Christmas fruit cake and it turned out to be a great success.
Thanks Cham. (I used 1/2 cup olive oil instead of butter. This is the only one variation and my cake got baked in 55 minutes at 350 deg...a gas operated oven). This is a very very good recipe and I have never got such a nice cake before.So I have planned to do this a lot.

Let's celebrate the Christmas feast event at Purva's place also.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Broiled Eggplant chutney

Broiled / Grilled / barbecued eggplant chutney is an interesting dish to make. My mom used to prepare this simple delicacy often.Those were the days when we didn't count our calories or gone after fiber calculations. But our traditional cooking involves only a very little oil and supplied us what we really needed.
Every night while doing my homework I used to ask my mom "Mom , anything interesting tonight?" If she says she got some fish to cut or a big brinjal to broil, then I will grab a stool and start watching her. I love the way my mom pricked the giant size Eggplant and her broiling technique.
Ok , Coming back to our chutney,
We may need a big purple or white eggplant to do this. Otherwise 3-4 small size brinjals are enough. I served this as side dish with steamed rice, (ketti paruppu) fried dhal and paruppu rasam.



Ingredients:

Big size eggplant - 1 (1/4 kg)
red chillies - 3
Tamarind - a strawberry size
salt - to taste.
olive oil (or any oil)- few drops

Equipments needed:

Hand mortar - (optional..we can use a blender also)
metal skewer
gas stove (electrical stoves don't do that good).

Method:
wash the eggplant. Remove its crown , dab with a clean kitchen cloth and remove the moisture. Poke a few holes into it. Then coat it fully with a few drops of olive oil or sesame oil. Insert the skewer in to the eggplant through the crown area. Switch ON the stove and broil it by holding the skewer.
I used a vadai kambi (a sharp metal rod used to flip vadai).
Broil the eggplant , till its skin becomes dark .
Now you can see the eggplant cooked tenderly. (If in doubt, press it gently with a spoon and the eggplant with fall apart).If not cooked properly, then broil it again.
But I am sure within 5 minutes , it will be cooked softly.
Then Cool it and remove the skin. Put it in a blender or hand mortar. Using a hand mortar will definitely enhance the flavor, but I used a blender.
Add red chillies, salt and tamarind to it.
Grind it to a coarse paste. No need to temper(thalippu) it. But if you like , you can crackle a few mustard seed with curry leaves and run it over the chutney.
But I like the traditional chutney which does not call for any tempering.
Eggplant chutney is ready.

Serving suggestions:

It can be best served with dosai, idly , roti or steamed rice.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Palani Panchamirtham

I think Panchamirtam is the oldest form of Indian jam or fruit mix sweet made in Hindu temples for pooja. This is also sold as prasadam or 'holy food' . The Hindu Lord Murugan's Palani temple is in Palani of Tamilnadu , India. The prastham offered here is Panchamirtham. The Panchamirtham, collected after abhishekam (Abishekam means a holy ritual of showering  the main deity) , is not only a delicious and nourishing food but also has astonishing properties . It remains good for months even without fridge.The main ingredient is the baby banana (viruppachi banana).
I am a great fan of this Panchamirtham , so i decided to make it at home. Though i could not get the original taste , i am satisfied with its closeness .
I got the recipe from the web site of Palani temple. . But tweaked it with what we get here.
I am giving below the original recipe and my modified version.
The original recipe:
Panchamirtam consists of kandasari sugar from Kangeyam area, dates, kismis, sugar candy (kalkandu), cardamom and ghee in proper proportions: plantains (viruppachi banana) 100 numbers; kandasani sugar 10 kgs.; dates 1 kg.; Sugar candy 500 giris.; kismis 500 giris.; ghee 250 giris.; cardamom 25 giris. The plantain is crushed fully. Sugar is then mixed with it. Seedless dates, sugar candy and kismis are added in the third stage. The last items to go into the preparation are cardamom and ghee.

Home made Panchamirtham.


