Friday, August 31, 2012

Cherry Cookies....Step by Step

Cherry cookies, buttery cookies filled with cherries....just the other day, while visiting the local bakery I bought some cherries on an impulse without thinking what I will make with it....for just Rs 20/ INR....some 50 gm or so....once I reached home I looked at the cherries and they back at me for I don't know how long....and thus these cherry cookies were born in my oven in my tiny weeny kitchen.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Aval Vilayichathu ...step by step.

Aval or Rice flakes  vilayichathu is a simple teatime snack....a jaggery - coconut coated snack. Aval known as poha, is beaten, dried flakes of rice.

You can use any type of aval like brown rice or white rice....though brown rice aval is a bit thicker than the white rice aval.
Here I used brown rice aval.

This snack can be stored for up to 1 or 2 weeks at room temperature.

Most malayalies mix aval vilayichathu with ripe plantain or "pazham" can even have it on its own.
It is supposed to be healthy with jaggery and coconut....well that's what my grandma (ammachi) used to say during my I make this often for my kids...ofcourse they mix it with ripe plantain and have it as an after-school-snack.

Do check out aval nanachathu, a similar version of this snack which can be made instantly.

List of Onam Sadya Recipes

Aval (brown or white rice): 1 kg.
Jaggery: 1/2 kg.
Water: 1/2 to 1 cup.
Cardomon: 4 or 5.
Roasted Jeera powder: 1/2 tsp.
Dry ginger powder: 1/4 tsp.
Coconut: 1 whole coconut scraped.
Fresh coconut oil: 1 tbsp.(or you can use ghee).

Since I make this and store I used 1 kg can reduce the quantity by half.

Put the aval in a heavy bottomed kadai and dry fry it on low flame. The aval will shrink and become stiff...and when you take a handful it should crumble. Remove this on to a newspaper or another pan.

In another pan heat water and add jaggery (if your jaggery is not clean you have to strain it once it is melted, since the one I used here was clean I did not seive it). After the jaggery is melted allow it to simmer for sometime till you get a 1 string consistency (thread like).

Then add the scraped fresh coconut.

Mix well and allow it to simmer for another 3 or 4 minutes so that the moisture in the fresh coconut will be absorbed.

Add the roasted aval into this.

Mix well. Lastly temper coconut oil or ghee add cardamons and drizzle on the aval. Sprinkle jeera powder and dry ginger powder and again mix well. When it is completely cooled, store in a jar.

Serve with ripened plantains.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Happy Onam!!

I had a brief visit to Kottayam this weekend and saw this "pukalam" or floral carpet at Kottayam Railway Station. Thought I will share this wonderful floral carpet.
Wishing all my friends and readers A Happy Onam.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Chemmen Achar/Kerala Prawns Pickle.

I make cheemen (prawns) pickle often because my son just loves it.
He loves to take it school and "share" with his friends and I end up making 2 batches a week.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Chana-Palak (chickpeas-spinach) Biriyani...Kids Special.

Yesterday night I made palak rice again and I added a cup of boiled chana (chickpeas) to it before adding the rice. Believe was awesome.

It was a power packed dinner for my kids.

Kids enjoyed.

So did we both :)

Last time I made palak rice I gave detailed step by step pictures, please go to that post for the recipe.

Palak and chana....need anything more healthier than this....perfect for lunch box.

Add the chana/chickpea after the spinach is sauted.

Then add rice and close here  for detailed step by step post.....
The rice is cooked perfectly with the channa.

Serve hot with raita.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pressure Cooker Semiya Payasam- Onam Special

Easy Pressure Cooker Semiya Payasam is one of the best delights of Onam. Today is "Atham", people start Onam festivities by putting pookalam or floral carpet in front of their homes to welcome Mahabali.

I am sharing pressure cooker semiya payasam (kheer) for my friends today. Amma used to make this payasam since my childhood. This is entirely cooked in a pressure cooker and not with condensed milk, though the taste of the payasam makes you wonder if there is condensed milk in it.

This payasam have the same taste of ambalapuzha paal payasam or that's what those who taste this states. Since milk and sugar is pressure cooked for 30 min and opened after another 30 min, the milk will turn light pinkish in colour and slightly thicker.

I used homogenized milk and added only a teaspoon of ghee to lightly fry the cashewnuts and raisins. If you are using plain vermicili do not forget to fry them in a tsp of ghee, I used roasted vermicili.

From my experience, it is always better to use a bigger pressure cooker otherwise once the pressure builds up there is a chance of milk to be leaked out . I used 7.5 litre cooker also, I simmered close to about 40 minutes though a minimum of  30 minutes is a must.

It is also important to wait near the cooker while the steam builds up and when the whistle is about to go, simmer it for 30-40 minutes.

Begin onam festivities with this yummy payasam.

