Sep 29, 2009

Saraswathi Pooja Celebrations & goodies

Saraswathi Pooja is my most favorite celebration when I was a girl. Cos thats when we don't have to do any homework nor do we study on that day(lol). Since its the last day of navrathri, in my mom's place, we make lots of goodies on that day. This year, I wanted to do the same way so that my girls could also learn our tradition and culture. This year I made aama vadai, pal payasam, kondakadala(black channa dhall) sundal and the regular south Indian traditional samayal. It was really fun that day and we successfully enrolled our girls for swimming lessons. Since I have posted recipe for pal payasam already, I am just posting recipes for aama vadai and kondakadalai sundal here along with few more pictures of that day...

Kondakadalai sundal:-
  1. Kondakadalai/Black Channa dhall - 1 cup
  2. coconut - 1 tsp
  3. salt to taste
  4. oil - 1/2 tsp
  5. mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  6. urad dhall - 1/2 tsp
  7. red chillies - 1
  8. curry leaves- few
  9. asafoetida powder - a pinch
Soak black channa dhall over night. Pressure cook it when you are ready to make sundal. Drain it fully when the pressure is released. Take a pan, pre heat oil, splutter mustard seeds, fry urad dhall and red chillies to golden brown. Now add the cooked sundal to it. Add salt and mix it well. Turn off the stove. Now sprinkle the coconut and asafoetida powder and mix it well. Garnish it with curry leaves.
Well I guess I need to post the recipe for aama in my next post cos my girls want me to read a book now.

Sep 23, 2009

Happy Navrathri!!!


Hope you guys are having fun with all those wonderul dolls. Kolu is one of my favorite Indian festival where we get to see lots and lots of beautiful dolls. This year I got some help from my girls cleaning up the dolls, setting kolu padi, giving manjal kumkumam to friends etc. Since I had to go get thamboolam from my friend's place, I am doing sundal & sweet on every other day and the remaining days, I just use white rice for neivedhyam. Yesterday I made Kadala paruppu sundal & Rava Kesari for neivedhyam. On sunday I made Garbanzo sundal and aval Payasam. I am sharing the recipes of kadala paruppu sundal and rice flakes payasam here cos I have already posted the recipe for rava kesari and Channa sundal.

Kadala Paruppu Sundal:-

  1. Channa dhall/Kadala Paruppu - 1 cup
  2. Red chillies - 1 or 2 (acc to taste)
  3. Salt to taste
  4. Shredded coconut - 1 tbsp
  5. Asafoetida powder - a pinch
  6. oil - 1 tsp
  7. Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  8. Urad dhall - 1/2 tsp
  9. Curry leaves -few

Soak dhall for an hour. Pressure cook it upto one whistle. Dhall should not be over cooked. Other wise it will be mushy. Once the pressure is released, drain the dhall and keep it aside. Take a pan, pre heat oil, splutter mustard seeds, fry urad dhall and red chillies to golden brown. Now add the cooked dhall to it and mix it well.Add salt and asafoetida powder and mix it. Turn off the stove and sprinkle the coconut and garnish it with curry leaves.

Aval Rice Flakes Payasam:-

This is the first time I am trying this payasam and I found it very easy and handy. Here goes the recipe.

  1. Rice flakes - 1 cup
  2. Milk - 2 cups
  3. Sugar - 1 cup(acc to taste)
  4. Cardamom - 1 or 2 ( powder it)
  5. Edible camphor/pachakarpooram - a pinch
  6. Food color - a pinch (this is optional/I used orange color)
  7. Cashew - few for garnishing
  8. ghee - 1/2 tsp

Soak rice flakes in water for half an hour. Drain it fully and keep it aside. Now take a thick bottomed pan and pour a cup of milk and bring it to boil. When the milk starts boiling, add the aval to it and let it boil for 3 minutes. Now add the remaining mil, cardamom, food color and pachakarpooram and let it boil for another 5 minutes. When the quantity becomes 3/4th turn off the stove and add the sugar at the end and mix it well. Fry cashew to golden brown in ghee and pour it on top of payasam. It just took 10 minutes to finish this payasam.

