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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

UPPU SEEDAI / SALTED CHEEDAI (SAVOURY CRUNCHY RICE BALLS)

UPPU SEEDAI / SALTED CHEEDAI (SAVOURY CRUNCHY RICE BALLS) 
GOKULASHTAMI / KRISHNASHTAMI /JANMASHTAMI /KRISHNA JAYANTI, the Birthday of Lord Krishna is round the corner and one of his favourites is Seedai/Cheedai, a savoury crispy crunchy rice lentil balls.
Every year during Gokulashtami Amma used to make Seedais and we used to absolutely love them. We as kids used to toss Seedais into our mouth or each other’s mouth to see if we can aim right, we used to enjoy this challenge although, we used to get scolded for it.
Making seedais was a family ritual, with all of us involved in the rolling the dough balls. 
Ah!!! Missing those days of family bonding so much, especially in making seedai, the more the people the merrier it would be. 
Appa (the major general of our little army) would trick us into competing on who would roll out more seedai balls quickly, we would immediately take on the challenge, so we can win. We would await this ritual every year eagerly until one year, Amma had kept everything ready but as she popped the seedais into the oil, the seedais burst and the oil splattered and she got burnt badly, she had very bad burn marks on her stomach and hand.
My Appa got so angry that he threw all the dough into the bin and told Amma that henceforth she should not make any Bakshanam(Savouries) that would have the potential to burst and that was that. Appa used to buy all the Bakshanams from our dear Madras Stores(Readymade). 
Amma used to prepare Appam, Vadai etc for neivedyam but no more savouries.
The fear continued and I never attempted making seedai to as the incident had scared me. Anyways, Grand Sweets (Chennai) available in our Abdul Rahim stores, Upper dickson road, Singapore was always there for my rescue, Jai Ho!!!
But looking at so many people attempting this savoury, I got tempted to try too.
Just to be honest with you, I’m a "quick gun Murugan" chef and like quick recipes I don’t like to do too many laborious preparations. So in my recipe I have used the store-bought Rice flour and Udad flour (readymade flours), I have used dessicated coconut as well. 
Here’s my recipe of the Seedai, My recipe can make about ½ a kilo (500 gms) of Seedais



Ingredients (Makes about ½ kg of Seedai)
Rice Flour – ¾ cup
Split white lentil (Udad Dal /Urad dal/ Ulutham parippu) Flour – 1 tbsp
Split Bengal Gram lentil (Chana Dal/Kadalaparuppu) - 1 tbsp
Grated Coconut – 2 tbsp
Asafoetida (Hing / Perungayam) - ½ tsp
Butter – 1 tbsp
Salt as per Taste
Oil for Deep Frying
A muslin cloth or towel

Method
Soak the Chana dal in water for about 15 minutes.
Dry roast the flours in a non-stick pan for about 2-3 minutes in a low flame, ensuring to stand and monitor the roasting and not letting it change colour or catch the bottom. Let it cool down.
Now, Sieve the Flours, this is very important. Do not use the flour which has not passed through the sieve. This ensures that you get a smooth flour with no lumps.
Now, in a deep Mixing ball, Add the flours as per the measure above, add in the grated coconut, asafoetida, butter, the soaked and drained Chana dal and salt as per taste. Mix well, the butter should get one with the flour, so that when you hold it in your hand, it forms the shape of your hand. Then add water little by little and knead well to make a smooth dough. The best part about rice flour is it’s easily manageable with people who are not much experienced as well.
The dough should be stiff and not sticky to your hands. Add water slowly, sprinkle little by little if not confident.
Now, grease your fingers with some oil, take a small quantity of dough and roll it into a tiny ball.
While rolling, we need to roll it gently into a pliable ball, if too hard the seedai may burst.
Do not make big balls, the smaller the balls, the crunchier they turn out. Continue making the balls.
If you do not have people helping you making the balls while you are frying then you need to wet a muslin cloth, squeeze the excess water, the cloth must be moist and throw the balls onto the moist cloth, this is to ensure that the flour doesn’t get dry. Rice flour gets dry very fast.
As you keep making the balls then just cover it with the cloth gently.
Once finished rolling all the balls check, if you feel the balls are moist, allow them to dry out a bit before you start frying
Now comes the frying part, this by far is the most crucial part of making the Seedai.
Before you start, frying we need to ensure that the oil is nice and hot, but not fuming hot. Put a tiny pinch of dough to check first, if you see that the dough comes rising to the top, means your oil is ready.
I usually out one as a test run to see how it reacts (Because of my fear factor), once done, and all ok I add batches of about 15-20 balls at a time. Once you put in a batch of seedais in oil, keep the strainer ladle on top just in case and do not turn them immediately. Increase the flame a bit as when you drop a batch the temperature goes down, after about a minute, lower the flame and slowly turn the seedais to the other side. Let them fry on one side. If we keep the flame high to speed up the process, the seedai will turn brown and instead of being crunchy will be cooked on the outside and chewy on the inside.
The right temperature and being alert during the frying process is a must to ensure perfect seedais. Deep fry the balls until golden in color and you can feel them sound like little marbles on your ladle. Remove and drain excess oil on a paper towel. Allow it to cool down, then store the seedais in an airtight box.
I made this is as a neivedhyam Bakshanam for Gokulashtami. It gave me immense pleasure to serve my Lord, the Home made seedais made with love.
Enjoy these little crunchy balls on the go or as a snack with your tea/coffee. 

