Monday, 2 May 2016

557.Panchmel Bhajias/Vadas (mixed dal vadas)

Anytime is bhajia time

   During my visit to Dubai, I was fortunate enough to meet up with two fellow bloggers, Rafeeda, blogger at The Big Sweet Tooth and Huma of Gheza e Shiriin whom I have known through blogging for a couple of years now. I was super excited as I was meeting fellow bloggers for the first time. These two ladies are so friendly and we chatted away till eventually I had to leave as my family was waiting for me. Wish we could have had more time together. When we met, it didn't even feel as though I was meeting them for the first time. It felt like I've known them for years. I can never forget that when I was new to the blogging world, Huma was the first one to invite me to be a guest on her blog. I was on the top of the world and so thrilled. Rafeeda has always been there to answer questions about blogging and suggestions in groups that we are a part of without hesitation. Hoping that this meeting will develop into a strong friendship. As I keep on mentioning, now and again, blogging is what penpal concept was a few years ago. Talking about penpals, I first came across Jolly Makkar's posts in a group that we both are members of. Through her I got to join Foodie Monday- Bloghop group. I've made new friends who live in India, UK, US, Qatar through this group. One is also my distant relative. What a small world. Though our ages are different, we learn and share a lot, not just about blogging but about life in general.     
  Coming to today's recipe,bhajias(vadas, bhajji) are famous in most Indian households world over. You really don't need an excuse to indulge in this popular snack. It rained a bit, ok it drizzled a bit and my mind was made up to make some bhajias for my next #FoodieMonday #bloghop theme No. 38#DalDelights. By the time I got the bhajias ready, the rain had disappeared and the sun was out. However, hubby and I still enjoyed some fried food after a long time. The last fried snack I had made was a few weeks ago. Panchmel, panchratna or panchkuti means a mixture of five lentils. These bhajias or vadas turned out crispy from outside and soft inside. Thoroughly enjoyed them with a coconut mango chutney. I made both versions, the fried and also in an appe pan (paniyaram pan, ebelskiver pan). The fried ones obviously turned out nice and golden all over which was not the case in the ones made in the pan. However, next time keeping health factor in mind I will make them in the appe pan. Though they did not become golden all over, the outer part was still very crunchy.What are lentils? Lentils are edible pulses.They usually grow in a pod, varying in number from 1 to 12 seeds. Lentils are much smaller than beans.In India the term lentils is used for dals. Dals are usually split beans like split chickpea (chana dal), split pigeon pea(toor dal), split green grams(moong dal), split black beans (urad dal), split puy lentils(masoor dal), split cowpeas (chora dal) etc.  
Check out the recipe.










deep fried
made in an appe pan

PANCHMEL BHAJIAS/VADAS (MIXED DAL VADAS)
Makes about 30

¼ cup split chickpea (chana dal)
¼ cup split green gram (moong dal)
¼ cup split black gram (urad dal)
¼ cup split puy lentils (masoor dal)
¼ cup split pigeon pea (tuvar, toor dal)
1 large onion chopped
2-3 green chillis finely chopped
1" ginger piece
½ cup chopped fresh fenugreek(methi)
½ tsp coarse pepper
2 tbsp water
1 tsp cumin (jeera)
1½ -1¾ tsp salt
1 tbsp hot oil
a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing)

oil for deep frying

  1. Wash the lentils(pulses) and soak in warm water for 3-4 hours.
  2. Drain out the water and put the lentils in a food processor.
  3. Add onion and ginger and process the mixture to a coarse paste.
  4. Add chopped chillis, fenugreek, cumin, asafoetida, pepper, salt, oil and water.
  5. Mix the batter well.
  6. Heat oil in a wok, karai over medium heat till its hot.
  7. Take a tablespoon full of the batter and form into a flattish round shape. 
  8. Carefully put it into the hot oil.
  9. Add 5-6 more. Lower the heat and let the bhajias cook till golden brown. 
  10. Don't forget to flip them over frequently.
  11. Serve with your favourite chutney.
To make in an appe pan :
  1. Put the appe pan over medium low heat. 
  2. Add a drop of oil into each of the cavity.
  3. Form a teaspoon full of the batter into a round shape and put it into the cavity.
  4. Repeat the above step till all the cavities are filled.
  5. Cover the appe pan with a lid.
  6. Let the bhajias cook for 3-4 minutes.
  7. Flip them over. Add another drop of oil in each cavity and let the bhajias cook till they become light brown in colour.
  8. Serve immediately.


