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Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Ragi Paalappam (With and Without Yeast) | Finger Millet Appam ~ 2 Methods

How many of you love paalappams?? Paalappams is a family favorite here and I make it once a week for breakfast. I rarely use yeast to make appams and use coconut water instead or make kallu out of it and use. I mostly make ragi paalappam with coconut water but I have shared both methods of making this appams incase you use yeast to make appams. Am not very fond of using yeast for all inds of appams. I generally store the coconut water from 1 or 2 coconuts in fridge and I keep out the water at room temperature on the day of grinding the batter. I have already posted the recipe of kallappam which is a popular post too in my space, please check if interested to make soft appams without yeast.  



I have been trying out ragi(finger millet) recipes to reduce the glycemic load or to reduce the carbs intake. The tried tested and succesful recipes using ragi are listed below at the end of this post.  Except the color there is no obvious change in taste or texture of ragi appams. They have been a delicious breakfast item here and so we have reduced making the rice paalappam or traditional paalappam on select occasions only. Do give these appams a try if you haven't tried appams with ragi.



Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~20 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Ingredients
METHOD 1
ragi flour 1/3 cup
*appam batter 2/3 cup
granulated sugar 1 tsp
salt to taste

METHOD 2
ragi flour 1/2 cup
rice flour 1 tbsp
grated coconut 1/3 cup
instant yeast 1/4 tsp
granulated sugar 1 tsp
salt to taste



Method 1

Take ragi flour in a bowl and add little water to make a lump free thick paste. To this add 2/3 cup appam batter. Mix well and ferment overnight or 5-6 hours. 

To the fermented batter, add salt and mix well. Heat the appachatti and pour ladleful of batter in the center. Swirl the pan holding the handles to make thin laces around. Cover and cook on low flame for another minute. Remove lid and give another 30 secs to cook and transfer to a casserole or plate.

Serves 8-10 appams



                      

Method 2

Add 1/3 cup ragi flour to a bowl, add 2-3 tbsp water to make a thick paste. 

Mix 3 tbsp coconut water with a tsp of sugar and keep aside at room temperature for 5-6 hours.(Omit this step if using yeast). If using yeast add 1/4 tsp yeast for this measure of ragi flour when grinding.

Grind 1/3 cup grated coconut in a mixer jar with fermented 3 tbsp coconut water  or yeast (whichever you are using) to a smooth paste.

In another pan, mix 1 tbsp of rice flour to 3 tbsp of water. Place the pan on heat and cook the mix until the mixture thickens slightly, may take 3 minutes. Switch off flame and cool. This is called 'pav kachiyathu' in Kerala (You can grind 1 tbsp of cooked rice with grated coconut instead of pav kachiyathu too but I feel adding cooked rice over ferments the batter so I prefer pav kachiyathu inn summers. In winters, you can add cooked rice too).

Mix the ground coconut, ragi mix and thickened cooked rice porridge(pav kachiyathu). Combine well and leave to ferment 6 hours or overnight.

                            

To the fermented batter, add salt mix well without deflating the air much. Heat an appachatti and pour ladleful of batter in the center. Swirl the pan holding the handles to make thin laces around. Cover and cook on low flame for another minute. Remove lid and give another 30 secs to cook and transfer to a casserole or plate. Repeat this step till you finish making all appams.

Serves ~ 4 -5 appams.

                                                        

NOTES

* If you want the measure of appam batter for this measure of ragi flour in method 1 then use rice 1/3 cup and grated coconut 1/3 cup. OR follow this link here to add appam batter or use store brought appam batter too.

* If you wish to try using whole ragi then use 1/3 cup for this measure of ragi flour (1/2 cup).

* I don't generally use yeast for making the traditional appams or ragi appams. I just preserve the coconut water in refrigerator until use. On the day of grinding the batter, keep the coconut water outside at room temperature for around 5-6 hours before grinding. When keeping out, add a tsp or 2 tsp of sugar and leave to ferment. Then pour this coconut water and grind the batter(the coconut water may not taste fermented at this point but once you grind and keep for another 8 hours it will ferment nicely). Summers this works perfectly but in winters you may need to give more time to ferment using this method.

Check out more ragi (finger millet/ panjipullu) recipes-
Ragi Peechappam
Ragi Ela Ada
Ragi Idiyappam
Ragi Poori
Ragi Dosa(Instant)
Multi Grain Laddus



Saturday, April 03, 2021

Kerala Style Kaada Roast | Quail Roast(Step by Step Pics) ~ Easter Special !

