October 29, 2017

Devilish Delights (Cookies)

How to bake Devilish Delights (Cookies)



          The first time I set my eyes on these scrumptious cookies, (in a betty crocker cookbook) I knew it was a trap. I couldn't, not bake these insanely chocolatey cookies. I hope I have done justice to these cookies with my amateur photography skills and brought out the real texture of these beauties. These chocolatey devilish delights get their kick from freshly brewed coffee. Sharing this recipe with my fellow bloggers at SriValli's CCC#50 Oct Week #4








MAKES: ABOUT 36 COOKIES
BAKE: 8 MINS at 350°F

Ingredients

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1-2 tablespoons coffee liqueur or strong brewed espresso
2 teaspoons vanilla
10 ounces espresso-flavor chocolate baking bar or bittersweet chocolate bar, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
12 ounces dark chocolate baking bar, chopped



Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet or line sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, coffee liqueur, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined; set aside.
  • In a heavy medium saucepan, heat chopped espresso chocolate and butter over medium-low heat until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat. Whisk melted chocolate mixture into egg mixture until combined. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the chopped dark chocolate baking bar.
  • Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 7 to 8 minutes or until tops appear dry and centers remain soft. Cool on cookie sheet for 3 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. Makes about 36 cookies.

Storage:

  • Layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes:

  • I used strong brewed coffee instead of chocolate liqueur and used bitter-sweet chocolate bar instead of dark chocolate in the recipe.
Sharing this recipe with my fellow bloggers at SriValli's CCC#50 Oct Week #4.

October 15, 2017

Coconut Meeta/Sweet Paan Ladoo

How to make Coconut Meeta Paan Ladoo

    
      From using it in religious ceremonies to eating it in the form of a 'paan'; betel leaves contain many curative and healing health benefits. My mom & grandma used to grow it in our home and these aromatic leaves were readily available to reap the health benefits from the same. Betel leaves are supposed to heal wounds when applied over a wound and bandaged. If you are suffering from a severe headache, my grandma used to ask us to use 'vetrilai pathu' The leaves have cooling properties which provide instant relief from the ache when applied externally.

         Benefits aside, I have always been a fan of the meeta paan for the sweet filling in it.  So, here is a recipe that skips the slaked lime (sunnambu) & areca nuts/supari (pakku), but has all the yummy ingredients like coconut, elaichi, gulkund, nuts & cloves. You can pick & choose your favorite filler ingredients.


Coconut Meeta/Sweet Paan Ladoo




Ingredients for about 30 ladoos:

2 cups fresh/frozen grated coconut (do not use the brown part)
8 to 10 vetrilai/paan/betel leaves
1 cup condensed milk
about 1/2 cup, dry desiccated coconut (for rolling)
1/2 tsp, cardamom/elaichi powder
1/2 to 3/4 cup of gulkund (rose petal preserve)
1/2 tsp, saunf/fennel seeds
whole cloves, for garnishing
green food color, optional
chopped nuts, optional (I used almonds)



Method:

  • To a food processor, add the grated coconut & grind dry until fine. Transfer to a bowl. 
  • Wash, remove the stem & the bottommost tip of all paan leaves. Add tore paan leaves, pulse until fine add condensed milk & grind till both are well combined. Add few drops of green food color, if desired. 

  • Heat a pan on medium heat, add the coconut and roast for a couple of minutes on medium-low heat. Add the condensed milk - paan mixture and stir to combine. You can add the elaichi powder & fennel seeds at this point.
  • Cook for a few minutes on low heat, until the mixture, thickens & forms into one solid mass. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool down a bit.

  • Grease your hands with ghee if needed, take a small portion from the coconut mixture, flatten it and add ½-1 teaspoon of gulkund and chopped nuts in the center. Bring the edges together and roll to form a ladoo. Roll the prepared ladoos in desiccated coconut. Repeat the same process with the remaining ladoos.

  • Garnish with cloves, if desired. Refrigerate the ladoos & enjoy as a digestive/mouth freshener.

