Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Milk Halwa - Diwali Wishes

Milk halwa3

Wishing all my readers & friends a very happy Diwali :)

The festival of lights is here and its celebration time :) This festival is something that every kid would look forward for.

Sweets, New clothes, Wishes, TV programs and Crackers!! Can any other celebration get better than this?!!! ;)

Gods have been celebrating Diwali on the sky as well with idi vedi and lightning sparklers this year. Chennai is chill and I'm enjoying it thoroughly, watching my favorite movie with a hot cup of halwa in hand ;) Hope you all are having a great time too!!

Milk halwa1

Ingredients:

Milk - 4 cups
Sugar - 2 cups
Ghee - 1 cup
Sooji(Rava) - 1/2 cup
Cashews - 10

Milk halwa

Method:

Take milk, sugar, ghee and rava in a thick bottom pan and cook until it becomes thick. Keep stirring in intervals until it thickens and the ghee separates. Once it forms rolls into a ball without sticking to the pan, switch off the flame. The entire process would take around 20 mins.

Roast cashews in a tsp of ghee and garnish.

Simple, Delicious and rich milk halwa is ready :)

Enjoy eating :)

Milk halwa2

Tips:

You can add vanilla essence to it for extra flavoring.

Use thick milk for rich taste.

Milk halwa4

Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oregano Fritter / Karpooravalli Bajji

Oreganobajji6

Isn't it interesting if healthy food comes in a flavorful and delicious form??!!!

This oregano fritter serves the purpose. A healthy and tasty snack for the evening :)

Oregano also know as Karpooravalli is a easily available herb in India. It can be grown in home garden and used for medical purposes. It cures cold and is a soothing herb for soar throat.

This is the first time I tried it in a bajji and fell for it instantly. Loved the flavor and the puffed up leaf shaped bajji was an attraction to all :)

Oregano Bajji5

Ingredients:

Oregano (Karpooravalli leaves) - 15
Besan(Chickpea flour) - 1 cup
Rice flour - 1/4 cup
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Cooking soda - a pinch
Salt - for taste

Oregano Bajji

Method:

Pluck, clean and wash the oregano leaves thoroughly and spread them on a clean cloth.

Mix a batter of besan, rice flour, chilly powder, garam masala, coriander powder, cooking soda, ginger garlic paste and salt by adding some water to it. The consistency should be that of bajji batter.

Now heat some oil in a pan. Dip the oregano leaves in the above made batter and fry till done on both the sides.

Enjoy the natural flavor of oregano in the fritter :)

Oregano Bajji3

Tips:

The same batter with the flavoring can be used for onion, potato and banana bajjis too.

Alternative method to make this is to simply chop the oregano leaves finely and add it to the batter. Drop small portions of the batter into the oil to make oregano bonda :)

Oregano Bajji2

Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Vegetable Cheese Pizza - From Base

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I feel really great when I make some unusual dish (other than south Indian) at home from the base. It gives a sense of achievement and an opportunity to put the collars up when people exclaim "you made it at home???" :P

One such celebrated dish is Pizza. Making it at home right from the base is really exciting and delicious too :)

For heaven sake, pizza came out really well at the first go itself and I've been baking it quite a lot of times since then. I have tried different toppings for my pizza but nothing can beat the simple vegetable cheese version :)

pizza3

Ingredients:

For the bread base -

All purpose flour(Maida) - 1/2 kg
Instant yeast - 15 gms
Butter - 10 gms
Sugar - 30 gms
Salt - 10 gms
Water

For pizza -

Pizza Sauce
Tomato - 2
Baby corn - 10 cobs
Red bell pepper - 1
Green bell pepper - 1
Yellow bell pepper - 1
Onion - 1
Paneer - 200 gms
Italian seasoning (Herbs)
Mozzarella cheese
Chilly flakes

pizza4

Method:

For the bread base -

Take the maida in a large mixing bowl or simply pour it over your work surface. Make a large well in the center. Put sugar, salt and instant yeast in the center of the well. Add luke warm water to the yeast, sugar and salt mixture and mix well with your hands until the yeast becomes frothy and dissolves completely.

Now gradually push the maida into the yeast mixture and start kneading. Add adequate water to make soft and smooth dough. Knead well for 20 mins incorporating air bubbles. Add melted butter to the dough and kneed well until well incorporated.

Rest the dough for 1 hour covering the bowl with cling film or wet towel. The dough would raise to double its volume.

After an hour, knock down the air in the dough and divide the dough into three parts.

Flour the work surface and roll a ball into a flat disk of desired thickness(depends on how thick you like your pizza crust to be) Prick holes with fork. Place on greased tray and let it raise for another 10 mins.

Preheat the oven to 210 °C and bake for 10 mins.

Allow it to cool on wire rack. Cover and store in the fridge until use.

