Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ragi Savory Porridge - Breakfast Smoothie

Ragi porridge used to be our favorite summer-time lunch-time menu. During childhood days, most of the weekends, we cousins will come together at our chithi's house, which we fondly call R9. We used to have such a gala time, playing cards, playing Kallamkai, a game with stones and watching movies. Our chithi used to cook this Ragi koozh/Porridge with rice the previous night and we all will devour it with shallots and curd the next day morning or at lunch.
But as we grew up, we forgot this humble and Nutritious porridge. Now again after so many years, i have started to have this for my breakfast. Actually during my stay in Chennai this was my breakfast everyday and sometimes i have it as my lunch with other dry curries!!! :). 
Thanks to Sangeetha Khanna for re-introducing this Nutritious Smoothie into my diet. Trust  me, this is one of those filling breakfast, that keeps you going on, on a busy day!!! :)
1/4 Cup Ragi Flour
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Yogurt
1/2 Cup Buttermilk (1/2 Cup More, if needed)
handful of curry leaves
handful of Fresh Coriander leaves
1/2 a green chili
Salt to taste

  • In a heavy bottom pan add the ragi flour and water, mix well without any lumps. Take it to the stove, cook in a low flame, keep stirring , the water will be absorbed and it will start turning to a thick porridge.  Turn off the heat when it comes together as thick-gooey mass.Let it cool for 10 minutes.
  • Take the cooked porridge in a blender jar, add yogurt,1/2 Cup buttermilk, green chili, curry leaves, coriander leaves and salt.
  • Blend together, to get a smooth liquid, If you feel it is too thick, add another 1/2 Cup of Buttermilk and Blend it frothy. 
  • Serve it tall glasses and call it a smoothie, or as a porridge in bowl and get your very own froth mustache!!! :)
  • You can Cook the Ragi the previous night and refrigerate or keep it  @ room temperature and make smoothie the next day. 
  • The Fermented ragi is even more tasty and also high in Nutrition. This is the way My Mom and her mom make ragi porridge. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

HoneyComb Buns / Khaliat Nahal- Sweet n Savory Versions - We Knead to Bake#9

The 2 months of vacation in Chennai, though kind-of energized me a bit, but after coming i had huge backlog of so many bakes to be made!!! I never miss We Knead to Bake Challenges, purely for love for Breads and Knowing how my relationship with yeast is developing into a full blown , affair or whatever you name it!!! So, the moment Aparna Announced this month's challenge, i made it the same week!!! 

Khaliat Nahal/Bee's hive Bread or HoneyComb Bun's, get their name from the shape the final bake gets. he buns are baked close to each other in a round pan where they form a honeycomb like pattern. Traditionally they’re made sweet using slightly sweetened dough filled with cream cheese. After the buns are baked, they’re covered with sugar syrup/ glaze which is typical of many Middle Eastern confectionery. 
I am happy to bake these as it is my long-time desire to try out the local cuisine, being in dubai for 8 long years, all i have made is falafel and another stuffed bread. So These buns are for a sweet start for my interest in the local cuisine.

For the dough
1 cup lukewarm milk
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
1.5 Cups of Whole Wheat flour
1 Cup of All Purpose Flour
3 tbsp sugar (for sweet bread)
3/4 to 1 tsp salt (for savory bread) OR 1/4 tsp salt (for sweet bread)
40 gms or 3 tbsp of butter, melted
2 tbsp milk for brushing the dough
2 tbsp white sesame seeds for sprinkling on top (optional; only for savory bread)
For the filling
1 cup of filling (approximately) of your choice, either sweet or savory
  • Savory - cream cheese OR crumbled feta cheese OR crumbled paneer/ cottage cheese, flavored according to your choice. You can also use any other savory filling that you want. I tried Cream Cheese and also Sweet Potatoes, Sauteed with Onions, garlic and Red Chili Powder.
  • Sweet - cream cheese (traditional filling), or any other filing of your choice like chocolate, dried fruit like dates, raisins, chopped nuts, chopped fruit , sweetened coconut filling, etc. I used Dark Chocolate
Sugar Syrup/ Glaze : For the Sweet buns only
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
A pinch of saffron
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp lime/ lemon juice

