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Sunday, January 30, 2011

DAL MAKHNI / DHAL MAKHANI


INGREDIENTS:

Sabut urad dal (Whole black gram) - 3/4 cup
Rajma - 1/2 cup
Onion - 2 (medium - sized)
Grated ginger - 1 tsp.
Grated garlic - 1/2 tsp.
Green chillies - 2 ( finely chopped)
Tomatoes - 2 large
Salt - as per taste
Butter - 3 tablespoons
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp.
Garam masala - 1 tsp.
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Fresh cream - 1/4 cup
Chopped coriander leaves - 2 tablespoons
Ginger juliennes - few

NOTE: Dry ginger powder (sukku powder, soonth) - 1/4 teaspoon can be substituted for fresh ginger. If adding soonth (sukku powder) add it when you add garam masala. However, fresh ginger gives a better aroma than sukku powder.

METHOD:


Soak sabut urad dhal and rajma together overnight. Wash well and pressure cook for four to five whistles and simmer for 10 minutes. The dhals should be completely cooked and soft. When the pressure has reduced take out, and slightly mash the dhals with the back of a ladle.

Puree the tomatoes. Chop the onions finely.

Whisk fresh cream.
Keep aside.

Heat butter in a heavy-bottomed pan and add cumin seeds. When they sizzle add green chillies, grated ginger and garlic. Add chopped onions and tomato puree and saute on medium heat till the oil begins to separate from the masala. Now add red chilli powder. Saute for a minute. Add the dhal mixture, salt and garam masala. Mix well. Simmer for ten minutes or till the required consistency is reached. Add fresh cream(reserve a little for topping) and mix well. Garnish with coriander leaves, ginger juliennes and top with the remaining cream. Serve hot. Goes well with parathas, rotis, naan, kulchas and rice.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

ARISI PAYASAM / RICE PAYASAM FOR THAI VELLI


This is a traditional payasam made on Thai and Aadi velli.

Fridays in the month of  "THAI and AADI" ( tamil month) is auspicious for Hindus. Hindu Goddesses are worshipped and various poojas are performed to the Goddesses.

Lakshmi pooja, lighting of Maa vilakku and performing poojas to the "NAAGAR" (Snake idols) at temples are some of the rituals followed during Thai velli. Sri Lakshmi Ashtothram & Sri Mahalakshmi Ashtakam is chanted while performing Lakshmi Pooja. Soundarya lahari and Lalitha sahasranamam are also chanted. Women exchange thamboolams.

Coming to the recipe,

INGREDIENTS:

Raw rice pounded to rawa OR Raw rice rawa - 1 ladle
Moong dhal - 1 tsp.
Gram dhal (kadalai paruppu) - 1 tsp.
Crushed jaggery - 2 ladles
Milk - 1/2 cup
Saffron - few strands
Pachai karpooram (edible camphor) - 1/2 a pinch
Ghee - 1 tsp.
Cashews - 6
Dry grapes (kismis) - 6

METHOD:

In a heavy bottomed pan, dry roast rice & moong dhal separately till hot. When the colour of the rice changes to white, switch off the stove and transfer to a vessel. When slightly cool, pound to rawa (You can also dry roast rice rawa). Pressure cook alongwith moong dhal and gram dhal for three whistles. (Rice : water ratio 1:3)

Add saffron to hot milk.

Crush and dissolve jaggery in 1/4 cup of water, strain the impurities and add to the cooked rice dhal mixture. Allow it to boil till the raw smell is diffused. Add the milk. Mix well.

Add pachaikarpooram and garnish with ghee fried cashews and kismis.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

PAL PAYASAM & A CELEBRATION

My blog has crossed 2 lakh hits today. I feel very excited. A crore thanks to all the visitors of my blog. My online friends inspire & encourage me a lot. THANK YOU ALL,ONCE AGAIN FOR ENCOURAGING ME.

INGREDIENTS:


Raw rice or red rice - 1 ladle

Milk - 1 ltr.
Cardamom powdered - 1/2 tsp.
Sugar - 2 1/2 ladles
Cashews(optional)
Saffron (optional)
Ghee - 1 tsp.


METHOD:

Wash the rice well and drain out the water.
If using red rice, the payasam will be in a lovely light pinkish colour.

Boil milk in a heavy- bottomed pan. (I used pressure cooker).
Simmer and add the rice into the milk. Allow the rice to get cooked in the milk.

Stir frequently till the milk reduces to half. By this time, the rice will be cooked and soft.
Now add sugar and stir continuously till the milk is thick. Add the powdered cardamoms and ghee. Garnish with ghee-fried cashews and saffron. Serve hot or cold. Both will taste good.

VARIATION : Pressure cook rice, mash well without any lumps and add to the boiled milk. Stir frequently till the milk reduces to half. Add sugar and stir continuously till the milk is thick. Add the powdered cardamoms and ghee. Garnish with ghee-fried cashews and saffron. Serve hot or cold. Both will taste good.

Friday, January 21, 2011

ELLURUNDAI / SESAME BALLS

This can also be done with white sesame seeds.

