Dear Readers!!

Welcome to my world of cuisine.  Here, i have posted my experimental recipes as well as the ones i learnt  from friends/relatives/media and all of them are tasted n tested. The pictures on this site are all my original ones straight from my camera and shall indicate the source if otherwise. Do explore my blog and please hit that “leave a comment” button and record your thoughts n feedback which would be highly encouraging and motivating for me to post more recipes. Thanks for exploring Azee’s Kitchen and stay tuned for more recipes!!

Regards,
Azeema Shahul

Vazhaithandu (Banana Stem) Kootu

The Banana stem, the fibre of health is cooked in various ways in South Indian cuisine and it is also consumed raw in juice form.

Banana stem is a rich source of fibre and helps in weight loss. Its high fibre content creates a feeling of satiation and hence, reduces the intake of food. It also helps ease constipation. Again, it improves the ability of the body to fight infection. It also helps prevent high blood pressure, and maintain fluid balance within the body. Banana stem is said to be a diuretic and helps detoxify the body. It is used prevent and treat kidney stones too. And the most popular Banana stem juice combined with buttermilk taken on an empty stomach helps in weight reduction. The juice also relieves ulcers, burning sensation and acidity. huh!!….so we have many reasons to include this fibrous vegetable in our diet right? Yes, i agree that the cleaning process is lil time consuming but is it not worth the effort due to the above multiple benefits :-) ??

Now, for the recipe..

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Ingredients:

Vazhaithandu (Banana Stem) – 2 medium size pieces, finely chopped
Chili Powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder – a pinch
Thick Curd – 2 tbsp
Salt as per taste

To Grind :
Coconut – 1/4 cup, grated
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Green Chilli – 1

To temper:

Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
Dry Red Chillies – 2
Urad Dal – 1 tsp
Curry Leaves – 1 stalk
Oil – 1 tsp

Method
Remove all the outer layers and fibre from the banana stem and chop them into small pieces. Drop the pieces in water to which a tsp of buttermilk is added to avoid discoloration.While cooking, drain the chopped pieces and add it to a pan and place over medium flame. You may add little oil if desired. Add the spice powders and cook till the banana stem is tender.Add the ground mixture and cook for few mins and finally add the curd and switch off the stove. Temper the ingredients listed and add to the above vazhaithandu kootu and enjoy this fibre of health for your next lunch :-)

Note:

Remove the outer rings from banana stem till no outer rings are there and cut them into thin rectangles and individually remove the fiber from each using your fingers.
(I am sorry, i couldn’t click the cleaning process. When i get to click them , shall update here)

Signing off till the next post…

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VenPongal

Venn Pongal is a popular traditional South Indian breakfast dish and its almost a weekend breakfast for me as it is very simple and quick to make. In Tamil, the root pong or pongu means to ” boil over” or “spill over” and the sweet variety of this pongal is made during a popular tamilan festival “Pongal” by the boil over method. Shall provide more details of it in another post.

Made and served this hot hot venpongal and hot crispy ulundu (urad dal) vadas along with sambar and coriander and onion spicy chutney on a breezy and a chill winter morning and truly cherished every swig of it with hot coffee by the side. What else can one ask for?

So now, are you also set to make your weekends or any mornings truly cherishable with this healthy combo?? Let me know :))

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Ingredients:
Raw Rice – 1 cup
Green Gram (Moong Dal) – 1/4 cup
Pepper – 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves – 2 sprigs
Ginger – 1/2 inch piece, finely grated
Ghee – 2 tblsp
Asafoetida – 1/4 tspWater – 4 to 5 cups
Salt to taste

Method:
Heat a kadai and dry roast the dal until it is hot. Wash rice and pressure cook along with dal with 4 1/2 cups of water, until very soft. Mash rice mix lightly when it is still hot along with 1 tblsp of ghee. Mix gently. Add salt and cook under low flame for few minutes, stirring once or twice. Heat the remaining ghee. Fry the cashewnuts, pepper, cumin seeds, curry leaves, ginger, asafoetida and pour on top of the pongal. Mix well and serve hot with a hot coffee and vadas and the combo is fabulous!

Ulundu Vadai           Click here for Recipe
Onion Chutney        Click here for Recipe  
Coriander Chutney  Click here for Recipe

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Kothamalli Thogayal (Coriander Chutney)

Another south indian accompaniment usually taken with the popular south indian dishes like dosa/idli/pongal and it keeps well for fews days making it ideal to pack for travelling. The spice can be adjusted as per one’s choice.

