Paneer roll-up

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Paneer roll up is a very easy snack to prepare and an easy grab for the kids. You can make this as breakfast or as an evening snack or pack it for lunch!

I loved the crunch on the outside of the roll. Using butter for roasting it, gives it a nice flavor too 🙂

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INGREDIENTS:

Note: Cup used for measurement is US measurement cup, 1 cup = 237 ml

Paneer(crumbled) – 1 cup
Onion – 1/2 no of medium size, chopped
Ginger garlic paste – 1/2 tsp
Green chilli – 1
Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
Garam masala – 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves – 6-7 strands
Oil – 3 tbsp
Salt – to taste(apprx. 1/2 tsp)
Bread slices – 5-6 nos
Salted butter – 1 tbsp

METHOD:

1. Heat oil in pan and add cumin seeds. Once it splutters, add chopped onion, ginger garlic paste, chopped green chillies and salt.
2. Once onions turn light pink, add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and garam masala.
3. Saute till the spices cook well and oil starts to separate. Then add paneer and mix well with the spices.
4. Cook for 3-4 mins in medium high flame. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
5. Slice off the sides of the bread slice. Using a rolling pin, roll out the bread slice.
6. Sprinkle some water on the bread slice and spoon in 1 tbsp of filling on the bread slice.
7. Firmly roll the bread and using some water, try to stick the end of the bread, so that it doesn’t roll out.
8. Repeat steps 5-7 for each slice of bread or till the filling is used up completely.
9. Heat butter in a pan. Pressing lightly, roast both sides of the rolled bread till the bread turns light brown, to form slightly crispy paneer roll-ups.

Enjoy with ketchup!

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Date Roll

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Date roll: I had a whole box of dates at home and it was untouched for weeks. I had bought it with the intention of having 3-4 dates per day to keep my iron level normal 🙂 And now after few weeks, I am thinking hard on how to use it up without having to throw it!!! Then I remembered some roll my mom used to make. I remembered the shape and texture but wasn’t quite sure how to make it. So I consulted the expert, obviously, mom; and she told me what to do. I have to admit, it got over in no time 🙂

So here it is. Date roll, one of the healthiest snack you could feed your kids with. Its made into a nice form and bite size pieces, so kids are going to love it. And if you think about the time you spend on it, its a real treat to have. Overall, it took 10 mins of my time to make it 🙂 Personally, I really liked the crunchiness of the crackers/biscuits while it still had all the softness that the dates had to provide.

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INGREDIENTS:

Dates – 1 lb/450 gm
(60 nos apprx.)
Ghee – 3 tbsp
Sugar – 3 tsp
Cracker(Marie Gold) – 10 nos

METHOD:

1. In a blender/food processor, pulse the dates for few seconds such that the dates are chopped finely.
2. Transfer it to a bowl. Mix the ghee with the dates and knead the dates with your hands till it combines well.
3. Place it covered for about an hour. The dates will become soft then.
4. Break the crackers/ Marie gold biscuits into small pieces(you could use pestle and mortar).
5. After an hour, mix these broken biscuits to the date and mix it well with the dates. Try to make the biscuits spread evenly to the kneaded date ball.
6. Divide the ball into halves. Using hands, roll out the ball to form a cylindrical roll. Give it a good and flat shape at the ends.
7. Cover in a cheesecloth and refrigerate for couple of hours so that the roll is set properly.
8. Slice into 1/2 inch size pieces and enjoy 🙂

Hariyali Murgh Tangdi

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Hariyali Murgh Tangdi is a fancy name I came up with for this chicken I made few days back 🙂 Hariyali means green, Murgh means chicken and Tangdi means leg. So basically this is Green Chicken Drumsticks which is marinated for 8-10 hours in yogurt and lime along with other spices, which makes this baked drumstick very tender and juicy. Another thing I like about this dish is the fresh taste it gets from the greens(mint and coriander leaves).

I baked the chicken in conventional oven. Alternatively, you could fry the chicken in a pan using some oil too. The same marinade can be used to make kababs. Instead of using drumsticks, use thigh or breast peices(basically, use boneless pieces). Skew it and bake it at 350 deg F for 35-40 mins.

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INGREDIENTS:

Chicken drumsticks/leg – 4 pieces
Mint leaves – 12 strands
Coriander leaves – 12 strands
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1.5 tsp
Yogurt – 2 tbsp
Green chilli – 4-5 nos
Lime juice – 1 tbsp
Salt – 1.25 tsp
Oil – 2 tbsp

METHOD:

1. Clean and wash the chicken drumsticks/legs.
2. Mix all the other ingredients(except oil) well and marinate the chicken for minimum 3-4 hours(I left the marinated chicken in the refrigerator overnight).
3. Preheat the oven to 400 deg F. Meanwhile, grease a baking tray. Arrange the drumsticks on the tray and brush it with some oil.
4. Bake the chicken for 30-35 mins(or till chicken turns brown). Turn over the chicken drumsticks at half time.
5. Take it out and sprinkle few drops of freshly squeezed lime before serving.

