Friday, August 29, 2014

Modakam



Ganesha Chaturthi is celebrated as a birthday of Lord Ganesha. The favorite sweets of our dear Lord are ladoos and modakam. 

Modakam also referred to as Modak is a steamed sweet dumpling made of rice flour stuffed with coconut and jaggery. There is also deep fried version of modak with outer-cover made of all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour. The filling can be varied with sugar-coconut, sugar-poppy seeds or sugar-coconut-poppy seeds combinations. 

Today I prepared steamed version using coconut and jaggery as filling. Even though this is a very time consuming dish, there is always a feel-good factor when you are preparing this as a prasadam for our dear Lord.

Happy Ganesha Chaturthi
Servings: Makes 9 medium sized Modakam

Ingredients:
For outer-cover:
1. Rice flour fine - 1/2 cup
2. Salt - 2-3 pinches
3. Ghee - 1/2 teaspoon
4. Water - 1/2 cup 

For the filling:
1. Coconut grated(fresh/frozen)- 1/2 cup
2. Jaggery grated - 1/3 cup 
3. Cardamom powder - 1/4 teaspoon
4. Water - 1 tablespoon

Method:
For the filling:
1. Heat a wide pan and add grated jaggery and 1 tablespoon water. 

2. Allow the jaggery to melt completely, then add grated coconut.

3. Keep the flame on medium and stir continuously. Cook until all the moisture evaporates and the mixture becomes dry.

4. Add cardamom powder and turn off the flame. Keep it aside.

 For the outer covering:
1. Boil 1/2 cup water in a heavy bottom vessel and add salt and ghee.

2. When the water starts to boil, slowly add in the rice flour little by little. Stir continuously. After adding all the rice flour, turn off the flame. It is fine if you notice any lumps in the rice dough.

3. Cover the vessel and allow it to cool for 3-4 minutes. 

4. Place the rice dough on a working surface and knead it well. At this stage, you should be able to break all the lumps. Once the dough is smooth, place it covered.

Assembling: 
1. Take a small lemon sized ball of rice dough and flatten it as a small disc on your palm.

2. Take a lemon sized coconut-jaggery filling and place it in the middle of the disc.

3. Pinch the corners of the disc(see picture below) and close them to form a garlic pod shape.

4. If required make vertical groves on the modakam using a fork.

5. Similarly make modakams with rest of the dough. Keep both the rice dough and finished modakams covered at all times.

Final Steaming:
1. Boil water in a steamer/idli steamer. 

2. Place them on a steamer plate or idli plate.

3. Cover and steam for 12-15 minutes.

Modakams are ready to serve.


Coconut Ladoo with Jaggery


Serving: Makes 12 ladoos

Ingredients:
1. Coconut grated(fresh/frozen)- 1/2 cup
2. Jaggery grated - 1/3 cup 
3. Cardamom powder - 1/4 teaspoon
4. Water - 1 tablespoon

Method:
1. Heat a wide pan and add grated jaggery and 1 tablespoon water. 

2. Allow the jaggery to melt completely, then add grated coconut.

3. Keep the flame on medium and stir continuously. Cook until all the moisture evaporates and the mixture becomes dry.

4. Add cardamom powder and turn off the flame. Allow the mixture to cool down.

5. Make small balls and these delicious ladoo are ready to eat.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Egg Curry


Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1. Egg - 4
2. Onion - 2  
3. Tomato - 2
4. Ginger - 1 teaspoon grated
5. Green Chilli - 1 
6. Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
7. Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
8. Oil - 1 tablespoon
9. Salt to taste
10. Baking soda - 1/4 teaspoon

Method:
1. Boil eggs in a vessel by adding little salt and baking soda for around 10 minutes. Salt prevents the egg from breaking while it is being cooked and baking soda helps in easy peeling of shells.

2. Remove the egg shells and cut the eggs in half. Keep them aside.

3. Heat oil in a pan and add finely sliced onions and fry till they become translucent.

4. Add grated ginger and slit green chilli and fry for a minute.

5. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, chopped tomatoes and around 1/2 cup of water. Cover and cook until tomatoes are soft. 

6. Once the tomatoes are mushy, add halved eggs and cook for another 5 minutes.

Serve with chapathi/dosa/appam. 




Sweet Corn with Butter



Serves: 2 

Ingredients:
1. Sweet corn - 2 cobs
2. Butter - 1 teaspoon
3. Salt to taste 

Method:
1. Place sweet corn on the cob in boiling water and cook for around 5 minutes.

