Friday, December 31, 2010

Pineapple skin (peel) wine



I had a great holiday and a wonderful Christmas with my family......wishing a very happy new year to all my wonderful blogger friends.
This was my late grandmothers favorite wine....she used to make this for Christmas.... got the recipe from Vanitha... this wine always brings back fond memories of her. I always make pineapple jam, pineapple preserve, and pineapple squash before Christmas and make this wine with the skin of the pineapple....yes you guessed right I am a pineappleholic..... The best thing about making this wine is that you do not have to stir it every day...once it is all tied up you have to open it and strain it after 10 days and bottle it and keep for another 21 days and it is ready to use.....this wine is a huge hit with all my friends....especially their hubbies :)

Ingredients:
Pineapple skin: 1 medium pineapple.(I also added the middle stem and 1 or 2 slices for extra flavor).
Sugar: 1 3/4 cup.
Water: 1 1/2 cup.
Beaten egg white: 1
Dry ginger or chukku : 1 tbsp crushed.
Cloves: 6.
Cinnamon: 2 sticks.
Yeast: 1/2 tsp.(I used instant yeast).
Method:
In a ceramic jar or bharani put in all the ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon. Close the lid and cover it with a cloth and tie it tightly with a string. Keep aside in a dark place for 10 days on the 11th day strain it with a strainer. Pour into sun-dried bottles and keep for another 21 days.....it is best to keep the wine for 21 days to mature but for those who cant wait that long it can be consumed after 5 days of bottling.
Recipe Source: My Late Grandmom.

Happy new year to all!!!

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lemon cup cakes and some x'mas goodies.




My kids wanted cakes, homemade chocolates, and cookies for the Christmas celebration at their school. I came across a lemon cake recipe in Vanitha magazine....they just used lemon rind and not lime juice...since I wanted the lemony flavor I altered the recipe to suit my taste.....Nidhi wanted cup cakes....so I just spooned them into my muffin tray without the paper cups.....also made some chocolate chip cookies.....

and my homemade chocolates....kids wrapped them .....and even took some pics for me which I have included in this post....coming to the lemon cake....it has no vanilla flavor....yes.....it is all lemony...I just sprinkled some chocolate chips on top before baking them.....after making the other goodies I ran short of butter....so I used vanaspati instead for the cake and it came out soft and spongy....you can also bake them in a cake tin...this measure yielded about 15 cup cakes.....also wishing Merry Christmas to all my friends.... I wont be blogging for a week or so as I will be visiting my parents and brothers....so wishing a very happy Christmas to all my friends out there and thanks a lot for the love and encouragement you all have given me.

Recipe source: Vanitha.

Lemon cup cakes:
Butter/vanaspati: 170 g.
Powdered sugar: 170 g.
Eggs: 3.
All purpose flour/maida: 170 g.
Baking powder: 2 tsp.
Cold milk: 3 or 4 tbsp or as needed.
Lime juice: 2 medium size (grate their rind and keep aside).
Chocolate chips.

Method:


1. Preheat oven.
2. Cream butter/vanaspati with sugar until cream and fluffy...use ur egg beater.
3. Add eggs one by one and cream well.
4. Add lemon juice and their rind and mix well.
5. Lastly add maida (mix it well with baking powder) and cold milk to get a creamy texture.
6. Pour into greased muffin tray.
7. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and bake them till done.


Ready to be baked!!!


My lemon cups are ready!!


Enjoy the lemony cups.



Some pics of my homemade chocolates which my kids wrapped for their friends.









Merry Christmas to all!!

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Masala Dosa....The Indian Coffee House Style.



Indian coffee house brings back fond memories of my Law college days....we used to wind up in the coffee house to have masala dosa.....the coffee house masala dosa is a bit different from other masala dosa....it is because they add beetroot to the masala.....frequent visits to the coffee house resulted in getting this recipe......after boiling potatoes, carrots and beetroot.....grate one beetroot to the masala while sauting as this gives the rich red colour......a bit more of Indian Coffee House.....it is a restaurant chain in India...there are nearly 400 coffee houses in India and Kerala has around 51 coffee houses. This recipe has been lying in my old recipe book and a recent visit to an Indian Coffee House here in Calicut brought back all the memories....

Make dosa batter and keep aside.

Ingredients: 
Potatoes: 5.
Carrots: 2.
Beetroot: 2. (1 for boiling and 1 for grating).


