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Aval Kesari | Poha Kesari


Gokulashtami / Sri Krishna Jayanthi falls on 5th September this year. Seedai, murukku and thattai are some of the traditional snacks prepared for this festival. The neivedhyam (offerings) will be incomplete without Lord Krishna's favorites - aval (flattened rice) and butter. Mostly we make vella aval, but apart from that you can make payasam, laddu or kesari with aval/poha.

Kesari is mostly prepared with rava/semolina. This aval kesari is quite similar to rava kesari. I just followed my rava kesari recipe and made few changes to make this kesari. If you are a working women or a beginner cook, this aval kesari is a really easy recipe and takes very less time too. Try this easy sweet for gokulashtami this year.

AVAL KESARI RECIPE

{ South Indian dessert with flattened rice, sugar, cardamon and ghee }
Serves 2


Ingredients:

½ cup aval / poha / flattened rice
1 cup water
½ cup sugar
3 tbsp ghee
¼ tsp cardamom powder
5-6 cashews, broken
5-6 raisins
Pinch of kesari color or orange food color

Method:

1. Heat 1 tsp ghee in a non stick pan and fry the cashews till golden. Set aside. Add the raisins to the same pan and fry till they puff up. Set aside.

2. In the same pan, add 1 tsp ghee and add the aval. Fry in a low-medium heat until it turns light golden color. Cool and grind to a coarse powder.

3. Add water to the pan and bring to boil. Add the aval slowly and keep stirring in a medium heat until the aval is cooked. Make sure no lumps are formed.

4. Once the aval is cooked well, add the sugar, kesari color and rest of ghee. The mixture will start to loosen up now. Make sure no lumps are formed.

5. Cook stirring continuously until it starts to thicken and starts leaving the sides of the pan. Add cardamom powder and garnish with fried cashew and raisins.

Notes and Tips
  • The aval/poha should be ground to a rava/semolina like consistency.
  • Make sure the aval is cooked well before adding sugar.
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Cheruparippu Pradhaman | Kerala Parippu Payasam


A Kerala sadya is incomplete without a payasam or pradhaman. Pradhaman is a traditional dessert of Kerala, made with coconut milk and jaggery whereas a payasam is made with milk and sugar. There are many varieties of pradhamans like ada pradhaman, parippu pradhaman, chakka pradhaman etc. A classic Kerala sadya will have atleast one variety of pradhaman. 

Today I'm sharing the classic parippu pradhaman recipe made with split yellow moong dal. As this dessert is made with lentils, coconut milk and jaggery, it's quite healthy. Traditionally, the pradhaman is cooked in a uruli, a heavy round vessel made of bell metal, but now a days we use pressure cooker or any heavy bottomed vessel. To get the authentic taste, you must use freshly squeezed coconut milk for this recipe. I have tried with coconut milk powder and though it tastes good, it can't match the taste when made with fresh coconut milk. The coconut bits fried in ghee is one of the highlights of this pradhaman. Try this pradhaman for this Onam sadya and enjoy with your family.

Wishing all my friends and readers a very Happy and Prosperous Onam!!!

CHERUPARIPPU PRADHAMAN RECIPE

{ South Indian dessert with yellow moong dal, coconut milk and jaggery }
Serves 3-4


Ingredients:

½ cup cheru parippu / yellow moong dal
1 cup jaggery, grated
½ tsp + 2 tsp ghee
½ cup thick coconut milk / onnam paal
1 cup medium thick coconut milk / rendaam paal
½ tsp cardamom powder
¼ tsp dry ginger powder

1 tsp ghee
2 tbsp coconut bits / thenga kothu
1 tbsp broken cashew nuts

For coconut milk:
1 medium-size coconut, grated

Method:

To make coconut milk:

1. For thick coconut milk:  Add the coconut, ½ cup warm water in a blender/mixer and blend for 30-45 seconds. Squeeze well and extract the coconut milk.

2. For medium thick coconut milk: Add 1 cup warm water to the coconut and blend again. Squeeze well to extract the coconut milk.

To make pradhaman/payasam:

1. Dry roast the dal in medium flame until it turns golden. The dal should not turn brown. Let the dal cool slightly.Wash the dal and drain well.

