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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Watermelon Cake / Pink Velvet cake


                  Last week was my son Shayaan's 3rd birthday. He is not very fond of cakes, but loves fruits...watermelon is one of his favourites. So we decided to make a watermelon shaped cake to make him happy.. Got the idea from here and the actual recipe is double the quantity...

Ingredients:

For Cake:

3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1/2 tbsp baking soda
1/2 tbsp vinegar
1 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2-3/4 tbsp wilton rose icing color
1/2 tsp wilton red icing color

For Buttercream Frosting:

1 cup butter, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar/ icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp milk
wilton red red icing color

white fondant
wilton kelly green icing color
wilton moss green icing color
wilton yellow icing color

Preparation:

For Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degree celcius. Grease and flour or line the bottom of two 6 " roundbaking pans and one oven safe glass bowl / stainless bowl with parchment paper and keep it aside.
  2. Sift together flour and salt into a bowl and keep it aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of an electric mixer, add the butter, oil, sugar and vanilla essence and beat at medium speed until well blended.
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time. With mixer on low, add rose pink icing food coloring.
  5. Then add one third of the flour mixture alternating with half of the butter milk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of butter milk. End with the remaining flour and beat until just combined.
  6. Place baking soda in a small cup/ dish, stir in vinegar and add to the batter with machine running and beat for 10 seconds. (or quickly fold into the batter.)
  7. Divide half of the batter evenly between the 2 prepared pans and the bowl, sprinkle the chocolate chips and then top each evenly with remaining batter.
  8. Bake it in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the toothpick inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. ( For bowl cake, it will take more time...)
  9. Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool in its pan for about 10 minutes then remove from the pans and let them cool completely on a wire rack..
For Buttercream Frosting:
  1. In a bowl or in the bowl of an electric mixer, add butter and beat on medium speed until completely smooth.
  2. One cup at time, add 2 cups of icing sugar , beating after each addition.
  3. Add vanilla extract and beat to combine. Add about 1 tbsp of milk/ cream and continue beating.
  4. Add the remaining 2 cups of icing sugar, one at a time and beat. Add 1-2 tbsp milk/ cream and beat until the desired consistency is reached. 
  5. Divide the frosting into 2 bowls. Keep one of these bowls aside for later and colour the other  bowl with wilton red red icing colour until it matches with watermelon pink.
Assembling the cake:
  1. Level the top of 2 round cakes. In a serving plate/ cake board, place the first round cake and spread a layer of pink buttercream on top , then sprinkle chocolate chips on top of that.

       2. Then repeat this with the other round cake and finish off by topping 2 filled round cakes with bowl cake.
       3. The next step is to carefully carve away just outer crust of the stacked cakes, keeping the dome shape intact.
       4. Take the reserved white buttercream frosting that set aside and then frost the outside of the entire cake with a thin layer of frosting (crumb coat).
       5. Place this crumb coated cake in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up the frosting.
       6.Then ice the entire cake with remaining white buttercream as smoothly as possible and place in the fridge for about 1 hour to firm it up.
        7. To create the white rind of watermelon, roll out about 2 lb of  white fondant and then cover the cake. 
        8. Trim away the excess at the bottom and make it smooth and nice using a fondant smoothers...
        9. Then paint the rind using a clean round tip paint brush by mixing wilton moss green, wilton kelly green and yellow and then make stripe-like watermelon patterns. (Paint the cake in stages, letting it rest for about half an hour in between).
      10.Let the cake completely dry before cutting. Cut them into slices and then serve..
  • The original recipe uses alcohol for mixing the colours for painting the rind...Since I used water for mixing, I didn't get the perfect green color and pattern for the watermelon....


Monday, 27 February 2017

Mango - Blueberry Popsicles


Ingredients:

1 mango, peeled and cubed
1 cup blueberries
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
4-5 tbsp sugar ( or as required)

Preparation:
  1. In a blender, add the cubed mango and enough sugar and puree it adding little water until smooth.
  2. Fill popsicle moulds halfway with this mango puree and freeze it for 1 hour.
  3. Puree the blueberries adding lemon juice, enough sugar and 2 tbsp water in a blender until very smooth.
  4. Then pour this blueberry puree evenly over the mango layer and freeze for 6-8 hours or overnight...
  5. To release the popsicles, run the mould under the warm water for 20-30 seconds...Serve it immediately...

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Kashmiri Chicken


Ingredients:

1/2 kg chicken
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1 1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp thick yogurt, less sour
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 cinnamon piece
3 cardamoms
3 bay leaves
3 cloves
10 cashew nuts
21 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
5 tsp oil

Preparation:
  1. Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan and add the cleaned chicken pieces and sprinkle little salt and roast the chicken till slightly brown on outside. Remove the chicken along with its any cooked juices and keep it aside.
  2. Heat 3 tsp oil in a pan and add cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and bay leaves and fry well.
  3. Add the finely chopped onion and a pinch of salt and cook till soft.
  4. Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute till the raw smell disappears.
  5. Add the chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala and saute for a minute.
  6. Then add 1 1/2 cup of water and allow to simmer the gravy till the oil separates on top.
  7. Add the browned chicken along with its juices and mix well and cook covered till the chicken is cooked well.
  8. Now open the lid and allow the water to slightly evaporate and cook for 2 minutes.
  9. Then add the yoghurt, mix well and switch off the flame.
  10. In a pan, slightly roast the cashew nuts and chop them into pieces. Sprinkle chopped cashew nuts and coriander leaves over the curry and serve hot....
  • You can also add a tbsp of cream or cashew nut paste to make it more rich...
Recipe adapted from here..

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Mango - Elaneer / Tender Coconut Shake


Ingredients:

1 cup ripe mango, peeled and chopped
1 cup elaneer/ karikku/ tender coconut pulp
2 cups chilled milk
sugar as required

Preparation:
  1. In a blender, add chopped mango, tender coconut pulp, chilled milk and sugar and blend well until smooth.
  2. Pour the prepared shake into serving glasses and serve.....

Friday, 24 February 2017

Color Pencil Cookies


Ingredients:

225 gm all purpose flour
100 gm butter
100 gm icng sugar
1 tbsp curd/ sour cream
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp salt
food colorings

Preparation:
  1. In a bowl, sift together flour and salt and keep it aside.
  2. In a large bowl or in the bowl of electric mixer, add butter and icing sugar and beat on medium high speed until creamy.
  3. Add the egg yolk and beat again until the yolk combines well.
  4. Add the curd/ sour cream and vanilla essence and beat again until combined.
  5. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until flour has been incorporated. Do not over beat.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180 degree celcius. Line a baking sheet with baking paper/ parchment paper.
  7. Divide the dough into 2 parts and further divide one of the part into 4 equal sized portions. 
  8. Add drops of different shades of food gels/ colorings into each of the 4 equal portions and knead the dough well.
  9. Roll the uncolored portion of the dough into a rectangle of 2 mm thickness on a lightly floured surface. (or roll it placing between two sheets of parchment paper).

        10. Take small piece of dough out of each colored dough and roll each separately on a lightly floured surface into 4-5 inches long rope/ strip and diameter of about 0.5 cm.



        11. Place each colored rope in one corner of the uncolored rolled rectangle and carefully turn it over to cover the colored rope completely and cut it exactly where it just covers as shown in below..




        12. Roll up carefully and smooth it out using your fingers and seal the edges that are open. Repeat the same with the remaining colored ropes and rectangle dough. 
           13. Place them carefully on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.
            14. Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet and then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.
           15. Once completely cool, use a knife to gently "sharpen" the cookies to make them look like colored pencils..Enjoy !

Recipe adapted from here..

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Long beans Thoran / Achinga Payar Varavu


Ingredients:

1 bunch (300-350 gm) long beans / achinga payar
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 green chillies, chopped
1/2 of 1 small tomato, chopped (optional)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 sprig curry leaves
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup grated coconut
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies
salt to taste
2 tsp oil

Preparation:
  1. Wash and chop the long beans into small pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add dry red chillies, curry leaves and crushed garlic and fry.
  3. Add chopped onion and saute till transparent. Add green chillies, chopped tomato and chopped payar and mix well.
  4. Add turmeric powder and salt, mix well and cook covered at low flame till done. (Sprinkle little water if required).
  5. Add grated coconut to this and stir well for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the flame and serve with rice.....

