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April 25, 2011

Banana Nut Muffins

My search for muffins liners stops right here. Yup I bought some silicone muffin cups this weekend and also managed to bake these yummy banana muffins immediately too.

I chanced upon this recipe in the Prevention Magazine, when I was waiting in the Doctor's reception during my MIL's check-up. It was about how to make nutritious muffins while making at home but the taste being better than the store bought ones.Though I had made this muffins several times I liked this one very much when compared the older ones.  

Arjun hates eating bananas in spite of the Doctor's orders to have them more during the summer time. So I always have to think of ways to incorporate them without his knowledge. This also happens to be the first time I baking using Palm Sugar and was apparently quite thrilled about the outcome and taste.


Banana Nut Muffins
You'll Need: 
All Purpose Flour
1 ½ cup
Palm sugar, packed
1/2 cup
Baking powder
1 tsp
Baking soda
1/2 tsp
Salt
1/4 tsp
Ripe Banana, mashed
1 cup
Egg, Large
1
Buttermilk
1/4 cup
Olive oil
2 tbsp
Vegetable oil
2 tbsp
Vanilla Essence
1 tsp
Walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp


Method:

Preheat the oven at 180 Deg C. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.


Mix mashed banana, egg, oils, butter milk and vanilla essence in a large bowl until smooth.

Gradually add the flour mixture and stir until well blended. Add the 1/3 cup walnuts and mix thoroughly. Fill muffin cups ¾ fill. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tbsp of walnuts over the top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes and cool. Serve warm. They were so soft and moist. These muffins frost very well and my kids were happy to have with a glass of milk for their breakfast.
 I had just 6 muffin cups but had some more batter left over so I baked them into a cake.

Note: You can substitute palm sugar with brown sugar of plain sugar. You can also replace olive oil with vegetable oil or butter.  Be sure to buy a good quality of palm sugar as some may have impurities.

This is a good way of introducing my kids to olive oil as the portion is an individual one. I could not detect the smell of it and they loved it very much.

I used 2 morris variety banana and ran it in a mixie to a paste instead of mashing it with a ladle to avoid detection of Banana by Arjun.


This Banana Nut Muffins  and Mom's Sweet Muffins are off to Divya's Show Me your Muffins

Bon Appetit!!!

April 22, 2011

Masala Peanuts

This post is especially dedicated to my son Arun, a foodie through and through right from the day he started on his solid food as a baby. He learnt to switch off the gas stove even before he could properly learn to stand upright lest walk without me teaching him. His biggest plaything used to be my 10 liter pressure cooker. It would be so hilarious to watch him carry the cooker body which would be heavier than him.




This happened last week when Hubby called me at work to pick my MIL from the station who was visiting briefly for a Doctor Check-Up as he was held up in a meeting. As the call was a last minute thing I had to rush to pick up my kids from the practice sessions at school, dropping them at home before heading to the station. When I returned home with her what hit me first was the smell of bread being toasted wafting thru the air.

I was quite shocked to know that as both the kids were feeling very hungry Arun had switched on the stove and has toasted bread all on his own. I did not even know that he knew how to go about it. His “Avva” (Grandma) was mighty impressed with his kitchen skills. After knowing that she had brought peanuts I wanted to make Masala peanuts to munch on while watching the IPL.

When he volunteered to deep fry them all on his own I was totally against it. But he was quite insistent that as I had big Jaali spatula he would be O.K and wanted to learn it after promising me that he would never attempt any deep frying on his own without my presence. Presenting you our family’s favorite Match and Movie Muncher done my Son. The Clicks too are by him.


Masala Peanuts
You’ll Need:
Roasted Peanuts – 1 ½ cup
Gram flour (kadalaimavu) – ½ cup
Rice flour (Arisimavu) – ¼ cup
Red Chilli powder – 2 tsp
Baking soda – ¼ tsp (Optional)
Asafetida – 2 pinch
Garlic cloves – 6 to 7
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Red food color – 1 pinch (Optional)
Chat masala powder – ¼ tsp (optional)
Water – 4 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Oil – for deep frying


Method:

Heat oil in kadai. In a vessel combine the peanuts and water and mix well. The peanuts should be fully wet.

