Thursday, 24 December 2015

Eggless Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Though I am late for Christmas..but I thought, I will post some of the cake recipes which I made and will be making for my friends and family in this season.
It is Egg less Pineapple upside down cake..its very easy and yummy to taste, I have'nt followed any particular recipe.  I have made slight variations to my basic vanilla sponge cake to suit pineapple cake and laid the pineapples and baked it.
It tasted yum and with the flavor of pineapple and real bites of crunchy pineapple makes it more flavorful and tasty.
I have used cannned pineapples, but you can use fresh sliced pineapples.
I was lazy to buy fresh ones and slice it. Canned pineapples were with me and it is handy.
They were already sliced. To make it look more appealing and crunchy, have placed some candied cherries in the middle of pineapples...
It can last upto a week in your refrigerator...
I have used the juice which was in the can or if using fresh pineapple you can juice it fresh...

Cake Flour - 2 and 1/2 cups to make cake flour see here,
Baking Powder - 2 teaspoons,
Bi Carbonate of soda - 1 teaspoon,
Salt a pinch,
Sweetened Condensed Milk - 1 can/400 grams,
Water - 1/2 cup,
Pineapple juice - 1/2 cup(fresh or canned),
Pineapple essence or vanilla essence - 2 teaspoons,
Odourless Oil - 1/2 cup,
Pineapple Slices - 8 slices (depends upon your slices),
Cherries - few.

Preheat Oven at 175 degree celcius.
Grease a nine inch cake tin with butter and line with a parchment paper and line the pineapple slices and stud the cherries in the middle of the pineapple slices.
In a large bowl sieve together cake flour, baking powder and bi carbonate of soda and keep aside.
In another bowl mix condensed milk, water and pineapple juice and whisk well until combined.
Add pineapple essence or vanilla essence  and mix.
Finally add oil and mix well to combine.
Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and gently fold to combine and without lumps.
Pour the batter gently on the top of sliced pineapple and bake it in the oven for 40 minutes or till a skewer comes out clean.
Remove from the oven, keep it in the pan for 10 minutes and unmould.
Allow to cool and serve the slice with hot coffee and Enjoyyy!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Poori Palya

When the fellow blogger Madhuri Agarwal of  https://madaboutkitchen did a post on poori palya..I was soo tempted to do one..People from bangalore and mysore like to eat their pooris hot, puffed up with spicy sagu(mixed vegetables in gravy), you can check that here or palya with chutney.
Its a typical morning breakfast with saagu or palya, that is potato and onion curry, the same which is used in masala dosa. 
Unlike in other parts of India Pooris are had with chola, sooji halwa and other subajis..
But it is typical here in karnataka, it is had with spicy saagu or palya with chutney.
My family and me are no different, we love hot puffed pooris with palya or saagu.
the palya is supposed to be mild in spice and a bit spicy chutney.
My daughter loves pooris rolled in palya for having at home for breakfast or for packed lunch.
Though we are not great fans of fried stuff, sometimes its ok to give in for your craving.
So it is mostly brunch when it comes to pooris.
Back in India when I was in college, it  used to be the regular breakfast on sundays.
But I make it only once in six months or so.
I am giving an exact measurement  for pooris, so it puffs up nicely and stays like that for a while.
Also some tips to make perfect puffed, crisp pooris.

For Poori Dough:
Whole Wheat Flour - 1 cup
Salt - 1 tspn,
Water - 1/2 cup,
Oil - 2 teaspoon,
Oil to fry.

For Palya:
Onion - 2 Large, sliced and cut into halves( I have used red onions, but you can use normal onions),
Potato - 4 medium (boiled and skin peeled and coarsely crushed),
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Mustard - 1 teaspoon,
Split Bengal Gram/Chana dal - 1 teaspoon,
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Green Chillies - 1 finely chopped,
Curry Leaves - 10 torn,
Chopped Coriander - 1 teaspoon,

In a bowl add flour, salt and mix.
Measure water and take away two teaspoons  from it.
Make a well in the flour and slowly add water.
Keep mixing the flour with water to make a stiff dough.
Keep kneading it for at least 10 minutes.
Until it becomes a pliable dough.
Rub the oil all over the dough, this is to avoid dough from drying out.
Cover and rest it for half an hour.

In a deep pan add 1 tablespoon of oil and heat.
Add mustard seeds and allow to crackle.
Add chana dal and fry until light brown.
I have skipped chana dal as my family does'nt like it.
Then add chopped green chillies and curry leaves and fry for few seconds.
Add onions and fry until pink.
Add turmeric powder and mix well.
Lower the heat.
Add coarsely crushed potato, salt and mix well.
Switch off the flame, add chopped coriander and mix well and keep aside.

In deep pan heat oil to fry pooris.
There should enough oil, for pooris to be immersed and fried.
From the dough, pinch a small lemon size dough, evenly roll out palm size discs.
Important it should be evenly rolled out for pooris to puff up.
Roll the rest of the dough, keep it covered until fried.
Oil should be lightly smoking when you are ready to put pooris.
Carefully drop the rolled pooris into hot oil, try to immerse down pooris in the oil gently.
When it comes up, scoop oil from sides and pour on poori.
Cook atleast for a minute on each side, until nice brown.
Cook on both sides, scooping oil and pouring on it, until it is brown.
Remove from oil, and drain the extra oil on a kitchen towel.
Serve hot pooris with palya and chutney.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Avalakki Oggaranne/Avalakki Chitranna/Plain Poha

Poha/Flattenned rice is a staple breakfast or snack in Karnataka.  Poha in karnataka is called avalakki and oggaranne means tempering/tadka.  ITs simple,poha tempered with spices.  I love both in my breakfast or as snack with tea or coffee/tea.
Having hot poha is a different bliss.
It is simple, easy and done in jiffy..but tastes awesome. You can have either plain poha like I am posting today or with veggies like onion, tomato, grated carrot, potato or green bell peppers/capsicum.
I love plain more than veggies, with lot of lemon squeezed on it.
With poha I love a hot cup of coffee/kadak adrak ki chai.
I have a weird lot of sides with yogurt sprinkled with salt and roasted cumin powder, with ripe bananas, with spicy pickle or sprinkling lot of finely chopped onion, tomato, chaat masala, coriander,fine sev and green chillies and sometimes with mirchi bajji...are you feeling crazy listening to combinations..but dont me try any of these..its surely tastes awesome..takes humble poha to different level.
I can say it is one of my comfort foods.
My family enjoys it too.

