Thursday, May 20, 2010

Honey Drop Cookies

Each country has a different name for a Cookie. In India and England they are called biscuits; in Spain they are called Galletas; and so on. According to culinary historians, the first historic record of cookies was their use as test cakes. A small amount of cake batter was baked to test the oven temperature. The name cookie is derived from the Dutch word koekje, meaning "small or little cake". Biscuit comes from the Latin word bis coctum, which means, “twice baked”. That is some history about cookie that I got from the internet.

The recipe that I have here is adapted from the Kairali Cookery Show "Magic Oven" by Lakshmi Nair. It is a quick and easy recipe and very tasty too.


All Purpose flour (Maida)- 1/2 cup
Baking Powder- 1/2 tsp
Egg- 1
Sugar- 1/3 cups
Salted Butter- 3 tbsp
Honey- 2 tsp
Vanilla Essence- 1/4 tsp

1. Sift the flour and baking powder together. Also add a pinch of salt if you are using unsalted butter.
2. In another bowl, whisk the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy.
3. To the butter, add the egg and beat well.
4. Add in the essence and honey and mix well.
5. Add the sifted flour and mix well.
6. Pre-heat the oven at 300 degrees F.
7. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and grease with butter.
8. Drop by 1/2 tsp of batter to the pan. Make sure you leave enough space between each drop of the batter as it would increase in size.
9. Bake for around 12-15 minutes until the cookie is golden brown.

When you take the cookie out of the oven, it may be slightly soft at the center. But as it cools it would become crispy.

This recipe will yield 30-35 cookies. My son loved it and the entire box of cookies vanished in no time! It is a quick recipe and a keeper.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ras Malai for ICC

Ras Malai is my favorite Indian dessert. So when Srivalli announced this month's challenge I was so excited. Soft paneer balls soaked in sweetened and thickened milk (Ras) flavored with cardamom -  a treat to the taste buds. So when I tried this out Sunday, I was full of enthusiasm. Anyways my paneer balls did not turn out to be that soft :-(. Once I tasted my Ras Malai, I started doing more research to find out what went wrong. My finding is that the content of water in the paneer should not be more nor less, to make the paneer balls with the proper consistency. I think I squeezed too much water from my paneer. Anyways the Ras was excellent. Next time I will make sure I leave enough water in the paneer to make softer and smoother balls.

For making the Paneer balls
Whole Milk- 1 litre
Lemon Juice- 3 tbsp
Maida- 1 tsp
Water- 1.5 cups
Sugar- 4 tbsp

1. Boil the milk in a vessel.
2. When the milk starts to boil, add the lemon juice and let the milk curdle.
3. Use a muslin cloth or strainer and separate the milk solids from the whey water.
4. Let it drain for 30 minutes to remove water and squeeze extra water as needed.
5. Now knead the paneer with maida to make a smooth dough.Add additional whey water if needed to make it smooth.
6. Make 7-8 balls out of this dough and slightly flatten it. Make sure that the balls are smooth and not broken.
7. In a pressure cooker boil water and add sugar.
8. When the water starts to boil, add the paneer balls and cook until 2 whistles or for 10 minutes and turn off the stove.

For making the Rasa/Syrup
Milk- 3 cups
Saffron- a large pinch
Sugar- 4 tbsp
Cardamom- 1 (powdered)

1. Boil the milk and add the Sugar and Saffron.
2. Keep boiling and stirring until the milk is reduced to half; may take 20-30 minutes.
3. Stir in the Cardamom powder.

Pista- 5-6 (chopped)

1. Open the pressure cooker, when the pressure is completely gone and take out the paneer balls.
2. Squeeze the paneer balls slightly to remove the water.
3. Add the balls to the rasa and refrigerate it for 4-5 hours.
4. Garnish with chopped pista and serve.

Overall the ras malai was good (not excellent) as the balls were not soft enough. If anyone has any other tips to make the paneer balls soft, please do share it here.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Thattukada Beef Fry

For some reason Thattukadas (Road side eateries) always seems to have a special place in a lot of Keralite's heart. One thing I could say for sure is that we (me & R, and I think now my son too) has a special liking for Thattukada preparations. Don't know why, but the food there has a special taste that you would not find in any of the five star restaurants. Among our list of restaurants that we hop on, when visiting India, are a few Thattukadas too - one of the popular ones being Balan's thattukada and the special item there is the Beef Fry. I was thinking about Balan's beef today and had this urge to go ahead and give it a try. This is just an attempt to recreate the memories 'n taste and it came out good.

