Tag Archives: simple

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
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Rava Kichadi – Pressure Cooker Method

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I love upma varieties, and even if I am having Upma daily I wont regret. Instead of cooking in pan I generally cook Rava kichadi in Cooker as its lump free and easy to cook.

Rava Kichadi – Pressure Cooker Method

Preparation Time: 10 mins | Cooking Time: 25 mins | Serves : 3

Ingredients:

Sooji /Rava –  1 cup, roasted

Onion – 1, thinely sliced

Tomato – 1, finely chopped

Carrot – 1, small cubes

Beans – 4, cored and chopped

Frozen/Fresh peas – 3 tbsp

Frozen/Fresh corn – 3 tbsp

Green chilli – 1, slit

Ginger garlic paste – 1/2 tsp

Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp

Garam masala – 1/2 tsp

Coriander Powder – 1/2 tsp

Cumin Powder – 1/4 tsp

Water – 2  cups

Cardamom pods – 1

Cinnamon – 1/8 stick

Cloves – 1

Bay leaf – 1

Fennel seeds powder – 1/8 tsp

Star Ansie – 1

Salt – as needed

Oil – 1 tbsp

Ghee – 1/2 tsp

Curry leaves and Coriander leaves  – few

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Method:

  • Boil 2 cups of water in a kettle or in stove and keep aside
  • Add oil to the pressure cooker and when the oil is hot add clove, bay leaf, Star Ansie, cardamom pod, cinnamon and fennel seed powder; cook for 30 secs.
  • Add onion, green chilli and ginger-garlic paste and sauté them till the onions are translucent. Add tomato and cook till they became mushy
  • Add carrot, beans, corn and peas; sauté till vegetables are half cooked. Add garam masala ,turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and cook for a minute

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  • Add the roasted rava and sauté for a minute. Add hot water, salt and ghee; close the pressure cooker, cook till the steam comes well and switch off (like we cook Idli). Open the cooker after the pressure relases

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  • Add coriander leaves and serve with any chutney

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Notes:

  • Instead of pressure cooker method Can also cook the kichadi in pan
  • Potato, cauliflower or any other veggies of your choice can be added

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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Poondu Kuzhambu

Poondu Kuzhambu

Garlic is very good for health and I love any food prepared with garlic  This tangy Kuzhambu is  perfect for rice / idlies or even dosa. Like Milagu Kuzhambu this Kuzhambu  can be kept for 3-4 days

Poondu Kuzhambu

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 25 mins

Ingredients:

Garlic –  1/3 cup

Shallots – 1/3 cup

Tamarind – lemon sized ball

Sambar powder – 1 tsp (Adjust according to your taste)

Pepper powder – 1/8 tsp

Turmeric powder – a pinch

Coriander Powder – 1/2 tsp

Sesame oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Fenugreek seeds – 1/8 tsp

Channa Dal – 1/2 tsp

Curry leaves – few

Asofetida – a pinch

Jaggery powder – 1/2 heaped tbsp

Salt – as needed

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Method:

  • Soak tamarind in Luke warm water for 15 minutes and extract the juice with around 3 cups of water
  • Add oil to the pan. When oil is hot add mustard seeds,channa dal, curry leaves and fenugreek and let them splutter. Add garlic and onion and sauté till the onion raw smell goes off they are cooked. Add sambhar powder and sauté for 30 secs
  • Add tamarind extract, turmeric powder, pepper powder, coriander powder and salt; allow it to boil for 10 minutes to get rid off raw smell of tamarind juice

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  •  Add  jaggery and cook for another 5 – 10 minutes or till the Kuzhambu becomes thick

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My Notes:

  • If you think kuzhambu is watery take a ladle of Kuzhambu in a small bowl add 1/4 tsp of rice flour and mix well without lumps add it to the Kuzhambu
  • Tomatoes  can be used for more tangy flavour
  • Instead of using coriander powder and sambar powder, Coriander seeds along with 2 shallots and red chilli can be dry roasted and added to boiling Kuzhambu
  • Red chilli can be used instead of sambar powder
  • Large onion can be used instead of small onion
  • Veggies like brinjal and ladies finger can be added after onions and garlic are cooked

kadala Curry

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Recently my Amma told she prepared Appam and coconut milk for breakfast, after hearing that I was so tempted to eat Appam. I soaked rice for the batter and for side dish I prepared kadala curry. Coconut creates magic in food and I love coconut flavor. I have posted few coconut based recipes like Thengai Podi, Thenga Aracha Kuzhambu, Thaala kuzhambu, Paal kozhukattai, Arisi Thengai Payasam, Sweet Kozhukattai,  Vegetable Stew  etc.

Kadala Curry Recipe

Preparation Time : 15 mins | Cooking Time : 30 Mins |   Serves : 4

Ingredients:

Brown Kondaikadalai/Kala channa – 1 cup

Onion – 1, big finely choped

Tomato – 1, finely chopped

Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp

Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp

Garam Masala – 1 tsp

Salt – as neededneeded

For Masala

Grated coconut – 1/3 cup

Chopped onion – 1 tbsp

Coriander Seeds- 1 tbsp

Red chilli – 4 – 5 (Adjust according to your spice level)

To temper:

Coconut   Oil – 2 tsp

Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp

Asofetida/ Hing – a pinch

Curry leaves- few

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Method:

  • Soak channa overnight or atleast for 5-6 hours. Add 2 cups of water and pressure cook channa for 3 whistles. Wait till the pressure releases naturally and strain the channa, keeping the water for gravy

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  • Dry roast Coriander seeds, onion, red chilli and coconut on medium flame till aroma comes (for a minute). Grind it to a smooth paste with 2 -3 tbsp of water

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  • Add oil in a pan, when the oil is hot add cumin seeds, curry leaves and cook. Add onion and ginger garlic paste; saute until the raw smells goes off. Add tomatoes and cook until tomatoes become mushy

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  • Add turmeric powder, garam masala and salt; cook for a minute. Add the cooked channa, ground masala paste and 2 cup of channa cooked water and continue cooking. Cook for 10 minutes  and switch off

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My Notes:

  • Instead of grinding red chilli and coraimder seeds in masala for the kadala curry, chilli powder and coriander powder can be used
  • Adjust water according to the consistency you want the gravy. If gravy becomes watery,mash some channa add them and boil for 2-3 minutes
  • Coconut oil gives nice taste to the gravy. If you want to reduce the amount, cook the gravy with olive/sunflower oil and add a drop of coconut oil before switching off

Sakkarai Pongal (Sweet Pongal)

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Happy Pongal!!!

For me Sakkarai Pongal is not only a festive sweet, but a sweet which I love to eat frequently. There is one rule in our home (well its imposed by me;-)) whenever my Amma cooks Ven Pongal, Sakkarai Pongal should be in dining table, then only I will eat Ven pongal:-p till date my sister pranks at me, telling about stories like this. Not only at home, even in temple I love Sakkarai pongal. Whenever my Amma goes to any temple I will demand her to get Sakkarai Pongal. My Amma adds milk to the pongal, which is my favorite part of Sweet pongal.

Yesterday I was in dilemma whether to cook pongal with rice/cracked wheat/oats/Quinoa but hubby was suggesting to go traditional (may be he wants to taste rice pongal:-)) and I also felt the same

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Sweet Pongal

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Soaking time : 30 mins | Cooking Time : 40 mins | Serves : 3

Ingredients:

Raw Rice – 1/2 cup

Moong Dal – 1/2 cup

Jaggery – 1 cup heaped (Adjust sweetness according to your taste)

Milk – 1 cup + 1/3 cup

Cardamom powder – 1/8 tsp

Saffron – a small pinch (optional)

Ghee – 3 tbsp

Cashews and raisin – for taste

Water – 2 cups + 1/2 cup

Nutmeg powder – a pinch (Optional)

