Recipe Index

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thiruvathira Kali

1 cup rice
3 tablespoon mung dal (optional)
1 cup jaggery
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 to 4 tablespoon of clarified butter or ghee
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom seeds

Soak the rice in water for 15 minutes.  While the rice is soaking, dry roast the mung dal to a light brown color.  When the roasted dal has cooled to room temperature grind it to a powder and keep it aside.

Next drain the water and dry roast the soaked rice to a light brown color.  Allow it to cool to room temperature after which grind it to a coarse powder in the consistency of rava or sooji and keep it aside.

To a pan on medium heat add water and allow it to come to a boil.  Add the jaggery and let it melt.  After the jaggery has melted add the coconut, mix, add the powdered rice and the powdered mung dal and mix and stir constantly,  when the rice is cooked add clarified butter, stir till it leaves the side of the pan and forms a mass in the middle, turn the heat off and add the ground cardamom.

Serves 4.  Serve with Thrivathirai curry.

Thrivathirai is celebrated in the month of December-January whenever the nakshatram thrivathirai falls.  It is observed to honor Lord Shiva.

Note:  Adding mung dal to this recipe is optional.  You can make the dish without the mung dal.

Thiruvathira Kootu - Seven Vegetable kootu

3 assorted root vegetable (yam, cheppankizhangu/arbi, chena/suran total 3 cups)
1 piece of red pumpkin
1/2 cup of avarakai/Sem (pumpkin and avarakai total 2 cups)
1/2 pigeon peas (green whole toor dal, available frozen at the Indian grocer)
1 cup beans
1/2 cup coconut shredded
2 green chili or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
a few curry leaves
2 cups water or as needed

Grind the coconut and green chili and keep it aside.

Peel the root vegetables rinse them and cut them into same size cubes.

To a pan on medium heat add the pigeon peas cover and cook for 20 minutes.  After the pigeon peas has been cooking for 20 minutes add the mixed root vegetables and cook for 10 minutes.  After which add the pumpkin and avarakai, turmeric powder and cook for 10 minutes.  Add the ground coconut and salt and cook for 3 minutes, mix thoroughly and turn the heat off and season.

Heat the coconut oil add mustard seeds.  When the mustard seeds pop turn the heat off add the curry leaves and add the seasoning to the cooked vegetable.

The listed vegetables and toor dal cook at different times.  The toor dal takes longest to cook, followed by the root vegetables, pumpkin and avarakai adding them one at a time at different intervals, you have a dish with all vegetables evenly cooked.

This dish is prepared during the month of December-January during Thiruvathira nakshartra to to honor Lord Shiva.  It is served with Thiruvathira kali.  This dish can also be served as a side dish to with rice and chapati.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Channa Masala - Chickpeas curry

1 cup dry whole chick peas (Channa)
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped tomato
2 small potato boiled peeled and quartered
1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
2 green chili adjust to taste
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon of coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
1 teaspoon of garam masala
1 tablespoon of dry fenugreek leaves
A few cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of salt or to taste
4 tablespoon of oil
2 1/2 cups of water or as needed

Wash and rinse the chickpeas in water and soak it for 4 to 8 hours or overnight.  After it has soaked cook the chickpeas in water for 30 minutes or until it is done.  Alternatively you can cook the chickpeas in the pressure cooker, or you can use canned chickpeas.  If you are using canned chickpeas do not cook it.

To a pan on medium heat add oil, when oil is hot add the cumin seeds and poppy seeds, when the cumin seed turn darker add onion and saute till brown, add green chili, ginger and garlic saute for about 30 seconds, add turmeric powder, chili powder and garam masala saute for 10 seconds, do not allow it to burn, add chopped tomato mix cover and cook for 5 minutes.  After the tomato is cooked add the dry fenugreek leaves and cilantro leaves and a little water, saute for a few seconds, add the cooked or canned chickpeas add water as needed for a gravy consistency, let it come to a boil.  Add the potato and salt and let to come to a boil for 2 minutes.  Add some fresh squeezed lemon juice and turn the heat off  

Serve with rice, pulao, chapati, batura, samosa, cutlet.  Serves 4.

Chick peas is more popularly know as an ingredient in hummus.  It is also used in salads.  North Indians make curry and south Indians make "sundal" out of it.  This is a popular dish and an inexpensive source of rich protein.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Chocolate Cookies with Cream filling - vegan recipe

Make cream filling:
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cup powdered sugar

To a mixing bowl with vegetable shortening add vanilla extract mix, add the powdered sugar gradually, mix each time until the sugar is fully absorbed in the shortening.  When all of the powdered sugar is added add oil in the end mix and keep it aside until ready for use.  Do not keep the cream filling in the refrigerator.

