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June 25, 2012

APPAM | CHETTINAD AAPAM RECIPE






I got this recipe from here. But i did not follow the same method which was given there instead i used my mom’s method for ease n convenience.The result was fluffy ,soft aapam which we had with vegetable stew. We loved it.Thanks to solai aachi for this wonderful recipe. This is sure a keeper. There are so many aapam recipes on net. Even i had posted some from my friend. Most of the recipes have urad dal , methi seeds and coconut milk .I was also making aapam using these ingredients. But my mom said it would smell more like dosa . She also said aapam has a typical coconut smell and taste. So this time i used only rice n coconut. As my mom said , it has that smell n taste. Next time i am planning to try solai achi’s authentic method and post it Smile



INGREDIENTS

  • Raw rice – 1 cup
  • Boiled rice –1 cup
  • Cooked rice - 1/4 cup 
  • Grated coconut – 1/2 cup
  • Cooking soda – 2 pinches
  • Salt – As needed
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Coconut water – little

METHOD

  • Soak both the rice together for 2-3 hrs.
  • Break the coconut and take the water.Set aside.Grate it and keep aside.
  • Grind the rice together adding the coconut water & cooked rice.
  • Add half of the required salt.After the rice starts to grind , add the grated coconut.
  • Add water if necessary. Make sure the batter is not too watery.It should be thick.Allow it to ferment overnight or 8 hrs.
  • The next day morning , add 2 pinches of cooking soda , sugar and little salt.Mix well and keep aside for 10 mins.
  • Heat the aapam skillet (aapam chatti) and pour a ladleful of batter in the centre.
  • Now swirl the aapam skillet in a circular motion so that the sides would be thin and center portion would be thick.
  • Cover with a lid and cook in medium flame for few mins.
  • The sides will raise and center portion will be cooked with holes on it.
  • Remove the aapam and enjoy with stew !!

We had  aapam with **sweetened coconut milk and vegetable stew.

**  For Sweetened coconut milk
Grind 1/4 cup of grated coconut with 1/4 cup of warm water and take the first extract.Add 3- 4 tsp of sugar and 2 crushed cardamom pods.Mix well , heat for few secs . Pour it on top of aapam and enjoy..

TIPS from Mrs.Mallika badrinath:

1. When bubbles does not form in the dosa, add little more cooking soda.
2. If the bottom of the dosa sticks to the pan and doesn’t come out well that shows coconut milk added is more than the required measure.




