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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Mulaku Bajji Nirachathu | Stuffed Mirchi Bajji (Step by Step Pics)

Nalumani palaharam (Tea time snacks) is a must especially on weekends when all are at home. These days acchappam or kuzhalappammadura seva / murukku like fried goodies don't incite much interest in my family and their demand is for some filling snack like kozhukatta or ada or chats. But every other day the same things don't work good and am in search of more interesting snacks along with the regular ones. Then one day, H saw the bajji chilli in the super market and brought home. Here we don't generally find these chillies always and so hardly I prepare these at home. Long back, I had posted the plain mirchi (mulaku) bajji which doesn't have a filling. This time I prepared these with a filling which I liked more than the plain ones. My mom always remember the filled mulaku bajji she used to devour during her stay at Jodhpur. She misses having these north Indian snacks at times so do I. These are quite simple to make like pakoras and can be enjoyed with a dash of ketch up. Do try these ones !!



Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time~ 10 minutes
Serves ~ 7 bajji
Author ~ Julie
Ingredients
banana pepper / bajji pepper 6-7
curd / tamarind pulp 2 tbsp
oil to deep fry

for stuffing
potato / urulakizhangu 4 medium sized,boiled and mashed
onion a small size, fine chopped
chilly powder/ mulaku podi 1/2 tsp
coriander powder / malli podi 1/4 tsp
amchur powder /dry mango powder 1/2 tsp
roasted cumin powder / jeerakam podi 1/4 tsp
salt to taste
cilantro /coriander leaves chopped 1 tbsp

for covering
besan / kadalamavu 3/4 cup
rice flour / ari podi 1/4 cup
chilly powder / mulaku podi 1/2 tsp
ajwain / carom seeds/ ayamodakam 1/2 tsp
asafoetida / kayam podi 1/4 tsp
salt to taste
baking soda a pinch (optional)


Method

  • Wash the banana pepper or bajji mulaku under running water. Then slit open the chilly(retain the stalk) and scoop out the seeds with a spoon (don't use hands as it may irritate the skin and feel burning sensation). Drop the chillies in a bowl of water with added curd/yogurt /tamarind pulp and leave soaked for 15 minutes( this is an optional step but it reduces the spices considerably).


  • Heat a pressure cooker and add the potatoes,salt and turmeric powder for three whistles. Once the pressure is released, remove and mash the potatoes well. To this add the chopped onions, chilly powder, amchur powder, roasted cumin powder, cilantro chopped and salt. Combine this mixture well and keep aside.

  • In another bowl, mix the besan(kadalamavu), ajwain seeds,chilly powder, kayam podi(asafoetida) and salt. Make a thick paste by adding water little by little(don't make the paste very watery else the chillies may not coat properly.
  • Now, carefully remove the soaked chillies,wash under running water(drain the water completely else the filling may become watery when filled). Spoon each chilly with the potato mixture to fill completely. Keep aside.

  • Heat oil in a wok or kadai and wait till its hot enough to slide in the chillies. In the meantime, add the pinch of baking soda to the kadalamavu(besan ) batter. Mix well. Drop each filled chilly in the batter. Coat all the surfaces nicely and then drop the chillies one by one to the hot oil. Lower flame to medium so that the chillies get cooked properly on all sides. Drain using a slotted spoon once the chillies turn golden brown. Place on a paper towel for 3  minutes and gently move to a serving plate. Serve hot with tomato ketchup and with a cup of garam chai(tea).
  • Repeat the above step till you finish frying all chillies. Drain on a paper towel and serve hot.

NOTES
* Besan tends to form gas and cause acidity. Adding ajwain or ayamodkam reduces the chance of acidity, you may or may not add depending on personal preference.
* I have gone low on chilly powder as kids don't eat very spicy but you may add more if you like it spicy.
* You can skip ading the chillies in tamarind or curd if you don't wish to lose the spiciness.





Thursday, December 13, 2018

Baby Corn Stir Fry ~ Side Dish

When you have two contrasting foodies (esp kids) at home and each having a unique taste then the real hard work of mom is to please each one in her own way. My elder one loves 'erivum puliyum' or rather chatpata flavors at the most and younger one loves sweet flavors the most. However the younger chap also loves bitter gourd which is all the way contradicting(still cracking heads to understand his tastebuds). When it comes to packing food for lunch,each has a new menu ready satisfying to their tastes. However, I do make a balance in their menu and wrap up my own variations to please both. They both unanimously nod a 'yes' to very few recipes and this baby corn stir fry is one such healthy recipe. Now, that its lent time for Kerala Christians and I think many may be in a hunt for vegetarian recipes. So,this may be a yummy side dish for one of these nombu (lent) days.