Ingredients:
Baby banana - 6(very ripe)
Pomegranate - 1/2 cup
Raisins - 20
Cardamom (powdered)- 1/2 tsp
Dry dates(chopped)- 3 tbsp
Apple(peeled & shredded)- 1
Jaggery (crushed) - 1 cup
Honey - 1/4 cup
Ghee - 2 tbsp

Method:

Take a clean , dry mixing bowl.
Mash the bananas with hand and mix the pomegranate, raisins, dates, shredded apple, Jaggery , honey and ghee together.
Mash them well.
Store in air tight container in the refrigerator.

Serving suggestions:
Serve cold as dessert.

Congrats and thanks Hema!


This post is dedicated to congratulate Hema of Adlak's kitchen on her 100 th post and for celebrating it in an unique way.
Congrats on your 100th post Hema, wish you many more. What a beautiful and thoughtful post.Thank you so much for thinking of me !

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pakora / Fritters

I think a pakoda does not need any intro for a typical Indian. But for those who do not know about it... A pakoda is a deep fried fritter made out of besan flour and onion:)
Back in India they sell this crispy pakoras even in small sweet stalls. They make so many varieties of pakoda like cashew pakoda, mint pakoda,Keerai(greens)pakoda,bitter gourd pakoda, onion pakoda and an ordinary pakoda. During winter or rainy seasons ,they place the hot stove in the front portion and fry it as per our order. I am sure nobody can resist buying these tempting hot fritters on their way back home after a busy day:)
Nowadays I make this as a side dish whenever I run out of vegetables.
I am narrating the basic procedure for an 'ordinary pakoda'. You can make innumerable varieties out of it.
Lets beat this chill weather by this hot pakoda:)


Ingredients:
Besan flour - 1 cup
Rice flour - 1/4 cup
Red onion - 1 (big)
green chilli - 3
ginger - 2 inch
salt - to taste
curry leaves- 1 brig
cilantro - 1/4 bunch
mint leaf - a handful
red chilli powder - 1 tsp
curry (garam) masala powder - 1 tsp
oil - to deep fry (250 ml)

Method:
Chop the onion into thin slices.
Finely chop the green chilli, ginger, cilantro and mint leaves.
Mix the chopped veggies with the besan flour and rice flour.Add chilli powder, salt and garam masala powder.
Try to knead the flour without adding water.
Heat 2 tbsp oil and add it to the mixture. (optional). This makes the pakoda more crispy. Instead of oil we can add a few drops of water also.
The dough consistency should not be like chapathi dough. It should be like a mixture of moistened flour with veggies.
Heat oil in a kadai. Drop small pieces of mixture in to the hot oil and fry to get crispy fritters.
Take them out and place over paper towels to remove excess oil.
Crispy pakoda is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot as an evening snack or as side dish with any variety-rice.
Goes fine with curd rice or sambar rice.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bitter gourd fry

Bitter gourd is a veggie that people hate to eat. It has been believed that it helps to reduce blood glucose level. Mostly it is cooked with tamarind or tomato and even some people end up in adding sugar to subtle its bitterness.
But here is a recipe which I learned from my mom to cook it in a more tasty way.
Stick to the recipe and you will see the bitterness vanishing.
Enjoy!


Ingredients:

Bitter gourd - 4 (1/4 kg)
oil - 3 to 4  tbsp
mustard  or fennel seeds- 1/2 tsp
Red onion - 1
chilli powder - 1 tbsp
garam masala powder - 1 tsp
salt - to taste.

Method:

Carefully examine the bitter gourd while buying.
They should be dark green in color with the spikes closely packed. Discard the matured seeds.
Heat oil in a kadai.
Add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds and after they splutter add the chopped bitter gourd.Cook it with constant stirring and uncovered.
After 10 minutes add the chopped onion.
Fry really crisp.
Finally add salt , garam masala powder and chilli powder.
sprinkle a handful of water and cook it covered.
Adding a little water helps to coat the masala thoroughly.
open the lid, Saute for 2 minutes and put off stove.
crispy bitter gourd fry is ready.
Adding more oil makes it bitter-less curry:)

Serving suggestions:

This is a good combination with 'paruppu satham' (Toor dhal and rice)
It takes 25 minutes to cook 1/2 kg.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Nilgiri chicken kuruma

