Sunday, August 14, 2011

Wheat Halwa / Tirunelveli Halwa / Godhumai Halwa for ICC July 2011

This is my first experience participating for the ICC,and this month's challenge is very interesting and am happy to start with a traditional sweet.which is a hit in every household.."Tirunelveli Halwa"..
Srivalli  is the person behind this wonderful event so we can recall these traditional recipes in our very own kitchen..This time they have given three recipes for reference:

1. Shalini's Wheat halwa
2.Sowmya's Wheat Halwa
3.Lataji's Wheat Halwa

I've selected the 1st recipe from Shalini- Wheat halwa,because i just wanted to try with a smaller quantity and this had the measurements..
Now going to the recipe:


Samba wheat grain- 1 cup
Sugar-2 1/4cup(this quantity was sufficient )
Elachi powder- 2tsp
Water-3/4cup (for syrup)
Water-To grind and extract wheat milk-4 cups
Red/yellow food colour-2pinches
Wheat milk-you can see the thicker part getting settled down..
but i mixed this  before adding to the syrup
Sugar and water.

After removing impurities the sugar syrup is boiled to get one string consistency


1.Soak Wheat grain for 48 hours and wash and grind with 1cup of water .
2.Extract milk by adding 1tumbler of water to get thick extract and then another two cups to get thin extracts and discard the brown mass.
3.So mix all the extracted milk because you'll need it to delay the process of thickening as you stir it.
4.Take a heavy bottomed vessel with handle,I used my 5lt pressure pan for this purpose,heat the measured sugar with 3/4th cup water and stir till sugar dissolves..Now you need to remove the impurities from the sugar either by filtering it or add few tsp of milk to the syrup so when it boils the dirt will collect as scum on the top and you can remove it easily..
5.Now let the syrup boil and reach 1string consistency,it took some 20 minutes for me.
6.Then stir the wheat milk once before adding so all the thick and thin part get evenly mixed and then add it to the sugar syrup while you stir to avoid lumps.add the elachi powder and food colour.
7.Then keep stirring the mixture and as it thickens,keep the flame low.
8.Add a tsp of ghee in another kadai fry the cashews and add to the halwa.Then melt the rest of the ghee and keep it ready.
8.When the mixture starts to thicken start adding ghee,2tsp at a time and then keep stirring  adding ghee in  regular intrevals until the mixture forms a ball and leaves the sides of the vessel..this took around an hour for me and keep stirring to avoid the mixture from burning and the raw smell of the wheat milk is completely gone.
9.Then allow to cool and transfer to a clean,dry container..and serve hot/cold.
10.We thoroughly enjoyed this dish.....
wheat milk+ sugar syrup

starts to thicken

Add caption

on adding a few spoons of ghee

bubbling !!

almost done

U can see the halwa leaving the sides of the vessel.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Prawn Manchurian


Prawns-(shelled,deveined and washed)-250gms(I used the bigger variety)

Cleaning the prawns:

To remove the veins u need to draw a line on the back portion of the each prawn with a blade or kitchen knife and then lift the black thread like vein that is visible)--cleaning is messy but it's very important because u'l upset ur tummy if you cook it with the veins....

Capsicum-1no chopped into big chunks

Onion-1no(chopped into chunks)

Spring onion-cut the green part for garnishing and keep little for sauting with the onions(I didn't use as it was not available this time)

Onion bulbs from the spring onion-chop roughly for sauting

Green chillies-4(cut into thin strips)

Ginger-3inch(finely chopped)

Garlic-6-7pods(finely chopped)

Tomato Sauce-2tsp(this will give a sweet taste)optional-kids would love this
Red chilly paste-1tsp(Soak 1/2 cup red chillies in hot water till it cools and then grind with some salt and vinegar).you can store this paste in the freezer and it's handy.
Oil-2tsp(for frying prawns)(sesame oil is better)
Oil-3tsp(for manchurian sauce)

For marination-

Ginger-Garlic paste-1tsp
Soya sauce-2tsp
Chilli powder-1tsp
Salt to taste


1.Make a paste of all the above marinade ingredients and coat it in the prawns and keep in the refrigerator 2 or 3 hours.
2.Take a shallow non-stick pan and pour 2tsp oil and shallow fry the prawns till cooked this takes about 5-10 minutes...DONT'l become tough..

