Friday, December 13, 2019

How to make idli and dosa using mixie in winter | Idli & Dosa Batter

Idli and dosai are the integral part of tamilnadu breakfast menu and it's also one of the healthiest breakfast in the world. Whatever the world claims now as good for your health like probiotic rich, gluten free, vegan and steamed food, idli ticks every one of the checklist. For me, more than healthy, it's the most delicious and comfort food in the world. In tamilnadu, still people prefer idli as the first solid food for their babies. With all being said, let see how to make this super food. The key to make soft and fluffy idli is the batter, if you make the batter perfectly, everything else is icing on the cake. 

Back in India, we use wet grinder to make the idli and dosa batter, but when you live in abroad and frequently move, carrying wet grinder with you is not at all possible all time. So i stick with my indian mixie to make batter. Compare to wet grinder, making fluffy idli batter using mixie needs little more attention and tricks.Next, the fermentation process. The batter should be fermented well and this is again a tricking thing especially when you in cold place. I lived in colorado, michigan before and currently living in Canada. So with my experience, i have learned few things about how to ferment batter when the temperature is below freezing outside. So here i'm gonna share all the tips and tricks so far i have learned on how to make perfect idli & dosa batter using mixie in extreme cold weather.

  • If you're using mixie, then soaking time of rice and dal is very important. Longer hour soaking help to grind the batter easily without running the mixie for longer time. Longer running of mixie generates heat and it will affect the fermentation process. Also long hour of soaking helps to ferment the batter quickly.
  • For grinding the batter in mixie, you need cold water because mixie tends to get heated very quickly which affect the batter temperature, we don't want that to happen, so cold water helps to keep the batter in room temperature while grinding.
  • While grinding dal, don't add water all at once, otherwise the batter would be running instead of fluffy. Add water little by little to get that fluffy consistency.Once the dal batter is smooth, don't stop grinding immediately, add water little by little and grind it for couple more run. It gives you that fluffy batter. In tamil, we use to say "ponga ponga araikurathu". 
  • The rice batter shouldn't be super smooth like dal batter, it should have bits of rava like consistency. See the pictures in the step by step instructions to understand more.  


  • To ferment the batter, it should be kept at room temperature for 8 hrs/overnight. If you like in cold place like me, keep the batter in oven with lights on. What should i do if my oven has no light / it's broken ? It happened to me one time :-) . Heat the oven at 350F for 10 mins, switch off the oven and keep the batter, don't open the oven door in between.
  • Even if you follow all these steps and the batter doesn't turn out properly, don't lose hope, some times, the rice and dal quality affects the batter, so use good quality of rice and dal. If the tap water is hard and has high salt, don't use it, use filter water for grinding. Using hard water gives you that pale color in the idli instead of pure white.
  • If you're a beginner, give it a try on couple of times to get that perfect fluffy batter. Still for me, when i move to new place, it takes couple of times to get that perfect batter. Like i said earlier , it takes time to find right brand of rice and urad dal in new place, identity correct spot in your oven to place the batter, so it ferments perfectly without under/over done. Like i always says, if i can make it, you can also :-)
Now let's move on the recipe.



Idli and Dosa using mixie | Idli & Dosa Batter

Preparation Time : 20 hrs | Cooking Time : 15 minsServes : 6-8 
Recipe Category: Breakfast | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Basic, Dosa, Dosa Batter, Dosai, Home Made, How to make, Idli, Idly, Idly Batter, Idli and dosai are the integral part of tamilnadu breakfast menu and it's also one of the healthiest breakfast in the world. Whatever the world claims now as good for your health like probiotic rich, gluten free, vegan and steamed food, idli ticks every one of the checklist.
Ingredients
Idli Rice - 4 cups
Urad dal - 1 cup
Fenugreek Seed - 1 tsp
Salt - 2 tsp
Water - 2 & 1/2 - 3 cups

Procedure
Previous night itself, measure and take the rice in a bowl, urad dal and fenugreek in a bowl, wash them thrice and add water to soak them. Keep it in the kitchen counter over night. Keep the water required for grinding in the refrigeratorNext morning, discard the soaked water and first add the urad dal and fenugreek seed in the mixie jar.Take the cold water from the refrigerator and add just enough to cover the dal and grind into smooth batter. In between once or twice, scrape the sides and add couple more tbsp of water and grind them into thick paste like as shown below. Transfer the batter into large vessel.In the same jar(no need to wash them) add half of the soaked rice and add water just enough to cover the rice and grind into fine but not so fine paste,that means if you take the batter in hands and rub it in between the fingers, there might be tiny bits like rava. That's the correct stage of rice batter. Pour the rice batter into the dal batter. Grind the remaining rice batter and add into the dal batter. Next add salt and mix the batter using your hands.Once all the rice batter and dal batter mixed together throughly, scrape the sides and cover it with lid, place it in the oven with light on for 6-8 hrs to ferment.After 8 hrs, see how much the batter have risen, mix it with laddle well.Take the needed batter into another bowl and keep the remaining in refrigerator for later use. Now for idli, you can use the batter straight away, pour the batter in idli mold. Place it on idli steamer and steam it for 8-10 mins.Once it's cooked, remove from the flame and let it rest for 2 mins. Then take it out from the mold with spoon and soft idlis are ready to serve. For the dosa, in the same batter, add little water and mix it well.It should be in easily pourable consistency. Pour the batter in the dosa batter and spread it evenly. Drizzle some oil on the edges and on the top, Crispy dosa is ready.Serve with sambar and/or chutney/s. We had with idli sambar, coconut chutney and coriander chutney.

