December 26, 2015

Mixed Greens Saag | Saag Paneer | Chana Saag

I can't believe that it's almost the end of the year. For me, 2015 was a super fast one. I still feel Jan - Feb was just a few months ago & its already the end of December. 

One of the good thing about 2015 was that I kind of managed to get my blogging mojo back & I hope it stays that way in 2016 as well.

We are going on a little holiday so, this is going to be my last post for 2015. So, I am here to share a favourite recipe - Mixed Greens Saag. I love anything that has greens in it. From Green Smoothies to a leafy Salad to a Green Rich Saag.

Saag 

Saag is a great way to incorporate greens in our diet. You can use a variety of Greens based on your liking. Saag is a very versatile curry. It can be eaten plain along with Indian Breads or cook it with Paneer to make Saag Paneer, or with Chickpeas to make Chana Saag or even with potatoes to make Saag Aloo 

To Make Saag - You Will Need:
  • 2 Bunches Spinach
  • 1 Bunch Methi Leaves
  • 1 Bunch Green Amaranth Leaves
  • 1 Bunch Mustard Greens (When in Season)
  • 1 big Onion
  • 1 Ripe Tomato
  • A small knob of ginger
  • 7-8 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 Green Chilies
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • Salt as per taste

How To:

Finely chop all the greens & wash them under running water. Set aside for the water to drain
Roughly chop the onions & tomatoes. Grate ginger & Slit the chilies lengthwise. 

In a Pan, heat cooking oil. Add chilies, ginger & garlic & sauté for 30 seconds. Add the onions & sauté till they turn slightly pink in colour. Add the tomatoes & cook till the tomatoes are soft.

Add chopped greens & some salt & cook for 3 to 4 minutes until they slightly wilt. Turn off the heat & allow to cool.

Once, cool enough to handle, blend coarsely. Transfer back to the pan, add about 1/4 a cup of water, Add Garam Masala & bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. check for salt. Turn off the heat

Saag Paneer

To Make Saag Paneer:

You Will need about 200g of Paneer & about 2 cups of Saag

Dice the Paneer cubes & dunk them in salted warm water & let it stay for about 10 minutes. This makes the Paneer (especially Store Bought ones) stay soft 

In a Kadhai, Add 2 cups of Saag & add the paneer cubes. If the Saag is too thick add very little water to adjust the consistency. Add salt if needed. Gently simmer for about 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add juice of half a lime & mix well.

Chana Saag

To Make Chana Saag:

You will need about Half a cup of Chana/Chickpeas & 2 cups of Saag

Clean &  Soak Chickpeas in water overnight or for 6 hours. If I am short on time, I soak Chickpeas in Hot water for about 3 hours.

Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles in salted water.

In a Kadhai, Add 2 cups of Saag & Add cooked Chickpeas. If the Saag is too thick add very little water to adjust the consistency. Add salt if needed. Gently simmer for about 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add juice of half a lime & mix well.

Serve with Hot Makai Rotis/Phulkas or any other Indian Bread of your liking. Add a bit of sliced onions on the side. Makes such a yummy meal 

NOTE:

Any leftover Saag can be used to make Chapatis. Knead wheat flour along with Saag & make them like regular chapatis. Its a great way to sneak in some greens if your kids are fussy eaters

December 21, 2015

Khaman - Steamed Savoury Gram Flour Cakes

Khaman - Not to be confused with Dhokla is a popular Gujarati snack. It is now well known all over India & is a hot selling street food. It is very healthy since it is steamed & it makes for a great party starter & a good snack box option for kids.

