VENDHAYA IDDLI (FENUGREEK IDDLI)


This is a very healthy dish,and good for diabetic patients mostly.

Venthiam/fenugreek/methi is normally included when grinding batter for the basic

Iddli,but in this recipe it is used more.I got this recipe from a health program,and as

usual made my changes and it really turned out soft and tasty.In fact,this Iddli is very

light on you,easily digestible.As the present trend,is high towards Iddli which is South

Indian ,I can very well endorse that this vendhaya Iddli is  too excellent.

It is advisable to use whole lentils with skin on.(for the extra nutrients ).Convenient food

is never convenient on you.So it’s best to include lot of grains and millets in your diet.

For the recipe now.
INGREDIENTS

1 measure /cup black whole urad dal(ulundu)

1 measure/cup Iddli rice (parboiled rice)

1 measure/cup corn or horse gram

1 measure /cup pearl millet (kambu /bajra )or any available millet.

1/4 measure/cup venthiam/methi/fenugreek

Salt to taste

Coconut water(optional)

METHOD

Soak all these in different bowls for 3-4 hours.Wash the urad dal till most of the skin comes out.

Grind the urad dal finely with the fenugreek seeds.Next add all the other 3 ingredients

together and grind fine with coconut water or water.Mix the batters together with

salt,and allow to ferment for a minimum of 4-5 hours.Mix well,add water if necessary

.Pour into Iddli moulds and steam till done.Serve with sambhar and chutney.

Note:The same batter may be used to make vendhaya dosai .To make dosai you have to add a little more water.

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DUM KA ROAT HALWA(Ash Gourd Halwa)


This is an awesome halwa originating from South India.It is also known as kaasi halwa.

The dominating ingredient is the ash gourd.I have given pointers to health benefits

before,but as it’s my style to first get into health benefits shall give a few points.

The intense cooling property in ashgourd,gives relief to acidity and peptic ulcers.

The juice of ashgourd taken with lime juice or amla helps obese , diabetic,anaemic

patients.It is best to include this vegetable in any form for general health.It is an

excellent combination when cooked with dhal.

Today i would like to share this sweet and healthy recipe with you all.Believe me it excels

in taste competing with carrot halwa.Let’s get into the recipe now!

Ingredients

500 gm ash gourd (peeled and grated)

1 cup sugar

1 cup mawa /khova(you can use 1/2 cup milk powder if you can’t find khova)

4 tblsp.fine rawa (sooji,rulang,semolina)

3 tblsp.raisins

1/4-1/2 cup cashewnuts

1/4 cup milk (coconut milk also can be used for a variation)

1/4 cup ghee

1/2 tsp.powdered cardamom

a pinch of salt

Method

Heat ghee in a wok ,and fry the cashewnuts and raisins and set aside.In the same ghee

add the grated gourd with a pinch of salt,till the liquid in the vegetable dries up.Next add

the rest of the ingredients,and cook on a medium flame till it gets the texture of halwa.

Transfer to a plate and serve warm or  after it is cool.

Some areas they keep this halwa in the oven for a few minutes to get the crusty burnt

look on top,or maybe for longer shelf life.Well i avoided the oven ,believe me it was

yummy!

Note:Those who want to opt for jaggery( vellam ),instead of sugar also can go ahead and

try.Please do send in your comments.

Those who love to add food color may do so.I have not added color.

 

PRUNE ‘N’ WALNUT PIE


Prunes and walnuts are both listed under nutritious category.Prunes especially,though

the health benefits are excellent,some do not like prunes (dried plums),so this recipe is a

good way to introduce into the diet.To endorse a few benefits of prunes  now

1. The content of fibre,sorbitol (a sugar alcohol that can loosen the stool) and a natural

laxative compound diphenyl isatain  are beneficial to the digestive tract.

2. The high soluble fibre helps to keep the sugar levels stable,as it delays the absorption

of  sugar into the blood stream.It also makes you feel full and satisfied after a meal,hence

overeating is avoided.

3.They help in lowering cholesterol,and improving bone health effectively.

Hope this outline is enough on the health note,and let’s move on to the awesome recipe.!

Ingredients for the basic tart pastry (9-10″ pie)

2 cups flour

120 gm butter

1 egg yolk

2 tblsp.sugar

1/4 tsp.salt

1/2 tsp.vanilla essence

Method

Mix all these ingredients and bind to a soft dough.Keep covered for 30-35 minutes.Do not

knead too much,but lightly put it together.If the dough is kneaded too much the pastry

will be tough.You can prepare this the previous day,and keep covered in the

refridgerator,and use it when needed.For this recipe,you could prick the base of the

pastry, and directly pour the filling,without prebaking the pastry .