Wishing all a Happy Easter !!
Hope you all are having a good Easter. We are on vacations and are at home. Kids finished their exams last week and they completed a whole year of online classes and exams in the last acdemic year. Hope kids get to see the next academic session at school, they miss their friends and the school time. 
Coming back to today's recipe, Kada(quail) are small birds and the meat is very less compared to that of chicken. These are dressed up whole and are used as a whole as its very small and not cut in pieces. The cavity is cleaned and all internal organs are removed. The meat is darker in color compared to chicken and is a juicy one. Kaada meat has many health benefits like incresing hemoglobin, improving metabolism and helps in healing asthma, gastritis and tuberculosis. The kaada eggs are also equally nutritious though they are 1/3 rd the size of a chicken egg. The eggs have 3 times the nutrition that a chicken egg has and has 13% protein compared to 11% in chicken eggs. I already have posted kada egg roast and egg chutney balls made with kaada(quail) eggs, do check that too if interested.
Kaada meat tastes almost similar to chicken, its a juicy meat but not very fleshy unlike chicken. The bones of the meat is tender and can be eaten too. The meat has very less fat compare to that of chicken.
The kaada is slightly fried in oil with first marination and then cooked in onion tomato mix. The first frying gives a firmness to the meat and gives an added flavor. One kaada may just serve as an appetizer for an adult and so plan the number of kaada as per that for use. H doesn't like the kaada meat compared to chicken but all others do like it. The masala adds an added cover to the meat and tastes delicious with some appam / idiyappam. Check it out!!


Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 30 mins
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 5 kada roast
Ingredients
for marination
kada/ quail 5
turmeric powder/ manjal podi 1/2 tsp
kashmiri chilli powder / mulagu podi 3tsp
pepper powder / kurumulaku podi 1/2 tsp
lemon juice / naranga neeru 1/2 or 2 tsp
salt as needed 

for roast
coconut sliced / thenga kothu 2 tbsp
fennel seeds / perinjeerakam 1/2 tsp
onion/ savala 4 medium sized 
tomato / thakkali 2 big sliced
green chilli / pachamulagu 1or 2 
ginger- garlic paste 1 tbsp
turmeric powder / manjal podi  1/4 tsp
kashmiri chily powder /mulagu podi 1 tsp
coriander powder/ malli podi 1 tsp
garam masala 1 tsp
water 1/2 cup
curry leaves 2-3 sprig
salt to taste
sugar a pinch
coriander leaves / malli ela 1 tbsp
coconut oil 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp


Method

FOR MARINATION
Wash and clean the kada meat (quail) thoroughly inside out. The inside is hollow after removing all the organs, rinse under running water. Drain all water, make gashes over the meat so that the masala seeps in and keep aside. Make a paste with the ingredients listed under marination and then apply on the kada(quail) inside out as much a s possible. Keep aside covered in fridge overnight or atleast 30 mins.

                                           

FOR ROAST
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the marinated kada and lightly fry flippig all sides(may take 3 minutes each side on medium flame). Remove on a plate and keep aside. 
  • To the same oil,add the perinjeerakam(fennel seeds), to this add coconut slices and fry till light brown. Wait till its light browned, add the sliced onions, green chillies and saute. Sprinkle a little salt to speed up and then fry the onions till lightly browned.Add in curry leaves.
                                             
  • To this add ginger- garlic paste and saute till raw smell disappears. Then add the spice powders on low flame and saute. Add in the chopped tomatoes. Finally add the fried kada, combine with the masala. Add in half cup water to cook and adjust salt. 
                  
  • Cook covered on medium flame till its cooked or 10 minutes. Mix everthing well in between and flip the masala well, add more water if needed. Toss in a pinch of sugar to balance flavors.
  • Dry up all the water content and roast on high flame for two minutes.
  • Add in chopped coriander leaves, serve warm.

NOTES
* Adding a pinch of sugar is optional, it just balances the flavors. Omit if you don't like.
* I have used kashmiri chilli powder for roast. But you can always add the hot chilli powder or a mix of both. Alter as per tolerance.
* Lightly fry the kada to secure the outer cover and spices. This is an optional step but definitely adds a distinct flavor if done.




Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Spanish Delight Cake | San Marcos Cake(Step by Step Pics) ~ 10 th Blog Anniversary Special !!

Happy blog anniversary to me !!!
This day marks my first post in 2011 and its been 10 years here. Never did I imagine of such a blessed day in blogging. My initial trials were just to bookmark and keep my tried recipes stored somewhere. But as days and years passed by with all your love and encouragement, I tried so many recipes that I hardly could have thought of trying out. All thank to my friends, readers and my family for the continued support till day. I feel to have improved a lot since 2011 in terms of cooking, photography and jotting down recipes and still learning many things. Thanks again dears and I hope to see you all around in my space in future too. 

Today's virtual treat is a Spanish Delight Cake or a pastry cake I must say, which I wished to try since long the traditional way. I finally made this cake on my birthday and it was worth trying out this cake. We totally loved the cake. There is a mild chocolaty layer, caramelized praline layer and whipped cream with soaked layers of sponge cake in between. Sounds interesting? Read further to know the history and method of preparation.

 
Spanish delight Cake or spanish traditional cake dates back to 12th century which was made in a convent of San Marcos. The cake has very classic preparations with a soft sponge cake layer, vanilla whipped cream, a chocolate whipped cream, sugar syrup and a sweet egg yolk layer. I saw many you tube videos to prepare this cake but mostly people have skipped making the sweet egg yolk layer but i wanted to try it the traditional way and so I have adapted this recipe from here. Though the cake is very simple to make but the only extra effort is the sweet egg yolk preparation that you can prepare ahead and refrigerate. 

The sweet egg yolk adds a wonderful touch to the cake and I think the caramelized sugar using cooking torch would add an extra ordinary feel too. But I didn't have a cooking torch to caramelize so added praline in the center. That's the only thing I changed in the recipe, rest all is the same. I have made the cake in a 6' pan and so halved the ingredients but the cake looked tall compared to a 8' cake. The sponge cake is cut in three layers and the first layer is filled with chocolate whipped cream and the second layer is topped with vanilla whipped cream and finally the sweet egg yolk is poured in the center and the sides are covered with sliced toasted almonds. Quite simple right? Please do try this yummy cake on your special occasions. We loved every bit of the cake and I must say the cake tastes best the next day.


Preparation time ~ 30 minutes
Baking time ~ 30 minutes
Frosting time ~ 30 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 800 g cake
Ingredients
for sponge cake
maida 3/4 cup
corn flour -1 tbsp
baking powder -3/4 tsp
baking soda -1/4 tsp
salt a pinch
powdered sugar -3/4 cup
eggs -3
vanilla essence -1 tsp
any neutral oil -1/4 cup
warm milk-1/4 cup

for soaking 
sugar 1/2 cup
water 1 cup

sweet egg yolk layer
egg yolks 2
sugar 90 g or 1/2 cup
water 1/8 cup
vanilla extract 1/2 tsp
corn starch 3.5 g or 1 1/4 tsp
lemon juice few drops 

for frosting
whipping cream 1.5 cups
cocoa powder 1 tbsp
powdered sugar 1 tbsp

for decoration
*praline 2 tbsp 
or caramelize sugar using cooking torch
sliced almonds 1/2 cup



 


Method
How to make the sponge cake ? Refer the detailed pics here in this post on sponge cake.
  • Sift the flours with baking powder, baking soda, salt thrice and keep aside. In another bowl, add the eggs and powdered sugar, beat until creamy and pale (may take around 5 minutes). Add in the oil and vanilla essence, mix well.
  • Pre heat oven to 325 degrees F and line a 6' tray with parchment paper and oil the sides, dust with flour and keep ready.
  • To this add the sifted flour mixture in three to four batches and combine well using a spatula without much deflating the air from beaten egg mixture. Add milk as needed to get a ribbon consistency.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared cake tin and tap the cake tin several times(20-25) to release the trapped air bubbles. Then place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Insert a tooth pick in the center of the pan and check if done (Mine was done in 25 minutes, I pre heat the oven by using the both rods on. Initial bake time was changed to lower rod along for 5 minutes and then changed back to both rods on).
  • Cool the cake on wire rack and transfer out from the pan. Cover with a parchment paper once cooled completely and then wrap with a cling wrap or aluminium foil. I left overnight before frosting.
How to make whipped cream and chocolate cream? I have shared the detailed step by step pics of making whipping cream here in this recipe, pls refer.

