Tag Archives: prepare

Vendakkai Thengai Puli Kuzhambu

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When I was in college my Amma was out of station and my neighbour aunt offered to give lunch for me. First I told her I will cook, but Aunty convinced me and gave this kuzhambu and potato fry for lunch. While eating I realized its different from Amma’s kuzhambu. Amma doesn’t add onions in vendakkai kuzhambu, also there is no grinding step. I got so addicted to Aunty’s preparation, till my marriage whenever she prepares this kuzhambu in home, she sends me some. My Amma learnt this recipe and started cooking at home for me, also she wrote this recipe in a notebook for my reference.

Ingredients:

Ladies Finger – 10 – 12 (depending on the size of ladies finger)

Onion – 1, chopped

Tomato – 1, chopped

Tamarind – 1 lemon sized ball

Sambar powder/ chilli powder – 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp ( I used Sambar powder)

Jaggery – 1/4 tsp (optional)

Salt – to taste

To temper:

Sesame Oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Fenugreek – 1/8 tsp

Curry leaves – 1sprigg

To grind:

Coconut grated –  1/4 cup

Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp

Onion – 2 tbsp, chopped

Tomato – 2 tbsp, chopped

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Method:

  • 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 onion and sauté till the onion is translucent. Add tomato and cook till they become mushy
  • Add ladies finger and sauté till they are cooked
  • Add sambar powder and cook for a minute
  • ladiesfingervethakuzhambuAdd the tamrind juice, 1 cup  + 1/2 cup of water, salt  and cook till the raw smell goes off

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  • Grind the items listed under “to grind” with little water. Add the grind paste and jaggery; cook for 4 – 6 minutes and switch off

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  • Serve with rice and poriyal / chips

Checkout my other rice Accompaniments,

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My Notes:

  • Brinjal can be used instead of ladies finger
  • Adjust the Kuzhambu consistency according to your desire
  • Jaggery was not in the original recipe, but I added as I got use to the jaggery flavor in puli kuzhambu
  • Though onions and tomatoes are added raw, they won’t have raw taste in Kuzhambu as they are boiled

Pineapple Rasam

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Like Kasi Halwa, Pineapple rasam is most common in our customary marriages.  Tangy and mildly sweet pineapple rasam is such a table winner recipe in any special menu. Recently when we went for grocery shopping, while crossing fruits aisle in shop, Jagadish was so tempted to eat pineapple but was having second thoughts whether we can finish if we buy a full pineapple. As soon I saw Pineapple I was so tempted to cook Pineapple rasam, since we both love it. He once told me a story “In his hometown there is particular restaurant,  they cut the pineapple, peel the lower half, remove the pulp and serve the rasam with the lower half of the pineapple”. How cool 🙂 I tried to do that but I couldn’t find a proper cutter/knife so it was a big flop show 😦 but the rasam was a biggg hit!

Checkout my other rice accompaniments,

Pineapple Rasam

Ingredients:

Toor dal  – 1/3 Cup

Pineapple Rings –  7 rings, peeled and cut into rings about 1/2 inch and chopped

Tomato – 3, chopped

Water – 3 cup

Rasam Powder – 1 tsp

Turmeric powder – pinch

Coriander powder – 1/4 tsp

Pepper –  1/2  tsp

Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp

Ghee – 1/2 tbsp

Mustard Seed – 1 tsp

Asafoetida – generous pinch

Curry Leaves- few

Corainder Leaves – few (I didn’t have fresh coriander leaves so I used Dried, fresh is always preferred)

Salt – as neededPPi

Method:

  • Pressure cook the Toor Dal and smash it with ladle and keep it aside
  • Blend the pepper and cumin seeds into a coarse powder and keep aside
  • Blend the chopped pineapple and 1 tomato into a smooth puree. To the tomato – pineapple puree, add 1 cup + 1/2 cup of water, turmeric powder, coriander powder, pepper – cumin powder, rasam powder and salt; mix well

