Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mango Yogurt Smoothie


We did have unexpected 'summer showers', quite comforting past week but the sun is back with all its vigour from today..

The Cocktail Lady hosting the 'Mixed Drinks' theme for MBP wants to blog the same, adapted from a fellow bloggers recipe:).....Sig, by hosting this particular event, you played wise here with lazy bugs like me who would preferably dig out something from the drafts to contribute to any event ;)..
I am extremely happy that I could step in the last moment since you’d liberally extended the deadline..:)

Well, I did have Ashaji’s Masala Chai on my mind for quite some time and discussed this with my sis and alas!.. she sent me pics mentioning she was all set to blog the same Chai as her second entry!..Now, all I was left with, were a few over-ripe mangoes in my fridge which made her point out a wonderful link the very next moment….

Thus, this Smoothie is adapted from Sailu’s recipe-Aam ki Lassi.


Surprisingly the mangoes with me seemed to be the same ‘Suvarnarekha’ variety she’d used for hers!..

Again, her combination of the drink proved to be just perfect and I followed blindly that yielded a soothing creamy drink for my children, esp for my daughter who helped me with the topmost picture here, and myself soon after the photography sessions :).

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Karikku Dosa/ Tender-Coconut Pan cakes.


Summer is just round the corner for us, residing in India.
The season of hot n fiery Sun…the season for holidays…the season for jack fruits, mangoes, water melons ...the season for chilled drinks…

The street vendor with his heap of tender coconuts, busy chopping the head off the fresh green coconut, a dent on top with a straw inserted and the thirsty pedestrian enjoying nature’s very own drink with that natural fizz, is a common sight, so enjoyable, here.Generally the vendor scoopes out the tender coconut with much expertise using that natural spoon; the earlier chopped green piece from the coconut, passes over to be eaten as a post-drink option :)...

At the comfort of the home, the soothing 'tender coconut water' gets consumed leaving behind the tender white flesh unconsumed. I mostly use them up for making these light and healthy Karikku Dosas for breakfast which take up comparatively amount of oil while cooking.

Srivalli, this is specially posted for your Dosa Mela :) .Hearty Congrats on your 1 Lakh mark!!.

Mansi - so sweet of you to approve this for WBB - Balanced Breakfast, you are hosting for the month..Thank you :)

Ingredients:

Raw rice- 3 cups
The white tender part, scraped out- from 4-5 tender coconuts ( transparent meat is the best. It should fill at least 2.5 cups for the above measurement of rice)
Tender coconut water - 1cup +/-
Cooking Soda- 1tsp
Sugar-2 tsps
Salt-to taste

Method:

Wash and soak raw rice for a couple of hours.Drain and grind the rice in a mixie along with the tender coconut meat which you scraped and with required amount of tender coconut water to a batter (just as you prepare regular Dosa/Idly batter).

The next day morning add cooking soda, sugar and salt to the fermented batter. Add more water if necessary so as to make Dosas.Keep aside for 2 hours.


Heat griddle, grease all over and pour round the batter on it, not too thin. Close it with a lid.Let the flame be steady and medium.
Wait for a few seconds.Open the lid and ensure the top is cooked and soft.Do not turn over.Remove the dosa from the griddle.Repeat the steps for the following dosas. Serve hot with chutney of your choice.


Note: The process of fermentation works perfect with Indian climatic conditions ( just as for the batters of regular Idly/ Dosa) which require natural fermentation.Please proceed the same way to ferment the batter for Karikku Dosas as well, if you reside outside India, provided the temp conditions are different from that of India.

Recipe Courtesy-Mrs Beena Kannan, MD, Seematti Textiles, one of my relatives :).



Coconut-Red Chilly Chutney
You need:
Grated coconut- 1 cup
Tamarind paste- ½ tsp (or a one inch piece of fresh tamarind)
Dried Red chillies-4-5
Shallots-2
Ginger-half inch piece
Salt-to taste
To season
Oil-a tsp
Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp
Shallots-chopped very fine-a tsp
Hing-a fat pinch
Curry leaves-a few
Method:
Grind the Coconut, red chillies, shallots, ginger and tamarind together with enough water to make the chutney.
To season, heat oil in a small pan, splutter mustard seeds, fry till brown the shallot bits, add the hing and throw in the curry leaves.Pour this over the ground chutney and combine.Check salt and bring the the desired consistency by adding water if needed.Serve this with any Dosa or Idly.
Note:
While this dosa itself contains 'coconut' as one of its main ingredients, mostly a dip or a chutney that accompanies should be devoid of the same coconut. Anyway for a lady grown up in a land of coconut trees it's hard to resist coconuts here in the dip as well.This is a basic recipe of chammanthi in Kerala Cuisine.
But I would strongly suggest you to carry on with a dip of your choice.


This Fiery-red 'chilly-tomato-garlic' dip went very well with the Karikku Dosa.
As you see, this was shot in a careless way, casually while trying the irresistible combo and pls accept my apologies for not typing down the recipe, in this post ;) ..

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spicy Baby Potatoes


In T.N baby potatoes are available almost year round while I still wonder to have never stumbled upon these cuties in my native place.

The magic of these spiced up potaoes is that, this goes well with almost all main dishes; be them Chappathis, Plain rice with Sambhar, Dhal, Theiyal or any kuzhambu or even with plain Curd rice..

The “hit-dish” in my family is named as Kutty Urulai Kara Curry , somewhere between a dry and a semi dry one.

Today I served this as an added dry side dish for peas pulao and cauliflower gravy.



Sia, here’s my Ode to Potato. It's already raining pototoes in the blogosphere for you and this is just a droplet!!!..

And before I get in to the recipe, I would like to sincerely thank Chithra for honouring me with the Excellent Award for this blog...very sweet of you, dear :)...

... now, back to the recipe..

You need:
Baby potatoes –1/4 kg
Oil-2 tbsps
Mustard seeds and urad dal-to temper
Big onions-diced to small pieces-1/2-3/4 cup
Garlic- minced fine-1/2 tsp(optional)
Sambhar powder-a spoonful and a half
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Water-2 tbsps
Salt-to taste
Curry leaves –A sprig

Method:
1. Wash the potatoes.Pressure cook till 2-3 whistles.Peel when cooled down and transfer to a broad bowl.Let the potatoes be rightly cooked not too hard, not too soft.

2. Add the powders(sambhar, turmeric and salt) sprinkle water.Mix well to get the powders coated to the potatoes.Marinate for at least half an hour.

3. Heat oil in a wide non-stick Kadai.Splutter mustards,brown the urad dal,fry the onions and garlic till transparent.

4. Throw in the curry leaves and add the marinated potatoes.Mix well.Keep the flame to medium.Spinkle more water if necessary.When the curry gets really hot, lower the flame.

5. Cook open without a lid.When the water gets absorbed mix well.Check salt and let it get toasted for about 15-20 minutes.

6. Remove from fire when the spices are all coated well the potatoes acquire a deep brown colour with that toasted spicy finish. Serve hot.

The same dish with diced 'regular' potatoes and less onions. Served with steamed white rice, sambhar and rasam..

Substitutions:
1. Regular potatoes can also be used to make this dish. Pressure cook them with skin sliced to big chunks, peel off the skin once cooked and cooled and dice them to bite sized pieces and follow the above methods of preparation.

2. Instead of Sambhar powder you can use a mixture of ¾ tsp coriander powder + ¼ tsp jeera powder + 1/2 tsp chilly power. But sambhar powder gives the best balanced taste.

3. Play along with powders like curry masala, garam masala or a combo to get a varied taste preferably for Chapathis, Rotis, Pulao etc.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Sanjeevji Visits and Cooks for us!


Yes!..this did happen very recently in the place I reside.
Was the whole town and its residents honoured, instead? As celebrities reach here not always and very rarely does the place entertain any classic programmes.

The all women’s forum into which I am in, made this possible.
We were fortunate enough to have spent 5 long hours with this celebrity who in turn did a few rocking demonstrations with his recipes and finally interacted with us.

All the time while cooking, one could see the never fading smile on the gourmet king’s face, explaining things in a casual and humorous way.Now and then he sought help from one or two ladies from the audience to create an added spirit and made them smile while helping with cooking too :). Anupa Das, who assists him with his preparations during culinary shows was present as well. She is associated with Khana Khazana catering unit of Sanjeevji for three years!..

The Demo cooking were with the recipes,

Kesari Phirni
Mango Cheese Cake
Prawn Balchao Golgappa
Royal Hara Bhara Kebabs

and
Spinach and Mozarella Lasagna

A cute recipe booklet was handed over to us which helped us more to concentrate the show rather than busy jotting the recipes down.

Three of the cooked dishes were passed over to the audience garam garam and the remaining were reachable on the buffet table for lunch.Shall I mention, how they tasted ? ;)


The Connoisseur so cheerful!..


Getting ready with the Mango pulp for the Cheese cake.The Lasagna is getting baked in the Oven!..


Pose ‘Royal’ for the ‘Royal Hara Bhara Kebabs’..


Filling 'Phirni' in 'Matkas', carefully!..


The Interactive Session after the cookery show

To our surprise, the gourmet king was a warm and friendly person patiently listening and answering to each of our silliest queries with a smiling face together with that look.. “Great! that was indeed a real good question!.”

The quotes of the celebrity during the show, that lingers:-

1. Mom’s food is the best with the amount of love and affection that is poured in while cooking.

2. People try to bring the taste of a home made food to that of a restaurant or a hotel, while the great chefs in hotels try theirs, the best, to taste as home made!..

3. It is pathetic to note that in India, the uses of toxic chemicals as pesticides in fruits and vegetables is mostly left unchecked or banned.Thank the recent 'organic' farming methods. Only when you patronise organic vegetables will the cost of their production come down.More you buy them, cheaper they become!.

More about Sanjeevji here .
His official website is
here.