Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Ginger Bread Cookies

Ginger Bread Cookies are baked during Christmas season.  It is a spicy and delicious cookie, resembling the fruit cake in flavor. 

I bake this cookie every year during Christmas and it is loved by all of our family and friends. Here is the recipe.

This recipe is for the quantity of making 20 - 25 small ginger bread cookies.

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Ingredients:

First prepare the Spice powders and keep it handy. This stays fresh in freezer for nearly 6 - 12 months.


Spices:
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)

 

Wet Ingredients:
Butter - 6 tbsp
Dark brown sugar - 1/2 cup 
sugar - 1/3 cup
orange zest - from 1 fruit
Egg - 1
molasses - 1/4 cup
lemon - 1 tbsp


Mix well.

 

 

Dry Ingredients:

All-purpose flour - 2 cups
baking powder - 3/4 tsp
baking soda - 1/4 tsp
salt - 1/2 tsp



Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix well, using hands or stand mixer.

Make it as a dough.

Spread using rolling pin into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slabs.

Dip the cookie cutter in flour and cut into desired shapes.

Bake at 350 F for 8-10 minutes.


The dough can be kept in refrigerator for up-to a month.


Wednesday, December 20, 2023

கிறிஸ்துமஸ் ப்ரூட் கேக் Indian Christmas Fruit cake


I.For caramelizing
sugar-1/2 cup
water - 2tbsp + 1 cup
Add sugar and 2 tbsp water keep in stove at low to medium heat. When the sugar starts to turn brown , stir slowly .The sugar will start to change color from light brown to dark. In between , keep in microwave the water for 2 min and warm it. When the sugar starts to turn brown , pour slowly the warm water. Be cautious, as it may splutter (wear a hand gloves always for this step).

Ingredients
dry ingredients:
All purpose flour (maida)- 2 1/2 cup
baking powder - 2 tsp
baking soda - 3/4 tsp
Nuts and fruits:
dried fruits-(dates, raisins, tooti frooti)- 2 cup
dried nuts-(almonds, cashews and walnuts) - 1 cup
grape juice - 1/4 cup + orange juice- 1 cup + apple juice - 1/4 cup
(or) orange juice - 1 1/2 cup
wet ingredients: (others)
sugar -  1 1/2 cup
butter- 2 sticks (16 tbsp butter = 1 cup oil)
(use butter for perfect flavor)
egg - 6
salt -  1 tsp
vanilla extract -2 tsp
To powder:
lemon and orange peels - 2 tbsp
(I use peels of a large naval orange)
All spice powder (see below for recipe)- 2 tsp

Preparation:
Take half of the amount of dry fruits. (reserve the rest  for direct baking later). Except raisin chop others.

Soak 1 cup of dry fruits in grape + apple + orange juice for a few hours.
( I puree apple , grapes at home and use store bought orange juice).
Without any other juices,  orange juice will also do the same job.
I soaked it in orange juice for 3 days inside fridge.
Bring the butter, egg and everything to room temperature by keeping them out of fridge for few hours -  overnight.
Dry roast the almond, cashew and other nuts. Then chop them into small pieces.

Before baking:
Preheat the oven at 350 F.
Grease a 9 x 13 x 2 inch cake pan ( 1/4 sheet cake pan) generously with butter.
Sprinkle 2 tbsp all purpose flour and spread  it all over by shaking.

Method:
Wet ingredients: 
 In a blender (Indian mixie) add orange peel and crush it. To it add butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla essence, salt and beat again till fluffy.
Pour this to a large mixing bowl along with caramelized sugar.
Dry ingredients:
Sift together all purpose flour, baking soda , baking powder. I sift this over a large newspaper and will sift twice to ensure a fluffy cake. Sifting is  a MUST.
Add this dry ingredients to wet ingredients in the mixing bowl. Mix well with a large spoon. (or electric mixer).
Add the soaked fruits along with juice. it was soaking.
Take 2 tbsp of AP flour and mix it with the broken nuts and remaining unsoaked dry fruits.
Pour the cake batter to the cake pan .
Now spread the flour coated nuts and nuts over the cake batter . Shake gently and let the nuts sink a little. Don't stir them.
Bake in middle of the rack for 40 to 50 minutes in 350 deg F. If not cooked increase 10 min each time. The cake will be done in 45 minutes. The cake is ready when a toothpick inserted into it comes out clean.