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Spinach Cutlet / Palak Cutlet


Ingredients:

3 cups spinach, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2-3 medium potatoes
1 piece ginger, finely chopped
3 green chillies, finely chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
a pinch of cumin seeds
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1 egg, lightly beaten
bread crumbs as required
salt to taste
oil

Preparation:
  1. Wash and finely chop the spinach. Boil the potatoes, peel off the skin and mash them well and keep it aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and splutter cumin seeds. Add finely chopped onion and saute well till transparent.
  3. Add chopped ginger, green chillies and salt and saute for a minute.
  4. Add the chopped spinach to this, mix well and fry till the leaves are cooked and all the water dries up. Add turmeric powder and garam masala and mix well.
  5. Add mashed potatoes and chopped coriander leaves, mix well for 2 minutes on low flame and switch off the flame.
  6. Once the mixture has cooled off a bit, make small balls and flatten into desired shapes.
  7. Dip each cutlet into the beaten egg and then roll in bread crumbs till well coated on all sides.
  8. Heat oil in a pan and fry the cutlets on medium flame till golden brown on both sides. Remove from the oil and drain them on a paper towel....Serve hot with tomato sauce..
  • You can also dip cutlet in maida batter (mix 1-2 tbsp maida in little water and prepare a thin batter) and then roll them in bread crumbs.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Beetroot Chicken Roast


Ingredients:

1 kg chicken, cut into pieces
2 medium beetroots, grated
3 big tomatoes
5 onions, thinly sliced
5 green chillies, chopped
1 tbsp + 2 tsp crushed ginger- garlic
2 tbsp chilli powder
1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 big capsicum, chopped
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 1/2 cup water
3 tbsp coriander leaves
salt to taste
oil as required

Preparation:
  1. Clean the chicken pieces and marinate it with 1 tbsp chilli powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder,  2 tsp crushed ginger-garlic and salt and keep it aside for an hour.
  2. Heat 3-4 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the marinated chicken pieces till done and keep it aside.
  3. Grind together grated beetroot, tomatoes and 3 green chillies to a fine paste.
  4. Heat 4-5 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the sliced onion till golden brown and keep it aside.
  5. In the same pan, add 1 tbsp crushed ginger-garlic and 2 green chillies and saute for few seconds.
  6. Add 1 tbsp chilli powder and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder to this and saute till the raw smell disappear, over low flame.
  7. Then add the ground beetroot-tomato paste, 1 1/2 cup water and enough salt to this and bring to boil. Cook it for 5-6 minutes over low flame.
  8. Add the fried chicken pieces and cook for about 6-8 minutes till the gravy is thick.
  9. Add the fried onion, chopped capsicum, garam masala and coriander leaves and cook for another 2 minutes.
  10. Remove it from the flame and garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot...
Recipe adapted from here...

Monday, 20 February 2017

Chilli Murukku / Chakli


Ingredients:

3/4 cup gram flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1 tbsp kashmiri chilli powder (adjust to your spice level)
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
salt to taste
1 sprig curry leaves
oil for frying

Preparation:
  1. In a bowl, add the gram flour, rice flour, chilli powder, cumin seeds, sesame seeds, asafoetida and salt and mix well.
  2. Then add water little by little and knead it to make a smooth dough.
  3. Take a murukku press / mould , use the star shaped disc and fill it with the dough.
  4. Heat oil in a deep pan and when the oil gets heated up, press the murukku directly in hot oil. Do not overcrowd.
  5. Fry them on medium flame till they are cooked and turn crispy on both sides. Drain on paper towel and repeat the same for the remaining dough. 
  6. Fry the curry leaves in the same oil and garnish the fried murukku.
  7. Cool down to room temperature and then store in an air tight container....Enjoy as a tea time snack...

