Idiyappam~ South Indian Breakfast

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Idiyappam or String hoppers is a popular Chettinad South Indian breakfast. It is usually served with a spicy curry or with sweetened coconut milk. Continue reading

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Cro-doughnuts ~ Baking Partners Challenge September 2013

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Cro-doughnut, the name I came up with, as the actual name Cronut is trademarked. This beautiful croissant-doughnut hybrid was created by chef Dominique Ansel and was officially released on May 10, 2013. Continue reading

Gobi Paratha

Gobi Paratha is a healthy flat bread stuffed with grated Cauliflower and Spices. It tastes divine with plain Yogurt & Pickle. Here is the recipe..

Prep time: 15 mins + dough resting time
Cooking time: 30 mins
Yields: 5-6 Parathas

Ingredients

For the Dough
Wheat flour 1&1/4 Cup
Salt pinch
Water required

For the Stuffing
Cauliflower 3 Cups, grated
Cumin 1/2 tsp, crushed
Ginger 1 tsp, grated
Garlic 1 tsp, grated
Green chilli 1, finely chopped(optional)
Chilli powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Amchoor powder 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves 2 tbsp
Salt required
Oil required

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Method
• Take wheat flour is a mixing bowl. Add salt. With required water knead them to a soft, yet firm pliable dough. Cover it with a wet cloth and let them sit for an hour.
• Take a wide pan. Heat little oil. Add crushed Cumin.
• Add the grated Ginger & Garlic. Sauté it for a while.
• Now toss in the grated Cauliflower along with Chilli powder, Coriander powder, Amchoor powder and Salt.

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• Sauté it for few mins till the Cauliflower is cooked.
• Add the chopped Coriander leaves and Switch off the stove.

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• Let it cool.

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How to stuff Gobi to Parathas?
Method 1
• Take 2 medium sized balls. Roll them. Place little stuffing on one of the paratha.

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• Cover it with the other. Seal the corners. Roll them again gently.

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Method 2
• Take a small ball. Roll it to a small circle. Place the stuffing in the center. Close it and roll them again gently.

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• Heat a Tawa. Drizzle little oil. Add the rolled paratha. Cook till you get brown spots on both sides.

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• Serve hot with Yogurt and Pickle!

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Tips
• Add a pat of Butter to enhance the flavor of Gobi Paratha.

Puttu

Puttu is a traditional dish of Kerala adored by many. It tastes good with Ripe Bananas, Ghee & Sugar or with Cherupayaru Curry or Kadala Curry. Grounded Rice flour / Readymade Rice flour is moistened with little water and steamed in a Puttu kutti (Puttu maker) along with the grated Coconut.

Ingredients
Rice flour 1 & 1/2 Cup
Grated Coconut 1/2 Cup
Ghee 2 tbsp (optional)
Water 1/2 Cup (according to your needs)
Salt pinch

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Method
• In a large bowl, add the Rice flour with a pinch of salt.

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• Mix it slowly by sprinkling water. Make sure the Rice flour is wet. Break all the small lumps. Keep mixing it for a good 10-15 mins. When you hold the wet flour tightly in your hand. It should retain the shape. Once you break, it has to fall apart. This step is more important to get a soft puttu.
• Place Flour and Coconut alternatively in a puttu maker and steam it or you can cook it in a steamer/idly vessel covered with a cloth like me.

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• Steam it for 10 mins or till the puttu mixture is cooked.
• Remove it from the steamer. Serve it along with Cherupayaru Curry.

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Tips
• Once you remove it from the steamer. Add the ghee and mix it for a good flavor.

Rava Kesari / Sooji Halwa / Semolina Pudding

Rava kesari, a simple yet delicious sweet of India. Also called Sooji Halwa, can be made in few minutes with minimal ingredients at your home. This recipe can be flavored with pineapple essence or crushed pineapple chunks or you can also add a pinch of Saffron soaked in a tbsp of warm milk for additional flavor. Here is the recipe..

