Banana Blossom Vada

Just like any child I don’t have much affection for vegetables. And if they happen to be some unusual one’s I will just run away.

One day we were invited at a friend’s place for dinner. It was vegetarian dinner as our friend’s family was celebrating some festival. Our friend’s wife served us some deep-fried vada. They tasted just awesome. When I asked her what they were made of, she mentioned “banana blossom”. I was like dumbstruck. Can this vegetable taste so good? My mother always made a dry version vegetable recipe of it, served with rice.

I was really surprised and happy too. However, I didn’t know how to clean the banana blossom. Now as my mom is here with me and the blossom was available at the grocery store, I decided to make these vada.

The base recipe was shared by my friend to which I have made few changes. I will share how to clean banana blossom sooner.

Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 1 cup banana blossom, cleaned and chopped
  • 3/4 cup bengal gram ( Channa dal)
  • 2 tbsp black gram (urad dal)
  • 2 tsp rice
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder ( Indian curry powder)
  • dash of asafoetida
  • Salt as per taste
  • Coriander and curry leaves, chopped
  • Oil for frying

Method :

  1. Soak the dals and rice overnight.(I usually prefer soaking them overnight but if you want to prepare them quickly then they need to be soaked at least for 3 hours.)
  2. Drain the water from the above and grind them coarsely along with cumin seeds without adding any water.
  3. Remove them in a bowl.
  4. Now drain water from the chopped banana blossom and grind this too without any water. (The water in the soaked banana blossom and the dals is enough for grinding).
  5. Remove the above in the same bowl as ground dals. Add rest of the ingredients except oil and mix well.
  6. Heat oil in a saucepan for deep-frying. Grease your palm with water and make medium-sized vada or patties.
  7. Fry them in hot oil till golden brown. Serve hot with ketchup or chutney.

Advertisements

Saanjori/Sweet Semolina dessert stuffed tortilla

As I had mentioned in the Puranpoli recipe that I would be soon posting another stuffed tortilla recipe. So here I have come up with Saanjori – ‘Saanjo or Saano‘ means dessert made from slightly butter roasted semolina (most commonly known as Sheera or Sooji Halwa) stuffed into ‘Puri’ – tortilla or mini tortilla.

So here goes the recipe!

IMG_20160727_171858.jpg

Recipe :

Ingredients :

For the Semolina dessert/Sheera :

  • 1 cup semolina
  • 2 cups hot boiling water
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 big banana or 2 elaichi bananas/small bananas (Optional)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp ghee (melted butter)
  • few strands of saffron (optional)

For the covering :

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5-6 tbsp ghee (melted butter)

Method :

  1. Mix the ingredients for the covering and knead into a soft dough using water as required. Cover and keep aside the dough.
  2. In a non stick pan, heat ghee. Add the semolina and fry for few minutes. Do not allow the semolina to turn brown.
  3. Add the saffron and mix well.IMG_20160727_103819
  4. Add the hot water to the semolina. Close the lid and let it cook.
  5. Once the water is a little evaporated but not completely dry, mash the banana and add to the softened semolina.
  6. Then add sugar and salt. Mix well and check the taste.
  7. When almost about to dry, add the cardamom powder and turn off the gas.
  8. The sheera stuffing is now ready. Allow it to cool.IMG_20160727_104620
  9. Take a golf ball size amount of dough and roll into a small disc.IMG_20160727_170319
  10. Take a small ball of sheera and put it in the middle of the dough disc.IMG_20160727_170418
  11. Cover the sheera ball joining the edges of the dough disc which will turn again into a ball.IMG_20160727_171935
  12. Roll this ball again into a disc.IMG_20160727_172049
  13. Fry on hot griddle applying ghee on either sides.IMG_20160727_171913
  14. Repeat for rest of the dough and sheera.IMG_20160727_172020

IMG_20160727_104620-COLLAGE

Chicken salad mayonnaise roll

Just like prawn rissois, chicken roll has been my favorite since childhood. I think it was one of the first bakery items my parents had given me to taste along with cupcakes. Pasteralia chicken roll was my favorite then and had set the standard for my taste buds. As years passed by different pastry shops emerged and they invented many more varieties of chicken rolls like chicken tikka roll, cafreal roll, etc and the initial chicken salad mayonnaise roll faded away.

Few years back while I was in Pune seeking my career, my husband introduced me to a cafe named Skips which served various breakfast platters. One of them was the chicken roll platter, after eating which I felt nostalgic. I was always under the impression that chicken roll was a western dish. However, I never found any roll  here in US take would again make me feel nostalgic.

