Gulab Jamun - October ICC

Here comes the Indian Cooking Challenge for the Month of October Gulab Jamun...Hmmm.. mouth watering sweet indeed.
This sweet is a favourite of the whole house hold, especially dad. He loves sweet in any form . Making it from scratch was a whole lot fun and I enjoyed it completely.


Khova – 11/2 cups
Maida – 1 cup
Sugar – 3 cups (if you want excess syrup i.e floating jamuns increase by a cup)
Water – 1 cup (increase if you’re increasing sugar)
Cooking Soda – 3 pinches
Cardamom – 4 pods
Saffron leaves – a few
Oil – 1 cup (for deep frying)


1. Combine sugar and water in a flat bottomed broad pan and simmer on a low heat until sugar dissolves. Add cardamom powder and saffron leaves and remove from fire.
2. Knead khova, maida and soda and quickly shape into balls.
3. Heat oil on a medium flame. Fry the jamuns till golden brown over a low to medium flame, keeping oil temperature uniform. Oil should not smoke.
4. Drain the jamuns and soak in the warm sugar syrup.


Ganesh Chathurthi Special for Indian Cooking Challenge

The Indian Cooking Challenge for the August was dedicated to my favourite god , Ganapathi.All the recipes chosen were special for Ganesh Chaturthi.
  • Modak from Maharashtra Panchakhadya from Maharashtra

  • Kudumulu/Kolukattai from Andhra/Tamil Nadu

  • Nugul-untallu ~Sesame Laddoo from Andhra

  • Boorelu from Andhra Kudaalu from Andhra

  • Churma Laddu From Lata
I chose Sesame Laddoo Andhra and Kolukattai from Tamil Nadu.
Sesame Laddoo

Nugul-untallu (Sesame Laddo0)Sesame Laddoos tastes out of the world.This is traditionally prepare with the black seeds with the skin on. Wash them well and dry them under sun.Dry roast them in a tawa and let them cool. Once they are cool, take about 2 - 3tbsp of grated or powdered jaggary and run in a mixie. The amount of jaggary normally depends on the formation of laddoo. When you make a laddoo, it should stay in shape. Then you know the amount is enough. Also it depends on the fineness of the sesame powder. When you run in mixie, it becomes little oily which will help in holding the laddo shape.For about 100 gms of Sesame seeds, I must've used some 3 tbsp of Jaggary. This should easily stay for a week, but I have known it to happen as it never stays that long at home! I got around 12 -15 laddoos with the size I made.
Kozhukatai from TamilNadu
Rice Flour - 1 & 1/2 cup
Water - 3 cups
.salt to taste
Grated coconut - 3 tbsp
Jaggary - 3 tbsp
Cardamom powder a pinch.
I used the rice flour, so saved the time on cleaning and drying and powdering!In a bowl, take the flour and make a smooth paste with enough water. This is to ensure, you don't get lumps when you cook the flour. Boil the rest of the water in a pan with salt. Once it starts boiling, add the rice flour mix. and cook. Making sure there are no lumps.Add 1 tsp of oil and keep stirring. You can remove when it forms as solid with the sides leaving. Remove and cover with a damp cloth so that it remains hot.For the filling, grate coconut. and mix jaggary. Cook in a pan to get an thick texture. Divide into required shapesFor the kudumulu, smear your hands with oil so that rice flour doesn't stick to your hands. Take a ball size of lemon, press in middle so that in middle it is thick and fill with fillings. Close the dough and make it shaped as drop.Once everything is done, stream it for 10 minutes. Step by step procedure is explained by the pictures given below.


Khaman Dhokla for Indian Cooking Challenge

Khaman Dhokla
I just love being a part of Indian Cooking Challenge. I get to try dishes that I would have never dared to try on my own. I made Dhokla for the very first time and the results are amazing. It came out so well and tasted good.

