Peanut Porridge

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I just finished a mega marathon of Protein Rich Dishes but I am clearly not over it. My theme for today is ‘Dishes from the Caribbean’ and what do I pick? Another protein packed dish. This one is so simple and delicious, not to mention easy to make with most ingredients readily available in your kitchen. It is a breakfast dish but I had it for lunch and felt content for the next 4-5 hours. This is surely getting into my breakfast roster.

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This peanut porridge is popular across all of the Caribbean. It started out as street food and is very popular with vegetarians. It has now gained popularity at restaurants with locals and tourists alike. There are different versions to make it – with condensed milk, evaporated milk or coconut milk.

Recipe adapted from here

Serves 1-2

WHAT WE NEED

Quick cooking Oats                            1/2 cup

Raw peanuts                                        1/2 cup

Wheat flour                                           2 tsp

Cornmeal                                               1 tbsp

Condensed milk                                    2-3 tbsp

Ground cinnamon                                1/2 tsp

Ground nutmeg                                     1/2 tsp

Water                                                       1 1/2 – 2 cups

A pinch of Salt 
WHAT TO DO

  • Heat 1 cup of water with a pinch of salt 
  • Grind the peanuts in to a fine powder and set aside
  • Grind the oats into a fine powder
  • Mix the ground oats and peanuts in a bowl
  • Add the cornmeal and wheat flour and mix well
  • Add 1 cup of water and stir to form a smooth paste
  • Pour this paste into the boiling water and mix well to ensure there are no lumps
  • Simmer and let it cook covered for 6-7 minutes
  • Stir frequently to avoid the porridge sticking to the base of the vessel
  • Add the condensed milk, nutmeg and cinnamon 
  • Mix and simmer for 2 minutes
  • Serve warm with some fruits for a wholesome tasty breakfast
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. If you only want a mild sweetness to your porridge, add 2 tbsp of condensed milk else add 3 tbsp
  2. The porridge will be slightly runny immediately after cooking but will thicken when let to cool
  3. You can replace the water with part milk 

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Dishes from the Carribean’.

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Poppy Seed Waffles

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This is the last day of the week and I am using poppy seeds for my final dish this week. The first three days were for the three popular nuts – cashews, almonds and pistachios and the next three days for the seeds – chia seeds, flaxseeds and now poppy seeds.

I bought some poppy seeds quite a while back to make some Karnataka special dishes in my bid to inculcate more local dishes into our daily meals. But like always, I got distracted by the next bread recipe and the poppy seeds made sad faces from the pantry every day. 

Does it ever happen to you that you are stuck with a craving for a particular taste or flavour for days on end for no reason at all? I have been craving some lemon flavours for the past few weeks. No idea why but the lemon in my fridge are done faster than you can say nimbu pani.

So I looked for a lemon flavoured recipe with poppy seeds and landed on to this one. The daughter, who loves my regular waffle recipe loved this one too as did the husband. So I can safely say this one was a success!
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Protein – Poppy seeds

Recipe from here

Makes 14 small waffles

WHAT WE NEED

All purpose flour                   3/4 cup

Baking powder                       1 tsp

Baking soda                             1/4 tsp

Salt                                             1/4 tsp

Sugar                                         2 tbsp

Lemon zest                              1 1/2 tsp

Oil / melted butter.                3 tbsp

Egg                                            1

Lemon juice                            4 tsp

Milk                                          8-10 tbsp

Poppy seeds                            4 tsp

 

WHAT TO DO

  •  Preheat the oven to 220C
  • Whisk together the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
  • Mix the sugar with lemon zest by rubbing the zest together with the sugar to ensure it releases its flavours
  • Add the lemon and sugar to the dry ingredients
  • Whisk the egg lightly
  • Add the lemon juice and milk to the egg and mix 
  • Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients 
  • Add the poppy seeds
  • Mix to ensure no dry flour is left in the bowl
  • Pour the batter into the waffle mould till almost full
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or till the top is golden brown
  • Let it rest for 2-3 minutes before de-moulding 
  • Serve warm with honey or maple syrup 
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. You can also cook the waffles in the waffle iron. I use the silicon waffle mould

