Wednesday, August 23, 2017

SPICY AMNI KOLAKATTAI WITH CORIANDER CHUTNEY

I really miss my mother, as whenever kolakattai used to be made at home, she'ld make sure that she makes more dough, so that could be used for amni kolakattai. But unlike what others do, she used to add to the dough, salt and red chili pdr. to taste, hing, mix well, make small balls and steam for about 7 minutes. Then my mother will put a lot of oil, add mustard seeds, once it crackles, add the steamed spicy balls and fry well till nice and crisp ! Mom was an excellent cook, really miss her kolakkatais and bhakshanams, which will just melt in our mouth, as she'ld not cringe in using lots of ghee to make the dough, as she'ld say then only the bhakshanam, i.e., namkeens will come crisp !

INGREDIENTS
rice flour 1 cup
luke warm water 2 cups
salt a pinch
ghee 1 tsp

for outer dough see my earlier recipe, where you can just add warm water to rice flour and knead into a dough.
for chutney
coriander leaves with stem washed and finely chopped   1 cup
green chilies to taste
ginger 1" finely chopped
salt to taste
lime juice 1 tbsp
grind the ingredients with little water to a fine paste

Seasoning
oil 2 tbsp
mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
urad dal 1 tsp
hing little

METHOD
with the dough roll into small marble size balls, steam for 7 minutes in a hot steamer, remove and keep aside for 3-4 minutes.
grind the chutney ingredients and keep aside
In a heavy pan/ kadai, heat oil, add mustard seeds, once it crackles, add urad dal, when light brown, add the ground chutney and fry well on low flame stirring continuously for 3 minutes, then add the steamed balls, add salt if need be, as chutney will have salt, so you'ld need little for the balls only. Fry for 3 minutes, serve hot. This being healthy, can be made as a snack any time.

NOTE
for variation in taste

1)you may make dough with spinach puree, salt and green chili paste or you may add little chili pdr. to taste. Mix spinach puree with rice flour and make dough with seasoning, then make small balls, steam for 7 minutes.
Then for seasoning, just add mustard seeds, once it crackles, add urad dal, once light brown, add little hing, add the steamed balls and fry for 3 minutes and serve hot.

2) In case you're a beetroot fan, then you can make dough using beetroot puree and season and proceed in the same way ! Especially if you;ve small kids to make them eat different vegetables, you can add like this and make healthy snacks for them.

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PURANAM FOR MODAKAM WITH MOONG DAL AND NO COOKING !

Simple and easy puranam / filling for modak, no cooking.

INGREDIENTS
moong dal soaked for an hour and drained completely
coconut grated  1/4 cup
til/ sesame seeds roasted  2-3 tbsp
molasses/ brown sugar/ gur powdered  1/2- 3/4 cup depending on how sweet you like

just mix all well and stuff inside the outer covering like any other modak. This one is normally made for steamed kolakattai only.
Those who are very health conscious, can make outer dough with red rice flour, in the same way as I had mentioned earlier with rice flour. 

ps- those who don't mind using normal sugar, may use it instead of gur, but always gur is preferred, as it is rich in iron and healthier.
 
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SWEET PURANAM / FILLING

Normally, we make puranam with coconut and jaggery, roughly for 1 big coconut grated, about 1 big orange size jaggery will be needed, melt jaggery with little water, strain if it has sediments, then add to the strained jaggery, coconut and keep stirring continuously till thick, the thicker you do, the puranam will last long, especially of you're making fried modakam or kolakattai.

Now, a slightly different way of making sweet puranam

INGREDIENTS
sugar 1/2 cup
coconut grated 1/2 cup
rava / suji / semolina  1/4 cup
white til / sesame seeds  2-3 tbsp
nuts chopped fine 1-2 tbsp
water little
ghee little

METHOD
roast til lightly and keep aside
in 1 tsp ghee, lightly roast rava till light brown and keep aside
in the same pan, add coconut and 1 tsp ghee, roast lightly
In a pan, add sugar and enough water to cover it, keep stirring to melt sugar, make one string syrup
then add the roasted items one by one, stirring continuously, mix well, last add nuts, remove, cool, you'll find that all the syrup is absorbed and the filling is thick, as they're all roasted.

