Ragi Ribbon Pakoda / Finger Millet Ribbon Pakoda


My mind was oscillating between traditional ribbon pakoda and Ragi ribbon pakoda since both these recipes are not yet published in my blog. Finally Ragi ribbon pakoda won my heart, as I have decided to post Diwali recipes with at least one healthy ingredient.

We call this snack as 'seeval' and it is prepared using gram flour as the main ingredients. There are couple of recipes we follow at home, I picked the one which uses rice flour as main ingredient, so that I can substitute a half of the quantity with ragi flour. I don't find any difficulty in preparing this snack except a little patience I need to press the murukku in hot oil directly and You need to have a bit tolerance to the hot smoke that emanates while pressing the murukku.

For the last one week, it was my snack during tea break at my office. Compared to the other maida related snacks, I feel this one is far better and healthier. What do you say?

Ribbon Pakoda is also referred as Ola Pakoda, Ribbon Murukku, Nada Murukku and Seeval.


Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 5 medium size ribbon murukkus, serves 7 generously


Ingredients:

Ragi flour / Finger millet flour - 1/2 cup
Rice flour - 1/2 cup
Gram flour / Kadalai maavu / Chickpea flour - 1/2 heaped cup
Red chilli powder - 2 teaspoons
Garlic paste - 1 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Asafoetida - a big pinch
Water - 3/4 cups to 1 cup
Hot oil - 2 tablespoons or butter - 2 tablespoons
Oil - for deep frying

Method:

1) In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix ragi flour, rice flour and gram flour.


2) Add red chilli powder, garlic paste, asafoetida and salt. Add hot oil or butter and mix well.


3) Add water slowly in batches and make a smooth dough.
4) Choose ribbon shaped hole plate and fix it with idiyappam pan.
5) Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan.
6) Stuff the dough into the idiyappam maker.
7) When the oil is hot and not smoking, press the ribbon shaped murukku's directly into the oil.


8) Fry till the 'shhhhh' sound suppress. Slightly turn upside down to make sure even frying.
9) Transfer it to a plate covered with kitchen towel to absorb more oil if any.
10) Cool down and store it in a airtight container.


Notes:

1) If you find the murukkus to be hard, increase the gram flour quantity.
2) You can also use 1/2 cup of powdered roasted channa dal(Pottu kadakai/ chatni dal) in place of gram flour or along with the above recipe . It slightly absorbs more oil but will give a soft crunchy feeling while eating.
3) Fry it in correct flame, otherwise, this snack tends to burn quickly.

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Microwave Chocolate Oats Burfi

 

There is a market near my home suddenly became very busy these days and I could see a big crowd consisting of small children and teenagers standing in front of Shops selling Diyas and Fire crackers.

I know every malls and shopping centers would have filled with people and they would be busy in buying gifts and new dresses for Diwali

I could see people buying a big list of Groceries to make sweets and savouries and to exchange homemade edible gifts between friends and families for Diwali.

Diwali is gearing up every where. I am also getting ready for it and started making sweets and savouries. But this time, I decided to include at least one healthy ingredient in all my recipes. Stating from Urad dal laddu till Diwali you can see me posting healthy stuffs here in my place.

Today's recipe also has one healthy ingredient which is nothing but Oats. Also, this burfi can be prepared in Microwave in 5 minutes, kids friendly and addictive. I used the recipe from here which I have been making for the past few years since the method was so easy and needs handy ingredients.


Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Makes: 8 squares


Ingredients:

Butter - 2 tablespoons
Dark Chocolate - 3/4 cup
Quick cooking oats - 1 cup
Milk - 1/2 cup
Granulated sugar - 2 tablespoons
Nuts - for topping

Method:

1) In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. It took 3 minutes for me.


2) After 3 minutes, take out the bowl from microwave. Add oats and milk. Mix well.


3) Add sugar and mix well again.
4) Keep inside the microwave for 2 minutes in high mode.


5) Transfer the entire mixture to the greased pan. Pat it well to get the even surface.


6) Sprinkle with chopped nuts and when it is warm, cut into squares.
7) Cover it with cling wrap and then keep inside the refrigerator or cool down in room temperature till it sets well.


Notes:

1) You can skip the sugar to get perfect dark chocolate taste.
2) These Burfi's are also good to have when it is warm and they taste like brownies.
3) Nuts topping is absolutely your choice.
4) I used Morde brand Dark Chocolate and Quakers Quick Cooking Oats.
5) The cooking time varies and it depends upon the Microwave Models.