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This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the theme ‘Protein Rich Dishes’
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Corn and Tomato Crostini with Cashew Cheese

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Ever since I started baking and reading about baking bread, I have fantasised about baking with bread flour. But t is not available in India and so that idea continued to stay in my fantasies. Though many people say that it doesn’t make much of a difference, I wanted to try it out once. Whenever any friend or relative would travel from the West and ask me what I want, my answer was invariably bread flour and rye flour. The response was mostly eye rolling, sighing and shaking heads in disappointment. Due to many reasons, I couldn’t be successful in this endeavour till one day the husband had to make a 2 day trip to Amsterdam. 

He was not pleased because it took him more time to travel than he would spend there. But I was not going to give up on this chance. I pleaded, coerced and bullied (mostly bullied) him to promise me to get bread flour.  He finally did when he figured he couldn’t get away this time. When he returned I grabbed the suitcase from him and almost tore it open. His exasperation coupled with jet lag was a sight to behold. He also got me some amazing waffle strudel which was one of the most delicious things I tasted. So extra brownie points for that!
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Finally I decided to bake a Boule with it for the Bread Bakers International Breads theme. You have to see the bread flour expanding to fill the bowl. It is so airy and light and has such a beautiful crust and crumb. I am in love and waiting for the husband’s next trip to Europe. Fingers crossed.

So I made some delicious and simple cashew cheese to go along with it. Then I figured I could make a crostini with corn and the cheese and translate that to a protein rich dish. Since I have used bread flour, that is also high in protein which is the icing on the cake. You can try this with any other bread like a baguette or even regular sliced bread. But a homemade bread does give an awesome flavour to it. This is a quick recipe for a breakfast or snack and can be made with whatever veggies no toppings you have on hand. I have used cashew cheese, the recipe for which will be posted next week. But you can use goat cheese or paneer or any other spread like hummus or baba ghanoush. It is all completely left to your imagination.

Protein – Corn and cashew cheese

Makes 6 slices

WHAT WE NEED

Bread slices                       6

Sweet corn, shelled          1/2 cup

Cherry tomatoes                10-12

Cashew cheese                    2-3 tbsp

Mixed herbs                         1 tsp

Fresh coriander                   2-3 stalks

Olive oil

Salt
WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 175C
  • Brush the bread slices with olive oil and place them on a greased baking tray
  • Bake for 6-8 minutes. If you want it very crisp, bake for a minute or so longer
  • Cook the corn in a vessel with hot water for 6-8 minutes till it is well done
  • Drain the water from the corn
  • Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves
  • Mix the corn, cherry tomatoes, finely chopped coriander, mixed herbs and salt
  • Take out the bread slices from the oven
  • Spread some cashew cheese on the bread slices
  • Top it with the corn tomato mixture
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.
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Rava Dosa – a nearly foolproof recipe

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In the second of my Weekend Breakfasts, I have the most delicious Rava Dosa with the classic partner, medhu vadai and accompanied by sambhar and two types of chutneys – coconut and coriander. All of this has to be washed down with a tumbler full of frothy, steaming filter coffee.

I have tried numerous recipes for the rava dosa and most of them have simply not worked. Either the dosa would come out in bits and pieces as if it has been toyed around by a toddler or it would stick strongly to the tava and simply refuse to budge. I kept experimenting with various types and quantities of rava and rice flour and finally I can tell you that I have a nearly foolproof recipe for the rava dosa. It is no longer something I can only have at a restaurant. I can have it whenever I feel like it, which is way more often than it should be. So I love this recipe and this dish so much that I am convinced this is my legacy. Whatever I do or don’t do henceforth, I am happy to report I can make a good Rava Dosa.

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The basic recipe has mainly three ingredients – rava / semolina, rice flour and curds. Simple thumb rules to go by are – The time needed to keep the rava soaked in curds is directly proportional to the proportion of rava in the recipe. The more rava you use in the recipe, the crispier is your dosa and the skill needed to make it is also more.

