September 13, 2012

Tomato Fried Rice-:Variant of Tomato Rice

Ingredients
Long  grain/Basmati Rice- 2 cup
Tomato - 1 cup Sliced thin 
Onion - 1 large sliced thin
Green chillies - 2-3 split
Garlic - 2-3 cloves crushed
Black Pepper Powder-1 tsp
Coriander leaves - 1/4 cup chopped
Red Chilly Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/4 tsp
Salt
Curry leaves
Mustard seeds
Cooking Oil
Directions
1. Cook the rice with salt according to the package directions. Fluff using a fork and keep aside.
2. Heat oil in a wide pan or wok, and splutter mustard seeds,add crushed garlic,split green chillies,and curry leaves and saute for a minute.
3. Now add thinly sliced onion and saute until soft,and then add sliced tomato and saute until it becomes soft and mushy.
4. Add all the powders and saute until its raw smell goes. Now add chopped coriander leaves and mix well
5. Add and mix the cooked rice well with the above masala. Adjust salt.Remove from heat and serve hot with pickle,curd or papad.:)

September 10, 2012

Caramel Pudding / Flan

Ingredients
Milk - 2 cup
Eggs - 3
Sugar - 1/2 - 3/4 cup + 4 tbsp
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Water - 1/8 cup
Directions
1. Add 1/8 cup water and 4 tbsp sugar to a thick bottomed vessel.Heat this pan and allow the sugar to melt and caramelize.Do not stir,only shake/swirl the vessel.After 8-10 minutes the liquid starts bubbling and turns brown color.
2. When it turns golden brown in color,remove from heat and pour it into the ramekin(or any oven safe /heat withstanding small bowl)
Swirl it to spread the caramel syrup evenly on the bottom of the bowls/ramekins
3. Whisk together egg and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in vanilla essence and milk. Beat and mix well.Pour this over the caramel syrup in ramekin/bowls.It will harden in seconds
4. Cover it with foil paper -optional
5. Boil water in a wide and deep vessel and keep the ramekins/bowls in it(fill the water upto 1/2+ level of ramekin-do not allow boiling water to seep into the bowl) .Cover with lid and cook for 20 minutes.Take out.
OR 
Place the ramekins in an oven safe pan ,partially filled with water.Bake for 40-45 minutes at 350 F until the center is firm but wobbly
6. Keep it in refrigerator for 2 hrs or until the time of serving.
7. To take it out from the ramekin,run a knife along the sides of the ramekin,and place a dessert plate upside down over the ramekin. Now holding tightly,invert the ramekin and plate together.Lift the ramekin slowly,slightly shaking to loosen the pudding. Caramel syrup will run down the sides.

September 5, 2012

Chilly Chicken-Dry

Ingredients
Boneless chicken - 1 lbs/500 gm,cleaned and cubed
Onion - 1 big,cubed
Capsicum/Green bell pepper - 1/2,cubed
Corn flour - 3 tbsp
Chilly powder - 2 tbsp I used Kashmiri chilly powder)
Green Chillies -3 split
Pepper powder - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Ginger - 1 tsp crushed
Garlic - 1 tsp crushed
Coriander leaves/Cilantro - 1/4 cup chopped
Tomato Sauce -2 tbsp
Soya sauce - 1 tsp
Cooking Oil
Salt
Directions
1. Mix 2 1/2 tbsp of corn flour,Chilly powder,turmeric powder and salt together with very little water to make a smooth paste.Marinate the chicken pieces with this and keep it for 30-45 minutes.
2. Heat oil in a deep pan and deep fry the chicken pieces and drain them into paper towel
3. Heat oil in a saute pan,add crushed ginger garlic and split green chillies.Saute for a minute then add cubed onion,bell pepper and saute.
4. When they are soft, add pepper powder and salt.
5. Mix 1/2 tbsp of corn flour,tomato sauce,and soya sauce together. Add this to the onion and saute well. Now add the chopped coriander leaves.
6. Add the fried chicken pieces and mix well with the onion -bell pepper.When everything is mixed well and dried enough switch off the stove 
Serve hot with Fried Rice,Chappathi,Veg Biriyani,Porotta etc..

