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Friday, May 14, 2021

Double Chocolate Biscotti (Step by Step Pics)

The other day I was longing to have some biscottis to be dipped in hot piping chai(tea). Biscottis are Italian dry type cookie, the name biscotti means twice baked or cooked as the baking is done twice. These are similar to Indian style rusk. Kids love anything chocolaty and so I thought to give these a double chocolate biscotti a try. But believe me, I got more addicted to these crisp baked chocolaty ones than the kids. Its crisp and the chocolate in the biscotti adds soft bits along with crunchy bites of dry chopped nuts. These can be dipped in melted white chocolate at one end to add more chocolaty feel and elegant look. However without any fancy decorations too, these are addictive.


When baking biscottis, its always a double bake which otherwise is easy to do. The logs are shaped and baked first and then the logs are cut using serrated knife in biscotti shapes and baked again to get crisp bites. The Indian milk tea rusk was one which I loved making sometime back in the same directions, here is the link to the one. The dough consistency and preparaton is quite simpler compared t other bake items. The logs must be placed or separated with a gap so that there is enough space for the logs to expand. Though the time taken to bake is a bit longer than baking cake or othe stuff as we need to wait couple of minutes after the first bake to get the second bake tray ready by slicing the log. Do give these a try if you love the chocolaty flavor with crunchy bites of chopped nuts and chocolae chips.




Preparation time~ 10 minutes
Baking time ~ 45 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves  ~ 25 biscottis
Ingredients 
wheat flour 1 3/4 cups
sugar granulated 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp
cocoa powder 1/4 cup
baking soda 1 tsp
salt a pinch 
unsalted butter 100 gms
eggs 2
vanilla extract 1 tsp
milk 2 tbsp (if needed)
chocolate chips (white and dark) 1/2 cup
chopped almonds 1/2 cup





Method
  • Sift flour with cocoa baking soda and salt twice and keep aside. Pre heat ovn to 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.
  • Beat the butter and  powdered sugar. Then add in one egg at a time and add in the vanilla essence.
  • Add in the white and dark chocolate chips. Add in the flour mix in 3 batches and combine well.
  • Finally toss in the chopped nuts. Add milk if needed to adjust consistency.
                                          
  • Make two logs (size 2’ wide and 3/4 inch height) on a parchment paper lined tray. The dough is a bit sticky, using wet hands shape the log as evely as possible like the log in ppic on the right. Also place the logs 1' apart as it spreads on baking.
  • Place and bake in preheated oven for 35-45 mins(Mine was done in 35 mins). Cool for 10 mins and then cut in slices half inch thick and place on a tray(don't leave to cool completely else the slicing becomes difficult).

  •  Place the slices on the tray and place in oven. Bake again for 5 mins one side, flip and bake for another 5 mins. Remove from oven and leave to cool completely before storing or serving.
                                                       

NOTES
* You can add chocolate chips alone to make it more chocolaty But here I have used half of nuts and chocolate chips. If you are using chocolate chips alone then add 1 cup.
* You can try with all purpose flour(maida) too but I wished to give a healthier touch. Also the milk added may not be needed if using maida.

                       

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Chakka Appam | Steamed Jackfruit Parcels(Step by Step Pics)

Chakka appam as the name suggests, an appam steam cooked with ripe jackfruit bulbs, rice flour, grated coconut, jaggery. This is a very filling and delicious snack that you can make for kids and elders. The color of this appam is orangish brown because of the use of jackfruit bulbs and jaggery. I have already posted chakka ela ada that uses chakka varetti to make the filling in the regular ada which is a yummy snack too. But compared to the chakka ada this one is more simpler and easier to put together as you can mix all together in a go and make the dough if you have cooked jackfruit bulbs ready in fridge. I usually do that to get things more simpler and faster, also helps preserve the jackfruit bulbs for a couple of more days than storing the ripe jackfruit as it is.There are numerous jackfruit recipes that I have tried earlier and have posted here, read more at the end of this post for more recipes. Do give this yummy chakka appam a try this season and enjoy with a cup of black coffee!!




