March 27, 2010

Microwave Jackfruit Cashewnut Kheer

I was regular with the Microwave Easy Cooking event, started by Srivalli, for sometime. Then later on, my interest in event participation came down and did not bother to cook exclusively for the event. But I didnot want to miss this month's theme of celebrating fellow bloggers hosted by my namesake and dear friend. I had few recipes bookmarked in my mind. But could not get around making anything. When I had few jackfruit bulbs left from what was shared by my neigbour, I immedately decided to make this kheer.  I had tasted cooked jackfruit only with jaggery as sweetner. So I wasn't sure how the kheer with sugar is going to taste. I decided to go ahead. I adapted Priya's recipe. I replaced almond with cashew and used fresh jackfruit. The kheer is very simple gets done in 5 minutes in a microwave. 

You need

Fresh jackfruit bulb - 10 nos  (around 1/2 cup of chopped pieces)
Cashewnuts - 10 nos
Milk - 1 1/2 cup
Sugar - 3 tablespoon
Saffron & Cardamom Syrup - 1 tspn


Soak cashewnuts in warm milk for 10 minutes. Else MW half cup of milk and cashew together for 1 minute. Leave it to cool. Blend cashew along with milk and jackfruit to a smooth puree. Add rest of the milk and sugar. Microwave for 4 minutes. Add saffron and cardamom syrup and mw for 30 seconds. If you like, you can serve it warm. I liked it chilled. It tastes like a pudding. Depending on the variety of jackfruit the kheer can turn very creamy and thick. You can adjust the amount of milk to suit your consistency. Also adjust the sugar according to the sweetness of the fruit.

March 25, 2010

Raagi Idly using whole raagi grains

Mercury in my area is been touching new levels before its officially summer. Cases of sun burn is reported on a daily basis and is something unheard of previously. Days are warmer. Even early morning is not so pleasant. I usually finish my cooking by 7 before husband leaves for office. That is to say I don't have to be in the kitchen when the day warms up. But even during the early morning hours,Iam sweating profusely. I prefer breakfast which gets done quickly. Idlis are great saviors since it gets done in a batch. Other than the normal idlies, I make idly with rava, wheat rava and semiya too. It was then I thought of trying raagi idli. Raagi is supposed to have the cooling effect on the body and its ideal for the summer heat. I followed the usual idli recipe where in 2 cups of rice was replaced with ragi grains. It turned out soft and taste of ragi was mild too.

You need

Parboiled rice/idli rice - 2 cups

Whole ragi grains- 2 cups

Urad dal -1 cup

Methi seeds - 1 tspn

Salt to taste


Wash and soak rice,ragi urad dal and methi seeds separately for 6 hours or overnight. First grind urad dal till light and fluffy. While grinding urad dal, don't be tempted to add more water. Add enough water to keep the batter moist. This will ensure fluffy batter. Next grind rice and ragi together till it is smooth. Add the soaked methi seeds also while grinding rice and ragi together.  Add salt and mix the ground dal and rice-ragi mixture . Give a thorough mix with a ladle or better use your hand which aids in fermentation. Leave the batter to ferment for 6 hours.  Make idlis the usual way.

I am planning to increase the quantity of ragi to 3 cups and reduce rice. I think it should turn out well.  I am sending this to JIHVA for breakfast hosted by Suma, an event started by Indira

Promotional Giveaway for my readers

The CSN promotion team at counter stools contacted me sometime back  about a promotional giveaway to my readers. After few email exchanges I decided to go about it. But then life intervened and two days back I
mailed them again to check if the offer is still open. They were kind to say yes and here I present two choice of gifts to my lovely readers. If you are interested in having a counter stool at your kitchen, do visit their exclusive site for counterstools.

Inspired by Srivalli, I followed a healthy diet plan for sometime. In between I had to break. Now I am back at it, though I  cheat at times. Its fine even I am able to follow atleast partially, since its better than no diet plan at all.  I find any other fellow bloggers inspired to follow the diet. If any of you want to follow a strict diet in terms of wieght and nutrition facts, then this is for you.

Enough of dieting topic. How about  some home made waffles. Thanks to Bangalore Baker, I got to know about this from one of her posts.Various possiblities of waffles came to my mind. Hope this interests you as much as it did to me

To win one of these, all you have to do is leave a comment here. If you are non-blogger, leave your email id so that I can contact you if you happens to the lucky one. This promotion is open for 10 days ie till 5th of April. If you also tweet about it, you will have an additional chance of winning. The giveaway will be shipped to only US/Canada.

I chose to do this post today, since not everyday do I turn a year older. For a change, this year, I get an opportunity to give the gift. Thanks to my lovely readers who visit here often and to those who take time to leave their comment here.

