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Butter Murukku – Just Melts!

Butter Murukku Recipe: With festive seasons around, I’m all set to make snacks and sweets. You can expect more of it in Sarah’s Kitchen in the upcoming posts.

Butter murukku is one of the popular South Indian snack and as the name goes, it disappears so easily as we munch on it. It’s an easy to make recipe and requires just few ingredients for the preparation. It’s so delicate that it breaks of easily into pieces and even if we try making into some shape, it crumbles of easily. For that reason, it’s mostly available in pieces and can be prepared by pressing the dough directly over the hot using the murukku press at an angle.

Instead of pressing the dough directly over hot oil, I’ve used the alternate method to press the dough on a flat laddle and then dropped it in the oil. I’ve shaped it the way its typically made in any South Indian Household.

Butter Murukku

Ingredients:
1 cup rice flour
1/4 cup roasted gram flour
1 tsp sesame seeds
2 tblspn butter
pinch of hing
salt to taste

Method:
1. Dry roast the sesame seeds until they start to pop out.  Keep aside.
2. Freshly grind the roasted gram flour using roasted grams/pottu kadalai/chutney dal. Keep aside.
3. Now mix all the ingredients – Rice flour, roasted gram flour, sesame seeds, butter, hing, salt. Mix well using hands until the butter is completely mixed with the flour.
4. Now add water and make it into a soft dough just like chappati dough. Keep aside
5. Heat oil in a Kadai. Oil should be hot enough so that when you drop a very small piece of dough, it should surface immediately. After the oil is hot enough, keep in medium flame.
6. Use the murukku press to make round shape on back of a flat laddle and drop it one-by-one in the hot oil.
butter murukku dough
7. Don’t flip the murukku as soon as you have dropped in the oil. Wait for the sizzling sound of the oil to slightly reduce and then flip over. And when the sizzling sound completely subsides, remove the murukkus from the oil.
8. Remove the murukkus from hot oil using a oil strainer and keep them over paper towel.
9. Keep the murukkus open while they are hot. After its completely cooled off, you can store it in airtight container.

Note:
1. You can add 2 tblspn besan flour to the murukku dough for better shape.
2. You can also add cummin seeds to the murukku dough

Happy Cooking!

White Pumpkin Mor Kuzhambhu/Buttermilk Curry

White Pumpkin(vellai poosanikai) Butermilk Curry: After three months of raining, now Sun is back to its form. I’m trying to keep my dishes as simple and refreshing as it could be to beat the heat. Mor kuzhambhu/buttermilk curry is one such category and adds that feels so good factor.

In my earlier post on ladies finger buttermilk curry, I’ve sauted the ladies finger separately to avoid the stickiness. For white pumpkin, I’ve cooked them similar to stir fry method with some spices and finally add the grounded ingredients & the buttermilk.

white pumpkin buttermilk curry

Ingredients:
3/4 cup curd + 1/2 cup water
1 cup white pumpkin(cut into medium size pieces)
1/4 tspn turmeric powder
1 tspn coriander powder
1 tspn mustard seeds
1 tspn urad dal
1/2 tspn fenugreek seeds
1 tspn cummin seeds
2 red chillies
1 sprig of curry leaves
Few coriander leaves (finely chopped)
Pinch of hing
Salt to taste

For grinding:
1 tblspn raw rice(soaked for 20-30 minutes)
1/2 tspn cummin seeds
2-3 green chillies
3 tblspn grated coconut

Method:
1. Blend the curd in a mixer to a creamy texture. Mix with 1/2 cup water and blend again. Buttermilk is ready now. Keep aside.
2. Dry Saute the cummin seeds for a couple of minutes until the nice aroma comes. Keep aside.
3. Now add the cumin seeds, raw rice, green chillies, grated coconut in a mixer and grind to a fine paste by adding lil water. Keep the paste aside.
4. Heat 2-3 tblspn oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds to splutter. Now add the urad dal and saute until it turns light brown, then add the cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, red chillies, curry leaves, hing in quick succession.
5. Now add the white pumpkin, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt and saute for a minute. Add lil water and cook with closed in medium flame until the pumpkin is fully cooked.
6. To the cooked pumpkin, add the ground paste and saute for a couple of minutes. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Keep in medium flame. Now add the butter milk, stir well and then switch off the stove.
7. Now your buttermilk curry is ready. Sprinkle coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice and veg/non-veg side.

Happy Cooking!

 


 

Dal Makhani – Guest contribution from Satnam Kaur Sihra

Dal Makhani from Satnam : 

After moving to the new place near my kids school, Satnam was the first person I got connected with. She is a warm, loving person with full of life and energy. A busy mom of two lovely kids, she teaches phonetics for kids and is so passionate about cooking. Between her busy schedule, she has made an effort to bring me  Dal Makhani – It tasted so good! I have taken the pics of her Dal Makhani and for all her efforts & tasty preparation, she deserves a column here.

