December 07, 2022

Veg Pizza - Stove Top version


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 Pizza is the most loved quick bite that's enjoyed by all ..Be it kids or adults ,there is something in Pizza that makes it everyone's favorite. 

Kids find the long string of hot melted cheese  while they take a bite as an attraction while elders love the various toppings that are used on the Pizza to make it tasty and enjoyable .

As much as many consider pizza as a junk food or a overload of fat due to cheese,I would say we can make it really healthy by using the whole wheat or multi grain pizza base , loads of vegetables and very minimal cheese or no cheese at all . 

One of the best ways to get the kids eat as much as veggies as possible.  I keep trying various toppings and this time I used even some grated carrots and it was a very nice welcome change.  

Nowadays markets are flooded with a variety of ready made pizza base breads and I was super impressed with the thin crust multigrain base which I have used in the recipe. Though we can bake our own pizza bread at home, for sudden pizza cravings I pick up the pizza base from the nearby organic store. 

Cheese was used very minimally and a mix of cheddar and mozzarella from my favorite brand Amul . Amul is a very famous brand which is widely used in India and known for its superior quality of diary products ,ice creams and chocolates.

This flavor packed and tasty pizza was  prepared for the World Street Food Theme on our food group Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge.  I was partnered with the amazing blogger Preethi who was also the host for this month's theme. She gave me the secret ingredients Oregano and Tofu while I gave her Yeast and icing sugar with which she has made delicious Firi Firi



Preparation Time - 15 - 20 mins
Cooking Time - 5 to 10 mins
Complexity - easy 
Serves - 2 to 3

Ingredients 

2 multigrain pizza base bread 
1/2 cup finely chopped assorted bell peppers 
1/4 cup boiled sweet corn 
1 medium onion chopped 
100 gms tofu /paneer diced into cubes 
1 medium carrot finely grated
Chilli flakes 
Oregano flakes 
1/4 cup tomato sauce / pizza sauce
50 gms grated mozzarella cheese
50 gms grated cheddar cheese 

Method 

  • Take a pizza base , spread some sauce over and layer it with some cheese. 
  • Add the toppings one by one as you wish .
  • Sprinkle Chilli flakes and Oregano all over the toppings .
  • Spread some more cheese as you like.
  • Place the pizza base on a heated tava/griddle ,and roast on slow flame until the cheese on top melts .
  • Cut into wedges and serve hot .



December 03, 2022

Zucchini Paratha


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 Winter is in the air ; the chill and pleasant weather calls for  nice soul satisfying hot meals from the pan to the plate . We at home,prefer piping hot parathas or rotis for dinner .

Parathas are filling and healthy as you can include almost as many veggies you wish either by kneading it along with the dough or even by stuffing it into the rolled bread .

Doodhi Parathas are a family favorite during winter, so this time when I had some fresh Zucchini in my fridge I thought of making some delicious parathas with them. I have used green zuchini ,but you can also use the yellow zuchini which are widely available in the market .

Zucchinis belong to the squash family and are used in a variety of recipes across cuisines . Unlike cucumber ,zucchini needs to be cooked before eating.  Zucchini may either be shredded, grated , sliced or even used as cubes depending on the recipe that it is being used in .

For the paratha,I have peeled the zucchini and then grated it finely and kneaded along with the wheat flour with various spices and flavorings. 

If you want to try some healthy,delicious and tasty parathas, please click on the recipe links below 



Preparation Time - 20 mins
Cooking Time - 2 mins per Paratha 
Complexity - medium 
Makes 10 to 12 parathas
 

Ingredients 

1.5 cups whole wheat flour 
2 cups grated zucchini
1 tsp red chilli  powder 
1/2 tsp haldi powder 
1 tsp jeera powder 
2 tbsp finely chopped corriander
Salt as needed
Oil to roast the paratha 

Method 


  • Squeeze out the excess water from grated zucchini and add it a mixing bowl along with the spices (red chilli powder , haldi powder , jeera powder and salt) . Mix it well with your fingers .
  • Add the wheat flour and the corriander and knead into a smooth and firm dough without cracks .Apply some oil over the dough and keep covered for 10 mins. 
  • Pinch out big lemon sized balls from the dough and roll them into a medium thick roti .
  • Heat a tawa or griddle and place the rolled out paratha on the tawa .
  • Flip it over when you see small bubbles and brown spots on the under side .
  • Apply some oil around the paratha and roast it until its well done.
  • Take it off the tawa and serve hot with some chilled curd or raita of your choice. 