I chilled the beater blades and bowl in the fridge overnight and thawed the cream in the fridge overnight(earlier it was in the freezer). Remove the blades, bowl and cream from fridge. pour the cream to the bowl. 
With the beater blades attached beat the cream for 4-5 minutes until it turns stiff peaks (Remove 1/3 rd of the cream when there are soft peaks to mix with cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Incorporate the cocoa in the whipping cream first and then beat. Beat this mix separately in another bowl). Both creams should be beaten to stiff peaks.The test to make sure its done is by tilting the bowl upside down and find that the cream doesn't move at all and stays stiff. Immediately transfer the cream to the refrigerator till use by covering with a lid or cling wrap (I haven't added any sugar in the whipping cream layer as the cream has sugar in it).

How to make sugar syrup?
Make a sugar syrup using 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup water. Put this on a stove and heat till the sugar is dissolved. Put off stove and leave to cool completely.

How to prepare the sweet egg yolk layer?
  • Add the sugar 90 g or 1/2 cup and water(1/8 cup), add in vanilla essence and keep on heat until sugar dissolves with few drops of lemon juice.Boil this mix for 2 minutes and switch off leave to temper slightly. 


  • Beat the egg yolks (2) with corn starch 3.5 g or 1 1/4 tsp vigorously in another bowl until its in homogenized state(pic no.7). Pour the sugar mix in continous thread with a whisk or fork. Don't stop stirring in between as it can form lumps. 
  • Now using a double boiler method, cook the egg yolk. Place water in a sauce pan and when it boils place the egg yolk mix and beat continuously until the mixture thickens and turns pale yellow in color(may take 2 minutes). remove from heat to cool.

How to assemble the cake?
  • Once the cake is cooled, the cake can be cut in two or three layers as per the height of the cake. My cake was best for a two layer cake but my kids wanted to make it a three layer so I some how managed to cut it in three. Use a serrated bread knife or twine to cut the layers. I used serrated knife. Be very careful when you cut the cake in layers as the cake is very soft and delicate.

  • Then place a dollop of cream on the cake base and place the base on the turn table. Place the first layer of the cake. Add pieces of parchment paper over the sides of the cake all around to get a neat finish at the end. Add sugar syrup on the first layer and then place the chocolate whipped cream on top of this layer and spread using a offset spatula. 
  • Add the second layer and pour sugar syrup on this layer. Add the plain whipped cream and  finally place the third layer, add the sugar syrup and spread the cream on the sides. Spread gently because you may get crumbs on the offset spatula. 
  • Pour the sweet egg yolk on the top of the third layer in the center. Try leaving a 1" gap around the borders so that the piping becomes easy and the egg layer spreads a little.
  • Once you have finished a crumb coat refrigerate the cake for half to an hour before you add more layers of frosting.
                                                   
  • After an hour, remove and add more cream to cover the sides and top. Using a scraper or offset spatula, give a neat finish.  
  • Finally remove the parchment paper placed on the base of the cake. Pipe in the rosette using a piping bag around the cake and place sliced almonds on the sides. If you are using cooking torch to caramelize sugar then sprinkle a little sugar and caramelize the sugar using torch. I didn't have cooking torch so tried adding praline which was good to add an extra crunch to the cake.Spread the praline in the center over the sweet egg yolk layer. Refrigerate the cake for 3-4 hours before you slice and enjoy !!




NOTES
* I used 2 tbsp of cashews and 2 tbsp of almonds with 1/2 cup sugar caramelized. Toast the nuts in a dry pan for about 3-4 minutes on low medium flame. Remove from pan and then to the same pan add the sugar (1/2 cup) and wait to caramelize. When the sugar is caramelized to golden brown, then add the toasted nuts to this and give a quick stir. Remove on a ghee smeared tray or on a parchment paper. Smoothen down as quickly as possible to flatten the nuts. Leave to cool completely. Then break the nuts and add this to a ziploc bag. Whack this using a rolling pin to lightly crush the nuts and to make the praline. Reserve in air tight containers at room temperature till use. For more specific,detailed praline recipe with step by step pics is here.
* I haven't toasted the sliced almonds but you can always toast and use.

