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Showing posts with label FESTIVAL RECIPES. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FESTIVAL RECIPES. Show all posts

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 into your mouth, the hot seedai 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 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 sautรฉ.
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.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

COARSE BESAN LADDOO (COARSE GRAM FLOUR BALLS WITH A CRUNCH)

COARSE BESAN LADDOO (COARSE GRAM FLOUR BALLS WITH A CRUNCH)

One of my neighbors sells homemade Diwali sweets and savories. I always buy something to support her effort. This time when I went to buy I saw her making huge batches of Besan Laddoo. Immediately I was tempted to try them at home. She was making the Fine Besan laddoos and I wanted to try the coarse variety.  
So I bought the Coarse Besan from Mustafa. We are fortunate to get the Coarse Laddoo Besan under the Pattu Brand. 

My Maharashtrian neighbor in India used to make the best besan laddoos that we used to savor. She always used to sort and then grind the Chana dal in a flour mill near our house. This would ensure no compromise on the taste. The quality of the besan flour is very important as it is the main ingredient in the laddoos.  The Coarse besan laddoos taste like panjiri laddoos and also absorb less ghee which is good.


Ingredients
Coarse Besan – 3 cups
Powdered Sugar – 1 ½ cup
Ghee – 1 cup melted
Cardamom - 4 to 5
Cashews  -  ½ cup
Raisins – ½ cup


Method
In a wok (pan), add 2 tablespoons of ghee and roast the Gram flour (besan) evenly by continuously stirring it with a spatula over a medium flame until a nice toasted aroma comes out of it.

Be careful not to burn the besan while roasting it as it will completely ruin the taste of the laddoo.
Roasting the flour properly is one of the biggest challenges in this recipe. If the flour is not roasted properly there will be a raw smell to the ladoos, It’s also not good for health. 
So roast until you begin to get the lovely aroma, the color would be a yellowish golden (See the picture below).


Let the roasted besan cool down. Keep it aside.
Powder the sugar along with the cardamom and keep aside.
Take the cooled down roasted besan and mix with the sugar.
Transfer this mix to a big plate. I usually take a big plate so it’s easy for me to mix. (See the picture above)

In a saucepan, add in the ¼ cup ghee and to it add the Cashew nuts and Raisins and fry until the raisins become plump and the cashew nuts get slightly toasted. Remove the fried cashew nuts and raisins and keep them aside in a plate. Keep the melted ghee.

Now add the melted ghee.  
Do not pour too much ghee while making the balls, it’s better to pour little by little....Like how we pour water for making sand play. If all the ghee is poured at one time, the mixture may become very greasy and the flour may not bind well to shape the laddoo. The laddoos will be soft and collapse as well. Take some Besan add the ghee and make balls. 


This recipe is easy for beginners to follow. You can’t go wrong with the measurements of ghee thanks to the coarse besan. Add enough ghee to help enable to make balls. Once, you have added the ghee, make small tight balls out of the mixture immediately. If your flour looks dry, add the ghee as needed little by little. And if your flour looks greasy, do not add more ghee.
While making the balls, take one piece of cashew and 1 piece of raisin and make a ball. This will ensure that every laddoo gives u a piece of the cashew nut and the raisin.


Coarse Besan Laddoo is ready for you’ll to enjoy!!!



Tips
• To make the fine besan laddoo - Take the cooled down roasted besan and mix with the sugar and run in the blender till it becomes one uniform mixture and follow as above.  The finer the blend the more melt-in-the mouth the laddoo’s will be.


• Sugar can be added according to taste. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

DIET POHA CHIVDA / LOW CAL CHIVDA (THIN BEATEN RICE FLAKES MIXTURE - A LOW CAL SAVOURY)

DIET POHA CHIVDA / LOW CAL CHIVDA (THIN BEATEN RICE FLAKES MIXTURE - A LOW CAL SAVOURY)

First of all “HAPPY DIWALI TO ALL”. MAY THIS DIWALI BRING HEALTH, WEALTH & PROSPERITY TO ALL.

Diwali is a time for making and sharing goodies. The markets are filled with colourful mithais and namkeens that look so tantalizing,  that We usually overindulge in the goodies and either put on loads of weight or become sick. This year I thought why not make something which is guiltless. Who doesn’t enjoy guiltless snacking?

Earlier I had shared a recipe of the Patal Pohe Chivda in my blog, (Click on the link below)



Traditionally in this recipe you have to deep fry all the ingredients including the poha...then it’s very tasty.
But in my recipe, I had roasted the poha until crisp by adding a little oil...rest of the ingredients I deep fried.

The problem with Indian snacks is, it’s difficult to make them totally guiltless.
These days in Singapore we easily get many ingredients which were not easily available when I landed here 15 years ago. I’m glad that an influx of Indian migrants in Singapore  have brought in a demand for things which is a bonus for food bloggers and people who love cooking.  I always go to Mustafa (a huge shopping centre in Singapore) a week before Diwali to check out their stuff and this year while browsing through I saw packets of Diet Poha and I thought Hey!!! This is exactly what I wanted as I’m trying to watch my weight.  