Statutory Warning !!!
Do not pop in the hot balls once out of the oil you may burn your tongue. Let it cool down first.  The crunch comes only once cool down.




Tips

· Follow the ratio exactly as given in my website. We need to use the right ratio otherwise the seedai will not turn out good. Adding more udad dal flour, makes the seedai burst open as well and you will see that the color would become dark, similarly adding less udad dal flour makes the color very light.

· You can sieve the flours twice to ensure that the flour is butter smooth, this ensures that the seedais won’t burst when frying. Better to be safe than sorry since we are using the store-bought readymade flours. Anil Rice flour/Kuzhakattai flour/Idiyappam flour are all good to make this recipe.

In my recipe I have used dessicated coconut. Incase, you are using fresh coconut roast them to a pink colour. After roasting, let it cool before adding to your flour mix.

· Adding more butter will make the seedai too brittle.

· To make more just double the measurements given 



Variations

· Vegans can replace butter with 1 tablespoon of Coconut oil, if adding oil, slightly warm up the oil     before adding.

· For those who want to make it the traditional way using the home made rice flour, which is considered by the elders and experienced as the best due to its smooth texture and also because you know what rice goes into the making.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

YANG CHOW FRIED RICE (VEGAN)

YANG CHOW FRIED RICE (VEGAN)
Did you’ll know that the Chinese Filipinos are one of the largest overseas Chinese communities in Southeast Asia.
The trade with China was the beginning of a major influence and contribution within the Filipino culture. One major influence that the Chinese contributed within the culture was culinary arts. Some culinary techniques that the Filipinos were taught include sauteed dishes, rice cakes and noodle dishes(like Pancit!).
Yang Chow Fried Rice is one of the dishes that was born out of this fusion. It’s very popular in the Philippines.
The dish contains Barbecued Pork known as Char Siu and shrimps, but I have replaced it here with Soya Nuggets.
This dish is a complete meal in itself.





Ingredients (Serves – 4)
Rice – 2 cups
Soya nuggets – 1 cup
Soya sauce - 1 ½ tbsps
Onion – 1 chopped
Green peas - ¾ cup
Carrots – 1 julienned
French Beans – 1 julienned
Corn – ½ cup
Lettuce – 8- 10 leaves
Ginger minced – 1 tsp
Garlic minced – 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Cooking Oil – 3 tbsps
Salt as per taste

Method
Cook the rice or preferable use cooked rice from the day before Rinse out the soya nuggets, Soak the soy chunks for at least 15 minutes in boiling hot water with a pinch of salt. Once done, dunk them in some cool water. Drain the nuggets through a colander, now squeeze out the excess water the chunks have absorbed.
The next step is preparing the vegetables.
In a wok, add oil and then sauté the ginger and garlic.
Add in the onions, cook for a minute, then add in the soy chunks, saute nicely. We want the nuggets to absorb as much flavor as possible, add a teaspoon of soya sauce and stir further more for another 2-3 minutes till you see the nuggets getting done,
then add in all the vegetables and stir fry on a high flame, add salt and toss well. The vegetables should be done but crunchy and not over cooked. At this point, add the rice and mix well.
Put-in the soy sauce, sugar, and salt (Be careful when adding salt, as the soya sauce has a salty taste as well). Mix well and let it get cooked on a low flame with the lid on for about 10 minutes, so that the rice absorbs all the flavors. After this, toss in the chopped spring onion leaves. Cook without lid for 2 minutes while mixing with the other ingredients.
Your Yang Chow Fried rice is ready to eat.
Serve hot with some chilly marinated in soya sauce.