COCONUT CHUTNEY
¼ cup fresh grated coconut
¼ cup fresh chopped coriander
¼ cup grated raw mango
½ cup water
¼ tsp salt
1-2 green chillis
½ tsp ginger paste
  1. Put the chutney ingredients into a blender jug.
  2. Process into a coarse paste.Add a little more water if required.
  3. Remove the chutney from the blender jug into a bowl.
  4. Serve with hot bhajias.
Tips :
  • If the batter is too dry, add a bit more water. Don't add too much as you will not be able to shape the vadas.
  • Add coriander, chopped curry leaves or spinach instead of fresh fenugreek.
  • After frying each batch of vadas, increase the heat to medium. Lower it once you have added the vadas to the oil.
  • Its important to fry them over low heat otherwise the inside may remain raw.
  • I used the left over vadas to stuff in a pita bread along with some salad and hummus.
You may want to check out the following recipes where I have used a paniyaram or appe pan
paneer lauki kofta curry
vitumbua (rice pancake balls)

Sending this recipe to the following events :

Blog Hop


 Herbs, Spices and Tradition
The Well Seasoned Cook
Lisa's Kitchen

       

Sunday, 1 May 2016

556.banana,mango and peanut butter smoothie bowl

Healthy start to the day

     Many of us cannot begin the day without breakfast, some don't have breakfast at all and some just need their daily mug of coffee or tea to begin the day. I cannot skip breakfast especially when I am not fasting. I love to have bread and tea or cereal. However, I have recently got hubby dear to have oats instead of cereal as they say even though he has bran flakes, all cereals contain sugar. I prefer to have a nice thick smoothie. Whatever ingredients I use for his porridge mine go into the blender. My day begins with work in the kitchen before the water disappears, yoga and then after a cold shower, and my prayers I relax and enjoy my breakfast. Its during that time I catch up with all the messages, make calls when required, do a crossword and read the paper. For this month the shhh cooking secretly group decided to have #smoothies as the theme for April. My partner Priya of Priya's Menu  gave me banana and peanut butter as the two secret ingredients. This gave me the opportunity to show off my breakfast. Though the fruit may vary, I try and add nuts, seeds and oats every day to my smoothie. So what is a smoothie bowl? Well, the smoothie in this case is thicker than a drinkable smoothie but thinner than a pudding. The basic ingredients required to make a smoothie bowl are liquid, fruits/vegetables, good fat, thickener, protein and toppings. Here's a rough guideline as to what you can use to make a healthy smoothie bowl:
Liquids can be milk, soy milk, almond or cashew nut milk, yogurt.
Fruits or/both vegetables of your choice.
Good fat - peanut or other nut butters, coconut oil, avocado.
Thickener - yogurt, chia seeds, oats, banana, avocado, mango etc.
Protein - milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, protein powder, nut butters
Topping - chopped fruits, nuts, seeds, shredded coconut, spices, dried fruits, cereals, crumbled cookies
Check out the ingredients that went into my smoothie bowl.












BANANA, MANGO AND PEANUT BUTTER SMOOTHIE BOWL
For 1

½ cup milk
1 banana
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp oats
½ cup peeled and diced mango

For topping :

6-7 grapes
1 tbsp rice crispies
1 tbsp chopped pistachios
1 tbsp chia seeds
½ tsp cinnamon powder


  1. Peel and chop the banana and add into a blender.
  2. Add peanut butter, mango, milk and oats.
  3. Blend the mixture till it becomes smooth.
  4. Take the smoothie out into a bowl.
  5. If you prefer, at this stage can chill it for 30 minutes.
  6. Decorate with the topping and serve.
Tips :
  • Can use frozen fruits.
  • Vary the fruits, seeds and thickeners.
  • I prefer to soak the chia seeds in water for 30 minutes. If you don't have time to do that in the morning, soak them at night.

Sending this recipe for the following event :




Wednesday, 27 April 2016

555. Coconut Buns/ Chinese Cocktail Buns/ Gai Mei Bao

Cocktail or Cock tail???

    We Knead to Bake's #38 bake for the month of April are Coconut Buns or Chinese Cocktail Buns or Gai Mei Bao. These buns were supposedly created in the 1950s in Hong Kong. The owners of a local bakery were left with unsold buns and instead of throwing them away they decided to ground the buns, added sugar and used it as a filling for new buns. These days left over bread has been replaced by a sweet buttery coconut filling. There are two meaning to the cocktail buns. One is that the exotic mixture of filling deserved the name cocktail much like the cocktails created in bars and pubs. The second is that Gai Mei Bao literally means cock's(chicken) tail bun. The buns are soft and slightly sweet filled with a buttery sweet coconut filling. These buns are typical Hong Kong style buns. The topping, a mixture of flour, butter and sugar is usually piped, 2 lines, on the buns before baking.
    Try out this tasty, delicious buns and a must for coconut lovers. I found that the buns tasted better the next day as the buns were infused with the coconut flavour.