I even avoided adding Copra(Dried coconut flakes) which is there in my previous recipe.
Here is my recipe, this can also be made on a regular basis for a tea-time snack.


Ingredients
Diet Poha - 1 Kg.
Peanuts - 1 cup
Daliya (Roasted Gram Dal/ Chutney Chana dal) - 1 cup
Cashewnuts- 20-25 pieces
Golden Raisins - 20 -25 pieces
Chopped Green chilies - 12-15
Curry leaves -  5 sprigs (25-30 leaves)
Mustard seeds - 2 teaspoons
Cumin seeds – 2 teaspoons
Sesame seeds - 2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 3 teaspoon
Asafetida - 1 teaspoon
Salt as per taste.
Powder sugar - 2 teaspoon
Oil - 1/2 cup


Method
Diet Poha is very thin and fragile so it gets crumbled very quickly. Take the poha and sieve it for any fine powder to be filtered leaving only the flakes. Keep aside.
Diet Poha has very thin flakes so it gets cooked very fast. I decided not to fry it and dry roast it instead. You can also put it in the microwave. If in case you are cooking in the microwave, put the diet poha in a shallow microwave safe dish and microwave it on high for 30 seconds only.
For those who don't have a microwave you can dry roast it in a wok (Kadhai)on a very low flame till it becomes crispy.  This needs attention else it can burn very easily. Keep this Poha aside.
If you have roasted the poha in the microwave, then Add 2 tablespoons oil in a big wok, add in the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and sesame seeds and when they start spluttering, add in the green chillies and curry leaves, fry them well. Then add in the diet poha, turmeric, salt and sugar and saute for about 3 minutes. Keep aside.
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 daliya until golden, then the cashews until golden, Raisins until plump. Preferably use a net to fry all this as it can catch all the ingredients from the oil. Ensure that none of the ingredients become black. If they become black throw them, don't use them in the chivda as the taste of the chivda can spoil with it. Drain the oil well and mix all the ingredients that you fried in a vessel with the diet poha.
Toss everything well with a light hand ensuring that you don't break the thin poha flakes. Roast for another 2 minutes on a low flame while mixing. Put off the flame and spread this on a newspaper or a big plate. Let this get cool for some time then store it in an air - tight dabba(box).  Your  Diet Poha Chivda/ Low cal Chivda is ready for some Guiltless indulgence.


Tips

  • If you do not have the confidence of adding the chilly and curry leaves to the tadka afraid of burning the tadka then you can fry them separately...after you fry all the nuts, you can fry these too also using a net in the oil and then mix with the mixture.
  • You can add poppy seeds to the tadka while adding mustard and sesame but Poppy seeds are banned in Singapore so I didn’t add them
  • You can add Puffed rice (kurmura) with Poha.
  • You can add red chilly powder instead of green chilies.
  • You can add citric acid or amchur powder for some sourness. I didn't do it in my recipe.
  • You can add deep fried garlic in the Chivda
  • You can deep fried onion to the chivda.
  • I have seen a recipe wherein fresh coriander seeds are roasted, pounded into a powder and added to the chivda for extra flavor.
  • My Mother-in-law adds Roasted and pounded fennel seeds into the chivda.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

ROASTED PHOOL MAKHANA /PUFFED LOTUS SEEDS / FOXNUT

ROASTED PHOOL MAKHANA /PUFFED LOTUS SEEDS / FOXNUT
Phool Makhana is Puffed dried lotus seeds, also known as Foxnuts. Phool Makhana is very famous in North India during Vrat Season for making kheer, sabji or just roasting it for snacking.It is considered to be very healthy as its low in saturated fats and cholestrol content, Isn’t that nice to hear you don't need to feel guilty while you munch on these super healthy crunchy roasted phool makhana, it tastes a bit like popcorn but I tell you this is more tasty and healthier...and you can prepare it in a jiffy.
I had seen Phool makhana used to thicken gravies in North Indian curries.  But that’s all I knew about it. But when I came to live with the North Indians in Singapore, I saw that they used it extensively during the fasting season. They made a kheer(Milk dessert) out of it or used it in a vegetable or simply ate roasted Phool Makhana like popcorn. Now, this variety impressed me the most as I love popcorns.

Then again, when I googled on Phool Makhana...

I learnt that.......
1. Lotus seeds benefit the spleen, kidney, and heart.
2. The seed also has calming properties that alleviate restlessness, palpitations, and insomnia.
3. It is also rich in calcium. It can be easily digested by all the age groups.
4. It is a highly regarded herb for restoring sexual vigour and youthful energy in older men.
5. It regulates blood pressure, relieves numbness and aching near waist and knees.
6. It is Suitable for arthritis, helps fighting impotency and premature aging.
7. Makhana is very useful for women during and post pregnancy period.
8. It is also helps your respiratory system, veins and digestion.
9. Popped makhana contains almost 12% of protein! (excellent especially for vegetarians!)

