Saturday, April 21, 2018

Ram Ladoo - moong dal pakode

Ram Ladoos, a delicious chaat made of moong dal pakora, topped with chutney's and grated radish. These were my last minute resort for today's alphabet 'R'. Originally i planned to make ragda pattice, but then since i didn't have time, i decided to pick an easy to make chat recipe. Ram Ladoos also knowns as gul-gule, a famous street food from delhi. My elder one and my hubby enjoyed it with the chutney and the radish garnish, where as my lil one was happy with just the fried pakode. It is a win-win for all. These make a great snack along with tea, a delicious option for parties too. 
Ingredients
3/4 cup moong dal
1/2 cup chana dal
1/2 an inch ginger
2 green chilies
1/2 tsp cumin
1 radish, grated
hing/asafoetida a pinch
chaat masala, as needed
lemon juice, as needed
salt to taste

Green chutney
1 bunch of fresh coriander
1 green chili
1 clove of garlic
salt to taste
Method

  • Rinse and soak moong dal and chana dal in water for an hour or two. Drain and take the dal in a mixer, add green chilies, ginger,cumin and grind it to batter without adding water. 
  • Once done, remove it to a bowl, add salt and hing, using an electric whisk, whisk the batter fluffy, the yellow color batter, would turn pale white as you whisk, this way you are incorporating air into the batter, which will make the vada fluffy.
  • Heat oil in a pan for frying, pinch balls out of the batter and deep fry them until golden brown. Do not crowd the  batter, add 6-8 pieces to a batch. Once done, remove the fritters using a slotted spoon on to a kitchen towel.
  • Blend the ingredients for green chutney, with 1/4 cup of water. Remove it to a bowl. For serving, add 5-6 moong dal fritters to a bowl, add generous green chutney, you can also use sweet chutney if you like, add grated radish, sprinkle chaat masala, add a squeeze of lemon and serve immediately.

Quinoa and Potato Tikki

Q is the alphabet for which i decided the ingredient even before deciding the dish. I decided to make something with quinoa, then started thinking what to make.I came across a peruvian quinoa salad, which actually is a street food! But then i was not sure whether my people at home would like to eat it! Since i m on a low-carb diet, i cannot eat everything i cook, i need people to eat!So , dropped i idea of salad and settled for this tikki. Glad, i did, the tikki was enjoyed with tea and the leftovers were gobbled for breakfast today. Both the kiddos enjoyed the flavors. 
I have used chili powder here for the spice, if you like green chilies, go ahead pound and use chilis along with some coriander and mint, you will love the flavors. Serve it warm along withsome chai and ketchup or you can jazz it up with some chole and chutnies for a yumm tikki chole!

Ingredients
1/3 cup of quinoa
3 medium sized potatoes
3 tbsp corn flour
3 tbsp bread crumbs + 3 tbsp for coating
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 - 3/4 tsp salt or to taste
3 tbsp freshly chopped coriander leaves
1/4 cup of oil for shallow frying
Method

  • Rinse and wash the quinoa once or twice. Since they are very small, i use my tea strainer while straining the water.
  • Add double the amount of water to the quinoa, take it in a microwave safe container and cook at high for 12- 15 minutes, until they cook well. They will leave a white tail once they are cooked. The amount of water added is perfect for cooking them well. Incase there is much water left in the cooked quinoa, drain it completely.
  • Wash and roughly chop the potaeos and cook them until soft. I cooked them in microwave for 12 minutes. Drained the water, peeled and let it cool completely.
  • I cooked the quinoa and potates previous day night and let them cool completely, then made the tikki the next day. It was a breezy job.
  • In a large bowl, add cooked quinoa, potatoes and mash and mix them thoroughly. Now add corn flour, red chili, coriander, garam masala and cumin powder to it. Add bread crumbs, chopped coriander and salt and mix it all together.
  • Now divide the dough into 9 equal parts and make flat patties. Let the patties rest for 15 minutes. In a flat pan, heat oil. Cook 3-4 patties at time. 
  • Keep the flame at medium, flip and cook both the sides until golden brown. Drain the patties with a slotted spoon onto a kitchen towel. Serve it warm with some ketchup.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Palak Pakoda/Spinach Fritters

