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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

MAAVATTAL KUZHAMBU / MANGAI VATRAL KUZHAMBU / MANGAI VATHAL KUZHAMBU

MANGAI VATHAL KUZHAMBU,how to make maavattal kuzhambu, how to make  mangai vatral kuzhambu, iyengar maavattal kuzhambu recipe, iyengar magai vatral kuzhambu recipe

This is a traditional kuzhambu made with sun-dried raw mango which is called as mangai vathal/mangai vatral/maavattal useful in treating nausea and morning sickness.

INGREDIENTS:

Mangai vatral / Maavattal - 1/2 cup
Tamarind - a marble sized ball
Pepper - 3/4 tsp.
Dry red chillies - 1 or 2
Urad dhal - 2 tsp.
Curry leaves - a fistful

Grated coconut-1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp.
Gingelly oil - 3 tablespoons
Hing
Salt

METHOD:

Cook maavattal in boiling water until soft. Mash it gently.

Soak tamarind in lukewarm water and extract pulp.(use tamarind depending on the sourness of the vatral)

In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat a spoon of gingelly oil and fry pepper, chillies, and urad dhal until golden brown. Now add, curry leaves and saute well till it changes its colour. When cool grind it alongwith grated coconut, in a mixie, to a paste.

In the same pan, heat the remaining oil, add mustard seeds. When it splutters, pour in the cooked mangai vatral alongwith water, tamarind extract,turmeric powder, hing and allow it to boil for five minutes. Now add the ground paste and let it boil till it thickens. Maavattal kuzhambu is ready.

NOTE:This  kuzhambu is made  with gingelly oil.

Friday, December 20, 2013

MINT RASAM / PUDINA RASAM

how to make mint rasam, pudina rasam, mint rasam

INGREDIENTS:

Toor dhal - 1 tablespoon
Tamarind -a small ball half the size of a lemon
Tomato - 1 big
Rasam powder(sattumudhu podi) - 1 heaped tablespoon
Mint leaves - a fistful
Curry leaves - a sprig
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Pepper - jeera powder - 1 tsp.
Ghee - 1/2 tsp.
Hing
Salt

METHOD:

Pressure cook toor dhal, mash it and keep aside.

In a utensil, squeeze a tomato, put tamarind (you can also extract pulp from tamarind and add), salt, rasam powder, and hing, add a cup of water and bring it to a boil until the raw smell of the rasam powder is diffused. Now add mashed dhal, three more cups of water and mix well.

In a kadai, heat ghee, temper with mustard seeds, mint leaves and curry leaves. Saute until the mint leaves wilt. Add pepper-jeera powder and give a quick saute. Add all to the rasam. Allow it to boil until frothy. Turn off the stove. Spicy and aromatic pudina rasam is ready.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

FILTER COFFEE / SOUTH INDIAN FILTER COFFEE / DEGREE COFFEE / HOW TO MAKE DECOCTION/ HOW TO MAKE SOUTH INDIAN FILTER COFFEE?

FILTER COFFEE / SOUTH INDIAN FILTER COFFEE / DEGREE COFFEE / HOW TO MAKE DECOCTION/ HOW TO MAKE SOUTH INDIAN FILTER COFFEE?

A filter coffee??? Sounds easy.... but not everyone can make the perfect south indian filter coffee. The key secret of Tambrahm filter coffee lies in the  perfect making  of the strong decoction.  The coffee made using the 1st decoction (it is called strong decoction) and freshly extracted milk from the cow is termed as degree coffee or Kumbakonam degree coffee. However its not possible  nowadays, to get the fresh extracted milk and you can use the one you buy regularly.  The picture below gives a complete self explanatory making  of the decoction. But, I am also posting the step by step instructions while scrolling down. Just follow it and you can become the "Coffee Queen" in your home. 

