30 March 2016

3 minutes coconut Burfi|Coconut fudge recipe


coconut-burfi-recipe

 Festivals are so sweet ~ My brain (Read :Pre-loaded with memories to relish forever )..In Deep Thought
Fesitvals needs sweets ~ My heart and my tummy ...Nodding Yes
Festivals should ban sweets ~ My weight gaining body .... Smiley Says No


This is what happens at every festival ! SIGH!! A battle nothing less than a Mahabharata or Ramayana (Good Vs Evil) goes on in my body,tip to toe...Eventually,after lots of rustles and hustles ,my brain,my heart and my tummy realize that they belong to the same human balloon,Me..

As they say,"United we stand,divided we fall".SO,they eventually come together and take an unanimous decision,that since it is festival,this swollen body is allowed to have it only for this day ,after that abstain even the thought of any sweets till another festival.My body humbly bows down to this decision ,puffing up not much and agreeing to torture the treadmill later for sure...

unique-sweets

So,this Holi,I made a special coconut Burfi .My hubby named it "Manju's special coconut Burfi " ,first thing first, the recipe is developed by me (where is my collar?) and he says, the name he gave, totally justifies this burfi ..Well,what can I say..our family members loves to nick name everything ....we are multi-talented that way....But this one made me blush too ... I'm blushing
coconut-fudge-burfi-recipe

This coconut Burfi just needs four ingredients and only 3 minutes in microwave .I mean, sweets are irresistible ,who wants to cook it forever..Not me! ...Unless there is no other option left and I've to...So,you see, lazy me would torture her microwave to help her to make quick desserts to satisfy her cravings ASAP...So,please watch my video that will show you how to make a unique Coconut Burfi recipe or Coconut fudge recipe in just 3 minutes ....




A sweet full of colors ..what else would have justified Holi and me ? That's the specialty of this coconut burfi :D...

How sweet !..Very...

27 March 2016

Baking Soda and Baking Powder are not twins|There is indeed a difference between Baking Soda and Baking Powder


One fine evening...

Me: Honey P,don't forget to buy Baking Powder from the store ..

Honey P: OK....Added in my Grocery app !...Be right back....

Me:Drive safe hon ..

Honey P : I'll ;).......

After JUST 15 minutes ...(He is right ; When he shops alone,it takes only 10-15 minutes !) Wow

The silent garage sounds violent ...It's Honey P and his car doing a grand entry....

Honey P rushes in..

I am back...Hellooo Mrs.P ????

Mrs.P/Me : Ahaaa...That was fast hon...Want tea or coffee ? :) ..No :|,actually I asked if he bought the baking powder for sure,as if that's what I breathe to live....

Honey P: Of course I did..you know me :)
Me:I know,that's why I confirmed :)...Once you bought Basil leaves, when I asked you to bring mint leaves..So..
Honey P: Tadaaa...Here is your baking powder ..
Me: NahaaaaFacepalm....Honey,it's Baking Soda not "Baking Powder"..
Honey P : So what ?Aren't they same..baking..baking...what's the difference ?
Me ,lost in thought - Ummm...mmmm... one is Soda and other is powder :O...Long pause ...
Honey P,with a grin - How peaceful my home is now ?:D

Sometimes,spouses can be as irritating as your sibling ...Sigh !!

Recently,someone commented on one of my video where I absentmindedly said,Baking Soda instead of Baking Powder (my bad) ...Sometimes,I do mistakes twice to learn the lesson finally - if only I knew the difference well and used it carefully ..So,I asked my virtual better half,Google to guide me...So,Google did the research and this is what we learned ,which I thought of noting it down here as I don't trust my memory more than my blog ...and hope it will be helpful to others interested too....

So,the question is "What is the difference between Baking Soda and Baking Powder ?"

It's all chemistry here....... Don't sleep !

Baking soda, which is also known as Bicarbonate of soda /Soda bicarbonate and Baking powder are chemical leavening agents that release carbon dioxide in food products to rise while cooking.

