Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New year,

Let's welcome the New year with joy,
with lots of prayers and well wishes,
May every day be filled
with happiness and peace,
May every face on earth live happily forever,
with all our needs satisfied,
May every life lives peacefully
with all our dreams come true,
May every child gets love and care,along
with all the toys they want:)
May God shower His abundant love on all of us,

Wishing all a
beautiful, Prosperous and Blessed
Happy New Year and Happy blogging!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mandarin orange Marmalade

Winter is the best season to buy oranges as they grow abundantly here. Recently hubby bought me a crate of Mandarin oranges, as I love them very much. On seeing that I wanted to make some marmalade, as I admire Ina's and Alton Brown's orange marmalade in food TV network shows. My version is a combination of both recipes and learned a few tips through internet. I totally enjoyed the whole process, as the orange smell filled the whole house and gives us a cheerful feeling. I did a small batch only, as I am yet to learn canning process. I used pectin to bring the runny jam to a spreading consistency. The result is very good and we got a big batch of homemade mandarin marmalade. Hubby dear loves this marmalade very much along with bread for breakfast. Nowadays he wants me to make all kinds of jams at home:) Try this and enjoy the sweet orange marmalade.
Mandarin orange marmalade in glass bottles I saved. Happy New year!

Bright and cheerful oranges.

Cooking the orange the previous night is essential.

I used peels from some mandarins only, as I wanted to make a sweeter jam.

Pectin gives a good texture for all preserves. Nowadays I am making homemade pectin too.
Mandarin oranges - 14
sugar - 4 cup
lemon - 1
water - 2 cup

Wash the oranges and lemon , wipe clean. Air dry them. Take half the number of mandarins, quarter and slice them very thinly.
Discard any seeds.
Peel the other half of mandarins, discard the peels (I keep the peels for making orange peel powder).
Remove the skin, pith, seeds and take out the juicy orange alone.
In a thick bottom vessel add the chopped mandarin, mandarin flesh,  2 cups water and cook the oranges till the peel turns tender.  Add sugar and bring to a boil.
Switch off and leave them to soak overnight.
The next day start heating the jam and cook till it gets almost thick (spreadable consistency). It will take nearly 1 hour.
If you are going for a long term preserve, then follow the instructions of a canning expert, as I made a 'refrigerator type jam' only.
If the consistency is still runny, add 1/2 a sachet of pectin (1 jar pack) and heat till it is more thick.
Let cool and store in well cleaned glass bottles.
Mandarin orange marmalade is ready!


This marmalade made of mandarin orange is sweeter than the British marmalade.
Serve with bread toast or chapati.
We can use the peels of entire batch, but my version is more sweeter.
Homemade marmalade or preserve are  healthy, delicious ,economical and gives the cook a kind of satisfaction:)
Orange Marmalade is good for health when consumed with breakfast.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ginger bread cookies

Baking the 'Ginger bread cookies' during Christmas time is a traditional baking activity in US. I was looking for a spicy ginger bread man cookies and got this in food network website. Thanks to the author, I made spicy delicious cookies for this Christmas and we enjoyed it very much. I have added some black pepper powder also, as per my knowledge and it turned out very good. We got 10 big size ginger bread people, 25 small gingerbread couples and a house. Approximately it can yield 45 small gingerbread people. Here is my video on this recipe. If you like the video, kindly subscribe and encourage me. Thank you !

2 D Gingerbread house cookie along with sugar cookies I made for Christmas.

Ingredients and directions:
Butter - 1 1/2 stick
Dark brown sugar - 1 cup
sugar - 2/3 cup
orange zest - from 1 fruit
Bring butter to room temperature by keeping it out of fridge for 6 hours. Mix the above well. Keep aside.

Egg - 2
molasses - 1/2 cup
lemon - 1/2 fruit
Beat the eggs and mix with molasses, lemon juice. Add this to the above liquid and keep aside.

Dry ginger powder - 1 tbsp
black pepper powder - 1 tsp
nutmeg - 1/20 of a nut (powdered)
All spice powder - 1/2 tsp
cinnamon powder - 1 1/2 tsp
cloves - 5 (powdered)
Powder the spices together and keep in freezer till we need. (I use immediately).

Dry ingredients:
All purpose flour - 4 cup
baking powder - 1 1/2 tsp
baking soda - 1/2 tsp
salt - 1 tsp
Sift together AP flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder twice.

