Dahi Kela| Sweet Yogurt And Banana No-Cook Recipe

This week’s theme for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop, the 102nd edition, is ‘No Fire Recipes’ or dishes that are cooked without the use of the gas. The theme does allow the use of barbecue grills, electric toasters and sandwich makers, as well as OTG and microwave ovens, as these appliances run either on fire or electricity and not on gas. But then, I wanted to make something for the blog hop that is absolutely ‘No Cook’, which just needs assembling and no cooking at all, neither on the gas nor on a grill or oven. So, I decided to put up a simple recipe – Dahi Kela – that we have been making, in our family, for ages now.

Foodie Monday Blog Hop

Dahi kela is a very easy thing to put together, a task that needs barely 5 minutes. This sweet yogurt and banana dish makes for a lovely accompaniment with rotis and parathas, a saviour on days when you do not have anything else to serve them with or when you are too lazy or tired to whip up something else. It can be a dessert, too, if you so please. What’s more, this is a healthier alternative to many oily, masala-laden side dishes. And, like I said earlier, it requires absolutely zero cooking. Do you need any more incentive to try this dish out? πŸ™‚

I’m not sure of the origin of this dahi kela recipe, but I have had it often as part of Gujarati thalis back when I was living in Ahmedabad. I have also often seen this dish being prepared at the Brahmakumari’s centre that my grandparents used to frequent, on festivals and other auspicious occasions. As far as I know, Gujaratis believe the combination of curd (yogurt) and sugar, which this recipe involves, to bring good luck to the eater. Amma began to make the dahi kela at home too, because I love it, and then, in time, I began to make it too.

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Dahi kela, a beautiful no-cook sweet yogurt and banana confection. Hand model: Amma πŸ™‚

Now, let’s look at the recipe for the dahi kela, shall we?

Ingredients (serves 2):

  1. 2 cups curd (yogurt)
  2. Palm sugar, to taste
  3. 2 medium-sized bananas
  4. Cardamom (elaichi) powder, to taste

Method:

  1. Take the yogurt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk gently, adding a little water if you think it is too thick.
  2. Cut the bananas into rounds and add them to the yogurt.
  3. Add sugar and cardamom powder, to taste.
  4. Mix well, but gently.
  5. Serve immediately, or after chilling for a while in the refrigerator. You can serve this with rotis or parathas, as an accompaniment, or on its own, as a dessert.

Notes:

  1. I use Robusta bananas to make the dahi kela, because I simply love them. You could use smaller bananas like Yelakki too, but you might want to use more of them in that case.
  2. I use home-made curd that isn’t very thick, to make this dish. If you are using store-bought curd that is very thick, use slightly more water. However, do ensure that you do not make it too watery – the dahi kela is supposed to be reasonably thick in consistency.
  3. You could omit the cardamom powder if you so please, but I wouldn’t recommend that. Personally, I think it adds a beautiful fragrance to the dish.
  4. If you are making the dahi kela well in advance before you plan to serve it, it would be a good idea to store it in the refrigerator till serving time. This will ensure that the curd doesn’t get overly sour, as it is prone to do at room temperature, especially in the hot months of summer.
  5. Use fresh curd that isn’t very sour, to make the dahi kela, for best results.
  6. I use palm sugar to make this dish, to make it (relatively) healthier. If you don’t have it, you could use ordinary refined sugar instead.
  7. You could add dried fruits, other fresh fruits, saffron and nuts to the dahi kela, too. I usually avoid these things, because I like keeping this dish clean and simple.

Do you make dahi kela at home too? What is your version like?

If you have never tried it out before, please do! Don’t forget to tell me how it turned out!

 

Dangar Pachadi| A Forgotten Urad Daal Raita From Tamilnadu

This month’s theme for the Shhhh Cooking Secretly Facebook group is ‘Chutneys’. All the participating bloggers were challenged to whip up a chutney that makes use of the two secret ingredients their partner assigns them with.

I have been paired with Kriti Singhal Agrawal, the talented blogger who writes at Krispy Kadhai, this month. She assigned me ‘curd’ and ‘any fresh herb’ as my secret ingredients. I decided to make Dangar Pachadi, a long-lost heirloom recipe from Tamilnadu, that uses curd, roasted urad daal, coriander (the fresh herb!) and, sometimes, curry leaves. Well, technically, this is a raita and not a chutney, but then, anything ground and mixed into curd will inevitably become a raita, right? So, I decided to let that be.

Like I was saying earlier, dangar pachadi is a traditional recipe from Tamilnadu, particularly the Tanjore region, which has been lost somewhere in the chaos of modern life. There is another variation of this raita too that used to be prepared back in the olden days – a version that used roasted urad flour instead of urad daal – called dangarma (colloquial for ‘dangar maavu‘) pachadi. ‘Dangar maavu‘ here refers to ‘urad flour’.

This pachadi has a very interesting history associated with it. Apparently, there was once a section of Brahmins from Maharashtra residing in the South Indian district of Tanjore, called the Tanjore Marathis. It is these Tanjore Marathis who are believed to have invented the dangar pachadi.Β  ‘Dangar‘ is the Marathi word for ‘the dough used to make papads‘, i.e. urad daal flour. A variation of this recipe was popular among traditional households in Maharashtra as well.

