Monday, August 31, 2009

Pineapple Tart

OK, please don't laugh at me yea! I know it's not a right time to make pineapple tarts at this time of year. But, I'm craving for it very much recently. To fulfill my desirable, I've got to find a way to make it although I don't know how. I always admire those can make very yummy pineapple tarts. This recipe was given by a friend who sell many cookies in the CNY. She made very good pineapple tart and she is kind enough to share the recipe with me.
Finally I could make something for coming CNY, although it's still too far away :P That's give me plenty of time to practice. This recipe is just right to my taste. I like the pastry which is melt in the mouth but not fragile when I hold it with my fingers. The homemade pineapple fillings just suit to my taste which is not too dry or too wet.

After the first attempts, I realized that the reason of pineapple tarts are always expensive than other cookies because it's very time consuming. But the good things for homemade pineapple jam could be made earlier and store in the fridge until I've the mood of making it. My family members all like pineapple tarts, it's good to learn and make some for them.

Recipes given by Huey

For the pastry:
250g butter
30g icing sugar
1 egg yolk + 1/2 egg whites
360g plain flour
2 tbsp custard powder

Pineapple Jam Filling:
2 pineapples, grated
160g sugar (depends on the sweetness of pineapple)
2 cloves
3cm cinnamon stick
1 tbsp lime juice
1 egg, beaten for glazing
  1. Pineapple jam: Put all ingredients into a big pot, bring to boil, lower fire and leave to cook till almost dry, stirring once in a while. When almost dry, keep stirring to prevent it from burning until golden brown and dry. Leave to cool. Divide into small parts and form into balls.
  2. Pastry: Mix butter, icing sugar and egg yolk till creamy. Fold in flour and mix to form a dough. Place into the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Put pastry into the mould and pipe 5cm length. Place filling at one end and roll up. Glaze with beaten egg.
  4. Bake at 180C till golden brown. Leave to cool before storing.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Festive Special ~ Indian Cooking Challenge

August is the month of festivals with Avani Avittom/Raksha Bandhan, Janmashtami and Vinayaka Chathurthi. Srivalli chose to bring in the celebrations to ICC too. Valli gave different prasadom recipes and we were asked to prepare two out of those which do not belong to the cuisine we usually follow. And Valli was generous enough to consider if we could do only one. Thank you Valli, else I should have missed this month's challenge. Though I wanted to try two, but has could do only one, that too the easiest of all, I didn't have many days left before I left for the vacation. I chose Nugul-untallu (Sesame Laddo0) . Valli says, this is traditionally prepared with the black seeds with the skin on. I had only white sesame with me. I proceeded with that.

Sesame seeds - 1/4 cup
Grated jaggery - 3 tblspn
Ghee - 1 tspn
(Yields - 11 nos)

Dry roast sesame seeds in a tawa and let them cool. Once they are cool, take 3tbsp of grated or powdered jaggery and run in a mixie. When it is ground together, sesame seed tend to release and oil. Adjust the quantity of jaggery such that when you make laddoos, it holds shape. I felt more than 3 tblspn of jaggery will make it more sweet and shadow the taste of sesame. So I added a teaspoon of ghee for binding. It got over with in seconds after I clicked them. You just can't stop with one...

Best & Banned CFL Bulbs

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has published a guide to the best compact fluorescent light bulbs with the lowest mercury content and the highest energy efficiency.

Unfortunately there are a lot of cheap CFLs on the market, and most are even Energy Star labeled because Energy Star only rates energy efficiency - NOT mercury content.

EWG has set a higher standard in their testing for their Green Lighting Guide.

They also list bulbs you should NOT buy because they have failed the new 2008 standards for mercury content. These bulbs were still on the market until July 1, 2009 to give manufacturers a chance to clear their inventories due to the world financial crisis. They are listed on their Buyer Beware page.

There is also a handy Savings Calculator page where you can calculate your energy savings based on the number of incandescent bulbs you plan to change for CFLs, as well as a comparison chart comparing savings with halogen, CFLs, and LEDs compared to incandescent.