This recipe was inspired by another paan recipe from a tv show. You may add supari to the filling if you desire. Sharing this delicious recipe with my friends at SriValli's  CCC#50 Oct week 3.

September 23, 2017

Easy Rawa Kesari

How to make easy Rawa Kesari 


              It just dawned upon me that there are many basic easy recipes that are missing from my blog like the humble Kesari. So here goes an easy method that doesn't require technical stirring & standing next to it for a long time for the dish to be complete. This recipe was inspired by the Rawa Pongal recipe by Mrs. Revathi Shanmugam. The technique is a little different here though. One important thing to note - If the rawa & the sugar water are not piping hot while mixing, it might get sticky & lumpy. My recipe makes a mildly sweet Kesari. You can increase the sugar to 1 cup if you like it sweeter. So here's a quick recipe for you to try this Navrathri season or just any time of the year.






Ingredients for about 6 servings:


          For the sugar syrup


·  3/4 cup sugar
·  1.5 cups water
·  1/8 tsp, cardamom/elaichi powder
·  a pinch of salt
  

  For roasting the rava

·  1/4 cup or 4 tbsp ghee
·  1/2 cup rawa /sooji
·  8-10 cashew-nuts, broken
.  1 tbsp, raisins (optional)


Easy Rawa Kesari

Stovetop method:

  • Take a heavy bottom pan or a pressure cooker and add the water, sugar, cardamom powder, and a pinch of salt. You can add saffron or food coloring if desired. Light the stove & let it heat. 
  • Set another pan on the stove over medium heat. Add in the ghee, cashew-nuts and the rawa and fry until golden & aromatic. The ghee will initially bubble up on the sides of the pan during roasting. Keep stirring and take care not to let it burn.

  • We will be working simultaneously using two stoves - when the sugar mixture comes to a rolling boil, the rawa will also be roasted. If the sugar mixture starts boiling before the rawa is roasted, just put the sugar mixture on simmer.
  • When the sugar mixture comes to a rolling boil, we are ready to add in the rawa. Carefully add in the roasted hot rawa slowly into the boiling sugar water mixture, taking care not to let the hot liquid splash on you. Immediately after adding rawa, mix well and cover the pan/cooker with the lid and switch off the heat. (If there are any vents on the lid, make sure you cover them with a kitchen towel or use the weight if using a pressure cooker – so we do not let the steam escape. 

  • Keep it covered tightly for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, open and mix the Kesari well. The rawa would have absorbed all the moisture and swelled up, glistening with ghee and totally lump free.
  • The Kesari is best served warm or at room temperature. You can store the Kesari in the fridge for up to a week.
Sharing this recipe from my diary with my fellow bloggers at SriValli's CCC #49 Sep Week 4.

September 17, 2017

Murungai Keerai Pori Arisi Poriyal

How to make Moringa/Drumstick leaves stir fry


           While I was making this authentic keerai poriyal today, it brought back memories from my high school days. I was living with my grandparents for a few years... when all of a sudden, I was asked to fly solo for the very first time, with no time to prep. One fine day, my grandma had to attend a gathering and could not finish her cooking in time for grandpa. That Sunday, the responsibility of making this dish fell upon me. Having never made it myself; nobody to help me; no cookbooks or the internet (Gosh! I don't know how we lived back then) it took me a long long time & multiple attempts to get it right. 

            You probably wouldn't understand what the big fuss was all about - since you haven't met my grandpa a.k.a the food critique of the family, who also happened to be short tempered. Him being an ardent fan of the greens was definitely not working in my favor either, if I messed up the dish. I was sure that he would be able to pinpoint exactly what was missing in my cooking. To sum it all up, my first product was plain steamed greens with salt....Yikes!! Then I added the grated coconut, gave it a stir and turned off the stove again (second end product). Only to realize it was still missing something. After closing my eyes to imagine what a keerai poriyal looked like the last time I ate it, I made a tempering with mustard, urad dal & chillies and added to the cooked greens. 