August 28, 2012

Ada Pradhaman

Ingredients
Rice Ada - 200 gm
Jaggery - 350 gm
Thin Coconut Milk - 2 cup (randam pal)
Thick Coconut milk - 1 cup(onnam pal)
Cashews,Raisins,Coconut Slices - 2 tbsp each
Cardamom - 2
Dry ginger powder(chukku podi)- 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder- 1/2 tsp
Ghee - 2-3 tbsp
Directions
1. Boil 2 cups water in a vessel and add the rice ada into it.Cook it for 15-20 minutes.Make sure the ada is well cooked and then drain the excess water and rinse with cold water and drain .Keep aside.
2. Melt jaggery in 2 cups of water and then strain it to remove the impurities
3. Heat 1-2 tsp ghee in an uruli or any thick bottomed vessel, add the ada and saute for a few seconds.
4. Now add the melted jaggery and stir in between on medium heat.
5. When it thickens,add thin coconut milk and stir until it thickens.
6. Now add thick coconut milk and switch off the stove.
7. Add crushed cardamom,dry ginger powder and cumin powder and mix well
8. Mean while fry the cashew nuts,raisins and coconut slices. Use this to garnish the payasam.Close with lid and keep for 15-30 minutes.Serve hot or cold.

Pineapple Pachadi

Ingredients
Pine apple - 1 cup, chopped into very small pieces
Ripe Plantain - 1/4 cup ,chopped into small pieces
Grapes - 5-6 no:
Cashew nut - 5-6 nos
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder- 3/4 tsp
Sugar/Jaggery - 1/4 -1/2 cup
Mustard
Coconut oil
Curry leaves
Red chillies
Directions
1. Cook the chopped pineapple and ripe plantain in enough water with salt ,turmeric powder and chilly powder.
2. When water starts evaporating, add cashew nuts and sugar/jaggery and mix well.
3. Meanwhile crush coconut and mustard together in a mixer.
4. When the pachadi starts thickening ,remove from heat and add the crushed coconut .and grapes.Mix well. 
5. Heat oil in a pan,splutter mustard seeds add red chillies and curry leaves .Pour this over curry 
Serve with rice 

August 27, 2012

Aviyal

Ingredients
Vegetables - 2 cups cut into 1 inch size pieces,lengthwise (Yam,Cucumber,Snake gourd,Plantain,Drumstick,Carrot,Long beans,Brinjal etc.)
Grated coconut - 1 cup
Raw mango - cut lengthwise 1/4 cup OR 1/4 cup curd OR tamarind juice(adjust according to sourness)
Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
Cumin -3/4 tsp
Shallots - 2-3
Coconut oil -3-4 tbsp
Curry leaves -1 /4 cup
Salt
Directions
1. Heat coconut 2-3 tbsp oil in a deep vessel with some curry leaves.Then add cut vegetables,green chillies,turmeric powder,and salt.Mix well and cook in medium heat keeping the lid closed.
2. Cook for 5-8 minutes with occasional stirring and when the vegetables are 3/4 cooked add the mango pieces/curd/tamarind juice.Add 1/4-1/2 cup water and allow it to dry.
3. Crush the grated coconut ,cumin and shallots together in a mixer.
4. Make sure the vegetables are fully cooked and soft,then add the crushed coconut and mix well.Adjust salt .
5. When  everything is cooked and mixed well to a smooth form pour 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil and crushed curry leaves.Switch off the stove and keep closed and allow it to remain for 15-30 minutes.
Serve with Rice
Note : You can use lauki, ashgourd,koorkka,jack fruit seeds etc in aviyal
Yam -Chena
Cucumber - Vellarikka
Snake gourd - Padavalanga
Plantain - Vazhakkaya
Drum stick - Muringakka
Long beans - Achinga Payar
Brinjal - Vazhuthananga
Lauki - Bottle gourd 
Ash gourd - Kumbalanga
Jack fruit seeds- Chakkakkuru

August 26, 2012

Koottu Curry-Sweet Version

Ingredients
Raw plantain/Nenthrakkaya- 1 ,peeled and cubed
Yam/Chena - 1 cup peeled and cubed
Carrot- 1 peeled and cubed
Black Chana/Kadala - 1 cup,cooked
Chilly powder- 1tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Jaggery - 2 tbsp grated
Grated coconut - 1 1/4cup(3/4 + 1/2)
Whole black pepper -1 tsp
Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Mustard
Red Chillies
Curry leaves
Coconut Oil