Add the gingerbread cookie spice powder and  dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. I mix with hands just like chapati dough. Cover with a cling wrap and keep refrigerated (for 2 hours or up to 1 week, as per need). Refrigerating the cookie dough makes it hard enough to roll and cut shapes.

Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Dust a rolling board with AP flour and start rolling the cookies up to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, take out carefully using a spatula and let cool on cooling wires. Store in air tight containers.

Gingerbread cookies is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Makes an yummy snack along with coffee / tea.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


I made this adhirasam (Indian donuts) for this year Christmas. After posting a version of adirasam using store bought rice flour I wanted to make this traditional adirasam and it came out successfully. Adhirasam is an Indian dessert or snack. It is a very common snack prepared in villages of Tamilnadu. Preparing perfect athirasam depends on the expertise on making the perfect jaggery solution (vella pagu). I have measured everything in gms, using my kitchen scale. As getting a 1/2 kg jaggery pack is easier,I add sugar and make up the other ingredients based on that (otherwise rice and jaggery should be of equal weight). I used the Adora basmati rice we get here. I got my adhirasam batter a little runny, so I added maida (AP flour) till it became little thick. If we are using Indian raw rice (pacharisi) , then there won't be any need to add maida flour. Here is my recipe for the 'Tamilnadu sweet adhirasam'.
Recipe source: I have seen my mom making this along with a maid during festivals.  Now I did this with my Mother-in law's tips on making the perfect adhirasam batter. Adding maida is her tips and it works out perfectly for me. 
Awaiting Baby Jesus....Athirasam for Holy Family.

Athirasam batter.

Raw rice - 600 gm
jaggery - 500 gm
water - 3/4 cup
white sugar - 3 tbsp
dry ginger powder - 1 tbsp
sesame seeds - 2 tbsp
cardamom powder - 1 tsp
poppy seed (kasakasa) - 1 tbsp
All purpose flour - (if needed)
oil to deep fry
ghee - few tsp

Rinse the rice. Soak the rice in water for 1 hour.   Drain water completely and spread it on a clean dry paper towel or cloth.  Let it dry for 2 hours. Powder the rice in mixie (little by little) to a very fine stage. Sieve if needed.

In the meantime prepare the jaggery solution. Crush the jaggery into small pieces. Put sugar and jaggery in a vessel, add 3/4 cup water and heat till the jaggery dissolves. Continue heating till we see bubbles and one string consistency. (the jaggery solution when poured from the spatula should fall like a single line at the end.).  Check: Take water in a small cup and pour this jaggery now, it should fall as a drop, but will dissolve soon. we will not be able to roll it into a ball. This is the stage for making soft athirasam. Immediately switch off.

Don't go for uruttu patham (update 2014): if it became soft ball or uruttu patham, then add 1/4 cup water and heat and bring back. {Soft ball consistency. (Soft ball consistency - uruttu patham : If we drop 1/2 a tsp of jaggery solution in cold water, it should not dissolve. We should be able to roll that into a soft ball). (or do this step using a candy thermometer - candy stage temp).}

To the powdered rice, add cardamom powder, sesame, kasakasa, dry ginger powder, jaggery solution. Add the jaggery solution little by little , leaving behind the sediments. Mix well. Add the entire solution if possible (the adirasam should be as sweet as possible) and the batter should be like chapati dough but more sticky, little runny and soft to touch.

Add 3 tbsp milk to this and knead again. This gives soft athirasam. (updated 2014)

 If the dough is more runny like idly batter, add maida flour and give it more thickness. (It is a good idea to prepare a cup of extra rice flour separately to mix with the runny batter). For test run, fry one adirasam immediately and check if tastes / looks good.

Then cover the batter with a cling wrap or clean cloth and let it soak for 3 days. On the third day heat oil in a broad frying pan. Wait till it gets really hot. Reduce to medium flame. Take a plastic sheet, apply some ghee in our hands and on the sheet. Take a small lime size adhirasam batter , flatten it smoothly. Make a small hole in center (for South Tamilnadu adirasam) or just without hole (for Madras Athirasam). Deep fry in low to medium heat. Flip and fry the other side too. Fry the adirasam in small batches and give more time to cook in low heat.

Take out using two spatulas, one to hold the adirasam and another to press and drain oil. Keep in paper towels, let cool and store in airtight containers. It gets softer and tastes good after a few hours.

