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Archive for January, 2007

‘Thinnai pechu veenaa pochu’ goes a famous tamil saying . It means that all chitchat is a waste of time. I agree, but in one such  kind of gala chat I had with my friends back home,  we started  talking about food and it ended up like a recipe exchange workshop. I carried home this recipe , tried it and from then owned it in a special page of my recipe book. It is so rich in taste and perfect for a special occasion.

By the way, have you ever had the problem with the kids spitting the full mouth of rice just for a spicy chunk or for  a chilli peice? My  daughter does it and I try in all my preparations to include the spices in a form she takes it. For this reason, I like to call this as a ‘no spit’ vegetable pulav.

 

 Vegetables for pulav

Ingredients:

Basmati rice – 1 and 1/2 cups

Coconut milk-1 and 1/2 cup

Water -1 and 1/2 cup 

Oil –  1/2 cup

Butter-  2 tbsp

Bay leaf – 1 number

Pearl onion – 1 cup

Diced tomato-3/4 cup

Peeled and diced  potato- 1/2 cup

Diced carrots, beans, cauliflower florets, peas – each 1/2 cup 

Cilantro-1/4 cup

Mint leaves- 10 leaves

Ingredients for masala 

To grind:

Cloves- 5 number

Poppy seeds- 1/2 tsp

Cardamom- 2 number

Cinnamon- 2 inch peice

Red chilli powder -1 tbsp

Coriander powder-1 tsp

Turmeric  powder- 2 pinches

Fennel seeds- 1/2  tsp

Green chilli- 2 number

Ginger-1 inch peice

Garlic-5 cloves

 Vegetable pulav with raita

Take the dry ingredients in the spice list and grind first. This is important when using poppy seeds. Add garlic, ginger and chilli then and grind to a fine paste.

In a big pressure cooker, heat oil and butter. When it is real hot, throw in the bay leaf and onions , saute well. When the onions turn transparent, add all the vegetable except tomato. Stir in for few minutes and add the masala. After a couple of minutes, throw in tomatoes and salt to wilt the tomatoes quickly. Add the cilantro and mint.

Work on slow heat, by that time wash  and soak the basmati rice. When the raw smell fades away, add the rice and stir slightly. Now add the coconut milk and water . Test the spice level and salt level. When the water comes to a boil, close the lid and cover the nozzle with a  stainless steel tumbler. Keep medium heat. Turn off the heat after 10 long minutes. Wait for a while  and  open the lid to fill your house with the spicy aroma. Smell, see and eat! Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Weekend finds!

Visit ‘The shop’ to buy Meeta’s  clicks!

Republic day parade in the food blogosphere!

Imagination running wild in cup cakes!

Imagination running wild in Saree designs!

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This is  a fried snack my mom prefers to do for festivals, to pack for my brothers and for me when we leave to our hostels (during college days) and when we go on a long journey in holidays. Also great for an evening snacks. This is my modified version of the recipe whereas my mom soaks and  grinds rice freshly in a wet grinder and add dall powder to it.

Ingredients:

Rice flour- 4 cups

Fried gram dall flour/ chutney dall flour – 1 cup

Gram dall- 1 cup

Butter- 2 tbsp (or)  Heated and cooled canola oil-  2 tbsp

Dry chillies- 8 no

Garlic – 10 pods

Asfoetida- 1/4 tsp

Cumin seeds- 1 tsp (optional)

Sesame seeds-  1tsp (optional)

Salt – 2 tsp

Oil – sufficient to deep fry

Thattai

Method:

Soak the gram dall in water for 1/2 hour. 

Grind the dry chillies first in a blender. Add peeled garlic pods next and fried gram dall atlast. Measure this flour and  for 1 cup of this flour add 4 cups of rice flour. Take them in a large bowl, add salt, asfoetida, cumin seeds, sesame seeds and drained chana/gram dall. Mix the dry  ingredients with the butter without any crumbles, and add water slowly . Mix till you can make a ball out of it. The dough will be like chapathi dough except for the elasticity.

Heat the oil in a wide bottom kadai so you get the maximum surface area to do large batches of frying. Also ensure you heat good amount of oil .Whne you take smaller quantity, the oil  gets heated up  easily and regulating the temperature will be  a tedious  job by itself.

Back home, my mom gets help from her house maids when one fries and others do the  pressing. They  spread a  Dhoti (veshti) on the floor and take a small ball of the dough and press it on the dhoti by greased hands to get a  thin round disc. When a batch is ready , it is fried in oil, on the both sides, till it turns golden yellow color. They are then drained and cooled before packing in air tight containers.

Here in USA, I am  a single woman army, so, I go for smaller batches of frying.  I have no enough floor space in the kitchen and moreover my kids have no patience in seeing me work on the floor. So, I cut the edges of a few  ziploc bags and pressed the dough in between the sheets.  Since you do it like a sandwich, the thattais do not dry that fast  and you need no oil for your hands.

Don’t miss my fellow bloggers’  version of thattai:

Food in the main

Vegetarian concoctions

Just for fun

Letz cook

Menu today

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What did we do with our old calender?

Our zoo

My daughter was keeping an eye on the pictures in the last year calender since I hung it. As soon as the new year  was born , she cut all the  pictures in it and we pasted them on the wall and made a theme with it  to educate her younger brother. On the other hand, the little learner is more interested in peeling them off !

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Banana muffins

Have you ever had the joy of  acheiving that you had dreamt for  a long time? I read here that the ‘user experience pleasures’ are of thirteen types and I experienced today two such types of pleasures – triumphant  (The joy you experience  when you win ) and accomplished (The joy you get by accomplishing or acheiving something).

I had been dreaming of baking muffins from scratch for a long time and this show on Food network TV made my dream come true. I modified a little in the sweetener and added almonds on top so as to pack it easily  for my daughter’s lunch, but it didn’t last that long.

I was so enthusiaistic to post this earlier than the dishes in my ‘waiting list’  but then Maheswari of ‘Beyond the usual’  has started hosting a new blog event  called AFAM  (A Fruit A Month)  giving me better reason to post it immediately. Maheswari has chosen the fabulous banana for this month which is said to be one of the mukkani (meaning three  fruits in tamil. Banana, Mango and jackfruit are the three fruits served in a traditional festival meal in Tamil Nadu and  so called mukkani in short). So, here is my entry for the fruit mela !

Recipe: 

All purpose flour- 3 cups

Baking soda – 1 tsp

Salt – 1 tsp

Baking powder – 1/2 tsp

Ground cinnamon -1/2 tsp

Ground nutmeg – 1/2 tsp

Mix in these dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Sugar -1 cup

Honey- 1 cup

Vegetable oil -1 cup 

Large eggs – 3 number

Vanilla extract – 1 tbsp

Peeled and coarsely mashed ripe bananas- 4 number  

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Beat the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the banana. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Pour the batter in the greased muffin cups to 3/4th of the height. Sprinkle chopped almonds on top. Bake the muffins on the middle rack for about 25 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the centre of a muffin. It should come out without any crumbles .

Banana muffins

Enjoy the warm banana muffins!

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