Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Kerala Boli | Poli | Sweet lentil flatbread recipe with step by step pictures

Kerala Boli

South Indian sweet  made using channa dal and is usually served with payasam.
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Makes: 20 sweet bolis
For Dough
  1. All purpose flour-1 cup
  2. Turmeric powder-1 pinch (see notes)
  3. Water-as required
  4. Gingelly oil-3 to 4 tbsp
For Filling
  1. Channa dal-1 cup
  2. Water-to cook channa dal
  3. Sugar-1 cup
  4. Turmeric powder- 1 pinch
  5. Cardamom powder-1/4 to 1/2 tsp
  6. Nutmeg powder-1 pinch
  7. Water-as required
Other ingredients
  1. Rice flour-1/2 cup( approx)
  2. Ghee-as required

  • Wash channa dal well ,add sufficient quantity of water and cook just until done.Do not over cook the dal.( You can use a pressure cooker,if desired).Keep aside.
  • To prepare the dough,combine together all purpose flour and turmeric powder in a bowl.Add water and  mix well.
  • Knead to form a soft dough.It should be a bit sticky.Now pour the gingelly oil over the dough.Cover and keep aside for at least 30 minutes.

  • Drain the cooked channa dal.In a pan,add cooked channa dal ,one pinch turmeric powder and sugar.Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until it turns thick.( do not cook it for long,if you do so, the mixture will dry up)
  • Switch off the stove ,add cardamom powder and nutmeg powder  and mix well until combined. Allow it to cool completely.(If the mixture is not smooth ,grind it well in a food processor.)Divide this filling into 18 to 20 equal size balls.
  • Take a small portion of the dough(i.e just enough to make a very thin layer around the filling) and  flatten it in your palm.Place the filling  over this.
  • Cover the filling with the dough by gently pulling the edges towards the center. Flatten the prepared ball and dust both sides with rice flour.
  • Roll this to form a thin circle.( make it as thin as possible.) .Dust the surface with rice flour to prevent sticking.
  • Heat a tava and cook the boli for few seconds on both the sides or until the color starts to change,over a medium flame.( do not cook it for too long)Drizzle ghee on top.Carefully remove the boli and repeat with the remaining dough.

  • Notes:
    • To get soft bolis ,the dough should be sticky and soft.Make sure that you cover the dough completely with oil.You can also use vegetable oil ,if you cant find gingelly oil.
    • Do not cook the boli for too long,if you do so it will turn hard.
    • The bolis can be stored in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days. Refrigerate it,if you want to keep it for a longer time.
    • Adding turmeric powder is optional.I did add turmeric powder as i wanted to avoid artificial food colour.

    Monday, January 27, 2014

    Chicken Biriyani

    Chicken Biriyani 

    Spicy Kerala Chicken Biriyani.
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook time: 90 minutes
    Serves: 3 people
    1. Chicken,cut into medium size pieces - 250 to 300 gms
    2. Onion,sliced - 1 large( about 1 cup)
    3. Tomato,chopped - 1 small( 1/2 cup)
    4. Oil- as required
    5. Water-as required
    6. Salt-to taste
    For Marination:
    1. Kashmiri chili powder- 1/2 to 3/4 tsp
    2. Coriander powder- 1tsp
    3. Lemon Juice-1/2  tsp
    4. Water-as required
    5. Salt- to taste
    For Masala paste:
    1. Green chilies-3 to 4 nos( or more,according to taste)
    2. Ginger- 1" piece
    3. Garlic-3 cloves
    4. Coriander leaves,roughly chopped- 2 tbsp
    5. Mint leaves,roughly chopped- 1 tbsp
    6. Cinnamon-1" piece
    7. Cloves- 3 nos
    8. Fennel seeds-1/2 tsp
    9. Whole black pepper -1/2 tsp
    10. Salt- to taste
    For rice:
    1. Basmati rice- 1.5 cups
    2. Cardamom pods- 3 nos
    3. Cinnamon stick,1" piece-2 nos
    4. Cloves-5 nos
    5. Bay leaf- 1 no
    6. Water-3 cup( 1/2 cup more ,if required)
    7. Ghee-as required
    8. Salt- to taste
    For Layering/garnishing:
    1. Onion,sliced- 1 small
    2. Cashew nuts- 12 to 15 nos
    3. Raisins-1 or 2 tbsp
    4. Garam masala- 2 to 3 pinch
    5. Ghee /Oil- as required
    6. Coriander and mint leaves,chopped-as required

  • Combine all the ingredients listed under 'For marination' in a bowl.Marinate the chicken with this masala.Keep aside for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Heat oil/ghee in a pan and fry sliced onion,cashew nuts and raisins ( for garnishing) separately until it turns golden brown. Keep aside.
  • Combine all the ingredients listed under 'For masala paste' in a blender and grind to form a smooth paste.Keep aside.