            



               Although I wanted to be nowhere near the critique to hear his review, It was a situation that I was inescapable from. You see, in those days it was tradition to stand beside the person eating & serve them the food until they were done with the four (or six) course meal. After some nail-biting and heart palpitations, grandpa finally said that he liked it and ate all of it. I was surprised that he liked it and I was curious to taste it to see what was good with the overcooked keerai. He was not to be blamed for eating all of it, cos' between cooking, cooking & re-cooking, I ended up tasting so many times that there was barely any keerai poriyal for thatha to eat. LOL!!! Anyways, I was just glad that the stressful ordeal was finally over and I had learned how to make the keerai poriyal. 

            Hope you guys enjoyed reading about my very first cooking failure (turned) success. Note: This recipe can also be made without the roasted rice powder, but adding it, gives your final product a good texture & some crunchiness while eating. So, here you go - a very old recipe from my recipe diary. Sharing this story & recipe with my fellow bloggers at Sri Valli's CCC #48 Sep Week 3




Ingredients for 2 to 3 servings:


2 cups of drumstick leaves - picked, washed & drained
1/2 an onion, chopped (optional)
2 tbsp, grated coconut
1/2 tbsp, oil
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp, mustard seeds
1 tsp, broken urad dal
1 dry red chilli, broken

To fry & powder coarsely:

1 tbsp, raw rice, pacha arisi
1/2 tbsp, bengal gram dal/kadalai paruppu
1/2 tsp, black peppercorns (if you like it hot)
1/2 tsp, oil







Stovetop method:

  • Pick the drumstick leaves, without any thick stems. Rinse & wash a couple of times and let drain.

  • Heat a mini pan/kadai, add 1/2 tsp of oil and add all the ingredients to fry & powder coarsely. Let cool & powder. Do not powder finely.

  • Heat 1/2 tbsp of oil in a kadai/wok, add the mustard seeds, broken urad dal, and broken red chilli. When they are all fried, add onions & saute with a little salt for quick cooking. 
  • When onions are translucent, add the washed greens and salt, give it a stirring, cover & cook on low to medium heat for about three minutes.

  • When the leaves are cooked, add grated coconut and the powdered ingredients - mix, let sit for another minute and turn off the heat.
  • Serve with any south Indian meal platter. (We had it with raw mango sambhar & steamed rice.)



August 25, 2017

Inippu Pidi Kozhukattai / Sweet Pidi Kozhukattai

How to make Inippu Pidi Kozhukattai / Sweet Pidi Kozhukattai


             Sweet Pidi Kozhukattai (also known as Vella kozhukattai or Inippu kozhukattai) is one of the traditional kozhukattai varieties that is the easiest & quickest you can make. These are like sweetened rice dumplings made with lentils, coconut, and jaggery. You can make these with store bought rice flour / kozhukattai flour /idiyappam flour. 





             As the name indicates, these kozhukattais are shaped with the grip of hands (Pidi) which gives them a rather distinct shape with finger impressions on them. For those who haven't tried making kozhukattai’s before, you can start with this one, as your chances of going wrong with this recipe are close to none. 




             Not only can this be made during Ganesh Chathurthi, but also as an evening snack for your family. It’s a perfectly healthy snack for kids since it is steamed. It is also gluten and dairy free. I learned this kozhukattai from my MIL & it comes from my recipe diary just for you.



Ingredients :

Rice flour - 3/4 cup
Powdered Jaggery/Palm Sugar - 1 cup
Grated Coconut- 1/2 cup
Salt - a pinch
Kadalai paruppu/Bengal gram dal - 1/4 cup (soaked in water for 20 mins)
Elakkai/Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Cashew nuts, broken - 1 tbsp
Sesame/Gingelly oil - 2 tbsp
Water - as needed



Stove top method:

  • In a bowl, add the rice flour, salt, coconut, soaked bengal gram dal, cashew nuts and cardamom powder; mix dry & set aside.

