Thursday, October 29, 2009

Onion Rava Dosa.

There are so many methods to make a rava dosa. Hope most of us depend on the store bought ready made mix, as it is a quick to fix menu.
Here I am explaining two more ways to do it from scratch.

I prefer sour batter here. Sour batter will produce very thin crepes. But if you are ok with the less sour taste , then use water instead of the sour buttermilk / sour dosa batter. But the fermented batter will give us the color and crispiness of that of the restaurant made onion rava dosa.




Mixture 1:
Sooji / rava - 1 cup
Left over dosa batter (sour) - 1 cup
water - to get thin consistency

(OR)

Mixture 2:
Sooji / rava - 1 1/2 cup
All purpose flour - 1/4 cup
Buttermilk (Sour) - 1 cup
water - to get thin consistency

Ingredients:
Sesame Oil - 1 tsp + 3 tbsp
Cumin seed - 1/2 tsp
mustard seed - 1/4 tsp
channa dhal - 1 tbsp
onion (chopped finely) - 4 tbsp
green chilly (chopped finely) - 1 tsp
curry leaf - 1 sprig
cilantro / coriander leaf - a handful
salt - to taste

Directions:

Mix the rava with dosa batter (or) sour buttermilk + AP flour and add enough salt.
Let it set for 2-3 hours. We can use it immediately also.

After that soaking time, heat 1 tsp oil in a wok. Splutter the mustard seeds, add channa dhal, chopped onion and fry till the onion gets cooked (not red).
Pour the mixture over the prepared batter.
Add cumin seed, chopped cilantro, curry leaf, green chilly and salt.
Mix thoroughly.

The batter should be thinner than that of the dosa batter, just like a thick buttermilk in consistency.

Heat a Dosa pan to maximum. Coat a layer of sesame oil all over the pan using a cloth / spoon.

If we have left the batter for soaking / fermentation then add a handful of sooji / rava to get the restaurant texture, otherwise use as it is.
Mix the batter well.
Now using one laddle, pour the dosa batter starting from outermost circumference and fill the circle with that laddle of batter alone. Just smudge the uncovered portions or leave as it is.

Make a very thin crepe.

Drizzle some oil over the dosa. Flip once it get red on the bottom.

Take out as soon as the other side is also cooked .

Onion rava dosa is ready!

Serving suggestions:

Serve hot with coconut chutney or sugar.
Serve before it gets cold, as it may loose the crispiness after some time.
Makes 8-10 large onion rava dosa.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Goat liver masala.

In my hometown serving non vegetarian curries along with Idly for breakfast (especially on holidays) is a very common culture. The most preferred combination are Idly with meen kuzhambu (Fish curry), Soft dosa with kothu curry (minced goat curry), Idiyappam with paya (goat leg stew), Aappam with Duck curry:) etc. One among them is the goat liver masala / Eeral masala , which won't require pressure cooking or longer cooking methods. So it is preferred by those who can spare lesser cooking time.

Health benefits:
Any liver especially the Goat's is always considered a good source of Vitamin A and a good remedy for nightblindness. Those who have cholesterol complaints should reduce the liver consumption. Click to see the nutrient fact.

Goat liver curry / Aattu eeral masala:



Ingredients:
Goat liver - 1/2 lb (1/4 kg)
sesame oil - 2 tbsp
Red onion / shallot (chopped) - 1 cup
fennel seeds (sombu)- 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
coriander powder - 2 tsp
red chilli powder - 1 tsp
turmeric powder - a pinch
tomato - 1 (chopped)
salt - to taste
ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp

To grind:
Shallot onion - 6
(or) Small size Red onion - 1/2
Black pepper - 1 tbsp
Shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
cumin seeds - 1 tsp

How to choose a good liver?
Buy dark brown colored liver. Don't buy the ones with white spot or holes in the outer layer. While chopping look carefully for affected portion inside and remove.

Procedure:

Wash and clean the liver.
Cut it into 1 inch size cubes.

Grind the shallot or red onion , coconut , pepper and cumin seeds together to a coarse paste.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. Add the fennel seeds and let it become red. Then goes the curry leaves. Put the chopped onion and fry till it becomes transparent.
Now goes the ginger garlic paste followed by chopped tomato.
Fry till the oil oozes.

Add the cubed liver and cook covered with a cup of water.

After 10 minutes add the ground masala, coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt.

