Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Karela Puli Munchi/ Tangy and Spicy Bittergourd Masala

 I had told you about this dish with Karela long time back. If anyone of you have tried it I am sure you must have liked it J. I have been making it from past 4 years as of now and my hubby likes it very much and whenever we get karelas/bitter gourd this is the first thing he asks me to do with it. 
Today when I was about to make this dish i thought of changing the same recipe into a new recipe, in which I used similar ingredients but added a twist and made a complete new dish.
Puli means tangy/sour and Munchi means spicy/ chillies. Basically they make this puli munchi with fish and me having no idea what goes into the puli munchi added my own ingredients and made this Karela Puli Munchi.

 Karela Lovers must surely try it out… You will love it.

We Need:

Karela/Bitter Gourd/ Karathe – 3 washed deseeded and cut into cubes
Salt -1tbsp
Amchur Powder – 1 tsp

For the Masala:

Onion cut into cubes – 1
Dry Red Chillies – 6 or 1 tbsp red chilli powder *see notes
Coriander seeds - 1.5 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Fenugreek/Methi seeds - 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Tamarind - 1 lemon sized ball
Curry leaves –few
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp


First sprinkle one tbsp salt and 1tsp amchur powder to the cut karela’s  and keep aside.
Meanwhile, Soak the tamarind in water for about an hour and extract the pulp.
After about an hour squeeze the karelas and drain all the water in it.
In a pan dry roast the chillies* , coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, methi seeds and turmeric and allow it to cool.
When the roasted ingredients are cooled down pour it into mixer jar or blender,  using very little water and grind the tamarind to a thick paste(make sure the paste is finely ground).
Heat little oil in a pan add  mustard seeds when they splatter add curry leaves then add ginger garlic paste and the onions and fry until raw smell is gone.
Now add the ground mixture and mix well until it comes to a boil.
Once done add in the squeezed karelas and mix well. Add salt to taste*.
Mix well and allow it to cook until the karelas are done.
Switch off the flame, and keep the dish aside.

Serve hot with rotis, phulkas or chapathis.

If you are using chilli powder then you need not roast them but let me tell you roasted chilly gives a different taste.
Adjust salt accordingly as we have added almost 1tbsp spoon salt to karelas they will absorb a little salt even if the throw the excess water so do not add too much salt.
You can add a little water to the gravy if you want it thin. I have not added.

With this newly learnt and experimented dish its time to say Bye,

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bhajjile Kadlo/ Roasted Peanuts

“If you carry your Childhood with you never become Older”- Tom Stoppard

Just like the quote above we never grow old when it comes to some food item that you have always associated with childhood. One such thing is the Bajjile Kadlo/Roasted Peanuts.  During our childhood we used to get these peanuts either at beach sides,park or Saanth ( roadside festival/carnival). And with or without even asking our parents would buy them for us knowing how much we like it J(amma always told me it’s a tedious task to roast them in sand may be that was the reason she never made them is what I think now ;) whereas she makes all the time consuming sweets and snacks… wonder why she fetl this time consuming). The best part about eating this peanuts is holding the paper cone in one hand and dropping the peanuts one by one in the other hand and then popping it in the mouth and waiting for the last peanut which usually gets stuck at the bottom of the paper cone… We used to open the whole paper cone and eat them … what a Joy that was. Then it used to be 1 Rupee for a cone, but now the same cone is sold for 5 rupees.. wherein the cone is thinner and less nuts in it that is what I feel have no idea if its really that way or I am used to eat many ;). 

Now that my lil `M’ is growing I have been asked to buy them for her whenever we visit the Park. I have bought it a couple of times until I learnt to make this myself. Now(its been long time for the now) when she asks me to buy them for her I have a standard reply- why you want to eat those 10-15 nuts when I will give you plenty of them ;). So these days she enjoys the plenty of them that her Mom gives her wrapped in a big paper cone. With all that I get a Big Hug and lots of kisses in return.
I am sure all of you have some memory regarding these crunchy peanut, and you would like to make your own so why wait?

What say shall we start making it??

