Upma – A silky soft veggie semolina Upma

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It is interesting to know that South Indians’ have a variety of light dishes for breakfast but their most loved choice is Upma. Upma is light, silky and healthy as it is mainly made out of semolina.

This could be made plain, omitting the vegetables, but by adding any veggies of your choice could make it healthy and very appealing too.  

Ingredients you will need:

Semolina / Rulang / Sooji1 cup
Hot water2 cups
Yellow split lentils – chana dhal1 tbsp
1 Carrot – cut into tiny cubes 
4 Green beans – cut into tiny pieces 
Curry leaves 
Green chilli – split in the middle1
Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp
Onion – chopped1
 Olive oil 1 tbsp
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Let’s make :

To get the soft and silky texture,  stick to the following proportions:

2 cups of water to 1 cup of Semolina.  A little more water could turn it into a lumpy mess.

  • First, dry roast semolina for a min or two being careful not to change its colour and keep aside
  • Heat oil in a non-stick pan and crackle mustard seeds
  • Throw a handful of crushed curry leaves and chana dhal.  Slightly brown
  • Add the chopped onion and saute until golden and add the green chilli
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  • Now, add the chopped carrots and beans.  Stir fry a bit
  • Pour 2 cups of hot water and add salt to taste and let it boil away
  • Then, slowly add half of the roasted semolina while stirring rapidly, otherwise, it will give lumps
  • Add the other half while stirring
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  • Mix all together, check for salt,  close the lid and let it cook under very low fire for exactly 3 mins
  • Open the lid, let the steam escape, squeeze 1/4 of lemon give a good mix
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot

Tips:

  • To make it look more attractive, you can fill into a  glass bowl, press down and turn upside down on a plate, then remove the bowl slowly, leaving a dome in the middle. Yippee!
  • You can add a pinch of saffron to make it look subtly golden colour while cooking.
watalappan

Sri Lankan Watalappan – with coconut milk powder

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This glorious treat is usually reserved for a special occasion considering its extraordinary richness and exotic taste.

Traditionally,  this pudding is steamed in an aluminium pudding basin, dipped into a large pan half-filled with water. However, you can also bake it in a Pyrex dish in the oven which is easier and less time-consuming.   If you fancy the original taste, do not hesitate to steam it. Either way, you will come to love it!!

I made this pudding using Maggi coconut milk powder which I found the best choice in the absence of fresh coconut milk and also, the texture of the pudding comes out much firmer allowing you to cut into dainty squares.

So, give it a try today !!

What you will need:

 Maggie Coconut Milk Powder6 full tablespoons
Palm jaggery (Brown)1 round
Brown sugar2 tbsp
Nutmeg -grated (essential item for this pudding)1 full tsp
Saltpinch
Eggs (large)5
Water1/2 cup

Let’s make it :

  • Place the jaggery round in a bag and knock it with a rolling pin until powdered

Blend it

  • Now, drop jaggery, eggs, coconut milk powder, grated nutmeg, salt and 2 tbsp of water into the blender jar
  • Blend only 30  seconds.  More mixing will loosen the pudding
  • Sieve through a siever

Oven it

  • Pour the liquid into a pudding basin, cover tightly with a foil and steam.  Or, pour into a Pyrex dish, cover with a foil, place the dish in a baking tray, half-filled with water and bake in the oven at 200 C for 30 – 45 mins. (This is called double boiling method)
  • After 45 mins take the tray out, remove the cover slightly and insert a skewer and check if it comes clean.  If so, the pudding is ready!  If not, place it in the oven for another 10 mins.
  • Take the dish out, open the foil cover and let it cool off. (You can sprinkle some roasted or raw cashews on top at this point)

Serve

  • Place the pudding in the fridge and cut into perfect squares before serving.
  • Yum !!

Buttery Tea Time Cake – Sponge cake with crystallized sugar glaze

It is amazing that this simple, light and fluffy buttery cake, turns into a gorgeous teatime treat when it is glazed with butter and sugar crystal syrup.  It gives such a  sweet crunchiness to the top layer making every bite absoloutely pleasurable.

Make this delightful treat for your friends and enjoy relaxing in the garden with a steaming pot of tea.

Let’s make it: 

Self Raising flour250 g
Margarine or butter250 g
Caster sugar250 g
Eggs4
Milk1/4 cup
Lemon juice and Vanilla essence1  tsp each
Salt2 pinches
Baking powder1 tsp
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Let’s make it: Set the oven to 180 C . (Temperature conversion is given under Tips)

Cream the batter

  • Beat butter and sugar together until creamy,  using an electric hand mixer
  • Add eggs, one at a time. Make sure you beat well after each addition.
  • Add vanilla essence,  lemon juice, salt and beat for two rounds.

Mix Four

  • Mix baking powder to flour and sieve onto the cake batter, holding the sieve well above it, allowing the air to escape
  •  Fold the flour gently with a wooden spoon until everything turns into a creamy batter
  • Add milk and mix into the batter

Into the oven

  • Line up a round baking tray with parchment paper and spoon the batter into the baking tray and flatten with a spatula
  • Lift up the tray and drop it twice onto your kitchen-top gently, allowing the batter to spread and settle evenly on the try
  • Pop it into the oven

Take out of the oven

  • Insert a skewer into the middle of the cake and if it comes clean,  your cake is ready
  • Take it out from the oven and let it rest for 10 mins
  • Slowly remove from the tray, peel off the baking paper and place it on a cooling rack
  • Let the cake rest for 15 mins
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Glaze it

(Do not spread this syrup when the cake is warm.  Let it cool off for about 20 mins.)

  • Place a heap of a tablespoon of butter in a bowl
  • Add a tablespoon of brown sugar and mix well
  • Now place the bowl in the microwave or on the stove and heat for a minute. Do not boil
  • Take out and give a good stir with a spoon.  The sugar should not be dissolved completely but crystallized
  • Pour the sugar syrup using a small spoon all over the cake.
  • After a few mins, you will notice the sugar crystals have formed on the top.
  • Done!!
  • Delicious!