August 01, 2021

Rava Pakoras | Semolina Fritters


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 Onset of monsoon is a pleasure in many ways . The weather becomes pleasant, the foliage looks fresh , rivers and dams start overflowing and most of all it is a good opportunity for enjoying family time over a cuppa hot tea , soothing music and some snacks . Deep fried snacks are preferred in most homes as they instantly pep up your mood . 

Last couple of days the city where I live has been experiencing wet spells on and off making it  perfect for enjoying some crispy and soft Rava Pakoras . These rava pakoras are my mom's speciality and she would dish it out for me when I would have sudden cravings for a fried item or when me and my friends came home famished and hungry after our classes .  Amma would add in finely chopped pudina , spinach/palak or even fresh methi/fenugreek leaves to the pakora batter and the taste would be fantastic. 

Rava pakoras /semolina Fritters are deep fried snack with the goodness of kasuri methi and corriander leaves. A perfect monsoon snack.can we make pakoras with rava , no besan pakora , bina besan ka pakoda , rava pakodas, semolina fritters ,monsoon snack , rava dumplings ,semolina dumpling

Rava/ Semolina is a versatile ingredient and is always present in any Indian Kitchen. We can dish out many amazing recipes ,sweets as well as savories using this magical ingredient.  Since rava cooks easily and also tastes delicious, it is the most sought after ingredient for a quick snack .

In today's recipe,  I have used kasuri methi (sun dried fenugreek leaves ) instead of fresh methi which was one of the secret ingredients along with rava given to me by Swaty for our gourmet secret challenge cooking group  .

Rava is not gluten free ,so pls exercise caution if you are allergic to Gluten or following a GF diet . 

Some traditional and classic recipes using Rava / Semolina published on my blog for you all to try and enjoy !! 

Sweets

Kesari  Baath

Sajjige / Sheera

Banana Sheera

Mango Sheera

Rava Payasam/Kheer

Savories

Rava Upma 

Rava Idli 

Rava Dosa 

Tomato Rava Dosa 

Maddur Vade 

Rava pakoras /semolina Fritters are deep fried snack with the goodness of kasuri methi and corriander leaves. A perfect monsoon snack.can we make pakoras with rava , no besan pakora , bina besan ka pakoda , rava pakodas, semolina fritters ,monsoon snack , rava dumplings ,semolina dumpling

As it is monsoon time, we all keep looking for some delicious snacks to munch on  and if you love trying some new recipes, you must look up my friends' Shobha ji and Swaty's blog without fail . These two blogs are a treasure chest of exotic and amazing recipes from world over .

I have bookmarked shobha ji's Rice and dal dhoklas to try soon while Swaty's delicious Masala Tea with a host of exotic and therapeutic ingredients is very refreshing for a chill evening. 


Preparation Time - 5 mins
Frying Time - 20 to 25 mina
Complexity - easy 
Serves - 3 to 4 

Ingredients 

1/2 cup fine rava /sooji / semolina 
2 tbsp chick peas flour /besan 
1 tbsp rice flour 
2 tbsp kasuri methi 
Handful of finely chopped corriander 
Pinch of carom seeds/ajwain/omam 
1-2 finely chopped green chillies 
1/2 tsp red chilli powder 
Salt as needed 
Pinch of turmeric 
Water as needed 
Oil for deep frying 

Method 


  • In a wide mixing bowl , add all the dry ingredients including the kasuri methi and corriander except for oil and water. 
  • With your fingers mix it well so that all ingredients get mixed well .
  • Sprinkle water little by little and bring it together to form a dough . Donot add too much water else it will become too watery and the pakoras will absorb oil while frying . 
  • If you happen to add extra water by chance, add in some rava to the mixture ,rava will absorb the extra water .
  • Heat oil in a kadai , randomly pinch out small portions from the pakora dough and drop it into hot oil carefully .
  • Flip it over and fry carefully until the pakoras turn crisp and golden brown. 
  • Serve hot with green chutney, tamarind chuney or tomato sauce. 
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July 30, 2021

Kulche wala pizza - A fusion pizza


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 I love experimenting with various flavors and cuisines in my kitchen. Some are a super hit and some don't even pass my taste test ..haha !! 

After I tried my hands on Pav Bhaji Pasta which was a hit at home ,I was pondering on how else to infuse Italian flavors in our Desi style cooking.

While the thinking cap was on , my eyes fell on a pizza menu which had paneer Tikka pizza on the cards and that is how my Kulche wala Pizza was born . I was planning to make kulchas to go with a mix veg sabji ,but then I went ahead and tried my hands on this cheesy kulche wala Pizza  which was welcome by all at home .

I have used kulcha as the base and the toppings are in Italian style . So my dear readers , do let me know how you like this recipe and donot forget to try it at your homes too.