Thick Poha/Flatenned Rice - 2 cups,
Oil - 2 tablespoon,
Mustard Seeds - 1 teaspoon heaped,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Urad  dal/deskinned halved black gram - 2 teaspoons,
Peanuts - 1 Tablespoon,
Green Chillies - 5,
Curry Leaves - 10,
Turmeric - 1 teaspoon,
Sugar - 1 teaspoon,
Lemon Juice - 1 tablespoon,
Chopped Coriander - 1 tablespoon.

Wash poha twice in water and soak the flattened/Beaten Rice, it has to be completely immersed in water.
Check after 15 to 20 minutes of soaking, the rice would have blown up, take care not to over soak and make it much.
Drain water completely from poha by gently squeezing and keep it aside.
In a thick bottom wok heat oil.
Once oil is heated, add mustard seeds and asafoetida.
When the mustard seeds crackle, add peanuts after a minute add urad dal.
Once peanut and dal is evenly roasted/browned, add green chillies and curry leaves.
You can reduce or increase chillies according to your taste/spice.
Fry for 20 seconds and add turmeric powder and mix well.
Reduce heat and add soaked, drained poha.
Gently mix well and allow to heat up.
Add salt and sugar and mix well.
Again adding sugar gives a tinge of sweetness, balancing the spice and tangy taste in the poha.
You can as well skip if you dont want to.
Remove from heat and wait for couple of minutes, to cool a bit.
Add chopped coriander and lemon juice and mix well.
Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee/tea
Do sure try any of the above sides to go with poha.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Banana Mango Rawa Kesari/Kesaribhath/Sheera/Halwa

This is one exotic, yum, sinfully tasty halwa which is a must try during mango season.
To be honest my family and me are not sweet tooth fact my kids hate sweets loaded with sugar and ghee....but I have extended family and friends who are extremely sweet tooth and love Indian traditional sweets.
This combination of banana and mango happened accidentally to me..not that I haven't tried fruits kesari before, but this time when I invited few friends for dinner for a pooja, I was making a seven course meal, and people I had invited half of them were sweet tooth and half not at all.
So wanted to make something simple and exotic, loved by both.
So thought of making making basic rawa kesari, but with a twist or different.
Mangoes on the table caught my eye.
So decided to make mango rawa kesari.
Then again thought of adding pineapple  to add a bit of sourness to beat the sweet.
But I had run out of pineapple,  but saw too ripened bananas.
They were good for kesari but not for consuming as a fruit.
So thought of matching both in kesari.
But my combination was hit that day, people who hate sweets also loved it and enjoyed.
So sharing the recipe with you.

Ghee - 1/2 to 3/4th cup,
Broken cashew - 1 tablespoon,
Fine Rawa/Sooji/Semolina - 1 cup,
Mango Puree - 1 cup,
Bananas - 3 medium ripened and chopped finely,
Saffron - few strands,
Cardamom Powder - 1 teaspoon.

Sugar - 2 cups/reduce to 1 and 1/2 cup if you prefer less sweet,
Water - 2 cups.

In a vessel add water, mango puree, sugar and banana and keep it on medium flame to boil.
At the same time in a thick kadai, add ghee and heat.
Once ghee is medium hot add cashew and rawa together and start frying in low medium heat.
Roast it evenly until light brown and by this time cashew would also have been roasted in the heat evenly.
This is a important step in making a perfect kesari, by the time you roast semolina, the water also should start to boil, the timing to be perfect.
Add saffron to water mixture and boil for a minute.
Pour the water, banana and mango mixture to roasted rawa and lower the heat completely.
Cover the kadai and cook for 4-5 minutes.
Stir once in between.
After almost all the water is observed switch off the heat and keep it covered for few more minutes.
Finally add cardamom powder and serve warm.

You can omit saffron if you don't have.
You can increase or decrease the quantity of sugar and ghee according to your taste.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Basic Eggless Sponge Cake

I have always loved basic sponge cake since my childhood...It has lot of nice memories from my childhood days with friends.
During our summer break, friends used to give a surprise visit to my place in the evenings, it was something like a written agreement, that we would spend our evenings chatting and laughing loud with these sponge cake, sev, crisps and fruit juices.  Those were the days, I still miss.
Those evenings I can never forget, there was something soo special, even today I cherish and relish.
So whenever I thought of baking a sponge cake, I was looking for a perfect sponge cake, which would take me to those lovely nostalgic days.
Tried a lot of recipes, but never happy, I wanted a stronger real vanilla flavour in my cake.
So tried this recipe from a blog,which I was really happy about and took me to those  days.
I have made some changes to the original recipe, but you can click here for the original recipe.
I have replaced butter with oil to get lighter and fluffier cakes, but you can add same quantity of melted butter.
Adding butter makes cake denser.
I haven't added any sugar to the cake, but you can reduce the condensed milk to 300 grams and add 2-3 tablespoons of sugar.

Cake Flour  - 2 and 1/2 cups
Baking Powder - 2 teaspoons,
Bi Carbonate  of Soda - 1 teaspoon,
Salt - a pinch,
Sweetened Condensed milk - 1 tin(397 grams),
Water - 1 cup,
Vinegar - 2 tablespoons,
Pure Vanilla extract - 2 tablespoons,
Odourless Oil - 1/2 cup.

Pre-heat oven at 175 degree celcius.
Grease a nine inch cake tin with butter and line with a parchment paper and keep aside.
In a bowl sieve cake flour, baking powder, bi carbonate of soda and salt together and keep aside.
In a another bowl, add water and condensed milk and mix well.
Add vanilla essence and oil and mix well.
To this wet ingredients, add sieved flour mix in parts and mix gently.
Take care not to over mix.
Pour the batter into the greased tin and bake for 35- 40 minutes.
Again each oven differs, so keep an eye and check after 25 minutes.
Until a skewer comes clean when inserted.
Remove from oven, and let the cake be in tin for 10 more minutes.
Remove the cake on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Slice it and enjoy with your tea or coffee!!!!