Baby corns are easy to cook and there are a number of dishes that can be prepared in no time with this versatile vegetable. I had earlier posted baby corn butter masala which pairs perfectly with chapathis/rotis / naan. Baby corn 65 is another simple appetizer and tastes yumm when served hot. This is yet another simple and healthy stir fry that can be prepared in a jiffy. Do check this out !!




Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 15 minutes
Serves ~ 2-3
Author ~ Julie
Ingredients
baby corn 15
onion 1 medium sized; chopped fine
tomato 1 small
ginger garlic paste 1 tsp
kashmiri chilly powder 1/2 tsp
pepper powder 1/2 tsp
perinjeerakam / fennel seeds 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
salt to taste
coconut oil 1tbsp + 1 tsp


Method
  • Wash the baby corn under running water ,drain and keep aside (don't leave the baby corns in water as they tend to soak up water).
  • Cut in small roundels after snipping off the top and bottom portions lightly. Add the chopped tomato in a blender and blend till smooth.Keep aside.
  • Heat a pan and add oil. When the oil is hot add perinjeerakam(fennel seeds), let it sizzle. Add in ginger garlic paste and saute till raw smell disappears. Transfer the fine chopped onions and saute lightly browned(add a pinch of salt to speed up the process). Then add the spice powders on low flame and then add tomato pureed. 


  • Give a quick mix and saute till the tomato paste is well cooked and the gravy is thickened. Add in the cut baby corn and salt, give a quick mix. 

  • Lower flame on low and cook covered for 7-8 mins, in between give a stir just to ensure there is even cooking. Open the lid and add in a tsp of oil. Increase flame to high and dry up the moisture left behind and the masala is well coated with the baby corns.
  • Switch off flame and serve warm with rice.


RELATED POSTS
Baby Corn Butter Masala
Baby Corn 65

If you're looking for more vegetarian curry type dishes esp Kerala style,then here is the link-
Kerala Veg Curry(Ozhichu Curry)

Passion Fruit Lemonade

How do you quench the thirst on a hot summer day? I prefer to sip a lemonade to calm down the heat or sip a sambaram/ pachamoru (spiced butter milk) which perfectly eases the thirst. These are natural cooling foods that you can easily give a try and you regain the energy instantly. Watermelon and cucumbers also can be added to cool your body. Kids love lemonade better than sambaram but H likes sambaram over lemonade. Lemonades can be made by adding a variety of fruits or with simple lemon alone. I try out with different flavors of lemonade at home as kids also prefer to try out varied tastes and flavours.Passion fruit lemonade is one such experimentation which all liked because of the vitamin C packed tangy flavors at te first instance and the added crunch of the seeds too. If you are a person who don't prefer that added crunch of seeds in the lemonade then you can blender the pulp in a blender,strain and discard the seeds. This is a simple lemonade but I truly love the color of this lemonade.


Preparation time~ 15 minutes
Cooking time ~ 5 minutes
Serves ~ 4 glasses
Author ~ Julie

Ingredients
passion fruit 6 or pulp 1/2 cup
lemon juice 1/4 cup or 3 lemon squeezed
sugar syrup 4 tbsp or more as per taste
water 2 glasses


Method

  • To make sugar syrup: Dissolve (1 cup)sugar with (1 cup) water. Boil this mixture over low heat until the sugar is dissolved completely, Switch off flame and leave to cool. Refrigerate to cool or preserve for later.
  • Wash and cut the passion fruit in halves. Scoop out the pulp using a fork keeping in mind not to remove the white thread like strings attached to the pulp. Remove in a glass or jar and beat/mash lightly using a fork(Its better not to use the mixer to mash the passion fruit pulp as the seeds gets ground or incase if you wish to use the blender,then just pulse once or twice).
  • Mix the sugar syrup with the passion fruit pulp well and enjoy with ice cubes or just like that or chilled.


NOTES
* You can use make bigger batches of sugar syrup to make more lemonade in the ratio of sugar and water 1:1.