COCONUT BUNS/CHINESE COCKTAIL BUNS/ GAI MEI BAO
Makes 8
Recipe adapted from : The Woks of Life

For the buns:
 2½ cups plain flour(all purpose flour)
1½ tbsp corn starch (corn flour)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp instant dry yeast
¾ tsp salt
¼ cup sugar
⅔ cup warm milk

extra flour for dusting
extra butter for greasing

For the filling :
50g (approx 3 tbsp) soft butter
1½ tbsp sugar
1½ tbsp plain flour (all purpose flour)
⅛ cup (2 tbsp) milk powder
⅓ cup fresh grated coconut

For the topping :
2 tbsp milk
25g (1½ tbsp) soft butter
2 tsp sugar
2tbsp plain flour (all purpose flour)

some milk for brushing on top
1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds

Preparation of the dough for the buns :
  1. Sieve flour, corn flour and salt together in a large bowl.
  2. Add sugar and yeast. Mix well.
  3. Make a well in the middle of the flour. Add the egg and milk.
  4. Form a dough.
  5. Knead the dough for 10 -15 minutes by hand or 7-10 minutes by machine till it is soft and pliable.
  6. Grease the bowl lightly. Form the dough into a ball. 
  7. Place the dough in the bowl. Cover it with a cling film. Place the bowl in a warm place.
  8. Let the dough rise for 1½ hr or till its double in size.
Preparation of the filling :
  1. Cream the butter and sugar lightly.
  2. Add the flour, milk powder and coconut and mix well into a paste.
  3. Divide the paste into 8 parts.
Preparation of the topping :
  1. Cream butter and sugar till its mixed.
  2. Add flour and mix and finally add the milk.
  3. Mix well and keep on the side till required.
Final preparation of the buns :
  1. Divide the risen dough into 8 parts.
  2. Roll the parts into balls.
  3. Roll one part into a small oval shape about 4"X 3".
  4. Put one part of the filling in the middle of the dough.
  5. Pinch the two long ends together Seal the ends well. 
  6. Tuck the ends to form an oval shape.
  7. Place the bun on a greased or parchment lined baking tray with the sealed part under.
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 with the remaining dough and filling.
  9. Cover the buns with a tea towel and left them rise for 45 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  11. Brush the buns with milk.
  12. Place the topping mixture into a piping bag or a plastic bag. Snip off the end to form a small hole.
  13. Pipe 2 lines of the topping on each bun. I piped 3 as I had enough topping.
  14. Sprinkle the buns with sesame seeds.
  15. Place the tray in the oven and bake the buns for 20 -25 minutes or till the buns are golden in colour.
  16. Remove the buns from the oven.
  17. Place them on a wire rack to cool.
Tips :
  • You can brush the buns with sugar glaze or honey as soon as they come out of the oven. I didn't do that as there's enough sugar in the buns.
  • Next time I will probably make more filling as I found the filling too little.
  • I will also make the buns smaller as they were pretty big. 
  • If you don't get fresh grated coconut, you can use frozen fresh grated coconut.
You may want to check out the following :
leopard patch bread


Monday, 25 April 2016

554.Vegetable Noodle soup

What is Indo Chinese?

    The 37th #FoodieMonday#bloghop theme is #Indo-Chinese. What is Indo-Chinese? Indo-Chinese dishes feature in most Indian restaurants that serve fast food, Indian cuisine and you will find it as street food too. Indo-Chinese is one of the most favourite cuisine for Indians. The Indo Chinese mania has spread as far as America, Europe, Australia, Africa, basically to all the the continents. Basically its Chinese food with Indian flavours and ingredients that are popularly available in India. It is nothing like the authentic Chinese food that uses bok choy, choi sum, watercress, chinese broccoli,chinese water spinach, chinese amaranth, napa cabbage, ji cai, tofu, Sichuan pepper. Indo-Chinese cuisine uses bell pepper, cabbage, corn, baby corn, carrots,cauliflower etc. Indo-Chinese cuisine uses sweet and sour sauce, oyster, sauce, soy sauce, black bean sauce, hoisin sauce, szechwan and manchurian sauce just to name a few.
  How was India introduced to this cuisine? Well according to Wikipedia, a small community of Chinese mainly from the Hakka region settled in Calcutta during the 19th Century. They started cooking with Indian spices and vegetables to appease the Indian population. Since then Indo- Chinese cuisine has evolved to spring dosa, chinese bhel, idlis with chinese flavours etc. Manchurian, spring rolls, Chow mein, Manchow soup, American chop suey, chilli chicken/paneer, fried rice, date pancakes are some of the more popular Indo-Chinese dishes. 
     For the Indo Chinese theme I chose to go the healthy way by preparing a 'chat pata' Vegetable noodle soup.Most Indo-Chinese food is not too friendly for our hips as most of it is fried or requires one uses a good amount of oil. So here's a healthy soup.I've used Soba noodles. Soba noodles are usually made from buckwheat or wheat flour and are thin compared to the udon noodles which are thick.








