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

Thursday, December 18, 2008

OATMEAL COOKIES IN A JIFFY (NO-BAKE COOKIES)

OATMEAL COOKIES IN A JIFFY (NO-BAKE COOKIES)

Christmas is round the corner and its but natural for one to get into the mood of cookies and cakes, but since I don’t have a conventional oven to bake my goodies in, I have to search for other options and yet fulfill my desire of baking those perfect cookies for my little ones. I wanted to bake something nutritious and tasty at the same time. I had a big bottle of peanut butter waiting for me in the refrigerator, so I thought why not make good use of it. Since I am off eggs, here is a nutritious eggless cookie which doesn’t need baking, just blend the ingredients together, so you can involve your little ones in this project too.

Ingredients

Quick cooking oatmeal – 3 cups

Coconut or peanut butter - 1 cup

Cocoa – 1/2 cup

Sugar - 2 cups
Milk – 3/4 cup

Butter - 1/4 lb/ 450 gms/ 1 stick

Method

In a bowl mix oatmeal and/or coconut and/or peanut butter. You can use both coconut and peanut butter or one of the two ingredients. If you are using both then use half cup coconut and half cup peanut butter. Now I had the chunky version of peanut butter at home, this actually enhanced the flavor of the cookies as it gave that nutty crunch to it. Once you mix these ingredients keep it aside.

Cut the butter into pieces.

In 2-quart casserole, combine sugar and cocoa. Stir in milk, then add butter, cut into pieces. Cook on high for 3 minutes, uncovered, or until boiling. Stir, then cook 3 minutes on high, stirring every minute. Add oatmeal and coconut (or peanut butter or enough of both to measure 1 cup). Cook on high for a minute. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper to harden. If you 're in a hurry, they may need to be refrigerated to harden.


I would like to send my cookies to,

Purva's Christmas Feast Event,

Happy Cooks Home Made Gift Event,

Sharmi's Cookie Baking Event,

Susan's Eat Christmas Cookie Event,

JZ's Santas Holiday Challenege Event.

WISH ONE AND ALL A HAPPY CHRISTMAS


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

INSTANT CHOCOLATE- MALAI BARFI WITH A TWIST REVISITED

I would like to send this to Pritis Festive Food Event – Diwali, EC’s WYF- Party Food event and Srivalli’s JFI – Festivals – Diwali Event

INSTANT CHOCOLATE- MALAI BARFI WITH A TWIST REVISITED

Since my first attempt last Diwali I have made these 3 times, this being my third attempt. It is such a hit in my house, that it gets difficult for me to save it for the guests. The best part is I can make it in a jiffy, It takes all of 15 minutes to make this exotic sweet. What can beat it!!!!!!!

Minimum ingredients, minimum time and minimum labor….only maximum love.

The guests are impressed, the hubby is impressed and my kid is drooling over it. The disappearing cakes are proof for it. So why not make it again, so I made it again with a twist. This time I added 6 squares of Cadbury’s dairy milk chocolate, this not only gave my chocolate layer a deep chocolate color but also gave the chocolate layer a more chocolatey taste….see how…..below
Ingredients:
Milk powder - 2 cups
Almond meal (Powdered almond (skinless))- 1 cup (You can get it in the “baking needs” section of most shops)
Thickened cream - 300 ml
Castor Sugar (powdered sugar) - 3/4 cup
Cocoa powder - 1 tbsp

6 squares of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate
Method:

Cadbury’s dairy milk comes in a big block of small squares. Break exactly 6 squares and melt on high for a second. Keep aside
Mix all the ingredients except cocoa powder in a large microwavable bowl.
Mix well and place bowl in a microwave oven for 4 minutes on high cook.
Remove bowl and stir mixture. Place again for another 4 minutes.
Transfer half the mix in a greased plate.

Quickly blend in the cocoa and the melted cadbury’s dairy milk into the remaining mix and pour over the barfi in the plate and spread evenly. After that for half a minute keep in the microwave again so that it is set. Cool and cut into the shape of your desire.
Blanched nuts can be sprinkled on top along with silver varq (foil).

