Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Cheese Toast

Cheese toasts are hit with my children..they love to have it as their after school snack.
For me a great way to incorporate a lot of veggies in this toast.
Its filling its healthy and children love it..sometimes good as breakfast..made in minutes with loads of veggies and I used wholemeal bread instead of white and I do not add any butter on toast.
So even adults can have their bite safely.

Wholemeal Bread - 8 slices,
Onion - 1 large finely chopped,
Green Bell Pepper - 1 medium chopped,
Tomatoes - 2 deseeded and chopped,
Sweet Corn - 1/2 cup cooked,
Black Pepper Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Any Cheese of your choice - 1 cup,

Preheat the oven at 180 degree celsius  for 10 minutes.
Mix all the veggies, salt and pepper powder and mix well.
I had run out of sweet corn so I haven't added.
Spread enough mixture equally on every slice of bread.
Sprinkle generous amount of cheese on every veggy slice.
Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes, until cheese melts and lightly starts to brown.
Remove from oven and serve, you can cut into strips and serve bite size.

If you want more spicy you can add green chillies or red chilly flakes.
You can add all three colours of bell pepper, red green and yellow. As I had only green bell pepper.

Rice Flour Rotti or Akki Rotti

You ask any kannadiga from Bangalore and Mysore their favourite, comforting, relaxed breakfast..the answer has to be akki roti...which simply means rice flour roti..It is made of mixing rice flour, salt, jeera  grated coconut, a tinge of sugar choice of veggies like onion, grated carrot, fenugreek leaves or dhill leaves or even with grated cucumber and so on..and also with grains.. the most popular one is avarekaalu or hyacinth beans..but the other popular ones are plain without any veggies or with onion and carrot, dhill leaves and most popular one is hyacinth beans in the season.

Rice Flour - 2 cups,
Hyacinth Beans - 11/2 cups cooked with little salt,
Green Chillies - 6-8 finely chopped,
Cumin Seeds - 2 teaspoons,
Sugar - 1/2 teaspoon,
Asafoetida  - a fat pinch,
Coriander chopped - 1 tablespoon,
Grated Coconut - 1 cup,
Water as required.

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients except water and beans, once they are mixed well, add beans and mix.
Add water slowly to make a stiff dough.
Grease generously the aluminium thick kadai and spread the dough evenly to the shape of the kadai with your hands.
You can wet your hands while spreading.
Make sure the thickness of the roti should be of medium thick and evenly spread very important to get crispy rotis.
Make a hole in the middle of the rotti and pour a teaspoon of oil and cover and cook until nicely browned.
Care fully flip over without breaking the rotti and cook on other side as well and serve with butter  or ghee, chutney or any gravy.

Instead of hyacinth beans, you can use either chopped 3/4 cup chopped onion and 1 medium grated carrot or just chopped onions.
You can completely omit coconut or add less.
If you do not have kadai...you can spread as thin or medium thick rottis on a tawa  and cook on both sides.
To make it more healthy, you can add more veggies like grated ridge guord, chow chow fenugreek leaves and omit coconut and add very less oil.

Rice Idly

Being a South Indian I can eat idlies the whole day or anytime  time of the day. I simply love idlies, this idlies particularly are so soft and spongy, you will just fall in love with it. The best thing about this batter is..in emergencies, you can use this batter to make crispy dosas too. Now you have even more reasons to try and enjoy this two in one batter for idlies. Make the batter once a week and store in fridge to make idlies or dosas the whole week.

Idly Rice - 11/2 cups,
Raw Rice - 1/2 cup,
Whole deskinned Urad - 3/4 cup,
Fenugreek Seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Poha or flattened Rice - a handful,

Wash both the rices twice and soak in enough water for 6-8 hours or overrnight.
Same way wash urad dal and methi together and soak for 4 hours.
Wash and soak poha for 20 minutes.
Drain water from urad dal, wash once again and grind urad  dal and methi with enough water say around 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup...it  depends on the quality of the urad  dal.
Grind until smooth and fluffy.
Remove it to a large bowl.
Now grind rice and flatenned rice together with enough water to fine semolina consistency.
Combine with ground urad dal and salt.
Mix well with your hands until well blended.
The batter should be a little thicker than medium thick consistency.
The bowl should be large enough for the batter to ferment, because the batter will double the volume once it ferments..so only pour the batter half way through the vessel.
Allow the batter to ferment  for 8 hours in a warm place.
Next day once the batter ferments well..keep the idly steamer ready...grease the idly plates..pour the idly batter to the mould and steam cook for 10-12 minutes and remove from heat, cool for couple of minutes and demould and serve hot with sambhar and chutney.
For crispy dosas
For the same batter add little water to medium consistency batter, add a teaspoon of sugar and spread on hot tawa and cook on both side, sprinkle few drops of oil, while cooking.

To make soft idlies..the batter should ferment well.
do not completely fill the mould with batter.. just leave a little space for the idlies to bloat up.

Green Peas Cutlet

Cutlet or tikkis can be a great snack or starters in a party..It can be made healthy by pan fry or baking..
What I love about tikkis is adding vegetables minced or  pureed and add to tikki dough and pan fry them and give it to children...my kids enjoy tikkis..so I can add veggies, spinach, peas corn and so on..
Tikkis are also filling and good evening snack for kids when they come back from school.
Paired with a milk shake or smoothie make a fantastic meal after their sports lessons.

Potato - 2 medium cooked skin peeled and grated,
Green Peas - 1 cup frozen/fresh , just cooked,
Green Chilly Paste - 2 teaspoon,
Roasted Cumin Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Coriander - 1 tablespoon chopped,
Plain Flour - 2 tablespoon,
Bread Crumbs - 1/4 cup,
Oil to shallow fry or deep fry.

Without adding water, pulse or grind peas and coriander to a coarse paste without adding water.
To this mixture add grated potato and rest of the ingredients and make a Stiff dough.
Heat oil in pan, shape the dough into tikkis and fry on both the sides to until brown.
Serve hot with green chutney and sauce.

If the dough is still loose add a little more plain flour to make a stiff dough.

Toor Dhal Chutney

Toor Dhal Chutney is one more lentil based chutney and my favourite too.
Toor Dhal or arhar ki dhal chutney is a south indian chutney with coconut and pepper corns.
It is very simple, with few ingredients from your everyday pantry.
It tastes awesome and goes well idly, dosa, chapathis or as usual with hot steamed rice and a dash of ghee.

Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Tuar or  Toor Dhal - 1/2 cup,
Chana dal - 2 teaspoon,
Red chillies - 2,
Pepper Corns - 1 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Fenugreek seeds - 8-10,
Curry leaves - 5,
Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup,

Method:In a broad pan, heat oil.
Add all the ingredients except salt and grated coconut.
Fry until the dals are browned, add coconut and fry for a minute, remove from heat.
Add salt and let it cool down.
Add little water and grind to a coarse thick paste.
Enjoy with idly, dosa, chapathi or hot steamed rice with a dash of ghee.

Cripsy Onion Pakoda

Onion Pakoda is an all time favourite in the family...it is nostalgic...I traverse in time backwards...When I was a kid in school and during holidays when our cousins visit us...after having a fat lunch in the after noon, due to which we all had a great nap...when we get up, sometimes it used to be cloudy and ready to pour... first few drops of rain, smell of dusty mud and at the same time blooming mysore jasmine from the backyard was so tempting...elders in the house, come with great aroma of filter coffee and fried onion pakodas...simply irresistible...Want to run back those days...sigh..I know all my family agrees with me..miss you all..I always thinks we should have never got out of those days...time should have just stopped there...
Now coming to the recipe..

Besan or Chickpea Flour - 1cup,
Rice Flour - 1/4 cup,
Onion - 3/4 cup thinly sliced,
Green Chillies - 3-4 Finely Chopped,
Ginger - 1 teaspoon grated,
Curry Leaves - 8-10 finely chopped,
Coriander leaves - 1 tablespoon finely chopped,
Ajwain or Carom Seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Bio Carbonate of Soda - a pinch,
Oil - 1 Tablespoon.

Enough oil for deep frying.

In a medium large bowl, add onions, green chillies, coriander, curry leaves, salt, carom seeds,soda and salt and let it rest for five minutes.
Add chickpea flour and rice flour and mix well.
By this time you can see that onions and herbs have left enough water to mix the flours.
Add the tablespoon of oil and mix.
If you think the flour cannot be mixed to a batter, then add a tablespoon or two of water and make it to a thick batter.
Heat sufficient oil in the frying pan and heat it to medium heat.
Now  just throw the batter into the oil in small blobs..with irregular shapes and fry both the sides until nice crispy brown and remove on draining sheet.
Serve hot with chutney or sauce.

You can also add chopped mint and cashew into the batter and fry.

Khaman Dhokla

Khaman Dhokla is a gujarati snack...savored either in breakfast or as anytime snack in the day.
This snack has a combination of sweet and spicy taste and enjoyed with spicy green chutney. Besan or chickpea flour is mixed with salt, sugar, green chillies and ginger paste either with curd or water and steam cooked. Tempered with mustard and sesame seeds makes a quick snack for surprise visitors at any time of the day. I have adapted this khaman dhokla from tarla dalal's recipe.

Besan or Chickpea Flour - 1 cup,
Ginger Chilly Paste - 1 teaspoon
Citric Acid - 1/2 teaspoon,
Fine Semolina - 11/2 tablespoon,
Salt - 1 teaspoon,
Sugar - 2 teaspoon,
Water - 1 cup,
Eno Salt - 11/2 teaspoon.

Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Mustard - 1 teaspoon,
Green Chillies - 1 teaspoon finely chopped,
Sesame Seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Water - 1 tablespoon.

For Garnishing:
Chopped Coriander - 1 tablespoon,
Grated Coconut - 1 tablespoon(optional).

Pour enough water in to the steaming vessel cover and heat, so that it will be ready for steaming.
Grease the bowl with sufficient oil, in which the dhokla batter is to be steamed.
Now in large bowl, add besan and rest of the ingredients, except water and eno salt.
Mix well.
Add water slowly and mix to a smooth batter without lumps.
Make sure the steaming vessel is quite hot and steaming well.
Now add eno salt and a tablespoon of water on it .
The salt will foam up, mix it well with the batter.
You can see the batter almost doubles up.
Now pour the batter  in to the greased bowl.
Now take care the  vessel is only half filled with the batter, as the batter bloats up while cooking.
Cook for 7-10 minutes or a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Once cooled, loosen the sides with knife and flip it on a plate.
Temper with the ingredients under tempering table, except water.
After tempering, allow for a minute, add the tablespoon of water.
Pour it evenly on dhoklas, garnish with coriander and coconut.
Cut into desired shapes and serve with green chutney.

Add eno salt just before steaming, so make sure the steaming pot is steaming well.
You can use pressure cooker to steam.
Adding water to tempering makes your dhoklas soft and spongy and will not let your dhoklas dry out.