Cooking is fun

(Yummy recipes for a healthy living)

Thipili Rasam (Home remedy for cough and cold)




During this year trip to India I went a little crazy and stocked up on all our traditional items. Like I mentioned in my FB post I brought few utensils that are half a century old and one of those is a century old. I also bought whole arisi thippili (Long Peppers) and kandathippili (pepper Roots). The former tastes more like strong black pepper and later skews towards dried ginger.



These along with turmeric, ginger, garlic are treated as home remedies for cold, cough and sore throat. Kashayam is not for everyone but for all those non sick days we can simply enjoy thippili as rasam too.

Ingredients:


For Rasam Podi
  • Channa dal - 2 tbsp
  • Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
  • Kandathipilli & Arisithipili - 1 tbsp each
  • Strand of curry leaves
Other Ingredients
  • Tamarind Extract -  from a lemon sized ball
  • salt

Direction:

Dry roast each ingredient separately and grind it to coarse powder. 


In a vessel add in tamarind extract, curry leaves, rasam powder, salt and water. Let it boil for few minutes and switch off the flame

In a hot tadka add a little ghee to that temper some mustard seeds and cumin seeds for seasoning.


Enjoy and happy cooking!

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Eggless Cheesecake


The first time I ever wanted to try cheesecake was after hearing Rachel and chandler from F.R.I.E.N.D.S describe it. Of course it was hard to find an eggless cheesecake in retail shops and ended up making one without trying an actual cake. After making it over and over again for 5 years I finally decided to share my take on recipe. This turned out to be one of my husband's favorite cakes.

Preparation time: 5 mins
Baking time : 60 mins to 90 mins
cooling time : 1 hour and more


Ingredients:



For the crust 

  • Crushed graham crackers - 2 cups 
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Butter - 1/2 cup
For the filling
  • Philadelphia cream cheese - 16 oz / 2 cups
  • Sour cream - 1 cup
  • Cornstarch - 2 tbsp
  • Sugar - 1 cup
  • Vanilla extract or paste - 1 tbsp
Direction

Before planning to make cheesecake make sure all the items are at room temperature.

In a food processor or with Ziploc and roller, crush the crackers.

  • Add the melted or room temperature butter and cinnamon and make the crust. 
  • Press evenly throughout a 9" pan and put it in the freezer to set for 20 mins.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 F and whip cream cheese along with sugar, vanilla  and cornstarch and make a luscious cream. 



To that add in sour cream and gently fold in the filling. Transfer it to the freezing crust and put it in the preheating oven.



I used a water bath to bake the cake. So that the top won't burn or turn brown while baking. For water bath I simply covered the pan with aluminium foil and placed in a tray filled with 2 cups of water before placing it in the oven


Notes:
  • Bake time is around 60 mins without water bath and 90 mins with water bath.
  • No need to refill the water if has evaporated
  • Using a springform pan is better for baking cheesecake.
  • Let it rest on the counter for a while before refrigerating it. Best served cold.

Enjoy and Happy Baking.
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Coimbatore street food - kaalan varuval (Mushroom fry)



 All I could feel while making this delicious mouthwatering and my all time favorite street food is "GUILT'. With every bite, every time it brings back happy memories and I stop feeling guilty. Ahh, there is that 'Circle of life' :P This is such a guilty pleasure and once I had the power to recreate my school day's favorite there is no stopping me from making this mistake :)

Huuuhh!! The oil, the frying, the frying again. The sweet taste of mushroom with the roasted onions and the spices makes it a wonderful food. Oh good, I am not sure if I should clean my drooling or just make another batch ;)

 This is such an easy food to make for a multi step recipe.

Preparation time - 10 mins
cooking time 20 mins
serves - 3 to 4

Ingredients

For the gravy base(spice paste):

  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds - 2 tsp
  • cloves - 2
  • Ani star - 1 
  • Cinnamon stick - 1/4 inch
  • Ginger - 1/4 inch
  • Garlic - 4 or 5 (I used Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp)

For Batter (Deep frying):

  • All purpose flour (Maida) - 2 tbsp
  • Corn Flour - 4 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 2 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
  • salt - to taste
Other ingredients


  • Diced Mushroom - 2 cups (I used button mushroom)
  • Diced onion - 1 big or 2 medium
  • Minced green chilli - 1
  • Cilantro / coriander leaves for garnishing
  • Lime juice for garnishing
  • salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

Direction

Preparation

  • Wash and dice mushroom and onion. Mince green chilli and keep all of it aside. 
  • Then blend all the spices mentioned above for preparing the base gravy into a smooth paste and add a little water and keep it aside


Cooking
  • Heat oil and meanwhile mix the batter to pourable consistency and set aside
  • Once the oil is hot on medium high, add the mushrooms in batch to the batter and fry it in the oil
  • Keep going until you are done with all the mushroom and batter. Any extra batter can be fried too.
  • Once all the mushrooms are nicely fried with the batter, in another sauce pan  heat oil and saute onion and green chilli.
  • When the onion turns translucent add in the blended spice paste and cook for a minute until the water is slightly absorbed and make a gravy with onion
  • Switch off the flame and add the fried mushrooms and sautee for a minute.
  • Finally serve and garnish with onion, coriander leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Note:
  • Corn flour is a must, any other replacement din't work so well for me.
  • Keep your eye on salt and chilli. You will be adding both at all levels equally.
  • Do not add a lot of water to the paste, it will make the mushrooms soggy. Also try to saute mushroom into the base or fry fresh until you are ready to platter.
Enjoy and happy cooking :)

I definitely enjoyed making this and enjoyed even more while taking pictures. My daughter was helping me prop the table by including her ideas. I mean by bringing her toys :)



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Malai Kofta (Spicy version)

I know there is already a Malai kofta recipe in my archive. But this is my take 2, for people like my mom who want malai kofta to be little on the spicy side. "Happiness is, watching your mom enjoy your cooking" . Bliss !