2. Remove the kernels from cob using a knife. 

3. Add butter and sprinkle little salt and toss the ingredients well.

Enjoy these easy and tasty snack with a hot cup of tea.


Linking this recipe to CWS event organized by Priya's Versatile Recipes, hosted by Anitha's Kitchen Diary.


Sweet Corn Salad


Serves: 2

Ingredients:
1. Sweet corn - 2 cobs
2. Carrot - 1 medium sized
3. Onion - 1 small sized
4. Coriander leaves - 1 tablespoon chopped 
5. Lemon juice - 1 teaspoon
6. Pepper powder - little to sprinkle 
7. Salt to taste 

Method: 
1. Place sweet corn on the cob in boiling water and cook for around 5 minutes.

2. Remove the kernels from cob using a knife and put in a large mixing bowl.

3. Add grated carrot, finely chopped onion, finely chopped coriander leaves, lemon juice, pepper powder and salt and toss the ingredients well.


Linking this recipe to CWS event organized by Priya's Versatile Recipes, hosted by Anitha's Kitchen Diary.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Koonthal Roast | Squid Roast



Squid roasted in coconut oil and a generous amount of garlic and curry leaves gives this dish a special flavor.

Serves: 2

Ingredients: 
1. Squid/koonthal - cleaned and cut into rings - 1 cup
2. Onion - 1 medium sized
3. Garlic - 8-10 cloves
4. Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
5. Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon or as per your spice level
6. Garam masala powder - 1/4 teaspoon
7. Curry leaves - handful
8. Oil(preferably coconut oil) - 1 tablespoon 
9. Salt to taste

Method:
1. Take cleaned and cut squid and marinate with salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Keep it aside for atleast 15 minutes.

2. Heat oil in a pan. Add thinly sliced onions and saute until they are translucent.

3. Add marinated squid, garam masala powder, roughly crushed garlic and curry leaves. 

4. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes on medium flame. Stir occasionaly.

5. After around 20 minutes, fry uncovered for another 5 minutes until the onions start to brown.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Beetroot Masala Curry


Serves: 2

Ingredients:
1. Beetroot - 1 medium sized
2. Potato - 2 medium sized
3. Onion - 1 medium sized
4. Garlic - 3-4 cloves
5. Red Chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon
6. Coriander powder - 1 teaspoon
7. Garam Masala powder - 1/4 teaspoon
8. Curry leaves - few
9. Oil - 1 tablespoon(preferably coconut oil)
10. Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
11. Salt to taste

Method:
1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and splutter mustard seeds.

2. Add curry leaves, crushed garlic, thinly sliced onions and fry until onions are translucent.

3. Add cubed pieces of beetroot and potatoes.

4. Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and salt to taste.

5. Add 1 cup water and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.

6. After opening the cooker lid, slightly mash the potatoes with a laddle.

Serve with chapathi/dosa.

Cherupayar Curry | Green Gram Curry


Serves: 2

Ingredients:
1. Cherupayar/Green gram - 1/2 cup
2. Onion - 1
3. Garlic - 3-4 cloves
4. Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
5. Curry leaves - few
6. Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
7. Green chillies -1 or as per your spice level
8. Oil - 2 teaspoon
9. Salt to taste

Method:
1. Soak the green gram for couple of hours or overnight in water.

2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and splutter mustard seeds.

3. Add curry leaves, crushed garlic, slit green chilli and sliced onions. Fry until onions are translucent.

4. Add turmeric powder, soaked green gram and salt to taste.

5. Add around 1 cup of water and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.

6. Once cooked, slightly mash the green gram with a wooden spatula.

Serve as a side dish for dosa/chapathi/puttu.

Vegetable Kurma


This vegetable kurma is one of the best side dishes for chapathi/ghee rice. I made this for my DH's birthday party and it was a big hit among our friends.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:
1. Vegetable mix (carrots, beans, cauliflower, potatoes, green peas, mushrooms) cut into 2 inch pieces - 2 cups
2. Tomato - 1 medium size
3. Onion - 1 medium size
4. Oil - 1 tablespoon
5. Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
6. Cilantro/Coriander leaves - a handful
7. Mint leaves/Pudina - 1 tablespoon chopped
8. Salt to taste

To grind:
1. Ginger grated - 1/2 teaspoon
2. Garlic - 2 cloves
3. Coconut - 2 tablespoon
4. Cashew - 6 count
5. Cinnamon - 1/2 inch stick
6. Cloves - 2
7. Cardamom - 1
8. Cumin seeds - 1/8 teaspoon
9. Fennel seeds - 1/8 teaspoon
10. Green chillies - 1 or as per your spice level

Method:
1. Grind all the things listed in "to grind" ingredients to a fine paste by adding little water.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a deep bottomed vessel.