TIPS
· I have used Thai Rice in the recipe. The important thing to note is the rice should fluff up well and not be sticky. This fried rice works well with Leftover rice which is taken cold from the refrigerator as it tends to be non sticky. In case of using freshly cooked rice, spread the cooked rice on a big plate for it to cool down and become separate so it can be used to make the fried rice.

· The soya nuggets can be replaced with tofu or even tempeh if you like. Or you can use Mock meats available easily in the Asian Section of the supermarket.


VARIATIONS
· This recipe is Vegan Friendly

· Soya Nuggets is used as a meat alternative, the original recipe uses Barbecued Pork and shrimps, so those who can eat meats can add this to the fried rice.

Friday, July 24, 2020

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF AADI POORAM

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF AADI POORAM
Today is a very Auspicious Day. As per the Tamil Calendar, Today is Aadi Pooram (Tamil: ஆடிப்பூரம்), plus it's Aadi Velli (Fridays during this month is of great significance) and added to that it's Naga Chaturthi.

What's this Aadi month all about?
Ashadha or Aashaadha or Aadi is a month of the Hindu calendar that corresponds to June/July in the Gregorian calendar.
Aadi month this year is from July 16th – August 16th (32 days), it is the 4th month of the Tamil Calendar.
Aadi month in 2020 corresponds with Ashadha Month and Shravan Month in North Indian Hindi Calendars which follow the (Purnimant Panchangam) and other Amavasyant Panchanga systems (Telegu, Kannada , Marathi and Gujarati)
The next six months from Aadi to Margazhi is the Dakshinayana punyakalam. It marks the beginning of the night of Devas.
Traditionally, Aadi month is considered as inauspicious and most people avoid auspicious ceremonies during this period.
This month is special for Goddess Shakthi. People worship Goddess and her different forms during this month to get her blessings for their wealth and happiness.


Andal Thirukalyanam Pic courtesy - Tamil Brahmins


The Significance of Aadi Pooram
Aadi Pooram (Tamil: ஆடிப்பூரம்), also called as Aandal Jayanti is a prime festival of Tamilians.

Aadi Pooram is the celebration of the birth day of Goddess Andal, an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi.

This festival is celebrated during Aadi month in the Tamil calendar that corresponds to the English months of July-August.

It is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervour in the places all over the world with Tamil population.

The word ‘Aadi’ signifies the fourth month in the Tamil calendar while ‘Pooram’ denotes one of the 27 Nakshatras mentioned in the Hindu Astrology.

The story of Goddess Andal is known all through the state of Tamil Nadu and her devotion to Sri Ranganatha (a form of Lord Vishnu) is widespread in the whole of southern India.

The celebrations of Aadi Pooram are very splendid in almost all the Lord Vishnu temples located in Tamil Nadu.

The day also holds immense significance in Goddess Shakti temples scattered all over the country. The day of Aadi Pooram is also observed as the day of Goddess Shakti as it is believed that the Goddess herself comes to Earth in this auspicious day, to bless Her devotees.

The devotees therefore worship their deity with full dedication to lead a happy and prosperous life.

In the Saiva temples, the day of Aadi Pooram is observed as the festival of ‘Valaikappu’. In the event, glass bangles are offered to Goddess Andal and then distributed among all devotees. It is believed that by wearing these bangles, the couples will be blessed with offspring and also when pregnant women wear these bangles; it shields their child from all the evil forces.


Rituals during Aadi Pooram
Aadi Pooram is a 10-day festival observed with great pomp and show in all Lord Vishnu temples in the state of Tamil Nadu. Of these, the last day (10th day) is observed as ‘Aadi Pooram’ and a grand marriage ceremony of Goddess Andal and Sri Ranganathaswamy is conducted. This event is also known as ‘Thirukalyanam’.

On the day of Aadi Pooram, the women of the household get up early and start making the preparations. They decorate their house beautifully with kolam. Goddess Andal is fond of lotus flower, red color and kalkandu rice. The women of the household make an elaborate meal for offering to the Goddess.

In the temples, Goddess Andal is adorned with silk saree, glittering jewelleries and garlands. An elaborate feast is offered to the Goddess that is contributed by every household in the community. As the festival of Aadi Pooram celebrated the marriage of God and Goddess, thousands of devotees visit the temples to witness this ceremony.