For the sauce:

1.Now u'l have the remaining marinade add 1/4 cup water and mix it and keep aside.
2.Heat the same shallow frying pan with 3tsp oil and add the ginger garlic and fry for a few minutes followed by soya sauce,red chilli paste and tomato sauce(if using) and saute for 2mins 
3.Add the marinade mixture and bring to a boil till it's thick add the cut spring onions and onions  and capsicum and saute for 2minutes.
4.Add the fried prawns and saute till everything is mixed in the sauce and serve garnished with the spring onion..
5.Goes well with fried rice,noodles,or any Indian breads....Enjoy!

Note: I've not used MSG because my daughter loves this dish and it's better to avoid it...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Easy Vanilla Cake

This recipe is from Nisa's ! Cooking Is Easy ... was searching for a spongy,soft textured cake using less butter and wanted to try this and it came out so well and everybody at home just loved the cake and the texture was so soft..just can't tell in words...Makes a good tea time snack and now itz become my daughter's favourite snack for the short break in school.........All this credit goes to Nisa...Keep up the good work...

My sweet daughter helped me in greasing the tray for the cake...she loved to be around..and it was fun.


Flour(Maida)- 2 1/4 cup
Sugar-1 1/2 cup
Butter-1/2 cup(100gm)
I used salted butter so didn't add salt..
Milk- 1 1/4 cup
Baking powder- 3 1/2 tsp
Eggs- 3no(room temperature)


1.Grease the cake pans with butter and dust with flour and keep it ready.
2.Sift the flour and baking powder atleast twice and keep it aside.
3.Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
4.Take the softened butter in a wide vessel and beat till soft.
5.Add the sugar and beat till you get a creamy mixture,add the eggs one by one and beat till you get a soft fluffy mixture,add the essence and mix for a minute.
6.Add the milk and flour alternating in 3 portions until all the flour and milk are added and scrape the sides of the vessel and give a fold and mix motion to the batter.NO VIGOUROUS MIXING.
7.Pour this into prepared tins and bake in the preheated oven for 45 mins to one hour,until a toothpick/knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
8.Cool the cake on a wire rack ,cut and serve.Enjoy!

Monday, August 1, 2011


Idiyappam and Thengaipaal

Tools used

Idiyappam flour-1cup (Store bought)I use Anil brand
Water-1 1/2 cup
1.Add salt to the water and bring it to a rolling boil,switch off the flame and quickly add the flour to the water while continuously stirring to avoid lump formation.
2.Then allow this to cool a bit say 1min and add 1tsp oil and then knead well.though it's hot as on cooling it becomes difficult to press the string hoppers.
3.Grease the plates and keep it ready.
4.Take this in the idiyappam mould little at a time and press onto the plates and steam in a idly cooker for 10-15mins.
5.Serve with sweetened coconut milk.

Coconut milk


Coconut pieces-taken from 1/2 shell (cut into bits)
Sugar to taste.


1.Grind the coconut pieces and elachi with little say 1/4 cup water to a fine paste.
2.Strain and press the coconut pulp to get thick milk.
3.Discard the coconut,u may extract 2nd milk adding another cup of water and can use it in your kurma for the day.
4.Add sugar to taste and mix well with a spoon and serve with idiyappams.

Pallipalayam Chicken Fry


Naatu (country chicken) kozhi- 1kg(Preferably with skin)
Preferably small onions- 1/4kg(can use big if this is not available)(Chopped fine)
Tomato-1no(small )
Garlic-20pods(chopped fine)
Curry leaves-few sprigs
Whole Red chilli-15nos(cut with a scissor taking out the bract and seeds)
Red chilli powder-1/2tsp(If u like it spicy otherwise skip this)
Salt to taste


Cinnamon-3inch piece



1.Take a heavy kadai,heat it with oil..when hot add the whole spices(cinnamon and cloves).when they splutter.add the chopped onion,curry leaves and fry till golden brown taking care not to burn,keep sauting.
2.When onions turn golden add the chopped garlic and fry till sauted and cooked well,then add the chopped tomatoes and whole red chillies and saute till tomatoes are cooked.
3.Add the turmeric and red chilli powder and give a quick swirl and add some 1/2 cup of water and cover and cook till the mixture is blended well to a gravy and oil sepertes,now add the cleaned and washed chicken pieces and give a stir till all the masala is coated on the pieces,add salt and mix well..
4.Cover and cook over medium flame,till the meat is tender,check for water in between as this recipe calls for country chicken it takes sometime to cook,this might take some 30-45 mins.If water is less u can add 1/4 cup at a time and stir well and cook and when meat is tender, remove the lid and stir it on high heat till u get a gravy that coats the pieces well and the oil shows up ..
5.Serve hot with Green gram Kadaisal..