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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Rose Water- DIY

Rose water is a perfect toner and is used for many face packs. Rose water making is a simple recipe that you can try making at home when you have roses in abundance. The rose petals when boiled and the strained liquid forms the rose infusion and is not rose water, lately did I understand this and so thought to share this info. When making rose water the water on commercial basis, they have large distilling process but making this at home, we can improvise the procedure as listed below. The commercial one has a strong smell which will be lacking in the homemade one, but it's in the pure form. The infusion may need refrigeration, but rose water can be stored at room temperature. Give this a try!!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 25 minutes
Serves ~ a small bottle (25 ml0
Author ~ Julie
rose petals 1/2 cup
water 2.5 cups 

Wash and clean the petals in water after removing the stalk.
Add the petals in a bowl, place a katori in the centre of the pan to place another bowl on top of this to collect the rose water else this bowl may dip down in the boiling water, and you may not get pure rose water. So placing a katori or a round stand or anything firm to give height to this bowl is fine.
Then you need a lid like a glass lid that can be covered upside down so that the condensation water drips into the bowl, which is the pure rose water. The glass lids that come these days have a small hole at the side for the steam to seep out. Make sure to close the hole with some atta.
Now put the petals around the katori in the utensil and add the water(2.5 cups). Place the collecting bowl on top of the katori / stand.
Place the utensil on flame and let it come to a boil, cover the glass lid upside down and place few ice cubes on this lid so that the condensed water under the lid flows down in the bowl to fasten the process. After around 25 minutes of boiling, the water is collected in the top bowl.
Remove carefully, and the rose petals turn pale or off-white. The boiled water with the petals can be strained and this is the infusion. This can also be used for cosmetic purposes but has to e used within short time, the shelf life is short.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Kurukku Kalan | Katti Kalan (Step by Step Pics) ~ Sadya Dish

Wishing all a Happy Vishu !!

I am a little busy for the next couple of weeks and so may not see me around. Hope you all understand and I shall drop to each one of your spaces once am back. Stay tuned till my next post when I disclose the reason for my absence :D

Before signing off, let me post this thick delicious gravy which has all the yummy flavors in one curry. I just love having some steamed rice and kurukku kalan as side. Kalan is a Kerala sadya dish served mostly in Thrissur and the northern districts of Kerala. Towards south, pullisery takes over and it is a ozhichu curry(gravy type) unlike the kurukku kalan. The basic kalan is a ozhichu curry style curry which I have already posted here but this kurukku kalan is a side dish that is served during sadya. Kalan stays good for a week outside even though I personally haven't tried keeping it outside. I generally make small quantities and gets over soon. But as per my personal experience, kurukku kalan tastes best the next day after making and its worth trying. The kaya(plantain) and chena(yam) blends with the flavors completely and love the pieces soaked in sour- spice flavors. Do try it out if you haven't given tasted yet !!

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time~ 40 minutes
Serves ~ 7-8
Author ~ Julie

kaya/ raw plantain 1 small or 3/4 cup cubed
chena /yam 1 small piece or 1/2 cup cubed
curd (sour)/ pulli ulla thayir 1 3/4 cup beaten
turmeric powder 2/3 tsp
pepper powder 1tbspgreen chillies 3-4 vertical slit
salt to taste

to grind
coconut grated 1.5 cups
cumin seeds 3/4 tsp

to temper
mustard seeds 1 tsp
curry leaves 2 sprigs
coconut oil 1.5 tbsp
fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp
ghee 1 tsp

  • Wash and peel the plantains(kaya) and then cube in medium sized pieces,add in water. Similarly do for chena too and cut in  larger pieces than kaya(plantains).
  • Now add the cut kaya,chena,vertical slit green chillies, turmeric powder in a mannchatti(earthern pot) or kalchatti preferably( the sour curd may react the aluminium or non stick vessels and also earthern pot retains heat very well so the kalan thickens as it is preserved). Add 2.5 cups of water and bring this to a boil.Mix the pepper powder in 2 tbsp of water and strain in a strainer. The black portion of pepper is discarded and the rest strained mixture is used. Add this strained mixture to the cooking mix. It may take some time for the pieces to get cooked. When the pieces get half way cooked add salt,add more water if required and cook till nicely done( the cooking of the pieces should be done very well at this point because once you add sour curd in this cooked mixture the pieces hardens and doesn't cook after that). So make sure you cook the pieces well.

  • In the meantime,beat the curd well in a mixer jar. Keep aside. In another bowl add the grated coconut and cumin seeds,grind to a very smooth paste(venna pole areyenam).Keep ready.

  • Once the water gets almost absorbed, add in the beaten curd to the mixture and mix well. Constant stirring is needed from this point, the mixture may look pale yellow but don't worry the turmeric color comes up once the mixture comes to a boil. Add in salt as needed. Keep stirring constantly to prevent cuddling. It may take around 20 minutes on low flame to thicken and the mixture reduces considerably. When you feel the spoon coats the mixture nicely and thickens on cooling then you can add the ground coconut paste. Add and mix it well.This helps to thicken further and when you see bubbles appearing on the surface switch off flame(as the mixture is very thick it may start splashing all over).
  • The kalan made in earthern pot or mannchatti or kalluchatti will thicken further as it sits.
  • Now heat another pan and add ghee. Add 1/2 tsp of fenugreek seeds to this, roast nicely or remove when nicely browned(reserve the ghee in the pan itself). To the same ghee,add coconut oil and add mustard seeds when hot. Add in curry leaves when mustard splutters. Switch off flame when nicely done.

  • In the mean time,powder the fenugreek(uluva) seeds in a mortar and add to the kalan mixture. Mix well. Add in the tempering too and give a quick mix. Serve the same day or the next day.

* Adding ghee is optional but it gives a nice flavor. I use ghee for tempering regular kalan too. The original recipe that I followed mentions to saute the cooked kaya and chena in a little ghee too. Also frying the powdered fenugreek again in ghee and then adding. I haven't done that but you can always add if you wish too.
* I have used only 3-4 green chillies and 1 tbsp pepper powder which was mildly spiced and perfect for all here. But if you wish to add in more spice then increase the green chillies and pepper powder accordingly.
* The spiciness may look way more higher when the pieces are getting cooked but don't worry this reduces once we add the curd and coconut paste.

* Dry red chillies are not tempered with this kalan. Mustard seeds,coconut oil and curry leaves used in tempering are slightly more than we usually do as this is the only thing prominently seen.
* Don't forget to use a mann chatti or mannkalam or kallu chatti for best results.
* You can roast the fenugreek seeds in oil too but sauteeing in ghee adds a unique flavor.