Serve as an appetizer or serve with bread/dinner rolls and a side of salad.

Vattayappam

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Vattayappam can be described as a steamed thick rice pancake. Its main ingredients include rice and coconut. A simple dish, used mainly as a tea time snack or breakfast in most Kerala Christian homes. DD usually doesn’t ‘demand’ or ‘request’ me to make anything particular. Its very rare that he would ask me to make something FOR him. Whenever I ask him what he wants me to make, his default reply is, “Anything that’s easy for you to make is fine”. Isn’t he a loving husband 🙂 No pressure on me whatsoever! I know that vattayappam is one of DD’s favourites. Its not hard to remember his favourites, given that he has very few items in his list, unlike me or most foodies 😛 So when he asked me to make Vattayappam, I was more than happy to make this for him.

Once we were at our friend’s place and they got some snacks. I think it was mini samosas and idlis. All of us sitting there except DD, realized after a while that what we thought was Idli was actually Vattayappam in the shape of Idli. So for fun we demanded the hosts to serve chutney/sambar to eat along with ‘Idli’. After some time also, when I saw that DD wasn’t taking his favourite item kept in front of him, I asked him why he isn’t taking one of those. I knew for sure that it wasn’t for courtesy sake 😉 His next statement, put me rolling on the floor laughing. Very innocently he said, “I am waiting for the chutney”!!!!!! That was hilarious. We all had a good laugh that day 😀 So this one is for you my dear DD 🙂 Presenting your favourite vattayappam!

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INGREDIENTS

Note: The cup used for this recipe is US measurement cup(1 cup = 237 ml)
Rice flour – 1 cup
Grated coconut – 1 cup
Cooked rice – 1/4 cup
Sugar – 3 tbsp
Salt – a pinch
Water – 3/4 cup(apprx. amount)
Raisins – 2 tbsp
Cashews – 7-8 nos
Cardamom – 4-6 nos
Ghee – 1 tbsp

For fermenting yeast:-
Yeast – 1/4 tsp
Sugar – 1/2 tsp
Lukewarm Water – 1/4 cup

METHOD:

1. In lukewarm water, mix sugar and yeast(mentioned under ‘For fermenting yeast’ section). Keep it covered and undisturbed for 15-20 mins until foamy.
2. Meanwhile, in a blender/mixie put rice flour, grated coconut, 1 tbsp sugar, cooked rice, salt and enough water. First put 1/2 cup water. Blend/Grind it to a smooth paste. Add remaining water only if required.
NOTE: The batter shouldn’t be too watery. It should be just slightly thinner than an idli batter. Remember that the water used for fermenting yeast will also get added to the batter. So add water carefully.
3. Transfer the batter to a bowl. Once the yeast gets foamy, add it to the batter. Give it a good mix. Cover with a lid and let it stay in a warm place overnight(or for 7-8 hours) for fermenting. The batter will rise well, so use a bowl which is large enough to contain the batter even if it rises 2 folds.
4. After the batter rises, add the remaining sugar(2 tbsp) to the batter. Remove the skin of the cardamom and crush the seeds using pestle and mortar and add it to the batter and mix well.
5. Prepare for steaming the batter. Grease a flat cake pan or round glassware(with a flat surface) with ghee. You could also use idli plates for making the vattayappam if you do not have a flat tray that you can use for steaming. I used a 6-inch pan and 1 idli plate for making mine.
6. Pour half the batter to the greased pan. Split the cashews into halves. Garnish with raisins and cashews. Steam it for 20 mins on medium high flame. Let it cool for 10 mins and then transfer to a plate.
7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for the remaining batter(if you split the batter to make 2 vattayappams). If using idli plates, you can steam it in one go. Depending on what kind of pan you use and the depth of your cooker/steaming pot, you can prepare all the vattayappams in one go or by repeating the steaming process.

Cut the vattayappam into small slices and serve warm or cold as per your preference 🙂

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Stuffed Braided Bread

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I was just browsing through, to see what can I make completely different and new. I got inspired by my friend’s recent post in Roshni’s Kitchen. I thought it was interesting to make something that I have had only from bakeries in India. It was there at the back of my mind to make this stuffed bread. But I didn’t have the right stuffing for it that day. Then one day when I made Achari Chicken, I got reminded of this recipe. I thought it would be perfect for a stuffing.

