Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rava Laddu with Grated Coconut

DSC04719 Though I have a sweet tooth, when it comes to making traditional sweets I have always enjoyed them store bought or prepared by someone else.

As working women we some how squeeze time to cook for our daily meals. So taking time to make something extra like sweets or savouries is not much in my dictionary. I feel investing so much time on making these sweets is not much worth when we can get professionally made ones in sweet stores. More over sugar is one thing that is out of the menu list when it comes to a healthy diet. Nevertheless, blog hopping always inspires us to try new dishes. All the more when it is raining traditional Indian sweets in all the Indian Food blogs.

DSC04757 So this weekend I adventured on Rava laddu. Rava laddu is a traditional sweet made in South India..I think most of our South Indian food blogs have this in their "Sweets Recipe Index". Growing up I was not much a fan of this sweet, except when made by one of my aunt as a must for very Christmas.

Unlike most traditional sweets which take time and difficult steps to make, "rava laddu" can be made in a jiffy. It takes less than thirty minutes to make a plate full of laddus, provided all ingredients are available in our pantry. Its like you just thought to make them and in the next half hour they are ready for the family to enjoy, if you put your thought into action.

There a few different ways to make this sweet. Addition of ghee, grated coconut and milk make it moist and to enhance the flavour cardamom powder is added. After trying for a couple of times I really dicovered the secret of making moist firm laddus which are not too soft or too brittle to break. So here is the test and tried version of my Rava laddus.

DSC04718 - Copy Ingredients :
1 cup Semolina/Rava
1/2 cup Shredded Coconut
2/3 cup Sugar
2 Tbsp Ghee
1 Tsp Cardamom powder
2-3 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp Cashew nuts and Raisins mixed

DSC07222 - Copy

Heat 1 Tbsp of ghee in a pot/Kadai/Pan, add cashew and raisins and fry till raisins are puffed up and cashew changes color slightly. Drain and remove. Set aside
Now add Grated Coconut and roast for a minute or two and then add 1/2 tbsp more ghee and add the rava to roast it thoroughly.
Keep stirring continually for 5 - 7 minutes coating the rava with ghee and mixing it with coconut. Add the cardamom powder and mix well.
Add sugar and keep stirring till the sugar is almost dissolved.
Add the roasted cashew and raisins.
Now add 1 Tbsp of milk and mix thoroughly as the rava tends to thicken up.
Remove the container from heat and spread a part of the rava mixture on a greased plate.
To this part add enough milk when still hot and mix to keep the rava moist and to make the laddus easily and to retain their shape.
With the remaining ghee keep greasing the fingers and quickly make ladoos of small lemon size.
Repeat the same with the reamining portion of rava mixture.
Usually for one cup of rava you can get 8- 10 laddus.
Store in a air tight container for up to a week.
DSC04755 Sending the Rava laddus for the Food blog events Sweet Series hosted by Sirisha and FIL -Ghee Sweets hosted by Sanghi

Thursday, October 22, 2009

5 Spice Easy Breezy Chicken Roast

DSC04683We working moms are in constant search of quick meals prepared with ease and readily available ingredients. No chopping onions, or grinding ginger garlic paste or pureeing tomatoes or making coconut paste. This dish is one of my favorite chicken recipes my mom used to make. In fact she is the chef behind this dish. And all my family and relatives used to enjoy this chicken preparation when ever amma made it.

Since it is a dry preparation its stores good too. In those days when my Dad use to work in a different province my mom use to pack this chicken for him to go in the long train journey along with my grand mother lemon rice. Since then Lemon rice and this dry chicken became my favorite that I try to make lemon rice to go with it most of the times I cook this chicken.

DSC04679 This time also made some mango dhal so that we can enjoy this chicken with plain rice also.

DSC04694 It wipes away the notion that too many ingredients or complex recipe contribute to great taste. Because with a few steps and and less ingredients this dish is so flavourful and tasty that it amazes me whenever I cook it.

DSC04699 Whats Needed:
1-1/2 lb chicken bone in , skinless, cut into curry size pieces
2 Tbsp Oil
1 tsp red chilly powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves to garnish

5 Spices :
1 Big Cinnamon Stick broken
6-8 Cloves
6-8 Cardamom
2 inch Ginger julienned
6-8 Garlic pods slightly crushed

Directions :
Clean chicken of any fat and wash thoroughly.
Season it with red chilly powder, turmeric, and salt, keep aside
Heat up a wok or Kadai, add oil.
After the oil is hot add the dry spices first and fry till slight color change.
Then add ginger slices and crushed garlic pods and fry all together for a minute till beautiful aroma emits.
Now add the seasoned chicken and mix well to coat it with spices and oil.
Do not add any water.
Roast till the chicken turn color and is fully cooked.
Keep stirring in regular intervals to see that the chicken is not burnt.
Once the chicken is done, garnish with coriander leaves and remove from heat.
Serve with lemon rice or plain rice with rasam, sambar or dhal.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Peanut Chutney

pc3 This is yet another chutney which is easy to make and so tasty that it goes with most of the South Indian tiffins, Idly, Dosa, Upma, Adai, Pesurattu, Uthappam, Rava Dosa etc..

