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 !

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Double beans curry

One day I bought this can of 'large butter beans' to test run before buying a pack of dry ones. Overnight Soaking and pressure cooking the dry beans is my first choice. But the canned cooked ones comes handy too if we didn't plan the meal earlier. The beans tasted very good just like the double beans we used to buy from T.Nagar in Chennai, India. In India the street vendors would sell freshly shelled double beans by measuring them in cups or small heaps (kooru). Long back I tasted it for the first time in my aunt Sakuntala athai's house and started liking it very much. Athai makes it like a dry masala curry along with rasam rice or sambar and that is the best according to me. May be some other day I will ask her the recipe and post here:) I prepared this like a thick gravy and it tasted great with chapati.


Ingredients:
cooked double beans - 1 cup
Shallot onion - 4
Shredded coconut - 2 tbsp
cumin seeds - 1 tsp
oil - 1 tbsp
ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
fennel seeds (sombu)- 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
coriander powder - 2 tsp
red chilli powder - 1 tsp
turmeric powder - a pinch
curry masala powder - 1/2 tsp
tomato - 1 (chopped)
salt - to taste

Procedure:
If using dry beans, soak them overnight and pressure cook for a whistle. Then reduce heat and switch off after 2 minutes . Don't cook after this 2 minutes. Release pressure and it would be cooked. If it needs a little more cooking, then do it in stove top , with careful observation.....otherwise the double beans turns mushy.
Otherwise use a can of cooked beans (remove that water and rinse twice before using).
Grind the shallot, coconut 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, chopped tomato. Saute till tomato gets mushy. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute till raw smell goes. The put the coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt.Close the lid and cook for 5 minutes with little water. Then add the cooked beans.
Then put the ground masala and keep stirring occasionally, till the koottu / curry becomes a gravy.
Large butter beans or double beans curry is ready.

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot with chapathi, roti.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Almond Kulfi Ice cream

Some months ago I made this ice cream,when I bought this pack of almonds in sale in an Indian grocery store. Here in NJ, one can see even the grocery stores announcing Deepavali sale for the customers and it is the good time to stock up the pantry:) It is advisable to store the nuts in refrigerator to ensure the freshness. Nuts gives a satiety factor for the dieters.  Almonds are wonderful snacks if we pop them in microwave with a dash of salt . They turn crunchy while roasting and becomes flavorful, which can be served as a less spicy snack. But almonds part in desserts is more precious:)  One day I wanted to make some nutritious dessert with lesser calorie and got this ice cream. I have narrated two methods I tried. The one with condensed milk is very easy, while the other has very less calories but takes more time. Here is the dessert for the weekend.

While typing this post, I can see many getting prepared for Varalakshmi nonbu festival. I think it is apt to post a sweet today:)

Happy Varalakshmi Nonbu !


Ingredients:
Almond - 20
Milk (full fat) - 2.5 cups / 1/2 liter
custard powder - 2 tbsp (vanilla flavor)
sugar - 1/2 cup (or) 3/4 cup
condensed milk - 2 tbsp (optional)
butter - 2 tbsp
To soak and grind:
Almond - 20
cardamom seeds - 1 tsp
saffron - few strands
milk - to soak almonds

Method:
Soak the almonds overnight (or)Put it in boiling water, wait till it wrinkle, peel and grind immediately to a fine paste.
In a wok dry roast the remaining almonds and chop it to small pieces. Let it cool completely. Keep aside.
Bring to boil 2 cups of milk.
In the remaining 1/2 cup milk add sugar, condensed milk, vanilla, custard powder and mix well.
Add this mixture into the boiled milk.
Start heating in low fire. It will become somewhat thick. Take care not to burn it at bottom.
Switch off, add butter, almond paste mixture and let it cool.
Place it in freezer. Then after 30 minutes take out and beat it in the mixie for a minute or more.
Freeze it again for 30 minutes and beat for a minute in mixer.
Freeze again for 30 minutes and beat for a minute in a mixie.
Now add the chopped almonds and mix well.
Decorate with little saffron strands.
Then freeze it for 4 hours or till it sets completely..

