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Custard Powder Halwa – Guest post for Aruna Panangipally’s blog Aharam

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Ever since I started blogging I adore Aruna’s work. I was delighted when I got an offer from her for a guest post.

First thing I liked about her blog is her blog name “Aharam” – what a perfect name for a food blog and the way she tells the interesting fact about the food in the Intro for each post

Aharam has a wide spread of Indian and International recipes.

If I say Indian does it justify her work?

No!!

South Indian and North Indian?

Nooo!!

State wise?

Yessss, if I start  specifying all the categories that she has covered, I am sure this post will go Endless

Looking for a festive recipe, low calorie recipe, no oil recipe etc. every search  has a result in her space

I can continue writing about her, but guess its time to hear from Aruna and visit her blog

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Few words from Aruna about her space

I have been interested in cooking and collecting recipes for as long as I can remember.  In fact, it is something I imbibed from my grandmother, mother and aunts, all of whom were very interested in trying out new dishes. 🙂

ãhãram, my blog, is my attempt to catalog the recipes I love, be they recipes that are inherited or then those that I have learnt. My blog features pre-dominantly vegetarian recipes (with some egg-based recipes thrown in) from across India. You will find that I have loads of recipes from South India reflecting my ancestry (particularly, Andhra Pradesh, my native state) and those from Maharashtra, the state I grew up in. In addition, I have recipes from across other states of India and the world, reflecting my love for travel and new cultures. 🙂

You can follow Aruna on:

I was so pleased when Vidya agreed to do a guest post for me because I knew I would get “something different”, a term I hear often in my home. 🙂

Visit Aruna’s space for Custard Powder Halwa recipe

https://aahaaram.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/custard-powder-halwa-by-vidya-srinivasan-of-traditionally-modern-food/

Custard Powder Halwa 

Preparation time: 3 mins | Cooking time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

Custard powder – 1 cup (I used Vanilla Flavor)

Sugar – 2 cups + ½ cup (I used light brown sugar, white sugar can also be used. Adjust sugar according to your sweetness)

Water – 4 cups

Butter/Ghee – 3 tbsp (I used butter)

Cashew nuts and Raisin – for taste

Saffron – 1/8 tsp

Salt – a pinch

Cardamom powder – 1/8 tsp

Method:

  • Add a tbsp of butter to pan and when it melts and becomes hot, add cashew nut and sauté till they are golden brown. Switch off and add raisin; keep aside
  • Grease a pan with melted butter/ghee and keep aside
  • In a mixing bowl add custard powder, water, saffron,sugar, salt and cardamom powder; mix well without any lumps

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  • Take a heavy bottomed pan (I used non-stick) and transfer the mixture to the pan. Keep the pan on the stove and start cooking in high flame
  • The mixture will come to boil and start to thicken, Keep stirring till it became glossy and jelly like texture

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  • Add remaining butter, cashew nuts and raisin; mix well and reduce the flame. Keep stirring continuously till the mixture  begins pulling away from the sides

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  • Transfer the halwa to the greased pan and level the top. Chill it for an hour and cut them
  • Check out my other custard powder reccpe,Custard Powder Cookies

Notes:

  • Food color can be added
  • Halwa stays good for a week in fridge
  • Any nuts of choice can be added

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Pattani Sundal (Frozen Green Peas Sundal)

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Yesterday evening after returning from work hubby asked what Sundal today. I had planned to prepare Moong Dal Sundal, but then I realized I forgot to soak Dal. Then I remembered I had some frozen peas.  Amma use to prepare Sundal with dry peas by soaking and pressure cooking them, but I thought of trying with frozen peas. Sundal was ready in 5 minutes – quickest Sundal I ever had

Pattani Sundal

Preparation Time : 3 min | Cooking time : 5 mins | Serves : 2

Recipe Category : Appetizer/Snack

Ingredients:

Frozen peas – 1 cup + 1/2 cup

Salt – To taste

Grated coconut – 1/3 cup

Green chillies – 1 (Adjust according to your taste)

Coriander leaves – 4 – 5 sprig

Ginger –  small piece ( approx 1/2 tsp)

To Temper:

Coconut Oil – 1 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Urad Dal – 1 tsp