To make cake flour, take a cup of plain flour, take two tablespoons of plain flour from the cup and replace it with 2 tablespoons of corn starch and sieve.
This  is  the cake flour.
Cake Flour will make cakes fluffier and lighter than just plain flour cakes.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Fresh Green Peas Rawa Idly

I have already posted rawa idly/semolina steamed cakes..but a simple and humble addition of a sweet ingredient called fresh shelled green peas...makes the rawa idly more enjoyable.
I always try to include fresh green vegetable in our food..I personally love all fresh green vegetables including bitter gourd but you know kids not very fond of vegetables in their food except for few.
So we moms always try novel ways to include veggies in their diet to make it interesting and colorful, entice them to eat their food and enjoy it with vegetables.
My son does'nt eat semolina in any form, but green peas is one of his favourite vegetable.
Tried rawa idlies with fresh green peas, it tasted yum and my family enjoyed it with mint coconut chutney and fresh home made ghee.
Now coming to the reciepe, its very simple with the same ingredients but with an addition of fresh green peas.

Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Asafoetida - a pinch
Mustard Seeds - 1 and 1/2 teaspoon,
Chana Dal  - 2 teaspoons,
Broken Cashew - 1 tablespoon,
Green Chillies finely choppped - 1 teaspoon,
White medium rawa/Semolina - 1 cup,
Coriander leaves - 2 tablespoons finely chopped,
Fresh Green Peas - 3/4 cup, shelled,
Sour yogurt - 1 and 1/4 cups,
Hot Water - 2 tablespoons,
Bi carbonate of soda - 1/2 teaspoon.

Shelve the peas, and grind it to coarse paste in food processor/mixer without water and keep aside.
In a thick bottom kadai/pan heat oil.
Add mustard seeds and asafoetida. When mustard crackles add broken cashews and fry for a minute and then add green chillies and curry leaves and fry.
Add semolina and fry in medium low flame, until the rawa is fried well and emits nice roasted aroma.
Take care rawa should not be browned.
It should be white but roasted well.
Switch off the flame and remove from heat.
Add salt and chopped coriander and mix well.
Allow to cool.
When it is warm mix the ground pea mixture and mix well.
Grease the idly plate with oil and steamer to boil with water.
When you keep plates, the steamer should be steaming hot for perfect rawa idlis.
Once completely cooled, add yogurt and hot water and mix well.
The batter should be like normal idly batter consistency.
Just before pouring the batter to plate, add soda and a teaspoon of hot water on the soda and mix well in the batter.
In a minute you see the batter rising to almost double.
Now pour this batter to idly plate and place in the hot steamer.
Allow to steam cook for 12-15 minutes.
When it is completely cooked, if a skewer poked, comes out clean.
Then remove from heat and rest for couple of minutes and demould the idlies.
Serve with your choice of chutney and enjoy!!!!!

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Eggless Tutti Fruitti Cake

To be honest I am not a big fan of tutti frutti cake..I like tutti frutti only in Bangalore-Mysore bakery style dil pasand.  But when, one of my friend invited for unplanned ladies lunch, then I wanted to take something with me to her lunch party.
Whenever I go for lunch or dinner to a friends place, I love to carry an eggless home baked cake for them.
All my friends love my bakes.
So when I searched my pantry I found this tutti frutti lying in the fridge for very long now. This turri frutti I got from one of the Indian stores here in London..they are not big pieces like what we get in India..but very tiny pieces..I am not very happy about, as you don't feel that big bite in your mouth..but I have to make do with these, when I run out my stock brought from India..Again even turri fruitti were not generous thought of adding other nuts like cashew and almond.
Then I thought of adding only tutti frutti  and broken cashew in the cake and to sprinkle generously sprinkle chopped almonds on top. Didn't add any raisins or other dry fruits.
Now again I wanted a dense cake so adding butter instead of oil.
Interestingly I had read somewhere, while surfing the blogs, that frothing up the yogurt with bi carbonate of soda and baking powder and then mixing the flour, makes the cake fluffier and gives nice texture to the cake.
So tried that method this time and was very happy with the results.
So lets bake a tutti fruitti cake!!!!!!

Plain Flour/Maida - 1 and 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon,
Granulated Sugar - 1 cup,
Sour Yogurt - 1 cup,
Baking Powder - 1 and 1/2 teaspoon,
Bi Carbonate Soda - 1/2 teaspoon,
Melted butter - 1/2 cup,
Vanilla essence - 1 teaspoon,
Salt a pinch.
Tutti frutti - 3/4 cup(but I had a little less than 1/2 cup)
Broken Cashew - 1/2 cup,
Chopped Almonds - 3/4 cup.

Mix tutti frutti and broken cashew and add 1 teaspoon of plain flour to this mix and mix it well.
This is to ensure that the nuts don't sink to bottom while baking.
Separately dust chopped almonds with plain flour and keep aside.
Grease baking tray with butter or oil and line with parchment paper and keep aside.
Mean while preheat the oven at 170 degree celcius.
First mix yogurt and sugar and whisk well to make a smooth consistency.
Then add bi carbonate of soda and baking powder, whisk well and set aside for few minutes to froth'n up.
Meanwhile sieve plain flour to avoid  lumps.
Once the yogurt froths up to double quantity, add salt, vanilla essence and butter.
Gently mix, so the air bubbles formed, will not break.
Add the plain flour and gently fold.
Take care not to over mix otherwise the cake will sink and very become very dense,
Gently fold tutti frutti mix to the batter.
Pour the batter to the greased baking tin.
Generously sprinkle chopped almond on top and place it in the preheated oven to bake for 30-40 minutes..depending on your oven, mine took 45 minutes.
So keep an eye and check after 30 minutes.
A Skewer inserted should come out clean.
Take it out of the oven and keep in the pan for ten minutes.
Invert it on a wire rack and cool it completely.
Cut into desired  shapes.
Enjoy with tea or coffee!!!!!!!

