Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Indian Cooking Challenge ~ Murukku/Jantikalu

Murukku/Chakli or Jantikalu was chosen as this month’s dish for Indian Cooking Challenge.A while back,Srivalli had mailed us asking if we had Murukku maker with us.I did have one,but the mail got me thinking.I haven’t attempted making a single deep fried snack till date.Usually,we stay away from deep fried goodies altogether but we keep getting home-made stuff from both our homes.But a challenge was meant to be completed,so I went through the recipe and found it quite easy[read-overconfident].

I attempted it a few days back.I followed the recipe to the T and kept thinking that it was a very easy recipe to follow.Boy,was I wrong!!Everything went smoothly till I started making the dough for the murukku.Somehow,the dough was not coming together but after sometime,I managed to make it.Reality struck when I started to press murukkus from the moulds.I was not getting the shape correct,all I got was murukku bits.I was terribly upset..:(.More so because we were leaving for a short trip for a week and I was not sure if I would be able to attempt it again.

The only thing which made me try it again was the taste of the murukku.Crispy and crunchy and superb tasting.

I mailed my doubts and queries to Srivalli,she responded quickly with few tips and reasons as to where I could have gone wrong.She even asked me to go ahead and post about the murukku bits if couldn’t attempt the whole recipe again.But even before I could take any snaps,the bits were gone..hehe:).So I tried it again today,though I am still not happy with the shape,I saved a few good looking ones for the pics..:)

Indian Cooking Challenge ~ Murukku/Jantikalu

Preparation Time : 20 - 30 mins
Cooking Time : 20 - 30 mins
Makes : app 250 kg of Muruku
Cuisine: Andhra & Tamil Nadu

Utensils needed:
Muruku /Chakli Press.

Ingredients Needed:
Raw Rice - 4 cups
Urad Dal - 1 cup
Water - app 1/2 cup or more
For Seasoning

Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Sesame seeds- 1 tsp
Asafetida/ Hing - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Butter - 75 gms
Method to prepare:

Wash and drain the rice. Shade dry the Rice for 1/2 hr.
Dry roast the Urad dal to light brown. Allow it to cool.
If you are using more quantity, you can get it ground in rice mil, else use your mixie to grind both Rice and Urad dal.

First grind rice into a fine flour, keep it aside. then grind the urad dal to fine powder.

In a wide vessel, take both the flours along with salt. Mix well.

Add cumin, Sesame seeds to the flour, mix well.

Whether you use Asafetida powder or the solid ones, you got to mix it in water, make sure it is dissolved before adding to the flour. If its not dissolved properly, when deep frying the muruku, there are chances for the hing to burst our due to air bubbles.Mix in the hing to the flour and finally add the butter.

Gather everything well and you will get more of a crumbling mixture.
Now slowly add water and knead a dough which is little more softer than the puri dough.

Heat a kadai with oil enough to deep fry. Once the oil is hot enough, simmer to low flame.

Take the Muruku Aachu, wash and wipe it clean. Then divide the dough into equal balls. Fill the Muruku maker with the dough. You can either press it directly over the flames or press over a paper and gently slide it down the hot oil. But since the quantity mentioned here is less, you can press it directly over the kadai.

Cook over medium flame, using a slotted spoon, turn it over to other side to ensure both sides turn golden colour. You will know by seeing the colour that its cooked.

Remove to a kitchen paper and store it in a air tight container.

This normally stays good for weeks, provided you forget about these which hardly happens!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chocolate,Banana & Walnut Muffins~Eggless!!

Ever since I discovered these,ripe-blackened bananas do a detour and go into these muffins rather than the waste bin:).I simply love the banana muffin and end up baking the same at least once in a fortnight.It is much loved by our friends too.They make a beeline and search for my cookie tin or my glass jar,where I usually stock my baked items.

Last few times I bought butter,the whole stuff went rancid.The first one was a local brand and I got it as nothing else was available,two days later I took it out and it smelled awful.It got transferred into a bottle of ghee,still smelt funny.The second batch too,though a branded one had the same fate..hmmm.So I haven't been baking much.,I got a new batch of butter which is great and I am back to my baking days..YAY!!!

