August 12, 2014

Vangi Poha | Easy Breakfast recipe

After Avarekaalu Usli and Cheesy Bread Cups, its another easy to make Snack - Vangi Poha.  This can be made for evening tiffin or even for snack box (for slightly older kids or kids who eat  fair bit of spice). Brinjal in Poha ?? Thats how husband looked at me, but neverthless enjoyed it...

I love this dish for its earthiness and poha is a favourite ingredient to work with - Like I said in my post on Microwave Poha Chivda, be it Lemon Poha, Gojjavalakki, Curry leaf poha , Curd Poha , Indori Poha or just Jaggery poha, poha / Aval is a very versatile ingredient. This snack goes well with any Raitha or Pachadi for a lunch box item too. Do try it out. Those who dont use eggplant may, well, just skip this. But for eggplant lovers (like me), I love it ! 

Well, even if you skip the eggplant, be sure to add the vangibhath powder (spice powder) - it takes it to a different level altogether. If you do want to add veggies, you can add sauteed bell peppers, a dash of cooked peas or even boiled potatoes. The final taste however may vary.

This is the Day 3 entry for BM # 43 under Kid Friendly snacks. Hope you enjoyed the series, will be back next week with another theme. Also sending this to Harini's event on Valli's kid's Delight series - healthy snacks. Also linking to Beulah’s Eggplant event, hosted for Nayna.

~~~Vangi Poha - Flattened rice with eggplants and spice powder~~~

Cuisine - South Indian
Served for : Breakfast or evening snack or even lunchboxes
Serving suggestions : Cucumber Raita or just plain yoghurt 
Difficulty level : Easy
Spice Level : Medium to slightly spicy

Prep time : 15 mins | Cook time : 10 mins | Serves : 4


Ingredients:

  • Poha / flattened rice - 1 cup (thick variety)
  • Tender brinjals - 3 medium - wash and slit into 1 inch batons (use the long variety, not the plump bharta variety)
  • Peanuts - a handful (optional)
  • Vangibhath powder - 3 TBSP**
  • Tamarind paste - 1/2 tsp (substitute with 1/2 tsp amchur / dry mango powder)
  • Jaggery - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilly powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric - a generous pinch
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil - 4 tsp
  • Tempering : Mustard, curry leaves and asafoetida (hing)


**If you want an instant version of this spice powder,roast the following ingredients separately and powder it after cooling them. Makes about 1/4 cup (approx) of Spice powder and keeps for a month- you can use it to add to Upma, or vangibhath (flavoured rice).
     Coriander seeds (dhaniya seeds)  - 4 tbsp
Channa Dal (Bengal gram) – 1 ½ tsp
Clove – 1
Cinnamon – ¾ - 1 inch long
Marathi moggu– 1 or 2  (optional)
Red dry chilles – 4 nos
Kashmiri chillies – 4 nos
Oil to fry spice – 1 tbsp
Dry Copra grated – 3 tbsp (optional, but greatly adds to the texture and flavor)

Notes:
1) Onions are optional, you may use if you wish
2) The dish is slightly dense and moist. Make sure you dont dry the poha too much or soak it for longer which will make it crumbly.  

Topping suggestions : Sev (or ompudi) 

Method:

  • Wash and slit brinkals into 1 inch batons (use the long variety, not the plump bharta variety). Reserve in a bowl of water to prevent decolouration.
  • Meanwhile wash and drain poha in a colander. 
  • In a non stick pan, add oil. Splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves ,peanuts, hing. Add turmeric and the drained brinjals - saute on low-medium heat for 6-7 mins. Add salt, sprinkle 3 tsp of water and cook covered for 4 mins - the brinjals need to cook but not turn mushy.
  • Now add the vangibhath powder,red chili powder, jaggery, tamarind paste and coat the veggies with the spice mix. Add 3-4 TBSP of water if required.
  • Tip in the soaked poha now, and mix well with the veggies - spice mix
  • Cook covered on low flame for 2 more mins
  • Serve immediately topped with sev / ompudi or with Cucumber Raita



August 11, 2014

Cheesy Bread Cups | Easy Snacks

Anything Cheesy is bound to be a kids favourite. But if its healthy, moms are happy too. This is one often repeated recipe as an after school snack. I have made it so many times but forgot to click as we got busy eating them eah time:) 

Now the lil one also imitates her elder sister and wanted a bite too, and then loved it. The fillings for this snack is so versatile you can go with almost anything - bell peppers, drained black beans, cooked lentils / peas, boiled corn. Its also a great way to use leftover dry curries :p

As much as  presentation is key to any kid's dish, its also important to keep it fuss free. So its a great make-ahead for kids parties too - do let me know how you liked it.. am sure you would make this soon ! 

Sending this over to Day 2 of Kids healthy snack box theme at BM#43 and also to Beluah's who's hosting Bake Fest#34, Harini who's hosting Valli's Kids Delight.


Cheesy Bread Cups - an anytime Snack
Cuisine : Fusion
Difficulty level : Easy

Prep time : 15 mins | Baking time : 8-9 mins | Makes : 6

Ingredients:

  • Brown Bread - 6 slices (you can use any fresh bread)
  • Sweet Corn - 1/3 cup - boiled
  • Boiled potato - 1 medium
  • Oil - 1 tsp
  • Bell peppers minced - 1/4 cup (i used a combo of red, green)
  • Onions - 1 medium - minced fine
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp (optional)
  • Butter - to grease the baking tray (about 5 gms) - you may use olive oil too
  • Salt - to taste
  • Tomato Ketchup / Sauce - 2 TBSP
  • Cheesy slices - 2 nos (you can also use Parmesan or Cheddar)


Step by step process 

Method:
Pre-heat oven to 160 Deg C. Grease the muffin pans with butter or oil or cooking spray

Filling:

  1. In a pan, heat oil. Saute onions and bell peppers till crunchy (about 4 mins). 
  2. Add ginger garlic paste, turmeric and saute again
  3. Now add boiled corn, mashed n boiled potato and stir gently.
  4. Add tomato ketchup, salt, garam masala powder, red chilli powder and mix again.
  5. Let this mixture cool completely.


To make the bread cups :

  1. Trim the bread cups lightly (I used them as it is). Flatten them gently with a rolling pin and gently press in the centre on to the greased muffin pans (one in each dimple)
  2. Spray a little more oil on the top of the bread slices and gently spoon in 2-3 tsp of the filling.
  3. Place cheese slices on top (I just cut them into strips for an elegant look)
  4. Bake for 8-10 mins till cheese slightly melts.
  5. Demould carefully and serve immediately.


August 10, 2014

Avarekaalu Usli | Hyacinth bean Salad | Mochai Sundal - Easy Snack recipe

Sundal or Indian bean salad is generally made for Navaratri as Naivedyam or Prasad (offering to the Lord). While we generally make it with Channa dal or chickpea or even Moong dal, I tried it out with Avarekaalu (or lima bean). I had a bag of dried beans which needed to be used up, and what better way than to make a quick and healthy snack for kiddo once she is done at school. Thankfully she likes most Sundals, and lapped it up quite eagerly. Healthy snack = happy mom :) Hope you would also make this as this gets to BM # 43 under Healthy Kids Snacks for Kids theme. Head over here to check out other marathoners. Also to Harini who's hosting Valli's Kids Delight.

This Sundal needs some soaking time, so be sure to soak it overnight or for 7-8 hours for best results. Change water once midway. You can also cook and freeze this in bulk, and add the beans to Masala Akki Rotti, Nuchina Unde, Avarekaalu Akki Thari Uppittu, Avarekaalu Saaru or even to kootu.

Prep time : 10 mins | Soaking time : 8 hours | Cook time : 15 mins | Serves : 4

Avarekaalu Usli - Hyacinth bean salad

Ingredients:

  • Avarekaalu / Val (Marathi) / hyacinth beans - 1 cup
  • oil - 2 tsp
  • Ginger grated - 1 tsp
  • Chillies - 2 nos (minced)
  • Salt - to taste (add accordingly if you have added salt while pressure cooking these beans too)
  • Grated coconut - 2 TBSP
  • Lime juice - 1 tsp (optional)
  • Coriander leaves - chopped - 1/2 tsp
  • Tempering : Mustard seeds, curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida


Method:

  1. Wash and soak the dry beans for 7-8 hours. Change water once midway.
  2. Pressure cook with adequate water and salt for 5-6 whistles.
  3. Drain and let it dry a bit (no external water should be present, especially if you are freezing for further use).
  4. In a pan, add oil. Make tempering with the ingredients, add ginger, chillies and saute.
  5. Then add the cooked beans and stir once more. Add coconut,coriander and salt and taste once.
  6. Switch off the flame and finish with lemon juice.
  7. Serve warm


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