December 30, 2015

Aval / Poha / Rice Flakes Ven (kara) Pongal | Pongal Recipes

Pongal is a traditional food liked by everyone. Since it is made of Raw Rice, it is unfortunately not healthy. The good news is that Aval Kara Pongal which I tried with rice flakes is indistinguishable in taste and also healthy because of Rice flakes. I highly recommended trying this atleast once. Once you start to like this, you will never go back to rice pongal.




Recipe Cuisine : South Indian | Recipe Category: Breakfast
Preparation Time:  10 mins  | Cooking Time: 15 mins | Yields: 3 cups

Ingredients:
Thick Aval / Poha / Rice Flakes
1 cup
Split Green Gram / Moong  dal / Paasipparuppu
½ cup
Cumin Seeds
1 tsp
Black Pepper
1 tsp
Ginger
 1 inch (grated)
Curry Leaves
1 spring
Salt
As required
Water
4 ½ cups
Turmeric Powder
A pinch
Asafoetida or Hing
¼ tsp
To Temper:
Ghee
2 tbsp
Cashew nuts (chopped)
1tbsp

Procedure:
1. Dry roast moong dal till a nice aroma comes out.
2. Pressure cook the dal with 1 ½ cup of water for 2 whistles in high flame. Allow it to cool down.
3. Meanwhile, wash and soak the rice flakes for 1o mins with 2 cups of water.
4. Dry roastthe  pepper and cumin seeds together till the aroma comes out.
5. After the pressure has gone from the dal (pressure cooker from step 2), add the rice flakes with soaked water. Then add the roasted pepper and cumin seeds (from step 4), curry leaves, grated ginger, salt , turmeric powder, hing and 2 ½ cups of water. Mix them well.
6. Pressure cook for 1 whistle in high flame and switch off the flame.
7. Heat the pan, add the ghee and fry the cashew nuts till they become golden color.
8. After the pressure has gone, temper it with fried cashew nuts. Mix them well and transfer it into a serving bowl or hot box.
     Wow health aval kara  pongal is ready to eat. Serve it with coconut chutney and sambar.

Note:
1. You can use the rice flakes soaked water also.
2. You should not keep the pongal in the cooker itself. Because the pongal will becomes thick soon.
3. Adding turmeric powder give nice color to the pongal.

Check out my other Pongal Recipes:
 1. VenPongal

December 29, 2015

Whole Wheat Flour Melting Moment Cookies without Baking Powder

     Usually these soft-white biscuits are made using Maida which is not healthy.

     In this recipe, I have used only wheat flour without baking powder. Yet I was able to get the -same quality softness. Because it is healthy, you can have these biscuits as many as you want without having to feel guilty of spoiling your health.





Recipe Cuisine: Indian | Recipe Category:  Baking
Preparation Time: 15  mins | Cooking time: 15 mins | Yields : 35 gooseberry size cookies

 Ingredients:
Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup (250 ml)
Granulated Sugar
½ cup
Butter
½ cup
Corn Flour
1 tbsp
Salt
¼ tsp
Vanilla Essence
1 tsp

Procedure:
1. Sieve the wheat flour and corn flour together for 2 times. Keep it aside.
2. Powder the sugar using the dry mixie jar. Keep it aside.
3. Cream the butter using the electric beater or hand beater.
4. Then add the vanilla essence, salt, powdered sugar (from step 2) to the creamed butter. Again beat it well till the mixture becomes soft and fluffy.
5. Now add the wheat flour mixture ( from step 1) and mix them well with your hand. Knead it into a soft and pliable dough.
6. Preheat the oven for 10 mins at 200 degree Celsius.
7.  Now make a gooseberry size balls from the dough (from step 5) and arrange them on a ungreased baking tray. Leave little space between each balls.
8. Then bake this cookies for 12 mins at 180 degree Celsius. Take it out from the oven and allow them to cool down. Store it in an air tight container for later use.
    Really tasty and mouth melting cookies are ready within half an hour.
Note:
No need add milk or oil for making dough.
Click HERE for more cookies Recipes.

December 28, 2015

Pearl Millet Flour Pista / Kambu Pista Cookies

     As both Pearl millet and Pista are green in color, I thought of combining these two to create a cookie. The combination came out very well and was liked very much by kids. The other good thing is both the ingredients are healthy.




