Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pineapple Kesari - பைனாப்பிள் கேசரி - Navarathri special neivedhyam - Step by step

Kesari is usually served as neivedhyam to the goddess ,during navarathri. I just added a twist to it ,by adding pineapple to it. It will taste great, compared to the ordinary kesari. The ratio is very easy to remember. 1:2:3 of Rava: Sugar : water. Yes its that easy. Only point here is , we are replacing 11/2 cup of water with pineapple juice. To get a perfect kesari, two things are important. one is ,the rava has to be cooked completely, if not the kesari will not have a good texture . To achieve that, we should always, cook the rava in low flame. The other point is, use oil in making kesari.  Because it gives a shinier texture, when compared to ghee. Always use ghee at the end, for the kesari to have a good flavour. 
Happy navarathri to all !!!

Preparation time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 15 minutes
Serves : 4

!.Pineapple - 1/ 2 cup (chopped)
2.Rava - 1 cup
3.Sugar -2 cups
4.Water - 1 1/2 cups
5.Raisins - few
6.Cashews - few
7.Ghee - 1/4 cup
8.Pineapple juice - 1 1/2 cups
9.Pineapple essence - few drops.
10.Yellow food color - a dash.
11.Oil - 1/2 cup

* Take ghee in a pan, heat it. Fry the cashews and keep it aside, when it turns golden brown. Fry the raisins, till they blow like balloons. Dry roast the rava in the same pan. Take care not to black the rava. The rava should give out nice aroma. that is the perfect time to stop the process of roasting. Remove the rava and keep it aside.
* In the same pan, add little ghee and fry the pineapple pieces.  Mix water and pineapple juice together . The ratio can vary according to the quantity of the pineapple juice. For example, if you have 1 cup of juice ,then add 2 cups of water to make it 3 cups. So the ratio of rava to water is 1:3.Now pour the the water + juice to the pan and bring it to boil. Add few drops of yellow food colour to the pan.
* Once the water is at its boiling point, add rava slowly to the pan. Mix it without any lump. Let the rava cook well in medium flame. If not the kesari will have a grainy texture. Add oil little by little.So when the rava is cooked completely, add sugar to the pan and mix. 
* At last, add ghee to the pan and cook. The kesari, should come out like halwa, without sticking to the pan.This is the right consistancy for the kesari.Now add the pineapple essence. Always add the flavourings at the end, if not it will evaporate while cooking. At last garnish it with fried cashews and raisins.Serve the kesari as such or grease a plate with ghee and spread the kesari on it. Use a cookie cutter and cut out the kesari like cookies as I did.

* Always roast the rava to have a kesari with fine texture.
* The rava should be cooked well , before adding the sugar.
* Oil gives a shiny texture to the kesari, so always use 1 part of ghee and 2 parts of oil.
* We can also roast and grind the pineapple pieces to a paste, instead of having chunks in the kesari.
* Pineapple essence is optional, if you don't have ,just skip it.
* You can increase or decrease the amount of sugar according to your taste.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sweet Puttu - வெல்லப் புட்டு - Navarathri Special - Step by step

        Sweet puttu is a traditional sweet,prepared during Navarathri . It is prepared with rice flour and jaggery. I have tasted this puttu, once in my friend's house, when I went for golu. Her mom prepared it very well. I was craving to make it for so long. It is quite long process, but its taste worth the work. I was quite impressed with its taste. Try this delicious puttu for the neivedhyam. We can make the puttu using rice cooker. Check my "Ragi puttu " ,which I have prepared using rice cooker. 

Preparation time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 15 minutes
Serves : 1

1.Rice flour - 1 cup
2.Grated jaggery - 3/4 cup or less
3.Grated coconut - 1/4 cup
4.Water - as needed
5.Cardamom powder - a big pinch
6.Edible camphor - a pinch (optional)
7.Salt - as needed
8.Ghee - 1 tsp
Add caption

* We can either use store bought rice flour or can make it at home . Check the link ,to make rice flour at home. Sieve the flour twice. The flour should be lump free ,to get soft puttu. Dry roast the flour in a pan, till it gives out nice aroma. We can also steam the plain flour ,instead of roasting. Let it cool completely.

* Take 1/4 cup of water and mix salt to it. Sprinkle this salt water to the rice flour ,little by little.Don't add water fully  to the flour.

* The flour should be wet ,but not completely. For example, take the flour and press it in your hand, you should be able to form a shape out of it.

