Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Eggless Black Forest cake

This cake was baked by my daughter and son to keep themselves occupied during their 15 day school break and I helped them. Recipe courtesy Milkmaid booklet.

milkmaid tin ---- 1
refined flour ---- 13/4 cup
butter ---------- 100 gms
soda water ------ 1 1/4 cup
sodium bicarbonate--- 1 teaspoon
cocoa powder ----- 2 to 3 spoons
baking soda -------- 1 teaspoon
cream ------- 200 gms
powdered sugar ----- 2table spoons
tinned cherries ----- 20-30 numbers
vanilla essence ---- 1 teaspoon
nestle chocolate bars ---- 2


Sieve flour,cocoa,soda,sodium-bicarb.
In a bowl mix milkmaid,vanilla essence and butter till they blend well. Slowly blend in the maida mixture and soda water alternatively till all the flour and soda are used.
Now pour the mixture into a greased dish and bake for 15 minutes( my oven bajaj make)
or according to your oven settings

remove the baked cake and when cooled slice them horizontally to make two equal halves with the help of a twine thread or knife.

Soak the halves in sugar syrup present in the tinned cherries.

Parallely blend in the castor sugar and cream and layer the halves with the cream. Spread the cherries on the lower half and cover with the other half.

Now dress the top half also with the cream, grated chocolate and place few cherries and cool them in the fridge for half an hour.

Tips: Instead of tinned cherries, you can buy preserved cherries and soak them in hot sugar syrup and can use the syrup.

Tip 2: cut the cake with a thread to get two equal halves

Monday, March 28, 2011

Angaya podi

This is one of the ancient tamil recipe. This has all herbal ingredients and is classified under 'pathiya samaiyal'(diet food).This is best eaten with hot rice and ghee to the accompaniment of pacchidi(raitha) or appalam (papad)

Dhaniya ----1/2 cup
Jeera--- 3 teaspoon
Pepper --- 2 teaspoon
Dry neem flowers--- ¼ cup
Dry ginger – 1 piece(I inch)
Sun dried Sundakkai – 30 numbers
Asafoetida ---- small piece ( the size of sundakkai)
Curryleaf ----- ½ cup
Salt to taste
Dry red chilli ---4 number

Dry roast neem flowers, sundakkai and curry leaf separately.
Dry roast salt,asafoetida and all other ingredients one by one.
When cool grind them all together.

‘Angaya podi’ is recommended during post natal period to new mom’s as diet food. This helps in reducing the fat piled during the postnatal period.It also helps in knocking off dirt (kasadu in tamil) from the stomach and refreshes your body.

(will upload photo shortly)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

parangikai pal kootu

This is a sweet gravy made with pumpkin and milk. Best accompaniment for spicy sambar rice/vathal kuzhambu. I simply love this traditional dish. Recently when, I made this my fussy children loved it too. This was taught to me by my paternal grandfather Mahadeva Iyer who was an engineer and a sought after traction battery expert during his times,Cooking was a hobby for him.

tender sweet pumpkin ----- 2 cups(cut into small pieces)
milk of coconut ----1/2cup
jaggery ---------- 1 table spoon or equivalent
green chilli/red chilli ------2 nos
Mustard ---------- 1 teaspoon
oil for seasoning
boiled and cooled milk --- 1/2 cup
rice flour ----- 1 teaspoon ( optional) to thicken the gravy
salt to taste

Boil the sweet pumpkin till tender with little water.
add the coconut milk and jaggery till it blends well.
In a wok, season with mustard and green chilli/redchilli
add it to the gravy and season with salt
When the gravy is warm, add chilled milk to the gravy.
after the above procedure, if the gravy is dilute. make a paste of rice flour and two tablespoons of warm milk add the mixture to the gravy and heat a while till the
gravy thickens.

(below pic after addition of cold milk)

Alternate method:
1) you can make the gravy with coconut gratings and green chilli and add it instead of redchili and coconut milk.
2)vegetables like snake gourd can be used
3) jaggery can be susbstituted with equal measure of sugar.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Javvarisi vadam

These are sundried crisps made of sabudana(sago). They have to be fried in oil for consumption.

sago ------ 200 gms
green chilli paste ground from 7-8 numbers
juice of 1 lemon
salt to taste


Pressure cook sago in l litre of water to three whistles.
When done, add salt and green chilli paste to the boiled mixture and stir well.
When the mixture cools add lemon juice. The mixture should not be watery and should have a porridge consistency.

To sun dry:
Spoon them on a clean cloth or clean plastic sheet to the size of medal at equal intervals.

when dried, remove them and flip them to dry on the other side on second day. When completely dry after 2-3days, store them in air tight containers. This has a shelf life of one year.

variations can also be made to this vadam by adding tomato paste to get red vadams.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

corn vada

I was making corn vadas when the dough turned very watery. To thicken the dough, I added corn meal. This idea stemmed when I saw Chennai sangamam's Unavu thiruvizha telecast on makkal TV. They made thinai mavu pakodas, instead I used makka chola mavu.

Shelled corn ----- 2 cups
Green chilli ------ 2 nos ( add 1 more if you want it spicier)
Curry leaf ------- 1 sprig
Ginger ------ 1 cm piece
Chopped Coriander ------- 1 table spoon
Chopped mint leaves ------ 1 table spoon
Makai ka atta ( corn meal) ---- 1 table spoon
Chopped onions ---------- 1 table spoon
Cooking oil for frying.

Grind the corn coarsely along with green chilli, ginger and curry leaf.
Mix in chopped coriander, mint ,onions and salt.
To bind the dough add in the makai ka atta( not corn flour but corn meal)
Take a golf ball sized dough , pat them and release into the heated cooking oil on a wok.
Flip them in the oil till done and serve with sauce/chutney.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kuzhambu vadam

Summer times are very hot and ideal for making vadams. These vadams are sun-dried crisps which can be stored in air tight containers. When stored in ideal conditions it has shelf life of more than a year.

Kuzhambu vadams/ ulundu vadams are add-ons used for kootu and kuzhambu when you are short of vegetables . They are to be fried in oil and added in the end to the dish.


Soaked urad dal : 1 cup
Salt to taste
Dry red chilli ---- 6 nos
A pinch of asafoetida.


Grind all the ingredients into a fine mixture.

Moisten a clean broad plastic sheet . Take a small blob of the above mixture and lay it on the plastic sheet at frequent intervals.

Allow it to dry in sunlight for 2-3 days. When completely dried store them in airtight containers.

Hare bhare kebab

A patty made with greens like spinach, coriander leaf,fenugreek leaves and green peas. A healthy food which can be grilled, shallow fried or deep fried. Tastes good when served with mint-yogurt chutney.


For the kebabs
Chopped spinach---- 1 cup
Chopped coriander leaves --- 1 cup
Methi leaves chopped ---- ¼ cup
Shelled peas ----1/2 cup
Chopped onions --- ½ cup
Bread slices dipped in water and sqeezed well --- 4 nos
Green chillies – 3 nos
Ginger piece – 1”
Maida - 2-3 tbsp
Halved cashew nuts - 2 tbsp
Garam masala powder – ½ tsp
Amchoor powder --- ½ tsp
Red chilli powder --- ¼ tsp
Oil fro frying

For the chutney
Thick curd --- ½ cup
Coriander leaves ---- ½ cup
Mint leaves --- ½ cup
Green chillies --- 2
Salt to taste
Lemon juice --- 2 tsp

To serve
1 onion cut into rings
juice of half a lemon
A few mint leaves, chopped finely

Grind spinach, coriander, methi,peas,chillies and ginger into a fine paste.
Add crumbled bread, chopped onions,salt and other spices. Mix well.
Make small balls of this mixtureand pat them into flat, circular shapes about half inch thick. Gently press a piece of cashewnut in the centre of each kebab.
Roll in maida and shallow fry till golden brown.

For chutney:
Grind all ingredients except the curd to a fine paste. Add the curd, mix well and chill.

To serve:
Place hot kebabs on a bed of onion rings sprinkled with lemon juice and chopped mint leaves together with chilled mint chutney.