Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Home made tutti fruity - Candied Raw Papaya - Perfect for fruit cakes - Step by step

     Tutti fruity has a very good connect between me. When I was 8 or 9 years old, I used to go and visit the petti shop of our family friend. They had tins and tins of varied coloured fruits. We would happily gobble those tiny little coloured treats. My love continued till date. I love any dessert with these cuties. Till , I was in Dallas, used to buy tutti fruity in Indian stores. But after coming here, I couldn't find these. So I made my mind to make it from scratch. The raw papaya in the grocery store ,grabbed my attention. Made these perfect tutti fruity .Its cost effective too, when we make at home. We can store these cadied fruits for atleast a year in fridge. We have to dry the candied fruit  well, if not it will not stay good.
Preparation time : 10 mins
Cooking time : 20 mins
Yield : 4 cups

1.Raw papaya - i big
2.Sugar -  31/2 cups
3.Food coloring - yellow,red,orange and green
4.Water - as needed


* Wash and peel the green papaya. Remove the seeds and decore it. Chop them into fine cubes as shown in the picture. The pieces has to be small, for the sugar syrup to penetrate. I got around 4 cups of papaya pieces.
* Take a wide mouthed pan and add water. Bring it to boil. Turn the flame to medium.Now add the chopped papaya and close the lid for about 20 minutes. The papaya should just be blanched. The papaya should be holding its shape, yet it should have cooked. Strain the papaya pieces and keep them on a hand towel.

* Now lets prepare the sugar syrup. Take a pan, add sugar and pour water, so that it covers the sugar. Bring it to boil . 
* Now add the blanched papaya and cook it in sugar syrup . till the syrup reaches 1 string consistancy. That is the syrup should turn thick.Take 4 different bowls with 4 different colours.

* Now divide the papaya into four batches and  transfer the sugar coated papaya pieces in different bowls.. Mix them to get the colour well. Leave it for atleast 20 minutes or overnight. When the colour is applied on the papaya pieces, drain them well and dry them on paper towel for atleast a day. The papaya pieces ,should be dried completely.It should be like a stone, after drying.
Store the candied papaya pieces in air tight containers. It can be stored in refrigerator or on the counter top. We can add the candied papaya in any kind of cake or dessert.

* The sugar content can be altered according to our taste.
* Papaya should not be cooked till it is mushy.
* The candied papaya should be dried completely, if not the papaya will be spoiled.
* There should not be any moisture in the papaya pieces.
* Store the candied papaya pieces in moisture free containers.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Lamingtons - International Food challenge - Step by step

     For this month's IFC challenge, Joanne of "What's on the list "blog, has gave us recipes, which are from "Australian cuisine". I chose lamingtons, which was in my to do list for so long. Lamingtons are simple cakes, dipped in chocoltae syrup and rolled in shredded coconut. We can use any cake like sponge cake, butter cake and pound cake. The chocolate syrup here, is prepared from scratch. We can also dip the cake in ready made chocolate syrup and roll them in shredded coconut. I have given the butter cake recipe, which I have baked in rice cooker. You can use the normal oven to bake cake.

Source: Joy of baking 
Serves : 10


*Butter Cake 

I have quartered the recipe Chocolate Frosting:
* 4 cups (1 pound) (450 grams) confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
* 1/3 cup (35 grams) unsweetened natural or Dutch processed cocoa powder
* 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
* 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk, at room temperature

* 2 1/2 cups (175 gramsl) unsweetened shredded dried coconut


For preparing Chocolate frosting:
* Take butter,powdered sugar,cocoa powder and milk in pan. Place the pan on a double boiler and cook. The butter will melt with cocoa powder ,powdered sugar and milk. It will be a creamy mix. Don't over cook the sauce, if not it will become blocks. 
 * Slice the cake into small sqaures. Try to prepare the cake , the day before, for a clean cut. Always, trim the cake well.Dip the cake squares in the chocolate sauce using a fork. Place the dipped cake on a wire rack. The excess chocolate sauce will be dripped off .
* Take the shredded coconut in a plate. I just pulsed the coconut in the blender to make it fine. Toss the cake on the dried coconut . Always use a fork to toss the cake with coconut on all sides.
Place the coated lamingtons on a clean plate. Store the lamingtons in air tight container.

