Millets and Red Rice Flour Dosa(i) – Instant and Nutritious

A quick post on a traditional recipe..

Millet is not just a more affordable  alternative to the more common grains like rice and wheat, it is also  a good source of some very important nutrients, including copper, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. The fact that this can grow in the arid climates is a boon in many of the developing nations of the world. Known as Kambu in tamil and Bajra in hindi, this grain has found a permanent place in our pantry.

A quick and easy flat Crepe/ Dosai that served a good portion of your nutritious needs in one shot. As part of the traditional south indian household, certain dishes hold a special place and Dosai is one such thing. This particular one uses certain dry flours readily available in the household and is a quick prep one. No added soda, eno or any leavening agent . Just mix of flours, yoghurt and seasonings.

Bajra Red Rice Instant Dosai

 Prep time : 10 min  Resting time : 15 minutes    Serves : 4-5

Ingredients :

  • Bajri Flour ( Pearl millet flour ) – 1 cup
  • Red rice Flour – 1/2 cup ( if not available use plain rice flour)
  • Flaxmeal : 1/4 cup
  • Rava/ Sooji : 1/4 cup
  • Sour Curd : 3/4 cup
  • Whole Wheat Flour : 2-3 Tbsp.
  • Water : 1/4 cup + more required for consistency
  • Hing / Asafoeida : A generous pinch
  • Cumin seeds : 1 Tbsp.
  • Black pepper Crushed : 6-8
  • Cilantro : 1/4 cup, chopped finely
  • Ginger grated : 1 inch ( optional)
  • Green Chilies : 4 ( finely chopped ) – optional
  • Salt : 1 tsp + to taste
  • Gingelly oil / sesame oil / oil of your choice to make the dosas.

Preparation :

  • Mix the fry ingredients along with the dry spices initially and the salt and whisk it well.
  • Beat the yoghurt with water and add it to the mix. Add additional water if necessary to make it to the dosa batter consistency.
  • Add the chopped cilantro and grated ginger and chilies if using.
  • Whisk it well again and let it sit aside for 15 minutes.

Making the Dosa(i)

  • Heat  a nonstick or a well seasoned flat  crepe pan on medium heat.
  • Stir in the Dosa(i) batter and pour ladlefuls to make the crepes.
  • Dot the edges with sesame oil or oil of your choice.
  • Let it cook till reddish brown before you flip to the other side. (This is cooked on both sides)
  • Serve hot with chutneys or idli chutney/chill powder or molagaipodi.

Nutritious, quick and made in a jiffy!

Notes:

  1. Resting the batter for 15 minutes or so is essential for the dry flours added to soak up the liquid and for faster cooking as well.
  2. Sour yoghurt/ curd will enhance the taste of the dosa (i).
  3. Adding the ginger and chilies is optional but they do add to the flavors.
  4. Sesame oil or Gingelly oil is traditionally used in South India for cooking of Dosai and definitely kicks it up another notch.
  5. Cooking on medium high heat is highly recommended.

Perfect for breakfast and add a refreshing Orange Banana Smoothie and your are power packed for the day !

Bajra Red Rice Instant Dosai

 

Rava Idli’s – Quick and easy royal fare on a budget!

I quite honestly was not planning on writing a post on this one.  Today was the beginning of a long weekend  and I woke up craving filter coffee. For the uninitiated, the filter coffee process is a near sacred ritual in many south indian households including the one in which I grew up. This drip mechanism in which hot water percolates through fresh ground coffee is quite aromatic and then coupled with hot steaming milk and a pinch of raw cane sugar- Nirvana in a cup !

Steaming hot cuppa
Steaming hot cuppa

Well cravings not withstanding, I think my inner south indian also felt like having hot Idli’s.. And of course no Idli batter at home. ( cause someone was a headless chicken the entire week and so did not get to do the required prep work)

Well this quick mix will satisfy that and the best part is the super soft Idli’s that it yields. Perfect results with minimal efforts. Now only if my daily routine would mimic this..Tsk!Tsk!

 Steaming hot Idli’s with  a hot cup of filter coffee  and I yearn for  the sounds of the yesteryears.. Amma and Amma ( M.S Subbalakshmi)

Perfect Combo!
Perfect Combo!

 A super easy and quick method to make Sooji / Rava/ Semolina Idlis . Serve it with the accompaniment of your choice from chutneys to potato palya.

