Ari “Rice” Muruku – Deep fried, crisp and with a touch of spice!

 

 

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Hello My Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing today? So my next recipe for the season is the Rice and Urad Dal Murukku. In case you have never had these before, let me tell you, this is the Indian version of a deep fried snack that comes in a number of variations that is a staple at your 4 o clock tea / coffee. Yes, we love to have a little some thing to “bite into” every evening. But of late these savory snacks have been reserved only to be savored during festivals such as Diwali etc. So I decided why not make a batch of these pinwheels. They are really easy to make but you do need a “Murukku Maker / Press” The theory is the same as a piping bag for cream, just that the mixture is tighter and thicker so you need a little more force when squeezing them.

These murukku makers are available in both brass and stainless steel. I have the brass one and they come with various ends / nozzles just like your piping tips. Best enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee these Murukku’s can last 2 – 3 weeks if kept in an air tight container. Make sure to use a good brand of oil. I used rice bran oil and you are sorted for a long time 🙂

Ingredients :-

  1. Rice Flour – 3 cups
  2. Urad Dal – 6 tbsp
  3. White Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
  4. Black Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
  5. Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  6. Pepper Powder – 1/2 tsp
  7. Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp ( more if you like it pungent )
  8. Salt – to taste
  9. Oil – 3 tbsp
  10. Oil to fry
  11. Water to bind ( depends on the quality of the rice flour)

Instructions :-

  1. Heat a heavy bottom Khadai and fry the urad dal till they start turning golden brown. Make sure to stir continuously or else the dal might burn
  2. Once they are ready , add into a blender and powder to a fine powder
  3. In a large plate/ even your kitchen counter, drop the rice flour, urad dal powder, salt, white and black sesame seeds, pepper powder and asafoetida. Give it all a nice mix with the tips of your finger to spread the ingredients evenly
  4. Then add the 3 tsp of oil and mix into the mixture till they almost resemble  bread crumbs
  5. Finally add water little bit at a time to make a nice tight dough. Remember all you need is the dough to come together
  6. Take small portion of the mixture and run it through the murukku maker to see if you are able to make nice round circles. If you find that the circle keeps falling or breaking then you need little more water in the dough
  7. Once you have your dough ready, heat oil in a khadai ( enough to be able to deep fry these wheels)
  8. Cut a baking paper into equal sqares and at the back draw circles of equal size. you can use these as a stencil to make all your murukkkus
  9. Now attach the start tip to the murukku maker and fill the barrel with the rice flour dough
  10. Slowly make round shapes of the murukku on your prepared baking paper
  11. Start from the inside and go round towards the outside
  12. Once you reach the outside, pinch the end towards the murukku
  13. Once you oil is nice and hot ( make sure the oil is always at medium flame not too hot and not too cold)
  14. Fry these in batches of 2 – 3 depending on the size of your khadai. Wait til they turn golden bown on both sides. Keep turning them when in the oil for even browning
  15. Lay them on kitchen paper tower to soak up the excess oil
  16. You Murukku is ready! Store in an air tight container
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Milk Peda – easy version

 

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Hello my Dear Wonderful readers!!

So I am back with my next recipe and that is my easy peasy Milk Powder Peda! These are super easy to make. Traditionally you will note that this sweet is make from Khoya and if that is easily available to you then you could make it that way too. But I am a mommy of a two year old and I run the kitchen and the house along with looking after him without any help. So any quick Indian sweet recipe is always welcome. These sweets are a favorite among people of all ages. My husband absolutely loves these and they are made every year around this time. So I am off to making more Diwali recipes and I leave you with this beauty!

Ingredients :-

  1. Milk Powder – 2 cup
  2. Condensed Milk – 400 gms ( 1 can)
  3. Cardamom Powder – 1/4 tsp
  4. Saffron – 15 strands
  5. Milk – 1 tbsp (warm)
  6. Ghee – 4 tbsp + to apply on hand while rolling the peda

Instructions :-

  1. In a small glass, combine the warm milk and saffron strands and let it rest while we get on with the rest
  2. In a heavy bottom non stick pan, add ghee. Once the ghee has melted add the condensed milk
  3. Now using a spatula, mix the condensed milk and ghee well till you see bubbles begin to form on the side
  4. Then add in the milk powder and move quickly
  5. Mix well and continuously stir till there are no lumps left. Using the spatula, press down on all the lumps and give it a good mix
  6. Next add the saffron soaked in milk and the cardamom powder
  7. Give it a good mix
  8. Cook the mixture till you see that it begins to form a single big lump
  9. Then take it off the heat and set aside to cool
  10. Meanwhile grease a plate with ghee and apply some on your hands too
  11. Now slowly make small roundels with equal quantities of the mixture in the palm of your hand
  12. Set aside on the greased plate. This works well when the mixture is still warm and not too hot to touch
  13. Once you are done with all the pedas, make small indent with you finger or use a stamp to make an impression on the top of the peda and place pistachio slivers, saffron strands etc
  14. Your home made milkpowder pedas are ready!

