Saturday, January 29, 2011

Peanut candy/toffee...Kappalandi mittai....Homemade!!!

I love peanut candy....and I know you also love is a comfort snack for to munch it while relaxing in front of TV or reading a book....this is every malayali's favorite snack.....from time immemorial. Most of the shops be it a supermarket or the small petti kada aka local grocery shop has kappalandi mittai aka peanut candy......during one of the winter spells in Mercara, Coorg a casual chat with my friend Sheena resulted in her mentioning that she makes them at home.....Wow!!! being a novice at cooking at that time....I was surprised at the ease with which she used to make this.....and when I also tried it came out so crispy and crunchy that it was better than the store brought ones....soon it became the most wanted snack at my house.....if there is roasted and skinless peanuts ready....peanut candy can be ready in about 10 min...and that is superfast right???. After coming to Calicut, I had difficulty in getting roasted and skinless I buy 1/2 kg peanuts....toast them in oven....and deskin them.

How I made them:

Roasted and skinned peanuts: 1 1/2 cups.
Sugar: 1 cup.
Ghee (clarified butter): 2 tsp.
Soda powder: 1 fat pinch.

1. Heat oven to its maximum. Spread the raw peanuts in a tray and put it in the oven for about 10 min....rattling them around a bit halfway through so they toast evenly.

2. The peanuts are nicely roasted in about 10 min and let it cool....sorry about the blurred pic....I tried to balance the cam and the tray without the mitten...just with kitchen

3. When the peanuts are completely cooled.....remove their skin. Measure 1 1/2 cups and put them on a paper and run rolling pin over the should be coarsely grounded. (If you have skinless and roasted peanuts available you just have to crumble it coarsely and start from here.)

4. Peanuts are ready!!! 

5. Heat a deep bottomed pan put in ghee and sugar together.

6. Stir continuously till you get a golden brown syrup.....on low flame pls. Put in a fat pinch of soda powder and when it starts to bubble put in the peanuts.
7. Switch off the fire after putting in the peanuts.

 8. Mix them well fast and quick.

9. Spread evenly on a greased tray as thinly as possible.

10. Cut into desired shapes before it cools down.

11. Peanut candy/kappalandi mittai is ready to munch...

Store in airtight containers



Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Methi/fenugreek leaves pakoda/fritters.

Yesterday, I had to go to my kids school because Nidhi had fever and she had maths test (FA-4; as per new CBSC syllabus), she did not want to miss the test, since she was adamant to go, I told her that I will come and pick her up before lunch break..

.So I went before lunch break and there is a receptionist in the school....I was waiting for my chance to speak to her about Nidhi...a boy must be 14 or 15 yrs old was asking the lady whether he could use the school phone to ring up his mother very what caught my attention was the rude way the lady questioned the boy.....I felt she was questioning him rather harshly....there were other parents around....and the boy lost his cool and started stammering.....finally the receptionist allowed him to call his mom......the boy must have felt very bad in front of all the adults.....this made me observe the receptionist more closely....I found she was behaving like that to each and every child who come up to her....if it is a small child she would be real harsh.....I could see the child stammering and shivering.....then my turn came and I told her that I wanted to take my daughter home as she was not well.....the way she looks, her mannerisms etc will make u think that the receptionist owns the school......receptionist should be cordial, friendly, and above all smiling while addressing someone....especially children......I don't know why....but the lady occupied my mind all it just tumbled out here.....I mean one does not lose anything by showing kindness or being polite at least to children.........

Now lets get cooking.....I got some methi leaves yesterday....I could not keep away from those fresh methi I bought a bunch and make methi pakoda for evening snack and methi paratha for dinner. Its an easy snack just chop some methi leaves into besen flour with some chilly powder, salt, and asafoitida mix it into a smooth dough....pour teaspoons of it into hot oil......and pakoda is ready.

How I made them:
Methi leaves: 1 handful; cleaned washed and chopped.
Red chilly powder: 1 tsp.
Besan flour: 1 cup.
White rice flour: 1/4 cup.
Asafoitida: A fat pinch.
Salt: 1/2 tsp.
Water as needed.
Oil for frying.

1. Chop a handful of methi leaves.

2. In a bowl combine besan, rice flour, salt, chilly powder, and asafoitida with water and add the chopped methi leaves and mix it well into a thick batter.

3. Pour teaspoons of it into hot oil and deep fry it till done. Serve hot as a snack.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Idiyappam....Homemade rice noodles.

Idiyappams with its snow white color garnished with grated coconut is one of the traditional healthy breakfast of is healthy because it is steamed to cook....The main ingredient is rice flour....traditionally rice is washed cleaned and dried and powdered in the local mill and roasted....this can be kept for months and kozhukkatai, ada, pidi, idiyappam, pottu etc can be made with rice ready made rice flour is available at supermarkets...Asian stores.....

