Friday, April 29, 2011

Cheera Thoran / Amaranth Leaves Stir fry with coconut

This is a very delicious and nutritious recipe. This Cheera / Amaranth is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is available in different colors like green and red.
I love this thoran a lot, even more than all other similar dishes. This is an easy side dish with rice. No need of thinking twice, just we can make it without any effort and within minutes, this delicious dish is ready.

  1. Amaranth leaves / Cheera - 2bunches
  2. Coconut- 1cup
  3. Shallots- 2nos
  4. Green Chillies- 2nos
  5. Turmeric powder- 1tsp
  6. Oil- 1tbsp
  7. Mustard seeds- 1tsp
  8. Curry leaves- few
  9. Salt- as required

  1. Clean and chop the leaves. Keep it aside.
  2. Grind coconut, green chillies, shallots coarsely.
  3. Heat oil in a pan. Throw the mustard seeds and when they pop add the curry leaves.
  4. Add the chopped amaranth leaves,turmeric powder and Salt. Stir well. Slow the flame and close the lid for about 5min.
  5. In this add the ground coconut mixture and mix well. Close the lid and let it cook for another 2 min.
  6. Serve along with rice.

I am sending this to Kerala Kitchen event hosted by Ria.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Garlic, Carom seeds and Oregano Bread sticks

                           Happy Easter to all my dear friends.
Bread sticks are generally crispy and dry pencil sized sticks. The origin of bread sticks goes to around 14th century in the city of Turin at Italy. They are often placed on the table in restaurants as an appetizer.
I love bread sticks a lot. Whenever I go to pizzerias, the first thing I order are these bread sticks. Like wise my little one also like these a lot. I thought of making this at home when I saw the recipe in  Suma’s blog. I didn't want the usual buttery bread sticks, these consume very less oil and so I thought of giving it a try. In Suma’s blog she used fresh thyme along with garlic, but here I added carom seeds and oregano. The aroma while they are getting baked in the oven is intoxicating and the house is filled with this aroma..
This is a lovely tea time snack. We can add flavours of our choice. This is the first time I tried baking the bread sticks. These are crusty on the outside, soft and tender inside.
Store the bread sticks in air tight container away from humidity and moisture. They are best stored up to one week.

  1. All purpose flour / Maida- 1 ¼ cup + 2tbsp
  2. Warm water- ½ cup
  3. Onions (chopped)- 1no
  4. Garlic (chopped)- 1tbsp
  5. Oregano- 2tbsp
  6. Carom seeds (Ajwain) - 1 ½ tbsp
  7. Olive oil- 2tbsp
  8. Active dry yeast- 1 ¼ tsp
  9. Salt- ½ tsp
  10. Sugar- ½ tbsp

  1. Heat oil in a pan. Add the onions and let it cook till light brown colour. In this add chopped garlic and cook till the raw smell disappears. Add oregano and carom seeds stir for a few seconds. Switch off the flame and let it cool.
  2. In a mixing bowl take sugar and yeast. Add the warm water. Let this stand for about 5-10 minutes till the mixture turns frothy.
  3. Add  all purpose flour and salt. Mix well to get a smooth dough. Knead well. If the dough gets too sticky, oil your hands and knead the dough.
  4. Add the onion, garlic mixture and mix well. If required add more flour as by adding onions it will release more moisture.
  5. Add enough flour to make a smooth but little sticky dough.
  6. Transfer to a suitable bowl, coat the dough with oil, cover with a clean cloth and after 40-50 minutes the dough will rise till double.
  7. When it doubles deflate and divide the dough into small balls. Cover with a cloth and let it rest for 10 more minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C and grease the baking trays.
  9. On a floured surface, roll the balls into long rope of similar thickness. Flour your hands as needed. Place these on the greased baking trays.
  10. Bake for about 20 minutes or till golden brown. Serve warm along with tomato sauce or tamarind date chutney.

