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!
- Ponni Rice – 2 cups
- Boiled cooked rice – 1 cup
- Desiccated Coconut – 1 cup
- Yeast – 1 tsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp + 3 tbsp
- Warm Water – 3 cups ( more if required)
- Coconut oil for greasing the pan
- 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
- 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
- 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)
- 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
- 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.
- Now use a large vessel / container for the fermentation.
- Pour the batter into the container and add 2 tbsp of sugar. Mix well and combine.
- 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
- This is because of the yeast in the batter . Your batter is ready
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Close with the lid and cook on medium flame for 3 -4 mins
- Once it is done, take off the lid and let it cook for 1 min.
- Finally using a soft wooden spatula loosen the sides of the appam
- Then slowly loosen the centre and transfer to a plate!
- Your appams are ready! Serve with egg curry, or Kadala curry
Hello my Dear Wonderful People!
How are you all doing? Happy Valentines day! A day for love, a day to be loved and a day for love to be loved! Yup.. Its one whole day when we get to show our special people that they matter to us. And unlike many people, I absolutely love the idea of having this day. No it doesn’t not mean that we can’t show love on other days, and if you see it like that then I feel sorry for you. If you giving me another chance to show you how much you mean to me and you make it mandatory on the 14th of every Feb then I am taking it! Cause you know what? no matter how hard I try, some days, I forget to tell you how much you mean to me. Somedays I try but I might not be able to get to you cause you were having a bad day. But today I am going to take that day. Also maybe 20 years from now, this day might not mean as much as it does today but so what? Today is what matters right?
So on this special day, I decided to make my husband his favourite deep fried snack. These cutlets. I do not make them often, infact the last time I made them was close to a year ago. Simply cause they are deep fried and they involve quite a few steps. But once you make them, you could make a large batch and freeze them and use them as and when you want. That is what I did this time 🙂 This recipe is from my grandmother and her cutlets are out of this world. These little bites of heaven are perfect for a evening snack or a great side for dinner time. There are many variations to these cutlets, some people add cashews to the meat and some others fry the meat and add rice flour. My recipe is quite straightforward. Boil / cook each part of the recipe. Combine , dip , coat and fry! FINISH!
- Chicken – 500 gms ( boneless)
- Potatoes – 4 large
- Onions – 3 cups ( chopped fine )
- Green Chillies – 10 ( adjust to taste)
- Ginger – 4 inch knob
- Garlic – 14 cloves
- Turmeric Powder – 2 tsp + 1 tsp
- Coriander Powder – 4 tsp + 1 tsp
- Garam Masala Powder – 3 tsp
- Pepper Powder – 2 tsp
- Fresh Coriander Leaves – 1 cup ( chopped)
- Mint leaves – 1 cup (chopped)
- Salt – 1 tsp + 2 tsp + 1 tsp ( adjust to taste)
- Oil – 2 tbsp + more for deep frying
- Eggs – 2 ( beaten )
- Bread Crumbs – 1 cup ( more according to shape of cutlet)
- Peel potatoes and boil till soft. Set aside
- In a pressure cooker add the chicken pieces. Then add 1 tsp turmeric powder + pepper powder (2 tsp) + Coriander powder 1 tsp + 1 tsp salt. Pressure cook the chicken for 3 whistles. ( If you do not have a cooker, just use a pot and boil the chicken till cooked well.)