It is one of the easiest and healthiest breakfast and best served with any spicy curry....veg or non veg.....some like it with sweetened coconut milk poured over kids love it with just plain sugar.
Boiling water is poured into the rice flour, salt and mixed with a spoon to make it into a is allow to cool and then it is put into the idiyappam press and pressed into greased idli mould with a tsp of grated coconut and steamed till cooked.

Its a vegan breakfast.

Rice flour: 2 cups.(easily available in Indian stores.)
Water: 1 1/2 to 2 cups.
Salt: 1/2 tsp.
1 or 2 drops of coconut oil.
Grated coconut: 1/2 cup or as needed.

You will also need:
Idiyappam press  and the idiyappam achu.

How I made them:
1. Boil water with salt in a pan...add 1 or 2 drops of oil...when it is boiled and pour it little by little over the rice flour mixing with a spoon and make it into a soft dough...the water is just enough to make it into a dough.

2. Allow it to cool and while still warm knead it with your hand into a soft dough.Soft rice dough is ready to use.

3. Spoon some dough into the idiyappam press...close the lid...and press the dough into greased idili plate/moulds which are garnished with grated coconut.

4. Ready to be steamed!!!

5. Place it into steamer and let it cook for 10-15 min.

6. Let the idiyappams cool for a while and transfer it into a plate....serve with any veg or non veg curry.

Healthy Vegan Breakfast.

To all my fellow Indians

Happy Republic day.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Pineapple biscuit bake/cook version...Steb-by-Step method.

This is one of my favorite pudding because it is easy to make and no baking or cooking is needed...I first tasted this at my brother's place...his wife ie my sis-in-law Vava (yes!!! thats her pet name...she is the smallest in her family and the name suits her too because of her petite frame) made this for an occasion some 10 years back.... ever topped my pudding list. Actually the recipe was handed down from Vava's mom Leelamma. This pudding is always a huge success....and disappears...within minutes.....the best thing is no sort of cooking is required if you have pineapple preserve or tinned pineapple at hand. I always preserve pineapple so that makes it easier for me.....if fresh pineapple is available.....just take half of the fruit and chop it and throw in some sugar and put it on fire till it is nicely cooked.....that is pineapple stewed.

Another thing is there is raw egg in it....I have not tried substituting the raw eggs.....because I don't want to change is simply superb as it is.....maybe some of my friends can try substituting the let me know if you have.

Marie biscuit.....oh!! I just love to make puddings with them mostly because of their subtle flavour and crunchiness.....the other days Homey's sister, Dainey and family gave a surprise visit from Vizag and I made this pudding....remember I mentioned this pudding can be made fast!!!....since her kids love this.....I just piped some cream on top and sprinkled grated chocolate....

Check out the eggless version of this pudding.

Marie biscuit: 1 packet.
Butter: 1 packet (100 gm).
Powdered sugar: 1 cup.
Pineapple stewed/preserve/tinned: 1 cup.
Vanilla essence: 1 tsp.
Egg: 1.
Milk: 1/2 to 1 cup.


1. Beat egg white stiff and keep aside. Beat butter and sugar till nice and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat till creamy...then fold in the stewed pineapple(along with the juice) and the egg white and mix well....this is the cream mix for the pudding....Remember I mentioned no cooking!!!

2. In a pudding dish (I used 8" x 8" squared dish) dip biscuits in milk and line the dish.

3. Spread the pineapple cream on top of this.

4. Again dip biscuits in milk and line on top of the cream till the cream layer comes on top and keep in fridge for at least an hour.

5.  Garnish with caramalised nuts or grated chocolate or sprinkle chocolate chips......I piped some cream and sprinkled chocolate gratings...Chill the pudding throughly.

The moment the pudding was started to disappear fast and by the time I could get my cam....there was only a small piece left!!!.

It is a never-fail pudding and can be tried by beginners.....can also be made 1 day earlier....the more it is chilled the better....Enjoy!!

For eggless version of this recipe, click here.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Methi pulao/Rice.

Methi rice or Methi pulav, is a wonderful rice dish made with methi/fenugreek leaves. Fenugreek is very good to lower your blood sugar is very diabetic is said in ayurveda that a few methi seeds in the morning will help in controlling diabetics.

My Coorgi friend Simi Mutthappa is a wonderful cook and she makes excellent methi pulao....the first time I had this pulao at her was like I thought what did she add extra to make this pulav soooo flavourful other than the methi leaves.....and as we became great friends she shared this recipe.....and whenever I make this for my family and friends.....the same question is always asked "what did u add to get this flavor??". Simi and her husband Mutthappa has a home-stay in Mercara near the Old Race Course Road.....the up-stair part they have converted beautifully into a home-stay....and has excellent views of Mercara...did I mention that Simi is a wonderful cook.....she makes the most fluffiest akki rotis....her chilly pork is a must have with kadumputtu....and she makes sundried pork fry.....not to mention her homemade coffee liqueur...... if any of my blogger friends visit Coorg....I recommend their home-stay as the perfect retreat in Coorg.

