Friday, July 30, 2010

SEMIYA PAYASAM/PRESSURE COOKER PAYASAM



It was raining for the past 2 days and I felt like making a sweet dish. Well, what better than a hot payasam our good old semiya payasam. Amma used to make this payasam as a treat for us kids. This is entirely cooked in a pressure cooker, no milkmaid used, just plain milk, sugar, semiya etc. The colour will be slightly pinkish and not white and that makes everyone asking whether there is milkmaid in it. The color and taste is almost familiar to the famous ambalapuzha palpayasam; which is made with rice, so you can also make it with a handful of payasam rice instead of the semiya and create the famous ambalapuzha palpayasam right in your home.
 
INGREDIENTS:
Milk: 1 ½ Litre.
Sugar: ¾ cup.
Semiya: ¾ cup.(Fry semia with 1 tsp ghee and keep aside).
Ghee: 1 tsp.
Cardamon, Cashewnuts, kismis: As needed.

METHOD:
1.      Put milk and sugar in a presser cooker and put it on fire with the weight.
2.      When steam is about to come put in on low flame for 30 to 40 minutes and then open the cooker only after another ½ hour.
3.      After opening put in the fried semiya and let it simmer for sometime till it is cooked.
4.      In another pan, put in the ghee, cardamon, cashews, and kismis and fry it and pour it over the payasam. Serve hot.

Note: Always take care to make this in big cooker otherwise milk will dribble out and it will make a mess. While making with rice put a handful of cleaned, washed, and drained rice along with the milk and sugar.

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Keema Curry



I made this Beef Keema Curry to have with Palappam and everybody just loved it. My amma used to make this long back and I was thinking of making this for a long time and finally I got some keema and made it bringing nostalgic childhood memories.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Neer Dosa




These snow white almost instant Dosa is known as Neer Dosa in Karnataka and it is very easy to make, the perfect breakfast for those lazy mornings. As it does not require any fermentation this tops the list of “easiest breakfasts” in my kitchen. I am sure everyone will fall in love with this snowy white dosa. This can be served with almost anything….kadala curry, fish curry, chicken curry, egg curry, vegetable curry……

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bittergourd and Raw mango thoran.


Bittergourd was not my favorite until I tasted this at my friend Merry's place. She had prepared this with raw mango and I immediately fell in love with it.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chocolate Tarts.


Tarts can be filled with almost anything; jams, stewed fruits, custards, chocolates………and it just dissolves in your mouth. I know making tarts can be a little tiresome, after rolling, cutting it into small rounds, and putting in small tart cases, baking them and removing them can be tricky……..all this puts me off!!! from making tarts. So one day I just rolled out the dough and put it in the pie rack and pricked it with fork and baked and made a chocolate sauce with chopped cashew nuts and poured into it. It instantly became a huge hit among my nephews and nieces, and my kids. The last time I made this I troubled myself into clicking pics and so I thought I will post it so that you will know making tarts is not-that-tiresome.


Ingredients:
 All purpose flour: 1 cup.
Butter/Margarine: ½ cup. (I used margarine).
Baking powder: ½ tsp.
Sugar: 1 tsp.
Salt: A pinch.
Vanilla essence: A few drops.
Chilled water: A few drops.



Method:
 Mix the flour with baking powder, salt, and sugar.
Put in vanilla essence and butter and rub with ur fingertips till it resembles bread crumbs.



Knead it into a soft dough with few drops of water.








Roll out with rolling pin and trim the edges.(I was busy clicking and forgot to trim the edges, so imagine I had trimmed the edges. )








Grease a baking tray and dust it with flour






Put the rolled flour into the baking tray and prick with fork, so that the 
dough does not rise.





Put it in the oven to bake till done. (about 15 to 20 min).







In the meantime, in a saucepan put 1 cup sugar, 3 tbsp cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp vanilla essence, 1/2 to 3/4 cup milk and mix well. Now put the pan on fire and keep stirring till it boils, then simmer, and when it start to thicken a little, put in 3 tbsp butter and 1/2 cup chopped cashew nuts. Stir well, when it coats the back of the spoon, switch off the fire. Keep aside to cool.





Remove the crust from the tray after it is baked (remember I forgot to 
trim the edges). Let it cool.









Pour the warm chocolate sauce on top of it a leave it to cool.