What is the difference in Naan and Kulcha ?

  • Though Naan and Kulcha fall into the category of Indian Breads, there is a slight difference in the way the dough is prepared. 
  • Naan uses yeast as  raising agent while for Kulcha baking powder and baking soda are used. 
  • Naan needs good amount of resting time as the yeast needs to react for the dough to raise whereas for Kulcha there is not much resting time. 
  • Naan and Kulcha both can be made in the Tandoor but they come out well even on stove top as well .
  • In terms of shape, Naan is generally oblong while kulchas are round like rotis .
  • Kulchas are easy to make with ingredients available in the pantry and fairly simple for beginners who haven't worked with yeast .
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Preparation Time -20 mins
Resting Time - 30 mins
Makes - 3 to 4 pizzas 
Complexity - Medium 

Ingredients 

Kulcha

2 cups whole wheat flour 

1/2 cup maida / APF 

1 tsp baking powder 

1/2 tsp baking soda 

1/2 cup curd/yogurt

Pinch of salt 

2 tsp oil 

Toppings

Assorted bell peppers cut length wise 

1 tomato deseeded and cut length wise 

1 onion cut length wise (optional) 

Handful of boiled sweet corn 

5 - 6 tbsp pizza sauce 

Mixed herbs /pizza seasoning 

Chilli flakes

1 slab mozzarella cheese 

Method 

How to prepare the Kulcha dough ?

  • In a wide mixing bowl, sift all the dry ingredients through a sieve .
  • Make a well and add in the curd and mix it with the flour .Slowly add the water and knead it to a soft pliable dough . Donot add too much water 
  • Stretch and knead the dough for about 5 to 10 min for the gluten to react well .Apply some oil  and cover with a damp cloth.  Let it rest for 30 mins .

How to make the kulchas for the pizza base ?

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  • After 30 mins punch the dough ,knead and stretch for another 5 mins.
  • Divide the dough to 3 or 4 equal parts.
  • Take one part,  dust rolling board and roll the dough into a  base which is neither too thick nor thin .
  • Prick the kulcha with a fork ,this enables even cooking. 
  • Place this kulcha on a pre heated tava and cook on both sides till it turns slightly brown and looks puffed up .
  • Follow this process for the entire dough and keep the kulcha base ready. 

How to prepare the topping and assemble the pizza?

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  • In a pan ,add a tsp of oil and lightly toss the assorted bell peppers with some salt and set aside .
  • Take one kulcha , spread the pizza sauce generously, top it with some mozzarella cheese. 
  • Add the vegetable toppings of onions,tomatoes, bellpeppers and sweet corn as per your liking.  You may also use jalapeños and olives too .
  • Sprinkle the mixed herbs , chilli flakes ,oregano and add some more mozzarella cheese on the top as much as you like .
  • Place this assembled kulcha pizza on a pre heated tawa and cook it covered with a lid until you see the mozzarella cheese melt and cover the entire kulcha pizza .
  • Take it off the pan , cut it into slices and serve hot .


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Italian pizza in Indian style , kulcha pizza , naan pizza,  fusion pizza , how to make pizza using kulcha as base,  how to prepare kulcha , what is difference in naan and kulcha , naan wala pizza , pizza on naan







July 26, 2021

Ajwain kaadha | Carom Tea | Oma Kashayam


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 Come monsoon, we all love to indulge in some spicy and fried food to pep us up . When the indulgence is limited the tummy is happy but when the spice levels go up a bit,the tummy starts sending signals and it is time to cool down and balance the acidity . That is when the magical spice herb carom/ajwain/omam/ova comes to our rescue .  

Ajwain is used a lot in Indian cooking for its therapeutic effects . It is a very handy magical spice in the pantry . If you have no time to make a concoction you can just chew a few seeds and can instantly feel a relief as you will tend to burp as soon as you begin to chew .

Ajwain kaadha / carom tea has a lot of health benefits especially when it comes to keeping the digestive tract and increases metabolism, oma kashayam,ova paani,ajwain saunf paani, carom fennel tea,herbal tea using carom seeds, benefits of ajwain water

Ajwain has a lot of health benefits especially when it comes to keeping the digestive tract and stomach clear and healthy . This simple concoction of boiling carom seeds with a little fennel seeds (saunf) is a very effective drink when consumed early morning on an empty stomach. 

Ajwain water cools down the gut and eases out gastric and acidity woes . Oma kashayam also helps in improving body metabolism and helps in weight loss too . So all in all it is a very healthy magic potion !! Don't you agree ??  😊

Consuming about 30ml daily in the morning keeps us fit and active by balancing the acidity levels and eases out the digestion process .  

