Navaratri Recipes - Click here for full collection

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Pasta Payasam | Macaroni Kheer Recipe | Kheer Varieties

pasta payasam
Pasta kheer recipe with step by step photos.Navaratri is around the corner and it is a norm to prepare a different sweet and sundal variety for naivedyam on those nine days.I have been planning to post the pasta kheer recipe from so long and finally I am able to post it for this navaratri.The preparation process of pasta payasam is very similar to any other payasam variety just that we need to boil the pasta and then add to the milk unlike other kheer varieties where vermicelli or sooji or rice is cooked in the milk.
pasta payasam
I usually get various pasta varieties which includes penne, shell, spiral, fettucine, macaroni, linguini, fusili, sphagetti etc but penne pasta is the favorite at my place as it absorbs the sauce well compared to the other ones.I have used macaroni for this payasam but one can either use shell or penne pasta varieties to prepare this kheer and I will not recommend other pasta varieties as they will not absorb the fluids well. The kheer absorbs the milk and thickens as it sit and hence while making the kheer add enough milk and adjust the sweetness as for your preference.
pasta payasam
pasta payasam
Check out other Kheer recipes in my blog here.
pasta payasam
Here is how to make pasta payasam recipe with step by step photos.
Pasta Payasam Recipe:
Serves 3-4
Prep time: 2 mins | Cooking time: 25 mins | Total time: 30 mins
Cuisine: Fusion | Category: Sweets/Desserts

Ingredients:
1 cup Macaroni or any other small Pasta variety
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Condensed milk
3/4 liter full cream Milk
10-12 Cashew nuts
2 tbsp Raisins
15-20 Saffron strands
2 tsp Ghee

Method:
  • Soak saffron in 2 tbsp warm milk for 10-15 mins.
  • Boil macaroni in a big pot of hot water,add little ghee and let it cook for 12-15 mins until done or follow the instructions given on the pack.
  • Boil milk and simmer it for 12-15 mins until it reduced to 3/4th of the quantity.
  • Add cooked pasta to the simmering milk and reduce the flame and cook for another 5-7 mins.
  • Add saffron soaked milk,sugar and condensed milk and mix gently till it dissolves and let it continue cooking over low flame.Always cook over low flame otherwise the milk might curdle.
  • Meanwhile heat ghee in a kadai and fry cashew nuts and fry them until golden in color and remove them and keep aside.
  • In the same kadai add raisins and fry them until they fluff up and remove and keep them aside too.
  • Add ghee roasted cashew nuts and raisins and cardamom powder to the kheer and mix and switch off the flame.
Serve it hot/warm/cold or at room temperature.

Notes:
  1. You can add 1/2 tsp Cardamom powder to the kheer while it is boiling.
  2. You can make any kheer varieties like sago,vermicelli,millets etc.Sago and vermicelli needs to be roasted in ghee before adding to the milk mixture.
  3. The kheer tends to thickens as it sits and hence make sure it has enough liquid when you finish making kheer.If it is thickened at the time of serving you can add boiled and cooled milk to the kheer.
pasta payasam
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Monday, September 11, 2017

White Chocolate Sponge Cake | White Chocolate Cupcakes

white chocolate cake
White chocolate sponge cake with step by step photos.I bake pretty good tea cakes,cookies and breads regularly for my family but I am still novice when it comes to decorate the cakes.Somehow I take an extra plunge to decorate a cake on my own to mark the celebrations at home.Though the final look of the cake is not perfect,it gives me an immense pleasure when I bake and decorate a cake for the loved ones.Don't you agree?
white chocolate cake
I follow many food groups on facebook and I must say that fb group has become a nice medium to learn new recipes.When I came across this white chocolate cake recipe from flours and frostings blog in one of the baking groups I follow I was sure that I would be doing this for my son's birthday.Though I had ordered another cake for the party celebration I prepared this on his actual birthday and also for his school to share with his friends.
white chocolate cupcakes
white chocolate cupcakes
I followed the recipe to the T and it is a very simple recipe to follow and it tastes amazing with white chocolate flavor.I love white chocolate and hence it was a double treat for me,I strongly recommend anyone to try this no fail easy cake recipe.I am not an expert in decorating and hence kept it simple but I have mentioned in the recipe how I did in case if anyone wants to know the procedure.
white chocolate cake

white chocolate cake
Check out other celebration cake recipes in my blog:
white chocolate cupcakes

Here is how to make white chocolate sponge cake with step by step photos:
White Chocolate Sponge Cake Recipe:

Yields 8" Round/Square cake | Recipe source: here
Prep time: 20 mins | Baking time: 40-50 mins | Total time: 60-70 mins
Cuisine: International | Category: Desserts/Snacks

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups(190 gms) All purpose flour
3/4 cup(170 gms) White Chocolate,chopped
3/4 cup(150 gms) Sugar
3/4 cup(180 ml) Milk
6 tbsp(80 gms) Butter,cubed
3 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Salt

Method:
  • Preheat the oven at 170 deg C/350 deg F for 10-12 mins.
  • Place a parchment paper and grease an 8" round or square tin and dust it with the flour.I used a 7" round tin and 6 cupcake tin.
  • In a thick bottomed sauce pan heat cubed butter, chopped white chocolate and milk and let it cook until the chocolate and butter melts and forms a uniform liquid.Keep this mixture WARM.
  • Sieve together the flour,baking powder and salt a couple of times and keep it ready.
  • Using a stand mixer or electric beater beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla essence until it triples in volume and the mixture should turn PALE in color.If you draw an eight on top of the mixture,you should be able to see the whole 8 before it disappears,this consistency indicates that it is right.
  • Reduce the speed of the beater/mixer and add the flour mixture gradually and mix well until it is incorporated.
  • Add the warm chocolate-milk-butter mixture and continue beating until you get a smooth mixture.
  • Now pour the batter in the prepared pan until it is 3/4 th of  the height of the pan.I added few dried cranberries to the remaining mixture and poured in the prepared cupcake tin.
  • Bake it for 40-45 mins until done.It should pass the toothpick test,if you insert the toothpick in the center and remove it should come clean which indicates that the cake is done.I refrigerated the cupcake tin while I baked the big cake and then baked the cupcakes for 15-18 mins until they are done.
  • Cool the pan nicely for 10 mins and run a knife around the edges and invert the pan and gently tap it on to a plate and then transfer it to a wire rack to let it cool down completely.
Serve it warm or at room temperature or slice and decorate with whipped cream or ganache frosting.

to decorate(how I did):
  • Sugar syrup - Boil water along with sugar until it forms a nice syrupy liquid,strain the water and let it cool.Add lemon juice to it and mix and keep it in fridge.
  • Cut the Cake into two or three pieces depending on the height of your cake.
  • Whip chilled heavy fat cream in a chilled bowl and added little icing sugar and vanilla essence and whipped until it gave stiff peaks.
  • Place a cake on the serving platter.Place the butter paper along the sides from the platter so that it can be removed once the process is completely done.
  • Soak with 1/4 cup sugar syrup.Spread some whipped cream filling on cake and add some chocolate chips over it and cover those with the other piece of cake.Soak cake again with 1/4 cup syrup.
  • You can do a crumb coat,refrigerate it and give another thick coat for a neat look.You can even apply a thick coat of whipped cream on level it nicely on the top and around the edges.
  • Melt 1 part of chocolate with 2 parts of heavy cream in a thick vessel on a stove top and let it cool down a bit.I poured this on the chilled frosted cake and let it drip on the edges and let it set.Once it is set you can pipe few patterns with the whipped cream and decorate it with chocolates.
Notes:
  1. I reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup in the cake recipe as I frosted the cake with whipped cream and chocolate ganache.
  2. They stay good for 2-3 days when stored well in an airtight container.
white chocolate cake

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Instant Sooji Appe | Instant Rava Paniyaram Recipe | Rava Appe

sooji appe
Instant sooji appe recipe with step by step photos.It is always a difficult task for me to plan the breakfast as I decide what to prepare the stuff instantly most of the times rather than planning it in advance and only on weekends I plan my breakfast menu the previous night.My weekend breakfasts are elaborate where as on weekdays it would be a quick fix or easy breakfast options.Appey or Paddu or Paniyaram or Gunta Ponganalu or Gunta Punugulu is one of the favorite breakfasts for me.We usually make Gunta ponganalu with left over Idli/dosa batter or avalakki paddu or instant oats paniyaram or this instant sooji appey.
sooji appe
rava paniyaram
Sooji appey does not need any fermentation and can be prepared instantly with the easily available ingredients at home.This recipe is very similar to my oats paniyaram recipe just that I do not add oats to it.
Check out other appey recipes -  Gunta ponganalu with left over Idli/dosa batter, avalakki paddu ,instant oats paniyaram.
sooji appey
Here is how to make instant rava paniyaram with step by step photos:
Instant Rava Paniyaram | Sooji Appe | Rava Appey Recipe:

Serves 2
Prep time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 20 mins | Total time: 30 mins+ standing time
Cuisine: South Indian | Category: Breakfast/Tiffin

Ingredients:
1 cup Sooji/Rava
1/2 cup sour Curd
1 big Onion,finely chopped
1 Carrot,grated
1/4 cup grated fresh Coconut
3 tbsp chopped Coriander
2-3 tbsp chopped Curry leaves
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Eno/Fruit salt
1/4 tsp Cooking Soda
Salt to taste

