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Mango Custard



   During my childhood,every summer we use to get bags and bags of mangoes from Salem-a city in Tamilnadu,famous for Mangoes.Dad had a travelling job,and two main places where he use to travel often were Ooty and Salem ;) so lots of cookies,pastries,homemade chocolates from Ooty and Mangoes from Salem ;)Miss those fleshy,delicious mangoes and the mangoes available here cannot be compared with them :(.

 That was about my past and coming to the present ;)my elder one searches for two items in the buffet whenever we go to Indian restaurants.One is Tandoori Chicken and the other one is the Mango Custard.He is a very picky eater,so I try to make his favorite dishes whenever he asks for.I made this Custard in large quantity and saved them in the refrigerator,so that he can have for a week or so.

I already have a Mango custard with fresh fruits,but this method uses canned fruits and it tastes much more YUMMY ;)(Yeah,this is the best ;) ).Try,without fearing for calories ;) and you will fall in love for this luscious dessert. 

Serves 10 to 15

Ingredients
1 lb Canned Mango Pulp(Used Alphanso Mango Pulp)
14 oz Sweetened condensed Milk
 8 oz Cool Whip
1/3 cup Whole Milk(Pasteurized)
1/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream 
30 oz Fruit cocktail
Method
1.In a large bowl,combine the cool whip,Whole Milk,Heavy Cream and Condensed Milk.
2.Using a hand mixer beat at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes,until all the ingredients added gets incorporated without any lumps.The Cool whip should be softened to avoid those lumps,but make sure they are not left at room temperature.
3.Drain the juice from the fruit cocktail and add the fruits alone to the custard.Stir well.
4.Store in the refrigerator and serve chilled.
Read the entire recipe here

Egg Rice - Indian Style

Egg Rice-One quick fix rice dish which I prepare weekly once.There has never been a single grain left in the vessel, whenever I have prepared this dish ;).I guess every household who intakes egg, has an egg rice recipe,here I am sharing mine.

Ingredients
5 Large Eggs.(US Standard Egg size)
1 1/2 cups of White Basmathi Rice.Used the electric rice cooker cup twice which has 3/4 cup capacity
1 Big onion finely chopped.
2 Green Chillies cut lengthwise.
1 tsp mustard seed
2 tsp split Channa Dhal.
1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste
1tsp of red chilli powder
1 tsp Meat Masala(Garam masala can also be susbstited,but I prefer MM ;) )
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder.
fistful of curry leaves.
Oil(as needed).
Salt(as needed)
Finely chopped coriander leaves or green onion stalk for garnishing.

Method
1.Cook the rice,grains separated.Let it cool.Keep it aside.Cooking method given below.
2.In a wider pan,add oil and once its hot add the mustard seeds and channa dhal,once the mustard splutters,add the onion,green chillies and curry leaves,saute until the onion turns translucent at medium flame.
3.Add the ginger garlic paste and saute for few seconds,reduce the flame to low.
4.Break open the eggs,add all the eggs at a time to the onion,scramble(Increasing the flame will cook the egg very soon and we dont want that to happen)
5.Add the turmeric,Red Chilli powder,Meat Masala to the wet egg mixture still on low heat.Continue to stir,When the eggs are 3/4th cooked,add the cooked rice along with the salt,Mix well with the egg,but take care not to break the rice grains.Cooking at low heat,none of the egg pieces will be big,everything will be very small,which is better for this rice.

6.Finally add the chopped coriander leaves or the green onion stalk and stir once.
7.Serve it hot.

For Perfectly Cooked Rice(For Basmathi Rice)

Foolproof Method/Microwave Method

Wash and Drain the rice.In a microwave safe bowl,Add 2 cups of water to one cup of rice and cook for 20 minutes.

This has never gone wrong,Each and every time I need separate grains of rice for pulav or any rice varieties,I have been following only this for many years.

