Onion Coriander Soup #MonsoonMojo

   

I totally hate the end slices of store bought bread. My brother and I always traded favours so that the other person would have the end slice. It sounds silly to me today but I still try to pass those slices to the husband (who thankfully doesn’t mind).

So when my mom found this recipe in a Tamil magazine and told me, I jumped at it. It was just the perfect way for me to have those end bread slices.

To top it all this  is an easy and yummy soup. I used to make it all the time when the husband was out travelling and all I had to cook was for myself. I used to make a large bowl of this soup and dinner was done in ten minutes flat. Those were the days……

WHAT WE NEED

Water                     3 cups

Onion, medium    1

Bread slices.          2

Butter/ Oil.             2 tsp

Coriander leaves.    Lots

WHAT TO DO

  • Put the water to boil
  • Cut the onion finely, very finely

  

  • Powder the bread slices in a mixer or blender
  • Wash and cut the coriander leaves finely
  • Heat the oil
  • Add the onions and fry till they are translucent 
  • The water should be boiling by now. Pour it on the onions
  • Add the bread slices and mix so that no lumps are formed

  

  

  • Add the salt and mix well
  • Add the coriander leaves and switch off the gas

 

  • Enjoy your soup with some bread or just like that!

    

  

NOTES

  1.  The original recipe calls for frying the onion in butter which is what I usually do. I tried olive oil this time and it was quite tasty too!


   
This is my entry for Cooking from Cookbook Challenge hosted by Srivalli. 

  
This is my entry for MonsoonMojo hosted by Kalyani

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Theratipal 

 
You could think why I’m displaying this sudden burst of excess love for my mother’s recipe.simple! She is due to visit next month and I need all the practice I can get.

Today I tried making theratipal after ages – the first time since I moved to Malaysia.

The best part about making this one is that you can ignore it for a long time and it will still turn out good.

All you need is a LARGE vessel. I usually put it on the gas just before I start making the day’s meals. with a glance here and a stir there, it is ready for me by the time I finish making lunch and have time for it. 

So here goes –

WHAT WE NEED

Milk 1 litre

Sugar 6-8 tbsp

Yup, that’s it!!!

WHAT TO DO

  • Pour the milk in that LARGE vessel ie a vessel that can otherwise take in 4-5 liters of milk
  • Switch on the gas at medium -low flame
  • Once the milk reaches boiling point, reduce the gas to low and stir the milk 
  • Run the ladle on the side of the vessel to release any cream stuck on it.
  • Keep stirring every now and then
  • Once the milk reduces to half of the original quantity, stir more frequently
  • Once it starts thickening, add the sugar and stir it in 

  

  • Once the sugar is added, keep stirring without a break.
  • It will thicken and come together nicely though still semi solid.
  • Switch off the gas and let it remain for another 10-15 minutes

 

  • Once it thickens transfer it to another container
  • This is how the vessel should look if you have stirred it right – nothing stuck to the bottom of the vessel.

   
  

  • Grab a spoon and have a go! 

  

NOTES

  1. I needed only 6 tbsp of sugar when I used to make it in India but here I needed 8 tbsp. So I suggest you try with 6 tbsp first and if it doesn’t work out you can increase the sugar levels.
  2. One of the drawbacks of theratipal is that you get a very small quantity of the sweet from the one liter of milk. Lesser the quantity, more the thickening of the milk will lead to a yummier sweet but very less quantity. The key is to balance the quantity and Yumm factor. So it would be ideal to add the sugar once the milk is reduced to half its quantity. 
  3. The ideal colour for theratipal is white just like the milk. I used to achieve it quite easily back in Bangalore but it eluded me this time ūüėĘ Fingers crossed for my next attempt.
  4. The longer it stays in the vessel the harder it will get. You can switch off the gas when it is in semi solid state and let it remain in the vessel for another 10-15 minutes. If you like it harder then leave it on for another 15 minutes. Keep checking every 7-8 minutes to see if it had reached your desired consistency.