“Energy Star labels can be found on the most efficient, safest bulbs available, as well as on some of the worst, misleading the consumer and giving manufacturers zero incentive to make a greener bulb,” said EWG Senior Analyst Sean Gray. “The Obama administration needs to reinvigorate the Energy Star program to drive innovation in safety and efficiency of home and business lighting.”

You can do your part to push for the lowest possible mercury content in CFLs by signing on to EWG's Tell Energy Star: lower the mercury content in CFLs page to send a message that you join them in their concern about the dangers of mercury in your home.

Just remember that, while mercury in CFLs is a concern, the exponentially greater mercury pollution spewed from coal-fired power plants to generate the electricity to run an incandescent bulb is the reason you should be running to buy low mercury CFLs. Energy Star calculates that each (Energy Star rated) CFL generates 70 percent less mercury pollution than a comparable incandescent bulb.

EWG also has a handy When a Bulb Breaks page detailing the steps you should take if you do happen to break a CFL bulb in your home. Be sure to bookmark it - just in case.

CFLs that made the list to date:

Earth-Mate Mini Size Bulbs

Litetronics Neolite

Sylvania Micro-Mini Twist

Sylvania DURA-ONE

Feit Ecobulb This product line has a full range of shapes - ALL of which are low mercury CFLs. You can even replace your Halogen PAR lamps with their products!

MaxLite Again, a full range of shapes in this product line.

Philips with Alto


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Honey Buns & Rosemary Walnut Cookies

First of all, I would like to apologise that I've made some mistake on my previous post on the soft bun sandwiches and cheesy bread strips. I simply forgot to include the 45 grams of unsalted butter at the recipes. Please accept my apology.
My hands feel very itchy when I'm away from home as I miss touching on those utensils and ingredients. Without any recipe books with me and my mind was running out of idea, I try to find out some interesting recipes from others blogger. First, I tried this Honey Buns recipe from HHB which the result came out really soft and fluffy. I must say, using her recipe will never fail. I was inspired by MH that had just tried out this recipe recently. It remind me I need to try out this recipe when the last time read HHB's blog. My family like this honey bun very much as it's really soft and the smell of honey taste really good. I've no chances to took more pictures as it's finished in no time.
Here is another recipe that I tried from Piggy's Cooking Journal. I must say it's really yummy as I like its smell and crunchiness! The smell of the rosemary is fantastic with the walnut gives extra crunch of texture. All thanks to all the great blogger sharing the excellent recipes!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Coffee Bread

Water roux dough again :P My first attempt on coffee bread making. This is a bread that rich in coffee flavour and super soft. It's nice to serve during tea time when it's freshly bake from the oven. I hardly resist the smell of coffee and I ate a whole loaf of it for my afternoon tea.
It's not as soft as the freshly bake on the second day but here is my tips of making it soft again. Preheat your oven to 120C for 10 minutes, turn it off then place the whole loaf of bread into the oven and close the door. Let it warm in the oven for five minutes. Took it out from the oven and enjoy the taste of freshly made soft bread. Enjoy!

Recipe for two loaf of 19cm x 8cm x4.5cm:
190g bread flour
44g caster sugar
2g salt
4g yeast
20g lightly beaten eggs
50g milk
12g instant coffee
60 water roux dough (refer to water roux formula)
20g unsalted butter
some nibbed almond or flake almond

Recipe for the water dough "water roux": Cook 250g water with 50g bread flour at medium low heat, keep stirring until it become thicken and no lumps left. If you've a candy thermometer, measure it until the temperature turn to 65C then turn of the heat. I didn't measure it with thermometer, so I cook it until like a baby porridge. Transfer to a clean bowl and cover with a cling wrap to avoid skin forming. The amount of water dough here would be more than a recipe required, you could store it in a the fridge for 2 days, if the color turn to dark grey, feed the bin :P OK OK don't waste it, use it for making other doughs before it turn to dark grey color OK!

