Archive for jaggery

More Experiments I

Posted in Snacks and Starters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2015 by icareufriend

Hi my readers! We meet after a long time. All along, I was experimenting with some recipes which I would like to share with you in postings from now on.

After Kartikai Deepam festival, a lot of aval (Pressed rice) uruNDais were left over as none preferred to eat them. Since they were made from jaggery (ghur) in addition to aval, I had to devise a method of converting them into an acceptable product. I decided to convert them into KESari which is softer than the hard uruNDais. After this was done, everyone liked it, particularly the children. You may also try.

aval KESari from Aval uruNDais 

Ingredients:

Aval uruNDais

GhI

Shredded coconut

Cardamom

Cashew Nuts (optional)

5

3 tsps

½ cup

2 pods

A few

Method:

Break the uruNDais into small pieces and soak them in about ½ a cup of luke warm water and if need be to cover the broken pieces you may add a little more water. Soak for an hour and then check if the aval has softened to touch. Then disintegrate lumps by hand to loosen the grains. Take a KaDAi (wok) and sauté the aval for a few minutes to vapourise the excess water. Then add the GhI with shredded coconut and sauté further till they become a homogenous mass like KESari or Pongal. Switch off flame and add cardamom after powdering the seeds. If you like, you can fry the cashews in GhI and add. You can serve either hot or cold with a few Vadais and chutney.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

aval KESari

Multigrain VaDai

This is rich in proteins and recommended for children as well to grownups being nutritious too.

Ingredients: 

Urad dal (Skinless Black gram)

Tur dal (Split gram/lentil)

Green gram dal (Skinless Mung)

Bengal gram dal (Skinless chana)

Raw rice

Green chillies

Dried red chillies

Chopped coriander leaves

Curry leaves

Salt

Asafoetida

Refined Oil 

½ cup

½ cup

½ cup

½ cup

½ cup

2 long ones

2 pcs

1 tbs

5

to taste

2 pinches

To fry

Method:

Soak all the pulses for 2 hours after washing them well in water. Drain the water and grind them into a batter of idli consistency together with other ingredients except oil in a mixie coarsely. Take a kaDai and heat the oil. Try to test by just putting in it a little batter. If it immediately jumps to the surface, add a ladleful of batter to fry both sides into a golden colour vaDai. This way, at a time you can fry 3 or 4 vaDais depending on the size of the kaDai. Fry all the vaDais and then serve hot with chutney. Simmer the flame from time to time whenever the oil is heated too much generating smoke.

Multigrain Vada

Multigrain vaDai

(To continue)

Puddings and Cakes V

Posted in Puddings and Cakes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2012 by icareufriend

(Contd. from previous posting)

Christmas is just ahead of another 2 months. During this festival, puddings and cakes are prepared. We will also discuss some of these.

 Christmas pudding

Ingredients 

 

Raisins

Currants

Seedless grapes (Kismis)

Dates

Butter

Margarine

Almonds

Table salt

Cloves

Cinnamon

Allspice

Nutmeg powder

Dry ginger powder

All purpose flour (MaidA)

Fresh Bread crumbs

Jaggery (gur) (shredded)

Sugar (fine powdered)

Apple  

Orange juice

Lemon juice

Brandy (optional)

Eggs

Vanilla essence

Cherries

Tooty Fruity (Optional)

 

150 gms

150 gms

150 gms

150 gms

100 gms

150 gms

10 pcs

½ tsp

2 pcs

1″ pc

½ tsp

¼ tsp

½ tsp

250 gms

200 gms

¼ cup

¼ cup

1 pc

2 tbs

1 tsp

1 tbs

3

1 tsp

A few

2 tbs

 