Recipe Cuisine: Indian | Recipe Category:  Baking
Preparation Time: 20  mins | Cooking time: 15 mins | Yields : 25-30 cookies

Ingredients:
Pearl Millet Flour
1 ½ cup
Butter
½ cup
Sugar
½ cup
Pista Emulsion or Green Color
5 drops
Pista
10

Procedure:
1. Dry roast the Pearl millet flour till a nice aroma comes out. Allow it to cool down and keep it aside.
2. Powder the sugar using the dry mixie.
3. Cream the butter with powdered sugar using the electric beater or hand beater till it becomes soft and fluffy.
4. Then add the emulsion and mix them well.
5. Now add the roasted pearl millet flour ( from 1).
6. Knead it into a soft and pliable dough and keep it aside for 5 mins.
7. Roll the dough into ½ inch thickness circle on the rolling surface using the rolling pin.
8. Meanwhile, chop the pistas into a thin slices. Sprinkle the chopped pistas over the rolled dough and press them gently using the spatula.
9. Then cut the rolled dough into the desired shape using the cookie cutter or bottle cap.
10. Take the cookies using the flat spatula (like dosa turn over spatula / dosai thiruppi) and keep it on the baking tray. No need to grease the baking tray.
11. Preheat the oven for 200 degree Celsius for 10 mins. Bake the cookies for 13 mins at 180 degree Celsius.
12. Allow it to cool down and store it in a air tight container. You can use this for 4-5 days at room temperature.
      Healthy and yummy cookies are ready to serve with tea.

Note:
1. Adding pista emulsion is optional.
2. If you want to make more quantity, make in batch wise. 
Click HERE for more cookies recipes

December 27, 2015

Beetroot Aappam | Aappam Recipes

     I have been trying to make different varieties of appam such as Palak appam. This beet root aappam is in continuation with this approach. The pink color looks very attractive and the taste is also nice.



Recipe Cuisine: South Indian | Recipe Category:  Breakfast
Preparation Time: 15  mins | Cooking time: 15 mins | Yields : 5-7 appams

Ingredients:
Beetroot (medium size)
1
Sugar
1 tbsp
Aappam Batter (click here for the batter recipe)
1 cup
Oil
For making appam
1 cup =  250 ml
Procedure:
1. Wash and remove the skin of the beetroot and cut it into big chunks.
2. Pressure cook them with little (1/4 cup) water for 4 whistles in medium flame or till it becomes tender.
3. Allow it to cool down and grind them into a fine paste using the cooked water in a mixie.
4. Strain the beetroot juice from the paste.
5. Mix this juice with aappam batter.
6. Add sugar with appam batter and mix them well. Keep it aside for 5 mins.  Beetroot aappam batter is ready.
7. Heat the aappam pan and pour few drops of oil. Then pour a ladle full of batter into the pan. Now rotate the pan in a circular motion, sothat the batter spreads all over the pan. See this video for how to make aappam.
8. Now pour few drops of oil and close the lid of the pan. Cook for 3 mins or till the appam is cooked well.
9. Then take it out from the pan and serve.
      This goes well with coconut milk or coconutchutney.
      Click here for more Appam recipes.

December 24, 2015

Ragi Nuts Pakoda – A recipe created with ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser Mobile Phone

     Ragi pakoda ia a healthy snack which will be liked by both kids and adults. It’s a traditional snack which people will want multiple servings. When we add nuts it will be very crunchy and tasty such that nobody can eat just once without asking for more.


Recipe made with ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser:
     Also this a special blog post as I am making the photos and videos for this recipe using the ASUS ZENFONE 2 Laser. ASUS had sent me this phone and asked me to review it. Personally I find ZENFONE 2 Laser as a excellent food blogging tool as I am able to take very high quality photos without DSLR - 13 MP camera with auto focus using laser and multiple modes like Depth of field, effect, manual, beautification etc.,

     In the manual mode you get DSLR like controls like ISO, Shutter speed, Image quality, focus etc., As these advanced controls are available in a small handy phone. It is easy to take pictures in one hand while making the dish in the other hand. Another very useful tool for me is making the collage photos of the recipe making. In Zenfone 2 Laser there is a built in tool to make collages very fast without need for laptop.




