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Happy & Safe DiwaliHi friends, Diwali is just round the corner and here is a handy collection of Savories that you would want to enjoy with family,friends & relatives. These recipes are not very complicated and can be prepared in less than 30 mins.
Note : The quantity mentioned in the recipes is for 2-3 people. You can proportionately increase the quantity of ingredients if making in bulk.
Click on the individual image to get the detailed recipe

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Vazhakkai Puli Kootu is a delicious and a nice alternative to the regular raw banana curry / vazhakkai curry or vazhakkai podimaas .
This recipe belongs to the South Indian cuisine and more so is a very traditional recipe of the Tamil Brahmins. Mostly this recipe features on the menu of the wedding meal . This puli kootu can be served with some piping hot rice with a dollop of ghee and some papads as side or can also be served as an accompaniment to any vethakuzhambu variety or sambar or even More kuzhambu.

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Complexity : simple


Ingredients
1 raw banana chopped into medium sized cubes
handful of boiled chick peas
5-6 tablespoons boiled and mashed thoor dhall / thuvaram paruppu
2-3 tsp sambar powder
1 tsp jaggery powder
2-3 tablespoon thick tamarind extract
1/4 cup fresh grated coconut
3-4 dry red chillies
2-3 tsp udad dhall
1 tsp mustard seeds
few curry leaves
salt as needed
pinch of turmeric powder

Method
Roast the udad dhall and dry chillies in a tsp oil until the dhall turns golden brown and crisp. In the same pan roast the coconut also until it turns light brown and gives a nice aroma. Cool the ingredients and grind it into a fine paste and keep aside.

In a pan , put the chopped raw banana for boiling with some salt and turmeric powder. Add the tamarind paste , sambar powder ,jaggery and boiled chick peas once the bananas are half done. Boil until the raw flavour of tamarind is lost. (addition of jaggery enhances the taste of the tamarind gravy)


Add the boiled thoor dhall/ thuvaram paruppu ,adjust salt if required and when it reaches to a rolling boil stage,add in the coconut paste,about 1/4 cup water and cook for 3-4 mins.Turn off the stove,prepare a tempering of mustard seeds,curry leaves and asafoetida and add it to the kootu.

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Lemon Capsicum rice is a very filling and can be prepared in a jiffy. This also is a good option for  lunch box as well.  Addition of some groundnuts and boiled chick peas (kabuli channa) enhances the flavor by giving the necessary crunch and also the nutrition value increases because of the protein value . Does not require any separate accompaniment , some chips or fried vadams/ papads will go well and kids will definitely enjoy this.
A hassle free preparation for working ladies with a slight twist to the regular lemon rice / nimbekkai chithranna.

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 10 -15 mins
Complexity : simple


Ingredients
1.5 cups cooked rice ( the rice should be grainy and not mushy)
2-3 tablespoon oil
1 capsicum chopped into small cubes
juice from 2 lemons
handful of boiled chick peas/ kabuli channa / kondakadalai
handful of groundnuts
2-3 green chillies - slit
few curry leaves
1 tsp haldi powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp udad dhall
1 tsp channa dhall
pinch of asafoetida
salt as needed
pinch of sugar
corriander for garnish

Method


  • In a pan, heat the oil fry the groundnuts first followed by the seasoning  mustard, channa dhall, udad dhall, green chillies and curry leaves. Once the dhalls have turned light brown add in the asafoetida and turmeric.
  • Toss in the boiled chick peas, chopped capsicum with required amount of salt and let it cook until the capsicum gets a little tender. Turn off the stove and let it cool . After it cools down add the lemon juice and mix well.
  • Add the cooked rice to the capsicum seasoning and carefully mix it such that the rice grains do not break .  Take care not to mix continuously . Adjust some salt if you need , sprinkle the sugar and mix well. Garnish with fresh corriander and serve with some chilled curd and papads/ fryums of your choice.

