Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dates and Figs Laddoo - a pictorial story

The following pictures are taken by my cousin Sreelatha. I will post the recipe soon. Thanks to her for all the effort. I did taste those laddoos and they are awesome. for those who long for sweet and want some healthy stuff, go ahead and try these laddoos, they are healthy too because there is no artificial sweetner or sugar in it.

A pictorial view:

In the making

Look at my nakhre...

Tasty twins

Here is the recipe for dates laddoo:
Dates 2 cups
8-10 figs
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup cashews
4 tbps of dried cococunt
2 tbps of poppy seeds
1 tbps of Butter

Method of preparation
1. Cut the dates and figs into small pieces and cook in a spoon of butter, until well done.

2. Toast the nuts and poppy seeds and make it into powder to desired bite level (fine powder to little bits, its upto individual preference how coarse or fine the powder need to be).

3. Toast dates and figs also. After toasting them you can grind them to desired consistency.

4. Add the grinded dates, nuts, coconut and poppy seeds in a pan. Make sure you get the desired consistency for rolling the mixture into a laddoo shape.

5. Roll it some dried coconut after making laddoo shape. Your laddoos are ready to serve or eat instantly.

Note: you can replace coconut powder for rolling with some colored sugar or rainbow sprinkles for attracting kids or to look fancier. Good luck.

Thanks to sonakka for the recipe and photos in the post.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Vankaya/Eggplant Masala Curry

In general, whenever we order the vankaya curry from hotel or bagara baigan I see it lightly in brown color (ofcourse because of the sesame seeds paste and tamarind I believe) and taste was not that great. But on our cousin's housewarming day(which was almost an year ago) I ate this very delicious and nice looking vankaya masala. On last thursday I want to replicate it at home, because I was longing to have that taste once more. And happily I was able to replicate it. I could not take any pictures but will post pictures when I repeat the recipe again.
Eggplants - 14 - 15 in no. chopped in 4 parts with ends keeping in tact.
Oil - 5-6 table spoons
Onions - 2
Tomatos - 3
Ginger and garlic paste 2 table spoons (I grinded both in traditional mortar and pestle)
Garam masala - 1.5 table spoons
Red chilli powder - 3 table spoons
Salt - 3 table spoons
Cumin seeds - 1/2 table spoon
Asafoetida - 2 pinches (use generously)
Tamarind paste - 2 table spoons ( I used the ready made paste here)
Peanut powder - 5 table spoons (to make thick gravy, you can add more or less depending on how the gravy should be for you)
Method of preparation
1. Fry chopped onions in 1/2 spoon of oil and then grind it to paste.
2. Boil tomatos in water and then grind it and mix it with the onion paste.
3. Add red chilli powder, salt, garam masala to the onion tomato mixture and keep aside.
4. Take a pressure cooker or kadai and add oil to it.
5. After oil is heated, add cumin seeds(Jeera), asafoetida.
6. Drop the chopped eggplants into the kadai. Fry them for two minutes.
7. Now add onion, tomato paste, peanut powder, tamarind paste.
8. Transfer every to a pressure cooker and cook till one whistle. Transfer it to serving bowl after the cooker is done and garnish with coriander and cashews if you look.

If you do not have pressure cooker, you can cook in the same kadai but let the eggplant cook half first and then close the lid and mix everything. Cook in the kadai until eggplant is thoroughly cooked , while mixing it in between.

