Monday, September 30, 2019

Mango Kesari | Mango Sheera | Mambazham Kesari

Mango Kesari, a quick to make sweet from semolina and mango pulp. Kesari is the most favorite sweet in our home, often make it for evening tea along with some savory snacks. To me, Amma makes the best kesari in the world, her kesari literally melts in the mouth like butter. I still clearly remember  that in my school days, whenever there was a small function in any one of our close relative's house, they would ask Amma to make kesari. Yep, her kesari was/is so famous in our family circle. Seeing her making this often at home make it easier for me to perfect it very easily.

Ever since heard about this mango kesari, i would like to  give it a try, but when comes to fresh mango, hardly i have any self control to stop from eating. Many times, i had bought the mangoes for trying out some sweet/dessert, but ended up in eating as it is.  So this time, i thought of making this using mango pulp that's available in the can. To my surprise, it tastes so good and keep on licking the spoon :-) . And also you no need to wait for mango season to make this, the readymade mango pulp can works as good as fresh ones for this kesari.

Mango Kesari | Mango Sheera | Mambazham Kesari

Preparation Time : 5 mins | Cooking Time : 10 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Sweet | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Ingredients
Rava - 1/4 cup
Mango pulp - 1/4 cup
Water - 1/4 cup
Sugar - 1/3 cup
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Cardamom - 1

Procedure
Heat a pan with ghee, add the rava and start roasting in low flame.In the mean time, heat 1/4 cup of water in a sauce pan and add the mango pulp into it. Let it comes to boil.Once the rava is aromatic, add the mango pulp + water into the rava and mix it vigorously, with a min, the liquid would be all absorbed and became a thick mass.Next add the sugar and mix, let the sugar melts completely. Cook till the mixture become thick.Powder the cardamom seeds and add into the kesari. Mix it well and switch off the flame.If you like, add some chopped pistachios on the top.Finger licking kesari is ready to serve. 

Notes:

  • You can easily double or triple this recipe.
  • Rava : liquid ratio is 1:2, you can add more or less of mango pulp as per you liking and adjust the water as required.
  • Instead of pistachios, you can use the roasted cashews too.
  • The liquid and the rava both should be hot while mixing together, that way it wont be any lumps.
  • While adding liquid into the rava, it sizzle and splatter a lot, keep safe distance from the stove and use long spatula to avoid the splattering on hands.
  • The given quantity make 2 small servings.
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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Avarakkai Kootu | Broad Beans Kootu | Kootu Recipe

Avarakkai Kootu, a delicious and healthy accompaniment made from broad beans and toor dal. Kootu is the integral part of south indian cuisine. Kootu is a semi solid curry made from dal/lentil and vegetables(mostly country vegetable available in south india). Whenever i make curries/kulambu without dal like puli kulambu, kara kuzhambu or vatha kuzhambu, i prefer to have one type of kootu as accompaniment for balanced meal. Coming to today's recipe, this avarakkai kootu is the new addition to my kootu collection and it was a instant hit at home when i made for first time. If you like kootu and avarakkai, give it a try on this delicious kootu, i'm sure that it won't disappoint you. 
If you're fond of kootu recipes, here are few of my favorite kootu collection.
Chow Chow Kootu
Bottle gourd Kootu
Keerai Kootu
Vella Poosanikai Kootu
Yellow Pumpkin Kootu
Pudalangai Kootu
Peerkangai Kootu
Palak Kootu
Ponnanganni Keerai Kootu


Avarakkai Kootu | Broad Beans Kootu

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 20 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Kootu | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Avarakkai Kootu, Board Beans Kootu, Kootu Recipe, Indian Kootu,Dal,Avarakkai Avarakkai Kootu, a delicious and healthy accompaniment made from board beans and toor dal. Kootu is the integral part of south indian cuisine. Kootu is a semi solid curry made from dal/lentil and vegetables(mostly country vegetable available in south india).
Ingredients
Avarakkai/Broad beans- 15
Toor dal - 1/4 cup
Asafoetida powder - 1/8 tsp
Pearl onion - 4
Tomato(small) - 1 
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Coriander leaves - few
To Temper
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard & urad dal - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - few

Procedure
First pressure cook the dal with asafoetida powder and keep it ready. Next cut the avarakkai into 1/2 inch pieces & tomato into small and peel the pearl onions. Heat 1 cup of water in a pan and add the avarakkai.Let it comes to boil and then cover the pan with lid and cook the avarakkai in low flame until they are soft.Next add the onions & tomatoes(if needed add little more water) , give a good mix and again cover cook them till the onions and tomatoes are soft.Add the dal, spices( turmeric & red chili powder) & salt. Mix it all well, let it simmer till the raw smell gone. Temper the ingredients listed under to "Temper" and add into the kootu, switch off the flame and finally add few coriander leaves on the top.Tasty Avarakkai Kootu is ready. Serve it as accompaniment for rice.
Notes:
  • Adjust the spices according to your preference, the given quantity is for mild spice.
  • Instead of open cooking, you can pressure cook the avarakkai, onion and tomato for one whistle.
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Friday, September 20, 2019