Directions
1. Cook the raw plantain,yam,carrot in enough water,adding chilly powder,turmeric powder and salt.
2. Meanwhile grind 3/4 cup grated coconut,with whole black pepper and cumin to a coarse paste
3. When the vegetables are cooked mix the cooked chana with it.When water is evaporated completely, add grated Jaggery ,mix well and then add coconut paste. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.Adjust salt
4. Heat oil in another pan and splutter mustard seeds,add red chillies ,curry leaves and  then 1/2 cup grated coconut and fry until the coconut turns reddish brown.Pour this over the curry and mix well.Or you can fry the coconut separately to reddish brown and add this to curry.
Serve hot with rice.

August 25, 2012

Sambar

Ingredients
Toor Dal- 3/4 cup
Potato - 1 cup ,peeled and cubed
Carrot - 1/2 cup peeled and cubed
Drumstick - 2-3 pieces,2 inch size
Onion- 1 medium sized,cubed
Tomato - 1 medium, cubed
Beans - 2-3,chopped into 1 inch size pieces
Okra - 2 ,chopped into 1 inch size pieces 
Brinjal - 1 medium size,chopped into 1 inch pieces(optional)
Green chillies- 2 split
Red chilly powder- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Sambar powder- 1 tsp (I used Eastern Sambar Powder)
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Red chillies - 2-3
Tamarind - gooseberry sized piece soaked in warm water for 15 minutes and juice extracted
Shallots -2-3
Mustard
Curry leaves
Salt
Directions
1. Wash and cook toor dal in pressure cooker for 2-3 whistles
2. Now add the cubed vegetables except okra and tomato to it and again cook for 1 whistle
3. Add the tamarind juice,asafoetida, turmeric, chilly, and sambar powder to it and boil until the sambar attains required consistency.Adjust salt.
4. Heat oil in a pan and fry the okra and then add tomato and saute it.Add this to the gravy.
5. Heat oil in another pan and splutter mustard seeds,add red chillies,curry leaves and chopped shallots and fry until shallots turn brown in color.
5. Pour this over the cooked sambar and mix gently.

August 24, 2012

Beans Thoran

Ingredients
Green Beans - 1 cup,chopped thin
Grated coconut -1/2 cup
Chilly powder- 3/4 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves
Red chillies
Cooking oil
Salt
Directions
1. Cook chopped beans with 1 cup water and salt in a vessel.Allow the water to completely dry or drain excess water when beans are cooked well.
2. Meanwhile mix the grated coconut,red chilly powder,turmeric powder well with your hands.Add the cooked beans to this and mix
3. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds,add red chillies and curry leaves.Then add the cooked green beans-coconut mix to this and saute well for 3-4 minutes.Stir in between.
Remove from heat and serve hot with rice.

Cabbage Thoran

Ingredients
Cabbage - 1 cup chopped
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Green chillies -2 chopped
Ginger -1 small piece crushed
Turmeric powder- a pinch
Chilly powder- 1/4 tsp (optional,it gives the light orange color to thoaran)
Salt
Curry leaves
Mustard
Cooking Oil
Direction
1. In a bowl mix the shredded cabbage,grated coconut,ginger,green chillies,turmeric powder and salt together with your hands and keep for 5-10 minutes
2. Heat oil in a pan,splutter mustard seeds,add curry leaves and then add the above mix and saute well. Bring everything to the center of the pan and drizzle some water.
3. Keep covered for 4-5 minutes in low flame, allowing to cook in steam.
4. Remove lid, stir and saute for 2-3 minutes.Remove from heat.
Serve hot with rice..

August 23, 2012

Pazham Pulissery

Ingredients
Ripe Plantain/Ethappazham/Nenthrappazham- 1
Grated coconut- 1/2 cup
Yogurt/Curd- 1/2 cup
Red chilly powder- 3/4 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Cumin- 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tsp
Mustard
Red chillies
Curry leaves
Cooking Oil
Salt
Directions
1. Peel the banana and cube it.Cook it with turmeric powder and chilli powder in half cup water until it is soft,not mushy.
2. Meanwhile grind coconut and cumin into a fine paste using 2-3 tbsp of curd/yogurt.Beat the rest of the curd and mix well with this coconut paste.Keep aside.
3. Add the coconut paste to the cooked plantain and mix gently.Allow it to cook until the edges start frothing.(approx. 2 minutes).Remove from heat
4. Heat oil in another pan,splutter mustard seeds,add fenugreek seeds and allow it to brown. Then add red chillies and curry leaves 
5. Pour this seasoning over the gravy and mix gently.Serve hot with rice.