INGREDIENTS:


Black sesame seeds - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 1 tablespoon
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp. (optional)

METHOD:

Soak sesame seeds in water for 15 minutes. Check for dust and mud. Drain the water completely through a strainer. Allow it to stand for 5 minutes in the strainer.

Heat a kadai and add the drained seeds to it and dry roast till it splutters. (WHILE IT SPLUTTERS, YOU CAN SEE THE WHITE SEEDS INSIDE. DO NOT OVERROAST)

Take a wide plate and put the roasted sesame seeds in it. Dissolve the crushed jaggery in water, strain and make a soft ball consistency syrup. Remove quickly and add it to the sesame seeds. Mix well alongwith cardamom powder. Grease your hand with ghee and shape to balls when warm.

Monday, January 17, 2011

SET DOSA & VEGETABLE SAAGU


NOTE: Ensure medium heat . Generally this is cooked on one side, and it is not necessary to flip it to the other side. However, you can turn them over if you prefer it. This is usually spongy, thick and small and served as a set of three or four alongwith vegetable saagu. The photo above displays tomato chutney and mint thokku as side dish.

INGREDIENTS:

Idli rice - 2 cups
Thick Poha (aval) - 1 cup
Curds - 1/4 cup
Urad dhal - 1/2 cup
Methi seeds - 1 tsp.
Salt - as per taste

METHOD:

Soak poha in curds for an hour.

Soak rice, methi seeds & urad dhal together for 3 hours.

Grind both separately to a smooth batter. The batter should be slightly thick and should not be too watery. Mix both, add salt and allow it to ferment for 8 hours, preferably overnight.

Heat a tawa (I have used a kadai), pour a ladle of the batter. DO NOT SPREAD THE BATTER. This dosa should be thick and small in size. Drizzle oil on the sides and cover with a lid and cook for few minutes. (The bottom side should be golden brown and the top side should be soft and white).

Serve hot with vegetable saagu, chutney or sambhar.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A COMPLETE GUIDE FOR BHOGI, PONGAL & KANU


HAPPY PONGAL
Hope this guide will be useful and informative for everyone. Scroll down to the end of this post for recipe links.

This series of festival is known as harvest festival. Farmers pray Indra & Sun for rain and bountiful yield.

Harvest of turmeric before the festival Bhogi

SIGNIFICANCE OF BHOGI:

The first festival, Bhogi, is celebrated on the last day of the month of Margazhi. The devata Indra is worshipped on Bhogi day.

THINGS DONE PRIOR TO BHOGI:

The houses are cleaned up , painted and kolams are drawn in the frontyard. On this day, people decorate their homes. Old and unwanted things are burnt.


MENU FOR BHOGI:

Poli is made, alongwith the general pandigai menu .

SIGNIFICANCE OF PONGAL:

Pongal or Thai Pongal is also called Makara Sankaranthi, since it is celebrated on the first day of Thai when the Sun enters the Makara Rasi. This period is referred to as Uttarayana Punyakalam and is considered auspicious. Pongal paanai decorated with the harvested turmeric is used for making the Pongal on the auspicious time.

The Sun God is worshipped on the Pongal day. Also this 3 day festival is for the family unity. So, our elders make a kootu with all vegetables and pray the GOD for the family unity.

We are not supposed to grind in traditional "ammi" and "kallural"(mortar and pestle), not asked for the reasons though.

THINGS TO BE ARRANGED BEFORE:

KOLAM IN THE FRONTYARD.(This Kolam was drawn by my friend, Radhika).

The "pongal panai" is to be decorated with "Tiruman, Srichoornam"& fresh turmeric harvested, a piece of sugarcane, flowers & plantain, tied to a rope.

Neivedhyam to the GOD.





THE MENU FOR PONGAL:

Sarkarai (sweet) pongal (made in vengala panai), Sankaranthi kootu, pongakkuzhambu alongwith general pandigai menu.

SIGNIFICANCE OF KANU:

Kanu pandigai is the 3rd day of the pongal pandigai series. This falls on the mattu pongal day. This day is an important festival for the unity of brothers and sisters. Sisters pray for the welfare of their brothers. Gifts are exchanged as a mark of their unity.Cattle are decorated and jallikattu race is conducted in villages.

THINGS TO BE ARRANGED BEFORE:

Kolam on the frontyard
A piece of fresh turmeric
Prepare red rice and yellow rice with leftover rice, using turmeric and kumkum.
Left over sweet pongal
Left over curd rice
A kolam on the terrace
Turmeric leaves
Tamboolam
Sugarcane bits
Arathi with turmeric powder and chunam

PRACTICES FOLLOWED ON KANU DAY:

In the early morning, fresh turmeric is marked on the forehead of ladies and unmarried girls, by the gents and elders seeking their blessings for "sowmangalyam" and " to get a good husband" respectively.