The right choice of coffee powder:
I generally use freshly brewed, finely ground (but not very fine),  Peaberry coffee powder without chicory. An equal proportion and combination of 'Peaberry' and 'Plantation A' coffee powder can also be used. You get a good decoction out of this also. If store bought, cothas coffee powder  is available all over the world. Personally, I feel it is somewhat coarse and I would prefer a nicely ground, freshly brewed coffee powder. The  right choice of coffee powder also matters  in getting a tasty, aromatic, flavourful coffee.


HOW TO PREPARE A STRONG DECOCTION?:
These steps can be followed for any sized filter, be it small or big.
1. The coffee filter has 4 parts, the cylindrical base,  the cylindrical top with pores, perforated pressing disc with a stem and the lid. 
2. Place the base. Keep the pored vessel on top of that, add coffee powder little less than 1/4 filter, press gently with your fingers, place the perforated disc,  press again very gently. Bring water to a rolling boil. Pour upto 3/4th of the filter, close with the lid leaving a hairline gap. 
3. The decoction drips on the bottom portion of the filter. This is the 1st decoction. Collect this 1st decoction in a small container. This decoction is used for a degree coffee.


4. Boil little more water and brew for the 2nd time, preferably pour upto half of the filter this time. The decoction dripped is the 2nd decoction and  this will be lighter.


HOW TO MAKE COFFEE?:
Boil fresh milk.  Take little decoction, 1 or 2 tablespoons depending on your requirement, add milk to get the desired strong, thick coffee, add sugar and froth once or twice. Degree coffee/ filter coffee/ south indian filter coffee is ready.

NOTES & TIPS:
Coffee tastes good in freshly boiled milk. Let the milk be hot. 
Do not re-heat the coffee.
Choose the correct filter size.
Do not press the powder tight, gently press it.
Check clogging of pores once a week. Prick with a needle if blocked.
To avoid the block while dripping, run the cylindrical top with pores under water & place on the base before filling it with coffee powder. This enables easy flow of the dripping and strong decoction as well.
To avoid block while dripping, do not press the  powder too tight.
Coffee when mixed with 2nd , light decoction tastes bitter and less flavoured.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A COMPLETE GUIDE FOR KARTHIGAI (THIRUKKARTHIGAI) FESTIVAL

HAPPY KARTHIGAI TO ALL
For all karthigai recipes click on the captions of the pictures towards the end of this post.

In Tamil Nadu,  Karthigai deepam or Karthigai pandigai is celebrated for three days. It is celebrated on the full moon day of the Karthigai month, which coincides with Krithikai star. It is  a festival of lamps. Crackers and fireworks are burnt at home. Bonfires are lit in front of the temples.


How to celebrate?:


Naivedyams:
In addition to the general pandigai menu, the offerings to the Deepam are Nel pori urundai, Aval pori urundai, kadalai urundai, vadai & appam. The consistency for the sugar syrup is soft ball consistency.

Lamps used:

Earthen lamps, Copper and brass lamps, pure silver lamps.

NOTE:

Buy earthen lamps atleast 2 days before, immerse in water overnight. Drain and allow it to dry completely.

Things to be arranged before: 

Wash the lamps and when dry, keep chandanam and kumkum for the lamps. Wick the lamps. Put a kolam in the frontyard. 

Wear nine yards saree. Arrange the naivedyams alongwith thamboolam. Oil and light the lamps. Offer the naivedyams to Deepalakshmi alongwith  karpoora arathi. Place the oil lamps on the kolam, thulasi maadam, and decorate the house with lamps. Arrange the oil lamps near doors, windows, balconies, compound walls and  also on the parapet walls of the open terrace. Celebrate  for three days  like this. The third day is called  "Kuppai karthigai" and oil lamps are lit also in the backyard, sideyard, toilets and bathrooms. 


