Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Chakka Pradaman With Chakka Varatti, Jackfruit Payasam

          After making Chakka Varatti ( Jackfruit Preserve ) at home, the first dish that I wanted to try out with it was the Ela Ada and the next down the list was this Chakka Pradaman or Payasam. Once you have your Chakka Varatti ready, making this payasam is very easy. It's a very sweet dish, that's how it's supposed to taste but if you feel that it's too sweet for you, then you can leave out the jaggery that I have added to make the Pradaman, the final taste is totally your choice. This is a traditional dish from Kerala and I have followed the recipe from here and I have stuck to the original recipe, since I wanted to get the authentic taste, it's a rich and sweet dish, so enjoy it in moderation..
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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Mac & Cheese With Vegetables

          Mac & Cheese, this used to be my daughter's favorite snack when we were back in the US, but I used to make it from the Mac & Cheese sachets that we get back there. After coming to India, whenever I brought cheese, it was mozzarella but when I bought this good quality Cheddar Cheese, I wanted to make it. I like the combination of red pepper/capsicum with cheddar cheese, so I just added some sauteed capsicum and green peas towards the end and it tasted absolutely delicious..
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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Mangalore Cucumber Seeds Saaru ( Rasam )

          When I posted Mangalore Cucumber Palya/Stir-Fry, I had told that I had saved the seeds for doing another dish called Saaru. Saaru is basically similar to the Tamil Rasam with a very thin soup like consistency. In Karnataka, they make Saaru out of cooked dal/lentil water, greens like spinach and like this one using the seeds of the Cucumber. Mangalore cucumber is the yellow or orange colored cucumbers, usually shaped as shown in the picture. When eaten raw, they don't taste like the regular cucumber but they taste very good in curries. I had adapted the recipe from here and they had used Udupi Rasam Powder to spice up the Saaru, since I didn't have it with me, I checked the ingredients for it and used them in this recipe. Also I added a cup of cooked lobia/karamani/black eyed peas to the saaru at the end, this way I thought I can add some protein. Since I added just one cup, it didn't change the taste or consistency of the Saaru. It went well with white rice and the Mangalore Cucumber Palya that I made that day. Next time, you see this orange/yellow Cucumber in the market, do buy and try out the Palya and this Saaru..
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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Eggless Blueberry Muffins

          I had this big packet of dried blueberries that I wanted to finish before the expiry date and I was looking for some simple recipes where I can use it apart from eating it as such. These blueberry muffins fitted the bill perfectly, it's a simple recipe which can be put together and baked in under 30 minutes. I have used a mixture of whole wheat flour and all purpose flour and chia seeds in the place of eggs, the muffins turned out really good and they are perfect for breakfast or as a tea-time snack..
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Monday, August 22, 2016

Ela Ada With Chakka Varatti, Steamed Rice Parcels With Jackfruit Preserve

          After making Chakka Varatti/Jackfruit Preserve, I was waiting to try out Ela Ada, when I say waiting, I really mean it because where I stay in Bangalore, I don't easily get banana leaves, except might be on festival days. I had to tell the flower lady to get me some and then I finally got after a week. Though we can use just coconut and jaggery filling, I wanted to make the Ela Ada with Chakka Varatti. Once you have the Chakka Varatti ready, then making these Ela Adas is not a big task. We can even use parchment paper for making these adas, but the banana leaf gives a unique flavor to the dish. The finished dish tasted awesome, close in taste to kozhukattais and my family loved it..
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Friday, August 19, 2016

Lauki Thepla, Bottle Gourd Flat Breads, Sorakkai Thepla

          Lauki is one vegetable that I buy every week or at least once in 10 days. This is another very versatile vegetable, we can use for making curries, soup, sambar, dals, halwas, idlis, dosas and now these theplas and each of the above mentioned dishes taste very good with this vegetable. Now I don't know the difference between theplas and parathas, I read it on some blogs, that parathas are thicker than theplas and usually parathas have stuffed filling, whereas, we mix the vegetables along with flour for theplas. We can make theplas with many vegetables like lauki/bottle gourd, methi, spinach and they go well with any mild dal or even with some pickle and curd..
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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Banana Flower & Cabbage Rice, Vazhaipoo Muttaikose Sadam

          Vazhaipoo/Banana Flower and Purple Cabbage, we love this combination at home, I usually make a poriyal/stir fry with this combo and they go very well together. So when I had a little bit of cabbage and half a banana flower, instead of making the usual poriyal, I made this mixed rice with them. I made it more like a fried rice and added spring onions, baby corn and finally some peanuts to give a nice flavor. When we cook banana flower like this, we don't taste the bitterness from it. The rice tastes really good, serve it with some potato chips for a simple and delicious meal..
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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Chakka Varatti, Jackfruit Preserve ( Halwa )

