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Thursday, April 28, 2011

RASGULLA / RASGOLLA / KESAR RASGULLA & MY 400TH POST


I tried this from a very old woman's era magazine. I have been preserving the torn sheet of paper for more than 30 years. Rasagulla, rasgolla or rasgulla, however we call it, is a melt-in- mouth sweet in sugar syrup, preferred by everyone. I celebrate my 400th post with rasgullas as these are favourite of mine.

INGREDIENTS:

Chenna from 1 litre milk
(ALWAYS USE FRESH CHENNA FOR MAKING RASGULLAS.)
Sugar - 4 cups
Water - 2 cups + 1 cup
Milk - 1/4 cup
Maida - 2 tsp. + 1 tsp.
Rose essence

METHOD:

A detailed description of making paneer / chenna for rasgullas can be seen here. However, a quick description.

Boil milk and curdle it with lime juice. When the whey separates from the milk, drain completely. (This whey can be stored in a bottle and refrigerated. It can be used for future curdling of milk for rasagullas). Drain completely till all the whey is dripped. Wash in running water, transfer it to a muslin cloth and tie with the twine. Twist and squeeze the cloth to remove the water completely. Allow it to hang for an hour. Now your chenna (crumbled paneer) is ready.

Knead chenna alongwith 2 tsp. maida to a smooth dough. Knead well without any cracks on the surface. Divide the chenna into equal sized balls. I got about 28 - 30 chenna balls from 2 litres of milk. (The balls will double in size while cooking in the sugar syrup).


Make a light solution of 1 tsp. maida and 1/2 cup of water.


Combine sugar and 2 cups of water in a large vessel. Heat the solution till the sugar dissolves. When the syrup starts boiling, add in the milk and the dirt and impurities in the syrup will float on top. Simmer the stove and carefully remove the dirted layer with a ladle. Slowly pour the 1 cup of water THROUGH THE SIDES OF THE VESSEL and again remove the impurities if any. By doing this way, you are assured of a perfect clear sugar syrup.


Heat the sugar syrup add little maida solution and gently add the chenna balls to the syrup. The sugar syrup becomes frothy while adding the maida solution. Sprinkle the maida solution on and off, when the froth subsides.


Cook the rasgullas in sugar syrup for about 15 minutes partially covered with a lid. DO NOT COOK IT COVERED FULLY.


HOW TO CHEK IF THE RASGULLAS ARE DONE?: Press the rasgullas with your index and forefinger. If its soft without losing its shape, then it is done.


Transfer it to a container. When cool add the rose essence. Serve chilled.

VARIATION: SAFFRON DISSOLVED IN A SPOON OF HOT WATER CAN BE ADDED FINALLY TO GET KESAR RASGOLLAS. THE COLOUR OF THE SYRUP AND RASAGULLAS CHANGES TO A LIGHT YELLOW COLOUR WHEN SAFFRON WATER IS ADDED.

Monday, April 25, 2011

OATS SOUP

Oats have enormous health benefits and the dietary fibre present in oats is very good in dealing with heart diseases, diabetes, cholesterol and obesity. This is a simple and energy packed soup which can be had for breakfast and also as an appetizer before a meal. Its easily digestible and can also be given to convalescent people as it is packed with nutrition.

INGREDIENTS:

Oats - 1/2 cup
Water - 1 1/2 cup
Beans - 8
Carrot - 1
Shelled peas - a fistful
Salt - as per taste
Butter - 1 tsp.
White pepper powder - 1/8 tsp.

METHOD:

Powder oats using a mixie.

Slice beans and carrot using a slicer to very fine slices. Micro high alongwith shelled peas for 2 minutes.

In a separate micro-proof dish, mix powdered oats and water and micro- high for 3 minutes.

Mix this with the microwaved vegetables. Add salt and micro high for 1 minute.


Transfer to individual serving bowls. Add pepper powder and butter while serving.

Friday, April 15, 2011

TOMATILLO PICKLE / THAKKALIKKAI OORUGAI


This is a very traditional, instant and tasty pickle which goes well when mixed with hot rice, ghee & papad, rava dosa, adai and curd rice. As the tomatillos are sour, this pickle consumes a little more salt than usual. The green chillies also will not be hot as the sourness infuses in it.

INGREDIENTS:

Tomatillos - 10 medium sized
Fenugreek powder - 1/4 tsp.
Salt - as per taste (3/4 tsp. approx)
Green chillies - 3 long variety

Tempering:
Oil - 1 ladle
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Urad dhal - 1 tsp.
Hing

METHOD:

Select firm tomatillos. Wash well and cut into medium sized pieces. Chop the green chillies finely.

Dry roast 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds till golden brown and grind it to a fine powder. Keep aside. This pickle needs only 1/4 tsp. of the powder. However, this powder can be used for other instant pickles.

Heat oil in a kadai and temper with the given ingredients. When golden brown, add the chopped green chillies, give a saute and add the tomato pieces. Add salt. Sprinkle some water and cook it covered. Saute it frequently, and when half done slightly mash it with the back of the ladle.

When the oil leaves the sides, add the roasted fenugreek powder and saute for a minute.

Transfer it to a sterile bottle when cool.

SHELF LIFE OF THIS PICKLE: 3 days if kept in the fridge. 1 day if kept outside the fridge.

NOTE: The pickle can also be mashed well with a potato masher.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

VEPPAMPOO (NEEM FLOWER) PACHADI

In addition to the general pandigai menu, this pachadi is prepared on Tamil New Year and has all the six tastes (sweet, sour, salt, bitter, pungent and astringent).

