Atukula Paramannam, Aval Payasam or Poha Kheer with Sugar – Sri Krishna Jayanthi, Gokulashtami, or Janmashtami Prasadam Recipes

Atukula Paramannam or Aval Payasam or Pradhaman with Sugar

Atukula Paramannam or Aval Payasam

Atukulu, Aval or Poha as well as milk plays a very important role in celebrating Lord Krishna’s birthday. Atukulu Paramannam (aka Aval Payasam or Poha Kheer) is a dessert that combines both and is made for Gokulashtami or Sri Krishna Janmashtami. :-)

You can make this delicious dessert quickly and easily with ingredients that are commonly found in most Indian kitchens.

Serves: 4

Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Thick Poha – 2/3 Cup
  2. Milk – 2 Cups
  3. Sugar – 2/3 to 1 Cup
  4. Cashews – 6 to 8
  5. Kishmish or Raisins – 10 to 12
  6. Ghee – 1 tbsp
  7. Green Cardamom – 3

Method to Make Atukula Paramannam, Aval Payasam or Poha Kheer

  1. The Preparations
    1. Peel the green cardamom and powder it. Set aside.
    2. Split the cashew into smaller pieces.
  2. Frying the Dry Fruits
    1. In a heavy bottomed vessel, over medium heat, heat the ghee.
    2. Add split cashews and stir-fry till they are light brown.
    3. Add the raisins and stir-fry for 5 to 7 seconds.
    4. Remove the fried cashews and raisins and set aside.
  3. Frying the Atukulu, Aval or Poha
    1. To the remaining ghee, add the atukulu or poha.
    2. Over low heat, stir-fry the atukulu or poha till they just start to change colour to light brown.
    3. Remove the poha and set aside.
  4. Making the  Atukula Paramannam, Aval Payasam or Poha Kheer
    1. Boil the milk till it reduces a bit.
    2. Add the sugar and simmer till the sugar boils.
    3. Add the fried poha/aval/atukulu and mix well.
    4. Boil the kheer till the poha/aval/atukulu softens.
    5. Turn off the heat.
    6. Add the cardamom powder as well as fried cashews and raisins.
    7. Mix well.
  5. Offer as naivedyam and serve as prasadam.

Tips

  • Be careful when you are frying the poha as it tends to burn rather quickly.
    • Ensure that the heat is low to medium.
    • Be sure to stir-fry the poha or atukulu.
  • Stir-frying the aval, atukulu, or poha ensures that it retains its shape even after you add it to milk. If you do not stir-fry it, there is a risk that the poha turns to mush in the boiling milk.
  • You could also use condensed milk. If you do reduce the milk to 1.5 cups, do not use sugar, and add about  3/4 cup of sweetened condensed milk.

Sihi Avalakki, God Pohe or Goda Phovu – Krishna Jayanti, Gokulashtami or Krishnashtami Recipe

Sihi Avalakki, Goda Phovu or God Pohe - Krishna Janmashtami, Gokulashtami, Krishna Jayanti Naivedyam and Prasadam

Sihi Avalakki, Goda Phovu or God Pohe

For many years, a group of us sang at a local Krishna temple on Gokulashtami. We still do but now it is for Tulsi Vivah. Anyway, after the concert is over, we are invited over for special blessing by the head priest and the prasadam is always Sihi Avalakki or God Pohe.

Not only is this dish a naivedyam for Krishna Jayanti, it is also a great breakfast or simple snack. It gets done easily and tastes great; the best part is that it involves no cooking at all.

You will find more recipes for Krishna Prasadam at Krishna Jayanti, Gokulashtami or Krishnashtami Naivedyam Recipes.

Serves: 4

Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Thin or Patal Pohe – 2 Cups
  2. Grated Jaggery – 3 tbsp
  3. Grated Fresh Coconut – 2/3 Cup
  4. Ghee – 1/2 tsp
  5. Green Cardamom – 3 or 4
  6. Banana – 1/2 (Optional)
  7. Salt – A Pinch

Method to Make Sihi Avalakki, God Pohe or Goda Phovu

  1. Peel the green cardamom and pound the seeds to a fine powder.
  2. If you are using banana, cut into 1/4″ pieces.
  3. In a vessel, mix the grated jaggery, grated coconut ghee, and cardamom powder till they are well-blended.
    Sihi Avalakki or God Pohe in the Making
  4. Add the poha and mix well with a light hand.
  5. If you are using banana, add it and mix well.
  6. Let the Sihi Avalakki, God Pohe or Goda Phovu rest for 5 to 7 minutes.
  7. Offer as naivedyam as serve as prasadam.
God Pohe, Godasu Phovu, Sihi Avalakki - Krishnatami Recipe

God Pohe, Godasu Phovu, Sihi Avalakki

Tips

  • Do not add water or any liquid. The jaggery has enough moisture to soften the Pohe.
  • Let the Sihi Avalakki rest and it will soften a bit. The more you let it rest, the softer it will become. It is not supposed to be very soft.

I am taking this simple festival special to Fiesta Friday #83.

Fiesta Friday

Ada Pradhaman – Onam Special Recipe from Kerala

Ada Pradhaman - Onam Recipe

Ada Pradhaman – Onam Recipe

Ada Pradhaman is an essential part of Onasadya (or Sadya at Onam). It is essentially a rich payasam/kheer where ada (steamed rice flour flakes) are cooked in a wonderful mix of jaggery and coconut milk. It is super simple to make and just as delicious. You could also try its cousin Palada Pradhaman which is cooked in milk and sugar.

I made this for Onam this year. However, with Varalakshmi Vratam coinciding with Onam this year, I was pressed for time and am posting it now, when I have time to catch a breath!

I also made it with store-bought coconut milk and so this recipe reflects those measures.

Serves: 4

Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Ada – 1/2 Cup
  2. Thick Coconut Milk – 1.5 Cups
  3. Grated Jaggery – 1.5 Cups
  4. Coconut Pieces (1/4″ thin pieces) – 2-3 tbsp
  5. Cashews – 10 to 12
  6. Chukku or Dry Ginger Powder – 1/4 tsp
  7. Roasted Cumin Powder – 1/4 tsp
  8. Green Cardamom – 4 or 5
  9. Ghee – 1 tbsp

Ada Pradhaman Recipe from Kerala

Method to Make Ada Pradhaman

  1. The Basic Preparations
    1. Peel and powder the green cardamom.
    2. Split the cashews.
    3. Heat 1 tbsp ghee.
    4. Stir-fry the coconut pieces in ghee till they start to brown.
    5. Remove and set aside,
    6. Stir-fry the cashews in ghee till they start to brown.
    7. Remove and set aside.
  2. Preparing the Ada
    1. Dilute 1/2 cup coconut milk with 2/3 cup water.
    2. Bring the diluted coconut milk to a boil.
    3. Add the ada to the boiling coconut milk.
    4. Over low flame, cook till the ada is cooked.
    5. Set aside.
  3. Making the Jaggery Syrup
    1. In a heavy bottomed vessel, add the grated jaggery and 1/2 cup water.
    2. Heat till the jaggery is melted.
    3. Turn off the heat.
    4. Add the chukku podi, cardamom powder, and cumin powder.
  4. Making the Ada Pradhaman
    1. In a heavy bottomed vessel, add the melted jaggery and cooked ada (along with all the liquid).
    2. Add the rest of the coconut milk.
    3. If the Ada Pradhaman is very thick, add a little water.
    4. Simmer over a medium flame for 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Add the fried cashews and coconut.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Ada Pradhaman for Onam and Vishu

Ada Pradhaman for Onam and Vishu

I am taking this wonderful dessert to Fiesta Friday #83.

