Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Eeral Varuval/ Liver Fry

We can make this fry with chicken hearts/liver or goat's liver. This eeral kootu is a good combo with rice and parupu rasam Click here for recipe  or parupu kulambu.
1 lb/ 1/2 kg         chicken hearts or liver/ goat liver/eral
1 big                    potato 
1                          green bell pepper/ capsicum 
1 big                    onion
2                          green chillies (optional)
1 tbs                    ground pepper 
1/8 tsp                 turmeric powder
1/4 tsp                 lemon juice
1/4 tsp                 ginger garlic paste
1tbs                     oil 
1 tsp                    garam masala/ curry powder
salt to taste.  
1. Wash and cut the liver, apply turmeric powder. Chop the onion and chilli, dice the potato (very small pieces) and capsicum.
2. Heat oil in a pan, add the onion and green chillies,  fry till it becomes golden brown. Add the cubed potato and bell pepper,  cook it for 2-4 mins.
3. Lower the heat and add ginger garlic paste, salt and garam masala  stir it well, now add the liver to the pan.
4. Mix the liver and masala add few spoons of water, cover the pan and cook till the liver and potato gets cooked.
5. Add the ground pepper and lemon juice, stir it well. Remove from heat, transfer it to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped cilantro/ coriander leaves. 

Feel free to comment, i love your feedback. Enjoy ur cooking! Have a blessed day :     

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Palak Chappathi/ Spinach and Garlic Flat Bread

             Indian cuisine is as diverse as it's culture. Rice and roti (any indian flat bread) are staple foods of India. Chapathi is an unleavened flat bread /roti, made with whole wheat flour and cooked on a pre- heated flat pan. 
spinach and garlic chapathi
Soft, healthy and tasty!  
          I used spinach, garlic and whole wheat flour to make this nutritious and tasty chapathi.  
keerai chapathi
love the marble effect!!!
2 cups        whole wheat flour
2 cloves      garlic 
1 small       green chilli (optional)
1 handful    baby spinach (20- 25 leaves)
1/2 cup       water
1/2 tsp        salt 
1 tbsp         oil (to grease the pan)
1. Finely chop the garlic and green chilli. Heat the water in a pan and add the spinach, garlic, green chilli and salt. Drain the water when the leaves starts to wilt, reserve the water.
2. Put the spinach mixture in a blender and pulse 
it one or two times (it should not become pulpy, the cooked torn leaves  gives the chapathi a nice marble effect).
3. Stir the spinach mixture and the remaining water with the flour, combine it well to make a soft dough, sprinkle additional flour if the dough becomes sticky.
spinach chapathi
4. Place the dough in a floured surface. Knead it by pressing the  hands firmly into the dough, pushing forward slightly. Repeat it till the dough becomes smooth. 
5. Cover the dough with a moist kitchen towel and set it aside for at least 2 hrs. 
palak chapathi
6. Divide the dough into (lime size) smooth balls. Slightly flatten a dough ball with hand and sprinkle some flour over it, (this prevents the dough from sticking to the surface).
pasalai keerai chapathi
7. Roll the flattened ball into 5-6" disc with a rolling pin. 
 8. Heat (med) a flat pan/ tava and grease the surface with oil. Place the rolled out chappathi on the pan. Flip it over when small bubbles appear on the surface. 
palak ki roti
9. Flip it again after 2 or 3 mins, lower the heat. Dip a (crushed) paper towel in oil and gently press the chapathi's surface and around the edges to make it puff. 
spinach bread
10. Remove from heat and serve it with raitha or any kuruma. 
Suggested side dish for this chapathi: 
1.  Pepper Chicken
2.  Chicken in coconut gravy
3.  Tomato Sabzi/ Thakali kootu
4.  Chicken Kuruma
5.  Kadala Curry/ garbanzo bean curry