This is how I made it.
For Batter:
Bengal Gram flour / Besan - 250 gms (1 & 1/2 cup)
Curd - 1/2 cup (not very sour)
Water - 1/2 cup
Cooking Soda - 1/2 tsp
For seasoning to be mixed to the batter (to be added just before cooking)
Oil - 1 tbsp
Turmeric a pinch
G. Chili paste - 1 - 2 long (as per taste)
Sugar - 1 tsp
Citric acid - quarter tsp
Eno - 1 packet (green colour fruit lime) + sprinkle or dust few bits on the plate
For tempering
Sesame seeds
Mustard Seeds
Curry leaves
Grated coconut
Coriander leaves
Little water + Oil to be topped on dhoklas
Method to prepare:
Mix first 1/2 cup curds with 1/2 water. To this add the besan and mix well to get a lump less batter, the consistency should be of idli batter, more of dropping not pouring consistency. Slowly add more water if needed else, add the soda. Keep it aside to rise for 1 hour.If you are using a pressure cooker, fill the pan with water, place a plate over which you will have use a plate for steaming the dhoklas. Thali plate can be used for steaming
To the batter mix in the citric acid, oil, salt, sugar, green chili paste and turmeric powder. Mix well. This has to be done just before pouring to the plate.Meanwhile have the pan on stove, and let the water start boiling. When the water reaches the rolling stage, you can mix the eno to the batter (Save little of eno for dusting on the plate), mix gently, you will see bubbles coming out.Dust or sprinkle the plate with eno. Then immediately pour the batter to the plate. Place the plate carefully inside the pressure pan and cover with lid. You need not use the whistle.
After covering you will find steam coming out of the outlet, simmer and don't disturb for almost 5 -7 minutes.After 5 -7 minutes, remove the lid and proof it using toothpick or knife. If the knife comes out clean and does not have any batter sticking, then its done. Cover back and let it remain on flame for 1 min and switch off the gas and allow it for 5 minutes.
In a bowl, mix 3 tsp of water along with a tsp of oil
Remove the plate from the pan, pour the water and oil mix over the top.For seasoning, heat a pan with oil, add curry leaves, sesame seeds, mustard seeds and finely chopped green chilies.
When mustard starts popping, remove and pour over the dhokla.
The batter should be filled to only 1/2 as it will rise up. After adding eno the batter should not rest. Amount of sugar can be increased on preference.If you want perfect shaped ones and not the crumbling, cut and handle gently
Dhokla can also be steamed in kadai filled with water and a plated titled over it.

All set and packed for friends at office.


FIC - Delectable Combinations - Round Up

Im very happy to do the roundup for FIC - Delectable Combinations for the month of June. I wish to thank Harini of TongueTicklers for giving me an opportunity to host this wonderful event. I start the array of dishes with her Apricot Mousse Cake or a Verrine

Apricot Mousse Cake or Verrine

Tomato Chutney with Idli
Ramya from Simple Vegetarian Recipes send us Chole Batura

Chole Batura
Preeti from Shail send in Stuffed Dal Paratha and Strawberry Kheer all the way from Japan
Stuffed Dal Paratha and Strawberry Kheer
Preeti from Khaugiri sends us Aamras Puri with Kurdai, just in time for the mango season.

Aamras Puri with Kurdai
Sree from Tastespell gives us a wonderful combination of Spinach Rice and Beetroot Raitha
Spinach rice with beetroot raita
Yummy Strawberry Cupcakes all the way from My Kitchen Treasures by Happy cook
Strawberry Cupcakes.

Muskan shah from A2Z Vegetarian Cuisines sends us Moong Dal with Spinach Served with Multigrain Roti and Jain Chole Puri. Her Favourite color is White

Moong Dal with Spinach Served with Multigrain Roti

Jain Chole Puri
Priya from Priya 's Easy N Tasty Recipes sends us Soft Idli with Redbell Pepper N Peanut Chutney. Anything with Idli is truly delectable, dont you agree

Soft Idli with Redbell Pepper N Peanut Chutney
Sweatha of TastyCurryLeaf, sent a very different one Patatas Bravas with Citrusy Sangria. Thanks Sweatha.
Patatas Bravas with Citrusy Sangria.
Shaista Tabrez from MixCalculations sends us Matar Pulao, and her favourite color is Pink.