                                                               Another method

To soak and grind:
Almond - 20
cardamom seeds - 1.5 tsp
saffron - 3 strands

Other ingredients:
Almond - 20
Sweetened Condensed Milk - 14 oz can (400 gm)
fat free Whipped Topping 8 oz (225 gm) - 2 packs

Preparation:
Soak the almonds overnight (or)Put it in boiling water, wait till it wrinkle, peel and grind immediately to a fine paste with saffron and cardamom (elachi).
In a wok dry roast the almonds and chop it to small pieces. Let it cool completely. Keep aside.
Method:
The whipped topping should be kept in refrigerator till we start using.
In a mixing bowl add the almond paste and Condensed milk . Mix well.
Then blend in the chopped almond.
Now add the whipped topping and mix gently (too much mixing will make the ice cream hard).
Immediately transfer them to a freezer-safe lidded container.
Cover and freeze for 3-4 hours.

Creamy rich almond kulfi ice cream is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve as dessert.
Before scooping, keep the ice cream in room temperature for 2 minutes to get it smoothly.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Vegetable Salna

Salna or chalna is a popular street food available as side dish for parotta or chapathi in Tamilnadu and Kerala, India. I make this salna very often and mix with chapathi, just like vegetable kothu parotta (scrambled chapati). This comes handy if we make it in a big batch and freeze in small portions for a week.

Vegetables:
Cauliflower - 1/4 of a flower
Beans - 20
fresh green peas - 1 cup
carrot - 1
potato - 2 (medium size)
Ingredients:
tomato - 2
Red onion - 1
coriander leaves - a handful.
mint leaves - few
curry leaves - few
coconut milk - 1/2 cup
red chilli powder - 1 tsp
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
curry masala powder- 1 tsp
salt - to taste
ghee / dalda / vanaspathy - 3 tbsp
cloves - 2
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
bay leaf - 1
ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
to grind:
cardamom - 3
shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
green chillies - 4
cashew nut - 4

Method:
Grind ginger and garlic together.
Grind the items mentioned to a fine paste.
Cut cauliflower into big pieces.
peel and cut other vegetables in to big pieces.
Heat ghee 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.Then add the chopped tomato and fry till it is completely cooked.
Now add all the vegetables and mix well.
Add 2 cups of water,salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder , curry masala powder and stir well.
close the lid and cook all the vegetables to tender.Add the coconut masala and let it boil it gives a nice flavor.
Before switching off add the coconut milk.
Vegetable salna is ready!

Serving suggestions:
serve hot with parathas, parotta, chapati, roti or idly .

Monday, July 23, 2012

Event entries and re-posts.

Torview Toronto is hosting a nice event on  Know your flours: Millet theme , which is initiated by Jagruti's know your flour . Sending two of my millet recipes for her fabulous event.

1.Kambu dosai
2.Kambu kolukkattai

Happy hosting dear!
Priya is hosting an interesting event to celebrate Olympics with entries representing some country. I am sending a few from my collection for Priya's Olympic event started by Jagruti.

India:
Kadalai curry
Aappam with kadala curry.
Tandoori chicken


USA:
Sixteen bean soup
Whole roasted chicken

Italy:
Garden pizza
UK:
Christmas fruit cake

Happy hosting Priya!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Vendakkai Puli kulambu

Okra / vendakkai /ladies finger in tamarind curry.

Puli kuzhambu is always Xav's first choice with rice. Also okra is his favorite vegetable and I buy it just for him. Here is a flavorful curry with okra and tamarind.


Ingredients:
Okra - 150 gm
Tamarind - 1 lemon size
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
coriander powder - 3 tsp
turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
water - 2 cups
salt - 2 tsp (to taste)

To grind:
shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
shallot onion - 10
cumin seeds - 1 tsp
sambar powder - 1 tsp

To temper:
mustard - 1/2 tsp
fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tsp
curry leaves - 1 sprig
oil - 2 tbsp
asafoetida - 1 pinch

Method:
Wash the okra and wipe well using a clean kitchen towel. Let it dry in air while we prepare the other items.

Soak the tamarind in hot water and extract the juice thrice with 2 cups of water.
Add the chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt to the tamarind extract and bring it to a boil. Simmer and let the raw smell go.
Grind coconut, onion, sambar powder and cumin seeds with little water. keep aside.

Remove the top and bottom of okra. Cut the okra into 1.5 inch pieces slantingly or in straight pieces.

