February 28, 2022

Peerthangai (peerkangai) thogayal | Ridgegourd (Thurai) Chutney


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 Peerthangai thogayal /thuvayal is a very popular side dish in Tamil Nadu . Though there are various ways to use Peerthangai/Thurai ,in Tamil Nadu making it as thogayal is the most preferred form . Thogayal pairs well with sambar ,kootu or rasam rice .

 I personally love to have peerthangai thuvayal with thurai moong ki dal. Though both have the same vegetable in  common their tastes are completely opposite and it compliments one another really well.

Peerkangai thogayal tastes good with chapati and dosa too but with idli I prefer the coconut chutney and have never tried with this thuvayal . If you happen to try please let me know how did u like it with idlis in my comment section below. 


Peerthangai thogayal has a spicy as well as tangy taste and the flavors are well balanced by adding a pinch of jaggery while grinding.  

Since we use roasted dhalls for grinding thuvayal, the same can be stored under refrigeration for 2 or 3 days . Donot keep for long as the taste tends to change and also using refrigerated food for long isn't good for health .

Priya's Zucchini Thogayal has caught my attention and is soon going to be on my menu.

Some more interesting vegetable based thogayal for you to try from my blog

Maanga (raw mango) Thogayal 

Senai (yam) thogayal 

Vazhakkai thol (Raw Banana peel)  Thogayal 

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Preparation Time - 10 mins

Roasting Time - 3 to 4 mins

Complexity - simple 

Serves - 2 to 3 

Ingredients 

1 medium size ridge gourd 
3 tbsp udad dhall 
3 tbsp fresh grated coconut 
3 to 4 dried red chillies 
1 tsp pepper corns 
Few curry leaves 
Small piece of tamarind 
Salt to taste
1 tsp jaggery powder 
Pinch of asafoetida 

Method


  • Peel the ridge gourd and cut into medium pieces and cook it using 1/4 cup until soft and tender . In the same water add the tamarind to soften .
  • In a pan heat 1 tsp oil and fry the mustard seeds until crisp and golden brown .
  • Next add the pepper, curry leaves,  red chillies and roast till the chillies turn crisp.  Take care not to burn the chillies or udad dhall . If using a heavy bottom pan ,then you can turn off the stove after frying the udad dal and roast the chillies as the pan will retain heat for long time . 
  • Add the grated coconut to this pan and give it a quick stir . Let the ingredients cool.
  • In a blender jar ,add the roasted ingredients, asafoetida and salt and give a quick pulse .
  • Add the boiled ridge gourd /Peerthangai, jaggery ,tamarind and little water to grind to a chutney consistency. Adjust salt if needed .
  • Remove into a dry container using a dry spoon and store it properly. 


February 27, 2022

Strawberry Milkshake with icecream


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 What's not to love in relishing a chilled glass of Strawberry milkshake ?We at home wait eagerly for the Strawberry season to enjoy some fresh milkshake with and without icecream. 

Little did I know today the Feb 27th is celebrated as Strawberry Day .It was a tasty coincidence to sip on some chilled Strawberry milkshake on this special day dedicated to one of my favorite fruits .

It is very easy to whip up thick and luscious milkshake at home and trust me it is a child's play . All you need is 10 mins of your time and family's patience till you blend and pour the milkshake in tall glasses and serve .

Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C and provide good amount of other vitamins and nutrients too. 

Today I used some vanilla icecream to whip up the shake but it is purely optional . You can skip the icecream and use cream as well along with milk . 

Preparation Time - 10 mins

Cooking Time - nil

Complexity - simple 

Serves - 3 

Ingredients 

8 to 10 fresh strawberries 
2 scoops vanilla icecream 
300ml chilled milk 
Sugar as needed 
1/4 cup water 

Method

  • Clean the strawberries and remove the stem and leaves .
  • Roughly chop the strawberries and add it to a juicer /blender with some water and sugar and blend it to a fine puree.
  • Add the milk and icecream and blend it once again until creamy. 
  • Transfer to juice glasses and serve immediately. 

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February 26, 2022

Paneer Cheese Corn Grill Sandwich


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 Sandwiches are always welcome at my home and we love to experiment with different filling inside the sandwich.  This time we all enjoyed a delicious breakfast of Paneer Cheese Corn Grill Sandwich and hubby termed it as Royal delicious Breakfast. That compliment is more than enough to describe how cheesy and tasty the sandwich must have been.

This cheese corn paneer sandwich will now be a regular brekfast or dinner item at home. In addition to the Vegetable Cheese Grill Sandwich  Bombay style toast sandwich and chutney cheese sandwich.