2.  In a uruli or heavy bottomed vessel, add ½ tsp ghee and add the dal. Fry for a minute and then add 1 ½ - 2 cups of water.

3. Cook the dal in medium heat until it has absorbed all the water and is completely cooked, about 20-25 minutes. Mash the dal well.

4. In a saucepan/kadai, add jaggery and ¼ cup water. Melt the jaggery completely. Strain the jaggery to remove any impurities.

5. Add jaggery to the cooked dal and mix well. Once it starts to boil, add 2 tsp ghee and mix well.

6. When it starts to thicken, add medium thick coconut milk, cardamom powder, dry ginger power and mix well. Cook till the payasam thickens.

7. Remove from heat and add the thick coconut milk. Do not boil after adding thick coconut milk.

8. In a pan heat ghee and fry the coconut bits and cashews separately until golden. Add to the payasam with the ghee.

Notes and Tips
  • You can also use coconut milk powder instead of fresh coconut milk. Use 1 ½ tbsp to make thick coconut milk and 2 tbsp to make medium thick coconut milk.
  • If using thick canned coconut milk, take ½ cup coconut milk and add ½ cup water to make medium thick coconut milk.
  • Add more water if required to cook the dal.
  • Add the jaggery only after the dal is completely cooked. Mash the dal well before adding jaggery syrup.
  • The color of the payasam depends on the jaggery used. Use slightly dark color jaggery.
  • Do not boil the payasam after adding the thick coconut milk, otherwise the payasam will curdle.
  • Raisins are not usually added in this payasam.
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Koottu Curry | Brahmin Style Koottukari


Koottu curry or koottukari is a traditional Kerala curry and an important dish in a sadya(feast). Koottu means combination and as the name implies, it is a combination of different vegetables like ashgourd, yam, raw banana/plantain and lentils like chickpeas or split bengal gram. Like most of the Kerala dishes, this dish is also loaded with coconut and what makes the koottu extra special is the addition of roasted coconut at the end which adds a unique flavor and lovely aroma.

The preparation of this koottu varies from region to region and mostly is made with yam, raw banana/plantain and brown chickpeas. Today I'm sharing a typical Brahmin style koottukari with ashgourd, yam and kadalai paruppu/chana dal. Koottu curry is my favorite dish among sadya recipes. I couldn't get fresh yam here, so I have used frozen yam. The frozen yam actually made my job easy and saved time too. If you are planning a onam sadya this time or even a mini sadya, try this easy and delicious koottu curry.

KOOTTUKARI RECIPE

{ Brahmin style coconut based curry with yam, ashgourd and bengal gram }
Serves 4


Ingredients:

1 cup ashgourd / elavan, peeled and cut into small cubes
½ cup yam / chenai, peeled and cut into small cubes
¼ cup chana dal / kadalai paruppu
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp grated jaggery
Salt to taste
Few curry leaves

To roast:
¼ cup grated coconut
2-3 dry red chillies

To grind:
½ cup grated coconut
½ tsp cumin seeds / jeera

To temper:
2 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp split urad dal
1-2 dry red chillies
Few curry leaves

Method:

1. Pressure cook the chana dal and yam with half of the turmeric powder, salt and water enough to cover them for 3 whistles.

2. In a pan, roast ¼ cup coconut until they turn light brown in color. Transfer to a plate. Then roast the red chillies until they are crisp.

3. Grind the ½ cup coconut, cumin seeds along with 2 tbsp of the roasted coconut and red chillies to a smooth paste adding water as required.

4. In a kadai, add ashgourd, remaining turmeric powder, jaggery, salt and enough water to cover them and cook until the ashgourd becomes soft.

5. Then add the cooked chana dal and yam. Mix well. Add the ground coconut paste, curry leaves, adjust salt if required and cook for 3-4 minutes.

6. In a small pan, heat coconut oil and add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add urad dal, red chillies and curry leaves.

