10 December 2014

Lasagna

       
                

                    I made a couple of new friends here , but still its only couple of months since i moved too, i am less familiar to the new place.We finally had some guests came over for dinner..So i had a chance to cook something new and also able to share.We love sharing the food with loyal guests and friends.I spoke to fellow blogger who insisted to try some american dishes too.I am not fond of eating out here, most of them are over-priced,bland and unhealthy too..The food scene is completely different from india.I cannot step out to indulge a plate of chat or panipuri. Even if i do,i dont get impressed easily.When i went out first time ,i ordered the caramel latte in Starbucks.I knew its not the real caramel flavor,it is just a mix  boom of chemical concoctions.I have made and tasted caramel many times, I cannot be fallen for deceptive food thats easily available.Of course , the food babe like food enthusiasts are tagging the war against food chains for choosing artificial and unhealthy ingredients .I could see over the years,the groceries are labelled more clearly now.From juice to granola bars ,they have mentioned "Naturally flavored","Made with real food/ real ingredients" in the front cover that could be visibly seen.

           Lasagna is a wholesome meal that needs the method of sauteing,cooking and baking...It is almost like biryani ,you need almost all the ingredients from the counter and a bit of long process.The most hesitating part on trying this dish is the lasagna sheets must be perfectly cooked,it should not be under-cooked nor soggy.The vegetables and the marinara sauce are piquant along with the rapturous chessy base gives the blend of taste in festivity.


Ingredients
Lasagna sheets-10 to 12
Medley of vegetables ,chopped -2+1/2 cup
(Zucchini,Broccoli,Cabbage,Bell peppers,Basil)
Garlic,minced-4 cloves
Tomato puree-2 cups(28 oz)
(Blanched ,de-skinned and pureed)
Bechamel sauce-2 cups(For recipe ,Click here)
Italian three cheese blend-1 cup
Oregano-1 tsp
Pepper-1 tsp
Olive oil-2 tbsps
Salt 

Method


1.Heat a pan , add the oil and sprinkle the minced garlic
2.Saute until the raw flavor goes off ,add-in the chopped vegetables 
3.Saute the vegetables for couple of minutes,add in the tomato puree
4.Close the lid and allow it to cook for 5-6 minutes
5.Once the vegetables are half cooked,sprinkle the oregano,salt and pepper.
Saute it for another minute and Set aside to cool.


6.Preheat the oven for 350 F and prepare the bechamel sauce as mentioned here


7.Using any form of rectangle or square baking pan , so the sheets can fit in without overlapped,so the steam reaches all sides to let the sheet cook well.


8. Spread half cup of the tomato sauce on the baking pan and arrange the three sheets on top ,Spread the half cup of Bechemal sauce on top of the sheet,Sprinkle some cheese followed by half cup of tomato sauce.Layer the sheets on it and repeat the whole process.
(The Layers will be= Tomato Sauce+Sheets+Bechemal Sauce+Cheese+Tomato Sauce+Sheets)
Sprinkle leftover cheese on top and cover it with aluminum foil tightly.
9.Bake it in the oven for 30 minutes and Remove and let it stand for 5 more minutes before serving.
10.Cut them into nine 3x3 inch of lasagna

Notes
You can replace the tomato puree with readymade tomato or marinara sauce.
To add less cheese ,sprinkle it only on top of the final lasagna sheets as I did.
Make sure the sauce is not too runny ,otherwise the lasagna turns soggy.


05 December 2014

Kandarappam / கந்தரப்பம்


Kandarappam is one of the most important delicacy in chettinad cuisine.For any festival ,the meal will not be complete without this sweet appam.It is not very easy nor too tricky,the batter should be thick enough to pour and the frying time is very less than other delicacy.I have tried couple of times,it didnt work somewhere , the appam looks unique with crispy edges and puffed up into spongy center.If anyone tasted this appam,they will like this for sure.But if people try some of the traditional dishes,It should turn out well as made traditionally in chettinad.

