Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cardamom Pull Apart Bread & HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012


This is another recipe for my december month Event - Cardamom. I never tried a bread recipe with cardamom, but the bread turned out so good and really good and loved the mild sweetness with the rich cardamom flavor. I didn't think of any recipe to combine with this bread for our dinner, but when the bread was baking, just the idea of tomato soup clicked my mind. At first I was not sure how the combo would work, but believe me or not it worked wonders. All three of us liked it so much and we could not stop eating.
I tried making the shape of a cardamom shaped bread which can be pull apart easily, it was looking nice before baking....but once I baked it and saw the shape it looked more like a pumpkin pull apart bread. He he he heeeeee....... Anyways I was happy that I could at least achieve good in trying the pull apart part of the bread. :)

4 cups All Purpose Flour
2tsp Yeast
1 Heaping tsp Cardamom (Ground/Powder)
1 stick or 1/2 cup - 1 tbsp or 7 tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Sugar
2/3 Milk
1 tbsp Vanilla essence/extract
1/2 tsp Salt

1. In a large bowl sift the flour, salt, cardamom powder.
2. In a sauce pan add milk and warm it a bit.
3. In a small bowl add yeast, little sugar and some warmed milk, stir it and leave it for about 5 mins.
4. In the meantime add butter in the warm milk and let it melt.
5. In another mixing bowl add eggs and sugar and beat it well with a hand mixer or whisk in medium speed until fluffy.

6. Now add the yeast mixture and milk with butter into the eggs and mix again, now add the flour and knead it, the dough will be sticky, so dust a surface with little bit of flour and transfer the dough onto the flour surface and knead to form a dough for about 6 mins and until the dough does not stick to your hand. Make sure that you do not add more flour for kneading, add only about 2 tbsp or less if you don't that much.

7. Now in a bowl place the dough and cover with a damp kitchen towel and let it rise for about 1 hr in a warm place.
8. Now punch down the air from the dough and again knead it for a min.
9. Preheat oven to 350F.

10. Make the desired shape and place it on a lined baking sheet or loaf pan and baked it for about 30 to 40 mins or until the top of the bread is turned slight/golden brown. I baked it like golden brown, so that it would taste better with soup.
I brushed the top of the crust with butter and served with Tomato Soup (Click the Link for the Recipe)

You Might Also Like:
Apple Cranberry Whole Wheat Bread
Healthy 10 Minute Banana Bread

Finger Food For The New Year Party - Kuzhi Paniyaaram


Kuzhi Paniyaarams are delicious and addictive snacks. They can easily fit into any party or celebrations. They are a no fuss no mess finger food, and taste yummy with or without dips and chutneys.


Raw rice - 3 cups
Black gram dal - 1 cup
Bengal gram dal - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
Beaten rice or puffed rice - 1 tbsp
Salt - 2 tsps
Sugar - 1 tsp


1.Wash and cover all the ingredients except salt and sugar in water and soak for one hour.
2. Grind the soaked ingredients into a thick, smooth and fluffy batter adding water as required.
3. Mix salt and sugar to the batter and store in a big vessel with lid.
4. Rest it in a warm place and allow to ferment overnight.


Finely chopped onions - 2 tbsps
Finely minced fresh coconut - 2 tbsps
Finely chopped green chillies - 1 tsp
Finely chopped fresh ginger - 1 tsp
Finely chopped coriander leaves - 1 tbsp


Oil - for seasoning and frying the paniyaarams
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Black gram dal - 1/2 tsp


1. Add all the chopped ingredients to one cup of the fermented batter and mix well.
2. Heat oil in a seasoning ladle and add mustard seeds.
3. When the mustard seeds crackle add the black gram dal and fry till golden in colour and mix the seasoning into the paniyaaram batter.
4. Heat oil in a paniyaaram pan ( Appa Kaaral ).

5. When the oil is hot enough pour one tablespoon of the prepared paniyaaram batter into every cup like depression in the paniyaaram pan. The paniyaarams will ease out by themselves and start to float in the oil when done.

6. Gently turn over the paniyaarams one by one using a fork and cook on the flip sides.

7. When the paniyaarams are done gently remove them one by one from the pan and drain them on a kitchen towel. 


Enjoy the hot and scrumptious Kuzhi Paniyaarams with coconut chutney if needed.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Instant Lemon Pickle

I love pickle and I used to have it daily along with my meal. Now being here, I solely depend on pickles that are bought off-shelf. I find these pickles as too salty and most of the time, I don't eat and it ends up in my bin. When I came across Instant lemon pickle recipe at sashiga's space, I felt very happy and talked about this to my mom over phone. She told that she also prepares it sometimes and described me the method. I found both the methods are same except the way the lemons are cooked. Here I take you through both the methods. You can choose whichever method as it suits you.

