Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Uppu Seedai / உப்பு சீடை - A detailed post with complete pictures for Krishna Jeyanthi

 Wish you all a happy Gokulashtami !!! Krishna Jeyanthi will not end without preparing seedais. While I was talking to my MIL ,she gave me so many tips for seedai. So I prepared myself with her recipe and tips. When I informed my mom ,that I am going to prepare seedai, she said "What?" no .Its too dangerous to prepare seedai .I asked her why ? She said, that there are much chances for it to burst. We had a bad accident at my granny's place, where seedai started bursting  all over the kitchen ,splashing hot oil.
  She also cautiously told the idea of pricking the seedais with needle or toothpick. This way, a vent is created for the air to escape while frying. One more reason it bursts, while frying is ,the presence of moisture. So when we take all the moisture out, it will not burst. So all the ingredients like coconut should be dry . Also the seedais should be completely dried on a paper atleast for an hour and then fried. This is also very essential. So these three steps ensures us safety. If you follow these 3 golden rules,I bet you will get seedais very well.

1.Rice flour                      -         1 cup
2.Urad flour                     -         2  tbsp. .
3.Butter                            -         1 tbsp.
4.Sesame seeds                -          1 tsp
5.Pepper pwdr                 -           1/4 tsp
6.Coconut  pieces            -           4 pieces or 2 tbsp. (shredded coconut)
7.Salt                               -           to taste
8.Oil for frying
9.Water                           -           as needed

* We can either make rice flour at home or use store bought rice flour. If you are going to use home made rice flour, then wash rice and soak it for half an hour .Then dry the rice under shade .when the rice is 80% dry, grind it in a blender in batches. Then sieve the flour. Now in a heavy bottom pan, dry roast the rice flour, till it gives out nice aroma. Similarly, for the urad flour, roast urad dal in a pan. When it turns golden brown, cool it completely. Grind the urad dal finely. Sieve the flour well ,without lumps. Now mix them together. Here I have the mixture of rice and urad flours. 
* We can either scrape the coconut using a scraper. Since I didn't have coconut scraper, peeled the coconut pieces and pulsed in a blender. Don't add water to the blender while pulsing, so we will be getting  finely shredded coconut. Make sure the shredded coconut doesn't have any lumps.

* Take a pan,add the shredded coconut and dry roast it,till all the moisture is taken away. This step is essential ,as the seedai should not have any moisture.

* Turn off the stove,when the coconut turns golden brown. We can feel the aroma,when it turns golden bown colour. Make sure not to turn the shredded coconut into black colour.

* Take a mixing bowl,add rice flour,urad flour,salt,sesame seeds,fried coconut,butter  and pepper powder .

 * Using our hands,blend butter and all other spices with the flour.Slowly ,crumble the flour. This way,we can check,whether if there are any lumps in the mixture.

 * Now add water little by little and form a soft ,pliable dough. My friends say that the dough should be in a consisitancy, that when we form it into a ball ,it should hold its shape. When we press it ,it should be crumble again. Make sure they are not too hard.

 * Now divide the dough into 4 parts . Make small balls out of it as shown. Don't press hard ,while making the balls. Because, this will build a pressure inside the seedai and it will blast ,while frying. So make loosely packed balls.Make small seedais ,if not it will not cook properly. Male tiny balls ,this will make sure the seedais cook fast .

* Take a clean needle or tooth pick and prick holes in the seedai. This will make a vent for the air to escape while frying.This is very essential step ,to avoid any accidents in the kitchen.

* To do this easily , just roll the seedais in batches and prick them ,as I did.This saves us some time and ensures that all the seedai are pricked. Repeat this process for all the seedais.

 * Now take the rolled seedais and dry them on a clean news paper or wash cloth. Let all the seedais dry for atleast an hour. This will take away the moisture from the seedais. So it will not burst ,while frying. So when you take the seedais in hand after an hour, it will make sound, when they touch each other. It will not be a loud noise though :) This will make sure ,that they lost all the moisture.


* After an hour, pour oil in a pan and bring it to medium hot. Now test , the temperature, and  drop one ball and see whether it bursts . If it bursts ,then there is moisture in the seedai or it is not pricked by the needle. So allow it to dry for more time. Once the seedais are dried well, slowly fry them in medium hot oil in batches.

*  Slowly turn the seedais ,in circular motion.This enhances the seedai to get cooked evenly on all sides. Don't tempt to take the seedais soon, then it will be just cooked from outside and not inside.When the seedais turn golden brown on all sides,strain them on kitchen towel. Don't cook the seedais in low heat or high heat.It shoul be cooked under medium heat.

