June 30, 2009

Rava Ladoo ~ Indian Cooking Challenge

Indian Cooking challenge is the new event of the blogosphere, kick started by Mela Queen - Srivalli. It has been decided to have a trial run before the real show begins and Rava ladoo turned out to be the recipe for same. The recipe which Valli provided is different from what I usually follow. This one was damn easy and everyone loved it. I simply followed the recipe. No changes.

Rava - 1 cup

Sugar -1 cup

Ghee - 4 tspn

Milk - 2 tblspn

Powdered cardamom - a big pinch

Cashew nuts and raisins - few

Grated coconut - 2 tblspn

Take a kadai. Heat 2 tspn of ghee. Roast cashews and raisins. Remove and add the grated coconut. Roast till it is light brown. Remove the coconut and add the remaining ghee. Roast rava till you can smell the aroma of roasted rava. Switch off the flame. To the kadai, add sugar, powdered cardamom, roasted cashews,raisins and coconut. mix everything well. Slowly add warm milk to the mixture. Mix and switch on the flame and cook for two minutes. Remove from fire and stir for two minutes and transfer to a bowl. While warm make small balls and keep for 10 minutes for it to set well. If needed, you can sprinkle some milk for binding, while making the ladoos. I got 14 small sized ladoos.

June 26, 2009

Mango Mania from other blogs

During the last mango season, I had bookmarked few mango recipes. As with most of the bookmarked list, this also did not make its way into my kitchen. This year, I did not want to give it a miss and had decided to try them, as soon as the season began.

1. Lata's Mango cake

I followed her recipe with some changes. I used half and half of All purpose flour and wheat
flour. No nuts in the cake since I did not have any. And I used fresh mango pulp. I was making the cake for my guests. So I decided to bake in the muffin try for easier serving. The cake batter was less for two batches, so I reduced the muffin size and saved the batter for a small cake in a tube pan.
All purpose flour - 1 cup
Whole wheat flour - 1 cup (Aashirvad Atta)
Baking powder - 1 tspn
Baking soda - 1 tspn
Fresh mango pulp - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Milk powder - 1/2 cup
Yogurt - 1/2 cup
Vegetable oil - 1/2 cup
Hot water - 1/4 cup

Preheat oven to 180 C. Sift together the All purpose flour,wheat flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl.Blend together mango pulp, water, sugar, milk powder, yogurt, and oil in a blender, until smooth. Mix in the blended puree into flour mixture and mix well. Transfer the mixture to a baking pan and bake for 35 minutes or until done. The cake was very moist, with a slight flavor of mango. The mango flavor is not very intense. I might try the same recipe with some other fruit puree.

2. Ice cream from Bharathy's kitchen laboratory

You need:

Mango pulp - 1 cup

Thick creamy milk - 1 cup

Arrowroot flour/maida - 1 tbspn

Sugar - 3/4 cup

Fresh cream - 1 tblpsn

Keep 4 tablespoons of milk aside to dissolve the arrowroot powder. Boil half litre of milk and simmer for few minutes so that it reduces in volume and gets thick. Stir in sugar and boil till
it is fully dissolved. Add the arrowroot mix with constant stirring to avoid lumps. The milk will get thicker now. Cool and min in the mango pulp. Blend the mix until smooth in a blender. Transfer the mix to a plastic tub and freeze. when it starts to freeze, whip again in a blender with the fresh cream added. Freeze the mixture again till it hardens.

Scoop into cups and enjoy homemade ice cream.

I am sending these to Srivalli's Mango Mela

June 16, 2009

Mambhaza Kaalan - Mango pulp in yogurt, coconut gravy

Ripes mangoes are best, when eaten as it is. No second opinion about that. But when there is abundant mangoes, which cannot be finished just by eating them alone, it goes into gravy preparations. During my growing up years, in summer, the upstairs room will be filled with mangoes spread on a bed of hay to ripen. Those days, very rarely vegetables are purchased and my grandma always do with the veggies fresh from the garden. In summer, mangoes and jack fruit are the most repeated ones. They are cooked in their different stages. ripe mangoes (mambhazam) is added to sambhar, pachadi or morkootan. My favorite is mambazha kaalan. This is similar to morkootan. May be, it is referred as kaalan for its consistency. Call it any name you like, the dish is absolutely tasty.

