Kolar bora: Sweet Banana fritters

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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’.

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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

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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.

 

Fafda: Chickpea flour sticks: GF. Done 2 ways.

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By Ratna

untitled-8

A  cup  of  tea  needs  something  deep fried  to  go  with  it.

You  see,  Teley  Bhaja,  or  “deep  fried”  is  a  genre  on  its  own. Staying  true  to  my  Indian  roots,  I  can  deep  fry  almost  anything.  It  could  be a  variant  of  any  of  the  flours  with  herbs  and  spices,  or  it  could  be  any  vegetable,  edible  flower  or  leaf  and  a  lot  of  other  things.

untitled-15

We  had  a  gorgeous  weekend  here.   With  the  snow  gone,  and  the  sun  rays  actually  feeling  warm,  the  nature  is  changing  fast.

There  were  so  many  firsts.  My  first  flower of  the  season.  Aren’t  the  crocuses  beautiful?  The  first  outdoor  photo  shoot  of  this  season.  We  had  tea  on  the  deck,  which  was  a  first  too  after  five  months!

I  decided  to  make  this  snack  to  go  with  this  special  day.  Fafda  is  a  chick  pea  flour  based  appetizer.  With  a  few  chosen  spices,  it  takes  no  time  to  whip  up  a  batch.  Being  gluten  free  is  a  bonus,  in  case  you  have  a  friend  who  is  on  special  diet.

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untitled-5

Oh  one  more  first.  I  gave  a  try  in  baking  half  the  dough.  No  more  guilt  feeling  from  deep  fried  foods.

I  personally  still  prefer  the  deep  fried  ones.  Old  habits  die  hard,  they  say.  I’m  glad  that  I  can  offer  the  baked  recipe  too.  Do you  have  any  preference  with  your  tea?  Or  coffee?

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Recipe:  Made  28  pieces.

Ingredients;

Chick  pea  flour  (  Besan  )                                                   2  cups

Canola  oil                                                                             5  Tbsps  and  more  for  frying

Carom  seeds  (  Ajwain  )                                                      1  Tbsps  crushed  by  hand

Salt                                                                                        To  taste

Papad  Khar  (  Sodium  bicarbonate  )                                    2  tsp

Water                                                                                     1/2 – 2/3 rd  cup

Method;

Sift  the  Besan.  Add  the  Ajwain  or  Carom  seeds  and  5  Tbsps  of  Canola  oil.

Dissolve  the  salt  and  Papad  khar  in  the  water.

Mix  this  water  to  the  above  dry  ingredients  and  knead  to  form  a  tight  dough,  about  6-7  minutes.  Cut  small  balls  from   the  dough.

Put  one  ball  on  a  cutting  board.  Press  with  finger  to  elongate  it.  Now  put  the palm  of  your  hand  on  it  and  keep  pressing  at  the  same  time  moving  the  hand  forward,  till  the  ball  gets  rolled  into  a  flat  about  4- 41/2  inches  long.  The  heel  of  the  hand  actually  does  the  job  of  the  rolling  pin.

Now  take  a  palette  knife  slide  it  under  the  flat,  starting  from  top  down,  in  one  continuos  quick  stroke.  arrange  these  on  a  kitchen  towel.

For  frying;

Heat  Canola  oil  about  an  inch  deep  in  a  frying  pan.  The  oil  is  ready  when  a  tiny  piece  of  dough  thrown  in  it,  floats  up  right  away.

Carefully  drop  the  flats  in  hot  oil  in  batches.  Press  them  gently  with  the  back  of  the  ladle.  They  are  ready  as  soon  as  they  start  to  change  colour,  about  a  minute.

Collect  them  on  a  paper  towel.

For  baking;

Preheat  oven  to  375  degrees  F.

Line  the  flats  on  a  foil  lined  baking  tray.  Bake  them  for  8-10  mts.

Serve  them  with  your  choice  of  dip,  hummus  or  ketchup.

I  like  mine  with  a  cup  of  piping  hot  tea.

Inside  Scoop;

This  is  traditionally  served  with  deep  fried  green  chillies.  Frying  lessens  the  heat,  the  chillies  can  be  deseeded  too.

Papad  Khar  is  available  online.

The  upright  ones  are  deep  fried  as  opposed  to  the  horizontal  ones  which  are  baked.

Refer  to  the  picture  collage  if  you  feel  lost.