In another vessel combine together gram flour, rice flour, chilli powder, asafetida, baking soda, salt and food color if using. Mix well. Add this to the wet peanuts and mix well. The flour mixture should coat all the peanuts completely. Add the curry leaves and the whole garlic cloves to this and mix well.

Spread the flour covered peanuts into the oil and fry till golden brown. Take care as the curry leaves may splatter. Drain on a kitchen napkin and let it cool completely. 


Sprinkle the chat masala powder if using and toss well. Store in an airtight container and munch on while watching movies and matches.

Note: Do not add water after mixing the flour with the peanuts as it will become lumpy. I have used home made flours in this recipe. I have not added any food color. You can avoid adding curry leaf and garlic but do so for its amazing flavor.


I would love to share this with Shobha of Food Mazaa for being such dear to share this lovely award with all her blogging friends. Hugs to you.


Sending this Masala Peanuts to Vidhya’s “Cooking with your Little Sous-Chef"


Bon Appetit !!!

April 20, 2011

Paanagam

In our Native place the "Chitthirai Thiruvizha" is celebrated with much fan fare. Especially Chithra Pournami which falls in the month of Chitthirai is considered very auspicious as the "Ther" funtion is held on that day. All the four "Mada" streets around the temple volunteer in making this "Paangam" and "Kanji" on this day and serve the devotees who visit the temple on this day.

The "Thiruvilaku" Pooja will be held in the evening after which all the devotees are served hot kovil Sarkarai pongal and Puliodharai in small "Dhonnais" and in cut plantain leaves. We kids back then used to have a field day and would be so filled up after drinking cups and cups of Paanagam and kanji in the mornings that we skip the lunch in the afternoon and the pongal that would be dripping with ghee is enough to put us off dinner. 


During the night, in a big ground next to the temple the screening of old devotional tamil films will be screened giving the feel of today's open air drive in theater. The kids would fall asleep during the course of the movies and we can see the elders carrying the sleepy kids on their shoulders heading home after the screening. The ground would be surrounded by lots of neem trees that you would never feel the heat and humidity.

Times have changed and I miss the old times like anything and feel so frustrated that I cannot turn the clock back. Anyway the memories are there, just mine to cherish for a lifetime.


Paanagam
You’ll Need:
Lemon – 2
Water – 4 cups
Grated Jaggery – 1 cup
Cardamom – 2 pods (crushed)
Edible camphor / Paccha karpooram – 1 pinch
Dry ginger powder / Sukku powder – 2 pinch
Salt – 1 pinch
Neem flowers - 1/4 tsp (optional)


Method:
In a vessel mix the jaggery with water and let it dissolve completely. Pass it through a sieve to filter any impurities. Now squeeze the lemons in this jaggery water. Add the crushed cardamoms, paccha karpooram, dry ginger powder and salt and mix well.

Adjust the lemon and the jaggery according to your taste. you can also use sugar instead of jaggery when having this as a drink to quench your thirst. 

Health Benefits: Using Jaggery in drinks during the summer time reduces the tiredness and refreshes you within minutes. In fact my Grandma used to make us suck on a a big chunk of jaggery whenever we return home from outside in the hot sun.


This thirst quenching Paanagam is off to my event "Fun N Sun" and to Sukanya's Summer Coolers
















April 18, 2011

CBB Series #3 ~ Evening Tiffin


What did our grandmothers and mothers did to feed us in the evening before the markets were hit by confectionaries, baked goodies and the evergreen Noodles that could be made is a couple of minutes? Of course they always did have Khakras or Murukkus that are made and stocked up which we all loved to munch during the tea time in the evenings. But there are times when they rustled up something right from scratch and serve us hot and steaming that too especially during the holiday times.

So for this month’s CBB Series I have taken the theme Evening Tiffin. Aloo Bonda, Sabudana Vada, Garam Pakoda, Vazhakkai Bhajjis, Mutter Ki Kachoris are some tiffin varieties from my blog which would be great to have in the evenings.

The Guidelines are as follows:
1. Cook any recipe of your choice that belongs to the theme Evening Tiffin and post it in your blog before 15th May. 
2. The recipe can be your own or from any other source be it from another blog, from your friend etc., If you are trying a recipe from another blog, please acknowledge by providing a link to them and write the recipe in your own words.
3. Multiple entries are welcome.
4. Only vegetarian recipes please (eggs are allowed).
5. Add a link back to this event announcement. The Logo is a must. Entries without linking your post to this announcement and omission of logo will not be accepted.

