Thursday, February 28, 2008

'Kuzhi Paniyarams' for Breakfast…fortified!..

What shall I make you for breakfast?”, asks the young bride..

“Hmm... Kuzhippaniyaram and Varamilagai Chutney”, replies her beloved after a pause, pleasantly!..

The girl is perplexed. She confronts with these alien names for the very first time in her life time. Yet, tactfully hides her ignorance, repeatedly mumbles the names, not letting ‘em slip off her brain till she reaches her Ma in law, in the kitchen, downstairs.

The moment Ma hears the names,reaches out for a ‘specialised’ cast-iron griddle(now the girl is pleased-at least the griddle is familiar to her, which resembles the famous unniyappa-chatti of her place), mixes some rice flour to a bowl of Idly batter, seasons and carries on making the ‘alien’ main dish, with much expertise and ease, simultaneously instructing the girl, step by step, how to make the ‘ alien’ side dish!..

Fast forward a few years!..

The girl gets metamorphosed to a good cook(at least to her husband and in laws)…….

And here, she has modified the same main dish to a more healthy and appetising one, not compromising the authentic taste and quality, by adding a medley of minced veggies, preparing them in a non stick griddle which means less oil; gingelly or sesame seed oil.

Vegetable Kuzhi paniyarams

You need:

Idly/Dosa batter-a large cup
Finely minced vegetables of your choice(carrot, cabbage, peas,beans, shallots etc)-1/4 cup
Rice flour- to make the batter, thicker-1-2 tbsp
Sesame seed oil-to drop in the holes of the griddle
Salt-to taste


Mix rice flour,salt and minced vegetables to the batter.Let it be slightly thicker than the cake batter. Runny batter tends to absorb more oil.

Heat the griddle and drop(4-5 drops) oil into each hole. Fill 3/4th of each one with the batter. Keep the flame steady to low-medium.

Wait till the bottom turns golden brown(will take 2-3 minutes).Turn each upside down, carefully.Trickle a few drops of oil if necessary.Cook for another 2-3 minutes to get them cooked and turn over again if you like them more crispy. Remove and repeat the same with the next batch. Serve warm with chutney of your choice.

Kothamalli Chutney

The dip here is not with varamilagai(dried red chilles) as in the story, but a healthier susbstitute.

You need:

Grated Coconut-1/2 cup
Roasted gram/Pottukkadalai-1/4 cup
Coriander leaves/cilantro-1/2 cup
Green chillies-2-3
Salt-to taste
Water-3/4 cup or as needed

Temper the ground chutney with:

A tsp of refined oil, 1/4 tsp of mustard seeds and urad dal each, 2 pinches of hing powder and a few curry leaves. Do not boil or heat the chutney.Tempering should be done separately and poured over the chutney.

For Suganya who hosts WBB-Healthy Eats :)
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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lemon Pudding

The approaching hot summer, JFI-Lemon, non stop cravings for chilled tangy drinks and comforting desserts, a simple n cool recipe, all made me try out this easy breezy lemon pudding from here.

The recipe reproduced,(Serves 4)

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 1/2 cups milk
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
Pinch salt
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Whisk the sugar and the cornstarch together in a medium saucepan. Add the milk and whisk until smooth. Add the egg yolks, zest, and salt and cook, stirring frequently at first and constantly towards the end, over medium heat until thickened enough to thickly coat the back of a spoon. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and butter. Pour through a strainer into a large serving bowl or 4 individual serving dishes. Let cool to room temperature. Chill, loosely covered, for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days, or until set and thoroughly chilled. Serve chilled.

The differences made with the actual recipe:-
When I boiled to cook the milk, cornflour and egg yolks, the whole liquid turned out to be a soft mass rather than a semi thick liquid as mentioned. So, I cooled down the mass, diluted with half a cup of cold milk and smoothened with a hand beater before chilling. Addition of lemon zest can be optional as it might contribute a bitter taste. Fresh lemon juice gives enough and more flavour and that citrus-lemony-tanginess to the dessert.

Goes to lovely n lively Coffee girl for JFI-Lime/Lemon.
Barbara, this is for you too, for the wonderful event of LiveSTRONG With A Taste Of Yellow :)
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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Prayers, Blessings and an Award…

My Sweet friend, Nanditha passed me this very special wave of love, prayers and blessings, along with her thoughtful story about opening the gates of heaven, by unselfishness..

