Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chettinadu Vellai Paniyaaram

Paniyaram is another interesting Breakfast/Snack option. When bored with regular Idly/dosa, i try making paniyaram with the same batter. Pillow-like, Puffy and Soft and a versatile Dish,where we can vary the seasoning to our taste.
Today i m posting a Delicacy from Chettinad, Vellai Paniyaram. These Pillow-Puffies can be Deep-Fried in Hot oil too, i have made them in a Paniyaram Pan to make it a little healthy. Serve them hot with Tomato Chutney, you would relish it.
The Same Batter can be used to make Vellai Appam using Appam Pan. Use the same batter without the Seasoning.

4 Cups Raw rice 
1 cup Urad Dal/Dehusked Black Gram Dal
Salt to taste
1/4 Cup Milk
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
Oil for frying the paniyarams

1 Onion, finely chopped
2 green chilies, finely chopped or use 1/4 tsp green chili paste
2 sprigs of curry leaves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp Bengal gram/Chana Dal, Soaked in Warm Water for 10 minutes

  • Soak Rice and Dal together for 3 hours. Drain the water and Grind it to a smooth batter. Add Salt at the end and grind well.
  • Transfer the Ground Batter to another vessel, add the Seasoning Ingredients and Mix well.
  • Add Milk, Baking Soda to the batter and Give a Good Stir.
  • Heat the Paniyaram Pan/Abeleskiver Pan, pour little oil in the holes and fill the holes 3/4th of Batter.
  • Keep the flame and Cook. Once it is done on one side, Flip it to other side and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Do not be in a hurry while cooking, it takes about 5-8 minutes for a batch to Cook. Once Done, Transfer it to a plate and Serve Hot with Tomato Chutney an apt combination for this Delicacy

Monday, May 28, 2012

Appam with Cauliflower-Peas Milky Gravy

My Kiddo is an ardent fan of Dosa. Anytime, anyday, you give Dosa and a bowl(bucket) of Sambhar he is a Happy Kid. I bought an Appam Pan Last year from india, and haven't used it yet.Thought it is high time to take out that pan, so this weekend, i made him his Favorite dosa in a different Shape for Breakfast. He enjoyed it much.What attracts kids to this appam is the shape of it, the boat/bowl shaped Dosa, with a spongy center, they just love it!!!!
2 Cups Raw Rice
2 Cups Parboiled Rice
1/2 Cup Urad Dal
Salt to taste
1 and half Cup of Coconut Milk  (Equal Mixture of Thick and thin milk)
6 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp Baking Soda

  • Soak Rice and Dal together for 3-4 hours. Drain and Grind them together to a Thick fine batter with little water. Add Salt and Mix together.
  • Leave this batter on the Kitchen-top overnight for fermenting.
  • Next Day Morning, Add the Coconut Milk Extract, Baking Soda, Sugar and Mix well.
  • I have used Store-bought Coconut Milk. I used 1 cup Coconut Milk mixed with half Cup Water.
  • Heat the Appam Pan, When it is hot, Pour a laddle of Batter in the center, and take the appam pan by its ears and Swirl around, so the batter coats the sides of the pan.
  • Keep it back on the flame, Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Appam should be cooked by this time, Carefully take it using a Flat laddle and Keep it on a plate.
  • Serve Hot with your favorite Curry.
Cauliflower-Peas Milky Curry
The Actual side-dish for appam would be Begetbale stew made using Coconut Milk, since the appam itself is rich with coconut milk, i wanted to try a less-calorie version using Plain Milk.