Anti – aging :- Fox nuts are rich in antioxidants which works as age lock system and makes us younger for much longer. Fox nuts are effective for individuals with high risk of premature ageing, premature grey hair,wrinkles  and other signs of aging. It reverses the aging process over a period of time......This definitely has caught my Attention

Diabetes :- Diabetes is a metabolic disorder, which is accompanied by high blood glucose levels. It is a result of improper functioning of the pancreas, which secretes the insulin hormone. Fox nut is a sweet and sour seed These seeds contain starch and protein which is excellent for diabetes .

AYURVEDA AND UNANI (BRANCHES OF MEDICINE) texts have accepted its aphrodisiac and spermatogenic properties.
Herbs of phool makhana are considered worth in vajikarnana therapy.
Makhana helps in Cardiac Protection and builds the action in dysentery and frequent urination.
Phool makhana has astringent property, hence it gives relief from diarrhoea and helps to improve the appetite.
It helps in increasing the quality and quantity of semen, also prevents the premature ejaculation, increases the libido and also helps in female infertility.
Phool makhana is sweet to neutral in nature. Therefore, helps to detoxify the spleen, reinforce the kidneys and nourish the blood.

TCM
According to principles of TCM (traditional Chinese medicine), fox nut is used to strengthen spleen and kidneys.  Makhana helps in conditions like arthritis, erectile dysfunction and premature aging. These seeds have antioxidant properties and help in digestion, rejuvenates respiratory system and prevents frequent urination.
“25 to 30 grams” phool makhana is considered as a healthy food/diet for the whole family.
Wow!!!!.......So many benefits...then why not add it into our daily lives....and I decided to make the healthy popcorn (Roasted Phool Makhana).
My kids loved it and kept munching. I tried adding some flavours too like chat masala, red chilly powder, pepper powder etc. They liked the original lightly salted the best though.


Ingredients
Makhana - 2 cups
Oil/Ghee – 2 tsps
Salt as per taste
In case you want to add color / flavors
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp (Yellow color)
Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp (Red Chilly flavour)
Paprika powder – ½ tsp (Paprika flavour)
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp (Pepper flavour)
Chat Masala powder - 1 tsp (Masala Flavour)
Tomato powder – 1 tsp (Tomato Flavour)
Cheese powder – 2 tsp (Cheese Flavour)
Or any flavour you please. You can make a combo of flavours too....

Method
In a wok, add ghee and once the ghee is hot, add the phool makhanas and roast them. Don’t leave them unattended on the fire as they are very delicate and tend to burn fast. Keep roasting till it’s light golden in color.  Check if it’s done by sampling one...If it’s crunchy then it’s done. Put off the gas.
Add salt and toss. Fill a nice bowl with the crunchy phool makhanas and enjoy this healthy snack 
In case you want to add flavours then,
After sampling add in the spice powders of your choice and toss.  Serve and Enjoy.
If you’ve made a big batch then let the Phool Makhana cool down completely then store them in an airtight container. Phool Makhana has a very good shelf life, you can store them in air tight container for many months. Keep them away from the moisture and direct sun light.

Tips
·         The plain salted tastes better when roasted in Ghee

·         After you add the spice powders don’t toss with the gas burner on as the spice powders will catch       the bottom and burn spoiling your batch of makhanas.

Monday, October 6, 2014

RAVA LADDOO / SUJI KE LADDOO/ SWEET SEMOLINA BALLS

RAVA LADDOO / SUJI KE LADDOO/ SWEET SEMOLINA BALLS
This is probably one of the easiest sweets to make. This is also one of the first sweets I ever attempted to make. I would call this a beginner’s sweet or a no-fail recipe for anybody. Just follow the recipe step-by-step and you will have one the easiest sweets to prepare for Diwali or any festival or just to gobble like that. I also call Rava Laddoo one of the easiest sweets as it is prepared with ingredients easily available at home like Semolina, sugar and ghee. Rava Laddoo in Tamil is known as Suji ke Laddoo in the North and Ravyacha Laadoo in Maharashtra.
Here is the recipe for Rava Laddoo


Ingredients
Semolina/Rava/sooji - 1 cup 
Sugar – ¾ cup - 1 cup (depending on how sweet you like)
Ghee - ¼ cup 
Milk (optional) - 1 tblsp 
Cardamom powder (elaichi) – 1 tsp
Cashew nuts – 2 tbsps sliced in halves
Raisins – 2 tbsps 


Method
In a wok (pan), add the semolina and roast evenly by continuously stirring it with a spatula over a medium flame until a nice toasted aroma comes out of it. Be careful not to burn the rava while roasting it as it will completely ruin the taste of the laddoo. Let the roasted rava cool down. Keep it aside.
Now powder the sugar and keep aside.
Now take the cooled down roasted rava and mix with the sugar and run in the blender till it becomes one uniform mixture. Add in the cardamom (elaichi) powder and run it in the blender along with the rava and sugar.
Now transfer this mix to a big plate. I usually take a big plate so it’s easy for me to mix. In a saucepan, add in the ¼ cup ghee and to it add the Cashew nuts and Raisins and fry until the raisins become plump and the cashew nuts get slightly toasted. Add this to the rava and sugar mixture.
Sprinkle the milk and mix thoroughly (This step is optional). In case you are using milk, heat up the milk slightly and add in warm milk to the mix. Milk is added to enable binding the mixture well enough so as to make the laddoos easily. I haven’t used milk in my recipe. I have made the laddoos completely with ghee. Adding milk reduces the shelf life of the laddoos.
Once, you have added the ghee, make small balls out of the mixture immediately, make tight balls. Rava Laddoo is ready to enjoy!!!