Method:
  • Dry roast sooji lightly and do not roast much.
  • Beat curd well and add it to a big bowl add sooji and mix well.Add enough water to it to get the consistency of dosa batter.
  • Add salt and cooking soda to the mixed batter and leave it aside for 1 hr.You should leave it at least for 20 mins aside.
  • Add finely chopped onions, grated carrot,grated coconut,coriander, curry leaves along with green chilli paste,cumin seeds and mix well.
  • Check the consistency of batter,it might become thick as the sooji absorbs water when it is soaked.Add extra required water to it to get the dosa batter consistency.
  • Just before making paniyaram add eno to the batter and mix well.
  • Heat the paniyaram/gunta panganalu pan/Aebliskever pan and add 1/2 tsp of oil in each impression.When it is piping hot keep the flame on LOW and pour the batter using a table spoon until it covers 3/4 th and pour some more oil over it and cover it with a lid.Let it roast on low-medium flame until golden brown in color.
  • When you see the edges turning golden in color use a sharp knife and run it around the edges of  each paniyaram and turn them to the other side and roast until golden brown on both the sides.

Notes:
  1. You can add blanched corn to the batter and make paniyaram.
  2. Make sure that you use sour curd to make this.
  3. You can refrigerate the batter and use it on next day as well.Add eno to the batter before using it.
  4. If you do not have eno you can use only cooking soda in the recipe.
instant sooji appey

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Pumpkin Erissery | Mathanga Erissery | Onam Sadya Recipes

pumpkin errisery
Pumpkin Erissery recipe with step by step photos.Pumpkin is one of  those favorite vegetables for the little one and hence I get pumpkin at least once a week.It is boring to eat the same preparation again and again and hence tried this pumpkin curry-kerala style for the first time.I had got a brief about this recipe from a Kerala friend and also checked the recipe in Mallika Badrinath's cook book and also referred maria's menu.Though the versions are slightly different from each other but the basic ingredients remain the same.My friend's version and Mallika badrinath cookbook version use red chilies for spicyness and do not add shallots in the recipe and the version I am posting is slightly different with the addition of green chilies and shallots but the remaining ingredients being the same.I have also mentioned few more options in the notes where pumpkin can be replaced with other vegetables.Few use red cowpeas along with pumpkin in this yeriseri recipe.
Pumpkin erissery also known as Mathanga errisery is one of the items that is served for Onam sadya.As Onam is around the corner I thought of posting a sadya recipe which will be apt for the festival.I am a novice to Kerala cuisine and have just a basic knowledge of the cuisine because of my blogging journey.I would like to explore more about this cuisine and will post more recipes in future.I have posted another famous kerala dish Avial which is a medley of vegetables in a coconut base,if you are interested check it out.
Check out other Pumpkin recipes in my blog:
mathanga errisery
Here is how to make pumpkin errisery recipe with step by step photos:
Pumpkin(Mathanga) Erissery Recipe:

Serves 2
Prep time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 20 mins | Total time: 30 mins
Cuisine: Kerala | Category: Side dish/Curry

Ingredients:
2-3 cups Yellow Pumpkin
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 cup grated Coconut
2-3 Green chilies
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
Salt,to taste

to temper:
2 tsp Coconut oil/regular oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Urad dal
4-5 Shallots,sliced
2-3 Red chilies
a sprig of Curry leaves

3 tbsp grated fresh Coconut

Method:

  • Wash and remove the skin and seeds of pumpkin and cut into small cubes and add enough water to it and cook for 8-10 mins.You can even pressure cook it for one whistle.Once it is cooked drain the extra water and slightly mash half of the cooked pumpkin pieces.
  • Dry roast or roast the grated fresh coconut in little coconut oil until it turns crispy and keep it aside.
  • Grind the grated coconut with green chilies,turmeric powder,cumin seeds and salt to a fine paste by adding enough water.
  • Meanwhile in another pan heat coconut oil and crackle mustard seeds and add urad dal and fry until it turns red and then add sliced shallots and fry until they become slight pinkish and then add red chilies and curry leaves and let them wilt.
  • Add the ground coconut mixture to the cooked pumpkin pieces and mix it nicely and let it cook.
  • Pour this tempering over the cooked pumpkin erissery.

While serving add the fried coconut over the curry and serve it hot.

