Friday, 31 August 2012

Tangy Delicious Coconut Chutney

Tangy Coconut Chutney

Absolutely irresistible one of the delicious chutney from south Indian cuisine, it is must with Dosa, Idli, Pesarattu, Uttapa, Upama. In fact no South Indian house hold would serve food without this hot, tangy wonderfully flavored coconut chutney.
Coconut is rich in oil which has vitamin A and E. Fresh coconut is sweet in taste and with all the minerals, fat and vitamins it is very nutritious. Coconut chutney along with coconut has garlic, coriander, onion, lemon and this makes the coconut chutney very tasty healthy and nutritious. The sheer sight of white / green coconut chutney seasoned with mustard seeds, curry leaves and whole red chili makes my mouth water. 

Preparation Time: 10 min.
Making Time: 10 min.
Servings : 10 Generous helpings.

Ingredients Required for making Coconut Chutney:
  • 1 Fresh Coconut
  • 4-5 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2-3 Green Chilies
Green Chilies
  • 1 small Onion
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2-3 Curry leaves
Curry leaves
  • 1/2Tea spoon Mustard seeds
  • 1-2 Whole Red chilies
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 ml Olive oil or any other cooking oil
  • Water
Directions For Making Coconut Chutney:
  • Break the coconut to two halves.
Coconut broken to two halves
  • Remove the coconut kernel from coconut shell.
Kernel of Coconut removed from its shell
  • Remove the brown color covering from coconut kernel with the help of peeler of knife.
Coconut kernel after brown covering removed
  • Cut the kernel after removing the brown covering to small pieces.
Coconut kernel cut to pieces
  • Peel garlic
  • Peel and cut onions.
  • Take out juice of lemon.
  • Take
    • Cut coconut kernel,
    • Onion
    • Garlic
    • Green chilies
    • Salt 
    • 10 ml. Water
Coconut kernel, Onion,garlic and green chilies
    • in a mixer/ blender and make fine paste.
  • Add water in small amounts while making paste.
  • Remove the thick paste in a bowl and add lemon juice.
  • Mix nicely.
  • In a small pan take 1 ml.  oil and heat it.
  • When the oil is smoking  hot add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
  • Add whole red chili and curry leaves and cook for 30 sec.
  • The color of red chili will change to dark red and curry leaves to brownish green and wonderful aroma will emanate.
  • Pour over the paste of coconut with spices.

Tangy Coconut Chutney
  • Tangy, spicy coconut chutney is ready to be served with Dosa, Idli, Pesarattu, Upama, Uttapa, Poha,Sabudana Khichadi…..
  • Do not add excess of water in the starting while grinding. Water should be added in small proportion as per the requirement.
  • The paste should be thick.
  • Lemon juice should not be added during grinding.
  • If you are using only half coconut then rest can be stored in a bowl of water in the fridge.
  • Do not add too much onion / garlic otherwise the subtle flavor of fresh coconut will get overpowered by garlic and onion.

Suggested Variations:
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh green coriander can be added to the coconut while grinding this will not only change the color to beautiful green but will also increase the nutritive value.
Cut Coriander leaves
  • If you do not want to remove the outer brown covering of the coconut kernel then grind it with the covering , only the texture will become slightly grainy and color will have brown specks along with white color.
  • Those who do not eat onion and garlic may omit them and add coriander leaves and 1 inch piece of ginger instead.Lemon juice can be replaced with tamarind pulp.
  •  If you like slightly sweet taste in coconut chutney then add 1 tea spoon jaggery while grinding.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Kesari Halwa (Dessert Made from Semolina)

Kesari Halwa
Kesari Halwa is the desert which is extremely tasty and a must during festivals. During childhood halwa used to be the main attraction of attending any puja. Apart from Prasad the meals used to be invariably of puri, aloo / kala chana and halwa. Well it may be argued that the whole meal is full of fat and carbohydrates thus load of calories. But I will say eat healthy throughout the year so that on the day of festival you can enjoy the Halwa puri meal to your heart content.