Your exotic Chocolate Malai Barfi is ready to serve.

Monday, October 27, 2008

RIBBON PAKODA

I would love to send this to my dear blogger friend Priti's Festive Food Event - Diwali

I would also like to send this for EC’s WYF- Party Food and

Srivalli’s JFI – Festivals – Diwali Event

RIBBON PAKODA

WISH ONE AND ALL A HAPPY DEEPAWALI AND MAY THIS FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS BRING CHEER TO YOU’LL

Here is a recipe for Ribbon pakoda, a crispy savory which is always made in my house for Deepawali (Diwali). It is known as Ribbon pakoda, because it is in the shape of Ribbons. Diwali is an excuse to make it, so I made good use of this excuse and churned out 2 bucketfuls of this savory. This stays for a long time and I always enjoy this more with my evening cup of tea later on. As they say, the person who cooks looses his apetite, so, on the day that I make the ribbon pakoda, other than the cursory bite to taste salt, spice etc. I don’t actually sit and eat it with relish. I do that on the other days following Diwali. It feels good as if someone else has prepared it for you.

Ingredients

Chickpea/ Gram flour (Besan) - ½ cup

Rice flour -1 cup

Butter – ½ tbsp (Unsalted butter would be nice, zero cholesterol Margarine can also be used)

Asafetida – ½ tsp

Chilly powder – 3 tsps full

Cumin powder – 1-2 tsps (If freshly roasted and ground it would be nice)

Salt as per taste

Oil for deep frying

Method:

In a big bowl, add the flours, add butter/margarine, asafetida, chilly powder, cumin powder and salt and mix well. Always mix the flour with all the masalas first before adding water, this ensures that everything mixes well. Now add water and mix well till you have soft pliable dough like chappati. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile in a wok, add oil, while the oil is getting heated, Take a Murukku press also known as “Naazhi” in Tamil, Choose the plate with a slit as shown in the picture.. Once you insert the plate, fill in the mixed dough and close the Naazhi. Squeeze into the hot oil into circles, as big as the pan can hold. After a while, turn to the other side, fry until golden brown. The oil stops frothing that indicates that it is done. Remove the circles and place on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil. When it is cool, you can store the ribbon pakodas in air-tight tins and enjoy this crispy savory with your evening tea or coffee.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

GOSMALLI SUNDAL(CHANA DAL SUNDAL/KADALA PARUPPU SUNDAL)


GOSMALLI SUNDAL(CHANA DAL SUNDAL/KADALA PARUPPU SUNDAL)
Its Navaratri time !!!!! and time for Sundals. Each day one Sundal is prepared to know more about it please refer to the Sundal Menu in the article below.
This sundal is an all time favorite and can be made in a jiffy without the pre-planned soaking that is associated with the other Sundals(pulses). It is also distributed as Prasad in temples.

Ingredients
Kadalai Paruppu (Chana dal/ Bengal gram) - 250 grams
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Udad dal - 1 tsp
Green chillies – 3-4
Red chillies – 1-2 broken into 2 halves
Turmeric -1/4 tsp
Asafetida (Hing) - a small pinch
Freshly grated Coconut – 1-2 tbsps
Cooking oil - 1 tbsp
Salt as per taste.
Curry leaves – a sprig
Coriander leaves for garnish
Method
Soak the Bengal Gram in water for 2-3 hours, rinse out well, add some turmeric powder and half a cup of water and pressure cook it for about 3-4 whistles. Don’t throw the water in which the chana dal has been boiled as it contains a lot of nutrients. Keep the boiled chana dal aside.
In a Kadhai (wok), Add oil, when it is hot, Add the mustard seeds and when they begin to crackle, Add udad dal and the red chillies, when the udad dal becomes slightly pink, add the green chillies and the curry leaves and fry well, now add in the boiled Chana dal and turmeric, asafetida and salt. Mix well. Cover the kadhai with a lid. Don’t add water, The boiled chana already has some water, so let it cook. Once all the water is soaked up Add freshly grated coconut and some coriander leaves and mix well.
Serve hot with Rice and Rasam or enjoy it as it is.

