September 27, 2011

Nelli Pachadi ~ Gooseberry chutney ~ Amla Chutney, and a nostalgic trip to my childhood

This month must be the month of Chutneys at my blog. After the jain versions of Green Chutney for chaats / sandwiches & Quick Tomato Chutney, I made this very very healthy Nelli Pachadi (Amla Chutney / Gooseberry chutney) which we usually make for Dwaadasi Paranai (the feast on Dwadasi - the 12th day of the hindu Calendar).  Amla is a superfood, the benefits listed here. My grandmom used to make this along with Agathi keerai poriyal, and the combo was a super hit when mixed with rice and hot ghee.

Before we proceed on to this simple recipe : a background. Hindus usually fast on Ekadasi (11th day of the fortnight) with cereals / carbs totally off that day, and sticking to fruits and milk. This is one (religious) way of cleansing the body of all toxins. How simple to detox !!  So, the next day that is Dwadasi, the food is not only Saatvic, but is also easily digestible : containing herbs (like Agathi Keerai or Agase soppu(Kannada) - botanical name is Sesbania grandiflora- which is known to cure mouth ulcers and Amla - which is the supreme condiment for Vitamin C ) . It is said that eating one gooseberry every day increases your healthy life span by 3 months (I dont know the source of this data, but I bet it must be true, coz Amla is sooooo healthy). If you are still interested in why people fast only on Ekadasi, check this very interesting link.


September 26, 2011

How to make Quick Tomato Chutney (No onion - no garlic version)

Its raining chutneys here ! After home made green chutney, I was tempted to make another quick-to-make using tomatoes. And this too is a no onion, no garlic version, although do feel free to add either or both of these (onion / garlic) to spice it up.

We make this atleast twice a month, in slightly large quantities, and it comes very handy during rushed mornings when scraping the coconut becomes a hassle for usual chutneys to go with most South Indian breakfasts. Its one of my favourite chutneys and is an amazing combo with curd rice. The bitterness from methi (fenugreek) combined with the tarty tomatoes is sure to pep up any meal. Be sure to use fully ripe tomatoes, which are slightly tangy if you prefer it that way. Too sweet tomatoes may taste bland for this dish.
We make this chutney in 3 - 4 different ways, but today's is my mom's version for you - slightly laborious, but worth all the effort :-) This keeps max for a week under refrigeration.



September 24, 2011

Kadalai Paruppu Sundal ~ Kadalebele Usli ~ Channa dal Salad for Navratri

Its that time of the year, when Navratri is upon us, and houses get decked up with Golu (dolls arrangement) and is all set to recieve Shakti (the Goddess of Power) in 9 diffferent Avatars - Durga , Saraswati, Amba, etc. Read this link for more interesting details. This festival has different connotations in the Southern and Northern parts of India. While fasting is mostly followed all 9 days very strictly in the north, the southern way of festivals is mostly through food :-) (well,mostly).



My childhood memories of  Navratri was to make real green fields with sprouted Ragi (Finger millet) on layers of newspaper and create natural parks, replete with clay dolls handed down the generations - some chipped, some cracked. Yet, most of them lovingly cleaned year after year and stored in cloth covered wooden boxes only to be taken out every year, arrange them in odd-numbered sized padis (steps).
Oh ! those days ....

I re-started this tradition about 3 years ago at my place to give my daughter a flavour of Indian Culture and she calls this Doll festival ! :-)

Another memory of Navratri is about loads of different varieties of Sundals (lentil salads) prepared with 9 different lentils on the 9 days (therefore Nava = 9, ratra = night) .

As they say, you know to make one sundal, you know them all - like today's post of Channa Dal Sundal or Kadalai Paruppu Sundal !