Special rituals are performed on this day that is accompanied by playing the traditional music. The celebrations continue till late at night and then after the ‘aarti’ the food is distributed among the devotees.

On this auspicious day, the devotees also read the ‘Thiruppavai’ and ‘Lalitha Sahasranamam’.

"Goddess Andal"Pic courtesy - Picuki.com
Artist Vishnu 


The celebration of Aadi Pooram is very elaborate in the Goddess Andal temple at ‘Srivalliputtur’, which is the birth place of Aandal located in Tamil Nadu. The 12-day festival here marks the birth star of Goddess Andal. This festival is also observed as a big event at ‘Srirangam Sri Ranganath Temple’ for a period of ten days. On the last day, the marriage ceremony of Lord Ranganatha and Andal is held with great pomp and show. It is a popular belief that unmarried girls who worship Goddess Andal on the last day will very soon get married. Moreover, when the festival of Aadi Pooram falls on a Friday, as per the belief, it becomes more auspicious and the celebrations become more elaborate with countless rituals.

So, Celebrate Today, Chant God’s name and let’s pray for peace and joy in the world.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

BOTTLE GOURD HALWA / LAUKI KA HALWA/ DOODHI KA HALWA WITH KHOYA & CHAR MAGAZ

BOTTLE GOURD HALWA / LAUKI KA HALWA/ DOODHI KA HALWA WITH CHAR MAGAZ
Bottle gourd is very good for health, it’s packed with nutrition, but unfortunately, it’s not very popular at home. Whenever I buy bottle gourd it lies around in the fridge and sometimes needs to be stashed.
The moment I say I will prepare bottle gourd, the kids will say “NO”, and it will have to go back inside the fridge. This time it was a week and the kids were not ready to eat the bottle gourd, and I also didn’t have the energy to force them, so I decided to make the Doodhi ka halwa, which is my favorite.
It tastes yummy with crisp Maida pooris which I had tasted in a friend’s house who belongs to Madhya Pradesh. I think it may be a specialty there or probably their family favorite combination, but I loved it too.
The last time I made this halwa, I added Char magaz.
Char Magaz is a mixture of four types of melon seed kernels – watermelon, pumpkin, cucumber and rock melon (cantaloupe). You can find these seeds in the Indian Grocery Store.
These seeds contain several nutrients and provide nourishment and strength to the body.



Ingredients 
Bottle Gourd – 500 gms 
Milk – 2 cups
Sugar – 1 cup
Ghee - ¼ cup
Khoya /Mawa (Milk Solids) – ½ cup (Optional)
Cardamom – 4 pods
Dry Fruits – Almonds/Pistachio slivered for garnish
Char Magaz seeds – 1 tbsp (Optional)




Method
Peel bottle gourds, then remove the seeds. 
Grate bottle gourd properly.
Now add the grated bottle gourd in a pressure cooker/pan and add 2 cups milk and cardamom powder. If using the pressure cooker, cook up to 3 whistles. If using Pan cook until tender.
Now in a nonstick pan, add some ghee and when warm add the boiled bottle gourd and cook until all the milk is absorbed into the bottle gourd.
Now add sugar.
Cook on low flame for 10 minutes or until sugar has dissolved.
You will notice that after adding sugar the mixture will become watery. Keep stirring until the sugar is absorbed and the water dries up.
Meanwhile, in a small pan add 4-5 tablespoons of ghee. Add the dry fruits, Slivered almonds, pistachios and Char Magaz and slightly sauté.
Add this to the Halwa, mix well.
Cook for another 2-3 minutes and serve warm



Serving suggestions
Serve warm


VARIATIONS

· You can skip the khoya in this recipe and cook without it as well.