3. Add finely sliced onions and fry till they are translucent.

4. Add the ground paste and fry for around 5 minutes on medium flame.

5. Add the vegetable mix. turmeric powder, finely chopped tomato, salt to taste and mix well. Add around 1 cup of water. Cook on medium flame for around 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft.

6. Garnish with cilantro and mint leaves.

Note: We can also make this in pressure cooker(1-2 whistles)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Andalusian Courgette Tortilla | Zucchini Omelette


I have joined an event named "International Food Challenge" hosted by Saraswathi of SarasYummyBites wherein we have to cook dishes from around the world. For this month challenge we were given a wide variety of dishes from different countries of which I selected Andalusian Courgette Tortilla. Andalusia is a region in south of Spain. The name of the dish may sound a bit challenging but actually this is a very simple dish. It is an egg omelette with courgette/zucchini added to it.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:
1. Egg - 3
2. Zucchini - 1
3. Garlic sliced - 2-3 cloves
4. Salt to taste
5. Oil - 1 teaspoon

Method:
1. Make thin slices of zucchini using a peeler and keep it aside. See below pic.

2. Beat the eggs in a bowl. Add few pinches of salt and keep it aside.

3. Heat oil in a pan and add sliced garlic and fry for a minute.

4. Add the sliced zucchini to it and sprinkle little salt and fry for couple of minutes.

5. Remove the zucchini and garlic from pan and add it to beaten egg. Mix well.

6. Transfer the entire contents in the pan and cook on low-medium heat until both sides of omelette turn brown in color.

Serve hot.




Friday, August 15, 2014

Puliyogare Mix | Puliyogare Gojju

Puliyogare is a rice preparation with tamarind. This dish is popular in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. It is known by other names such as puliyodharai, puli sadam, pulihora.

I feel so good to make puliyogere/taramind rice with homemade gojju/mix as you know what ingredients goes into gojju preparation. The taste is very similar to that of store bought puliyogere mix.

You can make the mix in bulk and refrigerate in an air tight container.


Serves: 2

Ingredients: 
1. Tamarind - 1 small lemon size
2. Mustard seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
3. Asafoetida/hing - 3-4 pinch
4. Sesame seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
5. Dried red chilli - 3-4
6. Curry leaves - 10-15 leaves
7. Peanuts - a handful
8. Urad dal split - 1/2 teaspoon
9. Chana dal - 1/2 teaspoon
10. Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
11. Rasam powder - 1 tablespoon
12. Jaggery grated - 2 teaspoon
13. Salt - 1 teaspoon
14. Oil - 2 tablespoon

Method:
1. Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup of hot water and extract thick pulp.

2. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat and splutter mustard seeds.

3.  Add peanuts and stir them till they start to brown.

4. Add asafoetida, turmeric powder, sesame seeds, dried red chillies, curry leaves, urad dal and chana dal. Fry until chana dal turns light brown in colour.

5. Add the tamarind pulp, jaggery and salt and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes.

6. Finally add rasam powder and stir thoroughly. Cook for a minute and turn off the heat.

7. Allow the mix to cool down completely and then store in a air tight container. Refrigerate the mix if you are not using immediately.

Carrot Peanut Chutney


I have joined a fun cooking event called "Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge" organized by Priya Suresh of "Priya's Versatile Recipes". Every month Priya will pick a pair of members who have to mutually exchange 2 ingredients between themselves and we need to cook a dish with these secret ingredients. This secret ingredient dish needs to be revealed on 16th-18th of that month.

This month I am paired with Nayana who gave me carrot and peanut as 2 secret ingredients. I decided to prepare Carrot-Peanut Chutney and believe me this tastes real good with all the richness of peanuts and carrots.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:
1. Carrot- 2 medium sized
2. Peanuts - 1/2 cup
3. Dried Red Chillies - 2 or as per taste
4. Garlic - 3-4 cloves
5. Tamarind pulp thick - 1 tablespoon
6. Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
7. Curry leaves - few
8. Oil - 2 teaspoon
9. Salt to taste

Method:
1. Grate the carrots and keep it aside.