 Prep time : 10 – 15 minutes  Steaming /cooking time : 10 minutes    Yields : 16 steamed cakes  Serves : 4-6

 Ingredients:

  • Sooji/ Rava/ Semolina  ( medium )- 1.5 cups
  • Channa dal : 1 tsp.
  • Split Urad Dal : 1 tsp.
  • Hing: A big pinch
  • Mustard seeds : 1 tsp.
  • Jeera : 1/4 tsp. ( optional)
  • Salt : 1 tsp + adjusted to taste
  • Green Chili : 1  (finely chopped)
  • Fresh Ginger : 1/2 inch ( finely chopped)
  • Curry leaves : 6-8  (finely chopped)
  • Cilantro : 1/8 cup ( finely chopped)
  • Cashewnut  quarters/ halves : 16
  • Oil : 1/2 Tbsp. + 1/2 Tbsp.

 Mixing:

  • Plain Yoghurt : 3/4 cup
  • Water : 3/4  cup
  • Lemon juice : 1 Tbsp.

 Required before steaming:

  • Eno : 1 tsp. + 1 Tbsp. of water

Method:

  • In a big skillet, add in one tbsp. of oil and add the cashew nuts and fry it and remove it when golden brown.
  • In the same skillet , add in the hing, mustard seeds, channa dal and urad dal. Fry it for a minute or two.
  • Subsequently add in the green chilies, ginger, chopped curry leaves. Fry it well too.By now the channa dal and urad dal would have attained a nice golden brown hue .
  • Add in the 1.5 cups of rava and fry it too . Take care to not let it brown. Just a couple of minutes would do.
  • Remove the mix in a wide bowl.
  • Add in the salt and whisk it to ensure it is distributed well.Cool it for about 5 minutes or so.
  • Meanwhile grease the idli molds , place the cashew pieces in it and get the water steaming in the pressure cooker of your choice.
  • Add in the  beaten yogurt + water + lemon juice and mix it well to the cooled Rava mix.
  • The mix would be a little watery initially, but would absorb the liquid in a couple of minutes as the dry sooji rehydrates itself.
  • Just before steaming, add in 1 tsp. Eno and add in the tbsp. of water on it. You should see instant frothing which indicates Eno is active.  Stir it in for well. Do not over mix it as you will kill the activity of the leavening agent.
  • Distribute the wet batter into the 16 greased molds. Top with chopped cilantro.
  • Steam in for about 7-9 minutes. Turn off the flame and let it remain in the steamer for a minute.
  • Hot steaming and super fluffy Idli’s ready in a jiffy.
  • Serve it with tomato chutney, idli chutney powder or potato palya.

 Notes:

  • The batter mix should not be too thick or dry . You will have rock hard Idli’s then. Your batter should be wet and of a thick cake batter consistency.
  • Check to make sure the mix is to the right consistency and mixed well before adding the Eno salt.  Once added, just whisk it for 30 secs. to ensure even distribution and pour it into the molds.
  • You can add grated carrot or cooked peas as an variation. In fact this is such a blank slate, you can top it with almost any veggie of your choice or make it a stuffed one.
  • if your Eno salt is not active, then you will not have soft and fluffy Idli’s.

Quick Herb Sandwich Bread – One hour bread!

When the going get’s tough, the tough get going!

When we run out of bread at 6 Am, we bake to have a fresh loaf by 7.30 AM … So espoused the sleep deprived brain of mine!

 Now most people do not claim to be sane at 6 AM on a Saturday morning, but hey I never claimed that part of my brain – you know the part when the saner actions originate from, that part was particularly alive and kicking generally.  My four legged addition to the family, a particularly feisty puppy of 5 months old decided 5.40 AM WAS THE PERFECT TIME TO CATCH UP ON THE BARKING OF AN ENTIRE DAY! YIPPE, YIPPE , YAY YAY! Let’s wake up the entire neighborhood ! Now before sleeping tykes get rudely roused ( though I have told them to just put a pillow on their heads and get back to sleep, training the puppy at work and all ) I was up in any case at 5.30 ( blame the body clock!), so keeping me company when I embarked on this madcap adventure  of a bit of this and bit of that , yielding in a successful kitchen experiment was M, my furry companion!  I so totally envy her, after all the rabble rousing bark and her business attended to, she was happily curled up near the vent of the heater, just occasionally raising her head to see to what’s happening and most of the time though happily content to be! Just be.

So here it is, my version of a quick sandwich loaf with minimal ingredients and really yum results.

This is a super quick and equally delicious sandwich bread made in about 60 minutes flat! Yep, that’s right 60 minutes including the rising time and you have it ready to make a thick delicious grilled sandwich or an equally  yum grilled cheese one or just a plain fare of toast with a dab of creamy salted butter!

Please do note, the use of Instant dry yeast is what leads to the quick rising of bread and thereby eliminating the need for a second rise.

Quick bread : check  

Easy loaf : check  

No eggs : check  

Not too much oil or sugar : check  

One rise : check  

Perfect : check   

 

1,2,3
1,2,3
Sliced to perfection!
Sliced to perfection!

