Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes are so special that i could always relate them to the Valentines day! I have tried numerous recipes before I hit this particular one. Adapted from annie’s eats,
It is very moist and more flavorful. Though I was initially little hesitant with the amount of oil used here,It made 100% justice to the Cupcakes.

Yields 24 Cupcakes

Ingredients
Cake Flour 2 1/2 cup
Sugar 1 1/2 Cup
Baking Soda 1 tsp
Cocoa powder 3 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Large Eggs 2
Vegetable oil 1 1/2 Cup
Butter milk 1 Cup
Liquid Red Food coloring 2 tbsp (1 oz.)
Vanilla Extract 1 tsp
Distilled white Vinegar 1 tsp

For the Frosting
Cream Cheese 8 oz. (1 pack)
Unsalted Butter 5tbsp Room temperature
Clear Vanilla Extract 1 tsp
Confectioner’s Sugar 2 1/2 Cup

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Method
• Preheat the oven to 350F.
• Line the cupcake pans with paper liners.
• Combine all the dry ingredients Cake Flour, Sugar, Baking Soda, Cocoa powder & Salt. Whisk to blend. Keep it separately.

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• Combine all the wet ingredients Eggs, Butter milk, Vegetable oil, Vanilla Extract, Red food colour, Distilled white vinegar with a hand blender in medium speed until well blended.
• Add the dry ingredients slowly in to the wet little by little mixing it on a low speed. Mix thoroughly.

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• Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners almost 2/3 full.

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• Bake for about 20 mins. Rotating the pan in halfway. ( around 10 mins ).
Until the tooth pick inserted comes out clean. ( Start checking from 15 mins).
• Remove from the oven and transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack within 5-10 mins. Else the cupcake will continue to cook with the heat from the pan, making it dry or less moist.

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Cream Cheese Frosting
• Combine Cream Cheese ( best if it is cold from the fridge) and butter using a hand mixer or in a electric stand mixer.
• Beat on medium-high for 2-3 mins until its smooth.
• Mix in the Vanilla extract.
• Add the Confectioners’ Sugar little by little until a smooth creamy texture is obtained.
• Add the frosting to the piping bag with the piping tip and decorate the cupcakes or simply place 2 tbsp of frosting on top of the cupcake and smooth it around with the butter knife or small spatula.

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• Delicious Red Velvet Cupcakes are ready.

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Vendhaya kali

Vendhaya Kali is one of the most healthiest breakfast. During my early childhood days in Madurai, my Mom used to make it every Sunday during Summer. Now my 2 & almost 4 year old developed the taste for this Vendhaya Kali.

Ingredients
Soak & Grind
Idly Rice 1 Cup
Fenugreek 2 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp

Jaggery Syrup
Jaggery 1 cup
Cardamom 1 or 2
Sukku or Dry ginger less than 1/2″
Sesame oil req

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Method
• Wash and Soak Idly Rice, Fenugreek for 5 hours. Grind it to a very fine buttery paste by adding enough water at regular intervals along with the salt.
• Add 1 cup of water to the grounded batter and mix it thoroughly with no lumps to dosa batter consistency.
• Take a heavy bottomed vessel. Add the batter to it and keep stirring it continuously at a medium flame
• Have a bowl of water close by to check the kali consistency. Dip your fingers in cold water then touch the Kali. It should not be sticky. Kali is then ready.
Jaggery Syrup
• Dissolve Jaggery with water. Filter it to remove the scum. Again reheat it with Cardamom and Dry Ginger to a little thick consistency.
Vendhaya Kali
• Keep the Kali in a plate. Make a well in the center. Drizzle the syrup and little Sesame oil on top and serve hot.

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Shrimp Biryani

Today, we had some friends for dinner. I made this Shrimp Biryani. This recipe was shared by my best friend Angel John! She is an amazing cook and an expert in Biryani making!
Sea food lovers? You don’t have to make any excuse. It’s 100% worth the try.

Ingredients

Shrimp 1 lb
Basmati rice 2 Cups
Onion 1, thinly sliced
Tomato 1, finely chopped
Mint bunch, Chopped
Coriander little, Chopped
Chilli powder 1 tbsp
Coriander powder 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Green chillies 4, chopped
Ginger 1 1/2″
Garlic 4-5 cloves
Cinnamon 2″ stick
Bay leaves 2
Cloves 4
Cardamom 1
Cumin 1 tsp
Fennel seeds 1 tsp
Yogurt 1/2 Cup