Disclaimer- this is just an age old home remedy for immediate relief .Pls consult your doctor in case of persistent problem and refrain from consuming the drink if you are allergic to any ingredient. 

Some more home made wellness tea on my blog

Tulsi Kashayam 

Herbal Tea

Jaljeera

Ginger Kashayam 


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Preparation Time - Nil 
Cooking Time - 5 mins
Complexity - simple
Makes about 100 ml

Ingredients 
1 cup water (200 ml) 
1 tsp ajwain/carom /omam seeds
1/4 tsp fennel /saunf 

Method 

  • Take the water in a sauce pan , once the water is lightly heated ,add the ajwain and fennel .
  • Let the water start boiling and reduce to 1/2 .
  • Strain it through a sieve and sip it when it is warm 
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Ajwain kaadha / carom tea has a lot of health benefits especially when it comes to keeping the digestive tract and increases metabolism




July 19, 2021

Kadalai Paruppu Thuvayal / Split Chickpeas Dip - Vegan & GF


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Thuvayal or Thogayal is a classic side dish from Tamil cuisine . Thuvayals are made with various lentils , vegetables,vegetable peels and also fresh coconut.  Most of the times thuvayals are served as an accompaniment to the main course but they can also be had with idlis , dosas or even chapathis. 

Kadalai Paruppu thogayal is an exotic recipe made from split chick peas/ bengal gram dhall.  A side dish made by roasting and grinding the lentils ,spices to serve as an accompaniment to the main course. 

Udad dhall (black gram) , channa dhall (split chick peas) , dry red chillies,  curry leaves and tamarind are some of the quintessential ingredients that go into the making of a thuvayal. Thuvayals are relatively easy to make and come in very handy when we are running short of time or don't have vegetables handy in stock.

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My family  loves to indulge in a well made thuvayal mixed with hot rice . Last few days it has been raining off and on and there is a sudden dip in mercury making it the perfect time to have some peppy and spicy food to lift up the mood and spirits !! 

Making the best use of the weather,we had Kadalai Paruppu Thogayal along with Chou chou kootu and some papads . . 

As I said we can have Thogayal as a side dish to idlis or dosas,I plan to make some delicious Chutney Idlis following Sujata ji's recipe and relish with this Kadalai Paruppu thogayal .

Kadalai Paruppu thogayal is an exotic recipe from Tamil Nadu. A dip made by roasting and grindimg the lentils ,spices to serve as an accompaniment. Kadalai Parippu thogayal, split chick peas dip , how to make thohayal at home , paruppu thohayal, paruppu thuvayal , kadala paruppu thogayal

Preparation Time - 5 mins 
Roasting Time - 3 mins
Complexity - Simple 
Serves - 2 to 3 

Ingredients 

1/4 cup kadalai paruppu/ channa dhal/split chick peas
2 tbsp fresh grated coconut 
3 to 4 dry red chillies 
Small piece tamarind 
1/4 tsp jaggery 
Few fresh curry leaves/karvepillai 
1 tsp oil
Salt as needed 

Method 

Kadalai Paruppu thogayal is an exotic recipe from Tamil Nadu. A dip made by roasting and grindimg the lentils ,spices to serve as an accompaniment. Kadalai Parippu thogayal, split chick peas dip , how to make thohayal at home , paruppu thohayal, paruppu thuvayal , kadala paruppu thogayal

  • In a pan heat the oil and roast the channa dhal until crisp and golden brown . As the dhall begins to turn light brown, throw in the curry leaves and red chillies . Roast all of them well taking care not to burn any of the ingredients. 
  • Turn off the stove and add the tamarind in the end.  Let the ingredients cool down. 
  • In a blender add the roasted ingredients, coconut, jaggery and salt along with a little water and grind to a thick finely ground paste. 
  • If you like to feel the crunchy bits of roasted dhal,you can grind it a little coarsely.  

Serving suggestions 

Pour some ghee or gingelly oil (nallennai /til oil ) on piping hot rice and mix it well with this Thogayal and enjoy it with some papads and a nice coconut based curry or kootu .

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Kadalai Paruppu thogayal is an exotic recipe from Tamil Nadu. A dip made by roasting and grindimg the lentils ,spices to serve as an accompaniment. Kadalai Parippu thogayal, split chick peas dip , how to make thohayal at home , paruppu thohayal, paruppu thuvayal , kadala paruppu thogayal




July 13, 2021

Mango Coconut Barfi - Vegan dessert under 5 min


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It was always on my mind to make some traditional sweet using mango flavor . Long time back,I had tasted this semi soft mango flavored milk barfi somewhere and suddenly it occurred to me ,why not try this with coconut?? 