2. For dry roasting the peanuts, heat a pan and add peanuts. Keep the flame on medium and stir continuously. Roast until the skin of peanuts start to turn dark brown. I like to remove the skin of roasted peanuts. For this, you need to let the peanuts cool and then rub them against your palm. Once done, keep the peanuts aside.

3. In the same pan, heat 1 teaspoon of oil and add dried red chillies and crushed garlic. Fry for few seconds.

4. Add grated carrots and fry for 5-7 minutes until the raw smell of carrot goes away. Turn off the flame and let it cool for sometime.

5. Add fried carrots, garlic, red chillies, roasted peanuts, tamarind pulp and 1/2 cup water in a blender and blend to a smooth paste.

6. Adjust the water level to get the desired consistency. Add salt to taste and transfer into serving dish.

7. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a small pan. Splutter mustard seeds and add curry leaves. Add this tempering to chutney.

Serve this carrot peanut chutney for dosa/idli.



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Coconut Ladoo using Ricotta Cheese

This year's Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated on August 17th and I have decided to make this coconut based sweet dish. It is Coconut Ladoo using Ricotta Cheese. 

Ricotta Cheese is made from whey of milk. It has a very similar texture as that of khoa, but khoa and ricotta cheese are not the same. Khoa is made from whole milk and lower in moisture content. 

Ricotta Cheese acts as a good binding agent and adds a very good flavor to this coconut ladoo. 




Servings: Makes 8 medium sized ladoo

Ingredients:
1. Grated coconut(fresh/frozen) - 1 cup
2. Ricotta cheese - 1/2 cup
3. Sugar - 1/4 cup
4. Cardamom powder - 1/4 teaspoon
5. Raisins - few(8-10 count)

Method:
1. Heat a wide non-stick pan on medium flame.

2. Add in ricotta cheese and sugar. Stir continuously until all the moisture evaporates and this takes around 15 minutes.

3. Then add in grated coconut and mix well. Reduce the flame to low-medium and stir continuously to remove all the water content from coconut.

4. Turn off the flame and add cardamom powder. Let it cool to room temperature.

5. Make small balls and stick a raisin in each of the ladoo.

These ladoo needs to be refrigerated if you are not consuming immediately.



Monday, August 11, 2014

Spinach Mushroom Pulao


Serves: 2

Ingredients:
1. Rice (Sona Masoori/Basmati) -1 cup
2. Spinach - 3 cups
3. Mushroom - 1 cup
4. Onion - 1 medium sized
5. Garlic - 3 cloves
6. Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
7. Fennel seeds - 1/8 teaspoon
8. Cloves - 3
9. Cardamom - 2
10.Bay leaves - 2
11.Green Chillies - 2 (optional)
12. Oil - 1 tablespoon
13. Salt to taste

Method:
1. Wash the spinach and roughly chop them. If you are using baby spinach, there is no need to chop.

2. Finely chop the onions and cut mushrooms into thin slices.

3. Heat oil in a wide bottom vessel. Add cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cloves, cardamom and bay leaves. Saute for few seconds.

4. Add finely chopped onion and crushed garlic. Saute until onions turn translucent.

5. Add spinach and mushrooms. Fry until spinach turn mushy.

6. Add the washed rice and 2 cups of water. Cook the rice either on open vessel or in a rice cooker.

Serve this healthy pulao with yogurt and salad.

Purple Cabbage Stir Fry

Purple cabbage has an amazing health benefit of preventing cancer, apart from that these are rich in fiber, Vitamin A, K and many other nutrients.


Serves: 2

Ingredients:
1. Purple cabbage shredded - 1 cup
2. Oil - 2 teaspoon
3. Black pepper powder - 1/2 teaspoon
4. Salt to taste

Method:
1. Heat oil in a pan and add shredded purple cabbage.

2. Add salt and pepper for seasoning.

3. Cook on medium heat for around 5 minutes. 

Banana Date Muffins


Banana date muffins are very soft, moist and delicious. Also we love the little pieces of date in them. 

Serves: 24 mini muffins/12 medium sized muffins

Ingredients:
1. All-purpose flour - 1 cup
2. Sugar - 1/2 cup
3. Baking soda - 1/4 teaspoon
4. Baking powder - 1/2 teaspoon
5. Milk - 1/4 cup
6. Vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon
7. Egg - 1
8. Oil - 1/4 cup
9. Date pitted - 6-8 count 
10. Over ripe banana - 2 
11. Salt - 1/8 teaspoon

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Line the muffin tray with paper liners or grease it with butter.

