Monday, January 5, 2015

Coconut Chutney - தேங்காய் சட்னி - Side dish for Idlies and dosais - step by step

     Coconut chutney is a very basic chutney or dip, It is a staple in many house hold of Tamil Nadu. A perfect chutney depends on the combination of coconut and roasted gram dhal. If you increase the amount of roasted gram dhal, then the taste will not be accomplished. The perfect white colour of the chutney depends on the coconut. The brown skin of the coconut has to be removed,before grinding. We can also add shredded coconut to get white colour of the chutney. 


Ingredients:
1.Coconut pieces - 4 to 5
2.Green chillies- 3 to 4
3.Onion - a small piece
4.Roasted gram dhal - 3 tbsp
6.Salt - to taste
7.Water - as needed

To temper:
1.Oil - 1 tsp
2.Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
3.Urad dal- 1/2 tsp
4.Curry leaves - few
5.Hing - a pinch (optional)



Method:
* Usually, the proportion of coconut to roasted gram should be high to get a very tasty chutney. Some even skip the addition of roasted gram dhal . Adding little onion will give a spicy kick to the chutney.Addition od green chillies ,can be altered to our taste. My MIL will add one or two garlic pods instead of onion.
 
* Take all the ingredients in a jar ,add little salt and grind it first, without adding water. If you add water initially, then your chutney will not be perfect. First pulse the ingredients coarsely and add little water to the mixie.Grind it to a smooth paste,adding little water.Adjust salt to your taste. Some will prefer the chutney to be thick. So add water according to your consistancy.


* Take a pan, add oil. Temper with mustard seeds,urad dal and curry leaves. Pour it to the grinded mixture and mix it. Some prefer to add little hing to the tempering. It will give a nice aroma to the chutney.

Serve it with idli or dosai.
Notes:
* We can use shredded coconut too.
* To get a perfect white chutney, the outer brown skin has to be removed.
* We can also skip the addition of roasted gram dhal and use only coconut.
* We can also substitute green chillies with red chillies, but it will change the colour.
* Addition onion gives a kick to the chutney, but you can skip that, if you don't like it.
* Adding hing, while tempering will give a nice aroma to the chutney.
* chutney can be stored in refrigerator for 2 days.


Linking this to "Friendship 5 Series ", started by "Savitha Ramesh" and "Geetha Achal"

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Paav Buns - Eggless Dinner Rolls recipe - Step by step

          Paav buns or dinner rolls , are usally served with bhaji or a mashed vegetable sabzi. Paav bhaji is a very famous street food from Mumbai. My dream come true recipe. The paav was very soft and delicate to touch.Initially, I was not aware of how, big the rolls are going to rise. I used a 8 inch square pan. But after baking it, thought ,I should have used 10 inch pan. Because, the rolls started to rise drastically and overcrowded. Next time, going to use a bigger pan. for the rolls to bake evenly. Enjoy these lovely paavs for your dinner.The rcipe calls for bread flour, if you don't have bread flour, use all purpose flour. But increase the quantity, till your dough is non sticky and pilable. If it is sticky, use some more flour.
Preparation time : 10 mins
Proofing time : 1 hour
Baking time : 30 mins
Cooling time :20 mins
Recipe : Here

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups Bread flour plus few more for dusting 
  • 2-1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm Water
  • 1-1/4 cups milk ( replace 1/4 cups with 1 beaten egg if you prefer)
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 3/4 tsp Salt