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October 17, 2022

Parangikkai Vathakuzhambu - Tambrahm Special (Vegan)


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Pumpkin is a versatile vegetable and is widely used in the Indian cuisine .Various names of pumpkin in different languages, Parangikkai /Thadiyangai (Tamil) , Mathan (Malayalam) , Kaddhu (Hindi) , Laal Bhopla (Marathi) , Sihi Kumbalkkai (kannada) ,Kumdo /Kumro (Bengali) and so on.

In India, pumpkins are available through the year unlike the western world wherein it is a Fall produce and available only during Autumn .

Having said that, in India we use pumpkin a lot across the length and breadth of various cuisines from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Gujarat to Assam . 

Parangikkai Vethakuzhambu is a classic recipe from Tambrahm kitchen and makes for a yummy main course . Vathakuzhambu is a tamarind based gravy without the lentils and is paired with rice and a simple vegetable stir fry or keerai  masiyal.

"Vathakuzhambum Sutta appalam um" is an eternal favorite combination in most households and our home is not an exception either .Certain terminologies lose the charm when translated, but for the ease of my readers let me translate it .. the term means Vathakuzhambu and roasted papad is the best combination when  served hot .

Vethakuzhambu has a good shelf life and can stay well upto 4 or 5 days when refrigerated provided your family doesn't polish off this yumm gravy.  Vathakuzhambu certainly tickles and rejuvenates our taste buds and appetite especially after heavy festive indulgence or even post traveling. 

I have quite a few variants of Vethakuzhambu and tamarind based gravy which I am linking below for your easy reference 

Appalam Vethakuzhambu 

Kondakadalai (chick peas) Vethakuzhambu 

Karvepillai (curry leaves) kuzhambu 

Milagu (pepper) Kuzhambu 

Vendhiya (fenugreek) kuzhambu 

Verkadalai (peanuts) Vethakuzhambu 


Preparation Time 10 mins
Cooking Time - 30 mins
Complexity- simple
Serves - 2 to 3

Ingredients 

1.5 cups chopped pumpkin 
Small lemon sized tamarind soaked in hot water 
1.5 tbsp sambar powder 
1tsp thoor dhall
1/2 tsp mustard 
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp sesame oil /til oil
Salt as needed 
Few curry leaves 
Chopped corriander 
Pinch of asafoetida 

Method 


  • Extract the puree from the soaked tamarind, strain it.Add 1 cup water to it and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a thick bottomed kadai and splutter the mustard seeds followed by curry leaves, corriander, thoor dhall and asafoetida. 
  • Saute the chopped pumpkin cubes with sambar powder and add 1/2 cup water .let the pumpkin cook well .It should be well cooked, but firm at the same time 
  • Add the tamarind extract, required salt and let it boil well and the raw flavor of tamarind is lost .Continue to simmer the vathakuzhambu until it reduces and becomes slightly thick in consistency like tomato puree. The kuzhambu shouldn't be very runny. 
  • Turn off the stove and drizzle the sesame oil all over and a delicious Vethakuzhambu is ready to be enjoyed .

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October 08, 2022

Maav Vilakku / Edible Flour lamp - Purataasi Sanikizhamai


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 Maa Vilakku or Maav Vilakku is an edible flour lamp offered to the lord .

Maav in Tamil means flour and Vilakku is lamp . Maa vilakku is made from  jaggery and rice flour .A soft dough is prepared using jaggery and rice flour along with some edible camphor and cardamom powder . Ghee is poured into a small dent made in the center of the dough and a wick is lit . This lamp is decorated with Flowers and haldi kumkum .

Maav vilakku is primarily offered to Devi and Lord Balaji . Tamil Months of Thai(Jan - Feb)  ,Aadi (July - Aug) and Purataasi (Sept - Oct) are very auspicious for offering Maav Vilakku .

Maav Vilakku for Devi is offered during Thai and Aadi months as per Tamil almanac and for Lord Balaji Purataasi month is very auspicious. 

