Tuesday, 16 January 2018

சர்க்கரை பொங்கல் / Sweet Pongal / Sakkarai Pongal

"Pongal" is harvest festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu, southern state of India.

On the day of festival, traditionally we make sweet pongal / Sakkarai Pongal, a sweet dish using rice, moong dhal, jaggery and ghee which is given as offerings to the Sun god.  It taste delicious and divine!

Though traditionally, my mom used to prepare it in a pot, here I have given an easy method using pressure cooker! 

Let's check the recipe now,

25 min
45 mins
Recipe for Sweet Pongal
Recipe type: Main course
Cuisine: Tamilnadu
Serves: 6 to 8 (approximately)


Raw rice – 1 cup 
Moong dhal – ¼ cup
Jaggery – 1 to 1 
½ cup
Water – 4 cups
Salt - a pinch
Ghee- 3 to 4 tbsp
Cardamom powder- 1 tsp 
Cashew nuts  - 10 (broken into pieces)
Raisins - 1 to 2 tsp

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Gur Anarsa (Jaggery and Rice based sweet popular in Bihar)

This recipe is my entry to the event "Shhh!!! Cooking Secretly" challenge conducted by Mayuri Patel of Mayuri's Jikoni.  For the month of December, I have paired with Shobana Vijay of "shobasdelight" and the ingredients given by her are Rice flour and Jaggery.

We planned to try Bihari cuisine with the given ingredient.   As I am from southern part of India; I am excited to know more about the cuisine of Bihar (a state in eastern India, bordering Nepal)

When I browsed for the Gur Anarsa recipe, I understood that, it resembles Tamilnadu's traditional recipe "adhirasam" in taste, though the preparation and outcome of this dish is different. 

Gur Anarsa is a traditional and lip smacking sweet dish of Bihari cuisine. It is usually prepared during festival days like Holi, Diwali and on other special occasions.

In this, Rice flour and jaggery (Gur in Hindi) are combined together to form a dough that is coated with sesame seeds; fried till it gets golden colour.

15 min
25 min
Recipe for Gur Anarsa   
Recipe type: Sweet
Cuisine: Bihari Cuisine (Indian)
Yields: 8 to 10 pieces
Rice flour - 1 cup
(Follow the method given below to prepare rice flour )
Jaggery - ½ cup (grated)
Sesame seeds - 2 to 3 tbsp
Ghee - 1 to 2  tsp
Ghee - for deep frying

How to prepare rice flour for anarsa Preparation:

Wash the raw rice thoroughly to get rid of any dirt and stones.   Soak it for 3 days ; by changing the water daily. 
Drain completely; spread it as a thin layer in a newspaper / cotton cloth and allow to dry in shade for 20 to 30 minutes or till it's almost dry yet slightly moist. 
Add the rice in mixer and grind it to fine powder (do it in batches).

Sieve to get fine powder and collect the remaining millet rava (coarse texture) in the sieve; add it to the next batch while grinding.  Continue the process.

Now your rice flour is ready to use.

Measure 1 cup of  rice flour and add 1/2 to 3/4 cup grated jaggery.   Start mixing; add ghee  and knead to form a soft dough.(it will take nearly 5 to 6 minutes)

Cover and rest this dough in room temperature for 24 hours to get soft anarsa.
Heat ghee / oil in a wok.  Mean while, divide the dough into balls.  Flatten it and coat with sesame seeds.  Similarly prepare the remaining balls.

Deep fry the anarsa in low  flame.  Do not flip in between.  Remove and drain the excess oil and serve hot.

Traditional and easy to make Anarsa is ready to serve.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Desserts / Sweets

Here is a mouthwatering collection of exotic international desserts to traditional Indian sweets such as puddings, popsicles, Ice creams, ladoos, halwa, burfi and yummilicious Payasam / Kheer varieties.

Homemade sweets / desserts are always the best; so try and share with your loved ones to make every special occasion into a memorable one!

                                 Puddings / Popsicles / Ice creams

Rose Milk Popsicles / Home Made Popsicles
Strawberry Yogurt Popsicle
Baked Caramel Custard (Pudding)
Baked Chocolate Pudding / Brownie Pudding
Instant Kalakand / Kalakand / Milk cake
Mohanthal Using Condensed Milk
Kaju Katli / Cashew Burfi

Kesari Recipes
Rajasthani Lapsi (with Jaggery) / Broken Wheat Sweet
Rava Kesari / Kesari Recipe - Semolina Pudding
Pineapple Kesari - Indian Style Pineapple Pudding

Red Aval Kesari / Poha Kesari - Krishna Jayanthi Special

Basundi / How to make Basundi at Home
Sweet Poha / Vella Aval / Aval with Jaggery

                                             Payasam / Kheer Recipes

Carrot Kheer / Payasam

Carrot Semiya Payasam / Carrot Vermicelli Kheer
Sweet Corn Payasam / Sweet Corn Kheer
Vermicelli Kheer / Semiya Payasam
Sago Vermicelli Payasam/Javaarisi Semiya Payasam
Black Rice Payasam / Kavuni Arisi Payasam
Thinai Payasam / Foxtail Millet Kheer
Red Aval Payasam / Poha Kheer / Matta Rice Flakes Payasam
Pal Payasam / Arisi Payasam / Milk Pudding / Chawal Ki Kheer
Palada Pradhaman Recipe / Palada Payasam
Pasi Paruppu Payasam / Pasi Paruppu Arisi Payasam / Moong Dhal Rice Kheer

Makhane Ki Kheer / Phool Makhana Kheer / Puffed Lotus Seed Kheer

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Eggless Ginger Bread Cookies - Christmas Special

Christmas season is always exciting to me as my high schooling was throughout in a Christian InstitutionI used to take part in Christmas carol, dramas / plays and used to dress like Santa. 