CorianderThokku

Ingredients

Coriander leaves – 1 bunch
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Garlic – 4 pods
Red Chilli 1 or 2
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Coconut – 3 tbsp
Jeera – 1 tsp
Channa dal – 1 tsp
Tamarind – A small ball
Oil – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method

In a kadai, add oil and fry Urad dal, channa dal, few whole pepper tll pepper cracks. Now, add jeera, red chill and tamarind and saute for just one min. Once cooled, Grind it with coconut and keep aside

In the same pan, saute onion, tomato, Ginger, Garlic and coriander leaves for few mins and once cooled, add it to the above ground mixture and grind them together. Serve with hot Idli/Dosa.

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Naatu Kozhi Varuval (Country Chicken Fry)

Naatu Kozhi (Country Chicken) is super healthy compared to the broiler chicken and one can avoid the side effects like body heat associated with consuming the broiler chicken. Though its expensive compared to the broiler chicken, its worth the money.  this juicy and real chicken often in your diet.

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Ingredients:

Naatu Kozhi (Country Chicken) – 250 gms (marinated in salt, chilli powder and turmeric powder for min 1 hr)
Sambar Onions (Shallots) – 1 cup, peeled, ground to a paste
Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Few Curry Leaves
Oil – 2-3 tbsp
Peppercorns – 1 tsp
Dry Red Chillies – 2 to 3
Salt as per taste

Method:
Heat oil in a pan over medium flame. Add the ground onions and fry for a minute.
Add ginger garlic paste and mix well.Add the naatu kozhi pieces and salt.
Stir-fry for a few minutes.
In a separate pan, add a little oil and fry the peppercorns, cumin seeds and dry red chillies.Remove and grind to a fine powder. Sprinkle this over the chicken pieces.
Cook until all moisture has evaporated and the chicken pieces are crispy and cooked.
Remove and serve hot as a side dish with rice, parotta or roti.
Signing off till the next post!
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Gulab Jamoon

Gulab jamun is a popular dessert all over India. Every region in India serves these khoya rounds deep fried in ghee and soaked in hot saffron flavoured syrup. The khoya or mava used for the Gulab Jamuns is of a special kind called Hariali Khoya or Chikna Khoya. It is made by reducing low fat milk and is slightly yellowish in colour and is also loose and sticky in consistency. Here i have provided the simple recipe of Gulab Jamoon using milk powder which can be prepared in a jiffy.

Frying these gulab jamuns is an art in itself. The flame has to be sufficiently low so that the gulab jamuns get cooked till the inside. It is best enjoyed with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream..

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Ingredients:
  • 1 cup  Milk Powder
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons butter -melted
  • Whole milk just enough to make the dough (I used evaporated milk which is available in small can)

For the Sugar Syrup

  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Oil for frying
How to make gulab jamun:
  • Make the dough by combining the milk powder, butter. Add just enough whole milk to make a medium-hard dough. Divide the dough into 18-20 portions. Make balls by gently rolling each portion between your palms into a smooth ball. Place the balls on a plate. Cover with a damp yet dry kitchen towel.
  • Heat the oil on high and then lower the heat to medium. Slip in the balls into the hot oil from the side of the pan, one by one. They will sink to the bottom of the pan, but do not try to move them. Instead, gently shake the pan to keep the balls from browning on just one side. After about 5 mins, the balls will rise to the surface. The Gulab Jamuns should rise slowly to the top if the temperature is just right. Now they must be gently and constantly agitated to ensure even browning on all sides.
  • If the temperature of the oil is too high then the gulab jamuns will tend to break. So adjust the temperature to ensure that the gulab jamuns do not break or cook too quickly.
  • The balls must be fried very slowly under medium temperatures. This will ensure complete cooking from inside and even browning.
Sugar Syrup
  • The syrup should be made earlier and kept warm. To make the hot sugar syrup add mix the 2 cups of sugar to 1 cup of water. Add 4-5 cardamom pods, slightly crushed and a few strands of “Kesar”. Mix with a spoon and then heat at medium heat for 5-10 minutes until sugar is all dissolved in water. Do not overheat, that will caramelize the sugar.
  • Transfer this hot syrup into a serving dish. Keep warm on stove. Add the fried gulab jamuns directly into the warm syrup. Leave gulab jamun balls in sugar syrup overnight for best results. They can be served warm or at room temperature or and when served with Vanilla Ice Cream, it’s just yummy……

Signing off till the next post!

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