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Dangar pachadi, or a traditional Tamilnadu roasted urad daal raita

Dangar pachadi is something that my mother has grown up eating frequently, a dish I’ve heard her talk about often, but something I haven’t had too many times. I have never tried making it before. Amma was more than happy to teach me how to make this raita, for this challenge, and that is how this post happened. The raita turned out delectable, the smell of roasted urad daal in it heavenly. I served the dangar pachadi with Gujarati-style bajri-methi na thepla, and I am pretty sure it would go wonderfully well with any kind of parathas or as a side dish for rotis. Traditionally, this raita would be served with rice-based dishes.

Now, let’s learn how to make this beautiful raita, shall we?

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

  1. 1 cup curd
  2. Salt, to taste
  3. 2 tablespoons urad daal
  4. 1 tablespoon oil
  5. 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  6. 2 green chillies, slit length-wise
  7. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  8. A few stalks of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

Method:

  1. Dry roast the urad daal in a pan, on medium flame, till it emits a lovely fragrance. Transfer to a plate and keep aside to let it cool down completely.
  2. In the meantime, whisk the curd well. Add salt to taste.
  3. Add the finely chopped coriander leaves to the curd.
  4. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, and add the mustard seeds. Let them splutter. Turn down the flame to medium. Now, add the asafoetida and split green chillies. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds, and then add to the curd mix.
  5. When the roasted urad daal has completely cooled down, use a mixer to pulse it to a coarse powder. Add this powder to the curd mix.
  6. Mix everything well, ensuring that all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated together.
  7. Serve with parathas, rotis or any rice preparation.

Notes:

  1. I used home-made curd that wasn’t too thick. If you are using very thick, store-bought curd, use about 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup of water.
  2. Increase the quantity of urad daal, if you think you’d like it that way.
  3. Make sure you roast the urad daal lightly, till it emits a good fragrance. Take care to ensure that it doesn’t burn.
  4. Increase the quantity of green chillies, if you would like the raita to be slightly more spicier.
  5. You need to just coarsely crush the roasted urad daal, and not make a fine powder.
  6. Curry leaves can be added to the raita, too, but I skipped them.
  7. If you aren’t planning on using the dangar pachadi immediately, you should refrigerate it until use so that it doesn’t turn too sour.

You like? I hope you will try this dish out too, and that you will love it just as much as we did!

Sago Fritters, 3 Ways| Healthy No-Fry Sabudana Vada

I’m so thrilled to be associated with this amazing group of food bloggers, as part of something that is called the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. These ladies decide upon a theme every week, cook something based on that theme, and each one posts her dish on her blog the coming Monday! Foodie Monday Blog Hop completed 100 weeks the last week, and I am so excited to have joined this group of very talented bloggers now, at the milestone of the 101st week. πŸ™‚

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The theme for this week’s Foodie Blog Hop is ‘vrat ka khaana‘ or ‘food that you can eat while fasting’. Soon, the month of August will set in, and the festive season will begin in India. With the onset of the monsoons, a lot of people fast on various festive occasions, and a whole lot of delicacies are cooked up then. I don’t really have much experience with fasting, but I do have some basic knowledge of the ingredients that are commonly ‘allowed’ during these times.

For this week’s blog hop, I decided to post about a fasting food that my family and I love having at any time – Sago fritters aka sabudana vada. Here, I have included three different ways to prepare sabudana vada – the traditional deep-fried version, the shallow-fried version for the calorie-conscious, and the appam pan version for those who don’t want to compromise on either health or taste.

Now, let’s check out how to make sabudana vada, shall we?

Ingredients (serves 4):

1. 1-1/2 cups of sago (sabudana)

2. Rock salt (sendha namak), to taste

3. 6 medium-sized potatoes

4. 3-4 tablespoons sugar

5. A small bunch of fresh coriander leaves

6. A 1-inch piece of ginger

7. 2 green chillies

8. Red chilli powder, to taste

9. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

10. 1/2 cup raw peanuts

11. 2 pinches of asafoetida (hing)

12. Oil, as needed to make the fritters

Method:

Get the batter for the sago fritters ready first, and then proceed to make them whichever way you want.

For the batter:

  1. Soak the sago in just enough water to cover it, for about 2 hours. Then spread it out in a colander and let the excess water drain away. Keep the sago this way, covered, till you use it.
  2. Cut each potato into two, and pressure cook the pieces, for 4 whistles. When the pressure releases completely, run cold water over the potatoes and peel them. Mash the potato pieces. Keep aside.
  3. Chop the coriander leaves finely. Keep aside.
  4. Dry roast the peanuts on medium flame, till they are crisp. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the skins. Pulse them for a second or two in the mixer. You need to just coarsely crush them and not make a fine powder. Keep aside.
  5. Peel the ginger, and chop it finely. Chop the green chillies finely too. Crush the ginger and green chillies using a mortar and pestle, and keep the paste aside.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, add in the mashed potatoes, roasted peanuts, crushed ginger and green chillies, salt and red chilli powder to taste, chopped coriander, and turmeric powder. Mix well.
  7. Now, add in the soaked sago to the mixing bowl. Mix well, but gently.

Now, you can use this batter to make sabudana vada, as little or as much guilt-free as you want it to be!

To make the deep-fried version

The deep-fried sabudana vadas will be beautifully crispy on the outside, yummylicious inside. This is my most favourite way to make sago fritters but, of course, it comes with guilt associated to it, thanks to the deep frying.