I would like to send this to Festive Food Event of Navarathri hosted by Lakshmi of Taste of Mysore
and

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

PURAN POLI AND GANESH CHATURTHI

PURAN POLI

Starting from today is Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi in the south. Its the birthday of our darling God Ganapati. Elephants are one of the most loved animals in India and all over the world. And our Lord Ganesha is half elephant and half human, so you can imagine how loved he is. Kids love this God. Lord Ganesha loves Bananas, coconuts and sweets. I was surprised to see a very big idol of Lord Ganesha at the World Trade Centre in Bangkok in Thailand and he was worshipped by the Thais with equal fervor, so is the charm of our darling Lord Ganesha.

Story of Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesha was created by Goddess Parvati. This is a very interesting story.

According to the legend, Lord Shiva, the Hindu God of resolution, was away at a war. His wife Parvati, wanted to bathe and having no-one to guard the door to her house, conceived of the idea of creating a son who could guard her. Parvati created Ganesha out of the sandalwood paste that she used for her bath and breathed life into the figure. She then set him to stand guard at her door and instructed him not to let anyone enter.

In the meantime, Lord Shiva returned from the battle but as Ganesha did not know him, he stopped Shiva from entering Parvati's chamber. Shiva, enraged by Ganesh’s impudence, drew his sword and cut off Ganesha's head. Pavarti emerged to find Ganesha decapitated and flew into a rage. She took on the form of the Goddess Kali and threatened destruction to the three worlds of Heaven, Earth and the subterranean earth.

Seeing her in this mood, the other Gods were afraid and Shiva, in an attempt to pacify Parvati, sent out his ganas, or hordes, to bring the head of the first living being with his head towards the north (the auspicious direction associated with wisdom). The first living thing they came across was an elephant. So they brought the head of this elephant and Shiva placed it on the trunk of Parvati's son and breathed life into him. Parvati was overjoyed and embraced her son, the elephant-headed boy whom Shiva named Ganesha, the lord of his ganas. (Info courtesy – Wikipedia)

Although Lord Ganesha has been worshipped from time immemorial it was Lok Manya Bal Gangadhar Tilak who was responsible for making Ganesh utsav into a public celebration in Maharashtra for the unity of the people.

Lord Ganesha loves sweets. In South India, the main sweet-dish during the festival is modakam which is Ganesha's favorite sweet. Modakam is a steam cooked dumpling made from rice flour, stuffed with coconut and jaggery. In Maharashtra also they make the modakam the same way and it is called “Ukdiche Modak”, it is either steam cooked or deep fried.

I made Puran Poli today. Puran Poli is one of the most liked dishes of Maharashtra. I find this one of the most tedious and laborious sweet to make. Puran Poli is Yo’s favorite sweet, Yo’s mami (Mother’s brother’s wife) dishes out one of the most fantastic Puran Poli’s in this world, the Puran poli literally melts in your mouth and so does Yo’s Kaku (Father’s brother’s wife). Puran poli is such an elaborate affair in Yo’s home that I probably got a phobia to try making it. I attempted it twice after my marriage and both times it failed, so I had totally given up on it. Yo told me, “Its such a waste of money, materials and efforts and don’t try it at home…..how typically male…..ha ha ha….This time I said I will patiently follow the recipe and see if it works…..and yipppeeeeeeeeeee it did….I was so proud that I asked Yogesh to call his home at Pune and tell my in-laws that finally I made the elusive Puran Polis.