Electric Rice Cooker Method

Cook Rice along with water at 1 :2 ratio.This also comes perfect,but I feel that the lower portion of rice sticks to the vessel.
Read the entire recipe here

Andhra Avakkai Pickle / Andhra Raw Mango Pickle

Its so nice to have so many Indians around,that too from from different parts of India living closer, far away from the homeland.This recipe comes from a friend who is from Andhra.I called her up one day and asked  if she has the recipe for avakkai pickle, as I had few avakkais in the refrigerator.She said she doesnt know,but  will bring her mom to my house(who has come from India on a vacation) and help me make the pickle.So nice of them both,they came the next day and her Mom elaborated the process and helped me make this pickle.

Ingredients
8 cups of cut mango
1 cup salt
1 cup redchilli powder.(The one used was not dark enough)
1 cup mustard powder
1/8 cup toasted ground methi
Garlic(peeled and cut into big pieces) as per taste.
Gingelly Oil(to soak the cut mango mixtures head)
For the tadka
Few spoons of gingelly oil
mustard seeds(as needed)
Powdered asafoetida

Method
1.Cut the mangoes into medium size pieces.
2.Add in salt,red chilli powder,mustard powder,methi,and garlic.
3.Add the oil.The entire mixture should e soaked in oil.So you need more oil.
4.Make the tadka and pour it into the mixture.
4.Stir with a spatula nicely and transfer it to a dry,closed glass container.
5.Keep it undisturbed for 4 to 5 days.
6.Then give a good stir with the dry spatula.The pickle is ready.Keep it away from wet hand,it will be safe for months.


I never thought that the pickle making would be so easy.The pickle was so yumm with Thayir sadham ;).Click for Thayir Sadham recipe

Note
The measurement cups used here are not any standard cups.Use any cup for measuring but use the same  cup for measuring all the ingredients including the mango.


Read the entire recipe here

Vendakkai (Okra) Pulikuzhambu

Tender okras  are rarely found here and last week when I saw them in Desi Grocery store,I grabbed a lot :)

Coming to the recipe,I have already posted a Pulikuzhambu recipe which uses just  a homemade Sambhar powder.That is my Multi purpose powder and that is enough to make my curries tastier.The recipe for that Sambhar powder is on the way soon.Before posting the recipe for the Sambhar powder,here is a no fail pulizhambu recipe,for which any sambhar powder can be used .



Ingredients
10 to 12 finger sized tender okras,cut into medium size pieces.
1 big onion chopped roughly or 10 to 15 pearl onions cut into two pieces.
few garlic cloves peeled.
2 sprigs curry leaves
4 Dried Red Chillies
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/8 tsp toasted methi powdered.
1/8 tsp turmeric powder.
thick tamarind extract from one lemon size tamarind or a tbsp of tamarind paste.
1 tbsp Sambhar powder(or as per taste)
3/4 tbsp coriander powder.
1 tsp toasted jeera powdered.
Gingelly oil preferred or any cooking oil (Use generously ;) for good tasting curry)
Salt.

To grind(to a fine paste)
1/4 cup fresh/frozen shredded coconut.
1 medium size tomato.

(Not much satisfied with the pictures taken,the second one was cranky holding me all the time and I couldn't click much :( )
Method
1.Grind the ingredients asked to grind into a fine paste with little water.keep it aside.
2.Cut the okra and keep it aside for an hour before cooking it.
3.When ready to cook,Heat a frying pan ,add the okra and fry without oil.This will help to remove the stickiness.
4.Then heat a pot(I prefer using Cast iron for these curries),add generous amount of gingelly oil(I stress on this again ;)),once its hot add the dried red chillies and mustard seeds.
5.Once they splutter,add the onions/pearl onions curry leaves and garlic and saute continuously on low to low medium flame until they become translucent.Add the okra and saute for few seconds.
6.Now,add the ground paste(coconut+tomato) and turmeric powder to the onion and stir for about two minutes.Some moisture in the paste will go by then.
7.Add  1 1/2 cup of water or more(dont make the curry watery),tamarind extract,Sambhar powder,coriander powder and salt .Cook covered at low flame.
8.When the curry starts to boil and the oil starts floating on the top of the curry,add the jeera powder and just before switching off the flame,add the ground methi and stir.
9.Serve it with hot rice and Appalam ;).

Notes

The entire procedure should be done on low flame,It consumes lots of time,but its worth for the final output.

This method can be used for making any Pulizhambu/Karakuzhambu.

1. Ennai Katharikkai Pulikuzhambu:Make X mark slit on the eggplants(katharikkai),wipe with paper towel to wipe of any moisture outside and shallow fry them.Once done,remove and keep it aside.Rest of the procedure is the same as given for Okra Pulikuzhambu.

2.Drumstick (Murungaikkai) Pulikuzhambu:Drumsticks can also be substituted.For frozen drumsticks,I soak the drumsticks in water for an hour,then peel the skin a bit and microwave for 10 minutes in a microwave safe bowl filled with water.The drumsticks are now ready for the curry and you can just replace it with the above veggies.

3.No Veggie Garlic Pulikuzhambu- Lots and lots of garlic,Have seen lots of recipes for Poondu kuzhambu,But I have never tried it without coconut as I  am used to this curry from my childhood and it tastes YUMM!!!But I have a no coconut simple recipe using garlic for lactating Moms.Will be one of my posts in future.

4.Fish(Meen) Kuzhambu- The procedure is quite the same,but the tamarind and redchilli pwder is added to the fish and marinated.Dosen't want to make the readers confuse.Will make a separate post on it.
Read the entire recipe here

Onion Samosas

I always had ideas of making of mini spring rolls using the wonton wraps.But it was quite interesting when I found samosas using those wraps.For these triangle samosas,I was not in for potato stuffing,I just wanted to make my favorite onion stuffing.If you had tasted the onion samasos in the food canteen in any of the movie theatres in India,here it is...Try and let me know....


Ingredients
Wonton wrappers(as needed)I used around 25 sheets(I used Nasoya brand-You can find them near the fresh vegetables in any supermarket)
Oil for deep frying

For the Filling
2 Big onion finely sliced lengthwise.
Few Curry leaves(chopped)
1 tsp ginger garlic paste(fresh/storebought)
a big pinch of turmeric powder(optional)
1/2 tsp powdered Saunf.
red chilli powder(As per taste)
1/2 tsp coriander powder.
1 to 2 tsp garam masala powder.
 Meat masala powder-Sakthi brand used here(optional- vegetarians skip this if you are hesitant to use this powder,but nothing called meat is used here-So ,I would say,Go ahead and try it ;)-makes wonders ;) )
2 tbsp Oil
Salt.

Method
Preparing the Filling
1.Heat a pan,add oil and once its hot add the saunf powder followed by the onion and saute continuously until it oozes out the moisture.Once the moisture is gone,add the ginger garlic
paste and saute,also add the curry leaves and the powders mentioned along with salt.Everthing should be done under low medium flame.Make sure that the onion
does n't turn crunchy.

Folding the wrappers






Frying the filled wrappers

1.Heat the oil needed for deep frying.
2.Keep all the wrappers ready with the filling.
3.Deep fry the samosas in batches at medium heat.It takes minutes to be done for each batch.
4.While dropping the samosas in oil,if you are not confident about the seal drop the other side first where there is no sealing.Then turn the sealed side.Once done remove the samosas from oil and place it in the paper towel to absorb excess oil in the samosas.
5.Serve Samosas as it is or with you favorite dip.
Read the entire recipe here

Meen Varuval-The South Indian Style Fish Fry

 As Mom as kids,both my kids eat fish with no fuss.We have an Asian grocers nearby that sells fresh fish with the service that includes cleaning and custom cut.Though I have to remove the thorns while feeding them,we prefer to go in for the steaks rather than the fish fillet.This is the normal fish fry which I use to prepare,quite simple and definitely tastes good.


Ingredients
1 lb Fish Steak(Tilapia used here).
Oil(Enough to shallow fry).
1 tbsp Red Chilli powder(or as needed)
1 1/2 tsp Garam masala powder.
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder.
1 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste.
1 tsp lemon juice/ distilled white vinegar.
ground black pepper(optional).
Salt(as needed).

