Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Naan Khatai

While living in the hostel, in Kerala, my grandmother, uncles and aunts used to visit me often. Every time, such a visit do bring along a packet of goodies from the bakery. It could be cakes, cookies, puffs, chocolates etc. These Naan Khatai would also make it in the goodie packs. Those packets would vanish in no time when we open it in the hostels. And that could be one reason why I never got bored of those goodies.





With a lil one around at home, baking always happens to make some cake or cookie. Last week when I thought about these naan khatai, I thought I should make it for my lil one at home. And guess who had fun time placing the chopped pistachios over the cookies. Yes, the lil one helped me in making it. Every time I start baking he would drag a chair get on top of it to help me in the kitchen. 





I don't know if its his involvement from the beginning that makes him interested in cookies and cakes or if he naturally has a sweet tooth to like every single thing we make together. Anyways, these naan khatai's were awesome and everyone liked it.


Ingredients
  1. 1 cup + 2 tbsp of all purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup+ 2 tbsp of powdered sugar
  3. 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  4. A pinch of salt
  5. A stick of unsalted butter(8 tbsp) @ room temperature
  6. Seeds from 2-3 green cardamom pods, crushed or powdered
  7. 6-7 pistachios, chopped
Method
  • In a bowl, add the ingredients 1-4. Run it through a sieve twice, to ensure everything gets mixed well. 
  • Add the crushed cardamom to the dry mixture and give it a stir to ensure the cardamom is spread evenly.
  • Add the softened butter to the dry mixture and knead it thoroughly to form a hard dough. Let it rest for about 30 minutes.
  • Make small balls of the dough and press it between your hands to flatten it to a 1/2 inch thickness cookie. Place a pinch of chopped pistachios on the cookies. Place it on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the naan khatai for about 17-18 minutes or untill they start slightly browning underneath.
Tips
  1. If using salted butter, do not add salt.
  2. You could substitute butter with ghee.
  3. Bringing the butter to room temperature before you mix it with the dry ingredients is really important. 


Recipe courtesy : www.kitchenmonki.com


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Homemade Ghee

Ghee - This gold liquid is something that I would always have in stock. Making it at home used to look tedious to me whenever I saw my mom separate the cream from the milk everyday and store it in the refrigerator untill she would have collected enough to go for a batch of ghee. The cream would be churned into butter and then converted to ghee. And the greasy dishes would be another task to clean once done with the entire process.




Back then the case was different. The milk would be coming from a well known source and fresh with no adulteration. It would be still warm when delivered and more importantly full fat milk. So we had cream to remove from milk before we consumed it. But now in the market bought milk, which is cut down in fat, you cannot expect to do that. There is hardly any fat in it. So we get to make ghee from store bought butter. So there is no hazzle of fat removal from milk or churning into butter that is involved. But when you compare quality, I would definitely say the ghee made by my mom was the purest and more flavorful than the one we can get from the store bought butter. But if you can't source the purest and full fat milk where you live, you could go ahead with this simple method to have some ghee handy in your pantry.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Kovakka Kichadi or Ivy Gourd in yogurt sauce

Onam Sadya has a wide list of items on the menu and one of it is Kichadi. Pavakka Kichadi and Kovakka Kichadi is equally liked by all of us. We go with making of either one of them for the sadya at home. And it is not something that appears only for onam. We make it very often esp. in summer.



My MIL always makes us some pavakka kondattam and packs it to take home after vacation. She once tried kovakka kondattam too when she had too much kovakka from her kitchen garden. We liked it too, but not as much as pavakka kondattam. So we used to fry it and make kovakka kichadi out of it. They were superb that way. And far easy rather than slicing and frying the kovakka for kichadi. So if you have kovakka kondattam in hand, try making kichadi out of it. Its an instant one but tastes so good.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Homemade Sambar Powder

While growing up, I always used to see my mother take the effect to dry the ingredients for sambar powder in the sun and then grind it to make the homemade sambar powder. It would be an effort but the end result is that delicious sambar that no other brand masalas can offer.




And the peace of mind that you get to have homemade product because you very well know what went into it and are not worried of the impurities that are present in the store bought ones. Oh, and that smell that gets filled in your home is just pure divine.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Padavalanga Thoran / Snake Gourd stir fry with coconut

Padavalanga Thoran was one of the frequently made thorans for rice while we were in Bangalore or Pune. When we came to US we really missed having it. Here in Indian stores, we get it once in a while. So we still get to have it once in a while.




At my home, I have never had it. My mom never made it. Honestly, I don't know why she never made it. It was after marriage that I got introduced to it. My MIL makes it often and it was a love at first bite :P,  when I had this. Slightly crunchy and with the goodness of grated coconut in it, it is very unlikely that a mallu wouldn't love it. Try it and let me know if you like it. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Ragi Puttu

I must admit that I had not tried ragi before Jordan. My mom says, she has tried her best to feed me ragi, when I was a kid but I used to refuse. When I started giving solid food to Jordan, I had to give him ragi because every other person whom I asked of options, would start with ragi. Now when you give a food to the baby, it's like the presidents assistant tasting it before it is being tasted by the president himself. So I got to taste it too before Jordan. And I must say that I liked it. And then I started hunting for ragi recipes and to my surprise there were so many interesting recipes. One among them is this puttu. 









