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July 28, 2014

HOMEMADE PANEER RECIPE–INDIAN COOKING BASICS

 

homemade paneer recipe

I would like to share some yummy paneer recipes in the upcoming weeks.Before that,i wanted to post this basic homemade paneer recipe.As u all know,making homemade paneer is very easy,healthy,hygenic,nutritious as well as low in cost when compared to store bought paneer.All u need is just a litre of milk,two lemons and a cheese cloth.Generally i use low fat milk to make paneer.It comes out super soft and stays good for a week when refrigerated in an air tight box.I have been following this method from Mrs.Mallika badrinath’s cook book for long time.I have tried with curd,vinegar and lemon juice too.Every time it comes out perfect.I am yet to try with citric acid.I have shared all the tips & tricks i learnt from my experience and observation. I hope it would be useful for beginners in cooking.I will try to upload a full video recipe soon.Lets see how to make paneer at home easilySmile.

Homemade-paneer

 

Homemade paneer recipe


Homemade paneer recipe Homemade paneer recipe using lemon juice
 
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Cooking basics
Serves: 15 cubes
Prep time: 15 Minutes
Cook time: 2Hours
Total time: 2H15Mins
 


INGREDIENTS

  • Low fat milk - 4 cups
  • Lemon juice - 2 to 3 tbsp + equal quantity of water
  • Salt - a pinch
  • Cheese cloth or muslin cloth or any cotton cloth - 1 no
  • Water - 1 cup or ice cubes – few
  • Maida – 1/2 tbsp (optional)
METHOD

  • Squeeze lemon juice from 2 lemons and add equal quantity of water & set aside.
  • Boil milk till it froths & rises to the top.As soon as it starts to boil,switch off the flame and leave it untouched for 30 seconds.

homemade paneer step1

  • Now add 1 tbsp of lemon juice and stir the milk.Milk will start to curdle.Again add another 1 tbsp of lemon juice and keep stirring the milk.Milk will completely curdle and u could see the greenish whey separating from the milk.
  • To this,add 1 cup of plain water or few ice cubes and let it sit for few minutes.Whey will float on top and the chenna settles down.

homemade paneer step2

  • Take a colander and cover it with the cheese cloth or cotton cloth.I used my cotton dupatta.Pour the curdled mixture & strain it by keeping a bowl underneath the colander.Collect the whey water & set aside.U can use this whey for curdling the milk,making rotis etc.

homemade paneer step3

  • Now tie the cloth & squeeze it lightly.Be careful,it would be hot.Hang the cloth under the cupboard or in a closed tap for about 30 minutes.Now all the excess water would be removed.
  • Remove the chenna & add 1/2 tbsp of maida.Knead it well for 2-3 minutes.Paneer will become very soft.Make a square share or round shape as u desire.

homemade paneer step4homemade paneer step5

  • Keep it in the cloth again & close it.Place the cloth on a plate and keep some weight( a bowl of water) over the cloth and set aside for one hour.When u remove after one hour,paneer would be well set.Remove the extras,cut into cubes and store in a box.Stays good for a week when refrigerated !

homemade paneer step6

  


Note

  • U can use curd in place of lemon juice.In that case,use 1/4 cup of slightly diluted curd.Remaining procedure is the same.
  • We should add equal quantity or even little more water to the lemon juice.By doing this way,the sourness of lemon would be reduced and the paneer wont taste sour.U don’t have to wash the paneer after straining.Its optional.
  • U can follow the same procedure for vinegar too.But i guess u may have to wash the paneer after straining as the vinger smell is powerful than lemon.
  • Do not boil the milk after u add lemon juice because paneer may become hard when u over boil the milk.
  • And u must add some plain water at room temp or ice cubes after the milk is curdled completely.This will help the whey and chenna to separate.This is optional though.
  • Do not use polyester cloth for straining paneer.Its better to use thin cotton cloth.
  • Adding maida is optional while kneading.U can skip it if u don’t like.
  • I usually make paneer using 2-3 days old boiled milk by refrigerating it.

 

homemade paneer

 

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July 24, 2014

POORI MASALA RECIPE-POTATO MASALA FOR PURI


Poori masala

Nothing can beat the combination of potato masala/Aloo masala for poori.Last year i posted onion masala for poori without potato which is my mom’s special.But poori tastes the best only with potato masala or potato kurma as served in restaurants/Hotels.In Tamil we say this as “Poori Kizhangu” & in Hindi it is called as bhaji.I made puri and this south Indian style potato masala for our breakfast yesterday as my birthday special recipeWinking.Some people use this potato masala for stuffing masala dosa too.But i make that masala slightly different.Soon i will post it here.U can do so many variations in this recipe by adding tomatoes,carrots,peas & making it without onion,besan flour etc.I have listed them in “Note” section.It tastes good in all the ways.Here is our method of making this yummy side dish for poori .Lets see how to make it.

