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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Kara Sev | Diwali Savory Snacks


Sev are very popular and easy snacks not only restricted to Festival time but through out the year. There are innumerous flavours but this one is very basic which has red chilly powder, pepper powder and asafoetida. These are extremely addictive so should be watched while munching

Ingredients:
1 cup Gram flour
1/2 cup Rice flour
2 tbsp melted Butter (hot)
2 tsp white Oil (hot)
1/2 tsp Jeera
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Pepper powder
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
1 tsp approx Salt or to your taste
1/4 cup Water (adjust to make a dough)
Oil for deep frying

Method:
Sieve the flours together twice and remove any lumps in a large bowl. Add hot melted butter and mix well til it gets crumb like texture. Add oil, jeera, turmeric, pepper, asafoetida, salt and mix well. 

Now add water slowly to make a soft dough like we knead for poori. Leave this dough for 10 minutes. In between heat enough oil in a deep frying oil and check the temperature of oil by dropping a pinch of dough into hot oil, if it floats back on top immediately then oil is ready.
Take the murukku press and pick the plate that has many holes in it. 

oil on the plate and inside the murukku machine, fill the machine with the dough and press the dough into the hot oil by rotating the handle of the machine clockwise. Move the maker in circular motion to avoid them sticking or overlapping together. Use fork if needed and fry til sev turns to a gold shade. Remove the first batch from oil and place on paper napkin. Repeat the process with the remaining dough. Roughly crush the sev to store them. After sev cools down, store in an air tight container. 


read more.. "Kara Sev | Diwali Savory Snacks"

Monday, October 28, 2013

Bok Phool | Blossom Fritters |Hadga /Agasti Flower Bhajis


With each passing day there are some very traditional and rare recipes which are loosing their sheen and I am sad to think that next generation will be clueless about age old recipes. One such hardly heard recipe is 'Bok Phool Bhaja'. 
During a very short period between receding summer and upcoming winter grows a flower typically called as Bok Phool by Bengalis (Scientific name: Sesbania Grandiflora Leguminosae). The literal meaning of it is that 'bok' means crane, which is white in color and 'phool' means flower.


Both by it's color and it's long shape it slightly does resembles like a crane. In the same line even Kumro phool (Pumpkin flower fritters) is also very popular. During my last visit to Kolkata just before my departure I saw a man sitting on a road side selling these in separate plastics worth Rupees 12/-. Carried it with me in flight and enjoyed these fritters sitting in Chennai !

Try this Stuffed Hyacinth Beans Fry /Sheem Bhaja

Ingredients:
8-9 Bok phool/phul 
4 tbsp Gram flour (besan)
4 tbsp Cornflour
2 tsp Poppy seeds
Pinch of turmeric powder
Pinch of Baking soda
Salt to taste
Chilled water  
Refind oil for deep frying

Method:
Remove the filament of flower and dip the flower into saline water for 10 minutes. This is done to disinfect it from any germ inside the petals. The blossoms are very delicate so do handle with care !

In a bowl mix cornflour, gram flour, poppy seeds, soda, turmeric and salt. Add 1/4 chilled water and make homogeneous batter. Heat oil in a deep frying pan and dip blossoms in the gram flour batter.

 Deep fry for couple of minutes on low flame until light golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and place the fried blossoms on tissue paper to soak extra oil. Serve immediately with steamed rice-dal combination. We had this with Kichdi !



read more.. "Bok Phool | Blossom Fritters |Hadga /Agasti Flower Bhajis"

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Moongdal Sondesh | Easy Diwali Sweets Recipes


Don't raise your eyebrows reading the name of this recipe ! I know traditional Sondesh recipe doesn't call for anything other than Chhana but here I just thought of playing with the idea of shaping them. Subtly flavored with cardamom powder, this has nice aroma with every bite. Now a days countdown to Diwali (festival of Lights) is well and truly on and in order to start the tempo at my end I have tried making Moondal sondesh with jaggery instead of sugar. This is a lentil based sweet which is on the borderline between tasty and wholesome. Shaping them was fun!



Some more Ladoo recipse which you can make for Diwali:
1) Rava Ladoo
2) Narkol er Naru
3) Besan Ladoo

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Moong dal (yellow variety)
1/2 cup Jaggery
1/4 tsp Cardamom powder
2 tbsp Ghee
Fistful of cashews and raisins
1-2 tbsp Milk if needed
Pinch of salt

Method:
In a deep bottomed pan, dry roast moong dal on low flame. Stir continuously to get an even roasting and this process takes 15-20 minutes by now you will get a nice aroma. Leave the dal to cool down and then grind to fine powder.


Sieve and if there is any coarse mixture left make sure to grind it again and sieve. Grind jaggery to make a fine powder. Sieve through both jaggery and powdered dal. Now in a plate add jaggery-dal mixture, cardamom powder, pinch of salt and mix well. In a pan add ghee and fry cashews and raisins. 


Add to the mixture and mix thoroughly. The hot ghee will help to bind the mixture, if not then initially add 1 tbsp milk (add one more if you find it difficult) and try making a small round ball. 


Now press down the ball into the sondesh molds and then carefully remove from the molds. Repeat till you are done with all the mixture. You can store these in a closed box in the refrigerator for upto 2-3 days.

Notes:

  • Don't leave the pan unattented while roasting dal. Keep stirring on low flame.
  • Sieve both jaggery and powdered dal together for super fine texture. If you want coarse texture then you may skip it.
  • You can also shape them round instead of using sondesh molds. 