Adirasam is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve as snack with tea / coffee and murukku.
Makes a traditional Indian dessert.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas,

A beautiful Christmas greetings made by Ishaan.
Have a look inside.... Thank u Ishaan. You are adorable!
A cute handmade Christmas greetings presented by my cousin Madhu.
Love you are always our sweet little cousin sister. Thanks Madhu.
Thanks to Regi and RJ.Your gift is very beautiful too.
Birthday cake for Baby Jesus. I made this icing along with my cousin Madhu.
Snacks for Santa and vegetables for Reindeer...a Christmas tradition.
Rose Christmas tree...I bought from a neighbor's garage sale. I like this cute little tree also very much.
Santa and reindeer in our house....lights and decorations for Christmas.
Christmas Village
Nativity scene and Christmas Village

Nativity scene
Our Christmas tree... our happiness.

Wishing all my friends and readers a  Blessed Happy Christmas,
May all our dreams come true.
Merry Christmas! Love, Viki

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pumpkin cupcake (Vegetarian)

Sometime ago, I made some pumpkin puree at home and stocked them up in freezer. Then one day I baked some cupcakes out of it and it was totally yummy. 
I got the recipe from this website. Thanks to the author I could bake some scrupmtious pumpkin cupcakes. That recipe is purely vegan, but I have used milk products in my recipe. This recipe can yield 12 standard cupcakes. I made my own 'homemade pumkpin puree' with the pumpkins I got. Pureeing the pumpkin is very simple. Just cut the pumpkin into half, bake it at 350 deg F for 40 min or till soft. Scoop out the baked pumpkin, let cool, puree in mixer, store in freezer. Stays good upto 3 months. I meaured the puree and noted down in every sachet for further use. (Substitute for store bought pumpkin puree - Fresh pumpkin can be boiled / pressure cooked completely and pureed).

The icing is optional. I used some of my cream cheese frosting at hand and it tasted absolutely delicious.

All purpose flour - 1 1/4 cup
pumpkin puree - 1/2 cup
Milk - 1/4 cup
vinegar / lemon juice - 1 tsp
baking powder - 1 tsp
baking soda - 1/2 tsp
brown sugar - 1/3 cup
white sugar - 1/3 cup
cinnamon powder - 1 tsp
ginger powder - 1/2 tsp
nutmeg powder - 1/2 tsp
salt - 1/2 tsp
corn / olive oil / butter - 1/2 cup
vanilla essence - 1 tsp

Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Arrange the cupcake paper liners in the bake-ware. Keep aside.

Mix together milk and vinegar and let it rest for 5 minutes. (we can use plain yogurt instead of this step).

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda. Sift this twice to get a spongy cake.
Put this flour in a mixing bowl and add cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
In a mixer or another mixing bowl thoroughly mix together sugar, pumpkin puree, oil, vanilla and milk mixture.
Pour this to the sifter flour mix well using a fork / beater.
Pour this into cupcake liners upto 3/4 th height and bake for 16 - 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes clean.
Take out, cool completely before frosting. Tastes good with / without frosting.

Serving suggestion:
Makes a dessert or breakfast.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Event entry and reposts

Divya Pramil of  'You too can cook'  and Priya of 'Cook like Priya' are hosting an event for Christmas. Here are my entries for their fabulous event. Happy hosting friends!

I am sending the following entries to Divya's 60 days to Christmas Event.

1. Indian whole chicken fry
 2. Hyderabad chicken briyani
 Hyderabadi Chicken biryani in vibrant coloration.

The following entries are for Priya's 60 days to Christmas Event.
1. Christmas fruit cake

2. Carrot cake

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cranberry pickle

Cranberries are abundant during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Making a sweet sauce with cranberry is traditional here. I always make spicy pickle with cranberries and it tastes exactly the same as mango pickle (YES!). Xav likes it very much and I try to keep this in fridge during season. Last month I bought 2 packs of cranberries from Aldi, pickled them and stored in fridge. It is always cheerful to see him choosing from one of my homemade pickles:) Hope you all enjoy this pickle too!
Cranberry pickle in a jar.
Cranberry - 1/2 lb
corn or Sesame oil - 1/2 cup
(we can reduce the oil , if we are refrigerating the pickle)
Red chilly powder - 2 tbsp
fenugreek (methi / venthayam) - 1 tsp
mustard seeds - 1 tsp
hing (asafoetida) - 1/8 tsp
sea salt - to taste (approx 1.5 tbsp)
white vinegar - 2 tbsp

Wash and clean the cranberries. Wipe with a clean cloth and dry it in open air to remove any moisture for an hour or more (overnight).
Heat the above said quantity of sesame oil (any cooking oil) in a kadai (wok). Add the mustard seeds and let them start to crackle. At the same time add hing , fenugreek seeds and wait till it gets red. Immediately add the cranberries and  saute till they starts cracking. Cranberry will get thick and mushy now. Add salt.
When the oil starts showing off the edges, add the red chilly powder and stir well till the raw smell of red chilly powder goes.  Mix vinegar.
Switch off the flame and let the pickle get cool. Store in glass bottles.
Cranberry pickle is ready! Keep it refrigerated.

