Wednesday, September 30, 2015

How to make Sprouts | Home made Sprouts | Green Moong Dal Sprouts

Hurray..I did..I did..Yes, Today is the final day of Mega BM,in this month i posted on all days except Sundays under various theme. I throughly enjoyed this series and learned a lot from my fellow bloggers, each comments from them encourage & inspire me to do better in my next posts.

After i saw the Mega BM notification in Srivalli Space on july(i think), i'm very much hesitant to join it first,since so far i did only two week monthly marathon ,so within a month, can i prepare all this? If it's not now, then when, so after lot of dilemma, somehow i got the confidence and joined it. 

I thought that the whole month(August) ahead of me to prepare at least half of the post,remaining would be managed in September. Then all of sudden, there was a marriage in the family(Hubby's bro) on August. So i was out of town for nearly 20 days in August and not even entered into the kitchen.

So when i started this Mega BM, i didn't have single post in my draft . Really i'm terrified, when my fellow bloggers said that they are all scheduled most of their posts. So i decided to cook on each day and prepared the perfect list on what to cook on each day.First week went smoothly , then came another obstacle, there was a sudden official trip in hubby's work for one week,i couldn't stay alone in home for a week,so i too joined him, thought of sending a mail that i couldn't continue this BM, even i drafted the mail,but never wanted to give up this chance.

But the second week theme is "Indian States" and i planned to make three thalis, again change of plan and remove all the thalis from the list and add some simple dishes and prepared all the six dishes within two days, took photographs & cleaning the mess, that were one of the most tiresome days of my life.But nothing can beat the last minute panic right? It gives lot of ideas & energy to accomplish the task.
After all this obstacles, i'm really happy that i can post on all 26 days on time without delay or break. ok , enough with blowing my own trumpet, come to today'recipe is how to make sprouts at home, i used green moong dal here, you can use any dal to sprouts like this, but the time duration to sprout may differ on each .

Home made Sprouts

Preparation Time : 13 hrs | Cooking Time : 0 minsMakes : 1 Cup 
Recipe Category: Sprouts | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Ingredients
Whole green moong dal - 1 cup




Procedure
Wash the moong dal well and soak it in water for 8 hrs.After  8 hrs, the dal is doubled in size, drain the excess water from the dal.Now place it in clean cotton cloth and bring the corners of the cloth to the center & tie the knot at the end.Hang /place this in some dark & warm place for next 12 hrs without disturbing. After 12 hrs, untie the knot in the cloth, you can see the sprouts coming.If you want lengthy sprouts, you can keep it for longer hrs.


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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Homemade Unsweetened Coconut Flakes | How to make Coconut Flakes

On the basics series, today we're going to see how  to make coconut flakes at home. Coconut Flakes are very helpful in baking goodies. I rarely found coconut flakes in grocery store in our area and  it's mostly about to expire if available. So thought of trying on my own. I made coconut macroon with this flakes and it had wonderful coconut flavor, will share that recipe soon.

If you have dry  coconut, you can make coconut flakes in 10 mins. With one medium sized coconut you can make 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cup of coconut flakes. 

Name

Preparation Time : 45 days | Cooking Time : 0 minsMakes : 2 cup 
Recipe Category: Basics | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Ingredients
Coconut/Dry Coconut/Koparai -1 



Procedure
Break the coconut and keep it in refrigerator & forget about it for next 40 days. If you're using dry coconut/Koparai , skip this step.
After 40 days, the coconut comes out from the shell automatically. Remove the skin of the coconut with scraper.Cut into pieces, grate it in grater.Grate it slowly, so that you can get long flakes.That's it Coconut flakes is ready to use. Put it in zip lock bag/ air tight container and refrigerate it.Use whenever need.
Notes
  • Grate or slice it nicely as per your need.
  • For sweetened version, put it in sugar syrup depends on the sweetness you want . Dry it and then store it.




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Monday, September 28, 2015

Rice flour | Red rice flour | Home made Rice flour | Puttu flour/Podi

Wow, We come to the final week of Mega BM,  for this  week, the theme is "Blogger Choice",We can post whatever we want, i think this is a tough one, i couldn't come to any conclusion easily. After lot of thinking, i chose to post on some basic recipe that will help to our day to day cooking. 

