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.


SOUTH INDIAN MIXTURE - SNACK




Mixture is a very interesting South Indian snack. A very apt name, as it is a mix of various interesting ingredients. It is slightly spicy and slightly salty. Our favourite when we go back to India. You can buy these at any Indian sweet shop. 

When I think of India, I can only relate to it in lines of food and company. Endless chatter with favourite company, with a hot cup of steaming 'inji' tea in hand.........and jars of mixture passed around....................popping a spoonful in your mouth each time the jar comes around........ in the middle of interesting gossips and 'catching up' !!!





INGREDIENTS:
omapodi ( recipe here) - 1 and a half cups
kaara boondhi (recipe here) - 1 and a half cups
poha/ aval - 1/2 cup
peanuts - 1/4 cup
pottukadalai / roasted gram dal - 1/4 cup
cashewnuts - 10
curry leaves - 1 stem
red chili powder - 1 tsp 
salt - 1/2 tsp
asafoetida/ hing - pinch
oil for frying

PROCESS;
  • Heat the oil in a wok. 
  • Fry the cashewnuts till slightly browned. Drain on a paper towel.
  • Next, fry the peanuts till there's a popping sound. Remove and drain on a paper towel.
  • Next, fry the pottukadalai and curry leaves. Remove and drain on the paper towel when they have changed colour slightly.
  • Next fry the poha. This requires more oil. So if you have only less oil in your wok, you can fry them in 2 batches. It will immediately fluff up. Remove and drain on a paper towel.
  • Transfer all the above fried ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Add the red chili powder, salt and asafoetida and give it a good mix.
  • Add in the omapodi and kaara boondhi too. Mix well and transfer to an airtight container once cooled completely.

CHETTINAD PRAWN MASALA


Chettinad is a region located mainly in the Sivaganga district historically ruled by Ramnad kingdom of Pandya Nadu and has a small portion extending into the Pudukottai District of Chola Nadu in Tamil Nadu, India' says WIKI

Chettinad is most famous for its Chettinad Cuisine. Chettinad cuisine mainly uses a variety of freshly ground spices. It is loaded with distinct aromas and flavours.

Chettinad cuisine is known for its spice and flavour and this recipe does justice to that. It goes very well with rice and sambar or rasam or even with some curd rice . Simply delicious. 
Serve hot with some appalams/paapads. smack!



INGREDIENTS:
500 grams medium sized prawn
oil - 3 tbsps
ginger garlic paste - 2 tbsps
onion, diced - 1 big
tomato, chopped - 1 small
turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
fennel powder - 1tsp
fresh coriander leaves, chopped - 3 tbsps
ghee - 2 tbsps
curry leaves - 10
salt

to roast and grind:
coriander seeds - 2 tbsps
curry leaves - 10
black peppercorns - 2 tsp
dried red chilies - 9 to 10

PROCESS:
  • In a wok, dry roast the coriander seeds, dried red chilies,, black peppercorns and curry leaves till the coriander seeds change slight colour.
  • Cool and then grind/blend to a powder. Keep aside.
  • In a wok, heat  the oil. Add the onion and saute till slightly browned.
  • Then, add the ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw smell goes.
  • Then, add the spice powder which we have just ground. 
  • Add the turmeric and fennel powder too. stir and mix well. At this point just add 1/4 cup of water, so that the spices don't stick to the pan and burn.
  • Add salt. Close and cook for a few minutes till the water almost evaporates.
  • Then, add the prawns. Stir and let the masala coat the prawns.
  • Add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water. Cover and let the prawns cook. Add the coriander leaves.
  • Cook till all the water evaporates. 
  • When it is almost dry, add the ghee and curry leaves. Cook on high flame till the prawn masala is completely dry( stir continuously at this stage) and switch off. 

KAARA BOONDHI - AN INDIAN SAVOURY SNACK





                                         This is an Indian savoury snack sold in all Indian sweet shops. They can be eaten alone or even added to a lot of dishes like thayir vadai (lentil fritters soaked in yoghurt) or you can simply sprinkle it over sweetened yoghurt as a a snack. There are many versions of boondhis- they can be sweet or savoury.

                                          I was quite excited to make this as it was a very different technique which seemed very fancy using 2 slotted spoons etc.............
It made me feel so important bragging to all my friends (obviously not experts at cooking!) about what I'd achieved 😁
please excuse my amateur video below. i had to beg my daughter to take that video. yup! I don't have any fancy tripods etc ....YET! and also pleaseeee turn a blind eye on the kitchen mess! 🙈 My boondhis don't look perfect. But its just homemade and for personal consumption. It tasted great! That's what really matters!:)



INGREDIENTS:
to make the kaara boondhi batter:
besan /kadalai maavu - 1 cup
rice flour - 2 tbsps
red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
hing/ asafoetida - a generous pinch
baking soda - 1/4 tsp
salt - 1/2 tsp
water - as required to form the batter
oil for frying

Seasoning:
ghee - 1 tsp
cashewnuts - 10
curry leaves - 1 stem
chilli powder - 1 tsp
pinch of salt