Serving suggestions:
Serve as side dish with curd rice.
We can  mix some of this pickle with white rice to prepare a quick cranberry rice for lunch pack.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Black bean chilli

Black bean is one of my favorite beans. We can make numerous dishes using this. Though it is not a common one in India, one can compare its taste with a mixture of rajma (red kidney beans) and black gram.Chillie or chili is a dish resembling a thick lentil soup. It can be had along with tortilla chips as a dip or bread rolls.  Here I have used dried black beans. I always buy a pack of dry beans, soak and pressure cook them, keep them frozen in small portions till I need. Though buying canned beans is easier, I like my method better. Anyways both tastes good. Try this chili on a cold winter day and you are gonna love it!

Black bean (dry) - 1 cup
water - 3 cups
onion - 1
garlic - 4 cloves
green chilly - 1
celery stem - 1
tomato puree - 1/2 cup
red chilly powder - 1 tsp
cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
butter - 1 tbsp
Italian seasoning (dry) - 1 tsp
lemon - 1/8

Soak the beans overnight. Discard the soaked water (must).
Add 3 times water. Pressure cook for 5 minutes in medium heat after a whistle. (or cook in stove top for 1 hour / till tender).

Heat butter in a vessel. Add finely chopped onion, garlic and stir till onion turns soft.
Then add the chopped celery, green chilly and saute for a minute.
Then add the cooked beans, tomato puree, red chilly powder, cumin powder, salt and cook covered for 10 minutes. After switching off sprinkle dried Italian seasoning, lemon juice, pepper powder.

Chile is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot with bread or tortilla chips.

Adding minced meat in this recipe is also common.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mullangi sambar

Mullangi - Radish; Sambar - a dal based curry.

Radish is one of my favorite vegetables. Hubby loves this mullangi (radish) sambar very much. Though the red radish (that looks like potato) is common, this Indian white daikon radish is also easily available here. The daikon radish is more spicy and flavorful. So I buy this one for sambar. I use homemade sambar powder and canadian Toor dal (flat toor dal with sprouts, ilai paruppu) and that is the secret behind my flavorful sambar. We can use any Toor dal (red gram / pigeon pea lentil), but this ilai paruppu will give more flavor and thickness (according to my mom). Shakthi sambar powder also works fine, but nowadays I am making my own ingredients from scratch:)
I won't add onion in the radish sambar, but feel free to customize it for your taste buds:)
Here is my radish sambar recipe.
Sambar is an essential curry while serving South Indian rice meal.

Platter has Rice, chow chow dal, okra puli kulambu, avial, plain yogurt, sarkkarai pongal.
Picture of the day:)
Sometimes I try to prepare a simple platter of South Indian meal on weekends and sambar is an essential one for the main course. Typical South Indian meal should contain a bowl of rice, sambar, koottu (dal based side dish), aviyal (coconut based side dish), poriyal (stir fry) or varuval (deep fry), appalam, vadagam (chips), more milagai (fried yogurt dipped chilly), puli kulambu / vatral kulambu(tamarind based curry), more kulambu (curd based curry), rasam (soup like curry), payasam(dessert)and curd. One need not prepare a whole platter at a time, but it will be fun to make at least a few items in the list and it will definitely cheer up the house. These kind of spreads / platter brings me my mom's fond memories or festival touch :)

To pressure cook:
Toor dhal/red gram lentil - 3/4 cup
water- 2 cups
turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
asafoetida - 1 pinch
sesame oil- 1 drop
Wash and clean the lentil. Pressure cook the dhal with the above said ingredients for a whistle. Then reduce flame and cook for 10 minutes. Let it cool. Open the lid and add some fresh cumin seeds. Mash well using a spatula. Keep aside.
(we can cook the dhal in stove top also. But we may need to soak it first for 30 minutes or more and cook for 30 minutes. Overnight soaking can be done inside fridge too).