Sending this Diwali special recipe to Gayathri's  Diwali Special event.

read more.. "Moongdal Sondesh | Easy Diwali Sweets Recipes"

Monday, October 21, 2013

Panner Paturi (Cottage Cheese Wrapped in Banana Leaves)


Patauri is a very popular dish cooked in fresh banana leaves or pumpkin leaves. Today's post is my Grandmother's fav recipe. Basically shorshe bata (mustard paste) is the base and bhetki/ paneer/ chingri is wrapped in banana leaf and then either you can steam or roast. The delicate paneer pieces with vibrant flavour is sure to win heart for vegetarians.




Ingredients:
250 gms Cottage cheese
4-5 tbsp Mustard seeds (dip in warm water along with 1 tsp vinegar)
1 tbsp Poppy seeds
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
Pinch of Sugar
2 tbsp Mustard oil
4-5 Green chillies, adjust to your taste
Salt to taste
3-4 lemon drops
Few banana leaves
Threads for wrapping or toothpicks

Method:
Clean and cut the banana leaves, remove the stem that runs through the middle and dip in a large bucket of warm water. This will allow the parcel to mold easily. Apply mustard oil on one side and keep aside.
Cut Paneer pieces in big chinks and sprinkle some salt and turmeric powder. Leave this for 10-15 minutes. Make a paste of mustard seeds, poppy seeds with very little water and grind to make a smooth paste.

Now place the marinated paneer chunks in the center of banana leaf (glossy side up) and add the remaining marinade on it, slit green chillies, add lemon juice and top it with a generous amount of mustard oil. Fold to make it a parcel and tie with a cotton tread or toothpick.

Place a non-stick  pan on low flame and place the banana parcels and drizzle some oil around it. Cover with lid and roast for 7-8 minutes and make sure it is cooked from both the sides. By now the color of the leave parcels should also change. 

Discard the threads from the parcel and you can transfer the paneer pieces into a serving plate or can have it directly from the leaf. Best to go with rice. Delicious paneer Paturi is ready to tickle your tastebuds.

read more.. "Panner Paturi (Cottage Cheese Wrapped in Banana Leaves)"

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Coconut-Mawa Peda for Vijaya Dashami




Shubho Bijoya /Happy Vijaya Dashami to all my friends and readers. Little late in wishing but then we have time till Kali Puja to exchange pleasantries :-) I spent last 2 weeks in Kolkata (West Bengal) during Durga Puja and enjoyed every bit of our stay. For most of Bengalis Durga Puja thrill starts from Mahalaya itself and continues till Dashami. Till wee hours we devotees thronged pandals to seek Ma Durga's blessings. To mark the occasion after Visarjan, Narkel Naru along with other sweets are distributed. 

Ingredients:
300 gms Khoya / Mawa
1 cup grated Coconut
5 tbsp Brown sugar
1/2 tsp Cardamom powder
Some extra grated coconut (2tbsp) for garnishing

Method:
Grate khoya or mawa with a grater and heat it up in a non stick pan on low heat. Keep stirring continuously and when it starts leaving ghee add brown sugar and mix well. Now add coconut, cardamom powder and stir continuously on low heat. 

When the mixture starts gooey and little sticky remove from fire. Let this sit for 5-10 minutes and then shape this mixture tightly with hands to shape them small round pedas. For decoration you may add a big pinch of grated coconut in the center. The pedas are ready to be served.

read more.. "Coconut-Mawa Peda for Vijaya Dashami"

Thursday, October 3, 2013

How To Make Prawn Fried Rice


It's about 32 more hours till we land up in Kolkata for Durga Puja festivals and to compound things further I have not even completed fifty percent of the packing. More so I have to pack only the essential stuff as the Airlines have limited their check baggage to a measly 15 kgs. So racing against time. 

Also,I have been trying to cook most of my frozen food items before I travel and one of the last items that I prepared was Prawn Fried Rice. Was simple enough to prepare and looked well done. Pics are for all of you to judge. 

Ingredients:
1.5 cups Rice
1 cup small Prawns, cleaned and de-veined
2 Green chillies, minced
5-6 Garlic pods, minced
1/2 cup chopped French Beans
1 cup shredded Cabbage
1 big Onion, cut into thin slices
2 tsp Sesame seeds
1 tbsp Tomato sauce
1 tbsp Tabasco Hot chilly sauce
1 tbsp Vinegar
1 tbsp Light Soya Sauce
Freshly grounded pepper powder
1/2 Lemon juice
Salt to taste
Oil

Method:
Marinate the prawns by sprinkling some salt and chilly powder and lemon juice in a bowl. Keep aside for 15 minutes. Heat oil in a wok or kadhai and fry these prawns on high flame for few seconds only (if you over fry prawns they will taste rubber later !). Keep aside.


Wash and soak the rice in enough water for 30 minutes. Now put the stove on high flame and leave too cook. Add little salt and 2 tsp oil, when the water starts boiling lower the flame and keep an eye. This stage is very crucial as you need to check the grains if they are done. Don't over cook as the end result be mushy rice. Drain and remove the lid and let the steam pass off. Fluff the rice with a fork and let the rice cool completely.

In a wok or Kadai heat oil and add sesame seeds, garlic, onions and fry it on high flame. Add cabbage, beans, fry for 3-4 minutes and mix well. Add rice into the wok and season with salt and pepper powder. Add all the sauces, fried prawns and toss everything on high flame for few seconds. Ensuring that the rice grains are intact while mixing. Serve hot !

read more.. " How To Make Prawn Fried Rice"