ROSE COOKIES (ACHU MURUKU)

Rose Cookies known as Achu Muruku in Tamil is one of the favorite items prepared during festivals, especially by the Christians in the Southern part of India as well as in Goa.  This dish is sure to get a place in the platter of  cookies prepared by the Anglo Indian households during Christmas season.  It is easy to make it provided you know the right consistency for the batter as well as the knack of dipping the “Achu muruku mould” ( maker) in hot oil during the preparation.  The dish gets the name Rose cookies as the mould resembles the petals of a rose flower.  They can be stored in air tight containers for ten days easily.
Achu Murukku
Achu Murukku
Cooking Time : 1 hour ( plus 2 hours for soaking and making the wet raw rice flour)
No of pieces : 60 Pieces

INGREDIENTS:

1. Raw Rice flour – wet :  4 Cups ( 400 grams )
2. Sugar :  1 Cup ( 120 grams )
3. Egg :  1
4. Coconut milk:   1 Cup ( 200 ml )
5. Sesame seeds :  2 Teaspoon
6. Oil :  750 ml
7. Salt:  0.25 Teaspoon

METHOD:

Heat up the frying pan with oil and dip the achu muruku mould for an hour in hot oil  and keep aside.  You can put the mould in hot oil for a longer duration  also. Soak  good quality raw rice (3 cups ) in water for an hour and drain water. Use a blender to get 4 cups of fine raw rice flour. (wet ).   Beat the egg well and mix it with sugar, salt  and coconut milk. Add the fine raw rice flour to the batter to a consistency which is  a bit thinner than the dosa batter.  After preparing the batter,  heat up the frying pan with oil along with the mould keeping the fire on maximum.
Once the oil is hot, dip the mould  in the batter carefully.  Dip the mould until it is 3/4th inside the batter and again dip the mould with the batter in the hot oil for frying.  After a few seconds shake the mould gently with the help of a fork or any long spoon so that the muruku leaves the mould to fall into the oil for further frying.  After a few seconds, turn the muruku to the other side with the spoon to get it cooked evenly on both sides.  The achu muruku should be cooked until it is golden yellow in color.
Rose Cookies
Rose Cookies
Adding Vanilla essence and cardamom powder to the batter is optional.  Even sugar can be either reduced or increased as per each one’s choice. The first few times it is difficult to get the achu muruku to fall easily off the mould into the hot oil on its own and so one should persevere carefully to continue with the rest of the batter till you get crisp tasty achu murukus.

Puttu

Kula Puttu
Puttu is a breakfast dish prepared with mainly raw rice and eaten along with Coconut gratings, sugar or jaggery, Banana, milk  and ghee etc of your choice.  Some people do not have  “puttu” without  their usual “kadala ”  ( chikpea, channa ) curry. Since “puttu” is steamed, it is easy for digestion prepared without  using oil etc.
Puttu
Puttu
The rice flour can be either made at home in our own blender in small quantities or get it done in the flour mill.  If a large portion of puttu is made at the flour mill, care has to be taken to see that it is well fried and preserved for future use. The steaming of the rice flour can be done using a clean muslin cloth in our own “idli ” vessel or using a special “puttu maker” vessel.
Cooking Time : 2 hours ( including the time for soaking of rice for an hour )
Servings : 3

INGREDIENTS :

1.  Raw rice : 2 Cups
2. Water : 0.25 Cup
3. Coconut gratings : 0. 5 Cup
4. Salt : 0. 25 Teaspoon
5. Sugar or Jaggery : 0.25 Cup
METHOD:
Wash and soak raw rice in water for an hour.  Drain out water completely.  And
grind it in a blender to make rice flour.  Using a sieve, fine rice flour can be obtained.  The rice flour need not be very soft for “puttu”.  In an empty skillet, get the rice flour fried lightly for about 5  minutes till the dampness of the rice flour goes.  Dissolve the salt in the water in a cup and sprinkle it over the flour and knead it thoroughly. The rice flour becomes soft to the touch and it should resemble bread crumbs.
Now it is ready  for steaming.  In the special puttu maker,one tablespoon of  the coconut gratings should be  first put at the bottom of the cylindrical  vessel and then the soft rice flour added and finally coconut gratings on the top.  It takes nearly ten minutes to get the rice flour steamed well.  Ifyou are using  the cloth in the regular “idli maker or cooker, you can put the entire rice flour and allow it to get steamed for ten minutes.  Adding sugar or jaggery to the puttu depends upon one’s taste and choice.
Kula Puttu
Kula Puttu
Tips:  Some persons like to add hot ghee, cardamom, ripe banana or hot milk to the steamed puttu.  Preparing “kadala curry” to go with the puttu is another recipe itself.

PAAYA (CURRY WITH LEG BONES OR TROTTERS OF EITHER GOAT OR SHEEP )

Paaya

Paaya is a food dish prepared with the leg bones called trotters of either goat or sheep cooked over coal or wood fire for a long time in the old days along with the regular ingredients and the result is an awesome curry which goes well with Idli, dosa, appam, idiappam and bread. But the best combination is “paaya and Idli” only. Since the fur in the legs need burning and washing with water, the cleaning itself is a laborious affair.