Poori masala recipe


Poori masala recipe


Rava payasam recipe Poori masala - Best side dish for poori using potatoes
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Sidedish
Serves: Serves 3
Prep time: 15 Minutes
Cook time: 15 Minutes
Total time: 25Minutes


INGREDIENTS
To Pressure cook
  • Potato - 3 nos
  • Big onion - 2 nos
  • Green chillies - 3 nos
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece
  • Hing - 1/8 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Besan flour – 2 tsp
  • Salt & water - as needed
To temper
  • Cooking oil - 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal - 1 tsp
  • Chana dal - 1 tbsp
  • Curry leaves - few
METHOD

  • Wash and cut the potatoes into 3-4 pieces.Pressure cook them adding a pinch of turmeric powder for 4-5 whistles in high flame.Remove and peel the skin.Mash it roughly into big pieces.Dilute the besan flour adding 1/4 cup of water and set aside.
Poori masala recipe step
  • Slice onions,chop ginger,Green chillies and curry leaves.Set aside.
  • In a wide kadai,heat oil and do the seasoning part as given above.Then add onions,finely chopped green chillies ,ginger bits & curry leaves.
Poori masala recipe step1
  • Saute till onion turns transparent.Now add 1 cup of water,turmeric powder,salt and hing.Allow it to boil.Meanwhile add the roughly chopped potatoes and diluted besan flour.(I transferred everything to a small cooker and cooked for one whistle in high flame for quick cooking of onions.Its optional.U can do it in kadai too.)
Poori masala recipe step2
  • Boil well for few minutes till onion gets cooked well & masala reaches semi solid consistency.Switch off the flame.Add some coriander leaves if necessary.
Poori masala recipe step3
Potato masala is ready to serve with hot puffy puri !
NOTE
  • For variations,u can add finely chopped carrots and a handful of peas while sauting onions.U can also add half of a finely chopped tomato.
  • U can add besan flour or skip it if u don’t like tat flavour.But i add it to give the restaurant touch as well as to give a creamy texture.
  • This masala thickens when it cools.So make it slightly watery before switching off the flame.
  • Adjust the quantity of chillies as per ur taste.I don’t chop the chillies finely for my daughter’s sake.So i slit and add.But in hotels they do add them finely chopped.
  • To make this as kurma,add some finely chopped garlic cloves and 1/2 tsp of garam masala powder.






Puffy poori with this potato masala tastes like heaven for morning breakfast.Do try & feel it !!

Don't forget to check out my puffy poori/Puri recipe with tips n tricks !

Potato masala for poori




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July 22, 2014

VAZHAIPOO VADAI RECIPE/BANANA FLOWER VADA–BANANA FLOWER RECIPES


 Banana flower vadai
As i mentioned in my Vazhaipoo kuzhambu post,i made vazhipoo vadai for the first time with the tender banana flowers.It was so nice and crispy.Basically we love anything when deep fried Batting Eyelashes.So when i made this Vazhaipoo vadai,Sendhil & Raksha were double happy to have a healthy deep fried snack for their tea time.It was a good change for me from the usual vazhaipoo usili or poriyal & i am happy that i’ve  got yet another yummy banana flower recipe in my list.I got this recipe from my MIL.I made few changes to make it in an easier way & prepared this vada.Ok,lets see how to make this vazhaipoo vadai easily.
Vazhaipoo-vadai

Vazhaipoo vadai recipe


Rava payasam recipe Vazhaipoo vadai - Healthy,yummy snack recipe using Banana flowers 
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Snacks
Serves: Yields 8nos
Prep time: 3 Hours
Cook time: 15 Minutes
Total time: 3H 15M


INGREDIENTS

  • Banana flower/Vazhaipoo – Two handful (approx 40nos) 
  • Chana dal – 1/2 cup
  • Toor dal – 1 tbsp (optional)
  • Red chillies – 3-4 nos
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece
  • Hing/Asafetida – 1/4 tsp
  • Water – As needed
  • Fennel seeds – 1/4 tsp
  • Small onions/Big onion – 20 nos / 1 no
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Cooking oil – to deep fry
METHOD

