BAJJI (BANANA – ONION )

BAJJI

Any occasion and any time is suitable to have the snacks like Bajji, Bonda, Vada and Pakoda. Though “Bajji” is an oily dish, it is a filling snack which can be consumed along with either a cup of coffee or tea. One is sure to find them in every tea shop in any street in Tamil Nadu. Before the advent of the introduction of fast food items like noodles, burgers and pizzas, these tiffen items like vada, Bajji etc were made as evening snacks at households for the kids who returned from school.

Bhajji
Bajji

SERVINGS : 5
COOKING TIME : 20 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS :

1. Bengal gram Flour ( Besan or kadalai maavu ) : 2 Cups ( 200 grams)
2. Rice Flour : 2 Tablespoon
3. Salt : 1 Teaspoon
4. Chili Powder : 2 Teaspoon
5. Asafoetida : 0.25 Teaspoon
6. Soda Bi-carb (Cooking soda ): A pinch
7. Water : 2 Cups ( 400 ml )
8. Oil ( any refined oil) : 1.5 Cup ( 300 ml)
9. Veg ( Raw Banana of “monthan variety “, Onion -1, Brinjal-2 , potato, other vegetables like g chili called Bajji chili and even bread slices are also used for making “Bajji”.

METHOD:

Take 2 or 3 vegetables of your choice. Potato, Onion and Raw Banana need their skin to be peeled. Chop them to medium size ( neither too thin nor too thick) slices and keep aside. Both asafoetida and salt can be added to the water. Use a sieve to clean up the gram flour and add Baking soda. Now mix the gram flour with chili powder and water to a smooth consistency. The batter should be like dosa batter. Heat up oil over high flame and dip the vegetable slices 3 or 4 at a time in the batter and slide into thehot oil. The sliced vegetables should be evenly coated with the batter. Turn the Bajji pieces to the otherside so that they are cooked evenly.

Tips : Drain the oil on the Bajji on tissue papers and serve it with Coconut chutney.

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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.
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GINGER (INJI) SYRUP & GINGER CANDY

Ginger Syrup & Ginger Candy : Ginger is used as a spice in many of the food items in Tamil Nadu as it enhances flavour and taste to them. It has nutritional value also and helps in reducing inflammation and indigestion. Here making of ginger syrup is described. It can be stored for a couple of months and the remaining ginger pieces can be used as ginger candy, known as
“inji morappa” in Tamil.

Ginger Syrup
Ginger Syrup

Cooking Time: 30 minutes.

INGREDIENTS

1. Ginger (tender) : 250 grams
2. Refined Sugar: 350 Grams
3. Water : 1.5 Cup ( 300 ml)
4. Citric acid: 0.5 Teaspoon
5. Food Colour (any) : 0.5 Teaspoon
6. Sodium metabisulphite : 0.5 Teaspoon

METHOD:  Buy tender ginger and clean it with water. Remove the skin and dice it. Put all ingredients except sodium metabisulphite in a pressure cooker and cook over moderate flame for 7,8 minutes. Then mix the sodium meta bi sulphate well in it. Remove the cooked ginger pieces and keep them aside.   Store the ginger syrup in clean bottles.
Tips:  one tablespoon of this ginger syrup can be added to either lime juice or orange juice. And it goes well with all tea whether plain black or with milk, cream etc.

 

GINGER CANDY ( INJI MORAPPA )

A piece of ginger candy after a heavy meal especially non vegetarian meal helps  in easy digestion.

Ginger Candy
Ginger Candy

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1. Ginger : The remaining ginger pieces after removing from the ginger syrup, which is approximately 250 grams.
2. Refined sugar : 125 grams

METHOD: Add the cooked ginger to the cooker along with the sugar and cook over slow flame for 3, 4 minutes mixing the sugar well so that the ginger pieces are well coated with sugar. Remove from stove and dry it in a plate in shade. Store the Morappa in jars.

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Vada – Vadai (Keerai Vadai)

Vada or Paruppu Vada: Some snacks are available easily in almost all street corner Tea shops in Tamil Nadu and people love to  have them any time of the day along with a hot cup of tea.  One such favourite item is ” Keerai Paruppu Vada”.  It is a simple snack item consumed along with breakfast or just served as a snack in the evening with a hot cup of coffee or tea.  Traditionally it is served as one of the dishes  on the banana leaf along with other food items for festivals or weddings.  Ingredients such as Bengal gram dhal and greens etc make it a nutritious and tasty food item.