Ingredients
Rava/Sooji/Semolina 1/2 Cup
Sugar 1/2 Cup
Water 1 1/2 Cup
Cardamom powder 1/4 tsp
Ghee 3 tbsp
Red food color pinch(optional)
Cashews & Raisins little

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Method
• Roast Rava with a tbsp of Ghee in a medium flame for few mins. Make sure you don’t turn it brown. Remove and keep it aside.

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• In the same pan, add a tbsp of Ghee roast Cashews & Raisins to golden brown and keep it aside.

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• Boil the required Water in a pan. Add a pinch of food color. Color is totally optional.

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• Slowly add in the roasted Rava, stirring it all the time. For beginners just switch off the stove at this stage. Mix thoroughly without lumps then switch on to low flame.
• Add Sugar & Cardamom powder. Mix it well. Switch off the stove when it is little soft as the Rava would still absorb some water when it is cooling down.

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• Add the roasted Cashews & Raisins along with the rest of the ghee. Serve hot! Delicious Rava Kesari is ready!

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Tips
• Instead of just water, add 1 Cup Milk and 1/2 Cup water to get a richer version of Rava Kesari.

Chettinad Paal Paniyaram

Paal Paniyaram, another delicacy from the very popular Chettinad Cuisine. Small white balls are soaked in sweetened fresh Coconut milk flavored with Cardamom, Saffron & Sliced Almonds. It’s mouth drooling & totally loved by anyone with a sweet tooth like me. Here is the recipe

Ingredients

Idly Rice 1/2 Cup
Urad dhal 1/2 Cup
Coconut milk 2 Cup
Milk 1 Cup
Cardamom powder 1 tsp
Sugar req
Saffron pinch

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Method

• Soak Rice & Urad dhal separately for minimum 3 hours atleast. Grind Urad dhal for few minutes then add Rice. Grind it to a very smooth batter with very little water and a pinch of salt.
• Heat oil in a pan. Deep fry the batter in to small balls using hand or a teaspoon. Remove them & keep it aside.

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• Warm up milk. Add Coconut milk, Sugar, Cardamom & few Saffron strands to it and switch off the stove.
• Toss the small fried balls in to milk and allow it to sit for few minutes before you serve.

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Tips
• If the batter becomes watery, fried balls would absorb more oil. In that case, plunge these balls in hot water, squeeze it then drop it in milk.
• Instead of Coconut milk, you can use plain milk too.
• You can serve it warm or cold.

Chettinad Kara Kozhukattai/ Spicy Steamed Rice Dumpling/Ammini Kozhukattai

Ingredients
Idly Rice/ Rice flour 1 Cup
Sesame oil 1 tsp
Salt 1 pinch

For the seasoning
Mustard 1 tsp
Urad dhal 1 tsp
Asafoetida pinch
Red Chillies 4-5 (as needed)
Curry leaves 1 sprig
Coconut 3 tbsp, grated
Sesame oil 1tbsp
Salt req

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Method
• Wash and soak Rice for couple of hours. Grind it to a fine paste with very little water and a small pinch of salt.
• Take a wide pot preferably nonstick. Pour in the batter and heat it in medium flame mixing it continuously. In few minutes a soft pliable rice dough is obtained. Add a tsp of Sesame oil & Cover it with wet cloth.
• Instead of Idly Rice, you can use Rice flour if you don’t have time. Just add enough water to 1 Cup of Rice flour with a small pinch of salt. Make a soft dough. Add the Sesame oil & Cover it with wet cloth.
• Start making marble sized balls. Steam cook it for 10-15 mins in a idly maker.
• To prepare the seasoning, Heat a tbsp of Sesame oil. Add in the Mustard, Urad dhal, Asafoetida, Red Chillies, Curry leaves & Coconut. One by one sautéing it.
• Finally add the steam cooked Rice balls in it with req Salt. Give a thorough mix and Serve hot!