Ingredients:

  • Bread flour : 2.5 cups + 0.5 cup as needed
  • Water : very warm, 1 cup
  • Sugar : 1 Tbsp.
  • Olive Oil : 2 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp to grease the bowl
  • Salt : 1 tsp.
  • Red chili flakes : 1/2 Tbsp. ( optional)
  • Fresh and died herbs  of choice: 1/4 cup
  • Instant Active dry yeast : 1 packet  ( 1/4 ounce)

Notes : Do not have Bread flour? Have only All purpose flour? works fine too. Want to try whole wheat? Try mixing the flours half and half and give it a shot! Please do try and use unbromated, unbleached flour. If you end up using unbromated flour, then do knead a bit more.

Method:

  • In a wide mixing bowl or you stand kneader’s bowl add in 2.5 cups of flour, the herbs mix, the salt, sugar  and the instant dry yeast and using a paddle attachment or a whisk make sure they are thoroughly stirred and distributed.
  • Add in the 2 Tbsp. of Olive oil and stir it well too.
  • Replace the paddle to the dough hook and add in the very warm water and knead it well. Once the dough gathers, decide if you need to add a bit more . If so because the dough is too shaggy and sticky, add the extra half cup of flour in stages of 2 tsp. or so and bring it all together and knead very well for about 4- 5 minutes. The end result would be a very soft pliable dough, but definitely not tearing apart. A bit sticky is fine. Not adding too much flour and kneading it very well for about 4 minutes will definitely help the texture of the bread by yielding a light loaf.
  • Grease the bowl with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and shape the dough in a ball and place it in it and cover with your kitchen towel and let it rest in a warm dark place for about 20 minutes or until the dough is doubled in volume so. Make sure you have nice warm dark place to let your bread rise. If you think you are unsure about where to put it ordinate have a free draft free zone, preheat your oven to about 100 F or so. And turn it off.  The  residual heat in the oven can serve as a nice environment to let your bread rise.
  • After about 20 minutes, gently punch the dough to deflate it and shape it into a free loaf or shape it in your 9 by 5 bread pan. I used the  bread pan and greased it before placing the dough in it and flat patted it. No log formation , nothing. Just a free ball rolled up and then deflated and patted gently to fit the base of the 9 by 5 pan evenly.
  • UPDATE: Slash the top layer of the dough , 1/4 of an inch – make about 2 -3 of these atleast. this will help the steam escape and prevent your bread from splitting on the top.

Baking:

  • In the lowermost rack of your baking oven, fill a baking tray with very very hot tap water and place it.
  • Place your bread pan in the middle rack of your oven.
  • Now set the oven temp to 400 deg F and cook time to 40 minutes and start. Yes, you start with a cold oven !
  • In about 40-42 minutes, you will have a beautiful golden brown loaf with perfect crust.
  • When you tap the sides of the bread and it sounds hollow – you are good  to take it out and cool it.

Remove , let it cool and slice it thick for perfect toast, sandwiches, grilled cheese and more!

Cold Lettuce, Sprouts, Peppers salad – Chilled, Fresh , Crunchy and Refreshing!

#30days30salads

Sweltering heat and hitting high 90’s. The folks at home resemble the wilted greens of a supermarket long past their fresh -by days. The stove at large is not very inviting ..Need something , quick, refreshing, filling, bursting with flavors and filling !

This is going to be a super quick assembly line post folks, please bear with me 🙂

A quick peek into the chill box reveal a few assorted ingredients:

Ingredients, Assembly,Serving :

 For the salad : Toss all of these in a wide bowl and refrigerate for half an hour if required.

  • 1 cup of Mixed bag of lettuce shredded ( fairly large bite size)
  • 1 cup of fresh green Moong Sprouts – Blanched or microwaved for 3-5 min
  • 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes – halved pieces
  • 1/2 cup of Carrots – Shredded finely as per your taste
  • 1/2 cup of sweet bell pepper (multicolor) – finely sliced in rings or in julienned

For the dressing: Mix all these and pour out on your bowl of salad just before serving

  • Juice of 1-2 Limes/ lemon : tanginess is as per your taste
  • Black pepper roughly pounded or as a coarse powder : 1 tsp
  • Honey ( organic preferred )  : 1 tsp.
  • Salt : 1/2 – 1 tsp.

Optional :  Adding a a teaspoon of green chutney in the dressing to drizzle over your with this works too

 Optional : Use  any other dressing of your choice . Italian works very well too.

 The idea is to keep it light and refreshing! Dig in, crunch up and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Oats and Almond Butter Choco Cookies – Eggless and delicious!