* Cool the seedais completely and store them in air tight containers. It stays fresh for atleast a week. We can also add a tbsp. of roasted gram (pottukadalai) flour for a different taste. Instead of adding shredded coconut  ,we can also use coconut milk to the flour and knead it. Adding pepper powder is purely optional. We can skip that,if we don't like it. 

Updated notes:
                  Second time ,I used less water to the given ratio of flour and prepared a dough ,which when holded between our fingures, it retains its shape and when crumbled down, it crumbles. This is the perfect texture of the seedai. At first , it may look like ,we would not be able to make balls out of it.But ,when we grease our hands with some oil and shape the balls,it holds its shape. Don't press too much. After drying for half an hour, it turned out too good. Use butter at room temperature. Make small balls for it to cook evenly.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Collection of Recipes for Janmashtami / Krishna Jeyanthi

 Here are the collection of recipes with links to celeberate Janmashtami .Try these recipes.Have a wonderful week ahead.

   Moong dal laddoo                                    Gulab Jamun                             Rava Laddoo

    Thattai                                               Murukku                         DiamondChips                                      

Aval Payasam                                       Paal payasam                     Arisi Payasam


 Pasi pasruppu Payasam                              Milagu vadai                Javvarisi payasam


Medhu Vadai                                                 Kesari                                     Masala Vadai

Friday, August 23, 2013

Easy Moong Dal Laddu / பாசிப்பருப்பு லட்டு - With stepwise pictures - Krishna Jeyanthi Special

      Moong dal laddoo or  பாசிப்பருப்பு லட்டு is yet another favourite dish for kutty Krishna.So this is offered as Prasad for Krishna Jeyanthia . MIL is a specialist in preparing this dish. Moong dal is very nutritious ,especially for kids. Taking half cup moong dal is equal to having an egg. So its so much protienacious.So we can give these laddoos for kids without any hesitation. This sweet is my husbands favourite too. My Mil used to say ,that she stopped preparing these laddoos ,after H came to Onsite. So when I went to India she packed me grounded moong dal .She used to mill the dal at the flour mill. I prepared these laddoos ,got hooked to it. So wanted to try at home .So grounded it in my mixie. It gives the same effect as that of milled dal.And here comes the recipe from my MIL. This is a very easy sweet ,we can prepare it in 10 minutes,if we have all the ingredients ready.
1.Paasi paruppu  / Moong dal          -          1 cup
2.Sugar                                             -          1 cup
3.Ghee                                              -           1/4 cup or as needed
4.Broken cashews                             -           1 tbsp.
5.Cardamom pwdr                             -           a pinch
 * Take moong dal in  a heavy bottomed pan. Dry roast it ,till it turns golden brown. As moong dal is so delicate, there are chances for it to go black quickly than any other pulses. So fry it without leaving our hands. When the dal is fried well ,it gives out nice aroma. Take the fried dal in a plate and cool it completely. 

* Take sugar in a blender and powder it .Do it in short pulses,if not the jar will become hot and sugar will melt and stick to the sides. In  the same jar, add fried and cooled moong dal and powder it. This way, we will not be missing any sugar particles in the jar. We have to grind the dal finely without any lumps.
* If we find that there is any lump, then go ahead and sieve it. Now take a plate,add powdered sugar and moong dal to it. Using our hands mix them well,so that they are well incorporated.

* Chop the broken cashews well. Take a pan, add a tbsp. of ghee ,fry the chopped cashews. Take care not to burn them. Now add cardamom pwdr,fried cashews to the powdered mixture and scald in well.

* Now we can either use home made ghee or we can mix ghee and oil. Since we are giving this for kids, we can use ghee fully. This gives a unique flavor and aroma to the sweet. Take 1/4 cup ghee in a microwave safe bowl  and heat it for 90 secs or 2 minutes. If not heat ghee on the stove top.

* Take 1 cup of the grinded mixture on a plate. Now add ghee to the mixture one tbsp, at a time. For me it took about 3 tbsp of ghee, to make the mixture pliable. It depends ,how hot is the ghee. If the ghee is not that hot, then we will need more ghee. Since my ghee was so hot, I used just 3 tbsp of ghee to make it pliable.

* Now we should be fast enough to make round laddoos out of the mixture. Because,when the mixture is hot .we will be able to make laddoos. If not we have to add some more hot ghee to the mixture. For 1 cup of the mixture,I got around 6 laddoos. It depends on the size we make. I made medium sized laddoos. Prepare laddoos in batches ,this will be easy for us to prepare laddoos.

