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Monday, 26 September 2016

Instant Peanut Coconut Ladoo / Festive Cooking


 Sharad Navratri is just around the corner and those who celebrate this festival may be busy in cleaning their house and preparing for the 9 day festivity. 9 forms of the Goddess Durga are worshiped during this festival and most of the devotees observe Navratri Fast or vrat for all 9 days and have only a single meal during the day. Many special dishes are made during Navratri , some to be had as fasting food ( food which can be had while fasting / Vrat ka khana ) and some to be offered to goddess Durga as Bhog / Naivedhyam. How about making a delicious and quick dessert, which can serve both as a fasting food and Naivedhyam ?


Here's such  a quick , fasting recipe with just 3 ingredients !! Yes just three..the recipe calls for use of  scrapped fresh Coconut , roasted Peanut powder and powdered Sugar. Just blend these three ingredients and bind them into ball shape. Ta da you are done ! If you have roasted peanuts ready at hand , then this is a no cook recipe . This Peanut Coconut ladoo are not only very easy to make but they are filling and can be made in a jiffy.


The ladoos serve best for any festive occasion. Apart from being a filling fasting food ( food for vrat) , these white balls are loved by one and all. Can be packed as a healthy snack for kids or simply enjoyed to satisfy ones sweet cravings!!

Ingredients: 1 cup =200 ml

  • 2 cup fresh Coconut , scrapped
  • 1 1/2 cup Peanuts
  • 1/2 cup Sugar or as per taste
  • Saffron strands for garnishing (optional)

  Method:
  1. Heat up a pan on medium flame. Add peanuts to it. Roast them on low to medium heat for about 10 minutes. 

  2.  Allow the peanuts to cool down. Remove the skin by gently rubbing the roasted peanuts and grind them to a coarse powder in a grinder. Remove and keep aside. Now grind the sugar to powder.


  3.  In a large mixing bowl , combine scrapped Coconut, roasted peanut powder and powdered sugar. Mix well .


  4.  Bind the mixture to a round shape of desired size. The moisture from the fresh coconut is enough to bind the ladoos. 


  5.  Repeat the same for all the ladoos. Garnish the ladoos with Saffron strands and serve. You can refrigerate the ladoos for 2-3 days. But they taste best when fresh .



  I hope you would love to give this recipe a try. Do not forget to give your valuable feed back. 
For more Coconut recipes , do check my posts on


Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Aluchya Vadya / Patra / Savory Taro Leaves Snacks Recipe


Alu vadi is a popular stuffed taro leaf (Colocasia) starter dish in west region of India. It is known as Patra in Gujarati and Aluchya Vadya in Marathi. In this savoury steamed leaf roll recipe , a spicy, tangy and slightly sweet gram flour batter is applied on the arbi (Taro)leaves. This smeared leaves are then stacked upon each other , rolled and then steamed. The steamed multi-layered taro leaf roll is then cut into slices and tempered or deep fried.   


Taro leaves / Colocasia well known as Arbi ke pate in Hindi are extremely nutritious and contain numerous micro-nutrients in vast quantities. Rich in dietary fiber , these leaves have good amount of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. They have 0% cholesterol while their total fat contributes by only 1 %. Taro has low levels of saturated fat , and that is the major reason why it is claimed to be a healthy food for the heart. Looking at this health benefits , it is clear that adding these evergreen leaves in our diet can improve our health and wellness.
Source: ..https://www.livealittlelonger.com/taro-leaves/


Aluchya vadya are crispy on the outside and soft and moist from within. When deep fried, they can be served plain as a starter dish or with some dip or chutney. They also make a perfect tea time snacks. I usually avoid deep frying and temper the steamed slices instead with caramelised onions and serve them as a side dish with chapatti or Dal rice.

Best part is that we can prepare for this dish ahead of time. The stuffed steamed taro leaves rolls can be packed in zip lock bags and refrigerated until use and deep fried or tempered just before serving.

