Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Carrot Burfi - Easy Diwali Sweets

Diwali is almost here. People would be busy shopping for new clothes. Deciding what sweets and snacks to prepare. My mother usually starts deciding a week ahead as to what sweets and snacks to prepare. She will meticulously plan and prepare a good variety. Of course I have not taken to her, I am very lazy and always look for a easy way out. 
If you are looking for a easy sweet yet, delicious and also gives good quantity, then this one is for you. It is really simple with very basic ingredients and gives a good number of pieces. I learnt this from my aunt, who makes awesome sweets. I had been wanting to post it last Diwali itself, but blame it on my laziness, it took a full year for this to appear on the blog.

What you'll need
  1. Grated Carrot - 1 cup, tightly packed
  2. Cashew Nuts - 1 cup
  3. Besan/Kadalai Maavu - 1 cup
  4. Coconut - 1 cup
  5. Ghee - 1 cup
  6. Milk - 1 cup
  7. Sugar - 3 cup
  1. Grease a plate lightly with ghee and set aside.
  2. Grind the cashewnuts along with grated carrots, coconut and milk.
  3. Heat a heavy bottomed kadai, add the ghee, once it starts heating up add the kadalai maavu and fry for 3 to 4 minute
  4. Now add the sugar and the ground paste and start stirring on low to medium heat.
  5. Keep stirring taking care not to burn the contents, you will see some bubbles on the sides
  6. After about 10 to 15 minutes, the whole mixture will start leaving the sides and become as a whole mass like a ball
  7. At this stage, quickly, transfer to the greased plate and smoothen the top with a greased flat bottomed cup (davara).
  8. Let it cool for a couple of minutes, and then mark the pieces.
  9. Let it cool completely before removing the pieces.
  1. If you feel the burfis are not setting properly on cooling, put back the whole thing in the kadai and stir for some more time.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Kai Murukku - Diwali Snacks

Kai Murukku is a very tasty snack and is a favourite in our house. My MIL makes it really well and we all love it. She makes it a point to prepare these for every Gokulashtami. I am still learning to make the perfect murukkus.
In today’s world, where all are looking for shortcuts, the art of making this handmade murukku is getting lost. Most of us resort to the murukku press. But the texture and taste of these handmade murukkus are very different and the best. You may not get the perfect shape at the first go itself, but I am sure, with practice we all can master the art of making murukku. I have shared small video clip of how to twist the murukku and given all the possible tips and tricks. This is the first time I am uploading a video, so please bear with the quality. Please read the notes section too.

What you'll need
  1. Homemade Rice Flour – 2 cup
  2. Urad Dal Flour – ¼ cup
  3. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  4. Hing/Asafoetida – generous pinch
  5. Butter – ½ tbsp
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Coconut Oil to deep fry

To prepare rice flour
Wash and soak the rice for 2 to 3 hours. Drain well, now grind to a fine powder in small batches and sieve it.
Put back the coarse remains and grind again, sieve again.
To prepare urad dal flour,
Dry roast the urad dal until a good aroma comes, cool and grind to a fine powder, sieve and keep ready.

  1. In a wide bowl, take the rice flour, urad dal flour, cumin seeds, hing and salt mix well.  Also add the butter and mix well so that butter is incorporated in the flours.
  2. Now add water little by little and knead into a smooth, pliable dough, without any cracks. Don’t make it very loose. Keep the dough covered to avoid drying.
  3. Heat a Kadai with oil, for deep frying.
  4. Keep a cup of water and a little oil in another plate for greasing.
  5. Spread a clean white thin towel, place a small bottle lid on the towel, take a small lemon sized ball, elongate one side of the dough into a medium sized thread and start twisting it around the lid. Refer video for detailed view.
  6. Make around 8 to 10 murukkus in the same way as above.  Grease you fingers with oil if the dough is sticky.
  7. By this time, the murukku we made first would have dried a little, gently the murukku from the cloth and slide into the oil. Fry 2 to 3 murukkus at a time on a low flame, until the bubbles have almost stopped.
  8. Drain on a tissue paper, cool and store in air tight container.

Check this video 


  1. Use the maavu arisi, for making the rice flour.
  2. Using homemade, fresh rice flour/eera podi is very important. Else the murukkus will get cut when you try to swirl also, they will get very red when you fry.
  3. My MIL, always uses coconut oil to deep fry, but u can also use refined oil.
  4. You can sesame seeds also to the dough.
  5. Instead of butter, you can add hot oil also while preparing the dough.
  6. Always keep the dough covered, else it will dry up and preparing murukku will be difficult. In case the dough starts cutting while twisting, sprinkle some water and knead again, grease your fingers with oil.
  7. Rest the murukku on the towel for atleast 10 minutes before frying.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Vella Payaru Sundal/Black Eyed Peas/Lobia Sundal - Easy Navarathri Sundal Recipes

Navarthri is starting tomorrow. We usually keep a nice golu every year, but this year, with our move from Chennai to Pune, we had to leave behind most of our dolls in Chennai and hence we won’t be able to keep a grand golu. But I plan to keep at least a couple of dolls.
Navarathris are usually very busy. We never know when it started, and when the 10 days got over. Everyday an offering or neyvedhyam of Sundal or some payasam is prepared. Making sundal is very easy, except that you have to remember to soak the legumes the previous day night.
There are some legumes, that get cooked easily without much of prior soaking, like the Karamani, Pacha Payaru, Peanuts, Kadala Paruppu, Pasi Paruppu etc. This Lobia also does not require any soaking. But I like to soak it for just about 30 minutes. The lobia sundal is one of the very tasty ones and is loved by all in our house.

What you'll need

  1. Vella Payaru/Black Eyed Peas/Lobia – ½ cup
  2. Green Chillies – 2
  3. Ginger – 1 inch piece
  4. Fresh Scraped Coconut – ½ cup
  5. Asafoetida – a generous pinch
  6. Curry Leaves – few
  7. Salt to taste
For Tempering

  1. Coconut oil – 2 tsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Urad Dal – ½ tsp

  1. Soak the Vella Payaru for ½ an hour.
  2. Pressure cook the payaru with just in enough water for 3- 4 whistles.
  3. Once the pressure is released, drain the water from the payaru. And set aside.
  4. In the meanwhile, grind green chillies, ginger, curry leaves and half of the mentioned coconut. Just enough to crush everything, don’t add water.
  5. Heat a Kadai with oil, add mustard seeds, once it splutters add urad dal and fry till it turns golden, now add the curry leaves and asafoetida.
  6. Then add the cooked payaru, salt to taste and the ground chilly coconut mixture.
  7. Mix well and fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
  8. Next add the remaining scraped coconut and fry for another couple of minutes.
  9. Sundal is ready.

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