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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Vadagam( Tempering used for South Indian dishes).

Many of my blogger friends were enquiring about the Vadagam and its preparation method. This an aromatic tempering used in many of South Indian and Chettinad dishes like Sambar, Kuzhambu and Kootu. This is my granny's recipe, which is passed on to my mother and to me.

Chinna Vengayam/ Shallots( Small onions)-1kg
Ulli Poondu/ Small garlic-1/2kg
Green chilles-1/4kg
Mustard seeds-50gms
Split Urad dal/ Split black gram dal-1/4kg
Jeera/ Cumin seeds-50gms
Fenugreek/ Methi seeds-25gms
Curry leaves-2 sprigs
Nallennai/ Gingelly oil-50gm
Velakennai/ Castor oil-50gm
Turmeric powder-4tsp

Remove onion and garlic skins. Chop green chilles. Mince onion, garlic and green chilles in a mixer grinder( should be rough and coarse). To the onion mixture, add rest of the above said ingredients. Mix in both the oils to the mixture and make medium sized balls. Keep these balls in direct sunlight for 10 days. When these balls are fully dried, store it in airtight jars. You can store these vadagam balls for a year. 

Tips to prepare
Take 2 balls of vadagam, crush them and store it in small container. When used as tempering, to the medium hot oil add 1tsp of crushed vadagam and allow it to turn golden brown, then add the rest of the ingredients.( Do not burn the vadagam as they may turn bitter).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lentil Soup for Idly and Dosa/ Paruppu Thakkali Soup

Preparation time-5mins
Cooking time-25mins

This is one of our traditional family recipe, i had not tasted this soup anywhere else. This soup is served along with hot idlys and crispy dosas. I also like eating this soup with steamed rice. This soup will be mild and great in taste. This soup is perfect for all ages. Its great food for the toddlers too. When feeding the toddlers you need to mash the steamed rice very well and add this soup generously to the rice and feed them.

Toor dal/ Split pigeon peas-1cup( washed and soaked for 1/2 hour)
Tomatoe-100gms( finely chopped)
Onion small-1( finely chopped)
Red chilly powder-1/2tsp
Turmeric powder-1/4tsp
Pepper powder-1/2tsp
Salt to taste

Pressure cook the toor dal and tomatoes for 15 mins. Once the toor dal is well done, allow to cool and mash well with lentil masher. Strain the juice of the mashed toor dal with help of fine hole strainer. Add water to the toor dal residue and strain again, follow this step again and again till you get enough juice form the toor dal. Throw away the toordal residue since all the nutrients has been extracted through the juice. Collect this lentil juice in a deep vessel, add red chilly powder, turmeric powder, pepper powder and salt. Place the vessel on heat and bring to boil, simmer the soup for 5 mins. In the meantime heat a tadka pan and add ghee, when hot add the vadagam and onions, fry for few seconds. Add the onion tempering to the simmering soup. Turn off the heat and Serve this hot soup with Idly, Dosas or Steamed rice.

Indo-Chinese Chilly Fish Dry

Preparation time-5mins
Cooking time-10mins

Boneless and skinless fish-300gms( Cut into cubes)
Onion medium-1( diced)
Green bell pepper-1( diced)
Green Chilles-2( finely chopped)
Garlic cloves-5( minced)
Ginger-1/2"( minced)
Green onions-6tbsp( finely chopped)
Fish sauce-1/2tsp
Soy sauce-1/2tsp
Ajinomoto-less than 1/4tsp( optional)
Pepper and Salt to taste
Rice flour-2tbsp
Corn flour-2tbsp
All purpose flour-2tbsp
Red chilly powder-1tsp
Lime juice-1/4tsp

In a medium sized bowl add the fish cubes, red chilly powder, lime juice, rice flour, corn flour, all purpose flour and little salt. Sprinkle very little water and mix well until the flours are well coated on the fish cubes. Set aside for 10 mins. Heat a skillet add about 2 tsp of oil, when hot add the marinated fish cubes. Stir fry for few minutes until the fish is well cooked. Remove the prepared fish to a bowl. In the same skillet heat about 2 tsp of oil, add the diced onions, bell peppers, green chilles, garlic and ginger. Stir fry for few seconds and season with fish sauce, soy sauce, ajinomoto, pepper and salt. Sprinkle 2 tsps of water and add the prepared fish and chopped green onions. Stir fry the fish until dry. Serve hot as appetizer or serve along with Fried rice and Noodles.

Vegetable Semiya Kichadi( Vermicelli with Vegetable)

Preparation time-10mins
Cooking time-15mins

Roasted Semiya/ Vermicelli-450gms
Carrot medium-1( finely chopped)
Fresh or frozen peas-1/2cup
French Beans-1/2cup( finely chopped)
Cauliflower florets-1/2cup
Onion large-1( finely sliced)
Tomato large-1( finely chopped)
Green chilles-5( broken into 2 pieces)
Garlic cloves-5( finely sliced)
Turmeric powder-1/2tsp
Salt to taste
Green cardamom-2
Curry leaves-few
Cinnamon stick-1"

Heat oil in a pan, add cinnamon stick, cloves and green cardamoms. When the aroma rises add the onions, green chilles, curry leaves and garlic cloves, saute for few mins until the onions turns pink. Now add the vegetables and stir fry for few more mins. Add the tomatoes, turmeric powder and required salt. Cook for few more mins and add the water. Bring the mixture to boil, when boiling add the roasted semiya and stir well. Cover the pan with lid, simmer the heat and cook until the semiya is well done. Serve hot Semiya Kichadi with Onion raita.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hearty Valentine Dinner and Cute Gifts from My Hubby.