- Once the chicken is cooked, open the cooker and look for water. If there is excess water, cook the chicken on high flame till all the water has evaporated. Same for when cooking in a pot. Once all the water has evaporated, set aside to cool down
- Then in a blender, blend the chicken to form a coarse paste. Make sure not to grind it too much. You want some chucks of chicken to remain
- In a large flat bottom pot, add 2 tbsp of oil. Once the oil is hot. add the onions and fry till golden brown. During this time in a mortar and pestle add the ginger + garlic and green chillies. Crush to form a nice coarse paste
- Add the ginger paste to the onions and fry till the garlic looses its raw smell
- Then add the rest of the turmeric powder + coriander powder + garam masala powder. Give it a good mix and fry till the masala has cooked well into the onion mixture
- Set aside to cool. During this time lets get our assembly line ready 🙂
- In one plate add the boiled potatoes + the onions spice mixture. Add the fresh mint and coriander
- Mix with your hand to evenly distribute all the ingredients. Then add the ground chicken
- after you have mixed the chicken with the rest of the spiced potato mixture, make small patties of equal size and set on a large cookie sheet or plate
- Now with one hand dunk the patties into the light beaten egg mixture and then into the bread crumbs to coat evenly
- Set aside in a large plate ready for frying!
- In a large wok or Khadai, heat oil
- Once the oil is hot ( on medium heat) fry the patties till golden brown
- Reserve on kitchen paper to drain excess oil
- Serve right away with ketchup!
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.
- Toor Dal / Pigeon Pea – 2 cup
- Masoor Dal / Red Lentils – 1 cup
- Oil / Ghee – 1 tbsp + 3 tsp
- Cinnamon Stick – 1 one inch stick
- Cloves – 4
- Green Cardamom – 4 ( bruise with the back of a spoon)
- Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp
- Asafoetida – 2 pinches
- Garlic Cloves – 5 Large
- Dry Red Chillies – 4
- Onions – (finely chopped)
- Tomatoes – (finely chopped)
- Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder – 1 + 1/2 tsp
- Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Salt – as required
- Water – 4 cups
- Coriander Leaves – 3 tbsp
- In a large bowl, combine both the lentils and wash thoroughly in running water. Then soak in water for 15 mins
- 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)
- As soon as the cumin seeds begin to crackle, add the cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, red chillies (3) and asafoetida
- Once the chillies plump up, add the onions. Fry till the onions are pink and almost translucent
- Then add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears
- Next add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder and chili powder
- Now cook till the tomatoes are cooked through (do not wait for it to fry )
- Once the onion tomato paste is ready, add the soaked lentils. ( Discard the water it was soaked in)
- Add the water and 1 tbsp of salt
- Cover and cook for 3 whistles or till the lentils have cooked through
- 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
- Pour over the cooked lentils and garnish with the chopped coriander leaves
- Serve right away along with hot rice or chappatis
Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!
How are you all doing today? As the weather changes and the cold sets in, I find myself pulling out my blankets, fuzzy socks and jackets out. So in anticipation of soup season, I also have a feeling we will have a lot of bread making in the house too. Did i mention I ruined my oven? Yes, so while I was getting the house ready for Diwali, last month, I cleaned the oven and when I turned it back on, the whole house lost power!!! Yeah I managed to destroy my favorite kitchen apparatus and I havent gotten around to getting the company guys to come take a look at it either (talk about being lazy) :-).
So this time I made my bread in the “convection” mode of my microwave oven and to my pleaseant surprise in really does work! how awesome is that. Now did I mention that this recipe also incorporates, whole wheat? Yes, sir it does!! So I added equal amounts of bread flour and whole wheat flour to make these babies so that they are not all that unhealthy and make a perfectly wholesome meal when paired with a big bowl of healthy soup.
Do you guys love the small bread baskets that they serve in Italian restaurants? With the flavoured butter? I am a sucker for them. While my husband refuses to have it cause he says its a distraction from the main food. I say I love it all.. hahaha..
