Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sweet For Holi - Boondi Burfi

SWEET FOR HOLI - BOONDI BURFI 

The beautiful advantage of living in an apartment complex is that we tend to have friends and neighbours from various cultural backgrounds. We get to exchange and enjoy varieties of sweets during all the festivals celebrated.The food blogger in me is ever eager to try out any new dish which comes across. A plateful of Motichoor Burfi from my neighbour inspired me to try out Boondi Burfi for celebrating a happy Holi festival.


 INGREDIENTS 
Bengal gram flour / Besan - 1 cup 
Sugar - 1 1/4cups 
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch 
Saffron strands - a few 
Slivered nuts - a few 
 Raisins - a few 
Ghee - 2 tsps 
Oil - for frying 

METHOD 
1. Dissolve sugar in one and a half cups of water and cook till the syrup is sticky. 
2. Add cardamom powder and saffron strands and switch off flame. 
3. Mix besan in one cup of water into a smooth and moderately thick batter of pouring consistency. 
4. Heat oil in a kadai. 
5. Hold a perforated 'boondi' ladle over the hot oil. 
6. Pour one ladle of batter into the perforated ladle and lightly tap it so that the batter falls in drops into the hot oil. 


7. Fry on medium flame until the boondies are crisp. 


8. Remove the boondies using another perforated ladle, drain and add them to the hot sugar syrup. 
9. Make boondies similarly using all the batter and mix with the sugar syrup. 


10. Add ghee, mix thoroughly and press the boondi syrup mixture into a greased plate. 


11. Top with slivered nuts and raisins.


 Cut into squares and share the joy of Holi and Boondi Burfi with your friends.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Kadalai Paruppu Suraikkai Koottu - Chana dal And Bottle gourd Gravy

KADALAI PARUPPU 
SURAIKKAI KOOTTU 

 I have started using Bengal gram dal extensively in koottus, curries and sundals for its low glycemic index.The nutty flavour and mild sweetness of Bengal gram dal are essential characteristics for preparing a flavoursome Koottu. Watery vegetables, Bengal gram dal and coconut together make a yummy combination. 


 BASIC INGREDIENTS FOR KOOTTU 


Bottle Gourd / Suraikkai - 1 




1. Wash, peel and cut suraikkai / bottle gourd into cubes. 
2. Cook the cubed gourd in enough water till tender and keep aside.

Bengal Gram Dal / Chana dal - 1/2 cup
Turmeric Powder - 1 pinch 

3. Pressure cook Bengal gram dal with 1 cup of water and turmeric powder until three whistles, and allow it to cool. 

INGREDIENTS FOR ROASTING AND GRINDING 
Sesame Oil - 1/2 tsp 
Split Black gram dal- 2 tsps 
Red Chillies - 4 
Asafoetida- 1 pinch 
Cumin seeds - 2 tsp 
Fresh coconut gratings - 4 tbsps 
Onion ( Chopped ) - 4 tbsps 

5. Heat oil in a pan and roast split black gram dal on low flame till golden in colour. 
6. Add red chillies and fry till crisp. 
7. Add asafoetida and the chopped onion and saute till it becomes slightly brown. 
8. Add cumin seeds and the fresh coconut gratings. 
9. Roast for one more minute and switch off flame. 
10. Grind all the roasted ingredients into a smooth paste adding little water if necessary, and keep it aside. 

TO PREPARE THE KOOTTU 
Salt - 1 1/2 tsps 
Curry leaves - a few

11. Add the cooked Bengal gram dal ( without mashing) to the cooked soraikkai. 
12. Stir in the ground paste, salt and curry leaves and cook together till all the flavours blend together and switch off flame. 

FOR SEASONING 
Sesame oil - 1 tsp 
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp 
Split black gram dal - 1/4 tsp 
Broken red chillies- 2 

13.Heat oil in a seasoning ladle and add the mustard seeds. 
14. Add split black gram dal and fry till golden in colour. 
15. Add the broken red chillies. 
16. Pour the seasoning over the Koottu. 



