Monday, 10 October 2016

Horsegram Sprouts Sundal / Kollu Sundal !


Kollu Sundal (Horsegram Sundal) is one of the many sundal varieties that is made during navratri. Horsegram known as Kollu (Tamil), Ulavalu (Telugu) and Kulith (Hindi) is very good for weightloss. I generally include this in diet in form of chutney , sundal or rasam. Whenever I make this sundal, the boiled water always goes in the rasam, the recipe for the rasam will be posted shortly.
To make it more nutritious I let the soaked horsegram sprout and then use them in cooking. 
Other horsegram recipes and sundal recipes on the blog are 


INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 cups horsegram sprouts
  • salt as needed
  • 2 tsp Oil
  • 1 tsp  Mustard Seeds
  • 1 - 2 tsp Urad dal
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • a pinch of hing
  • few curry leaves
  • 2 - 3 broken dry red chillis
  • 1 tsp Paruppu podi / Idly podi (optional)
  • 2 - 3 tbsp  grated coconut / dessicated coconut

STEPS
  •  To make horsegram sprouts, soak horsegram overnight (or min 7 - 8 hours) and then discard the water.  To sprout them, tie them in a wet cotton cloth like a sack and hang it somewhere and leave them for a day or two until you see sprouts appearing. 
  • Alternatively just keep them in a broad vessel , closed with a tiny vent and leave for couple of days. Just give a mix once in a while and if its too dry sprinkle very little water. 
  • Once they are sprouted, pressure cook them with 2 - 3 cups of water and salt as needed for 2 whistles.


  •  Drain out the water and reserve it to make Kollu Rasam, an awesome weight loss recipe.



  • Heat oil in a pam and add mustard seeds and urad dal.
  • Once the mustard splutters and dal turns golden brown, add all the other ingredients for tempering and give a mix.
  • Add the boiled horsegram to it and toss well

  •  Add the podi and coconut and toss once again, turn off stove. 

 NOTES

  • The same recipe can be prepared with just soaked horsegram without the sprouting part.
  • If you dont have parupu podi or Idli podi then just roast little channa dal, urad dal, coriander seeds and one dry red chilli in little oil and grind them to a coarse powder and add this to the sundal .
  • Do not waste the water in which the horsegram is cooked. Its used in making kollu rasam.



With Love,

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Carrot Kheer !


Carrot Kheer  (payasam) is one alluring and luscious dessert that can me made with simple everyday ingredients. Forget about the exotic ingredients like condensed milk or cream for this one and just pull up this easiest dessert  with simple milk and carrot.  Simmering the milk well is quite important and the key is grinding the carrot with nuts in to a fine paste. No one can make out its made of carrot and one best way to feed the kids carrot in disguise.
I never thought of adding carrots to kheer this way until I tasted this from one of my friend. And from that day this has become part of my favorite dessert collection. 
Some more kheer (payasam) recipes on the blog are


INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 medium size carrots
  • 7 - 8 whole cashews
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp chopped cashews
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 1 tbsp walnuts(chopped)
  • 1 tbsp almond flakes
  • a pinch of cardamom powder
  • a small pinch saffron
  • 1/2 tsp Ghee (to roast the cashews and raisins)

STEPS

  • Peel, wash and chop carrots roughly into chunks. Pressure cook them with a cup of water for 1 - 2 whistles. Meanwhile soak few cashewnuts in warm water.
  • Blend then cooked carrots and the soaked cashews together adding the water in which the carrots were cooked.


  • Heat little ghee and roast the chopped cashewnuts and raisins and keep aside.


  • Heat milk in a non stick pan and bring it to boil.
  • Add the ground carrot paste to the milk and give a stir.


  • Allow it to simmer for 4 - 5 minutes. Then add sugar and cardamom powder and simmer for another 5 - 7minutes.


  • The milk must be reduced and kheer should be thickened slightly by now. 
  • Add all the dry fruits and nuts, and saffron and give a mix. Turn off stove.


 NOTES

  • Adjust sugar as per taste. Can add a little more if you have a sweet tooth.
  • Do  not more than 3 carrots for 2 1/2 cups milk. 
  • The kheer tends to thicken a bit with time so turn off stove accordingly based on the consistency you looking for.
  • This can be served warm or chilled. I prefer it serving chilled with more almond flakes in top.
  • I have used the standard size cup (1 cup = 250 ml)
  • Instead of grinding with cashews you can also use soaked almonds.
  • You can also add few tbsp of cream to make it more rich. But the kheer itself will be thick and luscious if you simmer the milk well. So I Haven't used any.


With Love,

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Channa Sundal / Mookadalai Sundal !