Let's go into treats for Christmas now,

For this Christmas I baked Rich plum cake and Ginger bread cookie.  I have adapted the recipe from here.  I have made some changes to suit my preference; I have added jaggery syrup instead of molasses and included wheat flour to make it healthy. It came out crunchy and tasty; not an exaggeration to say that our house was filled with the aroma of spices in the cookie and increased our festive mood!

This is a perfect sweet treat to celebrate Christmas; try and share with your loves ones.

                         Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas. 
                    May this joyful season greet you with health and happiness.

30  min
Recipe for Whole Wheat Ginger Bread Cookies 
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: Western
Yields: 25 to 30 cookies approximately

Whole wheat flour - 1 cup
All purpose flour – ½ cup
Butter - ½ cup(room temperature)

Brown sugar -  ¼ cup
Honey / molasses / jaggery syrup - ¼ cup
Baking powder - ½ tsp
Baking soda - ½ tsp
Salt - ¼ tsp

For spice mixture:
Cinnamon - 2 small pieces
Dry ginger - 2 small pieces
Cloves - 4 to 5 nos
Cardamom - 2 to 3
Pepper - ¼(optional)

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Chettinad Cauliflower Rasam / Cauliflower Soup

This rasam is full of flavour with crunchy cauliflower and spices with the mild touch of coconut milk in it!   I learnt to make this rasam / soup from my mom.

She used to prepare this cauliflower rasam with rice accompanied by spicy potato fry, which is a comforting simple meal,liked by all in the family. Whenever I prepare this my childhood memory comes back to me.

Let's check the recipe now; 

15  min
25 mins
Recipe for Cauliflower Rasam / Cauliflower Soup
Recipe type: Veg Accompaniment for rice
Cuisine: South Indian
Serves: 3 to 4 (approx.)

Cauliflower florets - 1 small head(cut into florets)
Toor dhal - 2 tbsp
Onion - ½ from 1(finely chopped)
Tomato - 2 (finely chopped)
Green chillies - 2 (slited)
Water - 3 cups
Salt - as required
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Corriander leaves - 1 or 2 tbsp(finely chopped)
Coconut milk - ¼ cup (optional)

To grind:
Pepper - 1 to 1½ tsp
Cumin seeds - 1tsp

For seasoning:
Oil - 2 tsp
Cinnamon - 1" stick
Cloves - 2
Fennel seeds - ¼ tsp

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Avocado Dip / Guacamole

This Mexican dip is simple, tasty and takes less than 10 min to prepare using easily available ingredients in our house hold.

You can mash the avocado roughly or smooth according to your preference.  

Try this and give your feedback!

10  min

10 mins
Recipe for Avocado Dip / Guacamole
Recipe type: Dip
Cuisine: Mexican

Avocado(big) - 1
Lime juice - 1 or 2 tsp
Onion - ½ from 1 (chopped)
Tomato  - ¼ from 1 (De - seeded and chopped)
Green chillies - 1 (finely chopped)
Coriander leaves - few
 powder - to taste
Salt - as required

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Red Aval Upma / Rice Flakes Upma / Poha Upma / Aval Upma

Rice flakes / Aval / poha is a flattened or beaten rice; which is commonly used in many Indian dishes.

Though white Rice flakes is commonly used in our day-to-day cooking, I prefer to use red rice flakes (made from red rice) for its nutritive value since it is high in fiber and iron content comparatively.

Though I have already posted kesari, payasam / kheer, ladoo and snack recipes using red rice flakes, here is an easy to prepare and simple south Indian breakfast recipe (Aval Upma) using red rice flakes.

Let's check the recipe now;

15  mins
20 mins
Recipe for  Red Aval Upma / Poha Upma
Recipe type: Tiffin item / breakfast recipes
Cuisine: Indian
Serves - 2 to 3(approximately)

Red rice flakes  - 2 cups
Roasted groundnut - 1 or 2  tbsp

Turmeric powder - ¼ (optional)
Onion - 1 (finely chopped)
Green chillies - 3 to 4 (slitted)
Grated ginger - 1 tsp
Coriander Leaves - for garnish
Lemon juice - to taste
Grated coconut - 1 tbsp(optional)
Salt – to taste 

For seasoning:
Mustard Seeds -  ¾ tsp
Channa dhall - 1 tsp
Urad Daal - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - few
Oil - 1 to 2 tbsp