March 28, 2008

Meeting a fellow blogger

Even though its quite sometime since I have started blogging, I have been active since 5 months or so. In that period, I had come across Aparna's blog and knowing she has her ancestral roots to my place, caught my attention. She even mentioned that she visits my place occasionally. I looked forward to her visiting Palakkad.

I received a mail informing her visit to Palakkad during the Easter weekend. I was more than happy to meet Aparna and her family and we decided to meet at my place. It was a nice experience to meet a faceless friend. When she called to find if the time was convenient for me, she asked about a landmark very near my house. I thought her relatives whom she was visiting must given that info. But still I was puzzled about her asking that particular one since she did not have my address. Later I got to know from her that wikimapia has helped her and I have my house marked in it. She did not call me, even once, to help locate my house. Reminds me, world is small. With friends, we used to discuss, there will be a time (which is not too far), when we will be giving links from wikimapia for our address.
We chatted for a couple of hours as though we know each other for a long time. She has a very lovely and bubbly daughter, Akshaya. She is smart when she says she has met 3 bloggers (includes her mom too), while her mom's count is only 2.

I got a chance to devour Aparna's cookies. Incidentally, I had tried the same cookies from her blog. Tasting hers, helped me evaluate mine.

When her husband joined in, I thought we will end up as relatives. Anyway,no relation was arrived at, which usually happens among Palakkad Iyers. But we will remain as friends for ever.

March 25, 2008

Aloo Paneer,Jeera Rice contd from last post.

This is a much delayed continuation of the previous post. I was thinking of posting it the next day of the first one, but I couldn't. That was last working day of the week and had so much to complete, since was taking a break for the Easter weekend. Once back, was caught up between work at both office and personal front. Sorry for this delay.

Now coming back to the recipe, let me start with Aloo Paneer'96. This is Mallika Badrinath's recipe. Not much changes made to the original one. I have no idea why that 96 attached to the name.

Onions - 3 nos
Tomatoes - 2 nos
Paneer made from 1 ltr milk
Potatoes - 1/4 kg
Dhaniya pwdr - 2tbspn
Red chilli pwdr- 1 tspn
Salt to taste
Sugar - 1 tspn
Pav bhaji masala - 1/2 tspn (can use garam masala as in original)
oil for frying
For marinade
tomato ketchup - 3 tblspn
dhania pwdr - 1 1/2 tspn
jeera pwdr - 1/2 tspn
salt - 1/2 tspn
black pepper powder - 1/2 tspn
Cut onions and tomatoes finely.
Peel off the skin from potatoes and cut it length wise as for finger chips. Slice paneer also lengthwise
Mix all the ingredients under marinade and add paneer and potato pieces to it.Keep it aside for half an hour.
Removes the peices alone and keep under hot grill with little butter on top till it turns brown.I did not have the option of grill, so took to the tawa method. It came out very well.
Heat oil in a kadai and fry onions till crisp.
Add dhania powder, chilli powder, pav bhaji masala (or any masala u like ).
Stir for a minute and add tomatoes. Cook till it turns pulpy. Add salt and little sugar.
Stir in the left over marinade and cook for few minutes.
Add grilled potatoes and paneer pieces. Mix gently. Remove from fire.

Jeera rice

Basmati rice -1 cup
Ginger paste- 1/2 tspn
Slit green chilly- 3 nos
Jeera - 2 tspn
Ghee/Oil - 2 tblspn

Onion - 1 no (Optional)

Wash and soak the rice in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes.
Take a microwave safe bowl, Add oil and MW for 30 seconds.
Add jeera and MW for another 30 seconds.
Stir in ginger paste, slit green chillies and MW for 30 seconds.

Chop the onion lengthwise and add to the bowl. MW for 1 or 2 minutes till it is sauted.
Add the soaked rice along with water and add salt as required.
Stir once and MW for 15 minutes.
Mix the rice using a fork at every 5 minutes interval. During the last 5 minutes, you can adjust the timings, depending on your MW and the variety of rice used.

Garnish with coriander and fried cashews if you to make it rich.

