Diwali Special: Crunchy Thattai

Got reminded of crunchy thattai snack as it’s Diwali today

My experiments with cooking

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Thattai is a yummy South Indian delight made with rice, urad and chana dal. It’s crunchy, tasty and rocks 😊

This treasured recipe comes from my grandmother Vijayam Thathi and I can assure you that it is a 100% fool proof recipe.

When my grandmother and mom prepared this for me last year, I thought it was really easy to make as they did this with so much ease and perfection. When my husband and I began making this we realized Thattai making is a big project. It requires lots of patience and is certainly fun to make this as well. The project was successful with lots of help from my husband and lil one who loves to see me experiment in the kitchen. Of course, I made to sure to keep him away while frying the Thattai. Since this recipe involves frying, please be cautious while trying this out…

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Chocolate Nut Burfi

Happy Diwali to everyone ! For this Diwali try this yummy dry fruit burfi with a chocolaty twist !

Ingredients

  • Dry fruits – cashew, almond, pistachio or walnuts – any combination – 400 g
  • Sugar – 400 g
  • Ghee – 150 g, plus additional to grease the plate
  • Cardamom – 1/2 tsp
  • Hot chocolate ready mix – 120 g
  • Water, just enough to immerse the sugar ( a little more than 1/2 cup approximately )

Method

  • Powder all the nuts with some cardamom to a fine powder
  • First make the sugar syrup by mixing sugar and water on a low to medium flame until the syrup thickens and the froth reduces
  • Once the sugar syrup is thick keep adding the nuts powder and keep stirring until no lumps form. Add some ghee and mix well
  • Keep adding the ghee a little by little, at regular intervals
  • Keep stirring it until the entire mixture leaves the sides of the pan and comes together like a mass just like halwa
  • Finally add the 120 g hot chocolate mix and switch off the flame. Stir in the hot chocolate mix until it mixes very well and blends in. Just switch on the flame for few seconds and give a stir
  • Immediately transfer to a plate greased with ghee and spread it well
  • After 2-3 hours it will be ready to cut into pieces or moulded into shapes using a cookie cutter

Enjoy 😊

Granola Version 2

This is my second version of granola inspired by my aunt Banu Chithi. All her recipes have come out yummy and perfect so far, so this granola is delicious ! Try out this yummy granola recipe. You can eat it just like a snack, use it in parfait or even eat it like a cereal !

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cup nuts ( I used walnuts, almonds – you can use pecans, sunflower seeds whatever combination you like )
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cup dry fruits ( I used raisins, dried cranberry, dried blueberry – you can use any combination )
  • Vanilla essence ( optional ) – 1/4 tsp

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit
  • In a large saucepan, warm the oil and maple syrup. Do not bring to a boil just mix them together and make it warm. Remove from heat and mix in the vanilla
  • Mix the oats, nuts, dry fruits, cinnamon and brown sugar in a large bowl
  • Pour the warm oil and maple syrup mixture over it and mix well
  • Pour the contents on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes to an hour until the entire granola is evenly brown
  • Keep stirring the granola every 15 minutes so that it gets an even colour
  • Keep a close watch on the granola in the last 10 minutes to prevent it from burning !

Enjoy your granola 😊

Kerala Boli

Happy Onam everyone ! For this Onam I would like to share a special recipe for Kerala Boli. It is an authentic foolproof recipe for Boli, shared by my aunt Aparna. The end result of the effort is delicious Boli on your Onam Sadya plate or banana leaf !

Ingredients

  • Chana dal – 2 cups
  • Sugar – 2 cups
  • Gingelly oil – 1 cup
  • Maida – 4 cups
  • Water as required
  • Nutmeg powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric – a pinch
  • Ghee – 1/4 cup
  • Rice flour for making the bolis

Method

  • Cook the chana dal with plenty of water in a pressure cooker for 1 whistle
  • Strain the water and add some cold water – just enough to immerse all of the dal and boil it again
  • Add the sugar and 3 tsps of ghee and cook on a medium flame. Stir continuously till it becomes semi-solid. It should reach the consistency of a halwa
  • Stir in the cardamom and nutmeg and grind to a fine paste. The paste should be dry enough to shape into a round ball for the filling. If you find that the paste is watery, microwave on high power for 3-4 minutes until you get a dry mixture. This is very important otherwise when you roll into a Boli with the filling, it will ooze out !
  • Mix the flour and turmeric and add enough water to make a soft dough. Pour the oil over it and knead well till the dough becomes supersoft. Keep aside for at least 2-3 hours. If you make the Boli immediately, it will not have a soft texture. Hence keeping aside is an important step here !
  • Divide the dal mixture and the flour mixture equally and roll into bolis using the rice flour to ensure that it does not stick to the board or pin.Flatten each ball of dough in your palm, and stuff with one portion of the filling. Cover and sea the edges and roll into a Boli, like a round roti using the rice flour to prevent it from sticking to the board.
  • Heat on a tava and cook on a gentle flame on both sides. Smear ghee and keep the bolis separately till cool to prevent them sticking together

Enjoy 😊

Eggless Chocolate Walnut Cake

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Try out this moist and yummy chocolate walnut cake ! This recipe uses yogurt or curd as an egg substitute and it is a very moist cake. This recipe is adapted from Chef Nilima Verma’s recipe for eggless chocolate cake.

