Nimi's Culinary Ventures

The tangy Puliyodharai..

Indian recipes, Rice, veg | February 24, 2014 | By

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Being shortlisted for the Gourmand World Cookbook awards came in as a big bundle of surprise for me to shortlisted among the 7 finalists from 187 countries for the title “The Best Local Cuisine in India “..:) I never knew that more surprises were yet to come ..thats when I get a tweet from reknown celebrity Indian chef Sanjeev Kapoor..congratulating me on being shortlisted…..phew..the night I saw that tweet ..hehe..left me sleepless..:P

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Puliyodharai reminds me of tamarind ..and tamarind reminds me ..licking licking..;) makes my mouth water.I remember how I used to collect tamarind during my vacations in Kerala..depod nd lick o lick ..:D Wish to be a kid once more..hmm..it is funny though..in that age  all I had in mind was just to be a  grown up ….:P

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The courtesy of the Puliyodharai recipe that I am posting here today goes to the book “Festival Samayal -an offering to the Gods ” by Viji Varadarajan. Her cookbooks are explicit eyeopeners to the Tamil Brahmin cuisine. Her book  Vegetarian delicacies of South India has also been shortlisted for the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards..kudos Viji Mami ! Although we have been chatting over phone ..really excited to meet this wonder lady in person 🙂

Puliyodharai Rice

2 cups of Rice

1/2 cup of thick Tamarind pulp

1/4tsp of Turmeric powder

1/2 tsp of Asafoetida powder

1/2 cup of skinned roasted peanuts(optional)

1/2 cup of sesame oil

2 tsps of salt

For seasoning:

1/4 tsp of Mustard seeds

1/2 tsp of husked split black gram

1/2 tsp of Bengal gram

5 dried chillies , halved

Curry leaves

Cook the rice in 5 cups of water. Each grainn of the cooked rice should be seperate. Set aside to cool . Heat a tablespoon of oil, add the mustard  to pop.Add the dals , stir for ten seconds till golden .Add the chillies and fry till it turns a bright red.Add the peanuts and saute for 20 seconds. Add tamarind pulp , a cup of water , turmeric powder, asafoetida and salt.Cover and simmer over a medium flame for 5-7 minutes.Open the lid and cook until it becomes a thick sauce .Add the remaining oil and take it off the stove.This is called pulikaachal.Mix the sauce and rice well without mashing it.Wet , crush the curry leaves add and stir for 5 seconds.Keep the tamarind rice for a couple of hours before serving.Add1/2 teaspoon of jaggery to balance the hot and tangy flavour of the tamarind rice.A dash of fresh lemon juice will make the dish more exotic.

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So Happy tangy tamarind cooking ……:) !

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Green peas in season …time for Peas Rawa !

Indian recipes, veg | February 18, 2014 | By

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Its in the midst of Feb and I am reminded of the climate during the months of Dec & Jan in Munnar…its been pretty cold for the past weeks .There were nights when the temperature dropped down to minus 2 and 3 and that’s pretty unusual during this month.The laziest part of all is getting up in mornings to go to school ..phew…:P when you just wish  to stay curled and cuddled in the warmth of your quilt  in bed..and ur alarm goes beep beep..ahh..:(

I was recently featured in the Deepika news portal..

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Green peas is quite in season ..so thought of posting my fav Peas uppuma recipe..which is a great time saver and is ready in a jiffy..;)

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Green peas Uppuma

2 cups of Semolina

5 cups of water

1 cup of green peas

2 tbsp of ghee

1/2 cup of grated coconut

7 green chillies chopped

2 large onions chopped

1tsp of mustard seeds

a pinch of asafoetida

Coriander leaves chopped

1 tsp of lemon juice

Salt to taste

 Roast semolina in a teaspoon of ghee till light golden brown and separate.Heat a wok, pour oil or ghee, splutter mustard seeds, saute green chillies and onions till the onions caramelize.Add in the green peas , fry them a little , pour in the water, let it simmer, add in salt to taste , asafoetida and let it cook.Once cooked , add in the semolina , stirring continuously .Add lemon juice , stir well and cover and leave on low flame for five minutes.When done turn off flame mix in chopped coriander and grated coconut and serve .