  • To prepare Chicken Masala,Heat ghee /oil in a pan,add onion and saute until it turns golden brown.
  • Add tomato and saute until it turns mushy.
  • Add the prepared masala paste and saute until raw smell leaves. 
  • Add marinated chicken  ,mix well and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.Add 1/2 cup water and salt to taste,mix well .Cover and cook until chicken is done.(Check in between,give it a stir and add more water if required)
  • Remove the lid,cook until gravy turns thick.
  • To prepare rice ,heat ghee in a pan,add cardamom,cinnamon,cloves and bay leaf.Saute for few seconds or until fragrant.Add washed and drained rice and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.Add water and salt to taste.Bring this to a boil.Reduce flame to low,cover and cook until it is 90 % done and water is completely absorbed.Allow it to cool completely.
  • For layering,Coat the bottom and sides of the baking dish with ghee.Add a layer of cooked rice.
  • Add a layer of the prepared chicken masala.Next add a layer of rice.
  • Sprinkle fried onion,cashew nuts,raisins,chopped coriander /mint leaves, 1 pinch garam masala and few drops of ghee on top.Add another layer of prepared chicken  masala .

  • Finally add a layer of rice.Garnish with remaining fried onion,cashew nuts ,raisins ,coriander and mint leaves.Cover tightly using aluminium foil.Bake for this for about 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 200 Deg C.(For stove top method,layer the biriyani in a heavy bottomed pan and cover it tightly using aluminum foil.Heat a tava/pan and place the biriyani vessel on top of the tava.Reduce flame to low and cook for about 20 minutes.)
  • Serve with onion salad
    • Adjust the quantity of green chilies according to your taste.

      Saturday, January 25, 2014

      Pepper Chicken

      Pepper Chicken 

      Recipe source :Marias menu,You can find the original recipe here
      Spicy Pepper Chicken Fry.
      Prep Time: 10 minutes
      Cook time: 25 minutes
      Serves: 3 people
      1. Chicken,cut into medium size pieces - 400 gms
      2. Onion,sliced - 2 medium sized
      3. Ginger,crushed - 2.5 tsp
      4. Garlic,crushed - 2.5 tsp
      5. Green chilies,cut vertically - 1 or 2 nos
      6. Curry leaves- 2-3 sprigs
      7. Whole black pepper - 1 and 1/4  tsp(or to taste)
      8. Garam masala - 3/4 tsp
      9. Fennel powder - 1/4 tsp
      10. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
      11. Soya sauce - 1 tsp
      12. Tomato sauce- 1 tsp
      13. Oil- as required
      14. Water-as required
      15. Salt-to taste
      For Marination:
      1. Black pepper powder- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp
      2. Lemon Juice-1 tsp
      3. Salt- to taste

    • Combine all the ingredients listed under 'For marination' in a bowl.Marinate the chicken with this masala.Keep aside for 10 to 15 minutes.
    • Coarsely crush whole black pepper , keep aside.
    • Heat oil in a pan,add onion and saute until it turns golden brown.
    • Add ginger,garlic,green chilies and curry leaves.Saute until raw smell leaves.
    • Add crushed whole black pepper,garam masala,fennel powder and turmeric powder.Mix well.Saute for 2- 3 minutes on medium low flame.
    • Add soya sauce and tomato sauce.Mix well.
    • Add 1/4 cup water and salt to taste.Add marinated chicken and mix well.Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes and add 1/2 cup water.Cover and cook until chicken is done.(Check in between,give it a stir and add more water if required)
    • Remove the lid,add more curry leaves and saute for about 5 to 10 minutes or until it turns golden brown on all the sides.
    • NOTES
      • Adjust the quantity of black pepper according to your taste.
      • Use freshly ground black pepper for best results.

