Monday, March 22, 2010

Velaiappam with Whole Moong dhal/ Pachai Payir Curry

Did I ever mention about the sundays over here? Sundays are the do-nothing day, except eat and sleep. I mean literally.. As none of the shops are open on sunday, or for that matter not after 6.00pm on weeknights, we are pretty  much done with our shopping and running around doing all the required errands by saturday evening. It seriousl requires a lot of planning.During our initial days here I used to compare all our activities with the US lifestyle, where we mostly end up doing last minute sunday evening shopping, and was not happy about the situation here. But after a few weeks of planning and setting up a routine, I started enjoying the life here and actually realised how spoiled we were in US.
Nowadays we never miss the car and enjoy walking few blocks to the store, or happily take the help of the public transport. The Public Transport system over here is amazing (trains, metros, Buses) and they are well connected.
So sundays are just to relax, get yourself ready for the week ahead or take some leisurely walks (if the weather permits) in a nearby trail.

Past sunday I made this Appam bookmarked from Aparna of  'The Diverse Kitchen' . I love all her Palakhad recipes as well as the Baking ones. What made me bookmark this one was that  the recipe used yeast for fermenting.This process was totally new to me, as I am used to Appams with the rice flour - uraddhal combo, which undergoes normal overnight fermentation.
I was very curious about the result and I was not disappointed, as the name indicates it sure was bright white in colour.

I served the Appams with the whle moong dhal , which was also inspired by her post here, but the way I made was very different as I was too lazy to make the spice mixture and I just had coconut milk and not the fresh ones.
But I will definitly make her version with the puttu some other day.

So here goes the recipe for the Velai Appam
1 cup raw rice
1 tsp dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
one handful of cooked rice
2 tblsp of coconut milk (optional)

Soak the Raw rice for atleast 6 hours.
Mix in the yeast along with the sugar in 1/2 cup of warm water.Keep aside for 10 mins.
Grind the rice along with yeast for some time.Then add the cooked rice and grind till its smooth.
Place the mixture in a large bowl and allow it to ferment overnight.

In the morning, mix the coconut milk ( I used store bought) to the batter and mix well.
Heat up a Pan or Appa kadai and pour a laddle full of batter in the center and twist the pan so the batter spreads evenly on all sides.
Sprinkle a tsp of oil over the edges and cover with a lid. Remove after 2 mins.(do not turn over)

For the Pachai Payir/Whole moong dhal curry.


1 cup Whole Moong dhal .
1 onion finely choped
1 small  Tomato finely chopped
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 inch cinnamon piece
2 cloves

1 cup coconut milk.(store bought)

Pressure cook the moong dhal upto three whistles.
Take 2 tsp of oil in a pot, add cinnamon and cloves to it.
When the cloves pop, add the onions, garlic and ginger.Saute well.
NOw add the chopped tomatoes and saute till mushy.
To this add all the dry powders, salt and saute till the oil leaves the sides.
Now add the cooked beans along with the liquid and let it boil for 10 mins.
Finally add the cocnut milk and switch off the stove just when it starts to boil again.
Garnish with Curry leaves.

Iam sending this Appam combo to  the following events.
This months Jhiva - Breakfast , an event started by Indira hosted this month at   VeggiePlatter,
Priya's Pancake party and also to
My Legume love affair started by Susan of the Well seasonedCook , hosted this month at Mirch Masala

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spanakopita - A Greek Starter

Couple of months back after making an yummy Greek dessert - Baklava , I was wondering about how to use up the little of the remaining phyllo sheets. I thought of going again for the same Baklava - the rolled up version, then something stopped me warning me about the calories. So after browsing through the numerous bookmarked recipes on starters and appetizers, I settled on Spanakopita that aptly needed the exact amount of sheets that I had in hand.

I adapted the recipe from Here by omitting the egg and baking instead of frying.

2 cups of frozen spinach
1 small onion minced
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp red chilli flakes.
2 tblsp of chopped parsley or cilantro
salt and pepper
Butter or olive oil for brussing the phyllo pastry

Thaw and sqeeze all the water from the Spinach/
Take a tblsp of olive oil in a pan and saute onion and garlic.
Stir in the spinach, salt , pepper and redchili flakes. Saute for 2 mins.
Allow it to cool and mix in the Feta cheese.

Place 3 phyllo pastry sheets on a flat surface.
Brush them with melted butter or olive oil on one side.
Cut the Pastry sheets into thin long rectangular shapes.
Place a tblsp of the stuffing and fold it like a triangle.
Keep folding the triangle continuosly left and right till you reach the end of the strip.
It will resemble a samosa wrapped in layers of trace paper.
Seal the edges with melted butter.

Bake in the  180C preheated oven for 20 mins or the pastry is well browned.
You can also substitute the Feta cheese with Ricotta or crumbled Paneer.

Sending these to the AWED event started by DK held this month  at  TastyCurryLeaf and also to Divya's  Healing food Spinach event.

Sending this also to this week's Bake-off event over at Bangalore Baker

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Kids Food : Spinach and Mushroom Quesadilla

As with every other PreSchooler My Kid just started hating rice. Till last month he was okay with whatever I gave him for lunch. But this month as soon as he turned 2 1/2 years,  his food priorities rapidly changed. The things which he used to love took a back seat and he has started becoming very picky. Fed up with my continuos effort to make him eat some form of rice  the past two days , I tried something different for lunch yesterday, with what was left in my refrigerator. The result was this yummy quesadilla, which he ate without any complaints ( Me too :)) , calling them 'Pizza'. Anything with cheese on it is Pizza for him...Yesterday's problem was solved..crossing my fingers for today ...

Coming to the recipe.

Sending these over to Divya at Dilse for Healing Food event where this months theme is Spinach. This event was originally started by Shri

2 wheat tortillas
1 cup Spinach, washed and chopped
1 cup mushrooms chopped
1 garlic clove chopped
1/2 onion choped
salt and pepper taste.
Shredded cheese (any variety) as per need.


For the filling:

To a tblsp of hot oil/butter  add chopped onion and garlic and saute till tranlucent
Add the spinach and mushrooms and saute till all the water from them evaporates.
Add salt and pepper , stir well and keep aside.

For Quesadillas:
Heat a griddle and warm the Tortilla.
Spread the filling in the center.Spread the chese on top of it.Fold the Tortilla to one side to make a semicircle(as we do for dosa.). Carefully turn them repeatedly, gently pressing with saptula, so that the cheese melts.
Remove when the cheese is completly melted.cut into wedges and serve with salsa or ketchup.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Round up of Global Kadai - Stuffed Mushroom Event.

Iam very glad to post the round up of this event. Though the number of entries to the event is very less, each one is very unique and classic in its own aspect. I would say each of these recipe is for keeps.
I would like to thank Cilantro for giving me the chance to host this event and also special thanks to those who had taken the time and effort to prepare the Stuffed Mushrooms especially for this event and photograph it. I truly appreciate it Ladies.

So without much further ado here are the different types of Stuffed Mushroom's,  the Indianized way.

Cilantro has tried to Indianize this recipe by using Potatoes.She has used Mutton Masala to give a spicy kick to this awesome starter.

Then next come an entry from Cool Lassie of PanGravyKadaiCurry. The stuffing she has come up with is a combination of  collard greens and cottage cheese.  This is one of her favorite stuffing. The greens gives a nice colour to the dish and results in awfully cute mushrooms.

The next one come in from NoteYet100 of Asankhana.  She has not only Indianized the stuffing, but the method too. Yes , she has used a Paniyaram pan instead of an Oven.Great recipe for those who don't have an oven

Now comes the entries from the most enthusiastic blogger I have known, Priya of Easy n Tasty Recipes.
She has tried two versions of stuffing one with Egg and the other with Potatoes. She had spiced up both the stuffing with our regular Indian spices. The pictures will say the rest.