Cover and cook till the raw smell vanishes. keep stirring occasionally, till the koottu / curry becomes a gravy.

Eeral (liver) curry is ready.

Serving suggestions:

Serve hot with Idly , dosa or hot rice.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thakkali kulambu

Thakkali kulambu is a very common curry prepared in Tirunelveli / Kovilpatti of South India. Garam masala or cinnamon are not added like a kuruma in this recipe. So it is liked by people who like lesser spices.

I came to know of this recipe from my colleagues, who rush home to prepare dinner for the family after a long tiring day.

It is a very simple recipe and can be prepared in 20 minutes.



Ingredients:
Tomato - 2 (100 gms)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Sambar powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
cumin seed - 1/2 tsp
Shallot onion - 4
mustard seed - 1/2 tsp
oil - 1 tsp
curry leaf - 1 sprig
salt - to taste

Directions:


Pressure cook tomatoes with turmeric powder, sambar powder, red chilly powder along with 1 cup of water to one whistle.

Remove the skin and mash the tomato with hand. The coarse texture of tomato adds a grade to the kulambu.

Grind coconut, onion and cumin to a fine paste.

Mix the coconut paste with tomato mixture in a vessel.
Bring it to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes with boiling.

Add salt to taste.

Heat oil in a wok. Splutter the mustard and fry the curry leaves.
Pour over the boiling curry.

Tomato kulambu is ready.

Serving suggestions:

Serves two.
It is mostly served as curry over hot rice.
Serve with any vegetable poriyal or omelet.
Good for people who should avoid tamarind.
The left over can be safely refrigerated and used for the next day , as it will not get spoiled.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Vaazhai Pazha paniyaram

Vaazhai pazham means ripe banana.

Paniyaram is a traditional snack of South India. Paniyaaram can be prepared using a paniyarakkal (similar to our cup cake pan). People make spicy as well as sweet paniyarams.

But this banana paniyaram can be prepared without a paniyaram pan.

This is a sweet made during Navarathiri in my home town. It is also called wheat paniyaram. On Sundays in Navarathiri function, people prepare sweets using wheat, as Wheat is the favorite food of Sun God and Sunday is His day.

we can use rice flour also instead of wheat flour, but won't get a softer one like this wheat version. Even now we use coconut oil in regular cooking and it will definitely enhance the taste. Slowly people are accepting the benefits of coconut:)



Ingredients:
Wheat flour / all purpose flour - 1 1/2 cup
ripe banana - 1 (big)
cardamom powder - a pinch
coconut oil / any oil - to deep fry
Sugar - 1/2 cup
water - 1/4 cup
baking powder - 1/4 tsp (optional - but makes the sweet fluffy)

Directions:
Measure and put the flour, sugar, cardamom powder in a mixing bowl.
Mash the banana gently with hands to a coarse texture and and mix it with the flour.
Dissolve baking soda in water. Now slowly add water to get a thick batter.
The batter should be thinner than chapathi dough but thicker than dosa batter.

Heat coconut oil in a wok to maximum heat.Don't allow the oil to fume.

Now using a bigger spoon (small kuli karandi), slowly pour the batter as small balls in to the hot oil.

Reduce the flame and cook the paniyaram in medium heat, so that the center portion will also get cooked.

Flip them once and cook both sides.

Take out and drain excess oil using a paper towel.

Vaazhai pazha paniyaram is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Makes a great tea time snack.
The above said quantity is enough to make 15 paniyaram (depending upon the size).

Note:
If not for pooja, some people add an egg while preparing the batter. But I suggest you to do as it is even without baking soda.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Puli Rasam

Puli (tamarind) rasam is the simplest of all the rasams. No need to go for a tomato or rasam powder or dhal to do this puli rasam. So we can make it in just 10 minutes.

Hope many knows the way to serve / take rasam in a full course Indian meal. It is considered to be a healthy kind of soup that heals our digestive tract. I have seen many preferring only this rasam and rice along with thovaiyal or appalam for dinner. For me, it means a heavenly food that too on a rainy season :)


Simple rasam / Homely rasam / Puli rasam




Ingredients:

Tamarind - small lemon size
Turmeric powder - a pinch
water - 3 cups
sesame oil - 2 tsp
red chilly - 2 (torn into pieces)
curry leaf - 1 sprig
mustard - 1/2 tsp
fenugreek (venthayam) - 1/4 tsp
asafoetida (hing) - a pinch
garlic - 3 pearls
cumin - 3/4 tsp
whole black pepper - 1 tsp
salt - to taste

Directions:
Grind the garlic, pepper and cumin coarsely.