Sep 16, 2009

Lemon Poha

Well after seeing Srivalli's Poha Upma I was so tempted to make that upma last week. Since my kiddo was sick that time and my MIL suggested me to give her something with a pinch of lemon, I got this idea of making lemon poha. I just followed the steps we use for making lemon rice. Instead of rice, I used poha/riceflakes. Here is how I made this lemon Poha..

  1. Rice Flakes/Poha/Aval - 1 cup
  2. Lemon juice - 2 tbsp (acc to taste)
  3. Green chillies - 1
  4. Ginger- a small piece
  5. cashew nuts - 1 or 2 (I used little only for my other twin)
  6. salt to taste
  7. turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  8. Sesame oil - 1 tsp
  9. Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
  10. Urad dhall - 1/2 tsp
  11. asafoetida powder - a pinch
  12. coriander leaves - for garnishing..
First wash and soak rice flakes in water for 1/2 an hour ( it depends or which flakes you use whether its thin or thick). Drain it fully and keep it aside. In the mean time, chop green chillies and ginger, squeeze juice from lemon and keep it aside. Take a pan, pre head sesame oil, splutter mustard seeds, add urad dhall, green chillies and ginger and fry it till it becomes golden brown. Now add salt and turmeric powder in the oil itself and mix it well. When it is done frying, add the fully drained poha to it. Turn off the stove and mix it well so that turmeric powder spreads all over the dish. Garnish it with coriander leaves and let it cool. After 5 or 10 mts. add the lemon juice to it and mix it well.

I fried the cashew nuts separately and added to poha for my other twin. Luckily both of them liked it very much and they ate fully which made me very happy. I am sending this dish to Srivalli's Kids Delight Event along with another dish and few art work by my girls.Another dish which I would like to send for the event is the Kids friendly chapathi which is a very big hit in my family and many of my friends here are still following the same recipe to make their kids eat chapathi/roti.

Kids Friendly Chapathi

This is a heart made by one of my twin. I got my wisdom tooth extracted few months back and both the kids were so co-operative and they didn't any trouble to my husband(except they started asking "when is amma gonna cook"? after eating his rasam for two days). Last week I had my dentist check up and this little one assumed that I am going to have another surgery. So she made this heart by herself. She took a single side white sheet from our printer and drew a heart and cut it and colored it and made some decorations in it. I was really impressed by this and was very happy to see this heart which she gave it to me after I came back from the check up.
This is another art work by the other one. She made this maracus and call it "shake-a-shake-a-boom-boom". I really have no idea why she named it like that. Most of you know that I do beading work. I keep some of the defected beads or broken beads in a separate box so that I could use those for some other art work. Last sunday I was busy cooking for our guest and these two were busy watching some cartoon(thats what I assumed actually). This one came to me and asked for two empty yogurt box and I gave her and told her not to disturb me for another 30 mts. Within few minutes I heard the beads rolling in my living room and as usual I came out from the kitchen screaming(lol). I saw she had the box full of defected beads and she said she want to sort them and she also promised me that she will clean up the hall. I was ok with that and I went inside. But after 10 minutes, she came inside with this maracus saying "amma I made shake a shake a boom boom with your beads". I was really surprised and was very proud.

All the above given recipes and the art work goes to SriValli's Kids Delight Event.

Sep 10, 2009

Mixed Vegetable Rawa Idly

Another post after a week. I was kinda running between doctor's office and home cos one of my twin is sick and she has stomach flu. This is something I hate and it takes more than 10 days for my girls to start eating properly. I learned this from Sripriya's blog and tried this one for my other twin. She was not actually excitied after seeing vegetables in Idly, but she tried one and she liked it. My husband really liked the new changes in regular rawa idly. I followed almost the same recipe of Sripriya but skipped few vegetables. Here is the recipe...