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Vazhakoombu / Banana Flower - Cabbage Thoran


Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup vazhakoombu/banana flower, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup cabbage, finely chopped
3/4 cup grated coconut
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 green chilly
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies
salt to taste
2 tsp oil

Preparation:
  1. Chop vazhakoombu and cabbage into fine pieces and keep it aside.
  2. Crush grated coconut, cumin seeds, chilli powder, turmeric powder, green chilly and garlic together and keep it aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add urad dal and dry red chillies.
  4. Add chopped vazhakoombu and cabbage and mix well. Add salt, mix well and cook it covered for 4-5 minutes on low flame.
  5. Then add crushed coconut mixture, mix well and cook covered on low flame for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Then remove the lid and stir well for 1-2 minutes till all the water dries up...Remove from flame and serve with rice...

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Crispy Fried Mussels / Kallummakaya


Ingredients:

12-15 mussels/ kallummakaya, cleaned
1/2-1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
a pinch of turmeric powddr
1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 egg
1 tbsp rice flour
1 tsp cornflour
bread crumbs, as required
salt to taste
few curry leaves
oil for frying

Preparation:
  1. Clean the mussels and to this add chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, ginger-garlic paste and salt and mix well.
  2. In a bowl, add the egg, cornflour and rice flour and mix well and keep it aside.
  3. Dip each marinated mussel in this egg mixture and then roll in bread crumbs till well coated on all sides.
  4. Heat oil in a pan and fry them on medium flame till golden brown on both sides. Remove from the oil and drain them on a paper towel.
  5. Fry the curry leaves in the same oil and garnish the fried mussels.. Serve hot..

Friday, 17 February 2017

Kothu Idiyappam / Egg and Vegetable Masala Idiyappam


Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup / 4 idiyappams
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 carrot, grated
2 tbsp capsicum, finely chopped
2 tbsp celery, chopped
1/2 tsp pepper powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 egg
1/4 tsp soy sauce (optional)
2 cloves
1/4 inch piece cinnamon
salt to taste
1 tsp coriander leaves, chopped
2 tsp oil

Preparation:
  1. Prepare idiyappams and shred/ break it into small pieces and keep it aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add cloves ,cinnamon and ginger-garlic paste and saute for a minute.
  3. Add finely chopped onion and saute till it turns transparent.
  4. Add grated carrots and cook covered in low flame for 2 minutes. Add finely chopped capsicums and celery and saute well.
  5. Add pepper powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and required salt and mix well.
  6. Then add the egg and scramble it well. Add soy sauce to this and mix well.
  7. Now add the idiyappam pieces and mix well until the masala coats the idiyappam evenly.
  8. Garnish with coriander leaves and switch off the flame..Serve hot / warm..
  • You can also use instant idiyappams, cook it as per the instructions given in the package..

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Drumstick - Brinjal Masala / Muringa - Vazhuthananga Kootu


Ingredients:

2 big drumsticks, cut into pieces
1 cup brinjal, thinly sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp ginger, sliced
1/2 tsp garlic, sliced
1 1/2 tsp crushed chilli
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
salt to taste
1 1/2 tbsp oil

Preparation:
  1. In a pan, cook the drumsticks adding little turmeric powder, salt and enough water and keep it aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add sliced ginger and garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
  3. Add sliced onion and curry leaves and saute well till onion turns transparent.
  4. Add thinly sliced brinjal and salt and saute well for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add turmeric powder and chopped tomato and mix well. Add crushed chilli and coriander powder to this and mix well till tomato turns soft.
  6. Now add the cooked drumstick along with its water and and cook till all the water dries up and  the masala is well coated with the vegetables.
  7. Remove from the flame and serve with rice...
  • Adjust the spice level according to your taste :)

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Mango Coulis


          Coulis is made from pureed, strained fresh or frozen fruits and is one of the simplest of all dessert sauces to prepare. It is poured over ice creams and sorbets, or served with fruit tarts and puddings....

Ingredients:

2 ripe mangoes, peeled and cut into pieces
2-3 tbsp icing sugar (or as needed)
1 tbsp water
a few drops of lemon juice

Preparation:
  1. In a blender, add the chopped mangoes with the icing sugar and water.
  2. Blitz it for 20 seconds until smooth, then add the lemon juice.
  3. Adjust the sweetness with more icing sugar if required and then strain through a sieve.
  4. Serve with fruit tarts/ puddings or pour over ice creams/ sorbets..