 Tips
         While blending the semolina, ensure that it is blended to a fine powder which will enable to make the laddoo easily. If the mix is coarse then it won’t be easy to make the laddoos.
         The finer the blend the more melt-in-the mouth the laddoo’s will be.
         In case, you are not using milk and find it difficult to bind, add in more melted warm ghee to the mix until it’s easier to make the laddoos.
         Sugar can be added according to taste. 3/4th cup is just ok not overly sweet. If you like it more sweet you can add 1 cup of sugar.

         You can reduce the ghee by 2 tbsps in the recipe and it still turns out fine. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

KARADAYAN NOMBU ADAI QUICK & EASY RECIPE ( SWEET & SAVORY ADAI)

KARADAYAN NOMBU
The Karadayan Nombu festival is primarily observed and celebrated by the Tamil Brahmins. It is celebrated during the transition of Tamil Month of Maasi to Panguni. Due to this legend Karadaiyan Nombu is also known as Savithri Vratham.

There are a few festivals in India which are very male oriented and centered around men. Primarily because in the past the men were the bread winners and the woman’s role was taking care of the hearth and homes. Their lives were intertwined with their husbands and they usually used to pray for the long lives of their husband, so that he is always there for them till the day they die. This was also a way to profess their undying love for their husbands. As per one of my cousins this could be known as the “Karwa Chauth” of the South Indians (Tambhrams). To give it a filmy twist, Women can even ask their husbands to tie the Yellow thread for them๐Ÿ˜‰and then touch his feet and seek his blessings๐Ÿ˜‡. (I'm not sure how many women of today will be ready to do that๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜œ)


HOW DOES THE FESTIVAL GET IT'S NAME ?

Karadayan Adai is the name of a unique dish prepared on this day and Nombu means Vratham or upavasam (fast).Wives keep a fast to pray for the long lives of their husband's. They break the fast at the timings specified (muhurtham timings) by eating the Adai.

STORY BEHIND THE FESTIVAL


The Story of the Tamil Karadayan Nombu festival is based on the legend of Satyavan Savitri which is one of the stories that we read in the epic story Mahabharata.
You can read the story of Satyavan and Savitri here.
It is believed that Savitri got her husband’s life back from the clutches of death.
Each region in India observes a fast (upvas/vrat) in a different time of the year, like the Maharashtrians observe this as Vata Savitri and the North Indians as “Karva Chauth” etc.


WHEN DO WE CELEBRATE


It is celebrated during the transition of Tamil Month of Maasi to Panguni but please note the time of the end of the month of Maasi and the beginning of  Panguni varies.

If you are looking for accurate timings, please use the link below.๐Ÿ‘‡ It gives you the date and Muhurtham timings of the Pooja as per the place you live in,

http://www.drikpanchang.com/festivals/karadaiyan-nombu/karadaiyan-nombu-date-time.html

 If you wish, you can consult your temple priest or check with elders or refer to the Panchangam.


HOW DO WE CELEBRATE

On Karadayan Nombu day women worship the Goddess and offer her a Neivedhyam (offering) of Sweet & Savoury mini steamed Adais.
Unmarried girls pray for a good husband and married women pray for their husband’s long life.
There is a muhurtham time for tying the sacred yellow thread which indicates that we have offered our prayers.
During this time, Women pray to the Goddess and tie the sacred yellow cotton thread known as Manjal cheradu or Nombu Cheradu for the well-being of their husband. This thread is not as thick as the Thali Kayaru(cheradu), this is a thinner version as shown in the picture.

*Women who are unable to perform the pooja on Nombu day due to monthly periods or any other reason, can do it on the following Tuesday or Friday during the Panguni month.*


HOW TO DO THE POOJA

Wear a Pattu(Silk) saree and for girls the pattu pavadai (if possible)



Keep in the pooja room near God on a plate, manjal, kumkumam, betel leaves, paaku, broken coconut, banana, flowers and all the yellow threads. Light the lamp and the Incense/Dhoopam for the Goddess. (refer to the picture above ☝)

Prepare The sweet and savory Adai's (Refer to Recipe below ๐Ÿ‘‡)
In plates or banana leaves place the Adais(Sweet and savory) and do neivedhyam for the Goddess.
Put small maa - kolams in front of the God for the total number of Girls/Ladies and One for the Goddess Amman
(This can be done in the morning itself, it should be totally dry when you do the pooja)
Place a banana leaf on top of each Kolam, Keep the Nombu adai(Sweet & Savory) with umelted butter on each banana leaf.
Do Namaskaram to the Goddess, tie a yellow thread (Nombu cheradu) for the Goddess and then sit cross legged in front of each Banana leaf placed before the Goddess.
Now tie the nombu cheradu around your neck by yourself and tie it for the children too.