If you dont want denser cake or  dont want to add butter, then you can add oil for lighter cake.
It would be 1/2 cup of odourless/flavourless oil.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Dill Leaves/Sopssige/Sabbakki Soppu Kootu

Dill leave are very aromatic greens..with strong flavour and high nutrient value..
Great for nursing mothers...but you need no reason to eat  this leafy green vegetable..
It can used in almost all of your daily in sambhar, rasam, kootu, sabji and so in rottis and dals as well..
Though this is used as herb in west for salads and soups to increase the flavour.
Kootus are my favourite South Indian gravies.
This particular kootu what I am writing today is very flavourful, spicy and easy to make.
This goes very well with rice and as side dish for chapathi.
I and my husband are ardent fans of dill leaves in any form.
Dill leaves can be used even in chana dal masala vada to increase the taste and flavour.
I have used peanuts in the kootu to give the crunch, but you can use any beans of your choice, like soaked and cooked kala chana or hyacinth beans in season or tuvar beans and so on..
This kootu needs no tempering or tamarind.

Dill Leaves - 2 large bunches,
Toor dal/Tuvar dal/togari bele/tuvaram paruppu - 1 large cup,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon,
Peanuts - 1 cup,
Jaggery/Sugar - 1/2 teaspoon,

Grind to paste:
Coconut - 1 heaped cup,
Mustard seeds - 1 tablespoon,
Rice - 1 teaspoon,
Coriander - 1 teaspoon,
Red Chillies - 10-12,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch.

Clean dill leaves, pick only the leaves with tender stem.
Clean them and wash well, so no sand particles are in it.
Chop them finely, and cook with very little water, until it wilts.
Pressure cook the dal with turmeric in water, in one container and peanuts with little water and little salt in another container at the same time. 
Or if you cannot do that, then separately cook them until dal is well cooked and peanuts completely cooked, but holds shape intact.
Grind the ingredients under the grinding table, with water to a smooth paste.
Once dill leaves wilts, add ground paste, salt and jaggery/sugar and bring it to boil.
Boil well for 4-5 minutes until raw smell goes and nice aroma eminates from the boiling mixture.
Finally add the dal and peanuts and mix well and remove from heat.
Serve hot with rice or chapathi and enjoy.

You can reduce the quantity of chillies according to your spice taste.
You can skip sugar or jaggery if you don,t like, but it blends well with kootu.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Menthya Hittu or Metkut

Me and my hubby are ardent fans of all kinds of chutney powders, which go with hot steam rice.
Sometimes we get very bored of our regular rice, roti, sabji, rasam, sambhar etc...but we cannot live without on those days, we simply love to eat our mix hot steam rice with ghee or oil and dry chutney powder and enjoy. 
One of those dry mix powder is menthya hittu or metkut...menthya/vendiyam means fenugreek seeds....
It is a very flavourful mix of lentils and mildly spiced with little addition of fenugreek seeds.
It mildly tastes bitter,  but it is enjoyable, when mixed with hot rice and ghee.
Rejuvenates your taste buds and it is, trust me comfort soul food.
It has a shelf life of more than  months...can be stored in refrigerator for upto six months.

Chickpea dal/Chana dal - 1 small heaped cup,
Urad Dal - 1/2 small cup,
Whole Wheat/Flour - 1 and 1/2 tablespoons,
Rice - 1 and 1/2 tablespoons,
Cumin seeds - 1 and 1/2 tablespoons,
Coriander seeds - 3/4 tablespoon,
Red Chillies - 2,
Fenugreek Seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon,
Dry Ginger Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - 1 teaspoon.

Except salt, turmeric and dry ginger powder, dry roast rest of the ingredients separately.
Dals to be roasted until golden brown.
Once all the ingredients are roasted, mix everything together.
Allow to cool.
To this cooled ingredients, add salt, turmeric and dry ginger powder and grind to fine powder.
Store in air tight container.
Mix with hot rice and ghee/oil and enjoy.

Dry roast means, frying or roasting without oil.
Take care not to burn any ingredient while roasting, else the end product will be very bitter.
So roast on medium low flame.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Bangalore Style Stuffed Mirchi

Mirchi/Chilly Bajjis/Pakodas are perfect match on a rainy or cold evening with a cuppa.
But this time when it was cloudy outside, I was feeling a bit low because, I was just remembering my days in Bangalore, When we used go out for shopping in the evening, and suddenly it used to start drizzling..we used run for the shade...but some where from near by, the aroma of hot fried pakodas would drag us to  the shop.
This one place we would never miss to visit when we were nearby...was our hot bajji spot...
He used make whole  green bell pepper(green Capsicum) pakodas...once fried cut hot pakodas into quarters and sprinkle generously chopped onion, grated carrot, chopped coriander top it with red chilly powder and a squeeze of lemon...mouth watering..this would continue to rest of bajjis/pakodas like raw bananas, baby corn, mirchis and so on...We would stuff ourselves and return home and skip our dinner.
The clouds were supporting my mood today..ready to pour  from sky and my eyes...all those days came flashing in front of my eyes..I just don't know how many evenings we cousins spent shopping and enjoying these foods..Wish I could go back again of all worries and responsibilities..I know it almost near to  impossible..but anyway..I simply craved for that stuffed what next?..went into the kitchen and looked into my fridge..I was lucky to find the chillies to make pakodas..being sunday, husband and kids having a nap after thought of surprising them, when they wake up..
Also made some green chutney to go with..since my lil one doesnt eat spicy food, so thought of making some potato bajjis for her..Once done and the family came down for it is the stuffed mirchi bajji with hot coffee..we all enjoyed a lot..needless to say skipped lunch..but it surely took me to good old days for few hours...hah..sigh..

Mirchis/Chillies - 10-12,
Chickpea/Besan Flour - 2 cups,
Rice Flour - 1/2 cup,
Red chilly Powder - 2 teaspoons( I used mildly spiced),
Sodium Bi  Carbonate - 1/2 teaspon,
Oil - 1 tablespoon,(do not heat, it is just raw oil).
Oil to deep fry pakodas

For Stuffing:
Onion - 1 large chopped,
Carrot - 1 large grated,
Coriander Leaves chopped - 3 tablespoon,
Red Chilly powder - 1 teaspoon,
Lemon juice - juice of 1 large lemon.