Ingredients

  • 200 g all purpose flour (maida)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 100 g butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup plain thick yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Powdered sugar and grated chocolate for decoration

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Grease an 8 inch round cake tin with butter and lightly dust with flour over the butter. Turn the tin upside down and tap gently to remove excess flour
  • Mix the yogurt with baking soda and set aside to froth for around 10-15 minutes
  • Sift the flour and salt together and keep aside
  • Place butter, cocoa powder, sugar and warm water in a pan and stand in a bowl of simmering warm water or use a double boiler and mix well until the sugar dissolves and all the ingredients come together
  • Set the butter, cocoa and sugar mixture aside to cool
  • Add flour to the butter, cocoa, sugar mixture gradually . At this stage, use a folding in movement, i.e. mix well in one direction so that there are no air bubbles formed. Do not beat or stir at this stage as over-handling will make the cake tough in texture. You can either use a spatula or a stand mixer at a lower speed for the mixing process
  • Stir in the yogurt soda mixture and mix well
  • Add the walnuts and mix well
  • Pour the batter in the well greased and dusted cake tin
  • Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40-45 minutes or more (depending on your oven settings) until the cake passes the following tests :
    • Test by lightly touching the centre of cake when minimum cooking time is up. If no imprint is left, the cake is done
    • Pierce a fine skewer in the centre of cake, if it comes out clean, it is done
  • Before you attempt to turn the cake, leave the bowls (with the cakes) to cool on cooling rack for at least one hour
  • After an hour, loosen each cake from the sides of the bowl and turn out on a large plate. You can gently tap the base of the tin once you turn it to ease this process
  • Decorate the cake by dusting it with powdered sugar (You can use a sieve for dusting the powdered sugar)
  • Add another layer of decoration using grated chocolate. Take a bar of chocolate and grate it on top of the cake until it is fully covered

Enjoy the delicious and yummy cake !

Custard Cookies


Custard Cookies – soft, melt in the mouth and a delightful treat for kids snack box. This recipe is inspired by Chef Venkatesh Bhatt’s OTG special episode in the show ‘Samayal Samayal’. Instead of buying biscuits and cookies from the store Mr Bhatt suggested we bake them at home for our little ones, and that’s exactly what I did. These cookies are very hard to resist, but I am still keeping my hands off the cookie tin and saving it for my kids snack box 😀

Makes: 50-60 cookies (If you make it in a round shape of 1 inch diameter), 150 cookies (If you make small star shape cookies)

Ingredients

  • All purpose flour – 300 g
  • Confectionary sugar (Powdered sugar) – 175 g
  • Custard powder – 75 g
  • Butter – 350g – 375g (The more you add, the softer the cookies – I added around 370g)
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Finely chopped almonds for decorating the cookie

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Mix the flour, sugar, custard powder well
  • Add the butter to the dry ingredients and leave it in the bowl until the butter melts
  • Once the butter melts, gently knead to a smooth dough
  • Shape the cookie into any desired shape using a cookie cutter or shape it into flat round shape using your hand. I shaped it to a round shape with my little one’s help
  • Top each cookie with the chopped almond(s) and line on a cookie sheet
  • When using 2 cookie sheets, position a rack in the upper and lower thirds of the oven (assuming a regular, non-convection oven). Place one cookie tray in the upper rack and place the second cookie tray after 5 minutes. Rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back after around 10 minutes. Check the cookies on both the sheets after 15-20 minutes
  • Allow the cookies to cool on a cooling rack for a sufficient time
  • Once cooled store in an air tight container

These cookies have a great shelf life, so you can store them for 2-3 weeks :), that is if they last 😀

Moong dal and bread patties


A quick and easy to make snack for your little one. This recipe is inspired by an idea given by my grandmother – Sethu Paatie ” to my aunt Vidya Mami. She suggested combining moong dal and bread to make delicious patties for kids !

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup moong dal
  • 2 slices white bread
  • Salt, to taste
  • Red chilli powder to taste
  • Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
  • Bread crumbs for rolling 

Method

  • Pressure cooker 1/2 cup moong dal for 2-3 whistles until well cooked
  • Mash the moong dal along with 2 slices of bread
  • Mix salt, red chilli powder and garam masala
  • Shape the mixture into balls, flatten into a disc and roll it in bread crumbs 
  • Heat oil in a pan and add 2-3 patties depending on the size of your pan 
  • Fry for a minute or so until the base is golden brown
  • Flip on the other side and fry again until golden brown 

Serve hot with green chutney or ketchup