This filling can be used to make both steamed and fried modak, if making fried modak, it will last for more than 2 weeks ( if people don't gobble it up ) !

Next flavoured amni kolakattai !

Best wishes to all for a very, very happy GANESH CHATHURTHI, MAY LORD GANESHA BLESS ALL WITH GOOD HEALTH, PEACE, HAPPINESS AND SUCCESS.

those interested in cancer and health related topics are free to see my blog-
http://cancersupportindia.blogspot.com/
 for crochet designs, my blog, those who like a particular design are free to mail me
http://My Crochet  Creations.blogspot.com

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http://knee replacement-stickclub.blogspot.com


EASY WAY OF MAKING OUTER COVERING FOR MODAKAM / KOLAKATTAI

Normally, we boil  double the quantity of water, add a pinch of salt and add rice flour and keep stirring on the gas seeing that no lumps are formed, then remove, cover, knead it well with little oil.

Instead of all that a simple way, just like what we do to knead for roti, only slight difference.

INGREDIENTS
rice flour 1 cup
water 2 cups
salt a pinch
butter 1 tsp or oil may be used too.


METHOD
warm the water with salt and butter, it should be only luke-warm.

in a bowl add rice flour, once the water is warm, add little at a time and keep mixing, at times, you may not need the entire water to make a soft dough.  As that depends on the type of flour, if it is too dry if fresh flour, then it may absorb less water. So, each time, adding little water, mix well and add as what is required to make a soft dough, knead well, keep it covered.

This dough can be used for making both sweet and amni/ salted kolakattai also. Steam like usual for about 7-8 minutes.

For traditional puranam / sweet coconut filling, I've already written much earlier, when you search on the top of home page in left hand corner traditional kolakkatai, you can find it, or even as kolakattai, as then all related kolakkatai recipes can be viewed.

Next recipe will be a different puranam. 

Best wishes to all for GANESH CHATHURTHI, MAY LORD GANESHA BLESS ALL WITH GOOD HEALTH, PEACE AND PROSPERITY.



those interested in cancer and health related topics are free to see my blog-
http://cancersupportindia.blogspot.com/
 for crochet designs, my blog, those who like a particular design are free to mail me
http://My Crochet  Creations.blogspot.com

For info. about knee replacement, be free to view my blog-
http://knee replacement-stickclub.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

VARIOUS USES OF ORANGE PEELS

1) Removes tough microwave stains- place a few orange peels in a microwave safe bowl and cover with water. Put the microwave on high for 5 minutes. The steam from the water will loosen build-up, while the orange peels' citric acid works to kill bacteria. Then just wipe away with a damp cloth.

2) Repels mosquitoes- For a natural mosquito repellent, rub fresh orange peels all over your skin. The citrus smell will keep mosquitoes at bay. Or, grate some orange peel or zest around the patio or anywhere where insects and mosquitoes may be a problem.


3) Shine wood- Bring the shine out in wooden furniture , utensils and more with orange peels. Simply rub the white pith of an orange peel on the wood vigorously and watch the shine come through.


4) Uplift your mood- use orange peels to relieve anxiety and depression. simply add a couple of orange peels to a warm bath or rub a drop or two of orange essential oil over your temples and forehead area.


5) Keep brown sugar from hardening- place a slice of orange peel in the container where you store brown sugar. The rind will release a volatile oil slowly and this will help keep the sugar moist. To keep your sugar fresh, change the orange peel once a month.


6) Start a fire- have trouble starting a fire? Use an orange peel to speed up the process. Simply add some dried orange peels to the kindling under the larger wood.


7) Stinky shoes- add a couple of orange peels to a sachet and place it in your shoes. The peel will naturally absorb the odours.


8) Make your own air-freshener- boil a couple of orange peels in hot water and add a cinnamon stick or mint to the mix. Store in an air freshener bottle and use when needed.