· Vegans can avoid all dairy ingredients like Milk, Khoya and Ghee.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

PINAKULUANG / NILAGANG OKRA (STEAMED OKRA / OKRA SALAD)

PINAKULUANG / NILAGANG OKRA (STEAMED OKRA / OKRA SALAD)
I’m absolutely loving, cooking Asian dishes at home, some of the dishes are so simple, you never knew that cooking could be this simple and the best part is the nutrients are intact.
One such dish is the Steamed Okra /Ladies Finger. This dish is a simple and economical dish and very affordable.
In the Indian cuisine we add a lot of spices to enhance the flavors of the dish, it sometimes tends to overpower the actual taste of the vegetable. While I absolutely love the Indian Bhindi (Ladies finger) in any form hands down. I would have to admit that this recipe is by far the simplest recipe ever and manages to pack in the nutrition in it.
It is steam cooked lightly, still managing the crunch and yet not being raw.
There’s a study that says, cooking vegetables 10 minutes or less generally gets you the most benefits.
Asian cuisine is synonymous with cooking “under”, they love the crunch in the vegetables.
Traditionally, this dish is served with Bagoong which is a mix of *Fish sauce, with a dash of lemon and chilly, like a vinaigrette.
They allow the lemon and chilli slices to marinate in the fish sauce and eat the okra by dipping in this Vinaigrette.
This Recipe is an Oil free recipe, diabetic friendly and for weight watchers.
Enjoy making and relishing this recipe.


Ingredients
Okra – 12 -15 pieces
Salt as per needed (Optional)

For the Bagoong(Vinaigrette)
 
*Vegetarian Fish Sauce – 3 tbsp
Lemon juice – ½ lemon squeezed without seeds
Green Chilly – 1 chopped into fine pieces

Method
In a wok, add water Put water in a small pot, add a pinch of salt for extra taste (Optional), bring to a boil then add the okra. Cook until okra is tender, remove from pot and drain the water, give it a good shake and then place in a plate.
Combine all the ingredients mentioned for the sauce and serve hot with steaming hot rice.

TIPS

· I didn’t cut the top and bottom part of the Okra as I didn’t want my Okra to be slimy. It’s also way more nutritious to cook it as a whole.

· Once the water reaches boiling point, put in the Okra and let it cook for 2-3 minutes

· Take a fork, if the fork goes through it’s done.

· You can alternatively retain the water that the Okra is boiled in, add a dash of soya sauce/salt and a dash of pepper and enjoy as a soup as this water is very nutritious


VARIATIONS

· If you do not want to use the Vegetarian Fish Sauce, you can replace it with soya sauce instead.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

KATHIAWADI LASANIYA KHATTA DHOKLA (KATHIAWADI GARLIC WHITE DHOKLA)

KATHIAWADI LASANIYA KHATTA DHOKLA (KATHIAWADI GARLIC WHITE DHOKLA)
Kathiawadi cuisine hails from Kathiawar in Saurashtra region of India and other areas in Southern Gujarat.
Kathiawadi cuisine is usually spicy, they add onion and garlic in many of their preparations.
What I love about Kathiawadi cuisine is the lack of sweetness in their preparations which suits my palate.
Today I’m going to share with you’ll the recipe of Kathiawadi Lasaniya Dhokla, which packs a punch of flavours and gives your taste palates a jolt.
This variety of dhokla hasn’t been blogged much about.
This is a healthy recipe since it’s made with Broken wheat (dalia).
It’s a no fail recipe provided you follow the recipe given here to the “T”
Do Try this recipe.







Ingredients 
Dalia / Broken wheat - 1 cup
Semolina (Rava / Suji) - ½ cup
Yogurt (Dahi) - 1 cup
Green chilly - 3 (Small size)
Ginger - ½ inch
Garlic – 2-3 pods
Oil – 1 tsp
Baking Powder – ½ tsp
Baking soda – ¼ tsp
Asafoetida (Hing) – ¼ tsp
Salt as per taste

Tempering
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Sesame seeds – 2-3 tsp
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig 
Green chillies - 2 whole with stem slit for decoration 
Oil – 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves – For Garnish







Method
Pound the Green chilli, ginger and garlic into a coarse paste.
Take a big bowl, add 1 cup of Broken wheat(dalia), ½ cup Semolina (Rava/Sooji) and 1 cup thick Yogurt, add salt, asafoetida(hing), chilly-ginger-garlic paste and 1.5 tsps of Sesame seeds.
Add ¼ cup water if the batter is thick.
Mix well.
Keep it aside for 30 min.
Let it marinate in the spices and let the dalia and semolina soak in the yogurt and water.
Meanwhile, prepare the steamer and grease your dhokla plates or any moulds of choice with a little oil.
Check your Dhokla batter, Your batter should be like the idli batter
Add the Baking Powder – ½ tsp and Baking soda – ¼ tsp to the Dhokla batter, mix well and immediately pour the batter into the prepared plates/moulds.
Do not beat the mix vigorously after adding the baking powder and soda. Just whisk it gently so that it mixes into the batter evenly. 