Here I shall share my recipe in an attempt to prepare the same Chicken salad mayonnaise roll with Indian touch.

IMG_20160716_184630

Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 200 gms of boneless chicken pieces
  • One big leaf of cabbage or lettuce
  • 4 small bread roll buns
  • butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/4 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1/8 medium-sized capsicum, chopped
  • 1/2 medium-sized carrot, cut lengthwise and fine
  • 1/4-1/2 cup cabbage, shredded finely
  • few sprigs of coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • salt as per taste
  • 1 tsp red chilli sauce
  • 1 tsp green chilli sauce
  • 1/2 tsp italian herbs
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder

Method:

  1. Boil chicken breast pieces with italian herbs, pepper powder and salt. (Take enough water for boiling and boil till water is reduced to bare minimum. This will cook the chicken and make it soft.)
  2. Shred the boiled chicken.IMG_20160716_154058
  3. Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Saute the onion and ginger garlic paste till onion become transparent and paste turns little brown.
  4. To it add carrot, capsicum, and cabbage and saute well.
  5. Once cooked, add red chilli and green chilli sauce and mix well.
  6. Now add the shredded chicken pieces. Then add salt and pepper powder as per taste.(Remember that you had already put some while boiling chicken, so add accordingly.)
  7. Check the taste and add seasoning if required. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  8. Allow the filling to cool.
  9. Meanwhile, make slits into the bread bun rolls and apply butter to the inner sides of the rolls.
  10. Take a piece of cabbage or lettuce leaf and spread it inside the roll.
  11. In the filling, add mayonnaise (as much as required) and mix.IMG_20160716_181417
  12. Take 1-2 spoonful of the filling and stuff inside the bun roll either above or below the leaf. Enjoy!!

Note: Some like the veggies to remain crunchy so while you saute the veggies leave them half cooked.

IMG_20160716_181417-COLLAGE

Puranpoli / Sweetened bengal gram stuffed tortilla

Puranpoli is a sweet form of chapati – a chapati(poli) stuffed with puran – a mixture of boiled bengal gram and jaggery. It is an item prepared in most states of India like Goa, Maharastra, Gujrat, Karnataka,etc during festivals. If I need to translate it in English, I would name it as sweetened bengal gram stuffed tortilla. There is another form of stuffed tortilla – Saanjori whose recipe I shall share in future.

Some people in some states even use sugar instead of jaggery. You can even use botth in equal proportions. My mum-in-law bears the expertise in making puranpoli. When she made and fed us, I never bothered to indulge in noticing the recipe. But after coming here, I decided to attempt it on my own to surprise my hubby, my parents and my mum-in-law too.

IMG_20160713_075718

Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 1 1/4 cup bengal gram (channa dal)
  • 1 1/4 cup jaggery
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder (If the cardamom powder is too strong, use only 1/2 tsp of it)
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric powder (haldi)
  • salt as per taste
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (maida)
  • salt , oil for kneading the dough
  • extra flour for making the polis

Note : Remember that to make the best puran, you need to take bengal gram and jaggery/sugar in equal proportion. Eg. for 1 cup bengal gram, use 1 cup jaggery or 1 cup sugar. If you intend to use both jaggery and sugar, then for 1 cup bengal gram, use 1/2 cup jaggery and 1/2 cup sugar.

Also, many use same quantity of maida as that of bengal gram. But I preferred using a little more so that I should not fall short of . 😉

Method :