The orange peel can be used to make chutneys, zest in cookies, cakes, peel dried and powdered can be used for face mask ! Any more ideas of orange peel?
 
those interested in cancer and health related topics are free to see my blog-
http://cancersupportindia.blogspot.com/
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Difference Between Baking Soda and Baking Powder

Both Baking Soda and Baking Powder are leavening agents. 
But what are Leavening agents? 
Leavening Agents  are added to baked products before baking to produce bubbles of carbon dioxide and cause them to rise.
When heated, these bubbles expand and create channels, which is what gives baked goods a fluffy and light texture. The trapped carbon dioxide bubbles are what allow the baked goods to expand / rise.
Probably now you know why your cake/ dhokla gets double in size.
There are three commonly used leavening agents.
These are Baking Soda, Baking Powder and Yeast.
Yeast is a separate topic in itself. Here we will focus only on Baking Soda and Baking Powder.
So, both Baking Soda and Baking Powder are leavening agents but  they are  chemically different. 
They can not be interchanged with each other. 
Using the wrong amount of Baking Soda or Baking powder or interchanging these two can significantly alter the texture of your baked dishes.
If you use Baking powder instead of baking soda then your baked goods will have softer texture, less colour and will be acidic.
If you use Baking Soda instead of Baking Powder then your baked goods will taste bitter and also won’t rise much.
Why ? What difference ? But first let us understand in brief what these two products are. It will involve little science so please read it patiently and may be more than once.

Baking Soda

Baking Soda has only and only Sodium Bicarbonate.
Also, baking soda is commonly known as Cooking soda.
In Hindi language, Baking Soda is called Meetha soda or khane ka soda.
Thus, Baking Soda, Cooking Soda, Meetha Soda, Khane ka soda…. they all means same thing…. different names of the same thing.
Baking Soda is a BASE ( alkaline ), having a high pH and needs to be balanced by adding an acid, which has a low pH.
When a Base is mixed with an acid, a chemical reaction takes place as a result of which carbon dioxide ( CO2 ) is produced. 
So,  when Baking Soda is mixed with either of the acids, like vinegar or curd or apple sauce or cocoa powder or lemon juice or brown sugar, a chemical reaction takes place producing bubbles of carbon dioxide that further expand under oven temperatures, causing baked goods to rise. 
And this reaction begins immediately upon mixing the ingredients and is usually complete in about 2 minutes. So if you leave your batter on the counter for a long time before cooking, the carbon dioxide in the batter will escape leaving your batter flat. Hence, it may not be the most reliable leavening agent.
Baking Soda helps in browning and adds a crispier texture to baked goods. This is the reason it is preferred while baking cookies.
Baking Soda is 3 to 4 times stronger than Baking Powder.
Baking Soda is added in very little quantity. This is because if too much baking soda is added without having enough acid to react with ( activate it) then there will be unreacted soda left over which will give a soapy or bitter flavour. So now you know why at times your cake or instant idly or dhokla tastes of soda.

Baking Powder

Baking Powder is a mixture of a BASE and an ACID, and thus have a balanced pH.
It contains Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar ( an acid ) and Corn Starch ( drying agent ).
 When this mixture is mixed with water, a chemical reaction takes place, bubbles form, providing aeration in the batter and making the baked goods fluffy.
Now a days, for commercial purposes double acting Baking powders are available which contain more than one acid salts, which are both slow acting and fast acting acids.
These slow and fast acting acid salts release carbon dioxide at different levels of the baking process. 
Some gas is released at room temperature while you mix the batter but the majority of the gas is released at high temperatures when the food is being baked.
This means that the batter rises for a longer period of time, making lots of bubbles thus fluffier cake, muffins etc.
And for many baking recipes, we want an extended reaction of this type  only so that the rising doesn’t take place all at once. Hence, baking powder plays an important role.
At some point during the baking process, the liquid foam of rising batter becomes a solid foam because the batter sets. 