I remember my childhood days in Bombay when almost every store & even our school canteen sold tiny packets of Khaman with a good dose of mint chutney & we kids would occasionally eat this when we didn't bring our lunch boxes or we had to stay at school for extra hours

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I also make a similar Dhokla out of Fine Semolina. You can Check out the recipe here


You Will Need:
  • 1 1/2 cups Gram Flour/Besan
  • 1 tbsp Fine Semolina - optional
  • 1/2 cup Curds (Not very Sour)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • A big pinch of turmeric
  • 1 tsp Ginger Green chilli paste
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 sachet Eno (Fruit Salt)

To Temper:
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • A bit of chopped coriander
  • 2 tbsp fresh grated coconut
  • 1 tsp cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

How To:

In a Bowl Add 1/2 cup water & Sugar & whisk well. Add the Gram Flour  slowly & whisk so that no lumps are formed. Add Semolina, salt, sugar, Ginger-green chilli paste & Turmeric & give it a good mix.

Meanwhile, Grease a square/round dish with some cooking oil. Add water to the steamer. Just before pouring the batter into the dish, Add the Eno sachet & give it a quick mix. Immediately pour the batter into the dish & steam for 12-15 minutes. Insert a tooth pick in the centre to check if its cooked. If the tooth pick comes out clean, it means that it is completely cooked. Else steam for a few more minutes

Turn off the heat & allow it to cool a little. Meanwhile, heat some cooking oil, splutter mustard seeds. Add this to 1/4 a cup of water along with sugar & lime juice.

Once the Dhokla is slightly cool, Invert it onto a serving dish & even sprinkle the water + oil mixture. Let it soak for a while. Garnish with grated coconut & coriander.

Cut into squares & serve with Mint Chutney

NOTE:

Adding Fine Semolina is optional but I feel it gives the Khaman a nice airy texture

December 10, 2015

Boiled Masala Peanuts

'Kadlekai Parishe' is the annual Groundnut Fair that happens at the famous Bull Temple in Bangalore. There are heaps & heaps of Groundnuts everywhere. Apart from Groundnuts, you also get to buy a few knick knacks & other munchies. You can read a bit more about what Kadlekai Parishe is all about Here. 

Parishe reminds me of old Bangalore. And, we made a visit this time too & bought loads of Kadlekai - Groundnuts.

Peanuts

We mostly end up eating these shelled peanuts as is but this time, We made a batch of Boiled Masala Peanuts , just like the ones you get from the street vendor. The weather is nice & cozy & this was what we needed with a cup of Chai. Its very basic with just boiled peanuts & onions with a dash of chilli powder & lime, nevertheless very tasty

They make a great post school snack for kids & is a great substitute for cookies or a pack of chips. Groundnuts are quite rich in proteins, so if you are watching your diet, this is a good mid day snack 


Boiled Masala Peanuts

You Will Need:
  • 1 cup Peanuts
  • 1 large Onion
  • 1/2 tsp or even less Red Chilli Powder
  • 2 tsp Freshly squeezed Lime Juice
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped Fresh Coriander

How To:

If using fresh peanuts, shell them & soak in water for about 15 minutes. Add 2 cups of water & a tsp of salt. Pressure cook for 1 whistle . Drain & set aside.

Meanwhile, finely chop the onions.

In a wide bowl, Add in the peanuts, chopped onion, salt, Red chilli powder & lime juice. Give it a good mix. Add chopped coriander & toss well.

Groundnuts2

Use only Raw Peanuts to make this. Do Not use the roasted ones. You can also use store bought pre shelled peanuts 

You can also add a bit of finely chopped tomatoes if you wish to.

This tastes good when the Peanuts are still warm. But, you can have them cold too. 

December 1, 2015

My Favourite Green Smoothie

This isn't even a proper recipe but this is my favourite kinda Smoothie. I make a lot of Smoothies, but this one is my favourite.

