Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Strawberry Kulfi

Kulfi is Indian ice cream made with boiled milk. It comes in many flavors - Mango, Elaichi (cardamom), Kesar (saffron) etc.
I saw Paula Deen episode "Chocolate Strawberry Trees" in foodnetwork few weeks back.That inspired me to make this plant of my own thoughts to give a stage on this blog for this JFI -Month of Strawberry. Plant arrangement with Real Strawberries and Mint leaves

This is the recipe for "Strawberry Kulfi".

Strawberries - 5 no,chopped into small pieces,
Milk - 6 cups
sugar - 5 tspn
cardamom pwd - 1 tspn
Pistachio - 6 no,chopped
Almond - 6no,blanched,
Saffron - 5 strands
Corn flour - 1tspn
Popsicle molds for making Kulfi
Rabdi,corn flour,saffron mixed milk,sugar,nuts,strawberry pieces,along with fancy plant

Place the milk in a largeskillet and bring it to boil over high heat,stirring 2 to 3 minutes.Reduce heat to medium low and stir the milk with wooden spatula ,and scrape the sticked milk in the sides of the vessel ,until milk is reduced to 1/2 of its original quantity.In this stage milk is called "Rabdi" or "Basundi".Meanwhile ,grind Pista,blanched Almonds in a blender for small pieces with Cardamom and keep it aside.Mix Cornflour with a 2tspn of Milk ,Saffronstrands and pour this mixture,sugar into the skillet stir well ,until sugar melts and boil it in simmer for another 5 minutes.Transfer to a serving dish and mix nuts along with chopped Strawberry pieces.
Leave the mixture to cool at room temperature.
Wash the Popsicle molds ( I bought in 99cents store and it is available in walmart or you can get here also.
Rabdi into popsicle molds
Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and cover with the given lids and place in the freezer for atleast 5 hours.
Take the molds from the freezer and dip into hot water or run hot water under the molds for 1 min and gently pull the popsicle stick until the popsicle comes out.You have to be bit patient while removing from molds.Strawberry kulfi
Unmold kulfi and place on plates and enjoy the taste of sweet Milky,Nutty flavor sticked with Strawberry scrapes.
This is my entry to JFI event for June month hosting by hostess of "Bakingfairy"..While preparing i really remember those days,My sister and I get our money ready whenever we heard the bell of the icecream bandi(cart)from few blocks away.The ringing bell brings the children to come out of their houses to buy these kulfi and icecreams.
See here for instant kulfi recipe and here for mango and strawberry popsicle.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Mamidakaya Pappu & Ridgegourd Bajji

Mamidikaya Pappu Rice with Fried & Salted Green Chillies,Beerakaya Bajji

Ingrediets for Raw Mango Dal:
Raw Mango - 9 pieces
Toor dal(Kandi Pappu) - 2 cups
Onions - 4 no(small size),chopped
Greenchillies - 2 no
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/2 tspn
Redchilli pwd - 1tspn
Turmeric - a pinch
Salt to taste
For seasoining
Mustard seeds - 1/2tspn
Curry leaves - 1 sprig,chopped
Oil - 1tspn

Take a vessel put washed toor dal, pinch of turmeric ,water and place it into the pressure cooker on a medium falme .When steam starts coming,place another plate on the vessel and add mango pieces,fenugreek seeds,onions ,green chillies and close the cooker top and put weight valve and allow it to cook on medium flame until 3 whistles come.Remove from the fire.Let it cool for some time until valve realeses easily.Dal should cook soft so make sure to add adequate water.Release weight valve and mix the dal to make into soft paste. Heat oil in pan add mustard seeds after it splutters add curry leaves,boiled dal,red chilli pwd,boiled onions,green chillies ,salt and stir well.
Add a cup of water to it and boil it for 5 minutes by covering with the lid.Now add boiled mangoe pieces and cook for another 7 or 8 minutes.Through out making dal you will get the aroma of mangoes which will fill the whole house.Add a spoon of ghee to the dal before removing from the fire.Ghee enhances the dal taste.Serve hot with steamed rice ,papads ,fried and salted green chillies.

