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Monday, September 27, 2010

GREEN CHILLY THOKKU

This is a traditional recipe from my paati and amma who are here right now. They were very much interested in sharing this recipe in my blog. They used to do it years back and said it was the best combo with "Saar theertham"( leftover cooked rice soaked in water) or curd rice. It was spicy, hot and tasty. They also gave some post - natal and post - partum food and care guidance for the whole family's (FAMILY TREES?!!!) future guidance which will be shared in a future post. What an interest at this age ?!!!!!! I admire their generosity to share things which will be useful for everyone. KUDOS PAATI AND AMMA. THANKS A LOT. Another combination they gave was mixing this thokku with a spoon of coconut oil and having as a side dish for Thengai dosai. Here is the way they prepared this.

INGREDIENTS:

Very tender green chillies - 50 gms.
Tamarind - a lemon size
Salt - as per taste
Oil - 1/2 ladle
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp.
Hing

METHOD:

Slit the green chillies, heat a tablespoon of oil and saute the green chillies till the colour changes, with white spots in it and the raw smell is diffused. Grind it alongwith salt and tamarind to a fine paste. Again, heat the remaining oil, temper with mustard seeds, urad dhal, hing and turmeric powder. Add in the ground paste and saute well till oil leaves the sides. This can be preserved even for a month if sauted well with oil. It can also be refrigerated.

NOTE: THE CHILLIES SHOULD BE VERY TENDER. YOU CAN SOAK THE TAMARIND IN WATER AND USE THE VERY THICK EXTRACT. BUT FOR GETTING A PERFECT TEXTURE USE THE TAMARIND DIRECTLY WHILE GRINDING SUBJECT TO THE QUALITY OF THE PRODUCT.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

TIPS ON COOKING PULSES FOR SUNDAL

Navarathri is approaching fast. This may be a handy guide for amateurs in cooking, especially newly wedded ones who ask a lot of clarifications from me, and I think, I have done justice to my utmost capacity, with my little knowledge. However, the cooking time depends on one’s stove condition, heat and family’s tastes.Generally for sundal recipes, the lentils or pulses should be softly cooked and should not become mushy. While cooking with water in a vessel, it takes a lot of cooking time , yet it is easy to check the consistency. But doubt comes when pressure cooking the lentils and pulses. Older people prefer to be mushy and youngsters prefer to be crunchy. Decide on it.
PULSES TO BE SOAKED OVERNIGHT & PRESSURE COOKED FOR 3 WHISTLES OR UNTIL SOFT
TAMIL NAME
ENGLISH NAME
HINDI NAME
Kondaikadalai
Chick pea - Black
Kala channa
Vellai kondaikadalai
Chick pea ( White)
Kabul channa
Pachai pattani
Peas ( Green)
Sukhe Matar
Vellai pattani
Peas ( White)
Sukhe Matar (Safaid)
Mochai kottai
Navy beans
Val dal
Sigappu kadalai
Red kidney beans
Rajma
PULSES WHICH NEED NO SOAKING AND TO BE COOKED IN WATER TILL SOFT BUT NOT MUSHY
TAMIL NAME
ENGLISH NAME
HINDI NAME
Kadalaiparuppu
Bengal gram
Chana dal
Payathamparuppu
Split green gram
Dhuli mung dal
PULSES TO BE DRY ROASTED AND SOAKED FOR ½ AN HOUR AND PRESSURE COOKED FOR 2 WHISTLES OR UNTIL SOFT
TAMIL NAME
ENGLISH NAME
HINDI NAME
Karamani
Cow peas
Lobhia
Vellai karamani
Black eyed peas
Lobhia
Pachai payaru
Green gram
Sabut mung
NUTS TO BE SOAKED FOR 3 HOURS AND PRESSURE COOKED FOR 5 WHISTLES
TAMIL NAME
ENGLISH NAME
HINDI NAME
Verkkadalai
Peanuts
Moonghphali
FRESH SHELLED BEANS WHICH NEEDS NO SOAKING AND CAN BE COOKED IN WATER TILL SOFT
TAMIL NAME
ENGLISH NAME
HINDI NAME
Pachai mochai
Field beans
Bakla
Thuvarai
Pigeon peas
------
Cholam
Fresh corn
Makki, makai,
SPROUTED GRAM NEEDS NO SOAKING AND CAN BE STEAMED OR MICROWAVED FOR 5 MINUTES AND SEASONED GENTLY WITH PEPPER , SALT, OLIVE OIL AND LEMON JUICE.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