* Let the laddoos cool well. Store them in air tight containers. These laddoos can stay fresh for 10 - 15 days .Some will also use milk to make laddoos. But this will reduce the shelf life of the laddoos. Chop the cashews finely ,if not ,we will not be able to make laddoos properly. We can also mix ghee with oil and use it. Same way, we can make pottukadalai laddoos or roasted gram laddoos.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Quick and Easy Rava laddoo / ரவை லட்டு - Krishna Jeyanthi special

As Krishna Jeyanthi is fast approaching,here comes the easiest and quickest dessert of all seasons. Rava laddoo has a long story.When I was schooling,this is the first ever sweet I tried in my life. Initially, I will not be able to make balls out of the rava mixture.we will end up in a bowl of rava and sugar mixture.Some times the mixture will be lumpy(thanks to the courtesy of wrong milk ratio) ,sometimes it will be fine.But not the perfect ones.I and my sister used to have it as such.After I found the secret of adding milk at right proportion, the trauma came to an end:) My mom and MIL will be busy preparing the palagarams by now.Here is my contribuition to the fest.

1.Rava                     -            1 cup
2.Sugar                    -            1 cup
3.Milk                      -             1/4 cup or as needed
4.Ghee                     -            1/4 cup
5.Cashews               -             2 tbsp
6.Raisins                  -              2 tbsp
7.Saffron                  -              2 pinch ( for garnishing)

* Take a pan,add ghee and heat it. Fry the cashews and raisins ,till golden brown. Keep them aside.
* In the same pan,fry the rava till golden brown.
* Dump in the sugar and mix it well.
* Once sugar is mixed well,turn off the stove. If not sugar will melt and mix with the rava and form lumps.* Meanwhile ,heat the milk and keep it aside.The milk should be warm not hot.
* Take the pan  and mix rava with the fried cashews and raisins.
* Now,slowly, add  hot milk using a spoon.Don't add too much milk,if not the mixture will be runny.
* When the mixture is warm enough to handle,try to make balls out of the mix.
* If the rava is not able to be shaped,add more milk.Garnish with saffron.
* Let the ladoos ,cool completely .
* Store in air tight containers.

* We have to shape the rava ladoos,soon ,before the mix becomes hard.
* Amount of sugar can be altered according to our taste.
* Warm milk should be used ,this will make the laddoos firm.
* We can keep the laddoos on the counter for a week.It stays fresh.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mosambi Juice / Saathukudi Juice / சாத்துக்குடி ஜூஸ்

      I told to myself "Enough  hibernating Savitha". I couldn't open my laptop or post anything in my site.Yes ,when I came back from India ,I was led into a emotional shock. I would rather describe as emotional shock or block,  than explaining in simple words "Missing India". There in our place, there will be atleast 6 people around me .Excluding the cook, gardner and the drivers. There will be heavy traffic in our area.Here I couldn't spot anyone around me or on the road. Whenever we feel bored, then there will be neighbor kids running around our house. Rohith and Ashwath were pampered with food and fun. My mom used to take us to temples and fairs. To have a silent walk, I will choose our terrace in the late evenings. Walking in the terrace and gazing at the stars is a special moment for me. I am definitely missing this here.
There will be small petty shops near our house and we used to buy chocolates, cookies . Rohith used to enjoy the chocolates a lot. I personally, tried small candies "then mittai", panneer soda and butter biscuit from that shop. These brought my nostalgic memories of the past. Then ,when time permits  , we used to visit "Kutralam" as it is near. Shop around Kutralam and buy some house hold stuffs .I will not miss any chance to buy props in any place.(The luggage was overflowing and struggled to get them thru train to Chennai. That was a different story.:)     
        To add the mazaa, my sis will come from B'lore and be with us with her cute little son.
 After she arrives, then there will be lot of fun with the kids.There will be more fights,complains and tantrums.We have to become judges and solve the problems .On the whole ,my trip was fun filled and memorable.
  Here in US,we will not be able to get mosambis. So when Rohith tried this juice for the first time, he become die hard fan of this juice .So whenever we go out, his order will be to buy the fruit .It will be in our to do list, whoever goes out. Rohith used to bug our cook to make the juice at around 11 am and will finish along with his brother's share :)  Has these cute little juice set at my mom's place,so tried a photo shoot at our bed room.Satisfied with the end result. Here comes the recipe.

1.Mosambi / Saathukudi                   -              3
2.Sugar                                             -              2 tbsp
3.Salt                                                -               a pinch
4.Ice cubes                                       -                crushed
5.Water                                             -                as needed

* Using a juicer, just squeeze out the juice and strain it using a filter.
* Mix it with salt, sugar and ice cubes and serve.
* We can also add some mint leaves to give a minty kick to the juice.
* Serve juice chilled for better taste.


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