Monday, July 30, 2012

Lemon Squash

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Making squashes with various fruits has become a usual summer time activity at home. They are easy to make and much better by taste and for health when compared to the store bought ones.

Lemon squash is the easiest to make. The squash is so versatile that you can add it up to any other juice to get the lemoney flavor. It makes life so easy when you want to make ice lemon tea etc.

Gulp Gulp Gulp.. Lemon is such a humble little fruit that gives you so much flavor and taste. :)

Check my other squashes too :

Grape squash
Hibiscus squash
Mango squash

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Ingredients:

Lemon juice - 1 cup
Sugar - 2 1/2 cups
Water - 1 cup

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Method:

Take the water and sugar in a heavy bottomed vessel and heat it until the sugar melts and bubbles up slightly. Switch off the stove.

Pour the lemon juice while the sugar syrup is hot and mix it well.

Lemon squash is ready. Allow it to come to room temperature and store it in sterilized container.

You can store this is fridge and use it upto one year.

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To make lemon juice:

Take the serving glass and fill in 1/4 with lemon squash and rest with chill water. Stir well and serve :)

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Tips:

Use the same syrup for making ice lemon tea. Add a tsp of tea powder to 3 tblsp water and allow it to boil. Strain and mix it with 1 glass of lemon juice made above. Add some honey for extra taste :)

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

Friday, July 27, 2012

Oats Kuzhi Paniyaram / Oats Ponganalu

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The little soft balls called paniyaram / ponganalu are delicious small dumplings haling from south India. The typical traditional recipe would have rice and lentil combination in its batter, but we came up with a different combination having oats and three other lentils to make it delicious and healthy snack or breakfast :)

Oats paniyaram is extremely soft and goes great with mint chutney or tomato chutney :)

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Ingredients:

Powdered oats - 1 cup
Channa dhall - 1/3 cup
Urad dhall - 1/3 cup
Green gram dhall (paasi paruppu) - 1/3 cup
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece
Green chillies - 4
Salt
Cooking soda - a pinch
Grated carrot - 1/4 cup
Onion - 1
Coriander leaves

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Method:

Soak the three dhalls together in water for 1 hour.

Now grind the dhall along with oats powder, ginger, green chillies, cooking soda and salt. Add little water while grinding and bring it to dosa batter consistency. Leave this batter alone for 1 hour

Chop onion finely.

Add the chopped onion, grated carrot and coriander leaves to it and mix well.

Heat the kuzhi paniyaram pan and pour little oil in all the holes. Now pour the batter into the holes and cook until roasted on all sides.

Serve the oats paniyaram hot with mint chutney or tomato chutney :)

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Tips:

Allow the batter to sit for atleast half an hour for best results.

Add ghee while roasting for extra flavor :)

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Written by: Nithya
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lentil Soup / Dhal Soup

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On and off I would get some sudden gyan of what I'm eating and what I'm missing out. One such occasion happened last day and I felt I am not feeding myself with enough proteins and iron. Our gym instructor always says we need lots of proteins if we have to tone up quickly and build healthy muscles.

When mom and I listed out ingredients that have proteins and iron we came up with all lentils and greens varieties. So quickly checked the pantry for ingredients and picked moong dhal and methi leaves to make this simple yet very healthy soup :)

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Ingredients:

Moong dhal - 1/2 cup
Fenugreek / methi greens - 1 bunch
Garlic - 3 pods
Salt
Pepper

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Method:

Wash and pressure cook dhal along with methi leaves for three whistles.

Allow it to cool down.

Grind the cooked contents into a smooth paste.

Chop the garlic into small pieces.

Now take 1 tsp of oil in a pan and saute the garlic pieces. Now pour in the ground dhal greens mixture and add adequate salt and water. Let it boil for 5 mins.

Sprinkle some pepper and serve hot.

Delicious and super healthy dhal soup is ready.

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Written by: Nithya
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Monday, July 16, 2012

Aadi Special - Roasted Coconut Dessert

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Aadi - the Tamil month begins today. Its a month filled with festivals and discounts :P

The first day of aadi is marked with celebration and prayers in the district of Salem, Tamil Nadu.

Yes! My native is Salem and though I have not been there in Salem for this festival so far in my life time, I have still heard so much about it from my dad. I have also tasted this delicious coconut dessert that my grandma makes and sends it for us :)

This year it so happened that I was in Salem yesterday and chanced to buy the stick to make this dish. Dad explain his childhood experience of making it with his family and so we did today with all at home :) Dad even sung the traditional prayer song while we were roasting the coconut :)

Just imagine the taste of roasted soft coconut along with the juicy jaggery sauce made of sesame, poha and roasted gram. Isnt that tempting?!! It was and is. I am licking my bowl right now :) Yummyyy.