Fried food is a rare at home, i hardly make appalam or vada, if kids feel like having appalam, i make it in the microwave. Once in a month, we might have appalam for our friday lunch. For the past week i m making pakoda, samosa almost every other day, and kids are wondering, what happened to me suddenly😄. Yday's Onion samosa, sold like hot cakes, i made just 8, and had to save 3 for their dad. Today's Palak Pakode too is a hit, serve it straight from the pan, they will be asking for more. 
I made them for our evening chai, hot chai paired so well with the pakode. While i was looking for the recipe, i came across 2 different methods , one frying each leaf of palak dipped in batter and other is fine chopping the leaves and making the batter with it and frying it like vada. But when i searched specifically, how it is made in the roadside stalls, i came across this method. I m linking the videos which i saw and adapted, they chop the leaves roughly and add it to the besan flour batter. Some use green chili, i have used chili powder. Use of ajwain and cumin is optional, but i prefer them in my deep fried food, as they aid digestion and avoid heart burn. A perfect snack to enjoy on a weekend evening, do try and let me know how you liked them.
Video reference here, here and here
Ingredients
1 bunch palak/spinach
1 cup besan/gram flour
3-4 tbsp rice flour
1/2  tsp -3/4 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
2 sprigs of curry leaves
2 pinches of ajwain/carom seeds
2 pinches of cumin seeds
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 cup - 3/4 cup of water
Oil for frying

Method
  • Wash the spinach leaves well in running water. Chop off the stems, take only leaves. Chop leaves roughly. Do not chop thin or fine, just a rough chop,a bunch into 3 or 4 cuts. Let this sit in a drainer.
  • Let us make the dough. Take besan, rice flour in a large bowl, to this add red chili powder, coriander powder, cury leaves, ajwain and cumin and salt. Whisk well to combine.
  • Now slowly add water to this and make dough, it will not be runny or too tight like chapathi dough. it will be little lose.Use only the 3/4 cup of water not more than that, it will make the batter runny.
  • To this now add the spinach and mix well. Heat oil for frying, once it is hot, take small portion of batter and drop into hot oil. Take a small portion and drop into the hot oil.You can fry 6-7 at a time.
  • Do not crowd the pan, cook them nice and brown on all sides. Remove using a slotted spoon onto a paper towel. Serve it hot, along with some hot chai.
BMLogo

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Onion samosa/Iranian samosa

Oooo is today’s alphabet, when I started my mega marathon this month, I was prepared only with first 2 weeks posts. So both week 3 and week 4 are cooked this week. The only plus is I have my list ready, so I have my ingredients ready,  I club my everyday cooking with my list and try to get things ready. 
This week I m posting street food recipes and kids are having a ball, they get to meat something different everyday for their snack. I had a huge choice for O, onion bajji, onion dosa, Uthappam and many more.  This onion samosa is something we loveee and we get it in almost every cafeteria here and with a karak this is one fabulous evening snack.
But unfortunately every time hubby tries to get one, he is in vain. Me and my friends told him that he has got a curse, not to get his hands on Iranian samosa. Our friends tease him, by sending a picture every time they eat a Iranian samosa. Poor boy, he got to taste one, only recently in January when we visited Global village. Something which is commonly available here, was so far for him all these days. So today’s dish is for my dear husband,my dear dear Guinea pig for all my food experiments. 
I m terrible at shaping samosas. I watched videos for shaping them lookable, as many times posstible. I think they have come ok! But then now, I m confident that I can make samosas look like samosas! So here is to more samosas!! 


