Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Corn and Chana Dal Vada

Corn and Chana Dal Vada

Who doesn’t like to have a super tempting, piping hot snack with their evening cup of tea?? Just visualize a rainy evening, you sitting in your balcony or by side of your window with a cup of coffee /Tea and a plateful of yummy snack.. Wow!!! I am sure this wow would have struck the cord of your heart as well.  Rains have knocked the doors in Bangalore and so is the mood of preparing new snack every evening.. :D

There are range of Indian snacks that are popular with almost every household, starting from Samosas to Kachoris, Dhoklas to Khakras and the list is never ending. One such very popular snack from done southern India is Chana Dal Vada. Giving this Chana Dal Vada a twist was my fellow blogger and friend Farrukh’s Idea (her recipe link Click Here). I tried the recipe with certain tweaks ( Not Voluntarily but as per the ingredients available at hand) and as expected these superb snacky Vadas were absolute hit!! J

  These Vadas are easy to make and a crowd pleaser too. Your kids will love them, your guest would not stop himself or herself at one and you will love making them, as it needs least effort.
So let’s begin with the ingredient list and then the process on how to prepare them.

·         1 cup Chana Dal  (washed, Soaked for 4-5 hours)
·         ½ Cup sweet corn (I have used Frozen ones, thawed them)
·         1 small onion Roughly Chopped
·         Handful of Fresh coriander leaves
·         Salt as per taste
·         ½ tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
·         ½ tbsp lemon juice
·         1 tsp paprika powder
·         1 tsp Cumin powder
·         ½ tsp. carom Seeds/Ajwain
·         ¼ tsp of Turmeric powder
·         ½ tsp dried Oregano
·         Oil for Frying

1.)    Drain the excess water from Soaked Chan dal thoroughly
2.)    In a blender jar put the soaked chana dal and make coarse breadcrumb like Powder/Mix.
3.)    Thaw the frozen sweet corn, and microwave them for 2 minutes.
4.)    Drain the excess water from corn as well.
5.)    Now In the same blender/Mixer jar in which we blended Chana dal, add Roughly chopped onion, Coriander leaves, Sweet corn and blend it again. Make sure the paste is not very smooth we need the mixture to be coarse.
6.)    Now take this mixture out in a big bowl.
7.)    Add Salt, paprika powder, Ginger Garlic Paste, Carom Seeds, Cumin powder, Oregano, Turmeric Powder, Salt and Lemon juice and mix the ingredients nicely.
8.)    The mixture at this stage should have consistency of a dough to make vadas ready to fry.
9.)    If you feel the mixture is too dry, you can sprinkle some water and adjust the dough.
10.) Let the Dough rest for 10-15 minutes.
11.) Once done, take small portions and make small balls. Give them shape of vadas by pressing the balls a little between the palms.
12.) Fry the vadas on medium flame till golden brown.

Here they are, yummlicious Chana Dal Vadas are ready…. Wait, what are you waiting for, go rush to your kitchen and try them … J J

Happy Cooking and Stay blessed

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Masala Kaju

Masala Kaju/Spicy Cashews

Masala Kaju as the name suggests is a preparation of cashews in which cashews are roasted and infused with various spices and flavors. Masala Kaju makes a super snack both to prepare and please the guest. Whether it’s a cocktail party or winter evening with friends, An outing with friends or long distance travel, these Spicy Cashews are very handy to carry and is loved by all.

Masala Cashews are available in various different Flavors; I tried my version of Spicy Cashews with a dominating flavor of Cumin and Asafetida.

Few days back we got a pack of Masala Peanuts from a store, and I was instantly in love with the flavors used to prepare those Peanuts. Though the peanuts were fried , thus load of calories but I was so loving it.. :D :p

I immediately thought of giving that flavor a try with Cashews with much less oil and healthier version. So this Cashew preparation includes only 1 Tbsp of oil/Butter so you can munch them guilt free…J

Sharing the ingredients required followed by the recipe/Process:

Ingredients required
·         250 grams of good quality whole Kaju/Cashews
·         1 tsp of Clarified butter/Ghee
·         Salt as per taste
·         ½ TBSP Chat Msala
·         ½  tbsp roasted Cumin Powder
·         ¼ tsp of hing/ Asafetida
·         1 tsp of Garam Masala
·         ½ tsp of Black Salt
·         ½ tsp of Dry Mango Powder
·         1 tsp whole Cumin Seed

