Keerai Masala Vadai / Spinach Channa Dal Vada

Keerai-Masala-Vadai
Have you ever crossed the local tea shops without ever noticing the masala vadai? Such street food delicacies are sinfully tasty, crispy and always I do wonder how do they maintain the crispness for a longer time. Don't miss to get one or two if the shop looks clean & decent.

While the medhu vadai / urad dal vada is the most popular vada variant, only occasionally we use to prepare masala vada my home. My personal favorite is the masala vadai.

I love the masala vadai that is available in the tea shop next to the temple at my native place. I get atleast one at my every visit to temple. Before I started the blog, I asked the tea master the recipe for vadai and he generously shared it with me. Since then I have been making his recipe and also here you are tasting it virtually.

I have added spinach to his original recipe and made "keerai vadai". We enjoyed every bite of it with hot tea. A wonderful combo that one should never miss during your evenings.

Spinach-Vadai

Basic information: 
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Soaking time: 2-3 hours
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients: 

Channa  dal / Kadalai Paruppu - 3/ 4 cup
Toor dal - 1/4 cup
Spinach - 1 and 1/2 cup, optimum packing, finely chopped
Onion - 1 no., medium size, finely chopped
Green chilli - 4 nos., finely chopped
Fennel seeds - 1 teaspoon
Grated ginger - 1 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Asafoetida - a generous pinch
Oil - as required for deep frying

Method:

1) Wash both Channa Dal and Toor Dal together and soak it for 2-3 hours.
2) Wash the spinach well and chop it finely.
3) After 3 hours, drain the excess water and grind the dal coarsely without adding water. Make a coarse dal mixture out of it. One or few whole channa dal in the mixture is fine.

Keerai-Vadai-Step1

4) Transfer it to a bowl and add finely chopped spinach leaves.
5) Add onion, green chilli, fennel seeds, grated ginger, salt and asafoetida. Mix well. Taste and adjust the salt if required.

Keerai-Vadai-Step2

6) Heat oil in a pan. When it is not smoking hot, pinch a lemon sized dough out of the batter and pat it to round shape and gently immerse it in the oil. Keep a bowl of water nearby to wet your palms after you made each vada. It helps to pinch and pat the vada easily.
7) Deep fry the vadai in medium flame till it becomes nice golden brown. Flip it in between for even frying.

Keerai-Vadai-Step3

8) Once done, transfer to a plate covered with paper towel to drain the excess oil if any.
9) Serve it hot with hot tea.

Keerai-Vadai
Notes:

1) Instead of toor dal you can also use a tablespoon of rice grains. Soak it along with channa dal.
2) Any kind of greens can be used for making this keerai vadai.
3) Make sure the flame is in medium flame to get crispy vadai.

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Eggless Custard Powder Cake

Eggless-Custard-Powder-Cake
My aunt visited my native for a family occasion. She left her son in my home as he had his classes. He went to school from my home, I packed lunch and snacks for him.

He is fond of cakes and pizzas and wished to bake one on his own. With no prior experience, he wished to bake a simple large cake. I suggested that he can start by baking cupcakes but from his point of view, he considers cooking cupcakes doesn't fall under the category of baking which was funny indeed. 

I suggested him to bake something chocolaty but finally concluded on this cake recipe from Divya's space as it is mentioned as easy peasy. He baked it as per the instructions and was thrilled to see the transformation from batter to spongy texture through the oven glass door. :-)

The top of the cake turned brown quickly, so I reduced the temperature to 150C and baked it for an hour. You an either cover it using aluminum foil in the middle and bake it in the usual temperature to avoid burning.

I personally felt the cake was a bit dry and had a cracked top while baking. The sweetness of the cake is bit less. But you can make it more sweet if needed. The color was very pleasant if you add vanilla flavored custard powder. If you use, corn flour, add some food coloring, otherwise you'll end up having a white cake.

We got nine slices out of the cake but managed to get only 2 slices for the shoot and the recipe is presented below for your treat.