*The following shloka is chanted while tying the yellow thread*

In Sanskrit,
“Throram Krishnami subhake saharitham
Dharami aham bharthu Ayushya Sidhartham supreethabhava sarvadha”
Which means,
By tying the sacred yellow thread, I hereby pray for a long life for my husband and also pray that we always live happily together.

In Tamil ladies chant,
Urugaadha Venneyum, Oru adaiyum, Oru Noolum naan noorthaen
Orukkalumum en kanavan ennai vittu piriyaada irukka vendum.
Which means,
I offer unmelted butter alongwith the adai, Tying a thread doing nombu,
Bless me O Goddess that me and my husband never get separated and always live happily together.





After tying the rope, take one adai along with unmelted butter and eat it.๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹.
Ladies should eat this adai and break the fast.
Then it should be distributed to the members of family.

This is how Karadaiyan Nombu is performed in our house. This procedure may differ as per places.

Consult the elders about your family practice and do the pooja accordingly.


MAKING THE ADAI

I will share with you an easy method to make the adai without compromising much on the taste.
Before you make the adai (for sweet adai and the savory adai), roast the rice flour in a wok so it loses its raw smell. The color of the flour should still be white. Transfer it onto a plate to cool.

SWEET ADAI / VELLA ADAI (EASY & INSTANT METHOD)

Ingredients
Rice Flour - 2 cups
Jaggery (powdered) - 1.5 cups
Water - 1 cup
Black eyed beans - 1/2 cup
Coconut (cut into small cubes) - 2 tbsp
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Cardamom (Elaichi) - 2-3

Method
Soak the beans overnight or for around 3 hours, pressure cook and set aside.
Pound the cardamom, separate the skin and further pound the seeds inside into a powder.
In a wok, add Ghee, the cardamom seeds and coconut pieces, Allow the coconut pieces to fry until golden. Then add the water and let it boil, once it starts boiling, add the jaggery.
When the jaggery starts to froth and the raw smell of jaggery disappears, add the roasted rice flour, cooked black eyed beans, and mix the ingredients well. Mix until it rolls up like the chappati dough. Remove from the gas. Allow it to cool.
Once it is cool enough to touch, make balls of the mixture and flatten it to round shapes. Put a hole in the middle with your finger just like a doughnut, place on the idli moulds.
Steam them in an idli cooker for 7 - 10 minutes. Serve with a generous dollop of white butter (usually made at home).



SAVORY ADAI / UPPU ADAI



Ingredients
Rice flour - 2 cups
Water - 2 cups
Cooked black eyed beans - 3 tbsp
Green chillies / Dried red chillies - 2
Coconut, diced - 2 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - a Sprig
Asafetida - a pinch
Salt - to taste
Method
Heat some oil in a wok, add some mustard seeds, asafetida, green chillies or dried red chillies and curry leaves and sautรฉ for a minute, till the seeds stop spluttering. Add the water to it next and let it come to a boil. Add in the salt, coconut pieces, cooked black eyed beans and the roasted rice flour and stir well so that lumps don't form. Mix until it rolls up like the chappati dough. Remove from the gas. Allow it to cool.
Make balls out of it, flatten the balls and cook in an idli steamer for about 10 minutes.
Serve with a generous dollop of butter.

Enjoy the Adais ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹ as a reward of breaking the vratham๐Ÿ‘ kept for your dear husbands or would-be husbands.

AFTER THE FESTIVAL
The thread you tied around the Godess's Idol can be removed once its worn out, it can be tied to a plant or branch of a tree or dispersed in water. Do not disperse in reserviors/lakes
The threads tied around the women can be tied to the Thali Cheradu (Kodi)/Mangalsutra if you wish to or tie it to a plant or the branch of a tree.
For unmarried girls the thread can be tied to the branch of a tree too.


"HAPPY KARADAYAN NOMBU TO ALL" 



Monday, October 28, 2013

SWEET SHANKARPAALE / SHANKARPALI / SHAKKAR PAARE (SWEET CRUNCHY DIAMOND BITS)