Other ingredients:
Radish - 1 (long)
Tamarind - amla (gooseberry / nellikkai) size ball
tomato - 1
coconut oil / ghee - 2 tbsp
(Try to use ghee, as it gives more taste to the sambar).
curry leaves- 1 sprig
cilantro/ coriander leaves (chopped)- 1 tbsp
jaggery (Indian brown sugar) - 1 tsp
mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
fenugreek -1/2 tsp
dry red chilly - 3
salt - to taste
homemade sambar powder  - 2 tsp
freshly shredded coconut - 1 tbsp

Soak the tamarind in 2 cups of hot water and extract the juice by squeezing.
Peel the skin of radish by rubbing it with a knife. Rinse and chop it into thin circles.
Put it in a separate vessel along with tamarind extract water, chopped tomato and cook till tender.

Add the sambar powder, cumin to the pressure cooked dal and mash. Pour it to the cooked radish.

In the same time heat oil or ghee in a separate wok. Add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and let the mustard splutter. Immediately add the curry leaves, chopped dry red chilly and saute for a few seconds. Pour this hot mixture over the dhal. Bring it to only one boil, add the chopped cilantro, shredded coconut, jaggery and switch off.
Mullangi sambar is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot over plain cooked rice.
The best side dish would be a spicy arbi fry.
Make some extra sambar, reserve for dinner and serve along with paper roast dosas.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Spicy Shrimp curry (Era thokku)

After publishing the Chettinadu chicken biriyani, I was getting many requests from friends for this Shrimp curry. Here I am narrating how I prepare this tongue tickling shrimp thokku. This recipe may seem more oily, but definitely lesser than a fried shrimp. I prepare this kind of spicy and oily non veg recipes along with ghee rice, coconut milk rice or curd rice. Changing the ingredients' proportion will not yield the authentic South Indian shrimp curry. So stick to the recipe.
My hubby is not a fan of any crustaceans like shrimp or crab. So I rarely prepare those items. I used to wait for friends and family who like these foods and prepare these for them and would enjoy the food along with them. Nowadays I too rarely prepare Xav's non-favorite foods , as it is not interesting for me and so I didn't have any recent photos for this dish:) Try this one and tell me how you love it:)

Shrimp spicy curry / Indian prawn poriyal / eral thokku:
Chettinadu chicken biryani served with era(Shrimp) thokku .

You may need:
A thick bottom kadai / wok
a tight lid

sea shrimp - 1 lb (1/2 kg)
sesame oil - 1/4 cup
shallot onion - 25 number (naattu vengayam)
curry leaf - 1 sprig
fennel seeds (sombu) - 1 tsp
mace (jathi pathiri) - tiny bit
fresh ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
tomato - 4
green chilly - 3
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
sea salt - as per need

To Fry and grind (masala powder):
coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
dry red chilly - 5
channa dal - 1 tbsp
black pepper - 1 tbsp
cumin - 1 tsp
cinnamon - 1 inch
cardamom - 3
cloves - 6
fennel - 1/2 tsp
nutmeg(jathikkai ) - 1 tiny shaving

Buy fresh small or medium size shrimp. (Larger variety prawn / shrimp may taste bland - my opinion only). Remove the shell and intestines (green stuff seen at back of shrimp). Rinse well. Keep aside.

Bring to boil 1/2  cup water. Cook the tomato, peel(remove skin) and grind to a fine paste in that cooked water. Keep aside.

Heat the wok with 1 tsp oil, fry the items (chana dal, chilly, coriander - one by one separately and the others together) mentioned for grinding and grind it to a fine powder.

Heat 1/4 cup sesame oil / coconut oil in the wok. Add fennel, mace and let the fennel get red. Then add chopped shallot and fry till it gets golden brown. Put curry leaves, freshly made ginger garlic paste (1 inch ginger + 6 cloves of garlic). Fry for few seconds or till raw smell vanishes. Add the pureed tomato and cook till oil shows up. Then add the cleaned shrimp, salt, turmeric powder, green chillies and cook covered for 10 minutes (medium flame). Then add the prepared masala powder and cook covered in low flame till oil separates (5 minutes).
Garnish with finely chopped cilantro (optional). Switch off! Shrimp thokku is ready!