Eggless-Custard-Powder-Cake

Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 45 minutes
Makes: 9 slices

Ingredients:

All purpose flour / Maida - 1 and 1/2 cups
Vanilla Flavored Custard powder or Corn flour - 3/4 cup
Baking powder - 2 and 1/4 teaspoons
Granulated sugar - 3/4 cup
Vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon
Butter - 10 tablespoons, at room temperature
Milk - 1 cup

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease a square or round pan with butter and dust it with flour. Keep aside.
2) In a mixing bowl, mix both butter and milk.

Eggless-Custard-Powder-Cake-Step1

3) Add sugar and vanilla extract. Continue mixing till the sugar dissolves.
4) Add all the dry ingredients (all purpose flour, custard powder and baking powder) and mix until everything is incorporated.

Eggless-Custard-Powder-Cake-Step2

5) Pour this batter to the prepared baking pan and bake it in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the tooth pin inserted into it comes out clean.

Eggless-Custard-Powder-Cake-Step3

6) Once done, cool it for few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to allow it to cool down completely.

Eggless-Custard-Powder-Cake

Notes:

1) I reduced the oven temperature to 150 half way after noticing the top part of the cake started changing the color.
2) Increase the vanilla extract quantity to 2 teaspoons if you use corn flour.
3) Corn flour/corn starch texture would resemble a talcum powder. It is totally different from the corn meal available in the market.
4) Depending on the baking pan size and the oven temperature the baking time varies. Ideally, it would be 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Instant Cucumber Oats Crepe

Instant-Cucumber-Oats-Crepe-1
Quick and instant foods are the ones I prefer when I rush to work. Sometimes it helps me on weekends as well for making breakfast/brunch. Innovative recipes are sometimes born from the leftovers available in the fridge. The same can be mentioned about fusion recipes too.

While I started making instant cucumber dosa from the available ingredients, it ended up as a crepe with loads of summer fruits. It took a quick transformation before I poured the first ladle of batter to make the crepe. I just made this recipe using the leftover ingredients from previous night's dinner at home. But believe me, you can make the crepe (dosa) part alone anytime and I hope the batter ingredients easily available at every household.

Today's recipe is savoury, instant fresh cucumber oats crepe with summer fruits stuffing. India cuisine blends with French here. :-) As I have added cucumber, it is good to have this dish during summer to cool our body. At this moment, I take a break to happily mention that this recipe of mine won the best, quick & easy healthy brunch recipe competition held across my office locations in India.

Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2

Instant-Cucumber-Oats-Crepe-2

Ingredients:

For Crepe:

Grated Fresh Cucumber – 1/2 cup
Quick cooking Oats – 1/4 cup
Semolina / Rava / Soji – 1/4 cup
Whole Wheat flour / Atta – 1/4 cup
Salt – to taste
Green chilli – 2 numbers, finely chopped
Ginger – 1 inch piece, grated
Curd / Yogurt – 2 tablespoons
Cumin seeds – ¼ teaspoon
Water – as required to make batter
Olive oil – to drizzle

For Stuffing:

Ripe Mango – 1 cup
Pomegranate – 1/2 cup
Mint leaves – 10 leaves
Ground White pepper – 1/4 teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Chat masala – a pinch

Method:

1. Mix all the ingredients given under “For crepe” except oil and make pourable batter.

Instant-Cucumber-Oats-Crepe-Stp1

2. Heat the skillet and when it is hot, pour a ladle of batter and spread it in a circular motion from inside out. Drizzle olive oil on top of it.

Instant-Cucumber-Oats-Crepe-Stp2

3. While it is cooking, mix all the ingredients given under “For stuffing”.
4. By now, the crepe would have cooked, transfer to a plate.

Instant-Cucumber-Oats-Crepe-Stp3

5. Spread the stuffing, fold it. Voila, Here is the quick, healthy colorful brunch and enjoy.

Instant-Cucumber-Oats-Crepe-3


Notes:

1) If there is any leftover batter use within the same day.
2) Choose good quality of cucumber. Stuffing can vary as per your personal preference.

Egg Pepper Sevai / Muttai Milagu Idiyappam

Egg-Pepper-Sevai-1
I could not imagine my cooking without my Amma and grandma. Especially, they helped many of my lazy weekends to prepare something quickly. I only know how many days I simply cooked using the loads of flours they gave me during every visit of mine to my native place. My Mom would make home made floor at my home at Chennai as well everytime when she visits me.