Channa Dal – 1/2 tsp

Curry leaves – 1/2 sprig

Red chilli – 1

Hing – a generous pinch

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Method:

  • Microwave peas for a minute and set aside

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  • Blend coriander, chilli and coconut without adding water

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  • Add oil to the pan, when the oil is hot add the items under ‘To Temper’ and let them crackle. Add the green peas and salt, toss them for a minute

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  • Add the blended mixture and sautè for 2-3 minutes till raw smell goes off. Switch off the stove

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My Notes:

  • Coconut oil gives nice aroma for sundal, so it is preferred
  • If you are using Dry Peas, then soak them overnight, or at least for 4 hrs in warm water.  Pour enough water and pressure cook for 3 whistles
  • Instead of adding coconut mixture at the end, you can also add after tempering

Arisi Thengai Payasam

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This is a traditional Payasam prepared during festive seasons. When it comes to traditional jaggery Payasam,  I prefer Arisi Thengai Payasam over Moong Dal and Channa Dal Payasam. This quick Payasam with coconut flavour makes it delicious. Today being Navaratri day 1, I prepared this Payasam for neivedhyam.  Back in India we used to keep golu in steps. Inviting people to see our golu, visiting friends and relative houses and getting Sundal, along with gifts – omg so many amazing memories. Navaratri is something I miss here. This time with my kutti krishar, I couldn’t keep bhommai outside, but happy with few bhoomai inside our Pooja room:-)

Checkout my other Payasam Recipes

Arisi Thengai Payasam:

Preparation Time : 5 min | Soaking time – 15 mins | Cooking Time : 15 – 20 mins | Serves : 3

Recipe Category: Dessert

Ingredients:

Fresh Grated Coconut – 1/2 cup

Raw rice – 2 tbsp

Grated jaggery – 1/3 cup ( Adjust according to your taste)

Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp

Milk –  1/3 cup

Cashew nuts and raisin – to taste

Ghee –  1/2 tsp

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Method:

  • Wash and soak rice in warm water for 10 – 15 minutes
  • Grind soaked rice and grated coconut to a fine paste with 2/3 tbsp of water

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  • Add 1 cup water to the ground paste and mix well 

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  • In medium flame cook the mixture. Add cardamom powder and continue cooking.  Stir in between till its cooked (it turns from white to dull white to indicate the mixture is cooked)IMG_0386
  • Add grated jaggery and cook till it completely dissolves, and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes

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  • Heat another pan with ghee and cook cashew and raisins till cashews are golden Brown

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  • In low flame Add milk and cook for a minute and switch off. Add the cashews and raisin to the Payasam and serve Hot/Cold

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My Notes:

  • Cardamom pods can be added instead of cardamom powder. Add cardamon while grinding coconut and rice if desire
  • Rice make the Payasam thick so adjust water/milk according to the desired consistency
  • If you think jaggery may have impurities, add jaggery and water in a separate pan cook till the jaggery melts. When it comes to room temperature strain them and add it to the Payasam
  • Traditionally jaggery (Palm sugar) is used but white/brown sugar can also be used
  • Make sure the coconut rice mixture is thin
  • Milk can be added after switching off
  • Instead of rice, rice flour can also be used

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

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Post after a longtime! Felt good while drafting this:-) Thank you all for stopping by, and noticing my absence and asking me. I feel blessed to have such sweet people around me:-)

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu is a traditional dish prepared with lentils.  Whenever we get bored of sambar, vatha kuzhambu, moor kuzhambu, milagu kuzhambu etc., my mom prepares this. Takes little extra time when compared to other Kuzhambu, but after tasting the dish we won’t mind spending the extra time. Yet another recipe from my Amma’s cookbook.