Ingredients:
Ragi / Finger Millet Flour
1 cup
Chopped Onion
¼ cup
Red Chilli (chopped)
2
Roasted Groundnut
¼ cup
Cashew nuts
2 tbsp
Curry leaves
 A spring
Chpped coriander
Handful
Salt
To taste
For Deep Fry

Oil
As required

Procedure:
1. Add all the ingredients (except oil) in a wide bowl. Mix them well with your hand.
2. Then add water little by little and make a soft and pliable dough. Close the bowl and leave it for 5 mins only.
3. Heat the oil in a pan, put small pieces from the dough into the hot oil and fry till the sizzle sound stops.
4. Take it out from the oil and keep it on the tissue paper to remove the excess oil.
     Easy, tasty and healthy snack is ready. Serve it with tea or coffee.

Here is a video of making the pakoda – shot with ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser



Note:
You can allow it to cool down completely and store it in a air tight container for later use. You can use 3-4 days at room temperature.


Some Additional Comments of Zenfone 2 Laser as food blogger tool:
     As Photography is very important for food blogging, additional features like depth of field, IN – MOBILE PHOTOSHOP like image editing features and mini movie making can help food bloggers create their recipes very fast and ease.
Other than typing the recipe text all other recipe content creation had been done on the Zenfone 2 Laser (without laptop). This saves lot of time and the hazzles of transferring images between camera and system.

 

Depth of field photo of Fungus formed on a wood in our garden




Flowers video made with mini movie tool:



A Personal Foot Note:
I have not blogged for long time due to Chennai floods. I was marooned in my flat for 4 days without power and communication connectivity. We had foolishly exhausted all the power in our regular use mobile phones on the first day itself. When I wanted to desperately communicate with my parents, my phones were dry.  In a Flash, I remembered the Zenfone 2 Laser sent to me for review. Imagine how lucky I would have felt when I found the phone already charged upto 60%.  I switched it on and off retaining powder only during making calls to my parents communicating our whereabouts. My relatives sent a rescue boat and then a car to pick our family and my cousins living nearby. To my delight, the Zenfone 2 Laser lasted for 3 days, till I reached safety in my native place Palani. I definitely vouch for the Zenfone’s long battery life. My special personal thanks to ASUS.

My flooded neighbourhood:





November 30, 2015

Jowar / Sorghum / White Cholam Flour - Peanut Cookies

     I have been trying different varieties of biscuits which are tasty and also healthy.  In this recipe, I have tried Jowar millet and Peanut both of which are good for health. Both are also very soft as well. Another good aspect of this cookies is that it is totally gluten free.
     The Biscuits came out well and was liked by my family.
Click here for more Jowar Recipes.
Click here for more COOKIES Recipes.






Recipe Cuisine: Indian | Recipe Category:  Baking
Preparation Time: 10  mins | Cooking time: 12 mins | Yields : 25-30 cookies

Ingredients:
Jowar / Sorghum / White Cholam Flour
1 cup (250 ml)
Roasted Peanut
½ cup
Powdered Sugar
½ cup
Butter / Dalda / Fat
½ cup
Custard Powder (vanilla flavor)
1 tbsp
Salt
A pinch

Procedure:
1. Sieve the Jowar flour and custard powder together for 2 times. Keep it aside.
2. Coarsely powder the (80%) peanut without skin using the dry mixie. Just pulse 3-4 times only.
3. Preheat the oven for 200 degree Celsius for 10 mins.
4. Cream the butter / dalda / fat using the electric beater or with your fingers till it becomes fluffy and soft.
5.  Add the powdered sugar and salt with the creamed fat. Again beat till this mixture becomes soft.
6. Now add the flour mixture (from 1 ) and peanut powder (from 2). Mix them well and knead it into a soft and pliable dough.
7. Then roll the dough into ¼ inch thickness using the rolling pin on the flat surface like table top or rolling board.
8. Then cut the rolled dough into your desired shape using the cookie cutter or bottle cap.
9. Now arrange them on the baking tray and bake it for 12 mins at 180 degree Celsius. No need to grease the baking tray.
10. Allow it to cool down and store it in a air tight continer.
     Enjoy this gluten free and tasty cookies with tea.

Note:
1. I used dalda/vanaspathi, but you can use buter also.
2. Custard powder is optional.
3. No need to add milk or water to make a dough.

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