The only sad part of the month is that newly wedded couples have to miss each other for the next 30 days ;) (Oh yeah me too :( ) But can enjoy being back home with parents :)

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Ingredients:

Coconut - 1
Jaggery - 1/4 cup
Sesame - 2 tblsp
Flattened rice (Aval) - 2 tbsp
Roasted gram (Pottu Kadalai) - 2 tbsp
Wooden stick - for roasting

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Method:

Remove the fiber from top of the coconut.

Pierce open one eye of the coconut with a knife. Collect the coconut water in a bowl and preserve it.

Dry roast the sesame seeds in a pan for five mins. Allow it to cool.

Take the jaggery, sesame seeds, roasted gram and flattened rice in the mixie jar and powder it coarsely. This will be the filling.

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Now fill the above made filling through the hole made in the coconut. Fill in the entire contents and finally pour in 3 tbsp of the reserved coconut water inside the coconut.

Sharpen one end of a long wooden stick so that it fits the hole made on the coconut. Insert the stick firmly inside the hole. Now mix some turmeric powder with water to make a paste. Use this to seal around the stick and apply the rest on the coconut and the stick.

Next, show this on the flame and roast the coconut on all the sides.

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Rotate the coconut and roast on all the sides until it cracks on one side exposing the coconut. This might take roughly 10 - 15 mins.

Remove from flame and allow it to cool. Meanwhile keep the coconut in the pooja and pray to god.

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Once it cools down, break the coconut using a stone and remove the pod. Cut open the cooked coconut and transfer the liquid to a bowl.

Slice the coconut into small pieces and add it to the bowl with the liquid. Mix and serve.

Enjoy the roasted coconut dessert :)

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

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Paneer Pulao

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You know!! I was lacto intolerant until I was 1. None of the milk products could be consumed, if done by mistake it would result in high levels of diarrhea and it even intoxicated me is what mom says.. :(

Thank God! All thanks to GOD for getting me rid of it. I cant even imagine being away from milk, cheese, ghee, paneer, sweets, CURD, lassi, butter milk, ICE CREAMS and so on.. My life would have been so boring without them. I am so sorry if my statement is offending the vegans but for me life would have been hard without these because I like them so much :)

This pulao is with one of my latest interests - the paneer. The soft cubes are so delicious when they are in curries, as starters and even in rice. They take the taste of the spices from the dish and bring it out so beautifully when you bite them. :) Yummmm.

This rice is so simple to make yet delicious and grand to serve. :)

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Ingredients:

Paneer cubes - 1 cup
Rice - 1 cup
Onion - 1 large
Tomato - 1
Peas - 1/2 cup
Green chillies - 2
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch piece
Cloves - 3
Ghee - 1 tblsp
Salt - for taste

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Method:

Cut the onion into thin slices. Dice tomato into small cubes. Split the green chillies.

Wash and soak the rice for 15 mins.

Take 1 tbsp of ghee and 2 tsp of oil in the pressure cooker and add the cloves, cinnamon piece, green chillies, garam masala and ginger garlic paste. Fry for a min and then drop in the sliced onion, peas and tomato and saute until onion turns golden brown.

Now drain the soaked rice and add it to the pressure pan too. Saute for two mins and then add 2 cups of water and adequate salt. Mix well and pressure cook for 2 to 3 whistles.

Meanwhile saute the paneer cubes by adding few tsp of oil in a pan. I like my paneer slightly crispy on the sides with soft inner part.

Once the rice is done, remove from pressure pan and mix in the paneer cubes. Serve hot.

Enjoy with onion raitha.

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

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Bitter gourd 65

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Most of you out there would have bitter gourd in your hate list. I was one among you until I tasted some delicious dishes made with them.

My mom is an expert at dressing up such not so impressive vegetables beautifully into very attractive dishes. One such is this bitter gourd 65 :) The bitter gourd ofcourse does not lose its quality of being bitter, but the other masala factors over play the bitterness and make the dish pretty enjoyable :)

Checkout one more such dressed up dish here - Alligator fry.

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Ingredients:

Bitter gourd - 5
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Tamarind paste - 2 tblsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp

Maida - 1/2 cup
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Oil - for frying
Salt - for taste

Green chillies - 2
Curry leaves - 10
Curd - 1 cup
Red food color - a pinch
Salt - for taste

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Method:

Slice the bitter gourd into 1/2 inch slices and remove the seeds.

Boil the bitter gourd pieces in water for 5 mins and drain it. Do this twice to remove some bitterness.

Now take the tamarind paste, salt, chilly powder and turmeric powder in a pan and add 2 cups of water to it. Now add the bitter gourd pieces to this and cook for 10 mins in low flame. Drain the water and keep the pieces aside.

In a bowl mix maida, chilly powder, salt, garam masala, ginger garlic paste and some water to make a batter. The batter should be in bajji batter consistency. Dip the bitter gourd pieces in this batter and deep fry in hot oil until roasted on all sides.

For the sauce - Take a tsp of oil in a pan and drop in the curry leaves and split chillies. Simmer the stove and add beaten curd, red food color and salt to it and mix well. Now add the deep fried bitter gourd to this curd mixture and mix until well coated.

Sprinkle some coriander leaves and serve :)

Eat it as it is or serve with creamy curd rice :)

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

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Italian Fusilli Zuppa / Pasta Soup

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Zuppa!! I love the name by itself :)

Zuppa - the Italian name for soup attracted me so much when I read it in the menu of the restaurants that I visited in Italy. Unfortunately I missed tasting them there, but ever since I knew the name I have been calling it out every time I see soup here in India.

Last evening I was desperate to make some soup and bling again the name zuppa came to my mind. I bothered myself to search the web and find a lot of recipes but I had to cook it all up with the ingredients that were available in my pantry. So here comes my version of fusilli zuppa.

It taste so yummy and was lite in texture yet filling the tummy too :)

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Ingredients:

Sweet corn - 1 cup
Fusilli pasta - 1 cup
Onion - 1 large
Garlic - 2 pods
Olive oil - 2 tsp
Tomatoes - 2
Corn flour - 2 tbsp
Italian herbs - 2 tsp
Salt
Pepper

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Method:

Chop onion and garlic finely.

Cook the corn and keep it aside. Puree the tomato.

Take olive oil in a pan and saute the chopped onions and garlic for two mins in low flame. Add the tomato puree, pasta and sweet corn along with 4 cups of water. Allow this to boil for 10 mins on high flame.

Dilute the corn flour in 2 tblsp of water.

Check if the pasta is cooked. If done, add the diluted corn flour to the soup and keep stirring until it thickens slightly. Keep the flame low and keep stirring for five minutes.

Finally add salt, pepper and italian herbs and mix well.

Serve hot. Enjoy eating :)

This quantity makes 6 servings of delicious soup :)

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Tips:

You can add other vegetables like carrot, cabbage, green beans, peas etc along with pastas(small).

Add chilly flakes or Tabasco sauce for additional spice :)

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

Monday, July 2, 2012

Dark Fantasy Cup Cakes - Eggless & Low fat

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Chocolate and baking cures pain!

You really need to believe me!! I met with a kitchen disaster last Wednesday and have been kind of facing pain and was out of the kitchen for almost a week. Felt so bored and couldn't resist being away from my kitchen and my blog. I hardly got any mails and queries and that's when I realized how addicted or rather attached to my blog I am.

After having a pretty bad hot sambhar bath on my legs, I choose to start off again with a safer mode of cooking and took up the oven for baking some delicious cakes that will bring me back to mood.

The mood was set to bake but had hardly any ingredients like eggs or condensed milk at home. So I choose the simplest recipe and the cake came out at its best. It was dark, moist, sweet and super soft. The dense texture as well as the light coffee cream icing made it more delicious and filling too :)

This dark fantasy cup cakes are one of my best eggless creations for sure :) Patting my back for the come back recipe :)

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Ingredients:

All purpose flour (maida) - 7 tblsp
Wheat flour - 2 tblsp
Cocoa powder - 5 tblsp
Powdered sugar - 10 tblsp
Cooking soda - 1 tsp
Cooking oil (groundnut / sunflower / canola) - 6 tblsp
Milk - 10 tblsp

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Method:

Sieve maida, wheat flour, powdered sugar, cocoa powder and cooking soda together.

Take it in a mixing bowl. Add milk and oil to it and beat well with hand beater. The batter should be smooth without lumps. It should be in pouring consistency.

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Preheat oven to 180°C. Line the muffin tray with liners.

Fill muffin cups with batter almost full leaving just 2 mm from the top and bake it for 18-20 mins at 180°C. Adjust the time according to your oven settings.

Check if cooked by inserting a skewer in the center. Once done, allow it to cool on a wire rack for a while.

This quantity makes exactly 6 dense and beautifully puffed up cupcakes.

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Coffee cream:

Beat fresh cream until stiff peaks form.

Take 1 tsp of instant coffee powder and mix it in 1 tblsp of warm water.

Fold in the coffee mixture into the cream and pipe it on the cup cakes.

Grate some dark chocolate (Bonneville) and sprinkle on top.

Enjoy the delicious dark fantasy cup cakes :)

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Tips:

Allow the cup cakes to completely cool down before you do the icing.

Refrigerate the cake before serving for best results and delicious chill dessert.

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

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