VEGETABLE NOODLE SOUP
Serves 4

6oz (approx 150g) soba noodles
4-5 cups water/vegetable stock
10-12 spinach leaves (palak)
2 medium carrots
½ bell pepper-any colour
¼ cup chopped spring onion
7-8 cauliflower florets, cut into bite size pieces
10 -12 mushrooms, cut into slices
1 medium onion, cut into slices
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1-1¼ tsp salt
1-2 tsp chilli sauce
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce 
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp coarse pepper powder
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds


  1. Prepare all the vegetables. Peel the carrots, cut into half length wise and then cut into slices. Cut the bell pepper into large cubes.
  2. Heat oil in a deep pan. Add sesame oil.
  3. Add onion slices, ginger and garlic pastes and saute them for a few seconds.
  4. Add all the vegetables except the spring onion and spinach.
  5. Stir fry the vegetables for 1 minute on high heat.
  6. Add water or vegetable stock and let it become hot.
  7. As soon the water becomes hot and begins to boil, add the noodles and salt.
  8. Take the pan off the heat.Add the spinach leaves. Cover the pan for 3 minutes.
  9. Add chilli sauce, vinegar, soy sauce and pepper powder.
  10. Spoon the soup into serving bowls. Sprinkle chopped onion and sesame seeds and serve.
Tips :
  • Use vegetables of your choice.
  • You can use normal noodles.
  • If you don't have home made chilli sauce you can use ready made one.
  • The vegetables and noodles in this soup are not overcooked. 
You may want to check out the following :
mushroom egg fried rice
sesame honey chilli potatoes
chilli paneer




     

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Salads

Some exciting salads 

Its really hot and the last thing one wants to have is a heavy meal. Salads make a good and healthy option. However, they don't have to be boring. Add fruits, nuts, meat, fish, a variety of vegetables, dress it. Make it exciting. Check out some salads.











Tuesday, 12 April 2016

553.Multi grain garlic naan

MULTI GRAIN GARLIC NAAN#BREAD BAKERS     

A healthy take on naan

  As much as we all love naan with our curries, naan is made from refined flour (plain flour, all purpose flour) which is not that healthy. During the process of refining the flour, the husk and bran, the most nutritious part of the wheat grain and rich in fiber is removed. What is left the white part which is carbohydrate, without any vitamins or minerals. Bleaching chemicals are used to make the flour more white. Consuming white flour on a regular basis along with sugar is bad for the body. Weight gain, insulin resistance and diabetes may result in over consumption of white flour. In order to enjoy naan but in a more healthy way, I make it using multi grain flour. I make my own mixture at home as we don't get it in the shops here. I use about 8 different grains to make my multi grained flour. I use this flour daily for rotis and parathas. The recipe for the multi grain is given below. When Karen of Karen's Kitchen Stories set the theme of using garlic in our bake for the month of April, I kept on thinking about garlic bread. I've already baked breads using garlic. So had to clear my head and think of other options. Made egg curry a few days ago and multi grain naan. That's when the tube light went on and I decided on my bake for April. Naan with garlic are just awesome, tasty and add a whole new dimension to the boring plain naan. 
So without much rambling, here's the recipe for multi grain garlic naan.                                       

 


 
                                                                                                                                                                           



MULTI GRAIN GARLIC NAAN
Makes 10-12 naans

Multi grain flour :

6 cups whole wheat flour
½ cup finger millet flour (ragi, wimbi)
½ cup barley flour (jowar, jau)
½ cup soya bean flour
½ cup oat flour
½ cup millet flour (bajra)
½ cup green gram flour (moong flour) or can add chickpea flour
½ cup amaranth flour (rajgira, terere)

Mix all the flours very well in a large container. Store in an airtight container. I prefer to sieve the mixed flour for an even mix.





For the multi grain garlic naan :
4 cups multi grain flour
2¼ tsp instant dry active yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup warm milk
1½ tsp salt
¼ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
¼ cup yogurt (at room temperature)
4 tbsp oil
extra flour for dusting and rolling
extra oil for greasing

For topping :
some water for brushing
4-6 tbsp butter
6-8 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
3-4 tbsp black sesame seeds or nigella seeds(kalonji)


  1. Mix flour, yeast, salt, soda bicarbonate and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  2. Rub oil into the flour.
  3. Mix milk and yogurt together.
  4. Using the milk yogurt mixture form a dough.
  5. Dust the worktop or board with flour and knead the dough till becomes smooth. (About 5 minutes)
  6. Put the dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let the dough rise till its double the size. This takes about 1-1½ hours.
  7. Knead the dough gently. Divide it into 10 -12 parts.
  8. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  9. Grease a baking tray with oil.
  10. Roll the dough parts into balls. Cover with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes.
  11. Dust the worktop with a bit of flour.
  12. Take one ball and roll it out into a round or oval shape about ¼" thick.
  13. Scatter the garlic slices and black sesame seeds (or nigella seeds) over it and gently roll over it once twice, lightly.
  14. Roll out the remaining dough and place on baking trays.
  15. Brush the top of naans with water.
  16. Place the rolled naan in the hot oven and bake for 5-6 minutes. Half way through, flip the naans over.
  17. Remove the naans from the oven. Bake the remaining naans.
  18. Just before serving, switch on the broiler (grill). Let the naans bake for 2-3 minutes till its light brown on top.
  19. Brush with butter and serve immediately.
Tips:
  • Roll out all the naans before baking. Its easier to keep an eye on the baking and broiling.
  • You can add fresh fenugreek leaves to the dough.
  • Top the naans with chopped chillis instead of garlic or add both.
You may want to check out the following bakes by fellow bakers :

   

BreadBakers
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.



We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.



