Friday, March 30, 2018

Rose Milk with Homemade Rose Syrup | Rose Milk | Summer Drinks

Rose Milk, a simple, rose flavored summer drink and it's quite popular in south Tamilnadu during summer days. It's one of my favorite drink in my childhood days. In my school days, for every summer holidays, we went to my grandma's place at sankaran kovil. Most of my cousins were also there for their summer break. Eating and playing together would be so fun with all cousins in those days. And there was a bakery near by at my grandma's house, where this rose milk was available around 11PM, everyday. Most of the day, we went there and brought this rose milk in the thukku(small stainless vessel)headed to home and had it together. Such a nice memories to indulge in !!!  
Now a days, the rose syrup is readily available in the market, all you need to do is pour the syrup into some chilled milk & stir it well. Tada, rose milk is ready. But here in the recipe, i have prepared the rose syrup at home and it turned out so good and tastes equally good as the store brought one. Since the rose syrup is home made , you can really control the flavor and sweetness as per your liking. Now let's check out the recipe for rose milk.

Rose Milk

Preparation Time : 5 mins | Cooking Time : 10 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Summer Drinks | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Water - 1/2 cup
Rose Essence - 1/2 tsp
Pink Food Color - few drops
Milk - 1 cup(boiled & chilled)
Ice cubes - few

First let's make sugar syrup, take the sugar in a sauce water and add the water into it. Turn the heat on and bring to boil.Once the sugar dissolves completely, switch off the flame and let it cool completely.Then add rose essence and the food color, mix it well. That's it, Rose milk syrup is ready.Now take all other ingredients ready to make the rose milk. Pour 2 tbsp of rose syrup into the glass.Add 1 cup of milk and mix it well. Add few ices and it's ready to serve.Serve chilled.

  • The rose syrup is enough to make 4 servings. Here in the recipe i have made 1 serving only.
  • Use full fat milk for best taste.
  • The rose syrup can be stored in refrigerator for months.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Red Snapper Fish Curry | Sankara Meen Kuzhambu | Fish Gravy

Red Snapper Fish Curry, a delicious tamarind based spicy fish curry made with Red Snapper Fish. Here in US, we initially found it very hard to get the fish that suits to our taste. Most of the fish fillets available in the grocery stores are suitable for fish fry only. Later we found out this red snapper fish which taste so similar to sankara meen that we used to buy in India and it tastes great for any indian curries, but here red snapper is quite big in size, each fish weigh minimum 1lb, but in India, for 1 lb,we can get atleast 3 to 4 fishes. Though google says that both red snapper and sankara meen are same, i'm not sure about that.

Now coming to today's recipe, this is my favorite fish curry. We have been making this fish curry in our family for decades without a little bit change in the recipe. It's one of the delicious curry that you can make with very few ingredients.By looking at the ingredients list, you might knew that.But the key here is you have to know how to balance the seasoning, the tanginess from the tamarind, spiciness from the chili powder and the salt should be balanced well. If you achieved that ,then your fish curry would be out of the world !!! Here in the recipe, i have tried my best to give the exact measurement of ingredients to achieve that perfect balance of taste in the curry. Again every brand of tamarind, chili powder differs, so it's little difficult to achieve the perfect taste even with precise measurement. So my advice here is soak little extra tamarind, add 3/4 of tamarind juice, then add chili powder, salt & coconut paste. Taste the curry once the oil floats on top before adding the fish, if it's need more tanginess or spiciness, add at this stage and again simmer the curry till the raw smell leaves. Make sure that the seasoning should be perfect before adding the fishes.  By saying all this doesn't mean it's a very difficult dish to make, i'm just sharing all the things that i have learnt so far. If i can make delicious fish curry, then any one can make it for sure :-)

Red Snapper Fish Curry

Preparation Time : 30 mins | Cooking Time : 20 minsServes : 2 to 3 
Recipe Category: Curry | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Red Snapper - 1 lb
Pearl onion - 15
Tomato - 1(small)
Tamarind -  a small lemon size
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder - 1 &1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tbsp
Curry leaves - few
To grind
Coconut - 1/2 cup
Pearl onion - 3
Garlic - 2 