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

Preparation Time : 10 minutes | Soaking time – 2 hours | Cooking Time : 30 mins | Serves : 4

Ingredients:

For lentil Balls:

Toor dal – 1/2 cup

Channa dal  – 1/4 cup

Fennel Seeds – 1/4 tsp

Red Chilli – 2 (Adjust according to your taste)

Ginger – 1/4 tsp

Kuzhambu (Gravy):

Onion – 1

Garlic – 3 pods, finely chopped

Tomato – 1

Tamarind – 1 lemon sized ball

Coconut grated (optional) – 3 tbsp

Sambar powder/ chilli powder – 1 tsp ( I used Sambar powder)

Salt – to taste

To temper:

Sesame Oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Fenugreek – 1/8 tsp

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Method:

  • Soak the dal and red chilli for 2 hours and strain the water. Add ginger and fennel seeds to the dal, and grind them into coarse mixture without adding water. Add onion and required salt to the mixture and combine well. Make marble sized balls out of it and keep aside.

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  • Soak tamarind in 1 cup of luke warm water and keep aside for 5 – 10 minutes, and extract the juice
  • Add oil to the pan. When oil is hot add ‘to temper’ ingredients and let them splutter. Add garlic and onion and sauté till the onion is translucent. Add tomato and cook till becomes mushy

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  • Add sambar powder and give a quick stir. Add the tamrind juice, 2 cup of water, salt  and cook till the raw smell goes off

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  • From the side, gently add the lentil balls one by one and cover with lid. Lentil balls initially sink, and float after cooking

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  • Avoid sauting till the lentil balls are cooked, to prevent them from breaking. Add grated coconut and mix well. Cook for 3-4 minutes and switch off

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My Notes:

  • While lentil balls are cooking avoid sauting, as the  balls may get mushy
  • Can grind and add coconut
  • Instead of cooking lentil balls directly in gravy, can also steam them and add it to the gravy
  • Gravy thickens overtime, so switch off before it comes to gravy consistency
  • Can also saute and grind (onion and tomatoes) instead of adding directly
  • Can also grind lentil into fine paste

Gobi 65 – Baked

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Ever since I had this dish for the first time, I have been having a big question in my mind – why is it named 65?. As I mentioned in Cauliflower Peas Masala, cauliflower is my sister’s favorite veggie, and this is her default order in most restaurants.  First time when I tried baking cauliflower, it was total flopshow. Invited Hubby’s friends for dinner and  thought of baking this. That day I added yellow corn meal. I marinated cauliflower for 2 hours, it was soggy and I didn’t get proper fries, then I did some gimmick and managed. Again I wanted to try this with white corn flour, and reduce my marination time, and finally succeeded!

Gobi 65 – Baked

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Standing time – 15 minutes | Cooking Time : 20 – 25 mins

Recipe Category: Snack

Ingredients:

Cauliflower -1 medium sized flower

Cornflour – 1/4 cup

Rice flour/ All purpose flour – 2 tbsp (I used rice flour)

Ginger Garlic paste – 1/4 tsp

Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp (Adjust according to your taste)

Garam Masala – 1/8 tsp

Oil – 1 tbsp + 1 tsp

Turmeric powder – a pinch

Salt – to taste

Oil/Cooking spray – to grease (I used Pam olive oil spray)

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Method:

  • Parboil cauliflower and strain them

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  • Preheat the oven to 400 degree Fahrenhait and place the baking paper (I used Aluminum foil) on baking tray and grease

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  • Combine all spice powder and mix well. Add cornflour and rice flour and mix well, and if required sprinkle some water (I used around 1 tsp) and let it marinate for 15 minutes

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  •  Place the marinated cauliflower and bake them for 10 – 15 minutes and broil for 13 -18 minutes, turning in between

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My Notes :

  • Broil helps to get the fry texture so don’t skip it. Can broil for some more minutes if you need it crispier
  • After turning the oven to broil, keep monitoring frequently to avoid burnt texture
  • Avoid overlapping for even cooking
  • If there is excess moisture, they turn out to be sticky. So avoid adding much water, also grease the foil throughout to avoid sticking
  • Alternatively, you can also deep fry them in oil
  • Ajwain can be added while marinating cauliflower
  • Chat Masala or any spice powder can be added for taste

Sugarless Tomato Jam

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Having a sweet tooth, I always prefer to have a little sugar in my plate while having breakfast. Seeing this, my mother in law used to prepare tomato jam exclusively for my breakfast purposes! I became so addictive to that and learnt the recipe from her. But seeing the sugar addition, I was alarmed, and so thought of trying Jam with honey instead of Sugar, like I did for Eggless Dry fruit and nut cake. My friend Lori was my inspiration in cooking with honey. We liked the taste of this jam, and I didn’t find any difference in taste between honey and sugar. This has now become my new way of preparing jam!