Method:
* Take yeast,sugar and water in a bowl .Let it sit for 3 minutes or untill the yeast turns fuming mixture. When your yeast turns into a fuming mixture within 10 minutes, then it is a sign that the yeat is active. Always try to use the yeast,within the expiry date.If not the bread will not rise properly.
* Take a bowl and melt butter with milk. Keep it aside, till it cools a bit.If you want to use egg, we can replace 1/4 cup milk with one egg and use only 1 cup of milk. The egg should be beaten well.
* Now take flour,salt in a bowl. If you don't have bread flour, we can add normal all purpose flour .But use 31/2 cups of all purpose flour for 3 cups of bread flour.The dough should be soft and smooth. It should not be sticky.
* Now add the melted butter and milk to the bowl and mix it.If the mixture is too runny, we can add flour more.
* Transfer the mixture to the stand mixer now. Knead the dough for atleast 10 minutes. We can knead the dough using our hands too.But make sure the dough is soft and smooth and not sticky.
* Place the kneaded dough in a greased glass bowl .Cover it with a cling wrap and place it inside a oven,with lights turned on. Or if you are living in a humid country, then place the bowl on a warm place.
* The dough would have doubled in its volume after 30 minutes. See who is so eager to punch down the dough. Its my younger one ,keen to open the wrap.
* Dust the working space with flour. Punch down the dough to release the bubbles in the dough. Take a rolling pin roll into 1 inch thicknessed rectangle. Using a sharp knife, divide the dough into 12 squares.We can also wiegh each portion to have a equally divided paav buns.
* Grease a 10 inch square pan with oil. I used a small 8 inch square pan. At the end I thought that the rolls over flowed the pan. So use a bigger pan for the buns to rise ,without over crowding the pan.
 
* Roll the dough into small balls .Place them in the pan, with little space between them.(But my pan, didin't have much space, so use a big pan.) The balls should be equal sized, if not they will not rise uniformlly.Cover the pan with cling wrap and place it in a warm place to rise it .It took for me almost 30 minutes, for the rolls to rise ,double the size.Pre heat the oven  @350 Degrees .
* After 30 minutes, the rolls doubled beautifully.Brush the rolls with milk.If you want ,we can brush with beaten egg.Bake the paav buns .Bake the buns for 20 - 25 mins. Once you get the brown spots on the paav, its time for us to take them out. Since,my pan was over crowded, I baked for 5 more minutes, for it to cook evenly. Remove the pan out of the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool completely.
* Initally, it will be hard on the outer side. But when we tap it , we can hear a hollow sound, this represents the doneness of the buns.Cool it completely and slice it. Have with butter and jam or use as a base for Paav bhaji.Finish the rolls within 2 to 3 days.
Notes:
* The milk and butter should be at room temperature,while we are adding it to the flour.
* We can also replace the bread flour by all purpose flour by 31/2 cups.
* The yeast should be active. If not the rolls will not rise properly.
* Always bake the rolls in lower temperature.
*  Divide the rolls into equally sized and wieghed balls.
* Bake them in a pan, which can hold all the rolls,with space.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Rose Cookies - Achappam - அச்சு முறுக்கு - Christmas Recipes - Step by Step

Achu murukku or rose cookies are traditionally prepared during Christmas. It resembles like that of snow flakes. So its a tradition worldwide to make these so called " Fried Rosette Cookies" for Christmas.I tasted these murukku, when our Christian friends shared it for Christmas.My love for this has grown like anything. My mom will prepare these murukku and send it to me . But she will always complain the intense labour it involves. But the taste makes the work woth for it.Whenever ,I think of this murukku, it will be like a mountain for me. But when we dig into the recipes and tips, it becomes so easy. It also depends on the consistancy of the batter.I recently bought the mould from India. When I asked my mom for the recipe,she told me the secret of preparing rice flour at home. So prepared the flour at home and made the batter. At first , my batter became runny,so I started adding maida. If you want, you can prepare the murukku by using just rice flour and eggs without maida.The mould for achu muruku has to be immersed in oil for a day .Enjoy these achu murukku for this christmas.

