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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Instant gooseberry pickle / Amla pickle / Nellikai oorugai

Spicy, tangy and slightly sweet pickle prepared with gooseberry / amla that is very simple and less time consuming, at the same time very tasty.

Instant gooseberry pickle

Ingredients:

yields 1 cup of pickle

      • 8 to 10 nos – Gooseberry / amla / Periya nellikai
      • 1 to 2 tsp – Red chilli powder
      • 1/4 tsp – Turmeric powder
      • Jaggery or sugar as per taste ( i used 1/2 tsp of jaggery)
      • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp – Fenugreek seeds / methi seeds / vendhayam
      • Salt to taste

Seasonings:

      • 2 tbsp – Sesame oil
      • 1/4 tsp – Mustard seeds
      • 2 to 3 pinches – Asafoetida / hing

Instant gooseberry pickle

Preparation method:

  1. Boil water with salt and add gooseberry / amla to it, cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until soft.
  2. Drain the water and allow it to cool completely. Pat dry with paper napkins or towel. Once cooled and dried, cut them into wedges by discarding the seed, Set it aside.
  3. Meanwhile dry roast fenugreek seeds / vendhayam and grind it to a fine powder.Keep it aside.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, season it with mustard seeds and asafoetida. Then add cut amla and saute for few seconds. Add red chilli powder,turmeric, powdered fenugreek seeds and required salt (remember we have used salt while boiling amla. so add accordingly), mix well and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Finally add powdered jaggery or sugar to give slightly sweet taste. Allow jaggery to melt and continue to cook for 1 more minute, switch off the flame. Let it cool down and store in an air tight container. Serve with curd rice or with any variety rice.

Instant gooseberry pickle

Instant gooseberry pickle

Notes:

  • Instead of cooking amla in a boiling water, you may steam it and follow the rest of the steps.
  • Adding jaggery will give a slightly sweet taste to the pickle. It is completely optional step, but I would prefer my pickle to be spicy, salty and slightly sweet.
  • You can store this instant pickle in an airtight container in refrigerator for week or too.
  • You may increase or decrease the quantity of your red chilli powder as per your spice level.

Instant gooseberry pickle

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Soft idli using poha / Spongy idly with aval

Idli has occupied a very important place in Southern part of Tamilnadu. The softness of idli lies in the selection of rice and black gram (Ulunthu/Urad dhal). Everybody have their own way of making idly as well as different proportion. Here is my way of making soft idli using poha.

Soft idli using poha

Ingredients:

      • 4 cups – Idli rice
      • 1 cup – Whole black gram without skin / ulunthu / urad dal without skin
      • 3/4 cup – Flattened rice/ beaten rice / aval /poha
      • 1/4 tsp – Fenugreek seeds / vendhayam / methi seeds
      • Salt as needed
      • Few ice cubes (while grinding )

Other idli recipes:

Soft idli using poha

Preparation method:

  1. Wash and soak black gram/ulunthu and fenugreek seeds together in a wide bowl for at least 2 to 3 hrs or over night. Same way wash and soak idly rice and flattened rice / poha in a wide bowl for at least 6 to 7 hr or overnight.
  2. Put some ice cubes in water and use that to grind batter. Grind soaked black gram in a wet grinder (I always prefer wet grinding for idli and dosai) until it is light and fluffy by adding water little by little and transfer it to a container.The batter should not be sticky but it should be light and fluffy. I usually grind ulunthu for about 40 mins.
  3. Now add soaked rice to the wet grinder and grind it coarsely by adding water little by little for 15 to 20 mins to a slightly coarse paste. Consistency of rice batter should not be too grainy nor fine paste. Then add ground ulunthu along with required salt to the ground rice and grind for another 5 minutes so that it gets mixed well.
  4. Transfer ground batter to a big container or two wide container for fermentation. Container should have enough room for the batter to ferment. Consistency of batter should not be too thick or too thin. Ferment the batter for overnight or at least 9 to10 hrs.
  5. Mix the fermented batter once ( do not try to stir or mix too much). Now it is ready for making idli. If you are not going to use it immediately, then refrigerate the batter.

Soft idli / Spongy idly

Soft idli / Spongy idly

Making of soft idli:

  1. Heat enough water in the idli pot, grease the idli platter with little oil or ghee (for kids) and then take a scoop of batter and fill in the idli platter. Once you see steam from the idli pot, place the idli platter and close it with a lid.
  2. Steam for 9 to 10 mins. Using fork or toothpick you can check whether it is done or not. If it is done, then remove platter from the pot . Either allow them to cool for 5mins or you can turn over the idli platter and show it in the cold running water.
  3. Remove idli from the platter and transfer it to a hot pack. Spongy idli is ready and now serve with sambar,chutney and idli podi.

Soft idli using poha

Notes:

  • I use either ice water or ice cubes while grinding idli batter, that helps the batter from getting hot.
  • The quality of idli rice and black gram/ulunthu is very important. Never stock rice and ulunthu for long, better get it in small quantity or when needed.
  • The duration for fermentation may vary depending on the climatic conditions. In winter it may need longer time and in summer it may require less time to ferment. Always try to keep it in a warm place.
  • The consistency of the batter is also equally important. If your batter is too thin, then your idli will be flat. If your batter is thick, then your idli will be hard. That is the reason why you should add water little by little by checking the consistency.
  • You will get spongy idli only when your batter is nicely fermented. You will see lot of small bubbles in your batter and never forget to mix your fermented batter before pouring into the idli platter.
  • You need to take out the batter from refrigerator about 30 mins before you make idli. Mix well once before pour into idli platter.
  • You may also make crispy dosai as well as spongy uthappam with same batter.