For Marination:
Beef- 3 lbs
Chilly Powder- 1 tbsp
Coriander Powder- 1 1/2 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste- 1 tbsp
Fennel Powder- 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder- 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala- 1/2 tsp
Salt- to taste

Final Preparation:
Chilly Powder- 1 tbsp
Ginger Garlic Paste- 2 tbsp
Garam Masala- 1/2 tsp
Pepper Powder- 1 tsp
Salt- to taste
Curry Leaves- 2 twigs
Oil- as needed to fry

1. In a pressure cooker, mix the beef with the rest of the ingredients for marination.
2. Pressure cook the marinated beef until it is 3/4 done (may be 2 whistles). No water is needed as there would be enough water coming from the beef.
3. Once the pressure is gone, open the pressure cooker and take one cup of the beef stock.
4. Heat another pan and pour the stock to it.
5. Add Chilly Powder, Pepper Powder and Ginger Garlic Paste to the stock and let it boil.
6. Add the beef to this boiling stock and mix well and let it cook. Add additional stock to this if the beef needs more cooking. Keep in mind we will be frying this too.
7. Check salt and add, if needed.
8. When the beef is almost dry, add the Garam Masala and mix well. Turn off the stove. If you want to avoid fried stuff, the beef can be eaten like this. It would taste great too.
9. Heat oil in a pan for frying and when the oil is hot, fry the beef in batches.
10. Once the frying is done, in the same oil fry the curry leaves and garnish the beef.

My son loved it so much that I had a tough time taking the picture!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Give Away Time - **CLOSED**

And the winner is Shabitha Karthikeyan of My Home Kitchen! Congrats Shabitha!

I am sure most of you have by now seen giveaways happening at a lot of blogs. I am one of the lucky ones who also got the privilege to do a giveaway sponsored by CSN stores to thank my dear readers out there. For those who do not know about CSN stores, it is comprised of more than 200 different shopping sites under the overall umbrella. Most of their sites are named for their primary product offerings or the styles they provide. CSN's product categories cover everything from cookware, ultra modern furniture, bunk bed-office combinations and fitness equipment to gaming chairs, grills, greenhouses and much. So for all your needs ranging from a corner TV stand, entertainment centers, rugs, house wares to home improvement stuff, you could visit that one place - CSN Stores. Now let’s get into what CSN has agreed to offer for my dear friends - you get to pick one from the below 9 choices:
Black & Decker Mini Pro Plus Food Processor

Presto Flip Side Belgian Waffle Maker

Back to Basics Brushed Chrome Smoothie Elite

Le Creuset 2-Quart Batter Bowl

Oster 12-Speed Osterizer Blender

Cuisinart Power Advantage 5-Speed Hand Mixer

Paula Deen 2 Qt. Double Boiler Set in Stainless Set

Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 2 Quart Covered Saucepan with Double Boiler Insert

Rachael Ray “Bubble & Brown” 2-Piece Stoneware Baker Set

So what do you want to pick for your sweet space? Now let's get into the rules and requirements for you to enter this contest.

1. The contest is only open to US and Canadian Residents. For all others, if you have a friend/relative in US or Canada, you could always get it shipped to them.

2. The contest closes on May 12th at 11:59pm PST.

3. The winner will be selected using and will be notified via email. Please post your email id as well, if you are not a registered blogger. In the event that winner does not respond back within 3 days after they receive the email a new winner would be chosen.

4. You could leave a separate comment for each one of the below activity: (Note: - The first 2 are mandatory to enter the contest)
  1. Follow Thattukada publicly via Google friend connect and leave a comment under this post saying so. If you are already a follower, just comment so. (Mandatory)
  2. Visit the furniture store under CSN umbrella - RacksandStands and leave a comment as to what you would love to have from there.  (Mandatory)
  3. Tweet about this giveaway using the tweeter link below this post and follow me on twitter. Leave a comment with your tweet URL under this post.
  4. Join Face book group - Thattukada and leave a comment about it under this post.
  5. Add Thattukada to your blog roll and leave a comment about it under this post.
So you could leave a maximum of 5 comments and quintuple your chances to be the winner - please remember that the first 2 are mandatory for you to earn any additional entries.

Good Luck dear Friends! Happy Commenting!
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