- Bread Flour / Maida – 1 + 1/4 cup
- Whole Wheat Flour / Atta – 1 + 1/4 cup
- Sugar – 1 tbsp
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Yeast – 1 tbsp
- Water – 1 cup (warm)
- Garlic – 9 cloves
- Lime – 1
- Parsley – 1/4 cup (chopped fine)
- Butter – 50 gms (at room temperature)
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, add sugar, water and yeast. Set aside to rest for 10 mins. In 10 minutes it should have become nice and frothy
- Into the same bowl, add the flour, salt and oil
- With the hook attachment on, turn on the mixer to a medium speed for 7 – 10 mins
- It will form a nice sticky dough
- Grease a big glass bowl and tip the dough mixture into the bowl
- Let it rest for 2 hours or till the dough has doubled in size
- Meanwhile, drizzle a little oil over the garlic cloves and put them into an oven at 200 C for 15 min or till they are golden and almost black on the outside. Once they have cooled down, with the back of your spoon, press them to form a nice paste
- Now take a bowl and add the melted butter, zest the lime, chopped parsley and garlic paste. Season with salt and mix well and set aside
- Peheat your oven to 200 C and line a baking tray with baking paper
- Once the dough has doubled in size, tip the dough onto a floured surface.
- Slowly knead the dough for 2 mins
- Then make a large ball and cut it into 2. Then cut them into 5 each. You should have around 10
- Slowly roll out the dough into long rolls
- Then just like you tie a shoe lace, tie the knot with the rolled out dough
- Once you have made the knot, place on the prepared baking tray. Do the same with the remaining dough
- Dip a pastry brush in some olive oil and brush the tops of the knots lightly
- Place the tray in the pre heat oven and bake for 15 – 20 mins or till lightly golden on the top
- During this time, melt the butter mixture in a microwave
- As soon as the knots are ready take them out of the oven and dip them into the melted butter
- Use a mitten while you dip the knots as they will really hot!!
- After dipping them, place them back on the tray
- Just before you serve them, brush again with the flavored butter!!
Hello my Dear Wonderfull Readers!!
How are you all doing today? The weather here is slowly changing and the nights are getting colder. The evening’s are breezy and that is the perfect excuse to make hot samosas don’t you think? Traditionally, samosas are make with a potato based stuffing with a wide variety of spices. But today, I bring to you my perfect spicy twist to this much loved snack. Now given that it is only a snack, the idea of spending the least amount of time in the kitchen has to be a part of this recipe right? So I recommend buying samosa patty’s from your super market cause they save so much time!! So all you have to do, is make the filling, make the samosa cone and fry them!! So simple!
So firstly you need to know how to make the Achari Murgh. Now Achari Murgh literally translates to ” Pickled Chicken”. NO I am not going to ask you to pickle a chicken. We are going to cook the chicken in a medley of spices that usually are used while making pickles. The most prominent of these spices is the “KALONJI”. Samosas are the best sort of snack for a cold evening with a hot cup of coffee and this recipe is the right mix of spicy and crispy!
Ingredients for the stuffing :–
- Chicken – 500 gms ( minced)
- Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
- Methi Seeds / Coriander Seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Kalonji – 1/ tsp
- Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
- Dry Red Chillies – 6 -8
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
- Green Chillies – 2 ( chopped fine)
- Salt – according to taste
- Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Lime Juice – 5 tbsp
- In a large pan, add the minced chicken, lemon juice, ginger garlic paste and 1/2 tsp salt. Set aside to rest for 30 mins
- Once you are ready to cook the chicken, heat oil in a large khadai
- Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds, methi seeds, kalonji, mustard seeds and dry red chillies. Fry till the red chillies get roasted and plump
- Then add the green chillies and the marinated chicken
- Add the chilli powder and cook till the chicken is cooked well and all the water has evaporated.
- Set aside to cool down
Ingredients to assemble the samosa :-
- Samosa Patti / pastry – 1 pack ( around 15)
- Boiled Potatoes – 1/2 cup
- Deep fried Onions – 1/2 cup *
- Coriander Leaves – 1/4 cup ( chopped fine)
- Mint Leaves – 1/4 cup ( chopped fine)
- Flour paste – add 2 tbsp of flour to 1 tbsp of water to form a thick paste (set aside)
- Oil – for deep frying
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked chicken, boiled potatoes, mint, coriander leaves and fried onions. add salt to taste
- Using the samosa patti / pastry, fold to form a cone.
- Then stuff the cone with the chicken mixture
- Using the flour paste, seal the corners
- Deep fry the samosas and serve right away with spicy mint chutney
Hello my Dear wonderful readers!!
Its the weekend and this time I have made some thing rich and indulgent for you. This dish is inspired from the famous Malai Kofta, which is a croquette made with paneer / cottage cheese and potatoes. It all started with the fact that I had a little white basmati rice left and I wasn’t sure what kind of gravy to prepare along with it. Now it might come as a surprise to you, but we usually serve red rice at home. I mean the fat grainy kind. So white basmati is like having refined sugar in our coffee ( we usually add palm sugar).
After last week festivities I also had some khoya left in the fridge. So I decided to go all out and make a rich, creamy indulgent curry to pair well with rice and a salad. The recipe is divided into two steps. First making the Kofta and then the curry. Just to give it an “imperial” feel, I wrapped the koftas in silver warq. That is totally optional.
Ingredients for the Kofta :-
- Chicken mince – 500 gms
- Onions – 1 cup ( chopped fine)
- Khoya – 200 gms
- Green Chillies – 3 medium (sliced)
- Ginger garlic Paste – 1 + 1/2 tbsp
- Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp
- Besan / Gram Flour – 2 tbsp ( only if required)
- Oil – to deep fry + 2 tbsp
- Silver warq (optional)
- In a heavy bottom pan, add the oil
- When the oil is hot, add the onions and ginger garlic paste. Fry till golden brown
- Then add the green chilies, chilli powder, garam masala powder and fry 1 min
- Add the chicken mince to the onion mixture and cook till all the water has dried out completely. Make sure you have all the water evaporated. Add salt according to taste
- Set aside to cook down
- In another bowl, slowly kneed the khoya till its nice and smooth
- Add to cooled chicken mixture into a blender jar and add the khoya
- Blend together for a nice thick paste
- Now grease your hand and make small lime size balls with the mixture. Add gram flour if you find that the mixture is not holding shape. But do not add too much as it will not taste that great
- Finally heat oil in a deep pan on medium. When the oil is hot, add the prepared chicken balls and fry till golden brown or slightly dark brown (that’s how we like it)
- Reserve on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Cover the balls with silver leaf at this stage ( optional)
Ingredients for the curry :-
- Onions – 2 cups
- Tomato – 1 cup
- Cardamom – 5
- Cinnamon – 1
- Bay Leaf – 1
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Fresh Cream – 1/2 cup
- Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
- Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. When the oil is hot, add the cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf
- Once the spices release their aroma, add the onions and fry till translucent
- Then add the tomato, turmeric and chilli powder. Season with salt according to taste
- Fry till the tomatoes are cooked well
- In a blender, puree the above mixture
- Now again reheat the same pan with the blended mixture. Add fresh cream and mix well to combine.
- When it begins to boil, add the chicken kofta and give it a mix without breaking the kofta
- Your Chicken Koftas are ready.
- This dish pairs well will simple hot rice , pappads and a salad or even chappati / naans
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 🙂
- Rice Flour – 3 cups
- Urad Dal – 6 tbsp
- White Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
- Black Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
- Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Pepper Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp ( more if you like it pungent )
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – 3 tbsp
- Oil to fry
- Water to bind ( depends on the quality of the rice flour)
- 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
- Once they are ready , add into a blender and powder to a fine powder
- 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
- Then add the 3 tsp of oil and mix into the mixture till they almost resemble bread crumbs
- Finally add water little bit at a time to make a nice tight dough. Remember all you need is the dough to come together
- 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
- Once you have your dough ready, heat oil in a khadai ( enough to be able to deep fry these wheels)
- 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
- Now attach the start tip to the murukku maker and fill the barrel with the rice flour dough
- Slowly make round shapes of the murukku on your prepared baking paper
- Start from the inside and go round towards the outside
- Once you reach the outside, pinch the end towards the murukku
- Once you oil is nice and hot ( make sure the oil is always at medium flame not too hot and not too cold)
- 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
- Lay them on kitchen paper tower to soak up the excess oil
- You Murukku is ready! Store in an air tight container