ALOO TIKKI



INGREDIENTS:

Potatoes - 1/2 kg.
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Green chillies - 2
Chilli powder - 1/4 tsp.
Chopped coriander leaves - 3 tablespoons
Coriander powder - 2 tsps.
Bread crumbs - 1 cup
Oil - to deep fry
Corn flour - 2 tablespoons
Salt - as per taste


METHOD:


Prepare a corn flour slurry.

Boil potatoes and peel the skin. Mash well alongwith chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt, chopped green chillies and chopped coriander leaves.

Take out small balls from it and shape to cylindrical tikkis or any shape of your choice.

Dip these balls in the corn flour slurry and coat it with bread crumbs. Again dip in the slurry and coat with bread crumbs. Deep fry in oil till crisp and golden brown on all sides.

Monday, September 20, 2010

HOME MADE GHEE & NEI VARUTHA MAAVU

Home made ghee has an exotic flavour and a good aroma. I do not compromise this ghee with the store-bought ones. My mom makes nei varutha maavu from the residue and there will be a tough fight in our home for this maavu. The recipe for the nei-varutha maavu is in the end. Do try it.

INGREDIENTS:


Butter - 1/2 kg.

GADGETS:

Metal strainer



METHOD:

The Collage is self - explanatory and in order, yet a quick explanation. Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed pan( I use pressure pan), ensure medium - heat. When it starts melting, stir with a ladle. When melted well, the melted butter turns out to a creamy consistency. Within a minute or two, the creamy substances will subside and there will be bubbles all over, be careful stirring is important. The next step is the bubbles will turn out to BIG bubbles, with a hissing sound and slowly the bubbles reduce to 3 or 4 BIG bubbles. At this stage, switch off the stove. Immediately, it will start foaming. Stir it quickly and wait for the foam to subside. Do not keep the pan on the same hot burner after this process. Take the pan off the burner too and keep it somewhere on the kitchen-top. Strain it with a metal strainer (metal strainer and not a plastic tea strainer because the plastic strainer will not withstand the heat), to a container, leaving out the kasandu (residues). When cool, it will be grainy and aromatic. HOME MADE GHEE IS READY.

RECIPE FOR NEI VARUTHA MAAVU:

After straining the ghee, the residue in the pan will be brown in colour. Heat the pan, add in a ladle of rice flour to the kasandu(residue) alongwith 1/2 ladle sugar ( OR as per your tastebuds). Saute in medium heat till the sugar crystals dissolve and mixes with the flour. When you smell a good aroma,transfer to a small cup and have it hot.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

PEANUT CHAAT / PEANUT SALAD


INGREDIENTS:

Fresh shelled peanuts OR raw peanuts - 2 cups
Onion - 1 (optional)
Tomato - 1
Cucumber - 1
Carrot - 1 cup
Chopped coriander leaves - 2 tablespoons
Chat masala - 1/2 tsp. (OR) Olive oil - 1 tsp.
Juice of a lime
Salt - as per taste

METHOD:

NOTE: IF YOU ARE MAKING PEANUT CHAAT, USE CHAT MASALA. IF YOU ARE MAKING PEANUT SALAD USE OLIVE OIL.

Finely chop tomatoes, cucumber and onions (if using, I didn't use it). Grate the carrot.

