Murir Moa : Puffed rice balls : GF

Image

IMG_2027

Back in the day when we did not have a variety of ready made snacks available for the kids, mothers and grandmothers used to spend many afternoons painstakingly prepare an assortment of snacks at home.

I specially remember our summer holidays , when we used to visit our grandparents.Our uncles landed with their families as well. For that one month the house used to be super busy with grandkids ranging from preteens to infant. Those were days before cell phones and television. We were busy playing with our cousins during the day. My grand dad was an excellent story teller. He had no problem mesmerizing us grand kids of different ages with his story telling. The youngest one would be on his lap, some sitting on the armrest of his ‘plantation style’ armchair. Few others around his feet. The one thing that was common was we were all wide eyed in rapt attention, trying to follow the ups and downs of the story.

IMG_2024

My grandmother on the other hand, used to be busy in the kitchen. With limited resources she never failed to surprise us with homemade snacks. Walking for days together, with only a few of her belongings to this land from the former “East Pakistan’, as a refugee, hard work came to her naturally. Savoury or sweet she could whip up either in no time.The “Moa” was always there. One by one she moulded the round shape on the palm of her hand, which used to be angry red from the heat.

Many years later, when I had my own family did I realize how much effort it takes, to come up with a big batch of these. “Love” was the main sweetener, no matter how much jaggery we add.

Recipe: Made 15

Ingredients;

Murmura ( Puffed rice )                            3 cups

Ghee                                                        1 Tbsp

Jaggery                                                     1 cup

Method,

Dry roast the Murmura on medium flame for a few minutes only to make it crunchier.

In another pan take the ghee and jaggery on slow flame. I have used powdered jaggery. Let it melt and be frothy, about 11 minutes. Take a drop of this in a bowl of water. If this sets right away, then the jaggery is ready.

Put the gas off. Pour the murmura in the molten jaggery. Mix it nicely such that the murmura is evenly coated.

Wait for this mixture to cool down a bit, so that it can be handled on the palm. I used a pair of silicone gloves, that definitely helped. Take a handful, press on all sides to give a round shape.

Store in an airtight container and enjoy for a couple of weeks.

 

Kolar bora: Sweet Banana fritters

Image

IMG_1909

 

There are some foods which take you directly to the “bygone” days. For those of you that are born in circa “Post cell phone”, wont be able to relate to the story.

You see, in those times, evenings were meant to go outside and play games with ‘real’ friends. No video games, netflix, mobile, meant you had to play games involving real physical activities. When the street light went on, it was time to stop whatever you were doing and head home.

IMG_1890

Rain was the only time you were allowed to stay indoors with friends. Rain also meant there would be some fried food at home. There is this connection between rain and fried food, that only people from Bengal would agree. These fritters remind me of evenings such as those, sitting down with friends, giggling for no reason at all and popping these in mouth.

Try it out friends. Friendly warning, it is really hard to stop after a couple. Please factor this in while planning.

Recipe: Enough for 8 people

I have adapted the recipe from “A homemaker’s diary”, with minor changes.  Check her wonderful blog,

Ingredients;

Overripe bananas                                         6

Semolina                                                     1 cup

All purpose flour                                            11/2 cup

Rice flour                                                       2/3 cup

Aniseeds coarsely grounded                           2 tbsps

Sugar                                                            1 cup

Baking soda                                                   2/3 tsp

Salt                                                                 2/3 tsp

Canola oil for frying.

Method;

Dry roast the semolina till lightly coloured.  Put the gas off. Add 2 cups water , stir and let it sit for 15 minutes. Add the APF, rice flour, sugar, aniseeds, salt. Mix some water to make a batter, The consistency should be that of a cake batter. Add the baking powder just before frying.

Heat oil, about 2 inces deep in a pan on medium heat. Drop a tablespoon of batter in the oil, fry till both sides are dark brown.

Collect them on kitchen towel. On cooling, sprinkle some icing sugar on top.

Enjoy!

 

Whole green lentil fritters: Huri moong dal ke Pakode

Image

IMG_1143Friends not sure about you but the lockdown is making my cloths shrink! True storey. There is a limit of doing laundry, arranging the pantry, cleaning the house.