  • Heat a thick bottomed pan with the jaggery and add about a 1/4 cup of water to it and make a thin syrup. When all the jaggery melts, filter it for impurities and pour it back into the pan.
  • Heat the pan with filtered thin syrup add oil, stir & add the rice flour mixture in installments stirring it in-between to ensure there are no lumps for about a minute. If the liquid is not enough for the flour, sprinkle some water until you get a thick dough consistency, that does not stick to your fingers.

  • Turn off the heat & transfer to a bowl & keep covered (so it doesn't dry). Lightly dip your fingers in gingelly oil when you make bite sized balls or oval-shaped kozhukattai's with your finger impressions on it.

  • Grease idli plates or any other container & arrange the kozhukattai's in a single layer, steam them for about 12 minutes on medium heat. 
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.



Notes:

  • If the liquid is not enough for the flour, sprinkle some water until you get a thick dough consistency, that does not stick to your fingers.
  • You can substitute moong dal for bengal gram dal and Karupatti (dark palm sugar) or brown sugar for jaggery.
  • It can also be made without using any oil if needed but can be a little dry with cracked texture.
  • If refrigerated, steam for few minutes, so it turns soft prior to serving.

Sharing this recipe with my fellow bloggers at Sri Valli's CCC #47 August Week 4.


July 30, 2017

Varutha Arisi Sojji / Roasted Rice Upma

How to make Varutha Arisi Sojji / Roasted Rice Upma


            Most households probably get around to making two or three kinds of upma's - semiya upma, arisi rava upma & wheat rava upma. This was new to me when my MIL made this for dinner the first time. Her story behind this goes like this - during her childhood days, her mom used to make this as a quick and low-cost meal to serve a large family living on a budget. 

            This can be a lunch box recipe (stays fresh) or can be breakfast/dinner. This can be served with Milagai podiChutneys/ThuvayalsSambhar, or Gothsu. This family (MIL) recipe comes from my recipe diary & is being shared with SriValli's CCC#46 July week #4.




Ingredients for 3 servings:

Pacharisi/Raw rice - 1.5 cups
Paasiparuppu/Green gram dal - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Grated coconut - 3 tbsp
Crushed black pepper  - 1 tsp
Water - 1 cup (for dal) + as needed to cook your rice
[ I used, 1(rice) 3(water) ratio ]

For thalippu/tempering:

Oil - 2 tbsp
1/2 Tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp, kadalai paruppu/bengal gram dal
Dry red chilies - 3, broken
1 tsp, jeera/cumin seeds
a pinch of asafoetida powder
a sprig of curry leaves




Stove top method:

  • Dry roast the dal & rice separately in a dry kadai/pan, until slightly golden, crisp & aromatic.
  • Heat the oil in a large cooker/kadai and add the ingredients listed for tempering one by one & fry for a few seconds, taking care not to burn them.
  • Pour the required amount of water for the dal & rice to cook, add salt & let it come to a boil.
  • When the water begins to boil, add the roasted rice, and dal. Cover & let cook on medium until rice & dal are cooked soft. (If using pressure cooker, use the weight & let cook for about 10 minutes or 2 whistles)
  • Sprinkle crushed pepper powder, add grated coconut, give it a stir and turn off the heat. 
  • Serve hot with Kathirikai gothsu or try any of these thuvayals or chutneys.


July 23, 2017

Mangai Sadham / Mango Rice

How to make Mango Rice/Mangai Sadham



            Manga sadham/Mango rice is one of the lip smacking rice of the south. This recipe brings back nostalgic childhood memories. Sneaking up to the terrace when the adults are busy taking an afternoon nap - find the biggest green mango that you can reach - pluck - take a bite - wait for it & make a sour face literally. On other occasions, it would be sliced and sprinkled with salt & paprika for a sour & spicy treat.
            The sourness of the rice will depend on how sour your mango is.  Serving this with Karivepillai thayir pachadi a.k.a Curry leaves raitha. The two flavors play well together.If you are a skeptic about the combo, try it before you dismiss the idea. 