  1. Coarse Rawa - 2 cups
  2. carrots - 1 (shred it)
  3. Peas - 2 tbsp (I used frozen)
  4. Beans - 2 tbsp (finely chopped)
  5. Green chillies - 2 (acc to taste)
  6. Ginger -  a small piece
  7. Yogurt - 1 cup
  8. salt to taste
  9. turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  10. oil- 2 tsp
  11. mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  12. urad dhall - 1/2 tsp
  13. cashew nuts- few
  14. Eno salt- 2 tsp
Take a wide bowl, add rawa, yogurt, salt, turmeric powder and vegetables and mix well. Also add oil, eno salt and add water accordingly to get it like  idly batter. Let it sit for half an hour. when you are ready to make idly, pre heat oil, in a pan, splutter mustard seeds, add urad dhall and cashew nuts and fry it to golden brown. Also add green chillies and ginger and fry it and pour it on top of the batter.  Now spray the idly moulds, add the batter and steam cook it for 10 to 12 mts.  Garnish it with coriander leaves.

Vanisri has passed this Honest Scrap award. Thanks vani..
Rules are:
  • I Must than the person who gave me the award and list their blog and link it
  • I must list 10 honest things about myselt (which is pretty hard:D)
  • I must put a copy of The Honest Scrap Logo on my blog
  • I must select at leatst 7 other worthy bloggers & list their links
  • I must notify the bloggers of the award and hopefully they will follow the above three requirements also. 
 Okie here goes the honest scrap about me...
  1. love to travel with my family
  2. love to wear cotton sarees
  3. love to make fashion jewelry
  4. love to stand in the beach (water of course) for hours.
  5. Love to eat cotton candy.
  6. very very possessive
  7. lazy most of the times....
  8. god fearing
  9. love to read Dr.Seuss books
  10. love to watch movies late night....
Well according to me all my friends who visit my blog are worthy bloggers for this award. So I am sharing this award with all my friends.

Sep 4, 2009

Reposts for Purva's Janmashtami & Ganesh Chathurthi Event...

I am reposting the recipes of Vella Kozhakattai, Uppu Kozhakattai and Ulundhu Kozhakattai for Purva's Janmashtami & Ganesh Chathurthi Event.

Vella Kozhakattai:-

For Poornam (stuffing)
  1. Grated coconut - 1 cup
  2. Jaggery - 3/4 cup
  3. Cardamom powder - a pinch
  4. ghee - 2 tsp
For Dough:-
  1. Raw rice - 1 cup
  2. Salt - a pinch
  3. Sesame Oil - 1 tsp
Most of us use rice flour for making the dough. But the traditional way of making this dough is to use rice. Soak rice for an hour. Grind it into a fine paste and add water to bring it to watery consistency (like dosa batter). Add salt and sesame oil. Take a pan, pour this batter and stir it continuously to make sure no lumps are formed. When the water is fully absorbed, it will come like a shiny ball. Turn off the stove, take it out of the heat and cover it with a lid. This is the flour coating we use for making kozhakattai cups. In the mean time, mix the jaggery, cardamom powder to coconut and put it in a hot pan, add ghee and stir it continutously so that all the water in coconut and jaggery is fully absorbed. This should again form like a ball without sticking in the pan. Remove it from the hot stove and let it cool. This is poornam.

When you are ready to make kozhakattai, check the rice dough, if it is slightly dry, then sprinkle a hand full of hot water and knead it so that it becomes softer. Smear a drop of coconut oil, on your hands, so that it becomes easier to make small cups. Make small balls out of the jaggery mixture, keep it inside the flour cups and cover it. Steam cook the kozhakattais for 15 mts. until its fully cooked.

Uppu Kozhakattai:-
  1. Toor dhall - 1/4 cup
  2. Urad dhall - less than 1/4 cup
  3. Channa dhall - 1/4 cup
  4. Moong dhall - 1 tbsp (optional)
  5. Red chillies - 2 (acc to taste)
  6. Salt to taste
  7. curry leaves - few
  8. asafoetida powder - a pinch
For seasoning:-
  1. Oil - 1 tsp
  2. Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
  3. Urad dhall - 1/2 tsp
  • Soak the above said dhall for an hour to two adding red chillies to it.
  • Grind it coarsely adding required amount of salt, red chillies.
  • Add 1/4 cup of water, a drop of sesame oil and turmeric powder and mix it well.
  • Put it in a microwave safe vessel and microwave it for 6 mts.(stir it in between) till the lentils are cooked.
  • Take a pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds, when it splutters add urad dhall, curry leaves and asafoetida powder and fry it till golden brown.
  • Add the cooked lentils and mix everything well. Let it cool and make small balls out of it.

