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Friday, November 26, 2010

Sweet Maida Appam for Karthikai Deepam

Karthikai Deepam is a festival of lights celebrated in the month of Karthikai(Tamil calendar month which usually falls in November/December) on the full moon day. Celebrated mainly in South India especially, state of Tamilnadu.

Every home is lit with rows of oil-lit mud lamps(Agal Vilakku). For more information, check out here.

We usually clean our house and in the evening, draw rangoli/kolam in front of our houses, decorate it with colour powder or flowers and lit lamps. Special offerings will be prepared for God and worship is done. So this time I made Sweet maida appam and it came out well.

These lamps were lit in our pooja(worship) room. Need to make sure, Thatchu wont hurt her hands, so lit lamps only where she cannot access;)

This dish needs a paniyaram pan for preparing, check the picture here.

Now to the recipe....

All purpose flour/Maida - 1 cup
Semolina (Rawa/Sooji) - 1/4 cup
Jaggery (Vellam) - 1 cup, powdered
Cardamom powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Cashews - 10-12
Raisins - 10-12
Ghee - 2-3 tablespoons
Oil - 1-2 tablespoon, for brushing
Baking powder - 1/4 teaspoon (optional)

Dissolve powdered jaggery in 1/2 cup of warm water. Filter it to remove the impurities.

Add flour and semolina and make it a thick batter. Add little water if required.

Roast cashews and raisins in ghee and add to it.

Add cardamom powder and mix it well.

Baking powder can be added along with flour or if you don't want to use it, leave the batter aside for 2-3 hours before preparing.

Heat paniyaram pan and brush oil. Add batter to the moulds and fry both sides, until they are dark brown.

Simple dish to make. Serve hot.

Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes 15-20 appams

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nandu(Crab) Masala

Well, it’s been a long time .... quite few reasons for not blogging ... My desktop and laptop, both were down since Thatchu showed all her love towards them :) We cannot blame her alone, as we kept them on reach for her.

Anyway, we got a new laptop now and I am blogging here with a special recipe, Crab masala.

For me, cooking crab is too simple than any other non-vegetarian, as it requires less preparation and cooks quickly too. But eating it takes quite a long, but taste is divine :) It has become our favourite and especially for Thatchu too. Once she starts she can't even wait for a moment for us to remove the flesh from the shell ... she loves it.

Mixed the recipes I learnt from my Mom and friend, to our taste. And here you go with it.....

Crab - 1 (I used King size, weighing 1.5 kg)
Big onion - 1, finely chopped
Curry leaves - few
Cinnamon stick - 1, i inch size
Bay leaf - 1-2
Cardamom - 2
Cloves - 3-4
Oil - 2-3 tablespoons
Salt to taste

For masala paste:
Small onions - 8-10
Tomatoes - 2, medium sized
Pepper - 1.5 tablespoons (Add more for spicy)
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tablespoon
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tablespoon
Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup
Garlic - 5 pods
Ginger - 1 inch size
Green chillies - 2


Cut the crab into pieces, body and big claws separately and wash them.

Put a crack on the claws so that it will be easy for breaking and also the masala gets into it.

Grind all masala ingredients except tomatoes into a fine paste. Add little water if required.

Make tomatoes into a coarse paste and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pressure pan. Once it is hot, add bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and fry for a minute.

Add chopped onions, curry leaves and ground paste without tomatoes and fry until the raw smell of it goes off.

Once it is done, add the tomato paste and cook for 10 minutes.

Then add 2 cups of water, salt to taste and crab and mix well until the curry stick to all the pieces.

Pressure cook it for 2or3 (based on the type of crab, if they are soft shelled ones, then 1 whistle is sufficient) whistles.

Simmer the stove and once pressure is released, open the lid and cook until the gravy thickens.

Mostly all crabs turn orange colour, which indicates that they are cooked.

Serve hot with rice or chappathi.

Serves 2-3 persons.
Cooking time - 30 minutes

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Molaga Bajji

Love the molaga bajji available in Marina beach or Trade fair in Chennai. Aroma will be so inviting that you cannot resist when you go there.

Big Green chillies - 10
Besan (Split Chickpeas) flour - 1 1/2 cup
Rice flour - 1 tablespoon
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Mix besan flour, rice flour, red chilli powder, salt and water to a thick batter.

