Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Aval Kesari | Poha Kesari | Poha Sheera | Easy Krishna Jayanthi Recipes


So as I told you yesterday, I had made Aval Kesari for Krishna Jayanthi neivedhyam day before yesterday. And as it goes, it should be posted here right? :) Have I told you friends that I am a certified Cuemath teacher and I take math classes for kids at home. So I gave the kids who came for class day before yesterday this kesari. At first I offered them by asking, 'Do you kids like kesari?' And the reply I got was 'Aunty, who is there who wouldn't like kesari'. That's the speciality of this sweet right. It pleases everyone and it's so easy to make too.. It can be done in less than half an hour and when those unexpected guests arrive it's a life saver, right ! So now let's see how to make this easy and tasty sweet.. 


Makes: 1 cup


I Took: 

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes


I Used:


Poha/Aval/Rice Flakes - ½ cup
Sugar - ½ cup
Water - 1 cup
Cardamom - 1 no
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Cashew Nuts - 6-8 nos
Food colour - A pinch


The Way:


1. In a pan, dry roast the poha/aval for 4-5 minutes in low flame till they turn crisp

2. Transfer it to a plate/mixie jar and allow it to cool. Once completely cool, grind them to a coarse powder like that of sooji/rava/semolina consistency


3. Now heat ghee in the pan. Roast the cashews to golden brown colour. Then transfer to another plate and keep aside

4. In the same ghee, roast the powdered aval/poha. The ghee should get coated evenly in the poha


5. Now pour water and allow it to boil. Once boiled, simmer the flame and allow it to cook

6. Mix the colour in a tbsp of water and add it to the poha 

7. The poha would take around 5-7 minutes to cook. The test is to check the poha with wet hands. If it is not sticking to your hand then it is cooked (learned this tip from Jayashri's kitchen :)) and also all water should be absorbed and it would become a thick mass. You can cook the poha covered.In that case stir it in between so that it doesn't get burnt


8. Now once cooked add sugar and mix well. The kesari will again turn watery but don't worry

9. Keep stirring. Add the powdered cardamom and roasted cashew nuts

10. The ghee would start leaving the sides and the kesari is ready then !


Cheers,
Chitz

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Aval Laddu | Poha Ladoo | Easy Krishna Jayanthi recipes



So friends, how did your Janmashtami celebs go this year? Mine was simple as usual with some homemade butter, sago kheer and aval kesari as neivedhyam to kutty krishna. This year I did not have a great mood to dress up little Dhruv like last year. U know why, we cut his hair last week :( I was saving the trip to the hair dresser so that I can tie his hair and dress him up like kutty krishna but he was getting very irritated with those particularly longer strands near the ears that we had to cut his hair. I lost all my enthu coz of that and so it was a simple krishna jayanthi yesterday with just homemade neivedhyam. 

Last year it was nice, we dressed him up in his dhothi and tied his hair and made him wear some of my jewellery and he was looking like a thoppa (paunch) ganapathy in a kutty krishna attire :) Maybe next year I should plan something different ! So now recipe of the day is a simple poha ladoo with just 2 main ingredients poha and jaggery. If you want you can use sugar in place of jaggery. Just replace jaggery with ½ cup sugar in the recipe. I love this one. Simple and easy to make. And for the past one week, this was satisfying my sudden cravings for a sweet or quick bite ! So off to the recipe..

Makes: 8 ladoos


I Took: 

Preparation Time: 30 minutes


I Used:


Poha/Aval/Rice Flakes - 1 cup
Jaggery - ¾ cup
Cardamom - 1 no
Ghee - ¼ cup
Cashew Nuts - 3-4 nos
Raisins - 6-8 nos

The Way:


1. Dry roast the poha for 3-4 minutes in low flame. It will become crunchy. Then transfer it to another plate/mixie jar and allow it to cool

2. Add cardamom and jaggery to the cooled poha and blend to make a fine powder


3. Heat the ghee in a pan and fry the caashews and raisins. Once the cashews turn golden brown and the raisins turn big, switch off the flame ( I also remove the pan from the flame else the residual heat will keep it warm for some more time)