Matar Pulao

Shanthi of Shanthi Krishnakumar's cookbook sends us Bahala Bhath and Thakali Thokku.

Bahala Bhath Thakali Thoku

Lubna Karim from Yummy Food send the most favourite dish of TamilNadu Idli- Sambhar.

Idli - Sambhar
Jisha from Kerala Recipes sends us yummy Vegetable Noodles. Her favourite color is green.

Vegetable Noodles
Srilakshmi from Annapurna sends us Vathal Kulambu .

Vathal Kulambhu.
Once Again thank you all for your contribution and I hope you liked the roundup


Announcing Recipes for the rest of us - Fruits

Recipes for the rest of us is aimed at introducing newbies to the joy of cooking. Started by Ramki of One Page Cookbooks , this event focuses on very simple, fool proof recipes.

Guidelines :
1. Cook anything simple using fruits and post the recipe on your blog.
2. Multiple entries / archived entries welcome. However, do edit the archived post to include a link to this event and One Page Cookbooks
3. Include the logo in your post if you wish.
4. Please send an e-mail to akamalika@gmail.com with the following details on or before July 20 2009
5.*Subject Line: Recipes for the rest of us : Fruits* Blog author:* Blog name:* Dish Name:* URL of the post:
6. The roundup of would be posted a week after the event closes.

Note :
1. Please avoid exact measurements. Please use very simple measurements like a handful or a pinch.
2. Please avoid complicated steps.If the recipe takes over 5 steps to prepare, it would not be suitable for this event.
3. Please avoid recipes demanding a good deal of manual skill.
4. Please avoid recipes demanding fancy kitchen equipment.
5. In short, it should be something a ten year old kid should be able to cook up.

I look forward to your recipes.

Rava Ladoo - Indian Cooking Challenge

Yes , this is exciting and at times frightening too. The Indian Cooking Challenge is here. The array of dishes in the challenge is definitely making the whole event very exciting. I'm very happy to be a part of this great excitement. Kudos to Srivalli for this magnificent idea. Happy events are always started with a sweet, so here I am with the Rava Laddoo, for all you people out there.
You will need :
Rava / Semolina - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Ghee - 25 gms
Cardamom powder - a pinch
Cashew nuts - 10 whole nuts
Raisins - 10 nos
Roast the cashew and raisins separately in the kadai using a little ghee.In the same Kadai heat some more ghee and roast the rava till its slightly brown in color. In the mean while powder sugar in a blender and keep it aside. Transfer the roasted rava to a separate plate and let it cool. Powder the Roasted Rava also in the blender and mix the two powders in a bowl. To this add the roasted Cashews and Raisins along with the cardamom powder , Mix well. Add ghee little by little so that you can form balls in your hand. I made close to 25 rava laddoos and even before I could store them , my dad had popped in 4 of them. I got the verdict immediately.


FIC - June - Delectable Combinations

Our lives are full of color and generally we accept color as part of our lives in a casual and nonchalant manner. But color affects us very deeply, on a physical level, an emotional and psychological level and a spiritual level. Our individual identities are largely expressed by our own personal understandings or feelings toward color. It defines our fashion sensibilities, expressed in our ability to create art, our interior and exterior environments, and can encourage or adversely affect our health and well being. Color can be erotic and sensual, calming and passive, expressive and vital.

