Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bountiful harvest

Summer was fun this time. We started a little backyard garden. So like every first time gardeners we were very nervous about the things we need to do, nuturing the plants, the outcome etc.
We planted two tomato plants, one sweet pepper from the nursery at Home depot. Then I planted some mint sticks from the box of mint we bought. It caught on and now I have a big mint plant. Had a few squash seeds thrown in from the one we bought for our use. All that grew into a big creeper.

We made a bed for spinach and my kiddo could get fresh baby spinach. While buying vegetables, I found that one of the colacasia had a sprout. So i planted it and one pearl onion sprout too. Both have yielded a handful. Not bad for a first time effort eh!!

Hubby loves gardening so he used to sincerely water them and we used to weed the area and we felt great seeing and enjoying the harvest.

Here are a few shots from our harvest.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Deepavali Bakshanam

So, there went the occasion. Was quite busy yesterday couldnt sit down to post these recipes. For this deepavali here is what I made.

Kesar Peda

3 lbs - khoya/mava (unsweetened)
2 cans - condensed milk or 2 cups - sugar
1/4 tsp - cardamom (elaichi) powder
2 tbsp - milk
Few - saffron strands
Yellow food colour - 1 or 2 pinches (Optional)

To garnish
2 to 3 tbsp - slivered pistachios


Heat 2 tbsp of milk and dissolve saffron strands in it. Keep aside. Grate the khoya and add condensed milk to it and cook on low heat. Add the saffron & milk to the mixture along with the food color if you choose to use it and continue to cook until it forms like a dough and leaves the sides of the pan. The dough should be soft to touch & pliable. Allow to cool completely. The dough should not stick to the hands when u try to roll it into a ball. This means the consistency is correct.

Roll into 1 inch ball and press slightly in center to form a small pit. Garnish with slivered pistachios in the center.

Makes: Around 50 pedas
Shelf life: 1 week (2-3 weeks if refridgerated)

To make Khoya/Mava/Khowa
5 Litres - whole fat milk
Boil milk in a heavy bottom vessel and slowly reduce to low heat and allow to boil. Keep stirring every few minutes so that the bottom wont burn. Continue this until the milk becomes like a lump and all moisture is evaporated. Cool the khoya before making anything. Refridgerate or freeze. This would yield somewhere around 2 lbs of khoya.

Ribbon Pakoda/Nada murukku

4 cups - Rice flour
1 cup - Besan flour

1 tbsp - Butter
1 tsp - Asafoteda powder
1 tsp - red chilli powder
Salt to taste
Water to mix
Oil for deep frying

In a heavy bottom kadai heat oil.

Mix rice flour, besan flour, salt, asafoteda powder, red chilli powder and mix well. Then add butter and blend it into the dry mixture. Once the butter is in add water little by little and make the dough. Add enough water to bind the flour.
Use the savory press(usually called Naazhi in India) with the nada plate. Put dough in the savory press and squeeze into the hot oil. Take them out when its golden brown.

Makes: Around 8 qt pan full
Shelf life: 2 weeks

Tip : The dough should be of chappathi flour consitency. If it becomes runny, add more rice flour to correct it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fru-Nut Laddoo

(1 cup - 16 tablespoons - 250 ml)

Finely chopped Dates - 1 cup
Finely chopped dried golden raisins (known as Kismis in India) - ½ cup
Cashews (non roasted, unsalted) - 1 cup
Almond(non roasted, unsalted) - 1 cup
Fried groundnut (skin peeled) -1 cup
Grated coconut-1 cup
Sugar powder(can also use confectioners sugar) – 2 ½ - 3 cups (sugar quantity is variable depending on the granule size of sugar. Bigger granules use 2 1/2 cups ; confectioners sugar use 3 cups)
Ghee -2 cups
Cardamom powder-1 tsp

Heat the kadai and add cashews, almond and fried groundnuts (peanuts). Dry fry these without oil until raw smell disappears. Cool completely. Add all the dry fruits, dates, raisins, grated coconut and powder them. Add powdered sugar/confectioners sugar as the case may be. Add cardamom powder and melted ghee and make lemon size balls.

Will make around 20 1 inch laddoos.
Shelf life - 1 week [if you still have some left for
a week!!! ;) ]

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

இனிய ஆரம்பம்

Blog ஆரம்பிசாச்சு. அம்மா கை வண்ணத்தில் இருந்து ஒரு இனிப்பு இதோ.
(இந்த தமிழ் ட்ய்பிங் கொஞ்சம் வித்யாசமா தான் இருக்கு :) )
அதனால் இந்த போஸ்ட் ரொம்ப short one. Only Intro no recipe. Recipe follows in the immediate next post !!!

ஒரு வழியா இன்றோ டைப் பண்ணியாச்சு :)