          Ever since I saw Ela Ada on blogs and cookery shows, I had wanted to try it out home, especially the Ela Ada using Chakka Varatti/Jackfruit Preserve. I thought I'll do it during the last jackfruit season but it so happens, that jackfruit season coincides with school summer holidays and I am usually not at home and I keep missing it. This year also I thought that I'll not be able to do it, but just towards the end of the season I finally got to do it. Today's post is Chakka Varatti, a fruit preserve made with jackfruits and jaggery and I also made the Ela Ada using this preserve and will be posting it soon. I had mixed thoughts while making it, whether we would like it, especially the flavor because, as such jackfruit has a strong scent and I thought that it would intensify when cooked. But it turned out the other way, it smelled and tasted so good, that my daughter who doesn't like jackfruit at all, liked the Chakka Varatti very much. You can eat Chakka Varatti just as such, the texture is like Halwa and it tastes like one too or you can use it in making other dishes like Ela Ada and Payasams. The dish belongs to Kerala where jackfruits grow in abundance and they make a variety of dishes using both the ripe and unripe jackfruits and for Chakka Varatti, we use the ripe ones. Cutting a big jackfruit, and removing the fruit arils/bulbs from it is a huge task by itself and needs a separate post and I don't want to go into the details of it today and I usually ask the fruit vendor to do it. The process takes a little time but the taste at the end is worth all the effort, do try it when you next buy jackfruit..
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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Vengaya Pakoda, Onion Fritters

          Vengaya Pakoda/Onion Fritters, this is a favorite at home, I have made it so many times, but never got the chance to click it and so it has taken so long to appear here in the blog. It's such an easy snack, the only big work might be slicing the onions, other than that, it's just mixing and deep frying. You can do it two ways, with more onions and less flour, when you do it like this, the pakoda stays crispy only for a short time, might be for 3 to 4 hours. If you do it with more flour and less onion, the pakoda will stay crispy for a couple of days, when stored in an air-tight container. Both ways, it tastes good, today's version is the first one, with more onions and I love this version. The pakodas taste crispy and delicious and goes well with both as a side to a meal or as a snack with some coffee or tea..
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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Beetroot Moru Kuzhambu

          Moru Kuzhambu/Yogurt Stew is a favorite at home, mixed with rice and along with some paruppu usili, it tastes simply too good. Usually we add okra/vendikkai, ash gourd/pusinikkai, chayote/chow-chow or even vadas to the moru kuzhambu. Since I love the combination of beets with yogurt as in beets thayir pachadi/raitha, I wanted to try it out in Moru Kuzhambu. I have a couple of versions of Moru Kuzhambu in the blog, you can check out the links at the end of this post and I wanted to try out another version. I followed this recipe from here and used beets as the vegetable. The dish turned out really good with the nice pink color from the beets and we loved it with some methi/fenugreek leaves paruppu usili..
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Monday, August 8, 2016

Eggless Cherry Cupcakes

          When I had bought this box of cherries ( the dark ones ), I had tried out two baked dishes with it, the Cherry Clafoutis and these Cherry Cupcakes and the remaining, were very good to eat as such. I saw this recipe here for Cherry Cake and I have made an eggless version with it. This recipe uses both plain flour and almond meal for making the cake and since I had almond meal with me, I did the same and this is the first time I used it in baking. The cakes turned out really good, you can taste the almond meal in the cakes, and if you can't find cherries, you can use other berries in its place..
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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Mangalore Cucumber Palya/Curry

          Mangalore Cucumber, the yellow color one ( shown in the picture ), we don't use it that much in Tamil cuisine, or at least as far as I know. After moving to Bangalore, I saw this a lot in the market and I wanted to try it out. The first dish that I made with it was this Curry and now this Palya is my second dish and I have adapted the recipe from here. This curry goes well with rice and dal or even as a side to rotis, if you don't find this variety of cucumber, I think you can do it with regular one too..
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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Watermelon Idlis, Vegan Rava Idlis

          After making dosas with watermelon, using the white rind part of the fruit, the next thing that came to my mind was Watermelon Idlis. As usual, when I am trying something new, I am always prepared for anything, the dish can turn out good or bad. I decided to make it in the same way as Rava Idlis ( Sooji/Semolina Idlis ), using the watermelon rind pulp in the place of yogurt/curd. The idlis came out really good, the texture was like that of rava idlis, and I also realized that I had made Vegan Rava Idlis, do try these idlis, the next time you buy watermelon..
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Monday, August 1, 2016

Dal Makhani, Creamy Lentils

          Dal Makhani, I know it's a favorite for many people, but I like Dal Tadka better than this, I found this always very creamy. So, till recently, I never made it at home, even now, I made it for the blog and to my surprise I liked the homemade version with lesser cream. Whole Urad dal with the skin is the main ingredient here and it's supposed to be very good for you. Usually at restaurants, they make this dish very rich and creamy, but when making at home, you can use very little cream and make it healthier. The Dal Makhani turned out too good and it goes well with both rotis and pilafs..
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