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 

 

 

Strawberry doughnuts with Honey and Lemon sugar

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Hello My dear wonderful readers,

How are you all doing today? So it was cheat day the other day and I had one of these and OMG I had to give them away cause these doughnuts are so so addictive. Strawberry season is here and I think I would use it in everything and anything. This is my second strawberry recipe for the season and let’s be honest, I can never have enough of these ruby red beauties. These doughnuts are baked and not deep fried so they are more cakey than fried but trust me when I say this, one bite and you wont be able to go back evaaaa!! These pink rings of heaven are the perfect mix of sweet, tart, fresh and  “munchy”. Those little red spots on the donuts are the finely chopped strawberries. The key is to dunk them in honey when nice and warm and therefore the lemon sugar melts into the doughnuts and OH MY GOD., the magic is insane!

In fact I baked 12 of these but only 11 got to the photos 🙂 cause these donuts, my friend, are just so awesome!! lol

So while I was baking these my little munchkin decided it was time for him to play in the kitchen as well. So when I was whisking and piping, my little boy was sitting on the kitchen mat, making “rice, mutta (eggs) and cheese ” which is when I was reminded about how I went to the toy store to see if I could get him a kitchen set or a toy oven but to my surprise all the kitchen toys were only in this hideous bright pink with photos of little girls making food. So what I couldn’t understand is – why is that only girls like these kind of games? I mean some of the best chefs in the world are men and they are respected all over the world, then why is it that boys cant be allowed to play with the same kind of toys. Also why is it pink?? I have never come across a pink kitchen my entire life! And no working real kitchen can ever function to its fullest if it where white or pink! Why not have a kitchen that is the same colour as the real thing! Anyway the bottom line is, I decided if he wants to play he can play with the stuff in my kitchen and when he is old enough I will help him learn and understand that there is no job that was either reserved for men or for women. Girl or boy we all deserve equal opportunity and equal respect for the choices we make.

Now back to the doughnuts, just like all my bakes, (unless otherwise specified) make sure the ingredients are at room temperature and the baking tray is well prepared. Try not rushing this step cause these doughnuts will just pop out easily if you do so. Now for the recipe

Ingredients :-

  1. Butter – 1 tsp
  2. Flour – 2 cups + more for dusting the pan
  3. Baking Powder – 1 tsp
  4. Oil – 1/2 cup
  5. Sugar – 1/ 2 cup + more of dusting
  6. Eggs – 2 large eggs
  7. Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
  8. Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 tsp
  9. Salt – 1/2 of 1/4 tsp
  10. Nutmeg – 1/4 tsp
  11. Butter Milk – 3/4 cup
  12. Strawberry – 1 cup ( chopped fine)
  13. Red food colour – 1 small drop ( optional)
  14. Lemon Zest – from 2 limes
  15. Honey 2 tbsp

Instructions :-

  1. Pre-Heat your oven to 180 C
  2. Prepare your doughnut pan by brushing butter on the inside of your baking pan. Make sure to butter the hole in the centre too . This recipe makes 12 doughnuts
  3. Now lightly dust the buttered pan with flour. Invert the pan and shake of the excess flour. Set aside
  4. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and sieve twice
  5. In another bowl, add the oil, eggs, apple cider vinegar , vanilla, sugar and butter milk. Whisk together till the sugar has mixed well with mixture
  6. Then add the dry mixture to the wet mixture in 3 batches. Make sure to mix well at every addition of dry mixture to the wet
  7. Once you have all the dry ingredients mixed, add the chopped strawberry and colour
  8. Mix well to combine
  9. Now pour the mixture into a piping bag. Snip the bottom and pipe the batter into the prepared doughnut pan
  10. Fill till 80 % of the hole
  11. Pop into the oven to bake for 20 mins or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean
  12. While that is baking lets make the lemon sugar
  13. In a plate, zest the lemons. Then add 1/2 cup of caster sugar. Now with dry hands, mix the sugar and lemon zest. You will see the sugar turn a light green colour
  14. Once the doughnuts are done, let them cool for 5 mins
  15. Then when the doughnuts are still warm, using a pastry brush, brush honey on the face of the doughnut
  16. Then dunk the doughnuts into the lemon sugar
  17. Place on a cooling rack to dust of the excess sugar
  18. Your strawberry doughnuts with honey and lemon sugar are ready

 

Strawberry, Thyme and Caramel Brioche Sticky Buns

Strawberry Still

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Hello my dear wonderful readers!