In Bombay sandwiches are a favorite street food delight and it makes a filling and quick meal for tired shoppers , salesmen on the move  , college students and also many working ladies grab a sandwich on their way back home to keep them fill during  travel . When I moved to Bangalore I missed these yummy sandwiches and would yearn to gorge on them on my trip to Bombay. Now ,I have started experimenting with various varieties of sandwiches and will release them one by one on the blog as I perfect them to the style and taste that I have on my memory


Preparation Time - 15 mins
Roasting/Grilling Time  -  3 to 4 mins per sandwich 
Complexity - Simple 
Makes - 4 sets of sandwich 

Ingredients 

8 slices of sandwich bread / brown bread 
Salted (table) butter at room temperature 
1 cup grated paneer (100 gms) 
2 small Chiplets or 1/2 cup grated processed cheese
1/2 yellow bell pepper finely chopped
1/2 green capsicum finely chopped 
1/2 cup boiled corn kernels 
1tsp chilli flakes
Finely chopped corriander 
1/2 tsp pepper powder 
1/2 tsp chaat masala 
2 tbsp tomato ketchup 
Salt as needed 

Method

Preparing the filling 


  • In a large mixing bowl ,add the chopped bell pepper, capscium and paneer with the chilli flakes and mix it lightly. 
  • Next add in the corn kernels , grated cheese , pepper powder , chat masala and gently mix with a spoon until they combine well.
  • Lastly add the sauce, finely chopped corriander and if you like you may add some chopped onions too.  Gently mix again and check for salt, if need be sprinkle lightly and mix.  I did not add extra salt as the salt from cheese and chat masala was enough for our taste. 
  • Let this mixture rest for 5 mins.

Preparing the sandwich 


  • Heat the grill pan or if using electric grill turn it on to get heated.
  • Take two slices of  bread and spread this cheese corn paneer filling on one slice and cover it with the other and keep ready ..repeat the same for all slices of bread .
  • Spread some butter on the grill pan and once heated place the sandwich on the pan for grilling. Keep the flame on medium. 
  • Once the bottom side gets roasted well , apply some butter on the top side and flip it over for it to get roasted. 
  • Roast it till you get nice deep brown grill marks and the bread turns crispy . You may add some butter while grilling for added taste .
  • Once both sides are nicely grilled ,take it off the pan and let it cool for a minute . Cut into slices as desired by you and serve hot with some sauce or mayonnaise. 

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February 21, 2022

Pan Grilled Raw Banana | Vazhakkai Tawa roast | Artikaya Roast


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 Raw bananas are relished in many ways and mostly enjoyed by all . I am sure banana chips will top everyone's list if asked in what way they like to have raw banana .  Let me tell you, if you try this recipe of grilling raw banana slices you will keep asking for more and someone who doesn't like raw bananas will also start loving it . 


These marinated slices of raw banana pair well with sambar rice ,rasam rice,  milagakuzhambu and the evergreen curd rice . My blogger friend Preethi's blog has a traditional andhra recipe Palak Koora Pappu with which this artikaaya roast will be a classic combo .

Not only as an accompaniment, you may even serve these are starters along with some tomato chutney and they will be a hit at your parties or get togethers. 

A little time consuming as we need to have a lot of patience for the slices to be perfectly grilled ,but the end result is soulful and satisfying. 


Some more interesting recipes using vazhakkai/raw banana on my blog for you to try 

Nendran Chips (kerala style) 

Vazhakkai Puli Kootu

Vazhakkai Podimaas

Vazhakkai Chips 

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

Ingredients 

2 medium sized raw bananas 
1tsp red chilli powder 
2 tsp rice flour
1/2 tsp turmeric 
Salt as needed 
Pinch of asafoetida 
Fresh curry leaves
3 to 4 tbsp cooking oil

Method 


  • In a mixing bowl make a thick slurry of rice flour, red chilli powder, turmeric, salt and asafoetida using very little water. 
  • Peel the raw bananas and make slightly thick slices using the slicer or you may cut with a knife too. (Refer to 2nd image in the above picture)
  • Marinate the banana slices in the slurry until each and every slice is coated well with the marinade. Let it rest for 10 mins 
  • Spread about 1 tbsp oil on the grill pan and heat it . Once it is mildly heated, arrange the banana slices carefully on the pan and let it roast on medium flame .
  • After 2 or 3 mins slowly and carefully flip the banana slices to the other side and continue to roast on medium flame .
  • Once the slices turn crisp on both sides , spread 1/2 tsp oil with few curry leaves and toss it well for 1 or 2 mins . 
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and serve .

Tips

If you don't have a grill pan ,you may you use nonstick or iron tawa /griddle and follow the same steps .




February 14, 2022

Hot Cocoa - A warm soothing beverage


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 There is nothing like snuggling under a comforter watching your favorite show with a warm cup of cocoa to sip on a chill winter night or monsoon evening. 

I have loved sipping on cocoa since childhood as I was never fond of any malt based health drinks so mom would allow me to have cocoa once in a while as an exception to milk . My love and liking for this beverage is eternal. Though I don't drink cocoa much these days ,I love to have a mug full of cocoa and some ME time on days when I am exhausted to rejuvenate myself.

Making hot cocoa is very easy and doesn't need any fancy ingredients. All you need is some good quality cocoa powder, sugar and hot milk .

If you like you can add a little cinnamon powder for the extra punch or add up some gooey marshmallows or chocolate shavings for added taste and flavor .

