Sunday, October 23, 2016

Ma's Sago And Tender Coconut Payasa

Sago And Tender Coconut Payasam
A couple of years ago, I decided to start cooking classes and my daughter saw an ad on Facebook and sent it to me.  At the same time, a friend emailed me the link.  I was excited with what I saw and the rest is history.  Thanks to a wonderful group for helping me discover myself through cooking.
The recipe I’d like to share today is a personal favourite and like most of my recipes very simple.  Am sure you will like it to.

The Recipe:

Sago is a starch extracted from the spongy centre, or pith, of various tropical palm stems and has become a very popular dessert in Mangalore.
¼ cup sago; sugar to taste; 1 tbsp raisins; 1 tbsp cashewnuts and a pinch of cardamom or cinnamon as desired; a 1/2 cup  tender coconut, cut into pieces; a pinch of salt; 1 cup milk; 45 gms of low fat milk powder.
Whisk the milk and milk powder together and keep aside till required.
Soak the sago in 3 cups water for half an hour.  This is to soften it.   Drain, add 1 ½ cups water and bring to the boil, lower flame for 5 minutes.  While cooking the sago will become transparent and may have a white spot in the middle.  This will become transparent by the time the Payasa is served.  Add milk, sugar to taste, raisins, cashew nuts, salt,and spices.  Remove from fire, cover and cool for 20 minutes.  Serve hot or cold.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Lemon Grass Rice

Lemon Grass Rice
I was invited to attend a food workshop early last month and was very excited to know that the menu featured Malaysian recipes.  The host was awesome and the food she cooked so delicious that I nearly forgot my manners in my haste to get to the table.  The dish I liked best was Nasi Beringin or Lemon Grass Rice as I prefer to call it.  It is so aromatic and delicious. Truly, we eat it thrice- with our nose, eyes and last but not least our tongue.

The Recipe:

1 cup basmathi rice, washed and drained; 1 cup low fat milk or evaporated milk; 1 cup warm water; 1/2 inch piece ginger, minced; 1 inch of galangal, sliced- this is optional; 5 stalks lemon grass- use only the whilte part - slice each stalk into two; 2 medium onions sliced; a few spring onions, cut fine;  1 stick cinnamon; 3 cloves; 3 cardamoms; 1 star anise; 1 tsp ghee; 1 tbsp olive oil;  salt to taste.
For Garnish:  Fried shallots and a handful of coriander leaves and hard boiled eggs ( my added twist which is optional)

NB:  Actually shallots or sambar onions are used for this recipe.  I was in a hurry to make it and preferred to use the ordinary onions.
Galangal is a fragrant ginger that I love to use in my cooking.

Heat ghee and olive oil in a non stick pan.  Saute the spices, onions or shallots, spring onions, ginger, galangal and lemon grass until onions are glazed.  Add the rice and gently stir fry till grains are glazed.  Transfer to rice cooker and add the water, milk and salt to taste.  Adjust the settings.  When the rice is cooked the light will go off.  Fluff up and cool for a few minutes to let the steam escape.  Remove the lemon grass, spices and galangal.  Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves, fried onions and boiled eggs.