Related Posts
* Passion Fruit Juice
* Mango Lemonade


Thursday, December 06, 2018

Mysore Masala Dosa (Step by Step Pics)

Masala dosa in itself is a delicacy,right ? How about trying a special type of masala dosa made with a special chutney which adds flavor. Yes, that's Mysore Masala Dosa and I was long waiting to try this out at home. Masala dosas are easy to prepare at home when you have the filling and batte ready at hand otherwise it looks a lengthy process to make. H is a big fan of masala dosas. But when it comes to make masala dosa at home, H says its easily available in restaurants and he names quite a few which serves the best masala dosas in town. I too think for a while whether to put an extra effort to make masala dosa. However, these days H hardly talks about any good restaurants that serves good masala dosas. And so one in a while, I make them at home during weekends. I hardly find time for a masala dosa breakfast on weekdays and am sure many of my readers would agree to that too.





Mysore masala dosas are made thick spread unlike regular masala dosas but the cover turns crisp as it gets cooked and soft inside. The chutney made with red dry chilies,shallots, garlic, tamarind and coconut adds the special flavor to the dosas along with the potato filling. I usually don't add broken cashews to regular masala dosas but whereas in the Mysore masala dosas they add that extra crunch.Do try this out if you are a vivid fan of masala dosas. Also check out the links below if you love any of the dosa varieties.


Preparation time ~ 15 minutes
Cooking time ~ 15 minutes
Serves ~ 10 dosa
Author ~ Julie

Ingredients
*dosa batter 2 cups
salt a pinch

for filling
potato 4 boiled,mashed
onion 2 medium sized,chopped
mustard 1/2 tsp
jeera 1/4 tsp
green chillies 2-3
ginger chopped 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
chana dal 1tsp
cashews 10
curry leaves a sprig
oil 2 tbsp
salt to taste
cilantro /coriander leaves 2 tbsp

for red chutney
chana dal 2 tbsp
red chillies 2-3
shallots 8-10
garlic cloves 4-5
grated coconut 2 tbsp
tamarind small piece


Method
FOR DOSA BATTER

  • Follow the recipe link here to prepare the dosa batter. Ferment the batter and keep ready by adding salt.


FOR FILLING

  • Wash and boil the potatoes in a cooker with a pinch of turmeric powder and salt  till 3 whistles. Open the lid of cooker once pressure releases, peel the skin of potatoes and mash the potatoes nicely.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Once it crackles, add the jeera,cashews and chana dal. Fry the cashews lightly and slide in the onions,curry leaves. Saute lightly till onions turn soft.

  • Add in the turmeric powder and asafoetida powder (kayam podi).
  • Toss in the mashed potatoes,give a quick mix. Adjust salt and combine well.
  • Finally add in chopped coriander leaves.
FOR CHUTNEY
  • Heat oil in a pan and add red dry chillies and chana dal. Fry them lightly and add in the shallots,garlic, saute for a while. Switch off flame and cool.

  • Once cooled,add to a blender jar and add in the grated coconut and tamarind. Add very little water if needed,the chutney should be thick and spreadable.
FOR PREPARING MASALA DOSA
  • Heat a non stick pan or iron griddle(I use iron griddle) . When it is hot, pour a ladleful of batter  and spread the batter( the mysore masala dosa is crisp outside and thick soft inside). So don't spread the batter very thin like regular masala dosa. Add in oil/ ghee on top (optional step), once the top looks cooked. Add in the red chutney and spread generously.



NOTES
* You can prepare the red chutney earlier and keep ready.
*  This same filling can be used to prepare regular masala dosa too without the addition of red chutney.
* This recipe for filling and chutney is adapted from here and modified slightly as per tastes.

If you are interested in trying few other recipes with dosa batter,check out below -
* Masala Dosa
Chicken Masala Dosa
Sweet Berry Dosa
Crimson Dosa
Ghee Roast Dosa
Dosa Waffles
* Dosizza
Punugulu
Potato Stuffed Paniyaram
Omelette Dosa

 More varieties of dosa with different millets and pulses-
Ragi Dosa
Whole green Gram Dosa (Pesarattu)
Barley Dosa



Monday, December 03, 2018

Tutty Fruity Cookies (Eggless) | Christmas Cookies (Step by Step Pics)

Its already December, the last month of 2018. I know have been away from this space for quite sometime and have some usual excuses of not making it here too. Frankly speaking, I was busy with so many things  that the only space that I could attend later was my little blog and so decided to stay away. Hope I try posting regularly now and I just can't believe how time flew so fast,its like a few months back I wished all Happy New Year and now its time for another new year very soon. I only sense this or do you also feel that this year is wrapping up so soon?
December marks the most important festivity for us and that's Christmas. Christmas marks the red and green colors predominantly. How about making a cookie with tutty fruity? Good idea,right.. I made these eggless tutty fruity cookies.We observe a 25 day lent till Christmas and I feel these eggless cookies are best during this time.They are very crunchy and quite addictive. No one can munch just one,he he..kids loved every bit of this cookie and were insisting on making them again.  They have even made up a list of snacks to be prepared for this Christmas.


