Dates, Peanut & Sesame Seeds Laddu

Dates-Peanut-Sesameseeds-Laddu-1
It is weekend and I planned to surprise my kid by cooking simple kid friendly recipes and engage her in other house help activities. My kid always loves to help me in baking and this time she helped me in mixing and rolling of these tiny laddus.

This laddu just uses three ingredients. All I did was just roasting the sesame seeds and groundnuts. Rest of the steps were taken care by my little madam and she was more interested in eating as she was helping me.

This laddu perfectly fit for a kid's snackbox and good way of gaining the health benefits from dates, Peanut and Sesame or till seeds.
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Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 15 Amla Size Laddus

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Here is the recipe video of the same. Please view and make sure to comment and subscribe it. Thank you!


Ingredients:

Dates – 25 numbers or 1 heaped cup
Peanuts – ½ cup
Til / Sesame seeds – ½ cup

Method:

1) Remove seeds from dates and mash well. If the dates are soft, the job is easy, otherwise just grind it in using a mixie for a second.
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2) Roast the peanuts, allow it to cool down. Later peel its skin. Later grind it to a coarse powder in a mixie.
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3) Roast the sesame seeds till nice aroma comes from it. Cool down.
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4) In a wide bowl, mix mashed dates, powdered peanuts and sesame seeds.
5) Mix it well using your hands and make equal size balls. The given quantity can make almost 15 Amla size balls.
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6) Store it in a dry, clean container. It will stay good in a room temperature for a week.
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Notes:

1) If the laddu is not binding, feel free to add some more dates to it.
2) No need to add sugar. If you need some extra sweetness, add some honey to it.

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Kalakkai Pickle / Karonda Pickle / Bengal Currant Pickle

Kalakkai-pickle-recipe
I grew up eating this kalakkai as my school time snack with salt and red chilli powder. Even now, the thought about itself, salivates me.

It has got a kind of very sour taste which looks green in colour when it is not ripe and reddish black in colour when it is ripe. It can be simply eaten with salt and red chilli or you can make other recipes like pickle, Dal and chutney. It has small seeds in it. The seeds can be removed or we can use it without removing the seeds for preparing this pickle. But for cooking other recipes, the seeds have to be removed. I used it without removing the seeds as it helps to maintain the composure of this fruit. The procedure for making the pickle is same for both the cases.

Generally it is available from August to October every year in Tamil Nadu. In and around the surrounding villages of my native, it is also used as as a guard or fence in the farms to protect other plants, vegetables and crops from cows and goats from being grazed.
Kalakkai-pickle-recipe
Basic Information:

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time:15 minutes
Makes: 1 cup

Karonda-pickle-recipe

Ingredients:

Kalakkai / Karonda / Bengal Currant / Christ's Thorn Fruit - 1 cup
Dry Red chilli - 10 to 15, based on the spice level
Fenugreek - 1/4 tsp
Gingelly Oil - 1/4 cup
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tablespoon
Curry leaves - 1 spring
Asafoetida - a big pinch
Salt - to taste

Method:

1) Wash the Kalakkai well and remove the stem if any.
2) Wipe it using the kitchen towel.
How-to-make-kalakkai-pickle-step1
3) Take a thick bottom kadai and dry roast the fenugreek and dry red chillies one by one. Make sure not to burn any.
How-to-make-kalakkai-pickle-step2
4) Cool the roasted ingredients to room temperature and make a fine powder using a dry mixer. Keep it aside.
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5) To the same kadai, add gingelly oil. When it is hot and not smoking, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter.
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6)  Add curry leaves and let it become crisp.
7) Add the kalakkai to the kadai and mix it well. Let it cook in the medium flame.
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8) Once it becomes soft, add the powdered masala, salt and asafoetida. Mix well.
How-to-make-kalakkai-pickle-step6
9) In a very low flame, continue mixing the pickle for few minutes and turn off the flame.
10) Cool down to room temperature before storing in air tight container.
Bengal-currant-pickle-recipe
Note:

1) If you are using it with seed, discard the seeds while eating it.
2) The colour of pickle depends on the dry red chilli you use.
3) Instead of freshly grinding the spices, you can also use ready made red chilli powder and fenugreek seeds powder.

Maravalli Kizhangu Vadai / Tapioca Vada / Kappa Vadai

Maravalli-Kizhangu-Vadai-1
Tapioca is an addiction from my childhood days. I simply love to eat the boiled one with kara chutney. Once in a while, I make other dishes like chips, dosa, stir fry or vadai.

Today's Chennai weather demanded something hot to go with my usual evening ginger chai. so, without the further thinking, I prepared this quick vada. It doesn't need soaking of any dal and it can be prepared instantly.

Except the grating or chopping part, this vadai can be prepared in a jiffy.

Kappa-Vadai

Basic Information:

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 17-20 small vadais
Tapioca-Vada
Ingredients:

Kappa / Tapioca / Maravalli Kilangu - 2 medium size
Rice flour - 1/2 heaped cup
Onion - 1 medium size
Green chilli - 2, finely chopped
Ginger - 1/2 teaspoon, finely chopped
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 2 tablespoons, finely chopped
Coriander leaves - 2 tablespoons, finely chopped
Salt - to taste

Method:

1) Wash and peel the skin of the tapioca.
2) Chop it into small cubes or grate it. I had a tender tapioca and chopped it. If you find difficult to chop, grate it using grater.
How-to-make-kappa-vadai-Step1
3) Grind it without adding water.
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4) Transfer the ground tapioca to the mixing bowl. Add rice flour to it.
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5) Add finely chopped onion, green chilli, ginger, cumin seeds, curry leaves, coriander leaves and salt.
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6) Mix well and make a dough.
7) Divide into a big amla size ball and then pat it according to your preference. I pat it like the urad dal vada.
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8) Deep fry it in the oil until it turns golden brown.
9) Once done, drain the excess oil and transfer to a plate.
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10) Serve hot with your favorite chutney.