Preparation time ~ 15 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ 5-6 appams
Author ~ Julie
Ingredients
rice flour /ari podi (idiyappam) 1 cup
chakka / jackfruit 1.5 cups cooked
jaggery / sharkara 1 cube /1/3 cup puree
grated coconut 1/2 cup
chukku podi / dry ginger powder 1/4 tsp
salt a good pinch



Method
  • Clean the jackfruit, remove the bulbs. Chop the ripe jackfruit bulb in pieces or if its nicely ripe then avoid chopping and add this in a cooker. Add half a cup of water and pressure cook for 2 whistles or till cooked.

 
  • Melt the jaggery in 1/4 cup water and strain the impurities. Keep aside.
  • In another bowl, add the rice flour, grated coconut, cooked jackfruit along with left out water,  salt and chukku podi. Make a dough by mashing the cooked jackfruit, you may not need much water after adding the left out cooked jackfruit water along with jaggery syrup little by little. Add more water (if needed). The dough should be loose and spreadable. Its better to keep the dough loose, sticky than a smooth dough as the sticky dough yields a softer appam than making with a smooth dough.
  • Wash and clean the banana leaves, cut in small pieces. And spread spoonful of dough and spread thin(if you find it hard to spread the dough then dip your hands in cold water). Fold the spread leaf in half and keep aside.
  • Heat water in a steamer and place the prepared appams in it. Cook till the banana leaves are wilted and the appam looks cooked. Repeat the step of making appams till you finish making all appams(its better to avoid stacking the appams together and steaming only 3 or 4 at the max to cook faster). Remove from the steamer and serve warm.



NOTES
* The cooked jackfruit to rice flour should be 2:1, meaning the rice flour should be just added to bind and don't add more rice flour else cooked appam will be hard and the dough should be of loose consistency than smooth or hard dough.
* The jaggery syrup can be altered as per tastes and sweetness of ripe jackfruit.
* Chukku podi or dry ginger powder takes care of any stomach upset due to ripe jackfruit.

RELATED POSTS



Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Mushroom Korma(Kuruma) | Appam Sides

The wave of corona is much stronger this time and looks scary too. How is it at your places, friends? Hope all are doing good and keeping safe. We have confined ourselves at home and hus only moves out when there is an essential purchase needed. Hoping to take care of ourselves as much as possible. Rest is beyond our control if at all we get the virus. My heart goes to all the frontline corona warriors who have been staying away from family and taking care of the sick and seriously ill. Hoping everything will be back in place atleast by the end of this year.



Mushroom kuruma is a simple off white or creamy colored dish, mildly spiced that pairs perfectly with appam or bread. We love mushroom in any form and it tastes delicious too. The grinded coconut, cashews and khus khus gives this dish the richness and creamy texture. The spice is adjusted with the green chillies, you can alter as per tolerance and pepper powder adds a final punch. I have already shared a paneer kuruma which is also a must try. Do give this a try and enjoy !!






Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking times ~ 15 minutes
Serves ~ 3-4 
Author ~ Julie
Ingredients
button mushrooms 100 gms
onion/ savala 1 medium chopped 
ginger- garlic paste 1 tsp
green chilli / pacha mulaku 3 sliced
whole garam masala cinnamon 1/2 ‘ piece, cardamom 3, cloves 4, bay leaf 2
turmeric powder / manjal podi 1/4 tsp
pepper powder / kurumulaku podi 1/2 tsp
curry leaves 2 sprig
oil 2 tbsp
salt to taste

to grind
coconut grated 1/2 cup
whole cashews 12
khas khus (poppy seeds) 1 tsp

                                             



Method
  • Wash and clean the mushrooms, remove from water immediately. Slice the mushrooms and cut in wedges. Soak the cashews and kus kus in water for 20 minutes.
  • Grind the coconut, cashews and khus khus to a smooth paste with water and keep aside.


