Rava Idli

   

Usually when I think about blogging a recipe it’s usually for a preset theme or something I find new and exotic. I rarely blog about items I make on a weekly basis or dishes that I don’t need a recipe but go mostly by muscle memory. 

I didn’t have anything to blog for the CCChallenge today. I was racking my brains to come up with something suitable while roasting rava for the rava idli. Eureka! 

  

As I started writing this down I realized how much my recipe evolved. Most of my recipes for day to day dishes are sourced from my mother or mother in law. Then I modify and substitute here and there. In this case I also added some pointers from my favorite tv show chef – Venkatesh Bhat of Samayal Samayal. 

So here goes –

Makes 14 medium sized / 10 large sized idlis

WHAT WE NEED

Rava / Semolina                  1 Cup

Oil                                             1 tbsp

Mustard Seeds                       1/2 tsp

Bengal Gram/ Chana Dal     1/2 tsp

Green Chilly (medium)         1-2

Ginger (finely chopped)        1″ piece

Carrot (finely chopped)         1 small

Coriander leaves                  As needed

Grated Coconut                       2 tbsp

Baking soda                              1/4 tsp

Curds   (See note)                   1 Cup

Salt
WHAT TO DO

  • Dry roast the rava till it lets out its aroma and keep aside
  • Heat the oil. Add mustard seeds.
  • Once the seeds splutter add ginger, finely chopped chillies and Chana dal.
  • Once the DSL turns golden brown, switch off the heat and add them to the rava. Mix well
  • Add the finely chopped carrot, grated coconut, coriander leaves and salt. Mix well.
  • Add the curds and mix thoroughly. If the resultant batter is too thick you can add curds or water to make it into a idli batter consistency.
  • Set aside for 30 minutes.
  • Grease the idli mould plates 
  • Check the batter. It should have hardened because the rava would have soaked in the entire curd. Add water or buttermilk(see note) to get it to idli batter consistency.
  • Pour into the idli moulds and steam for 12 minutes
  • Once you switch off the heat, let the idlis remain in for another five minutes before you open the vessel.
  • You can either have it as is (I do) or with some yummy coconut chutney (like the husband).
  • Enjoy!

  

NOTES

  1. The crux of this recipe is in the curds. Slightly sour curds give you softer idlis but you can use fresh curds and still get a tasty meal.
  2. Another critical aspect is the ratio of curds to the rava. It depends on the rava as to how much curds it is able to absorb. Estimates range from 1:1 (rava to curd ratio) to 1:2. You can try and see what works best for you.
  3. What works best for me is – 1 cup curds and little water in the beginning and I add around 1/4 to 1/2 cup of very thin buttermilk after the 30 minutes of resting time.
  4. If your idlis seem dense then increase the oil to 2 tbsp or the baking soda to 1/2 tsp. 

This is my entry for the Cooking from Cookbook Challenge hosted by  Srivalli.

  

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Cocoa Banana Mug Cake

 
I am sure overripe bananas are an issue of national concern. I mean, if I was still in India I would have blamed Modi for it and returned the picture book I received in kindergarten for best handwriting. 

But thankfully the situation is not as bad. There are mug cakes to the rescue. If I can use up the bananas in a minute, why should I spend all the time in creaming the butter and sugar for my banana bread?

I found this simple and easy recipe and thanked the Oven Gods!  
 
So here goes –

WHAT WE NEED

2 overripe bananas

4 tbsp peanut butter 

1 egg

1 tbsp granulated sugar

3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Add-ins of your choice, including chocolate chips butterscotch chips, nuts, or dried fruit

WHAT TO DO

  • Mash the banana in a bowl.
  • Add the peanut butter and egg and mix thoroughly. 
  • Stir in the sugar and cocoa and beat until smooth. 
  • Fold in the add-ins. 
  • Divide the batter between two 8 oz mugs. 
  • Microwave separately for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes each until risen and firm.

 

 

This is my entry for the Blogging Marathon hosted by Srivalli 
  

Check out the Blogging Marathon page to see what the other marathoners are doing for this BM

Red Velvet Mug Cake

   

This mug treat is getting quite addictive. I have to admit I never used the microwave oven much except the occasional reheating of leftovers. But ever since I picked this mug treat theme for the Blogging Marathon, I have been having fun with my microwave. Not to mention that the daughter loves it. 