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Friday, March 26, 2021

Homemade Ghee Soan Papdi (Step by Step Pics) ~ Holi Special

Any festivities demands yummy sweets and that's a casual affair all over the world. Holi is right here and I thought why not try soan papdi. Soan Papdi was in my try list ever since I tasted the store brought  soan papdi. However, the easiest access to soan papdi was to reach the super market, grab one from the shelves and all loved the melt in mouth texture. But each time I had the store brought one, I had this intense feeling to try this at home very soon. You tube videos of commercially preparing this sweet were seen many a time but didn't give me that confidence until I saw a hindi video of soan papdi making at home, then there wasn't much to look back and I followed that video. Soan Papdi needs a little expertize in swiftly moving and playing with the sugar syrup so that the sugar doesn't crystallize and is pliable all throughout the process. The sugar syrup is formed as a loop and is pulled in the manner of 8 as many times as you can and is stretched as long as you can. Also, the besan mixture is applied each time to the loop till you finish the mix. If you need help ask for help and pull the strands because as you get closer to the finish it becomes a little tough to pull the strands without breaking. I was a little apprehensive about the outcome as it was a tricky procedure but to my luck, the process went on smooth except that the sugar crystallized the first time I tried making it. Then I added lemon juice to correct the issue.Other than that everything went fine and I was so happy to see the fine strands when was pulling the strands.It gives an immense joy to see the outcome. But I didn't like the way the strands were cut and placed in a plate because once they were placed and cut, the strands came together again. 



The first try gave me so much confidence that I tried the second time too to improve the results and I think justice was done and all thanks to the youtube video in Hindi where she explains clearly and displays an easy method to play with the sugar syrup by pouring it over a parchment paper which helps us to handle the heat much easily. Getting a pliable sugar syrup is the most tricky part too to get smooth long strands else the sugar hardens and it becomes difficult. I have displayed both pics of first and second try, so you get to see two different garnish of almonds and pistachios. Do read up the notes section and steps carefully and try this out. Do send me a pic too if you try at home.


Preparation time ~ 20 mins
Cooking time ~ 40 minutes
Serves ~ 12-14 small pieces
Author ~ Julie
Ingredients
besan / kadalamavu 75 gms (3/4 cup)
maida (all purpose flour)40 gms (1/3 cup) 
ghee/ clarified butter 40-45 gms  (1/3 cup)
cardamom powder / elakka podi 1/2 tsp

granulated sugar 1/2 cup (100 gms)
water 1/4 cup
lemon juice 1 tsp




Method
  • Heat a heavy bottomed pan or non stick pan and add ghee. To this add the besan and maida together. Continue to stir the mixture, first the mixture will turn crumbly. Continue to roast on low flame till the mixture starts to leave ghee If you find ghee is less add a tbsp of ghee more. I added 1 tbsp less of 1/3 cup in the beginning and so I added that tbsp. As you cook further the ghee separates, the colour of besan  changes darker and then the mixture turns frothy and bubbly. Switch off flame and move away from residual heat or transfer in a plate smeared with ghee. I left the mixture in  the pan to cool so the colour of besan turned more brown at this point. Add cardamom powder at this point and mix well.


  • Keep a tray lined with parchment paper and spread ghee over the paper to pour the sugar syrup. Also, smear ghee on two plates- one for working with sugar syrup and one for finally setting the soan papdi. Leave aside till use. 


  • Now heat the sugar in a pan with 1/4 cup water. Bring this to a boil and leave on medium heat. Add lemon juice at this point and then you notice there are lot of bubbles popping up. In between add a drop of this syrup in a bowl of cold water. Try making a ball out of this syrup and you must be able to do with ease. At this stage the color of the sugar also looks caramelized and the bubbles reduce in sugar syrup. Switch off flame, work quickly and transfer the syrup to the prepared paper and make sure that the syrup doesn't flow out of the paper in the initial two minutes. Then using the same parchment paper work the sugar syrup by folding the paper as to cool it slightly(folding the paper helps us to not touch directly on the sugar syrup) so that you can work on the syrup more easily. Continue to do this process till the sugar syrup starts to form a mass and is cooled slightly but still warm to touch and can start to work with. 
  • At this point, transfer the sugar ball on the plate and using both hands gently stretch the sugar as to make a circular strand and then keep stretching and twisting when it becomes long as like a 8 pattern. After a 6-7 stretches, add the cooked besan ghee mixture. Spread over the made strands and continue tow work quickly with sugar strands. You must work very quick to add the mixture and pulling the strands to stretch get a 8 pattern and then fold back and redo till you get very thin strands and the ghee besan mixture finishes. Make sure that the circular pattern doesn't break and stretch quick but gently. Also make sure to stretch evenly at all the circular pattern.
                                                 
  • Then finally cut the strands with a scissor and place in the ghee smeared plate. Garnish with sliced pistachios or almonds and mark to cut the pieces. Cut small pieces once its cooled down and enjoy !!