First recipe is Home made Red Rice flour or Puttu Flour, i prefer to make my own rice flour especially for puttu rather than the store brought one.This flour can be used for puttu, idiyappam & kozhukattai. You can do  the same for white raw rice too.,check the details here


Home made Rice flour

Preparation Time : 2 hrs | Cooking Time : 0 minsMakes : 2 cups(approx) 
Recipe Category: Basic | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Ingredients

Red Raw Rice - 1 1/2 cup
Procedure
Wash the rice 3-4 time under running water or till the water runs clear and soak it for 45 mins.
Drain the water and spread it on thin cotton cloth/ any neat kitchen towel & place the cloth in shade for 30 mins.After 30 mins, all the water is absorbed by the cloth and the rice will be slightly wet. Now put the rice in the blender and grind into fine powder, do it in batch to avoid overloading.Transfer the ground content in the sieve and sieve it till there is no more flour comes out from the sieve. In the sieve, use the small hole one.Add the leftover from the sieve in the blender and grind it again into fine powder. Repeat the process of grinding & sieving till there is no leftover. It you're immediately making puttu, no need to dry roast it,use as it is.Heat a kadai & add the flour and roast it well on medium flameAfter about 5 to 7 mins, the flour should be like dry sand or if you take the flour in between your thumb & fore finger and you can able to draw a line (kolam podum patham).That's correct stage. Immediately switch off the flame and transfer into large plate or paper. Spread it well &allow to cool completely.Then store and use whenever needed.  There might be some lumps in the flour after roasting, no need to worry about it, it will break easily when you press it  with hand itself.


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Friday, September 25, 2015

Home made Idli | How to make soft Idli | Typical TamilNadu Breakfast

Idli, the most famous breakfast from Tamilnadu,a steamed cake made from the fermented rice and urad dal batter. Today's science world suggests that 3 proportion of carbohydrate and 1 proportion of protein food is ideal to start your day. And our intellectual ancestors knew this  centuries before and this idli is so apt for what the science world suggests now, more over it's a fermented food. Lately we also came to know how good these (fermented foods) are to our health. Still in Tamilnadu, India, idli is the first solid food preferred by many people to given to their babies. 

Ok, now coming to the recipe, there are few steps to care take to get soft and spongy idli. Here i have few listed points to be remembered if you're trying the idly for first time. 
  • Buy good brand of urad dal & Idly rice.
  • Wash both the urad dal & rice well before soaking, i normally wash it for 3 times.
  • Always use fresh water at room temperature to grind, if you're using mixie instead of wet grinder, use ice cold water, it helps to avoid the heating of mixie hair
  • Don't use the soaked water to grind.
  • The urad dal batter should be fluffy & light.
  • Using wet grinder to grind for best result, but you can get soft idli using mixie also.
The key ingredient here  is urad dal and now fluffy you grind them.My mom still use skinned & splitted urad dal for idli, after the dal is soaked, she spent almost 20 mins to remove the skin from dal before grinding, It's really boring & tiresome job and definitely you need lot of patience. Initially i had used the skinned urad dal, but now a days i use only whole urad dal, she says  that  the skinned urad dal would give best result, yeah that's true too. But now a days who has patience to do that, definitely not me. 
I have been using whole urad dal for years now and honestly the result is awesome so far, so no complaints. I have seen some people use fenugreek seed to get softness, but we never used in our home.If you grind the urad dal batter soft and fluffy, then you don't need the fenugreek seed.

Next is the fermenting process, to get soft idli, the fermentation process is crucial. Normally in our home back in India, we don't do anything special to ferment the batter. Keep it in counter top on overnight is enough. But if you're living in cold places, the fermentation process  is really difficult, even after 12 hrs, if the batter is not fermented well, then there is a chance of whole batter get spoiled. To speed up the fermentation process, keep the batter in warm places. I lived in cold places for years and from my experience i have learnt that keeping the batter in oven with lights on really helps to ferment the batter properly.