Enjoy the hot and flavoursome KADALAI PARUPPU SURAIKKAI KOOTTU with steaming hot rice or chapaties. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Maha Shivaraatri Palahaaram


MAHA SHIVARAATRI PALAHAARAM 

Garlic, onion, or dishes prepared with masala, and rice are avoided during all 'vrathams'. During Shivaraatri a simple and saatvic palahaaram (food which does not agitate or distract the tranquility of  mind) is prepared to break the day long fast after offering it to the Lord. 
Here are a few recipes for the occasion.


 URULAIKIZHANGU HALWA / POTATO HALWA


 INGREDIENTS 

Potatoes - 1 cup (Cooked and Grated ) 
Sugar - 1 cup 
Ghee - 2 tbsps + 1 tsp 
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch 
Saffron strands - a few 
Raisins - a few 
Cashew nuts - a few 

METHOD 

1. Pressure cook and peel the potatoes. 
2. Grate the cooked and peeled potatoes. 
3. Heat one table spoon of ghee and fry the grated potatoes till you get a pleasant aroma.
4. Add  sugar and keep stirring until the sugar dissolves. 
5. Add  saffron strands and cook till the halwa thickens. 
6. Add ghee and keep stirring till the halwa becomes shiny and leaves the sides of the pan and switch off flame. 
7. Mix in cardamom powder. 
8. Fry the cashew nuts and raisins in one teaspoon of ghee and garnish the Urulaikizhangu Halwa. 

RAJMA SUNDAL / RED KIDNEY BEAN SALAD 


INGREDIENTS 

Kidney beans /Rajma - 500 gms 
Salt - 1 tsp 
Lime - 1 big 
Sesame oil - 1tbsp 
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp 
Black gram dal - 1/2 tsp 
Asafoetida - 1 pinch 
Chopped green chillies - 1 tsp 
Chopped fresh ginger - 1 tsp 
Curry leaves - a few 
Broken red chillies - 2 
Chopped coriander - 1 tbsp 
Chopped Cucumber - 4 tbsps 
Fresh grated coconut - 4 tbsps 

METHOD 

 1. Soak Rajma over night. 
2. Pressure cook adding one cup of water until three whistles. 
3. Drain the cooked Rajma and keep it aside. 
4. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. 
5. When the mustard seeds crackle add the black gram dal and fry till golden in colour. 
6. Add the broken red chillies,chopped green chillies, chopped ginger and curry leaves followed by asafoetida. 
7. Stir in the cooked Rajma and salt. 
8. Stir and cook till dry and then squeeze the juice of lime. 
9. Switch off flame. 
10. Garnish with fresh coconut gratings, chopped coriander leaves and chopped cucumber. 

 JEVVARISI PONGAL / SAGO PONGAL


INGREDIENTS 

 Sago - 2 cups 
 Whole green gram - 1 cup 
 Salt - 3/4 tsp 
 Sesame oil - 2 tbsps 
Coarsely crushed pepper - 1 tsp 
 Cumin seeds - 1 tsp 
 Chopped green chillies - 1/2 tsp
 Chopped fresh ginger - 1/2 tsp 
 Curry leaves - a few 
Fresh coconut gratings - 2 tbsps 
 Cashew nuts - a few 
Ghee - 2 tbsps 

METHOD 

1. Soak whole green gram over night. 
2. Cover with water and cook for 15 minutes adding a pinch of salt,and drain. 
3. Wash Sago thoroughly, cover with water and allow it to soak for three hours till it becomes soft. 
4. Drain the sago and keep aside. 
5. Heat oil and add the crushed pepper and cumin seeds. 
6. Add chopped green chillies , ginger and curry leaves. 
7. Add the thoroughly drained sago and cook till it becomes slightly transparent. 
8. Mix in the cooked whole green gram and salt. 
9. Keep stirring now and then until all the moisture evaporates, and then switch off flame. All the grains will separate as the pongal cools down. 
10. Heat ghee and fry the cashew nuts and add it to the pongal. 
11. Garnish with fresh coconut gratings. 


 Offer the Urulaikizhangu Halwa, Rajma Sundal and Jevvarisi Pongal to Lord Shiva, and then enjoy the Palahaaram.