That evening, being a weekend, our friends had visited us. While the guys were busy watching TV, me and my friend, were all set to do the experiment. It came out well. All of us really enjoyed having a snack that was super delicious and looked even more beautiful :-). Well, for the bread, I took the recipe from Hilda’s Kitchen! I have made some adjustments to the measurement as per what we used at home.

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INGREDIENTS:

Yeast – 1.5 tsp
Sugar – 1/2 tbsp
Milk – 1/3 cup
All –purpose flour – 1.5 cups
Baking powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Yogurt – 1 tbsp
Butter – 1 tbsp
Egg -1 nos
Sesame seeds – 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves – 2 strands

For the stuffing:-
Achari Chickenrecipe here
You could use any stuffing of your choice. I had made achari chicken and it went really well with the bread. If you have any left over gravy, ensure that you heat it in a pan and make it dry.

I used 2 cups of Achari chicken, mostly the chicken pieces. Made it into a dry dish and roughly mashed the chicken pieces.

METHOD:

1. In warm milk, dissolve sugar and yeast. Keep covered and undisturbed for about 15 mins till the yeast rises well.
2. Meanwhile, mix all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. To this add yogurt and butter. Mix well.
3. Once yeast rises, pour it into the flour mixture and knead. I used food processor for kneading. You can knead using hands till the dough binds together and feels soft.
4. Grease the dough with 2 tsp oil and transfer to a lightly greased bowl and keep covered in a warm place for the dough to rise.
5. After an hour, the dough would rise to double its size. Gently knead it and divide into 2 portions.
6. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into oval shape using a rolling pin. Transfer the rolled out dough to greased baking sheet/tray.
7. Make same sized slits/strips on both sides of the rolled out dough retaining the center of the dough for the filling. (I had added a photo for a better understanding.)
8. Spoon the filling of your choice to the center of the dough and start braiding. For braiding, start from one end. Take one strip and take it over the filling, across to the other side. Do this alternatively from either side.(Photo attached for better understanding).
9. Braid the entire dough such that the filling is completely covered and close the ends properly by either sticking the dough to the corner or cut out the remaining part of the dough to give it a proper finished look.
10. Place your stuffed dough in a warm place and let it stay for another 30 mins so that it rises again.
11. Preheat the oven to 320 deg F. Meanwhile, prepare the egg-wash.
12. Beat the egg properly and brush the loaves/stuffed bread with the egg.
13. Sprinkle sesame seeds and chopped coriander leaves on the loaves/stuffed bread.
14. Once the oven is heated to the desired temperature, bake the loaves for 20-25 mins. It should have a golden brown color once done.
15. Let it cool for 5-10 mins before serving.

Enjoy the evening with freshly baked stuffed braided bread and a cup of tea/coffee.

Photos to explain the steps above. Because it was the first time trying, its not perfect in terms of shape and braiding. Am sure I will do better in the next attempt. Can’t wait to take perfect picture to share this wonderful recipe though 🙂

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photo 2

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Kallummakkaya varuthadu/Mussel Fry

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As I had mentioned in my Kallummakkaya mulagu aracha recipe, mussel is not one of most common seafood item you would find in Kerala homes. It is one of those special things that you make very few times in life 😛 So you would want it to taste good when you make it so rarely. When I bought Mussel, I split half portion of it for making Kallummakkaya mulagu arachadu and half the portion I used for making this Mussel fry. I felt when you finally make up your mind for putting that much effort in its cleaning and preparation process, you might as well want to try couple of different dishes out of it 🙂

Mussel fry has been one of my favourites and I have always preferred it over mussel masala. Ya right, the less healthier it is, the more tastier it gets 😉 But to make you feel better, this dish is not deep fried and so it is not junk as such 🙂 It goes very well with rice, moru kachiyadu and bhindi fry/carrot thoran.

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INGREDIENTS:

Mussel/Kallumakkaya – 10 nos
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp
Salt – to taste(apprx. 1/2 tsp)
Oil – 2 tbsp
Curry leaves(optional) – 1 strand
Chopped onion(optional) – 1 tbsp

To grind:-
Shallots – 6-7 nos
Garlic – 2 pods
Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Black peppercorns – 1/2 tsp
Vinegar – 2 tsp

METHOD:

1. Clean and wash the mussels. (To clean the mussels, you have to remove the sand and the fibre type beard from the mussel. Then wash them well.)
2. In a blender, put all the ingredients mentioned under ‘To grind’ section and make into a fine paste.
3. Take the mussel and marinate it with the ground paste, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix it well so the spices are applied evenly on the mussels.
4. Marinate for 1-2 hours.
5. Heat oil in pan and shallow fry the Mussels in medium flame. Once the mussels are 75% cooked, you can add the curry leaves and chopped onions if you like(I didn’t put it in mine, but I always add these for prawns/shrimp fry. It adds a very different and good flavor to you mussel fry). The mussels are done once they look little firm. They are little chewy in nature.

