Thursday, July 31, 2008

Elai Adai - A traditional Kerala special

This is a very traditional sweet made in Kerala. Its mostly kind of a seasonal recipe, since ripe jackfruit is the key ingredient. When jack fruit is out of season, nenthrapazham ( a Kerala speciality banana) or avil (beaten rice/poha) is commonly used. This adai is even offered as prasadam in Thirumandamkunnu temple at Angadipuram near Malappuram dist.

Ela Adai is jaggery+jack fruit+coconut mixture with rice covering ,steam cooked in banana leaves. The banana leaves indeed give a unique flavor to the adai. During the season, jack fruit is preserved as chakkavaratti (jackfruit and jaggery). When fresh jackfruit is out of season, this adai can be prepared using the chakka varatti and coconut mixture for filling.

For the outer covering
Raw rice ½ cup
Boiled rice ½ cup
Salt - a pinch

Inner filling
Ripe jackfruit 1 cup
Jaggery ½ cup
Grated coconut 4 tbsp

If you are using chakka varatti then

Grated coconut 1/2 cup
Jaggery 1/2 cup
Chakka varatti 4 tbsp (jackfruit jam made with jaggery)

For the outer covering

Soak equal amounts of raw rice & boiled rice for 2-3 hrs. Grind fine adding salt. The consistency should be slightly thinner than dosa batter.

To prepare the filling

Remove the seeds and the hair on the outside of the jackfruit bulbs. Mince it fine. Take a kadai. Add half cup of water and the minced jackfruit. Cook for a while & add jaggery. When the jaggery and the pieces combine well, add the grated coconut. You should get the dough like consistency.

If you are using chakka varatti, first mix grated coconut with powdered jaggery and put it on fire & stir till they both combine and add the chakka varatti and stir for 2 minutes.

Take plantain leaves and cut them to roughly 6”square. Clean & show them over the stove flame for a few seconds to make them flexible.
Spread 2 tbsp ground batter on the leaf like a thin dosa. Since I had to grind the rice before the required soaking time, you can find grains of the parboiled rice in my batter. But it did not affect the taste.

On another leaf, spread 2 tbspn of the filling
and then invert the leaf over the spread batter. Carefully lift the leaf and fold the adai like a packet.

Steam adais in the pressure cooker or idli steamer for 10 minutes.

Serve hot or cold. This tastes best when served cold.

Milagu Kozambu - Black Pepper Gravy


The medicinal value of black pepper is well known. Milagu kozambu or Black Pepper Gravy is a welcome change after one has been subjected to rich food continuously. It is very good for digestion, and has an appealing taste as well. Taste buds tend to hibernate, leaving a bad taste in the mouth as a result of over eating or indigestion. Milagu kozambu activates the taste buds and induces hunger. It alleviates biliousness, mouth watering and bitterness in the tongue.

My sister shuns Milagu kozambu during dinner. She is terrified by the affliction of hunger pangs which would wake her up in the middle of the night. If you take a liking to the colour, taste and flavour of milagu kuzambu, you could savour it with hot rice and ghee, just like any other kozambu. A mixed vegetable salad, roasted papad, or a pachhadi (yoghurt dip) can make a delicious combination.

Hot milagu kozambu and rice, is often served after Yennae kuliyal or a traditional oil bath. An 'oil-bath' begins with a full body and head massage with warm sesame oil, and a bit of castor oil for the eyes, nose and navel. This is then followed by a rub down with freshly ground turmeric - natures best medicine for the skin. The oil is then washed away with Shikakai powder and other natural fragnant cleansers, and lots and lots of very hot water, as hot as you can you can take! (The picture alongside shows water getting boiled for a yennae kuliyal in our village! ) A meal that includes a course of hot milagu kozambu rice, after an oil bath leaves one feeling light and detoxed, and is truely a heavenly experience.