Fiesta Friday

A Collection of Onam Sadya Recipes

Onam Recipes - Ona Sadya Recipes

As with all Indian festivals, Onam is celebrated with a spread of yummy delicacies. Here are a few dishes that are often a part of Onasadya:

  • Mambhazha Puliserry – A buttermilk based stew with ripe mangoes. This dish can also be made with a whole lot of different vegetables such as red pumpkin and ash gourd.
  • Olan – A coconut milk based stew with pumpkin, as gourd, and cow peas.
  • Kalan – Yet another buttermilk based stew; this time with raw banana and yam.
  • Avial – A mixed vegetable stew cooked with a coconut-cumin-green chilli paste and yoghurt.
  • Puli Inji – A tangy chutney with ginger, tamarind, and jaggery.
  • Vendakka Kichadi – Fried okra in yoghurt seasoned with coconut.
  • Ela Neer Payasam – A wonderful dessert made with coconut water.
  • Pal Payasam – A traditional milk pudding.
  • Palada Payasam – A traditional milk pudding made with steamed rice flakes known as ada.
  • Ela Ada – A traditional sweet that is essentially rice flour parcel stuffed with coconut and jaggeryfilling.
  • Pasi Paruppu Payasam – A yummy moong dal payasam.
  • Beans Thoran – A simple dry curry with french beans and coconut.
  • Beans and Carrot Thoran – Add some carrot to the beans thoran for a splash of colour and a touch of sweetness.
  • Cabbage Thoran – The perennial favourite among thorans.
  • Theeyal – You can make this with an assortment of vegetables such as bitter gourd, okra, and shallots.

Palada Pradhaman – Onam Special Recipe from Kerala

Palada Pradhaman - Onam Special Recipe from Kerala

Palada Pradhaman – Onam Special

I absolutely love Palada Pradhaman, probably even more than the traditional favourite Ada Pradhaman. This time around I made Palada Pradhaman from scratch, even making the Ada at home. I am glad I did this because it turned out to be a rewarding experience. Homemade Ada added a certain “je ne sais quois” to this unique kheer which uses steamed rice flakes.

I think this lovely, lovely dish is the perfect way to celebrate Onam which falls on this weekend.

Visit this post on Onam Sadya (Onasadya) Special Recipes for more lovely dishes.

Serves: 4

Time: 45-60 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Ada – ½ Cup
  2. Milk – ¾ Litre
  3. Sugar – ⅔ to ¾ Cup
  4. Ghee – 1 tbsp
  5. Green Cardamom Powder – ¼ tsp

Palada Pradhaman - Onam Special from Kerala

Method to Make Palada Pradhaman

  1. If you are using homemade ada, soak it in hot water till you are ready to use it.
  2. If you are using store-bought ada:
    1. Boil it in 2 cups of water till it is cooked.
    2. Drain the hot water.
    3. Wash in cold water.
    4. Soak in warm water till you are ready to use it.
    5. Set aside.
  3. In a heavy bottomed vessel, over low flame, melt the ghee.
  4. Add the sugar to it.
    Palada Pradhaman - Melt the Sugar in Ghee
  5. Stir till the sugar is melted.
    Palada Pradhaman - The Melted Sugar
  6. Drain the ada.
  7. Add the ada to the sugar+ghee.
  8. Mix well till the ada is coated with the melted sugar.
    Palada Pradhaman - Add the Ada to the Ghee and Sugar Mix
  9. Add the milk and mix well.
    Palada Pradhaman - Boil till the Milk Reduces in Volume and Becomes Pink
  10. Over low flame, boil the milk till it reduces a bit and gets a nice pink colour.
  11. Turn off the heat.
  12. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled; Palada Pradhaman is delicious in all ways! :-)

Palada Pradhaman

Making Ada for Ada Pradhaman and Palada Pradhaman – Onam Special Recipe

Ada Pieces for Palada Pradhaman and Ada Pradhaman

Ada Pieces for Palada Pradhaman and Ada Pradhaman

The weekend that is coming up is going to be a busy one, what with Varalakshmi Vratam, Onam and Raksha Bandhan all being celebrated within a day or two of each other.

While I had ambitious plans of posting separate recipes for each festival, I finally settled on making just two desserts; Ada Pradhaman and Palada Pradhaman. The basic ingredient for these two recipes is Ada or Palada, which are essentially steamed flakes made with rice flour paste. You get readymade ada in abundance, but I decided to make ada at home.

Today, I am posting just the procedure to make Ada. I will post the recipe for Palada Pradhaman tomorrow.

You will find more recipes for Onam on this post about Onasadya.

Makes: 1 Cup Ada

Soaking Time: 2 Hours

Cooking Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients

  1. Rice – 2/3 Cup
  2. Salt – 1/8 tsp
  3. Coconut Oil – A Few Drops
  4. Banana Leaves – 2

Method to Make the Rice Batter

  1. Soak the rice in 1.5 cups of water for 2 hours.
  2. Drain the water.
  3. Grind the rice with very little water to form a thick paste.
    Making Ada - Grind the Rice
  4. Add just enough water while grinding such that the paste drops off the spoon.
    Making Ada - The Rice Batter
  5. Add salt and mix well.

Method to Make the Ada or Palada

  1. Cut each banana leaf into 4 equal portions. Discard the spine.
  2. Using just 1-2 drops of coconut oil, grease the surface of the banana leaf.

    Making Ada - Oil the Banana Leaf

    Making Ada – Oil the Banana Leaf

  3. Spoon some batter onto the oiled surface and spread into a thin layer.

    Making Ada - Spread the Batter

    Making Ada – Spread the Batter

  4. Carefully roll the banana leaf and tie it up with a string.

    Making Ada - Roll the Banana Leaf and Tie

    Making Ada – Roll the Banana Leaf and Tie

  5. Repeat with the remaining banana leaf pieces.
  6. Place the banana leaf rolls in a steamer and steam for 10 minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat and let the steamer cool for 10 minutes.
  8. Open the steamer and takeout the banana leaves.
  9. Open the banana leaves and let them cool to room temperature.

    Making Ada - Open the Steamed Banana Leaf

    Making Ada – Open the Steamed Banana Leaf

  10. Cut the Ada into small pieces.

    Ada Pieces for Ada Pradhaman and Palada Pradhaman

    Ada Pieces for Ada Pradhaman and Palada Pradhaman

Tips

  1. You can also make ada with rice flour. If you do, just dry roast the flour for a few minutes, let the flour cool and then mix with water and salt to form a very thick slurry. I made one batch this way and it turns out perfectly fine.
  2. Your batter should not run-off the banana leaf. If it does, add some roasted rice flour to it to thicken the flour.
  3. You can also use butter paper in place of banana leaf.