Notes:
  • Depends on the weather conditions, fermenting time varies.
  • If you're making idli after refrigerate the batter, make sure to bring the batter into room temperature, otherwise the idlis won't be soft.
  • Always take the needed batter in a separate bowl and keep the remaining in the refrigerator immediately.
  • For dosa, add more water to the required batter only, don't add water to the whole batter.
  • The batter stays well up to 7 days in refrigerator, I haven't tried storing the batter more than a week.
  • With the same batter, you can make paniyaram also. 


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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Karthigai Deepam Kozhukattai | Vilakku Kozhukattai| Karthigai Deepam Recipe

Karthigai Deepam Kozhukattai/Vilakku Kozhukattai, a sweetened kozhukattai(steamed dumpling) in the shape of lamp made especially during Thiru Karthigai Deepam festival. I guess that this kozhukattai is popular in south tamilnadu particularly in Tirunelveli region only, outside of that hardly anyone knew about this kozhukattai. Amma makes this kozhukattai every year for karthigai deepam in addition to the pidi kozhukattai. While doing the pooja, in a large tray, we keep kuthu vilakku in the center, surrounded by this kozhukattai deepam and place it on the middle of the hallway facing the entrance. And then we keep all kind of other lamps (clay,brass and all) outside of the house.
Three years ago when i shared pidi kozhukattai recipe, i mentioned about this deepam kozhukattai, since then every year before the karthigai deepam festival, i thought of sharing this recipe here, but somehow it didn't happen. Since today is karthigai deepam, i had made this deepam kozhukattai ahead of time to share here, otherwise i knew i wouldn't make efforts to make this just for the sake of post here. Do give this a try on your next karthigai deepam festival, it looks so cute and taste absolutely delicious. Happy Karthigai Deepam to all those who celebrate!!!

Karthigai Deepam Kozhukattai | Vilakku Kozhukattai

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 10 minsMakes :
Recipe Category: Sweet | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Karthigai Deepam, Kozhukattai, Sweet Kozhukattai, Deepam Kozhukattai,Vilakku Kozhukattai,Edible Diya Karthigai Deepam Kozhukattai/Vilakku Kozhukattai, a sweetened kozhukattai(steamed dumpling) in the shape of lamp made especially during Thiru Karthigai Deepam festival.
Ingredients
Rice flour - 1/2 cup
Palm Jaggery/Karupatti - 1/3 cup
Water - 1/4 cup
Ghee - 1/2 tsp

Procedure
Measure & take the flour in a bowl, next add the karuppati along with water in a sauce pan and bring into boil.Once the karupatti melts, add the ghee and switch off the flame. Strain the palm jaggery syrup to remove any impurities.Add the syrup into the rice flour and make a dough.Divide the dough into 5 equal balls, take a dough in your hand and roll into smooth ball and then make a dent in the middle with your thumb.Next in one side of the dough, pinch it together with your thumb and forefinger, it will give you the lamp shape. Place them in the greased(i have used ghee for greasing)steamer basket. Do the same for the remaining dough.Place it in the steamer and cook it for 10 mins.Remove the deepam kozhukattai from the steamer and place it in a place, fill the dent with ghee & thread and put kumkum on the sides.Karthigai Deepam Kozhukattai is ready to lit up. 
Notes:
  • Don't overcook the kozhukattai, otherwise it will crack and you can't fill the dent with ghee for lighting.
  • After the pooja, you can serve this as regular kozhukattai.
  • Apply ghee on your hands while shaping the kozhukattai. It will make the job easy.
  • Don't make the kozhukattai too thin,if there is any minor crack,then the ghee will spill through it and it's difficult to lit up.
  • Instead of palm jaggery/Karupatti,you can use the regular jaggery/Vellam too
  • You can use sesame oil also for lit up the lamp.
  • For pooja, amma always kozhukattai in odd numbers like 5 or 7. The given quantity gives exactly 5 medium size deepam kozhukattai.
  • Before serving, gently remove the kumkum.
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Monday, December 9, 2019

Pistachios Baklava | Turkish Baklava | Baklava recipe

Turkish Baklava, a thin pastry layered with nuts which later baked and soaked in sugar-honey syrup. They are absolutely delicious, delicate pastry with crunchy nuts and oozing syrup,OMG, it's very addictive and i started to crave for some now when i have written those lines., you can't just stop by one for sure. If you have already tasted this delicious pastry, i'm sure that you agree with me on how delicious it is. If you haven't, you must try to believe what i'm saying here. I couldn't remember when was the first time that i had tasted this yummy sweet, but whenever i see it at any middle easy grocery store/bakery, never forgot to pick.  
Initially i thought that it  was very difficult to make, later i got to know that it can be made easily with the phyllo sheets available in the frozen section of grocery store. Yep, with store bought phyllo sheets, it seems easier to make than the most of the indian sweets :-) So far i have baked baklava a handful of times, every time it turned out finger licking delicious. More than me, ST is a big fan of baklava, that's rare because in our home, i'm known for sweet tooth :-)
 I have read lot of recipes before making them. But i'm not sure which one is traditional and how it's been made in Turkey. From my reading, i have understood that greeks, labanese, turkish and armenians have their own style of making them and it's difficult to pin point one particular baklava to one specific region., always there is mix of varieties in every regions. So here i'm sharing my favorite way of making them. I love to use pistachios and almonds in my baklava, not only it looks tempting, the combination is so good.