Easy Gulab Jamun

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Hello My Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing? Today, I finally got my Diwali lights out on the balcony and my son was super excited! He ran out onto the balcony saying “Wooow..so pretty! “. He was in his PJs and his little eyes twinkled in the reflection from the fairy lights. Hey do you follow me on Instagram? Cause if you do, then you can see the live photos of what I describe here. Search for A cupcake for love and you will find me. I share most of my day meals or finds on my Instagram handle and I would love to hear from you.

So Diwali is a few days from now and I did make a few sweets but I have been procrastinating and not putting up the recipes on the blog. To make amends I am starting with my ‘easy peasy’ Gulab Jamun. Now as we go move along you will notice that most of my Diwali sweet recipes include Milk Powder. This is the lazy mum’s easy way to make home made sweets, satisfy sweet tooth’s, not spend too much time in the kitchen and also enjoy the holiday. So I am not saying these are authentic in anyway, but you know what, they taste just as good and they guarantee satisfaction 🙂

So here is the recipe for my Milk Powder Gulab Jamun

Ingredients for the sugar syrup –

  1. Sugar – 1 cup
  2. Water – 1 + 1/2 cup
  3. Cardamom Powder – 1/2 tsp
  4. Saffron – 8 – 10 strands

Instructions :-

  1. In a heavy bottom pan, combine water and sugar
  2. With the heat on medium, slowly mix the water and sugar till it dissolves
  3. Then add the cardamom and saffron
  4. Now bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the flame and let it simmer till the mixture begins to thicken (around 10 mins)
  5. Continue stirring till the sugar and water mixture thickens ( dip a ladle into the mixture and see it it coats the back in a nice thick layer )
  6. Set aside

Ingredients :-

  1. Milk Powder – 1 cup
  2. All purpose Flour/ Maida – 2 tbsp
  3. Baking Soda – 1/4 tsp
  4. Oil – for frying (depends on the vessel)
  5. Milk – 1/3 cup
  6. Butter – 1 tbsp (melted and cooled)

Instructions :-

  1. In a large bowl, combine milk powder, maida, baking soda and mix well
  2. Then add the melted butter and combine well with the flour
  3. Finally add little milk at a time and slowly knead the flour to form a nice ball ( may be a little sticky but that’s ok)
  4. Leave it to rest for 10 mins
  5. During that time heat a heavy bottom pan with oil on medium ( use enough to deep fry)
  6. Finally make tiny lemon size balls with the milk powder mixture and set aside
  7. Slowly fry these balls on medium till golden brown
  8. After you have fried them, drop it into the prepared sugar syrup ( its best if the sugar syrup is warm)
  9. Let it soak for an hour and they are ready!

Chettinad Milagu / Pepper Chicken

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Hello My Dear Wonderful Readers ,

So the festivities are just around the corner and I have tons of festive food recipes to share with you. But before that I would like to share this recipe. If you are the kind of person who loves rotti and chicken or plain rice and chicken, then this is the dish for you. Pepper chicken has been adapted to suit every taste bud around India. Infact every region has its own version of a pepper chicken. This recipe is from the chettinad region of India. Now the chettiyars are a class of people that loved money and had a fine eye for architecture. But personally I think their greatest contribution is their cuisine!  Every single dish has a distinct taste and unique flavour that keeps you coming back to it ever so often. This is one such dish. Traditionally, you would require a “arakal” to make this spice mixture but a mortar and pestle or even a blender would do the job. Another important aspect of this style of cooking is the fact that whole spices are used in the recipe and not the powder, this helps to enhance the pungency of the spices. Ok I have said enough about the dish. Here is the recipe. Do try it out and I promise that you will not be dissapointed!

