September 5, 2014

Parippu Pradhaman


       It is that time your sad and homesick. I terribly miss the sadhya and festivities during Onam in Kerala. I havent felt like Onam in US, even if we the onam at malayali association and onam potluck. Onam brings a lot of fond memmories and onakodies. This year who is getting me Onakodi.. :(
 


 Parippu Pradahaman



 Split mung dal /  skinless split green gram /cherrupayar parippu – 3/4 cup
Jaggery – 1 – 1.5 cup or to taste
Medium-thick coconut milk – 1/2 can mixed with enough water or 1.5 – 2 cups
Thick coconut milk – 1/2 cup 
Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
Cashew nuts – 10 – 15
Coconut bits (thenga kothu) -2 – 3 tbsp
 Ghee – 1 tbsp
Method
1. Heat  ghee in a pressure cooker. Throw in some cashews and fry them until golden brown. Drain  on to a paper towel. Then add the coconut bits and fry until brown. Drain on to a paper towel. Now add the split mung dal and fry for 2-3 minutes until they turn a little golden brown. Now add 2.5 cups of water and pressure cook for one whistle.
2. Meanwhile melt the jaggery in 1 cup water in an uruli or any heavy-bottomed pan, at medium heat. Stir until it reaches a light syrupy consistency. It would not take more than 10 – 15 mts. Open the pressure cooker when the pressure releases.  Mash the mung dal really well with the back of a spoon and add it to the jaggery syrup in the uruli.  Cook for a few minutes at medium heat. Add 1.5 – 2 cups of coconut milk. Mix well and cook at medium-low heat, stirring continuously, until it thickens. Do not boil the coconut milk, boiling will result in separated coconut milk.
3. Add the thick coconut milk. Cook for a minute at low heat. Switch off. Now add cumin powder, dry ginger powder and cardamom powder. Mix well. Finally add the fried cashews, coconut bits and 1/2 tsp ghee (optional). This payasam tends to thicken over time. Serve warm or cold.

 
Tips: 

1)  I added chaokah (canned) coconut milk. Fresh coconut milk will taste best. For fresh coconut milk – Add around 1/4 – 1/2 cup warm water to grated coconut and squeeze to extract thick coconut milk(first extraction). Now add more water to the already squeezed coconut and squeeze again to get the second extraction or thin coconut milk. Finally strain the extractions through a fine sieve. You can make this process easier using a mixer. Grind the grated coconut with little warm water in a mixer. Then use a meshed strainer and press down on the coconut for the first extraction. Repeat the same for the second extraction.

August 3, 2014

Pineapple Pudding Cake

Pineapple Pudding Cake


Fresh pineapple - 2 cups
Butter - 3 Tbsp
Sugar - 1/2 +1/4 cup
Flour - 1/3 cup
Milk - 1 cup
Eggs - 3 cup

powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease six 6-oz ramekins.

Chop the pineapple into bite-sized pieces and place in a pan with the butter.   Saute over medium heat for about 5 - 7 minutes or until the fruit begins to caramelize.  Distribute the pineapple equally among the six ramekins.

Whisk all but 2 tablespoons of sugar with the flour and salt.

In another bowl, whisk the milk, coconut, lemon juice, zest and egg yolks until thoroughly combined.  Blend in the melted butter.  Add the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.  The batter will be very thin and may look slightly curdled.

Beat the egg whites with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until stiff glossy peaks form.  Gently fold the egg whites into the coconut lemon mixture one-third at a time.  Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins and place them in a large roasting pan or two smaller roasting pans.  Pour in enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake the pudding cakes for about 25 minutes or until they are puffed up but firm to the touch and slightly golden on top.  Carefully remove from oven and transfer ramekins to a wire rack.

Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm or at room temperature

July 26, 2014

Royal Falooda...

Falooda... the name itself brings a lot of memories. I tasted first when my aunt made I kept wondering about the basil seed underneath . I had the best Falooda from Mumbai.I used to try all types falooda available there pista, badami,royal to name a few.
Falooda is Persian brought to India by Mughals. Emperor Akbar was said to be an avid addict to frozen dessert.At that time they bring ice from Himalayas to freeze Ice cream.



  • Falooda sev / Rice  Vermicelli – 1/4 cup
  • Boiled Milk – 1 cup
  • Basil seeds / sabza / takmania seeds – 3 tbsp
  • Roohafsa / Rose syrup - 3 tbsp (cheak the bottom for the recipe)
  • Strawberry jelly – 4 tbsp
  • Vanilla Ice cream  - 2 scoops
  • Chopped nuts – 1 tbsp (optional)
Method
  1. Soak the basil seed in water to minimum of 30 min.
  2. Make the jelly as per the instruction in the packet.refrigerate it
  3. Boil the water  and add rice vermicelli cook for 2-3 min or until cooked.
  4. Stain the rice vermicelli and basil seeds.
  5. Once the jelly is ready cut that into small cubes.
Assembly 
  1.  In a tall glass add the cubed jelly,over that add the vermicilli and basil seed.
  2. Add the 2-3 tbsp of rose syrup. and milk and give it a good stir.
  3.  Now top it with a scoop of vanilla icecream.
  4. Garnish it chopped nut and serve immediately.

Recipe for rose syrup
Sugar - 2 cups
Rose essence- 1-2 drops
Water - 1 cup
Red food colour -3 drops(optional)
Boil water and sugar until becomes bit syrupy.then add rose essence and colour and remove from fire and bottle it once cooled.