First soak the tamarind in water for 30 mins. Clean the fish and keep it ready. Take the pearl onions.Peel the pearl onions and cut into small pieces, similarly cut the tomatoes into small pieces. Heat the kadai with oil.Add the onions and saute till it became translucent and then add the curry leaves.Then add the chopped tomatoes into kadai and saute for 2 mins. Extract the tamarind juice from the tamarind and add into the kadai.Add turmeric, chili powder and salt.Mix it all well together and bring into boil. In the mean, grind the ingredients listed under "To grind" into smooth paste.Add the coconut paste, mix it well and let it cook until oil floats on the top.Add the fish, mix it gently with the curry. Cover the kadai with lid and let it cook for 5 mins in the medium flame. Tada, Delicious Red Snapper Fish Curry is ready. Serve it with some hot rice and rasam.
  • Pearl onions gives great taste to the curry,so highly recommend to use it.
  • Once the fish is added into the curry, the curry tends to become little watery. So cook the masala until it's really thick before adding the fish to get the consistency that i got here. Otherwise you would end with watery fish curry. If that's fine for you, go for it.
  • Cook in medium flame once the fish is added into the curry. Vigorous boiling makes the fish to disintegrate into curry.
  • At the end, garnish it with coriander leaves if you like. Mostly we don't add coriander leaves to fish curry, so i skip that.
  • You can use kish fish/vanjiram meen also for this curry.
  • Salmon fish also taste good with this curry.

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Monday, March 26, 2018

Lemon Cupcake with Lemon ButterCream Frosting

Lemon Cupcake with Lemon ButterCream Frosting, a delicious ,soft & moist cupcakes with wonderful citrus flavor. I had tasted lemon cake from starbucks often and really love the flavor of the cake, the lemon flavor is so subtle  in the cake and the tartness from the lemon balance out the sweetness of the cake which i like the most. So I have been wanting to bake this cake at home for a very long time and i was expecting perfect occasion too. Since ST's birthday was last week and he loves all types of citrus fruit, so thought this could be the perfect time to bake this wonderful lemon cake.  
But i don't want to bake lemon cake with simple lemon & sugar glaze on the top. So tried out the lemon flavored buttercream, to be honest , it turned out the way better than i had expected. Simply wonderful with burst of lemon flavor. Those who love the lemon flavor in the cake, trust me, you have to try this out to believe what i'm saying here. For cake recipe, i referred joyofbaking, in the original recipe it calls for 2 eggs for the given measurement, but i was afraid that it may have egg smell in the cake which i don't like at all, so added just one egg and 1/4 cup of milk. It turned out soft & delicious without any egg smell and even the cake has good raise.  
For the frosting, nothing fancy, in the ordinary buttercream frosting, i have added some lemon juice and zest to bring out the lemon flavor. Over all ,the cake turned out so delicious and it can be served as it is or i guess it tastes good with a cup of coffee or tea too. Though it tastes good on the day it was baked, it stays well at room temperature for a couple of days too. 

Lemon Cake with Lemon ButterCream Frosting

Preparation Time : 15 mins | Cooking Time : 22 minsMakes :
Recipe Category: Cake | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
For cake
Butter - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Egg -1 
Milk - 1/4 cup
All Purpose Flour - 1 cup
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/4 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Lemon Juice - 2 tbsp
Lemon Zest - 1/2 of a lemon
For frosting
Butter - 1/4 cup
Lemon Zest - 1/2 of a lemon
Powdered Sugar - 1 cup
Lemon Juice - 1 tbsp
Yellow food color - few drops(optional)

Preheat the oven at 350F. Take all the ingredients for the cake, in a bowl,add the butter and sugar.Add the vanilla extract and whisk it all together until it becomes creamy.Then add the egg & the milk whisk it all together well.Add lemon juice and lemon zest, mix it well, sieve the flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt together into the wet ingredients.Whisk it all together until the batter is smooth. Line the cupcake tray with paper liner and pour the batter evenly into the paper liner.Put it in the preheated oven and bake it for 22-25 mins at 350F or until tooth pick inserted in the center will come out clean. Transfer the cupcakes into wired rack and let it cool completely.Once the cupcake is completely cooled, let's prepare the frosting, take all the ingredients for frosting, in a bowl, add the butter and whisk it until it's smooth.Add sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest into the butter.Whisk it all well together  until it's smooth. At this stage add few drops of yellow food color if you're using Mix it well with the frosting. Transfer the frosting into piping bag/zip lock cover, use round nozzle or just cut the edges off and start piping the frosting as swirl on top of the cupcakes.Grate some more lemon zest on the top and the cupcake is ready to serve.
  • Butter,eggs & milk should be in room temperature.
  • The cake batter may look like curdled once you added the lemon juice, that's ok, the batter will be smooth at the end.
  • For frosting, you may need 3/4 to 1&1/4 cup of powdered sugar.
  • If you want very mild tartness in your frosting, then add just 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice.
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Friday, March 23, 2018

