Sweet Coconut Kozhukattai & A Sweet Surprise

This Sweet Coconut Kozhukattai is very famous in south Indian’s festivals. No auspicious occasion is fulfilled without this kozhukattai. This is mainly made as a neivedhyam for Lord Ganesh chaturthi.

Sweet Coconut Kozhukattai is my favaratie sweet snack. Though it is a sweet recipe for vinayagar chathurthi (Lord Genesh’s birthday), in my family mom used to make it quite often. How much ever she makes, the bowl will get empty very quickly. As a kid we used to paly with Kozhukattais by making different funny shapes. But when made for neivedhyam we kids will not not be allowed to make a mess with the doght,….. It will be made with lot of care and perfection. As a grown up I too share hands with my mom to make perfect Kozhukattai .

At my last India trip I found this Kozhukattai mould in a shop and bought one. I was wondering how to use it, I did not had any idea how to make Kozhukattai out of it, finally got one method in my mind and I tried it out, It turned out fairly good enough.

Well, This is my contribution toAFAM - Coconut... Suganya of Tasty Palettes.... is hosting this month's event....All the best Suganya.......

Ingredients :

For the Dough:
Rice flour – 1 cup
Water – around 1 ½ cups
Salt – ½ teaspoon
Oil – 1 tablespoon

For the Filling:
Fresh coconut – 1 cup
Jaggery – ½ cup or more
Water – 2 tablespoon
Cardamom Powder – 1 teaspoon

Procedure :

Dough: In a non stick sauce pot bring the water to a boil. Then add the oil and salt to the water, now add the rice flour to the boiling water and stir it continually until a soft ball is formed. More hot water or flour can be added according to the need. Remove the dough form heat and let it cool for a few minutes and knead the dough for 2 minutes or until the dough become soft and playable.

Filling: Break the jaggery into small peaces. Mix the jaggery and water in a small sauce pot and bring it to a boil. Allow the jaggery to dissolve completely and become thick sightly. Now add the coconut to the jaggery mixture and cardamom powder and mix it together. More coconut can be added if needed. Allow the mixture to cool.

To make the Kozhukattai: Take a small ball of dough and make it to a perfect round and make a hole in the middle and fill it with the coconut filling and close the hole with the remaining dough left in the sides of the hole, like a small dumpling package. Now steam the dumpling for 10 to 15 minutes.

To make the Kozhukattai with the mould. First liberally oil the mould, then stuff the dough into the closed mould by making a hollow hole in the middle, then fill in the filling and then close the opening with some more dough and then unmould it and this forms a perfect shape.

A Sweet surprise:

I have Won this month's EatHealthy Fiber Rich event. I am fully surprised and flattered. I did not expected this at all. I have no words to tell about my happiness.......Any ways Thank u Sangeeth Raghunathan for the prize.

Eat Healthy - Fiber Rich

An Tag and some more awards:

Jamie of Flavor pantry has tagged me for this MEME so that I can share a little bit more about myself with you. Thanks Jamie for the tagging me

What was I doing ten years ago?
I was doing my schooling in Chennai.

What are five things on my to-do list for today (non-work related)?
1. Clean the house.
2. Cooking and Blogging
3. Go to gym
4. Practice my driving
5. Shop for some grocers.

What are five snacks I enjoy?
1. Samosas
2. Cinnamon Roll (It is a snack for me)
3. Muruku
4. Sowcarpet Sandwich and Pani pori.
5. All types of puffs

What things would I do if I were a billionaire?
Well, I would go to a world trip with my family and friends.

Places I’ve lived?
Chennai, TN India
Schaumburg, IL
Racine, WI
Milwaukee - WI

Jobs I’ve had:
Didn’t had a chance still know, but wating to get one.

Tag You’re It!
1. JZ of Tasty treats
2. Madhuram of Eggless cooking
3. Prajusha of Magic Kitchen
4. Laavanya of Cookery Corner

Suma Rajesh of Suma’s cusine and JZ of Tasty treats gave one more surprise for me.I am flattered. This award was come up by JAMIE.

This is given to bloggers whose stories and recipes inspire us. Whether it’s to eat healthier, dive back into our past to conjure up something we ate as children, or just make the light bulbs in our brains go on with a new idea for a recipe.

As recipients of this award, please share with us what inspires you and then pass on the Inspiration Award to 4 other deserving bloggers.

Please let them know what the award means and what to do with it.

Feel free to post the Inspiration Award Logo on your site for the whole blogsphere to see. (logo photo taken by my inspiring friend and co-author of Dueling Foodies Beth.)

As per rules let me share some things that inspires me-

1. I am inspired my by grandmother and my mom’s cooking.

2. My hubby Ramkumar who had a positive and supportive attitude.

3. Many of my friends have inspired me by there boldness.

As per rules I have select 4 bloggers. They are

Asha of Foodie's Hope and Aroma!