Parippu Vada
Vadai

Servings: 5
Cooking Time : 30 minutes ( excluding the time for  soaking of dhal for 3 hours)

INGREDIENTS :

1. Bengal Gram Dhal : 1 full cup  ( 200 grams )
2. Onion : 2 no
3. G. Chilli : 3 no
4.Cloves Garlic : 2 no
5. Aniseed : 0.5 Teaspoon
6. Coriander and Curry leaves: 2,3 sprigs
7. Greens : 0.5 Cup
8. Salt : 0.75 Teaspoon
9. Oil (preferably sunflower or any refined oil): 250 ml

Paruppu Vadai
Vada

Method :

Wash and soak the Bengal gram dhal in enough water for 3 hours. Clean the greens and wash them well in water. Drain the water and chop them to tiny pieces. Chop the g. chili, onions, the coriander and curry leaves.  Then drain
the water from the Bengal gram dhal completely and keep a tablespoon of soaked dhal separate without grinding.  Put the remaining dhal in a blender along with aniseed, garlic pieces etc and grind them to a coarse pulp. To this coarse pulp add salt, one tablespoon whole dhal, chopped onions, g. chili, greens, coriander and curry leaves,  and mix them well.  Make small balls similar to a lime and flatten them with your hand to  round shaped vadas with the edges slightly thinner. In a skillet heat oil over moderate flame.  Fry them 5 or 6 at a time turning them to the other side once they are cooked to a golden yellow colour.

Tips: Adding a few leaves of cleaned chopped mint  gives a unique taste to the snack.  Greens suitable for this “vada” belong to the Amaranth family.

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KUZHI PANIYARAM

Kuzhi Paniyaram

Kuzhi Paniyaram (Sweet) is a traditional snack item prepared in the households of Tamil Nadu especially in the chettinad region. It is made using a special vessel with small molded depressions in it.  On special days and festival days, these paniyarams are made.  Both sweet and savory type paniyarms can be made with the same dough adding different ingredients. First we can make the dough and then divide it into two portions to make both the sweet and the savory type paniyarms.

 
Cooking time:  2 hours (excluding the fermentation time etc)
Servings: 8
 
Ingredients:
1.      Raw rice: 1.5 Cup ( 250 grams)
2.      Par Boiled rice: 1.5 Cup ( 250 grams)
3.      Black gram dhal (Urad dhal  -white, skin removed): 0.25Cup ( 50 grams)
4.      Fenugreek: 2 Teaspoons
5.      Salt : 1.5 Teaspoon
6.      Coconut Gratings: 0.25 Cup
7.      Baking Soda (Soda bi-carb): 1 Teaspoon
8.      Kuzhi paniyaram vessel ( vessel with molded depressions for pouring batter)
 

Method:

Clean the rice, Urad dhal and the fenugreek seeds with water and soak in water for 3,4 hours and grind it to a smooth dough in a blender or mixie.  Add the salt and allow it to ferment for 5,6 hours.  Now mix the baking powder in a tablespoon water and mix it well in the fermented dough with coconut gratings and divide it into two portions for making both the savory and the sweet kuzhi paniyarams.

Kara Paniyaram

Ingredients:
1.      Mustard: 1 Teaspoon
2.      Onion: 1
3.      G.chili : 1
4.      Curry leaves: 1 Sprig
5.      Oil: 2 Teaspoon
6.      Ghee (Clarified butter) : 0.25 Cup

Method:

Chop the onion and the g.chili. Heat a skillet with oil over moderate flame and add the mustard. Then add the other ingredients and fry them. Add it to the dough and mix well. Now keep the“kuzhi paniyaram” vessel over the flame and in every depression pour ghee and then fill it with the dough up to only 3/4th of its depth as the paniyaram will rise up. Use a spoon or thin stainless steel rod to turn the cooked paniyaram to the other side to be cooked.  Both the sides should be cooked evenly and the color should be light brown.  Serve it hot with chutney of your choice. Coconut chutney goes well with this.
SWEET KUZHI PANIYARAM
Ingredients:
1.      Palmyra jaggery (karupatti -unrefined palmyra sugar)- 200 grams

Method:

Make syrup with the jaggery and a table spoon of water over moderate flame for a few minutes and strain the syrup to remove the stones etc from it.  Add this syrup to the rice dough which is divided into two portions.  Mix well and make sweet paniyarams   applying ghee to the vessel.
Tips:  Fried cashew, powdered cardamoms can be added to the dough to get extra taste and flavor.
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