So here is my second installment in Mug Treats – 

Serves 2 (and an excited toddler)

WHAT WE NEED

1 large egg

3 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp red food coloring

3 tbsp buttermilk

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 tbsp granulated sugar

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

4 tbsp all purpose flour 

1/3 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

WHAT TO DO

  • Whisk together the egg and oil.
  • Stir in the food coloring, buttermilk, vanilla, and sugar.
  • Add the cocoa, flour, salt, and vinegar. 
  • Beat the batter until smooth. Divide the batter between two 8 oz mugs. 
  • Microwave separately for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes each until risen and firm.
  • Enjoy!

  
   
 

This is my post for the Blogging Marathon hosted by Srivalli.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page to see what the other marathoners are doing this BM

Sprouts with Beetroot

   

I picked this lovely book – The Accidental Vegetarian by Simon Rimmer. The title intrigued me to an extent and I could relate to it because I consider myself a default vegetarian. 

One issue I have is that I don’t get all ingredients here and so I keep trying to make a best case substitutions but this recipe did not need any substitutions and it turned out quite wonderful. I never thought of combining beetroot with sprouts before but it does seem to be a good idea.
  

So here goes –

Serves 2-3

WHAT WE NEED

2 medium sized beetroots

250g cooked sprouts 

1 tbsp olive oil

pinch of chilli flakes 

1 garlic clove

crushed salt and freshly ground black pepper 
WHAT TO DO

  • Wash and peel the beetroots. Dice them into bite sized pieces and steam till they are cooked but not soft.
  • Cook the sprouts in a pressure cooker till they are cooked but not mushy.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan until hot. Simply chuck in the sprouts, let them fry for a minute to begin browning, then give them a shake. 
  • Now add the beetroot, chilli and garlic into the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes, then season really well with salt and pepper.
  • Enjoy!

  

NOTES

  1. As per the original recipe, the beetroots had to be wrapped in foil and roasted in the oven at 200C for 40 minutes till soft. I didn’t have the time and so I simply steamed it and it still turned out very well.

 

This is my entry for the Cooking from the Cookbook Challenge hosted by Srivalli.

   

 

Nutella Chocolate Mug Cake 

 
I am not a frequent mug cake person. I picked this theme for the Blogging Marathon this month  to explore this further. So I have been making 2-3 mug cakes every week now and the daughter is happily used to it.

Nowadays she points to the oven and goes – “Amma, suthi suthi” (round and round in Tamil)because that’s how the cups in the microwave oven go). Now I am stuck! 
 

So here is one of her favorites –

WHAT WE NEED

4 tbsp all-purpose flour

2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ tsp. baking powder

3 tbsp. granulated sugar 

⅛ tsp salt

5 tbsp milk

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 tbsp Nutella 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large mug (14oz)
  • Add the milk and oil until all ingredients are combined and there are no lumps in the batter.
  • Add 1 tbsp. of Nutella in the middle of the batter. Just drop it in the middle. 

  

  • Microwave for 1-2 minutes
  • Enjoy!


NOTES

  1. A large mug is necessary for this since the cake will rise quite a bit
  2. I needed 2 minutes in the microwave since mine was set at 540W. If yours is at 700W or more than I think 1 minute should suffice.

   

This is my entry for the Blogging Marathon hosted by Srivalli. 

  
Check othe Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls with Cinnamon Butter #BreadBakers


I have wanted to join a bread blog group for a long time now. Finally I found it. Yay!
This is my first post for the Bread Bakers group. The theme for the month is Fall Breads. Though there is no Fall from where I come from, I stay in a country where the entire year is Pumpkin time. I get such amazing pumpkins in Malaysia here that I have fallen in love with it. It was usually once a month fare when we were in India but here it’s a weekly affair.


I found this amazing pumpkin dinner roll recipe that I just had to make and it did turn out wonderful too!