          Thursday, January 23, 2014

          Eggless Vanilla Cake |Pressure Cooker Vanilla Cake

          Pressure cooker  cake

          Eggless vanilla cake baked in a pressure cooker.
          Recipe source: Sanjeev Kapoor
          Prep Time: 10 minutes
          Cook time: 45 minutes
          Serves: 6 to 8

          1. All purpose flour- 1 cup
          2. Baking Powder-1/2 tsp
          3. Baking Soda-1/4 tsp
          4. Salt-1 pinch
          5. Powdered sugar-1/4 cup
          6. Condensed milk-1/2 cup
          7. Butter-1/4 cup
          8. Milk-1/2 cup
          9. Vanilla extract- 1.5 to 2 tsp
          10. Orange zest-1 tsp (optional)
          11. Cashew nuts,chopped- 2 to 3 tbsp(optional)
          12. Raisins- 1 to 2 tbsp(optional)

          • Grease a 6" cake tin,keep aside.Preheat the pressure cooker ( procedure given below)

        • In another bowl,combine together powdered sugar,condensed milk and butter using a whisk.Mix well until combined.
        • In a bowl,combine together all purpose flour,baking powder,baking soda and salt using a whisk.Fold the dry ingredients into the butter mixture in 2 batches alternating with the milk.
        • Add vanilla extract,orange zest ,cashew nuts and raisins.Mix until combined.Do not over mix.
        • Spoon the batter into the greased cake pan.Top with raisins and cashew nuts ,if desired.
        • Place the cake tin over the grid,in a preheated pressure cooker.Bake on low flame for about 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
        • Carefully remove the cake tin.Allow it to cool slightly and invert the cake tin to remove the cake.
        • To bake using a pressure cooker

        • Firstly add 1 to 1.5 cups salt to the pressure cooker.(You can also use sand instead of salt.)This is done to maintain the heat while baking.
        • Remove the gasket and the vent weight.
        • Place the grid above the salt layer and close the pressure cooker.Preheat the cooker for 5 minutes on high flame.

        • Carefully open the cooker and place the cake tin  on the grid , cover the cooker.(Make sure that the cake tin does not touch the sides of the pressure cooker).Reduce the flame to low.Cook for about 25 minutes.
        • After about 25 minutes,check if the cake is done by inserting a wooden skewer into the center of the cake.If the skewer comes out clean,the cake is done, otherwise cook for another 5 or 10 minutes.( mine took almost 1 hour over the lowest flame of the stove).The baking time actually depends on the type of pressure cooker that you use and also the temperature settings of the stove.Be careful not to overbake the cake or else it will become too dry.

        • NOTES.
          • Do not use the rubber gasket and weight valve while cooking.
          • Do not add water inside the cooker,as we are trying to create an oven like environment and not steaming the cake.( You can find the recipe for steamed chocolate cake here)
          • Do not use your pressure cooker to bake on a regular basis,as it can decrease the strength of the metal .

          Wednesday, January 22, 2014

          Kallummekkaya varuthathu | Kerala Mussels fry

          Kallummekkaya fry

          Spicy Kerala style Mussels /Kallummekkaya fry.
          Prep Time: 20 minutes
          Cook time: 20 minutes
          Serves:2 to 3 people

          1. Kallumekkaya /Mussels ( Shells removed and cleaned)- 500 gms
          2. Garlic,paste-1.5 tsp
          3. Ginger,paste-1.5 tsp
          4. Kashmiri chili powder-3 to 4 tsp( or to taste)
          5. Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
          6. Black pepper powder-1 tsp( or to taste)
          7. Fennel powder-3/4 to 1 tsp
          8. Vinegar-1 tsp
          9. Curry leaves- 3 to 4 sprigs
          10. Salt-to taste
          11. Oil-as required

        • In a bowl,combine together garlic,ginger,kashmiri chili powder,turmeric powder,black pepper powder ,fennel powder,vinegar and salt .Marinate the mussels /kallummekkaya with this masala  for about 15-20  minutes. 
        • Heat oil in a pan,add curry leaves and the marinated mussels.Mix well cover and cook  for about 15 minutes ,stirring once or twice in between.Uncover and cook until it turns brown and crisp on all the sides.
        • Serve with rice.