1/2 Kg Cauliflower
1/2 cup Peas
1 Large Onion, Chopped
1 Large tomato, Chopped
1 tsp Red Chili Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 Cup Milk (I used Low-Fat Milk)
Salt to taste

  • Cut the Cauliflower into Florets. Soak them in Salt water for 10-15 minutes. Blanch them in Hot water with little turmeric and Salt. Drain and Set aside.
  • In  a non-stick pan, heat little oil, splutter cumin seeds, Add onions and saute till translucent.
  • Add Chopped tomatoes and half cup water, add all the dry masalas to it and Cook till tomatoes turn mushy and oil separates out.
  • Add the Drained Cauliflower and Peas and milk, add Salt. Cover and Cook for 10-15 minutes. Garnish with Coriander leaves and Serve Hot with Appam/Roti's.
  • If you don't have an Appam Pan, you can make it as a plain dosa on Tava or use your paniyaram pan/Abeleskiver Pan.
  • If the dosa/appam doesn't form holes/Kannu, then the Baking Soda added is not enough, so add little more and Give it a brisk stir and try again.
  • Add only required/specified amount of  coconut milk or else the appam/dosa might stick to the Pan.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Alfajores/ Crispy Shortbread Sandwich with Dulce de Leche

Alfajore are two buttery crisp shortbread cookies sandwiched together with a sticky, gooey, yummy Dulce de Leche filling . Another Mouth-Watering and a Fool-Proof Recipe from Joy of Baking. Alfajores (al-fah-HOR-ays) are very popular in Latin America. Which makes sense as they are filled with another Latin American favorite, Dulce de Leche (DOOL-say day LAY-chay). 
 To Make them even more rich, you can Sprinkle some Confectioner's Sugar on top and Roll them on to some Sweetened coconut Flakes or Dip them in Chocolate to make them Even more sinful. But, tell you what, they taste amazing without all these rich toppings and you would definitely bake them often for you kiddo and also for yourself.
1 Cup All-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup Crisco Shortening
1 tbsp of Water
1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Dulce de Leche for Making the sandwich

  • Preheat Oven to 200C. Line a Baking tray with Parchment paper.
  • Whisk together Flour and Salt. Using an Electric mixer, Beat Crisco shortening, vanilla extract, water and Sugar together, until smooth and creamy.
  • Add Flour-Mix to Crisco Mix little by little and knead well to make a soft,pilable dough. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, take the dough out and Roll them out and Cut into desired shape using a cookie cutter. I simply, Pinched out small balls out of the dough and flatten them to make small disc.
  • Place them on the baking tray and Bake for 12- 13 minutes or until edges start to brown.

  • Take it out of the Oven, Let it cool on the Wire Rack.

  • Once it is Cooled, Make the Sandwich!!!! Take a Shorbread, apply 1/2 tsp of Dulce de leche on the inside and press it with another shortbread. Enjoy!!!!

Baid Al Qata/Salouq - Sweet Filled Arabic Small Bread

Baid Alqata or Salouq is an Arabic dessert. They are small pieces of bread, stuffed with delicious Walnut or Date-Walnut Filling. This Recipe is adapted from Arabic Bites. I have experimented with the Filling here. Instead of the traditional Walnut/Date-Walnut Filling, i have used Dark Chocolate and Coconut Flakes along with Walnuts. The Taste was amazing, the freshness of Cardamom in every bite makes it even more mesmerizing.
3/4 Cup All Purpose flour.
1/2 tsp baking powder.
1/4 tsp ground cardamom.
2 tbsp sugar.
1 Tablespoons oil.
1/4 cup low fat milk.

3 tbsp Walnuts, chopped.
1 tbsp Sugar
3 tbsp Sweetened Coconut Flakes
4 squares of Lindt Dark Chocolate (85% cocoa)
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom.
Pinch of saffron
1 tbsp of Milk
  • Preheat the Oven to 180C. Keep a baking tray ready with Parchment Paper lined.
  • Take all the ingredients for the dough in a bowl. Knead for 3-5 minutes. Let the Dough rest for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile in another bowl, mix all the ingredients given under filling.