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Tips
• You can add a tsp of Idly Milagai Podi for additional flavor. ( Make sure to adjust Red Chillies if you are using Podi )

Chettinad Paal Kozhukattai

Paal Kozhukattai is a popular delicacy from the Chettinad Cuisine. Here the perfectly shaped small rice balls are cooked in a rich Jaggery-Coconut-milk sauce. It is definitely very easy to make and it’s worth a try.

Ingredients
For Rice balls
Idly rice/ Rice Flour 1 Cup
Water req
Salt small pinch

For the Sauce
Jaggery 1 Cup
Coconut 1/4 Cup, finely grated
Milk 1/2 Cup ( as req )
Water 1 Cup
Cardamom powder 1/4 tsp
Saffron pinch

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Method
• Wash and soak Rice for couple of hours. Grind it to a fine paste with very little water and a small pinch of salt.
• Take a wide pot preferably nonstick. Pour in the batter and heat it in medium flame mixing it continuously. In few minutes a soft pliable rice dough is obtained. Cover it with wet cloth and keep it aside.
• Instead of Idly Rice, you can use Rice flour if you don’t have time. Just add enough water to 1 Cup of Rice flour with a small pinch of salt. Make a soft dough.
• In a small saucepan melt jaggery with little water and filter to remove scum. Keep it ready.
• Heat 1 Cup of Water + 1/2 Cup Milk together in a heavy bottomed vessel.
• Grease your hands with sesame oil/ghee then start making small balls out of it.
• When the Water+Milk starts to boil. Drop gently the small balls in to it. Cover it and cook in medium flame for 5 mins. ( Make sure there is enough water for the balls to get completely immersed, if not use the required milk or water )
• Carefully stir the sauce. Then add the melted jaggery & finely shredded coconut and simmer it for another 5-10 mins. Switch off the stove. Garnish with few strands of Saffron and serve.

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Tips
• Dilute 2 tbsp of Rice dough in little water. Pour it in to the sauce for a creamier texture.

Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer is a North Indian dish, popular among Vegetarians. Here the Paneer/Indian Cheese is simmered in the pureed Palak/Spinach Curry. I usually make it very mild with reduced spices for my kids to relish and to hold up the actual Spinach taste.

Ingredients
Organic baby Spinach 4 Cups
Onion 1, finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste 1 tsp
Paneer / Indian Cheese 200 gms, Cut in to 1″ Cube
Fresh Cream 3 tbsp
Green Chilli 3 (adjust according to your needs)
Salt req

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Method
• Take a wide pan, add the Spinach & Green chillies. Sauté it till the Spinach shrinks. Switch off the stove. Let it cool and then grind to paste with little water. Keep it aside. (You can blanch the Spinach & purée instead)

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• Take a pot. Heat little oil. Add Cumin then add the chopped Onions. Sauté it till they become translucent.
• Now add the Ginger garlic paste. Cook it till the raw smell goes away.
• Add the puréed Spinach and adjust the salt taste.
• Pan fry the Paneer cubes in a separate pan for couple of minutes and toss it in to the Spinach curry.
• Cook it in low-medium flame for 5 mins and switch off the stove.
• Add fresh cream on top and serve hot with Chappathy or Naan.

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Sweet Spicy Ragi Roti/ Keppai Roti

Ragi Roti is the most healthiest breakfast. This is my Mom’s recipe. It has both sweet and spicy flavor. My husband’s all time favorite and my kids love it without the green chillies.

Ingredients
Ragi 1 Cup
Onion 1/2, finely chopped
Green Chilli 1, finely chopped
Coconut pieces 3 tbsp
Jaggery 1/2 Cup
Water req
Salt pinch

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Method
• Melt Jaggery with 1/2 cup water. Filter and remove scum.
• In a big bowl mix Ragi, Onion, Green chilli, Coconut pieces, Jaggery water, Salt and req water to a smooth wet dough. ( when you touch this with oil, it shouldn’t stick )
• Take a small ball, flatten them on a plastic sheet or ziplock greased with oil.
• Place it on a hot tawa. Cook on both the sides.
• Apply little ghee and serve.

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