Saturday, September 29, 2007

Gongura Pachadi ~ Andhra Special

Well this is what we do when we have excess Red sorrel leaves at hand. Make them as Pachadi or chutney. Andhra is famous for Gongura Pickle or Chutney. This variety is chutney which is a specialty of Athamma who hails from Ananthapuram. I find it so strange that though both the families are from Andhra, there is a vast difference from her cooking to Amma's. Amma's gongura chutney is made in a different way. This variation that I going to write about is also a crowd pleaser and does not stay that long to even test its shelf life. Since the ingredients that go in this anyway shows it may not stay good for long, but I haven't had a chance to test it though. This is one of my Athamma's signature dishes. She is famous for her pachadis/Chutneys and I have been long after her to prepare all the chutneys she normally does. This pachadi is different in the way it uses Ground Nut powder and raw onions. I think the overall effect in the end is what makes the difference adds to the taste.

Cuisine : Andhra
Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 10 mins

Ingredients Needed:
Gongura/ Red Sorrel Leaves - 1 cup
Green Chillies - 4
Salt to taste

For Masala
Groundnut/Peanut powder - 2 tbsp
Onions - 1

For seasoning:
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1tsp
Method to prepare:

Boil the leaves along with green chillies. Let it cool, then grind it to a coarse paste.

Mix onions and ground nut powder and grind with Pappu guthi or any hand grinder. It should not become very massy, but should feel the raw onion taste.

Heat oil and sputter mustard and temper on the chutney.

This stays good only for the day. So prepare only small batches. This is one delicious pachadi. The other famous pachadi made with cooked onions, stays over a week.

Enjoy the weekend with spicy pachadi!

Reminder for entries for Microwave Easy cooking themed on Basics. Last date is 30th September. Thanks!

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Lunch Box Series : LBS#13

Gongura which is known as Red Sorrel Leaves, Roselle, Pulicha Keerai (Tamil), Ambad bhaji, ambada, ambadi(Hindi) are popular sour greens available in local markets. Tender leaves of these are very tasty in any ways. Gongura is very famous in Andhra, be it for its pachadi or pappu. Amma makes a delicious pachadi from this. But pappu is a specialty dish from Athamma. Hubby dear loves this a lot and expects this to be part of the menu very often. Dad on the other hand loves the pachadi. So between two of them they ensure we eat lot of gongura. I am not really for the sour ones, but when the leaves are added appropriately to the dal, the taste is heavenly.

Today's Lunch Box had

Gongura Pappu
Plain Rice
Beans Carrot Stir Fry
Curd Rice.

Gongura Pappu

Serves: 4
Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Cuisine : Andhra

Ingredients Needed:

Gongura Aaku - 1 cup
Tur Dal - 75 gms
Green chillies - 5 - 6 (based on your spicy)
Tamarind - a small piece
Onion - 1 small one
Garlic - 2 pods
Tomato - 2 medium
Mustard Seeds + Urud Dal - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Method to prepare:

For Dal, take the desired quantity of Greens, Wash and chop.

Clean the dal and keep aside.

Chop the onions, tomatoes. Keep aside

In the pressure cooker, add leaves with tur dal, Green Chillies, turmeric, chopped tomatoes, Tamarind and water. Put it for 3 whistles.

In a pan heat oil, then add seasoning items.

Once they splutter, add Onions, Curry leaves, Garlic. Fry till onions are brown and the raw smell leaves.

Remove the pressure lid and mash it with dal masher. Add salt and more water if required. Add the seasoning to the dal. Cook on high flame for few mins.

Dal is ready!

Beans Carrot Stir Fry

Ingredients Needed:

Beans & Carrot - 500 gms
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Mustard seeds + Urud Dal - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves few
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp

Method to prepare:

Wash and trim the beans. Scrap the carrot skin and chop to fine pieces.

Par boil this in 1 cup of water.

Heat oil in kadai. Add seasonings items. Once they splutter, add curry leaves, then add the par boiled vegetables.

Add Chille pw, Coriander pw, turmeric pw and salt to taste. Mix well. Simmer it for 5 mins.

Hope you enjoyed!

Reminder to rush in your entries for Microwave Easy Cooking themed on Basics. Another two more days to go!

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pepper Chicken!

This is a spicy peppery chicken that works out well as a starter. If one prefers a spicy one, then this is the choice. The last time hubby had, it was prepared by Amma and he was all praise for this. So naturally I wanted to try again. But so many days passed by and yet couldn't find time right for this dish. Well finally found time appropriate for this as I made this for Sunday dinner with Pappu chaaru.

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Marinating Time : 3 hrs
Cooking Time : 20 mins

Ingredients Needed

To be Marinated
Chicken - 500 gms
Vinegar - 2 tsp
Salt to taste

For Spice

Pepper Chicken Masala - 5 tsp
Onions - 2 medium
Curry leaves - few
Coriander - few springs

Pepper Chicken Masala (makes for 1 kg chicken)

First combination

Pepper corns whole - 3 tsp
Cinnamon - 3 "
Cloves - 5
Bay leaf - 1
Cardamom - 2
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp

Second combination of spices

Black pepper corns - 3 tbsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Cardamom- 3
Cassia - 3"
Green Chilli - 2
Dry Ginger - 1/2 tsp
Garlic - 3 pods

I have two proportions of this pepper masala, both works out well. These can be ground dry or with 1 tsp of oil and cooled and powdered.
This is an approximation, can be increased or decreased as per taste. Grind all the ingredients to fine powder. If desired pepper corns can be ground coarsely to get more effect.
Method to prepare:

Clean and cut chicken to desired size. Marinate the chicken with salt and vinegar for 3 hours.

Chop onions finely. Heat a pan with 2 tbsp of oil. Add onions and curry leaves. Fry onions till they are brown in colour.

Remove the chicken from the marinate and add to the onions. Cook on high for 2 mins, then add the pepper masala. Cover and cook for 20 mins or till cooked. Finally garnish with coriander leaves, roasted curry leaves and chilli.

Pepper chicken masala is very spicy, so take care to use as per taste.

Hubby liked it a lot, except wanted the pepper corns to be little coarse. So next time its not going to be a fine powder!