August 22, 2012

Parippu Curry

Ingredients
Moong Dal/Cheru payar parippu - 1 cup
Grated coconut- 1/2 cup
Green chillies- 2
Coconut Oil- 2tbsp
Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Salt
Curry leaves
Directions
1. Heat a tawa and fry the moong dal.Take care not to burn/brown it.
2. Transfer the fried moong dal into a pressure cooker with enough water and cook.Cook for 3-4 whistles.Remove excess water 
3. Meanwhile grind coconut,green chillies and cumin to a fine paste
4. Add this paste to the cooked dal and mix well. Boil it.
5. Switch off the stove and add coconut oil and crushed curry leaves and Serve hot with Rice along with Ghee and Pappadam 
Note :Take care to keep a medium consistency by using enough water.The curry tends to thicken on cooling.

August 21, 2012

Inji Curry/Puli inji


Ingredients
Ginger - 1/2 cup,finely chopped 
Green Chillies - 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Tamarind juice - 1/2 cup (goose berry sized tamarind,soaked in warm water for 15 minutes and juice extracted )
Jaggery - 1/4 cup grated
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/8 tsp
Chilly powder- 1/4 tsp
Mustard 
Curry leaves
Red chillies 
Coconut oil
Fenugreek powder-1/4 tsp(Fenugreek fried and powdered)
Directions
1. Heat oil in a pan ,splutter mustard seeds, add red chillies and curry leaves.
2. Add chopped ginger and chilly and fry it until ginger turns brown in color
3. Add the tamarind juice and when it boils stir in turmeric powder,chilly powder, Asafoetida, and jaggery.
4. Boil and allow it to thicken and switch off the stove.
5. Fry and grind Fenugreek to fine powder and when the inji curry is cooled ,add this powder to the curry and mix well.

August 17, 2012

Uzhunnu Vada/Medhu Vada

Ingredients
Urad dal/uzhunnu - 1 cup
Green chillies- 2-3 chopped
Shallots -4-5 chopped
Ginger - 1 tsp chopped
Whole black pepper - 5-6 nos
Curry leaves - 5-6 chopped
Baking soda - 1/4 tsp -optional,to make the vada very soft
Salt
Oil for frying 
Directions
1. Wash and soak the urad dal/uzhunnu for 4 hrs
2. Drain the water and dry the uzhunnu to max(you can try pat drying ,using paper towel)
3. Grind it to a fine paste adding enough salt.If possible(i.e. if your mixer allows) avoid adding water.If needed add 2 tbsp water.
4. Add all other chopped ingredients and mix well.Keep this for 30 min to 1 hr.
5. Heat oil in a wok.Drop a pinch of the batter to check whether the oil is hot enough.If it comes up to the oil surface immediately,then the oil is hot enough.
6. Wet your palm with cold water,take a small portion of the batter   with other hand ,and put on the wet palm and make a ball.Then slightly press it to flatten and make a hole at the center using finger.
7. Slid this into the hot oil.Cook until the vada is golden brown.
remove from hot oil using a slotted spoon and drain the vada in a paper towel.
Serve with coconut chutney!!
Note :You need the right consistency to get the vada shape, so if your batter is too watery add a few tsp of urad dal powder(grind dry urad dal in mixer to a fine powder).

Coconut Chutney
Ingredients
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Green chillies- 2-3
Shallots-2
Curry leaves- 4-5
Ginger-1 medium piece
Salt
Cooking oil and Mustard seeds-optional
Directions
1.Grind the grated coconut,green chillies,2-3curry leaves,shallots,ginger and salt to a coarse paste using a mixer.You can use it as such.This tastes better ,but if you have dosa/idli with vada, go for the second step 
2. Optional step : Heat oil in a pan ,splutter mustard seeds,add red chillies and curry leaves and add the above paste to this and cook for 10-20 seconds or until the edges starts frothing .Remove from heat and serve hot with vada,dosa, idly etc..