Tofu and Dry Fruits Kheer / Payasam


I had no idea as what a vegan means until I went to UK. My stay in UK reasonably increased my knowledge about food and various world cuisines. I was a vegetarian till that time. After being exposed to veganism, I tried being a vegan for some period of time and realized how difficult it is atleast for me. Few of my traditional recipes in my blog are vegan in nature. When I practiced veganism, I got to know many, good and healthy recipes.

After I moved to Chennai, I lost my interest and shifted back to the regular routine. Once in a while, when the thought comes to my mind, I used to make one or two vegan dishes. So, it was in my plan to make some beverage and bought a soy milk, which I forgot totally until I loaded my fridge with this month's grocery. Coincidentally, I also had some leftover tofu after using in a subji. My vegan interest showed up again and the result is now in front of you.

The texture and taste of the tofu that I used to get in UK is a bit different from what I am getting here. The Tofu I get here in supermarkets almost tastes like paneer. If you see, I have added yellow food color in my recipe, just to avoid the unpleasant look of the soy milk. I had very little saffron, so I had to use food color. Otherwise, I would have added saffron generously to get the pleasant yellow color.


Basic Information:
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Servers: 4


Ingredients:

Tofu - 1/2 cup,grated or crumbled
Badam / Almond - 12 nos., roughly chopped
Cashew nuts - 2 tablespoons, roughly chopped
Walnuts - 3 nos., roughly chopped
Cucumber seeds - 2 teaspoons
Granulated sugar - 1/4 heaped cup
Green cardamom - 2 no,
Saffron strands - a generous pinch
Custard powder - 1 tablespoon, vanilla flavored
Water - 1 and 1/2 cup
Soy milk - 1 cup
Yellow food colour - a pinch (Optional)

Method:

1) Crumble tofu using your hand or grate it using grater. Finely chop all the dry fruits and toast it. Mix custard power in 3 tablespoons of water without lumps. Powder the sugar along with green cardamom.


2) Now, in a large pan, heat 1 and 1/2 cup of water.


3) When the water is about to boil, add crumbled tofu and cook for few minutes.


4) Reduce the flame to medium. Save some chopped nuts for garnishing and add the remaining dry fruits to the pan. Let it boil well. Keep an eye it might rollover.


5) Add sugar and once it is dissolves, add soy milk and custard mixture. Let it cook for few minutes and then, add saffron and food color (if using).
6) Cook till the kheer slightly thickens and turn off the flame.


7) Cool down to room temperature and keep refrigerated till you serve.
8) While serving, top it with crushed nuts and saffron. Enjoy.


Notes:

1) Dry fruits can be either ground or can be used as such. I love to have tiny nuts while having the kheer and hence added the finely chopped nuts instead of grinding. Choice of dry fruits is your choice but make it badam and cashew are as mandatory ingredients for the taste. Also, raw or toasted dry fruits can be used.
2) Instead of soy milk, you can also use cashew milk.
3) Only in the medium or low flame, add soy milk. Don't heat it in high temperature, it might boil over or there is a chance of curdle.
4) Avoid food coloring by using the saffron generously.
5) Both Tofu and Soy milk are available in all supermarkets in chennai.

Foxtail Millet Murukku / Thinai Murukku


Do you have any murukku lover at your home? Well, I have one back at home, when I ask this question. My mom, MIL or whoever know my husband in my relatives circle, make loads of murukku for him.

Be it Diwali or Gokulashtami, Murukku must make an entry for him. My mom suggests me every time to make health stuffs in my diet even stands on his side and ask me to do or at worst case, she prepares and send him the parcel.

When I was a kid, though I used to involve myself in murukku or palakaram making process usually a day before Diwali, I never got a chance to fry the murukku as my grandma takes care of it citing safety reasons due to the hot oil pan.

I don't get such a help now. If I ask my husband, he runs away from the kitchen immediately citing various excuses, but he is the first one to come and finish it after it is prepared. This is one of the reason I started trying various murukku recipes in small quantities, easy to make, less work load and good to store.

Such an attempt was made during the Gokulastami day. I prepared Foxtail millet murukku ( Foxtail millet - Thinai in Tamil) as per my mom's idea. The first fried batch was tasted by my husband and he said there was no major difference is taste between the thinai murukku and the normal murukku made out of rice.