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Cheesy Spice Bombs


Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp instant dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp egg, beaten
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp butter
100 gm mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
2 tbsp chilly flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp mixed Italian spices

Preparation:
  1. In a large bowl, add the all purpose flour, yeast, sugar and salt and mix well using hands.
  2. Heat the water and milk together and bring it to lukewarm. Pour this milk into the flour mixture and knead well until well combined.
  3. Add the beaten egg to this and knead well. If the dough is sticky, add a little flour at a time and knead until the dough does not stick to the bowl.
  4. Then add butter and continue kneading for 12-15 minutes. Bring the dough together as a ball.
  5. Oil a bowl and coat the dough all over with oil in the bowl and keep covered using a damp cloth in a warm place for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. This will be the first proving.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200 degree celcius. Line up a baking tray with butter paper or silicon mat  and brush some oil on top of it.
  7. In a small bowl. mix the olive oil and the mixed spices with a pinch of salt and keep it aside.
  8. The dough will be doubled in volume after first proving. Punch the dough and release the air and knead it lightly.
  9. Take a lemon sized ball of the dough, flatten it gently using your fingers.
  10. Place a cube of cheese on top of the flattened dough and add a pinch of  chilly flakes.
  11. Bring all the sides of the dough to the top and pinch it well to secure it firmly. Turn it upside down and roll it gently to even out the shape.
  12. Then place the finished ball in the prepared baking tray and repeat the steps to the remaining dough.
  13. Place all the balls with about 2-3 inches of space apart and cover it with a damp cloth and leave it to rest in a warm place for 15 minutes. Do not let for long. This is second proving.
  14. Brush with some egg/ milk wash on top and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  15. Take it out after 10 minutes of baking and brush the spiced oil all over the top and then continue baking for the last 5 minutes.
  16. Let cool on wire rack until warm and soft and then serve....
  • Eggless substitute - Add 1 tbsp of milk powder along with the flour and increase the quantity of milk by 1 tbsp.
Recipe Source: Fondbites Bake Along...

Monday, 13 February 2017

Caramel Popcorn


Ingredients:

1/3 cup popcorn kernels / popping corn
75 gm butter, chopped
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 tbsp golden syrup/ honey
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp oil

Preparation:
  1. Heat oil in a deep large pan and add the popcorn kernels in the oil on low-medium heat. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and allow it to pop.
  2. Once the popcorn starts to pop, shake the pan gently back and forth without removing the lid until all kernels are popped.
  3. When the popping slows down and the kernels are all popped, remove the pan from heat.
  4. Transfer the popcorn to a large heat proof bowl, discarding any unpopped kernels.
  5. Line a tray with baking paper and keep it aside.
  6. To prepare caramel, combine butter, sugar, golden syrup/ honey and vanilla essence in a saucepan over low-medium heat.
  7. Stir without boiling, until sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth for about 5-7 minutes.
  8. Bring mixture to the boil and cook without stirring for about 5 minutes or until light golden at low flame and remove from the flame.
  9. Pour this caramel over the popcorn and stir with a spatula until popcorn is evenly coated with the caramel.
  10. Spread on the prepared tray and allow to cool completely then store in an airtight container...Enjoy !

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Tutti Frutti Ice cream


Ingredients:

2 cups whipping cream, chilled
3/4 tin condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2-3/4 cup tutti frutti

Preparation:
  1. In a large bowl, add the whipping cream and condensed milk and beat using an electric beater until thick and creamy.
  2. Add vanilla extract to this and continue to beat for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Then add the tutti frutti and mix well with a spatula.
  4. Transfer this to a freezer safe container and freeze for 8 hours or overnight...
  5. To serve, keep it out of the freezer for 5 minutes, scoop out and then serve :)

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Prawns/ Chemmeen Kootu Curry


Ingredients:

300-500 gm prawns/ chemmeen, cleaned
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
14-15 shallots, sliced
1 big onion, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped/crushed
1 tbsp ginger, chopped
4 green chillies, slit
1 tbsp kashmiri chilli powder
1/2 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp crushed pepper
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 big tomatoes, chopped
2 cup thin coconut milk
1/2 cup thick coconut milk
1 tsp mustard seeds
3 dried red chillies
1 sprig curry leaves
2 tbsp coconut oil
salt to taste