Method
1.Clean the fish steak in water.Drain the water completely.
2.Rub in Turmeric powder,salt,followed by rest of the ingredients asked to marinate the fish with.keep the marinated fish in a closed container for minimum 1 hour to overnight.They can even be put in the freezer ,thawed and fried.
3.Heat a pan(10 inch Pan used here) with oil enough for shallow frying the fish steaks.It can be deep fried too.
4.Keep the flame on low medium.Add the fish steaks in batches.Do not overcrowd.For the size of the pan I used,I fry 4 steaks in a single batch.
5.Fry one side,flip and fry the other side.A sharper and stronger spatula helps to flip the steaks easily without breaking.I flip twice on each side to get the darker crispier fish fries adjusting the flame from low medium to low,whenever necessary.
6.Once done,take them out and allow to drain in a paper towel to drain the excess oil.
7.Serve them as a sidedish for rice with curries,rasam or yogurt.
Read the entire recipe here

Soy Chunks Masala

I love soy chunks and its been a while making dishes with it it is just my lone favorite here :(.Raji had a recipe with Soy Chunks,which made me take this forgotten pack of Soy Chunks from the pantry n to prepare this forgotten recipe ;).This goes well with Rotis or as an excellent side dish for rasam/yogurt rice :).


Ingredients

2 Cups Cooked Soy chunks(Cooking Method Follows)
1 medium sized onion chopped
1 medium size tomato chopped
2 garlic cloves(skin off)
a piece of ginger
Red chilli powder(as needed)
1 tsp Garam Masala powder.
1/8 tsp turmeric powder.
2 tbsp+2 tbsp oil.
Salt.

Method
1.Heat a pan,add oil and once its hot,add the onion,garlic and ginger and saute continuously at medium heat,until the onion turns translucent
2.Add the chopped tomato and saute until the tomato turns soft,add the red chilli powder,garam masala and saute until the tomato oozes out all the moisture and the onion-tomato mixture should be almost dry.
3.Remove from heat and let it cool.Grind it into a paste.
4.In a wider pan,add remaining oil,once hot add the ground paste followed by the cooked soy chunks with salt and saute until the masala gets well mixed with the soy chunks and the masala and soy chunks mixture leaves the sides.Just few seconds before turning off the flame,add the coriander leaves and stir well.
5.Serve it hot with rotis or rice.You will definitely love this one.

How do I cook Soy chunks for this masala?

You can follow this method or the instruction given at the back of the soy chunks pack you buy :)

1.Add the uncooked soy chunks in the boiling water.Let it stand for about 6 to 8 minutes.Check if its done using a fork.
2.Once the soy chunks are done cooking,turn off the heat,remove them andput them in cold water for a minute or so(this will help you to squeeze the excess water easily.)now drain the water and squeeze the soy chunks carefully but enough to remove the water.
Read the entire recipe here

Wheat Thins



I never use whole wheat flour ;) in cake baking,but when I saw this recipe in one of the baking books I bought recently,I thought of giving it a try as the cookies were never needed to rise and the best part the procedure looked simple(which I love always).

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup Stone ground Wheat flour(I could not go search for stoneground whole wheat flour in the store,opted to go with the stoneground Indian Atta I had)
Pinch of salt
1 tsp Baking powder
1 1/2 cups Coarse oatmeal
3 tbsp Granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups Unsalted (Sweet)butter

Method

1.Preheat the oven to 190 degree C/375 degree F.Put the oats first and churn once to get the coarse texture and later all the  other ingredients into a food processor until the mixture starts to clump.(I use Black and Decker mini food processor-My personal opinion-I simply love this product :) ).

2.Tip out on to a floured surface,gather the dough together with your hands and roll out.Stamp the cookies with your cookie cutter.Gather the remaining dough,roll and stamp until done.Place on an ungreased baking sheet.Bake for 10 minutes or until the the cookies begin to get colors at the edges.(Dont allow to darken much slight change on the sides is enough,else it will get burnt).
3.Leave to cool slightly,then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

I truly loved these cookies ,so did my second son.I made two batches they were all gone in a day.The ingredients are all so handy  that we normally have in the pantry and a must try recipe :)
Read the entire recipe here
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