Friday, September 27, 2013

Palak Pulao

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If you are not a big fan of this slimy thick greens called Palak, just turn around to see me back you with raised hands. I don't hate palak but I don't enjoy it too much other than the delicious Palak Paneer. But then the greens has loads of goodness in it like iron etc, hence cooking with it is a must in my kitchen. 

This time it was a rice that I wanted to make with it for packing lunch boxes for people at home. Hence here is Palak pulao that even the 'no no greens' people would also enjoy :)

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Ingredients:

Rice - 1 cup
Palak / Spinach - 1 1/2 bunch
Green chillies - 4
Small onions - 15
Tomatoes - 3
Grated coconut - 2 tblsp
Cashews - 10
Red chillies - 4
Coriander seeds - 2 tsp 
Salt - for taste
Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
Cloves - 3

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Method:

Cook rice and separate the grains. 

Peel the onions and slit green chilies. Chop the tomatoes finely. 

Wash and chop the palak. Take a tsp of oil in a pan and fry the chopped palak by sprinkling a little water on it. Close and cook for some time. Allow it to cool. 

Take a tsp of oil in a pan and fry red chilies and coriander seeds. Now grind the cooked palak, cashew nuts  coconut, coriander seeds and red chilies together into a smooth paste by adding little water. 

Now heat 2 tsps of oil in a large pan and add cinnamon and cloves. Then add the split green chilies and small onion and fry for few minutes . Now add tomatoes and fry for few minutes. Finally add the ground palak paste and fry till it starts smelling good :)

Now add salt and mix well. Finally add the cooked rice and give it a good stir until everything is mixed well. 

Serve hot with raitha of your choice. 

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Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fondant Cakes!!! Finally :)

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Yes! I agree! I totally had this fascination to handle fondant and make my own smooth looking cakes and cute looking toppers and play all the designs in my mind some day!! 

Ofcourse all thanks to the co bloggers who post so many of their beautiful creations on the web which made me want to learn it more and more each time I saw one. 

It finally happened and a big thanks to Joonie Tan of Lavonne who taught me the art of making these beauties :)

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I too know to make them now :) Hoooooreyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!! 

But its a long way to go for perfection and oh my god handling the delicate darlings in my part of the hot world is an art by itself which I need to master :)

The above cake was my first fondant cake!! Packed the delicious vanilla sponge layered into smooth Italian butter cream with the delicate sheet of fondant and decorated it all with the cutest teddy and surprised my best buddy Akshata for her birthday!!! How can she not fall for it!! :P

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My second one was back here in the super hot Chennai!! A 60th birthday cake!! 

I dare not call it the ruffles but was definitely a good looking one before the disaster of power cut struck for a couple of hours. The delicate darling started facing down when the air conditioner was off for a couple of hours :( and so was my smile. But never mind it tasted awesome and the client was super happy with it :) What more at the end of the day!! :) I am still a kid with the fondant clay :P

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Oh oh sorry!!! This post will not have any recipes for me to put down since I dint make my own fondant :( 
Its just a post to share with my fellow readers that I have learnt one more art of cake making and would be making more and posting soon :)

Feedback and help regarding handling fondant in Chennai climate is more than welcome and would love to read them and learn!! 

Will surely be back in a couple of days with more fun recipes and pictures!! For now the Monday is to drool!!! ;)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Peanut Chutney / Groundnut Chutney

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Indian condiments are always a winner!! We almost have a side dish or two for all our main courses and they sometime become the highlight over beating the main course of meal. 

The peanut chutney is our home favorite and it for sure over beats the taste of soft idlies and this chutney is temptation factor to make idlies at times :)

The smooth buttery texture of the peanuts along with coconut and other spices is a hit recipe for sure :)

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Ingredients:

Peanuts - 1 cup
Fried gram - 2 tblsp
Coconut - 2 tblsp
Green chillies - 4 
Tamarind paste - 1 tsp
Salt - for taste
Curry leaves

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Method:

Dry roast the peanuts on a pan and allow it to come to room temperature. Remove the skin by rubbing them within your palms. 

Take a tsp of oil in a pan and fry the green chillies in low flame for three minutes. 

Now drop the peanuts, coconut, fried gram, tamarind paste and salt into the mixie and grind into smooth paste. 

Finally season with mustard and curry leaves. 

Delicious and simple peanut chutney is ready. Serve it with hot idlies. 

 photo PC1_zps270874db.jpg

Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Savory Shells

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Savory shells!!! Dont they look so adorably cute :) The shape resembles the Cowry shells, translated to sozhi in Tamil and gevvalu in Telugu. I love the game pallanguzhi and this dish for sure reminds me of the game :)

When my mother in law made this for the first time last year for Krishna Jayanthi, I somehow missed to see her in action and was super astonished to see the finished product. I loved the taste and the shape so much that I insisted her to show me a demo of how to make these. 

I am sure all of you would be excited looking at this dish too and would love to make it for your kids. Checkout the small video at the end of this post to see how to make this shape and head to the kitchen quickly :)

 photo Savoryshells5_zps41696eea.jpg

Ingredients:

Maida - 1 cup
Rice flour - 1 tblsp
Ghee - 2 tblsp
Cooking soda - 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt - for taste

 photo Savoryshells3_zpsdae1876f.jpg

Recipe:

Take a large mixing plate and add the ghee and cooking soda to it. Beat the ghee nicely with your palm until it looks pale yellow and the soda is mixed evenly. 

Now add the maida, rice flour, salt and chilly powder to it and mix well. Add just enough water to make dough. The dough should be soft like chapathi dough and shouldnt stick to your hands. The ghee that we have used will help you roll the dough into one big ball without sticking to the hands. 

Now pinch small portions of the dough and roll them into small balls and do the same until the entire dough is used up. 




Now take a new clean comb with your left hand. Take a dough ball that we made with your right hand and place it on the comb, press it slightly and move it forward to get the impression of the comb on the dough and by the movement of your hand the dough would have curled up too. 

Please refer to the above video to see how the shell is made. 

Once it is all ready. Fry them in hot oil until slightly brown and roasted on all sides. 

Remove from oil and place them on a paper towel to remove excess oil. 

Store in airtight container and enjoy the crispy, crunchy and delicious savory shells :)

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Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here

Monday, September 9, 2013

Ganesh Chathurthi 2013

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Wish you a very happy Ganesh Chathurthi :)

Ganesha is my most favorite God!! A versatile handsome god who disguises himself is so many forms and styles. He is the most friendly god seen almost in every streets in India and the first god who is prayed during all festivals. Today being his day, we of course had to celebrate it with pomp and joy :) 

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We bought a new clay Ganesha this morning from the nearby market. I just loved the market space today, it was filled with people and vendors selling Ganesha idols of all sizes and decorations, loads of flowers, fruits and other products specific to the occasion. 

I enjoyed draping my Ganesha with new clothes and jewels. Doesn't he look smart!!???

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Then comes the delicious prasadams that he loves. I made lots of Kolukattai / Modak with sesame filling and cashew filling this time. We also made a grand lunch feast for god today and offered it to him :)

Click on the following links to see my previous year celebrations and recipes. 

Vinayagar chathurthi celebration 2009 with recipes. 

Vinayagar chathurthi celebrations 2010 with recipes.

 photo Modak_zps14ca2207.jpg

Hope you all had a great festival too. After a long weekend here in India, wish you all a great week ahead too :)

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Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here



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