Fried and Salted Green chillies:
Heat a 1/2tspn of vegetable oil in a pan and fry the thinly slitted greenchillies by sprinkling a pinch of salt.Remove from fire when it changes its color.

Beerakaya Bajji/Ridgegourd Bajji:
Wash Ridgegourd
here and peel with a vegetable peeler to remove most of the outer skin and rough ridges.Cut into roundshapes and add red chilli pwd ,a pinch of salt to it.
Ridgegourd cut into circle shape
Mix bengalgram dal with a sufficient water,salt,redchilli,a pinch of vamu pwd and mix well to make a perfect bajji batter.Heat oil in deep fry pan/kadai dip the ridgegourd rounds into the batter and slowly leave it into the hot oil.Fry the baggis to golden brown color and Strain it on a tissuepaper to take out of excess oil.Serve hot with Coffee.
My mom used to do these bajjis in the evenings for our hungry stomaches.We used to finish one round and used to wait for another round.Afterthat she says "These bajjis are for your dad".So,we will stop after hearing to her.So,afterthat i learnt from my mom and iam preparing myself and i got oppurtunity to share the recipe with you people.Beerakaya Bajji,Ready to eat
Today after making,i felt why i cant take these bajjis for Meena's Picnic at the park
Check for Ridgegourd Recipes here, ridgegourd-tomato curry , Beerakaya Pappu. and more information here.
Recipe Source:Amma

Monday, May 22, 2006


Traditional and Delicious Indian dessert with fresh cream and milk
Anniversary Special:Rasmalai

Gits Rasmalai Mix - 1pkt
Sugar - 1cup
Water - 1cup
Ghee - 2 tspn
Milk- 1/2cup
Almonds - 6no
Saffron - 4 strands
Half and Half milk - 2cup
Idly plates - 2(8 rasmalais can fit into 2 plates)

Gits Rasmalai mix contains 2 packets inside.Pour the mix, milk,ghee into the bowl and mix well.Knead it gently into a soft dough.Make dough into small balls.Stuff each ball with Almond and flatten it into pattie.Make patties with the full dough.Apply Ghee to the Idly plates.Place these oval shaped pieces in the idlyplates.Steam it for 10 minutes in pressure cooker.In a Pan boil sugar,water to make sugar syrup.Take out malai patties from cooker and immerse in the syrup and cook over a medium flame for 5-10 minutes.Take patties from the sugar syrup and let it cool.In a saucepan,add Nuts, Half-Half Milk, Sugar,Saffron,Cardamom powder and the second packet mix. Boil this on over low flame by stirring continuously until it is reduced to a thick consistency.Let the milk cool down to room temperature. Then add malai patties to the milk mixture and Garnish it with pista pieces, Saffron.Refrigerate Rasmalais for 3 to 4 hrs and serve.
See here for Baked Rasmalai

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

"D" for "Drumstick Pickle"

Drumstick is rich in vitamins, particularly vitamin A, is popular in curries, lentil, and vegetable dishes.Drumsticks used as a natural antibiotic, anti-fungal, anti-tubercular, and externally for leg spasms.

Drumsticks(Munagakayalu)- 5 no,cut into 2" size pieces
Fenugreek seeds - (Menthulu/Methi/Vendhiyam)- 1 tsp,
Mustard seeds - 3 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2tspn
Dried Red Chillies - 12 no
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tbsp
Garlic - 3 pods,chopped into pieces
Green Chillies - 3,chopped
Sesame oil(Nuvvula nune/Til oil)- 2cups
Lemon juice - 2tspn
Salt to taste
Refined Oil for frying