A mouthful of  a name.. But that’s all right, cause this is one cookie you will fall in love with.  A breakfast cookie, crunchy crumbly cookie, a bite into low sugar decadent piece this is. And thanks to Sonal’s post on her blog and the Epicurean delights group on FB, this recipe beckoned to me. Plus I was on the lookout for a flourless one as well, eggless too. The clincher, this is not one of those overtly sweet cookies.
 
I honestly wanted to follow the recipe to the T, but then again I had a jar of almond butter sitting in the refrigerator. It did need to get used up , so switching things  a bit, I ended up with this cookie.
Also I used unsweetened cocoa powder and used brown sugar entirely.

Ingredients:

  • Almond Butter: 1 cup (I used the creamy one made from roasted almonds)
  • Oats ground : 1 cup(Roasted quick oats are pounded to get this)
  • Brown sugar : 1/2 cup packed.
  • Baking powder : 1 tsp
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder :1/3 cup
  • Milk :1/3 cup (Added in intermittently to help the binding the dough)

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350deg F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Whisk all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Add in the almond butter and mix thoroughly. At this point the mix is partly crumbly and part sticky.
  • Add in the 1/3 cup of milk intermittently to get a soft pliable dough. You don’t want a runny mess on your hands, so depending on the brand of oats in use, you might need more or less of the required amount of milk.
  • Drop in spoonful’s of batter  and press gently or roll into small lime sized balls and slightly flatten them on to the cookie sheet. I was actually able to roll it out into small globes because of the almond butter.
  • Bake at 350 deg F for 15-18 min.
  • Enjoy them warm with a glass of milk or just eat them plain!
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Spicy Tomato Relish – Tomato Thokku (Zing in the tongue)

I often get into one of those “ I so need to clean the pantry “ moods .. especially when I have something major lined up. In this case , it was prepping for the 30 day salad event and with 2 family birthday part events lined up, including one with a herd of teenage boys in the house (shudder ) running amok fueled high on pizza and cake. If you think that’s bad, you see I have another one lined up in 48 hrs – this time it’s a bunch of rising first graders ! Try pizza, cupcake and juice this time .. Plus we do have a family and friends grilling event lined up as well. I love my life .. if I don’t have enough madness thrown at me, I am capable of self- inflicting it! And old habits die hard. You see , I would be one of these maniacs who believed that chasing the dust bunnies and labeling the containers, yields to peace of mind. After all, I would be the one majorly cleaning up my room before an exam !

In any case, I am digressing . So on one of these infamous treasure hunts through the pantry, I discover a stack of cans –3 organic Kirkland tomato paste and 3 cans of Hunt’s diced tomatoes to be precise. I toyed with making homemade pasta sauce vs a nice tomato relish in the tradition Indian style. And guess which won???

Prep time : 10 min                Cook time 30-40 min  

Ingredients:

  • Organic Tomato Paste : 3 cans
  • Diced tomato in juice : 3 cans ( blended )
  • Flavorless oil : 3 tsp
  • Mustard seeds : 2 tsp
  • Asafoetida : A generous pinch
  • Curry Leaves : 12 – optional. Washed and dried thoroughly
  • Tamarind paste : 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds or Methi seeds : 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder or Parika powder : 1-2 tsp

Method

  • In a nonstick pan, dry roast 1 tsp pf fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds till they sputter and you notice a faint red color on the former. Let this cool down and pulverize it to get a smooth dry powder and set it aside.
  • In a nonstick wok or big sauce pan , heat the flavor less oil and add in the Hing and 1 tsp of mustard seeds.
  • Once the mustard seeds sputter add in the blended ( run the diced tomatoes in their juices in a blender to smoothen it ) tomatoes and stir.
  • Cover partially and let the mixture reduce to half its volume. In effect you are trying to get rid of the water content through heat reduction.
  • Now add in the paste of the tomatoes from three cans and stir it well along with the added teaspoon of tamarind paste.
  • You will see the mixture thickening considerably.
  • Let it thicken some more and then add in the salt, and chilli powder and stir well.
  • In about 10-15 minutes, you will see the mixture thickened to a soft jelly consistency. Take care not to work this on very high heat.
  • Now add in the pulverized mixture of fenugreek and mustard seeds – 1 tsp. Stir well and turn off the flame .
  • Let this cool down completely before storing it in a dry mason jar.

 Notes:

  • Work the mixture on medium high heat. The idea is to get rid of the water content. Working on very high heart will risk the mixture getting burnt.
  • Add in the fenugreek mustard seeds at the penultimate stage. You really do not want to add it in early on. It might result in bitterness been imparted .
  • If you choose to add in the curry leaves, it needs to be added in the stage before you add in the blended tomatoes.
  • Check the spice and salt levels before you add in the dry powder mix.

This is a great side and accompaniment for Idli’s, Dosa’s, Bread  and more.

 

Tomato Thokku
Tomato Thokku

TK 2

 

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