Pal Appam — Lace Hoppers

 

 

Hello my wonderful readers,

Do you follow my Instagram feed? Many a times Appam is our preferred breakfast and it is super easy to make once you have the batter. Much like the dosa batter but I use yeast in this recipe. There are recipes that do not include yeast but I love that lovely fermented smell that comes from the yeast and frankly its more like  a – ‘Soak, Dump , Grind and Rest’ method. The reason it is called a Lace Hopper is because of those wonderful intricate lace like weave that it has on the outsides. The inner centre of the circle is thicker and the outer ring is crispier. These are perfect with a coconut milk based egg curry. The recipe for which I will share later. You could also pair with left over curry from the previous day.

My son started school this week and man now I know how it feels to be a mum of child going to school!! no am not talking about the work that goes into getting him ready for school but the fact that this little human being is already ready to start his formal education! The school is like no other school we have ever seen. It believes in being as natural and close to the environment as possible. Infact as you enter into the school you wonder where the building and concrete structures of the school is. Lots of lush green, children learning under trees, no foot wear, greeting each other with a namaste. In all, this is the perfect place for my little one. While the little one is inside his little environment, I sit outside and just breathe! all the fresh air and the sounds of chirping birds, the occasional squirrel running around. It feels like a Gurukula straight out of the Mahabharata! In all this new change is one my little bunny is trying hard to cope up with but is also something he looks forward too. Wish me luck people! I hope he likes it for all the years to come..

So back to the recipe! This recipe makes easily 20 appams and you have 3 breakfasts from the week sorted.

Now before I get into the recipe, I wanted to tell you this. Traditionally appam is make with ” Kallu” / palm wine / Toddy . It helps in the fermentation and it gives the appam its unique smell. But Kallu is hard to find and yeast gives you just about the same smell so why not? My grandmother lives on a property that houses almost 5 dozen coconut trees and so back in Kerala toddy is easier to come across and the appam is so so good! Also the heat and the humidity of the place also helps in making the perfect batter. This is my straingforward recipe and it works all the time. All you need to make sure is it to keep the batter in a warm place of your kitchen over night. Not in the fridge! Not near a window with cold air blowing in etc. A nice warm corner for the yeast fairy to work her magic!


Ingredients :-

  1. Ponni Rice – 2 cups
  2. Boiled cooked rice – 1 cup
  3. Desiccated Coconut – 1 cup
  4. Yeast – 1 tsp
  5. Sugar – 1 tsp + 3 tbsp
  6. Warm Water – 3 cups ( more if required)
  7. Coconut oil for greasing the pan

Instructions :-

  1. In a large vessel, wash the Ponni rice. Then soak the rice in water for 5 -6 hours ( 12 hours is best) I usually soak in the morning and do the rest after dinner
  2. After the rice has soaked in the water for sufficient time, in the bowl of your grinder or blender, add the soaked rice, cooked rice and desiccated coconut
  3. In a small bowl add 1/2 cup of warm water and 1 tsp of sugar. Then add the yeast and let it stand still till the yeast becomes frothy ( activated yeast)
  4. Then add 2 cups of water to the blender jar with the rice and coconut and blend to form a nice smooth paste. There shouldn’t be any coarse rice pieces or coconut pieces
  5. finally just before you remove the blender jar from the machine, add the yeast water and the rest of the water and run the blender for 1 min.
  6. Now use a large vessel / container for the fermentation.
  7. Pour the batter into the container and add 2 tbsp of sugar. Mix well and combine.
  8. Now cover the container loosely and set it on a plate. Place the container in a warm place over night. By the next morning you will see the batter rise up and be bubbly
  9. This is because of the yeast in the batter . Your batter is ready
  10. Now heat up your appam chatti.  ( Appa chatti is a vessel that is used to make these hoppers, the market is flooded with teflon non stick pans, but I DO NOT USE any teflon / non stick pans in my kitchen, so if you are interested in buying a pan I suggest you look for a iron pan, the one I own is from —   the Village Fair 
  11. Heat your Appa chatti on a medium flame. Once it is hot grease the pan lightly with coconut oil. I dip a cotton cloth in oil and then spread it around the chatti
  12. Now using a ladle pour the fermented Batter into the chatti. Slowly swirl the chatti round to spread the batter to all the sides of the chatti and then place it back in the flame. You will notice that the batter settle back to the centre. That is fine, that is what gives it that fully centre and crisp side. Now if you do not like it to thick, just reduce the amount of batter and rotate the chatti for a little longer that way all sides are crisp yet not too thick. Also make sure to use mittens or use a cotton cloth to hold the sides of the chatti
  13. Close with the lid and cook on medium flame for 3 -4 mins
  14. Once it is done, take off the lid and let it cook for 1 min.
  15. Finally using a soft wooden spatula loosen the sides of the appam
  16. Then slowly loosen the centre and transfer to a plate!
  17. Your appams are ready! Serve with egg curry, or Kadala curry 

