Friday, January 23, 2015

Moong Dhal Payasam



This is a simple payasam or pudding which you can prepare in no time. It is delicious, nutririous and can be made in a jiffy. So what more thoughts...go ahead try to make it and let me know.

Ingredients:

Moong dhal (yellow)  - 1/2 cup
Jaggery - 1/2 cup, grated
Milk - 1 cup
Water -2cus
Cardamom - 1, crushed
Cashews- 10
Raisins- 1 tbsp
Ghee - 2 tsp

Method:

Wash the moon dhal, add 2 cups of water and cook on a medium flame. In about 15 minutes the dhal would be cooked. In the mean time, boil a cup of milk and let it cool. At this stage add the grated jaggery, crushed cardamom.




Continue cooking on a medium flame till all the jaggery is dissolved and mixture has a creamy consistency. Add the cool milk and switch off the flame.





Heat ghee in a pan. Fry the cashews and raisins and add it to the payasam. 



Simple and delicious payasam is ready to be served hot, warm or cool.



Tips:

1. If jaggery has impurities, boil it to dissolve in a little water, strain and then add to the dhal.
2. The sweetness was just right. If you have a very sweet tooth, add a couple of tbsp of jaggery.
3. You can fry the dhal in ghee or butter and then make too.
4. Tiny bits of coconut can also be fried and added to the payasam.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Tri Millet Pongal - Millet Pongal to celebrate Pongal Festival



Happy Pongal and Sankranthi to all! Pongal is Indian Harvest Festival. Pongal is celebrated to convey the appreciation and thankfulness to the Sun God as it acts as the primary energy behind agriculture and a good harvest. Both Sweet and savory versions of the dish Pongal is made on this day and is offered to Sun god. The savory version, called ven pongal, is traditionally made with rice, split moong and seasoned in ghee (clarified butter) with cumin and pepper. The Sweet version called sarkarai pongal, is made with same rice and dhal mixture sweetened with jaggery and generous amount of ghee.

Millets can be substituted in place of rice and hence gives a opportunity to cook a wide variety of mouthwatering recipes that are very healthy and nutritious. I made a simple pongal with three millets - little millet, kodo and barnyard millet for pongal festival to be thankful for the nutritious grains which give us good health. 



It is a great for tiffin or breakfast. Imagine starting a day with this pongal made with millets which gives a continuous energy supply - great way, of course!

Koda millet, Little millet and Barnyard millet


Ingredients:

Serves - 4 people


Barnyard millet - 1/4 cup
Kodo millet - 1/4 cup
Little millet - 1/4 cup
Split yellow moong dhal - 1/4 cup
Salt
Water - 1:3 +3/4 cup


Seasoning:

Ghee - 2 tbsp
Cashews - 10, halved
Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/8 tsp
Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaf - 1 sprig
Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp


Method:

Wash the millet and split moong dhal. Add the water.



Close the lid of the pot and simmer it for 15 - 20 min. strring now and then. Switch off the flame and let it stay as such for another 15 min. The steam helps in complete cooking and a better taste.



 Add salt and mash a little. In another pan, do the seasoning and add it to the millet pongal.




Mix thoroughly and healthy millet pongal tastes great with coconut chutney, gothsu or south Indian style sambhar.


Tips:

1. You can make this dish either with one millet or in combination.
2. Pongal is generally made with a generous amount of ghee, I used a nominal quantity, feel free to use a couple more tsp or tbsp if you wish.
3. I cooked straight on stove top and hence used 1/2 cup more water. You can add 3 and 1/2 cups of water and pressure cook too. But it cooks so fast, you need not use pressure cooker.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Akkara Vadisal - A Traditional Dessert for Bhogi and Blog Anniverary!



Today, I am posting this secial recipe for a couple of reasons - to celebrate my blog anniversary and for Bhogi - the day goddess Andal married god Rangamannar (the last day of Tamil lunar month, Margazhi) - very well fit to serve this dessert for the special feast. 



Akkara vadisal is a traditonal dessert of Iyengar cuisine. It is always served during Iyengar weddings and is also made during festivals. It can be said that no feast is complete in Iyengar homes without this dessert. It is a smooth and creamy dessert which is cooked in milk and with a generous amount of ghee. One can never stop eating this creamy divine dessert - yes! - DIVINE - since it is fit to be served to Gods and Goddesses! It is similar to sweet or sarkarai pongal but is cooked in milk and hence more creamier and delicious. 

Here is the authentic recipe for akkara vadisal - Thanks to all the visitors who support and encourage me!

Ingredients:

Rice - 1/2 cup
Split yellow moong dhal - 2 tbsp
Ghee - 1/3 cup
Milk - 1000 ml
Water - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1 and 1/2 cup
Cashew - 15 - 20
Cardamom - 3, crushed or powdered
Edible camphor - a pinch (optional)

Method: 

Wash the rice and dhal. In a pan, heat 2 tsp of ghee and fry the rice and dhal. Add water and 3/4th of the milk. Cook on a medium flame stirring now and then to prevent scalding till the rice is cooked. Alternatively, you can pressure cook this mixture for three whistles. Add the remaining milk and continue cooking on a medium flame. Mash a little, stir add the jaggery, crushed cardamom and continue cooking till all the jaggery has dissolved. It will start to splatter a little and hence keep on a lo-med. flame stirring often. Add a couple of tsp of ghee, mix and take it off the flame when it has the consistency of a thick stew (If you wish to add edible camphor aka pachai karpooram, add at this stage and mix very well. It imparts a unique flavor and aroma). It tends to thicken as it cools too.  Heat ghee in another pan, Fry the cashews and add it to the akkara vadisal. Stir and serve hot, warm or cool - it is definitely delicious served at any temp. and at anytime. 

Tips:

1. If you use full cream milk, you can use lesser quantity of ghee.
2. Cooking in milk alone imparts the special flavor to this recipe.
3. If the jaggery has impurities, boil it with a little water, filter and add the jaggery water to the rice dhal mixture and continue with the same steps.
4. If you want it to be a little sweeter, feel free to add a couple more tbsp of jaggery.