Thanks Srivalli, for making me try cooking rice in MW. This is my first attempt. I had doubts if I should try when I was cooking for guests. But I was happy with the result.This is going to Srivalli's monthly MW event. Current month's theme is Rice.

Curd rice is always welcome when we have had some spicy dishes as part of the meal.

March 19, 2008

Naan, Char Dal ka Dacha and more

Last week, we had invited a cousin of S and his family for dinner. K and his wife are absolute
foodies, that they love to taste new recipes and try them at home too. K also cooks well and plans with his wife to try new ones.
This was the menu I planned for the dinner. It was a weekday. Still I could manage to make as per the menu decided.

Jeera Rice
Char Dal ka Dalcha
Aloo Paneer -96
Curd Rice
and dates-banana milk shake to finish it off.

I am giving the recipes for Naan and the dal here. Already posted milkshake recipe.

All purpose flour - 2 cups
Yeast - 1 tspn
Oil - 2 tblspn
Salt to taste
Add yeast with little sugar to 1/2 cup warm water and milk together. Leave it to prove.
Take the flour in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add yeast, salt and oil and mix
well and add more water to make a stiff dough.
Leave the dough in a bowl and cover it. Allow it to rise. Punch down the risen dough and knead it for sometime and leave for a second rise. Repeat the steps. And finally leave it aside till you prepare the naan. I prepared the dough in the morning and left it till evening. I got very soft naans.

Take a lemon sized ball and roll it in oval shape. Dust it with wheat flour if required.
Heat a kadai. I prefer a iron griddle.
Wet one side of the naan with water and stick that side on to the hot tawa.
Cook for a minute and turn the tawa upside down.
Keep moving the tawa over fire so that the whole naan gets cooked.
You can see brown spots appearing. When it is cooked, it will fall off the tawa.
Smear some homemade butter on to it if you wish.

Char Dal Ka Dalcha
This is a Sanjeev Kapoor recipe. I have been making this many times after my first attempt. It
goes well with both rotis and rice. I change the vegetable added as per the availability.
As the name suggests it calls for combination of 4 dals

Chana dal - 1/4 cup
Tuvar dal - 1/4 cup
Masoor dal - 2 tbl spn
Moong dal - 2 tblspn
Turmeric pwdr - 1tspn
Chilly powder - 1 tspn
salt to taste
Ginger paste - 1 tspn
Ash gourd - 400 gms
Tamarind - lemon sized
Oil - 3 tblspn
Medium sized onions - 2 nos
Slit green chillies - 5

Ghee - 1 tspn
Cumin seed -1
Broken red chillies - 5
Curry leaves

Wash and Pressure cook all the dals together with half tspn of turmeric and half tspn of chilly
powder and enough water to cook the dals.
Chop ash gourd into one inch pieces. The original calls for lauki. Thats one vegetable which I
haven't cooked till now. Somehow I don't have inclination towards that. I have tried this dal with chow chow (Bangalore katthrikkai).
Soak tamarind in warm water and extract the pulp and keep it aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Add sliced onions and saute till light brown.

Add ginger paste, remaining turmeric and chilly powder and green chillies. Saute for a minute.

Add ash gourd pieces. Saute for five minutes and add the cooked dals. Cover and cook for ten minutes or till the ash gourd is tender.

Add tamarind extract and add water to adjust the consistency. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Heat ghee in another pan and do the seasoning with cumin seeds, red chillies and curry leaves.Pour the spices over the dal. Serve hot.

Rest of the recipes will follow in the next post.

March 17, 2008

Karadayan Nombu Adai (Sweet & Salt)

I know I am late in posting this. Better late than never. My system was down for two days and was busy reviving it. Then it was already late with Arusuvai. So posted that first. This year nombu was celebrated on 14th March. Unlike other festivals, nombu is observed during a specific period of time of the day. The time period is the ending of the month of Maasi (Kumbham) and beginning of Panguni(Meenam), which is called Sankramam. This year it was a convenient time of between 8:00 A.M and 8:30 A.M. After S left to office (he leaves by 7:00 A.M), me and my MIL started with the preprations. The flour was made ready two days before. We prepared both salt and sweet versions of the adai, though only the sweet ones are offered as neivedyam.