Lemon Soda | Sweet Lemon Soda | Summer Drinks

Lemon Soda, a perfect thirst quencher on the hot summer days. I personally don't like any kind of soda like pepsi or coke expect this one and always prefer to make lemon soda at home than the store brought ones, that way i can control the amount of sugar get into my drink. It's so simple and easy to make and also gives you instant refreshing feeling, that can't be beat by any other soda drink.
Here in this post, i have shared the basic sweet lemon soda recipe, but you can make tons of variation into it like adding mint, replace sugar with salt ,combination of sweet and salt , adding hint of pepper & cumin and i can go on with the options. So it's really up to you, how you like the lemon soda and feel free to try out all the combinations. Not only it taste great on hot summer days, it tastes best with pizzas too. My personal favorite !!! Whenever we order pizza instead of buying any soda, i prefer lemon soda with my pizzas!!! Trust me, if you haven't try this combo, give a try, surely you will love this.

Sweet Lemon Soda

Preparation Time : 5 mins | Cooking Time : 5 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Drinks | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Lemon - 2
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Water - 1/2 cup
Soda - as needed
Ice cubes - few

First let's make sugar syrup, take the sugar in a sauce water and add the water into it. Turn the heat on and bring to boil.Once the sugar dissolves completely, switch off the flame and let it cool completely.Take a lemon, cut into half, squeeze half the lemon juice into one serving glass, add 2tbsp of  sugar syrup and the required soda. 
Tada, Sweet lemon soda is ready. Top it with some ice cubes and lemon wedges & serve it immediately.
  • Depends on the tartness of lemon, you can add more or less sugar syrup.
  • Pour the soda just before serving. Otherwise the soda would be flat.
  • Add pinch of salt in the lemon soda,it will help to bring out the sweetness well.

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Kambu Kali | Pearl Millet balls | Bajra Balls

Kambu Kali, a healthy savory balls made from the pearl millets. Pearl millets has lot of micronutrients and it's very good for your health. Since we didn't eat this millets while grew up, it's really hard to include pearl millet in our diet. More over pearl millet is an acquired taste, definitely you need patience to get used to the taste especially when you have it as it is like kambu kali or kambu soru. If you're new to this millets and want to include in our diet, i highly recommend to start off with kambu dosa or khichdi, later slowly you can include this kali, koozh/kanji when you develop a taste for Pearl millet.
Unlike other millets, kambu takes very long to get cook, so it's highly recommend to soak the millet for few hours before cooking. Here in the recipe, i have pulse the soaked millet in mixie for few mins but i have seen lot of recipes where the millet(kambu) is cooked without any grinding. So it's really up to you, it can be cooked with or without grinding the millet into coarse powder. Now let's check out the recipe !!!

Kambu Kali

Preparation Time : 4 hrs(soaking) | Cooking Time : 20 minsServes : 2-3 
Recipe Category: Millets | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Kambu/Pearl millet/Bajra - 1/2 cup
Water - 2 cups
Salt - to taste

Soak the kambu for atleast 4 hrs or overnight, drain the water from it and put it into the blender/mixie jar.Pulse it few times, till they become coarse powder. Heat the water in the pressure cooker and bring into boil.Add the coarse kambu & salt and mix it well. Put the lid & whistle on and cook it for 3 whistle in medium flame.Once the pressure is released from the pressure cooker automatically, open the lid and mix it well with ladle, at this stage, it would be watery, but don't worry, let it covered and set aside to cool.Once it cooled, it become a thick mass, again give a good mix, wet your hands and take a portion of cooked millet and roll into a smooth ball. Do the same for the remaining.Healthy Kambu Kali is ready. Serve it with raw pearl onions & pickle or with your favorite curry. I have included few peanut chiki as dessert  :-)
  • Soaking the kambu really helps to cook it faster, so soak atleast for 4 hrs.
  • After cooling, if the kali doesn't turn out like a single mass, that may happen because of the quality of kambu, put it again on the heat and stir it with ladle for few mins.
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