March 31, 2012

Lachha Paratha

Bored of making chapattis and rotis why not try to make something different today? Let us try making a Lachha  paratha today.


Whole wheat flour - 2 cups
salt                        - 1/4 tsp
Milk                      -  1 1/4 cup ( use more if required)
Ghee                     -  1 tbsp each


  1. Make a dough using whole wheat flour ,salt and milk.
  2. Knead it into a soft texture
  3. Divide the dough into 6 equal parts.
  4. Roll out the dough as thin as possible and apply ghee(clarified butter) on both sides.and dry dust with flour.
  5. From one side fold the flattened dough into a 1 inch strip folding back and forth like folding a fan.
  6. Now roll in from inside out like a swissroll.
  7. Gently press the dough out (don't press too hard).
  8. Flatten out the dough into 5 inch circle.
  9. Now cook the paratha on a griddle or baking at 400 F
  10. Flip and cook both side, you will see the layers unfolding.
  11. Crumple the paratha just before serving.

    March 25, 2012

    Home made Pita Bread & Falafel

    Falafel... I have been hearing about it since I got married.My husband loves the falafel wrap like mumbaikars love vada pav. He grew up in Libya, the land of Gadaffi. Even I got fond of the taste of falafel after having them.When we were living in India, my in laws used to bring them from Kuwait.After coming to US, we have tried falafel from different restaurants but none of them were as good as we had from Kuwait.We tried the falafel mixes brought from  stores they were also no good.So finally decided to make them from scratch.

    Fava beans

    Falafel- adopted from

    Dried Chickpeas  or garbanzo beans - 2 cups
    Dried Fava beans                              - 11/2 cups
    Coriander leaves or cilantro               - 1 bunch
    Italian parsley                                    - 1/2 bunch
    Onion                                                - 1 nos
    Garlic                                                - 8-10 cloves
    Salt                                                   - to taste
    Coriander powder                             - 2 tbsp
    Cumin Powder                                  - 1 tsp
    Bread crumbs                                    - 4 tbsp
    Pepper powder                                 - 1 tsp
    Chilly powder                                    - 1 tsp
    Baking powder   (optional)                 -1/2 tsp
    Baking soda        (optional)                 - 1 tsp

     Method of making Falafel

    1. Soak the fava beans and chickpeas  over night. Fava beans has a thick cover which comes after soaking.Take that out if using brown fava beans.
    2. Grind Chick peas and fava beans separately without adding water,till the texture becomes like bread crumbs.
    3. After that grind together onion, parsley,coriander leaves, garlic until it becomes a fine paste.
    4. Mix together the leaf mixture, grinded chickpeas and fava beans very well.
    5. Add Chilly powder,pepper powder,coriander powder,pepper powder,cumin powder,bread crumbs and mix well.
    6. Recipe calls for adding baking powder and baking soda,but i made them without adding and came out very well.
    7. Heat vegetable oil about one inch in a frying pan and reduce heat to medium setting.
    8. Make small ball out of the bean mixture and drop into the oil.
    9. Once the falafel becomes evenly brown.Remove from oil and drain.
    10. Serve as Appetizer or serve wrapping in pita bread as sandwich.

     Pita Bread

    All purpose flour              - 3 cups
    All purpose flour              - 2cups
    Whole wheat flour            - 1 cup

    yeast                              - 7 gms
    salt                                 - 1/4 tsp
    sugar                              - 1tbsp
    warm water                    - 1 1/2 cup
    olive oil                          -  2 tbsp
    all purpose flour             - 1/2 dusting

    1. Mix  sugar and yeast into 1/2 cup of warm water and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
    2. Mix salt to flour and make a well in the middle.Slowly add the yeast mix and1 cup of water into flour and mix well.The result will be sticky dough.
    3.  Transfer the dough to a bigger vessel coated with olive oil. Make sure sides of the dough too is coated with olive oil.Cover the dough with a damp cloth.
    4. Keep the dough for proving for about 3-4 hr.
    5. After 3 hours the dough would rise twice the size.Now knead the dough for 10 minutes.Use the dusting as needed.
    6. Divide dough into equal sized ball and let it sit for 10 minutes
    7. Preheat the oven to 450F.
    8. Roll out the balls to 1/8 inch thick and place in the oven tray and bake each side for 4 minutes.
    9. The breads will puff up and becomes slightly brown.
    10. Once cooked remove and serve.You can see the pocket formation when cut into halves.