 Method

Wash apple, peel and grate. Wash the currants as well as the grapes and dry cool. Clean the raisins to remove impurities, if any. Blanch the almond and sliver. Chop the dates, currants, raisins, grapes, cherries and add to this the grated apple and slivered almonds.  Dry roast cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, powder and mix with the flour with dry ginger powder. Sift the flour along with the spices and salt. Keep them in a large mixing bowl. Add bread crumbs to butter, margarine, sugar and jaggery to this. Add the nuts and fruit mixture to this. Add tooty fruity pieces. Mix well. Whip the eggs and add the orange, lemon juices and vanilla essence. Beat well and add to the mixture in the bowl. Add brandy and blend well. Put all these into a greased pudding container. Close securely and pressure cook till done. Do the needle test as explained in our earlier discussion. Refrigerate. Before serving steam it for about an hour and serve with sauce. Some people pour a little brandy over it and light it to burn.

Christmas Pudding

From our next session onwards we will discuss some of the important cakes that we come across in our day to day life.

(To Conclude)

Puddings and Cakes II

Posted in Puddings and Cakes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2012 by icareufriend

(Contd. from previous posting)

 Coconut Milk Pudding

Ingredients 

 

Coconut milk

Jaggery

Eggs

Cashew nut

Cinnamon powder

Salt

 

2 cups

125gms

3

25gms

a pinch

a pinch

 

Method

 

                Coconut Milk                              Coconut Milk Pudding

Wash the eggs and break. Keep the white and yolk in separate dishes. Beat the white portion of the egg till it froths. Simultaneously beat the yolk to homogeneous consistency. Now powder the jaggery and mix well little by little with the coconut milk stirring simultaneously without any lump. (Please see the method of extracting coconut milk in the previous posting on PAyaSam and here you should take only the first and second extraction, extracting the second time with less water). Mix both the portions of the egg and beat well again. Mix this with coconut milk cum jaggery slowly stirring constantly. Add the cinnamon powder and salt to this. Spread ghI fried cashew nut pieces over this. Grease the side of the mould with ghI. Close the mould tightly and place it in the pressure cooker so that water level is up to half of the outer portion of the mould. Steam cook and remove after half an hour and check by passing a needle through the pudding. If the pudding does not stick to it then it is okay. If not, again steam cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Refrigerate for an hour or two before serving.

 Ribbon Pudding

Ingredients 

 

Fresh cream milk

Fine sugar

Custard powder

Fresh apple

Banana

Mango

Straw berry jelly crystals

Pineapple slices

Grapes

Red cherries

Fresh milk cream

 

 

500 ml

100 gms

2 tbs

1

2

1

1 pkt

½ cup

10

8

1 cup

 Method

  Ribbon Pudding

Remove lumps from custard powder and mix sugar with this well. Boil milk and keep aside. Pour the milk slowly in the custard powder sugar mix and stir well to remove limps. Boil this again till the contents thicken. Refrigerate. Prepare jelly from jelly crystals as mentioned on the packet and refrigerate. Cut the fruits after washing, peeling into small pieces. Wherever necessary deseed. Now pour the chilled custard milk to make a layer in a glass vessel. Over this spread a little of the fruits artistically colour wise. Cut the jelly and place a few pieces over this layer. This way use the custard, fruit pieces and jelly pieces to make at least another two to three layers. The whip the cream and pour over this. Finally pour the remaining custard milk and over that garnish with cherry pieces. Refrigerate for an hour or two.

 (To Conclude)

Miscellaneous Specials IV

Posted in Miscellaneous Specials with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2012 by icareufriend

 

(Contd. from previous posting)

At times you find different kinds of fruits left over or a lot of bananas after a function. Either we prepare Fruits Salad or PancAmrutam to make use of these fruits. These two items, if prepared well, will be liked by both adults as well as children. PancAmrutam is also famous in Pazhani and is used for abhishekam for Lord Shiva and Muruga.

