Friday, April 17, 2009

Varutharacha Sambhar ~ Sambhar with roasted Coconut & Spices

Wishing all of you a very belated Vishu and Chithirai Thirunal.I really don't know how time flies and try as I may,I'm struggling to devote some time to the blog.Vishu was great,with my parents around and together,we made a simple sadya.They left soon after that.Day after,I had a dinner party at home for hubby's Boss & Co and both of us wanted to make sure that we leave no stone unturned.Back breaking work,I should say;)!!

We made the famous Varutharacha Sambhar for Vishu and all of us loved it.I usually make Sambhar using Eastern Sambhar Masala[the best I've used so far].I saw this recipe for Varutharacha Sambhar,where the spices are roasted along with coconut and then ground to a paste and added to the cooked dal-vegetables.No prizes for guessing,I got this recipe from my recently acquired prized possession-my collection of recipes from Vanitha magazine.


Verdict-I might sound clich├ęd,but I don’t know how else to describe it.One of the best Sambhar I’ve ever prepared.The delicate taste of the roasted coconut + spices gives it the extra punch.Hubby gave his thumbs up and asked me why don’t I follow this recipe everytime I make Sambhar;-).


Varutharacha Sambhar ~ Sambhar with roasted coconut and spices!

Ingredients

Parippu/Toor Dal – ¾ cup
Mixed vegetables – 2 cups[I used drumsticks,carrot,potato,beans&tomato]
Tamarind – 1 small lemon size

To roast and grind
Channa dal – 2 tsp
Coriander – 4 tsp
Methi – ½ tsp
Red chillies – 10
Small onions/Shallots* – 2
Hing – 1 tsp
Grated coconut – ½ to ¾ cup

For Seasoning

Coconut oil – 2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Salt to taste

For garnish
Coriander leaves – 2-3 tbsp,chopped

Method

Cook the dal till soft.
Dry roast the ingredients given for the masala till golden brown and grind to a smooth paste.
Soak the tamarind in hot water and extract as much as 2 cups of ‘puli vellam’-tamarind water from it.
Cook the vegetables in this tamarind water till done.
Add the ground masala and dal to the cooked vegetables and let it boil-till everything gets mixed.
Prepare seasoning in a pan with coconut oil and splutter mustard seeds and add curry leaves.
Add the seasoning to the sambhar and garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

*Small onions can be skipped.Though I got this recipe from a sadya special,I don’t think onions-garlic are added to dishes while making a sadya.It tastes great without the addition of onions too!!
Here's my Vishukkani and the Vishu Sadya!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Marble Cake

I’ve desserted the blog long enough..so I guess its time for a dessert..ha..bad joke I know.But the fact is,after taking an unannounced break for a while,I'm at a loss for words!!Last few days went in a flash..hubby was injured and hospitalized[nothing serious,but few tension filled days for me].Everything’s fine now and we are planning our yearly[ahem..more than that actually] trips to Ekm and Bangalore.

My amma’s here and we are all geared up for the Vishu Sadya.We cooked up a lot of dishes together and I surprised her by making Stuffed Coriander Buns and Cinnamon cookies.She loved both and I’m making some for their journey back. My bro is making a DIY Lightbox for me,so I’m quite excited about that as well.

I had many posts in my draft for Good Friday and Easter as well.But taking pictures and blogging took a backseat;-)I did hop on to many blogs during last few days but did not stay back long enough to leave comments or to go through the recipes.I’ll be back soon folks!!.

I made this Marble cake sometime back when I had one of those cake-snacking longing days;).I had seen many recipes and I had bookmarked many more,but I was in no mood to surf through all that and I tweaked one of the easiest cake recipes and made it into a simple marble cake.So here it is..to celebrate Easter!!



Marble Cake

Ingredients

Butter – 2/3 cup

Sugar - 1 cup
Eggs - 2
Maida/Flour - 1 ¼ cup
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Cocoa powder - 4 tbsp
Curds - 1 cup
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp

Method

Mix butter and sugar well,till fluffy.
Add eggs one by one and mix well.
Mix vanilla essence and curds to this mixture.
Sift together maida,baking powder and baking soda.
Add the flour-mix 1 tbsp at a time to the wet ingredients and mix well till you get a smooth batter.
Now divide the batter into two equal portions and blend cocoa powder into one.Pour alternate spoonfuls of batter into a greased cake tin.
Slowly run a knife or a fork through the tin to create the marble effect.
Preheat the oven to 180*C and bake for 35-40 minutes or till a knife inserted comes out clean. You could Microwave the same at 80% power for 8-10 minutes.

Sending this across to Poornima for the event "For the love of Chocolate".
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