Wash Drumsticks and wipe dry.Scrape the hard layer slightly, Cut into 2" sized pieces.Heat oil in a pan and steam drumstick pieces for 5 minutes covering with lid.Then add chopped garlic and stir for while and cover and cook for another 5 min and remove from the fire.Take another pan and fry Methi,Mustard seeds,Redchillies,Jeera one after one in 1 tspn of oil until they turn to light brown color and keep it aside.Grind all these spices(MMRC pwd) into a fine powder.Heat Sesame Oil(medium heat)in a pan add Garlic- Drumstick pieces,Groundingredients,Asafoetida,Turmeric,Salt,Lemon juice and Mix well and stir for 1 minute and remove from fire.
Pickle is ready to go into the bottle Sterilized jar filled with Pickle Transfer this to a sterilized glass bottle or an earthenware jar and close the lid tightly.Cover with a muslin cloth and keep it in a safe place .Stir the contents of the jar with a wodden ladle(Pickles should kept always away from moisture) for few days, at least once a day because all the spices will mix together with drumstick pieces and garlic,greenchilli pieces along with lemon juice and get marinated nicely.Garlic and green chillies will get nice taste after soaking with lemon juice along with spice mix.You can check for the taste and add oil,salt if neccessary.Rice mixed Munagakaya Pickle and Sago Vadiyams Pickle is ready to eat after 4 weeks.Mix with hot rice and enjoy the spicy,tangy pickle with Sago Vadiyams.
See here for Mango Pickle, Dosaaavakai ,Tomato Pickle and Amla Pickle.
Recipe Source:Amma

Monday, May 15, 2006

Sweet n Flaky Baklava

Spices are strongly flavored parts of plant used in small quantities in food as a preservative or flavouring in cooking.India is a "Treasure for Spices" and that is the primary reason that Portuguese navigator Vasco Da Gama sailed to India,which eventually led the british empire rule for more than four centuries. Around that same time,when Christopher Columbus happened upon the 'New World', he was quick to describe to investors the many new spices available there.All my narration about spices ends here.This for my entry to The Spice is Right II,Theme - Sweet or Savory by using Ancient Spices food blog event,by Barbara Fisher's of Tigers and Strawberries.

So,I picked Clove(Lavangalu/Laung) as my spice ingredient.The most aromatic part of the clove is the "bud".Lavangalu are rich in spice and used in biryanis,soups,garam masala pwd,bengali sweets also.So,I tried this sweet recipe by adding Clove after researching on google.Baklava is made with phyllo sheets filled with a nut mixture in between layers, covered with a sweetening agent.Filo(phyllo or fillo) dough is named after the Greek word for "leaf".Here is the more info about Turkish Dessert from kitchenproject.

Phyllo Sheets - 16no,Thaw before using if the roll is kept in freezer.
Dried Apricots - 5 no,diced 1/4-inch
Almonds - 15 no, chopped
Cashewnuts - 15 no,chopped
Pistachios - 15 no,chopped
Peanuts - 3tspn ,chopped
Dried coconut - 2tspn
Unsalted Butter -(1 stick)
Sugar - 1 cup
Ground Cinnamon - 1 tspn
Ground Cardamom - 6 no,crushed
Ground Cloves - 15 no
Bakalava ready to eat

Sugar - 1 cup
Honey - 2 tspn
water - 1/2cup
Boil all the above ingredients in medium flame for 10min and make a 1/3rd consistency of thick syrup.