The usual proportion I use is 1/2 cup of rava to 1/2 cup of curds and 1 cup of rice flour. You can use as low as 1/4 cup of rava & curds each to 1 cup of rice flour. Even an equal amount of rava and rice works but I find that I prefer the taste and texture when the rava is half the quantity of the rice flour. Though you can use 1-2 tbsp of curds for 1/2 cup of rava and substitute the rest with water, I would recommend you not to do that. Using equal amount of rava and curds is one of the key reasons for success in making this dosa.

The rava and curds need to be mixed together and set aside before adding the rice flour. If you use only 1/4 cup then you need only 10 minutes of soaking for the rava. If you are using more, then you would need around 20 minutes. You can play around with this depending on the time available to you.

If the curds are sour the dosa tastes better but that does not mean you cannot make this with fresh curds. All I suggest is to have the curds at room temperature. If you do not have time to get the curds from the chill of the refrigerator to room temperature, then take the required curds in a separate bowl and add few spoons of boiling water to it. This will help increase the temperature of the curds. This can also be used before giving curds to kids if you don’t want them to have it cold.

The amount of water to be used depends on the quality of rava. The best test to check if you have sufficient water is to pour a small amount of batter on a very hot tava. If it does not immediately form a lace like pattern, then you may need to add more water. But add water in 1-2 spoons each time so that you do not end up with excessive water in the batter.

The tava needs to be very hot while pouring the batter. As soon as you pour the batter, reduce the flame slightly and once you turn over the dosa reduce it to low flame. This will ensure the tava is not overheated which can result in blackening the dosa.

Makes 10-12 medium sized dosas

WHAT WE NEED

Rava / Semolina                                         1/4 cup

Curds (Sour / fresh)                                   1/4 cup

Rice flour                                                     1/2 cup

Cumin seeds / Jeera                                   1 tsp

Whole black pepper                                  1/2 tsp

Coriander leaves (finely chopped)         2 tsp

Broken cashewnuts (optional)                1 tsp

Salt

Water

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the rava and curds in a bowl and set aside for 20-25 minutes
  • The rava would have soaked a lot of curd and will appear to be a thicker mixture
  • Add the rice flour, cumin seeds, pepper, coriander leaves, cashew nuts and salt
  • Add around 1- 1 1/4 cups of water and mix all the ingredients to a runny batter.
  • Heat the tava till it is nicely hot
  • Pour a small amount of batter on the tava. If it immediately spreads into a lace like pattern then the consistency of the batter is fine. Else add few spoons of water
  • Pour a laddle full batter from the outside in i.e. pour the batter in a circular form as an outline and then fill it with the remaining batter. The shape of the dosa will not be an exact circle but slightly shapeless
  • Pour oil at the edges of the dosa and a couple of drops on the dosa
  • Reduce the flame to medium low and wait patiently till the edges start turning brown
  • Once the edges are brown, reduce the flame to low and turn the dosa to the other side using a spatula. This is the key step when one has to be very careful.
  • Use the spatula slowly and carefully to release the dosa from the tava. If you meet with too much resistance, give it few more seconds before you try again
  • Do not wait for more than 30 seconds for the upturned dosa else it will become hard
  • Take it off the tava and put the gas on full flame again before pouring the next ladle of batter
  • Continue the same procedure till you have as many dosas as you need
  • The batter can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Before using the refrigerated batter, check if you need more water to be added to it
  • Enjoy the golden brown dosa hot with sambhar and chutney!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under ‘Weekend Breakfasts’.

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Sandwich Platter


Yes, I still exist and so does the blog. I took a break for a couple of months to take car elf some other stuff in my life. Not that I completed everything I wanted to do in these two months but I am significantly more in control than I started out. In these two months, the daughter started kindergarten and has to be woken up at 6 am every morning. Thank you for your sympathies. My mom is turning 60 and so we did a little pre-celebration for that with a trip to Coorg. By the time I coordinated with the entire family of only 6 people and planned the trip, the white hairs on my head quatrupled. Then my father-in-law turned 70 last month. You see where this story is going and why I didn’t blog.