If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

Monday, 2 May 2016

557.Panchmel Bhajias/Vadas (mixed dal vadas)

Anytime is bhajia time

   During my visit to Dubai, I was fortunate enough to meet up with two fellow bloggers, Rafeeda, blogger at The Big Sweet Tooth and Huma of Gheza e Shiriin whom I have known through blogging for a couple of years now. I was super excited as I was meeting fellow bloggers for the first time. These two ladies are so friendly and we chatted away till eventually I had to leave as my family was waiting for me. Wish we could have had more time together. When we met, it didn't even feel as though I was meeting them for the first time. It felt like I've known them for years. I can never forget that when I was new to the blogging world, Huma was the first one to invite me to be a guest on her blog. I was on the top of the world and so thrilled. Rafeeda has always been there to answer questions about blogging and suggestions in groups that we are a part of without hesitation. Hoping that this meeting will develop into a strong friendship. As I keep on mentioning, now and again, blogging is what penpal concept was a few years ago. Talking about penpals, I first came across Jolly Makkar's posts in a group that we both are members of. Through her I got to join Foodie Monday- Bloghop group. I've made new friends who live in India, UK, US, Qatar through this group. One is also my distant relative. What a small world. Though our ages are different, we learn and share a lot, not just about blogging but about life in general.     
  Coming to today's recipe,bhajias(vadas, bhajji) are famous in most Indian households world over. You really don't need an excuse to indulge in this popular snack. It rained a bit, ok it drizzled a bit and my mind was made up to make some bhajias for my next #FoodieMonday #bloghop theme No. 38#DalDelights. By the time I got the bhajias ready, the rain had disappeared and the sun was out. However, hubby and I still enjoyed some fried food after a long time. The last fried snack I had made was a few weeks ago. Panchmel, panchratna or panchkuti means a mixture of five lentils. These bhajias or vadas turned out crispy from outside and soft inside. Thoroughly enjoyed them with a coconut mango chutney. I made both versions, the fried and also in an appe pan (paniyaram pan, ebelskiver pan). The fried ones obviously turned out nice and golden all over which was not the case in the ones made in the pan. However, next time keeping health factor in mind I will make them in the appe pan. Though they did not become golden all over, the outer part was still very crunchy.What are lentils? Lentils are edible pulses.They usually grow in a pod, varying in number from 1 to 12 seeds. Lentils are much smaller than beans.In India the term lentils is used for dals. Dals are usually split beans like split chickpea (chana dal), split pigeon pea(toor dal), split green grams(moong dal), split black beans (urad dal), split puy lentils(masoor dal), split cowpeas (chora dal) etc.  
Check out the recipe.










deep fried
made in an appe pan

PANCHMEL BHAJIAS/VADAS (MIXED DAL VADAS)
Makes about 30

¼ cup split chickpea (chana dal)
¼ cup split green gram (moong dal)
¼ cup split black gram (urad dal)
¼ cup split puy lentils (masoor dal)
¼ cup split pigeon pea (tuvar, toor dal)
1 large onion chopped
2-3 green chillis finely chopped
1" ginger piece
½ cup chopped fresh fenugreek(methi)
½ tsp coarse pepper
2 tbsp water
1 tsp cumin (jeera)
1½ -1¾ tsp salt
1 tbsp hot oil
a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing)

oil for deep frying

  1. Wash the lentils(pulses) and soak in warm water for 3-4 hours.
  2. Drain out the water and put the lentils in a food processor.
  3. Add onion and ginger and process the mixture to a coarse paste.
  4. Add chopped chillis, fenugreek, cumin, asafoetida, pepper, salt, oil and water.
  5. Mix the batter well.
  6. Heat oil in a wok, karai over medium heat till its hot.
  7. Take a tablespoon full of the batter and form into a flattish round shape. 
  8. Carefully put it into the hot oil.
  9. Add 5-6 more. Lower the heat and let the bhajias cook till golden brown. 
  10. Don't forget to flip them over frequently.
  11. Serve with your favourite chutney.
To make in an appe pan :
  1. Put the appe pan over medium low heat. 
  2. Add a drop of oil into each of the cavity.
  3. Form a teaspoon full of the batter into a round shape and put it into the cavity.
  4. Repeat the above step till all the cavities are filled.
  5. Cover the appe pan with a lid.
  6. Let the bhajias cook for 3-4 minutes.
  7. Flip them over. Add another drop of oil in each cavity and let the bhajias cook till they become light brown in colour.
  8. Serve immediately.