2. Mix the all-purpose flour with salt, baking soda and baking powder. 

3. Mash the bananas with a fork and keep it aside.

4. Beat the egg until frothy. To this add milk, oil, vanilla extract and sugar and mix well. You can either use a hand mixer or a whisk.

5. Add the all-purpose flour mixture to egg mixture and gently fold with a wooden spatula. To this add finely chopped dates and mashed banana.

6. Fill the muffin tray with this batter and bake for 15-17 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.



Friday, August 8, 2014

Protein Rich One Pot Meal



This protein rich one pot meal is a rice preparation with 3 legumes - chickpeas, red beans and black eyed beans. A dash of few whole spices makes this dish very flavorful. This dish is greatly appreciated by my DH and I wish to do this more often. 

Serves - 2 

Ingredients: 
1. Rice ( I used white Sona Masoori) - 1 cup
2. Chickpea/Kabuli Chana - 1/4 cup
3. Red beans/Rajma - 1/4 cup
4. Black eyed beans - 1/4 cup
5. Onion - 1
6. Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
7. Fennel seeds/perinjeerakam - 1/4 teaspoon
8. Cloves - 4-6
9. Cardamom - 2
10. Bay leaves - 2-3
11. Oil - 1 tablespoon
12. Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
13. Green chilli - 1 or as per taste
14. Salt to taste.

Method:
1. Soak chickpea, red beans and black eyed beans for 8-10 hours.

2. Wash the legumes and pressure cook with 1/2 teaspoon salt on medium heat for 15 minutes. Don't discard the water left over after boiling the legumes. The color of water will be dark brown and may not be appealing but this gives a very good flavour to rice.

3. Heat oil in a large vessel and add cumin seeds and fennel seeds. Fry for a minute.

4. Add cloves, bay leaves and cardamom. Fry for couple of minutes until you get the aroma of spices.

5. Then add finely chopped onion, turmeric powder and slit green chillies and fry till onions are translucent.

6. Add washed rice and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add enough water to cook the rice. Sona masoori rice needs 2 cups water for cooking. Use the water left out after boiling legumes and make up-to 2 cups with filter water.

7. It takes around 20 minutes to cook rice.

Enjoy this delicious protein rich meal with a cup of yogurt and salad.



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bread Upma


Serves: 2

Ingredients:
1. Bread slices - 4
2. Onion - 1
3. Mustard seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
4. Turmeric powder - 1/8 teaspoon
5. Red chilli powder - 1/8 teaspoon
6. Cilantro/Coriander leaves - 1 tablespoon chopped for garnishing
7. Salt to taste
8. Oil - 1 teaspoon

Method:
1. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds.

2. Add finely chopped onions and fry till they are translucent.

3. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt to taste.

4. Cut bread slices into small pieces, add to the pan and mix well. If you wish to have your bread soggy, then sprinkle little water(2-3 teaspoons) at this stage. I like to have my bread upma dry, so I have not added any water.

5. Remove from flame and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Enjoy bread upma with a hot cup of tea.



Mushroom Egg Masala


This is a very simple side dish for chapathi. It takes around 15 minutes to make this.

Serves: 2

Ingredients: 
1. Egg - 3
2. Mushroom - 1 cup sliced
3. Onion - 1
4. Tomato - 1 
5. Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
6. Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
7. Red chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon
8. Cilantro/Coriander leaves - 1 tablespoon for garnishing
9. Oil - 2 teaspoon
10. Salt to taste

Method:
1. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds.

2. Add finely chopped onion and saute until they are translucent.

3. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt and finely chopped tomatoes followed by thinly sliced mushrooms. Fry until mushrooms and tomatoes are well cooked.

4. Break the eggs in cooked mushrooms and fry for 3-5 minutes.

5. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy with chapathi.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Dates Milkshake


This is a very healthy milkshake and one of the easiest to make as well. As dates have natural sugar in them, there is no need to add additional sugar in this shake.

Serves: 1

Ingredients:
1. Dates - 8-10
2. Milk - cold - 1 cup

Method:
1. Remove the pit from dates. If the dates are not soft, soak them in hot water for around 10 minutes.

2. Add little milk to the dates and make a smooth paste in a blender. Then add rest of the milk and blend once again.  


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