The fruit box was beginning to smell and the ripe bananas were pleading to be used.That’s when I remembered Sunita’s post where she had blogged about Mini-choco-banana-walnut muffins.Her recipes are always a healthy alternatives to the butter-laden ones.I hopped on and was so happy that the recipe used oil instead of butter,honey instead of sugar and atta instead of maida.I was jumping in joy and instantly made the muffins.Used the silicone cupcake moulds that my co-sis bought for me last time from abroad.

I love it when the muffins start to puff up and form a dome.More so when eggless ones puff up.I got 9 regular sized muffins and they were gone in no time.Warm muffins with a dash of chocolate syrup and cold milk..a decadent breakfast..:)

Monday, September 14, 2009 my Cupcake!!

It was a fun Birthday party on Saturday,had a whale of time.I had really forgotten how it feels to be among kids,being in their company and how fun it is to think from their point of view!!

Vicky,son of our dearest friends cum neighbours’ was celebrating his 7th Birthday on September 12th.He is very special to us,being born the same year we got married,he literally grew up before our eyes.He comes to us when he gets a new “showoff’,thinks we are of same age and challenges us in games.Ajay enjoys a game of football with him and at the end of it I cant say who is younger of the lot:).

He wanted a Lion King cake for his birthday,hence I decided to bake him a Zebra for company.Made Zebra cupcakes following the same recipe as this.But the outcome was not so Zebra-ish,the looks were more like marble cupcakes.Despite using the smallest spoon,I could put only four spoons,two chocolate and two vanilla each.So the stripes were not quite evident.The cupcakes were gone before you could spell Z-e-b-r-a,so I am not complaining.

Here is the recipe,I made the same quantity and got around 40 regular sized cupcakes.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mili-Juli Sabji~Mixed Vegetables in Onion-Tomato Gravy

I am always in search of a good side dish for chapathi.Before,when we did not have chapathi on a daily basis,I used to make different curries,many of them potato based as the side dish.But that doesn’t really serve the purpose now.We stopped having rice to control the calories and having a potato based side dish actually beats the purpose,isn’t it?So I was on a mission-low fat and tasty side dishes,quite an oxymoron I know,but I had to find a company for the otherwise monotonous chapathi.

Sometime back,while I was in Ekm,Ajay had food from one of the North Indian restaurants nearby and had a dish called Vegetable do Pyaza.Ever since he has been asking me to prepare it.In his words it is-a mix of vegetables,cooked to perfection yet crunchy,masala coated vegetables,but the taste was not overpowering.Just the right combination with chapathi..hmm.A difficult feat indeed.He dislikes the usual culprit-Kurma and such curries,so I really was in a soup.

I saw this recipe in my Microwave cookbook.The picture of this dish is what did the trick.Masala coated vegetables,just like he wanted.I did not have many vegetables which were mentioned,but I went ahead and added whatever was there.Though the curry was gravy-ish when I prepared it,but as it cooled down,it became thickish,kind of semi-gravy.Tasted great with some dal and salad on the side.

Mili-Juli Sabji ~ Mixed Vegetables in Onion-Tomato gravy
Recipe source-Nita Mehta’s IFB Microwave cookbook


Carrot – 1,chopped
Beans – 4-5,chopped
Cauliflower – 4-5 florets,chopped
Green peas – ½ - ¾ cup
[Add any vegetables of your choice-Baby corn,Brussel sprouts,Potatoes etc]

Onion Paste[Grind together]

Onion – 1
Cloves – 2
Cardamom – 1,whole

Tomato Paste[Grind together]

Tomatoes – 2
Curd – ¼ cup
Haldi – ¼ tsp
Chilli powder – ½ tsp
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Salt to taste

Oil – 1 tbsp


Cook the vegetables in just enough water till done.[Take care not to over cook]
In a kadai,add the oil and sauté the onion paste till it becomes light brown.
Now add the tomato paste and mix well.
Saute for 5-7 minutes.
Add the cooked vegetables and salt to taste.
Cover and cook till the vegetables are coated with the masala.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Kanji..or is it Rice Porridge??

Comfort foods mean different things to different people.For me,anything home-cooked[if by amma,all the more good]is comfort food.Having food by hand from a stainless steel plate is something I enjoy to the core.For Ajay,it is Kanji/Rice porridge,without any second thoughts.He cites a very cute incident which happened when he was young,to emphasize his point.He was an active member in the school sports team and used to travel long distance for camps and tournaments with the school team very often.Once,while they were camping in Trivandrum,sick of eating the hotel food,he was taking a walk around their hotel searching for something different.He saw a small restaurant or rather a car garage converted into a restaurant,and ‘the magical word’according to him-“Kanji thayyar”[Rice Porridge ready].

