Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Sorakkai (Bottle Gourd) Kootu

Sorakkai (Bottle gourd) kootu is one of our family’s favorite dish which is healthy and easy to make. Bottle gourd is a common vegetable in India, an yellowish green vegetable, having the shape of a bottle. It has white pulp, with white seeds embedded in spongy flesh. Known as 'sorakkai' in Tamil,Chorakka in Malayalam,Sorakkaya in Telugu and lauki in Hindi.Kootu is a south Indian dish made up of vegetables and lentils. It can be had with rice, roti/phulkas.Its rich in essential minerals, iron, protein and fibre.I have added  a very small amount of toor dal along with the moong dal which increases the taste and obviously rich in protein.

IMG_20131231_133550

Prep time: 15 mins|Cook time: 20 mins|Serves: 4 persons

Ingredients

Quantity

Bottle gourd

3 cups full

Moong dal

¼ cup

Toor dal

2 tsp

Tomato

2 no’s

Turmeric powder

¼ tsp

Salt

To taste

To grind

Grated coconut

½  cup

Jeera seeds

1 tsp

To temper

Oil

2 tsp

Mustard seeds

½ tsp

Urad dal

1 tsp

Dry Red chillies

2-3 no’s

Curry leaves

2 sprigs

Hing

pinch

Onion

1 no

Method

1. Peel the skin, scoop out the seeds and chop the bottle gourd into small pieces.In a pressure pan, add the chopped bottle gourd pieces, salt, moong dal, toor dal ,tomato,turmeric powder. Pour water (level the water till it touch the sorakkai pieces and pressure cook till both the veggie and dals are done properly.(3 whistles will do).3orakkai12. Meanwhile grind grated coconut along with cumin seeds to a fine paste, adding little water.Once the bottle gourd/sorakkai and dal mixture is done ,pour the ground paste with little salt and mix well. so23. Heat oil in small pan, add little mustard and urad dal from the tempering items. When urad dal turns brown add onions, fry for a minute and pour it in the kootu.Let this simmer for 5-6 minutes, stirring at regular intervals.so34. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds splutter, add urad dal, curry leaves, dry red chillies and asafetida.Remove from heat and pour the tempering on top of the kootu.IMG_20131231_1338345. Sorakkai kootu is ready to be served hot with rice or  roti.

Notes

Green chillies can be added while grinding.(Optional)

De-shelled raw peanut powder (Dry roast the peanuts in a small pan. Cool it and remove the outer skin of peanuts. Blend it to fine powder & keep aside) can be sprinkled on top of the kootu for a rich taste.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Walnut Burfi

Walnut Dessert is often prepared during the winter months, as it is supposed to keep the body warm and protect it from winter cold. Many of them love to have it as Diwali Sweets. This delectable, nut based dessert can done within few minutes.Walnut is a wrinkled, brain-like nut that is contained in a very hard shell. It contains the omega 3 and antioxidants that is good for your brain.
IMG_20131222_122553-001

Prep time: 10 mins   |Cook time: 15 mins
Cuisine: Indian (Festive Sweet)

Ingredients
quantity
Walnuts
2 cups
Sugar
1 cup
Water
½ cup
Cocoa powder
1 tsp
Cardamom powder
1 tsp
Ghee
1 tbsp.
Method
1.In a broad vessel, add walnuts and fry for a minute.Sauté and roast till the walnuts start to turn brown.Using your blender or mixer, coarsely grind the walnuts batch by batch.Keep the ground walnut mixture separately.Approximately it can be 2 cups of powder.walnut burfi 2. In another pan, boil the sugar and water and check for one string consistency.Once when reached, add cocoa powder, cardamom powder and the coarsely ground walnut powder. walnut2 3. Keep stirring till everything is combined well.Add half amount of ghee and continue stirring.Stir till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.walnut3 4. In the meanwhile, grease the plate with ghee and keep aside.Pour the walnut mixture in the greased ghee plate and cut into desired shapes.After cooling, take out the walnut burfi pieces and store it in air tight container.walnut5 5. Homemade yummy and healthy Walnut burfi is ready.IMG_20131222_122114-001 Notes
Try this burfi once; it is rich in taste with cocoa flavor. This burfi tastes much better the next day.
Some people don’t have cocoa powder in hand.Dont worry, you can use complan or horlicks chocolate flavor which kids like a lot.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Kabuli Channa (Chole) Murukku

Murukku is an easy and crispy snack prepared with rice flour .You can prepare this murukku for Diwali. I made this murukku with Kabuli channa .Its otherwise called as Chole. In Tamil, it’s called as kondakadalai.Murukku is South Indian Deepavali snack. But savoured in all times as a snack due to its excellent flavor and crispy taste. This is one of the melt in the mouth kind of murukku and a great tea time snack. Try and enjoy it.
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Prep time: 30 mins     |Cook time:30 min
Cuisine: Indian(Festive Snack)