  1. Combine all the buns ingredients except butter for kneading until smooth dough. Add butter and continue the kneading process until smooth and elastic. The dough is ready when it's no longer sticking at the side of the mixing bowl. Let it proof for 40 minutes in a clean bowl cover with cling wrap.
  2. Divide the dough into even size of 12 portions and let it rest for 10 minutes. Shape the doughs into a ball shape and place on a loaf tray and let the dough proof for 40 minutes.

  3. Egg wash the dough and sprinkle some almond flakes and bake at 180C preheated oven for 15 minutes, enjoy!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nutella Chocolate Tart

This is something similar to my previous attempts on Tarte au Chocolat. The only different is the topping change to shredded chocolate instead of hazelnut. Craving for rich and smoothie chocolate dessert? Here you go...
Recipe from BBC Olive magazine:
Make 4 x 10cm tartlets
For the pastry:
220g plain flour
110g unsalted butter
20g sugar powder
pinch of salt
2 egg yolk + 2 tbsp cold water
For the fillings:
275g hazelnut paste (or Nutella)
125g 70% dark chocolate, plus a block for brushing the pastry
300ml double cream
450ml milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
some chocolate shavings or toasted nuts for topping
Making the tart pastry:
  1. Mix the eggs yolks with 2 tbsp cold water stir with a fork until well combine. Place the flour into the bowl of a food processor, followed by the cold butter and the salt. Turn the processor on and pulse several times until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

  2. Add the egg yolk/water mixture and pulse again. Be careful not to overwork the pastry. Stop pulsing when the mixture has the consistency of chunky breadcrumbs.

  3. Turn the pastry out onto a clean, floured work surface and, with floured hands, bring together to make a dough, but don't knead. Shape into a flattened ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. You can keep the pastry at this stage for 2-3 days if not using it immediately.

  4. Remove the pastry from the fridge. On a clean, floured work surface, roll it out with a floured rolling pin until it's slightly larger than the flan ring. Using the rolling pin, lift the pastry and lay it over the flan ring. With your fingers, lightly press the pastry into the sides of the ring. Run a rolling pin over the top of the ring and pull away the excess pastry at the edges. Using your fingers, gently press the pastry up to slightly build up the height of the pastry at the edges.

  5. Line the tart with a piece of parchment and chill it for 20 minutes so it doesn't shrink when you cook it.
  6. Heat the oven to 200'C. Add baking beans or rice and bake it for 15 minutes, then lift out the parchment and beans and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the pastry is dry and a good brown colour. You must cook and colour the pastry properly, once the chocolate goes it it won't colour any further. Turn the oven down to 160'C.

Making the filling:

  1. Put the hazelnut paste and chocolate in a bowl. Bring the cream and milk to a boil and pour it over., mix everything together with a whisk until you have a smooth liquid.
    Whisk in the eggs.

  2. At this point you'll find it hard to believe that the filling will set but it will end up with a beautiful creamy texture. Putting the tart together
    Melt a little chocolate and use it to brush the inside of the tart, this will make the pastry leak-proof and stop it from going soggy. The secret to this bit is to brush the tart while it i still warm so the chocolate soaks in and fills any little cracks.

  3. Put the tart back on the oven shelf and pour in the filling right up to the top. Cook for 40 minutes the tart should still be very wobbly but not liquid. Once its completely cool down, it'll set. Top with shredded chocolate.

hgtv - air date

Per Meg, we have an air date. September 11!

Hey Craig,
As of right now we are planning on airing your show on 9/11. I will be sending out an email in the beginning of that week to remind everyone and the following week you will receive your DVD. I will update you if there are any changes.
Thank you


We also have a bunch of updates on the house - stairs, more drywall, floors... pictures are forthcoming.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cabinet Basics for Newbies at Segale

I received this notice today and thought I would pass it on here. I have known Don Segale since he had a small shop with four employees in San Bruno back in the early '80s. He is one of the most reputable people in the industry and builds a quality cabinet with a catalyzed varnish finish.