Slit the chillies and remove the seeds.

Heat oil in a pan until it is ready for deep frying.

Dip the chillies in the batter and deep-fry in oil.

Fry all sides until they are golden brown.

Drain excess oil with a kitchen towel.

Serve hot with coconut chutney or sauce.

Few more pictures for you to drool ;)

Cooking time : 20 minutes
Serves 5 persons.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Crispy Promfret fry (Vavval meen varuval)

I never tried this fish, but it has become one of my favourite now. Hubby's friend recommended this and it was very tasty. Try it out.

Promfret fish (Vavval meen) - 2, medium sized
Chilli powder - 2 tablespoons
Coriander powder - 1 tablespoon
Cumin powder - 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Lemon juice - 1 tablespoon
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
Curry leaves - few
Salt to taste
Oil as required for shallow frying.

Mix chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, lemon juice, ginger garlic paste, curry leaves, salt to taste and 1 tablespoon of oil.

Sprinkle little water to make it a thick paste.

Clean fish and apply this paste evenly on all sides and marinate for 2-3 hours.

Heat a flat pan, apply little oil.

Once it is hot, shallow-fry the fish both sides until they are crispy. 

Few drops of oil can be added while frying, if you feel it is too dry.

Serve hot with sambhar or rasam rice.

Cooking time : 15 minutes
Serves 2 persons

Monday, February 22, 2010

Macroni Vegetable soup

At last, successfully posted this recipe. More than me, my hubby would be happy ;)
This one I usually prepare when I dont want to eat rice. You can add any vegetables of your choice. Simple and quick for your lunch too.

Ingredients :
Macroni - 1 cup
Onion - 1, chopped
Garlic - 3 pods, finely chopped
Vegetables - 1 cup (Mix of carrots, beans, peas, fresh corn kernels, etc - I used beans, peas & corn kernels)
Butter - 1 teaspoon
Corn flour - 1 tablespoon (optional, if you want your soup to be thick)
Milk - 1 cup
Pepper powder - as spicy required
Coriander leaves/Spring onions - few, chopped for garnishing
Salt to taste

Boil macroni in 1-1/2 cups of water with salt and 1 teaspoon of cooking oil.

Cook for few minutes until they are soft. Drain the water and keep aside.

Heat butter in a pan. Add chopped garlic and onions and fry for 5 minutes.

Add the vegetables and saute for few minutes. Add 3 cups of water and bring it to boil.

Once they are cooked, add macroni, salt to taste. Dissolve corn flour in 1/4 cup of water and add to it.

Stir well and add milk to it. Heat for 5-10 minutes.

Garnish with coriander leaves, pepper powder and serve hot.

Note: Vegetable or Chicken broth can also be added instead of water.

Cooking time : 20-30 minutes
Serves 3 persons

Friday, February 5, 2010

Breaking my silence.........

Wanted to break this silence, since I will go mad if I won't.....

First thing, went to Changi temple and had a nice time there. It was Thai(first month in tamil calendar) 4th friday, and there were special poojas done to Sri Muthumariamman. I watched the entire abhishegam and listened to the bhajans. Somehow I love to see the abhishegam done to the dieties;) Prayed to god to give me strength for those I am going through and felt too divine.

I was feeding Thatchu and they were calling me for lunch, which was served. Was wondering how to eat with Thatchu on hand, since I didn't take the pram'. Received five star treatment ....... guess ..... they served me lunch on a table ;) I really like this culture in Singapore, especially, when we go with babies, they give high importance / preference to the mothers.

Here is the menu : Sweet Pongal, Rice gravy(Kuzh), Radish & drumstick sambhar,  Potato stir fry, Pumpkin kootu(curry), Bean curd gravy, Vada, Payasam, Rasam, Papad, Buttermilk. All served on a plaintain leaf.

Once I was done, one person helped me to remove my leaf and then went to the wash room. Again an elderly uncle, opened the tap for me to wash. All these time, Thatchu was awake with me, watching those poojas, listening to the bhajans, smiling at people around, allowing me to eat. She was not even 1% naughty. She slept on the way home, and gave me to time to post this :) Love my Thatchu:)

I take rest today and will meet you all with my recipes soon.... Wait for them... Have a nice weekend!!!!