6. No archived and reposted entries please. The idea of this event is to learn many new recipes in the process. 
7. Please mail me to Radhikasubbu@facebook.com with the following details
# Name :
# Blog Name :
# Blog URL :
# Recipe Name : 

# Recipe link :
# A Click of your recipe 

8. Please send in your entries before 15th of May and the round up will be in the following week.


Don your aprons and get set cooking

April 17, 2011

Roundup of CBB Series#2 ~ Chettinad Cuisine

Welcome to this roundup of some awesome and delicious Chettinad cuisine recipes. This month's series was dedicated to Chettinad cuisine and the blogger friends has sent in some of their amazing recipes from their kitchen. Presenting you their recipes...


Chandrani Banerjee of Cuisine Delights has sent this steaming, piping hot Chettinad Rasam


Rekha of Shahi Rasoi has sent this delectable Chettinad Cauliflower Masala. Simply Yummy I say

Richa Priyanka of Ambrosia an enthusiastic participant has sent this yummy gravy, 


Swathi has sent in Chettinad Mushroom and bell pepper Masala with a step by step procedure that you can't miss a step while making it.


How can we forget classic rice dishes? Akheela has sent this yummy and scrumptious Tamarind Rice 

How can we forget Priya, an enthusiastic participant of any event. She has sent in this Chettinad Kathirikkai Malli Pachadi. Just awesome Isn't it?


Kaveri Venkatesh of Palakkad Chamayal has sent this Chettinad urulai Raost. It really is a feast for eyes. Do check it out.

Nandini of Nandini's Food page has sent 3 of her amazing creations from her kitchen. Chettinad Kurma, Beetroot Vadai and Chettinad Aloo Muttar Mushroom Curry. Get inspired by them



Check out this yummy Drumstick and jackfruit seeds Kaarakuzhambu sent in by Denny of Oh Taste N See. The Jackfruit seeds floating on top of the creamy sauce is enough make one go hungry. 

Meena Thenappan has a variety of chettinad recipes in her blog. Do check them out. She has sent 3 of yummy creations my way. Chettinad Ennai Vazhakkai, Chettinad Kootucurry with chow-chow and Chettinad Vazhakkai Perattal




Finally my own contribution to the series Chettinad Vazhakkai Curry, Chettinad Paneer Pirattal and Chettinad Kathirikkai Poondu Kulambu




Enjoy !!!

April 16, 2011

Celebrating Blog Birthday by Having Fun N Sun

Can't believe that I'm stepping into 4th year of blogging. Though the journey has been on and off thing it was totally fulfilling and besides I would say that I have learned so much. In fact I strongly believe that food blogging has made me a better cook. What do U gals have to say for that?. 

These 3 years I could say that I have traveled far and wide by trying out different cuisines across the world just by sitting in one place all because of blogging. Though I never thought of celebrating the previous birthdays, my kids this time insisted that I should. They have started to take special interest in this now-a -days. They love drooling over the awesome clicks and give ideas for me try out recipes from other blogs. They have even started to decide on which recipes need to be book marked. In fact, Arun has started suggesting the backgrounds for photos and insists on clicking too. You can see an example of it here. Look who is teaching whom and I'm totally loving it.

As both the children are so enthusiastic about this and has insisted on helping out with the roundup too, I thought it would be a learning experience for them too and decided to go ahead with it. The theme and the logo for the celebration has been selected by my them.

Also I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my dear friends and readers for their support, encouragement and love showered on me. Last but not the least my family,  especially my kids who have been a pillar of strength to me.

So, I welcome you all to join me in this birthday celebration to have lots of Fun N Sun. 


1. As the theme suggests the recipe could be of any category or cuisine. To name a few, fresh fruit juices, ice creams, cocktails, mocktails, cold salads, chilled smoothies etc., anything that would be fun to have in the hot sun and bring down the temperature. Hope I have covered them all. 
2. Post any recipe with the above said theme in your blog linking back to this announcement and mail me at ticklingpalates@gmail.com.
3. You can send in any number of entries. If sending archived entries please repost them with this link announcement and the logo.
4. Please use the logo while posting for wider reach and the effort. 
5. Please mail me with the following details:
# Subject line : Fun N Sun
# Name :
# Blog Name : 
# Recipe Name :
# Recipe Category :
# Recipe URL : 
# A click of your recipe.
6. The last day for your entries to reach me is May 31, 2011.