So here goes –


WHAT WE NEED

Bread:
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

1 cup milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm (see note)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

40 grams (3 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup /110 grams pumpkin puree (see note)

2 large eggs, divided

1 tsp salt

480 grams (3 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour

8-10 halved walnuts pieces

Butter:
52 gms unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 tbsp powdered sugar

2 tbsp honey

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

WHAT TO DO
For the bread rolls

 

  • Mix the yeast, milk, sugar, butter, pumpkin, one egg, and salt until well combined.
  • Add the flour in three installments and knead on medium-low speed in a hand mixer or stand mixer until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
  • Knead the dough for another 5 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth.
  • If it seems too sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. ( I added 3 tbsp flour)
  • Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl and cover the bowl with a wet napkin
  • Let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes
  • Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured counter top
  • Divide the dough into 18 equal pieces and shape into balls.
  • Press the balls down lightly with the palm of your hand
  • Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Beat the remaining egg with 2 teaspoons of water and brush all over the rolls.
  • Insert a halved walnut in the centre of each roll to look like a stem of a mini pumpkin
  • Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Enjoy it warm with cinnamon butter


 



For the cinnamon butter

  • Beat the butter until pale in color.
  • Add the powdered sugar, honey, and cinnamon and beat until well combined, light, and fluffy.
  • Serve immediately or store, covered, in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  • Bring to room temperature before serving.

NOTES

  • Scalded milk is hot milk which does not stick to the bottom of the pan and does not form a film on top. So you need to heat the milk on medium heat and keep stirring it every 20-30 seconds. Switch of the gas when small bubbles start forming at the edges. Let it cool to lukewarm and then use it for this recipe.
  • You can either use fresh or canned pumpkin purée. I use fresh purée.

Let’s take a look at the other Fall Flavors being shared today

BreadBakers

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board. Links are also updated each month on this homepage.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com

BreadBakers

Pasta alla Norma 

   

The husband is so fixated on white sauce pastas that I hardly get a chance to try the others. Even when we eat out he refuses to try pesto or arabitta. So I was delighted when I chanced upon this dish. 

Pasta Alla Norma is originally from Sicily, Italy. It derives its name from Vincenzo Bellini’s masterpiece opera ‘Norma’. Apparently, a Sicilian writer by the name of Nino Martoglio was so amazed when he tasted this dish that he exclaimed “This is Norma” (in Italian, I guess) and hence the name.

I have no idea how the opera was but at the risk of sounding immodest, I have to say this is one of the best pasta dishes I have tasted. It’s a must try!

The best part of the recipe is that it’s simple and the ingredients would usually be available in our fridge and pantry. I have adapted my recipe from this one.

Serves 4

WHAT WE NEED

200 gms eggplant

4 medium to large tomatoes

1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 clove of garlic, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

200 gms spaghetti 

Fresh rosemary to taste (3-5 leaves)

Dried oregano to taste 

salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese to garnish

WHAT TO DO

  • Cut the eggplant into cubes, salt them and set aside for half hour to draw out water. 
  • Make slits in the tomatoes and add them to boiling salted water for 5 minutes to blanch them
  • Once the skin on the tomatoes loosen, peel them and chop them
  • Drain the water from the eggplant and dry them on paper towels for a few minutes
  • Add the oil in a frying pan and saute the onion and garlic.
  • Add the eggplant, tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook for 15 minutes
  • Cook the spaghetti  in salted boiling water and when cooked, toss it with the sauce.

  

  •  Add Rosemary and dried oregano and mix well
  •  Grate some cheese on top and serve.

 
NOTES 

  1. I used spaghetti. You can use any other pasta like fusilli or penne
  2. You can use canned tomatoes or tomato purée instead of fresh tomatoes
  3. From what I read, basil was the most recommended herb for this dish. I didn’t have and hence the Rosemary.
  4. The traditional dish uses ricotta.

This is my post for the Blogging Marathon hosted by Srivalli.

  
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM

Baked Pisto with Eggs

   

Today is the second day in the ‘Do the eggplant’ series as part of the Blogging Marathon. Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the husband has been throwing more tantrums than my daughter when it came to eggplants. But he loved the baked eggplant with Parmesan. So at least I have one go-to dish in desperate times! Yay!

Today’s dish is the Spanish Pisto which is basically eggplant with a whole lot of other vegetables sauted and baked. I have used eggs in them but you can forget about it and it would still be yumm. Plus, as an additional precaution I grated some cheese on top after baking so that the husband won’t groan. So again, it’s optional and can be done away with.
  