Kalai of Samaithu paarkalaam

Jamie of Flavor pantry

Kamala of Moms recipe

Hetal of Isha’s Kitcken and Indranee Batabyal of Mistress of Spices have passed me the rocking girl award and I love to pass it to :

JZ of Tasty treats
Sujatha of Indulge in south Indian home-style cooking
and also to Hetal

Mushroom Biryani

This is a very simple vegetarian pulav made in the same way as any other pulav or biryani.

This is a very simple and easy rice recipe. I Make it all time with or with out mushrooms. I serve this for lunch as well as for dinner. They are so filling and satisfying. And another happy thing about this pulav is that they can be increased in volume to any extend.

For the Non - Vegetarian version of this biryani, add Shrimp to the biryani it tastes great. Love this recipe so much. And the recipe source is my Mom. This is one of her best recipes.

I am planing to send this recipe to Rice Varieties Event ...... Easy craft of Simple Indian food is hosting this months events. Good luck!!….

Ingredients :

Mushroom – 1 cup sliced
Basmati Rice – 1 cup
Potato – 1 big cubed
Peas – ¼ cup
Carrot – ¼ cup cubed
Green Beans – ¼ cup cubed
Onions – 1 big cubed
Tomato – 1 small cubed
Green Chilies – 2 sliced
Mint leaves – 1 handful
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tablespoon
Water – 1 cup
Coconut milk – 1 cup
Lemon Juice – 1 teaspoon
Garam masala – 1 teaspoon
Red chili powder – ½ teaspoon
Butter – 2 tablespoon

For Tempering:
Whole Garam Masalas, 4 mint leaves and ½ hand full of coriander leaves

Procedure :

This is a pressure cooker procedure.
1. Melt butter in the pressure cooker and then add the tempering items one by one.
2. Then add the onions and green chilies and sauté it for few minutes, Then add the tomatoes and all the veggies with ginger garlic pastes and sauté it for few minutes or until the veggies are little soft.
3. Then add the mint leaves, salt, chili powder, garam masala and sauté for few minutes and then add the soaked rice without water, then add the water and coconut milk and stir it for a few minutes then finally add the lemon juice and close the cooker and allow it to whistle once. Then remove the cooker from the heat immediately.

JZ of Tasty treats Have tagged me for this MEME. Thank u dear....

1. Last movie u saw in a theater?
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Today evening going to Dasavatharam(Tamil movie)

2. What book are u reading?
All types of cookbooks and cake decorating techniques books.

3. Favorite board game?
Chess, Carrom, All games with a pack of cards and chinese checker.

4. Favorite magazine?
Bon appetite and many food mag...

5. Favorite smells?
Sandal, Lavender and Pineapple

6. Favorite sounds?
The baby’s laugh sound that comes as the mobile ring tone.

7. Worst feeling in the world?
When my loved ones avoids me in any satiation..

8. What is the first thing you think of when u wake?
Is it morning 6 o’ clock so soon? Can anyone cook and clean the house for me!(I am so lazy)

9. Favorite fast food place?
Gyros, Sandwiches and cinnamon rolls.

10. Future child's name?
No idea.

11. Finish this statement—'If I had a lot of money I’d....’
I will provide food for all the hungry peoples.

12. Do u drive fast?
Now only I have started to learn driving.

13. Do u sleep with a stuffed animal?
No, I am allergic to stuff dolls.

14. Storms–cool or scary?
Storms are scary for me.

15. What was your first car?
None till now!

16. Favorite drink?
Fresh squeeze orange juice, cold coffee and milk shakes.

17. Finish this statement - If I had the time I would…
Would try baking and decorating some cake or try new recipes.....

18. Do you eat the stems on broccoli?
Ya, sometimes….

19. If you could dye your hair any other color, what would be your choice?
Maroon shade that most of the south Indian actress do.

20. Name all the different cities/towns u have lived in?
Chennai, Schaumburg(IL), Racine(WI), Milwaukee(WI)

21. Favorite sports to watch?

22. One nice thing about the person who sent this to you?
JZ is a new and nice friend of mine through the blog. She is a very puff up girl. She inspires me a lot in her recipe presentation.

23. Whats under your bed?

24. Would u like to be born as yourself again?

25. Morning person or night owl?
Always morning person…..

26. Over easy or sunny side up?
Love both.

27. Favorite place to relax?
Sitting on the beach side and see the weaves!

28. Favorite pie?
Apple pie!

29. Favorite ice cream flavor?

30. Of all the people u have tagged, who is the most likely to respond first?
Every one.

Thanks for reading abt me......To know more abt some of my friends I would like to tag:

Cham of Spice-club

Uma of Essence Of Andhra

Kamala of Moms Recipes

Sujatha of Indulge in South Indian Home Style Cooking

Kalai of Samaithu paarkalaam

This is purely of ur choice to participate in this MEME my friends. I u have been tagged already please ignore it.

Lentils Soup

This is a very healthy and filling soup. This lentils soup is a vegetarian soup packed fully with nutrients.