You need
Medium sized ripe manges - 3 nos

Beaten curd/yogurt - 1 cup

Red chilli powder -1/2 tspn


turmeric powder - 1/2 tspn

To grind

Grated coconut - 1/2 cup tightly packed

Green chilly - 3 nos

For Seasoning

Oil - 2 tspn

Mustard seeds- 1 tspn

Red chilly - 2 ( broken into 2)

Curry leaves

Methi seeds - 1/2 tspn


Slice the mangoes into big pieces. Cook the mango pieces along with the seed in enough water. Add chilly powder, turmeric and salt to it. When the mango is cooked well, remove the pieces and seed to a plate and leave it to cool. Squeeze the pulp from the cooked mango, discarding the skin and seed. Mix the pulp into the drained water, used to cook the mangoes.

Grind the coconut and green chilly with little water to a smooth paste. Blend the ground paste into mango pulp mix. Mix in the beaten curd and blend everything well. Adjust salt. Bring to a boil. Remove immediately when it foams on the top, else it will become watery because of the yogurt added.
Do the seasoning and enjoy with hot rice and a side of papad.

Optionally you can add some ash gourd or vellarikkai to this. I have not added them. If you like the curry to be little sweet, you can add a piece of jaggery while cooking the mangoes.

This is off to Mango Mela hosted by Srivalli

June 2, 2009

Paani Puri /Golgappa

During my childhood days, I never knew what a chaat is. No idea of what is bhel/paani pooris are. But later knew about thro friends and my cousins. But never got an opportunity to taste them. During the visit to Chennai after my 10th std, got to taste bhel puri and paani puri. Its only post marriage that I got taste different kinds of chaats on my trip to then Bombay. Blogging has introduced few more street foods, which are speciality to Mumbai like Dabeli,tawa pulao etc. In the place I live, we will have to wait for an exhibition to come up which will have the inevitable chaat and pappad stall. So if I get the craving to gulp down some pani puris, the only option is to make it myself. After repeated trials, I have got the proportion of flour correct for the pooris so that they are crisp and stay puffed for long. I made these the day before and served it for dinner the next day. It retained the puff, which is essential for paani puris.

For the puris

Rava/Semolina – 1/2 cup

Maida/all purpose flour – 1/2 cup

Oil – 1 tblspn

Salt –1/2 tspn

Water as required

Oil to deep fry


Mix all the ingredients except water. Add water little by little to get a soft dough. Leave for 10 minutes. The dough would be tight after the resting time due to the rava present in it. Knead the dough for 5 minutes to soften it. Pinch a lime sized dough and roll into chapathi as thin as possible. Cut into circles with a cookie cutter or the cover of a suitable container. I got around 60 puris.

Heat oil in a wok. When it is moderately hot (not smoking hot), slide 2/3 puris into the oil. It will puff on its own. Gently flip and drain when it is slightly brown. Cool and store in airtight container if you are not using it immediately.

For paani

Green chutney

Coriander leaves – 1 cup

Handful of mint leaves

Green chillies – 3 nos

Cumin/jeera – 1 tspn


Grind all the ingredients together. Add water to get a smooth paste. I usually freeze this chutney in small portions.

Date and tamarind chutney

Dates seeded – 10 nos

Jaggery – 4 tblspn

Tamarind extract – 2 tblspn

Red chilli powder – 1 tspn

Roasted fennel seeds – 1 tspn

Salt – a pinch

Soak dates in a cup of warm water for 15 minutes. Grind together soaked dates, jaggery, tamarind paste, red chilli powder and salt.

Adjust the consistency by adding water. Heat a kadai and transfer the ground paste. Let it simmer for few minutes till it reaches a saucy consistency. Stir in the roasted fennel seeds.

For filling

There are various options to use as filling – like boiled and mashed potatoes, sprouted moong, onions, tomatoes, boondhis,cooked channa etc…
I have used sprouted black channa and moong, chopped onions and tomatoes. I cooked the sprouted black channa and microwaved moong sprouts for 2 minutes.

Dilute both chutneys with water and keep it in separate bowls or mix them together. Also instead of preparing separate chutneys, you can prepare one chutney with the ingredients ground together.

Take a puri. Make a hole by pressing on the crisp, puffed side. Add the fillings. Dip the filled puri in the desired paani and gulp it down. Enjoy till the puris are finished.