Back home I use to help my grandmother grind this roasted peanut chutney whenever she made pesarattu. Now it isa staple at my home to make it as an accompaniment for Upma. Kids enjoy it too..Moreover boths my boys are peanut its hard to keep them away from the nuts when I'm shelling the roasted peanuts..

pc1 Ingredients :
To Grind :
3/4 cup roasted peeled peanuts
4-5 green chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds/Jeera/Jeeragam
A big marble size Tamarind ball
Salt to taste
Enough water to grind into a smooth chutney

For Tempering/Tamlimpu:
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp urad dhal
2-3 red chillies cracked
8-10 curry leaves
1 pinch of Asafoetida/Hing/Inguva/Perumgayam

Soak tamarind in just enough water to make it soft for grinding.
Remove stems and slit green chillies into half
Combine all the ingredeints in the grindling list with enough water and grind into a smooth chutney.
Transfer to a serving container
Heat up the small tempering vessel add oil, after the oil is hot, allow mustard to splutter and add the rest of ingredients one by one ending with Asafoetida, fry for a few seconds and spread on the prepared chutney.
Enjoy with dosas, idly, pesarattu etc.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Chicken with Chettinad Fusion

cwcf1 Its Thanks giving weekend in Canada. So if not the big bird "Turkey" definetly this recipe for the small bird should work out.
Think about red chillies, pepper corns, cumin/coriander seeds, fennel seeds, curry leaves the first thing that comes in mind is Chettinad cuisine. Though I didn't use all those ingredients here in this recipe..which is why I only call this dish a chettinad fusion..I'm happy to come out with a different chicken preparation which is easy to make and tasty to cherish.
This recipe is inspired by Sig's Chettinad Chicken curry, with my addins and modifications.
Having the basic ingredients of Chettinad cooking like Red chillies, Fennel seeds(saunf), Black pepper, Curry leaves..etc, this turned out to be one different and satisfying chicken recipe that didn't dissappointment me and also got laurels from my partner.

Whats needed:
1-1/2 lb of Chicken, bone in, Skinless, cut into regular chicken curry size peices
1 Tbsp Oil
1 big medium size Onion, cut length wise
5 - 6 Red Chillies stems removed
1 tsp Fennel Seeds
8 - 10 Curry leaves
1 Tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
1/2 cup Crushed Tomato puree
1 tsp Red Chilly Powder
1/2 tsp Tumeric Powder
1/2 tsp Black Pepper Powder
Salt to Taste
Finely chopped coriander leaves to garnish.

Wash and clean chicken of any fat.
Add turmeric, and red chilly powder along with enough salt to the clean chicken, mix and keep aside
In a wok or kadai, pour oil when hot and add the fennel seeds and fry.
Now add red chillies, curry leaves and fry taking care not to burn.
Add Onions and fry till translucent
Add ginger garlic paste and paste fry till rawness is gone.
Add Tomato puree and keep stirring till it leaves oil.
Now add the marinated chicken peices and mix well to coat the chicken peices with the masala.
Allow the chicken peices to roast along with the masala for about 15 - 20 minutes till the chicken masala mixture leaves oil.
Add the black pepper powder mix well.
Garnish with coriander leaves and remove from heat.
Serve hot with plain with rasam or tempered rice.

And a Happy Thanks giving to my Canadian friends.

Monday, October 5, 2009


DSC04550 Uthappam has loads of childhood memories. Every Friday evening/night tiffin was this Onion Uthappam back home. I would passionately wait for that Friday night when my mom used to make the tastiest uthappam for us. Though I was never able to come near the uthappam that my mom made because I use oil very sparingly, still that taste and smell linger in my mouth after years. In my early college days when I use to attend my maths tuition early in the morning, a hungry me would come home and while rest of household would eat idly as breakfast, I would make myself this tasty uthappam(spoilt Uh !!!!) and enjoy before i get into my routine study schedule. Then during my Bachelor's Degree, I use to end my Friday fasting with my grand mother's uthappam in the night with either raw onion chutney or coconut roasted gram chutney.
DSC04544 Uthappam though a Tamil word but equally recognized in Telugu and in almost all South Indian restaurants this is a tiffin item in the menu. Mostly consumed for breakfast or dinner. Usually in every South Indian home the left over idly batter is use to make Uthappam for the next meal. Again whether using rice or rice rava to make idli, Uthappam can be made with either of the idli batters. Also either the chopped onions, green chillies and other spices can either be spread on the flattened batter or can be mixed earlier in the batter itself, depending on one's preference.

DSC04545 Whats needed :
2- 3 cups Idli Batter
2 medium size chopped Onions
5 -6 Green Chillies minced
1 Tbsp cumin seeds (jeeragam/jeera)
Enough Oil & salt

Add around half cup of water to the idli batter to make it dilute and stir well
Heat the dosa tawa/non stick pan and grease it with a enough oil
Spread a big laddleful of uthappam batter in a circular shape with 1/3 inch thick on the heated tawa/pan
Add some cut onions, green chillies, cumin seeds from the centre towards the edges.
Cover and cook on medium heat.
Remove lid to check if the base is golden brown, flip onto the other side and cook till onions are done and the uthappam is cooked.
Serve hot with Raw Onion, ginger or Coconut chutney.