Friday, June 29, 2012

Cauliflower Kurma

I've been sitting and staring at the blank screen of my compose box for a while now.I write one sentence and then delete it and think of another.It hasn't happened to me very often so now I really do understand what bloggers mean when they say writers block-today is my turn of facing it.
Cauliflower Kurma
I made this simple Cauliflower Kurma yesterday for lunch with some fragrant Peas Pulao.The combo was delicious and I have some Kurma left which I am planning to serve with Chapathis.The writers block shouldn't deter me from posting this winner recipe,so I am going ahead with the post without my usual banter(can I see someone heaving a sigh of relief?!)

One thing that struck me after tasting the kurma was,how startlingly similar it was to the vegetable kurma I make(using my sil's recipe).How a base recipe gets different variations when shared through different people is something simply amusing.I followed the recipe to the T and made it using Cauliflower,you can try it with other veggies too.
Cauliflower Kurma
Cauliflower Kurma
Recipe source - Sia of Monsoon Spice


Cauliflower - 1 medium,cut into florets
Capsicum - 1 medium,cut into small chunks
Oil - 1 tbsp
Onions - 1 medium,finely chopped
Tomato - 1 large,finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves - for garnish
Cauliflower Kurma-step3 
For the coconut paste

Grated coconut - 3/4 cup,tightly packed
Cinnamon - 1' piece
Cardamom - 2
Cloves - 3-4
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Saunf - 1/2 tsp
Red Chillies - 3 (use the Kashmiri variety for more colour and less heat)


Clean the cauliflower florets,drain and keep aside.
Make a smooth paste of the ingredients mentioned under the coconut paste-reserve.
Cauliflower Kurma-step1 Cauliflower Kurma-step2 
In a kadai add oil and saute onions till they start turning golden brown.Cauliflower Kurma-step4
Mix in the ginger garlic paste and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes and stir well,keep on simmer till the tomatoes start turning pulpy.
Cauliflower Kurma-step5 
Now add the prepared coconut paste and about 1/2 a cup of water.Let it come to a rolling boil.
Add another cup of water,salt to taste and the cauliflower.Boil for a minute then close with a lid and simmer it for 10-12 minutes or till the cauliflower is cooked but yet firm.
Cauliflower Kurma-step6 
Open the lid and add the capsicum and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with roti or pulao.

  • You could make the kurma with vegetables like carrots,peas,beans and potatoes.I am thinking mushrooms too!
  • The gravy is a thick one,more like masala coated vegetables.So if you are serving the same with chapathi,add water during the cooking stage.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kachiya Moru | Spiced Buttermilk Curry

Moru Kachiyathu
When there is a shortage of vegetables to cook for lunch or when I need a quick fix curry or when I am feeling particularly lazy(ahem) for an elaborate side dish,I resort to this buttermilk curry.It is not actually a curry per se,more of a spiced buttermilk.

It gets done in a jiffy and tastes delicious with a simple upperi on the side,for us always beetroot whenever there is a 'yellow curry'.
Moru Kachiyathu

Kachiya Moru/Moru Kachiyathu


Moru/Buttermilk - 2 cups
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Green chilly - 1
Red chilly - 1
Ginger - 1/2 tsp,chopped
Small onions/Shallots - 3-4,sliced thinly
Turmeric/haldi - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste


Beat the buttermilk well and keep aside.
Moru Kachiyathu-step1 
In a kadai add oil and splutter mustard seeds and add the rest of the ingredients starting with green chilly,red chilly,ginger,curry leaves and small onions.
Moru Kachiyathu-step2 
Saute till the onions start getting golden brown.
Moru Kachiyathu-step3 
Mix in the turmeric powder and salt.Switch off the flame.
When the kadai is cool warm to touch,mix in the well beaten buttermilk.Close with a lid and keep warm till serving.