Monday, December 21, 2009

cottage cheese bajjis/fritters

I literally mean cottage cheese for this recipe. On the thanks giving long weekend I got a small pack of cottage cheese assuming it to be similar to our paneer(Indian version of cottage cheese). I wanted to try out some paneer recipe that weekend. But as I opened the box I was disappointed to see how the cottage cheese is. It was a little liquid and probably a version of yogurt I felt. Not knowing on what to do with it, I left it in the refridgerator for it to expire and then I can throw it away. Luckily on one weekend, one of our friends/relatives prepared cottage cheese fritters, whose taste is very good. Out of excitement I asked about how she made it. As it was snowing this weekend and nothing else to do while kids were sleeping, I said to myself that I would give it a try. My elder son who is 22 months old loved them and ate them very nicely along with chutney. The taste of the bajjis/fritters was extremely good yummy and I can guarantee that kids are going to love it ofcourse your whole family also. So here goes the recipe:

Cottage cheese
All purpose flour
Sooji also called bombai ravva
green chillies
Oil for deep fry
Salt to taste

Method of preparation
1) Mix cottage cheese green chillies, coriander, salt and slowly add all purpose flour(maida) to it so that it becomes slightly dough type. Also add sooji little bit while mixing.

2) Take a kadai/wok and add oil to it. Let it heat and then slowly drop small parts of above mixture. Deep fry them till golden yellow.

3) Drain them on a paper towel so that any extra oil is squeezed away from top and serve it with any chutney. Here I served it with Coriander, Peanut, Chana dalia chutney.


1)Sooji gives crispy taste to the bajjis, but beware do not add more of it as it might ruin the taste of total bajjis. Just add enough so that the bajjis crispy. I used 5 spoons of sooji for a small container of cottage cheese. So use your judgement on using it.
2) Make sure you add less salt than needed. these bajjis can easily have good taste with less salt. taste the bajji by deep frying one and then add any extra salt needed.
3) Remove the cottage cheese out before 1/2 - 1 hour of preparation so that any ice in it will be turned to water.
4) I can guarantee that you can even try these with regular paneer also but for paneer since all the water is removed, you might have to add good amount of water and make it like pakodi bajji mix.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Jilebi with Instant mix

Update: 01/26/2011
I made this recently again and it came out good when I used the ketchup bottles. so I wanted to update with the latest pics.

This Jilebi is tried by using the instant mix. of course I used the standard gits. I have one more at home to try out and that is from Priya I believe. The taste of the jilebi came out good except the size of the hole I cut in the cloth for pouring jilebi was a little stout. Most of the people suggested me to use ketchup bottles we get or see in the Indian bakeries. So I got it yesterday (literally yesterday from walmart). So hopefully next time my jilebis come out in good shape.:).

Jilebi instant mix
Sugar syrup (sugar and water mixed in equal parts)
Oil for deep frying

Method of preparation
1. Mix the jilebi mix as mentioned on the packet with water. make it to a dosa batter consistency. Keep aside for 15 minutes.

2. Heat a kadai with oil and on another stove put another bowl for sugar syrup.

3. Take a ketchup bottle or a cloth with very small hole. place a part of mixed batter in it.

4. After oil is heated, pour the jilebis in circle starting with inner one first.

5. After jilebi turns light golden or brown remove it from oil and put it in sugar syrup for 5 minutes and then drain it on a paper or plate ready to serve.

Note: I dont remember off my head on if the jilebi mix asked me to use milk or water
to mix it. I shall update this post if it is not water.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Rasmalai with Ricotta Cheese

I read lot of recipes online for the above. I was not sure which one to follow. So I combined some of the recipes with what I have at home to make Rasmalai. I got Ricotta cheese from store and wanted to try for Thanksgiving. So I did the same. Although an experiment it came out good and I like it. The taste of it is much similar to the indian one...... but with slight tinge of non-indian flavor as we generally see/taste in our everyday recipes. So here it goes on how I made it.

Ricotta cheese - 1 can
Condensed milk - 1 can (I used fat-free)
Confectioner sugar - 1 cup
Milk Powder - 1 packet
silvered almonds - 1 packet
Whipped Cream - 1 or 2 boxes (I used fat-free, also depends on if you want to use it or not. You can always replace it with milk).

Method of preparation
1. Add Ricotta cheese along with confectioner sugar and 1/2 packet of milk powder. Mix them all well to a smooth paste. I added some silvered almonds on the top of the rasmalai to look good.

2. I did not have a muffin pan as one of the blogs suggested so I used the muffin cup layers and add a small amount of above mixture.