 The Christmas tree,Santa Claus and the ornaments,gifts are mostly dressed up in red and green and looks vibrant too. I love the red festive color, really creates a unique vibe of Christmas. Tutty fruity cookies are crunchy with tiny bites of tutty fruity in them.Love them with a cup of tea. Enjoy making them this Christmas and am sure kids will go mad over them.




Preparation time:  40 minutes
Baking time :20 minutes
Serves :30 cookies
Author : Julie
Ingredients
wheat flour 2 cups (250 gm)
corn flour 3 tbsp(45 gm)
baking powder 1 tsp(4 gms)
unsalted butter  10 tbsp(142 gms)
powdered sugar 2/3 cup
tutty fruity 1 cup
almonds,roughly chopped 2 tbsp
pineapple essence 1/3 tsp
cardamom powder 3/4 tsp
milk 5 tbsp


Method
  • Powder the granulated sugar in a blender,measure and scoop out required quantity.Add this to the softened butter.Cream the butter and sugar until mixed well.
  • Sift the wheat flour,corn flour,baking powder,cardamom powder.Mix well.
  • Add the flours in the butter sugar mixture and mix until crumbled.Add a tbsp of milk each time and bring the dough together.Knead to a smooth dough.

  • Now divide the dough in two equal parts.Shape each part in a log(square shape of 6"* 1.5"*1.5") or make cylindrical shape.Refrigerate the two shaped logs tightly wrapped in cling wraps for half an hour.
  • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F /180 degrees C and line two trays with parchment paper.
  • Open the cling wrap and cut each cookie in 1/4" thickness.Arrange them on trays.
  • Place in oven and bake for 18-20 mins or until sides are lightly browned and the under surface is light brown.
  • Cool on wire rack completely for 15-20 mins.Serve or store in air tight containers.



NOTES
* Powdered sugar is not icing sugar.Just grind the granulated white sugar in a mixer to get powdered sugar.
* You can use roughly chopped cashews too.I just blend the blanched almonds to get the roughly chopped ones with some powdered sugar.
* You can use orange extract or vanilla extract too instead of pineapple essence.Pineapple adds a unique flavor to the cookies.
*Add milk as per required to bring the dough together.I used 5tbsp but you may require slightly less or more.

You may also like these-
Christmas Wreath Cookies
Eggless Almond Cookies
Coconut Cookies




Monday, October 08, 2018

Ada Manga Achar | Eri Manga Achar | Dry Mango Pickle (Step by Step Pics)

Hi all,
Hope you all are doing good !!
Its been quite some time since I posted something here. Nothing to blame for the absence this time just my lethargy and mood swings. It takes a lot of energy to overcome the inertia set in, Right? I wasn't active in fb too,just thought to give everything a break for a while until today. Its like as if I was cut off from the whole world(missed so much reading) once you stop seeing fb posts for 2-3 days, Do you also feel the same or if it's just me?
Anyways, coming back to today's recipe is a pickle made from dry mango pieces. When you have mangoes in season, Keralites generally preserve mango slices so that it can be used throughout the year in various forms. I have been making these dry mango slices since two years now as we have plenty of mangoes in our home during season. The sour type and thick fleshy mangoes work perfect for sun drying. The mangoes are first washed and if the skin is really hard,you can just peel the skin off or else just use as it is. These are then sliced in thin pieces,add enough salt. Mix and leave for one hour. The mangoes leave out water, then layer the slices on clear plastic sheets for sun drying. They tend to stick to the sheets but don't worry they will just start to peel off as it dries better. Two to three days of good sunshine is enough to sun dry and preserve them for a year. Store once all pieces are shrinked, dried well and they become hard. I have already tried this recipe 3 times in these two years and each time there was good response.The large pieces curl like snail and shrinks in size as it dries. Whenever you wanna use them for curries, aviyal or chutneys just soak in water for half an hour and use them.


