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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GREEN GRAM LADOO – (PAASI PAYARU / GREEN GRAM LADDU)

Green Gram Ladoo

Green Gram (Moong) Ladoo is made out of green gram (whole), known as “paasi or pachai payarau” in Tamil and sugar etc and it is prepared for many festivals and  functions.  Green gram is rich in nutrients particularly protein and it contains all the major nutrients viz. protein, carbohydrate and fat. It is quite easy to make and it stays fresh for a fortnight at room temperature. Unlike many sweets which are deep fried in either oil or ghee, this dish does not need frying. And so making it is also simple.
Ladoo
Green Gram Ladoo

No of pieces: 40
Cooking Time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS:

1.      Green gram whole (pasi payaru): 500 grams
2.      Whole wheat: 100 grams
3.      Raw rice: 50 grams
4.      Sugar : 500 grams
5.      Cardamom: 5 no
6.      Ghee (clarified butter): 1.25 Cup ( 250ml)
7.      Cashew: 20 no

METHOD:

Fry the green gram in a pan without oil over moderate flame carefully turning it till it changes color to light brown with good flavor.  This frying will take 8 to 10 minutes. Remove it and cool it in a plate.  Then fry the wheat in the same vessel till it changes its color to light brown. Remove from stove and cool it spreading it in the plate and fry the rice for 5 minutes.  Either use a blender to powder the fried gram, wheat and rice together with the cardamom well or get it powdered in the flour mill. Use the blender to powder the sugar and add it to the gram, wheat etc flour and mix well.  Heat the ghee in a pan and fry the cashew and remove the pan from the stove. Now add the flour, sugar mixture to the ghee and while it is hot itself, start making round balls of spherical shape pressing them a bit hard.
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POOSANIKAI HALWA – ASH GOURD HALWA

POOSANIKAI HALWA: Ash Gourd known in Tamil as “Poosanikai” is a vegetable commonly found and used in every part of Tamil Nadu and most parts of India.  In Tamil Nadu it is preferred as a vegetable cooked in “more kuzhambu” or as a side dish.  It is grated and prepared as  halwa  ( a sweet dish) which is usually served in weddings and other functions. Ash Gourd is not high in calories but it is nutritious with good mineral and vitamin content.
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COOKING TIME: 1 ½ hours
SERVINGS:  8
INGREDIENTS:
1.      Ash Gourd (grated finely in a grater) : 6 Cups
2.      Refined Sugar: 2 ½ Cups ( 500 grams)
3.      Milk : ½ Cup ( 100 ml)
4.      Ghee (clarified butter) : 1 Cup ( 200 ml)
5.      Cardamom : 3
6.      Cashew : 15 no
7.      Raisin : 15
8.      Food Color : a pinch (optional)
 
 

METHOD:

                  Remove the skin and the centre pith with seeds and finely grate the ash gourd pieces.  Keep it aside. Powder the cardamom and with a tablespoon of ghee fry the cashew nuts and raisins.  Over moderate flame, keep a thick bottomed vessel and add the grated ash gourd pulp with water and milk and allow it to simmer till the water etc evaporates completely. Keep stirring this mixture continuously without getting it burnt and this will take 20 to 30 minutes to get the water absorbed well.   Sugar should be added next with the cardamom powder and food color.  When the sugar melts fully, add the ghee to the mixture.  It will take another 15  to 20 minutes for the entire mixture to blend and it will  stop sticking to the sides of the vessel, oozing out the ghee.  Finally add the fried cashew and raisins and remove from stove.
 
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Tips:  Adding extra sugar and ghee is optional as per one’s taste.
 
This sweet can stay fresh for 4,5 days at room temperature. It takes some time to cook the grated ash gourd with water to evaporate and so instead it can be cooked in the pressure cooker allowing for one or two whistles.
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