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Kondakadalai Sundal | Chickpeas Sundal


A sundal can be described as an Indian salad made of legumes, prepared as a neiveidhyam (offering) during Indian festivals. Mainly they are made during the Navrathri festival. Sundals are very healthy and low in fat, so you can serve them as snacks or with tea/coffee. We make this chickpeas sundal during Vinakaya Chaturthi along with different modakams and kozhukattais. Let's see how to make this simple sundal.


KONDAKADALAI SUNDAL RECIPE

{ South Indian spiced salad with chickpeas and coconut}
Serves 2-3


Ingredients:

1 cup white chickpeas
2 tbsp grated coconut
Salt to taste

For the tempering:
2 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp split urad dal
¼ tsp asafoetida / hing
2 dry red chillies, broken
1 sprig curry leaves

Method:

1. Soak the chickpeas overnight or atleast 8 hours. Next day, drain the water and add water just enough to immerse it. Pressure cook with salt until just soft. Drain and set aside.

2. In a pan heat oil and add mustard seeds. When it crackles add red chillies, asafoetida, urad dal and curry leaves. Fry till dal turns golden.

3. Add the chickpeas and fry for 2-3 minutes or until the moisture evaporates. Add coconut and fry for a minute.

Notes and Tips
  • Adding salt while cooking chickpeas will make it absorb better.
  • You can add some lemon juice at the end to give tangy flavor.
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Carrot Orange Juice


I love to start my day with a fresh juice rather than tea or coffee. It makes you feel refreshed and starts your day in a healthy way. This carrot and orange juice with a kick of ginger and lemon is packed with the goodness of vitamins and antioxidants. Ginger helps soothe and improve digestion and lemon adds some tanginess to the juice. This freshly made juice is so much better than the store bought ones which have hidden ingredients and added sugars. This healthy and delicious carrot orange juice is a great drink for the summers and after workouts too.


CARROT ORANGE JUICE RECIPE

{ Fresh juice with carrot, orange, lemon and ginger }
Serves 2


Ingredients:

3 medium carrots
2 large oranges
Juice of ½ lemon
½ inch ginger piece
Sugar as required

Method:

1. Peel the carrots and chop them into small pieces. Peel the oranges and cut them into segments. Remove the white pith and seeds.

2. Add them to a blender along with ginger, sugar and some water. Blend until it is smooth. Strain to get clear juice. Add lemon juice and mix. Serve immediately with ice cubes.

3. If using a juicer, add the carrots, oranges and ginger in the extractor. Add lemon juice and sugar as required and mix well. Serve with ice cubes.

Notes and Tips
  • If don't like ginger flavor, you can skip it. 
  • Adjust sugar according to your preference. Or you can completely avoid it.
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Chocolate Bread Rolls


Home Baker's Challenge started by Priya is a monthly baking group where each month we learn to bake new dishes. Thanks to the group for pushing me to start baking and I now love baking more than the regular cooking. This month's host Gayathri of Gayathri's Cookspot chose bread rolls as the theme and she selected some wonderful sweet and savory bread roll recipes. 

All the recipes were so tempting that I was really confused which one to chose. Finally I decided to make this chocolate stuffed sweet bread rolls. Other recipes in the challenge are on my to-do list! These bread rolls are really easy to make and I would definitely make them again, perhaps with a savory filling. Off to the recipe now!

CHOCOLATE BREAD ROLLS RECIPE

{ Sweet bread rolls stuffed with chocolate bars }
Recipe Source ~ Hungry At Midnight
Makes 10 rolls


Ingredients:

For the bread dough:
2 cup bread flour
½ cup cake flour
1 ½ tsp dry yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg
2 tsp milk
120 ml warm water
30g butter, softened

For the filling:
Chocolate bars, chopped into strips

Method:

1. In a large mixing bowl, add bread flour, cake flour, dry yeast, sugar and salt. Mix well.

2. Then add egg, milk, water and form into a dough. Add the butter and knead into the dough until the dough is non sticky.

3. Cover with cling wrap and let the dough rest in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour.

4. After the dough has proved, place in on floured surface and deflate the dough. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces.