        • NOTES
          • Adjust the quantity of chili powder and pepper powder according to your taste.
          • As we wanted it to be a bit spicy ,I used about 5 tsp kashmiri chili powder and 1.5 tsp pepper powder.

          Monday, January 20, 2014

          Eggless strawberry cupcake | Vegan strawberry cake

          Vegan Strawberry cupcake /Cake

          Recipe source : ,You can find the original recipe here
          Quick,easy and moist ,fresh strawberry cupcake/cake.
          Prep Time: 15 minutes
          Cook time: 45 minutes
          Makes: 12 to 16 cupcakes
          1. All purpose flour- 1 and 3/4 cup
          2. Sugar-3/4 to 1 cup( see notes)
          3. Baking soda- 1 tsp
          4. Salt- 1 pinch
          5. Strawberry,pureed /crushed( about 14 to 15 nos)-1 cup
          6. Vanilla extract-1 tsp
          7. Vegetable oil-1/2 cup
          8. White vinegar or apple cider vinegar-1 tbsp

        • Preheat oven to 180 Deg C.Line the muffin tin with paper cases.Keep aside.
        • In a mixing bowl,mix together all purpose flour,sugar,baking soda and salt until combined.
        • In another mixing bowl,combine together pureed strawbery,vanilla extract,vegetable oil and vinegar,mix well until combined.
        • Add this strawberry mix to the prepared dry ingredients.Gently mix until combined.DO NOT OVER MIX.
        • Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin.Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes or until  a skewer inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.(If you are using a cake tin or a loaf pan ,bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or until  a skewer inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean.)
        • Allow it to cool completely.
        • NOTES
          • I used about 3/4 cup sugar .If you want the cupcakes to be really sweet ,use 1 cup sugar.

          Sunday, January 19, 2014

          Mathi Pollichathu | Grilled Sardines in banana leaf

          Mathi pollichathu

          Recipe source :Magic Oven, Lakshmi Nair
          Spicy grilled sardines wrapped with banana leaf.
          Prep Time: 20 minutes
          Cook time: 30 minutes
          Serves: 3 to 4 people
          1. Sardines,cleaned - 8 nos( see notes)
          2. Shallots /chumanulli,sliced - 3/4 cup
          3. Ginger,chopped - 1 tbsp
          4. Garlic,chopped - 1 tbsp
          5. Green chilies,chopped - 3 nos( or to taste)
          6. Kashmiri chili powder - 1.5 tsp(or use 3/4 tsp chili powder)
          7. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
          8. Tomato,chopped - 1 small
          9. Thick coconut milk - 1/2 cup
          10. Curry leaves - 3 to 4 sprigs
          11. Salt- to taste
          12. Oil- as required
          13. Plantain leaves - 4 to 5 nos
          For Marination:
          1. Kashmiri chili powder - 1 tsp( or use 1/2 tsp chili powder)
          2. Black pepper powder-1 tsp(or according to taste)
          3. Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
          4. Water - as required
          5. Salt-to taste
        • Make deep gashes on both sides of the fish.Combine all the ingredients listed under 'For marination' to form a thick paste.Marinate the fish with this masala.Keep aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
        • Heat oil in a pan ,add 2 sprigs curry leaves and add the sardines.Fry  until it turns golden brown on both the sides,turning once in between.
        • Drain and keep aside.Add ginger , garlic and green chilies to the same oil,and saute until raw smell leaves.
        • Add shallots( i used onion) and saute until it turns golden brown.Add kashmiri chili powder and turmeric powder,saute for few seconds.
        • Add tomato and salt to taste .Saute until it turns mushy.
        • Add coconut milk and remaining curry leaves.
        • Mix well and cook until the gravy turns thick.Switch off the stove and allow it to cool a bit.

        • To make the banana leaf pliable,hold the it over the flame for few seconds.Place one or two tbsp of the prepared masala on a leaf and arrange (two or three) sardines over this.Cover the fish with more masala and wrap the leaf around to form a parcel.
        • Heat a heavy bottomed tava /pan and ,place the parcels carefully on the tava.Cook for about 10-15 minutes,turning once in between.
        • NOTES
          • I used only 6 sardines and kept the quantity for the remaining ingredients the same,as we wanted it to be spicy.