Savory Filling
1 Large Sweet Potato
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp of shredded ginger
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

  • Peel and Chop the Sweet Potato into Cubes and wash them well. Take the cubes in a Microwaveable Bowl, Add water just to immerse the chopped cubes.
  • Cook @ Microwave high for 8 minutes. Let it cool, Drain and keep aside until use.
  • Heat oil in a pan, crackle mustard seeds, add chopped onion, garlic and saute until onion's turn translucent.
  • Next add the drained Sweet Potates, add red Chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well.
  • Let this be on the stove until the rawness of the masala escapes 5-8 minutes maximum. Sprinkle little water if feel the masala's are burning.
  • Take it off the stove and let it cool, to be stuffed in the buns

Baking Bread
  • You can use All Purpose flour all together or if using a combo of All Purpose and Whole Wheat, Mix the flour together and keep it ready.
  • Make sure your melted butter has cooled down a bit before using it. Put 2 cups of the flour-mix, salt, sugar (if making the sweet bread only) and melted butter in the bowl of your processor. Run a couple of times to mix well.
  • Combine the milk, sugar and yeast in a small bowl and keep for 5 minutes. Add this to the processor bowl and knead until you have a smooth and elastic dough which is not sticky. Add as much of the remaining 1/2 cup of flour as you need to get this consistency of bread dough. I used all of 2 1/2 cups of flour for mine.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl, turning it to coat completely with the oil. Cover and let it rise till double in volume, for about an hour.
  • Turn the dough out onto your work surface. You won’t really need to flour it as the dough is quite manageable as it is. I weighed the dought, it came out 600gms, so i Cut it into 2 halves, weighing 300gms each. With your palms, roll out each half a “rope” about 9” long. Cut each rope into 1” pieces so you have a total of 18 pieces. If you want Bigger buns, then cut each rope into 6 pieces and proceed.
  • Take each piece and flatten it out a little and place half a teaspoon of filling in the centre. Pull up the sides and wrap the dough around the filling, pinching it closed at the top. Smoothen it into a round ball. Place this in a well-greased round 9” cake tin. Repeat with the remaining 17 pieces and the filling. Arrange the filled balls of dough in concentric circles, filling the base of the cake tin.
  • Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for about 30 to 40 minutes. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle the sesame seeds over this. Don’t use the sesame seeds for sweet bread, only for the savory one. Bake the buns at 200C for about 30 minutes, until they’re done and a nice golden brown on top.Let them cool in the tin for about 5 minutes and then on a wire rack.
  • If you’re making the sweet version, make the sugar syrup/ glaze during the first rise of the dough. For this put the sugar, water and saffron in a small pan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes until it starts thickening a bit. Take it off the heat and add the honey and the lime/ lemon juice. Mix well and let it cool. Keep aside till needed.
  • When the sweet buns come out of the oven, pour the syrup all over the top of the “Honeycomb”. The bread should be hot and the syrup/ glaze should be cool. If you want your Honeycomb Buns to be less sweet, just brush the syrup/ glaze over the top.
  • Let it sit for a while for the syrup/ glaze to set a bit. Serve them warm with tea/ coffee.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Poosanikkai Kadalai Paruppu Kootu/Ashgourd-Chana Dal Kootu

Kootu (Tamil:கூட்டு) is a Tamil word means 'add' i.e. vegetable added with lentils which form the dish, made of vegetable and lentils and are semi-solid in consistency, i.e., less aqueous than sambhar,  says Wiki!!!
With Modern times, Kootu also evolved into many healthy variations, but some standard recipes had to be made with that same combo to taste better. Poosanikai/Ashgourd kootu with Chana Dal/Kadalai Paruppu is one such famous recipe in Tamil Iyer festivities and sure menu in our marriages.
I already have Poosanikaai/Ashgourd kootu with Masoor Dal in my blog, but this is an Authentic Combo to try!!!!