Maa Vilakku | Edible Rice Flour Lamp | Festive food

Maa Vilakku, a edible flour lamp made from raw rice flour and jaggery. Maa vilakku is mainly offered as prasadam in Amman Kovil(temple) throughout tamilnadu. I have fond memories associated with maa vilakku. During childhood days, we went to sankaran kovil( a small town in south tamilnadu and also it's my mom's native place ) for Aadi thabasu(ஆடித்தபசு) festival in Gomathi amman temple there. Mostly all my cousins and their family would be there at my aachi's(grandma's) house and it was kind of get together at that time. One of my periamma( Mom's sister) makes maavilakku every year(and still she's doing it ) for aadi thabasu festival without fail. Not one or two, at least 21 maavilakku she would have made in those days single handedly, later we all went to the temple, lit the maa vilaku in front of the Gomathi amman sannathi and did the pooja. Once we reached the home only we had our share of maa vilakku, it was so tasty and still i have the lingering memories of that taste. 
And also i have the memory of Amma making them whenever we visit irukankudi mariamman temple. Last year itself i asked Amma on how to make this maa vilakku and tried, but i was not fully satisfied with the outcome. This year before coming to Canada, my MIL told me that she had the long time pending wish for making maa vilakku at nearby Amman temple and would like to do that before my travel. Since i was traveling in the next few days, my mom and dad also there with me,so Amma & MIL together made the maa vilakku and i had the chance to observe the details for making perfect maa vilakku. Later on one Aadi Velli,i tried my hands on it & it turned out super good in terms of both taste & texture. To me, Maa vilakku should be firm when break into pieces. Neither sticky nor crumbly. Glad that i learned to make perfect Maa Vilakku. Ok, thanks for reading my story, now let's check out on how to make them. It can also be offered as prasadam in auspicious days like  "Puratasi Sani", "Aadi Valli", "Karthigai Deepam" , "Thai month" and so on.

Maa Vilakku | Edible Rice Flour Lamp

Preparation Time : 3 hrs | Cooking Time : 0 minsMakes :
Recipe Category: Sweet | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Maa Vilakku, Edible flour lamp, Puratasi Sani, Aadi Velli,Karthigai Deepam,Sweet Maa Vilakku, a edible flour lamp made from raw rice flour and jaggery. Maa vilakku is mainly offered as prasadam in Amman Kovil(temple) throughout tamilnadu.It can also be offered as prasadam in auspicious days like  "Puratasi Sani", "Aadi Velli", "Karthigai Deepam" , "Thai month" and so on.
Ingredients
Raw Rice - 1/2 cup
Jaggery - 1/4 + 2 tbsp
Cardamon - 2
Ghee - 1 tsp + extra for lighting.

Procedure
First take the rice in a bowl, wash it thrice or until the water runs clear. Then add enough water to cover the rice and soak it for 2 hours. After 2 hours drain the water and spread it on thick paper / kitchen towel to absorb the excess moisture for 30-40 mins.The rice shouldn't be soaking wet but at the same time you can feel the moisture when you hold it in your hand, that's the correct stage for making the flour. Put the rice in the mixie jar and grind into smooth powder. If needed sieve it once for fine texture. Add the jaggery into it and pulse it couple for times to get it together. Transfer to the plate.Powder the cardamon seed and add it. Next add the ghee and mix it all together.Gather the flour and make it as round. Place it on the plate that you're gonna to lit the maavilakku. Using your thumb to make the impression in the center to pour the oil/ghee.Place kumkum on the maa vilakku, then place thread in the center and pour the ghee/oil.Now your maa vilakku is ready to lit. 
Notes:
  • Crush the jaggery roughly into coarse powder with hand motor and pestle before put it in the mixie for easy and even mixing with the flour.
  • Make sure that the  rice is neither too dry not too wet before making the rice flour.
  • If your maa vilakku ends up too loose and doesn't hold shape, you can add couple of spoon of regular rice flour. That will affect the taste slightly but saves the maa vilakku.
  • If the flour is too dry to hold the shape, add more ghee to form the shape.
  • Don't use the water to shape the maa vilakku, the shelf life would be reduced.
  • In this method, you can make the maa vilakku previous night itself and keep it in room temperature for next day pooja.


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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Ponnanganni Keerai Kootu | Keerai Kootu | Accompaniment

Ponnanganni Keerai Kootu, a delicious and healthy accompaniment. Poonanganni keerai is known as Alternanthera sessilis or dwarf copper leaf in english. It's grown mainly on south asian region and exclusively used in Srilankan and South Indian cuisine. It's considered as super food and gives you lot of health benefits if included in the diet regularly. Here in Ottawa, the local indian store has stocked this kind of greens occasionally.Whenever i see this kind of rare greens, without a second thought i bought them. Few weeks back, on the same day, the store had the fresh stock of ponnaganni keerai, drumstick leaves & arai keerai. Guess what i had bought all of them and in the next week, the greens would be the side dish for the whole week. If you're following me on Instagram, you might be knowing this already from my feed where i share my daily meal platter or the lunch box which i pack for ST. Ok, now let's check out the recipe for this healthy ponnanganni keerai kootu.