Preparation:
  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add chopped garlic, ginger and green chillies and saute for a minute.
  2. Add 10 sliced shallots to this and saute for 2 minutes. Add chopped onion and saute well till transparent.
  3. Add cubed potatoes and mix well for a minute.
  4. Add turmeric powder and cleaned prawns and mix well.
  5. Add crushed pepper, coriander powder, kashmiri chilli powder and salt and mix well.
  6. Add garam masala to this and mix well. Add in the chopped tomatoes.
  7. Then add thin coconut milk, mix well and transfer this to a pressure cooker and cook for 1 whistle.
  8. Once the pressure releases, open the cooker and add thick coconut milk and heat for 2 minutes. 
  9. Remove from the flame and transfer to a serving dish.
  10. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add 4 sliced shallots, dried red chillies and curry leaves and fry till brown.
  11. Pour this seasoning over the curry and mix well. Serve hot...
Recipe Source: Magic Oven

Friday, 10 February 2017

Chana Biriyani / White ChickPeas Biriyani / Vella Kadala Biriyani


                For Muslim Food Bloggers group challenge, this month's theme is " Biriyani". As we all know, Biriyani is one of the most popular and delicious rice dish. Even though meat based biriyanis are more common, I have chosen a vegetarian based biriyani using white chickpeas...For this biriyani, rice and masala are cooked separately and then layered and cooked on low flame (Dum).

Ingredients:

For Chana Masala:

3/4 cup chana/ white chickpeas/ vella kadala
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 piece ginger
8 garlic cloves
5-6 green chillies
1 large tomato, chopped
3/4 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp garam masala
1/4 cup thick coconut milk
1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
4 cardamoms
6 cloves
3 small cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil

For Rice:

2 cups basmati rice
3- 3 1/2 cups water
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cardamoms
4 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp ghee
salt

For Garnishing:

1 medium onion, thinly sliced and fried
2 tbsp fried cashew nuts
2 tbsp fried raisins
few chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves

Preparation:

For Preparing Chana Masala:
  1. Soak the chickpeas/ chana in water for 8 hours. Wash and pressure cook it with a pinch of turmeric powder, 1"piece cinnamon, 1 cardamom and 2 cloves adding enough water and salt.
  2. Once the pressure releases, open the cooker and drain the water and reserve it to use while preparing masala.
  3. Grind ginger, garlic and green chillies together to a coarse paste and keep it aside.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a thick bottomed pan and add 3 cardamoms, 6 cloves, 2 piece cinnamon and 2 bay leaves and saute until nice aroma comes out.
  5. Add sliced onion and saute until it turns transparent.
  6. Add ginger-garlic-green chillies paste and saute well until onion turns light brown.
  7. Then add turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and 1 1/2 tsp garam masala and saute for few seconds until the raw smell disappears. Sprinkle little water, if required to prevent them from burning.
  8. Add chopped tomatoes and saute until they turn mushy and oil separates.
  9. Add the cooked chickpeas, coconut milk and 1/2 cup reserved water in which chickpeas is cooked and mix well.
  10. Cook for few minutes until the gravy thickens. Add the chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves and mix well.
  11. Check for salt and add if required and switch off the flame.
For Preparing Rice:
  1. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes. Wash and drain the rice and keep it aside.
  2. Boil the water and keep it aside.
  3. Heat ghee in a thick bottomed panadd cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and sliced onion and saute till transparent.
  4. Add drained rice and saute for 4-5 minutes on medium flame. Add boiling water and salt, cover and cook on low flame till rice is done.
For Layering:
  1. Fry 1 sliced onion, cashew nuts and raisins in oil/ ghee till brown and keep it aside
  2. Take a wide thick bottomed pan and rub it with little ghee and sprinkle little fried onions, cashew nuts, raisins and chopped coriander and mint leaves.
  3. Spread a layer of cooked rice and then add half of the prepared chana masala.
  4. Now add another layer of rice over masala, followed by the chana masala.
  5. Add the remaining rice as a top layer and sprinkle remaining fried onions, raisins, cashew nuts, 1/2 tsp garam masala and chopped coriander leaves on top.
  6. Cover the pan with an aluminium foil and close with a tight lid and cook on low flame for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Switch off the flame and serve hot with raita , pappadum and pickle...
   