In a Blender whirl 1/2 cup sugar with the Almonds and Cashewnuts,Pistachios,Peanuts, 2-Cloves,Cardamom pwd,Apricot pieces until ground. Pour into a bowl and stir with remaining 1/2 cup Sugar,Coconut pwd and the cinnamon.Melt butter in a pan and keep it aside.Preheat oven to 350°.Take a Rectangular baking pan and brush bottom and sides with melted butter.Unroll the phyllo sheets and Cover the phyllosheets in wet cloth because if phyllo is exposed to air then it will dry out and split.Lay one phyllo layer in the greased baking pan.Brush it with butter.One at a time,layer 7 more sheets over the first, properly placing into pan and brushing each with butter.Put 1/2 inch size layer of the nut mixture(Put leftover nutmix in a zipbag and store them in the freezer.)over buttered phyllo in pan. Lay another sheet of phyllo on top, making it to fit into pan and brushing with butter. Repeat layering of nut mixture with phyllo sheets and butter until all nut mixture is over.Top with the same number of the phyllo sheets for the upper layer by brushing each layer with butter.Lay the last sheet flat on top and brush with butter.Cut acroos the baklava into a 2-inch size ,square pieces.Press a clove in the middle of every square.Bake until top is light golden and crisp and edges pull away from pan sides,35 to 45 minutes.
Studded clove Bakalava ready to bakeBakalava after baking
Keep pan on a wire rack and run your knife along cuts lightly so that bottom should not get scratched.Pour sweet syrup over baklava.Let stand to absorb most of the syrup, at least 3 hours. Cut through the bottom layer and serve. It will last at least a week at room temp. Do not refrigerate.Store in an airtight container.

Monday, May 8, 2006

Ginger-Peanut Bar

Ginger-Peanut bar is Crunchy, smooth, chewy and sweet and spicy  with a good pop of nuts

Ginger:This flavorful "rhizome" has been used for centuries in Indian cuisine and medicine. Ayurvedic says it as a "universal great edicine".Ginger is widely used by both Indian and Chinese Physicians, it originated on Indian soil and was introduced to China just 300 years ago.In addition to its hot, vibrant flavor, ginger is an excellent digestive and aphrodisiac. It cures nausea and is good for rheumatism.It is suggested eating slices of ginger sprinkled with salt before meals to aid digestion.Chewing on a fresh piece of ginger relieves a sore throat, and hoarseness.Ginger beer is a non-alcoholic soft drink popular in the West Indies and in Britain.It can be made with fresh or powdered ginger.Home-made ginger beer is a refreshing drink in summer.When buying ginger check to make sure that the skin is fresh without wrinkles and that there is no growth of fungus at any of its
small knobs/roots. Store it either in the refrigerator.Traditionally, ginger has been stored buried under a patch of damp red soil and sand mixture.My grand mother used to keep it in a pot coverved with soil.It should be kept damp as to ensure future growth and also freshness of existing ginger.Here we can see more about Ginger.
and Its Culinary Uses.
About Ginger Medical referance.
More information about Ginger(ALLAM/ADARAK/INGI)plant from Stevenfoster's website.
I made this recipe for May's SHF(SUGAR HIGH FRIDAY) Event hosting by hostess "Ruth" of onceuponafeast.I just modified "Allam Murabba" (allam is called "Ginger" in telugu murabba means preserved i think may be its a "persian" word) into a tasty, soft, moist, jaggery -coated chunks of hot-spicy ginger. The sweet and spicy transitions are delightfully stimulating.It has a wonderful sweet spicy taste that goes well with the refreshing flavor of lemon.What the real aroma is - you can smell the ginger in it.

Ginger - 3"size,piece
Jaggery - 1 cup
Sugar - 2 tspn
Roasted Peanuts - 2cups
Roasted sesame -1/2 cup
Unsalted Clarified Butter(Ghee) - 1 tsp,for greasing
Water-1/2 cup
lemon juice - 1/2 tspn

Wash the ginger and peel the skin and chop into a small pieces and grind it to a paste by adding little amount of water.Heat a heavy bottomed vessel(copper bottom will work out) or nonstick pan and add grated jaggery to it along with water.Ginger paste - Melted jaggeryKeep stirring with wodden ladle on a low heat untill jaggery melts.Add lemon juice ,sugar to it and keep stirring.Add ginger paste to that and bring it to boil for 10 minutes on low heat.When Jaggery starts giving bubbles,if it is in a form of thick syrup and sticking to ladle while stirring then it is right consistensy to make bars.Dont touch(caramelized sugar) it with hand because it will stick to fingures and too hot.Add chopped Peanuts and crushed Sesame seedsto that and mix well.Remove from fire.Pour this jaggery-nuts paste into a greased foil laid in a tupperware or pan by spreading evenly and leave it to cool for 3hrs.

