Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Kesar Badam Kulfi

We are experiencing a peak summer already in Chennai and not sure how worse it will be during May.
Summer Holidays for my daughter, so I stock some popsicles in the freezer so that she relishes them in the boring afternoon watching Ninja Hatori. Ding Ding.

This is a 2 in 1 recipe. You can use the recipe for both Basundi and Kulfi
·         Milk – 1.5 liters
·        Condensed Milk –I used half tin of 200 ml - amul mithai mate, I dint measure it accurately. You can add as much as thickness you would need.
·        Kesar / Saffron strands – 10
·        Badam Milk Mix – 2 tbsp (Optional). This badam milk mix was lying unused in my fridge near the expiry, so used to improve the thickness.
·        Nuts  - a fistful  - Roughly chopped - (Pistachios,  Cashews, Almonds)


Take a thick bottom, nonstick pan and boil the milk. Take 2 tbsp of milk in small cup and soak the saffron strands.

Let the milk Boil well, for about 30 mins changing the flame between medium and low, low and medium with occasional stirring.
Add the condensed milk and keep boiling and stirring till the milk reduce to the half the volume. It takes about 1.5 hours.

I used toned milk, you may get the result in 1 hr if you use full cream milk.

The longer we boil, the creamier the result will be.
Now add the Badam Milk mix, this is the short cut for getting a thicker consistency.  You can skip this step if you don’t have the stock or you can also add milk powder.

Add the nuts

Add the Kesar milk along with kesar we soaked and stir for about 5 mins and switch off the stove and take enough rest.

Let it cool completely.
You can either serve it as Basundi by chilling it. Or deep freeze in molds and serve as Kulfis.

I prepared this in the evening and I was tired, so excuse the poor quality Basundi picture.


- There is no need for sugar as condensed milk has sugar content already.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Sri Rama Navami

Srirama navami is Lord Ram’s bday. It is celebrated grand both in my home town and my husband’s.  But after coming to Chennai everything have become so dull. There is no celebration spirit. But I don’t want to give up, I want my daughter to see and enjoy, like enjoyed my childhood. So I make sure I do all the routines my mom did.

 Its good to fast on this day and eat these vrat foods.

·         Panakam (Spiced diluted jaggery syrup)
·         Neer more (Spiced butter milk)
·         kosumbari ( carrot salad with soaked moong dal)


Ingredients :

·         Jaggery – ¼ cup
·         Water – 3 cups
·         Dried ginger powder / Chukku podi – ¼ tsp
·         Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp
·         Lemon Juice - 1 tsp

Method :

Heat kadai, add jaggery and water. Mix well. Let the jaggery melt. Switch off the stove. This step is purely to remove the dirt from jaggery if any. Strain the mixture.

Add dried ginger powder and cardamom powder and lemon juice. Now panakam is ready for neivedyam.

Neer More:

Ingredients :

·         Butter Milk – 3 cups (Or u can dilute curd with water and blend well)
·         Salt to taste
·         Asofitida – ¼ tsp
·         Curry leaves and coriander leaves finely chopped as much as needed
·         Ginger – 1 inch small piece
·         Green chili – 1


Grind ginger and Green chili into fine paste.

Mix salt, Asofitida, chopped leaves, ginger chili paste to the butter milk well.


Ingredients :

·         Carrot – 2
·         Moong dal – 1/2 cup
·         Cooking oil – 1 tsp
·         Mustard seeds – 1 tsp.
·         Green chili – 1 (Chopped finely)
·         Curry leaves – Few
·         Grated coconut – 2 tbsp
·         Salt to taste
·         Asofetida / Hing – ¼ tsp
·         Lemon Juice - 1 tbsp


Wash and soak Moong dal for an half an hour in warm water. Drain well.

Grate the carrots and keep it aside.

Heat a kadai, add oil , once heated, add mustard seeds and let it crackle.

Add curry leaves, chopped green chilies and grated coconut and mix it well.

Add salt and hing. Switch off the stove .Add the Moong dal and mix well. Squeeze lime .

Finally add the carrot and give a stir.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Cut Mango Pickle / Manga Oorugai

This is the easiest and yummiest pickle one can ever make.  No waiting time, it can be consumed just after the preparation, it tastes best when fresh. Only disadvantage of this is the shelf life, it holds up good only for 4-5 days.

Very simple ingredients and can be prepared in jiffy.


·         Raw Mango – 1 (Preferably Kili mookku Manga variety)

·         Gingely Oil – 2 tbsp

·         Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

·         Chili Powder – 1 tsp (Can be altered according to the taste)

·         Asofitida / Hing / perungayam powder – ¼ tsp

·         Salt to taste

Method :

Chop the Raw mango into small pieces,  shown below and transfer into a bowl. Discard the seed.

Add salt and chili powder.

Heat gingely oil in a kadai, once heated, add the mustard seeds. Let it crackle. Add hing and switch off the stove. Now transfer this seasoning to the mango bowl. Mix everything well and transfer to a dry bottle. Refrigerate.

The pickle tastes best with curd rice.

Shelf life is 4 to 5 days when refrigerated.

