Friday, January 30, 2009

keerai kari

we always prepare keeri masiyal at home.so i tried preparing kai instead with the baby spinach i bought.It was indeed a hit at home.Easy to prepare in no time.

Always wash spinach before cutting it in order to retain all the nutritive values in it.

Ingredients
Baby spinach 1 bag
onion 1
chilli powder 1/2tsp
turmeric powder 1/4tsp
salt to taste
mustard & jeera 1/4tsp each
red chilli 1

in a kadai add oil and temper,mustard,jeera & red chilli.then add cut onions & saute.Then add the cut spinach.Mix well and add chilli & turmeric powders & salt.sprinkle water & cover kadai with lid.Add very little water as spinach contains water in it.

sambar rice

when we have less of all vegetables sambar rice is one delicious item that can be prepared.sambar rice is one of my brother's favorite.he loves it.Even today when i make it i think of him who is in UK now.I promise u my little brother whenever u come here will definitely make it for u.

here goes the recipe
Ingredients
rice 1cup
toor dhal 1/2cup
cut vegetables 1 cup (i use carrots, beans,potato,drumstick,peas,white &yellow pumpkin)
shallots 1/2cup

tomato 1
mustard seeds1/4tsp
tamarind small lemon size
sambar podi 2-3 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4tsp
coriander & curry leaves to garnish
oil to temper
salt to taste
pinch of hing
ghee 2-3 tsps
shredded coconut4-5tsps
Squeeze out juice from the tamarind & set aside.pressure cook rice & dhal together in a pressure cooker adding 4&1/2cups of water to 1&1/2cups of rice & dhal together.in a kadai add oil the temper mustard seeds.when it pops add shallots and saute a while then add the cut vegetables and saute.Now add the tamarind juice,sambar powder,turmeric powder,hing & salt.Allow it to boil till the raw smell of the tamarind juice goes & sambar reaches its consistency.now add this sambar to the cooked rice & dhal and mix well adding ghee.garnish with coriander & curry leaves.njoy hot with chips & onion tomato raita.i made keerai kai as side dish.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

vegetable biriyani

Biriyani is special item whenever it is prepared.every single person at home loves to eat this.usually biryani is prepared with basmati rice.undoubtedly basmathi rice has a special taste which makes the dish a special one.But sometimes eating biryani made out of this rice with all the spices we add to it gives a blotted feeling.Since my father inlaw doesnt like too much of masala still loves to eat variety of food i keep him in mind before preparing anything.so i prepare biryani with the usual rice that we eat daily.

Again biryani will be special only when the rice grains donot stick to each other.As i always love to use microwave oven to cook i make biryani in the oven.It tastes really nice and makes the work easy.No mess no fuzz preparation of biryani.

Here is how i do it

Ingredients
Rice 1 cup
vegetables (cut) 1/2cup i add carrots,beans,potatoes,peas,cauliflower,corn kernels
bay leaf 2 pieces
cinnamon sticks 2
ginger garlic paste 1 tsp
onion 1
chilli powder 1-2 tsp
salt to taste
oil 1-2 tsp
ghee 1-2 tsp

Wash rice and keep aside.Cut vegetables into slightly bigger pieces set aside.split cauliflower into small florets and put it in salted water for few mins to make sure there are no worms in it.In a kadai add 1-2 tsps each of oil & ghee.the add the bay leaves & cinnamon sticks.then add onion saute for a while.then add ginger garlic paste saute again.i add ginger garlic paste late to avoid it getting stuck to kadai.then add all the vegetables add mix well.Then add the washed rice and mix well.Now add required amount of water.ratio of water & rice is 2:1.Now add chilli powder & salt.mix well.When the water starts to boil transfer the entire content to a micro wave safe bowl.cook in high for 10mins with out lid.then 10mins with lid.Do not mix the rice in between more than 1 time as the rice breaks and clings to each other.Allow the biryani to stay for a min in the oven then remove it and serve.

My biryani will be not be very spice & with limited masala.So we will never feel blotted after eating it.Try it u will know it.

Idly milagai podi

when v go on a tour best item to pack is idlies with idly milagai podi.mix podi with oil spread it on the idlies and pack it.more it marinates better the taste.i always sprinkle some sugar on top of these idlies coated with milagai podi.my husband & myself love the taste.kids jus enjoy it.

here is how we prepare idly
milagai podi

Ingredients
2 cups red chillies
1/2cup
channa dhal
1/2cup
urad dhal
a small piece of
asafoetida(Katti perungayam) this can also be replaced by asafoetida powder
salt to taste
oil to saute
1/4 tsp of
jaggery

In a
kadai add oil.roast first 3 items separately one by one.Keep the flame'medium',taking care not to over or under fry.The frying part is the most important slot as this decides the quality of the powder.then roast the asafoetida .take it off the kadai soon.

allow all the items to cool down and grind all the ingredients adding salt and
jaggery to it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

poha mixture


poha mixture is one of the easiest snack item that can be prepared in minutes.it tastes gr8 with tea.