Last Month, my mom showed me the entire process of making Idiyappam flour and asked me to record it for the blog. As I was away from blogging for sometime I just jotted down the steps. I'll make a "How-to" in near future(Hopefully :-) ).

Before using the home made flour, I emptied the store bought one for preparing this egg pepper sevai. Those who don't like plain idiyappam and for egg lovers, this would be the perfect one. It can also be prepared using the store bought rice noodles.

Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes
Serves: 1 person generously

Muttai-Milagu-Idiyappam-2

Ingredients:

Oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
Asafoetida - a big pinch
Curry leaves - 1 spring
Green chilli - 1 no., slit (optional)
Onion - 1 no., medium size, finely chopped
Egg - 1 or 2 no.,
Cumin seeds - little less than 1/2 teaspoon
Black Pepper seeds - little less than 1/2 teaspoon
Plain Idiyappam - 2 cups
Salt - to taste

Method:

1) Loosen the idiyappam and break the strings slightly. Using a mixie, make a powder of cumin seeds and pepper seeds. Keep it aside.

Egg-Pepper-Sevai-Stp1

2) Heat oil in the pan. Throw mustard seeds and allow it to splutter. Add curry leaves, asafoetida and slit green chilli.

Egg-Pepper-Sevai-Stp2

3) After few seconds, add finely chopped onion. Saute till the onion becomes soft and translucent.
4) Break the egg and add it to the pan. Leave it for few seconds and make a scramble out of it.

Egg-Pepper-Sevai-Stp3

5) Once the egg is cooked well, add powdered cumin seeds and black pepper. Add salt. Mix well for few minutes till everything incorporates well.

Egg-Pepper-Sevai-Stp4 

6) Reduce the flame. Add the idiyappam to the pan.
7) Mix gently till everything incorporates well. Taste and adjust salt.

Egg-Pepper-Sevai-2

Notes:

1) You can add green chilli if you are a spice lover.
2) Take cumin and black pepper in equal quantity.
3) The egg count is absolutely as per your choice. You can adjust it as per your personal preference.

Eggless Sapodilla Muffins / Sapota Muffins / Chiku Muffins

Sapota-Muffins-1
I love baking cupcakes and muffins. I have been telling this each and every time I post a recipe on cupcakes / muffins. I'm glad that I got an opportunity to do a cooking show in one of the top Tamil Channels to bake my favorite muffins.

I prepared eggless sapota muffins for the show with crushed walnuts topping. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to see the show as it was telecasted when I was out on a vacation. Luckily, one of my family friends shared me a clipping yesterday from the youtube version of the show. I will share it here in my blog once I get a clear picture of it.

Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 12 muffins

Sapota-Muffins-2

Ingredients:

Milk - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Oil - 1/2 cup
Wheat flour / Atta - 1 and 1/2 cup
Baking powder - 1 and 1/2 teaspoon
Baking soda - 1/2 teaspoon
Sapodilla / Sapota / Chiku Puree - 1/2 cup
Vanilla essence - 1 teaspoon
Walnuts - 1/2 cup

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 180C. Line the muffin tray with muffin liners. Chop the walnuts roughly. Peel the skin and remove the seeds of sapota. Puree it. Mix wheat flour, baking soda and baking powder. Keep everything aside.

Sapota-Muffins-Step1

2) In a large mixing bowl, mix milk and sugar till sugar dissolves.
3) Add oil and mix again.
4) Add dry ingredients (Wheat flour, baking powder and baking soda). Mix well and the mixture would turn thick.

Sapota-Muffins-Step2

5) Add sapota puree and vanilla essence. Blend it well. In between add half of the mixed walnuts.
6) Take a scoop of batter and pour in muffin tray.
7) Top it with saved crushed walnuts.

Sapota-Muffins-Step3

8) Bake it in the oven for 15 minutes or till the toothpin inserted into it comesout clean.
9) Once done, transfer to a wire basket and allow it to cool completely.

Sapota-Muffins-3
Notes:

1) You can adjust sugar based on the sweetness of sapota. No need to use an entire cup.
2) Don't add water while making the sapota puree. Choose ripe sapota for best results.
3) Any kind of nuts can be used.

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