Kale and Spinach Masala Vada(i)

What’s your indulgence on a cold miserable day? NC brought out in full spate some miserable and grumpy days to the boot. Nagging cold weather accompanied by some rain and a weather that could not decide between holding onto winter and hopping aboard the spring train. Yikes !

Now imagine a day where the sun refused to peek out and the bare branches of the trees formed a sticky silhouette to temper the gray dull skies. The weather even managed to incite my boisterous and slightly neurotic lab to snooze . And quite a vent hugger she was. The warm draft of air from the heater vent provided the perfect huggable carpet spot for her and I could hear her stretching and yawning.

Kale and Spinach Masala (Vadai)

I would have loved to take out that raggedy brown blanket, stretch out on the recliner with a hot cuppa and indulge in a book. Any book. But since kids would arrive from school and look forward to something that could perk them up.

Kale and Spinach Masala (Vadai)

 

So a hot steaming cup of chai it is and a plate piled with piping hot and steaming baby kale and baby spinach masala vada(i). Chockful of these and the lentils provide much of the protein and flavors of fennel and ginger and garlic. Seriously folks, you would be missing out if you do not make these.

Kale and Spinach Masala ( Vadai)

A   plate piled high with piping hot, crispy, golden brown masala vada(i).. packed with kale and spinach and spiced with those flavors that make it extra special – protein packed indulgence and hot steaming cuppa to  make it even more better. It’s ok to indulge once in a while and it sure calls for it today !

Now what’s your excuse and what’s your indulgence?

Soaking time : 3 hrs   Prep time : 15 min   Cooking time : 25-30 min  Pieces : about 30 

Serves a hungry lot !

Ingredients:

Pulses and Cereals: Soaked for about 3 hrs or so.

  • Dry split Channa dal : 3/4 cup
  • Dry Toor Dal : 1/4 cup
  • Flax seeds : 2 Tbsp
  • Rice : brown/ white : 2 Tbsp.

Vegetables/Herbs

  • Baby Spinach : 1 cup : chopped
  • Baby Kale : 1 cup chopped
  • Onion : 1 medium size : chopped fine
  • Garlic cloves: 3 : chopped fine
  • Cilantro : 1/4 cup, chopped fine
  • Mint leaves : 8-10, chopped fine
  • Green chilies : 8-10. chopped fine ( adjusted to spice level)
  • Ginger : peeled, 1 inch , chopped fine

Dry Spices: ( preference can dictate the kind of spices added)

  • Fennel seeds / Saunf : 1 Tbsp
  • Salt : 1.5 tsp , adjusted to taste.

Frying:

  • Deep frying in peanut/ canola/vegetable /saffola oil of your choice.

Method:

  • Grind to a thick and coarse consistency the soaked ingredients listed under pulses/ cereals
  • The batter should not be extra fine or smooth but be ground enough to show occasional whole soaked dals with coarse consistency and done so just the little amount of water required. Do not make it too watery or mush, then the vada(i)s will soak up extra oil.
  • Add in all the ingredients listed in spices and mix well.
  • Add in the ingredients listed in vegetables and herbs and mix well.
  • Let the batter rest for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile heat the oil on medium high heat.
  • Test the temperature of oil by putting in a tiny dropful of batter. If it floats immediately to the top and is sizzling, you can begin the process of making vada(i)s.

Shaping, Frying the Vada(i)s

  • You can use the flat side of a ziploc bag, dab it with oil and drop 2 Tbsp. of coarse batter, flatten to get a round disc and gently slide it the  oil.
  • Or the method I prefer, is to use my fingers and palms to shape the flattened discs and slide them gently in oil.
  • Fry in medium high heat about 6-8  in batch or so.  The discs are about 2-3 inches in diameter.
  • Fry these in medium high heat to a nice even brown. Do not fry in very high heat. If you do so, the outer layer will get cooked faster than the inner one and it is not something you will relish!
  • Enjoy with a hot cup of tea and the mush awaited book of your choice!

Baked Cauliflower Tandoori Bites

Baked Cauliflower Tandoori Bites

New year and new beginnings?  Nah , more like everyday is a clean slate to make something out of yourself. It’s what I keep telling myself . There is joy in small things. It’s the small things that build it up for the grand finale – life . Calvin and Hobbes sum it up the best in a beautiful snippet on watching the stars and losing yourself in it its infinity.. Sometimes it’s good to be lost.

Baked Cauliflower Tandoori Bites

So all the while, NC gets about a few inches of snow and ice and we get snowed in at home – School is far far away in another land. Tee hee.. The joy of skipping school – even my high schooler fell prey to its charm and exhibited an uncharacteristic elation.

So while mom and kids lazed around and spent quality time and lost themselves in snowmen and hot cocoa, DH was stranded trying to make his way back amongst the sea of travelers and some 8500 canceled flights.  Over night layover and a really bizarre circumnavigation apart, a welcome face pops in after nearly couple of days of journey. Home sweet home !

 Welcome home –  with a hot cup of tea and wonderful tandoori bites…

Baked Cauliflower Tandoori Bites

When fresh veggies were not exactly ruling the roost in this part of the country, I usually have a stock of fresh frozen (if I can manage the non GMO kind, then definitely ) of vegetables in my freezer. Cauliflower florets – a favorite here. I used this to make the tandoori bites. It was a full head of fairly medium  – big sized cauliflower that I had cut in florets and frozen. I would say about a pound of it.

Baked Cauliflower Tandoori Bites

Baked Cauliflower Tandoori Bites:

Prep time : 5-10 min   Marination time : 5 hours to over night

Baking time : 15 -20 min

Vegetable:

  • Cauliflower florets – A head of cauliflower cut into bite sized florets or frozen 16 oz. bag

For the Marinade:

  • Thick plain yogurt : 1/4 cup
  • Plain chili powder / Kashmiri powder : 1 tbsp. ( use your judgment for the heat)
  • Chaat masala : 1 Tbsp..
  • Salt : 1 tsp.
  • Tandoori Masala : 1 Tbsp.
  • Garam Masala : 1 Tbsp.
  • Mint -Coriander Green chutney : 2 Tbsp.

Optional :

  • Ginger- garlic paste : 1 tsp.

Method:

  • Defrost the cauliflower florets or if using fresh ones, either nuke it in the microwave for a couple of minutes or quick blanch it.  Let it come to room temperature.
  • Whisk all the ingredients listed under marinade. Taste test if desired so.
  • Pour the marinade on the cauliflower pieces and mix it to ensure all of it is coated thoroughly.  Keep it covered in the refrigerator for minimum of 4-5 hours , but can be left overnight for best results as well.

Baking :

  • Pre heat oven to 400 F.
  • Layer a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray oil if desired so on them so the pieces do not stick.
  • Spread the cauliflower florets so they are in single layer on the sheet.
  • Bake for 15-20 min or so. Keep an eye after about 12 minutes of baking. A lot depends on the tenderness of the cauliflower and your oven. 

HUGE TIPIn the 8- 10 min interval, flip the cauliflower florets and rotate the pans to ensure even baking. If not you run the risk of burning the smaller sized ones.

  • You should get crisp but tender cauliflower florets bursting with flavor.
  • Serve with a wedge of lime and some mint – coriander green chutney as dip. You can also use a cool yogurt dip.

Bite sized, perfectly spiced and zero oil… Isn’t this just awesome?

 

 

 

 

Lime Chili Peanuts – With a touch of honey and oven toasted!

Disclaimer : A super quick post. Still have not gotten around to using my cannon after the vacation. Inertia , I suppose.. So smartphone shots it is !

Well the Masala Peanuts lasted but a few precious hours in the house .. There was still some awesome raw peanuts left and I wanted something with enough spice and zing in it . And I did make it 🙂

Crunchy, and perfectly spiced  with tanginess of lemon with chili flavor in it and just a kiss of honey. Oh this would be totally addictive in the snacking department . Whip up a bowl in minutes and prepare to be amazed..

Lime Chili Peanuts - With a touch of honey and oven toasted!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2.5 cups of raw skinned peanuts
  • Fresh squeezed lime juice : 2-3 Tbsp.
  • Oil of your choice : 2 tsp ( can increase up to 1 Tbsp. if you prefer)
  • Honey :  1.5  Tbsp.
  • Salt : 1/2 tsp.
  • Red Chili Powder : 2 tsp.
  • Garam Masala : 1/2 tsp. ( optional)
  • Hing : A generous pinch
  • Optional : dried mint flakes

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F .
  2. In a large mixing  bowl, combine all the ingredients except the peanuts. Whisk it well. The honey especially needs to be homogeneously distributed in the spice mixture.
  3. Add the raw skinned peanuts and toss it well in this so it well coated. Let it sit for about 5 minutes so the flavors and spice have a chance to adhere to the  peanuts.
  4. Line a baking sheet  or tray with parchment paper or  non stick sheet.
  5. Scoop the peanuts allowing the  excess spice mix if any to drain off ( I did not have  to really drain  it or so) and spread them out on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake them for about 15-17 minutes ( oven times may vary so keep an eye)
  7. Let it cool before you dive in.

Options , Variables and Notes:

  • This is one of the most basic recipe. Feel free to add in some flavors and experiment. 
  • Add dried Oregano leaves  or some Italian seasoning mix, Red chili flakes and season for a different take on flavor.
  • Add dried mint leaves, garam masala and season and you would be pleasantly surprised by the Indian twist!
  • Add just honey, asafoetida and Oil along with a hint of ground black pepper and you will be amazed..
  • Always keep an eye out while toasting nuts in the oven. They go from perfectly crisp to burnt very fast.

Lime Chili Peanuts - With a touch of honey and oven toasted!

Quick and No Oil Masala Peanuts – Crunchy, spicy and Irresistible

A very short post. In all honestly did not even take pictures on my Cannon. Cause today was such a day that paid homage to the ” need a vacation after the vacation” kind of thing. After a long and exhausting road trip , and I mean really exhausting, laundry and stuff needed something to munch. But since we had loaded up with enough calories for a lifetime twice over and then some, was not willing to really rack my brain or stretch my time . And then of course a pack of raw unroasted peanuts caught my fancy. We love peanuts here and except for my oldest who treats it like his mortal enemy !! Our road trip introduced us to a particularly unappealing one  – too much vinegar and a crusty outer layer that had us gagging and reaching for the nearest bottle of water. Sigh ! A good masala peanut should have enough coating to give you the crunch but not overwhelm you so you have to dig for the nut !!

This is a spin off of my mom’s take on masala crunchy peanuts. No deep frying.. Just regular microwave option ! Simple and quick made in a jiffy. I would definitely advise to make in smaller batches cause unlike deep frying, microwave method  requires you to ensure the wet coated peanuts are spread out on a plate and cooked in 2 minute intervals.

Quick and No Oil Masala Peanuts - Crunchy, spicy and Irresistible

Preparation Time : 5-7 minutes

Cooking Time : 5-8 min

Ingredients:

  • Raw peanuts with skin: 1/2 cup
  • Chickpea flour / Besan : 1/4 cup
  • Hing : A generous pinch
  • Red Chili powder : 1/2 tsp.
  • Garam masala : 1/2 tsp.
  • Amchur: A pinch
  • Salt : 1/4 tsp.
  • Water : 2-3 Tbsp. 
  • Baking soda : a tiny pinch 1/8 tsp.
  • OPTIONAL : 1 tsp. of oil

Method:

  • Wash the raw, unskinned peanuts very well and drain in a colander and set aside.
  • In a wide mixing bowl, add the flour and 1/8 tsp. of baking soda and whisk well.
  • Add the rest of the spices and mix well again.
  • Add the drained peanuts and toss it well with the flour-spice mix.
  • Sprinkle the reserved 2-3 Tbsp. of water as required and  in stages so the peanuts get coated in spice mix very well and they sort of clump/ adhere together.
  • OPTIONAL : I did not use oil at all. But if you desire to and need an extra crunch, add in 1 tsp. of oil and mix it with the nut – spice mixture.
  • Spread this mix on a microwave safe plate. Spread it out in a single layer as much as possible.
  • CAUTION : Microwave for 5-6 minutes in full power in 2 minute intervals please ! You will burn the peanuts of you bake it at one stretch and you will need to stir it a bit in between intervals.

Verdict: Awesome and crunchy peanuts. I made mine without any oil and it was really crunchy. Optionally you can also add Chaat masala.

Notes and Variables :

  • Microwave cooking power would vary the time but you should generally anticipate it being done in this time frame .
  • Quality of the peanuts and the size – smaller ones tend to crunch up faster so keep an eye out
  • Stirring it in between would keep it from burning of course.
  • Mine was done in about 5 minutes.
  • Adding oil is definitely your choice. Mine was crunchy without any. 
  • Take care so the flour – spice mix coats it evenly. You do want it too lumpy or watery.

 

 

 

Beet, Oats and Flax Seed Tikki / Croquette/ Cutlets

 

  • Hot weather in Spring : Check
  • Crabby kids : Check
  • Crabby mom : Check ( Nah, I am an angel!)
  • Weekly produce cleaning and org: Check
  • A bunch of beets : Check

It was hot sultry calm before the storm in NC. Very hot and humid weather and temperature in higher eighties.. We know what happens next here – thunderstorms and heavy rains. Predicted in the next 24 hrs.  That still did not stop us from cribbing and hoping we could have a bit of the cooler breeze. But nonetheless, as part of the fridge cleaning process, I came across a bunch of beets.. And that’s what became of these..

This was such a delight to have.. Made a cool Minty Cucumber Greek Yoghurt Dip and it was absolute heaven on hot sultry night.. Kids loved it! The only indulgence was the addition of bread crumbs made easier on self cause I used the wheat kind. The shredded raw beets and crunch of sesame on the top and great blended flavors from the spices boosted this to just another level !

Beet, Oats and Flax Seed Tikki / Croquette/ Cutlets

Prep time : 30 min  Cook time : 30 min Yield : 36 cutlets

Ingredients

For the base:

  • Fine Shredded Raw Beets : 1 and another 1/4 Cups
  • Fine Shredded Raw Carrots : 3/4 cup
  • Fine shredded Onion : 1/4 cup
  • Boiled Potatoes : 2, peeled and mashed
  • Bread Crumbs : 1/4 cup
  • Roasted and powdered Oats : 1/4 cup
  • Roasted and Powdered flax seeds : 1/4 cup
  • Fresh Cilantro Chopped  :1/4 cup
  • Fresh Mint Chopped : 1/4 cup
  • Fresh Jalapeno : 2 chopped fine ( optional)
  • Red chili powder : 1 tsp. ( optional and adjusted to spice level)
  • Garam Masala : 1.5 tsp.
  • Chat Masala : 1 tsp.
  • Salt : 1.5 tsp.

For the outer covering to create the crunchy crust:

  • Bread Crumbs : 1/2 cup
  • Sesame seeds : 1-2 Tbsp.

 To cook :

  • Oil as desired

Method:

  1. Pulse everything listed under the base in your food processor or if not in wide bowl by hand. The idea is to bring it all together to form a wet mass. This is achieved when the wet sticky potato mass combines with the fresh ingredients. You typically will not need any water at all to bring it together.
  2. Make 2 inches flat patties in diameter and about 3/4 of an inch thick out of these and set aside.
  3. Mix everything listed for the crust and set aside. If you do not wish to add bread crumbs but just the sesame seeds, it will bring out the richness and color of beets but you will still miss the crunchiness of it.
  4. Coat these patties  well in the bread crumbs –  sesame seeds mixture. Nope, I did not initially dip it in milk, corn flour paste, flour paste or any such thing. The wetness of the patty was enough to coat the bread crumbs mix..
  5. Note: The patty was wet but definitely not sticky.
  6. In a wide skillet, add a Tbsp. or so of oil  and gently swivel it so it coats the entire surface of the skillet and then heat it . ( A nonstick would be pretty useful here).
  7. Gently place the patties on the heated oil surface and cook for about 5 – 9 minutes. Flip it once in the 4-5 minute interval and gently press down to ensure they are cooked thoroughly but not smushed.
  8. Do cook it in medium high heat. In very high heat just the outer layer would be cooked and you will have soft raw middle.
  9. Serve it with cool yoghurt dip.

Minty Cool Yoghurt dip:

  •  2 cups of Greek / very thick yoghurt or sour cream
  • 1 cup of very finely shredded cucumber
  • 1/4 cup of very finely chopped mint
  • 1 tbsp. of chaat masala
  • 1/2 tsp of salt

 Mix all together and serve!

Option 1 : Yes you can deep fry this.  Yes it will taste absolutely delicious, but man why would you want to do it on a hot spring night and also kill the beets?

 Option 2 :  Baking . I did try baking it on 375 – 400 for about 15 minutes. The pan version yielded better taste though.

 

 

 

 

Sprouted Kala Channa ( Black Chickpeas) Pakora – with Flax seeds and Cauliflower

An utterly delectable and finger licking snack made with sprouted Kala Channa or black chickpeas…. I had a whole bowl of sprouted Kala Channa and was a bit bored of creating salads out if it .. I know …Gasp! Sacrilege !

Alright, I know technically you are not supposed to be tired of it. What with the detox mania hitting everywhere , I feel guilty when I add in an extra drop of oil!

Sprouted Kala Channa ( Black Chickpeas) Pakora - with Flax seeds and Cauliflower

 Tsk! Tsk! what kind of responsible human being am I? Where did “My body is a temple” adage disappear? How could I be irresponsible enough to turn a bunch of sprouted Kala channa into this this this…. Utterly delectable delicacy.

Yes, it is deep-fried!

Yes, you can do it the appe / kuzhipaniram pan.

Yes, you can make cutlets out of this.

Yes, you can add a whole bunch of grated veggies to this.

Yes, you can grind Jalapeños in this to make it spicier.

I chose to opt for deep-frying this. It is an occasional thing at home and such an indulgence on a rainy day is best enjoyed with a hot cup of tea!

 Sprouted Kala Channa with brown rice and a mystery health ingredient ( Nah! No guessing games – flax seeds)! Heaped in with Onion and shredded Cauliflower! Add a dash of this and a dash of that.. And you have wonderful pakoras!.. A cup of tea and you have a winsome combination!

Sprouted Kala Channa ( Black Chickpeas) Pakora - with Flax seeds and Cauliflower

Ingredients:

Legumes/ beans:

  • 1.5 cups of sprouted kala channa (Can be substituted for a mixed legume bunch or simply well soaked and rehydrated kala channa)
  • 0.5 cup of flax seeds , soaked for about 30 min or so . Alternatively you can simply grind it as a powder and add.
  • 0.5 cups of Sooji or Semolina or Rava – Medium kind
  • 0.5 cups of brown rice – soaked in warm water for about 30 minutes. ( Can be substituted for rice flour – 1/2 cup)

Vegetables/Herbs

  • 1 cup of grated cauliflower- steamed for about 5 min in the microwave. You can add it raw too.
  • 0.5 cups of diced onions – finer the better.
  • 4-6 green chillies, fine diced
  • 1 Tbsp. of ginger garlic paste
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro – chopped fine
  • 2-3 Tbsp. of Mint  chopped fine ( optional)

Spices: ( Individual preference can dictate the kind of spices added)

  • 1 tsp of Garam masala powder
  • 0.5 tsp of Red chili powder ( optional to kick up the spice level)
  • 1 tsp of Chaat masala powder
  • 1 tsp of salt + adjusted to taste

 Frying:

  • Deep frying in peanut/ canola/vegetable /saffola oil of your choice.

 Method:

  • Grind to a thick consistency the ingredients listed under legumes or beans except the rava and rice flour of using. If using the soaked brown rice, please do grind it well. The batter should not be extra fine or smooth but be ground enough not to have any big pieces but have enough rough edges to have dimensions.
  • Add the sooji ( and rice flour if using) and mix it well.
  • Add in all the ingredients listed in spices and mix well.
  • Add in the ingredients listed in vegetables an herbs and mix well.
  • Let the batter rest for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile heat the oil on medium high heat.
  • Test the temperature of oil by putting in a tiny dropfuls of batter. If it floats immediately to the top and is sizzling, you can drop the rest batter in batches. Just keep enough room for these to flip around.
  • Fry these in medium- high heat to a nice even brown. Do not fry in very high heat. If you do so, the outer layer will get cooked faster than the inner one and it is not something you will relish!

Enjoy with a hot cup of tea and some great music !

Sprouted Kala Channa ( Black Chickpeas) Pakora - with Flax seeds and Cauliflower

 

Cheese and Herbs stuffed Crescent Rolls- Quick fix from your pantry for the hungry child!

Cheese and Herbs stuffed Crescent Rolls – Quick fix from your pantry for the hungry child!

NC has been blessed with rain and more rain. SO much that the sun played it safe and decided to have a day off…Wanting to cheer up the kids bit for the after school munchies as much to indulge them just for today….10 min to prepare and 12 to bake, 5 to clean up and satisfaction – priceless! Ala .. Mastercard!

Beautiful sight - Rain drenched foliage in our backyard
Beautiful sight – Rain drenched foliage in our backyard

This is a quick and easy post and is an easy way out . No, I am not claiming it to be the scratch from the bake kind. I have done it in the past, but with our weather today, I think it is a safer bet to rely on the back up’s I normally have – Pillsbury Crescent Rolls to the rescue . And hence here we go an easy post for those one-off days where you remove those supermom cape …Atleast for me:-)

Cheese and Herbs stuffed Crescent Rolls – Quick fix from your pantry for the hungry child!

Prep time : 10 min   Bake time 12-15 min /350degF            Makes : 8         Serves : 2-3

Ingredients

Dough Covering:

Pillsbury Crescent rolls : 1 tube

Crescent rolls to the rescue
Crescent rolls to the rescue

Stuffing Mix:

Shredded Cheese mix of your choice : 1/2 -3/4 cup

Dried Italian herbs : 1.5 Tsp.

Dried Parsley Flakes : 1.5 Tsp.

Red chili flakes : 1/2 – 1 Tsp.

Cheese and dried herbs mix
Cheese and dried herbs mix

Seasoning:

Oil/softened butter/ Oil spray : 1 Tsp.

Dried Parsley flakes : 1 Tsp.

Preparation, Stuffing and Baking:

  • In a small bowl mix all that is listed in the stuffing mix gently.
  • Unwrap the dough from the tube and separate the perforated triangles properly.
  • Place a tsp or more of the stuffing in the center of the wide section of the triangle and roll it to form a crescent. Too much stuffing will ooze out from the sides , so use your best judgement.
  • Repeat this step until you have all 8 prepped out and lay in on a flat sheet for baking. Now since there were only 8, I used the small baking tray for the toaster oven.
  • Lay them out gently with enough space to expand during baking.
  • Brush them with the melted butter, oil or spray mist with your oil of choice.
  • Toss in some parsley flakes on the surface , so you have a rich texture and visual appeal to the baking.
  • Bake as per the instructions on the tube. I did mine for 350degF for about 12 minutes or so.
  • Note : the second batch I made, I added some dried garlic flakes to the seasoning and added some dried black pepper as well to the parsley flakes for top seasoning.
  • Note 2 : Have some sautéed vegetables ? Mix it with the cheese for a healthier option for stuffing?
  • Note 3 : Let your creative juices run as this is a veritable black canvas to unleash your wild side!

 

Cornflakes, Poha and Nuts Chivda – Low fat and easy !

Cornflakes and Poha( Flattened rice ) Crunchy toasted mix – Low fat with added goodness of nuts and spices to make it more interesting! Happy munching !

The first of the festivities begin with a bang!!!

DH twisted his ankle and hobbled away chauffeuring A1 for his weekly robotics meeting . You know how you think you end up having this one day of the week without classes or any social commitments ….? And just like that, that day gets picked for this weekly activity. In any case , with DH away and A2 diligently working on her myriad of school projects and A3 generally clowning away, I had this itch to do something. Quick, easy and perfect!

Usually this is the time when I head to the  “baking center of my brain” and subsequently raid the pantry and fridge in the hopes of creating something new. But now is as good a time as any to begin on the Diwali list. Ideally, I would have loved to begin with the creation of a sweet or Mithai. Kind of like beginning on a sweet note kind of thing , tradition and all,so to speak.

Well in this case, this conflakes chivda has a bit of everything – sugar and spice and everything nice.

Happy Diwali folks !

Diwali DIya
Diwali Diya

Cornflakes and Poha( Flattened rice ) Crunchy toasted mix 

Cooking time : 20-25 minutes            Prep time : 5 -8 min                    Serves : 8-10

Ingredients:

  • Unsweetened Cornflakes : 3 cups
  • Thick or thin flattened rice or Poha of your choice : 2 cups
  • Cashews : 1/4 cup
  • Roasted Channa Dal or Dhalia : 1/3 cup
  • Peanuts ( skinned or unskinned ) : 1/2 cup
  • Safflower or any oil of your choice : 6 Tsp.
  • Haldi or Turmeric powder : 1/4 Tsp.

Spice Mix:

  • Paprika or Chili powder : 1- 1.5 Tsp. (Depending on your spice tolerance)
  • Hing or Asafoetida : fine ground : 1/4 tsp.
  • Chaat masala : 1.5 tsp
  • Kari powder ( optional) : 1 tsp.
  • Coriander – Jeera powder : 1/4 tsp.
    Salt : 1- 1.25 tsp.
  • Sugar : 1-1.5 Tsp.

Procedure:

  1. In a big wok or Kadai, heat 2 Tsp. of oil and roast the nuts sequentially and set aside. Do not rush this step. They do need to get roasted to a nice brown color. Hastening this step would result in semi crunchy nuts.. Not what you need definitely! (Remove the contents and let it cool!)
  2. Add another teaspoon oil and fry the roasted Channa dal or dhalia and curry leaves ( washed and dried please!) to crisp.( Remove the contents and let it cool! )
  3. Add another teaspoon of oil and add in half of the haldi powder and add in the 2 cups of flattened rice or Poha. Slow roast this on medium flame. High flame heat will burn the Poha and leave you with an inedible mess! Roast this until all the flakes are nicely toasted and super crunchy. Should take you anywhere from 7-12 min depending on the type of the flakes and heat maintained. (Remove the contents and let it cool!)
  4. Add in the remaining oil and toss in the cornflakes with the other half of haldi powder and slow roast it again. This should take about 10-15 min. They become really crunchy and are more brown in color than the untoasted one. Again do not rush this process and ensure you are tossing the contents thoroughly to distribute the heat. (Remove the contents and let it cool!)
  5. In a separate bowl dry mix all the ingredients listed under spice mix.
  6. Once the contents of the mix have sufficiently cooled down , layer it out in big wide bowl.
  7. Add in the spice mix and gently toss it with a fork or a spoon so it coats the crunchy mix.
  8. Adding in the spice mix when it is hot, will result in sweating of the flakes and you will lose the crunchiness 🙁
  9. Make sure the contents are absolutely cool before storing in an airtight container.
  10. Should stay fresh if properly stored for about 10 days.

Corn, Potato & Peanut Stuffed Fritters – Low guilt kind…

Corn Potato Peanut Stuffed Fritters – Low guilt kind… Succulent and meant to be had piping hot, finger licking & smacking of yumminess!

It’s Wednesday.. Do you know what that means ? Yep Just 2 more days of school madness until weekend hits. Then we have a new kind of madness. The weekend kind.. Is it just us or are most families do the crazy loopy loony tunes dance. Just before you go and prescribe anything, I just want to state on record. It’s the happy crazy kind. Cause busy is always better than keeping your mind idle! Shudder!

It’s such a beautiful day today that I did not even mind the constant din of the construction crew. Does estrogen high leads to such things? Who knows? Maybe yes and maybe a no? In any case there I had made all the prep for my kids favorite baingan bhartha ( recipe up pretty soon ) when on foraging in the pantry, inspiration struck. 

This particular kind is a mix of this and mix of that – If you have read through my blog posts , you would know that inspiration strikes me at the strangest of the times and places. So a combination of bhajji, bonda, pakora or hush puppies – in this Kuzhipaniyaram or appe pan.

This recipe yields enough to satisfy the after -school craving, of course ably supplemented by a cup of milk and a fruit. And if A1 comes from particularly grueling day, then a slice of banana bread too !

Pick one!
Pick one!

Yield : About 24 pieces   Serves: 2, 4 depending on the hunger level!  

Prep time : 20 min        Cooking time : 20 min

Ingredients :

For the stuffing mix

  • Potatoes : 2 -3 , Medium sized, Boiled and mashed
  • Onion : 1 – small size or replace with scallions – optional : finely chopped
  • Fresh or frozen Corn Kernels : 1.5 cups. I used the frozen one and microwaved it for about 2-3 minutes, so they were tender
  • De skinned Raw peanuts : 1/4 -1/2 cup, roasted and pounded very very coarsely
  • Kasuri Methi : 1/4 tsp. Finely crush and then add to the mix.
  • Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp.
  • Amchur : 1/4 tsp
  • Jeera – Dhania powder : 1/4 tsp
  • Chilli powder : 1/4 tsp ( completely dependant on your spice levels )
  • Mix of cilantro and mint fresh herbs : chopped finely : 1/4 cup
  • Salt : 1 tsp, adjust to taste

 Batter mix :

  • Besan or Chickpea flour : 1 cup
  • Rice flour : 1/4 cup
  • Kashmiri chilli powder : 1 tsp
  • Ajwain seeds : 1/4 tsp
  • Baking soda : a very tiny pinch ( 1/8 of a tsp). Optional
  • Water : 1/2 cup ( to be added in stages )

Method:

Vegetable stuffing :

  • In a large mixing bowl, mash the potatoes , preferably the yield is with very little lumps.
  • Add in the chopped fine onions or scallions if using.
  • Roughly pound or crush the tender corn . The idea is it is slightly smashed but whole kernels of some of it is visible. YOU DO NOT want to make it a paste.
  • Add in the rough pounded peanuts ( again optional).
  • Add in all the dry spices , salt and fresh herbs.
  • Mix it well . Taste test it for spice and salt levels and adjust if needed.
  • Make small 1.5- 2 inch balls out of it. The idea is these get coated in the batter and get pan fried in the appe pan. So the size of it completely depends on the scoop of your pan. 

Batter cover:

  • In a smaller mixing bowl, add in all the dry ingredients of the batter mix and mix it well.
  • Add water in stages so you have a very thick consistency. Preferably the pancake batter consistency.
  • Too watery and it will not coat well, too thick and it would be too dry for the fritter.
  • You might need more or less of the water , depending on the flour quality.

Cooking :

  • Heat the appe pan and either spray mist it or add a tsp of oil to each of the scoops.
  • Take a ball of stuffing mix, dip in batter cover and gently drop it in the appe pan.
  • It should sizzle and cook on medium-high heat.
  • Using a bamboo skewer , flip it to the other side in about 2-3 minutes.
  • Make sure they are nice and even brown when you take it out.
  • Patience Patience, do not make this in high heat, You will simply ruin it!

Serve with mint coriander chutney, hot and sweet sauce or just eat them plain.

Want to make it the traditional way : just deep fry them !

Have it with a cup of garam chai or cold coffee.. Either way you cannot go wrong!

 

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Maddur Vadde: Awesome Crunchy spiced disks/patties of flour and semolina that speak to your soul!

For some one who swears by Madras ( now Chennai .. you know all about your loyalty to the birth place and all) , I have these ancestral threads and lineage linking to the grand old city of Mysore and a bit beyond.  A good 20 km or  12 miles or so from the main city of Mysore lies the sleepy village of Nanjangud. I am not exactly sure on the origins of how the lineage was established to this , but the annual or bi-annual journey for our family inevitably includes a car trip from Bangalore to Mysore. On the way of course we stopped for tender coconuts – what a refreshment right down to your soul, and of course Maddur Vade. There is this small joint on the way called Maddur tiffany’s or something similar. The simply serve the very best of this variation. My mom simply loves these. It does not matter what time of the day the trip occurred, a stop for these was always included in the travel itinerary. And yes hot, piping hot, crunchy flat discs browned with deep-frying in the oil but glistening with the tone of  fried onions in these and spiced by green chilies and flavored by curry leaves, cilantro and Jeera.. Oh my! Sure takes you down the memory lane! And no matter how hot the temperature was on the outside, my mom always had it with a cup of steaming hot filter coffee. Always!

It somehow struck me that on FD, I should make these. Just like that ! Sometimes you don’t need a reason for a good thing.. a feel good thing!

So here it goes , the second in the FD series 

#FDMenu

Maddur Vadde: Awesome Crunchy spiced disks/patties of flour and semolina that speak to your soul!

 Ingredients:

  • All purpose flour : 2 cups
  • Rice flour: 1 cup
  • Sooji/ Fine Rava/ Fine semolina: 1 cup
  • Red/yellow/white Onion, medium sized- 1,Finely chopped
  • Green chilies : 4 , Finely chopped
  • Jeera/ Cumin seeds: 1 tsp.
  • Oil : 2 tbsp., heated to be mixed in the flour
  • Sour plain yogurt : 1 tbsp.
  • Fresh curry leaves, : 8-10, chopped
  • Asafoetida/Hing: A big pinch
  • Salt : 1 tsp. To be adjusted to taste
  • Cilantro leaves : 1/4 cup, finely chopped
  • Oil for deep frying

Method:

  • Whisk all the dry ingredients together first. The flours, and sooji and salt and Asafoetida should get mixed well.
  • Add in the chopped onions, curry leaves, cumin seeds and cilantro and mix thoroughly . Now add in the 2 tbsp. of hot oil and gently crumble through the flour .
  • Add in the sour yogurt and add as little water as required to bind the flour to form a smooth dough. You do not need to knead this a lot. Just enough so you have soft pliable one.
  • Portion these out into small lemon sized balls. Flatten them out into thin patties or disks.
  • Deep fry these in medium high heat until they turn golden brown in color.
  • Drain and serve!
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