  • Divide the dough into 10 portions. Roll and Flatten them  inbetween your palms to a disc, Place a tsp of Filling inside and Roll it again to form a ball. Repeat the same with the rest of the dough.
  • The original recipe calls for making/Poking small holes on top of the bread with a special tool, since i didn't have one, i made pinched the bread using Fork.
  • Place prepared balls on the baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top browns.
  • Take it out of the Oven, let it cool for 10 minutes.Dust it with Castor Sugar and Serve Warm.
  • Since i felt the bread is Sweet enough, we enjoyed it Warm, as such.
  • Though My kiddo preferred with Litle Chocolate-Peanut Sauce Drizzled on top!!!! tempting isn't???
Sending this to Kids Delight - What kids Love for Summer hosted by Smitha, an Event by Srivalli 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Falafel/Crispy Spiced Chickpea Balls

I m Living in UAE for the past 8 years, though i have tasted Middle-Eastern Food outside, but never tried them @ home. This is the first time, i made Falafel @ home. No big reason for not making all these days, since we tried it @ home, it will be a definite snack here onward.

A Little info (courtesy : Wiki) about these Cute little, power-packed Snack!!! Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. Falafel is usually served in a pita, which acts as a pocket, or wrapped in a flatbread.  Falafel balls may also be eaten alone as a snack.
Generally accepted to have first been made in Egypt, falafel has become a dish eaten throughout the Middle East. The Copts of Egypt claim to have first made the dish as a replacement for meat during Lent. The fritters are now found around the world as a replacement for meat and as a form of street food.

1 Cup Chickpeas
4 green chilies
3 cloves of garlic
a small piece of ginger
1 tsp of All purpose flour
 a handful of Coriander Leaves
Oil for Deep Frying
Salt to taste

  • Soak Chickpeas in Water for 8 hours or Overnight.
  • Drain the Excess water and towel dry the chickpeas. There should be no Moisture.
  • Take the Chickpeas with rest of the ingredients except oil in a mixer. Grind it smooth without adding water.
  • Transfer the contents to a bowl. knead and shape them into Marble-sized Balls.
  • Heat Oil in  a Pan, Deep fry the Balls in Batches. Keep the flame in medium and fry, or else you end up with browned outside and uncooked inside falafels.
  • Serve them Hot as such with Tomato Sauce . My kiddo munched it as such without any accompaniment.
  • We enjoyed it as a sandwich, with some Peanut Chutney and Tomato Sauce and some Cucumber with toasted Sunflower Seed Bread.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fruit Lassi

The Immediate Food that pops in our mind in Summer is Something Tanda, Tanda, Cool, Cool!!!! Not only for Adults, even kids too love something Chill on a Summer Day. 
Gayathri's  Cardamom Lassi, was tempting me since the day she posted it,thought of trying it with some fruits, which i had in hand. It was so Filling and Tasty, we didn't hear "amma, i m hungry!!!" for another 2 hours. Quick and Easy to Make Delicious Drink!!!
1 Pear
1 Apple
1 Mango, Flesh Scooped
1 Cup Chilled Full-Fat yogurt (Use Skimmed, if making for adults)
3/4 Cup Chilled Full-Fat Milk (Use Skimmed, if making for adults)
1/2 tsp Cardamom powder (skip it, if you dont prefer)
Sugar to taste

  • Core Apple and Pear and Chop them into Small cubes.
  • Scoop out the Flesh from the Mango. Take all the fruits in a blender, add Milk  and Blend, until the fruits are completely mashed.
  • Add Yogurt, Sugar, Cardamom Powder and Blend until smooth.
  • Serve immediately.

 Sending this to Kids Delight - What kids Love for Summer hosted by Smitha, an Event by Srivalli and also to Let's Cook with Fruits, happening @ Tickling Palates and to Bon Vivant#4, happening @ Sumee's Culinary Bites.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Eggless Apple-Cinnamon Cup Cakes/Muffins