Extract juice from tamarind by soaking it in hot water. Like wise extract all the juice by rinsing it twice in cold water. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a wok.
Add the fenugreek and mustard . After the mustard gets splutter , put the curry leaves , asafoetida and red chillies.
Immediately add the ground mixture before the chillies get burnt.
Stir for 30 seconds.

Now pour the tamarind extract along with Turmeric powder and let it boil till the raw smell vanishes.
Then switch off the flame and add salt to taste (3/4 tsp).

Don't add the salt before switching off the flame as it will change the fresh smell of the rasam.

Serving suggestions:
Makes 300 ml of clear rasam.
Let the rasam settle down first and just serve the top layer of rasam.
Serve over hot rice along with appalam or thogaiyal .
If preferred serve as a soup , but after meals.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Aattukkaal paaya

'Aattukkal paaya' means a soupy thin curry made with goat legs. 

Most of the South Indian restaurants serve this aattukal paya along with Idiyappam (rice noodles) for the breakfast or dinner. If you are not familiar with this less spicy dish , then don't hesitate to order it in your next visit to an Indian restaurant, especially the 'chettinad' (a cuisine of South India) ones.
Just empty a bowl of this aattukal paya over a plate of hot Idiyappam / soft dosa / Idly and ENJOY :)

Most of the time I prepare the aattukal soup and serve it first. Then I use the excess soup along with pieces to make this kulambu. But here is the complete recipe.

Aattukkaal paaya / Goat leg kuruma:

Goat leg curry is ready!
Ingredients:
Goat leg - 2
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp

Masala 1:
ginger- 2 inch
garlic-5 pearls

To dry roast:
cloves - 5
cardamom- 4
cinnamon- 1 inch
fennel seeds - 1 tbsp
cumin seeds - 1 tsp
cashews - 5
nutmeg - a tiny shaving
mace - small bit
poppy seeds- 1 tbsp
pepper - 1 tsp

Grind:
Above roasted items -
shredded coconut - 1 tbsp
red chilly powder - 1 tsp
coriander powder - 3 tsp

In a pan dry roast poppy seeds alone and keep aside.
Then dry roast all the above except coconut and grind everything together along with coconut.

other ingredients:
Bay leaves -2
cinnamon - 2 inch
Red onion - 2
tomato -2 (100 gms)
curry leaves- 1 sprig
cilantro- 1 handful
mint leaves - 1 handful
cooking oil- 3 tsp
Green chilli- 6
potato - 3 (1/2 lb)

Method:
First slightly blacken the skin in legs in flame to burn all the left over hair.
Break it in to two pieces to reduce the length.
Then rub and wash it thoroughly by applying turmeric powder.

Place the legs in a pressure cooker vessel along with water (6 cups) to immerse the legs.

In a kadai , heat 2 tsp cooking oil.Add 1/2 tsp fennel seeds and after it turns red add brinji leaves,curry leaves, chopped onion and saute till onion turns red.
Now put green chillies, cilantro and mint leaves one by one .
Add the remaining ginger garlic paste and saute till raw smell vanishes.
Pour it into the pressure cooker and cook it to get one whistle.
Then reduce the flame and cook in low heat for 25 - 30 minutes till the leg gets completely cooked. Open the lid after the pressure is gone.

In the same time finely chop the tomato. Peel and cut the potatoes in to big chunks. Add the chopped tomto , potato , Masala 2 , salt along with 3 cups of water to the cooked legs .

Cook the whole kulambu to another whistle . Reduce flame and let it remain in low heat for another 10 minutes . Switch off flame.

Aattukal paaya is ready !

Serving suggestions:
The final consistency should be very thin like a soup.
Serve hot over Idiyappam / sponge soft dosa / Idly /rice / aappam.

Tips:
Adding potato is optional but I prefer to have something more in this meatless bony curry:)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Deepavali Legiyam

Wish you all a very happy and prosperous Deepavali!

