Friday, December 15, 2017

How To Cook Perfect Basmati Rice in a Pan | Fluffy Basmati Rice

Perfectly cooked basmati rice is little bit tricky to get it right especially if you're a beginner in the cooking. For our daily cooking, we use boiled ponni rice and i cook it in pressure cooker  with 1:2 ratio of rice & water and it turned out perfectly every time. And i use basmati rice only for pulao, briyani or fried rice,but when it comes to basmati rice, i find it difficult to cook the rice in pressure cooker,either it turned out over cooked or under cooked. Even i tried it in electric cooker, still i couldn't get it right.
Finally i returned to old fashioned way of cooking the rice in a open pot. Even on my first attempt,to my surprise, the rice are perfectly cooked and the grains are so separate, just like the way i like it. Now i have been using the same method for cooking the basmati rice for more than a year and it turned so perfect every SINGLE time!!!! Those who have struggle to cook  basmati rice  perfectly, give this method a try !!!

How to cook Basmati Rice

Preparation Time : 30 mins | Cooking Time : 07 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Rice | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Ingredients
Basmati Rice -1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Salt - to taste
Sesame oil - 1 tsp

Procedure
Soak the rice for 1/2 hr. Heat the water in a pan and add salt.Add the oil into the boiling water and then drain the water from the soaked rice and add into the boiling water.Bring the rice to boil and then keep the flame in low and close the pan with lid.Cook until all the water is absorbed and switch off the flame.Let the pan closed for 10 more mins and then open the lid ,gently fluff the rice with fork.Tada, fluffy perfectly cooked basmati rice is ready.
Notes:
  • Adding sesame oil gives great flavor to the rice and also helps to avoid sticking the rice grains.
  • You can cook the rice without adding salt also.
  • Make sure the flame is low while cooking the rice.
  • Pot/pan with glass lid is helpful to look into the pan while cooking the rice and switch off the flame when all water is absorbed
  • It takes approximately 7 mins to absorb all the water, by that time, the rice also well cooked.
  • If you don't have pan with glass lid, then use whatever you have , while cooking, in between, open the pot and check to make sure that all the water is absorbed before switch off the flame.
  • Don't stir the rice frequently, it will make the rice mushy.
  • Gently fluff it with forks to separate the grains.
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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Naatu Kozhi Kuzhambu | Chicken Curry | Cornish Hen Gravy

Naatu Kozhi Kuzhambu, the flavorful chicken curry made from cornish hen and indian spices. Recently i came to know from mullai blog that the cornish hen available in US, have the taste and flavor almost similar to our naatu kozhi. And i mentioned the same to ST who is fond of naatu kozhi very much. Immediately he said that on our next visit to walmart, we will buy one and try !!! 
So on our last weekend grocery shopping, we bought this chicken,compared to leghorn chicken, it's very small in size even the whole chicken weight is less than 1 lb. As this was the first time, we had bought whole chicken, i was bit hesitate to cut the chicken into pieces,but ST gladly did all the cutting & cleaning process !!!
The flavor of this curry was way beyond our expectation. The taste and texture of the chicken is so close to naatu kozhi.So if you like naatu kozhi flavor, then i highly recommend to try this cornish hen, just like me, you would be amazed by its taste and texture.

Naatu Kozhi Kuzhambu

Preparation Time : 1 hr | Cooking Time : 20 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Curry | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Ingredients
Naatu Kozhi/Chicken - 1 lb
Pearl onion - 15
Tomato - 1
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder - 3/4 to 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch piece
Cloves - 3
Cardamom - 2
Curry leaves - few
Coriander leaves - few
Gingelly/Sesame Oil - 1& 1/2 tbsp
To Grind
Coconut - 1/4 cup
Cashew - 2
Fennel seed - 1/4 tsp