Dal Makhani

Ingredients:
1 cup black urad dal(black gram)
1/4 cup Rajma(Red Kidney beans)
3/4 chana dal(Bengal gram)
2 medium sized onion(finely chopped)
3 medium sized tomatoes(finely chopped)
2 tspn ginger garlic paste
1 tspn red chilly powder
1 tspn garam masala
1 tblspn cream or butter
1/4 tspn turmeric powder
salt to taste

Method:
1. Soak black urad dal, rajma & channa dal for 1 hour. Then pressure them along with turmeric powder, salt for 6-7  whistles until the dal is soft. Mash with a laddle and keep aside.
2. Heat 2-3 tblspn oil in a pan. Add the onions and saute until golden brown.
3. Add ginger garlic paste and saute for 2 minutes
3. Then add the tomatoes and cook with closed lid until they turn mushy. Then saute until oil separates from the edges.
4. Now add the chilly power and the garam masala powder. Saute for 2 minutes.
5. To this add the mashed dal and stir well until everything is completely mixed.
6. Switch off the stove, add cream and serve hot with roti/chappati/Naan/Parathas.

Happy Cooking!

 

Raw Banana Chips – So Crispy & Yummy!

Raw Banana(Nendrangai) chips: This is one of the popular and trademark snacks of Kerala. And an easy to make snack too. Though we get this snack in most of the shops, only few come with that authentic taste. There’s a Kerala shop near by my home where I get all these authentic Kerala products. I got the raw bananas(nendranghai) from that shop and gave it a try, as my husband is so fond of this chips. It came out really well and I felt that the raw banana chips are much more tastier when made at home. Especially, the taste is authentic when coconut oil is used for frying the chips.

The only point that I would like to stress here is that we have to be careful while holding the vegetable slicer over the hot oil, as this preparation requires slicing the banana directly over the hot oil.

Raw banana chips/nendhranghai chips

Ingredients:
2 Raw banana
1 tspn salt
1/4 cup water
Coconut oil for frying

Method:
1. Mix salt in 1/4 cup water and keep aside.
2. Peel the skin of the banana and keep aside.
3. Heat oil in a kadai. Test if oil is hot enough, by dropping a slice of banana – if it surfaces immediately then the oil is hot enough for frying. Keep the flame in medium.
4. With the vegetable slicer, slice the banana directly over the hot oil, keeping the flame in medium.
5. Saute for a couple of minutes and then gently add a tblspn of salt water to the hot oil. As the oil sizzles, keep sauting the chips until you get the crispiness without the color change.
6. Transfer the chips to a paper towel to remove excess oil.
7. Now your chips is ready to be served.

Note:
1. If you are not comfortable in adding the salt water, you can skip that step. Instead in the end you can sprinkle salt over the chips while they are still hot on the paper towel.
2. Fry in batches without crowding the kadai too much.
3. If you preparing with more no. of bananas, you can put them in water once you peel the skin to avoid coloration. Just before slicing over the hot oil, pat dry the bananas using a paper towel.

Happy Cooking!

Kathirikai/Brinjal Masiyal – A Perfect Blend!

Kathirikai/Brinjal Masiyal – This is one of those popular dishes that’s prepared across India in various states with just a few variation in the spices. My mom prepares this dish using the small brinjals that’s commonly available in South India and the dish is similar to chidambaram gosthu. It tastes great with steamed rice and Idli. Since its the smaller brinjals, she cuts them into pieces and cooks it. For a long time, I wanted to try this recipe with the bigger brinjal. I’ve used the same method used in /Punjabi Bhaingan bharta/ Gujrati Oroh to burn the Brinjal/Egg plant over the flame. My idea is to remove the skin easily and also to get lil bit of smoky flavour for the dish. With kids around, you should be cautious in using this method. Else, you can pan fry the brinjal with lil oil until the outer skin shrinks and the inner is soft.

