January 12, 2021

VIDEO RECIPE - Mysore Style Gojjavalakki Recipe | How to make Gojjavalakki | Tangy tamarind Poha

Flattened rice (also called beaten rice) is dehusked rice which is flattened into flat light dry flakes. These flakes of rice swell when added to liquid, whether hot or cold, as they absorb water, milk or any other liquids. The thicknesses of these flakes vary between almost translucently thin (the more expensive varieties) to nearly four times thicker than a normal rice grain. 

It is known by a variety of names: Poha or Pauwa in Hindi, Baji in Newari, Pohe in Marathi, Chindé in Bengali, Chira in Assamese, Phovu in Konkani, Chudaa in Oriya and parts of Bihar and Jharkhand, Atukulu in Telugu, Bajeel or Bajil in Tulu, Chudwey in Urdu(Dakkani), Aval in Malayalam and Tamil, Avalakki in Kannada, Pauaa/Paunva (પૌંઆ) in Gujarati, and Chiura (चिउरा)in Nepali, Bhojpuri and Chhattisgarhi.




Soaked Sweet Poha or Vella-aval (as called in Tamil) was thick mixed with grated jaggery and freshly coated coconut spiced lightly with elaichi  (cardamom) powder was a yummy staple food offered on Krishna Jayanthi festival at my grandma’s. Similarly savoury Microwave Poha Chivda  or the mahashtrian Patal Pohyachi Chivda  is a favourite snack for the young and old alike at home! 


We use the ingredient Poha / Aval /Avalakki a lot in our breakfast menu, adapting it to the following varieties of poha (also the name of the dish) based on the region / cuisine. 

Puli Aval (Tamil: Puli – tangy, Aval – flattened rice) OR Gojjavalakki (Kannada: gojju – tangy sauce made of tamarind, avalakki – flattened rice) is a snack that can be prepared very easily either for breakfast or evening snack. We even have this for dinner with sweet curd, and the carb requirement are well taken care of. If you are like us, we love to have this for breakfast also sometimes :-) 


This is my mom’s recipe again, and she is a pro making this in a jiffy! T for Tamarind as we head to Alphabet T for the A-Z Cooking Challenge where we feature a dish with the English name of the key ingredient(s). 


Preparation time: 15 mins ;  Cooking time : 10 minutes ; Serves : 2 generously


PIN FOR LATER




Ingredients

Poha / Avalakki / flattened rice / Aval - 1 cup

Mysore style Rasam powder - 2 tsp (click here for the recipe). 

If you don’t have Mysore Style Rasam Powder, you can sub with Sambhar Powder. 

Salt - 1/2 TBSP

Jaggery - 2 tsp

Thick Tamarind extract - 1/4 cup

Turmeric - 1/8 tsp

Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp

Broken Red chillies - 1 or 2

Curry leaves - 1 sprig

Toasted Peanuts - 2 tbsp

Optional for tempering - Urad Dal 1/2 tsp


Tips: 

1) Use thick poha for this dish, the ‘paper aval’ or thinner poha will become mushy and the texture will be spoilt.

2) You may also coarsely powder this poha (like Idli Rava texture) and then use it to make the dish ! 



Method: Click on this YouTube video for the method. If you are visiting the channel for the first time, please do subscribe and click on the bell icon for notifications. Would be highly grateful if you can leave comments on both the channel video and the blog link. 






December 30, 2020

Thai Coconut Noodle Veg Soup ~ Gluten Free, Vegan Asian Noodle Soup with Vegetables

As the readers of this blog would know by now, we are huge fans of soup. While we have our personal favourites, we also love to experiment quite a bit when it comes to soups. What better time to taste a new soup than an indulgent chilly weekend, right ? This Thai inspired Coconut Noodle soup filled with veggies was a hit at home considering we are not fans of coconut milk at all. I used the light coconut milk (2nd extract) for this soup, but if you like you could use a mix of 1st and 2nd extract or even blend coconut cream + 2nd extract to make this soup.

The place where we live doesn't have any defined "Winter" weather but we enjoy the slight dip in the mercury running from Mid-Nov to mid-jan . Priya gave us the "Hot Pot" theme for this edition of Secret Cooking Challenge and my paired blogger Archana gave me Coconut Milk and Ginger as secret Ingredients to make this Aromatic Thai Coconut Noodle Soup. Check out Archana's blog to see what she has come up with the ingredients - Chill Flakes and Garlic that I gave her.




Click here for 21 varieties of easy, flavourful soups you can make at home with basic pantry essentials

Warming spices / aromatics like Ginger and Crushed Black pepper add to the oomph of this broth. This can be had as a soup or a whole meal by itself. I have used my homemade veg stock to add heaps of flavour into this , but you can use plain filtered water too. Addition of noodles is optional, but as we had this as a complete meal WITH some veg momos, noodles added a lot of meatiness to make the entire meal hearty and healthy.  Let's get to the recipe now.

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Thai Coconut Noodle Soup - Vegan and Gluten Free

Prep time - 20 mins, Cook time - 20 mins, Serves - 3 generously 

What you need:

  • Homemade Veg Stock - 300 ml
  • Thin Coconut Milk - 150 ml
  • Olive oil - 2 tbsp
  • Mixed veggies - 100 grams (I used 50 grams Zucchini, 4 tbsp Coloured Peppers, minced french beans 1 tsp , 1/2 peeled Potato)
  • Mixed herbs - 1 tsp
  • Chilli flakes - 1 tsp
  • Bay leaf - 1 no (skip if your broth has this already, like mine did)
  • Garlic - 1 TBSP (finely minced)
  • Shallots - 2 TBSP (optional)
  • Ginger grated - 1 TBSP
  • Crushed Black pepper - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste (adjust accordingly if the stock has salt already)
  • Cooked Noodles - 100 grams ( I used GF Rice Noodles)
  • Cherry tomatoes - 6 to 8 (split use)

PIN THIS 21 soup link collection for your ready reference. 

How to:

  • Cook Noodles as per packet instructions, drain and reserve with a dash of olive oil.
  • In a pressure pan / soup pot, add olive oil. Saute garlic, ginger, shallots and bay leaf with a pinch of salt. add half of the halved cherry tomatoes, let them blister a bit. Now add in the mixed veggies and saute them well. Add the veg stock / Veg broth, crushed pepper and pressure cook for 1 whistle (or cook till the veggies are slightly softened , yet have a bite, if using an open pot).  
  • Once the pressure dies down, add the chilli flakes and remaining cherry tomatoes. Adjust salt and spice and add the cooked and drained noodles. Let it simmer for 3-4 min. Add the coconut milk and let it simmer for 1 more min.  
  • Switch off the flame and serve it hot. 




December 3, 2020

How to make Avarekaalu Upma | Hyacinth Beans and Semolina Upma Recipe | ಅವರೆಕಾಯಿ ಉಪ್ಪಿಟ್ಟು

Come December, and we eagerly look forward to Hyacinth Beans, fondly called "AvarekaaLu" in Kannada or "Mochai" in Tamil or "Anapakaya" in Telugu. Hailing from Bangalore, we make a LOT of dishes using this seasonal produce - be it Upma with Broken Rice, Usli (Sundal) Kootu, Akki Rotti (flattened GF Flatbread), Huli / Saaru (Sambhar)  and so many other yummy dishes. 




A kind of Chiwda is also made with these beans (blanched, deep fried and seasoned with salt and spices), and that's another lip-smacking delicacy. The best beans are found in South Karnataka between10-15th December when it's called "Sogadu" (aromatic oil fragrance that these beans release). As I don't have access to that variety, I have made do with what I get locally here. 




See Notes below for more details. 

Notes: 

  1. Today's Upma is made with Semolina, and we make this Upma multiple times during the season. It's taste is quite different from the Upma made with Broken Rice and hyacinth beans. But both taste equally good.
  2. Hyacinth beans also have a high cellulose content which helps in IBS while adding protein and fibre aiding in good gut. 
  3. Usually Onions are not added to this hyacinth beans Upma and I have not used it as well. If you need please go ahead and use it.
  4. If you want to make this 100% vegan, simply skip the ghee and proceed. 

Let's get to the recipe now:

Prep time - 20 mins, Cook time - 15 mins ; Serves - 2~3 generously

PIN FOR LATER



What you need:

  • Semolina / Bombay Rawa / Rava - 300 grams**
  • Oil - 3 TBSP
  • Salt - to taste
  • Hyacinth Bean / Avarekaalu - 100 grams
  • Tempering : Mustard seeds 1 tsp, Urad Dal  + 1- 2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • Cashew nuts - 1 tsp (broken) - optional but recommended (skip for nut allergy)
  • Grated ginger - 1.5 tsp
  • Asafoetida - a generous pinch (simply skip for GF)
  • Minced green chillies - 3- 4  (adjust spice)
  • Grated coconut - 4 tsp (optional but highly recommended)
  • Ghee - 1 tsp (skip for vegan)
  • Garnish - chopped coriander leaves 1 tsp + Lemon juice (opt.) 1/2 tsp
** You can use Jowar / Sorghum Rava also here with varying results.


Method:
  1. Dry Roast rava / Sooji / Semolina in a pan for 3-4 mins on a low flame till a nice aroma wafts out - keep a watch on burning. Meanwhile boil the hyacinth beans in slightly salted water for 20-25 mins (or pressure cook with 200 ml water + a pinch of salt for 2 whistles) till soft but not mushy. Drain the water and retain the same.  
  2. If using roasted rava, skip this above step, but still go ahead and warm it slightly for 20-30 seconds. 
  3. Cool the rava in a large plate.
  4. In a kadai / Non stick pan, heat oil. Add the tempering ingredients. Once the urad dal has turned golden brown, tip in the cashew nuts, asafoetida (if using), ginger and green chillies. 
  5. Now add the cooked beans, cooked water (2.5 times the rava measured) and bring to a boil. Add all the ghee, salt and half of the grated coconut at this stage. 
  6. When. the water comes to rolling boil. add the roasted rava / Semolina and on a medium flame, keep mixing till the water is incorporated and there are no lumps in the Upma. 
  7. Cook Covered for 8-10 mins on low-medium flame. 
  8. Fluff it up once done. Finish with chopped coriander, remaining coconut and mix well. Add lemon juice if using. 
  9. Serve hot as it is. This Upma is quite spicy so it doesn't need any chutney / side dish although serving a chutney alongside is totally optional.  

If you chance upon this beans this season, do try out this Upma. I have explained it with step by step pictures in the collage above as it goes to A-Z Recipe Challenge where every month we take a new ingredient alphabetically that we cook with. This edition I feature S For Semolina as my key ingredient. 

 


November 29, 2020

How to make Beetroot and Sweet Potato Tikki | शक्करकंद और बीट की टिक्की | Easy Vegan Appetisers | Party Ideas

Cutlets / patties / Tikki — whatever they are known as, are a delicious and healthy way to sneak in veggies and nutrients into one’s diet especially for kids. Today’s dish is  a winter veggie special with sweet potato and beets - a carb and nutrient dense combo. The best part of these cutlets or tikkis is that you can sneak in any veggies or ingredients that the kids would normally pick out (read spinach / aubergine / coriander / fresh methi leaves etc) and customise it to your palate too.   

How to use these?

These vegan patties can be had on their own with some sauce or the Dahiwali Hari Chutney OR used as filling in burger buns or grilled as kebabs in a frankie or a kathi roll. Like this Rajma-Sweet Potato Tikki (kidney bean+sweet potato patty), or even used with some Ragda or Chole like this Tikki Chole Chaat or Ragda patties (slurp slurp)!! 

For more than 50+ appetiser options for kids or parties, head here 



Makes for a very filling snack, these are kids' favourite in their snack boxes too. 


What’s more - they can be made ahead - as small or as big as you need them to be - for parties / potlucks. Similar dishes would be Archana’s Millet based Harabhara tikki or Sowmya’s dahi ke tikki (aka dahi ke kabab), one of my personal favourites - both of which I have bookmarked. I am particularly in love with Preethi’s  Multigrain Spinach Tikki which seems like a powerhouse of vitamins. Preethi also chose this month’s challenge of cooking with Winter Produce for which I was paired with Poonam. She gave me Sweet Potato and Amchur with which I made these. And in return, Poonam made a wonderful Veg Jalfrezie with Baby Corn and Kasuri Methi as her ingredients. Do check out her recipe for the amazing recipe. 





Notes 

  1. Making this takes very less time if the ingredients are prepped ahead (just boiling  and peeling the veggies) of time. Make sure all the cooked veggies are completely drained of water else it would make the binding very messy
  2.  I have added bread crumbs to make these, but you can completely skip it to make it GF, just ensure you add 1 extra boiled potato or use arrowroot powder to bind. Sometimes, if the potatoes are starchy, even the arrowroot is not needed. Read the recipe ingredients for more options. 
  3. You can make these tikis ahead, refrigerate them (I haven’t tried freezing, pls let me know if you do try), and can be shallow fried the following evening / next day. 
  4. Again for coating I haven’t used any maida / APF slurry but you can use that to coat and then deep fry too. 

PIN FOR LATER


Prep time - 30 Mins 

Resting time - 30 mins*

Cook time - 20/25 Mins 

Makes - 6 - 8 portions

Cuisine / course - Indian snack / appetiser 


Vegan sweet potato and Beetroot Tikki


What you need:

  • Beetroot - 1 medium
  • Sweet Potato - 3 medium or 2 large
  • Bread Crumbs - 1 cup (Divided use) - use any GF substitute like cornmeal / Semolina for GF option with slightly varying results. 
  • Salt - to taste
  • Dry Spices - Coriander Powder 1 tsp, Amchur (dry mango powder) OR Chat Masala - 1 tsp, Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Green chillies + Ginger crushed - 1 tsp
  • Kasuri Methi - 1/2 tsp 
  • Fresh Clove powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Cardamom powder  - 1/4 tsp
  • Chopped Fresh mint leaves - 3 tsp
  • Chopped Fresh Coriander leaves - 2 tsp
  • Oil - for shallow fry



Method:

  • Pressure cook or cook both beets and Sweet Potato separately. Peel, Cool and mash well. 
  • To a large bowl, add the mashed veggies, 2/3 of the bread creams and all the salt and spices indicated above (except oil) and bring to a thick doughy mass. 
  • Divide into equal portions and make into flat patties / Tikki.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes (this step is optional but recommended as the patties firm up and don’t disintegrate while shallow/ deep frying)
  • After 30 mins, crumb coat the ticks in the remaining bread crumbs and shallow fry till golden brown on all sides on a medium hot skillet. 
  • Sprinkle some chaat masala & Serve immediately with any ketchup. I have served it with Dahiwali Hari Chutney that’s usually served with Kebabs.


October 26, 2020

Video Recipe - Easy 20 min Pholkopir Barfi for Diwali 🪔 | Cauliflower Barfi | Kabishambardhana Barfi | GF Cauliflower Fudge | Easy #DiwaliSweet

Cauliflower is one of the most sought after dishes at home- its so versatile and usually made into savoury dishes like Baked Gobi Manchurian, Aloo Gobhi (Potato- Cauliflower stir fry) or a family favourite Baked Gobhi Mussallam (Whole spiced cauliflower oven baked) .Preethi’s unique Nutty Cauliflower Rice caught my attention and I have it bookmarked too as does Archana’s healthy Cauliflower Tater Tots (which was originally my plan for this week). 

While cracking my head on what unique dish we can make with Cauliflower, I suddenly remembered a homemade Bengali delicacy that I had at a colleague’s place a few years ago in Kolkata. Along with the Niramish Kichuri (no onion no garlic , Begun Bhaja, Misthi Doi, my colleague’s mom had made this melt-in-the-mouth barfi with Cauliflower. So, I pinged her last week and thankfully, she remembered how her mother used to make it. Apparently its also called Kabishambardhana Barfi (a tribute to the poet)



Cauliflower Barfi a.k.a Kabishambardhana Barfi is a popular, yet not commercially made Barfi (Fudge) that was said to have been invented by Guru Rabindranath. Tagore for his 50th birthday !


The folklore varies from 50th to 60th birthday, and although its not clear if it was indeed invented then, this is still a delicious Gluten Free Barfi (Soft Fudge) that can be enjoyed throughout the year on special occasions. 



Needless to say, the kids were all too thrilled for I was making a sweet after ages, and this barfi disappeared within hours of making it. I halved the recipe given by my friend and ended up making some changes based on what I had at home. This makes about 10-12 medium sized barfis. I made it quite thin and if you make thicker ones, you can get about 8-9 pieces for the following proportions. 


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The ingredients are given below. The method is part of the YouTube video embedded. If you are visiting our blog / YT channel for the first time, don’t forget to like and subscribe to our channel. If you do make this delicious barfi, please leave a comment on the blog and YT channel on how you liked it.


Pholkopir Barfi / Cauliflower Barfi / GF Cauliflower Fudge   


Prep time - 10 mins. Cook time - 20 mins. 

Makes - 8 to 9 large fudge pieces or 10-12 medium servings

Recommended storage:  Refrigeration

keeps for 1-2 days



Ingredients:

  • Pulkopir / Cauliflower - 300 grams (washed, destememd and cut into small florets)
  • Powdered sugar - 150 gram (increase if needed)
  • Milk powder - 100 grams (I used sweetened milk powder) OR Khovya / Mawa (** See notes for details) 
  • Desiccated Coconut - 50 grams
  • Chopped nuts - 1 TBSP
  • Homemade Ghee / Clarified butter - 3 tsp (incl. that for greasing) 
  • Saffron strands (few) - optional
  • Cardamom powder - 1/8 tsp (opt.)


