Friday, August 3, 2012

Murungai Keerai Poriyal / Drumstick Leaf Stir fry

Drumstick leaf stirfry
Drumstick Leaf Stir fry
This is my second dish (post) made with the nutritious drumstick leaves. 
NutrientsCommon foodMoringa Leaves
Vitamin ACarrot1.8 mg6.8 mg
CalciumMilk120 mg440 mg
PotassiumBanana88 mg259 mg
ProteinYogurt3.1 g6.7 g
Vitamin COrange30 mg220 mg
 I took the above nutrients table from wikipedia, for more info

Drumstick leaves
This poriyal pairs well with sambar rice, rasam, karakulambu or with yogurt / curd rice. 
Drumstick leaves = malongai leaves = Munaga aku = Sargavo leaves = Murinna leaves = Sevaga leaves = Sohanjana leaves, these are some of the names for murungai keerai in other languages.
6 - 8 handful        murungai leaves/ drumstick leaves
1 med                  onion - chop it finely
3                          green chillies - chop it
1 tsp                     oil
1/2 tsp                  urud dal
1/4 tsp                  mustard seeds
1/4 tsp                  chilli powder
1 tbs                     shredded coconut
salt to taste 
1. Wash the leaves in water.
2. Heat oil in a pan, add urud dal and mustard seeds.
3. After the mustard seed splutters, add onion and green chillies and when the onion becomes golden brown, add the murungai leaves, sprinkle the salt and chilli powder.
4. Cover the pan, reduce the heat and cook for a few minutes. Open the lid, add the coconut and stir fry till the murungai leaves get's cooked. 
Tips for taste: Like most plants heating murungai leaves more than 180* f will destroy some of it's nutritional value.

Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. If you try this recipe, please comment on it. I like to hear how it came out.
Healthy poriyal

Murungai leaf kangi / Drumstick leaf and rice porridge

       Murungai tree is a common tree in Tamilnadu. We still have this tree in my parents backyard, we have it in my in law's house and  had it in our house also, before we moved to US. During my childhood days we used this leaves as our pretend keerai poriyal. My mom would give us this kangi / porridge when we were sick, usually accompanied by a pickle or dry coconut chutney. This is a very simple but nutritious kangi, i was amazed to see it's nutritional values in wikipedia! It's in the end of this post, pls read it.  
drumstick leaves porridge
Healthy Kanji
4 - 6 handfuls           murungai leaves
1 tsp                         oil
1 tsp                         ginger garlic paste  
1 cup                        uncooked rice
1 tsp                         chilli powder
1/2 tsp                      cumin seeds 
1 tbs                         ground coconut (optional) 
1                              tomato - chopped    
1. Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seed, fry for a few minutes and add ginger garlic paste and chilli powder, stir it well. Add murungai leaves and cook it till the leaves gets wilted, add the chopped tomato, fry till it becomes pasty remove from heat and keep it aside.
drumstic leaves
stir fry the leaves
2. In a pan boil 3-4 cups of water, add the rice and salt, reduce the flame and let it cook till the rice becomes soft, add the ground coconut.
murungai kangi
add murungai leaves to the rice....
3. Add the murungai leaf mixture with the rice and cook till its consistency becomes like a porridge.     
Murungai leaves....
  These leaves are loaded with goodness, all the nutritional facts are from wikipedia.

Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. If you try this recipe, please comment on it. I like to hear how it came out.

NutrientsCommon foodMoringa Leaves
Vitamin ACarrot1.8 mg6.8 mg
CalciumMilk120 mg440 mg
PotassiumBanana88 mg259 mg
ProteinYogurt3.1 g6.7 g
Vitamin COrange30 mg220 mg
drumstick leaves
The leaves are the most nutritious part of the plant, being a significant source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, provitamin A as beta-carotene, magnesium and protein, among other nutrients reported by the USDA, when compared with common foods particularly high in certain nutrients, fresh moringa leaves are considerable sources of these same nutrients. Some of the calcium in moringa leaves is bound as crystals of calcium oxalate which may inhibit calcium availability to the body. The leaves are cooked and used like spinach. In addition to being used fresh as a substitute for spinach, its leaves are commonly dried and crushed into a powder used in soups and sauces. It is important to remember that like most plants heating moringa above 140 degrees Fahrenheit will destroy some of the nutritional about this leaves in wikipedia
Drumstick leaves = malongai leaves = Munaga aku = Sargavo leaves = Murinna leaves = Sevaga leaves = Sohanjana leaves, these are some of the names for murungai keerai in other languages.