Salt – a pinch

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Method:

  • Add saffron strands in 2tbsp of warm milk and set aside. In 1/2 cup of luke warm water add jaggery and keep it aside. strain the impurities after the jaggery is completely dissolved in water

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  • In a pan add 1 tbsp of ghee and add cashew and cook till they are golden brown. Add raisin and switch off the flame
  • Dry roast moong dal until nice aroma comes. Soak moong dal and rice in warm water for 30 mins –  1 hour and strain dal and rice

Sweet pongal

  • Pressure cook moong dal, rice with remaining water and milk in medium flame. Switch off and when the pressure release naturally mush it up a ladle

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  • Add saffron milk and  jaggery syrup to the cooked dal and rice; allow it to boil

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  • Cook till it becomes semi thick (solid), as pongal thickens over time (Switch off when you see this pouring consistency)

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  • Add cashew, raisin and remaining ghee and mix well

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My Notes:

  • Pinch of Edible camphor and clove can be added for taste
  • Milk is optional for Sakkarai Pongal but it gives nice taste
  • Instead of rice, oats/cracked wheat/quinoa can also be used

Thengai Sadam (Coconut Rice) with coconut milk

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When I open my lunch box and I see coconut rice, its a happy face.. Easy and delicious variety rice. Though i love the usual version without coconut milk, after trying this version started doing this often.  I had 1/4 cup coconut milk in fridge (Leftover after preparing Vegetable Stew) and was thinking what to do with it. Suddenly remembered Thai rice prepared with coconut milk, so added coconut milk while cooking rice and resulting coconut rice was much flavorful and tastier

Cooking rice with coconutmilk

Ingredients:

Rice : 1/2 cup

Thin Coconut milk : 1/4 cup

Water : 3/4 cup

Ghee/ Coconut oil – one drop

Add drop of ghee/ oil and Cook rice in pressure cooker for 2 whistle or rice cooker and spread them in a wide pan

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Coconut Rice:

Ingredients

Cooked Rice – 1 cup

Coconut – 1/3 cup

Salt – as needed

To temper:

Coconut Oil – 1 tsp

Peanuts – 5 tbsp

Cashews – 7 roughly broken

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Urad dal – 1 tsp

Channa dal – 1 tsp

Asofetida/ Hing(Perungayam) –  pinch

Green chillies – 1 slitted (Adjust according to your taste)

Curry leaves – few

Method:

  • Add 1 tsp of oil and when the oil is hot add the mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal, cashew nuts, curry leaves asofetida and peanuts and cook till they become golden brown. Add coconut and sauté for a minute
  • Add the tempered ingredients to the pan containing rice, salt and mix gently. Check for the seasoning and add salt if required. Serve the rice with chips/ gravy

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My Notes:

  • Coconut milk is optional you can cook rice without that in that case add 1:2 water

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Rava Ladoo

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Sometimes easy recipes stand out in the crowd, and according me, Rava ladoo is definately one among them. Back in India, people used to grind rava in mill for smooth texture. Here in US since thats not possible, I got a fine rava and grinded in mixie. Though texture differs slightly i still loved it this way too.

Ingredients

Fine Rava – 1 cup

Confectionary Sugar – 3/4 cup + 2 tsp (Adjust according to your sweetness)

Melted Ghee – 1/4 cup + 1 tsp

Cardamom powder – pinch

Cashew nuts – 3 tbsp

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Method:

  • Add 1 tbsp of ghee and saute cashew nuts till they are golden brown. Keep it aside. In the same pan roast the rava in medium flame for 2-3 minutes without changing the color or burning it. Allow it to cool, and powder the rava. Grind this well and transfer into a wide bowl containing cashew nuts

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  • Add confectionary sugar and cardamom powder to the rava and cashew nut and mix well. Melt the ghee and keep it near rava sugar mixture

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  • Add ghee little by little in small portion and make small balls

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My Notes:

  • If you are using regular sugar grind it along with rava for making powdered sugar
  • If you are using cardamom pods instead of cardamom powder grind it along with rava
  • This can be stored in a air tight box for 4-5 days in room temperature
  • If you want to make it with less ghee you can add half of ghee and half of milk but in that case shell life is less. Need to be consumed within a day

Vegetable Rice

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With mixed vegetables, I had already posted Vegetable Biryani Recipe. Ever since our school days, this is my Amma’s style of doing fried rice. My mother prepares this directly in pressure cooker, but I used rice cooker. My sister’s friend asked me for this recipe, so I thought of posting it.

