Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Baked and filled khakhra cups

The theme chosen for the Free Spirit Bloggers this month is "Savoury party starters"! I know, that all of you are very interested now, to check out mine as well as the rest of the team members' sites for super cool ideas.
Suggestions from baked to pan fried, simple to complex cooking were coming forth in torrents. Mini samosas, baked potatoes, bite size burgers and many more were discussed. I had wanted to go with kababs, but never initiated any move in that direction. Then one morning, I decided, I will do canapes. My papadam canapes have been often repeated snacks at home and I wanted to try something similar.
Why not mini khakhras and make canapes then? I decided and quickly set out with the preparations to mix the dough and such.
Just then, while chatting, Madhuri said that she had been to a product launch and they had served something bite size with cheese and stuff. I had a flash of brainwave then, to make the khakhras in cup shapes and fill, instead of the usual canapes.
A small change in the plan....result: wonderful cup shapes khakhras!

I was very happy about the final product and now started wondering about the fillings.
Again it was Niki who put in many ideas and so did my husband. And I was surprising myself with the different ideas I could think of (which is rare, I shall confess).

Having raved so much, I think it is time to switch to the recipe.
It was also decided that we post something that we can make ahead of the actual party day, it shall be something that we can serve a good number of guests and we can show just a few in pictures while the recipe will be multiples of the servings shown in the picture.

I have made them using my muffin tray, while I feel that if I had baked them in mini muffin moulds, that would have been a great idea. Just the right size for starters and you can have much more for the same quantity of prepared dough.
However, feel free not to bake in muffin moulds but roll and cut in desired shapes before baking, and make canapes. Or roll them as with usual khakhras and cook on stove top too.
You may use your own filling ideas which incidentally, can be innumerable. For kids' parties you may make them sweet, cheesy and much more. Serve a dip in these cups with finger cuts of salad veggies and later eat the cup too!

I have made with four different fillings here.

Ingredients for Khakhra cups:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
(or use 2 cups whole wheat flour)
2 table spoons Kasuri methi
2 table spoons caraway seeds (ajwain/omam)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Water to knead the dough to soft yet stiff consistency
Oil to grease the muffin tray

Sift the flours and the salt together. Add the kasuri methi and the ajwain and mix well. Rub the oil in.
Gradually add sufficient water and knead well to form a slightly stiff but pliable dough.
Cover the dough and rest it for about 20 minutes. Knead again and pinch out very tiny marble size balls of the dough. (Alternately, pinch out enough dough to roll into big rounds and then cut out small circles that can fit in the muffin trays.)
Grease the moulds of the muffin tray and keep ready.
Roll the pinched out marbles into very thin circular discs, taking care not to tear them. Dust some flour to achieve the thin discs.
Pre heat the oven to 200 Degrees Centigrade.
Fill the muffin moulds in the tray with the rolled discs to form cup shapes. They need not be perfectly fitting or evenly filled too.
Bake at 200 degrees Centigrade for just 6 minutes.
Proceed with the rest of the dough. Keep the dough covered with a damp cloth so it does not dry.
The khakhras have to be made crisp. You may prick the surface with the edge of a safety pin or tooth pick and bake them.
Remove from the oven and spread them on place mats or trays to cool.
Store them in airtight containers.
Khakhras usually keep fresh for long many days. So, when you are planning these for a party you may prepare them much ahead and store them.

This quantity will give you about 72 cups in the normal muffin size. With the mini moulds you may have plenty more.

The most interesting part was the filling. I thought really hard to make some attractive and delectable ones which can also be made a day or two ahead and refrigerated, allowing you respite from this chore and enough time to concentrate on the other dishes.

Hummus was one filling I used with the olives to top it. Just before serving, place a spoonful of hummus in the cup and top it with pitted olives.

My daughter suggested Pico de Gallo, when I was going for Salsa. In this case, I assembled the rest of the ingredients and refrigerated them. Only the tomatoes were added on the actual day.
I have used the recipe from Dhivya's Chef in you where she has a very valuable tip for this. Check that out!

Again Niki's suggestion was the crumbled feta cheese and peppers filling, in which I replaced the feta cheese with paneer.

The recipe for Paneer and peppers crumble:

250 grams paneer crumbled
2 large red bell peppers deseeded and cut in tiny cubes
2 large green bell peppers deseeded and cut in tiny cubes
5 green chillis slit, seeds removed and chopped very fine
1 medium onion sliced very fine
Juice from 2 lemons
2 teaspoons oil
Salt to taste
If desired some chat masala/ roasted and ground cumin
Olive oil to drizzle

Before cutting the bell peppers, chop the top off, scoop the seeds out and stand them in boiling water for just a minute. Remove from the water and cut them in uniform cubes.
Heat oil in a pan and add the green chillis, toss for a minute and add the onions. Saute for a few minutes and then add the cubed peppers and salt. Mix them thoroughly, and just before removing from the heat, add the crumbled paneer.
Take it off the stove and blend the lemon juice in it.
While assembling this in the khakhra cups, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the chat masala.
This is a colourful and delicious filling.

The next filling is spiced hung yoghurt with a cherry tomato topping garnished with small quantity of dukkah.

1 litre home set yoghurt
Salt to taste
A fist full of mint leaves
1 teaspoon roasted and powdered caraway seeds
Cherry tomatoes
Dukkah as required

Transfer the yoghurt on a cheese cloth. Tie it up and hang in a hook with a bowl below it for several hours.
When the whey in the yoghurt has drained into the bowl, remove the solid content from the cheese cloth.
Transfer this hung yoghurt on a large flat dish.
Run the mint leaves and salt in a mixer to a coarse texture.
Add the mint, caraway seeds powder and dukkah to the yoghurt and incorporate the spices in the yoghurt.

This filling can be refrigerated for a four days.
While assembling, drop a spoonful of the spiced yoghurt into the khakhra cups. Place a cherry tomato on the yoghurt and sprinkle some dukkah on the top.

One more topping was the spicy corn. I store some frozen corn in the freezer and boil it to have as snack. Also there I grind a coarse paste of ginger, green chilli and garlic and add to the corn. Toss them and salt until they blend and eat it for a spicy snack.
That can be used as filling for the cups too.

Hope you enjoyed my party starter. Just use your resources and imagination to bring about more fillings or toppings, in case you are making canapes.

Do not just stop here, head over to Anu's, Deepti's, Dhivya's, Mads', Mridhu's, Nags' and Siri's spaces to check what they may indulge you with, when you are invited to party with them.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Vendaikkai mandi in microwave

Chettinad cooking is one of the unique South Indian cuisines. Most dishes are hot, pungent and spicy with generous amounts of spices added to the ingredients. Most often the spices are freshly ground. Garlic and onion are integral part of many dishes.
Most dishes are usually eaten with cooked rice. Vendaikkai mandi is one such gravy dish that complements and compliments steamed rice.
Mandi is the starch rich water that is obtained while rinsing the rice to cleanse the rice prior to cooking. The vendaikkai (okra/ladies' fingers) is cooked in this starch water along with spices and onions in a tamrind based gravy. The 'arisi mandi' makes this dish tasting unique and delectable.
You may need quite an amount of this arisi mandi. Hence you may choose to prepare this dish on days that you soak rice for idlis or dosais, when you will be soaking about two or more cups of rice.

10-12 numbers okras
15 shallots peeled and sliced in strips (keep aside about 5 whole for tempering)
12 pods garlic peeled and chopped
4 green chillis slit lengthwise (reduce if you cannot take the heat)
1 large tomato
1 big gooseberry size tamarind
1 large cup 'arisi mandi' (see below how to prepare arisi mandi)
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt as required

For tempering:
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
few fresh curry leaves
5 shallots that were kept aside in the list of ingredients

How to prepare arisi mandi:
Take 2 cups of rice in a bowl. Rinse lightly once in running water. Drain and add a cup of water to the rice.
Using your fingers give the rice a thorough rinse with this water, pressing hard to extract the starch. Transfer the starch rich water to another bowl. Repeat once again with about 1/2 a cup of fresh water. Add this to the earlier extract.
This is arisi mandi. This will be later added to the gravy while cooking.

Wash and pat the okras dry. Cut them in 1" long pieces.
Soak the tamarind in a little amount of the arisi mandi. Extract the pulp and keep aside.
Chop the tomato and keep aside.
Place oil in a microwave proof bowl. Add the mustard seeds and fennel seeds. Heat on 100% power for 2 minutes without lid on. Allow the mustard seeds to crackle.
Add the whole and sliced shallots, garlic, green chillis, turmeric powder and curry leaves. Cook again on 100% power for 1 minute until the shallots are shining.
Now add the okra pieces. Toss them in the oil well and add the tamarind pulp. cover and cook on 80% microwave for 4 minutes. It is alright if this may result in the okras being cooked slightly dry.
Add the salt, tomatoes and the arisi mandi. Cook covered on 80% power for 6 minutes. By this time the tomatoes would have cooked in a pulp and the gravy would have thickened slightly.
This gravy has to be medium thick. If it is watery, return to microwave on 100% power for a further minute.
Serve hot with steamed rice.
Usually mochchai kottai, which is tamil name for field beans and potatoes can be added to this mandi.
Typically in Nagaraththar homes manga vaththal (sun dried raw mango pieces) will be available through the year. They soak some of those mango pieces and reduce the quantity of tamarind for variety.
Adding tomatoes is not a must though it adds colour and body to the mandi.
Okras are very rich in calcium, about 40 grams stirfry has a good amount of calcium in it. Thus, this microwave cooked mandi is being sent to Srivalli's Microwave Easy Cooking Event being hosted by Lakshmi of Kitchen Chronicles asking for Calcium Rich dishes.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Minty lemon barley

With summer in most of the tropics, we are often found to reach for some chilled drink to quench our thirst. During our younger days, our mother used to make barley water that will enable free flow of urine, which, because of perspiration might be less.
Children, with all holiday activities, do not drink the required quantity of water even when they thirst for. The result is severe pain in the lower abdomen and irritation while you force yourself to urinate. The best remedy to this is barley water and hibiscus gulkhand. I remember that my grand mother had always in store somewhat large Horlicks bottles with shoe flower dropped in honey. We were given to eat them whenever we complained of abdominal irritation.
Compelling us to drink plain barley did not work and so often they had to disguise it in juices. We were given Sathgudi orange juice or a lemonade made with barley water. Nowadays, I consciously drink barley water. Many times though, I add lemon juice or buttermilk and to spice it up, a bit of salt or cumin powder and such.
My homegrown mints are often used in my day to day cooking. Mint is cooling to the body and can be used in many ways. I made lemonade with barley and dropped some crushed mint leaves in it. They added a nice flavour to the drink.
I have skipped the granulated white sugar and added 'sugar free'. It is your choice as to how you want to sweeten the drink. Sometimes I have this salted with a hint of black salt skipping the sugar entirely. You can add honey also.

4 teaspoons barley
1200 ml water
1 teaspoon crushed cumin seeds
Juice from 4 large limes
Sugar as required to taste
Few fresh mint leaves

Wash barley and clean it.
Take the barley with the water in a large pan. Keep on high heat and bring to a boil.
Add the crushed cumin seeds and simmer on the lowest heat for at least 30 minutes to reduce the cooking liquid.
Remove from the stove and strain the liquid. Allow to cool.
Extract juice from 4 large limes/lemons.
When the barley water is completely cool, add the juice and the sugar. Mix well until sugar dissolves.
Crush the mint leaves between your palms and drop them in the juice. Let them float in the juice.
When serving, strain the mint out and serve.
This is not just a summer thirst quencher but a very effective remedy also.
This lemonade is being sent to Siri's Healing foods event, currently hosted at Pritya with Sukham Coolers.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hummus - a nutritious dip

Hummus is one simple, easy to make at home delicious dip. It can be served as an appetizer dip with breads. In Egypt, it is served with pita bread and typically, you may cut the bread open and fill the hummus inside and partake the same.
It is a creamy mixture of soaked and cooked Garbanzo beans (chick peas) ground along with thahini and olive oil, seasoned with generous amounts of garlic and juice of lime.
According to Egyptians, it is an ancient recipe that dates centuries back.
The recipe I am sharing here today is one of the simple recipes known. The recipe is diabetic friendly, iron rich, dietary fibre rich and is vegan diet too.
Usually the canned peas are pureed along with thahini (recipe given under). I have however, soaked chickpeas and cooked it until soft to use in this recipe. You may remove the skin of the chick peas to obtain a smooth texture. I have not done so and hence the texture is slightly coarse, but does not compromise the taste.

1/2 cup chick peas, cleaned and soaked overnight
1 and 1/2 tablespoon thahini paste (check recipe below)
2 or 3 tablespoons lemon juice (you may increase if you like the sour taste)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 whole garlic (about 8 healthy cloves of garlic)
1 teaspoon ground pepper (entirely optional)

Thahini recipe:
1/4 cup sesame seeds evenly roasted until aromatic
2 tablespoons olive oil or sesame seeds oil
Salt to taste
1/3 cup lukewarm water

Run the sesame seeds and the salt in a spice mixer adding gradually the oil. When it blends, add the tepid water also gradually and grind until a smooth paste is obtained.

This is the basic thahini recipe.
You may dilute this and make thahini sauce. This paste keeps well for many days. It can be used in many ways as an ingredient in main recipes.

Method for preparing hummus:
Drain the water from the chick peas. Add fresh water to the chickpeas and pressure cook until it is soft and breaks when pressed between fingers.
Drain the chickpeas from the cooked water and reserve the water for later use while grinding.
Allow the chick peas to cool. If you desire to remove the skin, peel it off gently. (I recommend you retain the skin, for it has sufficient dietary fibre.)
Place the chick peas in the jar of a blender. Add the garlic, thahini, pepper and salt. blend at a medium speed initially. Add the oil and the lemon juice while blending them.
Gradually add required quantity of the reserved water and blend further until a creamy mixture is obtained.
Remove from the blender and transfer to storing jars. Add more oil and store for a few weeks too.
This keeps well for a few days while refrigerated.
serve as a dip with breads, crisps and such. Or you may serve with vegetable salad as a topping too. Add some cooked chickpeas to the hummus and serve.
Some variations are that you can grind without pepper, add chilli peppers and so on. However, adding chilli peppers will reduce shelf life.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rawa Idli

There are days that I wake up in the morning with no idea of what I shall cook for the day's breakfast. Then as I sit having my morning tea, I think of something and go about it. This weekend morning was one such. Though the recipe is nothing novel, I thought I shall share here, just because I started with some karabath (Udupi restaurant lable for rawa upma) in mind and as I was roasting the rawa, I altered course and made rawa idli. This is just to let you know that preparing rawa idli is such a simple task!
The vegetable vendor who delivers vegetables home twice a week can sometimes be very insistent that I relent without my knowledge. Thus I end up having to store some vegetables in the freezer.
An acquaintance in Egypt used to buy vegetables in bulk when they are in season and clean, cut and boil them for a few minutes, drain, cool and store them in her deep freezer for few days. Though I do not do something that elaborate, I too store them in my freezer and consume within a fortnight.
It is not only useful when you have unexpected guests or in a hurry to cook a meal. It also eases my morning chores to pack breakfast for my husband early in the morning to have a few chopped carrots and beans in the freezer.
Contrary to what I have in one of the cookbooks, you do not necessarily have to use sour curds to make rawa idlis. Normal yoghurt is sufficient and if desired you can add ENO, which also mostly I do not, but I have read in many blogs that it works with excellent results.

Ingredients: (Makes 8 rawa idlis)
100 ml semolina
60 ml to 80 ml yoghurt (slightly sour will work best, though not compulsory)
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons finely cut vegetables (carrots and beans, green peas)
3 green chillis chopped
1"piece ginger chopped
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon channa dhal
Few fresh curry leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 tablespoon broken cashew nuts (optional)
1 generous spoonful of ghee/ cooking oil (I use ghee)
1 teaspoon oil for tempering
few drops of oil for greasing the idli moulds

Steam the cut vegetables if you desire that they should be soft.
In a heavy pan, heat the ghee and add the semolina. Roast evenly until aromatic. Keep aside.
Add salt to the yoghurt and mix well. Drop the vegetables in the yoghurt.
Heat oil in the same pan and add the mustard seeds. Allow them to crackle. Add the channa dhal, cashews and green chillis. Toss until they roast to a golden colour. Add the curry leaves and switch off the heat.
Add the tempering to the yoghurt mix along with the coriander leaves.
Grease the idli moulds with oil. Place the steamer with sufficient water on the stove.
Just then add the roasted semolina to the yoghurt mix and stir well. Allow this to stand until the water in the steamer is starting to boil.
If the semolina has become thicker than the consistency of normal idli batter (thick, yet pouring consistency), add some water or yoghurt to the batter.
Quickly fill the prepared moulds and place it in the steamer as the water will be rolling hot now.
Cover the steamer with the lid. Reduce the heat to moderate when the steam gushes out of the steamer vent. Cook thus for 7 minutes.
Switch off the heat and remove the idli plates from the steamer. Allow to cool a bit before recovering the cooked idlis.
Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot with a chutney of choice.

Some points to note:
If you feel the yoghurt will not be sour enough to fluff the idlis, add to the mix a little amount of ENO just before pouring the batter in the moulds, mix thoroughly and then fill the moulds. This way you get soft, porous and well risen idlis.
Do not add the semolina much ahead to the yoghurt. The semolina will soak and the idlis will not be porous. You can allow about five minutes for the semolina mix to stand.
**** (Please read Jayashree's comment below. I had not tried leaving the batter to sit until now. She has pointed out that it can be done also.)

Allow the mould to cool well before removing the idlis.
The quantity of yoghurt/ water depends on the quality of the semolina. You can add to the batter just before filling the moulds according to the consistency.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dukkah - A blend of spices

Just about the other day, I chanced to talk to one of my husband's colleagues from his Egypt office. I called to wish her on Mothers' Day; she has been more than a colleague then and a good friend ever after. She asked me how I liked the West of Africa and spoke about other things like whether I am able to procure all Indian groceries unlike my Egypt years when I carried stuff from India and saved them until my next visit.

As we were speaking I told her about the blog and I said I was so wanting to write a few Egypt recipes that are vegetarian. She gave me a list of few that I could try at home and thus I have this post today! A very simple one and very handy to have.

Dukkah is a mix of coarsely blended nuts and spices. It is a great mix that you can enjoy with bread. You will have to dip the bread in olive oil, just about to coat it and then plunge it into the dukkah to coat it with the spiced powder as much as you like and as much heat your tastebuds can tolerate.

Each household uses their own proportion of nuts and variants too. But mainly hazel nuts and sesame seeds, coriander seeds and pepper corns are used. You can vary the ingredients and quantities and have your very own special spice powder. This is as much variety can get with as the South Indian molagai podai for idlis and dosais.

1 cup of mixed nuts ( I have used hazelnuts, almonds and pistachios)
1/3 cup of sesame seeds
1/6th of a cup coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 and 1/2 tablespoon black pepper corns
Sea salt to taste

Before mixing the nuts, roast each gently on slow fire.
If you get slivered almonds just roast them and add as such. I have used whole almonds and was not easy to remove the skin. Hence my powder is a bit red in colour from the skin and also I pulsed a wee bit longer than required that my nuts were crushed well. (They are usually just about broken to a bit coarse, not very fine.) Nonetheless, the powder tastes great.
Do not over roast the pistachios as they get oily. They need to just get a bit of warmth from the fire.
Roast the sesame seeds without allowing them to brown, but until they pop.
Similarly roast the coriander seeds, cumin and the pepper.
Since I use sea salt and usually roast it before adding to any of the powders I intend to keep long, I would roast that too.
Allow this to cool and pulse everything together in a mixer jar or a spice blender until coarsely pounded.
Cool and store in airtight containers.
This has a shelf life for about three months at the least.

As I said it make a great dip with olive oil and freshly baked bread.
However, I mixed it in hot steamed rice like I would any other podi and added sesame oil to it.
You can easily have most ingredients in any household. Add or reduce other nuts and such will only make it all the more interesting. Flax seeds for instance, will be great and so will be the addition of garlic.
Try your own recipe and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pudina rice with brown rice

Having read in many blogs the benefits of brown rice, I could not resist picking a pack when I found it in the local super market. I have to tell you here, that the country where I live in, such stuff are rare to find. Many a things I would take for granted in my grocer or upmarket stores in India, cannot be found here. So I just picked a pack of brown basmati rice the other day when I spotted just three of the 1 kilo packs in all! Apparently, the super market was putting it up as feelers to see the response.

I have repeatedly proclaimed that I am a mint and ginger freak. Naturally, my first trial with the brown rice was pudina rice with a touch of ginger in it.
The brown rice cooks a while longer than the normal basmati rice, needs more water to cook and will be a bit gathered as opposed to the soft yet separate grains. The yield is almost the same, but it can fill you up quickly too.

1/2 cup brown basmati rice
1and 1/2 -1and 2/3 cups water (I used vegetable stock for cooking the rice)
1 medium onion sliced finely
1/4 cup green peas
1/4 teaspoon salt
A pinch of turmeric powder
1 table spoon ghee or cooking oil

For the mint sauce:
1/2 cup mint leaves, washed and cleaned
3 red chillis
2" piece ginger chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 heaped table spoon Urad dhal
1 and 1/2 teaspoon oil
A medium marble size Tamarind-pulp extracted or replace with 1 tablespoon yoghurt
Salt to taste

For garnish:
About 1 tablespoon finely sliced ginger roasted in ghee/oil

Mint sauce:
Heat the oil in a pan. Add the red chillis and ginger. Saute until the chillis acquire a shine.
Add the garlic and the urad dhal. Toss for a few minutes, just until the urad dhal is golden.
Add the mint leaves. They will wilt soon. Remove from the stove top. Allow to cool.
Blend in a mixer the above with the tamarind or yoghurt and the salt.
Wash the jar and add the water to the paste.
Wash the Basmati rice thoroughly well.
Soak in 1 cup of water for about 45 minutes.
Drain the water and spread on a cloth for a few minutes.
Heat oil in a non stick big vessel. Add the sliced onions, salt and turmeric powder. Saute until the onions are pink.
Put the drained rice in and saute for a few minutes.
Add the stock or water. Bring to a boil, add the peas, reduce the fire and cover the vessel with a lid.
Stir once in a while and when half way done, add the mint sauce. Replace the cover and cook until the rice is soft to press. Depending on the age of the rice, you may require to add some water.
Place a heavy tawa on the stove and keep this vessel on the tawa. Keep the heat at the lowest.
Continue to cook for 8 minutes.
Switch the heat off and add the ginger slices for garnish.
Serve hot with a tomato or carrot raita.
I have not tried to cook in the pressure cooker as I cannot judge the time or the number of whistles to allow. If you do in the pressure cooker, you may skip the last part of placing on a tawa and cooking.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pudachi wadis for Indian Cooking challenge

Pudachi wadis or Kothumbir wadis as they are known in Maharashtra, are the Indian equivalent of spring rolls that are stuffed with spiced fresh coriander. Srivalli, had found the recipe in Archana's Tried and Tested Recipes blog and shared it for this May's Indian Cooking Challenge.

I had not tasted this so far. Having read the recipe I knew I would like this one. The one hurdle I faced was that, being summer, getting greens here is a rarity. The green grocers sell it packed in plastic and when you open the pack, half of the leaves are already bad.

However, I found them in my local supermarket and picked around five packets of fresh coriander just to make these. I was happy that I did, as the final result was truly delicious.

Khaugiri also has a post on these wadis, that her mother-in-law's recipe of the famous Nagpur wadis.


Dough for the rolls:
1 cup gram flour
1 cup wheat flour
Salt to taste
1/2 - 2/3 teaspoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
3 tablespoons of hot oil

For the filling:

2 cups of coriander leaves finely chopped
2 tablespoon coconut grated
1 tablespoon cooking poppy seeds (optional)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 medium onion sliced finely
salt to taste
1 teaspoon ginger and green chilli paste
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon oil

Paste mixture to spread on the dough before filling:

2 teaspoons oil
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
2 teaspoon tamarind paste

Other ingredient:

Oil for deep frying


The covering dough :

Mix together the flours, salt, chilli powder turmeric powder and hot oil. Add just about sufficient water and knead into a stiff but pliable dough. Keep aside covered.

Coriander stuffing:

In a pan, roast the coconut until lightly brown. Similarly roast the sesame seeds until they pop. Then roast the poppy seeds (if using). Cool and make a coarse paste.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add the sliced onions and saute until they are soft. Then add the ginger -green chilli paste and saute a further minute before adding the chopped garlic in the pan.
Remove this mix from the stove and allow it to cool a bit.
Add the chopped coriander leaves, the powder of the roasted ingredients, salt, chilli powder, sugar and the lime juice. Mix them well.

Mix all the ingredients listed under paste for spreading.

Pinch out small size balls of dough.
Roll them out to the size of slightly big puris, about 3 or 4 inches diameter.
Apply a littlt of the paste on the surface leaving a small area around the perimeter.
Place a generous portion of the filling at the middle, in a long cylindrical shape.
Fold the edges in to cover the filling and seal the edges well so that the filling does not spill out while frying in oil.
Repeat until all the dough and filling are done with.
Heat the oil in a pan.
While the oil is heating, place a big and flat pan on heat. Place the rolled wadis on the tawa and cook them very lightly on both sides.
Deep fry these rolls in the oil.
When fried well, remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on absorbent paper.
Serve warm with green chutney or tomato ketchup.
I had made a few pop in the mouth size rolls of these which were thoroughly enjoyed by us!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What friends cooked for 'Lunch'

I start with saying thank you to one and all who took time to send in their delicious dishes for the Microwave Easy Cooking Event, I was happy to host with 'Lunch menu'. And even before that, I should thank Srivalli for giving me the opportunity to host the event.

However much I would like to participate in all the events happening month af
ter another, there are other tasks to be dealt with and everyday vanishes into the dark nights even before I realized. The same happened even when I took this chance to host the event, hoping to post more than I do usually. But I am glad that many others are not like me. I am happy to have received quite a few sumptuous ideas from fellow bloggers that I am about to share through this post. It is a round up post for the MEC Lunch event that was held at this space through April 2011.

Thank you all who have participated and thank you all who take their time to read this. Please feel free to drop into the participants' spaces to enjoy the recipe and many others they have in there. It is just a click away from here.

The lunch ideas were from all parameters of cooking, s
alads, soups, snacks, desserts, dry dishes and gravies, but what topped it all were the number of rice dishes.

Cham sends her Couscous Fruit salad, Couscous and berries will certainly be an awesome combination and this low cal salad is irresistible.

Soups are so wholesome, that you can skip any extras while you can fill yourself with a bowl of soup. If Shanthi invites you to enjoy a fibre rich oats vegetable soup, Suma indulges us with her creamy cauliflower soup. Both of them are winner recipes.

While Indu brings delicious sevai varieties that are favourites amongst kids and elderly too,

Smita packs Cheesy macaroni with vegetables that will find your children wiping their plates off, clean.

Usha sends an any time snack that is zero oil, her low fat mung snack was one I tried soon after reading her post and I warn you, be prepared that you will do it again many times over.

As a tamilian, I can never imagine lunch without rice. And variety rice dishes are very welcome because they can be made one pot meal or cooked up quickly with ready at hand mixes. I found a few who think alike too.

Count on Priya to send you as many entries as possible thus to pep you up...I will never match her energy, ever! Her Mango lemon rice comes when the trees are laden with mangoes raw and ripe alike, followed by Tandoori paneer tomato pulav. She sends a very tamil delight of Curry leaves rice. Then comes her grated paneer and peas pulao to top them all.

Srivalli sends her masala sabz pulav while Richa Priyanka speaks of her version of peas pulav another delight for rice and peas loving guests. Supriya's microwave pulav with paneer chunks are something to look forward to cooking in your kitchens.

Veena makes her mint corn pulav for her daughter, which I book mark it to treat myself someday.

I am pitching in my arroz verde that I tried from DK’s Chef in you, only this time in the microwave mode.

So much said for variety rice and pulaos, a regular everyday meal calls for plain rice and gravies with dry curries added. Kavitha makes the delightful potato stirfry in her microwave and Priya cooks mixed vegetables with toordal in a stirfry.

Srivalli packs her lunch box with beans paruppu usli. I bet she is happy to have the microwave sparing her enough time to attend to her threesome and other duties.

Harini – Jaya’s okra (bhendi) crisps are something I could not shake it off my mind until I tried making them at home. It may well be you next, I am sure.

Are you thinking of rotis, then tryLink Priya’s easy and quick panner capsicum stirfry

I am hoping Dum aloo classifies in both dry curries and gravies as versatile as it is. Deeksha will keep you going back to her recipe again and again. Potato lovers will bid for this dum aloo.

Can you make koftas in the microwave? Want to take a bet?

Just wait till you read Srivalli’s carrot kofta curry before betting on the negative. She has cooked them for the subz pulav, you may have it with any rice or roti as you fancy.

Have a look at Veena Krishnakumar's Paneer Bhurji that makes her daughter enjoy a meal. Be sure that you will try this for your lunch soon.

I have some maor kuzhambu with plain rice, that I love.

To end a meal with dessert, Jayasree makes sheera, living in Pune gets her sharing a Maharashtrian delight!

And just to throw in another, my sister makes rawa kesari. Given the fact that she is an awesome cook and time and again drops me some ideas over chats, I have not been able to convince her to co-author my blog. So I am down with the chore of writing up the recipe…how about I share her pictures and the recipe as I watched her cooking it, few months ago?

Microwave Rawa Kesari:

1 cup semolina

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup ghee

3 cups water

10 numbers cashew nuts broken

2 whole green cardamoms crushed

Food colour a few drops or a pinch of saffron mixed in warm milk.

Rub in 1 tea spoon of ghee to the semolina. Spread it on a microwave safe flat dish, filling along the edges evenly.

Microwave on 100% power for 30 seconds. Remove and toss once. Again spread it and microwave on 100% power for a minute. The rawa would be roasted. Set aside.

In the same dish heat 1 teaspoon ghee for 30 seconds on micro power 100%. Add the broken cashew pieces and microwave on 100% for 3 minutes, repositioning the contents once in between.

Remove the cashews and keep them reserve for garnish at the end.

Grease the inner walls of a microwave bowl with little ghee. Add the water and roasted semolina. Add also the saffron/ food colour. Microwave covering the contents on 100% power for 5 minutes. Open at 2 minute intervals and stir.

Add the sugar and mix well. Add part of the ghee and return to the microwave, covered with lid to cook on 100% power for 5 minutes.

Let this stand a minute further. Remove from the microwave oven. Stir the remaining ghee and add the cardamom and roasted cashews.

Serve as desired hot or cooled.

That sums up the event.

Many thanks to all of the participants.