Today's post is a very addictive pickle made with these dry mango pieces. This recipe is adapted from Lekshmi Nair's show where she visits a mana and the residents of the mana explain her the procedure of making this manga achar. They run a small scale unit from home and I found it interesting to taste test by preparing at home which was a real good try.Everyone loved it at home, its quite different fro usual pickles and tastes really delicious with curd rice and other Indian staples. It has a definitive balance of sweet, sour and spice flavors and the mango pieces attain a real softness when mixed with gingelly oil and jaggery syrup. Do give this a try if you have dried mango pieces at home or bookmark it to try for the next mango season.



Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 2-3 minutes
Soaking time ~ 2 days
Drying time ~ 3-4 days
Author ~ Julie

Ingredients
dry mango slices (ada manga) 2 cups or 125 gms
jaggery / sharkara  15 gms or a small lemon size
*chilli powder / mulaku podi 3tbsp
coriander powder / malli podi 1tsp
asafoetida powder / kayam podi a tsp
uluva podi / fenugreek powder 2 tsp
*salt very little
gingelly oil / nallenna  2 tbsp



Method


  • Mix all the spices well and add the ada manga(dry mango). Ada manga has salt in it when dried so add salt accordingly. Keep aside for 2 days, in between just mix the spices well with the ada manga. 
  • After two days, you can see that the water content is completely absorbed and the ada manga is well coated with the spices. Spread on a plate and sun dry the ada manga till its well coated and dry(it shouldn't have a sticky coating).

  • Store in air tight containers and serve with curd rice.



NOTES
* I used piriyan mulaku podi(chilli powder) for the color but you can use any other chilli powder/kashmiri chilli powder but if you are using any other type of hot chilli, reduce the amount of chilli powder accordingly.
* This recipe is adapted from Lekshmi Nair's show where she visits a mana and the residents of the mana explain her the procedure of making this manga achar. They run a small scale unit from home and I found it interesting to taste test by preparing at home which was a real good try.



Friday, September 07, 2018

Butter Murukku | Pottukadala Murukku ~ Instant Tea Snack

Pottukadala murukku or split dalia murukku is an instant snack that you can prepare in a jiffy for tea. There is hardly any hard task and can be prepared by anyone. The split dalia needs to be powdered smooth and mixed with rice flour and besan. Butter is added to enhance the flavors and so kids call this as 'butter murukku' too. I happened to view this recipe in a cookery show and loved the simplicity of making unlike the other mullu murukku. These are crunchy,crispy and quite addictive too, perfect to go with a hot cup of tea!!





Preparation time ~ 15 mins
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ a large bowl
Author ~ Julie

Ingredients
rice flour / ari podi 1 cup
besan / kadalmavu 1/2 cup
*pottukadala powder/split dalia powdered 1/2 cup
asafoetida / kayam podi 1/2 tsp
cumin seeds/ jeerakam 1 tsp
butter 1 tbsp
salt to taste
oil to deep fry


Method
  • Powder the split dalia(pottukadala) in a  mixer. Sieve the powder smooth.
  • Then take the rice flour, besan and split dalia powder in a bowl. Add the jeerakam(cumin seeds),asafoetida powder(kayam podi) and salt. Mix well. 
  • Add softened butter to this and mix with hands to get a crumbly texture.
  • Then add water little by little to knead in a smooth soft dough. It should be loose than chapathi dough. Leave for 10 minutes covered.

  • In the mean time,heat oil in a kadai and in a idiyappam press or mould attach the star plate and fill the dough in it.
  • When the oil is heated enough, press the murukku directly holding over the oil.
  • Flip and turn both sides and cook on medium heat. Don't get this over browned(doesn't taste good) and drain from oil as the pieces gets crisp and light browned.
  • Cool completely before storing or enjoy with tea.

NOTES
* 1/3 cup of split dalia will yield 1/2 cup of split dalia powder.
* Roasted or unroasted both rice powder (appam/ idiyappam flour) works good for this recipe.
* You can add a little spice too if you like it that way, either pepper powder or chilli powder 1/4 tsp can be used.
* Wait for the oil to be hot before making each batch as murukku soaks more oil if oil is not heated good. Drop a lilttle piece and check if the little piece pops up on the surface of oil then oil is heated good.