SWEET SHANKARPAALE / SHANKARPALI / SHAKKAR PAARE (SWEET CRUNCHY DIAMOND BITS)
Shankarpaale is a very popular snack in the states of Maharshtra & Gujarat, India. It is traditionally made during Diwali in most Maharastrian households. It’s simple and easy to make. It is rich in carbohydrates, making it an instant source of energy.
The mixture is made into dough and then mechanically cut into diamond shaped units which are deep fried in ghee or butter. Most of the ingredients are available at home easily and no need to specially buy stuff to make this dish.
The North Indians make this a bit differently, instead of adding the sugar into the dough, they make a sugar syrup and after frying the dough bits they dunk them in the sugar syrup and allow it to cool down. Once cool, the sugar forms a white frosted topping. I personally prefer the Maharashtrian version as I find them less sweet and guiltless than to see them loaded with sugar on top.
Being married to a man from Pune and not knowing to make Shankarpaale could be considered as a sin. That’s just a joke. We can always buy these goodies from the Store. But nothing can beat the taste or freshness of the home-made ones.
This dish has a long shelf life and can last you even up to a month if stored well in an airtight container.
This year for Diwali I am preparing Shankarpaale. You don’t need to prepare this only for Diwali. It’s a good snack to prepare anytime during the year. These are bite sized munchies which are enjoyable to gobble anytime during the day or can be had as a tea-time snack.
I made one batch of Shankarpaales which was about 250gms but it got over so soon, that, I had to make another batch, so I made 1 kilo of them for Diwali to share with my neighbors and friends.
The below recipe is for making about 250 gms / ¼ kilo Shankarpaale.

Ingredients
All purpose flour – 1 ½ cup
Semolina – 1 teaspoon
Sugar – ¼ cup
Ghee or butter – ¼ cup
Milk – ¼ cup
Salt – a pinch
Oil for frying

If you want to make about 1kg you need to use
All purpose flour – 6 cups
Semolina – 3 teaspoons
Sugar – 1 ¼  cup
Ghee or butter – 1 cup
Milk – 1 cup
Salt – 1 ½ teaspoons
Oil for frying

Method
Sieve the all purpose flour, add the semolina and salt. Mix well and keep aside.
In a saucepan, take milk and ghee and heat until the ghee melts. Now, add sugar and keep stirring until the sugar melts or up to 1 boil, whichever is earlier.
Let this mix cool down.
Once it’s cool, add this mixture to the all purpose flour, semolina and salt mix and start kneading the dough. The dough should be of the consistency of a chappati but will be soft because of the ghee.
Make a stiff dough that’s easy to roll. Now cover with a moist cloth and let this dough rest for about half an hour (30 minutes).
Make small balls from the dough and roll like a thick paratha. The thicker ones come out soft and crunchy like biscuits and the thinner ones come out crispy like chips. It’s a personal choice how you want it. I like it like a biscuit, so I roll my shankarpaales a little thick. Once you rolled the dough to your desired thickness. Remove the rough edges by using knife or pizza cutter.
Now cut in to desired shape (usually squares or diamonds). I like diamond shaped ones, so I cut mine like diamonds. Keep the oil hot and ready in a wok. I usually keep the flame on sim when I add in the shankarpaale diamonds and let it be there on sim for a minute or 2. After this I increase the flame, so that the dough gets cooked properly inside out when on sim. You must do this when you are rolling out thicker shankarpaales. Deep fry till it gets golden brown color. Allow it to cool down and then store in an air tight container or zip lock bag. Enjoy these delicious diamond bites as and when you want.


 Tips

·         The proportion for the All purpose flour may vary. If you feel while kneading that the dough is too smooth and not getting to the required stiffness, add in some more flour till you get the desired stiffness.

·         You can fry in ghee or dalda instead of oil.

·         I used coarse grain sugar in my recipe and my shankarpaales were not overly sweet. If you are using fine grain or castor sugar, you may need to add in some more sugar.

·         My Shankarpaales were not overly sweet, if you like it very sweet you can add in a bit more of sugar.

Monday, September 16, 2013

WHEAT COCONUT BOLIS / THENGA BOLI / COCONUT POLI

Today is an important day as is not only the 8th day of Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations but today is also Onam.
So, wishing all my readers a Happy Ganesh Chaturthi and a Happy Onam. Hope to be more regular in blogging from now on, as I really miss blogging these days.

WHEAT COCONUT BOLIS / THENGA BOLI / COCONUT POLI
Whenever my sister comes from Chennai my husband Yo always asks her to bring Thenga Boli from Venkataramana Boli store. He absolutely adores them. This time my sister couldn’t make it and Yo was disappointed. So I decided to make it for him. Venkataramana Boli store Bolis are absolutely yummy. The coconut filling inside is quite generous and it’s totally yummy. We don’t get to eat it hot or fresh, so we usually heat it up a bit in the microwave, pour a dollop of fresh ghee and indulge in this sinful delight.
The original Venkataramana boli recipe has Maida(All purpose floor). But here I replaced Maida with wheat flour.
Wheat is a healthy option and doesn’t alter the taste too much and the Coconut poli tastes yummy anyways.


Ingredients
Freshly Grated coconut - 2 cups,
Jaggery - 2 cups
Wheat flour -2 cups
Oil - 3 tbsp
Salt – ½ tsp
Cardamom powder -1 tsp
Oil as required
Ghee as required

Method
For filling
In a wok, Add one tablespoon of ghee, then add the cardamom powder, Now add the grated jaggery, when the grated jaggery melts, add the grated coconut and blend both well, and cook further.
Grate the jaggery. Boil jaggery in water till it dissolves, and strain the syrup. Mix the jaggery syrup and grated coconut. Place on the stove and stir till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
Roll into lemon - sized balls. Keep aside.

