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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Vegetable biryani

Biryani is a popular rice dish all over India, it can be prepared either vegetarian or non vegetarian. I have already posted vegetable dum biryani with different ingredients and preparation method. Now i am posting simple vegetable biryani with simple ingredients.

Vegetable biryani

Ingredients:

Serves 2 to 3 people

      • 1 cup – Basmati rice (heaped)
      • 1 no – Onion (medium, cut lengthwise)
      • 1 no – Tomato (chopped finely)
      • 1 tsp – Ginger garlic paste
      • 2 nos – Green chilies (slit open)
      • 1 cup – Mixed vegetables (Carrot, beans, green peas)
      • 1/4 tsp – Turmeric powder
      • 1/2 to 1 tsp – Red chili powder (as needed)
      • 1 tsp – Coriander powder
      • 1/4 tsp – Garam masala powder
      • 1 1/2 tbsp – Curd
      • 1 1/2 tbsp – Chopped coriander leaves
      • Salt as needed

Seasonings:

      • 1 tbsp – Butter
      • 1 tsp – Oil
      • 1 no – Cinnamon
      • 1 no – Bay leaf
      • 2 nos – Clove
      • 1 no – Cardamom
      • 1 no – Star anise
      • 1/4 tsp – Fennel seeds

Vegetable biryani process

Vegetable biryani

Preparation method:

  1. Wash and soak basmati rice for 30 minutes. Drain water completely and keep it aside.
  2. Heat butter and oil in a hard bottomed vessel, season with items given in the list for seasoning. Add onion, ginger garlic paste and green chili saute until they are golden brown in color.
  3. Add tomato, cover with lid and cook until they are slightly mushy.Then add mixed vegetables, once again cover and cook for few more minutes.
  4. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder along with required salt, saute until raw smell goes. Add curd and mix well, cover with lid and cook until vegetables are half cooked.
  5. Add water (1 :2 ratio) and bring it to boil. Now add washed rice and mix well. Cover with lid and reduce the flame to medium, cook until rice is tender or well cooked. Finally sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with raita.

Vegetable biryani

Notes:

  • You can also pressure cook for up to 2 or 3 whistles or until well cooked. Only concern is the texture of rice, most of us want rice to be firm not massy. That’s why I follow the above step 5 in my process.
  • If you prefer pressure cooking method, then use 1 : 1 1/2 ratio (rice : water).
  • You can use any rice like seeraga samba rice, raw rice to cook this biryani.
  • Use any vegetables of your choice.

Vegetable biryani

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Chocolate cake balls

Chocolate cake balls is prepared from leftover vanilla cake along with icing sugar, butter and melted chocolate. Kids will love this yummy chocolate cake balls for sure.

Chocolate cake balls pic 2

Ingredients:

Yields: 8 to 9 balls

      • 1 1/2 cup – Crumbled vanilla cake ( i used leftover cake)
      • 1 tbsp – Icing sugar
      • 1 to 2 tbsp – Melted butter
      • 3 to 4 tbsp – Melted chocolate ( or add as needed)
      • 1 or 2 tbsp – Cocoa powder for decoration
      • Sprinkles for decorating (optional)

Chocolate cake balls process

Preparation method:

  1. Take a mixer grinder, add leftover cake and blend it to coarse powder. Transfer this to a mixing bowl, add crumbled cake or powdered cake, icing sugar, melted butter and melted chocolate, mix well to a soft pliable dough.
  2. Refrigerate dough for 10mins and then make lemon sized smooth balls out of the dough, keep it aside.
  3. Finally roll the cake balls in cocoa powder and then in colorful sprinkles, serve immediately.

Chocolate cake balls pic 3

Notes:

  • You can increase or decrease icing sugar, butter, melted chocolate to bind it together as a dough.
  • I used leftover eggless vanilla cake which was a day old, so i used blender to blend it. If you use fresh vanilla cake then no need to use blender. You can use your hand to crumble the cake.
  • You can use any sprinkles of your choice or you can eat as it is without any sprinkle.
  • You can either prepare it with egg or eggless cake.
  • I did not shown how to make melted chocolate here. You can either melt it on stove top using double boiler method or microwave.
  • If you are not going to have this cake balls immediately, you can refrigerate it and have it later. But cake balls become very hard to eat.

Chocolate cake balls pic 1

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ennai kathirikkai kuzhambu (Version 2)

Ennai kathirikkai kuzhambu is a popular South Indian gravy, as name indicates oil will float on this prepared gravy which tastes heavenly and divine. I have already posted ennai kathirikkai kuzhambu which is stuffed with homemade masala, but this one is very simple and tasty without any stuffing.