List of Onam Sadya Recipes

Milk: 1 1/2 liters.
Sugar: 1 cup.
Roasted vermicili: 1 cup.
Cashewnuts: 2 tbsp.
Raisins: 2 tbsp.
Cardamon: 3.
Ghee: 1 tsp

Get the ingredients ready.

Put sugar in the pressure cooker (preferably large cooker).

Add milk. Note the colour of milk is white before cooking.

Close the cooker and put the cooker on high flame. Do not go away, wait for the steam to come, immediately put the weight on the stub of the cooker and wait for the whistle. When the whistle is about to go....immediately simmer the fire for about 30-40 min. After 30-40 min switch off the fire and leave the cooker unopened for another 30-40 min.

Open the cooker after 30-40 minutes. You can see the colour of the milk has turned into light pink. Again switch on the fire and simmer it. Crush the cardamon and add to this.

Add 1 cup of roasted or fried vermicili. Simmer for 5 to 10 min or until the vermicili is cooked.

While the vermicili is getting cooked. In a kadai, heat a tsp of ghee and roast the cashew and raisins.

Pour this on to the payasam and serve hot.

Make this payasam for your loved ones and enjoy Onam.

Note: I had posted this paysam two years back minus the step by step pics.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Spring Chicken Fry.

Eid Mubarak to all!

After a long time we bought spring chicken today. This one weighed about 400-500 gms.

We had a wonderful lunch today with this chicken fry and I thought I will share it with you.

The chicken has to be marinated in curd along with masala for a few hours and fried in oil on low flame. I added 1 tbsp of rice flour to the curd....this gives a crunchiness.

The chicken fry was tender, juicy and crunchy on the outside.

Spring Chicken: 1, cut into pieces. (about 500 gms).
Curd: 1/3 cup.
Rice Flour: 1 tbsp.
Kashmiri Red Chilly Powder: 2 tbsp (if using spicy red chilly reduce by half and add red color).
Ajwain: A fat pinch.
Garam masala powder: 1/2 tsp.
Pepper Powder: 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp.
Lemon Juice: 1 tbsp.
Ginger Garlic Paste: 1 tsp.

Curry leaves.
Oil for frying.

Lightly whisk the curd with a fork, and add all the spices (masala). Mix the chicken pieces in it and keep aside for 2 hours in refrigerator.

Heat oil in a deep bottomed kadai. Put 3 pieces of chicken, wait for 2 min and then lower the heat. Fry the chicken on low heat till done. Lastly fry a handful of curry leaves and sprinkle on top of the chicken.

Crunchy fried chicken is ready!
Serve hot!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chiratta puttu-Step by Step.

Puttu is a traditional and filling breakfast paired with kadala curry. In olden days puttu was made in cut pieces of bamboo shell or in coconut shell. I love making in coconut shell, its ideal for those who do not own a puttu kutti or vessel used to make this ideal breakfast.

If you do not own a puttu kutti please do not deter from making this wonderful dish, I will show you how to use coconut shell to cook puttu without any trouble. All you have to do is poke one of the eye in the coconut shell and use a pressure cooker to steam it. Coconut shell is one of the most eco-friendly utensil, which you can throw away after sometime and get a new one.....

Puttu is made by slowly adding water to ground and roasted rice until it resembles breadcrumbs, then added to the puttu kutti and steamed with layers of coconut.

Puttu is usually served with kadala curry, beef ularthiyathu, chicken ularthiyathu, meen curry, fish pickle, cherupayar thoran, pappad....the list is can even have it with a drizzle of honey or mix with ripe plantains or steamed bananas....

Other than rice flour you can also use wheat flour, ragi flour, oats etc.

So lets get cooking!

You will need about 1 cup of puttu podiPlease visit my older post to make puttu podi.

First, take an empty coconut shell, the part which has eyes, scrape off the inside remains with a spoon, rise in water. There are three eyes in the coconut, poke the flimsy eye with your finger or with a spoon.

Select shells which has the flimsy eye in the center..

Add a tablespoon of freshly grated coconut scrapings.

Top it with puttu podi (rub water into rice flower mixed with salt till it resembles breadcrumbs) and again sprinkle some coconut scrapings.

Pour little water into a 3 litre pressure cooker and do not put the weight, when steam comes, put the poked eye of the chiratta (coconut shell) on top of the cooker stub. Simmer the fire. Close with a small lid. It takes somewhere between 2 to 3 min once the steam comes.

See the puttu is getting cooked or rather steamed.

With a towel carefully take the hot chiratta and invert it into a plate.

That's it...rustic chiratta puttu is ready.

Just incase you are looking for ready-made puttu flour, try Eastern Puttu Podi and want to own a puttu check out the links.

Pottu and Kadala Curry.                                                             Bananna Puttu.