Saturday, January 9, 2021

TIL PATTI / TIL AUR GUD KI CHIKKI / SESAME SEED BRITTLE / SANKRANTI SPECIAL

 

During Makara Sankranti it is supposed to be auspicious to eat sesame seeds. Sesame seeds combined with jaggery taste very good. Many sweets are made with this combination for the festival. 
Here is an easy recipe of Til Patti or til ki chikki. It requires only 4 ingredients and takes less than 15 minutes to make. 

Ingredients:
Sesame seeds - 1 cup
Organic Jaggery .. 1 cup 
Sliced pistachios  ..... 2 - 3 tbsps
Ghee / clarified butter .. 1 + 1 tsps 


Method:
1. Dry roast the sesame seeds. Do this on medium flame taking care that they do not become black.
Remove them and set aside.
2. Now transfer the jaggery powder into the pan.
3. Keep stirring until it starts to melt.
4. Add 1 tsp of ghee and continue stirring on medium flame until it melts and starts bubbling.
5. Tip in the sesame seeds and half of the pistachios.
6. When it starts to form a lump remove the contents on a greased surface.
7. Flatten with the spatula first as it will be very hot. 
8. Sprinkle the remaining pistachios
9. Smoothen it with back of a flat katori / bowl.
10. Now roll it out with a greased rolling pin as thin as you prefer.
11. Mark the divisions with a pizza cutter or a knife.
12. Allow it to cool and become firm.
13. Remove the brittle pieces in a container.
14. Close the lid only after it has cooled well.

Watch the Video



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Friday, January 1, 2021

TUNA MELT

 


This is such a delicious cheesy tuna sandwich, so flavourful and filling. Perfect for a quick lunch. All you need is few ingredients like canned Tuna, mayonnaise, cheese, some herbs for flavouring and in a jiffy itis done. You can serve with some French fries or wafers.(chips)

Ingredients:

Burger Buns .... 2 (or as required) 
Canned Tuna  ...... 4 tbsps
Mayonnaise ......... 1 tbsp
Cheese ................. 4 tbsps (grated)
Tomato ketchup ..... 1 tbsp
Celery seeds .......... 1/4 tsp
Onion ..................... 2 tbsps (finely chopped)
Chilli flakes ........... 1 tsp (or as per your liking)
Butter ..................... as needed


Method:

1. Mix all the ingredients except butter in a bowl.
2. Slice the burger buns. Spread some butter on them.
3. Spoon the mixture on the bottom slice of the burger. Spread some butter on the other slice as well.
4. Grill them until done. Towards the end you can add some more grated cheese on top if you like them more cheesy.
5. Serve them immediately.

Note:
1. You also replace the buns with bread slices.
2. I have used celery seeds. You may also used finely chopped fresh celery if available.
3. Spice level can be adjusted to your liking and you may add finely chopped green chillies also.
4. Pizza seasoning also tastes very good for variation.

See the recipe video


This recipe is part of the "A-Z Recipe Challenge" in a facebook group wherein we bloggers come together and choose  key ingredients alphabetically to make and post a dish every month. The alphabet of the month is T and I chose to make Tuna Melt which I had been planning since a long time.


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Thursday, December 31, 2020

DAKSHIN HOTPOT / RASAM HOTPOT



This month in our group, "Shhhhhh Cooking Secretly"  the theme that was chosen is HOT POT  as it is winter season and a perfect time to relish steaming hot dishes. This reminded me of the Oriental dish Steam Boat. On the same lines I thought why not create an Indian dish and I made Dakshin Hotpot. 

What is Steam Boat ?

A small gas or electric stove is put in the middle of the dining table with a pot of chicken stock with herbs. Some raw meats , sea food and vegetable pieces are kept in a platter. These are cooked as desired by the diners and relished in bowls. 

How I made Dakshin Hotpot ?

With Indian dishes which require elaborate cooking process it had to be pre-cooked and the assembling was done on the table. I chose South Indian items like rasam, cocktail vadas, mixed vegetable poriyal and rice. Enjoyed them in a bowl topped with some fried noodles for crunchiness.

Rice:


Cook the rice, drain it and set aside.






Rasam:

Soak about 1/4 cup of toor dal and pressure cook it. 
Heat oil and add the tempering of asafoetida, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves and red chillies.
Add the mashed dal and tamarind extract. You may add a small tomato as well.
Boil it adding salt, turmeric powder and rasam powder. 
Garnish with coriander leaves and rasam is ready. 

You can see the detailed Rasam recipe - HERE

Cocktail Vadas:

Soak about 1/2 cup of  Urad dal for 2-3 hours.
Grind in without adding water. 
Mix salt to taste and a pinch of baking powder.
You can add little chopped onion, green chillies and coriander leaves if you like or just make them plain.
Heat oil and drop tiny fritters with a spoon or hand.
Fry until done and remove on a kitchen tissue.