Take out and cool for at least 10 - 20  minutes before transferring to cooling racks.
Cool the cake completely over cooling rack for 4 - 5 hours and slice as per need.
Store in airtight containers.
The cake tastes more delicious after 1 day - 3 days.


Note:
Makes one large 9 x 13 cake. or four 6 inch round cakes.
The above recipe gives 2 kg  ( approx 4.5 lb ) of fruit cake ( little more than that , depending upon the nuts and fruits we add).
Always use a good quality aluminum baking pan (eg Wilton cake pans) for evenly baking.
If using glass bakeware (eg Pyrex) , bake at 325 F . Don't exceed the recommended temperature.
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Using some kitchen appliances will make cake baking an easy job. Here are some of my tips for using various mixers for making fruit cake.

For kitchenaid mixer:
Using a whisk attachment beat the egg to fluffy (1 min - 2 min). (whites first then add yellow).
Melt the butter . Add butter and sugar together for 1 minute in speed 2.
Remove the whisk attachment and fix the flat beater.
Add all the wet ingredients and beat for 30 seconds at speed 2.
Then add dry ingredients and beat at speed 6 for 1 minute.
DO NOT over-beat the cake mixture.

For Indian mixie:
Beat the eggs together.
Then add all the wet ingredients.
Pour this to a mixing bowl.
Using a spatula or hand held electric mixer, blend together for 1 minute.

For Hand mixer (electric):
Cream sugar and butter together for 1 minute in low speed.
Then goes the wet ingredients for 1 minute in medium speed.
Add dry ingredients gradually and whisk at lowest speed till they get folded.
Then increase speed and mix for 1 minute.
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This is the all spice powder I use in my fruit cakes, pumpkin cake, ginger bread cookies etc. I think this flavor is fresh and better than the much expensive store bought varieties.

All spice powder:
cinnamon - 2 long rolls
cardamom - 1 tbsp seeds only
cloves - 1 tbsp
nutmeg - 1/4 of one
mace - 1
cumin - 1 tbsp
black pepper - 1 tbsp
dry ginger powder - 1/2 cup

Dry roast everything except ginger powder. Finely powder them all together and mix with ginger powder. (While powdering , I add ginger powder). Keep in a zip lock pouch or air tight container and keep in freezer for an year.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Chicken Tikka Kebab சிக்கன் டிக்கா கபாப்

Kebabs are said to be originated in Persia. It is called as kabab in Arabia and Kebab in Turkey.
Chicken tikka kebab is an Indian version of Shish kebab.
Tikka means small pieces or chunks.
Chunks of meat or vegetables are grilled along with masla.
Here goes the recipe. Click to see my youtube video on 'how to make chicken tikka kebab' in Tamil with ingredients typed in English.







Ingredients:

(For Tikka)
Boneless chicken - 2 lb (1 kg)
Maida (AP flour ) - 1/2 cup
salt - 2 tsp
Pink salt - 1 tsp
thick Indian yogurt - 1/2 cup
Peanut oil - 2 tbsp 
Apple cider vinegar - 1 tbsp
turmeric - 1 tsp
ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
garam masala powder - 1 tbsp
red chilly powder - 1.5 tsp
cumin powder - 1 tsp
ginger garlic paste - 3 tsp

Method:
Wash and clean the meat. Cut chicken into 1.5 inch size cubes.
Blend the masalas listed under Tikka together in a mixing bowl.
Keep the chicken pieces marinated in that masala for 2 hours (room temp.) or overnight inside the refrigerator.

Soak the bamboo skewers in water more than 1 hour.

Cut 2 colorful bellpeppers. 

Thread the pieces of meat and bell pepper in the skewer with a little spacing. Bake them in oven at 425 F for 15 mins one side. Then flip and bake for 10 mins. Then broil it both sides.
(Instead the pieces can be grilled or deep fried also).