Vegetable Rice

Preparation Time : 15 mins | Soaking Time: 30 mins |  Cooking Time : 40 mins | Serves : 4

Recipe Category: Entreè

Ingredients:

Basmati Rice – 1 cup, soaked and drained

Mixed Vegetable – 1 cups + 1/2 cup (I used carrots, beans, corn, green peas and potato)

Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp

Water – 2 cup

Cardamom Pods – 2

Cinnamon Stick – 1/8 tsp

Bay leaf – 1

Salt – as needed

To grind:

Onion – 1

Green chilli – 1

Poppy seeds – 1/8 tsp

Fennel Seed  powder – 1/8 tsp

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Method:

  • Soak rice in warm water for 30 minutes, strain and add 1/2 tsp of ghee. Saute rice for a minute and keep it aside
  • Grind the items under “to grind” into fine paste without adding water
  • Add oil to the same pan. When the oil is hot, add whole spices and cook for 30 seconds. Add the onion paste and cook  till the raw smell goes off. Add vegetables and Saute well
  • Add required salt and transfer the mixture to rice cooker and add 1:2 water and cook. Serve it with raita/gravy

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My Notes:

  • Instead of grinding onion and green Chilli, you can also Saute them directly
  • Fried onions can be added to garnish
  • Can be cooked in heavy bottmed pan or pressure cooker for 2 whistles
  •  Paneer and mushroom can be added
  • Instead of adding whole spices, garam masala powder can be added

Eggless Walnut Butter Cookies (Whole Wheat)

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Whenever I think of Cookies, I always remember the quick 1 minute eggless chocolate chip cookies. I have tried cookies with All purpose flour, but as a healthy change this time, wanted to try with whole wheat flour. When I was seraching for eggless whole wheat cookies recipe online, I came across  whole wheat cookies in jeyashri kitchen. I liked it, so I tried it with slight modifications. Crispy cookies became a great hit in our home, even my LO asks for one more bite:-)

Checkout my other cookie recipes,

 
Walnut Butter Cookies 
Preparation time :  10 minutes | Baking time : 15 minutes
Ingredients:
Whole Wheat flour – 1 cup
Unsalted Butter – 1/2 cup  (melted in room temperature)
Walnuts – 1/4 cup powdered or finely chopped
Brown Sugar – 1/4 cup
White Sugar  – 4 tbsp
Cardamom Powder – 1/4 tsp
Salt – 1/8 tsp
Milk – 2 tbsp
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Method:
  •  Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit and grease the cooking tray with cooking spray
  •  In a bowl, mix the wheat flour, brown sugar, white sugar, salt, powdered walnuts and cardamom powder well with a whisk or ladle
  •  Add butter to the dry ingredients and make crumble. Add 2 tbsp of milk and make a soft dough. Make small balls and in a clean surface, press each ball lightly and cut them with a cookie cutter in a desired shape

wheat walnut cookies

  •  Place them in a cookie tray without touching each other and bake the cookies for about 12 -15 minutes or until cookies are lightly gold brown. Cool them and enjoy:-)

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My Notes:
  • Instead using cookie cutter can also make round cookies
  • Cookies appear chewy initially but they became crisp after they are cooled completely
  • Almonds, pistachio, pecan or any nut of your choice can be used
  • Almond extract or any other extract can be added to add flavors
  • I used half brown sugar and white sugar instead white sugar can be fully used