   

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Tabbouleh / Parsley Salad with Bulgur


Ingredients:

1/2 cup fine bulgur
1 1/4 cup boiling water
2 cups fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
3/4-1 cup cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup spring onion green, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper (or as needed)

Preparation:
  1. In a bowl, add bulgur and little salt and pour boiling water over it, stir with a fork and keep it covered for 30 minutes.
  2. Then fluff the bulgur with a fork and keep it aside until room temperature. If there is excess water, drain it completely using a sieve.
  3. Transfer the bulgur to a large bowl and add finely chopped fresh parsley, spring onion greens, fresh mint, tomatoes, cucumber, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and freshly ground pepper and toss well until combined.
  4. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Serve at room temperature or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve...

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Strawberry - Elaneer / Tender Coconut Shake


Ingredients:

6-8 strawberries, chopped
1 cup elaneer/ karikku/ tender coconut pulp
2 cups chilled milk
sugar as required

Preparation:
  1. In a blender, add strawberries, tender coconut pulp, chilled milk and sugar and blend well until smooth.
  2. Pour the prepared shake into serving glasses and serve.....

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Njandu Pacha Manga Ularthu / Crab Roast With Raw Mango


Ingredients:

4 medium crabs
2 onions, sliced
1 small tomato, sliced
1 1/2 tsp ginger, sliced
1 tsp garlic, sliced
2 green chillies, slit
1 raw mango/ pacha manga, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 sprig curry leaves
3 tbsp thengakothu/ coconut slices
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 1/4 tsp crushed pepper
1/4 cup thick coconut milk
salt to taste
2-3 tbsp coconut oil

Preparation:
  1. Cut and clean the crab pieces and cook it with 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and salt adding enough water for about 10 minutes. Keep it aside.
  2. Heat a clay pot/ manchatty and add oil. Add fenugreek seeds, garlic, ginger, curry leaves and coconut slices / thengakothu and saute for 2 minutes at medium flame.
  3. Add sliced onions and green chillies and saute well adding little salt.
  4. Add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, coriander powder, chilli powder and 1 tsp crushed pepper and mix well for a minute.
  5. Add mango pieces to this, mix well and cook  it for 1-2 minutes adding 1/4 cup of water.
  6. When it boils, add the cooked crab and mix well. 
  7. Add sliced tomato, mix well and cook covered for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Then add the coconut milk and mix well till the masala is well coated with the crabs. 
  9. Check for salt and add 1/4 tsp crushed pepper, 1 tsp coconut oil and curry leaves and mix well.
  10. Switch off the flame and transfer to a serving plate ...Serve hot...

Monday, 6 February 2017

Muringayila / Drumstick Leaves Bajji


Ingredients:

3 cups muringayila/ drumstick leaves
3/4-1 cup gram flour/ kadalapodi
2-3 tbsp rice flour
1 onion, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger, chopped
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
salt to taste
oil for frying

Preparation:
  1. In a bowl, add cleaned drumstick leaves, chopped onion, green chillies, ginger, chilli powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida, coriander leaves and salt and mix well.
  2. Add gram flour and rice flour to this and mix well to form medium thick paste by adding little water.
  3. Heat oil in a pan, drop little batter using spoon or hand and fry till it turns golden brown in low- medium flame.
  4. Remove it from the oil and drain them on a paper towel....Serve hot with tea :) 

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Banana Walnut Bread


Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup/ 115 gm unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces

Preparation:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degree celcius. Grease a loaf pan with butter or spray with baking spray.
  2. Peel and mash the bananas with a fork and keep it aside (about 1 cup).
  3. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and keep it aside.
  4. Whisk the eggs and vanilla essence together in a bowl and keep it aside.
  5. In another large bowl or in the bowl of electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  6. Then gradually pour the egg mixture into the creamed butter and stir to mix until incorporated.
  7. Add the mashed bananas and mix well.
  8. Add in the flour mixture and mix with a rubber spatula/ wooden spoon until just incorporated.
  9. Fold in the walnuts and then transfer the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for about 50-55 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  11. Cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely... Then slice the bread and serve...
Recipe Source: foodnetwork