August 8, 2012

Fruit n Nut Cake

Ingredients
All Purpose Flour- 3/4cup
Baking Soda - 1/4 tsp
Baking Powder- 1/4 tsp
Salt -1/2 tsp
Light brown sugar - 3/4 cup
Dried nuts - 1cup coarsely chopped(nuts of your choice-almond, cashew nut,walnut,pecan ,hazel nut etc.)
Dried fruits - 1 cup coarsely chopped (dried fruits of your choice-raisin,cranberry,apricot,cherries,dates,figs etc.)
Eggs- 3 large
Vanilla extract - 1tsp
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 300F,(150 C) and place rack at the center of the oven.Butter the pan.(9 inch round pan,or 9x5 inch loaf pan)
2. In a large bowl,mix all purpose flour,salt, baking powder, baking soda and brown sugar.Stir in all fruits and nuts.Mix with hands and make sure all of them are coated with flour mix.
3. In a separate bowl,beat eggs and vanilla extract using an electric mixer or wire whisk until it is light colored and thick.
4. Add this egg mixture to the fruit-nut-flour mixture and mix well.Make sure the fruits and nuts are well coated.
5. Bake for about 35-45 minutes (depending on your oven)until the  cake is golden brown in color and the edges are pulled away from the pan.
6. Remove from the oven and cool it on a wire rack. To store remove from the pan and cover with aluminium foil or plastic wrap.You can store it in room temperature or refrigerator.
This cake tastes best after one or two days..

August 4, 2012

Chicken Masala Dosa

Ingredients 
Dosa batter - 1 cup
Boneless chicken - 1cup, cooked and minced
Onion - 1 big,thinly sliced
Tomato -1 medium
Chilly powder-2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder-1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1tsp
Ginger - 1tsp chopped
Garlic - 1 tsp chopped
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Salt
Curry leaves
Mustard
Cooking Oil
 
Directions
1. Cook the boneless cubed chicken in enough water, with salt turmeric powder and pepper powder.When done , shred the chicken into small pieces
2. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds,and then add ginger,garlic,curry leaves,onion and saute well until they are soft and brown.
3. Now add  tomato until they are soft .Reduce heat and add all powders and fry until its raw smell goes.
4. Now add the minced chicken and mix well. Adjust salt.Make sure the masala is well coated on chicken. Switch off the stove and allow it to cool.Keep aside.
5. Heat a griddle or non stick pan.If using griddle ,drizzle it with gingelly oil.
6. Pour a ladle full of batter on the pan, and spread in circular shape.Drizzle oil (coconut oil preferred) around the edges and let it cook.When the dosa turns light brown(4-5 min),flip it and let the other side cook(1-2 min).Flip again.
7. Reduce the heat or transfer the dosa to a flat plate.Pour a spoonful of chicken masala to the center and fold the dosa in your desired shape-:semi circle,tube,triangle etc..
Serve hot ...

August 2, 2012

Mughlai Vegetable Biriyani

Step 1 Cooking the Rice
Basmati Rice- 2 cups
Ghee- 2tsp
Cloves-5
Cardamom -1
Cinnamon stick - 1,half inch 
Salt
Water : 4 1/2 cup or as per your basmati rice pack instruction
Directions
1. Usually I cook rice in pressure cooker,Boil the water,add salt, ghee,and whole spices.To this add the washed and cleaned rice.Keep the lid without weight ,and when steam comes, put the weight and turn off after one whistle.When the pressure is released fully, take the rice out of the cooker and spread in a large plate and break the crumbs using a fork.Allow it to cool and keep aside 
You can follow this method or you can cook rice in an open thick bottomed vessel.
Step 2 Making the nut paste 
Cashew nuts: 1/4 cup
Almonds- 1/4 cup
Poppy seeds- 1 tsp(optional)
Milk- 1/4 cup
Soak cashew nuts and almonds in milk for 30 minutes and then grind it into a fine paste using the same milk.Keep it aside. 

