12 Back from Break and few things to share

Back from my break(vacation). Now sharing few things during the end of the year 2010.

My Kaju Katli recipe got selected at Chackos Kitchen as one of the 30 best recipes of 2010.

Next my blog has been selected as one of the Best online cooking blog in Indian Cuisine for the year 2010 by Online cooking schools.


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19 BANANA FLOWER DHAL- and 2 weeks Break

Banana Flower(blossom)/ Ariti puvvu/ Vazhai poo Dhal or Sambhar

Happy holiday everyone.

Here schools have declared holiday due to snow blizzard and I am at home relaxing after 4 months with finishing my short term course in a community college. Just last week finished with course, final projects and final exam. Feeling relaxed and relieved :)
Now time for holidays and taking 2 weeks break from blogging, as will be travelling to California this thursday. Visiting sister's family and brother's family and also my mom who is there right now. Sis and bro, both live in California in two different cities with a travelling distance of only 15 minutes. Kids are excited and so am I.

Now coming back to the recipe:-

Love any dish prepared with banana flower, but getting it here in my place is very rare. Mostly will prepare vadai when I get and sometimes koottu or usili.

Banana flower - 1 cup ( cleaned and chopped0
Toor dhal - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Sambar powder - 2 tsp
Onion - shallots (around 10) or red onion - 1 chopped
Tomato - 2 medium chopped
Green chillies - 2 slit
Ginger - 1 inch crushed
Garlic - 5 crushed
Tamarind - one small lime size
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - few
Curry leaves - few
Lime juice - few drops
Coriander leaves - few chopped
Salt as needed
Oil - 2 tbsp

Wash and cook toor dhal with few drops of oil and turmeric powder for 2 - 3 whistles with banana flower( Here I cooked the flowers seperately as was planning to make vadais).

Heat oil and add cumin seeds and mustard seeds, curry leaves. Wait till they pop and add onions. Fry till transculent and add green chillies, garlic and ginger. Fry till onions are nice brown. Next add chopped tomatoes. Mash and cook till pulpy. Then add sambar powder and mix once. Next add the cooked banana flowers( if cooked seperatelY) and fry in oil for a minute. Pour in tamarind pulp( soaked for 30 minutes in a cup of water and pulp extracted). Allow it to boil up and pour in cooked toor dhal. Let it come to a boil. Add salt and garnish with chopped corinader leaves. Remove and squeeze in lime juice. Serve with hot rice.

Sending this to CMT-Dhal/Kadhi/Sambar/Rasam event hosted by Priya an event started By Jagruti.

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Vellai Paniyaram

This is a traditional dish from Chettinadu( Tamilnadu). Though have heard about this dish very much and tasted it in few places, it was not common in my house. During my visit to India this summer, happened to learn it from one of our relative. Hearing about my visit one of our close relative had come over to my parents place. Along with her came 2 of her distant relatives, one of whom had stayed in Karaikudi for more than 25 years. Knowing about my interest in learning new dishes, she was so happy to give me notes and recipes along with some tips. One such dish is this vellai paniyaram. I often was confused with the names vellai paniyaram and vella paniyaram. Vella paniyaram is lightly sweet and made with jaggery (vellam) the one I am posting today is Vellai paniyaram the name due to its white(vellai in Tamil) color.

The best combo with this paniyaram is tomato kara chutney or red chutney which I will be posting soon. This can be had as a snack or as an evening tiffin or breakfast.

Raw rice - 1 cup
Urad dhal - 1/4 cup
Salt - as needed
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Milk - 1/4 cup or very little
Oil - for frying

Wash and soak rice and dhal together for one hour. Wet grind to a smooth paste consistency. The consistency should be slightly watery than dosa batter for tha add milk to lightly dilute the consistency. Also add salt and sugar(though sugar is added, it is not a sweet dish, but it just helps in puffind up and also taste good :) ) and mix very well. Transfer to a deep vessel and immerse the vessel with a lid covered in a vessel filled with cold water or in a refridgerator for one hour. Remove 10 minutes before using. You can as well skip this step and fry them right after grinding.