4. Add the powdered poha-jaggery mix to the ghee. Mix well. Make sure there are no lumps

5. Now make small laddus when the mixture is warm


Notes:

  • I use organic poha and organic jaggery. So there is not much impurities in them. If using normal poha dust away those ones that are visible before dry roasting them
  • Some use milk instead of ghee to make these ladoos. If then use warm milk else it will be difficult to shape the ladoos. If then the ladoos must be consumed within a day or two as they do not have a great shelf life
  • Grind the poha to a fine powder else it will be difficult to shape the ladoo
  • If more cashews or bigger pieces of cashews are used then also it will be difficult to shape the ladoos
  • These ladoos stay good and fresh for a week and make sure you store them in an air tight container
  • If using sugar instead of jaggery, the method is the same. Instead of grinding jaggery grind ½ cup sugar

Cheers,
Chitz



Saturday, 12 August 2017

Instant Wheat Appam | Godhumai Appam | Wheat Flour Appam | Krishna Jayanthi Recipes


So here it is as promised, next sweet recipe for your Janmashtami celebrations. It is an instant appam recipe, that too with wheat flour. If you have a paniyaram/appe pan then it's double damaka! No deep frying needed. And also it is sweetened with jaggery. What more does one need for a healthy sweet indulgence right? :) You can whip up the batter in 10 minutes and making 20 paniyarams would take around 20 minutes. So in half an hour you are done with it!
This recipe is very handy not only during festive occasions but also when you crave for a sweet with your evening cuppa kaapi/chai. Most of the ingredients would be readily there in any pantry. So it's an instant fix for that sudden sweet tooth. Initially I tried this with cup ½ jaggery and 2 bananas. Then Deeps felt it's not sweet enough and asked me to add more bananas next time. But that sweetness was fine with me. But anyways I did so the next time and also slightly increased the jaggery quantity as well. This time I got a thumbs up! So it all depends on your taste buds. So play along!

Makes: 20 appams


I Took: 

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes


I Used:


Wheat Flour
-
1 cup
Rice Flour
-
1 tbsp
Grated Coconut
-
2 tbsp
Cardamom powder
-
of 1 pod
Baking Soda
-
A pinch
Salt
-
A big pinch
Jaggery
-
½ - ¾ cup
Banana
-
½ cup mashed (nearly 4 small bananas)
Water
-
As required

The Way:


1. Take the jaggery in a pan and add little water, just to immerse it. Heat it over low flame so that the jaggery dissolves completely. Filter it to remove any impurities (I use organic jaggery, hence did not filter) and keep aside. Allow it to cool

2. Mash the bananas to a smooth paste with a fork or you can also give a quick pulse in mixie


3. Now take the other ingredients together in a bowl viz. wheat flour, rice flour, grated coconut, baking soda, salt, cardamom and stir it well

4. Now add the mashed banana and jaggery syrup (it should not be hot) and mix evenly. Add water and mix well without any lumps. It should be of idly batter consistency


5. Now heat a paniyaram/appe pan. Add ½ tsp oil/ghee in all holes. Then add about 1 tbsp (depends on the size of your pan) of batter in each hole

6. Lower the flame and allow it to cook. You can cook covered for around 2-3 minutes and the flip over

7. Again now allow this side to cook for about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and it's now ready to be served with a hot cuppa chai !


Notes: 

  • If you do not have a paniyaram/appe pan you can also deep fry the appams. In that case take a laddle of the batter and pour it into hot oil. The appams should come up and not sink down. That would be the right temperature for the oil
  • If you do not have normal whole wheat flour you can also use atta. Taste would slightly vary as compared to normal whole wheat flour
  • I use cherupazham (yelakki) variety of banana for this recipe
  • Also don't pour the hot jaggery syrup to the flour mix. Allow it to cool and then add
  • Stick to a pinch of baking soda. More of it can make the appams flat and sticky and will be very difficult to cook properly

