Monday, December 5, 2016

KOOTTU CURRY - Kerala Sadhya Recipes

Koottu curry or Kootucurry is a prominent dish in Kerala Sadhya. As the name itself says its a "koottu" - combination of different ingredients from veggies, pulses , coconut, chillies and Jaggery.


Kerala Sadhya Koottu curry / Kootu curry

Recipe for Kerala Sadhya style koottu curry/ kootucurry / kootu curry- Thrissure style
Cooking time : 30min, Serves : 4

Ingredients :

Pumpkin (mathanga ): 1 Cup, Cubed 
Carrot : 1, diced
Yam (Chena) : 1 Cup, Cubed or Raw Banana : 1, Cubed(Refer Notes*)
Black chickpeas / Kadala :1/2 Cup
Turmeric Powder : 1/4tsp
Chilli powder : 1/2tsp
Jaggery : 1 1/2 Cubes (to taste)
Salt

For Grinding : 

Shredded Coconut : 1/2Cup
Cumin seeds : 1/2tsp
Green Chillies : 3
Turmeric Powder : a pinch

For Seasoning : 

Coconut Oil : 2tsp
Shredded coconut : 1/2Cup
Mustard Seeds : 3/4tsp
Dried red chillies : 3
Curry leaves : springs

Kerala Sadhya Koottu curry / Kootu curry

Directions for Kerala Sadhya Style Koottu Curry / Kootucurry

1. Soak and cook Black Chick peas. Soak Black chickpeas(kadala) overnight. Wash it  and pressure cook with enough water and salt.


2. Make the ground coconut pasteGrind together all the ingredients listed under ' for grinding ' to form a coarse paste.Keep aside..



3. Cook the vegetables in medium flame : In a pan combine the cubed pumpkin, raw banana, carrot pieces, turmeric powder, chilly powder, salt and water. Cook until the vegetables are tender and water is 90% absorbed

4. Add Jaggery, coconut mixture and Chick peas to the vegetables and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

5. Prepare the seasoning : In another pan,  heat oil and add the mustard seeds. When it splutters add dried red chillies and curry leaves. On a low flame add the grated coconut and dry roast till it becomes golden brown.

6. Pour the seasoning over the koottu curry and mix well.

7. Delicious Kerala Koottu curry / Kootu curry is ready to serve :)

Notes :

1.It is very hard to find fresh yam in California. So i always replace it with raw banana. 2. Make sure you are not using too much water to cook the vegetables. make sure water is almost absorbed before adding the ground coconut mixture.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

BABY SHOWER CAKE AND CUPCAKE FOR A CLOSE FRIEND

I made these cuties as a surprise baby shower gift to my close friend Rinku.

Baby Boots Cake

These are Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon frosting.


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Enjoy,
Lena

Thursday, October 27, 2016

BROCCOLI CHEESE FRITTERS STEP BY STEP - Kids lunch box series

If you are looking for a healthy school lunch box dish under 30 minutes, you are at right place. These broccoli cheese fritters are too easy to make and your kid is going to love it. You can deep fry / shallow fry / bake them.

Broccoli Cheese Fritters - Kids lunch box ideas / Vegetarian appetizer with broccoli
Recipe for Broccoli cheese fritters for kids lunch box / Vegetarian Appetizer using broccoli
Preparation time : 10 min, Cooking time : 15 min, serves :3



Ingredients :

Broccoli : 1 small,  12 oz (Approx. 2 cups , if finely chopped)
Parsley / Cilantro (malliyila) : 2 tbsp, finely chopped 
Onion : 1/4 Cup, finely chopped
Egg : 1, large
Black Pepper : 1/2 tsp
Salt : 1/2 tsp
Cheddar cheese : 1/3 Cup, grated
Bread Crumbs : 2/3 Cup or 2 slices made into crumbs using mixer grinder
Vegetable Oil to fry

Directions :

Broccoli Cheese Fritters - Kids lunch box ideas / Vegetarian appetizer with broccoli
1.  Blanch the broccoli if it is frozen : This process will help the broccoli to retain its color. I skipped this step as i used fresh broccoli. Click here for the instructions to Blanch broccoli. 

2. Mix all ingredients : Chop broccoli finely and mix with other ingredients like onion, egg, shredded cheddar cheese, bread crumbs, salt , pepper and parsley / Coriander leaves.

Broccoli Cheese Fritters - Kids lunch box ideas / Vegetarian appetizer with broccoli

3. Form Broccoli cheese balls : Line a parchment paper / baking sheet on a pan and keep aside. Make equal shaped balls with the broccoli cheese mixture and arrange on the baking sheet. This will prevent the broccoli cheese balls from sticking to the plate. If you have difficulty to form the balls, use a ice cream scooper, then form into balls.

BROCCOLI CHEESE FRITTERS - Kids lunch box series
4. Fry the Broccoli Cheese Fritters : Heat Oil in an iron skillet / frying pan. Flatten the broccoli cheese balls using your palm into patties and shallow fry / deep fry them. If the mixture is sticking to your hand , use a small amount of oil to grease your hand and continue to shape the patties. 

BROCCOLI CHEESE cutlets - Kids lunch box series

5. Deep fry Do's and Don'ts : As always with deep-frying, be sure you don't crowd the pan. If too many patties are added, the oil temperature will drop and the fritters / cutlet will absorb grease and become soggy instead of searing. Fry until crisp and golden brown on all sides, turning over just once. Also, be sure you don't leave the broccoli fritters / cutlets in the oil for long. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. 

Notes : 

Baking method : You can bake these broccoli cheese fritters easily in a 400 degrees F oven for 30 minutes, turning the patties after 15 minutes. Baked fritters are not as crispy as friend ones. So for kids lunch box, i prefer to fry , cool and pack them. But you can definitely bake and serve these hot as an amazing vegetarian starter with broccoli and cheese.

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Enjoy,
Lena

Saturday, October 8, 2016

PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY BARS STEP BY STEP


Most delicious Peanut Butter Jelly Bars


The peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or PB& J, is a tasty american staple, that includes a layer of peanut butter and either jelly or jam on a white bread. Peanut Butter &  Jelly Bars taste like a cross between a moist peanut butter cookie and a delicious PB& J sandwich. The top is crispy while the bottom layer tastes like a shortbread. All the comfort of your favorite cookie and sandwich in one.

Most delicious Peanut Butter Jelly Bars


Learn how to make Peanut butter jelly bars
Preparation time : 15 mins, Cooking time : 45 min, Makes : 28 bars

Ingredients : 


Unsalted butter at room temperature : 2 sticks or 16 oz or 226g, plus more for greasing the pan

Sugar : 1 1/2 Cups

Vanilla extract : 1 tsp
Eggs : 2, at room temperature
2 cups Creamy peanut butter : 18 oz, i used Skippy
All-purpose flour / Maida : 3 Cups, plus more for dusting the pan
Baking powder : 1 tsp
Kosher salt : 1 1/2 tsp
Jam / Fruit Preserve : 16 oz,or 1 1/2 Cup
Salted Peanuts : 1/2 Cup, coarsely chopped (Optional) or Flax seeds : 2 tbsp (Optional)

Directions :


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan.


2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes. 


3. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until well combined.


4. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.


5. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.


6. Spread two thirds of the dough in the prepared pan, using a spatula / hand to spread it evenly.



7. Spread the jam evenly over the dough.  Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam. Don’t worry if all the jam isn’t covered; the dough will spread when it bakes. Sprinkle with the chopped peanuts and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and cut into small squares.



Recipe Courtesy : Ina Garten. 

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Enjoy,
Lena