Batata Pohe or Alu Poha (Beaten Rice with Potato) – A No Garlic, No Onion Recipe

Batata Pohe or Alu Poha

Batata Pohe or Alu Poha

In the month of Shravan, I try to avoid onion and garlic as much as possible, so last week I made Peas Poha or Matar Pohe for breakfast. Yesterday, it was the turn of Batata Pohe or Alu Poha.

I am also having a busy, busy time at work and so am reusing old posts to make new posts. I have made so many things; need time to post!

Do try the other varieties of Poha that I make including:

Serves: 4

Draining Time for Poha: 1 Hour

Cooking Time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Thick Poha or Beaten Rice – 1.25 Cups
  2. Potato – 1 Large
  3. Green Chillies – 3 or 4
  4. Mustard Seeds/Rai – 2/3 tsp
  5. Cumin Seeds/Jeera – 1/2 tsp
  6. Grated Coconut – 3 tbsp
  7. Curry Leaves – A Few
  8. Chopped Coriander Leaves – 2 tbsp
  9. Oil – 1 tbsp
  10. Turmeric – 1/3 tsp
  11. Asafoetida – A Large Pinch
  12. Sugar – 1/2 tsp
  13. Salt to Taste

Method to Make Batata Pohe or Alu Poha

  1. Preparing the Poha:
    1. Dissolve about 1/2 tsp of salt in 3 cups of water.
    2. Add the poha to the salt water and let it soak for about 20 to 30 seconds.
    3. Drain immediately using a colander.
    4. Leave the Poha in the colander for about an hour till the water drains completely.
    5. Using a light hands, fluff the poha.
  2. Making the Batata Poha:
    1. Peel and dice the potato into 1/2″ cubes.
    2. In a kadai, heat the oil.
    3. Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
    4. Add slit green chillies, curry leaves and cumin seeds.
    5. Fry for a minute.
    6. Add the potato pieces and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
    7. Add just enough water to cover the potato pieces.
    8. Over medium flame, cook covered till the potato pieces are cooked and the water has evaporated.
    9. Add asafoetida, turmeric powder, salt, and sugar.
    10. Stir fry for about a minute or till the sugar dissolves.
    11. Add the drained poha and mix well.
    12. Garnish with freshly grated coconut and finely chopped coriander leaves.
    13. Serve hot.

In Maharashtra, typically, pohe is served with a wedge of lemon that is freshly squeezed over the pohe just before it is eaten. It adds a nice tangy taste to the pohe!

Tips

  • I find that soaking the poha is salted water and then draining it gives the poha a wonderful light texture.
  • Be careful not to oversoak the poha as otherwise you will have a lump of disintegrated poha on your hands.
  • Be careful with the amount of salt you add during the cooking because the poha was soaked in salted water.
Batata Pohe or Potato Poha - No Onion, No Garlic

Batata Pohe or Potato Poha – No Onion, No Garlic

I am taking this to the party at Fiesta Friday #82.

Fiesta Friday

Peanut Sundal/Verkadalai Sundal or Verusenaga Guggillu (Seasoned Peanuts with Grated Coconut)

Peanut or Verakadalai Sundal (Palli Guggillu)

Peanut or Verakadalai Sundal (Palli Guggillu)

With the festival season upon us, we need a lot of naivedyam recipes. A couple of years ago, I had posted the recipes for Guggillu, Chickpea or Kondakadalai Sundal and Senagala Guggillu. Yesterday, I made Peanut Sundal or Verusenaga Guggillu.

Also known as Palli Guggillu or Verkadalai Sundal

Makes: 2 Cups

Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Peanuts – 1.75 Cup
  2. Grated Coconut – 1/2 Cup
  3. Split Black Gram or Udad Dal – 1 tbsp
  4. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  5. Red Chillies – 2 or 3
  6. Curry Leaves – 6 to 8
  7. Oil – 1 tsp
  8. Asafoetida or Hing – A Large Pinch
  9. Salt to Taste

Method

  1. For 15 minutes, soak the peanuts in 3 cups of water.
  2. Add about 1/2 tsp of salt to the soaked peanuts. Do not discard the water in which the peanuts were soaked.
  3. Pressure cook for 2 whistles.
  4. Drain the water completely and set aside,
  5. In a wok or kadai, heat the oil.
  6. Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  7. Add udad dal and fry till it is golden brown.
  8. Turn the heat to low
  9. Add split red chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida.
  10. Stir-fry for a minute.
  11. Add the cooked peanuts and grated coconut.
  12. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
  13. Add a bit of salt, if required.
  14. Mix well.
  15. Turn off the heat.
  16. Offer as naivedyam.
  17. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Peanut or Verkadalai Sundal, or Verusenaga Guggillu

Peanut or Verkadalai Sundal, or Verusenaga Guggillu

Matar Poha or Beaten Rice with Peas – A No Garlic, No Onion Recipe

Peas Poha - Matar Poha - No Garlic, No Onion Breakfast Recipe

Peas Poha – Matar Poha – No Garlic, No Onion

Poha is amongst my most favourite breakfast dishes. I make several different varieties including:

In the month of Shravan, I try to avoid onion and garlic as much as possible and so made Peas Poha or Matar Pohe.

Serves: 4

Draining Time for Poha: 1 Hour

Cooking Time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Thick Poha or Beaten Rice – 1.25 Cups
  2. Peas – 1/2 Medium sized
  3. Green Chillies – 3 or 4
  4. Mustard Seeds/Rai – 2/3 tsp
  5. Cumin Seeds/Jeera – 1/2 tsp
  6. Grated Coconut – 3 tbsp
  7. Curry Leaves – A Few
  8. Chopped Coriander Leaves – 2 tbsp
  9. Oil – 1 tbsp
  10. Turmeric – 1/3 tsp
  11. Asafoetida – A Large Pinch
  12. Sugar – 1/2 tsp
  13. Salt to Taste
Matar Poha

Matar Poha

Method to Make Peas or Matar Poha

  1. Preparing the Poha:
    1. Dissolve about 1/2 tsp of salt in 3 cups of water.
    2. Add the poha to the salt water and let it soak for about 20 to 30 seconds.
    3. Drain immediately using a colander.
    4. Leave the Poha in the colander for about an hour till the water drains completely.
    5. Using a light hands, fluff the poha.
  2. Making the Matar Poha:
    1. In a kadai, heat the oil.
    2. Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
    3. Add slit green chillies, curry leaves and cumin seeds.
    4. Fry for a minute.
    5. Add the peas and 1/3 cup water.
    6. Over medium flame, cook the peas till they are soft and the water has evaporated.
    7. Add asafoetida, turmeric powder, salt, and sugar.
    8. Stir fry for about a minute or till the sugar dissolves.
    9. Add the drained poha and mix well.
    10. Garnish with freshly grated coconut and finely chopped coriander leaves.
    11. Serve hot.

In Maharashtra, typically, pohe is served with a wedge of lemon that is freshly squeezed over the pohe just before it is eaten. It adds a nice tangy taste to the pohe!

