Monday, 20 November 2017

727. Undi (Pundi Gatti, Oondi or Rice dumplings)

Delicious Dumplings

   A visit to Phoenix Mall, Bangalore is like a dazzling visit to Fairyland. Only thing is that nothing is free, you need oodles of money to buy whatever you want. I remember when I was studying in India in the 70s, nothing much was available and relatives and friends would have a long list of things they'd want us to bring for them from Kenya. Tables have turned, everything is available in India right from Rin soap to Audis. For a girl who comes from the supposedly second biggest city in Kenya, the malls are like paradise for me. Visiting Foodland is a foodie's dream but unfortunately everything from lettuce to wheat pasta is overpriced. Eating healthy is an expensive habit. Wonder why?? Healthy foods should be pocket friendly. Anyway we can argue about food prices world wide endlessly and get nowhere. Lets face it food is expensive.

   Daughter and I were at the mall to catch a movie. Have you seen what PVR charges for popcorns??? For a handful of kernels and some cheap oil it's daylight robbery. And suckers like me still opt for that snack as I can't imagine watching a movie without popcorn. A mental note to self... need to change that habit. We watched Tumari Suli. I loved the movie not only because of the vivacious Vidya Balan but also because of the subtle messages it conveys for women whether working or not. Everyone has some talent or passion in them, including what most people term as boring housewives or sit at home aunties. Why is it that women face so many challenges in following their passion be it job wise or hobby wise? However, perseverance pays at the end and women are born fighters. We fight for our kids, our homes, our jobs, our rights, our money, our family....its a fight every step of the way.

   Before I get carried away, this weeks's #119th theme for FoodieMonday/Bloghop is Udupi Cuisine chosen by Preethi who blogs at Preethi's Cuisine. What I remember about Udupi which I visited years ago is the temple Sri Krishna Matha. You get to do the darshan of the Bala Krishna through a small window on the west side. It is believed that a devotee of Lord Krishna, Kanakadasa was not allowed to enter through the east entrance as he belonged to the lower caste. He would pray to Lord Krishna through a small opening in the west wall. Just for the sake of the devoted Kanakadasa, its believed that the statue turned so he could catch a glimpse of Lord Krishna.

   Udupi Cuisine is a cuisine of South India more specifically from the state of Karnataka. It forms an important part of the Tuluva- Mangalorean cuisine and takes it name from the famous city Udupi. This cuisine originates from the Astha Mathas of Udupi founded by Madhavacharya. The cuisine makes use of grains, fruits, vegetables and beans, basically being Satvik, where no onions, garlic, meat or fish is used. However over years its being adapted to suit the tastes of the general public. Pumpkins and gourds are still the prinmary ingredients for sambhar, fresh coconut and coconut oil are still used in stews. Did you know that the famous masala dosa has its origins in Udupi? A full course Udupi meal is served on a banana leaf and its served in a sequence. Its during my daughter's wedding we were fortunate to have a Udupi style lunch and many things I tasted for the first time like kashi halwa, kosambari and the famous Mangalore bajji.

   For this theme I decided to make a famous Udupi breakfast called Undi/Pundi Gatti/Oondi. Its basically steamed rice dumplings that are served with a chutney or sambhar or just coconut oil drizzled over it. Its such a simple and yet flavorful breakfast dish. Rice rava or coarsely ground rice flour is available in the market to make this dish but I decided to make it with soaked rice as I read that the dumplings or undi turns out much softer.

Check out the recipe for this filling, healthy and gluten free breakfast treat.






UNDI (PUNDI GATTI, OONDI OR RICE DUMPLINGS)
Makes about 8-9 dumplings
Recipe source: Lakshmi Canteen

1 cup rice 
½ cup grated fresh coconut
2 cups water
¾ - 1 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
1 tbsp urad dal (split black lentils)
A few curry leaves
1-2 dried red chilis, chop into pieces


  1. I soaked the rice overnight but you can soak it for 2-3 hours.
  2. Drain out the water, wash the rice.
  3. Add the rice to a food processor along with I cup water.
  4. Process it till you get a coarse batter, the rice should resemble coarse semolina.
  5. Add the grated coconut and process just for a few seconds.
  6. Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  7. When it is hot, add fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves and dried red chilis.
  8. Add the rice batter along with the remaining one cup water and salt.
  9. Constantly stir the batter till it becomes thick and comes together like a dough. This process takes only 5-7 minutes.
  10. Let the dough cool a bit.
  11. In the meantime get your idli stand or any steaming device ready. Add water to the pot.
  12. Grease the idle stand or plate with some oil.
  13. Let the water begin to boil.
  14. In the meantime take some dough the size of a golf ball and roll it. Using your thumb make a small depression in the middle.
  15. Place it on the greased plate or idle stand.
  16. Repeat steps 14-15 with the remaining dough. Work fast because when the dough becomes cold, it becomes difficult to roll it into a smooth dumpling.
  17. Place the idli stand or plate in the boiling water. It should not touch the dumplings. 
  18. Close the pan with a lid and steam the undi for 15 minutes.
  19. Undi is ready to be served hot with some chutney, sambar or coconut oil.
Coconut Coriander Chutney:
1 cup grated fresh coconut
 ¼ cup chopped fresh coriander
2-3 green chillis
1 tbsp roasted chickpea lentils (chana dal)
1" ginger piece
½ - ¾ tsp salt

For tempering:
1 tsp oil
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
1 dried red chili
a few curry leaves
  1. Put the coconut, water, coriander, chili, ginger and roasted chana dal in a food processor.
  2. Process it till you get a coarse paste.
  3. Put the chutney in a serving bowl.
  4. Add salt and mix it well.
  5. Heat oil for tempering in a small pan over low heat.
  6. When the oil is hot add mustard seeds, red chili and curry leaves.
  7. Pour the tempering over the chutney.
Tips:
  • Don't leave the rice too coarse otherwise you'll get hard dumplings
  • If you use ready rice rava, then soak it in water for 2-3 hours before using.
You may want to check out the following South Indian recipes:
Chidambaram Gosthu




Sending this recipe to the following event:










Tuesday, 14 November 2017

726. Cheese Stuffed Garlic Pull Apart Bread#BreadBakers

Cheese Stuffed Garlic Pull Apart Bread#BreadBakers
Theme: Pull Apart Breads

 Pull Apart Bread has been on my 'to do' list for a long time. I've done mini ones in a muffin pan, but wanted to bake one in a bundt pan. However, the bundt pan part didn't really work out but the pull apart bread got baked. 

  My daughter keeps on insisting that she's not going to eat much carbs, so initially I tried baking half the recipe to give a small loaf. First all, its the first time I'm halving a basic bread recipe so forgot that I should add less salt. The small miserable looking loaf didn't come out too well and it was salty. However, my daughter liked the idea of tiny pieces of bread stuffed with cheese so she insisted that I bake one for her to take to work. That was a relief as I now could bake the normal 3-3½ cup flour bread. I used a small cake tin and the shape came out much better, the rise was good and yes it wasn't salty.


