January 3, 2012

Toor Dal Idli

I must confess that Toor Dal Idli was new to me till Vardhini blogged about it. I made this immediately after she blogged it as Idli is a favourite breakfast with my family and it also helps me put a steamed and healthy breakfast item on the table, especially on weekdays when indulgence in fried / oily food is very low. I was very happy with the result, and thanks to Vardhini for a brilliant idea.. Unless specifically told that this contains Toor Dal, there is absolutely no difference in taste in this dish from the normal Urad Dal Idli.  After Poha Idli and pepper Idli, I am glad to add a new Idli variant to my menu.
The only addition I made was to add a handful of poha (flatttened rice / Aval) and 1 tsp of methi(fenugreek seeds). As Vardhini suggested, I ground the batter a tad coarse, and we all enjoyed it a lot. You may find 5 more varieties of Idli here. Served this with Apple Chutney and Sambhar. Kiddo loved it with Idli Molagapudi (fiery lentil spice powder)
This goes to Cooking Challenge – Tamilnadu by Vidhya and also to bookmarked recipes by Aipi(Puja) and Priya

Prep time : Soaking - 6 hours, Grinding - 45 mins, Fermenting : 10 - 12 hours
Cook time : As per Idli batch size
Makes : Approx 35 idlis
  • Idli Rice - 2 cups
  • Toor Dal (split pigeon pea) - 3/4 cup
  • Urad Dal (split black gram) - 1/4 cup
  • Methi (fenugreek seeds) - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Poha / Aval (flattened rice) - a handful

1) Wash and soak the mixed dals and rice in separate vessels for 4 - 6 hours. Add the poha and the methi to the dal mixture while soaking.
2) Grind coarsely to a pouring batter.
3) Add salt to taste and ferment for 10-12 hours (or overnight)
4) Mix the batter well. Grease the Idli moulds and steam for 10 - 12 mins. 
5) Unmould and serve hot with sambhar or chutney 

January 2, 2012

Ragda Patties, and a streetfood indulgence.....

Pardon me, but I am literally drooling and salivating even while writing this post.. No no, am perfectly well, thank you! Ragda Patties,which are soooo much my favourite (call it even my one weakness in food) is making me so... I quietly tucked in two patties even as I was making them, and wish I can have it now, where the chill temperature is kind of pleasant, but still tempting me to eat this street food delight. When Anusha announced her      Street Food event, I jumped right in, having made this recently as a sinful indulgence :-) Great minds think alike, and I was missing these cute spicy patties tooo much to let go without making them. In fact, I remember having the best Ragda Patties not in Mumbai but in my ever so beloved hometown, Bangalore. And at Sukh Sagar  in Jayanagar to be precise (before it donned its new avatar). Come to think of it, even Sourabha Snacks at Jayanagar Shopping Complex (a hole in the wall which made the best masala puri in town) served this yummy dish. Now, am sooo much into the memory of these dishes we used to indulge way back home, they never seemed sinful or fattening ;-) Errr... not literally I mean.. Anyways, Ragda patties needs no introduction to die-hard street foodies, but basically it contains two parts : The tikki (patties) and the Ragda (spicy chickpea/cooked peas gravy).You may use either chickpea or peas for the Ragda.As I had soaked dried peas (Safed Vatana) specifically for this, I used it for the gravy. Without any further delay, let’s indulge...