Significance of Purataasi Sanikizhamai 

  • Tamil Brahmins whose family deity is Lord Srinivasa or Lord Uppiliappan,unfailingly offer Maav Vilakku in the Tamil month of Purataasi which is Mid August - Mid September as per Greogorian Calender . 
  •  Saturdays are considered very auspicious for offering Maav Vilakku ,hence it is offered either on 1st or 3rd Saturday.  Maav Vilakku is not offered during Mahalaya Paksha(Pitru Paksha) even if it falls in the holy month of Purataasi. 
  • There is a belief / aidheegam that the Lord Of 7 hills visits the Earth / Bhoolokam in this holy month and hence by offering this Maav Vilakku we invite him to our abode to bless us abundantly with his benevolent grace . 
  • There is a another myth that during Purataasi month ,especially on Saturdays,Lord Shani loses his power and there is no way he can bring about any hurdle during the offering of Maav Vilakku,another reason why we offer Maav Vilakku on Saturday .

How to make the Maav Vilakku ?



How to do Puja and offer Maav Vilakku ?

  • Take a bath, clean the Pooja room, offer flowers to all deities, light the lamp as always. 
  • On Saturdays, we offer maav vilakku after 10.30 am since it is Rahu kaal from 9am to 10.30 am. 
  • Prepare the prasadams and also keep the maav vilakku maav ready so that soon after 10.30 you can light the lamp and offer. 
  • As for any puja ; betel leaves , betel nuts and banana along with coconut are to be offered .
  • Prasadam for Maav Vilakku is normally Sakkarai Pongal ,Vadai ,Sundal , Ellu Saadham .Depending on the time and your personal constraints you can chose what you would like to offer . But ensure there is one sweet as prasadam. Onion and Garlic is avoided in the cooking on this day .A saatvik meal is cooked.
  • Assemble all the family members, light the maav vilakku using Ghee ,chant Vishnusahsranama or any hymns in praise of Lord Vishnu / Balaji . 
  • Offer the prasadam you have made in a silver plate or banana leaf . Keep an eye on the lamp until it dies out ,this is called "Malai Yerardhu",meaning lord Balaji has blessed our home and is now proceeding to Vaikuntam.  Once the lamp is about to die down, offer camphor or dhoop and distribute the prasadam to all the family members and partake the lunch.

Today , 8/10/22  at my home for Purataasi Sanikizhamai, I prepared the following prasadam.

Rice + Ghee + Paruppu

Araichuvitta Sambar 

Kondakadalai Sundal

Ulundhu Vadai (Bonda) 

Sakkarai Pongal

Tomato Rasam

Curd

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October 03, 2022

Khimchi - Asian Cuisine


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 If you are a Chinese food lover, then Khimchi is not a new item.  I was introduced to khimchi when I first dined at Mainland China years ago. Mainland China is one of the most popular Asian Fine Dine restaurant in India that serves many authentic Asian dishes .

For the uninformed, Khimchi is a way of preserving veggies like a pickle and is served alongside the main course meal . Mostly when fresh veggies aren't available either due to weather or any other factor, then this Khimchi comes to the rescue. 

 I had Googled many recipes on how-to make Khimchi at home and had been wanting to try from a long time.  Finally I narrowed down on a recipe from a popular food channel and prepared using that recipe . I was quite happy with the outcome as it was just like the one I have tasted. I made it using cabbage but there are many variants where you can add carrots, daikons etc as well.

This month in our food bloggers' group Shhh cooking secretly Preethi Tandon suggested we explore jams,chutneys ,jellies or preserves from non Indian Cuisine and viola it was the best time to make and enjoy this yummy Khimchi which was a long over due to present itself on the blog.

