Saturday, 30 January 2016

Milagu Kuzhambu - Pepper Kuzhambu

Milagu Kuzhambu - Pepper Kuzhambu, is one of the common dish in South India. In our home, we make this when ever anyone of us suffer from cold or sore throat. I have made this kuzhambu in little thicker consistency as I am planning to store it for 2 to 3 days. If you prefer watery consistency, you can add more water. You can store this kuzhambu even for a week if refrigerated. I have added few dry red chilies along with other spices, but you can reduce the number of chilies and add more pepper corns.

Milagu Kuzhambu - Pepper Kuzhambu

Preparation Time : 5 Minutes | Cooking Time : 30 Minutes | Serves : 6

Pepper Corns - 1 tbsp.
Dry Red Chili - 3 no.
Coriander Seeds - 2 tsp.
Channa Dal - 1 tbsp.
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tbsp.
Urad Dal - 1 tsp.
Tamarind - 1 Gooseberry Size
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Curry Leaves - 3 sprigs
Jaggery - 1 tsp.
Gingelly Oil - 2 tbsp.
Salt - to taste

1. Soak the tamarind in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes and extract the pulp and discard the fiber. Keep other ingredients ready.
2. Dry roast all the spices in a pan at the same time. Roast it until you get a nice aroma of spices.
3. Allow it to cool down to room temperature and grind it to a powder.
4. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. Once the mustard splutters, add the fenugreek seeds.
5. Add curry leaves and fry for 5 seconds and the tamarind extract.
6. Add turmeric powder and mix it well. Allow the extract to boil
7. Add the ground spice powder and mix well. Allow it to boil.
8. Add a teaspoon of jaggery and allow it to cook for few more minute until the gravy thickens. Once the kuzhambu is done, add fresh curry leaves on top and mix well. Switch off the flame.

Easy and Healthy Milagu Kuzhambu - Pepper Kuzhambu is ready to serve. Serve it with hot steamed rice and ghee. Adding ghee on rice will reduce the spiciness.


Ragi Semiya

Ragi Semiya, this is an simple, easy and healthy recipe for breakfast. None of us in our home are big fan of upma varieties. Since we hear millets are very good for health, we started buying ragi semiya often these days. At first, we used to just eat it with sugar and coconut. But now a days I started preparing it like semiya/upma and to my surprise everyone at our home liked it! The preparation is just the same as we do regular upma/semiya but the main part lies in how the ragi semiya is cooked. If it is not cooked in a right consistency then the dish will be a real mess. Lets move on to the recipe...

Ragi Semiya

Preparation Time : 5 Minutes | Cooking Time : 15 Minutes | Serves : 2

Ragi Seimiya - 100 gm
Onion - 1 No. (Big Size)
Green Chili - 2 No.
Curry Leaves - 2 Strings
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Urad Dal - 1/4 tsp.
Channa Dal - 1/4 tsp.
Oil - 2 tsp.
Salt - to taste

1. Keep all the ingredients ready for making ragi semiya.
a. Take water in a bowl and add half a teaspoon of salt and mix well. Soak the ragi semiya in salt water for just 1 or 2 minutes. After a minute drain the water from ragi semiya and keep it aside.
b. Finely chop onions and green chilies.
2. Place the soaked ragi semiya in a steamer and steam it for about 5 minutes. I used Idli Pot for steaming it. If you have steamer, you can steam it in that.
3. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Once the mustard splutters, add in urad dal and channa dal. Fry for few seconds and add onion, green chili and curry leaves.
4. Saute till the onion turns transparent. Add the steamed ragi semiya and mix well.
5. Cook the semiya for about 2 to 3 minutes in medium flame and switch off the flame. If you cook more than that, the semiya will become stiff.

