Saturday, August 21, 2010

Nei Payasam - Thiruvonam Special

Onamashamsakal from Adukalavishesham to all our dear readers. Wishing each one of you a very splendid and colorful Onam 2010.  For our Onam special recipes, take a peek into our Kerala Sadya collection.

This time we decided to go a little different with the Nei Payasam, though our wishes for this joyous occasion are as sweet as each spoonful would be. Nei payasam also called the Ambala payasam is the traditional sweet offering made in most Kerala  devi (goddess) temples which is later served to the devotees as prasadam.

Prep Time: 1 - 1 1/2 hrs

*Rice: 1 cup
Jaggery (melted): 2  cups
Ghee: 3/4 cup
Cashew Nuts: Handful
Raisins: Handful
Cardamom powder: 1 teaspoon (optional)

 * We have used sona masoori rice for the payasam.

Wash the rice well. Cook either in a pressure cooker or a rice cooker. Melt the jaggery cubes with a little water until liquified. Strain this for any tiny partciles and slowly pour into the cooked rice and throughly mix. Keep mixing on low flame. Make sure it doesn't get burnt on the bottom. Add most of the ghee, saving 2 tablespoons to fry the raisins and cashew. Keep stirring the rice, jaggery and ghee mix for about 1/2 hour on low heat until everything comes together nicely. Check for the sweetness. Usually this payasam leans more on the sweeter side, so adjust accordingly.

Sprinkle a teaspoon of cardamom powder if you want. Fry the raisins and cashew in the ghee and pour over the payasam. Serve warm.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Naranga Curry

A perfect mix of spice and tang , this pickle is a must have for most sadyas (usually the feasts that celebrate Kerala Hindu weddings).
So when we had lots of fresh limes in the kitchen today we decided to post this one to kick start the Onam spirit.

Prep Time: 30 mins

Lime (cubed like in the pic): 1 cup
Green Chili (chopped): 1 tablespoon
Ginger (chopped): 2 teaspoons
Tamarind: Lemon size
Jaggery: 1 piece
Chili powder: 2 teaspoons
Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds: 1 teaspoon
Dried red chili: 2-3
Asofoetida: 1/2 teaspoon
Curry Leaves: handful
Salt to taste

In 1/2 cup warm water soak the tamarind for few minutes and squeeze it with your hands. Take out the seeds and strain it. Boil this tamarind pulp water with one piece of jaggery.  Add chili powder, turmeric and salt. When jaggery and tamarind starts to come together and get little thick add the chopped ginger and green chilies. Let it simmer on low heat for 5-10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Now add the chopped lime and keep it covered for 10 mins.  

For final seasoning, heat some oil in a pan. Splutter mustard seeds, dried red chilies, asofoetida, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. Add some chili powder to it, stir and pour it to the curry. Stir well,adjust the salt and spice level and let it sit for 1/2 - 1 hr before serving.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Rava Idli

Rava Idli is a specialty breakfast item  from the southern state of India "Karnataka",  which is a nice variation to the regular Idlis. When served hot with a drop of ghee drizzled ,there is nothing to beat this.

Prep Time: 45 mins
Rava/Semolina: 2 cups
Yogurt: 1 1/2 cups
Eno Fruit salt: 1 tablespoon

Ginger (chopped): 1 teaspoon
Green chillies (chopped): 3-4
Grated carrots: 1/4 cup
Hing/Asofoetida: a pinch
Mustard seeds: 1 teaspoon
Urad dal: 1 teaspoon
Dried red chillies: 2-3
Curry leaves: few
Cilantro (optional): 2 sprigs
Salt to taste

*   The basic tempering can be changed to your liking. Some people also like to add a teaspoon of chana dal and even few chopped tomatoes.
Mix the rava with the yogurt nicely and keep aside for 15-20 mins. Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a pan, add hing, splutter the mustard seeds, urad dal, dried red chillies, curry leaves. Add the chopped chillies, ginger and  grated carrot. Stir for 2-3 mins. Turn off the heat and mix well. Add salt and the pan mixture into the rava-yogurt batter. Mix well. Add the eno fruit salt in the end. It will fizz up. Give a thorough mix before the batter settles down. Scoop into the Idli moulds. Steam in the idli cooker for about 15 mins. 

Take them out once slightly cooled. Enjoy it plain or with any chutney on the side.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Aloo Paratha

Parathas are basically unleavened flat bread made on  tavas (flat pan), which is a significant element of our Indian cuisine. Aloo paratha only gets better because its nothing but a delicious paratha with a generous stuffing of spiced potatoes. A specialty food that is truly  Punjabi by nature.

Prep Time: 30 - 45 mins

Wheat flour/Atta: 1 cup
Hot Water: 1/4 cup (more or less)
Salt to taste

Medium sized Potatoes (boiled & mashed): 2-3
Green chillies (finely cut): 2-3
Cilantro leaves (chopped): handful
Red Onions (finely chopped): 4-5 tablespoons
Jeera/Cumin powder: 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

Oil to drizzle
Lil more wheat flour for rolling the parathas.

Begin by making  the dough for the paratha. Pour the hot water into the wheat flour with  some salt  and knead into a soft dough. Make medium sized balls and keep aside.

Boil the potatoes until soft. Peel the skin and mash the potatoes until smooth making it lump free. Add in the chopped onions, cilantro , green chillies and cumin powder. Mix well. Check for the salt. Make small balls of these and keep aside.
Now flatten   the dough balls slightly in your palms making a lil cup. Place one ball of the filling and close it from all ends. Press it in some wheat flour  and roll it out into circles with a rolling pin. Heat tava/ pan and fry these rolled parathas until cooked on both sides. Make sure to drizzle oil or ghee while making these.

Serve hot with pickle and a bowl of yogurt.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Carrot Peas Pulav

Here's a quick recipe for an enticing  pulav that is packed with carrots, peas, whole spices and the aromatic basmati rice. Have it plain or serve with any curry of your choice.

Prep Time: 25 mins
Basmati Rice: 2 cups
Baby carrots (cut): 1/3 cup
Peas: 1/4 cup
Butter/ Ghee: 1/4 stick  or 2 tablespoons
Bay leaves: 2-3
Cinnamon stick : 2
Cardamom pods: 2-3
Salt to taste

Wash the basmati rice and drain it well. In a deep pan, heat the ghee/butter. Add the cardamom pods, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and saute. Add the drained rice and saute for another 5 -10 mins. Add the peas and cut carrots and  mix well. Turn off the gas. Cook the rice  in the rice cooker  in a ratio of rice to water (1: 1.5 cups)

Serve hot  with pickle, pappad and Raita.


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