KARTHIGAI PANDIGAI, KARTHIGAI DEEPAM, DEEPAM FESTIVAL


MEDHU VADAI

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

KESAR PEDA

HOW TO MAKE KESAR PEDA, KESAR PEDA

INGREDIENTS:

Milk powder  - 1 3/4 cup
Condensed milk  - 1 can
Ghee or  butter - 3 tablespoon
Kismis / Dry grapes - few OR any nuts of your choice
Cardamom powdered - 1/2 tsp.
Saffron  - a generous pinch
Kesari powder - a pinch
Rose water - 1 tsp.





METHOD:

Soak saffron and kesari powder in a tablespoon of warm milk. Keep aside.

Combine milk powder and condensed milk and mix well without any lumps.

In a low flame, stir this mixture, add ghee and stir continuously. Add soaked saffron/kesari powder, mix well. Add cardamom powder, rose water and keep stirring until the mixture leaves the sides and turns out to a soft ball. Switch off the stove. (Do not cook until hard, it should be soft and will thicken when cool.)

When slightly cool and warm, knead it well and shape into even-sized balls. Slightly press in the centre and decorate with kismis.

Alternatively,  you can also roll the dough to a circle with a greased rolling pin, to the desired thickness and cut  into small pedas using a cookie cutter or a small bottle cap.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

BADAM BURFI / MICROWAVE BADAM BURFI


HOW TO MAKE  BADAM BURFI, ALMOND BURFI

INGREDIENTS:

Badam - 3/4 cup
Milk - 1 cup
Sugar - 11/4 cup
Ghee - 4 tsp.
Saffron - a generous pinch


METHOD:

Soak badam in hot water  for 30 minutes, peel the skin, and grind with milk to a smooth paste.

Soak saffron in a tablespoon of warm milk.

Grease a plate with ghee and keep ready.

Pour this paste in a micro-proof bowl, add sugar and saffron. Cook this in microwave high for 15 minutes. Once in every two minutes, remove the bowl, mix well and  microwave again. After 10 minutes, remove the bowl, add ghee and cook again. Now, once in a minute, remove the bowl , mix well and  microwave again ( i.e., for 5 minutes, 5 times). When the mixture becomes like a soft dough, pour the mixture on the greased plate and spread evenly. Cut to desired shapes while warm.

Adapted from: Sailaja kitchen

NOTE: The time depends upon the heat of your MW oven from 13 minutes to 17 minutes.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

CHIKOO MILK SHAKE / SAPOTA MILK SHAKE / CHIKOO DELITE

CHIKOO MILK SHAKE , SAPOTA MILK SHAKE

INGREDIENTS:

Ripe chikoo (Sapota) - 3
Milk(chilled) - 2 cups
Vanilla essence - 2 drops (optional)
Honey - 2 tablespoons
Ice cubes - few

METHOD:

Wash, peel, de-seed and chop chikoo roughly. Blend alongwith milk and honey until smooth. Serve chilled with ice cubes.


VARIATION:  A scoop of vanilla ice cream or fresh cream can be added.

Monday, September 30, 2013

RAJMA SUNDAL

RAJMA SUNDALRECIPE, NAVARATHRI SUNDAL, HOW TO MAKE RAJMA SUNDAL

INGREDIENTS:

Rajma - 1 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Split urad dhal - 1 tsp.
Dry red chillies - 3
Hing - a pinch
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Scraped coconut - 1/4 cup
Oil - 2 tsp.
Salt - to taste

METHOD:

Soak rajma overnight and pressure cook alongwith salt until soft.  Drain completely.

Heat oil and add mustard seeds, when they crackle add urad dhal, chillies, curry leaves, turmeric powder and hing.  Add cooked rajma, scraped coconut and stir fry for a minute. Serve hot.