Simple, easy and healthy Ragi Semiya is ready to serve. It will be good to eat as it is without any chutney. If your still prefer some chutney, you can serve it with coconut chutney

Friday, 29 January 2016

Oyster Mushroom Stir Fry - Sippi Kaalan Poriyal

Oyster Mushroom Stir Fry - Sippi Kaalan Poriyal, this is an simple and easy dish that can be prepared in less that half an hour. I love oyster mushroom when compared to the button mushroom. But oyster mushrooms are not easily available in my nearby stores, so I make it once in a while when I get it. Though I make very few varieties using this mushroom, I feel this mushrooms tastes better than button mushrooms. When you buy oyster mushroom next time, don't forget to try this recipe ;)

Oyster Mushroom Stir Fry

Preparation Time : 10 Minutes | Cooking Time : 20 Minutes | Serves : 3

Oyster Mushroom - 200 gm
Onion - 3 No.
Green Chili - 3 No.
Curry Leaves - 2 Strings
Chicken Masala Powder - 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp.
Oil - 1 tbsp.
Salt - to taste

1. Keep all the ingredients ready.
a. Wash and clean the mushroom.
b. Roughly chop the mushrooms.
c. Thinly slice the onions and chop the green chilies.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds splutter, add the ural dal and fry for few seconds. Add the sliced onion and saute for a minute. Add the green chilies and curry leaves.
3. Saute the onions and green chilies till the onion turn transparent. Add the mushrooms and saute for a minute.
4. Add turmeric powder,  chicken masala powder and salt. Mix well. Need not add water while cooking. The water released from mushroom is enough for it to cook. Cook on medium flame for about 10 15  minutes. Check whether the mushroom is cooked or not in between. Once the mushroom is well cooked, turn off the flame.

Oyster Mushroom Stir Fry is ready to serve. This can be served as an accompaniment for rice or as a side dish for chapati / roti.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Sweet Pongal - Sakkarai Pongal

Sweet Pongal - Sakkarai Pongal, there are lot of ways in which we can make this sakkarai pongal, I have shared one among those recipes here. In this recipe I have added milk along with water while cooking the rice for making pongal. Also, I have added less quantity of moong dal for preparing this pongal. I usually add equal quantity of moong dal and rice while preparing sakkarai pongal. Here I have made a slight variation. I will try to post my regular sakkarai pongal recipe soon.

Sweet Pongal

Preparation Time : Nil | Cooking Time : 30 Minutes | Serves : 4

Raw Rice - 200 gm
Moong Dal - 50 gm
Jaggery - 150 gm
Milk - 100 ml
Cashew Nuts - 2 tbsp.
Raisins - 1 tbsp.
Ghee - 3 tbsp.

1. Keep all the ingredients ready to make sweet pongal. Dry roast the moong dal first.
2. Add the roasted moong dal to rice and wash rice and moong dal together with water. Add the moong dal, rice, milk and 4 cups of water and pressure cook it for 6 whistles.
3. Once the rice and dal are cooked, let it sit in the pressure cooker till the pressure is completely released. In the meanwhile, add the jaggery to a pan and add a cup of water and make jaggery syrup. Just heat up till the jaggery melts. No specific consistency required.
4. Once the pressure is released. Take out the rice and dal from pressure cooker and mash it nicely using a masher or with a ladle.
5. Strain the jaggery syrup to remove any impurities present and add it to the mashed rice and dal. Mix it well.
6. Heat ghee in a tadka pan and add the cashew nuts. Fry them till golden brown color. Transfer it to a plate.
7. In the remaining ghee, add the raisins and fry till it fluff. Add the roasted cashew nuts and raisin along with the ghee to the pongal. Give it a nice mix.

 Sweet Pongal is ready to serve!


COOKING TIPS: How to Hard-Boil the Eggs and Cut them Neatly?

How to Hard-Boil the Eggs and Cut them Neatly? In this post I have shared the method to hard boil the eggs without breaking and how to cut them neatly. Initially when I started cooking, if I boil eggs either it will break or it will be half boiled :( But slowly I learnt how to boil it without breaking. Also when we cut the eggs for making egg masala or gravy, it will not be smooth in the cutting line and the yolk will separate on cooking. So I have showed you how to cut it neat and nice.