Ingredients for 4 servings


1 large unripe/green mango
1 cup uncooked rice, cooked but not mushy
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 Tsp, chili powder
2 dry red chilies, broken
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
a pinch of asafoetida powder
a sprig of curry leaves
1/4 Tsp turmeric powder
1/4 Tsp roasted & powdered fenugreek seeds (optional)
Salt to taste


Stove top method:

  •  Fluff the cooked rice gently, mix in a tbsp of sesame oil & spread the rice on a plate and let it cool. 
  • Grate the mango, peeled or unpeeled.Heat remaining oil in a pan and when it's hot, add mustard seeds and fry for 30 seconds.Add curry leaves, dry red chilies and asafoetida powder cook for a minute. Add turmeric powder, fenugreek powder (if using),  grated mango, salt, and cook for a few minutes on medium heat, until the raw smell of the chili powder is gone.
  • Turn off the heat, add the cooled rice and mix gently. Check seasoning & serve with papad & curry leaves raitha.




May 14, 2017

Baked Apple Roses

How to make Apple Roses


        "Mothers are like buttons, they hold everything together."

      That reminds me of my mother who holds all the family members together. She was always the one, who knew what was going on with everyone in the family. Especially when all of us (my brothers & I) moved out of the house. We may not be in frequent touch with each other; but we would be in constant touch with Amma, so she always had the latest updates. Some of us are too busy to listen to others and then some of us are too busy to share things about our life. Mothers always have the time to listen to her children and read between the lines too. 



      Motherhood teaches us a ton of things and humbles us. I only wish someone had prepared me for what to expect, and how to handle the 'n' number of situations that arise in parenting. I guess that is what makes every mother unique. But hey, I feel better reading the following quote :)

"Good Moms Have Sticky Floors, Messy Kitchens, Laundry Piles & Happy Kids."

Happy Mother's Day, to all the Mom's & all the Dad's who take on the role of a mother!

            


Ingredients for 6 to 8 roses:

1 sheet of Pepperidge farm frozen pastry, thawed
2 large apples, cored & sliced
1.5 Tbsp lemon juice concentrate or juice from 1/2 a lemon
2 cups of water or more as needed
cinnamon powder, to sprinkle
fig preserves - 3 tbsp
1 Tbsp, water

Special equipment needed:
Muffin pan - greased or lined



Method:

  • Preheat oven to 375° F. (Please read notes below)
  • Wash, cut in half, core & slice the apples into very thin slices. 
  • In a microwave safe bowl, add the water, lemon juice and sliced apples & microwave for 3 minutes. Drain & let sit. 
  • In another bowl, add the preserve & 1 tbsp of water and microwave for a minute; stir & set aside.
  • On a floured surface, unwrap & place the thawed pastry sheet, dust with flour, using a rolling pin, stretch it out as needed to make 6 to 8 strips that are 1.5" wide.
  • On every strip, smear some preserve, place the apple slices on the top half of the strip, sprinkle with apple spice mix and fold over the bottom half of the pastry strip and roll tightly to form the roses. 

  • Place the roses into the prepped muffin pan & bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove & let cool.
  • Dust with confectioners sugar & serve on a platter. 


Notes:

  • My roses were only mildly sweet because the only added sweeteners were the fruit preserve & the confectioner's sugar on top. If you like more sweetness, try adding a 1/8th tsp of brown sugar into the center of every rose, after they have been rolled up & ready to go in the oven.
  • Any fruit preserve can be used, or you can even skip it.
  • Try adding cinnamon sugar instead of plain cinnamon, prior to rolling the roses.
  • Can also be served with a drizzle of caramel sauce on top.
  • If you are baking on a cookie sheet, make sure you press the pastry sheet with wet fingers at the end of the roll, to make sure, it doesn't open up during baking.