Ingredients:

Firm and ripe Tomatoes – 10

Water – 3 tbsp

Honey – 3/4 cup (Adjust according to your sweetness)

Cardamom powder – 1/8 tsp (Optional)

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Method:

  • Add  honey and water to the pan and cook for a minute.

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  • Add the tomato puree to the honey syrup and stir it occasionally, till it thickens

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  • Cook till moisture is completely observed. Tomato and water should not run separately. If the jam is taken in a spoon, it should flow as a paste

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  • Allow the jam to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container

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 My Notes:

  • Sugar (White/Brown) can also be used instead of honey. Add sugar and water in a pan and cook till sugar melts completely
  • Jam stays good upto a month
  • Can  also boil tomatoes and then blend that
  • Agave nectar can be used instead of honey

Pulikaichal (Puliyodharai)

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Pulikaichal is a classic traditional recipe.  When mixed with rice, tangy variety rice is ready (Puliyodarai). It also goes well with dosa/ Idli tiffin variety, and acts as a yummy pickle to curd rice.  It is a great travel recipe too, also a festive recipe prepared during kannum pongal and aadi perukku. It stays good even for a month (when refrigerated) or upto a week (outside),  if stored in an air tight container and accessed with a clean dry spoon. This is one of the most favorite prasadam in temples. It’s good to have Thakkali Thokku/Pulikaichal in fridge, and during busy days these two pastes help a lot.

Pulikaichal (Puliyodharai)

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 30 mins

Recipe Category: Pickle/Side Dish and Entrée

Ingredients:

Cooked Rice – 2 cup

For the pulikaichal:

Tamarind – big lemon size

Powdered Jaggery – 1 tbsp

Turmeric Powder – 1/8 tsp

Asafoetida – a generous pinch

Salt – as needed

Sesame oil – 3 tbsp

Roasted Peanuts – 1/4 cup (approximately) I generally add handful

To temper:

Mustard Seeds – 1/4 tsp

Channa Dal – 1 tbsp

Dried Red chillies – 2

Curry Leaves – few

Spice Powder:

Channa Dal – 1  tbsp

Coriander Seeds – 1 tbsp

Dried Red Chillies – 4 (Adjust according to your spice)

Fenugreek Seeds(Venthyam) – 1/4 tsp

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Method:

  • Dry roast the ingredients under ‘Spice powder’. Allow them to cool and grind it to a fine powder without adding water, and keep aside

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  • Soak tamrind in luke warm water for 10 – 15 mins. Extract the juice and keep aside
  • Add sesame oil in a pan, and when the oil is hot add the ingredients under ‘to temper’ and let them splutter. Add the tamarind extract and allow it to boil

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  • When the raw smell starts to go away, add the powder, peanuts, salt and jaggery. Mix well and continue cooking

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  • Keep stirring occasionally. When oil begins to seperate and the mixture becomes a thick paste (and raw smell goes off completely), switch off.

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  • Take the cooked rice spread it in a wide bowl, drizzle a tsp of sesame oil, add 1/2 cup of pulikaichal, and mix well without mushing up the rice.  Adjust the quantity of pulikaichal and add salt, if required. Allow it to rest atleast for 30 – 45 mins before you serve. Serve with Aviyal/Potato Chips/Appalam/Fry

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My Notes:

  • Always use a wide pan while cooking pulikaichal as they tends to spit spills outside
  • Sesame oil make it stay good for longer days
  • Generally for puliyodarai I use normal rice but basmati rice can also be used
  • Rice tastes better sometime after it has been mixed
  • Can add 1/2 tsp of sesame seed, 1 tbsp of urad Dal and 1/2 tsp of pepper powder while preparing spice powder. My friend’s mom coos with these ingredients, and it tastes good too. As both my mom and mother in law won’t add these spices, I haven’t added
  • First day it tastes spicy but over a period of time it tastes less spicy
  • Adding jaggery is optional but it gives a sweet tangy taste which we like
  • I have used roasted peanuts so I added them at the end. If you are using unroasted add it after tempering