My partner for this month is the enthusiastic blogger Seema who gave me the versatile ingredients soy sauce and sugar while I gave her  Cumin and lemon as the secret ingredients. with Seema has made a lipsmacking Quince Chutney.. If only I could lay my hands on that chutney now,I would be in the 7th heaven relishing it :-) 


Preparation Time - 3 to 4 hrs
Cooking Time - Nil
Complexity - simple

Ingredients 

3 cups finely chopped Cabbage
1/4 cup Dark soy sauce 
1/4 cup Vinegar 
2tbsp Chili flakes
Salt as needed 
1 tbsp Sugar 
2 tsp Little garlic powder 
1 tbsp Finely  grated ginger
Sesame oil while serving 

Method


  • In a wide mixing bowl , take the cabbage and mix it with salt and some chilli flakes . Let this rest for 3 to 4 hrs 
  • After 3 to 4 hrs the cabbage will appear wilted and soggy.Squeeze out  as much juice you can from the cabbage and transfer it to another bowl.
  • In this bowl,now add in all the ingredients except the oil and mix it well.
  • Store it in sterilized glass jar,cover it properly and let it ferment for 24hrs .this step is very important to get the perfect taste and texture. 
  • Refrigerate after 24hrs and always use a dry spoon while scooping out from the jar.
  • Drizzle some sesame  oil over the khimchi just before you serve.

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September 27, 2022

Poosanikaai Puli Kootu - Kalyana Kootu


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 Puli Kootu or Pulippu Kootu is an authentic Tamil brahmin recipe and is made quite frequently in most homes .It is a must have on the wedding feast menu and hence also known as Kalyana Kootu . 

Puli kootu is very tasty as it has a balance of all flavors and the tanginess from the tamarind extract gives it an altogether different flavor profile.

Pulippu kootu fits perfectly for those following a Vegan Diet and also being a No onion No garlic recipe  it is Saatvik and Jain Friendly as well.

Pulippu kootu can be made with brinjals,  ash gourd /white pumpkin or chayote/chou chou . In traditional tambrahm weddings puli kootu is made from ash gourd/poosanikaai and has either boiled chick peas or groundnuts added to the kootu .

In my recipe today ,I am going to use boiled peanuts but I also make it using boiled chickpeas many a times and both of them taste really delicious. 

Puli kootu with hot rice and some coconut based vegetable stir fry is an amazing combination for lunch.  In my home most often the left over puli kootu is paired with chapati for night and it pairs well .




Preparation Time - 15 mins
Cooking Time - 30 mins
Complexity- simple 
Serves - 2 to 3

Ingredients 

2 cups chopped ash gourd /poosanikaai 
1/4 cup thoor dal /pigeon peas/thuvaram paruppu
1/4 cup peanuts 
Small lemon sized tamarind ball
Few curry leaves 
Pinch of turmeric
Salt as needed 
2 tsp oil 
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of asafoetida 

To roast and grind
1 tbsp channa dal 
1 tbsp dhaniya/corriander seeds
2 tbsp coconut grated 
3 to 4 dry red chillies 

Method


  • In a pan heat 1/4 tsp oil and roast the channa dhall until crisp and golden brown followed by the dhaniya and red chillies.Allow it to cool and the  grind into a fine paste with coconut and set aside. 
  • Soak the tamarind in hot water for 10  mins and then extract the pulp . Strain the impurities and keep ready .
  • Boil the chopped ash gourd in sufficient water until it is cooked well..it has to be firm but well cooked .
  • Pressure cook the thoor dhall and peanuts in 2 separate containers in the same cooker .Mash the thoor dhall well and set aside.  This saves a lot of time and effort as well.
  • In a thick bottomed vessel,add the boiled ashgoured ,peanuts and the tamarind extract with 1/4 cup water and boil it until the raw smell of the tamarind is lost. 
  • Next add the coconut paste , cooked thoor dhall and another 1/2 cup water and bring to a rolling boil.Adjust salt at this stage . Donot boil too much as the dhall will begin to start sticking to the bottom of the pan and it may get burnt..we don't want a burnt kootu .
  • Prepare a tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida and pour it on the pulippu kootu.

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September 25, 2022

Little Millet Poha - Samai Poha (Vegan breakfast)


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 Millets are a very good alternative to rice due to their low glycemic index (GI) value which helps in control of insulin and absorption of carbohydrates into the blood stream making it ideal for people with Diabetes.  

Millets also help in weight loss as they are rich in proteins and fibre.

There are lot of millets available like Jowar, Bajra, Ragi ,Little millet, Kodo millet , Barnyard Millet etc . You can very conveniently replace the usage of rice with millet and work towards a healthy lifestyle. 

I am slowly trying to transition into using millets in my daily diet and I am certainly seeing a lot of difference.  Sudden hunger pangs,  mid morning cravings have reduced a lot and millets keep me full for a long time. 