Ingredients

Bengal gram (chana dal) - 2 cups,

Jaggery - 2 cups

Refined flour (Maida) -2 cups

Oil - 3 tbsp

Turmeric powder - 3/4 tsp

Salt – ½ tsp

Cardamom powder -1 tsp

Nutmeg powder 1/4th tsp

Dry ginger powder(soonth) -1/4th tsp

Ghee as required

Method

Grate the jaggery, keep aside. Soak the Bengal gram for about 2-3 hours. Then add water enough to immerse the dal completely and a bit on top. Cook chana dal in a pressure cooker for 5 whistles till it turns soft. Drain out excess water until the dal is absolutely dry. You can retain this water to make Katachi Amti (I will blog this recipe later). Mash the chana dal into a paste. In a wok, Add one tablespoon of ghee, then add the cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and dry ginger powder(soonth), Now add the grated jaggery, when the grated jaggery melts, add the chana dal paste and blend both well, and cook further. You will notice that the mix has become watery, which scared me out of my wits, thinking that this attempt is going to fail too. So I urgently called my mother-in-law in Pune and asked her what to do, she said don’t worry, it is like that, “ Don’t cook for too long in the wok, the chana dal paste will harden and you don’t want it to get hard. She said, immediately switch off the gas and wait for the mix to cool down, then put it in the mixie /blender and blend twice till you see it is completely mixed up, this mix, we must add in the wok and cook it on a low flame till it comes to a dough like consistency, which happens very soon, like in 2-3 minutes time. Once you see it has come to a dough like consistency put off the gas and Allow the mix to cool so you can make balls out of the mixture. Make 20 balls out of it and keep aside

Mix refined flour, turmeric powder, a pinch of salt, oil and water and knead the dough.

The dough will be very soft and sticky dough. Keep this aside for about half an hour till it sets. Then knead again, by punching it and folding it. You can remove all your frustrations on the dough…Imagine the joys of cooking….

Knead well and divide the dough into 20 equal portions.

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 "chana jaggery" paste in the centre and fold the disc from all sides to cover the paste completely.

On a well-floured board, gently roll out each poli with the help of a rolling pin into a 6 inches disc. This can get tricky as the paste does try to slide out. Use a little flour if that happens.

Roast each poli on a hot, dry girdle.Add a teaspoon of ghee around the poli , once you see some spots on the backside flip over, you will see your Puran polis puff up. Once done, Remove on a plate. Serve hot with a dollop of ghee or a bowl of warm milk.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

GOKULASHTAMI AND APPAMS

I had done the Neivedhyam of the Appams on Gokulastami day. In south India Appams are specially made for Lord Krishna. I would like to send the Appams to Purva’s Krishna Janmashtami and Ganesh Chaturthi Festive Food event

GOKULASHTAMI AND APPAMS

Gokulashtami is the birthday of Lord Krishna. The festival is called in different names as "Krishna Jayanti", "Janma Ashtami", "Krishnaashtami" , "Gokulashtami", and as "Sri Jayanti".


Krishna Janmashtami is observed on the eighth day of the dark half (Krishna Paksha) of the month of Shraavana in the Hindu calendar, when the Rohini Nakshatram is ascendent. The Hindu calendar being lunar, these two events the day being the eighth of the waning moon (Krishna-paksha Ashtami) and the Rohini Nakshatram being ascendent may overlap for only a few hours.

In such an event, the festival may be celebrated on different (but successive) days by different people, depending on their local or family traditions.The festival falls sometime in the months of August/September of the Gregorian calendar.

(This info courtesy Wikipedia)


Read more about the story of the birth of Lord Krishna by clicking on the below link

http://www.aryabhatt.com/fast_fair_festival/Festivals/Gokulashtami.htm


Lord Krishna was born at midnight. So we celebrate on the both days, i.e the day prior (in anticipation of his arrival) and the next day(celebration of his arrival). Since this year Gokulashtami was celebrated on 24th Sunday so preparations started in my house on the 23rd Saturday itself. Krishna is my little one’s most favorite diety, as I keep telling her of our little Krishna’s leela’s(You can read some of the Krishna Leela’s under the Mythology section in my blog.)

On Saturday evening, I drew Maa-kolam outside the house (picture on the left) and in front of the altar at home(picture on your right) and all over the house I drew tiny feet of little Lord Krishna entering all the rooms from the entrance to my home. This This symbolizes the entry of the infant Krishna into his foster-home and also amma says at 12.00 am the lord will walk into our house. I also made sweet appams.

