Saturday, October 31, 2015

Badam Halwa - Almond Halwa - Diwali Sweets - How To Make Badam Halwa

The festival of lights, Diwali is round the corner. And I have been getting requests from my friends for some new sweets. When one of my friend asked for a sweet made out of badam I remembered Chef Venkatesh Bhat making halwa out of almonds in a show. I had roughly noted then. So for an exact recipe I had to do a little bit of googling and finally adapted with this version. I had made few alterations to the sugar and ghee proportions, still the halwa was super delicious and soft.

Badam halwa is a rich and delicious Indian sweet made with pureed almonds, milk, ghee, sugar and
saffron. Stirring continuously at the right heat is the key for this recipe. Over heat can very easily
burn the halwa. Just make sure you follow the exact steps, the yummy halwa will melt in your mouth

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

Badam - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Milk - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 1/4 cup
Water - 1/4 cup (for dissolving sugar)
Yellow food colour/kesari color - a pinch
Saffron - few strands


Soak almonds overnight and peel the skin. Alternatively you can boil them in hot water for a few minutes and peel the skin.

Grind almonds with 1/4 cup of milk to a smooth paste.

Take a heavy bottomed pan, (I used a non-stick pan, so that it doesn't stick to the bottom) bring 1/4 cup of water to boil, switch off the flame, add sugar and stir, so that the sugar dissolves completely.

Now add the badam paste, remaining milk, kesari color, sugar, saffron and cook on medium flame stirring continuously.

Add ghee little by little, mixing evenly. Add all the ghee except 2 tsp and cook stirring continuously on low flame.


It will start bubbling and spluttering. Cautiously keep stirring.

At one point, the ghee will be completely absorbed and the halwa will start leaving the sides of the pan. This took around 15 minutes for me.

Now switch off the flame, add the remaining 2 tsp of ghee and stir for about 3-4 minutes. I learnt that this is important to keep the halwa softer when it sets. The halwa will thicken even more when it cools down.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

How To Cook Corn In Pressure Cooker

What else can be a better snack on a rainy or misty evening. A boiled corn, few shakes of salt with a mild layer of butter and its all ready to munch on!


Corn, salt and a little butter is what all you need.


Take a pressure cooker, drop in the corn (break them into halves so that it fits well), add water, the corn should be all immersed. If you like salted corn, add some salt. Cover the cooker with its lid. Turn on the flame to high. After the first whistle, simmer for 3-5 minutes and then switch off the flame. Wait until the pressure subsides, then open and strain the water. Spread a smear layer of butte and ta..da.. boiled salted corn ready for munch'in!!

Kathirikai Rasavangi - Brinjal Rasavangi

This is the first time I am trying this rasavangi. This has been in my to-try list for a very long time. I haven't tasted this before. I came to know about this recipe couple of years back when I used to browse for a variation to our regular sambars and rasams. When I decided to make this few days back I pinged all of my brahmin friends to get the recipe :-) As always there are a number of ways to make the same dish and I got different versions too. From that I had to adopt my own version. Rasavangi is one of the traditional and authentic Tamil Brahmin recipe made using brinjals or ash gourd. I would say this is very much close to the way we prepare arachu vita sambar with a slight twist in the ingredients and you end up in different taste. A perfect alternative for the regular sambars. I prepared bitter gourd poriyal for side and it matched perfectly with the rasavangi. This is a no onion-no garlic recipe too. 


Toor dal - 1/2 cup
Brinjal - 1/4 kg
Tamarind - a small gooseberry size, soaked and extracted
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Hing - a pinch
Black channa - 2 tbsp, soaked overnight (optional)
Jaggery - 1/2 tsp
Salt as per taste

To Grind

Coriander seeds -1 tbsp
Bengal gram/Kadalai paruppu - 2 tsp

Pepper - 1/4 tsp or some 10 peppercorns
Red chillies - 2 or 3 ( adjust as per your spice level)
Grated coconut - 3 tbsp

For seasoning

Coconut oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds, urad dal, red chillies and curry leaves as per taste

