Friday, July 3, 2020

Nei Payasam | Aravana Payasam

Nei Payasam, a traditional sweet of South India made from rice, jaggery and ghee. It's one of the common sweets served in many temples across South India. Nei Payasam is actually sakkarai pongal without dal and the term "Nei payasam" is quite commonly used in Kerala cuisine more than Tamil cuisine. In our home, we always make sakkarai pongal without dal and still we used to call it  "Sakkarai pongal" . So I guess the names are easily interchangeable in South Tamilnadu.   

When i was new to the blogging world, really wondered about all the sakkarai pongal recipe available online because each recipe would call for dal, so that time when i asked Amma why we didn't use dal in sakkarai pongal in our family, her answer was "adding dal would make them spoil easily". Guess, may be in those days, sakkarai pongal was made only for pongal & other temple festivals in large quantities. So in order to keep it good for a longer time, dal would be omitted and in later days dal was added in the sakkarai pongal recipe in some parts of Tamilnadu. Still remember that the leftover sakkarai pongal made on pongal festival was consumed by the elders in the family on the next day and used to say that the taste gets better on the next day. But in those days, I would run away from the leftover foods and haven't had the experience of tasting it. 
Through blogging and food as a medium I have learnt a lot about other cultures. Most of the food that i grew up eating is easily tagged under "Kerala Cuisine" now and even i can see how much our family cooking is so similar to kerala cuisine more than tamilnadu cuisine based on the common overview of cuisine. But people have their way of cooking even before the state separation, right? So all the categories we have are not comprehensive, it's just to give the idea of what most people in that region eat, that's all.

Coming back to the recipe, kerala raw rice/  unakalari rice is commonly used for Nei Payasam. I have had a small amount of leftover kerala raw rice from the pongal purchase and used that for this recipe. Back home also, Amma uses the same rice for making both savory and sweet pongal on Pongal festival. It gives nice texture and flavor to the payasam. And for that vibrant color of payasam, I have used an equal amount of dark and light colored jaggery. Now let's check out how to make this lip smacking Nei payasam.

Nei Payasam | Aravana Payasam

Preparation Time : 5 mins | Cooking Time : 25 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Sweet | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Nei Payasam, Sweet, Tamilnadu,Traditional,Kerala Cuisine,Tamilnadu Cuisine,Aravana Payasam Nei Payasam, a traditional sweet of South India made from rice, jaggery and ghee. It's one of the common sweets served in many temples across South Tamilnadu.
Ingredients
Unakalari Rice / Kerala Raw Rice - 1/2 cup
Water - 3/4 cup + 1/2 cup
Jaggery - 1/2 cup(heaped)
Cardamon powder - 1/2 tsp
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Coconut bits - 1 tbsp
Cashew - 1 tsp

Procedure
In a pressure cooker , add the washed rice and add 3/4 cup of water and cook it for 3 whistle.The cooked rice should be soft and not mushy. In a kadai add the jaggery & water and bring into boil.Once the jaggery melts completely, strain it and add again into the kadai along with cooked rice . Mix it all well.Cook till it became thick and then add the cardamom powder and half of the ghee.In an another pan, heat the remaining ghee & add the coconut bits and cashews.Roast till they are golden brown and add into the payasam. Mix it well.Delicious Nei Payasam is ready.
Notes:

  • Instead of kerala raw rice, you can use the regular raw rice too
  • I have used equal amount of dark and light colored jaggery.
  • Adding coconut bits truly enhance the taste, so highly recommend to add it.
  • Instead of coconut bits, you can use grated coconut also.


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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Mushroom Peas Masala | Matar Mushroom Masala

Matar Mushroom Masala, a delicious semi dry curry made from mushroom and green peas. It can be served as a side dish for roti varieties and mild pulaos. Fresh green peas are such a versatile produce and it can be used in varieties of dishes like curries, poriyal, kurma, paratha, pasta and so on., the options are really endless here. As fresh green peas are in season now, i would like to add a handful of peas in most of my curries and this mushroom matar is one of my favorites and it tastes awesome with rotis/chapati. 

If you haven't tried this combination before, do give it a try. It's such an easy recipe for semi dry curry to make in minutes. In addition to mushroom and peas, you can use one or more of the following veggies like cauliflower, paneer, butter beans and potatoes and prepare the curry in the same way. I have tried with almost all the veggies that i mentioned before and each one is pretty good on its own.  Now let's move to the recipe.

