Sunday, February 7, 2016

CHETTINAD KARUNAI KIZHANGU KARA KUZHAMBU

Karunai Kizhangu is from Yam's family but am not sure about its perfect English name.  Its smaller in size (refer the pic below) and creates prickliness in the tongue if not properly cooked but it has lot of healthy benefits.  To eliminate the itchiness, this is prepared in a tangy way adding thick tamarind sauce.

I learnt this recipe with DH.  Because of the itchy nature, I avoid buying this vegetable but recently I need to rush to office on a weekend for a support and I requested hubby to manage the lunch eating outside but to my surprise he has cooked on that day.  When I returned home, he insisted me to taste the kuzhambu and it was simply superb.  DH is more concentrated towards Chettinad cuisine as he hails from that region and the addition of right amount of tamarind sauce with necessary spice powders make the dish look more colorful and flavorful.  Then next weekend, with his inputs, I prepared this kuzhambu and it came out more than as desired.  From then, in a very short interval, I have prepared this dish many times.  
Ingredients:
Pidi Karunai - 1/2 kg
Peeled small onion - 1 cup
Garlic (optional) - 10-15 pods or as desired
Tomato - 2
Sambar powder - 2 tsp
Chilly powder -2 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Tamarind water (Extracted from pulp)- 2 cups
Salt - as desired
Oil - as desired

To Temper:
Curry leaves - few
Mustard seeds -  1 small tsp
Fenugreek seeds -  1 tsp

Preparation:
1. Pressure cook the vegetable for 2 whistles.  Make sure not to overcook as it would turn mushy.
 

2.  Extract the tamarind water from the soaked tamarind pulp.

3.  Peel small onions and garlic pods and keep it ready.

4. In a heavy bottomed vessel, add oil as desired and throw in the tempering items one by one (mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and curry leaves).  

5. Add small onions, garlic pod, and tomatoes.  Peel the skin of the cooked vegetable (karunai Kizhangu) and cut it in 1 inch size and add it to the mixture and mix well.
 

6.  Add salt, chilly powder, coriander powder, and sambar powder and mix well.
 

7.  Add the extracted tamarind water and let it boil in low flame until everything gets cooked and mixed well.  The more the boiling time, the more the taste would be.
 

8.  At one stage, the gravy would thicken with nice color coat over the gravy and oil starts to float on top. Switch of the stove and transfer to a vessel.
9.  Enjoy this lip smacking kara kuzhambu with steamed white rice.  


I prepared along with spinach kootu and potato fry and it tasted awesome.   

Sunday, January 10, 2016

CHETTINAD CAULIFLOWER RASAM

I first tasted this rasam during my visit to my Periyamma's place (Mother's sister).  She lived in Chettinad region for many years and learnt this recipe from that place.  I like it from the very first time.  This can also be taken as soup or can also go well with cooked rice. Addition of ginger, pepper, jeera would give medicinal flavor and aroma to the rasam and would be a soothing relief for sore throat.

Ingredients:
Cauliflower florets (Washed in warm water) - 1 cup
Riped tomatoes - 3 big size
Onion - 1
Lemon (cut in half) - One half
Cooked toor dhal - 1/2 cup
Green chilly - 1 or 2
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Salt to taste
Curry and coriander leaves - few

To grind:
Pepper - 1 tsp
Jeera - 1/2 tsp

To temper:
Ghee/oil- 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp

Preparation:
1. Cook toor dhal in pressure cooker and keep it separately.

2.  Wash the cauliflower florets in warm water.  Keep the items given in the ingredients list ready before preparation.
 

3. In a heavy bottomed kadai, a tsp of ghee/oil add the mustard seeds and wait until it crackles. Add green chilly and curry leaves and later followed by cut onions.  When the onions turn brown, add the tomatoes.
 

4.  Once the tomatoes turn mushy, add the caulifower florets, salt, and turmeric powder.  Add 1.5 cups of water and let the cauliflower gets cooked in that.
                     
5. In between, powder jeera and pepper in a mixer and keep this ready.  Once the florets are cooked, add the powder followed by mashed cooked toor dhal.
 

6.  When the rasam gets frothy, switch off the flame, garnish with coriander leaves and squeeze out the juice from the cut lemon.  


Now the aromatic cauliflower rasam is ready to serve.  This can be taken as such as a soup.  The crunchiness and taste of onions and cauliflower adds an additional zing to the dish.  

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year - Mysore Pak (Burfi)

Hearty New Year Wishes to all my readers.  Sorry for not posting for quite some time as I was settling down slowly after the Chennai floods.   Lot of personal priorities to be taken care of and I took some time to clear one by one.

Last year was a remarkable year for me both in person and professional front.  Lot of wishes and dreams have come true.  The start of the new year is also divine.  I went to the famous Tirumala and had a very good darshan on two consecutive days.  Looking forward this year with lot of hopes..


I thought to start the new year with a sweet.   Here's the recipe for Mysore Pak.  Very easy and authentic recipe which can be made in just half an hour.  The quantity can yield around 30 to 35 medium sized mysore paks.  