Ennai kathirikkai kuzhambu pic 1

Ingredients:

Serves : 4 to 5 people

      • 7 or 8 nos – Brinjal / eggplant / kathirikkai (very small)
      • 5 to 6 nos – Sambar onion / shallots (chopped finely)
      • 2 nos – Garlic (chopped finely)
      • 1 no – Tamarind (gooseberry sized)
      • 1 small piece - Jaggery
      • Salt to taste
      • 2 tbsp – Oil

For grinding:

      • 10 nos – Sambar onion / shallots
      • 2 small – Tomatoes (chopped)
      • 4 to 5 tbsp – Grated coconut
      • 1/4 tsp – Turmeric powder
      • 1 tsp – Red chilli powder ( or add as needed)
      • 1 1/2 tsp – Coriander powder
      • 1 tsp – Oil

For seasoning:

      • 1 1/2 tbsp – Sesame oil
      • 1/4 tsp – Mustard seeds
      • 1/4 tsp – Split black gram / Ulunthu
      • 2 pinches – Fenugreek seeds
      • 2 nos – Dry red chillies
      • 4 or 5 nos – Fresh curry leaves

Ennai kathirikkai kuzhambu process 1

Ennai kathirikkai kuzhambu process 2

Ennai kathirikkai kuzhambu pic 4

Preparation method:

  1. Soak tamarind in warm water and squeeze out the pulp. Set aside.
  2. Wash brinjals, put an X mark on back side of each brinjal and check for any worms. Also do not remove the whole stem on the top of brinjal, just cut little bit as shown in the picture.
  3. Heat oil in a pan, add cut brinjals and cook over low flame stirring it now and then. Cook until they are 3/4 done. Remove them from fire and set it aside.
  4. In the same pan, add oil if require, add sambar onion and tomato, saute until translucent. Followed by turmeric powder, red chilli powder and coriander powder, saute until raw smell goes. Finally add grated coconut and saute for few seconds. Switch off the stove and allow them to cool completely, grind them to puree.
  5. Heat oil in a pan, season with items given in the list for seasonings. Add chopped onion and garlic along with required salt, saute until they are slightly golden brown in color.
  6. Then add onion, tomato and coconut paste and mix well. Cover with the lid and let it cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Next add tamarind juice and required water (approximately 1 to 11/2 cup), mix well and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.
  7. Add jaggery, once it comes to boil add sauteed brinjal, required salt, mix it well and cook for few minutes or until you reach desired consistency and brinjal is well cooked, Switch off the stove and serve with hot rice and appalam.

Ennai kathirikkai kuzhambu pic 2

Notes:

  • Sesame oil is must for this recipe, because it gives nice flavor and aroma. Also whenever we make puli kuzhambu, it is good to add sesame oil or gingelly oil.
  • Cook cut brinjals over low flame, continue stirring until it is well cooked both inside and outside.
  • Choose baby brinjals, i used small purple brinjals.

Ennai kathirikkai kuzhambu pic 3

 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Spinach and paneer ravioli with tomato sauce

Ravioli is a popular Italian dish which is pasta filled with any stuffing of your choice. Stuffing can be like vegetarian or non vegetarian. Ravioli is served either in broth or with a pasta sauce. I prepared fusion of Italian and Indian cuisine, which is eggless ravioli with spinach paneer stuffing served with homemade tomato sauce. This is my first attempt in making ravioli, it was very successful and was tasting excellent.

Spinach and paneer ravioli

Ingredients:

Yields around 15 to 20 ravioli’s (depends on the size of ravioli)

For making ravioli dough:

      • 1 1/2 cup – Maida / All purpose flour
      • 4 tsp – Butter
      • Salt to taste
      • Ice water to knead dough
      • Wheat flour to dust

For making spinach paneer stuffing:

      • 2 cups – Spinach (chopped finely)
      • 3/4 cup – Crumbled paneer
      • 1 no – Onion (chopped finely)
      • 1 tsp – Ginger garlic crushed
      • 1/4 tsp – Garam masala powder
      • 1 tbsp – Olive oil
      • 1/4 tsp – Fennel seeds
      • 1/4 tsp – Cumin seeds
      • Salt and pepper powder to taste

For making tomato sauce:

      • 2 medium – Tomatoes (puree them)
      • 1 no – Onion (chopped)
      • 1 no – Garlic (chopped finely)
      • 1/4 tsp – Sugar
      • 1/8 tsp – Dried oregano
      • 1/8 tsp – Dried basil
      • 1 tbsp – Olive oil
      • Salt and pepper powder to taste

Spinach paneer ravioli

Preparation method:

Making of ravioli dough:

  1. Take a mixing bowl, add maida, butter and required salt, mix well. Then add enough ice water to the flour mixture and knead into dough until well textured and firm.
  2. Make the dough into a ball or disk, wrap with plastic wrap. Let the dough stand for 1 hour at room temperature before using.