Now, what is a leavening agent ?
According to Britannica.com ,"Leavening agent are substance causing expansion of dough and batters by the release of gases within such mixtures, producing baked products with porous structure. Such agents include air, steam, yeast, baking powder, and baking soda."
Like their names,and because of their leavening properties,they both are mainly apt to use for baking and they work in somewhat similar way but there is a difference - that is - Acid !


 Baking soda is a pure leaving agent .It acts as a base that needs to be mixed with "an acidic ingredient" for ex -Lemon juice,lime juice,vinegar,yogurt,buttermilk ,chocolate,honey etc AND "moisture" to release ( Carbon Dioxide in the form of bubbles in liquid forms) raising property in food .

However,this reaction is immediate ,which is not what we need while baking, as we want this effect to extend through out the baking process.

And that's where,Baking powder plays the double role as a double acting agent !

Baking Powder on the other hand , already contains Baking Soda, dry acids -Monocalcium phosphate and sodium acid pyrophosphate /sodium aluminum sulfate or Cream of Tartar and a powdered starch.So,it already has acids in it ,all it needs are "moisture" and "heat" to activate it's raising/puffing property and the acids in it helps in extending the leavening property throughout until the food is baked...





Baking powder has a neutral taste where as Baking Soda is tangy and if used extreme, can also taste bitter/soapy .Baking Soda also helps in browning/giving golden color texture to food .

Baking soda unlike Baking powder has more uses than just Baking ,like for beauty care,health care and household chores ..

Experts suggest that the recipes that requires baking powder ,it is better to use Baking powder and not Baking soda .However,if the recipe needs baking soda ,you can certainly substitute it with baking powder by just tripling the quantity of baking powder ,though the flavor may differ, so will be the texture ,as Baking soda also leads to browning .

Any recipe that requires either baking powder or baking soda ,must be cooked as soon as possible to take the full advantage of it's leavening properties ,otherwise most of the CO2 will be released to air and not to the food baked...

SO,that's my dear friend are the differences between baking soda and baking powder...

Now, I am all clear..Now, I won't do any identity assassination ...My humble bow to baking soda and baking powder respectively............ 

I am ready...Take my test !



BIG thanks to ->References: jsonline.com,http://humantouchofchemistry.com/Bakingemember, http://www.aww.com.au,https://news.ncsu.edu/2014/05/baking-soda-powder/...

Now off to baking,




22 March 2016

The perfect Dahi vada |Dahi Bhalla recipe|Holi recipe

 dahi-vada-recipe

 Color is in the air! ...When nature is spring-ing into a new vibrant life ,in my homeland,India,people are gearing up to celebrate the festival of color,Holi. Nostalgia unleashed !!

Flashback - to my color-filled childhood days ...Bonfires lit by gali wale bhaiyas/big bros (Yo!) in the huuuge ground in front of us at midnight,the shor-sharaba/noisy ,lively atmosphere around ,papa bringing different colors and pichkaris (a spray bottle to fill color water to play) ,me having exam after two days yet next day ,with a who-cares attitude, filling the pichkaris with colors and spraying at my friends and getting drenched in colors myself ,as if it's the bath of my lifetime,people wandering on the street ,looking multi-colored like ETs(extra-terrestrials),some drunk in bhang (an edible narcotic local drink ,usually drank on Holi ),others in festivity ...Sweet women busy making sweets -holi delicacies ...Evening spent with family and friends enjoying sweets and savories as if to replenish the energy spent on torturing others with colors during the day and to reveal your true self behind the colorful face (for ex:I can eat 10 malpuas in one go,so everyone knows behind those pink colored face, it's me -I don't mind, seriously!)....

