Sunday, October 25, 2009

Diwali Savouries 2 - Omapodi

This diwali treat is very, very addictive. Like a popular ad says, no one can eat just one.......

What you need:
Besan - 3 cups
Rice flour - 1 cup
Omam/ajwain - 1/4 cup
Oil - enough to deep fry

Soak omam in just enough water to cover it for 20 minutes. Grind this in a mixie and extract the thick juice. Repeat this process 4-5 times and keep the juice aside.
Sift together the besan and rice flour. Add butter and mix well until you get a crumbly mixture which holds its shape when pressed in your hands. Mix in the omam extract, salt and water if necessary and knead to a smooth dough.
Take a little bit of dough in your murukku maker. The mould/achu to be used is the one with lots of tiny holes. Press directly on to hot oil to make a large, circular shape. When both sides are golden brown, drain excess oil and remove on to absorbent paper.
When cool, store in an airtight container.

This is my second entry to Purva's Diwali Dhamaka.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Diwali savouries 1 - thenkozhal

This Diwali, the little girl tried her hand at lighting sparklers and flower pots, while the mother tried her hand at several savouries and sweets. To read more about how the little girl's Diwali was, click here. To see what I made, scroll down.......

To make thenkozhal, you need:
Rice flour - 3 cups
Urad flour - 1/2 cup
Sesame seeds - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tbsp
Oil - enough for deep frying

Bring butter to room temperature. Mix it well with the flours . Start with about a tsp of butter and then add more butter if needed. When enough butter is added, you will have a crumbly mixture that holds its shape when gathered together and pressed with your hands.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix into a smooth, pliable dough.
You need a murukku press to make thenkozhal. The achu to be used is the one with three holes or five holes. Take a little dough in the press and squeeze out directly into hot oil. Alternately, you can squeeze out a few murukkus on to a newspaper or absorbent paper and then put these into hot oil. Depending on the vessel used and the quantity used, you can fry 4-8 murukkus at a time. When both sides turn golden brown, drain excess oil, and remove on to a kitchen tissue. When completely cooled, store in an airtight container.
This goes to Purva's Diwali Dhamaka.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hyderabadi cauliflower

Diwali is just around the corner and Chennai streets, as is usual during this time of the year, are teeming with people who are shopping for new clothes, crackers and sweets. It is also the time of year when everyone starting from the watchman to the milkman and the maid stand around after they've done their work, scratch their head and smile sheepishly.......all indications of the fact that they expect you to give them a little "something". The maid asking for some money is understandable but what I don't get is why postmen (it has been ages since I went to the post office or received snail mail) and corporation workers (that's the biggest oxymoron ever........have you ever seen them work???) drop by and expect me to shell out the sums that they ask.
Oh....well.....I suppose that's the way things always are.....there are always little irritants that you have to deal with.
On to food now......
I've said in some of my previous posts that there's a cookery show that I watch every week on Jaya TV. All the recipes shown are very, very doable and turn out really well. The recipe for this curry is from that show and despite the long list of ingredients, once you get started, it is quite easy to make and flavourful.

What you need:
A medium sized cauliflower separated into florets
Oil - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Onion - 1 large, ground into a fine paste
Tomato - 3, pureed
Ginger paste - 1 tsp
Thick curd - 1/2 cup
Red chilli powder
Amchur powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Cashew - 1/4 cup, ground into a fine paste

Add salt and boil cauliflower for a few minutes. Drain excess water.
Heat some oil and fry the boiled cauliflower until lightly browned. Arrange this on your serving dish and set aside.

To make the gravy:
Heat some oil. Add cumin seeds. When it sputters, add onion paste and fry well on a low flame. Then add ginger paste and fry for a few minutes. Stir in the tomato puree and fry until the raw smell goes away and most of the moisture evaporates. Add half a cup of thick curd and mix well. Heat on a low flame until oil separates from the gravy. This will take 7-8 minutes. Add red chilli powder, amchur, and garam masala. Add cashew paste. Heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly and taking care to see that it doesn't get burnt. Add salt, and enough water to make a thick gravy. Let it boil for 5-10 minutes until thick. Pour this gravy over the cooked cauliflower. Garnish with corriander or spring onion leaves.