  
This is my entry for the Cooking from Cookbook Challenge hosted by Srivalli


Rava Kunuku / Semolina Fritters #MonsoonMojo

  
I live in a weird location. Suddenly it’s hot beyond measure and suddenly it starts to pour. One minute you want a lemonade and the next moment you are craving for a piping hot masala chai. So if we want to enjoy the rain (we really want to ) then we need a quick snack to go with that masala chai.

This is my mother’s recipe plus onion and garlic which are Abhacharam in my part of the world. Yup, I am an Iyengar, how did you guess? If you are a tambram then you will understand the depth of the rebellious nature I have displayed in adding onion and garlic to this dish (double whammy). If you aren’t, no worries. It’s too technical to explain and this has no implication on understanding the recipe. So read on….

  
WHAT WE NEED

Rava / Semolina        3/4 Cup

Curds                          1- 1 1/2 cup

Rice flour                    4 tsp

Onion, medium         1

Garlic                           1 

Curry leaves                few

Chilly powder             2 tsp

Ginger.                         1″

Salt

Oil for frying
WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the rava with 1 cup of curds and set aside for half hour

   

  • Cut the onions, garlic and curry leaves finnnnnely
  • Grate the ginger

  

  • Pour the oil into a pan and keep those tissues ready for absorbing all that extra oil and some of the guilt you may have for eating fried food.
  • Watch an episode of your favorite show. Arre, lots of time to go!
  • Heat the oil
  • Mix the onion, garlic, ginger, curry leaves, chilly powder, rice flour and salt with the rava batter.
  • If it feels too dry then add 2-3 tbsp of curds to make it into a thick batter.

  

  • Drop a few bit sized pieces of the rava batter and fry till it starts browning on one side
  • Turn the fritters over and let them cook well on the other side as well.
  • Take off the oil and lay it on the tissues.

  

  • Enjoy the fritters with ketchup or green chutney!
  • Yummmmmm

  

That’s right! masala chai in a coffee mug….too much rebellion in a day?

  

NOTES

  1. The amount of curds required is usually double the quantity of the rava used. But some rava don’t absorb as much curds as others making the batter very runny. It is still possible to make the fritters with the runny batter but the drawback is that it will consume more oil. Hence hold back on the curds.
  2. Onion and garlic are totally optional but I would recommend them, at least the onion. Grated carrot is another option to add to the batter.
  3. If your batter is too runny then add veggies or rice flour to thicken it. Though the taste will not suffer, it will not have the airy texture that is the rava kunuku’s trademark.


I am sending this for #MonsoonMojo hosted by Kalyani 

Delicious Almond ‘Cake’

  

This recipe for Almond / badam ‘cake’  ( not cake, cake…Indian sweet) has been tried and tested and tasted few hundred times. It is my mom’s recipe or as my sis-in-law and I call her, ‘You know who’!

Mom is an amazing mother, wife, mother-in-law, performer, speaker, etc. BUT, if you dare take one of her recipes (they are yummm) and don’t follow her instructions to the T and God forbid, you mess up then it’s Avada Kedavra time. No Harry Potter or horcrux can save you.

  

But this is one recipe I have managed to hit the bullseye every time. So I can confidently write about it. (Also, mom doesn’t read my blog). 

Warning- Builds muscles. Read further only if willing to flex those arms.

WHAT WE NEED

 

Almonds/Badam.                 1 Cup

Sugar.                                     1 1/2 Cup

Ghee/ Clarified Butter         1/2 – 3/4 Cup

Milk                                         3-5 tsp

Cardamom powder.             1/2 tsp (optional but totally recommended)

Saffron.                                   Few strands (optional)

WHAT TO DO

  • Soak the almonds in water for around 45 minutes to an hour till the skin loosens and can be peeled off easily.
  • If you don’t have much time on hand, soak them in hot water and it should be ready to peel in about 15 minutes.
  • Peel off the skins of the almonds (Duh!)
  • Grease a 10 inch plate with ghee. Also grease a clean and washed plastic cover with ghee for the size of your palm. Keep aside.
  • Powder 4 tbsp of sugar and keep aside. This is in addition to the quantity mentioned above. (see Notes)
  • Grind the almonds to a smoooooth paste by adding milk. Add 2 tsp first and grind. Then add 1 tsp everytime you think it needs some more moisture to be finely ground. The paste should not be liquid-y.
  • It’s no crime to have a small bit here or there but it does spoil the look and texture. Not so much fun. Plus, mom is watching!!!