Now coming back to this requires less oil and is cooked in coconut milk....yes that is the secret to this wonderful rice....and can be prepared in 30 to 40 min....for 2 cups of rice a  big handful of cleaned fresh methi leaves......and 1 cup of thick coconut milk.

Lets get cooking!!!
Update: August 1, 2013. Since I make this often, I updated the pictures. At this point, I want to mention that if you are weary of using fresh coconut milk (scraping coconut and taking milk from it); you can use canned coconut milk or even coconut milk powder. If using coconut milk powder, add about 3 tbsp of the powder to the required amount of water...and proceed.

Methi leaves: A handful of leaves; chop them and keep aside.
Onion: 1 medium, sliced.
Jeera: 1/2 tsp.
Ginger garlic paste: 1/2 tsp.
Cloves, whole pepper, cinnamon, and cardamoms: 2 or 3 each (or as desired I love cardamons).
Coconut scrapings: 1 cup.
Green chilies: 2.
Basmati rice/BT rice: 2 cups.

1. Grind coconut scrapings with green chilies and take 4 cups of  milk and keep aside or you can take 1 cup coconut milk and 3 cups of water....whichever is easier. Clean and wash the rice and keep it on a strainer.

2. Heat about 2 tbsp of oil in a cooker and when it is hot, add the jeera and let it splutter, then add the spices.

3. Then add the sliced onion and fry for a min or two, add salt,  ginger garlic paste and when the raw smell goes and the chopped methi leaves and fry till the water evaporates.

4. Pour 4 cups of coconut milk (1 cup milk and 3 cups water) into it and let it boil......check salt again and put in the strained rice and close cooker when steam comes simmer the fire (do not put the weight) and after 7 min switch off fire and open cooker after 20 min....check my biriyani for easy pressure cooker one pot biriyani.

5. Serve hot !!....I like it with chicken curry....but then it goes with anything veg or non veg or even plain raita and pickle......Ok I am leaving it to u girls to decide that.

Some tips:
Can add a pinch of turmeric.....I like mine to be white so I did not add.
Can drizzle a generous tbsp of ghee on top.....I am on diet so I did not.
Can sprinkle fried onions, raisins, nuts on top............I like this plain.

When you visit Coorg do not forget buy BT rice....they have an excellent will get this in almost all the stores in Mercara.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Methi paratha/roti...Fenugreek leaves paratha.

Methi leaves brings nostalgic memories of Coorg (Kodagu) otherwise known as the Scotland of India. Having lived in Mercara (Madikeri) for 7 years gave me Coorgi friends and an opportunity to explore their cuisine….which is very versatile. I have been thinking for a while to share some Coorgi dishes, so I thought why not post it under a new label “Coorg”, so that my blogger friends can also get the taste of Coorg. Coorgs has a different and unique style of preparing food be it pork fry (pandi fry), akki roti (rice roti), Kadumpottu, noolputtu, papputtu….and so on. Rice is the staple food. So mornings are always started with Akki roti, which is made of cooked rice and rice powder….Coorgs love pork and their pork curry or fry is very different…the masala for the pork is the main tastemaker followed by the kacham puli (which is the puli they use for their curries)…So I hope to take u all on a tour to Coorg and give you a taste of that beautiful hill station.… watch out for my future posts on Coorg.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Whole wheat chocolate chip cookies.....step-by-step.

The other day I was out shopping and I saw a street vendor selling used books, I crossed the road and just browsed his collection and to my disbelief I found cookbooks!!!. That day I was the proud owner of some real classic cookbooks.....

The Cookie Book from Wisconsin Energy Company was a surprise treat for is a compilation of recipes from Wisconsin Energy Company employees...I like this kind of collection as they are usually tried and tested ....It was a 1998 edition book with just cookie recipes....cookies of all kinds...classic cookies, traditional cookies, shaped cookies and so on....ah you all guessed it right, you gals can expect more cookies from my side :). The book starts with some traditional cookies and the very first one was Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies and that too you won't believe.....with wheat flour.....not a bit of all purpose flour....just plain whole wheat flour!!! Oh boy I was very glad I mean here I was baking with just all purpose flour and its high time I baked healthy!!! They tasted every bit like a real chocolate chip cookie should be: tender and chewy in the middle, crisp at the edges. I mixed with hand mixer and lastly mixed the dough with my hand and they rolled out into a thick dough and needed no lets get baking!!!

(I halved them)
3/4 cup Granulated sugar.
3/4 cup packed brown sugar.
1 cup butter or margarine, softened ( I used butter).
1 egg.
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour.
1 tsp baking soda.
1/2 tsp salt.
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (I used cashew-nuts).
1 12-ounce package of semisweet chocolate chips.

1. In a large bowel mix sugars, butter, and egg.

2. Stir in whole wheat flour/atta, baking soda, and salt.

3. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.

4. Mix with your hand ...the dough will be stiff :).

5. Shape into rounds and pressed them with my palms and placed into an ungreased cookie sheet (it was instructed to drop the dough by a rounded spoon but I shaped into small rounds).
 Off to bake!!!

Out of the oven!!



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