The appam is made without tasting, I chant Lord Krishna’s name while making. Only after I do Neivedhyam(offer the lord) can we taste it. Here is the recipe of Appam;


APPAM

Ingredients

Wheat flour – 1 cup

Rice flour - 1 cup

Grated jaggery – 2 cups

Cardamom – 4-5 pods

Ripe Banana –

1

Oil for frying

Method

Mix the wheat flour, rice flour and jaggery well, ensuring that there are no lumps. The jaggery must be completely dissolved. Mash

one banana and add to the mixture. Pound the cardamom pods, remove the skin and powder the seeds a bit coarsely and add to the mixture. It will be in the consistency of the dosai batter. Now use the Appakarai/ Paniyaaram moulds. Pour oil and once the oil is hot, pour the batter with a spoon into the hot oil.Once the side is done, turn over and fry on the other side, then with a

chopstick(picture on your left), poke into the appams and remove them from the oil, Place on kitchen towel to remove excess oil and serve hot. I usually make a lot and keep in the refrigerator and enjoy it the next day also. Cold appams also taste great.

I bought the Cheedai, Murukku and Thattai from outside (since I could’nt make so much at home). Traditionally all this is made at home down south. Luckily since my ghee was over, I made fresh ghee at home. I also made fresh butter with some cream for my little Krishna(as you can see in the picture on your right). I served it all on a mini platter in little stainless steel utensils borrowed from my daughters playthings. I kept a grand feast for the lord, appam, cheedai, murkku, thattai, Aval(poha, beaten rice), vellam(jaggery), yogurt, milk and freshly churned white butter.

On Sunday we celebrated Gokulashtami by joining the ISKCON group at the Sivan temple at Sungei

Kadut.The altar was decorated very beautifully with flowers and fabric and other decoration items. On your right is a picture of the altar.

It was beautiful, the priests chanted the holy mantras and bathed the idol with Panchamrit which comprises of Gangajal (water from the holy Ganges River), milk, ghee (clarified butter), curd, and honey

pouring all these from a conch shell. After this bath the idol of the infant Krishna was placed in a cradle. We chanted the Lords name, sang and danced and swung the lord in his cradle and ate divine prasada alongwith Panchamrut.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

AVNIAVITTAM AND CHAKARA PONGAL, BEANS CURRY AND CUCUMBER TOMATO PACHADI

AVNIAVITTAM
Today is Rakshabandhan(Rakhi Poornima) and today is also Avniavittam(for the Yajurvedis) celebrated in South India by the Brahmins. On this day, the male members who wear the sacred thread change into a new one. This ritual is known as Upakarma which means Beginning. The sacred thread is known as Poonal, Jahnva, Janeyu, Yagnopaveetam. Offerings of water using a Pancha patra udrani (A special vessel with a special spoon, usually found in all brahmin houses) are made to the ancient Rishis, there are prescribed procedures and mantras to be chanted, this ritual is usually conducted by the family priest or the head of the family who has immense knowledge of the Vedas.
Yagnopaveetam has three threads, each consisting of three strands. These threads represent: Goddess Gayatri (Goddess of mind), Goddess Saraswati (Goddess of word) and Goddess Savitri (Goddess of deed).

One of the important features if this festival is chanting of the “Gayatri Mantras”.
It is said that, chanting Gayatri Mantra can make you feel warm in the coldest of winters.
This mantra contains the spirit and energy of all the mantras.
There is a traditional saying in Sanskrit;
“Gayantam traayate yasmaat Gayatri'tyadhiyate. (This means Whoever sings 'Gayatri' is protected”)

Usually on the Avniavittam day the Gayatri japam is recited 108 times by the Male members of the family.
Below is the Gayatri mantra;
“OM BHUR-BHUVAH-SUVAH
TAT-SAVITUR-VARENYAM
BHARGO DEVASYA DHIMAHI
DHIYO YO NAH PRACHODAYAT “

Which means : (meaning explained below),
We meditate (Dhimahi) on the Spiritual Effulgence (Bhargas) of that Adorable Supreme Divine Reality (Varenyam Devasya), the Source or Projector (Savitur) of the three phenomenal world planes, the gross or physical (Bhuh), the subtle or psychical (Bhuvah), and the potential or causal (Suvah), both macrocosmically (externally) and microcosmically (internally). May that Supreme Divine Being (Tat) stimulate (Prachodayat) our (Nah) intelligence (Dhiyah), so that we may realize the Supreme Truth.