NOTES
* You can use half of ghee and oil to make soan papdi too. However ghee adds a special flavor and softness. 
* Just make sure that the besan(kadalmavu) doesn't get burnt and get darker in the residual heat. So transfer the mixture to a separate plate till use.
* Add lemon juice to prevent sugar from crystallizing.
* You should be very quick to work with the sugar ball so as to prevent it from becoming a solid ball. Keep folding the parchment paper so as to move the sugar ball and when the heat becomes bearable start to make a round shape and figure of 8 pattern as quickly as possible.
* Apply the besan mixture completely in batches as much as possible, at the end if besan mixture is left over and there is no option to apply as you exceeded the time then omit adding. I faced this issue in my first trial.
* Use good quality parchment paper and not baking paper because when using baking paper the paper is so thin that the sugar gets struck to the paper.







Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Kadai Mushroom (2nd Version) | Side Dish for Chapathis/ Rotis

Since we are observing lent, am in hunt for good vegetarian recipes that goes on well with chapathis and breakfast sides. The rice sides have never been an issue for me as they are many dishes that I frequently make. However, vegetarian sides with chapathis, appam and for other traditional items and my people at home need variety each time and so I keep trying out different recipes. I love some simple recipes that can be put together swiftly and should taste delicious as well. I have already posted a kadai mushroom which is a gravy type curry that goes well with rotis sometime back but this one is a semi gravy type dry one which is unique in is own way.The cashew paste adds a sweetness and richness to the masala. This is one such recipe where in you can combine to make a delicious side for chapathis/ rotis or even use this for filling up wraps /rolls too. We totally loved this recipe. I have adapted the recipe from Chef Harpal Singh and tweaked slightly to suit our taste buds. Do give this a try and lemme know too how it turns out to you.

Also check out a few mushroom recipes that I posted earlier-


Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ 3-4
Author ~ Julie
Ingredients
button mushroom 100 g
onion / savala 1 medium sized sliced
tomato / thakkali 3 medium chopped
ginger - garlic paste 2 tsp
capsicum or bell pepper 1 small cubed
garam masala 1 tsp
coriander powder 1.5 tbsp
kashmiri chilly powder 1.5 tsp
turmeric powder 3/4 tsp
coriander leaves 2 tbsp
cashew nuts 10 or paste 2-3 tbsp
dry red chillies / vattal mulagu 2
salt to taste 
oil 2-3 tbsp



Method
  • Wash the mushrooms under running water and wipe it dry with a paper towel. Remove any struck dirt or soil. If its too dirty, then peel a layer of the skin and clean. If not, then just wash, wipe and use. Cut in slices or cubes as desired but plaese don't cut very thin slices or cubes.
  • Soak the cashews in water for half an hour and then grind in a blender until smooth.
  • Then, heat oil in  a thick bottomed pan, add red dry chillies broken. Saute and then add chopped onion. Fry until the onion turns translucent an slightly browned. Add salt to fasten the process.
  • Add in the ginger- garlic paste, saute until raw smell diappears. Then add in chopped tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes turn mushy. Finally add in coriander powder, turmeric powder and chilli powder. Saute unil the oil starts separating. Add the cashew paste.
                                                
  • Finally slide in the cubed capsicum and then mix well for two minutes. Add salt as needed.
  • Then add the cubed or sliced mushrooms, mix well and cook covered for another 5 minutes. The water oozes out of the mushrooms so please don't add any water to cook. Also the gravy of kadai mushroom is not very thin.
  • Lastly, the mushroom gets cooked and oil separates. Add the garam masala, mix well and add coriander leaves for garnish and switch off flame. Keep covered till served.
NOTES
* You can add cubed onions too along with capsicum to add volume. I have not added as I have added chopped onion in the beginning.
* You can use paneer instead of mushroom to make kadai paneer as well.

                                                   

Few more vegetarian curries that can be served with chapathis/pooris/rotis /naan are
*Kashmiri curried apple
*Dahi bhindi
*Mattar-Paneer
*Bell Pepper-Potato Curry

Check out this link for mushroom recipes here.


