Friday, November 27, 2009

Pachai (Raw) Morkoyambu

Nov 27th 2009

This is an accompaniment to any podi or thogayal- esp. ellu (sesame) podi, vazhakka (banana) podi and puthina (mint)/ kothamalli (cilantro) thogayal. This is the same as morkutan ( like how I call it) but this particular recipe from my mil is extremely easy.

2-3 green chillies
little bit scraped coconut (preferably fresh) - 1 tsp
Mustard (2 tsp)
oil to season
turmeric powder
salt to taste

Method of preparation
  1. Grind green chillies, coconut and mustard (1 tsp) in the mixie and keep aside.
  2. Take required curd in a container and then mix it with a spoon to take out any lumps and make it of even consistency. Do not make too watery. Keep it reasonably thick.
  3. Add the ground mix to the curd and salt too.
  4. Season with some mustard allowed to splutter in oil. Add turmeric to the oil before adding to the curd.
  5. And you are done, enjoy!

Vazhakka (Raw Banana) Podi

Nov 27th 2009

This is a recipe from my mother in law. This is more common with Thanjavur tamils and is a different use for the banana and a change from the usual paruppu and thengai podis. I as always like to have my podis on the side with thayir sadam, but these go well just mixed with rice and some oil. Sides for these include any kind of morkoyambu (recipe coming up next).


Two raw bananas
Urad dhal ( 1/4 cup approx.)
Red chillies (4-5 per taste)
Hing or Asafoetida ( a pinch)
Tamarind paste ( 1tsp)
oil ( 1 tsp)
salt (to taste)

Method of preparation
  1. Place bananas in the microwave and just heat, keep heating at intervals of 1 min and turning them from side to side. The skin will turn soft and you can feel it to make sure the bananas are cooked. Approximately 6-7 min (will vary depending on power and make of microwave) - my disclaimer here, if something goes wrong :)
  2. As for any thogayal, take a little bit of oil and add to it the urad dhal and red chillies and a little bit of hing. Roast till slightly brown in color and turn off gas. Tamarind paste can be added at this point or even when grinding.
  3. Wait till the bananas have cooled and then peel off skin.
  4. Grind the first mix in the mixie (small blender) and then add the bananas (cut in pieces) and blend on low once or twice.
  5. Add salt and mix well and enjoy!
P.S. If you are impatient like I was, then the bananas will not be separated and will not be powder like, so make sure you allow it to cool before grinding.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Home Made Milk Chocolate

Nov 23rd 2009

Received this recipe from my sister in law Latha ( Thank you!). Was extremely quick and easy to make. I reserve judgement on this yet. It does taste very good, no doubt about that, but tastes more like a chocolate cake than actual chocolate itself. I am not sure if it is because I took it out of the pan a bit early or because of the milk powder. Need to do some more exploration on this and see what other recipes are out there.

Variations to try would be to substitute dark chocolate powder instead of the cocoa powder to get the rich dark chocolate taste, and of course addition of some nuts and raisins might just get you dairy milk :)


Milk Powder - 3 cups

Cocoa powder - 1/2 cup

Sugar - 3/4 cup
Butter - 3/4 cup
Water - 1/2 cup

Method de Preparation
  1. Sieve milk powder & cocoa power thrice or more till it gets mixed well.
  2. Heat sugar & water & wait till u get one thread consistency
  3. Bring it down & add butter.
  4. When it melts add powder & mix.
  5. Transfer the chocolate to a greased plate & cut out required shapes.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bites of Bliss

Nov 16th 2009

We were having a guest for dinner, and Italian was the menu. I was looking for something easy to make and light on the stomach for dessert when I came across this recipe for butter biscuits from Lori's blog.
Thank you :)

I did follow her recipe without any modifications to the ingredients. However here are some observations I made and some paraphernalia that would be good to have.

  1. I was not able to just spread the cookies with the fork as the chef mentions, I ended up using my fingers to spread out the rounds to make the cookies.
  2. Do not make the cookie too thin as they will brown very fast. And do not wait till the cookies brown to take them out, they will actually burn.
  3. 10 mins was all I needed in the oven for these, and you can take them out at the first hint of the sides browning.
  4. I skipped the sugar on the top in the last part and liked the taste of just the buttery goodness.
  5. If I had a roller and a cookie cutter, that is what would be good next time around, is to roll the dough and cut shapes in it for different shape butter cookies.
  6. This recipe does not use any egg or baking powder, so it will not fluff up, it will be same size as what you make it, so keep that in mind.
  7. Variations that I plan to try include adding chopped nuts : cashews, almonds, pistachios - each separately to make 'good day' kinda biscuits. Can mix cocoa powder to make chocolate butter biscuits, can add some scraped coconuts to make coconut biscuits too I think.
Bottomline: These are definitely bites of bliss, and it is hard to stop at just one!

Sad cookie face with the burnt cookies

Happy Face with the good batch

Monday, November 2, 2009

Food for a Rainy day

If there is one thing the weather in Portland is conducive for, it certainly will be bajjis and pakoras :) Every time when I look at the overcast sky and the dark clouds, and feel cold in the 50 degree weather K and I look at each other thinking the same thoughts. However if my wishes came true too often, our cholesterol levels would be not liking it too much.

However this was one such Saturday that we gave in. Here is the recipe I use. This allows for a crispy crust and one can use a variety of stuffing.


Maida 1 cup
Rice powder 2 cup
Bengal gram powder (kadala maavu) 1 cup
Cooking soda (sodium bicarbonate) 1/2 tbsp
Curd 1 tbsp
Salt, chilly power and asafetida
For the bajji: Capsicum, bread, paneer, banana (vazhakka), apple, brinjal, potato, onion, perkanga (ridge gourd), bajji molaga etc are some varieties of bajji can that be made.


Mix all above and make into a paste (not too watery) –about the consistency of dosai maavu. Dip the item you want in it and fry in oil that is heated. Enjoy with a side of ketchup or chutney of your choice.

Tastes best snuggled in a sofa on a rainy day watching a movie :)

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