Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Banana Walnut Kuzhi Paniyaram / Vella Kuzhi Paniyaram / Kuzhi Paniyaram / Sweet Paniyaram

Fully ripened bananas in the banana stand will always be sympathized and thrown away in our home. Just wanted to rescue those ripened soggy bananas, I made these yummy sweet treats called as "Banana Walnut Kuzhi Paniyaram".  Tiny round shaped muffin like Paniyarams melted in the mouth and its an excellent treat for the kids at any time. Well, I served these sweet Paniyarams for breakfast one day. Kids loved those paniyarams and more than them, my husband loved those. So, he's got into the habit of leaving 2 or 3 bananas in the stand nowadays.!!! Creativity starts once you wish to transform something in your kitchen and make an edible food item. Like that, we moms do this everyday and come out with great ideas, right. My dear bloggers, try to ignite the spark in you and share with us your thoughts and findings.

Ingredients
Fully ripened bananas - 4 or 5
Chopped walnuts - 1/2 cup
Powdered Jaggery or Brown Sugar - 1 Cup
Whole wheat flour - 1 Cup
Cardamom Powder / Elachi - 2 tsp
Water - As required to make the batter.
Ghee - Enough to brush the moulds and paniyarams.

Procedure
  • In a big mixing bowl, add the powdered jaggery first with little water. Let it completely get dissolved in the water. Then, add the other ingredients into the bowl and mix them into a thick batter. Consistency of the batter should not be too thick ( like chappathi dough ) and not too thin ( like rava dosa batter ). It should be in a medium thick consistency enough to pour them into the small round moulds. 
  • While preparing the batter, heat the Kuzhi Paniyaram pan on medium heat. Brush the rounds with little ghee.
  • When its heated enough, reduce the flame and pour the batter into the paniyaram moulds carefully. Spilling the batter or improper pouring might result in shapeless paniyarams or might spoil the round shaped treats.
  • After pouring into the moulds, slowly heat the pan on medium heat with the lid closed. Rotate the pan slightly so that the heat is spread uniformly across the entire pan. 
  • After 3 minutes, open the lid and check whether the sweet paniyarams are steamed properly. Flip the paniyarams onto the other side carefully using a thin spoon. Brush the top of the paniyarams with little ghee. 
  • After 3 minutes, check if the paniyarams are fully cooked and turned into golden brown colour. Take out the paniyarams from the moulds and repeat the process with the rest of the batter.


Tips and Suggestions
  • Make sure the flame is not high while making the paniyarams. Otherwise they might turn black very quickly.
  • You can add chopped nuts like almonds, cashewnuts, pistachios into the batter as well and make it more nutritious and tastier.
  • You can add ghee drops on the sides of the moulds if you wish to. I just brushed the moulds with little ghee and brushed the paniyarams with little ghee for flavour.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Gujarathi Kadhi / Gujju Kadi / Gujarati Kadi

Gujarathi Kadhi with some pakoras in it!!
Kadhi is one the gravy food item made out of sour buttermilk and flavoured with spices. Though the basic preparation of Kadhi remains the same, each and every regions of India have a different version of Kadhi and they are unique in their own way. Punjabi Kadhis are bit thicker with pakodis in it and gujarathi kadhis are bit thinner and little sweet. We love all kinds of Kadhi and enjoy the authentic taste of the kadhisEver since we tasted the gujarathi kadhi in restaurants and at my friend's home, I wanted to try it out at home and save the recipe for future use.  After tasting this Kadi at various places including resturants, friend's home, BAPS temple, I found out that there are many versions of  Gujarathi Kadi.  Now I am blogging the version which I learnt from my gujarathi neighbour as I loved the flavour and punch of the Kadi at their home. But we would never forget the taste and warmth of the Kadhi served at my friend's home earlier and her mother in law ultimately sets a standard making us compare every gujju food with hers. But till today, we could not find any gujju platter better than hers. Her taste is unique and uncomparable though...

Ingredients

Into the Curd / Yogurt :
Sour Thick Buttermilk - 5 Cups
Grated Ginger - 1 tbsp
Grated Garlic - 1 tbsp
Salt - As Required
Sugar - 2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Besan / Chick Pea Flour - 3 tbsp ( if sour ) or 2 tbsp ( if not that sour )
Cumin Powder - 3/4 th of a tsp
Yellow Split Mustard Seeds Powder - 3/4th of a tsp

Tadka ( Tempering )

Ghee - 2 tsp
Dry Red Chillies - 3
Cardamom Seeds - 2
Cinnamon Sticks - 2 or 3 small
Lavang or Cloves - 3 or 4
Green Chillies slit into halves - 3
Curry Leaves - 1 Stem
Cumin Seeds / Jeera - 1 tsp
Methi Seeds /Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Split Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp

To Garnish :
Crushed Coriander Leaves - 1 tbsp

Procedure
  • In a big cooking vessel, add the thick buttermilk first. Add all the other ingredients under the column "Into the Curd / Yogurt". Using a spatula or hand mixer, mix them thoroughly. Add little water to get the right consistency if the curd mixture is too thick. After getting the right consistency for Kadhi, allow the Kadhi to cook on medium flame.
  • Meantime, finish the tempering process in the other gas stove. Add all the ingredients under the column "Tadka/ Tempering" into the ghee and after they are tempered properly, pour them over the cooking Kadhi.
  • Keep stirring the Kadhi continuously on medium flame so that it does not get burned at the bottom. When you notice few bubbles at the top layer, switch off the gas stove.
  • Garnish the Kadhi with crushed coriander leaves and enjoy with jeera rice or plain basmati rice. 