PROCESS:
  • In a bowl mix together the besan, rice flour, red chili powder, hing, baking soda and salt.
  • Slowly add water to form a thick batter (almost like bajji batter but maybe add 1 more spoon water) I added about 1/2 cup and 2 tbsps of water.
  • Give it a good mix. Must be pouring consistency. You can see in the video below. 
  • Now take a wok and add oil to deep fry.
  •  As you can see in the video I have used two slotted spoons. One to make the kaaraboondhi and one to remove it from the oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, hold one slotted spoon over the oil. Using another ladle scoop the batter, and pour it over the slotted spoon held over the oil, and press it in a circular motion quickly. This will make the batter fall through the holes into the hot oil.
  • After a few seconds, the boondhis in the oil will start to change colour. Once they are slightly browned, using the other slotted spoon, remove them from the oil and let them drain on a kitchen towel.
  • Repeat the process till you finish the batter.
  • Once you have all the boondhis ready we can finish off by seasoning it.
  • In a wok heat the ghee. add the cashewnuts and fry till browned. 
  • Add in the curry leaves and chili powder
  • Next, add in the boondhis and give it a good stir. Add the salt
  • Keep stirring for a minute or so and let the seasoning mix well with the boondhis. Then switch off the flame. 
  • After it cools completely, store in an air tight container.
notes:
  • If the boondhi look like they have got a tail it means batter is too thick and you can a bit of water.
  • If the boondhis are flat it means you have added too much water. you can add some flour and try again.

VEGETABLE SALNA - FOR PAROTTA




Go to any south Indian restaurant and ask for Parotta Salna! This is what you get! It is absolutely delicious and my favourite!The fragrance of fennel and coconut is D-I-V-I-N-E!
I've eaten it from the restaurants Saravana Bhavan and Dindugal Thalappakatti and I love it.

My photos just do not do justice to how wonderful this gravy tasted. You have to make it to believe me. Please don't be put off by the lengthy 'process' of this dish. It's actually a quick dish. Blame my writing!

Make sure you use grated coconut instead, and do not substitute coconut milk for it. The grated coconut gives thickness, consistency and flavour to the dish.



INGREDIENTS:
oil - 3 tbsp
mixed vegetables, chopped small (carrots/peas/potatoes/beans) -  2 cups
ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
green chilies, slit lengthwise - 3
coriander powder - 3 tsps
fennel powder - 1 and a half tsps
fresh coriander leaves, chopped - 2 tbsp
curry leaves - 1 stem
salt to taste


to roast and grind:
oil - 2 tbsps
cinnamon - 1 inch stick
cardamom - 3
cloves- 6
onions, roughly chopped - 2
tomato, roughly chopped - 1
ginger garlic paste - 2 tbsps
chili powder - 3 tsps
cumin powder - 3 tsps
turmeric powder - 1 tsp
grated coconut - 1/2 cup
poppy seeds - 1 tsp


PROCESS:
  • First, we are going to start preparing the salna base. So we use and work with the ingredients given under 'to roast and grind'
  • In a wok, heat the oil. add the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom and saute.
  • Next, add the onions and tomatoes together. Saute for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and saute for another few minutes.
  • Add the chili powder, cumin powder and turmeric powder and stir. Add the poppy seeds too.  At any point of time just add few spoons of water so that it doesn't stick to the pan.
  • Lastly add the grated coconut. Stir for about 30 seconds and switch off the flame.
  • Cool and grind to a smooth paste. Keep aside.

  • Now let's finish making the salna.
  • In a wok, heat the oil. Add the ginger garlic paste and the green chilies. 
  • Add the cut vegetables and stir. Add salt. cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Next, add the salna paste we have already grinded and kept. Give it a good stir.
  • Add about 2 and a half cups of water and let the vegetables cook completely .
  • Add the coriander and fennel powder. Close and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  • Add more water if need be to get the desired consistency.
  • After the vegetables have become soft, add the chopped coriander leaves and curry leaves. Switch off the flame after 5 minutes.
  • Eat hot with Parotta! Don't forget to lick your fingers in the end .....LOL!



BANANA BREAD WITH CINNAMON SUGAR TOPPING





This banana bread is one step ahead of your original /plain banana bread. It's decadent and rich and for all those cinnamon lovers out there....................... this is the one for you! My entire kitchen was filled with the aroma of cinnamon ! 

Well.....if you think I'm crazy to be eating so much sugar its okay. You can skip the topping or check out my recipe for another BANANA BREAD


If you follow me on instagram ( farahs_cookbook )you would already know that today was a fun baking day with my daughter. This recipe is a great recipe if you want to bake with kids! It's basic and requires no fancy gadgets or whiskers! Just a simple spatula :) I can see I've already caught your attention there!