Wash the peanuts well and soak it in water for 3 hours. Pressure cook with salt for 5 whistles. Drain the cooked water completely. Mix all other ingredients. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Monday, September 13, 2010

KOZHUKATTAI / MODAKAM / POORNA KOZHUKATTAI / SWEET KOZHUKATTAI

 How to make modakam, Modhakam recipe, How to make pillayar kozhukattai, How to make poorna kozhukattai, How to make sweet kozhukattai
 How to make modakam, Modhakam recipe, How to make pillayar kozhukattai, How to make poorna kozhukattai, How to make sweet kozhukattai
Vinayaga is a Universal GOD and the above mentioned symbolism of HIM is for us to think and follow it. Modakam / poornam kozhukattai or sweet kozhukattai is made as an offering for Vinayaga chaturthi. Though it is time consuming, everyone love to do it and offer it to Pillaiyar / Ganesha. As mentioned in the symbolism, it represents the rewards of Sadhana, which requires lots of patience and take a long time. The same with the dish too.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE MEL MAAVU (OUTER COVERING):

Rice flour - 2 cups(store bought rice flour/idiappam flour can be used)
Water - 2 cups
Salt - a generous pinch
Gingelly oil - 1 tablespoon

INGREDIENTS FOR THE POORNAM (SWEET FILLING):

Crushed Jaggery - 1 1/2 cups
Scraped OR grated coconut - 2 cups
Cardamom - 4 (to powder)
Ghee - 1 tsp.

METHOD:

MEL MAAVU:

Heat water in a heavy-bottomed kadai, add salt and oil. When it starts boiling, simmer the stove and add the rice flour slowly and stir it quickly without any lumps. When it leaves the sides of the kadai and becomes like a dough, take it off the stove and keep it covered for 10 minutes. When cool, knead well and keep aside.

POORNAM:

Dissolve crushed jaggery in a ladle of water, strain it without any dust. Heat a pan and add the dissolved jaggery, coconut and cardamom powder. Saute for a while till it becomes thick enough to roll into balls. Add a spoon of ghee and mix well. When cool, make small balls out of it.

PROCEDURE:

Grease your hand with gingelly oil. Take out small balls from the mel maavu and shape into cups using your hand. Place a poornam ball inside it and shape into modhaks (with a small projection in the top as shown in picture). Grease idli plates and arrange these modhaks in it. Steam cook for 8 minutes in medium heat. Allow a standing time of 5 minutes. Offer them to Pillaiyaar when done. 


NOTE: Only one or two modhaks should be arranged in one depression of the idli plate. Perfect modaks will be glossy when done.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

PUDINA THOKKU / MINT THOKKU

INGREDIENTS:

Mint leaves - 3 big bunches (approx. 4 cups tightly packed)
Tamarind - a lemon sized ball
Green chillies - 3 (long variety)
Jaggery - marble size (optional)
Salt - as per taste



To temper:

Gingelly oil - 1 ladle
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp.
Hing - a pinch

METHOD:

Take out the mint leaves from the bunch (Tender stems can also be used). Discard the hard stems. Wash well. Heat a pan and saute the mint leaves till it wilts. Grind alongwith tamarind, jaggery and green chillies to a smooth paste.

In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat gingelly oil, add mustard seeds and hing. When mustard seeds splutter, add the ground paste, salt as per your tastebuds and stir it often so that it doesn't stick to the pan. When oil leaves the sides and the paste is thick, transfer it to a bowl.

Store in a sterile bottle.

This can be used as a side dish for idli, dosa, chappati, poori, curd rice and can also be mixed with hot cooked rice with a little gingelly oil and ghee added to it. A quick lunch box meal.

Goes well with roasted appalam or papad.

Monday, September 6, 2010

BHARWAN BHINDI

Generally, bharwan bhindi is done with a stuffing of besan flour with some spices. Some do it with peanut powder too. For a change, I stuffed with Pottukadalai powder(dhalia) and spices. The flavour and taste was great.