5. Roll each piece into an oval shape on a floured surface with a rolling pin. Place the chocolate on the edge of one side.

6. Cut the other side into strips. Gently fold over and tuck the strips underneath. Place the rolls on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.


7. Cover the rolls loosely with cling wrap and let them rest in a warm place for the second fermentation, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

8. Preheat oven to 175 C | 350 F. Bake the rolls for 12-16 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes and Tips
  • Before serving, warm the rolls in the microwave for 10 seconds.
  • You can also fill with chocolate chips or nutella.
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Thattai | Rice Flour Snack


Thattai is a traditional South Indian deep fried snack, made of rice flour. It is mainly prepared for festivals like Krishna Jayanthi and Diwali. Apart from rice flour, urad dal flour, chana dal, sesame seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves are added for flavor.

This crispy snack is really addictive and you can't just stop eating it! Making thattai is really easy, the only difficult part I would say is flattening the thattai, which is bit time consuming. The thinner we flatten, the crispier the thattai. These thattai are a great snack with a cup of tea. Now let's see how to make them.


THATTAI RECIPE

{ Deep fried snack made of rice flour, urad dal flour, chana dal and spices }
Yields 18-20


Ingredients:

1 cup rice flour
2 tbsp urad dal flour
½ tsp asafoetida / hing
½ tsp red chilly powder
1 tbsp channa dal / kadalai paruppu
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 sprig curry leaves, chopped
15 g / 1 tbsp butter, softened
Salt to taste
Water as required
Oil for deep frying

Method:

1. Wash and soak channa dal for 1 hour or until it is soft. Drain the water and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix rice flour, urad dal flour, asafoetida, red chilly powder, sesame seeds, curry leaves, chana dal and salt.

3. Add the butter and mix with hands into the flour until well incorporated. Add warm water little by little to form a stiff and smooth dough. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes.

4. Heat oil for deep frying. Meanwhile divide the dough into gooseberry-sized equal balls and keep them covered.

5. Take two zip-lock or milk covers and lightly grease one side with oil. Take one ball and place on the first cover and place another cover on top of it.

6. Press with a flat-bottomed vessel like davara or steel glass. Then flatten using fingers as thin as possible. Prick with a fork to prevent puffing.

7. When oil is hot, carefully take the thattai and slide into the oil. Cook on low-medium heat until the thattai becomes golden and crisp and the bubbles cease.

8. Remove and drain on a tissue paper. Once cool, store in an airtight container.

Notes and Tips
  • To make urad dal flour. roast urad dal until nice aroma comes. Cool and grind to a fine powder. Sieve it atleast 3-4 times.
  • The consistency of dough should be like poori/chapathi dough. It should not be sticky.
  • Flatten the thattai as thin as possible. You can also flatten them using your fingers, instead of pressing with flat-bottomed vessel.
  • Lightly grease the ziplock covers everytime to avoid sticking.
  • The oil should be hot when you drop the thattai. After dropping, it should be cooked in medium-low flame, otherwise the middle part will not be cooked. 
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Aval Laddu | Poha Ladoo


Sri Krishna Jayanthi  is falling on Sunday this year and if you are looking for some simple and quick recipe to make for the festival, try this super easy aval or poha laddu. Aval or rice flakes is considered to be Lord Krishna's favorite. This laddu is perfect for working people as it can be done within 15-20 minutes. 

I followed my rava laddu recipe for making this aval laddu. There is another version of this laddu made with jaggery which I will post sometime later. The cardamom lends a beautiful subtle flavor to the laddus. Store the laddu in an airtight container and it stays good for a week, but I'm sure it won't last so long!


AVAL / POHA LADDU RECIPE

{ Flattened rice flakes balls with ghee, cardamom, cashew nuts and raisins }
Makes 10


Ingredients:

1 ½ cup aval / poha
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp cardamom powder
¼ cup ghee
5-6 cashews, broken
5-6 raisins

Method:

1. In a pan, dry roast the poha until it turns slightly golden. Set aside to cool and grind to a fine powder.

2. Grind the sugar along with cardamom powder to fine powder. Add to the poha and mix well.

3. Heat 1 tsp ghee in a pan. Add the cashew nuts and fry till golden. Set aside. Now add the raisins and fry till they puff up.