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Coconuts and South Indians are inseparable and hence needless to say, coconut burfi is the most loved sweet in my home . The soft, juicy and melt in mouth barfi is very easy to make and even a beginner cannot go wrong with this recipe . I have detailed the step by step recipe for the Traditional Coconut Barfi / Thenga Barfi and Coffee Flavored Coconut Barfi on my blog.

The microwave bug bit me again and this time I experimented this barfi using the microwave and believe me 5 mins is all that it takes to make this delicious melt in mouth delicacy and no constant stirring or keeping an eye !! So now there can be no excuse to skip and push aside making coconut barfi !! 

And .... hubby,who generally doesn't like Mangoes ,took a few pieces of this barfi and enjoyed it !! Yes, you read it right , hubby dear detests the taste of Mangoes  .... 

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Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cooking Time - 5 mins
Complexity - easy 
Makes 9 to 12 pieces 

Ingredients 

1 cup fresh grated coconut 

1/4 cup mango puree from sweet mango 

1/2 cup sugar 

Pinch of cardamom powder /elaichi powder

Little oil for greasing 

Method

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  • Grate a fresh coconut and take only white portion of the grated part . You can also use frozen coconut, but ensure that it is thawed well and in room temperature.  At times when using frozen directly ,it will release the oil and the taste is not very much welcome .
  • In a wide microwave safe bowl, add the coconut, mango puree and sugar and mix it well .Any sweet variety of mango can be used for the puree. Adjust the qunatity of sugar depending on the sweetness of the puree.
  • Place it in the microwave and run it for 2 min on high power . Take it ,mix it well as the sugar would have melted and the mixture will be runny. 
  • Place it again in the microwave and run for another 2 mins ,take it out and mix once again.  Now the mixture will appear a little less runny and you can shape it into a ball . 
  • Now,last step , place it for 1 more min on high power and take it out . This is the most important step as the barfi takes the right consistency at this stage . If we are not careful ,we might end up burning the mixture. So keep an eye in this last step .
  • Take it out and pour the barfi mixture on a greased plate and shape it well like we do for any other barfi . Let the mixture cool and while it is slightly warm,mark deep cuts so that it is easy to remove when cooled. You may garnish it with nuts and saffron strands.  


Quick sweet treats using Microwave 

Rose Kulfi 

Basundi 

Gajar Halwa 

Oats Coconut Ladoo

Whole Wheat Nutty choco cake 

Choco Orange Cake 


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Traditional Coconut barfi in Mango flavor .  Quick fix vegan dessert under 5 mins, nariyal vadi, naralachi barfi , mango thengai barfi, how to make coconut barfi in microwave



July 12, 2021

Podi Tossed Mini Idlis | How to make podi idli at home ?


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 If you ask any Tamilian, what should be packed for food while traveling or picnicking, patt would be the answer,  Podi Idlis  and curd rice !!! 

Podi idlis are a classic breakfast or tea time snack made from spongy idlis by smearing it with molgapudi mixed in oil.podi idlis,how to make podi idli, mulagapudi peratina idli, button idlis,  podi button idli , podi tossed idlis

 

What is Podi Idli and why is it a preferred dish while traveling? 

Idlis are steamed hence light on stomach while travel ,also since chutney and sambar have short shelf life, the lady folks came up with an idea of smearing a  good amount of Idli Molagapudi mixed in oil all over the idlis, this kept the idli moist as well as made it easy and tasty to eat as the masala would nicely penetrate into the idlis and the oil coating would prevent the idlis from getting spoilt. Podi idlis are an ideal snack option for picnics and camping as well .

Podi idlis are a classic breakfast or tea time snack made from spongy idlis by smearing it with molgapudi mixed in oil.podi idlis,how to make podi idli, mulagapudi peratina idli, button idlis,  podi button idli , podi tossed idlis

My dad had got a special mini idli plate for me from his trip to Madras a.k.a Chennai in the early 90s. The idli plate had cute 14 small moulds and we would get cute tiny button idlis . From then on I would pester my mom to frequently pack these mini idlis tossed in molagapudi for my school lunch too . It would be fun to stick the fork into the idlis one by one and take a full satiating bite .

We still have that idli plate and unfailingly make one batch of these cute beauties every time I steam idlis .

Now,with no traveling and staying locked up at home,  I just recreated the fun of having these delicious podi tossed mini idlis on a drizzly cool evening . It was a delight to have it with some piping hot filter coffee . If you dont have the mini idli plate , you can definitely enjoy this delicacy with regular idlis too .