* We can also use any pound cake or sponge cake for the lamintons.
* We can also take chocolate chips,butter in a microwave safe bowl and melt the chocolates .
* We can also , dip the cake in ready made chocolate syrup , instead of preparing from scratch.
* If you are going to use fresh coconut, just toss the coconut in a pan , or spread it in a baking tray and toss it in the oven at low temperature.
* Since, we are using coconut, finish the cake withind few days.

Linking this to "International Food Challenge" started by Saraswathi of "Saras's Kitchen".

Friday, November 7, 2014

How to make pongal using a rice cooker - Step by step - Pongal recipe

          Pongal, is a very famous breakfast dish in South Indian Cuisine.It is usually cooked with rice and moong dal. Moong dal, should be added very little to the ratio of rice. Because, moong dal will double its volume. Cooking the pongal in rice cooker,will taste better than the pressure cooker pongal. Because, here rice and dal are cooked slowly. I have added hot water to speed up the process. We can also add cooked moong dal at the end , instead of adding raw dal. Adjust the spice level according  to your taste.Pongal is usually, served with chutney and sambar.

Check my pressure cooker pongal recipe

Preparation time : 30 mins
Cooking time : 30 to 40 minutes
Serves - 4 

1.Raw rice - 1 1/2 cups
2.Moong dal - 1/2 cup
3.Ginger - 1/4 inch
4.Green chilly - 1 
5.Milk- 1/2 cup
6.Hot Water- 6 to 7 cups
7.Salt- to taste.
8.Ghee - 1 tbsp

For tempering:
1.Pepper corns - 1 tsp
2.Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
3.Hing - a pinch
4.Curry leaves
5.Oil - 2 tbsp

 *  Wash rice dal well. Soak them together for atleast 30 mins. We can also slightly fry the dal ,till it turns golden brown and soak it. Turn the rice cooker on and set the "Rice setting " mode. Let the rice cooker be kept open. The bowl will be heated ,then add oil. Let the oil sit for a minute. 
* In a mortar and pestel, crush pepper corns,cumin seeds, green chilly and ginger.Temper, with  pepper corns,  cumin seeds,hing and curry leaves. When the pepper corns are popped, add  ginger and green chilly.The pepper corns, should not be crushed finely.
 * Pour the hot water to the rice cooker. Add salt to taste and mix. Now dump the rice and dal to the rice cooker. Close the rice cooker and let it cook. To fasten the process, we can also cooked dal to the rice cooker. This way, the pongal will get cooked fast. But add the cooked dal, when the rice is 80 % done.
* After 45 minutes, the rice  would have cooked fast. Now add milk to the pongal and mix. The addition of mik, will give out the taste, that we get in restaurants. When the pongal is about to be done, add ghee and mix. Ghee has to be added at the end. It gives out good flavour to the pongal.

          Let the pongal be kept warm ,till it is served. I like my pongal not to be mushy. If  you want, you can add 1 more cup of hot water to the pongal.

* If we want, we can add cooked moong dal at the end.
* Always add ghee at the end.
* We can also add whole pepper corns, instead of crushed, for kids.
* We can also add little turmeric powder to the pongal to ive a light yellow touch.
* Add little hing,if not it will change the taste of the pongal.

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

Thursday, November 6, 2014

How to make rice puttu using a rice cooker - Step by step - Friendship 5 Series

    On the fourth day of our "Rice cooker " series, I am going to show you, how to prepare rice puttu using rice cooker. It is easy and simple to make. Rice puttu is a traditional breakfast for Keralites. I still remember the days we spent at "Nagerkoil", ,at our friend's place. Her parents served us these puttu with nendhram pazham and pappadam. It tasted heavenly. There are  separate moulds for making puttu. They are called "Kozha puttu", where puttu is cooked like that of a tube. We can make the puttu flour ans store it ahead of time. So we just want to steam it ,when needed. It is a perfect and filling breakfast for kids too.
Check the link for Ragi puttu here

Preparation time : 5 mins
Cooking time : 10 -15 mins
Serves : 2

1.Home made rice flour  - 1 cup
2.Shredded coconut - 1/4 cup
3.Sugar - 3 tbsp
4.Cardamom powder - a pinch
5.Water - as needed
6.Salt - to taste

 * Make the rice flour,as I have mentioned in the link. Then for the puttu , we can either fry the flour ,till it gives out nice aroma. Or we can just steam the flour in the rice cooker for 5 mins. Usually, I will fry the flour and store it in my fridge for future use. It remains fresh for months. Take flour and salt in a bowl.

* Sprinkle water little by little to form a crumbly flour. Make sure you don't add too much water to the flour.