Procedure
First cut & wash the chicken thrice in running water and then finally add some turmeric powder to the chicken and wash it once & keep aside. Peel the pearl onion and chopped them roughly, cut the tomato into small pieces.Heat the cooker with oil.Add the cinnamon,cloves and cardamom.Fry it for  30 sec.Then add the onions & curry leaves ,saute till the onions become translucent.Add the chicken pieces,saute the chicken in oil for 1 min,then add the ginger garlic paste, saute till the raw smell leaves.Add the tomatoes, give a quick stir, then add the spices one by one (turmeric,chili ,coriander powder) & mix the spices well with chicken.Add enough water, cover the cooker, put on lid and cook  for 5 whistle or until the chicken is soft.In the mean time, grind the ingredients listed under "To Grind" into smooth paste.Once the pressure is automatically released from the cooker, open the lid & keep the cooker in flame again.Add the coconut paste and add water as needed.Add enough salt & mix well and bring into boil, keep the flame in low, until the oil floats on the top.Finally garnish with coriander leaves and switch off the flame.Tasty Naatu Kozhi Kuzhambu is ready to serve.
Notes:
  • Pearl onion and gingelly oil gives great taste to the kulambu, highly recommend to use this.
  • If you want more thicker gravy, soak 1 tsp of poppy seed for 30 mins and grind it along with coconut and add it in kulambu
  • If you wish, add a tsp of garam masala at the end for extra flavor.
  • I have used cornish hen here, it gives naatu kozhi flavor.
  • Cornish hen take little longer time than the broiler/leghorn chicken.
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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Rava Maida Appam | Rava Paniyaram | Appam Recipe

Rava Maida Appam, an easy to make snack with rava and maida. As Karthigai deepam is nearby , i have seen a lot of appam recipe online that are used to prepare especially for this festival.In our home, normally we prepare kozhukattai on karthiga deepam. Though we don't have the habit of making any appam on karthigai deepam day, we make this appam for diwali, aadi festival and even for evening snacks.
In my school days, Amma used to make this as evening snacks and i liked it so much back then(of course now also). More than the appam, i liked the batter so much and asked Amma to keep some batter aside without frying. I liked to dip the fried appam in the batter and eat. Yeah, it's a weird combo, but i like it so much that way.Still i reserve some batter when i'm making this appam and have it with fried appams.You can't get over certain habits right???
Ok, enough with the stories, if you're looking for easy appam recipe for this karthigai deepam, here it is, so easy and not just by the ingredients, even with simple ingredients, it taste absolutely delicious.

Rava Maida Appam

Preparation Time : 40 mins | Cooking Time : 15 minsMakes : 12 to 14 
Recipe Category: Sweets | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Ingredients
Rava/Semolina - 1/2 cup
Maida - 1/4 cup
Sugar - 1/3 cup
Grated Coconut - 2 to 3 tbsp
Cardamom - 2 
Oil - for deep frying
Water - as needed

Procedure
Measure the rava and take it in a bowl, add enough water just to immerse the rava and let it set aside for 30- 40 mins.After 40 mins, all the water would be absorbed,at this stage, add sugar and maida.Then add the grated coconut and mix it well. Let it set aside for 15 to 20 mins. The resting time helps to dissolve the sugar. Don't tempt to add water now,once the sugar dissolves, the batter comes to pourable consistency. Finally add the crushed cardamom seeds into the rava maida mixture and mix it well. The batter should be thick and pourable(if needed add water now and make it as pourable consistency) as shown in below pic.Heat the oil for deep frying,take a spoonful of batter and pour into the hot oil slowly.Cook on both sides until it becomes golden brown, then remove it from the hot oil and drain it on tissue paper.That's it , Tasty Rava Maida Appam is ready.
Notes:
  • Keep the oil in medium flame while cooking the appam.
  • Adding coconut enhance the taste of appam. 
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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tomato Soup | Thakkali Soup | Soup Recipe

Tomato Soup, a quick and easy to make soup with tomatoes. Though we don't have the habit of having soup at our home regularly, once in a while, i prepare this tomato soup along with some sandwich or panini.Yep, that is a combination inspired from panera bread combo menu. As temperature is dropping here now, these combination is our absolute favorite to have it as dinner or as lunch on those cool days. 
Here in the soup recipe, i haven't use any cream at all and make it as very lighter as per our liking. But if you like rich tomato soup, instead of maida mixture, you can use heavy cream, that will make it as more like restaurant soup.

Tomato Soup

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 20 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Soup | Recipe Cuisine: General
Ingredients
Tomato - 4
Garlic - 2
Butter - 1 tbsp
Bay leaf - 1
Maida/All purpose flour - 2 tsp
Milk - 2 tbsp
Beetroot - 1 inch small piece
Pepper powder - to taste
Salt - to taste
Italian seasoning - to taste(optional)

Procedure
Wash and take the tomato, cut a cross on both sides of the tomatoes. Heat a pressure cooker with butter.Add the garlic and bay leaves ,saute till aromatic. Then add the tomatoes and saute in butter for 1 min.Then add enough water and small pieces of beetroot(forget to take pic of that),cover the pressure cooker with lid  and cook it for 3 whistle.Let it cool a bit, then remove the skin of the tomatoes & bay leaf and put it in the blender and grind into smooth paste.Transfer the tomato puree into the pan along with the leftover cooked water from the tomatoes(if needed add more water at this stage),mix it well. Put it on flame and then add required salt.Let it bring to boil, in the mean time, mix the maida with milk without any lumps and add into the soup and mix well.Add pepper powder to taste, mix well. Let it simmer for few more mins and switch off the flame.That's it, Soothing Tomato Soup is ready. Sprinkle some italian seasoning on top while serving.