 

  

  • Heat around 1/4 cup of ghee. Add the almond paste and sugar.

  • Stir well till the sugar melts.
  • Keep stirring. Some more stirring.

  

  • Stir, who asked you to stop? ( sorry, that was mom’s voice on a loop in my head)
  • Add the ghee in 2 tbsp regulR installments till you have exhausted 1/2 cup ghee.
  • Keep stirring.
  • At around 7-8 minutes into the cooking time, add the cardamom powder and saffron.
  • At around 10 minutes into the cooking time, taste it to check for sweetness
  • If you think you would like it sweeter then add 2 tbsp of the powdered sugar. Stir vigorously to incorporate it into the mixture. Taste again to check.

  

  • After about 12-15 minutes the mixture will start to come together, thicken and you will find it tough to stir.
  • Pause for a couple of seconds to check if ‘tough-to-stir’ is because of the mixture thickening or your exhausted arm.

  

  • Pour the mixture onto the greased plate.
  • Wrap the greased plastic cover around your hand and immediately flatten the mixture to reach all through the plate. 
  • Ensure that the mixture is at the same level across the plate.
  • You can add the saffron at this stage also.
  • Take a couple of minutes to stretch your tired arms.
  • Break over, time to work. Use a knife or spatula to cut the almond mixture into equal size pieces.
  • Once it’s completely cooled down (about 15 minutes) transfer the pieces into a storage jar/ box.
  • No need to refrigerate. I store it in a stainless steel box and it lasts for around ten days.

  • Mom never tastes the sweet first. She checks the vessel in which I have cooked. That tells her everything I want to hide.
  • By those standards, this is a pretty good effort, if I can say so myself.
  • Once the vessel cools, you can scrape out whatever is left and use it as a sprinkle over other desserts. The daughter loves this part!

  

   
NOTES

  1. The powdered sugar is only a precautionary measure. I have never needed to use it. Can be omitted if you wish.
  2. I used a 9 inch plate. You can use a smaller plate to get thicker pieces. If you use a larger plate, the pieces will be too thin and will crumble when you try to remove them.
  3. Worst case, if you mess up on the consistency, don’t worry. Call it badam halwa and serve. Almonds plus ghee plus sugar HAS to be yummm!


This is my entry for the Cooking from Cookbook Challenge hosted by Srivalli.

Lotus Root Chips #MonsoonMojo


When we moved to Malaysia, I made a resolution to include as many local delicacies as possible in our day to day meals. That is a tough proposition since we are vegetarians (flexible on eggs) and this is a seafood paradise. So, as a first step, I decided to start adapting local vegetables that aren’t so common in India. My first experiment was with the turnip and it turned out quite yumm.

The next item I had my eyes on was lotus roots. Not very pretty to look at but intriguing all the same. The first time I picked it up, I forgot about it and found it a week later at the bottom of my veggie tray in the fridge. You don’t want to know more. This time I kept it next to the milk so that I looked at it thrice a day.


No recipe I found was very exciting. Finally I decided that frying anything should only end up in tasty-land. But last week I came across quite a few recipes on baked chips. So I decided to do both. So here goes –

WHAT WE NEED

To Bake

1 Lotus Root

1/2 – 1 tbsp Olive Oil

1/2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 tsp Ground Pepper

1/2 tbsp Cumin Powder

1/2 tsp Sesame Powder

Salt

1 tsp Vinegar

2cups Water

To Fry

1 Lotus Root

Pink Salt

1/2 tsp Chilly Powder

1/2 tsp Cumin Powder

1 tsp Vinegar

2 Cups Water

WHAT TO DO

Irrespective of whether you are frying or baking, you need to –

  • Mix the vinegar and water. Keep aside
  • Wash, wash and wash the lotus root. It’s a root.

   

  • Cut off the ends.
  • Admire the design inside

 

  • Peel the skin
  • Slice it thinly

 

  • Soak it in the vinegar water and forget about it for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prep for the next steps – lay out some tissues to dry the roots when they are taken out of water.

