Friday, November 20, 2015

Achappam (Kerala Rosette Cookies)


My pregnancy this time reminded me of many things that I loved to eat while I grew up. Fried Sardine-eggs , Jackfruit & many snacks made with the same & Indian Coffee House special "Masala Dosa"  are among the list of food that I still long for.
I am grateful to all my dear friends who brought special food for me all these 8 months, I didn't miss my home much because of you guys  & am so glad that I have you all :)
While I was watching a program in Malayalam, the TV host was gifted with some home made fresh "Achappam" by one of her fans, the way she described how it tasted and the crunchy sound while she had it made me crave for the same :( though we haven't made it at home, I have heard that this is one of the snack that the Christians in Kerala make during the Christmas time,
now its time to start the preparation for Christmas
Yayyy !!
 Its time to ferment the grapes , soak fruits for Christmas Cake, buy Christmas decorations and many more things to do...


To make "Achappam" you'll need this special "Achu" specially designed Iron mold, I brought these from Kerala last time , I haven't tried making these before ,this is my first trial , but it came out really well :)


Yes , again it tested my patience initially while frying'em, but was determined to make it alright until I mastered some tricks while making the same,



Temperature of the oil while frying, getting  used to some "not so good" properties of Iron mold "Achu" , the consistency of batter etc are important, we learn with experience, may be I found it difficult because I haven't seen the way its made.
But I must write it tasted better than any Achappam that I had anytime in my life :)



Please note the lines given in "Bold" in the description given below, if planning to make these. 

Ingredients 

Rice flour - 2 cups
Maida / All purpose flour - 1 tbsp (Optional)
Thick Coconut Milk - 3/4 cup (Approx, adjust as per need)
    (may use full fat Cow's milk too though its not used traditionally)
Egg - 1 small beaten
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Black Sesame seeds - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
A pinch of Salt

Oil for frying

Method 

* Mix all ingredients listed above for the batter, in a bowl , adjust the quantity of coconut milk to make batter thin in consistency, thinner than Dosa batter (or pan cake batter). Keep this for 20 to 30 minutes.

* Heat oil in a deep wok or saucepan, dip and keep the "Achu" Iron mold in the oil while its gets heated (at least for 5 minutes) until the oil and the "Achu" is really hot, bring down the heat to medium high.


* Transfer a small amount of the batter to another steel or aluminium bowl, so that each time you dip the hot "Achu"in to the batter, it doesn't make any changes to the whole batter, also its good to make these in batches especially if making these for the first time. You may make any changes to the next batch if its not coming out well with the first attempt.


* Check if the oil is really heated by frying few drops of batter in to the oil and it should bubble up fast. Once the oil is ready, take out the "Achu"/Iron Mold from the oil, shake off excess oil from the "Achu" and dip it to the prepared batter, immediately drop this "Achu" to the oil.
Do not dip the whole Achu/iron mold into the batter , then the batter wouldn't come out of it while frying. 

* Once the Achu/iron mold is in the oil, wait for few seconds and then shake it lightly so that the Achappam comes out of it and gets fried, turn to the other side after few more seconds. Should be light brown in color on both sides.
If the Achappam doesn't get separated from the mold, use a fork to help separate it slowly,

* Ensure that the Mold/Achu is really hot every time you dip it to the batter or else the batter wouldn't get stick to it, also shake off excess oil from it before dipping the same in to the batter each time, its good to keep the Achu/Mold dipped in the heated oil after each Achappom is made, so that its temperature is maintained.Fry the rest of the Achappam's similarly.



* These Achappam's would be soft just after frying , place the fried Achappam's on to a tissue-paper and allow to cool and get crispy. Once cooled, transfer'em to an air tight container or Ziploc bag, it stays for a few weeks.

 Enjoying Crispy Achappoms
:D

Notes : Please note the lines given in "Bold" in the description above if planning to make "Achappom"

Cheers
TN



Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Home made (Yellow) Jalebi Recipe & Happy Diwali


Since India is celebrating one of her biggest festival "Diwali" today,
I was determined to make some thing sweet, which is compulsorily made in all houses celebrating "Diwali" This being my second Diwali after I started blogging in full pace, I decided to make Yellow Jalebi" making of which is little tricky I must write :/
and am not very satisfied by the way it looks :(
last year I made Boondi Ladoo, which I felt was far easier to make.
To make these all you need is patience, but am sure If I can make it, any body else can do it easily :D
as I believe I am among the list of impatient people,
though am trying to improve :(


Referred many blogs and you-tube links before making these,
found the recipe in vegrecipesofindia.com  very descriptive, click link for her Jalebi recipe.
I made some changes to the recipe above to reduce the fermentation time.



Here's how I made it.

Ingredients 

Maida/All purpose flour - 1 cup
Corn flour - 1 tbsp
Besan /Gram flour - 2 tbsp
Fast acting Yeast - 1/2 tsp (Optional, instead use Soda powder)
Sugar - 1 tsp (use only if using yeast)
Salt - a pinch
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Thick curd - 1/2 cup
Water - 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (Approx, I used 2-3 tbsp more)
Oil - for frying

For Sugar syrup 

Sugar - 2 cups
Water - 2 cups
Lime juice - 1/2 tsp
Cardamom or  saffron threads - few

Method 

Optional -   * Heat 2 tbsp water till warm and add 1 tsp sugar to it, mix well and then add yeast, keep for 5 to 7 minutes in warm place to activate yeast. This step is for those who intend to use Yeast, may add Soda powder instead.

   * Mix together Maida + Besan + Corn Flour + turmeric powder + curd + 1/2 cup water+activated Yeast mixture (if using)  Mix well using a spoon for 4-6 minutes until the batter looks smooth (not too thick not too thin in consistency) If using Soda Powder instead of yeast, add it just before frying.


*  keep these for fermentation for at least 6 hour's, (taste best if kept for longer time)

Batter after its kept for 6 hour's to ferment. 


* To make Sugar syrup, boil water and sugar, to bring it to one string consistency, when it reaches the required thickness add lime juice & crushed cardamom. May add color or Saffron to this syrup, saffron would give a light yellow color naturally, but I didn't have the same so used color, which made my Jalebi look brown :(

* Heat Oil in a frying pan, bring to  high heat initially then turn the heat to medium-high heat, temperature of the oil determines how your jalebi's would look like (color and shape) as its hard to make those shapes if the oil is really hot, hence regulate the temperature accordingly.

* Beat the batter once again,add 1 to 3 tbsp water to the batter if it looks thick after fermentation (Batter shouldn't be too thin) transfer'em to a piping bag/ or use any squeezable ketchup bottle's,try piping'em to a paper before frying. Start frying the same 2 to 3 minutes on both sides, I like my jalebi's to be little crispy so I fried it for little more time.

* Making perfect round shapes for these jalebi's was not easy, but after frying few shapeless jalebi's,
I learned the trick, anyways shapeless jalebi's also taste equally good so its fine ;)

* Dip these fried Jalebi's in sugar syrup for 1 to 2 minutes and place them on to a flat plate. If planning to keep for more days, store in air tight containers and refrigerate.



Enjoy !


Wishing you all a very Happy and Blessed Diwali :)

Cheers
TN