  • Wash and soak chana dal & toor dal for 3 hours.
  • Wash and clean Vazhaipoo.Remove the stamen part in the flower and keep the flowers immersed in buttermilk till use. No need to chop them.
  • First coarsely grind the banana flowers along with pinched red chillies,hing,ginger ,fennel seeds and salt.
vazhaipoo vadai step1
  • Drain the water in the soaked chana dal and grind it without adding water.The water content in vazhaipoo itself is enough to grind.
vazhaipoo vadai step2
  • Take the vada batter in a wide bowl.Finely chop onions,curry leaves & add to the batter.Mix well.Take a lemon sized ball and pat it to make masala vada shape
vazhaipoo vadai step3
  • Heat oil to deep fry.Add a pinch of batter.If it rises immediately,oil is ready.Now drop the vada and deep fry both sides till the onions turn golden brown.
vazhaipoo vadai step4
  • Remove and serve with sauce or coconut chutney !
NOTE
  • Do not add water while grinding.Soak chana dal for minimum two hours.
  • Adjust the quantity of chillies based on ur taste.U can also use green chillies in place of red chillies.
  • Adding soambu/Fennel gives a nice flavor to the vada.U can also skip it if u don’t like.
  • No need to chop the banana flowers as we are grinding it coarsely.
  • The color of vada is generally black.
  • I will make a detailed post on “How to clean Vazhaipoo” with stepwise pictures soon.

Enjoy this crispy vazhaipoo vadai with Ginger Tea or Coffee ! Tastes yum !
Vazhaipoo vadai

Also check out my other vadai recipes

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July 21, 2014

MILLETS LADDU RECIPE-MILLET RECIPES


 millets laddu recipe
I am happy to share my first post on millet recipes/Siruthaniya unavugal(in Tamil) .As i wanted to start with a easy sweet recipe,i tried this mixed millets laddu adding jaggery.It came out very well.Sendhil loved it a lot.I have seen millet laddu recipes using Ragi or thinai/Foxtail millet.For a change,i used all the millets like thinai,kambu,kuthiravali,Saamai,Varagu,ragi and in addition i used yellow moong dal and barley to make it like sathumaavu urundai/Health mix powder balls.I made this laddu keeping Diabetic patients in mind.So i skipped sugar & used jaggery as i din’t have karuppatti/Palm jaggery in hand.U can give this ladoo to ur kids too if they like jaggery flavour.Else make it with powdered sugar.U can store this laddu for weeks and give ur kids one laddu a day.I am sure they will get all the nutrients required for them.Try this power packed easy millet laddu recipe for ur family and enjoy the health benefits of all the millets in one go !
Do check out my detailed post on Millets varieties,how to identify them and where to buy it Happy.
Millets ladoo

Mixed Millets laddu recipe


Mixed Millets laddu recipe Mixed Millets laddu recipe with jaggery – Healthy snacks recipes !
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Sweets
Serves: Yields 15nos
Prep time: 15 Minutes
Cook time: 10 Minutes
Total time: 25 Minutes


INGREDIENTS
  • Thinai /Foxtail millet– 3 tbsp
  • Kambu /Pearl millet– 3 tbsp
  • Ragi /Finger millet– 3 tbsp
  • Kuthiravali /Barnyard millet– 3 tbsp
  • Varagu / Kodo millet– 3 tbsp
  • Saamai /Little millet– 3 tbsp
  • Moong dal – 2 tbsp
  • Barley – 1 tbsp
  • Grated jaggery – 3/4 –1 cup
  • Cardamom seeds– 4 nos
  • Melted Ghee – 6 tbsp (adjust)
METHOD

  • In a wide kadai,take all the millets,moong dal,barley and cardamom seeds.Dry roast it in medium flame till u get a nice roasted aroma.Roasting takes 10 minutes based on the flame u keep.Make sure u don’t burn the millets while roasting.(If u want,u can roast  the millets one by one)
Millets laddu recipe step1
  • Allow it to cool.In the mean time,grated the jaggery and melt the ghee & roast the cashews.Now grind the roasted millets to a fine powder.Sieve if necessary.
Millets laddu recipe step2
  • After its ground smooth,add the grated jaggery and again grind it to a fine powder.Check for sweetness.Add more jaggery if u need.
Millets laddu recipe step3
  • Now take the ground mixture in a wide bowl.Make a dent in the center.Add the melted ghee and roasted cashews.Mix well with the ladle as the ghee is hot.
Millets laddu recipe step4
  • Once the mixture is warm,mix well with ur hands and make balls.Add more ghee if needed OR u can also add few drops of milk or water if u want to reduce the quantity of ghee.But the shelf life of laddu will be reduced if u add milk.So use it accordingly.
  • Make all ladoos and store in an air tight box.Enjoy.It stays good for weeks.
Millets laddu recipe step5