Neither like any tags out here, nor a meme, the rules are..
It’s a game of tag with a difference, rather than looking inwardly, we look outside ourselves and bless, praise and pray for one blog friend. By participating in this endeavor we not only make the recipient of the blessing feel valued and appreciated, but we are having some fun too. We’re going to see how far the bloggin’ blessings can travel around the world and how many people can be blessed! Recipients of a bloggin’ blessing may upload the above image to their sidebar if they choose to. If you receive a bloggin’ blessin’ please leave a comment on this thread here so that we can rejoice in just how many blessings have been sent around the world!

I am grateful to Nanditha for her waves of true love.I accept them whole heartedly.. and pass on to ,

Renuka-I pray for you, my friend..

Nags-who has to take up spl responsibilities, commitments and decisions very soon.May God bless you and lead you the right path..

Suma Rajesh-one of my sweetest blogger friends.Nandukka is passing her waves of love to you through me :)..

I am supposed to send to just 3!, even the tag is to one..

But I sincerely want to pass the prayers and blessings to each and every one of my dear blogger friends, who had been so loving and supportive so far..

I was surprised and overjoyed when dear Happy Cook passed over the Nice Matters Award..
Still not sure whether I deserve this cute award or not!..Thank you HC :)

I would like to pass the Award to:-

Asha-I have no explanations here!She is simply the 'Blogger Queen!':).
Asha, you might have received the same, still I need to pass along to you!..

Jugalbandi-Certain blogs are too good to just comment, pressing the key board buttons.Certain cooks are too good to be just appreciated by words…Pls accept my humble gift here, even if you have received earlier..

Srivalli-Most of us are great cooks.When a girl is up with regular food blog updations, hosts events, draws and blogs cartoon stories, co-ordinates arusuvai effectively while manging her 3 kiddos, the youngest being twin boys, taking care of her inlaws, working, …phew!!..don't you guys feel this is great?!!!.. and nice??..

Sig-My hometown gal who makes me drool and short circuits my key board:) in every lovely recipe of her’s( and yours too Siv:))

Lathamma-A Rocking Woman who blogs her homely, divine shots incessantly!.

Swapna-A sweet girl and a great cook, I discovered during my college days!..Her patience and flair for cooking had astonished me while working together in the homescience lab!..:)
A new blogger,who started right away after a few gentle pushes :)..

All of my friends here are nice and fabulous!..Since I had to restrict to a few, I’d done the, no hard feelings pls :)..

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Fish Curry with Coconut

Here’s a simple curry any fish lover would vouch for.This very common dish was prepared during one of my recent visits to Kerala.The curry is as a result of the combined efforts of my mom who cleaned the fish, my sister who assembled the ingredients and helped me prepare the favourite and me who proceeded according to mom’s instructions.

We got ready with: (serves a family of four)

Kanambu Fish/Mullet (we used this) or any other medium sized fish cleaned and cut into chunks - 1/2 kg

Tamarind paste - 2 1/2 - 3 tbsp or fresh extract from a small lemon sized ball of tamarind.
Salt - to taste

To Grind to a smooth paste:

Freshly grated coconut - 1 cup, heaped
Chilly powder - 1 tbsp
Coriander powder/malli podi- 2 tsps
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Garlic - 4 cloves
Shallots/small onions - 4 (to grind) + 2 (to season)

To Season: 

Coconut oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds/uluva - 1/2 tsp
Shallots- 2 (reserved from above list)- minced fine
Green chilles-2 - slit lengthwise until 3/4th (do not split/separate fully)
Curry leaves - 1 sprig

How we made it:

1. Grind coconut, chilly, coriander and pepper powders, garlic, shallots, turmeric and jeera to a smooth paste with some added water.

2. Heat oil and crackle mustard seeds. Fry fenugreek for a 2-3 seconds and caremelize minced shallots. Throw in the green chilles and curry leaves.

3. Add the ground paste, tamarind and salt. Half a cup water may be added at this stage if gravy is too thick. Simmer for 3-5 minutes.

4. Add the cleaned and cut fish pieces, close and simmer cook for 10 mins. Make sure the curry doesn't have any raw smell of the ground paste and the fish is cooked soft.

5. Serve hot with rice. The curry tastes better the next day. If you add a little extra tamarind, chilly powder and salt and make a stronger curry, it stays well outside refrigeration. I do likewise.

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