 

 

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Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Brusstels Sprouts

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Hello my wonderful readers,

How are you all doing today? So today I am here with a simple no fuss snack thats is easy on the waist line and doesn’t feel like a salad at all. So every Friday my husband likes to unwind with a glass of scotch and he insists that I make some thing to go along with the drink. Inevitably I end up making something deep fried. So to change things up and keep it healthy, I decided to make these roasted Brussels sprouts and potatoes and they were a HIT!  They take close to no time to prep and once they are in the oven all you have to do is give them a toss in the half way through the baking time just to make sure they crisp up evenly.

The garlic and the rosemary boost the taste and flavour of the veggies.

 

Ingredients :-

  1. Brussel Sprouts – 500 Gms
  2. Onions – 2 large ( sliced)
  3. Garlic – 10 cloves
  4. Rosemary – 4 to 5 sprigs
  5. Potato – 2 ( cut to wedges ) (cut them thin so they take the same time to cook as the rest of the ingredients )
  6. Pepper – 1/2 tsp
  7. Himalayan Pink Salt to taste ( use regular if not available )
  8. Olive oil for a generous drizzle

 

Instructions :-

  1. Pre heat your oven to 200C
  2. Clean and cut the Brussels sprouts. Prep the onions, potatoes and rosemary
  3. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients listed above
  4. Arrange the same onto a baking tray
  5. Drizzle olive oil and pop the tray into the oven. Bake for 40 mins or till the Brussels sprouts are crisp on the outside and the potatoes are cooked well
  6. Make sure to turn the veggies around, half way through the bake, to ensure that they cook evenly
  7. Once done, serve right away . We like it a little crisp and brown on the outside.
  8. You could also grate some cheese on top of the roasted veggies

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup

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OLD POST – NEW PHOTOS 🙂

 

Hello Wonderful readers!

So you know how i have been going on and on about how cold its been and how we haven’t been able to step outside cause of the continuous rains. Its actually been more than a week since the rains started and it just doesn’t seem to stop. I was hoping it would rain continuously on the days after Diwali but that did not happen. Those two hours of no rain was filled with the horrendous sound of fire crackers bursting right up the road. It really doesn’t make sense to me. Yes when I was a little girl I loved to burst crackers with friends on Diwali but once I was in high school we never burst them. And it wasn’t like my parents hated it but I understood how bad the side effects are. A close friend of our family lost her husband during Diwali cause of the harmful gases that are emitted during that time. Asthma patients have it really bad during that entire week and so does poor little “pepper” (my lhasa apso) who also has a tough time with all the noise and smoke during Diwali time. That being said I do love lighting lamps around the house and filling our dinning tables with all sorts of sweets. My father LOVES bengali sweets and we make it a point to make as many as we can and buy more 🙂

Well its the week after Diwali, the days are short, cloudy, cold and chilly! The nights are ice cold. My son looks like an apple in the winter cold and he sleeps a lot. Thats why I have the time to make and post photos off late 😛

So we have been making and ordering lots and lots of soup and I decided why not share my simple roasted tomato soup. Its really simple and you do not really need to be there when it all happens. We have it with toasted bread but if I could I would love to have it with a grilled cheese sandwich. But each to their own. This one is my simple recipe.