Use an Idli / Dhokla Steamer pot and cook the Dhokla on medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
After 20 mins, take a tooth pick and check. If it comes out clean then your dhoklas are done. Turn off the gas and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. After which you can remove the stand. Let it cool for a few minutes.
Take a knife and cut into desired shape.
The next step is tempering. In a small pan heat the oil and add the mustard seeds and once they crackle, add the sesame seeds, curry leaves and green chilies and take the pan off the heat.
Drizzle this tempering (tadka) over the dhokla using a spoon.
Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves and Serve hot. Enjoy this snack with tea or as a starter.

Serving Instructions
· Serve it hot with some oil (Preferably Peanut or Sesame oil). The reason it’s served with oil is because it’s a bit spicy and the oil dip brings down the spice and enhances the flavour of the dhokla

· Serve hot with green chutney and sweet date chutney as preferred

Tips

· Use Roasted Dalia/Semolina. If not roasted and kept. Roast the Dalia and Semolina and keep aside. Wait for it to cool

· For those who do not have an Idli/Dhokla steamer can use the pressure cooker without the weight(whistle) or use plates and place onto a stand in a wok with water and cover and steam cook.


Variations
· You can use Eno fruit salt – ½ tsp instead of the Baking powder and Baking soda.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

BANANA HALWA KERALA STYLE / PAZHAVARATHI / PAZHAM VARATTI /

BANANA HALWA KERALA STYLE / PAZHAVARATHI / PAZHAM VARATTI /
For all you banana lovers like me, I would like to share this wonderful recipe of the Pazha varatti.
Pazham means banana in Tamil/Malayalam and Varatti means cook until dry.
Usually Pazha varathi is made with Nendram pazham (the Bigger sized Bananas mostly eaten by Keralaites). Banana is an integral part of any Kerala meal and it is said to aid in digestion. No Banana leaf meal is complete without the humble banana.
In my recipe, I used the regular banana. I had 3 big size bananas which had become over ripe
I had 3 over ripe bananas lying. I would have had to throw them so decided to make this beautiful banana Halwa known as Pazhavarathi in Kerala.




Ingredients
Bananas - 3
Cardamom powder - a pinch
Jaggery - 2 cubes if grated about 1/4 cup
Ghee - 1- 2 tsps
and cashews for garnish/decoration.

Method
Peel and mash the bananas and puree it in a mixer/blender. The bananas in my recipe were over ripe so I could skip this step.
Melt the jaggery, once melted, add the mashed ripe/overripe bananas, mix well,
Add a teaspoon of ghee and keep stirring until there's no more water and the Halwa leaves the sides of the pan.
Once done, add a teaspoon of ghee for the glaze and then stir once and serve. Garnish with cashew for decoration.
Tastes yum👌

Serving Instructions
· Pour into a greased cake tin and allow it to set and cut to desired shape and serve

· You can serve it in a bowl.


Tips
· It’s best to make this halwa in a non-stick pan as the banana sticks to the bottom of the pan a lot.

· If using Nendram pazham you need to steam cook the banana before Mashing/ Pureeing it.

· You can either mash or Puree the banana.

· I like a bit of natural banana feel to it hence I don’t puree in the mixie.

VARIATIONS

  • You can add a 1 tablespoon of shredded coconut 

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

SABUDANA CHIVDA (SAGO SAVOURY SNACK)

SABUDANA CHIVDA (SAGO SAVOURY SNACK)
Devshayani Ekadashi or Ashadi Ekadashi is followed by all Hindus, but it’s very popular in Maharashtra and is known by the name of Ashadi Ekadashi.
Every year, there is an annual pilgrimage (yatra) in honor of Lord Vithoba.
Palkhis (palanquin processions) carrying the paduka’s (foot prints) of the deity and various saints, most notably Dnyaneshwar and Tukaram from the Warkari sect, are taken from their respective shrines to Pandharpur.
Warkari is a Marathi term which means "one who performs the Wari" or "one who venerates Lord Vithoba".
The tradition is more than 700 to 800 years old.
Devotees from all over Maharashtra and nearby areas set out for Pandharpur, wearing holy basil beads (Tulsi mala) and singing the glories of Lord Vithoba and the holy saints.
Today is the day when upon reaching Pandharpur on Ashadhi Ekadashi, these devotees take a holy dip in the sacred Chandrabhaga River/Bhima River before proceeding to visit the Vitthal Temple and offering Prayers to the Lord.
The devotees also observe strict fasting on this day.
Those who cannot fast are allowed to eat certain fasting items (Vrat ka khana).
One such item is Sabudana or Sago.
Today I’m going to share with you’ll the recipe of Sabudana Chivda.
Chivda is a mixed snack and usually had with tea. This is a crispy crunchy chivda with an interesting mix.