Cheers,
Chitz

Friday, 11 August 2017

Aval Payasam | Poha Kheer | Easy Rice Flakes Payasam | Krishna Jayanthi Recipes

Rice Flakes Kheer with Sugar


With Gokulashtami nearing all of you must be gearing up to prepare all kinds of sweets, savouries and kheers right? So if you are a beginner like me in those areas, fret not ! I'm here to help you. I make some simple recipes that do not consume much time or doesn't burst or explode while preparing ;) You know what I'm talking about right ! Yes, the infamous seedai. I'm yet to experiment it. My mom is still scared to prepare them, so you can imagine my confidence level in that ! But like anything else, with good research and careful experiments there is nothing that can't be conquered in cooking as well, right :) 

So let's leave that aside for some other day and check how to make this yummy and easy to make kheer with poha or aval/rice flakes. I like to have this kheer the next day after refrigerating it for a day. It tastes very yummy then. Initially I used to make this kheer without grinding the poha. But then my hubby used to say, it just tastes like Aval in milk. Then after some googling I found that many grind the poha to use in the kheer. I tried that and the texture and taste was better then. So here's it now for all those beginners out there who are set to celebrating this year's Gokulasthami with some homemade sweets and savouries :)




Serves: 2-3 persons


I Took: 

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes


I Used:


Aval/Rice Flakes/Poha - ½ cup
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Cashew nuts - 5-7 nos
Raisins - 15-20 nos
Milk - 2 - 2.5 cups
Sugar - ¼ cup
Cardamom powder - Of 1 pod

The Way:


1. Boil milk in a saucepan and keep it aside. Heat ghee in a pan (I use a saucepan and the same is used for making the kheer as well). Fry the cashews and raisins and keep them also aside


2. In the same pan with the remaining ghee, fry the aval/poha for 2-3 minutes. Then transfer it to a mixie and allow it to cool


3. Once cooled, coarsely grind the poha. 2-3 pulse would be sufficient

4. Now add the ground poha to the same saucepan. Add the boiled milk and allow the poha to cook over low flame. It would take around 5-7 minutes for the poha to cook. As it is already ground it takes less time. If adding whole poha as such then cook for around 10-12 minutes


5. Mix it intermittently in between so that it doesn't get burnt. 

6. Once the poha is cooked add the sugar and cardamom 


7.If the consistency is too thick can add extra milk (around 1/2 cup or as per your need) Mix well and let it boil once

8. Toss in the roasted nuts and raisins. Give a quick stir. Switch off flame and serve warm or chilled as desired ! 


Notes:


  • Some do not like to roast and grind the poha. If then just wash the poha and add to the milk in step 4
  • The kheer thickens as it sits. So while serving adjust accordingly. If needed add little warm milk while serving
  • I personally enjoy this kheer the next day after refrigeration. So if you are in for chilled kheer, try it that way !

Cheers,
Chitz

Friday, 28 July 2017

Punjabi Lobia Masala | Black Eyed Beans Masala | Karamani Masala | Cow peas Masala


Which is your favourite lentil or legume? For me it's this cute looking black eyed peas or cow peas. It's known by many names like lobia or karamani in tamil or vanpayar in malayalam. And with this black eyed peas I made Punjabi lobia masala to bring to you folks! It's a very easy recipe, a fail proof recipe and that which brings fond memories of my London weekends. This was a regular most of the weekends for me. Coz I love this dish and it's very easy to make and it doesn't consume much time and I can go back to binge watching series with a happy tummy and less dishes to wash. That's good right.. So let's see how to make this easy recipe..



Serves: 2-3 persons


I Took: 

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Soaking Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes


I Used:


Lobia/Karamani - 1 cup
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard - ¼ tsp
Onion - 1 medium sized (finely chopped)
Tomato - 2 medium sized (finely chopped)
Red chilly powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - ¼ tsp
Garam masala - ½ tsp
Salt - As needed
Coriander leaves - To Garnish


The Way:


1. Soak the cow peas/lobia in water for 30 minutes - 1 hour as time permits for you

2. Pressure cook the soaked peas with salt for 3-4 whistles. I keep for 2 whistles in high and 2 in sim. If you do not have time to soak the peas then pressure cook for more whistles say 7-8