Basic Information:

Preparation and cooking time: 10 minutes + 20 minutes for cooling

Makes: 1 and 1/2 cup approx.


Yellow Lemons - 5 large nos

Red chilli powder - 2 teaspoons/ as per taste

Roasted fenugreek powder - 1/2 teaspoon

Salt - to taste

Sesame oil - 2 tablespoons / as per preference

Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon

Asafoetida - a pinch


1a) Take whole lemons in sauce pan and pour boiling water until the lemons are fully immersed. Cover and keep it aside for 20 minutes. then, drain the water and cut the lemons to desired size.


1b) Slice the lemon according to your desired size. Put the sliced pieces in saucepan and add little water. say about  <1/4 cup. Cook just enough to soften the lemon pieces. Make sure not to over cook as they taste bitter. Once it is done, keep aside with water. (Picture shown for this method)


2) Prefer any of the above method to cook lemons and bring them to room temperature.

3) Add red chilli powder, roasted fenugreek powder, asafoetida and salt. Toss it well.


4) Heat oil in kadai/seasoning pan. Add mustard seeds when it is hot and remove from heat. Allow this seasoning to cool to room temperature and add to lemon mixture. Toss well.

5) Store in sterilised bottle and serve with this rice.


1) Do not cook lemons for long time. It might taste bitter if you do so.

2) Try to use sesame oil for authentic taste.

3) I prepared it last week and it has stayed good till now. Do not forget to refrigerate.

Finger Food For The New Year Party - Lentil & Vegetable Dumplings


This is an easy to prepare finger food. Lentil and Vegetable Dumplings are very healthy and nutritious since they are cooked in steam.


Tur dal - 1 cup
Bengal gram dal - 1 tbsp
Green gram dal - 1 tbsp
Red chillies - 4  
NOTE - Wash the above ingredients, cover with water and soak for one hour.

Grated carrot - 1/2 cup
Finely chopped beans - 2 tbsps
Finely chopped capsicum - 2 tbsps
Finely chopped onion - 2 tbsps
Finely chopped Green chillies - 2 tsps
Finely chopped coriander leaves - 2 tbsps


Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Black gram dal - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Salt - 1 tsp


1. Drain the soaked ingredients and grind coarsely without adding water.
2. Blend in the salt and keep aside.
3. Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds.
4. When the mustard seeds splutter add the black gram dal and roast till golden in colour.
5. Add cumin seeds and asafoetida.
6. Add chopped onion and green chillies.
7. Add chopped capsicum and beans and stir fry till they are half done.

8. Mix in the ground lentil , switch off flame and allow to cool.
9. Blend in the carrot gratings and the chopped coriander.

10. Take lemon size balls of the prepared mixture and shape them into dumplings.
11. Arrange the prepared dumplings in a greased idly plate and steam in the pressure cooker without the weight for fifteen minutes.

Serve the hot Lentil & Vegetable Dumplings with a tangy tamarind sauce or mint chutney.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Avial / Aviyal

Getting fresh Indian vegetables/fresh coconut in the place where I stay is once in a blue moon. Right from the time I started this blog, I wanted to post traditional recipes, but they were getting postponed due to lack of ingredients at my place.

So, when I find and buy fresh coconut or any other native vegetables I try to cook some traditional dishes as soon as possible before they lose it's freshness. This time, I have prepared Avial with limited ingredients what I had.

Avial is nothing but an assortment of vegetables cooked with coconut, curd and seasoned with aromatic coconut oil. Avail can also be prepared in thin gravy consistency or thick consistency. It is a popular recipe often related to Onam sadya and can be traditionally served with steamed rice or with adai.

Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4


For Avial:

Mixed Vegetables - 3 cups -  Any vegetables like Carrot, Beans, Potato, Drumstick, Eggplants, Yam, Plantain (Vazhaikkai), Peas, White pumpkin(Vellai Poosanikkai), Raw mango, Cucumber, Snake gourd(Pudalangai), Bottle gourd(Suraikkai)

Turmeric powder - a big pinch

Salt - to taste

Thick sour curd/ Yogurt - 1/2 cup

For Grinding:

Fresh coconut - 1 half shell of medium size coconut , shredded or finely chopped

Green chillies - 3 nos

Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon

For Seasoning:

Coconut Oil / Vegetable Oil - 1 tablespoon

Fresh Curry leaves - 2 strings


1) Chop vegetables into 2 inch length pieces.

2) In a saucepan, mix vegetables, turmeric powder, salt and 3/4 cup of water.(If you need thick avial, add water just enough to cook vegetables) Cover and cook it for 5 minutes in medium to high flame or till the vegetables are 3/4 th cooked.


3) When vegetables are cooking, grind the ingredients given for grinding with water just required for grinding. Do not add too much of water.