Tips

  • I find that soaking the poha is salted water and then draining it gives the poha a wonderful light texture.
  • Be careful not to oversoak the poha as otherwise you will have a lump of disintegrated poha on your hands.
  • Be careful with the amount of salt you add during the cooking because the poha was soaked in salted water.
Matar Pohe or Peas Poha - Maharastrian Style

Peas Poha – Maharastrian Style

I am taking this delicious, healthy dish to Fiesta Friday.

Fiesta Friday

Shravana Masam or Shravan 2015 – Some Festival Dates and Recipes

Varalakshmi 2015
August 15, 2015 heralds in Shravana Masam or the month of Shravan in states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka which follow the Amavasyant calendar. Now begins the favouritest part of the year for me.

Shravan is the fifth month of the Hindu calendar and is probably its holiest. It is choc-a-bloc with festivals and auspicious occasions. It also ushers in the 4-month long festival season in India that stretches right up to Deepavali or Diwali (mid-November this year).

The intervening period is filled with all manner of festivals and holy days that give me an opportunity to indulge in all my favourite activities; perform and attend assorted poojas, dress up in lovely silk sarees, visit friends and relatives for haldi-kumkum, sing in temples on various auspicious days, attend a range of concerts, and last but not the least, enjoy a vast range of delicacies. :-)

Read a scientific explanation of why we should fast in Shravan. Eating fish is also prohibited in Shravan, for one simple reason; fish spawn at this time of the year.

Each region in India has its own set of festivals and here are some that we observe in Andhra Pradesh (which is the state my ancestors are from) and Maharashtra (the state where I grew up and live):

  • Shravan Somvaram or Mondays in the month of Shravan are dedicated to Lord Shiva. Many devotees fast on these days. Itis said that unmarried girls who want to get married shouldobserve theShravanSomvar fasts.The dates for the Shravan Somvaram Vratam in 2015 are:
    • August 17, 2015
    • August 24, 2015
    • August 31, 2015
    • September 7, 2015
  • Mangala Gowri Pooja is performed by married women (sumangali) on all Tuesdays inShravan for the wellbeing of their husbands.Gowri (or Gauri) is also another name for Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva.The dates for the Mangala Gowri Pooja in 2015 are:
    • August 18
    • August 25
    • September 1
    • September 8
  • Shravan Shukravaram or Fridays in the Month of Shravan are dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity. For married women in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu, the most important Shravan Shukravaram is the one that falls on the Friday before the full moon (Shravana Pournami Purvasta Shukravarey). This is the day on which Varalakshmi Vratamis performed.The dates for Shravana Shukravaram in 2015 are:
    • August 21, 2015
    • August 28, 2015 (Varalakshmi Vratam)
    • September 4, 2015
    • September 11, 2015
  • Nag Panchami is the day snakesare worshipped in many parts of the country.The date for Nag Panchami is August 19, 2015.
  • Shravan Paurnami or Shravan Poornima has become popular all over India as Raskha Bandhan, a festival that is essentially from North India and one that celebrates the relationship between a brother and sister.In Maharashtra, it is celebrated by the Koli community or the fisherman community as Narali Poornima. They worship Lord Varuna, the lord of the seas to bless them with a bountiful catch and protect them on rough seas.In Tamil Nadu, this day is also celebrated as Avani Avittam.

    The date for Raksha Bandhan, Narali Poornima, Avani Avittam is August 29, 2015.

  • Gokulashtami, Krishnashtami, or Sri Krishna Janmashtami is the birth of Lord Krishna; He who gave the world the Bhagwat Gita and as a child was known to steal milk, curds, and butter from all households around him. In Maharashtra, Krishna’s antics as a childare enacted by youngsters (known locally asGovindas) who go around breaking pots of milk and curd tied high above the ground by forming human pyramids.The date for Krishnashtami, Janmashtami, or Gokulashtami is September 5, 2015.

Here are a few recipes that you can make during this month.

Rice-based Recipes

 

Chintapandu Pulihora, Puliyodarai
or Tamarind Rice

Chintapandu Pulihora - Tamarind Rice

Chintapandu Pulihora – Tamarind Rice

Kovil Pulihora or Puliyodarai
(Tamarind Rice as made in temples)

Kovil, Temple or Koyil Pulihora, Puliyodarai

Kovil Pulihora

Nimmakaya Pulihora, Elumichai Sadam
or Lemon Rice

Nimmakaya Pulihora or Lemon Rice

Nimmakaya Pulihora or Lemon Rice

Kobbari Annam, Thengai Sadam,
or Coconut Rice

Kobbari Annam or Coconut Rice or Thengai Sadam

Kobbari Annam or Coconut Rice or Thengai Sadam

Nuvvulu Annam, Ellu Sadam or Tilwale Chawal Daddojanam, Thair Sadam, or Tempered Curd Rice
Sundal or Guggillu

Chickpea or
Kondakadalai Sundal

Chickpea Sundal

Chickpea Sundal

Senagala Guggillu

Guggillu or Sundal with Bengal Gram

Guggillu or Sundal with Bengal Gram

Desserts  
 Badam Payasam

Badam Payasam or Badam Kheer

Badam Payasam or Badam Kheer

 Pesara Pappu or Pasi Parippu Payasam,
or Moong Dal Kheer

Pesara Pappu or Pasi Paruppu Payasam, Moong Dal Kheer

Pesara Pappu or Pasi Paruppu Payasam

Ksheerannam

Ksheerannam

Ksheerannam

Bellam Paravannam

Bellam Paramannam - Jaggery and Rice Pudding

Bellam Paramannam

Semiya Payasam

Semiya Payasam, Semiya Kheer, or Vermicelli Pudding

Semiya Payasam, Semiya Kheer, or Vermicelli Pudding

Saggubiyyam Payasam or
Sabudana Kheer

Saggubiyyam Payasam, Sabudana Kheer or Sago Pudding - 1

Saggubiyyam Payasam, Sabudana Kheer or Sago Pudding

Pal Payasam

Pal Payasam or Kheer

Pal Payasam or Kheer

Rava Kesari

Rava Kesari - Saffron Semolina Pudding

Rava Kesari – Saffron Semolina Pudding

Sapata or Banana Sheera

Banana Sheera - Sapata - Satyanarayan Pooja Prasadam

Banana Sheera – Sapata – Satyanarayan Pooja Prasadam

Besan Laddu

Besan Laddoo

Besan Laddoo

Coconut Laddu

Quick and Easy Coconut Laddoo

Quick and Easy Coconut Laddoo

Minapa Sunni Undalu

Minapa Sunni Undalu - Udad Dal Laddoo or Laddu

Minapa Sunni Undalu – Udad Dal Laddu

Tomato Annam, Tomato Rice, or Thakkali Sadam – Guest Post by Rama Karlapalem Burra

Tomato Annam, Tomato Rice or Thakkali Sadam

Tomato Annam, Tomato Rice or Thakkali Sadam

Mine is a family of Tomato Lovers (Sigh!) and leading the pack is my lovely cousin, Rama. :-) I believe all we need to set her heart a-flutter is to mention Tomato. Sorry, Vishal :-P.