Enjoy!

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Aavakai Uragaya ~ Andhra Special

Aavakai Uragaya is no doubt the pride of Andhra. Andhra is known for its pickles and chutneys and every summar is spent preparing this. I have always seen this preparation happening at home with Amma getting the chilli powder from Andhra. My aunty who used to stay in Vijayawada used to get the special Red chilli powder and prepare this. The spicy and effect comes from adding this red chilli powder. I am giving a basic recipe with small quantity. The proportion is as given by Amma. Once everything is mixed, store it and ensure to stir it in frequent intervals. Can add more Oil depending on the way it sets.

Cuisine - Andhra

Raw Mangoes - 5 cups
Mustard powder - 1 & 1/2 cups
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Red Chilli - 1 cup
Salt - 1 cup
Gingerly /Gingly/Sesame /Till Oil - 2 cups

Clean and cut raw mangoes in this size. Let it dry for sometime.

Powder the mustard powder. Spread half of it in the bottom. Cover it with mangoes, then add red chilli powder turmeric pw and salt with oil. And top it again with the same mixture. Mix well.

This is the bottle we prepared for this season. We are still stirring and enjoying it.

This is my entry to Sunita's Event on Think Spice ..Think Mustard.

Phew I made it on time....

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Parathas from Leftover Rice!

I don't really remember eating much of leftover stuff at home more because Amma used to prepare all three meals and there was always somebody to complete whatever was left. Parents have strong opinion against having food stored in fridge and consuming it later. No there is no question of leftover items at home. But off late due to hectic schedules and kids, hubby dear suggested that I could cook for two days and store it immediately in the fridge for the later consumption. Well followed it for a week, but got bored and also felt guilty that I wasn't feeding the family properly. Since one month the only dish that I had prepare in bulk and stored was Paneer Butter Masala which my daughter is so fond of that she asks for it everyday. So I tried preparing for 2 or 3 days and stored in separate containers and gave it after heating it. She loved it and wanted me to do it every week. But I have again stopped doing it as I saw that she wasn't eating any vegetable or anything nutritious other than this.

Coming on this topic of cooking with leftover stuff for breakfast, it was just that morning I heard my colleague tell me that she prepared parathas with leftover rice. And read that Nandita wanted us to prepare something with leftover item. Well since we don't eat rice during night, there won't be rice left over for breakfast. So prepared this with the rice that was cooked for the lunch. It was very yummy! Just like all my stuffed parathas that I make. Now we have found one another yummy stuffed parathas.
Ingredients Needed:

Leftover rice - 1 cup
Wheat flour - 1 cup
Salt to taste
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/4 tsp
Onion - 1 small

Method to prepare:

In bowl, take the rice and mash well with hands to make it soft. Then add atta and mix well so that they crumble.

Then add all the masala and onions that are sliced finely. This way onions stick to the dough. Then add water little to make a soft dough.

Heat a tawa, once its hot apply oil and spread this to it. Cook on both sides with oil.
Enjoy with any side dish. Goes well with just Pickle and curd.

The other items that can be prepared from leftover rice are Chitramma, Pulihora, Biyam Vadiyalu, Ragi Mudda and Fried Rice. Ragi Mudda is the most common breakfast that Athamma prepares if she has lot of rice left over the night.

Sending this to Nandita of Saffron Trail for her event WBB which is on Leftovers this month.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

My Cookbooks ~ My Passions

Well this is a post on my most favorite topic - cookbooks. I have always been fond of reading novels and other fictions since childhood. When I entered my 20's, I found I was referring more to cookbooks and its wonderful dreams it used to weave. We have yearly Book Fair thats held in Jan and this is the place we can get to see so many varieties of books that have hit the market. As a kid, it used to be Tintin and Asterix books that I used to buy, later this changed to cookbooks. Infact I have bought so many that I don't have space at my place, so many are still with Amma. But unfortunately I have never tried even one from any of these fancy ones, except Sanjeev Kapoor's or the Chocolate Delights.

Below are my books that I refer with so much joy.


Book on Indian and far Eastern Cookbook is one with beautiful pictures. Home Encyclopedia is one that was gifted by my friend for my marriage. That has so much of info for a newly married one. Say Cheese was of course bought when I became obsessed with chesse!
Each one shows the period I was interested in that way of cooking.

This collection is the one thats most used. The one on the far right came with Nippo Electric cooker. We have prepared most from this book. My recipes on Chicken Biryani and Bisi Bele Huli Anna are adapted from this book. My most favorite and the only cake I have been eating for the past 15 years is from Milkmaid book . Of course, the microwave cooking from Mallika Bradrinath is another good one.
This is the one I was talking about in my Channa Pulav post, I had filed it because I couldn't entertain myself better. But it turned out to be a most enjoyable one. I have three such files with full of cut outs from Hindu and other dailys. I had indexed and numbered it.


When I feel bored and jobless, I used to browse through the colourful pictures these used to come with.
This is a leaf from my hand written cookbook. I have due to various reasons, have some 5 different dairies of notebooks with recipes.


And finally this is the 3rd file thats never remains in its file. Amma always removes them and wouldn't know where to put it back. She tells me that somehow this one is not following suit like the other 2.

I enjoyed taking pictures of these. Sending this to Nags of 'For the cook in Me", who is hosting an event called 'Show Me Your Cook Books'. Well we don't have to cook for this event. So its no work but pure fun.

All the books and files that I have with me are my favorite, but the most I like is the one from Nippo. Its because it has all easy and most interesting ones that come out exactly like its said.

Enjoy!

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Three in one ~ A Bun, A Banana and A Grape!

Well this is called hitting everything in one shot! I didn't have time for this though since coffee announed her MBP to be Bread. Since then have been religiously checking out all the bloggers recipes, well first came Jai & Bee with their chelsea-buns and to make things better for me Nirmala sent in her version of the same.


Now I followed the bun measurement as Nirmala and filling as B&J's, only change I added was 1/2 banana to the dough and Sliced banana with Raisins soaked in Honey for the fillings. Brushed Honey on the top and allowed it to rest for an hour. Baked this in MW for 5 mins, buns were ready.

