Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Sweet Potato and Chana Dal Modak/Sarkaraivalli kizhangu and Kadalai Paruppu Modagam, Vinayagar Chathurthi Recipe

Modak/Modagam, first face that pops up when you utter this word is Ganesh ji, he is fondly called as Modagapriya, one who loves modagam. Why not, it is such an healthy snack, soft, supple outer layer made of rice flour, stuffed with subtly sweet coconut and jaggery filling, flavored with cardamoms and steam cooked, don't you love the description, fit to be in a 5-star hotel menu, right?😉
Ok, now apart for the regular sweet modagam, some have the tradition of making savory stuffed modagam, like this urad dal stuffed, some make sesame and jaggery stuffed modak
So, now for a healthy change, i made a modak/modagam with sweet potato-chana dal, sweetened with jaggery.  Trust me, it is like eating puran poli. None will identify the sweet potato in the stuffing. A delicious way to sneak a healthy veggie and hey you can also cheat saying you are eating steamed veggies dessert.

1/4 cup chana dal
1/2 cup sweet potato puree
1/3 cup powdered jaggery
1/2 tsp cardamom powder or 3-4 nos cardamom pounded
1/4 cup freshly grated coconut

For the outer cover
1 cup rice flour, i used store bought idiyappam flour
2 & 1/4 cups of water
a pinch of salt
2 tbsp of oil
  • Soak chana dal in 1/2 cup of water for an hour. Then drain the soaked water, add fresh water to it and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles or until soft. 
  • Let the pressure fall on its own, remove the cooked dal, drain the excess water. Do not throw away the water, use it making the outer cover of the modagam.
  • For the Sweet potato puree, Wash and peel a medium sized sweet potato, chop it roughly into big cubes. Take it in a microwave safe bowl, add enough water to immerse the potatoes, microwave cook it for 7-8 minutes or until it is fork tender. 
  • Drain the excess water.  Let the sweet potatoes cool completely. Mash it roughly. Keep aside until use.

For making the stuffing
  • Take jaggery in pan, add 1/2 cup of water to it, let it boil and the jaggery dissolve completely. Strain any impurities and take the jaggery back to stove. let it boil. 
  • To this boiling syrup, add cooked chana dal and mashed sweet potato puree, cardamom powder and coconut. 
  • Let this mixture cook together and all the liquid be absorbed. Once the liquid dries up, remove it from heat and set aside until use.
Let us make the outer cover
  • Take 2 and 1/4 cups of water in a big sauce pan and let it boil. To this add pinch of salt and oil. Once it gets to roiling boil, reduce the flame and now add the rice flour to it and whisk well. A whisk works well than a laddle. 
  • Once the flour is added, it will absorb all the water and turn into a soft dough. Keep whisking, add another tbsp of oil to it and take it off the stove. Keep it covered. 
  • Let it come down to touchable warm, then knead the dough with greased hands.  Now your outer cover and stuffing is ready, let us make the modak.
To make the modak
  • Pinch a ping-pong sized ball from the dough, grease your fingers with oil and start making a small bowl shape with the dough.
  • Stuff it with a tbsp of sweet-potato filling, gather the ends, pinch and close it to make a modak shape. I m attaching pictures of coconut filling modak, here for an idea.
  • Repeat the same with rest of the dough. Once done, steam cook the modak, in a steamer or pressure cooker for 5-8 minutes. Once done, remove it from the steamer/cooker, let it sit for a minute outside, then remove it from the plates. Offer it to Ganesh ji first and then enjoy.
Sending this vadai to Kids Delight - Hide & Seek with veggies, happening in my space, an event hosted by +srivalli jetti 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Round up of Kids Delight - Lunch Box recipes

Lunchboxes, i know quite a few, who get nightmares, hearing these words! Let us not blame the poor kids, sometimes we tend to get into a routine, and sort of repeat the same dishes again and again. So it is natural for them to get bored to see the same idly/rice/pasta in their boxes. 
So, here is a collection of 27 lunchbox recipes, to help you mommies! No repeat dishes for a month, that is a boon right. 
Do visit the recipes, like their pages, follow them on Facebook, so you will regular updates on what new they post on their blog. Sharing is caring!!!
Share this post on your social media accounts, so other mommies like you will get some inspiration for their kiddo's lunch box! 
So, here is the round up of Kids Delight - Lunch box recipes, hosted by me and an Event by Srivalli

Padmajah of Seduce your Taste buds has sent us yumm boxes she packs for her two munchkins. 
Arisi paruppu saadam, a classic. 
Tangy Lemon sevai, paired with quick sambar
Carrot Pulihora, the name itself makes my mouth-watering