Ingredients
Raw rice-3/4 cup
Urad dal-2 tbsps
Parboiled rice-2 tbsps
Coconut,grated-3 tbsps
Jaggery-1/2 cup
Karuppatti-1/2 cup
Cardamon powder-1/2 tsp
Water-1/2 cup

Method



1.Wash and soak both the rice and the dal for two hours.
2.Mix karuppatti and jaggery with half cup of water.Boil it until everything gets melted.Add the cardamon powder and let it cool.


2.Add the rice to the blender and Filter the jaggery syrup directly to it.Grind it to smooth batter like idli batter.Heat an iron pan with a cup of oil/When the oil is hot,pour the batter with hallow ladle ,keeping ladle an inch away.



3.The appam will cook one side in 15 seconds raises on top ,flip the appam and cook for another 30 seconds.It will not take much time to cook.



Notes
1.Use enough of oil to allow the appam to float on top, otherwise the appam will stick to the kadai
2.Using karuppatti gives the best taste than using whole jaggery..
3.Cook appam one by one and the batter doesnt need to ferment.
4.Use quality rice to make this appam,otherwise it turns very rubbery





23 November 2014

Onion Samosas


I couldnt wait to post this which i made two weeks ago.Since the winter arrives,the evening cravings for snacks are more demanding.Hubby was asking me to make this for long time.I am keen in finishing the groceries i bought from india.Later,I noted down to buy pastry sheets ,so it becomes instant fix for evening snacks.I usually like the soft samosas than this.But this is more crispy cruncher and easy to make.How about having some hot ginger chai along with samosa in a rainy day.


 Ingredients
Sauted Onion-1 cup
Pastry sheet-4-5
Maida-1 tsp
Oil to deep fry



 Method
1.Make the filling for onions sauting with some salt,chilli powder and curry powder


2.Mix the maida with water to make into paste


3.Thaw the pastry sheets for one hour.Gently remove each sheet and cut them into triangles
Cut the sheet diagnally in center,so that becomes two triangle sheets


4.Keep the filling in center and apply the maida paste on edges



5.Bring two sides of sheets enclosed and gently tighten the edges,tuck in the corners inside and then apply the paste on remaining single side and finally enclose the samosa.


Deep fry them and serve hot.


12 November 2014

Lasooni Capsicum -Punjabi style -Sidedish for Roti/Chappathi



Ingredients
To Grind
Garlic-6 cloves
Onion-1/2 cup,chopped
Capsicum-1/2,chopped
Ginger-1/2inch,chopped
Red chillies-2-3 nos
Curd-1/4 cup
For Gravy
Onion,sliced-1
Oil-2 tsps
Red chilli powder-1/2 tsp
Coriander powder-1 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/2tsp
Garam masala powder-1/2 tsp
Salt -1 tsp
Capsicum-1,chopped

Method



1.Grind all the ingredients from garlic to curd in blender to make fine paste


2.Heat a pan,add the oil.Saute the onions for couple of minutes until it turns slightly brown and pink color.Then,add the ground paste.



3.Add all the spice powders and salt.Cook it for 3-4 minutes.Add the chopped capsicum and a cup of water.Close with the lid and boil it for 5-7 minutes.

Serve it hot with roti or chappathi.The recipe comes for very little portion ,may be you should double the recipe ,if you are making it for more than two people.Adjust the red chilly powder as it could be too spicy too.



04 November 2014

Pulungal Arisi Murukku






Ingredients
Parboiled Rice/Pulugal Arisi-1 cup
Roasted channa dal-3 tsps
Black Sesame seeds-1/2tsp
Hing-1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry

Method
1.Soak the rice in water for 3-4 hours.
2.Drain the water and grind the rice into thick dough with 1-2 tsps of water
3.Grind the channa dal into fine powder
4.Mix the dal flour,salt,hing and sesame seeds to the rice dough
5.Heat the pan with oil to medium heat
5.Use murukku press and make fine shape of murukku directly in oil 
6.Cook both sides until the oil sizzling stops.
7.You can also make the same murukku with idly batter 
when the batter is thick enough to make


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