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  .... 

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

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 .

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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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