February 16, 2017

New event : Kids Delight - Chocolate dishes theme

Valentine's Day just whizzed past us - If you are a chocoholic bet you would have enjoyed the date :-) 

So, why not link up more love with chocolate based dishes... 


Simple, creative, elegant,delicious  - chocolate fits into more than these categories. 

No rules - Its simple as A,B,C. 


If you have an eggless chocolate dish, simply use the link tool to link your dishes (make sure your entries are linked to this event announcement with Valli's event announcement (whose event I am guest hosting - thanks Valli :D ) 


Although I prefer fresh entries, archived entries updated+ the logo are also accepted - make sure archived entries are appended with the details above to qualify.

Ensure both old and new entries are linked back to Valli's event and this event to qualify as an entry :)

Look forward to your love, and your entries..


Cheers

Kalyani



February 5, 2017

Palli Perugu Pachadi - Andhra Style Peanut Curd Chutney

This chutney is on my chutney rotation for Idli / Dosa / Pongal. Comes from my friend's mom who's from Warangal part of Andhra Pradesh. It may not be a popular dish in Andhra cuisine at restaurants, but considering I tasted this first at her place many decades ago (and a zillion times since then) , I have begun to believe its an Andhra type dish. Lets get to the lip smacking recipe now :) 

Palli in Telugu means peanuts. Perugu = curd ; pachadi - refers to chutney or a dip 

Prep time : 10 mins |  Cook time : 5 mins | Makes : 1 large cup (250 ml) of Chutney | 
Spice level - medium 
Keeps for max 1 day under refrigeration

Check out more than 20+ varieties of Chutneys here


Ingredients:

  • Roasted unsalted peanuts (without skin) - 1 cup (200 ml)
  • Onion - 1 large - minced fine or sliced thin.
  • Garlic pods - 2 nos
  • Red chillies - 2 
  • Green chilly - 1 no
  • thick slightly sweet Curd - 1/2 cup (100 ml)
  • Oil - 1/2 TBSP
  • Salt - to taste

Tempering:

  • Oil - 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
  • Hing / Asafeotida - a largish pinch (skip for GF version)


How to make:

  1. If you dont have ready roasted peanuts, roast the peanuts with their skin on on low - medium flame till they slightly brown and the skin begins to peel off. Transfer to a large plate, cool and rub the peanuts against a coarse towel to peel the skin off. 
  2. If you have ready shelled roasted & unsalted peanuts, skip the above step. 
  3. In a pan, add oil, saute the onion, garlic till pink. Now add the chillies and saute. Cool.
  4. Blend all ingredients (peanuts & onion - garlic-  chilly mixture) except curd into a smooth semi dry powder. Add water (2 TBSP) and blend to a smooth paste. Now add the curd and churn just once.(I prefer adding the whisked curd to the ground peanut chutney Once the chutney is transferred from the blender). 
  5. Mix well. Prepare tempering with oil, mustard seeds, hing and Urad dal. 
  6. Add to the chutney and serve with any South Indian Breakfast. It keeps for max 1 day under refrigeration 

Sending this to BM 73 - "flavours of India" theme

February 4, 2017

Kos Nalagri Bhaath - a Hebbar Iyengar Speciality :)

The second in the "Flavours of India" series this week is my former neighbour aunty's recipe. This is a no fail recipe and I especially loved the flavours that used to emanate while digging into this dish. 

This post is surely making me nostalgic - as Mahalakshmi Aunty (the neighbour) used to make this and send over a generous portion of the dish over to our house. In fact, we didn't live as neighbours, it was more like two families living in adjacent houses. Aunty's daughter R virtually grew up in our house,  and her brother and myself were classmates.. 

So many memories to ponder, but first the dish :-) 

Hope you are enjoying the series this week of "Flavours of India" with Arisi Upma posted yesterday. 


Nalagri Bhath is predominantly made by the Hebbar Iyengar community - a subject of tamilians living in Karnataka. This is similar to the sambhar powder and the vangibhath spice mix, but with little twists on the way. I shall post a detailed recipe of making this spice powder soon, but till then enjoy the recipe. This Nalagri powder is used to make Sambhar and also to spice up most rice dishes dotted with vegetables similar to Vangibhath.  