This also happens to be one of my favourite Sundals and goes to the following events:


  1. Check out another favourite - Payiru Sundal (green gram salad) here
  2. Check out other protein-based dishes here and here.  
  3. And similar steamed snacks here

Now off to today's recipe. One quick tip is to pressure cook the channa dal with very little water and for only 2 whistles. Even better, not to pressure cook, but to par boil them till cooked but not mushy in a large pan with salted boiling water. In fact, unlike other Sundals , this does not require any soaking time at all. Sundal made for naivedyam (offering to God) is sans Onion and garlic. But if you are prefer, do add it while making it at home.

Prep time : 10 mins. Cooking time : 20 mins. Serves : 2

Ingredients:
  • Channa Dal - 100 gms
  • Salt - to taste
  • Turmeric powder - a dash
  • Asafoetida - a generous pinch
  • Grated coconut (fresh) - 2 TBSP
  • Curry leaves + fresh coriander

Tempering: Mustard seeds, urad Dal, Green chillies (2), Grated Ginger (1 tsp)

Method:

1) Wash and pressure cook Channa Dal (Bengal gram) in as little water as possible for 2 whistles only with a pinch of turmeric. Else, boil them till al dente in a large pan with a pinch of salt too. Drain thoroughly.
2) In a skillet, heat oil. Splutter mustard and other tempering ingredients. Saute till ginger is slightly fried. Add the boiled Channa Dal, grated coconut, asafoetida and coriander-curry leaves and give it a quick stir.
3) Take care not to turn it very mushy ! Sundal is ready to serve :-)

September 22, 2011

Sweet Potato Croquettes


Flush with the success of the homemade Green chutney (Jain version) , I was looking for ways to use it and shallow fried croquettes came to mind. Somehow for the last 3 - 5 months, kiddo has developed a vowed hatred to potatoes (which would have been my main filling for this dish). But having successfully experimented with Sweet potato filling for my Baked Samosa, I went ahead and used only sweet potato for these croquettes, and they turned out to be delicious, and now guess this dish will continue to be the main stay for any party / potluck in the future too. You can make and cling wrap these croquette batons in advance and just shallow fry them before serving. When I say shallow fry, it does not need more than a tsp of oil per croquette (depending on how crispy you want the covering to be). But my experience with sweet potatoes is that you dont really need too much oil to fry them similar to Makai Aloo Tikki.

This goes to my own event - Global Food Festival and also Archana's Fast food not Fat food (event by priya)
So, let's get on to the recipe:

Check out other healthy appetisers / finger food options here


September 20, 2011

How to make Green Chutney for Chaats and sandwiches ~ Jain style - no onion no garlic version

Green Chutney is one of the most used chutneys (preserves) for chaats and sandwiches alike, and I always found myself wanting that perfect chutney while making these at home. I don't quite prefer the Onion-Garlic version that is usually made, and my search for something saatvic landed me on this recipe that I had bookmarked some time ago. This chutney is made more interesting because it uses dalia (Pottu kadalai / Hurigadale / Fried gram) and we all liked the nutty taste a lot and keeps for 2 weeks under refreigeration. You may also make this in bulk for work ahead on instant chaats and sandwiches when hunger strikes.




September 19, 2011

A 100-day Global Food Festival ,and also inviting Guest hosts for future editions of MMK

My Mother's Kitchen is a series of food festivals held at this space which had One Pot Meals, Indian Mithai Mela , Fasting Foods in the last 3 editions. It now opens up its 4th edition with a 100-day Global Food Festival. Starting Sep 20th (tomorrow) , this runs through the remaining days of the year, all through Dec 31st 2011.  So, read on for more details...

Also, starting Jan 2012 , this series (MMK) is also open to hosting from other bloggers - do check out more details at the end of this post. The slots shall be alloted on a first come first serve basis to those bloggers fulfilling some criterion.



Firstly, why the Global Food Festival ??


American playwright and humourist Mark Twain said :
India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend and the great grand mother of tradition,
From the land of snake charmers and the great Indian Rope Trick, today the Global Indian is a name to reckon with - we carry our rich Indian heritage everywhere we go, but we also enjoy the local culture and celebrate with local food !!