BUTTER BEANS SUNDAL / BUTTER BEANS STIR FRY

BUTTER BEANS SUNDAL, NAVARATHRI SUNDAL, HOW TO MAKE  BUTTER BEANS SUNDAL, DOUBLE BEANS SUNDAL, BUTTER BEANS SUNDAL RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

Shelled fresh butter beans -  3 cups
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Split urad dhal - 1 tsp.
Dry red chillies - 3
Hing - a pinch
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Scraped coconut - 1/4 cup
Oil - 2 tsp.
Salt - to taste

METHOD:

Cook fresh butter beans alongwith salt until soft. Drain the water completely.

Heat oil and add mustard seeds, when they crackle add urad dhal, chillies, curry leaves and hing. Add cooked beans, scraped coconut and stir fry for a minute. Serve hot.

Friday, September 27, 2013

THENGA MANGA PATTANI SUNDAL / BEACH SUNDAL

HOW TO MAKE BEACH SUNDAL,HOW TO MAKE THENGA MANGA PATTANI SUNDAL , BEACH SUNDAL, NAVARATHRI SUNDAL

INGREDIENTS:

Dried green or white peas - 1/4 kg.
Finely chopped raw mango - 3 tablespoon
Finely chopped coconut  - 2 tablespoons
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Green chillies - 2
Hing - a pinch
Oil - 2 tsp.
Salt - to taste
Lemon juice  - 2 tsp. (optional)

METHOD:

Soak peas overnight. Pressure cook soaked peas with enough water (without salt) until soft, 2 whistles would be fine. (If cooked with salt the skins will come off. It should be cooked soft, but not mushy). Drain the  water completely.

Heat oil and add mustard seeds, when they crackle add chopped green chillies and hing.  Add cooked peas, salt, and stir fry for a while. Turn off the stove and add chopped raw mango and coconut. Add the lemon juice (optional). Serve hot.

Variations:
You can substitute scraped coconut and grated raw mango instead of finely chopped raw mango and coconut. Lemon juice can also be added.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

FRESH RED BEAN STIR FRY / FRESH RED BEAN SUNDAL

HOW TO MAKE FRESH RED BEAN STIR FRY,HOW TO MAKE FRESH RED BEAN SUNDAL,RED BEAN SUNDAL

INGREDIENTS:

Shelled fresh red beans -  3 cups
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Split urad dhal - 1 tsp.
Dry red chillies - 3
Hing - a pinch
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Scraped coconut - 1/4 cup
Oil - 2 tsp.
Salt - to taste

METHOD:

Cook fresh red beans alongwith salt until soft. Drain the water completely.

Heat oil and add mustard seeds, when they crackle add urad dhal, chillies, curry leaves and hing.  Add cooked beans, scraped coconut and stir fry for a minute. Serve hot.

Friday, September 13, 2013

CHAKKA PRADHAMAN / JACKFRUIT PAYASAM / JACKFRUIT KHEER (KERALA STYLE)

HOW TO MAKE CHAKKA PRADHAMAN / HOW TO MAKE JACKFRUIT PAYASAM / JACKFRUIT KHEER (KERALA STYLE)

Photo courtesy : Mrs.Arya, my friend
This is a pradhaman (kheer, payasam) popularly known as "chakka (jackfruit) pradhaman" served with the traditional Kerala Sadhya. WISHING YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY AND BLESSED ONAM. 

INGREDIENTS:
Chakka(Ripe Jackfruit) pieces - 10 or 12 
Crushed Jaggery - 1 cup
Coconut milk - 1 cup 
Coconut cut into small pieces - 1 tablespoon
Cardamom - few 
Ghee - 2 tablespoons
Cashewnuts (broken) - few

METHOD:

Fry the cashews and coconut pieces in a spoon of ghee. Keep aside. 

De-seed the jackfruit and pressure cook for 1 whistle. When cool, grind in a mixie to a fine paste. Measure this paste and take equal quantity of jaggery. Jackfruit paste, jaggery ratio is 1:1.

Heat ghee in a pan, add jackfruit paste and  stir continuously until ghee leaves the sides.