Other vegetables that can be in place of cabbage (or along with cabbage) are potato, peas, french Beans, methi leaves (fresh fenugreek leaves), capsicum (bell pepper), brinjal. 

Lets get to the recipe now...

Prep time : 10 mins, cook time : 10 mins; serves : 2 
Kos Nalagri Bhaath (Kos = cabbage, Nalagri -spice powder; Bhaath = rice)
Vegan . Satvik and Gluten Free dish | Main course / dinner Ideas.
Course : Main course ; cuisine :  Hebbar Iyengar (Karnataka based)

Ingredients:
  • Cooked & fluffed up Rice - 1 cup
  • Nalagiri powder - 3 tsp (heaped)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Cabbage (finely shredded) - 1 cup
  • steamed Peas - a handful (optional)
  • Oil - 2 TBSP
  • Tempering : Mustard seeds, urad dal, cashews (few), curry leaves
  • Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
  • Grated dry copra (Kobbari) - 1 TBSP (optional, but recommended) 


Method:
  1. Cook one cup of rice till done. fluff it in a large plate and keep aside.
  2. In a pan, heat oil. Add tempering, once dal turns brown, add the cabbage. saute well. Add turmeric and salt and sprinkle little water, cook and cover. 
  3. Once cabbage is crispy yet cooked (let it not become mushy), add the peas, the NaLagri Powder, and mix well. Let this come to room temperature. 
  4. Now add the grated dry copra, rice. Mix gently without breaking the rice grains. 
  5. Serve immediately as is or with a bowl of yoghurt or some pickle (Its quite spicy so goes well on its own).
  6. Makes an excellent lunch box option. 

Sending this to BM 73 - "flavours of India" theme




      

February 3, 2017

Arisi Upma - my MIL's style :) | Broken Rice savoury pudding | Easy Tiffin dishes

Today's post of Arisi Upma (Broken Rice Upma) comes from my MIL's kitchen repertoire. This was one of the earliest dishes she made for us while visiting us right after our marriage. Apparently, she makes Rava Ladoo, Jaangri (a Urad dal based sweet) & many other Kuzhambus awesomely well, but this recipe has stayed with me. There are different ways of making this, but this is to document her style.

We are running "Flavours of India" this week presenting 3 different dishes that dont appear on restaurant menus but are mostly made by homecooks.


This is a breakfast as well as a evening tiffin dish. Its spicy on its own, and must be eaten hot. We make it mostly on weekend nights in place of an elaborate dinner or sometimes for a Sunday evening tiffin (early supper) and skip our dinner as its very filling .

Accompanied here is this Gothsu (Tamarind based spicy dip) thats used as a side dish for Ven Pongal or Rava Pongal. It can also be had with any Kuzhambu variety.


Off to the recipe, now ! Follow the steps enclosed for a yummy Upma :) Hope you also make this and enjoy it..

Prep time : 5 mins | Cooking Time : 20 mins |  Serves : 2 adults generously.
Arisi Upma - a Vegan, GF Rice - lentil based savoury dish
Cuisine : Tamilnadu (South Indian), Course : Breakfast or evening snack / Dinner alternative.

Ingredients:

  • Raw Rice - 200 ml (use short grained variety)
  • Toor dal - 50 gms
  • Jeera / cumin - 1 tsp
  • Whole Black pepper corns - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chillies - 2 or 3 (remove the stalk) 
  • Salt - to taste
  • Boiling water - 4 times the rice quantity (depends on the quality of the rice)
  • fresh or frozen Grated coconut - 3 tsp (optional but recommended)

Tempering:

  • Oil - 3 TBSP
  • Ghee - 1 tsp (skip for Vegan version)
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 TBSP
  • Urad dal - 1/2 TBSP
  • Channa Dal - 1/2 TBSP
  • Cashew nuts - 2 tsp (broken or halved)
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Hing / Perungaayam / Asafoetida - a generous pinch (skip for GF version)


Method:
In a spice grinder, pulse the dal with the jeera and pepper corns a couple of seconds into a slightly broken consistency (take care while splitting them else it would become a smooth flour - we are just breaking it into two keeping it very coarse). Add the rice now & red chillies and just pulse it once for 1-2 second. You would get a heterogeneous mixture of rice, dal, spices. Sieve it once to remove any flour material and keep aside.