  Pull Apart Breads is the November theme for Bread Bakers suggested by Kelly Lawson who blogs at Passion Kneaded. She has an awesome collection of Muffins and Breads.


  Pull Apart Breads or Monkey Breads is a great way to serve bread at parties, or if stuffed then as a starter too. Pull Apart Breads can be sweet or savory and I chose to bake a savory one. Who can beat the taste of butter and garlic with a bit of herbs added. However, I decided to first stuff the bread with tiny cubes of cheddar cheese, then coated the balls with the garlic butter. 


  Check out the recipe and go on try your own version of a pull apart bread or try what fellow bakers have baked for this theme. 











CHEESE STUFFED GARLIC PULL APART BREAD

Serves 6-8 people

3-3½ cups plain flour (all purpose flour)

2¼ tsp instant dried active yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1-1¼ cups warm milk
2 tbsp olive oil

For Coating:

½ cup butter, melt it
1-2 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp dried herbs of your choice ( I used oregano)

For Stuffing:

200g cheddar or mozzarella cheese, cut into 32 cubes or pieces

extra flour for dusting

extra butter for greasing


  1. Mix flour, salt and sugar in a big bowl.
  2. Add yeast and mix well.
  3. Add 1 tbsp oil and rub it into the flour.
  4. Add warm milk and form a dough.
  5. Dust the worktop lightly with some flour.
  6. Knead the dough on the worktop for 8-10 minutes until it is soft and smooth.
  7. The dough may stick to your hands but keep on adding the remaining oil as you knead.
  8. Grease the bowl with butter or oil.
  9. Form the dough into a ball shape and place it in the bowl.
  10. Cover the bowl with a cling film or damp tea towel. leave it in a warm place for the dough to rise till its double the size. (Mine took 1½ hours)
  11. Very lightly dust the worktop with some flour.
  12. Gently press the dough to degas it.
  13. Divide the dough into 4 parts. Use a sharp kitchen knife or a scrapper to cut the dough.
  14. Divide each part into half. So now you will have 8 parts.
  15. Divide each part into half to get 16 parts.
  16. Divide each part into half to get 32 parts.
  17. Let the dough 'parts' rest for 5-10 minutes.
  18. In the meantime cut the cheese into 32 cubes or parts.
  19. Make the coating by melting the butter over low heat or in the microwave oven. 
  20. Add garlic and herbs to it and mix well.
  21. Grease a small cake tin (about 6-7" in diameter) with some butter.
  22.  Take one part of the dough. Flatten it slightly with your finger tips.
  23. Place one cube of cheese in the middle of the dough and roll it up.
  24. Coat the rolled ball with the melted garlic butter.
  25. Place the ball in the prepared tin.
  26. Repeat steps 22 - 25 with the remaining dough pieces and cheese.
  27. As you place the coated balls in the pan, make sure you arrange them well.
  28. Cover the pan with a damp kitchen towel and let the bread rise again for 45-60 minutes. 
  29. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  30. Place the pan with the risen dough in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes till the top is golden brown.
  31. Remove the pull apart bread from the oven.
  32. Pour any remaining melted butter over it.
  33. Let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
  34. Remove it from the pan and serve it warm.
Tips:
  • Serve this bread with soup, salad or as a side dish.
  • Don't be in a hurry to remove the bread from the pan otherwise it will fall apart.
  • Stuff it any cheese of your choice.
  • Use herbs of your choice.
Check out what other Bread Bakers have made for the Pull Apart Bread Theme:

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

BreadBakers


Monday, 13 November 2017

725. Buckwheat and Brown Rice Khichdi

So comforting

   On 4th Nov 918 kg of khichdi sets Guinness World Record. 125kg rice, 45kg moong dal, 6.5kg salt, and several kgs of millet and barley was used to make this khichdi at the World Food Event in New Delhi cooked by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor with the help of a 50 member team. Check details here.

   Khichdi very much originates from the Indian Sub Continent. Its basically a mixture of rice and lentils cooked in water with salt and turmeric powder. That's the basic khichdi that most households cook whether they are poor or rich. Its considered one of the most healthiest food, filling, comforting and nutritious. Depending on the regions khichdi is made with a mixture of different kinds of lentils, rice and other grains like millet, amaranth, barley etc.

   If one is sick, a gruel like khichdi is given. Light and yet filling. Old people who have denture problems are given khichdi, babies are given khichdi. Any time is khichdi time, be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I know that the people from Kutch have khichdi (usually a mixture of rice and moong dal, the green variety) in the mornings before heading out to work. They claim that it keeps their tummies full and do not feel lethargic. Khichdis go by many names khichuri, khichu, khechidi, bisi beli bhaat, pongal. Khichdi can be plain with just rice and lentils, or with added spices, or with added vegetables, yogurt, some add meat, eggs etc.

   My memories of khichdi is picnics on Sundays with my huge family. My mum would make a huge pot of khichdi (usually a mixture of rice and pigeon pea lentils) along with a potato and brinjal curry, kadhi, roasted papad and pickle. We would take that to Arboretum or any other picnic spot around Nairobi. If we didn't go to a picnic spot then our verandah near the living room became a picnic spot. But every Sunday was a khichdi day.

   Our Patel Community in Mombasa makes one of the most delicious khichdi ever. Tonnes of ghee go into making this khichdi. A vaghar of cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, dried red chilis, mustard seeds and cumin seeds are added to the rice and pigeon pea lentil khichdi. Along with that fried chilis, onion tomato salad, kadhi and potato brinjal curry is served. Everyone looks forward to this delicious lunch.

   Are you wondering why I'm raving so much about khichdi? Our #118th theme for FoodieMonday/ Bloghop is Khichdi chosen by Poonam who blogs at Annapurna. Usually whoever has to set the theme, gives us an option of 2-3 themes. Khichdi was practically chosen by all of us. I made khichdi using brown rice, buckwheat groats, and masoor dal. I made it into a one pot meal, adding vegetables and spices. I was really surprised how quickly the buckwheat groat cooks. Buckwheat groat is actually not a grain but is a seed. Its rich in protein, fiber and is gluten free.  