This quantity would make 3 medium sized bread bases.

pizza5

Method:

For vegetable cheese pizza -

Place the bread base on the baking tray.

Spread two tblsp of pizza sauce on the base evenly.

Arrange the baby corn, paneer cubes, diced onion, tomato and bell peppers according to your favorite pattern and sprinkle grated cheese generously over the pizza.

Microwave it at maximum temperature for 3 mins or until the cheese melts completely.

Serve topped with Italian herbs and chilly flakes.

Enjoy the sizzling hot home made pizza :)

pizza1

Note:

Use yeast that is active for best results.

Kneading the dough for atleast 20 mins is a must.

Do not knead too much after the dough raises. Just punch the air out and roll them into balls and flatten them.

pizza2

Tips:

You can cover and preserve the bread base in the refrigerator for at least a week.

Use exotic toppings like mushrooms, olives, broccoli etc while you make it for guests :)

pizza

Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Cucumber Mint Cooler

Cucumber mint cooler1

Hot, hotter and hottest are the 3 seasons in Chennai :( We really don't seem to have much of winter experience. Hence a body coolant is never out of season.

I have been exhaustively shopping this season and I rejuvenate myself with such simple yet interesting drinks everyday.

Cucumber mint cooler3

Ingredients:

Cucumber - 1
Mint leaves - 20
Tender coconut - 1
Salt - for taste
Jal-jeera powder - a pinch

Cucumber mint cooler

Method:

Clean and wash the mint leaves. Make a puree of it by adding some water. Filter it in a fine sieve and collect the extract.

Peel and de-seed the cucumber. Grind it in the mixie and filter to get clear cucumber juice.

Break open the tender coconut and collect the water. Scoop and chop the tender coconut and reserve it aside.

Mix half a cup of tender coconut water with half a cup of cucumber juice. Add two tsp of mint extract, salt and a pinch of jal-jeera powder and stir well.

Top it with ice cubes and chopped tender coconut and serve chill :)

Cucumber mint cooler2

Written by:
Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Grapes Poli (Boli / Obbattu)

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Poli or Boli or Obbatu is a traditional flat bread made with all purpose flour and stuffed with a sweet filling. Dhall and coconut filling is the most common varieties made by everyone and it has been a custom at home to make them for Ayudha Pooja celebrations.

But then, this year me and mom were breaking our heads to make some interesting variation so that I can proudly blog about it :P yup! Intentions change and its okay until everybody enjoys the food isn't it??!! :)

After noticing a kg of grapes in the pantry, we decided to cook up something with it and Grapes poli was the result :)

Stunningly different and delicious dish I say!! A must try for those who love experimenting :)

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Ingredients:

For filling (Grapes Kesari):

Rava(Semolina) - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Grape juice - 2 cups
Water - 1 cup
Grape essence - 1 tsp
Ghee

For the wrapper:

All purpose flour(Maida) - 1 cup
Salt - a pinch
Cooking soda - a pinch
Cooking oil - 1/2 cup
Water


Grapes Poli1

Method:

For Filling(Grapes Kesari):

Dry roast the rava in a pan for a couple of mins and transfer it on a paper. Measure and mix sugar with it and keep is aside.

Choose well ripen black grapes. Remove stems and wash them thoroughly.

Take the grapes in a large vessel and add one cup of water to it and boil it until the fruits get cooked. While its boiling, keep crushing the grapes with a masher until it is thoroughly juicy. Strain the extract and collect the juice. Measure two cups of juice and keep it aside.

In a heavy bottomed pan, take the extracted grape juice, grape essence and water. When it starts to boil add the rava and sugar mixture stirring continuously. In a medium flame keep stirring it until the semolina gets cooked and the contents roll out without sticking to the sides(Kesari consistancy) . Add ghee and mix well. Once done, leave it to cool.

Roll balls of this grapes kesari filling and keep them ready.

Grapes poli

For Wrapper:

Mix all purpose flour, salt and cooking soda together. Add adequate water to roll it into a soft dough. Finally add oil and kneed well to make the dough smooth. Roll the dough into a ball and coat it heavily with oil and leave it alone for 3 hours.

To make poli:

Take a plastic sheet or kitchen foil and grease it with oil. Take a chunk of the wrapper dough, press it out to about 2-3 inches in diameter using your hands. Place a ball of grape kesari filling in the center and fold it from all sides, proceed to seal at the top. Now press it on all sides with your hand to make a boli of 5 inches wide. Carefully remove it from the sheet and toast it on a pan. Flip and toast on both the sides by applying some ghee over it.

Delicious and flavorful grape poli is ready to serve :)

This quantity would make around 20 polis. Refrigerate and use within 3 days.

Serve hot and enjoy eating :)

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Tips:

You can simply make the grape kesari and serve it as it is. The purple shade is beautiful and the aroma and flavor of grapes makes it impressive.

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Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.


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