RELATED POSTS
* Mullu Murukku 
* Kuzhalappam
* Madura Seva
* Achappam 


Monday, September 03, 2018

Varutharacha Mutton Curry | Nadan Mutton Curry (Kerala Style)

Mutton is not a frequent visitor at my home and so I hardly have mutton recipes in my blog. I must say that we rarely buy mutton compared to all other meats as we don't have much fans of mutton at home though once in a while we all love it too. So,whenever I make mutton recipes its invariably the Kerala style recipes only like mutton stew, mutton curry or this roasted coconut type gravy. This roasted coconut type gravy is thick and can be served with steamed rice, ney choru (ghee rice) or any Indian staples. You can avoid adding the coconut too and can serve just before adding the roasted ground coconut paste,it does taste very good. However the roasted form adds the nadan(traditional) aroma to the curry. Do try this out and enjoy !



Preparation time ~ 30 minutes
Cooking time ~ 35 minutes
Serves ~ 5-6
Author ~ Julie

Ingredients
mutton 1/2 kg (500 gms)
onion 2 medium sliced
shallots / kunjulli 1 cup sliced
ginger garlic paste 2 tbsp
tomato 1 small chopped
turmeric powder / manjal podi 1/2 tsp
chilly powder 1 tsp
kashmiri chilli powder/ mulaku podi 1 tsp
coriander powder/ malli podi 2 tsp
garam masala 1/4 tsp
salt to taste
oil 2tbsp
curry leaves 2 sprig

to roast and grind 
grated coconut 3 tbsp
whole garam masala 3 cloves, 2 cardamom, 1 anise, 1" piece cinnamon
fennel seeds/ perinjeerakam 1 tsp

to temper
shallots 3 sliced
curry leaves a sprig


Method
  • Wash the mutton really nice and rinse 3-4 times. Drain the water and keep aside.
  •  Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan and add the ginger- garlic paste. Saute until its lightly browned and then slide in the onion,shallots, curry leaves. Saute until its lightly browned(add a pinch of salt to fasten this process).
  • Add in the spice powders, chilli powder,turmeric powder,coriander powder and salt on low flame. Saute until the raw smell disappears and then add in chopped tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes till mushy.

  • Then transfer the mutton and cooked masala to a pressure cooker, mix well to combine. Add 1/2 cup water and cook for 3 whistles. Wait for the pressure to release and then open the lid,give a quick stir. Then add water( if required) and adjust salt. Close the lid and pressure cook again for another 3 whistles or till done( the cooking time may vary as per the mutton).

  • Wait for the pressure to relaese and then open lid. In the mean time,dry roast the coconut in another pan along with  whole garam masala, fennel seeds listed. Roast until the coconut is nicely browned. Switch off flame,leave to cool. Grind the coconut whole garam masala by adding water to a smooth paste.
  • Add this paste to the cooked mutton and simmer for another 4-5 minutes. Switch off flame.

  • In another pan, add oil and add shallots,curry leaves. Fry till the shallots turn slightly browned. Switch off flame and pour this over the curry. Keep covered and serve warm.


NOTES
* If you have time, you can marinate the mutton with chilli powder,turmeric powder and salt for one hour. I sometimes do,sometimes omit this step.
* You can add coriander leaves(2 tbsp) too.
* The double cooking in a pressure cooker gives the mutton to quick properly,a careful watch to prevent overcooking and the onion masala is cooked so well that you hardly any pieces of onion.


Saturday, September 01, 2018

Pazham Pradhaman | Pazham- Macaroni Pradhaman | Macaroni- Plantain Kheer

Its been quite some days since I posted something new. I wasn't feeling like opening up the blog or pinning down any recipes for the past few days after the floods. As you all know Kerala witnessed one of the worst floods in a decade. Still many people are stranded in rescue homes and many have lost homes and their loved ones too. Twelve out of the the fourteen districts of the state were badly affected. Waters gushed near my parents home too luckily stopped by the roads and didn't enter our home. I had never seen waters coming up so high in my home area. Dad was saying he had seen the similar waters once in his life time in his childhood. It was so painful to see people lose homes and many valuable things that they had to leave out and run for life.The fishermen were the biggest heroes who helped people day and night to rescue them to the nearest safe locations without expecting anything in return. I appreciate the new channels for their commendable work to help people by getting the latest updates in each corner of the state and the best part is they removed all ad breaks,continuously focused only on helping the rescue operations. Army, Navy, Air force, Para military, Fire Force and Kerala Police also worked hard at the same time. There were no racial,religious or caste discrimination and each one served humanity at the best possible way.  Its now time to rebuild the state in its glorious form again and let's strive to help each other gain the basic necessities of living once again. I'm sure Kerala will surely come back with its full glory in no time.