We can sprinkle salt, crushed pepper and ample amount of Parmesan cheese on top of unbaked bread stick.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Crispy and Crunchy Vegetable Samosa / Vegetable stuffed Pastry

Samosa is a stuffed pastry and a popular snack. This is usually  in the shape of a triangle with a savory filling, which may include potatoes, green peas or ground meat. Size, shape and the filling can vary considerably. We can  make samosas in so many different ways. These are usually served with chutneys.

Samosas are always appetizing. This is a snack which is made very often at my home. I learnt this from my old cookery book, which has been my saviour for umpteen times.

Sometimes I make this with meat filling also. Initially, I didn’t get the triangle shape correctly. I used to make the dough into cone shape and stuff the filling but later on the whole cone came apart while frying. So this is my own method of making the samosas in perfect triangle shape.

  1. All purpose flour / Maida- 2cups
  2. Ajwain- 2tsp
  3. Salt- as per taste
  4. Water- as required
  5. Dalda / Vanaspathi / Clarified butter (melted)- 2tbsp
For stuffing
  1. Potatoes (boiled and mashed)- 3-4nos
  2. Carrot (boiled and mashed)- 1no
  3. Onions (chopped)- 1no (big)
  4. Green chillies (chopped)- 3nos
  5. Ginger and Garlic paste- 1tbsp
  6. Turmeric powder- 1tsp
  7. Red chilli powder- 1tsp
  8. Coriander powder- 2tsp
  9. Cumin powder- ½ tsp
  10. Garam Masala powder- 1tsp
  11. Oil- 1tbsp
  12. Salt- as per taste
  13. Coriander leaves (finely chopped)- 1tbsp
For sticking:
  • Maida- 1tbsp
  • Water- 1tbsp
  • Mix maida and water to a paste and keep this aside.
  1. Mix maida, salt, ajwain and clarified butter. Rub until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.
  2. Add water and knead the dough till it is smooth just like chapati dough.
  3. Cover it with a wet kitchen towel and keep it aside till the stuffing is prepared.
Method for the stuffing:
  1. Heat oil in a wok and add the onions and green chillies. Stir fry till it turns golden brown in colour.
  2. Add ginger and garlic paste and mix well. Add all the powders one by one and stir till everything is well blended.
  3. At this stage add the boiled and mashed potatoes, carrots and salt.Mix well.
  4. Add coriander leaves and cook on low heat for 3-4 min. Remove from fire.
Method for making samosa:
  • Divide the dough into 10 equal balls. Roll each ball into flat round shape.

  • Cut it into half. The half is again pressed with the rolling pin.

  • Place a spoon full of the potato stuffing in the middle, just like shown in the pic.

  • Cover the stuffing by bringing both the corners in the shape of a triangle. Stick the edges with maida and water mixture or else the stuffing will come out while frying.

  • Repeat the same process for the remaining dough.

  • Heat oil for deep frying and when it is hot, carefully drop in as many samosas as it fits. Fry slowly, turning the samosas until they are golden brown and crisp.
  • Drain these samosas on a tissue paper and serve hot along with tomato ketchup, tamarind chutney and salted green chillies.

Salted Green chillies:
  1. Take 4-5 green chillies and boil it in water along with salt for about 10min.
  2. When the green chillies become soft take it out of boiling water and drain it on tissue paper.
  3. Heat oil and fry these chillies for 5min.
  4. After taking it out from oil squeeze a lemon on it and serve with samosa.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cheru Payar Payasam / Green Gram Dal Pudding

                           Happy Vishu To All My Dear Friends
We all know that Vishu is a festival celebrated all over Kerala. The most important event in vishu is the Vishukkani which literally “the first thing to be seen on the vishu day post waking up”. As I grew up in Andhra, I didn’t now much about this festival. Later on I knew the importance of this festival and how each and every keralite celebrated this with much fanfare and vigor in Kerala. So I thought of making this payasam for vishu as my Husband likes this a lot. All these years I was thinking of making this payasam as a very hectic process of making coconut milk and boiling the gram dal and so on, but actually this is not much tiring and the end result is yummmmy …:)