* At one point of time, the flour should be able to hold its shape. As you see in the picture, we can make a ball out of the flour.

* Again, when we press the flour, it should crumble . This is the right consistancy for the flour to get steamed.

* Readily, pour water to the inner bowl of the rice cooker.Mix the flour and make it lump free. Take a clean cloth , place the flour in it. 

* Inturn close the cloth to form a packet and place it on a bowl. Keep the bowl inside the rice cooker, which has water . This pic shows,how I kept it.

*Steam it for atleast 10 minutes or untill, the flour is cooked. I kept the settings of my rice cooker to steam. It turned off every 5 mins, so I turned the setting to steam again for 5 mins.

 Mix the puttu with cardamom powder.Rice puttu is ready to serve with some shredded coconut and sugar. Or you can also serve it with some pappad ,banana and kadalai curry. it tasted best ,when served hot.

* Always mix the flour, lump free, if not the puttu will not be good.
* Add less water to the rice flour.
* Every one's rice cooker settings differ from one to another, so steam them accordingly.
* Prepare the flour, fry it ,cool it and store in air tight container and refrigerate. It will stay fresh for months.

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

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How to bake cake on a rice cooker - Butter cake - Step by step

       For the third day of "Rice cooker " series, I chose to bake a cake. So I chose butter cake from "Joy of baking "site. Butter cakes are dense and fluffy. Rice cooker bakes the cake beautifully,as the oven. I kept the setting to "Brown rice", as the rice cooker cooks slowly in this mode. If you don't have this setting in your rice cooker, just turn it to "Cook" mode. When the rice cooker comes out of cook mode, before the cake is baked, turn it on to "Cook mode" again. While demoudling, my cake fall from the bowl and break. Next time, planning to bake a big cake , so it will not break, while releasing from that hieght. Still the cake was too good.This post is helpfull for those, who doesn't have oven. So nothing can stop you from baking a cake. Try this simple cake.

Preparation time: 10mins
Baking time : 35 - 40 mins
Recipe Source : Joy of baking

I halved the recipe:

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purposeflour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsaltedbutter, at room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) granulated whitesugar
2 largeeggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanillaextract
1/2 cup (120 ml) milk, at room temperature


 *  Mix flour,baking powder,salt together.Beat butter  untill smooth. Add sugar little by little and beat it till sugar incorporates into the butter. It will take about 5 - 10 mins for the sugar to get incorporated into the butter.  It is the key in getting well risen and fluffy cakes.

* Now add egg one at a time. Beat it till the batter turns light yellow and fluffy.  Add vanilla extract to the batter. Now dump the dry ingredients in 3 additions, altering milk in between in 2 additions. We should start with flour and end with it.

* Grease the rice cooker bowl with oil. Pour the batter and level it using a spoon. Drop the bowl on the counter for 2 to 3 times to release the air bubbles. 
* Turn the settings to "Brown rice mode". This is the slowest mode of all. So I  preferred that.As cakes has to be cooked slowly. Close the lid and let it cook for almost 35 - 40 mins or untill the skewers come clean. If your rice cooker, doesn't have brown rice mode, then just turn it to cook mode, and if the rice cooker turns to warm mode, just turn it again to cook mode. 

* When the cake is cooked, take the bowl out of the rice cooker. Invert it on a wire rack. After few mins, it will get released from the bowl and land on the wire rack. ( Since my batter was little for the huge rice cooker, my cake fall and broke. So carefully unmould the cake) . The cake tasted as soft as the one, we make in oven. Let it cool, cut and serve.

* Always , Cook the cake, till skewers comes out clean. Don't leave the cake unattended. Check for doneness ,every now and then.
* Careful while unmoulding the cake.
* Cream butter and sugar very well, to get a well risen cake.
* Store cake in room temperature upto a week or frozen upto a month.

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

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Creamy chicken soup using rice cooker - one shot soup - Step by step

           Rice cooker does magic ,by creating several dishes in one shot. When initially,Geetha and me started thinking about the dishes, we were just blank. When we started exploring the recipes, we were astonished by the n number of dishes we can prepare using rice cooker. when we are travelling , this helps us to prepare dishes without a kitchen. Starting from a soup, curry, biriyani,or even a dessert can be prepared using this gadget. One more advantage about this, is we can just add everything and close it. We can , do our other works.When it is finished,it calls us bu a whistle :P  An advantage this series, is I cooked all the dishes, by keeping the rice cooker in my patio. This helped me to get clear pictures ,unlike the ones, which I click in my dark kitchen:( Check this creamy chicken soup and indulge in its taste.

Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time - 25 - 30 mins
Serves - 2

1.Chicken pieces - 1 cup
2.Carrots - 1/4 cup ( chopped)
3.Broccoli - 1/4 cup
4.Chicken broth - 2 cups
5.Salt - to taste
6.Pepper powder - to taste
7.Minced ginger - 1 tsp

For the white sauce :
1.Butter - 1 tbsp
2. Flour - 2 tbsp
3.Milk - 1/2 cup
4.Corn flour - 2 tsp ( optional)


 *  Wash and clean the boneless chicken and chop them into small pieces. Similarly chop the carrots and separate the nroccoli florets. Finely mince the ginger. Ginger is added to take the raw smell of the chicken. It should be finely minced, if not we will get small chunks of ginger, while drinking.Add them to the inner bowl of the rice cooker.

* Now add the chicken broth to the rice cooker. This is very much needed to get a tasty soup. If you want tot prepare chicken broth, quickly, add some chicken with bones to the pressure cooker along with water,some chopped onions and carrots. Cook it for 3 whistles, once broth is made, remove the chicken and veges from the broth and use the liquid.But if you don't have, then add plain water . 

* Close the lid of the rice cooker and turn it to brown rice setting. If you don't have this model rice cooker, just turn it to cook mode. When the button turns to warm mode, without cooking the chicken, just turn the setting to cook again. In my case, brown rice setting is the slowest mode, so my chicken cooked perfectly.

* While the soup is cooking, we will prepare the shite sauce. Take a pan, add butter. When the butter is melted, add flour and saute it in butter. When the flour is sauteed, add milk and whisk it. It should form a creamy sauce. If the sauce is still thin, add a tsp of corn flour to make it thick. Now keep it aside.    (If you don't have any vessel to prepare this white sauce, when you have taken the rice cooker alone, then just saute the chicken and other veges in butter and mix corn flour at the end to prepare a creamy soup.or just skip this white sauce part .)

* Open the lid and check the chicken, if it is cooked well, dump the white sauce to the soup and close the lid. Cook it for 5 more minutes and turn it off. The soup will stay warm inside the rice cooker. At last add salt and pepper and mix.

                                                                    Serve it with some croutons or fried bread.

* We can add any vegetables to the soup. Like some peas,or potato .
* We can also add some brown rice or wild rice, to give a nutty flavour to ths soup.
* Any kind of seasoning can be added to the soup.
* The chicken should be cut into small pieces, for it to cook fast.
* We can also add some cooked noodles into the soup.

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

Monday, November 3, 2014

How to make coffee using rice cooker - Step by step - Friendship 5 series

    From today, we are going to post recipes , which are cooked uisng rice cooker. Most of the recipes, are cooked from start to finish in a rice cooker.Check this space for the next 4 days for interesting recipes.
     Rice cooker, saves our time and acts as a multi purpose gadget ,to cook so many dishes. When we don't have any other utensil, then we can rely on these reci cookers for simple meals. When we went to a trip, this rice cooker helped us in many ways.On one of the trips,my friend and me prepared coffee using the rice cooker, as that particular hotel, didn't had kitchen. To our surprise, coffee was so good.
We can make numerous dishes using rice cooker. It needs , just our imagination :P

1.Whole milk - 2 cups
2.Instant coffee powder - 2 tsp
3.Sugar - as needed
4.Water to fill the rice cooker

* Cover the rice cooker bowl with water ,about 2 inches high.Take a bowl of milk and place it inside the rice cooker. Close it . 

* Turn the rice cooker setting to cook, in my case, I turned it to rice mode. It took me around 12 - 15 mins for the milk to get boiled.

* Take a cup, add coffee powder and sugar. Let it be kept ready. I used taster's choice coffee powder. You can use any brand. It should be instant powder.

* My milk boiled after 12 mins approx. The steam started to come out of the rice cooker. The milk will be really hot.

* Mix the milk with coffee powder and sugar.  Mix them, till you get froth. Serve hot.

Coffee is ready to be served. Serve it with some biscuits.

* Every rice cooker differs by the settings, so boil the milk accordingly.
* My milk was pasteurised, so it took me less time, if your milk is not pasteurised, then boil it for more time.
* If your rice cooker, comes to warm mode, before the milk is getting cooked, turn it again to cook mode.
* Always use quality coffee powder to get a good coffee.
* Similarly we can make tea too.

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

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