I wish and hope that you all participate in this celebration and make it a grand success.

April 15, 2011

Chettinad Kathirikkai Poondu Kulambu

This Kulambu will always hold a special place in my heart. It would be really hard to believe if I tell that I had this kulambu in an Anglo-Indian's house. This recipe is from a colleague's mother who had settled in Karakudi during her early days before shifting to Chennai.


One day when I had this lunch from her I knew immediately I should get the recipe from her mother. She was kind enough to invite me to her home and preparing this dish while I watched her playing a perfect hostess. This happened years before and always finds a special place in lunches when relatives are visiting and this has never failed me so far from me being appreciated. 


Chettinad Kathirikkai Poondu Kulambu
You’ll Need:
Kathirikkai / Brinjals – ¼ kg
Onion – 1
Tomato – ½
Garlic cloves – 15 to 20
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Fenugreek seeds – ¼ tsp
Tamarind- lemon sized ball
Turmeric powder- a generous pinch
Asafetida - a pinch
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Jaggery powder- 1 tsp (optional)
Oil – 2 tbsp tbsp
Salt- to taste
For the chettinad Masala:
Freshly grated coconut – ½ cup
Whole dry red chilies – 6 to 8
Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
Channa dal – ½ tbsp
Fennel seeds – ½ tsp
Peppercorn – ¼ tsp
Poppy seeds (khus khus) – ½ tsp
Oil – 2 tsp


Method:
Heat oil in a kadai and add the ingredients for the chettinad masala and roast one by one separately. Roast grated coconut and poppy seeds together to prevent the poppy seeds from getting burnt. Let it cool completely. Grind into to a fine paste using little water.

Soak tamarind in hot water and extract pulp. Chop the onions and tomato finely. Cut the brinjals length wise and chop the half into sections. Immerse in water to prevent discoloration. Now heat the oil in a thick bottomed kadai, add mustard seeds, and let it splutter. Then add asafetida, curry leaves, fenugreek seeds and sauté for 2 mins. 


Add onions and garlic, sauté till they turn translucent. Now add chopped tomato, fry well till it gets slightly mushy and raw smell goes off. Add the chopped brinjals, mix well and cook for 5 mins with a lid closed in its own steam. Now add the ground paste and mix well. Cook with lid covered for 2-3 mins. 


Now add the extracted tamarind water, salt and mix well. Add extra water depending on the thickness of your gravy. Add the jagggery powder at this stage if using. Let it cook on medium flame till the raw smell disappears and the oil starts separating. 



Serve with hot rice and a dash of ghee. I love this kulambu very much because of the chettinad masala and the spiciness. If you are looking for a perfect side dish to go with this kulambu try this Potato Oil Roast or this Chettinad Vazhakkai Curry. Finger licking Delicious.

Note: Use Gingelly oil for authentic taste. I normally don't use jaggery as the others in my family don't prefer it.
Bon Appetit !!!

April 12, 2011

Award Time

Deepa of Hamaree Rasoi and Shobha of Food Mazaa have shared this award with me. Thank you dear ladies. Hugs to both of you. I feel so honored and this is like a pat on the back to the efforts taken by me.


For the 7 facts about myself:
1. I love watching Action Movies and cartoons and anything fiction would make my day.
2. I love listening to black and white golden melodies while cooking as I feel that it brings out the best in me.
3. I love to read newspaper in the morning before doing anything while sipping hot tea.
4. I love to ride my bike on empty roads in the early mornings.
5. I have to surf through news channels and be updated before calling it a day.
6. Being from a family of coffee lovers who sport coffee decoction filters the size of water boilers, I hate coffee with a passion and the very smell gives me a big headache.
7. I don't like eating breakfast and salads.


I would to like share this award with my fellow buddies : Chitra, Suchi, Kavitha, Smitha, Jeyashri Suresh, Nandini, Santosh, Namratha, Pavani, Harika, Ramya, Sanyukta, Shama, Hari Chandana, Priya Vaasu.
I request you all to share the same with your other fellow bloggers too.



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