Happy Indian Republic Day!
Saare jahan se achcha Hindusitan hamara…….
Chana dal vada is a perfect snack for rainy, soggy weather. Enjoy these crunchy fritters with the chutney of your choice and a hot cup of tea.
Approx. 6 servings
- Yellow chana dal – 2 cups
- Onion – 1/2 cup finely chopped
- Ginger garlic paste – 1/2 tbsp
- Green chilies – 2 finely chopped
- Fresh cilantro leaves – 2 tbsp finely chopped
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Salt as per taste
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Soak chana dal 4-5 hours in plenty of water.
- Drain the water. Keep 1/4 cup soaked dal aside. Grind remaining dal without adding water.
- In a large bowl, add the above dals, onions, ginger-garlic paste, cilantro leaves, green chilies, cumin seeds and salt. Mix well.
- Heat oil in a pan for frying vadas.
- Take 1 tbsp of the above batter in the palm of your hand, flatten them a bit and carefully fry them in medium hot oil till they turn golden brown in color.
- Drain vadas on the kitchen towel.
Enjoy these garma garam vadas with the chutneys of your choice.
Ingredients: [For approx 4 servings]
Rice – 2 cups
Moong dal – 1 cup
Jeera – 2 tsp
Cashews(broken) – 1/2cup
Whole dry red chillies – 6
Whole peppercorns – 10-12
Curry leaves – 5-6 leaves
Garlic – 4 cloves
Chana dal – 1 tsp
Urad dal -1 tsp
Hing [Asafoetida powder] – 2 pinch
Butter – 2 tbsp
Salt as per taste
- Soak rice and moong dal in water for an hour.
- Cook rice and dal with salt, turmeric powder and butter/ghee in a heavy bottom pot in 3 cups of water.
- In a pan, heat 2 tbsp butter. Add Jeera, chana dal, urad dal, hing powder, minced garlic, a few peppercorns and cashews. When it splatters, add curry leaves and dry red chillies.
- Add this prepared seasoning to the cooked rice mixture.
Serve hot for light lunch or dinner.
A simple yet flavorful snack. In my opinion, making fried idli is the best use of leftover idlies. It can be served in between meals or as a hearty breakfast.
For Fried Idlies [4 servings]
Cooked Idli – 8 [Leftovers are better]
Sweet Onion – 1/2 medium size, sliced
Capsicum (Green Bell pepper) – 1 cup, sliced
Mushrooms (any variety) -1/2 cup, sliced [Optional]
Cashew nuts -1/2 cups, halves
Ginger- 1 tsp minced
Garlic- 1 tsp minced
Honey -1 tbsp OR Brown Sugar – 1 tbsp
Stir fry Sauce- 1tbsp
Maggi Hot & Sweet Sauce – 1 tsp
Garlic chili sauce -1 tsp
Oil for stir frying -2 tbsp
Salt to taste
- 1. Prepare all the vegetables as directed.
- 2. Cut cooked idlies into small bite size cubes and shallow fry it. Keep fried paneer aside.
- 3. Heat the wok and add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the minced ginger and garlic and stir-fry briefly until aromatic.
- 4. Add onions first and stir fry on high heat for 30 seconds.
- 5. Add green bell pepper with mushrooms and stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Add fried idli cubes to it. Add cashews.
- 6. Stir in stir fry sauce, Maggi Hot & Sweet sauce, Garlic chili sauce, honey (or brown sugar) and salt. Cook for a few more seconds.
Serve hot anytime as snack or breakfast and Enjoy.
Note: You can increase or decrease the amount of sauces according to your taste.
Healthy vegetable Idli (Veggie Rice cakes)
Idli is one of the healthiest southern Indian breakfasts. Plain Idli is great but with vegetables it is awesome. It can be served as a breakfast, evening snack or as a meal with sambhar and chutney. Idli is soft and easy to eat so kids love it too.
For Vegetable Idli (4 servings)
Idli batter – 4 cups
Vegetables – Carrot, cabbage, green beans [shredded] -1.5 cups
Tomato- 1 thinly sliced [Round]
Cashews – ½ cups
Cilantro leaves – ½ cup leaves
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Green chilies – 2
Curry leaves – 5-6
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Salt as per taste
- Prepare Idli batter as usual or buy it from any Indian grocery store.
- In a pan, heat cooking oil and add mustard seeds. When it starts splattering, add green chilies, curry leaves and vegetables. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Do not cook the vegetables completely as they will be cooked later with the idli batter.