April 30, 2017

Goji Berry-Almond-Date Power Balls (No Cook Recipe)

How to make Goji Berry-Almond-Date Power Balls


              The talk and use of goji berries have been on the rise lately upon hearing about its super powers. Here is a no sugar added, all natural, gluten free, vegan, zero cooking, paleo, nutrient rich recipe that is healthy and tasty enough for your taste buds. I feel good about this recipe as it uses purely natural sweeteners (dates, goji berries & raisins) and has some crunch and satiety value in it, so we can enjoy a nutritious snack when hunger strikes.




              They’re thought to help prevent premature aging, boost the immune system, have benefits for diabetes and protect against heart disease and cancer. Goji berries could interact with some drugs, so talk with your doctor first. Otherwise, it's probably safe to eat goji berries in moderation. Please use at your own discretion. Research implies the following health benefits of goji berries:
  • Very Nutritious
  • Excellent Source of Antioxidants
  • May Have Anti-Aging Benefits
  • May Help Prevent Cancer Growth
  • May Improve Blood Sugar Control
  • May Boost Energy Levels
  • May Help You Lose Weight
  • May Improve Cholesterol Levels
  • May Help Boost the Immune System
               


Ingredients for 10 to 15 balls:

dried Goji berries - 1 cup
pitted Dates - 1 cup
raw Almonds - 1 cup
Pumpkin seeds - 1 tbsp (optional)
Cardamom powder/Cinnamon powder - 1/4 tsp
Raisins - 1 tbsp


No cook directions:

  • Wash the goji berries to remove impurities & dry them off.
  • Coarsely powder the almonds in any kind of food processor. Transfer the contents into a mixing bowl.
  • Next, pulverize the goji berries into powder. Transfer into the bowl.

  • Grind the dates, as much as you can. Add it to the mixing bowl.
  • Add other ingredients powdered or whole to the mixing bowl. Stir/mix thoroughly and make into balls.
  • Store in an airtight container & enjoy your nutritious snack when hunger strikes.

Notes:

  • You can try substituting other nuts, dry fruits and seeds as needed to make your own combination.

            This recipe was noted down from a health based tv show and is from my recipe diary. Sharing the joy with my fellow bloggers at Sri Valli's CCC # 43 - April Week 5.

April 2, 2017

Cabbage Masala Poriyal

How to make Cabbage Masala Poriyal


              Continuing with last week's theme (cabbage), here is another spicy accompaniment for your Indian platter; be it with roti or rice. The speciality of this dish is in the ground masala with peppercorns, red chillies, coconut, cumin & coriander. You can substitute the channa dal with toor dal, if you like. Also, the same recipe can be used to make a dry curry or a kootu/wet curry according to your needs. I have tried both varieties & they are both excellent. You can check out other recipes that use cabbage as a main ingredient here. Sharing this delicious recipe with my fellow bloggers at CCC # 43 April Week 1




Ingredients for 4 servings -

finely cut cabbage - 3 cups
chopped onion - 1 no:
boiled kadalai paruppu/channa dal -1/2 cup
tamarind paste - 1/4 tsp
salt to taste
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
jaggery - 1 tsp (optional)
oil - 2 tbsp
curry leaves - a sprig

Grind together -

dry red chillies - 2 no:s
fresh/frozen grated coconut - 3 tbps
coriander seeds - 2 tsp
cumin seeds - 1 tsp
black pepper - 1/2 tsp
water - just enough to grind



Stove top method -

  • Cook cabbage separately  in just enough water or steam till soft.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan, add cumin seeds, curry leaves, onion & fry till golden.
  • Now add the ground paste & cook until the raw smell disappears.
  • Add salt, jaggery, tamarind paste, boiled channa dal and cooked cabbage. 
  • Sprinkle water, is needed & let simmer for a few minutes. 
  • Serve with roti or rice.

Notes:

  • You can make this recipe as a curry/porial or as a kootu/gravy. For kootu, cook the cabbage & dal very soft & increase the quantity of water.





Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...