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Vadai vadai ….Masala Vadai!

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Trying to stick on to my resolution for 2014..starting on my blogging spree  this post is very much for my little ones most favourite masala vadais ..a typical Tamilnadu recipe.These spicy fritters are simply great with coconut chutneys. I am posting here a write up that came up in Rashtra deepika ..a regionalnewspaper..

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Heres the short interview that was aired on Radio Mango 91.9 FM..pls click on the link below…

Nimi on Radio Mango

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Masala Vadai

2 cups of Chana dal soaked for about 30 mins & drained

3-4 green chillies chopped

2 dry red chillies chopped

1/2 tsp of Aniseed

a small piece of ginger cleaned and grated

5-6 shallots chopped

1 tsp of garammasala powder

3-4 tbsp of coriander leaves chopped

Oil for frying

Seperate 2 tbsp of soaked and drained chana dal and blend coarsely  with all the rest of the ingredients to make a coarse mix.Add required amount of salt and the seperated dal to the ground mixture.Heat oil on mediun flame , pat a tablespoon of the mix  on to your palm to prepare thin patties and deep fry till both sides are golden brown in color and drain  on paper napkins.Serve hot with coconut chutney  …

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Tangy twist with Panchmel Dal!

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Hope everyone celebrated their New year blast..so whts up with the resolutions…???My first and foremost resolution was to try to blog a bit more frequently 😛 ..the funniest part is how much I will be stickig on to it. One more day to go for the school to reopen and then back to the busy bee schedules…ahhh ..the first days are really goin to be damn lazy.Moreover the temperature over here has dropped down to around -2 ..which makes you longing to cuddle up even more into ur blankets..;)

Heres an interview on me which was printed in the magazine Sthreedhanam (Deepika Newspaper) in this months issue..

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Heres the article that came up in Deshabhimani news paper on Jan 4th 2014

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Now for this times post..thought of giving u all a tangy rajasthani recipe. This curry is a combination of 5 dals.I have earlier put up a recipe on 5 dal curry ..but this one is a tangy & spicy one…

Panchmel Dal

1/3 cup split bengal gram lentil

1/3 cup of yellow split peas

1/3 cup of green gram split lentils

1 tbsp of deskinned split black lentils

1 tbsp of green gram

3 tbsp of ghee

2 cloves

2 bay leaves

1 tsp of umin seeds

2 green chillies slit

a pinch of asafoetida

2 tsp of dry mango powder

2 tsp of tamarind pulp

Salt to taste

For masala paste

3 tsp chilli powder

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp of coriander powder

1/2 tsp garam masala

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 Clean and wash the lentils.Pressure cook them with 4 cups of water till the lentils are cooked.Keep aside.In a bowl combine the ingredients for the masala paste with 3 tbsp of water to mix well to make a paste.Keep aside.Heat ghee in a pan and add cloves , bay leaves , cumin, green chilllies and asafoetida. When the cumin seeds crackle , add the prepared masala paste and saute on medium flame fo rabot 1-2 mins.Add the cooked dal , dry mango powder, tamarind pulp and salt and simmer fo r5- 7 minutes.Add water if required.Serve hot with rotis!

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Creamy custard with creamy news :)

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For the past two weeks have been wanting to pen down my events in life and as usual have not been able to do much.:P Hmm… where should I start …ok one day I was at school and get a mail with a notification with an invite to participate for an Indian Women Entrepreneurs Expo organised by Times of India.I speak to the people in charge and there goes a zing in my mind to participate for the event.Three days of fun at Abadplaza , Cochin.. totally new experience meeting many talented women in different areas of business.On the last day of the expo I was among the Best Ten Women Entrepreneurs of 2013..:)

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I wanted to put up a creamy custardy recipe to give all the creamy effect that the event brought into my life.I was mentioned in writeups in Times of India ,Mathrubhumi and Deshabimani (a Malayalam newspaper) and was interviewed on All India Radio Cochin FM.So for all the good news up I thought of putting up a rich sweet and custardy Parsi recipe bookmarked from Goodfood.

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Lagan nu Custard

4 cups of milk

150gms of sugar

6 eggs

400ml cream

1/2 cup of rosewater

50g of raisins

50 gms of almonds

1/2 tsp of cardamom powder

Butter to grease

Boil milk with sugar till it is reduced to 1/3rd of its original quantity.This takes about 20-30 minutes.Cool and keep aside.Preheat oven to180 degree celsius.Whisk eggs briskly and add all other ingredients except raisins to the reduced milk.Stir this into eggs and transfer to a greased baking pan.Bake in the oven for about 50-60 minutes or till a skewer inserted comes out clean and it is cooked.Leave to cool and refrigerate a couple of hours before serving.Cut into desired shapes and serve chilled.The raisins are to be added when baking is half done.

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Enjoy your custardy treat 🙂

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Sweeten your taste buds with Milk Peda!

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Monsoons in Munnar have been quite hectic this time.Its been about two years since we had such heavy rainfalls.The river was half way to being flooded.Its time to laze out a bit from my hectic schedule as school has closed for the monsoon vacation for a month for us.Yesterday  its my bro’s bday  …as he’s in Moscow ..here’s mouth melting sweeties wishing u a wonderful birthday!

Malai Peda or Milk peda is a fav with my little one and me.I really love making them at home .These mouthwatering beauties are a fav among my culinary science students at school. Shazia and Shwetha…here’s the long awaited recipe…a treat for holidays!

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Milk Peda

2 cups of milk powder

1 tin of condensed milk

3 tbsps of ghee

1/4 tsp of cardamom powder

 

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Heat  ghee in a heavy bottomed pan on medium flame,pour in the condensed milk.Stir in the milk powder and cardamom powder with a wooden spatula mixing  without lumps.Keep the flame very low as milk burns very fast and stir till it thickens.Let it cool down and shape  them into desired shapes.It is also optional to decorate these milk delicacies with pistachios/cashews/almonds.

 

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Magic with leftover Idlis-Idli Uppuma!

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Snacks are a must o must here at home and I’m always on the lookout for something that can be prepared in minutes.When it’s idlis for breakfast,I do a makeover with it so that I get a snack to feed my kids at four. Here.s the recipe for Idli uppuma…

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Idli Uppuma

4-5 idlis cut in to small pieces
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1/2 tsp of urad dal split
3 green chillies chopped
1 small piece of ginger chopped
2 dry red chillies broken into pieces
2tsp of oil
1/2 cup of curd
Salt to taste
Curry leaves

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Heat oil in a pan ,pop mustard seeds,fry urad dal,dry red chillies,ginger and green chillies .Add chopped onions and sauté till translucent.Pour in curd,add in idlis ,curry leaves,salt to taste and curry leaves.Turn off the heat and serve hot. You can mash the idlis  if you want for a  crumbled texture.

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Creamy Mughalai Chicken!

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There’s loads of pics that I have been clicking around to upload on to my blog..hoping put them up in a few days.Yesterday being Saturday trying to laze around with my other chores was in a mood to pep up a heavy main course for my family.Its been a bit like ages since I cooked Mughalai Chicken.This creamy northie flavored dish was to go in hand with Missi rotis. Here the rains have been pouring quite heavily all of a sudden reminding that the monsoons are coming up….brrr..it is now getting a bit cold too..

Now off to the recipe of Mughalai Chicken..

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Mughalai Chicken

1/2 kg Chicken cut in medium sized pieces

3 big onions sliced

1 tomato chopped

1 tbsp of ginger and garlic paste

1/2 tsp of turmeric powder

1 tsp of chilli powder

1 tsp of coriander powder

1 tsp of garam masala powder

1/2 tsp of cumin powder

1/2 tsp of dry fenugreek leaves

1/2 cup of fresh cream

40 gms of cashews soaked in plain water and ground into a paste

1 egg whisked

Coriander leaves chopped

Salt  to taste

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan saute the onions,tomato and ginger garlic paste till pink and add in the tomatoes.Fry till it is mashed in,ad in turmeric powder,chilli powder , coriander powder,garam masala powder.Fry till the raw smell goes off and let it cool and grind this into a paste .Marinate the chicken pieces with the paste and add 1cup of water ,salt to taste , cover and cook till meat is tenderized.In an other pan heat 2 tsp of butter stir in dry fenugreek leaves and cumin powder.Pour in the cooked chicken with the gravy into the pan and let it simmer.Stir in the cashew paste on medium flame.In a small bowl mix the whisked egg and fresh cream together.Take care not to boil the cream .Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.Best served with naan,rotis and parathas..

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Utterly Gheely Ghee cake:)

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Since the start of 2013, its been jam packed with my work schedules, classes and work on my new book.I have all my posts that are to be posted, but nothing quite seems to work out:(

This recipe is specially dedicated to Reshma Kaloor who has a flair for baking.Well..I hope ur doubts with the Ghee cake get cleared with this post.This recipe wouldn’t have popped up on my blog if  u hadn’t asked.This super soft South Indian pound cake recipe is one that I really treasure for its spongy texture and the aroma of ghee.The recipe has been for long penned out in my diary and the courtesy of the recipe goes to Mrs.K.M Mathew.

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Ghee Cake

1 cup of All purpose flour

1 tsp of Baking Powder

1/4 tsp of baking soda

1 cup of ghee

4 eggs seperated

1 cup of powdered sugar

2 tsp of lemon juice

1/2 tsp of lemon rind grated

1/2 cup of milk

2 tbsp of granulated sugar

1 tsp of vanilla essence

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Separate egg whites and egg yolks.Sieve the flour ,baking powder and baking soda together in to a bowl and keep aside.Beat the powdered sugar and ghee with a whisk / mixer till it becomes fluffy and light.Beat in the eggs one by one at low speed.Mix in the lemon juice, rind and milk.At very low speed mix in the flour. Take an other bowl and whisk egg whites till stiff,add in granulated sugar and vanilla essence and whisk again till stiff.Now slowly fold in the egg whites with the cake batter.Preheat oven at 180 degree  and bake the cake about 40 -45 minutes or till the skewer comes out clean.

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Cashew Ladoos -memoir of Diwali!

Indian recipes, Sweets, veg | November 19, 2012 | By

Diwali -the festival of lights was a last week.Celebration of Diwali is all about firecrackers and sweets..this diwali I wanted to type in one of my most  cherished sweets…Cashew Ladoos/Kaju ladoos.This  is a very rich sweet made out of cashews.

CASHEW LADOOS

1/4 cup of water

1 1/4 cups sugar

3tbsp milk

1/2 kg cashew nuts

4 tsps of ghee

5-6 strands of saffron

Slightly roast the cashews in a pan and finely powder them in a mixer.Boil water and sugar in a saucepan  stirring continuously till the sugar dissolves on low flame.When the syrup starts becoming thick, remove from flame and add in the ghee along with the milk and saffron.Stir it and add in the powdered cashew slowly mixing well.Once the powder is well combined with the syrup ,cook the mix on medium flame stirring till the ghee comes out.Let the mix cool down  a little and make small  balls out of the mix.

My little ones were gobbling up these ladoos as I made them.Guess after all cashew is an all time fav for all 😉

“Ram! The light of lights, the self-luminous inner light of the Self is ever shining steadily in the chamber of your heart. Sit quietly. Close your eyes. Withdraw the senses. Fix the mind on this supreme light and enjoy the real Deepavali, by attaining illumination of the soul.”