Ingredients :-

  1. Tomatos – 6 – 7 ( ripe and red) all and any kind – red, black, cherry etc
  2. Garlic – 10 – 12 ( use 2 entire pods cut in the middles for bolder flavor)
  3. Rose Mary – 1/2 tsp
  4. Thyme – 1/2 tsp
  5. Chilli Flakes – 1/2 tsp
  6. Pepper – 1 tsp
  7. Salt – according to taste
  8. Vegetable Stock – 2 cups ( more if required)
  9. Olive oil – to drizzle over the tomatoes before roasting
  10. Basil and cream for garnish

Instructions :-

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C and line a baking tray with foil
  2. Now cut into 6 equal halves and cut the garlic into 2 halves
  3. Then add all dry spices – rose mary, thyme, oregano, chilli flakes and a little salt ( you add more later so just add a little at this stage)
  4. Now mix well to distribute the spice evenly with the tomato and garlic
  5. Spread the tomato and garlic over the foil evenly and make sure there is space between them to roast evenly
  6. Pop the tray into the oven and roast for 25 – 30 min ( the skin will begin to shrink and sizzle)
  7. Once the tomatoes and garlic are ready in a pan add 1 tsp of oil and add the roasted tomato mix
  8. Pour the vegetable stock. Close and cook for another 15 – 20 mins
  9. Add pepper and salt and season to your desired taste
  10. Finally transfer the mixture into a mixture and blend to required consistency
  11. If you do not like thick soups then bend for little longer that 10 mins and then push the soup through a soup strainer
  12. Serve hot with bread or grilled cheese sandwiches

Dal Tadka – The Famous Indian Lentil Curry

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Hello my dear wonderful readers,

How are you all doing today? My little boy is down with a fever again and now I am here taking care of him and spending all my time by his side. Over the weekend we took him to a fun play pen and the next day he came down with the cold. This is the second time this is happening after taking him to the same place and the only logical reason would be that he got it from some other kid at the play pen. How do I feel about the fact that parents bring their sick kids to a public area? Well personally I make sure my son is not around other kids when is unwell and if I know he is about to fall sick or is just recovering from one, I inform the family or friends I am about to meet. Well but that’s just me right? So now he is down with terrible cold, running nose, lots of sneezes and needs constant attention. All the while I find comfort in reassuring myself that this is the way his immune system does its job and grows stronger. So lets see.

The weekend was also a surprise cause after many many years, I made a new friend. A wonderful woman, who I can relate to in so many ways and its not often that you come across someone who you can just pour your heart out, the first time you meet them right? So all in all, the weekend was AWESOME!! It was also nice to leave the boys and have a little girl time after a looooooonnnggg time! Just to have a coffee and talk girl to girl and also hear out loud many things I have said to myself but never put to practice, was such a relief!! LOL..

Since the little one is unwell, I wasn’t able to get much cooking done. So, this recipe is my life saver. If you are Indian, then you know that there is noting simpler, comforting and wholesome like a big bowl of Dal and Rice / Chappati. This recipe can be used for a wide array of lentils. The simplest and most common combination is the one I have used in my recipe (below). The use of a pressure cooker just makes it faster and easier. But if you do not have a pressure cooker, you just need a pot with a lid and cover and cook till the lentils are mushy and soft to touch. Traditionally, Ghee / Clarified Butter is used instead of oil, but you could use any oil that you are comfortable using.

Ingredients :-

  1. Toor Dal / Pigeon Pea – 2 cup
  2. Masoor Dal / Red Lentils – 1 cup
  3. Oil / Ghee – 1 tbsp + 3 tsp
  4. Cinnamon Stick – 1  one inch stick
  5. Cloves – 4
  6. Green Cardamom – 4  ( bruise with the back of a spoon)
  7. Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp
  8. Asafoetida – 2 pinches
  9. Garlic Cloves – 5 Large
  10. Dry Red Chillies – 4
  11. Onions –     (finely chopped)
  12. Tomatoes –   (finely chopped)
  13. Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
  14. Turmeric Powder – 1 + 1/2 tsp
  15. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  16. Salt – as required
  17. Water – 4 cups
  18. Coriander Leaves – 3 tbsp

Instructions :-

  1.  In a large bowl, combine both the lentils and wash thoroughly in running water. Then soak in water for 15 mins
  2. Now in a pressure cooker or large bowl, add 1 tbsp of oil. One the oil is hot, add the jeera / cumin seeds (1 tsp)
  3. As soon as the cumin seeds begin to crackle, add the cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, red chillies (3) and asafoetida
  4. Once the chillies plump up, add the onions. Fry till the onions are pink and almost translucent
  5. Then add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears
  6. Next add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder and chili  powder
  7. Now cook till the tomatoes are cooked through (do not wait for it to fry )
  8. Once the onion tomato paste is ready, add the soaked lentils. ( Discard the water it was soaked in)
  9. Add the water and 1 tbsp of salt
  10. Cover and cook for 3 whistles or till the lentils have cooked through
  11. Once the lentils have cooked through, in a small pan, add rest of the oil. Once the oil is hot add the rest of the cumin seeds, red chili and garlic cloves. Fry till the garlic is golden brown
  12. Pour over the cooked lentils and garnish with the chopped coriander leaves
  13. Serve right away along with hot rice or chappatis

 

 

 

Ari “Rice” Muruku – Deep fried, crisp and with a touch of spice!

 

 

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Hello My Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing today? So my next recipe for the season is the Rice and Urad Dal Murukku. In case you have never had these before, let me tell you, this is the Indian version of a deep fried snack that comes in a number of variations that is a staple at your 4 o clock tea / coffee. Yes, we love to have a little some thing to “bite into” every evening. But of late these savory snacks have been reserved only to be savored during festivals such as Diwali etc. So I decided why not make a batch of these pinwheels. They are really easy to make but you do need a “Murukku Maker / Press” The theory is the same as a piping bag for cream, just that the mixture is tighter and thicker so you need a little more force when squeezing them.

These murukku makers are available in both brass and stainless steel. I have the brass one and they come with various ends / nozzles just like your piping tips. Best enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee these Murukku’s can last 2 – 3 weeks if kept in an air tight container. Make sure to use a good brand of oil. I used rice bran oil and you are sorted for a long time 🙂

Ingredients :-

  1. Rice Flour – 3 cups
  2. Urad Dal – 6 tbsp
  3. White Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
  4. Black Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
  5. Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  6. Pepper Powder – 1/2 tsp
  7. Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp ( more if you like it pungent )
  8. Salt – to taste
  9. Oil – 3 tbsp
  10. Oil to fry
  11. Water to bind ( depends on the quality of the rice flour)

Instructions :-

  1. Heat a heavy bottom Khadai and fry the urad dal till they start turning golden brown. Make sure to stir continuously or else the dal might burn
  2. Once they are ready , add into a blender and powder to a fine powder
  3. In a large plate/ even your kitchen counter, drop the rice flour, urad dal powder, salt, white and black sesame seeds, pepper powder and asafoetida. Give it all a nice mix with the tips of your finger to spread the ingredients evenly
  4. Then add the 3 tsp of oil and mix into the mixture till they almost resemble  bread crumbs
  5. Finally add water little bit at a time to make a nice tight dough. Remember all you need is the dough to come together
  6. Take small portion of the mixture and run it through the murukku maker to see if you are able to make nice round circles. If you find that the circle keeps falling or breaking then you need little more water in the dough
  7. Once you have your dough ready, heat oil in a khadai ( enough to be able to deep fry these wheels)
  8. Cut a baking paper into equal sqares and at the back draw circles of equal size. you can use these as a stencil to make all your murukkkus
  9. Now attach the start tip to the murukku maker and fill the barrel with the rice flour dough
  10. Slowly make round shapes of the murukku on your prepared baking paper
  11. Start from the inside and go round towards the outside
  12. Once you reach the outside, pinch the end towards the murukku
  13. Once you oil is nice and hot ( make sure the oil is always at medium flame not too hot and not too cold)
  14. Fry these in batches of 2 – 3 depending on the size of your khadai. Wait til they turn golden bown on both sides. Keep turning them when in the oil for even browning
  15. Lay them on kitchen paper tower to soak up the excess oil
  16. You Murukku is ready! Store in an air tight container

Pumpkin Oat Smoothie – Fall inspired goodness

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My Dear Wonderful Readers

So we are finally settling in and most of my stuff are on the walls and inside the wardrobe and guess what? I am still out of space! LOL All the while I am thinking how did I store all this junk at the old place. Have you felt the same way too?

So I was online scrolling through my instagram account and I found that pumpkin is the thing every body wants to cook with. So i decided to join the fun and start off with a simple smoothie. This one is a no brainer and it really is a mixture of everything I would have on a daily basis just that instead of apples or other fruits I just added pumpkin puree. Now making the puree was actually really easy. It helps if you make a large batch and use whenever you need it. Not just in smoothies but in many more recipes. I will share those with you soon. But for now here is a fall inspired pumpkin smoothie.

 

Ingredients :-

  1. Pumpkin puree – 2 cups (scroll down for recipe)
  2.  Oats – 2 cups
  3. Milk –  1/2 ltr ( or as much as you want)
  4. Coconut / Palm Sugar – 1 tbsp
  5. Cinnamon Powder – 1 tsp
  6. Nutmeg – 1/2 tsp
  7. Banana – 2 (ripe)
  8. Almond flakes and chia seeds – just for the topping

Instructions :-

  1. In the bowl of your blender, add the pumpkin puree, oats, palm sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg powder and bananas
  2. Turn you blender on and add as much milk as required
  3. Add in accordance to the consistency that you like
  4. Finally pour the smoothie into your glass and top with chia seeds and almond flakes

 

To make the pumpkin puree :-

  1. First wash and  cut a medium sized pumpkin into 4 equal halves
  2. Then scoop out the seeds and innards of the pumpkin
  3. Bring a pot of water up to boil and slowly immerse the cut pumpkin into the water
  4. Boil for 10 – 15 ( depends on the size and ripeness) mins till the pumpkin is soft and tender ( use a spoon to pierce through the pumpkin to see if its done)
  5. Turn the heat off and drain the water from the pumpkin
  6. Let the it cool and then scoop out the flesh leaving only the skin
  7. Drain excess water by keeping all the flesh in a strainer and letting the water drain out completely
  8. Store in a clean container in the fridge till ready to use. I usually use it in a day or two.

Dosa – Crisp rice batter crepes

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Hello My Dear wonderful readers!!

How are you all doing today? Its a long weekend and we have been having the best time ever! The new house is shaping up and I am down to my final two boxes to unpack! yay.  Before we moved here, I would save up the carboard boxes of the new gadgets and electronics we would buy and my reason was quite simply, “cause it will come handy when we move”. But for the first time in my life I am saying “hey throw it, we are not going any where, are we?” . The sheer happiness of buying your own place and making it home. I still haven’t figured where I want all my paintings and photos to go up on the walls but hey, that is the fun part right? setting up your own place and doing it up the way you like it and not worrying about what your house owner would say 😛

The best part about the new place is the fact that my kitchen now has lots more counter space. That means, more space for making bread. lol!! My earlier kitchen was always a choice. There where decisions made every time a dish was made. But now I absolutely love it here
That brings me to my recipe. I always loved making dosa and idilis for breakfast. They are super easy to make and the boys love hot crisp dosas with ghee or cheese early morning. So this time I decided to share my mums dosa batter recipe and methods with you. 

Ingredients :-

1. Par Boiled Rice – 1 cup
2. Regular Rice -3 cups
3. Split Black Gram – 1 cup
4. Methi / Fenugreek Seeds –  2 tsp
5. Salt – according to taste
6. Water – as given in instructions

Instructions to make the Batter

1. First the rice – Mix both kinds of rice and the fenugreek seeds. Wash in running water till the water runs clear. ( first it will be milky white, but 3 – 4 good washes will give you nice clean rice with no mucky white water)
2. Second the Split Black Gram – Wash the dal the same way as the rice till the water runs clear
3. Soak – Soak the rice with 3 and 1/2 cups of water
4. In another bowl, soak the split black gram in 1 cup of water
5.  Let them soak for 6 – 8 hours ( usually this is done on a sunday early morning so by evening it is ready for the next step
6. After soaking, grind the rice and the gram separately. You could use a food processor too but you want to make sure that the batter is nice and fine
7.  Finally once you have both the rice and the gram in a batter , combine the two in a big container ( make sure that the container is only 60% full once you have poured both the rice and the gram batter. Give the batter a quick mix and set aside to ferment
8. Now typically this step is done over night. But do give it atleast 10 hours in a warm place. I have seen that if the temperature is above 25C the batter ferments faster and the batter is much better
9.  After the given time your batter is ready! Add salt just before you start making your dosas 

 Instructions to make the dosa 

1.  First grease your pan / tava / griddle with coconut oil lightly . Then spoon some of the batter onto the centre of your pan.  Make sure you use a nice long spoon with a round base that will help spreading the batter evenly around the pan

2. So after pouring the batter in the centre of the pan using the back side of the spoon, push the batter outwards in a circular motion. ( Do Check out my INSTAGRAM Account for a quick video on how to do this part)

3. After the batter is evenly spread, add a few drops of coconut oil around the dosa and wait till you see the edge and the thin sides, turn brown. That is when you have to turn the dosa over.

4. Once the other side is done too, you are ready to serve!

Serve with hot sambar, coconut or peanut chutney or with chutney powder (locally known as podi)!