Friday, 21 September 2012

Pudina/Mint Rice

Lots have been said about Pudina's medicinal properties. Wiki has the complete biodata of the plant. :-)

Apart from its medicinal values, what we love most about pudina is its unique aroma.

An experiment by my sister with left over pudina chutney resulted in an extremely flavourful pudina rice.
Here is the recipe to serve 2 adults and a kid.

Recipe Source: My sister
Basmati rice1 cupCan use regular raw rice. In that case, 3/4th cup should be sufficient.
Fresh Pudina leaves2 cups-
Onion2 medium sizedI just used one
Dried Red chilli3I used just 2 as we prefer it to be less spicy.
Grated Coconut2 tbspI cut coconut into pieces as shown in ingredients picture.
Channa dal1 tsp-
Urad dal2 tsp-
Refined oil2 1/2 tsp-
SaltTo tasteApproximately 1 tsp.

1. Wash basmati rice, add 2 cups of water and pressure cook for 2 whistles. Once rice is cooked, spread in a wide vessel and allow it to cool.
2. Clean pudina leaves with water and keep aside.
3. Peel onions and cut into small pieces and keep aside.
4. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a medium sized kadai/pan. Add mustard seeds, channal dal and urad dal and fry for few seconds, till dals turn light brown. Add coconut and red chilly and give it a stir. Transfer the ingredients to a mixer jar.
5. In the same pan, add 1/2 tsp oil and saute pudina leaves, till it wilts. (around 2 to 3 minutes). Transfer this too to the mixer jar containing dal and coconut mixture.
6. In the same pan add 1 tsp oil and saute onion until it becomes soft.(3 to 4 minutes) and transfer to a plate.
7. Coarsely grind dal mixture and pudina leaves by adding some water if needed. See to it that the final consistency of the ground mixture is semi solid. I used 1 tbsp of water to grind
8. Saute ground mixture and onion in a pan for 2 minutes. If the mixture is watery, heat till water evaporates and semi sold consistency is reached. Add salt and mix well. Seeing the quantity of ground mixture you might get tempted to add very less salt. Remember the salt we add is for the rice. So add as per the quantity of rice.
9. Once rice is completely cooled down, add pudina mixture and mix well but gently so that rice does not break.
10. Serve with papad/frymes or onion raita.

Still not clear???? Scroll down for step wise pictures...

Event Participation: Weekend Herb Blogging at Cooking With Siri, originally started by Haalo

Have a happy and relaxed weekend. :-)

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Dairy free Coconut-Cashew Burfi

Coconut burfi or thengai burbi or simply burbi is a famous South Indian sweet made with coconut and sugar. The one which I made is a sweet variation from the usual one with generous amount of cashew powder thrown in to the sugar syrup along with coconut. Cashew makes the burfis soft to bite and adds extra flavour to it.

I was very aprehensive about making the burfis as dealing with sugar syrup makes me jittery. I can never get the consistency correct. But with burfi, there is no consistency check for sugar syrup. Just need to remember 2 things.

1. Add coconut-cashew mixture after 5 minutes of sugar getting dissolved completely
2. Remove the mixture from heat as soon as it starts bubbling and starts leaving from sides and immediately transfer to a plate.

With these valuable inputs from my mother, I proceeded to make the burfis anyway. As you can see from the pictures it was a total success. :-)

Recipe Source: My mother
Coconut-cashew burfi recipe to make 25 pieces
Grated Coconut1 cup-
Sugar1 3/4 cupsI added 2 cups and it was too sweet even for a sweet toothed person like me.
Cashew Nut1/2 cup
Cardamom/Elaichi8 pods-
Water1/2 cupI initially added 1/4 cup, but sugar started crystalizing. Then added another 1/4th cup.
Olive Oil1 tbspTradionally ghee is used.
Almond/Badam1/4 cupOptional, for garnish
Color powderA pinchOptional