Black pepper - 2 tbsps
Cumin seeds – 2 tbsps
Tur dal (Red gram dal) - 2 tbsps
Dhania (Dry coriander seeds) – 2 tbsp
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Curry leaves – a handful
Dried red chilly – 1
Salt – 2 tsps
Tamarind - a small lemon sized ball of tamarind
For Seasoning:
Sesame oil – 2 tsps
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Urad dal (Black gram dal) – ½ tsp

1. Heat ½ tsp of oil. Add the asafoetida, and pepper and roast.
2. Next add cumin seeds, coriander seeds, tur dal, and red chilly and roast till the pepper cracks and the dal becomes golden in colour.
3. Add curry leaves and roast till it splutters.
4. Add the tamarind and remove from flame.
5. Allow the ingredients to cool, and then grind them finely. Add a 1 cup of water and salt and grind into a paste and set aside.
6. Heat oil in the now empty pan and add the mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.
7. Add urad dal and roast it till golden in colour.
8. Now add the ground paste with 1 more cup of water and salt.
9. Boil till the kozambu thickens and the aroma triggers off your digestive juices.
10. Remove from flame and serve with piping hot rice and a dollop of ghee.

Breakfast Bar

This is a quick and simple recipe which you could make it in advance and store it in an airtight container. It could be given as a gift or get one or two with you in the rush hour.

Make a 23 x 33 x 4cm baking pan
  1. Combine 250g rolled oats, 75g shredded coconut, 100g dried cranberries, 125g unsalted roasted peanut, 45g pumpkin seeds, 40g sunflower seeds and 40g black sesame.
  2. Mix in 397g condensed milk and spread evenly on a baking tin which attach with baking parchment.
  3. Bake in a preheat oven at 130'C for 1 hour.
  4. Let it cool down for a while before cut into the desire size of bar.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hokkaido Milky Loaf

I had this recipe from HHB. As mentioned at her blog, the bread texture is truly cottony that I supposed the fresh cream and milk produced a better texture.

I baked the dough into a perfect square sandwich loaf and this fantastic recipe will be added into our breakfast menu!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

LED Lighting's Wild West to End

The wide variations in amount of light, color, energy efficiency and length of life, of LED light fixtures is about to end:

LED Lighting Standards Arrive

The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) published a documentary standard LM-79, which describes the methods for testing solid-state lighting products for their light output (lumens), energy efficiency (lumens per watt) and chromaticity.

In this case it's really thank goodness for regulation! And none too soon either.

The LED fixtures on the market have been all over the map in quality, and consumers have had no direction as to what was good or bad.

In the fall of 2008 you will begin to see Energy Star rated LED fixtures, which have been tested against these new standards, and you will be able to depend on the Energy Star logo to indicate products that meet the promise of LED lighting.


Palak/Spinach soup

Palak soup is one of the commonly prepared soups at home. Even though, palak features mostly in gravies in our lunch menu, the soup is relished by everyone at home. In microwave, it takes less than 10 minutes to be made.

Palak - 1 bunch

Onion - 1

Butter - 1 tspn

Water- 2 cups

Pepper - 1 tspn

Milk - 1/2 cup

Salt to taste

Chop the palak and onions roughly. Take a microwave safe bowl. Add a teaspoon of butter and MW for 30 secs. Add chopped onions and MW for 2 minutes, till the onions brown. Add chopped palak and 2 cups of water. MW for 4 minutes. Make a puree of the whole mixture. Add milk, salt and pepper to the puree. Adjust the quanitity of milk according to the desired thickness. Adding milk is optional , instead can add water to adjust the consistency. MW for 1 minute.

Garnish with cream or grated cheese and serve hot. I like without any garnish.

I am sending this to Srivalli's MEC - Soups and Stews.

P.S Srivalli is compiling a food blog list featuring on its cuisine/specialty. If your blog is not already listed there and would love to be part of that list, leave her a comment here.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lemon Curd Cheesecake

This was one of the best selling product in Huntingdon especially during the summer as it's so refreshing. The cheesecake contains cooked lemon curd which could easily get from the supermarket or made our own homemade lemon curd. I did it myself as I like to add more lemon juice to have a strong lemon flavor and used some the left over to decorate the cheesecake.