INGREDIENTS:

Lady's finger - 1/2 kg.
Oil - 1/2 ladle

To powder ( for the stuffing) :

Pottukadalai(roasted gram) - 3/4 cup
Garam masala - 2 tsp.
Coriander powder - 3 tsp.
Chilli powder - 1 tsp.
Salt - 1 tsp.
Cumin powder - 1 tsp.
Juice of a lime

To garnish:(Optional)

Finely chopped onions - 2 tablespoons
Finely chopped coriander leaves - 2 tablespoons


METHOD:

Select small, finger- long bhindis. Wash well and pat it dry. Cut off the top and end portions (Head and tail ??!!). Slit the bhindis vertically through the centre.

Powder the ingredients given in "To powder"

Add lime juice and little water to the powder and make a soft dough,(THE TEXTURE SHOULD NEITHER BE TOO HARD NOR LIKE A PASTE).

Stuff the bhindis with this dough patiently.

Heat oil in a pan, arrange the stuffed bhindis gently with the stuffed portions on top. Sprinkle very little water and cook covered.

Shallow fry and flip it (sprinkle water when you flip and cook covered) gently on all sides till crispy. Garnish with finely chopped onions and coriander leaves. Serve hot with phulkas or rice. Sending this to Kiran's Veggie/fruit a month & Priya Mitharwal's event 94th Week of BSI - OKRA

Friday, September 3, 2010

JEERA KASHAYAM

This gives relief from stomach ache. This kashayam is given when the labour pain starts. If it is a false pain, the pain will subside. If it is a labour pain, it will start intensifying.


INGREDIENTS:

Jeera - 2 tsp.
Water - 2 cups
Crushed panamkalkandu(Palm candy) - 4 tsp.
Ghee OR butter - 1 tsp.

Heat a kadai and dry roast jeera nearly black. Add water & boil till it reduces to half. Add crushed panamkalkandu. Stir well & add ghee. Drink it hot.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

TIPS FOR CLEANING SILVER ARTICLES

Tips for cleaning silver articles, How to clean oxidised silver articles easily?,How to clean silver articles?As many friends asked me about cleaning silver articles, I am posting this eventhough this is a food blog. I am sure it will be of use to everyone. 

Silver articles oxidise soon and cleaning is a tedious procedure and will consume most of your time. It becomes expensive at times. This is a hazzle-free procedure of cleaning silver items in bulk, with the basic things available in your kitchen.
Tips for cleaning silver articles, How to clean oxidised silver articles easily?,How to clean silver articles?
THINGS REQUIRED:

Cooking soda (Aapa soda) - a handful
Aluminium foil torn to pieces - 10"x10" sheet

METHOD OF CLEANING:

Take a very big vessel in which all your silver items fit. Boil water in it to the highest point , put in the soda and torn aluminium foil pieces (which we use to pack food) and also the oxidised silver items. Let it boil for 5 minutes. Switch off the stove. Take the items one by one using a long ladle and wash with a dishwash liquid and a scrub. BE CAREFUL.... IT WILL BE VERY HOT....For intricate items use a NEW toothbrush. YOUR SILVER ITEMS WILL SPARKLE AS NEW. Repeat this procedure once a month OR whenever needed. Do not worry, silver doesn't corrode. I have been cleaning silver items using this method for years. Some items shown in the picture are more than 30 years old.

Please DO NOT put the idols of deities or vigrahams in boiling water, just use the method to clean your articles except the vigrahams.
We see idols as GOD. So, I felt that if we put the idols in boiling water, will it not be hot for the GOD OR GODDESS? That's the reason behind it. However, it depends on one's own mentality and conscience. Silver idols can be cleaned with toothpaste(white in colour) and a NEW TOOTHBRUSH. Even pitambari works. Tooth powder and viboothi can be used for idols.

NOTE:
The foil and soda can be increased or decreased according to the number of silver items you clean.

This method is hazzle free for cleaning silver items in bulk.
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