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!

Chunky Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Cookie

Would you like some whole wheat flour and thick rolled oats cookies with goodies which are tart, sweet and crunchy in it ? Oatmeal raisin is an all american classic cookie, but not exactly a favorite here at home. I really wanted to use up the tin of thick,rolled oats that found its way home after a shopping trip in November. Well you cannot really use it all up, but this is a great start and DH can swim in oatmeal whereas A1, 2 and 3 run away at the sight of it. It’s all about the compromise folks..Life is peaceful and oat battleground is calm again. What is it like in your place? do you guys love it? hate it? necessary evil it?

Chunky Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Cookie

Why mess around with the basics eh? But we do what we got to do. And we bake the classic cookies with a minor twist. And who would not like to be done in 30 min flat ( apart from getting the butter and egg to RT ) ? 
And pick one while warm and flip it hand to hand so you can take a bite ? A 3 has just about perfected a neat technique he practices when the cookies are right out of the oven and cooling off on a tray. And we just absolutely would die if it cannot be picked up 🙂

Chunky Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Cookie

Let’s get a rundown on this ..

  • Whole wheat flour : check 
  • Rolled oats : check
  • Brown sugar : check 
  • Goodies : check 
  • Under 30 min : check !!
  • Chunky, Crunchy ,Crispy, Chewy : check 

Prep time : 15 min

Baking time : 16 minutes  

Yield : about 24 cookies

Ingredients:

  • White whole wheat flour : 3/4 cup
  • Thick, rolled oats ( not instant) : 1 and 1/4 cups
  • Dark brown sugar : 1/2 cup ( packed)
  • Granulated sugar : 1/4 cup
  • Unsalted butter , room temperature: 7 Tbsp.
  • Large, cage free egg : 1
  • Cinnamon , ground : 1/4 tsp ( optional)
  • salt : 1/2 tsp.
  • Baking powder : 1/2 tsp.
  • Chopped, toasted walnuts : 1/4 cup
  • Dried Cranberries : 1/2 cup
  • Chopped Semi sweet or dark chocolate : 1/4 cup
  • Pure Vanilla extract : 1 Tbsp.

Method:

  • Pre that the oven to 350 F
  • Line two baking trays with parchment paper or silpat.
  • In a large mixing bowl add the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk very well. Add the rolled oats and whisk again.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer ( or if using a hand mixer) cream the butter initially for a couple of minutes and then add the sugars and cream for another 2 minutes. Smooth texture is all that we need
  • Add the egg and whisk till incorporated. Do not over beat.
  • Add the vanilla extract and cinnamon powder and whisk once again.
  • Add the flour and oats mix and fold it in.
  • Add the chocolate bits, cranberries and toasted walnuts and fold again. Note: Fold, not beat it in. Simple gently fold in so they are distributed. Do do not beat th check out of it. You will have tough cookie and not a tender one then.
  • Place spoonfuls ( about 1.5 inch balls/ globes / scoops) about a couple of inches apart  on the lined baking tray. Tip : taller scoops will yield chunkier , puffier cookies.
  • Bake for about 14-17 minutes, till edges turn brown and tops are a pale brown.
  • Let it cool in the baking tray for about 5-8 minutes before transferring to a wired cookie sheet to finish off the cooling process.

Enjoy with a tall glass of cold/ warm milk. Or perfect with a robust tea.

Chunky Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Cookie

 

Gasp ! this is a breakfast cookie 🙂

 

 

 

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.