In the same time heat oil in a separate pan.
Crackle mustard seeds , add fenugreek seeds , curry leaves and asafoetida.
Then add the okra pieces and stir fry till they turn slightly crispy (almost cooked).

Add it to the tamarind mixture and bring it to a boil. Add the coconut paste and let it boil (for 1 minute). switch off.

Vendakkai puli kuzhambu is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot with rice, appalam, greens, vegetable side dish or omelet.
Tastes good with chapati / dosa too.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Spinach cutlet

Last month I got a very big bunch of red spinach in a deal from the nearby stores. Red spinach is similar to the Indian amaranth (thandu keerai). After making a stir fry the first day, I wanted to try something different and here we got a cutlet.

Ingredients:
Spinach - 1/2 bunch
(any greens is good for this recipe)
fennel -1/2 tsp
boiled potato - 2
red onion - 1
ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
salt - as per taste
red chilly powder - 1 tsp
curry masala powder - 1 tsp
turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
besan flour- 1/4 cup
maida / AP flour - 2 tbsp
water - 1/4 cup
bread crumb - 1 cup
oil - 2 tbsp per batch.

Method:
Rinse and clean the spinach. Chop it finely.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wide wok and add 1/2 tsp fennel seeds.
As fennel gets mild red, add the chopped onion, followed by ginger garlic paste.
Then add the spinach and stir fry for 2 minutes(semi cook).
Let it cool.
Mash the cooked potatoes by hand and add to the spinach.
Then add the salt, red chilly powder, garam masala powder, turmeric. Mix well.
If needed add besan flour little by little to get a soft dough consistency.

Prepare the bread crumbs and set aside on a wide plate. (I make my own breadcrumbs by powdering some bread and leaving them in hot oven / @ 200 F for 10 minutes).
Mix Ap flour with water and keep it in a wide dish.

Heat a pan / tawa with 2 tbsp oil.
Make lemon size ball with the prepared spinach dough, slightly flatten it.
Dip in Ap paste, then in breadcrumb , bring it to oval shape.
Shallow fry both sides in medium heat.

Serving suggestion:
Serve as snack or side dish.
Spinach cutlet with tomato sauce is a good combo.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Green gram salad / chaat

Here is another spicy snack for all of us who crave for a spicy snack in the evening and still want to reduce a few inches:)

Other names: Green gram salad / pachai payaru sundal / moong chaat.


Ingredients:
dry green gram - 1 cup
oil - 1 tsp
hing - a pinch
curry leaf - few
mustard - 1 tsp
cucumber - 1
onion - 1
carrot - 1
tomato - 1
lemon - 1/8 of a fruit
coconut slices - few
salt - to taste.
To grind:
coconut - 2 tbsp
cumin - 1/2 tsp
green chilly - 3

Method:
Soak the green gram for 5 hours and cook till tender (Add water just to immerse the green gram. Bring 1 whistle in a pressure cooker, reduce flame and cook in low flame for 5 minutes). (or) Sprout the soaked green gram overnight and cook in stove top for 10 minutes, till done.
Drain the water, take out the cooked green gram and add required salt.keep aside.
Grind the items given to a coarse mixture. Mix with the cooked green gram.
Heat oil in a small skillet. Let the mustard crackle, add the curry leaf, asafoetida (hing). Squeeze the lemon and pour the tempering over the green gram. Carefully mix.

Before serving finely chop the onion, cucumber, tomato, grated carrot, coconut and add to the green gram. Top with finely chopped cilantro.

Green gram salad is ready!

Serving suggestion:
Serve as snack.
Makes 6 servings.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Kadalai curry

Chick peas in spicy kuruma / sivappu konda kadalai kulambu.

Kadala curry is more famous in Kerala, India. They serve kadala curry with aappam , idiappam and puttu as breakfast or dinner in their restaurants. This curry should be prepared with red channa dhal (black/red/ brown chick pea) only, to get a nice flavor. The dark channa has more nutrition and it is easy to sprout too. This Kerala kadala curry is different from Tamilnadu kadala kulambu and both tastes good. Some times I make this curry with rice, dosai, chapati also. Try this and enjoy!
Aappam with kadala curry.


