Sunday, July 13, 2014

Avalakki Pakoda/Poha Pakoda

I refrain from making bajjis/pakodas at home, because so far I’ve only had 20% success rate! Either they end up too oily, or too thick, or too hard, or very elastic.. 
But the times they’ve come out good, they’ve come out really good. How? - raam jaane!

When I came across this pakoda recipe, it looked fairly easy and kind of gave me a sense that - what could possibly ever go wrong with such an easy recipe? So I tried.
But I was wrong.. it did go wrong :) 
It so happened that the pakoda split open inside the oil.. and when one opened, all others opened up one after another in series!!! but luckily it was not happening with every batch.. so I ended up putting only 4-6 for frying, when I could’ve put like 10-12, being very careful not to accidentally break it open while turning it in the oil. 

The taste was good! especially with green chutney! yum! yum! The poha in it gave it a nice crunch. Actually it tasted more like crunchy aloo tikki... 

Later that day my cousin, Shilpa, gave me a very useful tip, which has given me lots of hope to try it for next time. I’ll definitely try it and update here.. I’ve mentioned the tip below.

Do give it a try.. if not pakodas, they’ll make very tasty patties for burgers.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Eggless Chocolate Cake

Summer Vacations are here!!! *a meek yay*
I love my daughter and all, but let me be honest - entertaining a kid at home is no child's play!!! I am at the end of my tether. She treats me like her play date.. and I get bored after a long play of 1 min! what to dooo?!! 

Thankfully, her summer school is starting soon! Both mother, daughter are eagerly waiting for it :)

To keep her busy, I’ve been cooking with her in the kitchen.. 
Result = Madam wants to cook something special every day! 

I am a big fan of Archana’s kitchen.. She has some very detailed videos of her recipes. I’ve never tried her recipes before, but plan to do so in the future. 
Anyways, I was watching one of her videos on Eggless Chocolate Cake, when my daughter saw it and wanted to make it(now that she thinks cooking is easy!). The recipe uses flax meal as egg replacement. I have been wanting to try flax meal as a egg replacement for a long time now, but was too skeptical to experiment. But in this video there was a pretty good explanation, which made me confident. 

Since I had flax meal on hand, we started getting ready to bake.
Only after we started, I realized that all the measurements were in grams!! I am only used to measurements in cups. I looked for a converter online, but the results seemed bizarre. 
Now those who have experienced it know, what it is to back out of a promise from a little kid! So not wanting to face that, I kind of assumed the measurements and went ahead with the cake, keeping my fingers crossed. Thankfully, the cake turned out moist and good. It was little low on sweet, which suited my taste. My daughter didn’t seem to like it so much initially, but liked them more the next day. 

Here’s the recipe - 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sweet Corn Veg Soup

It’s taken longer than I wanted to put up a recipe here. The thing is, our whole family had a very bad viral flu few weeks back which kind of drained all our energy, mine more!  
It feels good to be normal again. It’s funny how you start valuing little things only when they are taken away from you. Right now, I’m extremely thankful to be able get out of bed and cook a decent meal, without feeling tired or dizzy. I’m thankful to be able to taste good food and to have come out of rice porridge diet.. 

Soups are godsend during these times(though I didn’t cook one when I was sick).
They are instant energy boosters. I love them all! I never knew sweet corn soup was so easy to prepare. This recipe can be prepared within 5 minutes, for real!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cabbage Paratha/Rotti

As promised, here is my next entry - Cabbage Paratha(or in my case Cabbage rotti). 

My daughter doesn’t like cabbage. But she liked this paratha without even realizing that there is cabbage in it! That’s a testimony in itself :)

Just like Avocado Parathas, the procedure for this paratha is also to mix everything and make, rather than stuff and make(which can get quite tedious, IMO). 

Because there is cabbage involved, the dough gets extremely soggy. So there is no need for any additional water. As an extra precaution, do not leave the batter to set after mixing for a long time. 

For me, despite taking all the precautions, the dough still turned out to be soggy! Then finally I ended up making them like rottis(procedure given below), instead of rolling them like parathas.

The taste was great! Procedure, fairly easy. 

Here’s how to make it - 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Avocado Parathas

I’m realizing that that the distribution of items in my recipe list is very uneven. Like I have more number of curries, but I have hardly any roti/parathas or appetizers.. So in the coming entries I’m going to keep that in mind and try to even them out as much as possible. 

Also, I tried back to back parathas recently and I was very happy with the results. The first one was Avocado Paratha from Lalitha’s blog and the second one was Cabbage Paratha, which will be my next entry. 
My daughter likes chapathis and parathas a lot. Parathas are every mother’s best weapon to sneak in vegetables!

Taste wise, avocado parathas don’t taste of avocados, it’s pretty much the taste of the masala in them. But texture wise, the parathas come out unbelievably soft. The color was also some exotic green.. 

It’s a great dish to prepare for guests. 

Lalitha adds sautéed onions, which she says enhances the flavor and makes it easy for rolling. So I did the same. 

One more tip from Lalitha - 
You can add sesame seeds or ajwain for additional taste. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Andhra Style Brinjal Peanut Curry

I am not fond of brinjals! The ones that are available here in US, kinda have a thick, chewy skin which makes it even the more difficult for me to like them. Sometimes I like the smoked ones.. but that’s about it..  
But I like almost all the curries that is made for brinjals. That’s why I always bring brinjal every time I go for a grocery trip; and I always lookout for new ways of using it (as though I like it!).. 
I think to compensate for the blandness of brinjal, various cuisines have incorporated a very masala-dhaar curry to go with it. This one is no exception.. the curry is awesome! 

I’m a big fan of Andhra Cuisine.. My body literally cannot tolerate the heat of Andhra food, but I still love to have them all the time! But of course, when cooking at home, I reduce the spiciness to suit my capacity.. 

Since there is peanut in the curry, this curry has a strong North Karnataka flavor. It tastes more like ennegayi, but has no extra work that goes for the stuffing of ennegayi. 

Do try!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Spinach Kichadi

Who says you need an awful lot of time to cook delicious food? Not me :)

I for one, like easy dishes... And I want tasty, filling food too. I cannot eat salads or bland food just because they are supposed to be healthy. 

For a long time, I was under the impression that you need to put lot of effort to cook tasty food. But fortunately, I am proven wrong again and again and again :) I am coming across one after another easy, yet tasty, yet healthy dishes to make. 

This is one such recipe. The moment I laid my eyes on it, I knew it was made for me! 

Spinach Kichadi - the name itself has a healthy ring to it. 

It came out unbelievably tasty. 

This is a perfect one-pot healthy and filling rice-bath which is very simple as well as fancy to serve to your guests.