  1. Heat enough oil to fry the sago fritters, in a heavy-bottomed pan, over high flame.
  2. When the oil is nice and hot, reduce the flame to low-medium.
  3. Make rounds, fritters or flat cutlets out of the batter and fry them in the hot oil, a couple at a time. Fry them until crisp and brown on the outside, turning them gently now and then, to ensure that they are well cooked on all sides.
  4. Transfer to a serving plate. Serve immediately.
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Left: Deep-fried, crispy sabudana vada, Right: Shallow-fried, not-so-crispy, but still delish sabudana vada

To make the shallow-fried version

This version of sabudana vada is equally tasty, but not as crunchy on the outside as the deep-fried ones. However, it consumes a lesser amount of oil as compared to the deep-fried version.

  1. Heat a dosa pan on high flame, till drops of water dance on it.
  2. Spread a teaspoon or so of oil on the pan. Reduce the flame to low-medium.
  3. Make flat patties out of the batter and place a couple of them on the pan. Drizzle some oil around them.
  4. Let the patties cook on low-medium flame till the bottom gets browned.
  5. Then, flip over and cook on the other side, adding a little more oil around the patties.
  6. Transfer to a serving plate. Serve immediately.
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Left: Healthy, no-fry sabudana vada being made in an appam pan, Right: The finished product, straight out of the appam pan!

To make the healthier appam pan version

Did you know that you can make healthy, no-fry sabudana vada in an appam pan? The vada made this way are just as crispy and delish as the deep-fried version, but use just a fraction of the oil!

  1. Heat an appam pan on high flame till water droplets dance on it.
  2. Turn down the flame to low-medium.
  3. Form small balls out of the batter and place one each in each cavity of the appam pan.
  4. Drizzle some oil around each ball.
  5. Let the balls cook, covered, till they are crisp and browned on the bottom.
  6. Then, flip them over to the other side, and drizzle some more oil around them.
  7. Cook again, covered, till they turn crisp and brown on the other side as well.
  8. Transfer to a serving plate. Serve immediately.

Notes:

  1. Sendha namak or rock salt is typically used in dishes during fasting in India, in place of table salt. If you plan to make these sabudana vada on a casual day, and not for the purpose of fasting, you can add regular table salt instead.
  2. On a non-fasting day, sabudana vada can be served as is, or with tomato ketchup or spicy green chutney. Here‘s how I make the spicy green chutney – You can make it without onion and garlic, if you are making it for the purpose of fasting.
  3. We, as a family, have never really fasted, so I am not very sure of the kinds of ingredients that can be used to cook ‘fasting food’. Moreover, the ingredients that are ‘allowed’ to be consumed during fasting differ from one region to another, one family to another. Here, I have tried to use ingredients that I have seen other families, other people, use during fasting. If you plan to make these vadas for the purpose of fasting, please do check on the ingredients as per your family’s guidelines.
  4. We like the hint of sugar in our sabudana vada – they taste a lot like Gujarati sabudana khichdi. You may avoid adding the sugar, if you don’t want to.

You like? I hope you’ll try out each of three versions of sabudana vada too! When you do, please don’t forget to tell me how they turned out!

Elotes| Mexican Street-Style Corn On The Cob

Grilled corn on the cob, coated with a creamy sauce, drizzled with lemon juice and red chilli powder, sometimes decked up with coriander, and served with a dash of grated cheese on top are, apparently, a popular street food in Mexico. Street-side carts do a brisk business of selling this corn on the cob, locally called ‘Elotes’.

Ever since I tried out Mexican street-style corn on the cob or Elotes at Chinita,Β  a few months ago, I had been thinking of trying it out at home. I never got around to doing that, though, till this weekend. I am thrilled with the way they turned out!

The little reading I did on the Internet gave me several different ways of making Elotes. Some recipes used mayonnaise, some didn’t. Some recipes suggested using char-grilling the corn, some didn’t. Some recipes used coriander, some didn’t. Ultimately, I decided to go ahead and make the Elotes my way – a mish-mash of steps from several different results. I used Veeba’s Cheese & Jalapeno Sandwich Spread for the creaminess and some of the wonderful artisanal Cheddar cheese that my husband recently got home from Jerusalem. The end result was delicious, like I said before, and the Elotes were gone within minutes of their making.

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Elotes, or Mexican street-style corn on the cob

Purists, balk at my choice of ingredients if you want to, but this version works for me. At least for now. These Elotes were pretty close in taste to the ones I tried at Chinita, so I am happy.

Here’s how I made the Elotes or Mexican street-style corn on the cob.

Ingredients (3-4 pieces):

  1. 1 large sweet corn, peeled and broken into 3-4 pieces
  2. A few stalks of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  3. Red chilli powder, to drizzle over the corn, as per taste
  4. Cheddar cheese, grated, as much as you’d like to spread over the corn
  5. Veeba Cheese & Jalapeno Sandwich Spread, as needed to spread over the corn
  6. A small wedge of lemon

Method:

  1. Place the pieces of corn in a wide vessel and add enough water to cover them completely. Pressure cook the corn on high flame, for 4 whistles.
  2. Let the pressure release naturally, and then remove the boiled corn from the vessel. Let them cool down enough for you to be able to handle them easily.
  3. Spread the Veeba Cheese & Jalapeno Sandwich Spread evenly over the pieces of corn.
  4. Drizzle some red chilli powder, lemon juice, grated Cheddar cheese and finely chopped coriander over the pieces of corn. Ensure that all sides of the corn are evenly covered with all ingredients.
  5. Arrange in a serving plate. Serve immediately.

