Monday, October 16, 2017

Rice Murukku ~ Spicy version

With Diwali approaching, you might be spending a lot more time in the kitchen preparing all the snacks and sweets for your family and friends. Sweets are one important thing on the menu and so are snacks. I still remember having Dahi Vadas, Chaats, Chakli etc along with the sweets, which our neighbor aunty used to serve us for diwali. Yum they were. Years have gone by but those days and memories are still so fresh. This spicy version of chakli is something that you should try to add a little variety to usual murukku/chakli that you make. If your family loves spicy food then I bet this would definitely be a hit.

This recipe just happened when I was trying out some other snack and it usually takes a lot of time, but I had to head to some place in an hour and just thought of giving
 it the murukku avatar instead. It wasn't a flop at all. My lil one loves spicy food and when I made it, he kept coming back to me asking "Eruvulla murukku Tharamo" meaning "Can you give me the spicy murukku". 

So try it this Diwali for your family and see if they like it too.

  1. 1 cup roasted rice flour
  2. 1 tbsp of moong dal, dry roasted
  3. 1 tbsp of ghee
  4. 1/2 tsp of ajwain/ carom seeds
  5. 1/2 tsp of jeera /cumin seeds
  6. A big pinch of asafoetida
  7. 1/2 tsp of chilli powder
  8. Salt to taste
  9. 1 tbsp of hot oil
  10. 1 cup of water
  11. Oil for deep frying
  • Heat 1 cup of water. While it is heating up, add the ingredients 2-8. 
  • When it starts boiling, add the rice flour, little by little, while you stir it in. Switch off heat and leave it covered for about 10 minutes.
  • Open and add a tbsp of hot oil while you knead it well into a smooth dough.
  • Divide the dough into portions that could fit into your murukku maker.
  • Fix the one star plate that comes with the murukku maker.
  • Form spiral shapes on to a plastic sheet/tray, using the murukku maker.
  • Meanwhile, get the oil heated up in a deep bottom pan. Heat the oil to a desired temperature, so that when you drop a tiny piece of dough, it should rise to the top as soon as it hits the bottom. Try to maintain the same temperature for the frying. 
  • Slide the murukku into the oil carefully in a manner that the shape retains, at the same time you do not end up burning up your fingers.  
  • Flip over the murukku once it rises to the top. Deep fry it, till the bubbles around the murukku disappears. 
  • Remove it to a tissue paper and let it cool.
  • Store it in an air tight container.
  1. Do not make the dough too wet. It would lead the murukku to absorb oil.
  2. You could skip the addition of oil during the kneading process. If you choose to do so, do not form the spirals, if you expect a delay in frying it up. This would lead to drying up of the dough and the murukku may break and loose its shape while frying.
  3. Once the desired temperature has been arrived, adjust the heat between medium to medium-high. Else the murukku might look crispy and dark, however, would stay uncooked inside.
  4. For safety and to retain the shape of the murukku, it is advisable to slide the murukku on to a flat steel spoon and slide it into the heated oil.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

When Pumpkin is everywhere, literally seen/available everywhere, you need to take full advantage of it. If you are a pumpkin lover like me, bake or cook as many as dishes as you want because once they are out of the market they would be able to source them only, after a year. You get those preserved forms anytime, but they cannot replace the goodness of the fresh ones. Last year, I had made the pumpkin puree and preserved it to make goodies out of it during off season. And I must say, its been working. Those cravings of having pumpkin bread or pancakes have been fulfilled soon enough without waiting for the fall season to come or having indulged in store bought preserved pumpkin purees. I have been meaning to share the process for some time now. I am glad, atleast I could post it this fall season. If you spare some time and make it, the outcome is just rewarding. So here is how it is done.

