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Sankashti dates for 2013

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Let me wish all the viewers of this blog a happy “Angarika sankashti” this coming Tuesday along with a Happy New Year 2013.

I take this opportunity to put up the dates for “Sankashti” for 2013 – the 6th year in succession !

Date Day of week Moon rise
1/01/2013  Tuesday(Angarika)  9:39 PM
30/01/2013  Wednesday  9:18 PM
1/03/2013  Friday  9:53 PM
30/03/2013  Saturday  9:41 PM
28/04/2013  Sunday  9:32 PM
28/05/2013  Tuesday(Angarika)  10:21 PM
26/06/2013  Wednesday  9:54 PM
25/07/2013  Thursday  9:05 PM
24/08/2013  Saturday  9:20 PM
22/09/2013  Sunday  8:36 PM
22/10/2013  Tuesday(Angarika)  8:45 PM
21/11/2013 Thursday  9:05 PM
21/12/2013 Saturday  9:30 PM
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Papaya Burfi

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Papaya Burfi

How long it takes: 1 Hour

Makes: Around 50 Burfis

Papaya is a tropical fruit available throughout the year. The fruit has been ascribed many medicinal qualities, especially enhancing digestion, and nutritionally rich in Vitamin A, B and also C.  Though not particularly liked by all, it is normally found in all Indian kitchens.  The raw fruit is used in curries too.  I just tried the Burfi with coconut in combination with dry fruits and it tasted as tasty as “Doodh peda” – so much so that my friends were surprised by how tasty it was. The incredible response was my incentive to share this recipe with you and add it to the list of burfis already uploaded on this blog (milk burfi, coconut burfi, peanut chikki/burfi, tomato burfi, besan burfi, maida-sujee burfi, seven cup burfi, almond burfi, sesame chikki-burfi, mixed atta burfi, kuvale khadi/ash-gourd burfi).

What you need to have:

1. Chopped Papaya – 2 Cups

2. Fresh grated coconut – 1 Cup

3.  Sugar -2 and 1/4 cup

4. Milk powder – 2 Tablespoons

5. Pure ghee – 4 Tablespoons

6. Dry fruits – 1/2 Cup in all

                                                                                                                            Ingredients of Papaya Burfi

What you do with what you have:

1. Peel and grate the papaya fruit and keep aside. Grate coconut and then grind the grated papaya and grated coconut and sugar in the mixer to a fine consistency. Peel cardamom and powder it too. Grate cashews, pista and keep aside.

2. Place a skillet with the ground mixture of the fruit, sugar and coconut from step-1 to it with 2 Tablespoons of pure ghee to it; adjust the flame of your burner and cook the concoction till it thickens.

                                                                                                                                               Papaya, sugar & ghee being cooked

3. When it starts thickening add milk powder and stir well. When it starts separating from/leaving the side of the skillet, add rest of the ghee and grated dry fruits and cardamom powder to it.  The mixture will attain the consistency of chapati dough.

                                                                                                                                                    The mixture being thickened

4. Spread it on a wooden plank and cut it into pieces of required size spreading it to required thickness.

                                                                                                                                                      Burfi mixture being cut into pieces

5. Store it in air tight containers and will remain fresh for more than 15 days at room temperature.

                                                                                                                                                  Ready to serve Papaya Burfi

How long it takes: 1 Hour

Makes: Around 50 Burfis

Good to remember:

1. Use fresh and ripe papaya for the dish.

2. Time taken may differ as per the size of your burner.

3. Use any dry fruit of your choice except raisins.

4. I have used only 2 cups of chopped papaya and hence it took about 1 hour. It will take longer if you use greater amounts of ingredients.

Tomato Dosa

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Tomato Dosa

How long it takes: 1 hour

Number of servings: Around 20 dosas

I love the versatility of tomato which makes it important to all cuisines and all meals. Not only does it impart a rich colour (depending on red or green tomatoes used) to the dish, it can gives a tangy edge to the taste too. From juice, raita and salads to chutneys to curry and rasam to pulav to pizzas, the tomato is ubiquitous, though amusingly kids prefer it mostly as tomato ketchup. Tomato burfi has been an unusual recipe that I previously shared, and today I’d like to share the experience of making tomato dosa. It is easy to prepare, does not need any fermentation and has been liked at home. Hope you enjoy it too.

What you need to have:

1. Sona masuri raw rice – 1 and 1/2 cup

2. Red chilly (Byadgi) – 6-8

3. Fresh grated coconut – 2 Tablespoons

4. Ginger – 1″ piece

5. Tomato – 1 big

Ingredients of tomato dosa

Ingredients of Garnishing:

1. Chopped onions – 1 cup

2. Chopped cilantro – A handful

3. Cumin seeds – 1 Teaspoon

4. Chopped green chilly – 1-2

Ingredients of garnishing

What you do with what you have:

1.  Soak Sona Masuri  raw rice in water for about 4 hours and drain water before grinding.

2. Wash, peel and chop onions fine. Chop cilantro and green chilly finely and keep aside along with cumin seeds as shown in image-2.

3. Wash and chop tomato and ginger and grind along with rice, red chilly, fresh grated coconut in the mixer. Add water in steps to a obtain a fine consistency. Transfer it to a bowl and add sufficient quantity of water to make the dough watery. Add the chopped onions, green chilly, cilantro, salt and cumin seeds from step-1 to it.

Tomato dosa batter

4. Place a dosa skillet on medium flame and grease it with a dash oil using a coconut coir if you have one. To check if the skillet has heated enough -splash a little water and the hot skillet should send out a sizzle. Pour a spatula of batter on the skillet and spread it in a circular manner.  If needed close it with a lid adjusting your flame.

Tomato dosa being cooked

5. When the lower side of the dosa is cooked, flip it and add a dash of oil at the circumference for crispiness.

Tomato dosa being cooked on the reverse

6. Serve hot with any coconut chutney of your choice. We like it a lot, hope you do too !

Ready to serve tomato dosa with coconut chutney

How long it takes: 1 hour

Number of servings: Around 20 dosas

Good to remember:

1. Use fresh ripe tomatoes for the dish.

2. The batter should be very fine in consistency like the neer dosa batter.

3. Chopped green chilly for garnishing is one’s option, but it gives a unique flavour  to dosa.

4. Make the dough watery and try out with a little quantity and later on adjust whole lot of it.

5. Quantity of water to be added depends upon the quality of rice used.

6. The texture of dosa can be very crispy only if the battery is watery.

Corn Usli

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                                                                                                                           Corn Usli

How long it takes: 45 mins

Number of servings: 2-3

Corn is available in plenty and popular in all forms. I have already put up corn pulav, corn cutlet, and babycorn capsicum masala. Today I would like to put up corn usli which is similar to other usli recipes like the white peas usli, peanut usli. You need very tender corn for this dish and hence I have used American sweet tender corn. It makes for a lovely snack in the evening or can be enjoyed with roti or rice. Let me know how you had it! Here it is.

What you need to have:

1. Sweet corn Kernels – 1 Cup

2.Chopped Capsicum – 1/4 cup

3. Mustard seeds – 1 Teaspoon

4. Chilli powder – 1/2 Teaspoon

5. Turmeric powder – 1 Teaspoon

6. Dhania-jeera powder – 1 Teaspoon

7. Chaat masala – 1 Teaspoon

8 Chopped Cilantro – A handful

10. Fresh grated coconut – A handful

11. Lemon juice – 1 Teaspoon

12 . Salt – To taste

13. Cooking oil – 2 Teaspoons

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Fresh American Corn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Corn kernels

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Ingredients of seasoning & garnishing

What you do with what you have:

1. Peel sweet corn kernels, wash and keep it aside as shown in image-2.

2. Wash and chop capsicum fine, grate coconut, wash and chop cilantro and keep it aside as shown in image-3.

3. Cook corn kernels adding sufficient water in the cooker as usual for about 30 minutes till smooth .

                                                                                                                    Corn kernels being cooked

4. Place a skillet with 2 teaspoons of cooking oil in it on medium flame. When hot, add mustard seeds; when it splutters add chopped capsicum from step-2 and required quantity of salt. Simmer the flame and close the skillet with a lid. Stir at regular intervals – capsicum cooks fast and should take on a slightly transparent appearance.

                                                                                                     Chopped capsicum being added to the seasoning

5. When done, add all the powders one after the other in a row.

                                                                                                        All powders being added to the seasoning

6. Just mix and add cooked corn kernels from step-3 to it and also chopped cilantro and fresh grated coconut too to it. Squeeze lemon juice into the stir-fry.                                                                                                                                                                                     Cooked corn kernels, cilantro & grated coconut being added to the dish

7. Ready to serve Corn Usli is as shown in the image below. Enjoy with tea in the evening.

                                                                                                                           A closer view of Corn Usli

How long it takes: 45 minutes

Number of servings : 2-3

1. Tender corn kernels would be better for the dish. Even if a bit ripe, they will harden on cooking. Tender ones can be cooked directly on the flame.