Today is the first day of Group 2 Blogging Marathon and the last week for the regular 14 day Marathon. Most of you following Valli might be knowing, BM is having a New Make-over from next month. yes, we will be doing short-marathon, every week for the whole month!!!! Exciting!!!!! For Details, please Check Srivalli's Blog.
For this Week i chose to Blog upon What Kids love for Summer!!! What did we love when we were kids in Summer???? I remember my Mom and My Paati making tins of Savory snacks Murukku, Thattai, etc during our Summer Holidays, coz we used to have big Crowd @ home, we are 8 Cousins and we come together forget summer, every weekend!!!!  It was Fun!!! 
Here, in Dubai, during weekends, we plan regular get-together with our family members staying in Dubai/Sharjah.I have  2 of my cousins staying here ,my brother  and my brother-in-law too are here. So, Whenever somebody is coming home for the weekend, especially my Brother-in-law and his family with their Cute LiL Brat, i try to bake something healthy for him and kuttu. 

For One Such Get-together last week, i made them these Fruit-Power Packed Muffins, i packed some for Kuttu's School Snack Box too, he enjoyed them a lot.

1 Apple, finely Shredded
1 Cup Cake Flour
1/4 Cup Butter, @ Room Temperature
8 tbsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon Powder
1/4 Cup Milk 
Chopped Nuts (Optional, i didn't add)
To Make 1 Cup Cake Flour
  • Take 1 Cup All purpose Flour , remove 2 tbsp from the Cup. Add 2 tbsp of Corn Flour and Sift 3-4 times.
To make the Muffins
  • Preheat the Oven to 180C. Grease the Muffin Tray with Butter/oil. I used Alu-foil Muffin Holder. 
  • Sift together Cake Flour,Baking powder and Cinnamon.
  • Beat Butter and Sugar together. Add Flour Mix  and Milk to this little by little  and Mix until incorporated. If it is very dry add 1-2 tbsp of milk and Mix.
  • Add Shredded Apple to the Cake Mix and Mix well.
  • Spoon the batter upto 3/4th of the Muffin holders. Bake them for 18-20 minutes or until a tooth-pick inserted in the middle of a muffin, comes out clean.
  • Take it out of the Oven, Let it cool for 10 minutes. Unmould and Serve Warm.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Vendayakeerai Sambhar/Methi Leaves Sambhar/Fenugreek Leaves Sambhar

Being a Vegetarian, only way to get the required protein is to include Dal  and Leafy greens in our meal. i try to make Sambhar atleast thrice a week, and regular kootu twice a week.  Keerai/Leafy Greens are made atleast once in a week. Apart from the regular Kootu and Stir fry or Parupu-usli, i make this Sambhar with Fenugreek Leaves/Vendaya Keerai. This Leafy Vegetable naturally has a Amazing Aroma, this blends so well with Toor Dal  and Tamarind gives an excellent taste to both the senses. 
2 Medium-Sized bunches of Methi Leaves (approx 2 -3 Cups loosely packed)
1/4 Cup Tuvar Dal/Pigeon Peas/Toor Dal, Soaked in water for 10 minutes.
1 Medium onion, Chopped
1 Medium Tomato, Chopped
A Lemon-Sized Tamarind Soaked in Warm Water or 2 Cups of Tamarind Extract
2 tbsp Sambhar Powder (Home made or Store bought)
2 tbsp freshly grated Coconut
Salt to taste

2 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard  Seeds/Kadugu
1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds/Vendayam/Methi
1/4 tsp Hing/Asafoetida
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 sprigs of curry leaves

Tempering 2 (Optional, but highly recommended)
1 tsp Oil
3-4 red Chilies, long variety, broken into two pieces

  • Wash, Clean and Chop the Vendaya Keerai/Methi/Fenugreek Leaves.
  • In a Pressure Pan, Heat Oil given under tempering, Splutter mustard seeds, add hing, turmeric, vendayam/methi/fenugreek, and curry leaves.
  • Add Onion and saute till translucent, add tomatoes and cook until mushy.
  • Add the Fenugreek Leaves and Saute for a minute or two.
  • Add Tamarind Water. Drain water from the dal and add it to the Cooker.
  • Add Sambhar Powder, Coconut and Salt, mix well. 
  • Close the Pressure Cooker and Let it cook for 4-5 whistles in a Medium Flame.
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