Ingredients:
Bengal gram flour - 1 cup
Sugar - 2 cups
Melted Ghee - 1.5 cups
Sugar for sprinkling - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp

Preparation:
 1. Sieve the bengal gram flour to get rid of lumps.  This is a must to be done step to get a perfect mysore paks.  Grease a plate with ghee as a ready step.  Due to lighting, the flour looks white in color instead of pale yellow.
2.  In a heavy bottom pan, add a tsp of ghee and fry the flour until the raw smell of flour vanishes. This would hardly take 3-5 minutes.

3. In a heavy bottom pan, add sugar with water enough to immerse it (approximately half cup of water).

4. Boil until 1 string consistency.  If you take the ladle, a string will form as shown in picture.
5. Add the flour slowly stirring continuously.  The flame should be in low to medium side during this step.  Don't worry if lumps are seen, slowly it will disappear if you keep stirring continuously.
6. Add ghee in between slowly and keep stirring until the ghee mixes and add the next batch of ghee slowly.  








7. At one stage, the color changes and add 2 tsp of oil.  Adding oil would bring tiny hollows to the mysore pak as like in shops which would taste crispy and stiff while eating.
7.  At one stage, the whole mixture starts frothy as shown in the picture.  Also there will be a fragrance filled of cooked besan in ghee.  
 

8. When the mixture comes as ball without sticking to the base, pour it to the greased plate.  Do not flatten it, it will spread it by itself.
9. Sprinkle a tsp of sugar over the mixture.  This is an optional step but would given an excellent touch to the sweet.  Slice according to your desire, either square, rectangle or diamond.  Being a woman, I fond of diamonds, so cut in diamond shaped :-) .
11.  Soft melting mysore paks are ready to be served to your loved ones. 

Note:  Do not reduce the sugar and ghee level as it would turn out giving hard mysore paks.  The quantity given here has been tried multiple times and has always been perfect.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

WHEAT HALWA (GODHUMA HALWA)

It's going to be a fortnight since Deepavali is over here but still I am full tight with house chores and never find any time to spend on blogging.  A lot of posts has been in the hand to blog, of course. 

I know it is quite late to post the deepavali recipes but I thought its better late than never and my purpose of blogging was to document my experience and experiments of my kitchen rather than an urge to post the recipes.  I have to manage home, work, and house chores which takes a higher priority than this as usual.  Also it had been raining like cats and dogs in Chennai whole last week and first time in history all IT companies declared an emergency holiday due to the flood situation and there were frequent power cuts and network issues.  There was knee level water everywhere and it was a memorable experience to us. 

Moving on to the recipe, I was longing to prepare this halwa for a long time and was bit hesitant to try it without supervision of Mom for some reasons.  Since Mom was here for Deepavali, I requested her to lend a helping hand as I also thought to take step by step pictures for blogging purposes and she readily agreed.  The outcome was perfect and whole family enjoyed it.  It is a bit elaborative process but worth trying it.  I suggest you to try in small quantity as it involves long time stirring.


DH suggested that had the sweetness be little less, it would have been even more delicious so I suggest you to try lessening the sugar a bit based on your family sweet tooth.

Ingredients:

Samba Wheat - 2 cups
Sugar - 5 cups
Ghee:  2.5 cups
Artificial color powder - a pinch (optional)
Cashew nuts - 20

To Grind:
Sugar: 5 tsp
Cardomom - 5-7 

Preparation:
1. Wash and soak the whole wheat overnight (~8 hours).

2. Drain the water to a vessel, and grind it adding little by little water. Filter it using a metal strainer and again grind the remaining pulp with remaining water and strain again.  Repeat this until all the milk is taken from the wheat berries.  Mostly in two strains, the pulp would be without milk.
3.  Keep the collected milk aside for 6-8 hours undisturbed.  This process would separate the milk and water.

4. Before the start of the process, filter the water which is settled at the top carefully. 

 5.  In a mixer, powder finely 5 tsp of sugar and cardamom.  
 

6. Fry the cashews in little ghee.
 

7. In a heavy bottomed vessel, add sugar with little water and switch on the flame and keep stirring.     
 

8. Once all the sugar granules are dissolved fully, add the extracted wheat milk and keep stirring. After sometime, slowly the color starts to change beautifully as and when the sugar and milk gets cooked.  

 

9. If you feel like adding food color, add the coloring powder at this time.  Add the powdered sugar-cardamom mixture and keep stirring.
10. Slowly the halwa will go on to the semi solid state.  Add ghee little by little.  The ghee will be absorbed immediately, hence add little by little.  

11. At one stage, the whole halwa  will start to thicken and the ghee would not be absorbed anymore.  You could see the glossy look and crystallized sugar sedimentation at the top of the halwa.   This is the right consistency to switch off the flame.  

12. Allow it to cool down for an hour and the consistency would further be thickened a bit.  


13. Offer to God and enjoy a spoon of yummylicious homemade halwa; you would realize the taste would last long in your mouth....