Jacob doesn't like it. I usually say that is because of his mental block of considering it to be baby food. But his dislike for ragi puttu has never stopped me from making it. When he has the normal rice puttu, mama and Jordan enjoy this ragi puttu . It's awesome. You should try it. 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Grilled or Roasted Corn / Indian Style Corn on the Cob / Bhutta

Those rainy days, when you step out of the shuttle just right infront of the lady who would be roasting corn and its hard to resist and not give up on having those warm corns...and then bitting into the corn kernels while you walk back to the apartment...




That was the scene some 10 years back when I was working and not married...These days the scenes have changed. Its like buying the corn and getting it grilled at home and enjoying it at the comfort of home while you watch rain pouring down, from the window. Life changes but the tastes or the preference to certain foods hardly changes.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Blackberry Lemonade

When it is super hot, all you would need is a drink that could cool you down. And if it looks pretty too then you could enjoy its beauty while you sip it, when everything else that surrounds you looks dry and withering away with the heat. These days, I have been drinking a lot when compared to eating. When I say, drinking, I mean lemonades and coolers :P etc. This Blackberry lemonade is one such drink that you would want on such days. You cannot say no to this pretty drink and when you do drink it, you'd be glad that you tried it.






Lil J doesn't eat blackberry as such, but for this lemonade I did have to restrict him from having more. try and let me know if you did like it.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Grape Raita

I love to have some raita to pair with fried rice or biriyani. It was not long ago that I realized that fruits too pair well with curd to make a raita, when I had made the pomegranate raita. So when I happened to think of grapes in my raita, I googled to see if I was the only crazy one to think of such a combo. I was glad to see that they did exist.













But you know what, you should try this raita. Its amazing to see how people go "what, grape raita?" to "wow" after they try it. Grape and curd just pair so well. Even if you have no side to go with your rice, just this raita is enough to make the meal special.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Blueberry Loaf

Berries in cakes/bread/loaf is one of my favorite version of having them. Blueberries in a loaf is just superb to have with some hot cup of coffee. Hmm...my mouth gets all watery whenever I think of them.








When made at our home, these don't last long. When I say long, I meant not even a day. Yes, it gets over in a day. These are so light and fluffy and soft that anybody would fall for it. And its pretty hard to deal with the temptation that you tend to eat one slice after the other.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Blackberry Smoothie

Its always a joy to slurp over a smoothie on a hot afternoon. I consider it as a fun activity during my summer while I catch up on some movie :). And unlike having too many dishes to do after a whole lot of cooking, this is pretty simple and filling too. And I love smoothie because these are the most disguised way of making some fruits or berries go into my toddler....Shhh It's a secret. I cannot let that get revealed to him.






These blackberry smoothies look so pretty and taste amazing. We have been into too much smoothie lately, as the temperature rise and drink it as is, or may be even have it with cereals or oats. They are good.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Mango Ice Cream ~ Without Ice-Cream maker

Not a single summer passes by without having ice cream. Well, I wouldn't mind having it during chilled weather too. But the flavour of fresh mangoes in ice creams can be enjoyed only in summer.









When I say homemade ice cream, it can be as creamier and rich as the store bought ones and No, you need not have an ice cream maker to make one like that. It's pretty simple . Do try it and enjoy it. You can thank me later :).

Friday, June 2, 2017

Homemade Doughnuts or Donuts

There was a time when every other week of grocery shopping would include a donut purchase too. I used to love it. My favorite was the sugar glazed donut. It never made sense to me to make it at home because, Jacob was not a big doughnut fan.







It had been a while that we had bought any doughnuts and lil one was watching something on the tv and came up to me requesting to make doughnuts. Well, I thought why not make it for teatime snack. And soon we were kneading the dough for donuts. Lil one loves to help me while I am making something that includes kneading. So we did it together in the first half of the day. I waited for him to nap before I fry them, because I would need some piece of mind while I am doing some frying and to avoid any accidents I wanted him to be away from the kitchen. After he woke up, he came running, still a little dizzy from the sleep and said, "Mama, I am done napping, Can I get doughnuts? " It was so funny. But seriously, this guy never forgot about the doughnuts, though he was included only in the first stage of kneading.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Mango Ladoo

There are umpty ways to relish the mangoes. As soon as they appear in the market, we get so excited to have them. My lil one hates all fruits but mangoes and pears. So I try not to make him overloaded with mangoes in just one form, that he starts hating them too. So every time he is served with it, there is some variety. It could be some drink or dessert or salad etc. This mango ladoo was just another version.











One day, after having lil J put to nap, I returned to the kitchen, just to find Big J searching the entire pantry to find something sweet to eat. Now a sweet craving is very unusual of him. I was looking for some reason to finish off the condensed milk left in the refrigerator. I had some dry coconut powder too and mangoes are always found at home, during summer. So I quickly made this 3 ingredients ladoo, which we happily munched on and had some left over to be chilled too.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Jeera Rice

There are times when you have people visiting around dinner or lunch time. And you get confused what to serve them with, when you might have prepared/decided to keep a simple dinner for your family and also have very less time to be creating something very jazzy. So in case, plain rice was on your family menu and you are not happy to be serving the same for you guests, just a simple seasoning could lift that simple rice to be a very simple yet a crowd pleasing one.








For me, my toddler has certain picky days when he would refuse the common or usual family menu items and to make it interesting for him, I convert a small portion of cooked rice into flavored rice for him to enjoy.

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