Little Millet is known as Samo Chawal/Kutki  (Hindi), Samai Arisi (Tamil),  Saame (Kannada) , Samaalu (Telugu) .

Little millet is very rich in Magnesium,  Vit B components and also in phosphorous and zinc which help in building energy in the body. 

Making little millet poha is very easy, almost same as making the Poha using Flattened rice.  You can flavor and season it with the spices of your choice.  

Little millet flakes are available in most leading super markets and shops .Also there are many exclusive outlets selling millet based products from where we can procure them easily . 


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

Ingredients 

1.5 cups little millet poha /flakes 
2 tbsp oil
Handful of peanuts 
Handful of frozen peas (thawed )
1tsp cumin /jeera
2 green chillies chopped 
Few curry leaves 
Salt as needed 
2 tsp lemon  juice
Pinch of turmeric 

Method 


  • Wash the little millet flakes under running water and let it rest in a colander for 10 15 mins . The millet flakes absorb the water and turn soft. 
  • Heat the oil in a kadai, fry the peanuts followed by cumin ,green chillies, curry leaves.
  • Throw in some salt and turmeric followed by the soaked little millet flakes and also the green peas .
  • Toss it well ,cover and cook for 3 to 4 mins . Lastly mix the lemon juice and garnish with fresh corriander and serve hot.

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September 22, 2022

Navaratri Special Prasadams


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 Navaratri is just round the corner and it is a very special festival for Hindus.  The whole of India celebrates Navratri in different ways and it is the most awaited festival for the ladies.

Navaratri is a festival that  celebrates the victory of good over evil by Goddess Durga . The festival is spread across 9 nights and 10 days hence the name Nav Ratri (Nav is 9 and Ratri is night) .

The last day is celebrated as Dussehra or Dassera, a  day that is considered very auspicious to start anything new . 

As I already said each region in India celebrates Navaratri in different ways and the ladies thoroughly enjoy this festival .

Read the full blog to know how various regions celebrate Navratri across our country.

In Northern India , each day is dedicated to 9 forms of Maa Durga  ; Shailaputri  ,Brahmacharini ,Chandraghanta ,Kushmanda ,Skandamaata , Katyayani  ,Kaalaratri, Mahagauri,Siddhadhatri. 

Devi is worshipped  by chanting Chandi Paath/ Havan ,devi Mahatmyam etc. Most ladies fast for the 9 days and break their fast on Navami .

The Ashtami Day is  celebrated as Kanya Puja where young girls who haven't attained Puberty are called home and worshipped as an Incarnation of lord Durga ma and offered with Prasadam and small gifts like Bindi , chunri , mehendi etc. Prasad on Ashtami is Poori ,Halwa and Kala Channa .

In Gujarat , a decorated earthen pot called Garba is placed with a lamp lit inside which is kept as Akhand Diya for all 9 days ..this Garba is symbolic of the womb and the word is derived from the Sanskrit word "Garbh". There is a  belief that just as the mother protects the baby in the womb, Ambe Maa is the protector of the world and she protects us from the wordly  wrath. 

Bengal and Eastern India is known for its Durga Puja Utsav during Navratri and the massive pandals that are set up all over the city which have huge and beautiful idols of Durga Maa sculpted to perfection and on the day of Dassera after the Pooja ,the idols are immersed in water bodies 


In Tamil Nadu and Karnataka ladies set up Golu ,which is a display of dolls of various Gods and Goddesses and also other mythological characters.  Social themes are also displayed and lot of contests are conducted to applaud and recognize the hard work .  The 9 nights of Navratri are dedicated for Durga ,Lakshmi and Saraswati . The 9th Day is celebrated as Saraswati Pooja / Ayudha Pooja in Tamil Nadu ..to know more about how it is celebrated, read my post on Saraswati Pooja Special.

What is Golu / Bomma Kolu / Bombe Habba ?

GOLU is a display of Dolls arranged on steps like structure which are odd in number like 1 , 3, 5 , 7 , 9 steps etc .

Traditionally beautifully colored clay dolls of various Gods and Goddess & Mythological story related dolls would be on the display and these dolls are handed down from generations.  Carefully packed and stored for use year on year. 

