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Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Mor Kuzhambu


          This is the South Indian version of Kadhi, a yoghurt-coconut based gravy, most popular in Tamil Nadu. Vegetables like pumpkin, okra, ash gourd, eggplant, chow chow, etc. are basically added to make it more healthy and nutritious.

           It is a very simple, easy to make and a delicious side dish best relished with plain steamed rice. Mor Kuzhambu is traditionally prepared during special occasions and is a common dish found on the menu platter. So do give it a try and enjoy it with your loved ones. 









  • 1 cup pumpkin, cubed
  • 2 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp. tuvar dal (pigeon pea lentil)
  • 1 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. raw rice
  • 1" ginger
  • 2 green chilies
  • 3 tbsp. fresh grated coconut 
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 cup yoghurt, well beaten
  • 1-2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds 
  • 1-2 dry red chilies
  • 1-2 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves, chopped






          Soak the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and tuvar dal for 2-3 hours. Grind into a smooth paste along with coconut, green chilies, ginger and some water. Add to the yoghurt and keep aside. 

          In a pan add a cup water and cook the pumpkin along salt to taste and turmeric powder till it is soft. 

          Now add the yoghurt mix and some water if required and bring it to a boil. Switch off the flame and transfer to a serving dish. 

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds, red chilies and curry leaves. After it stops spluttering, switch off the flame.

           Pour this tempering on the prepared mor kuzhambu. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with plain steamed rice. 



















Raw Banana Poriyal (Raw Banana Stir Fry with Coconut - Tamilian Cuisine)


          This is a very popular side dish from the State of Tamil Nadu and is included in the menu platter. It is a simple preparation with lots of fresh grated coconut added to the end product. This simple delicacy is best relished as a side dish with curd-rice, sambar-rice or rasam-rice. It can also be served with any kind of Indian bread. It is a quick recipe, both healthy and nutritious with minimum of oil and spices. 









  • 2-3 raw banana, peeled & chopped
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1-2 dry red chilies, broken
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1-2 green chilies, slit (opt)
  • 1 tsp. urad dal (split black gram)
  • salt to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp. fresh grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped










          Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds and dry red chilies. After it stops spluttering, add the urad dal, curry leaves and green chilies. Saute for a few seconds.

          Add the chopped banana and salt. Give it a stir and cook, covered on a low flame. Sprinkle some water at intervals. 

           When done, switch off the flame and add the coconut. Give it a toss and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve as a side dish with rice or chapatis. 




















Monday, 12 November 2018

Dosa, Uttapam, Idli, Appam & Kuzhi Paniyaram made from Idli-Dosa Batter


          The first meal of the day should obviously be served like a king and a healthy one too. So here are five different breakfast recipes that I made from some homemade idli-dosa batter. The same batter has been used to make all these yummy dishes. So now there is absolutely no need to depend on restaurant food. You can prepare these healthy food right in your own kitchen with minimum of effort and maximum satisfaction. 






Idli Dosa Batter 

  • 1 cup raw rice 
  • 1/2 cup urad dal (split black gram lentil)
  • 1/3 cup boiled rice
  • 1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • salt to taste



          Soak all the ingredients (except salt) overnight. Then grind to a smooth paste by adding some water. Add salt and mix well. Keep it aside in a warm place overnight to ferment.




1.  Dosa - 


  •  batter as required (made 3 dosas)
  • oil as required



          Heat a tawa / griddle and add some oil. Then sprinkle some water and wipe it clean with a tissue paper.

          Pour a ladleful of the batter and spread it around in a circle. Drizzle some oil around the edges and cook till one side is done. 

          Flip it over and cook the other side too. Transfer to a plate. Make similar dosas with the batter and serve with coconut chutney and sambar.




2.  Uttapam - 


  • batter as required (made 3 uttapams)
  • oil as required
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion, tomato, green chilies & coriander leaves


          Heat a tawa / griddle and add some oil. Then sprinkle some water and wipe it clean with a tissue paper.

           Pour 1-2 ladleful of the batter and spread it around in a circle. Sprinkle the chopped veggies and drizzle some oil around the edges and cook till one side is done. 

           Flip it over and cook the other side too. Transfer to a plate. Make similar uttapams with the batter and serve with coconut chutney and sambar.



3.  Idli - 

  • batter as required (made 8 idlis)
  • oil to grease the idli moulds


          Spoon the batter in the greased idli moulds and steam for 15 minutes. Demould when it cools down and serve with coconut chutney and sambar.




4.  Appam - 

  • batter as required
  • 1 tsp. oil to grease the chatti


          Heat an appam chatti and drizzle some oil. Sprinkle some water and wipe clean with a tissue paper.

          Pour a ladleful of the batter and quickly swirl it around. Cover and cook on a low flame for 2 minutes or till it is done. 

          Carefully remove from the pan and transfer to a plate. Make similar appams and serve with coconut chutney and sambar. 



5.  Kuzhi Paniyaram - 

  • batter as required (made 14 paniyarams)
  • 2 tbsp. oil


          Grease the paniyaram moulds generously. Spoon the batter in the moulds and cook, covered on a low flame till one side is done. 

          Flip it over and cook the other side too. Transfer to a serving plate and serve with coconut chutney and sambar 



















Saturday, 10 November 2018

Ilish Bhate (Hilsa Fish Cooked with Rice in Dum Style - Bengali Cuisine)


          This is an authentic Bengali fish pulao where marinated Hilsa fish is steamed along with rice in a dum style. It can be termed as a one-pot meal. This unique method of cooking is absolutely delicious and you need to try it out to believe. 






          This yummy dish can be included in the menu of any in-house party where there are obviously a crowd of fish lovers. Traditionally, Gobindobhog (aromatic rice) is used but in case of unavailability Basmati rice can be used. So check for a step by step pictorial recipe to prepare this simple delicacy and a great lunch treat.