The color of food is an integral part of our culture and enjoyment of life. Who would deny the mouth-watering appeal of a deep-pink strawberry ice on a hot summer day or a golden Thanksgiving turkey garnished with fresh green parsley?
Even early civilizations such as the Romans recognized that people "eat with their eyes" as well as their palates. Saffron and other spices were often used to provide a rich yellow color to various foods. Butter has been colored yellow as far back as the 1300's.Color and the appeal of various foods is also closely related. Just the sight of food fires neurons in the hypothalamus. Subjects presented food to eat in the dark reported a critically missing element for enjoying any cuisine: the appearance of food. For the sighted, the eyes are the first place that must be convinced before a food is even tried

Wondering what is the color for this month, its Delectable Combination . Meaning cook anything with a color combination of the food in your mind. The color combination should appeal to the recipients eyes. As I mentioned earlier, its the nose that tastes the food first with the smell followed by the Eyes with the sight of food and only then comes the tongue which actually tastes the food.
Before I go ahead and announce the color for this month, a special mention to the brainchild behind this colorful event, its Harini of Sunshinemom
It can be any color combination, the only condition is that it should be delectable, the very first sight of the food should be able to attract people to eat it.
Some Delectable Combinations as examples

  • Creamy White Curd Rice with Red Potato Fry

  • Multi Colored Veggie Briyani with White Raitha

  • Brown Tamarind Rice with Off white coconut thoivayal

the list will go on endlessly.. so get your creative neurons on action and cook something with delectable combinations.

Rules for the Event:

1.Raw vegetables are not allowed except if used as such in salads or prepared food!

2.Multiple entries are welcome as long as they are posted between 01.06.09 and 30.06.09.

3.No Linking back to the previous posts

4.The food item should be vegetarian which means no eggs, the post should be a vegetarian post. 5.If your food is cooked from any other blog or site please link your post with the name of the blog/site rather than 'here'. Also link your post to this post announcing the event and also to SunshineMom's Event Announcement .
6.The use of logo is optional,though recommended.
7. Email me at akamalika@gmail.com- your email id alongwith these details

subject line - FIC Delectable Combinations,
Your name, The name of your blog and its link, Your Favourite Colour
The name of the dish and the link and 300 px width/height picture if it cannot be picked up from your blog.
If you do not have a blog, just email the recipe and a picture.-----


Take Care Patti - I miss you very badly.

Muthulakshmi Patti
My Patti who brought me up right from my childhood days, breathed her last on Jan 30th. This is an immense loss for me. She has been my mentor and is the main person behind my family s prosperity. She took care of my food and well being which helped my mom to go to work peacefully, even when I was 3 months old. I still remember the days when she will be waiting at the door step for me to come back from school, feed me food and make me do my home work. She is the person who made my teeth look proper, who made my hair grow long when I was in school, who taught me Tamil from the beginning and last but never the least, showered me with a lot of love and affection.
She has been a part and parcel of my life from the day I was born. Its very hard to accept the fact that she is no more with me. She has been a support for me in many aspects, though I used to have a lot of fights with her I love her so much. The house has a vacuum in it without her cot in place , which has her framed photo instead. It will take some time for me to come out from this turmoil. Till then take care friends I will be back soon. I need all your support for this. Miss you patti..


MEC - Halwa - Roundup

Here I am late very late to post the roundup of the lovely Halwa's I received during the month of December for my event MEC-Halwa. I wish to thank each one for the effort they put forth to send in their entries. Thanks a ton to one and all. My special thanks to Srivalli for her support to make this event happen.
Now for the entries, hold your breath for here comes an array of tasty halwas that will make you crave for them.

Here is tasty Mango Halwa from Cham

An array of ten halwas that can be made in a Microwave from One Page Cookbooks
We have carrot halwa from two people. The one below is from Pavani

This carrot halwa from the microwave of EC

This brightly colored Beetroot Halwa is from Sangeeths Kitchen
Healthy Oats Halwa is the brain child of PJ

Our very favourite Sooji halwa from Arundati

Last but never the least, Sinful Chocolate Halwa from Priya.

I thank everyone who was supportive to me for this event. And to Srivalli, who helped me a lot.


Happy New Year

Hi friends , Wish you all a Very Very Happy New Year !! . Though this post is a bit late it carries along with it, love , care and affection packed with the best for you and your family. A big thanks for all who had send in your entires for the MEC- Halwa event. I will be doing the roundup in the coming week, please do bear with the delay, its just that Im tied up with some important personal works.. Will catch you all soon.

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