Really there isn't! I made another batch couple of days before. That is what you see here as a Diwali recipe.



Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 16-18 murukkus


Ingredients:

Foxtail Millet Flour / Thinai Maavu - 1 cup
Urad dal powder - 1/4 cup
Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Black sesame seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Asafoetida - 1 big pinch
Water - 1/2 to 3/4 cup
Oil - for deep frying + 2 teaspoons

Method:

1) In a medium size mixing bowl, take foxtail millet flour and urad dal flour. I used the store bought foxtail millet flour and homemade urad dal powder.


2) Add cumin seeds, black seame seeds, salt and asafoetida. Mix well.


3) Add the water slowly in batches and make smooth, soft dough. For me, it took 3/4 cup of water exactly. It varies based on the flour you use.
4) Heat oil in a kadai or pan. when the oil hot and not smoking, take 2 teaspoons of hot oil from it to the dough and knead it to incorporate it. Make sure to simmer the oil after this till you are ready to fry the murukku.
5)  Then, Choose the tri-hole plate in the idiyappam or murukku press, fill it with dough and make murukkus by pressing it to a circular motion without taking your hand.


6) After pressing, slide the murukkus to the hot oil and deep fry them in medium to high flame until the bubbles sound (shh sound) suppresses. At a time you can fry 3-4 or based on the frying pan and murukku size.
7) Remove from the oil and put them in a colander to drain the excess oil if any. You can either use kitchen tissue to absorb the excess oil.


8) Repeat the same procedure for making remaining murukkus.
9) Cool down the murukkus to room temperature and store it in a air tight container.
10) Serve them with hot tea or coffee.


Notes:

1) For homemade Foxtail Millet flour, dry roast the foxtail millet, cool down and grind it to a smooth powder. For homemade urad dal flour, dry roast the urad dal till it becomes golden brown, cool down and grind it to a powder. After making the powder, measure in cups and use in this recipe.
2) Unless the normal murukku, foxtail millet murukku cooks faster. So, make sure to fry it without burning.

Urad Dal Laddu / Sunnundalu / Ulutham Paruppu Urundai


For me, Getting a 4 continuous holiday in IT is like seeing a miracle in the world. Gandhi Jayanthi, Pooja holiday and Weenend all came together this time and with full of fun, I planned many activities to do this weekend.

Bad luck on me, I was totally down with giddiness and vomiting which collapsed all my plans I made to do on the weekend.  Even today I am not completely recovered. Just for a change and to kill the tired, laziness and to gain some refreshment, I am up here with my gandma's Urad dal laddu.

These laddus often come as one of the recipes for any festival. Since it is a healthy and easy to prepare (Just 3 ingredients) we prepare it for snacking also.

It would also act as energy balls during the long journey either by train or car. Only the roasting part of the urad dal takes longer time. But, I make the job easier by roasting it in advance and store it in airtight container. Whenever I want to make laddus, I just warm it up, make a powder of it, add powdered sugar and ghee and make my job easier.


Basic Information:

Preparation and Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 10-12 laddus


Ingredients:

Urad dal / Ulutham paruppu - 1 cup
Granulated sugar - 1/2 heaped cup
Ghee - 1/3 cup or as required

Method:

1) In a heavy bottom pan, dry roast the urad dal till it releases nice aroma and turns nice golden brown colour. Be patient and roast the dal well for nice flavour and aroma.


2) Transfer it to a wide plate and let it cool for sometime.
3) Meanwhile, grind the sugar into a powder using a mixie. Transfer the powdered sugar to a wide bowl.


4) Now, the roasted urad dal would have cooled down.
5) Put it in the mixie and grind it to a fine powder. (If you require smooth urad dal powder, sift the ground urad dal and again make a powder of the grains that remains. Repeat the procedure till you get smooth urad dal powder.)


6) Transfer the powdered urad dal to the same bowl of sugar. Mix well.
7) Heat ghee and add to the bowl slowly and make laddus.


8) Let it cool to room temperature and store in a clean container. It stays good up to a week at room temperature.


Notes:


1) You can add some chopped nuts to this. But traditional Urad dal Laddu doesn't have nuts in it.
2) Roasting the urad dal is important here. Make sure to roast it evenly for perfect tasting Laddus.

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