Peanut Sundal - A Navratri Oblation Recipe



Sundal is one protien packed legume dish that is offered to Goddess as Neivedyam during the festival of Navratri in the south of India. Sundals can be prepared with an legumes and light tempering but with no traces of onion or garlic, specially because its an oblation. On other days , other occasions add some chopped shallots for a twist.
This Navrathri, on the second day today , I have prepared Peanut Sundal as prasadam (offering ). This post of mine today is soo much impromptu. While making this protien packed snack, I realised there are barely any recipes pertaining to Navrathri in my space , though I have been celebrating for years.

Living in London, this festival barely gets any spotlight celebrations among southindian. My mom does keep Golu, while Mil doesnt. I havent begun the custom of keeping Golu instead I do take pride in giving Vethalai Paaku. A ritual where we handover a goodiebag with turmeric, kumkum - the so called red powder, vethalai -paaku also known as Betel leaves with Betlenut, a gift item instead of blouse piece along with one prasadam that has been offered to God.I do not pack a whole coconut or give betel leaves ,because it goes lying in some corner of the house and then binned. 

My Goodie bag contains , turmeric,kumkum, a gift item ( a candle/ diya this year), an apple along with this prasadam. 
On inviting my lovely guests who are married women , they promptly come to collect vethalai paaku / haldi kumkum. But who cares to dress for the occasion!! Most of them come wearing clothing suitable for the weather.. People have even come wearing a denim skirt .. Woof!! Its not pin pointing at anyone in particular. It is the question of the long forgotten tradition and culture among the present generation. The tradition of getting dressed in regional clothing and fully decked up is all long lost in this NRI world. The thought about whether the kids will ever witness the authenticity and culture is the question!!


 More chit chat on the navrathri celebrations, traditions and culture abroad in my next Navratri post .Lets head straight to the recipe - The Peanut Sundal.


PEANUT SUNDAL
Prep Time: 1 Hour | Cooking Time: 20 minutes
INGREDIENTS:

1 Cup Peanuts ( dry)
Salt  to Taste
1 Green Chili finely chopped
2 Tbsp. of grated coconut
A gentle squeeze of lemon juice  – Approximately  1 tsp

 To Temper

1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Urd Dal
1 Dried Red Chilli
2 Pinch of Hing/Asofoetida
A Sprig of Curry Leaves – Approx. -8-10 No’s
2 Tsp of Oil

DIRECTIONS:
  •  Wash the Peanuts and soak it for an hour. Drain all the water and cook them in pressure cooker with ½ a tsp of salt and some water just enough to soak the peanuts. Drain the water and set the peanuts aside.
  •   Heat oil in a pan and drop the mustard seeds. Once it begins to crackle, add the remaining ingredients. As you notice Urd Dal turning brown, add the cooked peanuts, finely chopped green chillies. Adjust salt as needed.
  •  Stir for a minute, add the lemon juice and the coconut for garnishing.
  NOTES:
One can include grated ginger for a fine twist in the same sundal.
Also if this prepared sundal is not for offering, add some finely chopped onions after the tempering for an alluring flavour on a rainy evening.


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Methi Thepla | Fenugreek leaves flatbread



Thepla's are a favourite snack flatbread delicatessen from the state of Gujrat in India. There are many varieties of Thepla like Spinach Thepla ,Coriander ones,Carrot Thepla,Dudhi thepla and more..

Methi Theplas are flatbreads made with fresh Methi/Fenugreek leaves.Light ,healthy and an appetising snack that is perfect for picnics, day trips or long trips.I remember carrying them to Switzerland too,a decade years before ,and eating them for 3 days. This mildly spiced savoury flatbread is foolproof on its own or some readymade ketchup,pickle and curd.
Roll it and gobble them up !!!

Thepla's are a great way of including greens and yogurt in the form of a flatbread, all in a roll, straight into their diet to treat your little ones at home or pack their lunches for school. My son V who is a fussy eater enjoyed his first encounter with thepla's . He did not refuse !! Isnt this an accomplishment for mum's like us ??