Red rice and yellow rice are prepared using turmeric and kumkum. The turmeric leaves are arranged on a kolam on the terrace and "pidis" (small balls) made out of the leftover sarkarai pongal & curd rice of the previous day + red rice and yellow rice are arranged on the leaves chanting "KAAKKAA PIDI VECHAEN, KANU PIDI VECHAEN, KAAKKAIKKUM KURUVIKKUM KALYANAM, KAAKAA KOOTAM KALANJALUM, ENGA KOOTTAM KALAYAAMA IRUKKANUM'' (meaning everyone in the family should be united) and it is offered alongwith the tamboolam and sugarcane to the crows and Sun God. Finally, arati is performed for the brothers with turmeric water& limestone and this water is poured on the kolam in front of the house.




NEIVEDHYAMS FOR KANU PANDIGAI:

RASAM IS NOT MADE ON THIS DAY.
Variety rice(i.e.) coconut rice, lemon rice, puliyodharai, curd rice, payasam and aviyal are made alongwith poricha appalam or vadaam.

RECIPE LINKS:

GENERAL PANDIGAI MENU
POLI
SWEET PONGAL(SARKARAI PONGAL)
VENN PONGAL
SANKARANTHI KOOTU
PONGAKKUZHAMBHU
AVIYAL
COCONUT RICE
LEMON RICE
PULIKKACHAL
PULIYODHARAI
CURD RICE (BAHALA BHATH)
FRIED APPALAM OR VADAAM

Monday, January 10, 2011

KOTHAMALLI THOKKU / CORIANDER LEAVES THOKKU




INGREDIENTS:

Coriander leaves - 1 big bunch
Tamarind - a lemon sized ball
Dry red chillies - 4
Salt

To temper:
Gingelly oil - 1 ladle
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp.
Hing

METHOD:

Remove the roots and wash the coriander leaves. Grind coriander leaves, tamarind and chillies to a smooth paste.

In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat gingelly oil and add mustard seeds and hing. When mustard seeds splutter, add the ground paste, salt as per requirement and stir it often so that it doesn't stick to the pan. When oil leaves the sides and 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 cooked rice and is a quick lunch box meal.

Goes well with roasted appalam or papad.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

ADAI / ADAI AVIAL / ADAI BUTTER

I make two types of adais , one is softer which my mother taught me and the other is crispy which is my mother-in-law's method. The method of cooking is same for both the adais, but the ingredients differ. Both the adais have a nice aroma.

Type 1: SOFT ADAI
This adai will be slightly softer and elderly people prefer this.

INGREDIENTS:

Idli rice - 2 cups
Raw rice: - 1/4 cup
Toor dhal - 3/4 cup
Gram dhal - 3/4 cup
Urad dhal - 1/4 cup
Dry red chillies - 10 to 15
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup (optional)
Curry leaves
Hing
Salt - as per taste
Oil

Type 2: CRISPY ADAI
This is everyone's favourite in my in-law's house.

INGREDIENTS:

Idli rice - 1 cup
Raw rice: - 1 cup
Toor dhal - 3/4 cup
Gram dhal - 3/4 cup
Urad dhal - 1/2 cup
Dry red chillies - 10 to 15
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup (optional)
Curry leaves
Hing
Salt - as per taste
Oil

METHOD:

Soak rice separately & dhal alongwith red chillies separately for 2 hours. Drain the water and grind dhal to a coarse paste sprinkling little water alongwith curry leaves, hing, and grated coconut ( I didn't add coconut, though ). Grind rice separately to a fine paste. Combine both the batters, add salt and mix well. The batter should be slightly thicker and coarse.

In a pan, pour the batter and spread it from centre. Drizzle oil on sides. Cook till golden brown and crisp and turn to the other side. Goes well with butter and avial( Aviyal recipe is here). Serve hot with molagapodi, jaggery, or any chutney of your choice.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

PIDI KOZHUKATTAI / UPMA KOZHUKATTAI


INGREDIENTS:

Raw rice - 1 1/2 cups
Toor dhal - 2 tablespoons
Pepper - 1/4 tsp.
Scraped coconut - 1/2 cup
Water - 3 cups

For Tempering:

Oil - 2 tablespoons
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Urad dhal - 1 tsp.
Gram dhal - 1 tsp.
Hing - a pinch
Dry red chillies - 2 (OR)
Green chillies - 2
Curry leaves - a sprig

METHOD:

Pound rice alongwith tur dhal and pepper to a rawa consistency. (Storebought raw rice rawa can also be used instead of pounding. If using store bought rawa, pound tur dhal and pepper separately to a rawa consistency and mix with the store bought rice rawa.)

Measure water in the ratio 1:2. (i.e.) 1 cup of this rawa needs 2 cups of water. Keep it ready.

Heat oil in a kadai and temper with mustard seeds, urad dhal, gram dhal, chillies, curry leaves and hing. Add water and salt. When it starts boiling add the pounded rawa and stir without any lumps. Now add grated coconut. Stir in medium heat till thick and like a dough. When slightly cool, take out a fistful from the dough and form oblong balls.. Likewise, shape all the dough to oblong balls.

Place the balls in an idli plate and steam cook for 10 - 12 minutes. Serve hot with any chutney of your choice and molaga podi.

NOTE: You can also soak the rice for an hour, dry it on a towel and pound it to rawa.
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