Cut into slice and serve. Kids will love this yummy chocolate tart.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Banana Puttu / Kerala Ethakka Puttu



Ethakka puttu is another filling and healthy breakfast of Kerala. Banana is an all time favorite of adults as well as kids and truly filling. This is also an option for those lazy Sunday mornings when you are too lazy to make kadala curry. All u need is 2  ripe but firm bananas (not too ripe ones) and a truly filling and healthy breakfast is ready . Banana is chopped into small pieces and put into the puttu kutti after you add the coconut scrapings and then top it with puttu podi.

Great way to use up that left over and blackened banana!!

TO MAKE PUTTU:
Puttu podi: 2 cups.
Salt: ½ tsp or to taste.
Water: As needed.
Coconut scrapings: As needed.
Banana ripe but firm: 2 or 3 (chopped).
METHOD:

1.      Mix puttu podi with salt.
2.      Sprinkle water as needed and rub with your fingertips till it resembles bread crumbs.
3.      Put little coconut scrapings into the puttu kutti, put in some of the chopped banana.


4.   And top it with pottu podi. (I used cherattu pottu kutti).

5.      Put it on top of the cooker. (the place were u put the cooker weight).
6.      When steam comes, simmer the flames and in 2 or 3 minutes your banana puttu is ready.



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Sunday, July 11, 2010

PUTTU AND KADALA (Black Chicpea)CURRY:




This is an all time favorite kerala cuisine served mainly as a breakfast item. Rice flour is the main ingredient. White rice or raw rice is washed and soaked (for about 10-15 min) and powdered (not very finely) and fried. Here I used raw rice and white kuruva rice in equal proportion and powdered separately and fried separately and then mixed them together. This can be done at a flour mill. You just have to give them the washed and drained rice and tell them it is for pottu and they will do accordingly.  You can get readymade puttu podi (powder) at Asian stores.

Picture updated on June 2013
Kadala or black chickpea is pressure cooked with onion, ginger, green chilly, vinegar, and spices....for almost 30 minutes and then tempered in coconut oil. The best part is you need only 1 tsp or maybe 2 tsp of coconut oil to tempter.....and that makes it low calorie and healthy.

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

BLACK FOREST CAKE:


Nidhi, my daughter wanted only black forest cake for her birthday. The photograph below is the final outcome of my cake. As I have mentioned earlier I am not good at clicking so bear it with me.



Before my marriage I had attended a cooking class conducted by Innerwheel Women’s Club at TVM and this recipe is from that cooking class.
For this cake I baked 2 sets of cake from the recipe below.

HERE GOES THE RECIPE:

Powdered sugar: 225 gm.
Vanilla essence: 1 tsp.
Baking powder: ½ tsp.
Eggs: 6.
All purpose flour: 75 gm.
Cocoa: 50 gm.
Butter: 100 gm.

For decoration and filling:

Tinned cherries: 1 tin.
Butter: 100 gm.
Cream: 1 small tin (I used Ajanta cream).
Icing sugar: 300 gm.
Plain milk chocolate: 1. (I used semi sweet chocolate bar).
Vanilla essence and rum: 1 tsp.
Rum: 1tbsp.

Method:

1.      Drain the cherries and boil the juice with some sugar. Add 1 tbsp of rum and keep aside.
2.      Line and grease a square or rectangle cake tin. (I used rectangle).
3.      Beat eggs and sugar well, till stiff.
4.      Add essence, swift together flour, baking powder, and cocoa, and fold into the thick mixture.
5.      Pour warmed and softened butter into it. Mix gently.
6.      Pour it into the greased and dusted tin and bake till done.

FOR THE FILLING:

1.      Mix icing sugar, butter, and cream well together, add essence and rum and keep aside.
2.      Split cake in half. (I did not split cake in half I had made 2 cakes remember).
3.      Pour the cherry juice over the two cake pieces.
4.      Spread some icing over one half and put a layer of cherries.
5.      Place the other half of cake over this and spread some icing on the top of the cake.
6.      Again spread some cherries on top of the icing.
7.      Grate the chocolate and drizzle on top of the icing.


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Friday, July 09, 2010

CHOCOLATE CHIP (BUTTER) COOKIES:


The picture below is one of my kids favorite chocolate chips cookies.

If you don’t have the patience to read all my blah blah pls scroll down to the recipe.


This cookie does not need much of kneading and easy for beginners.

I am a chocoholic (my kids too). Chocolate makes me forget all the diets, new resolutions…..well this cookie is one of the easiest one to bake. It does not need much of beating and an easy start for those beginners or for those moms who wants to make a special treat for kids.