  1. 1 small pumpkin/pie pumpkin
  2. 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • Wash the pumpkin. Chop of the top portion to remove the stem. Cut the pumpkin into half and scoop out the seeds. Preserve the seeds to roast them later.
  • Brush the pumpkin with olive oil. Place it on a baking sheet with its flesh side down.
  • Roast it in the oven at about 350 F for about 45 minutes. You could check by poking a fork into the pumpkin. If it can be poked in and removed easily, its done.
  • When its cooked, remove it from the oven and peel off the skin from it. Place the flesh portion in a food processor and run it to form a puree. Let it cool down. Use it in the recipes as required.
  • Transfer it as little/measured portions in zip lock bags if storing for future use, to help you thaw whatever amount is required for the recipe then. It stays good upto 6 months.
  • Use it in pies, cookies, breads, pancakes etc.
  1. Make sure you brush olive oil/cooking oil while roasting it else, it comes out dry.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

DIY : Making of thick Curd/ Yogurt

Anything homemade is just perfect. So is the homemade curd. Not only is it healthy because you know what you goes into it, but also its much cheaper when made at home. If you ever make it at home, you won't go back to the store bought ones. Because why would you, when you could make it at home so easily. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Apple Chips

I had eaten banana chips, potato chips, bitter gourd chips etc. which are very easily available anywhere in India. But my first visit in US made me realize that there could be more options to chips with kale chips, beetroot chips and chips made with fruits too. And they really taste good to you in the form of chips, even though you might hate it as a veggie or fruit.

Last fall, while I was baking some pumpkin goodies, the smell of cinnamon from the freshly baked pumpkin bread made me think of the apple chips with cinnamon, I had some time back. Those were store bought. I knew we could easily make it at home but I had never tried or bothered to try. But now as a mother, I always prefer or try to make homemade goodies than go with the convenience of having store bought snacks. And since my lil one gets bored with same snack options, I keep trying different things. So I gave these chips a try. I didn't have to store it because they just vanished in no time. Not only lil J, but all of us liked it.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Steamed Beetroot Cake

Today marks the 5th Anniversary of my dear blog, Palaharam. I never imagined it to be coming this far. But now I guess, it is a part of my life - something that would define me and keep me occupied by doing something that I love. This is not just the celebration of having started the blog but also the celebration of having made some good friends over the span of these last 5 years, whom I have not even met in person. I thought I should make something sweet to mark this milestone and nothing better than this beetroot steamed cake to make this moment absolutely perfect. A BIG thank you to all my supporters for always being there to motivate me, to blog. No words can suffice my gratitude towards each one of you.

It was only recently that I started to fall for Beetroot. Since then, it has been appearing in my kitchen often, either in a savory or sweet form. This beetroot cake was made as a tea time snack one day and it was so much in demand that we have repeated it couple of times. They are amazing in taste and healthy too.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Ghugni Chaat / Curried Green Peas (Vegetarian's Chilli)

Childhood friendship is always beautiful to remember at any point of our life time. I had friends who were my classmates as well as neighbours too - Shammi and Zammi. We were always spotted together. I remember their mom making this Ghugni quite often. Their birthday parties were incomplete without it. And everytime I had it, it tasted yummier. My family is not a big fan of dried yellow peas, so it was never or very sparingly seen at our home. So that could have made it more special. 

The other day when I was prepping to make some dry peas curry, I thought of making this ghugni chaat for tea time. Both son and father scrapped off their bowls :). The father had heard about it multiple times from me when I would be repeating stories from my childhood and had never shown any interest in it. But when finally it was served to him, he was like "You should make it often. Its like the vegetarian's chilli". Oh yes, might sound funny, but I don't know if it is the chopped red onions on top and the cumin and pulses that make it taste so much similar to beef chilli. So we have this recipe saved for the lent to have vegetarian chilly if craving for beef chilli...he he..

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Masala Dosa/ Masala Dosa Mix

A dosa center, whether it be at a mall or on the streets, is always packed with customers. Well, who doesn't love it. Pair it with some filter coffee and it is so yumm and heavenly. Now, to have dosa / masala dosa , you don't have to just wait to go to a restaurant to enjoy that dosa. You could just make it at home and enjoy it with family, at the comfort of your own home.

When we first got hold of this recipe, we just made it every other weekend. We were so fond of it. Those memories of going into the Indian Coffee House to relish on those amazingly crisp dosas over an excuse of birthdays or get together or a treat, was brought back when we recreated it at home. If you belong to our generation then you would understand what I am talking about, because these days, its all about the burgers, pizzas and fried chicken. Anyways, if you are a Masala Dosa fan or addict like me, you got to try it at home. I bet you would be hooked.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Aloo Parantha

Stuffed paranthas were always my favorites. While in school, mom used to pack these for lunch occasionally. I was a picky eater then, but the aloo paranthas would vanish from my tiffin soon, compared to anything else.