Serving suggestions: 
Serve as side dish with biriyani, curd rice, sambar rice, rasam rice, chapati.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Chilly chicken

Chilly chicken is another popular Indian chicken recipe. We can taste Chilly chicken in most of the Indian restaurants anywhere. People often say that chilly chicken is an Indo-Chinese food. I don't know for sure about this fact, but I like the deep flavor of capsicum and spring onions in it. I have tried to make chilly chicken on my own many times (came out good though), but wanted to get a typical flavored recipe. So I referred Deepa's (Hamaree rasoi) chilly chicken and got the basic idea for this recipe. I like her recipe very much, as it is easy to understand and gives me the correct taste.  I have added black pepper and Ap flour instead of white pepper and corn starch, as I had that only at hand. Turmeric is one ingredient I always add compulsorily in most of my non veg foods. Other than that it is very same as Deepa's.
Some people call the same recipe as chicken manchurian. Whatever the name be, here is a totally irresistible chicken dish from my kitchen to yours:)
Chilly chicken

Step 1:
To marinate:
skinless boneless chicken thigh - 1 kg
All purpose flour / corn flour - 3 tbsp
soy sauce - 2 tbsp
vinegar - 2 tbsp
red chilly powder - 1 tsp
egg - 1
salt - to taste
turmeric - 1 tsp

Ginger - 3 inch
garlic - 6 cloves

Grind ginger garlic together. Cut the chicken into small pieces. Mix everything above in a mixing bowl along with ginger garlic paste. Add the chicken pieces and marinate for 1 to 2 hours.

Step 2:
Oil - 200 ml.
Deep fry the chicken pieces in medium fire. Ensure that the pieces are cooked well and turns golden red.
Don't crowd the oil. It will take nearly 30 minutes, depending upon the wok size.
while frying, I chopped the other ingredients and made the chapati:)
Keep the fried chicken pieces in a paper towel and drain excess oil. Keep aside.

Step 3:
For garnish:
green capsicum - 1 large
(bell pepper / kudai milagai)
scallion (spring onion) - 1 small bunch
white onion - 1 large
black / white pepper powder - 1 tsp
salt - to taste
remaining marinade
tomato sauce - 2 tbsp
corn starch - 1 tbsp
soy sauce - 1 tsp
garlic - 6 cloves
green chilly - 4

Mince garlic and green chilly finely. Chop the scallion to 1/2 inch pieces.
Cut the capsicum and onion into 1 inch squares.
After frying the marinated chicken pieces, drain the oil in paper towels.
Discard excess oil from the frying pan and retain only 2 to 3 tbsp oil.
Put the chopped onion and capsicum, fry for a few seconds.  Add the minced garlic, green chilly.
Add little salt (as we have already added salt before frying the chicken), soy sauce, dissolved corn starch, tomato ketchup, pepper powder and mix well.
Add 1/4 cup water to the left over marinade and add to the wok.
Cook for a few minutes. Before switching off, add the fried chicken mix well.
Garnish with chopped scallion.
Chilly chicken is ready!

Serving suggestion:
Serve hot as side dish with any fried rice or chapati or noodle.
Serves 6 - 8 people

Time taken:
Marination - 2 hours
preparation - 30 minutes
frying - 30 minutes
garnish - 15 minutes
This may seem a time consuming process, but worth the effort.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Ragi puttu

Finger millet - Ragi, keppai, kezhvaragu.
Puttu - steamed cake with loose texture.

Millets and Tamil cuisine are always intertwined. Including this wonder grain (at least 1 tbsp) in the diet on alternate days will definitely enrich the quality of anyone's everyday meal. There are many ways to cook ragi, while puttu is an outstanding one.  Here is another fiber rich breakfast recipe from my kitchen to yours.
Ragi puttu
Ragi - 1  cup
water - less than 1/4 cup
salt - 1/8 tsp
cardamom powder - a pinch
shredded coconut - 2 tbsp

Dry roast the ragi flour till it smells nice and a mild red.
Mix salt and shredded coconut to the flour.
Sprinkle water and loosely mix well.
Add water and mix till the flour is little wet (not dry).
We should be able to hold a handful of wet flour to make a ball, but if let down , it should crumble.
This is the best consistency for puttu.

Steam cook it in puttu maker or idly stand or tied inside a thin cloth.
Click to see my rice puttu for detailed method.

Serving suggestions:
Serve with little brown sugar, freshly shredded coconut and banana (optional).

Makes a healthy breakfast.

This can be made the previous night and stored in airtight container - refrigerated - microwaved / reheated in pressure cooker and served as breakfast. May be good as post workout food or as a quick meal.

Vazhaikkai Poriyal (Plantain stir fry)

This vazhaikai poriyal was a staple in our house as we had some (lot) of banana trees in our backyard. I have seen amma running there to pic...