Heat oil for deep frying. When hot reduce to medium flame. Take a ladle full of batter and pour into hot oil 3- 4 times so some of the mix falls and flattens. With a different ladle used for frying things take some hot oil(using the ones that it is fried) and keep on pouring on top of the paniyarams. This way the paniyarams will get puffed up. Turn and repeat the same until the sizzle stops and the paniyarams are cooked. Do not over fry till they are crispy or turn dark. Remove and serve with nice spicy chutney.

Sending this to Food palette series white event hosted by torview.



Kang kong /Mashed water spinach/(Kaattu Keerai/Sarkaraivalli) Keerai Masiyal / Anne Soppu ( Kannada)/ Gurukkoorakku (Telugu)

It is also known as aquatic morning glory,Swamp morning glory, swamp cabbage, chinese water spinach, kangkong. Kalmua in Hindi, Tutikura in Telugu, Kalamba in sanskrit, Vallai Kirai(k(S)arkarei valli) in Tamil, Chanthion in Kannada.

Had this post in my drafts for more than 5 months, that is from my trip to India. Main reason was finding its name in English and only recently got to know that it is called as water spinach. At home my mom calls it as kaattu keerai in Tamil and GuruKoorakku in my home language. I googled a lot and found all these names above through wikipedia.

This is very commonly prepared at home and served with rice. The taste is really awesome. During my visit this time I was able to eat of greens and one such is this keerai masiyal. Prepared with very minimum ingredients and less time. Try it out and you will agree with me.

Water spinach - 1 bunch
Small onions/shallots - around 6 roughly chopped
Red chillies - 3 or 4 broken into half
Tamarind - 2 inch piece
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Salt as needed
Oil - 3/4 tbsp
Mustard seeds - very little
Urad dhal - very little
Garlic - 3 or 4 pods crushed ( optional)

Dry roast coriander seeds until nice brown without darkening and keep aside.
Heat 1/4 cup of water and add the leaves and cook. To it add coriander seeds, salt and tamarind. Cook till leaves are shrinked and very soft. Remove and cool. Later grind to a paste or mash with a masher.
Heat oil and temper with mustard seeds, urad dhal and red chillies. Next add crushed garlic( you can skip this one) and onions. Fry till nice brown and pour in the mashed greens. Mix and serve with rice.

Sending this "Only greens" event hosted by Sara an event started by Pari.



Simple Fish Fry/Vanjara Meen varuval

A simple/easy and tasty fish fry. Can use any type of fish which is available. Here I have used Vanjara Meen( King Fish). All you need is to marinate the fish with some spice for couple of hours or overnight and then shallow fry. Have it with rice and a nice gravy and enjoy your fish fry.

Vanjara Meen( King Fish) - 4 or 5 Piece
Chilli powder - 1 - 1 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Vinegar or Lime Juice - 1 tbsp
Salt as needed
Oil for shallow frying
Bread crumbs - very little ( optional)

Wash fish with half of turmeric and dry out. In a different bowl combine all the ingredients that is chilli powder, turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste, vinegar or lime juice salt and mix well.

Apply the mix all over the fish. Cover and set it aside for 2 - 3 hours or overnight in a refridgerator. Remove at least 30 minutes before frying.If needed can coat the fish pieces with bread crumbs to make it crispy and avoid breaking into pieces. Heat oil for shallow frying. Add in the pieces in small batches and fry in low flame for 10 - 12 minutes. Turning very gently. Cover with a lid for fast cooking and also to retain the juice inside the fish. Remove and serve.

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34 EGGLESS DATES CAKE - 2nd Blog Anniversary

Eggless Dates cake

First of all, let me say a BIG THANKS to all my readers who visited "Padma's Recipes" during this 2 years, commented, subscribed to my posts. This blog turns 2 today mainly, due to the feedback from you all. Thank You very much.