Soaking Time : 2 hours
Preparation time : 10 mins
Resting time : 30m mins
Cooking time : 30 mins
Yield : 51
Ingredients:
1.Home made rice flour  -  4 cups
2.Maida - 3/4 cup
3.Egg - 1
4.Powdered Sugar - 2 cups
5.Coconut milk - 2 cups (approx)
6.Salt - 1/2 tsp
7.Black sesame seeds - 2 tsp (optional)


Method:
* Prepare the rice flour as in the link .The flour should be fresh and bit wet.So when you make the flour, immediately mix the ingredients .Don't let the flour dry.Store bought flour will not be suitable for making achu murukku. I used my new mould for making achu murukku.So I let my mould sit on a bowl of oil for a day.This will make our work easy.
 
* Take a mixing bowl, add rice flour,salt,powdered sugar and maida.Mix them well.My mom used to prepare achu murukku using rice flour alone.But adding maida ,will give  volume to the murukku. When you think that your batter is bit runny, you can add some maida to make it thick.But never use store bought rice flour instead.It will make the murukku hard.
 * Now slowly add coconut milk to the mixing bowl and whisk it using a balloon whisk.Keep it aside for atleast half an hour, for the gluten to form. This resting helps us to get beautifull murukku. Always have excess amount of coconut milk, so that when our batter is thick, we can add coconut milk to the bowl and make it to the right consistancy.If you run out of coconut milk, we can add little water.
 * After half an hour, heat a wide pan of oil. The oil should be atleast 2 inch in the pan. That is, the mould should be able to immerse into the oil. Heat the oil, immerse the mould into the hot oil.This helps us to drop the rosettes into the oil, without getting stuck to the mould. Just for a minute do this.
* Now add egg to the mixture and whisk it well.If you want to skip egg, then you can replace 1/4 cup of maida instead of egg. Eggs acts as a binding agent for the murukku.

* Now dip the mould into the bowl. You will hear a hisss sound, since the mould is hot. Dip the mould, such a way that the batter coats 3/4 of the mould. Don't dip the mould fully, then the murukku will not get released from the mould.At this time, we can adjust the consistancy of the batter. If the batter doesn't coat well, then it is runny, so add maida.
* Now plunge the mould with batter into the oil. It will cook instantly.Keep the flame always medium .If it is high, then the murukku will turn dark soon.


* After a minute, try to shake the mould, so that the murukku drops into the oil. If the murukku gets stuck to the mould, use a fork or a spoon to release it from the mould. But always remove the murukku from the mould, after it is half cooked, if not they will not get good shape. Always dip the mould in hot oil first and then into the batter. If not the murukku will not come out of the mould.
* Let the murukku gets cooked for a minute on each side in medium flame. Mean while, let the mould get rested in the hot oil for a minute. Remove the cooked murukku from the oil and strain them in paper towel.Initially, the murukku will be soft, after coming out of the oil, but after some time, it will become crunchy. So don't cook the murukku for too long, then it will turn colour.
* Similarly, cook the murukku by dipping in the hot oil first and then into the batter. Strain thme in paper towel and store them in air tight container. They have to be cooled completely before storing.


 Notes:
* Perfect murukku depends on the  consistancy of the batter.It should not be too thin or too thick. If it is too thick, dilute it , by adding cocconut milk little by little.If it is too thin, add maida  .
* Rice flour has to be made at home, if not they will not be crispier.
* Let the batter be soaked for atleast 30 minutes, for the maida to blend with the rice flour in the batter.
* Adjust the amount of sweetness ,to your taste.
* I didn't had black sesame seeds, so I skipped it.
* Always have excess coconut milk with you.
* The mould can be soaked in oil for a day, for the mould to get used.
* Always cook the murukku in medium flame , if not it will turn dark soon.
* Finish this murukku within 3 to 4 days, as it has coocnut milk in it.



