December 31, 2008

Vanilla Chocolate Cake -Two In One

Last night, my friend T, who is in US now, called me to wish for the New Year. Every time she calls, we relive our childhood memories. Having lived in the same neighborhood and studied in the same school and college, we could talk about the good olden days for hours together. Even if we speak after a long gap of time, if we speak, its like starting from where we left last. T was more happy to tell me that her friend referred her my blog, without knowing about our friendship. She was thrilled to hear the praises heaped on me by her friend. T wanted to share that joy with me. Needless to say, she made my day. That's a big boost for me as a blogger. And also the fact that my blog helps many silent readers is indeed a thing of joy. Now coming to the post, during our telecon, T wanted me to share a cake recipe. So that comes as the last post of the year. This post is dedicated to our friendship and the virtual cake is for T and her family for the New Year.

Kajal's Chocomilk cake is in my to-be-tried list, ever since I saw it on her blog. I followed Kajal's recipe with slight modifications.

All purpose flour/Maida - 1 cup

Powdered sugar - 1 cup

Milk - 1 cup

Ghee - 3/4 cup

Baking powder - 1 tblspn

Cocoa powder - 1 tblspn

Vanilla essence - 1 tspn

Next time, I might try substituting 1/2 cup oil + 1/4 ghee.


Beat powdered sugar and ghee for 10 minutes. Stir in milk and maida alternatively with out forming lumps.Add vanilla essence. Beat the mixture with a beater or hand till it is blended well. Transfer 3/4th of the batter to the greased cake tin. In the remaining batter stir in cocoa powder and mix till it is uniform. Bake it in a preheated oven at 180 C for 40 minutes.

My idea was to pour like how Kajal has done . That is forming the cocoa layer sandwiched between the plain ones. The shape of my cake tine and quantity of cocoa batter did not come along with my idea. Finally decided to make like a layered one. Go over to Kajal's to see the lovely step-by-step presentation.

I baked this cake to send as a gift for my friend. So I did not get to taste the cake. But from the tiny crumbs I got to taste, I felt it has come out well. I am yet to receive feedback from friend.

Here is Wishing all my friends a fabulous 2009 filled with more of happiness and less of worries.

December 29, 2008

Sprouted Kollu (Horsegram) Pongal

After a break, I am back again to blogging. After the vacation, I had planned some posts but both office and home took away all the time and naturally blogging took a back seat.

I regularly sprout moong,horse gram and wheat. Mostly it is steamed and used in salads and stir fries like cabbage/carrot. Occasionally moong sprouts are used in gravies for rotis/rice. I was thinking of using moong sprouts for preparing pongal in place of moong dal. When I planned pongal, I had only horse gram sprouts. Decided to go ahead with my plan of making pongal with the available sprouts. Actually, I was very skeptical of how it will taste and that too I was preparing it for breakfast. If it doesn't turn out well, I won't have time to prepare anything else since my husband leaves at 7:00 in the morning.

But When I opened the pressure cooker, I was completely swept over by the aroma of horse gram and rice combined with hing and turmeric. And with seasoning added to it, it was a winner.

sprouted horse gram (kollu/muthira) - 1/3 cup
raw rice - 2/3 cup
turmeric - a big pinch
hing powder - few shakes
water - 3 cups

Ghee - 3 tblspn
crushed pepper - 1/2 tblspn
jeera/cumin - 1 tspn
small wedge of ginger finely chopped and lightly crushed.
curry leaves

Pressure cook horse gram,rice,hing powder and turmeric in 3 cups of water. Horse gram will not cook mushy. It gives a nice crunch to the pongal. Mash the cooked mixture.

Heat a kadai. Add 3 tablespoons of ghee. Add rest of the seasoning ingredients. When jeera turns into light brown, add it to the cooked rice+gram mix. Mix well. Serve hot with coconut chutney or any tamarind based gravy.

The consistency of pongal remains the same even on cooling unlike moong dal based pongal.

This goes to JFI-Sprouts guest hosted at Ammalu's Kitchen.

December 5, 2008

Semiya Payasam

During my childhood days, the only payasam I loved , was Semiya payasam. I eat all kinds of payasam, but there was a special kind of loyalty towards semiya payasam. Invariably this is the payasam made for our birthdays. No choice on that. Post marriage, this is one payasam which I have prepared more often not waiting for any occasion to come up. It is mostly prepared as a dessert for dinner. Its a favorite with my husband too. When I ever I make the payasam, I don't measure the ingredients. Its just eyeball calculation. So its not necessary to strictly follow the below measurements. Less/more of any ingredient will not spoil the dish. Only the sweetness and consistency may vary. But you can be assured that it will not go waste.
Vermicelli/semiya - 1/2 cup
Milk - 4 cups
Sugar - 1 cup
cardamom powder -1 tspn
cashew/raisins for garnish
ghee for roasting

Heat a kadai with a tablespoon of ghee. Add the cashews. When cashews starts to brown, throw in the raisins. Raisins will puff up and you remove the cashews and raisins from ghee. Add another teaspoon of ghee and roast the vermicelli till it starts browning.

Take a deep bottom vessel. Tip off the roasted vermicelli and 2 cups of milk. Bring to boil and cook in low flame. Keep adding the remaining milk at intervals. When the vermicelli is fully cooked and the rest of the milk is used up, add sugar. Simmer for few minutes so that the sugar is dissolved fully and the sweetness sinks into the semiya. Add cardamom and roasted cashews and raisins. Since we like to drink it from a cup, it has a pouring consistency. If you want to serve as a pudding, increase the quantity of semiya and adjust sugar accordingly. You can serve this warm or chilled. Hot/Cold, it tastes awesome.

This goes to the FIC:White event guest hosted at Kitchen Flavors, which is the brain child of Sunshinemom

This is one recipe which any novice person can make an attempt at, with out any fear of messing it up. So this goes to Ramki's Recipes for the rest of us event.

PS: I will be away for two weeks from my home and blog. I will not be able to blog-hop too. I will surely miss blogging. See you all after the break.

December 4, 2008

A glimpse of my kitchen treasures

When Dibs announced the Kitchen Treasure Hunt event, I had planned a post to showcase some of my kitchen treasures. No cooking only clicking required. But till the last day no pictures taken for the event. Today morning, I clicked few pics in hurry. Have a look at few of my treasures.

My day starts with preparing the coffee decotion. The size varies according to members present. I have two more which are larger in size. That comes out only during functions.

Idiyappam press has made it easier to prepare them. It was hard time using the the traditional press.

Koduval - I use this to break the coconut.

Chirava -Traditional coconut scrapper

Iyya Chombu to prepare rasam. This belongs to MIL's MIL. And it is more than 50 yrs old. Taste of rasam prepared in this vessel is unbeatable.

Uruli - Used to prepare payasam.