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Kuzhalappam


Ingredients:

2 cups rice flour / idiyappam podi
1 cup grated coconut
1 tbsp black sesame seeds
8 shallots
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste
oil for frying

Preparation:
  1. Grind grated coconut, shallots, garlic and cumin seeds together to a fine paste and keep it aside.
  2. Boil 2 cups of water with enough salt in a pan.
  3. Heat a pan and slightly roast the rice flour/ idiyappam podi on low medium flame. Add the ground coconut paste and black sesame seeds and mix well for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the boiling water little by little and mix well using a wooden spoon.
  5. Then transfer the dough on a flat surface and knead to make a smooth dough without lumps.
   
       6. Apply little oil in your palm and divide the dough into small lemon sized balls and roll them using a rolling pin into small circles.


      7. Now roll them between your index finger to make a cylinder shape and seal the ends by pressing them together (or roll around a greased rod or thin rolling pin and press the overlapping edges together). Arrange them on a plate..


        8.Heat oil in a pan and deep fry them till golden colour on medium flame and drain them on a paper towel.
        9. Cool down to room temperature and then store in an air tight container....Enjoy as a tea time snack...

Friday, 3 February 2017

Strawberry Lemonade


Ingredients:

18-20 strawberries
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 cups of cold water
ice cubes as needed

Preparation:
  1. In a saucepan,  bring 1/2 cup water and sugar to a boil over medium heat until sugar dissolves,  about 5 minutes. Remove from the flame and let it cool. 
  2. Wash and chop strawberries into small pieces. Then puree it using a blender adding 1/2 cup of water until smooth.
  3. Strain the strawberry puree to a large bowl/ jug through a strainer and add sugar syrup, lemon juice and remaining cold water and stir well to combine.
  4. Pour into serving glasses and top it with ice cubes and serve chilled...

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Zucchini Thoran


Ingredients:

2 medium zucchini / courgette ( about 2 cups)
1/2 cup grated coconut
1/4-1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 dried red chillies
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp urad dal
1 sprig curry leaves
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil

Preparation:
  1. Peel and chop zucchini into small pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add cumin seeds, urad dal, dried red chillies and curry leaves and mix well.
  3. Add grated coconut, crushed garlic, turmeric powder and chilli powder and mix well for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Then add the chopped zucchini and salt and mix well to coat with the spices.
  5. Cover and cook on low flame for about 8-10 minutes till done, stirring occasionally. Remove from flame and serve hot with rice...
  • You can also prepare this thoran without peeling the skin of zucchini. 

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Chicken Manpasand


Ingredients:

1 chicken ( 1 1/4- 1 1/2 kg), cut into pieces
4 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tbsp garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp ginger, chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 1/2 tbsp kashmiri chilli powder
1/2-1 tsp crushed pepper
5-6 cloves
7 cardamoms
2 piece cinnamon
8 tbsp yoghurt (less sour)
1/4 cup coriander leaves, chopped
1/2 cup oil
salt to taste

Preparation:
  1. Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan and add sliced onions and fry till golden brown in batches and keep it aside.
  2. Reduce the flame and in the same pan, add cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms and fry for 30 seconds.
  3. Add chopped garlic and ginger and saute well till raw smell disappears.
  4. Then add finely chopped onions and saute well till golden brown.
  5. Add cleaned chicken pieces and saute for 5 minutes till all the water dries up.
  6. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt and mix well. Add the crushed pepper and mix well.
  7. Now add 1 cup of water to this and cook covered till done.
  8. In the meantime, grind fried onions with yoghurt to a paste. Add this paste to the cooked chicken , mix well and boil for 5 minutes.
  9. Check for salt and add if required. Add chopped coriander leaves and remove from flame. Serve hot with chapati, naan, ghee rice etc...
Recipe Source: Magic Oven
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