Is it Thursday already???? Some times I cannot believe how the days go by. My little monkey a.k.a my son 🙂 is also growing up so fast. Let me tell you why I say that. My little boy has a cold and till yesterday what comes so easily to us, was the hardest thing for him. What is that one thing that we often do when we have a cold? we blow our nose! But my little 2 year had no clue how to blow his nose. All he would do is a “kaaaarrkkkkkkkk” sound into a tissue if I ask him blow his nose. Yesterday some how, I asked him to do the same and guess what?? it worked!!! He actually blew his nose!! Now I know you are thinking OMG what is this woman talking about! So here is something, parenting is such a roller coaster, that every single minute you learn and you grow. You do not have to be a parent to a human, it could be a cute little pup or cat or any animal you want to appreciate what i am saying. When they are tiny they are so fragile that once they start showing signs of growing up, every step calls for a celebration. At least I do. Your child is a celebration of your life. The joys I have found as a mum are unparalleled and can never be forgotten.

Now coming back to this recipe. It was actually a test recipe but given that I made quite a few yesterday and only 4 remain, I think it would be apt to share the recipe with you all. So I asked my dear husband to buy some fresh thyme for a dinner I was making and he got this huge packet of thyme so needless to say, you might see a lot of “Thyme” based recipes coming your way 🙂

Strawberries and thyme are a match made in heaven. So if you wanna make a fun snack with fresh strawberry jam or even store bought organic jam then this is just the one. When I was a little girl my mum would always make me have a jam sandwich and a tall glass of milk on the table just before I went out to play. This recipe reminds me so much of those days.

The bread is not just any bread. It is the most fluffiest, softest, tastiest bread ever. Because of the addition of butter and eggs this bread is just delicious just by itself too. The little thyme adds a certain mystical, lemony smell and taste. Winter mornings with a cup of tea and these buns are the perfect breakfast in bed option too.

Ingredients for the bread :-

  1. Flour – 2 cups
  2. Sugar – 5 tbsp
  3. Yeast – 2 tsp
  4. Salt – 1/4 tsp
  5. Milk – 2/3 cup (warm)
  6. Water – 1/3 cup
  7. Eggs – 2 (lightly beaten)
  8. Butter – 105 gms (softened and at room temp)

Instructions :-

  1. In a bowl combine milk, sugar and yeast. Set aside till frothy and bubbly
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the flour and butter. With the hook attachment mix till a bread crumb consistency is achieved
  3. Then add the eggs and mix well
  4. Next add the yeast mixture and milk in a steady stream with the mixer on low
  5. Once you are done, add the salt and let the dough mix for 10 – 12 mins on medium speed
  6. Mean while oil a glass bowl with 1/2 tsp of oilve oil and set aside
  7. Now you will notice that the dough is quite wet but that’s ok, continue mixing till the dough is nice and elastic
  8. Finally tip the elastic dough into the prepared bowl
  9. Cover with a cloth and set in a warm place till the dough doubles in size ( 1 – 3 hrs)
  10. During that time. Lets assemble the ingredients for the filling

Ingredients :-

  1. Strawberry Jam – 2 cups ( depends on how thin you roll out the dough)
  2. Fresh Thyme – 4 tbsp
  3. Caramel – 3 tbsp ( or as required)
  4. Egg – 1 (whisked well)
  5. Butter for greasing

Instructions  :-

  1. Pre Heat your oven to 200 C and grease a cupcake tray with butter. Set aside
  2. Flour your work counter with flour and dump the flour into the counter. Make sure to deflate the dough in the bowl first
  3. Slowly knead for 1 min till it forms a ball. Divide the ball into 2 equal halves
  4. Then using a rolling pin, roll out a rectangle 40 cm x 20 cm
  5. The using a pastry brush, evenly spread the jam over the rolled out dough ( if it very thick pop it into the microwave for 30 sec)
  6. Once you are done with the strawberry layer, sprinkle the thyme leaves
  7. Then drizzle the caramel over it
  8. Now slowly starting from the longer side roll inwards. Flour your hands, if you find the dough is sticky
  9. Once you have a nice long roll, cut into equal circles. I used a thread for this. Slip a thread under the log, come around it from both side, make a tiny knot just once and pull tight through
  10. As you make the circles place it in the prepared cupcake tray
  11. Once you are done with all of the dough in the same manner, using a pastry brush, lightly coat the tops of the rolls, with the eggs wash
  12. Pop into the oven for 30 Mins or till golden brown. Once done, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack
  13. Allow to cool till warm to touch, then pop them out of the cupcake molds and place on a cooling rack to cool completely
  14. Serve with hot milk or tea

Peach Clafouti – Sweet and Tart Peaches in a soft cakey dessert

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!