The gravy itself is different from my previous version. I used veggie kofta for that recipe and gravy included paneer. Here the kofta is made of paneer. Also instead of deep frying the kofta, I used appe pan for frying. I love frying this way as I don't use the deep fried oil again. So this way I save so much oil which ends up in the sink later.


I enjoyed making this, while my 2 year old helped me peel the garlic pods :) This is still rich and creamy without adding cashew and paneer to the gravy.

Preparation time - 20 mins
cooking time - 40 mins

Ingredients

For Kofta

  • Grated paneer - 1 cup (heaped)
  • Grated veggies- 1/4 cup  (I used fenugreek leaves, carrot and cabbage)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Chopped green chilli - 1
  • Grated cheese - 1 tbsp
  • Bread crumbs - 1 tbsp (slightly soaked in milk for 2 mins)
  • Oil to fry kofta
For Gravy:
  • Onion - 1 cup
  • Garlic - 3 pod's
  • Tomatoes - 3 large 
  • Milk - 1/2 cup
  • Heavy cream - 1/4 cup 
  • Coriander powder - 2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder - 2 tsp
  • garam masala / kitchen king masala powder - 1 tsp
  • salt - to taste
  • sugar - 1/2 tsp
  • Lemon juice - from 1/2 small lemon
  • coriander leaves for garnishing
For Seasoning:

  • Ghee - 2 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • asafetida/ hing - a generous pinch

Direction:

For Kofta:


Mix all ingredients mentioned in the list and make a thick dough. Make small bite size kofta balls dusting your palm with corn flour.


Heat the appe pan, add oil and fry the koftas until they are brown and crispy on the outside. Take them out and drain any excess oil. Keep them closed and aside until you are ready to serve or eat few before dinner ;)


For gravy:


Heat the kadai and once hot, add jeera and asafetida. 

Meanwhile first make onion and garlic paste and keep it aside. Second make tomato puree from 3 tomatoes. 

After the jeera splutters add in the onion garlic paste with a pinch of salt and saute until it turns golden brown. To that add in tomato puree, coriander powder, red chilli powder, garam masala, salt and sugar.

On a medium flame let the gravy cook until all the moisture evaporates. This may take 15 mins. Now to that add the half and half  (milk + cream) and let the gravy cook again for few more minutes. Add water or milk for the preferred gravy consistency. 

Pour the gravy over kofta just before serving and enjoy with hot parathas

Note: 
  • If you don't' have an appe pan, coat the kofta balls with a layer of corn flour and deep fry.
  • Make sure to reduce the tomato onion gravy before add milk. More dehydrated = More creamy gravy (i.e) we can add more milk. Or go crazy by adding more cream :P 
  • For a healthier option you can soak cashew nuts in milk before starting to cook and make a paste and add it instead of cream.  


Enjoy and Happy cooking!
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Broccoli and Cheese soup


I was so excited to make this soup not just for its yumminess, but to use my all new 5 speed kitchenaid immersion blender. I know, Yayyy Right !!:) My husband gifted me for my birthday and I'm in love with it.


I used it to chop and blend. I've a feeling I am going to use it everyday. Now back to the soup :)


I love broccolis in my minestrone soup, but I don't go beyond that. We once bought canned soups for a easy meal replacement. Though it was quick and convenient, it had a lot of sodium content in it. So we quit buying canned items. But the good thing was, I discovered broccoli and cheese soup is not as bad as I thought it would be. Infact my daughter loved this soup.

I made lighter version of this soup with low fat cheeses and no cream / Heavy cream. It is textured and stomach filling. This can be done in less than half hour.

Ingredients:


  • Broccoli florets - 2 cups
  • Chopped onion - 1/2 cup
  • Carrots - 2 small- chopped
  • Garlic pods - 4
  • cheese (cheddar / Mozzarella) - 1/4cup + 1/4 cup
  • Milk - 1 cup
  • Butter/ olive oil - 1 tbsp +1 tbsp
  • wheat flour - 1 tbsp
  • salt and pepper - to taste

Direction

Chop and steam broccoli florets with little water either in stovetop or microwave.

Then roughly chop /dice onion, carrots and garlic and keep it aside. Meanwhile heat the pot with olive oil or butter.

Once the pot is hot, add in the chopped onion and carrots and saute for few minutes until tender. Then to that add a cup of water and cover it with lid. Few minutes later add the steamed broccoli too.

Meanwhile in another pan, heat and add a tbsp of butter. Once hot, add a tbsp of wheat flour to that and keep whisking to stop forming lumps. Once the flour mixture slightly turns colour, slowly add in milk while whisking on low heat. After the milk mixture boils it will thicken, to that add the cheese and keep mixing until cheese melts.

Now add the cheese sauce to the veggies and mix well.

Blend and Enjoy hot soup.

Notes:

  • you can ignore carrots if you like
  • If you like a thinner soup, go ahead and add milk.
  • If you prefer smoother soup than textured soup instead of blending everything, just add in finely chopped broccoli to the cheese mixture.
  • Typically half milk and half heavy cream is used while making cheese sauce. If you are planning for a cheat meal, go crazy :)



Enjoy and happy cooking !







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