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Monday, December 15, 2014

Double chocolate brownie- Best brownies - Christmas special recipes - Step by step

      This brownie, I prepared it 2 years back and forgot it totally.This is the best brownie ,ever I tasted.Its is easy to prepare,we can prepare it in short notice.This would be apt for this christmas season.Just one bowl is involved in this process.Rohith enjoyed these brownies to the core.Bake these brownies and make your festive season,more memorable. 
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time : 25 mins
Yield : 16 pieces

Ingredients:
  • 300g dark chocolate
  • 200g salted butter 
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 2 c sugar,powdered
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

Method:
*Pre heat the oven for 350 degrees F.Grease a 8 inch square pan Take a pan of half filled water and bring it to boil. Take a   bowl and place the butter,chocolate chips and coffee powder.Melt them ,till they are shiny and liquidy. Now add sugar little by little and whisk it. till the sugar is melted.


* Sift flour and cocoa powder and mix it together.Add eggs one by one and whisk, till it is incorporated well into the mixture.Now slowly mix the dry ingredients to the mixture.Pour the batter into the pan and tap, it to remove the air bubbles.Bake the brownie for 25 to 30 minutes or till the tooth pick comes out clean.

* Cool the brownies in the pan completely.Invert them over a greased wire rack.Use a buttered knife Slice them and enjoy.  

Notes:
* Take care,that the steam doesn't enter the bowl,while melting it in double boiler, if not the chocolate will sieze .
* The brownie has to be cooled down completely in the pan,before it is sliced.
* Sieve the cocoa powder in the flour,if not the batter will be not smooth.
* If you don't have salted butter, then use unsalted butter and add 1/4 tsp of salt to the dry mixture.
* Tap the pan,to remove the air bubbles.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Paal Paniyaram - பால் பணியாரம் -Step by step

          Today is the third day of the series "Village food" .Today we are going to see "Paal paniyaram". Paal Paniyaram is nothing but, urad dal dumplings soaked in coconut milk and served as a dessert. This is a very authentic sweets of Tamil Nadu. Kids will love these simple and humble paniyaram. We can make savoury paniyaram, by adding some tempered onion,green chillies and shredded coconut. Grinding the batter in a wet grinder will yield soft paniyarams. But if you are going to grind in small quantities, then we can grind the batter in a mixie. If you are grinding the batter in mixie, then soak them in hot water. This will make the paniyaram soft and make them to absorb more coconut milk.Check the recipe and try it. 

Ingredients:
For the Paniyaram:
1.Urad dal - 1/2 cup
2.Raw rice - 1/2 cup
3.Salt - a pinch
4.Hot water - 1 cup
5.Oil - for frying

For the coconut milk :
1.Coconut - 1/2
2.Hot Water - as needed
3.Cardamom  - 2 to 3
4.Sugar - 3 tbsp or as needed

Method:


* Take the raw rice and urad dal and wash it. Wash the rice and urad dal for atleast 4 times. Soak it for atleast an hour. Grund it in a mixie or a grinder. Take care ,not to heat the batter,while grinding. If not the paniyarams will become hard.Since it was a small batch, I used my mixie, if not gridner is very apt for grinding paniyaram batter.The batter should be thick, as that of a idli batter.
* The batter should be nice like this picture.Add little salt to the batter and keep it ready. Meanwhile,lets start preparing the coconut milk. Its very easy, if we make the coconut milk, while the rice is soaking. Grind the coconut with cardamom to a fine paste. This will make sure for us to get good amount of coconut milk.
*Now start adding hot water to the grinded mixture and squeeze coconut milk our of it. If needed,we can grind the coconut paste, after extracting milk from it. Now add more hot water and extract coconut milk .This is called second milk. The use of hot water, will help us to get good amount of coconut milk. Add sugar to the coconut milk and keep it ready.
* Now heat a pan with oil. Slowly drop small amount of batter in the oil.Cook the paniyarams well, but not crispy. As soon as the paniyarams are taken out of the oil,strain them ina paper towel.Then  drop them in the hot water bowl. This will make the paniyarams soft. But If you are going to grind the batter in a wetgrinder, then no need to soak them in hot water.