So sending this to Coffee for her MBP: Bread. For JFI:Banana hosted by Ahaar and to Swad who is hosting AFAM which is Grapes this month.

Enjoy the Sunday!

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Nippattu ~ Nippattlu

I am for snacks anytime. I always used to look forward to the festival seasons, for Amma used to prepare many snacks for diwali or other festival days. She used to prepare so many dishes, that we won't know which to complete first. I used to be so obsessed that I used to get up midnight and eat them. That was the fascination those homemade goodies had. But I have never tried making Muruku or other savory items at home. This was the first time I did and yes I remembered all those times that Amma used to make this for us. She feels bad that we are not preparing any of those at home anymore. But then we don't find time nor inclination to stand and toil for hours together next to a stove to prepare all these goodies. This I made in small quantity as an experiment. They turned out good.

Ingredients Needed:

Rice Flour - 2 Cups
Maida - 1/4 Cup
Gram flour - 1/2 Cup
Finely chopped Curry leaves - few
Groundnuts - 2 tbsp
Gram Dal - 2 tbsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Sesame seeds - 1 tsp
Chili Powder - 2 tsp
Water to knead
Salt to Taste
Oil for deep fry

Method to Prepare:

Mix all the ingredients except water and oil.

Add 2 tsp spoons of hot oil mix well again. Now add water little by little till you get a soft consistency like rotis.

Heat oil in the frying pan

Take lemon size dough and roll it like thick chapati in small size

Once the oil is hot, deep fry in oil under medium heat till golden brown.

Once its cooled, store it in an air tight container for a week, if it stays that long at your place..:)

This goes to the party hosted by Asha for her RCI: Karnataka

Since this is also my favorite snack, sending this to Hima for her event on whats your favorite snack.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Jonna Roti ~ Jowar Roti

I was introduced to Jonna Roti when my Athamma prepared it at home. She got the flour from Andhra with her, when she came down to stay with us. Hailing from Anantapur, they have a great influence of Karnataka over their cuisine to some extent. Knowing few dishes that are prepared at their home, I am not sure if it belongs to Andhra or Karnataka.

Jonna Roti is one such dish. This is more of a staple bread to them than anything else. Whenever Athamma makes this, she fondly remembers her mom and recollects her many childhood events that revolved around this Rotis. Infact rolling out this roti is an art that is learnt from childhood and not an an easy one to master.

I even took a video of Athamma rolling out this roti but it ended up being such a huge file that Blogger wouldn't load. So will have to have the video session taken some other time. Athamma makes Jonna Roti frequently for dinner as this is supposed to be healthy. This can be taken by people who want to loose weight or have diabetes. Now this roti is something that my daughter is fond of too. And she eats just like that. Athamma suggests this to be served with any Non Veg gravy, Nune Vankai or even Sambar. The way to eat this is to tear the roti to pieces, pour the gravy over the top , let it soak and then eat. yummy!



Jonna Roti

Ingredients Needed

Jowar Flour / Jonna Pindi - 1 cup
Wheat flour - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Hot water for mixing.

Method to prepare:

In towns or villages, they pound the flour directly from the grains. But these days you get ready flour, but these lack the gum to hold the rotis, so Athamma add a tsp of wheat flour to give the stickiness.

Take the flour in a bowl, with jowar flour and salt. Mix well. Heat water and pour over the flour. With fingers rub in, then with tepid water you can mix it to make a dough. The secret is, it should not crumble away. Divide into equal balls

Take enough flour for dusting, spread and place one ball on the flour and with your fingers hit on it slowly. It should expand not break down. Keep adding more flour to get a smooth roti. When is small in shape you will use the fingers, later it will expand to the entire hand. Gently lift it on one side and place it on the hot tawa. The one you have spread should be facing up.

Take a cloth and dip in water and spread on the roti. It will get cooked this way. The puffy of this roti depends on the variety you have used. Athamma says with other varieties available at their place, it will puffy up nicely. Else it will only puff at small areas.

Once you are sure its cooked on one side, gently turn it around to cook on the other side. Its done when you see darkening on each side. When you eat with ghee dropped on hot Rotis, it tastes heaven.

I am sending this to Asha for her RCI: Karnataka. Not sure if she is going to accept but I am sending this nevertheless...:)...

Enjoy, check out the Video.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pesarapappu Kura for Poori ~ Yellow Moong Dal

It was year 1993, could significantly be said as the year I started cooking on my own. Parents used to host lot of parties and it was always me who did all the setting and ad hoc things. Amma was the chief chef and me her assistant. Amma used to spellbound our guest with the items she used to dish up and I used to get appreciated just for the simple reason that I was her daughter. I used to wonder if I will ever be able to dish up so many items if I ever try. But that was a time when I had not even started cooking on my own. Then came the Kanna Kazana. And world changed. I guess for many that was the period that drastically changed one's attitude towards cooking. Sanjeev Kapoor used to make everything sound so simple. And we were hooked to the TV. Everything he showed were repeated at home and much to the joy of all, they used to taste heaven. I used to amuse myself with Soufflés, Mousses or Cakes. Simple dals were way beneath me!. I used have my nose tipped at the sky each time somebody appreciated my cooking skills and used to think that regular cooking would be a cake walk. Then it happened one fine Sunday morning. Sunday Mornings are always Poori mornings at home, even now too. The side dishes that Amma used to make varies from Chenna to Potatoes or the simple Moong Dal. That morning it so happened that we didn't soak chenna or had potatoes at hand. So I thought making Pesarapappu or Yellow Moong Dal for Poori would be a breeze. Little did I know then what a trepidation it would be. Even that simple dal proved to be the testing task for me. I thought what a big deal, just put everything in cooker put it on for some whistle and then tamper it...boy was I wrong! After my ordeal with this simplest one, I realized the dal should not be over cooked, should not add all onions nor should I add tamarind. What else goes into this? smallest measure of onions, with just one tomatoes and the tadka...great. Never did I realize I would get such a bowing to what cooking was. That was a humbling experience. After that incident, my recreations of this dish has come out with flying colours. But I have never forgotten that learning experience.

