Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Coconut Dry fruits Khoya(No added sugar) Ladoos

How often do we mothers ponder hard, to offer something healthy and tasty to our kids? Almost everyday isn't it. Or what about the days when we have unexpected guests coming in and we go blank wondering what to offer them.

This particular energy ladoo , (that is how I like to call it) can be dished up in around 15 minutes. Isn't that quick enough in this fast paced life? The beauty of this particular ladoo is there is no refined sugar in any form added. Everything present is natural sweetness. Isn't that a bliss?
As a matter of fact the Khoya used here is home made. I always have some dairy product lying around ready that is home made.

Khoya 1/4 cup
Shredded Coconut 1/2 cup
Seedless dates  1/4 cup        
Cashew nuts     1/4 cup
Pistachios         1/4 cup

My way of making
1. Crumble the khoya once it reaches room temperature.
2. In a wok, melt the khoya on continuous stirring. Keep on it till the khoya starts turning brown and leaves the edges of the pan.
3. Once done remove it into a bowl and let cool.
4. Meanwhile pulse together dates, cashew nuts and pistachios until coarsely ground.
5. In the same wok that was used to melt the khoya fry the coconut a bit till it starts to brown. Do not over do this. Keep the burner on low flame and keep stirring to avoid charring of coconut.
6. Switch of the flame. Add in the khoya and the ground dry fruits and nuts mix.
7. Wait until the temperature is of bearable heat and start rolling the mix into ladoos.
8. Serve them warm for desserts or some energy boost for kids.

1. Keep stirring the khoya and coconut. If not done, it could get over cooked leading to a different texture of the ladoos.
2. You could add brown sugar at the time of frying coconut if you need it to be extra sweet.
3. Store them in airtight container for upto  4 days or store them in a cool dry temperature for longer shelf life.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Kara Sev and Pearl Millet

How about some savoury snack today to go onto the Diwali dishes.

If you have noticed, off late I have been trying out so many of the dishes with millets. And trust me, there are many more to come. Like I mentioned in the earlier post, they carry lot of benefits with them and one of the best alternative for gluten free grains.

Today I have tried the regular Kara Sev , a popular South Indian savoury snack with Pearl Millet aka Bajra in the North of India and various names in the South. This fried snack can be paired with your regular curd rice as well to give it that extra crunch.
The only change I did was to use a chakli/murukku maker with multiple holes plate. This way there is a reduction in the time consumed to make these and of course the oil as well. The traditional way of making kara sev is to pass the dough through a ladle that has perforated holes. I am no good when it comes to traditional way of handling too many things at the same time while on the stove.

Kara Sev brings back a lot of memories of childhood and college days. It was the most regular snack found in our hostel rooms and who can forget munching them away while preparing for the exams at 1-2 AM.

Earlier I had made some pakkodas with Bajra and that recipe found gave me the inspiration to try sev with Bajra.

Bajra/ Peral Millet Flour                                       3/4 cup
Gram Flour(Besan)                                               1/3 cup
Rice Powder                                                         1/4 cup
Pepper Powder                                                      3 tsps(adjust according to taste)
Hing                                                                      1/4 tsp
Melted Ghee/Butter                                               3 tsps
Salt                                                                        1 tsp(adjust according to taste )
Water to knead                                                      As required
Oil                                                                         For deep frying.

Equipment Needed
Ladle with holes
Murukku/Chakli maker

My way of Making
1. Sift all the flours together into a bowl.
2. Add melted ghee into the flour and give it a stir.
3. Add the Pepper powder, hing and salt.
4. Add water step by step and combine the flour into a soft dough.
5. Leave it covered for about 10-15 minutes.
6. Heat oil in a wok.
7. Use the plate that has 5 holes in the chakli/murukku maker. Pass the dough through the chakli /murukku maker into the oil. Do not overcrowd the wok. Turn the flame to medium.
8. As you drop the dough into the oil, one can hear the oil sizzle. This indicates the sev to be cooking.
9. Once the sound stops, its time to remove the sev using a ladle with holes and drain them into paper towels.
10. Serve them as snack or munch them right away.