* But, when you crush it, it should crumble to fine powder,as shown in picture.

Now, take a damp cloth,transfer the rice flour to it. Tie the cloth well and form a pouch.

Take a idli pan, add water and place a idli plate . Keep the pouch inside .

* Steam it for atleast 10 minutes.We can also steam the rice flour in a rice cooker.

* The rice flour would have cooked. Now take the puttu out and mix it with a spoon or fork. Break the lumps, which are formed ,while steaming. If you can, sieve the puttu again to make it lump free.Cool the flour completely. Now , if you don't like jaggery, we can just add sugar ,cardamom powder and coconut to the puttu and have it as such.

* Now let us make the syrup for rice puttu. Take a pan ,add grated jaggery to it. Add water to the pan,till the jaggery is covered with.

* Boil the jaggery,till it dissolves. Now strain the syrup and remove the impurities. Again  boil the jaggery for another 5 minutes or untill .it reaches soft ball consistancy,  That, is when we drop the syrup on a plate of water,it should be firm. And when we take it out, it should form a ,ball. That is the right consistancy. Below is the jaggery syrup ,with right consistancy. You can check my Adhirasam post to know, how to make jaggery syrup ,with step by step pictures.

* Now add the ,jaggery syrup to the puttu and mix. The syrup should be hot,while mixing. Don't add the syrup fully to the puttu. Taste it, if you feel it so sweet, then reserve the syrup. Mix cardamom powder,ghee and edible camphor. At last, add shredded coconut and serve.

Serve this puttu ,while it is warm.!!!

* Sieve the flour twice or thrice,to get a lump free puttu.
* Initially, we can roast the flour or steam it.
* Always the check the consistancy of the flour by pressing it. If you add too much water, then the puttu will have lumps.Add less water to the flour.
* Edible camphor is optional, if you don't have ,just skip it.
* The puttu should be cool, when the hot syrup is added.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Easy Green plantain chips - வாழைக்காய் சிப்ஸ் - Weekend Special - step by step

              I was on a long vacation to India. It was the most awaited wedding of our family. It was my brother's wedding. He is a Radiologist married to a Gynec. Yeah both of them of interconnected field. The marriage preparations started 2 months back and was a big fat wedding.`The wedding card distribution and shopping were on full swing, when I landed in India on july 9th. One week before, the marriage,we all gathered at our home +Tirunelveli . It was a fun filled 7 days. There will be food prepared in bulk at one side, kids playing at the other side, adults playing cards on the couch. The house was busy all the time.I prepared a big pot full of mutton biriyani for the guests. It was always a pleasure to be surrounded by our kith and kins. I wish I could write a separate post about the wedding. But indeed, I am running out of time. So in a nutshell, India vacation was so hearty.
       Coming to the recipe, green plantain chips is a very easy snack,which can be prepared without any hassle. It works great for small parties. The key in getting crunchy chips, is the thickness of the green plantain. I didn't have any slicer to slice the green plantain. Just used my peeler and sliced it. To my surprise, it came out so thin. The plantain should not have any moisture, while frying, if not it will not turn crispy. These 2 key points will guide to get a crunchy snack. This was in my draft ,just posting it to catch up with u people. So bored to prepare something new and click. Will catch you guys later with more interesting recipes.

Preparation time : 15 mins
Cooking time :      10 mins
Yield : 200 gm (approx)

1.Green plantain - 1 (big)
2.Salt - as needed
3.Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
4.Oil - for frying

* Wash the green plantain and peel the skin. Slice the green plantain using a slicer. Since I didn't have slicer, used my peeler to slice the green plantain. Peeler works great and slices the green plantain thinly.
* Take a bowl of water and immerse the green plantain in it. This will prevent the plantain from getting dark colour. 
* Take a hand towel and dry the green plantain on it. This will remove the excess moisture from the green plantain. To avoid the green plantain from getting wet, we can also slice the green plantain directly on hot oil. But we should do it quickly.
* Take a pan of oil and heat it . The oil should sizzle , when we drop the green plantain in the oil.Drop the dried green plantain in batches. Cook the chips, on both the sides, till the sizzling sound stops. 

* Strain the chips on a hand towel or a tissue. let the excess oil get absorbed by the towel.
* Toss some salt,chilli powder and mix. Store in air tight container . I know, it cannot be stored,as we munch it now and then.

Serve with tea and enjoy !!!

* Always ,make sure that the green plantain is dry enough to fry. If not the green plantain will not become crispy.
* The oil should be hot ,if not the chips will not be crispy.
* we can also add some pepper powder to spice up the chips instead of chilli powder.
* The chips can stay fresh for 3 to 4 days, if we store them in air tight container.
* Similarly we can prepare potato,tapioca,sweet potato chips.
* Alternativel, we can also bake the chips to decrease the calories.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

1-2-3 Pancake - Eggless Chocolate Pancake

      This is the most easiest pancake, ever in my life. It doesn't need any beating or whipping, as we do for our pancakes with eggs. The oil replaces egg and gives a gliding effect to the pancakes. With 3 easy steps, we can prepare the pancake in no time.Just add the dry ingredients with the wet and cook. Its that easy. Wven kids can prepare this .

* Check my fluffy pancake recipe here
             * Check the Home made chocolate recipe here. 

Source : here.
Preparation time : 5 minutes
Cooking time : 5 minutes
Yield : 8 approx

Dry ingredients:
1.Flour - 1 1/4 cups
2.Baking powder - 1 tsp
3.Cocoa - 4 tbsp
4.Salt - 1/4 tsp

Wet ingredients:
1.Oil - 4 1/2 tbsp
2.Vanilla - 2 tsp
3.Milk - 11/2 cups

Step 1:
* Take the flour,cocoa powder,salt  and baking powder in a pan. Sieve them all together to get a lump free batter. This will also make the baking powder to mix well with the flour.Take milk.oil and vanilla in a separate bowl and mix them well.
Step 2 :
* Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture .Use a wire whisk to mix the wet ingredients with the dry . The batter should be lump free.
Step 3 :
* Heat a tawa , pour a laddle full of batter on the tawa.Don't spread it . The batter will spread automatically.Within a minute,we will be able to see pores on top of the pancake. Now flip it around and after a minute. remove it from the tawa.

Serve it with butter and drizzle with chocolate syrup.Pancakes tastes good, when they are served hot.

* Don't alter the amount of the ingredeints.
* Cook the pancakes, till we see the pores on top, if not it may become rubbery.
* we can alter the flavour with almonds extract.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Onion samosa - சமோசா - Step by step - Friendship 5 Series

       For this month's "Friendship 5 series", the theme is going to be "Childhood memories ".  When I thought of what to blog about, this special samosa came to my mind immediately. When I was studying in my middle school @ St.Marys school, Chengalpet, our school canteen will have these samosas,some candies during our morning break. When the bell rings, we will go and flood the small area, where these samosas were sold. It would cost us around 50 paise for small onion samosas or rupee 1 for big punjabi samosas. It will not be a daily routine, but whenever ,mom gives us pocket money ( around rupee 1) , I will not miss to buy these samosas.
    These small happiness , can never be bought with anything else in the world. Those were days, where we will be happy about small things. May be the search for good food , in the early ages, would have made me a happy food blogger now:). 
Coming to the recipe, these are small samosa, which can be prepared in short period. I have given the short cut to make many samosa sheets at a time. We can also use samosa sheets, which are readily available in Indian stores and use them to prepare the samosas.The filling can be altered accordingly.

Preparationg time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 30 minutes
Yield : 10 medium samosas

For the dough :
1.Maida - 1 cup + 2 tbsp (for dusting)
2.Oil - 1 tbsp
3.Salt - 1/2 tsp
4.Water - as needed

For the filling :
1.Onion - 1 big
2.Green chillies - 2
3.Chilli powder - 1 tsp
4.Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
5.Garam masala - 1/4 tsp (optional)
6.Salt - as needed
7.Oil - for frying + tempering
8.Cilantro - few

For the glue:
1.Maida - 2 tbsp
2.Water - 1 tbsp

* Thinly slice the onions lenthwise. Take a pan, add oil and saute onions,chopped green chillies. When the onion turns transparent, add chilli powder,turmeric powder and garam masala.Saute till the raw smell of the masala is removed.
* Finally add the chopped cilantro to the onion . Cool the filling. While the filling is cooling, lets prepare the outer cover. Take a bowl, add maida,salt and oil. Add water little by little and form a smooth dough. The dough should be bit stiff. Not too stiff. Cover the dough and let it rest for atleast 10 minutes.

* Flour the working surface. Divide the dough into equal sized balls. Roll the dough into an oval shaped roti. Trim the edges to form a rectangle.Now , apply oil on top of the rectangle and sprinkle little flour on top.Similarly roll all the other doughs into rectangles , applying oil and flour in between. This way, we can prepare the outer cover of the samosa in a batch, instead of working on every single samosa.

* Now heat a tawa and place the stacked rectangles. Let them cook for a minute, on both sides. Now remove the rectangles , into thin sheets. As in the picture on the right.
* Take a small cup, add maida and water to form a simple paste. Roll the rectangle sheet into a cone. Scoop a small amount of onion filling and insert it inside the samosa, like that of the picture in the right. Now apply the maida paste on the corners and fold it . The samosa should be sealed well. If not the filling will come out , while frying.
* Prepare the samosas similarly . Take a pan of oil and heat it. Fry the samosas in medium hot oil, in batches.The samosa has to be cooked in medium hot oil throughout. We can also,fry the samosas till they are half cooked and double fry them to get crispier samosas.Strain the samosas on a hand towel. Serve it with ketchup or mint chutney.
                                   Also check my "Punjabi samosa " recipe here.

* The dough should be kneaded well. If the dough is so loose, then the samosas will drink lot of oil.
* The spice level of the filling can be altered according to our taste.
* We can also partially fry the samosas and freeze them in a ziploc bag. When we need , we can just fry them again to serve it crispier.
* We can also add 1/2 cup of maida and 1/2 cup of wheat flour to get a healthier samosa.
* We can also add some poha to the filling. This will absorb the moisture of the onion and make the samosa crispy.

Linking this to "Friendship Five " series started by "Geetha Achal" and "Savitha Ramesh"

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Roasted coconut candy - கமர் கட்டு - step by step - Friendship 5 series

Next in Childhood memory series, I have kamarkat. Its one of the fast moving candies in petty shops.Kamarkat is a hard candy made of roasted coconut and jaggery. This is a one of the favourite candies of kids of 1980 's. This is a traditional cadies, which can be available in small petty shops in our home town. The colour of the kamarkat depends on the colour of the jaggery. I got a light colour jaggery from Indian store, hence the colour. If not the colour of the candy should be dark brown. 

Preparation time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 10 minutes
Yield :12 approx

1. Shredded coconut - 1 cup
2.Shredded jaggery - 1 1/4 cup to 1 1/3 cup
3.Rice flour - 1 tbsp
4.Cardamom pwdr - a pinch
5.Ghee - 1 tbsp
6.Water- as needed

Method : 
* Shred the coconut and jagger and keep it ready. I have used 1 1/4 cup of jaggery, if you have a really sweet tooth, then increase it to 1 1/2 cups.
* Take a heavy bottomed pan, add ghee and heat it. Roast the shredded coconut in ghee .The whole process has to take place in medium flame.If not the coconut will turn colour quickly, without getting roasted well.

* Here is the roasted coconut. Always use heavy bottomed pan to roast the coconut, if not it will change colour quickly. Transfer the coconut to a plate and let it get  cooled. Mean while let us prepare the sryup.
* Take jaggery  in a pan. Cover it with water. Don't add too much water, then syrup will take more time to cook. Let the syrup come to boil. Strain the jaggery syrup using a filter. Transfer the filtered syrup to the pan. Turn the flame to medium low. Now check for the conistancy often. Stop the flame , when the syrup reaches hard ball consistancy.
* If you are using a candy thermometer, then the reading should be,260 degree Farenhiet or 126 degree celcius. We can also check the consistancy, by dropping the syrup on a plate of water. We should be able to take the syrup out like a hard ball, as shown in picture.
* Turn the flame to low, once hard ball consistancy is reached. Slowly add the roasted coconut and rice flour. Mix them well and let them get cooked for a minute. Add the cardamom powder to the mixture and mix.
* Now our kamarkat mixture is ready to be shaped. Grease your hands with ghee or just wet your hands. Scoop out a tbsp of kamarkat mixture and roll them into a ball.

* Take a plate and sprinkle rice flour on top of it. Place the rolled kamarkat on the plate. This prevents the kamarkat from sticking to the plate.
                                     Store the kamarkats in clean air tight containers.

* If the sugar syrup is not right ,then we cannot shape the kamarkats .
* We can increase or decrease the jaggery .
* The coconut has to be roasted well.
* We can store the kamarkat in air tight containers for atleast 2 days.
Linking this to "Friendship Five " series started by "Geetha Achal" and "Savitha Ramesh"

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