4) Add the ground ingredients to the vegetable mixer. Mix well. Cook till it boils.

5) Meanwhile, In a seasoning pan, heat coconut oil and add half of curry leaves when it is hot.

6) Pour this seasoning to the avial. Add remaining curry leaves and turn the flame off. Mix well.

7) Now, add sour curd and mix well. The heat in the pan itself enough for the curd.


8) Avial is eady and serve with steamed rice or Adai.


1) You can use any vegetables available at hand. For quick cooking of vegetables, use pressure cooker. However, the time taken for preparing the avial is almost same.

2) Make sure to chop quick cooking vegetables into bigger sizes and slow cooking ingredients into slightly smaller sizes, if your are going to cook in one bowl.

3) I used one large carrot, 5 beans, 2 small potatoes, 2 eggplants, 1/4 cup of peas for this recipe.

4) If you are using raw mango, reduce the sour curd quantity to half. If you do not have curd or don't want to use curd, add a big pinch of tamarind extract along with ground coconut paste.

Finger Food For The New Year Party - Idly Sticks



Basically Idly Sticks are nothing but fried idlies. The addition of garlic and and other spices lend a distinct flavour to the Idly Sticks.


Raw rice - 3 cups
Black gram dal - 1 cup
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
Beaten rice or puffed rice - 1 tbsp
Bengal gram dal - 1 tsp
salt - 2 tsps
Sugar - 1 tsp


1.Wash and cover all ingredients except salt and sugar with water and soak for one hour.
2. Grind the soaked ingredients into a thick, smooth and fluffy batter using the grinder.
3. Mix salt and sugar and run the grinder for two more minutes. 
4. Store the ground batter in a big vessel allowing space for fermenting.
5. Cover with a lid and leave the batter in a warm place overnight.



Finely chopped garlic - 2 tbsps
Chilly flakes - 2 tbsps ( Dry roast red chillies till crisp and crush them using a pestle )
Sesame seeds - 2 tsps
Cumin seeds - 2 tsps
Finely chopped coriander - 1 tbsp


1. For every cup of the fermented idly batter add the above ingredients and blend well.
2. Grease idly plates ( I have used tattae idly plates ) and pour one cup of the prepared batter into each plate.
3. Steam the idlies for fifteen minutes in a pressure cooker without the weight.

4. Allow to cool and then refrigerate the idlies along with the plates for half an hour.
5. Remove the idlies from the idly plates and cut them into long sticks using a sharp knife.

6. Heat oil in a pan and gently drop the sticks one by one into the hot oil so that they do not clump together.
7. Turn over using a perforated ladle and fry till the Idly Sticks become crisp and golden brown in colour.
8. Remove the crisp Idly Sticks and drain them on a paper towel.

Enjoy the flavoursome Idly Sticks as they are or with tomato sauce, chutney or any other dip of your choice.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Coffee and Chocolate Pudding

When I saw coffee and chocolate pudding first time at Priya's site (Priya's Feast), I bookmarked it right away to try it. After quick checking of ingredients, I baked it and I need to say the time taken to taste this pudding was just below 30 minutes. I couldn't control myself eating this pudding before I click a picture. It was very gooey, tasty and sinfully delicious. I halved the recipe and served with a tablespoon of whipped cream and a raspberry.

Basic Information:

Preparation Time: <10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2-3


All purpose flour/ Plain Flour/ Maida - 1/2 cup

Baking powder - 1/2 teaspoon

Unsweetened cocoa powder - 1 teaspoon

Brown sugar - 1/4 cup

Milk - 1/4 cup

Butter - 1 tablespoon, melted, cooled to room temperature

Egg - 1/2 well beaten egg

Walnuts - 2 tablespoons, chopped

For Topping:

Brown Sugar - 1/4 cup

Cocoa powder - 1 tablespoon

Strong black coffee - 1/2 cup


1) Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease 2 medium size or 3 mini ramekins with butter or cooking spray.

2) Sift flour,baking powder and cocoa powder together. Add brown sugar and mix well. Keep aside.

3) Mix melted butter, milk, egg and walnut in another bowl.

4) Pour this wet ingredients to dry ingredients.

5) Mix until all the ingredients are well combined.

6) Spoon the batter into the greased ramekins.  Make sure to maintain the batter level between  1/2 to 3/4  of the ramekins.

7) Sprinkle over the ramakins evenly with brown sugar and then with cocoa powder.

8) Then, pour over the coffee on top of cocoa powder. Do not stir.

9) Bake it for 15-20 minutes.

10) Once done, serve with whipped cream or sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar or serve with vanilla ice cream.


1) I used only 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of black coffee for topping and still it tasted very good.

2) I prepared black coffee using Nescafe instant coffee powder. I think BRU can also workout.