COCONUT CHUTNEY
¼ cup fresh grated coconut
¼ cup fresh chopped coriander
¼ cup grated raw mango
½ cup water
¼ tsp salt
1-2 green chillis
½ tsp ginger paste
  1. Put the chutney ingredients into a blender jug.
  2. Process into a coarse paste.Add a little more water if required.
  3. Remove the chutney from the blender jug into a bowl.
  4. Serve with hot bhajias.
Tips :
  • If the batter is too dry, add a bit more water. Don't add too much as you will not be able to shape the vadas.
  • Add coriander, chopped curry leaves or spinach instead of fresh fenugreek.
  • After frying each batch of vadas, increase the heat to medium. Lower it once you have added the vadas to the oil.
  • Its important to fry them over low heat otherwise the inside may remain raw.
  • I used the left over vadas to stuff in a pita bread along with some salad and hummus.
You may want to check out the following recipes where I have used a paniyaram or appe pan
paneer lauki kofta curry
vitumbua (rice pancake balls)

Sending this recipe to the following events :

Blog Hop


 Herbs, Spices and Tradition
The Well Seasoned Cook
Lisa's Kitchen

       
Pin It

Sunday, 1 May 2016

556.banana,mango and peanut butter smoothie bowl

Healthy start to the day

     Many of us cannot begin the day without breakfast, some don't have breakfast at all and some just need their daily mug of coffee or tea to begin the day. I cannot skip breakfast especially when I am not fasting. I love to have bread and tea or cereal. However, I have recently got hubby dear to have oats instead of cereal as they say even though he has bran flakes, all cereals contain sugar. I prefer to have a nice thick smoothie. Whatever ingredients I use for his porridge mine go into the blender. My day begins with work in the kitchen before the water disappears, yoga and then after a cold shower, and my prayers I relax and enjoy my breakfast. Its during that time I catch up with all the messages, make calls when required, do a crossword and read the paper. For this month the shhh cooking secretly group decided to have #smoothies as the theme for April. My partner Priya of Priya's Menu  gave me banana and peanut butter as the two secret ingredients. This gave me the opportunity to show off my breakfast. Though the fruit may vary, I try and add nuts, seeds and oats every day to my smoothie. So what is a smoothie bowl? Well, the smoothie in this case is thicker than a drinkable smoothie but thinner than a pudding. The basic ingredients required to make a smoothie bowl are liquid, fruits/vegetables, good fat, thickener, protein and toppings. Here's a rough guideline as to what you can use to make a healthy smoothie bowl:
Liquids can be milk, soy milk, almond or cashew nut milk, yogurt.
Fruits or/both vegetables of your choice.
Good fat - peanut or other nut butters, coconut oil, avocado.
Thickener - yogurt, chia seeds, oats, banana, avocado, mango etc.
Protein - milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, protein powder, nut butters
Topping - chopped fruits, nuts, seeds, shredded coconut, spices, dried fruits, cereals, crumbled cookies
Check out the ingredients that went into my smoothie bowl.












BANANA, MANGO AND PEANUT BUTTER SMOOTHIE BOWL
For 1

½ cup milk
1 banana
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp oats
½ cup peeled and diced mango

For topping :

6-7 grapes
1 tbsp rice crispies
1 tbsp chopped pistachios
1 tbsp chia seeds
½ tsp cinnamon powder


  1. Peel and chop the banana and add into a blender.
  2. Add peanut butter, mango, milk and oats.
  3. Blend the mixture till it becomes smooth.
  4. Take the smoothie out into a bowl.
  5. If you prefer, at this stage can chill it for 30 minutes.
  6. Decorate with the topping and serve.
Tips :
  • Can use frozen fruits.
  • Vary the fruits, seeds and thickeners.
  • I prefer to soak the chia seeds in water for 30 minutes. If you don't have time to do that in the morning, soak them at night.

Sending this recipe for the following event :




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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

555. Coconut Buns/ Chinese Cocktail Buns/ Gai Mei Bao

Cocktail or Cock tail???

    We Knead to Bake's #38 bake for the month of April are Coconut Buns or Chinese Cocktail Buns or Gai Mei Bao. These buns were supposedly created in the 1950s in Hong Kong. The owners of a local bakery were left with unsold buns and instead of throwing them away they decided to ground the buns, added sugar and used it as a filling for new buns. These days left over bread has been replaced by a sweet buttery coconut filling. There are two meaning to the cocktail buns. One is that the exotic mixture of filling deserved the name cocktail much like the cocktails created in bars and pubs. The second is that Gai Mei Bao literally means cock's(chicken) tail bun. The buns are soft and slightly sweet filled with a buttery sweet coconut filling. These buns are typical Hong Kong style buns. The topping, a mixture of flour, butter and sugar is usually piped, 2 lines, on the buns before baking.
    Try out this tasty, delicious buns and a must for coconut lovers. I found that the buns tasted better the next day as the buns were infused with the coconut flavour.