I had received an email from Indus Ladies about Kids Lunch Box Recipes event. What a perfect timing of the event invite.All the recipes sent for the event gets compiled into an e-Recipe Book.I am so damn glad that this recipe of mine will be a part of many little kiddos daily diet.
Indus Ladies Kids lunch box recipes

Yields 24-26 Thepla's

Ingredients :

1 Bunch of Methi : cleaned, washed n chopped finely- Rougly 1 cup
2 Cups of Wheat flour
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Chilli powder or  2 Green chilli crushed ( Optional)
3/4-1 tsp  Cumin Powder
1/2 tsp Ajwain
1/2 tsp Asfoetida/Hing
Salt to taste
3/4 -1 Cup Yogurt
1 tbsp.Oil
More Oil for cooking the thepla’s
***If you are cooking for kids , omit the Ajwain and reduce the chilli powder by half.
* Cup size referred here is an IKEA sized CUP.



Directions:
  • In a large dry mixing bowl, add the wheat flour also known as Aata and other dry. Make a large deep dip in the middle of the flour and now add yogurt. If the yogurt is quite thick, dilute it with 1/4th portion of water.
  • Knead the dough for atleast 2 minutes until all the flour and yogurt has combined. Add the oil on your palm and let it drip over the dough too. Doing this helps to remove the sticky dough off your hand ,as you knead the dough for another 5 minutes. Set it aside for at least 30 minutes .
  • I have used an Ikea Cup for measurement. This dough yields me 24-26 thepla’s.

  •  Make small equal portions of the dough in the size of a ping pong ball. I would portion the dough in a size that fits inside my palm. A size similar to the size of chapatti dough.
  • Lightly oil your palm and pinch out small 5-6 equal sized dough balls. 

  •  Taking one dough ball at a time,Flatten these balls with your palm, dust with whole wheat flour and roll out 5-6 inches. If the dough begins to stick, dust some more flour and roll out.
  • Cook the thepla on a tava/skillet, until the dough changes color and looks dry. Flip it over, using a spatula and you should find it slightly golden brown.Apply few drops of oil and cook it all the way through by gently pressing with the spatula on either side.

  • Repeat the process with the rest of the dough. As you make the thepla’s ,store them in a casserole to keep it soft and warm.Serve the hot theplas with aloo jeera,yogurt and pickle.When you are serving your little ones, just roll it in a tissue and give it to them or serve it with some ketchup and yogurt.

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I love Cheese. I am sure you must be doing too.. I can literally drown in a dish topped up or cooked with it.. Cauliflower Cheese yummy yumm. Macroni Cheese Ooo la la.. Four Cheese Pizza ...Mama Mia..

Last week, a bunch of us bloggers - Nisha Thomas from My Kitchen Antics and two other bloggers - Suchi from Kitchen Karma and Gayathri from Mummy and me attended a Catello Cheese Pop up Store event   Thank you Nisha for tagging me along.. My first hand experience to a cheese taster session.



Fresh from New York, The Hague and Copenhagen,speciality cheese brand Castello's first UK concept store was launched by foodie 'gastronaut',Stephan Gates on Commercial Street,Shoreditch.
With over 30 varieties of cheese available to taste and buy, the store promises an immensive 360 degree experience like none other.
There was a perfect pairing bar serving innovative combinations for cheese,drinks and nibbles put together by food expert and TV presenter Stephan Gate and Drink Expert Matt Day, which some of us bloggers were lucky enough to experience.
 



Creatively Crafted Canapies were being served during this event which was one of its kind. Just slice your favourite cheese on its own into tiny bite sized morsels or top it up on a designer platter with cracker and chuntey.





Matt explains" When you pair cheese with the right drink, it can elevate the taste to another level.The secret of matching cheese with a drink is a balance."



 The wheelcart chart was a perfect takeaway from the pop store..Chart gives you an insight on how to pair your cheese with cracker ,chutney and the drink.

castello -39 castello -39 castello -40

Off all the available cheese I tasted the other day ,I relished the Pineapple Halo Cheese pairing.