In a non stick pan or any deep bottomed pan, heat oil (sesame oil or Nallennai works best here). roast the cashews till golden brown, remove with a slotted spoon.
Now quickly add the dals and mustard seeds and saute till mustard splutters and dals brown a bit, then add asafoetida, curry leaves, the hot water , grated coconut & salt.

When the water boils for 1 min more, slowly add the rice-dal-spice mixture in a steady stream and keep stirring the mixture like you would for Upma. Mix quickly before it gets lumpy, close the lid and let it cook for 10-15 min on a very low flame (Rice takes quite some time so watch intermittently).

Once done, mix well, add the ghee (if using), fried cashews. mix once more and serve hot. I love this personally with a bowl of yoghurt or this Gothsu.


Sending to BM 73 under "Flavours of India"



February 1, 2017

Book review : Half Pants, Full Pants by Anand Suspi

How often have you rushed to email the author about a book that's appealed to you ? How often has each line written in those pages spelt out "Nostalgia" in every nuance. Well, it has happened to me, now with a Paper Boat Drink Company (aka Hector Beverages) which so dearly sponsored this Book - Half Pants, Full Pants , written by Anand Suspi.

If Nostalgia and memories are the corner stones of this company, they have certainly nailed it. From creating non-alcoholic beverages like Chilli guava / Neer Mor to sponsoring books on the simple joys of childhood, like this one, its certainly a joyous and appealing journey to boot ! Thank you Paper Boat Drinks for this wonderful book that you sent a few days ago. I devoured the book overnight and couldn't wait to email Anand about what I felt :-) 

There's not one place throughout the book where I felt bored. Rather, could relate to the incidents when 'he' came home and how he was treated like royalty, wrapped in cellophane paper and thermocol and not used at all (I am not going to spoil the fun if you are reading the book), or those instances of Mara Kothi (monkeys on the tree) game which was my childhood favourite. 


Although I couldn't climb the tree for nuts, I remember spreading out a largish towel to collect the Kachcha (unripe) guavas, half bitten by the squirrels or the small Chakkotha (grapefruit) that my friends used to pluck from a neighbour's garden (obviously when the neighbour was asleep or gone out , but hey THAT was the fun isnt it :p)  

Or the fact that life growing up back then didn't necessarily mean gadgets - It meant paper kites, living in a colony (which also taught kids a LOT about tolerance and social mingling - something for which we have 'courses' today (sic!) ), eating off a dining table (or not even that) that was meant to serve you for a lifetime, cleaning up your own mess at home / or with friends (no gender bias there), or even perhaps the simple joys of listening to a  local orchestra playing during the festival and wanting to be a drummer. 

In all this, the author has captured the essence of living in a railway colony and the punctured tyres, the Kalla-police (games that we played too!), experimenting with different dangers , calling your friends by their nicknames (without degrading them)... ah these were somethings that stayed in my mind.

If I (need to) have just one negative (hey, its a (paid) book review, remember ??), it was just that it ended too quickly... I needed more episodes of the author's quarrels / showdowns with his brother (remember quarrel no 540!!) ,  more instances of the simple Middle class household happenings (which could have happened in ANY middle class house of Karnataka - Bangalore / Mysore / Shimoga during those years), and then we cuddle up for more time with the book with a paper boat drink (perhaps next time, the chikki can be replaced with a crate of Paper boat drinks :p) and switch off to nostalgia !!

Thank you Mr Anand for your insightful writing, thanks to Balki for that wonderful foreword, its indeed a "Malgudi-reborn" kind of a book. The ones that lull you back to innocence, just like Paper Boat Drinks :-) Look forward to more such books by Mr Anand / Paper Boat ! 

Au revoir !
Cheers :)
Kalyani 

#HalfpantsFullpants
#Paperboatdrinks
@HectorBeverages
@AnandSuspi

January 26, 2017

Chilli Cinnamon Almond Dip + a surprise giveaway !

When life gives you lemons, they say,make a lemonade. But when I was stuck with a whole batch of soaked Almonds (apparently to be made into Badam Katli (a.k.a Almond Fudge, but paused for lack of energy and time), I began to look for options which used up the soaked almonds. some of my BM friends gave me some options on our whatsapp group, & I made a batch of Almond Meal (to be used in these quick bread, muffins, kheer & cake recipes), but was wanting to make something else. 