Take out and remove from skewers. Keep aside.

Chicken tikka is ready!

We can serve them simply as a snack or side dish or stuffing inside chapati rolls.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

அவகடோ சட்னி & பயனுள்ள தகவல்கள், Guacamole recipe and uses

Guacamole is a popular delicious Mexican food. It can be related to coconut chutney (thick version).
Click to see my video on making Guacamole. Please Subscribe and click bell notification to get newer videos. Also share our channel to your loved ones.
Thanks,
Viki Xavier


Ingredients:
Avocado - 6 (Hass variety)
Lemon - 1 (or)  2-3 tbsp lemon juice
Red onion - 2
Garlic - 1 whole
Tomato - 1
Jalapeno - 1 or Green chili -3
Salt - to taste
Cumin - 1 tsp (powdered)
Cilantro - handful bunch

Method:
Peel and scoop meat of avocado.
Peel onion, garlic.
In a food processor, chop finely onion, tomato, garlic, chili , cilantro together coarsely.
Pulse and grind coarsely the avocado.
Put them all together in a mixing bowl.
Add lemon juice, salt, cumin powder.
Mix well and store in glass container.
Keep refrigereted.

Uses:
Use as a dip with tortilla chips.
Also as an accompaniment with tacos, rice bean bowl, enchilada, burger spread, sandwich spread.
Half of an avocado along with an egg in the morning as breakfast will help to get satiety factor for the day. Thus it helps in reducing excess weight.
Also the good cholesterol is good for health.







Tuesday, November 28, 2023

நெய்ச்சோறு Ghee Rice

Ghee rice: A kind of pulav





Ingredients: (for 4 adults)
Basmati rice - 2 cup
(3/4 cup for 1 adult )
water - 3 cups
water measurement for open vessel cooking and rice cooker :(number of cups of rice x 2) - 1 = (2x2)-1 = 3
ghee - 3 tbsp
salt - 1/2 tsp
ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
onion (thinly sliced)- 1 cup
ghee / oil - 2 tsp
cashew - 10
raisin - 10
mint leaf - a handful
cilantro - few sprigs

spices:
bay leaf - 2
clove - 4
cardamom - 2
cinnamon - 1 inch
star aniseed - 1
nutmeg (jathi kai) - a small shaving
mace (jathi pathiri) - a small piece

Preparation:
Wash the rice thrice and drain excess water. Let it remain for 10 minutes.
Boil 1 liter water , 1 tsp salt and cook for 10 mins. Cook it as grainy rice.
Drain water. Keep aside.

Saute:
Slice the onions into thin long pieces.
In a wok, heat 2 tsp ghee and add all the spices, cashew, raisin.
Then add the onion till they get light golden brown. 
Add ginger garlic paste.
Add chopped mint leaf + cilantro. Mix well. Switch off.
Add 1 tsp salt and mix well.
Mix the cooked rice gently.
Add 1 tbsp ghee and mix well.
Ghee rice is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot as main course with any spicy curry.
If needed reheat by microwave or by placing over a hot tawa.
While measuring the rice, consider taking more rice for this kind of ghee rice, as we won't cook the rice completely like the regular day and we may need more quantity to serve.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

பாசிப்பருப்பு ஜவ்வரிசி பாயாசம் Instant pot moong sabudana kh...


Nagercoil, Tirunelveli wedding special payasam prepared very quickly in Instant pot electric pressure cooker. No need to stand long hours in kitchen to prepare this kheer payasam.


Ingredients:
Moong dal 1/4 cup,
Sabudana - 3 tsp,
jaggery - 1/2 cup,
cashew, raisin,
ghee - 1 tbsp.
cardamom - 5
shredded coconut - 2 tbsp

Method: Instantpot Electric pressure cooker:
Heat instant pot in saute mode.
Add 1 tbsp ghee.
Add nuts, raisin.
Once the raisin puffs, add sabudana. Fry for a minute.
Add rinsed moong dal.
Add 2 cups water.
Change to pressure cook mode. Cook for 3 mins. switch off.
Once pressure is released (10 min), add jaggery, crushed cardamom, coconut.
Mix well.
Change mode to 'saute'.
Bring to a boil and switch off.
If needed add coconut milk for making it dilute.