Note
  • Adjust the quantity of grated jaggery as per ur sweet buds.
  • If u add less jaggery,u may need to add more ghee.
  • Sieving the ground flour is completely optional.If u don’t sieve,u may get some crunchy taste while eating not very smooth.
  • U can also add a handful of fried gram dal while roasting millets.It gives a nice flavour and an added benefit for kids.
  • U can also replace jaggery with sugar if u want to make it for kids.

Make this easy and healthy millet laddu,enjoy eating and reap its health benefits !
Millets


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July 19, 2014

MIXED VEGETABLE CHUTNEY RECIPE-SIDE DISH FOR IDLI,DOSA


Mixed vegetable chutney

Basically i love to prepare varieties of chutney recipes for breakfast.So i keep searching and trying them.Vegetable chutney recipe was in my to-do list for long time.I referred Mrs.Mallika badrinath’s chutney varieties book for this recipe & I prepared this chutney using cabbage,cauliflower,chayote & carrot. U can also add few pieces of Zucchini,Capsicum & brinjal to make it more healthy.Myself and Sendhil had a satisfaction of eating a healthy side dish for idli ,dosa.It tasted great.I am sure this chutney would be a healthy n yummy replacement for our usual coconut chutney & tomato chutney recipes Smile.Ok,Lets see how to make this mixed veg chutney for idli,dosa.Procedure & ingredients list may seem lengthy.But its really worthy to try!

Mixed vegetable chutney recipe


Mixed vegetable chutney recipe


Mixed vegetable chutney recipe Mixed vegetable chutney recipe for idli,dosa!
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Chutney
Serves: Serves 2
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook time: 15 Minutes
Total time: 25 Minutes


INGREDIENTS
To saute & cook
  • Carrot - 1 no
  • Chayote/chow-chow –1/2 no (small)
  • Cauliflower – 1 big floret
  • Cabbage – few leaves 
  • Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
  • Salt & water – as needed
To roast & saute
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Red chillies – 6-7 nos
  • Chana dal – 2 tbsp
  • Hing/Asafetida – 2 pinches
  • Tomato – 2 nos
  • Big onion – 1 no
To temper
  • Cooking oil – 1/2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1/2tsp
To grind raw
  • Grated coconut – 2 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves – 2 stalk
  • Curry leaves – 8 nos
  • Tamarind - a small pinch
  • Salt - as needed
METHOD

  • Wash and chop the vegetables,onion & tomato.In a kadai heat oil and roast the ingredients given under “to roast n saute”.After roasting dal,chillies & hing , add the chopped tomatoes & onion pieces.Add little salt for quick sautéing.Remove and set aside.
Mixed vegetable chutney step1
  • Again heat 1-2 tbsp of oil in the kadai and saute all the chopped vegetables.Saute for 5 minutes in medium flame till the vegetables change in color.Add some salt for quick cooking.Add 1/2 cup of water and cover cook the vegetables till it turns soft.
  • Once the veggies are cooked,remove & set aside to cool.
Mixed vegetable chutney step2
  • In the mean time,grind the dal,chillies,tomato & onion mixture without adding water.To this add the sauteed veggies,grated coconut,coriander leaves & curry leaves.
  • Grind it to a thick paste adding little water.Check for salt and taste.Add a pinch of tamarind & grind again if u feel the chutney is too spicy.
Mixed vegetable chutney step3
  • Temper the chutney with mustard seeds and urad dal.
Serve with idli,dosa adding few tsp of gingely oil/Sesame oil.
Enjoy !

Note
  • Adjust the quantity of red chillies based on the spiciness of chillies. I used Byadgi chilli variety which is less spicy.U can use 4-5 nos if the chillies are spicy. 
  • U can use any vegetables of ur choice.