Notes:
  • Beetroot gives bright color to the soup.
  • Maida helps to thicken the soup, so add more or less of maida depends on the thickness you want.


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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Rasam Vadai | Rasa Vada | Snacks Recipe

Rasam Vadai, an delicious way of eating vadai that are soaked in rasam. When i was working in chennai, one of my collegue brought the home made snacks for his birthday and this rasam vadai was one among them. Most of my team members never had heard about this vadai and that was the first time that they were tasting and literally everyone was amazed by its taste and flavor. Though we make rasam vadai and thayir vadai regularly at our home, that's when i came to know that the rasam vadai was not a common dish to prepare at every house like thayir vadai. I always remember that incident whenever i make rasam vadai. 

This dish is very simple, if you have medhu vadai and rasam, then all you need to do is put together and let it soak for few mins, Tada your rasam vadai is ready. As i already have the recipe for both medhu vada and rasam, here i just gave the link for that. And also i didn't mentioned the quantity of vada and rasam, it's purely up to your choice ,if you want more rasam with your vadai, then add more or else vice versa.


Rasam Vadai

Preparation Time : 20 mins | Cooking Time : 0 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Snacks | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Ingredients
Medhu Vada
Rasam
Coriander leaves -few
Ghee - 1 tsp

Procedure
Take all the ingredients , in the rasam add the ghee, mix it well,then dump the vada into it.Let it sit for 15 to 20 mins and serve with some chopped coriander leaves on top.
Tasty Rasam Vadai is ready.
Notes:
  • Rasam should be hot, so the vadai can easily absorb it.
  • You can use both hot or left over vadai,it will taste the same.
  • If the vadai is hot, then there is no need of soaking for 20 mins in rasam, within few minutes,you can serve.
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Monday, October 16, 2017

Bajji | Vazhakkai Bajji | Raw Plantain Bajji | Diwali Recipe

Vazhakkai Bajji, a simple deep fried snack made from the raw plantain.A week before deepavali itself, in our home, we started to prepare all those sweets and savories which we can keep it for more than 10 days and have it.In addition to that, on the day of deepavali morning, we usually make uzhuntha vadai,paruppu vadai,susiyam, bajji and sometimes rava maida appam which last only on the day of deepavali and normally we use this snacks( it's freshly made on the morning,right?) to offer as prasadam while doing pooja at the home.
Though i make bajji very often at home, i keep on forgetting to post it here. So last weekend, when i had prepared this vazhakkai bajji for our evening tea, i took few photos to post here. Is there any combination better than bajji & hot tea? No, never. Bajji tastes absolutely delicious with coconut chutney and tea/cofee. Here i have shared few tips that i have learned on how to make crispy bajji !!! Try this on coming diwali along with other snacks.

Vazhakkai Bajji

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 15 minsServes : 3 to 4 
Recipe Category: Snacks | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Ingredients
Vazhakkai/Raw Plantain - 1 
Besan - 3/4 cup
Rice flour - 3 tbsp
Baking soda - 1/8 tsp
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Ghee - 1/2 tsp
Water - as needed
Oil - for deep frying 

Procedure
In a bowl, add besan,rice flour,red chili powder, turmeric powder,baking soda & salt, mix it well, then add ghee and give a good mix, pour water little by little and make a thick paste.The batter should be neither too thick not too thin. Set it aside. Peel the skin of the raw plantain and cut into desired length as per your liking.Cut into thin slices and put it in water until use. Heat the oil for frying.Take a slice of raw plantain from the water,gently tap it on tissue paper to remove the dripping water,then dip it in the besan batter well and gently drop it in hot oil.Cook on both sides on medium flame until they are crispy. Remove from the flame and place it on tissue paper.Tada, Quick and tasty Vazhakkai Bajji is ready. Serve it with coconut chutney.Notes:
  • Keep the sliced raw plantain in the water helps to avoid the color changing.
  • Don't pour all water at once in the besan, add little by little and mix it. This helps to avoid forming lumps in the batter.
  • You can use either slicer or knife to slice the raw plantain
  • Cook the bajji in medium flame to ensure that the inside also cooked well.



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