Monday, October 20, 2014

Aranmanai Laadu - A Special Sweet Ball prepared with Bengal Gram Dal


 I have been wanting  to prepare the traditional Aranmanai Laadu from a very very long time. The recipe is from the well known cook book SAMAITHU PAAR by Meenakshi Ammal - an inseparable gift, which was given to me during my wedding about four and a half decades ago. I do not know how or why Aranmanai Laadu ( meaning Palace Laadu ) got its name. But the heavenly aroma that it emanates during the preparation is enough to vouch for the royalty of the 'golden'  Aranmanai Laadu
Bengal gram dal - 2 cups
Powdered sugar - 2 cups
Ghee - 1 cup + 2tbsps
Fresh Coconut gratings - 1/2 cup
Cashew nuts - 1/4 cup
Cardamom - 4
Edible camphor( Pachchai karpooram ) - 1/2 a pinch
1. Heat 2 tbsps of ghee and roast the cashew nuts and coconut  gratings separately till they are golden brown in colour. Keep them aside. 
2. Powder cardamom and edible camphor together and keep aside.
3. Wash and soak Bengal gram dal for two hours.

4. Drain the soaked dal and grind it into a very thick batter.
5. Heat one cup of ghee in a thick bottomed kadai and add the batter to it.

6. Roast the batter on low flame till all the moisture evaporates.
7. Keep stirring using a spatula till the whole mass crumbles.

8. Add powdered sugar and blend well and switch off flame. I also added two table spoons of plain sugar for texture.
9. Mix in the roasted nuts and cardamom powder and blend well .

10. Take a scoop of the mixture and firmly shape it into a badminton ball size Laadu

My husband suggests that an addition of more nuts like pista and badam, raisins and saffron strands to Aranmanai Laadu  will doubly justify its name ! 
Share the flavoursome Aranmanai Laadu with your near and dear ones and enjoy the HAPPY DEEPAVALI  celebrations.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Bandli Pulav - Rice In Spicy Vegetable Gravy


My grand daughter likes the Tava Pulav prepared at Shanthi Sagar which is one of  her favourite food joints. Yesterday when she dropped in for lunch I decided to prepare her favourite Tava Pulav using the ingredients readily available at home.  My tava was not large enough to prepare the quantity required for the family. Since I used my Bandli / kadai to prepare the Tava Pulav, we playfully named it as "Bandli Pulav"!

 Rice - 2 cups ( I used Sona Masuri )
Juicy Tomatoes ( chopped) - 2 cups
Carrots ( grated ) - 1/2 cup
Tender Kohlrabi / Knolkhol ( grated )- 1/2 cup
Green Capsicum ( minced ) - 1/2 cup
Onion ( minced ) - 1/2 cup
Salt - 2 tsps
Sambar powder - 1 1/2 tsps
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon,cardamom and cloves ( powdered together ) - 1 tsp
Ginger and garlic ( ground) - 1 tsp
Fresh coriander leaves ( chopped ) - 2 tbsps
Cooking oil - 2 tbsps

1. Pressure cook rice with exactly 4 cups of water and allow to cool.
2. Heat oil in the bandli and add the cumin seeds.
3. Add the ground ginger and garlic and saute .
4.Now add minced onion and fry till it turns pink in colour.
5. Add the chopped juicy tomatoes followed by sambar powder and salt.
6. Cover and cook till the tomatoes become pulpy, stirring now and then. 
7. Add the grated and minced vegetables.

8. Cook till the vegetables are done.
9.Add the powdered spices ( you may even add half a spoon of Pav Bhaji masala at this stage) and cook for one more minute. Add coriander leaves and switch off flame.

10. Fluff up the cooked rice and add it to the cooked vegetable gravy.

11. Mix well until each and every grain of rice is coated with the gravy.

Enjoy the hot and flavoursome "Bandli Pulav" with onion and cucumber raita.

I am happy to announce that I have been chosen as the Bawarchi of the Week. Here are the links :