RIBBON PAKODA



Ribbon pakoda from Grand Sweets (Chennai) has been one of our staples in the snack section of our pantry while growing up. Now it has become my daughter's favourite. So each time we go back to Chennai we bring back packets of these to freeze!

I've tried making these before but never got the right texture. Something was always amiss!I get discouraged and promise myself Il never attempt to make these again. But ....but...but..........when it comes to cooking.......I never give up and this time I nailed the recipe. It was nice and crisp and slightly spicy. Just the way we like it.



INGREDIENTS:
rice flour - 2 cups
besan/ kadala maavu - 1 cup
red chili powder - 1 and a half tsps
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
white sesame seeds - 1 tsp
crushed cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
hing / asafoetida powder - 1/4 tsp
hot oil - 3 tbsps
salt - 2 to 3 tsps 
water to knead into a dough - as needed ( I used 1 cup and 3 tbsps)
oil for frying
murukku press with the ribbon pakoda shape plate

PROCESS:
  • In a bowl, mix together the rice flour, besan, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, hing, sesame seeds, crushed cumin seeds and salt.
  • Add in the hot oil and rub it into the flour mixture.
  • Now, slowly add in the water to form a soft dough. 
  • Heat oil for frying.
  • Oil the murukku press on the insides, and put some dough inside.
  • When the oil is hot, squeeze the press over the oil in a circular motion.
  • Don't overcrowd the pan.
  • Once it is cooked and becomes browned, you can remove from the oil and drain on a kitchen towel.
  • Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  • Once it cools, press down the murukkus so they break down into smaller pieces. 
  • Store in an airtight container.





CHICKEN BIRYANI - IN RICE COOKER




This is such an easy recipe which I've been using for about 10 years now. It's a keeper and never gets old. Rizwana and Parveen aunty .......thank you! It's the best:) 

I used to religiously sit and 'dum' (process of half cooking and half steaming the rice with the chicken gravy) the Biryani. So much of time, so many vessels to clean! 



Thanks to this lockdown when everybody takes short cuts so did I..............in making Biryani :D
Just used the rice cooker and dumped the rice and the chicken gravy inside with the water...........and ta da..........its done! The grains are nice and long, The taste is'nt sacrificed ANDDDDDDDDDDD you can go and take a shower without worrying if the rice will be burnt or not!LOL!



The recipe below is perfect for our family of 4. Tastes best with a side of brinjal pachadi or even just a simple onion and cucumber raita and some applams.

INGREDIENTS:
basmathi rice - 2 and a half cups ( I used the rice cooker cup which is 180 ml per cup)
chicken - 5 leg pieces 
cinnamon - 1/4 inch piece
cloves - 3
cardamoms - 2
yoghurt - 1/2 cup
oil - 1/4 cup
ghee - 1 tbsp
onions, thinly sliced - 2 big
green chilies, slit - 5
tomato, chopped - 1
ginger garlic paste - 3 tbsps
red chili powder - 2 tsps
shan biryani masala powder - 1 tbsp
mint/coriander leaaves, chopped - 2 tbsps
lime juice - 2 tbsps
salt to taste

PROCESS:
  • Marinate the chicken in the yoghurt with some salt and refrigerate overnight.
  • Wash and soak the basmathi rice in water for about 30 minutes.
  • In a wok, heat the oil and the ghee. Add in the cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms.
  • Add in the onions and green chillies. Saute, cover and cook on low to medium flame till the onions soften and turn slightly brown.
  • At this point add the ginger garlic paste. Saute for 2 minutes or so!
  • Add the marinated chicken (without the yoghurt) and saute for a few minutes. Add some salt, chili powder and the shan biryani masala.
  • When the chicken has changed colour add in the tomatoes. 
  • After the tomatoes have started to disintegrate, Add the yoghurt from the chicken. Mix well, close the lid and let the chicken cook.The chicken will cook fast. say about 10 to 15 minutes.So If need be you can add about half a cup of water .
  • Once the chicken has cooked through add in the mint/coriander leaves. Check for salt.
  • Switch off the flame and add in the lime juice.
  • Transfer the mixture to the rice cooker. add 3 cups of water. (See notes)Add the basmathi rice too. Give it a quick stir. Check for salt again. At this point the liquid must be slightly salty.
  • Switch the rice cooker on !
notes:
  • usually 1 cup of basmathi rice needs 1 and a half cups of water.
  • so for 2 and a half cups of rice iI require 4 cups of water.But the chicken mixture already had some gravy/ water in it. so I added only 3 cups of water and it turns out perfect.

MYSORE RASAM



Hello readers! I know its been very depressing lately, with all the news about Corona virus! Alot of us have been in lockdown for awhile now. It's been hard! It's like a war zone........with nobody outside! Hope and pray we overcome this soon so we can get back to our lives again!


Today's recipe is an easy rasam. I got this recipe off nags blog. I've made this rasam many times. It's always been a hit with the kids too! I always keep a batch off this rasam powder in the freezer. So I can literally whip up this rasam in a few minutes. It has always come to my rescue when I want to make a homecooked easy meal!

It goes so well with chettinad prawn masala or spicy prawn masala if your looking at prawn dishes. or this pepper chicken masala if you want a chicken recipe. Don't forget the appalams :)


INGREDIENTS:


for the rasam powder(to roast and grind):
coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
channa dal/ kadala paruppu - 4 tbsps
dried red chillies - 3 to 4  
cumin - 2 tsp
whole black pepper - 1 tsp
grated coconut - 1/2 cup


for the rasam:
tamarind - lime sized ball
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
tomato, chopped - 1
asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
boiled and mashed toor dal - 1 cup (optional)
salt to taste
rasam powder - 5 tbsps
oil or ghee - 1 tbsp
mustard seeds - 2 tsps
curry leaves - 8

PROCESS:
  • Heat 2 tsps of oil in a pan, and roast all the ingredients given under 'rasam powder' except the coconut. Stir for a few minutes till the dal turns golden brown. now, Switch off the flame and add the coconut. Stir well so that it mixes uniformly with the rest of the ingredients. Cool and grind to a powder. This is your rasam powder. (You can store in the freezer upto a month)
  • Now to make the rasam, soak the tamarind in 1 cup of warm water. Extract the juice from it. Add a few more cups of water and extract the juice from it. I added 6 cups of water for the lime sized tamarind. It all depends on the sourness of the tamarind used. So taste as you go.
  • Now pour the tamarind juice into a saucepan. Add in the salt, tomatoes, turmeric and asafoetida. bring to boil. Simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes till the tomatoes are soft and mushy and the water has reduced to half the quantity.
  • Now, add the rasam powder and dal.
  • Mix well and taste. Add more rasam powder or salt if required.
  • Now, for the tempering, in a separate small kadai, heat the ghee/oil. Add the mustards seeds. When it starts popping, add the curry leaves. Switch off the flame. Pour into the rasam and give the rasam a good mix and switch off the flame immediately. cover with the lid for a few minutes before serving.

notes:
  • Rasam powder keep well in the freezer for about a month. store in a clean glass jar.
  • After adding the tempered oil ( mustard seeds and curry leaves) to the rasam do not boil for too long. it will spoil the taste.


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