Archive for festivals

Kozhukkattai—–Steamed rice dumpling filled with a Coconut-jaggery mixture

A Very Happy and Prosperous New Year to everyone! Since this day marks the beginning of another wonderful year, it seemed fitting to post this recipe which is a favorite dish to Lord Ganesha,who is worshipped for an auspicious and good beginning. Kozhukkatai in Tamil or Modak in Hindi, is a very famous sweetmeat in Tamil Nadu and is usually prepared for Ganesh Chathurthi, the special festival for Lord Ganesha. Since coconut shares the stage equally with jaggery in this dish I though that this would be appropriate for this months’s JFI for coconut kindly hosted by Ashwini of Food For Thought.

For the filling:

1 cup of grated coconut

2/3 cup of jaggery broken into pieces

1 tsp ghee

1/2 tsp of cardamom

Take the coconut in a wok, add jaggery and about 2 tablespoons of water.Keep stirring until the jaggery slowly dissolves and forms a sticky,semi solid mixture with the coconut. Turn off the stove,add the ghee and the cinnamon. Cool and store.

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For the rice flour wrap:

Rice flour 1 cup

1 tsp sunflower/corn oil

Salt to taste

Sieve the rice flour and keep aside.Bring 1 and 1/4 cup of water to a boil in a wok, add salt and the oil. turn down the heat to medium and add the rice flour slowly.Stir all the while to prevent formation of lumps . Transfer the dough to a white muslin cloth, cover it and start pounding it to remove any remaining lumps. After it cools down, knead the mixture and make small round boats as shown in the picture. The oil is used to prevent the rice flour from sticking to your hands.

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Now to assemble them together:

put 1 tsp of the filling in each of the cups, stick the edges of the flour with a drop of water. Cover a plate with a wet cloth, add these dumplings and steam cook in a cooker for about 15-20 minutes in medium flame. cool and remove. Viola, the rice dumplings are ready.

This is my entry to this month’s JFI for coconut kindly hosted by Ashwini of Food For Thought.

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A Fabulous Vacation in Dallas!

A Belated Merry christmas and an advanced Happy New Year to everyone!…The last week has been so– busy that I have been unable to even approach the computer leave alone blog !!! We had a blast with my sis and Bro-in-law at their place in Dallas. They had recently bought a house there which, in keeping with my sister’s favorite adage that “Everything is big in Texas”, was rea–lly mammoth and it being Christmas and all,they had made the place look very festive. We had a perfect, lazy, chatty weekend; of course the delicious food that my sis cooked added greatly to the general bon homie we were all feeling!

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A view of the Christmas lighting on one side of their house

Coming from a match-box sized one bedroom apartment in California,where we cannot afford to have even the word ‘personal space’ in our dictionary, we cherished every minute of living in the hu–ge house where you didn’t crash in to your husband if you moved too fast!!:-)) . They had a total of five bedrooms including the master and so my hubby’s favorite comment was that we could lock ourselves in a separate bedroom if ever we had a tiff!!!:-)))

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The Christmas Wreath was made by my sis

Ok, now for a few of the choicest foods that we all consumed heartily:-))

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She made this great Bruschetta topped with a mixture of tomatoes,olive oil,basil & salt,garnished with lemon juice.

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So don’t the golden and crispy vadas all artistically arranged by my bro-in-law,make you folks want to sink your teeth into them? That is exactly how I felt when I saw these lentil vadas fried and removed from the oil. This is made from toor dal but I found that she uses some rice flour also to get the crisp outside!!

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Another picture of the vadas along with the paal payasam(rice payasam. The colour is solely due to the saffron strands which my sister had ground and dissolved in the milk.

She also made the typical south Indian lunch of Rice, Sambar,rasam, curry, appalams, all consumed before I could click a photo.

Finally on the day we left, she made a very simple but delicious veggie noodle dish;the recipe I shall post soon. But for now below is the mouth watering picture.

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She garnished the noodles with scallions and lightly browned paneer.

So ended our Christmas vacation. Now we are back to our little apartment in California but with great memories of our time in Dallas.

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