Ingredients 
Dough
1/2 cup all purpose flour 
1/2 cup whole wheat flour 
A pinch of baking soda
A pinch of ajeaun/carom seeds
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp hot oil
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp water

Paste for sealing
2 tbsp of maida 
1 tbsp water
Mix them both together to a thick paste.
Filling
2 medium sized onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup thin poha/rice flakes
2 pinches of red  chili powder
2 pinches is coriander powder
2 pinches of cumin powder
2 pinches of garam masala
1/4 tsp salt 

Method
  • First let us make the dough. In a wide bowl, take both the flours, add baking soda, salt and ajwain to it. Mix well.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil, add that hot oil to the flour mix. Now knead this oil into the flour mix, until it resembles bread crumbs.
  • Now slowly add water and knead it to a soft dough. Keep the dough covered with a wet kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes minimum.
  • While the dough is resting, let us make the filling. In a wide bowl, mix all the ingredients given under filling and toss it well. The moisture in the onions will soften the poha.
  • You can add green chilies to the filling, but since my kiddos will be eating this I avoided them, if you don’t mind pls add chilies and omit the chili powder.
  • Now once everything is ready and the dough is well rested, now let us start making the samosas. Knead the dough again and divide them into 7-8 portions.
  • Dust your working surface with flour and Roll a portion of dough to 15-16 Cms in diameter. The dough should be rolled thin, u should be able to see your hand under the rolled disc.

  • Cut the rolled disc into two halves. Fold the half into a inverted V seal the edges. Now you got a cone to fill in. Put 1-2 tbsp of filling into the cone. Use the flour-water mix to seal the edges. 

  • Repeat the same with rest of the dough. Keep the prepared samosas on a flat plate.
  • Now let us get to frying. Heat oil in a pan, when it is hot, that is when you drop a price of dough it should sizzle and come up.
  • Slowly slide 2-3 samosa at a time and deep fry them on both sides until golden brown.
  • Remove them using a slotted spoon onto a paper towel. Serve them hot with some chai.

   

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Noodles Dosa - Dosa with pizza sauce and noodles stuffing

The dosa varieties available these days are innumerable. There is a  restaurant here called Dosa plaza, where there is dosa of every flavor, some even unimaginable. This noodles dosa is a hit with my elder one. We tasted this in a chat center, where they beautifully cut the dosa into 5-6 rolls and served it on a plate like a flower. 
From that time on, this dosa is on menu at home, i make it during weekends or during holidays, as it needs some prep work like making the sauce and prepping the noodles, which is a bit of work for me during weekdays. 
I have used my pizza sauce for the dosa, you can also use schezwan sauce, it will add a nice kick to the dosa. My lil one calls this dozza (dosa + pizza) as i use pizza sauce. Whatever be the name, the recipe is a hit at home, do try and let me know how your kids like it!
Ingredients
Idli batter as required for 4 dosas

1/2 a pack of ching's noodles

1/2 cup Pizza sauce

Method
  • Cook noodles according to package instructions. I usually add noodles to boiling water, let it sit on the stove for 5 minutes, take it off the stove and keep it covered for another 5 minutes. Then drain and add oil to the noodles, to keep it mess-free. Keep aside until use. Portion the noodles for 4-5 dosas. 
  • Now keep all the ingredients ready by the side, pizza sauce, noodles and dosa batter. Heat the tava in a medium flame, this is important, too low the dosa will not cook and will become soggy, if too hot, it will burn. So keep the flame medium.
  • Pour a ladleful of batter, spread it with the back of the ladle, to cover the tava. Dot the edges with ghee/oil. Now add 2-3 tbsp of pizza sauce in the middle, add a portion of noodles on top of the pizza sauce, using a fork, mix and spread to cover the dosa. 
  • Now slowly remove the edges of the dosa, carefully fold the dosa on either side to the middle. Remove it on to a serving plate. Serve it warm, straight from the tava, with a runny coconut chutney.
Notes
  • Keep the flame medium, if not either the dosa will become soggy or will burn.
  • Do not add more noodles/stuffing, the dosa might split while removing, been there, done that, so don't add more than 3-4 tbsp of noodles.
  • Enjoy it hot straight from the tava, if rested, it becomes soggy.
Day 14

BMLogo

   
  