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Method
• Clean, devein Shrimp and wash it thoroughly.
• Marinate it with Yogurt, Chilli powder, Coriander powder, turmeric and little salt for an hour.
• Wash and soak Rice for 30 mins. Drain the water and keep it aside.
• Take a big pot. Heat 2 tbsp oil. Add Cinnamon, Bay leaves, Cloves, Cardamom, Cumin and Fennel seeds. Sauté it for a while.
• Add the finely chopped onion and sauté it to golden brown.
• Grind Ginger, Garlic, Green Chillies, half of Mint and half of Coriander with very little water to a paste and add it to the sautéed onion. Cook it for few mins.
• Add the tomatoes, rest of mint and coriander and continue to cook till the tomatoes shrink.
• Now add the marinated Shrimp. Cook it in medium flame for 5 -10 mins.
• Add the soaked rice and enough water. I added 2 1/2 cups ( Water should stand 1/2″ above the leveled Rice ) Adjust the salt taste.
• When you see the Rice getting cooked up, Cover the pot and keep ‘Dhum’.
• Heat a unused Dosa tawa. Transfer the pot on top of it. Slow cook it for 30-60 mins.
• Switch off the stove and let it sit for an hour before you serve.
• Shrimp Biryani is ready to be served with Raita!

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Tropical Spring Salad with Mango Orange Dressing

This is a Yummy Tropical Spring Salad with Mango Orange Homemade Dressing! It tastes awesome and is totally loved by kids for its Mango flavor.
I am sending this recipe to Manjula’s Kitchen Contest
Ingredients
Organic Spring Mix 2 Cup
Radish 1 Cup, thinly sliced
Avocado 1 Cup, thinly sliced
Carrot 1 Cup, thinly sliced
Orange 1 Peeled & sectioned
Asparagus 7-10, Chopped 1″ cut
Salt pinch
lemon juice 1 tbsp
Walnut 2 tbsp (Optional)

Mango Orange Dressing
Mango 1
Orange juice 3/4 Cup
Orange zest 1 tbsp
Sugar 2 tbsp

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Method
• Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a baking pan with cooking spray. Add the chopped Asparagus with a dash of salt and pepper. Keep it in the oven for 20 mins.
• Add the chopped Radish to a big bowl.

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• Add Sliced Avocado to it.

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• Now add the thinly sliced Carrots.

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• Next add the peeled & sectioned Oranges.

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• Then add the Spring Mix.

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• Add the oven cooked tender Asparagus.

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• Mix it well with a pinch of Salt, Lemon juice & Walnut.

Mango Orange Dressing
• Blend the chopped Mango along with the Orange juice, Orange Zest & Sugar in a blender until a smooth creamy texture is obtained.

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• Spread 1/4 cup dressing in a plate. Add the salad on top and serve.

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Chettinad Kara Paniyaram

Ingredients
Onion 1, finely chopped
Channa dhal 1 tbsp
Mustard 1 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal 1 tsp
Curry leaves 2 strands
Coriander 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Green chillies 2-3, finely chopped
Grated coconut 2 tbsp ( optional )

Soak & Grind
Idly rice 1 cup
Raw rice 1 cup
Urad dhal 1/4 cup
Fenugreek seed 1 tsp
Salt req

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Method
• Wash and Soak Idly Rice, Raw Rice, Urad Dhal & Fenugreek for 5 hours and grind it to a thick fine paste with req salt.
• Ferment it overnight.
• Heat a pan, add little oil. Crackle mustard, then Channa dhal, Urad dhal, Onion, Curry leaves, Green chillies. Sauté it for a while.
• Toss it in to the batter along with chopped coriander leaves and grated coconut.
• Dilute it with little water and adjust the salt taste.
• Heat the Paniyaram pan. Grease all the wells with little oil.
• Pour batter in to each well. Cover and cook till both sides turn golden brown.
• Serve hot with Tomato Chutney!

Chettinad Kara Paniyaram

Ingredients
Onion 1, finely chopped
Channa dhal 1 tbsp
Mustard 1 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal 1 tsp
Curry leaves 2 strands
Coriander 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Green chillies 2-3, finely chopped
Grated coconut 2 tbsp ( optional )

Soak & Grind
Idly rice 1 cup
Raw rice 1 cup
Urad dhal 1/4 cup
Fenugreek seed 1 tsp
Salt req

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Method
• Wash and Soak Idly Rice, Raw Rice, Urad Dhal & Fenugreek for 5 hours and grind it to a thick fine paste with req salt.
• Ferment it overnight.
• Heat a pan, add little oil. Crackle mustard, then Channa dhal, Urad dhal, Onion, Curry leaves, Green chillies. Sauté it for a while.
• Toss it in to the batter along with chopped coriander leaves and grated coconut.
• Dilute it with little water and adjust the salt taste.
• Heat the Paniyaram pan. Grease all the wells with little oil.
• Pour batter in to each well. Cover and cook till both sides turn golden brown.
• Serve hot with Tomato Chutney!

Ennai Kathirikai Kulambu/ Ennai Kathirikai Curry

Ennai Kathirikai Curry is all time favorite dish for me and my husband. In this recipe the Baby Eggplant is carefully slit and stuffed with fresh grounded masala, pan fried and then cooked in spicy tamarind curry.