He ate to his heart’s content or so he says:).To this day,I can’t fathom how someone can speak so lovingly about Kanji.

Another event which comes to mind while speaking about Kanji is a festival in our temple in Kayamkulam.After the ten day yearly festival,there is an event called Pejje Nishe[porridge,again;)].Early morning,people flock to the temple to have pej.Sitting pretty on the sand,plaintain leaves are distributed.Making an indent on the sand,leaves are placed properly and then pej is served,topped with chavli human,some upkari and then pickle.Though I am not a big fan of pej/kanji,this is one event I miss attending.Its just too good,tasty beyond words.

So here’s presenting,a very simple fare.

Podiyari Kanji

Podiyari – 1 cup[I used Nirapara Podiyari]
Water – 3-4 cups
Salt to taste

Wash the podiyari well under running water.
Cook with enough water till well cooked.
Retain the water and serve Kanji.

Cherupayar Mezhukkupuratti

Cherupayar/Chavli/Cow peas – ½ cup
Small onions/shallots – 5-6,sliced
Grated coconut – 2 tbsp
Green chilly – 1
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Cook the cow peas till soft and tender.[drain the excess water]
Grind the coconut and green chilly into a coarse paste.
In a kadai,add oil,splutter mustard seeds and add curry leaves.
Add the sliced onions and sauté till they turn light brown in color.
Add the ground coconut paste and stir well.
Now add the cooked cow peas and add salt to taste.
Stir till the water[if any] is absorbed and the dish turns dry.

Chuttaracha Chammanthi

Grated coconut – 4-5 tbsp
Red chillies – 1-2
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Tamarind – 1 small piece
Salt to taste

Dry roast all the ingredients together in a kadai till the coconut starts turning light golden brown.[Chuttu-roast]
Remove and keep aside till cool.
Grind to a smooth paste using as little water as possible.[Aracha-ground]
Serve with kanji.

Chutta Pappadam
Roast a papad in an open flame till brown on both sides.Apply a drop of coconut oil.
What is your comfort food??

On another note,thanks to all of you who have passed me Awards.I'll accept it and do the tag soon.Thanks once again:)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Simple Tomato Fry ~ Bachelors Special!!

Ever since I started the food blog,I’ve been getting different kind of reactions from people.Though some are pleasantly amused,some are downright surprised and some are..well you know,not chosing to react.The one lot I am quite fond of are my bachelor readers.Some of them feel it is torture to go through the recipes[in terms of home-sickness silly,not otherwise:)],some feel the recipes are quite sophisticated and not-doable for the bachelors.I’ve been asked to cook dishes that suit their palate,but easy..maximum 2 or 3 ingredients.

There are quite a few dishes which I cook on a daily basis which are just that.Simple,easy and not many ingredients.But I don’t think they are blog-worthy.You know,all those simple stuff which tastes awesome but lack the points lookswise.

Few days back while I was raiding the fridge,I saw quite a lot of tomatoes threatening to wrinkle.I had to act fast and how!I remembered I had bought some extra last time to make oven-roasted tomatoes,a recipe I saw on Tarla Dalal’s magazine-Cooking & more,which of course didn’t happen.So I made this ever-so-simple Tomato Fry with Chapathis which disappeared before the chapathis did.So my dear bachelor friends,get some rotis,or even bread from the supermarket and make this tomato fry and see your home-sickness least for a while:).

Simple Tomato Fry
Recipe adapted from Lakshmi Nair-Magic Oven

Ingredients[Serves 4]

Tomatoes – 3
Onions – 3
Kashmiri chilly powder – 1 tbsp[1 tsp,if using normal chilly powder]
Tomato sauce – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard – ½ tsp

Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Coriander leaves-to garnish


Chop tomatoes and onions into thin rings.
In a kadai,add oil and splutter mustard seeds.
Add chopped onions and curry leaves and sauté till they slightly start to brown.
Meanwhile mix red chilly powder and tomato sauce with the chopped tomatoes.
Add this to the sautéed onions,add salt to taste and mix well.
Add 2-3 tbsps of water,mix well and close with a lid.
Cook on simmer for 5 minutes.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover