Monday, April 22, 2013

Dal Vadas / Crisp vadas with cabbage and lentils

This is a favourite recipe that I got from my aunt. Crispy Dal vadas with cabbage which is quite a hit every time I have made it. This is a fail proof recipe and since the soaking is just for an hour or so, you can easily add it as a starter in your menu, when you have guests over.


I made this for Ugadi and Tamil New year a couple of weeks back. That time I did not use onions and garlic, since we normally don't have it during any religious occasions. Tastes as good either way. The cabbage is really crispy in these vadas and you will not miss the onions, if you choose not to use it.

cabbage vadas

Cabbage and Chana dal Vadas

What you need -

2 cups Chana dal / Bengal gram dal
1 cup finely chopped cabbage
1 medium onion chopped fine
1/2 cup cleaned and chopped coriander leaves
2 green chillies
1/2" piece ginger
3-4 cloves of garlic
salt to taste
oil for deep frying

What you do with it -

Soak the chana dal in water for about 1-2 hours
Rinse and drain out the water
Grind the chana dal along with the ginger, garlic and green chillies to a coarse paste
Do not add any water while grinding
Take this batter out in a large bowl
Add the onions and cabbage, chopped coriander leaves and salt
In a deep pan, heat the oil
Take a small amount of the batter and press it down slightly with your fingers to form a round patty
Slide it into the oil and allow to turn golden brown
Flip over and allow to brown on the other side
Remove and place on a absorbent paper
Serve with green chutney

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Corn stuffed bread rolls

Ever since I saw this stuffed bread roll on Sara's Bake tales, I was itching to bake it. The recipe looked simple enough and I decided that a simple filling of corn, tomatoes and capsicum would work really well with this

stuffed bread

Since it was really hot in Ahmedabad, it hardly took any time for the dough to rise. I had left it by the light that streaked into through the glass windows of my balcony. When I went back to check on this, there were ants all over the bowl. Summer is a difficult time, dealing with the heat and these ants. They had gone right through the dough. Its just so frustrating when you are waiting to try something out and then something as silly as this happens !

bread roll slices

I just had to bake this and eat it that day, so I dumped the entire dough in the bin and started all over again. Since it was close to 5 in the evening, I was a little worried about the dough rising again, but it all worked out fine. I made two 8" size rolls with this dough and really enjoyed it

Sending this to Susan's Yeastspotting

Corn stuffed bread rolls
Adapted from Sara's Baketales

What you need -

For the dough

1 cup (250gm) flour / maida
1.5 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 -3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 tbsp butter for brushing over the loaf

For the filling

1 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup chopped capsicum
1 medium sized tomato
1 small onion
3 tbsp grated cheese
1/2 tsp crushed pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano / Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
2 tbsp olive oil

What you do with it -

Take the flour in a large bowl
In a bowl of water water (1/2 cup), sprinkle the yeast, salt, sugar and a spoon of olive oil
If using dry yeast granules, wait for it to froth up a little and then pour over the flour
With instant yeast, you can add it to the flour immediately
Knead the dough, adding little more water, only if required
Make the dough in a large ball and add the remaining olive oil
Place in a greased bowl and cover with cling film or a thin cloth
Keep aside for about 456 to 2 hours depending on how warm it is
Get the filling ready while the dough is rising
Heat a tsp of olive oil in a pan
Add the onions and capsicum pieces
Stir on high heat for 2-3 mins and then add the corn kernels
Once the corn is slightly cooked, add the tomatoes and all the seasoning, salt and pepper
Keep aside and allow it to cool
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and knead for 2-3 mions on a floor dusted area
Roll into a 10"x 8" rectangle, sprinkle a little olive oil over it
Sprinkle the filling evenly over the top, about an inch away from the sides and then roll it up gently, using both your hands
Fold in the edges under the roll and roll it on the surface to smoothen out the edges, as evenly as possible
Make a few narrow gashes on the roll with a sharp knife
Place it on a greased baking sheet and allow it to rise for another 15-20 mins
Pre heat the oven at 180 C for about 10 mins
Bake at 180 C for 15-20 mins
Once its done, brush with a little butter and wait for it to cool slightly before you cut it

Friday, April 12, 2013

Erissery / Kerala style pumpkin and black-eyed beans

Erissery - Another of those dishes that features on the Onam Sadya - a traditional festive spread in Kerala. This is a homely comforting dish with red pumpkin and black eyed beans in a coconut curry with a slight hint of spice.


Red pumpkin is used in almost all states in India, with so many variations. Anything with coconut spells homely food to me and my son likes the mildly sweet taste of this dish. Its a healthy option with the black-eyed beans and goes well with rice and rasam.

This recipe is from 'Flavours of the Spice Coast' by Mrs K M Mathew, which I got as a giveaway from Sig, who seems to be missing from the blog world for some time now. I really miss reading her posts. You may also want to try this theeyal, another great recipe from this book.