To celebrate My blog's Second Birthday/Anniversary I am posting an eggless dates cake. Made a slight change and the outcome was super soft.

Pitted dates - 1 cup ( around 20)
Butter - 1 stick ( approx 113 grams)
Sweetened condensed milk - 1 can ( 14 oz / 300 ml)
All purpose flour/Maida - 1 cup
Sooji fine/semolina/small Rawa - 1 cup
Baking powder - 2 tsp

(Note in place of sooji can use all purpose flour. Then use 2 cups of all purpose flour instead of 1 cup mentioned)

Soak dates in a cup of hot water for 1 - 2 hours. Later grind or mash to a fine paste.
Dry roast rawa until you get a nice pink color and aroma. Remove and keep aside.

Melt butter in a bowl and to it add sweetened condensed milk. Mix very well using a hand mixer. Next add dates paste and mix again for few seconds. Finally add baking powder, roasted rawa and all purpose flour. Mix very well using an electric mixer for atleast a minute.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch round cake pan with a spray/oil/butter. Pour in the mix and bake for 35 - 40 minutes. Check after 30 minutes and keep a close watch. Insert a fork or toothpick in the centre and if it comes out clean. Remove and cool.

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Yellow pumpkin Poriyal (Stir Fry)

Pumpkin/ Poosanikai/ Gummidikaaya/ Kumbalakaayi.

A perfect side dish using yellow pumpkin right for this season. Goes well with rice and or roti's.

Yellow pumpkin - 1 lb
Onion - 1 small chopped fine or shallots - 6 -8 roughly chopped
Red chillies - 4 broken
Curry leaves - few
Mustard and urad dhal - very little
Grated coconut - 3 tbsp
Salt as needed
Oil - 1 tbsp

Clean and cut pumpkin into medium cubes. Cook separetly with little water and salt until soft but not mushy.

Heat oil and add mustard seeds, urad dhal and curry leaves. Wait till they pop and add onion and redc hillies. Fry till onions are nice brown. You can also skip the use of onion. Just add chillies and immediately add the cooked pumpkin. Stir well and add salt and grated coconut.

Serve as a side dish with rice and any gravy.

1 Entry to 30 Best Recipes of 2010

Sending my Kaju Katli recipe to "30 Best Recipes of 2010" event hosted by Chackos Kitchen.

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Drumstick leaves/ Moringa ila / Muringai ilai/ Nugge Soppu / Munakkaakku / sahjan

Drumstick leaves are highly nutritious, being a significant source Vitamin C, protien, Iron and Potassium. This leaves are bitter in taste, but they are very nutritious. Can be made as a stir fry or can also be added in dhals, adai/rotti and other dishes. Cleaning and removing the leaves is a tedious job, but once done the it can be cooked very easily.

Usually these leaves are sold in bunches and the perfect way to remove the leaves is to tie them in a wet cloth and leave it aside for few hours. Later just shake the bunch so that some extra leaves fall out inside, now open and remove the remaining by plucking.
Wash and clean the leaves, no need to chop the leaves.

Drumstick leaves - 1 bunch
Shallots - around 8(roughly chopped) or 1 medium red onion - chopped
Chillies - 4 ( can use red or green)
Mustard seeds - very little
Urad dhal - very little
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Salt as needed
Oil - 1 - 2 tbsp
Grated coconut - 3 - 4 tbsp

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, urad dhal and curry leaves. Wait till they pop out and add chopped onions and chillies. Fry till nice brown. Next add drumstick leaves. Reduce flame and keep stirring now and then till they are cooked. Can also cover with a lid and keep checking now and then. Add salt in between and finally add grated coconut and give a stir. Enjoy it as a side dish with rice and some gravy.