 Slowly, with social awareness and creativity,  dolls with social themes also got added to the collection and people who display golu started presenting various themes to bring related to current affairs and social responsibilities. 


Each day a special prasadam is offered to Devi after pooja in the morning and evening. 
Normally in the morning, we offer some kind of sweet as prasadam and in the evening we offer sundal prasadam. Navaratri and Sundal go hand in hand .

Sundal is a simple stir fry using various beans and legumes . A very good source of protein and energy. 

This sundal prasadam is distributed along with the Haldi Kumkum Thamboolam which is given to all the ladies who visit the house for Golu .

Refer to the collection of recipes below which I am linking for your easy reference 















Seeyam / Sugiyan (Saraswati Pooja Spl )










September 12, 2022

Namkeen Moong Dal | Fried Moong (split green gram)- Vegan snack


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 Namkeen moong dal is a very tasty and addictive tea time snack which is enjoyed by all age groups .

A popular snack which is sold by major snack brands, in India and abroad this certainly is a Go to snack which most of us will stock at home to just munch on for time pass .

You can also make amazing chaat with this fried moong dal by adding chopped onions ,tomatoes, fresh corriander and dress with some fresh lime juice .


To make namkeen moong dal at home ,you need to have a few pre preparations, but if you plan your work accordingly, this tasty snack can be made just in time for your tea time or the time when kids are back from school.

The key to get perfectly fried moong dal is to pat dry the soaked moong dhal on a cotton cloth until it is totally dry and moisture free . A small amount of moisture also will end in oil splutter while frying which is definitely risky and hazardous.  So take care to dry up the moong dhall before frying.

The fried moong dal is seasoned with basic spices like salt and chat masala ,but you can also add some red chilli powder if you may like. I prefer to keep it plain salted with a hint of chaat masala . 


Preparation Time - 4 hrs
Frying time - 15 mins
Complexity - easy
Serves  - 3 to 4 

Ingredients 

2 cups of moong dal / yello split gram
Oil to fry
Salt as needed 
Pinch of chat masala 

Method 

  • Wash and soak the moong dal in a bowl of water for 3 to 4 hrs .
  • Drain the water through a colander and spread the soaked moong dal on a soft cotton cloth for about 30 mins under shade so that all the moisture is absorbed by the cloth .
  • Heat up the oil and fry the moong dal in small batches until it turns crisp and appears golden yellow. Fry in medium flame and be vigilant else it will  burn too quickly .
  • To the fried moong dal add salt and chat masala and mix it well .Store it in an air tight container.  Use a dry spoon to use while serving. 
  • Enjoy this addictive snack with your tea or a leisure drink with your friends and family.


September 08, 2022

Chakka Pradhaman using Chakkavaratti - Sadhya Special


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 Onam is the harvest festival of Kerala and also the day to comomerate and celebrate Vamana and King Mahabali .Whole of Kerala and Malayalees world over celebrate the day with a lot of joy and happiness. Onam is a ten day festival and as per gregorian Calender falls anyday between August - September which coincides with the  Chingam Month as per Malayalam Alamanac on the star of Thiruvonam or Sravanam which is the 22nd star or Nakshatra.



Mahabali was a very generous and powerful king who ruled Kerala and there was abundant prosperity and happiness during his reign. It is believed that on this day King Mahabali or Maaveli visits the land of Kerala and rejoices with the people of the land . To welcome the King ,an elaborate rangoli or kolam using flowers is decorated at every home , a lavish spread known as Sadhya is prepared and the annual boat race is held by the State .

ONAM is the annual state festival of Kerala.

I have already posted almost all recipes prepared for a Sadhya on my blog .I will post the link below which can be used as a ready recokner. 

Today we shall see a very traditional and authentic sweet chakka Pradhaman made using Jackfruit Jam known as Chakka Varatti . I have already posted how to make chakka varatti during jackfruit season .

This paysam is really easy to make if we have the chakka varatti ready on hand . The other  version to make Chakka Pradhaman from scratch can be found here. 

Without further delay,let me get to the recipe quickly .


Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cooking Time - 15 mins
Complexity - simple
Serves - 2 to 3

Ingredients 

1/2 cup chakka varatti / jackfruit jam
3/4 cup grated coconut 
3 tbsp jaggery 
1/2 cup thick coconut milk 
2 tbsp finely chopped coconut bits 
2 tsp ghee 

Method


  • Blend the chakka varatti, grated coconut and jaggery with 1/4 cup water to a very fine paste .
  • In a heavy pan ,heat the ghee and fry the coconut bits until they turn crisp and brown.
  • Pour the blended paste to this fried coconut and bring it to a quick boil .
  • Add the thick coconut milk in the end ,mix well and turn off the stove .Donot try to over cook or boil the Pradhaman after adding the coconut milk ..the Pradhaman will curdle .the heat is enough to cook the coconut milk and take away the raw smell.
  • Delicious chakka Pradhaman is ready. 

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Sadhya recipes on the blog. Click on the individual items below to get detailed recipe



August 16, 2022

Vella Seedai /Innipu Cheedai - Janmashtami Special


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 Vella Seedai or sweet jaggery fritter balls are an essential prasad /offering made for Gokulashtami/ Krishna jayanthi to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna .

We make two types of seedai; Uppu seedai (savory)  and Vella seedai (sweet) along with various other favorites of Lord Krishna to be offered on the special day when we all rejoice and celebrate lord Krishna's birth .

To know how we celebrate Krishna Jayanthy in a typical Tambrahm (Tamil Brahmin) house hold head over to my post, Krishna Jayanthy Celebrations where you can also find link to all the special recipes we make for the big festival .


Making seedai is an art and requires a little expertise and caution while making it . With practice we can easily master this and become a pro .

I am giving all tips and tricks to make a fail proof seedai so that even beginners and newbies can make it with an ease . These tips are applicable for flours which are either home made or store bought. 

Traditionally rice flour and udad dhall flour at prepared at home for purpose of maintaining hygiene and quality but now a days we get good quality ready made flours so we can use that even. 

In this recipe, I have used store brought rice flour and  udad dhall flour to make the recipe, thus making it easy for working women and those who are pressed for time.   

Points to keep in mind 

  • Roast the rice flour in a dry pan until it feels warm. The flour should be roasted just until you can feel the warmth no need for the flour to change color . Sieve the flour well through a sieve once it cools down.
  • Roast the udad dhall flour the same way and sieve it. If you are unable to find ready made udad dhall flour,  take 1 cup of udad dhall and dry roast in a pan until it turn crisp ,cool it and then blend into a fine powder using the blender . Sieve it to get a really fine powder without any grits . 
  • Melt the jaggery in hot water and strain it to remove any impurities .
  • Sieving the flours and jaggery syrup is very important as even a small particle or grit can cause the seedais to burst in the oil .

To know how to make Uppu Seedai and also on how to roast the flours check the video link below 


Ingredients 

1 cup rice flour 
1tbsp udad dhall flour /Ulutham maav
1/2  cup grated jaggery + 3/4 cup water to melt it
1/2 tsp white sesame seeds / yellu 
2 tsp grated coconut  (optional)
Pinch of cardamom powder
Oil to deep fry 
1 tbsp unsalted butter/ ghee at room temperature 

Method

  • Take a wide mixing bowl and add the sieved rice flour and udad dhall flour along with the sesame seeds and grated coconut. 
  • Meanwhile, heat the melted jaggery in a pan and let it come to a rolling bowl.we donot need ant string consistency.  When the jaggery is boiling add in the cardamom powder to this.
  • Pour this hot jaggery syrup over the flours and mix it gently with a spoon so that the syrup gets incorporated well with the flours.
  • Now add the melted butter and gently with your hands knead a soft and pliable dough.most of the times the jaggery syrup is enough to knead the dough but incase if you feel the dough is dry , sprinkle some warm water and knead until its firm but soft.  Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 30 mins.
  • Heat oil in a kadai and start rolling small balls from the dough . The balls must be crack free and the same time not rolled very tight. 
  • If you roll it tight there is a chance of the seedais bursting in oil . Grease your palms with ghee while you begin to roll the balls .
  • When the oil is heated, reduce flame to medium and first drop one ball into the oil . It must not disintegrate in the oil. Incase it disintegrates means the moisture content is more . To fix this ,sprinkle some rice flour and knead the dough again until the dough feels dry and firm . Donot panic. 
  • Once the dough is of righr consistency, drop the balls into the oil carefully and fry on medium flame by occasionally splashing oil over the seedais,this will prevent the seedais from bursting. 
  • Fry until the oil stops hissing and the seedais have turn nice and brown. You can see cracks on the seedais once they are fried. This indicates that the seedais are perfectly done both from the inside and outside.
  • Carefully take it off from the hot oil and let them cool completely before you can store in a dry container. 