1. Temperature of the oil is important. Do not let the oil turn smoky hot.
2. If the dough is breaking add some more water and knead it again.
3. If using ladle method, make sure to keep a considerable distance from the wok so as to not burn yourself from the heat.
4. Once the sev cools down, store them in air tight containers for about 1 month.
5. One can use garlic as well for flavouring the sev. Grind 4-5 cloves in a mixer and make it to a paste and add it to the flour mixture. 

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Unniappam with Sorghum/Jowar (Instant version)

Another sweet for the upcoming Diwali. Yes its raining recipes here.

We Keralites usually stick to Unniappam/ Neyappam for Diwali. One can never get enough of these appams for 4 clock snacks or as temple prasad. However this time, I wanted to try adding some other flour to the mix. Call it experimentation or innovation. I  scanned through my shelves and decided to use the Jowar flour otherwise called Sorghum that is very less used. And trust me, the appams had no difference in taste or texture. The spouse loves appams and he could not stop with one or two.

The other change that I did was to use Palm Jaggery syrup instead of Jaggery syrup.

Rice Powder                                                1 cup
Sorghum/Jowar Flour                                  1/2 cup
Ripe Banana                                                1 medium size
Palm Jaggery syrup (single string)               2.5 cups
Coconut Bits, fried in ghee                          5-7 tbsps
Cardamom Powder                                      2 tsps
Sesame seeds roasted                                   2 tsps
Cooking soda                                               1 tsp
Coconut Oil/Ghee                                        For frying

Water (if required)

Equipment needed
Appe pan

My way of making
1. Smash banana well enough to make a paste. If required use the mixer.
2. To this add jaggery syrup and mix well with the banana mash.
3. In a separate bowl mix the rice powder and sorghum/jowar flour.
4. To this add the jaggery - banana mix.
5. Stir well and combine to form a uniform batter.
6. To this add cooking soda and mix well.
7. Keep aside for 30 minutes or 1 hour. The batter should be fermented meanwhile.
8. If the batter is very thick, add water little by little
9. Just before frying add the fried coconut pieces and sesame seeds to the batter. Add the cardamom powder as well. Give it a stir.
10. When the appe pan is hot enough, add some oil in each mould and wait till it gets hot. Do not let it get smoky hot.
11. To this add 1 tsp of batter in each mould. Turn around when one side is almost done.
12. Wait till the other side is cooked.
13. Drain into tissue paper.
14. Serve warm.

1. The traditional method is to let the batter ferment without the use of cooking soda. That would take some 4-5 hours.
2. You could use jaggery syrup as well instead of palm jaggery.
3. Add water if required only. The batter should have a consistency like idli batter.


Monday, 24 October 2016

Mixed Millets Kheer (quick version)

Happy Diwali Folks!

Did you miss my posts? I found some breathing space today and decided why not update with a dessert recipe with Diwali coming up.I may be MIA/irregular here for some more time. But there is quite lot happening on the FBpage and Instagram. Have you checked them out yet?

That time of the year to relish on sweets and savouries apart from crackers and diya's. Oh! by the way , I do hope you would be having a happy , safe and green Diwali.

Over the past few months we have been including Millets into our diet. Benefits of Millets are plenty. All the more better when they are organic as well.

Few days back I tried a quick version of kheer with Millets. If I may say so the desert was an instant hit with everyone at home specially the kids. It is very satisfying when you have kids come and say “Amma, this was yummy!”.

Go ahead and try this dish out for Diwali this year and the following years. Yes yes you can thank me later :).