March 22, 2010

Plantation Style Rice Roti ~ Sptolightblog#2 Recipe

The last recipe from Asha's Foodies Hope is Coffee plantation style rice roti. I had planned to try the baingan masala too but did not have brinjals in hand. I had bookmarked few brinjal dishes and very much wanted to post atleast one eggplant recipe since its one of her favorite veggie. I will try it soon and shall post it then. For now, its just the akki roti. She says this kind of roti is familiar only to people around Hassan, Sakaleshpura and Coorg coffee Plantations. I found this version of roti very useful to use up left over cooked rice. Roti comes out soft and I know I have to go long way to get the super soft kind. I tried with half the measure of her orginal recipe and got 4 rotis. By the time I made the last one, I got the hang of it and promised myself that I make it often and master the technique.

You need

Cooked rice  - 1 cup

Rice flour - less than 1/2 cup
Salt - 1/2 tspn


If you are using freshly cooked rice, spread it on a plate and leave it to cool. Mash the rice with salt in it. Add rice flour to it to get a firm non stick dough. Try not to add too much of rice flour since it will result in tough rotis. Divide roti into tennis ball size rounds. I got 4.

Since I used left over rice from lunch, I pulsed the cooked rice in the mixer and added rice flour to it. I got a homogenous dough. Pat the dough on a greased plastic sheet or on a banana leaf. Heat a tawa and when hot peel and place the roti on it. Cook till you see light brown specs on it. Flip and cook the other side too.

Ashakka had written that it can be half cooked on the tawa and then it can be cooked using a stove top grill which is used for phulkas. I followed this method. Else you can do the entire cooking on the tawa. No oil required. These rotis ideally should puff up. Serve the soft and hot rotis along with any spicy side dish.

March 15, 2010

Beet Rasam ~ SpotLightBlog#2 Recipe

Third recipe which I tried from Foodies Hope is Beet rasam. Rasam with beet sounded interesting. Rasam at my home is tomato with occasional variances of lemon or pepper rasam. So I wanted to try this beets rasam.  The sweetness from the beets compliments the rasam well.  The recipe for rasam powder is from Asha’s close friends’s mother. Do give it a try and I am sure you will never regret it.  I am glad to have found another way to cook beets.


Tur Dal - 1/4 cup

Beetroot - 1 nos

Lime sized tamarind





Coriander Seeds - 4 tblspn

Dry Red Chillies - 3 red chillies

Dry Coconut - 2 tblspn

Cumin Seeds - 1 tspn

Pepper Corns - 1/2 tblspn

Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tspn

Fenugreek Seeds - 1/4 tspn

Curry Leaves


Oil - 1 tblspn

Mustard Seeds - 1 tspn

Cumin Seeds - 1 tspn

Onion - 1 no

Curry Leaves

Dry Red Chilli - 1 broken into two


Roast the ingredients for powder and powder it. You may not require the whole amount of powder. Use necessary and store the rest.
Pressure cook dal. Chop beetroot into fine cubes. Cook beetroot with 2 cups of water and salt in it. When itscooked, add dal, tamarind juice. Let it simmer for few minutes till the raw smell of the tamarind goes. Add 3 teaspoon of rasam powder and let it simmer. You can increase the amount rasam powder to suit your taste level. Store the remaining powder in an airtight container. This powder can be used with vegetable stir fry also. Season with the ingredients listed above and pour onto the rasam. The picture doesn't do justice to the dish. I was in a hurry so could manage only this much with the picture.

Aathirasallu /Athirasam for Indian Cooking Challenge

Srivalli challenged us with Aathirasallu or Athirasam for the the month of February. Athirasam is such a tricky sweet even for an expert cook. I experienced it on my first trial of it when I misunderstood the proportion of rice flour. On my second attempt too, I had my share of failure while making this before I got perfect discs. Irrespective of any number of earlier attempts, for me, making it every time is a challenge. Armed with the hints picked up with the failed attempts, I was determined to get it right from the first one.

Ingredients Needed

Raw Rice - 200 gms

Paku Jaggary - 250 gms

Sesame Seeds - 2 tsp or less

Gasa gasa or Poppy Seeds - 1/4 tsp

Cardamom powder - a pinch


I followed the first recipe given where the measurements was in weight. I don't have a wieghing scale and cook the help of online conversions and proceeded. For the 200 gms of rice, I took less than a cup of rice andd soaked it for 6 hours and powdered in my mixie. When I measured, it the flour was around 1 1/2 cups. I took 1 cup of jaggery.