Serves: 25-30 slices
Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time : 20 minutes

Main Ingredient:
  •  12-15 Colocasia leaves (Taro leaves) /Arabi ke patte
For Gram Flour / Besan batter :
  • 1 ½ cup gram flour / Besan
  • 2 tbsp. of rice flour
  • ¼ tsp Carom seeds / Ajwain
  • 2 tbsp. of coriander cumin powder / dhaniya jeera powder
  • 1 tsp of red chili Powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder / haldi
  • ¼ tsp Asafoetida / hing
  • 2 tbsp. or more of crushed or powdered jaggery/ gud
  • 2 tbsp. of tamarind soaked in ¼ cup of warm water
  • 1 tsp. Oil
  • Water as required
  • Salt to taste

For tempering:
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp red chilly powder (optional)
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • Salt to taste

Method:
  1. Soak the tamarind in warm water for 10 minutes.


  2.  Meanwhile wash the taro leaves and wipe them with a kitchen towel. Squeeze out the tamarind directly in the water and extract the pulp. 

                                

  3. To a large mixing bowl ,add the spice powders (Coriander cumin powder , red chili powder , garam masala, turmeric powder, hing) , Carom seeds , salt ,jaggery and 1 tsp oil to the tamarind pulp.



  4.  To this add the rice flour and gram flour and make a thick paste which can be easily applied over the leaves. Use water as required. Taste the batter and add salt or jaggery powder if required.


   5.  We will be using 4-5 leaves per roll. Place one leaf face down on a clean board or plate. Apply the gram flour paste over it in a thin layer. Now place another leaf over it but in opposite direction. Repeat the same for 5- 6 leaves. Tuck in the edges of the leaves and apply batter on them. Now roll them tightly in horizontal direction. Similarly prepare the rest 2 rolls.




  6.  Place the rolls on a greased steamer pan and steam for about 15 minutes.


  7.  Once the rolls cool down , slice them and either deep fry or temper them.


  8.  For tempering, Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Add mustard seeds , once they splutter add the cumin seeds followed by the crushed garlic cloves. Saute for a while and add finely chopped onions to it followed by turmeric powder. Stir fry the onions for 1-2 minutes. Now add salt and chili powder and mix well.


  9.  To this add the steamed stuffed taro leaf slices and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Take care not to break the slices while doing so. Put off the flame and serve the Aluchya vadya warm with chapatti or just like that with some chutney of your choice.




  I hope you would love to give this recipe a try. Do not forget to give your valuable feed back. For more recipes using leafy vegetables, do check my posts on


Friday, 16 September 2016

Black Eyed Bean / Lobia Salad Recipe / Healthy Eating


Black Eyed Bean also known as lobia in Hindi is packed with lots of health benefits. This legume is rich in antioxidants ,contains necessary flavinoids , is low in calories and has no cholesterol . It helps in weight loss and is good for heart and the digestive system.


Lobia is called chavali in Marathi and we Maharashtrians make a spicy curry called chavalichi usal from it. I will share that recipe sometime later. Today i am here with a delicious , filling and protein packed salad recipe using this healthy legume. A refreshing salad which can be had as a breakfast or served during lunch. If you have boiled lobia ready at hand , this salad can be made in a jiffy. This oil free dish can be enjoyed as a guilt free snacks in between meals or served to kids after school. This salad is great breakfast option for all the fitness freaks and all those who intend to loose weight. 


Adding fruits and veggies to the boiled black eyed beans makes this salad all the more appealing and healthier. I have added chopped Apples, Cucumber, Tomatoes , Onions, Pomegranate seeds , Coriander leaves and Lime juice . You may add carrots, boiled potatoes , beetroot or any fruit or vegetable of your choice to the salad.

Serves: 2
Preparation Time : 6 hours ( including the time required for soaking the beans)
Cooking Time : 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • ½  cup Black Eyed Beans / Lobia
  • ¼ cup chopped Apple
  • ¼  cup chopped Cucumber
  • ¼ cup Pomegranate Seeds
  • 1 small Tomato , finely chopped
  • 1 small Onion , finely chopped (optional)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh Coriander leaves
  • ½ tsp Chaat masala (optional)
  • ½  tsp freshly ground Black Pepper Corns
  • Salt to taste.

Method:

  1. Rinse and soak the Black Eyed Beans in enough water for 6 hours or overnight. Drain the beans and boil them using fresh water either in an open vessel or in a pressure cooker for 1-2 whistle. Lobia cook very fast so be cautious and do not over cook them.

    2.    Meanwhile chop all the fruits and veggies and keep ready. 


   3.  In a large mixing bowl take all the chopped fruits and vegetables and the boiled beans. Season it with salt , pepper powder , chaat masala and lime juice. Toss very well . Garnish with chopped coriander and serve.




For more healthy salad recipes , do check my posts on


Sunday, 11 September 2016

Puliyodharai / Pulihora - South Indian Tamarind Rice Recipe


Pulihora , Puliyodarai , Puliyogare is a common rice preparation in the South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh , Telangana, Karnataka  and Tamil Nadu. Puli in Pulihora can be translated as "sour taste" referring to the characterizing use of tamarind as one of the main ingredients. Source: Wikipedia


Basically a tamarind rice preparation, Pulihora is a popular travel food known for its long shelf life. One can also find this rice served as Naivedhyam (Prasad) in most of the South Indian Temples. This classic dish is a perfect blend of tangy and spicy flavors. The roasted lentils and spices used in the spice mix make the rice aromatic and flavorful. Serves as a quick lunch box menu if you have the Puliyodharai spice mix and tamarind sauce ready at hand. Generally served with papadam and vadam. Learnt this simple recipe from one of my south Indian friend Subhashini , during my stay in Hyderabad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw Rice
  • Large lemon size Tamarind
  • 3-4 tbsp Gingelly oil (Sesame Oil)
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
Puliyodharai Spice Mix :

  • 4-5 dry red Chilies
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp White Sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper corn
  • 1 tsp skinned and split black gram
  • 1 tsp split Bengal gram
For Seasoning :

  • 1/4 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 2-3 dry red chilies , (break into two and deseed )
  • 1 tsp skinned and split black gram
  • 1 tsp split Bengal gram
  • 1-2 sprig of Curry leaves
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts
Method:

  1. Wash and drain the rice. In a sauce pan heat 2 1/2 cups of water with 1 tsp of  oil and salt. To this add  the rice and cook the rice in such a way that each grain is separate.


  2. Meanwhile we can prepare the spice powder for Puliyodharai. Heat a non stick pan and roast all the ingredients listed under Puliyodharai spice mix separately on a low to medium heat until fragrant. Cool and grind them to a powder in a grinder. Keep aside.




  3.  Soak a large lemon size tamarind in 1/2 cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Extract the pulp and keep aside until use.Spread the cooked rice on a wide plate to cool down . Add 1 tsp of oil and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder to the rice when still warm and mix well to coat the rice. Take care not to break the rice while doing so. 

                                                 

 5.  In a non stick wok , heat the remaining oil and add mustard seeds. Once the seeds crackle add the split and skinned black gram and split Bengal gram and stir fry until golden brown. Now add curry leaves, dry red chilies and roasted peanuts. Stir fry for a minute on low flame. 



  6  Add the remaining 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and tamarind pulp at this stage and cook the mixture until it thickens and oil start floating above the sauce. Add 2 tbsp or more Puliyodharai spice powder or as per taste to the tamarind sauce. Stir fry for a while and put off the flame.




7.  Reserve some of this thick sauce and add remaining to the cooled rice and mix it evenly using your finger tips. Taste the rice at this stage (if it is not to be offered as prasad) and adjust the salt as per requirement. Add the reserved tamarind spice paste if more of tangy taste or spiciness is desired. 


  8.  Let the rice sit for at least 1-2 hours before serving , so that all the flavors get incorporated well with the rice.


  I hope you would love to give this recipe a try. Do not forget to give your valuable feed back. 
For more rice recipes , do check my posts on


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