Notes:

  1. Like I was saying earlier, mayonnaise can be used in place of the Veeba Cheese & Jalapeno Sandwich Spread, too. I tried out both versions, and liked this one better.
  2. Any cheese with a sharp flavour works well with this Mexican street-style corn on the cob. If you don’t have artisanal cheese, a processed cheese like Amul should do, too.
  3. Adjust the quantities of Veeba Cheese & Jalapeno Sandwich Spread, lemon juice, grated Cheddar cheese, and red chilli powder depending upon your taste preferences.
  4. You could char-grill the corn before preparing it, too. I chose to not do that, and used boiled corn instead.

This recipe has been developed for Veeba Foods, who have kindly sent across a gift hamper of their products, for me to test and use.

You like? I hope you will try out this recipe too, and that you will love it just as much as we did!

 

 

Kacche Kele Ki Tikki (Raw Banana Cutlets), Served With A Cheesy Dip

Are you looking for a different-from-the-usual snack that can be made fairly easily? Try out these kacche kele ki tikki or raw banana cutlets, which are simple to prepare, but delish. They are shallow-fried, so not as much of a guilty indulgence as a deep-fried snack, but equally good! Anddddddd….. they are just perfect for the rainy evenings that seem to be the norm these days, especially in Bangalore!

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I served these beautiful raw banana cutlets or kele ki tikki with some Veeba Cheese & Chilli Sandwich Spread, which added a beautiful depth of flavour to them. Who says sandwich spreads are only for sandwiches, eh? πŸ™‚ The spicy green chutney and tomato ketchup I also drizzled on the cutlets complemented them beautifully, too.

Now, let’s see how to make these kele ki tikki, shall we?

Ingredients (makes 8-10 cutlets):

  1. 2 large raw bananas
  2. 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  3. A few stalks of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  4. Salt, to taste
  5. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  6. Red chilli powder, to taste
  7. 1 teaspoon amchoor powder, or to taste
  8. 1-1/2 teaspoon garam masala or chana masala, or to taste
  9. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  10. About 1/4 cup of raw peanuts
  11. Oil, to shallow fry the cutlets
  12. Veeba Cheese & Chilli Sandwich Spread, as needed, for serving
  13. Tomato ketchup, as needed, for serving
  14. Spicy green chutney, as needed, for serving (Click here to see how I make this chutney)

Method:

  1. Roast the peanuts on medium flame, till they turn crispy. Ensure that they do not get burnt. Let them cool down completely.
  2. Meanwhile, remove the tail ends of the raw bananas, and cut each one into two pieces. Pressure cook the raw banana pieces in salt water, for 4 whistles.
  3. When the pressure has completely gone down, remove the boiled raw banana pieces from the cooker and run cold water over them. When they are cool enough to handle, peel them.
  4. Into a large mixing bowl, mash the boiled raw banana. Add the salt and red chilli powder to taste, asafoetida, garam masala or chana masala, finely chopped coriander and onion, and amchoor powder.
  5. After the peanuts have cooled down completely, remove the skins off them. Pulse the roasted peanuts in a mixer for just a second, so that you coarsely crush them. Do not make a fine powder. Add the crushed peanuts to the raw banana mixture in the mixing bowl.
  6. Mix all the ingredients in the mixing bowl, well. Ensure that everything is thoroughly combined together. Shape cutlets out of this mixture, in the shape of your choice.
  7. Heat a dosa pan on high flame, till droplets of water dance on it. Now, turn the flame to low-medium, and spread some oil in the centre. Place two cutlets on the pan, and add a little oil around them. Let them cook till they get crispy on the bottom. Flip the cutlets over, and add a little more oil around them. When done, transfer to a serving plate.
  8. Make cutlets out of all the mixture in the mixing bowl, and shallow fry them in a similar manner.
  9. Serve the cutlets piping hot, drizzled with some Veeba Cheese & Chilli Sandwich Spread, spicy green chutney, and tomato ketchup.

Notes:

  1. You can add in some boiled potatoes and/or ginger-garlic paste too. I skipped them.
  2. If you wish, you can coat the cutlets in some bread crumbs and deep-fry them, too. I opted to shallow-fry them.
  3. 2 slices of bread, dipped in water, with the excess water squeezed out, can be added to the raw banana mixture too. I didn’t add them.
  4. To make a Jain version of these cutlets, omit the onions and ginger-garlic paste entirely.

This recipe has been developed for Veeba Foods, who have kindly sent across a gift hamper of their products, for me to test and use.

You like? I hope you will try out this recipe too, and that you will love it just as much as we did!

 

Millet Vermicelli Upma, With Vegetables

Like I was saying in this post, cooking with millets is something I have started relatively recently. The Organics & Millets Mela 2017, held earlier this year, inspired me to do more with millets in my kitchen. Since then, I have been experimenting a lot more with millets than ever before, trying out new things, learning, learning, learning all the time.

At the Mela, we were shown technology that could make vermicelli out of different types of millets. Back then, you wouldn’t get millet vermicelli in stores except, maybe, finger millet aka ragi vermicelli – it was still an emerging field. Recently, I was thrilled to spot packets of all kinds of millet-based vermicelli at Eco Store, HSR Layout. I picked up a couple of packets – little millet and pearl millet (bajri), and made vermicelli upma with them. I must say, the millet vermicelli upma turned out scrumptious!

PicMonkey Collagemilletvermicelli
Left: The little millet and pearl millet (bajri) vermicelli that I picked up; Centre: The lovely, fine, little millet vermicelli; Right: The pearl millet vermicelli upma that I made, with assorted vegetables

Millet vermicelli upma makes for a nice change from upma made using the regular rice-based semiya (vermicelli). This version is healthier than the rice-based upma as well. Cooking millet vermicelli is easy too – it just needs a slightly different technique than cooking rice-based semiya.

Now, let’s get on to the procedure of using millet vermicelli to make upma, shall we?

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

  1. 180 grams millet vermicelli, or 1 packet of millet vermicelli
  2. Salt to taste
  3. 3 green chillies, slit length-wise
  4. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  5. A dash of chilli powder, if needed
  6. 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  7. 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  8. A few stalks of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  9. A few fresh curry leaves
  10. A small piece of cabbage, finely chopped
  11. 5-6 beans, strings removed, finely chopped
  12. 1 small capsicum, finely chopped
  13. 2-3 tablespoons green peas
  14. 2 tablespoons oil
  15. A pinch of asafoetida
  16. 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  17. Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste

Method:

  1. Soak the millet vermicelli in water for 2 minutes. Use plain water, just enough to cover the vermicelli completely.
  2. After 2 minutes, pour out all the excess water from the vermicelli. Place the soaked vermicelli in a colander for a couple of minutes, so that all the water entirely drains out.
  3. Take a little water in a pressure cooker bottom, and place it on the gas. Place a stand at the bottom, and place a plate over it. Over this, place the colander with the millet vermicelli. Close the cooker. Without placing the cooker whistle, steam the vermicelli for 8-10 minutes, on high flame.
  4. Remove the colander from the cooker, and let the vermicelli come to room temperature.
  5. Now, fluff up the millet vermicelli, using a spoon, gently.
  6. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and add in the mustard seeds. Allow them to pop. Add in the asafoetida, and let it stay in for a couple of seconds.
  7. Now, add in all the veggies – chopped onions, carrot, cabbage, beans, capsicum and green peas, along with salt to taste.
  8. Cook the veggies on a high flame, till they are done, but not overly so.
  9. Turn the flame to low. Add in the cooked vermicelli, curry leaves, slit green chillies, turmeric powder, chilli powder (if using), and salt to taste (if required).
  10. Mix well, but gently. Let everything cook together, on low flame, for a minute or two, stirring intermittently.
  11. Switch off the gas, and add the finely chopped coriander and lemon juice. Mix well, with gentle hands.
  12. Serve piping hot, on its own or with chutney of your choice.

Notes:

  1. Any millet vermicelli – finger millet (ragi), little millet, pearl millet (bajri)- can be cooked in this manner.
  2. Soaking and cooking times for the millet vermicelli might vary, depending upon what brand you use. Do check the instructions on the package for detailed instructions.
  3. You can increase the number of green chillies you use, if you need extra heat, and skip the red chilli powder altogether.
  4. Any veggies that you have on hand can be used to make this millet vermicelli upma. Alternatively, you could make the upma using just onions, green peas, and green chillies, and skip using the other veggies. We do both variations, and find them equally tasty.
  5. A tablespoon of grated, fresh coconut can be added at the end, too, for extra taste.
  6. Ensure that the cooked millet vermicelli has cooled down completely, before proceeding to make the upma. Don’t miss this, otherwise you will end up with a gooey upma.
  7. It is critical that the millet vermicelli be cooked in a pressure cooker, placed in a colander, to ensure that it is cooked thoroughly. Keep the colander with vermicelli atop a plate, which is placed above a stand inside the pressure cooker, to ensure that no water enters the colander.

Do you make upma using millet vermicelli too? If so, do tell me your method of preparation too – I’d love to know!

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Interested in reading about the other millet recipes on my blog? Here you go!

Cheesy Dosa Veggie Wraps

Are these dosas? Yes!

Are they wraps? Yes!

Are they yummy? Yes!

Can they be made within minutes? Yes!

I’m talking about these Cheesy Dosa Veggie Wraps that I created a while back, using simple ingredients that are easily available in the kitchen at all times. These dosa wraps are mostly healthy, with a filling made of assorted vegetables inside. I’ve slightly jazzed them up, using Harissa Dressing and Cheese & Jalapeno Dip from Veeba Foods, to make them taste yummier.

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Delicious cheesy dosa wraps with a mixed veggie stuffing!

The Harissa Dressing adds a nice, hot flavour to the wraps, while the Cheese & Jalapeno Dip adds in some creamy cheesiness. Both, together, elevate the taste of the wraps.

These tasty wraps can be literally made in minutes – they are super simple to whip up. They make for a lovely snack, particularly suited to those days when you want slightly fancy food but nothing too elaborate.

Now, let’s check out the recipe for these cheesy dosa veggie wraps, shall we?

Ingredients (for 2 wraps):

For the wraps:

  1. 3 ladles of dosa batter
  2. 2 teaspoons oil, to make the dosas

For the dressing:

  1. Veeba Cheese & Jalapeno Spread, as needed
  2. Veeba Harissa Dressing, as needed

For the veggie stuffing:

  1. 1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  2. 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  3. A few stalks of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  4. A small piece of cabbage, finely chopped
  5. 6-8 beans, strings removed and finely chopped
  6. 4 tablespoons shelled green peas
  7. 1 small capsicum, finely chopped
  8. Salt, to taste
  9. A pinch of asafoetida
  10. Red chilli powder, to taste
  11. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  12. 1 teaspoon sugar
  13. 2 tablespoons oil

Method:

First, get the vegetable stuffing ready, and then proceed to make the wraps.

For the veggie stuffing:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan and add in the asafoetida. Let in stay in for a couple of seconds.
  2. Add in the chopped onions, carrots, capsicum, beans, cabbage and green peas.
  3. Cook on medium flame for a couple of minutes. Stir intermittently.
  4. Add in the turmeric powder, salt and red chilli powder to taste, and the sugar. Mix well.
  5. Let the veggies cook till they are soft, but not overly done. Keep stirring intermittently. Sprinkle some water if the veggies seem to be sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  6. When the vegetables are cooked, switch off the gas. Add in the finely chopped coriander, and mix well.
  7. Let the vegetable stuffing cool down to room temperature before proceeding to make the wraps.

For the wraps:

  1. Heat a dosa pan on high flame, till water droplets dance on it.
  2. When the pan is nice and hot, reduce the flame to medium.
  3. Pour about 1-1/2 ladles of dosa batter in the centre of the pan, and spread it into a circle. Spread a teaspoon of oil around the dosa.
  4. Cook the dosa on low-medium flame, on one side. When the side on top begins to look cooked too (when no spots of raw batter are visible), spread a couple of spoonfuls of the vegetable stuffing in the centre of the dosa. Drizzle a little each of Veeba’s Harissa Dressing and Cheese & Jalapeno Dip, evenly over the stuffing. Wrap up both sides of the dosa, to make a roll. Transfer the roll to a serving plate.
  5. Prepare the other dosa wrap, too, in a similar fashion.
  6. Serve immediately.

Notes:

  1. You can use any other vegetables that you have, to create the stuffing – babycorn, mushrooms, cauliflower, sweet corn.. I used the veggies that I had on hand.
  2. Any leftover stuffing after making these cheesy dosa veggie wraps can be used to make sandwiches.
  3. You will need to be a little quick while putting the stuffing into the dosa wraps, to ensure that the dosa doesn’t get burnt on the bottom side.
  4. Don’t make the stuffing too wet; it should be dry. Otherwise, the wrap will get soggy in no time.
  5. Since we are using dosas to wrap veggies here, you will need to make them slightly thicker than regular dosas so that they don’t get too soggy.
  6. You could add some garam masala or amchoor to the stuffing too, if you wish. I decided not to, so as to keep things simple.
  7. You could cut up the dosa wraps into slices before serving, too.
  8. You can add as much or as little of the Harissa Dressing and Cheese & Jalapeno Dip to your wraps, as your tastebuds dictate.

This recipe has been developed for Veeba Foods, who have kindly sent across a gift hamper of their products, for me to test and use.

You like? I hope you will try out this recipe too, and that you will love it just as much as we did!

 

 

 

 

Mixed Fruit Pachadi| Kalyana Sweet Pachadi| Sweet Fruit Relish

I am a big fan of the sweet pachadi (relish) that is commonly served in Tam-Brahm weddings, as part of the elai saapadu (plantain-leaf meal). This relish is made using a variety of seasonal fruits, popularly known as Mixed Fruit Pachadi or Kalyana Sweet Pachadi (‘Kalyanam‘ means ‘wedding’ in Tamil).

One of my aunts makes this pachadi at home, using a recipe that she learnt from a TV cookery show. Because I love it so much, she makes it for me whenever I visit her. I never tried making it at home, though, or attempting to learn the recipe. Recently, however, when I had a surplus stock of fruits, I thought of trying my hands at making this. The Internet came to the rescue, and I did find several recipes for this dish. Most of these recipes didn’t look like those for the kind of beautiful mixed fruit pachadi that I am used to having, sadly. And then, I stumbled upon this recipe, on Amrita Iyer’s food blog, The Food Samaritan. As soon as I read through it, I knew instantly that this was the recipe I had been looking for – I vaguely remembered my aunt talking about it, and the threads connected.

So, it was Amrita’s recipe that I used a couple of days ago, with a few little variations, and was rewarded with a lovely, lovely Kalyana sweet pachadi. The taste was exactly the same as that of the mixed fruit pachadi my aunt would make it. Love happened instantly, both for me and my family. πŸ™‚

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Here is how I made the pachadi.

Ingredients (makes 1 medium-sized serving bowl):

  1. 1 medium-sized apple
  2. 3 large bananas
  3. 2 small mangoes
  4. 2 small tomatoes
  5. 10-12 almonds
  6. 2 tablespoons raisins
  7. 1 tablespoon broken cashewnuts
  8. 1 cup sugar
  9. 1 teaspoon rose essence

Method:

  1. Chop the tomatoes into large cubes and puree them in a mixer. Keep aside.
  2. Heat 1 cup of water in a heavy-bottomed pan, and add the sugar to it. Cook on a medium flame till the sugar has completely dissolved in the water, and the syrup becomes slightly sticky to the touch.
  3. At this stage, add the tomato puree to the pan. Keeping the flame medium, cook till the mixture gets slightly thick and the raw smell of the tomatoes has disappeared. You will need to stir intermittently. Remember that you don’t need to get this mixture very thick – it should be runny. Meanwhile, get the other ingredients ready.
  4. Peel the bananas and chop them into rounds. Chop the apples into small pieces – no need to peel them. Peel the mangoes and chop them into cubes. Keep the chopped fruits in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Chop the cashewnuts and almonds into slivers. Add this to the mixing bowl.
  6. Add the raisins to the mixing bowl too. Keep aside.
  7. When the syrup in the pan has thickened, switch off the gas and add in the rose essence. Mix well.
  8. Let the syrup cool to room temperature and then pour it over the cut fruits in the mixing bowl. Stir gently, once.
  9. Cover the mixing bowl and let it sit that way, at room temperature, for at least a couple of hours. At the end of this time, the syrup and the fruits would have gotten well integrated. The juices from the fruits would have made the pachadi runnier by now, and that is fine. Stir gently and transfer to a clean, dry, air-tight box.
  10. Keep refrigerated when not in use. It stays well that way for 3-4 days.

Notes:

  1. Any fruits that are in season can be used to make this mixed fruit pachadi. I, however, like only certain fruits in the pachadi, like pineapples, bananas, mangoes, apples and grapes. As of now, I used only those fruits I had on hand at home.
  2. Chopped walnuts and glace cherries can be added to the pachadi as well. I didn’t add them, since I didn’t have any. I have seen chopped dates being used in this kalyana pachadi too, but I skipped them.
  3. Increase or decrease the quantity of sugar you use, as per your taste preferences and depending upon the quantity of fruit you are using.
  4. This pachadi can be eaten on its own, as a dessert, or served as part of a plantain-leaf meal. You can serve it either chilled or at room temperature. Also, like the original recipe suggests, this pachadi can be poured over a plain cake too, to enhance its flavour.
  5. If the tomatoes are too tangy, use just one instead of two. Mine weren’t very sour, so I used two.
  6. In Tam-Brahm weddings, typically, pineapple essence is added to this pachadi. I used rose essence instead, as the original recipe suggested, and am very happy with the results. If you don’t like the idea of essence in your food, feel free to use it in lesser quantity or skip it altogether, but I wouldn’t really advise the latter. The rose essence does add a beautiful touch to the pachadi.
  7. Drops of red food colour can be added to the mixed fruit pachadi too, to make it look more attractive. I skipped that.
  8. I am not too fond of Yelakki bananas, so I used large-sized Robusta to make this pachadi. Take your pick!
  9. Ideally, a combination of sweet, tangy and mushy fruits should be used to create this kalyana pachadi, for best results.
  10. My aunt sometimes uses beetroot to make this pachadi, instead of tomato, for a deeper red colour. I prefer the tomato-based version, though.

You like? I’d urge you to try this beauty out before the mangoes disappear from the market altogether! It’ll be worth your while, I can assure you!

 

10 Simple But Beautiful Home-Made Ice Creams| 10 Easy Frozen Desserts You Must Try

There’s always room for desserts, particularly if the dessert in question is ice cream! Well, that’s how the husband and I are, both of us with a huge sweet tooth! We often turn to ice cream to satiate our sweet cravings, and that is what led me to experiment with making different flavours of frozen delight at home.

This summer, I tried out a whole lot of simple ice creams at home, and was extremely pleased with the results. I made some classic, old-time flavours – like mango and malai kulfi. Then, I also went on to try out some ‘twisted’ flavours, like chocolate-chilli and sesame-jaggery. Everything was equally loved, equally hungrily devoured. The best part? Every single one of these ice creams was so very easy to make!

Here, I present to you recipes for 10 beautiful flavours of ice cream that you can try out at home very easily. I hope you will try out at least a few of these recipes, the next time you have guests coming over, are hankering for dessert, want to celebrate something, or just want to brighten up a dull day!

PicMonkey Collageicecream

Click on the name of each ice cream, to get the respective recipe!

  1. Lemon ice cream

This is the very first type of ice cream that I tried making at home, and so very special to me. This recipe yields a beautiful, creamy, lemony ice cream that is pleasantly tangy and sweet. The lemon peel in the ice cream elevates its taste to a whole new level!

2. Mango ice cream

Being the sucker for mangoes that I am, how could I not go ahead and make some mango ice cream? The mango lends a lovely all-natural colour and flavour to this ice cream, which is as easy to make as 1-2-3!

3. Sesame & jaggery ice cream

This ice cream is an attempt to recreate the gorgeous, gorgeous Lonavali ice cream I have grown up eating in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Instead of the peanut brittle aka chikki that the ice cream traditionally uses, though, I used sesame-and-jaggery revdi. The revdi, with a hint of rose in it, as well as the jaggery I used to sweeten the ice cream makes it an absolute delight to eat!

4. Meetha paan ice cream

Love meetha paan? Then, you must absolutely try out this ice cream! I created this dessert using meetha paan from a street-side paanwallah, and the end result was perfectly delectable!

5. Mexican chilli-chocolate ice cream

This dessert looks like good old chocolate ice cream, but it is so NOT! Eat a spoonful, and you will find the rich, lovely taste of chocolate swirling on your tongue. The very next moment, the hint of chilli in the ice cream will hit you, in a good way. Try this ice cream out to understand exactly what I mean!

6. Coffee crunch ice cream

The beautiful fragrance of coffee and the crunch of dark chocolate chips – the two things that majorly make up this ice cream – what is to not love? Try out this super simple but utterly scrumptious ice cream the next time you are craving some dessert!

7. Barfee-flavoured ice cream

Do you have some pieces of barfee left over that no one wants to eat? Use them to make this barfee-flavoured ice cream that everyone will want at least a scoop of! Delectable, this is!

8. Cotton candy ice cream

This ice cream is pure nostalgia in a bowl, a throwback to older and simpler times when weekends meant a visit to the neighbourhood park, followed by a treat of buddhi ke baal aka cotton candy. Do try out this pink beauty some time!

9. Malai kulfi

This is an extremely simple dessert, with not many ingredients, but definitely gorgeous in taste. The sinfully creamy texture, hint of rose essence, slivers of pistachio and refreshing sweetness will surely bowl everyone over.

10. Stuffed mango kulfi recipe

Delectable malai kulfi stuffed inside a sweet, juicy, ripe mango – sounds good? Well, let me tell you that this dessert tastes great as well. What’s more, it isn’t very tough to put together either! Try it out, will you?

Which of these simple ice cream recipes did you like the most? Which one/s are you the most tempted to try out?

 

Saragva Ni Kadhi| Gujarati Drumstick Kadhi

Saragva ni kadhi, a Gujarati dish made using curd and drumsticks (‘saragva’ is Gujarati for ‘drumsticks’), is a hot favourite at our place. One of our Gujarati friends taught us how to make this kadhi, years ago, and I have been making it ever since. The husband loves it, the bub loves it, and so do I. This kadhi is something I prepare often at home, whenever there is sour curd left over. Hey, sometimes I even set extra curd just so I can make this! πŸ™‚ Beloved as this dish is, it was only natural that I chose to make it recently, on the OH’s birthday.

It is a commonly held myth that all Gujarati dishes are sweet, that they have at least a dash of sugar in them. That is SO not the truth. There are a whole lot of Gujarati food items that do not contain any sugar at all. This saragva ni kadhi is one such no-sugar preparation.

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Saragva ni kadhi or Gujarati drumstick kadhi

This Gujarati drumstick kadhi tastes absolutely delish, and is a delight to eat with rotis and rice alike. It is a great way to get those super-healthy drumsticks into your diet, and to make use of any excess curd lying around in your kitchen. What’s more, it is fairy easy to make too, a matter of minutes.

Now, let’s find out how to make saragva ni kadhi, shall we?

Ingredients (serves 4):

For the garnish:

  1. 2 tablespoons oil
  2. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  3. 2 dry red chillies
  4. 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi)
  5. A pinch of asafoetida (hing)

Other ingredients:

  1. 2 medium-sized drumsticks
  2. 1 medium-sized serving bowl of thick curd
  3. Salt, to taste
  4. Red chilli powder, to taste
  5. 2 green chillies, slit length-wise
  6. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  7. 3 tablespoons gram flour (besan)
  8. A few fresh curry leaves
  9. A few stalks of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

Method:

  1. Remove the ends of the drumsticks, and chop them into 2-inch pieces.
  2. Heat some water in a heavy-bottomed pan, and add a little salt to it. Drop in the drumstick pieces. Cook them, covered, on a medium flame, till they are tender. This will take 4-5 minutes. You will need to keep checking on them in the interim, adding more water if required.
  3. While the drumsticks are cooking, get the curd ready to make the kadhi. Take the curd in a large mixing bowl, and add in about 1/2 cup of water. Add the gram flour, salt to taste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, slit green chillies and curry leaves to it. Mix well, ensuring that everything is well incorporated together.
  4. When the drumsticks are cooked, add the curd mixture to the pan. Keep the flame on medium.
  5. Stirring intermittently, let the curd mixture come to a boil. At this point, turn down the flame to low.
  6. Let the kadhi simmer for about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, get the garnish ready.
  7. For the garnish, heat the oil in a little pan. Add the mustard seeds, and allow them to pop. Add in the fenugreek seeds, asafoetida and dry red chillies. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds, and then switch off the gas.
  8. Add this garnish to the simmering kadhi. Mix well. When the 2 minutes of simmering are up, switch off the gas.
  9. Add in the finely chopped coriander leaves. Mix well.
  10. Serve hot or warm with rotis or rice.

Notes:

  1. Use curd that is slightly sour, for best results.
  2. You may add a dash of sugar or jaggery to the kadhi if you want, but that is purely optional.
  3. I sometimes tear the curry leaves, using my hands, before adding them to the curd. This way, I make sure they are consumed along with the kadhi, and not left on the side of the plate.
  4. Add more or lesser water to the curd, depending upon how thick you want the kadhi to be.
  5. Make sure the drumsticks are just about cooked, and not overcooked.
  6. Do not cook the kadhi for too long after it has reached boiling stage. Overcooking might cause the kadhi to curdle or lose its taste.

Did you like the sound of this Gujarati drumstick kadhi? I hope you will try this out, too!

If you make this kadhi at home, I would love to hear of your version!