In a kadai keep oil to heat.
Slit the chilies and desseed it, if you find it very spicy.
Mix chickpea flour, salt, red chilly power, rice flour, soda and mix well.
Slowly add water to make a smooth, medium thick, lump less batter.
The chillys should hold the battter, not flow away, when to put into hot oil.
So I have said slightly thicker batter.
Add one tablespoon of oil  to the batter(dont need to heat) and mix well.
When the Oil in the kadai is medium hot, 
Dip chillys in batter and deep fry evenly to golden brown.
Remove and drain excess oil on a kitchen towel.
Meanwhile, mix onions, grated carrot, coriander leaves and keep aside.
Once the mirchi pakodas are fried, make a little larger slit in the middle of the pakodas.
Stuff generously the stuffing mixture, sprinkle salt, red chilly powder and squeeze of lemon juice.
Serve Immediately with  green chutney and enjoy.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Banana Milk Shake

Yet another basic milkshake recipe..when I first made a was banana milkshake..
I remember reading in a local magazine...then I wanted to try it.
I soo wanted to try  because we had got our new fridge...I wanted to chill the milkshake and drink it.
The recipe  called for only few basic banana, sugar, milk, fresh cream or malai and lemon.
At First I was wondering why ? lemon...later I found out to stop the discolouration of the bananas.
Through the process making it for many years..there was many changes to make it  healthy.
I omitted fresh cream, used semi skimmed milk, instead of sugar..used honey..sometimes added more bananas...added maple syrup..flax seeds powder and so on..
Add nuts like almond powder and add vanilla essence...
But whatever even today I enjoy and love it the same way I did the first time.
It is a compulsory drink I have after my breakfast on saturdays in summers.

Banana - 3 large,
Chilled Milk - 250 ml,
Sugar/Honey/Maple Syrup - 1 Tablespoon,
Flax Seeds Powder - 1/4 teaspoon,
Vanilla Essence - 1/4 teaspoon,
Lemon Juice - 1 tablespoon.

Method : 
Blend all the ingredients, in a blender, to smooth frothy liquid and pour it to glasses add ice cubes and serve.
If you cannot have any kind of sweetener, add one extra banana while blending.
If you want to add oats, add 1 tablespoon powdered and soaked oats.
You can also add almond powdered to it

Raw Mango Thokku

It is my atte's(my father's younger sister) signature dish.
In my childwood days, summers would mean, raining tender mangoes, big omelette variety mangoes and to ripe mangoes in our backyard.
It would start with tender mangoes/baby mangoes pickling in jaadis/chettis.
The aroma of that raw mangoes would fill the house.
We would steal couple of those, break it by keeping them in door joints.
Then add salt and chilly powder and enjoy it.
Then while pickling big cut mangoes, it was to save few of them and make this thokku/Chutney.
We used to love this chutney with dosa, idly and with hot steamed rice.
This time when I went for Indian grocery shopping, saw those big raw mangoes, picked it up.
The first thing after I came back called up my aunt and took the recipe.

Big Raw Mango - 3 quite sour(when I grated I got 750 grams of grated mango),
Oil- 150 grams,
Mustard - 1 tablespoon,
Curry Leaves - 20 leaves,
Whole Red Chillies - 10,
Turmeric - 1 teaspoon,
Fenugreek Seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Red Chilly - 200 grams Powdered,
Asafoetida - 10 grams,
Sugar/Jaggery - 1 and 1/2 tabelespoon.

Dry roast fenugreek seeds/methi seeds until nice brown.
Take care not to burn, or else it turns bitter.
Powder and keep aside.
In a kadai, add oil and heat it.
Add mustard seeds, when it crackles, add asafoetida, curry leaves and red chillies.
Add grated mango and fry until it soft,
Add turmeric, salt, red chilly powder and fenugreek seeds and mix well.
Cook for five more minutes.
Remove from heat, cool until it warm.
Add sugar or grated jaggery and mix well.
Allow to cool well and store in air tight jars.

Papaya MilkShake

One more Summer cool drink.
In summers you always want to drink something cool.
It may be from simple lemonade to any other fresh fruit juice or cool cool milk shakes.
I like milkshakes after my light breakfast in the morning or in between breakfast and lunch.
It keeps you cool and healthy for long, you don't need to munch on any high calorie snacks.
If you add oats, skimmed milk, add less sugar/no sugar or replace with honey..makes a healthy drink and filling too.

Papaya - ripe 1 small size or say 1 medium sized bowl heaped
Milk - Chilled 2 cups
Sugar/Honey - 1 tablespoon or less(optional),
Lemon - 1 tablespoon.
Ice cubes -few.

In a blender add all the ingredients and blend well.
Pour in glasses, add more ice cubes and serve.

I have used semi skimmed milk, you can use skimmed milk or whole fat milk.
Adding lemon gives a nice zing to the milkshake.
You can oats powder or soaked oats.
You can skip honey/sugar or skip its optional.
You can flax seeds powder, almond powdered or ground to make it healthy.
I haven't added ice cubes as my kids and hubby cant have ice.

Saffron Almond/Badam Milk

It is one of my favourite cool drink during summers,
Its favourite and common in all households in India.
Drink it hot or cold, it always relishes you.
It is very healthy to all ages, be it kids or grown ups.
I love this drink during summer nights after my food.
Adding a pinch of nutmeg powder, adds more spice to  the milk but also get a good night sleep.
Nutmeg is said to be best medicine for insomnia/sleeplessness.
Homemade fresh and all the goodness of milk, almonds and a pinch of dry ginger powder and a pinch of nutmeg powder.
Saffron not only gives unique yellow color and flavour, also saffron is good skin lightning.
Cardamom gives that needed nice aroma for the drink.