Mixed Millets (Kodo and Proso) 1 cup
Water               2 cups
Milk 3 cups
Sugar 1/4 to 1/2 cup
Saffron strands 2 tsp
Ghee 1 tbsp
Cardamom Powder 2 tbsps
Cashew nuts and Dry Grapes 1 tbsp

My way of making
1. Clean and wash the millets. Cook the millets in 2 cups of water or adjust as required until fluffy. This should take about 10-15 minutes. If using cooker, wait up to 4-5 whistles.
2. Boil the milk and to this add few strands of saffron for the flavour to be absorbed
3. Turn the burner to sim and add the cooked millets to the milk.
4. Keep stirring intermediate till the mix turns creamy and to avoid formation of lumps.
5. To this add sugar. Stir the mix to help dissolve the sugar.
6. Add cardamom powder and stir well.
7. Meanwhile heat a teaspoon of ghee from the mentioned quantity and fry the cashewnuts and grapes separately.
8. Garnish the kheer with grapes and cashew nuts and remaining saffron strands.
9. Pour the remaining ghee over the kheer.
10. Serve warm.

1.  Adjust sweetness as per one’s taste. If you want to avoid sugar, you can also try jaggery syrup but the taste would not remain same.
2. One can cook millets along with combination of milk and water for authentic taste. Just that this could take a bit longer for the millets to get cooked.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Mango Shrikand / Amrakhand

Isn't it awesome when one could just go about making desserts with ingredients available at home, particularly in this season where Mangoes are easily available. Summer is synonymous with Mangoes and Mango Shrikhand is an inevitable dish to look forward to during this season. Agree?

So let's get started with this easy peesy dessert that can make even kids go ga-ga. Proof is the one at my home :)
1/2 cup hung curd or thick yogurt (If only curd available, then hang the curd in muslin cloth (and let it stay above a vessel to collect the residual water) for 3-4 hours.)
1 ripe mango
2 tsps cardamom crushed
pinch of saffron strands
1/4 cup sugar or as per taste

My way of making
1. Slice and puree the mangoes.
2. To this add the hung curd crushed cardamom, saffron and sugar.
3. Blend till smooth.
4. Pour shrikhand in individual serving bowls and chill them.
5. Let set for about 1-2 hours.

1. Make sure to use only thick yoghurt or hung curd.
2. If using sweet mangoes do adjust the sugar according to your taste.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Bajra Pakkodas

Our usual weekend supermarket trip never ends without getting home some type of millets. This time around my eyes fell on Bajra Flour , something that I have never attempted in my kitchen until I made these yummy , mouth watering pakkodas. My next adventure would be to try and bake something with them until then enjoy the simple pakkodas.

1 cup Bajra Flour
2-3 tbsp Whole Wheat flour or Rice Flour
1 tbsp milk / yoghurt
2-3 Green chillies + 1 Garlic Cloves + 1/2 inch Ginger - crushed or minced into very thin pieces
2-3 tbsp coriander leaves chopped thin
Indian Spices - 1/2 tsp each (turmeric powder + coriander powder + red chilli powder + cumin powder)
1 tbsp oil
salt as per taste
Water to knead the dough
Oil for Deep frying

My way of making
1.  In a bowl combine together Bajra Flour and Whole Wheat Flour or Rice Flour.
2. To this add in the green chillies, garlic cloves, ginger.
3. Add along coriander leaves and spice powders and salt and combine everything together.
4. To this well mixed dough add the oil, yoghurt or milk whichever is easily available.
5.  Give it a knead till it looks like bread crumbs.
6. Knead with enough amount of water.
7.  Keep it covered for 5-10 minutes.
8. In a wok, heat up the required amount of oil for deep frying.
9.  Take lemon sized balls and press them between your palms and slide them into the oil. Turn them around for even cooking.
10. Enjoy them hot with evening tea.

1. Stop and knead after every addition of water for a very wet/dry dough would never give us crispy yummy pakkodas.

2. Adding a tsp of oil to the dough helps in reducing the amount of oil each pakkodas takes up while deep frying.