Kappa-Kizhangu-Vadai
Notes:
1) After Grinding, based on the how wet the tapioca is, increase or decrease the rice flour quantity.
2) Make sure to serve the vada immediately. Once it cools down, it becomes rubbery.

Banana Stem Mor Kootu / Vazhaithandu Mor Kootu

Banana-Stem-Mor-Kootu-1
Plantain Stem Mor kootu or Vazhaithandu Mor kootu is one of the easiest dish to prepare. I prepare this often to go with any spicy south Indian gravies or variety rice.

The fresh tender banana stem does not quickly turn brown and I generally use to make dishes immediately after buying and don't intend to refrigerate it. The cleaning process takes little time but every effort is worth due to the enormous health benefit it carries.

Now off to the recipe with step by step pictures.
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Basic Information:

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes
Servers: 4
Banana-Stem-Mor-Kootu-3
Ingredients:

Coconut oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 1 spring
dry red chilli - 1
Banana stem / Vazhai thandu - 1
Salt - to taste
Coconut - 1/3 cup
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Green chilli - 1
Roasted channa dal - 1 teaspoon
Curd - 1/2 cup
Butter millk - 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup
Method:

1) Take a wide bowl and fill it to half with water and dilute the buttermilk in it.
2) Clean and remove the outer cover of the banana stem. You need to use the core part for cooking. Slice the core stem in round discs and again cut them into small parts. Remove the fiber that comes while chopping.
Banana-Stem-Mor-Kootu-Step1
3) Add these chopped pieces into the buttermilk diluted water to prevent it from discolouration or browning.
4) Dip a steel or wooden skewer in to the vessel where you kept the chopped banana stem and swirl it for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, take the skewer out and if you see any fiber then slowly remove these fibers. Repeat the swirling step until you don't see any fiber.
Banana-Stem-Mor-Kootu-Step2
5) Heat oil in a pan. When it is hot, add mustard seeds and dry red chilli. Allow it to sizzle. Add curry leaves. Saute it for few seconds.
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6) Simmer the flame and drain the water from chopped banana stem and add it to the pan along with salt. No need to add water. The moisture in the banana stem is enough. Simmer and close the pan using a lid and cook it.
Banana-Stem-Mor-Kootu-Step4
7) While it is cooking, grind the coconut, cumin seeds, green chilli and roasted channa dal and make a paste.
8) Once the banana stem is almost cooked, add this ground paste to it. Use 1/2 cup or required water to rinse the mixie and pour it to the pan. Mix Well.
Banana-Stem-Mor-Kootu-Step5
9) Allow it to boil until the required consistency reached and turn the flame off.
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10) Pour the beaten curd now and mix well.
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11) Mix well one more time and server hot.
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Notes:

1) The gravy becomes thick while cooling down so turn off the flame when the kootu is little watery.
2) Instead of roasted channa dal, rice flour can also be used as thickening agent.
3) The tender and fresh banana stem stays fresh without discoloration which ideally fit for this kootu recipe. If the banana stem turns brown so quickly, then add a pinch of turmeric powder for improving the appeal of the recipe.

Spring Onion Paratha / Hara Pyaaz Paratha

Spring-Onion-Paratha-1

I had a big bunch of Spring onion sitting in my refrigerator after a food photo shoot. There are many ways to use Spring Onion in your daily recipes and Paratha is one among them. I use it along with other ingredients as stuffing or sometimes I just mix it with flour and roll it as parathas.

In place of Spring onion, scallion or Green onions can also be used. Spring onion has a white bulge at its bottom whereas scallion or green onion doesn't have such an appearance. Spring onion's green part has more flavors compared to scallion or green onion. Except this there isn't much difference between both.

Now we will see how to make Spring onion paratha step-by-step.

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Basic Information:

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 7 parathas

Spring-Onion-Paratha-3

Ingredients:

Wheat Flour / Atta - 1 cup + for dusting
Spring onion / Scallion / Green onion - 1/2 heaped cup
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Water - little less than 1/2 cup or as required
Oil - as required

Method:

1) Chop the green part of the spring onion finely using knife or scissors.
how-to-make-spring-onion-paratha-1
2) In a mixing bowl, mix wheat flour, chopped spring onion, red chilli powder, Cumin seeds, turmeric powder and salt.
how-to-make-spring-onion-paratha-2
3) Mix everything using a hand.
4) Slowly add water and make a smooth dough.
how-to-make-spring-onion-paratha-3
5) Towards the end, add a teaspoon of oil and knead few more minutes.
how-to-make-spring-onion-paratha-4
6) Divide the dough into 7 equal parts.
7) Roll into a circular disc with the help of Wheat flour.
how-to-make-spring-onion-paratha-5
8) Heat tawa and when it is hot enough, place the paratha on it.
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9) When the colour of paratha changes, turn it to other side and smear oil. Flip it again and cook it completely on both the sides.
how-to-make-spring-onion-paratha-7
10) Server hot with curd and pickle.
Spring-Onion-Paratha-4

Notes:

1) Keep covered until you serve the paratha.
2) You may also rest the dough for 10 to 15 minutes before rolling into parathas.
3) You may also add the bottom white part of spring onion but make sure to chop it in a very fine manner before adding into dough.

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