1.)    On a microwave safe plate spread cashew and dry roast on full power for 2.5 minutes, ensure to check every 30 minutes ( please ensure to check the cashews every 30 seconds as every Microwave is different in terms of power and temperatures accordingly).
2.)    You will know that the cashews are done when you will see a light golden brown color on them.
3.)    Now, take them out on a plate or in a bowl and lets them rest for a minute or so.
4.)    In the meanwhile mix all the spices together in a small bowl, except cumin Seeds, Clarified butter and Asafetida.
5.)    In a small pan heat clarified butter till its Smokey and then turn off the flame.
6.)    Add cumin seeds and let it splutter a little.
7.)    Add Asafetida and mix well.
8.)    Pour this cumin and Asafetida infused clarified butter on cashews and mix well. This is not only help to enhance the taste but with the help of butter, rest of the spices will also stick well to cashews.
9.)    Sprinkle the spice mix on to the cashews and mix well till each cashew is coated with the spice.
10.) Your Masala Kaju/Spicy Cashews are ready. You can store them for atleast 5-6 and maximum to 15-20 days in an ai tight container.

For more interesting, vegetarian recipes and eggless baking recipes, please follow us on - https://www.facebook.com/Chapanbhog

So, what are you waiting for, go try them and share your experiences with me… I would love to hear feedback from my lovely readers.

Happy Cooking

Kesari Badam Katli/Saffron Infused Almond Fudge

Kesari Badam Katli/ Saffron infused Almond fudge

Indian Festive season is just around the corner, and any Indian festival without some awesome and royal preparation of sweets is absolutely incomplete. Everyone has their own way and traditions of celebration, with my family; festival basically means taking blessing from almighty and parents and enjoys festival with good food and lots of sweets..:)

This season there are few things, Many rather :P on my to do list for Diwali. Badam Barfi/Katli was one of them. I tried tried tried but failed. Was able to get the correct texture but wasn’t able to bring the mixture to a consistency where the Fudge/Barfi mixture would Set. Then my adorable friend Farruk’s post of Kaju (Cashew) katli/Barfi came to rescue ( here Recipe link for Kaju Katli -  Click Here). I understood where I was wrong and then One fine day gathered the courage of trying the experiment again, and yes this time it came absolutely perfect Happy Happy me.. :)

Wholesome goodness of Almonds, No adulteration of Milk powder, Mawa, or any other binder and filler. Added advantage of this recipe is use of very less fat (Ghee/Unsalted Butter).
Without any further discussion let’s get started on how to make these easy Badam Katli.

·         250 Grams Almonds
·         125 grams Sugar (approx.  ( approx. ¾ cup, you can increase or reduce the sugar quantity as per your sweet preferences)
·         1 cup water for sugar Syrup
·         3-4 cups of boiling hot water to soak almonds
·         1 tbsp Ghee/ Unsalted butter to spread
·         ¼ tsp of good quality Saffron
·         2 tbsp warm milk
·         Butter paper or thick plastic sheet to spread and cut

1.)    In a small bowl take Warm milk and add Saffron to it. Leave this for minimum 1 hour. This will help infuse the saffron’s flavor and color to milk.
2.)    In a big bowl take the boiling hot water and drop almonds in the bowl.
3.)    Cover this bowl and leave for at least 30-40 minutes.
4.)    Once done, the almond peel will be puffed from the almond and now you can easily take them off.
5.)    It will take little time, but the end product is worth all the efforts.. J
6.)    Once all the almonds are peeled, put them in a blender/mixer jar and make fine powder. ( make sure the powder is made
a.       Without using any water/Milk
b.      Is made as fine as possible so that while setting there is no coarse almond pieces which will create problem.
7.)    In a thick and a heavy bottom pan (preferably Non stick pan) add sugar and water. On high flame let the sugar dissolve and then let the mixture cook on medium flame for 2-3 minutes.
8.)    Once done, add the Saffron milk to sugar Syrup and mix well.
9.)    Now, add the Almond powder to the pan and be ready to show some muscle power, as now you need to continuously stir the mixture.
10.) As the mixture cooks it will becomes difficult to stir since the mixture will thicken up very quickly at this stage. The entire cooking will take 7-8 minutes.
11.)  Once the mixture is formed into a big lump like a soft dough, turn off the flame and take the mixture out on a plate/Bowl ( please do not skip this step, as the Pan is still hot , we cannot leave the mixture in the Pan. Else, the mixture will keep on cooking fuehrer and will be difficult to work with)
12.) Let the mixture cool down a little, so much so that you can touch the mixture
13.) In the meanwhile, Grease the Butter paper/plastic paper on which you plan to spread the mixture with Ghee or unsalted butter. Also grease the Knife that you will use to cut the barfi. ( A tip here, you can use pizza cutter to easily cut the evenly shaped Barfis)
14.)  Spread the mixture on the greased surface and using the rolling pin, with very gently hands roll the mix.
15.) Spread the mix up to a thickness of 1/3 inch, and then Spread Silver vark ( optional)
16.) Cut the Barfi/Katli in diamond shapes.