Monday, 23 March 2015


Pulikachal and Puliyodharai are soul foods.  My Mum in law makes a big batch and store it in fridge. It eat it with anyting and everything. Idli, dosa, chapathi, Bread, Curdrice .. wow.. end less.
Its pakka travel food too. Packing puliyodhari / Puliyogare is easy and Holds up good for long hours.
Here is our version.
Makes  a cup (250 ml cup)
·         Tamarind – 1 big lemon sized (Old tamarind preferred, it gives color)
·         Water – 3 cups
·         Gingely oil – 1.5 tbsp
·         Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
·         Chenna Dal – 1 tsp
·         Roasted Peanuts – 2 tbsp (Skin pealed and halved)
·         Red chili - 2
·         Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
·         Asofitida / Hind – ½ tsp
·         Salt to tast
·         Curry Leaves - few
Dry roast and Grind 1:
·         Chenna dal – 1 tbsp
·         Jeera – 1 tsp
·         Black Pepper – 1 tsp
·         Fenugreek Seeds – ½ tsp

Dry roast and Grind 2:
·         Black sesame seeds – 1 tsp
Dry roast and Grind 3:
·         Curry Leaves – 1 fistful
Roast in oil and Grind:
·         Red chillies – 6  (Depends on the spiciness of the chili)
Preparation :
Soak Tamarind in 3 cups of warm water for 10 mins.

Extract the juice from it, discard the pulp and keep the extract aside.

Take a thick bottom kadai, dry roast the items mentioned above in 3 different batches. They are roasted in different batches for better result and each of them have different roasting points.

Dry roast 1

Dry Roast 2 : Sesame seeds.I already had roased sesame powder, so I dint show it here in the step, you don’t forget the step.

Dry Roast 3 :  Dry roast curry leaves separately.

Combine all the roasted ingredients and make them in smooth powder.  

In the same Kadai, add lil of gingely oil, fry the chilies well. Take the chilies out and cool them. Try to crush them in hand, else coarsely powder them in mixer.

Back to the kadai, add gingely oil, once heated, add mustard seeds..let it crackle. Add 2 red chilies, chenna dal and Roasted peanuts.

Once they turn slightly brown ,  pour the tamarind extract.Add turmeric powder and Salt and let the mixture boils well. For about 10 mins in medium flame. The mixture now becomes slightly thicker.

Once the raw smell of the tamarind leaves well, add the roasted and ground powder we prepared, chilies that we roasted and ground, asofitida powder. Mix well and cook for a minute and swtich off the stove.

Garnish with Some curry leaves.

You can have this as side dish for tiffins or Mix it will rice with lil helping of gingely oil and enjoy as Puliyogare.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Cheese Murukku Sandwich

From the time I tasted the Murukku sandwich in Sowcarpet  food walk..  I badly wanted to try it at home.  Its quite simple to make it at home. But still sowcarpet version cannot be matched.

Below ingredients give 4 portions.


·         Small size murukku –8 pieces
·         Onion – 1 (small size)
·         Tomato – 1 (Small size)
·         Cucumber – 1/2 (Small size)
·         Greenchutney – 1 tbsp
·         Chaat masala – a lil to sprinkle on the top
·         Cheese – 1 cube (I used small Amul processed cheese cube)
·         Sev to garlish


Cut the onion, tomato and cucumber into thin circles.

Place the murukku pieces as a row in a plate with not much space between each other. (Or you can arrange as a square too)

Spread the green chutney on the murukku generously. I forgot this for first batch, so the below picture is from second batch i prepared. So its lil messy.

Place the onion, tomato and cucumber on the murukku.

Spinkle some chaat masala on top.

Grate the cheese generously. First batch was like this. Second batch i grated more cheese. ;).

Finish building the tower by place another murukku on top of the cheese.

Decorate with Sev and serve.

While eating, carefully pull a tower without disturbing the other and load in ur mouth without breaking the setup.

This is a different party snack to surprise ur guests. You can even arrange setup in advance, it won’t become soggy ver y easily.

Note: I used store bought murukku in this. You can make them at home too. Make sure the murukku is not very hard.  

Friday, 13 March 2015

Banana Step Soup

Banana Stem / Plantain stem are very good during summer, as it has so much of water content. Usually we make Kootu / Poriyal. This time, our sweet neighboring mami who has banana tree at her home garden, gave few big pieces of Banana stems. We made poriyal and kootu, but still we had a big piece left out. So I made this soup. All of them enjoyed it home.
This is easier to prepare because we need not remove the fiber from that, which is a big task with banana stem usually.
Serves : 4
·         Banana / Plantain step -  1 hand span length
·         Curry leaves – 1 fistful
·         Garlic– 3 to 4 pods
·         Jeera powder – 1 tsp
·         Butter milk – 1 cup ( or you can mix a tbsp. of curd in a cup of water)
·         Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
·         Water – 3 cups and more
·         Salt to taste.
·         Pepper as preferred

Remove the outer layer of the banana stem, till you reach the strong middle portion.Cut them into circles. You need not remove the fibers from it while cutting, as we will strain them later. This doesn't take much time.

Add a cup of butter milk and turmeric powder and pressure cook it for 3 whistles.

Once it is cooled down.  Grind it smooth along with garlic and curry leaves. Don’t discard the water which was used for cooking. We will use it for the soup.

Drain the pulp. You should actually squeeze the pulp well to get more juice from it. Now discard the pulp.

Add 3 cups of water to the strained juice, take it in a deep vessel. Also add the water which was used for cooking. Heat the mixture and bring it to boil.
Add Jeera powder, salt and pepper. Let it boil for 5 mins.

Serve hot.
Banana stem itself has no taste, here  I added garlic and curry leaves for the flavor. You can do variations based on ur taste. Options are endless.

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