If you are in the market for local custom cabinetry, Don is your man.


At Segale Bros. we will be trying something new based on an idea from the NKBA meeting a few months back at Standards Of Excellence in San Rafael.

We will be holding our first Consumer seminar.

This seminar is meant for homeowners and end-users with no knowledge of cabinetry. This is not meant as a sales opportunity, but as a tool for people to feel more comfortable with cabinet planning and terminology. As you can all probably agree, most homeowners are clueless when it comes to cabinets, and then get overwhelmed when the education begins. We would like to "soften the blow" by starting off with the fundamentals.

Please help us by passing the word along. If you or anyone has specific questions feel free to contact me directly: / 650-784-5202 mobile

Here is the information:

Segale Bros. Consumer Seminar

Please attend our first Consumer seminar entitled: "CABINET FUNDAMENTALS" on Saturday August 29th from 11:00am to 1:00pm in our showroom in Hayward. The seminar will be an overview of cabinets, including construction types, materials (including "green" options), accessories, case work and cabinet doors.

This seminar would be good for anyone planning to remodel a kitchen or is planning any major cabinetry project.

We will serve light refreshments.

Attendance is open to the general public, but reservations are required.

We are located at 1705 Sabre Street (@ Corsair) near the Hayward airport, Highway 92 and Highway 880.

Please phone 1-800-286-2915 to reserve your place.

Segale Bros. has been in business since 1976, and has been at the forefront of the cabinet industry for decades. We offer custom cabinets, cabinet refacing, closet and garage systems and home offices. We also represent two factory lines of cabinets: Medallion and Columbia.

Please visit for more information.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cheesy Bread Strips

I'm crazy making water roux bread recently as the satisfaction of finest result is great! All the recipes from this book 65C度汤种面包 are quite straight forward. This recipe has no much different from my previous attempts. It's just slightly different in shaping the dough.

I like to buy those cheesy bread strips whenever I pass by a bakery shop, (I've no idea how to name it, sorry! Please correct me if I'm wrong) it's one of my favorite bread. It's great that I can make it myself. Again, this recipe wasn't disappointed me.

Recipe for the 9 buns (approximately 60g for each dough):
195g bread flour / 90g plain flour / 12g milk powder / 30g caster sugar / 6g salt / 6g yeast / 60g beaten eggs / 65g water / 75g water roux / 45g unsalted butter / some pizza cheese or mix of shredded mozzarella cheese, shredded cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese
Recipe for the water dough "water roux":
Cook 250g water with 50g bread flour at medium low heat, keep stirring until it become thicken and no lumps left. If you've a candy thermometer, measure it until the temperature turn to 65C then turn of the heat. I didn't measure it with thermometer, so I cook it until like a baby porridge. Transfer to a clean bowl and cover with a cling wrap to avoid skin forming. The amount of water dough here would be more than a recipe required, you could store it in a the fridge for 2 days, if the color turn to dark grey, feed the bin :P OK OK don't waste it, use it for making other doughs before it turn to dark grey color OK!
  1. Put all the buns ingredients for kneading until smooth and elastic and the dough no more sticking at the side of the mixing bowl. Let it proof for 40 minutes in a clean bowl cover with cling wrap.
  2. Divide the dough into even size of 9 portions and shape it into smooth ball shape. Let is rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Flatten each dough with your hand and roll it out in longish shape. Roll it up to a sausage shape and seal it tightly. Place on a baking tray and let the dough proof for 40 minutes.
  4. Egg wash the dough and sprinkle with some cheese and bake at 180C for 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Methi Rava Idly and Sambhar

Idly for breakfast makes work easier, since the breakfast for the entire family is made in a single batch. That's the only factor which pushes me to make idly for breakfast. Two years back, I first tried making rava idly with the MTR instant pack . Followed the instructions on the pack, rava idly turned out well was given a thumbs up by the family. I noted the ingredients on the packet. After 3 attempts, I got the right texture of the idly by making it from scratch. Since then, this recipe is a savior when in need of a quick fix for breakfast. I usually do the seasonings and roasting part the previous day and refrierate the mix. The next day all I have to do is mix in the wet ingredients and proceed with idly making. It saves lot of time.

