Monday, July 30, 2007

Puttu (steamed rice cake)





Delicious Puttu Ready :)


Removing the steel plate before serving.



Notice the round steel plate which falls off outside the puttu vessel. This plate ensures even heating of the puttu as well as ensures that the puttu powder does not fall back from the bottom of the vessel.




Using the stick to push the puttu from the vessel after it is cooked.




The Puttu vessel . The thin long stick is used to push the puttu from the bottom of the vessel after it is cooked. The cap of Puttu vessel has many vents to let out the steam to ensure the Puttu is properly cooked.


Inside the puttu making vessel




When I remember Puttu, I remember a funny dialog in a malayalam movie where a chef wants to impress his client with his culinary skills by telling that he knows to prepare "steamed rice cake" :)...well none of the people in Kerala would know when you ask them about steamed rice cake, hence the comedian just wanted to add a "stylish" touch by giving a english name for the traditional name for the dish , ie "Puttu" ....Anyways Puttum Kadalayum has been the favorite among keralites . Puttu is prepared with rice flour and grated coconut (fresh not the dry version) in a special vessel. I have posted the pic above. You get this vessel in most of the indian stores. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:
Rice flour - 2 cups
salt
Water
Grated Coconut - 1 cup

Method:
Mix rice flour and salt. Sprinkle water over this mixture and mix it well until it forms crumbs. That is the correct consistency. Grease the vessel in which you are preparing the puttu. Add the rice mixture first to form the major layer, followed by grated coconut alternativly to form a small layer alternativly. Never press the mixture inside the vessel as this prevents the steam while cooking the Puttu to come out of the vents of the vessel . The vessel I use for preparing puttu can be used over the vent of a pressure cooker. So I fill the my pressure cooker with sufficient water , and when the steam comes through the vent of the pressure cooker, I cover it with the Puttu vessel. Cook until the steam comes out of the vents on the Puttu vessel. Check if the steam is escaping from the bottom of the Puttu vessel if you are unable to see steam coming out of the Puttu vessel for 30 minutes. I cover the bottom with a cloth to prevent the steam from escaping. The usual cooking time is 5-10 minutes. Serve it along with coconut milk, or kadala curry, or with ripe banana or just plain sugar.

Dahi Vada


Dahi Vada is a easy snack to prepare once you have the Vadas ready (read my previous entry for uzhunnu vada

It is also called Thairu Vada (thairu means curd in malayalam).

Ingredients:

-------------

Curd - Sufficient enough for vadas to be soaked properly. You can add more dahi if you are fond of the spiced curd of dahi vada :)

For Tadka: Oil, Mustard seeds, oil, Cumin seeds, Green chilli minced

Salt

Method:

Smooth the cord to avoid lumps. Add water if necessary to make it less thick. Heat oil, and add the tadka ingredients. When all the ingredients splutter, add it to the curd and add salt at the end.

Add the prepared vadas (hot or cold), in water for 30 minutes. Squeeze the vadas to let out excess oil from the vadas. Then add the vadas to the spiced curd. Decorate with coriander leaves and sprinkle with chaat masala and green chutney before serving.

Uzhunnu Vada (Urad Dal Vada)





Uzhunnu Vada is yet another snack loved by all. Its similar to Parippu Vada except that it is much softer inside than the crunchy Parippu Vada. It is made with soaked urad dal, and the procedure is the same. Hence you can refer my previous entry for Parippu Vada for the recipe substituting urad dal in place of thuvar dal.

Parippu Vada




Parippu Vada is known to each and every person in South India, especially in Kerala. In the evenings, "Parippuvadayum chayayum" which means Parippu Vada and Tea makes such a satisfying evening snack. People just crowd on the road-side shops, after their hard work be it in office or under the sun to refresh with a cup of tea in one hand and parippu vada in another :) ...Love preparing this for my husband who also likes it a lot!

Ingredients:

Thuvar dal - 1 cup
Onion - chopped very finely - 1/2 cup
Green chilli minced - 3-4 green chillies
Curry leaves chopped finely - 4-6 leaves
salt
water for grinding (very little if your mixie does not co-operate or null)
oil for deep frying

Method:

Soak Thuvar dal in water for atleast 4-5 hours
Drain the water and grind it to a fine paste , thick enough to make small lemon sized balls.
Mix the rest of the ingredients .
Keep a small container filled with water. This is for dipping your palms in water which helps to make the balls , else it makes it very difficult to make the ball as the dal would keep sticking on your fingers. This is very important.
Make small balls out of the dal mixture and deep fry in hot oil until a little darker than golden brown. Serve with tomato sauce, mint chutney, along with hot tea/coffee !

Gulab Jamun




Hi , I prepared Gulab Jamun, Dahi Vada, and Pathrodo this weekend as my husband had returned home from DC after 5 days...He thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the Dahi Vada as he is a big fan of curd. Me and his father teases him by telling that he considers curd as the main dish and anything else served is considered sidedish :)) (when everyone would otherwise tell "we take curd as a side dish, not the main dish") ....you wont believe he takes curd even with dosa!!I got the recipe for gulab jamun from the following blog :


It came out good, except that my sugar syrup was not hot enough for the jamuns to swell. Even then it was tasty:) ...I asked Annita (the above blog's owner) , about the jamuns not swelling in the syrup I had made, and she told me that I need to add the fried jamuns immedietly in hot boiling syrup. I will try it next time. I have posted the pics anyways...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Lemon Meringue Pudding

Lemon Meringue Pudding Topped with whipped cream Cooling at room temperature
Straight from the oven

Got this recipe from the back of a corn starch packet.
Ingredients:
1/2 cup Corn starch
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
4 egg yolks lightly beaten
1/2 cup lemon juice (or extract)
1 Tbspn grated Lemon peel (1 lemon)
2 Tbspn butter or margarine
4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
2 tspn Corn Starch
Method:
Mix 1/2 cup corn starch, 1-1/2 cups sugar, water, and egg yolks in a saucepan over medium heat. Stirring constantky(else it forms lumps), bring mixture to a boil (8 to 10 minutes), reduce heat and continuosly stirring for one minuteuntil very thick. Remove from heat, and add lemon juice, lemon zest and butter, stir well untill smooth. Pour this while hot into a well greased baking pan. Beat egg whites in mixer at high speed until soft peaks form , gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cornstarch, beating until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight), about 3 minutes. Top the lemon mixture in the baking pan by spooning meringue over it, making sure to spread it on the entire surface, use the back of a spoon tp swirl meringue and draw up into peaks. Place oven rack in bottom third of preheated 375 deg F oven. Bake 10 minutes, until peaks are lightly browned. Cool at room teperature for 30 minutes. Chill for minimum of 3 hours before serving. Serve with whipped cream as topping.

Sev Chaat

Sev Chaat
The ingredients Green Chilli water
Sev
Chaat masala
Chopped Onions
Green peas curry


Make a curry of green peas (or pattani). Keep ready, chaat masala, finely chopped onions, Lemon extract, Sev (readily available in all Indian grocery stores), green chilli grinded with a little water and salt,Salsa(optional). Serve in the order above on a plate for a spicy version. For non-spicy version, you may omit the green chilli, and add a little bit of curd.

Kerala Chicken Curry


I got this recipe after referring to this blog:


Both me and husband loved every bit of the chicken and its dry masala gravy!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

A heartfelt tribute to my dad

Hi friends, I was out of station for quiet a while......things were not so in place ....still trying to figure out how to put the pieces back together.....coz i lost my dad who was (still is) my dearest everloving pillar of support.......its like losing a piece of your life which you dont know how to put back together......and its still not sunk in my mind that he is not there, coz the last time i saw him, he seemed alright, infact never in my thoughts did it occur that when I embraced him, it wud be the last time......oh dad, how I wish I could hug you again, please come back to me, mom, and bro, we terribly miss you ......Oh God, please give him back to us, missing him a lot....just knowing that you are there beside me, gives a lot of courage and confidence dad,.....and if I knew what you were going through, I would have never left your bedside.....I dont know how you felt when I was leaving....but surely it was your prayer which made me come to India in midst of all the other chaos that was happening in my life.....I am so glad I did come , atleast I was able to be by your side, feeding you, helping you....god, iam just feeling so shockingly painful thinking that the past one year you did not even utter a word about what you were going through.....why dad? i feel all the more guilty and keep thinking, must I have done anything all those days to give you trouble? ......dad I miss you and I am terribly sorry for anything I must have done to hurt you......I just wish you were beside me:(

Chiffon cake









Recipe coming soon

Fish pickle


Recipe coming soon

Spicy Lemon Rice



Recipe coming soon

Bread Gulab Jamun


Recipe coming soon

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