The Nilgiri or Blue Mountains often referred to as the Nilgiri Hills, are a range of mountains in the western ghats.It is famous for its hill resorts like Ooty ,TamilNadu, India.
A good way to enjoy the Flora (plant life) of Ooty is to go for trekking.
Over 2700 species of flowering plants, 160 species of fern and fern allies, countless types of flowerless plants, mosses, fungi, algae, land lichens are found in the Nilgiris.
It was originally occupied by the tribes called Todas.They worship nature .They have their own language, rich arts and crafts .Their food habits are very simple and use a lot of greens in cooking instead of our 'curry powders'. (Reference: Wikipedia)
They are known for their Nilgiri tea and 'Nilgiri chicken kuruma'.In the olden days even before the masala sachets made their way to the village petty shops ,these people would have found a unique way to make their healthy chicken recipe. Later on , even star hotels master it and earned a lot from this delicious curry.Though this kuruma seems more green than our chilli powder version, the taste remains more classic than any other one.Here is the recipe for their famous 'Nilgiri chicken kuruma'.
(Pardon me for this picture.Actually my camera did not do any justice and showed the green color as a hue of brown.)


Ingredients:
chicken - 1/2 kg (with bones)
Onion - 1 (50 gm)
gingelly oil - 2 tbsp
tomato - 1
curd - 1/2 cup
potato - 3
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Fennel seeds/ perunjeeragam - 1/2 tsp
salt - to taste.
chopped mint and cilantro - 2 handful (for garnishing)
Paste 1:
(To soak and grind)
shredded coconut - 3 tbsp
cashew - 6 (optional)
poppy seeds - 1 tbsp
coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
green cardamom - 3
cloves - 4
fennel seeds - 1 tsp
cinnamon - 1/4 inch
Paste 2:
green chilli - 10
cilantro - a handful
mint leaf - a handful
paste 3:
ginger - 2 inch
garlic - 4 pods

Method:

Wash and clean the chicken pieces. Apply turmeric powder and wash again.Marinate it with curd, salt and paste 2.
Soak the items given under paste 1 for 1 hour and grind them to a creamy paste.
Heat oil in a kadai. Fry the fennel seeds to red color.
Add the chopped onions and fry till it becomes golden brown.
Now goes the chopped tomatoes. After the tomato gets cooked , add the ginger garlic paste (paste 3). After the raw smell changes add the chicken pieces and stir for some time. Now add the paste 1 with 2 cups of water.
Peel and cut the potato in to big pieces and add it to the boiling chicken.
Close the vessel with a lid and stir occasionally.
cook it for nearly 1/2 an hour or till the chicken becomes tender.
This kuruma can be like a thick gravy.
After putting off the flame add finely chopped mint leaves and cilantro.
Nilgiri chicken kuruma is ready.

Serving suggestions:

Serve hot with steamed rice, Idly, dosa , poori,chapathi or paratha.
I served this with Malaysian parotta , bought from Indian stores.
Serves 5 people.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Methi sweet ball / Venthaya kalli


Venthaya kalli / Methi sweet ball is a healthy breakfast served in southern parts of India during summer. Methi is highly beneficial in reducing blood sugar level and fat tissues. So methi leaves or methi seeds should be consumed atleast once in a week.
As far as I know only grandmas do these kallis perfectly without lumps:) So I made some innovations to simplify it and here goes the recipe.

Ingredients:

Rice flour - 1/2 cup
fenugreek seeds/ methi seeds - 3 tbsp
water - 2 cups
Jaggery - 100 gms
gingelly oil - 2 tsp

Method:

Soak the fenugreek seeds overnight inside refrigerator or for just 2 hours.
In the morning grind it to a fine paste and mix rice flour to it along with water.
Same time dissolve the jaggery in one cup of boiling water and filter any sand / dirt. Heat the purified jaggery solution in a nonstick kadai and slowly introduce the rice + methi paste . stir continuously to get a thick consistency. Then add gingelly oil.
Remove heat if the mixture starts leaving the edges.
Methi kalli is ready.

Serving suggestions:

Serve hot with a spoon of gingelly oil over it.
Enough to serve 2 people.