July 2, 2014

Lemon Squash/ Lemon Cordial

It is officially summer here but unofficially summer started long ago.The heat is soaring up and feeling exhausted very fast.So I need sugar boost on those days.We got a surplus quantity of lemon from uncles place.So made a batch of lemon squash aka concentrate aka cordial.My makes suash with even weird fruits.I am not that extreme.If you need to keep unrefrigerated and need long self add the preservatives but i am not adding since i intend to keep it in refrigerated and we drink it in the daily basis.This is a  basic recipe for any citrus fruit so can be adapted in the case of other fruits.



Recipe


Water -1 liter
Lemon Juice - 1 liter
Sugar - 2.5 - 3 kg of Sugar
Potassium meta bi-sulphite(KMS) (preservative) - 1/2 tsp {optional}
Citric acid - 1 pinch. {optional}

Method


  1. Heat sugar with water in a heavy bottom pan till it boils.
  2. Turn off the heat and add citric acid. If you find froth on the surface extract and discard it. Thats the impurity in sugar that citric acid helps to collect.
  3. Once the sugar syrup is cool add the lime juice, PMS and mix well.
  4. Store in clean, dry bottle.
  5. Keep it refrigerated if no preservative is added .If the preservatives are added it can be stored in the room temperature.

 

 

 

Serve

Take a serving glass and fill in 1/4 with lemon squash and rest with cold water. Stir well garnish with mint spring and enjoy!!!


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April 6, 2014

Nikunjam Style Chilly Chicken

Being from Trivandrum the name "Nikunjam" rings some bells in our heads. The taste of the delicious food that cannot be reproduced easily. Nikunjam is a very small restaurant in Trivandrum in vazhuthacaud, but food from there is phenomenal. They are very popular for the chilly chicken and chilli beef. It is not prepared in the usual method with soy gravy with capsicum and onions. After a lot of trials i have perfected the recipe .Comparing with the taste in memories with my own version it comes close.Beware it is spicy, do not attempt to eat it you cannot handle :)


Ingredients

Onion - 3 large
Chopped Green Chilies - 3nos
Chicken - 1/2 Kg (cut in to small pieces)
Red chilly powder - 4 tsp
Green chillly sauce - 1 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 1/2 tsp
Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
Tomato sauce - 4 tbsp
Lime - 1/2 of small sized
Oil - as required
Salt - to taste
Pepper powder - to taste


Method

  1. Marinate the chicken with salt, pepper,lime juice of lime, 1 1/2 tsp of chilly powder,1tbsp of tomato sauce, 1 tsp of soy sauce and ginger garlic paste.
  2. Keep it aside for half an hou. In the mean time make a fine paste of onions..yes a fine paste .. not need to add water.
  3. Deep fry the chicken pieces until cooked. Drain and set it aside
  4. Now heat a heavy bottomed pan or a wok and add some oil.
  5. Once the oil in hot add the chopped green chillies and fry.Add the onion paste and saute until all the water content vaporized and is not raw any more.
  6. Add the tomato, green chilli sauce and the soy sauce and mix.
  7. Add the chicken peices and mix well until coated.
  8. Check for seasoning if need more salt add salt and pepper powder if needed.
  9. Remove from fire and enjoy ... this dish goes very well with everything.

February 13, 2014

Kung Pao Chicken


Today I am sharing a very popular Chinese dish. It is a classic from Szechuan cuisine from aprovince called Sichwan in Central western China.This dish is primally made with Sichwan Peppercorn and Shaoxing wine( fermented rice Wine). As it  happens to many dishs this one is also westernied a lot.
The original recipe calls for flash frying of the meat and vegetables in a wok.However the dish is very popular in US and very Americanized.Here in US they add zucchini,chestnuts and the sweet.

Ingredients

Boneless & skinless chicken breast -1 1/2(or 3 boneless & skinless chicken thigh meat)
Roasted peanuts - 3 tbsp
Dried red chilies - 8-12 nos( to tone down the spiceness you can deseed the chillies)
Oil- 3 tbsp
Fresh ginger- A small piece sliced
Garlic sliced -3 -4 cloves
Spring onions/scallions - 2 nos

For the marinate:

Corn starch - 1 tbsp
Soy sauce- 2 tsp
Shaoxing wine(chinese cooking wine) - 1 tbsp
1 teaspoon oil

For the sauce:
light soy sauce - 11/2 tsp
Dark soy sauce - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1tsp
Vinegar - 1 tsp
Corn starch - 1 tsp

Method:
  1. Cut the chicken meat into small cubes, rinse in water, pat dry with paper towels and marinate with the ingredients above for 30 minutes.
  2. Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat up a wok with one tablespoon cooking oil and stir-fry the marinated chicken until they are 70% cook. Remove for pan set aside
  4. Clean the wok and add in the remaining 2 tablespoons of cooking oil until it smokes.
  5. Add in the ginger and garlic slices and do a quick stir before adding in the dried red chilies.
  6. Stir fry the dried red chilies until aromatic and they smell spicy, then add in the chicken meat.
  7. Do a quick stir before adding in the roasted peanuts and continue to stir a few times.
  8. Add in the sauce and stir continuously until the chicken meat is nicely coated with the sauce.
  9. Add in the chopped scallions and stir evenly.Check for seasoning
  10. Remove from fire and serve hot with chowmein or fried rice.