So, here's inviting all you foodies to a 3 month long Global Food Festival right here at this space - Sizzling Tastebuds . In Sanskrit, there is a term - "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" - the world is your family. So, the entire world is your family , and this is one HUGE, 100 day event to eat, celebrate food from around the world. As you dish out these delicacies / glocal (global+local) food in your kitchens, do send them across to this event - truly a global village for a virtual potluck :-)


What comprises Global Food ??


Speciality Coffees, Pestos and Dips, English teas ,Simple & Grilled Sandwiches, Wraps  & Rolls, Burgers, Mocktails, French breads, Hummus and Pita, Cheese Fondue, Pan fried Noodles, Egyptian Falafel, Vegetarian Sushi, Mexican Enchiladas, Indianised Chowmein, Basil Bruschetta, Thai Green Curry, Steamed Momos, Orange Creme Brulee, Tiramisu, Chocolate Cheese Cake, Hot and sour Black bean soup . Whew !!  The options are endless, even for a vegetarian. So, get out your woks, bamboo steamers, cake pans, dessert menus for a truly International food festival . In other words, simply think global - all food outside India :-)


How do I send my entries ??


As always, a short reminder of the rules on how you can send your entries:


1) Link your dish (vegetarian only, eggs may be used for baking) to this event announcement along with the LOGO above to the link at the end of this post OR send me an email titled Global Food Festival to momchef77(at)gmail(dot)com
2) Categorise your entry as Appetiser / Main Course / Side Dishes / Desserts and include the details in your post.
3) Please attach a picture (max 400 pixel) to the entry if mailing me the entries.
4) Entries are to be sent between 20th Sep & 31st Dec 2011 (closing - Pacific time)
5) Usage of the logo would be highly appreciated to spread the word.
6) Fresh entries are highly appreciated while you may re-post and link a max of 2 archived entries.

7) In case the linky tool does not work for some reason, be sure you pass me your recipe via email.
Let's celebrate this festival with much fervour and look forward to your participation over the next 100 days !!

How do I host further editions of MMK at my blog ??


  1. Mail me your interest at momchef77@gmail.com and we shall discuss a couple of themes which you can pick and choose on a first-come basis.
  2. The basic criterion to guest host is that your blog be atleast 9 - 12 months old and that you have atleast 50 listed followers as on Sep 20th (the event launch date) : This is to ensure that the event garners maximum mileage for your blog :-)
Looking forward to hearing from you all,
Cheers
Kalyani Momchef

September 16, 2011

Roundup of HLI - Carrots

HLI (Healthy Lunchbox Ideas) is a series which has seen grow from strength to strength. Each month we experiment with dishes using one central ingredient that kids are not fond of, and try to make them more attractive, palatable & healthy. Hosted by my dearest blogger friends, we have had in the past 3 editions HLI Brocolli, HLI Paneer and the present round up of HLI Carrots. This month edition - HLI Dates - is now being hosted @ Aarthi's space - check it out.

I am also on the look out for future hosts for this event post May 2012 as slots till then are booked out.

Today, I present the round up of HLI Carrots that was hosted at my space - Sizzling Tastebuds. Carrot rice seems to be a popular dish using carrots, with more than 5 - 6 varieties of Carrot Rice sent to this event. Enjoy these 20 healthy treats with Carrots.

Thanks to all blogger friends for sending their entries. In order of reciept, the entries are...
1. Meena's Quick Carrot Rice
2. Carrot Basil Bruschetta from Krithi
3. Shilpa's yummy Carrot n Capsicum Idli  
4. Pradnya's Oats n Carrot Cake
 
5. Shireen is celebrating I-Day with Tri colour rice  
6. Aarthi's Carrot Almond Kheer is tasty and healthy 
7. My all favourite aloo tikki has an unusual with Khushi's Carrot n Aloo Tikki
8. Health meter is ringing high with Nirmala's Pomogranate n Carrot Salad  


9. Priya's Carrot - Basil fried rice makes a quick lunchbox idea
10. Go for the twist with Priya's unique Yellow peas & Carrot Sundal
11. A healthy One Pot meal is presented with Sangee's Carrot Khichdi
12. Picnics made more fun with Sangee's Carrot Kati Roll
 

13. Amy's Quick Carrot Rice is easy on the tummy ! 
14. Krithika's Carrot Rice makes for a healthy meal 
15. Archana's super quick and healthy Carrot Salad is my favourite too



From  my own kitchen @ Sizzling Tastebuds, come these delights:

16. Healthy Carrot n Panner Bonda and whats more , its no fry too ! 
18. Low Fat Carrot n Feta Sandwiches makes for a quick n healthy protein - carb combo 


September 15, 2011

Tendli Stir fry with Garlic ~ Kovakkai Poriyal ~ Tendli Sabji ~ Thondekaayi Palya

One of the quickest and healthiest part of the Indian food is the dry sabjis or stir fry. My family loves stir fries and I love making it too because is filling, quick to make and can be assembled for rushed mornings while packing lunchboxes - if one is well prepared with pre-cut veggies, the morning is a breeze, and today I made one of my favourites - Tendli Stir fry with Garlic. The garlic was more an after thought but we all quite enjoyed it, although S midly suggested that evenings are more the time for experimenting with garlicky smells rather than lunchbox options. Point taken, dear husband. Its an easy stir fry, and I hope you will also like it. Goes well with rasam rice and is a superb combo with Roti & Hingwali Mili Jhuli dal



September 14, 2011

Baked Samosa for Blog Hop Wednesdays

Time has just flown by and its time for another edition of Blog Hop Wednesdays. It is a wonderful concept where you are paired with a new blogger every week and I had made Bharwa Bhindi (Jain Style), Sugarfree Fruit Ginger Mocktail  & Aama Vadai (Paruppu Vadai) for the last 3 editions adapted from the paired blogger friends. 

This week, I was paired with Suchitra of Simple Indian Food. Suchitra's blog is truly exhaustive, and I like her menu card a lot - neatly categorised layout and easy to look up : something I want to bring up on my space soon !! Coming to today's post, I adapted her post on Samosa and made it yesterday for an afternoon snack with a predeominantly Sweet potato filling. I am not really fond of deep fried food, so I baked it and was pleasantly pleased with myself. It may not taste the same as deep fried ones because of the absence of zillions of fat laden calories, but the verdict at home was that Baked Samosa was welcome anytime. You can make these prior to any party too, and just toss it in the OTG to bake before serving. As I was running behind schedule last evening, I used readymade samosa pattis for the covering, but go ahead and make the covering at home too.  Off to the recipe, shall we ?

Update: Sending this to Archana's event - Fast food but not fried food, started by Priya and also Susan's BWW




September 12, 2011

Cream Custard ~ Cream & Fruit Pudding with Custard

I was introduced to custard way back in my childhood by my aunt who lived opposite us. She was an excellent cook, and I always looked forward to her homemade jams, jellies and fruit custard. She had lived in Africa for many years, and even brought back an OTG (Oven Toaster Grill) that dished out other amazing delights like eggless cookies etc that had us in awe way back in the '80s, when baking at home was unheard of in most households. To cut a long story short, when I first started cooking, one of the many desserts was to make custard using Brown and Polson ready made mix. Today's dish Cream Custard is an adaptation of the orignal fruit custard and uses any leftover fruits like the Mango Custard with honey  or the Fruit Chaat. This recipe uses cream and condensed milk in abundance, so much so it tastes almost like the Indian delight Rabdi. I hope you also would enjoy making this at home for a quick dessert as much as enjoyed this after a lazy Sunday brunch ! Top it wit vanilla / butter scotch ice cream, and you have a party winner at hand... Let's get on to the recipe now..



September 10, 2011

Rasam Powder - Mysore Style ~ Spice powder for making Rasam in Mysore Style : An heirloom recipe

Even after marriage and moving to Mumbai, I considered it my privilege to use only my mom's spice powders that I used to lug back every 6 months from Bangalore : Spice powders are something that remind you of home, even 1000s of miles away - a unique comforting aroma that wafts from sambhar or rasam when home made spice powders go into it. As a child, I used to watch grandmom and mom make this, and although paati (my grandmom) kept telling me repeatedly to get the proportions for any spice powder right as it would be help me after getting married and moving away , like most teenagers I didnt pay too much attention. In fact took it all for granted, when one fine day last week, i discovered that my rasam powder was over, and I didnt have any backup left. 


September 9, 2011

Semiya Upma ~ Vermicilli Upma

After weeks of slaving on the stove to make delicacies for festivals/ events, not to mentions loads of hours spent on kiddo's school projects (!), I decided to take it easy to blog something simple, healthy and filling:-) But just when I sat down to do so, my camera gave way and while I am hoping it would spring back soon, I had a few pix taken earlier which were stashed away for no reason in a folder on my laptop. And when I saw pics of Semiya Upma (Vermicilli upma), I was like its so simple, why should I blog this? Everyone knows about it :-) But then another thought dominated that and asked why shouldn't I post this ? And so, here am I, with a quick version of Semiya upma filled with veggies - and this dish makes its way to Radhika's event on Scrumptious Breakfasts as well as Nayna's South Indian Flavours. The procedure is pretty similar to making normal Veg Upma with Sooji or Lapsi upma. But I like this with crispy tossed capsicum and slightly caramelised onions , and is a wonderful option for school lunchboxes too !

Lets get on to the recipe, shall we ?

September 8, 2011

Uppu Seedai for Krishna Jayanthi - a different variant & Step by Step recipe

First - the disclaimer : This post is long overdue as Gokulashtami has passed by us a fortnight ago. However, I had made this along with Choco Coconut Ladoos for Krishna Jayanthi and although I clicked the pix, was unable to post them. So, here they come. I have made this differently WITHOUT using Urad dal due to two reasons - this dish came about at the last minute , and almost thought this year's festival would go by without making it at all. Secondly, I love the Karnataka way of making Seedai - with fried gram flour and maida mix. So, enjoy this variant of Uppu Seedai.



September 7, 2011

Take your pick | Shots for Black & White Wednesdays by Susan

Happy to send in my b/w shots for Susan's Black & White Wednesdays.. This is a peek from my cookie cutter box, where the ever popular heart shapes jostles for space amongst others in a box, and come together in this post themed "Take your pick"




September 6, 2011

Choco Coconut Ladoo


When I first saw Priya's Choco coconut ladoos, I wasnt sure I would make it immediately, and so bookmarked it. But some recipes stay in your mind forever, and this is one of them. For Gokulashtami (Janmashtami), I wanted to post this recipe, and although I made it, couldnt get around to do so. So, am posting it now. This is truly one of the quick desserts that you can put together for unexpected guests, kids' birthday parties. potluck parties or even for festivals. I slightly tweaked the recipe by adding powdered nuts, a little cocoa powder and some grated chocolate, and that gave a wonderful twist to the dessert. This is almost cook free, and apart from 2- 3 mins in the microwave, there is just no cooking too. 
Sending this to Healing foods – Coconuts @ Saffronstreaks, event by Siri

Other ladoos you might like: Ragi Besan Ladoo, Til Ka Ladoo

September 4, 2011

First guest post on this blog by Vardhini, and a yummy Poli recipe by her :-)

Happy to present the first edition of guestposts for my blog - Sizzling Tastebuds.. When I first thought of this, I was sceptical to be frank, for my blog was just 6 months old, and didnt have too many blogger friends to reach out at first. But thanks to many wonderful friends that I met through events, blog hops, blogging marathons, roundups, I eventually summed up courage to ask a newbie blogger - Vardhini of Zesty Palette

Although a new entrant to the blogosphere, Vardhini needs no introduction. Hercooking techniques intrigued me lot, and with both our families having similar palates and taste preferences (low fat/zero fry/veggie-loaded dishes etc), I took this opportunity to ask her out to do a guest post. When she agreed, I was thrilled to bits, and the following guestpost shows her committment to the same... 

Thanks Vardhini :-)

So, without any more talking from my end, lets get on to her post today of a simply yummy festive delight - Polis. I am sure, like all her posts with step by step cooking, this too willl linger long in your minds and palates too :-)

The following lines from here on would be Vardhini's --- reproduced verbatim from the guest post she sent me... Read on for a yummy delight :-)

September 2, 2011

Simple Vegetable Upma ~ Savoury Cream of Wheat Upma

There are very few Upma loving persons in this world , and I am happy to be one of its fans .. Now, this is a dichotomy : because its really really simple to make (at the same time can turn mushy / hateworthy if not made well !!) For some strange reason, people are both sceptical of making it or eating this - even relegating it to the 'forever hate list' category. But me ? Nada. Nope. My mom says that even if I was to be drop dead tired to eat or cook anything, the first thing I would think of is Upma. For me to like it so much, the credit has to go to her - got used to eating this so often since childhood, that i never thought this as 'hateable' (is that a word??!!).. Interestingly, Wikipedia tells me that the general name of the dish in most languages is formed from two words : salt and flour. E.g., In Tamil, the two words uppu (உப்பு) + maa(vu) (மா(வு) form upmaa(vu).
Anyways, I remember S teasing me that when he came down to my house as part of the 'see the bride' ritual before the wedding, my mom had made this along with Semiya Payasam  (Sevai Kheer) --both of which he didn't quite prefer- .So he called it 'double torture' :-) It was only later that I realised that the "double" included meeting the prospective bride ;) he he !! LOL !! But who was to know that Upma would be rendered world famous as in the recent past, thanks to MasterChef , by a Mumbai born chef Floyd Cardoz !! Now, that's global cuisine coming of age !

September 1, 2011

Karjikaayi ~ Karigadubu ~ Jaggery Coconut fritters for Ganesh Chaturthi

Vakrathunda Mahaakaaya Koti Soorya Samaprabha |  
Nirvighnam Kurumedeva Sarva Kaaryeshu Sarvadaa ||

Wishing all my readers a happy Ganesh Chaturthi. It is one of the top 8 - 10 festivals in India, and it celebrated with much fervour, throughout South India and Western India.


Wikipedia tells me that "Ganesha Chaturthi (Devanagari: गणेश चतुर्थी, Tamil: விநாயகர் சதுர்த்தி Kannada: ಗಣೇಶ ಚತುರ್ಥೀ), also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi is the Hindu festival of Ganesha also called Vinayagar in South India, the son of Shiva and Parvati, who is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees in the duration of this festival. It is the day Shiva declared his elder son Ganesha as superior to all the gods. Ganesha is widely worshipped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune and traditionally invoked at the beginning of any new venture or at the start of travel.The festival is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). The date usually falls between 20 August and 15 September. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Anant Chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the waxing moon period). While celebrated all over India, it is most elaborate in western and southern India. Outside India, it is celebrated widely in Nepal and by Hindus in the United States, Canada and Fiji."

August 31, 2011

Aama Vadai ~ Paruppu Vadai ~ Spiced lentil fritters ~ Dal Vada - a step by step recipe

Today is the 3rd week of Bloghop wednesdays, and I am excited as I am paired with Radhika - her blog is fiull of interesting dishes, and I am sure I would try out some authentic Chettinad favourites which I have bookmarked here. Today's post comes with a small variation from her version of Masala Vadai, where in I didnt use fennel or onion. So, may be you can call it Aam Vadai (as it is called in Karnataka) or Paruppu Vadai (Tamil) . For the people from the rest of the country, it goes by the name of Dal Wada (or Dal Vada)... I used to love this more than the Medu Vadai (Urad Dal Vada) and the reason is - its spicy by itself, and doesnt even need chutney to go with :-) Although we deep fry very rarely at home, its good to indulge once in a while , for who doesn't like fried food, right?