I am on a overdrive of cooking and trying new recipes or perfecting an old one.

IMG_1134

Although deep fried but the main ingredient in these pakodas are whole green lentil. I am almost considering it a healthy food under the circumstances. I mean I need to be sane too while home bound for two weeks now. The future seems to be uncertain too.

IMG_1139

With netflix on a cup of hot tea these are just the snack you need. Crispy on the outside and soft inside. You can thank me later.

I had ground lentil powder at home, that I used. It can also be done by soaking yellow moong dal for and hour, drain the water then grind it. Keep a Tbsp of soaked unground dal separately to be added to the batter.

Recipe:

Ingredients;

Ground green lentil powder                                         11/2 cup

Skinless moong dal                                                    1 Tbsp

Chopped  green onion                                                 3/4 cup

Rice flour                                                                     2 Tbsps

Cilantro                                                                        4 Tbsps

Green chillies                                                                4 ( optional )

Coriander seeds                                                            2 Tbsps

Red chilli powder                                                            1/2 tsp

Baking powder                                                                1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

Method;

Soak the skinless moong dal for an hour.

Take all the ingredient except the oil for frying in a bowl. Add water little by little to form a thick batter. Rest for 10 minutes.

Take a wok and fill it with cooking oil about one and half inch deep on high heat. When the oil is hot crank the temperature down to medium. Take a teaspoon of mixture and carefully put in the oil. Wait for a few minutes and then turn them. Cook till they are light brown in colour. Collect them on kitchen towel.

Enjoy with your choice of dip, I had tomato ketchup at home, which is what I served them with.

Enjoy!

Eggless easter bunny sugar cookies

Image

IMG_1489Lockdown or no lockdown, we can”t do without some Easter treats can we? I tried these eggless bunny cookies.

IMG_1476Super easy to assemble specially for novice bakers like me. Maybe the kids could not go out of the house for some easter egg hunt but these fun bunnies are sure to bring joy to the little souls.

IMG_1495Friends do try this recipe and please leave a comment here to tell me how it turned out. Hope you had a fun easter under these circumstances.

Recipe: Depends on the size of the cookie cutter.

Ingredients;

All purpose flour                                                11/2 cup

Baking powder                                                  1/4 tsp

Pinch of salt

Sugar                                                                 1/2 cup

Softened cream cheese                                      4 oz

Softened butter                                                   1/3 cup and 2 tsps

Vanilla extract                                                      1 tsp

For the glaze:

Icing sugar                                                            1 cup

Corn syrup                                                             2 tsps

Water                                                                     3 tsps

Lemon juice                                                            1/2 tsps

Method:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a bowl combine the flour, salt and baking powder.

Take the butter and sugar in the stand mixer, run it in medium speed for 3 minutes till the butter is pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and cream cheese. Run the mixer again for another 2 minutes.

Bring the speed down to low and add the flour in instalments. Wait till the dough comes together. Gather it on the counter top and divide it in two disc. Cover with cling wrap and let it sit in the fridge for an hour.

Take one disc out. Roll it between a two layer of floured butter paper to an even thickness of one eighth inch. Use floured cookie cutters. Lift the cookies using a floured spatula on to a parchment lined cookie sheet. Throw in the fridge for another half hour.

Use the scraps to roll again and cut out a few more cookies.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are slightly browned. Take them out of the oven and cool them on a wire rack.

The glaze:

In a grease free bowl take the icing sugar, corn syrup and water. Mix gently. Vigorous mixing will incorporate air which is not desirable. If it is too thick add little water if too thin add some sugar. Add the lemon juice. Divide this into two groups, add a drop of food colour of your choice. Dip the cookies face down in the glaze, break down any air bubbles with a tooth pick.

Let them dry.

Enjoy with your children.

Sabudana khichri : Tapioca pearls khichri; GF

Image

IMG_0809

Raise your hands if this situation rings a bell to you. It is a festive day, mum is fasting and asks help tp prepare the food  to be had after the fast is broken. Not ready to give her company with fasting but really excited to dream about the food that will be available later. I really hope there are some of you with me on this. I feel so guilty to even think about it now.