For seasoning:
Oil: 1 tsp.
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp.
Urad dal: 1/2 tsp.
Onion: 1
Green chilly: 1 (optional).
Ginger: A small piece chopped.
Turmeric: 1/2 tsp.
Chilly powder: 1/2 to 1 tsp(Kashmiri red chilly).
Curry leaves.

Method:


1. Pressure cook the potatoes, carrots, and 1 beetroot and keep aside.

2. Heat 1 tsp of oil (very little oil is need here) in a kadai and put in mustard seeds, urad dal and let it splutter, then add sliced onion, ginger, green chilly, and curry leaves....saute for a min or two.

3. Add red chilly powder and turmeric and mix well.

4. Now add the cooked and mashed potatoes, carrots, and beetroot. Add salt and mix well. Grate one beetroot on top of it and cover a cook for 2 or 3 min. Mix well. The masala is ready....the grated beetroot gives the extra rich color.


5. 5. Pour dosa batter on a greased tawa.......put 2 tbsp of the masala on the center and spread it. Drizzle a bit of ghee on top and let it stand there for a min.

6. Cover the masala.

7. The Indian Coffee House masala is ready.

Serve hot with chutney.

Bring home the Indian Coffee House masala dosa.

Watch my video, I have made the masala dosa minus the beetroot and the carrot.....check it out.


Check out more Dosa Varieties.


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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Diamond cuts..... egg-less version.



Diamond cuts brings back memories of my late grandmother.....when my brothers, cousins, and myself wanted to munch something during our Christmas vacation......she used to give us diamond cuts and every time I make this ....it takes me back to those good old days.....Usually eggs are added to the flour and this is without eggs......no messy sugar syrup......just toss in powdered sugar and it is done......that easy!!!

Ingredients:
Maida/flour: 1 cup.
butter/vanaspati: 2 tsp.
Salt: 1/4 tsp.
Baking powder: A fat pinch.
Cardamom powdered: 1/2 tsp.
Powdered sugar: 1/4 to 1/2 cup.
Water for kneading.
Oil for frying.

Method:
1. In a bowel put maida, butter, salt, baking powder, cardamom powder and enough water to make it into a soft dough. 
2. Keep this covered for about 10 min. 
3. Divide the dough into 2 or 3 parts. 
4. Roll out and cut into diamond shape.
5. Heat oil in a pan and put in the diamond cuts and deep fry them.
6. Strain and immediately toss them in powdered sugar.

Note: I usually run my pizza cutter on the rolled out dough which is more easier than using a knife.

Enjoy.....and lick ur fingers too....



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Friday, December 10, 2010

Ethakka varuthathu/Banana fritters.



This is another easy Kerala snack with ripe banana and the most easiest one....no mixing of batter....just peel bananas.....slice them....drop them gently into hot oil....Amma used to make this when unexpected guests arrive or  when she was too lazy to make ethakka appam :).

How to make:
Ripe but firm bananas: 2.
Oil for frying.
Sugar for sprinkling.

Method:

1. Wash and deskin bananas.
2. Slice them and drop them gently into hot oil and fry them on both sides and strain on a paper napkin.

3. Sprinkle sugar on top and serve.


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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Chicken mappas (chicken curry in coconut milk) Step-by-step method.



Mappas is a traditional Syrian Christian curry cooked entirely in coconut milk....

fish mappas, vegetable mappas, vendakka (okra) mappas, egg mappas, mutton mappas, duck mappas.....every thing has the same basic ingredients except in fish mappas where gram masala and potatoes are not added. Fish mappas and pottu is one of my favorite combination...the flavor and taste of this curry depend entirely on fresh coconut milk ....I have also made with coconut milk mix.....still I favor the former. Vinegar is also very important in this curry....so do not omit that. This curry is a must during Christmas and Easter celebration and at weddings.

Everyone has different tastes, some prepare  mappas without the red chilly powder, they add more of green chilies, but I like the red chilly version.....and if you are in a place where you dont get any kind of coconut milk mix or coconuts then dont lose heart substitute with milk....pure whole milk.

While adding tomato it need not be fried until the oil comes out....just mix and saute for a min or two....always reserve 1 tomato to add after the 1st milk is added...just slice tomato and put them on top of the curry and give it a simmer.


Recipe source: My Amma.

