Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Ada Pradhaman - Kerala Style Ada Pradhaman

Vishu is almost here. It is one of my favorite festivals. I love keeping the Vishu Kani. A typical Vishu Kani consists of an Uruli filled with rice, the Kani Vellari or Malabar Vellarikai, other vegetables and fruits like snake gourd, mango, jackfruit, banana, a mirror, an Idol of Krishna, a new cloth, gold ornaments etc and ofcourse, the kani is incomplete without the Kani Konnai also known as Laburnum. The Kani is arranged the previous day night and viewed early morning on the day of Vishu which usually falls either on the 14th or 15th of April.

The Kani konnai is not easily found in most parts of the country. Most of the years I make do with some yellow flower. But this time, I am really happy, as the place I live in, is lined with these trees and is in full blossom. So this year’s Kani is going to be adorned with the Konnai.
No festival is complete without a feast and no feast is complete without a Payasam. 

We usually prepare the Pal Payasam in our house for Vishu. But I love Pradhamans and I had this packet of Rice ada with me, so I prepared this pradhaman a couple of days back. It turned out super delicious, perfect for any feast. I have already posted the Palada Pradhaman, which is equally tasty.

What you’ll need
Serves – 4 to 5 generously
  1. Rice Ada – ½ cup (I used store bought)
  2. Powdered Jaggery – 2 cup
  3. Thin Coconut Milk – 4 cup
  4. Thick Coconut Milk – 1 cup
  5. Coconut pieces – ¼ cup, cut into small pieces
  6. Cashewnut – few (optional)
  7. Ginger Powder – ½ tsp
  8. Cumin Powder – ½ tsp
  9. Cardamom Powder – ½ tsp
  10. Ghee – 2 tbsp

  1. Soak the ada in plain water for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Now drain the water, and add about 4 to 5 cups of water and cook the ada in it till the ada is really soft. Make sure ada is soft, even if it turns a bit mushy it is ok, as the ada, will separate once we add it to the jaggery syrup.
  3. Strain the ada and wash it well in cold water. This will prevent sticking. Drain and set aside.
  4. Heat a heavy bottomed Kadai, with jaggery and ½ cup water, filter for impurities. Wash the Kadai and pour the jaggery syrup back into the kadai.
  5. Let this boil for 6 to 7 minutes, or till the syrup reaches a slightly thicker consistency.
  6. Now add the cooked ada and sauté it well. Keep stirring and sauté till the syrup thicken again for about 8 minutes. Add a tbsp of ghee and sauté for a couple of minutes more. This is the most important step. This is when the ada will get the sweetness from the jaggery, else ada will taste bland.
  7. Now add the thin coconut milk and mix well, allow to boil for atleast 10 minutes, or till the mixture is slightly thick.
  8. Turn off the flame.
  9. Add the cardamom powder, cumin powder and dry ginger powder to the thick coconut milk, mix well and add it to the Pradhaman.
  10. Heat a small frying pan with ghee and fry the coconut pieces till dark brown. Fry the cashews if using and add it to Pradhaman.

Serve warm.

  1. You may feel the consistency is very lose and not thick, but the payasam will thicken as it cools. And the consistency will be perfect. There won't be any need of adding extra milk. If you want it thicker, then you may reduce the thin coconut milk to 3 cups.
  2. The sweetness was perfect, if you want more or less, adjust accordingly.
  3. The ada I bought was very small and cooked very fast; cook your ada depending on its size. Make sure it is completely soft else, after adding to the jaggery it will become hard and feel like it is not cooked.
  4. I used KPL coconut milk powder, the taste was very good. I found it better than the tetra pack, but nothing to beat the taste of fresh coconut milk. Refer my Chakka Pradhaman post to know how to extract coconut milk.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Nendran Chips|Ethakka Upperi|Varatha Upperi|Kerala Banana Chips

I have been wanting to post this for a very long time now. But something or the other came my way and it took me so long to post it on the blog. Initially, I was not very confident of making the chips, later when I was confident enough; I was living in places where I couldn’t find the Nendrangai. I wanted to post it before Vishu, so when I went to Chennai last month I had plans of getting the kai, but I couldn’t. So I was thinking this year also, I won’t be able to post it, as in Pune I hardly find it. But, my good fortune, a shop selling South Indian items opened up just a couple of weeks back very near my place. And I asked him if he could get me Nendrangai. And he did get it. So finally, the ever popular chips recipe is on my blog.

What you’ll need
Makes about ½ kg Chips
  1. Nendrankai /Raw Kerala Banana – 6, (1.5 Kg)
  2. Coconut Oil – to deep fry
  3. Salt – as required
  4. Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp

  1. Wash the plantains well and pat dry them.
  2. Make slits on the skin vertically, make sure u don’t go too deep and cut the fruit.
  3. Now, with your hands, carefully remove the skin. Save the skin and prepare thoran with it.
  4. Slice it thin and spread on kitchen tissues or newspaper.
  5. In a small bowl, add about 2 to 3 tsp of salt and ½ tsp turmeric powder, mix well and keep aside.
  6. Heat oil in a Kadai for deep frying
  7. Once the oil is hot, reduce the flame to low, and slowly add the sliced plaintain in batches.
  8. Now, increase the heat to medium high and fry, keep stirring once in a while.
  9. Fry till the bubbles have almost stopped.
  10. Now, reduce heat to low and add ½ tbsp of the salt – turmeric water to the oil, increase heat to medium and keep stirring till the spluttering sound stops.
  11. Drain on to kitchen tissues, continue the process.
  12. Cool completely and store in airtight container.

  1. Remember to add lesser amount of the salt-turmeric water as you proceed with the frying the batches, as there will be salt in the oil. Else the chips will become salty.
  2. After adding the salt-turmeric water, fry till the sound stops, else the next batch will not be crisp.
  3. Also slice the banana thin and spread on a kitchen tissue for atleast 10 mins to get crisp chips.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Vellarikka Kichadi/Thayir Pachadi - Easy Vishu Sadya Recipes

We are into April already. The weather in Pune is very hot. It is our first summer here. I had heard so much about the pleasant weather of Pune that this heat took me by surprise. The temperatures have been around 37 to 39 degrees for the past 15 to 20 days.

Today’s recipe is a very easy one, perfect for a hot sunny day. Also, thayir pachadi or Kichadi is a important part of any sadhya, so if you are planning to cook a sadya this Vishu, then u should include this. The Vellarikka kichadi is one of my favorites. The Velarikka used is Malabar Vellarikai, also known as Kani Vellari.

What you’ll need
  1. Malabar Vellarikai – 1 cup, peeled, deseeded and finely chopped
  2. Fresh Thick Curd/Yougurt – 1.5 cup
  3. Salt to taste

 To grind
  1. Fresh Scraped Coconut – 1/3 cup
  2. Green Chillies – 1 or 2
  3. Mustard Seeds – 1/8th tsp

 For tempering
  1. Oil – 1 tsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Curry Leaves – few

  1. In a vessel add the chopped Vellarika pieces with just enough water, (don’t add too much water), and salt and boil till the vellarika pieces are cooked. Takes about 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Grind the coconut, green chillies and mustard seeds. You can add a little of the curds while grinding. Don’t add water.
  3. Beat the curds well add the ground mixture, and cooked vellarikai pieces and mix well. Check for salt and add accordingly.              
  4. Heat a small frying pan with oil, temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  5. Pour over the pachadi.

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