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Before I get into the details of today's recipe, I would like to thank each and every reader, subscribers of my blog ,YouTube Channel and my Facebook page for the immense support and encouragement that you all have given me .
This is my 200th Post which I consider as a milestone in my Blogging Journey . Thanks once again dear readers ,without whom this milestone could not have been possible.

Now, coming to today's post ; I have always loved this Maddur Vade (  Karnataka Speciality) for the crispy outside and soft inside .Tastes heavenly when it is hot with some freshly ground coconut chutney.
Maddur Vade is a crispy fritter from the town called Maddur in Karntaka,India, This town lies between the  cities Bangalore &  Mysore in the Mandya District.
The recipe uses basic ingredients in our pantry and can be prepared really quickly for kitty parties, tea time snacks or even as starters for kids birthday parties or any kind of get together.
As this a No Onion No Garlic version, it can be offered as prasad during any Poojas or festival days.

Note : Traditionally this recipe uses Onion as one of the main ingredients. Since, I am into blogging recipes without the use of Onion and Garlic I have skipped it. Many readers ask me can we not make it without Onion, so as usual this is an attempt to help my readers who eat Saathvik food.

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 20-30 mins
Complexity : Medium


Ingredients
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup maida / All purpose flour
1/4 cup rava / sooji / semolina - thin granules (bareek rava / chiroti rava)
2-3 tablespoon finely chopped corriander
10-12 finely chopped curry leaves
2-3 green chillies finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh grated coconut
pinch of asafoetida
salt as needed
oil for deep frying

Method

In a mixing bowl,add all the ingredients except the oil and mix it well with a spoon.


Heat about 1 tablespoon oil really well and pour it over the flour mixture and quickly mix with a spoon such that oil mixes well with the flour and other ingredients. This step is done to get a crispy and crunchy vada.



Add water little by little and knead the dough like that of chapathi dough . Soft but firm. If it appears too dry , dip your hands in water and knead for a few more minutes. If the dough feels watery or sticky,add some maida/all purpose flour and adjust the consistency. Water quantity depends of the quality of the flours and rava . So adjust based on how the water is absorbed by the ingredients.


Take a lemon sized ball from the dough and pat it on a greased sheet or a banana leaf like a patty . The patty should be slightly thick .


Heat oil in a kadai/ frying pan, and drop these flattened pattys one by one slowly into the hot oil. Donot fry more than 2 or 3 in one batch. The vadas have to be fried only on MEDIUM FLAME until it turns crisp and golden brown .  Keep splashing oil on the vadas using the ladle and flip it 3-4 times to get an even color.


Drain the crispy golden brown vadas using a slotted ladle and let it cool down slightly.
Serve with coconut chutney or green chutney or even have it as is.


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Bansi Rava is obtained from wheat and slightly darker in color as compared to the regular rava / sooji that is used for making sheera , upma etc. Bansi rava is also known by the name Bareek Lapsi . Bareek meaning fine and Lapsi is the name for rava/sooji/semolina obtained from Wheat.

I thank a good friend of mine and a fellow blogger who reminded me off this name "Bareek Lapsi" after reading my recipe. Do check her blog Priyadarshini's Kitchen for some amazing recipes.

Bansi Rava is quite popular in southern India and is used widely in Karnataka for making Upma . The recipe for Bansi Rava Upma can be found in my blog.
Today, I am presenting to you a sweet made from Bansi Rava called as Bansi Rava Kesari or Naatu Rava kesari . Kesari is also known as Sheera in the North and Sajjige in Karnataka .

Preparation Time : 5 mins
Cooking Time : 15-20 mins
Complexity : Simple






Ingredients
1 cup Bansi rava (75 gms approx)
2 cups of milk
few strands of saffron (optional)
3/4 or 1 cup sugar
few chopped cashews and almonds
4-5 tablespoon ghee/ clarified butter
2 tsp cardamom powder

Method
In a pan ,heat about 2 tablespoon ghee and fry the almonds and cashew until they turn golden brown.
Add in the rava to the same ghee and roast it until you get a nice nutty flavor and the rava turns a little dark brown . Donot over roast it which will cause it to burn. Do it on medium flame always.