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  • Transfer the content into a pan and boil it in a medium low flame
  • In a separate pan, add ghee and when the ghee is hot,  add mustard seeds and curry leaves, let it splutter sputter. Add the chopped tomato, pineapple and asofetida; sauté for 2 – 3 minutes
  • IMG_3135Transfer the cooked tomato – pineapple, dal to the boiling rasam; mix well

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  • Add remaining water and keep the flame in medium and cook till the rasam starts frothing. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice and vathakal curry/chips

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My Notes

  • Instead of fresh pineapple, 2 cans of frozen pineapple can also used. Use the pineapple juice for rasam
  • Adjust the pepper according to your spice level
  • No tamrind in this rasam, as tomato and pineapple give the tanginess

Baked Masala Vadai

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When it comes to Vadai, Masala vadai is my all time favorite. Usually I deep fry them in oil, but my baking addiction these days told me to try a baked version. These days its snowing here and on one such days I was craving for Masala Vadai. Soaked the dal and grinded. Decided to try baked version but was little worried about the texture, so instead of making the full batch took half of the batter and started baking it. Preheated the oven and took baking tray and I realized I was out of parchment paper. I thought is this sign telling me not to bake, but I greased the tray with extra oil (compare to my usual quantity) and baked. Oh man I didn’t believe the taste. My husband didn’t believe that its baked, but after seeing the second batch from the oven he accepted:-)
Its snowing today as well and my mind has started thinking about snacks. I am sure I will end up cooking some snack today but for time being this crispy baked Masala Vadai is for my lovely readers.
Check out my other Indian baked snack
Ingredients:

Onion –  1, big finely chopped

Coriander Leaves – few, chopped

Curry leaves – few

To grind:
Channa Dal – 1 cup
Rice flour  – 1 tbsp
Fennel Seeds(Sombu) – 1 tsp

Red Chillies – 2

Garlic – 3 pods, peeled and choped

Ginger – 1 tsp, peeled and chopped

Baking soda – a pinch

Sugar – a pinch

Salt – as needed

Pam Spray/ Oil – to grease (I used Oil)

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Method:

  • Wash and soak channa dal for 2 to 3 hrs. Drain the water completely and keep aside. Grind together with other ingredients listed under “To grind” with 1 – 2 tsp of water into a coarse mixture (less water helps in crispy vadai texture. Avoid using too much water)

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  • Transfer the mixture to the mixing bowl and add onions, curry leaves, coriander leaves and mix well

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  •  Preheat the oven to 400 degree Fahrenhait. Take the baking tray and brush the oil
  • Take small portions of the mixture, and flatten them using your palm (thinner vadai yields crispy vadai)
  • Place them in the greased tray and brush  the top portion of each vadai with little oil to avoid drying out and of course for the crispy finish

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  • Bake the vadai for 11 – 15 min, till they have browned the underside (adjust time according to your oven) . Carefully flip them and bake again for another 11 – 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately. Serve with chutney/ ketchup.  I generally love to finish them without any sides
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My Notes:

  • The key for the perfect baked vadai is batter with less moisture (water) and greasing generously with oil/ spray
  • If the vadai is thick outer portion will cook fast and inner will remain uncooked, and baking for more time may lead to to rubbery vadai
  • Just like the fried ones – these are best served the minute they are made. If can’t eat the vadai immediately, switch off the oven and keep the vadai tray back in the over till you eat. Make sure you keep the vadai back in oven after 10 minutes as the oven will still be hot. Though the crispness won’t retain for hours together but for 30 – 45 minutes it works perfect.  After that I haven’t tried
  • Instead of rice flour rava can also be used

Aloo Palak

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I love green gravies because of the vibrant color. Usually I prefer either finely chopped onions/ ground onion in my gravies, but for a change this time I thinely sliced onion and added little chat masala to the Aloo palak (Am I crazy????) But believe me the gravy was super duper hit in home. Jagadish  kept asking me what did I add extra this time.  When a little change can make hubby think its a happy smiley 🙂