Milk - 2 cups,
Almond - 10-12,
Sugar - 1 tablespoon
Honey - 1 tablespoon,
Saffron few strands,
Nutmeg Powder - a pinch,
Dry Ginger Powder - a pinch,
Cardamom Powder - 1/4 teaspoon,
Pistachio - chopped to garnish.

Soak almond in warm water for 4-6 hours or overnight,
Then remove skin, save a couple to garnish and grind rest to smooth paste with milk.
Soak saffron in warm milk, again save one or two strands to garnish.
Now bring milk to boil, once it gets a boil add ground paste of almond.
Cook for a minute, add sugar/honey(optional).
Remove from heat.
Add nutmeg powder, dry ginger powder and cardamom powder.
If you  want to serve chilled cool it well, and refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
Then remove from fridge and serve with chopped almonds, pistachios and saffron strands.
If you want to serve it hot, serve it immediately garnished with chopped almonds, pistachios and saffron strands.

Adding sugar or honey is completely optional.
I have used semi skimmed milk, you can also use skimmed or whole fat milk, choice is yours.

Masala Akki Rotti/Masala Rice Flour Rottis

One more rice flour rottis with veggies like onions and grated carrot.
You can add veggies of your choice, today I am adding only classic two veggies for  masala  rotti is chopped onion and grated carrot.
In this rotti, I feel its tastes good even without coconut, its completely optional to add or not add coconut, as I feel it becomes very heavy.

Rice Flour - 2 cups,
Cumin Seeds/Jeera - 1tablespoon,
Sugar - 1  teaspoon,
Onion -  1 largefinely chopped,
Carrots -  1/2 cup grated,
Asafoetida -  1 large pinch,
Coriander - 2  tablespoon finely chopped,
Oil to cook.

Other than water and oil, mix rest of the ingredients well.
Slowly add water to make a stiff dough.
On a non stick  pan, add few drops of oil and spread all over the pan.
Take a tennis ball size dough and spread evenly on tawa and out it on medium flame.
Cook it on a medium flame, covered.
Once the bottom is crisp and cooked, flip/turn over and cook for few more minutes.
Remove from pan, serve it with chutney, ghee or butter.

To know  the tips and dill  leaves rotti click here.
For hyacinth beans rotti/Avarekaalu rotti click here

Dill Leaves Rice Flour Rotti/Sabbisige Soppu Akki Rotti

Being born and brought up in Mysore, I love distinct Mysore cuisine.
Some are very integral food of Mysore Cuisine, one of them is akki rotti or simply rice flour rottis.
It is eaten as breakfast, with chutney and home made fresh ghee.
Yum Yum..cant resist. To finish with hot cup of filter coffee....aaahhh nostalgic.
Waking up for these are a bliss.
Making this rottis are very simple, the base dough is of fine rice flour, cumin seeds asafoetida, generous amount of grated fresh coconut, finely chopped green chillies, chopped coriander leaves,salt and a dash of sugar.  That's  it.
Now you can add veggies of your choice like onion, grated carrot, cucumber, radish, potato, chow chow and so can also add leafy green veggies like dill leaves(sabbisige soppu), like I am doing today or Fenugreek leaves(menthya soppu).
You can add any one of these veggies or combination of veggies, to make it healthy.
It is one of the best breakfast recipes, good for a weekday and lunch boxes and weekend relaxing brunch.
You can add more veggies and skip coconut, spread on a non stick pan with couple of drops  of oil and spread and cook, to make a healthier version.
Today I am making rottis on a flat non stick pan, but you make it on a aluminium kadai which is more yumm, but requires a little more oil, for that you can refer here.
Also for Hyacinth Bean(avarekaalu/Mochakottai) Akki  Rotti refer here.

Rice Flour - 2 cups,
Cumin Seeds/Jeera - 2 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - 1/4 teaspoon,
Sugar -1 teaspoon,
Green Chillies - 6-7 finely chopped,
Fresh Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup(optional),
Dill Leaves - 1 cup cleaned, washed and finely chopped,
Water as required,
Oil to cook.

Except oil and water mix rest of the dry ingredients well.
Slowly add water(normal tap water), and make a medium thick dough, easy to make balls and spread like rottis.
But take care if is loose dough, you will not  be able to  spread it, and will not be crisp, when you cook.
Spread few drops of oil on a non stick pan and wipe it well on the pan.
Now take a tennis ball size dough in your hand, spread on the pan, slowly pressing and working on it to spread a even size rotti.
It is should be neither too thin or thick, it should be medium thick and evenly spread to cook evenly and crisp equally.
Put it on medium flame and cover and cook, once it turns crisp and brown on the bottom side, flip it and cook in low flame for few more minutes.
Remove from heat and serve hot with coconut chutney and fresh ghee or butter.

If you find  the dough is very stiff, while spreading, then wet your hands with water and work on it.
Green Chillies is according to your taste and spice you prefer, you can also completely skip, if you want to.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Fresh Red Grape Juice

Start of Spring-Summer,  makes you crave for something cool coo1!!!!
Time to have and relish some fruit juices...exotic fruits like mango, grapes, pineapple and so on..
Sometimes it is good to mix two or three fruit juices and enjoy!!!!
My kids love fresh fruit juice, Me too prefer fresh juice made at home, rather than giving the store bought carton ones, though it says fresh but it is not fresh and loaded with sugar.
So I always try to make fresh fruit juice at home, replace sugar with honey, or no sugar at all if the fruit itself is very sweet.
We enjoy in the afternoon or after our brunch, usually after our evening snack, like sandwiches with spicy chutneys and cool fresh fruit juice..aaahhh!!! heaven, reminds me of my college days and Bangalore days, when after a hot day, drizzle of rain in the evening, the smell of the mud, the scent of jasmine in the breeze and hot pakodas and sandwich with cool cool juice or even sugarcane juice...aaawww!!!!!nostalgia!!!!!!

Red Seedless Grapes - 500 grams washed and drained,
Lemon Juice - 1 teaspoon,
Honey or Sugar - 1 teaspoon,(optional),
Chilled water - 250 ml,
Salt - a pinch
Sprigs of mint to garnish.

