Friday, September 26, 2014

Sojji Appam - Fried Dough With Sweet Semolina Filling


''Oh dear Mother ! I welcome thee by ringing the bell -
I offer Thee a comfortable seat -
The waters of  the holy rivers are Thine for ablutions -
The best of  fruits and honey are for Thee to savour -
I offer a cool and fragrant bath to Thee -
I adorn Thee with fine clothing -
And  bedeck Thee with precious ornaments -
I anoint Thee with sandal paste, and 
Offer Thee vermilion , turmeric and incense -
I offer Thee a garland made of the most fragrant flowers -
I shower Thee with the choicest of flowers and aromatic herbs -
Finally Oh Mother, I offer Thee my entire self ,
Filled with the ambrosial sweet called devotion !
Oh Goddess, Thou who manifests as  mother in all beings,
Salutations to Thee,salutations to Thee, salutations to Thee !''

 Offering Sojji Appam to Mother Goddess during Navaraatri symbolizes the total surrender of the Self filled with sweet  devotion unto Her!

Semolina - 1 cup
Cashew nuts ( coarsely powdered)- 1/4 cup
Sugar - 2 cups
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch
1.Heat ghee in a thick bottomed kadai.
2. Add the cashew nuts immediately followed by semolina.
3. Roast on low flame till you get a pleasant aroma.
4. Side by side boil 2 cups of water on the second burner of the stove.
5. Now safely and gently add the boiling water to the fried semolina.
6.Stir well and cook till the semolina starts to thicken.

7. Add sugar and blend well.
8.Cook till the Sojji thickens and comes together like a ball.

9.Mix cardamom powder and allow it to cool thoroughly.
Plain white flour / Maida - 1 cup
Ghee - 1 tbsp

Salt - 1 pinch
1. Take a wide mouthed bowl and mix all the above ingredients together using your hand.
2. When the flour resembles bread crumbs SPRINKLE water just enough to gather the flour into a dough.
3. Knead into a stiff but pliable dough.
1. Make small lemon size balls out of the already prepared Sojji.
2. Make slightly smaller balls out of the maida dough.

3. Take a dough ball and flatten it on your palm.
4.Place a ball of Sojji on it.
5. Pull the edges together over the filling , press together with your fingers and seal.
6. Keep the sealed side down and pat it into a thick and flat circle.

7. You may use a rolling pin to flatten the Sojji Appam, but keep the Appam thick.
8. Heat oil in a kadai.
9. Reduce the flame and slide a Sojji Appam into the hot oil.
10. Cook till the colour of the Appam starts to change, and then increase the flame to medium.
11. Flip the Appam and fry till it becomes golden  brown in colour.
12. Drain the Sojji Appam using a perforated ladle.
13. Sojji Appams can be fried in batches .
14. Spread out the Sojji Appams on a dry plate and allow them to cool down.
Offer the Sojji Appam to Mother Goddess and enjoy the Prasadam with one and all.

Sojji Appams are crisp when fresh and they tend to soften when stored. But the taste remains ambrosial.

This post is for Sri. P.V. Krishna Murthy and family.
Special thanks to Shravan and Pranav for the Navaraatri Kolu picture.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mini Vegetable Adais - Lentil, Rice And Vegetable Pancakes


My four year old grand daughter is a great foodie though she eats only very little at a time. She can instantaneously tell   'yummy food'  from 'yucky food' from a large spread of dishes! She is an ardent fan of 'Master Chef'' and even suggests ideas to her mother on how to make a dish more 'yummy'! My daughter packs her lunch box with the dish the child  chooses for the day. She likes to sneak in  as many vegetables as possible in all the dishes she prepares for the child.
Mini Idlies, Mini Dosais and Mini Adais suit her lunch box , as they are easy to handle and less messy. Adais are prepared by soaking  a mixture of dals with rice which make them  highly nutritious, delicious and also gluten free. The addition of vegetables make them wholesome and even more nutritious.
Here is my grand daughter's favourite lunch box food - Colourful Mini Vegetable Adais .


