Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Chembu Roast/Seppankizhangu Roast/Arbi Roast

Chembu is one of our family favourite vegetable. I like it in sambar, mor kootan and I love this puli vitta chembu curry that my mom makes. It pairs beautifully with Keerai moalagootal. So basically, we like chembu in any form.
Today’s recipe is a very simple one, but tastes awesome when paired with a simple rasam or mor kootan. In fact, I like to eat it just like that, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Some people deep fry it, but I like to make it this way, add a little more oil to get nice and crisp roast curry.

Serves – 3 to 4
What you’ll need
  1. Chembu/Seppankizhangu – 500 gms
  2. Oil – 2 to 3 tbsp
  3. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  4. Urad Dal – 1 tsp
  5. Curry Leaves –few
  6. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  7. Asafoetida – a generous pinch
  8. Chilli Powder – ½ tsp or according to taste
  9. Salt to taste

  1. Soak the chembu/Seppankizhangu in water for about 10 minutes. Then scrub and wash thoroughly to remove the mud and dirt from it.
  2. Pressure cook with just enough water for 2 whistles. Do not cook for long and make it mushy.
  3. Let it cool, open the cooker and drain out the water.
  4. Peel the skin of the vegetable and cut into thick slices or medium sized pieces. Let the chembu cool completely before frying.
  5. Heat a Kadai, preferably a non stick one, with oil, temper with mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves.
  6. Lower the heat and add the asafoetida.
  7. Now add the chembu pieces, add the turmeric powder and salt to taste.
  8. Mix well, taking care not to break the pieces.
  9. Let it fry on low to medium flame for 6 to 7 minutes, stir once in a while.
  10. Add the chilli powder and mix. Fry for another 7 to 8 minutes on low flame or till the pieces are roasted well.
  11. Serve hot with Rice and Sambar or Mor kuzhambu or with rasam.

  1. You can replace the red chilly powder with Sambar Powder, it gives a nice flavour.
  2. If you feel the pieces are slightly overcooked, refrigerate the pieces for about half and hour and then fry.
  3. Also you can sprinkle about a tsp or 2 of rice flour evenly over the vegetable to get crispy fry, though I did not add.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Basbousa - Eggless Egyptian Semolina Coconut Cake

This month I joined a group called the Home Baker’sChallenge. I love baking and experimenting new stuff, but I don’t get the necessary drive to try out new things on my own accord. So joining such groups makes sure that I do try out the recipe for the month, and thereby I learn something new.

This month the Nupur of UK Rasoi, suggested the recipes. The moment I saw Basbousa on the list, I knew I was going to bake it as it had been on my to do list for long. Finally I did make it. The semolina cake turned out awesome, with a slightly crunchy top and soft inside. Off to the recipe

Adapted from The Cookie Shop

What you’ll need

For Sugar Syrup
  1. Sugar – 2 Cup
  2. Water – 2 cup
  3. Lemon Juice – ¼ tsp
  4. Orange Blossom Water – 1 tsp

For the Cake
  1. Semolina/Rava/Sooji – 1 ½ cup
  2. Fine Semolina – ½ cup
  3. Sugar – 1 cup
  4. Desiccated Coconut – ½ cup
  5. Milk – 1 cup and little more if required
  6. Baking Powder – ½ tsp
  7. Butter Melted – 30 gms
  8. Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
  9. Blanched Almonds


Sugar Syrup
  1. Take sugar and water in a saucepan and bring it to boil.
  2. Add the lemon juice and boil for 10 minutes on medium flame.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Add the orange blossom water and set aside to cool.
For the cake
  1. In a bowl, take coarse semolina, fine semolina, sugar, salt, desiccated coconut and baking powder. Mix well.
  2. Add the melted butter, vanilla and the milk and mix well. It should be like a thick porridge consistency. Add more milk if required.
  3. Grease a baking tray, and pour this batter into the tray. Level and smoothen the top using a spatula.
  4. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.
  5. Pre heat oven to 200C.
  6. With a sharp knife, mark out the pieces. Place one the blanched almonds on each piece.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes to 20 minutes. Remove from oven, Cut through the pieces and place it back in the oven for another 15 minutes or till the sides and top starts browning.
  8. Warm the sugar syrup, and pour it over the hot cake and set aside until it cools down completely.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Strawberry Shortcake

When I saw that this month we had to bake berry shortcakes for the Baking Partners event, I was really happy. I have seen so many tempting pictures of the same everywhere on the net but never tried it before. Thanks to Reeni of Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice for this delicious recipe. 

I have heard so much about the Strawberry and Cream Combination and I finally tasted it in this shortcake. It was really yummy.

The recipe is very simple with ingredients that are easily available in the pantry. You will have a scrumptious dessert ready in 30 minutes.The original recipe called for prepared the whipped cream filling by whipping heavy cream and sugar, I have used the readymade whipped cream available in spray cans. Now to the recipe

What you'll need
  1. Strawberries – 2 Cup, hulled and sliced
  2. Sugar – 2 tbsp

For the Shortcake
  1. All Purpose Flour – 1 ¾ cup
  2. Corn Flour – ¼ cup
  3. Baking Powder – 1 tbsp
  4. Salt – ¼ tsp
  5. Fine Granulated Sugar – 4 tsp
  6. Heavy Cream – 1 cup
  7. Butter – 2 tbsp, melted
  8. Coarse Sugar for decoration (optional)
  9. Whipped Cream – 1 Can (use as needed) - for serving

