Saturday, December 20, 2014

Cranberry - Habanero Jam

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yields: 1 standard Jar

Recipe inspiration from: This Silly Girl's Life

Fresh Cranberries - 12 oz bag
Sugar - 2 cups
Habanero pepper - 1/8 to 1/4 tsp, minced  (This is one of the hottest peppers in the world.  1/4 tsp goes a long way and just gives enough heat to the jam).
Water - 1/4 cup

  1. In a large sauce pan,  add all the ingredients and bring it to a boil.  Cook over medium high heat until cranberries pop and turns soft, for about 8 to 10 minutes.  Stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove from heat and blend the cranberry mixture using a blender or a hand blender until smooth.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the sauce pan and cook over medium low heat until thickens for about 10 minutes.  Keep stirring.
  4. Jam is ready when it coats back of the spoon with out running.  Remove and let it cool slightly.
  5. Fill the jam in sterilized jars and seal.  Refrigerate and enjoy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Vazhaikkai Podi / Spicy Plantain Powder Mix

Some of the traditional recipes calls for a very few ingredients and they are very easy to prepare. Vazhaikai / Plantain podi / powder is one such traditional and rare recipe prepared in tambram households.  I remember my mom used to roast the plantains in a charcoal barbecue stove called Kumiti back in India.  This powder tastes heavenly when mixed with hot steamed rice along with mor kuzhambu as a side dish.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yields: 2 cups

Plantain / Vazhaikkai / Raw banana - 3
Toor dal - 2 tbsp
Urad dal - 2 tbsp
Chana dal - 1 tbsp
Red chillies - 4
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 4
Sesame oil - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste

  1. Rub plantains with 1 tsp of oil.
  2. Roast the plantains on open flame until it turns black and soft on all the sides.  Alternatively you can also broil the plantains in an oven until soft.  Allow it to cool and peel.  Crumble the plantain.
  3. Roast toor dal, urad dal, chana dal and red chillies in a skillet with 1 tsp oil till golden brown. Remove from heat. Roast the curry leaves and asafoetida while the skillet is still hot. Let it cool completely.
  4. Place the roasted dals in a blender and grind to a coarse powder.  Add the crumbled plantain and salt.
  5. Pulse until combined.
  6. To serve:  Mix the powder in steamed rice with a dollop of ghee or sesame oil.