Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Mango Cheese cake - OPOS



I recently came across a facebook group called OPOS Support Group, OPOS - One Pot One Shot. Opos is copyrighted by Mr. Rama Krishnan fondly called Ramki. After knowing about OPOS, cooking is a breeze.. that too in summer how much time we spend in hot is like a hell. It saves so much time and gives lot of confidence.
I saw many successful posts of bhapa doi / cheese cake in the group. There is OPOS chef video also for that. Link here.
Since it is mango season, I thought of making mango cheese cake just following bhapa doi recipe with the addition of mango pulp.
I never knew with these minimal ingredients, that too which is easily available at home, we can create this yummy dessert.
Ingredients:
  • Hung curd – 1 Cup
  • Sweetened condensed milk – 1 cup
  • Mango pulp – 1 cup
  • Butter / ghee – ½ tsp for greasing the pan.
  • Nuts – optional for garnish.
Preparation:
Grease a bowl with butter / ghee which can sit comfortably inside ur pressure cooker. 



Drain the water in the curd, hang it in muslin cloth for 10 mins and squeeze the extra water to get thick curd. You can also use the store bought thick yogurt and skip this step.



Prepare the mango pulp. Sweet mango is preferred J
Method:
Mix hung curd, condensed milk, and mango pulp well.



Transfer the mixture into greased bowl.
Add about 1.5 – 2 cups of water in the cooker.



2L pressure cooker is the standard pressure cooker used in all OPOS dishes. Here I have used 3L, as I don’t have 2L with me.  Since the 3L is taller cooker, I kept another small vessel inside, and kept the bowl with the cheese cake mixture on top, so I can take this bowl easily out when it is done;  Also it avoids much water getting into the cake mixture.  Close the bowl with a small plate to avoid water going inside the mixture. Even if there is water it can be easily taken out. So chill.

Now close the cooker, and put the whistle and cook for about 15 mins in medium heat. The flame should cover half of the cooker bottom.



It will get around 3 whistles in 15 mins. You need not count the whistles.   After 15 mins, Switch off the stove, let the pressure settle down. But if you don’t get whistle at all in 15 mins, then there is some problem, maybe there is no enough heat or water, or some issue with the cooker. Fix it.
Open the cooker and just insert a knife in the center. The knife should come out clean. If it is sticky, then cook for another 5 mins.



Once the bowl is cool enough to handle, Cover it with a big plate and invert the bowl to transfer the cake to the bowl.  Do this carefully since it just slides of so easily, it is very soft.
Garnish with nuts /chopped mangoes. Chill and serve.





Friday, 3 March 2017

Veg stew


The stew also called ishtoo (funny) is ultimate vegetarian combination for Appam / idiappam.

The hot stew should be generously poured on the appam. It should be soaked and then the taste is mesmerizing.
Stew is a soup made of coconut milk along with some vegetables.

Veggies like potatoes, carrots, green peas, cauliflower can be used.
If you had missed my appam recipe.. click this – Appam recipe

Coming to stew recipe

Ingredients:
  • Medium sized potato – 3
  • Medium sized carrot – 2
  • Medium sized Onion - 2
  • Coconut – 1 small size. (or half of big sized coconut)
  • Curry leaves  - 1 string
  • Black pepper – crushed – 1 tsp
  • Green chili – 2 numbers, slit into half.
  • Masala spices – (2 -cardamom, 2 - bay leaves,  2  - Cloves, 1 – star anise, 1 inch Cinnamon stick)
  • Salt to taste

Method:
Wash and dice potato, carrot, onion into cubes and keep it aside.  The size should be ½ inch approximately.


Now we have to extract the coconut milk with the help of a strainer. We need the milk in 3 thicknesses. - 1 super thick, 2 lil think, 3 super thin.

Grate or slice the coconut, add lil water and grind in mixer. Squeeze well and extract the first milk.



Now add a ½ cup of water to the pulp and grind again. Squeeze well and extract the milk again. Now this is little thick.

For the third batch add water and extract milk as much as possible, till the pulp becomes dry.


If you have bought stored bought coconut milk / milk powder,  prepare the milk in 3 different thickness by adding required water.
In a pressure cooker, add the diced veggies, onion, curry leaves (no stock at home) and third milk (thin milk) and water till the veggies are fully immersed.






Add the spices and salt and sliced green chili.

Pressure cook for 3 whistles.


Once the pressure is released, add the second coconut milk and salt and let it boil.





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Switch off the stove add the thick coconut milk and crushed pepper and give a stir.





Serve hot with appam / idiappam / oothappam.







Monday, 20 February 2017

Methi Mutter Pulav




I love to make one pot meals.. it means less work while cooking and after cooking too.  That too on weekends if I don’t have many vessels dropped in the sink, lot of time will be saved for rest of the things.

My usual one pot meals are biryani / pulav / bisebelabath.  Other mixed rice varieties are too simple for weekend meal. So mixed rice will be mostly on weekdays.

I make variety of pulav based on available / seasonal ingredients.