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gulab Jamun

          I made this yummy Indian dessert to participate in the South vs North Challenge event. I made this Gulab Jamun from scratch, following  Pallavi's Gulab Jamun Recipe . It came out really good.  
 Gulab Jamun: The Persian word Gulab means rose, as rosewater is often used in the syrup. Jamun may refer to the jambul fruit, which is usually of a similar size to pieces of the dessert.
to make jamuns:
cup         dry milk powder
1.5 tbs       rava/ semolina  
3 tbs          all-purpose flour/ maida
3 tbs          ghee (Clarified / melted butter)
1/4 tsp       baking powder
3 tbs          cream  
to make syrup:
1 cup         water
3/4 cup      sugar
few drops   rose water/ gulab jal 
to garnish:
1 pinch     ground cardamom
1 tbs         chopped almonds
1 tbs         chopped pistachio nuts 
to deep fry:
1 quart vegetable oil  + 1 tbs of ghee for deep frying.
1. Sift milk powder, rava, flour and baking powder.
2. Add ghee to the dry ingredients, now add the cream and make a soft dough.
3. Roll the dough into a ball with ghee greased palms, cover and let it rest for 20 - 30 mins.
4. Meanwhile, heat the water in a pan, add sugar and cardamom  stir it till the sugar gets dissolved completely, bring it to boil. Remove from heat and add the rose water. 
5. Make small balls out of the dough. Heat oil and ghee in a deep frying pan (med-high), when the oil becomes hot enough (dip a wooden spoon inside the oil, it should get steady bubbles around it), drop 3-5 jamuns in the oil. Reduce the heat to low when the jamuns start to float. Flip it and cook, until they become golden brown. 
6. Take the jamuns out with a slotted spoon, place on a paper towel lined tray and allow to cool.
7. Repeat the process with the remaining jamuns. Drop the jamuns gently into the sugar syrup and soak for some time. Serve the jamuns with syrup and garnish with ground cardamom, chopped almonds and pistachios.   

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Rice Puttu / All about Rice Pittu

     Puttu is my favorite food, i love puttu!!! I think my greatest culinary achievement (!) is, making my husband like it too :) He's not a big fan of dry food. This steamed rice flour can be flavored in different ways. 
    This post answers all these questions: what is puttu?, how to prepare it?, how to steam it with/ without a puttu steamer? and all the different ways to flavor it (my favorite part). Puttu recipe is in the bottom of this post
Puttu is a popular breakfast in South Indian states like: Tamil Nadu, Kerala and it's popular in Srilanka too. 
What is puttu? Moistened rice flour is steamed in a puttu steamer,  an idly cooker or by keeping the rice flour- filled bowl over boiling water (covered pan). My friend use rice cooker to steam the flour.
Puttu in tamil literature: Puttu has been mentioned in the works of 15th and 16th century tamil literature- wikipedia. Puttu or pittu is a tamil word, meaning: dividing into (small) portion. 
How to make puttu?: Small amount of moistened rice flour and shredded coconut are (usually) filled inside a puttu steamer consecutively and steamed. When cooked, it will look like small round cakes with coconut icing on top. 
Ways to eat puttu: Puttu, by itself is bland, we can make it sweeter or spicier by the things we add to it.  
1. Puttu can be sweetened with sugar and shredded coconut. If it's too dry, add few tsp of warm milk or fresh coconut milk to it. 
2. Add puttu with shredded coconut, sugar, banana or ripe mango. 
3. Add sugar and  few spoons of warm milk with puttu.
4. We can make it a Kerala delight, by adding mutta (egg) curry, fish curry, chicken curry or kadala curry Click here for kadala curry recipe. as a side dish. 
5. We can add sugar and ghee/ clarified butter too.
Puttu !!!


2 cups        rice flour 
1/2 cup      warm water
1/4 tsp       salt
4   tbs        shredded coconut
We can steam the rice flour in any pan with a tight lid. As i said before my friend use rice cooker to steam the puttu flour. 
Making puttu:
1. Heat water in the bottom portion of the puttu maker.
2. Dissolve salt in 1/2 cup of warm water.
3. Dry roast the rice flour, sprinkle the warm water and mix it with hand. 
To check the right consistency of the flour: take some moist flour and squeeze it slightly in your fist, the flour must hold together without falling apart. 
4. Press the moist flour through a sieve or put it in a blender and pulse it a few times.
Puttu steamed in a puttu steamer:
5. If using the cylindrical puttu maker/kutty/kuzhal, put a handful of shredded coconut inside the cylinder, followed by three handfuls of rice flour.
6.  Continue the process, by consecutively (and loosely) filling the steamer with coconut and flour. Close the lid and place it on the bottom part of the puttu maker. Let the water simmer until, steam comes out from its slotted lid. 
7. Remove the puttu carefully and enjoy it with the side dish of your choice.
Puttu steamed in a covered pan:
1. Heat water in a saucepan (with a lid), place a cookie cooling rack or a trivet inside it.
2. Follow the (above) steps 2-4. Now take a small  metal bowl/pan with lid, fill 1/2 the cup of moist flour, add a handful of shredded coconut over it. Sprinkle another 1/2 cup of rice flour over the coconut... repeat the process with the remaining rice and coconut, cover it with lid or with a kitchen towel. 
3. Place the covered puttu- bowl inside the saucepan (on the cooling rack/ trivet) now cover the saucepan and bring the water to a slow  simmer for 10 - 20 mins. Add more water to the pan as needed.
Steaming puttu in an iddly cooker: 
Prepare the puttu flour following the above steps, heat water in the iddly pan and keep the flour in the iddly mold with handfull of coconut flakes over it. Cover the pan with lid and steam it till you hear the whistle sound.  