Finally an entry from Myself.  I tried to Indianize the stuffing with grated Paneer and some chat masala.

Here is the original recipe provided for the Global Kadai event.
Hope you all enjoyed the round up as much as I did. 

Dont miss the next Global Kadai over at  HomeCookedRecipes  with an intersting theme 'Indian Flavoured Pizza'


Thursday, March 04, 2010

Oatmeal Raisin Coconut Cookies

Its been two months since I moved to a new place or I should say its been two months since I baked anything. But I have lots of cakes and cookies, neatly organised in my folders, waiting to be posted.They were the result of the baking marathon I ventured during the last week of december amidst all the chaeos of packing and cleaning.  I baked some cookies, cakes, brownies, and breads as if the world is going to end the next day. Since it was the holiday season, I didnt have to worry about finishing up everything as they were neatly packed and distributed to friends and collegues as soon as they have been photographed. 

These Oatmeal Raisin Coconut cookies were past of that marathon as well as my first attempt in baking the cookies. I made two batches of these following two different recipes.This is the first version. It turned out crispy and chewy , just the way I wanted. This gave me the confidence to try out the mexican wedding cookies that was posted earlier for global kadai event.

I adapted the recipe from here. I modified/added/removed some ingredients as per my taste.


1 cup Softened butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp Vanilla extract

3 cups of Instant oats
11/2 cup of Flour
1 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup of raisins
1 cup dry unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts.


Preheat the oven to 180C
In a wide pan, slightly toast the oats, coconut and walnuts one by one and keep seperatly.
Toasting bring out the nice flavour in all the above three ingredients, but take care not to brown it.
In a small bowl beat one egg alond with the vanilla extract.

Now cream the softened butter and the sugars for 2- 3 minutes using a electric mixture.
Mix in the beaten egg mixture and beat till it becomes creamy.

Now add the flour and mix till its well combined.
Stir in the toasted oats , coconut , raisins and walnuts.

Line the cookie tray with parchment paper and spoon in the mixture.
Gently press each portion with the back of the spoon. Place them well apart.
Bake for 10  - 12mins. Mine took 12 mins. So keep an eye after 10 mins.
The cookies will be soft in the center after 10 mins, not to worry, it will become crisp as it cools down. So if the base it browned and crisp, you are good to go.

This recipe gave me 48 medium sized cookies.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Spicy Spaghetti with Broccoli

Spicy Spaghetti with Broccoli
This pasta recipe does not require any creamy sauce or tomatoes.It just absorbs all the spiciness from the seasoning and can be had on its own.It can also be served along with some interesting side dish such as chicken/eggplant  parmisiana or with some oven roasted vegetables.
This recipe is adapted from the FoodNetwork website and is by the Chef  'Giada De Laurentiis'. I love all her recipes especially the veggie ones, very simple yet delicious.

200gm packet of Spaghetti Pasta.
1 broccoli cut into florets
4 cloves of galic finely chopped
1 tsp of dried oregano
4 - 5 red chillie broken

Cook the pasta as per instructions.
Save some of the liquid about  half a cup while draining the pasta.
In a wide pan add 2 tsp of olive oil.
Add chopped garlic and the redchillies to the hot oil.

To this add the broccoli florets , oregano, sprinkle some salt,  give it a stir .
Now add the reserved water from the pasta and let it come to a boil.
Add the cooked pasta and mix well till all the water is absorbed by the pasta

Serve with any of your favorite side dish.

Here is another recipe - Veggie Lasagna adapted from Giada De Laurentiis Food network recipes, which I cherish the most. This dish is loaded with vegetables rich in vitamins and antioxidants. I had posted this recipe in 2006. Reposting  the picture and the link here again just for you all to have a glance and enjoy.

Both these pasta are going to the pasta party by Jyoti at Panch Pakwan
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