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Monday, December 28, 2009

Uttappam Or Bread Dosa

Anyone remember college gatherings back in India, also known as variety entertainment show?Due to various reasons government of Maharashtra had changed the rules and by the time I went to college, these programs had turned into one day watered down version of what it used to be. I was lucky enough to watch these when I was a school going kid. My father was a librarian in local college and we got opportunity to visit his college to watch these gatherings. We would take a bus to go college, visit the library, see books but unfortunately there were no books for us to read. My brother and I would play hide and seek by taking advantage of the big bookcases and the arrangement.

After going to other departments, watching the dead animals, looking at colorful rocks, we would then go to see the actual show we had come to see. I barely remember things from those shows with few exceptions. Then came the important part of the trip. We would then go to college canteen. We would sit in the family room, nothing but a room with curtains around so no one could see (at least not supposed to). I think my mom and I cherished these visits. It would remind her about her college days and time she spent with two of her best friends and for me it was one of the rare occasions to eat out. We rarely went to eat out so it was more fun. My mom would order her favorite tomato omelette and dad would order uttappam or dosa. I don't remember what they ordered for me or my brother. Since then tomato omelette was something I liked and uttappam was something I really loved.

I visited my aunt later when I was in college and she made these great uttappams for me. I came back with the recipe and making these ever since!




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1 cup Urad daal
1 cup Chana Daal
1 cup Thick Pohe
3 cups Rice *
1 tbsp Fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp Cumin seeds
4-5 black peppercorns
Salt per taste
Diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, green chilies - as needed


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Preparation -

Wash daals and rice together and soak in enough water.
Add pohe, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns to the soaking ingredients.
Let it all soak for minimum 5-6 hours/
Remove the remaining water if any from the soaking grains and set it aside.
Grind the everything in the mixer using the water as needed. The batter should be fine and not too thin. Use as little water as possible. Consistency of the batter should be similar to idli batter and not like dosa batter.
Keep the batter in a warm place to ferment for 8-10 hours.
Heat griddle/flat tava on medium heat and spread a ladleful of batter to make a uttappam of diameter not more than 4-5 inches.
Spread chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro and chilies on the uttappam and let one side cook completely.
Flip the uttappam and cook the other side
Use very little oil if needed.
Serve warm with coconut or tomato chutney.

Tips -
* I have tried these with brown rice. It takes little longer to grind the batter and ferment. And it tastes wonderful but not as good looking as these white rice uttappams.

I like to make these mini ones as it looks nice and easier to flip.
These are also known as bread dosa in my family, may not be the real name for it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Indian Cooking Challenge - Chegodilu

I was extremely busy when this month's challenge got announced and was not sure if I will get time to even try this once. I wanted to start on this project again as it will give another opportunity to learn a new recipe. We Maharashtrians have similar deep fried delight called 'Kadaboli' but made with mixed grain flour. It has been long time since I made any of these as I don't usually like to deep fry. I made an exception for this challenge as I was remembering my childhood when I used to help my grandma to roll these. My cousin and I would make various shapes. Grandma wouldn't mind as we would play with the dough for hours in stretch. I guess that gave grandma enough time to prepare rest of the things. These Chegpdilus reminded me of some of the greatest time. These came out really good and it was worth the effort!

Feel like participating in the next Indian Cooking Challenge? Read all about it here.

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Here is Srivalli's simple recipe for these savory rings -


You will need the following ingredients -

1 cup Rice flour
1 cup water
2 tbsp Mung daal
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Sesame seeds
1 tsp Chili powder
1 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Making the dough -

Soak moong dal in water for half hour.

In a deep bottom pan, boil water, then add salt, ghee and moong dal. Bring it to boil, simmer and slowly add the rice flour. Using a rolling pin or the ladle, mix the flour with water by stirring it well. When the flour is mixed and done, turn off the heat immediately. Cover with lid and keep aside for 10 to 15 mins.

Once the dough is cool, add chilli powder, sesame seeds, cumin seeds and mix well. Knead till you get a smooth dough. Adjust the salt and spice depending on your preference.


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Frying the Chokodi:

Heat a pan with oil, enough to fry 3 -4 at time, if you conscious of not using too much oil. Simmer once it gets hot. The temperature should not be smoking hot.

Grease your fingers with oil and pinch out a small lemon size ball and roll between your palms to form a thick rope. Bring the two ends to together and press to form a rope. Ensure the ends are firmed pressed as not to give out during frying.

Continue with the rest of the dough until you are done with the entire batch. You can either cover it with a plate or a cloth to prevent the dough from getting dried.