Pick grapes from the bunch and separate from the sticks.
Wash and Clean the grapes well and drain water completely.
Put the cleaned grapes, salt, honey/sugar in the blender.
Blend it to smooth paste, about 5-6 minutes.
Adding sugar is completely optional, if  the grapes are sweet than you skip honey or sugar.
Now after blending,  you can strain the juice, to keep the juice free of grape skin, to keep clear juice only.
Or you can just add water and ice to the blended paste and blend for couple of minutes to form the frothy texture .
Serve in glasses with garnishing of mint and more ice.
Here I haven't added ice, as my family is allergic to ice.
Again I have added lemon juice, to break the too sweet grapes juice with a little tangy lemon and salt to break the too sweetness of grapes.
Its up to you alter any of these.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Vellarai Keerai/Brahmi Leaves/Pennywort Leaves Pepper Kuzhambu

This is an amazing herb grown in the backyard, it is called by different names..In kannada as ondelaga, in tamil vallarai keerai, in English Pennywort, In Ayurveda as Brahmi.
Its a wonderful memory booster, when we were little, a onth before exams, we used to pluck five or six of these leaves from our backyard garden, wash it and chew it to increase our memory.
Its not just because its has amazing medicinal values, but also it tastes yum, in chutney, sambhar or tambuli.
We include this tasty leafy once every week in our food, in different ways.
Today I am sharing a very tasty pepper kuzhambu made from these leaves.
Its easy, tasty and healthy, so what more reasons you want to include in your diet.

Pennywort Leaves - 2 cups loosely packed,
The leaves are picked and washed before and kept ready,
Chanadal - 3/4 teaspoon,
Uraddal - 1/2 teaspoon,
Coriander Seeds - 1 and 1/2 teaspoons,
Pepper Corns - 1 teaspoon, 
Red Chillies - 2,
Sesame Oil - 1and 1/2 teaspoon,
Tamarind Paste - 2 teaspoons,
Jaggery - 1/2 teaspoon,
Curry Leaves - 1/2 cup loosely packed,

To Temper:
Sesame Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Mustard - 1 teaspoon,
Curry Leaves - 4 to 5 torn.

In a kadai heat 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil and add chanadal, uraddal, coriander seeds, red chillies and pepper corn and fry until dals, turn golden.
Add the curry leaves and pennywort leaves and fry, until leaves wilt.
Remove from heat, and cool.
Grind it with tamarind paste and water to a smooth paste.
In the same kadai, heat 1 teaspoon of sesame oil.
Add mustard, when it crackles add, curry leaves.
After few seconds add ground paste, salt and jaggery and boil.
Once it boils, check the consistency, it should be medium thick consistency.
Adjust water accordingly.
Enjoy with hot steaming rice with a drop of more sesame oil.

I would suggest to use sesame oil  only for the distinct flavour.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Raw Kootu/Pachai Kootu/Hasi Kootu

Raw/Hasi/Pachai kootu simply means, all the ingredients are ground raw, without roasting.
It does'nt need tempering.
It is of medium thick consistency.
Vegetables, you can add in combination of beans and peas,
Or dhill leaves and kala chana, moutain spinach(chakotha) with kala chana or hyacinth bean.
It tastes yum, with hot steamed rice or chapathi with dollop ghee.

Chow Chow - 3 medium, skin peeled and cut into medium cubes,
Jaggery - 1/2 teaspoon,
Tuar/Toor/Pigeon Dal - 1cup
Peanuts - 1/2 cup,
Turmeric - a large pinch,

To Grind:
Mustard - 1 tablespoon,
Coriander Seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup,
Red Chillies - 8,
Raw Rice - 1 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch.

Pressure cook dal with turmeric and keep aside.
Cook Peanuts with salt ad water, until just done.
Separately cook chow chow with very little water, until just done.
Grind the ingredients under the grinding table with water, to a smooth paste.
In a thick bottom vessel, mix cooked vegetables, cooked dal, peanuts and ground paste.
Add salt and jaggery.
Bring it to boil on the flame in medium heat.
Boil for five minutes, until the raw smell goes.
Remove from heat, and serve with hot, steamed rice or chapathi.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Potato Saagu

Last week I had posted Rawa idlys, which is instant, which needs no soaking or fermenting of the batter.
It can be done within half hour and enjoyed.
The idlys are just like restaurant style, puffs up nicely and very tasty.
Today I am going to post Potato Saagu to go with rawa idlys.
This saagu is very easy and can be done along with rawa idlys, in the same time.
It does not  need any grinding or there is any big list of ingredients.
This can also be enjoyed with normal fermented idlys, Dosa, chapathis and best with hot puris.

Potato - 3 medium,
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Mustard - 1 teaspoon,
Green Chillies - 2 chopped finely,
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig,
Onion - 1 large chopped,
Tomatoes - 2 medium chopped,
Turmeric - 1/4 teaspoon,
Water - 1 cup,
Red Chilly Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Coriander - 1 tablespoon Chopped for garnish.

Pressure cook Potatoes for 3 whistles with enough water and salt.
Once the pressure cools off, take the potatoes and peel the skin and mash into medium size chunks and keep aside.
In a deep bottom pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds.
When mustard crackles, add green chillies and curry leaves, fry for a minute.
Add chopped onions and fry until pink.
Add chopped tomatoes and fry until mushy.
Add salt, turmeric and red chilly powder and fry for a minute.
Add mashed potatoes and mix well for a minute.
Add 1 cup water.
Allow to boil.
Add garam masala powder, mix well.
Lower the heat, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and garnish with chopped coriander.
The saagu should be of medium consistency.
If the saagu is thick, adjust by adding water.
Enjoy with idly, dosa, chapathi or hot puris.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Rawa Idly

Why haven't I posted in my blog for sooo long.....first of all sorry for that, but I have a very valid reason for that,  after pongal celebrations, immediately went to India for my dad's third year death anniversary..ya it is three years now, since he left us...very hard..not even a single day goes without remembering him.
My culinary skills runs in my veins because of him.  What an excellent cook he was..knowledge of ingredients was tremendous.
Anyways that is coming to today's post, is a simple rawa idly or semolina idly.
Everyday Friday evening, I cook something special or different to say weekend has started.
So this friday it was Rawa idly.
It is my hubby's favourite idlis, he loves to savour it hot, with chutney,home made ghee and potato saagu.
Its very simple recipe, have to take care of certain little things, then you can savour fluffy rawa idlis.