Melt the jaggery and make a syrup of 3 thread consistency. Add  sesame seeds, poppy seeds and cardamom powder to the syrup. Slowly stir in the flour and mix well. The dough consistency should be of chappathi dough. But mine turned out to be gooey. Added around 1/2 cup of flour to get the correct consistency. When you pat the dough to make discs, it should not stick to your hand. Thats the test I do.

Luckily, when I dropped the first disc into the hot oil, it did retain the shape and got fried well. When the jaggery is more, thats what usually happens, the disc will disintegtate into strands,which does taste good on deep frying. Enjoyed the crunch from the sesame seeds, when we bite into. Liked the addition of poppy seeds too.

Thanks Srivalli for choosing this for the challenge and my confidence level in making this has surely increased after this attempt.

March 13, 2010

Muringai Poo Kootu (Drumstick blossom and chana dal in coconut paste)

Some of the widely used flowers in daily cooking are vazhai poo (banana), vepam poo (neem) ,muringai poo (drumstick) and the like. I have cooked only with vazhai poo,  all these years. I have heard of vepam poo pachadi and rasam but never got access to vepam poo. Muringa poo is another one which I wanted to try. I hav a drumstick tree in my backyard. And no one will ever try to pick those flowers willingly since they will have to forego the drumsticks instead. Ever since I saw the post at Nirmala's, I wanted to give it a try. Few days back, when my maid was trying to pick the drumsticks on a top branch, the branch broke since drumstick tree is very fragile. And it had so much of flowers. Infact my maid felt bad about it. But the sight of my maid  with the bunch of flowers, brought a huge smile on my face. Without a delibrate attempt, i have got some flowers . I prepared kootu with the flowers the next day. Thanks Nirmala for inspiring me to try it.

You need

Muringai poo - 2 cups ( Use more if u can get)

Chana dal - 4 tblspn

Grated coconut - 1/4 cup

Red chilly - 1 nos

Cumin seeds - 1/2 tspn



Oil, mustard seeds, urad dal and red chilly, broken into two.


Cook chana dal in pressure cooker till soft but firm. Wash the flowers and cook in 1/2 cup of water with salt and turmeric. When the flowers wither, add the cooked chana dal and let it simmer for few minutes.

Grind the grated coconut, red chilly and cumin to a smooth paste. Add little water while grinding. Add the ground paste to the cooking mix and bring to a boil.

Heat a seasoning ladle with a teaspoon of oil and season with mustard, urad dal and red chillies. Add it to the kootu. Serve with hot rice and sambhar.

March 12, 2010

Mulakuvaruthapuli - Pearl onions in thin tamarind sauce

Mulakuvaruthapuli is to Keralites (atleast to those in Palakkad) as Vathakuzhambu to Tamilians. So you get the drift now. I am not sure if this dish popular in other parts of Kerala. I guess this more of a region specific food. This is one of the comfort foods. A handful of pear onions or shallots and one or two green chillies sauteed and cooked in a thin tamarind sauce and a seasoning of mustard seeds with curry leaves is all that this simple recipe asks for. with some roated papad and hot rice, you have a meal ready with in minutes. Now, this was not a regular at home. As I mentioned, we being Kerala Iyers, Vathakozhambu was more popular. During my growing up years, when we were living as joint family, the only dish cooked with pearl onion was Vengaya Sambhar. Other than that, it was not added to any other dish.

I was introduced to this from my neigbor V aunty. Aunty makes this often and the popular side at their home was egg fry. I have tasted this puli many times at her house. Many years later we moved to our own house in the same neighborhood. It was then Amma started making this at home. Preparing these kind of dishes takes me down the memory lane and its an opportunity for me to  relive those memories. Now a days, I don't make this very often. Last time when I made this after a long gap, I had to call V Aunty to share my memories of this and many other dishes indroduced to me by her.

You need

Pearl onions /Sambhar vengayam/Cheriya Ulli- 10 nos

Green chilly - 2 nos

Tamarind - gooseberry sized

Tumeric a pinch

 A tiny piece of jaggery (Optional)

Oil - 1 tblspn

Mustard seeds - 1 tspn

Curry leaves

Soak tamarind in 2 cups of warm water for 10 minutes. Soaking in warm water helps to extract the juice fully. Peel onions and slice it into two if they are slightly big in size. Heat a kadai with a tablespoon of oil. Add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add the green chllies slit into two and curry leaves. Then add the shallots. Saute till it is transparent. Add the extracted tamarind juice. Add salt and turmeric. If you are adding jaggery, you can add it. Jaggery will mellow down the tangy taste sinec no other spices are added. I usually don't add jaggery. Bring to a boil and simmer for few minutes.  Its ready to serve.
Usually its made with pearl onions. The slight hint of sweetness in these kind of onions complements the tanginess from tamarind.