Jokes aside, Rama is an accomplished architect who is passionate about her art and craft. Here is what she says about her metier, “Architecture,to me, is about creating humane environments that generate vitality and joy of being with a sensitive adoption and refinement of modern Architecture in given context. It is also to generate designs which are architectural interpretations that sub serve the client’s needs perfectly.”

Rama has mentioned this Tomato Rice recipe several times to me and I made it this week. My father absolutely loved it and I must admit that I liked it too. :-)

This Tomato Annam or Thakkali Sadam recipe is so easy to make and makes for a perfect one-dish meal.

Serves: 4

Time: 30 to 40 mins

Ingredients

  1. Basmati Rice – 1.25 Cups
  2. Tomato – 3 Large
  3. Capsicum – 1 Large
  4. Onion – 1 Large
  5. Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  6. Oil – 1.5 tbsp
  7. Salt to Taste
  8. Coriander for Garnish

Thakkali Sadam, Tomato Annam, Tomato Rice

Method to Make Tomato Annam, Tomato Rice, or Thakkali Sadam

  1. The Preparations
    1. Wash and soak the basmati rice for 10 to 15 minutes.
    2. Drain the water. Set aside.
    3. Puree 1.5 tomatoes. This gives the rice a great colour and flavour.
    4. Chop 1.5 tomatoes to fine pieces.
    5. Peel and chop the onion to 1/4″ pieces.
    6. Chop the capsicum to 1/4″ pieces.
  2. Making the Tomato Rice
    1. In a wok or kadhai, heat the oil.
    2. Add onion pieces and stir-fry till transparent.
    3. Add the capsicum pieces and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
    4. Add the tomato pieces and stir-fry till the pieces are soft and stewed.
    5. Add the tomato puree and stir-fry till dry.
    6. Add the salt and red chilli powder.
    7. Mix well.
    8. Add the soaked and drained Basmati rice.
    9. Add 2.5 cups of water.
    10. Cook covered while mixing occasionally till the rice is cooked.
      Or
      Pressure cook for 3 whistles.
    11. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander.
    12. Serve hot with Cucumber Raita or Boondi Raita.

Tips

  • You could add some crushed garlic (2-3 cloves) to the onion while frying.
  • Alternatively, you could add some roasted cumin powder.
  • I added the pureed tomato only for the colour.

Tomato Rice, Tomato Annam or Thakkali Sadam

Ela Ada or Elai Adai – Onam Sadya Recipe from Kerala

Elai Adai or Ela Ada - Onam and Vishu Sadya Recipe from Kerala

Elai Adai or Ela Ada

I have been meaning to make Ela Ada or Elai Adai for a while now. Now that Onam is nearing I thought of postinng this recipe. Ela Ada is essentially a steamed dumpling that has a coconut-jaggery filling inside a rice flour covering. This dumpling is wrapped in banana leaves (ela or elai) and then steamed.

I have essentially followed the Ela Ada recipe that is given on Kerala.com with minor tweaks. I have reduced the quantities proportionally to make 4 largish Ela Adas. The Adas turned out perfectly.

Makes: 4 to 6 Adas (depending on the size)

Time: 60 to 75 Minutes

Ingredients for the Covering

  1. Rice Flour – 2/3 Cup
  2. Water – 1 cup
  3. Coconut Oil – 1 tsp
  4. Salt – 3 Large Pinches

Ingredients for the Filling

  1. Fresh Grated Coconut – 1 Cup
  2. Jaggery – 1 Cup
  3. Green Cardamom – 2 (Powdered)
  4. Finely Cut Ripe Banana – 2/3 Cup
  5. Poha, Aval or Beaten Rice – 1/2 Cup

Step 6 - Ingredients for the Filling - Ela Ada or Elai Adai

Other Requirements

  1. Large Banana Leaf – 1
  2. Coconut Oil – 1/2 tsp

Method to Make the Dough for the Covering

  1. In a hot kadhai or wok, dry roast the rice flour for 3 to 5 minutes. The rice flour should not change color; only lose the raw smell.
    Step 1 - Roast Rice Flour - Ela Ada or Elai Adai
  2.  Set aside to cool.
  3. In a heavy bottomed vessel, boil water with salt and oil.
    Step 2 - Boil Water, Salt and Oil - Ela Ada or Elai Adai
  4. Turn off the heat.
  5. Immediately, add the rice flour and mix well to form a dough.
    Step 3 - Add Rice Flour to Water - Ela Ada or Elai Adai
  6. Cover and set aside to cool.

Method to Make the Filling or the Elai Adai Poornam

  1. Wash the poha/aval under running water.
  2. Set aside in a colander to drain completely.
  3. In a wok, heat the jaggery with about 1/4 cup water.
    Step 7 - Add a Little Water to Jaggery - Ela Ada or Elai Adai
  4. Let the jaggery melt and start boiling.
    Step 8 - Melt the Jaggery - Ela Ada or Elai Adai
  5. Turn the heat to low.
  6. Add all the ingredients for the filling and mix well.
  7. Turn up the heat to medium and cook till the mixture thickens and is of dropping consistency.
    Step 9 - Add all the ingredients and cook - Ela Ada or Elai Adai
  8. Turn off the heat and set aside the filling.

Method to Make the Ela Ada or Elai Adai

  1. Divide the filling into 4 portions.
  2. Remove the rice flour dough into a plate.
  3. Knead lightly into a smooth ball.
    Step 4 - Knead the Dough into a Smooth Ball - Ela Ada or Elai Adai
  4. Divide into 4 equal portions.
  5. Roll each portion into a ball.
    Step 5 - Divide the Dough into 4 Equal Portions - Ela Ada or Elai Adai
  6. Cut the banana leaf into four equal parts. Discard the central spine. The best way is to run a sharp knife exactly parallel to the spine.
  7. Take 1 piece of the banana leaf.
  8. Lightly grease the surface with 1 or 2 drops of coconut oil.
    Step 10 - Lightly Grease a Banana Leaf - Ela Ada or Elai Adai
  9. Place one portion of rice flour dough in the centre.
  10. Using a greased or slightly wet hand, press the ball into a 5″ round.
    Step 11 - Spread the Rice Flour Batter - Ela Ada or Elai Adai.JPG
  11. Place one portion of the filling in the centre and gently spread into a 3.5″ round. Ensure that there is no filling at the edges. The filling will spread further when we fold the Ada.
    Step 12 - Place Filling in the Centre - Ela Ada or Elai Adai.JPG
  12. Fold the banana leaf in half such that the Ela Ada folds into a half-moon shape.
  13. Press the edges of the Ada to seal it.
    Step 13 - Fold the Ada in Half - Ela Ada or Elai Adai.JPG
  14. Make a neat parcel by folding the banana leaf over.
    Step 14 - Fold the Banana Leaf to Form a Parcel - Ela Ada or Elai Adai.JPG
  15. Make the remaining Ela Ada parcels.
  16. Steam the parcels for 10 to 12 minutes.
    1. I placed them in a colander.
      Step 15 - Place in a Colander - Ela Ada or Elai Adai
    2. Place the colander in a pressure cooker.
    3. Steamed them like idlis.
  17. Let the steamed Ela Ada parcels cool till they are just warm to touch.
    Step 16 - The Steamed Ela Ada or Elai Adai
  18. Just before you eat, unwrap each parcel with care.
    Step 17 - Open the Steamed Parcel - Ela Ada or Elai Adai
  19. Enjoy with a hot cup of tea!
    Ela Ada or Elai Adai

Tips

  • Take your time to make the Ela Ada the first time you do it. It takes time and patience.
  • Ensure that the covering is not too thick. Otherwise, all you will taste is the rice flour covering.
  • Use a greased hand or a wet hand to spread the covering on the banana leaf. Otherwise, you will find it difficult to spread the covering.
  • Use the rice flour dough within 20 to 30 minutes of making it. Otherwise, it tends to dry out and crack.
  • Do not steam much beyond 10 minutes. Over-steaming will cause the covering to start cracking.
  • I love to have my Elai Adai a bit warm but they are perfect at room temperature as well.
  • I keep the Ela Ada wrapped in the banana leaf till we are ready to eat them.

