Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Carrot Halwa(Gajar Ka Halwa)

First of all Merry Christmas to all of you!!!Once winter season starts, I am quite happy for two reasons: one chennai's weather is tolerable and cool only in winter and the second:all my favorite vegetables are fresh for the season and floods the market .Carrot Halwa is very easy to make and is liked by everyone .It is also one of my favorite dessert for any house party or potluck. I have tried carrot halwa with condensed milk,evaporated milk(or milk powder),double cream as well as with unsweetened khoya but the recipe given here is the most classic one which uses just milk,sugar and ghee,which are readily available at home any time.Soon I will post the variations of this carrot halwa in my future posts.

Preparation time:20 minutes


Grated Carrot-2 cups
Milk-1 and 1/2 cups
Sugar-1/2 cup
Ghee-4 tbsp or more if you like
Sliced cashews and almonds-2 tbsp
Raisins-1 tbsp
Cardamom powder-2 tsp


1.Heat a wok and add the grated carrot ( I used my chopper to cut my carrots very finely) and milk and allow it to cook on low flame.

2.Meanwhile in another wok, heat the ghee and fry all the dry fruits and nuts till they are golden brown and then switch off the flame.

3.Once all the milk had evaporated from the carrot mixture add the sugar and mix well till it thickens.Then add the cardamom powder.switch off the flame.

4.Add the ghee and dry fruit and nut mixture to the Carrot Halwa and serve hot or cold as you like.


*If you are using condensed milk then boil carrot in 1 cup of milk and add 1/2 cup of condensed milk.As condensed milk has sugar you can reduce sugar to 1/4th cup or lesser.
*I added less ghee but you can add more if you wish.
*Carrot Halwa stays fresh for a day and when stored in refrigerator can hold good for 2 days as it contains milk. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Gobi Manchurian Dry(Crispy Cauliflower Florets in a mildly hot sauce)

The moment my family lands in a restaurant the first dish to order will be gobi manchurian dry or chilli gobi.My son loves it too.The spicy sauce on the outside with a crispy cauliflower core is something I relish a lot.I like my gobi manchurian to be spicy but as my kid likes it and does not like very spicy stuff I made it less spicy. Once I went to a resort and had gobi manchurian dry and even after an hour the gobi manchurian remained crispy coated with the sauce and as usual I was curious to know the method and got to know from the chef that it was first fried in a oil at a lower temperature and then after some time again it is fried for a second time in the oil  at a higher temperature.Thus frying twice gives this cauliflower a crispy texture for long time i.e. even after it cools down or sauteed in sauce.(But I fried once as we were ready to eat immediately after it is prepared.)


For Gobi 65/frying the cauliflower florets:

Cauliflower-500 gms
Corn flour-1/4 cup
Rice flour -1/4 cup
All purpose flour/Maida-1/4 cup
Salt-to taste
Pepper powder-1 tsp
Chilli powder-1/2 tsp(optional)
Oil-to deep fry

For the sauce:

Oil-2 tbsp
Chopped onion-1 no
Chopped capsicum-1 small no
Chopped garlic-7 pods
Finely chopped spring onion-1/4 cup
Green chillies-3 no(adjust according to your need)
Vinegar-1 tbsp
Tomato Ketchup-3 tbsp
Soy sauce-2 tbsp


Gobi 65/Crispy Cauliflower florets:

1.Clean the cauliflower and soak them in hot water with salt to remove worms if any.Then drain the cauliflower and place them in a bowl.Add all the other dry ingredients for frying the cauliflower and mix them well so that the flours coat the cauliflower uniformly.If necessary add little water but not too much.

2.Heat oil in a wok and deep fry the cauliflower at a medium heat until they turn golden brown on outside and cooked inside.Drain them on a kitchen paper towel.

For the sauce:

3.Grind green chillies along with vinegar to a fine paste.Keep all the vegetables ready for the sauce.

4.Heat oil in a pan and add the finely chopped garlic.Once they are sauteed add the chopped onion and fry them till they are transparent.

5.Once the onion is done add the chopped capsicum and suate for 2 mins.Then add the tomato sauce,chilli-vinegar paste and soy sauce to it.

6.After a minute add the deep fried cauliflower florets to this sauce and saute them on high flame.Mix well and then add the chopped spring onions and switch off the flame.

7.Serve hot as a starter or as a side course with fried rice or noodles.


*I ran out of soy sauce and the nearby shops didn't have so went ahead with out it.But adding soy sauce is essential for an enhanced flavour and taste.
*I deep fried the cauliflower only once as we were about to eat as soon as it was prepared.But as said above you can deep fry twice for a longer crispy texture.
*Do not discard the shallots that come along with the spring onion.Chop them and use it along with the onions for the sauce.
*The sauce has to be prepared in high flame as done for other Chinese dishes.
*I omitted food colour,but if you wish you can add it to the flours before deep frying the cauliflower.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Aloo Channa Masala(Potato chickpeas curry)

Aloo channa masala is always a hit in my house because potatoes and chickpeas goes well with each is packed with complex carbohydrates and proteins and keeps you full for a longer time. Also whenever I run out of vegetables ,this dish comes handy.I generally make this gravy with black channa or chickpeas and this Aloo channa masala goes well with chappathi or Dosa. My hubby likes it with hot plain rice also.Kids will love it and moms too will love as it is packed with goodness for health.

I generally store all my lentils in the freezer so that they remain fresh and also there is no insect problem when it is stored in freezer. This also gives me an advantage of the reduced soaking time of all the lentils in general.for this curry I soaked the black chick peas for about 4 hours after taking it from the freezer and soaking it immediately in room temperature water .

Ingredients :

Black Chick peas/black channa -50 gms
Potatoes-3 medium sized no
Chopped onion-1 no
Chopped tomatoes-2 no
Garlic garlic paste-2 tsp(or date made from 7 pods of garlic and 1 1/2 inch of ginger
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Chilli powder -1 tsp
Coriander powder-1 tsp
Jeera/cumin powder-1/2 tsp
Chole masala/garam masala-1 tsp
Salt- to taste
Oil-2 tbsp
Coriander leaves - to garnish 

To be grind to a fine paste:
Poppy seeds-1 tbsp
Grated coconut-3 tbsp
Saunf/fennel seeds-1/2 tsp(optional)

To temper:
Cinnamon-2 small sticks
Cardamom- 2


1.Pressure cook the potatoes and chickpeas till they are soft.

2.Soak the poppy seeds for a minimum of half an hour in hot water.

3.Heat oil in  a pan and add the tempering ingredients.after a minute add the finely chopped onions and saute till they turn transparent.

4.Add turmeric powder and salt to the onions and add the ginger garlic paste.

5.Once the raw smell of ginger garlic paste is gone add the chopped tomatoes,chilli powder,jeera powder and coriander powder .

6.After the tomatoes and powders are roasted well add the boiled potatoes and chickpeas along with the water in which it was boiled.

7.Let the mixture boil for another 5 mins and then add the ground poppy seed paste and chole masala (or garam masala).

8.After a minute of heating switch off the flame and garnish it with freshly chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with chappathi or any Indian flat bread of your choice.


*you can also use white chickpeas.
*Along with the coconut,poppy seeds you can also add few cashews for a richer taste.
*The Chickpeas should be cooked till they are very soft but not mashed.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Inji Thogaiyal(Ginger Chutney)

Inji thogaiyal or Ginger chutney is one of my favorites.Everytime my mom makes I make sure I get a bigger portion of the Ginger chutney than everybody else because its spicy,tangy and ends with a mild sweet note. Ginger is very good for health and aids in digestion and even cures cold .It is essential to add ginger in our meal plan and is perfect for winter when there is a high possibility of catching cold.In our house we make Inji thogaiyal either as a sidedish for Andhra Pesarattu(green lentil dosa) or for rice along with coriander and small onion porichakootu.

Preparation time:20 mins


Ginger -100 gms
Red chillies-1 or 2
Tamarind -one small gooseberry size
Toor dal/pigeon peas-1 tbsp
Urad dal/de skinned black lentil-1tbsp
Curry leaves-10 leaves
Hing/asafetida-1 tsp
Grated coconut-5 tbsp
Jaggery-2 tsp
Salt-to taste
Oil-1 tsp

Procedure :

1.Dry roast Toor dal,Urad dal,tamarind and red chillies till the dals turn light golden brown.

2.Then add a tsp of oil to these dal and add the chopped ginger and curry leaves .Saute till the ginger gets roasted well.

3.Once the ginger is done ,switch off the heat and add the coconut .Once all the ingredients cool down add salt,jaggery and asafoetida to this mixture and grind coarsely in a mixer.

4.Serve with green lentil Dosa or with plain rice and coriander small onion porichakootu or any kootu of your choice.


*Roasting ginger well in oil (low flame)is necessary otherwise the raw spice was of ginger will be there in the chutney.
*You can roast dals and ginger separately if you wish.
* For thogaiyal, bring coarsely and if you want to serve with dosa as a chutney then grind finely.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sweet Appam /Nei Appam

I have never made sweet appam before even though my mom always make it for a lot of festivals.Last week I went for a family function on my father's side and happened to taste the most delicious sweet appam prepared by one of my aunt named Gomathi.The taste lingered in my mouth even after I returned home and I called my aunt to get the recipe and voila !here goes the recipe of the delicious sweet appam for this karthigai!!!!

I made these sweet appams in paniyaram pan so they take up less calories but you can deep fry them for a even richer and lovely taste.

Preparation time :15 -20 mins
Makes:approximately 17 appams


Whole wheat flour-3/4 cup
Maida/All purpose flour-1/4 cup
Rice flour-1.5 tbsp
Jaggery-3/4 cup
Ripe banana-1 small no(optional )
Water -1 1/2 cup approximately
Cardamom powder-1 tsp
Ghee -for frying in paniyaram pan


1.Take all the flours in a bowl.dissolve the jaggery in water and heat it in low flame till it boils slightly.Then switch it off and strain it to remove any impurities in the jaggery.Add it to the flours and mix well.

2.Mash the banana and add it to the flour and jaggery mixture.

3.Mix well so that they are mixed well and form a smooth and thick batter like that of idli batter.Add the cardamom powder also.Allow the batter to stand for a minimum of 30 mins at least.

4.Heat ghee in a paniyaram pan and pour a ladle of the batter into it.Keep the flame in medium throughout.

5.Once it is done on one side flip it using a spoon or stick.Once both sides are cooked till golden brown and take them off from the heat and place it on a paper towel to drain excess ghee if any.

Soft on inside and lightly crisp on outside sweet appams are ready to be served.Celebrate this karthigai with these Nei appams /Sweet appams offered to the almighty!!!


*You can deep fry them in oil/ghee for a even crispier texture and rich taste.
* If you don't want to add all purpose flour or maida then replace it with whole wheat flour.
* Adding banana gives a soft texture to the sweet appam and is optional.
*Make sure you add only 3/4 th cup of jaggery for 1 cup of flour.if you add more jaggery then the appams might break when deep frying in oil.
* Add less rice flour as increase in its quantity leads to harder sweet appams.
*Keep flame to medium otherwise the appams will brown faster in high flame due to the addition of jaggery.
*The appams comes out well if you leave a standing time of 1 to 2 hours for the batter before pouring them on to the paniyaram pan.