Basically this one is a butter cookie recipe; you can make it even without the chocolate chips. I just added the choc chips to the kneaded dough and made it into small round balls and pressed them and baked them.

I know you must be wondering where to get the chocolate chips (I live at present in Calicut). Well, you can get them from whole sale markets. Here, in Calicut u can get them at Minerva Sweet Mart at palayam market (they usually have this towards x’mas time) or at Butler’s and Bakers near the bus stand opposite to Indoor Stadium, they will give half kg or one kg (plus if u visit that shop u can see tons of baking stuffs). So now u know where to get it to so let’s go the recipe.





THIS IS HOW I MADE THEM:

Maida: 200 gm.
Butter: 100 gm.
Powdered sugar: 100 gm.
Baking powder: 1/2 tsp.
Egg yolk: 1.
Vanilla essence: 1 tsp.
Chocolate chips: 1/2 cup.

1.      Mix powdered sugar and butter nicely.( u don't need electric beater, mix well with a spatula).

2.      Add egg yolk, vanilla, baking powder, and add maida and make it into a soft dough. (if you don’t like choco chips u can roll out at this stage and cut with biscuit cutters or make into small balls and flatten them with ur palms and bake them).

3.      Add chocolate chips about 1/2 cup and mix well and make into small balls and flatten it a bit with ur palm and put it in a greased baking tray and bake at 180 degree for 20 to 30 minutes or until done. (See I told u it is easy).


Let it cool and yummy chocolate chip cookies are ready.





Note: I added some cashew nuts chopped while adding the choco chips when I made the above cookies and it came out more tastier.


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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Jackfruit Seeds Thoran/Chakka kuru thoran/peera


Jackfruit or Chakka is every malayalees favorite fruit. Now a days in cities it is difficult to get them. Chakkakuru or jackfruit seed is cooked in so many ways and relished by malayalees. I got little chakkakuru and my mom-in-law made this tasty dish.

I am a complete failure when it comes to  clicks (the result u can see). This is the best shot I can get of the thoran after she made it. My mom makes chakkakuru mezhukupuratti (I hope I got the spelling right) that is with coconut slices....mmmmm....the thought of that itself brings nostalgic childhood memories. Well the jackfruit now being scarce I guess I have to wait till I get it next.
Here is how she made it:
She first scraped the outer covering of the seeds and sliced into strips and washed and drained them.( You need lot of patience for this.)
Cleaned sliced seeds-2 cups.
Coconut scraped:-1 cup.
Onion-1.
Chilly powder-1 tsp.
Coriander powder-1 tsp.
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp.
Curry leaves and salt to taste.
Coconut oil: 1-2 tbsp.
Salt to taste.
METHOD:
In a vessel put the seeds, chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric, onion,salt,  and scraped coconut. Add little water and cook the seeds till done.
In another Kadai/Cheenachatti, heat oil, put in mustard seeds, curry leaves, and the cooked seeds and stir fry for a few minutes in low heat.
Your chakkakuru thoran is ready to have with rice :).



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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Chocolate cake.


II know it is ages since I posted something. I was not LAZY, but as soon as summer vacation set in my hands were full with 2 hungry kids (they munch the whole day except when sleeping ), with them at home all the time my hands were tied. Of course I made cakes and cookies all through the vacation, but it is just that even before I can click it, the plate will be empty.

I was wondering what to make as an AFTER SCHOOL SURPRISE for my kids today. My eyes fell upon the Bettycrocker chocolate cake mix and that got me busy. I did everything as per the instructions behind the packet and Voila!! the cake was ready within an hour. I mixed some butter, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder and made butter icing and spread on top of the cake. Then sprinkled generously chocolate chips on top of it and my yummy chocolate cake is ready.
Sometimes I get a bit lazy measuring and weighing for my cake :) and at those times cake mix becomes a savior :)
What I Used To Make This Cake.
I pkt Betty Crocker Devils Food Cake Mix.
Method:
Make as per instructions on the cover.
For The Icing:
Butter: 50 gms.
Powdered Sugar: 50 gms.
Cocoa powder: 3 tbsp.
Chocolate chips: 1/2 cup.
Method:
I creamed the butter and sugar well along with the cocoa powder and spread it on the cake. Sprinkled chocolate chips on top of it. My after school surprise is ready for 2 hungry brats to devour.


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