  • If you are baking then grease the baking tray with some olive oil. Dry roast and grind the pepper. If you don’t have cumin and sesame powder. Dry roast and grind them too.
  • If you are frying then pour some oil in a pan, set out tissues to catch the extra oil. Get that cumin powder.

15 minutes not yet done? Ok, superhuman, go get a glass of water and take a deep breath.

  • Drain the water from the lotus root slices.
  • Place each slice individually on the tissue paper to soak up the remaining water.

It pays to have a little helper


  • Place another tissue on top to quicken the drying out process.

Take a moment to look at the semi wet tissue on top. It would have pretty lotus root imprints all over.

for Baking

  • Preheat the oven to 190C
  • Put all the slices in a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, extra virgin, olive oil, ground pepper, cumin powder, sesame powder and salt.
  • Toss like a pro to coat all the slices with the oils and seasoning.
  • If you are not a pro and tried tossing, spend a couple of minutes to pick the slices off the floor and clean up the oil stains. You could just use your hands to evenly coat the slices.
  • Place the slices individually on the baking sheet /tray. Don’t overlap.


I know I have squeezed in more than capacity. Mumbai local train habits never die. “Thoda adjust karo”.

  • Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  • Wait for a couple of minutes before munching away!
  • Store in an air tight container if it lasts longer than ten minutes.

 

for Frying

  • Heat the oil
  • Drop the chips in
  • Fry till they star browning. Then take it out.

 

  • Season with pink salt, chilly powder and cumin powder
  • Munchy time! Else air tight container.

These would serve best on a rainy day watching the raindrops slide down your window.

  


NOTES

  1. Lotus roots brown almost immediately on slicing. Hence the need for vinegar water. You could try slicing directly over the hot oil, if you are used to it. I am so not.
  2. Most recipes I saw recommended sesame oil to fry. I did not have it. So I used sesame powder and rice bran oil for frying.
  3. If you don’t have pink salt, use regular salt.

I liked the baked version better than the fried one. Same crunch less oil. Yay!

I am sending this for #MonsoonMojo hosted by Kalyani 

Cabbage nu Muthia

¬†My internet connection is driving me nuts. It went on a fifty day vacation which is beyond its annual leave quota it’s finally back but is still in vacation mode and is willing to work only with innumerable additional perks. So since I can’t disconnect it, I decided to reduce my dependence on it.¬†I dug out my ancient cookbooks and decided to derive inspiration from them rather than google – “have¬†lots of cabbage. What to do?”

 
This recipe is from a Gujarati cuisine book I bought almost a decade ago. I never used it before but kept it safe for future reference – which is now! This is a simple recipe and hence I couldn’t help make some modifications based on my fridge and pantry inventory. So here goes –

WHAT WE NEED
250 gms cabbage
50 gms sweet corn
100 gms besan / chickpea flour
1/2 tsp ajwain
1 tsp asafoetida
2-3 green / red chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tbsp sugar
Juice of 1 small lemon
Salt
1-2 tbsp Oil
Water

WHAT TO DO
Shred or cut the cabbage finely. Mix it with salt and forget about it for 20 minutes


Cook the corn in water for 7-10 minutes till soft
After 20 minutes, preheat the oven at 165C
Squeeze the water out of the cabbage and drink it. At least use it for making dal or rasam.
Add corn, finely chopped chillies, chilly powder, lemon juice, sugar, asafoetida, ajwain and salt( if required). Mix well.


Add the chickpea flour little by little till it forms a stiff dough.
Shape 7-8 patties from the dough.
Grease a baking pan or baking sheet and place the patties on it. Brush the top side of the patties with oil


Bake for 8-10 minutes. Then flip it over and bake for another 7-9 minutes till the patties are golden brown.
Enjoy it with ketchup or green chutney!

NOTES

  1. As per the original recipe the dough had to be shaped in rolls and steamed for 15-20 minutes. That did not work for me and so I baked them.
  2. The corn and ajwain are my addition and can be omitted


This is my entry for the Cooking from Cookbook Challenge hosted by Srivalli.