                                         

Monday, March 22, 2021

Chakkapazham Pori with Stuffing | Jackfruit Fritters ~ Step by Step Pics

Most Keralites aka mallus enjoy the jackfruit season and why not, this is Kerala's own fruit. Though the raw jackfruit has tremendous health benefits than ripe ones but most of us love the ripe jackfruit. Jackfruit is a rich source of folate, riboflavin, potassium,magnesium. It is also a store house of vitamin A and C which protects our body. My MIL goes mad over this fruit and can have all three times of the day. There are several recipes that are tried using ripe and raw jackfruit. I have tried a few of them that are listed below at the end of this post.

I have been trying this chakkapazham pori just like pazham pori sine two three years now but each time I modified a bit and tried. The reason is that unlike the fried solid plantain pieces in ethakka pori, the chakka pieces in chakka pori becomes wiggly once fried and so have to be consumed hot else becomes soft very soon. Moreover the chakka pieces are hollow inside too so I ended up filling these pieces with a mix of sugar and grated coconut which worked perfect for this snack. You can add more variations to this like adding few chopped dry fruits and nuts too along with sugar and grated coconut. It tastes similar to pazham nirachathu and we all loved it. So finally I have started trying the chakka pori with filling which is really good. Scoop out the seeds and fill in with this coconut- sugar mix. Love this snack with a cup of tea!!


Preparation time ~ 10 mins
Cooking time ~ 10 mins
Serves ~ 14 chakka pori
Author ~ Julie
Ingredients
chakka / ripe jackfruit 12-14
grated coconut 1/2 cup
sugar 1/3 cup
maida (all purpose flour) 1 cup
cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
salt to taste
turmeric powder a pinch

oil for frying






Method
  • Prepare a batter using maida, salt, cumin seeds and turmeric powder. Make the batter not very thin or very thick. Leave the batte for 10 mins before using.
  • Mix the coconut with sugar and keep aside. Cut open each jackfruit piece by making a slit and remove the seed. Place a tbsp of this coconut filling and close.
                                                   
  • Heat oil in a kadai/ wok upto 2" depth and get ready.
  • Dip each filled jackfruit in the batter and drop in hot oil. Flip all sides and get evenly browned. Cook on medium flame else the cover gets browned soon. Drain using slotted spoon and place on paper towel. Remove from paper towels immediately then to retain the crunchiness else it becomes soft on cooling.
  • Repeat the same step of making all chakka poris till you finish the batter. If you have any batter left over, you can just drop in oil without jackfruit and this also tastes crisp. Enjoy with a cup of tea.



NOTES
* You can add 2tbsp of sugar to the batter too if you love the cover sweet. I haven't added sugar as the filling and jackfruit has sweetness.
* You can even add few chopped nuts or raisins for a variation in the filling.

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Thursday, March 18, 2021

Eggless Wheat flour Tutty Fruity Cake ~ Step by Step Pics

Today's recipe is one such keeper cake that can be made anytime for tea and can be simply put together without any fancy ingredients or gadgets. This cake uses wheat flour and rava with baking powder, baking soda and yogurt. I have posted a tutty fruity cake  earlier too but that uses egg, you can try that too but as we are observing lent I was mostly experimenting eggless these days. If you are looking for another interesting recipe with tutty fruity then check this out tutty fruity cookies which is one of my favorite Christmas cookies. The best part of this cake is that it hardly takes any time to put together and bake. There is no beating involved as there is no butter and the only time it needs is the soaking time of rava(suji) which you can do ahead and start baking. Rava adds a nice crumbly texture to the cake. I have already tried this cake many times now and this is a quick cake that you can bake for sudden tea parties. Cool the cake completely before slicing as its so soft that tends to break. Do give this a try and send me a pic too. 


A few more simple EGGLESS cakes that you can try-




Preparation time ~ 30 minutes
Baking time ~ 30 minutes
Serves ~ 1 loaf
Author ~ Julie 
Ingredients 
wheat flour or maida 1/2 cup
rava/ suji 1/2 cup
baking powder 1 tsp
baking soda 1/2 tsp 
yogurt 1/2 cup
water 1/2 cup
oil 1/3 cup 
tutty fruity  4 tbsp
cherry sliced 2 tbsp 
vanilla essence 1/2 tsp
powdered sugar 3/4 cup
salt a good pinch





Method
  • Add the rava tpo a blender jar and powder it fine as possible(if using fine suji skip this step). Then mix the rava /suji with water(1/2 cup) and keep covered for 20 mins so that the suji absorbs water.
  • Sift the wheat flour with baking powder, salt twice. Keep aside.
                                  