Ponnanganni Keerai Kootu

Preparation Time : 20 mins | Cooking Time : 20 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Accompaniment | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
greens, kootu Recipe, Ponnanganni Keerai Kootu, Dwarf Copperlead, Toor Dal Ponnanganni Keerai Kootu, a delicious and healthy accompaniment made from dwarf copper leaf. It's considered as super food and has lot of health benefits if included in the diet regularly.
Ingredients
Ponnanganni Keerai - 1/2 bunch
Toor dal - 1/4 cup
Asafoetida powder - 1/8 tsp
Garlic - 3 
Pearl onion - 4
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
To Temper
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard & urad dal - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - few

Procedure
First let's cook the dal, wash the dal and put it in the pressure cooker along with asafoetida powder and cook it for 2 whistle.In the meantime, remove the ponnanganni keerai from the stalk, roughly chop them into pieces.Once the pressure is released from the pressure cooker automatically, remove the lid, wash the greens and add into it.Next add the onion,garlic and the spices (turmeric, red chili powder. Mix it well and cook it for 1 more whistle.Again let the pressure from the cooker released automatically, then add the salt and let it boil for 2 mins. Transfer into a bowl, temper the ingredients listed under "To Temper" and add into the keerai.Tasty and healthy Ponnanganni Keerai kootu is ready. Serve it with rice and kulambu. We had with vatha kulambu, it was one such awesome combo.
Notes:
  • Since this greens takes long time to cook, i prefer to pressure cook them. But you can cook it in open pot too.
  • Adjust the red chili powder as per your taste.
  • For enhanced taste, use ghee for tempering. 
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Monday, September 16, 2019

Green Moong Dal Curry for Chapathi & Roti | Pachai Payaru Curry

Green Moong Dal Curry, a delicious, healthy and easy to make curry for chapathi & roti. After marriage only, i got introduced to this curry by my hubby, honestly i didn't like this curry much initially but at the same didn't hate it too, it was kind of ok to me at that time because before marriage i was so used to coconut based curries like kurma and i hadn't have developed the taste for any other curries. Actually living aboard and limited availability of fresh indian coconut in the area where we lived and all gave me opportunity to explore other curries. And now, on daily basis i have prepared curries without coconut and relish it without any complaint.     
With all being said, now this green moong dal curry is one of my favorite to have it as side dish for chapathi and roti. Green moong dal blends well with the spices and yields tasty and creamy curry without any cream. If you haven't tried this curry before, do give it a try, it's taste so good!!

Green Moong Dal Curry for Chapathi & Roti

Preparation Time : 6 hrs | Cooking Time : 20 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Curry | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Ingredients
Green Moong Dal -1/2 cup
Onion -1 
Tomato -1 
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece
Butter - 1 tbsp
Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
Cloves - 4 
Cardamon -1 
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder - 1/2 to 3/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Curry leaves - few
Coriander leaves - few Green Moong dal curry, Side dish for chapathi, side dish for roti,Pachai Payaru Curry Green Moong Dal Curry, a delicious, healthy and easy to make curry for chapathi & roti.
Procedure
1.First soak the green moong dal for 6 hrs, then discard the soaked water and add into the pressure cooker along with fresh water.
2.Add salt enough for dal and pressure cook it for 3 whistle.
3.Cut the onions,ginger and tomatoes into small pieces.Heat the sauce pan with butter, add cinnamon,cloves and cardamom into it, let it fry for 30 secs.
4.Then add the onions,ginger and curry leaves, let it saute till the onions are translucent.
5.Next add the tomatoes and the spices(turmeric,red chili,coriander & garam masala powder ) & salt(remember we already added the salt for dal, so this is just for masala.). Mix it all well together.
6.Saute till the tomatoes are mushy, then add the cooked moong dal along with the cooked water(if there is not much cooked water, add more) . Mix it all well together.
7.Cover it with lid and let it simmer for 15 mins. Finally add few coriander leaves on the top. Yummy Green moong dal curry is ready.

Procedure
First soak the green moong dal for 6 hrs, then discard the soaked water and add into the pressure cooker along with fresh water.Add salt enough for dal and pressure cook it for 3 whistle. Cut the onions,ginger and tomatoes into small pieces.Heat the sauce pan with butter, add cinnamon,cloves and cardamom into it, let it fry for 30 secs.Then add the onions,ginger and curry leaves, let it saute till the onions are translucent.Next add the tomatoes and the spices(turmeric,red chili,coriander & garam masala powder ) & salt(remember we already added the salt for dal, so this is just for masala.). Mix it all well together.Saute till the tomatoes are mushy, then add the cooked moong dal along with the cooked water(if there is not much cooked water, add more) . Mix it all well together.Cover it with lid and let it simmer for 15 mins. Finally add few coriander leaves on the top.Yummy Green Moong Dal Curry is ready. 
Notes:
  • If you soaked the moong dal for overnight, then one whistle is enough for pressure cooking the moong dal.
  • Adjust the spices as per your preference.
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