3. In a pan heat oil. Splutter mustard 

4. Then add the onions and a little salt (little for the onions as the lobia is already boiled with salt) and saute. The onions should turn transclucent

5. Then add the powders - turmeric, chilly, coriander powders and garam masala. Saute well and allow it to cook for 2-3 minutes till the raw smell goes off


6. Now add the chopped tomatoes and saute. The tomatoes should turn mushy


7. Then add the boiled cow peas along with the water and give a nice stir. Add more water if required to suit your needs of gravy

8. Allow it to cook on low flame (preferably with a lib to the pan) for 4-5 minutes to allow the masala to coat the peas well

9. Before switching off the flame add garam masala and give a quick stir and off the flame. Garnish with coriander leaves


Serve hot with rice or phulkas !

Notes:


  • I generally do not add ginger or garlic or ginger-garlic paste to this. If needed you can add 1 tsp ginger garlic paste or 1 tsp finely chopped ginger and 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
Cheers,
Chitz

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Jeera Rice | How to make Jeera Rice | Cumin Rice Recipe

Rice flavoured with Cumin tempered in Ghee


This is one of the simple flavoured rice that you can ever think of making. It's very simple but the taste is so awesome and it can be paired with almost anything and everything from vegetarian side dishes to non vegetarian or at times a simple raita too ! The flavour of the tempered cumin seeds in ghee, ahh writing about it makes me wanna make some for the day but I do have other plans so I am holding on to the thought till I get to make some.. 

Some days I like to have it with a good 'Dal Tadka' some other days a spicy yummy chicken gravy would feel great and some times a paneer butter masala or a mushroom masala also helps :) The great thing about making this rice is you can concentrate on the gravy that you are making after just 5 mins of work on this rice and by the time you finish making the gravy the rice would also be ready. You can make this rice in two ways. Cook (pressure cook or steam) the rice separately and then add the tadka or prepare the tadka and add the rice to the tadka and cook (pressure or steam). I always do it the second way and that's what I have described here. So let's see how to make this yummy easy rice !


Serves: 2 persons


I Took: 

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Soaking Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes


I Used:


Basmati Rice - 1 cup
Ghee/Oil - 1 tbsp
Cumin Seeds/Jeera - 1 tsp
Bay Leaf - 1 no
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
Cardamom - 1 no
Water - 2 cups
Salt - As needed


The Way:


1. Rinse the rice in water and soak for about 10-15 minutes 

2. Heat ghee/oil in a wide vessel or pressure cooker depending upon how you plan to cook the rice. Add bay leaf, cardamom and cinnamon stick

3. When it splutters add the jeera and allow it to crackle. Take care not to burn, hence keep the flame in medium or low


4. Now the rice and salt. Stir smoothly so that the ghee is coated evenly in the rice throughout. Take care not to break the rice 

5. Add water and give a stir. Check salt. Then cook on low flame till done. The water should get absorbed completely


6. I always use 1:2 ratio to cook basmati rice. If you are cooking by pressure cooker then a tip would be to boil 2 cups of water separately and add to the rice. Cook for just 1 whistle and remove the cooker from the stove and allow the steam to get released naturally before opening the cooker

Cheers,
Chitz


Thursday, 13 July 2017

Pineapple Pachadi | Onam Sadhya Recipes | Kaithachakka Pachadi | Kerala Pineapple Pachadi

Pineapple in coconut and curd sauce with mustard tempering


Pineapple pachadi is another easy pachadi to make when you feel like eating something sweet and tangy along with your steamed rice and hot gravy. It's quite easy to make and can be fixed in a jiffy. This is yet another quintessential dish of the Onam Sadhya menu. When mango is not available, you can readily resort to pineapple and make this pachadi. So why don't we quickly see how this pachadi is made?