  • Combine the yogurt with powdered sugar and stir until well combined. (The granulated sugar can also be used but it takes longer to dissolve, also make sure that you are using less sour yogurt).
  • Add the soaked rava mix to the dry ingredients, mix well. 
  • Prepare the bread loaf pan lined with parchment paper and oil the sides, dust with flour. Keep ready. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C.
  • Mix the baking soda to the yogurt powdered sugar  and mix well. Add immediately to the dry ingredient mix. Then add the oil and vanilla essence.
  • Finally toss in the chopped cherries and tutty fruity. Transfer the prepared batter to the pan (the batter may be thin like dosa batter but don't worry it will not sink down).


  • Bake in the pre heated oven for 30-35 minutes (mine got done in 30 minutes). I gave the below heat alone for intial 5 minutes and then switched top both rods mode and the last minute gave top rod alone for that golden color on the surface(each one's oven is different so try .
  • Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove from pan and cool completely before slicing.


NOTES
* I have used wheat flour here but you can always use maida too.
* I have used slightly roasted upma rava or sooji for this cake but if you get the fine suji then try with that which gives a nice texture as well. I have prepare this cake without grinding the suji too, works fine but the cake slices tends to break. Suji adds a nice crumb to the cake.
* If your yogurt is very sour then add more sugar to balance. I have used mildly sour yogurt and this cake is moderately sweet.




Monday, March 15, 2021

Cauliflower(Gobi) Masala ~ Step by Step Pics

Kids are starting off exams from today and its this time of the year when schools were shut last year due to Corona. One full year of online classes went off so soon and they could hardly meet their new classmates. How did you all feel about the classes as parents ? Did you like the online schedule? Initially I did like the idea of home schooling and kids got easily adapted to the new system too but I felt they have become lazy and have lost the school discipline fully. Though they are doing the school works on time but most of the time they were idle and so were struck to more gadgets. Anyways this was a routine all over the world and can't blame anyone for this happening. Hoping that kids get to see school and classmates soon in the next academic year.
Today's recipe is a simple mildly spicy tangy masala of cauliflower. Cauliflower is a versatile veggie that you can prepare n number of dishes with it. This pairs well as a side with cooked rice, even can be wrapped as a filling for wraps. My family love this quick masala with gobi(cauliflower).It has a nice color and the cauliflower florets are tender and soft when cooked. Vegetarian recipes is all that I have now till Easter and once in a while going vegetarian everyone loves here. Check this out and a few more delicacies with cauliflower listed below-




Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 15 minutes
Author ~ Julie 
Serves ~ 4-5
Ingredients 
gobi/ cauliflower 1 medium size
onion 2 medium sliced 
ginger paste 1 tsp
garlic paste 1 tsp or 4-5 cloves
tomato 2 chopped
kashmiri chilly  powder 1 tsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
coriander powder 1 tsp
garam masala 1/2 tsp
fennel seeds 1 tsp
coriander leaves 2tbsp
curry leaves a sprig
oil 2 tbsp
salt to taste




Method
  • Separate the cauliflower florets and drop in leuk warm water. Add 1 tbsp of salt to this and leave aside for 20 mins. Blanching helps remove worms and dirt. Then, wash the florets under running water and make smaller florets if they are large.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add fennel seeds. Add sliced onion and saute with curry leaves. Saute till the onions turn lightly browned, add ginger- garlic paste, saute till raw smell disappears.


  • Add the spice powders in low flame and then add tomatoes. Add salt lightly and then add 1/4 cup water. Cook covered for 3 mins on low flame till the tomatoes are mashed nicely.
  • To this add the cauliflower florets, mix well and add 1/4 cup water. Adjust salt as needed and then cook for 7 -8 mins until cooked.

  • In between check the masala and add water to cook (if needed ).Dry up all the moisture and you get a tasty masala ready in no time. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve.
NOTES
* Adding fennel seeds adds a nice flavor to the masala, omit if you don't like the flavor.
* Add a potato or 1/4 green peas too if you love to add to a wrap.