Fruits salad

 Preparation time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

 

Fruits mentioned below

Sugar

Milk

Custard powder

Essences (Orange, Vanilla, pineapple)

 

2 cups

¾ cup

3 cups

1 tbs

Each 4 drops

 

 Fruits for Fruits Salad

Method

For this we use apple, grapes (only the sweet ones with a little sour taste as shown), banana, pomegranate, orange and mango. Straw and Rasp berries are optional. Wash apple and mango, peel these as well as banana.  Cut them into small dices. Wash the grapes (green as well as red) and keep aside. Peel orange and remove the fibres, tissues and seeds. Just retain the glossy juicy segments only and cut them into convenient pieces. Separate the beads of pomegranate and keep aside.

Remember to place the cut apple (and guava if used) dices in a vessel with water mixed with a little lemon juice as to retain their whiteness since they darken very fast.

For fruits salad, you must have a mix of fruits tasting sweet as well as little sour. That is why I have mentioned only a selective list. Some people include musk melon but its taste is not liked by many.  You also need cherries, cut into two to garnish as well as a little vanilla ice cream.

Fruits Salad

Boil milk. Add the sugar to custard powder and mix well. Add a little cold milk to this and mix well. Add the boiled milk to this slowly little by little and stir till you add the whole quantity. Heat this again over flame after simmering it. Keep stirring till the milk starts thickening. Put off the fire and remove it. Ensure that the milk does not become too thick. When warm, add the essences and mix well. After the milk becomes cold, add the fruit pieces/slices/dices and mix well. Refrigerate. Serve chilled after topping with a little vanilla ice cream and cut red cherries.

PancAmrutam

Preparation time: 30 minutes   

Ingredients

 

Banana slices

Dates

Large raisins

Jaggery

Pure Honey

Pure GhI

Diamond sugar crystals

 

1 cup

100 gms

100 gms

100 gms

¼ cup

2 tbs

2 tbs

 

Method

Peel the banana and mash the fruit into convenient lumps. Place them in a large vessel. Deseed the dates (or you can use seedless dates) and cut them into small pieces. Soak them in hot water for 10 minutes and mash them when cooled. Add this to the mashed banana. Powder the jaggery (ensure that it is free from sand and other impurities) and mix to this. Add the raisins after crushing them between fingers. Powder the sugar candy crystals and add. Add the ghI. Mix very well pressing the fruit, jaggery mix with a flat masher to have a homogeneous mixture. Allow this remain in this state for 2 to 3 hours before serving. Some people add cardamom powder also but I do not add.

PancAmrutam

Ice Creams

Ice creams are very popular on special occasions like birth days, parties, celebrations etc. Normally we buy, for emergency, commercial ice creams for which there is an elaborate manufacturing process. However, it is a pleasure to make these at home even though they differ from commercial varieties to some extent. Here I will discuss a few varieties that are made with and without eggs.

You can make ice creams from the readymade ice cream mixes available in food shops and all you need is to follow the instructions on the packets exactly. 

We can make ice creams from milkshakes also, e.g. mango, rose milk etc.

GMS (Glycerol mono stearate) and CMC (Carboxy methyl cellulose) are compounds used for stabilizing ice creams and are available in specialty food stores. These can be used wherever indicated.

  

      Essences for Ice cream                           GMS & CMC

Vanilla Ice Cream

Preparation time: 3 hours

Ingredients

 

Fresh & Pure creamy milk

Sugar

Custard powder

Vanilla essence

Food colour

 

500 ml

50gms

2 tbs

1 tsp

5 drops

 

Method

Break custard powder without any lumps and add to it sugar. Mix and add a little milk (say about 4 tbs) and again mix to remove lumps. Boil the remaining milk. Remove from fire and pour slowly over the custard sugar milk mixture. While adding milk little by little, keep stirring. Again heat this over simmered flame and stir constantly till it boils. Put off the fire and remove the milk mixture. When it is cooled, add essence and the colour and mix well. Pour it into an aluminium tray or an aluminium vessel. Put it in the freezer for about an hour. When the ice is crystallising at the edge, remove and whip the contents in a blender and again place it in the tray or vessel inside the freezer. Every 30 minutes take out like this for at least 2 hours or till the mix is completely homogenised. Freeze it for 6 to 8 hours or till the ice cream solidifies to scoop. When you want to serve, take out the ice cream, scoop and place it into an ice cream cup and garnish it with cherry pieces or ghI fried nut pieces and serve. You can also add the nut pieces to the ice cream in the vessel or tray when you finally freeze it so that they will not get mixed while whipping. In this case you have to scoop the portion without the nuts first and then over that place the scooped nut portion for garnishing with cherry pieces. Some people add two slices of sweet bread after removing the crumbs when they whip last to make the ice cream smooth.