Luckily I married the guy who shared the same taste as mine. So I would make the mix the previous day that could help me make these paranthas real quick, for breakfast on working days. I would then have it with tomato sauce/pickle and he would have it with raita. My lil one is also a big fan of these stuffed parathas. Infact, he loves the thin version of these parathas. Hence, you see a thinner aloo paratha here. I have been asked many times by my friends and relatives how I get to make it thin without the mix bursting out of the paratha and the trick lies in the consistency of the mix.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Prawns Pollichathu

We don't have prawns served at our place, very often. My lil one doesn't like it. But rarely, when we make it, we try different dishes with prawns to try it ourselves. Last time, we bought it, we thought of making this Prawns Pollichathu. It tasted awesome with some steaming rice.

Have you tried Meen Pollichathu that I had posted a long time back. It is one of the popular posts on blog. We love it anytime. We wanted to create something similar with prawns and it was not disappointing either. It was a great side to go with rice and buttermilk to make our lunch so finger licking good. Here is how we made it.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Dates Payasam

Onam Sadya is incomplete without a payasam. Infact, its the highlight of an onam sadya, right? We always try to go with the Cherupayar Parippu Payasam for Onam Sadya. Ever since I was a kid, the onam sadya at home always had Cherupayar Parippu payasam for sadya. Other payasams are usually had for other occasions. If you are not so strict about having a particular payasam for onam then you could try a variety of payasams for your sadya. One such payasam is Dates payasam.

The highlight of this payasam is that no sugar goes into it. Its just the sweetness of the dates that makes this payasam yum. So if you are open to trying something new for this onam then go ahead and try it. You wouldn't be disappointed :). Also, this can be made quickly and that too it gets done with just one greasy pot :). Now that is one plus to try it for onam, when you have loads of dishes to do after the sadya.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Kaplanga Pulissery

Pulissery or Moru curry is a must for Sadya. I am not a big fan of sambar but Pulissery and Parippu curry are my favorites to pair with rice. Being married to a sambar lover, we do keep rotating all possible gravy options for our meals, so that both of us get to have their favorites.

Pulissery has different versions. Some just have the seasoned buttermilk, which is usually called Moru kachiyathu at our place and others have veggies like cucumber or papaya or okra etc. that is added along with coconut to the seasoned buttermilk and that is termed as Pulissery. Having those veggies soaked in buttermilk, to bite on is a special treat. It just pairs so well with rice.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Kerala Parippu Curry

Onam is fast approaching. Sadya is what comes into my mind when I speak of Onam. We don't usually get to eat food on banana leaf, otherwise. So, Onam Sadya is so looked forward to. Last year, we managed to make a mini sadya at home, for the first time, after having Jordan. We made the pookalam too. The little one was too excited that all the effort seemed, so worth. The other day when I told him that onam is in like a weeks time. He said he wants a sadya. My jaws dropped. I didn't expect him to remember last years celebrations. But he remembers every bit of it.

I remember asking my parents to take me for a sadya at the karshaka market (that is the place were we would get sadya served on banana leaf) when we came to kerala during one vacation. My Mom laughed and said, "usually kids ask for biriyani or porotta-chicken or icecream treat etc. But I asked for sadya". I guess my kido has also gone after me. He loves the whole sitting down for sadya and having the spread infront of him on banana leaf. Ohhh...I just can't wait to have sadya now.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Papaya Thoran / Papaya Stir fry with coconut

An overdose of anything would make you hate it. That is what happened to me w.r.t papaya thoran. i used to be a big fan of this thoran. I used to even like eating raw papaya. But when I moved to the hostel, it was served every other day, just because they had surplus papaya growing in their vegetable garden. I remember hating it since then.

After so many years had passed, when I started to spot the street vegetable vendors in pune, display it among the variety of vegetables, I got tempted. I got one and tried it. We licked clean the bowl. Ever since we used to buy it now and then to make it at home.

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. 
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