Thursday, August 27, 2015

Rice kheer

Arisi payasam / paal payasam / rice kheer / rice pudding

Believe it or not, my mom has never done this and I came to know of this kheer after marriage only ♥
In my house quick payasam (kheer) means semiya payasam only. Mom won't change the family's traditional cooking and that's what made her foods incredibly yummy. But I believe that it is more fun to taste newer recipes (that too , if they are simple and quick).
This rice kheer is very common in almost all the houses nowadays and I appreciate the way we use rice instead of some processed semiya (vermicelli). So I happily embraced this easy kheer. I got this recipe from most of my neighbors (North and South Indians), and found a median version that suits us ♥ I don't insist on adding saffron or pistachio, but doing so will definitely enhance it.
I am sure simple kheers like this are a boon to this modern era women, who wishes to attend potlucks or host parties , but still wishes to look fresh  ♥

Wishing all a happy and prosperous Onam and Varalakshmi Nonbu !

Paal payasam / rice kheer

Raw rice (basmati or pachcharisi) - 1/4 cup
whole milk  or 2 % milk- 2 cup
sugar - 12 tsp
almond - 2
cashew - 2
raisin - few
cardamom powder - 1/8 tsp
saffron - pinch (optional)

Rinse the rice and cook in stove top. Otherwise we can use 3/4 cup of well cooked rice.
Add 2 cups of water and bring it to boil. Simmer and let it cook till rice gets soft.
Then add the milk and cook till the consistency becomes thick.
In the meantime soak the nuts and raisin separately.
Coarsely grind the soaked nuts and add the raisin and nuts.
Mix well.
Add required sugar and cardamom powder, saffron (soaked in a tbsp of milk).
Bring to a boil and switch off.
Serve hot or cold.

Serving suggestion:
Serve as dessert.
The above said quantity will be enough for 5 small servings (1/4 cup each).

Happy Onam !

Monday, August 24, 2015

Senai Kilangu fry

Deep fried yam / Senai kilangu varuval / suran fry.

Elephant yam is one of the big size yams of India. Though it is completely composed of carbohydrates, it is believed to yield some health. So it is popular than potato in my place.

While in UG, we all girls had a nice ladies hostel. Few times I had the chance to enter their store room to inspect along with our warden (a procedure to record a fair transaction).  At that time I could see our the pantry's upper shelf stacked up with these elephant yams and the chef answered why there were too many yams for us :) ...
"Yams can be bought fresh during few months like January, February there. But they can be stored without refrigeration for many months (3-5 or even more), if they are kept whole and safer. Likewise one could see some whole pumpkins, coconuts too :)  "
....That was surprising to me and the way they maintained very low lunch fees (that's a blessing) had made me realize the responsibility of good house keeping ( buying in bulk and storing during lesser price).

Okay, coming to our Yam fry (looking like fish fry).....My mom used to make this fry occasionally along with paruppu kulambu  (click to see my traditional paruppu kulambu recipe too). This would be the star-dish while it rains.

Getting this fresh yam is not easy here in US. It would be very expensive ($4.99/ lb) and the shops would expect us to take the whole yam (no cuttings) and the yams (you all know)  will always measure more than 3 lb . So I just buy from freezer section and those packets always carry yams cut into tiny cubes. So I waited for an opportunity to try this for my blog, as well as our family.

Last year, I made this for my inlaws and they absolutely loved it. This became my mother inlaw's most favorite and I love the way all liked it. So try this on a cool season for your loving family and enjoy this fry as well as their smile.

Deep fried yam (I couldn't take any 'blog worthy photos', as we all started enjoying them immediately).

Senai kilangu marinated with masalas

Senai kilangu cut into bigger wedges

Elephant yam - 1 lb (or little more)
turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
red chilli powder - 1 1/2 tsp
coriander powder - 2 tsp
curry masala powder - 1 tsp
salt - as per need (1 1/2 tsp)
water - 1 tbsp
Oil - to deep fry

Remove the skin of the yam using a knife. (Don't rinse in water now).  Cut it into bigger squares or triangles of 3/4 inch thickness. Now rinse in water. 
Mix all the masalas and salt in water.
Marinate the yam slices in this mixture.
Wash your hands in little tamarind water.
Deep fry in oil, flip and fry in medium heat.
Take out and drain oil.
Senai kizhangu fry (veggie fish fry) is ready !

Serving suggestion:
Serve as side dish with any rice.

Other dishes with Senai kilangu :
Senai kilangu varuval / roast.
Senai kilangu paruppu koottu 
Senai kilangu erisseri
Pongal avial
Pongal puli curry

Monday, August 3, 2015

Apple milkshake

Having more milk (calcium rich food) during summer has been in practice in most of the colder countries. As I am more into vegetarian foods now, I like milk better. Vitamin D from Sun and Calcium are like buddies. I don't need to say more on this in detail. Direct Sunlight is available only for few months in our place, then it would be always cloudy, rainy or snowy. We can see people consuming milk , just like a cold drink , straight from the gallon container and everyone around here craves for milk and cheese. New Jersey's cows in the farms are a beautiful happy sight to see. Also the locally grown apples in my state fill the markets at a very low price. So that is our main fruit throughout the year (other fruits and veggies are seasonal only).
I tried this on an afternoon, while one of my friends came to our house and we both enjoyed it very much.
Hope you all love this milkshake !
Honey crisp apple (local farm) and red delicious apples along with milk. Organic milk is not regular , but for more taste.

Apple milkshake.
Cute love !

Apple tree in an apple farm

Apple - 1 (big)
milk - 2 cups
cardamom powder - a pinch
brown sugar - 3 tsp

Core and peel the apple. Puree using a mixie / blender along with cardamom and sugar.
Add some milk and grind to a fine paste.
Now add more cold milk, ice cubes and enjoy!

Serving suggestion:
Serve as drink (like orange juice) along with breakfast or anytime.

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...