Ingredients
Poha 1cup
dried grapes 3tsp
broken cashew nuts 3 tsp
roasted dhalia dhal(pottu kadalaia) 4tsp
ground nuts 5 tsp
coriander leaves few
chilli powder 1 tsp
salt to taste
oil to deep fry

heat oil in kadai.deep fry each item one by one except pottu kadalai ,chilli powder & salt .always deep fry poha in the end as the oil turns black.when everything is hot sprinkle chilli powder and salt and mix thoroughly.we should add chili powder immediately when everything is hot so that poha will get nicely coated with chillipowder and spread evenly.when the mixture is cool transfer it to air tight container.

Venpongal


venpongal will be given as prasadham in many temples.pongal given in temples will never stick to ur hands and taste so gud.one of my husband's aunt taught me how to prepare pongal that tastes exactly like kovil prasadham.i generally cook venpongal in microwave oven.its easy to make it & we dont have to worry about pongal getting stuck to the vessel.

here is how i prepare it.check it out
Ingredients
rice 1cup
moong Dal 1cup
pepper 1tsp
jeera 1tsp
coriander leaves few(chopped)
ginger small piece
hing1/4 tsp
gingelly oil 3-4 tsp
salt to taste
water
Generally water & rice & Dal ratio is 3 cups of water for 1 cup of rice & Dal together.v can add 1/4cup of water to this when v cook in oven.add all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl.cook in high for 10 mins with out the lid.then after 10 mins take out the bowl mix it then cover with lid cook for 10 more mins.ur pongal is ready.U may have to keep the pongal for 3-4 mins extra depending upon the variety of rice & the oven.

the secret ingredients for the
pongal prepared in temples are the gingelly oil & the hing that is added to it.i never add ghee to my venpongal.if u still like to add ghee to the pongal go ahead add ghee & njoy.u can add ghee also in the initial stages itself.

thakali kozhambu

I always fancied chetinadu food.it will be quite spice and very tasty.chettinadu is famous for their non-veg items.Since i dont eat non veg i am limited to explore only vegetarian items.We went for lunch to one of our friends house who is from karaikudi.She had prepared all chettinadu vegetarian varieties.One among the items she made is thakali kuzhambu.I loved it so much got the recipe from her the same day tried it out the very next day.It came out so well.So here is the recipe for you all.Malar ur recipe.

Ingredients

Tomatoes 4-5

onion 1
red chilli 4-5

Mustard seeds 1/4tsp
jeera 1/4tsp
grated coconut 3-4 tsp

cashewnuts 4-5
oil 2-3 tsp

turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
pinch of hing
salt to taste
cilantro
Grind grated coconut,cashewnuts & red chillies to a fine paste set aside.cut tomatoes into small pieces. In a kadai add oil,mustard seeds and jeera.when they start to pop add the cut tomatoes,saute a while.then add little water and mix.To these tomatoes add turmeric powder,salt & hing.allow the tomatoes to cook fully.when done add the coconut paste to the tomato puree.mix well & cook until oil separates.

this thakali kozhambu can be had with idlies, rice,venpongal &dosa.try it & lemme know.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Vetha kozhambu

vetha kozhambu is a mouth watering dish which goes well with rice, uppmas etc.the thought of it makes me feel hungry.it is a hot favourite for all.it is generally prepared with gingelly oil which gives it a special taste.

Ingredients
Gingelly oil 3-4tsps
mustard seeds 1/4tsp

feenugreek seeds 5-6 pieces
red chillies 2
few coriander leaves
onion or any veg of ur choice 1 cup
tamarind size of a lemon
sambar powder 2-3 tsp
turmeric powder1/4tsp
pinch of hing
salt to taste

Squeeze the tamarind and extract juice set aside In a kadai add gingelly oil.then add mustard seeds.when they pop add feenugreek seeds then chillies,coriander leaves,then the onion or veg(i prepared it with pumpkin).saute for a min then add the tamarind juice.then add the sambar powder,turmeric powder,hing,salt.let it boil untill the raw smell goes.if u do not get the required consistency mix a tsp of rice flour in water and add it to the gravy.when it thickness take it off the stove.yummy vetha kozhambu is ready.

keep all the items to splutter ready so that u can avoid burning red chilli and feenugreek seeds which if burns gives a bitter taste.so have feenugreek seeds,chillies & coriander leaves in a plate so that u can add them immediately when the mustard seeds pop and add veg immediately.