For dough
Mix wheat flour, a pinch of salt, oil and water and knead the dough. The dough should be soft. Keep this aside for about half an hour till it sets.
Then knead again, by punching it and folding it. Knead well and divide the dough into 20 equal portions.
On a well-floured board, gently roll out two polis, with the help of a rolling pin into a 6 inches disc. Place one and then spread a tablespoon of the coconut jaggery mixture evenly with the back of a spoon.

Place the other poli on top. The reason you do this in this style is to ensure that you get a lot of filling in each bite.

Roast each poli on a hot, dry girdle (tava). Add a teaspoon of ghee around the poli , once you see some spots on the backside flip over, you will see your Coconut polis puff up. Once done, remove on a plate. Serve hot with a dollop of ghee.

Tips :-
-        Another method to do it is, with greased palms, take one portion of the dough and flatten it into a disc of the size of the palm. Place a ball of "coconut jaggery" paste in the centre and fold the disc from all sides to cover the paste completely.
-       Instead of wheat flour you can use All purpose flour.
-      You can make the coconut filling one day prior to preparing the bolis if you desire.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

KOZHAKATTAI / UKDICHE MODAK / COCONUT & JAGGERY FILLED RICE DUMPLINGS


KOZHAKATTAI / UKDICHE MODAK / COCONUT & JAGGERY FILLED RICE DUMPLINGS
GANPATI BAPPA MORYA!!!!!
Yesterday marked the beginning of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, this festival marks the celebration of the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, who is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees in the duration of this festival. It is the day Shiva declared his son Ganesha as superior to all the gods, barring Vishnu, Lakshmi, Shiva and Parvati. Ganesha is widely worshipped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune and traditionally invoked at the beginning of any new venture or at the start of travel.
The festival, also known as Ganeshotsav ("festival of Ganesha") is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). The date usually falls between 19 August and 20 September. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Anant Chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the waxing moon period). The total number of days change according to the waqxing moon and the Hindu calendar. This festival is celebrated  with great pomp all over India, it is most elaborate in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa and Chhattisgarh. Outside India, it is celebrated widely in Nepal and by Hindus in the United States, Canada, Mauritius,[3] Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma and Fiji. (Info courtesy-Wikipedia)
One thing that is always made in my kitchen for my darling elephant God Ganesha is the Tenga Poornam Kozhakattai / modakams.
Modak has a special importance in the worship of the Hindu god Ganesh; modak is believed to be his favorite food, which begets him the moniker “modakapriya” (the one who likes modak) in Sanskrit.
During the Ganesh worship ceremony, known in India as Ganesh Chaturthi the puja always concludes with an offering of modakas to the deity and as prasad.
I make this in the South Indian style as well as the Maharashtrian style as I was born in Maharashtra where the same dish is known as Ukdiche Modak.
In Maharashtra
The sweet filling inside a modak is made up of fresh grated coconut and jaggery, while the outer cover is made from rice flour, or wheat flour mixed with khava(khoya) or maida flour. The dumpling can be fried or steamed. The steamed version is called ukdiche modak.
In South -India
The sweet filling inside a modak is made up of fresh grated coconut and jaggery, while the outer cover is made from rice flour and steam cooked.
I never found the steam cooked kozhakattais in any restaurant in Mumbai, India but was surprised to find this at the Ananda bhavan restaurant here in Singapore. But nothing can beat the home cooked ones especially when they are just out of the steamer/cooker. It’s best to eat this when it’s steaming hot. 
Ingredients
White rice – ¾ cup
Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Jaggery - 3/4 cup
Elaichi (Cardamom) – 2-3
Ghee – ½ tbsp
Coconut Oil - 3 tbsp
Method
To make the coconut jaggery filling (Tengai Poornam)
In a wok, add the ghee and the crushed cardamom minus the skin of the cardamom. Allow this to fry, then add in the jaggery and let it melt on a low flame. Once the jiggery starts to froth, add in the coconut, mix well and keep stirring over a low flame until the mix becomes one, there’s no water and the mix starts to leave the sides of the pan. This is fast to cook in a non-stick wok. Once done, keep aside and let it cool. Make small balls and keep aside.
Make the cover
Soak the rice in water for about 2-3 hours. Rinse well. Drain the water from the rice and grind it in a mixie (blender) by adding some water until it becomes a smooth batter. Add about 1 ½ tbsp of oil and a pinch of salt. Now, in a nonstick pan, Add in the batter and on a low flame cook it until the water starts to evaporate and the batter starts to thicken a bit like chappati dough but slightly more pliable than  that. Immediately put off the flame and allow it to cool. Knead the dough well. Add some oil and knead well.
How to make the kozhakattai
Grease your hands with some coconut oil. Take a small piece of the dough, roll it like a ball and then flatten it on your palm and shape it like a bowl. Gently press and shape the dough to make it bigger and ensure that it doesn’t have cracks. My grandmother always used to say that the best kozhakattai is when the cover is thin and not too thick and also there shouldn’t be cracks. Now place the Tengai Poornam or coconut jaggery filling that you rolled into balls and place it in the centre of your bowl shaped dough and close it, pulling some of the dough up into the shape of a monumental tower on the tip. Make a few and keep aside.
Steaming the kozhakattais
You can use an idli stand, a dhokla stand, a stainless steel or bamboo steamer or any plate, just grease the plate, line up the kozhakattais and cover with a lid and let it cook on steam for abour 5-10 minutes. Check the kozhakattais, when you find that they are a bit shiny and translucent, and not sticky when you touch them, they are ready. Sprinkle one tablespoon of water on them. And serve them on a plate for the lord, this is called as “Neivedyam”. Once that’s done, you can dunk into this steam cooked sweet delight. Always eat these hot. There are some things in life which can be got only at home and not in a restaurant or shop. This is one of them.