Moreover cooking the bones well for a longer period in a pressure cooker makes them soft and so many people prefer to make it only once in a blue moon. But there are people who love and swear by this food dish “paaya”! These days well cleaned bones are easily available in the market.

Goat leg paya
Goat leg paya
Cooking Time :  2 hours
Servings: 6 persons

INGREDIENTS:

1. leg Bones (Cleaned and chopped ) : 8 legs
2. Onion : 150 grams
3. Shallots : 100 grams
4. Ginger : 2″ piece
5. Tomato : 100 grams ( approximately 2 no )
6. Coriander and Curry leaves : a few sprigs
7. Aniseed : 1.5 Teaspoon
8. Cumin : 1 Tablespoon
9. Turmeric Powder : 1 Teaspoon
10. Chili Powder : 1.5 Tablespoon
11. Coriander Powder : 1 Tablespoon
12. Coconut paste :  0.5 Cup
13. Salt : 1.25 Tablespoon
14. Gingelly Oil (preferably ) : 1.5 Tablespoon
15. Water : 4 Cups

 

Goat Leg Payya
Mutton Leg Payya
METHOD :  Clean the bones thoroughly  with water.  Peel and chop the onions,Shallots,Ginger etc.  Grate the Coconut and make a fine paste using a blender. Fry lightly in an empty skillet Cumin seeds, Coriander and chili powder.  Keep the pressure cooker over medium flame and pour oil.  First add the aniseed and then the chopped Onion, shallots, ginger etc and fry them well.  Then the chopped tomato can be stirred along with coriander and curry leaves.  The cleaned, chopped leg bones along with cumin, T. Powder, Chili powder, Coriander powder and salt should be mixed well in the cooker.  Pour two cups of water and pressure cook for 15 minutes.  It takes quite some time to get the bones cooked soft and tender. Open the lid to check ( when cold ) whether it is cooked well.  Again you can pressure cook the same for another 15 minutes.  Since the bones do not disintegrate easily
like the meat, you need not worry about overcooking. Finally add the coconut paste along with another two cups of water and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.

AVIAL – MIX VEG GRAVY

AVIAL

As the name suggests, Avial is a mixture of vegetables steamed in a simple way  with a minimum use of 6, 7 of them with Coconut gratings and coconut oil.  Some dishes like “appam”, “avial”  etc are mainly prepared in the state of Kerala and being very close to Tamil Nadu, some of these food items are commonly used in the households of Tamil Nadu also.  It is a tasty, healthy food dish as it is prepared  with many locally grown vegetables along with
a liberal amount of both coconut gratings and coconut oil.
Kerala Avial
Avial Dish
Cooking Time: 30 minutes.
Servings : 5

INGREDIENTS:

1. Onion : 1 ( 50 grams approximate)
2. G. Chili : 5
3. Cumin Seeds : 1 Teaspoon
4. Coconut gratings : 1 Cup
5. Coconut Oil : 1.5 Tablespoon
6. Water : 1 Cup
7. Salt : 1 Teaspoon
8.  Vegetables : 6, or 7 veg out of the following vegetables mentioned
1. Unripe mango ( small ), 1 Drumstick, 1 Unripe banana, one small piece of ashgourd or pumpkin,  2 Egg plants (brinjal), 1  carrot, 4,5  beans, a few  cluster beans, a small piece yam

METHOD :

Wash and dice the vegetables of your choice and put them all in the small
cooker along with water, salt, coconut gratings and cumin seeds.  Chop the onion and the green chili  and add them.  Pour the coconut oil over it and pressure cook them over moderate flame for 5 minutes or give three whistles.
Avial Kerala
Avial
Tips : If raw mango is not available,  use 0.25 cup thick curd just before taking the cooker off the stove.  Grinding the coconut gratings along with cumin seeds, onion and green chili before adding to the vegetables for cooking is optional.

HEALTHY COCONUT BARFI (BURFI ) WITH JAGGERY

COCONUT BARFI

Coconut Barfi – As the name suggests, this healthy and easy to make coconut sweet is      prepared with palmyrah jaggery. It is made in just a few minutes and can remain fresh for a few days.

Coconut Barfi
Coconut Barfi
PIECES : 20
COOKING TIME : 30 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS:

1.  Coconut:  1 ( medium size)
2. palmyrah jaggery : 150 gram
3. Ghee (clarified butter ) 1 tablespoon full
4. Cardamom : 2 no.
5. Cashew, almond or any other nuts of your choice : 2 tablespoon
Coconut Burfi
Coconut Burfi
METHOD:
Crush the cardamom and the nuts and keep them separately.  Scrape the Coconut and fry it lightly in an empty skillet for 5 minutes.  In another skillet melt the jaggery using 1 tablespoon water  and strain it removing dirt.  Now add the fried coconut to the melted jaggery over moderate flame stirring well. You can add the  ghee and the cardamom with the crushed nuts etc to the mixture. The mixture becomes sticky and thick in 10 minutes. When it starts leaving the side of the skillet, remove from flame and pour it in a greased
plate.  Use a spatula to flatten the mixture and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.  Then start cutting in to squares.