Dussera got over last week after a glorious Navaratri celebration all over the country. Navaratri in Tamil households involves lots of preparation from arranging and decorating the Golu to making prasadams (bhog) every single day – twice daily.
We make lots of Sundals (which is a dry salted salad-type preparation with different lentils) as prasadam. People also make different sweets to induce some variety to the prasadams. This time I tried Sitaphal (Custard Apple) Kheer as part of my prasadam. This is the season for custard apples and I got quite tempted to try out this recipe. It turned out to be pretty good and I am sure people who relish kheer would love this one.
1.5 lts whole milk
18 tsps sugar
pulp of 5 custard apples
Almonds, Pistachios, Cashews, Raisins for garnishing
Boil milk in a large pan/bowl. After the first boil, add sugar and stir it occasionally till the milk starts reducing. Extract the pulp from all the custard apples by removing the seeds-its quite a task..:). Grind the pulp to a smooth paste and keep it aside.
Once the milk reduces to half its quantity, it will turn light pink in colour. Turn off the gas, add the fruit pulp and stir well. Finally you can garnish it with almonds, pistachios, cashews and raisins, roasted in ghee. This kheer tastes great when served chilled.
Now that fresh custard apples are available in abundance during this season, this recipe is definitely worth a try!!
Our favourite fruit, Mango, will fast dwindle away in the next 2 weeks with the summer passing and the arrival of Monsoon. Many sweets, salads and dals are made out of different varieties of Mangoes. The Mango Kheer is a unique dish which tastes excellent, especially when served chilled. Let’s take a look at this easy recipe.
Pulp of 2 ripe Mangoes (preferably Alphonso)
1 ltr whole milk
11 teaspoons of sugar
1 tbsp rice
1 tsp ghee
Boil the milk on medium flame. Add sugar. After adding sugar when the milk starts boiling, add the raw rice. Let the rice cook in the milk. Keep stirring till the milk starts reducing. It will turn to a very light pink colour. Turn off the gas and cool it to room temperature. Blend the mango pulp into a smooth puree. Add this to the cooled milk and mix well. This recipe turns out to be mildly sweet. You can adjust sugar according to your taste even at the end. Garnish with a few almonds, cashews and raisins roasted in ghee. Serve this kheer chilled.
Enjoy the Mango Kheer before the season of Mangoes end!
Summer is here in full swing and you can see people gathering at Lemon Juice stalls, Coconut water and Cucumber stalls to quench their thirst and also cool their bodies. It is very important to keep ourselves hydrated in order to avoid heat strokes. Aam Panna is one such cooler which helps in hydrating and also cooling our body.
Here is a recipe worth trying…
3 Raw Mangoes
4 tbsps Jaggery
3 cups Water
1/2 tsp Roasted Cumin seeds powder
Few Mint leaves
Peel the raw mangoes and slice them into small pieces. Cook the slices in 3 cups of water. When the mango slices become soft, add the jaggery and switch off the flame after 2 minutes. The jaggery will dissolve in the hot mango solution. Now add rock salt, roasted cumin seeds powder and the mint leaves. Cool it by refrigeration. Add water and ice before serving. You can also add cardamom for flavour.
Enjoy this delicious drink and cool off the summer..:)
What do you make when you invite people for tea at your place? Thinking of making a snack for tea time always gets you into a chagrin – should it be a lavish tiffin or just namkeen ? Well, stop thinking and try this Mix Dal Vada which is a crispy protein rich snack, a big hit with the kids and am sure the guests too 🙂
Note: Please use a small cup, or you can even measure with a big serving spoon
1 cup Boiled Rice
1 cup Toor Dal
1 cup Moong Dal
1 cup Urad Dal
1 cup Chana Dal
1 tbsp chopped coconut
2 tsp whole pepper
4 -5 Red chillies
Salt acc to taste
Oil for frying
Soak the boiled rice and all the dals together for an hour along with the red chillies. Drain the water and grind them into a coarse batter while adding salt. Now that the batter is ready, add freshly chopped coconut pieces, curry leaves,whole pepper and asafoetida to this. Mix well. Fry the vadas in oil and serve with any chutney or sauce of your choice.
The crunchy vadas with whole pieces of coconut and pepper make a good evening snack. I tried coriander chutney with this and it tasted great. You can add a twist to this recipe by giving a tadka (seasoning) of mustard seeds and hing(asafoetida) to the batter before frying.