  1. Wash channa dal thoroughly well, soak for 5 hours and then pressure cook it for 5-6 whistles.
  2. Once pressure is completely released, remove the dal and drain any water that remains.
  3. Put this dal in a non stick pan, to it add the jaggery and turn on the gas. Keep stirring occassionally so that the mixture does not get burnt and stick to the bottom of the pan. The jaggery will melt down.IMG_20160712_114510
  4. Add the cardamom powder, tumeric powder and salt as per taste. Mix well.
  5. While the mixture almost begins to dry but still has slight watery consistency, put off the gas.
  6. Transfer the mixture into a mixie jar and grind it. After grinding, it will ideally dry on its own and form a lump. If not, then again tranfer to the saucepan and heat till puran dries up, leaves the sides and forms a lump. Take care that it doesn’t get burnt or stick to the pan.IMG_20160712_115156
  7. Knead a soft dough with all purpose flour, oil and salt as per taste. You can also add little of turmeric powder(optional) while you knead the dough to enhance the color of the final poli. Coat the kneaded dough with excess oil and keep it covered for half an hour. I usually keep the dough wrapped in wet but squeezed muslin cloth.
  8. Make golf size balls of puran and similarly make equivalent number of balls of dough.IMG-20160712-WA0025-COLLAGE
  9. Take a dough ball and roll it into a small roti just enough to cover up the puran ball.
  10. Put the puran ball in the middle of the roti and cover the puran with the roti.IMG-20160712-WA0033-COLLAGE
  11. Cover the puran stuffed dough ball with more than enough flour and start rolling into a medium sized disc. Keep applying enough  flour while rolling.WhatsApp-Image-20160712_10
  12. Tip : Sometimes, some find it difficult to achieve step 8-10. Alternate for this is – divide the dough into twice the number of puran balls i.e. two dough balls for one puran ball. Take two dough balls and roll each ball into small discs ( around 2-3 inch in dia., enough to accommodate the puran ball). Flatten the puran ball into a patti and place it in between the dough discs. Seal the edges of the dough discs together such that the puran is well sealed and locked between the dough. Roll this stuffed dough disc further into a medium sized disc, applying enough flour while rolling.
  13. Cook the poli on a hot tava or griddle on both the sides by applying ghee (butter) and flipping over only once.IMG-20160712-WA0041
  14. Serve hot with melted ghee for breakfast or snacks.

IMG-20160712-WA0032-COLLAGE.jpg

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Usually recipes for pancakes use all-purpose flour or maida and probably pancakes prepared with all purpose flour are tastier not healthier though..I like baking cakes and cookies which mostly use all purpose flour. So I thought of finding an alternative for maida here, so as to compensate the maida usage. Health is priority without compromising much on taste 🙂

IMG_20150930_100216

Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2-4 tsp sugar (powdered)
  • 1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup milk mixed with 1 tbsp vinegar (or 1 tbsp of lemon juice)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • maple or breakfast syrup as accompaniment
  • little butter for garnish

Method :

  1. Mix dry ingredients together. Incase, you intend to serve the pancakes with maple syrup, the 2-3 tsp of sugar would suffice. But if you intend to serve it plain, then you can increase the sugar quantity as per your taste (atleast 4 tsp).
  2. If you have buttermilk readily available, then use one cup of it. If not then as a substitute take a cup of milk and add to it 1 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice and set it aside for few minutes. Then add this to the egg , to it add melted butter and whisk.
  3.  Add the liquid ingredients mixture to the dry ingredient mixture and mix them well to form a smooth non-lumpy batter.
  4. In a non-stick thick bottom pan, apply little butter. Once hot, pour a laddle full of batter into the pan and spread it to form a circular disc.
  5. Flip it over, once it turns brown on one side. Allow it to cook on other side as well.
  6. Make around 2-3 pancakes in the same manner and stack them one over the other. Serve the pancake stack with maple or breakfast syrup and little butter.

IMG_20150930_100155-COLLAGE

Spicy Appe

Appe or Ellape (in my mother tongue Konkani) is a dish quite similar to dosa or idli. But appe whether spicy or sweet can be eaten as is and don’t require any accompaniment like chutney or sambhar is required with dosa or idli. However, appe require a special pan for its making called the appe patra. Nowadays, as people are becoming more health conscious, they prefer using this pan for frying (deep frying) over the traditional deep frying method as the former consumes less oil.

Today I would like to share the spicy appe recipe which has been passed on to me by my mum. I plan to share the sweet appe recipe too in future.

IMG_20150903_075126

Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 2 cups rice
  • 1 cup urad dal
  • 1/2 cup idli rawa or 1/2 cup channa dal
  • pinch of soda bicarb
  • salt as per taste
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2-4 green chillies, chopped
  • a small piece of ginger, chopped
  • few springs of coriander leaves, chopped

Method:

  1. Take two bowls. In one soak rice and in the other soak urad dal and idli rawa (or channa dal) for atleast5 hours.
  2. After 5 hours, grind it and allow the batter to ferment for another 5 hours.
  3. Just before preparing the appes, add chopped onion, green chillies, ginger, coriander leaves, salt and soda bicarb.
  4. Heat the appe pan and add just little oil in each hole of the pan. Put spoonful of batter in each hole, cover it and allow to cook on one side. Then flip and allow to cook on the other.
  5. The appe are ready to serve alongwith pudina chutney.

IMG_20150903_075126-COLLAGE