Festival At home.........
The Female members have to wake up early, take bath, sanctify the house and the courtyard, draw Kolam inside and outside the house and start cooking for the lord without tasting the food. The food is offered to the Lord, this procedure is called “Neivedhyam” after which the food is served to the male members after they complete the rituals.

There is a comic line for this festival that goes “Avniavittam Komanam, Pullai Porandhal Shobhanam” which means that this festival has more relevance to the male and the family that has a son (heir to the family), is considered lucky. This festival holds relevance to the males and implicates that a son is a heir to the family.

The food cooked for Avniavittam is special (No onions or garlic are used in the cooking) and it is served on a fresh green banana leaf.
It consists of ;
Rice, Paruppu, Ghee, Sambhar, Rasam, Beans or Cabbage Poriyal(Curry/Podutuval), Kootu, Avial(Mixed vegetables), Pachadi, Chakara Pongal/ Payasam, Paruppu vadai, Pappadams, Banana chips(salted and sweet).Of course no Brahmin meal is complete without the yogurt and there are yet a lot of things that are part of the menu, but these days with single unit families, a lot of things have disappeared but I have tried to retain the staple things onto my menu and strive hard to celebrate every festival as these are the memories that we give our children....so I cooked up a storm......Saddhi chapadu(as they say) and served it all on a Banana Leaf......for that wave of nostalgia....


Here is a recipe of the Chakara Pongal
CHAKARA PONGAL (SWEET PONGAL) There are many ways to make this dish, some use yellow split lentil(moong dal) also in the recipe. But this is a quick and easy recipe, which my mom makes and always a hit at my home.
Ingredients
Raw rice – 1 ½ cup
Jaggery – 1cup
Ghee- 2-3 tbsps
Cashewnuts – 2 tbsps
Raisins - 2 tbsps
Cardamoms – 5
Method
First cook the raw rice as usual. Keep aside. Now in a wok, add 2 tbsps ghee, add in the cashewnuts, raisins and cardamom powder and fry until slightly pink. Now add in the jaggery and about 1 cup water. Wait till the jaggery melts, if there are any lumps crush it with the back of a spatula. When the liquid starts to froth, Add in the cooked rice and stir well with the jaggery syrup. Keep on a low flame. Keep stirring once every 2 mins. As the jaggery starts to thicken, the mixture will become uniform. Add one tbsp of ghee and stir. You will notice that the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pain. This indicates that it is done. If you cook more than this, the rice will become crispy. Mix well, transfer to a silver vessel. Keep a basil leaf (Basil leaf is also known as “Haripriya”(liked by the Lord), read about Tulsi in my blog) on top and offer as Neivedhyam to God. After that serve hot. Enjoy this South Indian delicacy.

BEANS PORIYAL
We call it Beans podutuval at home and some call it beans curry or beans poriyal.
Ingredients
French Beans – ½ kilo
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Udad dal - 1 tsp
Red chillies – 1-2
Grated Coconut - 2 tbsp
Turemric powder – 1 tsp
Asafetida – a pinch
Salt as per taste
Oil – 1 tbsp
Method
Chop the Beans into small pieces, rinse in a colander and keep aside. Heat the oil in a wok and add the mustard seeds, when they start to splutter add the udad dal, when they are slightly pink add in the chillies broken into 2 pieces and fry for a minute. Now add the chopped French beans, turmeric powder, salt to taste and asafetida and mix well, Cook closed with a lid on a low flame and let it cook in its own juices. Open after about 3-4 minutes. Add some water if required. Cook till it is done. Once the beans are dry, add the grated coconut and mix well and cook for another 2 minutes till you get the faint aroma of the coconut. Serve hot with, rice and Sambhar / Rasam (Click on this link for the recipe in my blog)

and Cucumber – Tomato Pachadi for you;