Ingredients
Sago – 1 cup
Peanuts – ¼ cup
Slivered Almonds – 1 tbsp
Raisins – 2 tablespoons
Potato Grated – 1
Green Chillies - 2-3
Curry Leaves – 1 Sprig
Red chilly powder – ¼ tsp
Powdered Sugar – 1 tsp
Salt as per taste
Oil for frying




Method
Heat oil in a wok / frying pan. Before starting to fry, add a sago and see if it pops up. First add sabudana and fry it till the sabudana changes color. Once done transfer the fried sabudana in a large bowl.
Now fry the grated potato to a golden brown color. Add it to the sabudana mixture.
Now in another wok fry all the ingredients one by one on a low flame ensuring that you don't burn them. Fry the peanuts until golden and split, then the Slivered almonds until golden, Raisins until plump. Fry the green chilies and curry leaves together. Once they are done add them to the sabudana mixture.
Drain the oil well and mix all the ingredients that you fried with the fried Sago.
Add salt and sugar. Mix everything well.
Sabudana Chivda is ready to snack on!
Let this get cool for some time then store it in an air - tight container.
Tips

· You require the larger variety of Sago pearls known as the “Nylon sabudana”

. Use Sendha Namak (Rock Salt) for fasting.

· Always wash the sago well 3 times and then sun dry it and then fry the sago.

· Ensure that none of the ingredients become black while frying. If they become black throw them, don't use them in the chivda as the taste of the chivda can spoil.

· Preferably use a net to fry all the ingredients, as it is easy to catch all the ingredients from the oil.

· Toss all the items a couple of times to mix everything well.

· You can use the dried potato sticks available in the market instead of the fresh grated potato.


Variations 

· Can Add Grated Coconut, Just fry golden and add (If add coconut, the shelf life reduces)

· Can add Cashew nuts. Fry Golden and add to the Chivda

· Can put whole almonds. Fry Golden and add to the Chivda

· Can avoid Green chilies and use only red chili powder

· Can avoid Red chilly powder and use only green chilies instead.

· You can use slices of dried coconut (Kopra). Fry Golden and add to the Chivda

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

BAGUIO SOY GARLIC BEANS

BAGUIO SOY GARLIC BEANS
Exploring Asian Cuisine as the tastes of the people at home is getting diverse thanks to living in Singapore.

Today, I’m sharing a recipe from the Filipino Cuisine.

Baguio is a place in the Philippines where the Beans are commonly grown, hence the name Baguio Soy Garlic Beans and as the name suggests you can guess the ingredients.

Beans are a versatile dish and you can make it in many ways. 

The Filipinos are meat lovers and add meats as a variation to this beans dish. But I’m going to share with you’ll a Vegan version of this dish.

What I love about Asian cuisine is, the dishes are very simple to cook.
They do not overcook their vegetables, they only half cook it so they are slightly crunchy and retain their original taste. The spices do not overwhelm the dish. And the best part is they are quick to cook. This dish takes all of 7 minutes right from the cutting to the cooking to the plate. Vegetables are served as sides in the Filipino cuisine. Garlic gives this dish a potent flavor and aroma





Ingredients
French Beans (Baguio Beans) – 200 grams
Sesame Oil / Cooking oil – 1-2 tsps
Garlic – 2 pods / 1 teaspoon finely chopped
Soya Sauce - 1 tbsp
Sesame seeds – ½ tsp toasted






Method 
Trim the edges of the beans. Wash them well. In a pan, Boil water, I added a pinch of salt for the extra punch. Now, dump in the beans and cook for a couple of minutes until partially done.
Fork out the beans and keep aside. Retain the water as it has a lot of nutrition.
In a wok /pan, add a ¼ spoon of sesame seeds, when it starts to splutter, remove and keep aside.
Now, in the same wok/pan, pour in the sesame oil, once hot, add the garlic and saute for a minute, do not cook until red, it will cook some more with the beans later. Add the Beans, Pour the Soya sauce. Give it a good stir.
Cook, just until the green beans are done and most of the sauce has been soaked up. The flavors permeate into the beans and make this dish very aromatic.
Transfer the cooked beans on a plate along with the garlic and the sauce as show in the picture.
Sprinkle in the toasted sesame seeds and serve hot with steaming hot rice.

