Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Motichoor Laddoo - மோதிசூர் லட்டு - Diwali special - Step by step

   Wishing all my friends and well wishers a "Very Happy Diwali ". Let the festival of lights bring you smile and happiness forever.

   Motichoor laddoos are very famous in North Indian cuisine. Whenever we go to a north Indian sweet shop, these laddoos will always grab my attention. The difference in motichoor laddoo, is the boondhis are grinded after getting soaked in sugar syrup. This allows us to shape the laddoo very good. Also, it looks uniform and beautifull. When I was searching through the net, this particular page inspired me. This recipe calls for khoya. Luckily I had some khoya at home. So added it to the laddoo. But if you don't have, just skip this . these laddoos were so juicy and soft. Very apt  and like that of ,what we get in stores. My friend and me prepared these beautifull looking laddoos for this diwali. Within 2 hours, flat we finished these laddoos. Its always fun to have some around to cook :P
Check my boondhi laddoo recipe here

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time : 2 hours
 Yield : 90 - 95 ( approx)

For the laddoo :
1.Besan Flour - 8 cups
2.Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
3.Water - as needed
4.Orange colour - a dash
5.Oil - for frying
6.Melon seeds - 1/4 cup
7.Khoya - 1/2 cup (optional)
8.Saffron - a big pinch for garnish

For the syrup:
1.Sugar - 8 cups
2.Water - 4 cups
3.Cardamom pwdr - 1/4 tsp
4.Vinegar or lemon juice - 1/4 tsp

 * First let us prepare the sugar syrup and keep it ready. Take sugar and water in a pan. Bring it to boil. After some time, it will reach 1 string consistancy. Add few drops of lemon juice or vinegar. This will stop the process of crystalisation.Now add cardamom powder and leave it aside. Let the syrup be cooled for some time. Let us prepare the boondhis. Take a mixing bowl, add besan flour, baking soda,orange food colour and water. Mix it a thin batter out of it.
* Heat a pan of oil. Let the oil be about 2 inches high. Place the boondhi karandi on top of the pan. Pour a laddle full of batter into the oil. The boondhis will raise beautifully in oil. Once the boondhis are cooked , remove them from oil. The boondhis should not be cooked till crispy. They have to be cooked soft. Baking soda does the magic, by keeping the boondhi soft. Remove the boondhis from the oil and strain it on paper towel.
* Strain the boondhis on a paper towel. Meanwhile, add a drop of orange colour to the sugar syrup. We can also add some rose essence to the sugar syrup. This will bring an exotic flavour to the laddoos. always make sugar syrup in a wide pan. Because, when we mix the boondhis, there should be enough space in the pan.

* Transfer the fried boondhis to the sugar syrup. Let the boondhis get soaked for about 15 minutes. When we want to make boondhi laddoo (normal ones), we can just shape the laddoos now. When the boondhis are soaked well, transfer the boondhis along with the syrup to a blender and pulse them coarsely.I like my laddoo to be bit grainy. If you want your laddoos to be fine, then grind them finely. If you want, we can add few spoons of warm water, while grinding. Since the sugar syrup was enough for me, I didin't add .
* Transfer the grinded boondis to a wide pan or plate. Add the khoya and melon seeds to the mixture. Adding khoya is purely optional. But it gives a unique taste to the laddoo. Mix them well.Scoop the boondhi mixture in a laddle and shape them into rounds. Initially, the mixture will be bit watery, but after you shape them, the laddoos will become hard. Shape the laddoos and keep them aside.

Leave the laddoos out ,till they become intact. Store them in air tight container. Since these laddoos has khoya, store them in fridge. After some time, we can  reshape the laddoos . Because initially, it may look shabby. But after some time, it will shape properly. Finally garnish the laddoos with chopped nuts and saffron.