Recipe Source: Amma

Serves: 3-4 persons


I Took: 

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes


I Used:


Pineapple-1 cup - diced
Turmeric powder -1 or 2 no (depending on hotness)
Salt-As Needed
Water
Jaggery
-
-
½ cup
1 tbsp

To Grind:


Grated Coconut-¼ cup
Green Chilly-2 nos
Mustard-¼ tsp
Curd-½ cup

To Temper:

Coconut Oil-1 tbsp
Mustard seeds-¼ tsp
Red Chilly-2 nos - broken
Curry leaves-A sprig

The Way:


1. Remove the skin of the pineapple. Then cut them into small cubes. Cut them as small as you want. Some like the pineapple to be visible and of bite sized pieces while some like them really small and mushy. So cut according to your preference

2. In a pan/kadai, take the pineapple cubes. Add turmeric powder & salt along with ½ cup water and cook them over medium flame until the pineapple is cooked well


3. Grind together grated coconut, mustard and green chilly along with a little water. When they are ground to a smooth paste add them to the cooked pineapple

4. Let them cook for a minute or two


5. Meanwhile in the same mixie add curd & give a quick pulse or two so that the curd is whisked well without lumps


6. Now add the whisked curd to the pineapple and give a quick stir. Make sure the flame is very low & it does not boil. Leave it for about a minute. Once mixed well, remove from flame. At this stage you can taste and add jaggery if needed. If the pineapple is too sour and you feel that a little sweetness can balance the taste, then add jaggery as required 


7. Heat the coconut oil in a tadka pan. Splutter the mustard seeds. Add red chilly & curry leaves & saute. Take care that they are not burnt. Add this tempering to the pachadi & give a stir & serve


Cheers,
Chitz

Monday, 10 July 2017

Vazhai Thandu Kootu | Banana Stem Kootu | Easy Vazhathandu Kootu

Banana Stem cooked in Mung dal and tempered with coconut and Indian tadka


A simple kootu can blow away my worries and make me feel light and of course make me chirpy again. Will you believe that? If you are saying no, believe me I'm not lying. I'm sure a comfort food is not a solution to your worries but most of the comfort food reminds us of our mom right? And when you have your mom by your side, comforting you and mostly she expresses that with food right? Then your worry seems to take a backseat and you start working on the solution right? Now you see the connection :) 

For me any kootu is like that.. I usually pair it up with rasam and a pickle.. The combo is bliss and light on the tummy. But nowadays I don't make much of rasam coz my lo is not a fan of it. So I resort to some dal based gravies for him :) But still, a good kootu makes me feel happy and at home. Do you have any food or dish like that? Let me know ! This kootu with banana stem is yet another simple recipe from my mom. Not much work except cleaning and cutting of the vazhathandu. Addition of coconut is purely optional. If you do not want it, skip it. Coconut adds an extra zing to the dish, that's all. So off to the easy recipe. If you want to try some other kootu recipes, here they are..

Peerkangai Kootu | Ridge Gourd Kootu
Yellow Pumpkin Kootu | Poosanikkai Kootu


Recipe Source: Ma

Serves: 3-4 persons


I Took: 

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes


I Used:



Vazhathandu/Banana Stem - 1.5 cups (cleaned and diced)
Moong Dal - ¼ cup
Coconut - ¼ cup
Turmeric powder - ¼ tsp
Salt - As Needed



To Temper:

Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - ½ tsp
Urad Dal - 2 tsp
Red Chilly - 2 nos - broken
Asafoetida - ¼ tsp
Curry leaves - A sprig


The Way:


1. Clean the banana stem (vazhathandu) and cut them into small cubes. Keep them immersed in water till use, so that it retains it's colour and doesn't turn dark

2. Rinse the moong dal and soak in water for 15-20 minutes

3. Then cook the moong dal along with salt till almost done. You can pressure cook as well. Cooking in a normal pot would take some time compared to the pressure cooker

4. Now once the dal is cooked, add the cubed vazhathandu along with turmeric powder and salt (if required) and cook them covered till done. This would take 15-20 minutes depending on how good the banana stem is. If it's a fresh one, it would get cooked fast. If you do not want to take the risk or are low on time, pressure cook them for 3-4 whistles


5. Now finally add the grated coconut, give a nice stir and leave for about a minute and then switch off the flame


6. Finally for the tadka, heat oil. Splutter mustard and then add the urad dal

7. When it starts to turn golden, add the broken red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves. Add this tadka to the kootu and serve


Cheers,
Chitz