Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Carrot Halwa/ Gajar Halwa

Halwa is a dense sweet confection served across the Indian subcontinenet. Carrot halwa is one of the most popular traditional Indian dessert. Carrot halwa also known as gajar halwa is made of carrots and cooked with milk, ghee, reduced milk and garnished with dry fruits and nuts. I often make this sweet for ekadashi.
Carrot (grated)- 4 cups
Milk- 4 cups
sugar- 1 cup
ghee- 3 -4 tbsp
broken cashews- 1 tbsp
Raisns- 1 tbsp
blanched almonds- 1 tbsp
pistachio- 1 tsp
cardamom- 1/4 tsp

Fry the dry fruits and nuts in ghee and place it aside. Boil 2 cups of milk in a heavy bottom vessel to make khoa. Boil the remaining 2 cups of milk in a heavy bottom pan. Add the grated carrot in it and cook until the carrot gets cooked and also the milk gets shortened and becomes thick. Keep stirring continuously so that the bottom part is not burnt. Add the khoa and sugar in it and continue stirring until you get a thick consistency.  Add the cardamom and the fried nuts along with ghee and keep stirring for a minute. Remove from heat. You can serve the halwa hot.

Suggestions: Carrot halwa can be served as a topping for ice cream.

Tomato Red Capsicum( Bell pepper) chutney

Chutney is a class of spicy preparation which is usually served as an accompaniment with the main course. Its usually wet have a coarse to fine texture. There are a wide varieties of chutney available in Indian cusine. I tried making chutney with tomatoes and red bell pepper (capsicum).
Tomatoes- 4
Red capsicum( bell pepper)- 1/2
ginder- 1 inch
green chillies- 2
peanusts- 1 tbsp
cilantro (coriander leaves)- 3 tbsp
cumin seeds- 1/4 tsp
oil- 1 tsp
hing/ asafoetida- a pinch
salt to taste

Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan. add cumin sedds. when it cracks add a pinch of hing and peanusts and fry them. then add chopped ginger and green chillies and fry them for a minute. Then add chopped tomatoes and red capsicum( bell pepper). Add salt. Fry them until they become tender. Turn of the heat and allow it to cool. Blend them and serve with Buckwheat dosa.

Note: Since I made this chutney on ekadhasi I have not done the seasoning. On non ekadhasi days I used to tamper the chutney with mustad seeds, urad dal a pinch of hing (asafoetida) and curry leaves. This chutney goes well with any kind of dosas or idly.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cilantro Powder/ Kothamalli podi

It's been a long time that me and Swarnavalli were not blogging .. Now, we are in action again :-)..
Spices podis have always been a favorite one with me. Spiced powders or Gun powders are common terms for podi. There are varieties like Kothamalli podi (Coriander powder), Pudina podi (Pudina powder) ,Tenga Podi (Coconut powder). These are usually had as an accompaniment to our daily meals, idli, yogurt Rice, Plain white rice or Roti. Here is the recipe for kothamalli podi .Coriander (Kothamalli/ Dhania), also known as Cilantro is an annual herb whose leaves, stems and seeds are edible.


Cilantro - 3 bunches
Red Chillies - 3
Tamarind - Tiny marble size (dry)
Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Hing/Asafoetida - 2 pinches
Gingerly Oil - 1 tbs


Wash the coriander leaves and also the stems, if they are tender, and spread on a cloth to dry, preferably overnight
I used only the leaves with little stem ( if you want you can use the entire stem ).
Dry roast the red chillies . Once coll down , blend red chillies with salt.
Grind the dried cilantro, dry tamarind , powdered red chillies and salt into a paste. Ensure there is no water in the blender ..
In a hot pan add oil , followed by mustard seeds, asafoetida.When mustard seeds splutter, add the blended cilantro masala and fry it often so that it doesn't stick to the pan. Turn off the fire after 10 mins..
Store in a air tight container and refrigerate it.