     Assembling of Falafel sandwich or wraps

    Mayonnaise                                  - 1tbsp
    Hot sauce/Tahini Sauce                - 1 tbsp (we used the Sriracha chilli sauce)
    Sliced cucumber,lettuce/tomato    -2-3 slices each
    Fried Potatoes or Eggplant           - 3 slices
    Falafel                                          - 3 nos
    Pita bread                                    - 1 no

    1. Place a pita bread on to the aluminum foil
    2. Spread the sauces evenly.
    3. Place the vegetables and fries 
    4. Place the falafel and crush it  by pressing it down
    5. Wrap tightly into a wrap and secure by the foil
    6. And Enjoy  :).

    March 19, 2012

    Caramel Pecan Brownies

    I love to bake.I experiment a lot of baking.This recipe is a adopted from one of my favorite blogger Heather from sprinkle bakes.This brownie was too good...... with a nice crunch of pecans inside and fudgy too.

    Caramel filling:
    Sugar                 -1/2 cup
    Butter                - 4 Tbsp
    light corn syrup - 3tsp
    heavy cream      -1/4 cup
    vanilla               -1/2tsp
    salt                    - a pinch

    1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until melted. 
    2.  Add 1/2 cup of sugar and increase heat to medium high.  The sugar will begin to bubble and eventually turn brown. It takes about  6-8 minutes.  
    3. When the sugar has caramelized, remove it from the heat source and pour in the heavy cream and mix it with a wooden spoon.
    4. The mixture will  bubble.  After the ingredients have combined well, add the 3 tablespoons corn syrup  (at this stage caramelized sugar mixture will look grainy - this is normal). 
    5. Place the saucepan back on the heat.  Boil over medium high heat till softball stage( i.e after a drop of liquid is put in water one should able turn it into a soft ball between the fingers).
    6. Remove from heat and add in vanilla and salt and give it a stir.  Set aside and prepare the brownie batter.

    Brownie batter:

    All purpose flour -3/4 cups
    Cocoa powder     -3/4 cups
    Salt                      -1/4 tsp
    Butter (1 stick)    - 8 tbsp( 1 stick)
     Sugar                  - 1/2 cup
    Light brown sugar - 1/2 cup firmly packed
    Eggs                     - 2nos
    Pure vanilla extract - 2 tsp
     Vegetable oil         - 2 Tbsp
     Chopped pecans    -11/2 cups


    1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease an 8x8" pan and line the pan.
    2. Sift  together flour, cocoa and salt to a bowl. 
    3.  In an another bowl beat the butter and sugars together until creamy.
    4.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then add the vanilla extract.
    5. Beat in the flour and cocoa mixture until a stiff dough forms.  
    6. While mixing itself  gradually pour in the 2 tbsp.of vegetable oil.
    1.  Measure out 3/4 cup of batter and set aside.
    2. Spread the remaining batter into the bottom of the greased 8x8 pan. 
    3.  Pour the caramel sauce (caramel if turned hard, reheat stirring continuously ,it should be of the consistency of a falling ribbon)
    4.  Spread 1 1/2 cups pecans over caramel, gently pressing them into the caramel.
    5.  Spread the remaining brownie batter over the pecan layer.  
    6. Bake for 30-35 minutes.  
    7. Cool completely before cutting into pieces.

    March 13, 2012

    Varutharacha meen curry - Fish curry

    " Varuthuaracha meen curry " is one recipe which I learned from my mother and my she in turn from he mother in law (my grandma :)). My grand mother prepares the best fish curry I have ever had. This is a good recipe, every one who reads this and is interested, should give it a try...and enjoy. I would recommend to make this recipe using sardines (mathi), which goes very well with Tapioca or yuca (kappa puzhikku)


    Fish                              -  1lb
    Shredded coconut        - 1 cup
    Coccum(kodam puli)   - 2 -3 pieces
    Green chilly                 -  2- 3 nos
    Ginger                          - a very small
    Shallots                        - 2 nos
    Red chilly powder         - 3 tsp
    Fenugreek powder        - 1 pinch
    Curry leaves                 - 1 spring
    Water                            -  2-3 cups
    Salt                               - to taste

    1. Soak cocum in water
    2. Dry roast the shredded coconut in a deep dish pan. If u can use a wok shaped pan that would ideal.
    3. Dry roast until the coconut turns uniformly golden in colour, now add shallots. Fry until the coconut turns brown in colour. Then add red chilly powder, mix well and remove from the heat. Make sure you don't burn the red chilly powder.
    4. Once the roasted coconut has cooled down, dry grind the mixture.
    5. In a hard bottom pan add the dry ground coconut mixture, fish pieces, ginger, curry leaves, slit green chilly, salt and mix water. Place it on medium heat.
    6. Add Cocum and bring it to a boil. Once boiled, reduce heat .
    7. Reduce the gravy as you prefer, otherwise remove from heat, taste and serve

        -  Never stir the fish while cooking, just rotate the pan.
        -  Use chilly powder to your preference to control the spiciness.
        -  Sourness depend upon the quality of cocum used, if the quality is good the 2 pieces will be enough.

