Tag Archives: sugar

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

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  • 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

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

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

Eggless Dry Fruit and Nut Cake

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After adding walnuts to Wheat and oats banana bread, hubby and I liked the nutty flavour, so thought of trying  a cake with nuts and dry fruit.  I have read that dry fruit and nut cake tastes great when the ingredients are marinated in Alcohol for a day. I wanted to replace alcohol with a fruit juice, and remembered Eggless Mango cake, in which fruit pulp replaced eggs. This time, tried a cake by marinating the ingredients in orange Juice (that’s what I had in the fridge, so used it). I have to thank my dear friend Lori@ creatingbeautyinthekitchen for inspiring me to try a cake without adding sugar. Have used honey and dates syrup instead of sugar. It came out well, no compromises in the sweetness!

Eggless Dry Fruit and Nut Cake

Preparation Time : 10 min | Marination Time : 10 hours | Cooking Time : 40 min

Recipe Category : Dessert/Baking

Ingredients

Whole wheat flour – 1 cup

Baking Powder – 1/2 tsp

Baking Soda – 1/2 tsp

Salt – 1 pinch

Cinnamon powder – 1/2 tsp

Cardamom Powder – 1/2 tsp

Orange juice – 3/4 cup

Mixed Dry Fruits and Nuts – 3/4 cup (I used chopped almonds, walnuts, cashews, cranberries, raisins and apricots)

Honey – 1/3 cup

Dates – 7

Butter – 1/4 cup

Vanilla extract – 1 tsp

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Method

  • Soak dry fruits and nuts in 1/4 cup orange juice overnight

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  • Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Line the cake tin with parchment paper and grease with butter/cooking spray
  • Soak dates in hot water for 10 minutes
  • Blend the dates by adding 2 tbsp of water (adjust if required)
  • In a mixing bowl, add dry ingredients and sieve it (To ensure even mixing). Add soaked dry fruits and nuts mix gently
  • Add honey, dates puree, butter and vanilla and Mix a gently until combined,Do not over mix

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  • Pour this batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean

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My notes:

  • Dates Syrup can also be used instead of Dates Puree
  • Use nuts of your chioce
  • Any fruit juice can be used
  • Every oven differs keep an eye after 35 minutes
  • Sugar can be used instead of honey
  • Any fruit juice can be used instead of orange juice
  • All purpose flour can also be used instead of wheat flour

Sugar Snap Peas Soup

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In Genghis grill, I had sugar snap peas for the first time. Genghis grill is a Mongolian Stir fry restaurant. I liked the flavor of Sugar snap peas, it was a bit sweeter than the regular peas. I bought some Sugar snap peas with the intention of doing Stir fry. But I got inspired by lot of green soup recipes and wanted to try a soup with Sugar snap peas. It turned out to be healthy and flavorful! I used avocado for the creaminess, thereby eliminating the need to use corn flour or other thickening agents.

Sugar Snap Peas Soup

Preparation Time: 5 mins | Cooking Time : 15 mins | Serves: 4

Recipe Category: Appetizers & Snacks

Ingredients:

Sugar Snap peas –  1 cup + 1/2 cup, trimmed

Avocado – 1/2

Olive oil – 1 tsp

Shallots – 5

Garlic – 1 pod

Lemon Juice – 1/8 tsp

Italian Seasoning/Pepper – as needed (I used Italian Seasoning)

Salt – as needed

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Method:

  • Add oil to a pan. When oil is hot, add the shallots and garlic, and cook till onion becomes translucent.  Add sugar snap peas and saute for 3-5 minutes. Add water and close the lid . Cook until snap peas are tender

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  • Puree the cooked items in a blender. Peel and pit the avocado and add it to the peas mixture along with lemon juice and salt. Blend until smooth, adding more vegetable broth or water (I added Water). if the soup is too thick. Add seasoning to the soup. Taste and adjust seasonings/pepper if desired. Serve the soup, after garnishing with roasted bread

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My Notes:

  • I have used the water in which the snap peas were cooked. Instead, vegetable broth can also be used
  • Since Avocado tends to oxidize, I have used lemon juice
  • Butter or cheese can be added to give richness to the soup
  • Avocado can be used with any soup for getting the creaminess in the soup

Taking this Soup to  the  “Soups with SS” hosted by two lovely ladies, Shruti @Cooking with SJ and Sonal @ Simply Vegetarian 777.

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Sending  this recipe to First virtual Vegan linky potluck.