Checkout my other recipes with Spinach and potato

Spinach Corn gravy

Keerai pappu

Oats Cracked Wheat Dhokla

Pesto

Potato Curry

Potato Tikka

Potato Fry

Potato Wedges

Microwave Potato Chips

Spinach Potato Gravy

Preparation Time : 5 min | Cooking Time : 25 mins | Serves : 3

Recipe Category: Side dish

Ingredients:

Spinach –  2 cups

Potato –  2, big

Onion – 1, thinely sliced

Green Chilli – 1 ( Adjust according to your spice level)

Ginger garlic paste – 1/2 tsp

Garam Masala powder – 1 tsp

Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp

Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp

Chat masala – 1/4 tsp

Sugar –  generous pinch

Turmeric powder – a pinch

Salt -as needed

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Method:

  • Pressure cook potatoes until tender (for about 2 whistles or microwave the potatoes for 10 minutes). Peel off the skin and cut into bite-sized pieces and keep aside
  • Rinse the spinach well in water. Boil water with pinch of sugar and salt. Add the spinach to the boiling water. Cook and switch off the flame, after 3-5 mins drain and quickly pour cold water over the spinach. Transfer them into a blender and make fine paste, with green chilli

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  • Add oil to the pan, when oil becomes hot add cumin seeds and it splutters. Add onion and ginger garlic paste and saute till the onions are translucent

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  • Add the cooked  potatoes and saute for a minute. Add turmeric powder, garam masala,  chat masala, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt; gently mix everything cook till the potatoes are well coated with masala

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  •  Add spinach puree and cook for 3 – 4 minutes

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My Notes:

  • Add water if you think the gravy is too thick
  • Sugar helps to retain the green color in spinach
  • To make rich Can add milk/fresh cream/coconut milk to the gravy
  • Whole spices (bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom etc) can be added
  • Butter can be added for flavour
  • Tomatoes can be added while cooking onion
  • As chat masala already contains salt adjust the salt accordingly

Poondu Rasam (Milagu Siraga Rasam)

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Rasam is my comfort food. This quick rasam tastes great. Usually if I cook heavy lunch/ eat out for lunch, that night I mostly opt for this rasam. Like milagu kuzhambu, during sick days, a cup of rasam is a great healer from sick feel and tasteless tongue
Poondu Rasam (Milagu Siraga Rasam)
Ingredients
Tamarind – small gooseberry size ball
Garlic – 3 cloves, peeled and chopped
Tomato – 1 chopped
Water – 2 cup + 1/2 cup
Whole black pepper – 1/2 tsp (Adjust according to your taste)
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Toor dal – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp
Coriander powder – 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves – few
Salt – as needed
To temper:
Ghee -1 tsp
Mustard -1/4 tsp 
Cumin seeds – 1/4  tsp 
Curry leaves – few

Method

  • Soak tamarind in hot water for 15-20 minutes. Keep the tamarind soaked water for rasam and put the tamrind in the blender/mixie
  • Add whole black pepper,  cumin seeds, toor dal, salt and garlic cloves to the mixie jar which has tamarind, and blend into a paste by adding little water
  • Add ghee to the pan, once the ghee becomes hot add the ingredients in “to temper” and let it splutter
  • Add the spice – tamarind paste to the pan

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  • Add 2 cups of water, tomato, turmeric powder and coriander powder and continue cooking. Cook till the raw smell of tamrind goes

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  • Add 1/2 cup of water and cook the rasam till it starts frothing. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and Serve hot with steamed rice or have it as a soup

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Notes:

  • Remove the impurities/seeds in tamarind before grinding them
  • Adjust the water according the consistency in which you want your rasam
  • Instead of pulsing tamarind along with spices can also grind the spices and use tamrind extract