  • Heat oil in a pan and add whole garam masala. Add in the sliced onion, green chillies and curry leaves. Saute until lightly brown, add in ginger- garlic paste. Saute until raw smell disappears and add pepper powder. Add in the mushrooms and saute.
                                        
  • Saute until lightly cooked and ground paste. Add the turmeric powder and add 1.5 cups water, cook covered for 6-7 mins on medium flame. The gravy thickens nicely and the consistency totally depends on your wish. Garnish with coriander leaves(malli ela), Switch off flame.
                                                    

NOTES
* You can keep this korma white if you don't add turmeric powder. Omit if you wish to give it a white color.
* You can grind the chillies with grated coconut for added spice. But we prefer it low spiced to serve with bread.

RELATED MUSHROOM RECIPES-

                                                                                          
    

Friday, April 16, 2021

Grilled Peanut Butter- Banana(Plantain) Sandwich

Sweet Sandwich ? Definitely not my kind of thing but my kids come up with such crazy ideas and this is born out of them. I was sure am not going to taste this but did make it for them. However after the grilling the cinnamon, ghee and peanut butter wafted out that I could hardly resist my taste buds. Sandwiches to me were always a savory version and I loved it that way. For a change I must admit that this also tastes delicious for a tea time snack, I wouldn't like it for breakfast though.

This sandwich is quite simple to make with minimal ingredients and I have used plantains in this recipe. You can use regular bananas too but here I have to find ways to finish off  plantains and so tried out this sandwich. I have tried many recipes with plantains earlier which are listed below at the end of the post, please check if interested. II have used peanut butter but if you or your kid is allergic to peanuts then try chocolate- almond spread which should work fine too. Am sure you will love it!!

                                                             


Preparation time~ 10 mins
Cooking time ~ 5-7 mins
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 6 sandwiches
Ingredients
bread slices 6 
peanut butter 2 tbsp
banana 1 sliced 
unsalted butter 1 tsp + 1 tbsp
brown sugar or white sugar 2 tsp 
cinnamon powder 1/2 tsp




Method
  • Heat butter in a pan, add the banana slices. Add in the brown sugar or granulated white sugar and mix well. Wait till the banana slices are carmelized. Finally, add the cinnamon powder and switch off  flame.


  • Spread the peanut butter on one slice and then arrange the caramelized banana pieces(I prepared caramelized bananas in two batches and so cut both in different ways, one sliced & one chopped). Close with another slice of bread.
                                           
  • Apply butter or ghee on top of the slice and invert on the pan with the buttered side up. Grill the bread and then cut in two diagonally . Pour chocolate sauce on top (optional) and then serve warm.
                                               
                                               

NOTES
* You can use white granulated sugar instead of brown sugar.
* I have used homemade peanut butter and so its a bit chocolaty peanut butter than the color of  the original peanut butter. You can use store peanut butter or use almond chocolate spread or nutella too.
* I have used ghee instead of butter for grilling. You can use whichever you prefer.
* You can use regular dole or robusta bananas to make this sandwich too instead of plantains.

RECIPES THAT I POSTED USING ETHAKKA(NENDRAN PAZHAM )-


Monday, April 12, 2021

Chakka Podi Idli | Raw Jackfruit Powder Idli (Step by Step Pics)

After posting the chakka podi(raw jackfruit powder), here comes my tried and tested version of the frequently made recipe of idlis using chakka podi. These idlis are made similar to ragi idlis with flour mixed with idli batter. These idlis are very soft but don't puff up very high. Taste wise there is no difference but texture wise its a bit stickier than regular idlis. However, the main advantage of these beauties is that it definitely reduces your carb load thereby keeps a check on your weight and sugar levels per se. Chakka podi aka raw jackfruit powder is available in markets these days and if you don't get a chance to make your own batch then try these idlis with that pack. Please do let me know too how it turned out and enjoy !!



Preparation time ~ 10 mins
Cooking time ~ 15 mins
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 8 idlis
Ingredients
salt to taste



Method
                                             
  • Leave to ferment overnight or 6 hours. Add salt once fermented and pour in a idli mould. Steam cook for 12 minutes, it takes a little longer than regular idlis.

