Cherry Topping

Cherry topping 1

This awesome cherry topping can be used on ice creams, pancakes and waffles. The recipe is from Cooking tip of the day.  I used Oregon dark sweet cherries. The sauce is a bit thin. It works well with waffles and pancakes. But if you are going to top ice creams, add an extra 1/2 tbsp of cornstarch and 1 tbsp of water to the recipe below.

The ingredients below makes 16 oz of cherry topping/sauce.

Ingredients:

  • Canned cherries – 15oz can
  • Water – 1/3 cup
  • Sugar – 1/3 cup
  • Cornstarch – 1 tbsp
  • Water – 2 tbsps
  • Almond extract – 1/2 tsp
  • Brandy – 1 tbsp

Method:

    • Drain the cherries and pour the syrup from the can into a saucepan.
    • Chop the cherries or use them whole.
    • Mix cornstarch and 2 tbsps of water in a bowl to a lump free paste.
    • Add sugar and 1/3 cup of water to the syrup in the sauce pan.
    • Mix well and let the syrup cook on medium heat. Stir at regular intervals.
    • Let the cherry syrup boil for 2 minutes.
    • Slowly whisk in the cornstarch mixture  and let it boil for 3 minutes.
    • Turn off the heat.
    • Stir in the cherries, almond extract and brandy.
    • When the sauce cools down, transfer the cherry topping to a jar or container and refrigerate.

Cherry topping 2

 

Overnight Waffles

Overnight waffles 7

We purchased a waffle maker last year at Fry’s and I think it is the best investment ever.  We have tried different waffle recipes. This is the best recipe for a lazy Saturday/Sunday morning or when you have guests for breakfast. Most of the mixing is done the previous night and just little bit of mixing in the morning.  The recipe below is from the kitchn. These waffles are crisp on the outside and soft inside.

The batter will rise overnight, so use a very large bowl to mix the batter.

The ingredients below yields 5 waffles. I have a Waring Pro waffle maker. The diameter of the waffle is 6.5 inches. The waffles is 1 inches thick.

Ingredients:

  • Ingredients to mix the night before you want to make waffles:
    • Active dry yeast – 1 + 1/2 tsps
    • Warm water – 1/4 cup
    • Melted butter – 1/4 cup
    • Whole milk or 2% milk – 1 cup + 1/4 cup
    • Salt – 1/2 tsp
    • Sugar – 1 tbsp
    • All purpose flour – 1 + 1/2 cups
  • Ingredients to mix the next day:
    • Egg – 1, beaten
    • Baking soda – 1/4 tsp

Method:

    • Mix yeast and water in a large mixing bowl. Let it stand for few minutes.
    • Mix melted butter, warm milk, salt and sugar in a bowl. When the butter-mixture is lukewarm, add it to the yeast.
    • Add flour and mix until the flour is incorporated.
    • The batter should have small lumps in them.
    • Cling wrap the bowl and let the batter sit at room temperature overnight.

Overnight waffles 1

    • The next morning add egg and baking soda to the batter. Mix well.

Overnight waffles 2

Overnight waffles 3

      • The batter must be thick and flowing.
      • You can add milk if the batter is too thick.

Overnight waffles 4

    • Follow the instructions on your waffle maker and make waffles.

Overnight waffles 5

Overnight waffles 8

    • Enjoy with maple syrup or toppings of your choice.

Overnight waffles 6

 Note:

  • Do not place hot waffles on a plate unless you are going to eat it immediately. Place the waffles on a wire rack.
  • You can freeze leftover waffles.  Thaw them by baking them until they defrost in a 325F oven.  Place the waffles directly on the wire rack inside the oven.

Potato Fry

Potato fry 4

I recently purchased a cast iron wok and it is my current favorite kitchen utensil. I used to think that you can make a good potato fry only using non stick pan. But a good seasoned cast iron wok can give you the same result. For a crisp potato fry, be generous with the oil and do not overcrowd the pan with lots of potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • Oil – for sauteing
  • Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 6 to 8 leaves
  • Potatoes – 2 + 1/2 cups, diced
  • Salt – to taste
  • Chili powder – 2 tsps, add according to taste
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Ground cumin – 1/2 to 1 tsp , optional
  • Hing/ Asafoetida – 6 pinches

Method:

    • Heat oil in a wok.
    • Add cumin seeds and let it crackle.
    • Add curry leaves and potatoes. Keep stirring at regular intervals.

Potato fry 1

    • When the potatoes turn lightly golden; add salt, chili powder, turmeric powder, hing and ground cumin(optional).

Potato fry 2

Potato fry 3

    • Saute until the potatoes are fully cooked and crisp. Don’t forget to stir at regular intervals.
    • For crisp potatoes, add more oil after you add the chili powder.

Potato fry 4

Note:

For a simple potato fry; Use oil, potatoes, salt, turmeric powder and chili powder. Follow the method above.