Reduce the flame to lowest and pour the boiling milk carefully over the roasted rava and quickly stir to remove all lumps. Add in the saffron and let the rava cook well until all the milk is absorbed into the rava.
Note : I have used milk for making sheera, alternatively you can use only water also . Replace 2 cups milk with 2 cups boiling water.

Add the sugar, cardamom powder and mix it well . The mixture will become loose and appear watery as sugar melts in the heat.Donot panic, keep stirring and in about 4-5 minutes all the sugar will get mixed well and the sheera will form a nice mass and leave the sides of the pan.


Add the remaining ghee mix well and turn off the stove and let the sheera rest for about 10 mins before serving . The sheera will appear nice and grainy once it cools down and sets well.
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Idli molagapudi or Gun powder is an integral part of any South Indian home.It id used as an accompaniment with idlis, dosa , chapathi etc. I love to experiment with different combination of ingredients of this podi  each time I make them. I have already posted the recipe for very typical or traditional recipe which is followed in most homes .
Today's recipe is a mild change with addition of some extra ingredients. Do try and give me your feedback friends!

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Roasting Time : 5 mins
Complexity : simple


Ingredients
1 cup channa dhall/ gram dhall
1/4 cup udad dhall / black gram dhall
3/4 cup fried gram / chatni dhall /pottukadalai
7-8 dry red chillies (paandi / gunturu variety)
3-4 byadgi chillies
few curry leaves
small piece of tamarind
1/2 tsp powdered jaggery
salt as needed
pinch of asafoetida
1-2 tsp oil

Method

  • Heat the oil in  a pan,fry the curry leaves until crisp and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, roast the channa dhall and udad dhall until crisp and light brown, followed by the red chillies till they turn crisp.
  • Lastly,in the same pan lightly roast the fried gram till it becomes just warm.
  • Let all these ingredients cool for a few mins and then add these to a blender along with salt, jaggery,tamarind ,asafoetida and grind to a semi coarse powder .
  • Transfer to an airtight container and use a dry spoon always for prolonged shelf life.

tips
 The spice powder will be slightly warm when you take it off the blender,so let it cool down slightly before closing with a lid .

Some other Molagapudi variants for Idli Dosa that you can try from my blog are:


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Kesar Badam Milk is an Indian Beverage which is loaded with the richness of almonds and subtle flavor of saffron (kesar) and cardamom powder. Almonds possess a lot of health benefits and nutrition which is good for children as well as elders . 
I offer Badam Milk as prasad /neivedhiyam to the Lord on festive days .A very very rich and flavorful drink which can be prepared in less than 5 mins if we have the Badam powder ready with us . I shall detail out the steps to make this Badam powder at home and store it for prolonged use.
Badam Milk can be served warm or even chilled.

Preparation Time : 20 mins
Cooking Time : 5mins
Complexity : Simple


Ingredients
1 cup badam/ almonds
15-20 cashews
2-3 cardamoms/ elaichi
few strands of saffron/kesar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp haldi/ turmeric

Method
Soak the almonds in hot boiling water for about 5-10 mins and remove the skin. Dry it on a kitchen towel for 10-15 mins for all the water to be absorbed.
Heat a pan, and dry roast the badams and cashews until they turn lightly crisp. Let it cool.
(this step is to remove any kind of external moisture that is present in the nuts)

In a mixie jar / blender , make a fine powder of sugar,saffron,cardamom and turmeric.


Add the roasted nuts to this powder and pulse it 3-4 times. Donot run the mixie continuosly,else the badam and cashew will release the oils and it will become like a paste.
You can transfer this Badam powder to an airtight container and store in the fridge .



How to make Badam Milk  
(I am giving recipe for 1 cup; you can adjust accordingly)

Take about 2 tablespoons of Badam powder, add 1 cup (200ml) of milk to this . Stir it well such that there are no lumps. Boil it for about 3-4 mins for the flavors to get infused well into the milk .
Adjust some sugar if you want. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve chilled.
Chopped nuts like pista can be added on top for garnish.



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