  1. Pressure cook the dal along with turmeric powder, mash it and set aside. Also pressure cook the black channa until soft.
  2. Meanwhile dry roast all the ingredients mentioned under "To Grind" section one by one, allow to cool down and grind to a smooth paste by adding very little water.
  3. Wash and cut brinjals lengthwise or into bite sized pieces. Keep them soaked in water until we cook them to avoid discoloration.
  4. In a broad vessel or pan take the cut brinjals and add water, turmeric powder and salt and allow the brinjals to get cooked. Once half cooked add the tamarind extract and allow to get cooked until soft. Now add the mashed dal and boiled black channa. 
  5. Then add the ground paste, jaggery and mix well. Allow this to cook for few more minutes until everything blends together. Once done, turn off the flame.
  6. Now do the seasoning. Heat 2 tsps of coconut oil, add mustard seeds, when it splutters, add urad dal, red chilli and curry leaves and pour it over the rasavangi.  Mix well and enjoy with rice.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Instant Millet Flour Dosa - Easy Millet Dosa Recipe

 I bought this Instant Millet Dosa flour few months back and tried making dosas for breakfast. I made few adjustments with the suggested making method printed at the backside of the packet and it turned out good. So, here is the recipe!

Millet Flour - 1/2 cup
Rice Flour - 1/4 cup
Big Onion - 1 small sized finely chopped
Curry Leaves - 1 tbsp, finely chopped

Coriander leaves - a fistful, finely chopped
Green Chilli - 1, chopped finely

Ginger - 1/2" piece, peeled and chopped finely
Cashews - 8-10, chopped finely (optional)
Water - 3/4 to 1 cup(adjust)
Oil - for preparing dosas
Salt - to taste

  1. In a mixing bowl - add millet flour and all the ingredients except water and oil. Mix well. Now add water little by little and mix well using a whisk. Set aside for 30 mins. Then add more water and make a thin batter as we make for rawa dosas.
  2. Heat a dosa pan. Once the tawa is hot enough, take a laddle full of batter and start pouring it in a circular motion starting with the outer corners towards the center. Keep pouring until it fills the whole skillet. 
  3. Cook in medium flame.The dosa should be thin so don't pour over then we will get thick dosas. Drizzle oil and cook until the top looks cooked.Fold and serve hot with any spicy chutney or simply with idly podi.
  • The batter should be very runny. Adjust the water measurement as per the right consistency.
  • Also you should not spread the batter as we do for regular dosas, the laddle should not touch the dosa tawa itself. Hold the laddle about 10 cm height above the dosa tawa and start pouring.
  • Always use a deep curved laddle while pouring as it holds more and will cover the puter circle fully in one go.Then again you can take the batter another time to fill in the center areas.
  • It is very important that the dosa tawa should be really hot. When you pour you should see the batter spreading by itself with tiny holes in it that the right contistency of the batter and it shows the dosa tawa is perfect for making dosas.
  • You can even pour few drops of water to check if the dosa pan is hot.If you hear a bold shh sound then the dosa tawa is ready.
  • After you make 2-3 dosas check the batter, if it becomes thick adjust by adding little water. Remember to mix the batter well everytime you prepare a dosa.

Apple Dates Milkshake - Apple Milkshake - Healthy Milkshake

Milkshakes are always nutritious, quick and easy to prepare. Apple and dates are a wonderful and healthy combination, so you can have this for breakfast and they leaves you feel healthy and filling for the entire day. Adding a drop of vanilla essence enhances the flavor and kids would love this for sure. You can also pack this for your kids snack box or for meal time.


Apple - 1
Seedless Dates - 10-12
Milk - 1.5 cups (chilled or plain)
Vanilla essence - a drop or two
Honey or sugar - 1 tsp or as per taste
Almonds or Pistachios for garnish

  • Wash the apple, peel the skin and cut into cubes.  Chop the dates into small pieces. Transfer the chopped apples and dates to a blender or mixer. 
  • Add little milk, vanilla essence and honey/sugar and blend until smooth. Now add the remaining milk and blend until mixed well. Add more milk if you want a thinner consistency.
  • Transfer to glasses, garnish with chopped almonds or pistachios and serve as such or chilled.