Pineapple Kesaribath

ImagePosting this recipe on the special occasion of Varamahalakshmi Pooja, which is a very important festival in Southern India. For people from Bangalore like me, pineapple Kesari bath brings fond memories of special occasions like weddings and Sathyanarayana Pooja where this dish is routinely served. It is a quick and easy to make recipe.

Ingredients: Serves 4

Rava (Sooji)- 2 cups

Water – 3 cups

Sugar – 1/2 cup

Ghee ( Clarified butter ) – 1/2 cup

Pineapple chunks – 1/2 cup

Cardamom ( Elaichi ) powder – 1 tsp

Cloves – 2 small finely crushed

Saffron ( Kesar ) – 6-8 threads soaked in warm milk for an hour

Heat 1 tbsp of ghee in a thick bottomed pan. Toast the cashew nuts and raisins till the nuts turn golden brown. Set aside the roasted nuts and in the same pan, dry roast the rava till you can smell the aroma. Do not let the rava turn brown.

In a saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add 1/2 cup sugar and pineapple chunks and stir until the pineapple chunks become soft. Then stir in the roasted rava gently into the pan, taking care not to form any lumps. Add 1/2 cup ghee while continuosuly stirring. Once the rava is cooked, add the soaked saffron, elaichi powder. Top it off with the roasted nuts and raisins. Serve warm.

Mint Juice

ImageThere’s no better way to cool off on a hot summer day with some fresh home made Mint juice. I grow plenty of fresh mint in my backyard and try to use in mint juice and mint – watermelon juice. Plus I throw in a host of other pro-digestive ingredients which makes this drink far more healthy than the sugary store bought juice or sodas!

Ingredients: Serves 2

Mint leaves – 1 small cup

Sugar – 2 tbsp or Jaggery 2″ cube

Salt- a pinch

Ginger – 1/2 tbsp shredded

Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp

Elaichi ( Cardamom powder ) – 1/4 tbsp optional

Grind the mint leaves into a paste using small amount of water. Filter the paste in order to get rid of the pulp. Then combine the rest of the ingredients, add more sugar or jaggery if needed. Set aside in a bowl. Seve after an hour of refrigeration.

The same juice can be made with Cilantroe- Mint combination also. A pinch of Jeera ( cumin ) powder  can also be added for additional taste!

Corn and onion pakora

Last few days before amma leaves to India and now that I am free from all kinds of diets, she is making all my favorite foods!

I usually don’t prefer to eat or make greasy and deep fried food at home. But amma’s pakoras are an exception!

This pakora comes with a  twist. In addition to onions, it has sweet corn in it. The sweet corn gets crunchy when it is fried and tastes great with the onions.  Usually carom seeds or ajwain are added, but amma adds mint leaves for flavor. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients : Serves 4

1 large onion

1/2 cup onion

1 cup chickpeas flour/ besan flour

1/2 cup rice flour

1 handful of mint leaves, chopped

1 handful of coriander leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

1-2 green chillies finely chopped

Oil for frying

Salt to taste.

Water for mixing

Heat the oil in a deep pan on medium heat. The oil should be atleast 2 inches from the base or enough to immerse the pakodas. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add a couple of table spoons of hot oil to the mixture. The oil helps to make the pakoras crisp.  Add enough water to bind all the ingredients together.

Once the oil is heated,  gently drop the batter using a tablespoon. Make sure the pan is not over crowded, this helps all the pakoras to cook evenly.

Enjoy the pakoras with masala chai !