   Here's a super healthy, gluten free and nutritious khichdi.



buckwheat groat



image courtesy: Google



BUCKWHEAT AND BROWN RICE KHICHDI
Serves 4-6

1 cup masoor dal (split puy lentils)
½ cup buckwheat groat
½ cup brown rice
3 - 3½ cup water
½ cup peas
½ cup diced carrots
½ cup chopped French beans
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup cauliflower florets (small pieces)
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
4-6 cloves
1-2 dry red chilis
1-2 small cinnamon sticks
6-8 pepper corns
½ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp asafetida (hing)
1-2 tbsp ghee
1-1½ tsp salt


  1. Mix rice, buckwheat groat and lentils together. Add water, gently rub the mixture, pour out the water. Repeat this 3-4 times. Keep it on the side.
  2. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker over medium heat.
  3. Add cinnamon, cloves, red chili and pepper. 
  4. Add mustard and cumin seeds. When they begin to sizzle, add the chopped onions.
  5. Stir fry the onions till it becomes a bit soft.
  6. Add the rest of the vegetables, turmeric powder, garam masala, asafetida, and salt.
  7. Mix well.
  8. Add the rice, buckwheat and lentil mixture. 
  9. Add water.
  10. Stir well. 
  11. Close the lid of the pressure cooker.
  12. Cook the khichdi for 2-3 whistles.
  13. Allow the steam to realize on its own.
  14. Serve hot khichdi with yogurt, pickle, papad or khadi.
Tips:
  • If you want to cook the khichdi in a pan or pot, then you may need extra water.
  • Use lentils of your choice. Some examples of lentils you can use are chickpea lentils, pigeon pea lentils, moong lentils, Puy lentils or a mixture of all.
  • Can replace the buckwheat with barley or pearl millet. Or replace it with rice.
  • Usually the ratio of rice to lentils for khichdis is 1:1 or ½ :1 
You may want to check out other khichdi recipes:
sabudana khichdi
bajri and moong dal khichdi

tuvar dal khichdi


Sending this recipe to the following event:




Monday, 6 November 2017

724. Cachapas

Different kinda pancakes

    I love making pancakes. They can be healthy, sinful, comfort food, easy to make and most of all truly delicious. What are pancakes? Sometimes known as griddle cakes, hotcakes or flapjacks they are round, often thin flat cakes made using a starchy batter which may have added milk, butter, eggs, fruits, vegetables etc. There are many varieties of pancakes the world over right from the Indian uttapam to Dutch Baby, crepes, dosas, Chinese Scallions, Crumpets, Johnny cakes, Blini and so many more. Pancakes are served at different meals, depending on where it originates from. Some are served as breakfast, some along with stews, curries or meat/fish and vegetable preparations. Like Injera from Ethiopia is usually served with a variety of stews.

   Why am I talking about pancakes? Well, remember today is Monday? Mondays means a new theme for the FoodieMonday/Bloghop group. Our #117th theme was chosen by me. I challenged the group to make pancakes from different parts of the world. 

   A few months back,while I was doing the South American cuisine theme for Blogging Marathon,I came across an interesting pancake recipe which I had bookmarked. I decided to make those pancakes. They are called Cachapas. Cachapas or corncakes are Venezuelan Corn Pancakes. Cachapas is the Spanish word for Crumpets. It is a popular street food served with a soft cheese (queso fresco) or any substitute like feta or mozzarella. Sometimes they are simply buttered or served with cream cheese or sour cream. Its also served with ham or chorizo. As I was not able to get queso fresco, I decided to use a local Indian mozzarella brand which refused to melt completely! However, all said and done, the pancakes were simply delicious. I added some chopped chilis. 

   I should have served it with a sprinkle of cilantro or coriander but being a lazy Sunday neither my daughter nor I wanted to get out of our nightwear to go to the shop opposite our apartment to buy some coriander! I really don't regret for being so lazy... it was a totally 'me' day which I enjoyed thoroughly. Daughter and  I went to watch the suspense movie Ittefaq. There was not a moment of boredom and loved watching Akshay Khanna on the screen after such a long time. Did I mention both of us went mad shopping for handbags as Central had 50%off on all brands? Mine are the usual 'aunty' type bag as she calls them and hers the funky type which you'd never see me carrying around!

   Lets hop over to the gluten free, not much fat filled pancakes. I combined tips and ingredients from 3-4 different recipes but the basic requirement for these cachapas is corn and cornmeal.






CACHAPAS
Makes 6 medium ones

3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
¼ cup cornmeal (or masa harina)
¼ cup milk or fresh cream
1 large egg
½ - ¾ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp coarse pepper powder
1-2 chopped green chilis
 ½ cup grated cheese (mozzarella or any soft cheese)
some oil for frying the pancakes

  1. Process the corn in a food processor till you get a batter that is not coarse.
  2. Transfer the processed corn into a bowl.
  3. Add cornmeal, milk, salt, pepper, sugar and egg. 
  4. Mix the batter thoroughly. It will not resemble a normal pancake batter.
  5. Add the green chilis.
  6. Heat a frying pan over medium heat.
  7. Drizzle it with little oil.
  8. Drop a heaped tablespoon of the batter onto the hot pancake.
  9. Spread it into a circle of about 3-4 inches in diameter with the help of the back of a spoon.
  10. Drizzle a bit of oil around it and let it cook.
  11. Don't be in a hurry to flip it over, let it cook well or else it will break.
  12. When the underside is done, flip it over and cook. Drizzle a bit of oil.
  13. Flip out over again, add some grated cheese and wait till it melts.
  14. Repeat steps 8-13 with the remaining batter. I used a big frying pan so was able to make 3 at a time. 
  15. Serve hot cachapas on its own or folded with some meat or sliced avocados. 
Tips:
  • Try and get some soft cheese that melts or simply serve it with sour cream or cream cheese.
  • Add filling of your own and fold the cachapas and serve. 
  • Cornmeal and cornstarch are NOT the same. Cornmeal is flour made from ground dried corn kernels. I used the white cornmeal which is popularly used in Kenya to prepare ugali or use masa harina.
You may want to check out my other pancake recipes:
kibibi - Kenyan Coastal Pancake





Sending this recipe to the following event:



Tuesday, 31 October 2017

723. Koat Pitha

 Land of the Dawn Lit Mountains


   As I had mentioned last month, The Shh Cooking Secretly group started by Priya Suresh of Priya's Versatile Recipes is traveling round India state by state. Not physical travel, but cuisine wise. For the month of October participating members had to come up with dishes that are popular in Arunachal Pradesh with the given secret ingredients.

   This state wise cooking is opening up a whole new world of cuisine for me. I'm learning new names of dishes, new ingredients and different cooking methods. Food in Arunachal Pradesh in general does not have much oil unless its a fried dish and they depend largely on ingredients grown or available locally. People of Arunachal Pradesh love their meat and bamboo shoot. Rice is a must with any meat or vegetable dish. Arunachal Pradesh is a state with 4 main regions and 26 major tribes and over 100 sub tribes. Dishes will vary according to the tribe and availability of ingredients.  Arunachal Pradesh is a north eastern state sharing its borders with Assam, Nagaland, Bhutan,China and Myanmar. Its known as the Orchid State of India. Arunachal Pradesh means 'The Land of the Dawn Lit Mountains' because of the beautiful mountains found in that state.

Some of the famous dishes from Arunachal Pradesh are:
Apong - fermented rice beer
Marua - fermented millet beer
Thupka - Noodle soup with vegetables and meat/fish
Rice- is always served with meat or vegetable dishes
Bamboo Shoot - its used practically in all the dishes
Pika Pila - a pickle made with bamboo shoot, pork fat and red chilis
Lutker - dry meat cooked with red chilis
Pehak - chutney made using fermented soya beans and chili
Momos - steamed dumplings stuffed with meat or vegetables
Chura Sabji - A curry made using fermented cheese made from yak or cow milk
Leafy Greens - usually served as side dish or added to stews and curries
Koat Pitha - mashed banana, rice flour and jaggery fritters
Dal and egg - lentil curry with whole eggs
Panch Phoron Tarkari - a mixture of vegetables with milk and dry spices added to it
Laksa Stock - boiled flaked noodles cooked in a spicy paste and garnished with cucumber, pineapple, onions and chilis.
Poora Mach - a whole fish wrapped in banana leaf and cooked over charcoal
Poora Haah - a whole roasted duck or chicken
Ngatok - a fish curry where the fish pieces are wrapped in banana leaves and cooked

   My partner for this month was Priya Mahesh. Her blog at200Deg has some interesting recipes and write ups on what's happening in Bangalore. She gave me rice flour and jaggery as my secret ingredients. So there's only one thing I could make with those ingredients and that is Koat Pitha. I don't regret making this delicious fried snack. It was so crunchy from the outside and soft inside, much like doughnuts. A couple of the fritters were left over and cold ones tasted just as good. However, I must admit I couldn't stop myself from adding a bit of cardamom powder. Just a few ingredients result in a delicious, sweet snack.

Go on check out the recipe and make it as a tea time snack.



Image result for images of arunachal pradesh
image from Google


KOAT PITHA
Makes 10-12  fritters
Recipe source : Only Travel Guide

2 large or 3 medium ripe bananas
½ cup rice flour
3-4 tbsp grated jaggery (gur)
½ tsp cardamom powder
a pinch of salt
mustard oil or ghee for frying


  1. Heat oil or ghee in a wok or Kara over medium to low heat.
  2. Mash the bananas.
  3. Add grated jaggery, salt and cardamom powder. Mix well.
  4. Add rice flour and mix well to make a batter.
  5. With the help of a spoon, drop batter into the hot oil.
  6. Lower the heat and fry the pitha till its golden brown in color.
  7. Remember to keep on turning the fritters while frying.
  8. Remove them from the oil and keep them on a kitchen towel so that the extra oil can be absorbed.
  9. Serve hot koat pitha with some tea.
Tips:
  • I really don't like frying in mustard oil so I used ghee.
  • The batter should be spoonable and not thin. 
You may want to check out cuisines from other states of India:

Litti Chokha - Bihar
Sheer Khurma - Uttar Pradesh
Punugulu - Andhra Pradesh




Sending this recipe to the following event:
shhh

Monday, 30 October 2017

722. Fusion Vada Pita

Fusion Rules

   Whenever I'm asked if I prepare a lot of fusion dishes..the answer is never a clear yes or no. Sometimes unknowingly I've prepared fusion as I replace ingredients of an original recipe with ingredients that I get here. So like hung curds replaces cream cheese, mayo gets replaced by yogurt, fresh herbs get replaced by coriander or mint, tortilla gets replaced with roti etc etc.

   However there are certain things I'm still a bit vary of trying say like a sweet and sour veg in a dosa (don't find that appealing) or say using the bhaji of pav bhaji to replace a pasta sauce. There are certain original tastes I like just the way they are. However, I'm still open to  trying out fusion foods of which now many restaurants serve. As long its edible and tasty. I nearly got put off by my favorite palak paneer. A few years ago I'd gone to an Indian restaurant in Versailles with my daughter in law's parents. We went to try out the food and also place an order if they were willing to cater for a wedding party. One taste of the palak paneer and I didn't place the order. Instead of paneer they had added dollops of some soft cheese and it tasted awful. 

   This Monday for FoodieMonday/Bloghop Group, Mallika who blogs at A Foodie Housewife suggested Fusion Fiesta as our #116th theme. Fusion of an Indian dish with any other cuisine. Mallika knew most of us would think Italian, Chinese or Mexican so told us no, no no, and to think out of the box. I set my brains into gear and every time I thought of a dish, it would be combined with an Italian, Chinese or Mexican dish. Then I realized that to get somewhere I'll have to think the other way round... how to 'Indianize' a particular cuisine dish.

   For days I'd wanted to try sourdough pita bread so I baked those. Then the idea came why not combine it with an Indian dish. So that's how the idea of Fusion Vada Pita instead of Vada Pav was born. The name doesn't sound melodious or doesn't rhyme but hey who cares. The end dish was an absolute joy.

So check out how I made Vada Pita. Its so easy.





FUSION VADA PITA   
Serves 6

6 Pita breads (ready made or home made)

For the Bateta Vadas:
Filling:
500g (5 medium) potatoes, boiled
2-3 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1-1¼  tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
¼ tsp ajmo (ajwain, carom seeds)
2 tbsp chopped cashew nuts
2 tbsp raisins
1 tsp green chili paste
1 tsp ginger paste
½ tsp cinnamon powder
¼ tsp clove powder
½ - 1 tsp red chilli powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tbsp lemon juice

Batter:
¾ cup chickpea flour (besan)
2 tbsp rice flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
½ cup water

For serving:
½ cup green chutney
¼ cup garlic red chili chutney ( I added garlic paste to this chutney)
6 fried green chilis

Oil for deep frying

Preparation of the vadas:
  1. Mix all the ingredients for the batter and leave it on the side till required. It should not be thin. 
  2. Peel and mash the boiled potatoes. 
  3. Heat oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. 
  4. Add mustard, cumin and carom seeds. When they begin to sizzle, add the chopped onions.
  5. Saute till the onions become soft.
  6. Add this to the mashed potatoes. 
  7. Add all the remaining ingredients for the vada filling. Mix well.
  8. Make small lemon size balls with the filling. You should have 12 balls.
  9. Heat oil for deep frying in a wok or karai over medium heat.
  10. To checkoff the oil is hot drop a small drop of the batter into the oil. It should sizzle and come up immediately.
  11. Dip the ball in the batter, coat the ball with the batter and drop it gently into the hot oil.
  12. Depending on the size of the wok or karai, you will be able to fry 4-6 at a time.
  13. Once the coating becomes golden brown remove the vada from the oil into a kitchen towel lined colander. Remember to flip the vadas over gently to brown evenly.
  14. Repeat steps 11-13 with remaining balls and batter.
  15. Slit the chili a bit length wise and fry them in the hot oil. Remove.
Preparation of the vada pita:
  1. Warm the pita bread on a griddle.
  2. Cut it into half and open up the pockets.
  3. Smear green chutney on one inner side. 
  4. Smear red chutney on the other inner side.
  5. Slightly flatten the vadas and put one each into each pocket.
  6. Add the fried chili and serve. 
Tips:
  • Use chutneys of your choice.
  • If you have any left over batter, just drop little bits into the oil and fry them. These crunchy mumris are the best to eat on its own or with chutney.
You may want to check out the following:
Veggie Shepherd's Pie
Pita with dal falafel





Sending this recipe to the following event:
No automatic alt text available.

Monday, 20 November 2017

727. Undi (Pundi Gatti, Oondi or Rice dumplings)

Delicious Dumplings

   A visit to Phoenix Mall, Bangalore is like a dazzling visit to Fairyland. Only thing is that nothing is free, you need oodles of money to buy whatever you want. I remember when I was studying in India in the 70s, nothing much was available and relatives and friends would have a long list of things they'd want us to bring for them from Kenya. Tables have turned, everything is available in India right from Rin soap to Audis. For a girl who comes from the supposedly second biggest city in Kenya, the malls are like paradise for me. Visiting Foodland is a foodie's dream but unfortunately everything from lettuce to wheat pasta is overpriced. Eating healthy is an expensive habit. Wonder why?? Healthy foods should be pocket friendly. Anyway we can argue about food prices world wide endlessly and get nowhere. Lets face it food is expensive.

   Daughter and I were at the mall to catch a movie. Have you seen what PVR charges for popcorns??? For a handful of kernels and some cheap oil it's daylight robbery. And suckers like me still opt for that snack as I can't imagine watching a movie without popcorn. A mental note to self... need to change that habit. We watched Tumari Suli. I loved the movie not only because of the vivacious Vidya Balan but also because of the subtle messages it conveys for women whether working or not. Everyone has some talent or passion in them, including what most people term as boring housewives or sit at home aunties. Why is it that women face so many challenges in following their passion be it job wise or hobby wise? However, perseverance pays at the end and women are born fighters. We fight for our kids, our homes, our jobs, our rights, our money, our family....its a fight every step of the way.

   Before I get carried away, this weeks's #119th theme for FoodieMonday/Bloghop is Udupi Cuisine chosen by Preethi who blogs at Preethi's Cuisine. What I remember about Udupi which I visited years ago is the temple Sri Krishna Matha. You get to do the darshan of the Bala Krishna through a small window on the west side. It is believed that a devotee of Lord Krishna, Kanakadasa was not allowed to enter through the east entrance as he belonged to the lower caste. He would pray to Lord Krishna through a small opening in the west wall. Just for the sake of the devoted Kanakadasa, its believed that the statue turned so he could catch a glimpse of Lord Krishna.

   Udupi Cuisine is a cuisine of South India more specifically from the state of Karnataka. It forms an important part of the Tuluva- Mangalorean cuisine and takes it name from the famous city Udupi. This cuisine originates from the Astha Mathas of Udupi founded by Madhavacharya. The cuisine makes use of grains, fruits, vegetables and beans, basically being Satvik, where no onions, garlic, meat or fish is used. However over years its being adapted to suit the tastes of the general public. Pumpkins and gourds are still the prinmary ingredients for sambhar, fresh coconut and coconut oil are still used in stews. Did you know that the famous masala dosa has its origins in Udupi? A full course Udupi meal is served on a banana leaf and its served in a sequence. Its during my daughter's wedding we were fortunate to have a Udupi style lunch and many things I tasted for the first time like kashi halwa, kosambari and the famous Mangalore bajji.

   For this theme I decided to make a famous Udupi breakfast called Undi/Pundi Gatti/Oondi. Its basically steamed rice dumplings that are served with a chutney or sambhar or just coconut oil drizzled over it. Its such a simple and yet flavorful breakfast dish. Rice rava or coarsely ground rice flour is available in the market to make this dish but I decided to make it with soaked rice as I read that the dumplings or undi turns out much softer.

Check out the recipe for this filling, healthy and gluten free breakfast treat.






UNDI (PUNDI GATTI, OONDI OR RICE DUMPLINGS)
Makes about 8-9 dumplings
Recipe source: Lakshmi Canteen

1 cup rice 
½ cup grated fresh coconut
2 cups water
¾ - 1 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
1 tbsp urad dal (split black lentils)
A few curry leaves
1-2 dried red chilis, chop into pieces


  1. I soaked the rice overnight but you can soak it for 2-3 hours.
  2. Drain out the water, wash the rice.
  3. Add the rice to a food processor along with I cup water.
  4. Process it till you get a coarse batter, the rice should resemble coarse semolina.
  5. Add the grated coconut and process just for a few seconds.
  6. Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  7. When it is hot, add fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves and dried red chilis.
  8. Add the rice batter along with the remaining one cup water and salt.
  9. Constantly stir the batter till it becomes thick and comes together like a dough. This process takes only 5-7 minutes.
  10. Let the dough cool a bit.
  11. In the meantime get your idli stand or any steaming device ready. Add water to the pot.
  12. Grease the idle stand or plate with some oil.
  13. Let the water begin to boil.
  14. In the meantime take some dough the size of a golf ball and roll it. Using your thumb make a small depression in the middle.
  15. Place it on the greased plate or idle stand.
  16. Repeat steps 14-15 with the remaining dough. Work fast because when the dough becomes cold, it becomes difficult to roll it into a smooth dumpling.
  17. Place the idli stand or plate in the boiling water. It should not touch the dumplings. 
  18. Close the pan with a lid and steam the undi for 15 minutes.
  19. Undi is ready to be served hot with some chutney, sambar or coconut oil.
Coconut Coriander Chutney:
1 cup grated fresh coconut
 ¼ cup chopped fresh coriander
2-3 green chillis
1 tbsp roasted chickpea lentils (chana dal)
1" ginger piece
½ - ¾ tsp salt

For tempering:
1 tsp oil
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
1 dried red chili
a few curry leaves
  1. Put the coconut, water, coriander, chili, ginger and roasted chana dal in a food processor.
  2. Process it till you get a coarse paste.
  3. Put the chutney in a serving bowl.
  4. Add salt and mix it well.
  5. Heat oil for tempering in a small pan over low heat.
  6. When the oil is hot add mustard seeds, red chili and curry leaves.
  7. Pour the tempering over the chutney.
Tips:
  • Don't leave the rice too coarse otherwise you'll get hard dumplings
  • If you use ready rice rava, then soak it in water for 2-3 hours before using.
You may want to check out the following South Indian recipes:
Chidambaram Gosthu




Sending this recipe to the following event:










Pin It

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

726. Cheese Stuffed Garlic Pull Apart Bread#BreadBakers

Cheese Stuffed Garlic Pull Apart Bread#BreadBakers
Theme: Pull Apart Breads

 Pull Apart Bread has been on my 'to do' list for a long time. I've done mini ones in a muffin pan, but wanted to bake one in a bundt pan. However, the bundt pan part didn't really work out but the pull apart bread got baked. 

  My daughter keeps on insisting that she's not going to eat much carbs, so initially I tried baking half the recipe to give a small loaf. First all, its the first time I'm halving a basic bread recipe so forgot that I should add less salt. The small miserable looking loaf didn't come out too well and it was salty. However, my daughter liked the idea of tiny pieces of bread stuffed with cheese so she insisted that I bake one for her to take to work. That was a relief as I now could bake the normal 3-3½ cup flour bread. I used a small cake tin and the shape came out much better, the rise was good and yes it wasn't salty.


  Pull Apart Breads is the November theme for Bread Bakers suggested by Kelly Lawson who blogs at Passion Kneaded. She has an awesome collection of Muffins and Breads.


  Pull Apart Breads or Monkey Breads is a great way to serve bread at parties, or if stuffed then as a starter too. Pull Apart Breads can be sweet or savory and I chose to bake a savory one. Who can beat the taste of butter and garlic with a bit of herbs added. However, I decided to first stuff the bread with tiny cubes of cheddar cheese, then coated the balls with the garlic butter. 


  Check out the recipe and go on try your own version of a pull apart bread or try what fellow bakers have baked for this theme. 











CHEESE STUFFED GARLIC PULL APART BREAD

Serves 6-8 people

3-3½ cups plain flour (all purpose flour)

2¼ tsp instant dried active yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1-1¼ cups warm milk
2 tbsp olive oil

For Coating:

½ cup butter, melt it
1-2 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp dried herbs of your choice ( I used oregano)

For Stuffing:

200g cheddar or mozzarella cheese, cut into 32 cubes or pieces

extra flour for dusting

extra butter for greasing


  1. Mix flour, salt and sugar in a big bowl.
  2. Add yeast and mix well.
  3. Add 1 tbsp oil and rub it into the flour.
  4. Add warm milk and form a dough.
  5. Dust the worktop lightly with some flour.
  6. Knead the dough on the worktop for 8-10 minutes until it is soft and smooth.
  7. The dough may stick to your hands but keep on adding the remaining oil as you knead.
  8. Grease the bowl with butter or oil.
  9. Form the dough into a ball shape and place it in the bowl.
  10. Cover the bowl with a cling film or damp tea towel. leave it in a warm place for the dough to rise till its double the size. (Mine took 1½ hours)
  11. Very lightly dust the worktop with some flour.
  12. Gently press the dough to degas it.
  13. Divide the dough into 4 parts. Use a sharp kitchen knife or a scrapper to cut the dough.
  14. Divide each part into half. So now you will have 8 parts.
  15. Divide each part into half to get 16 parts.
  16. Divide each part into half to get 32 parts.
  17. Let the dough 'parts' rest for 5-10 minutes.
  18. In the meantime cut the cheese into 32 cubes or parts.
  19. Make the coating by melting the butter over low heat or in the microwave oven. 
  20. Add garlic and herbs to it and mix well.
  21. Grease a small cake tin (about 6-7" in diameter) with some butter.
  22.  Take one part of the dough. Flatten it slightly with your finger tips.
  23. Place one cube of cheese in the middle of the dough and roll it up.
  24. Coat the rolled ball with the melted garlic butter.
  25. Place the ball in the prepared tin.
  26. Repeat steps 22 - 25 with the remaining dough pieces and cheese.
  27. As you place the coated balls in the pan, make sure you arrange them well.
  28. Cover the pan with a damp kitchen towel and let the bread rise again for 45-60 minutes. 
  29. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  30. Place the pan with the risen dough in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes till the top is golden brown.
  31. Remove the pull apart bread from the oven.
  32. Pour any remaining melted butter over it.
  33. Let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
  34. Remove it from the pan and serve it warm.
Tips:
  • Serve this bread with soup, salad or as a side dish.
  • Don't be in a hurry to remove the bread from the pan otherwise it will fall apart.
  • Stuff it any cheese of your choice.
  • Use herbs of your choice.
Check out what other Bread Bakers have made for the Pull Apart Bread Theme:

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

BreadBakers


Pin It

Monday, 13 November 2017

725. Buckwheat and Brown Rice Khichdi

So comforting

   On 4th Nov 918 kg of khichdi sets Guinness World Record. 125kg rice, 45kg moong dal, 6.5kg salt, and several kgs of millet and barley was used to make this khichdi at the World Food Event in New Delhi cooked by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor with the help of a 50 member team. Check details here.

   Khichdi very much originates from the Indian Sub Continent. Its basically a mixture of rice and lentils cooked in water with salt and turmeric powder. That's the basic khichdi that most households cook whether they are poor or rich. Its considered one of the most healthiest food, filling, comforting and nutritious. Depending on the regions khichdi is made with a mixture of different kinds of lentils, rice and other grains like millet, amaranth, barley etc.

   If one is sick, a gruel like khichdi is given. Light and yet filling. Old people who have denture problems are given khichdi, babies are given khichdi. Any time is khichdi time, be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I know that the people from Kutch have khichdi (usually a mixture of rice and moong dal, the green variety) in the mornings before heading out to work. They claim that it keeps their tummies full and do not feel lethargic. Khichdis go by many names khichuri, khichu, khechidi, bisi beli bhaat, pongal. Khichdi can be plain with just rice and lentils, or with added spices, or with added vegetables, yogurt, some add meat, eggs etc.

   My memories of khichdi is picnics on Sundays with my huge family. My mum would make a huge pot of khichdi (usually a mixture of rice and pigeon pea lentils) along with a potato and brinjal curry, kadhi, roasted papad and pickle. We would take that to Arboretum or any other picnic spot around Nairobi. If we didn't go to a picnic spot then our verandah near the living room became a picnic spot. But every Sunday was a khichdi day.

   Our Patel Community in Mombasa makes one of the most delicious khichdi ever. Tonnes of ghee go into making this khichdi. A vaghar of cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, dried red chilis, mustard seeds and cumin seeds are added to the rice and pigeon pea lentil khichdi. Along with that fried chilis, onion tomato salad, kadhi and potato brinjal curry is served. Everyone looks forward to this delicious lunch.

   Are you wondering why I'm raving so much about khichdi? Our #118th theme for FoodieMonday/ Bloghop is Khichdi chosen by Poonam who blogs at Annapurna. Usually whoever has to set the theme, gives us an option of 2-3 themes. Khichdi was practically chosen by all of us. I made khichdi using brown rice, buckwheat groats, and masoor dal. I made it into a one pot meal, adding vegetables and spices. I was really surprised how quickly the buckwheat groat cooks. Buckwheat groat is actually not a grain but is a seed. Its rich in protein, fiber and is gluten free.  