Dahi-bhalla-recipe

What can I say, "Holi" is the day when people celebrate true freedom - free from any social norms,prejudices,caste,creed,gender,age,color,any indifference ,beliefs,values ,hatred...Freedom to be themselves and do whatever they like even if it's pathetic ,by just saying,"Bura na mano Holi hai/Don't get offended,it's Holi afterall".Well,Holi is all about enojying life regardless,the simple pleasures like colors,fun,laugh,unity in diversity ,just fun unlimited...."Let loose " is the fun-da here...

dahi-vada-holi-recipe

Holi is best celebrated in North India and (as I've told zillion-th time before) I am lucky enough to have spent my entire childhood in North India ..Thanx again maa and paa...Muaahhh...Thx for giving us so many colorful memories .Even though away from India,my heart can feel the happiness and rejoice the colorful bygone days at least .....No matter how you celebrate in abroad,it can't be equivalent to even the fraction of the actual celebration in India ...Even the messy environment in India endows some kinda nirvana...Festivals makes me feel so proud to be an Indian....Miss you India !

dahi-vada


I believe ,foods possess a supernatural power to do a time travel to past (Poor scientists-they are still figuring it out!)...I totally rely on foods to reminisce and rekindle my good bygone days ...Foods can evoke all five senses at once and BOOM...I am back to my childhood days...For instance -during Holi I land directly at my neighbor's house enjoying Malpuas or "spongy tangy Dahi vadas" ....that's the reason why I love food,it bridges the gap for me from past to present ;bringing me and keeping me closer to my motherland ...

spongy-dahi-vada-recipe

 Holi reminds me Dahi Vadas a lot.We were surrounded by people all over India.Our neighbors would invite us to enjoy Holi delicacies together and Dahi vadas ruled in common among all my neighbors kitchen ,even a few aunties(I love you!) would bring more dahi vadas incase we didn't visit them.Well,my mom had a good rapport with all her neighbours even though she spoke Hindi like Sanskrit...I really had loads of friends in my neighborhood,so it was always fun non-stop....Needless to say,Dahi vada brings me nostalgia..

So,today,once again to rekindle those memories and celebrate Holi edible-y,I am presenting you ,how to make spongy vadas,dahi vadas recipe with the tangy,spicy yogurt sauce .Dahi vadas are black gram fritters drenched in yogurt sauce and spices.It is then pampered with spices,chutneys making it the killer combo of sweet,spice and tangy.Pls watch my quick video that will show you tips and tricks how to make perfect dahi vadas or dahi bhallas recipe .....
   


Wish you all a very Happy Holi.May your life be as colorful and fun-filled as Holi !

With loads of colorful wishes,

11 March 2016

Kerala style fish mappas curry| Fish Mappas nadan style|Fish mappas curry

 fish-mappas-curry

The relationship between fish and God's own country,Kerala is just like salt and cooking-inseparable,indispensable and a must .Fish is a staple at every Mallu's home back in Kerala .Infact,every mallu lady is more worried about (in the morning),"Where the hell is the fishmonger?" than,"Oh my goodness,I've to make break fast and cook lunch for my kids and kid's dad " and every Mallu husband is also like ,"Where the hell is the fish monger ?" or "I should be heading to the fish market for the freshest catch of the day ASAP or else have a lunch ,hard to swallow " ...Well,Mallus LOVE fish.Period.

kerala-style-fish-mappas-recipe


When it comes to fish ,the Mallu in me also soars like the tides in the sea . In fact,I can feel the entire Arabian sea in my mouth with all the fish in it ..even though I hate Sushi ...I only eat cooked fish that is camouflaged with all spices and swimming in a sea of gravy or sizzling in a hot oiled pan or playing hide and seek with coconut paste...otherwise fish should just remain in sea :|...As our famous Malayalam actor,Mr.Suresh Gopi would say,"Just remember that!".:P

fish-mappas-nadan-style


However,fish is not a staple at my home ..here in US...as my hubby is not a fishy guy,I mean,fish loving guy...but that doesn't mean,I don't cook it at all ,I do...I make different types of fish recipes like a few that made it to my blog so far are Netholi meen pattichathu/Dry Anchovy recipe Kerala style , Kerala fish cutlet ,Apollo fish fry recipe Andhra style ,Pan fried salmon on a bed of lettuce ,, Karimeen porichathu/Pearl spot fish fry ,    ,Karimeen pollichathu  ... 