Protein packed, colorful Vegetable Peanut Rice,
A Lip smacking Mint Chutney Sandwich
Cute little Onion Podi Uthappam

Srividhya of Vidhya's Vegetarian Kitchen has send 3 delectable entries
Colorful Carrot Coin dosa
Protein rich Mushroom Kuzhipaniyaram
A very different Ridgegourd rice

Sushma of My Kitchen to yours has packed

Crunchy, munchy Peanut Rice
Chatpata Masala Idly
Mini Uthappam

Srivalli has sent 6 delicious dishes she packs for her kids 
A quickie jeera pulao
Flavorsome Ajwain & Kasurimethi Paratha
Filling Falafel Pav Burger

Scrumptious Paneer Pulao
Aromatic Corn Karuvepillai Saadam/rice
Flavorful Mint Rice

Sharmila of The Happie Friends has sent in these dishes for our lunch box
Colorful Beetroot Rice
Carrot Kuzhipaniyaram, which we fondly call bombs! 
My favorite Kodo Millet Vegetable Biriyani

Preeti Garg of Simply Tadka has sent in
Tangy Green Mango Rice, must be lip-smacking good!!!
Cute lil finger food Mini Cucumber sandwiches, 
Lip-smacking Tadka Idly

And Finally from me
Tangy and Mildly Spiced Tomato Pulao
Our favorite Jeera Pulao
Zesty Coriander and Mint Puloa

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Eggless Sweet Potato Chocolate cake

I originally planned a steamed modak for today's post.But then both my kiddos' asked for a chocolate cake. I didn't want to miss the opportunity so made a cake with sweet potatoes. yes, sweet potatoes, this too has love-hate relationship with many. I know quite a few who hate it for its sweet taste. Trust me, sweet potato fry with chili powder tastes out of the world, soo like potato fry.
Even my kiddo's hate sweet potatoes. But trust me, being a vegetarian, we can't be hating so many veggies. If you start hating, you will be left only with potatoes, you can't be eating them 365 days!!!!
When i was clicking this cake,my lil one came running, and licked a slice straight from the board, he mopped the plate clean and didn't have a clue it has a veggie that he hates most!!!  Magic of mommy or magic of chocolate, never bother to find out!
For the Chocolate Ganache
200 grams Lindt dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
100 ml whipping cream
1/4 cup icing sugar (optional)

  • Let the chocolate be at room temperature. Chop the chocolate into small chunks, Keep it ready in a bowl.  
  • Take cream in a microwave safe bowl/mug, heat it 30 seconds, it should just be warm to melt the chocolate. Pour the warm cream over thechocolate and let it sit undisturbed for a minute. 
  • Using a whisk slowly combine the cream and chocolate until smooth. If you feel chunks of chocolate, heat the ganache in bursts of 10 seconds in a microwave and whisk smooth.
  • Refrigerate until use. The ganache thickens as it cools. So i always make the ganache just after making the cake, so it is all ready and in correct consistency to frost/fill the cakes.
  • Some might not like the taste of dark chocolate, that too 70% or 90%, in that case, once the ganache cools, whisk it with 1/4 cup of icing sugar. This is purely optional, we at home love the 70% dark chocolate ganache, so i never add sugar to it.

Inspired from Jenny can cook
For the Cake
1 & 1/4 cups of Whole Wheat flour (i used Aashirwad brand)
1/4 cup of cocoa
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup of sweet potato puree
1/2 cup buttermilk/laban, @ room temperature
1/2 cup oi1
2 tbsp Egg replacer powder mixed with 1/4 cup of water, (check notes for other) or 2 Eggs
1/4  nutmeg powder
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
a pinch of salt

Sweet Potato Puree

  • Before starting the cake, let us prepare the sweet potato puree, wash and peel one large sweet potato. Chop the sweet potato into big chunks. I used Microwave to cook, In a microwave safe bowl, take the sweet potato chunks, add enough water to cover them, microwave cook for 8-10 minutes or until they are done. 
  • Once done, remove the bowl, strain the excess water, do not throw away the water, use it soups or making dal/sambar. Let the sweet potatoes cool completely.  Take the cooked potatoes in a mixer grinder and blend until smooth.
Making the Cake
  • Preheat the oven to 180C. In a large bowl, sift together whole wheat flour,cocoa,  baking soda, baking powder  and all the spice powders along with salt. To this add sugar and whisk well to combine.
  • In a small bowl, combine egg replacer powder and water, mix well and let it sit for a minute or two to thicken.  In a measuring jug, take buttermilk/laban, add oil to it, whisk well to combine. 
  • Now to the flour mix first add the buttermilk-oil and using a electric beater combine, as you combine add the egg replacer mixture and sweet potato puree to this and whisk well to combine.
  • The batter might be too thick, if thick, then add another 1/4 cup of water to it and combine.
  • Grease 2 4 inch bake tins, line them with parchment paper. Divide the batter into two prepared cake tins. Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Once done, remove the cake from the oven, let it sit for 5 minutes, then unmould the cake onto a wire rack and let it cool completely.