Recipe for 9 inch baking tin

Bottom base:
155g Digestive biscuits crumbs
75g butter (melted)

375g cream cheese
50g sugar
300g cooked lemon curd
7 tablespoon lemon juice
15g gelatin (dissolve in water)
250ml whipped cream

Cooked lemon curd:
135g butter
330g sugar
3 egg beaten, strain
3 teaspoon lemon zest
6 tablespoon lemon juice
*Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice for stronger flavor

  1. Mix crumbs and melted butter in a bowl. Press crumb mixture onto bottom pan and keep in the fridge.
  2. To make lemon curd: In the top of a double boiler, combine all the ingredients over gently simmering water. Cook until thickened and coats back of spoon. Remove from heat and completely cool.
  3. To make the filling, in large bowl with electric mixer on medium-high, beat cream cheese until fluffy, gradually beat in sugar then beat in zest and juice follow by lemon curd.
  4. Add the dissolved gelatin into the mixture and add in the whipped cream until everything combine. Pour into crust and chill in the fridge until it set.
  5. Decorate the cheesecake with some whipped cream at the side of cheesecake and pour over some left over lemon curd on top of the cheesecake.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Honey Muffins

The title Healthy honey cake caught my attention when I was glancing through TOI. When I saw Roma's Honey cake recipe, the first thing I noticed the absence of eggs in the list. That got me interested. Added to that, the ingredients were all healthy. So went straight to the kitchen tried it.

I followed her recipe with few variations
  • I used jaggery instead of brown sugar. In spite of increasing by another tablespoon, I found the muffins to be very less sweet.

  • Added 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg powder. That gave a unique flavor to the muffins.

Every one loved the muffins. For those who found the sweet to be too less, I served honey. Next time, I will increase both jaggery and honey quantities.

This healthy muffins goes to Aparna, who is the host of the month for the Think Spice, originally started by Sunitha.

Paneer Pakoda

Pakodas or Pakoras is always a welcome snack with a steaming cup of cofee/tea. As monsoon arrives, it is bajji time at home. Other than the usual onion/vazhakkai(raw banana) bajjis, I occasionally prepare these pakodas. It is so tasty that it disappears in minutes, every time I make this.

Paneer - 100 gms cut into cubes
Gram flour (Besan )- 2 cups
Rice flour - 2 tbspn
Cooking soda - a pinch
Chilli powder - 1 tspn
Garam masala - 1 tspn
salt to taste
oil for frying.

Mix the paneer pieces with a teaspoon of garam masala and salt and keep aside for 10 minutes. This will enhance the flavor of paneer. This step is optional.

Mix all the ingredients together except oil.

Add little water so that the batter is thick and coats all the paneer pieces.

Slightly crumble the paneer while mixing.
Heat oil in a kadai. Put a drop of batter into the oil, if it sizzles and rise to the top, the oil is ready for frying.
Drop dollops of the batter into the oil. After it rises to the top, slightly turn them and fry till golden.

Drain on absorbent tissues and serve hot with a cup of coffee/tea

I am sending this to Rushina for the Pakora contest
The pakodas also joins Vandana's Paneer - A delicacy event

Thursday, July 24, 2008

decision making :: floors, backsplash, wallpaper

I'd prefer to be posting things like, "hey guys, check out the new counter tops" but for now we are still waiting for these darned contractors to get moving on the quote process to get rid of this wall. There are quite a few issues, let alone the fact that it's a load-bearing wall. There is plumbing, HVAC ductwork and electrical lines that will need to be reconfigured. Each contractor that has come through ends up having to schedule a second appointment with other people to give an accurate quote. So - it's taking longer than expected.

Fortunately, while we complain about not living on the first floor, we do have a fairly comfortable, efficiency'esque 'apartment' in the basement.

As the process goes on, decisions are constantly being made - and then changed - and then changed back - and then thrown out the window completely. Here are some considerations:

Wood floors - the ones in the house are pretty amazing. The planks are all slightly different widths, the color is warm and they are some seriously solid, thick floors. Original to the house, I imagine they could have been hand-scraped, according to this article, wood floors weren't mass produced in factories until the 1900's. Although, we were told by the previous owner that at some point in the '80s they were pulled up, cleaned and relaid - this is probably why they are in as good as shape as they are - not much squeaking or moving at all. Anyhow, they're in need of a refinishing. The options are:

--- a typical sanding/refinish to expose a new, very clean surface to then finish with polyurethane of some sort (we probably won't stain them, which will leave them a very light color) or;

--- buff them with a light sanding, leaving them the current color, but giving them a very shiny, hopefully nice look with multiple coats of poly. We like this option, because it will retain the rustic look that we really like - I love the dark line in between each board and would hate to lose that to a deep sanding;

--- any thoughts? like that window in the middle of the house? That's the wall that needs to be taken out - it used to be the rear of the home, hence the window.

