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Friday, 22 February, 2008

Plain Rice

Today, I thought of sharing with you one of my tips to save energy as South Africa is facing an energy crisis. I cook rice everyday.Everyone who cooks long grain rice knows that it takes a lot of energy as the time needed to cook rice varies from 30 to 45 minutes. Many people tell me that when they cook rice it sticks or turns mushy. I buy the No Name brand of rice from Pick n' Pay. This is not an ad for Pick n' Pay nor do they pay me any commission for it. I buy this brand because it is fairly easy to cook and takes less time and the desired result.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup long grain uncooked rice
  2. 4 cups water
  3. 1 tsp. salt

Method:

  • Boil the water in a kettle.
  • Wash rice in cold water 2 or 3 times.
  • Pour the boiling water into the rice, add salt and let it remain on the stove on high for 10 minutes.
  • When the water bubbles, off the stove and keep the vessel covered for approximately 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Now drain the rice in a colander. You get non sticky, and properly cooked rice.
  • This saves energy a lot if you cook rice on a daily basis.

Monday, 18 February, 2008

Unniappam



When I went to Kerala in December, thought of bringing a appakkara (Unniappam chatti) along with me to South Africa. I remember my school days, when mum used her imaginations to cook for us some snacks, when we returned back from school with our tummies grumbling. But the same joy cannot be provided to my children here in South Africa as some of these beautiful vessels are not available here.

Yesterday, I thought of taking out my appakkara and try my culinary skills with it. I rolled out my first batch of unniappams and then called out to my son who was playing outside with one of his friends. He took two unniappams out to share with his friend. Within two minutes I saw a group of his friends outside my door hoping to get some as well. My son came inside and started with all the names of the kids who were there for the unniappams. So there went my two batches of unniappams. But what a pleasure to see the smiles on those little faces when each one got his share. Below is my version of unniappams. The unniappams in the picture are not as brown as the ones usually got as I ran short of jaggery.

Ingredients:
  1. 2 cups fine rice flour
  2. 1/2 cup cake flour or all purpose flour or maida (I am thinking of the different names of the flour available in different countries)
  3. 3/4 cup jaggery syrup
  4. 2 bananas
  5. 1 tblsp. thinly fried coconut pieces
  6. a pinch of salt
  7. oil for frying

Method:

  • Mix together rice flour, cake flour, salt and jaggery syrup.
  • Add mashed bananas and fried coconut pieces.
  • Slowly add water and make it into a thick batter but of a pourable constituency.
  • Heat the appakara (vessel) and pour oil to make the holes 3/4 full.
  • When the oil is hot enough pour the batter into each of these holes.
  • Slowly turn the unniappams to cook it thoroughly.
  • When it is golden brown, drain it on kitchen paper towels.