Ingredients
quantity
Kabuli channa(Chole)
¾ cup (before soaking)
Kabuli Channa
1 cup (after grinding)
Rice flour
2 cups
Sesame seeds
1  tbsp.
Hing
2  tsp
Unsalted Butter
3 tbsp.
Oil
2 tbsp.
Salt
To taste`
Water
As needed
Method
1. Soak the Kabuli channa(chole) overnight for 6- 8 hours. Drain the water and dispose it. Then grind to a fine paste .Check out for any hard particles. If some channa’s are not ground properly, place it aside.Sieve  the rice flour 2 times and add  to the bowl along with the ground Kabuli channa paste.Add salt,sesame seeds and hing in the prepared mixture.Melt the butter and add it to the dry ingredients and mix well. Boil 2 cups of water and keep aside.kabuli channa2. Pour the hot water little by little and stir constantly and mix. Till the dough consistency is reached.Use murukku maker, place in a lump of dough and pipe out the patterns, forming circles. Sho3. Heat oil under medium high heat. Drop a pinch of dough. If the dough rises immediately to the top, the oil is heated well. Fry until the sound ceases (The sshh sound ceases when all the moisture is absorbed) Use sufficient quantity of oil to submerge all frying murukkus without touching each other. Repeat with the rest of the dough.kd 34. Deep fry them over medium flame to slightly golden brown. Use paper towel to remove excess oil. After murukku is cool down store in an airtight container. Usually for this quantity we'll get 12-15 murukku.kc55. Store in an air tight container. Enjoy crispy and tasty homemade Kabuli channa (chole) murukku. Everyone at your home will love it. IMG_20131222_124630
Notes
Butter is must ingredient in this recipe since it helps the murukku to stay crispy for long. You need to wait till bubbles stop to make sure Murukku is well cooked. The dough has to be in a correct consistency, should not be sticky or too hard.
You can also use 3 star murukku mould instead of 1 star mould. Do not add more butter coz  the murukku will break .Chilli powder is optional.
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Thursday, 19 December 2013

Masala Chai(Tea)

 My husband needs tea to start his day. More precisely, he needs a strong, slightly sweet and milky tea. Depending on my mood, what I have on hand, I keep switching up the spices. I do love to have this chai masala only in the evenings with vada’s.It makes a delicious cup of chai with minimal effort and without having to open too many spice jars. This is the recipe for my mom’s chai masala that she has worked on over the years. Some teas are light and refreshing but they do not hold up well to strong spices like cinnamon and ginger. A simple cardamom infusion works well with teas. The secret to a great chai is in the masala, the spice mixture. To make it richer, add more milk and sugar to taste.

IMG_20131219_170942

Prep time: 5 mins          |Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients

Quantity

Whole cloves

4 no’s

Cardamom pods

3 no’s

Cinnamon stick, broken into pieces

I medium stick

Water

5 cups

Ginger

A medium size piece

Black peppercorns

1 tbsp.

Fennel seeds

1 tbsp.

Black tea(I use taj mahal)

3 tbsp.

Mint leaves

One handful

Granulated sugar

1 cup

Milk

2 cups

 Method

1. Put the water in a tea pan. Let it boil for some time. Now add tea leaves to the boiling water. Keep aside the cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon.masal12. Crush fennel seeds and pepper seeds to a coarse mixture separately. In the meantime, add milk to the boiling tea leaves.Add cinnamon, cardamom pods (only skin), and cloves. Bring mixture to a boil. After 5 minutes add the pudina leaves. Keep few leaves aside.masala 23. On the other hand, do the crushing part. Now we are going to smash ginger along with the some of the remaining pudina leaves. Take out the cardamom seeds and crush it separately.masal 34. Now it’s time to add the ginger pudina paste and crushed cardamom seeds. Leave it to boil for some minutes.Let the juice of ginger masala get added to it.Sugar got to be added at last. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.masa 45. Once done, remove from the fire and cover it for 3 minutes.Then strain (filter) the masala mixture and serve the tea with some biscuits or with some vada’s for this cold weather.

Notes

For a different taste, garnish your chai with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa or cinnamon. You can also chill your prepared chai and blend it with ice cream to make a delicious cold chai drink.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Sweet potato & Carrot Soup with Ginger flavor

The natural sweetness of this carrot and sweet potato soup is complemented by the spiciness of curry powder and cumin. Full of beta-carotene and a good source of fiber, this is a wonderfully nutritious meal. Enjoy with whole grain bread or crackers.This sweet potato carrot soup is easy, delicious, nutritious, and is good for a winter day. An addition of a small amount of cream at the end will soften and enrich the soup, but is fully optional - the soup is just as smooth and tempting without it.
IMG_20131212_070904
Prep Time: 15 minute|Cook Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
Quantity
Oil (prefer olive oil)
2 tsp.
Onion
1 no
Cumin powder
2 tsp.
Curry powder
2 tbsp.
Ginger grated
1 tbsp.
Carrots
4 no’s
Sweet potato
4 no’s
Vegetable stock
2 1/2 cups
Salt & pepper
½ tsp.(or more )
Fresh cream/Greek yogurt(curd)
¼ -1/2 cup
 To garnish  
Coriander leaves
Few sprigs
Paprika
1 tbsp.
 Method
1. Heat oil in large saucepan. Add the onions and grated ginger.Cook until they become soft, about 3 minutes. SOUP12. Stir in cumin and curry powder and cook for 1 minute.Add stock plus 2 cups water, then add sweet potato, carrot, and ginger. Now add cumin and curry powder and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.SOUP23. Strain out vegetables and when cool, transfer vegetables to a blender and blend until smooth, working in batches. Season well with salt and pepper to taste. SOUP34. Pour vegetable puree back into the saucepan and stir until well blended and smooth. Dry roast the dry red chillies and ground it in dry blender.We are using this ground red chillies as paprika.Serve with a dollop of yogurt on top.
IMG_20131212_070744 Notes
Addition of garlic is not that necessary,But can also be added if you like.
Croutons or roasted bread pieces can  be immersed in soup or get some soup sticks for serving.
 
Linking this to the event "Eat Vegetables Stay Healthy" sponsored by Just Eat.

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