Oil - 1 tablespoon
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Mustard Seeds - 1 and 1/2 teaspoon
Chana Dal - 2 teaspoons,
Broken Cashew - 1 tablespoon,
Green Chillies - Finely chopped 1 teaspoon,
Curry Leaves - 1 tblespoon tor into small pieces,
White Medium Rawa/Semolina - 1 cup,
Coriander - 2 tablespoon finely chopped,

A little sour yogurt - 1 and 1/2 cups or as required,
Bi Carbonate of Soda - 1 teaspoon.

In a wide skillet, heat oil.
Then add asafoetida and mustard.
When mustard crackles, add chana dal and fry for a minute.
Then add cashews and fry until dal and cashew are browned evenly.
Then add green chillies and curry leaves and fry for a couple of seconds.
Reduce the heat to medium, if it is in high heat.
Then add semolina, and fry for 4-5 minutes, until nice roasted aroma of semolina comes and semolina is evenly roasted.
Switch off flame and remove from heat.
Add coriander leaves and fry for a minute.
Completely cool the semolina mixture.
Grease idly moulds and keep the steamer ready for steaming.

Once the mixture is cooled, slowly add yogurt to form idly batter consistency.
Add salt and mix well.
Make sure, the idly steamer is steaming hot.
Just before pouring the batter into moulds add soda and mix very well.
Immediately pour batter to greased moulds and steam for 10-12 minutes.
When Poked with a fork, the fork should come clean, it means the idlies are done.
Serve it with chutney, home made ghee and if you wish, like me, with potato saagu.

The Rawa has to be medium white, for white rawa idlies.
The yogurt has to be a little sour, otherwise the idlies turn yellow on cooking.
Yogurt has to be in room temperature, if it is too cold, then it will not act with soda and make fluffy idlies and idlies will sink flat.
If your yogurt, you feel is chill, then add 1 or 2 tablespoons of hot water and mix.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Chakkarai Pongal/Gud Pongal/Sweet Pongal

In South India Especially in Tamil Nadu, Pongal or Harvest Festival is celebrated for three days... as in different parts of India like Lohri in Punjab, Bihu in Assam, makar sankranti in Karnataka and Gujarat, The whole reason for celebration is to harvest new crops an thank nature elements like rains, soil and so on for good crops.
The first day in down south it is called Bhogi..the day is house is cleaned and beautiful rongolis are decorated and everything kept ready for the celebration next day.
The next day the crops harvested, especially the newly harvested rice crop  is cooked in new vessel, the vessel is tied with fresh turmeric and kumkum and cooked on wood fire..the newly harvested rice is cooked as pongal with very mild and subtle flavours. 
Both sweet and bland version of pongal is cooked.
The next day some have tradition of kanu pandigai or festival is celebrated, to strengthen  the bonds of brothers and sisters.
The left over sweet and spicy pongal, red kumkum rice, curd rice are place on a banana leaf on five sides along with fresh turmeric, orange slices, sugarcane pieces, fresh green chickpeas and then offered to cow.
Some parts like Karnataka and Gujarat, kite competition is organised and also cows are bathed, smeared with turmeric and make them to jump fire to ward off evil.
But the very Important dish being the Pongal, today I am sharing chakkarai pongal or sweet(gud/jaggery) Pongal.
This recipe is from my FIL's family passed to daughters-in-law for fourteen generations.
This is the same recipe of sweet pongal, which is prepared to offer, Lord Cheluva Narayana in Melukote. Our Family has been offering this sweet dish to lord from more hundred and fifty years now. We Provide all the raw ingredients to the temple priest on the D-day and he cooks to perfection on wood fire for six to seven hours and then offered to Lord.
This dish remains on your kitchen table top stays good for more than a month...
So here I share the secret. I warn you that you need lot of patience and time to cook this and the right measurement.

Raw Rice - 1 cup, washed and soaked for an hour,
Moong Daal - 1/2 cup,
Ghee -  1/2 to 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon,
Jaggery - 3 cups,
Raisins - 1/4 cup,
Cashew - 1/4 cup,
Cardamom Powder - 1 teaspoon heaped,
Edible Camphor - a dot,
Good Quality Saffron - 1/2 gram,
Dry Grated Coconut/Copra - 1/2 cup.

In a thick bottom pan heat a table spoon ghee, add moong daal (no need to wash) and roast it in medium low flame until it is golden brown.
Add 3 cups of boiling water and allow to cook until mushy.
Then drain water from rice and add to the pan, and cook until a bit mushy.
Add more hot water required to cook rice.
Now by this time grate your jaggery and keep ready..
While choosing jaggery, taste it, you will know if it is too salty and light in colour do not choose it, it surely makes a difference to your end product in its taste and colour.
The jaggery has to be dark in colour and less salt content.
After grating it, dissolve in few tablespoons of hot/cold water and strain it.
This is to ensure that all the impurities in the jaggery are removed.
Once the rice is cooked to a bit mushy consistency,  add this jaggery water into the rice mixture.
Lower the flame, you need a lot of patience at this point, mix well and keep stirring.
You have to cook in low flame upto the point, when the mixture thickens, to make sure you have reached correct the consistency, is to place the stirring spoon in the middle of the mixture.
The spoon has to stand straight without moving an inch, stand firm in the middle of the mixture.
This would take for a cup of rice, for 1 and 1/2 hours to 2 hours to reach this consistency.
So be patient..the end product is all worth it.
Now start pouring ghee little by little..What I mean here is add a little ghee, stir it and wait for the mixture to absorb while you stir it constantly.
Once the ghee absorbs and then add little more. Continue to do this until the ghee oozes out of the mixture.
Now add grated coconut, edible camphor,saffron and cardamom powder and mix well.
In a pan, add two teaspoons of ghee and fry cashew and raisins and add to the sweet pongal and stir well.
Serve warm and enjoy!!!!!!
Happy Pongal!!!!!!!!!