Paal Kozhukattai

Hope you all had a great Ganesh Chaturthi today. We had a great Pooja at home with Sweet Kozhukkatai, Ammini Kozhukattai, Wheat Appam and kondakadalai Sundal. I had prepared Paal Kozhukkatai couple of weeks back, and thought of posting it before Ganesh Chaturthi, but I couldn’t. Today evening, while tasting Kozhukattai I decided this is my today’s post. Many version to prepare this yummy dish, and this is one

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Paal Kozhukattai

Preparation Time : 10 min |  Cooking Time : 15 mins  | Serves : 3

Recipe Category : Dessert/Sweet and Snack

Ingredients:

Kozhukattai:

Rice flour – 1 cup, sieved

Water – 1 cup + 1/4 cup

Salt – as needed

Coconut oil – 1 tsp

Ghee/Butter – 1 tsp

Paal:

Thin coconut milk – 1 cup

Thick coconut milk –  3/4 cup

Grated Coconut – 2 tbsp ( Optional)

Cardamom Powder – 1 tsp

Sugar/Jaggery – 1/2 cup (I have used Brown sugar) Adjust sugar according to your taste

Saffron – few strands ( optional)

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Method:

For coconut Milk:

I used 2 cup of shredded frozen coconut. Add 1 cup  + 1/3 cup of water to the coconut and grind it. Filter the grinded coconut, and the resultant milk is the thick coconut milk. Add 1 cup of water once again to the coconut residue and grind once more. Filter it again, and the resultant milk is the thin coconut milk.

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  • Add saffron to the thick coconut milk and keep it aside
  • In a sauce pan, add coconut oil and 1 cup of water and bring to boil. When it is boiling and you see bubbles, add the sieved flour (Have 1/4 cup of water boiled in separate pan/kettle)
  • For the flour that I used, the extra 1/4 cup water was not needed. If you feel dough is dry, add 1 tbsp of water, else no need to add. Water added should be boiling hot water, so its better to keep 1/4 cup hot water separately

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  • Cook till it comes to non sticky dough consistency

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  • Add ghee and combine well. Cover the dough with damp cloth as they tend to dry

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  • When the dough is cool enough to handle, make small spheres (Marble Size). Since rice flour is gluten free they tend to be sticky, so greasing hand with coconut oil helps. Keep Aside

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  • Add thin coconut milk to the pan and bring it boil (Add water if required). When it starts boiling add kozhukattai

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  • After adding Kozhukattai first they all will sink to the bottom. Stir occasionally while cooking. They gradually raise. Once the kozhukattais are cooked, they float. Add sugar, coconut and cardamom powder and cook for 2- 3 minutes

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  • Add the thick coconut milk and switch off the flame

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My Notes:

  • Instead of using thin coconut milk, milk and water can also be used
  • Milk and coconut powder can also used instead of thin coconut milk
  • Can also steam Kozhukkatai and add them in thin coconut milk
  • The measurement for water and thin coconut milk can be adjusted to our choice, it should be just enough for the balls to immerse
  • Make sure thin coconut milk is bit watery to avoid curdling
  • Milk can be added while preparing Kozhukattai dough
  • For the Paal (milk) to blend well with the balls, you can roll small Kozhukattais. After switching off give 15-20 minutes standing time for milk to blend well
  • Do not cook thick coconut milk for long time as there are chances for curdling
  • Instead of sugar, jaggery syrup can also be used
  • Instead of making balls, you can also dump the dough in a murukku achu and press it directly in thin coconut milk
  • Traditionally raw rice is washed well and drained, spread in a towel till the moisture drains completely, and ground into a fine powder. Since it will take time, I have used store-bought Rice Flour
  • Idiyappam flour can also be used to prepare Kozhukattai
  • Can combine Rice flour and water to dosa batter consistency and add coconut oil and cook till you get a dough to the consistency similar to the one shown in above picture
  • Can use store bought coconut milk. Add  water  for thin coconut milk

Ammini (Mani) Kozhukattai

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Almost every year, Ammini Kozhukattai will be prepared on Vinayaka Chaturthi as an evening snack. Amma generally prepares some for prasadam, and some for us to eat. In the evening, she prepares a fresh batch with the leftover dough, pooranam, and vada batter. Having a sweet tooth I usually make frequent visits to kitchen and attack the sweet puranum. There will be less Sweet Kozhukkatai left, so she prepares this easy snack for the evening.

