February 27, 2012

Melting Moments Cookies - 50th Post !!!

All Purpose Flour- 3/4 cup
Corn flour/corn starch -1/2 cup
Salt- 1/8 tsp
Confectioners sugar /Powdered sugar- 1/4 cup
Butter - 1/2 cup at room temperature
Vanilla Extract- 1/2 tsp
Confectioners sugar /Powdered sugar -1/4 cup for topping
1. Whisk together all purpose flour, corn starch and salt
2. Beat the butter and sugar well using a hand mixer until its creamy and smooth for about 2 minutes.Beat in vanilla extract.
3. Add the flour mixture and incorporate well.
4. Cover and refrigerate the batter for 1 or 2 hrs until its firm.
5. Preheat oven to 350 F/177 degrees C. Place rack in the center of oven .Line baking sheet with parchment paper. 
6. After 1-2 hrs, make balls of 1 inch size using hands ,and place them on baking sheets.Space the balls 1 inch apart.
7. Bake for 10- 14 minutes .Remove from oven and place the sheets on a wire rack for 3-5 minutes.
8. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack,placed over a sheet of parchment paper or butter paper.Take confectioners sugar in a fine strainer and sieve it over the cookies.Or sprinkle it on top of the cookies.
9. When it is cooled,store it in airtight container with wax paper in between.
It makes about 18-20 cookies.!!!
Recipe courtesy : Joy of Baking

February 26, 2012

Ulli Vada / Savala Vada/ Onion Pakoda

Onion - 3 medium sized,thinly sliced
Kadalamavu/Gram Flour- 1 cup
Green chillies- 4 chopped
Ginger - chopped 1 tbsp
Egg -1
Curry leaves
1. Mix the flour, onion,chopped green chillies, salt ,egg, chopped ginger,curry leaves and make a batter with enough water.This should not be too watery or too hard .
2. Heat oil in a deep pan/ cheena chatti. Make small balls of the batter and deep fry it. Or you can sprinkle the onion mixture to the hot oil and deep fry in medium heat
3. Fry until it turns golden in color ,with occasional turning.
Serve hot as snack with tea/coffee!! 

February 25, 2012

Pavakka /Kaipakka Mezhukkupuratti /Crispy Bitter gourd Stir fry

Bitter gourd/Pavakka/Kaipakka - 1 or 2 
Onion - half of a medium one
Coconut chips- 2-3 tbsp
Green chillies- 2 split
Chilli powder- 1 tsp
Cooking Oil
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 vegetable in water for 1 hr .It helps in reducing the bitterness.
3. Then cut it into thin slices. Mix it with sliced onion,salt,red chilli powder and split green chillies.
4. Heat oil in a pan.Add the coconut chips and saute for a few seconds.Add the above mix and saute well in medium heat until its almost cooked.
5. Reduce the heat to low/simmer and saute it in low flame for 5-6 minutes until its crispy. Take care not to burn the onion slices. Crispy bitter gourd will have less bitterness.
Serve hot !!

February 21, 2012

Vellarikka Manga/Cucumber&Mango in Coconut Gravy

Vellarikka/Cucumber- 1/2 cup cubed
Raw mango - 4-5 one inch pieces(depending on sourness)
Grated coconut - 1 handful
Green chillies - 2-3 cut lengthwise
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder- 1/4 tsp
Shallots- 2
Cumin - 1/4 tsp
Red chillies- 2
1. Cook cucumber and mango pieces with green chillies, turmeric powder and chilly powder with enough water until the mango and cucumber are cooked and soft.
2. Meanwhile grind coconut and cumin to a fine paste.
3. When the vegetables are cooked well, add salt and coconut paste to it and heat for a minute while stirring and remove from heat. Take care not to boil it.
4. Heat oil in another pan , splutter mustard seeds, add chopped shallots,red chillies and curry leaves.Saute and add to the gravy .
Serve hot with rice!!

February 19, 2012

Snow Peas Mezhukkupuratti/Stir fry

Snow peas - 10 0z
Shallots/Onion- 1/4 cup chopped
Garlic- 1 clove crushed
Red chillies- 3-4 crushed into chilli flakes
Curry leaves 
1. Trim the ends and cut the snap peas into medium sized pieces. Cook it in a pot with enough water and salt till it is tender.Let the water dry or drain it .
2. Heat oil in a pan and add chopped shallots, crushed garlic and saute it for few minutes. 
3. Add the cooked snap peas to this and saute. Sprinkle chilli flakes and saute for 3-5 minutes.
Serve hot with rice !!!

