Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Chakkarai Pongal

Chakkarai Pongal is a famous South Indian Receipe. Its basically a sweetened rice. We make it on lots of occasions like Pongal, Margazhi - 'koodarai valli', Thiruvaadi pooram. Any festival is not complete without a sweet dish and Chakarai Pongal is a favourite for many. This monday, August 4, 2008 was Thiruvaadi Pooram .. which is the birth day of Andaal. Making chakarai ponal and reciting her famous, "koodarai vellum seer' is a tradition. Following that, we made chakkarai pongal and presented it to the Goddess. In the song, she says, "Mooda nei peithu muzhangai vazhi vaara' -which means 'if we take the pongal in our hands- the ghee shd run out of it' - hence a lot of ghee is used in the receipe. Not for cholestrol reducing, fat-free diet people. Here's the receipe.

1 cup Raw Rice

2 cups Jaggery

1 1/2 cups Ghee

2 tsp Cashewnuts(broken into small pieces and fried in ghee)

2 tsp raisins( fried in ghee)

a pinch of Elachi, Saffron, Nutmeg powder, each.

Method :

* Cook rice with 1 cup of milk and 2 cups of water in a pressure cooker till well done.

* Mix the saffron in a little warm milk and add it to the rice.

* Mash it nicely with a laddle.

* In a pan, add the mashed rice and jaggery.

* Cook stirring continuously till the jaggery mixes well with the rice.

* Start adding ghee little by little stirring continuously.

* Cook till the rice mixture starts leaving the sides and ghee comes out.

* Add elachi, nutmeg powder to the rice and mix well.

* Now add the fried cashews and raisins to the pongal and serve.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Veggie Pizza

My first receipe on the blog is Pizza. I am sure most of you would have had lots of varieties of pizza. I learned to make pizza at home around 2 yrs back. The first time, like with most receipes.. the pizza didnt turn out perfectly. It was edible but something was lacking. I have tried time and again to perfect the pizza and now it comes out very well. I love not only the output but each and every step towards making the yummy pizza. So, here's my receipe..

Ingredients :

1 1/2 cups Whole wheat Flour

1 cup All-purpose Flour

1 tbsp dry yeast

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

3/4 cup Warm Water

1 cup Assorted Veggies( I use tomatoes, Onions, Capsicum - all cut length-wise)

Olives, Pineapple ... anything else you can think of.

Method :

* In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and set it aside for 5 minutes.

* In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and add the yeast mixture. Mix it well to blend.

* Knead for 10 minutes until flour is well blended.

* Cover and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

* Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

* Divide the dough into two balls equally.

* Roll it out gently using flour for dusting into a thick circle.

* Prick on top with fork in many places.(This helps the dough not to puff up while baking)

* Arrange the pizza crust on a greased pan and bake for 12 minutes.

* Let it cool for 5 minutes.

* Spread pizza sauce on top of the crust - arrange the toppings and sprinkle cheese generously on top.

* Return to the oven for 12 to 15 mins or until chees bubbles and the edges of the crust are brown.

* Cut the pizza into wedges and serve hot.

Making Pizza Sauce:

I make my own pizza sauce, as I prefer a spicy one. This is how I make it:

1 tsp aniseed
1 cup onion, finely chopped
2 cups tomatoes, crushed or diced finely.
6 cloves garlic
1 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
salt to taste

* Pour a little oil in a pan and fry the aniseeds. Add onions,garlic and fry till it turns color. Add the tomatoes and all the powders. Cook till its well blended and the mixture becomes thick like a sauce. Sprinkle salt and mix well.


My kids prefer a Extra cheese pizza with only tomatoes.. Here are some of the pictures of their own Small Pizza.