Panna Cotta

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Happy Valentine’s day to all my lovely readers:-)

Panna cotta is one of my favorite Italian desserts. Being a sweet lover this rich and creamy dessert was in my todo list for a long time. Last December we went to California for vacation. There I went to IKEA, and I saw heart shaped cool ice cube tray for 99c and it attracted me a lot. At that moment I decided to do panna cotta in that and there couldn’t be a better day to post it

Panna Cotta

Ingredients:

Heavy Cream – 1 cup + 1/4 cup

Milk – 2 tbsp + 2 tsp

Agar Agar powder – 1 tsp or unflavoured gelatin – 1 envelope (1 tbsp)

Sugar – 1/4 cup

Vanilla extract – 1 tsp

Strawberry – 5, to garnish

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Method:

  • Grease the ramekins (mold) with cooking spray or butter (Silicon mold doesn’t need greasing)
  • In a bowl combine warm milk and agar agar powder and keep aside till the powder completely dissolves in milk (If you are using gelatin, combine gelatin to the room temperarure milk and keep aside till the gelatin completely dissolves in milk)

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  • Heat a saucepan to medium heat and add heavy cream and sugar. Bring the cream to boil and  Pour the agar agar powder (gelatin) and milk into the cream, stirring until completely dissolved. Switch off and add vanilla and salt; mix well and pour into ramekins

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  • Cool the ramekins uncovered at room temperature. When cool, cover with cling flim and refrigerate for 6 -8 hours (preferably overnight)

To demold :

  • Wipe a serving plate with a damp paper towel (a damp plate helps to reposition the panna cotta more easily if it doesn’t fall in the right spot)
  •  Fill a large bowl with hot water and keep the panna cotta ramekin into that for minute and take out (Skip this step for silicon mold)
  • Run a thin knife carefully around the sides of a ramekin. Don’t slide the knife all the way into the cup; just release the top edge of the pudding from the edge of the cup
  •  Invert the ramekin over the plate and shake gently to help the panna cotta fall out, or press gently on one side to help nudge it out. It should fall out on the plate easily. (If it does not, return to the warm water bath in increments of 30 – 40 seconds.) Reposition on the plate if desired. Serve immediately, or refrigerate, lightly covered

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My Notes:

  • Can add fruit puree like mango, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry  etc. and make fruit panna cotta
  • Can use vanilla bean instead of extract
  • Can add extract of your choice like almond extract, butterscotch and many more
  • Make sure gelatin (agar agar powder) mixed well with milk to avoid panna cotta from being liquid form
  • Avoid cooking heavy cream after adding agar agar powder (gelatin) milk
  • For vegan version can use coconut milk instead of milk
  • Instead of demolding can also serve them in the ramekin

Udipi Sambar

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Thinking what to cook as an accompaniment for rice is the biggest challenge.  Though there are various possible dishes, after opening the fridge and seeing the vegetables, nothing comes to the mind. I had poosanikai, usually I make kuttu with that, occasionally kasi halwa. This time wanted to do something different  and  googled, I Saw “Udipi Sambar” recipe in venkatesh bhat samayal samayal show. Jaggery and coconut, no wonder I liked it. Have heard a Udipi sambar recipe with dal but this was without dal. Loved the way it came out and decided  to do this often in home.

Udipi Sambar

Preparation time : 10 minutes | Soaking time : 15 minutes | Cooking time : 20 minutes

Ingredients:

White pumpkin – 1 cup. + 1/4 cup, into cubes

Tamrind – small gooseberry size

Jaggery – 1 tbsp

To temper:

Coconut oil – 1 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Fenugreek – 1/8 tsp

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Sambar powder:

Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp + 1 tsp

Cumin seed – 1 tsp +1/2 tsp

Red Chilli – 3/4 (Adjust according to your spice level)

Grated cocunut – 1/3 cup

Method:

  • Soak tamrind in 1 cup of lukewarm water for 15 minutes and extract the pulp
  • Dry roast the ingredients under “Sambar powder” until the raw smell goes for 2-3 minutes and keep aside till they cool. Grind them with little water and keep aside

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  • Heat the pan and add oil to it, once the oil becomes hot add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Let the mustard seed splutter, add poosanikai and saute for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of water and cook the white pumpkin

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  • Once the pumpkin is 75% cooked add the tamrind pulp and cook till the raw smell of the tamrind goes. Add the grind paste and jaggery; cook for 3-5 minutes and switch off

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  • Serve with rice and varuval

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Checkout my other rice Accompaniments,

My Notes:

  • Adjust the sambar consistency according to your desire by adjusting the water
  • Instead of fresh coconut, kopari can also be used

Vazhakkai Varuval

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I am not a big fan of Plantain, occasionally I buy it. In our home we generally prepare Vazhakkai podimas or Vazhakkai podi curry as side dish for rice. This particular preparation I learnt from my friend’s mom and I liked it, so started cooking this frequently. This is similar to Plaintain chips but marinated and cooked
Vazhakkai Varuval
Ingredients

Vazhakkai (Raw banana) – 1, peeled and thinly sliced

Ginger garlic paste  – 1/4 tsp

Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp

Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp

Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp (Adjust according to your taste)

Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp

Garam masala –  1/8 tsp 

Asofetida/Hing(Perungayam) – pinch

Salt – as needed

Oil – 2 tsp

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 Method:
  • Parboil the raw banana ( I microwaved them for 5 minutes. You can also boil it in a cup of water until soft). Strain the water and keep aside
  • In a mixing bowl add raw banana, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, ginger garlic paste, garam masala, asofetida and salt. Mix gently and Marinate them for atleast 30 minutes

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  • Heat the pan and brush (add) oil to the pan (Dosai tawa can also be used)  when the oil is hot, add the marinated raw banana slices and cook on both sides until they are golden brown

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My Notes:
  • Instead of shallow frying can also deep fry the plantains
  • Can keep the marination in refrigerator if you are running out of time

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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Baked Corn Tortilla Chips

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This weekend it was freezing cold here, couldn’t go out anywhere. For the chill temperature felt like having some crispy snack. When I was thinking what to do, many recipes came to my mind like Baked Pakoda, baked bonda, baked bread roll, baked bread Tikki but all those recipes demanded some work, lazy me was thinking of some quick snack without much work. Hubby suggested Microwave potato chips but I was out of potatoes, immediately Corn tortilla  in kitchen pulled my attention. Got them for Quesadilla, had some 9 tortilla left, so decided to do tortilla chip. These chips is great way to finish your leftover tortilla

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Baked Corn Tortilla Chips

Preparation time : 4 mins | Baking time : 15 mins

Ingredients:

Corn Tortilla – 9

Oil  – 1 tbsp

Salt – as needed

Basil – 1/4 tsp (Optional)

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Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
  • Stack tortillas one on top of the other and cut them into 2,4,8

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  • Put them in a mixing bowl add oil, salt and basil; gently toss them well  some traingles lost their shape, oh nooooo, but who cares as long as it tastes good 🙂

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  • Bake for 14 – 18 mins, turning them in between (after 7/8 minutes) or until chips are starting to get crispy and slightly golden brown at the edges (check every 1-2 minutes after 14 mins)
  • Remove from oven and let it cool for 5 -10 mins before serving, in order to let them fully crisp. Serve it with Guacamole/ Salsa/ cheese dip (We just finished it with an yummy dip)

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My Notes:

  • Instead of mixing them in bowl, can arrange in baking tray brush them with oil and sprinkle salt
  • Can add spices of your choice like chilli powder, cumin powder,coriander powder, chat masala, onion powder, garlic powder , cayenne pepper, paprika, etc
  • Can add grated cheese like mozerralla cheese, parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese on the top of tortilla