This goes to Street Food event by Anusha as well as to my event HLI Peas, hosted by Veena as also to Colourful Palate, Valli's Kids Delight, also hosted by Veena. Also to Priya Sreeram hosting Fast Food not Fat Food, event by Priya’s Now serving
Prep time : 10 hours soaking + 30 mins
Cook time : 20 mins
Serves : 4
A)   Ragda:
  • Dry peas – ¾ cup
  • Salt – to taste
  • Cooking soda – ¼ tsp
  • Oil – 4 TBSP
  • Gravy ingredients:
  • Onions – 2 large
  • Tomatoes  - 3 medium – blanched and pureed
  • Turmeric – ½ TBSP
  • Dry masala (each 1 tsp) : Garam Masala, Chat Masala, Usal Masala, Red Chilli powder, Amchur (dry mango powder)
  • Anardana Seeds powder – ½ tsp
  • Clove powder – ¼ tsp (or roast and powder 2 /3 cloves)
  • Green chillies – 2 finely chopped
  • Green Chutney – 2 tsp
  • Khajur / Sweet Chutney – 2 tsp
  • Kasuri methi – 2 TBSP – crushed
  • Garnish : chopped onions, cilantro (coriander) and lime wedges and beaten yoghurt (4–5 TBSP)
B)   Patties:
  • Potatoes – 2 large
  • Bread slices – 4 (or use ½ cup of bread crumbs)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Boiled vegetables (Carrots / beans / cauliflower) – ¼ cup (opt.)
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  • Red Chilli powder – ½ tsp
  • Garam Masala – ¾ tsp
  • Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
  • Coriander leaves – a handful
  • Patties Covering:
  • Maida / Cornflour – 4 TBSP
  • Water – little
  • Salt – a dash
  • Bread crumbs / Cornmeal / Roasted Sooji – for covering the patties
  • Oil – to shallow fry the patties

A)   Ragda –
  1. Soak the dried peas for 10- 12 hours. Drain & Pressure cook with a pinch of cooking soda and little salt for 4 – 5 whistles with adequate water. The peas must be fully cooked but not too mushy. Drain & retain the water used for cooking.
  2. In a large pan, add oil. When moderately hot, add chopped onions and fry well. Add salt, turmeric and mix well. Now add the pureed tomatoes, dry masala powders, anardana powder, clove powder, chopped green chillies and give it a nice mix.
  3. When the tomatoes are fully mushy, add the cooked peas and half of the water retained. Cover and simmer for 8 mins.
  4. Now add the kasuri methi and check for salt / spice and adjust. Ragda is ready.
B)   Patties -
  1. Boil, peel and grate potatoes.
  2. Trim bread and soak in a shallow plate of water for 20 – 30 seconds. Take out and squeeze well
  3. Crumble the bread into the potatoes. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix well and make into equal sized balls.
  4. Flatten this potato spice into flat patties. Refrigerate for 10 – 20 mins (you can make the patties before hand or while making the ragda, simultaneously)
  5. Heat a shallow frying pan and add about 6 – 8 TBSP of oil.
  6. Make a slurry out of the maida / cornflour, salt and water to a flowing consistency.
  7. Dip the patties into the slurry and immediately roll them in the outer covering (bread crumbs / roasted sooji / cornmeal)
  8. Shallow fry in the hot pan on both sides till done.
  9. Drain on absorbent towels and repeat till all patties are fried.

To serve:
1)    Arrange 2 on a plate (if you are as greedy as me, make that 3 or even 4 J)
2)    Spoon in a ladle of the hot ragda. Top with green chutney, sweet chutney, chopped onions, a dash of lime juice, cilantro and a tsp of beaten yoghurt. If also desired, top with a dash of chaat masala and red chilly powder
3)    Serve immediately and indulge your senses to an olfactory explosion J 
Sending this to : 

January 1, 2012

Guest hosting a new event to celebrate the new year - MEC (Microwave Easy Cooking)

Wishing all my readers, friends and acquaintances a very very happy 2012. May the new year bring in peace and happiness to all

And what better way to celebrate the new year with a brand new event . Happy to announce I am guest hosting Srivalli's MEC (Microwave Easy Cooking). Srivalli's blog Cooking for all seasons is very popular amongst bloggers and this is a very popular event running for the last couple of years ! Am very excited to host the same at my space. Apart from ease of cooking and saving time, Microwave cooking also helps one cut down on heavy calorie-laden foods and convert them into healthy alternatives. For more interesting details on advantages of Microwave Cooking click here.

Here's how to send your entries:
1) Post all your vegetarian entries (no eggs please) linked to this post and Valli's announcement page.
2) Link all your entries to the linky tool below.
3) Usage of logo is highly appreciated. 
4) Your entries can be for any course - appetiser / main course / starter / desserts / condiments / whatever , but entire cooking has to be done using Microwave, and can belong to any country / cuisine. 
5) In case of any queries or in the event of being unable to link your entries via linky, please do drop me a line on -  momchef77@gmail.com

Looking forward to all your wonderful, healthy dishes using Microwave and wishing you a happy new year once again!