Finally if you want your idli to stay fresh and soft for longer time, use the cloth for steaming the idli. To be honest, so far i have never used the idli pot that requires the idli plate to be oiled before using. Amma brought me a traditional idli pot years before and still i'm using the same, it has holes in the idli plate and you need cloth to cover and pour the batter. But i have heard from relatives & friends that the cloth idli stays soft for longer time than the other one. If you're using cloth for your idli, then you need to know that because of wrinkle in the cloth, your idli doesn't have that perfect round shape. Phew, that's all the points all remember now, it's really a long intro, hope it helps you to get soft idli.  


Homemade Idli| Soft Idli recipe

Preparation Time : 8 hrs | Cooking Time : 15 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Breakfast/Dinner | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Ingredients
Idly Rice - 2 cup
Whole Unskined Urad Dal - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1/2 tbsp
Water to grind


Procedure
Wash both idly rice & urad dal well and soak it separately for 3 hrs.
After 3 hrs, drain the water from urad dal and put it in wet grinder and add fresh water to grind it.The urad batter should be thick and fluffy.so dont add more water at the start.Just sprinkle one or two handful of water in between every 3 to 4 mins.It takes approximately 15 to 20 mins depends on your wet grinder.Dont remove the batter from wet grinder when all the dal  is mashed well, when you sprinkle water & allow to grind, it will become fluffy & light.
After 20 mins, collect  the batter in a large vessel and then drain the water from rice and add it in wet grinder and grind it to smooth batter, it takes 15 mins approximately.Collect  the rice batter in the same vessel. Now add 1/2 cup of water in wet grinder, wash the grinder well and add the washed water into the batter.Add enough salt to the batter and mix it with hand well. The rice batter and urad dal batter should be mixed well. Cover the vessel and let it ferment for overnight.Next morning, the batter will be fermented well, mix it vigrously with the laddle.Take the idly pan and add some water & bring to boil.Take the idli plate & cover it  with damn cheese cloth, pour the laddle of batter in each hole of the plate. When the water in the idly pan comes to boil, place the idly plate and cover it .Cook it for 5-7 mins depends on the size of the idlis. Once cooked(toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean) remove the idly plate and invert it in another plate, remove the idly plate first and then the cheese cloth.Piping hot & spongy idly is ready to serve.Serve it with sambar & chutney. I served idly with Tiffin Sambar, Coconut Chutney, Kara Chutney,Coriander chutney ,Podi,Urad Dal Vada & Kesari.
Notes:
  • Place the batter in large vessel to ferment don't fill the vessel more than 3/4 of its size, otherwise it spills over the vessel after fermenting.
  •  If your idly is hard, then the amount of urad dal is not enough, so add little more next time
  • If you idly is very flat, the the amount of urad dal is more, you have to reduce it next time.
  • If you're in cold country, keep the batter in oven with oven light on, it will help to ferment the batter, I used this technique when we were in Colorado.It works perfectly.
  • If you keep the batter in fridge, bring the batter to room temperature before making idly.
  • Cold batter gives hard idlies.



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Tiffin Sambar | Moong Dal Sambar | Idli Sambar

Tiffin Sambar, a simple and delicious sambar made from moong dal. It's ideal for all south indian tiffin items like idli, dosa and pongal. This is the first sambar recipe that i had tried on my own when i started cooking and also it's very easy to prepare in the busy mornings.  For morning breakfast, we usually make sambar with moong dal or the combination of moong dal & toor dal.  Both tastes awesome with idies and dosas.
In the tiffin sambar, at our home, we normally don't use tamarind,since the idlies and dosa are already fermented and have enough sourness , the side dish for that doesn't need much tartness, the sourness from the tomato is enough for us, but if you feel the need of more tartness in your sambar, feel free and add  more or less tamarind as per your liking.  Now let's check out how to make this delicious tiffin sambar.