3. Preheat the oven at 200 degrees. Now put the above ready plate into it and then heat it until it is slightly cooked or until it turns very light brown at bottom. DO NOT OVERHEAT OR MAKE IT TURN BROWN, because that would not taste good.

4. Prepare the milk to pour on rasmalai in the mean time. Add whipped cream, slightly boiled milk. (I heated the milk in microwave, good enought that it is more than warm. Mix them both and also combine the condensed milk. Taste the milk mix and add sugar if needed. For thicker gravy or solution, add whipped cream and condensed milk. If you like it little liquidish type, then add milk to above according to your taste. Add silvered almonds to the milk mixture.

5. After the rasmalai is done, carefully remove it from the bake and dip them in milk prepared. Or you can take a bowl arrange the baked rasmalai's and then pour milk on top of them.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Gadget in Kitchen

Here is a new gadget/tool in my kitchen. My husband got it as my birthday gift. This is a electric pressure cooker. Doesn't whistle as our regular pressure cooker but cooks exactly like it. We can make all kind of dals, Sambar, Rice or any item in it. We can add tadka directly in it by putting in it in browning mode and then switch it back to high pressure for cooking dal later. Easy to use. Easy to clean the bowl. Faster cooking happens when I do use my rice cooker for rice, and add curry on stove and dal in electric pressure cooker. All my items are done at the same time, making us ready to eat faster.

My husband got it from Costco for 80 bucks I believe. Worth it if you have kids and need to cook dal/sambar everyday or if you cook rice very often. Cooking in this is also much faster I should say :).

Authentic Gongura Pachadi

This is the authentic way of doing gongura pachadi. Made from fresh leaves from our backyard by my mom in September of this year.

Gongura Leaf

Gongura leaves washed
Red chillies
Green chillies
Chana dal - 1 tea spoon
Urad dal - 1 tea spoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tea spoon
Jeera - 1/2 tea spoon
Salt to taste
Garlic cloves peeled chopped

Method of preparation

1) wash the gongura leaves and set aside
2) chop the onions into squares

3) Put some oil in kadai and let it get heated. Now add chopped garlic and after it turns light brown, set them aside from oil as shown in following photo.

4) Now in same oil add gongura leaves and let them cook. you will notice that the leaves become a mushy paste after sometime indicating that they are cooked. Put the paste aside from kadai.

5) Now add little oil for tadka and then add mustard seeds. after they start splutter add jeera, chana dal, urad dal, red chillies, green chillies, dhania also. Add salt sufficient for the whole chutney to this.

6) After they are a little done ( a minute or two), put all the tadka in the blender and make them into powder/paste.
7) After the above paste is done, now add the gongura to the blender and do not run for a long time. run it so that the gongura paste and the tadka mixes consitently.

8) Take a serving bowl add the gongura paste and chopped onions along with fried garlic. Mix them well and serve with white rice.

1) People who do not like garlic can avoid using garlic.
2) Another lazy way of doing it is first do the tadka and then add gongura leaves to it and put them all in the blender.

Vankaya Allam Kura/Eggplant Ginger Curry

Green Chillies
mustard seeds/aavaalu
Jeera/Cumin Seeds/Jeelakarra
Salt to taste
Curry leaves/Karivepaku

Method of preparation
1) Chop brinjals into squares. If you like then grind ginger and green chillies to paste or else chop them so that they are very tiny or grate. The option of how to put them is on you.

2) Add oil in kadai and put in on stove. Let the oil get heated. Now add mustard seeds after it splutters add the following: jeera, curry leaves, ginger(chopped/grated/paste), green chillies(chopped/grated/paste).

3) Now finally add brinjals and let it cook. Once it is almost done then add salt to it. Make sure you do not move brinjals hard or many times, that would make brinjals mushy or kind of paste.

4) Once the brinjal is done, transfer the contents into serving bowl and add coriander on top. Serve it with white rice or roti.


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