Base : All Butter Shortbread
Chutney/Jam: Tiptree Timperley Early Rhubarb with Vanilla
Toppings :Strawberries
Drink: Italian Moscato. eg: Luigi Eniaudi Moscato D'Asti

Castello® Pineapple Halo combines soft cheese with small chunks of pineapple with chopped almonds and papaya. This gives a sweet pineapple flavour with notes of warm syrup.
Castello® Cream Cheese with Pineapple is exclusively made of natural ingredients.
- See more at: http://www.castellocheese.co.uk/hosting-tips/#sthash.ectJmzRs.dpuf
Castello Pineapple Halo Cheese combines soft cheese with small chunks of Pineapple with chopped almonds and papaya.This gives a sweet pineapple flavour with notes of warm syrup. Castello® Cream Cheese with Pineapple is exclusively made of natural ingredients
- See more at: http://www.castellocheese.co.uk/hosting-tips/cheese-parties/pineapple-halo/#sthash.b3wwmk9j.dpuf
Castello® Pineapple Halo combines soft cheese with small chunks of pineapple with chopped almonds and papaya. This gives a sweet pineapple flavour with notes of warm syrup.
Castello® Cream Cheese with Pineapple is exclusively made of natural ingredients
- See more at: http://www.castellocheese.co.uk/hosting-tips/cheese-parties/pineapple-halo/#sthash.b3wwmk9j.dpuf
Castello® Pineapple Halo combines soft cheese with small chunks of pineapple with chopped almonds and papaya. This gives a sweet pineapple flavour with notes of warm syrup.
Castello® Cream Cheese with Pineapple is exclusively made of natural ingredients.
- See more at: http://www.castellocheese.co.uk/hosting-tips/#sthash.ectJmzRs.dpuf
Castello® Pineapple Halo combines soft cheese with small chunks of pineapple with chopped almonds and papaya. This gives a sweet pineapple flavour with notes of warm syrup.
Castello® Cream Cheese with Pineapple is exclusively made of natural ingredients.
- See more at: http://www.castellocheese.co.uk/hosting-tips/#sthash.ectJmzRs.dpuf

All together a dramatic taste !!! Loving it.

Heyy did I tell you their Tickler Cheddar Cheese is a perfect everyday cheese.. I can have it almost everyday !! This is an extra mature cheddar with a sweet, tangy taste. Carefully matured for upto 18 months and made by expert Cheese makers at Taw Valley Creamery in Devon.

The Pop Store has some lovely accessories too. Do check them out... The cheese boards are something I totally adorned...





The goodie bag I received was just what I loved !!



Well it was such a wonderful experience tasting the cheese , some creamy, some buttery , some tangy , some sweet and some salty !!

Thank you Castello Cheese for giving me this opportunity to experience Cheese like never before.


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You're my honey bunch, sugar plum, pumpy-umpy-umpkin, you're my sweetie pie, you're my cuppy-cake, gum drop, snoogums, boogums, you're the apple of my eye! This was the song that came to my mind today, after I baked these aromatic cupcakes.. This song was my ringtone 8 years back and I used to get bouncy, springy to pick up my mobile everytime it rung.. SOmewhere deep in the corner of my heart , I hoped my phone rung more often that it did, so I could hear the song :)

espresso chocolate chip cup cake-32 espresso chocolate chip cup cake-4

My house smelled coffeee .. espresso, capuccino ,americano, latte and what not ! Lil V returns from schoool, at the door step asks me " What's cooking today?" His footsteps traversed to our experiment corner in the house, Our Kitchen and tried sneaking through..

Shortbread cookies and Cupcakes !! All in a day ! A special day for him as his mama has baked like this after ages.. 
Watching his animation programs as usual after school, he picked his special snack today and was munching delightfully. Coffee is not in V's usual favourable list , but he enjoyed this cupcake just like he would enjoy a fairy cupcake. He loved his shortbread's ,but the GUI was not that great that I can brag about it in the same post.