Tips
-Use coconut oil for best results.
-Use fresh grated coconut instead of the frozen or dessicated ones
-Grind the rice flour in a stone grinder instead of a mixie.
-You can use readymade rice flour instead of soaking and grinding the rice. But ensure that you use fine rice flour.
- If, at any time, the dough begins to be difficult to work with, add some water to the dough and knead the dough again. If the batter begins to stick to your fingers, dip your fingers into the oil.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

BADHUSHA


BADHUSHA
I would like to wish all the visitors to my blog, 
A VERY HAPPY & PROSPEROUS DIWALI.


These days I look for sweets which are less sweet. I usually have Badhusha in a shop here in Singapore and adore it because it’s not that sweet as other sweets, so this Diwali I decided to make Badhusha also known as Balushahi in some parts of India. While I was browsing for a no-fail recipe I stumbled across Raks kitchen (Raks happens to be a fellow blogger from Singapore as well, Please click on the hyperlink to see the step by step pictures in her blog). I had tried making Badhusha earlier but it was a huge flop as it came out very hard. I didn't want to try any stunts and followed exactly as mentioned in her blog.

Ingredients
Maida/All purpose flour -1 ½  cups
Butter – ¼ cup
Oil – 1/8 cup
Sugar - ½ tsp
Curd – 1 ½ tsp
Cooking soda/sodium bi carbonate - 2 pinches
Water - ¼  cup (approx.)
Oil - for deep frying
For Syrup
Sugar - ½ cup
Water - Just to immerse the sugar
Cardamom powder -      2 pinches
Saffron Optional - a pinch
Lemon Juice - 1 tsp
Method
In a big bowl, Add melted butter, oil, sugar, curd and sodium bi-carb and use a whisk to mix well, to make it almost frothy. Now add the flour to it and mix well to make it crumbly. Now add water to make the dough, I used ¼ cup of water only, it was just right, kindly adjust accordingly. Knead the dough well like you do for chappati. The dough should be smooth and not have any lumps. Knead well till you feel it is smooth. I kneaded for about 10 mins. Beating and folding the dough and trying to make it as smooth as possible. I made 23 small balls out of this, as I made slightly smaller sized badhushas. You can adjust the size according to how you want it. Now take a ball and pinch the edges and fold it inwards to make rims decoratively (You can refer to Raks blog where she has uploaded a video to show how it is done). I didn’t have much patience so I tried only 2 pieces with decorative rims and the rest I just made by flattening the balls and putting a depression in the middle with my index finger. Repeat to finish everything and keep covered.
Meanwhile add sugar to a pan and just add water to immerse it and boil till one string consistency,
i.e; if you pour in little water, it should not dissolve and it should lay a fine thread. Add saffron, cardamom if desired and squeeze the lemon juice lastly.
Heat oil just enough, check it by adding a pinch of batter, if it rises immediately, then its just right. Don’t let the oil fume at any point.
Add some five badushas, we prepared, carefully in to the oil. Remove from fire and let it get cooked in the pre heated oil. Approximately it would take 5 minutes.
At one stage the badushas float, then again keep the kadai on fire and cook in medium-low flame, adjust heat at the end to make it golden brown, for me it took around 5-8 mins.
Drain in a paper towel and immediately add to the hot sugar syrup, to cover the badusha, Since my badushas were small I put in 5 at a time.  Leave for a minute and then drain the badushas to a greased surface.
After it cools down, the sugar syrup would have coated the badhusha beautifully, transfer to a dry container. Enjoy this sweet this Deepawali.

Notes
  • If you reduce the quantity of butter or oil, then there will be drastic change in the texture of the badushas too, it will turn hard or crispy. You won’t get the layers inside too.
  • Adding lemon juice is to prevent crystallization of the sugar syrup.
  • Be patient while frying, please do as mentioned, otherwise the texture gets affected too.
  • Consume within a week. Do not refrigerate.

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