Making of spinach paneer stuffing:

  1. Heat oil in a pan, season with cumin seeds and fennel seeds. Then add chopped onion and crushed ginger garlic, saute until they are golden brown in color.
  2. Now add chopped spinach along with required salt, saute until spinach is 3/4 done. Next comes garam masala powder and freshly ground pepper, saute for few seconds.
  3. Finally add crumbled paneer, mix well everything and cook until paneer is well cooked (it takes around 3 to 4 minutes). Stuffing should not be too dry or too soggy. Keep this stuffing aside.

Spinach paneer stuffing process

Making of tomato sauce:

  1. Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onion and garlic, saute until translucent. Then comes pureed tomatoes, cover and cook until they are 3/4 done.
  2. Then add sugar, dried oregano and basil, required salt and pepper powder, saute until raw smell goes. Once it is slightly thick and well cooked, switch off the stove and keep it aside.

Tomato sauce process

Assembling ravioli:

  1. Unwrap ravioli dough, divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Roll out thin rounds of equal size out of the dough. Put one round on a board and place spinach paneer stuffing as shown in the picture with 1 inch intervals around the stuffing.
  2. Apply little water around the stuffing and put another round on the top. Press with the fingers around the stuffing. Seal the ravioli and using biscuit cutter or using a knife, make square ravioli pieces. Repeat the same process with the remaining dough.
  3. Boil plenty of water in a large vessel and add 2 tsp of oil to the boiling water. Put few ravioli pieces at a time in the boiling water and when they come on top, take them out and drain them using strainer to remove excess water. Repeat the same process with the rest of the raviolis.
  4. Now comes the serving part, take a serving plate, pour 2 to 3 tbsp of tomato sauce and  place 2 to 3 ravioli’s on top of it. Once again pour 2 to 3 tbsp of tomato sauce on top of ravioli and sprinkle grated cheese on top, serve hot.

Ravioli process

Serving of ravioli process

Notes:

  • Ravioli dough should not be too wet or too sticky. It should only stick to itself, but not to your hands. It should not be too dry, either.
  • Spinach paneer stuffing should not be too dry or too soggy. Do not add any water while cooking, because spinach leaves enough moisture for the paneer to cook.
  • Ravioli can be prepared well in advance. Just bake in oven for few seconds when you want to serve.
  • You can make any shapes like circle or square ravioli of your wish.

Spinach paneer ravioli

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Paasi paruppu sundal / moong dal stir fry

Paasi paruppu sundal can be prepared instantly and easily in no time. You can prepare this yummy sundal at the time of navarathri or as evening snacks for school going kids.

Paasi paruppu sundal  

Ingredients:

Serves 2 to 3 people

      • 1/4 cup – Paasi paruppu / moong dal / split green gram
      • 1 no – Green chilli
      • 1 /4 tsp – Ginger chopped
      • 2 tbsp – Coconut grated
      • 1/8 tsp – Turmeric powder
      • Few drops of lemon juices
      • 1 1/2 cup - Water
      • Salt to taste

Seasonings:

      • 1 tsp – Oil
      • 1/8 tsp – Mustard seeds
      • 1 pinch – Asafoetida
      • 4 or 5 nos – Curry leaves

Paasi paruppu sundal process

Preparation method:

  1. Take a heavy bottomed vessel, add washed paasi paruppu/ moong dal, 1 1/2 cup water, turmeric and salt, bring it to boil.
  2. Let it cook over medium flame for 10 to 12 minutes (approximately). Stir in between and do not to get it burnt.
  3. Paasi paruppu / moong dal should be cooked perfectly. It should be soft inside at the same time it should hold its shape. Do not over cook or under cook the dal. Drain the water and keep the cooked moong dal separately.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, season with items given in the list for seasoning. Add chopped ginger and green chilli, saute for few seconds. Then add cooked moong dal and salt if required, mix everything well. Finally add grated coconut and few drops of lemon juice, mix well and switch off the stove. Paasi paruppu sundal is ready to be served.

Paasi paruppu sundal

Notes:

  • Instead of green chillies you can add dry red chillies.
  • Moong dal should not get over cooked (it should not be mushy) or under cooked. It should be perfectly soft inside and hold its shape.
  • If you prefer you can soak moong dal before you cook.
  • You can increase or decrease number of green chillies as per your spice level.

Paasi paruppu sundal

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