Preparation Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 30 min.
Servings: 20 Small size servings
Calories:5500 cal.(approximately)
Ingredients Required For Making Suji Ka Halwa:
  • 250 gm. Suji (Semolina)
Suji / Semolina
  • 250 gm. Sugar
  • 250 gm. Ghee (Clarified butter)
Ghee / Clarified Butter
  • 310 ml. Milk
  • 15-20 Almonds
  • 10 Cashew nuts
  • 20-25 Raisins
  • 2 Ripe Bananas
  • 5-6 Strings of Saffron
  • 1/4 Tea spoon Cardamom Powder
  • 3-4 Tea spoons grated dry Coconut.
Grated Dry coconut
Directions for Making Halwa:
  • Soak 5-6 Almonds in water for 2-3 hrs. 
Almonds being soaked in water
  • Cut the remainder almonds to long pieces.
Almonds cut to piece3s
  • Cut Cashew nuts to small pieces.
Cashew cut to pieces
  • Peel and mash the Banana. Cover and keep aside.
Peeled Banana

Mashed Banana
  • Take saffron in a bowl in 10 ml. milk.
  • Take a thick bottom wok and heat on high flame.
  • When hot put semolina to it and lower the flame and roast the suji with continuous stirring till it becomes of golden brown. (Suji should not become dark brown).
Suji being roasted in a thick bottom wok

Suji Roasted to golden brown color and ready for ghee to be added
  • Add ghee to the roasted suji and cook till suji becomes of light brown color (for 2-3 min ) with continuous stirring.
  • Add mashed banana and mix nicely to homogenous mixture.
  • Cook on low flame for 2-3min.  Stir continuously.
Mashed Banana added and being cooked on low flame
  • Add sugar, mix and cook on low flame for 1-2 min.
Sugar added to the mix of Ghee, suji and mashed banana

Cooked to brown color suji mixture ready for milk and saffron
  • Add milk and mix nicely. Bring the flame on high and let the milk boil. keep stirring continuously.
Milk added to the suji mixture
Milk boiling so now add saffron and cover and cook
  •  When the milk starts boiling lower the flame, add half of saffron and milk mixture, cover and allow it to cook on low flame.
The Halwa mixture covered and being cooked on low flame
  • Remove the cover and gather the halwa from the edges and bottom. (If you find that the halwa is dry add 100 ml. milk / water, mix, cover and cook for 5min.)

Saffron colored Halwa ready for dry fruits to be added
Halwa gathered from edges and bottom
  • Add all cut nuts and raisins and mix cook for 1 min. stirring continuously.
Nuts and raisins added to halwa

Nuts and raisins mixed and halwa ready
  • Switch off the gas. Add cardamom powder and mix.
  • Remove the brown cover of Almonds and break them to two halves.
Soaked Almonds split to halves for decoration
  • Remove Halwa in a serving bowl and decorate it with the almonds, raisins, remaining milk saffron mixture.
  • Beautiful looking and absolutely yummy halwa is ready.
Kesari Halwa
  • While roasting make sure that the suji becomes just golden brown.
  • Suji can be roasted in large amounts and be stored, this enhances the shelf life of suji and while making halwa or upama comes handy.
  • Wok should be thick bottom else suji gets burnt while roasting and halwa sticks to the bottom of the container while getting cooked.
  • Always cook on low flame.
Suggested Variations:
  • If you want then you may reduce the ghee content, but the texture of halwa will not be as smooth.
  • Milk can be replaced with water.
  • Black currant, Pistachio can be added to halwa.Pistachios should be cut and then added.
Pistachio cut to pieces

Friday, 10 August 2012

Delicious Vegetable Cutlets (Pan fried, Low fat Cutlets)

Pan fried Low fat Vegetable Cutlets
One of the best way to make low fat cutlets are to pan fry them with minimum of oil. I find cutlets one of the best dish along with toasted bread  and Red chili sauce for breakfast and with coriander-mint chutney or Hariyali chutney for snacks. Since vegetable cutlets have potatoes in it thus it is high in carbohydrates.  Apart from starch Potatoes are rich in antioxidants which help in fighting cancer; they contain potassium which is beneficial for heart, vitamin C and proteins. Adding lots of different vegetables makes the cutlets very nutritious. Beans add protein content, carrots vitamin A and coriander, spinach iron, green chili Vitamin C.Peas are rich in calcium. Due to different vegetables present in these cutlets the dietary fiber content is also high, which is very much desirable to maintain good digestive system. Thus this is one of the best method to make children enjoy eating vegetables.

Preparation Time: 30min.
Cooking Time: 30min.
Servings: 25 -30Cutlets (approximately)
Calories in 25-30 cutlets 201 k cal.( approximately)