    Noodle bonda - Batter fried Noodle Dumplings

    I remember , when I was in 2nd grade there was an offer made to us in school, it went like this.. if you are a good girl and score good in exams the teacher would reward you a "magic sticker". The teacher will stick this it in your school diary. The reward for collecting five magic sticker would be one packet of Maggi noodles. Once a month the teacher would count the number of sticker each of us got and distribute the Maggi packets accordingly. From that day onwards,  Maggi noodles was like the food of  winners. Each packet of Maggi was well earned...How many packets did i get ?????????:P. That's a secret. Coming to this recipe, most of us throw away the excess that comes out of instant noodles we make but I save it for  next days snack.


    One Packet Instant Noodles - 1pkt
    Carrots                                  - 1 nos chopped fine
    French Beans                         - 4 nos finely cut
    Onion                                    - 1/2 sliced
    Salt                                        - to taste
    Chick pea flour(besan)          - 1 cup
    Asatoetida (heeng) powder   - one pinch
    Chilli powder                        - 1 tsp     
    Oil                                         - for frying

    1. Saute onions. Once the onions are transparent, add chopped carrots and beans.
    2. Add noodles as instructed in the package.
    3. Make a batter of besan, red chilly powder, asafoetida and salt.Batter should be in coating consistency.
    4. Once the noodles is cooked, remove from heat and make 12 uniform balls with wet palm.
    5. Keep the oil for frying in a deep dish pan.
    6. Once the oil is hot, drop the noodle balls in the batter and then into the oil. Cook in medium setting of the burner.
    7. Once the noodle balls turned golden brown remove from oil and serve.


    March 11, 2012

    Healthy meal - Oats dosa/Oats & whole wheat crepes

     I love to incorporate some healthy dishes in to our diet.Oats is a good candidate for that. Oatmeal has a high content of complex carbohydrates and water-soluble fiber that encourages slow digestion and stabilizes blood-glucose levels. Oatmeal porridge also contains more vitamin B and calories.


    Oats                                    -  1 cup
    Whole wheat flour               -  1/4 cup
    semolina/ sooji rava            -  1/4 cup
    yogurt                                  -  1 cup 
    carrot (grated)                     -  1/4 cup
    coriander leaves                 -  1/4 bunch
    salt                                      -   to taste
    pepper crushed                   -   as required
    Oil                                        - 1-2 tsp per dosa

    1. Mix 1 cup of oats, wheat flour, semolina, yogurt, carrots, chopped coriander, crushed pepper, salt .
    2. Add water required to make a batter with pouring consistency.
    3. Keep the batter aside for 15-20 minutes.
    4. In a hot griddle pour a teaspoon oil and a spoon full of batter. Spread it to sides and fill up any big holes if there are any.
    5. Cook in medium high heat.
    6. Pour little more oil over the dosa and flip over carefully.
    7. Wait until the dosa is cooked in the other side as well.
    8. Once cooked on both sides serve it hot along with Coconut Chutney.

    Uzhunnu Vada - Medhu vada

       Yet another snack from south India Uzhunnu vada / medhu vada.In Kerala it is more or less considered as a  snack " നാലു മണി പലഹാരം ". But in other states this is a breakfast item.


    Urud dal(uzhunnu)           - 1 cup
    onion                                - 1/2 nos
    green chillies                    - 1-2 nos
    carrot(optional)                 - 1/4 cup of grated
    cabbage(optional)            - 1/4 cup of finely chopped
    curry leaves                      -  a handful
    salt                                    -  to taste
    oil                                      -  for frying

    1. Soak the urad dal for atleast 2-3 hours.
    2. Once soaked grind the urad dal finely without adding water. The consistency of the batter should be such that when you drop a little of the batter on water it should float.
    3. After grinding the batter add finely chopped onion, green chillies, cabbage, carrot and chopped curry leaves. Mix well.
    4.  Keep the oil for frying in a wok shaped pan or "cheena chatti". Once oil hot not smoking!!
    5. Take a spoon full of batter on a wet palm and fatten it with the other palm.Then make a hole in the center and drop in to the oil carefully.
    6. Cook in medium flame until golden brown ,remove and serve hot with chutney.

    Flaws that can happen

    1. Not able to shape the batter with palms- the batter would be runny,can be adjusted with a few spoons of rice powder or urad flour