Sabudana is actually set in round molds in factories. It is extracted from the root of Tapioca plant. As it is not a grain, it is a recommended food after fasting.

Feast or no feast it is a staple breakfast in many households. Once you start it is hard to stop. It is a carb bomb, so having it as breakfast gives one enough time to burn it out.

Have a happy Navaratri. Pray Mata rani brings peace and happiness to the world.

Recipe: Serves 4 as a snack.

Ingredients;

Sabudana ( Tapioca pearls )                                                    2 cups

Peanuts                                                                                  3/4 cup

Cooking oil                                                                             3 Tbsp

Cumin seeds                                                                          11/2 tsp

Green chilly slices ( optional )                                                   2 tsp

Potatoes cut in small cubes                                                     3/4 cup

Jaggery powder                                                                      11/2 tsp

Lemon juice                                                                             1 tbsp

Cilantro leaves                                                                          1/2 cup

Pomegranate seeds ( optional )                                                 1 tbsp

Salt. to taste

Method;

Wash the Sabudana in a few changes of water, rubbing the pearls with hand. This ensures that the extra starch is gone, making the khichri where the pearls stand alone and are not clumped together. Leave it soaked for about 5 hours. I had these giant sized pearls, I soaked them for 24 hours.

Drain the water off completely, rest them on a kitchen towel. Dry roast the peanuts and keep aside.

Take a non stick wok on medium high heat. Add the oil, wait till it is hot reduce the heat to medium and add the cumin seeds and green chilly slices if using. Stir till the cumins get a bit darker, add the potato pieces, turn the gas low, cover and cook till they are done. Add the Sabudana, peanuts, salt, jaggery and mix nicely. The Sabudana will shine like pearls. Add the lemon juice and put the gas off. Garnish with cilantro and pomegranate seeds.

The khichri is ready. Enjoy!

Paneer Gochujang Pockets

Image

IMG_0792Gochujang sauce to me is what Garam masala to Korean home cooks. At least that is what I tend to believe. Indian curries can be quite hot , but when I saw the name of this chiili sauce I must say I could not take it lightly. “Pain is good Gochujang hot sauce”. You see what I mean?

Food bloggers of Canada is running a series of recipe call outs with “unusual ingredients”. This week it is with this fiery Korean sauce.

I tamed this painful sauce with sour and sweet. There is no hard and fast measurements to do that. It is entirely on what your taste buds desire or are ready to handle. I used honey, lemon juice and tomato ketchup until It was no more ‘painful’.

IMG_0791

Recipe; Serves 2

Ingredients;

Paneer cut in small cubes                                           1/2 cup

Tamed gochujang sauce ( see above )                        1/3 cup

Carrot slivers                                                               1/3 cup

Tomato pieces                                                             1/4 cup

Microgreens                                                                1/4 cup

Butter                                                                          1 Tbsp

Byblos Bakery Pita                                                       6

Method;

Seat the pita pockets on a flat pan on medium heat. Brush them with butter. Turn them once, let them heat through both sides. Turn the gas off.

Slather the Gochujand cauce on one side of the pita pockets, arrange the carrot slivers, paneer pieces, tomato slices, microgreens on them. Squeeze the lemon slice on it one more time.

There, you have it. It can serve very well as a “fill your own pita pocket’ if you want your guests to get hands on in your party. These are bite size, which causes less waste, I find.

Notes;

Paneer is Indian cheese available in Walmart, Suoer Store or Indian grocery store.

The Gochujang sauce was available in Amazon.

Khandvi: Savoury chickpea flour rolls, Gluten free

Image

By  Ratnauntitled-3untitled-2

The  rain  drops  hit  the  window  at  an  angle  and  slid  down  causing  an  abstract  design  on  the  glass. The  outside  view  from  my  kitchen  window,  that  I  was  enjoying  so  far,  got  blurred.

Rain  often  reminds  me  of  my  days  in  India.  After  the  oppressive  heat  of  summer,  we  welcomed  the  rains  with  open  arms.

But  prairie  rain  does  not  have  a  season.  There  would  be  dry  days,  more  dry  days,  days  that  I’d  water  my  garden  thoroughly,  and  then  suddenly  the  rains  would  start.  The  daylight  hours  are  very  long  in  the  Spring  and  Summer,  extending  for  almost  twenty  hours  on  the  Summer  Solistice.

The  sun  and   rain  create  a  magic.  Buds  swell  to  give  way  to  the  leaves,  eggs  hatch  to  bring  life,  seeds  sprout  to  give  birth  to  seedlings.  Anything  and  everything  grows.

untitled A  rainy  weather  calls  for  a  cup  of  very  hot  tea  and  some  snacks.  Khandvi  is  a  snack  from  the  very  western  region  of  India.  It  can  also  be  eaten  for  breakfast  or  as  an  appetizer.

No,  I  am  not  on  a  gluten  free  diet.  Looking  back  though  I  do  have  quite  a  few  gluten  free  recipes  in  my  blog.  You  can  take  a  peek  at  them  here,  here  and  here.

Considering  the  rising  number  of  people  that  are  allergic  to  gluten,  I  feel  quite  excited  to  offer  these  easy,  healthy  choices. untitled-4I  have  adapted  this  recipe  from  Masterchef  Tarala  Dalal.untitled-8untitled-5  There  is  a  variant  of  the  Khandvi  where  a  filling  is  added  inside.  I  have  kept  things  simple  today.

What  do  you  like  with  your  cuppa?  Leave  me  a  note  below.  I  would  love  to  hear  from  you.untitled-6untitled-7Recipe:

Ingredients;

Besan  ( Chickpea flour )                                                                            1cup

Yoghurt                                                                                                       2  cups

Water                                                                                                         2  cups

Mustard  seeds                                                                                            1  tsp

Sesame  seeds                                                                                           1  tsp

Grated  ginger  and  green  chillies                                                                2  tsp

Turmeric  powder                                                                                          1/4  tsps

Asafoetida                                                                                                  1  tsps

Curry  leaves                                                                                                6-7

Coriander  leaves  chopped                                                                       2  Tbsps

Grated  coconut                                                                                        2  Tbsps

Canola  oil                                                                                                 1  Tbsp

Lemon  juice                                                                                             1  Tbsp

Salt  to  taste

Method;

Mix  the  water  and  yoghurt  in  a  bowl.  Set  aside.

Sieve  the  Besan.  Take  a  big  saucepan,  add  the  Besan,  yoghurt  –  water  mixture,  ginger  chilly  paste,  turmeric  powder,  half  the  asafoetida,  salt  and  lemon  juice.  Mix  these  to  a  lump  free  smooth  paste.

Invert  stainless  plates  if  you  have.  I  took  two  cookie  sheets.  Grease  the  inverted  side.

Put  the  saucepan  with  the  above  Besan  mixture  on  a  medium  high  flame.  Keep  stirring  continuously  for  about  15  minutes.

The  mixture  will  thicken.  Take  a  small  spoonful  of  this  mixture  on  the  greased  plate,  let  cool  for  a  couple  minutes,  if  the  sides  lift  up  easy,  the  batter  is  ready.  Turn  the  gas  off.

Drop  a  big  spoonful  of  the  batter  while  still  hot  on  the  greased  plate.  Spread  it  out  thin  using  a  palette.  Repeat  with  the  rest  of  the  batter.  Let  it cool.  Cut  thin  strips  with  a  sharp  knife.  Refer  to  the  second  picture  above.  Roll  the  strips  and  collect  on  the  serving  platter.

Tadka;

Take  the  canola  oil  in  a  small  nonstick  bowl  on  high  flame.  Add  the  mustard  seeds,  sesame  seeds  and  curry  leaves.  When  the  mustard  seeds  stop  sputtering  add  the  rest  of  the  asafoetida.  Turn  the  gas  off  as  soon  as  there  is  a  nutty  aroma  –  about  20  seconds.  Spread  this  over  the  Khandvi.

Garnish  with  chopped  coriander  leaves  and  grated  coconut.  Enjoy.

Inside  Scoop,

Besan  is  chickpea  flour,  available  in  Indian  grocery  stores,  The  Real  Canadian  Superstore  and  Walmart  in  their  World  food  aisle.

continuous  stirring  is  very  important.

Although  not  in  English,  this  video  might  be  helpful.