December 30, 2011

Eggless Vanilla Butter Cookies with Tutti frutti & Chocochip

Thought would end 2011 - a marvellous year for my blog & me - on a sweet note with this creamy buttery and sinfully rich Eggless Vanilla Butter Cookies. This is sure to a be a crowd-pleaser as well as a hit with kids too.. I baked it for Christmas but as I had already scheduled ChocoChip Kulfi for that day, thought would do this today - although a day late for the breathtaking 14 day Blogging Marathon. I divided 2/3 of the dough and added Tutti Frutti and added Chocochips to the remaining dough.Wishing all my readers a very happy New year and a super successful 2012 ! 

And In case you have missed the previous posts of this week's of Blogging Marathon under "Mixed Themes", here's a quick recap :
Day 1 - How to make Croutons at home 
Day 2 - Mullu Murukku | Deep fried rice flour snack
Day 3 - ChocoChip Kulfi for Christmas 

Day 4 - Low Fat Pav Bhaji
Day 5 - Peas Tikkis | Matar ki Tikki
Day 6 - Moroccan Spiced Chickpea-Squash Soup
This post is also to celebrate a landmark of 100000 hits for my blog - Thank you dear viewers, your support is very encouraging ! And to celebrate both these occasions, what better than with a super delightful Cookies that me and my little angel put together.Yes,while I rolled out the dough, she was more than willing to cut out cute little hearts and stars from her cookie cutter (I never thought I would use them) ! And as I send a batch of this to my Sis-in-law's family @ Madras (ok, Chennai), I feel nice to spread this happiness amongst family and hopefully S's nephews will also like them ! This is a simple recipe and I kind of toned down the butter and used some olive oil instead. Do make them and enjoy these baked goodies with a cup of evening tea. Along with Blogging Marathon (under Holiday Baking theme), this also goes to : Valli's Snack Mela, Radhika’s Baked Goodies,Sangee’s BakeFest,event by VardhiniValli’s Snacks MelaOnly Cookies and Cakes by Pari, Sinful Delights hosted at Zesty Palette,Sweet Baked at Krithis and DennysCooking Concepts Holiday BakingJulie's Christmas DelicacyVeena’s Kids Delight - Colourful PaletteKhushi's Bake With Your Heart & also Suma’s Cookies event 
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#11
Prep time : 20 mins. Standby time : 60 mins. Bake time : 12 - 15 mins. Makes : 20-25 medium sized cookies


  • Maida /APF - 1 cup
  • Sugar Powder - 1/2 cup
  • Butter - 1/3 cup (I substituted 1/2 pf the 1/3 butter with 4 TBSP of Olive oil)
  • Chocochip - a handful
  • Tutti fruiti - 1/4 cup (substitute with candied fruit or candied peel too)
  • Vanilla Essence - 1/4 tsp (adjust to taste)
  • Salt - a pinch
  • Warm Milk - 1/4 cup

1) Cream butter and sugar well. Add the olive oil to the butter cream at this stage and mix well.
2) Sieve Maida and salt twice and add this maida mix 2 TBSP at a time into the sugar-butter mix and slowly sprinkle milk and mix all the dough into a soft dough. Divide the dough into 3 parts now. Combine 2 parts, add tutti fruiti and mix well again. Add Chocochips to the third remaining part and mix lightly. Roll both the parts into separate thick logs & refrigerate them for 45 mins- 60 mins before baking wrapped in separate cling wraps. 
3) After 45 - 60 mins, unwrap from cling wrap and roll into flat rounds (using ziplock covers) and cut them into exciting shapes using a cookie cutter. If you wish, you may also not roll out and cut out the logs into thick slices and bake them. But if you want to involve your kids, dont let go of this opportunity to let them discover using cookie cutter. My little angel enjoyed the experience a lot :-) 
4) Meanwhile pre heat oven to 160 C for 7- 8 mins. Line the baking tray with foil and spray cooking oil on it. Place the cookies and bake for 12-14 mins. Mine were done by 13 mins. They are soft when taken out. Place them on a wire rack for 10 mins and pack them immediately after cooled into air tight tins , and watch the soft buttery cookies disappear before you can say, "Ummmm" :-)