  1. Take the hulled and sliced strawberries in a bowl add the 2 tbsp sugar, toss well. Set in the refrigerator for atleast 2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 425F.
  3. Sift the all purpose flour, corn flour, salt, baking powder.
  4. Transfer to a medium sized bowl, Add the sugar and mix well.
  5. Now and the cream little by little and mix with light hands till the flour holds up when squeezed with hands and no dry flour is left behind. Don’t over work the dough and knead it.
  6. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  7. Transfer the dough on to a lightly floured surface and pat it into a circle of about 8 inches and ¾ inch thickness.
  8. With the help of a cookie cutter or a lid having sharp edges, cut out circles .
  9. Dip them circles in melted butter and place on the baking tray.
  10. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and bake for 15 minutes or till the shortcakes turn light brown and puffy.
  11. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  12. To assemble slice the shortcakes into 2 halves, add some cream and then place the sliced strawberries.
  13. Cover with the other half, top it with some more cream and place a couple of strawberry slices.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Morappam/Kuzhi Paniyaaram

Morappam is a popular evening snack. It is a very close cousin of the kuzhi paniyaram. The Morappam batter is slightly different from the kuzhi paniyaram batter, though you can use the leftover idly/dosa batter. But taste of appams made from the morappam batter is better. 
My grandmother always used to grind the morappam batter to make morappams and never made from the idly/dosa batter. She would soak the rice and dals early morning and grind it by around 10 or 11 am and prepare the morappams in the evening. They taste really yummy. Can't make morappams like my grandmother.

What you’ll need

For the batter
  1. Raw Rice /Pachharisi – 3 Cup
  2. Urad Dal - 1 cup
  3. Channa Dal/Kadala Paruppu – ¼ cup
  4. Aval – a handful (optional)
  5. Curd – ½ cup
  6. Salt to taste

  1. Left over Idly dosa Batter – 2 Cups

For tempering
  1. Oil – 1 tsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Onion – 1 finely chopped
  4. Ginger – a small piece, finely chopped
  5. Green chilly – 1 or 2, finely chopped
  6. Coconut pieces – 2 tbsp, finely chopped
  7. Curry Leaves – few

Oil for deep frying

Appa Karol

  1. Soak the Rice, dals and aval separately, for 2 to 3 hours and grind like grinding for dosa batter. Rest it for 3 hours. If you are making the appams for evening snacks grind the batter by 10 or 11 am.
  2. Before making the morappams, take the required amount of batter in a bowl, add salt and curd and mix well.
  3. Heat a small frying pan with oil, and temper with mustard seeds. Pour it over the batter.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Check for salt.
  5. Heat the Appa Karol, add enough oil for deep frying in each of the grooves.
  6. Once the oil is hot, pour spoonfuls of the batter in each of the groove and cook on medium flame.
  7. Flip over and cook till both sides turn golden.

Serve hot with chutney and sambar.

  1. I used a small cup for measuring the rice and dals, so I did not have any leftover batter. If you have leftover batter, you can made dosa, though you should eat it hot as it will get hard on cooling.
  2. You can also prepare the morappam with leftover idly/dosa batter.
  3. You can lightly saute the onions and other ingredients except the coconut pieces if you like, before adding to batter.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Thai Peanut Noodles

This month the International Food Challenge explored The Thai Cuisine. The recipes were suggested by Sangeetha. Now, though the Thai cuisine is very popular, I haven’t tasted much of it. Infact the only Thai food that I have had is the Thai Green Curry and I liked it a lot, but never got around trying it at home. When I saw the recipes, I was quite excited and wanted to try the noodles with a peanut sauce. The peanut sauce was really yum and I ended up licking a little of the sauce that was leftover. The sauce could be a great dip with veg crudities or even be a good sandwich spread. The noodles tasted really good and I am sure these will frequent my kitchen in the future.

The original recipe calls for rice noodles, but I used the regular Chinese noodles.

Original Recipe here
Serves - 3
What you’ll need
  1. Noodles, Linguine width – 250 gms
  2. Firm Tofu – 1 cup, cubed
  3. Carrot – 1 big, cut into thin strips
  4. Red Bell Pepper – 1, cut into thin strips
  5. Bean Sprouts – 3 cups
  6. Soya Sauce – 2 tbsp
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Oil – 2 to 3 tbsp

For the peanut Sauce
  1. Tamarind – 1 tsp or a marble sized ball
  2. Hot water – ¾ cup
  3. Peanuts – 1 cup, roasted
  4. Garlic cloves – 3
  5. Fresh Red Chillies – 3, or chilli powder – ½ tsp
  6. Brown Sugar – 2 tbsp
  7. Soya Sauce – 1 tbsp
  8. Salt to taste

For garnishing
  1. Green onions – 2
  2. Sesame Seeds – 1 tbsp
  3. Fresh basil – a handful

  1. In a bowl, marinate the tofu pieces with 2 tbsp of soya sauce. Set aside.
  2. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions.
  3. Drain the noodles and rinse well in cold water. Keep aside.
  4. Soak the tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes.
  5. In a blender or mixie jar, add all the ingredients of the peanut sauce and grind to smooth paste.
  6. Heat a wok with a tsp or 2 of oil, toss the tofu and fry till they turn light golden. Transfer to a plate.
  7. Next add the carrots and bell pepper and sauté for couple of minutes. Let the vegetables remain crunchy.
  8. Transfer to plate.
  9. Now add the remaining oil, add the noodles, and the bean sprouts and sauté for a minute.
  10. Next add the tofu and the vegetables and half of the prepared sauce.
  11. Mix well. Add more sauce if required after tasting.
  12. Remove from heat.
  13. Garnish with chopped green onions, basil leaves and sesame seeds and serve hot.

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