Monday, April 21, 2014

Semiya Kesari



Kesari to me is synonymous with Rava Kesari. From my childhood I have been eating only Rava Kesari, and its variation the Pineapple Kesari.  Rava Kesari was one of the first dishes I learnt to prepare when I started cooking.

No, today’s recipe is not about Rava Kesari, it is Semiya Kesari. The first time had Semiya Kesari was at a relative’s place where we had been for lunch, couple of years ago. Though I liked it very much, I didn’t get the recipe. A few days back, one of my friends prepared this and I this time I got the recipe from her and tried the same. It was yummy. A welcome change from the Rava Kesari.

It is a very simple recipe, and gets ready very quickly. The only thing to remember is to let the vermicelli cook completely before adding the sugar, else you will have a rubbery mass.



What you’ll need
  1. Semiya/Vermicelli – 1 cup
  2. Sugar – ¾ cup
  3. Ghee – 4 to 5 tbsp
  4. Water – 2 cup
  5. Cardamom Powder – ¼ tsp
  6. Orange/Yellow Food Color – a pinch
  7. Cashew Nut – few
  8. Raisins – few

Method
  1. Heat a Kadai with about 2 tbsp ghee. Roast the Cashew nuts until golden, add raisins and fry until they plump up. Transfer to a plate and keep aside.
  2. In the same Kadai, add the semiya/vermicelli and roast until till changes light brown.
  3. In the meanwhile, boil 2 cups of water and keep ready.
  4. Once the semiya is roasted, slowly add the hot water to it, add the pinch of color and mix well.
  5. Cook covered on low flame for 6 to 7 minutes or until the semiya is cooked completely and all the water is absorbed.
  6. Now add the sugar and keep stirring. The mixture will watery after adding sugar, keep stirring till everything starts to come together.
  7. At this stage add the remaining 2 tbsp of ghee and mix well. Cook till all the moisture is absorbed.
  8. Add the cardamom powder and the fried nuts. Mix well.

Serve warm.



Note:
  1. Don’t add the sugar before the semiya gets cooked completely, else it will become rubbery.
  2. You can use roasted semiya and reduce the roasting time.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Eggless Chocolate Babka Swirl Buns



This month the Baking Patners decided to bake this delicious Chocolate Babka Swirl Buns. The name babka was very new to me. It is Ukranian sweet bread, made with rich dough especially on the Easter Sunday. The chocolate and cinnamon filling was really delicious. And the whole batch vanished by the end of the end. Thanks Tamy and Swathi for introducing this delicious bread.
I pretty much followed the recipe, except for a few changes. I replaced the single egg with yoghurt and skipped the streusel topping.

Recipe Adapted from Portugese Girl Cooks

What you’ll need

For the dough
  1. All Purpose Flour/Maida – 2 cup
  2. Sugar – ½ cup
  3. Instant Yeast – 2 tsp
  4. Butter – 3 tbsp, at room temperature
  5. Milk – ½ cup
  6. Yogurt – ¼ cup

For the filling
  1. Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips – ¾ cup
  2. Sugar – ¼ cup
  3. Cinnamon Powder – 1 tsp
  4. Butter – 3 tbsp

Method
  1. Heat the butter and milk in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  2. In a wide bowl, add the flour, sugar and yeast. Mix well.
  3. Now add the milk and butter mixture and the yoghurt and start kneading with the dough attachment of the mixer.
  4. Knead on low speed for 10 minutes.  The dough will be very loose and sticky.
  5. Transfer the dough into a nicely greased bowl and cover with a cling wrap.
  6. Set aside until the dough has risen to double its size.
  7. In the meanwhile, prepare the filling,
  8. In a food processor/mixie jar, add the chocolate chips, sugar and cinnamon powder, pulse until the chocolate chips are almost powdered.
  9. Add the butter and pulse again. The mixture will become pasty. Set aside.
  10. Assembling
  11. Once the dough has risen, transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Punch down and let it rest for another 5 minutes.
  12. Now roll the dough into a rectangle of about 20x12 inches. Dust with flour if it starts sticking.
  13. Spread the chocolate filling evenly over the rectangle.
  14. Now start rolling from one of shorter ends to the other and pinch the edges. Take care to roll tightly.
  15. Cut the roll, into inch size pieces with a sharp serrated knife.
  16. Butter the grooves of the muffin tray liberally, and place the cut pieces in each of the muffins grooves.
  17. Cover with cling wrap and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
  18. Pre heat the oven to 350F.
  19. After the 30 minutes of rise, brush each muffin with milk and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the tops turn golden.
  20. Cool and serve








Sunday, April 13, 2014

Palada Pradhaman


Wishing everyone a very Happy Vishu and Tamil New Year. 