ginglley oil is good for health at the same time has a unique taste.so my mom always uses gingelly oil for this.i have tasted many yummy mouth watering vetha kozhambu but my mom's preparation is always my favourite.

rasam podi

Ingredients
Dhaniya 2cups
toor dhal 1cup
red chilli 1 cup
jeera 2 tsp
pepper 2 tsp
few coriander leaves

Dry roast all the ingredients one by one.allow to cool & grind to coarse powder

sambar podi

Ingredients
Dhaniya 2cups
Channa dhal 1cup
red chilli 1cup
feenugreek seeds 1tsp
few coriander leaves
oil to saute

In a kadai add oil.then add all the ingredients and roast till dhaniya & channa dhal turns light brown.add corander leaves in the end to avoid it from burning.allow them to cool & grind them to coarse powder

onion pakoras


Ingredients
Onion 1small cup(cut into small pieces)
Besan flour 1/2cup
rice flour 1/2cup
chilli powder 1-2 tsp
pinch of hing
salt to taste
few chopped coriander leaves
oil to fry

Take all the ingredients except oil, in a bowl and mix well with hands . Heat oil in a kadai and when hot add 3 tsp of that to the besan mixture. mix well and divide the mixture into 4 or 5 portions.Take one portion into a plate.Sprinkle very little water and then mix it slightly with your hand.Be careful not to sprinkle very little water as the mixture should not become soggy.

Take some mixture , press it with ur hands and drop it in hot oil. Take it out when they are slightly golden brown and drain the excess oil by placing it in a paper towel. continue with the other portions too. Serve hot with tea.
Store the rest in air tight container.

Note:you can add cooking soda when preparing pakoras.pakoras will be very crispy

Monday, January 26, 2009

semiya kichadi


Ingredients
semiya 1cup
vegetables(cut) 1cup-i use carrots,beans,peas,corn kernels,capsicum
tomato 1
onion 1
ginger small piece
green chilli 1
jeera 1/2tsp
mustard 1/2tsp
turmeric powder 1/4tsp
salt to taste
pinch of hing
oil for tampering
cilantro & corander leaves to garnish

heat kadai add oil.Add mustard seeds & jeera.when they split add chilli then onions & saute.Then add tomato and all other vegetables.pour some water.now add ginger, turmeric powder,hing,salt.let the vegetables cook.when it is done add semiya add saute.if u need more water add only hot water.cover and cook till done.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Idlies


many dont like idlies..it is said its only for patients..true patients take it because it is easy to digest...but thats one of my favo
urite..they taste best when teamed with yummy chutneys and sambar..we can also have it with idly milagai podi..

initially when i prepared these snow white idlies they look good but can never be had coz they turn out so hard..then i learnt the proposition and many side dishes that goes well with it..

all u need to prepare lovely idlies is rice and urad dhal..ratio for them is 4:1 i.e, 4 cups rice and 1 cup urad dhal..soak them separately for 3-4 hrs..then grind urad dhal first then grind rice...then mix them together add the required salt to the flour...allow them to ferment..

it takes one full night to ferment in India..but in US coz of cold climate it takes almost 2 days to ferment...i generally run my microwave oven for 1 min then leave the container inside....i remove the container & run the oven 2-3 times a day..when its ready it almost doubles in quantity...steam
them in idly mold for 15mins...fluffy soft idly is ready...

after all the experiments i discovered the softness of idly depends upon the quantity of urad dhal in the flour..less urad dhal means idlies are gonna be hard they can be used for self defense..more dhal means the idlies are gonna be flat & small..so be careful when u measure...gud luck..

lemon rasam


this is one of my favourite which i learnt from my aunty..she cooks yummy food..its a super hit at home..lemon rasam easy to make & tasty..




Ingredients
toor dhal 1cup(boiled)
tomatoes 3(medium size)
ginger small piece
green chilli 3-4
turmeric powder 1/4tsp
hing a pinch
salt to taste
jeera 1/4tsp
mustard seeds 1/4tsp
oil for seasoning
cilantro to garnish
lemon juice
cut tomatoes into small pieces cut ginger into small pieces & crush a little..slit green chillies into half..cut heat a kadai add oil..then add mustard seeds,then jeera..when they splutter add green chillies,then add tomatoes..saute & add some water..to this add turmeric powder,salt & hing..allow the tomatoes to cook..when they are done add the cooked dhal to it..allow it to boil...take it off stove..then add lemon juice to it..taste and then add some more juice if neccessary.

note:never reheat the rasam after adding lemon juice it turns bitter.heat the rasam before serving then add lemon juice