Ammini Kozhukattai

Preparation Time : 5 mins |  Cooking Time : 15 mins | Serves : 2

Recipe Category : Snack

Ingredients

Rice flour – 1 cup, sieved

Water – 1 cup + 1/4 cups

Coconut – 1/4 cup

Salt – as needed

Coconut oil – 1 tsp

To Temper:

Coconut oil – 1 tsp

Mustard Seeds – 1/4 tsp

Urad Dal – 1 tsp

Red Chilli – 3 ( Adjust according to your taste)

Hing – generous pinch

Curry leaves – 1 spring

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Method:

  • In a sauce pan, add coconut oil and 1 cup of water and bring to boil. When it is boiling and you see bubbles, add the sieved flour (Have 1/4 cup of water boiled in separate pan/kettle)
  • For the flour that I used, the extra 1/4 cup water was not needed. If you feel dough is dry, add 1 tbsp of water, else no need to add. Water added should be boiling hot water, so its better to keep 1/4 cup hot water separately

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  • Cook till it comes to non sticky dough consistency. Cover the dough with a damp cloth, as it tends to dry soon

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  • When the dough is cool enough to handle, make small spheres (Marble Size). Since rice flour is gluten free they tend to be sticky, so greasing hand with coconut oil helps
  • Grease the idli plate and place the kozhukattai and steam them for about 8- 12 minutes. Remove from the plate when it comes to room temperature

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  • Add coconut oil to the pan, when oil is hot add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add hing, red chilli, urad dal and curry leaves. After the dal is golden brown, add the steamed balls, grated coconut, salt and mix well. It tastes yum without any side dish

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My Notes:

  • Traditionally, raw rice is washed well and drained, spread in a towel till the moisture drains completely, and ground into a fine powder. Since it will take time, I have used store-bought Rice Flour
  • Idiyappam flour can also be used to prepare Kozhukattai
  • Can combine Rice flour and water to dosa batter consistency and add coconut oil and cook till you get a dough to the consistency similar to the one shown in above picture
  • To get the outer layer soft, boil the water well for making the dough. Dough should be almost cooked with the hot water so that you get non sticky pliable dough
  • When the kozhukattais are done, they will be shiny. Do not over cook, it may give you rubbery and broken Kozhukattai

Mango Rice

© TraditionallyModernFood

Whenever I have confusion on what to cook for rice accompaniment, or during busy days, Variety rice is the one which helps me. Easy to cook, and a complete meal. I was thinking of coconut rice, but when I opened the fridge, saw raw mangoes and brinjal. Brinjal rice is my favorite, but whenever I buy Mangoes I always do instant mango pickle. This time, for a change, I tried Mango rice and after tasting it, decided I should do this frequently.

Mango Rice

Preparation Time : 10 mins |  Cooking Time : 20 – 25 mins | Serves : 2

Recipe Category: Entree

Ingredients

Cooked Rice – 3 cups

Raw Mango – 1 cup, peeled and grated ( or chopped in a chopper)

Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp

Salt – as needed

Tempering:

Sesame Oil – 1 tsp

Mustard seeds -1/8 tsp

Bengal gram/channa dal – 1 tsp

Peanuts – 1/4 cup

CashewNuts – 2 tbsp

Red chilli – 3 (According according to your spice)

Asafetida-  generous pinch

Peanuts -1/4 cup

Curry leaves – few

Mango Rice

Method:

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  • Cook rice and spread it in a wide pan
  • Add oil to another pan. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds. when it splutters, add bengal gram, peanuts and cashewnuts , red chilli and Asafoetida
  • When dal turns golden brown, add turmeric powder, salt and curry leaves

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  • Add grated mangoes and mix well to combine with the spices. Need not cook for a long time

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© TraditionallyModernFood

My Notes:

  • Use sour/tangy mangoes for this dish. If your mangoes are not sour enough, then add a little more than 1 cup
  • You can also add coconut to this rice