* Then take the paniyarams out and squeeze excess water and rop them in the prepared coconut milk. Serve them as such. This goes well as a dessert in parties .

Notes:
* The batter should be thick, if not we will have tails in paniyaram.
* The batter should not become hot,while grinding,if not the paniyaram  will become hard.
* Soaking of paniyaram in hot water ,will make the paniyaram soft.
* If your paniyaram itself soft, then don't soak them in hot water. Just soak them directly in coconut milk.
* Grinding of coconut with cardamom will bring out the flavour of cardamom .
* You can also add cardamom powder.
* If we are calorie consiuous, we  can mix half the amount of coconut milk with plain milk.



Linking this to "Friendship 5 Series ", started by "Savitha Ramesh" and "Geetha Achal"

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Son in Law Special - Mutton Khurma - மாப்பிள்ளை குருமா - Step by step

        Mapillai Kuruma is the name of this curry, as it was prepared during the day, when son in law visits ,his in law's house, after marriage. This ,we call as "Maru" or "Maru veedu". This story was told ,by my MIL ,which has happened in her days. Its that special, this kuruma has . This kuruma is prepared using mutton or cookd vegetables. This kuruma is thick and has all of its flavours from the spices used. Even now ,when we go to India, my Mil will prepare this curry. It will be so flavourfull to have it with idli,dosai ,rice or roti. I got this recipe from my MIL and prepared it. It was fantastic. Check this authentic mutton kuruma and make your sundays so flavourfull.

Ingredients:
For the Curry :
1.Mutton - 1/2 kg
2.Onion - 1 (big)
2.Tomato - 1
3.Green chillies- 4
5.Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
6.Garlic pods - 4 (crushed)
7.Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
8.Fennel seeds- 1/2 tsp
9.Curry leaves - few
10.Cilantro - few
11.Oil - as needed
12.Salt - to taste
12.Water as needed
13.Yogurt - 1/4 cup
14.Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tsp

To Roast and grind :
1.Coconut pieces - 3
2.Poppy seeds- 1/2 tsp
3.Green chillies- 2
4.Ginger pieces- 1/2 inch
5.Roasted gramdhal (pottukadalai) - 2 tbsp



* Wash the mutton several times,till all the blood is removed. Take a pressure pan, add mutton,turmeric powder and ginger garlic paste.Add 2 cups of water and pressure cook for about 3 whistles or untill, the mutton is cooked well. Strain the cooked mutton pieces and keep it aside. Reserve this mutton stock for the curry.

* Take a pan, add little oil and roast coconut pieces,poppy seeds.green chillies and ginger. Cool them completely ,add pottukadalai to the mixture. Grind them to fine paste,adding little water .

* The grinded mixture should be fine paste. The finer the paste, the curry will be thick. If not the curry will be runny. Take the mortar and pestel and grind the cinnamon,fennel seeds and garlic pods. Just poud it.

* Take a pan, add oil add the pounded garlic pods, cinnamon ,fennel seeds and curry leaves.Add chopped onion and sprinkle little salt. Ad turmeric powder. Let the onino turns translucent.

* Now add chopped tomato and sprinkle little salt . Let the tomatoes turn mushy. Add coriander powder and saute.Take care not to burnt the masala.

* Now add the grinded masala and roast it along with onion mixture. Now add the cooked mutton and the stock. Mix it together well. At last add beaten yogurt and adjust salt to taste.

Cover the pan and turn the flame to low heat.Let the curry oozes out oil.At last garnish with chopped cilantro.

Notes:
* The mutton has to be cooked well.
* The amount of green chillies can be altered according to your taste.
* Coconut paste makes the gravy thick, so add according to your wish.
* Don't skip the addition of poppy seeds. It adds nice aroma to the curry.
* We can also skip the addition of mutton and replace with cooked vegetables.
* This kuruma, is prepard with the heat of the green chillies alone,no chilli powder is used.

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