IMG_1034 espresso chocolate chip cup cake-60

National Cupcake week begining from Sept 15th -Sept 21st , this post of mine has come right on time for the national celebration and Betta Bake a Cupcake Competition.#bettabakeoff I have just created my twitter account for the first time in my life.. and now trying to get the hang of # tags :) Looks like everthing is going to get the hash tag.. Additive I m sure !


Amidst all the chit chat and the chatter , here is the recipe for the Coffee Chocolate Cupcakes. I have adapted this recipe from Deeba's Passionate about Baking. A must visit place for all the newbies into baking and for all those who are into blogging for a while, Deeba's lovely space needs no introduction. I drool over her pictures and envy her props. Head over to her space for more virtual baked goodies.


             COFFEE CHOCOLATE CHIP CUPCAKES

Recipe adapted  from Deeba’s Passionate About Baking
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yields 14 Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS:

2  Cups ( 260 gm) Plain Flour
1 ½ Tsp (6 gm) Baking Powder
½ Cup (115 gm) Unsalted Butter
1 Cup (200 gm) Caster Sugar
1 ½ Tbsp. Coffee Powder , I have used NescafĂ© Sachets
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
1 Large Egg
1 Cup ( 225 gm) Semi Skimmed Milk

100gm Dark Chocolate Chips

DIRECTIONS:
  •   Preheat the fan assisted oven to 180 °C, gas mark 6. Line the Muffin tray with Muffin Cases. 
  •   Cream the butter, sugar and coffee powder together and now add the egg whisking slowly and steadily. Add the vanilla extract to it.
  •    In a clean bowl, combine the dry ingredients - the flour and baking powder. A good mix with a dry spoon to bring them all together.
  •   Gradually add the dry flour mixture prepared above and milk to the wet mixture, stirring to combine until smooth.
  •  Fold in Chocolate chips.
  •  Spoon into muffin cases upto 2/3 full.
  •  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until springy to the touch. Check in the centre whether the skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool in the tin for about a minute before putting the muffins onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

NOTES:
The recipe calls for 1 tsp Baking powder. I have used 1.5 tsp,since my baking powder was nearing its expiry date.
While baking this lovely cupcake, I had misplaced my cup measurer and had to use my weighing scale to do the same. Hence I had to literally convert every single ingredient from cup to grams and then get into the making.

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Onion Tomato Mint Chutney



One more Chutney Recipe that goes into my collection of recipes! A very close Friend of mine, Vidya who lives in Chennai is the master of her recipes.A long story , cut short  - We are more than Friends !!! She knows her recipes in and out and her proportions very well. This recipe comes from her culinary corner and it came to my rescue one of the evenings when I wanted to make some different from my regular chutneys. During our regular conversation, I was asking her about the sides for dosa's and idly's .In a couple of hours, I see a mail with recipes of chutneys in pointers and i totally appreciate the pointers and the proportions to make them :) Mwaah !! Thank you honey!



  ONION TOMATO MINT CHUTNEY

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 PREP TIME        COOK TIME          TOTAL TIME
 7 Min             12 Min            20 Min
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Recipe type: Dip, Side for Idly,Dosa
Serves: 2  People
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INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 Medium sized Onion
  • 1 Medium Sized Tomato
  • 1 Green Chilli
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 10 No’s Mint Leaves
  • 3/4 Tsp of Salt
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DIRECTIONS:
  • Chop onions and tomatoes into small chunks. Crush the garlic.
  • Heat oil in a non-stick pan / kadai and drop in crushed garlic, followed by chopped red onions, green chilli along with a pinch of salt. SautĂ© for 3-4 minutes. Fry until onions turn slightly brown.
  • Pop in chopped tomatoes and mint leaves. Fry until the tomatoes get quite soft. Allow all the ingredients to cool and then blend them in the blender to obtain a smooth paste. Adjust Salt to suit the taste.
  • Transfer the chutney into the serving bowl.

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