Shevgyachya Shenganche Pithla – Drumstick in a Chickpea Flour Gravy – A Recipe from Maharashtra

Shevgyachya Shenganche or Drumstick Pithla

Shevgyachya Shenganche or Drumstick Pithla

Monsoons make me nostalgic about the hiking and trekking trips to the Western Ghats and Forts. One of the my earliest hikes was to the Sinhagad Fort near Pune.

Growing up in Maharashtra, we learnt a great deal about Maharashtra’s famous son, the great Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Reading about his exploits, especially the guerrilla tactics he employed in battle was thrilling. Not only was Shivaji Maharaj a valiant warrior, he was ably supported by some equally courageous and clever lieutenants.

One such Maratha warrior was Tanaji Malusare, who helped recapture the Kondana Fort (as the Sinhagad Fort was earlier know) from the Mughals.

The story of how Tanaji Malusare recaptured the Sinhagad Fort (aka Kondana Fort) is stuff that legends are made of. Sinhagad was extremely well-guarded which made a direct attack impossible. The only unguarded approach was a steep (almost vertical) cliff. However, scaling this cliff was beyond human capability. This was when Tanaji Malusare came up with the idea of tying a rope to a Ghorpad or a Monitor Lizard and sending it over the walls of the fort and then using the rope to scale up the cliff to the fort.

Tanaji chose a moonless night and sent up a pet monitor lizard named Yashwanti with a rope tied around its body. The soldiers who reached the fort then sent down more ropes for other soldiers to climb up. The rest, as they say, is history. Sinhagad was captured though, sadly, Tanaji died fighting Udaybhan Rathod, the keeper of the fort. Shivaji was said to be devastated by the loss of Tanaji and was said to have commented that “Gadh Aalaa Pan Sinha Gela (The fort was conquered but the lion is lost).” It was Shivaji who renamed Kondana fort to Sinhagad in honour of Tanaji Malusare.

Read more about the Battle of Sinhagad.

Apart from the wonderful trek, some memories I always cherish is having hot tea, kanda bhaji (onion pakoda), and Pithla-Bhakar at the summit after the trek.

With monsoons in full force acoompanied by nostalgia, I made Shevgyachya Shenganche or Drumstick Pithla this week.

Mulakkada Kura

Serves: 4

Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Drumstick – 3 to 4
  2. Besan or Chickpea Flour – 2/3 Cup
  3. Water – 2.5 Cups
  4. Onion – 1 Large
  5. Green Chillies – 3 or 4
  6. Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  7. Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  8. Turmeric – 2 Large Pinches
  9. Chopped Coriander – 2 tbsp
  10. Hing – A small pinch
  11. Oil – 1 tsp
  12. Salt to Taste

Method to Make Shevgyachya Shenganche or Drumstick Pithla

  1. Basic Preparations:
    1. Peel and chop the onion into fine pieces.
    2. Cut the green chillies vertically
  2. Preparing the Drumstick:
    1. Chop the ends off the drumstick.
    2. Cut the drumstick into 2″ pieces and set aside.
    3. Boil 1 cup of water with about 1/2 tsp of salt.
    4. Add the drumstick pieces and cook till the pieces just soften (but do not fall apart).
    5. Drain the water and set aside the cooked drumstick pieces aside.
  3. Preparing the Besan Batter:
    1. Dry roast the besan till it just starts to change colour.
    2. Set aside to cool.
    3. Add the turmeric to the besan and mix well.
    4. Sieve together the besan to ensure there are no lumps.
    5. Place the besan in a large vessel.
    6. Gradually, add 1.5 cups of water while mixing continuously to avoid lumps.
    7. Ensure you have a smooth batter.
  4. Making Shevgyachya Shenganche Pithla
    1. In a kadhai or wok, heat the oil.
    2. Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
    3. Add cumin seeds and wait till they just start to change colour.
    4. Add the chopped onion and green chillies.
    5. Fry till the onion pieces turn transparent.
    6. Add the asafoetida and mix well.
    7. Add the cooked drumstick pieces and mix well.
    8. Turn the heat to low.
    9. Slowly add the besan batter while stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
    10. Over low to medium heat, cook till the batter is cooked and thickens. Add some water, if required.
    11. Turn off the heat and garnish with chopped coriander.
    12. Serve Shevgyachya Shenganche Pithla immediately with rotis, steamed rice, or Bhakri.
Shevgyachya Shenganche or Drumstick Pithla - A Recipe from Maharashtra

Shevgyachya Shenganche or Drumstick Pithla

Tips

  • Be sure to stir continuously while making the besan batter and after adding besan batter to the pan. Besan tends to lump quickly.
  • Pithla has the consistency of a thick batter.
  • Serve the Pithla immediately because it tends to congeal on cooling. If it does cool, then heat it up and add some water and mix well.

I am taking this traditional Maharashtrian dish to the party at Fiesta Friday.

Fiesta Friday

Karibevu Chutney Pudi or Curry Leaves Powder Recipe – Hebbar Iyengar Style – Recipe from Karnataka

Hebbar Iyengar Karibevu Chutney Pudi or Curry Leaves Chutney Powder or Karivepalli Podi

Karibevu Chutney Pudi or Curry Leaves Chutney Powder

I quite love Curry Leaves (Kadipatta in Hindi or Karivepaku in Telugu) as you can see from the recipes of Nalla Kharam and Karivepaku Pachadi. I have been meaning to make this powder for quite a while now. In fact, from the moment I read about it on Anitha Nayak’s Keli Paan

This Saturday I recreated the recipe this past weekend and it turned to be quite a treat. I have so far had it with rice and ghee as well as accompaniment to idlis and it was delicious in both cases. :-)

Makes: 2/3 Cup

Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Tuvar Dal – 1/4 Cup
  2. Curry Leaves – 1/2 Packed Cup
  3. Grated Dried Coconut (Copra) – 1/3 Cup
  4. Grated Jaggery – 1 tbsp
  5. Black Pepper Corns – 1/2 tsp
  6. Red Chillies – 5 or 6
  7. Tamarind – A small marble size ball
  8. Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
  9. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  10. Oil – 1 tsp
  11. Salt to Taste