As usual, trust the husband to come out with something totally quirky yet tasty. Made this delicious dip to go with the garlic bread, and coincidentally it was on my BIL's birthday so we all enjoyed this treat together. 



And voila talking of family , its been 6 years of blogging here, and full marks to my support system - my kids, mom and my ever patient husband :D without whom this blog wouldn't have reached you so regularly. And yes, a HUGE thank you to my readers & BM team for their constant encouragement & comments, the bar is now set higher to deliver superior content in every post :) 

Do check out the details of the surprise giveaway to ONE lucky reader at the end of this post !!  

So, without much ado, lets check out the last of the posts this week on Dips; hope you enjoyed the other two posts : Coriander-Mint-tomato salsa & Thakkali Thokku (quick tomato pickle). 

A special hug and thanks to dear husband for this quirky yet vegan, GF, lip smacking dip that I am sure will be made regularly. If you are a fan of dips, do try these out and let me know how you and your family liked them :)

Chilli Cinnamon Almond Dip - Vegan & GF dip
Prep time : 10 mins , zero cook ; makes : approx 100 gms 



You would need:
  • Whole Blanched almonds - 100 gms
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Cayenne pepper / red chilli powder / paprika - 1/4 tsp
  • Cinnamon - 1/2 inch stick
  • Olive oil - 2 TBSP
  • Salt - to taste
  • Parsley - 1/2 tsp (chopped fine)
Method:
  1. In a blender, blend all except salt. Check for salt and add salt and spice powders accordingly. Mix well. 
  2. Serve immediately with veg crudités / soup sticks or any bread :) Top with chopped parsley, some more olive oil, black pepper powder & cayenne pepper. 
Notes:
1) This dip keeps well upto a week under refrigeration.
2) We found this to be a creamy moderately spicy dip. Adjust spice accordingly. 

And here's the giveaway details:
To celebrate happiness of completing 6 years of blogging, one lucky reader would be sent a surprise gift. To participate, all you need is check out the following rules:
a Rafflecopter giveaway



Sending this to BM # 72 under "Dips" Theme

January 25, 2017

Tomato Mint Coriander Chutney (Salsa) | Vegan & GF | Easy dips

Saw this rather interesting Salsa / dip at a Medical Practitioners website and noticed that most of the recipes didn't contain any fat / oil and worked on the basis of vegetables releasing their own liquid and that helped in cooking. I tried a few recipes from that website, and this is one we loved a lot. 

Pair it up with pretty much anything from crudités to nachos to wafers or even chapati / tortillas. Its vegan, Gluten Free and fat free - couldn't ask for more, isnt it?

Tomato Mint Coriander Chutney (Salsa) - Vegan, Gluten Free & Fat free
Source : here



What you need:
  • 3 cups fresh coriander (cilantro), washed and de-stemmed
  • 2 cups fresh mint leaves, washed and de-stemmed
  • 4 dark green chilies (I used mild variety)
  • 5 grams ginger (about 1 tsp)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt to taste (Approx 1/2 tsp)
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes
  • water - approx 1/4 cup (use if needed)
Optional Addons:
  • black salt
  • 1/2 medium-sized red onion - didn't use
  • 2 cloves of garlic - didn't use


How to make:
  1. Add the ingredients into a blender and blend them to make chutney.
  2. You might have to stop a few times to push the ingredients down towards the blades. Add a little water if required. Squeeze lemon at the end and mix well.
  3. Store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days or freeze.
This goes to BM # 72 under Dips / Chutneys

January 24, 2017

Tomato Thokku | How to make Thakkali Thokku | Vegan Tomato Pickle

If I am to choose an universal dip / side dish in my kitchen that's so versatile that it goes well with anything from steamed rice to chapati to Idli to Dosa to Pongal to Curd Rice to Akki Rotti to Upma to Parathas (and everything in between), I would bet heavily on this dip - Tomato Thokku (or Quick Tomato Pickle). It was around the beginning of December when I made this first batch when my sister and BIL were visiting, and it vanished in a flash.



All the adults took to this pretty well, and although it was spicy my little one preferred this sometime with her dosa breakfast. The elder one, however, couldn't be weaned away from her favourite Lemon pickle (her fav go-to side for pretty much everything :D)

I made this again with step by step sorely for the blog (as I personally love it a lot), and hope that for thokku (spicy dip) lovers out there among my readers, it would help you make a batch of this and enjoy :-))

This week, 3 dips are going to feature on this blog, and this is the first in the series. Stay tuned for next two days for the remaining and a surprise (Hint : Santa arrives again on this blog :D)

Thakkali Thokku - Spicy Tomato dip (or quick pickle)  | Vegan and can be made GF too
Course : Side Dish / Dip | Spice level : Medium to high
Can be served with : Any Indian breakfast to breads or anything that you fancy ;)
Keeps for 2-3 weeks under refrigeration; fresh batches can be made anytime during the year.


Prep time: 20 mins, Cook time : 45 mins, Makes : approx 400 gms of dip / pickle.

Ingredients:
  • Fleshy red juicy tomatoes - 2.5 kilograms (5.5 lbs)
  • Oil - 1/2 cup (approx 120 ml) (Sesame oil preferred or use any neutral oil)
  • Salt - to taste , about 2 TBSP
  • Turmeric - 1 tsp
  • Jaggery - 1 TBSP
Spice powder mix:
  • Methi seeds - 1 tsp
  • Dry Red chillies - 12/13 nos
  • Kashmiri chillies - 4 to 6 nos
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil - 1/2 tsp (opt.)
Tempering:
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp 
  • Asafoetida - 1/4 TBSP (skip for GF version)

Method:

Wash and wipe dry the tomatoes . Cut the tops of the tomatoes, and using a food processor or knife, chop each tomato into 1/8, coarsely puree them with some chunks intact. do NOT add water at all at any stage during the entire pickle making process.

Dry roast the ingredients one by one under spice powder mix. Ensure the methi seeds are not burnt else will taste bitter. If you need to roast the red chillies in oil, add 1/2 tsp of oil and fry on a low flame. Cool thoroughly and powder

In a deep pan, add half of the sesame oil. Splutter the mustard seeds and the asafoetida. Now add the coarse tomato chunk+puree mixture and turmeric. Stir once or twice, and let it cook covered for 8-9 mins covered till they are almost reduced by a third.

Now add the spice powder, 1/2 of the remaining oil, mix gently and let it cook on a low flame for next 10-12 mins on a very low flame till oil starts separating from the sides. (it would require your continuous watch over the stove at this stage, it may also splutter as the mixture gets thicker, so you may want to cover the pot while stirring every 30 seconds.)

When you see the original quantity of tomatoes reduce to 2/3 or even half, add in the remaining oil, salt, jaggery. Mix and do a taste test and adjust spices accordingly.

At the end of this stage, oil should start floating to the top (it will settle once bottled, so dont worry).
Cool thoroughly and bottle in a sterile glass bottle.

Refrigerate and use a portion with a sterile clean dry spoon as required. stays for 2-3 weeks under refrigeration.

Notes:

  1. Chillies usage might vary with spice level. If you feel that the red chillies aren't hot / spicy enough, dry roast a little red chilli powder / paprika and add with the spice powder
  2. If you are out of Byadgi / Kashmiri chilli powder, use Kashmiri red chilli powder (after dry roasting it to remove any moisture)
  3. As its quite a spicy thokku, use in small quantities, especially to kids or anyone else who's not spice tolerant.
  4. The spice levels can vary depending on the quality / variety of the chillies used. Use your discretion for the same. 
  5. Some add garlic to this thokku, but we prefer this method. If using garlic, dice them fine and saute well before adding the tomato puree.

Sending this to BM # 72 under "Dips" Theme


January 12, 2017

Khichdo - Sweet version | How to make Khichdo for Uttarayan | Festival recipes

Winter veggies make the most delightful of meals, and I await the fresh veggies that my local green grocer brings me to make Undhiyu, Palak Paneer, Aloo Methi and other local delicacies. Today is the last post in this week's festival series and lets see what we have here.

Oondhiyoo (aka Undhiyu) with Puri is another favourite dish in Gujarat to celebrate the local veggies that are typically grown only in winter. This is served with today's dish - Khichdo (Not to be mistaken for Khichdi) as a complete meal on Uttarayan. Khichdo served in both sweet and savoury versions, and I opted for the former. 

Its a quick to make yet simple, hearty dish. Although I had plans to serve it with undhiyoo, it called for too much labour to make both the dishes together on the same day, when we also celebrate the Pongal - Sankranti festival with a festival spread that was posted yesterday ! (Dear H is from Tamilnadu, therefore the Pongal varieties feature with my Karnataka upbringing, hey ! Somebody said "Two States" ? :D) 

Adapted from here with minor modifications.

Prep time : 10 mins + 1 hour soaking time ; cook time : 15 mins ; serves : 3 (small portions)

Ingredients:
  • Lapsi / Broken wheat / cracked wheat / Fada (gujarati) - 1/4 cup
  • Channa Dal - 1 TBSP
  • Toor dal / Arhar Dal - 1 TBSP
  • Sugar - 4 TBSP (I used organic powdered jaggery)
  • Ghee - 1 Tbsp (or to taste)
  • Milk - 3/4 cup (you can use vegan milk)
  • Dry fruits - 1/2 tsp (chopped)
  • Saffron - a pinch - Optional
  • Cardamom powder , nutmeg powder, clove powder - 1/4 tsp (or a large pinch) altogether
Method:
  1. Dry roast the lapsi for 1-2 mins till just warm (optional but recommended).
  2. Wash and soak the lapsi + dals separately for 1 hour
  3. Drain, add adequate water and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
  4. In the same pan, add milk and jaggery / sugar. 
  5. Let it cook for a while. Soak saffron in warm milk for 2 mins and add it.
  6. Now heat ghee, fry the dry fruits. Add half of the fry fruits to the Khichdo.
  7. When the mixture is semi solid, turn off.
  8. Add the spice powders. serve warm or hot with remaining nuts sprinkled on the top.


We are celebrating BM theme with festival specials this week here at Sizzling Tastebuds. Hope you liked the previous two dishes 

Sending this to BM # 72 under "Festival Dishes" Theme


January 11, 2017

Baked Paruppu Vadai & a mini Pongal feast | How to make Baked Masala Vadai

As mentioned in yesterday's post, Pongal meal is a rather elaborate affair. Sankranti, Pongal, Uttarayan, Lohri - various names given to the festival celebrated over 13th/14th of Jan every year to mark the end of the harvest season and salute the Sun God as he enters the Makar (Or Capricorn) sun sign. Its also a farmers festival in which the sun of the soil pays homage to the soil and so most of the feasting is done using local produce.

Pongal as its celebrated in Tamil nadu is known for both the name of the festival and the sweet & savoury versions of the dish. Rice being the principal crop of the region, the eats are made primarily with rice. Similarly, Til (sesame) is used in Northern India & Maharashtra in the form of Gajak / Til Tikki & Til Gud respectively, while the same oil seed - Ellu (in kannada) / sesame seed is ostensibly used in a wonderful trail mix called "Sankranti Ellu Bella" in Karnataka region, more so Bangalore - Mysore regions. 

Today's is a mini meal we generally make for Pongal & Ugadi too. Only difference is no Mor Kozhambu (veggies in spiced yoghurt gravy) or Rasam (spiced lentil broth) is made on Pongal. On Pongal in fact, we make 7-kari kootu ( a medley of 7 veggies in a spiced lentil stew),  along with this mini meal.

Lets get to today's mini festive meal with Baked (and non fried) Masala Vadai (baked spiced lentil fritter). It surely added a zing to the usual Paruppu Vadai. I didnt add any onion-garlic to this baked vadai as it was for a festival meal, but one could add in if preferred. The baking time would differ then.


Check out how to make Masala Vadai as part of this festive meal, which included:




Ingredients for Baked Masala Vadai:
  • Kadalai Paruppu / Channa Dal  - 2 cups
  • Tuvaram Paruppu / Toor Dal - a handful
  • Red chillies - 4 to 6 (not Kashmiri Variety) - adjust spice
  • Salt - to taste
  • Ginger grated - 2 tsp
  • Grated coconut - 3 TBSP (optional but recommended)
  • Turmeric - a dash
  • Coriander and curry leaves - a handful (chopped fine)
  • Oil - for basting the vadas - approx 3 TBSP



Method:
1) Wash and soak the dals separately with the red chillies for 45 mins - 1 hr.
2) Drain completely. 

3) Now keeping aside a handful or two of the soaked dal, grind the rest of the dals with turmeric, grated coconut, ginger, chillies to a coarse paste without ANY water. Remove to a bowl.
3) Now to the pulsed paste, add the whole soaked dals, salt, coriander and curry leaves and mix well. Do not add water at any stage, except while soaking as the vadais will go runny as well as absorb extra oil.
4) Cover the lentil dough with cling wrap and refrigerate for a max of 20 mins (this helps me every time as the salt coagulates under refrigeration and the vadais turn very crispy).
5) Divide into equal lemon sized balls and pat gently into a small patty. FLatter vadais make it easier to bake. Makes 20- 25 approx. 

6) Meanwhile pre-heat oven to 190 C. Spray oil on the prepared sheet & bake for 12 mins, flip and bake again for 6-7 mins till they are crisp around the edges. 
7) Serve immediately or store in an airtight container.

Notes:
1) This will have a different texture from the fried vadas, so dont look for the golden brown colour, you can 'smell' the dal baking  after 10th min so keep an eye to avoid being burnt
2) Oven baking time differ from oven to oven depending on the moisture of the batter and thickness of the vadai, so reduce/increase time accordingly.

Sending this to BM # 72 under "Festival Recipes" Theme



January 10, 2017

Rava Pongal | Semolina - green gram pongal | Pongal Varieties

This week we present some festival recipes. And its a savoury dish thats served in Pongal at our home. Kids are now getting picky with the usual Ven Pongal & Chakkarai Pongal varieties, so we have ventured to make other varieties on festival days - both from an intention to consume millets / whole grains and also as a break from the usual fare. 

The pongal Menu is quite exhaustive at our home : Rasam is usually not made that day and that feast would be presented shortly. And any variety of Pongal cooked for the festival is eaten for breakfast (post the puja) and then we begin the lunch preps. Carbs / calorie count is for another day, isn't it? :-))

Today, do enjoy this Rava Pongal that Amma made and I loved to click (what bliss, right?;)) It's a signature dish of Amma's which she learnt from my youngest aunt (Mami) who makes this pongal spot on, every time we visit her! 


Do not scrimp on ghee, else you would get a dry consistency of this pongal which isnt appeasing. and yes , like most pongal varieties, this needs to be had piping hot as is or with Tiffin Sambhar / Coconut Chutney / coriander - coconut Chutney / Thakkali Chutney/ Gothsu (Spicy tamarind gravy : our preferred side dish) 

Off to the recipe. Before that a few more pongal varieties from my kitchen
Prep time : 10 mins, Cook time : 20 mins ,serves : 4
Semolina - Green gram Pongal | Rava Pongal | Dinner Ideas

Ingredients:
  • Rava / Bombay Rava / Sooji - 1 cup
  • Moong dal / split green - 1/4 cup
  • Hot water - 2 cups (used as needed)
  • Ghee - 3 TBSP
  • Salt - to taste
  • Jeera (cumin seeds) - 1 tsp
  • Crushed pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • crushed / grated ginger - 1/4 tsp
  • Asafoetida / Hing - a generous pinch
  • Turmeric - a small pinch
  • Cashew bits - 1/2 TBSP
  • Curry leaves - few


Method:

  1. Dry roast cumin, pepper. Powder this coarsely with the ginger & curry leaves (without any water).
  2. In a pan, heat 1 tsp. Roast the moong dal till nice aroma wafts out. Transfer to a plate. Soak the moong dal in 1/2 cup of water for 20 mins.
  3. In the same pan, add 2 TBSP more of rava / sooji and roast like you would roast for Upma. 
  4. Bring 2 cups of water to a rolling boil, add a pinch of turmeric and boil the soaked (and drained) Moong dal and cook till dal is just cooked but still firm
  5. Drain the water and reserve it. 
  6. In a non stick pan, add the remaining ghee, fry cashew. Add hing, rava, salt. stir well. Cook with 2 cups of reserved hot water (adding more hot water to make up 2 cups totally).
  7. Once the rava is cooked, add the powdered cumin-ginger-curry leaves-pepper mixture, moong dal and mix well. 
  8. Cook covered for 1 more min till it reaches Upma consistency (porridge like but not too runny or too dry).
  9. Check for salt and spices and serve hot with coriander - coconut Chutney / Tiffin Sambhar or even Gothsu   
Sending this to BM # 72 under "Festival Recipes" Theme


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