We can list the differences in these two for a better understanding…


Baking Soda
Baking Powder
Nature
Base
Base + Acid
Composition
Sodium Bicarbonate
Sodium Bicarbonate + Cream of Tartar + Corn Starch
Reaction
Reacts with Acid
Immediate Reaction
Reacts with Water
Extended Reaction
Uses Used for multiple purposes
Used only in Baking

Similarities 
  1. Appearance : Both are white in colour.
  2. Texture : Both are in powdered form.
  3. Result : Both produce Carbon Dioxide when exposed to some reaction.
  4. Odour : Both are odourless.

Using Both Baking Soda And Baking Powder in a Recipe

But some recipes use both Baking Soda as well Baking Powder. Why so ? 
Well , two reasons for this….
First is that these recipes usually contain some acidic ingredient like fruit or yogurt or any other. Baking soda added might be enough to neutralise the acid in the recipe but not actually enough to lift the batter. 
Little Baking powder will give the extra lift needed to make the recipe perfect.
And if only baking powder is used then finished product might taste too acidic.
Another reason for using both Baking Soda and Baking Powder in a recipe is that they affect flavour and browning in different ways.

Keep in mind certain things regarding Baking Soda and Baking Powder

  1. Keep them labelled as there are high chances of getting confused owing to their similar looks.
  2. They both expire very fast. So, if you are not a regular baker or are baking after a long time then please check and ensure that they are not expired.

How to check Baking Soda

Put little, may be 1/4 tsp Baking soda in a bowl and pour 1/4 tsp Vinegar on it. If the bubbles appear, means it is active. Go ahead with your baking. If not then go ahead to put in trash bin.

How to check Baking Powder

 Put little, may be 1/4 tsp Baking powder in a bowl and pour 1/4 tsp Water on it. If the bubbles appear, means it is active. Go ahead with your baking. If not then go ahead to put in trash bin.

Substitution

You can use Baking powder in place of Baking Soda, however much more in quantity.
You cannot use Baking soda in place of Baking Powder.
1 tsp Baking Soda   =   3 tsp Baking Powder.
But this is for utmost emergency only. As far as possible, use what has been asked for in the recipe.
So for best fluffy cakes / muffins, just do what the recipe says.


those interested in cancer and health related topics are free to see my blog-
http://cancersupportindia.blogspot.com/
 for crochet designs, my blog, those who like a particular design are free to mail me
http://My Crochet  Creations.blogspot.com

For info. about knee replacement, be free to view my blog-
http://knee replacement-stickclub.blogspot.com

Friday, August 11, 2017

FRUIT UTTAPAM

INGREDIENTS
rice flour 1 cup
wheat flour / atta  1cup
salt a pinch
baking pdr. 1 tsp
water as needed to make slightly thick batter
musk melon puree  1/2 cup OR
pineapple puree OR banana puree  OR Kiwi puree 1/2 cup
sugar  powder about 2-3 tbsp
cardamom pdr. 1/2 tsp
nuts finely chopped  2-3 tbsp
raisins  3-4 tbsp
ghee for shallow frying

METHOD
in a bowl mix both the flours, salt, sugar and baking powder well
then add water to make a slightly thick batter
add whatever fruit puree you've, or you can combine 2 / 3 fruit puree too, and cardamom powder, mix well.
heat a non-stick tawa, smear little ghee, make small uttapams, spread some nuts and raisins on top, press lightly with the ladle, once the bottom gets cooked, turn over and cook on the other side adding some ghee, cook on medium flame.
You can serve hot either plain or with some jam or honey to go with it.

NOTES- you can use combination of fruit puree, then you may need less, you can use strawberry too if you've, feel free to use what normally your kids don't eat, as it is one way to make them eat  all types of fruits, To make it attractive for kids, you may drizzle some chocolate sauce too on top !

those interested in cancer and health related topics are free to see my blog-
http://cancersupportindia.blogspot.com/
 for crochet designs, my blog, those who like a particular design are free to mail me
http://My Crochet  Creations.blogspot.com

For info. about knee replacement, be free to view my blog-
http://knee replacement-stickclub.blogspot.com