October 26, 2011

Besan-Coconut Burfi

Besan - 1 cup
Grated Coconut - 1 1/2 cups
Milk - 1 cup
Sugar - 2 cups
Ghee - 4 tablespoons
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Cashews roasted in ghee - a few to garnish

1. Take a thick-bottomed vessel and boil the milk.
2. Meanwhile roast the besan in a tablespoon of ghee till nice flavor comes out and keep aside.
3. Add the grated coconut to it and reduce the heat to medium. Keep stirring till no moisture is left.
4. Add sugar to it. Sugar turns into thick syrup. Keep stirring for few minutes. Add cardamom powder.
5. Add besan slowly, keep stirring so no lumps are formed. Reduce the heat to medium-low and keep stirring.
6. Add the remaining ghee slowly while keep stirring continuously.
7. When it starts leaving the sides of the pan and moves as a mass along with the stirring ladle, it is done.
8. Transfer to a greased pan and cut into desired shape when warm.
9. Garnish with the roasted cashews.

Instead of cutting burfi into regular diamonds or cubes, I tried a little creatively. I tried setting a batch in colorful cup-cake liners and another batch as diyas :-)

October 25, 2011

Wheat flour laddu

It has goodness of whole wheat flour and also less ghee is used as milk is used to get the consistency to make into balls. Simple make and a tasty sweet.

wheat flour - 1 1/2 cup
sugar 1 cup
milk - 1/2 cup
cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
ghee - 2 tbsp

1. Take a thick-bottomed vessel and heat ghee in it.
2. Reduce the flame to medium-low and add wheat flour to it. 
3. Keep stirring continuously and roast the flour till it turns light brown and nice aroma comes. It takes around 10 - 12 minutes. This is the step you need lot of patience.

4. Reduce the flame to low. Add sugar and mix well till flour and sugar combines nicely. Mix for a minute or two.
5. Add milk and keep stirring continuously without forming any lumps. Add cardamom powder. 
6. Keep stirring for a few minutes and remove from heat.
7. Keep stirring to let the heat escape and it is warm enough to be made into balls. 
8. Make lemon sized balls using your palms and place in the container where you want them to store.

October 23, 2011

Rasam Recipe

I know of many households, especially in Andhra, where rasam is a must-have at meals, each and every single day. I have been brought up in such a house :P So, my extreme liking of rasam dates back to my childhood. I remember my grandma mixing hot rice with steaming aromatic rasam and pouring ghee generously, and feed me mouthfuls of that warm juicy thing before going to school on rickshaw. I must be a mere 5 year-old that time, yet I remember it so vividly :) That was my first and best memory of rasam!

Krishna is my adversary at that. He thinks it is silly. According to him, rasam is not a dish at all! How rude!!! The only time he appreciated the goodness of rasam is when he was sick with fever for almost a week and completely lost his appetite. Rasam helped him revive his hunger while recovering.

Rasam has many health benefits. A few that comes to my mind are:
- The blend of spices used in rasam preparation aid in easy digestion of even a heavy meal.
- Rasam stimulates the digestive enzymes and improves appetite.
- Rasam with rice is one of the first baby foods in our households.
- Rasam is recommended for people recovering from sickness.
- Rasam relieves constipation.

Now, putting an end to my rasam saga and coming to the recipe part of it. I have learnt it from my mother-in-law's mother-in-law (krishna's grannie). Legacy :-)

Water - around 1 1/2 litres
Tomato (chopped) - 1
Tamarind - lemon-sized ball
Salt - 2 or 3 tsp
turmeric - 1/2 tsp
sugar - 1/2 tsp
fresh curry leaves - handful
fresh coriander - bunch

List-2 (for rasam masala):
cumin seeds (Jeera) - 1tsp
black pepper seeds - 1 tsp (it determines the spice level of rasam, so next time u make rasam adjust to ur taste)
garlic pods - 3

List-3 (seasoning):
oil - 2 tsps
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
asafoetida  - a pinch
dried red chili - 2
fresh curry leaves - 7 or 8

Never prepare rasam in a non-stick vessel. Use a stainless steel one.
1. Put all the above mentioned list-1ingredients in water and bring it to boil.
2. While the water is getting heated, grind list-2 items -- the cumin, pepper and garlic into a coarse paste. This simple and freshly ground rasam masala will give unbelievable aroma and taste to the rasam.
3. Add the masala paste and bring it to boil. When it starts to boil, reduce the flame to low and leave it boiling for 10 minutes. Adjust salt as per taste.