Methi Rava Idly
(Yields - 16 nos )

Rava/Sooji - 2 cups
Buttermilk - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup
Cooking soda- 1/4 tspn
Methi leaves - handful
(Grates carrot or fresh corn etc can also be used)


Ghee/oil - 2 tblspn
Mustard seeds - 1 tspn
Chana dal - 1 tblspn
Cashews - 10 nos
Green chilly - 2 nos, finely chopped
Curry leaves - few

Heat oil/ghee in a kadai. Add the seasoning ingredients. Add the methi leaves. When the leaves wilt, add the rava and roast till you can smell the aroma of roasted rava. Cool and add salt,buttermilk and water. I have used buttermilk since it is always available in my home. Beaten curd can also be used instead. The proportion of rava and liquid is 1:1. Whisk to break the lumps. Keep it aside for 10 minutes. Mix in the cooking soda and mix gently. Scoop into greased idly moulds and steam for 7-10 minutes. Serve hot with chutney or sambhar or molagapodi. Adding methi leaves did not impart any bitter taste to the idlis.


Sambhar in Palakkad Iyer lingo is not the instant, quick fix kind. To qualify for sambhar it must have coconut and fresh roasted and ground spices. Sambhar without coconut is looked down upon and is rarely made too. Things have changed now. People have go used to making with instant sambhar powders sans coconut. And coconut if used, is very moderate quanitity. I rarely make sambhar using the sambhar powder. When ever I make coconut less version (podi potta sambhar) , I prefer fresh powder. And i do have the store bought sambhar powder in stock,ironically never used for sambhar making. the veggies used in sambhar is very versatile. Drumstick/ladies finger/ pumpkin/brinjal/raddish/pearl onion are some of the common veggies used. Each veggie on its own gives a distinct flavor and a combination of veggies also works good. Sambhar is a very forgiving recipe and has scope for many variations. I usually follow the age-old method of eye ball measurement while making sambhar. I believe that gives a distinct taste each time its made. Take the following measurement as a guideline and little more or less will not alter the taste much.

Now coming to the recipe I follow,

Radish/Mullangi - 2 nos,sliced into circles
Tuvar dal - 1/2 cup
Tamarind - lemon sized
Coconut - generous 1/2 cup

To roast and grind
Oil - 1 tblspn
Coriander seeds/Malli - 2 tblspn
Red chilly - 4 nos
Chana dal/Kadala paruppu - 1 tspn
Methi seeds/Venthayam/Uluva - 1/2 tspn
Curry leaves - 5 leaves (optional)
Hing powder - few shakes

Oil - 1 tspn
mustard seeds - 1 tspn
Curry leaves for garnish
Pressure cook tuvar dal till soft and mash able. Soak tamarind in warm water for 5 minutes or so. This will help easier extraction of the juice. Keep the vegetable sliced.

Take the tamarind extract in a vessel and a cup of water, salt and turmeric. When the tamarind water starts boiling, add the veggies. Cook till it is fork tender.

In the meantime, roast the the ingredients to be roasted till the dal turns light brown. Remember to add the methi seeds during the last stages of roasting. When cool grind to a smooth paste along with coconut. Add water as required.
Mash the cooked dal and stir into the cooked veggies. Add the ground paste. Check the salt. Adjust the consistency by adding water. Bring to rolling boil stage. Do the seasoning with mustard seeds and add few curry leaves for garnish.