Voila, the Barfi/Katli are ready. These wholesome goodness of Almonds with awesome infused flavor of Saffron is a must try this festive season. So try it as I am sure your family and guests will definitely ask you for a second helping…

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Happy Celebration and keep cooking

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

No Cook No Bake Chocolate Pizza

No Cook No Bake Chocolate Pizza

Last week I had some guests who came home without giving notice. Personally I plan very quickly on what needs to be prepared and served to guests considering the ingredients I have at home. But, when it comes to dessert, I go absolutely blank. And on almost all such instances we end up getting ice cream from out and serve. But, this time that was not an option allowed; as our guests wanted to have something home cooked and of course by me.

It’s been long that I have been out for my regular grocery shopping due to rainy days, bad health and many other reasons. But, then when once in awhile a request comes up to prepare something its hard to refuse.

I quickly opened my Pantry had Dark Chocolate and a small tetra pack of Cream. Making Ganache was an immediate thought, but outing Ganache over what??? :P defiantly could not serve them Ganache as it is in a bowl.. :D :D

Having said above, I wasn’t very keen in putting much effort in baking/cooking and prepare anything much fancy.  I had initially thought of preparing a mousse but the cream I had was medium fat and not heavy cream, so mousse was out of option. Then I thought a little more and proceeded toward the cupboard where I store/hide rather all the munchies, biscuits, Chocolates from my little one. By god’s grace I found few interesting things that finally ended up in post..: P  

No cooks no bake Chocolate Pizza, which was served as a dessert. Not only had everyone loved it... Kids literally jumped out of their chair looking at the super tempting toppings.

So let me share how I made this super simple dessert:

·         200 Grams Dark Chocolate  ( I have used Dark Compound)
·         100 Grams ( 1 Small Tetra Pack) of Fresh Cream ( I have used Amul)
·         4 tbsp of unsalted butter
·         25 Oreo biscuits, Any flavor would do ( I have taken Chocolate Cream Ones)
·         ½ cup in total of toppings, you can use anything of your choice ( I have used
o   Mini Snicker Bars cut in half
o   Mini Bounty Bars Cut in Half
o   M&M
o   And Choco Chips
o   Few recommendation (You can use any of your favorite topping or anything available handy.  Butter Toffees, Caramel Candies, Regular Chocolate Bark broken in pieces, Marshmallow, Praline, Sugar sprinklers etc.)

Equipment s required:
·         An 8” spring form Cake Pan/ A loose bottom Tart tin would work too
·         A pan to heat cream
·         A Small Whisk
·         Grinder and a jar
·         A big bowl

1.       In a grinder jar, put all the Oreo cookies and crush them in smooth powder.
2.       Once done, add melted butter and with help of your fingertips, mix them. Result should be coarse bread crumbs look alike textured mixture.
3.       Empty this mixture on the tart/cake tin. Try to press as evenly as possible this cookie mixture across the bottom and little towards the side of the tin.
4.       Once done, put this base in fridge to set for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour. ( Base of Pizza is ready)
5.       In the meanwhile, we will prepare Ganache ( Pizza Sauce for the Pizza)
6.       Take a pan, pour in the cram and on low flame let the cream warm. Ensure the cream is not boiled just warm, and turn of the flame as soon as it starts bubbling up.
7.       Add chopped dark chocolate to this cream, and cover with and plate and let this rest for 8-10 minutes.
8.       What happening here is, the heat of cream will help chocolate to melt. Thus, we do not have to melt and then mix the chocolate to cream and cook it separately.
9.       Once done, with the help of a whisk, beat this mixture together, and as you mix/whisk them together the mixture will starting smoothening up. And a nice glazed, smooth, shiny thick mixture of chocolate and cream is formed.
10.   So Ganache/Our Pizza sauce is ready too.  We just need to ensure the Ganache cools down a little before we use it on our cookie and butter base.
11.   Once the Ganache is cooled for good 8-10 minutes. Take out the base and pour the Ganache over it. You can give it a swiggy shake to ensure Ganache is spread evenly on the base.
12.   Pop this in fridge for at least 20 minutes.
13.   Post 20 minutes you can add the topping of your choice, and chill it for another 15-20 minutes.
14.   After that, very gently remove the pizza from tart /Cake pan and slice it.
I can bet once you serve this to your guest, they will ask you the recipe to try it themselves.  Just one thing to note this post is not for those who don’t love chocolates, as this is an overdose of chocolate…