Melt chocolate:
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup vegan chocolate chips
3/4 cup sugar

To a pan on medium heat add almond milk, chocolate chips and sugar.  Heat until all is melted.  Keep it aside and let it come to room temperature.

Prepare Cookie dough:
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Whisk the all purpose flour in a bowl.  

Add the unsweetened cocoa powder to the all purpose flour and continue whisking, add baking soda, baking powder, salt.  Switch to a spatula, add vegetable shortening, sugar and vanilla extract and mix.  

Slowly add the melted chocolate to the flour mixture a little at a time and make a dough.  

After the dough is ready divide it into four parts and shape each part into a log.

Wrap each log in parchment paper and freeze it for 15 minutes.  

After it has been frozen remove the wrap and cut each log into 1/8" inch thickness discs.

Place the disc on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 12 to 15 minutes at 330 degrees in the middle rack.  

Watch it while baking it can easily get overdone.  After baking remove it from the baking sheet and place it on a wire rack for further cooling.  

After the cookie is completely cooled, to the side that was facing down while baking apply some cream filling and cover it with another cookie. 

These cookies are easy to make and a special treat.  Box them up and give it as a gift, these are so delicious any time.  Kids and adults alike will love to dunk these cookies in milk.

Makes 45 to 50 cookies.

Note:  Baking is tricky.  Use this recipe as a reference only and adjust it to the area you are living.  The ingredients will be different in your area.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Quinoa idli - Kanchipuram style recipe

1 1/2 cup Quinoa
1/2 cup urad dal
water as needed

The proportion of urad dal to quinoa is 1:3.

Prepare Batter:  Rinse and soak quinoa and urad dal 4 to 8 hours or overnight.  After soaking grind the quinoa into a slightly coarse batter in 1 cup water and the urad dal to a fine batter in 1/2 cup water.  Adjust the water as needed.  Do not make it too liquid.  After grinding, mix the two and keep it in a warm place for fermenting.

When the batter has fermented one hour before making the idlis season it and keep it aside.

3 tablespoon of til oil or gingely oil or use any oil or ghee
4 teaspoon channa dal
3 teaspoon urad dal
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 green chili or to taste
2 tablespoon broken cashew nut
a few curry leaves
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt or to taste

Heat oil in a pan on medium heat, when hot add channa dal, urad dal and mustard seeds.  When the mustard seeds crack add ginger, green chili, cashew, curry leaves saute for a few seconds, add ground black pepper and turn the heat off and add the seasoning to the fermented batter.  Add salt to taste, mix the batter thoroughly and keep it aside for at least an hour.  The seasoning need to soak for some time for the flavor to develop in the batter.

Prepare idli in the microwave:
Use a greased egg poacher or a microwave idli maker.  Fill the cups of the egg poacher with batter and insert it in a bowl with a little water.  Microwave it for 4 to 5 minutes until the idli is cooked.  Adjust the the cooking time to power of your microwave.  When a knife it inserted in the middle of the idli comes out clean, it is cooked.  Remove it from the cups and serve fresh.

Serve warm with sambar and chutney.  These idlis are very filling, you may not eat as many as rice idlis.  They taste close to wheat rava idli.  They do get hard when they are cold.  However, if they are warmed in the microwave they become softer.  

Alternatively you can make these idlis in an idli steamer, in the usual way.  See also Idlisambarchutney and other snacks.  You can use regular idli batter to make Kanchipuram idli.

If the dough does not ferment use some yeast or fruit salt.

For days when you want to eat something different, these spiced up idlis are delightful and healthy.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


1 (12 oz package) of Chena ( sold as frozen Suran)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon of black pepper powder
3 cups of yogurt (ideally use sour yogurt)
a few curry leaves
1/4 red chili powder or to taste
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoon clarified butter
1 cup water

Grind and Keep aside:  
1/2 cup of coconut
2 green chili or to taste
1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds

Grind coconut with green chili and cumin seeds and keep it aside.

Cook chena in 1 cup of water, add turmeric powder and ground black pepper.  When the chena is cooked and the water has evaporated takes about 15 to 20 minutes, add yogurt, curry leaves, red chili powder and the ground coconut mixture, cook until the water content in the yogurt has evaporated and a dry curry is formed.  Add salt mix thoroughly and season

Seasoning:  Heat clarified butter when hot add mustard seeds.  When mustard seeds pop add to the Kaalan.  Mix and serve.  

Serve with rice or adai.  Serves 4

Served as a side dish with rice.  This is a Keralite dish, popularly served during festivals and auspicious occasions.  This dish can also be prepared using green plantain (vazhaka).  My mother used to make this dish during summer when the yogurt used to get sour.  The cooked yogurt balanced with spices gives this dish a very delightful taste.

Note: If the yogurt is not sour add some fresh squeezed lemon juice at the end.