Monday, April 16, 2018

Masala pori- puffed rice with veggies and peanuts, street food/teatime snack

Third week of Explore the flavors, this week i will be sharing some street food, which we enjoy. The first in this list is the masala pori. India visit is never complete without Tnagar shopping for me. Tnagar and pondy bazaar shopping has been coded in to me from my college days, me and my friend ramya used to go shopping after 7 in the evening and sometimes the shop keepers have to literally push us out to close the shops around 9/9:30p.m.
Roaming those pavements, gawking at those shops gives a unexplainable pleasure that too when you have company, you have to experience it, to belive it!!! 
We need energy while shopping right?, first comes cut mango, if season elanthapazham/Ber or jamuns, finally comes masala pori, wrapped in newspaper, which becomes soggy after some time, bcoz of the boiled peanuts, next time i visit, i should click a picture of the vendor and update here. Eating from that cart, the pori has a different taste! 
I have tried to replicate that pori here, though it tastes well, i still miss the cart-vendor's magic! A simple mix and toss, no recipe at all. I have used cucumber, carrots, didn't have onions so skipped it. You can green chili,if you like the flavor, i have used chili powder and chat masala. 
It is a recipe that can be made according to your taste preference. Just toss and enjoy, best to have it with your evening chai or while reading a book.
Ingredients
2 hands full of pori/puffed rice
1/2 a carrot, finely shredded
1/2 a cucumber, finely chopped
1/2 an onion, finely chopped, (I didn’t have onions the day I made this, so skipped)
1/2 a lemon
Handful of boiled peanuts 
Red chili powder as per taste or 1 green chili, finely chopped
Chaat masala powder as per taste (optional) 
Salt to taste
Method

  • In a wide bowl add all the ingredients except lemon juice. mix well. 
  • Squeeze lemon juice  and serve immediately. Enjoy it with a cup of hot chai or simply enjoy snacking while reading  a book. 
  • If you get raw mango, you can add them too, it adds a nice flavor to the pori. 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Langarwali Dal - an ultimate comfort food

Our love for dal is infinite. I make dal 3-4 times in a week. My elder one is a happy kid with a perfectly spiced dal and steaming hot rice and not to forget oodles of ghee on top. So, when i chose langarwali dal, i knew who would be happy eating it.
I packed this dal along with Ginger-garlic rice for my hubby's lunch and served it for lunch for my kiddos. The recipe is simple, with no fancy ingredients, just pressure cooked dal with spices and tadka. Langar is a free vegetarian meal service provided in Sikh gurudwara's to all the visitors without any distinction of caste, creed, or gender.  I m still not blessed to enjoy a langar, but i believe those who have relished would vouch for the taste of this simple, yet delicious dal.
The dal has a similar taste to Dal Makhani, may be because of sabut urad dal/whole black urad dal. The dal lives up to that comfort food definition, steaming hot rice, langarwali dal and some ghee along with some papad/pickle is definitely divine.
Ingredients
1/2 cup whole urad dal with skin/Whole black gram
1/4 cup chana dal/Gram dal
1 large tomato, finely chopped
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tsp coriander powder
fresh coriander leaves for garnish
salt to taste
Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
2 green chilies, slit lengthwise

Method
  • Wash and soak both the dals together for an hour or two. After the said time, drain the soaking water,add fresh water until the dal immerse well,add  turmeric and pressure cook the dal for 4-5 whistles or until done.
  • Once pressure cooked, let the pressure fall on its own, remove the dal. Heat a pan with oil, crackle cumin seeds, add green chilies and saute for a minute. Next add tomatoes and ginger and saute until tomatoes turn mushy.
  • Add red chiliy powder, coriander powder and salt, mix well and add the cooked dal and 1/4 cup of water, mix well.
  • Let this simmer until the flavors mingle well and the dal turns to desired consistency. I left it for another 10-15 minutes simmering  on heat and removed. 
  • Garnish it with fresh coriander leaves and serve it warm with steaming hot rice. I packed this dal along with Ginger-garlic rice for my hubby's lunch dabba.
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