Vishu falls on 15th April this year. No feast is complete without the payasam. So here is a simple payasam for the Vishu Sadya.  In olden days, the ada was also made from scratch and hence the whole process of making this payasam took quite some time. I have used the ready made store bought rice ada, which I got from India. 



What you'll need
  1. Rice Ada – ¼ cup + 1 tbsp
  2. Milk – 3 Cup
  3. Milkmaid – 2 tbsp (optional)
  4. Sugar – ½ Cup + 1 tbsp
  5. Cardamom – 3 to 4
  6. Butter – 1 tbsp


Method
  1. Soak the ada in 3 cups of boiling water for 20 to 25 minutes. Strain it and wash in cold water 2 to 3 times.
  2. Take milk in a heavy bottomed vessel and bring to boil. Let the milk simmer on low to medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally to avoid burning.
  3. Add the rice ada and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Now add the sugar and simmer for another 15 minutes. Keep stirring once in a while to avoid burning.
  5. Add the milkmaid and mix well.
  6. Remove from heat. Add the crushed cardamom and the butter. Mix well.

Serve warm.



Note:
  1. Adding milkmaid is optional, it enhances the taste. If not using milkmaid, increase sugar to ¾ cup.




Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thakkali Thayir Pachadi/ Tomato Thayir Pachadi




Thayir Pachadi or Kichadi is another important item on the Sadhya or feast. No feast is considered complete without the kichadi. Kichadi is nothing but vegetables in coconut yogurt mixture. The most popular ones being Vendakkai, Vazhathandu, Vellarikkai, and Tomato. My favorite is the vendakkai kichadi. 



What you’ll need
  1. Tomatoes – 2,  Medium sized
  2. Fresh Thick Curd – 1.5 cup
  3. Salt to taste

To grind
  1. Coconut Scraped – 1/3 cup, fresh or frozen
  2. Green chilly – 1
  3. Mustard Seeds – ¼ tsp

To temper
  1. Coconut oil – 1 tsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Curry Leaves – few

Method
  1. Wash and chop roughly chop the tomatoes.
  2. Heat a Kadai with ½ tsp of oil.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and salt. Mix well and let it cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and mushy. Remove from heat and let it cool completely.
  4. In the meanwhile, grind the coconut, green chilly and mustard into a fine paste adding little bit of water.
  5. In a bowl, take the curds, add the ground coconut paste and salt to taste. Mix well. (Remember we already added salt to tomatoes)
  6. Once the tomatoes are cooled completely, add that to the curd coconut mixture and mix well.
  7. Heat a small frying pan with oil, and temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves. Pour this over the pachadi


Tomato Thayir pachadi is ready.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pineapple Pachadi


Pachadis are an essential part of Sadhyas. Pachadi can be of two kinds, one where the veggies or fruit is cooked in a tamarind sauce with or without coconut and the other which are curd/yogurt based. The curd based ones are technically called kichadi.

Pineapple pachadi is usually served in wedding feasts. It is more on the sweeter side, rather it is a medley of flavours sweet, spicy and tangy. So if you like a slightly sweet and sour taste, you should try this pachadi.

This is my mother’s version of the pachadi, though while looking for recipes on the internet I saw many with a curd base. But this is how my mother makes it. Make sure to choose ripe pineapple.



Serves – 2 to 3
What you'll need
  1. Pineapple – 1.5 cup, peeled, and finely chopped
  2. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  3. Salt to taste

To Grind
  1. Coconut Scraped – 1.5 cup, Fresh or frozen
  2. Green Chilly – 1
  3. Mustard Seeds – ¼ tsp

To Temper
  1. Coconut oil – 1 tsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Fenugreek Seeds – ¼ tsp
  4. Dried Red Chilly – 1
  5. Curry Leaves – few

Method
  1. In a heavy bottomed vessel, add the chopped pineapple, 1 cup of water, just enough to cover the pineapple pieces, turmeric powder and salt to taste.
  2. Bring this to boil, and let it cook on medium heat until the pineapple pieces are cooked.
  3. In the meanwhile, grind the coconut, green chilly and mustard seeds, don’t add too much water while grinding.
  4. Once the pineapple pieces are cooked, add the ground coconut and mix well. Bring to boil and simmer for couple of minutes.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Temper with mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, red chilly and curry leaves.


Serve hot with rice.


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