Summer Mixed Fruit Salad

Summer mixed fruit salad 2

This salad preparation is simple and refreshing to eat on a hot day. Chilli flakes gives the salad a spicy kick. Mix colorful fruits like watermelon, kiwi, pineapple, orange and mango in a bowl.Add chopped mint, chopped cilantro, chilli flakes and lime juice. Toss them around. Viola! Serve the salad cold.

Summer mixed fruit salad 1

 

Keerai Masiyal

Keerai masiyal 8

When I was a kid, I remember my mom making keerai masiyal in man chetti/ clay pot and she used to mash it with a wooden masher. I tried it and it turned out really well.  Keerai masiyal can be served with plain rice and roasted potatoes or any spicy side dish. It can be served as a side dish as well.

I did not measure the amount of water I added in the recipe. The water I used to cook the dal was enough and the spinach will give out water as it cooks. The masiyal consistency must be between thick and watery.

Keerai masiyal can be prepared using spinach, arai keeerai, paruppu keerai or manathakkali keerai. Manathakkali keerai is my favorite.

Ingredients:

  • Moong dal – 1/3 cup
  • Garlic – 4 big cloves
  • Water – as required
  • Salt – to taste
  • Spinach – 1 bunch, chopped and cleaned
  • For seasoning:
    • Oil – for seasoning
    • Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
    • Curry leaves – 8
    • Dry red chilli – 2
    • Hing – 2 big pinches
    • Ghee – 1 tsp

Method:

    • Cook moong dal and garlic together using water on high heat in a man chetti/clay pot.

Keerai masiyal 1

    • Keep stirring at frequent intervals and make sure that the water does not evaporate before the dal is cooked.
    • Add more water if required.
    • When the dal crumbles, add the chopped spinach and mix well. Turn down the heat to low.

Keerai masiyal 2

Keerai masiyal 3

Keerai masiyal 4

Keerai masiyal 5

    • Add salt to taste.
    • When the spinach is cooked, turn off the heat.
    • Carefully and slowly mash the keerai masiyal using a wooden masher.

Keerai masiyal 6

Keerai masiyal 7

    • Add a tsp of ghee and hing to the masiyal and prepare the seasoning.
    • Heat oil in a small pan.
    • Add mustard seeds and wait till it splutters.
    • Add curry leaves and dry red chilli. Turn off the heat when the red chilli puffs up.
    • Add the seasoning to the keerai masiyal.

Keerai masiyal 9

    • Mix well and serve hot.

Keerai masiyal 10

 

Stovetop Popcorn

Stovetop popcorn 6

I have been making homemade popcorn for a long time. I make it on Fridays as evening snack. We enjoy it with a cup of tea. I added 2 tbsps of olive oil in the recipe below. You can add an extra tbsp of oil for a more crisp popcorn. Use a big pan with lid to cook the popcorn kernels.

Stovetop popcorn 2

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil – 2 tbsps to 3 tbsps
  • Popcorn kernels – 1/3 cup
  • Salt – 1 tsp

Method:

    • Heat oil and two popcorn kernels in a big pan with the lid on.

Stovetop popcorn 3

    • When the popcorn kernel pops, add the remaining popcorn and salt. The lid has to be on.

Stovetop popcorn 4

    • Turn off the heat. Remove the pan from the stove and swirl it around 3 times with the lid on.
    • After 30 seconds, put the pan back on the stove and turn on the heat ( medium heat). The pan should be covered.
    • The popcorn kernels will begin to pop. Shake the pan in between as the popcorn pops for even cooking.
    • When the popping noise subsides, turn off the heat and transfer the popcorn to a big bowl immediately.

Stovetop popcorn 5

Stovetop popcorn 1

Lemon Rice

Lemon rice 3

I make lemon rice pretty often when I am stuck thinking about what to cook. Lemon rice and potatoes are the perfect combination. We go on picnics to the park and lemon rice is always part of the menu. We make tamarind rice,lemon rice and curd rice with potatoes and egg . We finish up with watermelons. This recipe of Tamil Nadu style lemon rice is my mom’s. Hope you enjoy it.

Lemon rice 4

Ingredients:

  • Uncooked Raw rice – 1 + 1/4 cup
  • Oil – for sauteing
  • Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
  • Channa dal – 1 tsp
  • Ginger – 2 tbsps, finely minced
  • Curry leaves – 8 leaves
  • Serrano pepper – 2, cut lengthwise
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Lemon juice – 1/4 cup, juice from 2 big lemons
  • Salt – to taste
  • Cilantro – for garnishing

Method:

    • Cook rice and let it cool down.
    • Heat oil in a wok.
    • Add mustard seeds and wait till it splutters.
    • Add channa dal, ginger, curry leaves and serrano pepper.
    • Saute until the channa dal turns golden brown.
    • Add turmeric powder and lemon juice. Let it cook for 30 seconds.
    • Turn off the heat. Add salt and cilantro; mix well.

Lemon rice 1

    • Add the cooled rice and mix gently until well combined.

Lemon rice 2

  • Serve with side dish of your choice.