Method: stove top pressure cooker:
All steps are same, but after adding water in pressure cooker, bring to 1 whistle and switch off.
Then open lid (once pr valve is down), add jaggery, coconut, cardamom and bring to boil.

Quick moongdal sabudana kheer is ready !



Serving suggestion:
Serves 3 people

முள்ளங்கியும் கீரையும் சேர்த்து சாம்பார் Radish with leaf sambar

A South Indian delicacy, Fresh Radish with leaf sambar. முள்ளங்கி கீரை சாம்பார் Serves - 5 adults generously. Cooking time: 30 mins




Ingredients:
Toor dal - 1/2 cup Radish - 2 tomato 1 tamarind - small gooseberry size sambar powder - 1.5 tsp chili powder - 1/4 tsp sea salt - 1.5 tsp turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp Hing - 1/4 tsp Mustard - 1 tsp Fenugreek - 1/2 tsp cumin - 1/2 tsp sesame oil or ghee - 1tbsp

Method:
Pressure cook the toor dal.
Rinse the toor dal. Add 2 cups water, turmeric 1/2 tsp, 1/4 tsp hing. Put inside pressure cooker.
After 1 whistle , reduce flame to minimum and switch off after 10 minutes.
If using an instant pot, press pressure cook button. Put the dal +contents. Set time to 10 mins.
Heat a separate vessel in stove top.
Add 1 tbsp oil.
Add mustard. Once it crackles, add fenugreek (methi). As methi gets red, add curry leaf and chopped radish + radish greens, 1 tomato chopped.
Add tamarind extract.
Add salt, sambar powder, chili powder. Cook in medium heat for 10 mins.
To the cooked dal , add 1 tsp cumin mash well.
Add this to boiling sambar in stove.
Cook till it boils. Switch off.
Radish sambar is ready.

Serving suggestion:
Serve with rice, idli , dosai, venpongal.
Serves 5-8 people.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Sundal Salad #navaratri

Hello Friends, 


Today I am going to show you how to make a different variety of sundal for Navarathri.

Sundal is prepared during Navaratri festival in India. 

Navarathri is a 9 day festival followed by Dussera on the 10 th day.

It is a colorful festival with lots of food , devotional music and dance.

My mom used to make different varieties of sundal on those 10 days.

Sundal is a healthy snack made with different dals and grams

Channa and peanut are extremely healthy protein rich snacks with nearly 100 calories per cup after cooking.
Having sundal (salad with lentils) for snack / meal is a great way to stay fit. It is a slimming secret too.

I always try to keep a batch of sundal in my fridge for that tea time cravings:) Though the easiest way is to buy a canned lentil, I prefer the home cooked ones better. Dried nuts are lesser expensive, healthy and delicious. Pressure cooker makes perfectly cooked chickpeas very easily. We can do stove top cooking too, but it will take nearly 2 hours. Sometimes I cook the chickpeas in a big batch and freeze in small portion / containers, so that I can add some protein in any dish I want.


Chickpea - channa, konda kadalai ; groundnut - peanut, nilakadalai, verkadalai.


Now let's go to the recipe.

You can watch this recipe in my youtube channel also. Kindly Subscribe, Like , share and encourage. Your subsription and encouragement will help my channel to grow and hence I can make more useful videos for us all !

Thank you ! 





The ingredients needed are :

Kabuli channa  or 

White chick peas - 1 cup 

Peanut - 1 cup

Peanut oil - 1 tbsp

salt - to taste

water (to cook) - to immerse and 1 cup standing over.


For salad:

cucumber - 1

onion - 1

tomato - 1

lemon - 1/8 of a fruit

salt - to taste.