This week’s theme is about my favourite meal – breakfast. One of the few things I enjoy since exchanging my money paying job for tantrums and yells paying job is a leisure breakfast. I pack off the husband and daughter and sit down to relish my breakfast while scrolling through the social media feeds or listening to some melodious tunes while watching the clouds darkening and hoping for a quick rain. This week’s theme is ‘Weekend Breakfast’ which is a class of its own. Before the daughter was born, our weekend breakfast was a routine trip to the nearby Udupi restaurant. We even ordered the same items every week. The husband would choose poori sabji while I would have set dosai and kurma which would be washed down with s strong dose of filter coffee.

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Since I love bread and therefore sandwiches, I make different types of sandwiches for breakfast on a weekend. This gives us a chance to experiment and also the daughter gets to taste new stuff regularly. The humble sandwich lets us experiment with everything from the type of bread to the spread and fillings. It can be a hearty nutritious meal or a tasty drooling treat.

The sandwich platter is accompanied by fruits and some saffron milk for the kid and some fresh lime juice for me. This platter has –

  • Grilled Potato sandwiches with a spicy coriander chutney
  • Hummus sandwich with tomatoes and cucumber
  • Grilled cheese and tomato sandwich
  • The classic – Bread butter jam

You have a choice to either grill or toast your bread or have it plain. The spread can be anything from coriander or mint chutney to hummus or cheese spread. The fillings can be the usual tomatoes and cucumber or potatoes or healthy like beetroot and carrots. These sandwiches can be had with mayonnaise or ketchup.

 There are hardly any recipes in these sandwiches, just a simple assembly of readymade / raw ingredients. The new thing I tried was grilled halloumi cheese with raw tomato slices inside lightly buttered toasted bread. One thing to keep in mind is that halloumi is a very salty cheese and you don’t need any extra salt for the sandwich.

For the hummus sandwich, I used plain bread to which I applied a generous dose of hummus. Then I placed tomato and cucumber slices to complete the sandwich.

I made the bread butter jam because I wanted backup for my daughter in case she didn’t like any of the others. Usually I get the unsalted butter to room temperature and then mix one part butter with one part jam of my choice to form a smooth mix. Then I apply it on the bread. This is usually the first bread I make and set it aside for 10-15 minutes which makes it so much more delicious. This time I used pink guava jam which was loved by us all.

The only thing I made was the spicy coriander chutney. I used it along with boiled and mashed potatoes seasoned with salt and pepper. Then I grilled the sandwich to a crisp treat.

 So here is the recipe for the chutney. I am not sure of the source of this recipe. I have been making it for a long while now. If I am not mistaken, it is from Sanjeev Kapoor’s website. This is a quick, no cook, no coconut chutney perfect for a spicy sandwich.

WHAT WE NEED

Bread slices                                2

Green chillies                            1-2

Coriander leaves & stems        8-10

Salt

Water

WHAT TO DO

  • Tear the bread into 4-5 pieces and put it in a blender
  • Cut the green chillies and add it to the bread. If you do not want a very spicy chutney, you can add 1 chilly else go for 2.
  • Wash and tear the coriander and add it to the bread
  • Add salt and requisite water to blend all the ingredients to a smooth paste
  • Generously apply on bread slices and add the veggies of your choice to make a spicy sandwich
  • Enjoy!


This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Weekend Breakfast’.
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Minapa Kudumulu

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I made this delightfully easy breakfast dish as part of my Andhra Breakfast Thali. Ever since I have made it a few more times and I am loving it a little more each time I have it. The good news is that it needs only 3 ingredients including salt and the not so good news is that it needs a few hours of soaking the lentils and so cannot satiate an instant craving. Once you have the batter ready it takes only 15 minutes to reach your plate and your tummy. What more does one need anyways!

WHAT WE NEED

Urad dal / Split black gram                           1 cup

Water

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Soak the urad dal overnight in 3 cups of water
  • Drain the remaining water
  • Grind it in a blender with salt and requisite water (between 1/4 and 1/2 cup) to form a thick smooth batter.
  • The batter needs to be thick, smooth and fluffy i.e. similar to idli batter
  • This can be steamed for 10 minutes in an idli mould but I would reccomend the traditional method of steaming.
  • Take 1 cup of water in a open mouth vessel and tie a cloth over it tightly
  • Pour a large laddle full of batter on the cloth and close the lid of the vessel tightly to ensure the steam does not escape
  • Steam for 5 minutes on high and then simmer for 8 minutes and turn off the gas
  • Insert a toothpick in the centre to ensure the kudumulu is fully cooked
  • Lift the cloth along with the kudumulu from the vessel and overturn it on a plate
  • Gently peel the cloth from the kudumulu
  • Cut it into wedges or squares and serve warm with kara podi and oil /ghee
  • Enjoy!

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Ragi Idli

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The name of this dish is simply Ragi Idli but in my opinion it should be renamed to ‘Life saver’. The other day, I woke up later than usual and had to get the breakfast ready for the husband while simultaneously managing the daughter and our domestic help so that he could catch his office bus which is the only mode of transport to his office situated in the middle of nowhere. (That is a story for another day.) I had this recipe on hand since I had to make another dish for this month’s BM and it totally saved me. It does not take too long and is nutritious cum filling which are the exact criteria needed to get into my regular recipe roll. So here goes –

Makes 12-14 medium sized idlis

Recipe from here

WHAT WE NEED

Ragi flour                             1 cup

Rava / Sooji                          1 cup

Curds / Yogurt                    1 cup

Oil                                           5 tsp

Mustard seeds                    1/2 tsp

Curry leaves                        1 sprig

Ginger, grated                    1″

Eno fruit salt                       1 tsp

Salt

Water

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the ragi flour, rava and curds in a bowl
  • Add salt and around 1/2 cup water to make a thick idli batter
  • Let it rest for 10-12 minutes
  • Heat 2 tsp oil in a small pan and once it is hot, add mustard seeds and curry leaves
  • Add these to the idli batter and mix well
  • Add some more water if the batter is too thick. The batter should fall smoothly and not in blobs
  • Add the balance 3 tsp oil, ginger and eno fruit salt and mix well. The Eno fruit salt can be replaced with 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Pour the batter in the idli moulds and steam for 12 minutes
  • Let it rest for around 5 minutes before opening.
  • Dip the tail end of a spoon in some water and use it to unmould the idli from the mould
  • Serve hot with chutney or sambhar or molaga podi (gunpowder / chilly powder)
  • Enjoy!

 

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme – Ingredient by Mail.

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Egg & cheese toast

  

This is my favorite start breakfast because it’s easy, quick and filling. If I have bread at home, I usually make one of these for each one of us and since it’s quick, I can sleep an additional 15 minutes in the morning which is absolute bliss!

   

The funny part is I just saw this series of images on Twitter or Pinterest long ago with bacon and it seemed like a nice idea then. I obviously did not use the bacon and substituted it with a tomato. On very lazy days ( which is more often than I care to admit) I omit the tomato too and just go with the egg and cheese. It’s a must try.

So here goes –

WHAT WE NEED

Bread slice 1

Egg 1

Tomato slice (optional) 1

Cheese slice 1

Butter for greasing
WHAT TO DO

  • Cut the interior of a bread slice somas to have a small square and the frame of the slice with a hole in the centre.
  • Heat a pan and grease it with butter.
  • Put the slice frame on it and break an egg into it and let it cook.
  • Once the yolk sets, add the tomato slice on top of it.
  • Add the cheese slice on top of the tomato slice.
  • Once the cheese slice starts melting and sticking to the bread slice, add the cut smaller square of the bread on top of the cheese.

  

  •  Add some butter on top and slowly flip the entire toast with a spatula.
  • Let it cook for a minute.
  • Once you see the cheese slice lifting off the pan, remove the toast carefully with a spatula.
  • Enjoy! 

NOTES

  1. If you are in a hurry and don’t have time to cut the bread slice into a square, just use a small cup and cut it into a circle. 

This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme – Instant Breakfast.
 
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