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Tamilnadu Cookery Recipes
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
 
1. RICE KARCHIKKAI
This is prepared in some houses for ‘Gokulashtami'
 
Ingredients:
Rice 2 cups,  
well-ripe coconut (big sized ones) 2  
sugar 2 cups,  
cardamom powder, ghee or vanaspathi 2 ½ to 2 ¾ cups  
black gram dhal ¼ cup  
 
Method:
Wash rice well. Soak and drain. Pound into flour. Shift through a fine sieve. Roast the flour lightly and spread it on a cloth. Roast black gram dhal to a reddish brown. Grind in a handmill. Sift through a fine sieve and measure ¼ cup of the flour.
 
Add a little water to the sugar and prepare into a thick syrup. Grate coconut and add. Turn continuously with a ladle and cook into a powdery mass (as for kozhukkattai fillings) there should not be any water in it. Otherwise, the “Karchikkai” will not be crisp. Mix cardamom powder and keep aside.
 
Shift the dried rice flour once more. Measure it. Take an equal quantity of water. Add a ladleful of milk to it and boil it with ½ teaspoon of the salt. When it boils vigorously, remove from fire. Add rice flour. Mix well with the handle of a ladle and keep covered. After half an hour, empty it into a plate. Add blackgram flour. Keep the fingers in ghee. Rub and knead the flour well. Take a little of flour (and arecanut size). Roll nicely between hollows of the palms. Shape it into a cup. Fill it with 1 teaspoon of the ‘fillings' (i.e. sugar and coconut mass). Close, pressing the two edges and twist the edges.
 

Heat ghee in a pan. Fry 10 or 12 Karchikkai's, turning frequently (twice or thrice) With a flat spoon. Cook till red. Remove from fire. Drain over a colander and cool. Repeat with the rest of Karchikkai's. Keep in a container with an airtight lid. Otherwise, it will become soft.

 
Note :

Jaggery may be used instead of sugar. But, jaggery Karchikkai's tend to get soft soon.

 
2. POPPED RICE (KARTHIGAI PORI)
POPPED BEATEN RICE FLAKE BALLS
(AVAL PORI URUNDAI)
 
For ‘Karthikai Deepam Festival', all Hindu homes prepare toffees in the shape of balls with beaten rice flakes or paddy, popped either at home or bought from the market.
 
Beaten rice flakes can be prepared at home. (See appendix.) it can also be bought from the market. Either, take flakes to a shop (where it is popped in a special oven) or pop it at home. Shift out the sand and winnow out the husk and keep the flakes clean.
 
INGREDIENTS:
Popped flakes 8 cups (2 liters), jaggery 2 to 2 ½ cups , coconut ¼ (cut into small bits), a little bit of dry ginger (tap it nicely), cardamom a few.(Powder gingili and cardamom.)
 
Spread the popped flakes on a big tray. Sprinkle dry ginger and cardamom powders. Prepare syrup with jaggery (in a ladle (1/5 cup) of water). Add the bits of coconut to the syrup.
 
Take a little of the syrup. Drop it into the water and roll it between the thumb and forefinger.( if it is not watery , but allows to be rolled, the syrup is ready :) Remove syrup from the oven. Take it with the ladle and pour it on the flakes, little by little. Mix with a flat spoon. Likewise, mix all the flakes in syrup and roll into balls. Popped paddy can also be prepared like this.
 
METHOD OF POPPING PADDY AND BEATEN RICE FLAKES
Heat an earthern frying pan and heat one handful of clean sand in it. When the sand becomes black, just add a handful of flakes. Make a bundle with a few coconut splinters. Using the stub end, fry the flakes and the sand together. The flakes will start swelling and popping. When bursting stops, quickly pour these out into a sieve. Sift out the sand, and pour the popped flakes into a clean dry vessel. Put the sand again in the (earthern) frying pan and prepare the remaining flakes. A finely perforated colander may be used as a sieve for this purpose. Paddy ‘pops' can be prepared in the same way.
 
NOTE:
Do not roll the balls very tight. just gently press with the tips of the fingers and roll (to avoid hardening). It may be pressed into ‘cones' also, or the syrup can be mixed with flakes and kept loose.