Brinjal masiyal

brinjal masiyal

Ingredients:
1 big brinjal
8-10 small onions/sambar onions(finely chopped)
1&1/2 tomato(finely chopped)
4-5 garlic cloves
1 red chilly
2 green chilly
2 Sprig of curry leaves
1/2 tspn mustard seeds
1/2 tspn urad dal
1/2 tspn cummin seeds
1 inch tamarind
1/2 tspn turmeric powder
pinch of hing
few coriander leaves
2-3 tblspn ghee

Method:
1. Prick the brinjal with knife on 4-5 places. Burn the brinjal in low flame for 5-7 minutes for the inside to be cooked. Then burn again in medium to high flame for 10-15 minutes until the skin shrinks. I have used a grill tool for my stove top.
sutta kathirikkai/ burnt brinjal

2. Peel the skin and cut the inside part roughly into smaller pieces using a knife. While you cut, the inside part would be slightly mashed. Keep aside.
3. Heat 2-3 tablspn sesame oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds to splutter. Then add the urad dal, cummin seeds and red chilly. When the urad dal becomes light brown, add the curry leaves, hing, green chillies, garlic and the onions.
4. Saute onions to stage just before golden brown. Now the tomatoes, turmeric powder and salt.
5. Saute until the tomatoes turn mushy and oil separates on the sides.
6. Add the brinjal and lil water. Mix well and cook with closed lid for another 5-7 minutes until the brinjal is completely cooked and mushy.
7. Add the tamarind, saute for a minute and switch of the stove.
8. Then while hot, smash it well(I have used more mathu for smashing). Sprinkle coriander.
9. Add ghee and serve with steamed rice.

Happy Cooking!

Lemon Rice – A quick make!

Lemon Rice Recipe: Can cooking be this simpler? That would be the first impression one gets when preparing lemon rice. The real flavour and taste of lemon rice lies in packing it in banana leaf. It comes under the Kattu saadhum/choru category where we pack rice for long distance travel. I still remember, how my uncle used to pack lemon rice in banana leaf and newspaper when we return from our granny place. Its almost 6 hrs travel from my granny place and the food stays good & tasty. For this sweet memory, I’m emotionally attached to it, beyond the fact that lemon rice could be made in minutes.

Lemon, curry leaves & honey are three most important ingredients that’s always available in my kitchen. I use it almost everyday. Lemon rice comes handy for a quick fix cooking. It tastes best with potato stir fry or brinjal stir fry.

Lemon Rice

Ingredients:
1 cup steamed rice
1 medium sized lemon
1 red chilly
1 green chilly
1/4 tspn turmeric powder
pinch of hing
1/2 tspn mustard seeds
1/2 tspn urad dal
1/2 tspn channa dal (optional)
few coriander leaves
1 sprig of curry leaves
salt to taste

Method:
1. Heat 2-3 tblspn oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds t0 splutter. Then add the urad dal, channa dal and saute until they turn slight brown. Then add the red chilly, curry leaves, green chilly, hing , turmeric in quick succession and switch off the stove.
2. To this add the lemon juice and salt. Mix well.
3. Pour this tempering on the steamed rice and mix well. Add 1-2 tblspn sesame oil and coriander leaves while mixing for enhanced flavour.
4. Serve along with potato/brinjal stir fry

Happy Cooking!

Carrot Poriyal/Stir Fry – Simple & Tasty!

Carrot Poriyal/Stir Fry Recipe: This is an easy to make South Indian dish and it’s a great accompaniment for steamed rice and sambar/karakuzhambhu(click here for Karakuzhambhu recipe).

Carrots come in different colours like red, purple, yellow and white apart from the commonly available orange colour. In my local market, I get two varieties – The long thin slender somewhat pinkish orange type and another is short thick broad orange one.

Carrot is one of those vegetable that’s so commonly used in global cuisine. Its beta carotene stays intake even after cooking – So we need not bother much about the form(raw or cooked) in which it has to be taken. When it comes to cooking, its always good to use steaming or stir fry method than boiling.

dsc06323

Ingredients:
3-4 medium sized carrots(chop into small pieces)
1/2 medium sized onion(finely chopped)
1/2 tspn mustard seeds
1/2 tspn cummin seeds
1/2 red chilly
1 green chilly
pinch of turmeric powder
1 sprig of curry leaves
2-3 tblspn grated coconut
salt to taste

Method:
1. Heat 2-3 tblspn oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds to splutter. Then add the cummin seeds, red chilly, green chilly, curry leaves, finely chopped onion and saute for a minute.
2. Now add the carrots, turmeric powder and salt. Sprinkle some water and cook in medium flame for 5-6 minutes with closed lid.
3. Once the vegetables is cooked and the moisture is completely absorbed, switch off the stove.
4. Spread the grated coconut over the cooked carrot and mix it.
5. Serve hot with steamed rice and curry.

Happy Cooking!

Purple Cabbage Kootu – A Colourful Treat!

Purple Cabbage Kootu: First time when I prepared this vegetable, my kid was really awestruck by its colour. Right from cutting & cleaning to the cooking stage, she was very inquisitive about its colour change. I remember her asking”Why do we get a blue water when we wash this purple vegetable?”…Im still looking for the right answer..