You can see the detailed Cocktail Vadas recipe - HERE

Mixed Vegetable Poriyal:


You can choose any vegetables of your choice.
Cut them into small pieces and parboil them with salt.
Heat little oil and add the tempering ingredients. ( asafoetida, mustard seeds, Curry leaves, dry red chilli pieces) 
Add the vegetables and stir them together. You can season them with spice powders / podi / sambar powder or rasam powder if you like. 
Sprinkle some grated coconut finally and give a nice stir. 


 
You can see the detailed recipe of Mixed Vegetable Poriyal - HERE 

Fried Noodles for topping:


You can fry the noodles to a crispy texture or even used fried appalams (pappadums) or vadams. Crumble them and add on top just before serving.





To Assemble the Rasam Hotpot / Dakshin Hotpot:



Pour 3-4 ladles of rasam in a soup bowl or any deep plate
Spoon in some rice and poriyal.
Add few cocktail vadas.
Crumble the fried noodles or appalams and serve immediately.

About the Group:



Shhhhh Cooking Secretly is a monthly challenge in a facebook group where we are paired with a different partner every month. Two secret ingredients are  chosen by each partner for the other one and we prepare any dish with those ingredients based on the selected theme of the month. This month's theme Hotpot was Priya Iyer's idea. Check out her Moong dal Khichdi with Kale, a very innovative combo.
My partner was Preethi Prasad who gave me Toor Dal and Curry Leaves as my secret ingredients and I made Dakshin Hotpot using them. She made a very tasty street food Masala Pav using the 2 secret ingredients that I chose for her, Raw banana and Salt.

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Saturday, December 12, 2020

TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS CAKE / FRUIT AND NUT CAKE WITH ALCOHOL

 This is a recipe of a traditional fruit and nut cake with alcohol made during Christmas. The dry fruits are soaked in alcohol and left to mature and are added to the cake. You may use Rum, Brandy, Sherry, Vodka or Whisky. After the cake is baked itis fed with a generous amount of alcohol. This process not only makes the cake very rich and flavourful but also helps in preserving it for a long time. But make sure you are using the same type of alcohol that you did for soaking the dry fruits. These can be made weeks ahead of Christmas and refrigerated. You can add the desired glazing one day before you serve it. 

How long do we soak the dry fruits :

This can be done for few days, weeks, months or even a year ahead. The more they soak the better they taste. You have to keep them refrigerated in a jar.

For those who avoid alcohol :

The dry fruits can be soaked in orange juice or grape juice. But this has to be done only a day ahead of baking. These cakes don't stay fresh for long. However for convenience you can bake and freeze them. Defrost a day before using them and do the glazing. 



Ingredients:

All purpose flour .... 150 gms
Organic jaggery ....... 150 gms (or brown sugar)
Butter ...................... 150 gms
Dry fruits soaked in alcohol .... 200 gms
Eggs................................. 2
Chopped walnuts ............ 25 gms
Chopped cashew nuts ..... 25 gms 
Apple ............................ 1 (peeled and diced. Squeeze some lemon juice)
Orange marmalade .......... 1 tbsp
Baking powder ................... 1/2 tsp
Baking soda .................... 2 pinches
Salt .......................... 1/4 tsp (skip it if using salted butter)
Mixed spice ............ 2 tsps ( cardamom powder, ginger powder, cinnamon powder,nutmeg powder and clove powder) 
Alcohol for feeding the cake .... 6-8 tbsps 

For glazing:

Orange marmalade .................. 2 tbsps (or jam)
Honey .................................. 1 -2 tbsps
Dry fruits like walnuts, almonds, pecans, cranberries, cherries, candied fruits ... as needed 
(use any of the above as available / preferred)

Method:

1. Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda. 
2. Beat the butter and organic jaggery until creamy.
3. Add eggs one at a time and beat well.
4. Spoon in the flour little by little and continue blending until it is all used up.
5. Add the marmalade and the spice mix.
6. Next tip in the chopped walnuts and cashew nuts.
7. Stir with a spatula and add the alcohol soaked dry fruits.
8. Mix everything well.
9. Take  8" diameter baking tin and line it with greased butter paper.
10. Spoon all the batter and level it with a spatula.
11. Bake in a preheated oven at 120 C for 2 hours. (If it is a non-fan oven bake at 140 C) . These cakes are always slow baked. The larger ones can take 3 to 3 and 1/2 hours.
12. Remove the cake when done and check it with a tooth pick or a satay stick. Cool and unmould in a platter.
13. Pierce on the surface with the stick. Pour 6-8 tbsps of alcohol on the cake. Use the same type used for soaking the dry fruits.
14. Wrap it in a cling film and refrigerate. It can stay good for a long time.

