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 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.
- Brussel Sprouts – 500 Gms
- Onions – 2 large ( sliced)
- Garlic – 10 cloves
- Rosemary – 4 to 5 sprigs
- Potato – 2 ( cut to wedges ) (cut them thin so they take the same time to cook as the rest of the ingredients )
- Pepper – 1/2 tsp
- Himalayan Pink Salt to taste ( use regular if not available )
- Olive oil for a generous drizzle
- Pre heat your oven to 200C
- Clean and cut the Brussels sprouts. Prep the onions, potatoes and rosemary
- In a large bowl combine all the ingredients listed above
- Arrange the same onto a baking tray
- 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
- Make sure to turn the veggies around, half way through the bake, to ensure that they cook evenly
- Once done, serve right away . We like it a little crisp and brown on the outside.
- You could also grate some cheese on top of the roasted veggies
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.
- Tomatos – 6 – 7 ( ripe and red) all and any kind – red, black, cherry etc
- Garlic – 10 – 12 ( use 2 entire pods cut in the middles for bolder flavor)
- Rose Mary – 1/2 tsp
- Thyme – 1/2 tsp
- Chilli Flakes – 1/2 tsp
- Pepper – 1 tsp
- Salt – according to taste
- Vegetable Stock – 2 cups ( more if required)
- Olive oil – to drizzle over the tomatoes before roasting
- Basil and cream for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 180 C and line a baking tray with foil
- Now cut into 6 equal halves and cut the garlic into 2 halves
- 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)
- Now mix well to distribute the spice evenly with the tomato and garlic
- Spread the tomato and garlic over the foil evenly and make sure there is space between them to roast evenly
- Pop the tray into the oven and roast for 25 – 30 min ( the skin will begin to shrink and sizzle)
- Once the tomatoes and garlic are ready in a pan add 1 tsp of oil and add the roasted tomato mix
- Pour the vegetable stock. Close and cook for another 15 – 20 mins
- Add pepper and salt and season to your desired taste
- Finally transfer the mixture into a mixture and blend to required consistency
- If you do not like thick soups then bend for little longer that 10 mins and then push the soup through a soup strainer
- Serve hot with bread or grilled cheese sandwiches
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,
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.
- Lime – 2
- Water – 4 cups
- Cucumber – 3 (sliced and extra for garnish)
- Ginger – 1 inch knob
- Honey – according to taste
- Mint – 1 cup (packed)
- In the bowl of your blender / juicer, add the juice of 2 limes
- Then add all of the above ingredients
- Blend till the ginger has also blended with the juice. Add more honey if required at this stage
- Pour into glasses and serve right away
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!!