kerala-fish-curry-recipe

I make all these different recipes to lure my hubby to rethink why he shouldn't be eating fish a lot and even though an Andhra raised product ,his root lies in God's own country after all..(secret between you and me !Shhhhh)  ..Now,as you know,being a humble,dutiful,loving wifey,I am,isn't that how it is supposed to be ...(Blushing!)
fish-mappas-curry

So,likewise to join the list of fish menu at my home is today's special - "Fish Mappas curry Kerala style " ."Fish mappas curry " is a mildly spiced curry made with oodles of coconut milk .Any fleshy fish are preferred like Pomfret,Pearl spot or King fish.So,I am using king fish for this fish/meen mappas recipe .

So,pls watch my video that will show you how to make fish mappas nadan style /Fish mappas recipe Kerala style : The recipe is included in the my quick video .



I love the simplicity of this fish curry . Simply yummy ! I bet you will too...Enjoy it with hot rice,any side dish or just with appams.....


06 March 2016

Malvani Chicken curry|Malvan murg masala recipe|Malvani recipe


Malvani-chicken-curry-recipe


"I've got OCD a.k.a Obsessive Chicken Disorder "~ Mr.Honey P/my better half..

Mr.Honey P is a chicken aficionado ;infact ,the only non-vegetarian food item he loves ...Chick-ens all over the world, beware of him !!

Even though I am a die hard non vegetarian lover ,I hate making non-vegetarian food items if he may not eat it with full satisfaction.So,if I make chicken,I know for sure he will enjoy it to the fullest,so will I.....

So,though it's not a staple at my home,every now and then,I try making different varieties of chicken recipes exclusively for him and majority of my non-vegetarian blog posts dominates Chicken recipes ---for example - Kerala chicken roast ,Kerala chicken curry ,Healthy chicken meatball , Spicy baked chicken roast ,Chicken sandwich ,Crispy Baked chicken ,Puransingh Chicken Dhaba curry , Mughlai Zafrani chicken curry , Patiala Chicken curry to name a few ....
  Chicken-Malvan-masala-recipe

So,recently, I made another famous chicken curry which I bet every Mallu/Keralite is gonna love it for sure -why ?? ..well,because just like Kerala recipes,Malvani recipes from the small coastal town called ,"Malvan" from the Konkani region of the state of Maharashtra ,India is famous for recipes made with coconut and spices ...Malvani recipes are rich,creamy,spicy and tropical ...What makes Malvan foods special are ofcourse the coconuts and the usage of a unique Malvan masala powder ,a special spice mix that gives the soul to the Malvan recipes and makes it one of a kind .Well,needless to say,my hubby loved this Malvani murg curry ...So,will YOU !

So,this is how I make Malvani Chicken curry with its unique Malvani masala powder :

Malvani Chicken curry 

Ingredients

Chicken - 800 gm
Onion,large,sliced - 1 no.
Green chilies - 2-3 nos
Ginger Garlic paste - 1-2 Tsp
Coconut - 1 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/2 Tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 Tsp
Dry red chillies - 6 nos 
Corainder seeds - 1 Tbsp
Shahjeera - 1 Tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 Tsp
Peppercorns - 1 Tsp
Cardamoms - 2 nos.
Cinnamon - 1'
Cloves - 4 nos.
Bayleaf - 1 no.
Oil - 2-4 Tbsp
Salt to taste
Cilantro leaves,a handful
Water as needed


Method: Please watch my quick video that will show you how to make Malvani chicken curry recipe properly.



So,you can see how simple this recipe is yet how flavorful it seems to be..well, try it at home and I am sure you are gonna love it  ...but pls for God's sake errr my honey P's sake spare some chickens for us to dine and burp..Will you ??