 

 Ingredients :-
1. Pepper Corns – 2 tbsp
2.Cumin Seeds -2 tsp
3. Fennel Seeds – 2 tsp
4. Dry Red Chillies – 6
5. Ginger – 1
6. Garlic – 1+ 1/2
7. Coriander Seeds – 2 tbsp
8. Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp

Instructions :
 1. In a khadai, dry roast the above ingredients (except the turmeric powder, ginger and garlic). Take care not to burn the spices
2.Then in a mortar add the spice and the other ingredients and grind to a fine paste. Use 1 tbsp of water if required

Set Aside

 Ingredients :-
1. Chicken – 1 kg
2. Vegetable Oil – 1/2 cup
3. Cardamom – 5
4. Onions – 1 + 1/2 cup finelly chopped
5. Tomato Puree – 1 cup
6. Salt – to taste
7. Water – 2/3 cup

Instructions :-
1. In the same Kadai, heat oil. Once the oil is hot, add cinnamon, cardamom and onions. Mix well and let the onions fry till golden brown
2. Then add the tomato puree. Mix well to combine. Then add the ground up spices (above) and mix well. Cook on medium flame till the oil seperates from the mixture
3.  Then add the chicken into the masala mixture. Let it come to a boil. Then lower the heat, add 2/3 cup of water and cover and cook for 20 mins on low
4. After 20 mins, open the cover and crank up the heat and cook till all the water has evporated and the masala coats the chicken.
5. Your Chettinad pepper chicken is ready! Serve with hot rice or flaky malabar parathas!

Adapted from The Bangala Table

Pumpkin Oat Smoothie – Fall inspired goodness

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My Dear Wonderful Readers

So we are finally settling in and most of my stuff are on the walls and inside the wardrobe and guess what? I am still out of space! LOL All the while I am thinking how did I store all this junk at the old place. Have you felt the same way too?

So I was online scrolling through my instagram account and I found that pumpkin is the thing every body wants to cook with. So i decided to join the fun and start off with a simple smoothie. This one is a no brainer and it really is a mixture of everything I would have on a daily basis just that instead of apples or other fruits I just added pumpkin puree. Now making the puree was actually really easy. It helps if you make a large batch and use whenever you need it. Not just in smoothies but in many more recipes. I will share those with you soon. But for now here is a fall inspired pumpkin smoothie.

 

Ingredients :-

  1. Pumpkin puree – 2 cups (scroll down for recipe)
  2.  Oats – 2 cups
  3. Milk –  1/2 ltr ( or as much as you want)
  4. Coconut / Palm Sugar – 1 tbsp
  5. Cinnamon Powder – 1 tsp
  6. Nutmeg – 1/2 tsp
  7. Banana – 2 (ripe)
  8. Almond flakes and chia seeds – just for the topping

Instructions :-

  1. In the bowl of your blender, add the pumpkin puree, oats, palm sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg powder and bananas
  2. Turn you blender on and add as much milk as required
  3. Add in accordance to the consistency that you like
  4. Finally pour the smoothie into your glass and top with chia seeds and almond flakes

 

To make the pumpkin puree :-

  1. First wash and  cut a medium sized pumpkin into 4 equal halves
  2. Then scoop out the seeds and innards of the pumpkin
  3. Bring a pot of water up to boil and slowly immerse the cut pumpkin into the water
  4. Boil for 10 – 15 ( depends on the size and ripeness) mins till the pumpkin is soft and tender ( use a spoon to pierce through the pumpkin to see if its done)
  5. Turn the heat off and drain the water from the pumpkin
  6. Let the it cool and then scoop out the flesh leaving only the skin
  7. Drain excess water by keeping all the flesh in a strainer and letting the water drain out completely
  8. Store in a clean container in the fridge till ready to use. I usually use it in a day or two.

Dosa – Crisp rice batter crepes

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Hello My Dear wonderful readers!!

How are you all doing today? Its a long weekend and we have been having the best time ever! The new house is shaping up and I am down to my final two boxes to unpack! yay.  Before we moved here, I would save up the carboard boxes of the new gadgets and electronics we would buy and my reason was quite simply, “cause it will come handy when we move”. But for the first time in my life I am saying “hey throw it, we are not going any where, are we?” . The sheer happiness of buying your own place and making it home. I still haven’t figured where I want all my paintings and photos to go up on the walls but hey, that is the fun part right? setting up your own place and doing it up the way you like it and not worrying about what your house owner would say 😛

The best part about the new place is the fact that my kitchen now has lots more counter space. That means, more space for making bread. lol!! My earlier kitchen was always a choice. There where decisions made every time a dish was made. But now I absolutely love it here
That brings me to my recipe. I always loved making dosa and idilis for breakfast. They are super easy to make and the boys love hot crisp dosas with ghee or cheese early morning. So this time I decided to share my mums dosa batter recipe and methods with you. 