For the filling

18-20 prunes

100 gm butter

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

50-75 gm walnuts

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

1 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup rum,or grape juice (lightly heated to soak)

Method

Heat the grape juice lightly and soak the prunes for a few hours or overnight for a richer

taste.If using rum or any other liquor you needn’t heat .Remove the prunes from the

juice(do not discard the juice) and arrange on the pricked and unbaked pastry.

Cream the butter and sugar till creamy.Add one egg at a time ,beating well after each

addition.Sift flour and baking powder,and add to the mixture.Add the rest of the

ingredients,with the rum or grape juice.(it should be of a dropping consistency.)

Pour the mixture over the prunes,and bake in a moderate oven for 45 minutes,or untill

done.Serve warm or cold with cream or a blob of ice cream.

Well!we had it plain.Looking forward to your comments, and suggestions.

Variation:Dates,dried apricots,and dried figs  can be substituted for prunes

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BEETROOT JUICE HALWA


It was a long time,since i had this on my mind,brought into action only yesterday.Unlike

carrots beetroot is not loved by many.I have posted a recipe of beetroot halwa before

Beetroot halwa.(the link to it),but it was grated beetroot halwa.This time it is made with

only the juice.Whew!the time taken was more than the grated one,but worth the try.Kids

who have an aversion to this healthy and nutrient vegetable,will surely love it.

Let’s get into the recipe now.

INGREDIENTS

4-5 medium sized beetroots

3/4 -1 cup sugar

1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp.salt.

3/4 -1 cup ghee

3-4 tblsp.of cornflour

1/2 tsp.cardamon powder

few nuts (pistachios,cashewnuts,melon seeds)

METHOD

Extract 3 cups of juice from the beetroots  using a blender or juice extractor.

Heat a thick bottomed vessel or a non stick pan.Add the beetroot juice with half of the

ghee and cook for 10-15 minutes (the raw smell has to be out)

Mix the cornflour without lumps in a little water,and add to the beetroot mixture .Keep

mixing ,and you will see the mixture thicken..Do not allow the bottom to get burnt ,so

keep stirring.Next add the sugar and the spices.After you see the sugar blended well,add

the ghee gradually untill the mixture leaves the sides of the pan .Add the nuts and

transfer to a greased tray..Apply a tsp of ghee on top.Cut into shapes you like.

 

 

 

OLD FASHIONED RICE FLOUR CAKE


This recipe comes from an old recipe book which i found lately.Can’t make out which

year but it should be more than 50 years.The recipe was with only milk,but i thought

coconut milk will taste better with rice flour,and it did.To get a richer taste cashewnuts

may be added,which i did not add,but still tasted good.So,let me share this recipe with

you now.

INGREDIENTS

16 oz.flour(white flour/maida)

8 oz rice flour

8 oz.butter

8 oz.sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp.baking powder

1 tsp.vanilla

a pinch of salt

1.5 cups coconut milk.

1/2 cup cashewnuts

METHOD

Separate egg whites and yolks. Beat the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.Beat egg

whites with a pinch of salt till stiff and set aside.

Add egg yolks and beat well.Fold in the flours with the rest of the ingredients.

Fold in egg whites finally ,and bake in a greased tin for 2 hours or until done.(180

degrees)

 

SEMOLINA CAKE (PANTHOL)


This is an age old traditional recipe from  the South of Tamil Nadu.They bake these  in

old age firewood ovens those days.Well ,i have cherished memories when i was a kid

and had the opportunity to see it baking in the firewood  ovens.The process of baking

,the aroma and the produce was more than awesome.In fact,when i made, i did not get

that exotic taste,which i still remember.Anyway ,let me share this traditional  recipe with

you.This can be stored for some time ,and no doubt it tastes good.

INGREDIENTS

300 gms semolina

5 eggs

300 gm powdered sugar

150-175 gm ghee

1 tsp.cardamon essence or 1 tsp cardamon powder

1 tsp.baking powder

a pinch of salt

1/4 tsp.powdered nutmeg.

1/2 cup cashewnut ground coarse and a few to add on the top (not in the recipe ,i wanted

to add to the taste)

METHOD

Melt the ghee lightly,add  to the semolina (with the baking powder) and set aside.Beat the

eggs well and add to the semolina mix,and set aside for 5-6 hours.

Sugar should be added only after the semolina is well soaked.

Now add the sugar ,and the rest of the ingredients.Mix well and pour into a greased and

lined baking tray.Bake in a slow oven for 120-130 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

BESAN AND CASHEW LADOO


The besan ladoo is a traditional sweet of Northern India.This time i thought to give it a

change in my way ,by mixing in cashewnut powder,and the taste was too good.The blend

of cashewnut powder,and besan powder was awesome.The roasting of the besan flour in

ghee is too important,it should not get burnt or have the raw taste and smell.So first you

could slightly roast the besan flour without the ghee for few minutes,remove from fire

and then mix the ghee,and then again roast till you get a nice smell.(do not touch the

flour when it is hot as it will burn your fingers).