Eat,love,live Deliciously,






01 March 2016

TWO ways -HOW TO - season or cure a cast iron pan in oven and on stove top|How to maintain a cast iron|How to prevent rusting on cast iron



Everything in this world needs to be loved and pampered . Well,you need,I need,every Joe and Jane needs,our pet-Goofy needs,Garfield needs,Nemo needs ,money plants needs,tomatoes needs,potatoes needs and even the non living things needs for example even each and every utensils in your kitchen needs ...well,if you are not going to hold that tea cup nicely,it may slip and break into pieces,if you don't take care of that Earthen pot ,it won't cooperate further ,don't believe me then read this ..

Likewise ,if you don't take care of your cast iron pan or skillet or Dutch oven etc ,it'll refuse to cook for you as you desire in the long run and one day it'll rust itself and die...why ?? Well,to own it ,you have to earn it ..it's like you are marrying (hope your spouse/fiancee/BF/GF is not reading this ...Ha..Got you !..I meant a non-living thing...oh did you say you are single?..Good news....not anymore .)..If you buy a cast iron cookware ,it's like ,you take an oath together that you both will be looking after each other through thick and thins,in hotness and coldness,in health and sickness ,in love and luster, in vitamins and nutrients ,in loyalty and commitment and  so will be happily ever after.................

When you marry a cast iron ....

So,if you married one  (Ohh not your spouse ..stop eye rolling at them or winking at them),I meant the cast iron cookware,you might be experiencing that phase ,"If love is blind ("everything looks good"),marriage is an eyeopener ("It's not always good!)."  

Now if you are nodding with me or you are in a denial or you are singled out and have no idea what I am talking about - listen :

Cast iron cookwares are an all purpose,dependable,versatile and built to last forever ..Let me explain ,how good they are - The benefits of a cast iron pan :

  1. Durable - Cast iron cookwares are strong ,sturdy and unbreakable . They are immortals - with no expiry date . They can stick not only with you for lifetime but also continue to next generation to generations ....looooong lasting they are!
  2. Heat and hot - Cast Iron are excellent at retaining heat and distributing heat evenly and once they are hot,they stay hot and they cook food evenly even if it's a whole chicken or steak.
  3. All purpose - Cast Iron can be used on stovetop to oven to gril to over a campfire to cook food evenly and aptly.
  4. Non stick - As long as it is seasoned well,it becomes and stays non-stick ,that means less oil for cooking (Read:healthy cooking!) and always ready to cook anything ..forever..
  5. Chemical free - Unlike other non stick cookwares that have a coating containing harmful chemical called PFCs(PerFluoroCarbons) which has been linked to many liver damage,cancer etc according to many recent studies ,which gets released when those non stick pans are heated on high flame and inhaled by us ...The cast iron on the other hand ,doesn't leech any chemicals as they become non stick only after a simple seasoning of oil at home ....Say no to chemicals !
  6. Promotes vitamin - Not a lot or many ,but when foods are cooked in a cast iron they enhance the iron content in the food and more the food is cooked longer or is acidic in nature ,the iron content increases tenfold.So,very apt for menstruating women or iron deficient/Anemic people..
  7. Economical - It is not that costly like other cookwares and lasts for lifetime ..Apt return of the investment !
  8. Easy to clean - No special dishwashing soap or liquid is necessary .All you need is a stiff brush and hot water or little salt instead of any harsh scrubber ...
how-to-season-cast-iron

Now,those were some of the good qualities of Mr.cast iron ,however,just like a good marriage,you have to also work on it - give him proper attention,acceptance,affection and dedication ...Again,let me explain :

Whether you bring home a new cast iron or a pampered one (read:pre-seasoned) ,you MUST pamper it well or again (in the latter case)  ,I mean,Cast irons must be always seasoned or cured properly.