Recipe adapted from Flavours of the Spice Coast by Mrs K M Mathew

What you need -

1/4 cup black eyed beans (soaked in water for at least 2-3 hours)
2 cups water
2 cups chopped pumpkin
1/2 cup grated coconut
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
2-3 cloves of garlic
salt to taste
For seasoning -
1 tsp oil (Use coconut oil for a more authentic taste)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp chopped onion
a few curry leaves
2 red chillies, broken in half
1 tsp grated coconut

What you do with it -

Pressure cook the black eyed beans. Should get done in two whistles.
Steam cook the pumpkin pieces alng with a little turmeric
Combine the pumpkin and black eyed beans in a pan
Coarsely grind the grated coconut, turmeric powder, garlic cloves and chilli powder
Add this to the pumpkin and beans, along with a little salt
Bring to a slow boil, so the spice paste blends well and turn off the heat
Heat oil in a small pan and splutter the mustard seeds
Add the chopped onions, red chillies and curry leaves
Add grated coconut and sauté till the coconut turns slightly brown
Pour this seasoning into the pan
Serve hot with rice and sambar or rasam

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Paanak / Aam ka panna / Raw mango cooler

Ugadi (Yug-aadi) is celebrated as the New year by people from Karnataka and Andhra. It is also celebrated as Gudi Padwa by Maharashtrians. Since this almost always heralds the summer, raw mangoes are always in season during this time and used in many dishes, like this raw mango rice, raw mango pachchdi and this really cooling drink of paanak / aam ka panna.


I had called my friends over for a Ugadi lunch today. Made raw mango rice, Mysore rasam, black chana ghashi, kosambari with moong dal and seviyan kheer.

This drink made with raw mangoes is popular in many states of India, though there are some variations in the way its made. We usually make it by adding jaggery and cardamoms to the raw mangoes

Its really hot here and has touched 40 C already and this isn't even the real summer here as yet. May is really the worst, with the sun just scorching away.

aam ka panna

Aerated drinks just don't seem to quench your thirst and this paanak comes in real handy. Its quite simple to make and store in the freezer. The jaggery balances the sour taste of the raw mangoes and the salt replenishes the body. Add water to this, top it with ice and mint for a refreshing drink in the hot hot summer.

Wish you all a very happy and prosperous Ugadi !

What you need -

2 raw mangoes
1/2 cup grated jaggery
3 cardamoms
1/2 tsp black salt
mint leaves to garnish

What you do with it -

Chop the mangoes close to the edge of the mango seed to get large pieces
Place in a shallow vessel along with the pods of the cardamom and the grated jaggery
Steam or pressure cook for one whistle
Allow it to cool. Remove the skin and seed, after you remove all the pulp around it
Add the salt and put it thru the blender, along with the jaggery and cardamom
Add some water and ice and stir in well
Garnish with mint leaves

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Grape and raisin flatbread (Vegan)

Food blogging is so much more than just blogging about food. It connects you to this whole new universe of people who are so passionate about cooking, baking and sharing it with the rest of the world. It has helped me learn so much about cooking, photography and nicest part has been getting to know like-minded people, even if they lived on the other side of the globe.

Thanks to the various interesting groups on facebook, I got to know Anusha of Tomato Blues and I was thrilled to know of a food blogger who is just a few hours drive from here. She asked me if I am interested in joining a group called Groovy Gourmets on facebook. They select a blog, book or recipe every month and you can choose what you'd like to make from it. Everyone then posts it on the 3rd of the following month.

grape and raisin focaccia

This month's theme was something vegan from Roxana's home baking.
There are plenty of black grapes in the markets now. Beautiful colour, seedless and delicious. I was contemplating making a grape focaccia for the longest time and then saw this on Roxana's blog.

Sticking to deadlines is something I manage to do, though most of the times, it happens a few minutes before the deadline. I finally baked it for breakfast this morning. Had it with cheese slices and the fig preserve that I made a couple of weeks back. The smell of freshly baked bread in the morning is something I would love waking up to, just that in my case I am the one who has to wake up and bake it...

focaccia slice

Working with a starter looked very daunting, and I had very little time on hand, so I made a few changes and thankfully, it all worked out in the end. Here's the link to Roxana's recipe and here's my version

This yeast beauty is off to Susan's Yeastspotting

Vegan grape and raisin flatbread

What you need -

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup maida / APF
1 tsp instant yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1/4 cup olive oil
pinch of salt
1 tsp sugar
1/3 cup raisins
a few fresh black grapes

What you do with it -

In a large mixing bowl add the flours and the yeast along with the salt and sugar.
Pour the warm water over it and stir it in with a wooden spoon
Add 1/2 the olive oil and grease your fingers and gently mix in the flours to form a sticky dough
Add in the raisins and mix once more
Preheat the oven to 180 C
Transfer to a greased bowl and allow it to rise in a warm place till it doubles in size
Once the dough has risen, punch it down and shape it into a little circle
Dimple the dough with a few fresh black grapes and allow to rise for another 15-20 mins
Bake at 180 C for 15-20 mins or till the top turns golden brown
Let it cool for a couple of minutes and then enjoy it with butter, cheese or a preserve


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