INGREDIENTS

2 cups gramflour (besan flour)

1 cup fine powdered sugar or boora sugar (these are sold in indian supermarkets)

1/2 cup pure ghee

1/2 cup powdered cashewnut

few broken cashews

1/2 tsp.cardamon powder

a pinch of salt

METHOD

Dry roast the besan flour for a few minutes .Remove from fire,and mix in the ghee.Keep

on fire again and roast on medium flame till it is nice and golden,and you get a good

aroma(not burnt aroma).Transfer to another tray and allow to cool slightly.Add the

powdered sugar  and the rest of the ingredients and make ladoos.This can be stored for

more than a week.If you are using boora you can store for a month .(provided it lasts to

store…..)A very tasty and healthy sweet.!

SEMOLINA JAGGERY CAKE


This is a cake made without flour,and has a rich taste ,like Love cake (SriLankan).As

cashewnut powder is used in the making it has an unique taste.So i’m getting to the recipe

rightaway.

INGREDIENTS

250 gm butter

250 gm jaggery (grated)

250 gm cashewnuts.(powder half ,and keep the other half chopped)

3/4 cup dessicated coconut

125 gm sugar

1.5 tsp.baking powder

2 tsp.vanilla

1/4 tsp.rose essence or rose water 1 tsp.

2 tsp.mixed spice powder

250 gm roasted semolina(rawa/sooji)

3/4 cup thick coconut milk

4 eggs.

1/4 tsp.powdered nutmeg

a pinch of salt

METHOD

Add melted butter ,or soft room temperature butter to the rawa .Mix well and add

cashewnut powder,dessicated coconut and grated jaggery.Mix well and set aside.

Separate the egg yolks and the whites in different bowls.Beat egg yolks with the

sugar,rest of the spices and the baking powder.Add to the the semolina mixture.

Beat egg whites stiff,and fold in with rest of the ingredients.Pour into a lined and

greased  tray.It’s better if you line the bottom first with newspaper and use the butter

paper.(to prevent the bottom from getting burnt).Bake at 160 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

 

EASY MANGO KULFI


Kulfi is like icecream ,but more creamier and denser.It is more of of a southern Asian

dessert,and it is more easier than ice cream,no whipping required,and the taste is

awesome.Summer times glory ,and when you know to make it at home ,its wonderful.

This recipe could be made in minutes.So ,let’s get into the recipe now.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups fresh milk

1 tblsp  milk powder

100 gm khova/mawa/thickened milk

1/4 cup sugar (if  you need more you could add)

1 mango pureed (1 slice cubed and set aside aside)

few pistachios,cashewnuts

1/4 tsp.cardamon powder

a pinch of salt

METHOD

Crumble the khova/mawa.Add to the milk with the milk powder and heat  for few

minutes(5-10 minutes).Add sugar and heat for  few more seconds.Remove from fire.Add

the nuts and pureed mango and cut mango ,and the cardamon powder.Mix well and

pour into kulfi moulds or any moulds you like.Freeze for minimum 4-5 hours.

 

 

JAK FRUIT BOMBAY HALWA


In Chennai it is difficult to get raw jackfruit kernels,in fruit shops.You have to go to a

wholesale market to get.So whenever i see the ripe luscious variety i buy many trays.

We had a very good jak fruit tree in my paternal home,which had fruit always.My

cherished memories with my brother in my childhood days,was when we both used to

go down to the garden ,grab the closest fruit ,sit there ,enjoy the fruit under the tree

itself .It is really lovely to sit there and eat…priveleged people will know ….

This is the first time,i have tried this recipe, (small quantity)and it turned awesome..My

kids are the best food critics.There comments will be very clear,hope you

understand….They said it was awesome.So you could try your hand at it .

For the recipe now.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup ripe ,sweet jak fruit kernels

1/2 cup sugar

2 tblsp cornflour+half cup water mixed without lumps

4-6 tblsp.ghee (you could add more if you like)

pinch of salt

edible camphor a pinch

1/2 tsp.cardamon powder

saffron stands a few /or yellow coloring(optional)

any type of nuts you like(cashewnuts/almonds/raisins/melon seeds)

METHOD

Remove the seeds from the kernels,and make a pulp using a blender(small bits and

pieces remaining also will be good).Heat 1 tblsp.ghee in a thick bottomed pan ,and add

the ground jak kernels,and cook till it changes to a golden color.Add sugar and mix well

till sugar dissolves.Next add the cornflour mixture,(take care at this stage  the mixture

will thicken quick).Add the rest of the ingredients and keep stirring till the mixture

leaves the sides of the pan.Transfer onto a greased tray.Apply a little ghee on top.Allow to

cool,and cut into shapes.

Note:Please do not mind the thin slices in the photo.I tried only 1 cup quantity and that gave only 6 slices.