Saturday, January 29, 2011

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



I love peanut candy....and I know you also love this....it is a comfort snack for me....love 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 ones....so I buy 1/2 kg peanuts....toast them in oven....and deskin them.

How I made them:

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

Method:
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 towel...lol.

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 them....it 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

Enjoy!!!

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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..

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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 Kerala.....it 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 flour....now-a-days ready made rice flour is available at supermarkets...Asian stores.....

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Pineapple biscuit pudding....no 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 since..it 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 it.....it is simply superb as it is.....maybe some of my friends can try substituting the egg...do 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.



Ingredients:
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.

Method:

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 served.....it 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.

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Linking this to At home with haley.
Taste spotting.

 Britanny's Seasonal Sundays.



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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 levels....it is very diabetic friendly...it 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 place....it 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 pulao.....it 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.

Ingredients:
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.
Oil/ghee.

Method:
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 flavor.....you will get this in almost all the stores in Mercara.



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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.…..so watch out for my future posts on Coorg.

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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.....

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Paneer Pulav/Rice.



When unexpected guests arrive...though you are smiling..your brain will automatically search your kitchen...your fridge...pantry....for something that can be cooked in a jiffy. For those unexpected ones I always store frozen paneer.....this is one of my favorite pulav for vegetarian guests and can be made in about 30 min if there are frozen paneer in the freezer. I had bookmarked this in a 2004 Pachakam magazine and ever since this is a favorite. This pulav can be had with any veg or non veg curry.


Ingredients:
Basmati rice: 1 1/2 cups.
Ghee or refined oil: 3 or 4 tbsp.
Jeera/cumin seeds: 1/4 tsp.
Cloves: 3 or 4.
Cinnamon: 2 pieces.
Cardomon: 3 or 4.
Cashew nuts chopped: 1 tbsp.
Kismis/dry grapes: 1 or 2 tbsp.
Onion: 1, sliced..
Paneer cubed: 100 gm or 1 packet.
Coriander leaves/Cilantro: for garnishing.
Method:
1.Cook rice with salt, strain and keep aside.
2.Heat a pan and put in ghee/refined oil and fry the paneer and drop into a bowl of water (this makes the paneer soft. Frying makes the paneer a bit hard.
3. In the same pan fry the sliced onion till brown, strain and keep aside, again in the same pan fry the kismis, cashew nuts strain and keep aside.
4. Put in all the spices; jeera, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and add the cooked rice and mix well. Add salt if needed. 
5. Mix in the paneer, fried onion, cashew-nuts, and Kismis. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with any veg or non veg curry.. 

Tip: If you are short of kismis/dry grapes and cashew-nuts....you can omit them....but make sure there are browned onions on top :)

Sending this to Aipi's and Priya's bookmarked event 

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Saturday, January 08, 2011

Unakka kappa kuzhachathu/Dried Tapioca/Cassava.



Kappa or Tapioca is also considered to be a staple food just like rice mainly because it is inexpensive, easily available, and high starch content. Unakka kappa is Tapioca peeled, washed, sliced or diced, boiled and dried in sun. This can be stored for years and when cooked gives out a totally different flavor. Dry tapioca kuzhachathu is prepared in the same way as fresh tapioca kuzhachathu but the taste is entirely different. It goes well with fish curry or red chilly chutney.

Ingredients:
Dry tapioca/Unakka kappa: 2 cups.
Coconut: 1/2 cup.
Green chilies: 2 or 3.
Garlic: 3 or 4 cloves.
Shallots: 3 or 4.
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp.
Salt.

For the seasoning:
Coconut oil: 1 tbsp.
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp.
Shallots: 2.
Red chilly flakes.
Curry leaves.

Method:
1.Wash the dry tapioca and soak them in water for about 6 to 7 hours or overnight. 
2. Grind coarsely coconut, green chilies, garlic, shallots, and turmeric and keep aside.
3. Cook the tapioca in a pressure cooker with enough water for about 5 min after the 1st whistle... drain the water. Again put the cooker on low flame and mash the tapioca well and put in the coarsely grinded coconut and salt. Mix well.
4. Season with coconut oil, mustard seeds, red chilly flakes, 2 shallots, and curry leaves.
5. Serve hot with fish curry or chutney.



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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Brownies....Step-by-step method.



I wanted to begin this year with something special.....and finally rounded on Brownie. I read and read about brownies and found that the taste and texture depend on the quality of chocolate that is used....I wanted my brownie to be fudgy and moist and have a smooth crust.........I was talking about this to Nidhi and she told me that her friend Nikitha brought the-melt-in-the-mouth kinda brownie....so I coaxed her to ring her up and get the recipe from her mother.... Yes the result was fantastic.....smooth soft crusty top and moist and fudgy.....just the way I wanted.


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