'Lehiyam / Legiyam' means medicine in a sweet form.
It is a tradition in India to make this medicine to help our digestive system during those festive occasions. Even though it is called a medicine, most of us crave for this medicine just like halwa.
My mom used to make it in a small batch and keep in a tiffin box the day before Diwali and can't forget those days when we longed to taste that tasty medicine after dinner.
I don't have a picture of it now, but wish to post it before Diwali so that many of my friends may go shopping for the ingredients now itself:)

Ingredients:

Black pepper - 2 tbsp
Dry ginger (2 inch pieces) - 2
omam / ajwain - 2 tbsp
thippili - 4 pieces
cumin seed - 2 tbsp
coriander seed - 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
poppy seed - 1 tbsp
cloves - 2
cardamom - 2
Jaggery - 200 gms (1 cup powdered)
ghee - 1 tbsp
sesame oil - 4 tbsp

Directions:

Dry roast the poppy seed till we get a cracking sound. Keep it aside.
Again dry roast the pepper, thippili, coriander seed, cumin, omam, cardamom, cloves and let them cool. (Roasting makes the powder more fine).
Soak the dry ginger for 2 hours.
Grind the roasted items along with soaked dry ginger to a fine paste.

Bring one cup water to boil and put the jaggery. Let it dissolve.
Then filter it to remove the sediments.

Now take a thick bottom wok and pour the jaggery water along with grind mixture.
Start heating and let it evaporate.

After it becomes half the quantity add the ghee+sesame oil and stir continuosly till we get a halwa consistency.
Switch off flame when the lehiyam starts coming along with the spatula without sticking to the bottom.

Deepavali legiyam is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve as a digestion medicine after heavy meals.
Take one - two tbsp per day after dinner / heavy meals.
The above said quantity can be served for 4 people.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Goat leg soup (clear)

Aattukkaal (goat leg) soup can be made in many styles. People make it with tomato or ginger or with lot of spices.
Here I am presenting my mom's clear soup version which will not have much spices , so it can be safely fed for kids also. It is very good for people recovering from cold and tiring journey. It is believed to reduce body aches.



Ingredients:
Goat leg - 2
Black pepper - 1 tbsp
cumin seed - 1 tsp
Bay leaf - 3
Shallot onion - 10
garlic - 1 (whole)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp + 1 tbsp
salt - to taste

Directions:

First slightly blacken the skin in legs in flame to burn all the left over hair.
Break it in to two pieces to reduce the length.
Then rub and wash it thoroughly by applying turmeric powder.

Place the legs in a pressure cooker vessel along with water (6 cups) to immerse the legs.

Add the bay leaf, turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp, sliced shallot and garlic .

Pressure cook it to get one whistle.
Then reduce the flame and cook in low heat for 25 minutes.
Switch off flame and wait to release the pressure.

Then take out the vessel.

Add salt to taste.

Mix well . Pour the required amount of soup and pieces in serving bowl.( It is a good idea to serve the clear soup alone and to save the pieces to make paaya - a watery curry.)

Add crushed pepper and cumin over the soup.
Serve hot as a clear soup before meals.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Milk peda (Microwave method)



While scrolling for some easy sweet, I got the idea from Ramya Vijayakumar of Passion for cooking.
Please click to see her cute Doodh peda and the original recipe.
Thanks Ramya. I have seen my mother struggling for hours to get this sweet from scratch. But your method is so handy and I made the entire batch without much effort.

I am noting down the recipe for my use.

Ingredients:
Milk Powder – 2 cup
(I used 3 cups of fat free milk powder)
Sweetened Condensed Milk – 1 can (14 oz)
Butter – 1/2 cup (8 tbsp)
Saffron – few strands
Water – 2 tsp
Almonds - 5

Method:
Melt the butter.
Mix the butter, condensed milk , milk powder thoroughly and microwave them for 2 - 3 minutes. Stir twice in between.
Dissolve the saffron in warm water and mix with the dough.Again microwave it for 2 more minutes. (Instead of saffron we can add different food colors also, by dividing the dough).
Let them cool. Now they will come to chapati dough consistency.
Make small balls and get the desired shape.
decorate with slivered almonds and silver varakh.

Milk peda is ready!

Note:
Makes 30 pieces (approximately).

Thanks:
Another important thing is , thanks to the efforts of all the bloggers and friends , the controversial blog that displayed my posts along with some of my friends' without our permission, is now shut down.
This could not have happened without all your efforts. I owe a million thanks to each and every one who are with us during this time.

An Update:
I prepared some milk pedas for hubby's office picnic / pot luck (Aug 6 2010). Here are some snaps to enjoy.
I pasted the ingredient list along with the box for reference..  Hubby was so happy to carry these cuties to share with his friends:)




Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Apple Rasam

I crafted this delicious rasam while searching a way to utilize some sour apple.