December 28, 2011

Moroccan Spiced Chickpea-Squash Soup

Paired with Swetha of Tasty Curry Leaf for Blog Hop Wednesdays for this fortnight, I was deluged in a huge spread of Soups and Salads at her blog, and finally I chose the Moroccan Spiced Chickpea-Spinach Soup, although I didnt add the spinach. This can be made as a thin soup or a thick broth. I made it a little thin, although the textures of chickpea and the butternut squash more than add to the thickness and volume. Do play around the ingredients as you wish for the garnish too. I simply added 1/2 a tsp of cream and topped it with homemade baked & herbed croutons for a very filling and light meal. The almond meal (about 2 tsp) also added to the nuttiness - a new texture that we liked a lot, and this soup was a total relief from all the rich foods & snacks consumed around Christmas. This goes off to Holiday Cooking under Blogging Marathon, Veena’s Kids Delight - Colourful Palette Radhika's Winter Carnival and also to Blog Hop Wednesdays. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#11 and blog hoppers here
Prep time : 20 mins. Cooking time : 10 mins. Serves : 2
  • Chickpea (Kabuli Chana) - 1/2 cup - soaked and boiled.
  • Almond Meal - 2 tsp (See notes for details)
  • Butternut Squash - 1/4 cup
  • Salt - to taste
  • Olive Oil - 1 TBSP
  • Onions - finely minced - 1/4 cup
  • Garlic - 1 to 2 pods
  • Apricots - 1 or 2
  • Lemon juice - 1/2 TBSP
  • White pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Cream - 1/2 tsp (for topping)
Notes for almond meal:
Soak almonds in warm water for 20 mins. Peel the skin off & wipe dry with soft kitchen towel. Air dry them for 10 mins, and pulse in a coffee grinder. You may make this is bulk and add them to soups or salads for a crunchy nutty taste
1) Blanch the squash in hot water for 8 minutes. Drain and grind it with 3/4 of the boiled chickpeas and half of the salt. Reserve.
2) Soak apricots in warm water for 2 mins. Mince finely and reserve.
3) In a soup pot, warm olive oil. Saute chopped onions and garlic. Now add the squash-chickpea puree, chopped apricots, remaining salt, a pinch of white pepper and bring to a simmer. 
4) Now lower the flame and add the almond meal (2 tsp) and turn off the stove.
5) Add the lemon juice and adjust salt and seasonings. Finish with cream, remaining chickpeas and serve immediately.
6) Serve warm with croutons or any homemade bread

December 27, 2011

Peas Tikkis | Matar ki Tikki

Street Food and me go together. Although my consumption has come down drastically after marriage, thanks to an over paranoid husband, I do indulge in street food delights - at home ! Which is very healthy, and pocket friendly. And come holidays or long vacations for kiddo, I usually go overboard in recreating that street magic right inside my own kitchen. And today's post - Peas Tikki or Matar ki Tikki - is something I have been longinggggg to make ! Somehow I usually end up making Beetroot Cutlet or Makai Tikki, but now being December, peas are available in abundance. And fresh peas works best for this recipe. I have already confessed my love for Peas in my post on Peas Pulav, so decided to make the most of this season through this yummy recipe. This goes well with homemade Green chutney and / or ketchup too ! And makes for an excellent appetiser at any party or a quick snack for kids too.

Sending this to: BM week 2 under "Colourful Palette for Kids" theme, My event HLI Peas, hosted by Veena,  Radhika's Winter Carnival , CWS Peas – event by Priya and also to Valli’s Snacks Mela along with Kid's Colourful Palette - hosted by Veena.  Check my fellow Marathoners here
Check other Chaats / Street food delights here 
Prep time : 20 mins
Cook time : 20 mins
Makes : 8 - 10 Tikkis