Ingredients
Brinjal/ Eggplant -6
Onion 1 medium size, chopped
Tomato 1
Sambhar powder 2 tbsp
Coriander powder 1 tbsp
Turmeric 1 tsp
Tamarind extract 2 cups from lemon size ball
Mustard 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds 1 tsp
Curry leaves 1 strand

To Roast & Grind
Channa dhal 2 tbsp
Coriander seed 1 tbsp
Urad dhal 1 tbsp
Dry Red Chilli 2
Grated Coconut 2 tbsp
Cumin 1 tsp
Fennel 1/2 tsp

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Method
• Dry roast all the ingredients listed under To Roast & Grind except Coconut and then grind it along with coconut.
• Slit the eggplant in to 4 parts. Make sure you don’t cut it fully.
• Stuff the grounded masala in to each slit of the Eggplant.
• Heat a wide pan. Add little oil and pan fry the stuffed eggplant. Making sure all the sides gets roasted. Remove it and keep it aside.

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• Take a new pan, heat little oil and add mustard, allow it to crackle then add fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, onions one by one sautéing it.
• When the onions turn golden brown, add the tomatoes. Cook for a while.
• Add the tamarind extract.
• Now add the Sambhar powder, Coriander powder, Turmeric and salt. Mix it well.
• Add the pan fried stuffed eggplant in to the curry. Cook in medium flame for 5 mins.

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• Simmer it next 10-15 mins for the eggplant to get completely soaked up with the Spicy tamarind curry.
• Ennai kathirikai Kulambhu is ready to be served with White Rice or Roti.

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Tips
• Use Sesame oil for a good flavor.
• Instead of pan frying the stuffed eggplant separately, You can add them directly along with the sautéed onion and cook for extra time.

Tindora Fry / Ivy Gourd Fry

Ingredients

Tindora 1/2 lb
Mustard 1 tsp
Urad dhal 1 tsp
Cumin seed 1 tsp
Fennel 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves 1 strand
Red chilli powder 1-2 tsp ( depending on your spice level )
Turmeric 1/2 tsp

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Method

• Wash Tindora, cut the tips off & then cut it lengthwise.
• Heat a tbsp of oil in a wide pan.
• Add mustard, allow it to crackle then add urad dhal, cumin, fennel, curry leaves. Sauté it for a while.
• Add Tindora, chilli powder, turmeric and salt and mix well. Sprinkle little water to avoid sticking to the pan.
• Cover and cook till the Tindora becomes tender and crunchy.
• It can be served with Roti or White Rice.

Spinach Dhal Curry / Keerai Kootu

Ingredients
Spinach 1 bunch, finely chopped
Split yellow moong dhal 1/2 cup
Green chillies 1 or 2
Garlic 1, crushed
Onion 1 small
Tomato 1 small
Cumin 1 tsp
Pepper powder 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida pinch

To Temper
Mustard 1 tsp
Urad dhal 1/2 tsp
Red Chillies 2


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Method
• Take a heavy bottomed vessel, add all the ingredients dhal, spinach, onion, tomato, green chilli, garlic, cumin, pepper powder, Asafoetida with required salt and water. Cook it in medium heat for min 15-25 mins. ( Make sure you have enough water )
• Smash it well so that all the ingredients get blended.
• Take another pan, add little oil. Crackle the mustard, followed by urad dhal and red chillies. Pour it on top of the curry.
• Serve hot with Roti or White Rice.

Tips
• You can pressure cook all the ingredients for up to two whistles to save time.
• You can add Toor dhal instead of Moong dhal.

Chettinad Kuzhi Paniyaram Sweet

Paniyaram is a Popular dish from Chettinad Cuisine. It can be made Sweet or Spicy. For Sweet Paniyarams, we add jaggery to the batter. Some add ‘Karuppati’ for a extra special Sweet flavor. The usual ratio for paniyaram is equal proportion of Idly rice & Raw rice. In this recipe, I have doubled the quantity of Raw rice to that of the Idly rice to get more Softer & Crispier Paniyarams.
Ingredients

Idly Rice 1/2 cup
Raw Rice 1 cup
Urad dhal 1/4 cup
Fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp
Salt pinch
Jaggery 1 cup
Cardamom 2, powdered
Coconut 1/2 cup, grated

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Method

• Wash and soak idly rice, raw rice, urad dhal & fenugreek for 6-8 hours.
• Grind it to a thick fine paste with very little water and salt. ( As we have to dilute the batter with jaggery water later, it’s grounded to a thick paste now)
• Ferment it overnight.
• Heat Jaggery with little water. Let all the jaggery gets dissolved completely.
• Filter and pour it on the batter, add Cardamom powder & grated Coconut and mix thoroughly.
• Heat the paniyaram pan. Grease the pan with 1 tsp of oil in each wells.
• Pour 3/4 of the well with batter. Cover it and cook in medium flame for 3-4 mins.
• Now gently turn it upside down and continue to cook the other side to get a roasted colour.
• Remove it from the pan and Sweet Kuzhi Paniyaram is ready to be served!

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