Friday, May 30, 2014

Mango Kesari - Mango Flavored Semolina / Cream of Wheat Pudding

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4

Rava / Sooji / Semolina - 1/2 cup
Mango Pulp - 1/2 cup, fresh or canned
Sugar - 3/4 to 1  cup
Water - 3/4 cup
Milk - 1/4 cup
Ghee / Clarified butter - 1/4 cup
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Broken cashews and raisins - 1 tbsp each
Pinch of saffron

  1. Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a skillet and roast the cashews and raisins until the cashews are golden brown and the raisins puff up.
  2. Remove and set it aside.
  3. In the same skillet, roast the semolina in 3 tbsp ghee until aromatic.  Meanwhile, boil water and milk in a saucepan.  Add saffron.
  4. Add the liquid slowly to the semolina.  Keep string to avoid lumps.
  5. Once the semolina is cooked add the sugar and mango pulp.
  6. Keep stirring until sugar melts and becomes like a pudding consistency.
  7. Now add the fried cashews, raisins and cardamom powder.  Mix well.
  8. Serve warm.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Petit Pains au Lait (French Milk Bread / Rolls ~ We Knead to Bake #17

This simple and very easy to make French milk bread, is Aparna's choice for this month's We Knead bake challenge.   These lightly sweet and soft rolls were absolutely delicious.

Adapted from: Gourmet by Kat

Warm milk - 2/3 cup ( you might need a little more)
Instant yeast - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1/4 cup
All-purpose flour - 1 2/3 cup
Bread flour - 3/4 cup
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Butter - 4 tbsp or 60gms, at room temperature
Extra milk for brushing
Pearl sugar or granulated sugar for topping ( optional)

  1. You an knead by hand or food processor.
  2. Put warm milk, yeast and sugar in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse couple of times to mix.  Then add all the flour and the salt and run the processor until it looks crumbly.  Add the butter and knead until you have a soft, smooth and elastic dough that is not sticky.  Add little more milk ( in teaspoonful at a time), if you dough is dry, until you have the required consistency of dough. 
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl, turning it over to coat with oil.  Cover loosely and set aside to rise until double in volume.  This should take about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Turn the dough out onto your working surface. You shouldn't need any flour, but if you feel the need, just lightly dust your palms with it.  Deflate the dough gently, and divide it into 10 equal pieces.  Let them rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Roll out each piece of dough, one at a time, into a circle about 4" in diameter.  Slowly roll up the circle from one end, Swiss roll / jelly roll style into a cylinder.  Pinch the seam close neatly, and place them on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet with the seam side facing down.  Cover loosely and let them rise for an hour or so till almost double in size.
  6. Brush them lightly with milk and using a pair of sharp scissors, make diagonal cuts (not too deep) on the top of the rolls.  Sprinkle pearl sugar / granulated sugar.
  7. Bake them at 400 degree F (220C) for bout 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Let them cook on a rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.
  8. This recipe makes 10 Petit Pains au Lait.  They are best eaten the same day, though you could warm them up and serve the next day.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mysore Rasam - Lentil Soup with Tamarind and Freshly Ground Spices

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4 

For the rasam powder:
Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
Chana dal - 2 tbsp
Red chilies - 5
Black pepper - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Grated coconut - 3 tbsp
Curry leaves - 1 spring

Roast the above ingredients, except coconut and curry leaves, in 1/2 tsp oil until golden brown. Add the grated coconut and curry leaves.  Fry until dry.  Let it cool and grind into a fine powder.

For the rasam:
Toor dal - 1/4 cup
Tomato - 2, chopped
Tamarind pulp - 1/2 cup (soak about 1 tbsp of tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes and squeeze out the pulp)
Rasam powder - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Jaggery - 1 tbsp
Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp, chopped
Ghee - 1/2 tsp

  1. Pressure cook toor dal with enough water until soft.  Puree the dal with a hand blender.  
  2. Transfer it to a large sauce pan and add 2 cups of water and tamarind pulp.
  3. Add the chopped tomato, turmeric powder, jaggery and asafoetida.
  4. Cook until tomatoes are soft.
  5. Mix the rasam powder with little water and make a paste.  
  6. Add it to the boiling rasam along with salt.
  7. Let it boil for 3 minutes and simmer for 2 minutes.
  8. Heat ghee in a small skillet and add splutter mustard seeds.  Add it to the rasam.  Mix gently.
  9. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves / cilantro.
  10. Serve as a soup or with steamed rice.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Milagai Podi with Flax Seeds ~ Spicy Dal Powder for Idli - Dosai

Preparation time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: About 3 cups

Urad dal - 1 1/2 cups
Chana dal - 1/2 cup
Flax seeds - 1/4 cup
White Sesame seeds - 1/4 cup
Red chilies - 10 to 15
Asafoetida - 1 tsp
Powdered Jaggery - 2 Tbsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste

  1. Dry roast the flax seeds and sesame seeds in a skillet, on low flame until light golden brown.  Seeds will start popping after 2 minutes.  Transfer the seeds to a plate to cool.
  2. In the same skillet, add the oil, urad dal, chana dal and red chillies.  
  3. Roast on a low flame until golden brown.  Make sure to keep stirring while roasting.  This will take about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Switch off the flame and add asafoetida and mix well.
  5. Let it cool completely.
  6. Add required salt and grind the cooled dal, sesame - flax seed mixture and jaggery into a coarse powder.
  7. Mix the powder well.  Let it cool completely.
  8. Store in a dry, airtight container.
  9. Serve with Sesame oil (nallennai).

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprout with Habanero Sauce

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4
Thank You Radhika for this wonderful recipe.

Brussels Sprout - 2 lbs
Habanero sauce - 1/2 tsp or less (Caution:  It is an extremely hot sauce, so use according to your taste)
Olive oil - 3 - 4 TBSP
Lemon juice - 1/2 lemon
Salt - to taste

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degree F.
  2. Cut brussels sprout lengthwise and place it in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.
  3. Mix olive oil, habanero sauce and salt.  Pour over brussels sprout and mix well to coat.  Spread evenly.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes, turning the brussels sprout halfway through the cooking.
  5. Squeeze in the lemon juice.  Toss well.
  6. Serve warm.