COCONUT BUNS/CHINESE COCKTAIL BUNS/ GAI MEI BAO
Makes 8
Recipe adapted from : The Woks of Life

For the buns:
 2½ cups plain flour(all purpose flour)
1½ tbsp corn starch (corn flour)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp instant dry yeast
¾ tsp salt
¼ cup sugar
⅔ cup warm milk

extra flour for dusting
extra butter for greasing

For the filling :
50g (approx 3 tbsp) soft butter
1½ tbsp sugar
1½ tbsp plain flour (all purpose flour)
⅛ cup (2 tbsp) milk powder
⅓ cup fresh grated coconut

For the topping :
2 tbsp milk
25g (1½ tbsp) soft butter
2 tsp sugar
2tbsp plain flour (all purpose flour)

some milk for brushing on top
1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds

Preparation of the dough for the buns :
  1. Sieve flour, corn flour and salt together in a large bowl.
  2. Add sugar and yeast. Mix well.
  3. Make a well in the middle of the flour. Add the egg and milk.
  4. Form a dough.
  5. Knead the dough for 10 -15 minutes by hand or 7-10 minutes by machine till it is soft and pliable.
  6. Grease the bowl lightly. Form the dough into a ball. 
  7. Place the dough in the bowl. Cover it with a cling film. Place the bowl in a warm place.
  8. Let the dough rise for 1½ hr or till its double in size.
Preparation of the filling :
  1. Cream the butter and sugar lightly.
  2. Add the flour, milk powder and coconut and mix well into a paste.
  3. Divide the paste into 8 parts.
Preparation of the topping :
  1. Cream butter and sugar till its mixed.
  2. Add flour and mix and finally add the milk.
  3. Mix well and keep on the side till required.
Final preparation of the buns :
  1. Divide the risen dough into 8 parts.
  2. Roll the parts into balls.
  3. Roll one part into a small oval shape about 4"X 3".
  4. Put one part of the filling in the middle of the dough.
  5. Pinch the two long ends together Seal the ends well. 
  6. Tuck the ends to form an oval shape.
  7. Place the bun on a greased or parchment lined baking tray with the sealed part under.
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 with the remaining dough and filling.
  9. Cover the buns with a tea towel and left them rise for 45 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  11. Brush the buns with milk.
  12. Place the topping mixture into a piping bag or a plastic bag. Snip off the end to form a small hole.
  13. Pipe 2 lines of the topping on each bun. I piped 3 as I had enough topping.
  14. Sprinkle the buns with sesame seeds.
  15. Place the tray in the oven and bake the buns for 20 -25 minutes or till the buns are golden in colour.
  16. Remove the buns from the oven.
  17. Place them on a wire rack to cool.
Tips :
  • You can brush the buns with sugar glaze or honey as soon as they come out of the oven. I didn't do that as there's enough sugar in the buns.
  • Next time I will probably make more filling as I found the filling too little.
  • I will also make the buns smaller as they were pretty big. 
  • If you don't get fresh grated coconut, you can use frozen fresh grated coconut.
You may want to check out the following :
leopard patch bread


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Monday, 25 April 2016

554.Vegetable Noodle soup

What is Indo Chinese?

    The 37th #FoodieMonday#bloghop theme is #Indo-Chinese. What is Indo-Chinese? Indo-Chinese dishes feature in most Indian restaurants that serve fast food, Indian cuisine and you will find it as street food too. Indo-Chinese is one of the most favourite cuisine for Indians. The Indo Chinese mania has spread as far as America, Europe, Australia, Africa, basically to all the the continents. Basically its Chinese food with Indian flavours and ingredients that are popularly available in India. It is nothing like the authentic Chinese food that uses bok choy, choi sum, watercress, chinese broccoli,chinese water spinach, chinese amaranth, napa cabbage, ji cai, tofu, Sichuan pepper. Indo-Chinese cuisine uses bell pepper, cabbage, corn, baby corn, carrots,cauliflower etc. Indo-Chinese cuisine uses sweet and sour sauce, oyster, sauce, soy sauce, black bean sauce, hoisin sauce, szechwan and manchurian sauce just to name a few.
  How was India introduced to this cuisine? Well according to Wikipedia, a small community of Chinese mainly from the Hakka region settled in Calcutta during the 19th Century. They started cooking with Indian spices and vegetables to appease the Indian population. Since then Indo- Chinese cuisine has evolved to spring dosa, chinese bhel, idlis with chinese flavours etc. Manchurian, spring rolls, Chow mein, Manchow soup, American chop suey, chilli chicken/paneer, fried rice, date pancakes are some of the more popular Indo-Chinese dishes. 
     For the Indo Chinese theme I chose to go the healthy way by preparing a 'chat pata' Vegetable noodle soup.Most Indo-Chinese food is not too friendly for our hips as most of it is fried or requires one uses a good amount of oil. So here's a healthy soup.I've used Soba noodles. Soba noodles are usually made from buckwheat or wheat flour and are thin compared to the udon noodles which are thick.