March 8, 2010

Eggless Cardamom Raisin Quick Bun ~ SpotLightBlog #2 Recipe

Its been hectic for the past 1 week. It continues to this week also. A demo should be ready by next Monday and host of family/friends functions to attend. In the last 10 days, I have attended more than 5 functions which includes Upanayanams,Sadabhishekam (80th b'day) and AanduNiraivu (First b'day).  I have never attended these many in a short period. And should I say anything about the diet I was following. Indeed I followed it religiously for less than two weeks. I hope to resume my diet soon. So naturally, blogging took backseat.Unread posts count in my reader is in 3 digits. I know I have lot to catch up with. Just realised that its Mondaya and time for my spotlight blog recipe. I didnot want to miss posting it since the pics are ready. So here comes the recipe from Asha's Aroma Hope - Cardamom Raisin Quick Bun. 

As the name suggests, there is no yeast in this , hence no resting time. With 10 minutes preparation and 15 minutes baking time, you have delicious buns ready to be had with tea. Loved the cardamom flavor in the bun. Its hard to stop with one. It tastes absolutely delicious while warm. The orginal recipe had one egg and I replaced it with flaxseed meal. Here is the recipe which I followed.


All purpose flour / Maida - 1 1/2 cup
Baking powder - 2 tspn
Salt - 1/2 tspn
Cardamom powder -1 tspn
Sugar - 1/4 cup
Ghee /Melted butter - 1/4 cup
Milk - 1/3 cup
Flax seed meal - 1 tspn mixed in 1/4 cup water
Raisins - 2 tblspn


Mix the dry ingredients - All purpose flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom powder in a bowl. Mix well and add raisins to it. Beat sugar and ghee well. Add milk and flaxseed meal mixed with water to the sugar mixture. Make a well in the dry mixture. Pour the wet mix and fold so that its just brought together. Drop spoonfuls of mixture on to a greased tray. I got 8 pieces. Bake in a preaheated oven at 200 C for 15 minutes. Mine didnot brown even after 15 minutes. So I just grilled it for 5 more minutes.

Serve warm. Else MW for 20 seconds before serving. It stays good for 2 days kept outside.

March 1, 2010

Mysore Saaru from Asha's Foodies Hope ~ Blog on SpotLight for March

My spotlightblog idea is well received and the encouraging comments gives the necessary boost to move ahead. This month, March, the spotlight will be on Asha's Foodies Hope/Aroma Hope. Ashakka or her blog doesn't need any introduction here. She is one of the senior bloggers around and she has never failed to encourage her fellow bloggers. She makes it a point to comment on all posts of those blogs which she follow except when she is on a blogging break. Untill recently, her weekly posts will have few pics of the recipes tried from fellow bloggers. Unlike many recipe posts, each post at FH has a minimum of 5 recipes. Don't go by the number of posts in her blog to arrive at the recipe count. Its much, much more. I had tough time selecting recipes even though I was looking at pure veg recipes.

The first is the series is her gramndmother's recipe -Mysore Saaru. This saaru is remotely similar to sambhar but the spices gives it a different flavor and it is very light too. If you have spice powder ready, its very easy to put together this since most of the cooking is done in the pressure cooker and the only thing to be done is the seasoning.

Saaru/Spice powder

Coriander seeds - 2 tblspn
Tuvar dal - 2 tblspn

Poppy seeds, Cumin, raw rice,
mustard seeds and pepper corn   - 1 tspn each

Red chilly - 2 nos
Methi seeds -1/2 tspn
Cinnamon - 1 " stick
Dry coconut - 2 tblspn
Turmeric - 1/4 tspn

Roast the spices in medium heat. This will ensure even roasting of the dals and spices. I didnot have dry coconut/kopra. I roasted the coconut seperate till light brown. Powder the roasted ingredients fine in a mixer grinder. I used only two tablespoon of the spice powder. Store the rest in an airtight container. You can increase the amount of red chillies to suit your spice level.

For the saaru

Tuvar dal - 1/2 cup
Pearl onions - 10 nos
Drumstick - 1 no cut into 1" pieces
Tomatoe- 2 nos
Tamarind juice - 1 tblspn
salt to taste
corinader leaves

To temper
mustard seeds
cumin seeds
red chilly - 1 torn into two pices
curry leaves


Pressure cook tuvar dal, pearl onion and tomato. Heat oil in a kadai. Add the tempering ingredients. Add tamarind juice and 2 tablespoon of saaru powder and salt. Transfer the cooked dal and vegetables to the kadai. Simmer gently and garnish with curryleaves and coriander leaves.  You can add any vegetable that you normally add to sambhar.

Enjoy with hot rice or steaming idlies.