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Verdict -
Very easy to make and tasty too. I will add ajwain next time when I make them.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Vegan Crepes with Persimmon Filling

Its been unusually cold weather these days here and one feels like having something warm all the time even for the breakfast, cold cereals just don't cut it. We have this beautiful persimmon tree in the backyard with orange bulbs weighing down the branches and and when you cut open one, you can feel the crunch. These are extremely juicy and flavorful.




I, one day got few to share with my colleagues. All took one each but Tracey took a few and told me that she uses them for crepe filling! Obviously I got interested in knowing the recipe so she shared general idea and then I experimented just with filling and then with crepes. I had searched for vegan crepes in the past and had liked this recipe. I am hooked on these crepes and will be making it few more times until I have persimmons on the tree.

Persimmon filling -


2.5 cups Persimmons diced
1 tsp earth balance
1 tsp brown sugar (optional)
pinch of nutmeg

Preparation -
Heat earth balance in a heavy bottom skillet and add diced persimmons. Add nutmeg, brown sugar and saute for couple of minutes. Make sure the persimmons are not over cooked.
Filling is ready.

Vegan Crepes - (adapted from http://vegweb.com)


1 cup Unbleached flour
1 and 2/3 cup Soy milk *
3 tsp Ener-G egg replacer powder + 4 tbsp water mixed together
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 tbsp Turbinado Sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp vanilla (optional)

Preparation -
Mix Ener-G and 4 tbsp water together and set it aside.
Mix remaining ingredients together and add the egg replacer mix.
Mix it thoroughly with whisk.
Heat nonstick griddle on medium heat. Pour approximately 1/4 cup batter and spread it like dosa instead of moving the griddle. Let one side cook well and then flip and cook the other side.

Assembly -
Spread approximately 2-3 tbsp filling in the middle of the crepe and fold the sides. Pour maple syrup or agave syrup on top and serve warm.

Tips -
  1. You can add water, orange juice or almond milk to make the batter.
  2. You can add cinnamon but I find it overpowers the delicate flavor of cooked persimmons.
  3. Traditionally crepes are made by moving the griddle to spread the batter in a thin lacy crepe. I found its easier to make them like dosas.


Sunday, December 06, 2009

Comfort food - Daal Tadka and Jeera Saffron rice

Vacation is a time when you enjoy visiting new places, eating new food. Once you are back, you feel like eating simple homemade food. Simple daal-rice is my choice when it comes to quick simple food. Each household has a favorite recipe to make daal as I have mine. But I try to make daals in different ways as I enjoy eating them as soups.
I remember seeing Daal-Tadka on a restaurant menu long time ago and still remember me not ordering it. Later jeera rice and daal-tadka became staple in restaurant outings. My brother who is a good cook and also likes to try out new recipes. Once after a restaurant outing with cousins we decided to make this for our parents who tend not to go out to eat and as expected they loved it. Later we both changed it to suit our individual tastes and both make it regularly.
Jeera saffron rice tastes great with this daal and is extremely easy to make.
Here is simple daal-tadka recipe -
Daal -
1/2 cup moong daal
1/4 cup toor daal
1 tomato
2 tsp aamchur powder or couple of aamsul pieces
small piece of jaggery or 1 tsp brown sugar
salt to taste
water as required

Tadka -
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp each cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, turmeric powder
pinch of asafoetida
2-3 dried red chilies
4-5 curry leaves
1 tsp each julienned ginger and julienned garlic

Preparation -
Pressure cook both the daals together until soft.
Coarsely chop tomatoes.
Add enough water to cooked daal and start boiling it. Now add chopped tomatoes, salt, aamchur and jaggery. Let it boil.
Meanwhile heat oil in small kadai and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds and let them sizzle for a minute or so. Now add curry leaves, red chilies, ginger and garlic and let it sizzle for few minutes until garlic becomes golden brown. Add turmeric powder and pinch of asofoetida at the end to prevent it from burning.
Pour this tadka over boiling daal and cover the lid. Switch off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Jeera Saffron Rice -
1 cup rice
2 cups water
salt per taste
5-6 saffron threads
1 tsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds

Preparation -
Cook rice as usual with salt. I usually cook this rice either on stove top or in rice cooker to make sure it does not become too soft. Rice should be fully cooked but grains should be separate and not lumpy.
Soak saffron in one tablespoon water for 10-12 min.
Heat oil in kadai. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
Spread cooked rice in large plate. Add soaked saffron and sizzled cumin seeds along with oil to the rice. Mix it well.
This comforting daal-rice is for MLLA-18 hosted by Srivalli and was started by Susan.

Tips -
  1. I usually use Sona masoori rice or Ponni rice and it still tastes great. You can try using basmati.
  2. I love the taste of aamchur in this daal than any other souring agent.
  3. I use small round red chilies but any red chilies will do.




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