My liking to this dal has increased now more because my daughter eats this without much complaint. So here is dish for a lazy sunday bunch.
Ingredients Needed

Yellow Moong Dal / Peserapappu - 250 gms
Onions - 1/2 of a small one
Tomatoes - 1 medium
Green chillies - 3
Turmeric powder - a pinch

Tadka

Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Garlic - 1 pod
Red Chillies - 2
Curry Leaves - few
Coriander leaves - few springs
Onions - remaining half
Method to prepare

Clean Moong dal and in a pressure cooker, add chopped tomatoes and half of onions along with turmeric and slit green chillies. Put it for 1 whistles. You can even switch off when the whistle is about to go. This way the dal retains its shape else it will be overcooked.

In a pan, heat 1 tsp of oil, add finely chopped garlic, then Cumin seeds. Once it starts sputtering, add onions, curry leaves and red chillies. Sauté for 2 mins till the onions are brown, then add to the dal. Add more water if required, adjust salt and garnish with coriander leaves.

This goes excellently with Pooris.

On the subject of favorite breakfast, mine is all breakfast items...:)..dosa tops the list of course maybe next to Pooris. But anything tiffen is to my likings. Infact wanted to have series on Dosa varieties. Will be coming out with that!

What is your favorite breakfast and what side dishes goes? Would like to know just for stats. Hope you enjoyed!

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Vinayaka Chaturthi Tradition and Nievedyam for God!


Vinayaka Chaturthi is celebrated with much enthusiasm at home. Festivals are always a time when Amma excels herself with many varieties of goodies prepared for Nievedyam. Each festival/ Pooja is marked with a specialty dish that she makes and we eagerly wait for each of the festival to savour these traditional dishes.

As kids, I remember going to the market to get the Vinayaka Idol in the morning. When I started riding, I used to go with my brother and used to get the idol. This year, Hubby dear tagged our daughter along, to get the Idol in the morning. Hubby dear is always very fond of this pooja as he says its celebrated with much fun and frolic at his native.

I try to keep the spirit by continuing the tradition. But since I never really learnt how the traditional goodies are made, it always used to be just polis, but this time wanted to please God with all his favorite dishes. After installing the Idol in the mandap, hubby dear decorated with flowers and ornaments and Umbrella. As a kid, I used to collect the Umbrella for so many years.
After marriage, Amma said I am grown enough to stop such sentiments. I was quite sad but had to listen to her, I was only happy when I saw that my daughter wanted to safekeep the Umbrella!. We either keep the Idol for 3 or 5 days depending on which day of the week it falls. But all the days that we have the Ganesha Idol at home, we get up early and make neivedyam for offering and observe strict rules.

The entire city is seen busy with this celebrations. Huge idols will be seen installed in different areas and celebrated. The celebration is normally continued for 10 days, end of which long processions take the Ganesha Idols of different sizes to the beach and immerse them. Few years back, it fell on a Sunday and we happen to go for drive and saw the entire procession. It was really fun and lively.

From Left to Right - Borugullu - Pappullu, Sundal, Kudumulu, Nugul-untallu (Sesame Seeds Laddo), Polis. Garallu is missing from the picture as I couldn't fit in on time for Pooja.


Sundal ~ Chickpea Salad

Channa / Chickpeas - 1 cup
Grated Fresh coconut - 2 tbsp
Red Chilies - 1
Salt to taste
Seasonings:
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard + Urud dal - 12/ tsp
Curry Leaves
Red Chilies - 1
Hing / Asafetida a pinch

Method to prepare:

Soak Channa/ Sennagallu overnight. Pressure cook for 3 - 4 whistles or till fork tender, with salt and water just enough to cover it. Remove water.

Run coconut and 1 red chilli in blinder to get a coarse paste.

Heat 1 tsp of oil and add seasonings with hing. Then add the cooked chenna, sauté well. Garnish with the coconut & chilli paste.

Kudumulu

This is my most favorite dish all time and what Amma makes has always been so excellent. Mine also came out well but still longed for Amma's. I remember the many occasions when we used to sit and make so many of these Kudumulu as Amma gives it to the neighbors too. She also had those impressions that looks more like a full Garlic bulbs. Couldn't find those on time to make it with it. But it used to be a labour of love. How it used to taste with that filling coming out after it was streamed. Amma used to prepare the flour herself the previous day and keeps everything ready. I made use of the ready made rice flour. It did come out quite well though.

Ingredients needed
For the Outer layer:

Rice Flour - 1 & 1/2 cup
Water - 3 cups.
Salt to taste

For the Filling/ Stuffing

Grated coconut - 3 tbsp
Jaggary - 3 tbsp
Cardamom powder a pinch.

Method to prepare

Traditionally, Amma used to wash the rice in water and dry it for sometime, till it is quite dry but still has little dampness left. She then grinds it into fine powder.

I used the rice flour, so saved the time on cleaning and drying and powdering!

In a bowl, take the flour and make a smooth paste with enough water. This is to ensure, you don't get lumps when you cook the flour. Boil the rest of the water in a pan with salt. Once it starts boiling, add the rice flour mix. and cook. Making sure there are no lumps.

Add 1 tsp of oil and keep stirring. You can remove when it forms as solid with the sides leaving. Remove and cover with a damp cloth so that it remains hot.

For the filling, grate coconut and jaggary. Take the jaggary in a pan, add just enough water to cover the jaggary, melt and remove if any impurities are found. Then add the grated coconut and cook to get a thick syrup. Remove to a bowl and keep it aside. If required, you can scoop this stuffing into small balls.

For making the kudumulu, smear your hands with oil so that rice flour doesn't stick to your hands. Gather the cooked rice flour the size of a lemon, press in middle. You will get a shape thats thick in the middle, the sides are thinner, stuff it with the coconut jaggary fillings. Bring the sides together towards the middel and close the ball, to form a shape as a drop.
Continue if you are done with all the rice flour and fillings.

Once everything is done, stream it for 10 mints.
At times you may find it tough to shape them, you can plaster those areas by coating with wet rice flour.

Nugul Untallu (Sesame Laddoo)

Sesame Laddoos tastes out of the world. This one of the traditional sweets that Amma makes. I managed to prepare them this time. This is traditionally prepared with the black seeds with the skin on. You can get this all preped by washing them sesame seeds the previous day and dried under sun.

Dry roast the Sesame seeds in a tawa and allow them cool. Once the Sesame seeds are cooled, take it along with about 2 - 3 tbsp of grated or powdered jaggary and run in a mixie. The amount of jaggary normally depends on the formation of laddoo. When you make a laddoo, it should stay in shape. Then you know the amount is enough. Also it depends on the fineness of the sesame powder. When you run in mixer, it becomes little oily which will help in holding the laddo shape.

For about 100 gms of Sesame seeds, I must have used about 3 tbsp of Jaggary. This should easily stay for a week. But at home it vanishes in no time! I got around 12 -15 laddoos with the size I made.

Regarding the Sweet Polis, as I had said in my Coconut Poli, it deserves a post on its own. So will talk about it separately. To mention on that, we also made the Vankai Urulagada Kura for it and enjoyed. All in all Vinayaka Chaturthi pooja was good.

Hope everybody enjoyed and had a great time.

Sending this to The Yum Blog for their event on Vinayaka Chaturthi.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Vinayaka Chaturthi Pooja

Vinayaka Chaturthi is celebrated with much enthusiasm at our home. Amma usually gets up early and starts the preparation early on to complete the pooja on time. She normally makes the flour and everything herself. Sometimes the day before, the flour gets done. At hubby dear's place it gets done as in Bombay, with much fun and fancy. Even in Madras, we see these celebrations happening. When we travel through the city we can see huge Ganesh status kept for nearly 10 days.

At home, we get up early morning and get the ganesha status. Then everything else gets done. This time I got down making all the goodies that Amma does. At my in-laws place they polis for all festivals. So normally I also make it for all festivals, but this time somehow managed to do the other specials we make. Kudumulu, Polis, Nugulu Ladoo, Sundal.





Will update this post with details by Monday! Have a nice sunday!

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Lunch Box Series : LBS#12

In our recent trip to our native, we got hold of these Andhra Favorites and brought them back with us home. These are Chinthaaku or Tender Tamarind Leaves. This is very famous and consumed with much passion in Andhra. My Dad is so fond of this. Well we finally got down preparing this for lunch.


Today's Lunch Box had

Chinthaaku Pappu
Plain Rice
Potato Podimas
Curd Rice.

Chinthaaku Pappu

Serves: 4
Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Cuisine : Andhra

Ingredients Needed:

Chinthaaku - 1 cup
Tur Dal - 75 gms
Green chillies - 5 - 6 (based on your spicy)
Tamarind - a small piece
Onion - 1 small one
Garlic - 2 pods
Tomato - 2 medium
Mustard Seeds + Urud Dal - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method to prepare:

For Dal, take the desired quantity of Greens, Wash and chop.

Clean the dal and keep aside.

Chop the onions, tomatoes. Keep aside

In the pressure cooker, add leaves with tur dal, Green Chillies, turmeric, chopped tomatoes, Tamarind and water. Put it for 3 whistles.

In a pan heat oil, then add seasoning items.

Once they splutter, add Onions, Curry leaves, Garlic. Fry till onions are brown and the raw smell leaves.

Remove the pressure lid and mash it with dal masher. Add salt and more water if required. Add the seasoning to the dal. Cook on high flame for few mins.

Dal is ready!

Potato Podimas

This goes very well with everything!

Ingredients Needed:

Potatoes - 500 gms
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Mustard seeds + Urud Dal - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves few
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp



Method to prepare:

Wash and remove the potato skin. Cut it into fine pieces.

Heat oil in kadai. Add seasonings items. Once they splutter, add curry leaves, then chopped Potatoes. Fry well so that its well coated with oil. Simmer it without covering. If it is covered it becomes soft.

Add Chille pw, Coriander pw, turmeric pw and salt to taste. Mix well. Simmer it for 10 t0 15 mins. Once you see its nice and crispy, you can remove from flame.

Hope you enjoyed!

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wheat Flour Dosa ~ Goduma Dosa ~ Chapdosa

This was my favorite during my childhood. But its been a real long time since I had this. As a kid, I remember I used to ask Amma to prepare this whenever she asks me what I want for my dinner. I used to enjoy the crispy Goduma dosa with sugar dipped in water. After a stage it used to be Sambar with Goduma Dosa. With either of these, it used to taste heaven. When the other day, we had just us for dinner, couldn't decide on what to prepare for ourselves. This flashed across mind and many nights of love tendered dosas came to mind. I was missing Amma's cooking more! Just to revisit those memories, suggested this to my daughter. I realised my daughter was missing something precious in her childhood. She didn't understand what I was talking about. So it was more a reason for me to venture into the realms of Chapdosa. This name was coined by my bachelor colleagues who visited USA on official tour and stayed in the guest house with nothing to eat other than Goduma Dosa, they fondly referred this as Chappathi Maavu dosa - Chapdosa!

When in need of a quick dosa, then go for this!

Wheat is called Goduma, Gothambu (Godhambu), Godhi in different parts of India.

Ingredients Needed

Wheat Four - 1 cup
Salt to taste
Water - as required to get a think batter.

Method to prepare

In bowl take the wheat flour and mix with salt. Add water and mix to a think consistency without any lumps.

Heat a tawa and take a ladleful of batter and spread as a regular dosa.

You can get thin crispy ones if the batter is thin.


Funny part of this incident was, my daughter was excited when I said this can be eaten with sugar, but guess I went one step ahead and spoiled the fun for her as I added water to it. In the end, she didn'like the combi but preferred the Groundnut chutney you see on the plate. Thats her plate in the photo. This only proved that each child will and should have their own memories of what they like and should be not forced to eat just because we liked it as a kid! So I make sure she gets to eat more of stuff she likes than what I think she will like.

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Kesari Bhath ~ A Delightful Dessert!

Kesari Bhath is something that's very dear to me. This is one sweet that my nephew and nieces always want, when they visit us. The first day breakfast menu will always be Idly, Sambar, Chutney and Vada with Kesari Bath. My sis-in-laws will ensure that the kids had their breakfast before letting them peep at the kesari bath. And through the day one can see their frequent visit to the place its kept. They ensure its complete by the evening! Amma makes one mean Kesari bath. The consistency, texture and colour varies for different occasion. Amma makes these for different festivals, poojas. I guess each person relates to this in a different way. Hubby dear says that he agreed mainly after eating kesari bath at our place!. For me, memories of Kesari bath only brings me fond ones of my little relatives at home. Its a satisfaction thats never compared. There is nothing more satisfying and complete than getting approved by a little one. And I am always on cloud nine, when they ask me to prepare it for them. Thats an indulgence in itself. They ensure they get their extra quota of sugar and ghee!

I have seen different colours of Kesari Bhath, thats in any form is tempting. Pale Yellow, Saffron, Bright Orange, Red, But, that a white plain one can also tempt, was something that I realised only after seeing and eating one. Most times we associate the dish with its colour. For me Paneer Butter Masala can't be anything but Red, likewise Kesari Bath has to be some shade of Red/orange. This is one type that Amma does, is a Neivethyam for special poojas on Tuesday. The shiny crystallized look of the rava is very appealing, not to say tempting.

Kesari Bath is something thats common among all the south Indian states, I am not about to venture into its history of origin. For me, at times, I am not sure if a particular dish belongs to Andhra or Tamil Nadu, now it doesn't really matter if it belongs to any place as long as it does to my Kitchen. When something is good, its better we just enjoy that its being served in any part you visit with infusion of its culture! And since when I googled for Karnataka desserts, this is what is featured as the most favorite sweet. No issues for me!

And Asha says that this is a traditional Kannadiga dessert! So sending this to our dear Asha hosting the RCI: Karnataka. Am sure this round up will display loads of kesari baths!

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Cuisine : Andhra, Karnataka

Ingredients Needed:

Rava/ Semolina/ Cream of wheat - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 & 1/2 cup
Ghee - 3 tbsp
Water - 1 cup
Milk - 2 cups

Colouring (optional) - Kesari colour / Saffron / Yellow

Garnishing : Cashew Nuts, Raisins, Almonds, Cardamom powder

Method to Prepare:

Heat a pan with 1 tsp ghee, roast all the nuts. Keep aside.

Add another tsp of ghee, roast the Rava till it comes out non - sticky. Remove and keep aside

Heat the pan with water and Milk and bring to boil. Add Sugar and let it dissolve.

Then add the rava little by little so that lumps are not formed.

Simmer and cover with lid so that Rava cooks well. Add all the garnishing ingredients. Top it with remaining ghee.

Depending on individual liking, this can be served. It can be chilled and served. We like it hot!

Enjoy!

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Senaga Pappu Payasam for Janmashtami!

Finally got around posting this Payasam, which was prepared for Janmashtami. I couldn't prepare everything that's normally prepared this day. I managed to prepare only Senaga pappu Payasam or Parupu Payasam. We even got the boys walk dipped in the rice flour to imprint the Lord Krishna's feet. Normally Amma makes with her fist, but in the hurry I forgot to make those imprints too. Only my daughter's feet looks clear. Amma adds Jaggary to the rice flour, not only for making it sticky but also as food for Ants!. You can see that the second ones have many ants!.

Not up to the mark for a lengthy pre - recipe musings, even though I did have many things to recollect!




Ingredients Needed:

Bengal Gram (Senega Pappu) - 1 cup
Sujji / Rava - 2 tbsp
Jaggary - 1 cup

Garnishing

Cashew Nuts
Ghee
Fresh grated Coconut (Opt)
Sonti (Dry Ginger) powder (optional)
Cardamom powder (optional)

Method to prepare:

Pressure cook the bengal gram till its cooked.

Melt jaggary and remove if any dirt. In an separate pan, boil water and cook rava till its cooked. Then add rava and jaggary to the Bengal gram and pressure cook again.

Finally garnish with roasted cashew nuts. Grated coconut also can be added of preferred.

Sending this to The Yum blog for their Event on Janmashtami.

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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Liquid Dreams!

Beverages are something that can tempt anybody. Especially it matters with what you serve it. Even my 6 yr kid prefers to be served in proper glass ware! This weekend she was after me to make her Milkshake. For almost two days, she was only uttering this statement. Where is my Milkshake? so finally got down getting it done. Was she happy! She just loved it so much that I felt bad in not getting it done sooner for her. My daughter is very particular in what she drinks. If its a juice or a drink it has to be served in its appropriate ware. So hubby dear has collected specifically for her tasty. Well that's their indulgence.

I made Strawberry Milkshake too along with Chocolate one for her.

Strawberry Milkshake

Ingredients needed:

Milk - 400 ml
Sugar - 3 tsp
Strawberry Syrup - 3 tbsp
Ice cubes
Strawberry or Vanilla Ice-cream - 3 scoops


Method to prepare:

Add sugar to the boiled Milk and mix well. Let it cool and refrigerate it for 2 - 3 hrs.

When you are ready to serve, take a mixer. Add 2 scoops of ice-cream, Strawberry syrup and chilled milk with ice cubes.

Run for few mins and remove to serve glass. Top it with one scoop of ice-cream. Fresh grated Strawberry can also be used for garnishing.

Traditional Butter Milk or Mor

Thick Curds / Yogurt - 2 tbsp
Chopped chillies - 1
Coriander - 1 spring
Ginger - 1/2 "
Salt to taste
Water

Beat curds well till its smooth. Add all the other ingredients and let it rest for sometime. You can either strain it or drink it as such. This is the traditional way consumed in South India during Hot summer.
Tomato Juice

This is one drink that's very good for people who may want to reduce weight. Or if you want to skip breakfast. But ensure are you leisurely sipping this by atleast 15 minutes.

Ripe Tomatoes - 2 medium
Salt and pepper for taste.

Squeeze the tomatoes with hands along with Salt and pepper. Ensure the skin is mashed down properly. Add water and again mix well. This should not be strained. You can remove excess skin but its preferred to drink this as it is.

Seeds that remain in the bottom need not be consumed.

Drinking this slowly for 15 minutes ensures you don't feel hungry fast!

Enjoy!

Since Meeta was asking us to send her anything that is served in a glass, sending this to her Monthly Mingle, this month's theme being Liquid Dreams!

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Friday, September 7, 2007

Alasandalu Kura, Majjiga Mirapakaya ~ Lunch Box Series : LBS#11

Memories of Alasandalu or Black eye Peas goes back a long way down the memory lane. I remember eating this as a 7 year old kid in my hometown. When we visit our paternal grandparents place, this used to be the special dish prepared for us. Somehow I don't think we can ever bring back that taste again if we prepare it now.

We often prepare this kura at home many times, the memories gush in strongly yet the taste quite don't match the memories associated with that village. In those days, houses built were of different pattern. The ceiling used to be of coconut reefs with the rooms built separately. The kitchen used to be a separate room, quite dark as electricity being a rare commodity. Even when you enter the room during noon, the place is quite dark. My granny used to cook in that room. It carries a smell so unique. The dinning table was only for two people and I remember being served food along with my brother. I can still feel that smell sniffing around when I close my eyes and think about it. It rains ice in my village, it was one particular day I remember so clearly when I saw rain falling down as ice. That was my first and last time I have ever seen it, though Amma says its quite common in that place those days. Not really sure if they are ever getting it now.

Coming back to Alasandalu, after my post on this Ingredient, I am eager to include this more in our diet. But this Alasandalu Kura as Amma calls it, is prepared quite frequently at ma's place. During the season, its either Alasandalu Charu or Kura.at home. Yummy, just thinking about those makes me want them. Well just to have a different lunch box than the usual dal types, I make these for lunch. And of course it was quite enjoyable with Majjiga Mirapakaya.

Today's Lunch Box had

Alasandalu Kura
Plain Rice
Biyam Vadiyallu
Majjiga Mirapakaya
Curd Rice.


Alasandalu Kura

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Cuisine : Andhra

Ingredients Needed:

Black-eye Peas / Alasandalu - 1 cup ( 100gms)
Brinjal / Eggplant - 3 medium
Onions - 1 big
Tomatoes - 2 medium
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Coconut paste - 2 tbsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Salt to taste

Seasoning

Curry leaves
Coriander leaves
Mustard Seeds + Urud Dal - 1/2 tsp

Method to prepare:

Normally Black eye peas needs to be soaked overnight for getting a tender ones, but preparing this is on the spur, then you can dry roast it and pressure cook it once its cool. I put this on 4 whistles to get soft peas.

Chop Onions and tomatoes. Chop Brinjals into long pieces. Heat oil in the cooker, add seasoning, then onions. Sauté well, Then add Brinjal and simmer till they are half cooked. Then add tomatoes with chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric pw with salt.

Let the tomatoes get soft, then add the cooked peas along with coconut paste. Add required water and pressure cook for 1 whistle. Check if thickness is enough. Normally the amount of coconut paste depends on the chilli pw added. If you want more hot, then add less coconut paste.

Majjiga Mirapakaya

This is quite famous and a must in South India. We see these done during summer and stored for all seasons. This suits if you are person for spicy tangy things with your Curd Rice!

Ingredients needed

Green Chillies Long - 10 nos
Curds/ Yogurt - 1 cup (First time)
Salt to taste
Tamarind (optional)
Cumin powder - 1tsp


Method to prepare:

Slit chillies and remove seeds. Mix Salt and Cumin powder. Extract juice from tamarind. Apply this to the inside of the chilies and stuff with the cumin and salt powder.

In a bowl of beaten curds, dip the stuffed chillies, so that its nicely coated with the curds. Then dry it in hot sun.

Repeat the dipping in curds every night for a week, till its nicely soft and yet stiff.

Fry these in hot oil as accompaniment for Curd Rice. Tastes heaven!

Hope you enjoyed as I did!

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Microwave Easy Cooking with Sweets - Round up and next Theme!

When I first thought of wanting to start an event, I chose Lunch box series. But many expressed a wish to have an event on Microwave cooking. Well coming to think about it, I will be most benefited from it. I have been having one for more than 8 years now but have never used it beyond reheating.

So my enthusiasm behind this event, is in trying to learn regular cooking using this gadget. Thanks for all your enthusiastic response. I am really overwhelmed, as I was really hesitant if this will actually be received. When I saw Kajals' first entry, I was really trilled. My hubby dear couldn't understand the excitement. It was like appearing for an exam and seeing that the question paper had the questions you knew!

Well anyway when I decided to try out one of my favorite sweet dish, it turned out so easy. My kids simply loved it! Just we have to be little more aware of facts and features on using the Microwave properly.

So next month's Theme is going to be MEC: Basics. This includes any basic step that can be done using Microwave.

Knowing how to do simple thing can always be so useful in actually preparing other complicated dish. So this month's entries can be anything related to Seasoning, Roasting, Toasting, anything that's basic!

Check out Jungalbandi for simple things that they used MW for more ideas!.

Rules are same, check out this page. Deadline is last day of the month. Only please make note of the time that's taken for preparing the item.

Now coming to MEC: Sweets, I chose Sweets to have a sweet beginning. In Andhra, we begin our meal with a sweet dish. so here comes a prelude to a hearty meal prepared in Microwave.

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Well before having fun in cooking in Microwave, lets know and take the safety measures. So here comes a list of do's and don'ts. Check out Jyothsna's and Jugalbandi's useful information on safety methods and what to cook and what not to cook. How to and How not to. Well I leave you to read them yourself to get better equipped to cook in Microwave. Am sure their posts will get you hooked to them as I was.

Checkout for Jyothsna helpful tips.

And if you want some more, you can always land in Jugalbandi and never dream to get away. As usual Bee & Jai entertains us with their witty and interesting post which is so informative.

Am sure now we can venture into cooking arts.

Presenting the sweets as they paved their way into the Microwave.

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Kajal from Kajal Dreams, waves a beautiful dream with her Apple Jam. You can spread it on biscuit or a toast, she says. Am sure it must be heavenly.

The meticulous way Kajal always presents her recipes are so wonderful to go through and enjoy. Check out her recipe which is so simple, yet so delicious to eat.