CUCUMBER – TOMATO PACHADI
Ingredients

Cucumber - 1
Ripe red & juicy tomatoes – 2
Curry leaves – A sprig
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp
Asafetida – a pinch
Fresh Thick Yogurt – 5-6 big heaped tbsps
Salt as per taste
Vegetable cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Method
Peel and chop the cucumber into small pieces, Chop the Tomatoes into small pieces also.
Put the chopped vegetables in a bowl, Add thick yogurt and salt as per taste and mix well.
Now in a small pan, take one tablespoon of cooking oil, Add the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds, when the mustard seeds start to splutter, add a pinch of asafetida and the curry leaves, just fry a bit and pour this into the bowl. Mix well and serve with rice and curries.
You can find the recipe for Cabbage Poriyal and Avial here. (Click on the name which is a link to the recipe in my blog)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

MASALA VADAI / PARIPPU VADAI / DAL VADA

MASALA VADAI / PARIPPU VADAI / DAL VADA
Masala Vadais are a delight to the palette with a riot of flavors exploding in your mouth.

In the yesteryear's we used to enjoy our long journey train travels from Mumbai to Chennai passing via different stations and tasting the flavors of the snacks made by the different states.
Tam brahms, don't usually add Onions or garlic to their snacks, but while we were travelling by train from Mumbai to Tirupati, I remember Appa purchased these lovely Masala Vadais at Renigunta station, they were so full of flavors, unlike the simple Aama vadais / Parippu vadais made at home. 
The Vadais were warm, packed in a Banana leaf further covered with a newspaper. Inside the banana leaf there was a smaller banana leaf wrap with thick chutney inside, packed carefully so as to not make the vadai soggy. The Vadai and chutney were so yummy and we relished it so much that we wanted to buy more; but the train started to move, looking at our eagerness to buy, the vendor came running and passed us a packet and my father gave him money and asked him to keep the change, the boy was so happy. 
Life back then was simple and we were so happy in the simple things. 
Coming to the present, It was a rainy day and I had cravings for something fried, so I decided to make these Masala vadais.
I have prepared the Parippu Vadai many times following my mom's recipe, It has the dals mentioned in the below ingredients in the same proportion and the green chillies, red chillies, asafetida, curry leaves and salt. It is ground coarse but slightly more finer than the below masala vadai. I prepare Parippu vadai for festivals and grind a bit more and add the remaining ingredients the next day to prepare the Masala vadai, since we don't eat onions on festival days.
Yo (my dear hubby) prefers the Masala vadai though, it’s just another version of the Parippu Vadai, except for the burst of flavour with the added ingredients. 
The vadai batter remains the same but is enhanced further with the other ingredients mainly the onions, ginger, fennel & cumin. 
Yo(my husband) says it spicier, crispier and tastier. 
I pat it a little flatter, that gives me crispier vadais. 
Here’s the recipe for the Masala Vadai and you can also try the Parippu vadai minus the other ingredients mentioned below. 
I will share the recipe of the Aama Vadai soon....




Ingredients (Serves 4)
Toor Dal – 1 cup
Udad dal – ½ cup
Chana dal- ½ cup
Green Chillies – 2
Dry Red chillies -2
Ginger – a small piece (optional)
Chopped Onion - 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds (Jeera) – 1 tsp
Fennel seeds (Saunf) – 2tsps
Grated coconut – 1 tbsp
Chopped coriander leaves – 1 tbsp
Curry leaves – a sprig
Asafetida – a pinch
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry

Method
Mix all the dals and rinse well. Soak for about 2-3 hours. Drain water from the soaked dal. Grind the soaked dals, green chillies, red chillies, ginger with salt and asafetida in a mixer. Grind it coarsely, Don’t add much water, If too much water is added the mixture will be too soggy and absorb too much oil while frying.
Now add the chopped onions, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, grated coconut, curry leaves (break one or 2 leaves into halves for extra flavor), and chopped coriander leaves and mix well. Check for salt, if less, add some while mixing.
Keep for about half an hour aside so that the spices soak in.