Generally all colour vegetables carry loads of nutrients and vitamins within them. Its good to include such vegetables in our regular menu. Purple cabbage kootu is an easy to make and wonderful dish that can be served as a side dish for any curry and steamed rice combo.

dsc06513

Ingredients:
1 cup purple cabbage(finely shredded)
1/2 medium sized onion(finely cut)
1/2 medium sized tomato(finely cut)
2-3 tblspn channa dal
1/2 tspn mustard seeds
1/2 tspn urad dal
1/2 tspn cummin seeds
1 red chilly
1/2 green chilly
2-3 garlic pods
pinch of hing
a sprig of curry leaves
salt to taste

Method:
1. Pressure cook the channa dal for 4-5 whistles until its soft(without losing shape). Keep aside.
2. Heat 2-3 tblspn oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds to splutter. Then add the urad dal and saute until golden brown. Then add the cummin seeds, red chilly, curry leaves, green chilly, garlic pods, hing and the finely chopped onions. Saute for minute.
3. Now add the finely chopped tomato and saute for a minute.
4. Now add the cabbage. Add lil water and saute for a minute. Cook with closed lid for 6-7 minutes in medium to low flame.
5. Once the vegetable is completely cooked and moisture is absored, add the cooked channa dal. Give it a stir for a minute or so. Switch off the stove.
6. Serve hot with steamed rice and curry.

Happy cooking!

Sweet Aval/Poha Breakfast – Refreshing Mornings!

Sweet Aval/Poha Recipe: This is one of those easy to make recipes with very few ingredients and requires no cooking at all. When I know for sure that my lunch is going to be heavy, I try to balance it with a lighter morning. Sweet Aval breakfast makes me feel light and refreshed. I serve this dish along with banana just like the way we prepare and serve any puttu varieties.

When we were kids, My mom used to make it as a snack with a much more chewy texture. She used to sprinkle lil bit of hot water, so its like the aval is half cooked. While, in this recipe, I have rinsed the aval in water to make it soft and at the same I have prepared the dish without compromising the taste.

Sweet Aval/Poha breakfast

Ingredients:
1 &1/2 cup Aval
3-4 tblspn sugar(slightly powdered)
4 tblspn coconut grated or coarsely grounded
1 cardamom
1 tblspn ghee
pinch of salt

Method:
1. Wash Aval 2-3 times in water. Strain the water completely and leave it for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, slightly grind sugar along with cardamom in a mixer. Keep aside
3. Remove the brown skin of the coconut and grind it coarsely without adding water in a mixer (or) grate the coconut. Keep aside.
4. Now the aval would be soft. To it add the powdered cardamom sugar, coarsely ground coconut, ghee, pinch of salt and mix well. Now your Sweet Aval is ready.
5. Serve the Sweet Aval with banana. For kids, you could add some hot milk before serving to make it more softer. Also add ghee roasted nuts to make it healthier for kids.

Happy Cooking!

Kashayam for cold – Home Remedy!

Kashayam for cold: When it comes to cold ailment nothing beats paati vaithiyum/Home remedies learnt from our elders. More recently, I started growing herbs like holy basil(tulsi) and Indian Borage(karpooravalli) in my balcony. These are commonly grown in South Indian households and come handy for cold treatment for all age groups.

I prepared a herbal concoction/kashayam the other day to fight the terrible cold that I was caught with. Sometimes, I crush the herbs and include them in my green tea and have it along with honey & lemon for a quick winter morning relief.

To get more information on herbs and health benefits, Follow me on Pinterest

kashayam for cold/ cold concoction

Kashayam Ingredients

Ingredients:
1 cup water
4-5 Holi basil(Tulsi) leaves
3-4 Indian Borage/karpooravalli leaves
1 tspn black pepper( slightly crushed)
2 tspn coriander seeds
1 inch ginger(crushed)
1/4 tspn turmeric powder
1/2 inch cinnamon stick
3-4 cloves
1 tspn honey

Directions:

1. Boil 1 cup water in a vessel. Break the leaves into 3-4 pieces using hands or else you could crush them using a mortar and pestle. Add it to the boiling water.
2. Now add the rest of the ingredients(Pepper could be slightly crushed so that some of it remain full and some gets broken. Nicely ground the ginger and add to the boiling water)
3. I generally use coriander seeds and sukku(dry ginger) in my kashayam. Since the stock got over, I haven’t used them. But its ideal to use coriander seeds.
4. Add all ingredients except honey. Let the concoction boil for few minutes until the quantity of water reduces to almost half.
5. Filter the Kashayam and let it cool off. When the kashayam is luke worm, add honey and drink it.

Stay Healthy!

 

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