Ingredients:
Small apple - 2 (sour)
garlic - 4 pearls
whole black pepper - 1 tbsp
cumin seed - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - a pinch
ghee / oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seed - 1/4 tsp
Red chilly - 2
curry leaf - 1 sprig
cilantro - a handful
Lemon - 1/2 (extract juice)
salt - to taste

Method:
Chop one apple after coring.
Grind the pepper, cumin and garlic along with one apple.

Heat oil / ghee in a wok.
Let the mustard crackle. Then add a pinch of hing along with red chillies , curry leaf and cilantro.

Core and peel the other apple. Chop it into very small pieces. Put it along with the seasoning and stir well.

Next add the ground mixture , turmeric and saute well till the raw smell vanishes.

Pour 2 cups of water and let it come to a boil.

Put off fire.
Add lime juice and salt to taste.

Apple rasam is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve over hot rice along with appalam and dhal as a simple lunch or dinner.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tandoori chicken

Tandoori chicken is a dish prepared in a specially designed clay oven called Tandoori oven. It can be done in a grill also.Because of its mild spice content and smoky flavor , it is loved by people all over the world.

Wikipedia tells us about the history of tandoori chicken.
Interested can click here to read the story behind tandoori chicken.

Here I am describing the procedure to make the Tandoori chicken in our household oven.

Method:

Chicken - 2 lb

Select a chicken of medium size, with tender meat. Cut it into 4 pieces. This is called butterfly cut / quarters. Wash it by applying turmeric powder.
Make uniform slits all over the chicken pieces and keep aside.

We need to marinate it twice to get a juicy Tandoori chicken.

First marination:
salt - 1 tbsp
Red chilly powder - 2 tsp.
Lime juice / vinegar - 3 tbsp

Mix everything above and apply this on the chicken and marinate for one hour.




Second marination:


Ingredients:

Thick curd - 1/2 cup
Ginger garlic paste (ginger - 2 inch + garlic - 6 cloves )
salt - to taste
Pepper powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
(Instead we can grind 3 cloves, 2 inch cinnamon, 2 cardamom, 1/2 tsp cumin , 1/2 tsp fennel)
Lime juice / vinegar - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Red food color - 4 drops
cooking oil - 3 tbsp

Mix all the items above in a broad vessel.
Keep the chicken marinated for 4 hours in room temperature or a whole night in refrigerator.

Tandoori chicken:




Preheat the oven to 400 deg F.
Place the well marinated chicken on the grill and place a tray to collect the residue at the bottom.
We can place it directly on a baking tray lined with Aluminum foil too.

Cook for 30 minutes. Flip the chicken and bake again for 10 minutes.

Now change the mode to broil and roast the chicken both sides till we get the lovely color. (Say 6 minutes each side).

Tandoori chicken is ready.

Serving suggestions:
Drizzle chaat masala and serve hot with lemon wedges, onion.
Serve as a starter or side dish.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Paal Kolukkattai

One more dessert from the traditional Tamil cuisine. This could have been originated even before the semiya (Vermicelli) and javvarisi (Sago) made their way to down south.

Paal kollukkattai payasam / paal kozhukkattai.




Ingredients:
Rice flour - 3/4 cup
milk - 3 cups
condensed milk - 2 tbsp (optional)
sugar - 5 tsp / cup of milk
water - 2 1/4 cups.
salt - a pinch
cardamom - 2
cashew, almond (slivered) - a handful
ghee - 1 tsp

Method:
Bring 1/4 cup water to boil along with a pinch of salt.
Add this to the rice flour slowly till it reaches chapati dough consistency.

Divide the dough into two equal portions.
Make small balls of 1/2 inch diameter from one half of dough and elongated spheres of 1 inch length (Hemispherical cylinder) from another half.
Lets call them 'kolukkattai'.

Bring 2 cups of water to boil and add handful of the kolukkattai to it.
Add them in smaller batches with some interval, otherwise all will get dissolved.
Wait till all the dumplings get cooked and water gets reduced to the minimum.

Add the milk, condensed milk, sugar, cardamom and mix well.
Boil once and put off fire.
Fry the nuts in ghee and pour over the payasam.

Paal kolukkattai payasam is ready.

Serving suggestions:

serve hot as dessert.