Pakashastra

Pakashastra

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lauki Halwa / Bottle Gourd Halwa


Ingredients:

Bottle Gourd/Lauki, peeled and grated - 3 cups (lightly filled)
Whole Milk - 2 cups + 1 tbsp hot milk
Cardamom Powder - 1 tsp
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Ghee - 2 tbsps
Saffron Strands - 7 to 8
Cashew nuts - 1/8 cup
Raisins - 1/8 cup


Method:

  1. Soak saffron strands in 1 tbsp hot milk for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Take grated bottle gourd and milk in a pan. P
  3. Place the pan on flame, stirring occasionally. Make sure the pan is big enough as the milk might spill out while boiling. Cook it until all the milk solidifies. 
  4. Add sugar and cardamom powder. As the sugar melts, the mixture will get watery and eventually solidify.
  5. When the sugar solidifies, the liquid content in the mixture will reduce and will start coming together to form a lump.
  6.  Now add ghee, saffron milk, cashew nuts and raisins.Start stirring continuously until it forms a lump and turn off the heat.
  7. Serve hot. This can be stored for 2-3 days, if stored in air tight container once cooled to room temperature.



Thursday, April 10, 2014

Khara Sev



Ingredients:

Chickpea Flour/Besan - 2 cups
Red Chilli Powder - 2 tsps (adjust according to taste)
Caraway/Carom Seeds/Ajwain - 1 tsp (optional, I have not used)
Salt to taste

Oil for deep frying




Method:

  1. Pound ajwain, if using. Or you can directly use.
  2. Take 1/2 cup water in a mixing bowl, add salt and red chilli powder.
  3. Heat oil in a pan/wok for frying.
  4. Fold in chickpea flour. Knead using water as required to get a stiff dough.
  5. Take a murukku press with a dis with fine holes.
  6. Fill the murukku press with little dough.
  7. When the oil is hot enough(below smoking point), set the flame to medium and press the handles of the murukku press in a circularly on oil.
  8. When sev is slightly brown, carefully flip the side and fry until slightly brown. Browning happens very quickly. 
  9. Remove sev from oil and place on a kitchen tissue.
  10. Once cooled, serve and store the rest in air tight containers.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Haalittu Payasa



Ingredients:

Sona Masoori Raw Rice - 1 cup
Coconut Milk Extract - 1 litre
Jaggery, powdered - 1 1/2 cups
Cardamom Powder - 1 tsp
Rice Flour - 1 tbsp
Cashew nuts - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Ghee - 1 tsp for greasing

Murukku press with a disc with bigger holes
Steamer to cook (I used Idli steamer)

Method:

  1. Wash and soak rice in water for 1 hour.
  2. Grind the rice into smooth batter using the water used for soaking.
  3. Pour the batter into a thick bottomed pan, add enough water and salt to get into pouring consistency, like that of whole milk.
  4. Place the pan on high flame.
  5. Keep stirring the batter continuously until it forms a lump.
  6. Transfer this lump/dough onto a plate. 
  7. Take a murukku press and place the disc which has slightly bigger holes(the one shown in the pic) in the press.
  8. Take small portions of the prepared dough in the press and press it onto a greased plate of the steamer to get thick strands of noodles. Repeat this until 2/3rd the quantity of the dough is pressed or used up. 
  9. Make small marble sized balls with the remaining 1/3rd quantity of the dough. Grease your palms to help you make the balls with ease. Place them in a greased plate of streamer or in greased idli moulds.
  10. Steam cook for 20 minutes on high flame.
  11. Meanwhile, take powdered jaggery in a small pan, add 1/4 cup of water. Place it on flame until the jaggery melts.
  12. Strain the jaggery mixture to remove any residue.
  13. Transfer the jaggery mixture into a large pan.
  14. Add the steam cooked rice noodles and balls to the jaggery mixture. Boil it for 10 minutes on medium flame.
  15. Add cardamom powder.
  16. Now pour the coconut milk. Stir well to mix and bring it to a boil.
  17. Meanwhile, dilute rice flour in 3 tbsps of water and pour it into the boiling payasa.
  18. Continue to cook on medium flame for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid it from charring. The payasa will thicken now. Turn off the flame.
  19. Add cashew nuts.
  20. Serve hot. As it cools down, the consistency gets a little more thicker.
Note:

  1. The coconut milk extract must be thick, the first extract if preparing at home.
  2. Adjust the quantity of jaggery depending on taste and the sweetness of jaggery.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cornmeal Idli



Ingredients:

Cornmeal (coarse like semolina) - 3 cups
Black Gram/Urad Dal - 1 cup
Fenugreek Seeds - 1 1/2 tsps
Salt to taste

For Cooking:

Steamer with Idli molds
Ghee/Oil - a few tsps for greasing the molds.

Method:

  1. Wash and soak black gram and fenugreek seeds in water for 4-5 hours.
  2. Wash and soak cornmeal in water for 4-5 hours. Make sure the water level in the container used for soaking cornmeal is an inch above the level of cornmeal. Once you add water, mix thoroughly and set it aside.
  3. Discard the water used for soaking black gram and fenugreek seeds. Grind them with just enough quantity of fresh water - about a cup of water. Grind into a smooth batter.
  4. Add salt and grind it the batter for a minute more.
  5. Mix this batter with the soaked cornmeal. Beat the batter thoroughly until well combined.
  6. Allow the batter to ferment overnight or for atleast 7-8 hours. The batter will foam up and double in volume.
  7. Pour enough water in the steamer and set it on high flame.
  8. Grease the cavities of each mold with 2 drops of ghee or oil.
  9. Now lightly mix the batter to combine well. It is very important NOT to over mix the batter; doing so will release all the air captured during fermentation and make the idlis harder when cooked. Just 2-3 gentle stirs should be good enough.
  10. Pour the batter into the greased cavities.
  11. Place the molds in the steamer and cook for 25-30 minutes or depending on the size of your steamer, on medium-high flame.
  12. Turn off the flame and immediately, remove the lid of steamer to discard the vapors collected in the lid.
  13. Allow the mold to rest for 2-3 minutes.
  14. Unmold carefully and serve topped with ghee, with your choice of chutney and/or sambhar.