2 Cups of Ashgourd/Poosanikai, Chopped
1 Cup of Chana dal
1 Tomato, chopped
1 Green Chili, slited lengthwise
3 tbsp of freshly grated coconut
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing
1 tsp of freshly grated ginger

1-2 tsp of Groundnut Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard Seed
1/4 tsp Cumin seeds/Jeeragam
2 tsp of Urad dal
2-3 red chilies (i used long variety)
handful of curry leaves
Prepping the Ashgourd
  • Peel the hard skin, remove the seedy centre portion. Chop the flesh portion into cubes. Wash them under running water. 
Making the Kootu
  • Soak Chana dal/Kadalai Paruppu in Warm water for 15 minutes, to ease the process of cooking. Some times chana dal won't cook even after 10 whistles. Soaking them in Warm Water, will make it a bit easy.
  • Drain the water from chana dal, reserve the water. Take the Soaked Chana Dal, Chopped ashgourd/Poosanikai, in a pressure pan. Add green chili, chopped tomatoes, Kootu Podi/Spice Mix for Kootu,, freshly grated coconut and salt. Mix well. Add Water just enough to immerse the vegetables-dal mix, approximately 2-3 cups, use the water in which the dal was soaked here.
  • Pressure Cook for 4-5 whistles. Once the pressure releases, heat a small kadai/tadka pan, add oil, crackle mustard seedsn cumin, add broken red chilies, curry leaves and urad dal. Let the dal turn brown, add this sizzling tadka to the kootu. Garnish with coriander leaves and freshly grated ginger.
  • Serve it Warm with Rice or as an accompaniment to Roti's. I personally prefer to have it with Roti's.
Sending this to Tamizhar Samayal Tuesday

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Soy Chunks Curry - Side-dish for Roti

Soy chunks or Meal Maker, i knew it with the later name  and was introduced to this by my friend Chitra. She add this to the Vegetable Fried Rice and almost immediately fell in love with the first bite, the chewy and spongy texture with all the spices blended in it!!!! My First time cooking with Soy Chunks was not that tasty but later i learnt how it should be pre-cooked in hot water and used in curries. Now, we enjoy this Nutritious and Delicious Curry often with Roti's and Sometimes as such as a meal.

1 Cup Soy Chunks/Nutrela/TVP
1 Large Onion
1 Large Tomato
1 green chili
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp shredded ginger
1/2 tsp Red Chili Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder
Salt to taste
Fresh Coriander for Garnish
2 tsp of oil
1/2 tsp Cumin/Jeera

  • Soak Soy Chunks in Boiling water mixed with little salt. Let it sit for 10 minutes or until it doubles up in size.
  • Drain, wash under cold running water and squeeze out the extra water from them. Keep Aside until use.
  • Chop Onion and Tomatoes thinly. Chop the garlic cloves and slit green chili vertically. Heat 2 tsp of oil in a Kadai, crackle jeera/cumin.
  • Add Chopped onions, chopped garlic, shredded ginger and slited green chili. Saute until onions turn translucent.
  • Next add the chopped tomatoes, followed by red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and garam masala powder and 1/2 Cup of water. since we have already added Salt to the soy chunks in the hot water, so now add little salt for the onion-tomato mixture.
  • Let it cook until tomatoes turn mushy and release oil. Now add the soy chunks this mix well. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, in a medium flame for the flavors to mingle. 

  • Remove the cover, Let it sit for 5 more minutes on the stove. Garnish with Fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with roti's.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Carrot-Poha/Carrot n Rice Flakes Porridge, Toddler Meal

Having a one-year old  @ home after 7 years, doing the same thing one more time, ufff sometimes I feel tired to the Core!!! But when i see him laugh n giggle, come running to me, hug n smile, all my tiredness vanish in a moment. Like any other mother, i too started with tinned baby food for my lil one when he turned 6months, but it didn't suit him , he got rashes immediately and when i consulted my Doc, he said may be the Milk Protein in it didn't suit him. So Commercial Baby Food is Strict NO NO to him. 
This Porridge is something i make for his Snack, apart from his 3 regular meal. It is Filling, Nutritious and Home-made with loads of Love. You can try making this with Beetroot, Pumpkin, Sweet Potatoes too.