Ingredients:
Chicken: 1/kg, cleaned and cut into small pieces.
Potatoes: 2, cubed.
Onion: 2, sliced.
Green chilies: 2 or 3, slit.
Tomato: 2.
Ginger: 1 inch.
Garlic: 4or 5 cloves.
Red chilly: 1 tsp.
Coriander powder: 2 tsp.
Garam masala: 1/2 to 3/4 tsp.
Pepper powder: 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric: A fat pinch.
Vinegar: 1tsp.
Oil: Coconut oil or refined oil
Curry leaves.
Salt to taste.

Coconut: 1/2 coconut grated or scraped.
1 cup thin milk.
1/2 cup thick milk

How to make coconut milk:
Put the scraped coconut in a little warm water and put in the mixer and give it a grind. Then put it into a strainer and squeeze the coconut and strain. This is the 1st milk which is thick. Pour around 1 cup of  water and mix well with the strained coconut and again squeeze and strain it..this is the 2nd milk.

For the seasoning:
Cloves: 3 or 4.
Peppercorns: 3 or 4.
Cinnamon: 1 small stick.
Cardamom: 3 or 4.

Method
1. Heat a kadai and pour little coconut oil in it. Put in cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom and let it splutter.

2. Put in sliced onions, ginger, garlic, green chilies, salt, curry leaves and saute for sometime on low flame.

3. Saute till it transparent and a little browned. Add the vinegar.


4. Put in red chilly powder, coriander powder, garam masala, pepper powder, and turmeric powder and let it fry for a minute or until the raw smell goes.

5. Put in 1 chopped tomato (reserve the other for later use) and fry for a min or two.

6. Oil need not come out in this curry just mix the tomatoes well for a min or two.


7. Pour the 1st milk or thin milk into it and mix well.

8. Put in the chicken pieces and the cubed potatoes.

9.Cover it with a lid and cook for 10 to 15 min. After the chicken is cooked open lid and let it simmer for sometime and add the thick coconut milk (1st milk) and let it simmer and lavish curry leaves on top.

10. Cut the reserved tomato and put it on top of it and simmer for another min or two and it is ready to serve. Because of the coconut milk the gravy tends to thicken on its own.


11. Serve it hot with kallappam, pallappam, roti, bread etc.


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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Kallappam.....the easy way.(coconut pancakes)


Kallappam is another traditional breakfast of my hometown, Kottayam. "Kallu" (a kind of liquor obtained from coconut tree) means Toddy in Malayalam and it is also used to ferment appams..... of course the next best thing is our very own yeast. Kallu was not available so I prepared this with yeast. Kallappam is very much different from palappam in taste and in texture though the ingredients are almost similar. For kallappam the batter need not be grinded finely ....there should be some "thari" and it is a thick batter like idily batter. There is jeera, shallots, and a dash of garlic which give its unique flavor and taste. I used instant yeast while making and it saved me from fermenting it separately. I just added yeast along with the ingredients while grinding. The combination is always palappam and stew and kallappam and mappas ....it is a coconut milk based thick curry with chicken , mutton, eggs, or vegetables.

If you are using toddy....it should be fresh sweet toddy.

Recipe source: My amma.


How to make kallappam:

Soaked raw rice: 1 ½ to 2 cups. (soak for atleast 1 hour)
Cooked rice: 1 handful (around half cup).
Coconut scrapings: 1 handful (can add a little more for better taste)
Sugar: 1 tsp or according to ur taste.
Water: Little to grind.
Salt: 1 tsp.
Egg: 1 (optional)
Instant yeast: 1/2 tsp.
Jeera: 1/2 tsp.
Shallots: 4 to 5.
Garlic: 2 or 3 cloves.
Method:
1. In a mixer grinder jar put in all the ingredients and grind it, do not add too much water; the batter should be a thick batter. Do not grind it too fine.

2. There should be some "thari" in the thick batter. Cover it and allow it to ferment for about 6 to 8 hours.

3. This is how the batter looks after it is fermented....the bubbles indicates that it is nicely fermented and ready to use.

4. Heat a dosa tawa and grease it. Pour a big scoop of the batter and do not spread it much.

5. Cover it and let it cook for a minute.


6. Open lid and flip the appam to the other side and let it remain for another minute or two.

7. Make kallappams the same way with the rest of the batter.


8. Serve with chicken mappas.


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