Soft idli using poha

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Paal sarbath / Milk sarbath

Paal sarbath is a very popular drink in Ramnad district, Tamilnadu. Paal sarbath / milk sarbath is prepared with nannari syrup, badam pisin /almond gum and cold milk. You may serve this with toppings like ice cream, tutti fruti, mango chunks etc.

Paal sarbath

Ingredients:

Serves 2

      • 1 cup – Milk ( boiled and cooled)
      • 1 tsp –  Sabja seeds/ chia seeds (or use badam pisin/ almond gum )
      • 4 tbsp – Nannari syrup (or add as needed)
      • Ice cubes as needed

Paal sarbath

Preparation method:

  1. Boil milk without water and allow them to cool completely. Keep refrigerated until use.
  2. Soak Chia seeds or sabja seeds for 1 or 2 hours / over night (until well soaked) in a warm water and keep it ready. Drain the water completely and refrigerate it before use.
  3. Take a serving glass, add 1 tbsp of soaked sabja seeds and then add in a tbsp of nannari syrup. As the syrup contains the sweetness that is enough for your sarbath, do not add any extra sugar to it.
  4. Now add in the cold milk and ice cubes, give a nice stir and continue the same process with next glass. Paal sarbath is ready and serve cold.

Paal sarbath

Paal sarbath

Notes:

  • If you are using badam pisin, soak it in enough water a day before and keep it ready. Since i do not have badam pisin, I used sabja seeds which is available in any Indian grocery store as Tukmaria or sabja seeds or basil seeds.
  • For making Paal sarbath you may need nannari syrup for sure. In case you could not find nannari syrup around your place, then you may replace it with rose syrup.
  • Since nannari syrup contains enough sugar, you may not need extra sugar for your Paal sarbath.

Paal sarbath

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sweet corn curry

Slightly sweet and spicy curry prepared with sweet corn kernels and other spices. You may serve this yummy curry with chappathi, pulao etc.

Sweet corn curry

Ingredients:

Serves 3 to 4

      • 2 cups – Sweet corn kernels
      • 1 no – Onion (chopped finely)
      • 1 no – Tomato (chopped finely)
      • 1 tsp – Ginger garlic paste
      • 1/4 tsp – Turmeric powder
      • 2 tsp – Red chilli powder ( or add as needed)
      • 1 tbsp – Coriander powder
      • 1/4 tsp – Garam masala powder
      • 1/4 tsp – Kasuri methi / dried fenugreek leaves
      • 1 tbsp – Coriander leaves chopped
      • Salt to taste

For grinding:

      • 5 to 6 nos – Almonds
      • 5 tbsp – Milk

Seasonings:

      • 1 tbsp – Oil
      • 1/4 tsp – Cumin seeds / jeera
      • 1 or 2 nos – Green chillies (chopped)

Sweet corn curry

Preparation method:

  1. Soak almonds in a warm milk for 15 to 20 minutes and grind it to fine paste along with milk, set it aside.
  2. Cook sweet corn kernels in enough water along with required salt until well cooked and set it aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan, season it with cumin seeds and green chillies. Add chopped onion and ginger garlic paste along with little salt, saute until translucent. Add chopped tomato and saute until mushy.
  4. Now add all masala powders – turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder, saute until raw smell goes.
  5. Add cooked sweet corn kernels along with 1 cup of water, cover with lid and cook for 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Then add almond paste along with required salt, until you reach desired gravy consistency. Sprinkle kasuri methi and coriander leaves, switch off the stove and serve hot with chappathi or pulao.

Sweet corn curry

Sweet corn curry

Notes:

  • You may increase or decrease the quantity of red chilli powder as per your spice level.
  • I ground almonds along with skin, if you prefer you may remove skin by soaking almonds in warm water and then grind it with milk.

Sweet corn curry

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Strawberry jam croissants / Jam filled Croissants

Simple recipe with a tempting strawberry jam filling and a flaky pastry on top.

Strawberry jam croissant

Ingredients:

Yields 8 croissant

      • Croissant dough ( i used store bought dough)
      • Strawberry jam as needed (click link for recipe)
      • 1 tbsp – Melted butter for brushing
      • Icing sugar as needed for decoration

Strawberry jam croissant

Preparation method:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray baking tray with cooking spray or use parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Unroll croissant dough onto work surface. Spread a tbsp of strawberry jam evenly over dough. Starting with long side, roll up dough into tight roll. Continue the same procedure with rest of the dough.
  3. Now brush the top with melted butter and arrange them in a prepared baking tray.
  4. Bake them for 15 to 20 minutes or until tops are slightly golden brown. Generously drizzle icing sugar over rolls (it’s not necessary to wait for them to cool). Enjoy with your family.

Strawberry jam croissant

Strawberry jam croissant

Notes:

  • I used store bought croissant dough that has 8 triangle dough.

Strawberry jam croissant

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