How are you all doing today? Its been raining here all week and its been so cold, I am always in my socks and either I am eating some thing warm or drinking the same. While it is quite easy to make cold desserts, warm desserts are a little “different”. Now I know I could make a batch of warm cookies or brownies and eat them right out of the oven. But here is the thing, I wanted to incorporate fresh fruits in there as well. Now, synonymous to these cozy days, is the world Lazy! So the last thing on my mind is to bring everything to room temperature and adding raising agents etc! So this is my” no stress, just vegetate and eat warm gooey deserts” recipe.

Also this is a great option when you have surprise visitors over for dinner and you do want to make some thing sweet at the end of your meal. You could use any kind of fruit, the base remains the same and let me tell you, in my opinion, tart fruits work the best cause they cut through the sugar in the base and leave you with this wonderful warm happy feeling!

Ice cream or fresh cream, how ever you fashion to pair this dessert, it is a total win  – win. Oh and did I forget to mention, its a ONE POT dessert!

My mum makes another version of the same thing and adds roasted cashew nuts and bananas too. Oh that one is out of this world and to compare the two wouldn’t be fair. So if you are looking for a warm, sweet, fruit and cakey dessert that doesn’t involve too much work but you would like to enjoy on a cold night, then I strongly recommend this recipe!

Ingredients :-

  1. Flour – 2 cups
  2. Powdered Sugar – 1 cup
  3. Butter – 100 gms
  4. Vanilla – seeds from one pod or 2 tsp
  5. Salt – just a pinch
  6. Fresh Peaches – 6 (sliced thin)
  7. Eggs – 3
  8. Butter ( just to grease the bowl)
  9. Milk – 1 cup

Instructions :-

  1. Pop the butter into a microwaveable dish and melt. Set it aside to cool
  2. While that is happening, place a kitchen towel on your counter and place your large bowl
  3. Slice peaches to desired thickness and set aside
  4. Add flour and sugar and whisk together
  5. Then add the milk, eggs, vanilla and salt
  6. Whisk well to for a lump free batter ( little thicker than a pancake batter)
  7. Grease your pie tray or enamel wear or even your cake tin with butter ( using a shallow tray makes the fruit pop out better through the cakey base)
  8. Pour the batter into the pan
  9. Then arrange the peaches over the batter. The batter is very runny so some of the fruit may sink but that’s ok, just add more 🙂
  10. Pop the tray into a pre-heated over at 180 C for around 30 – 45 mins
  11. Once done, pull it out of the oven and serve right away with a dusting of powdered sugar and fresh cream or ice cream!!

“Take me to the beach” Smoothie !! – Kiwi, Pineapple, mango

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Hello My Dear Wonderful Friends!

How are you all doing today? Yay, its almost the weekend and I can not wait for Saturday. Its been raining all week and my little boy is down with a cold, so I decided to make warm food and to begin my day with lots of nutritious fruits to keep me going. Pineapples help build and secure your immune system. They are anti inflammatory  and also help in digestion. Kiwi also helps build immunity and is a good source of Vitamin C and then there is mango. Do you really need a reason to add mangoes in anything?? 😛

This time I used coconut water cause I wanted this smoothie to feel like a cocktail! ha.. so much for a clean mind and a clean diet! lol. The thing is, when you make smoothies every day, you really do not wanna get bored and our world is full of different kinds of fruits and vegetables and the permutations are endless! That being said, there are certain smoothies I just do not make, like pineapple and oats = yuck! Orange + yogurt = run to the bathroom!! etc!

All this fruit talk is making me hungry! OK, so I am going to run along and make some thing to eat while you check out my recipe for this refreshingly fresh and jazzy smoothie!!

Ingredients :-

  1. Mango – 2 cups
  2. Kiwi – 3
  3. Pineapple – 1 medium size
  4. Coconut water – from one large coconut ( add more if you do not like it thick)
  5. Palm Sugar – 1 tsp ( optional)

 

Instructions :-

  1. Skin the mango and cut the fresh mango into large chunks and chuck right into the blender
  2. Then cut the kiwis into two and using a spoon scoop out the flesh
  3. Slowly slice off the skin of the pineapple and cut into small chunks
  4. Add all the fruits into the blender
  5. Finally break open a fresh coconut and add the water to the smoothie ( if you can use the flesh of the coconut as well)
  6. Give a good mix
  7. Serve into individual glasses with a slice of pineapple on top

 

 

Mango, Peach and Orange Smoothie

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing today? I found peaches at the nearby market and I decided why not use them in a fresh morning smoothie. As I took a walk down the market aisle,  I realized that the number of mangoes are dwindling, therefore I decided to make the most of it while its still available. That brings me to the topic of canned food. Now for one, unless its an order to make a cake without a seasonal fruit or when I need to add a cheer to a cocktail, I stay clear of canned food. Simple cause I worry about the preservatives in the can. Food was never meant to last as long as it does when it is canned. So why add more preservatives and chemicals to your diet right? That’s why I prefer using fresh fruits in my smoothies. Also if I want an element of cold or frozen, I cut up the required fruit and freeze it over night so my smoothies are thick and creamy. That being said some times when I need to make a tuna salad in a hurry (once in 6 months!) I do grab a can of canned tuna. Nothing substitutes fresh, seasonal fruits. So if you are planing on making a smoothie tomorrow, I suggest you pick up the least expensive fruit in the market, that means they are in season and they will only make you healthier!

So this smoothie is a mixture of fresh peaches, mangoes and oranges. Now if you want you could add water or yogurt but I do not like the combination of milk or yogurt with citrus fruits. It just does not work! ( for me). And this smoothie is a really thick smoothie, almost like ice cream. I did not add any liquid cause I wanted more fruit this time.

Ingredients :-

  1. Fresh Peaches – 4
  2. Mangoes – 3 cups ( cubes and frozen)
  3. Oranges – 2 large
  4. Ice Cubes – 5 – 6

 

Instructions :-

  1. Cut and core the peaches.
  2. Cube the mangoes and freeze over night for a creamy thick consistency ( its ok if you do not have frozen mangoes, fresh mango works too)
  3. Juice 2 large oranges ( use the pulp too)
  4. Add all the ingredients into a blender along with the ice cubes. Blend according to the blender instructions and serve with a slice of fresh cut orange.

 

Rose water, Watermelon and Kiwi Popsicles

 

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Hello World!

How are you guys doing?? So I am not going to go on about how hot Bangalore is! All I can say is that these popsicles are the best thing to have in this heat!!! I haven’t added any sweetening or colouring agent to them. All natural and clean. They are the perfect quick escape from the heat. It is basically just a watermelon juice that was promoted to a fancy pants popsicle. The addition of rose water make them sweeter and fresher. You could add any kind of fruit but I love watermelon and kiwi together. Also if you want your could juice the kiwi too, but I like the way the kiwi pops out through the watermelon so thats why I just sliced it and added it into the juice.

There is so much you can do if you have a good popsicle mould. Yes ice creams could also be poured into these mould to make soft, creamy, cold ice creams. But hey we are just getting started with summer right? I also have a recipe for an easy  Mango and Almond Chip Ice Cream and a Melon Granita. So this is another one you must try. They are s easy to make and super “Kid” friends. I give my son one a day :0)

You could add sugar or honey if you like, but if the watermelon is sweet, then why bother! Also you could mix it up a bit by adding a little lemon juice. ok so on to the recipe –

Ingredients :-

  1. Watermelon – 4 cups ( deseeded and cubed)
  2. Rose water or rose essence – 1/2 tsp
  3. Kiwi – 1 (sliced)

Instructions :-

  1. In the bowl of your blender add the watermelon and rose water
  2. Blend to make a smoothie juice
  3. Pour into your popsicle moulds
  4. Add the sliced kiwi pieces
  5. Pop into the freezer and let it set for 15 min
  6. Then take them out and insert the popsicle sticks
  7. Freeze till nice and firm.
  8. To un-mould dip the mould in hot water for 5 secs and pull them out gently from the mould
  9. Enjoy!!