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August 02, 2022

Chettinaad Kuzhipaniyaram - savory snack


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 Kuzhipaniyaram is a very tasty and delightful savory snack which takes a very important place either for breakfast or evening snacks  in Tamil Nadu.

Kuzhi in Tamil means cavity/depression and paniyaram means snack in general . So Kuzhi paniyaram means a snack with a depression..sounds funny right ? Basically kuzhi refers to the cavity in the mould of the pan which is used to prepare this snack. 

Kuzhipaniyaram is made in a special vessel called as paniyarakal . It is the same pan which is used to make Sweet Appams ,paddu or gunthaponganalu .

I have already shared the other variant of Paniyaram made from regular Idli batter ,but this chettinaad Kuzhipaniyaram is a special recipe where the batter is ground solely for the purpose of making paniyarams.

Some classic recipes using the Paniyaram Kal / Aebelskeiwer Pan 

Jackfruit Nei Appam

Watermelon Nei Appam

Paddu/Gunthaponganalu

Kunukku Paniyaram

Chettinaad is a region in the Sivagangai district in Tamil Nadu (Southern India) . Chettinaad is known for amazing cotton sarees,Athangudi tiles and lipsmacking food with bold flavor profile especially non veg .

Chettinaad cuisine is known for its pungent and spicy flavor and variety of food ranging from main course , snacks to sweets and savories . As much as they are famous for non veg ,there are a lot of vegetarian options as well .

 Kuzhi paniyaram is served with coconut chutney and /or thakali(Tomato) chutney and some piping hot filter coffee. 

Kuzhipaniyaram also known as uppu appam should not be confused with the other chettinaad special known as Vellayappam .

Vellayappam is a totally different recipe and it has been very well explained by my co blogger Radha on her blog who is my partner this month for the Shh secretly cooking challenge ..we are celebrating Chettinaad cuisine suggested by Kalyani of Sizzling Tastebuds. Kalyani has shared a classic recipe Kaigari Mandi which is very delicious and a perfect accompaniment for main course or idli/dosas .


Soaking Time - 6 to 7 hrs
Fermentation Time - 8 hrs
Preparation Time - 30 mins
Cooking Time - 20 mins
Serves - 5 to 6

Ingredients 

1 cup raw rice (strictly no basmati rice)
1 cup idli rice 
1/4 cup whole udad dal (udad gota)
1 tsp fenugreek seeds 
Salt as needed 

For tempering 
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 to 3 green chillies finely  chopped 
Handful of curry leaves
2 tbsp grated coconut
1/4 cup oil
Fresh chopped corriander 
1/2 onion finely chopped (optional - I haven't used )

Method

  • Wash multiple times until the water is clear. Soak the rice and lentils with fenugreek in water for 5 to 6 hrs.
  • Grind the soaked rice and lentils in a blender or grinder to a fine smooth paste .Batter should be of idli batter consistency not a very runny batter . Let the batter ferment overnight or for 8 hrs . 
  • Before making the kuzhi paniyarams , we need to prepare a tempering that will be added to the batter. 
  • To prepare the tempering, heat about 2 tbsp oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds, followed by the green chillies,  curry leaves and fry the onions if using until they turn pink and soft . Lastly add in the coconut and give a quick stir .Add this tempering along with finely chopped corriander to the batter and mix well . 
  • Heat the paniyaram pan and add a few drops of oil in each cavity . 


  • Once the pan is well heated ,add the batter to each cavity and remember to fill only 3/4th of the cavity . The batter on cooking will raise and it needs space to swell . So if you fill it to the brim,the batter will overflow making it a mess .
  • The paniyarams will develop lot of pores as they are cooking, these pores are perfect indicator of a well fermented batter . Once the batter appears cooked on top ,carefully flip it over and cook the underside until it turns brown and crisp .Cooking has to be on medium flame throughout. 
  • Remove the appams /paniyarams from the pan and serve hot with chutney of your choice. 

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