Friday, November 21, 2014

Vazhai Thandu Kootu | Valaithandu Pasiparupu Kootu | Plantain Stem with Moong Dal

For this week's Cooking with Cookbook Challenge, I have a delicious kootu dish, prepared with Plantain Stem or Vazhai Thandu. The lentil used is the moong dal and as we know, moong dal tastes great in a kootu. Before the blogging days, I don't think I was ever so fond of kootus and likes. However after blogging, the scope of dishes that one gets to know and indulge, increases so much that one is automatically forced to accept it as norm.

So I am very fond of Kootus now and given a chance I might simply want to make these dishes. These kootus are not only versatile, they are good on the tummy and health as well. Being balanced on all requirements in terms of lentil, protein and other essential nutrients, Kootu packs it all fine. 

With my new found love, it was only obvious that I search for new recipes with the vegetables. Last week I was supposed to make the Mor Kuzhambu with paruppu Usili. I was unexpectedly on leave and it was raining. Since the schools were closed because of the heavy rains, Hubby dear decided it was the best time to take the kids for a pending movie. I was left behind, to enjoy a meal that Amma made. Since she made so much of this kootu, I had to ditch the plans of making that combo.

The recipe for this comes from Amma's help. She said she makes kootus with all vegetables in almost the same way. However we found this version of stem with moong dal, so delicious both with rice and rotis.

Vallai Thandu Moong Dal Kootu

Ingredients Needed:

Vallai Thandu / Plaintain Stem - 2 cups
Moong Dal - 3/4 cups
Green Chilies - 2 -3
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Onions - 1/2 small
Tomato - 1 medium
Turmeric powder a pinch

For tempering

Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard Seeds, Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves handful
Red Chilis - 2

How to make the Kootu

Wash and finely chop the stem. Ensure you remove the strings well. This can be soaked in buttermilk if you feel it turns colour.

In a pressure cooker add moong dal, stem pieces, onions, tomatoes, along with green chilies, red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt. Add a cup of water, close the lid and pressure cook for 3 whistles or till done.

Once the pressure is down, remove the lid, heat a pan with oil, tempering with mustard, urad dal, curry leaves and chilis.

Pour this on dal and stem mix. Bring to boil and remove.

This tastes great with rice and rotis.
This goes for the November Week 4, Cooking from Cookbook Challenge  Group.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How to make Vanilla Ice Cream ~ Step By Step Pictures

The other combo dish under Combo Dishes was this Chocolate Brownie, I had to make it eggless of course. So the final day under Combo Dishes is Chocolate Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream with hot chocolate sauce!

I have been making ice cream for many years now. Right from the experience of Pal Ice, or the mango Ice cream, or chocolate ice creams or the many versions of kulfis, making Ice cream has always been a passionate thing with me, well other than making pizzas that is! I had even made a Vanilla Ice Cream with ready made powder.

So I was surprised to see that I didn't have the simpler version of Vanilla Ice cream and so I decided to make with CMC, which helps in setting the Ice cream and the cream ensures creamy texture. On the whole it was such a delicious treat for us.

After enjoying this delicious dessert at home, I wonder I would want to try this again in restaurant.

And yes, do check out the Potato Pizzette Bites with Quick Tomato Sauce

Vanilla Ice Cream on Chocolate Brownie with Hot chocolate Sauce


Vanilla Ice Cream

Ingredients Needed:

Condensed Milk - 3/4 tin of 400 gms
Milk - 4 cups (boil for over 30 mins, to reduce to 3 cups)
Milk Powder - 1 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Cream - 200 gms
CMC (Carboxy methyl cellulose) - 1 tsp
Corn Flour - 1 tsp
Vanilla Essence - 10 ml

How to make Vanilla Ice Cream

Boil the milk and let it simmer till it thickens. This takes about 30 mins to reduce to 3 cups. In a bowl, take the milk powder, slowly add some milk to get a lump less liquid. Then add this milk to the boiling pan. Add sugar to the milk, check for sweetness.

Mix the corn flour with water and pour into the milk after switching off. Blend well.

Meanwhile mix the CMC in a bowl and then add to the milk.

Continue to cook till the milk is quite thick and on cooling it becomes thick sauce.

In a bowl that you can use a hand blender, add the condensed milk. At first speed run it for couple of times. Finally add the whipped cream, fold it into the base

Transfer to a aluminum bowl, so that it sets faster. After 1 hour of setting, remove and whip it again using the blender. Continue doing this for 3 -4 times about every 1 hour or so. Finally put it back to set for over 4 -5 hours depending on your freezer.

Once it is set, scoop out and place on the brownie and pour hot Chocolate Sauce on top!


Very important to remember not to boil the corn flour mix for no longer than 1 -2 mins. If you cook longer than this, the mix will turn very thick and into a pudding and not like a ice cream. Ensure to cool down before adding condensed milk and cream.

Freezing in either tupperware or aluminum vessel will help in set the ice cream faster. I normally whip again after 1 hour of setting. However this time, I simply froze it overnight and then for about 2 - 4 hrs. It became very hard and I had to keep it refrigerated to become soft enough to scoop. 

Still the texture is more creamy and not with crystals.

Chocolate Sauce

Ingredients Needed:

Milk - 2 cups
Dark Cooking Chocolate - 50 gms
Milk Chocolate - 50 gms

Bring the milk to boil, add chopped chocolates and blend well. When the chocolate is completely melted, depending on the thickness you want, you can remove from cooking. 

Always ensure the sauce is hot when poured over Ice Cream, has a wonderful taste!

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 46

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