4. Add this to the poha-sugar mixture and mix well. Heat the remaining ghee and pour into the poha mixture. Combine well with a spoon.

6. When mixture is warm, make small lemon sized balls. Allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes. 

Notes and Tips
  • Make sure to grind the poha finely otherwise it will be difficult to form balls.
  • You can add few tablespoons of warm milk if the mixture is too dry.
  • You can use thin or thick variety poha. I have used medium thick poha.
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Jugu Cake | African Peanut Biscotti


International Food Challenge is taking us to Africa this month and we are exploring the East African cuisine. The cuisine of Africa varies from region to region and uses locally available grains, vegetables, fruits and meat products. We can see influences from Persian and Indian cuisine in African foods. This month's host, Ramya of Lemon Kurry, chose some authentic dishes from the East African cuisine, out of which I tried this jugu cake.

Jugu cake can be called the African version of the Italian biscotti, except that it is not twice baked. Jugu means peanut in Swahili. It is slightly crunchy with a soft and crumbly cake like texture. Enjoy this nutty biscotti with a cup of tea or coffee. Off to the recipe!


JUGU CAKE RECIPE

{ African style biscotti with peanuts }
Recipe Source ~ One Life To Eat
Yields 25-30 pieces


Ingredients:

1 ½ cup roasted peanuts
2 ½ cup all-purpose flour / maida
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 large egg
¼ cup / 60 grams butter, melted
½ cup milk

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 C | 350 F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

2. Grind 1 cup of peanuts coarsely. Roughly chop the remaining ½ cup of peanuts.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground peanuts, chopped peanuts, all-purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda. Mix well.

4. In another bowl, beat the egg lightly and add the melted butter. Add this to the peanut-flour mixture and combine well.

5. Warm the milk and add it little by little and bind everything together to a soft and pliable dough.

6. Divide the dough into 4 parts and roll each into a log. Place them on the baking tray.

7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until its golden. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

Notes and Tips
  • The dough should not be hard. Add little milk if its too hard.
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Aloo Poha | Batata Poha


Poha is a perfect breakfast dish for busy mornings as it can be put together in very little time with ingredients that are readily available in our pantry. I often make aval upma or vegetable masala aval upma whenever I want prepare a quick breakfast or brunch. Aloo poha is a delicious and healthy dish popular in Maharastrian and Gujarati cuisine.

Aloo poha or batata poha is made with flattened rice and potatoes tempered with spices and curry leaves, along with peanuts for some crunch and lemon for some tang. This aloo poha is mostly served for breakfast, but it also makes a great snack with the evening tea. It tastes best when served hot. Let's see how to make this easy and quick aloo poha.


ALOO/BATATA POHA RECIPE

{ Flattened rice with potatoes, peanuts and spices }
Serves 2


Ingredients:

1 ½ cup poha / flattened rice
1 large potato, boiled and peeled
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green chilly, finely chopped
2 tbsp roasted peanuts
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
½ a lemon

For the tempering:
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of asafoetida / hing
¼ tsp cumin seeds / jeera
1 dry red chilly
1 sprig curry leaves

Method:

1. Soak the poha with enough water for 2-3 minutes. Drain the water and let it sit in the colander. Set aside. Chop the potato into small cubes.

2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add asafoetida, jeera, dry red chilly and curry leaves. Add peanuts and fry for a minute.

3. Then add onion and saute till they turn soft. Add cubed potatoes, turmeric powder, salt and mix well. Fry for 2-3 minutes.

4. Now add the poha and gently combine everything. Cook for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Add lemon juice and mix gently.

Notes and Tips
  • Soak poha is enough water just until its soft. Use medium thick variety for making poha always. Soaking times may vary for different brands of poha. 
  • Instead of soaking, you can also rinse the poha under slow running water until the poha becomes soft.
  • If you don't have time to boil potato, you can cook them directly after cooking onions. Or you could chop them into small cubes and microwave them.
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