Vada Pav(Mumbai style)

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Vada pav is yet another street food in India. Mostly popular in the streets of Mumbai, Vada Pav can be considered as an Indian Burger. Strangely enough, I had never tried vada pav when I was in India. I got introduced to this dish when I visited a Maharastrian family while I was in Michigan. At that time, when I didn’t know the basics of cooking, I had never thought I would ever make this delicacy by myself ever 😛

Well, last day I got some pav(unsweetened bun) from the store thinking I would make pav bhaji(which is what I usually make when I buy pav). But since I had a lot of potatoes at home, I thought, for a change, I will try making vada pav. I never thought that this dish would become a huge hit. Personally, I liked it a lot and to my surprise, without even being asked a question about it, DD came and told me 3-4 times that he really liked this thing!!! 😀 For those of you who don’t know the history, the last thing DD would voluntarily come and appreciate would be any kind of food!! So then I knew that this is one of those things that I am going to be making more often than I thought I would! And pleasantly so 🙂

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INGREDIENTS:

Potato – 3 medium sized
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp
Asafetida/Hing – ¼ tsp
Red chilli powder – ¼ tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Green chilli – 2 nos
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Curry leaves – 7-8 leaves
Lime juice – 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves – 5-6 strands
Salt – to taste(apprx. ½ tsp)
Oil – 1.5 tbsp
Oil – 1.5 cups – for deep frying the vadas

For the batter:-
Gram flour/Besan – 1 cup
Rice flour – 1/2 cup
Red chilli powder – ¼ tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Salt – to taste(apprx. ½ tsp)
Baking soda(Optional) – ¼ tsp
Water – a little over ¾ cup

Other ingredients:-
All the below ingredients can be bought from stores(I used home-made coriander chutney). Also, use the measurements as per your taste. I like more of coriander and dry garlic chutney in my vada pav. Those who like more sweet and sour taste, can use more of tamarind-date chutney.
-Pav
-Coriander chutney-recipe here
-Dry garlic chutney
-Tamarind-date chutney
-Chopped onion

METHOD:
1. Boil potato in a cooker/microwave and remove the peel. Mash the potato gently(Don’t make it into a smooth paste, but gently mash it to form small chunks).
2. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and when it crackles, put cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds also splutter/get brown, add asafetida, chopped curry leaves, chopped green chilli and grated ginger.
3. Saute till ginger becomes light brown. To this add turmeric powder. Saute for few seconds and then the mashed potato.
4. Mix well so that the seasoning is spread evenly over potato. Sprinkle salt and red chilli powder to the potato and mix well. Cook for another minute or 2.
5. Remove from heat and garnish with lime juice and chopped coriander leaves. (You could get the batter ready while you wait for the mixture to cool down).
6. Once the potato mix cools down a little, make lemon sized balls with it.
7. In a deep kadai/sauce pan, heat oil for deep frying the vadas.
8. For the batter, in a bowl, mix all the ingredients listed under ‘For the batter’ section. (I had not used baking soda and it still came out well). To avoid lumps in the batter, mix it thoroughly till it becomes a smooth paste. The easiest way is to whisk the batter. The batter shouldn’t be too runny. It should be of thick consistency.
9. Dip a potato ball into the batter and coat it well with the batter.
10. Slowly drop the dipped ball into the hot oil and fry it. Fry in medium high heat. When the vada becomes light brown, you know that your vada is ready. Gently remove the vada from oil and put on a kitchen towel/cheesecloth to drain excess oil. Repeat this for the remaining balls(You can fry upto 3 vadas together).

Assembling the Vada Pav:-
1. Slice the pav/bread into halves.
2. Spread your preferred quantity of coriander chutney on inner side of either halves of the pav.
3. Pour the required quantity of tamarind-date chutney also on either halves.
4. On the bottom half, put the dry garlic chutney and chopped onion.
5. Place the vada on the bottom half and place the other half of the pav on top.

Serve with extra dry garlic chutney, chopped onion, roasted green chilli and a lime wedge on the side. Enjoy this lip smacking vada pav with loved ones.

NOTE: 1. I didn’t use baking soda for the batter. It still came out well.
2. Rice flour makes the vada crispy.
3. For deep frying, put the vadas into the oil only when the oil is heated well. If not, the vadas will drink a lot of oil. You can do a test to check if the oil is ready, by putting a drop of the batter to the oil. If the batter goes down into the oil and comes back up quickly and turns brown immediately, it means that the oil is heated well.