Use Organic Dals and Cold Pressed Groundnut/Sunflower Oil for the best taste. You can find these ingredients on Amazon here
Today is Ekadasi, the 11th day after the new moon (Amavasya). Traditionally folks used to fast on Ekadasi day. The terms of fasting ranges from full to partial depending on age, and how devout one is.
The following day, Dwadasi, in Tamilian families, they cook a special rasam, called Dwadasi Rasam. The main difference between regular rasam and this rasam is that moong dal is used instead of toor dal. Reason being that coming out of fasting, one should be eating food that is easy to digest. The traditional tamarind and tomatoes are also skipped, and lemon juice is used instead.
I have seen several recipes of dwadasi rasam include toor dal as well. As with the diversity of our country, one can expect many variations in this as well.
Try this dwadasi rasam. Tell us what you think, and please add your variations to the comments section as well.
Moong Dal (Split) – ¼ cup
Turmeric Powder ½ tsp.
Water 2 cups.
Grated Ginger 1 tbsp
Chopped curry leaves – a few
Lemon Juice 2 tbsp.
Salt to taste.
Roast and Powder coarsely
Urad dal (Split) ¾ tsp.
Chana dal ½ tsp.
Black Pepper 1 tbsp.
Jeera 1 tsp.
Red Chilies 2 no.
Oil 1 tbsp (cold pressed groundnut oil or sesame oil works great. Adds a nice aroma) .
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves a little
Crushed red chilies 2 no.
Asafoetida (Hing) a pinch
Chopped Coriander leaves for garnish
Pressure cook the dal with turmeric powder. Mash the dal and add 2 cup of water and dilute it. Transfer into the big vessel.
Add salt, turmeric powder, ginger, curry leaves and Hing and bring to boil on low fire.
In mean time, roast above ingredients (except jeera) and powder it coarsely along with jeera.
Add ground powder and boil , while rasam froths up, remove from the fire.
With one tablespoon oil, fry the mustard seeds ,when they burst add curry leaves crushed red chilies and Hing to it and pour them to the Rasam.
Add freshly squeezed lemon juice and mix well.
Garnish with chopped cilantro.
Note: Lemon juice gives the sourness and pepper gives the taste and strong aroma for the rasam.
Tomorrow we celebrate Ganesha Chaturthi. Ganesha is considered the remover of obstacles and is typically prostrated to / worshipped first before any other task is taken upon (and that includes the pooja or worshipping of other deities as well.)
The archetype of Ganesha features a young plump lad, with an elephants head. He is unhurried in his gait, relaxed in his nature, and loves to eat all sorts of food. His favourite food (esp in the south of India) is a sweet steamed rice dumpling called the Kozhakattai in Tamil (Modak in Marathi).
The recipe below is a healthier version of the already healthy dish. This recipe uses brown rice flour.
To make the brown rice flour:
Soak brown rice (2 cups) in warm water for a few hours until it is well soaked
Drain all the water out and let it dry outside (but not under direct sun) for a few hours till all the surface dampness is gone.
Dry grind the rice in a blender to yield a fine powder.
To make the kozhakattai:
1 cup fine brown rice flour
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup grated coconut
1/2 cup grated jaggery
A pinch of cardamom powder
In a thick bottomed skillet, add the grated jaggery and coconut, stir on a low flame till they are incorporated into a nice gooey mixture. Turn off the flame, and add the pinch of cardamom powder to it and mix well. Set aside to cool
In another skillet, pour 1 cup water, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of oil and let the water boil. When it begins to boil, turn it off, pour the brown rice flour into it as a heap, and close it with a lid.
Few minutes later, open the lid, the flour must have nicely absorbed the warm water into it and must be pliable like dough.
Grease your fingertips with some oil and make a small ball of dough, start flattening it from the tips till you have formed a nice wide cup with the dough.
Fill a teaspoon of the coconut jaggery filling (called the poornam). You can see a video of how to do it in this link: Kozhakattai Dumpling
Make the whole lot of it and place it in a steamer and steam the dumplings for 5 to 7 minutes. (You will get an amazing fragrance of steamed rice)
Cool and serve.
As always, would love to hear from you. Do try it out and let me know how it came. Wish you and your loved ones a very happy Ganesha Chaturthi.