Ingredients Required For Making Pan Fried Vegetable Cutlets:
  • 250 gm. Potatoes
  • 100gm. French Beans
  • 100gm. Carrots
  • 250 gm. Peas
  • One Medium size onion(optional)
  • 8-10 leaves of fresh Spinach
  • 2-3 sprigs of Fresh Coriander
  • 1 Medium size Capsicum
  • 1 Medium size Red bell pepper (optional)
  • 1-2 Green Chilies
  • 1/2Tea spoon Red chili powder
  • 1/2Teaspoon Garam masala
  • 5-6 Tea spoon Corn flour
  • Salt to taste 
  • 2-3 ml. Olive oil / any cooking oil 
Direction for Making Pan Fried Vegetable Cutlets:
  • Boil the potatoes as such that they are cooked but remain firm.
  • Wash the beans, carrots, and dry them.
  • Break the Cauliflower to small florets , wash and dry them
  • Cut Cauliflower finely.
  • Remove the thread from beans and cut them fine.
Finely cut Cauliflower and Beans
  • Cut the carrots fine.
  • Cut the onion very fine.
  • Take 100 ml.  water in a thick bottom pan and keep on gas on high flame.
  • When water starts boiling put carrots and beans , cauliflower to it and boil till they partly cooked. The cooked beans and carrot pieces should become soft after cooking.(approximately 5 min.)
  • Sieve the boiled vegetables and allow them to cool
  • Shell peas.
  • Take 50 ml. water in a pan boil the water and add shelled peas to it and cook for 10min.(approximately 2min.)
  • Sieve the peas and allow to cool.
  • Wash spinach and remove the stalks form the leaves.
  • Discard the stalks and dry the leaves.
  • Cut spinach leaves very fine.
  • Wash the coriander sprigs and drain all water.
  • Cut washed and dried coriander leaves very fine.
  • Cut green chilies very fine.
  • Cut capsicum and red bell pepper fine. 
Finely cut Capsicum and Red bell pepper
  • Peel boiled potatoes and mash them using a potato masher or with your hands.
Boiled Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes
  • Mash boiled beans, carrots and cauliflower. Do not make paste mash them.
  • Mash peas coarsely.
  • To the mashed potatoes add
    • Mashed vegetables
    • Finely cut spinach
    • Coriander leaves
    • Finely cut onions
    • Finely cut capsicum and red bell pepper.
    • Salt
    • Red chili powder
    • Garam masala
    • Amchur
    • Corn flour
  • Mix nicely to make uniform mixture.
  • Make 25-30 balls from the mixture and flatten them to 1-2 cm. thickness.
  • Cut them to the required shape with the help of mold.
  • Roll the cutlets in corn flour and keep aside for 5min. so that the corn flour sticks to the surface of the cutlets.
  • Take a non-stick flat pan (tawa) and put 8-10 drops of olive oil or any cooking oil on it and spread it on the tawa.
  • Heat the tawa on high flame.
  • When the tawa / pan becomes hot, (not smoking hot) place the cutlets on it at a distance of 2-3 cm. from each other.
  • Lower the flame and let the cutlets become golden brown from the side they are touching the tawa.
Cutlets Pan fried to golden brown color on one side
  • Sprinkle 2-3 drop of oil on each cutlet and turn them over carefully.
  • Allow them to cook on the other side also till they become golden brown.
Cutlets done to Golden brown color on the other side
  • Low fat, tasty and nutritious cutlets are ready.
Low fat Pan Fried Vegetable Cutlets
  • Enjoy hot cutlets with coriander-mint chutney or Hariyali chutney.

Pan fried Low fat Vegetable cutlets with Coriander-Mint Chutney
  • Apply some Red chili sauce
on a toasted bread piece place a cutlet on it apply red chili sauce on another bread piece and place it on the cutlet and enjoy your breakfast.
  • While boiling potatoes add little salt to the water to ensure potatoes remain firm.
  • Add one small piece of lemon to the water while boiling potatoes to ensure the container does not turn black after boiling water.
  • Make sure potatoes are not over cooked else the mixture of cutlets will not be firm and cutlets will not come out nice.
  • Beans and carrots should be cooked nicely else solid pieces of beans and carrot will come in cutlet which is not desirable.
  • Peas should be coarsely mashed.
  • The edges of cutlet can be cooked to brown color by placing them by the side if tawa.
  • Olive oil is healthy medium of cooking and light to digest.
  • While adding vegetables corn flour and soices to the mashed potatoes salt should be added last.
  • If your cutlet mixture becomes slightly thin (not firm) then add some corn flour to it.
Suggested Variations:
  • Coriander can be replaced by parsley or celery.
  • To change the flavor 1/4 tea spoon of thyme / oregano can be added.
  • Boiled and grated beet root can be added to the cutlet mixture. It will add color and nutritive value to the cutlets.
  • Corn flour can be replaced by bread crumbs / Rice flour.
  • If you have left over beans / carrot / cauliflower vegetable just mash it and add to the mixture. Good use of left over veggies can be made this way.
  • Powder some nutrela nuggets ( soya beans nuggets), soak the powder in water for 4-5 min., squeeze water form the soaked powder of Nutrela nuggets and add the soaked nutrela nuggets powder to the cutlet mixture it will make the cutlets more crysp and of course add more fiber and protein content to the cutlets.


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