                                           
  • Cool the idli plates slightly and invert or scoop out on plates and serve with sambar or chutney. We served with sambar and pudina chutney.
Check this link for more chutney recipes here



NOTES
* Adding salt before fermentation can also be done, but i prefer adding after fermentation.
* Remember to smear a little oil in moulds before pouring the batter.
* Steam cook for 12-13 minutes or tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
* These days you get store brought chakka podi too, you can use that incase you don't plan to make your own flour.


CHECK OUT DIFFERENT VARIETIES OF IDLIS FROM THIS SPACE:





 
 

 




 
 

 

How to make Chakka Podi(Raw Jackfruit Powder) ? | Chakka Podi from Scratch (Step by Step Pics)

Raw jackfruit or pacha chakka or kathal is a superfood. Chakka podi(raw jackfruit powder) is a healthy replacer for carbs and also the dried pieces can be used all year throughout. These dried pieces can be used to make upperi(kootan) after soaking for 3-4 hours. If you stay in a place away from Kerala then this is a healthy choice to keep dried jackfruit pieces ready at hand and can be used anytime. As jackfruit(chakka) is a seasonal fruit so this may not be available always in Kerala too so can be dried and be used. Raw jackfruit is way more healthier than the ripe jackfruit. Its good for diabetics to reduce the glycemic load and it also has more soluble fibers thereby reducing the cholesterol. This also prevents colon cancer says research and is a low acid veggie.

The whole idea behind making this podi(powder) is that this powder has a neutral taste and can be added to any of the Indian meals like upma, rotis, parathas, idlis or dosas without noticing or tasting any much taste difference. This has more soluble fibers and the calories are much less compared to the grains. This podi is made by using the mature raw jackfruits or else may not taste good. This dry preserve has very low glycemic index compared to that of rice and wheat. We get the raw jackfruit powder these days in supermarkets too but when in season you get so much fresh jackfruit that we can sun dry and use.  Bookmark this up and save for your future.



So last year onwards, I started sun drying the raw jackfruit and this way the dried jackfruit pieces can be stored a year long outside at room temperature. I still have my last year's batch still fresh in air tight containers. There is no particular recipe to preserve the jackfruit. The procedure is quite simple but we need good sunlight for the initial 3 days else the pieces may get fungus. So be careful with that part rest everything is taken care of quick and easy. Do give this a try if you would love to preserve jackfruits this way, its a keeper :)


Preparation time ~ 1 hour
Cooking time ~ 10 minutes
Sun dry ~ 3 -4 days
Author ~ Julie
Ingredients
raw jackfruit 1 whole cleaned 




Method
  • Clean the raw jackfruit by cutting it open, clean the sap using a chakiri or cheratta (coconut shell). Then cut small portions of the jackfruit, cut and remove the center portion to which the bulbs are attached bulbs alone. Remove the seed in each and then chop the bulbs small.


  • In a steamer, add enough water and place the plate. Add the chopped jackfruit in the plate and steam cook for 5-7 minutes until slightly wilted. 
  • Remove the wilted jackfruit from stove and then spread on clean cloth. Spread evenly and keep under the sun till its completely dry. It may take 4-5 days to get super crisp pieces, keep it spread evenly on the cloth even during night time under the fan in especially the initial 2 days of sun drying. The pieces may turn sticky with the moisture and go bad. 
  • Store in air tight containers and powder as much as and when required or a small batch to store as needed.
  • The powder may not stay good for long but the dried chopped pieces can be stored over a year.



  • You can even make chakka kootan(chakka upperi) or chakka vevichathu using these dry ones. Soak this dry jackfruit for about 30 minutes and use.


                                                    


NOTES
*Check out my chakka podi idli recipe shared.
* Also remember to powder the dried jackfruit pieces in small batches so that the freshness remains.
* Use mature raw jackfruit for this process and not ripe ones. Ripe ones may not dry up properly. 
* I just warmed up the dry pieces again once in the whole year to just extend the shelf life. Take care to place in a dry plate when sun drying again else the product may go bad.

Please check out the below links of few basic recipes, if interested-

OR Check out this page here for more basic recipes.



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.