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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