VEGETABLE NOODLE SOUP
Serves 4

6oz (approx 150g) soba noodles
4-5 cups water/vegetable stock
10-12 spinach leaves (palak)
2 medium carrots
½ bell pepper-any colour
¼ cup chopped spring onion
7-8 cauliflower florets, cut into bite size pieces
10 -12 mushrooms, cut into slices
1 medium onion, cut into slices
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1-1¼ tsp salt
1-2 tsp chilli sauce
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce 
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp coarse pepper powder
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds


  1. Prepare all the vegetables. Peel the carrots, cut into half length wise and then cut into slices. Cut the bell pepper into large cubes.
  2. Heat oil in a deep pan. Add sesame oil.
  3. Add onion slices, ginger and garlic pastes and saute them for a few seconds.
  4. Add all the vegetables except the spring onion and spinach.
  5. Stir fry the vegetables for 1 minute on high heat.
  6. Add water or vegetable stock and let it become hot.
  7. As soon the water becomes hot and begins to boil, add the noodles and salt.
  8. Take the pan off the heat.Add the spinach leaves. Cover the pan for 3 minutes.
  9. Add chilli sauce, vinegar, soy sauce and pepper powder.
  10. Spoon the soup into serving bowls. Sprinkle chopped onion and sesame seeds and serve.
Tips :
  • Use vegetables of your choice.
  • You can use normal noodles.
  • If you don't have home made chilli sauce you can use ready made one.
  • The vegetables and noodles in this soup are not overcooked. 
You may want to check out the following :
mushroom egg fried rice
sesame honey chilli potatoes
chilli paneer




     
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Thursday, 21 April 2016

Salads

Some exciting salads 

Its really hot and the last thing one wants to have is a heavy meal. Salads make a good and healthy option. However, they don't have to be boring. Add fruits, nuts, meat, fish, a variety of vegetables, dress it. Make it exciting. Check out some salads.











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Tuesday, 12 April 2016

553.Multi grain garlic naan

MULTI GRAIN GARLIC NAAN#BREAD BAKERS     

A healthy take on naan

  As much as we all love naan with our curries, naan is made from refined flour (plain flour, all purpose flour) which is not that healthy. During the process of refining the flour, the husk and bran, the most nutritious part of the wheat grain and rich in fiber is removed. What is left the white part which is carbohydrate, without any vitamins or minerals. Bleaching chemicals are used to make the flour more white. Consuming white flour on a regular basis along with sugar is bad for the body. Weight gain, insulin resistance and diabetes may result in over consumption of white flour. In order to enjoy naan but in a more healthy way, I make it using multi grain flour. I make my own mixture at home as we don't get it in the shops here. I use about 8 different grains to make my multi grained flour. I use this flour daily for rotis and parathas. The recipe for the multi grain is given below. When Karen of Karen's Kitchen Stories set the theme of using garlic in our bake for the month of April, I kept on thinking about garlic bread. I've already baked breads using garlic. So had to clear my head and think of other options. Made egg curry a few days ago and multi grain naan. That's when the tube light went on and I decided on my bake for April. Naan with garlic are just awesome, tasty and add a whole new dimension to the boring plain naan. 
So without much rambling, here's the recipe for multi grain garlic naan.                                       

 


 
                                                                                                                                                                           



MULTI GRAIN GARLIC NAAN
Makes 10-12 naans

Multi grain flour :

6 cups whole wheat flour
½ cup finger millet flour (ragi, wimbi)
½ cup barley flour (jowar, jau)
½ cup soya bean flour
½ cup oat flour
½ cup millet flour (bajra)
½ cup green gram flour (moong flour) or can add chickpea flour
½ cup amaranth flour (rajgira, terere)

Mix all the flours very well in a large container. Store in an airtight container. I prefer to sieve the mixed flour for an even mix.





For the multi grain garlic naan :
4 cups multi grain flour
2¼ tsp instant dry active yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup warm milk
1½ tsp salt
¼ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
¼ cup yogurt (at room temperature)
4 tbsp oil
extra flour for dusting and rolling
extra oil for greasing

For topping :
some water for brushing
4-6 tbsp butter
6-8 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
3-4 tbsp black sesame seeds or nigella seeds(kalonji)


  1. Mix flour, yeast, salt, soda bicarbonate and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  2. Rub oil into the flour.
  3. Mix milk and yogurt together.
  4. Using the milk yogurt mixture form a dough.
  5. Dust the worktop or board with flour and knead the dough till becomes smooth. (About 5 minutes)
  6. Put the dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let the dough rise till its double the size. This takes about 1-1½ hours.
  7. Knead the dough gently. Divide it into 10 -12 parts.
  8. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  9. Grease a baking tray with oil.
  10. Roll the dough parts into balls. Cover with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes.
  11. Dust the worktop with a bit of flour.
  12. Take one ball and roll it out into a round or oval shape about ¼" thick.
  13. Scatter the garlic slices and black sesame seeds (or nigella seeds) over it and gently roll over it once twice, lightly.
  14. Roll out the remaining dough and place on baking trays.
  15. Brush the top of naans with water.
  16. Place the rolled naan in the hot oven and bake for 5-6 minutes. Half way through, flip the naans over.
  17. Remove the naans from the oven. Bake the remaining naans.
  18. Just before serving, switch on the broiler (grill). Let the naans bake for 2-3 minutes till its light brown on top.
  19. Brush with butter and serve immediately.
Tips:
  • Roll out all the naans before baking. Its easier to keep an eye on the baking and broiling.
  • You can add fresh fenugreek leaves to the dough.
  • Top the naans with chopped chillis instead of garlic or add both.
You may want to check out the following bakes by fellow bakers :

   

BreadBakers
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.



We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.



If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.
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