Vanilla Ice cream

In the similar fashion, you can prepare orange, pine apple, strawberry etc ice creams using their essences and appropriate colour. In the case of chocolate or coffee ice creams, you need to add 1 tbs of drinking chocolate powder or instant coffee powder to the custard powder along with the sugar. You may increase the quantity of chocolate or coffee powder but never adjust the sugar as more sugar will not allow the ice cream to form.

 

(To conclude)

Miscellaneous Specials III

Posted in Miscellaneous Specials with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2012 by icareufriend

 

(Contd. from previous posting)

In this session we will discuss some special items that are also loved by many. BAdAm khIr (KhIr means pAyaSam) is one such item. If prepared properly, it is very tasty but many do not know how to prepare especially in marriage when they serve. It will be so thin like water without any taste except the smell of bAdAm flavour. You have to search milk in it! There are people who add cardamom, pachchai kalpUram or other essences to mar the original flavour of almonds!! Let us see how we need to prepare this.

BAdAm KhIr

To serve: 3 Preparation time: 30 minutes   

Ingredients

 

BAdAm (Almond)

Milk

Sugar

Saffron Strands

PistA

*Charuli or SAraipparuppu

 

12 pcs

1 litre

½ cup

a few

1 tbs

1 tbs

 

Method

*Charulipparuppu or Saraipparuppu as it is known in Thamizh, CharOli or ChirOnji in Hindi (Botanical name: ‘Buchanania Lanzan) is used in scented areca nuts, pAyaSams or in cakes, after fried in ghI. If pAyaSam is made from its paste adding milk, you should not take more as you feel giddy if consume more. For garnishing there is no problem.

Soak the bAdAm nuts in piping hot water for ½ an hour with closed lid. Peel the skin thereafter and grind the nuts into a slight coarse paste but not nicely. Now take milk in a thick bottomed vessel and add the almond paste. Heat it to boil and keep stirring constantly. When it starts thickening, add sugar gradually and stir. Never add sugar all at a time to milk when it is boiling or hot as it will curdle the milk.

BAdAm KhIr

Remove after the contents become thick and the entire sugar is dissolved. Now take a little milk separately and dissolve in it the saffron strands and add to the bAdAm khIr. Fry the piStA in ghI after breaking it into small pieces along with Charulipparuppu. Serve when chilled.

Green Mango PannA

Let summer arrive, all the north Indians prefer to drink this. This is also a delicious drink prepared from green mango. The preparation is very simple.

To serve: 3 Preparation time: 30 minutes   

Ingredients

 

Green Mango (Firm and raw)

Sugar

Water

Rock Salt/Common Salt

Pepper cum cumin powder or JaljIrA

 

3 medium

1 cup

4 cups

1 tsp

1 tsp

 

Method

The mango for this to be not too sour or too bland but moderate. Wash and clean the mangoes and boil them in water till the green skin turn yellowish green. Put off the fire and allow to cool. Peel off the skin and collect the flesh only by squeezing manually. Place this in a blender, add sugar, salt and the jaljIrA powder. (Rock salt can replace the plain salt and pepper cumin powder can be used for jaljIrA if you like). Blend moderately so that the pulp bits are visible. Serve when chilled. Never add ice to any juice as it will dilute it and mar its original taste. Just chill.

Mango, Pulp and PannA

PAnakam

This a special item generally made on Ramanavami, New Year Day, navarAtri as well as on the day of Sumangali PrArtanai. It is very simple to make and digestive.