The plate of idly and sambhar is my contribution to EC's WYF -Breakfast event

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dos Sequias, Abundant Harvest and Cherry Tomato Paruppu (Lentil)


They are an industrious, friendly and pleasant couple.They are the visionaries of the four year old dream come true project named Abundant Harvest, which has started to bloom and bear fruits on their leased out farm land. The cute farm house is named after the two towering red wood trees that stand in the background giving DOS SEQUOIS a fairy tale house look.

Meet STEVE AND MISHELLE RADTKE. Their Abundant Harvest is a Community Supported Agriculture (C S A) subscription farm and they offer shares in Portland metro area.
The subscription made early in the season goes towards purchase of seeds and other initial costs. The months beginning from May to October are peak season when mother earth yields a bountiful harvest, which is shared and enjoyed by all the shareholders.

Every Wednesday we drive past the city of Hillsboro, past the wheat fields and past a few other farms and arrive at a gate, where we encounter a board that says, “The Abundant Harvest Family welcomes you”. We enter the gate and drive along the mud path lined by short and lush trees thronging with peaches, apples and plums, and park in front of the dream house, not missing to take a look at the healthy corn fields on our far right. Mish beams and nods as she cuts her equally beaming bright fresh flowers from the wild, informal garden. Steve emerges out of the herbs and the vegetable patch and waves out to us with a big smile. We enjoy the warm welcome as we reciprocate, and walk into a shed where the abundant harvest of the week awaits us.

We sign in and look at the board, which notifies us about the variety of vegetables, harvested on that day and the amount of the produce that each shareholder is entitled to take. There are an assortment of lettuce, spinach, chard, zucchinis, summer squashes, cucumbers, carrots, beets, Walla Walla onions, garlic and herbs like Italian parsley, Genovese and lemon basils, kohlrabies, cabbages, sweet corn and tomatillas - all of them fresh from the womb of mother earth, washed and wiped, looking bright as new born babies in their baskets. We count or weigh and pick up our share while the flavour of the fresh herbs fills our nostrils.

We walk out with the heavy bags to the gazebo where Mishelle has laid out the fresh cherry tomatoes, plums, wild plums, cherries and blue berries in pint measures and basketsful of big salad tomatoes on long wooden tables. A variety of cut flowers greet us with their myriad colours as they stand tall in a bucket of water. Mishelle’s flowers are “Food for the soul”. That is what the flier says. It also includes the latest farm news, farm requirements if any and two or three recipes.

We eagerly look forward for Wednesdays and a visit to Abundant Harvest to enjoy the scenic beauty and also to pick up the most fresh vegetables grown most naturally without ravaging mother earth with pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.

Wish you all the best Mishelle and Steve. You provide food for the body, soul and for the thought as well. Thank you for that, and also for tugging us down close to mother earth at least once a week in the middle of all our other ‘hi- tech’ activities.

I love the cherry tomatoes in all their hues – red, orange, yellow, purple! I am really carried away by their colours and taste and hence, every day they sneak into my sambars or float on rasams and peek-a-boo in my salads. A plain paruppu looks and tastes great when the cherry tomatoes lend their charm to it.

Tur Dal – 1 cup
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Cherry tomatoes – 8
Cooking oil – I tsp
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Green chillies – 2
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Coriander leaves – a few
Salt – 1 tsp

1.Cook dal in 2 .5 cups of water and turmeric powder in a pressure cooker.
2. Mash dal well to a gravy consistency and add salt.
3. Heat oil in a small seasoning ladle and add the mustard seeds.
4. When it splutters add asafetida and chopped green chillies.
5. Add the seasoning to the dal.
6. Slide the cherry tomatoes whole (Cut the big ones into halves) into the dal.
7. Stir covered with a lid and simmers it for two minutes.
8. Add chopped coriander leaves.
9. Enjoy with chapaties or rice with a blob of butter and a squeeze of lime for the tang.

Footnotes by Tara:
If you are unfamiliar with tur dal, substitute with yellow split peas. Also, if you do not have a pressure cooker you can soak and boil the yellow split peas until they are soft and mashable.

