Thursday, November 3, 2016

Jalebi / Jhangri

While I may not be sweet-toothed, I am surrounded by many who are and times I too feel like treating my sweet taste budz. This diwali, I chose to make Jalebis - those yellow, thin, crispy ones. And then there are those Jangris - those orange, bit thicker, softer ones. 

Jalebis are made using all purpose flour, will have a slight tangy taste, and the flour is fermented overnight before preparation. Jangris are made using uradh dhal and fried gram dhal flour, and is neither tangy nor fermented.

Wonder why I started with mentioning both that's because my dish was a hybrid of both named as "JalJangebis" ;)

I used Uradh Dhal and rice flour - ideally output should have been jangri. But given the shape, color and crispiness it was like jalebis -- end of it all, this hybrid sweet "jaljangebis" was also a roaring success :)

Ingredients:

  • Uradh dal - 2 cups
  • Raw Rice - 1/4 cup
  • Sugar - 500 gms (as per your taste you can add or reduce this)
  • Oil - To Fry
  • Lemon yellow - 1/2 tspn food color (this will give the light yellowish orangish shade) 
  • Saffron - some use this 

Method

To make the flour:

  1. Soak uradh dal and raw rice for an hour. Grind both separately to a smooth batter till they become frothy. Consistency should be that of dosa flour
  2. Mix them and allow it to rest for 30 mts
To make the sugar syrup:
  1. In a non stick pan, add sugar and 1-1.5 cups of water. Cook it on medium flame
  2. Add 2 tspn of milk to remove any froth due to sugar (you can remove the froth as it floats up)
  3. The sugar syrup starts condensing and should be One String. Switch off the flame.
  4. Add a lemon wedge to retain the consistency of the sugar syrup and disable any crystalization later.
  5. Sugar Syrup should be left on the gas to retain the heat 
To make the jaljangebis / jangris:
  1. In a kadai, heat oil. You can test the readiness by dropping a small ball of the batter inside. It should pop up immediately.
  2. Fill the jalebi maker with the batter. Alternatively, you can use a cloth or a milk cover with a small hole on one of its corner and make them.
  3. Make the desired shape... jangris and jalebis differ in shape but whichever comes easier for you go for it
  4. Allow it to fry to golden brown on both sides by turning them
  5. Remove from fire ensuring no excess oil and dip it directly into the sugar syrup. Ensure sugar syrup is warm to hot when you dip it
  6. Allow it to stay each side for 1.5 mts and remove it to a vessel (overall 3 mts).
  7. As it cools down, you can pack it in air-tight container.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Pottukadalai / Gram Flour Muruku

Muruku, a very popular south indian snack, is the one that comes in various shapes, flavor, tastes and sizes. One of the most easily customizable snack it is.

Typically in mixtures, we find the famous 'oma podi' variety added. But, I chose to make Gram Flour muruku but as thin as oma podi.


Ingredients

  • Gram Flour / Pottukadalai maavu    - 3/4 cup (made out of fresh fried gram dhal /pottukadalai)
  • Rice Flour                                         - 1.5 cups (I used ready made rice flour)
  • Uradh dhal / muzhu uzhundu **      - 1/2 cup 
  • Cumin Seeds                                     - 1 tspn
  • Melted ghee / butter                          - 2 tbspn
  • Salt                                                    - to taste
  • Asafoetida/ Hing                              - a pinch
  • Oil                                                     - To fry
Method:
  1. In a kadai, dry fry uradh dhal to light brown color. Remove to a plate to cool
  2. In the same kadai, dry fry the gram dhal till golden color. Remove to a plate to cool
  3. Powder them separately and sieve them.
  4. Sieve the rice flour. 
  5. Mix all three flours together. To this, add salt and cumin, and the melted butter / ghee/ oil. Mix it well to ensure no lumps. Use water to knead it to a dough like you make for rotis (should be neither very hard nor watery)
  6. Cover it with a wet cloth and allow it to rest for 15 mts
  7. In a kadai, add oil and allow it to heat up. On a medium flame make the murukus. 
To make the muruku, we use muruku maker or the idiyapam maker. This comes with multiple plates with different types of holes, which will decide the thickness of the muruku when squeezed. Choose the plate based on the thickness you desire. For mixture, we will make them thinner.
 

NOTE: 
  • ** I used uradh dal this time but we can make this muruku without uradh dal. 
  • I made mixture in two batches. For one of it, I made muruku using besan / kadalai maavu. On the second day, I made this pottukadalai version as this is more healthier. 
  • Recipe courtesy are those blogs that I walk into, thanks to Google Search :) Tx to all those bloggers from whom I learn virtually. Ofcourse, I customize it to a great extent but still thanks for sharing your preparations.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Kaara Boondi

Kaara Boondi is one of those tempting snacks that you might end up munching more than intended! This diwali, I prepared this at home as an ingredient for South Indian Mixture (Click the link for mixture recipe)


Ingredients:

  • Besan / Gram Flour / Kadalai maavu    : 1 cup
  • Rice Flour / Arisi maavu                       : 1/2 cup
  • Baking Powder                                      : 1 tspn
  • Pepper or Red Chilli powder                 : 1-2 tspn
  • Salt                                                         : To taste
Note: I made this as an ingredient for Mixture. This can also be a standalone snack. If so, you can add fried cashew nuts, dried grapes, curry leaves etc.

Method:
  1. In a bowl, mix gram and rice flour with salt, red chilli / pepper powder and baking powder. Some add asafoetida as well. (sieve the flours if needed)
  2. To this mix, add 2 tbspn water and beat it well to make it a smooth dough with no lumps. Then add more water to get a pouring consistency (like dosa batter)
  3. In a kadai, heat oil for frying. As it heats up, using the a ladle with holes (as shown in the image), we will make the boondis. 
Ladle with holes

Hold the ladle with holes on top of the kadai, and add a serving spoon full of batter to it. Keep moving the ladle in a circular manner to ensure no lumps of boondis are formed. You can use the serving spoon to spread the batter on the ladle as you keep moving the ladle.

Remove the boondis as they turn golden yellow or slightly brown to a plate/vessel with tissue paper. This can be cooled and added for the mixture. If you plan to consume it as a snack, you will need to garnish it with fried cashew, dried grapes (optional), and curry leaves (fried and broken)

South Indian Mixture


Snacks is such an integral part of our life, ain't it? Varieties galore and each place in India comes with its own specialty dish.

This diwali was my maiden attempts at making these snacks. I began with making South Indian Mixture, Muruku, Boondi, and Jilebi.

 

With my test buddies keen to be tested, I began my attempts with Mixture first. As the name indicates, this is a snack which is an apt mix of different individual snack items.

Ingredients:
  1. Kaara Boondi - made separately                              -  1-1.5 cups
  2. Crushed Omapodi / muruku - made separately        - 1-2 cups (broken)
  3. Peanuts                                                                      - 1/4 cup
  4. Fried Gram Dhal                                                       - 1/4 cup
  5. Rice Flakes / Poha                                                    - 1/4 cup
  6. Cashew Nuts                                                             - 10
  7. Dried Grapes                                                             - 10
  8. Curry Leaves                                                             - handful
  9. Red Chilli Powder                                                    - 1 tspn
  10. Salt                                                                            - to taste (I added 1/4-1/2 tspn only)
  11. Hing                                                                           - 1/4 tspn 
  12. Oil                                                                              - To fry
  13. Ghee                                                                           - 1 tbspn (for flavor, optional)
Method:
  1. Make Kara Boondi and Oma podi / Muruku separately. Recipes for those are shared as separate posts.
  2. In a deep pan, add oil to deep-fry ingredients. As it heats up, begin with frying peanuts, fried gram dhal and rice flakes separately. Fry them till they become golden brown (peanuts will crack). Ensure none of it are over-fried / burned
  3. Following these three, fry cashwe and dried grapes
  4. Finally, add the curry leaves 
  5. In a large vessel, add salt, chilli powder, and hing. To this, add all other fried ingredients
  6. Close with a lid and mix them by tossing
  7. Allow it to cool and store it in an air-tight container
Note
  1. Ensure salt is very minimal as each ingredient like muruku and boondi also are salted
  2. In addition to the above-mentioned ingredients, you can choose to add any other snacks such as maida/wheat biscuits, kara sev, thattai, fried channa dal etc

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Rava kesari (Semolina Sweet)

While all known to me will vouch for my preference for spicy food (spice-toothed ;), times I do feel like having something sweet. O ya, not to forget all those sweet-toothed lovelies around me!

So, after a real long time, I started my experimentation with making a very simple sweet dish "Semolina / Rava Kesari".
Ingredients
  • Semolina / Sooji / Rava : 2 cups
  • Sugar                              : 1.25 - 1.5 cups 
  • Ghee                               : 4-5 tbs (1 cup)
  • Cashew                           : 10 pieces (broken)
  • Raisins                            : 10 pieces
  • Kesari Color (food color) : a few pinch (as dark as you prefer, this gives the orange tinge)
  • Water                               : 3 cups (or more as required to boil semolina)
  • Cardamom powder          : 2 pieces of cardamom powdered
Method:
  1. Dry roast semolina / sooji in a kadai till it starts turning slightly brown. Remove to a steel plate or bowl 
  2. To this, add a tbspn of ghee and roast the cashew nuts and raisins till golden brown. 
  3. To this, add the dry roasted semolina. Add one or two tspn of ghee and roast this to golden brown
  4. In parallel to steps 2 and 3, bring the water to boil in a separate container. To this, add the Kesari color powder. 
  5. Add the hot water slowly to the semolina mix with continuous stirring to ensure no lumps are formed. Semolina should dissolve smoothly in the water and form a juicy mix
  6. To this, add sugar and stir it well. 
  7. Close the kadai and allow it to cook in a low flame (we could also switch off the fire and cook it for a few minutes. Then, light the stove and cook it on low flame)
  8. Cook till semolina is well cooked and starts leaving the sides of the kadai 
  9. Add cardamom powder, and top it with some ghee
  10. Remove from fire and serve hot
Note: From my attempt, I realized a few things to improvise:
  • Can use a little more water to make the kesari a bit juicy than dry
  • Can powder the roasted semolina to give it a better texture
  • Add more sugar if you are sweet-toothed
  • Add more color to have a good orange tinge
Try having some hot kesari with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It tastes yummmm :)