We get very fresh green peas and Methi this season. So the pulav is based on that. I almost used green peas daily; my daughter takes a run hearing the name. J But I never leave it.

The ingredients can be totally altered based on your preference.  

Ingredients:

  • Basmati Rice – 2 cups
  • Water – 4 cups
  • Fresh Green peas – ½ cup. (If you are using dried peas, soak in water for an hour)
  • Methi  leaves – 2 small bunch (washed and roughly chopped)
  • Onion – Medium sized – thinly sliced
  • Ginger + Garlic + Chili paste – 1 tbsp
  • Spices – (2 -cardamom, 2 - bay leaves,  2  - Cloves, kuskus – ¼ tsp, 1 inch Cinnamon stick, Fennel seeds – 1 tsp)
  • Butter – 2 to 3 tbsp
  • Oil - 1 tbsp
  • Lemon juice – 1 tsp. ( about half a lime I used)
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:

Wash and soak Basmati rice for half an hour.  Meanwhile we can make the other stuff ready, so that the timing will be correct.




Chop off the roots from the methi leaves, rinse well in water, roughly chopped. Usally there will be lot of mud in that, so rinse well.

Cut the onions into thin slices.

Grind 1-2 green chilies + 5 pods of garlic + 1 inch piece ginger into smooth paste.

Method:

In a pressure cooker, add a tbsp of butter and a tsp of oil.

Add the spices mentioned. Fry for a min in medium flame.




Add the ginger – Garlic – chili paste.  Fry it in low flame. In higher flame it might get burnt.

Add the onion, fry it. Need not wait till it browns.




Add the peas and methi and fry 1-2 mins.




Add 4 cups of water. 1:2 rice water ratio works for me. I have taken 2 cups of rice, so 4 cups of water. Mix it well.

Let the water boil well. 




Add the salt and mix well.

Drain the rice to remove excess water and add to the boiling water.




Add a tbsp of butter. Mix it well. Let the mixture start boil for a minute or two.

Close the lid and and put on the weight and cook for 15 mins in LOW flame.




No need to wait for the whistle. Once the pressure is released, add a tsp of lime juice and a tbsp butter to enhance the taste.




Mix gently.

Serve hot with raita or curd.

Making video .. below.

video

Note : Also adding methi will not give any bitter taste to the pulav. It will be very tasty






Monday, 13 February 2017

Appam


I never miss the opportunity of eating appam and kadalakari whenever I visit kerala. Even in kumarokam restaurant that’s my first choice. I love the pillowy soft appam and a spicy curry to go with it. Sometimes the plain coconut milk with some sugar and a hint of cardamom is soothing too.
When I was living in adambakkam, there was a place I occasionally buy readymade appam batter from a shop. So I never had a chance to make the batter at home. Now that we have relocated to different place, i have to prepare from scratch.
This weekend special was appam and veg stew. My daughter Lakshmi loved it. What more a mother want?
I referred the recipe from Kothiyavunnu blog.
Ingredients for appam batter:
  • Raw rice  - 4 cups
  • Fenugreek seeds – ¼ tsp
  • Cooked rice – 1 to 2 cups
  • Grated coconut – 1 cup
  • Salt to taste.
  • Active dry Yeast – 1 tsp
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
Method :
Wash and Soak the raw rice and fenugreek seeds for atleast 2 hrs.



Drain the water, grind it along with the cooked rice and grated coconut adding water little by little.



Grind it into smooth paste for about 15 mins in the wet grinder. It resembles much like dosa batter. Collect the batter in a vessel. The vessel should be large enough, because after fermentation the batter will rise considerably.



Now we have to prepare the yeast solution. Few months before I was very afraid to handle the yeast, because we had no idea about it growing up in sambar sadham eating family.
Buy a packet of Active dry yeast. It is available in many super markets. We can use and store it back  in the refrigerator. So no worries. That was another concern for me.
Take warm water in a small bowl. Warm water is required for the yeast to get activated.  If it is hot, it kills the yeast. So make sure it is warm.



In the warm water, add a tsp of yeast and sugar and give a mix.



Keep it in the kitchen counter without disturbing for 15 mins. Now the bubbles will form and yeast will be activated.



Add the mixture to the batter and mix the batter well.

Now the batter has to ferment for about 8 hours in the room temperature. Overnight would be fine.
While you plan to make appam, add the salt. This will prevent from too much fermentation.
The batter can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3 days.
Now we will see how to make the appams.
Heat the appa kadai, grease it with lil oil. A drop of oil is enough.
Pour a ladle of batter in the centre and swirl the appa chatti.



Then close it with the lid. Cook in the high flame. till the centre of the appam gets completely cooked. It takes less than a minute to cook one appam.
The appam comes out of the kadai without any effort. It means the batter is perfect. If it sticks then there is something wrong with the batter or try it grease it better.

Below video explains the method
video
Non stick Appa kadai with the handle is available in the markets and easy to handle. But I use the normal iron one without handle. That works super good for me.
Enjoy the appam with veg stew / coconut milk / or some spicy curry. Appam with egg curry is a classic combo J.



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