1. Coarsely powder cashew nuts and keep aside.
2. Dry roast almonds in a kadai/pan and pulse in a mixer for 2 seconds to get small broken pieces.
3. Powder cardamom seeds. As cardamom seeds are a bit moist, roasting the seeds and powdering is easier. To do this, remove seeds from pod, dry roast in a pan and tranfer to a mortar and powder with a pestle. Or after roasting, grind the seeds in a mixer.
4. Prepare a medium sized plate by applying a tsp of olive oil all over the plate.
5. In a kadai/pan, add sugar and water. Keep in low to medium flame until sugar is dissolved completely in water. Can stir occasionaly. This takes around 10 minutes.
6. After the sugar is dissolved, heat the sugar syrup in medium to high flame for 5 minutes.
7. Add a pinch of color powder(optional) to the syrup and mix well.
8. Add grated coconut, cashew powder and cardamom powder to sugar syrup and mix well.
9. Add a tbsp of oilive oil and keep stirring lighlty scrapping from the sides.
10. After 5 to 10 minutes, the mixture will start coming out from the sides and it starts bubbling at the bottom.
11. Immediately tranfer to the prepared plate. Mixture will spread by itself if the consistency is correct. If it does not spread, spread with a flat ladle with oil applied to the ladle.
12. Spread broken almonds all over the mixture and press lightly with fingers.
13. After 10 minutes, cut into pieces. Allow to cool and store in a container. It will keep good atleast for a week.

Still not clear???? Scroll down for step wise pictures...

Happy Ganesh Chathurti to all. :-)

Events Participation
1. Show me your Dessert at Indian Vegetarian Recipes

2. Taste of the Tropics-Coconut at Nivedhanam, originally started by Chef Mireille

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Vegan Vanilla cookies with custard powder

Three years back, I developed an interest in eggless baking. I always had atleast 500gms of butter in my fridge. I used to bake atleast 3 times a week, creaming the butter, seiving the flour mixture, mixing the dry with wet ingredients and finally baking. With so much of butter and milk, most of the times, the cake would come out good and sometimes it went directly into the dustbin. Then when I was trying to bring in dairy free food into our diet, I finished using the last slab of butter I had and never ever bought butter again. Even during those "creaming the butter" days, baking a cookie was always an disaster. Everytime,  the cookies would fall flat, literally.

The first time I really had luck in baking cookies was with this Vegan chocolate choco chip cookies. Ever since, I have baked these cookies atleast 10 times with excellent results. I have always wanted to bake a simple vegan vanilla cookie, but most of the recipe called for substituting butter with margarine which I did not want to do.
Recently I came across a recipe for vanilla cookies with custard powder at Jeyashree's blog. The pictures were very appealing and I thought it would taste good too. Of course, it tasted good, almost melts in the mouth and more importantly, my 5 year old son loved it. So here is the recipe..

Recipe Source: Jeyashri's Kitchen
Vegan Vanilla cookies recipe to make around 35 medium sized cookies.
All Purpose Flour/Maida2 cups-
Custard Powder1/2 cupI used Brown&Polson brand, vanilla flavour
Powdered Sugar1 cupI measured the sugar and powdered
Baking Soda1/2 tsp-
Baking Powder3/4 tsp-
Refined Oil1 cupI used sunflower refined oil. Next time, I am planning to substitute 1/2 cup oil with apple sauce.
Vanilla Extract/Essence1 tspI forgot to add this, still the cookies were good as the custard powder was vanilla flavoured.
Choco chips/Mini sugar balls1/4 cupOptional

Please have a look at the side widget for more information on oven temperature.
1. Pre heat the oven to 170 degree Celsius. While the oven is pre heating, take maida, custard powder, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl.
2. Either sieve the ingredients or mix well using a spatula.
3. In another bow, mix sugar and oil.
4. Add vanilla essence and mix well.
5. Add the dry ingredients mixture to the wet ingredients mixture in three batched and mix gently.
6. Take a lemon sized dough in the palm and flatten the dough.
7. Do the same for the rest of the dough and arrange them in a baking tray lined with parchment/butter paper. Optionally spread some choco chips on each flattened dough and press lightly
8. Bake in the pre heated oven for 10 minutes at 170 degree Celsius.
9. Remove the tray from the oven and allow it to cool for a minute.
10. Remove the cookies from the tray carefully and store in a container. Close the container once the cookies are completely cooled.

Still not clear???? Scroll down for step wise pictures...

Coming next is creamy delicious vegetable pasta without cheese. Until then take care.