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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Nadan Chicken Cutlet – Kerala style Chicken Croquettes

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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!

 

Ingredients :-

  1. Chicken – 500 gms ( boneless)
  2. Potatoes – 4 large
  3. Onions – 3 cups ( chopped fine )
  4. Green Chillies – 10 ( adjust to taste)
  5. Ginger – 4 inch knob
  6. Garlic – 14 cloves
  7. Turmeric Powder – 2 tsp + 1 tsp
  8. Coriander Powder – 4 tsp + 1 tsp
  9. Garam Masala Powder – 3 tsp
  10. Pepper Powder – 2 tsp
  11. Fresh Coriander Leaves – 1 cup ( chopped)
  12. Mint leaves – 1 cup (chopped)
  13. Salt – 1 tsp + 2 tsp + 1 tsp ( adjust to taste)
  14. Oil – 2 tbsp + more for deep frying
  15. Eggs – 2 ( beaten )
  16. Bread Crumbs – 1 cup ( more according to shape of cutlet)

Instructions :-

  1. Peel potatoes and boil till soft. Set aside
  2. 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.)
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Add the ginger paste to the onions and fry till the garlic looses its raw smell
  7. 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
  8. Set aside to cool. During this time lets get our assembly line ready 🙂
  9. In one plate add the boiled potatoes + the onions spice mixture. Add the fresh mint and coriander
  10. Mix with your hand to evenly distribute all the ingredients. Then add the ground chicken
  11. 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
  12. Now with one hand dunk the patties into the light beaten egg mixture and then into the bread crumbs to coat evenly
  13. Set aside in a large plate ready for frying!
  14. In a large wok or Khadai, heat oil
  15. Once the oil is hot ( on medium heat) fry the patties till golden brown
  16. Reserve on kitchen paper to drain excess oil
  17. Serve right away with ketchup!

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

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

 

 

 

Green Cucumber Mint Lemonade

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Hello my dear wonderful readers,

So I know you are thinking it’s still cold and why on earth would I wanna put up a post with a cold drink. The fact is that it is nice and cold during the nights but the days are getting equally warm. In fact by 2 in the afternoon we have our fans on and my son is usually sweating by then. Also I  realized that it is equally important to stay hydrated during cold times as in summer.

This cucumber mint juice is the perfect way to stay hydrated and cucumber by itself has many healthy benefits. There is always a simple cucumber salad with all our meals and some days we have this drink instead of an aerated drink. We discourage our little one from having soft drinks and beverages so we replace them with juices such as watermelon or lime or even a strawberry milkshake. So this juice was not well received by the little one but we enjoy it every now and then. Its simple to make and it all goes into a single bowl so not much of a recipe per say.

You could also add cumin powder or chilli powder at the end just to give it a different kick. I just use honey cause I love sweet drinks and this is my go to drink when I am in need of a clean refreshing juice.

Ingredients :-

  1. Lime – 2
  2. Water – 4 cups
  3. Cucumber – 3  (sliced and extra for garnish)
  4. Ginger – 1 inch knob
  5. Honey – according to taste
  6. Mint – 1 cup (packed)

Instructions :-

  1. In the bowl of your blender / juicer, add the juice of 2 limes
  2. Then add all of the above ingredients
  3. Blend till the ginger has also blended with the juice. Add more honey if required at this stage
  4. Pour into glasses and serve right away

Achari Murg Samosa – Samosa stuffed with chicken cooked in pickling spices

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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 :

  1. Chicken – 500 gms ( minced)
  2. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  3. Methi Seeds / Coriander Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  4. Kalonji – 1/ tsp
  5. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  6. Dry Red Chillies – 6 -8
  7. Oil – 2 tbsp
  8. Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
  9. Green Chillies – 2 ( chopped fine)
  10. Salt – according to taste
  11. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  12. Lime Juice – 5 tbsp

Instructions :-

  1. 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
  2. Once  you are ready to cook the chicken, heat oil in a large khadai
  3. 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
  4. Then add the green chillies and the marinated chicken
  5. Add the chilli powder and cook till the chicken is cooked well and all the water has evaporated.
  6. Set aside to cool down

Ingredients to assemble the samosa :-

  1. Samosa Patti / pastry – 1 pack ( around 15)
  2. Boiled Potatoes – 1/2 cup
  3. Deep fried Onions – 1/2 cup *
  4. Coriander Leaves – 1/4 cup ( chopped fine)
  5. Mint Leaves – 1/4 cup ( chopped fine)
  6. Flour paste – add 2 tbsp of flour to 1 tbsp of water to form a thick paste (set aside)
  7. Oil – for deep frying

Instructions :-

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cooked chicken, boiled potatoes, mint, coriander leaves and fried onions. add salt to taste
  2. Using the samosa patti / pastry, fold to form a cone.
  3. Then stuff the cone with the chicken mixture
  4. Using the flour paste, seal the corners
  5. Deep fry the samosas and serve right away with spicy mint chutney

 

 

 

Pumpkin Khao Soi with sweet sticky Pork and Egg noodles – (soup)

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Hello my dear wonderful readers!!

How are you all doing today? I cannot believe its already November and the year is coming to an end. The air is a little chilly and I pulled out my baby’s jackets and I realized I have to buy him new ones 🙂 . How time flies.

Anyways, so this time I am back with a lovely creamy, bold soup. Now traditionally it is made without the pumpkin and usually it goes with chicken. But this time I decided to make the soup creamy and thick and give it a new dimension.  Hence the pumpkin.Trust me this soup is a meal in itself. You can make it completely vegan my omitting the pork but I wanted that little extra protein and so the addition of pork.

We absolutely love noodles at home. May it be rice, buckwheat, whole wheat, egg any sort, is always welcome. So the recipe calls of egg noddles but if you cannot get a hold of them then go ahead and use any noodle that you like. Just make sure that you add them just before you serve them in a bowl, or else they tend to absorb all the moisture from the soup and then just turn mushy. No one wants a mushy bowl of noodle soup right? This is not your typical noodle in a broth.

 

Preparing the Pork :-
Ingredients

  1. Pork – 400 gms ( lean fillet)
  2. Oil – 1 tsp
  3. Garlic – 1 tbsp ( choppped)
  4. Oyster Sauce – 1 tbsp
  5. Soya Sauce – 1 tsp 
  6. Brown Sugar / Palm Sugar – 3 tsp 
  7. Salt – to taste ( 1.2 tsp)
  8.  Pepper – 1.2 tsp 

Instructions :-

  1.  In a non stick pan, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook till soft
  2. Then add the rest of the ingredients and cook on high for 2 min
  3. Then cover and cook for 5 min on medium heat
  4. Finally open the lid and cook till all the moisture is out 
  5. Remove the cooked pork from the pan and toss out any excess fat on the pan

To Prepare the Pumpkin

 

Ingredients :-

  1. Pumpkin – 4 cups (skin peeled, innards removed and chopped)
  2. Potato – 1 cup ( chopped)
  3. Ginger – 1 tbsp ( choppped)
  4. Salt – 1 tsp
  5. Water – 4 cups

Instructions :-

 

  1. In a large pot, combine all the ingredients and place on medium heat
  2. Cook till the pumpkin and potatoes are soft
  3. Once they are soft, spoon them out, into a blender
  4. Make a fine paste and set aside


To make the Khao Soi Paste :-

  1.  Dried Red chilies – 25
  2. Water – 1/2 cup
  3.  Garlic – 20
  4. Ginger – 2 tbp ( chopped fine)
  5. Cilantro leaves and steam – 1 cup ( packed)
  6. Shallots – 13 
  7. Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
  8.  Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  9. Garam Masala Powder – 1/2 tsp 

Instructions :-

  1.  Heat water till boiling point
  2.  Place all the dried chillies into the boiling hot water and let them soak for 30 mins
  3. Later in the bowl of a blender add all the ingredients along with the soaked red chillies and the water and blend to make a fine thick paste
  4. Set aside ( you can use as much as you want for this recipe and freeze the rest for later use)

Making and Assembling the soup 

Ingredients for the soup :-

  1.  Egg noodles – 250 gms 
  2. Oil – 2 tbsp
  3. Yellow Bell Pepper – 1/2 cup ( finely sliced)
  4. Red Bell Pepper – 1/2 cup ( finely sliced)
  5. Chicken Broth – 2 cups
  6. Basil Leaves – hand full 
  7. Lime Juice – 3 tbs
  8. Coconut Milk – 1 can 
  9. Coriander and lime for the final garnish 


 Instructions :-

  1.  In a large pot, heat oil 
  2.  Then add Khao Soi Paste and cook till the oil separates from the mixture
  3. Then add the pumpkin and potato mixture
  4.  Cook and combine for 2 mins .Then Bell Pepper and chicken broth
  5. As the mixture begin to simmer add the coconut milk. Again mix well 
  6. Mix well and bring to a boil again ( on medium heat)
  7. Once the mixture boils, add the basil leaves, lime juice and salt according to taste
  8. Cover and cook for another 5 mins and you are ready!
  9. While serving, first add the soup into a bowl, then add the noodles, the pork and finally garnish with some fresh corinader , lime and basil leaves! Yummm!!