2. One can even add chopped onions to the seasoning in place of mustard seeds depending upon one’s palate.

Oats Vegetable Roti

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Oats Vegetable Roti

How long it takes: 30 mins

Number of servings: 6

Oats are becoming very popular these days due to growing health consciousness. The response to oats upma and requests for other oats-based dishes encourage me to put up these tasty and healthy recipes which I believe readers like you will enjoy – not only looking at the pictures on this blog but also preparing the dish. Being crispy in texture, oats dishes turn out crispy and therefore tasty, especially in this rainy season. I have already put up Oats Upma, Oats idli, Peanut-Oats Laddoo, Oats paratha and today, Oats veggie roti.

What you need to have:

1. Powdered Oats – 1 and 1/2 cup (I have used Quaker oats)

2. Upma Sujee – 1/2 Cup

3. Chopped Spring Onions – 2 Cups

4. Green chilly chopped – 1

5. Ginger chopped – 1/2 Teaspoon

6. Fresh grated Coconut – 2 Tablespoon

7. Cumin seeds – 1 Teaspoon

8. Fresh chopped Cilantro – 1/4 cup

9. Salt – To taste

10. Few small Banana leaves  – 3-4

 Quaker Oats & Upma Sujee

Other ingredients of Oats Veg-Roti

What you do with what you have:

1. Powder the oats in the dry grinder and transfer it to a broad bowl along with upma sujee/rawa.

2. Wash and chop spring onions and also the greens and keep it aside. Wash and chop green chilly, cilantro, grate ginger and coconut and transfer all the ingredients to the bowl.  Add salt, cumin seeds if needed. One can even add Chopped capsicum to it.

Ingredients in a bowl

3. Add required quantity of water and keep it aside for about 20 minutes so that sujee and oats mix together to the required consistency. Sprinkle a little more water if needed while spreading the dough on the banana leaf.

                                                                                                                                                                 Oats Roti mix

4. Wash and wipe the banana leaf and place a little dough and flatten it to required thickness by dipping your hand in water.

Ready to roast Oats Roti

5. Place a dosa skillet on medium flame with a teaspoon of cooking oil. When hot, place the roti and adjust the flame accordingly with the leaf facing upwards. When roti is done the leaf automatically comes up and can be removed.

Roti being roasted

6. When done, remove the leaf completely and flip it to roast on the reverse adding a little Saffola oil.

Roti being roasted on the reverse

7. Roti is ready to be served and enjoyed hot with tomato sauce/ketchup or any dry chutney powder of your choice.

Ready to serve Oats Veg-roti with Tomato sauce

How long it takes: 30 mins

Number of servings: 6 Roti

Oats Paratha

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Oats Paratha

How long it takes: 30 mins

Number of servings: 12 medium size parathas

Oats is very popular these days as a healthy ingredient given the high fiber content and it’s utility in making different kinds of dishes. I have already put up oats idli and oats upma, the latter especially has been much appreciated by the viewers of this blog. Today, I would like to put up Oats Paratha and hope it is enjoyed by all.  It turned out very tasty when made in my kitchen for the first time recently. Here it is.

What you need to have:

1. Wheat atta –  1 cup

2. Oats – 1 and 1/2 cup (Powdered)

3. Coriander powder – 1/4 Teaspoon

4. Cumin powder – 1/2 Teaspoon

5. Ajwain  – 1/2 Teaspoon (powdered)

6. Chilli powder – 2/3 Teaspoon

7. Cooking oil –  4-5 Teaspoon

8. Salt – To taste

9. Water – To make the dough

Ingredients of Oats Paratha

What you do with what you have:

1. Powder any oats of your choice in the dry grinder to a fine consistency. Sieve it in the atta sieve/sifter and if any remaining, sieve again and mix it with the previously sieved oats powder. Powder cumin seeds, coriander seeds, ajwain too and keep aside. Transfer all ingredients to the atta sieve, including all the powders and salt too.

 All the ingredients being transfered to the atta sieve

2. On sieving, the mix should look as shown in the image below. Transfer the mix to a broad bowl to make the dough. Also, add required quantity of cooking oil to it. (I have used Saffola gold heart cooking oil.)