   Here's a super healthy, gluten free and nutritious khichdi.



buckwheat groat



image courtesy: Google



BUCKWHEAT AND BROWN RICE KHICHDI
Serves 4-6

1 cup masoor dal (split puy lentils)
½ cup buckwheat groat
½ cup brown rice
3 - 3½ cup water
½ cup peas
½ cup diced carrots
½ cup chopped French beans
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup cauliflower florets (small pieces)
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
4-6 cloves
1-2 dry red chilis
1-2 small cinnamon sticks
6-8 pepper corns
½ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp asafetida (hing)
1-2 tbsp ghee
1-1½ tsp salt


  1. Mix rice, buckwheat groat and lentils together. Add water, gently rub the mixture, pour out the water. Repeat this 3-4 times. Keep it on the side.
  2. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker over medium heat.
  3. Add cinnamon, cloves, red chili and pepper. 
  4. Add mustard and cumin seeds. When they begin to sizzle, add the chopped onions.
  5. Stir fry the onions till it becomes a bit soft.
  6. Add the rest of the vegetables, turmeric powder, garam masala, asafetida, and salt.
  7. Mix well.
  8. Add the rice, buckwheat and lentil mixture. 
  9. Add water.
  10. Stir well. 
  11. Close the lid of the pressure cooker.
  12. Cook the khichdi for 2-3 whistles.
  13. Allow the steam to realize on its own.
  14. Serve hot khichdi with yogurt, pickle, papad or khadi.
Tips:
  • If you want to cook the khichdi in a pan or pot, then you may need extra water.
  • Use lentils of your choice. Some examples of lentils you can use are chickpea lentils, pigeon pea lentils, moong lentils, Puy lentils or a mixture of all.
  • Can replace the buckwheat with barley or pearl millet. Or replace it with rice.
  • Usually the ratio of rice to lentils for khichdis is 1:1 or ½ :1 
You may want to check out other khichdi recipes:
sabudana khichdi
bajri and moong dal khichdi

tuvar dal khichdi


Sending this recipe to the following event:




Pin It

Monday, 6 November 2017

724. Cachapas

Different kinda pancakes

    I love making pancakes. They can be healthy, sinful, comfort food, easy to make and most of all truly delicious. What are pancakes? Sometimes known as griddle cakes, hotcakes or flapjacks they are round, often thin flat cakes made using a starchy batter which may have added milk, butter, eggs, fruits, vegetables etc. There are many varieties of pancakes the world over right from the Indian uttapam to Dutch Baby, crepes, dosas, Chinese Scallions, Crumpets, Johnny cakes, Blini and so many more. Pancakes are served at different meals, depending on where it originates from. Some are served as breakfast, some along with stews, curries or meat/fish and vegetable preparations. Like Injera from Ethiopia is usually served with a variety of stews.

   Why am I talking about pancakes? Well, remember today is Monday? Mondays means a new theme for the FoodieMonday/Bloghop group. Our #117th theme was chosen by me. I challenged the group to make pancakes from different parts of the world. 

   A few months back,while I was doing the South American cuisine theme for Blogging Marathon,I came across an interesting pancake recipe which I had bookmarked. I decided to make those pancakes. They are called Cachapas. Cachapas or corncakes are Venezuelan Corn Pancakes. Cachapas is the Spanish word for Crumpets. It is a popular street food served with a soft cheese (queso fresco) or any substitute like feta or mozzarella. Sometimes they are simply buttered or served with cream cheese or sour cream. Its also served with ham or chorizo. As I was not able to get queso fresco, I decided to use a local Indian mozzarella brand which refused to melt completely! However, all said and done, the pancakes were simply delicious. I added some chopped chilis. 

   I should have served it with a sprinkle of cilantro or coriander but being a lazy Sunday neither my daughter nor I wanted to get out of our nightwear to go to the shop opposite our apartment to buy some coriander! I really don't regret for being so lazy... it was a totally 'me' day which I enjoyed thoroughly. Daughter and  I went to watch the suspense movie Ittefaq. There was not a moment of boredom and loved watching Akshay Khanna on the screen after such a long time. Did I mention both of us went mad shopping for handbags as Central had 50%off on all brands? Mine are the usual 'aunty' type bag as she calls them and hers the funky type which you'd never see me carrying around!

   Lets hop over to the gluten free, not much fat filled pancakes. I combined tips and ingredients from 3-4 different recipes but the basic requirement for these cachapas is corn and cornmeal.






CACHAPAS
Makes 6 medium ones

3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
¼ cup cornmeal (or masa harina)
¼ cup milk or fresh cream
1 large egg
½ - ¾ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp coarse pepper powder
1-2 chopped green chilis
 ½ cup grated cheese (mozzarella or any soft cheese)
some oil for frying the pancakes

  1. Process the corn in a food processor till you get a batter that is not coarse.
  2. Transfer the processed corn into a bowl.
  3. Add cornmeal, milk, salt, pepper, sugar and egg. 
  4. Mix the batter thoroughly. It will not resemble a normal pancake batter.
  5. Add the green chilis.
  6. Heat a frying pan over medium heat.
  7. Drizzle it with little oil.
  8. Drop a heaped tablespoon of the batter onto the hot pancake.
  9. Spread it into a circle of about 3-4 inches in diameter with the help of the back of a spoon.
  10. Drizzle a bit of oil around it and let it cook.
  11. Don't be in a hurry to flip it over, let it cook well or else it will break.
  12. When the underside is done, flip it over and cook. Drizzle a bit of oil.
  13. Flip out over again, add some grated cheese and wait till it melts.
  14. Repeat steps 8-13 with the remaining batter. I used a big frying pan so was able to make 3 at a time. 
  15. Serve hot cachapas on its own or folded with some meat or sliced avocados. 
Tips:
  • Try and get some soft cheese that melts or simply serve it with sour cream or cream cheese.
  • Add filling of your own and fold the cachapas and serve. 
  • Cornmeal and cornstarch are NOT the same. Cornmeal is flour made from ground dried corn kernels. I used the white cornmeal which is popularly used in Kenya to prepare ugali or use masa harina.
You may want to check out my other pancake recipes:
kibibi - Kenyan Coastal Pancake





Sending this recipe to the following event:



Pin It

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

723. Koat Pitha

 Land of the Dawn Lit Mountains


   As I had mentioned last month, The Shh Cooking Secretly group started by Priya Suresh of Priya's Versatile Recipes is traveling round India state by state. Not physical travel, but cuisine wise. For the month of October participating members had to come up with dishes that are popular in Arunachal Pradesh with the given secret ingredients.

   This state wise cooking is opening up a whole new world of cuisine for me. I'm learning new names of dishes, new ingredients and different cooking methods. Food in Arunachal Pradesh in general does not have much oil unless its a fried dish and they depend largely on ingredients grown or available locally. People of Arunachal Pradesh love their meat and bamboo shoot. Rice is a must with any meat or vegetable dish. Arunachal Pradesh is a state with 4 main regions and 26 major tribes and over 100 sub tribes. Dishes will vary according to the tribe and availability of ingredients.  Arunachal Pradesh is a north eastern state sharing its borders with Assam, Nagaland, Bhutan,China and Myanmar. Its known as the Orchid State of India. Arunachal Pradesh means 'The Land of the Dawn Lit Mountains' because of the beautiful mountains found in that state.

Some of the famous dishes from Arunachal Pradesh are:
Apong - fermented rice beer
Marua - fermented millet beer
Thupka - Noodle soup with vegetables and meat/fish
Rice- is always served with meat or vegetable dishes
Bamboo Shoot - its used practically in all the dishes
Pika Pila - a pickle made with bamboo shoot, pork fat and red chilis
Lutker - dry meat cooked with red chilis
Pehak - chutney made using fermented soya beans and chili
Momos - steamed dumplings stuffed with meat or vegetables
Chura Sabji - A curry made using fermented cheese made from yak or cow milk
Leafy Greens - usually served as side dish or added to stews and curries
Koat Pitha - mashed banana, rice flour and jaggery fritters
Dal and egg - lentil curry with whole eggs
Panch Phoron Tarkari - a mixture of vegetables with milk and dry spices added to it
Laksa Stock - boiled flaked noodles cooked in a spicy paste and garnished with cucumber, pineapple, onions and chilis.
Poora Mach - a whole fish wrapped in banana leaf and cooked over charcoal
Poora Haah - a whole roasted duck or chicken
Ngatok - a fish curry where the fish pieces are wrapped in banana leaves and cooked

   My partner for this month was Priya Mahesh. Her blog at200Deg has some interesting recipes and write ups on what's happening in Bangalore. She gave me rice flour and jaggery as my secret ingredients. So there's only one thing I could make with those ingredients and that is Koat Pitha. I don't regret making this delicious fried snack. It was so crunchy from the outside and soft inside, much like doughnuts. A couple of the fritters were left over and cold ones tasted just as good. However, I must admit I couldn't stop myself from adding a bit of cardamom powder. Just a few ingredients result in a delicious, sweet snack.

Go on check out the recipe and make it as a tea time snack.



Image result for images of arunachal pradesh
image from Google


KOAT PITHA
Makes 10-12  fritters
Recipe source : Only Travel Guide

2 large or 3 medium ripe bananas
½ cup rice flour
3-4 tbsp grated jaggery (gur)
½ tsp cardamom powder
a pinch of salt
mustard oil or ghee for frying


  1. Heat oil or ghee in a wok or Kara over medium to low heat.
  2. Mash the bananas.
  3. Add grated jaggery, salt and cardamom powder. Mix well.
  4. Add rice flour and mix well to make a batter.
  5. With the help of a spoon, drop batter into the hot oil.
  6. Lower the heat and fry the pitha till its golden brown in color.
  7. Remember to keep on turning the fritters while frying.
  8. Remove them from the oil and keep them on a kitchen towel so that the extra oil can be absorbed.
  9. Serve hot koat pitha with some tea.
Tips:
  • I really don't like frying in mustard oil so I used ghee.
  • The batter should be spoonable and not thin. 
You may want to check out cuisines from other states of India:

Litti Chokha - Bihar
Sheer Khurma - Uttar Pradesh
Punugulu - Andhra Pradesh




Sending this recipe to the following event:
shhh
Pin It

Monday, 30 October 2017

722. Fusion Vada Pita

Fusion Rules

   Whenever I'm asked if I prepare a lot of fusion dishes..the answer is never a clear yes or no. Sometimes unknowingly I've prepared fusion as I replace ingredients of an original recipe with ingredients that I get here. So like hung curds replaces cream cheese, mayo gets replaced by yogurt, fresh herbs get replaced by coriander or mint, tortilla gets replaced with roti etc etc.

   However there are certain things I'm still a bit vary of trying say like a sweet and sour veg in a dosa (don't find that appealing) or say using the bhaji of pav bhaji to replace a pasta sauce. There are certain original tastes I like just the way they are. However, I'm still open to  trying out fusion foods of which now many restaurants serve. As long its edible and tasty. I nearly got put off by my favorite palak paneer. A few years ago I'd gone to an Indian restaurant in Versailles with my daughter in law's parents. We went to try out the food and also place an order if they were willing to cater for a wedding party. One taste of the palak paneer and I didn't place the order. Instead of paneer they had added dollops of some soft cheese and it tasted awful. 

   This Monday for FoodieMonday/Bloghop Group, Mallika who blogs at A Foodie Housewife suggested Fusion Fiesta as our #116th theme. Fusion of an Indian dish with any other cuisine. Mallika knew most of us would think Italian, Chinese or Mexican so told us no, no no, and to think out of the box. I set my brains into gear and every time I thought of a dish, it would be combined with an Italian, Chinese or Mexican dish. Then I realized that to get somewhere I'll have to think the other way round... how to 'Indianize' a particular cuisine dish.

   For days I'd wanted to try sourdough pita bread so I baked those. Then the idea came why not combine it with an Indian dish. So that's how the idea of Fusion Vada Pita instead of Vada Pav was born. The name doesn't sound melodious or doesn't rhyme but hey who cares. The end dish was an absolute joy.

So check out how I made Vada Pita. Its so easy.





FUSION VADA PITA   
Serves 6

6 Pita breads (ready made or home made)

For the Bateta Vadas:
Filling:
500g (5 medium) potatoes, boiled
2-3 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1-1¼  tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
¼ tsp ajmo (ajwain, carom seeds)
2 tbsp chopped cashew nuts
2 tbsp raisins
1 tsp green chili paste
1 tsp ginger paste
½ tsp cinnamon powder
¼ tsp clove powder
½ - 1 tsp red chilli powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tbsp lemon juice

Batter:
¾ cup chickpea flour (besan)
2 tbsp rice flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
½ cup water

For serving:
½ cup green chutney
¼ cup garlic red chili chutney ( I added garlic paste to this chutney)
6 fried green chilis

Oil for deep frying

Preparation of the vadas:
  1. Mix all the ingredients for the batter and leave it on the side till required. It should not be thin. 
  2. Peel and mash the boiled potatoes. 
  3. Heat oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. 
  4. Add mustard, cumin and carom seeds. When they begin to sizzle, add the chopped onions.
  5. Saute till the onions become soft.
  6. Add this to the mashed potatoes. 
  7. Add all the remaining ingredients for the vada filling. Mix well.
  8. Make small lemon size balls with the filling. You should have 12 balls.
  9. Heat oil for deep frying in a wok or karai over medium heat.
  10. To checkoff the oil is hot drop a small drop of the batter into the oil. It should sizzle and come up immediately.
  11. Dip the ball in the batter, coat the ball with the batter and drop it gently into the hot oil.
  12. Depending on the size of the wok or karai, you will be able to fry 4-6 at a time.
  13. Once the coating becomes golden brown remove the vada from the oil into a kitchen towel lined colander. Remember to flip the vadas over gently to brown evenly.
  14. Repeat steps 11-13 with remaining balls and batter.
  15. Slit the chili a bit length wise and fry them in the hot oil. Remove.
Preparation of the vada pita:
  1. Warm the pita bread on a griddle.
  2. Cut it into half and open up the pockets.
  3. Smear green chutney on one inner side. 
  4. Smear red chutney on the other inner side.
  5. Slightly flatten the vadas and put one each into each pocket.
  6. Add the fried chili and serve. 
Tips:
  • Use chutneys of your choice.
  • If you have any left over batter, just drop little bits into the oil and fry them. These crunchy mumris are the best to eat on its own or with chutney.
You may want to check out the following:
Veggie Shepherd's Pie
Pita with dal falafel





Sending this recipe to the following event:
No automatic alt text available.

Pin It