Method to Make Curry Leaves Powder

  1. Dry roast the tuvar dal till it starts to turn brown.
  2. Set aside.
  3. In a wok or kadai, heat the oil.
  4. Add the red chillies and stir-fry for a few seconds.
  5. Add the curry leaves and stir-fry till they are crispy.
  6. Add grated coconut and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat.
  8. Add the pepper, turmeric, asafoetida, tamarind, roasted dal, and salt.
  9. Mix well and set aside to cool.
  10. Add the grated jaggery and mix well.
  11. Grind to a coarse powder.
  12. Store in a air-tight bottle.
Hebbar Iyengar Curry Leaves Chutney Podi

Hebbar Iyengar Curry Leaves Chutney Pudi

Creamy Palak Paneer – Cottage Cheese in a Creamy Spinach Gravy

Creamy Palak Paneer - Indian Restaurant Style

Creamy Palak Paneer

I have already posted one version of Palak Paneer on the blog. As I mentioned earlier, I am not too fond of this dish. As a result, I kept looking for different ways to make Palak Paneer and after some trial and error have settled on this creamy version that uses cashews and boiled onions as a base.

Serves: 4 to 6

Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Paneer or Cottage Cheese – 250 gms
  2. Fresh Palak or Spinach – 2 Large Bunches
  3. Tomato – 2 Large
  4. Onion – 1 Large
  5. Whole Cashews – 10
  6. Ginger-Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
  7. Green Chillies – 3 or 4
  8. Garam Masala Powder – 3/4 tsp
  9. Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp (optional)
  10. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  11. Ghee or Oil – 2 tbsp
  12. Salt to Taste

Method to Make Creamy Palak Paneer

  1. The Preparations:
    1. Soak the cashews in warm water for at least 15 minutes.
    2. Chop the tomato to fine pieces.
  2. To Make the Onion Paste:
    1. Peel and chop the onion into quarters.
    2. Boil the onion pieces in 1 cup water till transparent.
    3. Drain the water.
    4. Grind the soaked cashews and onion to a smooth paste.
    5. Set aside.
  3. To Prepare the Spinach Puree:
    1. Wash and clean the spinach leaves and set aside. Discard the stems.
    2. Boil about 5 cups of water with 1 tsp salt.
    3. When the water starts boiling, turn off the heat.
    4. Immediately add the spinach leaves and green chillies to the boiling water.
    5. Cover and set aside for 5 to 7 minutes.
    6. Drain the water and immediately add cold water.
    7. Set aside for 2-3 minutes.
    8. Drain the water completely.
    9. Grind the spinach and green chillies to a fine paste.
    10. Set aside.
  4. To Prepare the Paneer:
    1. Cut the paneer into 1″ cubes.
    2. In a pan, heat 1 tbsp ghee/oil.
    3. Add the paneer pieces and sauté till they start to turn light brown.
    4. Take the paneer pieces out of the pan and set aside.
  5. To Make the Palak Paneer:
    1. To the pan in which the paneer was fried, add the remaining ghee/oil.
    2. Add the chopped tomato and sauté for 5 minutes or till the tomato pieces are soft.
    3. Add the onion and cashew paste.
    4. Stir-fry for 5 to 7 minutes or till the oil leaves the sides.
    5. Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a couple of minutes.
    6. Add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder, and garam malasa powder.
    7. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
    8. Add the paneer pieces and sauté for 5 minutes.
    9. Add the spinach purée and about 1/3 cup water.
    10. Mix well with a gentle hand and let the mix simmer for 5 minutes.
    11. Cook till the spinach purée forms a thick gravy.
    12. Serve hot with rotis.
Restaurant Style Creamy Palak Paneer

Restaurant Style Creamy Palak Paneer

Lintzer Cookies – Guest Post by Dr. Anusha Bharatam Mudunuru

Lintzer Cookies

Lintzer Cookies

This special guest post on Lintzer Cookies comes from Dr. Anusha Bharatam Mudunuru, who is my niece. An endodontist by profession, Anusha is a person of many interests. She is loves cooking (obviously, she is my niece), culture, travelling, reading… the list is endless. She has currently taken to photography and as with everything she does, she is seeking to excel at it.

When I asked for a guest post Anusha agreed immediately and made these wonderful Lintzer Cookies for me. Anusha’s eye for detail can be seen in the step by step pics she took and in her detailed instructions.

I am please to introduce Anusha to all of you and hope you enjoy this post as much I do.

Thank you and over to you, Anusha. :-)


A very good day dear friends,

I am truly honored to be writing this guest article for my dearest aunt; Aruna Paningipally. She has always inspired me, I absolutely love her blog and the recipes. Just like her, even I thoroughly enjoy cooking and enjoy food. I am no authority in cooking and writing, just a beginner. Hope you enjoy my humble attempt at baking some cookies.

Ingredients for the Cookies

  1. 260 gms plain flour
  2. 1 cup almonds
  3. 225 gms salted butter
  4. 150 gms granulated sugar
  5. 2 egg yolks
  6. ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla essence/extract
  8. 1 pinch lemon zest

Lintzer Cookies - The Ingredients

Ingredients for the Topping

  1. ½ cup castor/icing sugar
  2. 1 cup strawberry jam.

Method to Make the Lintzer Cookie Dough

  1. Roast the almonds on a baking tray at 180 degrees Celsius, till they are golden brown, approximately for 6-8 minutes.Lintzer Cookies - Toasting the Almonds
  2. Take butter and sugar and whisk it using a hand mixer into a smooth texture.
  3. Add the vanilla extract, egg yolks and ground almonds and continue to whisk till you get a smooth and light consistency.Lintzer Cookies - Mixing the Dough
  4. Add the ground cinnamon to the plain flour and the lemon zest. Mix the dry ingredients.Lintzer Cookies - Mixing the dry ingredients
  5. Now mix the wet and dry ingredients into a smooth dough. I prefer doing this with a plastic spatula. You can use your hands as well.Lintzer Cookies - The Dough
  6. Then divide the dough into two equal halves.Lintzer Cookies - The Dough Divided into 2 Halves
  7. Place one of the dough portion between two cling films and roll it out. Make sure, it is of even thickness throughout.Lintzer Cookies - The Dough Rolled Out
  8. Refrigerate the same for about half an hour.
  9. Using cookie cutters, cut the desired shape. I used heart shaped cookie cutters.
  10. Divide the cookies into two equal sets.
  11. In one set, use a smaller size cookie cutter and make a small cut in the centre.Lintzer Cookies - Just Going into the Oven
  12. Bake these cookies in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 8-9 minutes, till the edges start to brown.Lintzer Cookies - Just Out of the Oven
  13. Allow the cookies to cool. Leave them to rest for 25-30 minutes.
  14. Dust the cookies with the central heart cavity with icing sugar.Lintzer Cookies - 3
  15. Apply sufficient amount of strawberry jam on the flat surface of the complete heart cookie.
  16. Sandwich both these portions and allow them to rest for a while before you enjoy these with your family and loved ones.Lintzer Cookies - 4
  17. This is how these cookies look like at the end of it all. Enjoy dear friends!
Lintzer Cookies

Lintzer Cookies

Green Chilli Peppers Stuffed with Hummus – Inspired by Himani Baid

Green Chilli Peppers Stuffed with Hummus  Poblano Peppers Stuffed with Hummus

Green Chilli Peppers Stuffed with Hummus

I have been wanting to make Green Chilli Peppers Stuffed with Hummus for the longest time; in fact, it has been almost exactly an year since I had Red Jalapeños Stuffed with Chilli Hummus and have since wanted to replicate the experience.