Ingredients :-

1. Par Boiled Rice – 1 cup
2. Regular Rice -3 cups
3. Split Black Gram – 1 cup
4. Methi / Fenugreek Seeds –  2 tsp
5. Salt – according to taste
6. Water – as given in instructions

Instructions to make the Batter

1. First the rice – Mix both kinds of rice and the fenugreek seeds. Wash in running water till the water runs clear. ( first it will be milky white, but 3 – 4 good washes will give you nice clean rice with no mucky white water)
2. Second the Split Black Gram – Wash the dal the same way as the rice till the water runs clear
3. Soak – Soak the rice with 3 and 1/2 cups of water
4. In another bowl, soak the split black gram in 1 cup of water
5.  Let them soak for 6 – 8 hours ( usually this is done on a sunday early morning so by evening it is ready for the next step
6. After soaking, grind the rice and the gram separately. You could use a food processor too but you want to make sure that the batter is nice and fine
7.  Finally once you have both the rice and the gram in a batter , combine the two in a big container ( make sure that the container is only 60% full once you have poured both the rice and the gram batter. Give the batter a quick mix and set aside to ferment
8. Now typically this step is done over night. But do give it atleast 10 hours in a warm place. I have seen that if the temperature is above 25C the batter ferments faster and the batter is much better
9.  After the given time your batter is ready! Add salt just before you start making your dosas 

 Instructions to make the dosa 

1.  First grease your pan / tava / griddle with coconut oil lightly . Then spoon some of the batter onto the centre of your pan.  Make sure you use a nice long spoon with a round base that will help spreading the batter evenly around the pan

2. So after pouring the batter in the centre of the pan using the back side of the spoon, push the batter outwards in a circular motion. ( Do Check out my INSTAGRAM Account for a quick video on how to do this part)

3. After the batter is evenly spread, add a few drops of coconut oil around the dosa and wait till you see the edge and the thin sides, turn brown. That is when you have to turn the dosa over.

4. Once the other side is done too, you are ready to serve!

Serve with hot sambar, coconut or peanut chutney or with chutney powder (locally known as podi)!  

 

Dark Chocolate covered Chocolate Cookie hearts

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Hello my dear wonderful readers!!

Its been so long and there has been so much happening, I do not know where to begin! We finally moved to our own place and I am so excited cause there is so much sun light and space in the form of big balconies! lol. So to start our sweet journey at the new place, I decided to make these simple yet decadent cookies. Hey you know what I discovered, if you want to get rid of the smell of paint in a new place, all you need to do is bake some thing nice! I made these cookies and the paint smell reduced considerably. The next day I made some biryani and that sealed the deal.  hahahahaha…

These cookies are super easy to make and are perfect if you want to make chocolate cut out cookies.

Ingredients :-
1. Flour – 2 cup
2. Baking Powder  – 1/4 tsp
3. Cocoa Powder – 4 tbsp
4. Demerara Sugar – 1 cup
5. Butter – 100 gms
6. Milk – 4 tbsp
7. Salt – one pinch

 Instructions :-

1. Pre Heat your oven to 180 C – Using your baking paper or silpat mat, line your cookie baking tray
2. In a bowl combine butter and sugar. Beat well for 2 – 3 mins
3. Then add the baking powder, salt, flour, cocoa powder. Then slowly add the milk to flour mixture. Use a wooden spoon and once the dough comes together use your hands and bring it all together
4. Finally you will reach a nice thick doughy consistency
5. Lay a baking paper over your kitchen counter and place the cocoa dough in the centre
6. Then place another piece of paper over the dough ( the same size as the paper underneath (40 cm x 40cm)
7. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a nice thin size
8. Then remove the paper over the dough and using the cookie cutter, cut out the desired shape
9. Slowly place the cookies over the prepared baking sheet. These cookies do not expand so its ok to not leave too much space between the cookies 
10. Bake for 20 – 25 mins ( do not wait for the cookies to turn dark brown)
11. Once they are ready , place them on a cooling rack and they are ready for their dressing 🙂

For the glaze
1. Micro wave, 50 gms of dark chocolate in spurts of 30 seconds each. Make sure to put out the bowl every 30 seconds and mix with a spatula. This will help prevent the chocolate from burning
2. Dip the cooled chocolate cookies in the melted chocolate and place over a wire rack to let the excess drip down
3. Sprinkle with your favorite kind of topping / sprinkle!!