Preparing the rice flour for the adais
Wash and soak 3 cups of rice in water for half an hour.
Drain and allow to dry on a kitchen towel for half an hour or so. It should not be dried completely. Some moisture left on it is good.
Powder it from a flour mill or in a mixer grinder.
Seive them to get the fine powder.
Dry roast the rice flour in a kadai till they turn light brown.
You may have to seive again, since some lumps can be found.
Those lumps can be powdered again by giving a run in the mixie again.
Cool and store in an airtight container.

Preparing the Vella Adai
Roasted rice flour - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Powdered jaggery - 1 cup
Cooked black eyed peas(vellapayar/karamani) - 2 tblspn
Coconut pieces - 2 tblspn
Ghee - 1 spn

Boil the jaggery along with the measure water. When the jaggery is fully dissolved, remove any scums.
Transfer the strained jaggery water to a kadai. When water starts boiling, add chickpeas, coconut pieces and slowly add the rice flour.
Keep stirring while you add so that it doesn't form lumps. Add a teaspoon of ghee.
Cook till the water is fully absorbed. Leave it to cool.
Take a lemon size of the dough, flatten it on a banana leaf.
Arrange the leaves on a idli mould and steam cook for 10 mitnutes. The test is the adais would have shiny texture.

For neivadyam, adai is offered with a blob of fresh butter. Adai with fresh home made vennai (butter) is heaven.

Uppadai (Salty adai)
For seasoning
Mustard - 1 tspn
Green chillies- 3
Red chilly -2
Coconut pieces- 2 tblspn
Chana dal - 2 tblspn

Roasted rice flour -1 cup
Water - 2 cups

In a kadai, do the seasonings as given.
Add water and salt.
When waters starts boiling, tip off the flour into it.
Cook till it reached the upma consistency. Cool and prepare adais in the same way as sweet ones.

March 15, 2008

Arusuvai Friendship Chain and an Event Entry

During one of my usual blog hop, Meera's post on Eggless Banana Cake caught my attention. I always look for eggless cakes. Among the list of the ingredients, she had mentioned about doodh masala. She has posted the recipe for the same earlier. In the recipe for doodh masala , found one ingredient which was new to me.Haven't heard about that before. On further googling,landed at Indira's. Needless to say, its a treasure house of recipes featuring all most all ingredients used in various regions of India. She has introduced the ingredient for doodh masala in one of her posts on Indian ingredients. What to say about her pictures. They are so real that you might extend your hand to pick them from your screen.

Now cut to the Arusuvai Friendship Chain. Arusuvai is started in India by the mother-daughter duo - Latha amma and Lakshmi of The Yum blog. I had mailed Srivalli, of interest to be a part of the chain. Ever since, Srivalli mailed me that I was to receive from Gaurav, I have been visitng his blog everyday to see if he has posted on his arusuvai ingredient. What to say about the post
on Arusuvai, there wasn't any updations on his blog then. One fine day, there arrived his post. He made up for the delay with 3 posts on the ingredient he received. Still a week passed, with out his mail confirming he sending me the courier. Finally received the intimation from him. He had mentioned the courier guys asking for door no etc. In my place, the building/door no doesn't have any significance. Rest of the address details is enough to locate.

And it arrived at my door two days back. As soon as I opened I found a packet of some seeds. If not I have stumbled on Meera's post, I will not have known what it is. How hard I might guess. If I taste it, I might have a feeling of having tasted it before, but never its name. It was Charoli/Chironji/Saara Pappu. Many thanks to Indira for introdcing it to me and to Gaurav for giving me an opportunity to use it. I feel, this is the spirit of Arusuvai.

I prepared Dates Banana Milkshake adopting recipe of Chandrika of Akshayapatra.
Since I had to prepare for 5 and didnot have enough dates, I added some Dates syrup also. Garnished with the charoli seeds sent by Gaurav.

I am sending this off to Sig's MBP event, which has Mixed Drinks as the theme.