Feel free to comment, i love your feedback. Enjoy ur cooking! Have a blessed day :) 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Spicy fried Peanuts / Poritha kara verkadalai

This is a healthy snack, spicy with a hint of garlic. Adding whole red chillies, garlic, lemon and curry leaves (optional) makes this a crunchy, fiesty treat.
2 cups           peanuts
4 cloves        garlic with peel (trim the ends)
4 whole         red chillies
1 tsp              lemon zest What is lemon zest
1 tbs              lemon juice 
few                curry leaves/ karuveppilai (optional)
1/8 tsp           salt
1 tbs              veg. oil
1. Heat oil in a pan (high), add peanuts, garlic, curry leaves and crushed chillies.
2. Stir it continuously till the peanuts becomes dark. Add lemon juice, zest and salt and continue stirring for another minute or so.
3. Transfer it to a serving platter and enjoy.  

Feel free to comment, i love your feedback. Enjoy ur cooking! Have a blessed day :) 


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Spicy pear shortcake pinwheels

"This fragrant fruit dessert, served warm from the oven offers special welcome to family and friends "- The Evening Independent 1973
It's true, we loved this crumbly, pear filled shortcake soaked in spiced brown sugar sauce. My search for a pear recipe, led me to this rich, beautiful dessert.  A rich shortcake dough, rolled around fresh pear filling and basted and baked until golden  in a spicy brown sugar syrup.
Pear filling
3              fresh pears
1/3 cup    chopped dates
1/4 cup    chopped nuts
1/3 cup    sugar
Short cake dough
2 cups      all purpose flour
2 tbs         sugar
2 tsp         baking powder
1/2 tsp      salt
1/2 cup     butter
1              beaten egg 
1/2 cup     milk
2 tbs         soft butter
Spicy brown sugar sauce
3/4 cup     water
1/2 cup     brown sugar
2 tbs         butter 
2 tsp         lemon juice
1/4 tsp      cinnamon
Pear filling:
1. Core and finely dice pears and combine it with dates, nuts and sugar.
2. Prepare the dough by sifting together flour, salt and baking powder.  Add sugar and cut in 1/2 cup butter until the mixture is crumbly.
3. Combine eggs and milk. Add to dry ingredients, mixing just until blended. Turn the dough on floured board and knead gently until smooth (if the dough is sticky add more flour).
4. Roll the dough into a 12 by 8 inch rectangle and spread with soft butter. Sprinkle pear filling over dough.
5. Roll dough from long edge, jelly roll style. Cut in 11/2" slices and arrange, cut side down, in baking pan.
6. For spicy brown sugar sauce: Combine water, brown sugar, butter and lemon juice. Bring to boil, pour over the pin wheels.

 7. Bake in 425* for 25 - 30 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream/ sour cream.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Waffle Iron Paniyaram/ Coconut Milk Waffle