I prefer to have plain cocoa without much toppings except drizzling for some chocolate sauce /syrup once in a way .



Preparation Time - 2 mins
Cooking Time - 3 mins
Complexity - easy 
Serves - Makes 1 cup of cocoa.
 

Ingredients 
1.5 tsp cocoa powder
2 tsp sugar 
1/4 cup hot water 
1 cup hot milk 


Method 


  • Take cocoa powder and sugar in a mug or serving cup .
  • Pour hot water and whisk it well to form a lump free cocoa decoction. 
  • Pour hot milk to this cocoa decoction and stir well..adjust sugar if you need more sweetness.  
  • I like my cocoa to be sweet so I add a little extra sugar ,you may reduce it if you relish a slightly bitter after taste .


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February 12, 2022

Urulai Bajji | Aloo Bhajjiya | Aloo Pakoras(Potato Fritters)


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 Bajji , Bajjiya or Pakoras have an emotional connect with us Indians.As much as we love and relish snacks from various cuisines, these gram flour based traditional bajjiyas have a special place in our lives. 

Every region across India enjoys these bajjiyas all round the there . We just need a small reason to prepare bajjiyas and enjoy with hot chaai .

There is also a very funny anecdote that " when it rains the veggies are ready to coat themselves in gramflour and dive into hot oil" ,that is how much we love these fritters /bajjiyas.

Another interesting part is bajji and sojji (bhajiya and sheera ) were mandatory snacks served alongside filter coffee by the bride's family during the bride seeing event in Tamil homes.  The bride's culinary skills were judged by these two items served as it was believed that the bride has prepared them to serve her future family . Now.,things have changed and all these just remain funny anecdotes for us to remnisice and smile .

 

There may be minor differences in the way the fritters are prepared but the base remains the same , gramflour batter , cut vegetables and oil for deep frying .

Potatoes ,raw banana,onions and special type of chilli known as Bajji Mirchi or Bajji Molaga are the preferred and sought after vegetables used for making bajjiya.  We can also make bajji using spinach leaves , brinjal and carrots too .

Today we will relish some piping hot ,crispy and spicy Aloo Bajjiya or Urulaikizhangu Bhajji as it is called in Tamil. 


Preparation Time - 20 mins 

Frying Time - 15 to 20 mins

Complexity - medium 

Serves - 2 to 3

Ingredients 

2 medium sized potatoes 
1/2 cup gram flour /besan /kadalai maav
2 tbsp rice flour 
1 tsp red chilli powder 
1/2 tsp haldi powder
Salt as needed 
Pinch of asafoetida 
Pinch of baking soda (optional)
Oil for deep frying 

Method

  • Peel the potatoes ,wash and soak them in cold water for 5 mins. This helps remove the starch from the potatoes and tastes good while coating the besan and frying .
  • In a wide mixing bowl sift the gram flour, rice flour ,chilli powder ,asafoetida and salt.  Add water little by little and make a batter of dropping consistency ,keep aside.  If using ,we will add soda just before we are ready to fry the bajjiyas.
  • Using a slicer or knife, cut the potatoes into medium slices and keep the soaked in water for 5 mins .drain the water and spread the potato slices on a kitchen towel or thick tissue to remove excess water .
  • Place a kadai with enough oil for deep frying and heat it up . At the same time add soda (if using) to the batter and mix it well . Leaving the batter for a long time after adding soda will soak up more oil while frying, so ensure you don't rest the batter long after adding soda. 
  • Dip  each potato slice in the batter and drop into hot oil . Donot crowd the kadai .you can  add about 4 or 5 slices of potato depending on the size of your kadai. 
  • Fry on medium flame and occassionally toss the bajjiyas using a ladle . Once the hissing or bubbling of oil stops ,you can carefully drain and remove from the oil . Repeat the same for all slices of potato .
  • Serve hot with green chutney, coconut chutney or even tomato sauce and some piping hot filter coffee or masala chai .


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February 09, 2022

South Indian Lunch - Thali #5


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 A wholesome and piping hot lunch is always a pure bliss on a weekend day. 

Today's menu is a family favorite and no one will fuss over any item and I also don't have to think of different options to please everyone at home .

I got some really fresh and tender veggies delivered through Deep Rooted Co , an online app and I was excited and tempted to use all the veggies especially the Spinach which was just too good . I am very happy to get such tasty vegetables and the best part was the Spinach was so clean and I dint have to spend a lot of time cleaning the roots and removing weeds. This is not a sponsored post ,but if you are looking for farms fresh vegetables and fruits to be delivered at door step,pls do try this app.

So the lunch menu was planned in  the best possible way to include all our family favorite vegetables

Peerthangai Paruppu | Ridge gourd lentil curry 

Kos Pattani Poriyal | Cabbage Peas Stir fry

Keerai Masiyal / Blanched & mashed Spinach 

Tomato Rasam  served with  piping hot rice and  usual accompaniment of curd or buttermilk.


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