Half a Medium Carrot
2 tbsp Poha/Rice Flakes
1 tsp Raisins
1 almond
1/2 Cup Milk
1 tsp Sugar

  • Scrub and wash the carrot well. Cut it into small roundels. 
  • Take it together with rest of the ingredients. This can be pressure-cooked or Cooked in a Microwave.
  • If Pressure-cooking, Cook for 4 Whistles or until soft. If Microwaving, then take the ingredients in a Microwave-able Dish, Cook for 10 minutes @ Microwave Power medium. 
  • Take it out of Pressure Cooker/Oven. Let it Cool, Grind it to smooth in a mixer. The Porridge should be a bit thick, so do not add more milk or water to it.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Banana-Oats-Nuts Muffins(Vegan)

Baking is Therapeutic. yes, i know most of you will agree with me. After 2 long month's of vacation,  i was so happy to be in my Kitchen Cooking and baking especially. There is a huge back log of bakes to be done, as i have volunteered myself in many baking groups (Learning Process)!!! For this Month's Home Baker's Challenge, Shama Nagarajan of Easy2cook Recipes gave us Muffins to bake, There were quite a lot of varieties and i picked two in them. The First one is of course Banana Nut Muffins as i had some Banana's ready @ home. Second one is a Savory Muffin, which i will be posting some time later. The Original Recipe, uses Oat Bran, since i didn't have any stock, i have used Powdered Oats, 
1-1/3 Cups of Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Oats
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
2 Ripen Bananas
2/3 Cup Unflavored Soy Milk/Almond Milk
1/3 Cup Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

  • Preheat the Oven to 180C. Grease Muffin pan with Oil/Butter. I got about 8 medium muffins. So used my regular muffin pan(6 holes) and 2 Silicon moulds.
  • Take Oats in a mixer and make it to a powder. In a Large Bowl, Take Powdered oats, Wheat flour, Baking powder, Baking Soda and Salt together. Whisk to combine. Add Chopped Walnuts to this.
  • Take Chopped bananas in a blender, add sugar, milk, oil and vanilla extract. Blend to get a smooth mixture.
  • Add this Wet ingredient to the Flour Mix and using a spatula, mix to combine. Do not Over mix, just combine.
  • Spoon about 2 tsp of Batter into the muffin pan. Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 
  • Let it sit in the oven for 2 minutes, take it out and let it cool completely. Remove and Serve Warm!!! 
  • I tried this recipe with Soy Milk and regular milk too.Both the recipe came out good.
  • The Second time, i substituted Walnuts with Melon Seeds, it added different crunch to the muffins.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Modagam/ Modak/Thengai Poornam Kozhukattai/Steamed Dumpling with Coconut Filling

Modagam/Modak is the favorite Neivedhiyam/Offering to Lord Ganesha. This Post was due before Ganesha Chathurthi, but due to some personal work i couldn't do it on time. Neverthless, we don't need a reason to enjoy these cute lil dumplings. Making of the dough is the trickiest part in Modagam/Modak. If you get the dough right, you have it all right.
The traditional way making the flour, is to soak rice, dry it in shade and grind it in a grinder called Eyanthiram/Ghatti or our very own Mixie. But now, since people find little time, we have ready-made flour available in the market. 