* Don't fry the boondhis till crisp. If not we will not be able to shape the laddoos.
* The sugar syrup should not become crystal.
* If you don't have khoya, just skip it. Without khoya, the laddoo can be stored at room temperature for atleast a week.
* We can also add chopped cashews instead of melon seeds.
* Leave the boondhis to soak in sugar syrup for atleast 15 mins.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ribbon Pakoda - ரிப்பன் பகோடா-Diwali Special - Step by step

     I am not in the mood to blog for the past 1 week. The thought of Ebola is making me sick. I pray everyday for the people, who suffer from this deadly disease. West Africa is the epi centre  of this deadly disease. Almost 4500 people have lost thier lives . So lets hold hands together and pray for the victims, to come over this. Also. thank all the care givers, who has kept thier life in stake and  help the victims there. 
       Coming to the recipe, this is very simple savoury ,which can be cooked under 30 minutes. Besan flour gives a crunchy texture to the pakoda. We can spice up the pakodas, using chilli powder or red chilles. Have a happy and safe diwali.

Preparation time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 15 mins
Yield - about 3 cups 

1.Besan Flour - 2 cups
2.Rice flour - 1 cup
3.Garlic pods - 4 to 5
4.Red chillies- 6 to 7
5.Hing - a pinch
6.Oil - for frying
7.Water- to knead
8.Salt - to taste


* Take garlic pods and red chillies in a blender and grind it finely, without any chunks.

* Take besan flour,rice flour,salt and hing in a mixing bowl.

* Now mix the grinded red chilli and garlic paste to the bowl. Heat a pan with oil to fry the pakodas.

* Add a tbsp or 2  of hot oil to the bowl. Add water little by little to form a soft dough.

* Divide the dough into equal sized balls. Take your ribbon pakoda mould .

* Grease the murukku press with oil. Fill the Press with the dough and close.

* When the oil is hot, press the dough ,like that of a ribbon. Let it cook for 1 or 2 minutes.Flip it around and let the oil stop making noise. This is the right time to stop the flame.

* Once  the pakodas are cooked, take them out, strain the excess oil using a paper towel. Break them into pieces and store in air tight container.

* We can also add chilli powder instead of using red chillies.
* My ribbon pakoda press had big holes, hence the thickness of my pakodas are thick.
* We can also use 1 cup of besan flour and 1 cup of rice flour, to get a crispier pakodas.
* Adding hot oil, makes the pakodas crunchy, so don't skip it.
* Alter the number of red chillies, according to your taste.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Strawberry Cake - Baking Partner's Challenge

This month's Baking partner's Challenge was thrown to us by Divya Ashok of "Divya's Diner".This recipe was very moist and tasty. While preparing the batter, I literally licked the dough. It was that tasty. I couldn't take pictures properly,as they vanished in minutes. Finally, I was left with a single slice.Try this tasty strawberry cake. You fall in love soon.

Recipe adapted from : America’s Test Kitchen


For the Cake :
1 cup + 2 tablespoons of Cake flour
2 teaspoons of Baking powder
½ teaspoon of Salt
¾ cup + 1 tablespoon of Sugar
6 tablespoons of Unsalted butter
2 large Eggs (or 3 large egg whites) or 1/2 cup yogurt
¼ cup of  the strawberry puree:
1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract
½ teaspoon Strawberry extract

For the Strawberry puree:
1 lbs(454g)  of very ripe fresh Strawberries (frozen strawberries without sugar)
1 tablespoon of Sugar

• Wash and hull fresh ripe strawberries. Cut it in to small pieces and transfer it to a bowl. Add a tablespoon of sugar and give a quick mix. Cover it and allow it to sit for 2-3 hours/ overnight in the refrigerator. Strawberries will become tender and juicy. I kept it for 2 hours. Cook the strawberries, with the sugar ,till it becomes, tender.

• Simmer the tender strawberries in a pan with ¼ cup of water for 20-25 mins in low flame. (Taking care not to burn any). Mash it well with a spatula and allow it to cool. Transfer the contents to the blender with ¼ cup of water and puree the cooked strawberries. Filter the puree to remove any chunky pieces. Again bring the filtered puree to the stove and slow cook it in low flame for another 15 mins. Reduce the puree to 1/4 cup.


• Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease (butter/shortening) and dust (flour) two 6” pans. (I have halved the recipe and made it in two 6” pans). Take required butter, cut them in to pieces and allow them to sit at room temperature. Since it is the month of purattasi, I skipped eggs and replaced with 1/2 cup of yogurt. 

Wet ingredients:
In a small bowl, take ¼ cup of cooked strawberry puree and add ¼ cup of milk, yogurt and whisk it. Add vanilla extract & strawberry extract.