  • Fresh Shelled Peas - 1 cup
  • Potato boiled - 1 
  • Onions - 1/2 minced fine
  • Ginger Garlic Paste - 1/2 TBSP
  • Garam Masala - 1 TBSP
  • Salt - to taste
  • Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  • White Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Anaradana Powder - 1/2 tsp (dry pomogranate seeds - powdered)
  • Amchur / Dry mango powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Chaat Masala - 1/2 tsp
  • Kasuri Methi - 1 TBSP - crushed slightly
  • Green chillies - minced - 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander and mint leaves - a handful
  • Oil - to shallow fry
  • Topping: Roasted gram powder /Yellow fine cornmeal - 5 TBSP
1) Boil and slightly mash the green peas. Grate the boiled potato to the mashed peas. Add all the ingredients except the oil and topping and mix well. Make into equal portions and refrigerate for 1/2 an hour in a cling wrapped plate
2) Take one portion of the tikki, flatten it a bit and roll it in the topping mixture to cover all sides
3) In a fry pan, add 2 TBSP of oil and shallow fry for 6 - 8 mins (flipping at intervals) to ensure uniform browning and crispy texture on the outside
4) Repeat for all the peas-potato mixture. Drain on absorbent paper
5) Serve hot with Green chutney and/or Tomato Ketchup ! The holiday is made :-)

December 26, 2011

Low Fat Pav Bhaji

Yes, you read it right - Pav Bhaji can be low fat and low cal too. After the stupendously successful Pumpkin-Chocochip Bread, I was more confident of experimenting with Pumpkin Puree in more of my dishes, especially those which required volume (like Cakes / Pav Bhaji) all the while cutting down extra carbs through butter or even Potatoes. So, one evening on a whim, kiddo asked me to make Pav Bhaji, but I didnt want to load up a lot. So I offered to make it for a Sunday evening snack, and as it was her X mas holidays asked her to help me out as well. She surprisingly agreed (it was the Pav bhaji that worked magic - letting go of Chota Bheem and friends on Television never seemed easier ;-)) Now, since she is too young to chop veggies for the pav bhaji (which was majorly Pumpkin puree etc), I asked her for little things , like getting me the masala powders from the shelves within her reach. And imagine my surprise when the first masala packet she brought out was Pav Bhaji Masala, followed by Amchur & Red Chillipowder. I was touched that my little one was a cute chef in the making:-)  And as she doesn't like Potatoes in most forms (except may be fries), she helped me get some veggies like Carrots and Beans from the refrigerator. She also chose capsicum as she likes the crunch in the Pav Bhaji. So armed with all this, holiday cooking never looked better, and rather tasted better. The Pumpkin puree was a total hit, with even mom approving of the taste. It isnt sweet at all as one might be inclined to think. Rather the masalas we add cuts down the sweetness while the puree increases the volume but with no extra fat :-) Try this for a quick evening snack or even make it for school lunchbox. You surely have a winner there. Sending this to Week 2 BM # 11 under "Holiday Cooking" and also to Valli's Snacks Mela , Veena's kids delight and Radhika's Winter Mela. Its a wonderful party idea too, and you might want to increase the spice if serving to elder guests.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#11

Prep time : 20 mins. 
Cooking time : 15 mins.
Serves : 3
(A) Bhaji of the Pav Bhaji:

  • Pumpkin (Butternut Squash) - 2 cups peeled and cubed
  • Onions - 1 large minced
  • Oil - 2 TBSP
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
  • Capsicum - 1/2 minced fine
  • Carrots - 1 small - grated
  • Fresh Peas - a handful
  • French Beans - a handful
  • Tomatoes - 2 large
  • Salt - to taste
  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  • Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
  • Dry Masala (each 1 tsp) - Pav Bhaji Masala, Red Chilly powder, Amchur
  • Butter - 1 TBSP
  • Coriander & lemon - for garnish

(B) To Serve : Pav or Dinner Rolls - storebought or baked at home - 6 nos

1) Peel the pumpkin and puree the cubes without water in a blender. Similarly blanch and puree the tomatoes separately. Strain and reserve
2) Chop onions and capsicum fine. Blanch peas in hot boiling water for 6 mins.
3) Grate carrots and chop french beans fine
4) In a large non-stick pan, heat oil. Add onions and half the capsicum. Saute well. Add the french beans, ginger garlic paste, salt and saute again till onions slightly brown. Now add the grated carrots and mix again.
5) Once the raw smell goes off, add the peas, pumpkin puree, tomato puree and all the dry masala powders, garam masala and mix well.
6) Cook covered for 10 mins.
7) Add 1 TBSP of butter and half the coriander leaves
8) Switch off stove and transfer to serving plate.
9) To serve, lightly grill the pav with butter / nutralite on a hot tava for 15 seconds.
10) Serve the hot Bhaji (vegetable gravy) with pav, lemon wedges and some chopped onions.

December 25, 2011

ChocoChip Kulfi for Christmas | Chocochip Indian popsicles - Christmas treat :-)

Chocolate, Xmas, holiday cheer - an explosive combination. Along with butter cookies, we made homemade Chocochip Kulfi. This was a last minute thought for dinner over with guests last evening and was a total sellout. As we had some kiddos coming over, I made these Kulfis in the gingerbread man cake moulds, and the kids loved it a lot. This was a welcome change from the cone shaped kulfis, and added another Kulfi to the menu card after Kesar Pista Malai Kulfi. Thanks dear husband for the wonderful suggestion, the silicon moulds worked like wonder on a wonderful Christmas eve party :-) Along with Blogging Marathon under Holiday Cooking, this goes to Veena’s Kids Delight - Colourful PaletteVardhini’s Sinful DelightsRadhika's Winter Carnival. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#11

This is a quick to make Kulfi although it requires to be frozen atleast overnight or 8-10 hours before an event. I made it at around 8am for an evening party. Do add some nuts for that extra crunch while you bite into this delightful frozen delight. Apologies for the low light in the snaps, I realised at the last moment that I was yet to snap them up before the kids had a dig at it :-) Do make this for kids' birthday party and am sure kids will lap it up!
Prep time : 40 mins. Freezing time : 8 - 10 hours. Makes : 7-8 kulfis (medium size)

  • Full Cream Milk - 1 litre
  • Condensed Milk - 1/4 tin (adjust according to taste)
  • Choco Chips - 1/4 cup
  • Grated Chocolate shavings - 1/4 cup ( I used plain cooking chocolate)
  • Vanilla essence - 1/4 tsp
  • Chopped Nuts - a handful (opt.)

1) Boil milk on low flame till it reduces to less than half.
2) Take off the stove, and add the chocolate shavings and stir vigorously till it melts and turns silky
3) Put the milk-choco mixture back on simmer and add half the chocochips and the entire condensed milk. Stir well and reduce the mixture till it turns thickish. If not using full cream milk, add 2 tsp of cornflour slurry (cornflour mixed in 3 - 5 tsp of water) and mix well till it reduces to a thickish mass. Turn off the stove and add in the chopped nuts (if using).
4) Cool over a bowl of ice cubes for 20 mins. 
5) Pour into kulfi moulds (in this case, I used silicon cake moulds in the shape of the Xmassy gingerbread man) and poured some into regular kulfi moulds. We got about 7-8 kulfis in all. If using the cake moulds, be sure to pour in only 3/4 of the mould, else it tends to get messy to demould.
6) Freeze overnight or for at least 8 - 10 hours during the day. Demould and serve immediately :-)

Merry Christmas and Season's Greetings !

Wishing all my readers and friends a very happy X mas and season's Greetings to you and your family ! 
Bells will be ringing, the glad, glad news;
Oh, what a Christmas, to have the blues;
My baby's gone;
I have no friends;
To wish me greetings, once again;
Choirs will be singing, Silent Night
Oh, Christmas Carols, by candlelight;

Please come home for Christmas; 
Please come home for Christmas;
If not for Christmas, by New Year's Night;

Friends and relations;
Send salutations;
Just as sure as the stars shine above;

This is Christmas, Christmas my dear;
The time of year to be with the one that you love;

Then will you tell me, you'll never more roam;
Christmas and New Year will find you home;
There'll be no more sorrow;
No grief or pain;
'Cause I'll be happy that it's Christmas once again

December 24, 2011

Mullu Murukku | Deep fried rice flour snack

This time for Karthigai Deepam,  I made Thiru Kanamudhu (or Thasmi) - a very special kheer and also today's dish -Mullu Murukku. However I couldn't take any pictures that day due to a hectic schedule. So I made this again over Christmas (much as I would have loved to bake a fabulous Plum Cake for Christmas,I wasn't sure about adding any more sugar to my family's diet and decided to go easy on it) .I have tried making this Mullu Murukku for almost what would be the first time, and although it didnt shape out like the typical  murukku (roundel shaped),the taste was fabulous. It must have been coz I tried this dish all on my own for a very little quantity, and that didnt have the volume to really spiral it up like a real murukku. Having said that, we liked it a lot with our evening tea, and my kiddo also took some to school in her snack box to share it with friends.