February 17, 2012

Savala Thoran / Onion Stir Fry

Big onion- 2 medium;red/white/yellow
Grated coconut- 1/4 cup
Green chillies - 2-3 chopped
Ginger - 1 small piece
Turmeric powder- a pinch (optional)
Mustard seeds 
1. Chop the onion 
2. Mix together chopped onion, grated coconut, green chillies,ginger, salt and turmeric powder.
3. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds.
4. Add curry leaves and onion mixture to this and stir well.
5. Sprinkle water in between and cook on a medium heat.Always keep an eye on it, and stir frequently. Serve hot with rice!!

February 16, 2012

Anchovy/Netholi/Chooda/Kozhuval Fry

Anchovy /Netholi/Chooda/Kozhuval - 250 gm, cleaned
Chilli powder- 1tbsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1/4 cup
Salt to taste
Curry leaves 
1. Mix the powders and salt together and make it into a paste using enough water
2. Clean and pat dry the fish .Add this to the above spice mix.Keep it for 30-45 minutes. 
3. Heat oil in a pan/cheena chatti .Add the fish and fry until it turns  reddish brown .
4. Flip it occasionally using slotted spoon .Make sure both sides are fried well.It may take 5-8 minutes.Finally add curry leaves and remove everything from oil .Drain on a paper towel 
Serve immediately with rice!!!

February 15, 2012

Mushroom Tikka Masala

Mushroom - 8 oz /250 gm cleaned and chopped 
Onion - 1 big, chopped
Tomato -1 pureed(2tbsp tomato puree, or 2 tbsp tomato paste mixed with equal amount of water to make puree)
Bell pepper - 1/2 cup cubed- green and red bell peppers
2. Spices 
Cumin- 1/2 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1tsp
Cumin powder- 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder- 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/4 tsp - optional
Dry Kasoori methi 
Yogurt - 1/4 to 1/2 cup Reduce the quantity depending on sourness
Heavy cream - 2tbsp - optional
Cooking oil 
Coriander leaves 
1. Heat oil in a pan and stir in cumin seeds, when the sizzle, add onion and salt .Saute until onion turns soft and brown.
2. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute till its raw smell goes.
3. Pour in the tomato puree and cook it till the oil separates ,and the gravy thickens.
4. Meanwhile, add cumin, chilly, turmeric and coriander powders to the yogurt and mix well. If using Garam masala, add that too.
5. Once the gravy is done, add  the above yogurt to this and stir continuously for 2-3 minutes. If your gravy is too thick add 1/2 cup of water at times according to the consistency.
6. Remove the sauce from heat and keep aside.
7. Cut the mushrooms to medium sized pieces , not too thin not too thick . Heat Ghee in a pan and stir in a handful of chopped mushrooms. Do not over crowd the pan.Each piece should touch  the pan . This should be done in high heat.
8. Mushroom will sizzle then turn golden brown in color. Flip each piece so that both sides turn golden brown and crusty.
9. Remove the mushrooms from ghee and drop it in the sauce/gravy. Add next batch and repeat the same. 
10. Stir in the cubed bell peppers to the same pan and saute until they are fired enough.
11. Drop the bell peppers to the gravy and mix well. 
12. Crumble the kasoori methi over the gravy , using your hands.
13. Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.Turn off heat and stir in heavy cream if you are using it. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
Serve hot with basmati rice, chapati,or naan!!!
Recipe Courtesy : A Curry of Life 

February 13, 2012

Ven Pongal

Short grained rice - 1 cup, I used Sona Masoori 
Moong Dal - 1/4 cup
Ginger- 1 inch piece,peeled and thinly sliced
Whole pepper corns - 1tsp
Cumin- 1 tsp
Asafoetida- a pinch
Cashew nuts- 10-12,whole or halved
Ghee- 2tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves
Method 1
1. Wash the rice and moon dal  well until the water runs clear
2. Mix them and cook it in a pressure cooker with 3 cups (vary depending on the type of rice you use) of water. If you use an Indian pressure cooker , 3-4 whistles are enough. Add enough salt before cooking
3. When rice is ready it will be soft and creamy. Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Now add peppercorn and cumin. Stir in ginger,saute till a nice aroma comes.
4. Now add a pinch of Asafoetida, and curry leaves ,Stir it for 2-3 seconds and remove from heat. Remove the whole spices from the ghee ,with a sppon, leaving the ghee behind. 
5. Add one more tbsp of ghee and heat it. Add the cashew nuts and roast it.
6. Add the spices, and roasted nuts to the cookes rice and mix well.
Serve hot.
Method 2
1.Wash and clean the rice and moong dal.
2. Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a vessel and splutter mustard seeds. Now add peppercorn and cumin. Stir in ginger,saute till a nice aroma comes.Now add a pinch of Asafoetida, and curry leaves ,Stir it for 2-3 seconds.
3. Add the cleaned rice and moong dal,stir well. Pour in water .Add salt and cook covered in low -med heat with occasional stirring (if you are using an open vessel.
4. When the rice is soft and creamy,and most of the water is evaporated, Pongal is ready.
5. Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pan, roast the cashew nut in it. Top the Pongal with this nuts . Serve hot !!