Mookadalai Sundal or Channa Sundal is a very easy snack recipe that is protein rich and perfect for kids. Though generally it is served as prasad during festivals like navratri , as a Chickpea maniac I make them very often at home as an evening snack.
Sundal recipes are usually made as naivedyam for Goddess Durga during navratri and served as prasad for guests visiting home for Golu.



INGREDIENTS

  • 250 - 300 gms dry chickpeas
  • salt as needed
  • 2 - 3 tsp Oil
  • 1 tsp  Mustard Seeds
  • 1 - 2 tsp Urad dal
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • a pinch of hing
  • few curry leaves
  • 2 - 3 broken dry red chillis
  • 1 green chilli chopped
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated/ground coconut
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves

STEPS

  • Soak the dry chickpeas overnight or minimum 7 - 8 hours.
  • Pressure cook the chickpeas until they are soft, say 3 whistles.
  • Drain the water and keep aside. Use the drained water when making chapati dough.


  •  Heat oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds and urad dal.
  • Once the mustard splutters and dal turns golden brown, add all the other ingredients for tempering and give a mix.
  • Then add the boiled chickpeas to it and toss well.


  •  Add ground or grated coconut and the coriander leaves and mix well.


NOTES
  • To cook the chickpeas soft, initially cook for two whistles and then simmer for 10 minutes and then turn off stove. Let the pressure release on its own.
  • If you have forgotten to soak chickpeas then soak them in super hot water for atleast 15 to 20 minutes and then add a pinch of baking soda when pressure cooking them.
  • Use desiccated coconut if no access to fresh coconut.
  • White chickpeas can be replaced by Black chickpeas too.


With Love,

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Rava Ladoo !


Wish you all a very happy Navratri. Navratri is the festival dedicated to the hindu Goddess Durga and celebrated all over India. Though the way of celebrations and rituals differ by region , devi is worshipped in nine different forms. The tenth day is Vijayadasami or Dussehra, 
As the festive season begins , I will be posting more of sweets and other prashad recipes generally made for naivedyam. 
To start with, this simple yet delicious recipe of Rava Ladoo is made with ghee roasted semolina combined with coconut , sugar and dry fruits.
Though it is made in other ways too I prefer this way as its simpler. Some people make sugar syrup and mix rava to it and and then form balls. I will post that way of making rava ladoo sometime later.
Some more sweet recipes that you might want to refer can be found HERE


INGREDIENTS (Makes 13 - 14 Ladoos)

  • 1 cup Rava (Semolina/Sooji)
  • 1/4 cup Grated coconut (preferably dessicated coconut) (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Ghee
  • 3/4 to 1 cup Sugar (powdered)
  • 10 Cashewnuts
  • few raisins
  • a pinch of cardamom powder
  • 1/4 cup warm milk (as needed)



STEPS

  • Heat one tbsp of ghee in a kadai/pan and fry the halved/broken cashewnuts till they are slighty brown.
  • Then add the raisins and fry till they puff up. Remove from pan and keep aside until needed.


  •  Heat the remaining ghee in the same pan, and once it melts add the rava and start roasting it in medium flame. 
  • Make sure you stir it continuously so that the rava is roasted evenly.


  •  After 5 to 6 minutes, you will a nice aroma wafts indicating that the rava is getting roasted well, add the desiccated coconut and keep roasting for another 3 - 4 minutes.
  • Then add a pinch of cardamom powder and the fried dry fruits and nuts to the rava.


  •  Meanwhile powder the sugar in a mixie/blender and add it to the rava. Just give a mix and turn off stove. 
  • Remove from heat and then allow it to slightly cool for a couple of minutes.

  • Then sprinkle some warm milk in portions, and take around 1 - 2 tbsp of the mixture in hand and press tightly within your palm to give a ladoo shape.
  • Initially it may not look perfect round , just keep rolling the ball within your palms till you get a perfect round.  Repeat for the remaining mixture.



NOTES

  • Adjust sugar as per taste. You can add up to one cup if you like it sweeter.
  • Roasting rava is important and make sure you roast them evenly in ghee.
  • Rolling ladoos is little tricky and you may not get the shape and the ladoo may crumble initially. Its just a small knack and you will get it once you make few ladoos. 
  • Just press the rava mixture tightly within your palms and then slowly roll to give  them a round shape. And you have to shape them when it is still hot (warm) to handle.
  • Do not add more milk , then you cant make into ladoos. Just sprinkle little to give moisture moisture when shaping them. If its too dry you cant shape them.
  • After making them into ladoo balls, initially it will be soft and you have to handle them gently. Once they are cool it will harden a bit and will hold the shape easily.
  • Store them in an air tight container / ziplock bag and you can store them for upto a week or more.



With Love,

Monday, 8 August 2016

Mango Cheesecake ! (No Bake)

Only a bunch of blogs survive through their first year. In that way I am so thrilled that my blog has reached its second birthday ! Exactly two years ago on Aug 8th 2014 , I wasn't sure should I hit the publish button and make my very first post. I have had few other blogs opened for different interest and hobbies that had never survived. With a 9 month old baby in hand and daily chores with zero help, the idea of blogging, oh yea the food blogging was very intimidating. 
I have seen and met new moms who complain they do not have time to cook with a baby /toddler at home. With all those in mind, its not only cooking but also clicking every step and composing the dishes here was a huge task for me indeed , and this only a food blogger can apprehend.
The second year was not up to the mark as the previous year with the number of posts comparatively very less due to number of reasons. With my toddler engaging me in every activity he does I couldn't squeeze time to sit with laptop. Moreover with a kitchen accident (hot oil splash on face) and followed by a family chicken pox (for a month) I was away from blogging. Anyways nothing stopped forever and I am really happy that I have still kept it alive and write this in the middle of the night with my boys sleeping beside.
In these two years I have learnt so much about different cuisines, followed a number of wonderful bloggers , had exposure to many cooking techniques and  expanded my love for food photography. I wish I keep my creative juices flowing as always despite a busy mom of a toddler and a homemaker.
And a very big thank you to all those beautiful people out there who visit my space regularly, encourage me and keep this page active.
Let's celebrate this two years of happy blogging with a no bake yummy mango cheesecake !


Cheese cakes are desserts that have one or more layers. The lower most layer is a thin layer of biscuit crumbs with melted butter and sugar. The main layer being the cheese layer which has cream cheese, sugar and whipped cream mostly. The one I have made is a no bake version, but sometimes eggs are included in a baked cheese cake.The top most layer can be a  fruit puree, or just chopped fruits, nuts, fruit sauce or chocolate syrup.
This no bake cheese cake has three layers, the lowermost crumb layer made with digestive biscuits and butter. I didn't want to add any sugar to this layer as they digestive biscuit taste already good with butter. The middle layer and main layer has cream cheese and whipped cream, sugar and flavored with mango puree. The top most layer is just mango puree and set with gelatin. 
If you do not prefer using gelatin then, just use mango slices to decorate on top the cheese layer.


INGREDIENTS (Makes two 5 inch cakes)

For the first layer (biscuit):

  • 10 digestive biscuits
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar (optional) (I didnt use)

For the second layer (cheese) :

  • 250 gms Cream cheese
  • 150 ml Heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup mango puree
  • 1/2 cup Icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract

For the third layer (mango)

  • 3/4 cup Mango Puree
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp Gelatin
  • 3 tbsp Warm water



STEPS
  • Take the digestive biscuits in a zip lock bag and crush them with a rolling pin. (or just blitz them in a processor)
  • Take the crushed biscuits in a bowl and add the melted butter to it.


  • Mix well and it will look like a wet sandy mixture.
  • Fill the bottom of the cake tins with the biscuit mixture and spread evenly and make it firm with the back of a spoon. It should be min 0.5 cm thick.


  • Choose ripe mangoes, and take out the pulp and blend them to a smooth puree.


  • Take chilled whipping cream in a bowl and beat them till you get stiff peaks.


  • In another big mixing bowl, take the cream cheese , whisk it and then add sugar and vanilla extract.


  • Mix the sugar well and then add (only) 1/4 cup mango puree to the cream cheese mixture.


  • Mix it well and then add the whipped cream to this. 
  • Fold the cream to the cheese mixture and then fill the cake tins with the cheese layer (on the biscuit crumb layer) leaving some space on top for the third mango layer.


  • Now, take the remaining mango puree in a bowl.
  • Add gelatin to warm water and dissolve it well. Add this gelatin to the mango puree .

  • Mix really well and then pour this mango puree on the cheese layer evenly making a thin layer.
  • Use a silicon spatula to even it on top.
  • Refrigerate overnight !


NOTES

  • Gelatin is not vegetarian, though there are some versions of veg gelatins available. So If you want to refrain from gelatin, just top the cheese layer with some thinly sliced mangoes.
  • Since I have not used gelatin in the cheese layer , it will be still soft and cannot expect a clean cut with knife like those gelatin set cheese layers.
  • Adjust sugar in the cheese layer as per taste
  • Make sure your cream cheese quantity is always more than the whipped cream, so that it sets a bit without gelatin, otherwise they will be falling apart. 
  • If you want the cheese layer to be very firm, then dissolve 1 1/2 tbsp gelatin with 1/4 cup warm water and add to the cheese mixture and then add to the tin.
  • Use any biscuits for the crumb layer like marie, graham crackers or digestive biscuits.




With Love,