Floors 013
Floors 003

Backsplash - this is so far down the line that I have time to change my mind at least 37 times. We are considering a few materials. One being stainless steel tiles. We saw this in a house and it looked great. I've read a few things about people having problems with it looking dirty and/or scratching - which makes me nervous. Especially when considering the fact that it'll probably cost twice as much as other materials. We went ahead and ordered some samples from Modwalls, just to see how they look. They look pretty great - the subway tile (second below) is my top choice (it's about .75"x1.5", to put it in perspective):

Wallpaper for the bedroom - Despite the fact that we sort of hate it after removing as much as we did (and still have more to do) - we love the stuff over at Ferm Living. This is only going to be on one wall in the bedroom, behind the headboard (which I'll post about later, we're making it out of the huge doors that were on the first floor - s'gonna be nice). We don't agree on this decision at all right now.

Craig is fighting for this:

But I like this one:

I'd actually pick this one right now - but it does not seem to be within Craig's compromise-able range:

Aloo Tikki for MBP-Less is More

When Nupur announced MBP-theme, the event started by Coffee, I had the post ready with me. It was intended for the previous MBP. But could not post it then. I tried Aloo Tikki from Sindhi Rasoi. You can visit Alka's website for some mouth-watering Sindhi recipes.

I followed her recipe except that I shallow fried the tikkis. It was no less tastier than the deep fried ones. Here is the recipe that I tried

1) 3 Potatoes
2) 2 Bread slices

3) 1 tspn red chilli powder (Original - Green chilly)
4)1/2 tspn Cumin powder ( Replaced cumin seeds)
5) few finely chopped coriander leaves

salt to taste
Oil for frying

According to the rules of MBP, oil and salt are not counted. Also I could have combined the last three as one , as part of seasoning. Anyways, it adds upto 5.

Pressure cook potatoes. Peel them and mash lightly.Crumble the bread slices in a mixer grinder. Mix mashed potatoes, bread crumbs, cumin powder, salt, finely chopped coriander leaves together. Take lemon sized balls of the mixture and shape into tikki.

Heat a tawa. Spray some oil. Arrange the tikkis. Cook both sides till golden brown. Add few drops of oil when you turn the tikkis.

Serve with ketchup or any chutney of your choice.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Raagi Idiyappam & tomato masala curry

Idiyappam/Rice noodles is a favorite of both me and my hubby. As a child, I had always looked forward to the idiyappams prepared by my neighbor, V aunty. She used to send me few. At my home, it was always Sevai, which is also rice noodles but cooked in a different way. I shall shortly post Sevai too.

Post marriage, I found DH also very fond of this. So I learnt to make those. Got myself the idiyappam press and steaming plates & stand specifically for idiyappam. Here I am giving the recipe for Raagi Idiyappam, which is equally tasty like the rice variation.

Some nutrition facts on Raagi

Raagi contains about 6.7 % protein. Raagi protein is reported to be a good quality. Ragi is rich in methionine, which is an amino acid lacking in most of the other cereals. Raagi is also found to have liberal amount of calcium. Raagi has been traditionally used in infant feeding.

Sprouting of Food Grains increases their digestibility and nutritive value. The vitamins content in food grains, like riboflavin, nicotinic acid and pyridoxine and phosphorus increase appreciably during sprouting.
(Source: bawarchi)

Raagi flour - 2 cup
Rice flour - 1/4 cup
hot water - 2 cups
I used store bought sprouted raagi flour. Steam cook the raagi flour by tying it in a cheese cloth for 10 minutes.

Mix rice flour and salt to the steamed raagi flour. Keep mixing the flour while adding the hot water. You may require little more than 2 cups of water. Adjust the water to get a soft dough.

Pinch a golf ball size dough and with the help of a idiyappam press, press on to idli/idiyappam moulds. Steam cook for 10 minutes.

Serve with chutney/kurma/stew. Any coconut based gravy will suit idiyappam.

I served with tomato masala. The recipe is adapted from Mallika badrinath's Tomato masala kootu. I tweaked it to suit the ingredients in my pantry.
Onions - 2 nos

tomatoes - 4 big

turmeric powder

salt to taste


oil - 2 tblspn

mustard seeds

urad dhal - 1 tsp

red chilli powder - 1 tsp

curry leaves - few

Grind together

grated fresh coconut -1/2 cup

poppy seeds- 1 1/2 tblspns soaked in hot water for 10 minutes

green chilly - 4

cumin powder - 1/2 tsp

mustard powder - 1/4 tspn
Chop onions finely and tomatoes into 1 inch cubes. Heat oil and add mustard urad dhal, curry leaves. When it splutters, add chopped onions and fry till crisp. Add chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and ground paste. Cook till you can smell the aroma of the cooked gravy. Finally add tomato pieces and enough water. Cook till gravy thickens.

I am sending the idiyappam to Mansi for her Healthy Cooking event.
As per the rules, these are the facts I think the 'healthy' tag suits my recipe.
1. I have replaced rice with raagi , where rice is being used commonly
2. Sprouted raagi flour is used.
3. The dish is steam cooked.
4. Oil free.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

10 Grain Loaf

I bought few packages of Red Mill whole grain flour from the Market Place Supermarket weeks ago. There are rye flour, wholemeal flour and 10 grain flour. I've used rye flour for a rye bread in my previous attempt whereas wholemeal flour had been used for wholemeal bread or pancakes.

Yesterday, I tried to make another loaf with the 10 grain flour which contains wheat, rye, triticle, oats, corn, barley, soy, brown rice, millet and flax seed. There are finely grounded grains which is quite different from the wholemeal flour I've been used for some time ago. Perhaps the dough would be much smoother.

I purposely left the bread rise without a lid-on as my other half like the caramelized bread edges. Finally, it rise absolutely tall and end up we've got quite a big slice of bread. As for me, I love the outlook of homemade country loaf.

The bread texture was soft as I used a recipe which contains milk and egg. I could hardly tell what is the flavor as too many grains had combined together. Sometimes, it tasted like soy, sometimes like brown rice and sometimes barley. Well, whatever it is, it's a healthy bread.


250g bread flour
80g 10 grain flour
30g sugar
5g yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
65g ice water
100g milk
30g butter
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Gradually add in all the wet ingredients and mix it by a flat beater at low speed until everything just combine.
  2. Add butter continue to mix for 1 or 2 minutes. Change to a dough hook continue kneading for about 20 minutes at medium speed.
  3. Off the machine and clear the sticky dough at side of the bowl. Continue kneading for few seconds.
  4. Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface until the dough smooth but not sticky then shape it into a smooth round dough, cover with cling film and let it rest for 20 minutes.
  5. Knead the dough and punch out the gas.
  6. Flatten a dough and roll out into a longish shape. Roll up the dough like a Swiss-roll.
  7. Flatten the rolled-up dough and roll out again into a long rectangular shape then roll up the dough tightly.
  8. Place the rolled dough in a greased bread tin.
  9. Spray water around the tin. Place it in the oven with door close, proof for 60 minutes without lid on.
  10. Proof until it rise over the top of tin then take out the tin from the oven and preheat the oven at 180'C.
  11. Bake approximately 40 minutes or until golden brown (used an aluminium foil to cover the top after 25 minutes to prevent burning at the top).
  12. Take out the bread to cool down before slicing into pieces. Store leftover bread in airtight container without slicing it into pieces to let it stay fresh for the next serving.

Koottus - Mildly Spiced Mixed Vegetables and Lentils

Koottus - Mildly Spiced Mixed Vegetables and Lentils

Koottu is the name given to mildly spiced boiled mixed vegetables, and is usually prepared as one of the side dishes in an elaborate feast. With the addition of dal (lentils) it becomes a course in itself when served with rice. The spices are usually fried and ground with coconut and thus it is also known as Poricha (fried) koottu.

Koottu can be prepared with assorted mixed vegetables, such as carrots, beans, peas, chow-chow (marrow), cucumber and so on. The sight of so many varieties of fresh vegetables soon after returning from the green grocers inspires me to prepare koottu. The same feeling takes me over when I see the itsy bitsy left over vegetables at the end of the week!

Koottu can even be prepared with any one vegetable. Since raw green papaya was abundantly available in our garden we were treated to papaya koottu very frequently. We children and our great grandmother loved the dish very much as it was not very hot or tangy. It was very gentle on our palates, especially when it was prepared with half ripe papayas, which lent a sweet taste to the koottu. We ate and ate the koottu and ripe papayas until we developed an aversion to it, which of course lingered only up to the next season.
Koottu goes very well with chapattis, poories and rice. Here are three variations.

For Dal

Tur dal (Red gram dal) – ½ cup
Mung dal (Green gram dal -½cup
Turmeric powder -1 pinch
Assorted cleaned and chopped vegetables – 2 cups
(Carrots, beans, peas, marrow, cucumber)
Kabuli channa (chick peas) that has been soaked for at least 12 hours – ¼ tea cup
Salt – 2 tsps
For seasoning:
Oil – 1tsp
Mustard seeds -1/2 tsp
Urad Dal (black gram dal) – 1 tsp
Red chilly -1
Curry leaves – 6 to 8 leaves
For the spice paste
Cooking oil -1 tsp
Urad dal (Black gram dal) -1 tbsp
Jeera (cumin seeds)-1 tsp
Red chillies -3
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Freshly grated coconut – 2 tbsps

1. Wash and tur and mung dals. Cook until soft and mushy with turmeric powder, in 3 glasses of water and set aside.
2. For the spice paste, heat oil and drop in asafoetida, black gram dal, cumin seeds followed by red chilies and fry them till they are reddish in colour. Fry carefully on low flame, till it emanates an aroma. Do this carefully, browned dals loose their flavour and become bitter.
3. Grind the fried ingredients with grated coconut, and set the spice paste aside.
4. Cook the vegetables, along with the previously soaked channa, in a vessel with just enough water.
5. When the vegetables and channa are, add the mushy dal mixture, salt and the spice paste and stir well.
6 .Bring to a boil (2 to 3 minutes) and remove from flame.
7. For seasoning, heat oil and add mustard seeds to splutter; then add the black gram dal and red chillies. When the seasoning becomes red and crisp add curry leaves and pour the whole seasoning into the koottu.


For dal
Cleaned and chopped vegetables – 2 cups (eg. carrots, beans, peas, marrow, cucumber)
Salt - ¾ tsp
Split Bengal gram dal – 1 tbsp
For spice paste
Jeera (cumin seeds) – 1 tsp
Freshly grated coconut – ½ cup
Green chillies – 2
Rice flour -1 tsp
For seasoning
Cooking oil – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Black gram dal – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – a few

1. Soak the split Bengal gram dal in water for at least 20 minutes until soft.
2. Grind the ingredients for the spice paste viz. green chillies, grated coconut and cumin seeds with a teaspoon of rice flour and keep it aside.
3. Cook cut vegetables and the soaked split bengal gram dal in enough water.
4. When the vegetables and dal are soft, add the ground spice paste and salt and boil for 2 – 3 minutes until till every thing blends.
5. Season with mustard seeds, black gram dal and curry leaves.


For Dal
Mung dal (Split green gram dal) – 1 cup
Mixed cut vegetables of your choice- 1 tea cup (eg. carrots, beans, peas, marrow, cucumber)
Black pepper – ½ tsp
Jeera (Cumin seeds) - ½ tsp
Asafoetida -1 pinch
Sambar powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp
For seasoning
Oil – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Urad Black gram dal – ½ tsp
Red chilly – 1
Curry leaves – a few

1. Take dal and turmeric powder in the separator of a pressure cooker, add 3 cups of water and set it in the pressure cooker.
2. Arrange the cut vegetables in another separator and sprinkle the sambar powder , and set it above the dal separator.
3. Close the lid, and place the weight and pressure cook until 3 whistles.
4. Switch off the flame and allow it to cool.
5. Coarsely crush pepper and cumin seeds with a mortar and pestle, and keep it ready.
6. Open the cooker and take out dal and vegetables, and pour them into a vessel.
7. Add asafoetida, crushed pepper and cumin seeds and boil for 3 minutes.
8. Remove from flame and season with mustard seeds, black gram dal, broken red chilly and curry leaves.
Enjoy the cooker koottu with rice or chapattis.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Yam Kofta Curry

While one thinks of preparing kofta curry, there are lot of option to prepare koftas with. Here is a recipe using the not so common kofta ingredient - elephant foot yam. In my house, yam/chenai is often cooked as mezhukkuparatti ( cooked and stir fried in oil), mostly along with raw banana or sometimes its only yam. Occasionally it features in arachukalaki and in porichakozhambu where cow peas, yam and raw banana are used and its almost like sambhar but taste differs because of the vegetables and grinding ingredients used. When I saw this recipe of Mallika Badrinath, I was happy that I could cook the very common chenai in a different form. This photos were languishing in my drafts folder for a very long time. At last, it has to wait for our dear Valli to announce the Curry mela to come out.

Here are some nutrient information of yam.

Yam is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese. The tubers are believed to have blood purifier property.

Now have a look at the plant.

Another closer look.

Lets get on to the recipe now.

For koftas

Elephant yam - 1/4 kg
chutney dal/pottukadalai - 2 tblspn
cinnamon - a small piece
cloves -2
red chilly - 4
salt to taste
bengal gram flour- 2 tblspn
finely cut onions - 2 tblspn
oil for deep frying

For gravy

Chopped onion - 1 cup
tomato paste - 1 cup
turmeric powder - 1 1/2 tspn
red chilly powder - 1 tspn
dhaniya powder - 1 tblspn
jeera powder - 1 tspn
garam masala powder - 1 tsp

Grind together

1 onion
2 green chillies
1 inch ginger
1 tbl spn poopy seeds soaked in hot water for 10 mts

Preparing koftas

Remove outer skin of the yam. Wash and slice yam into thin broad pieces

Heat water in a broad vessel. When it stars boiling, drop yam pieces and remove from fire. Keep closed for 10 minutes. Strain and spread the pieces over a kitchen towel to dry up.

Grind red chillies, pottukadalai, spices for the kofta, together to a powdery consistency in mixie.Finally add salt and yam pieces. Grind to a coarse paste. Keep aside 2 tblspn of this paste to add to the gravy for thickness. Mix chopped onions and bengal gram flour to the remaining yam paste. Prepare small balls and deep fry till dark brown and keep aside.

Gravy prepration

Heat oil in a broad kadai and fry onion till crisp and brown. Add ground paste and stir till oil separates. Add salt and all the powders mentioned for the gravy. Saute for a minute and stir in the tomato paste. Cook for few minutes. Add yam paste and enough water and cook till gravy thickens.

Arrange fried koftas in serving dish ,pour hot gravy on top. Serve hot with chapattis or puris.

You can prepare the dish in two parts. Mixture for the koftas can be prepared and refrigerated for later use. Gravy and frying the koftas can be done together, later.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Chocolate & Nut Chiffon

This chiffon had a soft yet crunchy texture. It also had some moisture filling especially when there are some chocolate oozing out from the cake.

If you are looking for some chocolate cake but not rich yet soft then you may try this.

Recipe for 17cm chiffon tin:
  1. Whip egg whites until peak form then slowly add in caster sugar continue whipping until a shiny and smooth consistency.

  2. Add in the cornflour and whip until just combine.

  3. Mix egg yolks, oil, water, flour, cocoa powder and caster sugar in another mixing bowl until everything well combine.

  4. Add in 1/3 of the egg white mixture into (2) until combine. Then add half of the left over egg whites mixture continue mixing. Then mix in the remaining egg whites until well combine.

  5. Add chopped chocolate and mix until just combined.

  6. Pour into the baking tin then sprinkle chopped nuts on top and bake 40 minutes at 170'C.

  7. Turn the cake upside down for cooling before unmold it.