Meanwhile, dissolve jaggery in little water, heat, remove scum, filter the dust and allow it to boil.  Add this syrup to the jackfruit paste and mix well. In medium heat, stir continuously until the mixture thickens. When you see bubbles all around, simmer the stove to low flame and slowly add the coconut milk stirring continuously for a few seconds and turn off the stove. 

Add the ghee fried cashews, coconut pieces and cardamom. Chakka pradhaman is ready. 

NOTE: More jaggery can be added according to the sweetness of jackfruit. 

VARIATIONS: Chakka varatti is used instead of jackfuit paste. Milk is used instead of coconut milk.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

MANGO KESARI

MANGO KESARI,HOW TO MAKE MANGO KESARI

INGREDIENTS:

Roasted Rava - 1 cup
Mango pulp - 1/2 cup
Water - 1 1/2 cups
Sugar - 1 1/2 cup

Yellow food colour - 1/4 tsp.
Mango Essence (optional)
Ghee - 1/4 cup
Cashews - few

METHOD:

In a kadai, heat a spoon of ghee and fry the cashews until golden brown and keep aside.

In the same kadai, fry the rawa till you smell a nice aroma. Keep it aside.

Again, in the same kadai, boil water and mango pulp, gradually add rawa and stir it quickly so that no lumps are formed. Cover with a lid and allow it to get cooked. Now add sugar and ghee stir for a while. Add the food colour and mix well. Cook for 3 more minutes. Add ghee-fried cashews. Serve hot .

Thursday, August 29, 2013

MURINGA ILA THORAN / DRUMSTICK LEAVES CURRY

HOW TO MAKE MURINGA ILA THORAN, HOW TO MAKE MURUNGA ILAI PORIYAL,DRUMSTICK LEAVES PORIYAL

Picture courtesy: Mrs.Arya (my friend)
INGREDIENTS:

Drumstick leaves / Muringa ila - 4 cups(tightly packed)
Onion - 1 (optional)
Green chilli - 1
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Mustard seeds - 1⁄2 Teaspoon
Urad dal -1 Teaspoon
Dried red chilly - 1
Grated coconut -1/4 cup
Oil - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste

METHOD:

Separate the leaves from the stem, discard the stem, wash well, drain in a colander and keep aside. Chop onions and scrap the coconut.

Heat oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds, urad dhal, red and green chillies and fry until golden brown. Add chopped onion, turmeric powder and saute until translucent.

Add the washed and drained drumstick leaves, salt and mix well. Cover with a lid and cook it in low flame until they are cooked soft. Add in the scraped coconut and mix well. Turn off the heat in half a minute. Serve as a side dish with rice.

NOTE:
No need to add water as the leaves have a tendency to generate water on its own when cooked.
Do not overcook as it may turn bitter.
Use coconut oil if you want a typical Kerala flavour.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

VELLA SEEDAI - VERSION 2


INGREDIENTS:

Rice flour - 2 cups
Urad dhal powder - 2 tsp.
Crushed jaggery - 1 1/2 cup
Butter - 2 tablespoons
Coconut pieces - 2 tablespoons
Oil - 1 cup
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp.

METHOD:

Prepare rice flour and urad dhal powder as mentioned in this link.

Sieve well. Dry roast rice flour until hot and light brown.

Cut coconut into small pieces. Crush jaggery, dissolve in little water and strain it without any dust, dirt or mud. Heat jaggery and make a syrup of  soft ball consistency. (Sugar syrup consistency - detailed post is here). Add all other ingredients except oil and stir without any lumps. 

Allow it to cool. Make gooseberry- sized balls from the dough. 

Heat oil in a kadai. The heat should be medium. Fry 5- 6 balls at a time until golden brown.

SUKKU VELLAM


We make this as an offering to the LORD for Sri Krishna jayanthi. This aids in good digestion. In general, everyone can have one ball of this whenever you feel uneasy after a heavy meal.