Enjoy this mixed vegetable chutney with idli,dosa.It tastes yum !
Vegetable-chutney-recipe


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July 17, 2014

AADI THENGAI PANDIGAI RECIPE/FIRE ROASTED COCONUT-AADI FESTIVAL RECIPES–TRADITION OF SALEM


aadi festival recipes

Today i celebrated Aadi pirappu/Aadi pandigai in my house by roasting coconut in direct fire by stuffing the coconut with sesame & jaggery pooranam.In Tamil we call this as “Thengai suduthal/thengai sudum pandigai”.This kind of celebration may be new to some of you.Its a customary practice among the people in and around Salem District,Tamil nadu.My mom follows this every year.Usually my mom makes pooja in evening around 6 pm  by offering this roasted coconut for Vinayagar & Amman.In Tamil nadu,special sticks and readymade pooranam/stuffings are available in all the stores.Being in Bangalore,i couldn’t find those things here. So i used a long kulfi stick for holding the coconut,asked my mom for the stuffing part and celebrated Aadi 1 festival for the first time in my house.By God’s grace,everything went very well and i was totally satisfied Happy.As this practice is almost forgotten among our generation,i wanted to have a record of this festival and the recipe in my blog for my future reference and of course for the Salem people who look for this festival.Wish u all a very happy Aadi Pandigai !
Lets see the procedure for stuffing and roasting coconut in detail Happy.

aadi thengai sudum pandigai

Aadi thengai pandigai recipe


Fire roasted coconut recipe Aadi thengai suduthal recipe for aadi pirappu/aadi pandigai !
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Festival recipes
Serves: Serves 1-2
Prep time: 60 Minutes
Cook time: 15 Minutes
Total time: 75 Minutes


INGREDIENTS

  • Coconut - 1 no
  • Turmeric powder – 2 tsp (to coat the coconut)
  • Coconut water – as needed
For stuffing/Pooranam
  • Raw rice – 2 tbsp
  • Grated jaggery – 5-6 tbsp 
  • Fried gram dal/Pottukadalai – 1 tbsp
  • Moong dal – 2 tbsp
  • Sesame seeds – 1 tbsp (black or white)
  • Thick Poha/Aval – 1 tbsp
METHOD

  • Mix all the ingredients given under “ for stuffing” in a bowl and set aside.
  • Clean the coconut by removing the fibre part(thengai naar) and rub the coconut well on the hard,rough surface to remove its fibre completely & make it smooth.
aadi festival step1
  • Now u can see three eyes on the bottom part of the coconut.Pierce one eye with a sharp pointed tool ( i used screw driver) and make a big hole.Invert the coconut over the tumbler and collect all the water.Keep the water aside.
aadi festival step2
  • Inside the hole,stuff the pooranam mixture using ur fingers.It would be slightly difficult and it takes more time too. Use the pointed tool whenever necessary to push the stuffing inside the coconut through the hole.
  • Add the coconut water little by little say few tbsp in the middle of stuffing. Keep stuffing the mixture and pouring the coconut water & fill the coconut.At one stage the coconut water will come out.At this point,stop filling it.
aadi festival step3
  • Now wash the coconut once and apply the turmeric powder all over it.Insert the strong stick or skewer.Seal the top with some turmeric powder paste.Decorate the coconut by keeping kumkum wherever needed.I kept 3 dots around the coconut and 4 dots on the top.
aadi festival step4
  • Keep the coconut over the gas burner.Switch on the flame and roast the coconut on all the sides.I used a big screw driver to turn the coconut as my stick was very tender.
  • Roasting takes nearly 10-15 minutes.Adjust the flame whenever necessary.While roasting,the water stuffed in the coconut may spill and drop over the burner.Don’t panic.U may get some strange sound too.Keep turning the coconut whenever needed.Coconut will turn black and it will get a big crack at one stage.
  • Stop roasting the coconut at this stage and remove.Keep aside to cool.
aadi festival step5
Offer this roasted coconut to GOD.Pray for all ur wishes to come true !
Then break the coconut and enjoy eating the coconut pieces along with the stuffing.It tastes great !!

Note
  • Adjust the quantity of jaggery based on ur taste. 
  • Stuffing the coconut takes more time and it really tests ur patience too.Add the coconut water in the middle of stuffing and keep filling.Use a pointed device to push the pooranam inside the coconut else it would be really difficult.
  • Its better to add lesser quantity of poha and fried gram dal in the stuffing as they struggle to go inside the hole whereas rice,moong dal,sesame and jagggery goes in smoothly.
  • Some people soak the rice for an hour before stuffing in the coconut.Its purely optional.

aadi pandigai recipes


Enjoy this roasted coconut pieces with the stuffing.It tastes yumm…Smile
roasted coconut recipe


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