  • Do not add the buttermilk to the hot kadai since it would curdle and would not look pleasing(though it would taste just fine!)
  • The curry could be made as thick or thin according to your liking,since I was serving it as a side dish with rice,I made it towards the thinner side.
  • IMG_4455

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Apple Sheera

Sheera or Kesari as it is popularly known is a delicious sweet dish which can be prepared within minutes if you have all the ingredients ready.I remember,at home it was a regular during Navrathri.Sundal of any kind and sheera was the usual combo.But I couldn't get the consistency of sheera right for a long time.Despite everyone telling me that it is one of the easiest sweet dish,I was wary of trying it out.

But as they say,once you conquer the fear then it becomes as easy as a pie.

I decided to pep up the sheera a bit after seeing the name in a Sangeetha restaurant.Now I have heard variations,but a sheera with Apple,that was new!I pulled back on the ghee a bit and hence the sheera was not as soft and melt in the mouth but delicious nevertheless with a delicate hint of Apple.

Apple Sheera


Rava - 1 cup(I used coarse grained Rava)
Sugar - 1 cup
Apple - 1 grated(I used with skin)
Water - 2 1/2 cups
Ghee - 3-4 tbsp
Cashewnuts - a handful
Raisins - a handful
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp

Apple sheera-step1 
In a thick bottomed kadai add 1 tbsp of ghee and roast the cashewnuts till golden brown.Drain and keep aside.In the same pan roast the raisins till the puff up and become golden,drain and keep aside.
Apple sheera-step2 
Add another tbsp of ghee to the kadai and roast the rava for 5-7 minutes or till it becomes light brown in colour.
Meanwhile boil the water in a pan and keep aside.
Apple sheera-step3 
Slowly mix in the hot water into the kadai and keep mixing.Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.Mix in the grated apple and stir well.
Apple sheera-step4 
Add the sugar and mix well.Keep stirring till the mixture starts to form a single mass.Add ghee little by little to speed the process.
Apple sheera 
Mix in the cardamom powder and roasted cashewnuts and raisins.
Serve hot.

  • The apple flavor is very delicate in this sheera,so add 2-3 apples for stronger flavor.
  • Cutting back on the ghee results in a slightly firm sheera,but microwave for 30 seconds or till warm and it will become soft.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Food Processor Focaccia

I don't know if it is the Chennai summer or me just getting plain lazy but the baking mojo in me is taking a small sweet nap.I just don't feel like baking at all and that IS strange.I look for an opportunity to bake at the drop of a hat so this situation must be due to Chennai heat indeed!
I baked this focaccia a while back when I badly wanted to bake bread.The recipe has been on my bookmarked folders forever and I'd planned this would be my first trial on my food processor and it's been a while since I got my FP.Well,six months is not such a long time,is it?

I have a Bajaj Food Processor and absolutely love it.I call it my assistant in the kitchen,almost my second(or third?!)hand.Be it kneading dough,grating carrots or fine chopping onions everything is a breeze in a fp.This recipe can also be made by kneading by hand(but of course!).
Food Processor Focaccia
Recipe source - Hot Polka Dot|Original Recipe - The New Food Processor Bible


Sugar - 1 tsp
Warm water - 1/2 cup
Active dry yeast - 1 tbsp
Flour - 3 cups
Wheat Gluten - 3 tbsp(optional)
Salt - 1 tsp
Dried Parsley - 1/2 tsp
Dried rosemary - 1/2 tsp
Dried basil - 1/2 tsp
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Lukewarm water - 3/4 cup

For the topping

Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Basil,Parsley,Thyme to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste


In a liquid measuring cup dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast over top and let it stand for 8 – 10 minutes until it's foamy.
Meanwhile in a food processor with a dough blade combine the flour, gluten,salt,parsley,rosemary,basil and oil.Give a quick whir for 10-15 seconds to combine the dry ingredients.
Stir the foamy yeast to dissolve it and blend it into the flour mixture through the feed tube.While the machine is running gradually add the lukewarm water then mix it until the dough gathers in a solid mass around the blades. Let the machine knead the dough 30 – 40 seconds longer then turn it onto a floured surface to knead it by hand another 1 – 2 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a large greased bowl turning it to ensure all surfaces are greased. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise undisturbed for 1 – 1 1/2 hours until it's doubled in size.
Once it's doubled punch it down then transfer it to a parchment lined baking sheet. Pat it into a large rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Cover it with a damp dish towel and let it rise another 45 minutes until it's doubled again.IMG_1929-tile 
Poke your fingers into the surface of the dough to give it a dimpled appearance then brush the top with the garlic oil. Sprinkle your desired amount of herbs, salt and pepper.IMG_1935-horz 
Let it rise uncovered for a few more moments while the oven is preheating to 375 degrees. Bake it for 25 – 30 minutes until the top is crisp and golden brown. Let it cool slightly before slicing it into manageable pieces.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tomato Juice

Tomato Juice

Summer holidays back then were much looked forward to,starting bang on April 1st through May 31st,sans summer camps and coaching classes,we had all the time in the world to do anything we wanted with no thoughts of school work hovering around our head.We'd have special agendas planned and to be executed during the holidays but by the end of first week we'd be terribly bored and badly in search of new ways to spend time.
Tomato Juice
Tomato Juice was born on one such lazy afternoon.I remember me and my brother peeped into the kitchen while amma was taking a nap.We wanted something to drink but weren't sure what to make.The huge basket of tomatoes gave us an idea.Filling the blender with crushed ice,we added tomatoes and sugar and gave a whir.The juice was quite thick,so we strained it and were surprised to see it looked just like watermelon juice.It tasted delicious too and soon became our favorite.

It is surprising how I completely forgot about the juice until some time back,talking to my brother brought back fond memories of the same.The recipe is very simple,in fact there is no recipe at all!!Tomato Juice-step1
Just put some tomatoes,sugar and ice into the blender and blend till smooth.Strain it and serve chilled with some more ice cubes.That's it! Tomato Juice-step2 
1 kg Tomatoes - 25 rs
Work involved - 5 minutes
Tomato Juice
Reviving Nostalgic memories - Priceless!!

Monday, June 4, 2012


This is my fourth recipe for Nankhatai in this blog.Now that does say so much about my love for it,doesn't it.As I've mentioned many times before on this blog,I m always in search of Chocolate Cake recipes and Nankhatai recipes.Every time I try one recipe,I feel this is it,I've got the best recipe ever.But then,you know,bang comes another one.
Sometime back,I compiled all my hand written recipe notes into word files and took a printout.Among them was a Nankhatai recipe which looked very familiar.It was written long ago,so I am not sure if it was from a blog or a tv show.The best part was when I discussed the recipe with amma,she said she used to follow a similar(almost same) recipe when she baked these.Now that is interesting.We decided to bake it together when I was home.To say we baked it more than 3 times in a week says a lot about the recipe.

I think,I am resting my hunt here for the best possible Nankhatai recipe.


Maida - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup,powdered(measure after powdering)
Cardamom seeds,crushed - 1/2 tsp*
Ghee - 1/2 cup,melted and cooled
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp

Preheat the oven to 170C.
Powder the sugar along with one cardamom and a few strands of saffron(if using) and keep aside.
Sift(or stir) together maida and baking soda,keep aside.
Mix together the melted ghee and powdered sugar to a smooth paste.Add the flour 1 tbsp at a time and mix together to form a dough.Knead the dough with your fingertips until it starts to come together.
Rest the dough for about 1 hour and then pinch off balls of same size and then roll them smooth and place on an ungreased cookie tray.
Bake at 170C for 20-22 minutes.
  • You could add one or two cloves while powdering the sugar for an added twist.
  • If you feel the dough is sticky,add 1 or 2 tbsp flour and then knead again.Do not be tempted to add more since that would turn out hard nankhatais,you wouldn't want that!
  • Rest the dough for an hour or so and then bake the nankhatais.You could even keep the dough overnight which would improve the texture.
  • Baking time varies in each oven,so bake according to your oven.Be careful not to over bake and brown the nankhatais.
Off these go to Srivalli's Cookie Mela.
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