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Viji from Vcusine enthralls us with the Dish of South India - none other than the Palgova. She rightly says Palkova is the king and queen of sweets. She is not wrong.

Believe me, we grew up fancying this sweet. It is not something that we can eat more, but it never stops with one bite, you just go on.

Viji explains in simple and easy steps to recreate this tedious dish if otherwise prepared on a stove. Viji's blog is a mine of recipes for freshers in cooking. She is not only famous for her Weekend brunch which in itself could've been an Event, but for her wisely quotes that she puts in her inbox with her recipes. She ensures she takes care of both mind and body.

Presenting to you Ladies and a gentleman (Jai of Jugalbandi) the king and queen of sweets - The Palgova in all its beauty.

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Next comes a lovely dish from a lovely lady of a fun filled blog called Fun and Food. She says "If you love bananas, you will surely enjoy this easy-to-make delicious dish that caters to your sweet tooth! So go bananas over the Banana Bread Dessert!"

Why not, we take your word, Mansi.

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Well now comes Asha with her wonderful gourd dishes. Who wouldn't know Asha, she magically wades her way to every blog and makes her presence felt. Am sure everybody in this food blog world knows her and she knows them!

From her own words
"Microwaving the Halwa!:)). Cooking has become so much simpler with the invention of the microwave,specially in summer when you don't have to slog before the hot stove most of the time!"

For this event, Asha made Dumrote,a typical Karnataka dessert. She tamed her out of control bottle gourd into delicious Halwa and all in 23 mins flat! And what a colour it has. All in all, she is a veteran who cooks mostly in Microwave, so any doubts on Microwave cooking, you know where to go.

Next dish from Asha is also based on Lauki. Since Asha was not able to send this to this event, I took it myself. Am sure and hope Asha wouldn't mind. Afterall, more the dishes, more the merry!

Check out Asha's Lauki Coconut Halwa!

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Next entry is none other than the sakkarai pongal!. Traditionally Sakkrai Pongal is prepared for the Sankarnti festival in India. In most places for this festival, they specially cook in earthen pots which symbolizes this festive mood. Now we have Sakara Pongal cooking in Microwave!

Check the cooking way Easy Crafts cooks this. I am sure it can't get any simpler than this.

Sakkara Pongal in 22 minutes!

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Next came Archana. She was talking about Rabdi! Not that Rabdi, I hope!...yes sweet lady that she is, she was talking about Shahi Rabdi!

And OMG this is ready in 6 minutes!

I don't think anything can get any better than this! Thanks for the lovely entry Archana!

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Now comes Suma with her Condensed Milk Halwa for the party.

She says when she serves this to her guests, its always appreciated and they must've wondered how much toil she underwent for this delicious looking sweet. But she had her secret. She was doing it in Microwave and all within 15 minutes, to be exact 12 minutes!

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Well everybody ready for daring fleets? Here comes a lady who is ready to take any adventure on stride. She is famous for her baking and chocolate makings. She never fails to impress with the things she can dish out.


Inspired by fellow blogger's posts, Arundati married off Palkova to Kulfi! ..offspring called as "Badam elaichi kulfi" all in 20 mins

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Next sweet dish from a lady going by the hot name, I mean Red Chillies!.

I am very fond of Carrot Halwa, but cooking on a stove means constant stirring and always being next to it. But when Redchillies sent in her recipe, she answered my secret calling.

Says that the adventurous part of her, got the better of her and she tried this out. Well I am so glad that she did!

She vouches that there is no compromise on taste and even friends, family cannot make out the difference in taste. It is easy, fast, guilt-free and still has the decadent taste, so what else can one ask for?

So why wait try out Gajar Halwa the Microwave way all in 12 mins!

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Now the lovely ladies from The Yum Blog comes to delight us with their varieties of sweets.

First with their royal Maharani of sweets - Therattipaal or Kala Kand
I have made this on stove and I know how much interesting to get this done in 50 mins!


Then comes Dumroot Halwa done in flat 15 minutes!

Thanks for the nice dishes, we expect more sweets from you using Microwave!

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I was sure that anything so delicious and elegant can't be done in short 5 minutes, but Tee beat me to that. She dished out a delicious looking Besan Ladoo in flat 5 minutes.



Now this is surely a reason why sweets should be cooked in MW.

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Aarti who has to cater her husband's wish for a continuous supply of Rava Ladoo, found making this in MW saved her lot of time n efforts. She says she is totally relaxed about this now!

So lets also check out her method to have an easy way with making Rava Ladoo.

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Padma discovered how useful cooking in Microwave is, if one doesn't have cooking gas/stove. She prepared a simple dessert with apples and it was so easy all done in 12 mins!

Check here to see how Padma makes Apple Crumble, which her husband loved so much!

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Rahin says these get ready in a jiffy and is huge hit. Who wouldn't want a quick n fuss free dessert, she says, I agree with too.

Check out her Milk Pedas which needs only 2 minutes of cooking time!

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Rachna wanted to post a sweet dish for Lord Krishna, well we also would love to try this out. This Krishna prashad, she says is a regular at Ramayan poojas and Janamashtami at their house.

And you can get these sweet pedas done in 12 minutes!

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And finally from me - our favorite Bread Halwa. Amma always does this when she finds extra bread slices at hand. But its one sweet dish thats liked by all so much. So it was fun making this within 6 mins!



Cooking Time: 6 Mins

Bread Slices - 4
Ghee - 2 tsp
Sugar - 3 tsp
Milk - 1 cup
Nuts for garnishing.

Take 4 slices of Bread. Cut into small cubes. Spread on the mw dish. Top it with Ghee and put it for 1 mins.

Breads pieces are roasted by then. Add sugar on top with little milk. Put it for 3 mins. The bread slices become crispy with sugar melted.

Then add the remaining milk and put it for another 2 mins. The bread becomes soggy in the milk with crispy pieces in between.

Roast Nuts in little ghee for 20 secs. and garnish on the bread halwa.

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Thanks for all the lovely entries. I sure had fun. Expecting another round of fun event with this Month's Theme.

Looking forward for ideas on Basics in Microwave Cooking!

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