I practically drink this everyday or at least 5 days a week. This is my post workout drink & its so darn delicious or maybe I am hungry when I drink this :) Either way I love it so it has to be blogged :)

Spinach Smoothie2


Its got Banana, Spinach, Pear, Almonds & the new Superfood Chia Seeds & of course Milk .. Everything that makes a smoothie tasty. I add Spinach because it takes care of my daily dose of Greens & I don't have to bother about another dose of Greens for the rest of the day & of course I love the gorgeous Green hue it lends to the Smoothie

You Will Need:

  • 1 Banana - I use the Small Variety
  • Half a Pear or Apple
  • 1 cup Spinach
  • 5 Almonds
  • 1 tsp Chia Seeds
  • 200 ml Milk *

How To:

Roughly chop the pear or Apple. There is no need to peel the skin. Roughly chop the Banana too.  
Put everything in a blender & blend until Smooth

NOTE:

You can use any kind of milk you like. Regular, Skimmed, Soy, Nut milk or whichever. I mostly use the 2% fat milk 

I sometimes add a dash of Organic Unsweetened Peanut Butter to this. Makes it all the more delicious

I don't add Ice cubes because I use chilled Milk

I also don't feel the need to add any sweeteners as I feel the sweetness from the Banana & Pear is quite sufficient. You may add a dash of honey if you wish to. But Please avoid using White Sugar

November 24, 2015

Bassaru Palya - Made With Mung Sprouts


Though I love trying out different cuisines, I mostly prefer eating our regional cuisine. From those teenage days when good food meant Pizzas, Burgers & Bombay Pav Bhaji, I've come a long way. 

Somewhere down the line, I realised that when I am really really hungry for food, I crave for the comfort a good home made meal. And, this Bassaru,Palya with the good old Ragi Mudde certainly features on the list.

If you grew up eating Kannada cuisine, you would definitely agree that Bassaru, Palya & Ragi Mudde is a match made in heaven. Not to mention, that this scores quite high on the health quotient too

Sprouts Saaru


Bassaru (Basida Saru) is a Rasam/Saaru that is made using strained water with which Lentils+Greens are pressure cooked. A palya or a stir fry is made out of the cooked Lentils & Greens.

Bassaru & Palya are served together with Ragi Mudde or Steamed Rice

There are tons of variations to this recipe. You can make this using  the regular Toor Dal with Greens or use seasonal beans like Avarekalu (Flat Beans) or even a mixture of various lentils

The version that I have for you today is made using Mung Sprouts. I didn't add any greens to this, but feel free to add any greens of your choice

Bassaru


To Make Bassaru - You Will Need:
  • 2 cups Mung Sprouts
  • 2 Tomatoes - Halved
  • 1 large Onion - Roughly chopped
  • 2 Green Chilies
  • 2 tsp Rasam Powder
  • 4 cloves of Garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Coconut
  • 2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4th tsp Turmeric powder
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 tsp Ghee
  • Salt as per taste
  • A big lump of Jaggery
  • Fresh Coriander for Garnish

How To:

In a cooking pot, add 2 cups of Mung Sprouts along with tomatoes. Add 4 cups of water & some salt. Boil for about 4 minutes until the mung beans are tender yet firm.

Drain the water using a colander & reserve for later use. Fish out the tomatoes &Green Chilies, set aside.

In a mixer grinder, Add a tablespoon of the cooked Mung Sprouts, Green Chilies, along with grated coconut, 1 tsp cumin seeds, Rasam Powder, Garlic, Tomatoes, Onions & Turmeric powder. Grind into a smooth paste adding a bit of water.

Return the drained water into the cooking pot, Add the ground paste & Bring it to a boil. Add some salt, curry leaves & a lump of jaggery. If the Saaru is too thick, add a bit of water to adjust the consistency. Let it simmer on medium flame for about 5 minutes.

Turn off the heat & add chopped coriander. Heat a tsp op Ghee & temper with Asafoetida, Mustard & cumin seeds & add it to the Bassaru

Sprouts Saaru2


To Make Stir Fry/Palya:

  • Cooked Mung Sprouts
  • 2 onions
  • 4 Dry red chilies
  • 1/2 cup of fresh grated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • A big pinch of Asafoetida
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • Salt as per taste
  • juice of 1 lime
  • Fresh Coriander for garnish

How To:

In a Kadhai, heat some cooking oil. Splutter cumin & mustard seeds. Add Asafoetida & Dry Red chilies. Sauté for 20 seconds

Add chopped onions & a pinch of salt and turmeric & Sauté until the onions turn pink. 

Add the cooked Mung Sprouts & salt and give it a good mix. Add grated coconut & mix again. Check for salt. Let it stand on low heat for about 2 minutes.

Turn off the heat & add lime juice & chopped coriander. Mix well & set aside 

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Note:

  • This Saaru is usually on the runnier side & it tastes good that way.
  • Feel free to add any greens of your choice. Spinach, Amaranth or Dill Leaves are my favourite.
  • If I don't cook the greens along with the lentils/sprouts, I use them to make Palya & stir fry them along with cooked sprouts/lentils
  • Since I used sprouts, I didn't need to pressure cook them as they would turn mushy. cooking them for 3-4 minutes was enough to retain the bite
  • You can also use Green Chilies instead of Dry Red Chilies to make the palya. Since, the palya is almost green in colour, It's easier to fish out the red chilies than the green ones

Serve the Saaru Piping Hot along with a serving of Palya on the side along with Ragi Mudde (Another favourite recipe that I got to blog) Add a few slices of onions on the side. And, don't forget that dollop of Ghee .. It's good for you, believe me :)



November 19, 2015

Hot Cocoa Coffee

I usually have very early breakfast so by 10 AM, I am usually hungry again. So, I have gotten into the habit of drinking something warm to curb the hunger pangs. Its usually a glass of Green Tea or sometimes I give in to the temptation & have a cup of Coffee or spiced Tea .. But, today was a Hot Chocolate kinda day

It's been raining continuously since the past week * Bangalore feels like a refrigerator right now So, The weather demands a cup of Hot Chocolate 

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I love Coffee & I live for Chocolate so the best bet is to combine the best of both the worlds & make a Coffee flavoured Hot Chocolate 

There are dozens of variations out there but the recipe is a no brainer. Heat some milk, add chocolate, coffee, sweetener &  spices of your choice & you are done. Top with Marshmallows or whipped cream for a calorie dense version.

You could also make it Vegan by replacing milk with Soy Milk or Nut milk. Totally up to you

Here's how I made an easy peasy version of Hot Cocoa Coffee

YOU WILL NEED:
  • 1 CUP FULL FAT MILK
  • 1 TSP MOCHA FLAVORED INSTANT COFFEE
  • 1 TSP COCOA POWDER OR A SMALL CHUNK OF BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE     (I USED THE LATTER)
  • 1 TSP SUGAR
  • 1/2 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT

Hot Chocolate Coffee

To make a quick version, you can make your own Hot Cocoa Mix by adding Instant Coffee, Cocoa Powder, Milk solids & spices in a air tight jar. Just add a spoonful of the mix in Hot water & voila its done in a minute & I think this is any day going to taste better than a store bought Hot Chocolate mix

November 16, 2015

Zucchini & Walnut Soup

It's been more than a week, the weather in Bangalore continues to be as cold as ever. We also had a damp Diwali all thanks to the untimely Rains. But I totally love this kind of weather ..  All I want is to snuggle under a nice duvet & endless cup of Hot Chai 

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The nip in the air also means that we have been craving for some sinful deep fried goodies. We had our share of Onion Pakoras over the weekend & I have been making a lot of soups to keep us warm 

I love Soups, & they always come to my rescue during winter months. They are warm, hearty, filling & healthy too. 

This quick Zucchini & Walnut Soup was my lunch today. Zucchini is a low cal vegetable, so this soup is good for weight watchers too. I toasted some Garlic Bread and served it along with the soup. 

Zucchini Soup

How To:
Preheat the Oven to 180 Degrees Celsius. Toast the walnuts for 5 minutes & set aside. Meanwhile roughly chop onions & zucchini

In a pot, heat olive oil. Add bay leaves, garlic & onions. Sauté until the onions turn soft. Add diced zucchini & some salt. Sauté until they turn soft. It should take about 4-5 minutes. Set aside & allow it to cool. 

Once cool, fish out the bay leaves,  blend into a smooth paste along with walnuts & dried thyme.

Return to the pot, add 3 cups of vegetable stock or water. Check for salt. Gently simmer for about 3-4 minutes. Add Lemon Zest just before turning off the stove

Drizzle Olive oil on top & mix in chilli flakes. Serve warm with soup stocks or  a crusty garlic bread on the side

NOTE:

You can replace the Walnuts with toasted Almonds or Pecans. 

November 8, 2015

Bendekayi Gojju


One of my favourite ways to eat Bendekayi/Ladies Finger/Okra is this Gojju with some steamed Rice. Gojju in Kannada is a coconut based gravy which is thickish in consistency. Its got a bit of sweetness from the jaggery, bitterness from the methi seeds & tartness from tamarind. 

Some of the vegetables commonly used to make Gojju are Ladies Finger, Green Bell Pepper, Pumpkin , Pineapple , Tomatoes, Bitter Gourd.

Bendekayi Gojju

Gojju is typically eaten with hot steamed rice. But they can also be served with Akki Rotis, Dosas or even Chapatis. I reckon, it goes best with Rice 

This version of Bendekayi Gojju is a staple in most Kannada home & a  traditional Kannada meal will always have a Gojju (mostly Pineapple) as a part of the menu. 

Bendekai

How To:

Clean & wipe Ladies finger. Trim off the edges & chop them into thin slices - about half an inch thickness.

In a pan, heat a teaspoon of oil, add all the items listed under 'To Roast' & roast on medium flame until the dals change their colour slightly and are fragrant. Set aside to cool a little.

Soak Tamarind in warm water & extract juice. In a mixer grinder, add grated coconut & roasted spices along with tamarind extract & roasted gram & grind into a smooth paste using little water.

In a Kadhai, heat some oil. splutter mustard seeds. Add chopped Ladies Finger along with some salt & sauté on medium flame until they lose their slime & are cooked well.

Now add the ground paste along with 2 cups of water. Add jaggery & check for salt. Give it a good mix & simmer on low flame for about 10 minutes. Stir at regular intervals to avoid the bottom of the pan from getting burnt. 

If the Gojju/Gravy is on the thicker side, add some more water to get the right consistency. 

Turn off the heat & transfer to a serving dish. Serve warm with Rice/Dosas or Chapatis 


November 5, 2015

Chilli Cheese Toast

I dislike Chilli Cheese Toast served in most restaurants or Cafes.  Either the bread is too chewy, or there is too much Cheese or too little toppings. 
And there are several cafes, where the toast is made beforehand & they just reheat the toast in the Microwave before serving. 

There is nothing better than a freshly made Chilli Cheese Toast just out of the oven, Right??  So, the best bet is to make your own Toast, the way you like it 

Chilli Cheese Toast

I do not like an overdose of Cheese in my dishes. Be it Pizza, Nachos or this Chilli Cheese Toast. I add loads of toppings & like the taste of the toppings shine through rather than the taste of cheese.

Chilli Cheese Toast

How To:

Cut the Bread slices into triangles. Finely chop the Yellow & Red Peppers. Add the Chilli flakes , dried Basil, Chopped Garlic & salt. Mix well

Grate Mozarella Cheese & set aside

If using a Oven, Preheat the Oven to 180 Degrees for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, On each bread slice, evenly spread the chopped Bell Pepper & Herb mixture. Top with a Tablespoon ( or more if you like ) of grated cheese

Bake the  slices at 180 degrees for 3-4 minutes until the cheese melts. Switch the oven to the Grill mode & grill for about 3 minutes

If using a Microwave, Toast the bread slices in a pan or toaster. Assemble the toppings & cheese. Microwave for 40-60 seconds until the Cheese Melts

Serve Warm with Tomato Ketchup. A couple of slices of this toast & a cup of great Coffee .. Just Perfect :)

NOTE:

I've tried making this on the Stove Top too. I very lightly toasted the bread & assembled the topping & on very low flame I toasted the bread without flipping. But I felt the cheese took forever to melt &  even though the flame was very low, the base of the toast was over crisp. So I prefer the Microwave or the Oven method any day. 

If anybody knows a foolproof method of making this toast on the stove top, do let me know 

October 30, 2015

Green Peas Kurma

Remember the Ghee Rice recipe? I told you that it really pairs well with some nice Green Peas Kurma right? 

Well, that's what I have for you today. A South Indian Style, Coconut based Kurma made with Dried Green Peas

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In the South Indian version of Kurma, it is very common to use fresh coconut. It gives a nice nutty flavour to the gravy. A few versions, mostly the Kerala style has Coconut Milk in it.

Green Peas Kurma1

How To:

Soak dried peas in water for 6 hours or overnight. Pressure cook with some salt. set side to let it cool.

Meanwhile, in a pan, heat half a teaspoon of oil. Add red chilies, coriander seeds, poppy seeds, cloves & cinnamon. roast on low flame for a couple of minutes & set aside. In the same pan, heat some more oil, Add roughly chopped onions, tomatoes, ginger garlic paste & saute till the onions & tomatoes turn soft. Allow it to cool

Grind together the cooked onions & tomatoes, roasted spices along with grated coconut & cashew nuts into a smooth paste. Add a bit of water if necessary.

In a heavy bottomed pan, Add a teaspoon of cooking oil, splutter mustard seeds. Add the ground paste & turmeric & saute for a couple of minutes. Add cooked peas, 1.5 cups of water & Garam Masala. Add the salt & mix well. Let it simmer for 5-6 minutes on medium flame. If you feel the gravy is too thick, add some more water to adjust the consistency

Turn off the heat & garnish with chopped Coriander leaves.


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Serve warm with Ghee Rice/Jeera Rice, A mildly spiced Pulao, Plain Basmati Rice or Indian Flat Breads. 

And this Kurma also pairs very well with Spongy Set Dosas & Appams

NOTE:
You can also use boiled & cubed potatoes or Baby Potatoes to give more body to the gravy. 

Use Fresh Green Peas when in season instead of the dried ones.

I do not like using Frozen peas in the recipe as they tend to get a bit soft after cooking unlike the fresh ones.

October 22, 2015

Ambode | Masala Vada | Chana Dal Fritters


Now that Navaratri is here, we  have been visiting Friends & Family to have a look at the Doll Display (Bombe Mane or Golu) & indulging in a lot of good food. 

Navaratri/Dussera is a big thing in Mysore & Bangalore. There will be a Bobme Mane (Traditional Doll Diaplay)in almost every household & Each day during the Nine days, various Sweets & Savouries are made & offered to Godess Durga 

Food Pics



Amode or Chana Dal Fritters is a staple during any festive season. Be it Ugadi or any other festival, Ambode makes an appearance in the traditional menu. 

In the Bangalore/Mysore region,its been a practice to offer Ambode  to Godess Durga on Durgashtami - The 8th Day of the Navratras, when Godess Bhadrakali, the powerful & Fierce form of Godess Durga was incarnated 

But we don't really need an excuse to make yummy snacks, do we? They taste good Hot & crisp & goes well with a cup of filter Kaapi.

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YOU WILL NEED:
  • 1 cup Chana Dal - Split Bengal Gram
  • 2 Tablespoon Rice Flour
  • 1/4th Cup Grated Fresh Coconut
  • A handful of Coriander Leaves
  • A handful of Mint
  • A handful of Dill Leaves
  • 2 Sprigs of Curry Leaves
  • 10 Green Chilies
  • 5 Dry Red Chilies (Byadagi)
  • A small piece of Ginger
  • Salt as per Taste
  • 2 chopped onions - optional
  • Oil for Deep Frying - I used Sunflower Oil

HOW TO:

Wash Chana Dal under running water & soak in plenty of water for 2 hours. Drain & set aside

In a mixer, Add Coconut, Green & Red Chilies along with ginger & grind into a coarse mixture. Transfer it into a bowl

Add Soaked Chana Dal in the mixture & grind into a coarse paste without adding any water. Add it to the bowl.

Add Rice Flour, Chopped Coriander, Mint, Dill & Curry Leaves. Add chopped onions if using. Add Salt & give it a good mix with your hands.

Heat Oil in a heavy bottom pan, Meanwhile wet your palms & take a lemon sized mixture & flatten them into a round Patties & Keep them ready for deep frying

Drop a bit of the mixture into hot oil to see if it rises immediately to the top, if it does, then the oil is hot enough to be used for deep frying

On low heat, drop the patties one by one gently without over crowding the pan. Once all the patties are in the pan, increase the heat to medium flame & fry for a minute. Gently flip the patties to the other side. Fry them until they are golden brown in colour.

Remove with a slotted spoon & drain on paper towel to remove excess oil. Similarly fry other batches 


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NOTE:

If you find the mixture too dry & crumble, sprinkle some water & incorporate the mixture again. But do not add a lot of water & make it soggy

You can also substitute Rice Flour with 2 tablespoons of roasted Fine Semolina or Chiroti Rava. They too lend a crisp texture

Adding Rice flour makes the Fritters crisp but adding a lot of rice flour makes them hard to chew

I love adding onions to these but avoid during the festivals. But Onions, do add a lot of taste 

You can substitute Dill Leaves with Fresh Methi Leaves

You can also add grated carrots 

October 14, 2015

Benne Murukku


There are tons of recipes & variations for Chalkis, Murukkus & the kind. I always thought that making Murukkus at home was a not so easy time consuming affair & is not my cup of tea,  until I ate theem at a friends house.

This easy Benne Murukku recipe is from my friend Ashwini's Mom (The one who shared the Veggie Pasta Salad Recipe) .. When I casually visited her place she offered me a big jar of these crunchy Murukkus & I was surprised when she told me that she & her mom made them under 30 minutes

As always, I took down the recipe immediately & since then, I have made these atleast a dozen times & each time it has turned out very well. So this one is almost a fail proof recipe if you ask me  

DSC_1877 


We made a big batch of these Murukkus for Ganesh Chaturthi & I plan to make them this Diwali too. But, You don't have to really wait for the festive season to make these. My little one loves munching on these crispies & these are so much better than the store bought ones because, I at least know I am using good oil for deep frying :)


  You Will Need:
  • 2 cups Rice Flour
  • 1 cup Roasted Gram Flour 
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • A generous pinch of Asafoetida
  • Half a Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder - Optional
  • 1.5 Tablespoon melted Butter - Salted/Unsalted
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tsp hot Oil
  • Oil for deep frying

How To:

In a wide bowl, add all the ingredients one by one except hot oil. Give it a rough mix with your hands, I did not add Red Chilli Powder. If using Salted Butter, reduce the amount of salt

Now, Add water little at a time to make a stiff non sticky dough. Cover with a damp muslin cloth and set aside.  In a deep frying pan, heat oil. when the oil is hot, take out 2 teaspoons of oil & add it to the mixture & knead. 

Grease the Murukku press with oil. Attach the Single Star Murukku Mould. Take a little bit of the mixture & fill it inside the Murukku press, Check if the oil is hot enough for frying by dropping a bit of the dough in the pan, if the dough rises immediately then the oil is hot enough, If you feel that the oil is overheated, turn off the heat for a couple of minutes & reheat 

Once the Murukku Press is filled with the mixture, press it directly over the hot oil, in a circular manner. Do not over crowd the pan. Fry them over medium flame. Flip them at regular intervals for even frying, When the bubbles & the frying sound die down, the Murukkus would have turned golden in colour.

Remove with a slotted spoon & drain on a paper towel to remove excess oil. Allow them to cool completely & store in an air tight jar. They stay crisp & fresh upto a week 


Benne Murukku


NOTE: 

 Adding more Butter makes the Murukkus brittle. So, do not be tempted to add more butter :)

You can also add Onion paste into the dough to make Onion flavoured Murukkus. They taste really good. 

As you are frying in batches, always keep the dough covered to prevent them from getting dry.

Always taste the Murukkus after frying the first batch & alter the taste if needed. As mentioned earlier, if the Murukkus break easily, there has been an over use of butter. You can add a bit of Rice flour & Gram flour to the dough 


October 3, 2015

Coconut Milk Biryani & A Birthday !!!


It was quite a while since I made a good Biryani at home. There used to be a time when I made One pot meals quite frequently & a quick Pulao would be on our Lunch menu every other weekend. In fact, I used to make several versions of Biryani right from the layered version to a quick Pressure Cooker version, experimenting with different spice list each time

Coconut Milk Biryani

If you like all things Coconut, you are going to love this Coconut Milk Biryani as well. This is a very mildly spiced Biryani as compared to the ones that are heavy on spices. It goes well with a spicy Hyderabadi Salan, A Raita will also do but I highly recommend the Salan 


Coconut Milk Biryani


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You Will Need:

  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 200 ml Coconut Milk ( I used Dabur Homemade)
  • 2 small Carrots - Diced
  • 1 large Potato - Diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped Beans
  • 1 large Onion - chopped lengthwise
  • A handful of chopped coriander
  • A handful of chopped Mint
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 10-15 toasted Cashew Nuts

To Grind:
  • 1 large Onion - Roughly Chopped
  • 1 large Tomato - Roughly Chopped
  • 10 Cashew Nuts
  • 2 'inch piece of Ginger
  • 5 cloves of Garlic
  • 4 Green Chilies
  • A small stick of Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 3 Green Cardamom
  • 4-5 Cloves

How To:

Clean Basmati Rice under running water until the water runs clear. Soak in water & set aside for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, Chop the vegetables 

In a mixer, add all the ingredients mentioned in the 'To Grind' list & grind into a smooth paste without adding any water.

In a Pressure cooker, Heat Ghee & Oil. Once hot enough, add sliced onions & saute for a couple of minutes. Add the carrots, Beans, Potatoes & mix well. cook for another couple of minutes. Next, add the ground paste & some salt. Give it a good mix & Let it cook on low flame for 3 - 4 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, Garam Masala & bring it to a gentle boil. Drain the soaked Basmati Rice & Add it into the Pressure cooker. Mix well. Add about a little more than half a cup of water. Check for salt & give it a final mix. Close the lid & cook for 1 whistle. I use a Hawkins Pressure Cooker so mine gets done in 1 whistle. It may wary for other brands.

Allow the pressure to release & allow it to cool for a while. Add chopped coriander & Mint along with toasted cashew nuts. Gently fluff with a fork to mix well

Serve with a Raita or Salan along with some sliced Onions

I didn't have any Green Peas on hand. So, I didn't add them. But they make a nice addition. So does Cauliflower

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On the Personal front, Guess who just turned THREE? Yes. Kedar is now a Three year old School going toddler. Wait, Wasn't it just yesterday that I wrote a post announcing that we now have a new member in the family? However cliched it sounds Time does fly 


 I don't write about Kedar very often in this space but I have to say that It's been an incredible journey so far. Kedar is a complete Daddy's boy & he doesn't mince his words when he says that ( which he does all the time ) He loves his Dada more :)

We had a little Birthday party for him over the weekend & he got to cut his Peppa Pig Cake. Peppa Pig is his current favourite show. He loves it so much that his cousin sister even made him a Peppa Pig Rakhi .. I am not kidding. His current obsession is Construction Vehicles & he wants to be a JCB driver when he grows up  .. Phew !!!