1.5 cups Modak Flour or Kozhukattai Maavu/Rice Flour (If using Rice Flour, Please See notes)
2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp gingely oil

  • In a wide pan, boil the given amount of water. Add salt and a tsp of gingely oil.
  • When the water starts boiling,  reduce the flame,  add the rice flour,  little by little and keep stirring.  Or else take the boiling water out of the flame,  add the rice flour, mix well to form a sticky dough without lumps and  return it to the flame again.
  • Let it sit on the flame for another 8-10 minutes. Add another tsp of gingely oil and keep stirring. The Dough might still be sticky. Take it  off the flame, Keep it Covered until it becomes warm enough to touch.
  • When it is warm, Knead it well to form a pilable dough, Keep it covered it until use.
To Make Thengai Pooranam/Sweetened Coconut
1.5 Cups of Freshly grated Coconut
1.5 Cups of Grated Jaggery
4-5 pods of cardamoms,  crushed

  • In a Pan, add grated coconut, grated jaggery and crushed cardamom pods. Keep Stirring.
  • It will first leave out some water, after 5-8 minutes, it will come together, leaving the sides of pan. Take it off the flame. Let it Cool.
To Make Modagam/Modakam
  • Divide the Dough into 25 equal-sized balls. Take the dough and Shape it into a small bowl. use your thumb, index finger and ring finger of both your hands to shape it. I have attached a Video, hope it helps.
  • Fill the modagam/mothagam with a tsp ful of Coconut filling, bring the ends together and close it with a pointed edge. Repeat the same for rest of the dough.
  • Steam Cook in a Steamer or in a pressure cooker without Whistle for 8 -10 minutes. 
  • Take it off the stove, Serve it to Lord Ganesha and Hog!!!
  • During Ganesh Chathurthi we get Modak/Modagam Flour or Kozhukattai Maavu in Indian stores here. We can also use the normal Rice Flour/Idiyappam Flour for making this. The Difference is the amount of water it needs. 
  • If using regular rice flour the ratio of Flour and Water is 1 : 2, if using Modak Flour/Kozhukattai Maavu then it is 1.5 : 2.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Desi-Style Burgers with Poha & Ragi Patty and Carrot Chutney

The Groovy Gourmets, a group of super enthu bloggers, trying to cook something unusual every month. This month, Anusha of Tomato Blues asked us to put a Burger together but with a patty that is not Potato-peas!!! These days, i m having lot of Ragi-based breakfast, so thought of making a patty with ragi. That very morning, i soaked poha for breakfast for rest of the family, but added too much water, it became mashed poha!!! So made a patty with the mashed poha and some veggies added. It came out yum and paired with some Cumin-curry leaves Buttermilk, it was a filling meal!!!
For the Patties
1.5 Cups of poha/Flattened Rice flakes
1/4 Cup of Ragi Flour
3 tbps of Bread Crumbs
1 Large Capiscum
1 Large Onion
1 Medium Sized Tomato
3 cloves of garlic
a small piece of ginger
handful of curry leaves
1/2 tsp Red chili powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Pav Bhaji Masala
1/4 Cup Oil for Shallow frying the Patties
Salt to taste
1 tps of oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
hing and turmeric, each a pinch