      This sweet paniyaram (waffle) is a popular south Indian snack. Usually it's deep fried or cooked in a kuli paniyaram chatti (danish ebelskiver pan/ pancake poppers pan). It's made with all purpose flour (maida), rava/ semolina, egg, coconut milk, cardamoms, sugar, nuts and raisins. Instead of frying, i used the waffle maker and made some delicious indian waffles for breakfast. It tasted good with maple syrup and with the home made ginger syrup (recipe included in this post). 
coconut milk wafflae
Indian waffle!
2 cups        *fresh coconut milk
* Grind 1 cup dry/ frozen or fresh coconut with 2 cups of warm water in a blender, and squeeze out the coconut milk from the pulp through the strainer.
2                cardamoms (powdered)
2 cups        all purpose flour/ maida
1/2 cup       sugar
1/4 cup       rava / sooji/ semolina 
1/2 tsp        baking powder
1/8 tsp        salt
2                eggs 
1/2 cup       melted butter/ clarified butter or oil  
1                banana (mashed)
1/2 cup      raisins (chopped)
1 cup         fried cashews (chopped) to garnish
waffle paniyaram
Coconut milk waffle!!!
1. Separate the eggs and whip the egg whites till it becomes stiff - (beaten egg whites creates a more fluffy waffle) 
2. Add the egg yolks with the mashed banana, coconut milk and melted butter.
3. Dry roast the semolina till fragrant. Mix together: flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, powdered cardamom, semolina and raisins. 
4. Pre heat the waffle iron, mix the dry ingredients with the egg mixture and fold the egg white into the batter.
5. Pour the batter into the pre- heated waffle maker and bake it in the desired setting.
6. Serve it with your favorite syrup and garnish it with the chopped nuts. 
Tips for taste : 
1. If it's tedious to separate eggs, beat the whole eggs for a minute and blend it with the ingredients in step 2
2. To make waffles ahead: Make the waffles in low setting and remove it before it gets brown, cool it and wrap it in a cling wrap and freeze. Heat it in a toster before serving
Ginger syrup
serving 3-4  
1 cup            water
2"                 ginger (crushed)
3 tbs             sugar
1                  whole cardamom 
1. Heat water in a pan and add the whole cardamom, tie the ginger in a piece of cheese cloth, crush it and add it to the water.
2. Add the sugar when the water starts to boil, let it boil for ten minutes. Remove the ginger and the cardamom.
3. Serve it warm with waffles or pancakes.  

Feel free to comment. I love your feedback. Enjoy ur cooking! Have a blessed day :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Panfried potato and meat cutlet/ croquette/ tikki

                The deep fried potato, and minced meat cutlet is a popular snack throughout the world. There are different variants, in North India it's called tikki, in Korea it's Goroke, kroketten in Germany, croquette in America, almost every cuisine have their own version of it. 
            In this recipe, the cutlet is pan fried and i layered the minced meat and bell pepper with a bread slice and mashed potato
            We can recycle stale bread, leftover vegetables or meat into savory cutlets/ croquettes. Use mixed vegetables instead of meat for a fresh vegetarian tikki or make it a kid's menu by, filling the bread with pizza toppings or mac and cheese.
Ground meat sandwich/ croquette
6- 8 slices           bread
1 cup                  mashed potato
1/2 tsp                butter (optional)
1                        capsicum/ bell pepper (finely chopped)
1 cup                  minced/ ground meat
1 tsp                   garam masala/ curry powder
1                        chopped green chilli (optional)
1 tsp                   chilli powder
1/6 tsp                ground pepper 
1/2 tsp                lemon juice 
salt                     to taste
4 tbs                   oil
1. Combine the meat, garam masala/ curry powder, salt and chilli powder together. In a separate bowl, mix the mashed potato with ground pepper, salt and butter. 
2. Heat 1/2 tbs of oil in a pan, add the capsicum, salt and green chilli and fry till it becomes soft, remove it from the pan and keep it aside.
3. Heat 1/2 tbs of oil in the same pan and stir fry and brown the meat, reduce the heat and add 2-3 tsp of water to it. Cover the pan and cook, till it's done and the meat mixture becomes dry. 
4. Remove the crusts off the bread and uniformly flatten the bread slices with a rolling pin.. 
5. Place a slice of bread on a cutting board, spread 1/2 tbs of  mashed potato evenly, in the middle of the bread slice. 
6. Put a tsp of meat and another tsp of capsicum mixture over the  potato.
7. Wet the edges of the bread slightly, fold the bread and press it together with the stem of a spoon, press and seal all the three 
8. For a fancy look, use a fork and press the edges together. 
9. Slightly flatten the top of the bread by pressing it softly with a spoon or fork. 
10. Heat oil in a flat pan/ electric skillet and fry the stuffed bread slices. Flip it and cook, till both sides becomes golden brown.
11. Remove from heat and transfer it to a serving plate and serve it  warm, with tomato ketchup.

Feel free to comment. I love your feedback. Enjoy ur cooking! Have a blessed day :)