If you love experimenting with idlis then you must try Sasmita's Beetroot Waffle Idlis which is really very unique and innovative. I am all set to try that soon and I am sure it will be a hit in my home as much as Idli Fry and Idli Upma 


Podi idlis are a classic breakfast or tea time snack made from spongy idlis by smearing it with molgapudi mixed in oil.podi idlis,how to make podi idli, mulagapudi peratina idli, button idlis,  podi button idli , podi tossed idlis

Preparation Time - 5 mins
Steaming Time - 10 mins
Complexity - easy 
Serves - 2 to 3 

Ingredients 
2 cups idli batter 
2 tbsp oil 
1/2 tsp mustard seeds 

Method 
  • Steam the idlis ,demould it and let it cool for a while. 
  • Once cooled, spread  some oil over the idlis along with the molagapudi/spice mix and toss it well so that the podi coats the idlis properly.
  • Heat the balance oil in a pan,splutter mustard seeds when hot.
  • Drop these idlis into the hot tempered oil and let it get roasted for 2 to 3 mins until it turns mildly crisp. 
  • Take it off the pan , garnish with fresh corriander and serve .

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Podi idlis are a classic breakfast or tea time snack made from spongy idlis by smearing it with molgapudi mixed in oil.podi idlis,how to make podi idli, mulagapudi peratina idli, button idlis,  podi button idli , podi tossed idlis



July 05, 2021

Chou Chou Kadalai paruppu Kootu | Chayote Lentil Curry - Vegan & GF


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 Kootu is a classic side dish from the cuisines of Tamil Nadu and Kerala .  Kootu is served as a side dish along with the other items on the menu. Kootu Curry is a must have on the Sadhya during any festive occasion in Kerala . 

Kootu is normally thick in consistency made using thoor dhall (pigeon peas), moong dhall (pasi paruppu /split lentil) or a combination of the two dhalls . Kootu is served alongside sambar ,rasam and other  stir fries as a part of main course .

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Today, I am sharing a  very tasty  kootu using chayote /chou chou /Bangalore kathrikai and channa dhall/kadalai paruppu . This is my amma's recipe and I love to have this kootu anytime . This kootu is mildly spiced and has very subtle flavors . Elders or kids who are unable to take too much spice, this will surely be a treat to their taste buds .

If you don't get chou chou / seeme badnekaai you can also use ash gourd /pooshnikaai to make this kootu.Chou chou kadalai paruppu kootu goes well with rice and chapathi too. 

Various other kootu recipes on my blog 

Avarekaalu Kootu 

Vellarikaai (Cucumber) Kootu 

Thiruvadhirai Kootu / Thalagam

Vazhakkai (Raw banana) Kootu 

Everyday we want to provide a healthy and balanced meal to our family and we are on the look out for preparing a nutritious side dish for our meals. This week it was my turn to suggest the theme and Side dish won the votes hand down and we are celebrating SideKaKamaal the 304th week in our Foodie Monday Bloghop group .

Chayote /chou chou is a versatile vegetable and can be used extensively in our day to day cuisine in various ways  and the best part is chow chow  is easily available all over the world . If you also relish this vegetable like me,then you must definitely try out Chou Chou Kootu and Chou Chou Poriyal (stir fry) already posted on my blog .

Chow chow kadalai paruppu kootu is protein rich ,mildly spiced and pairs well with sambar rice or chapathi .seeme badnekaai kootu, chow chow kootu , chow chow kadala paruppu kootu,chow chow kadalai paruppu kootu , kadalai paruppu kootu , poosnikai kadalai paruppu kootu , bangalore kathrikaai kootu , Bangalore kathrikaai


Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cooking Time - 20 mins
Complexity - easy 
Serves - 2 to 3

Ingredients 
2 medium sized chou chou /chayote / seeme badnekaai 
1/2 cup channa dhall / bengal gram /kadalai paruppu 
1/2 cup fresh grated coconut 
2-3  green chillies
1 dry red chilli 
1/2 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
2 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
Fresh curry leaves 
Pinch of asafoetida (skip for GF) 
1/2 tsp turmeric
Salt to taste 

Method 
  • Wash and soak the channa dhall in water for 10 mins.
  • Peel the chayote and chop into medium sized cubes ; say 1 inch cubes .
  • Grind the coconut, jeera , 2 green chillies and 1 red chilly to a fine paste with some water and keep it aside. 
  • In a pressure cooker ,add the chou chou,soaked bengal gram /channa dhall , 1 green chilli slit, turmeric ,little salt and 1/2 cup water.  Pressure cook on medium flame for 2 whistles . Let the pressure release naturally.
  • In a thick bottomed vessel,add the pressure cooked chow chow , the ground spice mix and bring it to a quick boil . Adjust water and salt if needed at this stage.  Don't add too much water else the kootu will become runny . We need just enough water to let the kootu boil without getting burnt or sticking to the vessel.
  • Heat the coconut oil and temper the mustard seeds along with the curry leaves and asafoetida.  Pour it over the kootu and mix it well . Serve hot .