Step 3 Preparing the Vegetables
Green beans - 1/2 cup chopped 
Carrot- 1/2 cup chopped
Green peas - 1/2 cup 
Cauliflower- 10-12 small florets
Potato- 1/2 cup cubed
Directions: Cook carrot,beans and potato in a vessel with enough water.Add 1/4 tsp of sugar to retain the color of the vegetables.
When it is almost cooked add the cauliflower florets and green peas.Let it cook and remove from heat and drain excess water.Keep aside.
Step 4 Making the Masala
Onion -2 medium, thinly sliced
Tomato - 1 medium chopped
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1-2 tbsp
Chilly powder- 2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Spice masala powder- 1tbsp
Coriander leaves- 1/4 cup chopped
Mint leaves - 1/4 cup 
Yogurt- 1/4 cup 
Note : 1)You can fry the onions to golden brown color.If you want to use less oil , then sauteing while making masala will be enough.But frying will add more taste
2) You can avoid yogurt if you dont want a tangy taste to the biriyani.But authentic mughalai biriyani has yogurt in it.
Spice masala powder-Dry roast 2 cardamom pods, 1 cinnamon stick,4-5 cloves,Mace- 1/2 tsp,Black pepper corns 2 tsp,Shah jeera 1/2 tsp and cumin 1 tsp together and grind them to a fine powder )


Directions
1.Heat oil in a pan,add the ginger garlic paste and saute until raw smell goes .Then add onion and saute until golden brown then add the tomato,make it soft and mushy.(If you are using fried onion,first add the tomatoes and when it becomes soft add the fried onions and mix well)
2. Add the Nut paste and all powders 
3. Now add the cooked vegetables and mix well.Throw in the chopped mint and coriander leaves,salt and keep the lid and cook it in low heat for 2-3 minutes.
4. Switch off the stove and add the yogurt .Take care not to curdle it.Check salt.
Step 5 For Garnishing
Onion - 1 medium thinly sliced
Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp chopped
Mint leaves - 2 tbsp chopped
Cashew nuts - 6-8 
Raisins- 10-12
Saffron milk - 2-3 saffron strands mixed in 3 tbsp of milk
Method Heat oil or ghee in a pan and fry the onions to golden brown,then fry the cashew nuts and raisins..Drain all of it in a paper towel
Step 6 Layering 
1. Take a large baking dish ,Lightly oil it.
2. Layer the biriyani in following order first-half of the cooked rice,then the whole vegetable masala above that, and then the remaining half of the rice .Top it with fried onion, raisins,cashew nuts,chopped mint,coriander leaves and drizzle saffron milk
3. Cover the dish with foil and keep it in oven at 350 F for 10-15 minutes.
4. If you dont have an oven ,you can try this dum method in microwave,with a microwaveable dish.or on stove top by keeping the lid and and a low heat
Step 7 Devour the spicy Mughalai biriyani with raita ,pappad, or pickle 

July 26, 2012

Moist Eggless Chocolate Cake

Ingredients
All Purpose flour- 1 1/2 cup
Granulated Sugar- 1 cup
Cocoa powder- 1/4 cup unsweetened,sifted -not dutch processed
Baking powder- 1 tsp
Baking soda- 3/4 tsp
Salt- 1/4 tsp
Unsweetened Butter- 1/3 cup,melted
Warm water- 1cup
Lemon juice - 1tbsp
Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 F(177 C) and place the rack in the center of oven.
2. In a greased 8 inch square pan/9 inch round pan mix the flour,sugar, cocoa powder,baking powder,baking soda and salt.
3. In another bowl, mix the melted butter, warm water, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.
4. Add this to the flour and mix all the ingredients well without any lumps 
5. Bake it in preheated oven for 30 minutes,or when a tooth pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.Remove from oven and cool it on a wire rack.
Recipe Courtesy : Joy of Baking