The Burger
6 nos Burger buns
1/2 cup Carrot Chutney for the spread
6 nos Cheese slices
1 tsp pepper
Some tooth-picks to hold the burger
  • Take Poha/Rice Flakes in a Sieve/colander and show it under running water for few seconds for the poha to get soft. Alternatively you can even soak it in water for 2-3 minutes and drain the excess water.
  • Wash all the veggies. Peel and chop ginger fine. Chop Onion, garlic and capsicum into thin slices. Chop Tomato into small cubes. 
  • In a Pan/Kadai, Heat 1 tsp of oil, splutter mustard seeds, add hing and turmeric. Next add chopped onion, garlic, ginger and curry leaves. Saute until onions are translucent.
  • Next add chopped tomatoes and add red chilli powder, coriander powder, pav bhaji masala, salt and 1/4 cup of water. Let this cook until tomatoes become soft and until the mixture is almost dry.
  • Now add the chopped Capsicums and cover and cook for 8-10 minutes. After the said time, remove the lid, mix well. Add the soft poha, Mix well. Let it be on the stove for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Let it cool.
  • When it is warm enough to handle, transfer half the contents of it onto a flat plate, add 2 tbsp of ragi flour to it and bring it together as a soft ball. It might be little sticky, if so, wet your hands with water and do this, will be easy to handle the dough.
  • Divide the dough into 6 Portions. Each will be the size of a tennis ball.
  • Flatten the ball to make a patty, roll the patty over the bread crumbs. Repeat for all the 6 balls. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. While the first batch is refrigerating, do the same with the leftover Poha mixture, make 6 balls out of the second batch and patties, refrigerate them too.
  • Remove the first batch of patties from the refrigerator, Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a Large Pan, when the oil is hot enough, slide 3 patties into it. Cook in slow flame. Flip the patties after 5 minutes. 
  • Cook until crisp and golden brown on both sides. Remove using Slotted spoon and drain excess oil on kitchen towel. Repeat the same with rest of the patties.
  • To Assemble the Burgers, Cut the burger buns in the middle, Spread a tsp of carrot chutney on top, place a patty, cover with a slice of cheese, sprinkle a pinch of pepper, close it with the other half of the bun. Stick a tooth-pick in the middle for the bun to hold.
Sending this to Lets Brunch on Sunday's 

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Carrot Chutney - Side-Dish for Idly/Dosa

Simple and easy to make Vegetable Chutney for our very own Idly/Dosa. I even use this chutney as a spread for my sandwich. Even your picky-eater won't find out that it is carrots!!! :)
2 Medium Carrots
2 Red Chilies (Long Variety), each broken into 2
1 Large Onion, Chopped
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 Medium-sized Tomato
handful of curry leaves
Salt to taste
1 tsp of oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
a pinch of hing and turmeric
  • Wash the Carrot well. I have kept a separate dishwash scrub for scrubbing the veggies and washing them. Since most of the nutrients are right below the skin of the veggies, don't want to lose them. If you feel other-wise, go ahead and peel the skin of the carrots
  • Chop them into Chunks. Chop Onion and Tomato into chunks and garlic into thin slices
  • Heat Oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds, add hing and turmeric. Add Chopped onions, garlic, curry leaves and broken red chilies. Saute until onions are translucent.
  • Next dump the tomatoes and saute until they become soft. Next add the chopped carrots and saute for 8-10 minutes.
  • Switch off the stove and keep it closed  until it becomes cool enough to grind.
  • Take all the sauted ingredients in a mixer and grind to fine paste, no need to add water. If at all your mixer jerks, add 1/4 cup of water, not more than that.
  • Transfer the contents to a bowl. Serve with Idly/Dosa or even use it as a spread on your bread, roti. 

Monday, September 02, 2013

Banana Nutella Smoothie

Feels good to write a post after almost a month!!! This is an Old-Post, which i made before going to the vacations, but forgot to take my External Disk with the pictures, so couldn't post it during vacations, so here i m kick-starting my routine with an easy to make Breakfast/Snack Smoothie.
Come Festivals, fruits are always in abundance. Coz, anybody coming home, will come with a bag of them, if not, atleast a dozen of Banana's!! After distributing among the guests and to the kids, still there were some left this time. So, as the last option, i froze them to be used later. Just peel the skin, Put it in a Ziplock Cover or Cling Wrap them and Put it in your freezer, they stay good and will be there whenever you need them, which always will be a emergency hunger pang or want a snack now kind of  tantrums!!! :) Here is a super delicious and lip-smacking smoothie that can satisfy the hunger pang any kid, the office-going one too!!!
2 Cups of Milk (I used Fresh Full Fat Milk)
1 Frozen Banana, broken into chunks (I used Chiquita Variety)
2-3 tbsp Nutella
Some Choco Chips for Garnishing (Optional)
  • In a Blender Jar, Add Chunks of Frozen Banana, Nutella and 1/2 Cup Milk. Blend to form a Smooth paste.
  • Add the remaining Cup of Milk and Blend until Smooth and Frothy
  • Serve in Tall Glass, garnished with some Choco-Chips.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...