  1. Cheru Payar / Greem gram dal- 1cup
  2. Thick Coconut milk- 1cup
  3. Thin coconut milk- 2cups
  4. Sago- ½ cup
  5. Jaggery- 1cup
  6. Dry ginger powder- 1tbsp
  7. Cumin seeds powder (roasted)- 1tsp
  8. Cardamom powder- 2tsp
  9. Cashewnuts-  few
  10. Raisins- few
  11. Ghee- 1tbsp

  1. Roast the green gram dal in a skillet till the raw smell disappears and cook this in cooker along with thin coconut milk till soft.
  2. Boil 1cup of water and cook sago in it. After it gets cooked, drain of the excess water and wash it in cold water. Keep it aside.
  3. Heat jaggery in water till it melts, then strain it using a sieve. This melted jaggery and sago is added to the cooked dal.
  4. Add the dry ginger powder, roasted cumin powder and cardamom powder and stir well.
  5. In this add thick milk and bring it to slow boil and turn off immediately.
  6. Heat ghee in a pan and roast cashewnuts and raisins. Add this to the above made payasam and serve warm.

To this we can add roasted coconut pieces.

I am sending this to Kerala Kitchen an series hosted by Ria.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Malpua / Pancake fritters

In my holi special post I wrote about my friend who is a great cook. Today I am posting one of her sweet dishes. This one I tasted when i went to a restaurant called “Mast Kalandar” which is a vegetarian hotel and Malpua with Rabdi was served as a dessert with the thali.. The combination is to die for. I was thinking of making it one day and my friend brought it as if she read my mind :-). The taste was excellent and mind blowing.
The batter is left to stand for a few hours before being spooned into hot oil to form a bubbling pancake which should be crisp around the edges. The batter can be sweetened as in this recipe or the fried malpuas are soaked in saffron flavoured syrup. this is made popularly during festivals in many parts of India.
This can be made either with all purpose flour or with whole wheat flour, but here I am using both i.e 2:1 ratio.

  1. All purpose flour / Maida- 1cup
  2. Whole wheat flour- ½ cup
  3. Sugar- 1cup
  4. Milk- 2cups
  5. Cardomom powder- 2tsp
  6. Fennel seeds- 1tbsp
  7. Dry coconut- ½ cup
  8. Oil- for deep frying

  1. Mix Maida, wheat flour, Sugar(adjust sugar as sweetness level), Cardamom powder, fennel seeds, dry coconut (cut into small pieces) in a bowl and add milk. Keep the batter aside for 4-5 hours.
  2. Heat oil in a kadai and pour half cup batter each time to form malpuas and fry till golden brown colour.
  3. Remove them on a kitchen towel and it can be stored for about a week.
This can be made without adding sugar in the batter and by soaking the fried malpuas in sugar syrup.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Chicken Drumstick Fry / Nadan kozhi Varuthadh- An easy side dish

This weekend was spent roaming around the malls, dining out, watchin a movie,”Rio”, the movie which my little one watched for the first time in a hall. She (and even we too) really enjoyed watching it because of the colorful animation. So after all this the next day was a lazy day, thinking of what to cook and all. As we dined out the previous day there was so much of curry left so thought of making some easy side dish and landed on this.This is an easy side dish with chapathis, rotis or any rice item. This is a very simple and tasty chicken dish and requires very less time to cook.

We can also make this with chicken pieces instead of drumsticks.

  1. Chicken Drumsticks- 5pieces
  2. Red chilli powder- 3tbsp
  3. Ginger Garlic paste- 2tbsp
  4. Turmeric powder- 2tsp
  5. Salt- as required
  6. Pepper powder- 1tbsp
  7. Lemon Juice- 2tbsp
  8. Oil- To shallow fry

  1. Clean and wash the chicken pieces.Drain it and keep aside. Make 2-3 slits.
  2. In a bowl mix red chilli powder, turmeric powder, ginger and garlic paste, pepper powder,lemon juice and salt  to a paste.
  3. Marinate the chicken pieces with the above made paste and keep it for about 1-2 hours in refrigerator.
  4. Now Pour oil in a pan and shallow fry the chicken drumsticks till done.
  5. Serve this along with hot rice or chapathis.
I am sending this to Kerala Kitchen an series hosted by Ria.

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