INGREDIENTS:
ripe bananas, mashed - 3
melted butter - 1/3 cup
vanilla essence - 1 tsp
egg, beaten - 1
sugar - 3/4 cup
baking soda - 1 tsp
salt - 1/4 tsp
flour - 1 and 3/4 cups
topping :
sugar - 1/4 cup
cinnamon powder - 1 tbsp

PROCESS:
  • Preheat the oven to 180 deg celcius. Butter and flour a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan and keep ready.
  • In a bowl mix the ingredients under 'topping'  and keep aside.
  • In another big bowl mix the bananas, butter, vanila, egg and sugar and mix well.
  • Add in the flour and salt and mix to combine. Don't over mix. 
  • Now pour in half the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Top with half the cinnamon topping in an even layer.
  • Next, pour the remaining batter and top with the rest of the cinnamon topping again.
  • Bake in the oven for about 45 mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee or chai :)

PALKOVA - INDIAN MILK SWEET



Palkova is an Indian dessert made out of full fat milk and sugar. It is extremely addictive and delicious!
I used the UHT milk to make this and the results were as good. I is painful to actually sit and keep stirring the milk. You turn your back for a few seconds and the milk boils over and ruins your stove! I got a good muscle workout ......was stirring the milk for almost an hour!!!

It can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Just pop it into the microwave and eat it warm.


INGREDIENTS:
full cream milk - 1 litre
sugar - 1/4 cup
ghee - 2 tbsp
cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp

PROCESS:

  • in a heavy bottomed broad pan start boiling the milk on medium to low flame, stirring almost continuously so that it doesn't stick to the pan.
  • the quantity of the milk will reduce. keep stirring till it thickens like in the picture below.

  • At the point add the sugar. Now the consistency will become slightly loose. Stir for about 2 minutes.
  • Add ghee and the cardamom powder and keep stirring.
  • The mixture will slowly start leaving the sides of the vessel .
  • When it becomes thick switch off the flame. it will become thicker when it cools down. so make sure you switch it off earlier.

DAHI PAAPADI CHAAT




OMG!! the one thing( OK ! maybe more) I crave for when I'm far away from home. This is actually a delhi street food. Extremely popular as an appetizer at parties! It can definitely be plated to kill!

So how to do we eat this thing? looks a bit messy right? well.........you have to put the entire thing in your mouth and its an absolute explosion of flavors - spicy , sweet, sour etc............. so yeah! if you prefer you can eat it by yourself without anybody watching you in the comforts of your house.........finger licking good!..............wink!so lets go the recipe!:)


INGREDIENTS:
paapadi - a packet
chopped onions- 1 big
potato(peeled, cubed and boiled)- 1 or 2(I didnt use)
red chili powder - as required
chaat masala - as required
green chutney - as required (recipe below)
tamarind chutney - recipe here
sweetened yoghurt - see below
chopped coriander leaves to garnish
sev - recipe here or can be store bought


for the sweetened yoghurt:
yoghurt - 1 cup
sugar- 1 tbsp
salt

for the green chutney:
mint leaves - 1/2 cup
coriander leaves - 1/2 cup
garlic - 2 to 3 cloves
onion - 1/2
green chilies - 1 (according to your spice level)
chaat masala - 1 tsp
lemon juice - 1 tbsp
salt
water



PROCESS:

to make the sweetened yoghurt:
  • whisk the yoghurt till nice and creamy. Add in the sugar and salt. Keep aside.

to make the green chutney:
  • Put all the ingredients listed under 'green chutney' into the blender with the required amount of water (start with little) to form a thick sauce.
NOW TO ASSEMBLE THE DAHI PAAPADI
  • In a serving plate spread the paapadi neatly leaving space between each.
  • Next add a dollop of sweetened yoghurt over each paapadi.
  • Next add a bit of potato(if you are using)
  • Next comes a bit of chopped onions
  • Next add a pinch of chaat masala and chili powder
  • Top of with bit of green chutney and tamarind sauce
  • Lastly add a generous amount of sev on top and garnish it with chopped coriander leaves.
notes:
  • Assemble them only before serving. Otherwise it will get soggy.

TAMARIND CHUTNEY - FOR CHAATS

This sauce is mainly used in making 'chaat' What is CHAAT?? Chaat or chat is a savoury snack that originated in India, typically served as an hors d'oeuvre at roadside tracks from stalls or food carts across the Indian subcontinent in India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh." says WIKI.


There are various forms of chaat like bhel puri, dahi paapadi chat, sev puri etc .....the sauces and ingredients are mostly similar (add and minus a few ingredients) 

The sauce/chutney is tangy and sweet by itself.




INGREDIENTS:

tamarind - size of a lime soaked in 1/2 cup of hot water for 15 minutes
dates (de-seeded) - 7
jaggery - 1 tbsp (more if you want it sweeter)
cumin powder - 3/4 tsp
red chili powder - 3/4 tsp
chaat masala - 3/4 tsp
water - 1/4 cup approx

PROCESS:
  • Extract the tamarind juice by nicely squeezing and mashing the tamarind and then passing it through a sieve.
  • Boil the dates with enough water to allow it to cook. The dates must be soft and mushy. Simmer till the dates have completely absorbed the water. Put the dates in a blender to get a smooth paste. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan, place the tamarind juice and the jaggery. Bring to boil and add in the chili powder, chaat masala and cumin powder. Add more water(1/4 cup) if need be. 
  • Switch off the flame when the jaggery has dissolved and you get a smooth and thick sauce. let it cool. 
  • Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator.

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