Tips
· The water that the beans was cooked in can be served as a plain soup with a dash of soya sauce as a side.

Variations
· The Filipinos add meat to the dish, Vegetarians/Vegans can add crumbled Soya chunks to the above recipe.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

LEMON RICE / LIMBU SADAM

LEMON RICE / LIMBU SADAM
Rice is a staple food of the South Indians. There are many varieties of rice that is made in the south Indian cuisine, one such rice is Lemon Rice (Lemon flavored rice).
The Kerala Iyer’s settled in Mumbai had a different lingo(slang) for everything.
Lemons are known as Limbu in Maharashtrian language and everyone calls it Limbu in Mumbai. In other South Indian states, it’s known as Elimichai (Tamil), CheruNaranga fondly called as Naranga as well (Malayalam), Nimmakaya in (Telegu) and Nimbe (Kannada) and so on and so forth.
Tambrams in Mumbai were such an eclectic mix language wise that we adopted whatever was easy on the tongue and easy for all the generations to understand, so Lemon Rice at my place was called Limbu Sadam. Amma used to pack Lemon rice for us in our tiffin boxes and the wafting aroma of the lemon, hours after it was cooked was still so refreshing. That could be the reason it was packed for our long journeys by train/bus.
I’m going to share the basic recipe of Lemon Rice made by my mother. It can be made exotic by adding various other ingredients as well. 


Ingredients (Serves 2)
Rice -1 cup
Lemon -1
Oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds -1 tsp
White lentil (Urad dal split) -1 tsp
Bengal Gram (Channa dal/kadalai paruppu) -1 tbsp
Red chillies - 1-2 (broken in 2 halves)
Green chillies - 2 -3 (Broken in 2 halves)
Asafetida (Hing) - a pinch
Turmeric Powder - ½ tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp chopped (Optional)
Salt as per taste

Method
Soak the rice for about 20 minutes, after that cook the rice, preferably cook it in the proportion of 1 cup rice:2 cups water. (Refer to tips below).
Rice must not be gluey or stuck to each other, it has to be separate. The texture of the rice is very important to get this recipe right.
Heat oil, add mustard seeds, white lentils (urad dal), Bengal Gram (Chana dal), Red chilies. When the mustard starts to splutter and the dals are turning slightly pink, add in Green chilies, curry leaves and asafetida.
Add the cooked rice, turmeric and salt as per taste. Give it all a good mix, Sauté for about 5-6 minutes till the mixture becomes uniform and is hot. Turn off the gas.
At this stage, squeeze the juice of a lemon (De-seed), Give it all a good mix so that lemon is ingested into the grains of rice
*Very Important - Do not cook after adding the lemon juice, the taste may become bitter!!!
After this, check for salt and if needed, add again and mix well.
Garnish with Freshly chopped coriander leaves (optional).
Serve hot or let it cool and pack it in Tiffin boxes.
Traditionally, lemon rice is served with Papads (Lentil Crackers) / Vadaams (Fryums).
Lemon rice goes well with any dry curries(sabzis) as well.
Serve it the way you like. Eat it the way you enjoy.

Tips
· Use Leftover rice to make the lemon rice as the starch in the rice gets less sticky as it gets colder. There is a big chance that the rice won’t stick to each other.

· If using freshly cooked rice, after cooking, spread it on a plate and let it cool down under a fan.

· Spice levels can be increased or decreased as per taste

· Addition of lemon decreases the salt taste, so after adding the lemon, check for salt and if needed, add again

· Do not skip Chana dal as it gives a crunch to the lemon rice.


VARIATIONS

· Can Add peanuts to the lemon rice. Fry the peanuts in Oil and keep aside and add when you add the cooked rice.

· Can Add Cashew nuts to the lemon rice. Fry the cashew nuts golden in Oil and keep aside and add when you add the cooked rice.

· You can add green peas, if you are adding green peas, sauté until lighter color in the oil after you add the green chilies and curry leaves

· You can add grated or diced(small) carrots for extra nutrition. if you are adding carrots, sauté until soft in the oil after you add the green chilies and curry leaves

· You can add onion to this recipe.

· You can add ginger to this recipe. Pound ¼ inch ginger and add along with chilies in the recipe.

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