I have adapted the recipe from here. Mine is a lot more simple with fewer ingredients. So here goes –

Serves 2

WHAT WE NEED

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finley chopped

1 red chilli, finely chopped 

1 large eggplant, diced

1 large capsicum, diced

4 medium to large tomatoes

salt & black pepper

 a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed from stem

2 eggs (optional)

Grated Parmesan / Cheddar cheese for garnish

WHAT TO DO

  • Soak the tomatoes in hot water for 15-20 minutes and peel off the skin. Chop them and keep aside.
  • Heat the oil, add the onions, thyme, garlic and chilli and cook till the onions are translucent 
  • Add the eggplant, salt and pepper and cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes
  • Add the capsicum and cook till all vegetables turn soft. It should take another 10 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 190C
  • Transfer the vegetables to an 8 x 8 baking tray and spread it out evenly.

  

  • If using egg, make two small dips in the vegetables and crack the eggs into the dips. 
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper on the eggs.

    

  • Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until the white of the egg is just set but the yolk is still runny.
  • Remove from the oven, sprinkle the grated cheese and serve with any bread for dipping in the pisto and egg yolk.

  

NOTES

  • You can add zucchini as well. Tropical countries don’t seem to have them 😔 so I had to omit those.
  • If you don’t have fresh thyme then you can use dried thyme but then you need to add it in at the end of the cooking, just before adding the eggs.
  • One of my yolk was funny while the other was not. That’s more to do with my oven hot spots than anything else. This was when I baked for 15 minutes. So I suggest you bake for ten minutes or so if you want a runny yolk.
  • From my limited research, I found corn bread to be the most recommended one with pisto but you can serve it with any other bread and it will taste just as good. I am letting you into a secret – I served it with pita bread. Yes, you read that right, pita bread. It was quite good, if I may say so myself. So go ahead and pick any bread. You can do worse than me 😊

  

This is my entry for the Blogging Marathon hosted by Srivalli. 

  
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM

Baked eggplant with Parmesan 

DSC_1043

I have always had a turbulent relationship with the eggplant. Earlier I used to simply hate eating it while my mother made umpteen efforts to somehow get it down my throat. When I got married I had to get used to them because the husband loves eggplant. I have found that it is easier to make things he likes the way he likes them rather than trying to introduce him to new dishes and cuisines. So we had a good deal of Indian varieties of eggplant like ennai kathirikai and baingan ka bhartha.

When we moved to Malaysia, a shocking transformation took place. The husband simply refused to have eggplant of any kind that I made. Same eggplant, same recipe, same husband but different reaction. What’s a girl to do? So I picked this theme for October’s blogging marathon simply to figure out other ways of getting the husband to go back to liking eggplants.

Today’s recipe is adapted from a blogging marathon recipe of yore. Do check it out for some amazing pictures and wonderful step by step guidelines. So here goes-

Serves 2 

WHAT WE NEED

1 large eggplant

2 bread slices ground to crumbs

1 egg

Salt

Pepper

3/4 cup tomato sauce

2 cups grated cheese ( I used around 1 1/2 cup of Parmesan and 1/2 cup of cheddar)

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and keep in a plate so as to be easy for dipping the eggplant slices.
  • Beat an egg and keep it in an open mouthed cup for easy dipping again
  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Grease a baking tray with olive oil or line it with parchment paper.
  • Peel the eggplant and cut them into half inch thick slices
  • Dip each slice in the beaten egg and coat each slice with the breadcrumb mixture
  • Place the slices on the baking tray in a single layer not overlapping each other.
  • Bake the eggplant slices for 10 minutes. Then flip each slice and bake for another 10 minutes
  • Spread  half of the tomato sauce at the bottom of an 8 x 8 baking pan
  • Place the eggplant slices on the sauce without overlapping each other.
  • Cover the eggplant generously with cheese
  • Pour the other half of the tomato sauce and place the balance eggplant slices and cover with cheese again.
  • Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 200 C for 25 minutes
  • Remove the foil and bake it uncovered for 10 minutes
  • Enjoy !

DSC_1044

NOTES

  1. I added some extra cheese after baking and before serving simply because the husband is quite the cheesy guy.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM