August 31, 2016

Welcome to Cooking Carnival.....

Cooking Carnival is here, and we are at the threshold of yet another exciting Mega BM (Blogging Marathon) . If you have been watching this space, you know that each April and September, we blog non stop for the entire month (while Sundays are off). 

The last few Mega BMs were very exciting:

This April 2016, I blogged about 26 unique Tamil Cuisine dishes. Last year it was International Cuisines at BM Buffet (Sep 2015) & a  very exciting Baking Marathon (April 2015). 

2014 saw us Around the World in 30 days (Sep 2014) and we presented Indian States (April 2014). 

So this has been a very exciting journey for us.

Cooking Carnival is a journey that Valli, me and many other bloggers would love to present over the next 30 days. The themes were open-ended this time (actually considering its more difficult to stick to a theme than be given one). 

As always, my list kept changing (mostly due to lack of time and, err....planning) .. But these dishes presented this month have been vetted by my family, and we hope to savour them as they keep getting added to the meal rotation 

See you all, on this wonderful journey this September..... 

And, welcome to Cooking Carnival :)))

Cheers
Kalyani



August 27, 2016

Beijinho de Coco | Coconut Little Kiss | Brazilian Coconut and Nut Truffles | Sweet Nibbles

For this edition of the  Shhh Secretly Cooking Challenge, my partner was Priya Suresh who probably needs no introduction. She gave me coconuts and nuts to be incorporated in a Brazilian inspired dish.

Coconut is widely used in Brazil and has influences from Europe and Africa. Last month for this event, I had made Wholewheat Thin Crust Pizza with Corn and Cheese with my partner as Mayuri


Wiki says" Acaçá is a famous pudding made of Coconut and rice flour. Beijinho ("Branquinho" in Rio Grande do Sul) is a typical Brazilian birthday party candy prepared with condensed milk and grated desiccated coconut or milk powder. It's the coconut version of the Brazilian brigadeiro".Bolacha sete-capas is Composed of seven thin layers of a dough consisting of wheat flour, coconut milk, butter or margarine and hydrogenated vegetable fat. Pamonha is a traditional Brazilian food, it's a paste made from fresh corn and milk, boiled wrapped in corn husks, turned into a dumpling. Variations include pamonha de milho and pamonha de carimã, and some variants usecoconut milkArroz de coco (coconut rice) is A dish prepared by soaking white rice in coconut milk or cooking it with coconut flakes.

So, we see that Coconut is quite widely used in this cuisine. 

Today's dish - Beijinho de Coco means Coconut Little Kiss. They are cute "Pick me ups" at any party.

The original dish contains Condensed milk which my older kid is slightly allergic to, so I have made some substitutes which went very well. 

Read on to see what substitutes worked for me :) 

The step-by step pictures also would be helpful for beginners :)

These pack very well for a snack box for older and younger kids. Thanks for the ingredients, Priya :) the kids loved it a lot...

Beijinho de Coco - Brazilian influenced coconut + almond sweet snack

Prep time : 10 mins ; Cook time : 10 mins ; Makes : 9-10 pieces

Ingredients:

  • Full Cream Milk - 3/4 cup
  • Butter - 1 tsp
  • Powdered Sugar - 3 TBSP
  • Almond Meal - 3 TBSP
  • Dessicated Coconut Powder (unsweetened) -3 TBSP
  • Vanilla Essence - 2 drops
  • Food Colour - 1 drop (opt.)

For topping:

  • Dessicated Coconut Powder (unsweetened) -2 tsp
  • a few cloves


Method:

  1. Simmer butter and milk in a sauce pan, when it reduces to half, add the sugar and cook till it dissolves. Now add the Almond Meal, dessicated coconut, vanilla essence and let the mixture thicken over very low flame and starts leaving the sides of the pan (about 6-8 mins). Let it cool for 1-2 mins. 
  2. Pinch out a little dough at a time (the almond meal and the butter will leave behind lots of grease at this stage, so no need to grease your palms), shape into a small ball & roll it in dessicated coconut (add a drop of colour to part of the coconut if you wish to)  and top with a clove. Place in individual paper liners and serve at a kids' party :)





  

August 19, 2016

Veggie Bread Upma with Sprouts | Healthy Breakfast Options

After Mini Thinai Veg uttapam & (Instant) Beans Masala Idli,  today we shall see a breakfast made with leftovers, and something that can be a filling after school snack as well . After the weeklong tirade of  Idli, Dosa & Pongal, my elder one prefers this Bread Upma for her Sunday breakfast !!

Well, I do make a low cal version of Bread Upma, but as she is growing up and nutrition demands went up, I started adding a lot of veggies and sprouts into this. She loves this version and its a great way to up the fibre in the dish too.


So, if you have leftover bread and sprouts (you can make them with fresh versions too :p), this is a great power packed snack that goes well as a breakfast for teen kids :-)) Its spicy on its own, so theres no need for any other accompaniment for this. Its also a great idea for Bachelors or Bachelorettes or when cooking for one

You can use any bread you have, I generally have brown bread so have used it up :))


Veggie Bread upma with sprouts - a vegan healthy breakfast :)

Prep time : 10 mins | Cook time : 10 mins | Serves : 2-3

Ingredients:
  • Fresh or leftover breadslices - 8 nos
  • Bellpepper / Capsicum - 1/2 
  • Moong sprouts / green gram sprouted - 3 TBSP (you can use any sprouts you have) 
  • Carrot (grated) - 1/4 cup (opt.)
  • Tomato - 1/2 medium - chopped
  • Pav Bhaji Masala - 1 TBSP
  • Sugar - 1/2 tsp (opt.)
  • Onions - 1 medium - chopped
  • Green chillies - 2 nos.
  • Oil - 1 TBSP
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
Method:
  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a rolling boil. Add a pinch of salt, and add the moong sprouts. Cover and cook for 8-10 mins till al dente. Drain all the water. Keep aside.
  2. Meanwhile, chop all veggies and keep aside. Cube the bread slices into small bits and keep aside. Some people prefer to trim the edges of the bread, but I keep them intact. 
  3. In a pan, add oil. Temper mustard and cumin seeds, add onions and chillies. Now add salt and little sugar, turmeric powder. Saute well. Add the rest of the veggies except tomato and fry for 2-3 mins. Now add the tomatoes & sprouts. Sprinkle 3-4 tsp of water - cover and cook. Let the tomatoes get mushy. 
  4. Now add the pav bhaji masala, cubed bread slices, a little salt and saute well till the masala coats the bread slices all over.
  5. Serve immediately (this gets pretty soggy if not eaten immediately)

Lets check what other Marathoners are upto for this week of Blogging Marathon # 67


August 18, 2016

Instant Masala Beans Idli | Healthy Breakfast Ideas

After yesterday's Thinai Uttapam (foxtail millet Veg Crepes), we have an Instant Masala Idli with veggies. As kids grow (and therefore their IQ grows!! Grrrrrrr), it becomes increasingly difficult to make them eat veggies that they were once fond of ! yes, Tikkis / Cutlets / Kebabs are easy options to sneak in veggies but at breakfast too, we need to provide some fibre for kids.

So I converted kiddo friendly Rava Idli to this Masala Idli - this is made with no fermentation and makes for an interesting and different lunch box snack too (my kids hate Cold Idli or Dosa, so this is always made for breakfast).


Instant Masala Beans Idli - a steamed savoury breakfast 
Cuisine : South Indian
Course : Breakfast
Served with : Coriander Coconut Chutney

Prep time : 10 mins ; cook time : 10 mins ; makes : 6-8 Idlis
Ingredients:

  • Roasted Rava / Sooji / Semolina - 1 cup (200 ml)
  • Oil - 3 tsp
  • French beans - 1/4 cup (chopped fine)
  • Jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Tempering: Mustard seeds, Asafoetida, Ginger, Urad dal (split black gram)
  • Eno / fruit salt - 1 tsp
  • Thick Yoghurt - 1 cup
  • Salt - to taste

Method:

  1. Par boil the beans with a pinch of salt and sugar . Drain all the water, saute in 1 tsp of oil , add the jeera and crushed black pepper and saute well. Cool and keep aside.
  2. In a bowl, add roasted rava, yoghurt , salt and mix well. Make the tempering with the remaining oil and tempering ingredients, add to the sooji - yoghurt mixture. Beat well.
  3. Keep a steamer ready with a lot of water, and grease the Idli Moulds. Add the fruit salt and immediately add the sauteed french beans and mix well.
  4. Immediately pour to the greased moulds, Steam for 10-12 mins in high heat. 
  5. Once done, keep aside for 1-2 mins, unmould and serve hot with Coriander Coconut Chutney

Lets see what other BMers are dishing out for BM #67


August 17, 2016

Mini Thinai Veg Uttapams | Foxtail Millet Oothapams | Vegan , GF Millet Recipes for Diabetics

Thinai (Foxtail Millet) is a recent addition to my kitchen for the last 2 years, although its been around for years. It can replace rice in most of the South Indian dishes, and bring down the Glycemic Index of the dish - something thats beneficial to diabetics and those who want to taste good South Indian food, yet cut down on Carbs / Rice. Thanks to food nutrionists' articles in print and digital media, and the food bloggers, there has been considerable revival of these millets to cater to healthy food : something that our ancestors swore by. 

After Thinai Dosa (Foxtail Millet Crepes) and Thinai Khara Pongal (Spicy Savoury Pudding with Foxtail Millet + Green gram), I made this rather simple n healthy Uttapam for Breakfast. 

My elder one loves Dosa for breakfast on most days, and the younger one is following in her sister's footsteps. Nowadays, I do have a batter of Idli / Dosa on most weekdays which comes very handy to make these in an instant. 



We are looking at kid-approved Breakfasts this week, and the first of these is Thinai Uttapam. I have made it fibre rich by adding some veggies to this, but you can skip these if you have a younger child or want to serve it plain. You can also make these along with some  IdliVada, Pongal etc  to serve as Mini Meal for breakfast as served in this Chettinad style Mini Breakfast.


Mini Thinai Uttapams - Mini Foxtail Millet Veg topped Crepes
Cuisine :South Indian
Course : Breakfast
Serving suggestions : Chutney / Molagapudi
{Its tasty as is, without any accompaniments, I guarantee :) }  

Soak time : 4 hours, Grind time : 15 mins 
Fermentation time : 8-10 hours (depending on the climate)
Cook time : 1 min per Uttapam

Makes : 20 - 25 Mini Uttapams 

Ingredients:

  • Foxtail Millet / ನವಣೆ / தினை - 3 cups (1 cup = 120 ml)
  • Idli Rice - 1 cup
  • Urad Dal (Split / Whole) - 1 cup
  • Methi / Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp 
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil - to fry (approx 1/4 - 1/2 tsp per Uttapam)
Toppings: (optional)

  • Finely minced Onion - 1 cup 
  • Shredded Cabbage - 1/2 cup
  • Finely grated carrot - 1/4 cup
  • Minced green chilli - 1 tsp
  • Grated Ginger - 1/2 tsp
  • Finely cut coriander - 3 TBSP
  • Salt - a pinch
  • Crushed Black pepper powder - to taste
  • Oil - 1 TBSP


Method:

  1. Wash & Soak the Millet, Dal, Rice and methi seeds together for 4 hours. Grind to a smooth paste as for Idli / Dosa. Add enough salt, beat well. Allow to ferment for 8-10 hours (or overnight)
  2. In the morning, mix the batter well. Adjust consistency.
  3. In a pan, add 1 TBSP oil, saute the cabbage, onions, carrots and other toppings for 2-3 mins till the raw smell disappears. Do not add salt at this stage.
  4. Make small Uttapams on a hot Tava / Griddle. drizzle 1/4 tsp oil around the sides, top with the sauteed toppings and a sprinkling of salt and black pepper. Cook on medium-low flame for 1/2 min on each side, flip over and let the veggies slightly get crunchy. Serve immediately with Podi or any chutney
Lets check what other Marathoners are upto for this week of Blogging Marathon # 67



August 9, 2016

Pepper Pav Buns for #Breadbakers

This month for #Breadbakers, Sue of the wonderful blog A Palatable Pastime chose Peppers as the theme. I really enjoy baking of late, and this group is quite addictive. I also like the group rules coz there is a certain discipline regarding the posting date, and the themes are given out a month in advance. This makes the entire process of baking and posting an enjoyable experience, and the comments from members of this group are pretty encouraging :)

This month however, I had baked and clicked the bread, but a severe stomach flu has me tied to the bed since almost a week, and am typing this on my ipad, and hope the clicks come thru. 

I have edited the pics on my fone, so they are (almost) as raw as they are shot in..

The pav buns (Pav in local cuisine {Marathi} mean small dinner rolls) which are dunked in a hot and spicy gravy to make amazing street food combo meals like Pav Bhaji / Missal Pav / Vada Pav . 


I have been meaning to make these buns from scratch at home, and the addition of peppers for this theme of Breadbakers made it extra special. Thanks Sue, we love peppers in most forms, and we surely loved the spicy version of these Buns. 

Serve these warm as is with a bowl of soup, or with any spicy Indian Gravy. They freeze upto a week too so can be microwaved in batches when need be. 

Lets get to the recipe. 

Prep time - 15 mins + Rising time : 2 hours + baking time : 20-25 mins
Makes : 12 Pav Buns (medium sized)
Cuisine : fusion International
Serving Options : Soup / Spicy Gravy 

Ingredients:
  • Basic Pizza dough made with Breadflour - 400 gms
  • Dry Red Chilli flakes - 1 tsp
  • Crushed black pepper - 1/2 TBSP
  • Coloured peppers - sliced thin (I used red and yellow, but you can use any colour) - 1/2 cup
  • Oregano - 1 tsp
  • Olive Oil - 2 TBSP
  • Butter - 2 tsp (optional, to brush the buns)


Method:
  1. Make a basic pizza dough. Once its risen, punch it down a bit and knead for 5 mins with the red chilli flakes.
  2. Saute the bell peppers in 1 tsp of oil and when they are crunchy (about 3 mins), switch off the heat.
  3. Make equal portions of the dough, and roll them into roundels.
  4. Arrange them in a greased baking pan, top them with the sauteed bell peppers.
  5. Cover and let them rise for 45 mins. Towards the end of the 2nd rise, preheat oven to 200-210C.
  6. Brush the risen buns lightly with rest of the olive oil,and sprinkle crushed black pepper on top. Bake these for 15-20 mins till golden brown, I also broiled them for an extra 3-4 mins to get that lovely golden hue
  7. Let the pav buns stay in the pan for few mins. Brush them with butter while still warm.
  8. Rest on a wire rack and consume when warm.
  9. You may cling wrap them and consume it within a week    



Breads with Peppers

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL tofoodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

August 4, 2016

Sattu and Palak ke Kebab | Spinach and roasted chickpea flour snack | Diabetic and GF dishes

What if we have a superfood kind of dish - diabetic friendly, fibre rich, Gluten Free and easy and quick to make with everyday staples. After we made Sattu ka sherbet, I have started to use Sattu (friedgram flour) in many dishes, and we like the lightness this flour provides against the heavy besan {Gramflour} (although its a derivative of the Sattu).


Other dishes one can make with This flour is Sattu ke Ladoo, Sattu ka porridge (like an Upma), Sattu ka Paratha etc. Its most popular dish is however as stuffing inside the Litti (another snack from Bihar) served with Chokha.



This is one of the dishes that we loved with the Sattu flour - Sattu and Palak Kebab. Lets how to make these...again as with yesterday's Corn Cheese Pepper Kebab, addition of onion and garlic is optional.

Prep time : 20 mins | Shallow Fry time : 15 mins | Makes : 8-10 medium sized kebabs

Ingredients:

  • Sattu ka flour - homemade or store bought - 1 cup
  • Rice Flour - 2 TBSP
  • Spinach / palak - fresh or frozen - 1/2 cup
  • Salt - to taste
  • Ginger - Chilli paste - 1 tsp (or add 1/2 tsp each thinly minced)
  • Shredded Cheese - 1/4 cup (totally optional)
  • Onion - 1 medium
  • Dry fruits - 1 TBSP (I added Chopped almonds, dates, cashews, raisins) 
  • Masala powders : (to taste) - Cumin powder, Coriander powder, Turmeric, Red Chilly powder, Chaat Masala, Garam Masala
  • Oil - 3 TBSP


Method:

  1. Blanch spinach and puree without any water. 
  2. In a large bowl, Add the flours, cheese, onions, Salt, masala powders and mix well. Do not add any water. The onions will release water on its own.
  3. Add the nuts, spinach puree to the above bowl and mix well. Do not over knead. Let it come to a soft dough kind of consistency. Make Kebab shapes as required.
  4. Refrigerate for 10 mins - this is to ensure they dont break as they fry.
  5. Drizzle a few tsp of oil on a hot grill pan and pan fry them on both sides on low-medium flame till golden brown (I like a little bit of smoky flavour, so I charred them a teeny weeny bit). If they dry up too fast, add 1-2 tsp of oil and roast them in batches. You can also shallow fry / deep fry / bake them.
  6. Drain any excess oil and serve warm with lemon wedges, Green Chutney and some raw onions.
  7. Use any leftover kebabs with a couple of Cucumber slices and some tomato inside a burger :)  



Sending this to BM 67 and my event+giveaway Monsoon Mojo2

 




August 3, 2016

Corn Cheese Pepper Kebabs | Easy Kebab varieties | #MonsoonMojo2

Kebab is something we relish through the year, especially for parties or potlucks. And with the Monsoon season in full force here, kebabs are a great way to sneak in veggies for kids as well as enjoy these hot delights in the pouring rain outside. This week at BM 67, we will see 3 varieties of kebabs.

Today's kebab is made with Corn, Cheese and Bell Pepper. Team it up with Green Chutney and / or tomato ketchup. This kebab doesn't use Onion or Garlic but you can add them in if needed.
Also, its pan-fried, but you may deep fry if you so like.

Sending this to BM 67 and my event+giveaway Monsoon Mojo2

Other Kabab varieties you might like:

Baked Hara Bhara Kabab
Dahi Ke kabab
Moong dal Seekh Kebab
Nawabi Kabab
Baked Mixed Kabab platter
Baked Corn Panner Kabab


Prep time: 15 mins | Pan fry time : 15 mins | Makes : 20 medium kebabs

Corn Cheese Pepper Kebabs - an appetiser for parties / potlucks
Spice level : Medium

Ingredients:

  • Boiled Corn - 1.25 cups (1 cup= 200 ml)
  • Bell pepper - 1/2 cup
  • Bread Crumbs - 1/2 cup
  • Shredded processed cheese - 1/2 cup
  • Salt - to taste (Cheese already has salt, so use sparingly)
  • Chaat - 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger-Green chilli paste - 1/2 TBSP
  • Chopped mint and coriander leaves -1/2 TBSP each
  • Red chilly powder - 1/2 TBSP
  • Oil - to pan fry (about 4 TBSP)

Method:

  1. Crush the boiled corn coarsely (simply blitz for 3-4  seconds)
  2. In a large bowl, add the coarsely crushed corn, chopped bell pepper, and the rest of the ingredients. Make into required shapes (round / oval / oblong etc). Rest for 5 mins in the refrigerator. 
  3. Pan fry or deep fry as required on medium flame, drain on kitchen towels.
  4. Serve immediately with tomato ketchup or green chutney  
 

August 2, 2016

Round up of MLLA # 97

Thanks to Lisa for another opportunity to host this extremely popular event - MLLA - edition 97 (brainchild of Susan) on my blog last month.

Here's a quick recap of the same.

In order of receipt, we have
(1) Nupur's deliciously healthy Avocado Basil Pesto Hummus


(2) Lisa's tempting Spicy Tangy Tamarind Broth - perfect for the monsoon here:)

(3) Veg Hog's sumptuous meal with Roasted Potatoes and Sweet Corn Tortillas

(4) Siri's hearty and filling Pan fried Chickpeas Curry with Rice

(5) Shaheen's proteinicious Chili with Fava Beans, Carrots & Turmeric Potatoes 

(6) Archana's simple yet delicious Hesarkaal Palya (Green moong dal saute)

(7) Mala has brought in yummy curry with Butter Beans in a Ceylon based gravy

(8) From my own kitchen, Healthier & Vegan version of Missal Pav - a local street food delight of Mumbai



Thanks to all blogger friends for your participation and look forward to having you over for many more events on this blog

Cheers
Kalyani
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