Now,what the heck is seasoning - before you torture your brain and eyes ..let me explain as always -

Seasoning is the process of giving a durable finish to the cast irons by coating a thin layer of oil and baking it in the oven or high heat and Tadaaa..they gain a super power - they become non-stick and immortal meaning as long as they are seasoned well,their surface stays immune to rust and uselessness ..will always work like a charm .....Mr.Charming he is ;)

Now ,pampering time -let me explain as always (rolling eyes) - Or, I'll take a break for a few minutes ..meantime why don't you watch my quick video that will give you a hands on demo how to season a cast iron with or without oven ,on stove top as well -two ways to season the cast iron properly at home:


Now that we gave Mr.Cast iron a makeover ,it ai'nt over yet ...This Mr.Cast iron, love being pampered ...forever .... How ? let me explain again...as always...

How to keep your cast iron pan/skillet stay in love and loyal to you forever a.k.a How to maintain a Cast iron ?
  • When you use the cast iron for the first time after seasoning well,try cooking some real greasy stuff on it as it will reinforce the seasoning on the pan and more you cook or use it,more seasoned it'll stay.
  • Once seasoned and used ,clean it with (a drop of soap ,if it is must) ,hot water and a non metal scrub .For stubborn crusts on the pan,use coarse salt,hot water and a non metal brush . Then dry it thoroughly,otherwise it'll get rusty .If it gets a sticky coating or rust overtime,scrub it with a steel wool and reseason it again with oil.NEVER use it in a dishwasher ,soak it in water in your sink or use any harsh cleansers.Moisture is its ultimate enemy and lubricant ,its best friend forever.Make sure it doesn't have oodles of oil seasoned as that may attract dirts and develop over-sticky surface.
  • Never store the Cast iron cookware with the lid on as they need air circulation.
  • Always store them in a cool,dry place wit no to low humidity.
  • Never put cold water or cold food on the cast iron pan as the sudden temperature change may cause the pan to crack.
  • Use lower heat to cook initially and increase it slowly as it retains heat and needs less energy to cook food properly and that prevents from developing any sticky coating over the surface.Also, it can get very hot and if it does,beware of its handle as well.It may burn - so keep a potholder/mitt/strong towel handy and keep any plastic containers/ladles/tongs away from it.
  •  If food sticks to the pan,or tastes metallic,or shows a rusty spot ,it is a sign that it's pampering time again- time to reseason.
Now,what to do if Mr.Cast iron gets a rusty look a.k.a how to remove the rust from the cast iron ?

  • If it's a thin rust on the surface that can be scrubbed off,then use a sandpaper or and a nonmetal scrub,kosher salt/coarse salt,a drop of soap and hot water to clean it off .
  • If you have an oven with a self -cleaning setting,that will be enough to clean the mess by itself.
  • Otherwise if it's a stubborn rust crust,use a sandpaper to scrap gently and then use a vinegar and water solution : Fill a large container that can completely submerge the entire cast iron cookware well with an equal quantity of water and vinegar.Let it sit for 1-4 hours (max).The vinegar will aid in dissolving the rust.Then remove cast iron pan from the vinegar solution ,clean it in warm water later,use the scrub if needed,dry it completely and reseason it again with oil.Don't allow it to sit in the vinegar solution for more than that duration or it will affect the original coating of the cast iron and destroy it.
Man,this tough and hefty guy,Mr.cast iron knows how to demand loyalty and to keep you committed.Ain't it ???

Well,there,those are the magic bullet points for all of us to remember to keep us compatible with Mr.Cast iron..forever..

So,now what are you waiting for - bring him home today ;) or ask yourself - have you been loyal to the one you own already ?? Well,better late than never ...Hope my counseling was helpful ! :P (Don't forget to pay your bill -> "Pls SHARE" ,if you find it useful,let others who are not aware reap the benefits of a cast iron as well,right? (sharing is caring!)  ;) )

May you pamper,treasure each other..happily ever after ...forever....

Fall in love and stay in love,

Cheers,
manjusha








P.S. If you missed it also learn how to season an Earthenware/cooking clay pot