7. Pour this over the koottu and add the remaining roasted coconut. Mix well.

Notes and Tips
  • You can also use frozen yam if fresh yam is not available.
  • If using frozen yam, soak the chana dal for 30 minutes and cook the dal, ashgourd and yam together in kadai with enough water, turmeric powder, jaggery and salt.
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Pineapple Pachadi


A typical Kerala Onam or Vishu sadya is incomplete without pachadi. A pachadi is nothing but a yogurt based dish made with fruits or vegetables, ground coconut, chillies and seasonings. Some of the common fruits and vegetables that we are use to make pachadi for sadya are ladies finger/okra, tomato, pineapple and beetroot.

Pineapple pachadi is one of the most popular and favorite among all the pachadi varieties. Unlike other pachadi's, pineapple pachadi is slightly on the sweeter side. There is another variation of this pachadi with the addition of grapes called madhura pachadi, which I will share later. You can serve this pachadi with rice and sambar or any kuzhmabu. Onam is coming up next week, so try this delicious pachadi for your Ona sadya.

Other pachadi recipes for sadya:

PINEAPPLE PACHADI RECIPE

{ South Indian raita with pineapple, coconut, chillies and mustard seeds }
Serves 2


Ingredients:

1 cup pineapple, chopped into cubes
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp red chilly powder
½ tsp grated jaggery
½ cup plain yogurt / curd
Salt to taste

To grind:
⅓ cup grated coconut
2-3 green chillies
1 tsp mustard seeds

To temper:
1 tsp coconut oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
1-2 dry red chillies
Few curry leaves

Method:

1. Grind coconut, green chillies, mustard seeds with 2 tbsp of the curd to a coarse mixture. Whisk the remaining curd and set aside.

2. In a kadai, add pineapple, turmeric powder, red chilly powder, jaggery, salt and ¼ cup water. Cook till the pineapple pieces are soft.

3. Add the coconut mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the curd and cook until the curd is just heated. Remove from heat.

4. In a small pan, heat coconut oil and add mustard seeds. When it splutters add red chillies, curry leaves and pour over pachadi.

Notes and Tips
  • Do not cook for long time after adding curd otherwise the curd will curdle.
  • If your pineapple is less sweet, add more jaggery.
  • Adjust green chillies according to your spice preference.
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Lauki Chana Dal Sabzi | Bottlegourd Lentil Curry


Bottlegourd or long melon, known as lauki in Hindi, sorakkai in Tamil and churakka in Malayalam, is one squash that is available most of the times in Indian shops here. If you don't get ashgourd easily , bottlegourd is a good substitute. Whenever my mom gets bottlegourd from the vegetable vendor, it goes into making kootu or lauki masala or this lauki sabzi with chana dal. 

Bottlegourd is known for many health benefits in Ayurveda and when combined with lentils makes this sabzi more nutritious and healthy. This is a simple and mildly spiced sabzi with ingredients that are always available in our pantry. Soaking the chana dal helps to cook the lentils faster. Though you can cook this sabzi in a kadai, cooking in a pressure cooker reduces cooking time and the curry will be done in 30 minutes. Serve this delicious lauki chana dale sabzi hot with roti or phulka.

LAUKI CHANA DAL SABZI RECIPE

{ Bottlegourd and split bengal gram curry }
Serves 3 - 4


Ingredients:

1 medium bottlegourd / lauki (about 3 ½ cups)
½ cup chana dal / split bengal gram
1 tbsp oil
½ tsp ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds / jeera
¼ tsp asafoetida / hing
1 medium onion, chopped
1-inch piece ginger, grated
2-3 green chillies, slit
1 medium tomato, chopped
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp garam masala
Salt to taste
3 tbsp chopped coriander

Method:

1. Wash and soak chana dal for 30 minutes. Peel the skin of bottlegourd and remove the center spongy portion. Chop them into cubes.

2. In a pressure cooker, heat oil and ghee. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida and let it sizzle. Add onion, ginger, green chillies and saute until soft.

3. Add tomato and fry till they are soft. Then add turmeric powder, red chilly powder, coriander powder and garam masala. Fry for 1-2 minutes.

4. Add the chana dal, bottlegourd, 1 cup water, salt and mix well. Close the lid and pressure cook for 3 whistles in medium heat.

5. Once pressure subsides, open and add coriander leaves. Simmer for few minutes if there is still lot of water.

Serving Suggestion ~ Roti / phulka.