Some delicious Soup and Pasta prepared by my daughter-in-law Tara, with the produce from Abundant Harvest ...

Pasta with Zucchini, Squash, Cherry Tomatoes and Herbs
Soup Au Pisto

Friday, August 14, 2009


Murukku is a Popular south Indian snack.There are different kinds of murukku.
Here is a simple Method to prepare Crispy Murukku.


Rice flour-3 cups
Urad Dal flour-1/4 cup
Til/Sesame-3 tsp
Butter/Hot oil-3 tsp
Hing-1/4 tsp
Salt-To taste

Preparation method:

1. Mix all ingredients by adding enough Water.(Not too loose or so tight)
2. Stuff the Dough in Murukku Achu(press),press it into spirals directly on hot oil.
3. If your not able to do,press it on Back side of spatula,put into oil.
4. If it starts to boil,remove the spatula from oil.
5. Deep fry both sides until it will become crispy.



Rice flour-3 cups
Urad Dal flour-1/2 cup
Hing-1/4 tsp
Til/Sesame-3 tsp
Coconut-3 tsp
Groundnut-3 tsp
Channa Dal-3 tsp
Salt-To taste

Soak Channa Dal and groundnut 30 min in water.

Preparation Method:

1. Mix all ingredients into Fairy stiff dough.
2. Make it into Small Lemon size Balls.
3. Using your fingers,pat each one into small circle shaped Thattai.(use plastic
sheets or Dry Cotton cloth).
4. Fry Thattai's on medium heat,until they are golden brown.
5. Now Thattai is ready.

Sweet Seedai/Vella Seedai


Rice flour-2 cups
Urad Dal flour-3 tsp
Til/Sesame seeds-2 tsp
Coconut-3 tsp
Jaggery-1 cup
Butter/Ghee-1 tsp

Preparation Method:

1. Heat the heavy Bottom pan,Dry roast the Rice flour in slow flame for 5-10 min.
2. Keep it aside.Let it cool.In kadai add powdered Jaggery & 1/4 cup water,Make it
into syrup.
3. Now mix everything,Make it into small balls as shown in pic.

4. In dry cloth spread balls keep it aside for 30 min.
5. Heat the oil in pan,once it is hot drop 8-10 balls.
6. Deep fry the seedai till it becomes golden colour.
7. Now Delicious Seedai is ready for Neivedyam.

Krishna Jayanthi

Krishna Jayanthi marks the celebration of the Birth of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.Krishna was born on the 'Rohini' Nakshatram on Ashtami Day.It's also known as Gokulashtami or Janmashtami.Celebrations are held on a grand scale in All Krishna Temples.The pooja is performed in the Late Evening as Krishna was Born at Mid night.

Special Dishes like Murukku,Uppu seedai,Vella seedai,Thattai,Thenkuzal are made and offered along with Butter & Aval(poha).Patterns of small feet,Drawn with rice flour from Front yard to pooja Room.My mother is having Krishna Idol,so she will celebrate in grand manner every year.Minimum five varieties of snacks she will prepare on that day.In my Childhood I Like Krishna jayanthi and Deepavali because lot of snacks and jolly time for Sweet tooth.

Yesterday I prepared some snacks for Krishna Jayanthi.
My offerings to lord BalaKrishna Thattai, Murukku, Sweet seedai,Butter,Aval vellam(Jaggery & Cardamom mixed with soaked Poha) and Fruits.

Hare Krishna,Hare Krishna,Hare Krishna,Hare Hare

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Festive Lunch Menu ~ Contd from last post

This is in continuation of my previous post.
Lunch menu
Morukootan, Kootu curry, Payar thoran, thakkali (Tomato) thayir pachadi, dal (paruppu), ghee and curd


Vellarikkai, cubed - 1 1/2 cups
Grated coconut - 3/4 cup
Green chilli - 2 nos
Buttermilk/beaten curd - 1 cup

To Roast
Chana dal - 1 tblspn
Red chilli - 2 nos
Methi seeds - 1/4 tspn

Oil - 1 tspn
mustard seeds -1/2 tspn
curry leaves - few
methi seeds - 1/4 tspn
red chilly - 2 broken

Vellarikka is a kind of cucumber which is kept for Vishu kani. Wash and peel the skin of Vellarikkai. dice into 1/2 inch cubes. Cook on stove top or MW with enough water, salt and turmeric added, till fork tender.