Frosting the cake
  • Once the cake is completely cool, scrap the top of the cake with a serrated knife, for a even surface. 
  • Add some honey or sugar syrup. i added honey to soak the cake.Spread half the ganache on top and spread it thick using a spatula.  Garnish it with some roasted almonds, cut and serve.
Sending this vadai to Kids Delight - Hide & Seek with veggies, happening in my space, an event hosted by +srivalli jetti 

I have used Bob's red mill Egg replacer powder for 2 eggs in the recipe. This can be substituted with Flaxseed/chiaseed egg.
1 egg = 1 tbsp flaxseed meal/chiaseed meal mixed with 3 tbsp water 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Beetroot Rava Kesari/Beets & Semolina Pudding/Beetroot and Sooji Halwa

Beetroot is my favorite vegetable, i would say a versatile vegetable. A sweet veggie, that can be cooked into a spicy curry, savory smoothie, spongy cake and a lip-smacking dessert. But i know quite a few, who hate this veggie for it sweet and earthy taste.
For those who think the veggie is too sweet, must try this beets lassi or Beets raita they would definitely be surprised by the striking savory taste of the drink. Trust me when i say this, as i have experimented with my friends.  Even my little one loves the raita, and doesn't mind that pink color.
If you like a spicy condiment then Beets thogayal/chutney is your best bet. There are innumerable ways to sneak in nutritious beets in your daily diet. This kesari/semolina pudding/sooji ka halwa is another delicious treat that is regular in our home. 
I have made it (almost)vegan and used the beets cooked water for making the kesari, you can also use milk and make it more rich. The ratio to Sooji, sugar and liquid for making the kesari is 1:2:3. But since beets are bit sweet, i have reduced the sugar to 3/4 cup here. It was a perfect taste for us.  
A quick to make dessert for pooja days or for as a dessert for a party, serve it warm with some cream on top to make it look more classy and rich. 
1/2 cup sooji/semolina
1/2 a beetroot (100 grams), cut into big chunks
3/4 cup of sugar
3 nos cardamom pods
1.5 cups of water
2 tbsp ghee/vegan alternative
3 tbsp broken cashewnuts, roasted
1 tbsp raisin, roasted
  • Peel the beetroot, wash and add 1 cup of water to it. Take it in a microwave-safe bowl and cook it at high for 8 minutes.  Take it out of the microwave, drain the excess water, do not throwaway the water, we will make kesari using that water. 
  • Let the cooked beets cool completely. Take them in a mixer, add cardamom pods and 2 tbsp beets cooked water and grind it to a fine paste. Keep aside until use.
  • In a wide pan, dry roast the semolina/sooji for a minute or until it turns golden brown. Even if you are using roasted semolina, do not miss this step.
  • Remove the roasted semolina/sooji onto a separate plate. Heat the same pan, add a tbsp of ghee or any other vegan alternative. 
  • When it melts, add the beets puree to it and saute it for a minute in a simmer flame. Now add 1.5 cups of water to this. Use the beets cooked water and add extra , if you need. 
  • I got 3/4 cup of beets cooked water, so added another 3/4 cup of plain water. Let this beets and water mixture start to boil. 
  • When it begins to boil, add the roasted semolina to it and using a whisk combine well. You need to whisk well, or else you might get lumps. So use some muscle power and whisk well. 
  • As you whisk, sooji will absorb all the water and cook well. Keep the flame simmer, while it cooks. 
  • Next add sugar to this. When you add sugar, the mixture might liquefy, do not panic, it will be absorbed into to kesari.
  • Once the sugar gets absorbed, add another 1 tbsp of ghee to the kesari, let it be on the stove for another 2-3 minutes, stir frequently and keep the flame simmer.
  • Once done, remove from heat, In anoteher small pan, add oil/ghee and roast cashew-nuts and raisins, add them to the kesari. you can press the kesari on to a square pan, slice them into squares and serve warm.
Sending this vadai to Kids Delight - Hide & Seek with veggies, happening in my space, an event hosted by +srivalli jetti 
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