I will be sending a secret ingredient to Sunshinemom of TongueTicklers.

PS. If any of you , who reside in India and is interested to part of this friendship, please leave a comment in Srivalli's or at Bharathy's blog, who are co-ordinating this.

March 8, 2008

Corn flour roti with Sprouts kurma

I had a packet of corn flour lying in my pantry for some days, waiting to be used. I bought it with the idea of making roti. This is the first time I was going to lay my hands on corn flour. So I was not sure of the end result. Thats one of the reasons I kept postponing. Finally decided to take the plunge. Since corn flour is not elastic like our regular roti atta or maida, I decided to add some atta along with the corn flour for making rotis.

Corn flour roti /Makki ka atta ki roti
Corn flour - 1 cup
Whole wheat flour - 1 cup
salt to taste
Warm water to knead
Mix cornflour, wheat flour and salt in a bowl. Knead to a medium soft dough using warm water.
It is not elastic enough to be flattened with a rolling pin directly. Grease a plastic sheet with oil. Take a lemon sized dough and shape into a ball. Flatten it with your hand. Alternatively, you can roll out each ball between the folds of two greased plastic sheets.
Heat a tawa and place a roti on it.
Cook on medium heat till one side is half done. Turn over and spread some butter/oil. Again tuurn over and spread some butter/oil on the other side . Cook both sides till golden brown.
Serve hot with a dollop of butter on it.

I served with sprouted green gram kurma.

Green Gram Sprouts Kurma
This is adapted from a recipe of Mallika Badrinath.

Making Sprouts

Wash and soak 1 cup of whole green gram for 3 hours.
Drain the water and tie soaked grams in a muslin cloth and hang on a hook in your kitchen. Sprinkle water occassionaly, never leaving the gram dry. On the next you can see some shoots coming out. By the third day it must have fully sprouted. This is the general method.

I usually transfer the soaked gram to a casserole (hot pack). It starts sprouting the next day. This is the sprout on the third day.

Sprouted green gram - 2 cups
Onion - 2 nos
Tomatoes - 2 nos
Tamarind - marble sized
Grated coconut - 2 tblspn
Salt to taste
Jaggery - little (optional)
For roasting
Dried Red chillies- 4 nos
Coriander seeds (dhania)- 1 tblspn
Chana dal - 1 tblspn
Poppy seeds - 1 tspn
Steam cook the sprouts in a pressure cooker for 5 minutes or in a Microwave
Soak tamarind in hot water and take a thick extract. Alternatively can use tamarind paste.
Dry roast poppy seeds.
Roast red chillies,coriander seeds and chana dal in a tspn of oil
Dry frind the fried spices, poppy seeds and coconut. Add little water and grind it to a smooth paste.
Heat litle oil in a kadai. Add chopped onion and fry till golden.
Add chopped tomatoes and cook till they turn mushy and the moisture is fully absorbed.
Mix ground paste, salt and jaggery?(if you are adding).
Keep stirring till nice aroma comes.
Pour the tamarind extract and steam cooked sprouts. Cook till gravy thickens.

I have used ingredients from 3 out of the 4 groups mentioned by Mansi of Fun and Food, who is hosting the WBB for this month, which is started byNandita of SaffronTrail. Mansi has chosen 'Balanced Breakfast Meal' as the theme. She has made it easy by giving the groups to make the meal balanced.

March 6, 2008

Nannari Syrup Prepration

Earlier, I had posted Nannari Sarbath and had promised to post the syrup prepration. This is the first time I am preparing it. Never thought it was so simple and easy too. After tasting sarbath with my syrup, S rate it as Pro. So what more can I say. Here is the ingredient list and method.


Nannari root - 50 gms
Sugar - 1/2 Kg
Water - 1 litre
Jaggery(powdered) - 2 tblspn
milk - 1 tspn
Nannari root resembles very much like the mahagony root, which is used for pickling.
Wash and clean the roots well. Slightly crush the roots using a stone mortar and pestle. The roots are very hard, so slight crushing is enough. Crushing is for better penetration of the nannari essence to the water.
Boil half the quantity of water. When it starts boiling, add the crushed roots to it and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from fire. Keep it aside.