Mushroom Peas Masala | Matar Mushroom Masala

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 20 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Curry | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Mushroom Peas Masala, Matar Mushroom Masala, Mushroom masala Mushroom peas curry, side dish for roti Matar Mushroom Masala, a delicious semi dry curry made from mushroom and green peas. It can be served as a side dish for roti varieties and mild pulaos.
Ingredients
Mushroom - 10
Fresh Peas - 1/4 
Onion - 1/2 (chopped)
Oil - 2 tsp
Fennel seed - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Kasthuri Methi - 1/2 tsp
Cream - 1 tbsp(optional)
Curry leaves -few
To grind 
Tomato - 1 (chopped)
Ginger - 1/4 inch piece
Garlic - 2 cloves
Cashews - 5


Procedure
Add the ingredients listed under "To grind" in a mixie/blender jar and grind into smooth paste. Heat the pan with oil and add the fennel seeds, let it crackle.
Then add the finely chopped onions, curry leaves along with pinch of salt and saute till they are slightly brown and then add the grounded tomato pasteNext add the spices(turmeric, red chili and garam masala powder ) & salt and mix it well. Then add the sliced mushroom and green peas.Give a good mix and then cover the pan with lid and let the veggies cook.No need to add any water here, the moisture from the mushroom is enough to cook the veggies unless you want more gravy.Finally crush the kasthuri methi in between the palm and add into the curry along with cream. Give a good mix and switch off the flame. Tasty and Delicious Mushroom Peas Masala.Serve it with roti/pulav. We had it with chapati and onion raita
For more rotis and curries recipe, check out here 

Notes:
  • I have used light 5% cream in this cream.
  • Frozen peas can also be used in this curry.
  • I have used white mushrooms here, brown mushrooms can also be used.
  • For more spice and extra flavor, add a 1/2 tsp of pepper powder in the end. 
  • If you're using dried peas, soak them overnight and pressure cook them before using it.
  • Instead of fennel seeds, you can use cumin seed also for tempering.
  • If you're not using cream at the end, i would suggest adding 1/2 tsp of sugar along with other spices to balance out the taste.



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Monday, June 29, 2020

Kara Kuzhi Paniyaram with Dosa Batter | Savory Paniyaram

Kara Kuzhi Paniyaram, a famous South Indian recipe made from fermented rice and urad dal batter which is usually served as breakfast/dinner or even as evening tiffin along with chutneys and/or sambar. Traditionally for paniyaram recipe, a special batter  is prepared but in today's recipe, we're gonna take a short cut and use the leftover dosa/idli batter and make this awesome paniyaram in minutes. If you're looking for sweet paniyaram recipe using leftover dosa batter, check out my karupatti paniyaram recipe.

Making paniyaram from idli/dosa batter works just fine and the paniyaram would be soft and fluffy. Every time when i make this kara paniyaram, ST asks "என்ன தோசை மாவு காலியா ?"(is the dosa batter finished?) because it's kind of routine in our home that i would like to finish off every batch of dosa batter with this kara paniyaram. More than sambar we prefer chutneys for this paniyaram, our personal favorites are kara chutney and pottukadalai chutney. Both tastes awesome with this paniyaram. For more chutney/tiffin sambar recipe, check out the collection here.  Now let's check out how to make this super easy and delicious paniyaram.

Kara Kuzhi Paniyaram with Dosa Batter

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 20 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Snacks | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Kara paniyaram, lefover dosa batter recipe, paniyaram with dosa batter,breakfast,tiffin, savory paniyaram Kara Kuzhi Paniyaram, a famous South Indian recipe made from fermented rice and urad dal batter which is usually served as breakfast/dinner or even as evening tiffin along with chutneys and/or sambar.
Ingredients
Dosa Batter - 1 cup
Coriander leaves - few 
Oil - for frying
To Saute
Onion(small) - 1/2 
Channa Dal - 1 tsp
Mustard & Urad Dal - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 tsp