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June 28, 2021

Cheesy Pasta | Cheesy Penne Pasta


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 Cheesy Pasta is a very easy and quick recipe and can be put together without much effort . It can be a very good after school snack for the kids or also a part of starter in any children's parties. 

Why only kids,even with elders the cheesy pasta is always a big hit and no one can ever say No to a second serving .  Load it with as much cheese as you want and relish the gooey and creamy pasta ! This cheesy pasta is certainly not for the weight watchers or the health freaks . 


I have used Penne pasta for this recipe but you can use macaroni,  spiral , fuesli or any pasta of your choice.  The most important part in getting the pasta right is to cook the pasta properly until it is al dente which means just soft enough to bite into at the same time hold shape and not turn mushy or disintegrate.  

If you have any doubt in cooking the pasta ,follow the instructions on the back of the pasta packet to get it right.  

I always run the cooked pasta under cold tap water in a colander, this helps remove extra starch and also stops the cooking process making it perfect to add on to the sauce.  This cooked pasta can be cooled and then refrigerated for later use as well.

If you like some spicy variant of Pasta , then do try the Pav Bhaji Pasta and Classic Pasta in Red Sauce on my blog.



Linking this recipe to our weekly food theme event Foodie Monday Bloghop.  Priya Iyer is the hostess for the 303rd week and our theme is Pasta Delicacies.  Stay tuned for some yummy Pasta recipes from my blogger friends.  If you love pesto ,check out Priya's easy peasy recipe of Basil peanut pesto. 




Preparation Time - 20 mins
Cooking Time -  15 mins
Serves - 2 to 3
Complexity- medium

Ingredients 
2 tbsp butter 
2 tbsp all purpose flour /maida
1/4 cup processed cheese grated
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese grated 
2 cups milk 
1 tsp red chilli flakes 
1 tsp mixed herbs 
2 cups of boiled pasta 

Method
  • In a pan heat the butter and roast the flour until you get a nice aroma. 
  • Slowly pour the milk and whisk it well to keep it lump free and cook it for 3 to 4 mins.
  • Now add in the processed cheese and mozzarella cheese with the chilli flakes and mixed herbs  and mix it well until the cheese melts.
  • Now add the cooked penne and toss it well till the sauce combines well with the pasta .
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and serve it hot.

Serving suggestions 
  • You can add some boiled corn or vegetables to the pasta along with the white sauce .
  • You may also add some grated cheese on top of the pasta and microwave it for 2 mins to get a more gooey and creamy pasta .
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June 27, 2021

Pavakkai Pitlai | Paakarkai Pitla | Bittergourd Pitla


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 Paavakkai Pitlai / Pitla is one of the unique and traditional recipes from the kitchens of Tamil Nadu. As close as it may resemble a Sambar , it is totally different in terms of taste and flavor . This recipe is very common and also a rustic recipe from the Tamil Brahmin cuisine.

Pitlai is invariably made with either Bittergourd (Pavakkai) or Brinjal (katthirikkai) . Boiled chickpeas or groundnuts are mostly added to the pitlai to give the extra crunch . In today's recipe i have added boiled brown chickpeas.

Till now I haven't heard or seen any other vegetables going into the making of Pitlai . Since its an age old traditional recipe,I think most people want to  stick to the ancestral recipe and follow to the "T" to relish and savor the actual flavors .

A freshly roasted and ground spice mix is prepared to add to the Pitlai and the amount of tamarind and boiled paruppu /dhall that is used is also less as compared to what goes into a sambar making it taste different from the regular sambar .

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Bittergourd and me have always been in a love hate relationship and hence it doesn't feature much in my kitchen except for Bittergourd Chips and Bittergourd (Haagalkai) Gojju. V loves Paavakkai Pitla a lot and was constantly asking me to prepare it and I had been turning a deaf ear for a long time but one fine day he got me some fresh tender bitter gourd and said "Pls make " and no more could I resist and immediately went ahead and we all enjoyed it for our lunch with some hot rice ,ghee and deep fried Pappads/Appalam.

Linking this recipe to our Food group Shhhh Cooking Secretly challenge where in we fellow bloggers are paired up and exchange 2 ingredients secretly and the others play the guessing game !! 

This month's hostess is Seema an avid blogger at The Mildly Indian who suggested that the star of the recipe be a Bitter ingredient. Seema has a wonderful recipe for Pavakkai Bhajji (Bittergourd Fritters) which will make Bittergourd haters also start loving this vegetable. 

 I was paired with my cousin Kalyani of Sizzling Tastebuds for this month .  Coconut and udad dhall were my secret ingredients while atta/whole wheat flour and ginger were hers with which she has dished out healthy Methi Muthias .