INGREDIENTS:


Crushed jaggery - 1 cup

Mango sliced - 1/4 cup

Tamarind - a marble size OR tamarind paste - 1/2 tsp.

Dry red chilly OR green chilly - 1
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Fresh veppampoo (neem flowers) - 3 tsp.

Salt - 1/8 tsp.

Ghee - 1 tsp.


METHOD:


Soak the tamarind in water, extract pulp.

Boil the mango slices in little water with a pinch of salt.

Add the mangoes to the tamarind extract and boil till the raw smell of tamarind goes. Now, add the crushed jaggery and again boil it till the raw smell of the jaggery goes.


In a pan, heat a tsp. of ghee, add mustard seeds and when they splutter add red chilly and fry the veppampoo (neem flowers) till golden brown. Add to the above and mix well.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

KOSUMARI / KOSAMBARI

INGREDIENTS:

Moong dal – 1 tbsp.
Grated mango –1 tbsp.
Scraped coconut - 1 tbsp.
Cucumber - 1
Carrot - 1
Chopped coriander leaves – 2 tsp.
Salt – as required
Lime juice - 1 tablespoon

METHOD:

Soak dal for an hour. Drain the water completely.

Peel, deseed and chop the cucumber finely. Peel and grate carrot.
Mix all other ingredients. (Carrots are not used if offering it to the Lord).
This recipe is a summer cooler.

Monday, April 11, 2011

PICKLE POWDER (SOUTH INDIAN STYLE)

This is a south indian style home - made pickle powder (oorugai podi) which can be used for cut mango pickles, mango thokku, mixed vegetable pickles, & instant aranellikai (small gooseberry) oorugai (pickle).

This can be preserved for 2 months. When refrigerated this can be preserved even for 4 months. Byadgi chillies give rich red colour to the pickle.

INGREDIENTS:

Turmeric powder - 1 tbsp
Byadgi Chillies - 1 cup (tightly packed)
Red Chillies - 2 cups (tightly packed)
Fenugreek - 1/3 cup
Mustard Seeds - 3/4 cup

METHOD:

Dry roast each ingredient separately. Be careful not to burn them.

Fenugreek seeds should be dry roasted to golden brown.

Mustard seeds should be roasted till they splutter.

Grind everything in a mixie to a fine powder. Store in an airtight container and use when needed while making instant pickles.


NOTE: Chillies can also be roasted in a spoon of oil. If using oil, the shelf life decreases and can be preserved for only a month.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

KADUGUMANGA / KANNIMANGA (KERALA STYLE)

This is also called as kannimangai, kadugumanga ooruga or kadugumangai oorugai.  Very tiny mangoes (only 1/2"in diameter) are used for this pickle. This kerala type pickle is different from the regular vadu manga OR maavadu of Tamilnadu. Vadu mangai follows in the next post.

INGREDIENTS :


Brined mangoes - 2 cups
Dry red chillies - 1/3 cup
Mustard seeds - 1 tablespoon
The salty solution from the brine - 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup
Pure castor oil - few drops
Ceramic jar

METHOD:

Click here for mangoes in brine.

Grease the inside of the ceramic jar with castor oil. Drain out the mangoes from the brine. Transfer to the ceramic jar. Grind the mustard seeds and red chillies to powder. (you can also use red chilly powder  if u want it a bit spicy). Add a little salty solution to the powder and grind to a fine paste. Mix the brined mangoes and the paste well. If too thick add some more salty solution. The paste should be an inch above the mango level. Cover the jar with a clean cloth and place the lid tightly. The pickle will be ready to eat in a fortnight.

NOTE: This can be preserved for more than a year. The colour changes to brown when preserved for a long time, but it is edible. This should not be watery. Unlike Tamilnadu vadumanga , this should be thick.  This can be prepared as and when  necessary using the brined mangoes.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

MANGOES IN BRINE / UPPU MANGAI


Its summer... and mango time. Tender mangoes are seasonal treasures, pickled and preserved for a year.

These are very tiny mangoes (1/2 an inch in diameter) in brine (
Brine is a solution of salty liquid which is extremely high in saline content. It has been the procedure followed since ages in food production as a preservative, as salt inhibits the growth of bacteria) which are used for kadugu manga (kerala style) pickle. However, for Vadu mangai(Tamil Nadu style) pickle, little larger mangoes (1" diameter) are used. Recipe for vadu mangai, and kadugu mangai oorugai follows in the future posts. Brined mangoes when eaten with the tender seed, cures ulcers.

NOTE: THIS IS JUST THE BASIC METHOD OF BRINING THE MANGOES. PICKLING FOLLOWS IN COMING POSTS.

INGREDIENTS:

Very small, tiny, tender mangoes - 2 cups
Sea salt - 2 tablespoons
Pure castor oil - 4 drops
Turmeric powder - 1/8 tsp.
METHOD:

Choose tiny, firm mangoes with stalk. Leave a little stalk in the mango. Discard decayed mangoes and mangoes with a cut. Wash the mangoes well.

Dry it with a clean towel.

Pour the castor oil in your palm and mix well till all the mangoes are coated with oil.

Add salt and turmeric powder and keep it in an air-tight JAADI (Ceramic Jar) or sterile bottle for 3-4 days.Turn it upside down with a dry ladle daily.

The salt dissolves and the mangoes will shrink. Basic mangoes in brine are ready.