How it happened was by chance. I was staying with some wonderful friends in Vienna last July. I had travelled there from Switzerland and was craving for some spicy food. My hostess, Himani, had some spicy Chilli Hummus at home and then she bought what she presumed were baby red peppers and stuffed them with Chilli Hummus and then oven baked them.

Kartik, Himani’s husband, and I are spicy food freaks and were so excited by the idea of spicy food that we could not wait to have the first bite and what a bite that turned out to be. After the first bite, we were breathing fire and sweating  bullets. :D :D

However, as we persevered we actually enjoyed these fiery treats. Ever since then every time I crave spicy food, I think of those peppers. :)

This past week, I replicated the recipe with Hummus spice with red chilli powder but used much milder green chilli peppers (similar to Anaheim or the not-so-spicy Poblano Peppers) as the base. While the result was not quite as fiery, it was just as enjoyable.

These Green Chilli Peppers Stuffed with Hummus make the perfect starter or a nibble for a party or then a perfect snack to accompany a hot cup of Ginger Tea on a rainy day.

Green Chillies Stuffed with Hummus

Green Chillies Stuffed with Hummus

Makes: About 12 stuffed chillies

Time: 30 Minutes (with hummus made earlier)

Ingredients

  1. Anaheim or Poblano Peppers – 12
    Or
    Moti Hari Mirch (the kind used for Bharvan Mirchi) – 12
  2. Hummus – 2/3 Cup
  3. Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 to 1 tsp (optional)
  4. Olive Oil

Method

  1. Slit the green chillies in half vertically.
  2. Deseed the chillies.
  3. Brush the outside of the chillies with olive oil.
  4. Mix the chilli powder and hummus together.
  5. Fill each half of the chilli with the hummus.
  6. Brush the top of the hummus with a little olive oil.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C.
  8. Cover a baking tray with a foil.
  9. Place the green chilliies (stuffed side up) on the tray.
  10. Bake the chillies for 8 to 10 minutes till the skin of the chilli just starts to change color.
  11. Take out and let the chillies rest for 5 minutes.
  12. Serve hot.
Humus Stuffed Chilli Peppers

Humus Stuffed Chilli Peppers

I am taking this wonderful snack to Fiesta Friday #79.

Beetroot Raita, Perugu Pachadi or Thayir Pachadi (aka Beetroot and Yogurt Dip)

Beetroot Raita, Beetroot Perugu Pachadi or Thayir Pachadi

Beetroot Raita

I am very fond of Perugu Pachadis or Raitas. I can and am known to make a meal of them. I have already written about:

Today, I am writing about another popular variant, the Beetroot Raita.

Serves: 4

Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Grated Beet – 1 Cup
  2. Cold Yogurt – 1.5 Cups
  3. Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
  4. Black Salt or Sea Salt to Taste

Method

  1. Sprinkle about 2 tbsp water on the beet.
  2. Pressure cook the beet for 2 whistles.
    or
    Steam the grated beet for 7 to 10 minutes.
  3. Let the beetroot cool.
  4. Add the cumin powder and salt to the yogurt.
  5. Mix well.
  6. Add the steamed beet and mix well.
  7. Serve chilled with rotis or pulao.
Beetroot Raita

Beetroot Raita

Tip

  • You could add a tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves to the Beetroot Raita, if required.

Neer Dosa

Neer Dosa

Neer Dosa

I have been meaning to try Neer Dosa for the longest time. Now that I made it, I don’t know why I put it off so long. Neer Dosa literally means a water dosa. This is a dosa that is popular in the Udupi-Mangalore region of Karnataka and is quite easy to make.

It can be made by just grinding soaked rice into a thin batter or then using a mix of rice and coconut. I made Neer Dosa with just rice.

Neer Dosa is best when it is made thin and is eaten hot. The traditional accompaniments to Neer Dosa include grated coconut mixed with jaggery or sugar, Coconut Chutney with Garlic and Rasayana.

Makes: 6

Soaking Time: 6 Hours

Ingredients

  1. Short Grained Rice – 1 Cup (I used Surti Kolam)
  2. Grated Coconut – 1/4 Cup (Optional, I did not use any)
  3. Salt to Taste
  4. Oil

Method to Make the Batter

  1. Soak the rice in 2 cups of water for at least 6 hours.
  2. Drain the water.
  3. Using about 2/3 cup water, grind the rice and coconut (if you are using it) into a smooth batter.
  4. Add some more water to make a thin batter.
  5. Add salt.
  6. Mix well.

Method to Make Neer Dosa

  1. Heat a tava.
  2. Add a few drops of oil and spread on the surface.
  3. Pour a ladle of batter in the center of the pan and swirl quickly to form a dosa. Do not spread.
  4. Cook over medium heat till the surface just starts to dry out.
  5. Using a spatula separate the dosa from the tava.
  6. Fold into a triangle on the tava.
  7. Transfer to a plate.
  8. Serve immediately with Coconut Chutney, Mango Rasayana, Banana Rasayana, or then grated coconut mixed with sugar.

I am taking this wonderful dosa to the party at Fiesta Friday #78.

Fiesta Friday

Mavina Hannina Rasayana (Mango Rasayana)

Mango Rasayana or Mavina Hannina Rasayana

Mango Rasayana or Mavina Hannina Rasayana

Even though monsoons have set in (sorta), there are still lovely juicy mangoes available in Mumbai. This weekend my dad got about a dozen and since they were ripening quickly I was looking to use them quickly. Of course, there were the usual lineup of recipes; Mambazha Pulissery or Mambazha Mor Kuzhambu, Mango Lassi, or Mango Milkshake.

Then as I was soaking rice for Neer Dosa I remembered Mango Rasayana.

Mango Rasayana is the Udupi version of Aam Ras and is made by blending together sweet mangoes with coconut milk and jaggery. It is a simply awesome accompaniment to Neer Dosa and Puris.

In my version I did not use too much jaggery as my mangoes were sweet enough. This also meant that the texture and colour of my Mavina Hannina Rasayana was also paler but I was OK with that.

Makes: 3 Cups

Time: 10-15 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Pulp of Ripe Mangoes – 2 Cups
  2. Fresh Coconut Milk – 1 Cup
  3. Grated Jaggery/Sugar – 1/2 Cup (I used about 1 tbsp)
  4. Cardamom – 2

Method

  1. Peel and powder the cardamom.
  2. Add the cardamom powder and the sugar/jaggery to the mango pulp.
  3. Mix well and set aside for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the fresh coconut milk and mix well.
  5. Enjoy with neer dosa, chapati or puri.

Mango Rasayana - Udupi Recipe

Tips

  • Instead of mango pulp, you could also cut 2 mangoes into fine pieces and just mix them into the coconut milk. :-)