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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Amaranth Flour - Pistachio Balls / Rajgira Ke Atta - Pista laddu

Here are some nutritious and healthy laddu for adults and kids alike. These are gluten free and are easy to make. I thought of using a millet flour for this week's theme and zeroed on amaranth flour. I added pistachios but any or a mixture of nuts can be substituted here. We felt that they tasted similar to the classic sunnundalu of Andhra which are made using husked black gram / sabut urad dal and jaggery and had a hint of milk powder texture.

Ingredients: (Yield 8 laddus)
3 tbsp. Ghee
1/2 cup Rajgira ke atta / Amaranth flour
1/4 cup shelled pistachios
6 to 8 tbsp. powdered jaggery
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
* Heat a pan and add ghee. When ghee melts, add amaranth flour and toast it on low flame until you start to smell the aroma, about five minutes.
* Lightly toast the pistachios and keep them aside to cool.
* Add the pistachios to a food processor or a blender and grind them coarsely. Next add the remaining ingredients and pulse a few times to combine.
* Transfer the ingredients onto a plate or bowl. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, shape them into balls. Shape the laddus when the mixture is still warm.
* Let them cool and store them in an airtight container.
This goes to Blogging marathon #86, under the theme 'All that come round are laddus?'. Check out the page to read what other marathoners are cooking.


Monday, February 19, 2018

Potato Scones

These potato scones aka tattie scones come from Scotland and are a variation to the griddle scone. They have nothing to do with the English tea time baked scones most are familiar with. These unleavened scones are made with liberal quantities of boiled or left over mashed potatoes and butter combined with enough flour to bind. They are then rolled out into about 5 mm thick circles or further cut into quarters and are cooked on a griddle. 

These scones are served warm as a part of a full Scottish breakfast or eaten as a roll with fillings. Alternatively, it is eaten with jam and tea like a baked scone. Potato scones contain a small portion of flour to a large portion of potatoes according to traditional recipes. However I noticed many home cooks mentioning to add the flour until all the ingredients come together which sounds more sensible when rolling out the dough. I used less butter than the recipes mentioned. They tasted like potato rotis made with flour and Indians would enjoy it with a spicy side dish to go with.
Ingredients: (Yield 8 scones)
1 cup peeled, boiled and mashed potato 
1 tbsp. butter
Salt to taste
All purpose flour as needed (I used more than 1/2 cup.)

*  Greasing palms with oil would help if the dough is going to be prepared manually. Combine potato, salt and butter in a mixing bowl and mash together. Add flour to the mixture in small increments and mix, until the mixture holds together without sticking to your hands and the dough is easy to roll. 
* The scones can be either circular or triangular shaped ones. If rolling out into circles, divide the dough into 8 portions and roll out into about 5 mm thick, 5 inched circles, dusting the work surface with flour. 
For triangular ones, divide the dough into two portions. Roll out one portion into a big circle and quarter them using a knife. Repeat it with the remaining dough.
* Heat a griddle or non stick shallow pan on medium flame and spray with some oil. Toast each rolled out piece, flipping once or twice until brown spots appear on both sides. Serve them warm. bmlogo
This goes to Blogging marathon #85, under the theme 'Breakfast Recipes'. Check out the page to read what other marathoners are cooking.


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sabudana Khichdi / Saggubiyyam Upma

Sabudana khichdi is a popular dish in some parts of India, especially in the state of Maharashtra. As the title indicates, the khichdi is made using sabudana / tapioca pearls. It can be eaten for any meal of the day and is considered as one of the fasting foods given that the regular salt in the recipe is replaced by rock salt.

This khichdi requires a bit of advance preparation since the tapioca pearls need soaking until they turn translucent and soft. The time of soaking depends upon the variety of tapioca pearls used. Some need only a few minutes of soaking where as some need 4 to 5 hours of soaking. I don't soak tapioca pearls in plenty of water but instead use only enough water to cover them. I cover the tapioca pearls' bowl and forget for few hours. Usually they absorb all the water by that time and would have turned translucent and fluffy, ready for use.

Grated ginger, fresh shredded coconut and sugar can be added as well to the recipe though I don't use them.

Ingredients: (Yield 2 servings)
1 cup sabudana / tapioca pearls
1/2 cup peanuts
1 medium sized potato
1 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
10 curry leaves
1 or 2 green chillies, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Lemon juice to taste
Minced cilantro to garnish

Prep work:
* Rinse tapioca pearls in a colander under running water until it is not cloudy anymore. This helps to get rid of the starch to some extent. Soak tapioca pearls in a bowl by adding water just enough to cover them. Cover the bowl and leave aside for 4 to 5 hours or overnight. 
* Press a soaked pearl between thumb and forefinger to check whether it easily squishes. If not, sprinkle some more water and soak for some more time. (My tapioca pearls took about 5 hours to soak.) Drain any extra water if present.
* Toast the peanuts and skin them. Save about 2 tbsp. peanuts and coarsely grind the rest of the peanuts.
* Peel and cube the potatoes.

The cooking part:
* Heat oil in a pan, preferably a non stick one and add cumin seeds. When they start to brown, add curry leaves and chillies. Saute them for about 20 seconds and add potato cubes. Cover and cook on low flame until the potato cubes turn tender.
* Mix soaked tapioca pearls, peanut powder and salt in a bowl. Add them to the pan and cook covered on low flame until tapioca pearls turn slightly translucent.
* Garnish with cilantro and the saved peanuts.
* Squeeze some lemon juice while serving or it can be added while cooking tapioca pearls.

This goes to Blogging marathon #85, under the theme 'Breakfast Recipes'. Check out the page to read what other marathoners are cooking.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge

This Caribbean cornmeal porridge could be a great breakfast alternative to a bowl of oatmeal or if one is looking for a serving of whole grain in the morning. This creamy bowl of porridge is full of flavors and quite a filling one. It is a classic comfort food from the Jamaican region and is also called 'cog' or 'pop' there. Some of the versions of this recipe use a small quantity of flour also added along with cornmeal.    
Recipe Source: Here
Ingredients: (Yields 1 generous serving)
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 one inch pieces of cinnamon 
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
A pinch of ground nutmeg
1 to 2 tbsp. sweetened condensed milk or any other sweeteners

* Heat water, coconut milk and cinnamon pieces to a pan and bring it to a boil. 
* Next add cornmeal and stir well to prevent to form any lumps. 
* Cover and cook on low flame, until done, about 10 minutes.
* Add vanilla extract, nutmeg and sweetened condensed milk to the cooked cornmeal and mix well.
* Add extra milk / water and adjust the consistency if the pudding appears too thick.
* Discard the cinnamon sticks and serve the pudding warm. Add sliced fresh fruits, dry fruits or nuts as garnishes if desired. (My daughter enjoyed it with a sprinkling of some brown sugar, raisins and nuts over the porridge.)
This goes to Blogging marathon #85, under the theme 'Breakfast Recipes'. Check out the page to read what other marathoners are cooking.