Compared to other types of dried beans, lentils are relatively quick and easy to cook. One cup of lentils has 62% to 65% of fiber in them. They can absorb a variety of wonderful flavors from other foods and seasonings. Lentils have a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber.

This is an Italian soup. Got this recipe form food network site. They taste great with garlic croutons. This lentils soup is one of my family’s favorite soup, I make this at least once in a week. The recipe called for chicken broth, to make it a completely vegetarian soup I have used vegetable broth. Love to make my own vegetable broth than the store bought one, but for chicken soup I use store bought chicken broth as I don’t like to make chicken broth and store it for a long time.

So this is my contribution for Eat Healthy – Fiber . Sangeeth Raghunathan of Art of Cooking Indian Food is hosting this months event. Good luck!

Ingredients :

Green Lentils - 1 1/4 cups
Onion – 1 big cubed
Carrots, peeled and chopped - 2
Celery stalks, chopped - 2
Garlic cloves, chopped – 2 big
Salt and black pepper
Diced tomatoes – 1 can (14 ounce)
Home Made Vegetable broth – around 10 cups
Fresh thyme sprigs - 4 to 6
Dried pasta(any short pasta) – 2/3 cup
Butter - 2 tablespoons

Procedure :

1. Heat the butter in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper and saute until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes with their juices. Simmer until the juices evaporate a little and the tomatoes break down, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

3. Add the lentils and mix to coat. Add the broth and stir. Add the thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil over high heat.

4. Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes.

5. Stir in the pasta. Simmer until the pasta is tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Chettinad Varutha Kozhi / Chettinad Chicken Fry

Chettinad Varutha Kozhi is a spicy chicken cooked until thick as desired.

This is one of my favorite chicken dishes. I got this recipe for one of the old cookbook of Chettinad recipes. They taste very good with rice (sambar rice), Chapattis, idly, iddiappam and dosas. Mostly all Chettinad recipes are made using sesame oil. That was the traditional way of cooking in Chettinad food. I am not a big fan of using sesame oil in my food, but it’s my hubby’s favorite, so after cooking, I use to drizzle some sesame oil for him. That too tastes equally good it seems.

This varutha kozhi is very famous in any Chettinad restaurants. This recipe brings more of a home cooked taste and flavor. When ever I get chicken with bones, immediately I go for this recipe and each time it has turned out so good.

I would like to send this recipe to vandana rajesh of Cooking up something nice for this month’s theme Chicken

Ingredients :

Chicken Pieces With Bone – 2 lb
Shallots – ½ cup
Whole Red Chilies – 15 nos
Coriander seeds – 4 teaspoon
Fresh Ginger – 2”
Fresh Garlic Cloves – 10 nos
Fennel Seeds – 1 tablespoon
Black Stone Flower – 1 small
Sesame Oil – 2 tablespoon

Procedure :

1. In a heavy bottom pan heat the sesame oil and add the chicken pieces and saute them for few minutes.

2. In the mean while saute the shallots for 2 minutes in a separate pan and allow it to cool. Now add the cooled shallots and all the above masala ingredients (except salt and black stone flower) to a blender and make it to a smooth paste.

3. Add the paste to the chicken on the pan with some salt and black stone flower and saute it for few seconds and now pour 1 cup of water and allow the chicken to cook and the masala comes to desired consistency. I made it completely dry. Then while serving drizzle with some sesame oil.

Cucumber Petites

My Cucumber petites are very simple and cool appetizer. They are perfect for all occasions.

Once again the inspiration of these cucumber petites is a recipe from one of the food network show of Sandra Lee’s. I have given my own twist to it. The recipe called for smoked salmon, I have replaced it with roasted red peppers and also some herbs of my choice. This tasted very good. It had a very cool effect and so refreshing. The crispiness from the cucumber and the creaminess form the cream cheese balanced so well. And the coolest thing is that, this is the first time I made this appetizer and it became our favorite right away.

I love making appetizers and snacks than making main dishes. How abt u people? I think its lot of fun making them. I was delighted to see the theme of this month ‘s Monthly Mingle - Appetizers & Hors'Doeuvres ... So another entry of appetizer to Monthly mingle.

Ingredients :

Cucumber Slices – 1
Cream Cheese – 8 ounce / 1 packet
Ranch Dressing – 2 tablespoon
Dried oregano – 1 teaspoon
Jared Roasted Red pepper – 1

Procedure :

1. Slice the cucumber into circles and using a melon baller scoop out the seed not going very deep to make a hole on the other side.

2. Bring the cream cheese to room temperature. Now mix the cream cheese and ranch dressing and make it a fine paste.

3. Now add the salt, oregano and mix. Cover it with the plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 15 minutes, to make it set.

4. In the mean while drain one big roasted red pepper form the jar and pat it dry with the paper towel. Then dice it in to small cubes (It should be well dried).

5. Now remove the mixture form the fridge and mix in the diced red pepper and mix it slowly. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag and pipe out like a swirl on the cucumber

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