Here is what we need:
2 cups Peanuts
2 tbsp water
½ tbsp salt (or according to your taste)
1)   Add in peanuts in a microwave safe Bowl/ plate ( I recommend plate/tray as it will evenly roast).
2)  In a small bowl add salt and 2 tbsp water mix well until salt dissolves.
3)   Now add the salt water o the peanuts and rub well with your hands. Do not do this process vigorously and  allow peanuts about 5 minutes as it is.
4)   Now cook in microwave high temperature about 5 -6minutes (depending on your MW volt mine took 6 minutes ).
5)  Tossed after every 1 minutes.
6)  Store it in a air tight container.

Enjoy Homemade Roasted Peanuts J

I even carry few cones when we visit the Park as we (the family) love munching it.
See ya soon, 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mango Panna Cotta - A deliciously smooth and silky dessert

I had no idea what pannacotta was until I started blogging. And whenever I saw it I was tempted to try, it took me a long time to try ;).
When I or say my little girl saw this pic of Sia’s we were just salivating and she wanted me to try it there and then but unfortunately did not find agar agar strips neither veg gelatin. But never to worry there is always the next mango season is what I thought and this time when the King of fruits arrived the first thing we did was went in search of Agar Agar and luckily we found the strips. I’d first tried making jelly using the strips as I wanted my hands to set well on the dessert. Unluckily the jelly was not firm… though we enjoyed it in the falooda.
Next thing I did was started searching for a video on how to use Agar Agar… after looking at it I knew I could not go wrong anywhere now. And I moved my hands on the Yummy Lucious Silky smooth Mango Pannacotta J.

For Cream Layer
1¼ th  cups Cream (I have used full fat cream)
1 cup Milk (I have used full fat milk)
½ cup Sugar (you can increase according to your taste)
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
 2½ tbsp Agar Agar strands (U can use Gelatin or 2 tssp AA powder)

For Mango Layer: 

2 cups Mango Puree, fresh or canned (I have used around 4 fresh alphonso mangoes to get the pulp)
2 tbsp Sugar (Add extra if needed)
2 ½ tbsp Agar Agar strands

How to Proceed:

Soak agar agar in a bowl of hot water ( ¾ cup of water) for 15 minutes. 
While the agar agar is soaking, lightly grease them if you plan to de-mould. Since I used the small glass jars, I omitted this step. 

For Cream Layer: 
In a pan, add milk and cream and bring them to a boil on a low flame. Add sugar and let it simmer till the sugar dissolves. Switch off the flame and keep it aside to cool in a bowl of ice water.
Lets make the agar agar mixture by adding it in a sauce pan along with the water we soaked, stir it continuously till the agar agar completely dissolves and becomes a clear mix without any lumps(make sure there are no traces of the strips remaining). Switch off the flame and keep it aside.(do not place this in ice water).
Now check the temperature of both agar agar mixture and the cream-milk mixture should be same.if yes then mix both the mixture well add in the vanilla essence and whisk well.
This step is very important if you want to pour the Mango mixture within 15 minutes. Take a bowl of ice water place the jars or moulds in the ice water and pour in the vanilla mixture slowly without spilling it. Add a little first then after 5 minutes add more. Allow this mixture to set in the ice water it for atleast 15  minutes then pouring the mango mixture will be easy.
 For the Mango Layer: 

Similar to the cream layer, first soak agar agar in a bowl of hot water for 15 minutes.
Take the mango puree in a pan and bring it to gentle boil on a low flame. Add sugar and simmer it until the sugar is completely dissolved. Switch off the flame and keep it aside. 
Now prepare the agar agar mixture just as you made for the cream layer. Make sure that the agar agar is completely dissolved and there are no lumps left. 
When both the mixtures are luke warm mix in agar agar mixtur and whisk it well. 
Take out the set cream layer from the ice water bowl, and pour in the mango layer. Tighten the lid and place them in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours. 

Important Notes:
You can avoid the ice water step no4 of cream layer and just add the vanilla mix in the jar and store in the fridge for atleast 2 hours and when set you can continue with the mango layer. I gave it a ice bath as my daughter was very eager to eat it. I made it at 12 in the afternoon at around 8 in the evening the dessert was ready to eat.
You can add vanilla seeds instead of vanilla essence.
You can even make 3-4 layers if you wish to doing the ice bath system, but for this make sure both your cream and mango mixture are ready.
While mixing the agar agar make sure there are no lumps at all orelse the pannacotta will not have a smooth texture.
The procedure is a bit elaborative but Patience is must and the end result will turn to be Silky and Yum!

Enjoy Making Your Dessert using this recipe.
Take Care,