Procedure
Finely chop the onions, curry leaves & coriander leaves and keep it ready. Heat a kadai with oil, add mustard & urad dal, let it splutter.Then add channa dal, onions,salt & curry leaves one by one.Saute till the onions become translucent, remove it from heat and add into the dosa batter. Finally add some coriander leaves too and mix the batter well.Heat the paniyaram pan with little oil in each hole. Pour the batter in each hole.Cover(optional) cook it for few mins.And then gently flip into the other side with small wooden stick/skewer.Cook till it's golden brown. Remove on to the plate.Tasty Kara Paniyaram is ready to serve. Serve it with your favorite chutney. we had it with roasted dal chutney
For more breakfast recipe, check out here
Notes:
  • Cook it on medium flame for even coloring on the paniyaram.
  • I have used sesame oil for making paniyaram.
  • In addition to the tempering, you can add 1 tbsp of grated coconut & carrot also for more flavor and taste
  • Adding chana dal gives nice crunchiness  but it can be omitted totally if you don't like it.
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Thursday, June 25, 2020

Restaurant Style Chicken 65 | Indian Chicken Fry

Chicken 65, a deep fried chicken snack/starter from South India. It's one of the popular chicken dishes that you can find in any Indian restaurant around the world. Chicken 65 is believed to be originated from the Hotel Buhari, Chennai and also there are so many claims for why it is called as chicken 65? 

Some say it's originally made from 65 days old chicken. Some others say that there are 65 varieties of spices used in this recipe initially. Few others say that this dish was first made in  1965 and in the hotel menu it was listed as  number "65". But really no one knows why it is called as chicken 65, so let's leave the mystery as it is  and let's move on to the recipe.

Chicken 65 is one of the easiest snacks that can be prepared in minutes without any fancy ingredients. It's great as starters or as a side dish for your biryani. 

Can i use chicken with bone for this recipe?
Yes, you can use it. Cooking times slightly increases and also be careful and stand in distance while firing chicken with bone because sometimes the bone cracks and the oil spills out a little. I would recommend boneless breast chicken for this recipe for great taste. 

Egg and corn flour 
Egg gives a nice coating around chicken pieces and keeps the masala intact. Corn flour helps to get a crispy texture.

What's the use of baking soda and cold water? 
Baking soda helps to give a lighter texture to the chicken and prevent from getting tough after frying. Again cold water helps to give  super crispy chicken. I found this useful hack from Mullai  and it works like charm every time.

Food Color
Mostly i don't use food color but in today's recipe,I used a bit to recreate exact restaurant style chicken 65. But you can totally skip it or use it whenever needed, like for any party or get together or to impress some one :-) 

Why fry curry leaves at first in the oil? 
It leaves great flavor in the oil and the chicken fried in the same oil after that also has great flavor and also the crispy curry leaves tastes great with fried chicken. My personal favorite and always fry some curry leaves with chicken 65.


Restaurant Style Chicken 65

Preparation Time : 30 mins | Cooking Time : 15 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Snacks | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Chicken, Chicken 65, Restaurant Style Chicken 65, Starter,Indian Chicken fry, South indian Chicken fry, boneless chicken fry Chicken 65, a deep fried chicken snacks/starter from South India. It's one of the popular chicken dish that you can find in any Indian restaurant around the world. Chicken 65 is believed to be originated from the Hotel Buhari, Chennai.
Ingredients
Chicken - 1/2 lb
Red chili powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Ginger Garlic paste - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Egg - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Corn flour - 2 tsp
Cold Water - 1 to 2 tsp
Baking soda - a pinch
Red color - few drops(optional)
Oil - for frying
Curry leaves - 2 spring(optional)


Procedure
Clean the chicken and cut into bit sized pieces and pat dry on tissue paper. In a bowl, add the spices(turmeric, red chili, coriander & garam masala powder), ginger garlic paste and salt. Beat one egg well and add 2 tbsp of it into the masala.Mix it all well together and add the chicken pieces and coat it well. Let it marinate for 1/2 hrs.Heat the oil for frying, add corn flour,baking soda, food color and cold water into the chicken masala and mix it well.Once the oil is well heated, add the curry leaves into the oil, fry it and keep it aside, then add chicken pieces one by one into the oil.Let the chicken pieces cook in the medium flame for 5-7 mins. Drain the chicken pieces and place it on the tissue paper. Do frying in batches for the remaining chicken. Tasty Chicken 65 is ready. Serve hot for great taste. 
For more non vegetarian recipe, check out here

Notes:

  • Adding cold water and baking soda helps to get crispy and soft chicken.
  • One egg is needed for 1 kg of chicken, so here just couple of tsp of egg is needed. 
  • Chicken lost its crispiness when it's cooled but still tastes great.
  • Use the remaining eggs for omelette and scrambled eggs
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Monday, June 22, 2020

Tutti Frutti Bun | Bakery Style Sweet Bun

Tutti Frutti Bun, a mildly sweetened bun that tastes great with a cup of tea/coffee. It's more or less similar to the sweet buns that are available in South Tamilnadu tea/bakery shops. When i made tutti frutti from watermelon rind,  had few recipes in mind to try it out and this sweet bun is one among them. Watermelon tutti frutti tastes so similar to the traditional ones made with raw papaya and couldn't find any difference in taste and texture in baked goods. As for the buns,I have used the Tangzhong method and it never fails to impress me. As expected,the bun turned out soft and fluffy.To know more about Tangzhong method, check out my pav bread where i had explained a little more. 

Jump To Recipe
During this quarantine time, i have been baking a lot and trying out all the baked goods that i had wanted to try and also from the bookmarks that are left untouched over years. It's been a while since i had bought a loaf of bread from store. Baking all the time seems overwhelmed at times, but most of the time it's so relaxing. More than cakes and muffins, i love to bake bread, buns and savory bakes, typically anything with yeasted dough !!

Ok, coming back to today's recipe, you can bake this bun without tutti frutti also, but keep in mind that the bun is very mildly sweetened so adding tutti frutti helps to enhance the sweet flavor a bit more, so i would highly recommend to add them. Now let's check out how to make this super fluffy sweet bun !!


Sweet Bun | Tutti Frutti Bun

Preparation Time : 1.5 hr | Cooking Time : 20 minsMakes :
Recipe Category: Sweet Bun | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Sweet Bun, Tamilnadu Sweet Bun, Bakery Sweet Bun, Tutti Frutti Bun,Bakery snack Tutti Frutti Bun, a delicious and mildly sweetened bun that tastes great with a cup of tea/coffee. It's more or less similar to the sweet bun that are available in South Tamilnadu tea/bakery shop.
Ingredients
All purpose flour - 1 cup 
Sugar - 2 & 1/2 tbsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Instant yeast - 3/4 tsp
Butter - 1 tbsp
Warm Milk - 2 to 3 tbsp
Cardamon powder -1/4 tsp
Tutti Frutti - 1/4 cup
For the flour roux
All purpose flour - 1 tbsp
Milk - 1/3 cup
* See Notes section at the end if you're new in baking

Procedure
Measure and take one cup of flour, take one tbsp of flour from that and put it in a sauce pan for making roux.Add 1/3 cup of milk into the sauce pan and place it on heat, stir it continuously until it's thick. Remove from the flame and let it cool a bit.In the remaining flour, add the yeast, sugar, cardamon powder & salt  and mix it well. Then add the butter and the prepared flour roux, mix it well with hands. Next add milk little by little and make a soft dough.
Knead the dough for 10 mins or until it's smooth and place it on the bowl and cover it with cling wrap and set aside for 1 to 1.5 hrs or until it's doubled.After 1.5 hrs, punch out the gas from the dough and then add the tutti frutti & mix it well with the dough.Divide the dough into eight equal parts and take each pieces of dough in between your palm and roll it smooth. Place it on the baking tray.Do the same for the all the dough and cover it with cling wrap and set it aside for 30 mins.Preheat the oven @ 400 F. After 30 mins, brush the top of bun with milk sugar mixture(add 1 tsp of sugar in 2 tbsp of milk and use it for brushing).Place it in the preheated oven and bake it for 20-22 mins. Tasty and fluffy Sweet Bun is ready !!!
For more baking recipe, check out here
Notes:
  • While preparing the roux, make sure to stir it continuously, it tends to clump together at the bottom quickly.
  • Cool the roux completely before use it in the dough.
  • Kneed the dough well  to get that soft , smooth & non-sticky dough. 
  • Add more or less of tutti frutti as per your liking.
  • For more sweetness, you can add extra 1 tbsp of sugar.
  • Adding little sugar in the milk for brushing the top of the bun helps to get that dark color on the top.
  • While brushing the top of the bun with milk, don't over do it, otherwise, the milk drips and make the bun sticks to the pan and it's hard to remove from the pan once baked


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