Thanks for visiting this page. Feel free to comment, i love your feedback. Enjoy ur cooking! Hav a blessed day :)

Spicy Radish and Ginger pickle

         There is a Japanese restaurant near my husband's work place. They make some spicy and flavorful japanese curry sauce and add beef or vegetable to it, that's their only menu. They'll garnish the rice by placing a colorful radish pickle (Fukujin zuke) over it. Now it's become my husband's favorite pickle. I started to make the pickle, but was not able to get the purple perilla leaves that gives the pickle a bright pink color, so i seasoned the pickled radish with indian spices and made it into an indian spicy pickle.
1 bunch       round red radish
2                 jalapeno pepper or any big peppers
3"                ginger
1/2 cup        sliced carrots
1/2 tsp         salt
1/2 cup        white vinegar  
To season:
2 cloves       garlic - sliced
3                 red chillies
1/8 tsp         methi / fenugreek seeds / venthayam
1/2 tsp         mustard seeds / kadugu / rai
1/2 tsp         chilli powder
1/4 tsp         coriander powder
1/4 tsp         cumin powder
1 pinch        asafoetida 
1/4 tsp         turmeric
few              curry leaves 
6 tbs            oil - it acts as a preservative.
2 tsp            salt or to taste.

To pickle 
1. Wash and remove the leaves from the radish, trim the ends and slice it. 
2. Wash, dry and slice the radish, ginger, carrot and peppers.
3. Add salt to it, mix it well and put the salted vegetables in a strainer over a bowl for 2 hours.
4. Remove the vegetables from the strainer and add white vinegar to it. Pour this mixture in a dry glass container and refrigerate it for at least 24 hours, shake the bottle often to get all the pickle well coated with  the vinegar. 
To make relish: At this stage we can add some sugar to this pickle and use it as  relish in sandwich. 
To season:
1. Drain the liquid from the vegetable through a strainer.
2. Heat oil in a pan, add coriander seeds, when it splutters add methi seeds, red chillies and curry leaves.
3. When the curry leaves and red chillies become crispy, add the sliced garlic, lower the heat and add the chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, asafoetida powder, turmeric and salt.
4. Cook for a few minutes till the masala gets incorporated with the oil, now add the drained vegetables with the masala and cook it for a few minutes, check for salt.
5. Transfer the pickle to a dry glass container and let it cool to the room temperature, close it tightly with the lid and refrigerate it.
6. Allow it to marinate in the masala at for least 10-12 hrs before serving, always use a dry spoon. 

Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. If you try this recipe,  Feel free to comment, i love your feedback. Enjoy ur cooking! Hav a blessed day :)



Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pear Souffles

Pears are seasonal fruits. We can eat it alone or cook it into compotes, tarts or poach it to accompany ice creams. 
        A souffle is a lightly baked cake made with egg yolk and beaten egg whites combined with other ingredients. When the egg mixture is baked in a 350-degree oven, those air bubbles trapped in the egg whites expand, making the souffle rise.
  Souffle's are made from two basic components:
 1. A cream sauce base - puree 
 2Egg whites beaten to a soft peak -meringue
The base provides the flavor and the whites provide the lift 
5           pear peeled, cored and diced
1 cup    water
1.5 cup  sugar 
8           egg whites
Pastry cream:
2 cup     milk
1 tsp      vanilla essence
6            egg yolk
1 cup      sugar
1 cup      all purpose flour / maida
1 tbs       melted butter to grease the ramekins
2 tbs       powdered sugar for dusting the souffle
2 tbs       sugar for dusting the inside of ramekins  
pear puree
cook with water and sugar
1. Cook the pear with water and 1 cup of sugar in a pan till the pear becomes soft and the water evaporates.
2. Cool it and press the puree through a strainer into a  bowl and set aside.
Pear Souffles
Pastry cream:
1. In a pan boil milk in low heat. 
2. Meanwhile beat the egg yolk one at a time with sugar and flour in a bowl until smooth.
3. Add the hot milk to the egg mixture while whisking it constantly. 
add the pear to the pastry cream 
4. Return the mixture to the pan, cook the mixture in a low flame,  whisk it till the sauce is smooth and thick.
cover with plastic wrap
5. Remove the pan from the stove add the strained pear puree. Cover the pan with plastic wrap to prevent it from forming skin.
1. Preheat the oven 350* place a baking sheet to heat up.
2. Grease the ramekins with butter and sprinkle the inside of each ramekins with sugar.
3. In a deep bowl, beat the egg whites and gradually add the sugar. Beat it together till the egg whites lose its shine, and stiff peaks form and hold when the beater is stopped and lifted. 
4. Gently fold the egg whites into the pear pastry cream. 
ready to bake
5. Divide the mixture into the prepared ramekins, level the surface and carefully run a sharp knife between the side of each ramekins and the mixture.
dust powdered sugar
6. Place the ramekins on the hot baking sheet and bake for 10-20 mins or until the tops of souffles are well risen and golden.
7. Generously dust the top of souffles with powdered sugar and serve it immediately.

Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. Feel free to comment, i love your feedback. Enjoy ur cooking! Have a blessed day :)   

Chewy Almond Chikki / Butter Almond Chew

This candy reminds me of the kamarkat mittai we used to buy from street vendors during the nearby temple festivals.
thengai burbi
Coconut Almond Chikki
Memory Lane:
           When we were in elementary school, me, my siblings and my cousins usually look forward to an annual hindu festival, it was celebrated for three days in a neigborhood temple. The street would have a festive look, colorful and loud with a nice aroma of street food. (There would be loud announcements from speakers, frying smell of pakoras and vadais from make shift kitchens. Hawkers would sell their wares from candies to colorful clay items to their haggling customers).  
          With general crowd milling around the temple, the people who participate in the "live coal" walk- event  would walk around proudly. Adorned with garlands, neem leaf bouquets and sandal- wood paste (applied to their bodies). On the last day, after church, our moms would allow us to go there with our maid. Our group would happily walk around buying things, take few rides on a merry-go-round or just stand there chat and watch the crowd....beautiful memories!

              It's fun making candies for kids. Candies are made with sugar syrup. Different candies call for different consistency in  sugar syrup, it is obtained through boiling sugar and water in different temperatures. The higher the temperature and less water there is in the sugar, the firmer the sugar syrup will be. 
How to find the right consistency of the sugar syrup?:1. Using a candy thermometer will make the work more easy. 
2. My grandma had a way to find out the consistency without thermometers, she'll just dip the tip of her index finger (ouch) in the syrup and press it with her thumb. Then she'll softly open her fingers to find out how many threads are coming between her fingers. For adirasam syrup it's two thread consistency, that's an "early stage" for candy syrup. 
thengai burfi
280*-290* soft crack stage
3. Another way to test the required stage for candy, is to drop about a teaspoon of the cooked sugar syrup into a bowl of cold water. Then retrieve the sugar by pressing it gently between your thumb and forefinger to determine the stage necessary for a particular candy. 
thengai burfi
spoonful of syrup in cold water
coconut chikki
firm yet pliable..soft crack stage

    To make this chewy almond candy, the syrup's temperature should be 280* - 290* (soft crack stage). When  pouring a spoonful of syrup into a bowl of  cold water the syrup will form strands, when we press it with our hands it should be firm yet pliable. 
3/4 cup       sliced almonds
3/4 cup       shredded sweetened coconut
1 tbs           butter
1 1/2 cup     granulated sugar
3 tbs            water
1 tbs            light corn syrup / honey
1/2 tsp         salt 
 1. Combine almond and coconut and spread it thin in a buttered pan.
butter almond chew
combine almond and coconut
2. In a pan melt the butter, add all the other ingredients and mix it well.
coconut crunch
melt butter and mix the ing'
3. Reduce the heat to low/med and cook without stirring.
4. Remove from heat when the mixture reaches soft crack stage (290* f)
coconut butter crunch
soft crack stage
5. Pour it evenly over the almonds and coconut.
chewy almond chikki
pour it over the almonds evenly
6. Let it cool, when it's comfortable enough to touch,  make small balls with the mixture. Cool it and store it in refrigerator. 
cool it....
and make into small balls.

Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. If you try this recipe,feel free to comment, i love your feedback. Enjoy ur cooking! Hav a blessed day :)