Paavakkai Pitlai / pagarkkai Pitla is one of the unique and traditional recipes from the kitchens of Tamil Nadu. Pitla , Pitlai, bittergourd pitlai , paavakkai pitlai , pagarkai pitlai , pahakkai putlai , pitlai

Preparation Time - 20 mins
Soaking Time - 8 hrs
Cooking Time - 20 mins
Serves - 3 to 4 
Complexity - Medium
 

Ingredients 

1/4 brown chickpeas  or  white chickpeas 
2 medium sized Bittergourd/pavakkai/karela
1/4 cup thick tamarind extract
1/2 boiled and mashed thoor dhall /pigeon peas 
1/4 cup fresh grated  coconut  / frozen coconut at room temperature 
2 tsp oil 
1/4 tsp mustard seeds

To roast and grind 
3 tsp udad dhall
3 tsp thoor dhall
2 tsp dhaniya/corriander seeds
5-6 dry red chillies 
1/4 tsp methi /fenugreek seeds
Few curry leaves 
Pinch of asafoetida 

Method 

Preparation of Fresh Spice Mix 



  • In a pan heat 1/2 tsp oil and roast the dhalls till they turn crisp ,followed by the curry leaves,methi seeds,red chillies and corriander seeds . Let it cool
  • Add asafoetida and coarsely powder the ground spices . Keep aside 2 tsp of this dry spice  powder to be added to the pitlai for extra flavor in the end.
  • Add the fresh coconut, little water and grind to a smooth paste. 
Preparation of Paavakkai Pitlai


  • Pressure cook the soaked chick peas with enough salt and water and keep it ready .
  • Chop the head and tail of the Bittergourd,  slit it vertically and de seed. Cut them into medium sized pieces and boil it in salt and turmeric water until 1/2 done . Alternatively you can pressure cook the Bittergourd for just 1 whistle.
  • Add 1 cup water to the tamarind extract plus the cooked Bittergourd and chick peas and bring to a rolling boil until the raw flavor of tamarind is lost . 
  • Add the ground masala paste and cooked dhall/lentils to this tamarind mixture and boil it till all the flavors blend in well and there is no raw flavor of coconut or the dhall. Adjust water if you find the pitlai too thick else there is every chance the masala might stick to the base of the vessel and burn .
  • A spoon of jaggery may also be added which will enhance the taste of the pitlai further 
  • Turn off the stove , add in the reserved dry masala powder to this pitlai and pour a fresh hot seasoning of mustard seeds and asafoetida. (Skip asafoetida for a gluten free version)


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Paavakkai Pitlai / pagarkkai Pitla is one of the unique and traditional recipes from the kitchens of Tamil Nadu. Pitla , Pitlai, bittergourd pitlai , paavakkai pitlai , pagarkai pitlai , pahakkai putlai , pitlai


 





June 21, 2021

Idli Upma - Vegan breakfast


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 Idli Upma is a very tasty breakfast generally made out of left over idlis . I usually  make an extra batch of idlis for dinner so that the same can be used to prepare this delicious idli upma for breakfast the next day. 

One might wonder , what is so special about this Idli Upma when we can enjoy some fluffy hot idlis with chutney and sambar . The answer to this is trying out this recipe and relishing . Proof of the pudding lies in tasting ..isn't it ?? 

Idli Upma is the simplest and best way to make use of previous day's idli . You can also make them from fresh idlis ,but you will have to refrigerate it for sometime before making idli upma.  By chance if your idlis turn out to be hard (which I hope and wish never happens for anyone )  then this recipe can surely be a savior . 

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To get the best fluffy and grainy idli upma ,the idlis need to be little dry and moisture free so that we can crumble them easily,which is why left over idlis are the best choice to prepare idli upma. Idli upma is a perfect lunch box item for schools or even office . 

Idli upma can be made in various ways like adding vegetables or a simple tempering of chillies and ginger or the most liked recipe using Idli Podi - special spice mix served as an accompaniment to idlis / dosas .

Today I shall be sharing the recipe of making idli upma using Idli Molagapudi which tastes best when served fresh coconut chutney and some chilled curd . 

You must also try crispy and crunchy idli fry which is also a very tasty  recipe using left over idlis .

Linking this  recipe to our FMBH 302nd weekly theme "makeover from leftover" suggested by Poonam . Head over to Poonam's blog Annapurna for some authentic culinary delights from Maharashtrian cuisine  and also recipes from world over.  Poonam's Tandoori Paneer Tikka using stove top is on my to do list . Her marination spice mix is totally delectable. 



Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cooking Time - 15 mins
Serves - 2 
Complexity - easy 

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Ingredients 
8 to 10 idlis 
2 green chillies
Few curry leaves 
Pinch of asafoetida 
1/2 tsp mustard seeds 
1/2 tsp channa dhall / gram dhall
1/2 tsp udad dhall / black lentil 
2 tbsp oil 
Chopped corriander for garnish 

Method 
  • Crumble the idli nicely with your fingers and keep ready. 
  • In a pan heat the oil and splutter the mustard seeds followed by the lentils until it turns golden brown.
  • Fry the chillies and curry leaves in the same oil and lastly add the asafoetida.
  • Now add in the crumbled idlis to the pan along with the molagapudi and mix it well. 
  • The molagapudi/ spice powder must coat the idli crumbs evenly.  You can add some idli molagapudi if you want the upma to be spicy . 
  • Sprinkle some water all over the idli upma mix and cook covered for 2 to 3 mins. At this stage you can adjust some salt if needed . Add the salt mix it and then continue covered cooking. 
  • Slowly open it,mix once and add some fresh coriander and serve hot with fresh coconut chutney or thick curd / yogurt .

Notes

Idli Batter in a Mixie 



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Idli Upma is a very tasty breakfast generally made out of left over idlis, idli upma , how to make idli upma , idli upma using molagapudi , how to make soft idli upma




Idli Upma is a very tasty breakfast generally made out of left over idlis, idli upma , how to make idli upma , idli upma using molagapudi , how to make soft idli upma






June 15, 2021

Sev Batata Puri | Paapri Chat | Papdi Chat


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Sev Batata puri is one of the famous and sought after street food items from Bombay alongside BhelpuriPaani Puri and Pavbhaji .

 Sev (सेव) is deep fried string hoppers made using gram flour, Batata (बटाटा) in Marathi is potatoes and Puri or paapdi (पूरी / पापडी) are small deep fried discs made using All purpose flour / maida . . 

Well,not only is this famous in Bombay,it is also famous all over the Northern India popularly know as Paapri Chaat or Paapdi Chaat .  Though there is a slight difference in the chutneys used,  the end result is always too good to be put in words . With each bite you can feel an explosion of flavors and various tastes in your mouth which needs to be experienced and enjoyed :-) 

Sev Batata puri is one of the famous and sought after street food items from Bombay alongside Bhelpuri,  Paani Puri and Pavbhaji ,sev puri, sev batata puri, papdi chat , papri chat , vegan street food , tasty sev batata puri , सेव बटाटा पूरी, सेव पूरी, पापरी चाट,पापड़ी चाट

 We can also make these discs using whole wheat flour .  For this recipe today,  I have used store bought puris which were made out of maida .

You can look up my video link  below to prepare whole wheat puris at home . I generally prefer to use a slightly spicy version of the puris as it adds up to the taste of the chaat .

If we have all the ingredients ready ,it hardly takes 15 mins to put this snack together else you will need about 1-  2 hrs to prepare the potato filling , chutneys, chopping of onions , tomatoes ,corriander etc. 

Sev Batata puri is one of the famous and sought after street food items from Bombay alongside Bhelpuri,  Paani Puri and Pavbhaji ,sev puri, sev batata puri, papdi chat , papri chat , vegan street food , tasty sev batata puri , सेव बटाटा पूरी, सेव पूरी, पापरी चाट,पापड़ी चाट

Preparation Time - 1hr
Assembling Time - 5 mins
Serves - 2 
Complexity - Simple 

Ingredients 

14 puris / paapdi
2 medium sized potatoes boiled and mashed 
1/2 cup onion finely chopped  (skip for the No Onion No garlic version)
1/2 cup tomato finely chopped 
1/2 cup nylon sev 
Chat masala to sprinkle 
Finely chopped corriander for garnish 

Method 
  • Arrange 7 papdis each on 2 set of plates.
  • Season the boiled and mashed potatoes with some salt and red chilli powder and mix them well.
  • Place about 1/2 tsp of potato filling on each puri.
  • Place some onions and tomatoes over the potato filling.
  • Top the puris with 1/2 tsp each of dates tamarind chutney and green chutney. 
  • Sprinkle some chat masala and garnish with a lot of sev and finely chopped corriander. 
  • Delicious sev Batata puri is ready to be served.
Serving Suggestions/ Tips 
  • Keep all the ingredients ready before you start assembling the sev puri .
  • Serve it soon after assembling, else the puris will lose the crunch due to the chutney and the charm of biting into the crunch will be lost. 
  • You may also add some boiled whole moong beans or black channa (black chickpeas) to the potato mixture. 
  • You may add or reduce the amount of chutney you top up on the potato mixture depending on how spicy or mild you like the chaat to be .


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Sev Batata puri is one of the famous and sought after street food items from Bombay alongside Bhelpuri,  Paani Puri and Pavbhaji .