PAnakam

To serve: 3 Preparation time: 30 minutes   

Ingredients

 

Jaggery (Gur)

Water

Dry ginger (SUnT) powder

Lemon juice

Cardamom powder

 

½ cup

1 ½ cups

½ tsp

½  tsp

½ tsp

 

Method

Break jiggery into small pieces, put them in water and keep it aside for 10 to 15 minutes to dissolve.  Stir well and strain to remove the impurities. Add other ingredients and mix well. Serve as it is or chilled.

nIr mOre

Along with PAnakam, this is also prepared and especially in summer to quench the thirst. The water content should be more in the butter milk as otherwise it will not be tasty.

nIr mOre

To serve: 3 Preparation time: 30 minutes   

Ingredients

 

Butter milk (sour)

Water

Ginger  

Green chilli

Coriander leaves

Curry leaves

Fresh mint leaves (optional)

Asafoetida powder

Mustard seeds

Refined oil

 

½ cup

3 cups

A small pc

1 (long)

2 tbs

10

5 to 6

¼ tsp

1 tsp

a little

 

Method

Wash the coriander leaves (and mint leaves if included). Cut the green chilli with ginger and add. Grind these into fine paste. Add water to the butter milk with salt, asafoetida powder and lemon juice. Add the above paste to this and mix well. Season it with curry leaves and mustard after shredding curry leaves into small pieces. Serve when chilled. If need be, you can add a little cumin  and pepper powders too.

(To conclude)

Thamizh Festivals XXVII (KAraDaiyAn Nonbu)

Posted in Thamizh Festivals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2012 by icareufriend
This is a festival where the ritual is to be performed by married ladies only. On this day ladies neither take butter milk/curd nor do they eat any cooked rice. While the festivals Kanu and KArtikai dIpam are meant for the well being and longevity of the brothers, this one is meant for the well being and longevity of the husband.  This is done in remembrance of SAvitri who fought with Yama, the God of death, to get back the life of her husband SatyavAn. That is why some call this as VaTa SAvitri. For neivEdyam, special kozhukaTTais known as nOnbu KozhukkaTTais are made using jaggery and salt but only the jaggery KozhukkaTTai is placed on the narrow part of a plantain leaf (nuni ilai) with fresh butter and tAmbUlam (betel leaves, plantain fruit, and areca nut), coconut, flower garland and caraDus (threads smeared with turmeric) separately on a plate or tAmbALam.   

The photos of deities and Sumangalis (either mother or mother in law) are garlanded, incense sticks and lamps are lit, the coconut is broken and kept on the tAmbALam. When the neivEdyam is offered by the ladies they utter:

“UrukkAda veNNaiyum, Ore aDaiyum veccEn, orukkAlum en kaNavan ennai viTTuppiriyAmal irrukkaNum.”

(“I have placed a KozhukkaTTai and butter and offer them so that my husband never deserts me.”)

After this, they prostrate before the deities. Now the caraDus are placed on the picture of Varalakshmi/Mahalakshmi (and other goddesses if excess caraDus are there) as well as on the photos of all Sumangali ladies who are no more. Thereafter, each lady keeps a caraDu on the tAmbALam along with other materials like betel leaf and vermillion, areca nut, turmeric pieces and carries the plate to her husband to allow him to tie the caraDu around her neck like tAli and seek his blessings by prostrating before him. For younger unmarried girls, the eldest lady will tie the caraDus around their necks.

The timing of tying the caraDu is very important since it has to be done around the time when the two months MAsi and Panguni meet meaning the time when the sun leaves the Kumbha rAshi and enters the MIna rAshi.

Finally each lady breaks the vellakkozhukkaTTai from the neivEdyam offered into two, and keeps one portion for her husband and eats the remaining first. Then she gives the other part to her husband signifying that everything in their life is thus shared by them equally till the end, whether in life or death.