Belated Valentines Day wishes to all my visitors and fellow bloggers.

Here are two great recipes prepared for the Valentine day dinner and cute gifts from my dear hubby.

Cute 4 feet Teddy Bear

Beautiful card and box of Chocolates

Lung Fung Soup/ Chinese Vegetarian Soup

Lung fung soup or Dragon phoenix soup, is a thick seafood or gou rou soup made with lemon, chili peppers, and Chinese vegetables. Other variations could include a vegetarian version of the same with mushrooms instead of seafood. Fung probably comes from the use of mushrooms in the soup. (Source: Wikipedia)

Preparation Time-5 mins
Cooking time-10 mins
Serves- 4 persons

White Mushrooms-200gms( chopped)
Carrots-1/2cup( finely sliced)
Cabbage( finely sliced)-1/4cup
Cauliflower( tiny florets)-1/4cup
Ginger-1/2"( thickly sliced)
Garlic cloves-6( minced)
Green chilly-1( broken into 2 pieces)
Green onions( chopped)-4tbsp
Leeks stem (chopped)-4tbsp
Lime leaves( chopped)-2
Pepper and Salt to taste
Soy sauce-1tsp
Vegetable broth or Water-4 1/2cups
Lime juice-1tsp
Cornflour-1tsp( diluted in 2tsps of water)
Sesame oil-2tsp

Heat oil in a deep sauce pan, add ginger, garlic, green chilles, carrots, cabbage and cauliflower florets. Saute for few seconds and add the mushrooms, green onions, lime leaves and leeks. Now add the vegetable broth and bring the soup to boil. Season well with pepper, salt, soy sauce and lime juice. Simmer the soup for 5 mins. Finally add the diluted cornflour mixture to the soup and stir well. Allow the soup to slightly thicken, check the seasoning and serve hot.

Indo-Chinese Schezwan Fried Rice

Preparation time-10 mins     Cooking time-5mins     Serves-4

Rice( cooked)-4 cups
Mixed vegetables( par boiled)-1cup
Garlic clove-5( minced)
Ginger-1/2"( minced)
Onion medium( finely chopped)-1
Green onions( chopped)-5tbsp
Thai red chilly paste-3tbsp
Salt to taste
Ajinomoto-pinch( optional)
Sesame oil-2tbsp

Heat oil in a wok, add the minced ginger, garlic, onions and green onions. Saute for few seconds and add the par boiled vegetables, stir well. Now add the red chilly paste, vinegar, sugar, ajinomoto and salt. Stir fry for few more seconds and add 2 tsps of water. Now add the cooked rice, stir well until the sauce is well coated on the rice. Serve hot.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Carrot Halwa/ Gajar Halwa

Carrot shredded-4cups
Condensed milk-1cup
Elaichi/ Green cardamom powder-1/4tsp
Fried cashew nuts and raisins-1/4cup

In a deep pan add the shredded carrots and milk. Bring to boil, simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 15 mins. When the carrots is fully done add the condensed milk, sugar and elaichi powder. Stir constantly and simmer until the mixture becomes dry. Finally add ghee and fried cashew nuts and raisins. Stir well and serve hot.

Egg Tomato Curry

Hard boiled Eggs-6
Onions medium-2
Tomatoes medium-2
Garlic cloves-4
Curry leaves-few
Red chilly powder-2tsp
Coriander powder-2tbsp
Turmeric powder-1/4tsp
Salt to taste

Grind onions, tomatoes and garlic together to a fine paste. Heat oil in a kadai, add curry leaves and ground paste. Fry until the raw smell leaves and oil separates on the sides. Now season with red chilly powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and required salt. Add little water, stir well and cover the gravy with lid. De-shell the hard boiled eggs, make slits on the top and add them to the gravy. Cook for 5 mins and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with chapatis or steamed rice.

Gobi Pakoda Recipe/ Cauliflower Pakora.

Cauliflower florets-250gms
Maida/ All purpose flour-3tbsp
Rice flour-3tbsp
Corn flour-3tbsp
Ginger and garlic paste-1tsp
Red chilly powder-1 1/2tsp
Ajinomoto-less than 1/4tsp
Baking powder-pinch
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry

Clean and wash the cauliflower florets. In a large bowl add the cauliflower florets, all purpose flour, rice flour, corn flour, ginger and garlic paste, red chilly powder, ajinomoto, baking powder and required salt. Sprinkle water little by little and mix well until the flour and the spices are well coated on the florets( do not add more water, the batter may become watery and the batter will not stick to the florets). Heat enough oil in pan, when hot add the battered florets, reduce the heat and deep fry until crisp and golden brown.

Tips for less oily and crispy pakodas
When you deep fry a dish make sure the oil is very hot. Once the pakoda or any dish is added to hot oil reduce the heat and cook for 2 mins. If you are frying in batches, make sure the oil is very hot before frying each batch. If the pakoda or any dish is added to medium hot oil, the dish can become soggy and uncooked.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Couscous Pineapple Kesari/ Couscous Pineapple Pudding

Pineapple finely chopped-1cup
Condensed mik-1/2cup
Fried Cashew nuts, Almonds and Raisins-1/2cup
Pineapple Essence-2drops
Yellow food color-1drop

Heat 2 cups of water and bring to boil, when boiling add the couscous and cook until done. Once the couscous is done add the pineapple pieces, condensed milk, sugar, food color and the essence. Stir well and add the fried nuts and ghee. Serve hot.