To prepare the glazing:

Heat the marmalade and honey in a pan. You may also use jam instead but add some orange or lemon rind. Add the desired dry fruits or candied fruits. Toss them well. Spread them on the cake.


Note:
The alcoholic cakes can stay good in the refrigerator for long time. The ones without alcohol have to be consumed in few days.

 Watch the recipe video 



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Monday, December 7, 2020

COCONUT COOKIES WITH OATS


Craving for coconut cookies ?  How about trying out these healthy ones with the goodness of oats, whole wheat flour and olive oil. These cookies are soft, chewy and irresistible. You can't stop with one. 
I have used organic jaggery powder to sweeten them. You can make the same recipe using all purpose flour and icing sugar if you want white coloured cookies. If you wish you can replace the olive oil with melted butter. Skip adding salt if the butter is salted.


The best part is that the cookie dough can be made into rolls, wrapped in a cling film and frozen. Whenever you crave for some just remove a roll , thaw it a bit, cut it into slices and bake. 

Ingredients:
Whole wheat flour ..... 1 cup
Oats ........................... 1/2 cup
Dessicated coconut ... 1/2 cup
Organic jaggery powder .. 1 cup
Olive oil ........................ 1/2 cup
Eggs ................................. 1
Vanilla essence .............. 1 tsp
Baking powder ............... 1/2 tsp
Baking soda ..................... 1/2 tsp
Salt ................................... 2 pinches
Cinnamon powder ............ 1/2 tsp (optional)


Method:
1. Mix together the flour, salt, cinnamon powder,baking powder and baking soda and sift them.
2. In a large bowl beat the oil, jaggery powder, eggs and vanilla essence until creamy.
3. Add the mixed flour little by little and continue beating until it is used up.
4. With a spatula stir in the dessicated coconut and the oats.
5. The dough may appear sticky but that is the way it should be.
6. Divide it into two and make thick rolls. You can grease your hands while doing this.
7. Place them in a cling film and make a tight roll like a toffee .
8. Freeze the rolls until the dough gets firm.
9. Remove them and cut them into slices as thin as you desire.
10. Place them in a baking tray on a silicon mat or parchment paper.
11. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 C for 15 to 20 minutes. The baking time may vary depending on the thickness of the cookies and the size of the oven. Keep a check after 12 minutes.
12. When you remove them they may appear soft but allow them to cool properly. 
13. These cookies have a soft and chewy texture. Enjoy them with your tea.


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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

INSTANT SEMOLINA IDLIS / INSTANT RAVA IDLIS


Rava idli is a popular breakfast recipe from South India, originated from the tiffin centers in Udipi. Unlike the traditional idlis made with rice , urad dal batter which is fermented, these can be instantly made without any advance preparation like soaking and grinding. Rava is sauteed with tempering ingredients, cooled and sour yogurt is added. Adding a little bit of eno is optional which has been adapted by many to give a nice and fluffy texture to the idlis.


Ingredients:
Semolina ...................... 1 and 1/2 cups (or as required)
Sour yogurt .................. 1/2 cup
Eno fruit salt ................ 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice ................. 1 tsp
Salt .............................. to taste
Oil ..............................  3 tbsps
Mustard seeds ............1 tsp
Urad dal .................... 1 tsp
Asafoetida ................. 2 pinches
Curry leaves ............... few (chopped)
Cashew nuts ............... few (broken into pieces)

Method:

1.Heat 2 tbsps of oil in a pan. Add asafoetida, urad dal and mustard seeds. When they crackle add the cashew pieces and curry leaves. Tip in the semolina, add salt and saute for a minute. Let it cool.





2. After cooling add the whisked yogurt and enough water to get a thick consistency. Set it aside for 10 to 15 minutes. It might thicken on keeping. Add little water and adjust the consistency. Just before making the idlis add the eno and squeeze little lime juice overit. It becomes frothy. Immediately stir it well.




3. Grease the idli moulds with the remaining oil and spoon the batter into them.







4. Steam them for 10 to 12 minutes.







5. Open the cooker after it is cooled.









6. Remove the idlis.  Serve hot with chutney and sambar









Note: The sauteed rava along with the tempering ingredients can be made and stored for convenience. You can also freeze it in zip lock bags.

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This recipe is part of the "A-Z Recipe Challenge" in a facebook group wherein we bloggers come together and choose  key ingredients alphabetically to make and post a dish every month. The alphabet of the month is S and I have chosen semolina as my ingredient and made these instant idlis. 

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