purre1Ginger-Peanut Bar

Cut into pieces and enjoy the taste of sweet and hot spicy ginger chunks.It's really a very balanced bar.It isn't overly sweet and the warm spicy ginger is ruling along with crunchy peanuts.I felt"Ginger"is a good match with jaggery and nuts.I found myself chewing quickly just so I could take another bite of spicy caramelized Ginger - Peanut bar.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Sweet n Crispy n Tangy "PANI POORIS"

Pani Puris (Crispy puffed puris with Potato and Garbanzo Beans filled with spicy Mint water) belong to the vast group called chaats, savory snacks that are usually spiced with a mix that includes cumin, dried mango pwd(Aamchur pwd), chili powder, mint and other ingredients.

Panipoori with KhajurImly Chutney and Pani

Pooris(I got from indian stores.)
Chick peas(Senagalu/Kondai kadalai/ Kabul kadalai /Kabuli Channa/Garbanzo beans)- 3 cups ,soaked overnight and boiled
Potatoes - 3no, boiled and cut into cube sized pieces

Ingredients for Pani:
Mint Leaves - 2 bunches , chopped
Coriander Leaves - 1 bunch ,chopped
Tamarind - lemonsize
Ginger - 1" ,chopped
Green Chillies - 4 no,chopped
Ground Cumin Seed (roasted) - 2 tsp
Black Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
Aamchur pwd - 1 tspn
Salt to taste

Making Pani:
Soak the tamarind in ½ cup of warm water for 30 minutes and strain out the pulp to get tamarind water.Add chopped Mint leaves, chopped Coriander, Ginger, Chillies and Cumin seeds.Add 1/2 cup of water and grind to smooth paste in a blender.Transfer the paste into a large bowl and add water,Black salt and salt and mix well.Refrigerate this pani for 2 hours so that all the ingredients will blend and gives spicy and tangy taste.

Ingredients for Tamarind and Dates Chutney(Khajur-Imli ki Chutney):
Tamarind pulp - 1 cup(Big lemon size tamarind soaked in a cup of water)
Fresh Dates(de seeded) - 5 no ,chopped into pieces
Jaggery - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Red chilli pwd - 1/2 tsp
Black pepper pwd - 1/4 tsp.
Cumin pwd - 1 tsp
Cloves - 3 no
Warm water 2 cups
Vegetable oil 1 tsp.
Salt to taste

Soak tamarind in a cup of warm water for 30 minutes to make tamarind puree bit easy and fast.Heat oil in a pan and roast cloves and cush them and keep it aside.Squeeze the tamarind and take out the pulp.Add Dates ,Jaggery, Sugar, Red chilli powder, Black pepper powder,roasted Cumin powder,Cloves and Salt to pulp and mix well.Transfer to a blender and blend for a fine mixing.Pour this mixture into a thick vessel and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat until it becomes thick.The chutney should be sweet and sour flavor.I like this chutney to be bit sweeter along with sour taste.Remove from the gas and leave it to cool.Store Chutney in an airtight container(or glass bottle) and keep in refrigerator.

Stuffing for poori:

panipooriHeat oil in a pan and add the pieces of boiled potatoes ,salt,redchillipwd,a pinch of turmeric pwd and boiled Chickpeas and fry it for 10 minutes.Cover with lid and keep it aside.
Now Make a hole with the finger in the middle of the poori and fill it with potato and chickpeas and put 2tspn of khajurimili chutney and dip the poori in chilled pani and serve immediately.
This is my entry to “ Blog Party#10-Appetizer and Drink ” by hostess Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness.