Neiappam V 4.0

This is my fourth variation of neiappam. This seems to be the best of all versions according to my family 😀

Ingredients

  • Rice flour – 1/2 cup
  • Jaggery – 1 cup
  • Water – 1/8 cup
  • Black sesame seeds, 1 tsp
  • Cut pieces of coconut, 1/8 cup
  • 2 small bananas or one medium banana
  • A pinch of soda
  • Ghee to fry the appam

Method

  • Dissolve the jaggery in 1/8 cup and strain the jaggery and keep aside
  • Grind the bananas to a fine paste and mix with the jaggery
  • Add the rice flour a little by little and keep mixing well until you get consistency like idly batter. Add more water if required at this stage
  • Add a pinch of soda and let the appam batter stay for 45 minutes to an hour
  • Heat a paniyaram pan with ghee
  • Pour spoonfuls of appam batter in each hole
  • When you see a color change at the top of the appam it’s ready to turn
  • The appam should cook well on both sides and turn reddish brown
  • Optimally you can coat the appam with sugar once it’s done
  • Let the appam cool down and then store in air tight container

Masala biscuit

Baking cookies is my stress buster and I have been always baking sweet and sugary cookies. For a change I wanted to bake some savory and salty cookies, my Mother in law had also been suggesting the same for a while. Another big experiment I did was trying to bake these biscuits on a dosa tava and it turned out to be a big hit, and it gets done in less than 10 minutes. So are you ready to try out masala cookies ?

My recipe is inspired by Chef Chandri Bhat’s recipe for masala biscuit.

Ingredients 

  • Whole wheat flour – 2 cups
  • Butter – 1/2 cup (115 g)
  • Powdered sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Salt – 2 tsp
  • Baking powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Buttermilk – 4 tbsp
  • Green chillies, 1 -2 or 2-3 depending on the spice level you wish, we used 1 as we wanted minimum spice
  • 1-2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • Ginger, 2 cm
  • A few coriander leaves
  • A few mint leaves (if you like mint flavour, else skip it)

Method

  • Sift the flour with baking powder and keep aside
  • Grind the green chillies, ginger, curry leaves, coriander leaves and mint and make a coarse paste
  • Melt the butter for a minute in the microwave and keep aside
  • Mix the butter with sugar and salt until it blends well
  • Add the flour and baking powder mixture and mix well
  • Add the buttermilk, chilly-ginger-curry leaves-coriander-mint paste and knead well until it forms a smooth dough. The dough should not be very stiff, if it’s very stiff add a little more buttermilk
  • Preheat a greased dosa tava for at least 10 minutes
  • Turn the stove to a low flame when you are ready to place the cookies on it
  •  Shape the dough into a flat round shape using your hand and place it on the tava
  • Cook both sides until nicely brown
  • Once all the biscuits are done, switch off the tava and place all the biscuits on the tava. This will make them very crispy
  • Allow the biscuits to cool and them store them in an air tight container

 

Whole wheat samosas

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The crispy and delicious snack samosa has been on my to-try list for a while now. It’s a special Indian snack that’s a hit with hot chai. Try out this whole wheat samosa stuffed with potatoes and green peas. This samosa is made with mild spice, so adjust the spice accordingly if you want a spicier version.

Ingredients

  • For the covering
    • 1 1/2 cup flour
    • 6 tbsp oil
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp ajwain
  • Oil for deep frying
  • For the filling
    • 5 small size potatoes or 4 medium size potatoes (should be rough 2 cups of chopped and boiled potatoes)
    • 1/2 cup green peas, boiled
    • 3 tbsp oil
    • 1-2 green chillies, chopped
    • Salt, to taste
    • 1 tsp red chilli powder
    • 1 tsp tamarind paste
    • 1/4 tsp garam masala
    • 1/2 anardana (dry pomegranate seeds) powdered

Method

  • Knead together the ingredients for the covering and make a tight dough. Add water as needed to make a firm dough. Leave the dough covered with a wet muslin cloth for 10-15 minutes. Remember the consistency of the dough should be firm and smooth
  • Boil the potatoes, peel and cut into cubes
  • Boil the green peas
  • To make the filling, heat oil in a pan, add the green chillies. After a minute, add the potatoes and green peas. Add salt and mix well. Add the remaining spices – red chilli powder, tamarind paste, garam masala and anardana powder and mix well. Remove from heat and let it cool
  • How to make the samosas
    • Divide the dough into 8-9 equal portions. Roll out each portion into a ball and roll each ball into a small roti. Cut each roti into half. Pick up one half and bring the edges together to form a cone shape. Add 2 tsp of filling into the center of the dough and seal the edges with a little ghee. This step is very important, it’s important to seal the edges tightly and using ghee does the trick here 
  • Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Deep fry the samosa in oil on medium fire until it is crisp and golden in color

Serve hot samosas with sweet chutney or mint chutney and enjoy it with your hot Chai 🙂

Eggless Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

Try these delicious chocolate chip cookies made with the goodness of ghee, almonds, milk and jaggery. This recipe is inspired by Tasty’s recipe of Browned butter chocolate chip cookie : https://tasty.co/compilation/vegan-browned-butter-chocolate-chip-cookies-and-vanilla-cashew-milk

Ingredients

  • 3 oz almonds, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup melted ghee
  • 3/4 cup jaggery
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups self rising flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chocolate chunks

Method

  • Toast the almonds on medium flame for 5-7 minutes and keep aside
  • Sift the flour, mix the salt and keep aside
  • Combine the ghee, jaggery and sugar and microwave for 30 seconds until the sugar dissolves. Mix in the vanilla extract once you take the mixture out of the microwave
  • Sift the flour mixture with the wet ingredients and fold in using a spatula.  At this stage, make a dough using a cut and fold movement to add the flour and blend it with the rest of the batter. Make sure you do not over mix at this stage
  • Fold in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed
  • The batter should not be very runny, otherwise you will end up burning the cookies. If you feel the batter is too runny, add a few tbsp of flour to balance
  • Pre-heat an oven to 160 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit for around 10 minutes
  • Line 2 cookies sheets with parchment paper
  • Scoop out around 1 Tbsp cookie dough onto your baking sheet and place them 2 inch apart. The cookie dough should be roughly the size of a ping pong ball
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes until the cookies look puffy, dry to touch and browned from top and around edges
  • Allow the cookies to cool on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes

Store in an air tight cookie tin and enjoy these delicious cookies !

Chocolate Carrot Walnut Loaf

Enjoy this delicious chocolate carrot walnut loaf – an easy bread to whip up and a perfect snack for the lunch box too ! This recipe is adapted from Tarla Dalal’s recipe for chocolate carrot loaf – https://www.tarladalal.com/Chocolate-Carrot-Loaf-1927r

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup grated carrot
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour (maida)
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup or 110 g butter
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped raisins

Method

  • Melt the butter and keep it aside
  • Sift the flour with baking powder and baking soda and keep aside
  • Combine the dry ingredients – flour/soda mixture, sugar, cocoa powder
  • Add the melted butter, condensed milk and grated carrot into the flour mixture and mix well until well combined
  • Fold in the walnuts and raisins
  • Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius
  • Grease a bread tin with butter at the bottom and sides. Lightly dust the tin with flour ( you can use a flour sifter for this purpose ), turning the tin so that a light film of flour coats the entire inside of the tin. Turn the tin upside down, tap gently to remove excess flour
  • Greasing and dusting with flour is an important step, as it prevents the batter from sticking to the tin
  • Give tin a light tap on table to spread air evenly in the batter and put immediately in preheated oven
  • Bake the bread for 40-50 minutes until the bread passes the following test :
  • Test by lightly touching the centre of bread when minimum cooking time is up. If no imprint is left, the bread is done
  • Pierce a fine skewer in the centre of the bread , if it comes out clean, it is done
  • Loosen the edges using a knife and invert the bread on a cooling rack
  • Cool the bread on a cooling rack for a sufficient amount of time before slicing

Slice the bread and enjoy along with your morning tea or coffee or pack it in your kids snack box !

Nei Appam Version 3

Nei Appam, made with rice and jaggery. This is the third version of appam recipes from my blog – the first two versions of Nei Appam used banana, this version only uses rice and jaggery, a treasured recipe shared by my Mother in law

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There are two ways to prepare this recipe – one the traditional way from scratch where you soak raw rice overnight and make it. The second quick way is making it using rice flour. Both recipe version are given here
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup raw rice or 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 cup jaggery powder
  • 1/4 cup whole urad dal
  • Cardamom powder – a pinch
  • Ghee for frying the appam and for mixing too
  • Water as required to mix the batter

Method

  • If not using rice flour, then follow this method for rice powder preparation
  • Rice powder preparation
    • Take 1/2 cup of raw rice. Soak it in water for 1/2 an hour. Take out the rice and dry it out in a towel for 10 to 15 minutes till the wetness in the rice is dried out. Then powder the rice in a mixie  to maximum fineness. Sieve  it with the smallest level sieve available. Rice powder is ready now.
  • Jaggery syrup preparation:-
    • Take 1 cup of jaggery. Dissolve it in water. Keep it on a stove and heat it. Keep stirring. It has to reach a bubbling consistency. That means lot of bubbles  will come out in the syrup. If you pour a little syrup in cold water you will be able to make a small ball like round out of it which is soft and firm. Switch off the  stove immediately
  • Urad flour preparation
    • Adding urad flour gives a softness to the batter. Soak urad dal overnight or for at least 3-4 hours and grind to a fine paste using as little water as possible
  • Mixing
    • Now pour the syrup little by little into the rice powder and mix it well. If correct quantity of rice and syrup is taken the rice powder will consume all the syrup and will be like prepared chappathi dough. Mix in the urad paste with this mixgture as well. The above operations should be done in the evening and the mix must be kept overnight for getting conditioned. ( not in the fridge)
  • Final operation
    • Next day take out the dough and add sufficient water and mix so that chappathi batter condition becomes  like dosa batter.  The batter should be able to flow out like dosa batter. Add a teaspoon of ghee in the batter and cardamom powder to improve the taste. Now it is ready for frying
  • Frying
    • Keep the paniyaram pan on the stove add ghee or oil . When the ghee or oil is sufficiently hot start making the appams
    • Add a tablespoon of batter into each slot. Cover it and cook for a minute till it is golden and crisp
    • Carefully using a spoon or a appam stick, flip the appams. I use a stick and a spoon to turn the appam. Fry the other side till it turns golden in colour as well and crisp
    • Coat the appam in sugar when it is still hot. This simply enhances the taste

Enjoy your appams and share your feedback

Dry Fruit Barfi

Wishing you all a very Happy Diwali ! Having guests at home and looking for ideas to make a sweet dish – try out this dry fruit barfi, rich in taste and just right for the coming winter season too !

Dry fruit barfi is a popular sweet in Delhi and is very yummy and hard to resist !

Ingredients

  • 400 g dry fruits ( You can use any combination I used a combination of bad am and cashew )
  • Elaichi or Cardamon – 5 pods
  • Sugar – 400 g
  • Milk powder – 200 g
  • Ghee – 150 g

Method

  • Lightly roast the dry fruits and grind the dry fruits together with cardamom to make a fine powder. Keep aside
  • Take a thick bottomed vessel and add water to the sugar just enough to submerge it. Melt the sugar until it reaches one string consistency. Take 2 drops of syrup between your index finger and thumb. Open the index finger and you will see a string of syrup coming up
  • Add spoonfuls of the ground dry fruit mixture and ghee at intermittent intervals and keep stirring until the mixture starts leaving the sides of the vessel
  • At this stage, simmer the flame and add the milk powder and mix well. Switch off the flame and continue stirring until the entire mixture does not stick to the vessel
  • Pour the mixture onto a plate greased with ghee, let it cool and then cut into desired shapes

Enjoy and Happy Diwali again

Whole wheat chocolate almond butter waffles

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Enjoy these delicious and nutritious whole wheat chocolate almond butter waffles for breakfast !

This recipe is adapted from Tasty’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Pancake recipe : https://tasty.co/recipe/chocolate-peanut-butter-pancakes

Makes: 4 waffles

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • 1 cup wheat flour 
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chip(90 g)
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Method

  • Mix the yogurt, milk and almond butter and keep aside
  • Combine the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder and keep aside
  • Pour the wet ingredients (yogurt milk almond butter mixture) into the dry ingredients and mix well until it’s blended
  • Add the chocolate chips and mix well.
  • The batter should have a consistency similar to dosa atta, neither too thick or watery
  • Heat your waffle maker and follow the instructions to make the waffle
  • Enjoy your waffles with some honey or maple syrup

Banana Waffle

Try out these simple and easy to make banana waffles

  • Ingredients
    • Small sized bananas – 2
      Jaggery, powdered – 1/4 cup
      1/8 cup water to melt the jaggery
      1/8 cup rice flour
      1/8 cup wheat flour
      1 tbsp oil
      A pinch of salt

    Method

    • Mash the bananas well and keep aside
    • Melt the jaggery adding 1/8 cup of water until the syrup is slightly thick
    • Mix the jaggery syrup with the mashed bananas
    • Mix the flour, oil and salt until all the ingredients are blended well
    • The batter should have a consistency similar to dosa atta, neither too thick or watery
    • Heat your waffle maker and follow the instructions to make the waffle. I use a cuisinart waffle maker and these are the steps I follow:
      • Preheat the waffle maker and wait until the green light turns on
      • Pour 2 ladles of the batter in the center and close the lid of the waffle maker ( The batter spreads itself pretty well, I don’t need to spread it before hand with a spatula )
      • Choose the desired browning setting and wait for the green light to turn on again

    Once the waffles are golden brown they are ready to eat 😀

    Eggless Chocolate Cupcake Cake

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    After a long gap, I am back to posting again. Starting with a bang with an eggless chocolate cupcake cake. All the cupcakes are arranged to make a rectangular cake – this made it easy for the kids to just pluck one cupcake and eat it ! The recipe for the cupcake is inspired by Tasty Community’s recipe for vegan chocolate cupcake: https://tasty.co/recipe/vegan-chocolate-cupcakes-with-chocolate-frosting

    I made 5 batches of the cupcakes to make a big rectangular cake ! Each batch makes 12 cupcakes. I also made 2-3 batches of the chocolate buttercream icing to cover the whole cake.

    Ingredients

    • Powdered sugar – 1 cup
    • Refined oil – 1/4 cup
    • Cocoa powder, unsweetened – 1/2 cup
    • All purpose flour – 1 and 3/4 cup
    • Baking soda – 1 tsp
    • Baking powder – 1 tsp
    • Rock salt – 1/2 tsp
    • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
    • Full cream milk – 1 cup
    • Chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate – 1/2 cup

    For the icing 

    • Unsalted butter – 1 cup
    • Cocoa powder – 1/2 cup
    • Powdered sugar – 2 cups
    • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
    • Sprinkles / gems for decorating

    Method

    • Basic PreparationPreparing the Cake TinIf your muffin tin is new, wash well and wipe. After this, avoid washing the tin unless absolutely necessary. After use, just wipe and store
    • For the batter
    • I used a kitchen aid stand mixer for making my batter. You can use a blender or mix using a mixing bowl and spatula as well Sieve the flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Sieve the cocoa powder and keep aside
      • Place the oil in a stand mixer or a large bowl, and gradually add sugar and continue beating until mixture is light and fluffy
      • Gently fold in the cocoa powder followed by the flour mixture. At this stage, make a smooth batter using a cut and fold movement to add the flour and blend it with the rest of the batter. Do not beat or stir at this stage as over-handling will make the cake tough in texture. If using your stand mixer use it in the lowest setting for a couple of minutes until everything is blended well
      • Mix in the vanilla essence and milk using a gentle folding in movement
      • Fold in the chocolate chips / chopped chocolate
    • Pouring the batter in the tinPreheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes
      • Line the muffin tin with cupcake liners
      • Use an ice cream scoop to fill each muffin cup to about 2/3 of the way. The batter should fill up to 2/3 of the tin, leaving enough room for the cup cake to rise
      • Give tin a light tap on table to spread air evenly in the batter and put immediately in preheated oven
    • Baking InstructionsBake at 350 degrees for approximately 25-30 minutes. This may vary depending on your oven settings
      • Bake immediately after mixing as close to the center of the oven as possible
      • Avoid opening the oven door for the first 20 minutes of baking
    • Testing CakeThe cupcake should pass the following tests :
        • Test by lightly touching the centre of cake when minimum cooking time is up. If no imprint is left, the cupcake is done
        • Pierce a fine skewer in the centre of cupcake, if it comes out clean, it is done
    • Cooling the cakeBefore you attempt to remove the cupcake, let it cool on a cooling rack
    • Making the frostingIn a large bowl or using your stand mixer, cream the butter until it is smooth
      • Sift in half of the powdered sugar and continue to beat
      • Sift in the rest of the powdered sugar and beat again
      • Sift in the cocoa powder and vanilla essence and blend until it is smooth
    • Decorating the cakeLet your imagination at play and decorate the cupcakes as you wish to using the chocolate buttercream frosting, sprinkles and whatever you you would like to put on your cake
      • You can even use freshly cut fruits

    Enjoy the yummy cake