** Notes:

1. If using unsweetened Mawa / Khoya, increase sugar by 50 grams. 

2. Adding Saffron is optional, but it gives a lovely hue along with the rich aroma. I have powdered the saffron strands and cardamom along with the sugar for this recipe. 



Method:

See the embedded video in the recipe. 





   


October 10, 2020

No Rice Wholegrain Quinoa Adai Recipe | Gluten Free,Vegan Breakfast | Adai varieties

Adai for a South Indian is a protein packed Crepe (thick dosa it can be called), can be made easily and requires little or no fermentation. I make Adai very often with mixed lentils - and mostly add brown rice in place of the white rice. 


The funny part is no two Adai recipes are identical, its mostly a mix n match of whole lentils and ingredients I have at hand. To that effect, many adai varieties that you can find on the blog are:


Navadhanya Adai (9 lentils adai)

Drumstick Leaves Adai (Moringa leaves adai)

Classic Adai Dosa 

Quinoa adai (with rice)

-  Sprouts Adai




Today's recipe is a no-rice Adai with Tri-coloured Quinoa, whole grains and some spices. Adai by itself needs no accompaniment, although we like it with jaggery and some molgapudi on the side. I had some Kothamalli Thengai Chutney (Coriander Coconut chutney)  from last evening, so that was served here as well. You can also check out 20+ varieties of chutney (dip) that goes with Idli / Dosa/ Pongal here.


Quinoa - an ancient grain - is relatively new to India, but has been lapped up extensively as it can lead to replacing the traditional rice (including in this recipe). 


Although pricey, I do buy it occasionally. For this recipe, I had a pack of tri coloured quinoa that needed to be used up. If you dont have quinoa, you can substitute it with brown rice of equal measure.  


According to the article here, Quinoa has a majestic history among one of the most powerful civilisations on the American continent. It originated with the Incas in the mountains of Bolivia, Chile and Peru. It’s been at the forefront in these regions for 5,000 years. It was a staple for the Incas and is still a prominent food source for their indigenous descendants, the Quechua and Aymara people. It was a sacred crop to the Incas who called it the mother of all grains or chisaya mama. The legend states that the Incan emperor would ceremoniously plant the first quinoa seeds every year. 


Quinoa has made a comeback to kitchens worldwide, just like millets has in India. For the adai batter, I ferment it for about 90-120 minutes before making the adai, but many prefer to make it immediately too.  


Sending this to this month’s edition of A-Z Challenge where we explore any ingredient of our choice alphabetically  


Let's get to the recipe now:


Prep time - 5 mins. Soaking time - 6 to 8 hours, Grinding time - 25 to 30 mins (In a stone grinder, might take longer in a mixer grinder), 

Makes - about 20 servings


Left over Adai batter can be refrigerated for upto 2 days and made into delicious paniyarams the next day or the following day. 


PIN FOR LATER



1 cup = 200 ml


What you need:

Whole Moong dal (green) - 1/2 cup

Whole masoor dal - 1/2 cup

Channa dal (split Bengal gram) - 1/2 cup

Quinoa - 1.25 cups

Millet flakes - 1/4 cup ( you can buy it online or in a neighbourhood store) or simply sub with white / brown rice flakes

Dry Red chillies - 6 to 8 (adjust spice)

Salt - to taste

Sesame Oil - to make the Adai (approx. 1/2 tsp per dosa)

Add-ons (recommended) - turmeric 1/2 tsp, homemade Moringa powder - 2 TBSP, Chopped coriander leaves - 4 TBSP


How to: 

  1. Wash the quinoa thrice over and soak in water along with the dry red chillies for 6 hours . In a separate bowl, wash all dals and soak it too for 6 hours. 
  2. Half an hour before grinding, wash the millet flakes several times and soak it for just 10 mins. 
  3. Grind all 3 components together in batches to a smooth paste. 
  4. Add salt + add ons listed above. Mix well. 
  5. Ferment for about 1-2 hours.
  6. Mix the batter well.
  7. Pour out 1-2 ladle full of batter to a hot skillet. Spread it out evenly like a thick dosa.
  8. Drizzle sesame oil around it generously, turn the flame to medium
  9. Let it turn golden brown, flip and cook on the other side for 1/2 min more
  10. Serve hot with any chutney of your choice




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