Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's day !

Happy Valentine's Day all !
This year I prepared Badusha (Balushahi) , an Indian sweet for my hubby dear as a Valentine's day gift. This is his most favorite sweet. Every time I ask him what he wishes as a special sweet and he says the same 'BADHUSHA' ....So I make it again and again ...LOL :)
This recipe takes only an hour from start to finish. I like this sweet ,as  it is easy to make. It was not my favorite sweet until marriage or until I started preparing it at home for Xavier. The badushas I ate in most of the sweet stalls tasted like a fried dough soaked in sugar. 
But if you make it at home you will change that opinion about this sweet. If we are making it at home, we will add real butter / ghee and it would be served fresh. I think that is the difference.
So these homemade badusha will make you fall in love with this sweet again!
Click to see my badusha recipe.
Badusha I made for my hubby dear


Lunch in Bridgewater mall pizzeria.

Photo courtesy: thanks to the author

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Instant pot electric pressure cooker recipes - Venn Pongal

Instant Pot Ultra (electric pressure cooker) is a new addition to my kitchen.  Hubby lovingly bought this for me during 'Thanksgiving'. I love it very much. It is very cute and 'smart'.
As a typical South Indian, I have been used to my whistles of  my 'prestige pressure cookers'.  I think most of us would have the same kind of childhood memories, with us all getting up by the whistles of our mom's pressure cooker or a milk cooker. But this electric pressure cooker won't make any such noises (even while we release the pressure manually). It has so many options like 'rice, beans, soup etc' . The best thing about this cooker is , one need not know much about 'cooking timings'. For example, in ordinary cooker one has to memorize 'how many whistles or how much minutes' to cook a dal or rice. . Here one need not know the pressure cooking timing for cooking anything, as everything is 'preset' or 'in its memory'. We can alter it temporarily if needed too.  Soon I will give a honest review and comparison of this electric cooker with ordinary pressure cooker. You are invited to join me in exploring many Indian recipes with Instant pot.

Ven pongal I made in the Instant pot electric pressure cooker.

To maximize the Kohl's cash offer....we stacked up a pyrex container set too :)
My 6 qt Instant pot ultra , 10 in 1, Programmable pressure cooker

Rice and dal

I set the time to 14 mins as this is a mixture of rice and moong dal.

We can latch the lid like this also.

Ven pongal with vadai and sambar.

Ingredients : (for 2 people)
Raw Rice (pacha arisi or briyani rice) - 3/4 cup
Moong dal (green gram dhal) - 1/4 cup  tbsp 
Ginger-1 inch piece (chopped)
salt - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Pepper corns -1 tsp
curry leaves - 1 sprig.
Asafoetida / hing -a pinch
clarified Butter/Ghee/ butter- 1 tbsp
Water- 3 cups (water = 2 times the number of cup of rice + 1 cup)
milk - 1/2 cup  
Cashews- 5 numbers.

Methods :
Rinse the rice and dal together. Add salt and water .
Keep it in a Instant pot pressure cooker. Plug in. The panel will start glowing. 
Select the rice option by rotating the control knob. Press it once to lock the setting.
Again rotate the knob to alter the time if needed. I set it to 14 minutes. But 10 minutes would be enough.
Set to high pressure. Press start.
It will go on preheating for few minutes. Then the pressure will start building and we can see it in the control panel.
The float valve will rise once it reached a whistling stage. But there won't be any whistle sound.
After the cooking is finished it will automatically switch off the pressure cooking and will begin to release pressure naturally. It may take 15 minutes to get the pressure released naturally. But we can manually release the pressure by carefully pressing the release valve.
After releasing the pressure open the lid and proceed with 'tadka' or tempering and garnish the pongal.

After cooking the rice and dhal tenderly, mash them mildly.(not like a paste, but gently.)
Heat a frying pan. Add the ghee.
Add Cumin , Ginger ,cashews, hing and whole pepper.
Immediately after the cashews turn golden in color, add them to pongal .
Serve hot.

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot with coconut cutney, Idly-sambar, ulunthu(black gram) vadai.
Serves 2 people.
It can be served as both breakfast or dinner.

Here is a beautiful scene I clicked in my neighborhood Asian grocery store during Chinese New Year February 5 th 2019. Happy Chinese New year dear all !
Happy Chinese New Year : decorations in a nearby Asian grocery store.

Red banana (செவ்வாழைப்பழம் ) I bought from Asian store. mmm...tastes just like Indian red banana. 

Perfect Traditional Adai Dosai

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