February 12, 2012

Biscuit-Chocolate Pudding

Marie biscuits - 20 nos -1 packet
Custard Powder - 4 tbsp
Cocoa Powder- 3 tbsp
Coffee powder- 2tbsp
Milk - 1 1/2 cup
Sugar- 1/2 cup
Whipped cream-3/4 cup
Almonds &Walnuts /Cashew nuts - 1/4 cup Crushed 
Chocolate bar- 1 
1. Make the custard as per the instructions given on its box-: But add the cocoa powder along with custard powder to make custard.(Boil milk in a thick bottomed vessel.add sugar into it.When it is boiling , take some milk from it in a cup,dissolve the custard powder & cocoa powder well,without lumps.Add this back to the boiling milk and stir continuously till it starts to thicken.When the custard is made, remove from heat and allow it to cool.)
2. Make coffee with boiling water and add some sugar.Dip each biscuit in it until it turns slightly soft,Keep /Spread them in the setting dish as a base.
3. Crush the rest of the biscuits into a crunchy powder and keep aside.
4. When the custard is fully cooled, pour it over this biscuit base and spread.
5. Make the next layer with the whipped cream.
6. Spread half of the crunchy biscuit powder and nut above this.
7. Again make/repeat layers with custard ,whipped cream, biscuit powder ,and nuts.
8. Grate the chocolate bar and spread the shavings on the pudding.
9. Keep it in refrigerator for 5-6 hrs, Serve cold in bowls!!
Recipe from Adukala Visesham

February 8, 2012

Chicken Stir Fry with Coconut

Chicken - Boneless or boned- 250 gm cubed.
Onion - 1 medium,thinly sliced
Ginger- 1tsp chopped
Garlic- 1 tsp chopped
Chilly powder -1- 2tsp
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1/4 tsp 
Black Pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek Powder- 1 pinch
Garam Masala - 1 tsp (or grind 2 cloves,1 cardamom, 2 pepper corns,1 inch cinnamon stick, 1/2 bay leaf,to a fine powder)
Oil- 3 tbsp -preferably coconut oil
Curry leaves
1. Mix grated coconut,chopped onion, garlic,ginger,salt ,and all powders together in a bowl.Crush it together with hands or pulse it in a mixer .Do not grind to a paste. We need a crushed form
2. Add  this to chicken and mix well .Keep it for 30 minutes.
3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the marinated chicken to this oil and cook covered in a medium heat until chicken produces enough water to cook . So no need to add water.
4. Remove the lid and cook uncovered with occasional stirring. All water will be evaporated.
5. Now add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil with curry leaves, reduce heat to low and roast the chicken until it attains the reddish brown color. Stir occasionally . It will take 30-40 minutes for the entire cooking.
6. When the color is attained , remove from heat and serve hot with rice, chappati, ghee rice,appam etc...
Note : a)If you use boned chicken , the chicken may fall apart from bone. Its fine ..If you use boneless chicken you can crush the chicken pieces with a wooden spoon just before removing from heat and can make it look like a thoran!!
b) Do not close lid,after adding 2 tbsp oil for roasting.

