Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Kulcha made using club soda - Stove top method - Step by step

Naan and Kulcha are Indian flat breads., which are served with some hot and piping gravies. Kulcha was born in Amritsar. Often it is called as "Amritsari Kulcha". 

The difference between Naan and Kulcha are 
* Naan is made using yeast, which is a leavening agent.
* Whereas, kulchas are prepared using baking powder or baking soda.
* Naan are made thicker.
* Kulchaas are made thinner.
* Usually, naans are prepared as such.
* Whereas, Kulchas are usually stuffed.

But today, I prepared the kulcha, without any filling. This recipe, I bookmarked so many months back at Hamaree Rasoi page. This particular recipe, grabbed my attention, because of using club soda. Soda makes the kulcha so soft  and fluffy.

Check my naan made in stove top here 
        Also check here, my garlic naan recipe  here

Recipe Source :  Hamaree Rasoi
Preparation time : 10 minutes
Resting time : 30 mins
Cooking time : 10 mins

  • 2 cups All purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp Curd
  • 1/2 cup Club Soda 
  • 1/4 Carom seeds
  • 3 tbsp cooking Oil
  • Water to knead the dough
  • 1/2 tsp Salt


* Take flour,salt,carom seeds in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add club soda and mix. The dough would startr coming together. Now add oil little by little to the dough and make it a pilable soft dough. Add enough water to knead.If the dough is sticky, then add some more oil to make it soft and non sticky.Cover the mixing bowl and let it rest it for 1/2 an hour.

* Divide the dough into equal sized balls . Flatten the balls using a rolling pin, into thin roti.  We can sprinkle some flour to make it rollable.

* Apply water on one side of the roti. Stick it on the pan. This way, the kulchas will not fall, while cooking. Now turn the stove to high heat. I have a electric coil stove. This can be beautifully done on a flame .

* Now make the pan upside down and place it on the heated stove. The kulcha will start cooking and will have brown spots on top. Now take the kulcha out and apply butter. 
Serve kulchas with any spicy dip or curry. Kulchas taste best, when served hot.

* Club soda, acts as a rising agent for this kulcha, so don't skip it.
* Usually, kulchas are stuffed with aloo mixture and cooked, so if u want, you can stuff any mixture into the kulcha and cook.
* If you don't have club soda, then we can replace it with little baking soda and baking powder.
* The dough has to be rested for half an hour for the gluten to form.
* Don't leave the kulchas unattended, while cooking, if not the kulchas will become hard.
* The flame has to be really high for the kulchas to be cooked fast.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Kerala Egg Curry - கேரளா முட்டை குருமா - Best accompaniment for Appam - Step by step

    Kerala is a state,which is rich in tradition and culture. Its well known for its natural assets. Coconut is one of the staple in Kerala. They use coconut and coconut oil in most of the dishes. This particular curry is rich , because of coconut milk.This curry is mild and goes very well with idiyappam, appam and roti too.I prepared appam and it was good .Try this different curry for appam, instead of sweetened coconut milk.
                                      Check my Kadalai Curry recipe 
                                                       Vegetable stew recipe for appam.

Preparation time : 20 minutes
Cooking time : 15 mins
Serves - 4

1.Boiled eggs - 3
2.Onion - 1/2 (chopped)
3.Tomato - 1/2 (chopped)
4.Green chillies - 4 to 5
5.Ginger paste - 1/2 tsp
6.Garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
7.Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
8.Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
10.Cilantro - few
11.First coconut milk - 1 cup
12.Second coconut milk - 2 cups
13.Salt - to taste
14.Pepper powder - to taste

For tempering:
1.Oil - 2 tbsp
2.Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
3.Curry leaves- few

* Take a pan , add oil and temper with fennel seeds and curry leaves. Dump the chopped onion, green chillies and saute it , till onion turns translucent. Sprinkle salt to the onion to cook it fast.Now add ginger paste and garlic paste and saute.When the raw smell is removed, add coriander powder and turmeric powder. Saute it till the raw smell of the masala has left.At last add tomatoes and saute, till it turns mushy.

* Coconut milk, which is taken first is thick.After adding water, it becomes diluted. This is called second coconut milk. First add the second coconut milk to the pan and bring it to boil.Adjust salt to taste.After a minute or two, add the thick coconut milk and turn off the stove.Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and pepper powder and cover it.Let it sit for few minutes.
* Mean while, slice the eggs and place it on a bowl. Pour the hot curry on top of the sliced eggs. Let it sit for a while. Alternatively, we can just slit the eggs, instead of slicing them and drop them in the curry , while it is cooking. Serve hot for appam or idiyappam. 

* If you want your curry to be thick, still you don't want this much coconut milk, then use less coconut milk and add few tsp of corn flour diluted in water. This will thicken the curry.
* This curry should be mild, thats the reason, we have skipped red chilli powder.
* We can also add some fresh cream.
* Fresh ginger paste gives a very good aroma, so don't skip it.
* Alter the number of green chillies , according to your taste.

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 - 1 big
2.Sugar -  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"

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