Tips / Suggestions
  • Add some thin dal water into the Kadhi as well instead of adding regular water, it enhances the taste of the Kadhi.  My neighbour just washed the cooker in which we cooked the regular dal with some water and poured that water into the Kadhi vessel. 
  • As you can sip the Gujarathi Kadhi during the meal at any time, I prefer to make it in a consistency where its not too thick nor too watery.
  • You can avoid adding sugar to the Kadhi if your family does not vote for the sweet taste in it. Still it tastes heavenly.
  • Add more grated ginger to the curd mixture if the curd / buttermilk is too thick and sour.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Vaazhaithandu Mor Kootu / Banana Stem Mor Kootu


Banana Stem called as "Vaazhaithandu" in Tamil and "Arati Duvva" in Telugu is widely used in South Indian Cuisines. Tender Plantain stem is widely used in making dals, kootu, curry, stir fries or even in salads. Extracting the nutritious stem from the covered layers looks like a tedious process but the effort is really worthy. Inclusion of the banana stem in your daily menu prevents you from stomach related problems, prevents kidney stones and helps in weight reduction etc., Previously it was quite difficult to see Banana Stems in our Indian markets but recently I have been getting this precious stem in many Indian stores and I could not resist my hands grabbing one stem. Today I am blogging another recipe of this stem called as "Vaazhaithandu Mor Kootu".  Process of making this Mor Kootu is easier and it has a refreshing taste and it blends well with any Kara Kuzhambu or Vathal Kuzhambu in a meal.

Ingredients

1 Medium Size Banana Stem
Channa Dal - 1 tbsp
Salt - To Taste

For Ground Paste
Thick Curd - 1 tbsp
Fresh Coconut Flakes - 1 tbsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Green Chillies - 2 Medium
Rice Flour - 1/2 tsp

For Tempering
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - 5 or 6
Dry Red Chillies - 2
Urad Dal - 1/2 tsp
Hing - 1 Dash

Method

  • Remove the outer covers from the banana stem and extract the inner edible stick carefully.  
  • To see how to clean and get the banana stem stick, please see the previous post of mine in the link :    Banana Stem Poriyal
  • Soak the channa dal into warm water for 15 minutes.  Grind the paste with the ingredients as mentioned above into a thick paste and keep it ready.
  • In a cooking vessel, half cook the channa dal along with some water. Add chopped banana stem pieces into the half cooked channa dal. Let them cook on medium flame till the banana stem gets completely cooked. Add little water into the vessel if required while cooking. Do not add more water for cooking as the water content in the banana stem itself would be sufficient to get them cooked.
  • After the channa dal and banana stem get cooked, add the grounded paste into the vessel along with some salt. Mix them well and allow them to cook again for 2-3 minutes on medium flame.
  • Finally do the tempering and pour them over the cooked content in the vessel. Mix them well and enjoy with good accompaniments in your meal.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pudina Tomato Chutney / Mint Tomato Chutney - For Idly, Dosas


Mint / Pudina always sit in my refrigerator and comes as a handy ingredient at times. Today I made a spicy, flavourful and super tasty chutney for my golden crisp dosas in the morning. Freshness of the pudina makes the chutney so special and it is an excellent accompaniment to dosas. Try this chutney in your kitchen with fresh mint leaves and enjoy with any south indian tiffin varieties.   

"Adding Mint / Pudina in your daily cooking is a very healthy option. It has good antioxidant properties, prevents allergies, relieves cold symptoms, helps in indigestion. "

Ingredients

Fresh Mint leaves - 2 cups
Tomato - 2 Medium
Garlic Pods - 6 Big
Green Chillies - 2 Big
Dry Red Chili - 2
Sesame Oil - 2 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida - 1 Dash
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Jeera / Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Urad Dal / Ulutham Paruppu / Mina Pappu - 2 tsp
Channa Dal / Kadalai Paruppu / Senaga Pappu - 2 tsp
Salt - To Taste
Tamarind - 1 pinch
Jaggery - 1/2 tsp

Method
  • In a frying pan, add sesame oil first. When its heated, add hing, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal, channa dal in succession. When they turn golden yellow, add garlic pods, green chillies, dry red chillies into the pan and fry them for a minute. Add the tomato pieces next and fry them till they get mushy. Finally add the mint leaves and fry for another 2 minutes. Switch off the flame.
  • After the contents cool down a bit, grind them along with other ingredients. Add salt while grinding the chutney in the blender.
  • Transfer the chutney into a serving bowl and enjoy with your dosas, idlies or any other tiffin.

Green Dried Peas Sundal / Pachai Pattani Sundal / Green Peas Sundal


"Pachai Pattani" in tamil is mostly added in many south indian tiffin along with other vegetables. Pattani Sundal is also one of the popular navarathri sundals that can be prepared easily. Process of preparing sundals is almost the same except that the soaking time might differ. Green Peas / Pachai Pattani sundal can be made in different ways. Here I have blogged the common version. We can also add shredded carrots, tiny pieces of mango and make a colourful version called "Thenga Manga Pattani Sundal". Needless to say that the leftover sundal can be added in sambar, kootu or kuruma along with other veggies at the end.

Ingredients
Green Peas / Pachai Pattani ) - 1 Cup
Water - Enough to soak the green peas.
Oil - 2 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida - 1 Dash
Mustard Seeds - 2 tsp
Urad Dal / Ulutham paruppu / Mina Pappu - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - 1 small stick
Dry Red Chillies - 2 
Salt - As Required
Fresh coconut flakes - 1 tbsp
Method
  • Soak the green dried peas / pachai pattani in water for 7-8 hours. Drain the water from the soaked peas.
  • Pressure cook them for 2-3 whistles.  Drain the pachai patani and keep aside.
  • In a cooking pan, add oil first. Add mustard seeds , urad dal , curry leaves, dry red chillies and temper them.
  • When the mustard seeds sputter, add the drained cooked green peas into the pan.
  • Add required amount of salt into the pan. Allow them to set for a minute with the salt.
  • Finally add the grated coconut flakes into the pan and garnish them.
  • Enjoy this sundal either as an evening snack or with meals. But its a very healthy option for kids.
Tips
  • Do not overcook the green peas in the pressure cooker.
  • You can make some special sundal powder ( using coriander seeds, red chillies) and sprinkle them at the end to enhance the taste of any sundal.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Yellow Dried Peas Sundal / Vellai Pattani Sundal / White Vatana Sundal


Yellow Dried Peas called as "Vellai Pattani" in tamil, "Vatana" in Hindi is a good source of Protein. Vellai Pattani sundal is definitely prepared on one day during Navarathri at my home. We all like the buttery taste of this Vellai Pattani sundal. Even if we have some leftover, it can be easily transformed into Kurma or added into sambar. I love making this Sundal at home during Navarathri and I love to do patties, kurma or other Indian delicacies using this Yellow Peas ( Vatana ) during other time.
Ingredients
White Vatana ( White Peas / Yellow Peas ) - 1 Cup
Water - Enough to soak the white peas.
Oil - 2 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida - 1 Dash
Mustard Seeds - 2 tsp
Urad Dal / Ulutham paruppu / Mina Pappu - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - 1 small stick
Dry Red Chillies - 2 
Salt - As Required
Fresh coconut flakes - 1 tbsp
Method
  • Soak the yellow dried peas / vellai pattani in water for 7-8 hours. Drain the water from the soaked peas.
  • Pressure cook them for 2-3 whistles.  Drain the vellai patani and keep aside.
  • In a cooking pan, add oil first. Add mustard seeds , urad dal , curry leaves, dry red chillies and temper them.
  • When the mustard seeds sputter, add the drained cooked vatana / yellow peas into the pan.
  • Add required amount of salt into the pan. Allow them to set for a minute with the salt.
  • Finally add the grated coconut flakes into the pan and garnish them.
  • Enjoy this sundal either as an evening snack or with meals. But its a very healthy option for kids.

Tips
  • Do not overcook the yellow peas / vatana in the pressure cooker.
  • You can make some special sundal powder ( using coriander seeds, red chillies) and sprinkle them at the end to enhance the taste of any sundal.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Apple Thokku / Apple Ginger Thokku / Inji Apple Thokku


An apple can be enjoyed in many different ways in Indian cooking. We can make apple jams, apple payasam, apple halwa, apple kesari, apple pickle, apple thokku, etc., I ventured again with apples and made apple thokku. Spicyness from the fresh ginger and the sweetness from the red delicious apple perfectly blend with the spices and yields a flavourful apple thokku. It can be a good accompaniment to adais, rotis or any tiffin varieties. 

Ingredients
Red Delicious Apple - 1 Big
Ginger - 1 Medium Size
Oil - 1 tbsp
Hing / Asafoetida - 1 Dash
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - 4 or 5
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Salt - As Required
Jaggery - 1 tbsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp


Method

  • Wash the apple thoroughly and grate it. Grate the ginger too and keep it ready.
  • In the cooking pan, add oil first. When its heated, add hing and mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds sputter, add the fenugreek seeds, curry leaves into the pan.
  • Add the grated apple and ginger into the pan. Stir them slowly and allow them to cook for 8-10 minutes. 
  • Add red chili powder and required amount of salt into the pan.
  • Allow the contents to get cooked on medium flame till the quantity gets reduced considerably. Stir occasionally to avoid the thokku turning black at the bottom.
  • When the thokku consistency is reached, switch off the flame. Let the thokku cools down completely.
  • After its cooled down, store it  in a glass container and enjoy.
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