INGREDIENTS:

Dry ginger powder (Sukku powder) - 2 tsp. 
Crushed jaggery - 1 cup
Ghee - 2 drops

METHOD:

Mix all without any lumps, make gooseberry(amla) sized  balls and offer to the LORD.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

LEMON RASAM

How to make lemonr asam?

INGREDIENTS:

Toor dhal - 1 tablespoon
Lemon - 2
Tomato - 2 medium sized

Slit green chillies - 2
Rasam powder(sathamudhu podi) - 1 heaped tablespoon
Hing
Salt
Curry leaves - few
Coriander leaves - few
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp.Ghee - 1/2 tsp.

METHOD:

Pressure cook toor dhal, mash it and keep aside.

In a utensil, squeeze the tomatoes, salt, slit green chillies, rasam powder, and hing , add a cup of water and bring it to a boil till the raw smell of the rasam powder goes. Now add mashed dhal, two more cups of water and mix well. Boil till frothy. Turn off the stove. Squeeze the juice of  2 lemons. Mix well.

In a kadai, heat ghee, temper with mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Add it over the rasam and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Your spicy, tangy lemon rasam is ready.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

BABY CORN PULAO


INGREDIENTS:

Baby corns - 2 cups
Basmati rice - 1 cup

Coconut milk - 1/4 cup (Thick extract)
Cardamom - 1 

Black cardamom - 2
Cinnamon - 2" stick - 2 nos.
Cloves - 3 or 4

Bay leaves -1
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp.

Grated ginger  -  1/4 tsp.
Chilli sauce - 1 teaspoon
White pepper powder - 1/4 tsp.
Salt - as per taste
Butter - 1 tablespoon
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Water + coconut milk - 2 cups

METHOD:

Soak basmati rice in water for half an hour. 


Cut baby corn into 2" long pieces, add a cup of water, pressure cook alongwith salt and turmeric powder for 2 whistles, drain the water and keep aside.

In a pressure pan, heat oil and butter. Add all the whole spices and saute for a minute. Add cumin seeds and when they sizzle add grated ginger, cooked baby corn and chilli sauce.  Saute for another minute. Add coconut milk and water.

Drain the water completely from the rice. When the water boils add the rice into it. Add salt to taste. Mix well, cover and pressure cook for 3 whistles. When the pressure is released, take out, add white pepper powder . Give a gentle stir without breaking the grains.

Transfer it to a bowl and serve hot with masala papads or any raitha of your choice.

Friday, July 12, 2013

GLOSSARY - FRUITS - A TO Z


GLOSSARY - FRUITS - A TO Z
English
Tamil
Hindi
Apple
AppleSaeb
Banana (ripe) Plantain fruit
Vazhaippazham
Kela
Citron
Naarthangai, Kichilipazham
Chakotra
Custard apple
Sitha pazhamSitaphul
Dates
PaerichampazhamKhajoor
Figs
Athi Anjeer
Grapefruit
BamblimasChakotara
Grapes
Dratshaippazham Angoor
Guava
KoyyappazhamAmrud
Iceapple
NunguTaad-gola
Jackfruit
PalappazhamKathal, Fanas
Jamoon
NavalpazhamJambul
Jujube
Ilandai pazhamBer
Lemon
ElumichampazhamNimbu
Mango
MampazhamAam
Musk Melon/Cantaloupe
Kirni PazhamKharbooja
Orange
OranjuSantra
Papaya
Pappali pazham Papita
Pears
Vaal berikkai Nashpati
Pineapple
AnnasippazhamAnanas
Plantain fruit
VazhaippazhamKela
Plum
PlumsAloo bukhara
Pomegranate
MadhulampazhamAnaar
Sapota
Sappota pazhamChickoo
Sugarcane
KarumbuGanna
Sweet Lemon
Sathukudi Mausambi
Watermelon
DarbooshaniTarbooj
Wild lemon
KadarangaiSadaphal
Woodapple
VilampazhamKaith