Take another vessel with the remaining water. Add sugar to it.
When the sugar is fully dissolved and it starts boiling, add a teaspoon of milk to remove the scum if any.

Strain the water boiled with the root and add to the syrup.

Add jaggery and boil the syrup to one string consistency. Jaggery is added to get that golden hue to the syrup and it also adds to the thickness of the syrup.
Cool and bottle it.

Enjoy homemade sarbath during the summer.

March 4, 2008

My Awards

When I logged in today morning, I had a surprise waiting for me. Dear Uma of teluguruchi has passed this award to me. My blog is Rated E - Excellent. I am so thrilled and excited that I fail to find words to describe my feelings. It sure is an encouragement. It is a tonic for me. The award has come at the time when the total posts have touched the 50th mark. I would like to thank all my readers for their support, comment and feedback. When I think of passing this award, many well deserving blogs come to my mind. Since it is not possible to mention all the names here, I am passing this award to

viji of vcuisine
Nanditha of saffron trail
Srivalli of Cooking 4 all seasons.
Jayashree of luvgoodfood
Sagari of indian home food


I am listing all the awards I received here

Thanks Cham

From Sowmya Thanks Gaurav

Thanks Uma Thanks Harini

Again from Harini Thanks Illatharasi

Another one from Illatharasi

Thanks Sowmya and Malar Gandhi.

Shama, Viki and Vidhas has passed the Inspiration Award to me.

Perfect firenship and Hard working blogger award from Vidhaas

March 3, 2008

Corn Meal-Rava Kichadi

In olden days, Rava kichdi used to be a regular in the menu when breakfast/tiffin is used to be arranged for a group of 10 or more. This was an easy option compared to preparing idly or any other tiffin when it has to be prepared in large quantity. Even though making idly is easier, since batter required is more and can prepare only 16 idlies in one batch. And in those days, when wet grinders were not so common, rava kichadi is the ideal option. It was even served for breakfast during marriages. This is considered superior to the common, plain rava upma. As the name kichadi suggests, veggies like onion,carrot, peas, french beans etc are added to it, to enhance the taste.

For a change, I prepared using equal quantities of corn meal and upma rava. The end result was absolutely tasty. Everyone loved it. From now on, for kichadi, this combination will be used. I may increase the quantity of corn meal for its nutritional benefits.

Corn meal - 1 cup
Rava (Semolina) - 1 cup
Onion - 1
Chopped veggies(carrot,bell pepper,potato) - 1 cup
Turmeric - a pinch
Water - 4 1/2 cups
Salt to taste
Oil - 4 tblspn
Mustard seeds - 1 tspn
Green chilly - 4 nos
Red chilly - 1 (broken)
Chana dal - 1 tspn
Groundnut - 1 tblspn (optional)
Ginger - 1" piece
Curry leaves - few
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Finely chop onions, vegetables , green chilly and ginger.Keep each separately.
Take a kadai big enough to hold water and the ingredients.
First add a teaspoon of oil. Add corn meal. Saute for 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. If you are not using, fried rava, saute that also in the same way.
Add oil. When the oil turns hot, add mustard. When it splutters, add red chilly and chana dal.

When the dal turns brown, add chopped green chilly , ginger and curry leaves. When curry leaves are fried, add onions and saute till it turns translucent.

Add the veggies,turmeric and salt for the veggies. We can some more salt later. Saute till veggies become tender.

Add 4.5 cups of water and salt. ( Water is added in the ratio of 2 to 1 cup of rava. Extra half cup is added for the veggies.)

When water start to boil, slowly add the corn meal and rava. Keep stirring as you add to avoid forming lumps. Rava has the tendency to form lumps in water.

Cook in low flame, till the water is absorbed completely and it is done.

Garnish with coriander leaves. You can also add a teaspoon of ghee at the end. It will give a nice flavor to it.
Serve with coconut chutney.

This is off to Meeta's Monthly Mingle which has One Dish Dinner as theme for the current month.