Dumroot / Kashi Halwa / Winter Melon Halwa / White Pumpkin Halwa

White pumpkin / Winter melon / Boodidagummidakaaya / Poosanikai/ Kumbalakaayi

Made this sweet for our wedding Anniversary today. My husband just loves sweet and whenever possible I try to make some sweets and it gets over in no time. But recently have reduced making and make some only once a while. For our anniversary I usually make carrot halwa and or paruppu payasam which we both love. This time made this sweet called dumroot in Bangalore. Being a Bangalorean loved this so much and always enjoyed having them in festivals/functions and mainly in weddings. Getting this melon is little difficult in our place here. Last weekend happened to get these from Chicago and my first thought was dumroot. Just enjoyed having them and my older one just loved it.

Wintermelon / white pumpking - 2 cups ( grated)
Sugar - 1 cup ( reduce or increase as sweetness needed)
Ghee/ clarified butter - 2 tbsp
Cardamom powder - 2 pinch
Nutmeg powder - 1 pinch(optional)
Milk - 1 cup
Food color - a pinch
Cashewnuts and raisins - few each

Can use sugarless khova and make this a richer halwa.

Scrape the rind and remove seeds from the pumking. Grate them and then squeeze our of water( do not discard). Save it for later use.

Heat ghee in a pan and fry cashewnuts and raisins. Remove and keep aside. In the pan using the ghee add grated pumpkin. Saute in medium flame for 3 - 4 minutes. Next add the saved water and cook till the water evaporates. Next add milk and cook till the pumkins are soft. Also add food color. Next add sugar. Keep stirring now and then and cook till you get halwa/thick consistency. Finally add cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and the fried cashewnuts and raisins.

If using khova then can skip milk if needed and add these before adding sugar.Then add extra water to cook the melon. Will give a nice richer taste.



Milo-Sorghum Idli/ Sorghum flour idli/ Jonna Idli/ Jowar(Jwari) Idli/ Cholam Idli

It is also called milo and low in gluten. Its seeds, somewhat round and smaller than peppercorns, can be ground into flour.

Sorghum is one of the five top cereal crops in the world, along with wheat, oats, corn, and barley. It is used to make foods as couscous, sorghum flour, porridge and molasses. Bhakri (Jolada rotti in Northern Karnataka), a variety of unleavened bread usually made from sorghum, is the staple diet in many parts of India, such as Maharashtra state and northern Karnataka state. In eastern Karnataka and the Rayalaseema area of Andhra pradesh, roti (Jonna rotte) made with sorghum is the staple food.

Also the flour if more than a month old will not be good for making rottis.( A tip from a friend). Instead can make use of them in recipes like idli/dosa/idiyappam/upma.

Sorghum seeds/ Jonnalu/ Jowar/ Cholam - 2 cups
Urad dhal - 1 cup
Rice flour - 3 - 4 tbsp Or can also use idli rawa
Salt as needed
Cooking soda - 2 pinch

For the veggies:-
Mixed veggies like carrot, beans, peas corn etc
Chilli and cumin powder - 1/2 tsp each
Sambar powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp

Soak Sorghum seeds and urad dhal separately for 4 - 5 hours. Grind both seperately and mix in a deep vessel together. To it add salt and rice flour or idli rawa( it is otpional to soak ahead). You can also use sorghum flour for making this idli. Then for this grind the urad dhal. In a vessel mix in sorghum flour and rice flour or rawa with emough water like a batter consistency. Add in urad dhal batter and mix with salt and ferment overnight.

Heat oil and add in the veggies. Mix and fry can also cover with a lid. Stir fry till firm but cooked. Mix in salt and the powders. Remove and cool.

Can make plain idlis or with veggies just like the ones here.

Grease idli plates with oil and mix in veggies with the idli batter and a pinch of soda. Mix gently in one direction only. Pour the batter in idli moulds and steam on high for 15 - 20 mts( or as much it takes for your regular idlis). Check or steam cook for another 5 minutes. Serve with you favourite chutney and enjoy your healthy idlis.