Roast chana dal, red chilli and methi seeds in a teaspoon of oil till dal turns brown. Add methi seeds when dal starts browning else it might get burnt. Cool and grind along with grated coconut and green chillies. Add water to get a smooth paste.

Mix the ground paste in buttermilk / beaten yogurt. Stir the mix into the cooked veggies. Adjust the consistency by adding water. Check the salt and bring it a boil. Don't let it to rolling boil. Stop when it is foamy on the top. Season with mustard, red chillies, curry leaves and methi seeds.

Kootu curry

Kootu curry is yam and ash gourd cooked along with chana dal, flavored with ground coconut and spices with a seasoning garnish of roasted coconut and the usual tempering ingredients. This is one of the items served as part of the sadhya/feast.

Ash gourd/elavan chopped into cubes - 1 1/2 Cups

Yam/Chena cubed = 1/2 cup

Chana dal - 1/4 cup

chilli powder - 1/2 tspn

turmeric - a big pinch


To grind

grated coconut - 1/2 cup

cumin/jeera - 1/2 tspn


Oil preferably coconut oil - 1 tblspn

mustard seeds

Urad dal - 1 tspn

Cook the chopped ash gourd, yam and chana dal with turmeric and chilli powder added. I usually pressure cook for 2 whistles. Drain the excess water. If pressure cooked,be gentle when u mix the veggies else it will turn mushy. Add salt and cook for 5 minutes for the veggies to soak in the salt. I don't add salt while pressure cooking since yam might not get cooked properly.

Ground grated coconut and cumin seeds to a coarse paste. Don't add water. If required sprinkle few drops of water. Stir in in the ground paste and check the salt. I always add salt in two stages. Cook for few minutes, till it turns dry. Do the seasoning and fry till coconut is brown. Pour the seasoning over the curry.

Payar thoran (chowpeas stir fry)

Cowpeas - 250 gms

Turmeric - a pinch


Grated coconut -1 tblspn

Green chilly - 2nos


Oil, Mustard,Red chilly,Urad dal

Wash and trim the edges of the cowpeas. Finely chop them. Add salt and turmeric. Sprinkle some water. Microwave for 7 minutes. Alternatively, you can cook on stove top too.Coarsely grind the coconut and green chilly with out adding water. Stir in the ground coconut and cook for a minute. Season with mustard, urad dal and broken red chilly and mix into the cooked cowpeas.

Thakkali (Tomatoe) Thayir pachadi

Medium sized tomato- 1
curd - 1 cup

To grind

Grated coconut - 2 tblspn
Green chilly - 1 nos
mustard seeds - 1/2 tspn


mustard seeds
red chilly

Finely chop the tomatoes. Heat a kadai. Do the seasoning, add the chopped tomatoes. Stir fry. Grind the coconut, green chilly and mustard seeds together with little water. Mix in the fried tomatoes and ground paste into the beaten curd. Add salt just before you serve. Else salt will release water and make the pachadi thinner.

I will just outline the order in which the menu is to be served on leaf with the items I made for the day.

1) Little of Payasam/kheer is served on the bottom right.
2) the vetables are served on the upper part of the leaf, starting from the
right.Pachadi, Curry, and thoran (These are the three I have served)
3) Dal along the middle of the leaf to the right of payasam (Tuvar dhal is cooked and mashed with little salt added. )
4) Uppittu/Vadai on the left end of the leaf
5) Rice followed by ghee/clarified butter.
6) Finally morkootan.