 Sieved ingredients transferred to a bowl

3. Mix the ingredients with your hands and add water in steps to make a pliable dough –  little softer than the usual chapati dough. Keep it aside for a while, closing it with a lid.   Pinch out the required quantity of the dough and knead it properly till it is smooth.

Paratha dough & pinched out ball

4. Dust the pinched out ball in atta and roll it into 4-5″ sized disc and apply oil to it.  Fold it into semi circle and also apply oil again. Fold it into triangular shape and keep it aside.  Repeat the same process for all the rotis. This process of folding and greasing helps to make layers.

                                                   Oil being applied in different stages

5. Roll out the triangular shaped roti on a thick plastic sheet dusting it in atta. Roll it to required thickness and ensure that you are rolling evenly all over the roti.

Rolled paratha

6. Place a non stick roti pan with a little oil being sprinkled on it on medium flame. Place rolled roti and sprinkle a little oil on it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oats paratha being roasted

7. When done, just flip it and roast it again applying a little oil. Press slightly on all the sides with a spatula.

Paratha being flipped and roasted

8. Enjoy hot with either tomato sauce or the dry chutney powder and Amul butter.  It tastes great and the layers of the roti will be like that of veg- puff. One can even enjoy with any side dish of one’s choice.

Oats paratha with tomato ketchup.

How long it takes: 30 minutes

Number of servings: 12 of the above size

Good to remember:

1. Use any brand of Oats.

2. Powdering it to a fine consistency helps to mix with wheat atta well .

3. One can make their own proportion to atta and the oats. This is my version.

4. Using more of oats will change the colour of paratha

Making Ghee from Butter

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Home-made Ghee

This recipe is dedicated to the many enthusiastic amateurs and beginners who visit my website, and to the seasoned kitchen chiefs and chefs who love to make things from scratch and to anybody who likes to know and preserve tradition.

What you need to have:

1. Butter – 2 cups (Approximately. Home-made or bought from store)

2. Cardamom or Turmeric leaf – 1or 2 (optional)

How to prepare butter at home

It is an easy process to make ghee from butter.

1. Boil either cow milk or the usual dairy milk and keep it aside for about an hour to cool down.

2. When cool, preserve it in a bowl / vessel in the refrigerator for about 3-4 hours until the time you want to use the milk again.

3. The thick crust formed on the top of the refrigerated milk is actually cream. Collect the cream in a separate bowl stored in the refrigerator.

4. One has to accumulate and gather the cream for about 7 days depending upon the quantity of milk you buy and the quantity of cream you get daily.

5. After a week of collecting cream, keep the bowl of cream at room temperature for about 4-5 hours.

6. Then, add 1 Teaspoon curds to it and let it stay at room temperature for about 8-10 hours (overnight as convenient).

7. Once the aroma of the curds is sensed, just run it in the mixer using the particular blade. Run the mixer for about 10 minutes to get the supernatant butter while butter milk is the residue.

8. Homemade butter is here.

                                                                                                        Extracted butter from milk cream

Number of servings: 1 and half cup of home-made butter

One can even buy unsalted butter from the super market and prepare ghee.  I always prefer home made ghee which is aromatic and fresh too than those available in super markets.

Making Ghee from Butter

What you need to have:

1. Butter – 2 cups (Approximately. Home-made or bought from store)

2. Cardamom or Turmeric leaf – 1or 2 (optional)

What you do with what you have:

1. Wash butter in water 2-3 times to get rid of the traces of butter milk in it and to wash off any odour in butter bought from the bazaar.

2. Place a skillet with washed butter with a spatula on medium/high flame if stirring continuously. Always better to keep it on medium flame to minimize chances of burning/overtly heated butter. Once it starts melting it makes a hissing sound.

                                                                                                           Butter being heated in a skillet

3. Keep stirring till all the vapours evaporate and the hissing sound stops.

                                                                                                          Preparation of ghee in progress

4. When it is about to be done, the bubbling will slow down and there is a brown powdered residue at the bottom of the skillet. Add crushed cardamom and switch off the flame.

                                                                                                     Ghee is in the process of being done

                                                                                                                                  Pure ghee is read

5. Pour it in a bottle on cooling.  I have poured it in a measuring cup to prepare laddoos. 🙂

                                                                                                          Ready to serve pure home-made Ghee

Number of servings: 3/4 cup ghee