- Add salt to the vegetables and cool it for few minutes.
- Add the vegetables to the Idli batter and mix well.
- For making Idlies, grease the Idli molds and arrange tomato slices in some of the molds, or cilantro leaves or cashews. Now pour the idli batter in each mold and steam it.
- Once the Idlies are cooked, keep the molds aside for few minutes to cool down and then gently take the idlies off the mold and flip them. Arrange the vegetable side up in the serving plate.
Enjoy warm Idlis with green cilantro chutney or coconut chutney and sambhar.
Lemon Rice [Southern Indian style]
Last few days, Aunt V is visiting us. She is a great cook. I learned this and few other recipes from her. Lemon rice is very flavorful and very easy to make. Lemon rice is great for picnics or as a journey meal. I would like to share this simple yet authentic recipe with you all.
For Lemon rice [4 servings]
Rice (Basmati) – 4 cups [Cooked] left over is even better
Cashews – ½ cup (halved) [Optional]
Raw peanuts – ½ cup (halved) [Optional]
Turmeric powder -1/2 tsp
Lemon/ Lime juice – 3 tbsp
Salt to taste
Cooking oil for tempering -1.5 tbsp
Dry red chilies [torn into halves] – 4
Mustard seeds [Rai] – 1 tsp
Chana dal – 1 tbsp
Urad dal [white]-1 tbsp
Hing [asafoetida] – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – 6
Cilantro fresh – 1 tbsp [finely chopped] for garnishing (optional)
1. Wash and cook basmati rice as usual. i.e. Cook 1.5 cup raw rice with 3 cups of water. Let the rice cool completely or let it sit in the refrigerator for couple of hours after cooking. This recipe is good for using leftover white rice too.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add peanuts or cashews. Fry for couple of minutes. Drain the nuts and keep aside.
3. In the same pan add all the tempering ingredients, Mustard seeds, red chilies, chana dal, urad dal, hing, and curry leaves. Fry till it all crackles. Add turmeric powder and the fried nuts, mix well.
4. Add the above tempering to the cooked rice. Add Lemon or lime juice to the rice and mix again.
Garnish the prepared rice with freshly chopped cilantro. Enjoy with any meal, anytime of the day.
Onion-Green Chilli Uttapam
Uttapam is one of the great tasting South Indian snack or breakfast. It has many different versions but Onion-Green Chili is one of my all time favorite. Instead of onion-chili, you can add any fresh vegetable of your choice .
For Onion-Green Chili Uttapam [6 uttapams approx.]
Idli / Dosa Batter – 2 cups [ Ihave used Idli batter ]
Sweet Onions – 1 cup finely chopped
Green Chilies - 3-4 chopped
Cilantro -1/3 cup chopped
Cooking oil for shallow frying
Salt as per taste
- Heat griddle or tawa. Take one ladle of Idli batter and pour in the middle of the griddle.
- Spread the batter as pancake and add one teaspoon of oil along the edges.
- On the top spread chopped onions, green chillies and chopped cilantro evenly. Let it cook on the medium flame for a minute and then cover the uttapam with a lid. Cook for another 2 minutes.
- Remove the lid and add few drops of oil on top of onion and chillies.
- Gently flip the uttapam to the other side and cook for couple of minutes.
- Uttapam is ready when it is golden brown in color.
Serve hot with green/coconut chutney and sambhar.
Chakli or Murukku (Crispy savory snacks)
Chakli is a very common Maharashtrian snack. It is also called as Murukku in Southern India. It lasts for few weeks if stored properly in air tight container, so it is a great anytime snack.
For Chakli (25 pieces approx.)
Rice flour – 2.5 cups [Roasted]
Urad dal flour – ½ cups [Roasted]
Butter – 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Asafoetida powder- 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Sesame seeds – 1 tsp
Water-1.5 cups (to make dough)
cooking oil to fry
Salt as per taste
- Combine rice flour, urad dal flour, sesame seeds, cumin seeds, red chili powder, asafoetida powder, butter and salt.
- Mix together well and add water very slowly to make dough. Knead well to make it like roti dough.
- With the help of chakli press, make chaklies on a piece of wax paper, so it will be easier to transfer it to the oil. It takes some practice to make the shape.
4. Heat cooking oil for frying the chaklis.
5. Carefully with the help of flat spatula, transfer chaklies to the oil.
6. Deep fry the chaklies till it is crisp and golden in color.
7. Drain it on paper towel and let it cool down. Store it in a air tight container.
Enjoy Chakli with tea/coffee anytime.