And its my favourite too :-) My childhood memory is of having this with Semiya Kheer (Vermicilli Payasam).. My mom / grandmom used to make this often for most festivals, and some how, I used to love dunking one or two vadais in the payasam bit by bit and savour the spicy sweetness....

Sending this to :
This also goes to my own event : Vrat Ka Khaana (Fasting Foods) as we make it on festival days too while the B/w photographs go to Susan's Black and White wednesdays


I have captured a step by step version of this, although I really wanted a final shot of this with the masala chai, but they disappeared before I could say ....errr.. cheese :D.. anyways, I  hope you would make this at home and hey, do preserve one vadai for me too ! Off to the recipe now, shall we....



Prep time : 20 mins (apart from soaking) . Makes : 20 - 25 medium sized Vadais

Ingredients:

  • 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
  • Oil - to deep fry

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. Makes 20- 25 approx. Heat the oil meanwhile for frying.

6) To check if the oil is hot, pinch out a small dough into the oil. If it rises to the top immediately, it is ready.
7) Move the flame to medium-high now, and slide the vadais in batches. Fry on this heat only for perfect vadais.
8) Serve hot with a cup of tea or as part of a South indian Thali .


TIP : If you are making vadais for a party , and need to refry them again just before serving, fry it on low heat once. Remove on a tissue paper. Cool in a glass / stainless steel vessel with a light tissue paper. Re-fry again jsut before serving on medium-high heat just before serving and you have crispy munchies :-)


August 30, 2011

Poha Idli

This is a healthy, easy to make dish that I got from Tarla Dalal's recipe here that I had bookmarked some months ago. I was first amazed to see that poha was used in Idlis too (as we generally use it in Set dosa etc). But trust me, this reduced the Urad dal dependance a lot, as also was light and fluffy. I slightly tweaked the recipe by adding 3 handfuls of rolled Oats too, and the taste was very very similar to the normal Idlis that we make with rice and Urad dal. This is also great for weight watchers as the rice quantity is greatly reduced, and diabetics also can have 2 - 3 of this for their normal brekafast as Oats reduces the glycemic content quite sharply.

August 29, 2011

Palak Paneer Parathas with Tomato Chilli Relish

Two weeks of Blogging Marathon ends today, and am very excited to have been part of this event !! Today's post came about as I was thinking how to make something new and special for kiddo's lunchbox : When I opened my refrigerator this morning, both palak (spinach) and paneer (Cottage cheese) caught my eye. And then I remembered kiddo prefers not to have gravy in her lunchbox (for no matter how careful you put in the gravy, its bound to spill out and ruin the bag right?) This healthy breakfast is totally mess free and is loaded with the goodness from both Palak and Paneer. 

Can't get easier and healthier right ? 


Update : Sending this to Vardhini’s Cooking with Whole Foods – Spinach, event by Kiran

August 28, 2011

Paruppu Podi ~ Mixed Lentils Spice Powder

Necessity is the mother of Invention .Truly applies in a kitchen , where all elements of a typical corporate world - Supply chain, inventory management, housekeeping, human resources, budgets, planning, entertainment, resource allocation - all happen simultaneously and endlessly !! One of these days, when we were tired of making sabjis, and wanted to have something quick, I thought of making Paruppu Podi (mixed lentils spice powder).. While Molagapudi / Molagapodi (accompaniment to Idli / Dosa) is used with Idlis or Dosas , Karivepalai Podi ~ Curry leaf Spice Powder and Paruppu Podi tastes divine with plain steamed rice and a drop of sesame oil (for kids, you could use ghee / clarified butter). I make this podi (spice powder) in small batches always , to ensure it stays fresh.. This is a very easy recipe and goes to the following events, apart from Blogging Marathon (Day 6) under "Cook with 5 ingredients or less" theme. Checkout my fellow marathoners here.


 

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