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June 18, 2012

ALMOND COOKIES–NO EGG NO BUTTER


aLMOND COOKIES 1
This is my second post on cookies. After trying nankhatai , i got the confidence of making varieties of cookies.I got this recipe from here..Thanks a lot anu , it tasted very well Smile. We loved it so much. I have done this thrice so far. When i tried this recipe for the first time i dint have butter in hand. So i just replaced the butter with cooking oil doubtfully. But to my surprise ,it tasted great.I started making it with cooking oil every time. I halved the original recipe and tried for the first time , but then i perfected the recipe for smaller quantity.Here i’ve given the recipe for small quantity which yields around 10 biscuits. It gets finish off in no time , try this ..U’ll come to know Winking smile
INGREDIENTS
  1. All purpose flour /Maida – 1/2 cup
  2. Almond / Badam – 1/3 cup
  3. Sugar – 1/2 cup
  4. Cooking oil – 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp
  5. Honey – 1 tsp (optional)
  6. Vanilla essence – 1/4 tsp
  7. Salt -  a pinch
  8. Cooking soda – a pinch
METHOD
  • Take the all purpose flour in a wide bowl and mix the salt , cooking soda & vanilla extract.
  • Microwave almonds for 1- 2 mins to roast it. Almonds start to crackle and nice aroma wafts around.
  • Remove the almonds and allow it to cool. Powder it nicely. U can powder the sugar along with almonds. (ie. run the almonds and make it to a coarse powder, then add the sugar and grind it well ..)
  • Mix this mixture to the all purpose flour and add the cooking oil.
  • Make it into a soft , non sticky dough. This dough would be crumbly in texture.
  • Roll it tightly. Pinch a small ball sized dough and flatten it with ur palm. Cracks may appear. Just seal the cracks with ur fingers by patting it in the sides.
  • In the meantime preheat the oven for 10 mins in 180c convection mode.
  • Take the baking tray or cookie pan and arrange the cookies with an inch gap. Cookies will raise and spread a little.
  • Bake it in convection mode at 180c for about 20 – 22 mins. Time depends upon ur MW setting. Please have an eye after 10 mins. Remove once the top starts browning.
  • It will be very soft to touch immediately after baking. Take out the tray.Don’t try to remove the cookies. Let it cool down completely in the tray itself. Then remove it.It would become  crispy and hard..
  • Keep the remaining dough covered.Do the same procedure from steps 7-9.
  • Store it in an air tight container after it cools down.
Enjoy the cookies with tea/ coffee !!
almond cookies
TIPS
  1. Honey is optional to use.I used honey for the first time but then i completely forgot it the next time. There is no difference in taste or texture.
  2. U can replace honey with golden syrup as mentioned in the original recipe.
  3. If u want to use butter in place of cooking oil , add 4 tbsp ( 60 gms) of melted butter.
  4. U can reduce the oil and add little water if necessary.
  5. Please do not add milk because the cookies turns soggy the next day.
  6. Mild cracks will be there in the cookies. Its unavoidable. so don’t panic.
  7. Here i’ve ,mentioned the almonds to grind nicely. U can also coarse grind the almonds as given in the original recipe. U’ll get small pieces of almonds while eating which also tastes good. I had tried in that way too.U can c the cookies in the second picture in which i coarse ground the almonds
  8. I added equal amount of roasted walnuts and almonds and tried once. Try if u wish. Smile
almond cookies

HEALTH BENEFITS
Source:http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/seed-and-nut/health-benefits-of-almonds.html
.
The health benefits of almonds include getting relief from constipation, respiratory disorders, cough, hearth disorders, anemia, impotency, and diabetes. It also helps in hair care, skin care (psoriasis), and dental care.
It is a rich source of vitamin E,calcium, phosphorous, iron and magnesium. It also contains zinc, selenium, copper and niacin. Almonds contain the most nutrients in comparison to all other nuts.

Both sweet and bitter almonds are available. Usually, sweet almonds are edible and bitter almonds are used to make almond oil, which is used to add flavor to food. Almonds are usually eaten raw, but people also add them as ingredients in salads. Almond milk is a delicious drink.
You can eat almonds directly, preferably eat it empty stomach to ensure absorption of their nutrients. You can soak them in water overnight and eat in the morning. You can also garnish various dishes with crushed almonds.
Almonds are also known to have great medicinal value. Few of the benefits of almonds are given below.
  • Good for brain: Almond is a source of many nutrients which help in development of the brain. Almond induces high intellectual level and has been considered as an essential food item for growing children. Many mothers give almonds soaked in water to their children daily in the morning (2-3 pieces of soaked almonds are good enough, you can also remove the outer shell if it causes allergy to you.
  • Regulates cholesterol: Regular consumption of almonds helps to increase the level of high density lipoproteins (HDL) and reduce the level of low density lipoproteins (LDL), thereby effectively controlling cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol is called bad cholesterol.
  • Good for heart: Mono-saturated fat, protein and potassium contained in almonds are good for the heart. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and reduces the risk of heart diseases. The presence of magnesium in almonds helps to avoid heart attacks. Almonds help reduce C-reactive protein which causes artery-damaging inflammation. Almond is also a source of folic acid. They therefore help to reduce the level of homocystein, which causes fatty plaque build up in arteries.
    • Skin care: The benefits of almond for skin care are well known, and hence a massage with almond oil is often recommended for new born babies. Almond milk is also added in some soaps as almonds help in improving the complexion of the skin.
    • Regulates blood pressure: Potassium present in almond helps to regulates blood pressure. Almonds are very low in sodium which also helps in containing blood pressure.
    • Prevention of cancer: Almond improves the movement of food through the colon, thereby preventing colon cancer.
    • Protection against diabetes: Almonds also help in reducing the rise in sugar and insulin levels after meals. This offers protection from diabetes.
    • Good in pregnancy: Almond contains folic acid. Folic acid helps to reduce the incidence of birth defects in newborn babies.
    • Weight loss: Unsweetened almond milk helps one to reduce weight. The mono-saturated fat contained in almonds satisfies appetite and prevents over-eating. Studies have revealed that almond rich low calorie diet is good for obese people to assist in shedding their weight.
    • Prevention of constipation: Almonds are rich in fibre. Like most other fibre rich food, almonds also help in preventing constipation. Make sure you drink good amount of water after eating almonds.
    • Boosts energy: The presence of manganese, copper and Riboflavin helps in energy production.
    One avoids the risk of Alzheimer's disease by consuming almonds. But just like any other food, even almonds have their cons. They contain oxalates and excessive oxalates can cause crystallization. So people having kidney or gallbladder problems should avoid eating almonds.



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June 11, 2012

VERMICELLI BIRYANI | SEMIYA BIRYANI




I got this recipe from my neighbour. I would say this recipe suits well for potluck as well as lunch box. Ur guests would be amazed by its taste. They’ll sure ask u for the recipe. I had tried this recipe many times and it never disappointed me. Its very simple to prepare too..I have used water to cook the semiya , u can use only coconut milk or water & coconut milk half n half to cook the vermicelli. It makes the dish very rich..

INGREDIENTS

  • Short Vermicelli / Semiya – 1 packet or 200gms ( Roasted would be much better. I used bambino roasted short vermicelli)
  • Big onion –  1 no (slice cut)
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Red chilly powder – 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Carrot – 2 nos
  • Beans – 5 nos
  • Green peas –  handful
  • Potato – 1 no
  • Water – 1.5 cups ( As mentioned in the packet)
  • Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
To grind
  • Grated coconut – 2 tbsp
  • Green chillies – 3 nos
  • Ginger – 1 inch
  • Cinnamon – 1 small piece
  • Cloves – 2 nos
  • Fennel – 1/2 tsp
To temper
  • Cooking oil – 2 tbsp
  • Jeera – 1 tsp
Coriander leaves – to garnish
Lime juice – few drops
Ghee – 1 tsp
Cashews – to garnish (optional)

METHOD

  • Cut all the vegetables into small cubes and add all the 1.5 cups of water and pressure cook for 1 whistle.
  • In a wide mouthed kadai , heat oil and add jeera.Then add the onion slices and saute well.
  • Add the ground coconut paste and mix well for few mins till raw smell emanates.
  • Next add all the veggies with the water and add the turmeric powder and required salt.Let it boil for few minutes.
  • Finally add the roasted semiya and mix well.Cover & cook for sometime. Toss in between.
  • Make sure the water is sufficient for the semiya to cook..If not add more and mix well. Use a fork kind of ladle to kindle the mixture so that the vermicelli wont break much.
  • Finally add the lime juice and garnish with coriander leaves.
Roast cashews in  a tsp of ghee and add it on top before serving !
Serve hot with simple onion raita!

TIPS

  • Here i’ve used green chillies for grinding. So use red chilly powder only if necessary. OR if u don’t want to use green chillies , use red chilly powder alone while sautéing onions.
  • U can use garam masala powder at the end if necessary.
  • Add all the water ( i.e the water needed for cooking vermicelli ) while cooking vegetables in the pressure cooker...
  • No need to pressure cook after adding the vegetables. Just cover the kadai or cooker with the lid.Open in between and stir the mixture well to avoid over cooking or burnt smell.
  • Add water if necessary. Usually vermicelli takes 10 mins to cook well.
  • This biryani looks mushy after cooking. U may feel it dint come out well .. But it needs some time to become flaky. Make sure u add correct quantity of water & use a fork to stir the mixture.
  • Please prepare this dish at least 1 hour before serving.
  • Sooner u prepare better the taste would be. If u want u can reheat it by sprinkling little water and serve hot.


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June 4, 2012

AVIAL RECIPE - LUNCH RECIPES






This is my mom’s signature dish.I am a big fan of this curry. It tastes gr8 with sambar rice. Its a famous recipe among south (Tirunelveli) & kerala..We make this specially for guests ..I think most of u make this @home. Every time when i try to make this, i never get it perfect like my mom.Recently when my parents visited me , I told my mom to make it , i stood nearby and noted down all the steps.I should have done this before my marriage Winking smile. Do try this with simple tips i learnt from my mom. U’ll love it ..



INGREDIENTS

  1. Mixed vegetables ( carrot, beans,raw banana , Brinjal , Drum stick,Potato)  - 2 cups
  2. Salt & water – As needed
  3. Turmeric powder  - a pinch
  4. Curry leaves – a few
  5. Fresh curd –1 tbsp
To grind
  1. Grated coconut – 1/2 cup
  2. Green chillies – 3 – 4 nos
  3. Small onion –5-6 nos
  4. Jeera – 1/2 tsp
To temper
  1. Cooking  oil – 1 tbsp
  2. Mustard seeds– 1/2 tsp
  3. Curry leaves – few
**Coconut oil – 1 tbsp

METHOD

  1. Cut all the vegetables of 1.5 inch size.Put everything in water until use.
  2. Grind all the items given under “to grind” with little water. First run the coconut & chillies together to make a paste, Then add the small onions & jeera and run the mixie once or twice to crush it.
  3. In a wide mouthed bowl , take the carrot , drum stick and beans.Add water just for the vegetables to immerse and allow it to cook for sometime by covering the bowl with a lid.
  4. After it is half cooked , add the potato , raw banana, brinjal . Make sure the vegetables are not over cooked.It should not be mushy. Total cooking time would be 20-25 mins in med high flame.
  5. Check the amount of water in between otherwise the veggies would be burnt.
  6. After all the veggies are cooked , if there is remaining water allow it to drain by boiling well for few mins.


  7. Finally add the ground coconut paste, turmeric powder, salt, curry leaves & coconut oil .. Toss well and simmer the flame.Allow it to boil for 5 mins.
  8. Before switching off the flame add the curd ,use a fork like ladle to mix well and switch off the flame.

  9. Temper the mustard seeds and add to avial.
  10. Cover it with a lid to retain the flavour and aroma.
Yummy , aromatic , flavourful avial is ready to enjoy with sambar rice..!!






TIPS
  1. As i  mentioned in the method, just grind the small onions and jeera coarsely by running the mixie once or twice. This gives the nice flavor. Also add the small onions in the mentioned quantity.Please do not reduce it.
  2. Pinch the curry leaves and add it raw while adding the coconut paste.
  3. The vegetables should not be over cooked. Please take care while it cooks. I always pressure cook the vegetables due to laziness but that never gave me a perfect aviyal . My aviyal looks mushy most of the time.. Then my mom told me to cook the vegetables one by one in a separate bowl . So the aviyal looks more like a dry curry as we see in marriages and hotels.All the veggies would be visible and separate.
  4. Don’t forget to add the coconut oil . Its very imp for the flavour.
  5. Tempering is purely optional. Even my mom does not do the tempering part always. But the tempered mustard seeds gives a unique , nice smell. So its better to temper i feel.
  6. If u have raw mango in hand , u can add it to the vegetables while cooking but add it at the end as it cooks fast.In that case , please do not add curd. It makes the aviyal sour.
  7. If u don’t use mango , u should add fresh curd.Curd should not be too sour.
  8. My mom never makes aviyal if there is no raw banana and drum stick.So please make sure to use those veggies when u make.
  9. I’ve mentioned the veggies as 2 cups roughly..In specific, i used 2 small carrots , 1 big potato, 1 raw banana , 10 beans , 1 drum stick and 2 small brinjals.I used half raw mango too ,so i dint use curd..

Last but not the least ,when u make it for ur guests and if the aviyal lefts over , u can use it the next day by making pazhang curry..




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