Notes and Tips
  • Do not add more water. Bottlegourd will ooze out some water too.
  • Chana dal should not turn mushy. It should be just soft and have little crunch.
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Eggless Rosemary Garlic Dinner Rolls #BreadBakers


For this month's Bread Bakers, our host Pavani of Cook's Hideout suggested summer produce as the theme. We had to make breads using fresh summer fruits or vegetables or herbs from our garden or from the farmers market. If you love bread baking and want to be part of this wonderful group, go through the details at the end of the post. Since the choices were endless, I was in quite a dilemma finalizing a recipe and at the end decided to make dinner rolls using the rosemary from my little herb garden.

These dinner rolls flavored with fresh rosemary and garlic are perfect to go with your soup or curry. Or you can slather some butter on the warm rolls and enjoy. I followed the dinner rolls recipe from here and topping from The Pioneer Woman. The rolls turned out soft and fluffy with a wonderful salty and garlicky crust. I already made these rolls twice and each time they turned out super delicious. Let's see how to make these eggless savory rosemary and garlic dinner rolls.

ROSEMARY GARLIC ROLLS RECIPE

{ Eggless rosemary garlic dinner rolls topped with rosemary, garlic, sea salt and black pepper }
Makes 8 rolls


Ingredients:

1 ½ cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour / maida
1 1/8 tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp mashed potato
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
½ tsp minced garlic
1 ½ tbsp light olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ cup lukewarm water

For the topping:
1 tbsp melted butter
¼ tsp garlic powder / minced garlic
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
Coarse sea salt
Cracked black pepper

Method:

1. In a large bowl add flour, yeast, mashed potato, sugar, rosemary, garlic and mix well. Add oil, salt, water and mix with a spatula to form a dough.

2. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough well for 8-10 minutes to form a smooth and non-sticky dough.

3. Keep the dough in a lightly oiled bowl in a warm place and cover with a tea towel. Let the dough rise for 1 ½ hours or until doubled.

4. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 8-inch or 9-inch baking pan. Punch down the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface.

5. Divide the dough into 8 portions. Shape each portion into smooth rolls and place in the baking pan about 1-inch apart.

6.  Cover with a tea towel and keep in a warm place for 30-45 minutes or until the rolls have filled up the entire plan. Preheat the oven to 180 °C | 350 °F.

7. Melt the butter and add the garlic powder. Brush the top of the rolls gently with the butter. Sprinkle rosemary, sea salt and pepper.

8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with remaining butter.

Notes and Tips
  • If using active dry yeast, sprinkle the yeast over lukewarm water and let it sit until frothy. Add rest of the ingredients and make dough.
  • The topping is optional. You can simply brush the top of rolls with melted butter.
  • You can use vegetable oil or canola oil instead of olive oil.

BreadBakers
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.



Breads using Summer Bounty:
Read More >>

Quick Vegetable Pulao In Pressure Cooker


For a hearty one pot meal with less time and minimal clean up, pulao/pilaf is perfect. You don't have to struggle to make a side dish; a simple raita or salad is enough to accompany a pulao. Pressure cookers are an integral part of our Indian cooking. I find cooking pulao and other variety rice in pressure cooker much easier and time saving. And yes, less cleaning up too! Check out my other one pot meal recipes too.

I have already shared a mild vegetable pulao recipe cooked in a kadai. But this vegetable pulao recipe is slightly different. This one is cooked in pressure cooker and is more spicy and masaledaar. The extra kick of spices and kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) makes the pulao more flavorful. This veg pulao can be done in 45 minutes and if you are working women or a beginner cook, this recipe is simple and apt for you. You can pack this for lunchbox for kids and adults with raita or plain yogurt. Now let's see how to make this quick vegetable pulao in pressure cooker.

VEGETABLE PULAO RECIPE

{ Quick mixed vegetable pulao with spices in a pressure cooker }
Serves 2


Ingredients:

½ cup basmati rice
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp ghee
1 bay leaf
¼ inch cinnamon stick
2 cloves
1 cardamom
¼ tsp cumin seeds / jeera
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
½ medium tomato, finely chopped
1 small carrot
1 small potato
6-7 green beans
¼ cup green peas
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp red chilly powder
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp kasuri methi / dry fenugreek leaves
Salt to taste

Method:

1. Wash the rice and soak for 30 minutes. Drain the water and set aside. Chop carrot and potato into small cubes. Cut beans into ¼-inch long piece.