For dough, we use the same method just like jaggery kozhakattai (see here). Make small cups out of the dough, place the lentil balls in it and cover it in the shape of a triangle. Stem cook it for 15 mts. This can eaten with Jaggery kozhakattai

Ulundhu Kozhakattai:-
  1. Urad dhall - 1 cup
  2. Green Chillies - 3 (acc to taste)
  3. Oil - 1 tsp
  4. Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  5. Urad dhall - 1/2 tsp
  6. Red chillies - 1
  7. Curry leaves - few
  8. Asafoetida powder - a pinch
  9. Salt to taste
For Dough:-
  1. Rice - 1 cup
  2. Sesame Oil - 1 tsp
  3. Salt to taste

Most of us use rice flour for making the dough. But the traditional way of making this dough is to use rice. Soak rice for an hour. Grind it into a fine paste and add water to bring it to watery consistency (like dosa batter). Add salt and sesame oil. Take a pan, pour this batter and stir it continuously to make sure no lumps are formed. When the water is fully absorbed, it will come like a shiny ball. Turn off the stove, take it out of the heat and cover it with a lid. This is the flour coating we use for making kozhakattai cups.

Sep 2, 2009

Kovakka Masala Curry/ Tindora Masala Curry

Well this dish happens to be the first ever dish I made when I was in 10th standard. Till that time, I had no idea about cooking or gas stove or making some curry. It was a saturday morning, my dad had a low blood pressure suddenly and my mom had to take him to the hospital and before leaving she asked me to cut the kovakkai into small round pieces and she said, she will come back from the doctor's office and finish the curry. I did cut the kovakkai(that time, I didn't know that my mom never uses ripe kovakkai in her cooking and I cut all of them). Since it was taking long in the doctor's office, she called me and explained me how to do the curry and she wanted me to make the curry. I was not very sure about my cooking skill but I had no other choice so went inside the kitchen and started making the curry. Everything went off well and I also finished the curry. I could not find any flaws in it. But after coming back from the doctor's office, we had our lunch. First of all my mom was little upset after seeing the ripe kovakkai and immediately taking the first bite, my mom said most of the pieces were not cooked at all. Those were literally raw. I just kept it in stove for about 5 mts and just drained the water and seasoned it with regular seasoning. But I didn't forget to put turmeric powder and salt :). We had our lunch without curry that day and after finishing our lunch, my mom cooked it and made a proper curry. Ofcourse, I got all those scoldings (because I was already 15 and never helped my mom in any of the house chores), but I didn't bother:). Today I made I made kovakka curry (not the same recipe and ofcourse Its fully cooked). Here is the recipe..

  1. Tindora/Kovakkai - 1 cup (chopped)
  2. Onion - 1 (chopped)
  3. Tomato - 1/2 (if it is big or 1 if its medium) (chopped)
  4. Salt to taste
  5. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  6. Red chillies powder - 3/4 tsp (or according to taste)
  7. Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
  8. Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
  9. oil - 1 tsp
  10. mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  11. cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  12. Coriander leaves- for garnishing.
Pressure cook chooped tindora adding turmeric powder upto 2 whistles(do not over cook). When the pressure is released, drain it fully and keep it aside. In the mean time, pre heat a pan with oil, splutter mustard and cumin seeds, when its done, add chopped onion and saute for couple of minutes. Now add the chopped tomato and make sure both are fully cooked. Do not over cook onion and tomato. Now add the drained tindora to it and mix it well. Add red chillies powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and salt(I added everything together; some people add garam masala finally) and mix it well. Sprinkle a hand full of water and cover it with a lid for few minutes. When all the water is gone, turn off the stove and garnish it with coriander leaves....

This recipe goes to Shama's FIRST COOKED FOOD EVENT