Dry ingredients:

• In a large mixing bowl, sift cake flour. If you cant find cake flour, substitute with all purpose flour (APF) and corn starch. Add baking powder and salt. Mix it slowly in a stand mixer with paddle attachment or with a hand held mixer. Toss in softened butter and continue mixing till you get ‘bread crumbs’ like texture. 

Slowly add the wet ingredients mixture little by little and the cake batter is ready.  This is going to be the color of the cake once baked and its not going to turn pink. So if you want the cake to look pink, add few drops of beet juice or pink food color.

Pour the batter equally in to two prepared pans. The mixture will not be runny and it will be difficult to spread.Bake it at 350 degrees for 25-30 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Once done, remove the pans from the oven and let it sit in the counter for 10 mins. Once it is cooled, torte the cake, fill the strawberry puree. Frost it with a dallop of whipped cream and enjoy.

Linking this to Swathi's "Baking Partner's challenge".

Friday, October 10, 2014

Microwave mysore pak - மைக்ரொவேவ் மைசூர்பாக் - Low Calorie Version - Step by step - Diwali special

   This is one easy sweet, which "Chithra Viswananthan" gave the recipe, one day on her "Facebook" page. I noted it and was waiting for a right occasion. What else can be so special , than Diwali. The microwave version was very easy. No hassle of taking string consistancy. This can be whipped within 5 to 6 minutes. Since we have used less ghee, it is so healthy too. For me 2 cups of sugar was way too much, so I used 1 /2 cups of sugar. You can increase or decrease the sugar level according to your taste. Try this and let me know, how it turned out.

Check my Sree Krishna Sweets style Mysore paa recipe here

Preparation time : 5 mins
Cooking time : 10 mins approx
Yield : 12 pieces

1.Besan flour - 1 cup
2.Sugar - 2 cups or less. ( I used 11/2 cups of sugar )
3.Ghee - 3/4 cup
4.Sugar - 1 tsp ( to sprinkle on top )
5.Saffron strands - to garnish.
6.Water - 1/2 cup


* Take a big microwave safe bowl. Add ghee to it and melt it in the microwave for 1 minute. The bowl should be big, if not there are chances for the mysore pak to over flow.

* Grease, a square tin with ghee. Now add the sieved besan flour  to the melted ghee and whisk it. Whisking is necessary, to get a lump free mysore pak. Add the besan flour ,when the ghee is hot, it will partially fry the besan. remove the besan + ghee mixture to another pan.

* In the same bowl, add sugar and water. Microwave for 1 minute or 2 . Mix it thoroughly, till the sugar is melted well. Microwave settings vary from one to another. The goal for us is, to dissolve the sugar. We can also use powdered sugar, instead of  granulated. This way, the sugar will melt easily. But always use less powder sugar, compared to the granulated. Say for example,instead of using 2 cups of granulated sugar, we can use 1 cup of powdered sugar. 

* Now add the besan mixture to the sugar syrup and whisk. Microwave for 2 minutes, stirring in between .

* Microwave for another 2 minutes ,stirring in between.You will see , the mixture loosing moisture. After 1 more minute, the mysore pak will reach this consistancy, that is, when we take the mixture in our wet hands, we should be able to make a small ball out of it. This is the right consistancy. If you want , we can microwave for 1 more minute, to get a honeycomb texture. But  I stopped at totall of 5 minutes for the besan to cook. Roughly, your mysore pak will be ready by 4 - 5minutes, after the besan is mixed with sugar syrup.

* Transfer the content immediately to the greased tin. Flatten it using the back of the spoon. The spoon should also be greased. Sprinkle some sugar on top. Cut the mysore pak, partially, when it is still warm. Cool the mysore pak and cut them completely. Store the mysore pak in air tight container. It will stay fresh for atleas a week on the counter top.

* The besan mixture should be mixed every now and then, while microwaving.
* We can also use powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar.
* The ghee can be increased , if you want a melt in mouth mysore pak.
* We can also line the square tin with butter paper, it will be easy for the mysore pak to come out.
* We can also use melted ghee.