  • 2-3 Hilsa fish pieces, cleaned
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 8-10 cashew nuts / 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds 
  • 4 green chilies, slit
  • 1 tbsp. fresh grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp. mustard oil 
  • 4 tbsp. coriander leaves 
  • 3/4 cup basmati rice
  • banana leaf as required (opt)
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves + green chilies to garnish





          Cook the rice till it is 70% done. Drain and keep aside. Soak the cashew nuts and mustard seeds for 30 minutes. Then grind along with 2 green chilies and coconut into a smooth paste. 

          Marinate the fish with the paste, salt, turmeric powder, 2 tbsp. coriander leaves and mustard oil for 30 minutes. 

          In a steel bowl, place a banana leaf and grease it with some mustard oil. Spread half of the cooked rice over it. Arrange the marinated fish over the rice and spread remaining of the rice.

          Sprinkle the leftover marinade (if any) over the rice along with the remaining green chilies and coriander leaves. Cover with another banana leaf.

          In a pressure cooker add some water at the bottom and place a stand. Place the container over the stand and cover with a lid. 

          Steam for 12-15 minutes and switch off the flame. Let it remain covered for 5 minutes. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves and green chilies. 




                               Marinate the fish with the paste, salt, turmeric powder, 2 tbsp.
                               coriander leaves and mustard oil for 30 minutes. 



                                   In a steel bowl, place a banana leaf & grease it with some
                                   mustard oil. Spread half of the cooked rice over it. Arrange
                                   the marinated fish over the rice.



                                Spread remaining of the rice. Sprinkle the leftover marinade 
                                over the rice along with the remaining green chilies and 
                                coriander leaves. 



                                Cover with another banana leaf. Steam for 12-15 minutes and
                                switch off the flame. Let it remain covered for 5 minutes.



                      Serve, garnished with coriander leaves and green chilies. 











Thursday, 8 November 2018

Beetroot Kalakand


          Kalakand is a traditional and a very popular Indian dessert that is generally served during festivals, special occasions and parties. It is grainy in texture and is commonly found in many sweet shops. It is very easy to prepare if you are going in for the store bought paneer.   

           This beetroot kalakand is a healthy version with the goodness of paneer and beetroot. Sugar is optional and may be added if necessary. I have used some brown sugar and this was my guilt free Diwali treat. Garnish as desired with your favourite toppings and enjoy them chilled with your loved ones. 











  • 200 gms. paneer, crumbled (I have used Amul Paneer)
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 3 tbsp. beetroot puree
  • 2 tbsp. milk powder
  • 2-3 tbsp. sugar or to taste 
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. rose water
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom powder 
  • 1 tbsp. pistachios, chopped












          In a non-stick pan, add all the ingredients (except pistachios) and gently stir on a low flame till the mix starts to leave the sides of the pan. 

          Transfer it to a greased plate and garnish with the chopped pistachios. Allow it to cool and refrigerate for some time. 

          Cut into desired shapes and enjoy as and when desired. Great for any festive occasion or as an after meal dessert. 

          





















Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Thattai (Traditional Festive Snack from Tamil Nadu)


          This is a traditional Tamil Nadu special deep fried snack that is a must in most of the South Indian festivals, where it has different names. This popular snack is called nippattu in Karnataka and chekkalu in Andhra. They are also a great tea time snack / party snack. Try relishing it with hummus, mayo or any homemade dip for a change. Tastes awesome. So check for a step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it. 








  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 tbsp. urad dal (split black gram), dry roasted & ground
  • 1 tbsp. roasted Bengal Gram lentil, powdered
  • 1 tbsp. chana dal, soaked 2-3 hours 
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • pinch of pepper powder 
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
  • oil to deep fry 







          In a large bowl, mix together all the above mentioned ingredients (except oil to deep fry). Add water, little at a time, and knead into a dough. 

          Divide into small balls. Place each ball on a greased plastic sheet and cover with another greased sheet. Press it gently with the back of a small bowl into a thin disc and prick all over with a fork.

          Heat oil in a pan. Gently remove the thattai from the plastic sheet and slide it into the hot oil.

          Fry in batches on a low flame till all the sides are done. Drain on a kitchen towel and allow it to cool down before storing them in an airtight container. 

          Relish it as a tea time snack or when ever desired. I like to have mine with some hummus, mayo or any homemade dip. They taste great. 




                     Mix together all the ingredients (except oil to deep fry). Add water, little 
                     at a time, and knead into a dough. 



                      Divide into small balls. Place each ball on a greased plastic sheet and cover 
                      with another greased sheet. Press it gently with the back of a small bowl.
                 


                      Prick all over with a fork.



                     Heat oil in a pan. Gently remove the thattai and slide it into the hot oil. 
                     Fry on a low flame till done. Drain on a kitchen towel.



                     Relish it as a tea time snack or as and when desired. I like to have mine 
                     with some hummus, mayo or any homemade dip. They taste great.












Monday, 5 November 2018

Beetroot & Yoghurt Dip


          A perfect treat for your party is this very simple, healthy and a delicious dip with the goodness of yoghurt and beetroot puree. It goes absolutely well with crackers, croutons, soup sticks, veggie crudites, pakoras, kebabs. For a change, try having it with any Indian flat bread or relish as a raita with pulao, khichdi or biryani.











  • 1 cup yoghurt, beaten
  • 3 tsp. beetroot puree
  • salt & pepper to taste 
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1-2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 fresh green / red chili, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped










          In a bowl, mix together all the above mentioned ingredients. 

          Serve as a dip with crackers, croutons, soup sticks, veggie crudites, etc. 

          This dip can also be served as a raita along with pulao, biryani or khichdi.


          


















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