I shall post the recipe for the Thiru Kanamudhu shortly-its my grandmom's signature dish, and we all loved it a lot. Now to today's recipe - Mullu Murkku. I  have used an assortment of flours here, but you may choose to make this only with Rice flour. Sending this to Blogging Marathon under "Holiday Cooking" and also to Valli’s Snacks MelaRadhika's Winter Carnival & Cooking Challenge – Tamilnadu by Vidhya.
Check out more Fried Delights here

Prep time : 15 mins. Frying time : 10 mins, Makes : Approx 100 gms of the snack
  • Rice flour - 1 cup
  • Channa dal - 4 TBSP
  • Moong Dal - 4 TBSP
  • Asafoetida - a generous pinch
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Ghee / Butter - 3 TBSP
  • Red Chilly powder - 1 tsp
  • Jeera / Cumin seeds - 1 tsp (opt.)
  • Oil - to deep fry + 4 tsp for making dough.

1) Roast both the dals separately. Cool and grind them
2) Mix & sieve all three flours couple of times.
3) To the flours, add melted ghee (or butter), 4 tsp of heated oil, salt, red chilly powder and asafoetida and mix well till they turn into crumbs.
4) Now sprinkle warm water little by little and mix till it forms a nice pliable dough. The dough should be neither too soft nor too hot. Cover with a damp muslin cloth for 5 - 8 mins. Make equal roundels of the dough (For the above proportion, I got about 3 medium sized roundels)
5) Meanwhile, heat about 2 -3 cups of oil in a deep bottomed pan / kadai.
6) Grease the Murukku mould and add one roundel into the mould. Press onto a slotted spoon and insert gently into the hot oil (Oil should be hot, but not smoking). Fry well like how Pooris are made on a gentle medium heat. 
7) Remove with a slotten spoon onto paper towels. Repeat with remaining dough.
8) Cool and store in airtight containers. 
9) Enjoy with a hot cup of tea or pack them into kids' snackboxes for a special homemade treat! 

December 23, 2011

How to make Croutons at home | Baked Croutons | Preps in the Kitchen

One of the best ways to use bread is to make Croutons at home. Although I do make Croutons at home, i never made it as a snack, and in bulk. Vardhini's recipe showed me how to do so, and even kiddo took some croutons as a munch-on for her snack break at school. Thanks Vardhini for this recipe -it surely showed me a way to use up those final slices of a bread loaf, which seem to be left unused everytime we buy a loaf , all the while making a perfectly crunchy snack for those 4 pm types, when hunger (read temptation to indulge) strikes the tummy ! Also, pep up any soup and the kids would love it...

Without much ado, lets get to the recipe now - Homemade Baked Croutons ! This goes to Week 2 of BM # 11 under "Preps and Preserves" category. This entire week will see me present a mix-n-match theme under different themes ! Check out the other Marathoners here. Also, linking this to : Radhika's Winter Carnival , Valli’s Snacks MelaRadhika’s Baked Goodies & Sangee’s BakeFest,event by Vardhini

Prep time : 5 mins. Bake time : 10-12 mins 
Source : Here

  • Bread slices - 8 slices (I used ordinary sandwich bread although French bread is recommended)
  • Olive Oil - 1 TBSP
  • Italian Seasoning - 1 TBSP (+ 1/2 tsp of Red Chilli Flakes)
  • White Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp (opt.)
  • Salt - to taste (take care as the bread would also contain some)

1) Using a serrated knife, cut the bread into small chunks. Do not trim the edges. 
2) In a large bowl,add the bread chunks, oil, seasoning, salt, pepper powder. Give it a nice mix. Rest for 3 mins
3) Preheat the oven to 175C for 8- 10 mins.
4) Line a flat baking tray with foil (helps clean up) and spread the chunks evenly on the lined plate taking care not to overlap them.
5) Bake for 10-15 mins till they brown. I checked at 12 minutes, and they were done.
6) Cool completely. Store in an airtight container and serve with any soup
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