Today's recipe was saved in drafts to publish during Onam time but the flood overturned all the planned. This year Onam wasn't celebrated in most of the places and we too didn't celebrate at home. Anyways this is a very delicious and tasty pradhaman(kheer) made with plantains (ethakka) and macaroni. Pazham Pradhaman is one of the sweetest pradhaman(kheer) that I have tasted so far. Plantains or ethakka is used for making this pradhaman. Pazham pradhaman in itself is delicious but I like chewing something in between thick pradhaman. So I added our kids favorite item, macaroni to the delicious payasam. Believe me, there isn't any obvious taste difference. Kids were like amma, this tastes like ada pradhaman. Yes, the plump macaroni soaked in jaggery and coconut milk tastes similar to ada pradhaman. Adding macaroni to this pradhaman is totally upto you as macaroni minus the pradhaman is pazham pradhaman itself, no worries. However, if you like chewing something in between the thick pradhaman then go ahead and add without fail. We totally loved the idea of adding macaroni. And if you live in a place where ada isn't easily available then substitute macaroni for ada pradhaman too,it will be great. The plantains should have black spots to make a tasty payasam, just ripe ones may not be right.



Ingredients
plantains(ethakka) 2 very ripe
macaroni 1/2 cup
jaggery 200 gms
3rd coconut milk (thin)  1 cup
2nd coconut milk 2.5 cups
1st coconut milk 1/2 cup
cardamom powder 1 tsp
chukku podi /dry ginger powder 1/2 tsp
ghee 2tbsp + 1 tsp

for garnish 
cashews 1 tbsp
raisins 1 tbsp
thenga kothu / coconut bits 1 tbsp


Method
  • Boil the macaroni in enough water (without adding any salt ) as you normally do for making. Drain the water when its 3/4 th cooked and add a tsp of ghee to it. Mix well and keep aside.
  • Peel and cut the plantains lengthwise. Cut out the seed portion of the plantain and then cut the plantain in bite size pieces. Do this step for both plantains ,chop and keep aside.
  • Dilute the jaggery in 1/3 cup water over low heat. Strain the impurities and keep aside
  • Heat a thick bottomed pan and add ghee(2 tbsp), add in the coconut bits. Fry till lightly wilted, slide in the cashews followed by raisins. Fry till golden brown,drain on a plate and reserve the ghee in the pan.

  • In the ghee,add the cut plantains and saute on low heat until its nicely coated. Add the diluted jaggery syrup(about 3/4 th of it), reserve the rest. Saute the plantains in the jaggery mixture till its nicely absorbed.
  • To this,add the 3rd coconut milk and bring this to a boil. Let the mixture boil and thicken,it may take about 5-7 minutes on medium flame. By this time the plantains should have nicely cooked,mash with the back of the spoon and add in the 2nd coconut milk. Also add the 3/4 cooked macaroni. Simmer the heat and let it cook slow in the coconut milk mixture. Check the sweetness and add the remaining 1/4 th jaggery syrup which was reserved or leave out if there is enough sweetness. It may take about 20 minutes for the kheer(pradhaman) to thicken and the plantains fully mashed,macaroni well coated with jaggery- coconut milk mix. 

  • Finally,add in the cardamom powder and dry ginger powder. Give a quick stir,also slide in the fried cashews,raisins and coconut bits. And the final ingredient in the pradhaman is poured - 1st coconut milk(thanpaal). Mix it well and when you see one or two bubbles popping up, switch off flame. Keepo covered for 10 minutes and serve. Pradhaman tastes best once cooled.

NOTES 
* I have used 3/4 th of a coconut to extract coconut milk. You can check this post here to learn the steps of coconut milk.
* If using canned coconut milk, then add 1/2 cup undiluted as thick coconut milk. Then dilute half cup canned coconut milk with 2 cups water to get 2 nd coconut milk.
* If you aren't interested in making with macaroni, then omit the macaroni steps and proceed with the same steps.
* I used 250 gms of jaggery(weighed on weighing scale) which yielded a very sweet pradhaman and so have mentioned 200 gms of jaggery. But if you have a very sweet tooth then add 250 gms of jaggery. Also, keep in mind that the plantains once cooked also will leave out sweetness which will add to the pradhaman.


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