Moong Dal Sambar

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 20 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Sambar | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Ingredients
Moog Dal - 1/4 cup
Toor Dal - 2 tbsp
Veggies - little more than 1/4 cup (chopped, i used carrot, beans, potato)
Pearl Onion - 5-6 nos
Tomato - 1 medium size
Green chili -1 no
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder - a pinch
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Sambar powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Coriander leaves - few
To Temper
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard & urad dal - 1/4 tsp each
Curry leaves - few
Procedure.
In a pressure cooker, add the moong dal, toor dal, veggies, green chili,onions & tomato along with asafoedita & 1 cup of water, cook it for 3 whistle or till it's mushy.Once the pressure released, put the pan again in heat, add the spices(turmeric,red chili powder & sambar powder) & salt.Bring it to boil & keep it in medium flame for 5 mins. Temper the ingredients listed under "To Temper" & add into the sambar along with coriander leaves.Tasty Tiffin  Sambar is ready to serve.
Notes:
  • Adjust the amount of water as per the consistency you want.
  • Don't add more veggies in this sambar, it doesn't taste good
  • I like to use small onions for sambar, but you can use regular onions too.


  


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Thursday, September 24, 2015

You Tiao | Chinese Cruller | Chinese Oil Stick| Chinese Doughnut

You Tiao, is the chinese doughnut also know as Chinese Cruller, Chinese Oil Stick .It's usually serve with soy milk or congee as breakfast.This dish is very popular in East and South East Asian countries like Indonesia, Thai, Vietnam, Philippines, Malayasia & Singapore. In each country, they called them with various name and it's one of the popular street food in those countries.

Actually, i loved the process of making this, especially shaping them, it was so much fun.I referred almost 20 recipes for this. They use various leavening stage like yeast , ammonium bicarbonate, Sodium bicarbonate, Baking powder, Alum Powder and also i read that ammonium in food is not good for health , so i stick with the recipe using baking powder alone as leavening agent.

I tried it twice, first time, it's total disaster, it doesn't puff up  and it's dense inside, i didn't leave the dough in refrigerator for overnight,may be due to that , it didn't puff up i think. Next time, i followed the recipe blindly without any change, always fry the first one, if it didn't puff up, put in refrigerator for more time & try afterwards(suggested in one of the source recipe). 

Chinese Cruller

Preparation Time : 12 hrs | Cooking Time : 20 minsServes : 10 
Recipe Category: Snacks | Recipe Cuisine: Chinese
Ingredients
Recipe source - here
All purpose flour - 1 cup
Baking Powder -1 tsp
Oil - 1 1/2 tbsp
Normal cold water - 50 ml(approximate)
Sugar - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste.

Procedure
First add all the dry ingredients(Flour,salt, sugar,baking powder) in a bowl, mix it well, then add oil and water ,mix it well to form a dough. Knead the dough for 3 mins.Rest it for 1 hr, after that take the dough, stretch the dough at one end and punch it together, do the same process for 20 min. Then put it in cling wrap , covet it & refrigerate for overnight.Next morning, take the dough and keep it at room temperature for 1 hr or until it comes back to room temperature.Grease the working surface with oil, take the dough and elongated into rectangle shape with 1/2 inch thickness & 2 inch width.Cut into 1/2 inch strips(try to cut into even strips, i got 10 strips). Take one strip and place it over the other strip.Now take a lengthy needle or bamboo stick , dip in water and make a impression at the center along lengthwise.Heat the oil in the deep kadai or pan, when it's hot(if you drop a small piece of dough, it should be immediately come up,that's the correct temperature ), take the strips with two hands, elongate a bit and drop in oil, immediately it will puff up. Rotate it continuously for even coloring and it will ready in 1.5 to 2 mins.Do  the same for the remaining. Fry one at a time.Super crispy  You Tiao is ready to serve , Serve it with Soy milk or congee.We had it with regular milk.
Notes
  •   Knead the dough as per metioned timing and also keep the dough overnight at refrigerator, it will help to puff up nicely.
  •  Oil temperature is very important, bring to correct temperature before drop each strips in oil
  • The dough is very delicate to work, make the impression in dough,just before dropping in oil.
  • Use bigger pan for frying, it elongate much, mine get bends because of small kadai.


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