Ingredients:
Red channa - 150 gm (1 cup)
thick coconut milk from can - 1/2 cup
(or) freshly shredded coconut - 1 cup
Red onion - 1
curry leaves - few
coriander leaves - a handful.
mint leaves - few
salt - to taste
coconut oil - 2 tbsp
bay leaf - 1
ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp

To grind:
Shredded coconut - 2 tbsp
tomato - 2 (optional)
green chillies - 4
cumin - 1 tsp
red chilly powder - 1 tsp
coriander powder - 3 tsp
turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
cardamom - 4
cloves - 4
mace - a little bit
jathikkai (nutmeg) - a tiny bit
cinnamon - 1 inch
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp

Method:
Soak the channa for 5 hours in water. Keep it in a pressure cooker with enough water to immerse it. Add one more cup of water. bring it to one whistle and reduce flame, cook it for 10 minutes. We can cook it in stove top also, but it will take an hour.

In the mean time, heat 1 tsp oil in the kadai (wok). Add the cardamam, fennel, cumin, cloves, mace, nutmeg, cinnamon, poppy seed (1/2 tsp) and fry for a second and take out. Immediately add the shredded coconut and fry till it gets mild red.Add the chilly powder, coriander powder and fry till raw smell goes.
If we are adding tomato, then fry the finely chopped tomato along with the coconut+powders till every thing gets cooked. Let cool. Grind along with the fried spices and green chillies.

Heat the remaining oil in a pan. Add bay leaf and fennel seeds.
Add the finely chopped onion,curry leaf, cilantro and mint leaves. After the onion turns golden brown , add the ginger garlic paste and saute well.
Now add the cooked channa (It is believed that we have to use the channa alone and discard the water, but I add the water) salt and put the prepared masala. Bring it to a boil.

In the mean time extract milk from 1 cup shredded coconut by adding warm water. Squeeze the first milk (first thick extract) and reserve it. Add 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup water and extract twice. Add this thin milk to the boiling gravy and keep closed in low heat for 10 minutes. After that add the thick milk and and Switch off immediately. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.

Kadalai curry is ready!

Serving suggestions:
serve hot with aappam, puttu, dosai, rice, chapati.

Note:
Originally they don't add any tomato in this recipe in my home. But I have added tomato here. Without tomatoes the curry tastes sweet and more delicious.
Cooking time: 1 hour
I suggest using some canned coconut milk or coconut milk powder to make it easy:)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Radish raita

Radish is one of our most favorite vegetables. With its low calorie count and innumerable health benefits it stays as a good choice for salads, fresh juice, South Indian mullangi sambar, stuffed paratha, stir fry and also this COOL raitha. Whenever hubby sees this beautiful bunch of fresh radishes he will involuntarily pick some, that too the big white ones are his favorite. Having the radish in mullangi sambar is our usual, but this raitha holds good for summer. Enjoy this delicious raita and stay cool!


Ingredients:
Daikon Radish (long white) -1
fat free Indian plain yogurt (curd) - 1 cup
coconut oil - 1 tsp
mustard - 1/2 tsp
urid dhal (black gram lentil) - 1 tsp
curry leaf / cilantro - little
ginger - 1/2 inch
hing (asafoetida) - a pinch
salt - to taste

To grind:
Green chilly - 2
shredded coconut - 1 tsp
cumin - 1/2 tsp

Method:
Scrub and remove the skin of radish. Chop off the top and bottom, wash well. Shred it using the coarse teeth of a mandolin slicer (carrot shredder).
Heat oil in a wok. Let the mustard start splutter. Then add the urid dhal, hing, finely chopped ginger, curry leaf / cilantro (1 tsp) and saute till urid dhal gets mild red. Then add the shredded radish and saute for a few seconds. Sprinkle a tbsp of water and cook covered for 1 minute. The radish should be semi cooked.
Switch off and let it cool completely.
Grind the items mentioned above without water to a coarse paste.
Mix with the radish and add salt.
Then add the (very cold) plain desi yogurt and mix well.
Radish raitha is ready!

Serving suggestion:
Serve as side dish while serving any spicy hot curry with roti.

Note:
1.If we can get the radish with leaves, then saute both to make this raita.
Horse radish, daikon radish (Asian white radish), red radish can be used in this recipe. I have used daikon radish here.
2.Radish is a very good diuretic and rich in digestive enzymes.