Rice - 1 cup
Split pigeon peas/ Tur dal - 1/2 cup
Bengal gram dal - 1/2 cup
Split Black gram dal - 2 tbsps
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Fresh ginger - 1'' piece
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Red chillies - 2
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Curry leaves - a few

1.Soak the dals and rice with red chillies for one hour.
2. Add all the other ingredients and grind into a coarse and moderately thick batter. The ground grains should have the coarseness of semolina. The batter should be of Idly batter consistency.
3. This batter can be used immediately or can be stored in the refrigerator for the next morning.

Beetroot  - Pressure cook one whole beetroot, peel , grate and keep aside.
Fresh carrot - Peel and grate one big carrot and keep aside.
Finely minced cabbage  - Boil a fistful of  minced cabbage with 1/2 a pinch of salt for one minute. Drain and keep aside.
Fresh coriander leaves  - Finely minced.


Take three portions of the batter in three different bowls.
Mix the grated beetroot to one portion.
Mix grated carrot to the second portion.
Mix blanched cabbage and minced fresh coriander to the third portion.

1. Grease and heat a tava.
2. Take a scoop of batter and pour it on the hot tava and spread into a thick Adai.
3. Spread one scoop of batter from each portion into similar circles.
4. Dribble ghee around each Adai, cover  and cook on low flame.
5. Remove the lid and  flip the Adais.
6. Cook till both sides of the Adai are done.

Allow to cool . Pack the colourful and nutritious Adais for your little one and do not forget to send along a bottle of fresh fruit juice ,  to wash down the Adais.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Parippu Pradhaman - Lentil And Coconut Milk Porridge


  Paruppu payasam or lentil porridge is the first dish to be served in any festive South Indian   lunch on the right hand corner of a banana leaf. Then it is served again after the rice and rasam course. A connoisseur of food or a foodie to be precise, always loves to  enjoy the Payasam / Pradhaman as a dessert at the end of the meal.  Ona Sadya ( Onam Feast ) is a very special occasion where twenty six delicious dishes are served on a large banana leaf.  It includes three varieties of sweets and  Parippu Pradhaman / Paruppu Payasam is one among them. Scooping out Parippu Pradhaman  from the leaf  using your hand, and slurping it contentedly  is in itself a deliciously joyous  experience !

Split green gram dal / Cherupayar ( Parippu ) / Moong dal - 1 cup
Powdered jaggery - 1 cup
Thick coconut milk - 1 cup
Thin coconut milk - 2 cups
 Fresh coconut pieces - 1 tbsp
 Cashew nuts - a few
 Raisins - a few
 Cardamom powder - 1 pinch
 Ghee - 1 tbsp

Add two cups of water and blend two cups of fresh coconut gratings till it becomes smooth.
Squeeze out the thick milk by passing the smooth coconut paste through a sieve,and keep it separately.

Add two more cups of water to the already squeezed coconut gratings and blend once again.
Squeeze out the second thin milk and keep it separately.

1. Heat 1/2 teaspoon of ghee and roast the Parippu/Split Green Gram dal /Moong dal till it emanates a pleasant aroma.
2. Add 2 cups of water and pressure cook the roasted dal and keep aside.

3. Melt jaggery in one cup of water and filter .
4. Mash the cooked dal and add it to the jaggery water.
5. Cook till it thickens giving out a very  pleasant aroma.

6. Add the thin coconut milk and keep cooking till the Pradhaman thickens.

7. Finally add the thick coconut milk and cook on low flame.  Switch off flame when it is about to boil.
8. Heat the remaining ghee, fry the coconut pieces, cashew nuts and raisins  separately till they turn golden in colour.
9. Mix  the cardamom powder into the Parippu Pradhaman.

10. Garnish with the fried nuts and raisins.

Enjoy the flavoursome and creamy Parippu Pradhaman and celebrate  Ona Sadya.