 

Let us move to the recipes now:

VellakkozhukkaTTai

 No. of Persons: 3 Preparation time: 30 minutes Shelf life: 1 day

Ingredients

 

Rice flour

Black eyed beans (White KArAmaNi)

Gur/Jaggery (Vellam)

Cardamom (ElakkAi) Powder      

Grated coconut

 

1 cup

25 gms.

1 cup

¼ tsp

2 tbs

 

Method

Cook the black eyed beans in water. Roast the rice flour 5 minutes in a kaDAi till it becomes light brown in colour and spread on a plate to cool. Heat 2 cups of water. Add jaggery to it after shredding and when it dissolves in the water add the cooked beans. When the water boils add the grated coconut and rice flour and make dough of everything by stirring constantly by a ladle to avoid lumps. Add cardamom powder before it starts turning to dough. Divide the dough into small balls and press in the shape of VaDais with a hole at the centre and place in a cooker to steam them all. Remember not to put weight on the cooker. Remove them after about 10 minutes of steaming.

 

vellakkozhukkaTTai 

uppukkozhukkaTTai

 No. of Persons: 3 Preparation time: 30 minutes Shelf life: 1 day

Ingredients

 

Rice flour

Black eyed beans (White KArAmaNi)

Green chillies (Medium)

Red chillies (Medium)     

Grated coconut

Curry leaves

Salt

Refined oil

Skinned & broken black gram dAl

Mustard seeds

asafoetida

 

1cup

25 gms.

4

2

2 tbs

10

to taste

1 tsp

1 tsp

½ tsp

¼ tsp

 

Method

Cook the black eyed beans in water. Roast the rice flour for just 2 minutes, spread on a plate and allow to cool. Cut green chillies and break red chillies into big pieces. Pour the oil into a kaDAi and heat. Add urud dAl and when it turns golden, add mustard seeds. When it starts spluttering, add pieces of chillies and curry leaves. Add 2 cups of water, the cooked beans, asafoetida and salt to it. When the water boils, add the rice flour and grated coconut, stir quickly and uniformly with a ladle to avoid lumps and to make dough.  Divide the dough into small balls, press a little with the hand like vaDais and make a hole at the centre. Then steam all the kozhukkaTTais aka kAra aDais in a cooker without weight. Remove after about 10 minutes of steaming.

uppukkozhukkaTTai

When you make kozhukkaTTais for neivEdyam, make a little only as you cannot taste them before offering to the deities. The remaining kozhukkaTTais can be made after the nOnbu is over so that you can adjust the salt, jaggery, sugar, chilly etc according to your taste. 

Thamizh Festivals XXVI (MahAshivarAtri)

Posted in Thamizh Festivals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2012 by icareufriend
MahAshivarAtri is at the door. On this day, abhishekam, chanting of Rudram and Chamakam along with other shlokas and pujas are arranged in all temples of Lord Shiva. At the home we prepare KaDalaipparuppu cum PAsipparuppu (Bengal and Green gram dAls) PAyaSam which had been already discussed. The viewers may click the relevant link from the subject index on the right side https://dotcom2889.wordpress.com/2011/07/. We offer this to Lord Shiva along with a dish of sweet potato made with jaggery and ghI as neivedyam. Some also fast on this day.

No. of Persons: 3 Preparation time: 30 minutes Shelf life: 1 day

Sweet Potato dish in jaggery

Ingredients

Sweet Potato    

Jaggery (Gur)

GhI

Cardamom powder

250 gms

100 gms

1 tbsp

¼ tsp

 

Method

Wash and clean the potatoes well and then cut them into 1 to 1½“long. Pour water into a thick bottom vessel, add the cut potatoes and then boil. Remove them from fire, strain the water. After it cools down, peel the skin. Add jaggery to ¼ cup of water and make syrup. Add to this syrup the boiled potatoes and ghI. Keep stirring till the ghI and jaggery cover the potatoes and become one mass as well. Add cardamom powder. Some people just boil and peel the skin and offer directly as neivedyam.

 

     Sweet Potato (Pink & White)                      Sweet Potato dish