2. In a deep-bottomed pressure cooker, heat oil and ghee. Add bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and fry till nice aroma comes.

3. Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle. Then add onion, ginger-garlic paste and fry till the onions start to turn light golden brown.

4. Then add tomato and fry till it turns soft. Then add carrot, potato, beans, peas and mix well. Saute for 2-3 minutes.

5. Add turmeric powder, red chilly powder, garam masala, kasuri methi, salt and mix well. Add the rice and gently mix.

6. Add ¾ cup water, mix everything and close the lid. Pressure cook for 2 whistles. Once pressure subsides, open and gently fluff with a fork.

Serving Suggestion ~ Raita / plain yogurt.

Notes and Tips
  • You can add other vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, sweet corn, capsicum and baby corn.
  • Adjust spices according to your taste. If you want pulao to be mild, skip the red chilly powder.
  • Soaking the rice helps to soften the grains, so do not skip it. If you are soaking rice for less time then add 1 cup water.
Read More >>

Chickpea Burger With Yogurt Tahini Sauce


There are limited fast-food shops that have vegetarian burgers on their menu. And most of these burgers might sound healthy, but the processed burger patties may have lots of cheese and contain traces of animal by products. To make a healthy veggie burger at home is quite easy. A veggie burger just doesn't have to be the regular one with potato and other vegetables. You can use different legumes, beans and grains plus your favorite vegetables to make a delicious and hearty burger.

Today I am sharing a healthy and protein loaded burger recipe with pan-fried chickpea patties with a yogurt and tahini sauce. These eggless chickpea patties have tons of flavor from the spices. I used rolled oats to bind the patties but you can use flax seeds or chia seeds. You can freeze the remaining patties individually and use for making burgers or have them like a snack with your favorite sauce. I made a simple yogurt and tahini sauce but you can also use a plain yogurt sauce or avocado sauce. Also check out my Mexican bean burger with avocado sour cream sauce.


CHICKPEA BURGER RECIPE

{ Veggie burger with a spiced chickpea and oats patty and yogurt-tahini sauce }
Makes 4 burgers


Ingredients:

For the patties:
1 ½ cup cooked chickpeas
3 tbsp oats
1-2 green chillies
¼ cup coriander leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated
½ inch ginger piece, grated
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp red chilly powder
¼ tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp coriander powder
1 tsp curry powder
Salt to taste
1-2 tbsp olive oil, for frying

For the yogurt tahini sauce:
⅓ cup thick yogurt
2 tbsp tahini paste
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

For the burger:
Burger buns
Lettuce or any greens
Tomato slices
Onion slices
Cucumber slices

Method:

To make patties:

1. In a pan, heat olive oil and add onion, ginger and garlic. Saute till the onion becomes soft and translucent.

2. Add turmeric powder, red chilly powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, curry powder and fry for 1-2 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3. In a food processor, add chickpeas, oats, green chillies, coriander leaves, lemon juice and process until well combined. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.

4.  Add the onion mixture, salt and mix well. Divide into 4 balls and shape into patties. Place on a plate and put in the fridge for at-least 30 minutes.

5. Heat a frying pan with oil and place the chickpea patties. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side or till they turn golden brown.

To make sauce:

In a bowl, add the yogurt and whisk well. Add the tahini paste, lemon juice, salt, pepper and mix well.

To assemble burger:

1. Slice the burger buns and toast the buns if desired. Place lettuce leaves, tomato slices, onion slices and cucumber slices.

2. Place a patty and top with 1-2 tbsp of yogurt-tahini sauce. Cover with the other half of the bun and serve immediately.

Notes and Tips
  • Process the chickpeas and other ingredients until just combined. Do not make a paste.
  • Add more powdered oats if you feel the patty mixture is watery. 
  • Adjust spices according to your taste preference. 
  • Refrigerating the patties will make them firm and avoid crumbling.
  • Drain water completely after cooking the chickpeas. If using canned chickpea, wash well and drain.
  • Tahini is a Middle Eastern paste made from white sesame seeds.
Read More >>