February 7, 2012

Snow White Cake with Whipped cream frosting

All Purpose flour- 1 1/4 cup
Baking powder- 2tsp
Powdered sugar /Confectioner's sugar - 1 cup
Butter - 1/4 cup melted ,or at room temperature
Vanilla essence - 2tsp
Egg white - 3 at room temperature
Milk - 1/2 cup
For Icing/ Frosting
Heavy whipping cream - 100 ml
Powdered sugar - 3-4 tsp
Cherries/Strawberries/grapes /any fruits 8-10 numbers

1. Mix the flour and baking powder together,and sieve it twice.
2. Beat the butter and sugar together by adding sugar gradually until its creamy.
3. Add egg white into this and beat well.Add vanilla essence and mix well.
4. Add flour and milk to this alternately , beginning and ending with flour.Mix well with a spoon
5. Preheat oven to 350 F/160 C.
6. Grease a 9" pan with butter or oil. Pour batter into this and bake for 35-40 minutes/ When the toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
7. When the cake is done,cool it on a wire rack. When cake is almost cooled, You can start making whipped cream
8.Beat the heavy whipping cream, using a hand mixer by gradually adding sugar .Beat until it forms a firm peak.Watch some YouTube videos to see exactly when to stop beating.
9. Spread this whipped cream on the cooled cake .Decorate with cherries and chocolate shavings.Enjoy !!!
Note : I turned my cake upside down before frosting to get a flat surface for frosting.So I used a parchment paper/non stick liner in my baking pan before pouring the batter and buttered it 

Recipe from Kaipunyam and Adukkalavisesham. I did some modifications to the original recipe according to my taste 

February 6, 2012

Palak-Dal/Spinach-Lentil stir fry/Thoran

Spinach/Palak - 1lb - 500 gm, cleaned and chopped 
Toor dal - 1/2 cup,cooked
Grated coconut - 1/4 cup
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Cooked rice- 1 tbsp
Red chillies- 2-3
Curry leaves 
1. Clean an chop spinach. Try to avoid stem.
2. Heat oil in a pan/cheena chatty ,Splutter mustard seeds, then add  cooked rice, red chillies and curry leaves.Saute for a minute
3. Stir in chopped leaves.Volume will get reduced to 1/4th. Stir well.
4. Add cooked toor dal and mix well.
5. Add salt - Keep in mind to add less salt than what you usually add to other curries.
6. Mix coconut and turmeric powder together and add to the spinach-dal and mix well.
7. Cook for 2-3  minutes and remove from heat 
Serve hot !!!

February 4, 2012

Pulincurry /Ashgourd in Coconut -Tamarind gravy

Ash gourd/Winter melon/Kumbalanga - 3/4 cup skin removed,cut and cubed 
Grated coconut- 1/2 cup
Tamarind Juice- 2 tbsp (half of a gooseberry sized ball,soaked in warm water and juice extracted)
Cumin- 1/2 tsp
Shallots- 3-4
Green chillies- 2 split
Red chillies-2
Curry leaves

1. Cook ash gourd in enough water ,with turmeric powder and green chillies.
2. Mean while grind grated coconut ,one or two shallots, cumin together to a fine paste.
3. When ash gourd is done add tamarind juice to this and boil for a few minutes.
4. Add ground  coconut to this and heat for 2-3 minutes.Remove from heat
5. Heat oil in another pan , splutter mustard seeds, add red chillies, curry leaves and  chopped shallots.Saute until the shallots are brown .Pour this into the curry.

Serve hot with rice !!

February 1, 2012

Fish curry with Mango/ Manga Meen curry

Fish of your choice - 250 gm ( Sardine,Mackerel,Prawns etc)I used Chooda (Dried prawns and mackerel is the best for this recipe )
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Unripe Mango - 1/4 of it, sliced (depending on sourness )
Green chillies - 2-3 split
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Chilli Powder- 3/4 tsp
Coriander Powder- 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds/Powder- 1/4 tsp
Ginger - 1 small piece, crushed
Coconut Oil
Curry leaves 
Method 1 :
1. Wash and clean the fish. 
2. Grind coconut with all powders to a fine paste
3. Transfer the cleaned fish , mango pieces, green chillies, crushed ginger and few curry leaves to a chatti/vessel  with enough water to cover the fish pieces.Add salt. Cook till the fish is done.(10-15 minutes)
4. When the fish is cooked, transfer the coconut paste to it and cook for 2-3 minutes in low heat .
5. Pour 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil ,with curry leaves .Remove from heat. Serve with rice

Method 2 : You can cook the fish , mango pieces, green chillies,ginger and coconut paste together with enough water and salt  for 20-25 minutes in a vessel/chatti. Pour in coconut oil and curry leaves.But I dont like over cooked coconut in curry.It gives the curry a different look .So I follow the method  of adding coconut paste at the end .It gives a creamy effect.

Recipe Courtesy : Yummy O Yummy