Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Indian Cooking Challenge : Vennai Puttu

It's the Indian Cooking Challenge time. This month's challenge was truly a challenging one for me... It isnt easy to make Indian sweets perfectly and this month I had to make a Tamilian sweet... PHEW.. tufff...  But I wanna thank Srivalli for this month's choice as it pushed my out of my comfort zone and surprisingly I managed it well :))

This month's recipe is VENNAI PUTTU .. contributed my one of fav bloggers... Priya... It is her grandmom's recipe..  traditional and healthy..

We would need
Rice - 1/2 cup
Grated Jaggery - 1/2 cup
Chana Dal - 2 Tablespoons
Cardamom Powder - a pinch
Fresh Coconut Pieces - 1 tbsp (I used grated coconut)
Ghee - 1 tsp
Ghee for greasing.

1. Soak Rice for 3 hours. Then, grind the soaked rice with 1/2 cup water into a paste.
2. Pressure cook Chana Dal till soft (3-4 whistles approx)
3. Prepare Jaggery Syrup by boiling 3/4 cup water and grated Jaggery together.


In a heavy bottom pan, boil 2 cups of water. Add the rice paste to boiling water and stir and stir and stir... till the paste mixes well with the water and cooks well. (this may take around 15 minutes.. please DO NOT stop stirring)

Next, add the Jaggery syrup, cooked Chana Dal & Cardamom powder to the rice and stir well.

Keep stirring till the mixture thickens and gets off the from the vessel. Remove from fire and finally add Ghee & grated Coconut. Transfer the mixture to a greased bowl/ tray and let it cool.

We could slice it and serve or just take a spoon and enjoy it :))

Friday, February 10, 2012

Quick Tomato Salsa

Mexican is one of my fav cuisines.. but alas, I havent explored cooking this cuisine much.. Thus, when I came across this recipe.. I so wanted to try it..

I had tried making Salsa once or twice before but owing to the tedious recipe I followed, I ended up messing it here or there.. But this month thanks for Radhika's Blog Hop Wednesday and my pairing with Rajani of 'My Kitchen Trails' .. I made this simple SALSA and just loved it... Now I can make it anytime and pamper myself :))

All we need is:
Tomato - 1 medium
Onion - 1/2
Green Chili - 1
Coriander Leaves - Handful
Salt - a pinch
Lemon Juice - 1 teaspoon

Pulse the Onions, Green Chili and Coriander in a food processor. Next, add the Tomatoes and pulse again to make a paste. (we need to ensure that Tomato isn't completely pulped.. it should be chunky)

Transfer to a bowl. Add Salt and a dash of Lemon.. Done !!

It tastes perfect with Nachoes, Tortillas or Tacos...

A big THANKS to Rajani for this wonderful recipe :))

Chocolate Cake

Technology has made us so dependant on it.. And I realised it when I changed my phone and lost all my reminders..

Feb is like the wedding season in India.. So most of my frendz have their anniversary in the month .. and thus, I require remindersssss...  This CHOCOLATE CAKE was for a dear frend on her anniversary (which I almost forgot.."almost" ..we were at her place with the cake just before it struck 12 :D )

I tried icing for the first time.. and I was very happy with the outcome.. did CHOCOLATE FROSTING and it enhanced the taste manyfold..

For Cake
Butter - 1 cup
Cocoa powder - 4 Tablespoons
Water - 1 cup
Sugar - 2 cups
Flour - 2 cups
Baking soda - 1 teaspoon
Eggs - 2


For Frosting
Butter - 2 Tablespoons
Cocoa powder - 4 Tablespoons
Milk - 6 Tablespoons
Walnuts (chopped)
Icing Sugar - 2/3 of a cup

1. Preheat oven to 200ºC.

2. Melt Butter with Cocoa and Water in a pan and bring to boil. Remove from heat and add the Sugar, Flour, Baking Soda and Eggs. Mix well (Either use a beater or beat with hand either clockwise or anti-clockwise... It is important to follow 1 direction only)

3. Pour into a greased cake tin. Bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes.Insert a skewer to check (it should come out clean). Let it cool before demoulding it.

4. For the frosting, boil Milk along with Butter, Cocoa and Nuts together in a saucepan.

5. Remove from heat and add Icing Sugar. 

6. Once cool, cut the cake into half horizontally. Sandwich the two layers with frosting, then garnish with frosting and strawberries. Spinkle Icing Sugar on top for garnish.

The cake is simple yet yummy :) Wish you a very happy aniv Sunaina :) .. this one is for you..

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Spinach Rice

2012 seems to be a bad start for me.. an accident.. thn dealing with a crazy doc and now a skin allergy.. hope my quota of falling sick in 2012 gets over in this month itself .. fingers crossed.. Now with this state I just don feel like cooking.. and thus, try making a singular dish that would suffice a meal :) ... not that I aint lazy but this is truely out of compulsion (believe me ;)) ..

I had had this dish at a frendz sometime ago and so wanted to replicate it.. SPINACH RICE .. and I think I did a good job.. Arunesh & I ate it up all... and loved it !!

Rice - 2 cups
Spinach - 1 bunch (blanched)
Onions - 2 (finely chopped)
Green Chili - 3 (you could reduce the chili as per taste)
Bay Leaf - 1
Black Peppercorn - 2
Cloves - 2-3
Mustard Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Cumin Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Oil - 2 Tablespoons
Lemon Juice - 2 teaspoons

Wash rice, drain water & keep aside.

Grind blanched Spinach & Chili together into a fine paste.

Heat oil in a cooker. Add Bay Leaf, Cumin Seeds, Mustard Seeds, Cloves & Peppercorns.

As Mustard Seeds start to crackle, add Onions & fry for about 5 mins. Next, add the Spinach-Chili paste & cook for 2 mins.

Finally add the Rice, Salt & 4 cups of water.

Cover the cooker & cook till 2 wistles.

Spinach Rice are ready.. Incase you find the rice still watery, cook uncovered for about 2-3 mins to dry the excess water.

Squeeze some Lemon Juice and serve hot.

Sending this entry to Nupur's New Year, New Dish event.