Notes:

  1. You can add even red cow peas in the curry and cook it along with coconut and follow the same recipe.
  2. Green chilies can be replaced with red chilies.
  3. Raw banana,yam or Raw papaya can be used instead of pumpkin to prepare erissery.
  4. Coconut oil gives a nice flavor to the curry and hence do not skip it.If you do not like you can use regular vegetable oil.
  5. The addition of shallots is optional and is used in some parts of Kerala.
pumpkin errisery

Monday, August 28, 2017

Vegetable Puffs Recipe | Veg Puffs recipe using ready puff pastry sheets

veg puffs
Veg puffs recipe using ready puff pastry sheets at home with step by step photos.Vegetable puffs or Veg puffs is one of the popular snacks in most of the bakeries across the country. A spicy vegetable filling is filled in a puff pastry and baked to golden brown which gives a crisp yet a soft bite to the puffs and the butter loaded puff pastry lends a slight sweet and very buttery texture to the final baked puffs.
veg puffs
Veg puffs and Egg puffs were one of those most common snacks which we used to get home when we were kids.Though I do not prefer to eat eggs in the omlette form or any other forms I do not mind to eat it in a boiled form or use it in bakes. Veg puffs taste best when they are served hot/warm with tomato sauce along with a cup of tea/coffee and also you can carry them for a picnic too and they taste good even at room temperature.
vegetable puffs
I usually use ready puff pastry sheets which are pre rolled and all you need to thaw a couple of sheets and prepare the filling and bake them as mentioned below, it is a very good and filling snack and is definitely a crowd pleaser.But you also get puff pastry dough where one can roll the dough and follow the same process to bake them or one can prepare their own puff pastry dough and follow the recipe. I personally have never attempted to make my own puff pastry dough just because I need small quantities at a time and also the rolled sheets are available easily and I would love to attempt to make my own puff pastry dough one day.
vegetable puffs
Check out other snack recipes in my blog - Vegetable ChopsVegetable SandwichVegetable Idli,  Onion Samosa, Veg Uthappam.
Here is how to make vegetable puffs recipe with step by step photos:
Vegetable Puffs Recipe:

yields: 8-10 puffs | Author: Prathibha
Prep time: 20 mins | Cooking time: 20 mins | Total time: 40 mins + baking time
Cuisine: Indian | Category: Snacks

Ingredients:
3-4 Puff pastry sheets,frozen/homemade
1 tbsp Milk, to brush on top

for the filling:
1 large Potato,peeled and finely chopped
1 medium Carrot,peeled and finely chopped
1 small Capsicum, finely chopped
1/3 cup Green Peas,fresh/frozen
1 Onion, finely chopped
1.5 tsp Ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp Green chili paste
1/2 tsp Red chili powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Amchur pwoder
1.5 tbsp Oil
2 tbsp chopped Coriander leaves
Salt,to taste

Method:
for the filling:
  • Heat oil in a kadai and crackle cumin seeds and then add finely chopped onions, ginger-garlic paste and green chili paste and fry them until the onions turns slight pink in color.
  • Add the chopped vegetables and fry well for 2-3 mins and then add salt and turmeric powder annd add 1/2 cup of water and cover it and cook until the vegetables are done.Add more water of required in between but make sure you use less water as we want our mixture to be dry at the end not soft and mushy.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked add red chili powder, garam masala, amchur powder and mix nicely and cook for another 2-3 mins.
  • Add coriander leaves and mix well and let it cool a bit.

rolling,filling and baking the veg puffs:
  • Thaw the puff pastry sheets as per the instructions mentioned on the pack. Mine were already rolled so I did not need to roll them.But if you need to roll the pastry follow the instructions mentioned on the pack, roll the puff pastry by sprinkling some flour on the puff pastry and roll it into a large square preferably of 1/2 cm thickness and cut into long rectangles or squares and keep them ready.Check the pictures for a rough idea to get the size of the squares/rectangles in which the puff pastry is to be cut.
  • Preheat the oven at 180 deg C/350 deg F for 12-15 mins.
  • Place 2 tbsp of filling on one side of the puff pastry and brush some water at the edges and fold from the other side and close it gently,you can use a fork and press it to create some patterns at the corners.
  • Arrange them on a baking tray lined with a parchment paper and brush with milk on top of the puffs.
  • Bake the puffs in a preheated oven for 30-35 mins until the puffs are golden brown in color.Keep an eye after 25 mins and check whether they are done or not.
  • Remove them and let them sit in the tray for a while and put it in the wirerack to cool if not serving immediately.
Serve them hot/warm with tomato sauce.

Notes:
  1. You can even steam or pressure cook the cut vegetables and then add to the fried onion mixture and follow the same process.
  2. You can add small cubes of paneer to the vegetable mixture to make paneer puffs.
  3. If you like to prepare Egg puffs, you can boil a couple of eggs and peel them and cut into halves and add the cut eggs to the vegetable mixture and mix nicely until it coats the eggs nicely.Place some vegetable mixture and one halved egg(flat surface down) at the center of the puff pastry square and join the edges on top of the egg to give a shape like danish pastry.
vegetable puffs
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