How to Hard-Boil the Eggs and Cut them Neatly

Preparation Time : Nil | Cooking Time : 10 Minutes | Serves : 4
Eggs - 4 No.
Rock Salt - 1 tbsp.
Water - as needed
Thin Thread - to cut the eggs

1. Keep the ingredients ready.
 2. Add Eggs in a pan and add water till the eggs are immersed. Sprinkle the rock salt over the eggs. Cook on low flame for first five minutes and allow it to cook on high flame for next 5 minutes. Switch off the flame.
 3. Drain the water immediately and place the eggs in bowl containing plain water. Add few pieces of ice cubes to the plain water. Let this sit for about 10 minutes.
 4. After 10 minutes, drain the water and take out the eggs. Remove the shell of the egg slowly. Thats it! Hard - Boiled Eggs are ready.
 5. To Cut the eggs, take a clean thin thread and gently press the thread in the middle of the egg by holding both edges of the thread. You can cut the eggs neatly when you use a thread instead of a knife.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Chettinad Kara Chutney

Chettinad Kara Chutney, this is a very popular chutney in Chettinad region. The authentic flavor and taste for this chutney comes from the shallots that are being used in this chutney. The same chutney can be done using onions too but tastes better with shallots. This Spicy chutney makes a very good combination with idli, dosa, uttapam etc... The same chutney can be made without using tomatoes but I like the tangy taste in it. So I have added tomatoes here. If you want a real hot chutney, avoid tomatoes and include more shallots.

Chettinad Kara Chutney

Preparation Time : 10 Minutes | Cooking Time : 15 Minutes | Serves : 4

Shallots - 25 No.
Garlic - 10 No.
Tomato - 2 No.
Dry Red Chili - 5 No.
Tamarind - 1 inch piece
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Urad Dal - 1/2 tsp.
Curry Leaves - 2 Strings
Oil - 2 tsp.
Salt - to taste

1. Keep the ingredients ready for making the chutney.
a. Peel and clean the shallots and garlic cloves.
b. Roughly chop the tomatoes.
Add shallots, garlic, dry red chili, tamarind and tomatoes into a blender and grind it to a paste without adding water.
2. Heat oil in  pan and add mustard seeds. Once the mustard splutter, add the urad dal and fry for few seconds.
3. Add the curry leaves and onion tomato paste.
4. Saute for a minute. Add salt and mix well.
5. Cook on medium flame till the onion tomato paste is nicely cooked and the raw smell goes off. Switch off the flame when the chutney consistency becomes thick.

Super Spicy Chettinad Kara Chutney is ready to serve with idli or dosa.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Tandoori Aloo

Tandoori Aloo -While I was searching for some different recipe to make for the last weekend I came across a recipe on making tandoori masala powder at home. So I thought of making some dish using this tandoori masala. I saw some baby potatoes in my kitchen and decided to make tandoori aloo. But I did not make the tandoori masala separately instead I added all the ingredients mentioned for tandoori masala directly to the potatoes and pan fried it after marination. The end product was awesome! It tasted yummy. Here is what I tried...

Tandoori Aloo

Preparation Time : 30 Minutes | Cooking Time : 20 Minutes | Serves : 6


For Marination
Baby Potatoes - 1/2 Kg
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp.
Chili Powder - 1 tsp.
Pepper Powder - 1/4 tsp.
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp.
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp.
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp.
Amchur Powder - 1/4 tsp.
Chaat Masala - 1/4 tsp.
Cinnamon&Clove Powder - 1/4 tsp.
Kasuri Methi - 1/2 tsp.
Curd - 2 tbsp.
Salt - to taste

For Frying
Oil - 3 tbsp.
Curry Leaves - 2 Strings

1. Pressure cook the baby potatoes for 4 whistles and peel the skin. Cut the potatoes into halves if it is little bigger in size.
2. Add all the items listed under "For Marination" in the Ingredients Section  into a mixing bowl except the potatoes.
3. Mix it well to make a smooth paste. Add in the baby potatoes to the mixed masala.
4. Mix the potatoes well in the masala and let it marinate for 30 minutes. Heat oil in a pan to roast the potatoes.
5. Add the curry leaves and marinated potatoes. Toss it well.
6. Roast it on medium flame till the potatoes are nicely roasted and the color changes to golden brown.

Yummy Tandoori Aloo is ready to serve.