Thursday, April 28, 2011

Our Cooking Station!

Swapna: Bharathy?

Me: ..yes...

Swapna: ..I've been thinking of this for some time..

Me: ..abt what?

Swapna: have a bit of  *nadan recipes ..

Me: yeah..

Swapna: While I specialise on bakes..

Me :true...

Swapna: Why dont we put them together?

Me ..merge our blogs, Swapna?

Swapna: not exactly!


Swapna: Put all our recipes together in one place and host them together. A complete list or recipes that would turn some help to a reader..

Me: Great Idea!! :)..gimme some time and I am up!!

*nadan - traditional

Above is a chat section from gtalk, which happened a fortnight ago.

If I hadn't mentioned about my relationship with Swapna, well, here is it.

We hail from the same town and were class mates in College. I used to be so surprised by her presentation skills during our 'practical cooking sessions' and tailoring classes back in those days; her creativity and prefection in everything she did!
I remember rushing to her mostly after a 'disaster' with my cooking and taking notes explained in a patient way from her!
This patience explains her utmost skills in cross stiches and crochets in her lovely world of stitching which you would have surely come across and appreciated!

While I organised the recipe list, Swapna cheerfully worked with the template. As a matter of fact, she worked and still works harder on the same than me.
We enjoyed every moment improving it and are surprised to see the long, complete and varied recipes which gave way to this humble 'Portal' of ours!

Our Cooking Station is born!
Hope our baby cheers you up as it does with us too :)


P.S- I am taking a month's break from blogging. So you may find me inactive with no responses to comments and queries. Hope you would bear with me until I get back :).
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fried Modakam

Modaks / Modakams, as you know, are the sweet dumplings offered as 'Neivedyam' for Lord Ganesha.(err.. hope I din't sound too formal) *cough *cough..

Well, now I can hear your asking, it's not the time to make it, no Ganesh festivals around the corner and why this recipe here?
The reason is nothing else other than that I wanted badly to click and blog 'a sweet' with my new cam, first, and hide those guilty feelings pinging me for not blogging 'something sweet and nice' for the past week festivals. I simply watched and let go lazily the Telugu, Tamil and the Malayalam New year passing by the consecutive days celebrated with much pomp around my town and the blogosphere :)

I have already posted the step by step recipe for Steamed Modakams prepared for the 'Chathurthi'.
This, as you see is the fried version which has longer shelf life and I feel a bit easier to make than the other one.

Fried Modakam  (yields around 25)

For the dough:
Maida / All purpose flour - 1/4 kg or 2 cups
Soda bicarb. - 2 pinches (optional)
Water- enough to knead into a soft dough
Ghee- 1 tbsp

For the filling:
Freshly grated shavings from a medium sized coconut (measure)
Crushed jaggery - half the quantity of the grated coconut, loosely packed in your measuring cup.
Cardamom powder - to flavour
Ghee - Atbsp

Ghee / Oil - to deep fry


Knead flour and water with soda bicarb to make a soft dough as for pooris. Addition of soda bicarb is optional. It lightens n crispens the shell with tiny bubbles once fried. You don't have to let the dough standRoll out into small balls and spread into thin (as thin as possible) pooris.Cut them into perfect rounds with the mouth of a katori. Let not the size of the poori overflow once placed on the bed of your palm.....just for an idea :)

Heat half the tbsp of ghee in a non stick kadai.Add the grated coconut and the crushed jaggery together.Sauté for a few minutes to melt down the jaggery pieces and steam off the water content. Mix in Cardamom powder. 

Final assembly and deep frying:
Spoon a little of the filling in the centre or the poori and bring the edges on top by gentle gathers. Press and twist the top a little in order to stick the tip / secure the filling while deep frying. The Modakam should not be larger than a big gooseberry :)

Prepare the Modaks and spread a thin white wet cloth to prevent them from drying up. Heat ghee or oil in a kadai and fry few at a time till golden brown.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easy Cauliflower Stir-fry without Onions

You are back home after a long day and have some left over rice or chappathis in your kitchen with no side dish, hungry and not so patient for an elaborate cooking, but lucky enough to have a fresh/ not so fresh cauliflower left in your vegetable tray, this would be one of the easiest dry accompaniment you may lay your hands upon. There is no hassle of slicing onions either, yet it tastes great!

Easy Cauliflower Stir-fry

Cauliflower, cut into small florets- 2 cups

To season:

Oil- 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Chilly Powder- 1/2 tsp (more or less acc to your spice level)
Pepper powder- 1/4 tsp
Garlic-1 large clove or 3 small, Crushed
Curry leaves / Cilantro
Salt- as needed

                                                   in the kadai with all the water evaporated..

Wash the florets well and keep aside. Heat oil in a kadai, splutter mustard seeds, throw in curry leaves, add the florets and sauté for a few seconds. Add the turmeric and chilly powders along with salt and 1/2 cup of water and close with a lid while it simmers. Here in TN, the vegetables cook a bit slow and so I needed 5 minutes to get them half cooked. Adjust the cooking time accordingly in yours. The florets have to get half cooked before you proceed to the next step, and that's it! :)
The water would have used up or even if not, dont worry, add the crushed garlic (close, if there's still some water at the bottom until evaporated) and lastly  the pepper powder and toss well. ( you can also sauté the florets for a longer time with some more oil drizzled. I didn't do it as I was...yup, Impatient! :))

If you don't have curry leaves in stock and hadn't added earlier, garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serve hot. You will never regret coming up this one and will end up making it again and again. Kids will enjoy this too!
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