Pistachios Baklava | Turkish Baklava

Preparation Time : 15 mins | Cooking Time : 1 hrServes :
Recipe Category: Sweet | Recipe Cuisine: Turkey
Almond, Baklava, Desserts, Middle East, Pistachio, Sugar, Sweet, Turkey Turkish Baklava, a thin pastry layered with nuts which later baked and soaked in sugar-honey syrup.
Ingredients
Phyllo sheet - 6
Almond -1/3 cup
Pistachios - 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp
Cardamom - 2 tsp
For Syrup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Honey - 2 tbsp
Water - 1/4 cup
Lemon zest - 1/2 tsp
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp 

Procedure
Add the nuts(Almonds & Pistachios ) and cardamom into the blender and blend it coarsely and keep it aside.Unwrap the phyllo sheets and take the needed 6 sheets and keep the remaining in the refrigerator.Take one phyllo sheets on the working surface, cover the remaining with damn kitchen cloth, fold into half and brush it with butter all over, again fold into half and brush it with butter all over.Place that phyllo sheet into buttered baking pan. Do the same for another sheet and place it on the baking pan. Next add half of the nut mixture into the baking pan.Cover it with two buttered phyllo sheets as we did before and add the remaining nut mixture. Cover the top with two buttered phyllo sheets.. Cut them into triangles.Bake it in the preheated oven for 350F for 50 mins to 1 hr.
In the mean time, add the sugar, honey and 1/4 cup of water into the sauce pan.Bring into boil and let all the sugar melts. Add the lemon zest and cardamom ,switch off the flame.Once it's baked, remove from the oven, let it cool for 5 mins and then pour the sugar syrup all over. Let it sit for 2-3 hrs or overnight.Cut and serve. Delicious Baklava is ready.
Notes:
  • Make sure the syrup is also slightly warm when you pour over baklava, if not, reheat for few mins and use it.
  • Use sharp knives for perfect cut.
  • Soaking time is very important, so let it set for minimum 2 hrs before serving.


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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Ragi Chapathi | Finger Millet Roti | Ragi Roti

Ragi Chapathi, a delicious and healthy roti made from finger millet flour and wheat flour. If you have followed by blog for a while, you might knew by this time that how much i like ragi and i already have a lot of recipes using ragi/finger millet like idiyappam, dosa, paniyaram, murukku and many more. Do check out the respective link if you're interested. Now coming to today's recipe, it's my recent addition to the ragi series. Whenever i'm bored of regular chapathi/ roti using wheat flour, i like to play with other flours in addition to the wheat flour/atta, out of few experiments, this ragi chapathi is my favorite. 
The ratio of wheat flour to ragi flour is purely upto your preference, you can add more or less of any flour, the given quantity is my preference and it gives soft chapathi with wonderful ragi flavor. If the ragi flour is more in the dough, it's hard to roll the chapathi smoothly and also the chapathi will be little bit on harder side, on the other hand if the wheat flour is more, the color of the chapathi is dull and also it doesn't have much ragi flavor, as i said earlier before, it's really up to you on what you and your family prefer and adjust accordingly. Now let's check out the recipe.

Ragi Chapathi | Finger Millet Roti

Preparation Time : 15 mins | Cooking Time : 15 minsMakes : 8-10 
Recipe Category: Roti | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Ragi Chapathi,Finger Millet Roti,Ragi Roti,Kezhvaragu Chapathi Ragi Chapathi, a delicious and healthy roti made from finger millet flour and wheat flour.
Ingredients
Wheat flour - 1 cup 
Ragi Flour - 1 cup(heaped)
Salt to taste
Water as needed

Procedure
Take the wheat flour,ragi flour  in a bowl, mix it well together.Next add the required salt, mix it well and then add water little by little and make a smooth,pilable dough.Let it rest for 10-15 mins.Divide the dough into equal parts and roll them into smooth balls.Dust the working surface with flour and using rolling pin spread the dough into thin sheet.Heat the tava and grease the tava with oil, place the rolled thin sheet on the tava and cook for 30-40 secs on one side, when you see the bubbles on the top, flip into other side and cook till the brown spots occurs. That's it,Delicious & healthy Ragi Chapathi is ready.Serve it with your favorite curry, we had it with spinach dal.
Notes:
  • The dough should be soft and pilable for soft chapathi. 
  • With the same dough, you can make phulka too, refer here to make phulka.

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