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

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Madras Mixture - மெட்ராஸ் மிக்சர் - Diwali special -Step by step

    Mixture is nothing but, a blend of savouries ,which are tossed with some chilli powder and salt. The options are more, for us to select to the mixture. We can use, fried gram,peanuts,poha ,whole green gram and cashews along with sev,kara boondhi and diamond chips. It goes very well with coffee. Try this simple snack for this Diwali.Since , I have the recipes for most of the snacks,which are used here, I am just giving the link . Check the links to try the recipe.

1.Sev - 11/2  cup
2.Kara boondhi - 11/2 cup
3.Peanuts - 1/4 cup
4.Poha - 1/4 cup
5.Cashew- 2 tbsp
6.Diamon chips - 1/4 cup
7.Fried gram - 1/4 cup
8.Curry leaves -few
9.Chilli pwdr - 1tsp
10.Salt- to taste

* Fry the karaboondhis, sev and keep it ready. In the same pan, fry the poha or flattened rice. The poha would have puffed up. Make sure , it doesn't turn brown. Strain the poha and keep it ready. It should be cool, while mixing .

* Fry the fried gram or pottukadalai ,till golden brown. Similarly , fry the peanuts .Keep it ready.

* Similarly fry the cashew and curry leaves. Let them get cooled. Take a mixing bowl and keep all the things ready.
* Mix kara boondhi,om podi,diamond chips , fried peanuts, poha,cashew,curry leaves and fried gram. 
* Now add chilli powder, salt and mix together. The mixture should have chilli powder spread evenly, so mix it well.
Store the mixture in air tight container . Mixture stays fresh for atleast a week.

* We can mix any savouries to this. Like we can fry whole green gram and mix. We can also add kara sev,murukku ,or any other savoury. Everything should be properly fried, cooled and then added.
* We can also add some pepper powder to the mixture to give a spicy taste.
* Fried curry leaves ,gives a crunchy texture to the mixture, so don't miss it.
* Store the mixture in air tight container, if not it will loose its crunchness.

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

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Gulab jamun using milk powder - மில்க் பௌடர் குலாப் ஜாமூன் - Diwali recipes - Step by step

     No festival is completed without this traditional sweet. I used to prepare gulab jamun for rohith. He is an ardant fan of this sweet. I got bored  preparing gulab jamuns using ready made mix and ricotta cheese. This time, I prepared gulab jamun using milk powder. This recipe ,I bookmarked at "Kitchen Secrets and Snippets ". blog more than 3 years. It is a fool proof recipe and the jamuns glide into your mouth. Prepare this humble sweet, prepared using milk powder and make your Diwali a special occasion.
Check my other gulab jamuns here

Preparation time : 10minutes
Cooking time : 10 minutes
Soaking time : 30 minutes
Yield : 20 ( mini jamuns )

Method :

* Take rava and soak it in a tbsp of water for just 10 minutes. Take a mixing bowl, add milk powder,baking soda,all purpose flour and mix them together. Now add the butter and make a crumbly mixture. Add the soaked rava to the mixing bowl.Now, slowly add milk and form a soft dough. Don't knead the dough to tightly. Now make small balls out of it. The balls should not have any cracks. Cover it with a cloth and let it rest for 5 minutes.

* Now let us prepare the sugar syrup and keep it ready. Take sugar and water in a pan. Let the sugar dissolve well.After 5 minutes, the syrup would be sticky. This is the right consistancy. Now turn off,add rose water and cover the pan. We can also add cardamom powder, instead of rose water.Let the sugar syrup be warm, while we are dropping the fried gulab jamuns into it. If it is chilled, just heat it again.

* Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan. The oil should be medium hot. Slowly drop the jamuns into the oil. Circulate the jamuns in the oil. So that all  the sides of the jamuns are bowned evenly. If the oil is too hot, then the jamuns will be uncooked in the middle. Once, the jamuns are cooked, drain them on paper towels.

* Drop the jamuns into the sugar syrup for atleast 30 minutes or more. Serve the melt in mouth jamuns along with vanilla ice cream.


* The dough has to be kneaded softly.
* Let the dough rest for atleast 10 minutes.
* It should not have any cracks. If not the jamuns will disintergrate ,while frying.
* Always cook the jamuns in medium hot oil.
* If the jamuns are not soaked properly, just microwave them along with the syrup for atleast a minute, before serving. This will make the jamnuns absorb syrup to certain extent.

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

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