Do try and share your experiences.
Happy Cooking and Stay Blessed

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Instant Pizza Samosa

Instant Pizza Samosa

Who Doesn’t Likes Samosa!! The most Famous Indian Appetizer, that can part of breakfast, evening snack and for me it can be part of a meal too…:D

Almost every Indian craves for samosas as the monsoon knocks the door... the combination of piping hot Samosa with hot sip of coffee or Ginger tea is one of the best combos made in heaven..
I have tried out many fillings in Samosas earlier starting from the traditional potato filling to , Cottage cheese and mixed Veggie too..

It was last evening when it was raining heavily and I thought of making some samosas, but neither had I boiled potatoes handy nor plain flour to make the dough. But, once you decide to make something then you start craving for it isn’t it?? :P Same was with me, and I was in no mood spending entire evening in kitchen preparing something else to satisfy my crave for samosas…
I randomly opened the freezer to check what can be worked around, I found an unopened pack of Samosa Pastry Sheets/Patti Samosa Sheets, and block of cheese… Suddenly the bulb blinked with a visual of cheese oozing out from samosa in my mind… :D And I knew what I was up to…

This recipe is super simple, will take hardly 10 minutes including preparation and cooking time. You just need to have few things handy, without much talking lets begin on how to make these beauties…

Ingredients (will make 12 regular sized Patti Samosa)

·         12 Samosa Patti/ Samosa Pastry Sheet/Home dough would work fine too)
·         ¼ cup finely chopped onion
·         ¼ cup finely chopped onion
·         ¼ cup finely chopped tomato
·         3 tbsp of frozen corn  ( Microwave for 2 minutes)
·         Few sliced olives ( or any topping of your choice like Mushroom, jalapenos)
·         Salt as per taste
·         A pinch of black pepper
·         1 tsp of mixed herb/Pizza seasoning
·         ¼ cup shredded mozzarella
·         Flour paste ( 2 Tbsp of flour mixed in 2 tbsp of water to make a thick lump free paste)
·         Oil for deep frying

1.       We’ll start by thawing the samosa sheets. You either take the required no. of sheets from refrigerator 2-3 hours prior to when you plan to make samosas. Or, I usually take the required no. of sheets and just defrost them in microwave by putting them in microwave for 10 seconds or so...
2.       Now, with filling; take a bowl add Chopped veggies (chopped capsicum, tomato, onion, olives and corn).
3.       To this add Salt, Black pepper and mixed herbs. Once done mix everything well with the help of a spoon.
4.       Now, add shredded cheese and give a final mix. With this our filling is ready.
5.       Now, keep one samosa sheet on your work surface and from one end fold diagonally to make a pocket where the filling can be stuffed.
6.       Once done, add a spoon full of filling and seal the samosa by folding the samosa diagonally till entire sheet is done, and towards the end apply some flour paste to seal. Make sure the samosa is not opened from any of the 3 corners.
Note: for better understanding of how to fold samosa, you can watch this video (video courtesy www.switzfrozen.com)


Refer to the picture given below (Picture taken from http://www.spicytasty.com/)
7.       Fold all the Samosas following the same way.
8.       Once done, Deep fry them on medium flame till nice golden brown from all the sides.
9.       Your Pizza Samosas are ready, I bet these would become regular at your place just like mine..:D

There are few things though that needs to be taken care of while preparing and pre paring these Samosas if you are making them in bulk for any party or get together..
·         Ensure to cover to cover the prepared samosas and the sheet not in use to always cover with a damp cloth, as they tend to dry out soon.

·         Ensure all the sides and corner are sealed properly, else while frying oil will ruin the samosas.

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