4. Take a small non-stick pan for seasoning. Heat oil in the pan.
5. Add asafoetida and then mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds in the same order.
6. When you hear first splutter of mustard seeds, add red chilies in halves.
7. Add curry leaves in the end just before turning off the flame.
8. Transfer these contents into the rasam.

By the time you finish all these steps, you will have the amazingly tasty rasam :) Trust me on that :D

October 19, 2011

Green paratha - the spinach paratha

I simply like the color of palak paratha. Looks lovely, isn't it? Nutritious and delicious in one go :) Our last night dinner was this spinach paratha with tomato curry, very tasty combination indeed!!

Preparation is very simple. I pureed fresh spinach leaves in blender, and used it to make dough. That is it..! Earlier I used to chop the leaves and mix it in wheat flour to make dough. But that makes rolling parathas a little difficult and time taking. When I saw the catchy green colored dough in a friend's house, I realized the better way of doing it.

Fresh Spinach leaves - 300g
Wheat flour
Salt - half a teaspoon

1. Blend the spinach leaves.
2. Add salt to wheat flour.
3. Mix the spinach puree in wheat flour to make smooth dough. I did not add any water. In case the leaves are not very fresh or the puree comes out thick, we might add water as well.

4. Roll into circles and fry on hot pan.

Enjoy them hot with any pickle or a spicy ketchup. I should say simple tomato curry will be nice though. You can find the tomato curry recipe here :-)

Simple Tomato Curry

What I like the most about tomato curry is, it goes very well as a side dish with both rice and rotis. It's simple yet tasty.

Onions - 3
Tomatoes - 4
Green chilies - 3
ginger-garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
red chili powder - 2 tsp
coriander powder - 1 tsp
garam masala - 1/2 tsp
salt to taste
oil - 2 tbsp
curry leaves
fresh coriander

1. Take a pan and heat the oil.
2. Toss in chopped onions, slit green chilies, curry leaves.
3. When onions are tender, add ginger-garlic paste and fry till the rawness goes.
4. Add coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric and little salt. Fry for a couple of minutes.
5. Add the chopped tomatoes, cover the pan with lid and reduce the flame to medium-low.
6. Check after 7-8 minutes. Stir well and add a little water only if needed.
7. Adjust salt per taste, add garam masala. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander.

Note:  For all egg-lovers, you can conveniently toss the boiled eggs in the curry a few minutes before turning off the curry, it gives extra yumm :)

October 4, 2011

Easy Thai Noodles

For those who are wondering why the title says 'Easy', it surely is the easiest recipe for making noodles at homes. This Thai Noodles recipe is easy-peasy to make and a total no-brainer. This dish is a weekly-regular at my friends place who shared the recipe with me. I tried it tonight for the first time and it was so very yummy. Thank you Deepika for this super quick dinner fix :-)

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

wok noodles - 200g
eggs - 2 (veggies can skip this)
thai stir-fry mix - 200g
(chop: spring onion -2, green capsicum - 1/2, red chilies - 2, cabbage - 1/2 cup, red onion - 1 small)
white vinegar - 2 tsp
soy sauce - 1 tsp
chili sauce - 2 tsp
tasting salt - 1/4 tsp
black pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp

1. Add noodles to boiling water and cook for 3 to 4 minutes (or until cooked), then rinse briefly with cold water to keep from sticking and keep aside.
2. Heat up wok or large frying pan and add oil.
3. Break eggs in the heated oil and stir with a spatula until eggs are cooked (like scrambled eggs).
4. Add the chopped vegetable mix. Stir and leave for a minute.
5. Add vinegar, soy sauce, chili sauce, pepper and tasting salt. Toss well. And leave for 2 minutes.
6. Add salt to taste. Now add the cooked noodles and toss well for couple of minutes.
7. Remove wok from heat.

If you like your noodles extra spicy, accompany this with Thai chili sauce. ENJOY!

1. You can cook the noodles in advance, like, in the evening and keep them aside. Then just before making the dish rinse the noodles to separate them.
2. If you like the dish spicy add more red chilies in the veggie mix and add a lil more chili sauce.