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Posts Tagged ‘Yogurt’

When I read the word ‘endangered recipes’  in the FAHC announcement, the first dish I thought of  was ‘kali'(களி). Kali is a ball made with ragi -rice mixture and koozh (கூழ்) is the porridge form of it. 

Ragi known as finger millet is considered  the poor man’s diet. In many tamil  cinemas you can hear the hero saying his lover that ‘I will work hard and atleast earn you a  ragi porridge all my life’. (மூட்டை தூக்கியாச்சும் உனக்கு வாழ்க்கை முழுக்க கூழ் ஊத்றேன் kind of dialogues)! The reason for this is that ragi does not require much irrigation and so available for a cheaper price. (Not in US – a pound of ragi is nearly $2 , which is 5 times the price of rice sold here.)

I have heard that my grandma used to make this forour farm workers in a large scale. She used a tennis bat shaped wooden tool to make the balls and would use her other hand to shape the steam hot balls. That was a time when rice was considered to be a luxury food for the common man. So, if it is your lucky day, you get rice added in your kali or else it is just the ragi cooked and shaped as balls.(This is called the orumavu kali).

The time changes, the scenes have changed and  now even my mom does not know how to do this kali and everytime my neighbours do it for us, as we (my brothers and I ) love it. Though my mom know not how to make them, she will be always in the tug of war  with my brothers and me  to share the kali. And we purposely preserve a ball for making the ‘piece of heaven ‘ porridge, called koozh in tamil.  I learnt this dish from my husband’s athai (father’s sister)  who taught me a lighter technology  to get the same great taste.

Ragi rice balls/Kezhvaragu kali/ragi mudda :

Ingredients :

Sona masoori rice/ broken raw rice (Noi arisi)- 1 cup

Ragi flour- 1 cup

Salt to taste

 

Ragi flour heaped on cooked rice

Method:

Wash and soak the rice for 1/2 hr. In a large pot, boil about  3 cups of water, add rice and let it cook well. When it is cooked, add ragi flour as a heap with salt and cover with a lid. Let it cook for another 5 minutes. Using a wooden spoon stir continuously and vigorously, without letting any lumps to form. When the mix comes together, turn off the heat. Take a stainless silver / nonstick bowl , sprinkle a tablespoon of water (this prevents the kali sticking to the sides ), drop a big scoop of mix into. Swirl it fast to give the ball a good shape.Transfer  to the serving dish. Serve with a dallop of ghee (optional) and keerai (spinach dall – recipe follows..) /inji poondu kuzhambhu / varutha paruppu kuzhambhu.

Ragi rice balls/ kelvaragu kali

Kezhvaragu  koozh:

There are other ways of doing this, yet this is easiest , atleast to me. Soak the ragi balls (cooked as above) in water over night. The balls need to be just covered in water. In the next day morning, using your beautiful hands  homogenise (a great technique we use every day to make rasam )  the balls, adding  yogurt/ buttermilk  and salt according to your taste. Adjust the thickness to that a smoothie. This energy drink could be as such taken, but always we add some attractions  like lemon pickle/ raw pearl onion/ fresh peanuts. As fresh  peanuts were not available, I soaked the dried peanuts overnight and added to the koozh.

Kelvaragu Koozh/ ragi porridge

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Rasgulla- from the scratch!

 

A year long graving  to make rasgulla from scratch came true at last. I had made this in India  but was reluctant to make it here so long. After I saw the posts  from my fellow bloggers Priya and Priya, I was confident in trying my experiment. Wow, the outcome was excellent. The method is almost similar to that of my friends but a little variation.

Rasgulla

Ingredients:For the cheese balls:

Whole milk- 1 gallon (3.78 lt)

All purpose flour/maida- 1 or 2 tbsp

Yogurt/curd – 1/2 cup OR  Whey water- 1/2 cup

For syrup:

Sugar- 2 and 1/2 cups

Water – 2 and 1/2 cups

Cardamom-4/5

Method:

Bring the milk to a boil and curdle it by adding the yogurt/ whey water little by little .(I did a small trial in making the paneer and reserve the strained water from the paneer. This is called the whey water. It is said to yield more paneer than the other ways.)

 Paneer - straining in the cheese clothLet the curdled milk cook for another 5 min and strain the cheese in a cheese cloth. Rinse this with cold running water and let it hang for 2-3 hours. When  it drained fully , run  the cheese in a food processor. I used the wet grinder. Add  maida  to the processed cheese and  knead well.  Make small balls of uniform size with a diamond kalkandu (sugar candy) in the centre. These sugar crystals will melt away when cooking, leaving a hallow centre. Boil large amount of water in a 5 lt  cooker and drop  the balls .Close the lid and pressure cook . I cooked till I heard the first whistle. When you open the lid all the balls must be floating on top- a sign for doneness. Pour out the water and rinse with cold water. 

By the other side, prepare the sugar syrup. The syrup for rasgulla is usually thinner than that of gulab jamuns. Add cardamom or rose water as you desire.

Press the cooked paneer ballsNow, take the balls  one by one , press each of them in between the palms and squeeze out the plain water and drop them in the syrup. The flattened balls will swing back to shape in a zap. You can get help from the kids at home as they would love doing this. Serve with some nuts on top. The syrup in the centre hole will be a pleasant surprise for everyone.

Rasagulla- a burst of sweetness in the centre

 

 

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