July 21, 2014

Round up of Kids Delight - Iron Rich Foods, and winner of the Giveaway !

Its always heartening to see fellow bloggers supporting an event close to your heart.. When I chose to host Valli's Kids Delight, I wanted a theme that was healthy as well as kid friendly, so chose Iron Rich Themes. 

Thank you friends for your support. We have so many (almost 50) entries - I thank each one of you for your support. Take a look at the wonderful entries in the round up as below. If any entry has been missed out inadvertently, please ping me on momchef77@gmail.com and I shall update the list :)

But before that, the winner of the giveaway picked randomly - Kavita Deepan . Kavita - have emailed you, please confirm if you are based in India. Shall mail the gift to you ! Congratulations :) If kavita doesnt respond in 3 days, will choose another winner from India.

The round up link as follows...

Thanks once again to Valli for a great opportunity :) . My event on healthy food - My health, my way - Fibre Rich Foods is being guest hosted by Soumya. Please check out and link your Fibre rich foods. Appreciate your support :)


July 12, 2014

Masala Vadai | Easy Tea Time Snacks

After Cabbage Dhokla and Microwave Poha Chiwda, its time for some indulgence. Crazy weather here - its deciding in July whether to rain or not, and it finally rained a bit last two days ! Its ok to deep fry once in a while, and these fritters like Bhajia or Pakoras are best eaten without any side dish - just as it is.. Its Saturday and its raining - you dont need a better excuse to indulge in these yummy Masala Vadai hot off the frying pan.

I have teamed it up with Coconut Chutney and all that you need after this is a hot cup of tea to savour the indulgence further. By the time I could get my cup of tea, the vadas had disappeared, therefore they appear with just the coconut chutney :)) LoL !! 

Masala Vadai is probably a very popular deep fried delight sold on the roadside too, and the heady aroma of spices would compel one to buy them whenever you pass by the vendor. Similar to Aama Vadai or Paruppu Vadai yet different like Maddur Vade, this has many versions floating around in each household.Today is my version. You can also make the batter ahead and freeze it (without salt). Bring it to room temperature, add salt,onions - mix and fry. So, thats a great Party Idea as well :)

Before we get to the vadas, recipe for Basic Coconut Chutney:

Grind 1/2 cup Grated coconut with 3 tsp fried dal (dalia), 2 small green chillies, little tamarind and 2 pods of garlic with 3-4 TBSP of water to a smooth paste. Add a pinch of salt. Temper with mustard if required.

Prep time : 15 mins + 2 hrs soaking time | Cook time : 15 mins | Makes : Approx 12-15 vadas

  • Moong dal - 1/2 cup
  • Urad Dal - a handful
  • Channa Dal - 3/4 cup
  • Oil - for deep frying
  • Onions - 2 medium - finely chopped
  • Coriander & curry leaves - few
  • Salt - to taste
Masala paste : 
  • Coconut grated - 1/4 cup
  • Saunf / fennel seeds - 1 TBSP
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Green chillies - 3 nos (Adjust spice)
  • Ginger - 1 inch piece
  • Garlic - 3 pods

  1. Wash and soak all dals separately for 2 hours. Drain and grind to a smooth paste (use the soaked water to occasionally wet the batter, but dont use more than 3 TBSP). This batter is similar to the Urad Dal vada batter.
  2. Grind all ingredients under Masala paste to a smooth paste with very minimal water.
  3. Add this masala paste to the ground lentil paste. Mix well.
  4. Now if making immediately, add salt and onions and curry leaves and coriander. Else refrigerate and add these later on.
  5. Mix the batter lightly after adding the onions, we want to retain the fluffiness of the batter.
  6. Meanwhile heat oil for frying. When it reaches the right temperature, flatten out a small portion of these vadas and deep fry on medium heat till golden brown.
  7. Use the rest of the batter to make Vadai. Drain on absorbent towels.
  8. Serve immediately with Coconut Chutney and/ or hot coffee or Tea for a yummy late noon snack

July 11, 2014

Microwave Poha Chivda | Guilt free snack

4-5 pm is where most diets go for a toss, even if you eat healthy through the day. Fruits may not be appealing most of the while, and time may not permit you to have a full snack / tiffin especially if you are working. For those who are at home - Puli Aval or Gojjavalakki (Tamarind Poha Upma) , corn chaat, masoor salad, Fruit Chaat may be made instantly. Today's dish - Microwave Poha Chiwda (guilt free flattened rice snack) help quell those hunger pangs - whether you are at home or working. Poha (or Aval in Tamil / Avalakki in Kannada) is rich in fortified calcium and B12 making it an easy way to absorb those vitamins. We make Curry leaf Poha Upma regularly for breakfast.

As with most people I used the Microwave initially to just reheat food or steam veggies, till I started using it more efficiently. I have another Poha Chivda recipe(deep fried version)..

In this dish, the thicker Poha is used (you may use thin variety also, but the taste greatly varies). I have followed Madhura's recipe to make this. It doesnt consume too much oil. The copra and peanuts are optional, but adds to the crunch - dont skip it.

Make a large batch of this, and you can find yourself digging into it more often than you think. Also sending this dish to BM # 42 under quick tiffins and my own event - Calcium rich recipes hosted by PJ. 

Prep time : 15 min | Microwave time : 10 mins (depends on the model) 
Makes : Approx 200 gm of Chiwda
Skill level : Beginners
Cuisine : Snack, Indian

  • Thick Poha - 2 cup
  • Oil - 2 TBSP
  • Tempering : Mustard seeds, Hing, Turmeric powder, Red chillies Curry leaves
  • Peanuts-  2 fistfuls
  • Salt - to taste
  • Copra - grated or thinly sliced
  • Optional add-ons : Daliya (fried gram), powdered Sugar, Jeera, Green chillies, Chilli powder

In a microwave safe bowl, heat oil for 2 mins, add mustard seeds, red chillies, curry leaves and micro for 1.5 mins in spurts.
Add peanuts and micro for 3 mins, stirring after every minute.
Add hing, Turmeric powder and again microwave for 1 more minute
Add grated copra and micro for 30 secs (take care not to burn the copra)
Now add Poha , mix well and micro for 3 more mins in a gap of every 1 minute, stir well and micro again.
Once done, cool slightly, add salt, spices and sugar (if using, I added a tsp of powdered sugar)
Toss well, and store in an airtight container.

July 10, 2014

Cabbage Dhokla | Fuss free Low cal snacks

A typical day at the supermarket / vegetable mandi. : Capsicum - first picked. Tomatoes - picked. Onions and Potatoes - done. Greens- picked. Brinjal - ummm, not so good, but do summers have any other vegetable?

And then comes the dreaded cabbage-  Mind says dont pick, but budget demands otherwise. We are not much of a cabbage fans,ourselves, and S often declares the cabbage sabji as Pullu (Pullu in Tamil is grass!), fit to be eaten by cows and other such animals. Sigh! With the mercury soaring (its almost July and the rains are peeking here and there) and the household budgets doing an unhealthy trip to the skies, I sometimes wonder how our parents used to beat inflation. 

Not that we dont like Cabbage Vadai (recipe soon!), but deep fry in my house is restricted to max once a month, that too if its warranted. So, the workable vegetables in my refrigerator were onions and cabbage, and the clock ticked away declaring the arrival of the little one from school. 

We prefer simple fuss free snacks to munch on in the evenings, and this was one such idea that hit me from Santosh's blog that I had bookmarked about 2 years ago. I made a few tweaks here and there, and arrived at a simple fuss free snack that kiddo and me enjoyed with some tomato ketchup. Am sure like the Instant Khaman Dhokla, this too was liked by all - thanks to budget or otherwise :)

This goes to Blogging Marathon # 42, and do check out the fellow marathoners here.
Prep time - 10 mins
Fermenting time - as for Idli batter
Cook time - 10 mins
Serves - 2
Serving Suggestions : Tomato Pachadi
Difficulty level : Easy 
  • Idli Batter - 1 cups*
  • Chopped Cabbage - 1/2 cup (I had some boiled veggies like carrot and beans so added them too)
  • Onions - 1/2 medium (optional)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Turmeric - a pinch
  • Cooking soda - 1/4 tsp
  • Green chillies - deseeded and minced - 1 or 2
  • Oil - 2 tsp
  • Tempering : Mustard seeds, sesame seeds, Asafoetida, grated coconut
*If you are using Dosa batter by any chance, add 4-6 TBSP of roasted suji (semolina) and then proceed. Also increase the steaming time by another 4 mins on medium. As you are adding Suji also to the batter, increase soda by a pinch and slightly increase salt by half a pinch

1) In a pan, heat 1 tsp of oil and saute shredded cabbage and onions with a pinch of salt till they turn slightly soft.
2) Cool the veggies and add to the batter. Adjust salt, chillies. Add soda and mix the batter to pouring consistency.
3) Grease a medium shallow plate, and pour the batter. Steam in an Idli steamer for 10 - 12 mins till done.
4) Cut to desired shapes.
5) Prepare the tempering with oil, mustard seeds, asafoetida and sesame seeds. Cool and add to the cooled dhokla.
6) Serve warm with Tomato Pachadi or just Ketchup.


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