Heat the oil in a wok (kadhai). Wet your left palm, with your right hand make a small golf size ball and pat it on your left palm into a vada and drop it slowly into the hot oil. Put the flattened balls of the dough into the hot oil one by one.
Deep fry till golden brown.
Serve hot with coconut chutney and sambhar.


Tips 
  • Soak the fennel seeds in some water for about 15 minutes , rinse out the water and add the bloated fennel seeds to the coarsely prepared vada mixture.
  • You can prepare the batter in the morning and keep it refrigerated and make the vadas the evening. This will allow the spices to soak in and result in tastier vadas. The reason we are refrigerating it is because onions tend to make the batter soggy, so keeping it outside may make the onions sweat in the batter resulting in a soggy batter and oily vadas.

Variations
  • If the vadas are remaining, add them to sambhar and you have tasty sambhar vadas, the next day. 
  • If use the Vadai mixture that comes out of the blender and make Vadai. It is Parippu Vadai/ Dal Vadai
  • You can use garlic in the above recipe as well. 3-4 pods chopped fine or pounded to a fine paste added to the vadai mixture.
  • You can add fresh mint leaves too. Mint gives a good fresh flavour to the vadai. Incase using mint leaves. Take a cup full of freshly chopped mint leaves and add to the vadai mixture.
  • You can add Cinnamon to the vadai too. If you are adding, dry roast 1 cinnamon stick and grind it along with the vadai mixture. 
  • Any of the above ingredients can be added or deleted depending on your taste

Friday, September 17, 2004

NEIVEDYAM RECIPES FOR GANESH CHATURTHI

The Ganesh Chaturthi festival is starting from the 18th of September, so here are some Neivedyam recipes which are usually prepared as a neivedyam(prasadam), these are the lords favourites.
These are the items prepared in Kerala Iyer / Tamil Brahmin households.
Vella Kozhakattai
This recipe is prepared on Vinayaka Chathurthi day.
Rice Flour - 1 cup
Coconut scraping - 1 cup
Jaggery (gur) - 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder - 1 tea spoon
Method
Boil half cup of water with a pinch of salt and mix rice flour
Stir well, remove from fire
Keep a deep pan on fire with coconut scraping and jaggery
Stir well and remove after it leaves the sides of the pan; keep it aside for cooling
Knead the rice flour mixed with hot water and make small cups with the dough
Make small balls with coconut scraping and jaggery (Purnam)
Keep the purnam balls inside the cup of rice dough ;close the cups
Arrange the Kozhakattai (5-6)in a plate and steam cook in a cooker for 10 minutes
Serve hot
Tips : The same preparation can be made as savoury by Keeping any cooked vegetable (Aloo subji) or any paruppu usili as poornam inside the cup of rice dough

Ellu Kozhakattai
Ingredients
For Dough
2 cups rice flour
1 tbsp oil
A pinch of salt
For Filling
1 cup white sesame seeds
1 cup jaggery (powdered)
1 tbsp ghee
Method
Prepare a dough as for Vella Kozhakattai, and set aside. Roast sesame seeds till pink. Grind to a fine powder along with jaggery. Add ghee and mix well. Now take a small portion of dough and with greased palms, pat into a disc. Put a small portion of filling in the centre. Fold over the edges and make a half circle. Press the edges well. Similarly make all Kozhakattais and steam.

Ammini Kozhakattai
Ingredients
5 cups rice flour (rice shouldbe soaked for six hours, drained& pounded into fine flour)
1/2 coconut (shelled & chopped fine) salt to taste
For Seasoning
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp black gram dal
2 red chillies 8 green chillies(cleaned & chopped)
2 sprigs curry leaves(cleaned & chopped)
1/2 tsp asafoetida powder
Method
Heat oil in a heavy pan and add mustard seeds, black gram dal, red chillies and asafoetida powder. When brown, add green chillies and curry leaves. Fry for a minute and add 4 1/2 cups water and salt. When water boils, add rice flour and coconut pieces. Cook on a low fire, stirring continuously till batter leaves sides of the pan. Cool and form tiny balls. Steam till done.

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