 Method: 

Rinse  the groundnut, chickpeas thoroughly and Soak them for 12 hours or over night. They will double in size after soaking. Fast Soaking can be done in hot water for 5 - 6 hours along with some baking soda  


Remove the soaked water which is frothy (must). Wash again and add some more water. They should be totally covered with water and add some water to stand 1 inch above. Pressure cook the peas to one whistle, then reduce the flame and cook in low flame for 15 minutes. Release pressure and take out. Add salt, drain the water. 


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


Sundal salad is ready!

Serving suggestion:

Serve as snack with tea / coffee.


Note: 

It would be better to make channa sundal and peanut sundal separately and mix them for the peanut lovers, as some can't take peanuts.

Red channa has more fiber than the white one.

Red chickpeas takes only 6 hours to soak (more the better) and it is easy to sprout too.




Chennai hotel style King fish fry #fishfry

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Spicy beans oily stir-fry


This is a spicy side dish for chapathi. I prepare these kind of curries to accompany chapathi when I try to reduce calorie intake.

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Happy Independence Day ,

Happy Independence day and God bless America ! 

Since the July 4 th comes during the summer in America, we all have a very nice time with fairs. carnivals and happy events,

Wishing all a happy Independence Day !








Sunday, January 29, 2023

Kashmiri Dum Aloo

Dum aloo is a famous Indian dish available in almost every Indian restaurant. The baby potatoes soaking in that sauce looks so beautiful and I absolutely enjoy preparing this cute curry:) The regular dum aloo has a spicy finish while the Kashmiri version should be on the sweeter side (as per my knowledge).  Originally, they deep fry the potatoes and slow cook them in the gravy overnight. But I did a less calories version on my own to get closer to that restaurant taste. Try this and enjoy:)

Click to see this recipe in my YouTube channel : Viki's Kitchen @ VikiXavier.   

Aloo - potato.
Dum / dham / tham - Anything (biryani, vegetables, non veg) closed tightly and cooked in its own vapor in low heat for hours to get a much flavorful and juicy food.



Dum aloo served.

Baby potatoes getting par boiled.

Ingredients:
Baby potato - 15 (1 lb)
bay leaf - 2
oil / butter - 2 tbsp
Tomato puree - 1/2 cup
ginger powder - 1/2 tsp
garlic - 3 cloves
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Plain Indian yogurt (thick) - 1/2 cup
dry methi leaves - 1 tbsp

To dry roast:
Cardamom - 3
cloves- 4
cinnamon - 1 inch
nutmeg - a tiny shaving
shahi jeera - 1/4 tsp
cumin - 1/2 tsp
fennel - 1 tbsp
dry red chilly - 6
coriander seed - 2 tbsp

For gravy:
cashew(soaked) - 10
almond(soaked) - 5
raisin - 10
dates - 2
mint leaf - 1 sprig
cilantro - 2 sprig
milk - 1 cup

Method:
Soak the nuts, dry fruits in warm milk for 4 hours or overnight (in water).

Choose very small potatoes or buy a baby potato pack.Wash the potatoes.
Put them in boiling water and cook for just 5 minutes (1/2 boil).
Put in cold water and gently peel the skin using a knife.
Then make a few holes all over the potatoes using a fork.

Dry roast the items given. Grind them together with those mentioned above.

Heat 2 tbsp butter / oil in a wok and shallow fry the potatoes till they get a mild red color outside. Keep aside.

In the remaining oil (we won't get much left out, but it will be enough) add the bay leaves, crushed garlic and fry for a few seconds. Then add the tomato puree and fry for a minute. Immediately add the ground masala and bring to a boil. Then add the turmeric, beaten yogurt, salt and mix well.  Put the baby potatoes and reduce the flame. If needed add some milk. Slow cook it for 30 minutes and switch off.
Sprinkle some crushed methi leaves.

Dum aloo is ready!

Serving suggestion:
Serve as side dish with paratha, chapathi, jeera pulav or plain rice.

Perfect Traditional Adai Dosai

Perfect traditional Adai dosai. To grind: Idly rice / any rice - 1cup Raw rice (Basmati) - 1 cup Thoor dhal - 1/4 cup Channa dhal - 1/2 cup ...