July 24, 2012

Vendakka Kichadi / Okra Fry in Coconut-Yogurt Gravy

Ingredients
Vendakka/Bhindi/Okra - 6-8 nos
Green chillies -3
Grated coconut-1/2 cup
Yogurt - 1/2 cup (beat it without adding water)
Mustard - 1 tsp
Red chillies
Curry leaves 
Salt
Cooking oil
Directions
1. Clean and remove the ends of okra and chop it in round shape with 1 cm thickness. Chop the green chillies in round.
2. Heat oil in a non stick pan and add the chopped green chillies and okra into it. Fry until okra turns brown in color, take care not to burn it.
3. Meanwhile grind the grated coconut with a tbsp of yogurt and  a little water into a fine paste. When it is ground to a fine paste ,add 1/2 tsp of  mustard to it and just blend it once to crush the mustard.
4. When the okra is fried well,remove excess oil from the pan.Add the ground coconut to the fried  okra ,mix well and heat. When the edges of the gravy starts bubbling , remove it from the stove top.
5. Pour this to the serving dish and allow to cool.When cooled add the yogurt  and mix well.
6. Heat oil in another pan and splutter mustard seeds, add red chillies and curry leaves. Pour this tempering to the gravy.
Serve with rice ..

July 23, 2012

Spring Masala Dosa / Vegetable Masala Dosa

Ingredients
Dosa batter - 2 cup
Potato- 1/2 cup,peeled and cubed
Cauliflower- 1/2 cup
Beans- 1/2 cup chopped
Carrot- 1/2 cup,peeled and cubed
Green peas- 1/4 cup
Onion -1 small, chopped
Cashew nuts- 5-6 nos
Coconut milk(Cow milk) - 1-2 tbsp
Chilly powder- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 -3/4 tsp
Garlic -2 cloves
Ginger - 2 small pieces
Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp chopped (optional)
Cooking oil
Mustard
Salt 
  Directions
1. Heat oil in a vessel ,splutter mustard seeds and  saute the chopped vegetables and cashew nuts for a few minutes.Add all the powders and saute until raw smell goes.
2. Add half cup of water and salt.Cook for 5-10 minutes.Then add coconut milk and let the masala thicken.
3.When the vegetables are done,and water is evaporated mash the vegetables lightly.Throw in coriander leaves and mix.Masala is ready ,keep it aside.
4. Heat a griddle or non stick pan. If using griddle,grease it with gingelly oil.
5.Pour a ladle full of batter on the pan and spread in circular shape. Drizzle oil (coconut oil preferred )around the edges and let it cook . When the dosa turns light brown (in 4-5 minutes)flip it and cook the other side (1-2 minutes).Flip again 
6. Put a spoonful of  masala on its center and fold the dosa in your desired shape like semi circle or like a tube or a triangle.
Serve hot with chutney and sambar ...
Note : You can use the vegetable of your choice,like cabbage, bell peppers,broccoli, and nuts like cashew nuts, almond, pistachios,walnuts ,dried cranberries ,raisins,etc..

July 22, 2012

Pavakka Theeyal/ Bitter gourd in Roasted Coconut Gravy

Ingredients
Bitter gourd/Pavakka/Kaipakka - 1/2 cup 
Onion - 1/2 of a medium one
Green chillies- 1-2 slit
Tamarind Juice- 1/2 the size of a gooseberry
Dry roasted/Fried coconut -1/2 cup
Red chillies- 2
Curry leaves 
Salt
Mustard
Cooking oil

For Fried/Dry Roasted-coconut (Thenga varuthu arakkan )
Grated coconut - 2 cup (one coconut)
Chlli powder - 2 tbsp
Coriander powder 1 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp

Heat a pan and dry roast the grated coconut until they turn almost dry. Now add the chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and stir continuously till the coconut turn reddish brown .Now remove the pan from heat allow to cool.You can keep this in air -tight box in refrigerator for more than one month.



Direction
1. Cut the ends of Bitter gourd/Pavakka/Kaipakka.Cut it in the middle into two halves and again cut it into two length wise.You should have 4 long strips. Remove the seeds and spongy material in the gourd.
2. Put the cut bitter gourd in water for 30 min -1 hr .It helps in reducing the bitterness,then cut it into thin slices
3. Heat oil in a vessel and splutter mustard seeds,Add red chillies, curry leaves,and green chillies.Saute for a minute.
4.Then add the chopped onion and bitter gourd and saute for 5 minutes or until it becomes soft.
5. Add the tamarind juice and cook for 1 minute.
6.Meanwhile grind the fried coconut to a fine paste when it is cool.Grind in a mixer bowl without adding water.When the fried coconut is ground to fine powder add 1/2 cup water and grind again.It will turn into a smooth semi fluid state,
7.Add the ground paste.Cook for 2-3 minutes.Adjust salt.
Serve hot with rice !!